Enter The Friendzone


abby5_icon.gif francois_icon.gif

Scene Title Enter The Friendzone
Synopsis After hearing news of James Muldoon's apparent presence in Ryazan, Francois finds Abigail outside.
Date December 3, 2009

Outside the Spektor Home

Quietly from afar, any viewer be it incorporeal or corporeal gets treated to the tail end of Abigail's anxiety rearing it's head full time. The fort halfway done and high enough to hide the brunette's form from direct sight, the only clue besides her telling them where to be found is the ragged breathing as she works at calming herself down before Francois can make his way out if he's coming. Teo's there in some form but likely pulling away now that the worst of it is over. Sleep tonight will surely lead to nasty dreams that will eventually be forcefully derailed to a dream scape that is familiar to some and located in the south.

For now, there's a handful of snow being rubbed over her face, around her eyes to try and get rid of the red puffiness before the Frenchman makes his way out. Another smaller bit into her mouth to melt and wash away the taste left behind. Muldoon is not a happy thought in Abby's life.

The front door doesn't even swing open and closed. He comes around the side, as sneaky as Teo was several nights ago, but he doesn't spy. Just catches the sight of the brunette getting ice in her eyes in lieu of warmer saline tears. Francois doesn't feel guilty, about meandering out a few minutes early. Ten minutes is a figurative measure of time. He's thrown a coat over his sweater of forest green, and shoved his feet into lined winter boots that now audibly crunch through ice as he approaches the fort. Sympathy writes his expression, and brisk, icy wind tugs at hair and clothing.

"Abigail," he says, without a true question in his voice, more or less heralding his own appearance and acknowledging her presence. They've been slightly—

Elusive. Lately. Needless to say, Francois does not scoop her into an embrace.

"Over here" Where the cream colored toque covering brown hair resides above the line of snow. "It's uh, it's okay to come over. I'm done now." Because men don't like to see women cry. or well, most of the men she knows it drives them into fits of uncomfortableness. "IN the fort. Don't suppose you brought tea with you or anything else like that? Could use some tea. COuld use a really big pot of tea and just go swimming in it, Drown in a big pot of sweet tea. That'd be a good death. Not as good as drowning in a vat of chocolate mind you but, you know, just as good" Trail edges of hysteria make for babbled conversation.

"Sorry" Tacked onto the end when she realizes that she is babbling. "I'll uhh, I'll stop talking"

There are worse things than women crying. Men crying, for instance. Now that's uncomfortable. Incidentally, Francois' long fingers are in fact spidered over a bright red mug, exaggerated steam trailing off the top of warm liquid. "Green rooibos. Lavender and chamomile, and ginger. Honey. I know the South prefer it cold." His words are quiet, forcing Abby to strain to hear them as he moves around the fort, and comes to crouch as the drink is offered forward, hand angled for her to take.

"It is this Muldoon?" Also not totally question, but giving her the chance to deny it anyway.

"I'm backwards, I like it hot. Only when I'm home do I like it cold" Red woolen fingers seek out the mug and take it from the Frenchman and bring it close to let steam waft up towards her face. There's a hard swallow and a nod, unwilling to put words to the motion and answer the question properly. Just a bobbing of her head up and down. It was Muldoon. The cup is transferred to one hand while the other rises to wipe her nose against her sleeve.

Francois curls arms around his bent knees, remaining in that waiting crouch rather than letting knees or behind sink into wet snow. Hot tea tastes like a garden, though a sweet one - herbal and not unpleasant. Tiny dregs drift to the surface, the spiky leaves of the rooibos plant, although for the most part, the tea if clear of it. Diluted a little, too. Impatiently, he didn't wait for the tea to steep all the way. But at least it's hot.

"Sometimes," he says, after a moment, "talking is much the same as bleeding an infection, or drawing poison."

