Hey Stranger


faulkner_icon.gif isis_icon.gif

Scene Title Hey Stranger
Synopsis Upon her return to the Safe Zone, Isis pays Isaac a visit.
Date September 1, 2019

Park Slope - Isaac's Apartment

The sound on the door is best described as tentative, a little tick-tack of little more than fingertips contemplating a proper knock. Maybe the occupant isn’t home. Maybe the visitor should just leave before — …


In the darkness on the other side of the door, the sound of a faint tapping on the door prompts Isaac Faulkner to open his eyes.

The faint light that makes it through the blinds is dimmer than it'd been before; he got some sleep, at least, though not as much as he'd hoped. He debates rolling over and going back to sleep, but apparently either someone's going bowling out there or someone's trying to move a piano up the stairs. Shit.

He rolls off the edge of the bed, shadows catching him and twirling him to his feet. "Just a second!" he calls, tendrils of shadow reaching out and grabbing a shirt.

Fuck. Get back-… -there!

There’s a brief tussle on the exterior side of the door so that by the time the shadow manipulator arrives, there is a slender body with a large gift basket for a head. Granted, a few errant coils of red-wine hair stick out here and there behind the wicker container filled with a surplus of cleaning supplies, air fresheners of varying viscosities, and an index card with big bubble letters reading “I’m Sorry!”

The door pulls open a few inches to reveal a cranky and somewhat mussed looking Isaac Faulkner, wearing a faded Guns N' Roses shirt that's probably older than he is. The look on his face indicates that he's inclined to send whoever it is out there on their way as quickly as possible…

…right up until he actually lays eyes on that familiar figure, on those familiar wine-red curls peeking out from behind that basket she's wrestling with. The irritable look on his face starts to melt away almost immediately, replaced by a more complicated expression — a mix of hope, doubt, and disbelief.

He's actually shocked enough to stand there like a complete doofus for a second or two before he shakes out of it, throwing the door open. "Uh. Hi," he says, clearly demonstrating his incisive wit.

“I’m sorry. I’m so-so-so sorry.” The reply comes tumbling out somewhere mid-greeting and the basket is lowered to reveal Isis complete with the a new set of rose-gold rimmed glasses and an apology writ in a cringing expression across freckle-flecked features. Arms kissed in bicep-high gloves nearly shove the basket out, eager to impart the offering on her previously gracious host and nurse. “Seriously, I just… and shouldn’t have… wait, are you okay?” Clearly several topics are vying for control of conscious brain functions, but ultimately settle on a query and look of concern, hazel gaze flicking over Isaac from head to toe and back again.

"Uh. Yeah. I —" Isaac cuts himself off, grimacing; he's doing an amazing job of sounding spectacularly stupid, and that is not a good look for him. He takes a deep breath and musters a smile — one that becomes entirely genuine as it starts to sink into his still sleepy brain that hey, she's back.

"I was napping; I… didn't expect you," he says, laughing a little as he takes the basket. He lingers for a little longer, still grinning as he looks her over — she looks healthy. Her arm isn't flopping like it's made out of jello. "You look great."

Then he remembers himself; it's rude to keep her waiting at the threshold. "Come in! Let me get some lights on," he says, turning and stepping into the gloom of his apartment, tagging a light here or there as he passes. There's still no electricity in Park Slope, still no real need for lights for him, but battery powered lights are cheap and they're useful in the event he has guests who aren't as comfortable in the darkness as he is.

“Well, I dunno about great. I mean I feel pretty…” There’s a pregnant pause alongside a skippy buffering of her expression - smile frozen over a hint of consideration. “Healthy,” she finally settles upon most noncommittally. She follows Silas inside, shutting the door gently behind them.


It’s the sound of the door, but it might as well be the sound of some internal switch. Isis hurries forward, a flurry of garnet locks and nimble gloved fingers. She ushers the basket out of his hands and to the ground with a quiet thud before lifting her fabric-kissed palms to take his face in her hands. Her shoulders pull up once and then sink with immeasurable relief as she simply looks upon him.

… “I thought I had gotten you killed.”

Isaac's taken by surprise by Isis's sudden, but not at all unwelcome rush; he blinks quizzically as she lowers the basket to the ground, spends a moment blinking surprisedly at her as she oh so gently takes his face in her hands.

Then she speaks, and


Whoa. Okay.

