Impromptu Session


bella_icon.gif quinn3_icon.gif

Scene Title Impromptu Session
Synopsis A stop in to check on things at the Bay House turns into an unexpected discussion.
Date May 27, 2011

Bay House

Summer heat turns the red brick of the Bay House into an oven, which is only marginally preferable to the sauna the beating sun makes of the surrounding terrain - even the swarms of biting insects seem lazy, gathering in a hazy particulate miasma that is visible even from Bella's window. From which window said doctor-on-the-run peers with the limp ill temper of the heat exhausted. At least she's not out there, is her cold comfort - at least she's not being eaten alive.

Still, she risks infiltration when she heaves against the pane, cracking it open enough to lean on the sill and stick her ruddy head out, sweat sheen coating her forehead almost instantly. Before any insects get any clever ideas, Bella deploys her defense - a smoke screen. Surrounded by impressionable children but badly need in mood stabilization, Bella directs her acrid exhalations out into the world at large, where the ripe smell of nature's abundant greenage absorbs and covers her own little touch of the vert.

So from the outside of the Bay House, Bella looks half a high schooler loser, messy haired and smoking pot out the window of her room, scrubbed to the gills in an oversize t-shirt and jeans too well worn to be worn in the world with any hint of respectability.

It isn't terribly often that Quinn makes an appearance at the Bay House; in truth she often avoids the safehouses when unless she has some reason to be out at one. Her ever growing profile within the city (or at least, as she sees it - let it never be said that Robyn Quinn doesn't have an ego) leads her to believe that she shouldn't risk it more often than every now and again. Today just happens to be one of those every now and against.

Bella can probably hear Quinn's approach, it's hard not to with the way that her scooter backfires at times. She comes putting to a quick albeit jerky stop, off the vehicle and helmet pulled off in one quick motion. She's dressed for the weather, in a rare knee length pleated black skirt and a button up green shirt. Today's a day off from her radio show, a recorded one running in its place, but that doesn't mean she didn't have to go into the office today.

And to her, the Bay House looks as normal as ever. It takes her a moment, until he catches a glimpse of Bella hanging out of that window, an unfamiliar face in a familiar place, much too old to be one of the children. Unable to smell the acrid scent of pot, she approach slows as she looks up, quirking an eyebrow at the woman hanging out the window. "Hello?"

The crack crack of the backfire doesn't do Bella's nerves any favors, and she nearly bumps the top of her head on the window in alarm upon the first too-gunlike report. When the scooter rolls into view from the thick of green that swaddles the area, her alarm briefly detours into surprise on its way to wry recognition. Not that she recognizes Quinn - even if her face or voice is familiar from the city's buzzing media, Bella is not cognitively prepared to ID musical movers and shakers in this particular set and setting - only that a scooter-going young woman moonlighting as a freedom fighter is just the sort of silliness she's coming to scornfully expect. It's not like Tracy Strauss didn't warn her.

A quick stab and twist kills the ember of Bella's joint, and she regards Quinn from her higher vantage with pale blue eyes when she's addressed. A smile painted onto her lips, the renegade head shrinker lifts a hand and delivers an oscillating 'royal wave'. "I'm guessing you're not here to install air conditioning? I couldn't be that lucky, could I?"

Okay, that confirms that Quinn isn't seeing things. That' a start. She quirks an eyebrow at the question, tilting her head a bit. "Noooo…" she trails off a bit, looking a little confused. It's not that Quinn has any illusions of having met everyone in the New York chapter of the Ferrymen, but this woman looks more like someone who should beat a college dorm, or hanging out at The Verb's fire escape. "I didn't know anyone besides the kids or the caretakers was staying here."

Giving a small wave back, Quinn steps into the Bay House proper. There's no kids in her immediate path to deter her from getting upstairs, and that's exactly where she's headed - towards Bella's perch, for better or worse.

Really, Quinn thinks Bella looks twenty-two? That's awfully nice of her. The disreputable doctor smiles and gives a small shrug. "I didn't know I would be staying here either, until I got here and met all the kids," said through a sardonic smile that hopefully isn't too visible from this distance.

By the time Quinn enters a more legible distance she's in better possession of her features. She doesn't lose all of her disaffection, however. And her surprise has returned as she peeks out of her door in hopes of rubbernecking and sees Quinn heading up… towards her?

Quinn must have no idea who she is. No idea at all.

The doctor's smile is graciousness itself as she extends her hand towards Robyn Quinn. "Isabella Sheridan. A pleasure to make your acquaintance."

