Poorly, Better


delilah_icon.gif sable_icon.gif

Scene Title Poorly, Better
Synopsis Though hard pressed to have acted more poorly, Sable receives an outcome better than could have ever been expected, likely, or deserved, considering the delicate position she has put herself in.
Date January 13, 2010

The Octagon - Delilah's Apartment

The apartments of the Octagon are among some of the most prime pieces of rental real-estate in New York City. Bright, open, and clean, these apartments are all painted an eggshell white and feature floor-to-ceiling windows that offer a sweeping, unobstructed view of the East River and Manhattan skyline. Hardwood floors spread from wall to wall and through the spacious bedrooms and private laundry rooms complete with washer/dryer utilities.

The open-concept kitchen in the apartment features stainless steel appliances, polished granite countertops, cherry finished cabinets and ceramic floor tile with all the convenience of a modern kitchen. The bathrooms are finished with classic subway wall tile and porcelain floor tile in bathrooms with elegantly designed corner-set curved showers wproviding more spacious shower area along with porcelain pedestal sinks.

Each apartment comes in two or three bedroom designs, each with spacious walk-in closets with individually controlled heating and cooling. The apartment is also set up with free Cable TV and Internet hook-ups in multiple locations.

She makes it back before curfew, if barely. The sun is buried behind the horizon, and the clamor of the lights keep stars from the skies, and the metaphors Sable uses to paint her world as she treks back to Delilah's are alternately ominous and sepulchral and it's basically a storm of bummer with a small, dark, spiky thundercloud at its center. Her mood is a low pressure system, but she's pressing onwards, trying to outrun her own blues.

They'll catch up with her, of course, and do once she arrives, puffy jacketed, looking paler than usual and a little drawn, at Delilah's doorstep. It's in no way to her credit that she stares at the door for a good ten seconds, though it's not that she's considering escape - she's simply too scared to see just what will happen. Because something's gotta give. And she feels like what's giving is the ground under her feet.

But enough theatrics, doing what's right isn't more right for being played up. Sable raises her hand and knocks three times, heart doing a jitterbug in her little chest.

Delilah, when she peeks through the door, is left puzzled as to why Sable didn't just come in; she doesn't really stay on it that long before opening the door for the other girl. Samson is probably sleeping, judging by his lack of presence there. Walter must be long in bed as well, as Delilah seems more groomed than she would if he was. Past dinnertime, past bedtime for babies. Sable turning up was fully expected, at least.

"Hey, you missed dinner, I kept a plate for you if you want some?" The redhead puts it out there and all but leaves the door open for Sable to come in on her own. "I hope you didn't have to race here, you look tired." Dee lets out a short laugh, head tilting at Sable as if to study her more.

This is harder than Sable had even imagined, and her imagination isn't a feeble muscle. There is an odd moment where Sable just looks utterly helpless as Dee appears in view. In that moment, she's motionless. Next moment, she's dropped to her knees, hands lacing together before her in a almsbegger's posture. She dips her head before looking up at Delilah.

"I've done you wrong," gets to the point rather quickly, "and I'd rather stay out here, so y'all don't have t' kick me out, if it comes t' that. Y'll jus' have t' ask me t' leave."

Sable tries taking a deep breath, but it catches in her throat. She gives it another shot, and this time it works, if just barely.

"There somethin' all I gotta tell y'. And I beg y' not pass judgment 'til I've told all, and then I'll accept any judgment you make and think it a generosity. I'm- honestly not sure howall t' begin, 'cept t' say…" her eyes cut down, "I been uncareful with my heart, 'n' th' heart 'f another, and thus shown you less th'n th' fullest respect you deserve."

For Sable, at a time like this, that passes for succinct.

There is a split second of panic about what Sable is doing, IE, getting on her knees, and it mostly passes in time for Delilah to listen closely, coming back into the doorway proper and watching intently. If Sable has to do something like this, and she is saying stuff like this- it has to be serious, right? The redhead stops and keeps one hand on the edge of the door.

Uncareful. Uncareful? Sable's windedness at such a dire moment does not come as a surprise, yet her choice of words do, somewhat. Dee's brown eyes narrow a little in question, making attempts to weave a web of goodness knows what behind them. From what Sable is seemingly telling her, she may have been out risktaking with other girls(girls only, she thinks). At least, this is what it sounds like. The most pointed part is that it is a serious matter, apparently. Delilah isn't uptight about fooling around, but being foolish with others kind of grinds her gears.

"I'm listening." And, she is. All ears.

And what a time to be heard.

