Something to Numb the Pain


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Scene Title Something to Numb the Pain
Synopsis Kincaid and Gina don't quite share a typical morning after. Perhaps they really are both good with complicated.
Date December 16, 2010

Speakeasy Hotel and Casino

There is character to the room, if in the way that 'character' carries negative connotations. The paint is peeling off the skilful wooden moulding, the carpet is faded and the bedding looks old and tired. The painting hung behind the bed is so old as to be retro and the bathroom sports a clawfoot tub and a pedestal sink. Both leak and have hard water stains. The whole place carries a faintly musty smell, though it's clear the staff have attempted to keep it at least somewhat clean. The sheets are stain-free and the bathroom is always stocked with little bottles of toiletries. The windows are thin and let in a fair amount of traffic noise. The one good thing is that the old radiator keeps the room toasty warm in winter.

The first sound, a pained groan, may not have been enough to rouse most sleepers, especially ones who are used to the traffic noise, and the noise coming through the walls. The second set of sounds, stumbling out of the bed and toward the bathroom perhaps more so, but if all else fails, the sound of running water in in the bathroom tub, with the lower quality pipes may help pull someone out of their rest.

Still undressed, because Kincaid had other worries than modesty, he sits on the bathroom floor with his right hand held over fast running water, with the stopper trying to fill it a little. The dial that releases the hot water is turned all the way off, while the cold water is turned all the way on. Eyes closed, he's clamping his jaw shut tight, as if someone trying to keep from making a sound.

Grey-blue eyes flutter open at the first pained grunt. She may be used to the sounds of the room she's renting at the Speakeasy, but the sound of someone else triggers instincts. The need to be wary. Memory flickers in a few moments later. She shared her bed with a man. And judging by his clothes still strewn about the room, he's still naked and in her bathroom. Running the tub? The banging pipes are a giveaway.

Her brown curls, much more limp from sex and sleep, brush over the shoulders of Kincaid's dress shirt, buttoned just enough to give some illusions to thoughts of modesty. Her head tilts curiously to regard the man on her bathroom floor. "That burn bothering you?" She noticed it last night. Ignored it. She steps in just enough to catch her reflection in the mirror.

Only Gina doesn't see herself out of the corner of her eye. "What are you doing?" Jessica asks the barely clad woman on the other side of the mirror. The dirty look is the same on both women's faces, even if the posture is not. In the mirror, it carries. In the room, it softens when Gina turns her attention back to Kincaid.

"Not exactly," Kincaid says between his teeth, before he gestures in the direction of the rest of the small apartment with his left hand, "Mind bringing me a cigarette?" His voice is attempting to hide the pain he's in, but it doesn't quite work. When his eyes open to look up at her—

Last night they were so dark they were nearly black, blending in with the pupils. Only a few times did they lighten, and even then only to a deep navy. The eyes that look up at her now are a pale, piercing blue, but much different from her own, really.

"Something with caffeine in it would also be good." With his left hand, he turns off the running water, but still sticks his hand down into the cold pool that's built up.

"Throw him out," Jessica demands.

Gina ignores her, turning on bare heels to find where the hard case was left out on the nightstand after they shared a cigarette the night before. Setting up the small plug-in coffee pot doesn't take long. The coffee won't be the best, but she heaps the grounds. It will be strong.

When she arrives back in the bathroom, she's already lit it up, plucking it from her lips and offering it out to his with vee'd fingers. "Your eyes," she murmurs, perching on the edge of the tub. "They change colour." She crosses her legs at the ankle, not looking at Kincaid when she asks her next question, "Evo?"

"Yeah… Would've mentioned it before, but it didn't seem important," Kincaid says with a flinch, before he takes a long drag on the cigarette and closes his eyes. When they reopen, they're just a touch darker, the blue deepening in them. As he blows the smoke out, he looks up at the woman he'd just spent the night with, a grimace still on his face. Likely for many reasons.

"My ability's harmless— it allows me some control over my nervous system, stopping the pain, mostly." As he explains, he grimaces more. Perhaps he'd rather not explain it, but this kind of situation may mean he has to. "Need to use it most the time now, cause I injured the nerves in my hand a few years ago." She'd noticed the scars, and also how he was reluctant to touch her with his right hand most the night. Every time he tried, he'd flinch.

"My eyes turn dark when my ability's working as it's supposed to. Since you didn't come back with a phone to call the cops, or a gun, I'm gonna guess you're not Humanis First…" Though he did make sure to express how not dangerous his ability is, too.

"Don't you—"

"Superhuman strength," Gina supplies.

"I will figure out how to kill you," Jessica warns from the mirror. "Stop talking to him. Tell him to leave."

"Coffee should be ready in a couple minutes." Gina smiles reassuringly. "I have aspirin. Would that help at all?" She tucks a strand of hair behind her ear, tilting her head toward the door to listen to the sound of the percolating brewer.

"Not as fast as the coffee, sadly," Kincaid says with a laugh, as if the prospect amuses him. "The cold water helps too. Almost as cold as ice." Cold numbs the pain, after all, a rather universal truth. He doesn't know about the argument going on within the mirror, doesn't even glance at it, though he does take a moment to look down at his state of undress.

Nothing she didn't see last night.

The hand isn't the only set of scars. A few more on his torso, on his leg, on his ankle. Some older than others, but none as widespread as the scarring that covers his hand. The most noteworthy one would be on his neck, along the curve of his cervical spine, rough and jagged, like a crude surgical procedure. The high collars of his fancy shirts did well to hide it when he was dressed, but not so much now.

