Four Years and Twenty-Eight Days Later


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Scene Title Four Years and Twenty-Eight Days Later
Synopsis Samara returns to the land of the living, and to Rue's side.
Date December 6, 2010

Pollepel Island: Bannerman's Castle - Living Quarters

Two separate corridors, both on the ground floor, comprise Bannerman Castle's living quarters and are dark, skinny stretches of hallway with stone walls and floors interrupted by heavy wooden doors without numbers. Those who live here know which room is theirs by the grain of the wood, the shape of the smooth rock in the walls and other identifying features that are visible if the person looking knows what he or she is looking for.

The rooms themselves vary in size, most so small that the space is appropriate for only one or two people, but there are larger rooms for small families that can fit up to five or six if people are willing to share beds, and if they're desperate enough to have come to Pollepel Island, they almost certainly are. Wooden cots, some with tall posts and cheap sheets strung between them for additional privacy, are standard, and like most of the castle there's no electricity for luxury items like televisions, but some of the island's residents have furnished their rooms with battery-powered radios on footstools or wooden nightstands. Some of the rooms are even lucky enough to have battered old dressers and the occasional writing desk. Most have windows, and those that do also have window coverings made from white canvas heavy enough to keep the light both out and in, depending on what is required.

Bathrooms are shared and unlike the bedrooms themselves, are wired to allow for flushing toilets and showers that run hot water even if hot water is only made available for a few hours a day.

It's rare that Rue manages to find time to herself in the room she's been sharing with strangers. Though, admittedly, calling her roommates strangers at this point is beginning to be a stretch. At any rate, they've all struck out for other parts of the castle, leaving the redheaded girl alone in the room with the light of a gas lantern and an old trade paperback of Madame Mirage that she's read at least a dozen times before. This much is evident in the crease that's been worn into the cover. Unpainted nails tap steadily against the book as she scans each page, reading slowly, taking in each panel's artwork like she's appreciating it for the first time again.

Coming back to life isn't as easy as people might believe. It's exhausting. Especially if the resurrected wasn't dead in the first place. Beyond that, life without true influence of gravity (thanks to greatly reduced mass), and particle resistance enables massive amounts of muscle atrophy. Not to mention the serious toll malnourishment can have on one's body.

All of these things influence the very weak, very much alive Samara Dunham. She'd fallen asleep on the floor where she'd landed after her rescue, beyond exhausted and beyond strain, but undeniably happy. She'd managed to down a bottle of water and some rationed food (very little mind— a shrunken stomach yielded little room for anything) before having drifted to sleep. Yet tangibility has a single nasty side effect: she can feel the cement of the floor. It's no wonder she hadn't slept long— it had been an exceedingly short nap.

Her escort to Rue's quarters was just a poor soul she'd cajoled into helping her. Not that it took much cajoling, there's little a bright smile, positive attitude, and damsel in distress demeanour can't get.

The door creaks open and he— a twenty-something that never managed to catch Samara's name amongst her exhaustion— essentially lowers her on the bed. "Hey~" her voice is undeniably cracked around the word. While moisture had been permitted back into her body, it only wants small amounts at a time. Her sing-song voice, however, is as chipper as always, if a little sleepy. Her energy is low, her body aches, but there's no denying Sami has a way about her that permeates even in diversity. "Hey, hey Lanny… check me out, I'm a real girl~"

And real she is: pale skinned, slightly malnourished, learning to walk again and somewhat dehydrated, but certainly real.

When the door opens, Rue doesn't even lift her head. She's at a particularly poignant scene in her story that always puts her heart in a vice grip. So when someone enters the room, she doesn't think much of it. And when that someone has Samara's voice? Well, that doesn't really distract her, either. She's used to the other girl always just being there.

But when her brain registers that the door opened before the sound of Samara's voice hit her ears, Rue's head lifts and she fixes a shocked look on the nameless twenty-something that's just helped her friend lay down as he retreats from the room, and then looks over to Samara.

"…" A gasp, and her book is set aside on her cot as she bounds off of it and across the room to where her best friend lays. "Ahmigawd!" Reaching out to touch her friend does precious little to confirm her corporeality, as that much hasn't changed. And aside form looking exhausted and kind of sickly, she looks like the same old Sami to Lanny's eyes. "You're alive!" is the dumb cry before the slighter girl is gathered up in Rue's arms.

The hug is actually met with momentary shock from the sicklier of the two, but shortly thereafter, Sami just rests within her friend's arms. Deeply she inhales, making a memory of this moment— of this particular time like somehow in years to come it will mean far more than all of the other moments combined. She leans against her friend closing her eyes wearily as a softer yawn escapes her lips.

"I am alive~" she croaks in that same merry sing-song voice. All of the energy and excitement she may have felt was destroyed by the process itself, but there's no denying the auburn-haired young woman is pleased. "So it turns out you don't see dead people…" she smirks while shifting slightly in her spot, the chatty nature of her dead self is absorbed by that still dizzy feeling in her head she used to love getting merely because it meant she'd just gotten off a roller coaster.

"How…?" Rue shakes her head and just rests her chin against Samara's crown, holding her close to her and just letting her rest in her arms. "You can tell me about it later. I don't need to know right now." There's a heavy breath exhaled that ruffles through stray strands of the younger woman's auburn hair. "Wow…" Rue's arms close around Samara a little tighter for a moment. "It's… been a long time. I just… I mean, I've always wanted something like this for you. But I just… I guess I never really thought about what I would do when it happened." If it happened, is more to the truth.