That's a name that probably should be familiar to Quinn, maybe, given the people she associates. There's also the small fact that they've met briefly before, though Quinn certainly doesn't remember it. But, for the moment, Quinn seems blissfully unaware of who the woman before her is, and what sundry deeds she may or may not have committed against members of the Ferry in the past. Instead, she takes Bella's hand and gives it a strong shake, a smile on her face.

"Robyn Quinn," she replies with a bit of a nod. "A pleasure t' meet you as well! I hadn't heard a' anyone else movin' in here." And if it hadn't been noticed before, up close Quinn's accent seems stronger than ever as of late, for whatever reason. "I hope the kids are treating you well. They get a bit rowdy sometimes. Watch out for Lance. He likes t' scare people. And take things when you're not lookin', so you think you're goin' crazy!" She laughs a bit, shaking her head. "I dunno about an AC, but I was comin' by t' see if anything needed gettin' or doin', if you need a fan up here…"

It's the 'Isa' that might throw her off. Used as freely by her detractors as those she interfaces with (with some overlap), Bella's effective nickname is her most common referent. As Isabella, she has just a touch of unfamiliarity. Plus why ever would she be here, if she is who she is?

The name Robyn Quinn does sound familiar, but Bella is similarly slow to add things up. The feeling that is familiarity she recasts as distinctiveness - it's not just an uncommon name, it's uncommonly cool, especially when spoken with that Eireish lilt. "I'm not sure if I've got a wicked witch or evil stepmother mien, but the kids have mostly kept clear of me. But I can't blame them for being shy, especially around new people. They're all orphans, aren't they? War orphans, really, if j'appelle un chat un chat," her French accent is quite good, belying her absolute lack of real fluency.

She casts a quick glance back at the door to her room. "Well, a fan would be quite a relief, and I have a roommate whom I could press into service with lifting and carrying," she says, tapping her chin before pushing her door open, "you may enter, on the sole condition you don't judge me on the decor. I've only been here for one full day."

War orphans gets a distinctly sour look from Quinn; she more than some chooses not to acknowledge the current goings on as a war on any level. To do so would be to admit how fucked up things really are, acknowledge herself as a combatant, and shed her common stance of positivity for a near overdose in realism. It may make one a fool, but sometimes a person is better off being a fool than a jaded soldier.

"I suppose so," is nearly grumbled out in response, that little bit of realism seeping out, before brightness returns and Quinn takes Bella up on her offer, slipping into the room. "I used t' live in a crappy little studio in Brooklyn. My life lessons on decor involve tour posters and cleaning up the crap off the floor that doesn't blend in with the carpet," she relates with a smile and a grin. "The kids are usually pretty excited to meet new people. They used a puppet to put me through an inquisition when I moved into the last building they were in." Oh, that's a happy memory… but also a sad one, remembering who's no longer with them, something that has her eyes sliding off to the side for just the barest of noticeable moments.

"Anyway. I meant one a' those…" and she stumbles trying to find the word, her hand rising and moving in what's supposed to resemble and oscillating motion. And when she still can't find the word, she just signs. "One of those tand up fans or a desk one, or whatever. But if your roommate can help, I bet we could go get somethin' a lot better. I think this place is still bein' fixed up, so I don't think anyone would mind a ceiling fan or a window unit or something."

One full day is about all Bella could have had, and even so she's done a little tidying and organizing. Dresserless, clothes still rest in their suitcases, layers of dresses and blouses, skirts and socks, underwear, overwear and the various sundries she couldn't part with. Her books, however, of which there are quite a few, have been organized against the wall, bookended by a pair of winter boots and a box of what looks to be rifle rounds.

"An inquisition?" Bella echoes, smile drawn a little tight now that Quinn has given her an additional word to worry about, in excess of her already enshrined fear of 'tribunal', "are you an apostate, then? Well, I guess, what Irish Catholics aren't a little lapsed?

"I'm guessing you're SLC-Expressive," relatively safe bet, considering her hosts, "are native Irish? I ask because- well, I have to wonder why you'd stay in the United States with the Evo laws being as stringent as they are."

As to the fan, Bella frowns at the window, figuring if she'd be willing to sacrifice her perch if it meant a more pleasant temperature. "A nice big oscillator would be good," she avers, "not to mention appreciated by whatever tenants succeed me. I'm hoping to be moved to a safer safe house, if I can manage it."

A snap of fingers, and Quinn's face lights up as she points at Bella. "Oscillating! That's word i was looking for! Thanks." She gives a bit of a nod, hand messing with the flap of her bag. "I can go pick up one of those in a bit, then, or have my fiancée bring one by, since I don't have a car an' she can probably borrow one faster than I can." She shrugs a bit, laughing at the Inquisition comment.

