Fight, Flight or Flambé


abby_icon.gif bella_icon.gif

Scene Title Fight, Flight or Flambé
Synopsis This is awkward! - Abby
Date October 25, 2010

Oh So Sweet

The interior of the dessert bar is lit enough to see the drink menus and the tables but dim enough to preserve the intimate atmosphere that is evident in small tables made for two populate the dessert bar that is Oh So Sweet. Here and there, espresso colored wooden tables are pushed together to seat larger groups, straight backed black chairs surrounding them. Single lights on long cords drop down just out of head bumping range, lighting up the darker regions of the bar.

A massive oak bar takes up one side of the main room, a part of the building from ages past when it was just a bar, mirrors lining behind it to give the illusion of more space and reflect what light there is available. Glasses of varying types and sizes hanging down in holders, stacked against the mirror or under the counter and waiting to be used. And old fashioned looking machine rests in it's copper gleaming glory, capable of producing a variety of drinks like coffee, espresso, latte's, the list is endless. Backless stools line the customer side of the bar, red fabric to match the red damask fabric that hangs down the walls to help dampen the sounds of customers when the place is busy.

Across from the bar runs a glass faced refrigerated counter, shoulder height, filled with just about every possible dessert that one could desire and want, lit up and with little placards dictating what they are. The offerings rotate daily, sometimes every few hours and a door to the kitchen behind them gives access to staff to fill the orders and fill the showcase. The back room opens up to the main area, a small raised area for live entertainment to be had when the times are right. A door marked staff only in the far back leads to the kitchens and another to the restroom's and a private area that can be rented out for private parties.

Dead. Dead again. It was nice and busy and then bam, seven hit and it's been quiet. Doesn't fare too bad for the rapsberry tart in front of Abby that is slowly being consumed by the blonde as she waits out the last hour before it's time to close. Two employee's in the back getting the things ready for the morning - Which has been successful truth be told.

But she's alone with a tall glass filled with some vaguely caffeine drenched and working her fork around a bit of flaky pastry. Oh So Sweet has been open a few weeks now and doesn't seem to be going away any time soon despite the city and it's dark and darker times. Knee length khaki skirt, flats, GPS anklet showing, wedding ring on finger and hair loose in waves, a brown long sleeved shirt with the shop's logo across the front, she's the only person in the place.

This worked out perfectly, really. Bella pretty much had to promise herself a reward to make her slog out to Chelsea to pick up some journals she forgot (and a new book now that she's done with The Robber Bride, again). A stop at the dessert shop which she could never bring herself to splurge on (not because she's short on cash, but she has a weird streak of asceticism) fits such a reward scheme precisely. She does what she has to do because she'll let herself do something she wants to do.

The redheaded doctor steps through the front door, noting the barred windows as she comes in. It did seem strange, a dessert bar in Chelsea. But hell, the neighborhood could use improvement. Just as long as there aren't too many cops. Bella finds herself hoping that it might have Italian Mafia backing, just a little. Italians like desserts and coffees, right? Wait, was that ethnically insensitive?

She shakes off the wish and settles for what she knows she can get: something delicious. She looks around for seating instructions, or someone who she can ask them from. There is only one person from whom to do that. And that person…

Is familiar. Bella becomes rather still. Her reaction is just what you'd expect from a layman… the single question: 'Has she seen me?'

There's bells above the door. If she didn't see her, she at least heard her and Abigail's gaze is focused on Bella who's standing in her shop looking very much like perhaps she's got her hand stuck in the cookie jar and hasn't clued in that she needs to let the cookies go to actually get her hand out.

"Well, you found me. Now what are you going to do" Spoken after she finishes her mouthful of cream, strawberries and cake.

Yeah, no, she's been caught. Only Abby says it like Bella was the one out hunting. This, alone, actually makes her feel slightly more at ease. However crazy, it struck Bella's mind that this might be a trap. Or something. Really, fear makes her irrational.

"I was thinking of asking for a seat and a menu, initially," Bella replies, quite promptly, really. Conversation is a space she's very comfortable in. It's when people stop talking that things feel beyond her control. "I imagine it would be bad for business, too, if you poisoned me."

"Nah. Delilah's lost her ability. The evo flu wouldn't you know, she can't secrete the toad juice anymore. But I still make her wear gloves. Or well, no, the health department makes her wear gloves, I make her wear long sleeves" Abigail confides. " Well, if you can get past your initial urge to run away from here, fight or flight and all, Menu's are on the table. If you're not too afraid of me, you can come share my table. It's pretty dead right now, you're the only potential customer. I promise I won't bite" genuine smile, gesture with her fork to the opposite seat which is empty.

