Nothing Except




quinn_icon.gif magnes_icon.gif sable_icon.gif elaine_icon.gif adel_icon.gif

Scene Title Nothing Except
Synopsis The fondest of memories
Date April 24, 2018

Dirk and Robyn's Apartment, Bay Ridge

Days off aren't something that Robyn Quinn often gets anymore. Even then, today isn't one in any real, technical sense. But, it's a day where she gets to be home from Rochester, where she doesn't have pressing reports to write, doesn't have pressing investigation concerns, doesn't have any friendly meetings planned, any nights out drinking, any nights out chasing after Eve Mas.

No, today is a day that is truly hers and hers alone.

So, she sits cross legged on the floor of the spare room, door open as she watches her record player, the sounds of Roses by Coeur de Pirate filtering out through the speakers. She sings along, in both English and French where appropriate. It's not loud enough to bother any of the neighboring tenants - assuming they aren't used to it.

But it is loud enough that she almost misses the sound of a series of knocks on her door, one-two-three-four-five, repeated one, two, three, four times.

At first she thinks it merely a part of the beat. It's the third time that she finally recognises it for what it really is, a curious glance offered back out in the living room. She's at a loss for who could be visiting her in the middle of the afternoon, at home. Her initial bet is that it might be Nicole, stopping by to see if she was willing to watch Pippa tonight, or maybe it was Eve, saving her the trouble of having to track her down later. Dark horse candidate was Elaine, though she couldn't even remember if she'd given Elaine her address. Most likely, though, it's Dirk getting home from Fort Jay, and without his key as sometimes happens to the both of them.

She purses her lips, rising up to her feet. "Coming!" she shouts, an eye cast to the record player for a moment before she decides it better to just leave it playing. As she steps out to the living room, she grumbles a bit - having not been expecting company, she's barely dressed for it, in little more than a black button up shirt and leggings - no eyeband or sunglasses, since the light is kept low enough as to not bother her. Oh well, too late now. Quickly, she pads across the carpeted to the door as the knock makes it's fourth repetition. Pulling the deadbolt slide and turning the knob, she opens it with a wide smile to-

A man in a long jacket, messy hair, and a dour expression? She immediately regrets this decision, keeping the door closed halfway as she leans out. "Um, hello?" she offers in a quiet voice, unsure what to make of this development. The man looks down, squaring his gaze with hers.

"Ms. Robyn Janestine Quinn?"

She blinks and gives a shallow nod. Her skin craws a bit. SHe listens as he identifies himself, names the law firm he represents, earning him a somewhat baleful glare. "I'm sorry," she starts, standing a bit straighter, "But I think you have the wrong apartment." Because any lawyer that's looking for her can't possibly be anything good.
She doesn't close the door immediately. Instead she watches the dour man, studies him. Her eyes glance down to the envelope in his arms, and then back up to his eyes - judgemental, to be sure. "I'm sorry," she repeats.

The man lets out a sigh, like he might have expected this reaction. "Ms. Quinn, I'm here on behalf of the estate of one Magnes J. Varlane. Please. We've…"

Robyn's eyes widen, and the rest of what he says - something about how he apologises for how long it's taken to track her down because of a CIvil War and imperfect record keeping - are mostly lost on her. All she hears is that name, and the entire world around her fades away, as a cold air washes over her for just the briefest of moments.

Quinn furrows her brow as she hears the voice, a curious expression on her face. She doesn’t really hesitate to comply with the request, though, when you’re stuck in snow and someone’s telling you to close your eyes, chances are there’s a good reason, she just had to hope it wasn’t some fire evo about to try and burn her out of the snow or something, 'cause she had a feeling that might not turn out so well.

As the surface seems to even out and she finds herself standing on a flat surface again, she immediately begins to wonder if that’s, in fact, what had happened. Hands up over her face, protecting it from the cold and covering her eyes, a few beats pass before she finally speaks. “Well, is that it then? Or do I need t' stand here with me eyes closed all afty?”

"Don't worry, ma'am, you're safe now. And you can open your eyes." Magnes says in a polite superhero-like tone. He can't help it, between the goggles and the scarf, he's basically wearing a mask. He hands over the guitar, then tilts his head. "You play guitar? You play anything else? Oh, my name, I'm Magnes J… er, Magnes Varlane."