"They nicknamed me Harley," Which Quinn still doesn’t entirely get despite her time being friends with Magnes, "and that was about the long and short of it. It was just them having silly fun, it was really quite amusing. They’re gems, he kids. Mischievous little bunch, but acceptin' of new folks as ar as I've ever been able to tell." In fact, now Quinn’s peeking out the door, to make sure Lance hasn't snuck up to listen in or anything.

But he's not (unless he's phased with Paul, which is a whole different problem), so Quinn pokes her head back in, an eyebrow raised. "Yu must be a good judge a' people," she remarks with a bit of surprise as her gaze settles back on Bella, scrutinising her on multiple levels as her eyes move up and down the other woman. "But you’re right on all three counts. Somewhat lapsed Irish Catholic, SLC-Expressive, an' native." She rolls her shoulders a bit, before her hand dips into her bag, producing a jewel case, the kind you keep CDs in. "I stick around because of my job. An' mum, she lives up in Boston."

"Thank you for saying so," Bella says, glancing back at Quinn with a smile meant to compliment the gratitude in her words, "I'm a psychiatrist by trade and training, so I like to think I've a knack, but I've been a bit out of practice lately. Mostly I've been relearning the hard lessons of the bomb. I did triage work after Midtown went up, and my most recent work was under the Dome, in the Suresh center. A lot more sutures and bandages, less couches and psychotropics.

"Good work, though - and a lot easier to justify your paycheck, to imagine the value of what you're doing." Bella moves to the window sill and picks up the slightly crooked remnant of her cigarette, brushing the ash out with a quick sweep of her hand. The topic of the children puts Bella's teeth a little on edge, and she discharges her misanthropy with a less acid comment than might be issued if, say, her roommate were her interlocutor. "Children up to mischief always make me think less of Lois Lowry and more of William Golding."

She stays near the window, in hopes that a breeze might be so kind as to grace her gable. "What job do you have that supports moonlighting as a underground railway conductor?"

"Ooooh! That makes sense, yes. No, you seem t' still have your knack for it," Quinn replies with a bit of a laugh. "I like t' think I'm a decent judge of people, but I'd never be cut out for that kinda thing, you I'm kinda envious. Not that I dislike what I do, at all. I'm sure The Ferry'll appreciate havin' you around too, particularly given the triage an' all that. Havin' another doctor around a' any kind is something that's welcome, I'm sure. Particularly these days." You know. With all the flu going around.

Quinn doesn't recognise the first name that Bella gives, but the second one rings up some recognition after a second. "…really? No, no. The kids are sweethearts, really. But I'm sure they won't bother you i you don't want them to. Brian and Gillian do a good job of keeping them in line." Mental note: See if Gillian's about, filled away for later. The inquiry on what she does, though, gets a smile, Quinn still holding the CD in hand, which she offers out in Bella's direction for her to take, if she wishes. "technically, to get by, I work at Studio K as a talent scout and radio host. But my real job is up and comin' musical sensation! At least if you ask Pause, but I'm not about t' deny it." She shrugs again, more amiably this time. "So, yeah, I'm a musician. I play on my own, an' in a band called Mad Muse."

"Call me a good judge of character? Then trust me when I say, the cruelty of children is ten times as pure as that of adults. That doesn't make them evil, it just makes the human, which is what you want, right? A too-sweet child always turns out the be the bad seed," Bella waves her hand, dismissing her last comment, "I'm being hyperbolic, I know. But I don't like to make the mistake of thinking children are innocents, or that it's growing up that makes them bad. You watch long enough, you'll figure out which of the kids here are serfs and which ones are the monarchs, which ones are bullies and which ones cry themselves to sleep because of the humiliations their peers work upon them. Children are still people, only simpler - their wickedness is similarly simpler, and all the more concentrated for it, but by no means absent, just harder to see, since they belong to their own social universe.

"In any case, I'm not worried about them bothering me," Bella says, cracking a smile, "if they do, I'll talk sense to them, and if that fails, I'll find some way to scare them shitless. But I at least like to show them the respect of acknowledging the complexity of their character. I don't dislike children," she wrinkles her nose, "infants, and toddlers? Things you can't have a conversation with? Those I dislike. Can't do a thing with 'em."

She takes the CD with a look that is on the polite side of the line between curious and skeptical. "And just like that you have a disc on hand?" she says, stooping to pick her folded reading glasses from out her suitcase, and sliding the lenses into place so she can better examine it. She cast a small smirk up at Quinn. "Don't play so modest. I can tell a genius of self promotion when I see one. Good judge of character, remember? Your words."

