Glass Houses


nora_icon.gif shirley_icon.gif

Scene Title Glass Houses
Synopsis Nora brings soup and a soapbox to the newest refugee at Bannerman Castle.
Date January 17, 2010

Pollepel Island

The people in the kitchen might have been a little surprised when Nora requested to bring Shirley's lunch to the newest refugee on Pollepel — after all, carrying a tray poses hazards even for a normally sighted person. But the teenager seemed determined to do so, and so was granted the task. Unbeknownst to her, Lance was also employed to sneak along and make sure that her path was clear along the way, so that the girl wouldn't end up burning herself tripping with a tray carrying hot soup.

Balance is something she does have, so there's a certain grace as Nora carries the tray balanced on one hand and arm, while the other counts the doors until she gets to the one she had been shown earlier as Shirley's.

One hand raps lightly on the door. "Room service!" she calls out in a cheery sort of voice.

That comment earns a chuckle from the other side of the door, and Shirley rises from her bed… in which she was laying reading one of the comics Rue brought her earlier. "One sec!" She calls out before straightening her bed and moving to the door in a maneuver that she hopes makes it seem like she's coming from the direction of the desk. Not that Nora would notice the difference, but Shirley is as of yet unaware that Nora is blind. When the younger of the two teens arrives at the door and opens it up, she smiles and motions for Nora to enter.

Nora can't see the gesture but when the door opens, she holds out the tray for the other girl to take. Her dark eyes don't quite focus on anything in the room, least of all the other's face.

"Take this, I don't know your room's layout, and I don't want to trip and spill it after the long trek from the kitchen without losing any," Nora says. The meal is simple but hearty soup, a crust of bread, a bottle of water. "How are you doing? Any bird nightmares?"

It takes a while to register for Shirley that Nora is blind. Even after she notices those eyes, even after Nora's words. "Wait…" She says softly, "You're blind, aren't you?" Before mentally beating herself up for putting that so bluntly. The girl takes over the tray, and heads back to her bed, sitting down on it. "Do tell me if you need any help…" She says, trying to be helpful but having no clue how. "And I'm okay… feeling confused, a bit bored, but okay. And no, didn't have any nightmares."

The tray taken, Nora closes the door behind her and leans against it. "Yeah," she says a little bluntly. There's not a lot more to say on the matter, really. Her hands go to the pockets of the long cardigan she wears. "Thanks. Not a lot you can do, really, unless you're a healer, but I'm pretty sure that's not your power since they have you holed away rather than in the infirmary fixing people."

Nora smirks to let the other girl know she's kidding, and is well aware of why the girl is holed away. "Get used to being bored. This place has about three speeds. Bored with nothing to do. Chores, that are still boring. And times like those on the boat where you wish to hell you were bored again, from what I can gather. Not that we've had anything bad on the island."

"Heh." Shirley responds to the joke, looking over the tray and starting on the soup, by means of ripping off some of the bread and dipping it into the soup. "I'd rather have some chores than nothing." She tells with a light shrug, "Besides, Abby told me I was supposed to be getting some education here, too. Seeing how I'm probably gonna end up with the Lighthouse." A smile is flashed, not that Nora will see it. "So, any reason they're sending you to bring me lunch? I mean… what with, well…" She shrugs, trying to avoid being that blunt this time, but not entirely succeeding, "blindness not being very conductive to watching where you're going…"

Nora arches a brow at the question. "One, if you get to know me at all, you'll learn that something not being easy for me is hardly a reason for me not to do it," she says lightly, hands coming out of her arms and crossing perhaps a little defensively. "Two, I'm developing new ways of 'watching' where I'm going. And three, because I asked. And I usually get my way when I want it."

The last is punctuated with another smirk. "Probably why they haven't tried to put me with the Lighthouse kids. I guess I could lie and say I'm already 18, but that's a few months off. No one's tried to force me into lessons yet, though. Not that it's a bad thing. You should, you know. Take them. Keep up with your schooling."

Shirley shrugs a bit, "Well, I don't mind being part of the Lighthouse… it's better than the alternatives." Not that she can talk about the alternatives… "So, that does beg another question. Well, two… first. I assume you have a name, mind sharing?" The dipped bread enters her mouth and a few moments of chewing follow before it is swallowed. "Second one, why did you ask?"

"Nora. Sorry if I didn't say it the night on the boat. Things were a little bit hectic, what with my friend unconscious and all," says the blind girl with a smile. "And secondly, because I had some things to ask about. For instance…"

"… what aren't you supposed to say to anyone about Humanis First?" she asks, head tilting curiously, brows knitting together as she waits for the response. "Brian told you not to mention it." Just in case the younger girl has forgotten.

"Can't talk about that…" Shirley says softly, glancing away from the blind teen. "Like you said, I'm not supposed to mention it at all, so if you'd be so kind not to ask about it any further…" Shirley hopes sincerely that that is not going to be asked further about. "Nice to meet you, by the way, Nora. I assume they've already told you I'm Shirley?" Beat, "And that I destroy tech?"

"Yeah. I knew all that before we met on the boat," Nora says with a wave of her hand at the introduction and the ability. Clearly she doesn't care much about either fact.

"But what I want to know is what you know about Humanis First and what you're not telling us. Brian is a nice guy and all, I'm sure, when he's not choking out teenagers, but he's not in charge, and if you and he are keeping secrets from the rest of the Ferry, I'd like to know what and why." Her eyes, though unseeing, narrow a touch as she waits for the younger girl's reaction.