There is a moment's careful appraisal, and one that Bella does not hide. She can, at least for the moment, be honest with Abby. Not expend energy hiding her state of mind, and what she's actually doing. Bella dips her head. "Thank you. I believe I shall," she says, and moves over to join Abby. She removes the floppy black beret from her head and tugs off her peacoat, shouldering it onto the back of the chair. Underneath she wears a silk blouse with a stylized vine pattern on it, though the dark blue of the fabric is like no vine anyone's ever seen.

Hands fold, fingers lacing in the air before Bella as her elbows come to rest on the table's edge. "How about, instead of fight or flight, we go with flambe?" She would, note, never suggest this as the third option if she had ANY IDEA what Abby's ability now is. She's just making a dessert-work-joke. And not even a very good one. "I'd like whatever you think is best here. Your star attraction dish. This seems like the sort of place that has one."

The mere suggestion makes the blonde think that Bella does know about her ability and her fork hits the plate a bite more forcefully than she might have actually let it drop. "Right. Listen, that's not funny. Har, har, I turn into fire. Was it you who sent the stripper here saturday? Because if it was, let tell you that sending a cop into my shop and asking for me by name, is not nice in the least and I seriously thought that I had broken some tenet of my bail. You pull that trickery again, for whatever reason it was that you thought it would be funny, I will get back that cane and I will go to town on your knee with it, are we clear?"

Poor Bella.

Let's be fair - Bella has committed some crimes in her time. But this fact, when perceived by the mind of a - until past years - life-long over achiever and goody-goody, only makes her more shocked by false accusations. No matter how silly or innocuous. She's got a heavy enough load of blame, she figures.

"I… actually have no idea what you're talking about," Bella states, in near total social shock, pale eyes blank, "I'm… I'm not even sure what it is you just accused me of. You are on bail? I… I'm sorry, but I swear, I didn't even know you worked here. I would have stayed away, if I had known. I wouldn't want to be impolite," is really how she thinks of it. Only, wait… did she?

"I'm sorry, did you say you turn into fire?"


"This is awkward"

The look on her face matches Bella's with a bit of heat to her face. "Let me get this clear, you didn't know I was here, and you didn't send the cop stripper into the store on saturday?"

"Abigail, if even I feel the urge to work revenge upon you which, trust me, is not something I imagine ever having any need for," Bella says, "it will be somewhat more serious and respectful than a stripper prank." She's sitting up straight in her chair, figuring it's better to be a little more formal for a bit, at least until the worst of this passes. Also to be ready to leave if she's asked to. She'd definitely take flight over fight, not to mention flambe. How metaphorical is that heat to Abby's face?

"Jesus," she says, and the thought of a member of the 'vice squad' being sent here breaks a little of her internal ice, "so you had a genuine hot cop in here?" She actually has to suppress a smile. "I'm sorry. Did you ever watch Arrested Development?" Bella watches, prays for some recognition from Abigail. TV Shows are a weak point of bonding in a social situation as tense as this.

"Is that like.. law and order?" That's a no Bella and another no. "Not a cop. It was a stripper and because I have mirrors in here, you couldn't look anywhere without seeing it. I almost ignited" The heat isn't that real, just the rush of blood as capillaries open up and bring the flush of embarrassment to the face. She's not about to start smoking anytime soon. Not without good reason.

"I won't take the cane to your knee then. I don't even have it anymore. So, you wanted the special?" Derail it back to topics that are more socially acceptable than… 'And yes, I said turn into fire. Like, my skin just implodes and I'm a woman, made of fire. I've heard it's pretty horror movie worthy. Pear hazlenut chocolate torte good for you? You want anything to drink with that?

"No, no it's a comedy show. There are strippers who dress as cops, but they always wear short shorts so…" Bella shakes her head, "never mind. It's hysterical, but it sounds stupid when you just say it. Anyways," she eases up a little, leaning on the table with her elbows lightly, "I think people can deal with a little anatomy. It's not like it isn't there. Then again…" she makes a face, "it can gross me out, too, sometimes. Just…" she gives her head a small shake.

"You make it sound as if your implosion is linked to your emotional state. Not uncommon for SLC-expressives. I wonder if you're anything like other kinds of radiators…" Bella muses, "I'm sorry, I'm actually just interested, generally. But I won't pry, I'm sure it's a rather private matter, one's particular gift. I would love the tort, yes, please. And I'd like a mocha latte as well, if the coffee bar is still active."

"It is. I get angry enough and about five seconds after I hit critical mass, my clothes smoke, and I'm done. Best get a fire extinguisher and hose me down then get me a blanket. I got fired from my job over it. No one wants an EMT who might implode no matter how good she is keeping her… cool. You're the first person who wasn't a friend who actually leaned closer instead of away at finding out."

