Everything Is Alright


ff_nova_icon.gif robyn7_icon.gif

Scene Title Everything is Alright
Synopsis I'm getting better at fighting the future.
Date June 16, 2021

Yeah, Buoy!

The Pelago

It's been a rare sight to see Robyn Roux at the Yeah, Buoy! in the days since the traveller's arrival in the Pelago. She had been quick to secure work within the Lowe's building, complete with a place to privately rest her head at night. As a result, she hasn't been too commonly present outside of the times the whole of the travellers had attended.

Yet, here she is now, walking across the bow of the ship with a bit of a scowl on her face. "Nova?" she calls out - she maybe she have announced her attention to board, from what she understands of etiquette, but this was technically the ship she was crewed on and it hadn't much occurred to her.

"Are you here?" she calls out again, making her way towards the cabin. "I'd love to talk, if you are."

The dulcet tones of George Michael’s “Careless Whisper” can be heard from the cabin below as Robyn makes her that way, but the saxophone stops mid wailing note, and then footfalls can be heard on the few steps that lead from belowdecks to the deck.

Nova’s head pops into view next, and she finds the owner of the voice calling to her quickly. If she was too worried about not being “ahoyed” before Robyn boarded, she doesn’t show it. “I’m here,” she calls. She’s not wearing the bright yellow jacket, having come up from the cabin, but a blue sweatshirt, the hood of which she pulls up while she stands in the everpresent rain.

“Come on below. You can tell me if I got my trade’s worth with this CD stash I found, ja?” she says. “I was hoping to find some classical, but they only had oldies, I think oldies is misleading. Bach is older than this man and his saxophone.”

"That man is George Michael," Robyn notes with a faux seriousness, "and you should show him due respect." Despite that, she smiles wide. "Sure, I'd love to go through what you got." A beat, and she lets out a rueful chuckle. "I used t'be a musician myself, y'know." Yes, she knows Nova probably knows at this point.

Eager to get out of the rain, she quickly makes her way down to the cabin, shaking water off her hands once she's under roof. "Sorry I haven't been around much. I guess I've taken to this place much easier than I thought I would. Been stayin' in a place at Lowe's the last few nights, even." It's been less than a week, but already things feel oddly familiar to her. "You busy with anything besides music?"

On the table in the seating area, sits a stack of ten CDs next to the child’s CD player with the paused “Careless Whisper” disc inside.

“Your father is very interested in music as well. The theory and mathematics of it, so I suppose that might be genetic,” Nova says, as she heads into the galley to pour two cups of tea. “I play as well – if it has strings, I’ll make noise out of it, basically.”

She pours the tea from kettle into mugs, then puts a dollop of honey in each, before returning to the couches. “You do not have to apologize. I’m just your… what did Chess say when I said taxi… Uber? Apparently no one actually gets taxis anymore, except in the movies or people who do not know how to use phones?”

A small, wavering smile forms on Robyn's face as she lays her eyes on the CDs, clearly a little amused about something. "Oh really? You should come play with me one night over at Lowe's, then." Squinting, she begins to look them over one by one as she talks. "Does he still love jazz here?" is an honest question as Robyn flips over the jewel case for Make It Big/ "This is a good one, lots of great songs."

The observation masks lingering disantness borne of distraction, but as she sets it down, she looks up and directly at Nova. "Non," she remarks in a more pronounced French accent than she started the conversation with, "and anyone who thinks that reductively of you is wrong." The sentiment is tempered with with a shake of her head as she looks for a place to sit down. "Ubers are taxis, to be honest, just under a different name. Same job, same idea. It's the cheapest way to get around where we come from."

There's a lingering moment of silence, before Robyn lets out a weary sigh and settles down into a seat, leaning forward with her eyes cast downwards and her arms resting across her legs. "My father's the reason why I came by today," she admits after a moment, before shaking her head and adding, "and you, of course. I just… I never knew my father where I come from. I'd love to know more about him." She looks back up, offering a weak smile. "And, as someone he's taken under his wing, you. I feel like in a year I've gone from no family beyond me and my son to being rich with it."

