Civil (Re)union


bella_icon.gif lynette2_icon.gif

Scene Title Civil (Re)union
Synopsis Neither is really sure what to do with the other, but Lynette adopts a sort of Kill Them With Kindness attitude.
Date June 28, 2011

Bay House

She's here for the children. That's the official story. She brought books and treats and some clothes, to make the excuse more legitimate. She said hello to the older ones… but anyone who knows Lynette's tolerance for children knows it ends about there.

But she lingered. Not near the children now, but sitting near an open window in the common area to smoke a cigarette. Indecision leaves her there, not really looking for Bella, but sitting where she's sure to pass eventually. It's a show of letting chance make the choice; if she comes by then Lynette will have to see her, if she doesn't, then she gets to go home and pretend she really tried. Once she finishes this cigarette.

Of course, that's what she said during the last one, too.

Here would be the place, because - let us be frank - where else has Bella to be or go? Days upon days of enclosure here at the Bay House have worn down her nerves somewhat, and her requirements for companionship cannot be met solely by the man with which she shares her room, but fear and cowardice reign, tyrannical, over her life, and so such minor gripes as 'missing friends' (read as singular) and 'getting cabin fever' (not helped by the deficit of mood altering substances) are insufficient to have her risk showing red head anywhere outside the auspices of the safehouse.

And speaking of 'friends', speaking further of substances, who should Bella - emerging from from within the house but without, her features bearing a summery scatter of freckles, a book clasped in one hand - see at the window but an unexpected specter. She doesn't pause at the window to doubletake or stare; she just keeps walking, giving herself a few extra moments to think. To think. To think.

No resolution has arrived by the time she must, by dictates of habit and desire to appear as un-guilty as possible, enter the house and pass through the common room. The best she can do is play avoidant, and the stride she uses to move into Lynette's presence is designed to carry her swiftly out of it should - by some infernal miracle - she remain unrecognized, unnoticed and thus unconfronted. I mean, she's still not sure if Lynette really knows who she is.

It's hard to tell, at first, if Lynette sees her, or recognizes her when she does, since there's a lingering silence from the blonde. She has had time to think, but no script solidified for this moment. And she's never been one for big, dramatic scenes full of pointing fingers and accusations and so forth. She doesn't have the flare for all that.

Covering the silence with a slow exhale of smoke toward the window, her gaze tracks Bella's path just long enough to give the impression there just might not be a confrontation today. But only that long.

"I do hope you haven't forgotten me already," Lynette says in a wry tone, something like a smile forming at a corner of her mouth. It might have been a smile, for anyone else. But for Bella, there's just a little too much bile behind it to pass off as friendly. "I thought of wearing a name tag, but I couldn't find one to match my outfit."

It really couldn't just be that easy, could it? No. No, of course not. And Bella is a guest, with no claims to this place beyond those given her - less even than she realizes, considering the rank and role of Ms. Rowan - and in keeping with this she turns to face one of the manifestations of her collective hosts. A look of solicitude would be false, a look of apology too little and much too late. So Lynette gets a sedate look, and her question - which is really not so much a question as a ice-breaker (ice-maker?) - goes unanswered.

"Is there some way I can be of assistance?" is a reply in keeping with what is becoming a tradition of unexpected and awkward encounters in this place.
Bella has partially disconnected.

"No," Lynette says frankly and without much feeling behind it. She's not here for favor or demand, although that does beg the question of why. But even she probably can't answer that one. She does take a moment to look the woman over, processing the fact that this is the face that goes with the mystery voice. It is possible she remembers the one time they saw each other face to face quite clearly.

As for Lynette, exile seems to agree with her. The scars have faded with time, she's not so gaunt these days, and there aren't even signs of drug use as there were before. Her hair hasn't quite reached the length that it was, but it looks normal. "I just had to come see you. They told me we were giving you sanctuary, as it were, and I suppose I wanted to see if I could really be the bigger person or not." Which is, of course, not at all the reason, but she'll run with it for now.

Blink. Blink. Bella could agonize over what to do with that, what ploy to attempt. Her weepiness before Ms. Beauchamp - not false by any means - had some potential tactical advantages that may have been coldly considered from the chilliest heights of Dr. Sheridan's intellect. But whereas Abigail might favor her with abstract moral opprobrium that human feeling can buy (at least visible) relief from, her crimes against Lynette are far less abstract.

So rather than attempt some sort of likely futile feint or strategy, she settles for a simple, topical question: "What would it mean, if you can't? Be the bigger person that is."

"Oh, I don't know," Lynette says with a bit of a nervous chuckle, "I have thought about how satisfying it would be to punch you for a few months now." That much is, at least, honest. "But I'm not very good at punching, which leaves me at a bit of a loss. To tell you the truth, I'm not really sure what the protocol is. I've never had a Confront Your Attacker moment.

