Seeking Solace


abby2_icon.gif joseph_icon.gif

Scene Title Seeking Solace
Synopsis An incognito Abigail seeks refuge from the media at the Guiding Light.
Date April 24, 2009

Guiding Light Baptist Church

There is no mistaking this building as anything but a church, with its arching glass windows and concrete cross fixed to the edge of the pointed roof. Curving stone steps lead up from the pavement to a set of black double doors, often kept closed during the colder weather, but unlocked during the allocated hours written on a blue sign fix to the brick wall. In white, formal letting, it reads GUIDING LIGHT BAPTIST CHURCH and lists its hours of worship.

Through the doors, you first step into an open, nondescript foyer, with access to an unobtrusive staircase headed upwards, and a second hallway leading off somewhere less public also. Mainly, this room opens straight out to the much more spacious worship hall, with immovable rows and rows of pews. A small church, it only seats an absolute maximum of around one hundred and fifty people at a time. It has a high ceiling and is warmly lit, simple and reverent in design, colours light and earthy. The stage before the pews is wide open, with seats off to the side for other pastors and guest speakers, and there is a podium placed off center. On the other side, there is a small organ with music sheets kept nearby.

It's quiet in the church. Surprise. That's a bit like saying 'it's quiet in the library', such things can be assumed. Regardless, it is, and a late afternoon sun barely makes it through the high windows, and if it gets anymore overcast, the overhead lights will have to be switched on and flood the space with uglier artificial lighting that bounces off polished wood and metal.

Eventually there's the sound of a door opening frim some different section of the church, and footsteps against carpet and polished wood. Joseph, a familiar entity within this place, has his hand on the high of a young woman's back, her dark hair coming apart from her ponytail and brown eyes rimmed with red from tears. "…you for helping me understand it, I was so worried— "

"No, not at all," Joseph is saying as they come to a halt at the far end of the hall, his hands drifting to touch her arms in a secure, warm gesture. "The visions are hardly ever as dire as they appear. They're just tryna make a point."

The woman gives a tearful smile, and murmurs a final goodbye with an accompanying arm squeeze before she's quickly headed for the door, taking a wad of tissues out of her purse to dab at running eyes, Joseph watching her go before idling turning towards the pulpit, not completely hearing as to whether or not a second set of footsteps override the young woman's.

Another person seeing god's plans. Though perhaps, not a good one this time around. Red hair piled beneath a ball cap, hidden from sight and bill down, layers of shirts and hooded sweater, messenger bag, Abigail's walked from her home to here, escaping through a back door and to freedom! Mostly to head for church since she had to bail on the Wednesday service. Probably understandable. So the redhead eases past the sniffling woman, a soft comforting smile of understanding for her as she makes her way up towards the front till eventually, hands in the pockets of the hoodie, Abigail's standing beside Joseph.

"The reporters haven't come flooding here yet have they?"

A glance, then a double-take when he realises the woman ghosting up to stand beside him is not another stranger seeking solace. "Abigail," Joseph intones with mild surprise to see her, although his attention strays forward once more. Uncertain as to what has caught his attention, it looks no different than before, basked in late afternoon light. Perhaps the cross nailed high to the wall, that's where many eyes turn up during prayer, although behind his glasses, his gaze shifts around.

"No, no reporters," he says with a dismissive chuckle. "More interestin' things for them going on in this city than what goes on in here, I'm sure. I didn't see you this Wednesday," he adds, a note of concern in his voice, although the observation is made lightly.

Didn't see her this Wednesday. "Don't watch the news i'm guessing" Finally, someone who doesn't, much like her. "Someone got run over in central park. I did the lords thing and was carted off with him to the hospital. I wasn't here because I was sleeping off a healing hangover in one of their rooms and then was hunting through the park to find my keys and trying to avoid reporters. I missed class too. I'll be here Sunday though. But I'm sorry, for not being here"

Expressive eyebrows go up at this news, a sidelong glance. Probably one of the better excuses people try to dig up out of some well of guilt, as if Joseph were holding a clipboard and ticking their attendance. "No, no," Joseph assures, hands seeking out the pockets of his sports jacket, a shirt beneath that. No tie, this Friday. "Don't have to apologise to me, and I'm sure the Lord more than understands if you're doing His work. The media's not hasslin' you too much now, are they? I can turn 'em away from the door if it gets to be a problem come Sunday."