“Maybe,” Nova seems suddenly shy.. “I’ve never played in front of a real audience, only people I already know well. And mostly classical, but I also play other things. Old songs from the CDs on the guitar. I started on the cello, but anything with strings will sing if you know how to make it do so.”

Her eyes shine at the talk of music, and she nods regarding Drucker’s love for jazz. “For him it is a love of the language of it, the mathematics and the theory of it all. Anything complex and layered, with counterpoints and harmonies, he appreciates,” she says with clear fondness for the old man.

Nova’s expression turns to something softer yet, touched by Robyn’s words about being rich with family, before her smile beams again. “I am happy to hear you say that. I think when they learn that your counterpart is alive, and you are here, they will both be overwhelmed with that same feeling. It was only after they mourned her that they became a family again,” she says softly.

Unable to keep from laughing at Nova's sudden shyness, Robyn leans back and shakes her head. "At least play with me in private at some point. I was lucky enough to be able to trade for a guitar, and it actually sounds like it's built to tune properly." If she'd known music would be a pervasive theme, she would've brought it with her.

The idea of mourning brings a downcast look to her face, eyes again angling down at the floor. "I've been mourning my mother for almost ten years," she offers in a soft voice, "and I only just a few months back found out Drucker was my father." Wrapping her arms around her torso, she draws her feet up into her chair. It doesn't look comfortable. "An' my dad, the one who raised me wants nothin' t'do with me ever since th' whole helped overturn the American government thing."

She gives a small shrug as she glances back up at Nova. "So it's been kind of a shock to find out that not only are Charlotte and Drucker alive here, but so am I. And then there's you," she adds with a flourish of one hand, "which was a nice little surprise. You may not think it, but from the way you describe it, it sounds like family to me."

Nova makes a small moue of sympathy, her brows drawing together, and she reaches out to touch Robyn’s shoulder lightly.

“I know how hard that is. Not the… not the father not wanting to be in your life. Mine were amazing and warm and brilliant. I miss them terribly. But if I could have chosen a surrogate father out of anyone I know, I could not have done better than Richard Drucker. He looked after me when my parents were away, and when they never returned, I do not think it was even a question to him that he would continue to look after me. I was too young to not take that for granted at the time, but now…”

Her blue eyes grow glossy with tears and she smiles. “But now I am very grateful, and ja, they are my family. And so now, are you.”

"Conner's kind of an asshole anyway." Conner, notably, instead of dad. It's not a dismissive remark, but rather one tinged with a certain sadness. "He's always been a workaholic, more worried about his station in life than most other things, always trying to impress his bosses." A small snort escapes here as she smiles ruefully. "If he'd had his way, I would've been named after his favourite boss, rather than Robyn."

But catching sight of Nova's growing tears, Robyn pushes herself up from her seat and over to Nova, before bending over to envelop her in a hug. It's one that clearly both of them need, as it keeps Robyn from ending up on the verge of tears herself.

"But if you want to know the truth," she whispers, tightening her arms around the other woman, "I'm scared. I don't doubt they'll be thrilled to see the lot of us, but… I'm going to have to leave, at some point. And that scares me."

The hug surprises Nova, and it takes a moment for her own arms to come up and around Robyn. It’s a warm thing, despite its tardiness, and she smiles at the whisper – they’re the only ones on the boat, but sometimes it’s easier to whisper a fear.

“I know,” she replies. “It was hard to leave them – I plan to make it back to them, so it’s not quite the same as leaving forever, but it isn’t a sure thing.” She leans back, giving a wobbly smile to the other woman. “But they will understand – more than most, ja? And help you get what you need to succeed in your mission.”

Her fingertips emerge from the sweater cuffs they’ve tucked themselves into, to swipe beneath her eyes and clear the moisture there. “Got to get myself together or they will call me Captain Crybaby around here,” she says with a smirk.

"Ah, sorry." The apology comes as Robyn unravels her arms from around Nova. "I don't mean to burden you with my fears and concerns." Her voice is still low, wiping a misting tear from the corner of one eye. "I just… have a lot of them, and I seem to feel unduly comfortable with you." Heaving out a sigh, she steps back and away from Nova, turning to look back out towards the deck, fingers curling around her chin.