Deep breath, again. No hitch this time. If nothing else, she needs to do the right thing. "See, it starts with me- trustin' too much t' havin' a level head. Which I know better than t' think I have, now," Sable explains, clearing her throat briefly after, realizing she's on the brink of delay-digression, "you 'n' me… I was after you, but you were holdin' back, like, commitment, as was proper in your situation. But- like- so I figured-" she stops up; how to explain simply but with context and without sounding like she's building a case for herself? "I wanted t' show Elaine th' ropes. What bein' with a gal is like. 'n' Magnes, he was cool with it. Had t' be, 'course. Wouldn't step in on his lady. Or- I didn't have no intent to…" Which means…

"It happened all at once, Delilah, sudden, like in one fuckin' night," there's no hiding the pleading in her voice, "we jus' feel for each other hard 'n' fast 'n'- I guess neither 'f us wanted t' give it up. We both, like, agreed- first commitment w's me t' you, 'n' she t' him. It- it felt like that was alright, like there wasn't nothin' wrong with that but- I know better now."

"But- shit, it was too late," too little, likely, also, "'n' when she 'n' he broke it off, 'n' I was still puttin' you first… that set things awry, y' know? Because here I was, chasin' you, yet there she was with no one. But- but I wasn't gonna give you up. Not if there was still a chance f'r us.

"So thass why she ran off, I think, part 'f it at least. Fuckin' Scotland, turns out, jus' up 'n' left 'n'…" Sable closes her eyes, tight, "I do love 'er. I won't step back on that. But…" her eyes open again, "right as it felt, I've done only wrong b'cause 'f it. And so I'm settin' that aside, and gonna spend time in penance, praying there is some way t' make it right some day. So, like, I honestly dunno that I even close t' deserve you, Dee. But, here I am, a fuckin' pilgrim goddamn supplicant, b'cause f'r all that I've fucked up bad… nothin' I've had with you has done anythin' but make me better. I gave up stealin', I passed up temptations," other ones, we must assume, "I swore myself t' become someone worthy 'f you.

"And though I failed, truly, 'n' in th' worst way, and I shall call it only justice if you renounce me… I hope against all hope f'r the height 'f yer grace. Knowin' that I shall never step outta line again, swearing that to you upon nothin' more than the humility I'm left with, please, Delilah… f'rgive me?"

Delilah's expression throughout seems to retain its inner restlessness, though her eyes have grown as steely as piano wire. She is not pleased. Not one bit. If it hadn't been Elaine that Sable had messed up with- it would probably not be that expression on her face. Her unpainted lips purse along her teeth, tongue all but bitten down. She waits for Sable to finish, standing there like a tall Dike Astraea, watching the raven-haired miss Diego like a hawk.

"So." Only mostly bad things start with that. "You break my other friend's heart and expect me to be okay with that?" It isn't an angry tone, no- it is like the most severe disappointment that one could imagine, making Delilah disappointed about something like this. "You are the one that waited so long for me, and I finally do, only to find out that you weren't telling me the total truth? Looks like I'm not the only one with commitment issues, Sable."

"Fooling around I can forgive easily enough, but it sounds like you stuck your own foot up your own ass with this one, doesn't it?" The scolding tone grows just a bit, and Delilah's brow has since knitted together down at her. "I forgive you for being a hound, sure. But I'm not the one you hurt, Sable. I'm not the one you need to be on your knees for."

The wincing, braced tension that runs along Sable's hunched back looks more suitable for one expecting blows rather than words. There's an immanent physicality to Sable's emotional reactions, and blows would be a whole lot easier to deal with. Bruises fade, cuts heal. The righteous truth cuts clean and shows no mercy.

"I've spoke with her, spoke with Quinn, too. 'n' Magnes I'll speak with as well, set all that I've done before those who oughta know," Sable says, solemnly. She's not trying to make herself difficult prey. If she's to be torn apart, so be it. Or so she tells herself. The poetry of the notion provides maybe some small aspect of comfort, deep within the odd little confines of her head. "I will do all I can t' make things right. I'm-"

Hesitation, and then lifting of eyes to Delilah's. It's hard to do, seeing that expression that face, hard to bear. But evasion and cowardice have more or less gotten her to this point, as much as vaunted passion. "When that's done, Delilah, if y' want these sorry bones, they're yers. And though if y' know y' want nothin' t' do with 'em, 'n' tell me t' b'gone, then I will respect yer wishes with the diligence y'all deserve. But permittin' th' smallest 'f chances, Dee, I can only say that I will spend ever hour hence tryin' t' redeem m'self b'fore you. Whatall happened- I never chose it to start. Chose later, chose poorly and worse than poorly. But you, Dee, you I chose and I will not, 'nless you demand it, recant that pledge."

