Opt Out


cat_icon.gif delilah_icon.gif helena_icon.gif

Scene Title Opt Out
Synopsis Cat and Delilah consider what to do with Helena in the initial stages of recovery.
Date October 19, 2009

Undisclosed Phoenix Safe House

02:00. It's very dark outside, and cold. The rain is probably still falling. Details have been tended to, in some degree. Carolina's bleeding was stopped, the wound sutured to keep it closed until a healer and blood transfusions can be provided. That life, at least, was saved. But for Marilena, there was no such saving. Her body wasn't left on the street, it's been placed somewhere to be given decent honors.

It's a quiet and somber-faced Cat who makes it back here to the second floor of the new headquarters building with Helena Originala. It can be told something is weighing on her mind. There's relief to have the leader back and safe, but something seems off. Something she doesn't give voice to. Her weapons have been put away, the kevlar removed, comm gear stashed.

The door to Helena's Zone opens, Cat comes through it with a large bowl of soup and water to drink. She's already provided fresh clothing for Helena to wear.

The shower that she took was hot and cleansing, and Helena spent an overlong time in there. When she comes out, she's dressed in the aforementioned clothing. She's quiet, hasn't really spoken much since her arrival, though she reacts with recognition to the room, and the people around her. Her hand is shaking as she sips the soup, trying not to just pick up the bowl and pour it down her own throat. Softly, "Thanks, Cat."

"You're welcome," Cat begins. She watches the blonde quietly for a long stretch of seconds, taking in everything. The soft voice, the shaking hands, the way she recognizes things. Surprise doesn't seem to register on her features, though. "Candy came to you on one occasion," she starts, "asking a few questions."

The panmnesiac doesn't elaborate on what they were or the reasoning. She waits for whatever reply will come, and keeps watch. Literature recently read on morphine withdrawal is called into memory, the signs of it are watched for.

"Mmmhmm." Helena agrees. She's showered, seated at a table in fresh clothes a little overlarge, and she's sipping from a bowl of soup in slow, careful sips that are continuous and only stopping to make her replies. She doesn't look at Cat as she eats. "She asked me my favorite beer, and if we ever thought we'd be into the same guy."

"It was in something Candy told me," Cat quietly shares, "that you answered to your own name. I couldn't be sure if you were the woman Doc meant to put in your body or yourself. You might've, for all I knew, been playing along to escape beating for lying about not being you. And she said you seemed to recognize her," Cat adds, "so I thought of a test to make sure."

She turns away and takes a few steps, her own hands shaking a bit in doing so. The memory of hearing the shot from behind the vault door fills her mind. She works to chase it away, and doesn't speak of what she feared at the time. When she faces Helena again, she resumes observing for signs of withdrawal.

Helena doesn't say anything at all. She reaches for more soup, notices the lacerations from the cuffs on her wrist, and tugs at her sweater to cover it up before resuming eating. It takes her a few moments to start talking. "I don't know what happened. Doc grabbed me and the world went funny for a sec."

Handling the clean-up of various messes usually falls to the people who want to do it- Delilah has been with that particular crew since they hit the street, helping patch up Carolina and to make sure that Marilena was taken care of until further notice. It was a bit disconcerting, having to help move the corpse of the person they went to rescue- and so they did rescue her, just not how they all expected to.

When Delilah reaches the end of the cleanup shift, her immediate thoughts are mainly to go find Cat and Helena(the real one!) again. So when she shows up to rap upon the door, Dee is still dressed in the black clothes she was hearing underneath of everything; black breeches, boots, a simple shirt tucked below her belt. It looks like someone wrung her through an actual post-apocalypse, frankly- the lack of color already threw off someone lurking about downstairs. A somewhat meek "Cat, Helena?" comes from the other side of the door with the knocks.

Cat, Delilah saw, is decent with a needle and thread. She also knew quite well how to handle an arterial bleed, using pressure points and such to stop the flow. It was she who sutured Carolina, all of it the benefit of books she read some years before and skills practiced on occasion. The injured woman wasn't brought here, nor was Candy, however. The new headquarters building's secret areas remain Phoenix-only. People not in the faction aren't even told the place exists.

"Are you physically in pain, Helena?" she asks. It's a loaded question: what she's really asking is if she's jonesing for opiates. Knocks at the door draw her attention away briefly; she doesn't move to open it. Eyes settle on the blonde again moments later; she leaves the choice in Stormy's hands.

Helena's hands shake a little more; the spoon clatters into the bowl. Still looking down at the bowl, Helena mumbles, "Hey there, Delilah." And then, "They gave me regular doses of morphine every four hours. I expect I'll be praying to the porcelain god and cramping and god knows what else in a couple of hours, after the shock wears off." It's the longest string of words she's uttered since the rescue. Then, "Dad dosed me with Refrain, too. Just once."

Delilah takes the bare greeting as to mean it is fine to come in the rest of the way, turning open the door with the scuff of her boots to follow as she comes inside. She waits until Helena finishes speaking before allowing herself much more than the first couple of steps. "Everything's done, and they've found a better place to keep Lina. Anyone else that was out is resting." Which essentially means that the storm has passed.

"The Hangar, I suggested," Cat remarks. "It was a good place to take Candy too." But she leaves the subjects of those two alone, there will be time later for discussing Miss Allard's future with the faction. Right now her priority is Helena. "I was told," she quietly confirms, eyes returning to settle on the blonde's face. "It was my idea to cut back on dosing, and to time the raid for when she'd be scheduled to give you another injection in hope you'd have your powers and could help."

