Hot and Cold


diogenes_icon.gif isis_icon.gif

Scene Title Hot and Cold
Synopsis Isis comes for Diogenes for help, and the surreal happens.
Date July 29, 2009

Diogenes's Apartment

What an eerie apartment, scarcely lit by a lone bare lightbulb, screwed into its socket embedded in the scarred ceiling which seems as though it is about to collapse. The walls share a similar amount of cracks, marred by veins of the old sickly green paint that's reluctantly dying and falling off to reveal the ugly cement underneath it. The apartment itself is quite small. There is no hallway; the door opens up directly into the living room that serves as both the kitchen and the dining room as well, and to the left of this room is the ridiculously undersized bathroom, sporting both the bathtub and the toilet that, while unsavory, were made a little bit more hygienic than the two initially were by the flat's owner. The bedroom is situated to the right of the living room, and it's a small one, with a sizeable dresser against the wall opposite of the door-less entrance to the room, a window to the left, and the bed to the right. Cheap bed sheets are left as they were when the man woke up and rose out of it.

A bit farther away from the bedroom was the desk, pushed against the wall. It's amazing it hasn't fallen apart yet, albeit the same could be said about everything in this flat and the apartment itself. Atop the rough, horribly aged wooden surface lies the Bible, a few crumpled up sheets of paper (plenty written on them) and the philosopher's bag. The chair is missing. Well, not exactly; it is broken into useless pieces, lying at the foot of the Eastern wall, paint missing in huge chunks on it. Presumably, the chair flew in the midst of a fit of rage. The old fridge can be found in the left corner next to the exit, with a small table nearby and two chairs pushed up to it. Another noteworthy detail is the large detailed map of New York City above the desk. It has X's, and numerous, differently coloured lines were drawn on the streets, denoting certain routes that connected said marked locations. Some locales have notes attached to them. Finally, this apartment actually has old-fashioned windows. Two of them, at both sides of the desk.

It's been over an hour, during which Diogenes visited a large variety of shops, cafes, tourist attractions and other locales, as well as switching trains and buses, purely to throw whomever might be following him off-track. The route changed daily, and it was usually a long one. Today was an exception, primarily because he was too busy thinking about the conversation he has had with Adam and Kaylee to indulge in his paranoia. The world around him was a distraction, and as such he was staring at the ground, even as he approached his apartment; as such, he would fail to notice Isis. He would be entranced by his thoughts.

Isis sits upon the hall floor, her bare back pressed to the door marking the entry to Diogenes' residence. She knees are bent up, creating a place for her to fold her head and rest her head, obscuring only some of her soft features behind the wispy strands of her shortly chopped hair. She's still dressed flatteringly, despite the ruffled nature of her hair and slight wrinkles in her clothes - the same flirty, crimson halter and the last remnants of her attractive makeup from when she had prepared for an evening of work.
She jerks up abruptly at the sound of approaching steps, still plainly a little jumpy. Her sigh is one of relief as she spots Thomas and stretches her legs out, tipping her head back to let it rest with a soft thud upon the door.
*fold her arms and rest her head

Diogenes wearily lifts his eyes and, as he spots Isis, comes to a halt. A single corner of his lips steadily crawls upwards to curve a smirk unto his lips. His eyes twinkle with triumph and mischief, so one shouldn't be surprised that he decides to have a little fun at the redhead's expense and ask her the same question she asked her when he wasn't in good shape: "What happened to you?" These words escape him in an ultimately satiric tone, with him crouching just slightly to make the delivery a bit more dramatic. Not waiting for an answer, since he designed the question to be rhetoric, he steps over to the door leading to his flat, drives his hand into his pocket, and - once he pulls out his keys - unlocks and opens the door. "Welcome back… to Hell!" Cue mockingly maniacal evil laughter that Diogenes pulls off rather well.

Isis looks up from her seat on the floor, a brow lofting higher and higher as Thomas dips into his evil antic. She doesn't comment. She simply stares with a look of scrutiny - because she can, and mainly because she hopes to make him uncomfortable. As he pops the door open, she falls back with an *oof*, sprawling out half-in the abode and half-out into the hallway. "Nice to see you, too," she finally offers, the smile she'd aimed to hide slowly creeping up over her soft lips.

When his visage is hidden from Isis, he rolls his eyes and parts his lips before twisting his upper one to shape a sneer. Some people simply did not have a sense of humour, he concluded. The key is withdrawn from the keyhole, and he waits for Isis to step inside, so that he could close and thoroughly lock the door… even if it had just one, ordinary lock, and the door could easily be brought down if someone really wanted to. His next destination would be the fridge, the contents of which he'd browse in search of food, even if there wasn't all that much inside. "Make up doesn't really suit you", he would note absent-mindedly.

