Bleed Over


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Scene Title Bleed Over
Synopsis Her sister checks in, someone else checks out — if there was ever a difference.
Date May 17, 2010

The Lighthouse: Gillian's Room

The white walls, black curtains and candles have seen better days. Some books are spilled on the floor, the chair that goes with the desk has been put upright again, but next to the bookshelf rather than next to the bed or the desk. Some of the books are spilled around it. Rather than laying back on the bed, Gillian's pushed herself up to let her feet hang over the side, reaching the bandage around her arm. Puffy red skin, some signs of fresh bleeding, it's hard to see that there'd ever been a rose tattoo on her arm at all.

The covers have been thrown back, light blood stains on the sheets visible where she'd been laying, blood stains on the bandages. They've been changed a few times since she first got them, but the cold in the air doesn't help with the healing process. Not heavy, but not stopped.

It's perhaps the heat of her skin that would cause the most worry. Feverish. The fire downstairs doesn't heat this far away room nearly enough to sit around in a tank top, shorts, and bandages.

Some indeterminable time transpires, until Gillian is no longer alone.

It comes abruptly and unobstrusively, like a change of wind. In the corner of her bedroom, black that's already bled through the gaps of the closed door come up in a silent whirlwind of darkness and shadow, thick and inky and loose, spinning tendrils like egg white in whirling boiled water. It collects together, becomes thicker, tangible, forming the rough shape of a body.

There is no coming into being just yet, though glimmers of detail show through like sunshine through opaque curtains. A flash of glossy black hair, suggestion of shape and detail before amorphous black consumes again. It's a bit like being in a room with Richard Cardinal, except instead of a struggle to keep together, it's a struggle to keep from condensing into flesh.

It may be difficult to keep that together, with the tentative hold that Gillian has on her ability. Pain has always been one of the things that made the knot difficult to keep together, and she's in quite a bit of it still. No morphine pumped into her to keep it down, just regular pain pills. At least now. Maybe something a little stronger came at the beginning, when they first got her back, but now— just a bottle of pills on the bedside table.

Pills that she won't reach for.

"Either I'm seeing things… the house is on fire… or…" she trails off, grimacing as she wraps the used bandage back around her arm to hide it. Her hands have smaller bandages, her shoulder, her upper arm, her abdomen— Any more and she might be trying to pass for a mummy.

"Hope the house isn't on fire…" Could be talking to herself, but that is handled by the other or that she didn't finish.

But the inky mass of shadow does not resemble smoke, too wet, too twisted for the dry, ashy clouds that smoke resembles, until finally, it wraps together into a solid shape. Uncombed, Jenny's red hair resembles something more brunette, damp and dark and shoved back behind her ears and over her shoulders, pale hands clasped together where she huddles against the wall, teeth worrying her bottom lip as she stares luminous green eyes over her sister.

Her "sister", in any case. Her freakles stand out on her pale skin with all the vividness of stars, her winter gear slightly minimal in comparison to the arctic level of the average traveler, but still swamp her willower frame.

"Jenny," the once older sister says quietly, wincing as if she wants to stand up, and instead shifting back on the bed so she can pull her bare feet back up off the floor. Gillian called out for her a few times since they got her back upstairs, but it had always been someone else— someone who didn't even resemble her, or any of the other forms. "I was beginning to think you were my imagination. That…"

What was about to turn into a ramble is stopped by eyes sliding away toward the floor, as if following something, and then going back toward the bundled form with a shake of her head.

"You came back."


The word is simple, hesitantly spoken and almost lifted like a question. Jenny's fingers travel up to her own mouth, to push and fidget at her bottom lip as her eyes seek out the floor. "That's sort of the whole point, you know? Like. Um." Her voice is quavery, but her eyes are free of any tears, and her expression is more or less impassive, hand dropping again before she looks back towards Gillian. "I never really came back. Are you okay?"

Abruptly, glassy eyes sharpen, studious. "I can— we can talk later. You're hurt. Medicated."

"No," comes a similar denial. Though for different reasons. Gillian shakes her head as she pulls back further onto the bed, until her feet are all the way off, legs bending into a sitting position. Her legs managed to get through the attack with only a few scratches and bruises, none that needed the bandaging that the rest of her body got.

"You did come back. You're just not… you're still the one who was in the house for a while, until that woman cop showed up." The one she can't bring herself to like at all, even if she was just doing her job. Copface has never been her favorite type of person.

It would seem, she'd rather talk now, even with the feverish way her face looks.

Jenny nods a little. Can't disagree with that. Whoever you is, it was here. And it came back. She looks, a moment, as if ready to let her legs give and curl up — unhealthyish as ever, the toll taken from shapeshifting — but there's steel in her spine that does not let her. Stays put, rather than coming any closer, but not finding the far corner to huddled into either.

"You know how— when you have paint. On a palette. Even the ones that have little places separated out so that the paint doesn't get mixed?" She lacks Gabriel's melodrama, but gamely tries out this metaphor, long fingers splaying, curl. "And the paint gets mixed anyway, the more you paint? Like. Like bleed over. That's how I am. Since the cop lady. Since— since being away from you."

Her eyes snap to Gillian, a small smile on her face. "It's your power. It keeps me whole. It keeps me Jenny. But…" She trails off, uncertain how to describe the past few weeks.

"Then get over here," Gillian says, offering a bandaged hand out toward the bled over paint blotch that has something in common with her long dead sister. The hold on her power fluctuates a few times, but doesn't spill out in full. That's been avoided, cause she doesn't want to give up all her energy right now. Only has so much to give, with all the strength needed just to keep breathing.

