A Different Us


gillian4_icon.gif lynette2_icon.gif

Scene Title A Different Us
Synopsis Lynette and Gillian came out of the monster hospital changed in ways that they don't think others can quite understand. Others who weren't there.
Date August 30, 2010

The Garden

Situated in a copse several miles away from the nearest stretch of asphalt, the Garden is accessible via an old dirt road that winds snakelike through the woods and dead-ends at the property's perimeter, which is surrounded by stone wall plastered with wicked coils of rusty barbed wire to keep would-be intruders from attempting to scale it. Those with a key can gain entry via the front gate.

The safehouse itself is a three-story brickwork cottage over a century old and covered in moss and ivy. It slants to one side, suggesting that the foundation has been steadily sinking into the wet earth; incidentally, this may be one of the reasons why its prior occupants never returned to the island to reclaim their property when government officials lifted evacuation orders and re-opened the Verrazano-Narrows shortly before its eventual destruction.

Inside, the cottage is decorated in mismatched antique furniture including a couch in the living room and an armchair nestled in the corner closest to the fireplace that go well with the safehouse's hardwood floors and the wood-burning stoves in some of the spare bedrooms. A heavy wooden table designed to seat eight separates the dining area from the rest of the kitchen, which is defined by its aged oak cabinetry and the dried wildflowers hanging above them.

Today, there is a visitor to the Garden. Lynette isn't a very striking figure. She's not statuesque, she's not intimidating, but she does, very clearly, care about fashion. High heels click along as she strides in as if she belongs there. Which she does. She carries with her a box, just a simple moving box, that seems to be filled with stuff.

When she gets inside, her sunglasses are shifted to perch on top of styled, but quite short hair, and she takes a moment to look around. "Is there a Gillian around today?" She clearly doesn't know who it is she's looking for exactly, beyond the name, but she seems quite determined.

The woman the blonde sees and approaches doesn't look like any description that most people would have given for Gillian. Her hair isn't dark, for starters, instead a bright and unnatural tone of red, that looks even brighter when the light streaming in from the windows hits it. Still, it's the hesitant expression that gives away knowing the name, and the sudden cast of eyes around that looks worried. Like someone who's expecting to get leaped upon from the shadows, even in a place that should be one of the safest in the network…

"Yeah, yeah— Gillian's here. She's me," she says in raspy tones, once she's done her job checking the shadows. "I'm about to get some laundry off the line outside, if you want to talk, you can help me out." That's the way of the Garden, after all. Assistance with everything. As she leads the way toward the door, and the clothes line, she stops to grab a basket as she asks, "So why you looking for me?"

Lynette pauses and blinks a moment. Well, that was lucky. But she seems to be accepting her luck for the moment and she does, in fact, move to follow. "I brought you some things. I've honestly never been good at all this, but I find a box of vices tends to make things easier. I didn't know what yours were, so I brought a little of everything. Candy, alcohol, cigarettes, romance movies, movies were things blow up a lot, movies with a lot of shirtless men running around, junk food, gossip magazines… I think I must have all seven deadlies covered. My name's Lynette. Lynette Rowan." It doesn't really explain why, but she's getting around to it. Eventually.

The leading stops rather quickly, as the woman mentions gifts. Gillian looks over, through a lock of red hair that obscures one of her eyes as she tilts her head. "That's— really nice of you, but— well we don't have electricity out here, so I can't really watch movies," she nods back towards the house. Television is not a necessity for the people in this house. "Alcohol's good, though, and nothing's wrong with a little junk food." The basket is dropped down, as she begins to pull clothing down to fold and drop into it, focusing on that rather than the confusion. "Don't get me wrong, it's nice of you and it's nice to meet you, Lynette," Why is that name familiar? "But— this is a little odd. I'm not used to getting presents from strangers." Until recently, at least.

