Not Scary Today


peyton_icon.gif tamara_icon.gif

Scene Title Not Scary Today
Synopsis The sybil pays Peyton a visit to assure her that things are progressing just fine.
Date December 14, 2009

Peyton's Apartment

For the first time since before the bomb of 2006, the Whitney apartment is being decorated for Christmas.

It took some work, since the lady of the house is wearing a neon pink cast, but Peyton managed to crawl into the crawl space and pull out the Christmas decorations, plus pay a homeless guy to go pick out a Christmas tree for her.

The tree is a little anemic-looking; Peyton has theories that the some of the $75 designated for the tree got mixed in with the $25 designated for the man's payment, but what does she care. She's in the midst of fighting with the lights — a job she's never done before, when the knock comes at the door. She hops to her crutches, then hobbles on them to the door to open it to the stranger standing outside. "Hi, can I help you?" Peyton asks, tilting her head curiously.

The stranger outside is strange indeed. Younger than Peyton, at a glance; her hair looks like it probably hasn't been brushed today, ragged ends long since in need of a trimming. Her burnt-orange scarf and plum sweater don't quite attain that degree of opposite that complements; and the hole worn into her denim jeans is a bit at odds with the chilly afternoon air outside.

She smiles pleasantly at Peyton, although her eyes seem to look past the young woman. Through her, perhaps. "No," Tamara replies, tone slightly distant for the duration of that word. "No, you had it backwards, see," the sibyl continues, refocusing on her companion. Which is to say: she isn't here to be helped.

Brown paper back crinkling where it's held against her chest, Tamara ducks in past the injured woman without so much as an 'if I may', crossing the room and moving a few steps further in, letting her gaze wander with a peculiarly avid curiosity over its decor.

"Excuse me?" Peyton says, with a furrow of brows. Cardinal should probably have given a description of the person who was supposed to be in charge of his little motley crew of misfit rebels, because Peyton's about to call security. "Do I know you? I think, maybe, you got the wrong apartment, miss." Not that she really thinks the young woman has any sort of association with anyone in this building, residence to Wall Street brokers, lawyers, doctors, and even a couple of news anchors. Tamara looks like she might fit in more with the Bohemian vibe of the Greenwich of the past, perhaps.

Setting the bag down on a small table, Tamara glances over her shoulder, grin crossing her face in a quicksilver flicker. "Wrong? No," she disagrees, shaking her head. "Places are never wrong. They are only what they are." Blue eyes trace the tangle of green-coated wires; stepping over to the tree, the seeress picks up one end of the light-bearing cord and deftly teases strands free. "Your name is Peyton," she supplies absently, as her attention shifts to the tree. "And this is your apartment." …even if Tamara is acting like she lives here. "Did you want to start at the top or the bottom?" the girl asks, turning to face her companion.

The tall brunette scowls. "I know who I am… and where I am. Shit, I'm not having another nightmare, am I? You don't seem that scary," she says, perhaps rudely, but if it's a dream, well, manners don't apply. "The question is who are you. The ghost of Christmas future or something?" Peyton glances at the tree. "Did Joe the bum tell you to come help decorate the tree? Tell him he could have picked one with more needles next time, and make sure he doesn't spend all of the money on wine or pot. I told him specifically to get food with the money."

"Ghosts don't belong in the future," Tamara replies. Her gaze directs itself over Peyton's shoulder, eyes seeming to darken several shades. "Scary." She tests the word, finds it wanting. "No, not scary. Not now." A smile again, more rueful, bittersweet. "Perhaps another day." Since Peyton didn't answer, the girl stretches up to start winding lights from the top of the tree down.

Adding as an afterthought, an inconsequential observation: "Your answer is Tamara."

Cardinal put a crazy person in charge of them? How much worse could things get this week? "Tamara. You are Tamara?" Peyton says, clearly incredulous. "I don't even know how to … Cardinal told me to listen to you, but … you don't make any sense. I mean, no offense, but you sound like a sphynx or something, talking in riddles." She chews her lower lip. "Sorry. I guess that was mean. I'm just… really overwhelmed with everything right now, and sort of freaked out, and I was expecting someone… well, maybe older than me at least, you know?"

The seeress gives Peyton a sidelong glance, smile amiably tolerant. "It's okay. I wasn't easy to offend." Still looking at the older woman, she continues draping lights on the tree — without actually ever looking at it or the cord in her hand. Not even when she pauses to untangle a knot that comes up. "It all worked out," Tamara says quietly, gaze solemn. "Mack had his own ghosts to confront, and Bones needed only time. Soon. Cardinal came home soon." Her smile returns, a crookedly affectionate tug of lips. "See to your holidays. To Christmas. Celebrate. You have to do that sometimes, too."

