Normal Is Subjective


abby_icon.gif alexander_icon.gif helena_icon.gif

Scene Title Normal Is Subjective
Synopsis Abby and Alex ponder the future of PHOENIX. Helena brings coffee and an issue for Abby.
Date November 2, 2008

New York Public Library

Al's down in the basement vaults, rebuilding fallen shelves, having cleared most of the debris. He's sweaty and tired, as if trying to weary himself enough to sleep properly. His expression is….distressed. There's a portable CD player in the corner, playing Wumpscut softly.

Abby's steps are heard over the the music, humming her own little tune as she pops her head into various rooms. Pops into the room Alexander is in, pops out then stops. "Alexander! I need you" The perky blonde brings herself into the room fully.

The CD player shuts off apparently of its own accord, and Al puts down his hammer and wipes his face off with a bandana. "Whatcha need?" he says, determinedly affable, as he straightens up from the shelf he's working on.

"What your doing right now. I need some help getting the shelves in the infirmary room that Helena wants set up. Two person job, though I suppose with you, not so much needed to be one person" She offers her hand out to help him up.

Alexander takes her hand and lets her heave him up, and nods to her. "Right on, hon. Awful late for you, but then, you work nights, too, don'tcha?" he says, ambling after her.

'Different shifts, usually the graveyard" Abby wipes her hands on her jeans. "Getting things done where I can, when I can. What about you?" Abby opts to lead the way towards the soon to be infirmary. "It's pretty late for you is it not?" She looks over her shoulder at him, hands sunk into the back pockets of her jeans.

"I work late night shifts, too," Al says, shrugging lazily, and wiping at his face. It only serves to smear more dust. Ah well.

Abby pulls one hand from her pocket to dig into the pocket of her hoodie and passes it to Alex. "Where do you work, if you don't mind me asking? You can just say "abby, mind your business, tell me more about the shelves" if you like"

"Empire State Taxi Company," Alex says, with a heavy sigh. "No secret there," HE gives her a sidelong look. "YOu work at the Nite Owl, right?"

'You betcha. Ever since I moved here two years ago. Tom helped me find a place to stay and all the shifts I needed to pay for it and stuff. I'm waiting on a call from someone else and i'll be taking on a second job, working at bar that someone's opening up. Get a little extra. Hey, mind if I ask, how'd you fall in with Helena and everyone here?" Abby stops at an open doorway, no door and gesture into the room. A couple cabinets and some half put together bookcases.

He examines them, expression absented. "Me? I got run off my dream job 'cause I was open about being Evolved. And figured, fuck that, what was I gonna do, wait around for them to try'n' shove me onto a cattle car. Cameron found out about me, took me in when I was bad, bad off."

There's a frown at the swear word that spills from his mouth but for once, she doesn't say a thing. Abby just slips into the room, moving boxes fo gauze and other supplies from out of his way. "He seems like he was a very strong individual"

"He was. I never knew him well. Very …not secretive. Private, I guess you could say," Al muses, quietly. He pulls his hammer out of its belt loop, and starts using it to pull nails out of a half-collapsed shelf.

Abby squats down beside him, picking up the pulled out nails. "Do think things are going to work out? With Helena and Phoenix? Hope we won't ever have much need for this room when we're fully up and running" Another nail is picked up and put into her hand. "Was talking with Teo earlier. Instead of healing a kid for my miracle, It could be seen whether I could get my hands on one of the two secret service agents, to heal one of them"

"I think a kid'd do. We might risk too much trying to get an SS agent," Al notes, tone skeptical, as he yanks out another nail. Might as well start from scratch. "I'm sure PHOENIX itself will work out okay. Ain't so sanguine about what those dimwits who're into violence will call down on all of us."

'Good point. Might be harder to get into an agents room than it is to get into someone elses room" Abby runs a hand through her ponytail and ruffles it. "Was just a thought. idle stray one running through my mind" The two are in the makeshift medical room, Alex working ons helves and aby picking up the nails.

Helena is more or less on her way from point A to point B, but stops when she sees the pair working in the makeshift clinic. "Hey, you two." she greets. "Do you need any help?"
Alexander glances up. "Not to sound sexist and like three generations outta date, but damn if I couldn't do with a coffee," he says, smiling sheepishly, before pulling a last nail out of the spavined shelf.

