Pretty Good Story


gillian_icon.gif jenny2_icon.gif

Scene Title Pretty Good Story
Synopsis After Gillian and Jenny return to the Lighthouse after taking the last group of kids to get vaccinated, they have discussions that lead to things that Jenny never wanted to talk about.
Date April 12, 2010

Outside The Lighthouse

The last kid trots into the house out of the bitter cold of winter, to take off coats and try to get warm, and some to go upstairs to lay down. Just like flu-shots, the after effects can sometimes be a milder version of what they were protecting from. Only a handful of the kids got it that badly. Gillian watches from the door, still open, giving a brief glance toward the man in many places, who can keep an eye on them now, before she closes the door and leans back against it.

Still in the bitter cold, but luckily not in the wind, she digs into her coat pocket for something, fumbling with it due to the gloves that make gripping difficult. A pack of cigarettes, with a lighter stuck inside.

"Well, that's the last group, at least. We can stick to the house except for shopping trips til this fucking snow clears up," the dark haired woman says, letting the lighter drop into one gloved palm, before she holds the pack out to the other person along for the escourting. At least for part of it. She didn't get the vaccine. Not like Gillian did. Not like the kids. "What a smoke, before we go back in and get warm? We can go back to the car," she nods towards said vehicle. Not warm, but warmer.

"We might be here forever if we're waiting for the snow to clear," is… only half-heard through bundled wool, Jenny having wrapped the scarf far up her face to engulf her chin, mouth and nose in tawny wool, the material matching the woolen hat pulled down her brow, and a flood of red hair comes waving out from the edges. Her coat is clasped closed with gloved hands, and she stands ankle deep in snow. Green eyes navigate on towards the cigarettes, eyebrows raising in interest.

She turns, promptly, towards the car, snow-specked dark red hair swinging along with the movement as she makes steps through the deep snow that goes RONCH RONCH RONCH under foot. Let's go.

As Gillian goes to follow suit, Jenny is already talking, having nudged her scarf back down beneath her chin. "I could punch someone in the face for this Registration bullshit. It's all awesome for you and the kids, but what am I supposed to do? Try not to die?"

Crunch, crunch, crunch.

Not far behind, Gillian sticks the pack and lighter back into her pocket for a few moments, as she continues along. As far as she can recall, her sister didn't smoke— but times change. And the woman beside her… well… "We might be able to get something for you soon. A few other people who stop by the Lighthouse need it too, and a lot more besides that. I'm glad the kids will be safe, but you're right. It shouldn't come down to 'Register or Die.'"

The reason for keeping gloves on becomes clear as she reaches the door of the car, grabbing the cold metal handle and tugging forcefully on it. Crack, crunch. It's a fight to get the door open, but— there it goes.

"Starting to wish Meredith would come back and melt some of this shit for us. It wasn't even that long ago that we left it." And it's already wanting to freeze again. With a grunt, she falls into the driver's seat, waiting for her sister to get in her side, as she pulls off gloves and reaches for the pack and lighter again, now that she can actually handle them more easily.

Struggling with the door as well, it doesn't take Jenny too much longer to fall into the cab as well, quick to seal off the outside cold once there and letting out a puff of breath that fans out as steam. Whimsically, she moves a hand in a turning kind of motion, steam preserved in the air instead of dispersing and spiralling in a tornado shape around one finger. Her eyes go crescent in a smile, before she waves it away and snuggles back into the car seat.

"Maybe we should invite her over," she says, dragging her hat down off her head, using both hands to fix and primp her hair once done. "And what, you guys are Robin Hooding some vaccines? That would be good. It can't be super hard, can it?"

To say it's a new trick, would be a stretch. The steam does form on the windows a little, reminding Gillian of something, even if she doesn't speak on it. Instead with the flick of the lighter, she lights one of the cigarettes and hands it over, puffing some of the dry smoke into the air through her nose. The second is lit once the first is out of her hand.

"It's probably not going to be easy. There's a lot of unregistered people, and I bet a lot who would want to get their hands on those. The snow might make it easier, though— it's hard to tell. I'm not getting directly involved, though." Not all of them are surprise ninjas… "But if I hear of anyone getting their hands on it, I'll make a bid in your favor."

And she thinks at least Eileen would support her in it.

"Thanks," Jenny says, both for the cigarette— which she pins between two pale fingers once it's passed over— and the bid for vaccine. Bringing the filter to her lips, the younger of the sisters stares out at the windshield, roaming her gaze over the structure of the Lighthouse, the high snowfall creeping up its cylindrical shape and meaning more damn shoveling for all of them before it can get as high as the ground floor windows. Smoke is quick to cast its haze in the cab of the vehicle as she blows out a stream of it.

No making it dance more than it does naturally — that's not her power. "I dunno exactly what would happen to me if I got it," she adds, thin eyebrows going up. "You know? I heard that people's powers stop working."

"If you got the illness? Yeah, it sounds like most people lose their ability eventually, while they have it," Gillian says, looking through the glass of the windshield in thought. There's a hint of snow in the wind, but it's hard to tell if it's fresh, or drifts again. More shovelling, cause the damn stuff drifts back over. Even her and three atmokinetics combined couldn't really put too much of a dent in it. Mexico is sounding more and more tempting every day… Especially since…

Hazel eyes slide over, towarc the face of her sister. If she lost her ability…

She wouldn't be Jenny anymore. Would she disappear completely, whatever cloning ability created her dissolving? Or would she just…

"You won't get sick."

