Six Degrees Of Separation ... Not!


abby_icon.gif elisabeth_icon.gif

Scene Title Six Degrees of Separation … Not!
Synopsis Abby and Elisabeth finally have that coffee… and a WHOLE lot of things fall into place.
Date December 3, 2008

Abby's Place

Because it wouldn't do to be out of the apartment while waiting for the delivery guys with her furniture, instead of going out for coffee, abby's invited elisabeth to her place for coffee. Big risk. But, as Abby is prone to doing, she takes that leap of faith. The aroma wafts through the small apartment, mingled with that of banana bread and it does good to disguise the musty smell of the radiator that heats the place as well as what came off the oven. Abby's parked on the couch, a lone finger playing with the budgie that's perched on her lap as she lets it eat birdseed out of her hand.

When she arrived, Elisabeth looked a bit better than the last time Abby saw her. Dressed in jeans and a short-sleeved shirt covered by a fleece jacket, she looks casual. And the stitches have come out of her forehead now that it's healing nicely. All that remains on her face are the scabbed-over glass cuts and the bruising (which is on its way toward healing, though that'll still be several weeks before the livid purple mark fades). Her arm is still held in the sling with the cast, of course. But the blond looks … well, it's hard to say what the mood is. More at ease than she's been when Abby's seen her before. Now sitting across from Abby with a simple mug of coffee in her good hand, Liz says to her hostess, "I'm really sorry I didn't get back with you sooner, Abby. I'm glad that you called."

"I was busy again. Stuff" Her own face starting to clean up. She's still reluctant to heal her own wounds beyond what she needed to to function. "I have a bed and dresser and stuff coming, for my bedroom so, it would be a little hard to go out for coffee and be here for delivery sometime betweeen 11 am and 1. Pila's paid attention to, she promised Teo and besides, she's never really had a pet. "You look like your slowly getting better. Any news on what they're doing with the students after christmas break? sending them to other schools?" Abby's gone brunette now, no more redhead and it's a few inches shorter.

"No, they haven't really said yet. I think they're hoping to reopen part of the school, but I think they're waiting on the contractors to come back with an estimate and a date of completion." Elisabeth grimaces. "In all honesty, I'm expecting them to have to scatter the kids. I walked through the scene a few days ago, and…. the school took some significant damage. I don't think they'll be able to fix enough of it to be usable for this school year…. but I could be wrong." She shrugs her good arm. "I'll heal, eventually," she adds with a smile. She didn't mention Abby's hair when she came in, though she gave the girl an intrigued look — mostly she's just assumed that Abby is one of those people who changes her hair color whenever the mood strikes. She's expecting purple next, though she won't say so.

Abby nods. "I bet they'll be happy to get bakc regardless. I think it was a whole two years I had in school, in highschool. The rest was all my parents teaching me. But the two years I had were nice." But Abby's skipping over that, getting up to place Pila bakc in her cage. "I uhh, got ahold of of Agent Ivanov the other day. Talked with him"

Elisabeth sips her coffee and then looks interested. "Home schooling is an option a lot of parents in New York have taken, it seems. I went to private school myself," she says with a faint blush. "Uhm.. my parents didn't like the public school systems." She shrugs her good shoulder, and then looks at Abby with raised eyebrows. "How'd it go? You two get yourselves sorted out?" Last time she talked to Abby, the girl just wanted him to lay off.

"We did. He said you were a good friend of his? Trustworhty, a bunch of other good things. We had a long talk in the back of the bar, hima nd me and another" There's indescision on the womans face, as if trying to decide something before she settles back down on the couch and takes her own coffee. "I can help you Elisabeth."

Elisabeth looks puzzled by Abby's hesitance and her words. Trustworthy? "Felix and I've been around the block a couple of times together. I told you, he's a good man in spite of the impression he gave you." She tilts her head and pauses, then asks, "Help me with…. what?"

Abby indicates elizabeth's injuired on her own body, a hands gesturing to the face, arm, the whole of her. "I had to let Felix know. No way around it, and I told him of what I had thought to do. He had asked me if I was just afraid of cops and why I didn't do it. I jsut hadn't had time to ask you, and really I mean, you don't just go up to a person in the middle of a coffee place an say "hey, so, I can make you whole with probably a good half hour of touching hands." Now Abby's face starts to flush red beneath her own collection of facial bruises. "Like I told him, showed him, I'm a faith healer."

