Giving It Up Does Not Mean An End


abby4_icon.gif francois_icon.gif

Scene Title Giving It Up Does Not Mean An End
Synopsis The Garden's Garden is home to two former healers as they discuss things both relevant, and not. Dinosaurs too.
Date November 20, 2009

Staten Island - The Garden

Situated in a copse several miles away from the nearest stretch of asphalt, the Garden is accessible via an old dirt road that winds snakelike through the woods and dead-ends at the property's perimeter, which is surrounded by stone wall plastered with wicked coils of rusty barbed wire to keep would-be intruders from attempting to scale it. Those with a key can gain entry via the front gate.

The safehouse itself is a three-story brickwork cottage over a century old and covered in moss and ivy. It slants to one side, suggesting that the foundation has been steadily sinking into the wet earth; incidentally, this may be one of the reasons why its prior occupants never returned to the island to reclaim their property when government officials lifted evacuation orders and re-opened the Verrazano-Narrows shortly before its eventual destruction.

Inside, the cottage is decorated in mismatched antique furniture including a couch in the living room and an armchair nestled in the corner closest to the fireplace that go well with the safehouse's hardwood floors and the wood-burning stoves in some of the spare bedrooms. A heavy wooden table designed to seat eight separates the dining area from the rest of the kitchen, which is defined by its aged oak cabinetry and the dried wildflowers hanging above them.

It's been thankfully dry all day, enough so that Francois has ventured out into the greenery that gives this Ferryplace its name. Though cloud cover and a coming winter has ensured that it's darker than the late afternoon typically is, he's taken to reading, with the stagnant, biting chill of the late fall air nipping at his face, toes and fingers. He sits crossed legged, comfortable and bare footed, with a warm woolen sweater with sleeves down to his knuckles, and worn comfortable jeans on his legs. Spread out beneath him, a blanket, tough and scratchy wool that buffers him against damp soil and grass, with one corner flapped over by a prior moment of restless breeze, ignored.

The newspaper spread out in front of him is on the World section, one he frequently slips to. Next to him, the bundled stack of newspapers, the best one charitable Ferrymen could do for him, has been ruthlessly picked through since he's come out here, and looks shabby from use of papers being slid in and out, rearranged, organised for devouring.

He hasn't made it as far as 2007 yet, and the interesting news that comes after, but there's another stack inside that promises to bring him closer to the present. Right now, he's stuck in 2005.

"Hey" Comes from the high walls, more specifically the gate that the pink haired woman is latched onto, fingers curling around iron and Ivy that's dwindling in cool weather. "I brought food, more clothes, some books, bunch of stuff. I uh, I got a present for you too" She's hesitant at the bar, unsure of whether she wants to disturb him. "If you're up for company that is" Abigail glances towards the building, a flicker of her fingers to someone inside before they focus again on the historically transplanted frenchman.

At the sound of that voice breaking through his concentration, Francois both looks up and straightens his back, alert and attentive before recognising both voice and the woman it comes from. Her hair marks her a bright point in all the sedate green, the slick black of iron fencing and the browning of leaves still clinging to the vine in a rigor mortis-like determination. The Frenchman offers a smile towards Abigail, before he folds up the newspaper, levering himself back to provide space on the picnic blanket.

"I am. Please." He busies himself with slipping the newspaper back into the stack, fingers hooking on the plastic bindings that keep it altogether, edges curling and bending with the movement. "A hurricane destroyed New Orleans," he tells her, knowing full well that she is more than informed, both in facts and a historical kind of grounding, than he is. Still, he states it simply, an inquiring look cast up to her as he sets his feet against the warm wool, curls his arms around his knees.

"It did. We weren't far from it, the house took a good hit, but it was fine. Momma and Dah took me down there after, when we could travel and we just.. worked through it all. We'd find people who were hurt, hurt and probably couldn't make it and-" Francois knows what happened. That those people were able to make it. Survive. Not healed all the way but healed enough that when they eventually got medical help, they were going to be okay.

