Comfort And Confusion


abby_icon.gif joseph_icon.gif

Scene Title Comfort And Confusion
Synopsis Joseph comes to Old Lucy's at Abigail's request to catch a glimpse of what god plans for her.
Date April 11, 2010

Old Lucy's

Never let it be said that when Joseph is needed, he doesn't come. There's no church pews to sit on though, only barstools in an empty bar that has been closed for a few days and likely to keep being closed until the weather lets up with it's relentless barrage of white and cold. But phone calls were arranged when nothing had happened, no tingly feel, no prayers answered and nothing. No dancing bartenders, blaring music or brights lights.

Just a coffee maker percolating and Abigail on a stool and staring at papers spread across the bar before her. Numbers for dealing with her car, stuff to mail to accountants, bills to be paid for the bar, things that she'll have to deal with but right this moment, they flit through her head and then out like balloons. Joseph should be here any minute and she's already got a pink box filled with baked goods she begged Francois to stop and pick up on the way over. Bribery one supposes. Doors are unlocked and it's easy enough for anyone to come in. One just hopes that the right person comes in.

It's basically on time, their agreed time, that the door is shoved open. It's not blizzarding outside, which doesn't mean that a snag of wind can't blow in the lightly falling flakes of snow in Joseph's wake, and it does. The pastor (former? current? who knows?) is quick to close it behind him, however, letting out a gasping breath of relief as he straightens his back, and dusts himself off of the dusty ice, scarf and coat fairly glimmering with the stuff.

"Tennessee had rain last I was there," he comments, finally searching out the empty room for Abby, raising a gloved hand in a wave before meandering over. "I miss rain, I'll tell you what. Rain in the summer. I don't even know if we're gettin' a summer anymore."

"All of central park will be ice skating come June. On the pond" From the depths of her less drugged being, a smile is dragged up for the Pastor and his trek all the way to her out here and away from his safehouse. "Daring ladies will polar bear dipping in their bikini's and monokini's or.. whatever-kini's" Her own southern accent made thicker than normal by the vicodin she's been swallowing.

"I'd get up and hug you, but the less I move, the better. Thank you for coming out here Joseph, I really, I really appreciate it" The pink box is nudged towards him. "Pastries. You can take it back with you and share, or you can hoard em for yourself. Sorta my.. i feel guilty for you coming out in the snow and for what.. i'm going to ask"

Shuffling on over, trailing melted snow as he goes, Joseph unwraps his scarf and peels off his woolen gloves, bundling all three items up together to set down on the bar as he goes to sit. His hand goes out to angle the cardboard box over to inspect its contents, before glancing a concerned look up to her. "Do I want to know what manner've trouble you've gone got yourself into now?" he asks, both at the news of it being better not to move, and the painkiller slur in her voice.

"Helping Mel house hunt, fire at cliffsides and there were some fire trucks that collided, hit my cat, I mean, car, and then my car hit me. I'll be fine. A few weeks, maybe more. I'm alive, which is much more than the woman I was trying to save is" Read - Woman didn't make it. "I'm taking it easy, I promise, I'm resting and I have others taking care of me" In case he started to muse concern. "Medical leave. Can't haul people down stairs beside Peter if I can't even get down stairs in a timely manner"

Abigail turns in the stool, danishes, bear claws, cookies, all manner of things in the box. "I did something before this though, something that.. can change a lot of things. Maybe stupid but, I always do stupid things right? Always with the best intentions. But.. nothings happened yet and.. I know that you said you don't do it, you haven't done it but I…" Want you to use your ability and help the lord give me a vision? Put your hand in mind Pastor sumter and help me see what I've done? What I'll do?

She doesn't finish the sentence or give voice to thoughts but in stead, timidly turns her hand over that's been resting on her knee and offer it up with a hopeful look in her face.

The box of baked goods is closed and folded shut for later consumption, likely to be passed around to folks at the Brick House, a donut saved for Deckard if it survives the arduous journey back to Staten Island, and Joseph delays the moment by making sure the cardboard is tightly closed. This after focused and predictable concern for her wellbeing, followed by realisation that probably occurred to him after he agreed to meet her anyway. "What's meant to be happenin'?"

He's not sliding his hand into her's, but when he looks back at her, it's probably, in some small way, obvious that Joseph knows what she's getting at. A rueful tug of a smile that deepens lines at his eyes, warming his palms together. "If you don't mind me askin', what you did. Not that tellin' me will make a difference, what you see or don't see."

