elaine_icon.gif robyn_icon.gif

Scene Title Conversations
Synopsis Question the words for years now
I'm finding my sense and my know how
Though I'm learning that I was wrong
Didn't think we'd need to have another damn conversation about it.
Date May 3, 2018

Robyn and Dirk's Bay Ridge Apartment

Yesterday had been a disaster.

That was all Robyn Quinn could really think about today as she sits on the couch of her apartment, staring blankly at turned off TV. It's uncharacteristically quiet in her home - not even the radio is on today, no music coming from the spare room. A shot glass sits ou out on the coffee table in front of the couch, a still open and half empty bottle of Hennessy Paradis. Which, if she's in a better mood, she would realise is a waste of nearly thousand dollar cognac.

She closes her eyes, relaxing back in her couch. She had been in Yamagato for the whole reason of seeing Elaine after the news of the bombing had reached her. That had gone… catastrophically bad, and she is expecting a call from SESA any time now telling her about the complaint that almost certainly been wrongly leveled against her.

But for now, she placed a call to Elaine. With the changes in Yamagato security she couldn't visit the other woman at her home in Yamagato Park, which meant that Elaine would have to visit her this time. So, she waits, eyeing the bottle on the table, adjusting her black sleeveless dress. Hopefully today wouldn't be a disaster to match yesterday.

There's a firm knock at the door. Thankfully, Elaine's left arm had been the one broken. Her dominant arm meant she could still move around with some sense of independence and freedom. It hadn't been easy so far, but with a broken arm it would take some time for her to use both appendages together again.

Standing at the doorway, Elaine is dressed in a coral-colored thin-strapped long dress. A jacket is thrown over her shoulders, though she struggles to keep it on over her bad shoulder. She peers at the door, waiting to hear from Robyn.

The moment there's a knock on the door, Robyn rises up to her feet. "Coming!" A cheery tone, but she doesn't rush to the door. It's opened with a wide smile, and immediately Robyn steps aside, a sweeping gesture to welcome Elaine in.

"Bienvenue dans ma maison, mon ami," she offers. "Is there anything that I can get you?" Her smile wavers a bit, as she shakes her head. "I keep forgetting about your arm, I admit. Sorry I didn't stay yesterday. It's just…" She practically growls as she thinks back to the day before. "I'm sorry. How are you?"

Elaine makes her way in, stepping past Robyn into the apartment so that the door can be shut behind her. "Your place is lovely, I almost miss places that are a little more cozy than mine. There's something charming about it, and I don't mean that in a negative way."

She shakes her head at the offer of anything. "No, no, I'm fine, don't go out of your way to get me anything. I'll be alright. It's just good to see you." She chuckles. "I went back to bed after that. I figured that nothing good could come of the day and just gave up on it. So I don't blame you."

She looks for where to sit. "I'm alright, all things aside. Took some time off to heal up a bit. Going back to work will feel a little weird."

"It's a hovel," Robyn replies in a flat tone. It doesn't last long before she lets out just the smallest chuckle. "Charm is not the word. It's something, that's for sure." Her hands clasp behind her back. "It's not going out of the way. You're injured. What happened was awful. I'm just glad you weren't hurt more."

Robyn offers Elaine a smile, before turning and motioning to the couch. "There's the couch, if you want to sit. I'm afraid that outside of the spare room is terribly uninteresting." She quirks an eyebrow - for once she's not wearing an eyepatch or band. Not even sunglasses - though the lights are rather duim or not on at all in her apartment.

"Dirk's at work for the day. I had it off, so… hopefully we won't have to deal with his commentary."

"It's cozy, come on. It's a place that comfortable." Elaine makes her way over to the couch, noting the dim lighting and Robyn's lack of eyepatch. "Well, at least there's no commentary. I mean, I'm sure Dirk would keep it to himself until I left and then you'd never hear the end of it."

Rubbing the back of her neck, she heaves a bit of a sigh. "I should have died, to be honest. If you look at where I was, I should have died. Something saved me, and I'm not sure what it was."

"No." There's a sternness to Robyn voice when she says that, still standing as she looks down at Elaine - something she rarely gets to do. "Absolutely not. No dwelling on that." The look in her eyes matches her tone, hands moving to her hips. "You're here. Not going to be any other way. Stop that." Because regardless of anything else, the last thing Robyn Quinn wants to entertain is even the small possibility that Elaine could have a few days ago.

"I can survive more grenades than can possibly be healthy," is said this time with just a slight more hint of a joking tone. "You will survive more than this. You're stronger." Than me goes unspoken at the end. "I'm just- glad you're okay. And sorry I didn't stay the other day. Was there to see you, but after Sir Police Brutality… knew I couldn't stay and keep my cool." She reaches up, scratching at the back of her head. "How're you getting by? Is it just the arm?" Her arms move to hang back at her side, and she looks towards the kitchen. "Drink?"

"No, I mean it. I literally should have died." Elaine shakes her head. "The chairs were still standing. The rest of them? Blown away. I'm not trying to be hard on myself, I mean I should have died. Someone saved me, saved a few of us really."

The offer of a drink gets a firm nod. "I think everyone came out of that incident a little burned, so I wasn't really surprised that you left." She gestures with her free hand to her left side. "You should see the bruises over here. Still hurts, but it's not like it's serious, it's all superficial."

Robyn frowns deeply at that assessment of the day at Yamagato. Both days. She lets out a sigh, slightly weary, and starts for the kitchen. "Water or wine. Unless you have expensive tastes, for which there's cognac." She stops at the entrance to kitchen and looks back. "…water," she states definitively. "I assume you're on pain medication." And sometimes, Robyn knows how to be responsible. It's a curse, one that drives her to match the water she has for Elaine with a glass of her own, rather that see what wine she and Dirk still have.

