At Least For A Day


joanna_icon.gif tasha_icon.gif

Scene Title Just For A Day.
Synopsis Tasha finally makes her way home and everything isn't as she dreads.
Date November 23, 2010

Solstice Condominiums - Joanna's Condo

It's been weeks since Tasha has been to this building. She has no key — the bag that had her belongings was left in her mother's car the day of the riots. She stands staring at the door of Joanna's condo, chewing her thumbnail and waiting for the courage to come.

She wants to see her mother more than she ever has in her life.

She's dreading seeing her mother more than she ever has in her life.

One hand goes to the door knob finally, turning but finding it locked. It feels ominous — a harbinger of the irreparable damage Tasha is frightened she's done to their relationship — to her mother herself. The door is locked, and she no longer has the key to enter it.

A tear slips down her cheek as Tasha lifts her hand to knock on the a door she never thought she'd have to knock on — the door to what was her home for so many years.

There's movement behind the door within a few minutes, the darkening of the peephole and then the immediate opening of the door. It's not Tasha's mother but Tasha's Aunt who's on the the other side, a rare visit and occurrence and maybe it might make Tasha's heart seize a bit more.

"Natasha!" The dark haired woman exclaims though not too loud, wrapping an arm around Tasha's shoulders and pulling her in. "About time you came here, I have been worried about you. No one knew where you were, and your father had taken off. Horrid horrid business"

"Aunt Diane!" Tasha whispers, her voice hushed in echo of her aunt's as she wraps her arms around the older woman, tears already beginning to flow. "We were … we got separated and I was stuck somewhere for a long time," she whispers. It's true — but of course vague. "As soon as I found out what happened, I came here."

She extricates herself from her aunt's arms and peers into the condo. "How is she? She got shot? But okay enough to release? Can— " She pauses on 'can I see her,' shaking her head. "Does she want to s-see me?"

'Diane! Who's at the door" It comes from the rear of the condo, coming closer. Diane just tilts her head and looks down at her niece once she lets her go from the hug. "She's in a bad way, but she won't show it. She's been calling hospitals and looking for you though, it'll do her good to see that you're okay. Get on back before she comes all the way out here. I'll bring back some things to drink and leave you two alone" A kiss to Tasha's cheek, she leaves the young girl alone to go to her mother.

Tasha nods, biting her lip to keep it from trembling, wiping her eyes as she moves toward her mother's bedroom. "Mom?" she whispers, her feet slow at first on the hallway path, before they move faster. The guilt is still there, but the joy of hearing her mother's voice, of hearing her mother alive blots most of it out with its light — it's there on the periphery, threatening to squeeze back in. But for now, Tasha simply wants her mother.

Joanna at the door to her bedroom, hand on the lintel and about to exit. Bathrobe, comfortable clothing beneath, the dark haired older version of Tasha just watches her daughter come down the hall like it might very well be a mirage. Lines at the corner of her eyes that very could have been there before but perhaps a little more exaggerated without make up to hide them and stress to weigh them down.


Almost sheer disbelief. She shuffles out a step or two and soon her eyes are threatening to spill over too.


Tasha stops a few feet away, her brows knitting together in the worrywart expression she's worn so often of late and often did as a child. She drops the bag she carries to the ground and takes another step, her arms dropping helpless to her sides — she wants to grab her mother and hold her and hug her tight but she knows she's injured — and she's not sure she's welcome.

"Oh, God, Mom, I'm so sorry," Tasha gasps out, the tears flooding her eyes and slipping down her cheeks in torrents. "We got …we got trapped… and then I found Daddy and he told me where you were so I came back…" another hesitant step taken. "I'm so sorry," she repeats. One day, hopefully she will have something more interesting to tell her parents than constant apologies.

And maybe some day her eyes will be dry too. As it stands, Joanna lifts her arms to beckon her daughter forward so that she can hug her, and fiercely despite the ache that ripples from her abdomen by doing so. She doesn't care. Tasha is alive. Vincent is alive. This is worth it, and calls for rejoicing.

"They wouldn't let me stay, I wasn't allowed to stop. They made me keep moving and then a woman hit my car in the middle of a mob but it's okay. You're alive and that's all that count Natasha"

Tasha all but melts into Joanna's embrace, the shorter woman leaning her head on her mother's shoulder. She's carefull with her own hands, bringing them up to press her mother's upper arms which seem to be working all right and safe enough to hold on to.

"I didn't know we'd get separated," she whispers, her body trembling as she cries out the guilt she's kept bottled up. "I thought you could follow me, or that I'd just go back to that street and you'd be there but … but …" she can't talk about Tamara, and she just sobs, shoulders hitching.

"I'm okay. We found a place to hide but they wouldn't let us leave, not til they were sure it was safe." She swallows. "Dad's all right. He's … he's probably gonna have to stay in hiding for a while, but he's okay. He told me where you were — somehow he knew."