The neighbors might be a little concerned that they are virtually in the hallway doing this, but Delilah is less concerned about that and moreso about whether or not Sable did talk to who she claims. Dee takes a step into the hall and mostly closes the door behind her, leaving a fist-size crack so that none of this floats too far into the apartment. Just in case. Walter is in bed. She remains with that look on her face, struck by the sheerness of both Sable's mess-up and the way she's been told.

"I wasn't making it up when I said I wanted you to be with me, to see if it was like we'd think. That part is still true, and I love you very much." A palm lifts up to rub over her forehead, brushing back the parted fringe of red hair. "I want to be Elaine's friend too. I am her friend. What did she have to say about this? Is she ready to move on, or is it going to be me treading like a fawn around her cause of this? I adore her as much as anyone, you know that."

"My love for you hasn't changed at all, Sable- but I need to know that I can trust you. So I hope for your sake, you're telling the truth now, about wanting to make it all right."

"Loving poorly ain't lovin' falsely," Sable intones, trying very, very hard to maintain eye contact with Delilah. To purge even the appearance of dishonesty, as her guilt might be mistaken for. "And I cannot, now, ever lie without knowin' that my love is as good 's false, 'n' I would rather be dead than live so." So yes, she is telling the truth. However elaborate her way of expressing the sentiment.

To yet another shame, one now in just a long series, Sable hadn't given a great deal of thought to after. To how events now carry on into the future, their effects on others. Others loved and others hurt. And when she thinks to just what Elaine said… "May be you wanna hear it from th' lady herself," Sable admits, dipping her head, not having a real answer but not denying it, "she got back, 't was…" a weird situation, "I need t' talk t' her 'gain sometime soon. I split not to long after she showed. Had- had t' come t' you. Couldn't hardly wait. 'N' she- she 'n' Quinn had things t' talk on, too. Things that ain't my right t' repeat."

A lapse into silence. In which silence, Sable's inner darkness lets up enough to see that, for all the reproach, what she asked for - grace - seems to be hovering within grasp. She doesn't snatch at it, though. Instead carefully and slowly getting to her feet. Head still hung, she's not on her knees any more at least. "I will make it right if this too frail mortal-type frame's got th' power to," her look is near furtive as she adds, "I love you too, Dee darlin'. Dunno where I get th' darin' t' do so, but so I do."

"Come here." There's no smothering, no smooching, no such things; but what Delilah does offer is a hug, though it mostly consists of her abruptly wrapping her arms around Sable and tugging her close. "Please don't make me regret anything, Sable. And I'm going to go see Elaine. Just Elaine. If she wants to just let everyone move on, I'll do that, but otherwise I need to see her. I have to make sure she's okay." Not okay with this, mind you- just- okay. Delilah knows what at least one of Elaine's past relationships was like. She certainly didn't need anyone jerking her heart around. If it had just been a night on the town, so to speak, that is a different story- one Dee is perfectly okay with.

"I love all you guys too much to lose any of you, you know that."

Sable's first reaction to the hug is to tremble like a bird, her lean figure seeming all the more insubstantial as she tries to shrink into herself. Still seeming to expect a strike that doesn't come. And of course would never come, and the moment her deeper, darker regions realize this, she relaxes, returning the hug with a grateful acceptance that asks for nothing more. Boundary pusher perhaps too often, for now this hound is thoroughly heeled.

When she speaks, it's through a sniffle. She's crying, if quietly. Second time today, which Sable hates but cannot help. But the sniffle carries the slightest hint of the most rueful of laughs. What the fuck could be even remotely funny?

"Well, now I know I'll never fuckin' deserve you. Jus' have t' hope y'all never figure that out…"

"Don't gimme no hints." Delilah feels almost motherly with Sable all of a sudden, though she does try hard to dismiss the notion. She leans back for just a moment to wipe her thumbs across the slight damp of Sable's cheeks, then pulls her head nearer to bury a kiss in the ruffle of black hair. "Does this mean I can introduce you as 'my slutty friend Sable'?" Delilah teases, just a teensy bit. Humor breaks a great many walls, including that awkwardness after awkward news.

"Try not to get into any more trouble anytime soon, dig?" Lilah pulls something from the other's vocabulary, if just so it makes it that much more sensible.

It's one of those sounds that can't make up it's mind, laugh or cry, and it comes rough and shaky through snotty sinuses. Not terribly attractive. But that's hardly the priority. The kiss is what really does it, what follows only making the tumble of Sable's inner state more agitated. Feeling every which way. "Y'all got me at dis- disadvantage enough, darlin'," she splutters, "call me whatever y' please t' whoever y' please. So long as I c'n keep callin' on you."

Enough distance between them, physical at least, to allow Sable to look up at Delilah, and yellow eyes dart to catch Dee's. "I dig," she confirms. And she does. She just better not dig herself any deeper.

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