"All that tagging, such thirsty work" Abby calls back. "How you doing Hel? We were just talking about the group, the room, how we came to be here" Abby grabs a few more nails from the floor and toss them into a tin can. "Coffee? Need the caffine?"

"I think I can manage coffee." Helena assures, "Without it becoming a gender war." She grins faintly. "How about you Abby, want coffee?"

"I need y'all's opinion on somethin'," Al says, hauling together some of the sturdier looking fragments of shelves. "Teo….man, I've pissed him off. And last thing we need is friction 'tween Hel's two right-hand men. Or left hand and right hand, as the case may be. Don't know how to fix it," he says, before nodding at Abby. "Surely do."

"I could use some. I'll be up the rest of the night, working here, getting things set up, while Alex here gets me set up" The tin can is moved to near him for the nails. "Some sugar in it, if you would, after that, I guess I have some questions for you… after we solve Alex's problem…" The blonde looks to the other blonde. "hey um… does it have to do with me sticking my foot in my mouth the night Trask almos tblew my brains out?"

"Well, you might want to try not kissing him." Helena observes somewhat impishly. "Though when I get back I want to know about this Trask blowing brains out thing." With that, she pushes off to go take care of putting together some coffee for the busy little bees.

Alexander pulls a little face of annoyance, but nods, before starting to pound nails in. "Yeah, I ain't heard about that," he says, giving Abby a curious look.

"yeah, you did. You came around the corner while he was holding the gun to my head" Abby eases back down to start passing over the needed nails. "But seriously, is it, you know, the whole are you two together thing?" She flips her ponytail back over her shoudler ot keep it out of the way, grabbing a hammer herself and starting to help.

Al visibly bites back his first reply, and comes out with a rather curt, "No. He don't lean that way," And he drives a few nails in, before going on, "Mostly that kiss was just to mess with him."

"Maybe you both need to sit down and like, have a coffee with him and arm wrestle? Or I can lend you both my shot gun and you can go hunting out in the woods, kill a deer. my dad did that often. Manly things. Though, yeah, like Helena says, the kissing might be a bit much"
It doesn't take long for Helena to return - three mugs of coffee, some plastic spoons, a handful's worth of sugar packets and creamer tubs. "Is he really that upset over it?"
"I guess so," Al says, looking rather hangdog. "Guess it's some kinna Sicilian thing. The machismo, or whatever."

"he seems pretty easy going otherwise. though, don't give him food for free or a drink, he doesn't like that. Seems to be a yeah, italian thing" Abby takes her cup off of Helena hands and starts to fix it how she like sit, easing down to sit cross legged.

"There's no magic potion to fix your assault on his manhood, I think." Helena muses, dumping enough cream and sugar in her own cup to kill a yak - so I think it's up to you guys to sort it out. Now what's this with Sergei and you, Abs?"

Alexander smirks to himself. "I see." He starts dumping sugar into his, and lets Abby explain.

You say, "nothing, He asked for password, I gave it, I gave both of them, and he let me in. But then he asked me how I was after moving a fridge, I didn't answer back "We didn't move a fridge, instead said yeah, it was okay and.. gun to the back of my head. I swear Helena, I thought that was it. My mark on the world was going to be little chunks of grey allll over the entrance" She mixes her coffee and takes a careful sip."

Helena frowns a little. "On one hand, that's a little over-zealous, and on the other, you can't be too careful. I'm not sure what to do about that."

"Talk to him?" Al suggests, leaving off construction for a while, to better savor his coffee.

"He apologized afterwards. Alex came around the corner for the end of it. Lost my dinner good. But, no, can't be too careful. he was doing his job and I don't complain a single bit Helena. Though, I got you here. What exactly were you.. wanting me to do here, in regards to this room? I mean, I don't hold a nursing degree or know hwo to do anything beyond putting a bandaid on a cut" Abby gestures around the room.

Helena cocks her head to the side. "Even if you don't have any practical medical training, there are others that do, and having a space for them to work isn't a bad thing. And while we're at it, I'd be stupid to disregard your ability. This is as much a place for you as them."

