Sisters Two


abby_icon.gif barbara_icon.gif niki_icon.gif

Scene Title Sisters Two
Synopsis Abby facilitates a meeting between Barbara and Niki. The two spend a little time getting to know each other.
Date August 5, 2010

Le Rivage - Abby's Apartment

Sprung from the pages of an IKEA catalog, Red suede couches, love seat, armchair, a comfortable cushioned recliner that doubles as a rocking chair. A black cat can be seen on occasion, perched atop something, same for a brown furry dog that promises to be bigger as time passes. Baby paraphernalia seems to be strung //everywhere from burp cloths, onesies in a laundry basket beside diapers ready to use, a colorful swing and baby blankets.//

Pictures on the wall of a blonde woman and two adults who look like her, blown up pictures of beautiful scenery. The kitchen is partially open to the main room, meticulous and clean, nothing out of place, a dining table and chairs in the dining area with flowers always in its centerpiece.

A hallway leads to bathrooms and bedrooms, Three in total and one of which bears a gold cross hanging above it. Inside an antique arm chair in a black and red floral pattern, at odds with the rest of the room in its pine, purple and cream theme. A painting hangs on the wall across from the bed by a long dead painter and worth a great deal of money. The other rooms unoccupied most of the time.

Somewhere, a budgie sings it's loving tune in its spacious ornate cage.

Morning was out. Just out and for reasons that she wouldn't go into, but there was the offer of a late lunch for two people she knew. One a close friend and the other, well, someone in the Ferry that she had just met. Barbara knew exactly who it was that was coming to lunch, the spread of sandwiches, pastries, coffee and olives, pickles, you name it. Her face had been about the same shade as the pickles while doing it, likely to do with her pickled state when she'd eventually made it home.

Niki wasn't told why, just that Abby hadn't seen her in a while and rumor that the woman had surfaced, she wanted to see her. She had someone she wanted to introduce her too. No mention that it was quite possibly her twin sister.

Coffee in a mug, dog draped across Abby's feet and the door unlocked so that Niki only needs to knock and let herself in like told she could, the blonde medic is nursing her coffee after having finished some swamp sludge smoothie. "Lord above I sure hope it's Niki who shows and not Jessica."

Barbara has been wearing her apprehension on her face since even before she arrived at Abby's apartment. She wasn't sure what to make of this entire situation, other than the fact that she was finally meeting a sister she had known about for nearly twenty years, but never had the opportunity to meet - a complex situation to say the least. For now, she was simply quiet as she sat, also taking sips from a cup of coffee, a mixture of anxious anticipation and worry churning in her mind.

"Is there anything else I should know?" she asks as she looks over at Abby, an eyebrow quirked. "She sounds like an… interesting woman as it is, and I'm wondering if there's anything else I should be aware of?" The MPD tidbit about Niki was the core reason for her uneasiness, and she was hoping there was nothing else to worry about.

"Uhh, there's a trick to telling them apart… something that.. oh heavens, I can't re- Jessica I think it was, told me. There's this tattoo that shows up only when it's Jessica. I don't rightly know if it's still applicable or not, I haven't seen her in a dogs age, she went to ground. Uhh… don't, don't ask about her husband or her kid. Touchy subject. Something to bring up later I'm sure, once y'all know each other better. Uhhh."

Abby's racking her brain that's still working and chugging along on slow speed. Thank god her cellphone hasn't bleated off demanding that she come in for work. "Just, go easy on her, it's not been easy. She's been through a lot and…"

Barbara quirks an eyebrow, nodding silently. Even knowing what not to bring up was important bits of new information, she hadn't been properly briefed on much about either of the two women who were apparently her twin sisters.

She leans back in her seat, taking a long sip of her drink. "At least she's not alone in that," the redhead mummers, legs crossing. "I'll try not to drown her in the details, though. I'm more curious to meet her than anything else."

