Leave A Trace



Scene Title Leave A Trace
Synopsis I gave up on time
Just like you said you would
There are tiny cracks of light underneath me
And you say I got it wrong
But I tried hard to uncover them
Date December 25, 2018

Bay Ridge: Robyn and Dirk's Apartment

Christmas lost most of it's meaning years ago. At least, to Robyn Quinn it did. Once a day of festivities, of thanks; of parties, friends, and rarely family, the annual Quinn Christmas Party used to be something she relished planning and throwing for everyone around her.

Like everything else, the Civil War changed that.

Family is gone. Friends are few and often with families of their own. The festivities - the season itself, even - feels more hollow now than it ever might have been, even more than when she was lapsing out of the Catholic traditions she was raised under by her father. Which is why she lays across her and Dirk's sofa, staring at the TV instead of doing anything meaningful with the day.

It's where she's been since morning, evening. Not hat exact spot, but she hasn't left the apartment all day. She's lost complete track of Dirk - she's not even sure he's home anymore. The only things she is sure about is her locked door and the mostly empty bottle of whiskey on the coffee table. Despite that, she isn't drunk - she's been nursing it most of the day, in small doses over the course of many hours.

That doesn't mean she's entirely sober either, though.

The glow of the television is the only light in the room, save for the street level light from flickering laps that filters in through the windows. She's managed to get the antenna to capture the broadcast out of Rochester, currently a replay of the earlier news. SHe's only halfway paying attention, her eyes narrowing as the cut to commercial break promises something about a Christmas Benefit Concert out west.

"Feh," she breathes out as she sits herself upright. She reaches for the bottle, pulling her glass closer. She pours two fingers worth, clinking around the mostly melted ice inside before downing some of the whiskey. As the computer cuts back to the news, and to footage of the concert in question, she squints a bit, and listens.

Pop rock, heavily electronic. Her shoulders slump a bit as she recognises the female lead singer's accent- either Irish or Scottish. Teeth grit as an anchor's voice talks over other clips of the concert, before it cuts back to the band from before-

And Robyn's jaw drops as the woman throws out her arms, sparkling lights bursting her fingers.

"What the-"

"-hell out there and If I have t’ face it with you?"

A long stage stands before a crowd filled with people as Robyn Quinn races through the lyrics to her most recent single. She stops her feet along to each beat, flares of light flight up from the impact point each time as she holds a microphone close. She practically screams the words into it, no longer standing behind the keyboard she had spent most of the song at.


Well then I’m just not gonna
I’ll find somewhere else t’ be
This is the end, we’re done here
An’ I’ve never been happier
I’ve never been happier
I’ve never been…

The display is very theatrical, with words and swirls of light appearing around her, remaing with each continued lyric and line, until finally stops and gasps out for air. A hand runs down her face, the various pieces of light art popping and vanishing. The gasp is intended, part of the act, part of the storyline of the song, microphone held away for a moment's pause, before she pulls it back and screams into it one last belted lyric.

Oh god I’m runnin' out of air!"

It's a song designed to put her Irish accent on clear display, more than any other one, but with the scream and the silence that follows it might be hard to tell. As the scream ends, the lights cut out, rendering the stage and room dark. THe music stops, everything stops except for the cheering from the fans. When Robyn speaks again, it's quiet and airying, in a purposefully feigned raggedness.

Just try an’ breathe
Just breathe.
Just breathe.
Just breathe.
Just- just fuckin’

There's a moment of silence before applause begins to ripple through the crowd, growing louder as a small ball of light flashes into existence in Robyn's hand. She tosses it gently up into the air, where it stops and forms a spotlight over her, the popstar bowing and smiling as she waits for the applause to die a bit.

This should be the end of her set, but…

"Thank you, thank you!" She says, holding the microphone close. The applause dies down slightly, just enough for her to continue talking. "So if y'been t' any a' my shows before, y'know this is about where I usually walk off, and we pretend it's th' end a' the show for ten minutes while I get some water an' whatever before the encore, yeah?"

The crowd cheers back in response. Robyn feigns a laugh.

"Well, t'night, since we're in New York, th' city I got started, we're gonna do somethin' a little different this time." She turns to look down into the first row crowd directly in front of her, and she points at someone. "See, I got someone special that lives here in the city, an' I'd like for her t' come up on stage for a bit."