"Whomever it was," she starts as she enters back into the room, "they have my thanks," is offered sincerely, at which point she in turn offers the glass to Elaine. "You said days off. How're you holding up? Not physically." That question's been answered.

"Yeah, water would probably be wise." Elaine pats her arm. "Plenty of painkillers for this thing." It is important to be responsible once in a while, so she's fine with being responsible for this once. She takes the glass from Robyn and takes a sip from it.

"Oh, you don't need to worry about me that much, it's just a couple of days. I figured it'd be better to just take it easy after all that. I'll be fine. The whole thing gave me a scare, that's all."

Robyn studies Elaine for a moment longer, and then satisfied, nods. "I was worried," she admits in a low voice, not quite looking at Elaine. "So I'm glad." The edges of her lips quick up in a small smile. "Time to rest, at least. It's always important. The main reason I come back the town." Besides her friends, at least. "It's hard to rest at The Bunker sometimes. Feels tense by nature." Even if her relationship with most of the Hounds has calmed since her initial time there.

Still, Robyn doesn't sit. "I'm sorry to make you come out here," she laments. "I just- wanted to make sure everything is fine. I'm not allowed in Yamagato anymore," as she had found out this morning calling to find out if there were, in fact, and security restruictions follwoing the bombing she should know about. "Afraid there's not much to do unless you want to go down to Rose and Trellis. Or like sappy romantic comedies." Because her and Dirk sure do.

"You don't need to be sorry, I don't mind coming out here. It's a nice change of scenery… I spend a lot of time in my apartment as is, so it's good for me to get out every once in a while." Elaine offers her a bright smile. "And I'm sure those restrictions won't be forever, just until they find out who did the bombing."

She tilts her head to the side as Robyn mentions having nothing to do. "To be honest we don't have to do anything. Spending time with you is nice. As weird as it sounds, you're kind of like a comfort food. Sometimes you just feel better having it when nothing else makes you feel good." She chuckles. "But I do happen to like sappy romantic comedies."

It might be just barely perceptible given the dark lighting, but there might be a hint of a blush creeping up on Robyn's face. Hands fumble at her side, searching for pockets that aren't actually there - she's much more used to slacks and suits than dresses these days, and it shows a bit in how she doesn't quite know what to do with herself.

Again, she doesn't quite look at Elaine. She looks, after a moment, up to where their DVDs are kept, and then over to the closed door across the hall from them. "Come with me," is said in a quiet voice, Robyn offering a hand down to Elaine to help her up if she needs it.

Rather than trying to rise to her feet one-handed and unbalanced, Elaine accepts the hand to get up. Once she's on her feet, she's prepares herself to follow wherever Robyn's leading. While she wants to speak, something tells her she shouldn't and she simply offers a nod of thanks for the assistance and waits.

Robyn passes by two doors - bedrooms - before arriving at the door across teh hall. Silently, she pushes it open and steps in. The room is seemingly devoid of furniture, but not of stuff. The walls are lined with paintings, by various painters in various styles, though most prominently belonging to Eve Mas. Some are hung up, others lean against the wall in frames. Ominously, one prominently hung painting in Eve's style depicting Robyn, older, scarred, dressed for business and in an office with a freshly fired gun held out sits mounted on the wall straight ahead from the door. Mixed in between them are a few black and white drawings, childish but sweet, each with a "P" in the corner - a "signature" Robyn had once jokingly insisted on.

The floor of the room is littered with a myriad of antiques and odds and ends, scavenged or bought at places like The Vault. A piece of a bench sits on the floor of the south wall, between an odd shaped sculpture and a stack of paintings, and under the painting of herself sits a record player, a single flashing red light on the front of the console. The one corner not occupied by antiques or paintings contains a small collection of musical equipment - an old, faded white Telecaster guitar, an acoustic guitar, a black Gibson Thunderbird bass, a cherry red Gibson semi-hollow bass, and two amps - one of which has a blinking red light on the front as well - and a small set of tools, mostly screwdrivers and soldering equipment. A notebook sits on the floor, open.

"This is my spare room," Robyn offers as she steps in. "Always the most interesting room. I think Dirk hates it." Mostly because this is definitely space that should've been split, instead of Robyn taking it all. "Too messy to be an art room. Still like to show it off."

Elaine's never had a chance to really check out Eve's work before, so the art draws her attention first as she takes it all in before she lets her gaze fall elsewhere. Each antique is taken in, observed, enjoyed. The musical equipment is noted, but not lingered on.

She turns her gaze slowly to Robyn. "I can see why you show it off. It's lovely in here. Need to have you help me find some antiques for my office. My spare room at home is just basically my computer and electronics. It's not terribly interesting and I've never figured out how to organize it or add my touch. I think you're onto something here."

Lovely? Robyn quirked an eyebrow as she looks back at Elaine. "Happened on accident," she admits with a bit of a laugh. "Do you know Eve Mas? Can't remember if you've met her directly." A shrug of her shoulders, and Robyn turns to look around the room. "She and I became friends in Cambridge. Bonded on Pollepel. She painted several pictures while we were there." She turns back to the grim looking one of her. "This one included." She takes a deep breath, staring at tit for a moment. "I like Eve's art, as much as I can't truly appreciate it. After the war, she promised reproductions to me. Now I pick them up from her semi-regularly."