If there's someone in the world who would know, Francois would. He's been through it before. Different people, different time, different circumstances. "He and another person kidnapped me. February. They wanted me to heal fighters, Was just after I had-" She's searching for the word, somewhere in the depths of the tea, probably slightly to the left side of the liquid. "-Done what we who had the gift are destined to do. I refused, so Muldoon sent me off with his business partner. Whore, Prostitutes, fighters in all states of hurt, near death. Teo and Eileen, Ethan's friend, came looking for me. I warned them that I knew people, who would come for me. Healing, taking away peoples hurts, it gets you people who feel they have a debt to you, they'll go through fire for you"

Abigail shifts on the blanket she's seen fit to sit on, drawing out part of it for him to sit on and spare his knee's or his ass from the wet snow. "Logan lost his temper one night after Flint escaped. His sister can walk through walls and ran off with him. I got left behind in the basement of this brothel. He took it out on me. Fear, scared, worried. He hit him, I hit him back. he could make you feel all this fear, like you're choking on it right. Right. Or so much pleasure you could drown and die content because you don't care, it feels so good. I took his eye. I took his eye because he carved out Flints. And he.." Shoulders rise, staying up before eventually they settle. "He saw fit to take my tongue and then I got thrown back to Muldoon. By the time everyone managed to find me, to get me, I looked like been in one of the camps in Germany. They didn't feed me good, I didn't get rest, everything that you shouldn't do with the ability"

He shuffles on over at the offer of the blanket to sit on, long legs folding awkward, one heel digging into snow. Settled close, but not intrusively, Francois regards the snow in front of them rather than pinning her under a stare as she talks, and he listens. Chin angles up a little in some instinctive posture of pride, as much as it doesn't have much bearing on the topic, when she mentions Germany, as if in contrast to what is supposed to be felt.

A hand goes out, settles on her back, as if ready to ease her into an embrace. Unless she remains stiff where she's sitting, in which case, it will remain simply there. "What we had— some would deem it more valuable than the host it was carried within. Some that would sell it to the highest bidder. I'm sorry, Abby."

"Yeah. Not realizing that you need the host. There were other healers before me. I was just, another in a long chain of… stolen healers. I made my peace with Logan, I pity him actually. It's taken me this long and a lot of weekly talks with Dr. Yee and Robert to get to where I am. Hokuto as well. But Muldoon."

Abigail lets herself be guided, resting her head against his shoulder, the Flint Deckard in the back of her mind baring his teeth in some unheard growl, and ignored for now. This is Russia and he's there, and she's here. "He fled. The cops were getting him on different charges, they wouldn't bring either in for bullshit reasons. But he ran and I was told he was in Moscow. He's evolved, I'm sure. Something with his touch when we were in the warehouse but I don't know what." Thin shoulders layered with fabrics rise and fall again. "I guess I just hadn't expected him to… to be so near and wasn't really prepared. I'll deal with it. Just need to get it out of my system"

Simple comforts that don't mean anything unless allowed to. A brother, after all, could hold Abigail like this too. "And if Elisabeth's second instincts are correct, perhaps this man is not even in Ryazan at all," Francois offers. Not freely. If there wasn't honesty in his words, belief in the possibility, they probably wouldn't be spoken. "I don't know if I ever made my peace. More like a spirit without rest. I haunted Volken instead. To my own detriment, at times. It wasn't entirely about Dachau," he feels moved to add.

Chin tips up enough to rest his jaw, cheek against her bowed head. "I started pitying him too. Did it help, for you?"

"He's here. There'd be no reason for someone to pretend to be him. It's too remote a person for it to be anyone else. The co-incidence is too great" But Francois was experimented on, made to heal people as well. "I only hunt deer. But it's helped. I went into his little strip club and sat there and watched him walk over and I was going to just threaten him with the cops but he looked like a man playing at being someone important so, I told him that I pity'd him. I do. I had friends, willing to raid a warehouse full of evolved to save me, and he has… no one. He's employed by the Linderman group because they didn't want him going to their enemies."

The weight on the top of her head is favorable, she's not complaining as she breathes in deep to let the smell of the outdoors and him roll around in her nose. "Enough about me though. I just came out to panic in private. How are you doing. Not every day you get made into a pigeon roost for a day or two"

"Hn!" is a soft, mock-affront response to that query, arm a little stiff around her shoulders, but adjusting, relaxing. "Non, it does not. I would have preferred to be run through with bullets." A pause, and Francois continues a little apologetically; "Not that your fates were much better. I led all of you into a trap. It will not happen again - I will not doubt their cunning." His chin lifts off her, at least, though he doesn't completely retract when the serious question is delivered— "Were you very angry with me?"

