Experiencing Living Dead People Again


abby_icon.gif elisabeth_icon.gif

with Kasha and Aurora

Scene Title Experiencing Living Dead People Again
Synopsis It's Deja Vu — Living Dead People
Date February 27, 2019

Red Hook Market

Elisabeth has no idea how Eleanor, the lady who runs the most popular coffee stand in the entire market, gets real coffee and real chocolate… and she doesn't honestly care to know. It's enough that the woman makes a phenomenal mocha latte and can do a hot chocolate for Aurora that even has sprinkles.

Taking their drinks, the two make their way to a small used bookstore that allows people to sit out of the cold after purchasing a book — something Liz is more than happy to do for the little girl with her; Aura's amassing quite the library. Today's find: _Runaway Bunny_. Settling in with her coffee, Liz uses the opportunity to people-watch.

People watching provides much information. You can glean so much about the ones who walk by, unaware that they’re being watched. From the parents who seem to have little regard for their kids and run amok, the old couple shopping for this and that. The blonde with the aquiline nose and hair back in a french braid who is walking beside a much younger blonde likely no older than nine or ten. Hands in pockets of their warm jackets, winter boots, they’re stopping to look at something in a stall. Which wouldn’t be noteable except that the older of the two is familiar. The spitting image of a certain southern flaming baptist. Even the laugh which can be heard as the somewhat solemn looking pre-teen says something. Out comes the wallet and they pay for whatever is at the stall before turning away and heading toward the coffee shop. Having the same idea as Elisabeth.

It's been years. Nearly a decade. And yet, the faces haven't changed too much. Elisabeth still looks like herself, just perhaps thinner and with a harder edge to her features, as if they've been hard years. She's still most comfortable in jeans and a heavy black sweater. She has no idea Abby's anywhere in New York, and as she takes a sip of her coffee and catches sight of the other woman, she goes very still. No… no, that can't— but it is. Elisabeth closes her eyes for a long second, sucking in a slow breath. And then she murmurs to Aurora, "Don't move."

The little girl looks up, startled, as her mother stands. Liz doesn't go more than a few steps, though — she's not leaving Aurora to fend for herself in a marketplace. Instead, she simply steps to a place where she can watch Abigail and catch her eyes when the other woman looks up. A small smile from there, and the subtle manipulation of sound waves allows Abby to hear her. "Don't freak out, Abby…"

Like deer in headlights. Abigail is about to look away, brain not registering that it’s Elisabeth. Not in the least. But then there’s the voice which she shouldn’t be able to really hear at this distance. Steps end, not moving forward and she just stares at Elisabeth. So long that Kasha’s starting to notice and tugs on Abigails arm. “Hey, oh, no no, it’s good Kash. All good. I just… I’m seeing a ghost.” And her hand slips around the arm of the younger girl and makes for Elisabeth, though there is no small amount of wariness. When they’re close though, within normal conversational distance, Abigail comes to a standstill. “Elisabeth?”

She doesn't push the other blonde, waiting there until Abby's in front of her. Her blue eyes take in the face of her friend, and there's a sudden motion to cover her mouth with the back of her knuckles because as she opens it there's those damn tears again and she doesn't want to just burst into sobs or something mortifying. "I, uhm… surprise?" she chokes out quietly, forcing another hesitant smile. She's clearly not sure about reaching out, though whether it's because she's uncertain of Abby's reaction or just that she's less of a contact-person than she used to be isn't clear.

The hazel-eyed pixie behind her leans sideways on her chair and stares at Abby. "She's silver, Mummy." There's awe in the little voice.

“God almighty.” Kasha - Much like her counterpart tends to be - is quiet and watching when Abigail releases her daughters hand and all but launches herself at the other woman. “Praise the Lord, and Lazarus. Oh but I love it when people come back from the dead. Especially the ones I love.” And there’s tears welling there as she firmly embraces her long lost friend. The comment of silver goes by unnoticed.