For a minute or two, Niki had honestly considered telling Abby that she just didn't feel up to socialising. In fact, she'd rather have spent the day with a bottle of tequila and some channel surfing, but Jessica wisely would have none of it. Niki leaves her red convertible parked about a block away and makes her way to Abby's apartment, ducking in behind someone in the lobby and then heading to the door left ajar. There's a quick adjustment made to the strap of her tan wedge heels and she pats the pockets of her chocolate brown cargo shorts once to make sure she has her keys and tugs absently at the hem of her red tank top before bringing her hand up to knock on the door.

The door swings open and Niki peers in somewhat apprehensively before she steps inside the apartment, pushing it closed behind her with her shoe. "Hey," she greets quietly, glancing around first at the things in the apartment, and then to the people actually in it. Her gaze flit back and forth from Abby and then to Barbara, eyes widening like a deer suddenly caught in the glow of the headlights of an oncoming semitruck. "I didn't realise you had company," is all she can manage in her scratchy voice.

The Medic is about to say something to Barbara, maybe warn her of something, relay more pertinent details. The door is opening after a knock and her mouth closes, lips curving up in a sheepish smile. "Hey Niki, nope, come on in. It's someone I actually wanted you to meet. Don't worry, she won't bite, try to kill you or otherwise, you know, do harm. I'll uhh, I'll let her introduce herself so" A glance to barbara and slight tilt of her head towards Niki.

While Barbara is more prepared for the sight of seeing, well, herself, it does little to steel her for when the actual event occurs. When Niki walks into the room, Barbara sits up in her seat, and when Abby gives her head tilt, she rises slowly from her seat. Taking a few pensive steps towards Niki, she slowly extends a hand. "Hello," she says quietly, eyeing the woman. "I'm Barbara. I'm, um… your sister. If you can believe it." She certainly hadn't, when her father had first told her.

Niki stares down at the offered hand like taking it might be entirely inadvisable. After a moment of hesitation, however, she does the polite thing and reaches out to take it. She's never been able to touch the sisters she sees in the mirror, so that's a good sign. "Gina has been wondering lately what we'd look like with red hair," she murmurs absently and shakes her head. She's only just gotten the last of the purple and pink streaks dyed out of her hair after the last time Gina got bored.

Blue eyes scour the room for a mirror to spy her reflection in. Or rather, to spy Jessica in. "Barbara," Niki repeats slowly, nodding her head as she processes everything. "I'm Niki." The way she winces suggests she feels dumb after she says it. Of course Barbara knows her name. Abby would have told her at the very least. "How…?"

Barbara's eyes narrow at the mention of "Gina" and "we", still having not entirely wrapped her head around her sister's… condition. "It's… complicated," Barbara responds, taking a bit of a step back, hands slipping into her pockets. "From what I know, separated at birth. Rather literally." She wrinkles her nose.

Barbara glances back over to Abby momentarily, before settling again on Niki. "My father told me I had sisters, years ago. I've… never been in a position to look into the matter until now. I've been living… up north for the past several years." A number of half truths and cops outs, but it given she doesn't know all of the details herself, it will have to do

There's a lot to digest here, but the details aren't lost on Niki. "Sisters?" That's a plural. "Are you talking about Jessica?" Her brows furrow quizzically as she regards Barbara. "How did your father know?" It doesn't exactly occur to her that Barbara's father may well be her father as well. "You've been trying to find me?"

"The third, her name is Tracy Strauss, she works for the President in his public relations affairs? Something like that. I ran across her a few times, and, never knew how to tell you about it. In truth, she's not exactly the kind of person that I think Jessica will ever wanna be in the room with more than five minutes." No mirrors, unless she wants to go to the bathroom and look there. Not a surprise really, given that Abby's not that vain.

