Just This One Last Time


wf_quinn1_icon.gif wf_rue1_icon.gif

Scene Title Just This One Last Time
Synopsis An alternate version of what could have been. No strings attached.
Date August 3, 2011

Bannerman's Castle

Are you sure you want to do this? Quinn had asked, and of course the answer was a resounding yes, without room for doubt. But here in the flickering candles of a room used hours ago to discuss the next day's mission, Rue is pouring over the map just one more time, with a glass of whiskey brought back from the mainland in hand.

Courage in a flask, some people call it. Her finger traces over hashmarks that denote railroad tracks, then draw a line to where she and Liza Messer are ultimately meant to stand sentinel in their scouting mission. No big deal. They won't even have to fire a shot.

Rue takes a drink from her glass. She'll save the rest of the bottle for tomorrow, when she and Raith are back in the great hall, talking about how well things went, all things considered. Because, all things considered, things are going to go well. Reaching into the pocket of her unzipped Batman hoodie, she retrieves the headphones that lead to her iPod. The charge won't last more than a couple hours, but she'll survive without it in the days she has to spend in Bannerman's Castle, laying low before she can return to the mainland where there's electricity to charge the MP3 player. Until then, she'll content herself with the works of Saint-Saëns.

It had been the usual things that had brought Quinn to Pollepel Island - helping with supplies, checking on the Lighthouse Kids, and generally seeing what she could do to help out in the off time she had. And the worry that she had felt when she first asked Rue that question hadn't abated over the course of the night.

Maybe that's why she's walking down the hall, one hand held out and illuminating the way in front of her like a flashlight, instead of sleeping so that she can head home tomorrow and resume normal life.

Looking for Rue in the makeshift warroom hadn't been her first thought - for some reason - so it's taken her a bit now to track down the "wayward" model. And even once she does, she snuffs out her light and leans against the doorframe, choosing not to immediately disturb the other woman.

That doesn't last.

After on a minute or two, Quinn has a finger raised, a thin beam of light moving out of it like a tiny pen light as she flashes it across the map in front of Rue in an attempt to get her attention.

Whiskey cradled to her chest, eyes closed, Rue had begun to sway along to the music piping through the purple ear buds in her ears. Without her pointe shoes, the movements are more imperfect than usual, but she still goes through the turns and motions in a languid sort of fashion. It's when she opens her eyes again to get her bearings that she sees the light on the map and turns to see the woman watching her.

"Quinnie." Rue smiles and settles her hip against the map table. It doesn't last long, however. An uncertainty in her gaze. She's afraid the French-Irishwoman has come to talk her out of the mission, and worries there are only so many times she can refuse her. "You want some?" The glass is held out toward the other woman.

"Doing your best me impression?" said French-Irishwoman asks, pointing at Rue's ear buds with amusement across her face. "Though I guess you'd need those big headphones I wear for that." A bit of a shrug, and Quinn pushes off the doorframe, stepping into the room proper. Hands slip into her cold jean pockets, an eyebrow raised at the glass that's offered to her.

"You sure that's wise?" when paired with the grim she gives, is meant to be one those mostly-a-joke-but-maybe-not things. That, however, doesn't stop Quinn from giving a bit of a nod of affirmation. "So, this is where you all are goin'?" she asks, looking down at the map as she approaches. She'd heard little bits and pieces from Rue earlier, but this was her first time seeing details.

"Yeah," Rue confirms, handing off the drink. "Heller will be arriving on one of the trains, and Monsieur Allègre and Mister Raith are going to take him out." Her bright blue gaze roams over the map of Staten Island once more time, as if checking the details again, then comes back up to settle on Quinn. "Raith's got it all planned out. They're not even going to know what hit 'em."

There's a wide grin at that. Yes, they're going to kill someone. Actively. But Rue Lancaster knows what Colonel Heller's capable of. Ridding the world of him is something she refuses to have any qualms about. "After tomorrow, things will start to get better."