"People lost much then, they had to go elsewhere in the country and some still, to this day haven't been able to return. They're picking themselves up though. I don't remember too much of those days. Except sleeping, sleeping a lot and my momma feeding me soup and making me eat"

She's in jeans today, warm sweater and her jacket, scarf wound around her neck, pink hair back in a high ponytail that falls this way and that. "I think, if it happened in the south and within a days drive or two of Butte, then, Momma and Dah took me. God's work, helping those who needed it, providing a better day to them, and hopefully, helping them to see god and that he does exist" Abigail settles, feet off the blanket and the backpack settling in her lap, duffel bag to the side that contains more clothes and books. It's from the backpack that she produces a binder.

"Someone, Eileen, she found one of your journals. I thought you mind find that funny, might like to read over what you wrote. The french bits, I had a friend, Teodoro, translate for me since, I know a little but nothing good" It's offered over to him, gently, held aloft in it's blue binder. "How are you doing out here? They're treating you good?"

Surprise is quickly followed by amusement, and some shyness, but Francois certainly takes the binder all the same, opening it up with obvious curiousity to see the photocopied pages of his own writing, the notations overlaying. "Oui," he responds, predictably, glancing back up at her. "They all are. I met a friend of yours yesterday. Teo. He showed me the Suresh Center, and Jurassic Park. There are two sequels that came after between then and now. It was…"

His head tips to the side, a shrug. "It was not all that he desired to show me. This," he taps his fingers against the open journal copy. "I spoke to Eileen of this. She gave me back the original thing. While some of me desires to take back all my pages, I would not mind you having this still."

"It's wasted on me, so I've been told. I haven't learned from it what I should have" That she says it in a mimicking voice that is Francois's, means there's only one other person or thing that could have said that to her. "It was interesting, it.. helped me learn a bit more about what i've lost. About what you went through and about the man I killed" She flips to page about three qauters through, fingers tracing the words. "I liked hearing about the people you helped, and the help you got back. The generosity that was shown back when you needed it"

The binder is closed as if on second thought before she tucks it back in the bag. "Or maybe I will. I never really wrote about what I did. Who I helped, I haven't had anywhere near the amount of time that you have, had with it"

"But, i'm derailing. You met Teodoro. He's a good friend. I think, that if things were different, if I were different, that I might have taken a crack at dating him. Even if my parents don't really care for him" A grim smile at that. "How'd you like Jurassic park? The dinosaurs and the yelling and the screaming. Oh, and the girl eating the jello and shaking?"

"I liked it. I liked watching it. I suppose that fourteen years is a little bit short for me to sympathise with the dinosaurs, oui?" The lines at his eyes crow feet in mild mirth, the same that had come up when she talked of reading about those who helped, or when Abigail noted her potential courting of Teodoro if things were different.

He doesn't ask what things— not yet, anyway. There are pressing matters, mostly. "He invited me to go to Russia, with you and another, called Cat. To lend my knowledge of the Vanguard."

Her head bobs, up and down, fingering the hem of the backpack. "I was uh, I was gonna ask you, if you wanted to come. I have the money for a plane ticket. Outrageous as the cost may be at last minute, or I was going to ask Cat to buy it. But you know the Vanguard, and you have… so many years experience with them. You'd make much more sense going than myself, but you know, when Pre-cognitives hand you a plane ticket, you know." Blue eyes looks over, lifting from fabric to flesh.

"Do you want to? Because if not, I understand. This, this stopped for you, all of it, fifteen years ago when you gave the gift to me, somehow" She doesn't remember at all. "It's quite possibly a one way ticket, no cheating death, no temporal manipulating japeneseman to pluck us from certain death"

His feet settle a little more inward, his knees bending tighter and arms becoming a smaller, more secure circle around them enough so that he might rest a chin on one as she talks, studying the patterns of the blanket beneath him and observing the fast dwindling light. "I know. But if I hesitate because I no longer have our gift, for fear of injury or death, then all I have left is to grow old. And if I do not help, then all of my work has been for nothing. I have followed Volken for so long, Abigail, and the only thing you took from me to defeat him was the healing. Not any of my research, my experiences, my memories. I do want to go. I think I am meant to."

Muttering, a little, but he clears his throat, looking back up at Abigail and nodding, once, back straightening. "I think that my means of getting there are being covered by— je ne sais pas— a company. I am going out again soon to meet with someone Teo desires me to meet."

A company. That gets a head tilt. A company. "The Company?" Looking for a flicker of recognition.

"If you mean The Company…" Well.