There's a long silence when Abby speaks. Elisabeth seems to be weighing her options here. She's also not sure of exactly which part of this to address first. "You're a healer," she finally says slowly. "Before we go further… is Felix turning you in?" She sounds very worried about the possibility. "He has an obligation to, but…. I'm not sure where he stands on that particular issue. Things are somewhat dicey on the streets these days."

"Faith healer" No point is saying she not evolved, no one believes her. "As for turning me in, that's between Felix and myself Elisabeth. I hope you understand. I can't and won't announce who I am, what I do. That's asking for .. people to come and park on my door and be proclaimed a saint and an angel. I'm neither. I'm a former waitress now bartender. I'm going to be keeping on with my life, with the exception of an offer to once a week, help you out with" Another gestures to elizabeth's fae and arm. "So that it looks like your just healing very well. So you don't get any questions and interrogated when you suddenly show up tomorrow with no wounds. I've seen you a couple times, you worked with Teo, and I can't.. I can't stand to see you walking around in pain. I can't to see much of anyone walking around in pain really."

Elisabeth shakes her head and replies quickly. "I completely agree, you should absolutely keep what you can do on the down-low as much as you can, Abby. Especially if it takes a toll on your own physical well-being. People won't care if it takes something out of you, and Mother of God…. you'd be mobbed." She bites her lip, but she is taking from Abby's announcement that she won't broadcast what she does that maybe Abby and Felix have come to some kind of accord. Which is good…. and she'll be following up with Felix because Abby's one of the ones who needs to be protected… not because of what she can do per se, but because she's one of the ones who'll be exploited if the wrong people learn it. "Abby, I…. " She hesitates and looks uncertain. "I appreciate the offer, but I don't want you to get noticed on my account." Then she smiles a bit. "If you could knit the bone in the arm enough to let me out of the cast and just into a sling, that'd be far more than I could wish for. I'm not in that much paing, though, and I don't want you to feel that you're somehow obligated to me."

"I can't target your bones, it's sort of…" Abby searches her mind for the proper words. "It's like .. it doesn't work that way. It just goes, where it will, where it's needed. Brusies, bones, they're all the same. But I can do enough that you'll be out of the cast and in a sling, if you can find someone to take it off. Doctor might likely look at you funny. odds are your bruises will be gone by the time the bone knits. They usually do, since they're not so.. bad as a bone"

Elisabeth grumbles good-naturedly, shooting Abby a smile. "Aw, well, it was worth a shot." She shrugs her good shoulder, her blue eyes serious on Abby's face. "Tell me what it costs you? Are there side effects for you?" And then she smiles faintly again. "And don't downplay it. Because if you fib to me, I'm gonna feel far more guilty than I already do for even considering letting you do it. It's… kind of my penance," she admits softly. "It hurts, but… I'm the one who walked away, when the kids in the hall behind me didn't."

"Energy expended, to be replenished later. That's all. The more grevious the injury combined with whether I force the gift isntead of letting it pour out at it's natural pace, the faster the energy is expended. I'm not going out today, and it's not going to be much that I do, so it's inconsequential. A cup of coffee or a redbull will replace it." There's a couple cases of said drink tucked into a corner of the kitchen. "God wouldn't give me a gift if I couldn't handle it and I've been handling it for about… seven years now" Abby shifts in her seat. "You don't have to take it. I'll not force it on you. It's a choice. One that i'll leave open. Whereas you deem your injuries penance for surviving, I deem my gift, my obligation to god, in return for such a … beautiful gift" Her hand goes to the tiny cross at her neck.

Elisabeth nods slowly. She can get behind the idea that all the Evolved gifts — whether Abby believes that's what she is are not — are gifts from a higher power. She's a believer in reason in the universe. She finally says quietly, "Then if you don't mind giving the healing a little boost, I don't mind allowing you. But I won't impose on you for more than that much. I would rather you save your energy for those far worse off than me." There's a moment where she considers what that means, and then adds, "And for what it's worth to you, if you ever need help, you should feel free to come to me without worrying about being exposed."