"I would like to know why you're here. Beyond the official reason." It is possible she gives Bella a lot of credit, assuming this is all part of some plan, some scheme.

"There's a official reason?" Bella asks, suppressing any and all desire to quibble over the semantics of 'attacker' - that would be a truly pathetic attempt to misdirect blame, and she'll save her most pitiful contortions for her private moments of self pity, "I'd like to know what that is, so I can determine what more than that there is."

"Something along the lines of needing to lie low. I didn't ask why, perhaps I should have. But I didn't entirely believe you really need us the way most people need us. You're handling this all very well," Lynette's brow furrows a bit with the sudden change of subject and a fist moves to rest against a hip. "You must have these moments fairly often."

It's just a little cattiness. A touch. A drop.

"I can't decide if I'm annoyed or grateful that you're not bothering with an apology. Must be one of those things, you never really know what you want… something like that?"

"An apology seems insultingly inadequate," Bella answers, voice level, "and is always taken as insincere. If you'd like one, I'd be happy to give it, with a promise as to its truthfulness. But- yes, I'm already tired of making a case for myself, though - in fact - this is the first moment of its kind." A single, fatigued shrug.

"I'm continuing my life. Which was, under Institute employ, unlivable. What was done to you- what I did to you," the passive voice is disingenuous here, "is not something that gave me anything but guilt and frustration. I'd prefer to live in honest discomfort - punched for a month, if necessary - than ethically bankrupt advantage." This is, of course, ignoring the fact that she already did live in discomfort and half-exile, but this sounds much better and, she imagines, better fits the image Lynette may have fostered.

"And I would agree, yes- it's easy to be of two minds about something. A common experience for me, at least. The only thing I envy in my old colleagues is their seeming lack of ambivalence. I don't have the mental constitution for sustained evil, whatever the proffered justifications."

"Well, that all sounds very nice," Lynette says, a compliment more to presentation than content. "And I agree, I found life with the Institute unlivable as well." She doesn't seem particularly moved by the speech, though she is a bit more tense now than she was moments before. "As for the rest, I'm afraid with the protection extended in your direction, all I can do is what I can to keep you safe, just like anyone else under our umbrella. But I wouldn't want you to think it's out of pity or sympathy for you, personally. I do actually believe in what we do here, even if I think a singular person is a little undeserving."

Finally, she stands up, cigarette burning idly between two fingers as she steps closer. Not close, but closer. "I really do hope you would rather some sort of unkindness, and that every day you don't live with it adds just a little more to all that guilt. That's the best I can do for honest discomfort. But I can promise that I'll never ask for you to make a case for yourself. As long as you're alright with a general dislike and distrust from this direction."

She had much more fight in her when Abby came calling - Bella had defended herself by means of a vicious offense against the others who have been welcomed into the Ferry fold, worse criminals who received warmer embraces. But that salvo is fired, and bringing it to bear again would take more than she's currently got in her, at least when set against this woman.

The quiet if slightly glassy reception Lynette's words receive don't do a lot to betray Bella's feelings vis a vis accruing guilt either way. "I appreciate your candor," she says, "and if I find your hostility becomes unbearable, Ms. Rowan, I'll do the polite thing and off myself."
Bella has reconnected.

"Well, that would be very thoughtful of you, but hardly necessary. If it becomes unbearable, you can always mention it to someone on the council, I'm sure they'll handle it. I have promised to behave." Lynette tilts her head a little there, giving her a bit of a reproachful look, like a silent chiding for the comment. "We've always been civilized, you and I, as much as the situation permitted. I don't see why that needs to change just because there's no glass between us this time."

She steps away there, without much of a goodbye, but stops a few feet away to look back to the other woman. "Let us know what we can get to help make your stay more bearable. I know living this way isn't exactly the most desirable." It is a decent attempt at that civility, anyway. But still just that, an attempt.
Bella has partially disconnected.

This is much, much more than Bella could have ever expected from any of the imagined Ferry people she has painted so darkly in her own mind, much less from one of the (remarkably few, she can't but internally insist) to have suffered directly at her figurative hands. Humility and contrition would feel like shows, even now that they are both due and perhaps adequately experienced, so instead Bella opts for gratitude, as best she can manage it.

"I'll be sure to inform you, at your behest," Bella says, formality serving as ligament for proposed civility, "but for now- I'm trying my best to be content. And thankful."

"Alright. But when those get old," Lynette says, without finishing the sentence except to smile crookedly. "I'll be around." And this time when she turns, her walk takes her more directly away, leaving just the smell of her cigarettes in her wake. She was very well behaved, and now she needs to go hit something very hard. As a reward.

A wall, perhaps.

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