Bella's assessment of children, practical and truthful as it may be, also strikes Quinn as jaded and overly analytical - and it's because of this that, rather than argue (though Bella can surely see the desire brewing across Quinn's face for a good few moments), she chooses to brush it off as a consequence of Bella's choice of profession, and what that must do to a person, having to shed all innocence and illusion about who people are and how they act. Instead of argue, she simply crosses her arms and laughs a bit quietly.

"I wasn't the biggest fan of children until last summer. But it was livin' with these kids that got me t' change my mind, actually," she says with a widening grin. "I can understand not bein' a fan o the youngest ones, though. God, they still annoy me sometimes. Sometimes, you luck out on that kinda thing, though." She says this thinking back to Jolene and Adel, but that little detail is kept to herself.

She actually kinda snorts as if in disbelief, when she's called a genius in self promotion. "I don't know about that. I'm just smart about it. Meet someone who hasn't heard my music? Give 'em a CD or s a single. It's a sign of good will, builds word of mouth, an' gets the music out. Just seems smart t' me." She shrugs a bit, moving to lean against the wall. "My - uh… friend, Jolene. She thinks I'm not going t' make any money always givin' out my CDs. It's not really the point, though."

There are things to be said on either side. That naiveté makes possible through hope what systematic analysis makes one give up as a pipe dream is one take, one that Bella - in fact, understands and occasional cleaves to. Alternately, however, she'd say that love in the face of fault is better than embracing an illusion that can be as unfair to its object as its subject. Herself deeply flawed, she prefers to know and accept than deny and learn the hard way - the only trick is avoiding assuming flaws, focusing on them, until that is all that remains.

"Luck out, how? Get a quiet baby? A well behaved toddler?" Bella inquires, pressing Quinn on that unspoken vagary, "I can understand it in new mothers - if you don't get depressed from chemical withdrawal, you've got oxytocin to keep you from leaving your baby on a street corner. But-" she shakes her head, "never mind. I have a bad habit of grinding axes for lack of anything better to do. I wasn't able to bring nearly as many books as I would have liked, so I admit I'm staring down the very real possibility of bad cabin fever."

The snort earns a arched brow. "Good will? Word of mouth? That's self promotion of the oldest and most reliable kind. Though I suppose your modesty is, itself, part of that self promotion," a sly smile, "whether or not you are aware of the fact. As to whether or not you're talented," she flips open the CD case and taps the disc with her thumb, "well, I'll have to decide that on my own time, won't I?"

Tube inquiry on lucking out, something Quinn hadn't expected to be brought back around, causes her to pause a bit so she can think of a proper answer to that question. Even without knowing all the Bella's been through herself, Quinn can guess that the idea of oh, you could have your kid from the future come back. That’s much simpler! might sound a little crazy. But that in and of itself gives her an answer, "Adoption!" coming out rather quick, a finger raised like she's counting off ideas. "An' I have seen a quiet baby before. Just the one, though. I'm sure there's a few ways to render all a' that tolerable."

Turning - or more specifically, spinning on her heel so that she faces away from Bella, Quinn smile. "Any criticism you have after you listen t' it, feel free t' pass on t' me. I'm workin' on more stuff right now, so it's always nice t' have feedback. Unless, of course, it's that my music is awful and I should just go back t' Ireland. That I might choose t' ignore." But with that, she looks back over her should, a bit more cautious look on her face. "You mentioned wanting t' get to a safer safe house. So… I take it you're not just one a' the Ferry's people I haven't met before. Any place with the kids tends t' be pretty sae, but what brings you out here? Not t' be rude or anythin', I'm just curious. You don't have t' answer."

"Adopted children have higher rates of mental difficulties, are more likely to develop behavioral problems and possess, on average, a lower IQ than their adoptive parents," Bella rattles off, a grim statistician to the end, "which, of course, sounds bad only when you're not comparing it to the problems kids in foster care end up with," which are worse, presumably, "so this," she gestures towards the door and thus towards the orphans out there beyond, in the house, "is really quite a wonderful thing. Communal childrearing makes a great deal more sense, as far as I'm concerned. Saves them from the strange genetic drama of the nuclear family.

"And not having to squeeze a person, however miniature, out of your vagina in order to have a child does sound like a pretty good deal," she adds, tossing the CD case onto her bedspread, presumably for later listening. "I'm sure I will have only good things to say about your music. I'm almost as sure that they will be entirely honest. And no, I'm not a member of the network. I've simply done the network and its allies a few favors. Are you familiar with Tamara Brooks?"

