Of Toasties and Soup


finch_icon.gif geneva_icon.gif

Scene Title Of Toasties and Soup
Synopsis Gene tries her best to comfort Finch after a nightmare.
Date December 31, 2019

Geneva's Room, The Lanthorn

It is the start of a new year.

For Finch, it started with hope. In the face of complications regarding home and family, she found a new group of people to belong with. To start to learn again, and to hope to grow.

To feel safe.

But the first dream of the year held no such favors. She awakes with her hands clutched around her own neck, skin clammy with sweat, muscles tensed as if in preparation for a scream that never comes to fruition. She doesn't move, letting the silence settle around her for what feels like minutes before she's even willed herself to draw breath again.

In the dim light of leftover Christmas decorations left still plugged in after last night, she rises from the couch in the Lanthorn's main room with careful trepidation. It's too early to be up. The silence here is overbearing.

It isn't a minute later that she finds herself standing in Geneva's room, a blanket hugged around her shoulders, sheep-patterned pajamas not quite cutting it on this cold winter night.

"Gene?" She tries softly, sniffling on an inhale, eyes still glossy with fright. "Gene." Regardless of a response, she's lifting a knee already up onto the foot end of her friend's bed, hoisting herself right on there with the soft rustle of blankets.

The first thing that greets Finch past the darkened threshold of Geneva's doorway is the grumbly, indistinct rumblings of a noise somewhat consonant with the heavy reverberations of a backup generator— if such a generator decided to take an intermittent pause every now and then. But that isn't what it is, of course, here inside this bedroom. It isn’t the purrings of Idiot either, who is currently an unconscious bulge inside a large pile of dirty laundry beneath the room's window.

It's Gene snoring.

Something which doesn't last much longer when her name is called out, twice, which is good for Finch in the singular sense of providing immediate solace from her troubled silence.

Otherwise, good is a bit controversial.

"Hgnkkkghhwhat," the blonde snorts awake with an unnecessarily ferocious sputter as something clambers up into her bed with her.

There is a flare of dimmed, heated redness as Gene's semi-clenched fist is brought nearly straight up into the air at the end of a bent elbow on the bed: not a conscious assault despite the passive-aggression definitely weaved into the action (just Gene's usual), only a kindling of some light source to see by. In the haziness of that glow, which stops guttering in illumination after a narrow moment, she very suspiciously levels a squint at the details of Finch's face there in the darkness. "…Jesus fucking Christ. Finch?"


The greeting comes easily. Much more easily than Finch maneuvering her way onto Gene's bed, over leg or foot or whatever the darkness and the blankets hold within them. She is sitting her butt DOWN, dragging her own blanket with her, wrapped around her still. Like a skinny owl awkwardly but boldly settling on another bird's nest.

Her voice sounds again, gently, "Don't set me on fire." It's almost more idle comment than anything else, somewhat arhythmic due to the shortness of breath she's trying to hide. "Or the blanket, or yourself. Please. It's early."

Harder to hide is her face. Even in the dim light and beneath a mess of unbrushed hair, it's plain to see that she's been crying. She lifts her arm (and the blanket with it) up to swipe an arm across her eyes after she presses them shut. Then, as she slumps a shoulder against the wall and as if she hadn't registered herself saying it the first time, she says in an even quieter voice than before, "It's early."

Whatever resolve or sleepy recalcitrance Geneva had been ready to continue throwing at Finch fades out a little once she sees exactly what kind of state the other girl is in. The hand she is using for impromptu torchlight lowers a fraction, causing the set of shadows around them to shift angularly, and for a moment she just stares at Finch's barely post-cry face in something of an exaggerated squint.

She doesn't return that 'hi,' but at least now she does appear far less likely to set anything in her immediate surroundings on fire, accidentally or otherwise.

"Jesus," Gene utters again, somewhat less abrasively this second time. Her brows are suddenly heavily arched with something successfully concern-shaped, mindless of the grumpiness still lining the edges of the remainder of her expression. "Did something happen to you?"

"I don't think so?" Finch shifts until she's comfortable, folded up a little smaller than she was, with her knees under her chin. Her eyes find Geneva's face, catching her expression, but the smile Finch offers back does little to make her look less distraught.

"You know when you're a little kid," her voice is barely louder than the scrape of fabric as she pulls the blanket tighter around her, "and you wake up from a dream and your parents try to tell you it wasn't real but you know that it was real, right?" The look she levels on Geneva is one of uncertainty, despite her persisting smile. "I know sometimes, like, it's weird, how I grew up, but that part's normal, right?"

Is it emotion or shivers of cold, making Finch huddle up inside her blanket like that? Both? In that instant, Geneva decides that she doesn't actually care about the nuances of any distinction between the two. Soundlessly, with a very firm kind of finality in the way her gaze sweeps over Finch's frail features again, she matter-of-factly picks up the heavy wool comforter from her bed and drapes that entire object across the shoulders of the skinnier girl as well.

