Quite Particular


delia_icon.gif eileen_icon.gif

Scene Title Quite Particular
Synopsis Eileen seeks Delia's company and advice.
Date February 8, 2011

The Corinthian: Delia's Room

It's been nine days since her last message from her father. Nine days of news about the strange dome he's trapped in. Only two of those have had Delia paying attention to the news. Sitting on the edge of her bed, she flips through the channels, pausing on the ones that have snippets about the state of the mysterious bubble that encases parts of Roosevelt and Queens.

Danger of the snow on the top, danger of the smog inside, danger of food and fresh water running out. She's been at it all day, forgoing exercise and eating in favor of just a few more words… and hope.

As always, knocks on her door come as a surprise. This time it's no different. What is different is that this time, rather than making her way to the wheelchair, the redhead stands and drags herself to the door using the furniture as support for walking. It's slow but eventually the door is opened and her blue eyes widen in surprise. "Oh— Ei— " Not finishing her greeting, she glances out into the hallway while motioning the petite woman to enter. "Hurry." There's a pause as the door closes and locks behind the both of them and then Delia turns to smile. Leaning heavily on the wall, she passes a long glance over the other woman with a smile. "I'm glad to see you, how are you?"

Eileen is miserable, though this isn't what she says. What she says is, "Very well, thank you," without sounding grateful at all. The Englishwoman has made an effort to clean herself up, dirt and blood scrubbed out from under her nails, dark hair swept through with a brush and pinned back into a knot at the nape of her neck. Knowing that there's no way into the dome hasn't stopped her from looking, but she's been concentrating her efforts elsewhere — places that require her to look tidier than a sooty mess.

"I've brought you some things," she adds, moving to set down a woven bag on the desk. "I can't imagine it's very exciting up here in your gilded cage." From under her collar, a robin pokes out its head and blinks glittering black eyes at the other woman, the sunflower yellow of its beak slightly parted. "It's good to see you up on your feet."

"It's more exciting than you'd think," Delia answers back, her tone a little off for it to be a good type of excitement. "I've had to move rooms already, there were some anger management issues that I had to deal with." Or not deal with, considering she hasn't actually faced the aftermath of the circumstance quite yet. It'll come. Eventually. There's no way that she'll be able to get around it.

Unlike the other woman, her long hair is left loose. The long copper curls are still damp from washing earlier in the day and looking a little haggard at the back from lying around. She pushes off the wall a little, still holding one hand against it for balance but not using it to stay standing quite as much. Her long neck cranes to peek inside the bag but from her vantage point, she can make out what's inside. She doesn't move from her spot, an indication that she's not as much on her feet as one might like. "Have a seat, the chair's pretty comfortable." She slept in it once, by accident.

Eileen's lips purse around an unspoken question that she's not sure she wants to know the answer to. A gloved hand slips inside the bag and comes out with a book that looks like she could have picked it up from Ichihara, though such a thing is impossible with things the way they are now. A wrinkled cover and dog-eared pages betray its age — Delia won't have to check the publication date to know it's several decades old at least. A solemn woman with dark, mournful eyes and painted in shades of brown and gray seems to watch Delia through Eileen's fingers, looking very Victorian.

"I seem to remember you being fond of romances," she says, offering Delia the book. "This isn't quite, but I thought you might like it. Jane Eyre — it's one of my favourites." The invitation to sit doesn't go ignored — her robin acknowledges it for her by springing off her shoulder and fluttering across the room to perch on the back of the chair, fluffing its wings.

While it's not one of the bodice rippers that she normally reads, the book is accepted with a grateful smile that's exceptionally wide and the crooked tilt to her lower lip is indication of its genuine nature. Taking it gently in one hand, she cradles it into the crook of her arm as she slides along the wall to get closer to the bed. "I've never read it," is the honest admission. "If it's one of your favorites though, I'll start it tonight."

When she finally inches close enough to the bed, she tilts and takes two weak steps toward it. Her free arm extends to catch herself on the edge of the bed and with great care, she eases herself into a sitting position. She's a little too proud to accept any help, especially right now. "How is everyone on the island? Are the kids doing alright? The flu hasn't hit, has it?" That, of course, is Delia's main concern. "I haven't really heard but, does last year's vaccine do anything against it? Or is it a brand new strain?"