Thank God. Elisabeth wraps her arms around Abigail and actually does burst into tears, burying her face in the other woman's shoulder. In all the worlds she's been to, Abby has not been among those Elisabeth could be near. And Abby is the one who got her through the hardest times of her life. "I missed you so damn much," she whispers, laughing and crying at the same time. It's a long hug. When they finally do unentangle, Liz grins tearfully. "You are a sight for sore eyes, lady." A glance to Kasha and her smile widens. "C'mon… join us?" She gestures to the table where the tiny sandy-blonde girl is still staring, her hazel eyes just a little wary but not afraid.

“Didn’t realize how much I missed you till just now.” Abigail replies, smiling as she finally lets Liz go. There’s a looks to Kasha and inquiry as to whether the girl wants to join, explaining to her that it’s a friend. “She knew you when you were just a baby” Abigail points out. But soon enough there’s agreement and Abigail breaks away long enough to go order hot drinks and splurge as well, bute ventually she’s settled, Kasha has a hot chocolate and Abigail is smiling to Aurora. “And who are you, if I may ask? This is Kasha, she’s my daughter.”

When they finally get settled in, Elisabeth is calmer. The tears she has under control, and now there is only the pleasure at seeing someone after so long. She sips her coffee and lets Aurora speak for herself.

"Aura Cranst— No. Aura Harrison?" She looks to her mother for confirmation, as if she's not sure of her last name still. When Elisabeth nods, the little girl looks happy. "You gotsa pretty voice," she tells Abby happily. "It sparkles! Hi Kasha!" She waves in a friendly manner.

Liz can't help the small sound she makes, stifled quickly. "Sorry… I don't know if anyone but Felix has ever sparkled before."

Aurora corrects, "Unca Felix sparks. Unca Kain glows. An' now she sparkles!"

Elisabeth seems a bit nonplussed at the explanation and then just says, "Well… okay then."

“Synesthesia?” Abigail asks, at the mention of the sparkles. “Hello Miss Aura. I am Miss Abigail Caliban and this is Kasha Beauchamp, my daughter.” She smiles to the young woman. “I turn into fire, Kasha will turn into stone when she eventually comes into her ability.” There’s a glance around and then Abigail lifts a finger, a shhh motion made. Kasha knows what’s coming and Abigial, keeping that hand and finger close, lights up her finger, the digit doing the less gory transition from days of yore, and just the forefinger turning into the corona flame and just as quickly, sputters out and regular flash easing back. There’s a wink to Aura. She looks back to Elisabeth. “What does sparkling indicate?”

"No idea," Elisabeth admits cheerfully. "It's just what she sees… synesthesia is weird like that. I never really knew there was a difference between sparking and sparkling either, so…" She shrugs, chuckling.

Aurora just sagenods. "It's diff'rent, Mummy. More." But she leaves it at that and goes 'oooooh!' at Abby's power! "I dunno what mine is — Mummy said I have a brother wif sounds, an' my nana does sounds, and all three of them do it different! So maybe I might do sound, but Daddy has shadows and that's way primal, so if I can choose, maybe I'll wanna do that!" She's six — what's she know about powers except lots of people have them?

Shaking her head, Liz simply gestures. "Well, that's about as good as the explanation gets, I guess," she chuckles.

“Sparking would be intermittent with probably very brief bright flashes, versus sparkling, which I imagine would be smaller and more frequent and lasting for longer periods of time.” Says the woman who has had to learn between the different kinds of pait that present and the nuances therein.

She keeps an eye on Kasha who is not really that social it would seem, prone to quiet and watching. There’s a look to Elisabeth from Abigail though who leans in and quietly. “It’s been… ten years. What in the H E double hockey sticks happened Elisabeth?” There’s a look to the young girl. “Richard's?”

Aurora looks thrilled with Abby's understanding, and she nods enthusiastically. "'Zactly, Miss Abigail," she nods.

Liz look suitably educated. "Okay, I now understand properly, thank you," she replies in amusement. When Aurora offers Kasha her book, the audiokinetic takes the opportunity to settle in and talk with Abby.

