Just Breathe


jaiden_icon.gif lucille2_icon.gif

Scene Title Just Breathe
Synopsis Sometimes you just have to breathe.. or you'll go insane.
Date November 28, 2010

Jaiden's Garage- Basement Apartment

The door to Jaiden's below-ground apartment opens into a 20 x 20 living room. There is a small section of wooden flooring near the door for people to take their shoes off, while the rest of the apartment is furnished with a heavy pile carpet in a rich royal red. The living room features an enormous sofa which could double as a spare bed, and often does, a coffee table, a leather chair and a built-in bench which serves as an entertainment center and offers additional storage. A short hallway extends to the back of the apartment with two doors on the right and a large bookcase against the wall between. The first opening to the left leads to the kitchen - a sleek modern design that provides all amenities for basic cooking and beyond - enough to hold a feast out of. A large 4 burner stovetop, dishwasher, microwave, convection oven and refrigerator as well as a well-used coffee machine live here, giving one the tools needed to prepare simple, filling meals. The door on the right leads to Jaiden's bedroom. This room is painted in warm colors, the small windows allowing just enough light in to make it seem larger than it actually is. It has a queen sized bed with a thick pillow-top mattress; perfect for snuggling. In addition, sitting on the night table is a laptop computer that gives ready access the Internet. The bathroom is across from the kitchen, offering direct access from both the living room and bedroom, furnished with a full size tub and shower, as well as lots and lots of fluffy towels.

Behind the bookcase, though, the Apartment becomes something else…

Set up for an extended stay for several people, the back wall has two doors that open into small rooms, the right holding a bathroom and a pair of showers, the left hiding a makeshift armory with rifles, shotguns, pistols and ammunition, caged off in a locked enclosure. Wires from the generator upstairs are fed into a circuit breaker that powers the lights and the pump that draws water from are-purposed well. Several cots are set up - unmade for now, but with pillows and blankets stacked on a nearby shelf. Another shelf near the entrance has canned and dried food, bandages and medicines and the like in neatly labeled bins.

November 28th is a nice, calm Sunday. Thanksgiving weekend had just ended and most people were either on the road heading back to their lives that start back up Monday or, if you're like Jaiden, getting back from a 'fishing excursion' to Polypiel island with a few supplies for the folks up there. The garage door rumbles on it's casters as the opener pulls it from it's moorings, and the rumble of Jaiden's mustang can be heard as he pulls in and shuts it off. Footsteps, too, head down the stairs to the apartment below, the man tired from his journey but fulfilled in his duty to those he has chosen to ally himself with. A prod of the keypad on the side of the stairs closes the garage door, locking it behind him with heavy bolts to deter trespassers, and he enters the apartment, tired, and not expecting to find anyone.

"You know when Del first turned up missing, I wanted to shoot you in the face."

Comes the voice of a woman sitting in the corner of the room. Booted feet crossed and black gloved hands turning the page in a book about the Evolved and their abilities. The woman's dark hair hangs loose and in her face as she stares down at the pages. Sunglasses perched on her head, she tilts her head as light grey eyes study the man in front of her.

Hello there brother in law. Lucille grins softly towards Jaiden and closes the book. Beside her on the wall would be the shotgun that she acquired during the 8th of November, Lysandra. We don't think she's coming to play today. Dressed in a pair of dark jeans and a long sleeved top, her leather jacket is laid over her lap.

Her eyebrows raise towards her sister's boyfriend and she dips her head. "But I figure when Delia wakes up she won't be happy if I killed her boyfriend." She says softly but the look says it all. Jaiden is expected to tell her when things go on with her sister.. especially when he's taking her away from her family. "That means.. I forgive you." Not that he said sorry, but she doesn't want him thinking she's holding a grudge. She's not.. kind of..?

At those words, Jaiden freezes in the door, looking up, his hand still frozen on the knob, ready to yank it closed. Chances are, at this range, he can get the door shut and locked before she can grab the gun and fire, and even then, he might be out of the way enough to only get a few pellets.