Abby's forefinger taps the coffee cup, frowning at it a moment before she looks up. "Hel, I never registered, because my.. I didn't want to find myself in a position where someone else dictates how I use my gift, with whom I use it and every day find myself exhausted because someone deems that my gift is more important than myself'

Helena cocks her head. "Daniel goes intangible. That makes him one of our best infiltrators. Is that me dictating how he uses his power? I use my abilities to provide us cover and distraction and general mayhem causing when necessary. You heal people. Are you really going to stand there and tell me that you won't help those of us who are injured because you want someone to say 'pretty please' first?"

"You know I can't do that helena. I'm not a doctor, bound by some code of ethics, but I'm a god fearing woman who won't turn away someone who's hurt. But to tell me Here's your room, get it set up for when we send people to you.." Abby regards the other blonde. "I'm not going to sit and.. Sweet jesus, why is it so hard? You didn't ask if I would like to come and spends my days in here. I will, for now, because you need me here, and i'll help anyone who comes in here with an injury that is serious enough to send them to a hospital, but this… this can't affect my work. Do you understand? I have an apartment and a job, and i'm.. normal. I like helping you, helping here, and doing the quiet non violent fight to show my displeasure.. '

"You volunteered to be part of this, Abby." Helena says, her chin lifting. "And when did I ever say this was non-violent? We're not terrorists, but when we get attacked, we're going to respond. People - fellow Evolved - are being used as guinea pigs in government facilities that we're going to free if I have any say about it, so don't ever make the mistake of thinking that this will be a quiet, non-violent fight. So forgive me, if some of us, who give up our normal lives to make a difference so that you can have yours are inconveniencing your normalcy in some way." Helena hasn't had a normal life for a while now. Many of those in PHOENIX - and in PARIAH gave up having a normal life. "This is a war, Abby - and one way or another you're going to have to pick a side, and let me tell you, those people who want a few drops of your blood to see if you're what they define as normal? Will let you know just how subjective the idea of normal is."

"No Helena, but what /i/ do, is the quiet, non violent. They'll find me, I know that. At some point I'll be discovered if I get sick and have to go in to see a doctor. I didn't say I /wouldn't/ help you helena, that I wouldn't help heal those who come here and are in need of it. Never mind, just, ignore me, I'll keep doing what I'm doing. It's just making you think that I don't appreciate what you and the others have done, have given up before I knew you all existed." Aby lifts the coffee cup to her lips and takes a sip.

Helena takes a breath. "The deal here is that we take care of each other." she says softly. "If you get sick, if you need help, we'd do whatever we could to get that help for you and keep you safe. I'm not sure what it is you want, Abby. Can you find a better way to tell me?"

"No Hel, I can't. I just want to help. It's why i've brought food when it's needed and it's why i'm getting Samir a job at the nite owl. It's why I come here and help get this place organized and it's why I went with Teo and Alex to tag boxcars, or brought my shotgun and played bodyguard with you" Abby shakes her head. "Just.. I value the gift that god gave me Helena, and with this room here.. with it comes the expectations that i'll show up to use it. What if someone comes in here, and I /do/ choose not to heal them? What if I'm in the middle of a shift at the owl, wil youe xpect me to drop my apron and come running?"

"If you choose not to heal someone, I expect that you have a damn good reason why, and you're willing to explain it." Helena says. "And I'd expect the same of anyone who chose to withhold their ability. And frankly, if I call you when you're in the middle of a shift because one of us say - took two to the chest - wouldn't you drop your apron and come running? I'm not expecting to insist on anything arbitrary from you."

'If they've taken two in the chest Helena, then the amount of time it takes for me to get from the nite owl to here, will likely leave them dead before I can get there, and I can't bring a person back from the dead. And I'd loose my job, as … selfish as that sounds. I'll help you get this room done up then, and after that.. I'll decide what it is i'm going to do. Whether I jump all the way in, or.. whether I walk away"

There are so many things Helena could say. So many things she wants to say, bitter and angry, yet another person leaving. Maybe she's not cut out for this. Maybe everything and everyone she loses is just the universe telling her to give up. "You do what you need to do." is all she says, and with that, she turns and heads out of the room to keep herself from saying something she'll regret.

November 2nd: Nice Try, But No Forgiveness
November 3rd: In The Box
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