Abby smiles, relaxing a little. "I have protection Elisabeth. I'm not alone. Felix.. is just another layer of that. He offered a great many things to help me. I took only what I needed" Abby rises from her spot on the couch scooting around the coffee table, only to sit down on it. "Give me the hand in the cast. It'll be closer, and get more than your face" spoken with some measure of certaintly. "Things happen for a reason, i'm sure of it. People come into your life for a purpose, sometimes, you'll never knwo. but you scrossed my path a few times, and I'm pretty sure that was a really big sign that I needed to do something" She holds her right hand up, palm out, peering at elisabeth from out of her own marked face.

Moving to unzip her fleece, Elisabeth cautions, "Don't freak on me, please?" When she slips the jacket off her shoulders and loosens the sling to bring her arm out of it, the bulge of her inner-pants holster underneath the sling might become noticeable. She doesn't want Abby to completely lose it if she spots it. She moves to put her injured hand into Abby's gently, watching the girl's face closely. "Out of curiosity…. that thing at the hospital. Was that you?"

Gun. No surprise. If ones good enough they just might see the butt of a shotgun tucked away in a corner of the room. That and she already knew that elisabeth was a cop. Or was a cop. Abby politely ignores the firearm. Her own hands gentle and careful, even as her eyes flicker up at the mention of the hospital. "If your referencing Belinda Chu. yes. Friends called in a favor, they don't ask for them often. I ended up in the hospital that night anyways" She turns elisbaeth's hand, slipping her palm against the injured one. "I wish I could have given her back her hand, But she got her arm back and she'll not need to worry about any tumors ever again. Little girls need to be playing with dolls, not hooked to machines and awaiting to meet god before their time is up" Abby quiets then, lips moving in silent prayer. It's good, her concentration is there and from the first word, up starts the flow of warmth and light tingling. "That.. takes all I have to do, and even then, would have taken another day. Too fast and the body doens't understand, a shock to the system"

Elisabeth nods as Abby starts talking. Whatever she's noticed in the apartment, she hasn't mentioned. She jerks reflexively and gasps as the feeling begins, her fingers tightening on Abby's hand. Amazement slips across her features, and she's not easily amazed these days. "I'm glad you helped her," she says softly.

"God works in mysterious ways. Maybe she was meant to be healed by me. There's a purpose and a reason to everything" Her eyes flicker up from the healing flesh to Elisabeth's eyes. "He has a purpose, for making people as he did. Be they able to wield hands of fire, keep other people from using their own gifts when near them, manipulating water, or moving things with a flick of their hand. It's what we do with our lives, gifted or no that counts, not how we came to be. I feel bad for the people who don't understand that, or who use it for… purposes other than good. So much good can come of anything" Preaching to the choir likely, but she's babbling now. The bruises fading, one minute there, the next, in a blink of an eye, they're less, and less and less. "And yes, I heal myself, when I need to. I try not to. I don't like to… waste it on myself" There's a soft laugh at that. "and woe to the boyfriend who ever tries to beat me, he'll find a shotgun in his netherparts"

Elisabeth tenses slightly at the list of powers, because 'negation' is not something most people would think of when they start listing other people's powers. And couple that with Trask's reaction when Liz brought up Abby's name…. now she has a damn good idea of what's going on. Still, before she puts the screws to Abby… or perhaps Wozniak… she's going to give Norton the chance to put his money where his mouth is and bring her in himself. She chuckles softly at the last part, "And well he should. If you won't threaten him with it, I will." She winks. "You're a wise person, to realize the limitations of the human condition - to understand that you can only do so much. I admire that."

"Not wise either" Abby murmurs, forcing the healing to start to slow, trickle back down to what it was. "I'm nto wise or I never would have moved to New York ot help with the bombing clean up" Her eeys flicker up adn down, trying to judge, decide and finally, at some point it stop and she pulls her hand back. 'Try that"

Elisabeth looks down as she feels the transfer slowing and releases Abby's hand gently. "I don't know, Abby… seems to me that anyone who wants to help should do it. In whatever ways they can. But I guess that makes me an idealist, because I think it should be that way around the world for everyone." She smiles a bit and tries to wiggle her arm a little within the cast, testing for the pangs of pain that come when she jostles it about. "What you're doing, what your friends are doing … the thing with Belinda Chu, the other stuff? It's a good start. It gives people hope. And that's not to be sneezed at."