Isis does too have a sense of humor. She just prefers to torment Dio, of course. She rolls over with a tired grumble and pushes to her feet, pulling herself into the apartment. She watches Thomas with dark eyes as he slips away towards the kitchen, his comment falling back behind him. "What a charmer," she mumbles. She combs her hair into some semblance of order with her tiny fingers as she steps off towards the bathroom. She returns a few minutes later, patting her cleaned face dry with a towel and steps into the kitchen, leaning her shoulder to the wall and watching Diogenes. "I need a favor or two…"

When Isis comes back from the bathroom, he is sitting at the kitchen table with both of his legs propped up on it. As risky as it was rocking on the hind legs of the chair that was old and frail enough to break any moment, Diogenes acknowledged that particular danger, and carried on eating a bun with a sausage, a lone dish on his lap. In his hand was a tall trasparent glass with what no doubt was orange juice. Facing Isis as she exits the bathroom, he listens to her inquiry, and with a mild smile sheds another cynical comment: "Of course you do." After another bite of his bun, he asks: "What is it?.. Oh, and are you hungry?"

Hey now! "What's that supposed to mean." Isis wrinkles her nose and tosses the towel over the back of the remaining chair. She rounds the tiny table and pulls her bottom up onto it, looking down to Dio's boots beside her. She stares at them idly for a short moment before looking to Thomas. She shakes her head at the offer of food.
"Stop being so sour. You actually might like a bit of this. Firstly, um… I need a place to stay." BLUSH! Yes, the ice queen is capable of it. She quickly clears her throat and moves onto the second favor. "If not, it's cool. But, um, there is also this thing I have to do coming up. I was hoping you'd help me out with that thing you do - keep an eye on my body and paralyzing it if need be." She finally turns back to meet Thomas's gaze.

If anything, Diogenes can hide his true emotions if the need arises. As it happens, this talent of his is required right now. He chews on his meal slower, and his smile slowly creeps back to hide until its time would come again, but otherwise Diogenes does not reveal his true thoughts regarding the first favour Isis asks him of. The second favour she asks him of, however, cause him to drive the front legs of the chair back onto the ground; his legs are removed from the table's top, to make room for the glass and the bun that are dropped on top of it. A single elbow is propped onto the poor table as Diogenes leans forward.

"Whatever it is you plan to do", he murmurs lowly, "I am sure I will disagree with it and want no part of it. I don't want to expose myself as foolishly as you did. But I want to ensure your safety, because you think you're invincible. And I assure you, uou're not." The boy leans back against his chair, looking at the woman before him with increasing curiosity. His smile reappears. "I'll need to hear all the details. As for a place to stay, you're out of luck. I'm late in paying my rent, and unless I come up with money, I'll be thrown out in just a few days."

Her stomach sinks. There is a sickly sort of look upon the little redheads features, visible for only a quick second before she pops to her feet and turns away, cutting the air with a quick wave of her hand at her side. "Nevermind. It's cool." She turns back to flash a smile as if to seal her words. "I should find somewhere to go, in that case." She slips out of the kitchen and turns 'round towards the door to the hall.

The door is locked, apparently, and the keys are sprawled on the kitchen table. Diogenes watches Isis curiously, wondering what has caused this sudden change in her demeanour. "If you could help me pay my rent - and it's a relatively measly sum, as you can no doubt see from the state of this apartment - then you would have a place to stay", he elaborates with his eyes still set on the redhead. And after a brief moment of silence, he'd inevitably ask: "Why the flip-out?.. Is it because I added insult to injury?.. Does this thing that you need my help with is related to your exposure?" A part of him wanted to know what it was and help Isis. A part of him did not want to interfere. "See", he adds as an afterthough, "If you're willing to rush out like that, then why'd you ask for my help in the first place? Means I'm not that crucial to your success."

"Flip-out? That wasn't a flip-out. Would you like to see one?" She shouts back while staring at the locked door, only to wheel back around and storm back towards Diogenes. "Do you have any idea how hard it is to ask for help? Do - you - know how… vulnerable I feel? I can't go home! All my books. Everything I've worked for. - It's all back there waiting, and the cops or HomeSec could be rolling up there right now. You? You're just some guy that broke into my house. And the sad part is I've got no one else to go to. No one else I'd rather go to. But, you can just sit back and act like it's all something easy, yeah? Something silly. No big deal. Well, don't worry 'bout it. I'll figure it out on my own."
She reaches out and snags the keys with the bitter sound of metal grinding into the old surface of the table. She sweeps back towards the door. "And, I'm willing to rush out, because…" She fights with the single key to fit it in the lock. "I don't know what I was thinking coming here in the first place," she hisses more for herself than aught else. She yanks open the door and tosses the key back over her shoulder before dipping into the hall and slamming the entry shut behind her.