That's what they call a spanner in the works, there. He stares stupidly for a second while his brain thuds around uselessly like a washing machine someone dropped a brick into, trying to figure out what to even say to that. How to react.

But then… it's not that hard, is it? Sometimes maybe it's best not to overthink. Slowly, his arms come up around her, trying to gently pull her close. "You didn't," he says simply. "You didn't, and I'm here, and I'm real, and I'm alive," he says quietly to her.

The subtle, affection shift of Isaac’s arms around the little redhead elicits a … very particular reaction. The kind of reaction that one witness flicker quickly across a feral cat that is not sure if it would rather:
A) indulge the brave human
B) hiss with hackles raised and flee, or
C) perhaps claw the presumptuous and affronting appendage from its attached body

It reads in the way her shoulders come up slightly, crescents of tension etched in her upper back. With her glassy, sharp hazel gaze still holding his, she winces at the effort to settle her shoulders. Then the melt takes hold. The warmth that lets her hands slide away from his cheeks to rest on his chest, her head following suit until her ear lays just so as that is heartbeat is the only sound and rhythm she knows.

She takes a deep, quavering breath and simply nods, cheek nuzzled at his shirt, as she permits him… and herself this little moment in the dark apartment.

Isaac had felt her tense, seen that tightening around her eyes, and for a moment he'd worried that maybe he'd misread, that —

But then… then the tension melts away, and she leans into him, and he lets out a quiet breath he hadn't known he'd been holding. Then he breathes in and lets out another long, slow breath, as the things he'd walled off in the back of his mind — doubt, worry, uneasy fears about what might have come to pass — are finally laid to rest.

Because she's here, too. And she's alive, and real, and not —


— sick anymore.

For a moment, he doesn't say anything, just… closes his eyes and enjoys the moment while it lasts.

But even a perfect moment has to end, sooner or later, and while he's certainly not counting the seconds, they're ticking onwards nevertheless. So, finally, he speaks.

"I'm glad you're alive," he says quietly.

Isis closes her eyes, keeping them just so even after the last timbre of his words has faded away in ripples under her ear. She takes a deep breath that sets a level bar across her shoulders and draws her head back up, a renewed smile in place. “Me too,” she teases with a single bob of her brows.

“And, I’m well aware that means I owe you more than a basket of cleaning supplies.” She steps back, smoothing her gloved hands over fitted black t-shirt. “So, when you think of just how I can repay … well, saving my life… you let me know.”The slender woman glances into the dark-filled apartment, rocking forward onto her toes. She chuckles coarsely. “Short of tracking down Doctor Z, it seems I’ve got a wide-open schedule.”

Isaac tilts his head slightly, regarding Isis. Debt and repayment weren't terms he had been thinking of during the whole ordeal (and yes, it had been an ordeal); there's a definite impulse to protest.

But… maybe it's better to let that one lie for now; discretion is the better part of valor, sometimes. He has a feeling there's a snake or two lying out in that particular stretch of woods, and he needs an hour or two before he's up to anything resembling witty repartee.

"Well. The cleaning supplies are definitely welcome, at least," Isaac remarks drily, with just a hint of a smile, and that's true; it had taken a lot of carpet and upholstery cleaner to drive the smell of death sickness out of the place.

Then he frowns. "So did they just…" he pauses for a moment, trying to find the right word, "…did they portal you back in? From…" he trails off, realizing he doesn't actually have a clue where it was that the Book Club's Ninja Away Team had actually taken her, beyond it being somewhere he'd never seen.

As Isaac tips his head one direction, Isis’s cants the opposite to balance out their curious position. She smiles as she holds the counter-mimic pose, but the expression wavers gently at the corner of peach pale tiers as he tentatively pokes at the curtain veiling the recent adventure.

“I suppose there are some things that need filling in, hm?” The redhead’s eyes widen in a toying fashion. She reaches out only as long as it takes to give Isaac’s hand an encouraging squeeze with her own gloved digits. “You got anything strong to drink? This might take some time… and some liquid courage.”

"As it happens, I do," Isaac says, smirking faintly. Rosario's greenhouse get-together hadn't gone entirely as planned, but he still has Isa's generous contribution… in part because he seldom drinks himself. "And I most definitely have time," he says, his smirk graduating to a full-fledged grin.

Now this… this should be interesting.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License