wf_abby1_icon.gif wf_tania1_icon.gif

Scene Title Bells
Synopsis One of the most important days of Tania's young life is interrupted by someone in desperate need of her assistance.
Date March 23, 2011

In Dreams

The dress is white, as it should be — pristine and pure as snow, fit for an angel, which is what the reflection of the young woman wearing it resembles. Silk and chiffon flatter Tania Kozlow's tall, willowy figure and will give her an almost ethereal appearance when she floats down the aisle several hours from now. Sunlight streams in through the room's stained glass windows, much smaller than the ones in the chamber where she will be wed, but no less colourful; soft hues of blue, green and gold wash over her pale skin and sleek red hair, which the blonde in the coral bridesmaid dress has pulled back into a long braid with an elegant orange orchid tucked behind her ear.

They can already hear the sound of organ music resonating through the church, although the ceremony has not yet started and is not due to until the groom arrives.

If he arrives at all. A bottle imported Chinese perfume sits on the vanity in front of them as Abigail puts the finishing touches on Tania's hair and clasps at her throat a silver diamond necklace that matches what sparkles on her ears. It, like the perfume, is a gift from one of the many people in attendence, though they are no personal friends of the bride's, but rather those who are looking to get into the good grace of her husband-to-be.

That's typical. And has been for years.

Tania presses a hand against her stomach, as if this could calm the butterflies she's feeling at the moment. She lets out a slow breath and looks over at Abby. "I'm nervous," she says with a little smile turning up a corner of her mouth. She's learned to use contractions over the years, at least, and her accent isn't so heavy these days, but it still colors her speech some. "I didn't think I'd be so nervous."

She chuckles a little, turning to look at herself in the mirror. "I still think about the other dress, the one with the train all the way back behind it." Meaning, despite the smile on her face and the excitement of the weeks leading up to this moment, she does wonder if she made the right choice. And probably not just about the dress. "But this will be okay… yes?" That's back to Abby again, as she bites her bottom lip between her teeth.

A mouthful of bobby pins, that have slowly but surely been finding their way from between pink lips and into the Russian's hair one by one to secure shining locks in place. The last one is in, securing Tania's hair to Abby's satisfaction.

"I think, that it's okay to be nervous. I wasn't nervous, but I didn't get up in front of a whole heap of people, just this chubby badly balding guy, who's eyes were pretty red and kept messing up my name" The veil is grabbed, shook out so that it falls properly and she can start the job of anchoring it in Tania's hair. She pauses though, looking in the mirror down at her friend.

Lays a hand on her shoulder, squeezing it gently with pearly accented fingertips that don't clash with the coral dress and cascade of curls. Meeting Tania's gaze in the mirror even as the corners of her lips lift in a soft smile. "You mean, will there be a sudden thing happen, a tornado or a hurricane or lightening striking above us as a sign from the lord on high that's telling you this is a mistake. Or are wel talking, it'll be okay, the caterers won't poison everyone with the food and no one will trip and fall and break a hip on the dance floor?"

She can't help it, there's a laugh at Abby's story. It's not a very hearty laugh, just something light and gentle. Much like the girl herself. "He messed up your name. But you were happy anyway." It isn't a question, but perhaps a reassurance.

When she meets Abby's gaze, her hand comes up to rest over the one on her shoulder. "I think I might mean both. A tornado would be very unfortunate, though. You would tell me, if you thought it was a mistake, right? Or if you saw the caterer poisoning the food."

Abigail twists her palm just so, to clasp her thumb over Tania's palm, hold it tight. Everyone knows that Abby can't really lie to save her life, a woman who wears her heart on her sleeve for all to see and across her face. Right now, her face says a great deal. Enough so that she comes around the cushioned chair so she can sit on an adjacent chair, take both of Tania's palms in her hands.

"«I will tell you this. If right now, right this moment, you think, with all your heart and your being that this is not right, not for you, that you can't go through with it, I will walk out that door with you and drive the car really fast.»" Lasping into Russian for her sake. "«And I will not care about anything, except for you Tania, because what I want, is what you want. If you sincerely, with all of your heart, want to go out that door and make your way to the alter like the breathtaking and heartbreaking bride, that you are, I will do that too.»"