"If you mean The Company, they're okay. Not the greatest, tendency to pilfer evolveds, leave little hatch marks on their neck and turn em loose like they're collecting penguins from the north pole. But I know a few, I've helped a few agents out. Heavens, a couple came to me for healing a time or two. THey like to see how much they can get away with. But there's some decent people in their mix. I never turned them away. God sent people for a reason, across my patch of sunshine to do what I do." She reache sout, picking at the hem of the blanket.

"Other than impending trip to Moscow, how are you doing? I haven't really had, you know, time, well no, i've had the time i've just been caught up in personal stuff. But. How are you doing? How are you coping?"

"I do not like it. This company." Francois' words come clipped and short, almost dismissing what Abby has to say on the topic with an imperial tilt of his chin. "But it is as Teo described them, a necessary evil. For this thing, they are that. If we succeed in what we set out to do, then— " He lifts one shoulder, in an honest gesture of not being sure as to what happens afterwards. He's encountered a fair number of things too big for one man to tackle.

And things clearer in terms of whether he should tackle them, like Kazimir Volken. Her question gets another smile, and he relaxes a little of his curl, legs stretching. "Worse things have happened to me, and I've had times of greater loneliness and confusion than now. I am well, I think."

Hesitation, then, meeting her eyes for a moment before simply shrugging, and biting back whatever he was going to add.


She regards him with eyes wide open. He may be older than her both in actuality and visually, but she's been trained to produce the look by her southern Mama. "You're telling me that, you passed over a gift to my five year old self and you're absolutely fine, a week and change later?" Abigail looks away from him and up.

'I'm calling you a lier"

"I am much more honest in the private sanctuaries of my journals, it is true." Francois smooths his hands down his thighs, ridding himself of the creases in the denim as well as giving him the opportunity to fidget. "Non, you are right. I am not absolutely fine, but better than a dead man in a swamp also. I miss it, very much, and it is all I ever had for the better part of a life that was too long. I should have passed it over sooner, as much as you were still, in the end, the correct choice to receive it. Teo says the world needs me and I do not believe him. It only needs me because I was irresponsible."

He raises an eyebrow at her, shifting where he sits although not yet getting up. "But these are things you shouldn't have to hear."

"They're words I need to hear. Doesn't matter that I shouldn't" She shakes her head, curls sliding this way and that against her scarf. "I can't presume to say, that you were irresponsible, because one journal out of supposedly many more, does not constitute knowing you. But,-"

But there's a hand, that settles on his. Physical contact that over the last months without the daily touching of healing, she's seeking, learning, forcing herself to have that contact. "Life goes on, without it. You're not alone in this. In learning to cope without it. You gave it up, I had it ripped from me. In the end, it's still the same. Half of us is missing and.."

And she's turning red in the face. "It'll be okay. Shitty thing to say. But I'm still here, hard as every day it is without it and seeing the world hurt. The first little while is the hardest." She squeezes, lightly, his hand. "Want to meet a company agent? I got one on speed dial. She's actually very nice. She lied like crazy when I first met her, but she's… she's okay. I probably wouldn't invite her to sunday dinner, but I haven't invoked the banning from my bar again"

He turns his hand to touch back in a hold, before withdrawing. "Non. I suspect I will be meeting one soon enough, perhaps even the same as yours, and one is enough for me." Francois shifts to his knees, hands out to grip onto the newspaper with the intent of going inside - it's gotten dark enough and cold enough, throughout the course of their conversation, to merit it. "But thank you. I— would think that giving it up does not mean an end, as much as it did at the time." His smile is almost crooked, as he drags the newspapers up, and gets to his feet.

"It means a new start, for someone else. For five year olds who run back to their parents talking about french men in woods. It means being rescued by her when she's older, five minutes later with her friends" She takes the cue from mother nature, and gets up, grabbing backpack and duffel bag.

"Come on, lets go in and see about getting something to eat. I'm starving and we're leaving soon and it'll be nothing but.. but goulash and … lots of… boiled cabbage" It's a joke, she doens't know exactly what they eat in Russia. "You're a doctor. You can tell me how bad my stitches were compared to Eileens and maybe teach me a bit. Because I have a feeling, that i'm going to be getting a lot of practice coming up"

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