"Trying to save a dying man with only a slim margin of actually succeeding. That's what I'm trying to do" Which, will make no sense to the pastor at all likely. She closes her palm for now, one arm leaning against the bar as she licks her lips and composing the words in her head first.

"There's a formula out there, if injected, will give a person abilities. There's only so much of it, of the stuff that works and it was brought back from ten years from now. Richard asked me to take some. That maybe the healing that the lord gave me, left some trace in me for the formula to work from and give me back healing. Without it, he thinks, he's sure, he's not gonna make it back from swallowing that bomb"

Yes, she willingly let someone inject her with a formula from the future to give abilities. "Or it could give me something else that won't help him at all. I'm praying that it's something that will. He deserves it." She watches him, pupils wider than they normally are, waiting for reprimands or praise or.. something.

Black button eyes are round and fixed on her as she explains, gaze cuts off in a series of fluttered blinks and— no, it is among the strangest things he's heard, even after all this time. Lifting a hand to scrub at the back of his hands with tips of his fingers, Joseph raises his attention back up to her eyes, mouth twisting back into that uncertain smile. "Well, sounds as though you knew a bit what you were gettin' yourself into," he says, as if he knows there's some expectation there, for him to pass judgment, from reprimands to praise to something.

Honesty is a better policy. "I prob'ly would have told you not to," he admits, hands coming to rest back on his knees. "But that's 'cause I don't trust that kind of thing, not even a little. I get it, an' why you did it — maybe I woulda rested that choice back in your hands, come to that. And you want to know what God has intended, now."

"I'm pretty sure Joseph, that a lot of people would have told me not to, or tried to stop me" She bobs her head up and down, gaze wandering around the bar for a few moments, taking in the quiet, the level of alcohol still in the bottles or that she swears there a layer of dust everywhere.

But back to Joseph when she realizes that she's not paying attention to him and there's a flush of red across her cheek in embarrassment. "I'm sorry. The painkillers" A murmured apology followed by a nod. "If you want to, if He see's fit to show me anything. Like you said, he doesn't always show you what you want to see but what you need to see. Just that nothing has happened yet and should, I would think, have.. happened"

"'s okay," is quietly spoken, once Abby's back on track. "Who can say, with these things. Might take the right kinda…" He was going to say moment, but an attempted rescue probably would have been the correct moment for healing to manifest — but what would he know. Joseph discovered his by accident. Now, he holds out his hands for her to take, palms upwards, and he himself takes a breath as if to brace for some kind of impact.

A nod, to her. "You get to pick the prayer this time."

"Been too long since I prayed with you" It's slipped out, like it's been something she missed, something that feels right. Last time they had prayed together had been been a vision of women bearing apples and a tree. The actual last vision hadn't been a prayer but a loss of control. But her hand is placed shakily in his then gripped firmly while she closes her eyes. A deep breath in as much as the bindings around her ribs will let her makes for a funny exhale before the words slip from her mouth.

"Dear Lord. I know not what you ask of us, only know of the trials you place before us to overcome. The hurt, pain, sadness and loneliness and darkness are but a hurdle for us to overcome so that we may see your shining grace on the other side and know that we are loved. I pray, the you see fit to give me only what I deserve, so that I may better myself and better others and live in your shining grace. I pray for the safety and happiness of others too numerous to count but remembered in my mind. For the ones who have passed, the ones whose hands I hold, who walk the streets day after day and doing your work even if they know not that they do it and the ones who have yet to come. Bless them, hold them, make them safe and make them to know your love as I and Pastor Sumter know yours even in our darkest times. In this I ask, Amen"

Joseph's hands are firm in and around her own, closing her eyes once she does and trying to will away the tension making his shoulders stiff beneath his shapeless coat, concentrating instead not only on her words, but his surroundings. From the damp of their hands, her's warmer than his, to the stool he sits on and the jut of the bar against his elbow, the scent of the brewing coffee and sweet pastry, the dim traffic outside. His subsequent, "Amen," flags on along with her's, and will have to serve as warning for the vision that hits.

It's as if she opened her eyes — in truth, she hasn't, but vision floods her mind anyway. The whole world has flattened out as far as the horizons — no Old Lucy's, no New York City. Nothing at all for miles and miles, a white land under a white sky.