She squeezes the other girls hand, running her thumb back and forth gently across the tops of palms. "«And I promise… I'll taste your food first, in case they did. That way.»"

The two women are interrupted by a sharp knock at the door, which is unusual, because there's supposed to a man under the groom's employ standing on the other side with a semi-automatic rifle in case of trouble, and although it's a man's voice that they hear, it most definitely does not belong to the same fellow who promised them he'd keep watch while Tania and Abby were getting ready.

"Miss Kozlow," the voice says, low and in a breathy whisper, but with a great sense of urgency, "Miss Kozlow, please open the door. I need to speak with you."

Tania looks at Abby, and her other hand reaches for her, too. She takes a moment, just trying to get a hold of herself before she looks up at Abby and answers. "«No, this is what I want to do. We've been happy. All this, it's making me nervous,»" she says with a wave of her hand at the building in general. "«I think, a wedding like yours, just me and him and not a million eyes watching me would be easier, but… I would walk through worse.»"

She straightens at that knock and looks over at the door, brows furrowing. She looks back to Abby for a moment before she starts to gather her dress to make her way over to the door, just opening it a crack to see who it is. "Yes? What is it?" She's worried, but probably only Abby can tell. Maybe this is the lightning?

"Tania…" Abby is moving in the wake of the sea of white, palms out and almost afraid to touch the gown, wanting to pull the tiny woman back. "Tania, you should let me ope- " but she quiets when Tania takes care of it, even as worry leaps up in Abby's throat and she is right there with her, trying to crane her neck and get a glimpse of who might be on the other side from over her shoulder, hand on the bride's waist. Fist cocked ready to throw it if she has to.

The face in the crack between door and frame is pinched with worry, with a long, ratty sort of nose but with kind brown eyes — like a spaniel's. Their visitor is a short, stout man with flecks of gray in his hair, and dressed in a suit shabbier than the one the groom will be wearing. The majority if not all of the guests in attendance are not as well off as Tania is, so his disheveled state is no surprise. Neither is the rumble of a jet passing overhead, causing the glass in the windows to rattle, vibrate, then settle again.

He waits until the sound of engine has faded before reaching into his jacket pocket. "I spoke with your brother a few days ago," he says, producing a worn picture with so many creases in it that its texture is more like fabric than the glossy photo paper it was originally printed on. "He told me you might be able to help. It's my little girl—"

"My brother?" It's a pretty good name to drop. Tania visibly relaxes, opening the door wider so she can take the picture. She steps back, which is some process, being in a wedding dress and all, but it seems to be to allow the man entrance. Apparently she trusts Abby's fists pretty far.

"This is not exactly the best time, I'm getting married." Because that wasn't obvious? She looks from the picture to the man, still frowning. "How is my brother? Is he alright? And I'm sorry… what is your name?"

"This really isn't the time, she's supposed to be walking down the aisle. Can this not wait?" As much as Abby is a sucker for anyone in trouble or said trouble having something to do with kids. But Tania is opening the door, welcoming the person in and Abby is forced to step back or step on the Brides dress. Clearly, she is unhappy at this disruption, worry painted across her face in fine lines.

"I'm really very sorry," the man says, "but they keep turning me away every time I come to see you. I had to pay the gentleman outside just to talk to you for a few minutes— I don't have very long." He shows Tania and Abigail the picture, which indeed depicts a little girl with mousy brown hair and features similar to her father's but made much softer by her youth. Her eyes are blue instead of brown. Cautious.

"I'm John. John Eaddy. This is Phoebe. She's only three and a half." He presses the photograph against the door frame and smoothes the heel of his hand over it in a feeble attempt to iron out some of its wrinkles. "I told your brother— he's quite all right, you shouldn't worry— about it already. That we applied for the permit, filled out all the papers and even received our authorization in the mail. I have it here with me, you have to believe, but they still took her.

"Please, will you ask your husband if there's anything he can do for us? They've taken her to a Maclauren Children's Center. I don't even know where that is, and no one with the Department of Evolved Affairs has responded to any of the letters I've written them—"

"Oh, for him, I will always worry," Tania says, her smile slight and sad, but there's a fondness there. "If you see him again, please tell him… that this is not a very good wedding present." For some odd reason, that even sounds affectionate as she says it.