"You didn't lead us into it. We went, like lemmings, thinking we could just bumble along. It was eye opening and a lesson learned. An expensive lesson" Abigail's free hand, the one not nursing the roobios tea settles down on one of his knee's to squeeze. "Not angry. Terrified, worried, afraid. I tried to get them to take you but they just shot me with their tranquilizer gun. Heavens Francois, when Teo left me and didn't return for a bit, and when he did return, I was crying outta joy to hear you were still alive in there. Even more when Dr. Kozlow was able to turn you back. That, that was a miracle"

Short silence, as soundless as the light snow falling around them, then, "Ah." Steam curls out with the word, more an exhalation than the syllable given a true voice. Francois' other hand, palm cool even through her woolen gloves, settles over the back of her's, fingernails glistening caps of bone against fingers that are rosy at the joints from the chill. "I didn't understand what had happened to me, before Teo had a chance to tell me. I thought perhaps— just like that— it was over. And death is only that, black eternity. I didn't even fear it this much when I was dying under the tree."

"I can't imagine" She's not going to try to comprehend. "Teo told me some things, after he'd traversed back into my head from visiting you. Something that I sorta figured out already. But I guess you'd figured it out too" Little by little she's sipped at the tea which seems to meet with her quiet approval.

"I'm not dating Flint. We sorta have this unspoken deal. I don't ask him out on a date and he won't… well, no okay, it's more one sided and he'd be upset with me for even saying it out loud to someone, much less you. Since he has to deal with you in his head, or well the memory of you, bossing him around. But… we sleep with each other now and then. I love him, we are terrible, horrible for each other and yet we're always saving each others hides and I'm a little lost right now with what to do with him since that day when he healed you"

There's another squeeze of his knee. "I don't want to do anything here that I will regret. I was dating someone when I laid with Flint and I was ashamed that I did that to someone. The guy I was dating. I don't want to feel that again. I need to talk with Flint before I do anything Francois. I'd like, right now, to just be friends. Good friends. We've both been down a road that no one else has been down and you're starting down a path that I've been going down for half a year now. I like you. I like you a lot."

He doesn't move away from their shared huddled, even as her words continue on. Toes are given up on, no longer beginning to feel them, which basically makes this setting appropriate. Francois had found himself out here in the snow as well, when he, like Abby, needed the deep-freeze of paused sensation. It doesn't entirely frost over the twinge that all friendzone'd types know, petty along with but I should have done that first.

Also, Francois is the older one of the two. But then, he'd told Teo it would be her choice. His head ducks down enough to lean against her temple for a moment, almost doggish companionship before steering away. "And I like you. I don't want to be something you regret."

It would be simpler to end it there, but Francois hesitates, and then presses; "You changed your mind." It's something of an accusation, something of a question.

"Changed my mind about what?" Sometimes, for all that she has a good memory for face, names, drink orders and food orders or even all things EMT related once she puts her mind to it, other things slip from her mind like flour through a sieve. She shifts on blanket, enough to wind an arm bhind him in mirror to how his is snaked around her back, share what little body heat that could pass between the two of them. If this was an igloo, this would not be an issue, the cold.

That doesn't quite get a wince. People don't smile when they do. Still, it could almost be, if Francois shifting an uncomfortable look away is to be of any indication. Still, he doesn't withdraw. "Together, almost exactly here, you almost kissed me. That is how you changed your mind - about me, mademoiselle."

That. That's what he means. "Snowballs tend to make one forget that sort of thing in the moment" What did change it? Has it changed. "Abigail. She imitates Joseph. "Just one word can make you feel like you're doing something wrong. Well, not like. That you are." A pinker tongue sweeps out to wet paler lips that within an hour will turn blue if they don't go inside.

She pulls her head out from under his, looking up at the Frenchman from her past and now her present. "Why do men ask this question or try to do this after i've been freshly crying or fresh from healing hell?" It's a question meant as filler really as tea cup finds it's way to the snowy floor beneath them and the blanket and her face drifts closer - it can get closer - to his.