Quiet follows for a time, as she seeks to search the leader's eyes, before solemnly intoning "I'm here, and will be here, when withdrawal hits. I read up on what it involves, I'm ready, and will do whatever's needed to get you through."

Those were more loaded words. The unsaid part is she'll do what she must, even if it means chaining Helena down into the bed to keep her from going after drugs. It may occur to them, or not, this is what Cat means. If Helena gets it and doesn't want that kind of assistance…

This would be the time to speak up and opt out.

The smile Helena offers Dee is pretty pathetic. It's the smile someone gives when they're trying to convince someone that everything's okay when really it's all horribly wrong. It's Cat she addresses. "The morphine may be an advantage, there. I'll be too sick to try and go out for some Refrain. I don't seem to want any now, but I don't know what I'd do if I actually had some in front of me to grab. The memory can be…it's a good feeling." Especially when you want to be anywhere but in your present.

For now the two might feel something stewing over by the door, before Delilah takes a small sharp breath, grows a tight expression, and steps the rest of the way over. Delilah knew what Cat meant- Cat doesn't piss around with those sorts of things- at least, she can guess that much. Not that she knows from any type of experience. But, that's not really what she's thinking about-

Delilah steps up to Helena and throws her arms around the older girl, forceful in being so loving; if the blonde is sitting, she'll crouch a bit to be able, but if Helena is standing, then it is the full-force Dee-hugging. Either way, Helena's probably going to get a faceful of Delilah's shoulder and a whiff of the soap she used earlier in the night.

This has to be, Cat thinks, incredibly humiliating for Helena. To have her issues discussed, to admit they exist. Her understanding of the blonde and her memories of how she's dealt with situations is crystally clear as any others. But the topics still have to be addressed, and so she does in the most businesslike ways possible. To avoid belaboring the points, to spare Helena dwelling on it. Tackle things, get them done, and move on. So it's a simple question she asks, with more unspoken words tied to it.

"Do you trust yourself, at the worst moments in coming through this, not to throw the weather around?"

Helena seems for a moment to not know what to do when Delilah embraces her. It's like she can't decide whether to flinch or cry or hug back, and for a moment she seems pathetically bewildered. Delilah is given an awkward squeeze from Helena's seated position, and still encoiled by the redhead, comments in a distantly bleak tone to Cat, "I don't know."

Delilah ends up crouching further, silently wishing Cat would hold the phone for just a minute. When Helena is able to- you know- breathe- Delilah is there in front of her, just a hand lower to look her in the face. The arms that had pinned her a moment ago are now hands on Helena's shoulders. One goes to cradle the blonde's cheek while Delilah makes a smile that can only be described as relieved. "I'm sorry about what happened." If everyone here has one thing in common, it is losing parents in violent ways, right? "But- I'm glad that whatever might have happened wasn't able to." They all know that Humanis First is notorious for doing horrible things to the people they capture- it's not a guess- Delilah is sure that there was something coming.

Just like that, the decision is made. In Cat's mind, consent was given. She'll do what she believes must be done and will never apologize for doing so. There's not even further discussion of it. The weather simply won't be a problem while Helena is suffering withdrawal. Cat stays back, watching Delilah with Helena, and not commenting. What thoughts she has are formed from experience of the kind Delilah will soon have. Not a word passes Cat's lips.

Instead, from behind Delilah, Cat raises an eyebrow to ask a question she believes will be easily understood.

"Thank you." Helena murmurs. She sounds slightly confused, not by her circumstance so much as having an uncertainty of how she should be feeling right now. Maybe it's just too much for her to deal with at the moment, so she's keeping her mental finger on the SHIFT key. It's not even certain which of the two other women she's talking to. Maybe she's talking to both. Helena doesn't seem to process Cat's expression. She doesn't speak Spockbrow, at least not at the moment.

Shift key it is. Delilah seems to be okay with nothing else; at least it was something. Delilah isn't quite done yet, but she does rise again, taking a half step backwards. "You know if you need anything at all- just ask." Even if it is something silly like cookies or just- someone around. It's cool. And then Cat is left the verbal floor again.

In silence, eyes flicking from Helena to Delilah and back again, Cat keeps the counsel of her own thoughts. Eventually, she rests attention on the soup bowl for a moment to see if it's empty or not. The mind drifts into the pages of texts she's read in recent months, things useful in handling her own issues. Of keeping herself from drowning in the river of indelible memories, a pool of permanent PTSD. Staying busy, for the most part, being therapy of choice.

It's another decision she makes now. Not to do or say anything…

Except to be present and let it be known Helena's not alone or unsupported by that presence. That she won't be abandoned, come what may.

Helena offers that same uncertain smile to Cat. She'll process through all of this eventually, but apparently the current means of handling the situation is to not process it at all. Which isn't denial, either…it's just there. "Cookies would be nice." she murmurs. "Maybe I could bake." Ohyeah. She could probably bake enough to feed both branches of Alley Cat, right now. "Did everyone go home?" she asks, her tone mildly interested, a touch concerned.

"People that needed to rest were given a place to do it-" Which probably means everyone was resting at some point, and people like Leo that passed out were very likely to get a bed right then and there. "So not everyone has gone home, there were some still resting when I left them. Anyone that needed patching is patched, too." And the dead ones- well- there was only one of those, and Dee isn't going to bring it up.

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