'She knows about the Ferry Barbara, she's come to them a few times, ran into them a few times"

"Jessica?" Barbara repeats with a hesitant expression. When Abby mentions Tracy, Barbara looks over to her with a nod. "Tracy, yes. Twins. Well, triplets, I suppose." She eyes Niki carefully, relaxing a bit when Abby tells her of Niki's Ferry knowledge. "I have yet to meet her. I've only been in New York about a week now." She takes a few idle steps before looking back up at her sister. "My father- I guess, our father, never told me much. The circumstances I found out were… terrible. He told me I had two identical sisters, but nothing terrible more. Not even names, if he even knew them."

And then she shakes her head, looking thoughtful. "No. Not that I didn't want to, but…" She closes her eyes. "I've been in Canada for nearly twenty years, out of necessity more than anything else. For safety, thanks to the help of the Ferry."

Niki brings her hand up to rest on top of her head, scratching her well-manicured nails over her scalp as she thinks. "Is there more coffee, Abby? I think I could use some coffee."

Niki curls her fingers into a loose fist, gathering strands of blonde between her fingers. "Jessica was my older sister," she admits in a soft voice. "I thought maybe that's who you meant when you said you had sisters." A slow breath is taken in and then exhaled. "Tracy Strauss, huh? We have a sister working for the president. Guess we aim high." Though she's only slept with the president. And before he was president. That doesn't hardly count. Her lips purse for a moment before she splays her fingers again and smooths out her hair, dropping her hand back to her side. "I'm sorry. I'm just not entirely sure how to react to this. Usually when I discover I have a sister, she's on the other side of the mirror." A quick glance to Abby, and then back to Barbara, "I'm assuming someone warned you about that."

'yeah, and there's some whiskey to spike it too, trust me, I didn't figure this would be a walk in the park for you, but.. it was somethign that had to be done, and yes, oh yes, that one aim's high." At the question of whether Barbara was warned about the MPD, abby nods. "Just the basics, what to expect. Who was who and who was easier to get along with"

"It was a lot for me to swallow back then. Actually… actually meeting one of you is even harder to swallow. So, I understand if you need a moment." Glancing again over at Abby, Barbara nods. "It's been mentioned… a few times," Barbara replies, shrugging. She chuckles, looking out towards a window. "I don't know about aiming high," she says with a bit of a nervous snicker. "I've mostly aimed to stay out of trouble."

"That's easier for some of us than others," Niki observes darkly before excusing herself to the kitchen area to pour herself some coffee. To her credit, she doesn't spike it despite Abby's offer. Once she's got herself a mug of dark liquid, lightened with a splash of milk, she takes a seat in the living area and gestures for Barbara to follow suit. "Tell… Tell me about yourself. I want to get to know you."

Well, Jessica hasn't reared her head, there's nothign broken, they're not screaming at each other or someone running out. Her own cup finished, the youngest of the blonde's in the room rises from her seat, offering it up to Niki. "I'm gonna go take a shower, let y'all have your privacy, but if you need me, just yell okay?"

Barbara retakes her seat, retrieving her own cup of coffee. A long sip is taken, and then she nods up at Abby, sighing afterwards. "I'm not sure how much there is to tell," Barbara says with a grimace. She eyes her sister for several moments. "That I can. There is something I must know before we talk, Niki." Eyes centre on her blonde twin, narrowed with a guarded suspicion. "Do you have any involvement with the Company?" The future of this conversation, their relationship, and much more rests on the answer to that question.

There isn't even a second of hesitation before Niki responds. "Not anymore." And not a hint of regret there, either. "Can't trust a one of them farther than I can throw them. …And I can throw people pretty far." There's the barest hint of amusement there, the corners of her mouth quirking upward but mostly hidden behind the rim of her coffee cup as she takes a sip. "I trust that's not a problem."

Barbara lets out a long sigh of relief, slinking a bit into her chair. "There's something I haven't told anyone else," she says quietly, eyes glancing off to the side of the room. "My father worked for the Company. I… he never told me everything, there was no chance. But the Company destroyed our lives, and I was forced to flee to Canada. I've been there since. So, you can understand why I needed to ask."

Niki nods slowly. "Our father was part of the Company? Somehow, I'm not surprised." Everything in her life seems to trace back to either Linderman or the Company. "But you never had any personal experience with them?"