She turns back to face Elaine, a smirk on her face. "Eve Mas… paints the future. Sometimes. If you can figure them out. Many of them are metaphors, like the horses." A small jab at her good friend, one that makes her expression brighten. "The truth is, while I like the antiques genuinely, the instruments I repair, Pippa's adorable drawings, the bench from the Verb Luther insisted I have…" She looks at the stacks of paintings, and then back at Elaine. "This is my room to keep the future in. Not just limited to paintings." She has songs, too, though she doesn't specify.

"I've met Eve before, went to her bar once. She's a riot. I can't say I know her well though. This is the first I've really gotten to see her work up close." Elaine studies the grim picture with a nod. "It's a little unsettling. I mean, it would be weird having pictures of myself painted without it being some planned portrait drawing, if that makes sense. Someone seeing into your life without you knowing…"

She shrugs a little, but looks around again. "I wish I had something that meaningful. I don't want to sound depressing but I don't know what my future has in store. All I've got is my present and so I've been living in the moment for a long while. Future kind of scares me now, to be honest."

"The funny thing is," Robyn notes, looking back to Elaine with a more muted expression, "is that I don't believe in fate." She looks at Elaine for a moment, before walking back over to her. "Someone once told me that our futures are in our hands now." Simon Broome, specifically. "People have tried to make roadmaps before. I've seen one."

She moves to stand next to Elaine, looking over the room. "There is no future, Elaine. We make it up for ourselves as we go. I know that for sure now." She cants her head slightly to the side, looking up towards the ceiling. "I mean, there is. But it's always branching out, changing. Indeterminate. This room is both to remind me of that… and to catalog, in case things do start going awry. I've never told Eve that. I really do just genuinely like her art. But… someone should keep better track of this stuff." And she only knows one other person that does.

"I don't like to think about the future much anymore, to be quite honest. If the future is in our hands, I don't want to have a part in it. Like I said, I live for the present. What comes after doesn't matter and I don't want to think about it." Elaine shakes her heads a bit.

"Maybe you make up the future as you go but there are too many possibilities for me. Thinking about it, even planning for it, it all scares me. Do you know I keep a packed suitcase under my bed now? A whole set of everything I need if the world goes to hell again. That's the only bit of future planning I do. I just expect the worst when I try and think about it."

"The present is only the future with the lights on." Almost a song quote. "I don't blame, you though. We've seen rough futures, lived rough presents." She closes her eyes, and shakes her head. "Didn't- mean to bum you out," she says quietly. "Just- everything in this room means a lot to me." A glance to the record player at the back of the room. "So much of it defines who I am now."

Elaine can hear her swallow loudly, before Robyn turns to Elaine, facing her. "I want to be friends," may seem like an out of the blue statement, trying her best to level her gaze with Elaine's. "This room represents me better than some movies. And is probably more interesting." She heaves out a bit of a sigh, turning on her heel. "When I heard about the bombing… I got sick with worry. And then, I saw you in the cast…"

Her lips thin, against searching for pockets that don't exist. "As long as I'm here, I can't not be your friend Elaine. I'll have to get the fuck over it."

"You sound like a poet," Elaine says with a smirk, full well knowing it does sound like a song lyric. "But you didn't bum me out. I bummed me out. I do that when I think too hard lately. I'm sorry I did it here. I didn't mean to be a touch melancholy."

She tilts her head to the side at Robyn's nervousness, watching her quietly for a moment or two. "Life without you in it has been…" She pauses, unsure of what she wants to say. "You've always been important to me, Robyn. I…" She pauses again, letting out a slow breath of air. "What I'm saying is you have to be my friend because I'm not letting you out of my life again."

She offers a smile, one arm held to the side. "So hug me, because I think I need one."

Robyn offers a smile to Elaine, a genuine and fond one. "D'accord, mon ami," said quietly before she steps forward and wraps her arms around Elaine, careful of her arm in the process. She remain quiet after that, simply embracing Elaine. She can't help but lean against the taller woman a bit as she does.

"Je suis désolé," follows after aminute or two, or at least what feels like that long. "«I won't ever stop saying I'm sorry. Just to warn you,»" she continues, switching to French more completely. "«So thank you for giving me a second chance.»" At at least being a friend.

Elaine probably needed the hug more than she let on. She eases into it, as much as she can with one arm, letting out a deeply held breath as a sigh of relief. She smiles faintly when Robyn finally talks. It had seemed like forever. Long enough that it almost felt like there should be some awkwardness there.

"«I'm alright if you keep apologizing, it shows me you're thinking about what happened and you don't want to make that mistake again. In a way, it helps ease the pain a little.»" The redhead nods, pulling back just slightly. Enough that she can get a good look at Robyn. "«And thank you for not running away again.»"

"«I wanted to, at first,»" Robyn admits. And Elaine knows this, it's not like it's a shocking secret. "«I was too scared of how things could be. Too scared of how you would feel, how I would feel…»" She lets out a shuddering sigh. When Elaine pulls back, Robyn doesn't look back up at her, not immediately. Instead, she tries to think of something to say next.

Something that isn't something she shouldn't say.

It takes her a moment, but she lands on something eventually. "«I'm finally past that, at least with you. I've seen a lot of people again, lately. Reminds me how much like home this crapsack city is. Can't believe I wanted to leave it behind.»"

Elaine says, “«Well, as long as you don't run, I'm happy.»" Elaine is smiling, even if Robyn isn't looking at her. She's not smiling for Robyn, not right now. She's smiling for herself. Because she feels genuinely okay in the moment. "«It's weird. There are times I thought I'd go to Scotland, that I'd live there. But something pulls me back here every time I even think of it.»"

Now, she smiles at Robyn. "«Well, I'm glad you didn't run from me this time. I've been worried about it for some time now.»"”