"Wow." Normally, Quinn would bristle and be more visibly uncomfortable with this fact, that they're going with the explicit intention of killing someone - after all, isn't that what Messiah tried last summer? But with everything she;s heard about Heller, this is one time where she's willing to swallow down her differing opinion she normally has on this matter, if she doesn't vocalise it. "I'm glad it's Raith in charge. I've never seen someone who knows how to take charge of shit as well as he does."

She leans over a bit, looking over the map curiously, before settling back on her feet. Only now, there's a much more serious look on her face, the previous grin replaced with a flatter look of worry as she looks over at Rue. "If you're sure about this," less of a question this time, though not without that hint of it. As she trails of, Quinn hand rises, placed against Rue's back and scratching gently. "Just make sure you come back okay, okay? No extra holes or anything. Not even any piercings you decide to get between now an' the next time I come by. I'll hold those against you."

"I'm sure." It's a level, almost grave sort of response. Rue's attempting to convince Quinn of her conviction, as much as she's been lighthearted about her role in this mission before.

She loops one arm loosely around Quinn's waist and her lips tug upward faintly as she listens to her. "Awww." Rue's hand roams a little lower. "You sure about that? I was thinkin' you'd really like the piercing I had in mind. I was gonna surprise you." Her tongue darts between her teeth, a cheeky grin.

Quinn's eyes shift to look over at Rue suspiciously, then down at what she can see of her arm, a smile on her face. "Yep. Totally sure. No missing pieces of you're body, it's not allowed. Now, once you're back, and I've check to make sure, if you wanna surprise me then…" It isn't meant to come off as suggestive as it does, but if Quinn thinks twice about it, she doesn't show it. Instead she just lets that grin sit for a few more moments before it begins to diminish.

"I'm not kidding," Quinn remarks more quietly, this time looking directly at Rue. "You better come back fine, or I'm going to be so mad with you." She looks down a bit, then back at the map. "I worry about these kinds of things. But this is the first time I've had such a good friend go along on one of them. Well… besides Magnes. And for the Ferry. Okay, it's not the firs time, but it never makes me any less uneasy, alright? Shut up." Said pre-emptively, of course.

Rue pokes Quinn in the nose then reaches to gather her shirt in her fist, gently dragging her away from the map until her backside connects with another table set out on the other side of the room. This one clear of any crucial mission information. "Okay, no piercings. I'll come back with all my parts just as you remember them. But just in case…" The younger girl pulls herself up onto the table to sit, setting her knees apart so Quinn can stand between them.

"Give me a smooch for good luck." It's a line from Iron Man, and it ends with I may not make it back. Rue's chosen to omit that bit.

"Eep!" That's the reaction being poked in the nose elicits, Quinn's eyes going all crossed as she watches the finger retreat. "Ugh. You know I hate it when you do that!" she remarks, swatting at the finger one last time, before she's suddenly pulled backwards, letting out the same noise again- being dragged around but what equates, to her, as an amazon woman (heaven forbid she stand beside Huruma) is not something that one ever gets used to.

Still, once the dragging ends and Quinn whirls around a bit unsteadily on the heels of her feet, and she's managed not to trip over her own feet, she turns to face Rue with a wry grin, hands placed on each of Rue's knees. "Just a kiss?" she teases, though she doesn't wait for a response before she slides her hands up to Rue's waist and leans in, kissing her rather roundly. Normally, she'd have more reservations about something like, even with everything else going on in her life as far as relationships go. But with the subtle, underlying current, and her own sense of worry, well - for once, she's not really arguing with herself about it. Just this once.

Rue reaches up and tangles her fingers in Quinn's dark, beautiful hair, eyes closed as she betrays her fear in the act of a simple kiss. It's hungry and insistent. This really could be their last kiss, and damn it, she is going to make it count.

"I love you." A breathy murmur left unchecked. For a second, Rue isn't even sure if it came from her, but she refuses to take it back. "And in lieu of a proper hero's send off…" she teases, trying to save face after her little confessions, putting on an air of humility, "I know I have to prove myself a hero first - I'll accept a hero's welcome instead when I get back."