It wouldn't be that easy. Not opening the door and rushing out, no, but snatching the key. The woman would lose control of her hand, and at most she would sweep it along the table, sending the key along it until it would fly off of it and land unto the ground with a light cling. It isn't long before Isis would regain control of her dainty hand, and Diogenes rises from his seat at the table, calmly walking over to the key to pick it up and place it into his pocket. "No, I did not have any idea how hard it is for you to ask for help. None whatsoever", he replies calmly, ignoring the brashness in the woman's tone. He lifts both of his hands in a surrendering fashion and continues to speak: "You wanted to be… 'badass'. You wanted to be independent. And, ironically, to be independent, you have to realise that you cannot do everything yourself. Even I asked for your favour in hunting down that telepath, remember?"

"I am just a guy who broke into your house. I am not exactly a good ally - I mock human relationships, I hate humanity and I am a selfish bastard. But I am willing to help you. I just think that… I am sure that your problem is weighty, but we have to keep a level mind. Laughter is the best medicine, right? I am sorry for upsetting you." His tone of voice remains as soothing as ever. In fact, it's doubtful Isis has heard him this calm before.

"What the-? How dare you," she grunts as the key goes skittering off, only to find a place in Diogenes's pocket. She turns her face away, a stoic expression coming over her face as if she planned on blocking out anything the man had a mind to say. The only shift of her presence is an effort to lift and fold her arms stubbornly over his chest as he begins to approach. The close proximity eventually acquired reveals a small, but interesting, little note about Isis: little lines of tension are visible in the set of her jaw and a ripple works over her slender throat more oft than it should - an effort to swallow past the knot warping itself tight and bitter in the back of her throat.
"Just let me out of here."

Having grown tired of trying to calm Isis down, he raises his own voice, as well. "And where will you go? Huh? Are you really the sort of woman to flip out and rush out blindly into the street? What the hell do you expect - some noble knight to come to your rescue on a noble steed?" Retrieving the key, he wanders over to the door; during his trip, his voice is not lowered as he resumes: "This is Life. No knights are noble, and when they save you, they'll ask for a favour. Then another one. And another. And another." The door is unlocked with a prominent *click*, and it is swung open rather violently by Diogenes. "Feel free to walk out of here and prove your idiocy to me. Don't expect to find me again if you do. I prefer people with a clear mind."

Isis watches Diogenes with a stern gaze as he lifts his voice and moves away. She waits until he's done spouting and the opened doorway is presented to her. "For someone who whines an awful lot about the failures of the world and its people - I don't see you making any aim to be or make a difference," she remarks coldly. With that, she makes for the door, pinpointing her attention to the hall with an obvious effort not to look back upon Diogenes.

A soft chuckle escapes Diogenes. As the fiery redhead slips past him into the hallway, he murmurs, shaking his head: "One man cannot make a difference." His eyes watch as Isis walks down the hallway. He steps into the hallway as well just for that purpose - to watch her go. How long it has been since a person leaving has spawned a heavy feeling of sorrow that pushed down on his shoulders… A sigh riddled with burden is heaved. There are so many words he could say, so many questions he could ask, and all of them are stuck at the tip of his tongue. Closing his eyes, as if not daring to see whether she will turn back, he simply shouts out: "Wait."

Isis offers not reply to the comment that follows her out the door. She had no evidence with which to dispute him, after all. She'd make a difference. Soon. Until then, she sets her nerves and thoughts to match her steely outward appearance and turns down the hall.
Then Thomas's voice flitters down the hall. She stumbles visibly and catches herself with a single hand against the wall, wheeling back with those dark, chocolate eyes widened with surprise and confusion alike. "What?" It wasn't the snarky reply one might expect. She shakes her head, trying to shake free the hints of bewilderment still clinging to her countenance. She straightens slowly and despite herself takes a few uncertain steps back towards Thomas.

When Diogenes opens his eyes, he sees that Isis is approaching him. And for a moment, for a moment that lasts longer than it ought to, he wishes she wouldn't have. Nearly every single meeting so far has been scarred with conflicts. They were simply too different. This difference drew them together, and he was positive this difference would also ultimately lead to the end of whatever it is they have. He opens his eyes, and as he looks back at Isis, he has nary an idea what to say. "I don't know", he responds truthfully. He parts his lips to speak again, but reconsiders. After a moment of silence, he notes: "Forget it, what I have to say, will just make you turn and go. I don't know how to treat people, and you freak out like a five year old. I knew I should have left that phone on the counter." Shaking his head, he turns to leave for his apartment.