"«Well, as long as you don't run, I'm happy.»" Elaine is smiling, even if Robyn isn't looking at her. She's not smiling for Robyn, not right now. She's smiling for herself. Because she feels genuinely okay in the moment. "«It's weird. There are times I thought I'd go to Scotland, that I'd live there. But something pulls me back here every time I even think of it.»"

Now, she smiles at Robyn. "«Well, I'm glad you didn't run from me this time. I've been worried about it for some time now.»"

"«France.»" Where she wanted to go - not even Ireland. But given how Robyn's presentation of self and public persona has changed in the last several years, maybe that's not much of a surprise anymore. "«You know, I could've been a model there, once. Doing Fashion Week for Chanel or Louis Vuitton every year. At least before the scar.»" A bit of a joke, though only a small laugh comes afterwards.

She finally looks up, seeing Elaine's smile, and it makes her cheeks burn red again. This is not by any means a new phenomenon, but to does result in her looking away again quickly. Elaine, though, can see the smile on her face as she does. "«I'm back for good. I know my promises don't really mean much, but… I promise.»"

“«You could still model, if you wanted. They’re trying to be diverse these days, people from all walks of life, all kinds of representation. Women with disabilities, unique attributes, they’re branching out. A simple scar wouldn’t stop you. But somehow I don’t think that life would suit you at all. You’re someone who likes the feeling of your heart racing.»” Elaine studies Robyn’s features, as if assessing them for potential.

She chuckles. “«No, I think you’d get bored modeling. That would be your cover story and you’d work with the French police solving Evolved crimes.»” She grins at that. “«But you’d be lured back to New York just like me. This place has its charms, as chaotic as it might be. It’s home.»”

Robyn relaxes a bit at that. "«You're probably right. I would get bored.»" Because Elaine's right, she likes to have a bit of a thrill, and while walking a catwalk certainly would be one, it's a much more passive thrill than SESA or even music performance. "«But I'd still have fun. It's still a performance.»"

Robyn's grip on Elaine tightens just the slightest bit as she lets out another slow sigh. There's no immediate clever remark or thoughtful quote that follows it up this time, though. She just starnds there, hugging Elaine.

"«You've always been about a performance.»" Elaine lingers in the hug, dipping her head down to rest her forehead against Robyn's shoulder. It's probably more of an intimate gesture than she intended, but her intent is pretty clear. "«Thank you.»" She seems to want to say more, but instead she falls into silence. It might be slightly awkward, but she seems alright with it.

The silence is at least a little bit awkward, enough that when Robyn finally breaks the embrace, it's with a sheepish smile. "Don't ever thank me," is said quietly. "Nothing to thank me for." Other than staying, but from Robyn's perspective she should be thinking Elaine for letting her, maybe. It's weird and complicated.

Like everything else in the room right now.

Instead, she turns back to the paintings. "That's… really all I wanted to show you in here. We can head back to the living room. I guess… find something to watch."

"I am thanking you for having the courage to be my friend. Because it's not easy at times, I'd imagine." Elaine nods, stepping backwards out of the way to let Robyn lead the way back to the living room. "We can watch something if you'd like." She gestures to the guitar. "Or you could play me something."

Robyn's lips form a thin, uneven smile. No, it's not easy, and it probably never will be. But when Elaine suggests she play her a song, she stiffens just enough to be noticable.. She lets out a rueful laugh, closing her eyes, "You really are a devil with a blue dress," she intones quietly. "I fix instruments to sell them. I don't play anymore."

A half truth, really.

She looks off to the side, and then over at the instruments in the corner. "Is that something you'd really like?"

Elaine wanders over towards the instruments. "You do have some lovely pieces though. You can't possibly just let them sit idle." She smiles, turning to face Robyn once more. "I would like that, to be honest. As long as you're comfortable with it. I just miss seeing you play. Watching you with your music was something that was a highlight of my life."

Robyn stares at her for a moment , cheeks reddening until she finally looks away from Elaine. She doesn't offer any sort of rebuttal or a reply, just a surprisingly shy smile. A hand placed on the other woman's shoulder, she makes her way over to the corner of the room where the instruments sit. Gingerly she picks up the acoustic guitar, pulling a pick from between it's strings.

There's chairs to rest in in the room, so Elaine will have to either stand or sit on the floor. Robyn holds the guitar in hand, inspecting it before settling the strap over her shoulders. "I don't know what to play," she admits. And that's true. Sure, there's a lot she can and could play. But she doesn't know what to play.

There's not much she can do other than just plop herself down nearby. So Elaine does that, knowing that she's going to need quite some help getting back up. She settles in, resting herself up against her good arm as she watches Robyn.

"Well, what about something I know? Something I'd remember." She's going to let Robyn decide. Something will come to her.

Robyn takes a deep breath, lips quirking back and forth as she tries to think of what song, exactly, she's going to play for Elaine. The implication is that she wants to hear one of hers, rather than a cover - which is really what she'd be more comfortable with. Still, decides to oblige Elaine's request, and closes her eyes, letting her fingers choose the song.

They begin to move up the guitar, halfway up the neck as she begins to stum. With the other instruments behind it, the opening part of the song is maybe a bit harder to recognise, but the lyrics should give it away.

Don't you know what's ahead?
Do you see what I see now
Waiting up ahead

Fantasies, one of the songs from Robyn's one commercially released albums, and the second single from it that had proven to be more popular than She Talks To Spirits, a song she's since tried to erase from her memory due to the reaction that the person it was written about had to it.

Stand here right next to me
And tell me, tell me
Are you here for me?
Are you here for me?