"The people who need to know are the people who Brian has told." Shirley says softly, but her tone suggests that this is not quite up for debate. Still, she's only a teen… with enough pressure, she might crack. "So how about we change the subject?" Shirley asks, "This soup is pretty good, you know? Haven't had such soup in a while now…" Okay, that's a very weak subject, but Shirley couldn't come up with anything within a reasonable span of time.

Nora shakes her head. "Who Brian thinks he should tell and who Brian tells might be different things, but fine. I'm willing to let it drop. It's just a little disturbing to hear the words Humanis First out of Brian's mouth, in conjunction with you, and then suddenly we're being attacked by fucking birds from hell. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt."

For now goes unspoken.

"Next on the agenda…" Nora says primly, as if conducting a meeting. "You're here because we're protecting you from prejudice and bigotry and oppression, right? These people are taking you in to keep you safe. You're a refugee, and they are your guardians. Do you get me?"

"Wait, so you're suggesting I am with Humanis First?" Shirley asks, suddenly sounding quite a bit upset, "Just because my father is doesn't mean I am." Whoops, there she lets slip exactly what she wasn't supposed to share. On to the next part of the meeting, apparently. "Yes, I do get that, Nora. What I don't get is why you feel the need to remind me of that…"

Dark brows rise, and Nora smiles at the revelation of the secret. "Okay. Relax, kid," she says a little more gently, if a bit patronizingly, given her own young age. "If your father's HF, then yeah, the Council needs to know that — even if Brian doesn't think he needs to tell them. For all of our safety." This is spoken with a soft firmness.

The smile has faded, a frown replacing it. "And if your father is HF, then, I guess that explains some of your other comments." She lifts one hand from where it rests crossed upon the other. "Not an excuse, but it makes some sense. Hatred begets hatred. But let me warn you something. Going around saying the bible says that something is wrong when you are here because of hatred and oppression out there," the hand gestures vaguely, "is not okay. If you believe it's true, fine, I can't keep you from believing it, but there are a lot of people who have put their lives on the line for all of us here, and will put their life on the line for you, that that sort of comment would hurt and offend."

She shifts so she's no longer leaning but standing straight. "Get it?"

"I don't know who the council are, but I know Brian has told people… Barbara knows, Abby knows…" Shirley whispers. And then that comes up, and the teen looks away from Nora. "She was insinuating I'm gay." Okay, so that's how it was interpreted. "I am not gay." Far too defensive, there, "And I don't like it when people insinuate I am. I'm fine with people being gay if that's what they want to be, but I am not."

"All right. It just seemed weird that he'd remind you of that since Abby was on the boat and all. I believe you," Nora says with a shrug regarding the Humanis First topic. It won't take too much effort to check if that's true. The rest of it gets a shake of her head.

"Saying that people insinuate that you're gay is offensive in itself, don't you see? It puts a negative spin on it, like it's a horrible thing to be, like it's so horrible that someone might think you are. That kind of attitude needs to be kept in check. You don't have to be gay, and you don't have to like other people being gay, but I have a problem with you making people feel it's wrong. And saying the Bible says it's wrong makes people feel bad," the older girl explains, then sighs.

"I'm guessing your Humanis father told you that, too, right? So you know. Now that you're Evolved, think about what that means for you. The hatred. The bigotry. The people wanting you to disappear or die or thinking you're wrong for being what you are."

Nora's hand moves behind her to open the door. "And consider all that — just for loving someone that other people say you shouldn't. That's all I want you to think about. Because a lot of the people who are trying to keep you and me and the rest of the people here alive — that is what they have to go through. For both being evolved and loving someone society says is wrong."

Nora pulls the door open and begins to slip out. "Enjoy your lunch."

"I didn't choose to be Evolved." Shirley responds venomously, "But if people want to be gay, then that is their choice." She is biting now, defending herself from what she feels like an attack. "People aren't born gay. People are born Evolved, whether they know that or not. It's an important difference." Then Nora is starting to leave, and Shirley sighs and glares, "Wait." She calls out, "Don't leave just yet."

Oh, that argument. Nora rolls the eyes she can't see with — they're still good for making annoyed expressions it would seem, and she turns back. "You ask most gay people if they have a choice. Even the ones who accept it and wouldn't be any other way? It's not a choice. It's something in them that they can't deny, and shouldn't deny, and shouldn't have to deny because society is fucking stupid," Nora tosses back.

Nora leans in the doorframe. "And I'm pretty sure the Bible doesn't say shit about girls liking girls. Not that religion is a valid argument in my opinion anyway." Another pause, as she waits for whatever Shirley wants from her.

"Whatever." Shirley responds to that argument, "You know as well as I do that that's a lie." Shirley is still quite upset, but she walks onwards to Nora, "I'd appreciate it if, in the future, you didn't come to my room, unless you have something constructive to say, like a fucking apology. This is the kind of shit debate I can't deal with right now. And shouldn't have to deal with."

Nora's arms uncross and she's on the balls of her feet as she hears Shirley's steps drawing closer to her. Just in case the girl decides to take a swing or some other unwise decision.

"Not a problem, kid. I just want you to realize that I take the protection these people have offered me seriously, and I will protect them in return. As long as I don't hear more about you casting stones when you're living in a fucking glass house, you and me don't have a problem." Nora steps over the threshold and back into the hallway, pulling the door shut behind her.

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