Bleeding Hearts


calvin_icon.gif nora_icon.gif

Scene Title Bleeding Hearts
Synopsis Radio contact made across the Hudson one late night yields bad news in exchange for very little news.
Date November 29, 2010

Calvin's Place/Pollepel Island

An after hours trip to a pawn shop, radioshack and a smallish, pitbull and rust-infested junk yard later, Calvin Rosen is tinkering in the still, windless chill of his apartment, where the heat has yet to come on despite him having rotated the thermostat to a solid eighty-fucking-degrees. Soldering iron held fast through the fingerless tips of his gloves, he tinkers and plumes, draconic breath and draconic crest of coppery hair stooped low in concentration until a turn of the dial yields static and a further click at long last yields more the kind of sizzle he's looking for.

Spare wire swept carelessly aside, he thumps the freshly wrought in receiver to the shabby wood of his desk and clicks out a hazy, "Test, one two. Test, one. Two."

More adjustments evidently deemed necessary, he flicks the power off and goes back to work for a solid ten minutes before trying again: "Test, one two." And then in more of a singing type voice complete with a manufactured echo (which isn't half bad, all told) once he's glanced to his watch: "Hello, hello, hello. Is there anybody out there." Coffee is pulled in closer — Starbucks brand stuff. His last stop. "Just nod if you can hear me."

Nora had promised to check at this time every night — though it's a little hard when she can't see a clock and when the infirmary is asleep — to listen for the signals, for the calls and the shout outs. She may have missed them. He may not have tried. She's not really sure, but this is the first time the signals have made it through, and her voice comes through, "Hello, hello," in a soprano sing song echo of his. "Gimme five minutes."

Her end turns staticky for a moment of white noise before it flips to Pink Floyd's "Is Anybody Out There." Please enjoy the music while your party finds a quiet corner of the castle!

Nora slips out of her bed, waiting for someone to tell her to stop, that they'll escort her to wherever it is she needs to go — when that doesn't come, she knows she's on her own, that everyone's asleep or out of the room. She counts the steps to the wall, then to the door, and then down the long hallway until she finds a small nook to curl up in, blanket still wrapped around her.

"I'm here," her voice cuts through, the music coming to an abrupt pause.

There are eerier selections out there, but not many that spring easily to mind.

Left to his own devices for the duration of off-key ambiance and lonely chords struck warm through the static, Calvin unwraps a Three Musketeers candy bar and sniffs a little warily at the suspiciously turdly block of brown that lies therein. Smells alright. Enough for him to take at least one overlarge bite, block of chocolate and fluff rolled over into the corner of his mouth to be worked soft between his molars while he waits.

"So'm I," agreed into the receiver once he's swallowed, he hunches the long cut of his coat up further on his shoulders and closes his eyes. Kohl still painted thick along his lashes despite the hour. "S'good to hear you."

There's a long pause on the other end as Nora tucks the blanket around her thin legs, making sure she's as tucked in her little corner and out of sight as possible, should any late night castle roamers come around this little nook. She leans her head back against the cool wall, her brows knitting together as she takes in those few syllables.

"You too," she finally offers. "Bad news though. Benji came back and they intercepted him right off the boat. Made him show his ID and they put him in confinement, I think. I overheard them talking in the infirmary, they came in and said they needed a dose of something — I couldn't hear it, but knowing what it says on his ID…" her voice is quiet and tense. "Did you see him? Have you seen anyone else?"

It takes Calvin some tired thought to piece out whatever information is missing. Namely, why Benji left at all. Some thought, mind. Not a lot of it.

"Shouldn't've let him go," could fall into the generally accepted notion that hindsight is twenty-twenty, but he would've said so from the start. Had he known.

Which he didn't.

"No. A familiar face, is all," is an attempt at subject change that doesn't last any longer than it takes him to knit his brows, too doggedly reproachful to let the other thing go: "Now there're going to be questions. You don't think it was some sort've truth serum, do you? Aren't they supposed to be all about koombaya and hugs and tolerance over there?"

Nora swallows hard, audible, but that doesn't get transmitted through or come through his speakers. Angry tears feel damp against the gauze that covers her face, stinging her eyes.

"I'm not really in any sort of position to keep anyone from doing much, Cal," her voice reminds him quietly. "I didn't know he left, not until he wasn't here. Anyway, I can guess where he went."

As to the rest, she gives a headshake he can't see. "They wouldn't need a serum for that, I don't think. They have people who can do that. I think it's more likely negation pills. And no. They're not all about hugs and tolerance. Man, one of their leaders beat the shit out of Hannah when we got caught drinking and having a little impromptu fighting the other night. She was pissed. And he's like… like a leader and supposed to be all Rambo and shit."

She fingers the frayed edge of her blanket. "How are things for you? Are you staying warm and getting fat? Please say yes so I can live vicariously through you."

No immediate answer on the subject of his warmth or fatness, though he does glance to the candy bar before offering an unconvincing, "Kind've."

But silences are telling in radio, like that initial one on her end, where sound (or the absence of it) is all there is all there is to go by. Cal's quiet in turn, a guilty screw of his brows enough to blink his eyes back open so he can kick out a foggy sigh on his way to rankling his nose and reaching for increasingly lukewarm coffee. Girls. And their — unintentional guilt trips of. Guilt.

"I know. I didn't mean you, specifically," is weak by way of apology, but seeing as he's never been particularly good at them it should come as no surprise that his latest attempt falls short. Maybe it's nice that he attempts one at all, even if it's in a context wherein absolutely no one else is listening.

"Negation's hardly better. Christ, for bleeding hearts they sound more like a load've menstruating cunts. S'Hannah alright?"

Her head comes down upon her hands, palms against her forehead and fingers curling into her hair, gripping it for lack of anything else to hold on to. "I guess. He wouldn't hurt her permanently, I don't think, and really it was Walter's fault. Shocking, right? But I haven't seen her since." There's a little snort of a laugh at her own wording. "Course I haven't. Or talked to her or anything," she adds.

"And it was dumb of us to be fighting and drinking, really. It's their rules, and if we're gonna get our shit done, we need to play by them, right?" Nora says, throwing herself into the fighting lot, though clearly she wasn't doing anything of the sort. Drinking, on the other hand…

This time her sigh does come through his speakers, which means she isn't editing as carefully as she might otherwise. "I don't wanna go back to that room tonight," she says quietly, a rare admission of weakness. "Keep me company 'til I fall asleep?"

Brooding disapproval sounds a lot like guilt in that it sounds like nothing at all, the faint accent touched light on Calvin's inflection smothered out along with everything else. Thumb traced light over the line of gingery scruff at his jutted jaw, he winds the receiver cord through his fingers and frowns to himself until her final request eases out some've the tension bit into the back of his hand.

Even so, her first question never gets answered, blackish disagreement left to fester in the backs of minds while he wrenches his focus around to softer fare.


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