A hand lifts, to cradle cheek and jaw when her face drifts closer. It's intimate, but no less so than an embrace, or an astral projectionist in your mind. When he does kiss her, it's high on her cheek, and then again, at her forehead. Much like they had done before the outdoors of the Spektor home has turned to ice spray and snowy tumbles.

"I would prefer to be your friend, than something wrong, or a regret," he says, once he draws away. That hand rests against her chin, then seeks out her palm. "I should see you inside. You need not be upset and sick at the same time."

The astral projectionist better be far away from here less something be projected into his ass at some later point in the day or week. She's not allowed to be disappointed, not when he was. She's allowed to be proud of him like she was with Flint that night in Xiulan's apartment. Resisting temptation when it's offered. Doing what's right when everything screams to do it. So instead of moving her face to make the kisses land where on some level she wants them to land, she lets him dictate where they land, places that make a pulse race and the dictation that there will be more, if she wants it.

"Because you can't fight the vanguard while fighting a stuffy nose and cough." It's quietly spoken, eyes closed through the kisses and afterwards, mind going a thousand revolutions a minute. "You called me your angel when we came back for you" She closes her hand around his, interlacing fingers. Deckard's there again in the back of her mind with teeth bared.

"Ah… oui, I did say that, didn't I?" Francois smile is unselfconscious, as it usually is, thumb skimming over her's when they link hands again. "And you will still be that, Abigail. I won't ever forget the little girl who tried to rescue me, and the woman grown who did, in the end. For as many years left assigned to me."

"I don't remember it actually. What happened that day. I was too young" She looks down at his hand in hers, a sift sigh. "16 years almost, makes for prettttty spotty memory. Tell me about it. Since I obviously don't have a Mr. Nakamura in my back pocket to help me watch. Would you tell me about it? I want to know how you got it too. I never saw that in the journal I have or well, the copy of the journal"

He'd made a similar bid for storytelling here, too. Tell me again, how Kazimir Volken was killed. Tell me another story, out here, where words catch on fogged breath. Francois shivers beneath his jacket, if only out of memory for how warm it had been, that day. "You were very small, and wandered away when your mother wasn't looking. It is fate and only that, that brouht you to me - you found me in much the same way as when you found me at twenty.

"You asked if I were dying, and that you would run away, seek help when you realised it was true. Instead, I asked you to sit by me, and you did. I took your hand and…" Francois' head tilts a little as he thinks. "It went easily. I could feel it pass from me to you, at first like a relief, until everything started to hurt a little more. You offered to sing to me, but I did to you.

"And then I told you to run. I was worried Dreyfus would hurt you, if he found us both."

It doesn't ring in her mind, none of it. She had hoped by hearing it, that she'd remember it have some paradoxical connection to the man beside her other than the one where she travels via time manipulator to save him so that he can help save the world. She believes him, of that there is very little doubt and it can be seen in her eyes. "What did you sing?"

"Just a song sung to children when they're going to sleep," Francois says, with a dismissive shake of his head. "I do not even recall where I learned it. I don't know if it was ever sung to me - my grandfather was not that kind of caretaker, and I recall nothing of my parents." His eyes go a little crescent when he smiles at her and adds, "My childhood is even further away than yours, and spottier also. I do remember gaining the gift. Or I imagine I do. It is one of my earlier memories, of a man - a soldier of Belgium, who stayed in the guest room in our home. I don't know if he ever told me why, or what it was - only that he asked for my mercy afterwards. I was too young to give it, regardless."

"He must have known" What Francois would endure, go through. The longevity that comes with the gift and the ill fated meetings that lay down the road. "Come on, we should go inside. Teo will go out, amble around, we will trade stories, about it and what we did with it. There are many more good tales than there area ones about what bad things we went through at it's mercy. That and I think your nose is going to fall off Francois and I could never forgive myself for it, if it did"

She doesn't unwind her hand from his, holding on instead as free hand snags up the near empty tea mug and the corner of the blanket in anticipation of him getting up as well to head in.

"There are." Good tales, that is. Both toes and nose in danger of losing all function and placement, in fact, Francois doesn't decline - he gets to his feet, boots crunching numbly in snow, allowing her to handle the blanket while he only curls his arms around her shoulders once she's done. Unable to let the warmth they've accumulated by huddling side by side escape that easy, he remains so as they make their trek back towards the house.

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