Beckoning someone up, she smiles and turns as the house lights come back up just enough to reveal that a piano has been moved out on stage while the lights were down. "Come on up, Elaine."

Two ushers help a young woman with red hair up out of the crowd and up on to the stage - somewhat reluctantly, she seems beyond nervous to be climbing up on to stage. She waves nervously at the crowd, and then looks over to Robyn as she approaches her. Robyn, on the other hand, is making her way to piano so she can sit down. "Sorry I didn't tell ya I was bringin' y'up t'night, hon," she offers apologetically to the other woman as Robyn motions for her to stand at the other end of the piano. "But I gotta treat f'r everyone here t'night. A new song, dedicated t' you. It's called 'Blue Butterflies'."

Robyn's music is traditionally poppy, electronic, upbeat. This begins slow, almost sombre. Fingers move against keys, slow yet just enough to drown out the crowd reactions to her dedication. When she starts to sing, she almost croons, never taking her eyes off the other woman on stage.

Never thought
I'd see something quite like this
Something to adore
Never thought I'd be
Quite like this
Do you feel what I feel?
Do you feel it now?

Fingers dance across the keys as she closes her eyes, a stray "whoo!" ringing out from the crowd. But to Robyn, the crowd doesn't exist at the moment - whereas so much of what she does on stage is performance art, a mix of script and performance instinct, this is earnest. Something she wants to focus on and preserve.

Do you want to be
Lying here with me
Nowhere I'd rather be
Lying next to you
So honey, say you'll be mine
Yeah, forever

The crowd has grown almost entirely quiet by this point, as if in on the implicit agreement to let what is apparently an intimate moment played out in front of the commence largely uninterrupted. A few sparks of light begin to light up on the curtain at the back of the room, slowly moving against it.

Never thought
I'd never want to let go
Never let go
Never thought I'd be
Ready for this
Say you feel what I feel
Say you're ready for this
Say you're ready for this

Abuptly a small box fades into view at the edge of the piano by Elaine, as if a veil had been lifted up off of it. She stares down at it for a moment, and then back up Robyn. The singer is rising from behind the piano, pulling her microphone off her stand as she crosses across the stage, and the lights on the back curtain begin to form into words.

Do you want to be
Lying here with me
Nowhere I'd rather be
Lying next to you
So honey, say you'll be mine
Yeah, forever?

The microphone lowers as Robyn reaches the other side of the piano, flipping the lid on the small box to reveal-

A ring. A small ring, laden with diamonds and emeralds, turning upon itself in knots.

"Elaine Darrow, will you marry me?"

The redhead's eyes widen, and she lets out a nervous laugh and nods enthusiastically. The ring is slipped on to her finger, lips captured in a kiss and a hug as the crowd cheers.

And then the intimate moment seems to return to business as usual as Robyn picks up an electric guitar leaning against the piano as the drums count her in, and she begins to play - but not the pop music she normally does, which rarely has her playing guitar. This is almost more poppy indie rock than anything else, as she launches into the rest of the song - a marked change in sound to mark a momentous occasion.

Sapphire brooch, a flash of light
I never can forget, what I saw that night
Blue butterflies, memories of-


The news has since moved on, but Robyn stares at the TV in a stupor. Eyes glazed over, she trembles. The bottle of whiskey - she doesn't even remember picking it up - slips in her grip. It breaks free for just a moment.


As it falls, Robyn's hand suddenly clutches at the bottle's top half, catching it before it can go too far.


She shifts her fingers, changing her grip on it; her eyes widen as she lifts it up.


Her arm suddenly winds back, and then flies forward, flinging the mostly empty bottle of whiskey at the TV. It crashes into it, sending glass and plastic flying, the TV loudly tumbling off it's stand and careening towards the floor.


Each word was spoken with increasing intensity, but the last is practically screamed, staring at the now broken and battered TV as she shakes. "Me an' Elaine!" she shouts angrily as she reels her arm back and clenches a hand into a fist. She doesn't seem to care about what she's just done to the TV she bought for her and Dirk - she can afford another one.

Instead, she seethes, the image of the photokinetic musician she'd seen on the news burned into her mind, the sight of herself in front a crowd overlayed atop of it. She reaches down to the remains of her glass of whiskey and throws it back without a moment's thought, before storming off to bed.

Whatever this phenomenon was, it had left a trace in her memory she would not soon forget.

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