eileen_icon.gif noriko_icon.gif

Scene Title Housewarming
Synopsis Eileen brings a housewarming basket by Noriko's new condo on the Upper East Side.
Date January 21, 2009

Solstice Condominiums — Noriko's Home

Noriko is sitting in her still mostly empty apartment, well, really, its about as empty as can be. She forgot to get an apartment with furniture, oops. So, for now, she's made a nest in one corner of the living room with some blankets she had, and is looking up at the ceiling. Her injured arm is still tightly bound to her frame, so that she doesn't move it and aggravate more of the damage.

If Eileen had known that Noriko's condo in the Upper East Side came unfurnished, she might have brought something more substantial than the housewarming gift she carries under her arm in a small wicker basket made from dark wood, its contents covered by one of her cashmere scarves to protect it from the drizzle coming down outside. Gloved knuckles rap against the front door in lieu of ringing the doorbell — it's quieter.

Noriko wouldn't have wanted to see Eileen tax herself with carrying something large up the stairs. Regardless, as the knock resounds through the empty condo, Noriko stands up to move along and open the door. She smiles lightly as she sees Eileen before she says, "Eileen, right?" She's trying to put a name back to a face that she has only seen twice. Opening the door a little to let the other woman in.

"Spurling," Eileen says with a nod as she steps inside the condo, pausing on the threshold to take a look around and admire— the architecture, maybe. There's not much else for her eyes to catch on. She's dressed in a heavy winter coat and what looks like a set of black leggings paired with an oversized sweater and simple flats on her miniature feet. "Is there someplace I can set this down?" she asks, though she's already gravitating toward the kitchen and its built-in counters.

"The kitchen or the floor," Noriko says as she gestures around with her free hand, while nudging the door closed with her sock'ed foot. "I'm sorry, I've been meaning to go out and get some furniture, I just, haven't been able to find the time," she automatically apologises for the state of her condo.

"There's an antique mall in Brooklyn called the Pink Elephant," Eileen offers as she sets the basket down on the kitchen counter. "Everything they sell is secondhand, but it's cheaper than anything you'd find new. I don't know how you feel about nicks and scrapes." Presumably the kind you find on furniture and not what she and Noriko are both hiding beneath their clothes. She removes the scarf from the top of the basket, loops it around her neck for safekeeping and begins removing items one at a time. A pink box of Polish pastries procured from one of the local delis. Scented candles in lavender and vanilla wrapped in newspaper to protect their glass casing. A bottle of what might be red wine in a bottle so dark it appears black in the condo's muted half-light. "How's the arm?"

Noriko looks at it before she says, "It could be worse, they say I might be able to ragain full mobility in it eventually, but its going to take some work." She shrugs her two shoulders and says, "But, I don't even remember getting shot there, so I mean, it could be worse."

It is worse. Eileen hesitates, thumb curving along the bottom of one candle as she pops open the lid, places it on the countertop and reaches into her coat pocket to fish around its silk-lined interior for the bent matchbook she keeps there. "You aren't the only one who's having trouble remembering what went on," she says, cracking a match against the striking strip as soon as she's singled one out from its brightly-coloured brethren. "If you want to talk to someone about it, I could put you in touch with someone who's experiencing something similar."

Noriko doesn't know the full extant of just how worse it is for her. "Well, Elisabeth was saying she was missing a big chunck of her memory," Noriko says, after a couple seconds before asking, "Is that who you were thinking of?" She pauses for a moment or two, before she adds, "I'm… sorry about.." She frowns, and can't remember what Gabriel's name was, but she does at least apologize.

"You have nothing to be sorry for." Eileen touches the flame to the candle's wick and sets it alight, waiting until the smell of vanilla is disseminating into the condo's stale air before she shakes the match out and flicks it down the garbage disposal. "Her name is Claire. The three of us used to work together."

Noriko ahhs and nods her head a little and replies, "Claire… she was on the boat with us right? I never got to talk with her after I recovered, I don't think." She offers something of a smile a little, before she says, "I'll… see if I can't get around to talking to her."

