Heureux à Mourir


ff_remi_icon.gif ff_silas_icon.gif

Scene Title Heureux à Mourir
Synopsis Silas and Remi have a conversation over breakfast preparations.
Date January 2, 2019

Ark Kitchens

“Des yeux qui font baisser les miens…un rire qui se perd sur sa bouche…voilà le portrait sans retouches…de l'homme auquel j'appartiens…” The lilting voice of the Frenchwoman carries quite clearly through the kitchen as Remi busies herself peeling potatoes for the day, singing to herself as she does so.

The telepath has made it a habit to show up for her work early just about every day — a good counter to her quiet mind wandering too far into itself, the telepath has thrown herself into her work — both the job that Liz has given her, and the job that she is being forced to do in their gilded prison.

“Quand il me prend dans ses bras, il me parle tout bas, je vois la vie en rose…il me dit des mots d'amour, des mots de tous les jours, et ça me fait quelque chose…” She continues to sing softly to herself, glancing over to the pots on the stove — there is one that smells strongly of blueberries, and the other smells of mint and herbs. Nearby, a small stack of folded fabric waits for whatever concoction it is she is preparing.

“Il est entré dans mon cœur, une part de bonheur, dont je connais la cause…C'est lui pour moi, moi pour lui dans la vie, Il me l'a dit, l'a juré pour la vie…et dès que je l'aperçois, alors je sens en moi, mon cœur qui bat!” She tosses one last peeled potato into her pile, before turning to her concoctions, turning the heat off and retrieving her fabric. One bundle goes into each pot, the woman humming as she does so.

Silas shambles along the corridors of A-Ring, humming something a bit darker under his breath—yo ee oh, yooo oh,—albeit with a jaunty enough air that hopefully they won't catch on and drag him out back and shoot him for heretical thought patterns.

The sound of French greets him as he strides through the kitchen doors to start work on breakfast; his lips curve up into a faint smile despite himself, and he shakes his head… but first thing's first. He heads to the coffee pot and pours himself a mug of not-coffee, taking a generous gulp. It's arguably has some hint of caffeine in it, and it's hot enough to wake him up at least.

That accomplished, he turns and follows the sound of song towards where Remi's working; he waits until she comes to a pause in her song before he speaks up. "I caught about one word in twenty there," he says wryly. "Whatcha makin'?"

Normally, if she had her ability, Remi would be waiting for Silas with a vaguely amused smile. However, after years of having an ability that alerted her to the presence of everyone within a 100-foot radius of herself, her spatial awareness is a bit off.

Which is why she suddenly jumps like she’s been shot, spinning around with wide eyes, her hand slapping onto the handle of the knife that was previously being used to peel potatoes. Upon seeing who it is, she immediately relaxes, leaving the knife behind as she turns back to whatever it is she is working on.

“A pet project,” she murmurs, using a wooden spoon to submerge the fabric in the liquids. She briefly stirs, making sure every bit is covered, before turning back to Silas, tilting her head to one side. She’s sure someone is listening, so she doesn’t blatantly state her actions. “I made some scarves out of some old bedsheets that weren’t being used, and now I’m dying them.”

She gestures to the pots of steaming liquid. “Or trying to. I found some overripe blueberries and gathered the leftover herbs from dinner the last few nights, and hopefully, I will have a blue or purple scarf, and a green one.” She still hasn’t said why she’s making them — that is, apparently, being saved for a whisper.

Silas looks surprised when she reaches for the knife, instinctively sliding his back foot a half step back, arm muscles tensing just a bit—taking a knife in the arm would be a bad time, but better than one in the chest or neck. He's relieved when she relaxes. First time I've seen her jump like that, he thinks. Then, a half second later: Oh. Right.

"Scarves, huh? Nice," he says quickly, nodding approval. Normally he enjoys sneaking up on people, but he hadn't been intending to get the drop on Remi; he feels a bit embarrassed about it. "Fashionable, probably. Practical, definitely." Especially given how cold it usually is. He regrets the blueberries, but c'est la vie, as Remi might have said… besides. A nice thing here and there can go a long way towards helping to make this miserable situation bearable; Silas has his ricethings, after all.