Statistics are something that Quinn never really pays much attention to, in all honesty. Not unless it has something to do with the current music trends and who's selling what albums at how fast a rate and for how much - which is probably about as close as she'll ever get to any real business know-how. BUt talking about adoption, and the problems with it, catches Quinn's attention by the proverbial balls, forcing her gaze over towards Bella's with a bit of a grimace force across it. Talk of adopted children, mental difficulties - it makes her think of Jolene and her self-described mercurial nature (putting it best, according to Jolene). Which in turn makes Quinn a little sad. "The only adopted girl I know is very smart. Definitely smarter than I am."

Communal childrearing, now that gets a bit more of a laugh. "The communal thing, I think that works. I've seen it with my own eyes. When my fiancée and I have kids, I'm sure they'll end up raised by us and all of our friends. Though I'm sure that'll have its own share of, erm… problems. Depends on who you ask I guess." And then she gives a real laugh, smiling widely. "And that, Ms. Sheridan, is exactly why I plan on adopting. Well, unless she decides she wants to have kids." Which Quinn already knows she has. "Besides, I need to keep my figure for the stage."

But all of that conversation and topic jut vanishes at her mind at the mention of Tamara. Quinn perks up noticeably, closing about half the distance between her and Bella very quickly. "You know where she is?" Quinn asks, hopeful.

The reasons behind the statistics bear some explanation - on their own, like all statistics, they provide way too much room for causal attribution. "Adoptive parents are almost always richer and better educated than the children they adopt. Only the relatively wealthy are allowed to adopt, and it's the poor that have to give up their children. Poorer means less education, worse family life - if they even had one - and thus all the mental problems associated. Taking a child into your home is the best blessing you could grant them, really. All those problems are problems of circumstance, a circumstance you'd be changing for the better." See, Bella is capable of a positive attitude!

"Though I don't know that you'll have much chance to legally adopt, considering the scrutiny you'd be under from state agencies. That you are able to pursue a life as an entertainer and- you said you were mentioned in a magazine?" Bella's smile cants to the side, a tinge wry, "I wonder that you are able to maintain the low profile I thought necessary for underground railroad work." But apparently every silver lining comes with a dark cloud.

Bella nods, though, at the mention of Tamara. "I delivered Ms. Brooks from Institute custody. My last little act of defiance before jumping ship."

"Oh my god." It probably just goes to show how trusting 0 or naive - that Quinn is that she immediately closes the distance between the pair, attempting to close around Bella for a hug. She's a hugger. So sue her. "Thank you," is said quietly, eyes closing and Quinn taking a deep breath. The fact that this means that Bella was Institute doesn’t even register, or if it does, Quinn doesn't care. "I know so many people that are going to be relieved to hear that. Maybe one a' them will come home now, even."

She sighs, stepping back and giving Bella back her personal space. "Hell of an act. But again, thank you." And then, with a smile, she back to other topics. Not that she isn't grateful. She just doesn’t know what else to say. "I keep to myself, mostly. I mean, I do shows, and I have the radio show… but I'm not out really doing that much t' make myself known. Not that I don't want to be, but I know the position I'm in right now. I try to be careful, but you're right. Eventually, cover's going t' be hard. So I do what I can now."

A beat. "What about adopted kids who end up in the same situation there were before? You know what, never mind. That's… complicated t' go over, don't worry about it."

Bella is enough on her game to receive the hug with just enough surprise. She returns it in good time, grateful for Quinn's gratitude, and while the whole ritual is very consciously performed, it would be a lie to say that Bella doesn't appreciate this kind of treatment - it's hardly what she could have expected. "Well it- was something I was in a position to do. And I couldn't leave her with them."

With personal space comes room to jibe a little. "What, you accidentally ended up with a magazine article about you?" Bella replies, with a small laugh, "if that is 'not out really doing much', then I can't even imagine what it would look like if you decided to pursue fame. And a radio show? You're either being radically false with your modesty, or you're straight up delusional." She dips her head. "Not to knock delusion. You do what you must to get by, just-" another laugh, maybe a little strained, "be careful. A scooter with a backfire that loud wouldn't be all that hard to follow."

And Quinn should stop bringing things up if she doesn't want Bella to pursue them! "What do you mean? A child who is put back into the state's care after an unsuccessful adoption?"

