Heart Of Stone And Fire



Also Starring


Scene Title Heart of Stone and Fire
Synopsis Mourning is easier without a heart of flesh.
Date April 11, 2011

In Dreams

Familiar, dark— this room is one that Abigail knows she never liked walking into. Everytime she did, it was with the knowledge that someone would never be sitting at their dinner table, eating with them, laughing at jokes or singing the songs.

A dreary, smooth floored room that dips down in the corners where drains get rid of excess moisture.

A hand towel dips into a bucket, squeezed until water drips back down, and then is applied to a dirty arm, washing away the last of the dried blood, cleaning the dirt off of naked skin.

The body laying on the metal slab on the floor looks younger than it actually is. Gray in stubble and short dark hair gives some idea. Lightly built, not tall or strong, naked, except for a towel spread across his lower body for modesty. His face has a peaceful expression of sleep— but the chest doesn't rise or fall with breath. And the water couldn't wash away all the signs of damage. The body has been through more than it could survive.

This is effectively the morgue.

At his side sits a light brown haired woman, long hair hanging down her back, looks up toward Abigail, as if hearing her enter. Sharp features and gray blue eyes look back at her for a moment, face carrying the expression of a broken heart, but with no tears streaming down her face. Even if there probably should be.

A necklace hangs around her neck, a sensable ring hanging from the end of the cord.

A ring that used to be on the man's fingers.

"Did Hailey get you?"

Abigail stands in the entryway, hands lax at her side looking away from the woman to the man on the table. The way her heart squeezes in her chest, constricts lungs. As if she didn't quite believe what Hailey had told her when she found Abby.

"I would have come sooner-"

But she wasn't near. And there was likely nothing that she could have done. Her tongue slides out, lips her lips to moisten them, getting up the nerve to step a foot into the defunct morgue and go to the side of the other woman. Which she does, coming to stand behind the other woman, draw her arms around her and hold her from the back and hold her even as her own tears start to swell. "Who did it?" Voice trembling.

"Who does not matter," the woman says, leaning her head forward and closing her eyes while she's hugged. The room is cold, unheated, and carrying the winter crisp in the air.

"They were scouting, doing their jobs— Joe and Paul aren't sure exactly what happened— how it happened. Even knowing he would not make it, they risked their lives to bring him back to me…"

The hand towel is dropped onto the bucket's side, hanging there, as her long slender hand is pressed against his chest. "They didn't let them have him."
Abby's not even attempting to warm up the both of them, it seems wrong to warm up this room or the living who are in it. One arm stays around Kasha, holding her to her, worried the woman's legs might give way beneath her. The other follows suit, covering Kasha's hand, sandwiching the brunette's hand between her own and Lance's chest.

"So you'd have something to bury. A certainty that they didn't take his body and be buried in some shallow hole somewhere without even a prayer" But not even that. "They brought him back so you'd know for sure and not be always wondering" Her chest still hurts, her voice cracking even when it's whispered so low near Kasha's ear. She's angry. Not at the trio on patrol, you can't be angry at them. She's angry at the ones who did this, who's in a way have racked up another casualty in the woman she's holding. "How are they? Joe and Paul"

"A few scrapes, but fine. They— they always knew that if any of them fell it would be him. Paul can walk through walls and bullets— Joe's practically invulnerable. They always knew it would be him," she says in quiet tones, lacking the emotion she probably feels.

Despite the tendered emotion, the hand under the older woman's begins to tremble. In her late twenties, Kasha's always been quiet and shy, but with a ready smile, especially brought on by certain people. A smile that isn't there, as she suddenly crouches down further, pressing her face against the other woman's hand.

The warm tears are finally beginning to break. "I— I can't do this. He's always been there— my whole life."

"Oh baby, you can. It's going to hurt so bad, and it's never gonna stop hurting. Just hurt a little less some day" Soft southern words whispered, hoping that they bring some realistic comfort. "It's not going to feel like you can, but you will. He's still here, he's just not here physically love." She turns over her hand, not covering Kasha's palm but instead using it to cradle her face when she leans down. Not removing it from the cold body, not ready to pull Kasha away from her husband. She crouches with her, supporting her even as warm drops of saline fall from her eyes and onto the dark hair.