Abby studies Elisabeth, brows furrowing. "I'm not part of them. I'm not with them, the ones who I did the miracle for" she's not going to say the name. "Just like I told felix, i'm someone they call, that alot of different people call, if someone can't be brought to a hospital because it's too dangerous. My principles, aren't the same as others and I work alone, just myself"

Elisabeth nods slowly and meets Abby's eyes. "It doesn't matter if you are or aren't," she tells the girl softly. "For what it's worth, so far as I've seen, there's been more help than harm from that quarter." She pauses and offers gently, "I would bet that your friends are grateful that you choose to help them where you can."

"all a different layer of protection. Safest place you can be, is in the center of a large group usually. Strongest on the outside, weakest, precious ones on the inside. My gift.. everyone has a vested interest in keeping me alive. I know my worth in certain circles Elisabeth. I'm not the dumb blonde religious waitress" Is spoken in a soft tone and satisfied with the job done, switches back to the couch, bringing her feet up underneath her, a few lines of weariness around her eyes.

There's a grin at that. "Oh, I don't make the mistake of thinking any blonde's dumb," Liz replies sardonically. After all, hello! "Just…. look out for yourself, and feel free to count me as one more layer." She looks down at her arm and back up, then says, "It feels a lot better. Thank you." With a tilt of her head, she asks, "So is healing me the only reason you asked me to coffee?"

"Pretty… much" Abby answers. I almost didn't, someone said you were a cop, and I never quite know how that goes. It could have gone bad, or good. But felix vouched for you. I'm sorry if it seems rude, but.. it's just alot easier to gauge a person when i'm not in a restaurant, and jsut things got busy and I couldn't call you sooner. I wanted.. had to deal with felix first. Things happened, and I needed to have him find me before I could.. do this, with you"

Elisabeth shakes her head. "Don't apologize for protecting yourself," she replies easily. "Believe me, in this time and place? I'm amazed that you even took the chance. Felix must have made one hell of an impression on you… when we were together the other night, you looked like you couldn't wait to get out of there." She has to smile. "Cop or not, I'm flattered that you took a chance on me."

"I'm apologizing for getting you here under false pretenses" Abby answers. "Not for protecting myself. Felix vouched for you, someone else vouched for felix, and if I don't take things on faith then… what good is my faith?" Abby's hands close around her coffee and she cradles it close to her face to breath in the smell.

With a grin, Elisabeth says, "Well, I stand corrected then. But I still don't see any reason for an apology. You asked me here and then healed me." She shrugs, both of her shoulders this time. "I'm the one who made out on it." She picks up her coffee and then changes the subject a bit. "So …. do you mind if I ask what's got you running? Changing your hair every week?"

"Someone threatened to turn me in, and then other night, someone killed one of my homless ladies that I tend to. Both knew what I looked like" Abby answers. "Changing hair is easy enough to do, and the least drastic step I can take. My roomate understandably, is disappointed that i'm not a redhead anymore" Abby smiles at that.

Elisabeth grimaces. "Oh, beautiful," she says, sarcasm evident. "What a mess." She sighs. "I'm sorry. People are jerks."

"She had a right to threaten. I refused to heal someone. She wouldn't be discreet. I feel bad, and I understand that she was doing it out of love for the person she wanted me to see to, but… he's a cop, and … she accused me of being selfish, and that if she had my gifts, she'd be healing everyone she could. She's young, heck, i'm young, but she' younger than me, and .. she doesn't understand. Simply put. If she had it, she'd see. I kept her friend from dying of an allergic reaction in the street, and that wasn't enough for her."

Elisabeth groans softly. "Shit." She sips her coffee, and then sets the cup down. "I don't suppose the guy you helped could ask her to lay off?" she asks almost rhetorically.