Eileen leaves the rest of the bag's contents for Delia to discover later and retreats to the chair where her robin is waiting. "Last year's vaccines don't offer any protection," she says, slim legs folding to sit. "As far as I know, no one on the island has taken sick, but we lost a patrol a few days ago about ten miles or so from Pollepel, so we've needed to change our routes. With your father— preoccupied as he is, they only have Raith and a man who used to work with him when they were both employed by the Central Intelligence Agency. I'm hoping it's enough."

She removes a red carnation she wears behind her ear and holds it up between two fingers for her robin to take in its beak. It does, and with another flick of its wings sails across the room to a decorative glass vase at Delia's bedside where it alights on the lip, dropping the flower inside. "And what about you?"

A few tendrils of red curls fall forward as Delia hunches over the book, studying the cover silently. While it seems she might not be listening a careful study of her eyebrows would notice a twitch in a few key places of Eileen's news. The loss of the patrol. Her father's preoccupation. The worry of two men not being enough.

Her lips pursing at the end, she finally glances up, her eyes flitting between the bird and the woman she considers friend. "Eileen, I know that I'm not— that I can't do much— but is there anything I can do to help? I— uhm…" Shrugging her shoulders, it's clear that the young woman is at a loss of what she could do to help anyone. Not just because of her condition but her position of relying on charity, it doesn't exactly foster self confidence. "I don't like being useless and I've been a lot of that lately."

"When you're well enough," says Eileen, "I'd like you back at Pollepel for a few days a week to help Nurse Young operate the infirmary. In the event that there is an outbreak, we'll need all the experienced hands we have." Well enough is also one of those vague, nebulous terms — what she really means is if you ever decide you want to go back and this hangs implicit in the air with the smell of stale cigarette smoke and the winter crispness Eileen has brought into the room on her clothes.

Something else has her hesitating. The bird on the vase twitches the tips of its tailfeathers in a reflection of the anxiety Eileen tries to keep out of her lightly accented voice. "What do you know about sleepwalking?"

"Of course, of course I'll go back. Still no doctors, huh?" There's no verbal hesitation though her eyes flit briefly in the vague direction of Dorchester Towers. It's fleeting and the itch of a small smile at one corner of her lips is directed in apology toward the woman, not the bird. "I was going to see about helping with the Lighthouse when I got better anyway. I think I could probably be a good tutor, maybe." Again, the young woman's self conscious demeanor seeps to the surface. "If they can't find anyone better, they probably could though." Because college dropouts are fairly common within the Ferry.

The bird's flitter of tailfeathers and the odd question give Delia pause. Her mouth hangs open a second or two after she takes in a breath, meaning to answer but stopping to think before actually speaking. "Not very much, but I can look into it. What are the circumstances around it? Has the person been dependent on drugs or do they have a history of … being a little off?"

"Not for a time," Eileen answers carefully, and not for enunciation's sake. "They can remember going to bed, but when they come 'round again it's not where they laid themselves down and they've no real recollection of how they got there. I consulted someone else about it and he seemed to think that— that there may be another entity responsible. The kind with malicious intent."

She rubs the tips of her fingers together through her gloves, desiring to reach into her coat and flip open the package of cigarettes she carries in her silk-lined pocket. Instead, she makes them conform to the shape of her jaw, an elbow resting on the chair's plush arm. "If I believed a dreamwalker was responsible, I'd have come to see you sooner. This isn't that."

"How deep is the sleep? Do they remember dreaming at all?" The book is placed on top of the comforter next to the young woman and she slides back onto the bed to reach for her iPad. A few quick flicks of the wrist and she has a web browser pulled up. Delia's tap swiftly over the screen, the curious ticks and pursing of her lips are a level of concentration that she's been missing for a while. "Is he or she staying with anyone or by themselves? Is there a possibility of watching them at all?"

The musical (though off key) lilt of an Ah! emits from the redhead before she lists her eyes to Eileen's again. Though the woman never seems to look directly into her eyes, Delia makes the attempt to catch them. "It says here that sometimes a tranquilizer will stop sleepwalking. Would it be safe to try that or do they need to be able to wake up and run at any time?"