"Well, then. The movies will be… very sad and unused." Lynette shifts to set the box down for the moment, but then she doesn't seem to know what to do with her hands, so after a moment, they go to her hips. "I'm told you and I have a shared experience. And I promised someone I would… try not to handle it on my own. And then I promised someone else that I would come and see you. Don't get me wrong, I'm not here to make you relive every moment, unless that's what you need in order to process, but I thought, perhaps some company. Laundry or alcohol or what have you." She leans over to pick up a tall, skinny bottle that's half clear and half black, with some Russian on the label. "Stoli Elit. Rumor has it, it's distilled through diamond dust and tastes fresher than mountain spring water."

"I'm sure someone can get some use out of them, just not me, as long as I'm staying here," Gillian says, shaking her head a bit. The last movie she wanted to sit down and watch with someone got ruined, so books are better anyway. And puzzles. And anything that doesn't remind her of things that she'll never have, cause she was never supposed to. "Never heard of that one, but it sounds awesome," she admits, dropping a shirt one at a time. Her folding skills aren't great, but she doesn't seem to think people will mind. Even if— "What shared experience do we have? Your name sounds familiar, but…" Months of other things, very mind scarring things, makes her memory sketchy. And— there's a lot of experiences the woman could be talking about… The whole captivity, her suicide attempt… "I'm not sure I want to talk, though."

Setting the bottle back down, Lynette does finally come over to help with folding that laundry. And in truth, she's not much better at the folding. "Ah. The hospital recently. I was there, too." The otherwise seemingly confident blonde looks away there. She doesn't want to talk, either. "Anyway, I'm not here to play therapist. I am, in fact, quite bad at playing therapist." Box of vices as evidence. "But. Perhaps we could just get to know one another. Have something besides that shared experience to connect us, maybe. You're in the Ferry," she adds the last as if it could be a jumping off point toward that very end.

That hospital. Gillian stays quiet for a time, not moving to pick off more shirts, and just staring at the clothes as they shift slightly in the wind. Taking in a slow breath, she reaches up to grab one off, pulling it a little harder than she probably should, and folding it up. "Did you join the Ferry because you wanted to, or did you join because you had to?" A straight forward question, but one she seems to find important.

That's an easy enough question, and one Lynette seems to be comfortable with. "I wanted to. I worked… let's say in imports and exports of questionable legality for sometime. But Midtown… it changed things. Everything. I needed to do more. Do… something that mattered. And from then, on I helped smuggle people out of the country to the promise of a better life." Careful wording there, the promise of a better life. There's some bitterness in the woman now, whether it was there before or not is anyone's guess. "What about you?"

"I'm here for the same reason I was in that hospital. Cause my ability," Gillian says tossing the abusedly folded shirt down onto the top of the pile. At this rate they'll need to be folded again when she brings them back inside. But at least their dry and summer air fresh. "I help people, I try to do good things, but in the end— if I didn't have this fucking ability I wouldn't be here. No one would want me. No one would lock me up. And… This place is just a freer less physically painful prison." But still a prison. And one she can't leave, cause it follows her everywhere. A little knot in the back of her head, always threatening to unravel and ruin her life, and the lives of others.

"The trick is to find a prison you don't mind," Lynette says with a wry, jaded tone. But she stops herself and shakes her head. "I'm sorry, that's… not what I meant." She looks over at the other woman, her gaze concerned, her brow furrowed. "They come after you, because of what you can do, is what you're saying? They being… whichever organization has decided you'd be useful to them this week? God, I fucking hate that shit." Growl. It's her turn to yank down some of that laundry with much aggression. "I wish I had an answer for you, hunny, I really do. I suppose a new identity hasn't worked in the past?"