"I haven't found my sea legs yet— " Samara tightens her grip too, but in doing so more of her weight becomes pressed against her friend, that heavy feeling of gravity doing its best to literally weigh on her, "— which is why my newfound friend helped me here… I swear guys drop everything when there's a damsel in distress." Her eyes roll emphatically for dramatic effect as she manages a sound somewhere between a yawn and a sigh. She's still smiling though, even as her fingers reach up through one of the tendrils of Rue's hair. "I like it like that. I think it suits you." The comment may be totally off-topic but to Sam it's important just the same.

"I think I need to go skydiving or something. I have like… the best luck. I didn't die~ Annnnnnd I had food! And water! Do you know how long it's been since I felt that deliciously quenching feeling of water sliding down my throat?"

"Four years and twenty-eight days," Rue responds without having to think about it for very long. Even if the day her best friend supposedly died hadn't been as a direct result of one of the greatest tragedies in human history, she would never forget the date. Or forget to number the days that she'd been lost. Not when she blamed herself for Samara being with her in New York in the first place.

"Soon as you find your legs," Rue says quietly, "and we can get off this island, I'm taking you shopping and buying you an entire wardrobe." It'll max out her credit card, but what does she care? This is her best friend she's talking about. What's a little debt for her BFF? "And you'll have to enroll in my dance class so we can get you back to working in no time." It's tough to say at this point whether the dream of seeing Samara as a prima ballerina is something Rue wants for Samara, or for herself.

The notion of the wardrobe actually brings a sour look to Samara's face, complete with a groan, not about the clothes themselves but about something else, "Ugggh… I've been wearing the same clothes for the last four years. Can you believe that? I mean… ewww, right?" She frowns, allowing her bottom lip to pout. "Thanks though~ I like shopping and I need to dance again… it's been ages since… since I danced with these legs… it's so different dancing when you're like… non-gravitified… or whatever you want to call it…"

Rue smiles into Samara's hair and closes her eyes. "I'm glad you're back, Sami." She trails off, just breathing deeply for the space of a few moments. "Sooo… Did you give Brian a big ol' smooch?"

She wouldn't be a very good best friend if she didn't ask for all the juicy details, would she?

Samara's cheeks flush, "No… it would kind of have been awkward because this Gabriel guy actually had to do it with the help of Brian's sister, Gillian. Annnnd Paul was there. And he has that whole like semi-crush thing going on for no obvious reason other than I'm the only girl he could talk to in ages…"

Rue snickers softly. "You're so funny, Sami." It's no worse than when she'd come home from a date with Quinnie and Samara would be waiting to ask did'ja kiss her? Or worse, just did'ja? "I suppose that's fair, though. But you're totally gonna play some tonsil hockey as soon as you get him alone, right? I think it's your duty as a real girl." Said oh, so sagely.

"And his junk really isn't that tiny," the out of work model seems compelled to say. "Or tiny at all. He's just a boy. You know how I am about boys. They're weird and I think their bits are ugly. I guess Brian's isn't so bad. I mean, comparatively." Which is really Rue's way of giving her blessing to whatever sort of relationship Samara may want to seek with Brian. — Not that Samara needs Rue's permission, of course.

"Ahhhhh! I'll kiss him when I get him alone if that happens any time soon— you know what it's like around here! There's people everywhere! But… " finally releasing Rue, she buries her face in her hand. "I can't believe we're having this conversation! It seems like not long ago we were talking about how I'd never be able to experience things… like that… and now?! Now we're talking about a guy I like and can like… touch… now…"

"You can touch him all over," Rue confirms, her eyes wide and her expression so painfully serious that she can't actually be. She leans back and finally cracks a wide grin. "This is so exciting!" Then she blinks her blue eyes as something occurs to her. "Oh, jeez. You totally need some real sleep. C'mon, let's get you in my bed so my roommates don't punch me in the face for letting you steal a bed."

"Alright… I'm going to need some help…" there's a distinct pause as Samara's cheeks redden further, "Not with touching Brian! With the bed thing! I can't… I mean… I don't… I want… AHHH!" She combs her fingers through her hair like a makeshift brush before shifting her weight on the end of the bed, reaching out to brace herself against Rue. "Be my knight in shining whatever and help me over to it?"

"You got it, babe." It isn't difficult for Rue to support Samara's weight, and help her across the room to her own cot. "Obviously you don't need any help with Brian. I wouldn't help you be all hands-on anyway. Gross." Her nose wrinkles. "Friends don't touch their friends' crushes." It helps that the two of them will — more than likely, at least — never crush on the same person.

Rue helps her friend into bed, pulling sheets and blankets over her body, stowing her comic under the cot. "You want it to yourself tonight, since I don't actually have to anchor you for a change?"

Samara's gaze turns beside her as her head shakes, "No. I like spooning! You know me, I wasn't cuddled enough as a child and need affection blah blah blah Freudian issues blah blah blah… and for the record I so do not have an Elektra complex. No matter what anyone tells you." She points emphatically as she slides over on the cot to make room for Rue. Her eyes close gently as she's observing quietly, "You should sing us a song so— " she yawns midsentence "— we can sleep better."

Rue smirks. "No Elektra complex. Got it." She crawls in next to her friend and pulls the blankets tight around herself. "Unless we count a propensity to kick massive amounts of ass." Get it? Like Marvel Elektra! "Okay. A song, huh? Hmmm…"

There are so many good songs she could sing as lullabies. Hush Little Sami, Twinkle Twinkle, You Are My Sunshine…

Where once was light, now darkness falls

Where once was love, love is no more

Don't say goodbye, don't say we didn't try

But none of those can trump Emiliana Torrini from the Lord of the Rings soundtrack. Seriously.

Cuddling a little closer in towards Rue, Samara lets the sweetness of the song wash over her. Within no time she's sleeping like she's dead to the world. In actuality? It's been a long time since she's been this alive.

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