This song, on the other hand, was written about someone else - the woman in the room, in fact. Robyn can't remember if ever told Elaine that, in the moment. She kind of hopes not, but tries not to let that thought distract her as she moves into the chorus.

These are wild fantasies
Unlike anything before
Red fire coloured dreams
Unlike anything before
Stay tonight with me
My wild fantasy
Wild fantasies

Maybe Robyn had told her about it once, but even if she had, Elaine seems to enjoy it either way. She sits, adjusting her sling as she listens. Clearly from her reaction as she takes in the music, it has been something she's missed. She sways just slightly, nodding her head to the tune. She doesn't interrupt, there's no clapping along or humming, she just lets Robyn do her thing and she takes it all in.

She doesn't watch Elaine, not at first. In truth, as effortless as she makes it seem, she has to try real hard to remember the proper chords and words - it's been over six and a half years since the last time she can remember playing this particular song. Still, she smiles.

I never could have known
How you'd blow me away
When we met

I didn't really know
Just what to expect
So tell me, tell me
Are you here for me?
Will you stay with me?

Finally, she opens her eyes, watching Elaine sway as she continues, and she can't help but smile wider. This is the first time she's really played for an audiance in- longer than she can remember if she has to be honest. The few times she's picked up a guitar to play in the last few months, there certainly hasn't been anyone else around. Not that she could remember at least.

These are wild fantasies
Unlike anything before
Red fire coloured dreams
Unlike anything before
Stay tonight with me
My wild fantasy
Wild fantasies

What happens when we turn out the light
Stays between us
What happens at the end of the night
Stays between us
Stays between us
My starburst fantasy

These are wild fantasies
Unlike anything before
Red fire coloured dreams
Unlike anything before
Stay tonight with me
My wild fantasy
Wild fantasies

She continues playing a moment, movements slowing down as she reaches the end of the intro. When she finishes, she doesn't speak. She just looks up at Elaine and smile. ANd then it wavers for a moment, before she looks down at the floor.

As Robyn gets into it, Elaine takes the opportunity to watch her, studying her in the moment. But that doesn't last long. Instead, her eyes drift shut as she takes in the song, she takes in the pure joy of listening to something familiar. Something that was making her feel safe. And that was something she needed as of recently. When the song ends, she lifts her head and opens her eyes in time to see Robyn smile and then look down.

"That was amazing, Robyn. You never cease to amaze me with your skill. Things change, but at the same time, some things are still the same."

Robyn doesn't respond at first, her eyes are locked firmly on the floor in front of her. After a moment, her right hand releases the neck of the guitar and reaches up to scratch at the back of her head. "I can barely play it," she admits. She flexes her fingers on her other and, slipping the pick back between strings. "Surprised I didn't hit any bad notes, to be honest." Lips quirk side to side, and then she sighs. "I'm glad you still like it though. I-" She wrinkles her nose, and then shakes her head. "It was always a good one."

"You're being hard on yourself, Robyn. It doesn't matter if you were rusty or even if you had hit any bad notes. You're brilliant. You played and you sang even though I know that shit's not so easy for you since… well, shit went down." Elaine glances back over at the other woman.

"So don't just beat yourself up for not being perfect. Didn't need to be perfect. All it needed to be was honest. That's all I can ever ask from you… honesty."

Robyn frowns, looking up Elaine, she studies her for a moment, guitar still dangling across her. She musters a small smile. "Careful. Honesty always leads to trouble." It's a half hearted tease, barely meant and barely kept as she lets out a sigh. "Guess I don't know how not to be perfect," she admits. "Or, I mean- not to want to be perfect."

A small shrugs, as she lifts the guitar off herself. "That's part of why that- Alvin guy got to me. Unprofessional. The nerve." Hands search for pockets she doesn't have - again - before settling at side. "Alright. Well, I think you've done a good job of steering the afternoon. What adventure's next?"

Elaine grins. "Honesty is trouble. Doesn't mean I don't like trouble or honesty. Kind of like some of both." She's right back with the teasing. "It takes some practice to stop striving for perfect. Takes some humility and a hell of a lot of bad times to tear you down, but eventually you can get there."

She nods after a moment. "Unprofessionalism is definitely not something I care to dabble in." She waits until Robyn's put the guitar down before she reaches a hand up to see if Robyn will help her to her feet. "I'm not sure what's next. Planning's not really my forte anymore."

Robyn stands there, staring at Elaine for a moment. A lot of pithy, glib comments run through her head. One almost gets her to really smile agian. None of them are voiced. She eyes the outstretched hand, before looking up to Elaine. That's when she finally steps forward, taking Elaine's hand and pulling her up to her feet.

"Anymore?" Is the response she does offer, with a half smirk. "You always liked to just… let things happen. I think you had us fooled."

Elaine uses Robyn's assistance to get back to her feet, still grinning broadly. "I'm better when I let things happen. I tend to overthink things far too much when given the opportunity to." She playfully pushes at Robyn with her good hand. "And I'll have you know you'd be surprised at how much planning I did do to try and keep things under control." She laughs. "We lived a pretty chaotic life for a while there."

Robyn takes a half step back, genuinely not expecting the playful push. "Well, that's not fair. I can't push back," she replies with a bit of a hollow laugh. "I bet so. You were an anchor to us all." For a moment, she considers if that was a poor choice of words, of response, but she decides to let it ride. "Yeah. Yeah, we did. Not sure how we did it." How they still do it, really.