She fixes on him, her expression hardening considerably. "Please leave. I'm not in the mood for scams." The words are spoken very matter of factly, belying a feeling of anger that wells up in her, that someone would have the absolute gall for something like this.

"No scam, m'am," the dour man offers in a solemn tone, handing her a business card - she recognises the name of the firm, at least. "You can call my office to verify, if you wish." Staring at it for a long moment, Robyn chews at her lower lip as she considers. It's a long moment before she looks back up at the man, and opens the door fully.

"Come in," she murmurs quietly, though the man offers her a dismissive wave.

"There's no need," he remarks, pulling a manilla envelope from under his arm. "I need you to sign this release. Mr. Varlane has left a portion of the sum of his assets in your name, Ms. Quinn." He offers her out a paper for her to sign. She takes it, begins to look over it. "There will be more to go over when you stop by our office, but this was to be given to you on receipt of this notice."

She gingerly takes the paper, looking down at it, reading. "This is very unorthodox," she breathes out, still showing her scepticism.

"Sorry," the man offers platively. "It's an unorthodox matter. We've been trying to get this handled for a few years now. Reaching someone via phone is too unreliable these days so, ah, the personal touch is somewhat prefered."

Robyn only barely listens, reading the piece of paper she's been handed - and suddenly her eyes widen again. "I'm sorry, this can't be right."

"Certain it is, Ms. Quinn. I'm afraid I don't have all the details myself, simply that this is what he left to his friends, family, and bandmates."

Robyn stares at it a moment longer, taking a deep breath. "Yeah. Bandmates," she remarks, able to hear the sounds of violin and a drum machine echoing in the back of her mind.

Laughing, Sable turns in her chair, cups her hands to her mouth, and calls out. "Quinn! You're in!"

Quinn still sits on the edge of the stage, legs kicking idly in the air, head hung as she hums to herself. Hearing Sable, her head jolts upwards, a grin on her face as she hops down from the stage and begins to saunter over towards the pair. "For real?" She asks with a hopeful tone. "I… was kinda worried I might be quite what 'ya wanted…" Her gaze is at Magnes as she walks, but the closer she gets the more it settles on Sable.

"You're great, there's a lot we can do with you around. I can't believe you were worried." Magnes laughs, patting Sable on the back a few times, then lounges back against his chair again. "Maybe we can all practice together and see how we mesh. But Quinn, what's your favorite instrument?"

Sable stands up, eyes meeting Quinn's, and extends her hand towards her. "Shake," she says, "And consider yerself one of us." She keeps her gaze steady. Is there regret there? Doubtless. But there is a higher cause, and a higher calling. Without it, nothing else means anything anyways.

"Well, I mean-" A pause, and grin, "I figured I was good, but there's no tellin' exactly what kind'a musician you all were looking for." Another sidelong glance to Sable. "Particularly knowing Little Miss 'ere's thoughts on modern music." She speaks with a teasing quality to her voice, offering a laugh afterwards. But as Sable puts out her hand, there's a noticeable hesitation, several beats passing before she reaches up and slowly shakes Sable's hand with a thin smile on her face. "And violin, since you asked."

"Good, I guess we both prefer a classical instrument. I look forward to working with you." Magnes smiles, then stands and heads up to the stage. "Come on, let's give it a shot. What should we play?"

"Ms. Quinn?"

She shakes her head, pulled back from the thought, exhaling sharply. "RIght, bandmates. I see." A step back inside, to grab a pen from their coffee table, and she returns with it and the paper in hand, using the door to bare down against as she signs the paper and hands it back to him.

The man's dour expression upturns slightly as he takes the piece of paper, offering her the manilla envelope. Robyn takes it, turning it over hands - it's only marked with the firm's name, and hers - both in the corner. "I'll be by later this week," she offers in a muffled voice, before looking back up at the man. "Thank you."

He offers a tip of her hat and a farewell, and Robyn watches him march off down the hall for a moment before she closes the door. She eyes the Manila envelope cautiously, a glance given over to the couch. Slowly she pads her way over to it, lowering herself down to sit with a look of mild discomfort.