"Richard," she agrees quietly. "That last mission was… way more problematic than expected. Ezekiel triggered something and Magnes and I were basically… sent elsewhere. It took us this long to find our way home." She keeps it simple, but Abby knows enough about the people involved and what was happening back then to at least get the general picture. "I uhm…. wow, there's a lot," she admits.

"What about you, though? Where did you wind up in the war?"

“Canada” Abigail says, no shame. “I took off with Kasha, it wasn’t a way to live. I wanted more safety for her. After everything.” Kasha settles in fine with the book, happily even and the two girls are occupied. “Was there till.. Amnesty was offered.” For lack of a better word. “Then was down south with my Dah. Momma passed, he was alone. Was just him and I and Kasha. Went to school for nursing, been working on my masters of science in nursing and…” Abigail shrugs. “I came back up to testify couple years ago then back down but when I was here I just…” She looks around. “It felt right again to be here. Elmhurst offered to cover the rest of my degree and licensing if I promised to work there after for a couple years. So, I came, kasha came a few months after. She goes to school with Richard's kids..” Other kids. She looks Liz over, head to toe. “Magnes okay?”

Elisabeth clearly has no judgement about Abby's choices, leaning on her elbows on the table while the girls seem entertained and nodding slightly. "Based on what I heard, Canada was probably a good choice," she agrees. "I'm real sorry about your mom, Abby." Liz's heart hurts — having met Abby's parents, she'd liked both of them very much. "I'm sure they're both very proud of you," she adds with a smile. Nursing doesn't surprise her. "Aurora is lookin forward to starting school with Ricky and Lili, so that'll be nice." That the kids are all together.

Toying with her coffee cup a bit, Elisabeth slants a brief glance toward the girls and shrugs slightly. "Uhm…. yes, Magnes is all right. It was …. A lot of travel. He's… got a daughter now. Her mom … well, getting here was a difficult trip and some of our people got a little detoured. We haven't located her yet, but I have hopes. Uhm… in the course of our travels, we sort of…. found a number of old friends, I guess you could say. It was … not the same as Joshua and the other kids' trip from their home, but it was a similar kind of trip." She's carefully not saying exactly what her trip was, but by invoking the names of the Ferry kids, she figures Abby will get the picture. At least enough of it. "Isabelle came home with me. And so did my mother." Her mother who was killed in Midtown. "Dad might have been a little shocked."

“Lord.” Invective and both adulation. Abigail reaches out, hesitant almost but then firmly puts her hand around Elisabeth’s. “So not Lazarus, just… a really long detour home.” All sweet southern drawl still. “If she’s going to school with them, she’ll run across Kasha. Because of where I am, she got in. I was glad for that.” There’s a glance to Aurora and Kasha. “You have a place to stay? I have a brownstone. It’s only half done. It’s taking more money that I thought to renovate it, it was in pretty bad shape, but I got a few extra rooms in it. If you don’t mind that some walls are still getting thier mudding on and eventually painted. Money only goes so far and while I’m pretty well paid, you know how it is. We even have a garden in the back. Kasha and my Dah did it when they came up over the summer. Little heated green house for the stuff that doesn’t need to be super warm in the winter.”

Elisabeth's hold on the proffered hand is tight. "Yeah… really roundabout path." She rolls her eyes theatrically. And she looks as if the offer immediately melts her heart, gratitude flashing across her features. "I can't tell you how much it means to me that you'd offer — I promise that if I need it, you will be my first stop. For now…" she hesitates and admits in a tone that actually holds a kind of wonder, "we're living in Raytech corporate. The apartments are good and it lets Aurora spend time with her father and siblings…"

Then she laughs softly. "And it lets me and Richard figure out… a lot of things." Liz squeezes Abby's hand gently. "He hasn't quite had the amount of time I had to get used to all of this, what with believing us dead. So we're… finding our way back, I hope." She shrugs, ruefully admitting, "I never did move on."

Pulling in a quick breath, though, she adds, "You'd be proud of me. The years in between I finally chased that music career that I ditched in college."