"It's why Phoenix wanted me. It's why I'm with the Ferry in the first place," Gillian says with a shrug, looking through the clothes rather than really at them, as if they were transparent. Her mind isn't quite in the present, which might be good that she's not actually trying to take them down. The Garden loses enough clothes through gardening and other accidents, it doesn't need to lose clothes cause she takes them off the line and rips them up. "In order for a new identity to work, I have to stop being me. Offically I can stop being me— but… There's some things I don't want to leave, even if they're all perfectly fine with leaving me. Until they decide they need my ability for something, at least." It sounds bitter, but there's probably reasons for it…

"The Lighthouse kids are different, I don't want to leave them, but I can't be with them anymore… Not publicly. Not as 'Gillian'. But at least I can see them often here."

"Ahh, I see. Yes, it would be hard, if there were something tying you here. But if you ever do want out, I'm not a fan of anyone being forced to stay anywhere, be they friendly or not." Lynette frowns as she drops a shirt into the basket and looks down at it, a frown on her face. "I'm sorry you've been treated this way. People get such tunnel vision when they're frantic. Thinking about what will solve their problems and not much beyond that. It's one of those things that's so inexcusable and yet, so very human."

"Would help if I could get better at saying no, but when that's the only reason people want you around anymore, you kinda start wondering if you'd be worthless otherwise," Gillian says quietly, finally pulling down one of the other pieces of clothes, a pair of pants, which gets folded over her arm and dropped down into the basket. "I guess you're not here cause of my ability, but you're here cause someone asked you to be here. I want to be alone, and I want someone to be here all at the same time… maybe that's because of what I went through, though…" She shakes her head. "Sorry."

"Saying no is a wonderful skill to master. 'Fuck you' is also a good one. Sometimes people have to hear it to be reminded we aren't tools." Lynette smiles over at her as she goes on, and she steps over to place a hand gently on Gillian's arm. "I will go so far as to say, I will never be here for your power. I was pointed your way by someone else, but I am not here to ease their minds. Yours and my own, yes. So. If you want to be alone, you say the word. And if you want company, you say the word. I'll leave you a way to get in touch with me for later, if you'd like. I understand the feeling of wanting things both ways, believe me."

"I say that a lot, but not about enough things," Gillian admits quietly, grinning that the other woman even uses the words she would often throw out when 'no' was the option she did pick. But it never seems to have been enough, cause there's enough instances where she knows people only wanted her for what she could do— and she's the only one who can. "Do you even know what my ability is?" she asks, glancing over as the woman assures she'll never be here for that. "Cause if you don't, you may change your mind someday." Who wouldn't want to, in certain circumstances, be more powerful? "And who asked you to visit me, anyway? Even if you're not here for them, really, I'd like to know."

"We'll get some practice in, then," Lynette says, returning that grin, although crookedly. "I don't know. But frankly, it doesn't matter. You could tell me you could make a rainbow bridge from here to fairyland and I still wouldn't. And I am a notorious fan of fairyland," she says, her tone somewhat playful, as is the prideful lift of her chin there at the end. When she looks back to Gillian, though, her expression softens. "Simply put, my dear, it bothers you that people treat you this way, so I refuse. I hate following the crowd." That last question gets a bit of a smile and she tilts her head a bit, "A troubled, yet handsome fellow by the name of Peter, I believe."

"I used to be a fan of fairyland too," Gillian says softly, though she's not even really listening to what she's saying, because, of course, it had to be Peter. Can't stay at her bedside once she woke up, but can send a complete stranger to 'keep her company'. Can't watch a movie with her when she asked him to, can't do a lot of things. But he can do this. "You're his type, you know," she says oddly, not looking over at Lynette. "He likes blondes. And I'm not self-depreciating enough to become one for him. And I look better as a red head, anyway." After she says this, she suddenly pulls one of the smaller shirts off and rubs it over her face. "Gonna have to wash this one again, but… good thing I didn't wear make up." Just tears and sweat. Tears she doesn't want this new person to see.