Detail comes back in, slowly, as if her eyes had hit sun glare and were just now recovering. It's a desert, with craggy gaps of cracked heat through its eternal orange rock, dead trees and bush spotting the expansive terrain and looking so dry and dead beneath the aching sun that still scorches the sun white that they just might turn into flame without any help at all. Abby's bare feet navigates the desert as she walks, the hot wind tugging and pulling at her winter clothes.

In the distance, black spots begin to form, and it takes a good minute until Abby can properly see. DHS vehicles, sleekly black and eating up distance with clouds of dust in their wake. Five of them, barrelling in perfect time before her, bakingly hot under the desert sun. She sees herself put up her hands in futile protection— before they simply blow right by her with a roar of engines in her ears, the smell of fuel and dust in her nostrils.

She turns to see where they're going, only to see they've parked in shambles some distance away. Men in uniforms and black masks are moving towards the back of one, dragging a woman clad in her FRONTLINE uniform, although her helmet as rolled free. Elisabeth's blonde hair whips in the wind as she's directed into a van, her face stony and accepting of this fate. She's squirreled away inside, the men following suit before they slam the doors shut.

Kicking up dust, the vans drive away.

"Still searching for Paradise?"

The voice is familiar, if faintly so. Abby turns her head to see Delphine approach on sandaled feet, holding a flower in one hand, a leather-bound book in other, and her simple white dress contrasts nicely against her oddly dark skin and mahogany hair. She smiles, offering out the flower to Abigail to take, which she, of course, does. "Then you know how to get it," and the woman opens the book, blank pages blowing in the desert wind and opening to a point that has no words, none except:

Matthew 3:11

As soon as she reads it, the flower in her hand abruptly dies, withering into black and brown and giving off the smell of decayed vegetation. As it comes sludgey ash in her hands, and Delphine goes to close the book, the setting of Old Lucy's comes back, with dim traffic noises and Joseph patiently holding her hands.

Her head stays bowed at first, blonde hair fallen around her shoulders. But when she's in a desert - no matter how unreal and how possibly symbolic in truth it might be - One can't help but relax shoulders and turn like a sunflower towards the sun in question in truth. Black SUV's watched, Liz as she's taken into custody by then with her eye's shielded from the sun by a lifted hand.

Delphine though, is unexpected, reprising her role once more in a vision pertaining to her ability.

"Delphine" The name slips off her tongue and her hands tighten around Josephs as she's handed the flower and instructed to read the pages. Off the bat, it doesn't come to mind what it says, what it should read because attention is drawn to the flower and one forefinger pokes even as the flower desiccated and becomes nothing, brushed off and left to either blow away in pieces or fall to the desert floor.

To be replaced by Joseph, the back of her eyelids, the cold of New York city and a bewildered looking blonde as she lifts her head and peers at Joseph.

He laughs. Can't help it. It's been a while since this has happened, a willing vision given, and the look of utter incomprehension strikes familiar and previously forgotten, and Joseph gives her hand a quick squeeze now that it's clear her ordeal is over. "God works in mysterious ways, etcetera?" he proposes, going to pick up his gloves and pull them on. "You know how it works — it'll come to you when it's good and ready to do so."

"Always with something so very clear and then… straight out of the left field just…" She shakes her head repeatedly as if that might clear things up. "Matthew three eleven. Delphine had a book with that written on it, but the passage" She'll have to consult her bible, grab one of them from upstairs and read it on the way back to Francois's.

But he's grabbing his gloves, putting them back on after letting go of her hand and she slips off the stool to take his gloved ones and press a kiss to his forehead. "Thank you. I realize how hard that might have been and … just thank you Joseph. If there's anything, anything at all that I can do for you? That doesn't involve lifting or you know.. bending.."

"Weren't so bad," Joseph says, with a crooked smile for her as he goes to stand up to, draping his scarf back around his neck and shoulders. If the passage as mentioned rings a bell for him, he doesn't say as such — it would want to. He has the education. But it's not his vision to try and decipher, and he's had enough involvement in the mechanics of his power for one day. "Just get some rest an' try not to break anything 'til I see you next, that'll be enough for me. Thanks for the pastries, too," he adds, going to pick up the box.

"Pretty sure I'm about to head back to Francois's and go lay in bed and find a comfortable spot again. Have a safe trip back to the house. Give my love to everyone?" She misses visiting places willy nilly though the snow has made it easier thanks to cops not able to go everywhere, needed everywhere but there. 'God bless Joseph, i'll make sure you know what happened, when I figure it out" She walks with him towards the door to see him and so she can lock the door behind him. Always when he leaves, comfort and confusion.

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