She pulls up the two gold metal tabs holding it shut. Flap flipped open, she tips it over and lets the contents slide out into her lap. Two pieces of paper - one a copy of the paper she'd use signed, and another an itemized receipt for what's been left to her. The third one is a small, everyday envelope.

The copy of the release she eyes again, before setting it aside. Instead, she focuses on the list. She stares at it, long and hard, unable to properly process what it says - that one Magnes J. Varlane had been squirreling away money for some time before his death. And now, the remainder of that, approximately $80,000, was to be split up among a list of five people, all names very familiar to Robyn.

That was $16,000 a piece. The air is drawn from her lungs as she does this math in her head.

"Magnes, you madman," she whispers, looking down at the paper in disbelief. "You absolute madman." Despite those words, her lips curl up into a hesitant smile. "Even now you're still looking after us like a god damn hero."

The list - small as it is - is set aside as her attention turns to the plain white mail envelope in her lap. She takes a deep breath, taking it into her hands and slipping her finger under the seal. Gingerly, she pulls across it, tear it open and revealing the contents inside.

She's not sure she wants to read whatever's inside. The thoughts that swirl in her mind are like a time capsule, the seal broken at the same time as the envelope is opened. She can feel a bit of moisture welling up in the corner of her eyes.

Reluctantly, she unfolds he paper, and reads what's written.

"Quinn, ughh god I guess this means I died. I gave it five years to see if I could find a way to come back. Though if I haven't come back yet just give it time I guess. Though if there's a body I'm probably not coming back."

A tiny, rueful chuckle escapes her lips. "You're such an idiot," she says quietly, fondly. Find a way back. It sounds just like him.

Taking a breath, she resumes reading.

"Don't trust explosions if I died in an explosion! Anyway, I'm sorry for being so difficult, you really are one of my best friends, even if you can be hard on me and I've been kind of immature. I like to think that by the time you get this, I'm totally happy for you and Elaine! I love you, Quinn!"

There's a lot of things that have happened in those few moments of reading that Robyn Quinn doesn't remember transpiring.

She isn't sure when her hand clasped over her mouth.

She isn't sure when her breath hitched, almost forcing her into a coughing fit.

She isn't sure when tears start streaming down the sides of increasingly red cheeks.

"Magnes," she breathes out sadly, holding the paper in shaking hands, before pulling it closer to her chest. She feels her heart tighten, one hand clenching into a fist as words echo in the back of her mind.

"I meant choosing between being your friend and pursuing Elvir—" Magnes is quickly cut off and informed of their engagement, and then Quinn is talking but he barely hears the words that come from her mouth. There are a lot of feelings he often deals with when it comes to Elaine and Quinn's relationship, so when this bombshell comes he says, "C-congratulations… I should go, I forgot something." He immediately opens the door behind him and closes it, marching down the hall as fast as he can.

"Magnes, stop!" Elaine frowns, moving away from Quinn as she hurries towards the door, opening it and peering down the hallway at him. "Don't just run away! That's not the way to handle this, okay?"

Quinn's fingers curl in as Elaine moves from her towards the door. She makes no effort to stop the other woman, in fact she follows after her. Well, to the doorway, at least, she's not dressed for much else. "Magnes, please!" she shouts after him, also frowning. "You don't have to be happy, but please don't just walk off!" she pleads.

"I'm not running away, I just have to go do something." Magnes, instead of waiting around for an elevator, leaves through a fire exit and jumps down the stairs, getting far away before they can really catch up with him.

She chokes out a small sob, a pair of tears splashing down onto the note. Her hand moves from her mouth to cover her eyes, leaning forward a bit as she begins to sob more earnestly. "I don't deserve this," is almost lost among the choked emotion. The note is set aside, less it be further tear stained, or worse, crumpled up.

And she just sits there, sobbing. She doesn't know for how long. The memories that float out and play out in her mind are ephemeral and timeless. The time all of them went drinking at Melissa's, and Magnes came to them afterwards and drunkenly serenaded them. When she and him travelled to 90s Egypt, and set the whole damn place on fire. Her Christmas parties, rooftop parties, birthday parties, "we haven't had a party in a while" parties. The dreams they both had of a wonderful young woman who would end up being both their daughter, because of the wonderful extended family they had all built.