"Well" A glance behind her towards the open doors. "I didn't scooter over, so they couldn't see Lazarus and follow and I snuck out the back door. I'm sure if I really need to, I can have officer Baxter pick me up on the roof of my apartment and shuttle me off. He owes me. So I don't think they'll be a problem come Sunday. I haven't been talking to them, or answering my phone. They've parked outside my apartment, and work. I'm pretty sure if I just wait them out, they'll leave me be over time right?" As if Joseph had more experience with the press than she does. "I mean, something else has to come along and get their attention more won't it?"

Her hands still in her sweater pockets, looking away from him and up to the crosses on the wall. "I have some friends, that I know, who might be seeking you out, to know god's plan. I think they didn't believe me when I told them that he gifted you with"

He absolutely doesn't, but tries his darndest. "Oh, well." Joseph clears his throat, shrugs his shoulders beneath beige fabric. "Stuff flies by so fast, I'm sure the press'll get hooked on the next most interestin' thing. Only a matter of time in this city, probably." He turns enough to sit on the edge of the pulpit, obviously comfortable within this space as much as so many people are not, stiff-backed individuals who wear glasses and skulk around the edges of the congregation, come to hear God's word without really hearing it.

No, this place may as well be Joseph's home, and he can lean where he chooses. "You tell 'em to come by any time," Joseph says with a slightly weary but genuine smile, taking off his glasses to clean them on the edge of his shirt. "Even in this day and age it seems like people need to see to believe. Surprisin' amount of them feel like they're findin' faith because of what I can do. Do you find that, with your gift?"

"I don't" Abigail reaches up, take off the baseball cap, feeling safe enough in here to not hide. Doesn't feel right to hide in here. While he settles himself on the pulpit, she backs up enough to sit on the front pews. hands planted on either side of her and ankles crossed. "There's a small group, who do. But they're already those who has some faith. But even then…" Abigail shakes her head. "I've stopped praying out loud when I call upon it. It makes people uncomfortable, it scares them to think that maybe it's a gift from some higher power and not some variation of science or they think that they owe something, for being on the receiving end. I know one man who won't let me help him, because he doesn't believe in god and because I do and I believe it comes from him, that I'm his conduit, that he shouldn't partake of it. But I haven't had someone feel like they've found their fai.."

Wait. Wrong. "Magnes" She was forgetting Magnes. "But I don't think he found his faith just because I fixed him up. I thnik he's found his faith because I believe so strongly in God"

"People who come to me are already looking, in a sense," Joseph ponders out loud, hands braced on the edge of the platform, wedding ring an ever present addition. "If not for God than for something. Minds and hearts open to somethin' they can't explain. Now, healing… yeah I can see how that's a different set o' circumstances." And also so similar, as they'd both discovered when they'd confessed abilities to each other. He frowns at her next words, more confused than troubled, and it fades in the next moment. "Nothin' wrong with that, is there? Following someone's example. I think he's got his priorities a little out of order but he's been turnin' up to church and everything, maybe he'll catch on. It's nice to see in a guy his age."

"No, nothing wrong with it. I'm glad he's taken an interest, that he wants to find god" She does, she really does, the little smile on her face is evident enough of that. "I think it would help him greatly to have implicit faith in something greater and bigger than you. Maybe make him realize that the world is not comic books, and that good doesn't always win out over evil. To have .. Faith. He's a good man. We.. we spent a month and change in captivity, half of that in makeshift cages side by side. We helped each other through a terrible time, and he had some beliefs shattered. I think this could help him… heal. Like it helps me"

The words 'captivity' and 'cages' are colourful keywords, Joseph blinking rapidly and keeping his reaction carefully in check. Trying to keep exuding of sympathy and pity to a dull roar, but there's always some that leaks out. "That's terrible," he hears himself saying. Then realises she said more after that, and lifts his hands to put his glasses back on, stammering over the next few words with, "Sorry, I mean the— thing. That's terrible, I had no idea. No, I hope— he finds healing here, too. And you the same. If there's anything I can do for either of you…"