The most advanced piece of technology Eileen owns is her cell phone, and sometimes she has difficulty operating even that. She watches Delia navigate the iPad with guarded curiosity and lets her hand drift down to join the other in her lap. Her robin sees the redhead's effort to meet her gaze, and so she attempts to do the same, pale eyes seeming to search out Delia's blue ones.

"Alone at the moment," she says, "but other accommodations could be arranged." Her question about whether or not a tranquilizer would be safe is more difficult for Eileen to answer, and the deliberation is clear in the smallness of her mouth.

"I suppose they might be open to giving the medication a go. What sort? Antipsychotics?"

There's a slight shake to Delia's head as she gives Eileen yet another little smile and breaks the eye contact nervously. "I wouldn't go with anything that drastic to start with. Maybe something small like a sleeping pill, see if that works." Suddenly the redhead smiles brighter and sucks in a short gasp of air. "I can do that! Eileen… that's how I can help! I used to be a sitter sometimes when I worked at the hospital, overnight. I can watch them sleep. I know I'm not— uhm… I wouldn't be able to do much except try to wake them up, or call someone if they got up… but I can watch."

There's a little spark in her eyes as she meets those pale ones again and raises her eyebrows hopefully. A one shouldered shrug accompanies the suggestion, as though trying to say it couldn't hurt.

"If— If Logan consents to allowing someone else to stay here in the room with you," Eileen starts, "then I ought to give that some thought." She rises from the chair and summons her robin back to her with a crook of her index finger. Wings flutter with a sound like rustling tissue paper, and it hooks its claws around her knuckle, allowing her to coax it back onto her shoulder.

"Supposing he says no, there may be another place, but I'd need to ask." She forces a tight smile. "This person— they're quite particular, if you know what I mean."

"He said Tasha could stay with me, I haven't managed to get a hold of her yet… and I'm not sure Mister Lazzaro will— be very supportive of it considering the question he asked me." A weak titter of a laugh bubbles up from her throat, as though dismissing the stern man's curiosity as something of a fatherly worry. Then, chewing on her lip, Delia glances toward the pillows at the head of her bed before looking back at Eileen. "Uhm… is it a man or a woman? Just… out of curiosity. I've had a— uhm— uh— I just want to avoid more trouble."

Raising both of her hands now, in a hold gesture, she furthers an explanation. "Not that you need to worry about trouble, I think it's been handled. I think."

There's a concerned lift of one of Eileen's dark brows, but Delia's raised hands serve their purpose and she does not inquire with more than a perplexed expression, dark but gentle. "If it isn't," she says, "I hope you'll tell me." The tips of her fingers skim along the wall to her right as she moves toward the door.

"A woman, and one who's very happily attached. No trouble at all as long as silence doesn't put you off." Humour colours her tone, supplying it with more dimension and warmth than it had held a few minutes ago. "But it's companionable, I promise."

"If it isn't, I think Mister Logan will boot me out on the street." Delia's smile, although set there to match Eileen's humor, doesn't quite reach her eyes. They're host to a bit of fear and worry and quickly averted from the brunette before much questioning can begin. "I'd be happy to watch her, it'll give me a good head start into the book you gave me and a few others that I got from N— " She stops herself short and backpeddles on her faux pas. "…from a get well present."

A shift along the bed and Delia's in her chair, wheeling toward the door along with her visitor. "Thanks for coming, really. I'd like to see you more and I'll look up more stuff on sleepwalking. If it's malicious, like you said it might be, finding out who or what could be— Well it could be dangerous. Stopping it though, at least for a while, shouldn't be as hard."

"I'd like to see more of you too," is not an easy admission for Eileen to make, but there it is. She finds the handle, then the lock, and opens the door into the hall. Her robin can sense that it's empty, and she steps out a moment later, though she allows one gloved hand to linger in its frame as she turns her head as if to look back over her shoulder at Delia.

"Thank you." This time, there's feeling in her voice and the gratitude her initial greeting lacked. "Delia. For your help— and the company."

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