Robyn gives a half hearted smirk, reaching up with one hand and giving an equally half hearted push back to Elaine. Eyes cast down to the floor, she sighs out a small breath. "I'm sorry it didn't work," she says quietly, distractedly. As if she needed to issue another apology. "I guess we all came back, at least…"

"Don't apologize. We gave it a good try. That's the important thing. We're alright, all of us." Elaine shakes her head a bit. Maybe not Magnes, but for the most part they made it out alive.

Robyn stares at Elaine for a long moment, her brow knitting together as she looks at the taller woman for several moments, before she turns around, walking back towards the musical instruments. "I have one more in me," she admits quietly, pauseing afterwards with a thoughtful look on her face. "If you want to hear it. You might not."

Elaine offers a warm smile as she looks at the instruments. "I'll always listen to more, Robyn. Like I said, I've missed your music." She gestures with her free hand. "Go for it."

Studying Elaine for a moment, Robyn pulls the acoustic back from it's resting place, lifting it over her shoulders again. "I was lying a bit," she admits as she idly plucks at stings, pulling the large bass amp out and sitting down on it, guitar set across her lap. "About not playing." The pick is again removed from stings. "I mean, I don't, really, but…"

The smallest hint of a smile forms on her face. "You're still a muse, Elaine."

As she speaks, she begins to play - slow tempo at first, slowly building up. It's not familiar to Elaine, and from the look of consternation and occasional pauses, it's clear it's not terribly familiar to Robyn either. But once she finds a good rhythm and settles into a melody, it picks up a bit. And then, she starts to sing.

Where to start now, it's been so long
Wish I'd been here, but now it's gone
Ask and I will tell, so play along
Try to make it up tonight, so hang on

Her eyes are closed, clearly more focused on the music than she is on Elaine or anything else in the room, hands moving up and down the neck as she plays. It takes her a moment to settle into a melody shift for the chorus, but just as before, once she does-

She said "sing me a song"
Something I know, something I won't forget
Sing me a song so I won't be alone again
She said "sing me a song"
Something that wipes away all of our regret
Sing me a song so that you're here with me again

"I don't think I'm much of a muse, but…" Elaine murmurs before she stops to listen to the words. It's definitely not what she expected, but it's something that touches her. She wants to say more, but she can't. She's just absorbed in it.

I'll write this down, misunderstandings
Words out loud are so enchanting
I tried to sing them, no more waiting
But you're not here, intentions failing

There's occasional sour notes, discordant to match uncertain, warbled lyrics. Both her rust and the improvisational style Robyn is employing are shining through clearly, and at one point, she even has to stop to reposition her hands and start playing again. She never opens her eyes, never looks at Elaine, never takes her mind off the song even despite the flubs.

And she said "sing me a song"
Something I know, something I won't forget
Sing me a song so I won't be alone again
She said "sing me a song"
Something that wipes away all of our regret
Sing me a song so that you're here with me again

Finally, the music becomes a bit more steady, Robyn seeming to hit a groove as she move sinto a next part, a slight variation of the chorus melody, strummed quickly. The words sound the more earnest, more confident as she finds her ability to hold notes, to adjust her tone and pitch again.

I can tell you I have no alibi
I gave it all away, I won't deny
I broke our promise, I don't know what to say
What to say
Heaven is a place right next to you
Haunted hallways, none of it will do
Why can't everything, start over and be new?
And be new
While you are sleeping, I'll sing a song
I'll say I'm sorry, for waiting so long
That I took you for granted, that I was gone
I was gone
While you are sleeping, I'll sing a song
I'll say I'm sorry, for waiting so long
That I took you for granted, that I was gone
I was gone
I was gone
So hang on
I was gone
So hang on
So hang on

The strumming stops, the last note holding as Robyn sings the final repetition of the last set of lyrics. Eyes still closed, her shoulders relax, the guitar sinking down further into her lap as she swallows. She offers no follow up comment. She just sits there on the amp.

When Robyn finishes the song, Elaine slowly makes her way closer to Robyn and the amp. She stands there, unsure of what to say. Finally, she offers a smile. "That was beautiful, Robyn. I'm impressed. You always impress me with your music, but this… this was good."

Robyn smiles a bit at that, holding up three fingers. "Third one you've inspired," she says quietly. "Thanks." She rolls her shoulders, before looking back up at Elaine. "Je suis desole, I got- maudlin all of a sudden." She clears her throat. "So, what next."

"I guess I'll just have to keep being your muse, huh?" Elaine grins before she looks back at Robyn. She turns her gaze slightly, almost shyly, when it seems they're left in a moment with no clear direction. "Um, maybe we should watch a movie or something. Or maybe I should get back…" Going home is an option as well.

The sudden suggestion that it's time for Elaine to leave brings a noticable frown to Robyn's face. "I mean…" She reaches up, scratching at the back of her head. "Sorry. Guess I'm still learning this whole… friend thing again." She stands up from the amp. "You don't have to, but if you need to, you can always come back." She offers a weak smile to Elaine. "We could always just talk. Better than being here."

"I don't really want to leave right now, to be honest." Elaine offers forward, smiling sheepishly. "I've missed spending time with you. We don't have to do anything, just, y'know, don't kick me out. Just being around already makes me feel a lot better."

That gets an honest laugh from Robyn, shaking her head as she steps around Elaine, not bothering to push the amp back into place. The guitar is pulled off her shoulders and set down on top of a stack of paintings, rather than where it had been before. Making her way over to the picture of herself, she reaches up behind it, reachign around for a moment before she pulls out a notebook from behind the hung painting.

Flipping it open, she flips it around and upside down, moving to sit back at the amp as she pulls a pencil from inside the notebook, and begins to copy down what she can remember of what she just played. "I made that up," she says quietly. "Just now. You said- to play you something you know, and it just… came to me." To elucidate on the idea of Elaine as a muse.