Always one to get caught up in a moment, Quinn does let herself get a little more lost in the kiss than she had initially intended, at one point trying to pull a bit closer to her. It's a bit of a whiplash like snap back to reality when they part, and Rue's confession has her blinking and blushing furiously, more than the kiss ever could have made her. She closes her eyes a bit, stepping back just the slightest amount. It's not really much, but it's enough to be slightly symbolic. But even as she moves away, Quinn takes Rue's hand.

"I know. And I'm sorry," she says quietly, though earnestly. Sorry, mostly, for not loving her back in the same way that Rue feels for her. "But you know I still are about you, right" Just not in the way you might want still goes unsaid, as it always does, but Quinn's trying to smile. "I can't promise a Hero's welcome. But maybe I'll talk something out with Ygraine." And maybe there is a bit of sincerity in that. At least, at the idea. She's not exactly known for talking things out with her girlfriend before doing things.

Case in point: The kiss that just happened. Oops?

"No," Rue says firmly, shaking her head. "I'm sorry. It's my foul. I shouldn't have… done that. Any of that." She extracts her hand from Quinn's, bracing herself against the table so she can slide further back. Because climbing down would mean drawing closer to Quinn. "You don't need any of that. This is just jitters. It's exciting!"

That's a lie. What she means to do tomorrow isn't exciting, but it's what she tells herself to keep from letting the cold knot in her stomach get worse. "We're just friends," Rue assures. "Best friends. Who sometimes throw out the L-word in the heat of the moment. It's not a big deal."

She's babbling. Like she's always done. The music still playing in her ears, softly enough that it hasn't interrupted her thoughts, gives her an idea. "You know, I should go get my shoes and do a routine or two in the dining hall. That'll help work out some of this nervous energy so I can sleep." Because she ruined her other plans for that with three little words that are much bigger than they seem.

Quinn lets out a little bit of a sigh, eyes closing a bit. "Please. If it was just your fault, I'd be mad at you. I'm not. I mean, I… you know." She exhales again, withdrawing her hand from where it had come to rest on Rue's let. She looks thoughtful for a moment, and there's an attempt or two at starting to say something else, before she just looks up at Rue with a bit of a frustrated look, hands moving to her hips.

"Will you please just take my goddamn apology?" Which, despite the word choice holds no firmness, instead carrying a mix of frustration and maybe a little bit of a plea. "I didn't come by here t' help make things awkward before you went out. I came by t' help you relax a bit, or something. I want t' make sure you're going t' be okay for tomorrow. Okay to make sure nothing goes wrong." She hasn't moved back any further either. "Though I guess if me buggering off will help, I'll go do that." Sent a bit more thoughtfully, as if she hadn't actually considered that possibility.

"This is going to sound so stupid," Rue prefaces, "but it isn't you. It's me." Yep. Really stupid. Her voice is softer now, and her gaze drifts to a point somewhere over Quinn's shoulder. "Apology accepted. And… please don't go."

Chin tilts down into sternum and Rue stares down at her lap. "I don't want to spend tonight alone. Do you think Yggy Pop will forgive us just this once?"

"I don't think I've actually heard that one before," Quinn retorts, letting a smile form. "Unless Seinfeld counts." If she's delivered that line before, well, she's not saying. "Good," she replies almost as quietly as Rue, moving to lean against the table. "I won't."

A lean turns into Quinn hopping herself up on to the table next to Rue, staring on ahead her self. "I don't think it'll be an issue." Give the circumstances, at least. If it is, Quinn will be a little disappointed. "Don't worry. We'll get you in great shape for tomorrow. It'll go fine, and next time there won't be as many jitters."

There's too much height difference between Rue and Quinn to make the former resting her head on the latter's shoulder anything but awkward at this shoulder-to-shoulder proximity. So Rue settles for her cheek against Quinn's dark head. "I'm gonna make it back," she says. "But if I get lost on the way or something, will… you talk to my auntie?"

Rue feels her throat get tight, so she pauses to take in a deep breath. "I just want her to know that I don't regret anything." In part-attempt-at-humour and part-warning, she adds, "Just do your best not to get her riled up. You wouldn't like her when she's angry… She'll set you on fire." Rue lifts her head after another little pause, "No. Seriously."