He does relax slightly at the nod, even stepping into the apartment and closing the door, shuffling off the backpack slung over his shoulders with a rustle of fabric and the clink of buckles before turning back to Lucille with a resigned sigh. "Join the club, I suppose. Your dad's probably in the same boat, wanting my head for taking Delia somewhere safe, but…you have to admit her on that island was not the best place for her. She's at Redbird now, with round the clock care, an IV, and a feeding tube to keep her body alive long enough for her spirit to return."

The door to the apartment is closed, Jaiden looking around to see if there are any other surprises before making his way to the fridge, feeling Lucille's eyes on him as he goes, trying to determine how long the woman's been here. He did give her a key - he just wasn't expecting such an interesting greeting.

"Well you definitely cannot blame him. Dad is the definition of over protective." Lucille appreciates that about her father though. It's why she's still alive. Placing the book in her duffle bag sitting at her feet, she gets up and leans against a nearby table.

"No hard feelings, you love Delia. I get it. But where's this Redbird.. I'll be needing to make a visit." She wants to hold Delia's hand, smooth back her hair.. just see her sister. For a moment, that's all she needs. "You're absolutely sure.. that you can trust these people at Redbird? By the way.. what kind of name is Redbird?" she chuckles lightly and folds her arms across her chest.

Her eyes wander as she looks around the apartment again. The last time she was here.. she and Delia had it out. Here comes the guilt patrol, no time for that though. As Lucille shakes her head, as if to shake the bad memories from her system. She can't afford to get all.. wimpy and emotional. Not right now.

Wimpy and emotional does have a time and a place. Maintaining a hard edge for too long causes stress to the person, and eventually, they'll break. Hard is good, but not all the time. Sometimes soft is required to bring the hard into context. If hard is all you know, the person becomes hard and never experiences anything else. "Well, I know he is, which is kind of why I did it under everyone's nose. Less questions. Less worry. Less of everything. Your day knows where Delia is but hasn't been able to visit thanks to his new duties on the island."

At the comment about Redbird's name, Jaiden chuckles, pulling open the fridge and rummaging, coming out with a container of something that, once sniffed, is deemed edible and thrown into the microwave to heat through. "I'm absolutely sure I can trust them, Lucille. I wouldn't have left Delia there if I could do anything less. She'd still be there, in my bed, hooked up to an IV, but…as you may guess, this place is a target, being one of the few Ferry safehouses left that's intact and active. I'm covering my bets, basically…putting the thing dearest to me in a spot that's protected, powered, and manned with people who won't be bothered by the government." He pauses, taking a seat at the bar. "How long have you been 'on duty'? Like this? all wired up with the shotgun?"

She trusts Jaiden's judgement, she'd be stupid not too. "Okay, if you say so." She grins lazily and then she's nudging Jaiden over with her hips so that she can grab something from inside the fridge. "I.." the question makes Lucille pause and she looks up, leaning against the fridge to look at Jaiden. "I didn't know who I was before." She says with a light smile, thinking back. "With manifesting.. the riots.. Delia. Things have changed inside of me." She shrugs lightly.

"I guess, I'm becoming the person I'm meant to be? As if Fate is finally showing me my path." Lucille Ryans chuckles and she shuts the fridge after finding nothing she wants to eat right now. "Do I seem.. different?" she feels different. She doesn't feel like the model that she use to be. Back in the day when things were simple and all she had to do was walk in great clothes and flirt with the male models during photoshoots.
Nudged aside, the bounty of Jaiden's fully stocked refrigerator beckons to Lucille, offering leftover turkey and dressing, a few fresh vegetables (wilted, but still edible) and something with beef and potatoes cooked in a wine sauce. All very unhealthy, but amazingly delicious. Jaiden pauses and considers how best to reply. "Well, remember, I know you from a few weeks ten years ago and then only recently when you got back into the city, but…from that initial encounter when you got back in the city to now, you're very different. More grown up. Less carefree."