"I was raised in a Company environment, albeit alongside family. I had a brother, too. Though… I don't think he's directly related to us, I- my father wasn't entirely clear on the matter." She sits up a bit, leaning forward. "They found me once, in Canada. That was how I first came into contact with the Ferry." There's a momentary pause, and Barbara looks up at her twin, almost glaring. "A word of this never leaves between us. I'm only telling you because… you deserve to know."

Niki's quick to hold up one hand in surrender and shake her head. "Not a word. Sisters are supposed to keep confidences, right?" She can remember what that was like when she was still small at least. "I suppose you'd like to know about me, huh?"

A small smile crosses Barbara's face, nodding at Niki. "I think that would be nice, yes. I- don't want to sound rude, but there are several things I'm curious about." The emphasis is given to try and relay exactly what she's curious about. "I was… warned that there might be some things you wouldn't want to speak about. And that's fine, I would hate to make this meeting uncomfortable." Well, moreso than any pervading nervousness might already make it.

"I'm assuming you don't want me to pull any punches," the blonde sister muses, a wry smirk touching her lips. "I'll be happy to oblige you." A sip of coffee and a deep breath are the only prelude to Niki's life story. "For whatever reason, I was placed with an abusive, alcoholic father. My old sister, Jessica, always stood up for me. When my father would drink too much and decide he wanted to pound on one of us, Jessica was always there to stand between he and I." Her tone turns sad, voice softening. "He beat her to death when she was only eleven."

A tear rolls down Niki's cheek and she brings her free hand up to wipe it away quickly, somewhat surprised by it. "Sorry. I don't talk about Jessica - the real Jessica - very often. It was so long ago…" She shakes it off and forces a quick smile. "I'm fine." Another tear is brushed away with the side of her thumb. "At the time, her death really affected me." In a way, it still does. "When Hal would beat me, I would shut down, and become Jessica. I really had no memory of him ever laying a hand on me for years. Not until I was an adult and started going through therapy."

Niki's shoulders come up in an apologetic shrug, "Jessica is still a part of me. I have what they call Dissociative Identity Disorder, I guess. It seems different to me, though. Jessica was the first to be able to access my ability. I have superhuman strength, if Abby didn't tell you already." Niki sits up and leans toward Barbara slightly with renewed interest. "Do you do something, too?"

Barbara is silent as she listens at first, but when Niki gets to the brunt of her story she winces, offering her newfound sister a sympathetic smile. "It sounds like we've both had hard lives. I… can't imagine what that would have been like. I was… lucky, growing up. It was until later that everything went awry. When my mother died, and my father sent me away." Her eyes close again, needing a moment before she continues. "I've spent my entire adult life fearing capture, looking over my shoulder. And yet, I still can't imagine."

She takes a long sip of her coffee, picking up a bag sitting at the side of her chair. Pulling it open, she removes a sketchbook. "Superhuman strength. That would have been handy," she muses quietly, flipping through the book like it's a child's flip book. "I… see the past. Other people's past, things that have already happened. I draw what I see on this," she says as she holds up the pad.

Niki listens patiently and with no shortage of interest to Barbara's explanation of her own hardships. It's nice to be able to commisserate without it being some sort of pissing match over who had it worse. "I think seeing my own past would come in handy now and again." She rolls her eyes at herself. "One summer, when I was much younger, I ran away to L.A. to try and re-invent myself. I told people my name was Gina, as if by adopting a new name, I could be someone else entirely with no past and a better future. Like it's that simple." She snorts derisively at her younger self. No one with any sense does something like that. "Gina became another identity that's kicking around in my head. She only shows up when I'm really stressed and the situation doesn't call for Jessica's emotional stability, I guess."

Nervous laughter escapes Niki's lips. "You must really think I'm crazy. I promise I'm only functionally insane. I'm not sure if part of my problems are a result of my ability or what…" It's comforting to think so, at the very least. "I was married when I was very young," she offers, quickly changing the subject. "Had a son. I assume none of that was in the cards for you?"