"It's your father. He has god damned ESP Tasha. Of course he knew. Probably knew your grades at Parsons before your teachers even knew it" She needs to go sit, needs to go back to laying down but stands up, stroking her hand through the short tresses of the younger Renard. "You're safe, he's fine, that's all that counts frankly. The rest of the world can go to hell in a burning basket just so long as you're safe. It means that I got you to Colette in time and it was worth it, so shhh Tasha, it's okay Bee Bottom"

Finally letting go, Tasha steps back and smiles through her tears. "Come on. Let's go get you back in bed before Aunt Diane comes and reams us both," she murmurs, taking Joanna by the hand to tug her mother into the bedroom. "Colette's okay. I haven't seen her for a couple of days, but I'll check on her tomorrow," she says, focusing on the fact that Colette is alive, rather than the fact she doesn't know how Tamara is — or where.

"Dad taught me how to play a song on the guitar. It has the word masturbation in it. Aren't you proud?" she offers as a non sequitur.

"I'm more proud of him to actually teach you to play a guitar" Was him being on the run make him less of a stick up his ass? Joanna wasn't sure but she falls silent as they go back into the bedroom which has been the center of the woman's universe the last couple weeks. A myriad of orange bottles beside the bed, coffee cup, newspaper, briefcase open and some case files inside it. The Lawyer is keeping in touch as much as she can regarding some of her cases it seems. On her good days.

Today seems to be a medium day. "I met the Russian."

Tasha presses her lips together at the mention of Sasha, her brows furrowing as she tries to hold in the tears, picturing him helping her mother's bleeding body. Like he helped take care of hers.

"He's nice, isn't he?" she murmurs blandly, leading Joanna to the bed. "Can I get you anything? Aunt Diana said she'd bring us in something, but anything you want." She moves to the other side and pulls off her own coat, then curls up next to her mother. "I'm sorry I didn't change it enough," she whispers. Enough. Her mother's alive, which means some things changed, but she shouldn't have been alone and bleeding and almost dying without Tasha.

"My memories of him are with me screaming Tasha while someone cut me open to get bullets out of me. I cannot reserve judgement. Because of him I'm alive but…" But at a cost. The cost being the varying strength's of painkillers on her bedside that go from advil to one would swear, some oxycontin and percocet. "But." She closes the flaps of the japanese silk robe and settles back on the bed, making room for Tasha. "Aunt Diane has likely taken the chance to slip out so she can take a break and call home" She reaches over, drawing her hand along Tasha's cheek, tears still making their slow way over her lids. "Did you get hurt? If you didn't get hurt, then it's okay. Some things, they don't change"

"Nothing serious. Scrapes and bruises," Tasha whispers, not trusting her voice after listening to the hell her mother just went through. She still carries the burden of being one of three survivors in her group the night they took the Institute back on Staten; more survivor guilt won't make much of a difference.

She reaches to push a strand of Joanna's hair back behind an ear. "I'll take care of you, okay? I … I don't know about school. I already missed the past two weeks, but I don't know if they even had classes. I think I'm doomed to keep dropping out. I'll be the world's oldest freshman if this keeps up."

"You'll be the worlds prettiest freshman" Joanna points out weepily, reaching up to swipe a forefinger across her own eyes, get rid of some tears. "I'm a big girl Bee Bottom. I get the stitches taken out tomorrow. I'll be trying to go back to work on Moday, see if I can manage. Maybe you need to go look into everything with parsons, and if you need to, I can come, I can see what I can make it easier for you"

The affection is not unusual for her, but it's not often such from Tasha. Usually it's Joanna tucking hair. "You take care of that girlfriend of yours Tasha. You can come take care of me when you remember"

"I can stay today and go with you to the doctor's tomorrow," Tasha says, with a shake of her head. "I'd like to. I should have been with you when it happened, Mom. Maybe it wouldn't have, if I'd stayed with you." But then what would have happened to Colette? Would she have been picked up by the Institute, unable to leave Tamara's side?

"I can take care of both of you," Tasha adds, her voice stubborn and determined to do just that — even though November 8 seemed to prove that impossible. She can't be in two places at the same time.

Tasha leans forward to kiss Joanna on the cheek. "You look tired. Get some rest. I'll go tell Diana to take the day off."

"I am. It hurts more today" And she won't fight Tasha coming with her. "Tell Diane to go out, enjoy a movie, have a dinner. You're babysitting me tonight. You can sleep in my bed with me, she's taken up your room while you've been gone.

Joanna returns the kiss, holding tight to Tasha's hand, keep her there a moment longer, inhale the scent of her daughter then let her go so she can lean back against pillows and sink under the blankets and leave Tasha to her sister. Diane will be grateful, to say the least and all will be right in the Renard household, at least for a day.

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