He stands aside as the fridge is shut, nothing taken out, watching the timer on the microwave, stabbing the open button just before it beeps, letting the contents cool enough to handle before taking it out. "There are too many hard people in the world, Lucille. It's a defense mechanism to keep from getting hurt. Trust me, I've seen it all around the world. You close yourself off to very few things to keep from being hurt. But everyone breaks eventually, and it's not pretty when it happens." He looks over. "Relax, Lulu. Breathe."
You have been applauded.

"I guess you're right.. about the carefree bit." Lucille says and she grins, a glimmer of the girl she use to be showing for a moment to Jaiden. Something usually only her father gets to see. A hand goes out to pat Jaiden's arm as she goes to flop onto the couch and put her feet up on the coffee table. Kicking her shoes off, she looks at the young man.

"Don't worry Jaiden, I'm surprised Del never told you.." Lucille looks down at her hands, as she pulls at her gloves. Finger by finger. "I've already been broken. I just put myself back together." She snorts softly and shakes her head. "If you could have seen me after everything.. losing mom.. the addiction to those pills." The former model leans forward and stretches a bit. "I was a shadow of someone.. I didn't truly exist.. but now." the light in her eyes brightens and she grins towards Jaiden. "I'm alive again, I've found myself. And though it may be darker than the girl you use to know.. chalk it up to the fucked up world we live in."

Her expression softens a bit at Jaiden's look and she waves a hand to the side somewhat dismissively. "Don't worry about me.. really. I'm still letting people in, I'm talking to you aren't I?" she closes her eyes for a second and lounges back on the couch. "How're you holding up?" she peeks out of one eye towards the dude. She knows not having Delia around is a hard thing for him right now.

"She's a good girl." Jaiden says with a smile, grabbing the tupperware container of what looks to be macaroni and cheese with bits of ham mixed in. "I don't think she wanted to tell me about her family's problems until we got a little closer. After all, she and I only really knew each other for a couple of months before you arrived again."

Jaiden takes a bite and stretches, leaning forward, arms going across the bar where he sits, his back popping lightly as he does. "You chipped away the things that didn't matter and reformed yourself into what you truly were. It's not often someone gets to do that. Just remember to breathe now and again….I love your sister, and since you're family, I love you too. Don't get wound too tight without letting go."

Nodding her head towards Jaiden, she decides to change the subject. There are other things they need to discuss. "So, my dad says I have a new family member. Keira Fionn?" she furrows her eyebrows at the name. She kind of hates that surprise that Keira is to her. "She apparently thought my dad.. was her dad. But that's not true. Dad got the results from an DNA test, their in Gun Hill. Fat lot of good that does us. She's a cousin," she removes her gloves and places them on the table.

"My Uncle Brick's kid we think, but we'd have to be sure. Meaning, give her the number and have her get in contact with him. You know where to find her?" She braces herself on the inside, she's nervous to meet this new family member. What if she's a raving lunatic? Nah.. that couldn't happen. Lucille is the raving lunatic of the family. Or that's what most people think.

"I feel kind of bad for her.. thinking my dad is her dad.. then finding out that he's not and she has to continue looking for her real father.. I couldn't imagine that." And she's glad she doesn't have to go through that.
"The couple of times I ran into her, she was an interesting character. She could go off at the drop of a hat. Tattooed and pierced to high heaven as far as I could see and it wouldn't surprise me if there were a few other spots I didn't see that were. Seemed to be kind of…rough, y'know? Not bad people, just a bad upbringing. 'Least that's what it seemed from the couple of times I saw her." Jaiden shrugs and takes another bite of his mac and cheese. "I might be able to get in contact with her through a friend who runs a motorcycle garage." The way he speaks of it, it's like he's not even sure he'll be able to get in contact with her, but hey, he's going to try.

"Hm." She muses to herself. Looks like there is a new raving lunatic in the family. Lucille might want to keep her around, she might out due Lu. Which would be a very, very good thing. "Well.. she sounds pleasant." The dark haired woman says and she scratches her arm as she pulls her sleeves up.