Gina pushes to her feet and stares at her reflection for a moment. To Kincaid, it's a moment of quiet examination. For Gina, it's a staring contest. One she wins, if the fact that the glare she stares back at suddenly mimics her own calm expression. After a deep breath, she smiles over her shoulder. "I'll go check on that coffee." She heaves a sigh of relief once she's reached the sanctuary of the main room.

A reusable thermos is filled with the strong, dark liquid. She takes a sip before screwing the spill-proof lid on. When she returns and offers it out to Kincaid, it's with the warning, "Careful, it's hot." Then Gina offers her splayed first and third fingers for the cigarette.

When he takes the coffee, Kincaid is very slow to sip it. A burned tongue will not help take the pain from his hand away, most likely. Though it does mean he had to abandon his cigarette. One or the other. It's passed to her for the moment, rather than put out on her floor. "So— super strength, huh? Know someone who's got something like that— could crush me with a hug if they wanted to. You must have really good control, cause you didn't break anything. A couple bruises, but…"

That last is said with a smile, before he sips on the hot coffee again.

The pain in his voice is lessening by the minute, and the color in his eyes keeps growing deeper and darker, though no where near the black of before.

Jessica would snort at that if she hadn't abandoned the situation as a lost cause, for now. "I've… got practice," Gina murmurs with a shrug, holding onto Kincaid's cigarette for now. "Your friend isn't as careful? I… My sister's son was only eleven when I discovered my ability. I had to learn real quick now to keep in control." It's a stretching of the truth, but close enough to it that the lie comes easily enough.

There's a laugh, as if the 'carefulness' comes off rather as a joke. "I wouldn't know, I've never had sex with my friend." The laugh is genuine, as if he couldn't imagine being in such a situation with whoever he knows that has a similar ability. Kincaid raises his right hand out of the water, though holds it immobile, not moving it, or putting any pressure on it. His eyes are nearly back to the navy color— nearly. "That'd be a good reason to learn to control an ability quickly— I didn't have much control over mine til I had to… and even then, I need a little help. If it wasn't caffiene or nicotine, it'd be some other kind of stimulant. But unfortunately, don't always avoid this kind of wake up."

"I… hope it's not my fault." Gina's head tips toward Kincaid's hand, watching droplets of water fall from his fingertips. "That you woke up feeling like this, I mean." She shakes her head and follows the line of scars with her eyes. "What happened to you? I… know some— I've seen things like that before… You look like somebody—" She grimaces. "It's none of my business. I'm sorry. I just… I'm concerned?" Gina offers a shrug of her shoulders and an apologetic sort of smile.

"Other than the fact I slept a couple hours longer than normal…" Kincaid says with a smile, the pain still not quite gone from his voice, but the laughter and the flirty sound is even more present than before. "It's not your fault. I usually avoid sleeping that deeply, too, but you inspire exhaustion." Which doesn't seem like a bad thing, in his mind.

Finally moving his fingers a little, he flinches, while he looks down at the dripping scarred tissue. "It was crushed. Bunch of the bones were broken, but the nerve damage was permenant. Basically tricks my mind into thinking it's just happened again. All my control can't fix it, I can just stop the sensation from reaching my brain. Which also happens to make my hand effectively numb in a few places. Can still use it, though my coordination sucks with it."

"That sucks," Gina states bluntly. She slides off the side of the tub and onto the floor next to Kincaid, then drags her finger over the scar across his collar. "I didn't notice any problems with your coordination, if it's any consolation." She flicks ashes from the burning cigarette into the far end of the tub carelessly. "I… I'd like to see you again. If you want, I mean. Up to you." This time when she smiles, it's hopeful.

"You should see me try to write," Kincaid says in jest, as he pushes himself over a bit, to get closer to her. Much like how he began last night, his forehead and nose press against hers, and his darker eyes slide shut. "I'd like that." There's a quiet moment where he doesn't move, to get closer or further away, and is only broken by a shift that presses his lips against hers. It may not last as long as he may have wanted it to.

"My birthday's a few days after Christmas. If I don't see you before then, I'd like to at least see you then…" A birthday present to himself? Perhaps.

Gina presses her lips back to Kincaid's, tasting cigarettes and coffee, and him. When they part, she leaves her forehead touching his, head tilted to accommodate the proximity. "You want me to pop out of a cake?" she teases, nipping at his lower lip. Her hand slides away from his shoulder, over his chest and coming to rest over his abdomen.

"How about you surprise me," Kincaid whispers against her lips, before he pulls back a bit more. There's still physical contact in many places, and he has a very damp right hand, which he doesn't try to touch her with. Only after he puts the coffee mug down does he reach to touch her dark hair, her neck, her cheek… "Though next time I'll set an alarm so I can dose myself with caffeine after four hours."

She smiles and nudges against his head once gently, affectionately. "Sounds like a plan. Maybe I'll get you a Starbucks gift card." Gina chuckles breathily and crawls up over him, resting on her knees over his legs.

"That'd be pretty primal," Kincaid says, though one might wonder if he's talking about the coffee, or the promises of what comes with the coffee. With her sitting on him how she is, it's certainly acting as a distraction from a lot of things. "You know…" he says, tilting his head up to kiss her chin lightly, then move down to her neck. "Think I got a few hours til I have to be at work…" And despite what the lady in the mirror might want, he seems content to spend the rest of his time right here.

Gina tilts her head back, shaking out her hair with another quiet breath of laughter over the sound of something huskier, drawn out by his lips on her neck. "Primal, huh? I like that." She pushes herself up again, looping an arm around Kincaid's back to usher him to his feet as well. "C'mon, darlin'. Let's go back to bed."

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