"Maybe I want for family that much. Too much?" Closing her eyes, her shoulders sink. "It's all I've wanted for some time now, to have them back. Mom, Drucker, Conner. Even people I loved like Else Kjelstrom." Her hand falls back to the side, though not before rubbing again at her eyes. "I don't know how much you know from your counterpart in Arthur Petrelli's former world - and lord I hope it's as little as possible when it comes to me - but I almost didn't come on this excursion. Flat out refused at first, in fact."

The younger woman shakes her head, lifting a hand to wave off the apologies. “You do not have to apologize,” she says quietly. “And I don’t think there is such a thing as wanting too much for family, not when you’ve had yours taken from you. I understand that feeling very well, as do some of my counterparts.”

She settles back in her seat, and shakes her head. “She hasn’t told me everything. I have sat in on some of the meetings, but only for a little bit of time. I cannot be so long away from this world. It’s dangerous.” She lifts her shoulders. “I do not blame you for refusing. You have a life there. And a son?”

Nova’s dark brows knit together as she considers the ramifications of that, how hard it would be to leave them behind on a mission that may not have a return trip. “It is very brave of you to come,” she says softly.

Robyn can't help but chuckle at that. "Brave isn't the word I'd use. Not since I used my son as a smokescreen to hide my own fears about coming." She heaves out a sigh, moving to sit back down. "Obviously that I should go back to him isn't a question, but I don't exactly have a great track record of being a good person or friend, or of making the smart decisions under pressure."

She holds her hands in front of her, turning them over to look at her palms. "If it weren't for my son, I'm fairly certain I'd still be dead." Yes, still. "That's a story for another time, though. I didn't really come here to talk about- all that. I wanted to know about you, and- about Drucker. Honestly, about Charlotte too. The woman who raised me didn't remember being the brilliant woman who fell for him. If there's anything you can share, I'd greatly appreciate it."

Nova’s wide eyes widen more at the word still but she doesn’t press. Her expression softens a little as she thinks about what to share about Charlotte. “She’s lovely, generous, and kind,” is her short answer, but after a sip of her tea, continues.

“When she returned to Alaska, she thought you – well, the other you – were gone. And here I was, this child her ex-husband has tagging around as some ward. I don’t know if that was easy, but she was never unkind to me. Not once. And then she was once again a part of Drucker’s family, and mine, and I am very grateful to know her,” she says.

Her smile tips to one side, and her brows draw together. “She is very sad. She has not said so, but I am sure she blames herself for what she thinks happened to the other Robyn. I hear her crying sometimes, when she thinks no one can, and I try to be there for her but also let her have her privacy, too. It is a wound that has not even begun to heal, even after all of this time. I know I still grieve my parents, but the pain is not quite the same pain today as it was so long ago. It is still there, yes, but it is different – less sharp, maybe? Where you do not feel it everytime you breathe but only sometimes, when you least expect it.”

Nova lifts her brows, as if to ask if her words make sense, then adds, “But, for Charlotte, it is the same as it was so long ago. She tries to hide it, but I see it.”

As Nova relates her tale of Charlotte and her woes, tears begin to well up in Robyn's eyes once more. A hand covers her mouth as a small sound escapes, before she wipes the back of her palm at her eyes and cheeks.

"God, it's like we're singing the same song, separated by the universe itself," she chokes out. Despite the emotion she clearly feels, she smiles. "All the more reason for me to find this world's me and deliver her unto my - our mom." Sucking in a deep breath, her smile waves as she shudders out a breath. "I had been worried with what I know of her condition, that… I don't know. I was worried how Charlotte might react. But this gives me faith that nothing will be amiss."

A small, rueful laugh follows. "Now… now I just gotta find her. She's elusive, and it sounds like that's by design." A small shrug, as if to say what can you do.

The ship’s young captain reaches for one of Robyn’s hands to squeeze it tightly. “We’ll find her,” she says, firmly, then shakes her head.

“We call one of my other me’s Fantôme, so trust me when I know how sneaky doppelgangers can be. Luckily she cannot escape me if I want to find her in here,” she says, tapping her temple with a smirk. “A kat inbreker – cat burglar, can you believe it? In Paris. I am glad I do not have to find her in the real world.”