But the man's story is enough to make a girl's mascara run. Although, not Tania's because they spent far too long on getting it perfect today. But any other day! She glances to Abby, her expression firm. It doesn't take long for her to get determined to do something. "I'll do what I can," she says, turning back to the father. "How do I get in contact with you?"

Why do they have to be kids. Why does it have to always be kids. Abby listens to the storu the man tells, the picture and his story knowing already that Tania's going to do it. Going to try and help, but then again, if Tania didn't, she might very well have done so. "Can we see the authorization? Everything that you have on you that might help Ms. Kozlow should she choose to?" Abby broaches quietly.

Eaddy reaches out and takes Tania's hands, and although her eyes might not be watery, his are starting to get that way. "Oh, thank you. Thank you. You have no idea what this means to my wife and I. We haven't done anything wrong. We've followed all the rules. She hasn't been a day off the Negoxan."

He gives Tania's hands a firm squeeze. Then, at Abigail's request, fishes out an equally rumpled sheet from the same pocket the photograph came from, taking great care not to tear the paper as he unfolds it. "She hasn't manifested yet, my Phoebe, but she's like her mother. She hears things sometimes. The kind that aren't there? We've never really been able to figure out how it works exactly, but the Department never seemed to think it was dangerous, and we've taken all the possible precautions."

He shows Abigail his paperwork. It is exactly as it should be. "We live in Eltingville. I own the pawn shop just down the street from Saint Clare's."

Tania returns the squeeze; she may still be a slight, frail looking thing, but there's comfort and encouragement in the gesture. "Save your thanks, Mister Eaddy, until we actually do something," she says with a almost invisible smile. "I will find out what I can and see what must be done. Until then, please don't make a fuss. I'll contact you as soon as I have something to tell you."

The paperwork and picture are taken, handled with the care and reverance due the situation and the circumstance, wanting to move the man along as soon as possible, before guards return, before Tania's husband to be decides to come and see what the hold up is. She knows what the negoxan is. Negation drugs. "Someone will come, to the pawn shop, She'll do everything that she can. But you better go before the guards come back or her husband decides to come back here" Abby cautions, worried, even as she holds the papers. "We'll return these to you and with some hard prayers, hopefully, with your baby"

Eaddy twists a look over his shoulder just to be sure that the guard hasn't already returned, and gives Abigail and Tania a grateful dip of his head, wiping at his eyes with the sleeve of his coat. "Thank you," he says again, and he lifts bleary eyes to the young Russian woman's face. Forces a pained smile. "You're an angel, Miss Kozlow. Everything they told me about you in Eltingville is true.

"I knew that if anyone could do something to help us, it'd be you." He tucks the photograph back into his pocket and rests his hand across his chest, either to keep it safe or simply to convince himself that it is. For a moment, it looks as though he might say more, but as he's opening his mouth, the sound of footsteps echoing down the church's stately hall reaches his ears and he scurries off into the shadows without another word.

Tania's smile is sheepish at his compliment, and she shakes her head. "The white dress, it's confusing you," she says, in lieu of thanks, although there is a level of softness in her voice that implies it all the same. She lets him go without another word, particularly as those footsteps sound through the hall.

She turns to Abby then, taking one of her hands between both of hers. "You will keep the papers safe, won't you?" she asks in a delicate whisper. This time it is a question, a favor. An opportunity to opt out that Tania believes Abby won't take, but feels the need to offer anyway.

Abby's closing the door behind him, softly so as not to make a sound, papers folded in her hand and turning towards the other woman in the room, surprised that all of this happened and just before the woman is off to marry. The free hand is taken, Tania's questions asked but Tania knows her too well.

Knows Abby's full heart that sits out there, that was hooked just as hard and fast as Tania's was when he started talking about a kid. She nods, leading Tania back to the chair, so they can finish taking care of her hair, touch up makeup, put the veil in place.

"I won't loose them. We'll find her"

Two armed guards round the corner first, though the man charged with watching the bride's doorway does not accompany them, and this might be problematic for him, because the individual who does is trim, fit, and dressed better than anyone in the church with perhaps the exception of Tania. Shafts of richly-coloured light play off his suit, tailored to perfection, as he makes his way down the hall toward Tania's room. Polished shoes gleam smart on his feet. There is a corsage on his lapel.

It's not yet time, but—

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