"I certainly wasn't expecting to end up in a magazine," Quinn counters, arms crossing in a mockingly annoyed fashion. "I think whoever they wanted t' be their cover person cancelled, an' my album had just come out t' rave reviews, so…" No ego, none at all! "I guess I'm a bit delusional then. I mean… its a few isolated incidents, and it's not like the radio show is anything high profile. Just a two hour long thing where I barely talk and play my favourite indie bands, mostly." She shrugs, letting her hands move down to her hips. I guess I never really think about it. It's not like I have people snapping pictures of me, or showin' up at my apartment, or stoppin' me on the street. So it never really seems like I have much of a profile…" Though, form the sound of it, Bella has given Quinn some food for thought. "Besides. There's higher profile in the Ferry. Or was until a few months ago, at least."

But, Bella returns to the adoption topic, and it has Quinn scratching a bit nervously at her cheek. "Well… more like a situation in which a guardian dies, leaving a child to be raised by friends? Change of guardianship, but not really of the living situation outside that." A beat. "Well. Besides the fact that said new guardians are two women instead of otherwise. But it's just something I was musing about, that's all."

"Personally, I think more high profile Evolved in the entertainment industry can only be a good thing," Bella avers, a woman just bursting with opinions from the sounds of it, "you might end up doing as much or more good out in the limelight making fans, than delivering fans- not," she adds, in mock-hasty amendment, "that I'm not absolutely holding you to that delivery."

Robyn Quinn's example sounds awfully specific, and Bella gives the younger woman a look of frank appraisal. "You can tell me your situation, if you'd like. I'm a shrink, I'm professionally discreet. I don't know if my expertise extends so far, I'll admit - I'm not up to date on all the figures regarding queer families, and there is an unforgivable paucity of research done anyways, but-" she shrugs, "sometimes it really just helps to talk about it."

"I couldn't agree more!" There's a brightness both to Quinn's words and her face - almost literally, in fact, though Quinn isn't intending to make any pointed use of her ability. Every now and then, though, a little something slips through. "Make no mistake - I have every intention of bein' famous, of bein' someone out there in the public, hopefully reinforcing a positive image for Evolved. I just plan to keep doing what I can until I reach that point, and I'm in no rush to get there. Rushing to get there just means leaving the spotlight sooner, and I want to take my time once I get there." A beat and her smirk returns. "I'll still get you a fan, though."

Uh oh. Clearly Quinn should have given Bella more credit. Or followed the advice she had recently said she was told a lot - to shut her mouth. "It's not really my situation," Quinn admits, now looking away from Bella, brows nit in an anxious expression. "It's… complicated. I'm pretty sure you wouldn't believe me anyway. Granted, that could probably describe a good portion of the last year, but interesting times, eh?"

Bella isn't seeing things, she doesn't think. So that would make Quinn a photokinetic or photogenerative - worth noting. "I wanted a certain degree of professional fame," she admits, "unfortunately I'm now at the point where my options are infamy or anonymity so…" she gives a small shrug, "I'm looking forward to a gentle fading away." A small chuckle. "And thanks, I'll be hanging out of that window praying to here the sharp report of your muffler each day I'm fanless so please, for my health and safety, hurry. If I faint from heat, I'll tumble to my doom."

There's something a little rapacious to Bella's curiosity, but she hides it well as interest. Really, it's just so refreshing to have someone come to her with their worries, to see someone list towards confession. It reminds her of times before. "I told you I worked under the Dome, didn't I? The limits of my credulity have been pretty radically expanded- especially since the eighth. Please," she makes an open gesture with her hand, "tell me what's on your mind."

"Aaaw." Yes, that's what Quinn says, a hand reaching out to Bella's shoulder. 'Who knows. You may still be able to, someday. Things can't stay like this forever, right? That's what I believe, at least. It's part of why I'm doing what I'm doing. I mean, yeah, maybe I'll make more of a difference once I'm famous. But for now, this is the easiest way without someone trying to bait or censor a local music artist, you know?" She shrugs a bit. She shakes her head, letting out a bit of an amused laugh. "I'll get a fan out here before curfew. If not then, tomorrow morning, since I don't have to go into the studio."

When Bella presses, Quinn looks back towards the door for a moment, as if again wanting to make sure that no children have snuck in, becoming onlookers. "My ex-girlfriend was in the Dome. Poor woman, it did a number on her. But I'm talking…." She folds her hands in front of her, and then opens them outwards, hands expanding outwards. "Bigger than anything like that. At least to me." She looks at Bella for several moments, considering, before she takes a deep breath. "It's- time travel related," she finally admits. "And it's a long, long story."

Bella's arms fold across her chest as she hears Quinn out. She enjoys the cadence of the woman's accent, the good natured ease of her speech, the openness that is not pathological or performative - Quinn lets slip much more than she puts forth. It just seems as if she's naturally honest, despite herself. Charming, in truth. And she's smiling. And it's genuine.