Her gaze turns to the window and the cityscape of building tops surrounding them. “There is not so many places to hide here, I think. You will find her.”

"Fantôme," Robyn repeats with a narrowing of her eyes. Ghost. "An apt description if I ever heard one. Her friends don't even know where she lives. Her dedication to her privacy clearly puts me to shame, and that's something else." She says this with a smile, but deep down it hurts.

"Cat burglar I can believe, trust me." Her shoulders sink, a certain sort of nervousness taking hold of her voice. "The stories I could tell you about my other selves would make your hair stand on end. I'm forever glad we're not here and not some of those other worlds."

A gruff laugh, and she looks down at her own hands. "I don't particularly consider myself a good person, but at least I'm not them. That helps me sleep a bit better at night, sometimes."

Nova chuckles, then nods solemnly at the talk of the other selves in other places.

Fantôme has probably the worst of it, so I try not to judge her. After all, she is literally me, if I were to live through what she has had to, ja? So when she makes me roll my eyes, I have to forgive, or at least not judge her, because the evidence is there I would do the same thing in her shoes.”

Nova sighs. “It can be annoying to be so enlightened,” she adds with a smirk. “But as for whether you are or are not a good person, you are here, risking everything to try to save people who will never know what you did for them. I think that says you are good.” Her smirk shifts into a sweeter smile. “To me, it means you are good.”
"The worst of me…" A shiver runs down Robyn's spine as she stares down at the floor. "I don't know her like you know your other selves, but I know enough of her to know she's awful. I think she's dead now, though. I think they're all dead, but I thought that of the me here too so who knows." A beat, and she looks up and raises an eye brow. "Serial killer, that one."

She lets that hang for a moment, ruminating on a response to the idea of her being good. Instead, she lets out an exasperated sigh - aimed entirely at herself. "We should talk about something happier, I think. We were doing so well, too!" At least that gets a chuckle out of her. "What're you doing to pass the days here, until we leave for Alaska?"

Nova’s blue eyes widen a little, and she shakes her head. “My ghost is not that bad, at least. That is hard to know about your not-quite self, though. I am sorry,” she says softly, then laughs a little at the call for a return to more cheerful talk.

“Oh, I do some fishing to try to earn our keep, and sometimes talk to my others, when I know it is safe to be a little outside of myself for a time. I would like to come hear you play, though. I’m not surprised at all to find you to be musically inclined,” she adds, then glances to the hall that leads to the sleeping quarters, and back.

“I have a guitar here you can play if you like when you’re here – it is just acoustic, of course, and I keep it in the cabin to make sure the damp doesn’t get in. I cannot bring my cello on such a trip, but the guitar is a good friend as well. It was my father’s, but your father taught me to play it, so I like to think they are both with me in a way when I play it,” she murmurs with a shyer smile.

The desire to change the subject is clear, sparing Robyn the need to elaborate further, or talk about other awful iterations of herself. It's no small relief, really. "You get used to it, after a while. It's… almost comforting to know what you're capable of. It helps you strive that much more to never reach that point."

Even if she's wanted to embrace that side of herself on more than one occasion.

"I managed to barter for one. Before this I hadn't played live music in ten years, so… it's good to have something to practice with." Holding up a finger, she points at Nova and then at that guitar. "But two means we can play together privately. I can't think of much that would thrill me more, to be honest." Her smile grows. "Particularly if Drucker taught you to play. It's nice to know that an appreciation of music really does run in the family."

That feels appropriate. Maybe for a bit, just for a bit, everything is alright.

“Fingerpicking Thelonious Monk on the guitar after playing Saint-Saens on the cello is a challenge, but a good one,” Nova says with a laugh. “Probably not one many people have endeavored, now that I think about it. I may be the only one to have that honor. But for now, I have a pressing question.

The captain reaches for one of the discs on the coffee table and shows it to Robyn – the iconic blocky letters of Nickelback stand out on the jewelcase.

“Do you know this band, and did anybody ever tell them that every single song sounds exactly alike?”

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License