The former starlet seems to be recovering from her shock well enough, poking at the fabric in the pots with her spoon. She makes a motion for Silas to come closer, prior to closing the distance and whispering quietly into his ear, “Before she…you know…Liz told me to befriend the negator.” She pulls away, then, not wanting too much silence to pass for anyone listening.

“They’re not for me, unfortunately. I could have just given them the way they are, but…well.” She smiles faintly, turning back to the steaming pots. “It’s too quiet,” she adds, “and I really don’t want to be alone with my thoughts right now.” She sets the wooden spoon down. “So I have been trying to keep my mind occupied. I made a book on American Sign Language, though my art isn’t so good,” she continues. “Perhaps when I am done with this project, I will make you a book on basic French.”

A pause. “The song was Edith Piaf. My maman loved her and played her a lot when I was little — I learned how to sing so I could sing her songs for her.” She smiles, turning to lean against the counter. She has her own mug of not-coffee, which she reaches for and sips from.

Silas leans forward, examining the pots… also bringing his ear near enough for Remi to whisper.

No one told her? is his first thought, and he is thankful indeed that Remi does not have her ability; otherwise, she might have picked up something that he's not supposed to tell. Luckily, the close quarters serve him well, helping to mask any split-second tells that might have managed to make it through his poker face.

She knows who the negator is! is his second thought; as she steps back and resumes speaking in a more normal tone, an expression of puzzlement creeps over his face. …and… she's making him a scarf? And… a book on sign language?

"Interesting combination of gifts," he observes drily. Informative, too. There's only one guy Silas remembers seeing wearing a scarf; he's always got the same one on, a fraying reddish thing that looks like it's seen better days. The book on Sign Language, though… Silas had known the guy was quiet, but a book on Sign Language suggests something about the cause of his quietness. He frowns questioningly at Remi for a moment.

He doesn't let the silence linger too long, though. "Well. I can definitely respect not wanting to sit idle. Keeping busy always helps me when I'm… distracted," he chuckles. "So yeah, if you get time to make a book, I'll read it," he grins.

His grin fades a bit as she starts talking about her childhood, though. "Sounds nice," he says quietly, after a moment. "Pretty song, too. Me? I was more into rock and roll when I was a kid, though. Lotsa Rolling Stones. Mom was more into Loretta Lynn."

Those questioning looks prompt a faint shrug to roll over Remi’s shoulders, a faintly knowing grin settling over her features. She’s not divulging a lot due to probable listening devices, but she clearly knows more than she’s letting on. If she had her telepathy…well, none of them would probably be in this mess in the first place, or so she tells herself.

“The recipient has a badly scarred throat,” she murmurs, putting one hand to her own throat. That’s all she says on the matter — he can put the pieces together, or not, that’s on him now. “I doubt he’ll even accept my gifts, but…one has to find friends where they can, oui?”

She turns back to the counter, pulling a small bowl filled with onions closer to herself. Looks like skillet potatoes are on the menu for breakfast. She starts quietly removing the outer layers, using a knife to gently slice the skins open and pull them off. “I’ll definitely do that, then,” she replies, nodding. “I won’t have to draw as much for French, thankfully, so you won’t have to see that horror.” She offers a scoffing laugh. “Spent too much time on music and theater, so my artwork is dreadful.”

The mention of music prompts a small smile. “I love just about everything except Country music, so I’m pretty easy to please.”

Guess that explains the scarves, he thinks, nodding. "True enough," he agrees, watching as Remi starts on the potatoes. He's lucky in that respect—he's handling the fish, and most of the ugly, messy work has already been handled; all he's got to do is get it ready to start cooking. Which he should really start doing soon, but… maybe not yet. Better to wake up a bit longer.

"Started with the Stones, gradually broadened my tastes a bit. I wouldn't have liked Sinatra in my hellion days, but these days I love 'My Way'. As for country music…" here he sighs. "Not a big fan—almost all the songs are the same thing, sounds like. I mean, you've heard that joke, right? 'What happens when you play a country song backward? The bank gives your house back, your dog comes back to life, your love comes back to you, and you get out of prison,'" he says, snickering and giving Remi a grin… albeit one that quickly trails off into a bleak expression. God. Someone needs to write a song about our lives right now, and for the love of god get it to Namiko so she can play it backward as loud as she can.

Then, of course, his brain—running woefully behind due to the early hours—catches up with what his mouth has been saying. His eyes widen slightly as he looks to Remi and remembers what happened to her. Oh shit. Maybe a little too on the nose there.