“I think we’ve all pursued careers in the time since.” Abigail smiles. ‘Conrad would be laughing his rear off to see me getting ready to finish the last few months of my degree and be an all but doctor, doctor.” Her eyes linger on the girl, searching Auroras features for traces of Richard. “It’s good then, near family. Can’t ask for more than that. So, will you be the next big things to come out of the boroughs then? A future pop star?”

"Lord….. Conrad would probably laugh his butt off at both of us, honestly," Liz agrees. There's a look of nostalgia for a moment as she thinks of that man. Then she shakes it off and grins. "Uhm… no. I won't pursue that path here. I'm… giving some thought to getting into… training people, actually. I can't handle the thought of teaching kids again, but… I've been a soldier for a lot of years. The last couple have been really hard, especially on Aurora. I think it's time to … slow down a little."

Shrugging, she glances at the little girl now showing Kasha the bunny on a sailboat and smiles softly. "For all that she's only just met him, she occasionally gets an expression on her face that is so Richard that it cracks me the heck up. Usually when she's about to call someone on their BS," she chuckles.

Despite the sound field that has kept their conversation quiet, Aurora seems to have a clue what they're conversing about, and she shoots the two women one of the looks. It's the same kind of hairy eyeball Richard often gives over top of his shades, eyes the same hazel color too. Elisabeth bursts out laughing. "See???"

“Yup, just like her dad.” Abigail smiles. Smiles and just watches the two kids, Kasha with her infinite patience for the younger girl. “You gonna be okay?”

Tilting her head, Elisabeth looks curiously at Abby. And then she smiles faintly. "It'll take a little time… but I will be, yeah." The Southern belle always did see too much. "Aura and I are both seeing someone to help with it." She looks around the marketplace. "It's… not exactly what I dreamed we'd be coming home to." The admission is hard. "Then again, … for a really long time I didn't think we were going to make it home." There were a lot of things lost along the way, a flash of that visible very briefly in the faraway look she gets. But she shakes her head. "It's home. No matter how hard coming home is, it's still home. And it's really good to be here."

“To not be fighting for your life, hiding, running.” Sympathetic, Empathetic. “You still get the odd person who stops and stares at you? I get the odd person who stops and stares. I got the odd person who would come out to the farm and ask for a picture and an autograph. But that’s tapered, thank the Lord above. Might be because my Dah’d be on the front steps with a shotgun asking them what they were doing.”

Elisabeth laughs. "Oh I'm getting full-on double-takes still. What with being presumed dead and all. I had no idea I would be a public face of any kind til they told me the interview went live." Jeeeez! "I always loved your dad. Honestly I'd go hide out at Dad's cabin up north if he and my mom weren't…. trying to sort out the issues that come from her arrival." The tone says that's a really long story and likely not one she can tell here.

“It’s far less these days. Only every now and then does it happen in the ER.” Abigail’s slowly going through her hot drink, the air at the table kept comfortably warm and not cool like it would be if she wasn’t there. She still watches the kids. “Richard came in to the ER. Not as a patient. He was just standing at the desk and he was surprised. He had to do a double take when he realized that no, no, that really was a fist full of southern charm in front of him.”

"I take it you didn't keep in touch with very many people," Liz says quietly. There's no blame or judgement still. Everyone did what they needed to. "I'm so glad for you, Abby. I think you're going to be a phenomenal nurse practitioner. You've always had the heart for it." Shoving a hand through her hair, she watches the girls. "It's surreal to be sitting here with you. To watch our girls talking. I knew I missed you… but I hadn't realized how very much either," she confesses with a soft smile. "It feels right now. People are still missing, but all my own little missing pieces are slowly coming back together… I'm starting to get closer to feeling whole."

“No. I don’t talk to many. Don’t think that many people know that I’m here actually. Not needed as much anymore, given that I don’t.” She wriggles her fingers. “And that I just go woosh.” fingers imitating going up in flames. “Just Richard really. I kept in contact now and then with Francois. A few at Elmhurst know I’m here but otherwise no, I’ve kept to myself generally. Ther’es not much trouble to get into and not many that need someone to stitch them up.”