"When I was forced to Canada, I… changed my last name. I couldn't bring myself to do more. I wanted to hold on to something." Barbara chuckles ruefully, shaking her head. "I… guess it's not really the same, but I do sort of see where you're coming from."

She sighs, turning her gaze back to Niki. "I- admit, I was nervous, when I heard about your… condition." Barbara chokes abit, unsure if she chose the exact word she should have. "But, so far you seem perfectly fine." She smiles, shrugging. "We'll see how things god if I meet any of the other… yous."

She looks down at her sketchbook, shrugging. "Not really. I never really got to know anyone until I got involved with the Ferry. I didn't think I could afford to. I've never really thought much about it, it be honest. Not to sound callous."

Niki is quick to dismiss Barbara's fears over her condition. "If I were listening to someone describe me, I'd probably not want to know that person. I guess I don't make a whole lot of sense without context, if you catch my meaning." She smiles gently. "It's not nearly as bad as it sounds." She winces. Defending herself a bit too staunchly, but she's never had to explain her quirks quite like this before.

"If I had been in your situation, a family wouldn't have been part of my priorities, either. I was so desperate for something normal once I got out of my father's house. It was a very brief period in my life when things weren't upside-down. I just assumed it was going to stay that way."

Niki falls quiet, her expression somewhat haunted when she realises she'd have done it all differently if she'd realised her life was destined to take the turns it did. A shake of her head, and it seems to clear the cobwebs. "I did a lot of things I'm not proud of to get me to this point, I guess. But I'm a survivor." Jessica's made sure of that. "It's just me now. Sounds like you know what that's like."

"I've met a lot of people with odd mentalities, and abilities that affected how they think while I was in Canada." Barbara looks squarely at Niki, a thoughtful expression on her face. "Worried as was, I am open to it, if you know what I mean. Curious, as well as cautious." She makes a hand gesture, a waving of her hand, and leans back with a rueful smile on her face.

"Maybe we're a family of survivors," she mummers closely, even if they really a true family. "I don't know what became of my brother, or my father after I left. Perhaps they're somewhere surviving as well. It sounds like it runs in the family. Perhaps that's how Tracy got to where Abby says she is."

Niki nods. "What was our father like? Did he regret splitting us up?" There's so much hope there that it's the case. That someone wanted them to be a family. That all of the suffering she's been dealt, that Barbara's dealt with too, was entirely accidental and someone feels remorse for it.

"He… I don't know all the details. But I know we were split up intentionally. For research, into abilities." Barbara grows quiet for a second. "Before he sent me off, he tried to tell me as much as he could about the Company. About what he did for them, and his research. And for a while, I hated him for it, once I found out. For never telling me I had sisters, for using us for some experiment without us knowing. But he was a good father, everything else aside. The last thing he told me, was that he made mistakes. Had regrets, things he was going to fix."

Niki stares down at her reflection in her coffee. Except that her reflection is shaking her head. Her eyes snap up to watch Barbara instead. Which is almost like staring at her own reflection still. "This… Is maybe going to sound like a strange question, Barbara, but…" Niki worries her lower lip between her teeth for a second before she finally asks, "What are you looking for from me? I mean no offense, it's just… That I'm used to being a means to an end for people. If you need something, that's fine. We can talk about it."

The blonde grimaces. "I sound accusatory. I'm not meaning to be. I… If you're here just because you want to try being… sisters? I would like that. A lot."

Barbara looks taken aback by the question, looking down at the floor for just a brief moment. "I… don't entirely know, to be honest," she confesses, eyes closing. "I understand if you're hesitant. I was somewhat hesitant about meeting, at first. I wasn't sure what to expect, and I'm sure it's… happening kind of fast."