For a fraction of a second, the practiced mask that Remi has been wearing for the past week or so drops, and she looks a bit like she’s just been stabbed. That look disappears rather quickly behind the mask that she has perfected over the years.

Just a little tone deaf there, Silas.

She offers a small smile that doesn’t reach her eyes, before turning back and continuing to skin the onions. At least Silas’ remark, which brings things flooding back, came at an okay time — she promptly begins to quietly chop the onions into tiny pieces, letting the pungent smell out into the air. It has the intended effect, stinging at her eyes and prompting the production of tears.

Finally, she replies, “We should get someone to write a song about us and play it backward,” she replies, mirroring his own thoughts.

Silas doesn't wince as he sees her mask slip, affects not to have noticed at all as she very deliberately starts chopping onions. "Heh. Yeah, no joke," he says, forcing a laugh; he manages to stop himself from saying you read my mind, at least. God, why is my brain churning out nothing but awful ideas this morning? he wonders. The answer becomes apparent fairly quickly, though—it's those last two words. Morning. Ugh.

"That joke… got a lot less funny under the circumstances," he says wearily. "I'll bet Director Kenner's a big country music fan," he murmurs bleakly—that one might be toeing the line a bit, but right now he really doesn't care.

"Anyway, I should probably get the fish started," he says, taking another slug of not-coffee and moving a bit towards the big freezer, where the fish is waiting. He sets down his mug, opens the door, and putters around inside for a bit before emerging with a tub full of fish—enough for a typical breakfast—and lugs it over to another stretch of counter. It's the work of a few minutes to get the fish dipped in oil, laid out on the big metal bake trays, and shoved into the oven, work which he accomplishes in relative silence—he'd rather not open his mouth again if it means causing an expression like that.

For a moment, Remi really is thankful for the fact that onions cause tears. Yes, her eyes burn more because that one brought on a few tears, but it’s a good cover story. Once the pile of onions has been turned into a pile of diced onions, the telepath steps back, lifting one arm to wipe at her eyes as she beats a rapid retreat from the cloud of onion vapor, tears streaming down her cheeks.

“Mon Dieu, I have such a love-hate relationship with onions,” she effortlessly changes the subject from the rather depressing tone it briefly took. Better to pretend she’s fine than risk the meltdown threatened by those thoughts. She manages to make her way to the sink, where she holds her hands out, eyes scrunched shut.

“Silas,” she starts, “I seem to have found myself temporarily a blind woman. Would you mind turning the water on and putting some soap on my hands?” She rubs at her eyes with the back of her arm as she waits.

"Right, I gotcha," Silas says, setting down the bake tray he's filling up and striding briskly towards the sink Remi's waiting at; he still feels a bit bad about the proverbial conversational landmine he'd blundered into earlier, even if she's being gracious enough not to hold it against him.

He squeezes a few drops of soap into the hand that isn't moving around and turns on the water. Cold water only, unfortunately, but it's all they've got. "There ya go."

After soaping her hands up and rinsing them off, the telepath takes a handful of water and gently splashes at her eyes with it. “Je suis désolé,” she murmurs, using French with him as a way to make good on her threat to teach him how to speak it. “That means I’m sorry,” she adds.

Drying her eyes with the corner of her apron, she offers another small smile to Silas, this one a bit more genuine. “I am doing my best,” she adds, wiping her hands on her apron next. “But sometimes I am just overwhelmed.” She turns her gaze toward the fish that Silas has been working with, then to the man.

“I am thinking I might go to see Magnes. They said he can have visitors now,” she murmurs this softly — once she’s determined that the cloud of onion gas has dissipated enough to avoid another blinding incident, she scoops it off into a bowl and sets it to one side, before going about chopping the potatoes. “I think, based on what that man, West, said, that they were already going to shoot.”

That doesn’t mean she hates Magnes any less.

"Je suis désolé," Silas repeats as best he can, looking thoughtfully off to the distance. Then he looks back to Remi, making eye contact. "Je suis désolé," he says again, deliberately.

As she smiles, Silas smiles in turn. "You're doing great. Have no doubts of this," he says, his voice uncommonly serious. He means what he says… although he'd have said the same thing even if she wasn't doing great. That's what friends are for, isn't it?