"Okay, well, I'll file that away." But that doesn't sound very sincere, now does it? Quinn clears her throat a bit, turning just the slightest bit so she's looking more directly at Rue. "I promise. But you're tight, t's not gonna matter. Why are we even talking like this, anyway?" Because denial in the face of real possibility is always a real good road to start down.

Her hand reaches back up to scritch at Rue's back, Quinn's gaze falling back downwards. "You're going to be fine, anyway. At least I hope so. I don't really want to risk being set on fire. I've had enough of that in my life." And then she just sort of falls silent, staring on ahead.

Rue slides off the table's surface and reaches for both of Quinn's hands. "'Course, it's not even going to come up. A non-issue." She smiles, a shaky sort of thing. "Come to bed, Quinnie." Just this once.

"Alright, but no funny business!" is said in an intentionally humorous manner, with an intentional pause that is quickly followed by "Unless you're bringing that whiskey." Quinn takes Rue's hands, hobbing down as requested, an arm slipped around the other woman's waist. "We're all going to be fine, you know? I just know it."

Scurrying over, Rue is quick to retrieve the glass, one of her impish grins on that cherubic face of hers. "I've got the rest of the bottle in my room, but we've gotta save some for Mister Raith. I promised." She loops her arm around Quinn's shoulders when hers slips around her waist, and takes a drink from the glass.

"Yeah, I know. I have a good feeling about it. The celebration is gonna be legendary. I'm gonna kiss every eligible girl in the network. And even some of the taken ones." Her grin widens, more wicked now and she bumps hips with Quinn as they walk. "The bitches are gonna be linin' up."

"I'll see if I can get Sable and Elaine to come by for you, if that's the plan," Quinn suggests with a waggle of her brows. The grabbing of the glass doesn't escape her, giving only a small chuckle in response - despite this, she reaches over and slips the glass out of Rue's hand, taking a a drink.

"It'll be good times. Maybe I'll stick around instead of heading home, so I can be here when everyone gets back." Because she may be needed, one way or another - either to help carry people on shoulders or cheer, or to help carry and patch up the wounded.

"I'd like that. You're the first person I wanna throw my arms around." Rue has to go back and amend that statement, however. "After Liza. Liza gets first dibs on hugs. But then it's all you. She and I will have all that out of the way by the time we get back here anyway," she assures.

"I've never talked to her much. Liza, that is. She's cute, though. She stayed at Gun Hill a while…" And Quinn gives Rue what she thinks is a knowing smirk. "But yeah, I guess I'll stick around. There's some stuff I can do around here t' help out anyway, and I don't need to be back tomorrow, I guess." She takes another drink of the stolen whiskey, this time making a bit of a face. She doesn't say anything, though, instead simply offering the glass back over to Rue.

Rue takes the glass back and has another sip of its contents. She hasn't drank enough of it to be numb to that burn, but she's gotten used to it in such a way that she no longer grimaces. "Mm." Is a non-committal sort of sound, and she's quiet for the duration of the short walk back to her room, content to pass the glass back and forth on the way.

It's empty when they arrive, her roommates having found other rooms to sleep in just for tonight so the girl can have the time alone to think before tomorrow's mission. Rue lights a candle once inside, and before shutting the door.

Quinn's offered presence was largely intended to be a strange sort of comfort, so the lack of talking doesn't really bother her, though she is a bit surprised by the lack off any real comment on Liza - who by all accounts, meaning all of Quinn's, is rather cute. Oh well!

When they reach the room and the candle is lit, Quinn chuckles a little, folding her hands together, opening them slowly so that an array of small, dull balls of light go floating out into the room. "I'm not going to be outdone by candles," she remarks with a bit of a half smirk, even as she moves to take a seat on the floor.

"Show-off," Rue chides. By all accounts, Liza Messer is cute, and Rue will be the first to proclaim it. But her thoughts aren't on Liza. She sits down next to Quinn and wastes no time leaning in to kiss her again.

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