Of his death. In dreams - a sudden, vivid memory of something long forgotten - and in her time.

Adel shakes her head. She doesn't believe that her third mom's power is gone. "Yours will come back, probably. You just burnt out." Colette had always told her what could happen, that burnout was a possibility. But this was different than burn out and she knew it. She even got tested on the way in fron Alaska. She doesn't even read as Evolved anymore. Whatever it was that made her different was just… gone.


"It's not primal. But I'm alive." The way she says that seems a preface to something, when she looks toward Quinn. The ark raid lost people… "We lost people in Alaska, too…" she looks down, rubbing her face with her hands. "The future bad guy— the future Cardinal. He said something, did something to— to dad. His power went out of control and… he's gone."

Elaine's rambling would continue except Adel has said something very much of note. Her head quirks to the side, clearly not computing. "Magnes is gone? Gone where?" The gears slowly turn. "Gone as in—no, he couldn't…" Magnes Varlane was too crazy to get himself literally killed. He could trip his way into and out of danger. So for him to just be gone via some snafu with his power seemed completely out of the realm of possibility.

Maybe she needs some time to let it sink in.

Quinn just kind of stares. She takes a moment to place her sunglasses back on her face so that she regard both of them with the wide eyes that news like this deserves. "Gone?" she says, disbeliving. "M-Magnes Varlane?" She didn't know many details of the Alaska mission. It had been a little high concept for her. The Arc had been simple - get in, save people, get out. It had seemed more her speed.

There's a strange kind of laugh that escapes from Quinn. The disbelieving, nervous kind, almost. "Come on. Magnes? N-no way." She falls silent after that, looking towards Elaine for a moment before closes her eyes. Unlike the other woman, she doesn't need time. Not after what she saw in that drainage ditch. The possibility that one of her best friends was dead seemed all too real.

"Oh God," she chokes out after a moment, burying her head against Adel.

"Just… gone. But he was crushing everything with his gravity and— then he just vanished, like…" Like the gravity crushed him. Adel doesn't want to think too much about it, leaves out how he asked her to kill him, even. She hadn't even considered it. She only did afterward, when she realized how terrible it must have been for him— how… Now that her mothers are here, two of them, she finally closes her eyes and allows herself to cry in front of someone. She'd held it back in Alaska, she'd held it back on the way here— even during her panic attacks that hit when she awoke, unable to protect herself.

She shudders out a sobbing breath, running her arm across her eyes in an effort to clear them. The worst part is that she doesn't even have any pictures anymore. No CDs of anything they threw together and recorded on her laptop. Not even a place she could hop on a scooter and ride to.


Except for the memories of all the good times they had. Which, granted, were a lot, and even despite her unrestrained crying, a smile forms on her face at the thought. Memories of arguably better times, with good friends. Good people. Even when it was trying, it was always worth it.

In that moment, it validates all the things people have been telling her. Her efforts to reconnect with the people she once loved. But still, it hurt to have nothing,


Attempting to compose herself, she pushes herself up to her feet, a long look offered to the various items from the manilla envelope. Forcing herself to disengage them, she makes her way back into the spare room, where the record at some point has finished playing. Stepping in, she leans down and scoops up her phone from where it had been sitting on the floor.

She stares at it for a moment absentmindedly continuing to walk forward. When she looks up, she's standing in front of her guitars, the amps, the bass. All rescues she's repaired and had intended to sell off. Instead, she looks down at her phone, dialing a number she knows she probably shouldn't be.

She waits as it rings. It disconnects, forcing her to reattempt - a process that repeats twice more before she finally gets a solid connection. It rings and rings, but no one picks up. Instead, it goes to voicemail, resulting in a long sigh from Robyn. She waits for the beep, and then leaves her message.

"Hey. K-know I shouldn't be calling. Not… not about personal things." It's clear in her voice that something has happened, the way it's strained, the way she's still choking back her emotions. "But… the song you wrote. And… the other one we wrote. For Magnes…"

A long sigh.

"Do you think you can bring them to me, Adel? I'll be back in Rochester this w-weekend. Let me know. …Thanks."

Maybe it was time to make good on a promise long forgotten.

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