"Well… I don't need you to stitch me up and I don't need you to — ya know. But I sure as heck hope I see you often." Elisabeth smiles. "Because I need you in my life. You've been missed."

“You were one who almost always seemed to need stitching up.” She points out.

"Brat," Liz retorts good-naturedly.

“Most assuredly, I am. Somewhat. Though a little grown up.” She smiles.”I’m not going anywhere Liz. Richard can find me. Seems he kept tabs on me best he could. I’ve a dead husband, A minor celebrity, and I’ve made promises and signed contracts. A good job and Kasha…” she looks back to the kids. “She’s where she needs to be too.”

"Yeah," Elisabeth agrees, her eyes on their children soft. "I think that's the part that's making it all worth it. Getting her where she's supposed to be." She leans sideways to shoulderbump Abby gently. "I'm sorry to hear about all the bad… but I'm really really glad to see you doing so well. And I'm not going anywhere either. So … We definitely need to have dinner and get together. It'll be amazing to have … a little bit of normal again." She rolls her eyes. "Whatever normal is for all of us."

“Normal.” Abigail smiles. “The last time I said those words was to Peter, sitting in an ambulance I spun into a snowbank, while debating with him whether to take serum or not to try and save Cardinal.” She shakes her head, taking that shoulder bump. “We don’t have normal. Our normal -is- running into buildings on fire. Our life is not complete unless there are burning buildings, the world ending, or four pints of life flowing.” She points out.

"I'll settle for a long-term vacation from 'normal,' then," Liz replies wryly. "A little break from robots and crazy people is welcome."

“So far, I haven’t encountered anything but normal.” Abigail looks at the market flowing with people even in the circumstances of the city and sighs. “I confess, I sorta do miss it. Burning buildings that is.” Then a pause. “Not lit by me. But just the general, reference, as opposed to literal burning buildings. I feel useful here but… Not -as- useful?”

Tilting her head, Elisabeth can't help the faint smile. "Adrenaline on the level we've all lived changes the way the brain processes. So… I get it. I really do." Maybe unfortunately so. She sips her coffee and admits, "For five years we lived real quiet. I liked it in a lot of ways. But the past two years trying to get home have been… let's call it combat-heavy." She shrugs a little. "I don't feel useful right now. But I'm going to get back to work in the not-too-distant future."

There's a long pause and then she looks at her old friend, quietly telling her, "Enjoy the lull… it's not really over." Be careful what you wish for, Abigail.

“What’ happening?” The warning heard beneath the words, between the lines. “What… do I need to worry about?” She tries to keep her expression modulated, so as to not worry the children at the table.

Elisabeth considers how to explain, and she makes a point of glancing at the girls and excluding them from the conversation. If Abby remembers the sensation of background noise just disappearing, she'll know what Liz just did. "Getting home required a lot of travel through unfamiliar places. We know that some folks from … Joshua and Walter's home… were looking for ways to get here and cause trouble. Mayes and her ilk. I don't think they'd figured out how to get here yet, though… and I'm worried that because of the way we traveled,they could have learned what they needed to know. So I don't know exactly what to worry about. I just… have a feeling there's going to be something." She grimaces. "Because we both know Magnes and I are the types who either attract or are attractive to trouble. On the run through the kinds of places we've been the past years? It's almost inevitable that something's gonna have to have gone sideways, don't you think?"

“I don’t know, honestly. I feel like I’ve had too much peace of late and so I’m waiting for the other foot to drop.” It’s been a long time since that aura of silence has fallen but it’s old hat and she doesn’t bat an eye. “Mayes… why is that name familiar…”

"Because Georgia Mayes here was all over the news?" Liz asks drily. "DoEA back in the old days outed as one of the Humanis First honchos. Best I can tell, here she disappeared in the war, never stood trial with everyone else. I hope I'm just being paranoid, but…"

Watching Abby thoughtfully, she smiles just a little. "Let's hope the peace holds a while longer — indeed a vacation."

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