"You're doing it. You do it by opening the church with the others. Just the accent alone, the drawl from home helps. Friends help. God helps. Magnes, he doesn't have that many friends. He learned that he couldn't protect me, that some people just don't keep their words, no matter how much they swear so" Abigail smiles over at Joseph. "He won't throw at me more than I can handle and thank you, for your sympathy. But now you see … people covet what I can do and try to take it for themselves. People see faith, they might turn to faith with your gift. But now.. you see what comes with mine. There's fear and coveting, but there's awe and adoration too." Abby shrugs her shoulders a little before looking past him to the crosses again, to the front of the church. "Helping him believe that there's good in the world, that there's things he can protect, things worth protecting. That's how we can help Magnes"

"Sound advice," Joseph says, gently, with an equally gentle smile. "It'll help more comin' from your mouth than mine, I'm sure, but maybe if he's eager, I can take 'im down to the trailer parks next time we all go. Get his mind off himself and onto others, see what it's like to help people who need it. Y'know, without— needing to necessarily do all that much, things considered."

"I think he'd like the trailer park. He didn't take from Staten Island the worries that I did. He can do crowds" In some way, she's jealous of him. Just a tweee bit. "Oh!, part of why I came here. It came true. Most of it. The first part at least. The second part of the gift you gave me, I haven't figured it out. but the first. The first came to be. It was bad, but it was good in parts as well. I didn't know it, till it had passed. The second is still confusing me a little, but maybe I'll understand it at some point"

Abby gets a sympathetic non-smile from Joseph at the mention of crowds, because does he have any other setting? Nothing to press the issue, however, especially as she moves on, nodding to the news that half the vision came true. He doesn't seem surprised, in the same way Abby can expect to see bruises fade beneath her touch, Joseph expects his induced hallucinations to come to be, one way or another.

"Might be the kind that kind that sort've just happens before you know it," he agrees. "Thanks for tellin' me, though, I hope it helps in some small way. I wish I could tell you more about the way it might work, so you know what to expect, but all I know is the accounts of others."

"You know how yours works, no more than I know how mine works. I just know that I ask god, I lay my hands and… he takes it all away. You know, that you lay your hands on another and.. they're gifted with a glimpse of god's plan. You don't.. have to understand. You just have to believe, believe that you can do it. Have faith that it'll work the way it should." There's a deep inhale from the redhead as she pulls her eyes away from behind Joseph to actually looking at him. "I don't want to go home yet. I can't go to work. Do you have things I can do here, so I can hide out. I don't expect the FBI agent to get shot again anytime soon so I don't think i'll be running off to heal someone unless the cops call with an officer down." Oh right, that. Into her messenger bag she digs, pulling out an envelope. "For the church. I don't take money for what I do, but the New York Police Department insists on paying me a stipend each time I help them. So. For the church to dispense with as they see fit. The officer in charge of me said I could do with it as I saw fit. Use it for.. roof repair, or for helping with outreach, something. It's not much, but it's something"

Gaze swiveling down towards the envelope, Joseph seems about to protest, mouth opening, before ultimately deciding against it. No point in patronising the woman. Taking his weight off the pulpit's edge, he steps on over to take it, glancing it over but not being so rude as to rifle through it in her presence, as curious as he may be.

"Thank you, Abigail," he says, clasping it in both hands and looking back at her, and letting out a caught breath with a glance about the building, before he tilts his head towards where Abby will know the smaller rooms of the church are tucked away. "If you need to set your mind on something, you can get the donation drive for Saturday prepared so Frita doesn't have to come in early, I'm sure she'd love you for it. Otherwise you're always free to linger, you know that. I don't start cleanin' up around here 'til the doors are shut."

"Anything to make Frita's life easier" And allow her to be busy and not idle. "Maybe you can tell me about where you come from and how you came to be here, found God" She can't remember if she asked him before or not. "I can slip back into the apartments easier in the dark in a few hours anyways, they don't seem to stick around past dinner time" No surprise huh. up from the bench the healer heaves herself to fall into step beside the pastor.

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