"You don't know. I could get sick. It's this highly contagious superduper flu, isn't it? I'll just— "

Jenny sinks further back into her chair, and gestures towards the Lighthouse with a wave of her cigarette, careful not to spill ash and burning embers as she does so. "Just camp out at home until this thing blows over or I get vaccinated somehow." She rolls her green eyes on over to Gillian's hazel, briefly meeting them in a look before she gives a quick smile that both looks like it fits on her face and—

At the same time, doesn't. "It's fine. It's like when the wind changes, and your face gets stuck that way. It just— you know." She gives a quick shrug. "It'd make me nervous."

There's a long pause, as Gillian nurses the cigarette instead. Maybe it's time smile, maybe it's the dark 'what ifs'. But something plagues her for a time. Until she finally lets out a long exhale of smoke, and taps her cigarette in the open ash tray. "Maybe— I doubt the vaccination clinics have good communication. Maybe you could pretend to be me. Use my card."

There's no one else she could suggestion this to. Her sister should be registered, should have a card, should be entitled to the vaccine. But this…

"I know you don't want to talk about it… But you could look like me."

The sharp look that Gillian gets is square on, as if there were some trick in her words, or more truthfully, something that didn't occur to Jenny before. Might have occurred to the one wearing her skin, but wherever he is, he's no where that he can offer such astute suggestions. She swallows, and studies her burning cigarette with that familiar crinkle in her brow as she mulls the idea over. "I guess I could," she admits, finally. "It's better than getting sick. I mean, if anything happened and I couldn't do anything, you know?"

Tapping dead ash into the tray in turn, she breathes out dragon curls of smoke through her nostrils. "Did you want to talk about it?" she asks, voice near climbing up an octave in query.

"Yeah, I want to talk about it," Gillian says, slouching back into her heavy coat and the worn and uncomfortable seat. Comfortable enough. Better than leaning against a wall to hide from the wind and take a smoke. The kids know she smokes sometimes. More recently than before— even just the smallest amount of stress relief helps make it through the day. One day at a time.

"But learned that just cause I want something doesn't mean it's fair to make it happen. Took me a while to learn it…" Took her messing up two relationships to the point she's not sure they can be friends. Much less what she wanted. "I won't push, but— but if… being able to look like me lets you flash my card in some small clinic in like… Brooklyn or something, then you should try it. Keep you from getting sick, and finding out what happens if you do."

Jenny lets pearly white teeth nip into her bottom lip in thought, before she nods, a birdish kind of movement and a reluctant smile following. "Sure, why not? No harm in trying." Still, there's concern making tension in her expression, though its hidden in the way she goes to gaze out the passenger window, pushing an errant strand of rusty red hair behind one pale shell of an ear. The moment is ruined when ash tumbles off the end of her cigarette, nicking her knuckles as it goes.

"Shoot. Ow." Swapping hands, she goes to brush off her knuckles against her sweater, expelling a sigh of thick steam. "I guess, if we start talking about it, then— then you won't like it or something," she says, slumping back and properly tapping the end of the cigarette off again. "What happened— that night. It scared the shit out of me for that reason. It's not like I was tryna lie, just…"

Another shrug. "Preservation."

No harm in trying, but so much possible harm in… everything else.

It's not a fairytale. It won't have a happy ending. "I knew you weren't Jenny. I wanted to believe it, I really did, but…" Gillian shakes her head, sticking the cigarette into the ash tray, but not pressing it down hard enough so it stops burning. Instead the smoke and the smell continues to snake into the air, filling the cabin of the car with more of the smell. The smell that always reminds her of someone that… is almost sitting next to her.


"It doesn't matter. It doesn't matter who you are, or who you're not— none of that matters. You feel like my sister. And you feel a little like him at the same time." And a little like the man who helped scare her into running…

"But I want you here." She'd been willing to put a gun at him to try and make a threat— an empty one. To keep one small fragment. "I wasn't questioning it so that you'd go away… However it turned out, someone I thought dead was alive again."

Gillian has Jenny's attention, growing warmer as she speaks until a smile manages to crack across pretty features. Skillfully keeping her cigarette out of the way, the younger of the two women leans in close to distribute a hug, with much ruffling of winter-clothes and damp hair probably getting in mouths and faces. "Thanks, Gills," she mutters near her sister's ear, finally sinking back once that's over. "That's— wow. I didn't even imagine hearing that, you know? That you understand."

More errant ash is tapped away, and she casts a wry smile at the darker-haired Childs. "It was a pretty good story though, huh?" she inquires, a tentative brush beneath the masquerade they've been enjoying.

With the fact they're in the front of a car, the hug had some awkwardness, but Gillian leans into it, pressing the side of her head against that damp, long hair. Whether illusion or not, it feels real, just as she said that she felt like her sister. "It was a good story— good enough to write a book about," she says with a breathy laugh, letting her eyes close. Good enough she doesn't want to put the book down, too, but she knows the final chapter will need to be read eventually.

"Maybe there can be a sequel," she says quietly, even if she didn't fill in all her thoughts outloud.

"It took me a long time to figure this shit out— That sometimes it doesn't really matter. The whys and the whats and the hows… Sometimes just that it's there is enough. And— this is one of them." Her cigarette continues to burn in the ashtray, slowly eating away at the tabacco and paper, trailing a small stream of smoke into the car.

Even as the doors threaten to freeze shut, make escape difficult on them, this moment will eventually end, when they have to go back inside, to the warmth, the young people, the fellow caretakers… Back to everything else. But for the moment, it's the two of them, in a snow covered car, watching the smoke fill the air.

"It's a great story," Gillian repeats in a quiet and hoarse whisper.

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