Peyton's lips part as if to speak, then close, then part again. "You know what happened to Mack? And Bones? Mack's okay? Are you sure? And how soon is soon? I can't do this by myself," she says, lip jutting forward and eyes starting to overflow, the stress of the past week beginning to break from behind the dams holding it all in place. "You see the future, don't you… I only see… what people see."

There was a girl standing by the tree with lights in her hand. And then there is just a tree with half-hung lights; the girl stands before Peyton, reaching up to brush the tears from her cheeks. "We are all blind some way," Tamara says softly. Her fingers are still a bit chilled from being outdoors without gloves. "But you are not alone. Have faith, Peyton. Let the trouble wash away. All things came around."

Swallowing, Peyton nods, then smiles faintly. "Do you need anything? Food? Oh. And Bones — he said to tell whoever's in charge to get in touch with him. Do you want that job, or should we wait for Cardinal to handle that?" she asks, glancing over to the coffee table where Bones' business card lies. "You have somewhere to stay, right?"

That smile quirks sideways as the subject of Bones comes up. "The mirror didn't belong to Cardinal," the sybil points out. "I remember my promise, because his shadows reminded me that I made it; and I watch. Only that. The little things are your trouble — " Tamara raises a hand, a finger held up in remonstrance. " — but not today, do you hear?" Lost friends and snooping busybodies are little things in her worldview; fear the big things.

As for what she needs? Silence suggests nothing.

"MmmKay. You want a Christmas cookie?" Peyton offers, unsure what the precog is getting at, except that Tamara's not the one who is going to deal with Bones. She gets that much. She hobbles toward the kitchen to find a Glad container full of iced Christmas cookies. "Wendy made the ones that don't look like a kindergardener finger painted them. I made those," she admits, with a shrug, as she hands them to the woman. "Is there somewhere I should contact you if things go … worse?" Could they? "You could decorate the rest of the tree, if you really want to," she adds, not wanting to throw the helpful young woman out, if she has a mind to decorate.

Tamara smiles at Peyton, accepting one of the offered cookies. Most people would look at its decoration or start nibbling it right away; the girl idly turns it around in her hand, little crumbs dislodging from the edge and falling towards the floor. "No," she replies, shaking her head. "They wouldn't, not this time; and it doesn't go that way anyway. Don't worry, Peyton," the seeress advises. Blue eyes flick to the tree, smile reappearing. "The lights were started. It's your project, I just straighten the road a bit." And that seems to be what passes Tamara for a farewell, as she turns and moves back towards the apartment door.

"Wait!" Peyton hops forward, tilting her head curiously at the other girl. "Do they all come home safe? Cardinal, Liz, Gill, Claire? That pizza kid? Is there anything else I should know? And um, do you want some food or anything? You have a place to stay, right?" Never mind that most of the answers that come from Tamara are unclear, Peyton throws more at her, perhaps in hopes that one will stick and get a clear response. "Is there anything I should do … in the future… to be better?" The last one is spoken tentatively; the visit from the Nightmare Man makes her doubtful of herself and her purpose.

Tamara pauses as Peyton calls, turns back to face her. Steps forward, towards the young woman; the hand that doesn't hold the cookie comes up to brush a bit of hair back from Peyton's forehead, curled fingers brushing down the arc of her cheekbone in complete disregard of any sense of personal space. "What is 'better'?" she asks quietly. "You were yourself; that is all you needed to be." The seeress smiles softly, shakes her head. "The mirror can't give you answers. I'm sorry. There were too many shadows still."

"The myself that used to be was not very nice, Tamara," Peyton says with a sad shake of her head. "I'm trying to be better, but I think I still have a ways to go. But thanks anyway. Do you see your visions in the mirror?" Maybe that explains why Tamara's hair isn't brushed very well. She can't see herself through all the shadows and images!

Smiling faintly, Tamara gives Peyton a sidelong look. "The mirror sees," she replies. "And the mirror is broken." Which isn't exactly the answer the older girl was looking for — but it's what she gets. "If the road was long, just make sure to bring friends. They were all the difference." And then the seeress really is gone, leaving Peyton with a half-lit tree and a tupperware container mostly full of Christmas cookies.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License