It takes her a moment fo writing down works, making staff,s writing tabs and shorthand, before she naps it back shut. "If you think I'm going to kick you out…" She looks down at the ground for a moment. "There's only a few reasons I'd ever do that. Defintiely not one of them now. So stay. We'll talk."

The secret notebook gets a raised brow from Elaine, but as she writes down the lyrics, Elaine looks a little stunned. "You made that up, on the spot? Because of me?" She studies Robyn for a long moment. "Well, I'm glad you won't kick me out, and I hope I never give you reason to. So I'll stay and talk, if you don't mind."

Robyn looks up from her writing, blinking at Elaine. A hand rises up, tipping side to side like a seesaw. "Not quite on the spot, but- after the one before it, yeah." Timeline of a few minutes rather than literally on the fly, in the event it actually matters. It's the quickest she's thrown together anything in seven years, to be certain. She makes her last note in the notebook, and then slips the pencil back inside and shuts it. "Inventory book. In case anything goes missing." Because logic follows that- these are valuable paintings. In one way or another. It's certianly more organised than most people would've known Robyn Quinn to be. She slips up from the amp, placing the notebook back behind the painting.

Okay. Talk. "How've your recovery days been?" is the first question that comes to mind - a bit shyly asked, a strange uncertainness to it.

"Well, it's good to keep something like that. Relying on pure memory is always hard, things don't always stick." Elaine laughs. "I write everything down these days. Usually in my phone. Syncs with everything in my house." She looks down at her arm. "Well, I like to think it's healing well. Pain is pretty bad, I make sure to take my painkillers on schedule. I tried to go without and it became quickly apparent that it wasn't wise to do that. So I'm still on the mend but I'll be alright. I'll have to wear the sling for a while." She rubs the back of her head. "I'm not sure how many more days I'll take before I go back in to work. Maybe until this is less apparent." She gingerly touches the cut above her eye. "Probably better to go back in looking presentable."

"I hadn't even-" Robyn frowns a bit, crossing her arms as she moves past Elaine and back towards the door. "I didn't even notice," she laments, sounding apologetic. "It blends into your hair." Sometimes, all the grays blend together. It varies dramatically based on the lighting. "You look fine, but… a few days off is a good idea." Days. Week or two. Whatever. "If there's anything I can do to help with the pain, just… let me know, I guess." Not that she can do much - it's not like she knows any pain manipulators anymore. She reaches the door, pulling it open again, and steps back out into the living room. "Come on. Let's both sit."

Slipping back out into the hallway and towards the living room, Elaine offers a small smile. "It's just a cut. Bled a lot in the moment, but it turned out to be minor. Easy to miss at this point." She moves to sit down on the couch. "The pain's fine as long as I keep up with my pills and don't jar it too much. But the thought is appreciated." She reaches up to adjust the strap on the sling.

Robyn is quiet the rest of the way to the couch, where she practically collapses into one corner of it. She doesn't make a motion to turn on the TV or get a movie of anything, she simply settles into her seat and visibly relaxes a bit. Hands fold into her lap, and she stares silently ahead. She's not quite really sure what to say at this point, at least at first. Probably not great since Elaine not leaving was her idea - now she has no idea how to entertain.

Which, in turn, gets her to laugh a bit out loud, turning to look at Elaine. "Well, now I dunno what to do," she admits as a follow up to the proceeding thought. "Can you tell I'm out of practice?" At being a hostess. She actually smirks at that though, rather than letting her dour internal monologue take charge again. "I think I would've turned on- oh, what was it called. Rock Band? By now, at least." She looks over at ELaine and shrugs. "I'm not against just… sitting here, I admit. Maybe putting on a record."

Elaine slides into a seat on the opposite end of the couch, giving them a generous amount of space between them. It may or may not be intentional. “Oh man, Rock Band. I haven’t touched that since… whatever party we had where we last played it. That used to be a great game. Really made me feel like I could be part of Mad Muse. It’s always been weird being on the sidelines. I don’t think I’ve ever told anyone that, but I was super jealous. I was always just the tag-along, never part of the band and that sort of always made me a little sad.”

She looks back over at Robyn. “You sure you want to just sit here? Silence speaks more than voices, sometimes. That’s what I’ve heard, at least. It speaks volumes.”

Silence is w hat Elaine gets for a handful of moments. "Someone has forgotten." When Robyn speaks up again, it's quiet, simply looking on ahead. "About being on stage, playing violin at my shows. I loved having you up there. It added a real… grounding element to the music." She looks up for a moment, and then over at Elaine. "Do you still play?" Turnabout it fair play, after all.

Quickly, she fixes her gaze back ahead on the wall. "You were always considered one of us," she adds. "We wouldn't have been a band with you. Keeping us together." And it's true. Robyn is all too aware of the fact that, at at least one point, she would've walked if it hadn't been for Elaine.

And after that, she lapses back into silence, though this time it's cut through much more quickly. "It was my birthday." The party. "Before I left for the island." Before everything fell apart. Her voice is low, eyes closing afterwards. "You're right, it does. I just… am running out of things to say." She rolls her shoulders uncomfortably. "I won't make you stay in silence."

“Bah, playing the violin for you wasn’t being part of things, I kind of always felt like it was just an add-on or something.” Elaine glances over. “Yeah, I still play. Sometimes. Enough so I don’t get rusty but I don’t have any real purpose behind it, you know? No one hears. Just me, alone in my apartment.”

Her gaze stays on Robyn. “You really believe I kept things together?” She tilts her head to the side. “I appreciate that.” But she remembers the birthday, she remembers how it was. One last big bash. “I don’t mind if you don’t have anything to say. Let’s just listen to something for a bit. It’d be nice to just have you with me for a while.”