Abby tucks her chair in, leaving her own food so she can head to the bar, swivel a touch screen computer and put in the order that will print off in the back. Quickly followed by an approach to the copper behemoth that will make that latte. Abby's fingers dance across shelving, searching for a cup, something to serve it in for Bella. They land on a gold and burgundy teacup, a damask design on the outside, solid black inside, matching saucer and sets about to creating her drink.

Two minutes at most, a lack of conversation and satellite radio playing softly in the background some easy listening when it's not obscured by the Abigail's actions.

When she returns, the cup is slide in front of Bella, napkin folded neatly thats cloth and not the paper napkins out during the early morning hours. "On the house. For blowing up at you"

"I trust you have considerable self control," Bella says, shrugging just a little, "I don't know you, but that is my intuition. I trust that the part of me that is giving me that intuition is doing so in an educated way, though I can't be sure."

The process of producing her drink, search for a cup included, is watched with a slightly absent interest. As someone raised on Mr. Rogers, she finds something soothing about watching how something is made. All those videos on the Picture Picture of factories and their interior workings.

"Thank you, very much," Bella replies, with what is genuine gratitude - she finds it intensely gratifying, in fact, to find someone who knows as much about her as Abby does ('as much' meaning 'just enough') treating her with politeness. "How long had you been thinking about this business when you lost your job?" she makes a small scowl, "I understand their reasons, but I worry about Evolved discrimination."

"After the bar burned down and I wasn't just going to take the insurance money and run. Though the rate at which we actually get people, it's looking like it might have been the more smart thing to do. It was going to be a bar but the curfew made that sort of moot, so… I went with this. I got fired little before it opened. I won't have a leg to stand on if I decided to sue them for discrimination Doctor Sheridan." She gesture to the piece of technology wrapped so snug around her ankle that there's no way to even put pantyhose on.

"Felony, violating tier 2 registration, they'll say they fired me because I broke the law, not because I can turn into fire." So she's not going to fight it, not until everything is done. "Now I just throw everything into this place, instead of riding around and saving people. Hows the institute?"

"I do as little as possible," Bella states, before bringing her drink to her lips and sipping, just a little. It's still hot! She gives a nod of approval as she swallows. "Delicious. Thank you, again." Her hands lace over her cup, now, a high hung nave over a steaming cistern. "Mostly I offer therapy to the various fucked-in-the-head people there. That I'll do, happily enough. But I try and keep my head down whenever anything big starts brewing. I have no interest in that any more. I dislike the things they think of as 'research opportunities'."

"So you're still in that business then. I'd ask if you're taking non-institute patients, but my shrinks have a bad tendency to either go missing or killed by someone. It's getting a bit worrisome really" She had shown up to Allison's work and told that she had passed. Not a clue why, no further information given. "You probably wouldn't want me." Abigail leans forward a fraction over her plain drip coffee. "I'm not that crazy in the first place. But it's good, that you're keeping busy. You'll give me a heads up if they decide that the magically re-manifesting evo is not too public that they want to take a swipe at her will you? Just a heads up so I can run. I'm not fond of Mister Harper and his bluetooth"

"I decided to rediscover the joy of actually doing some modicum of good in the world," Bella states, wryly, "but no, I don't think you should be my client. For the most banal of ethical reasons, really. But I appreciate that you're looking out for me in that regard," she smiles a little, "I've avoided being killed so far. I'd like to keep my streak." The mention of Harper has never once failed to gain a negative reaction from Bella. "You don't even know how much of my hero you'd be if you incinerated that piece of shit."

"I haven't seem him since he tried to take Doctor Stevens. I think it will be too soon if I see him again" She didn't get good impressions the first time. She also wasn't in the best of physical states then either having been hit by her own car via a firetruck. "I don't incinerate people" Okay, maybe mercenaries hired by Russian but that is completely justified! Absoloutly justified.

"I saw Flint the other day. I don't think your therapy with him is helping. He's still walking around drunk. He didn't look any better Doctor Sheridan. don't know how he manages to work in homeland, but…"

"No, my therapy is not helping," Bella agrees, "I dissolved my professional relationship with Flint in July. I obviously can't get into the 'why', but it was a matter of necessity, however unfortunate." She shakes her head. "I haven't seen him since. I am glad to hear he is alive… though I'm sorry to hear of the state in which he is living."

"He found out I got married, when he tried to help me learn to play pool and started putting the moves on me and I told him not to" There's some trepidation and guilt at that revelation, her thumb sweeping beneath her fingers to play with the gold band on her ring finger. "Don't know whether if you come across him, that might be something to talk with him about. I know we were married, in a future that doesn't exactly exist anymore. Two children and happily married" Not anymore obviously."There are a few people who were worried about how he'd be when he eventually found out"

Out comes someone in a matching shirt to Abby, sliding a square of a torte cut from a large long rectangle, half a pear perfectly baked and set into the hazlenut chocolate filling, Amaretto soaked crust and a side of creme fraiche. Abby shovels her own plate to be taken to the back when the person leaves and leaves the two of them alone again.