Mention of time travel leaves the smile on her face, materially intact, but it's aspect changes with the shift in her eyes. A certain tiredness maybe? Not surprise, though, and not disbelief. "I've a few of those myself, as it happens," she states, then: "tell me yours."

Quinn can't help but reach over and scratch at her arm, a sort of nervous tick she doesn't mean to put forth. The fact taht Bella has her own time travel stories is both a surprise and yet at the same time not - there seems to be enough of it going around in recent weeks that it's less the fact that surprises, more the who behind the incidents. "Long stories or time travel stories? Or // long time travel stories//?" she asks, fishing for a bit of a laugh to break what is likely a sudden one sided sense of tension.

She takes a deep breath, looking around for a moment for somewhere to sit - not that she wants to mimic what is quickly becoming an impromptu session of sorts, but because it'll make her more comfortable. But then, that would be the aim in a session, wouldn't it? She doesn't want take a seat on what passes for Bella's bed, that is likely a bit too much for someone who just happened to stop by. And speaking of just stopping by, how did that turn into this anyway?

"I actually have two stories I could tell, if we're going to talk about this," she says quietly as she moves to instead sit on the floor, knees pulled up against her rather than crossed. "Do you want short or long? Because we'll be here a while if I go over the whole long story. But I'm not sure it has proper context without it…"

"Are there any short time travel stories?" Bella quips, setting her back against the wall and sliding into a sit as well. The only other place to rest one's weary haunches is the bed - of which there is only one, implying that roommate is also bedfellow - and that seems a rather heavily connoted platform for so early an acquaintance.

"Give me as much information as you'd like, in whatever order you see fit. If I desire clarification, I'll interject, like so-" Bella lifts her hand, like a student might in a college seminar, a gesture that intimates request rather than commend, "but please, don't break a line of thought if you're in the midst."

"Okay, that's fair," Quinn responds with a quick but genuine laugh. But it fades quickly, the Irishwoman fidgeting a bit in her seat before she speaks up again. "There's two stories, like I said. One of them's more- about my fiancée than me. There's…" Quinn wrinkles her nose a bit. She hasn't had trouble talking about this before. Why now? "Time travellers about, lately. An' dreams t' of with them, like some bad movie or something. Fuckin widespread future dreams or somethin'. Anyway… A while back, the band I mentioned, Mad Muse? We got a new drummer. Wonderful young woman, she's been a good friend. Except, it turned out… she was my fiancée’s daughter- with another woman, with the help of her ex-boyfriend, an' communally raised by her, her wife, me, an' my wife."

A pause to let that sink in, before she continues. "The other one's… a lot more personal. Because the daughter, our drummer? Introduced me to a friend a' hers a few months back. She was nice, if distressed. I made the mistake a' hitttin' on her, thankfully she was gone when I did. But… I foudn out not too long ago that her mother - who I only recently met - died in the future, an' my girlfrind- well, wife I guess, then, an' I took her in. An' now they're all here t' make sure things don't end up as bullshit an' bleak as their future sounds like. I mean… if you believe them. An' I do, so far. They seem on the ball, an' they're really quite wonderful.""

And with that, she stops, and looks at Bella, as if daring her to ask her to continue. "Which is why what you were talkin' about grabbed my interest. It… made me think about all of that. Got me kinda curious. The one I took in, she's kinda- well, she described herself as mercurial, but she flip flops on her moods every time I'm with her, an' it's worryin'. So, I thought, maybe…" And she shrugs. Like she expects Bella to fill in the gap of maybe there's a chance our situation was to blame.

Okay, well, Bella can't entirely fault Quinn for being hesitant to relate this particular tale, not just because of its pure strangeness - and it's strange as anything - but because of its oddly private nature. Nothing quite like an alternate future child to underline just how incestuous a group of friends can be. Plus, a band? Of young people? It's actually rather unsurprising just- personal.

No, actually, the trouble is that Bella can believe this story, and all too well. The 'really quite wonderful' bit is an awesome touch of irony, too. The urge to confess the particulars of her own tale rises in her, but she pushes it down. If this is an impromptu session, then this is Quinn's time.

Not that she can't bring in personal anecdote. "I walked into a dessert shop and proceeded to get drawn into a conversation about the blissful alternate future marriage of my significant other with his ex. This conversation was with said ex. Trust me when I say, I can appreciate the peculiarity of your situation, if not quite to the same degree."

Bella's head tilts. "Are you concerned that the young woman you would have raised in this other timeline is- unhappy with the choices you made in this timeline? There are a lot of strange things you could feel about this - our investments in the social ties of family are some of the deepest and more complex. I just want to make sure I know precisely what is troubling you."