Isis's steps falter and stop as Diogenes turns away. She stares on blankly as he make for his apartment. She does not call out as he had - her throat wouldn't allow her even if she had the energy to fight, the heart to call him back and be hurt again, or the will to fight through her confusion. She'd wait until he closed the door behind him, she'd wait longer still - until she was certain that he wouldn't come out looking for her, before she'd turn away.

The door is closed, and it never opens. A feeling of complete helplessness creeps up inside of Diogenes, and the knowledge that he can do nothing, that if he tried to get her back, he would simply go down the route Ash has already went. Since he'll be thrown out of the apartment in just a few days, he cares not for it, and goes on a rampage, forgetting about the safety that locking the door entails - chairs fly at random walls, the table is tossed aside, and when he walks up to his table, everything would fly off. He tried to stay away. He tried not to burn. And he failed.

Perhaps they aren't so different after all - Isis's rampage is left in the marks of her boots, scuffed and dented where she made it as far as the stairwell before her fit overcomes her. The window shatters, the tinks and chimes of glass mocking her with their winking fall, like icy tears catching the sunlight. Even the few drops of her blood falling from her split knuckles and onto the shards seem to torment her, scorning her inability to cry despite the pain turning her stomach until she's leaning with her head rested in the corner, trying to catch up to her hyperventilating breathes. She lets the pain of her hand take precedence over her body until calm follows up behind it.
The serenity lasts for only a moment before her boots are kicking her off from the corner and back up the stairs. Without knocking she twists the knob and shoulder's Dio's door. She stumbles through, blinking awkwardly and fumbling to her knees. "The door's not locked," she notes sheepishly, having figured it would be otherwise and using such to judge her momentum. She looks up slowly, looking to Dio sheepishly. "I want to stay…"

By the time Isis returns, Diogenes has already made a pact with his despair. He's standing in front of one of the windows, leaning against the wall with but a single hand place at the side of the window, his eyes locked on the world outside. The world with which disagreed with him, and the world with which he disagreed. He misunderstood the world, and the world misunderstood him. He was in a position that Albert Camus would describe as Absurd - the eye of the storm, where a man is in the heart of stillness yet surrounded by ever-shifting chaos. He was alone, and he listened to nothing but his heavy and dull heart beats.

When the door swings open and Isis collapses within, Diogenes slowly turns his head to look behind him. He slowly takes in the image before him, and would move only when he spots the injury. He then wanders over to his bag that lays on the floor among the many things that were thrown aside. He fetches a few bandages and a certain tiny bottle. He walks over to Isis and kneels in front of her, looking into her eyes. "You can."

The little redhead offers a slow nod. It's all she can manage for the moment. And so, instead, she allows her actions to speak for her - Meeting Thomas's gaze she lifts her sliced hand and offers it forward.
She'd remain silent for a long time, not trusting herself enough to speak. The tension wanes from her posture though, until her shoulders are drooped with exhaustion and her head dips forward to rest on Thomas's shoulder. "I'm going to make a difference," she final says with a little note of determination, rolling her head to the side to look up from the corner of her eyes beneath a few soft locks of tussled crimson.

Similarly to Isis, Diogenes remains silent. He has to focus on tending to the woman's injury; he does not ask how exactly Isis has gained it, for it is clear - thanks to the bits of glass he has to manually remove. Instead, he puts the knowledge he has gathered to good use for the first time, disinfecting the wound before applying the dressing. Only when the bandages are wrapped appropriately, when they softly and warmly hug the slender hand, only then does the man speak up. "You won't", he only mildly shakes his head so as to not disturb Isis. "You can't." He places his hand on her head to hopefully comfort her. "Would you like to rest?.. We can discuss what it is you need help with later, when you feel rested and better."

"I hate it when your pessimistic," she notes without any true conviction. She was beginning to think it was worth it, to endure, for the times when he was not. Isis offers a tired nod, though. Only then would she pull out fold of money from her back pocket and throw it onto the floor - her tips from her last evening working at the bar. A decent sum.
She looks at the wad of cash. "Sometimes I think you're proof - That I can make a difference. Then other times…" She shrugs and unfolds from herself, flashing a half-assed smile before slipping away to get some rest, watching her bandage until her dreams can find her.

In the meantime, Diogenes had work to do. At first, he would have to clean everything up, and then he would have to descend to pay for his rent and possibly bring some food into the house, in case there's enough money left after he pays the rent. And then, of course, he'd continue reading his overly thick book on human anatomy, taking 'breaks' during which he'd try to further polish his 'secret language'. Once in a while, he would glance towards the bedroom, pondering with a tinge of a smile on his lips.

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