Robyn's mood almost visibly falls at the ascertation that Elaine was just an add on in her music. "Oh," she says with a hint of defeat of all things in her voice. She listens to everything Elaine has to say after that, but she doesn't listen. She just nods a time or two to show her continued attention, while strictly focused on the bare white wall ahead of her.

She rises up from her seat without a word, moving over to the one corner of the room where a small record player - a simple turntable much smaller than the one in her spare room - sits with two speakers plugged into the back. She looks down to the small crate of LPs that rests beside it, a small part of the collection she's rebuilding, and she kneels down and starts to dig into it. It's after a moment that she pulls one out, the cover of which Elaine can see from the couch - it looks like a picture of red theater seats, and reads "The Get Up Kids" at the top, and "Guilt Show" at the bottom. Gingerly, it's placed on to the turntable, the power turned on and a needle drop.

As the fuzz and crackle of a guitar starts, she makes her way back to the couch and lowers herself back down - decidedly looking less relaxed than she did before.

“You alright?” Elaine asks as she leans back against the couch a bit, listening to the music as it plays. She’s aware of the discomfort that’s suddenly in the room and she frowns. “Did I say something wrong? I didn’t mean to upset you.”

Now she’s looking uncomfortable herself.

"It's nothing," is a lie, given as Robyn forces herself to sink back into her spot on the couch more fully. She closes her eyes and chooses to focus on the music, rather than on Elaine. Her head leans against the back of the couch, and the more that she focuses on the music, the more she starts to slowly smile.

As the album quickly moves into its second track, she begins to mouth the words silently, a single finger tapping against her leg. She seems much more at ease listening than she did playing earlier. In truth, it's almost definitely an album Elaine has heard Robyn play before, even if Robyn herself doesn't realise it.

Now Elaine’s worried that she did something, the sinking feeling staying there even though Robyn claimed it was fine, that it was nothing. It preoccupies her thoughts as she listens to the music, caught up in her own head for the first track. Byt the time that it reaches the second track, she relaxes.

Her thoughts drift to moments when she remembered Robyn playing these tunes. Good moments, when Robyn was happy, when she was happy. Music seemed to bring that out in them and why couldn’t it now? She lets her gaze move briefly to Robyn, still listening to the song.

Robyn continues to smile, relaxed and caught up in the music. Unlike her listening companion, she doesn't open her eyes, doesn't dare subject herself to reality. Whatever she sees when she closes her eyes and pretends to sing along to the music, that's all that seems to matter to her in the moment.

It's only after the third song ends that she lifts her head. Eyes still closed, still smiling, she looking over in Elaine's direction. "You're right," she says in a low voice. "It does feel better to have someone here." Even if she can't see them. She raises one hand, and for a moment it seems like she's going to reach out towards Elaine, but before she can commit she instead pulls it back, running it through her hair. "Thanks for coming by."

Elaine watches the hand for a moment, then looks back to the record player. “I’m glad I came by. It was worth the time.” She falls into silence again, listening to the music before turning to Robyn. “Would you mind if I came by again sometime? Doesn’t have to be anything big. An old movie and some takeout. Or nothing at all. Just some time.”

Eyes still closed, Robyn gives a slow nod. "I would love it," is a strong choice of words, but not untrue - even as conflicted as Elaine's presence makes her feel, as guilty as it makes her feel - at the end of the day, she enjoys it, and that will probably never change. "Under better circumstances next time, too." Rather than the result of a bombing.

She heaves out a sigh, her smile turning into a bit more of a grin. "Bring you violin next time," she asserts. "I'm glad you enjoyed yourself. Not much of a hostess these days, but… I guess it doesn't matter."

Elaine slowly gets to her feet. Part of it is that she takes her time, the other part of it is that she legitimately has problems getting up one-handed. There’s a lot of balance issues that can happen with the lack of one arm as Elaine has found out first hand. Moving towards the door, she looks towards Robyn.

“I’ll bring my violin by when I can hold it properly,” she grins. “And hopefully I’ll be in better condition in the future and not horrendously injured. Thank you for having me.”

Oh right. Robyn looks a bit sheepish at Elaine's remark about holding it properly. "Here's hoping." She rises up from her spot on the floor, over to the door to see Elaine out. "Just call. Still in Rochester most of the time. Or come up. See Adel. See me." She motions to Elaine's arm. "When you can travel easily again."

One hand on the door to pull it open so that Elaine doesn't have to navigate that too. She offers a smile to the other woman, and tentatively, a hand placed on her good shoulder.

Elaine moves to the door, grateful for the assistance. “I’ll call. Maybe I’ll head out to Rochester for a visit sometime. Haven’t seen Adel in a while, would be nice to see her as well. I’ll come by, for sure.” She smiles. “And I can travel just fine, it’s getting the doors and getting up and down that’s tricky.”

She smiles when the hand is settled on her shoulder and she looks back over at Robyn. “You take care of yourself, okay?”

"Yeah," Robyn offers, squeezing her shoulder once before releasing it. "I'll try. You do the same." She hesitates for a moment, moving to thread hair behind one ear, before she suddenly leans up and kisses Elaine on the cheeks. Her own are red as she settles back down and steps away. "And make sure to take care of that arm."

The familiar gesture catches Elaine by surprise, but it soon appears that it’s not an unappreciated gesture. She smiles brightly, giving Robyn a one-armed hug before she pulls back and moves out of the doorframe. “I’ll do my best, Robyn. I can promise you that.” Without another word, she moves off.

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