"Oh, well… that's lovely, but he's not mine. I really like those big strapping fellows that belong on a football field." Lynette glances back toward where she left the box, likely there are plenty of samples of just that therein. Alas! No electricity. "I met him when he came by the field hospital and he mentioned dropping in to see you. And I don't know anyone else who was in there… and I'm really very tired of how other people have been reacting to it all. I've found myself reassuring them, how ridiculous is that?"

"Good, cause he'd probably make you feel special, and then tell you you weren't and walk away, or push you out the door," Gillian says, perhaps revealing the reason for some of the bitterness when it comes to Peter. Now that it's out of the way, and the woman talks about her own experience, she pauses, eyes narrowing as if she realizes something while she holds the shirt in hand. "I spent a lot of time reassuring the people I knew, too." Something she's just realizing as she speaks, perhaps because it was hard to see when she was just seeing it as a personal phenomenon. But there were others there too, and this one is one of them. "And I've had an easier time talking about it with people who didn't know me before, because they didn't know me… I don't have to feel guilty about no longer being the person they remember. Or even the person they wanted me to be. And probably cause they only know what I tell them, and not make assumptions cause they know where I was." And some of what happened there…

"Charming," Lynette says, as far as Peter goes. She seems to almost forget about the laundry when Gillian goes on, too. And she nods here and there, like it all makes so much sense to her. "I… have been trying to pretend to be the same person. But it doesn't make me feel like myself. I suppose because that isn't myself anymore. I don't… have anyone to talk about it all with in plain honesty. I don't really want to see the revulsion. You know. Or god, the pity. I don't know which of those annoys me more."

"Do you like horses?" Gillian suddenly asks, dropping the re-dirtied shirt over the edge of the basket, and bending down to pick it up. "We have a couple here, we can watch them and drink that diamond-dust alcohol of yours, and then maybe next time I can visit you and we can watch those movies. Cause I think I'm going to be sick of no TV and no AC after a while." She's a bit sick of it now, but people who don't want to be locked in a room don't get a lot of choices. "I'm just gonna drop these off and ask someone else to take care of it today."

Lynette pauses for a moment, then smiles gently. "I adore horses." It doesn't really matter if it's true or not, as she's just trying to find the right way to go about all this, but she is quite willing. "I think that sounds like an excellent plan. All of it. Ah, Gun Hill is my place and you're quite welcome to drop in anytime there. And I mean that. Three am, whatever."

"That's where I recognized your name from. After you disappeared a couple of the Lighthouse kids went to help out there," Gillian says in memory, though she wasn't present when they went to live their for a while. Neither of them were. "I doubt I'll be dropping in at 3 AM. I'm not about to risk getting caught on the streets after curfew. The government would love to lock me up just as much as that hospital." Which… was the government.

"Oh, yes. I still have to get over there to thank Mister Doyle for looking after the place." Lynette seems to have a running list there, of people to thank for this or that while she was gone. "Well, figuratively at three am," she corrects herself with a bit of a crooked smile. "There's plenty of room there, by the way… if you get really sick of no TV and no

"I'll consider it, but I feel a little safer out here in the middle of nowhere," Gillian says with a shrug, and… "It's closer to the Lighthouse. In case the kids still need me." And she has many feelings that they will someday, sooner or later. She hopes later, for their sake. Dropping off the basket of clothes, shares a few soft words with another person who stays at the Garden, and then waves toward the back, "Let's try this amazing Russian alcohol of yours and try to forget about the Monster Doctors of the Hospital we stayed at."

Lynette grabs her box when they head in, propping it on one hip. "Fair enough. The offers there, if you change your mind." When she starts for the back, the blonde moves to follow along, a sigh on her lips, but she nods her head. "If this doesn't help make us forgetful, I don't know what will."

"Maybe the horses can kick us in the head," Gillian says with a laugh, wanting to forget some things, while remembering others. "Even if I want to kick him in the shins, I'm glad you came over." And not just for the booze they haven't started to enjoy.

Well, not enjoy yet.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License