"I didn't try. She came into the diner and was asking after me, and not being subtle. I got ahodl of her after checking around about her friend, and I decided that I couldn't do it. Wouldn't be safe" Abby shakes her head, finishing her cup and settling it down. "She didn't take it well, threatened, I was prepared. Friends put me up for a spell, I got my hair changed, I have fake ID if I need it, and.. thansk to felix, if I need to get away, I can get away"

Elisabeth blinks and sits up straight. "Wait…. that night in the diner? The girl talking to Mallory Alistair that the blonde sitting with Teo hauled away?" Suddenly she's got far, far more information as a landslide of pieces fall into place.

"I don't know Elisabeth, I wasn't at the diner and…." There's a worried look. "i think I need to stop talking"

Elisabeth shakes her head and says reassuringly, "Not to worry. I won't say anything to anyone." She makes sure to meet Abby's eyes. "No one's going to get into trouble, I swear." She smiles a little. "I do believe I have a couple of people I need to talk to, however. And you just gave me the tools to do it. That's all."

Abby's lips are pressed into a thin line. Her quasi naitvite kicking her the ass again.

Elisabeth notes the expression and says quietly, "Abby. I swear …. on a stack of Bibles if you need me to. Nothing you've said will put ANYONE you know into trouble." She doesn't hesitate now. "I'm not registered either. I left the force two years ago for a lot of reasons — primary among them, I was afraid to register. Secondary, but only by a hair, was the death of my mother in the Bomb. I have a drive to help people, too. I thought I could serve it by teaching, so that's what I've done since then. But the past couple of months, I've begun to realize it's not enough. And I've waffled about what I want to do about it because I'm a coward when it comes to facing the registration issue. The bombing at the school clinches it for me, that I need to get back out there. And I know there are people…. like you, like your FRIENDS… who are doing things to help people. I've been looking for a way to be part of that. All you've done is given me a direction to look and a way to let them know that I'm interested in talking to them. That's all. I am not a threat to them." She wants desperately to reassure Abby without lying to her, and without giving away Trask's identity.

"Won't get them into trouble elisabeth. It'll get me into trouble" Abby rises from the couch, padding over to the open kitchen to pour herself another cup of coffee, wheels in her head turning.

Elisabeth shakes her head. "Your name will never come up. I already have another avenue that I would prefer to use." She smiles a little. "Some things that you said just … gave me a bigger picture."

Her lips are still pursed, but abby nods, turning around and leaning against the counter, fresh cup in hand. 'okay"

Elisabeth watches the other girl, studying her carefully. "We're okay?"

"Take a leap of faith" Abby answers. "It's all about taking a leap of faith. If it comes back to me, well, i'm a big girl. You should go, before Teo comes in and is wondering what i'm doing having his co-workers over for coffee"

Elisabeth breaks into laughter. "You know…." She moves to stand up and just shakes her head. "I'm starting to realize "six degrees of separation" really means. And that those of us in this town, if we're lucky, have maybe three. Sometimes less." She picks up her sling to tuck into her jacket's pocket and zips her fleece up again to get ready to leave. "If you need anything at all… you have my number. I think Teo will vouch for me too," she says wryly. Because after the conversation she had with Teo the other night? Yeah… her ducks are almost all in a row. All she has to do now it get Norton to set up the appointment.

"I'm starting to think that too. Don't worry, your own secret's safe with me. Heavens only knows how many i'll be holding in my mind until the day god calls me forth" THe cups put down, southern hospitality kicking in. "need a cup for the road or are you good? Anything else I can help you with?" She's moving, scribbling down a phone number on a scrap of apper. no name, just a number. "Call, if you need help" a gesture to her arm. "If i'm able to come, I will. Don't use me as a commodity, and alls fine and square"

Elisabeth reaches to take the paper and says sincerely, "I won't. Not ever." Tucking the number away in her pocket to be put into her memory later — can't put that one in her phone, just in case. "I'm good. And no, I don't need anything else. Thank you for what you've already done." She smiles. "And I'm pretty sure I'll be seeing you around, Abby." She leaves the now-brunette to her own thoughts… and her roommate.

December 3rd: Blank Slate
December 3rd: Clowns to the Left of Me, Jokers to the Right
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