In contrast to the staunchness of her actions, Gene's voice when she next speaks is discernibly more doubtful, and it's only really that heartbreaking smile that is keeping her from being any more brusque about the matter. "Sure, so. You… had a bad dream?"

Oh! More blanket. Finch's form expands for a moment, elbows going outward, until she just - lets it happen, and underneath the mound of blanket, she seems to relax a little, shoulders dropping. Her smile widens in gratitude and surprise both, but just as she looks like she's about to say thank you, her gaze unfocuses again.

Like something's found its way back into her thoughts, pushing past the niceness, past the feeling of belonging.

"Yeah…" she replies, with a few seconds of delay, concerned. She opens her mouth to speak again but seems hesitant, turning her attention awkwardly toward Idiot as she braces herself to continue: "But it was so clear. The… the sky was yelling, or something in it? It was like the world was ending, and there were people who… they knew why, and I didn't understand, and they were helping me but…."

She stops herself - or maybe it's the lump in her throat. "I melted, Gene," makes it past, subdued, distant, "I melted and I really, really felt it and I really died. And I'm still here. Again."

Idiot doesn't answer Finch. He is still busy being busily unconscious across the room.

"Listen, El," Gene says with a rigorous sort of exasperation that sounds part-amused, if still somewhat concerned mostly due to how overly doleful Finch is acting. El, because she had made it no secret from the beginning that she disliked calling the newcomer by her surname, despite however Finch felt about the matter. "Man, I did fuckin' tell you not to have so many of those grilled mac-n'-cheese toasties for lunch. They can do some shit things to you." And now look! Gene is always correct. Case in point.

Now that the entirety of her comforter is gone from her side, being satisfactorily settled on top of Finch instead, Gene arranges herself in a comfortably crossed-legged sitting position on the newly cleared space of her bed facing the other girl. More gently, and also more awkwardly, she attempts to offer some further consolation. "Okay. You're not melted, and you didn't die. Everything's fine. See?" Momentarily, the glow of Gene's hand is brought down to hover right by one of Finch's own, bringing its unintentionally reassuring ambience of warmth along with it.

Staring down at the hand, Finch retreats into her mountain of blanket a little, the fabric coming up halfway up her face before she just… deflates. Falling lengthway across the bed in a slump, looking blankly upward with Geneva still in her peripheral vision.

"You're right," she admits with a discontented frown, eyebrows crumpling toward one another over tired eyes. She's never gonna stop eating those toasties though. And, in spite of her exhaustion, there's still a scan of the ceiling - any different in texture she can find - to indicate attempts to distract from what's still playing in her head. "I never… it just never… felt…" she cranes her neck, gaze locking onto Geneva's face, words tumbling out when she adds, "I'm gonna put some pillows on the floor. I sleep real quiet."


It's remarkable just how much rigidity Geneva manages to cram into that single syllable. She lets her gingerly glowing hand fall back to her side, just before she replaces it into her lap. Something about the open angle of illumination from the new, lowered resting position suggests a more innocent scene of blanket forts backlit solely by the dimness of a flashlight. As though they were both children, and this was something of a secret shared between the two of them.

"I don't know why you’re sleeping on that dank old couch anyway, I already said I would so you don’t have to. You sleep up here if you think you'll have trouble going back to sleep." It's a command rather than a suggestion. "Do you… uh. Want a drink or something before you do? Warm milk or some shit, I dunno." Finch can almost feel her face being searched by Gene in the dark, even if seeing it happen right now is a bit harder.

The gratitude for a provided sense of comfort is easy to see on Finch's face - though the trailing remains of upset still linger, she suddenly pushes herself upright and shakes her head with renewed determination. "No. Do you know what I want?"

She does not wait for an answer, lifting a hand to brush a strand of hair behind an ear and sniffling as she does her best to reject sinking back into thoughts of elsewhere and elsewhen. "More toasties. But for breakfast."

And with that, she pushes herself off the bed, wearing both blanket and comforter like a cape. One that she ALMOST trips on when she lands with both feet on the floor. But not quite.


It's all Gene can do to stop the muscles of her lower face from betraying her and working into the smallest, most moronic of grins as she sternly pokes one finger into the center of the overly impatient blanket/comforter mass, pushing Finch back onto the bed before she can succeed in taking even two steps from it.


"It isn't even 3 am," the slightly older girl says as her eyes slip to the faded digital glow in one corner that tells her so, voice full of exasperation. "I'll heat you up some freaking toasties in the morning. For now, go the eff to sleep." And if she hears another fucking word about toastie-induced nightmares at any point afterwards, or anything else even remotely related—


Geneva might grouse about it with loud and overly theatrical bitterness, but they both know perfectly well that she will always be there for it.

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