Silas frowns a bit at her next comment, considering carefully what response to make there… but the one that follows after that…

He is silent for a fraction of a second too long before he speaks. "What do you mean?" he asks. It's a perfectly reasonable question, asked in a perfectly normal tone of voice… but there's a subtle undercurrent in his tone, an indefinable harmonic that's just a bit off.

Chop…chop…chop. The potatoes are neatly cut into little cubes; each finished potato is scooped off of the cutting board and into a waiting bowl. “He told me that it wasn’t personal, what happened to my friend.” Her voice drips venom at the last word. “That they were told to choose at random, except for a few excluded targets.” She frowns.

“I think he was going to kill us all along, and Magnes may have been a convenient excuse.” She lowers her head. “I still hate him — Magnes. He…I don’t blame him, but I can’t bring myself to forgive him, either.”

She shakes her head slowly, reaching to pick up another potato. “I want to throw myself at him and hit him in the face, but that won’t help anything.” She’d rather fantasize about stabbing the paring knife she is chopping the potatoes with into the chest of West Rosen multiple times.

Silas knows that having this discussion here and now is probably a poor idea. But…

Three headshots! All those guns going off, and three headshots, with only one injury! whispers through the back of his mind, looping on itself over and over as he sees the deaths at the banquet again… and all the while, every word Remi is uttering is sinking into his mind like lead weights being thrown down a well. They were told to choose their targets at random! Told! Fucking Kenner. Fucking planned this. From the fucking start!

It's a good thing that the surveillance is audio only, and a thing better still that no one else has come in for kitchen duty yet, because Remi's paying back the turn Silas did her earlier; this time it's his poker face that cracks. His eyes widen, and widen, and grow wider still, showing an unhealthy amount of white. He rocks back on his feet and rolls his neck a bit, his head tilting as if at some interesting turn in the conversation, but that's shown for the lie it is by the way his ever-present smile changes, stretches, becoming a wide rictus and showing a number of teeth not normally associated with polite conversation.

The effect is rather like watching the side of a blast furnace bow and buckle outwards, cracks forming in the thick steel, the light of the inner inferno shining through, and the inner inferno portion of that comparison is particularly apt because what's lurking behind Silas's smile is that same nuclear fury he'd felt the night of the banquet, rekindled, intensified

—then he takes in a deep breath, lets it out, and his smile is just a smile again, one that's quickly fading to weariness. "You're right, Sunshine," he manages. "No matter how richly that asshole may deserve a good boot in the ass… it wouldn't help anything. It… wouldn't bring anyone back," he says leadenly. "And… I don't exactly have enough friends left that I can afford to lose anymore," he says, turning away, back to the fish. It's not onions, maybe, but it'll do.

Inwardly, he bitterly curses West Rosen and everyone else on the security team. You dumb assholes. What'd you do, decide to shoot the ones who deserved it least? he thinks bitterly. Luck of the damn draw deciding who to shoot, and every one of you still managed to pick wrong…

The change in facial expression is a bit…surprising, really. It’s something that Remi has never seen Silas do before, and man is he ever able to grimace with the best of them. If she ever needs to really scare someone, she knows where to go.

And then he’s back to normal. The man is just as good at wearing masks as the actress, it seems. Perhaps in another life, they could have starred in a movie together — he’s certainly expressive enough for it.

“I may punch him if we ever get out of here alive,” she says in a softer tone, “But until that happens…it won’t do much good.” She nods quietly, stepping away as he turns to the fish. He clearly needs a moment to himself. “In any case, we should get breakfast ready.” She’s back to chopping potatoes rather quickly, after warming up the grill top.

It's not hard work getting the fish ready, at least; not something he needs his full concentration for. In a way that's a mixed blessing, because it means he has plenty of time to think.

"Sounds like a plan," he chuckles, shoving the bake trays into the oven. "Also, if you slug him… make sure I'm there to see it if you could. I'd appreciate it," he chuckles.

“I’ll do my best,” she replies, a small smirk on her face. “Can’t make any promises, though — I’m an opportunist at heart.” The telepath turns briefly, offering a small smile in Silas’ direction before her eyes turn back down to her work.

The rest of the kitchen staff will be here soon, so for now, the sound of her knife clicking against the cutting board dominates the kitchen as she prepares the potatoes to be fried up with onions and spices.

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