"He's here" She presses the hand wrapped around her against Kasha's chest. "And the rest of us are here and if we have to carry you my love, then we will carry you until you feel strong enough to walk on your own again" Abby's raging inside and trying to contain it all. From the moment that Hailey found her and told her that something had happened, to crossing the threshold and seeing Kasha in the state she was and Lance dead. But she can't loose it. "what do you want to do with him? After we stitch him up, make him presentable" She didn't want others to see him the way he was and clearly Kasha didn't either since she was washing him down.

"I don't know," Kasha says quietly, a hint of her head shaking. "I don't know what to do— I always thought he'd come back— he always came back." Until he didn't. The words are cut off with a sobbing sound, and then— she starts to change. Under the touch of the older woman, the slender, sinewy body becomes even tougher— colder. The hand becomes granite first, moving up the arm, and then making all the shivers and emotion disappear.

No more sobs. No more tears.

A heart of stone.

But a statue doesn't make for a comfortable thing to hold onto.

"I just need a minute," the rumbly voice that seems to come out of everywhere. A minute or two without tears. Without breath. Without what could be even considered normal life. "What do you think I should do, mom?"

She once knew a man who spent a day as a statue, only not one that moves, and when Kasha transform, Abby understands why. She does it herself. Finds a corner outside, begins her own transformation and becomes fire. All consuming and destructive. Burn away everything and cleansing.

And she steps back, nodding at the request for a minute. She'd be surprised if Kasha doesn't spend more than a few minutes like that. She kneels down instead, picking up the rag, dipping it in the water so she can resume what her daughter was doing, shift down to Lance's feet and clean them, stroke away the blood and grime.

"We live baby"

Abby's never really much catered to violence, though it dots her life here and there, moments when the world gets the better of her heart. This one of the moments, wanting to join the next patrol, hunt down the monsters who did this. "We live for him. We carry him in our hearts and in our souls my love" Her voice still cracking as she moves to his other foot, stopping to rinse out the rag and refresh the washcloth. Tears making splotches on the grime riddled skin of the man she called her son in law. "We make him presentable, we give him a hero's burial. Send him to the lord all proper like so that he can sit at his right hand where he'll wait for us when it's our time."

Abigail lifts her arm, wipe at her eyes, looking over to the stone form that is her daughter. "It is mine to avenge; I will repay. In due time their foot will slip; their day of disaster is near and their doom rushes upon them" No quotes about an eye for an eye - she did that a long time ago.

"We live," the rumbly, emotionless voice repeats, sitting back on the floor to watch, statue crafted eyes shifting even if she doesn't need them to see. It's not with her eyes that she sees— but it still is a habit that dies hard.

Even in stone.

"I am glad you are here, mom… I could not do this without you."

Bannerman's Castle

Abby wakes, with a shuddered breath. For once, no sweaty brow. No bolting upright or panicked calling out for Megan. Just blue eyes staring up at the ceiling of the improvised regular infirmary. The clarity of the dream is partly what gives it away. The ones that have been portends almost, omens, have held such, not wispy fleeting dreams that remain fuzzy and slip away like sand after you wake.

Abigail shifts on the cot, pushing herself upright, swinging legs over the side of the bed, curling over just like the woman in dream did. Like Kasha did. Hands pressed to her chest, the short short brunette is breathless, lungs not healed yet. Lance will grow up, he will marry a girl named Kasha. She knows what will happen. Not because of what the dream portends. She knows because of a woman who gave her a place to stay over christmas for a few days. A woman who can't have children, who's husband died and does what she does because her husband would have done it. Who turns into stone.

Inside Abby, warmth kindles, ability - internal flame nearly - flickering back to life in the former healer that has been absent so many weeks. Guttering out then back again, working to heat away the cold from the dream.

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