The smile is returned, however faintly, and as Eileen places the basket on the top of the fridge where it will be out of the way, she glances out the nearest window in an attempt to gauge the time by the colour of the sky. Her hands are occupied; consulting her pocket watch isn't going to work. "I left my phone number on the inside of the box," she says, "in case you find something you need and don't feel comfortable asking Sarisa Kershner about it."

"Thank you," Noriko says with a smile, before she looks around a couple of moments and then pulls two McDonald's cups out of the sink where they had been washed. "I know they're not glasses, but… shall we open the wine," Noriko asks with a smile, "At least, I think its wine."

"That depends on whether or not you have a bottle opener," Eileen says with a hint of breathy laughter. "It's a merlot," she adds. "Romanian, I think. If you don't mind, I'll just have some water from the tap — I'm still recuperating from last night's poor decisions."

Noriko shakes her head and replies, "I don't mind, as for a bottle opener… Step away from the bottle." She looks at the wine for a couple of moments before she starts to make the liquid rise in the glass, thanks to its water content. She smiles, lightly, as she puts pressure on the cork until it works its why out with a pop. Moving to it, she pours herself a glass. "Don't need any bottle opener," she says with a smile.

Eileen arches both her dark brows at Noriko, impressed. Her footsteps sound against the kitchen floor as she crosses to the sink, turns on the faucet and angles her cup to catch a small amount of cold water in its plastic basin. "I used to know someone who liked showing off like that," she murmurs, voice barely audible above the water's flow until she squeaks the faucet back into the off position. "He had a few more tricks in his repertoire than you do, though. Aren't you worried about overexerting yourself?"

Noriko shakes her head a little and replies, "Small simple tasks don't really… require a lot of my energy to do," she explains. She takes a moment to think about it, before launching into a story, "A first realized my ability when I was young. Was either the latter years of middle school, but, they were there by the time I was a freshman in high school. I was scared to death of people finding out what I could do, so I never told anyone. But, I didn't want to just let it fall into disuse. So, I used to practice with the water pipes in the walls of my room when I was growing up. So, I guess that it kind conditioned me to be able to do a good number of things without really exerting myself."

"I told people what I could do as soon as I knew," Eileen says around the rim of the cup, the corners of her mouth twitching ruefully at the memory. "I don't think it ever occurred to me that they didn't believe until they started accusing me of being balmy." As she speaks, the shadow of a large black bird sweeps across the window she'd glanced out earlier and perches on the concrete lip outside, a metal band glittering silver around one of its stick-like legs. It clicks its beak against the pane to get the Briton's attention, then lets out a hoarse cry when she turns her head toward it. "Speaking of. I need to be going."

Noriko nods her head a little and says, "Alright then. It was nice seeing you again." She smiles and gives a little bit of a wave, sipping at the wine that was given to her. "Thank you for the gift, its very much appreciated."

Eileen pours out the water left in her cup and leaves it in the sink so Noriko can rinse it out again at her leisure. "You're welcome. You should talk to Kershner about furnishing the place. Her people might have some pieces in storage somewhere that they can lend you for a few months." She adjusts the scarf at her throat, turns up her collar to protect her cheeks against the blustery weather outside and makes for the front door with her gloved hands sitting in her coat pockets. "I'll let Claire know you might like to talk."

Noriko nods and moves to open the door for Eileen before she says, "Take care of yourself, and feel free to drop by and visit, its not like I get a lot of visitors." She smiles a little, before somewhat impulsively moving to give the woman a quick hug.

Apart from a few select people — some who are dead, some who are simply gone and others like Teodoro who she possesses only half-formed memories of — Eileen tends to shy away from intimate physical contact. When Noriko's arms go around her, she doesn't protest, but the amnesiac may detect a slight stiffening in her body as she places one hand between her shoulder blades in response and gives her back a gentle pat. Then she's drawing away, retreating into the hallway outside with rigid shoulders and a spine like a steel rod.

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