"My ability is stronger the closer you are…" And there's plenty of room next to her on the bed. Not a queen, but not a twin. A regular sized bed, that she once shared with others. "I was worried about you," she says, tears in her eyes for more than just emotional pains.

Jenny's hands loosen, twitch, tense again — a visual cue of a thought, of desire and restraint. "That's probably fair. One of the others— was probably the only reason I didn't die out there. I was kind of out of my head." There's a certain tone that communicates she's not sure she's back in her head, but still — she isn't moving closer, wary of doing so, from the ebb and tide of Gillian's ability. "But Eileen found me. I don't really recognise her, except— "

Whatever it is, except, Jenny lets drop, shaking her head with a sway of curtains of red hair. "The other one that I am, he wants some time. His son is in danger. He hasn't seen his wife in a ages. And then there's— " She shrugs, a twitchy movement. "Did you know he loves you?" She's looking at the floor again, instead of Gillian.


"Kind of like an open wound. I love you too, Gills. Maybe more than Jenny Childs ever did." A glance up. "Bleed over."

Not being able to look at the girl on the bed means the tears that fall go unseen. Gillian lets the offered hand drop down, so she can lift the sheet off the bed and wipe her eyes. "You. Him. All of you…" she answers, voice hoarse and whispered. "Well, not the Asian guy, I guess. Only memory I have of him is bad." Even if the memory set her on the road to everything else. Robbed of hearing and sight, the one flicker of his face was enough to make her afraid…

Even of the face that fought to protect the fraction of her sister that was left. Even of the face that helped keep her from getting hurt even worse than she already was.

"Did— does he really?" she finally asks, looking back up from the sheet. "Even if you… love me, you're not going to stay… Just like…" She trails off, with a hissing inhale of air. Probably doesn't need to finish, anyway.

There is a sharpness in the look that Jenny deals Gillian then. Just like what?, it asks, but better for the both of them that she doesn't press the other woman any harder than that. "Maybe it's guilt," she concedes, after a moment, though there's a scathing quality to her voice. "It's so funny, how often guilt and love can coincide." Now— now she's starting to sound a little like Gabriel. "No, the Asian guy doesn't really know you that much, but he understands why we're here, together.

"Even if it's ridiculous. I don't know if I can stay. I'm— degrading. And I should go before there's no time." She moves for the window, then, rather than turn for the door, stalking across the room in boots that do not fit her, but she pauses before she gets to the glass. "I came to— see if you were okay. So you know. I'm just not that okay either."

"I want you to stay," Gillian says quietly, looking at the bandaged fingers grasping the sheet on her bed. "But I know you can't… I knew you couldn't before…" A fairytale. A storybook. Always has to have an ending. "I'm not even sure I'm going to…" The mild hissing continues when she breaths, the whispery hoarse voice. Pain for multiple reasons, but physical is why the knot keeps threatening to unravel, and emotional is why she doesn't catch it in time.

"Guilt confused as love," she repeats quietly, mind trailing backwards a bit. It clears a little as she shakes her head, dark hair falling into her face, hanging in stringy locks. "Is there anything I can do? To— to help?"

Cranking open the window a fraction, with the snap and crackle of breaking frost, Jenny hesitates. Cold air comes rushing on in without the actual kinetic motion behind it — no wind, just the seep of heat out of the room, as if the cold outside were a vacuum. It makes her shiver beneath mannish black clothing, casting a speculative eye towards Gillian. "Just tell me that you wouldn't have taken this back," she says, with any eye shift away that is more the mannerism of the man hiding behind this mask than it is of the girl that it portrays. "This, or. Or before."

"I don't know who I'd be if I hadn't met you," Gillian says quietly, as the chill saps the heat from the room. Her skin is feverish, and angry, and she's not even sure she should be moving, but she does anyway. Each step brings sharp pains, but she may not get another chance. A bandaged hand reaches out, to touch her cheek, the cheek that looks like a sister that wasn't her sister. A cheek that's actually the mask of a man she loved, who loved her.

The skin of her hand is warm, but that's nothing compared to the lips that follow. It's not the fever that's making her do this, it's not a missunderstanding. It's a kiss. Something much more than a sister-kiss, and a little less than a lover's.

A kiss… "Goodbye."

'Bittersweet' is a good word — artlessly simple, the meshing of two moments into one, as that is what this is. Jenny's brittle fingers curl around Gillian's wrist in a loose clasp, only releasing her once she's broken away, eyes opening from when they'd slid shut all on their own, and a twist of a half-smile is enough to communicate the same thing. A hand snags Gillian's before touch can slide away forever, and it's the only warning before Jenny melts away into shadow, as liquid as the substance within the dead woman's power, and leaking out the window to gracefully waterfall down the side of Lighthouse like a silken table cloth thrown to the wind.

Upon landing, it zigzags away before it reaches a middle point between the Lighthouse and the break of rural terrain in the near distance, and the figure that Jenny changes back into is not Jenny at all — not even Wu-Long's lankier shape.

Gabriel— or this incarnation of him, perhaps as real and interchangeable as the other two that reside in this frame— doesn't look back, as he bundles his coat warmer around him, and goes to disappear into the Greenbelt.

No looking back, but Gillian looks after, placing her palm against the freezing glass of the window, and then her forehead. Tears form again, both from the pain of standing and the pain of someone leaving. Just like…

She'd left him. At least this time, she got to say good bye.

"You're right. There's only lies. And weakness. Your sister died because neither she nor I could stop me. Our fault, together, and now she's in my head."

"I hope she stays there and haunts you forever then."

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