She takes a long sip of her coffee, finishing it off, before she speaks again. "I didn't think I had a chance of meeting any of my sisters until Abby said something to me. I guess…" She sighs, shrugging. "I guess I wanted to see for myself. But I don't really have any intentions of using you," she remarks with a momentary furrowed brow. "I was curious, if nothing else. But the idea of trying to be sisters, even if 35 years too late, is something I would like as well."

The girl in the coffee is rolling her eyes. If Niki hears Jessica's dissention in her head, she doesn't make any outward show of it in her features. "Sisters would be good," she says with a bright, if uncertain smile. "Here, let me, ah…" She reaches into the pocket of her pants and procures a cell phone. "Get your number?" She starts an entry on the trendy mobile. "What did you say your last name was?"

That was something Barbara hadn't thought to address. She leans back for a moment, looking thoughtful. "I don't have a permanent number yet. I can give you the temporary cell number I have, for now." With that, she begins withdrawing a simple looking cell phone. "Simms. That would be best to put," Barbara remarks after a moment of thought. "That's the one everyone has on record. The one I use to avoid prying eyes. My real last name is Zimmerman, and I'm not even sure the Ferry knows that."

Niki smiles as she punches in the information quickly, like someone who gets a lot of use out of the text message capabilities of her phone. "Our secret. Promise. Just drop me a text or give me a call when you have a new number." She closes her phone up and tucks it away once they've exchanged numbers. "If you need anything, call me. I mean that. Okay?"

Barbara follows suit, flipping hers shut with a thwack of plastic on plastic. As it slides into her pocket, she smiles gratefully at Niki. "I hope everything goes as well as this has. I'm admittedly very surprised, but pleasantly so." She offers a small nod in Niki's direction, seeming more comfortable as she leans back in her seat. "I'll keep that in mind. I'm… still getting used to being back in New York, but the same is true for you."

"I'm used to Vegas. This is a whole diferent world." Niki drains the last of her coffee and sets the mug aside with a quiet thunk of ceramic. "I'm glad you wanted to meet. I really hope that this works out for both of us." She laughs quietly, "Then maybe we can gang up and surprise Tracy. Safety in numbers, right?"

"I've never been to Vegas," Barbara muses thoughtfully. "You'll have to tell me about it sometime." She laughs at the mention of ambushing Tracy, shaking her head. "Abby makes her sound… interesting. But I think that will have to be arranged, at some point." The redhead nods in affirmation. "I have wondered about how this would go for years. Hesitation aside, I wasn't going to pass up the opportunity."

Niki stands up and brings her mug to Abby's kitchen sink, rinsing it out and then leaving it sit in the basin. She the returns to where Barbara's seated and smiles nervously. "I should get going. I have an appointment I need to keep. I…" Slowly, she opens her arms. "Sisters should hug before they part, right?"

As Niki walks up to her, Barbara rises almost on reflex, a small grin crossing her face. "Thank you for coming. I'm sorry you had to be so surprised. But I'm glad it went well." She steps forward, giving Niki a loose but genuine hug. "Don't let me keep you, though. I'm in down… for the foreseeable future. We'll have plenty of time to get to know each other."

Niki hugs Barbara back with perhaps a bit more enthusiasm than the redhead, but it could be chalked up to a side effect of her strength. Not that she's leaving bruises or cracked ribs or anything. "We should go to the movies sometime soon. That will give us something to talk about huh?" Niki takes a step back and beams. "It's been great to meet you, Barbara. We'll have to get together soon."

"I haven't been to the movies in years," Barbara replies with a smile, "So that sounds like a good idea to me." Hands fall to her side as she nods back at Niki. "I would like that. I'm glad you didn't have a coronary when you saw me. I imagine most people might not be so open to discovering they have… not even a one twin sister, but two."

"The things I've seen in the past few years… Nothing surprises me anymore." Niki's smile fades some, but her genuine happiness doesn't allow it to fall away entirely. She steps back toward the door, seemingly reluctant to leave. "Take care. I'll text you tomorrow." Then she turns and lets herself out of the apartment.

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