Oh no. Why does this keep happening? Twice in a few days is too much for Bella's weaker and weaker stomach to handle. First a pregnant girl, and now this. It's like domestic nightmares are being paraded in front of Bella's face, the grand conquest of heternormativity and convention. There's a moment, fractional but present, in which Bella's lips thin.

That night up on stage was worse for her than she realized. Her filter is wearing thin. She normally has no trouble making with the niceties. Playing the game. And it's not just that her screen is weak. It's that her rancor is growing. What might have been, before, the mildest of irritations is, now, a twinge of distaste.

But to each their own. At least she's a business woman. She believes in God, for the aforementioned's sake; what can Bella really expect of her?

"This surfeit of information might have been more useful to me," Bella says, apologetically, "when I still had some limited power to help Flint. I'm sorry he accosted you. I'm glad, at least, he didn't try to harm you. I know he has a history of that."

"Surf what?" Stupid doctors and their use of words she doesn't know. "I'm sorry, Surfeit?" She's asking for a definition it seems, used to big words being thrown around and for the most part just smiling it off. But with Bella, somehow, she figures she can either really truly ask and the woman will explain or… Or she'll think Abby a complete bimbo replete with natural blonde hair. "He won't hurt me. Not again. I'm sure of it" Abigail comforts the other woman. "I'm okay, I'm more worried about him"

"Surfeit. It means 'abundance'," Bella answers, taking up her fork and carving a slice from the tort, "not meaning to be 'that shrink', but it sounds like you might need someone to talk to about this, if not therapy outright. That's a lot of information you just conveyed to me, unsolicited. It sounds a little like an admission, with a lot of corollary details. The insistence on being 'happily' married, the number of kids. I'm really sorry if I'm doing shotgun analysis here - it's bad table manners - but you seem to have some unresolved feelings of your own."

There's the red again, Abigail's hand sliding palm down across the table like she might touch the woman, but doesn't. "I'm sorry, no, oh lord, no, you're not, and I'm being rude. I didn't think about what I'm saying that way or that it might come off as me doing.. no, well I mean, yes, I do. I love him, but I can't love him that fashion. He killed a friend, because it made him feel better. I can still care for him, I can still love him and he needs to know that someone still thinks of him and cares whether he's still breathing but… I love and I'm married to someone else who loves me back and two children that I can't ever have because I'm unable, or a man who in a future loved me but in this ti-" Abigail pauses, wrinkling her nose. "Lord I'm getting myself confused. Sorry, I'll done shut up. You came here for something sweet to soothe your tooth, not talk to me and here me nanner on like some goose. I apologzie"

Bella sets her fork aside, folding her hands on the space between table's edge and plate as she gives Abby a very forthright look. "I have already said that I'm not in a position to ethically take you on as a client," she shifts her serious expression in a softer one, one with a smile, however mild - she can't get too familiar with this woman, it will seem contrived, "but I am more than happy to listen to you. You aren't confusing yourself, it's the situation that is confusing. Love and desire aren't bound and limited. We have to set limits on them because of how destructive they can be, the hurt they can cause. But how you feel is only very little in your control." She considers, for a moment, extending her hand to try and mirror Abby's attempt… but she feels like it's not her that has the right to initiate that. That, too, would feel contrived. A rushing of things.

Creep the hand back, Abby pulls her palm away once it seems the apology is taken and to ward off Bella actually touching her. "It was a joke, really, the whole taking me on as a client. Really. My shrinks tend to die. As much as I'm sure there's many who would want to see that happen to you, I don't wish just anyone dead" Which is to say there's a few she wouldn't mind knowing were six feet under.

Abigail pushes her chair back, gathering up her cup and pushing the chair in. "I should get going, I got plenty of things to do, you have a tart to enjoy without backwoods barbie nannering away at you and boggling at your big words. I'm glad you found this place, really. Come back anytime, special change all the time, Our German makes really good cinnamon buns. We're closed on Sundays and I'm .. Just going to go now" POinting to the back, turning on her heel to make to the bar to drop off her cup with a clatter.

"Maybe if you put a light in the window, to signal if you've got any of the people who want me dead dropping by to see you," Bella says, with a humor tinted presidential-limo-darkly, "I'll certainly consider it, I mean… next time I'm in Chelsea." She says this like it's not likely. As if this isn't a borough she's in often.

Bella is glad to be 'just anyone' to Abby. And the less 'someone' she becomes, she figures, the better. At least until Bella's got a better foothold. Abby, it seems, is just going to go. The farewell ritual's usual components are deemed unnecessary. Fine by Bella. Just gestures, after all. She eats her dessert. Sips her coffee.

She'll be gone before curfew's grey curtain descends.

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