"If you can find her, that'd be awesome. I'd really appreciate it. I want to kind of get this over with already, ya know?" she asks Jaiden before folding her arms. "It's okay with you if I stay here for a little while right? Seeing has.. I can't get a place of my own right now.." she thinks and shakes her head.

If she had access to her money.. she could have a freaking house in Solstice. Oh well, it can't be helped. "I won't be dirty.. and I won't walk around naked. Promise." She chuckles and ruffles her hair even more. She needs a shower soon. It's like.. crucial actually. She feels gross.
"I really don't know her well enough to make an informed judgement, but…." He shrugs with one shoulder. "I'll do my best to find her. Promise." Jaiden grins and scrapes the rest of the mac and cheese out, tossing the whole container into the sink to be cleaned up just a little later. There's a tilt of his head as she asks to stay, the man closing his eyes and nodding slightly in approval. "Course you can. You're family, after all. Not being dirty is good. Not walking around naked? Well?" Jaiden winks. "I'd be lying if I said I'd mind you doing that too terribly much."

Jaiden gets to his feet and makes his way to the bathroom, peering in to make sure that, yes, it's clean, leaning out to look at Lucille. "Okay, shower's open, and I've got the washer empty. Or will in about three minutes. Towels are behind the door and I've got some nicer shampoo on the shelf next to the shower. Conditioner too, Dove body bars and the like. I'll steal your clothes and wash 'em while you're in the shower and you can just hang out in a robe, or naked, until they're clean or you can get some more. And if you can't, I can help you with that too. You're a size….three, right?"

Hey hey now. "My sister wouldn't like that Jaiden and I'm not a home wrecker. You're like my brother hun." She winks at Jaiden as she gets up and nods her head at his directions. "You're a godsend. Shampoo and conditioner?" Lucille closes her eyes in happiness. Oh she gets to wash her hair properly and smell good.. and be nice looking again. Ahhhh heaven, truly paradise.

At the estimation of her size she blinks. "Four." She admits and chuckles. There was a time when that would have been like.. horrific. Now she doesn't really care all that much. "I'll leave the clothes outside the door. No peeking, you." She wags her finger in Jaiden's direction and then she's laughing. A real laugh. See? She's breathing. Her head reappears from around the corner and she grins at Jaiden. "Thanks again Jaiden." She says softly and she's closing the bathroom door. To get clean.. is a marvelous thing.

If only cleaning yourself on the outside.. cleaned what was within.

"I'll be good, I'll be good." Jaiden says with a smirk and a wave, listening for the door to click closed a second time before moving over and taking up the dirty clothes, scurrying over to the washer and tossing them in with a good amount of soap to get clean. Luckily, the washer's on a separate water line, so when it starts to fill, there's no unpleasant loss in pressure or increase in temperature to the person in the shower.

And the shower? It was built specifically to lounge in, if that makes sense. Yes, it's got a bathtub, but it's also got a seat in the back that the showerhead can aim at just perfectly, letting water just stream away without worry of getting too terribly prune like. The shampoo and conditioner and soap…well, it's not top-of-the-line salon stuff, but it's damn close, smelling of lavender and cream and other good things. If Lu's hair is dry or anything, that stuff will soak in and make it like a silken waterfall coming from her head, and if she pokes just a little more behind the door where the shampoo and stuff lies? Ladies' shaving razor, new, unused, with some of that moisturizing lotion for use as well. Jaiden, it seems, was preparing for women using his shower.

Lucille's shotgun is taken and unloaded, then slowly disassembled on an oily towel laid across the stone bar, each part cleaned, checked for wear, and set aside.

After about twenty minutes of showering and washing herself and doing it all over again. A much clean looking and happy looking Lucille wanders out from the bathroom, wrapped in a comfortable robe. "Can I say.. best brother ever." Lucille says as she yawns and dries her hair off more before she lays down on the couch and curls up.

"I'm gonna take a quick nap." She says, it's like when you're little and you swear you're not gonna go to sleep. Lu isn't in for a nap, she's in for a rest. A complete rest, her body relaxes and soon her breathing becomes even as she drifts off to sleep.

Safe.. comfortable and fucking clean.

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