The anecdote gets a bit of a laugh. "Well, my ex-girlfriend and I… it was a complicated relationship. I was surprised t' see that we were still t'gether in the future, much less married. An' seein' - actually, at one point seein' - my fiancée with another woman, one who broke her heart before we became involved, it left me with- you know. Really jealous, t' be honest. A lot of things kinda… happened at once." She waves a hand. That's not what Bella's asked, the woman's just made the mistake of starting this with Quinn, someone who doesn't really get to talk about her own worries and problems with people too often. Save Elaine, but even then Quinn censors herself sometimes.

"Well, I mean… is it weird, that I feel connected to them as I do? I mean, I'm not- an idiot. I know I didn't raise either of them. Not yet, anyway, and it seems like there's a pretty good chance I won't," Quinn begins, quietly. "They both say I did good by them, they still call me mom sometimes. It's like being a weird mix of peer and mother, even though I've never actually been their mother. An' the girl- the one I took in - she says I was good to her. But I've seen her mood swing so dramatically enough now to know that something’s wrong, and that it could be any number of things. I guess when you started rattling off statistics, it made me wonder if it was just because of the situation that poor young woman was in."

If anyone has made a mistake, it's probably the person describing the chaotic landscape of their romantic life to a near-total stranger who also happens to be, by all sane accounts, a hateful, evil person. Not that Quinn would know, but that she doesn't know and is still unloading…

But maybe Bella is just easy to talk to.

"I'm very sorry for dropping those grim statistics on you- I," Bella gives an apologetic wince, "I was being an ass. As I can be, as you'll learn, if you get to know me. But- statistics express normative situations. They rely on the production of means, norms, and standard deviations. Your situation is- far from normal, as I'm sure you don't me to tell you.

"Of course, that only means you have unique difficulties to overcome," Bella continues, wryly, "but when in doubt- and this pertains to both of these stories- I'd suggest open communication. It is astounding how many problems are the result of miscommunication, and misinterpretation. I mean- even now, you're trying to figure out what this young woman thinks or feels by talking to a stranger," a smirk, "however well educated. And I'm flattered, don't get me wrong, but you can see why perhaps it's not me that you need to talk to."

Quinn opens her mouth, not really to protest, but maybe to clarify, elaborate, something. But she closes it, staring at Bella for a good few seconds before her face starts to colour just the slightest bit of red, presumably from embarrassment. "Oh God, I'm sorry! I didn't mean to-" She bites at her lip, looking around a moment, before she begins to rise up to her feet. "I just don't- really get t' talk t' people very often. I didn't mean t' just start spewin' things out t' you like that." She laughs a bit nervously.

"I'm just worried about her. I guess I will go talk t' her soon, then." A bit of a nod, and Quinn steps forward, offering a hand down to Bella, to help her up as well. "For what it's worth, you're clearly good at your job. Approachable, if nothin' else." As Quinn has just proven without much room for argument. "Thank you, though. It was nice t' talk t' someone. Particularly about something so absolutely feckin' bizarre."

Bella takes Quinn's hand, accepting the help to her feet. "I'd hope I'd something to recommend me beyond my approachability," she says, with a light laugh, dusting off the back of her jeans. "And please, I pressed you for information. In fact, it's often easier to talk about these things with someone who's uninvolved. Gives you space to figure out how you feel, and how things really stand."

Maybe sometime Bella can talk about her future non-child, and how wonderful and on the ball he is. But as of right now, it feels rather nice to concern herself with someone else's problems, and to hope that maybe she's done a little to help. "Don't waste time. Be ready, but don't over think it. Honesty is easier in the moment. Truth is purer when its spontaneous."

"Well, I don't know where she lives," Quinn says a bit sheepishly. Which might be a bit odd, considering the nature of things, but Quinn’s never pressed on the issue. "Either of them, actually. I'm at the mercy of when I can reach her again. But I'll make sure she knows I want to talk to her as soon as possible." A confirming nod, and Quinn smiles brightly. "Well, certainly you do. But I imagine approachability help a lot."

A glance towards the door, and Quinn furrows her brow. "If I can't reach her now, I'll at least go get your fan," she remarks with a grin, before looking back at Bella. "Thanks for putting up with me. I promise I won't dump my thoughts on you like that again. But do feel free to give me a call sometime." And to punctuate that, her hand withdraws from her bag, offering over a small business card - which does have her cell and home numbers on it, at least. "I'll try not to scare you with the backfire when I get back."

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