Somewhere In Between


liette_icon.gif lorraine_icon.gif raith_icon.gif

Scene Title Somewhere In Between
Synopsis In the custody of the Ferrymen and under lock and key, Liette finds herself visited by two ghosts she does not know are a part of her past, and finds herself somewhere in between them.
Date May 4, 2010

Southern Staten Island

There used to be picture windows here on the second floor.

A long time ago this was a play room for two young children, sun would dapple the floor all day and create long shadows from their toys in the afternoon.

There used to be carpeting in here, the color of beach sand but so much softer.

There used to be a family here, but all that's left of them are stains on the livingroom floor downstairs.

The Ferrymen can't often be choosy about the locations they use as safehouses, and this particular residential building at the corner of Irvington and Chester on the south shores of Staten Island is exemplary of that. It's location is right under the nose of the government in a way, close to the border of the Reclaimed Zone on the east side of Wolfe's Pond Park, operating under the guise of a residential home where the tenants refused to move out.

In a way it's true, the Hendersons never did move out of this home, and the bodies of both Mary and Abbot Henderson along with their two children were still duct-taped and laid side by side on the floor where their throats had been slit the day the Ferrymen found the house.

Most of the people who operate this safehouse don't know what the Ferry did with the bodies, and the ones who do know don't talk about it. But the house, originally intended to be called "The Hostel" has since taken on the more somber monicker of "The Morgue" by most Ferrymen operatives who know the story of its grisly discovery. But the location, the structural integrity, and the fact that it was easy to patch the house into the electrical grid made it an easy sell.

It's perhaps not the most auspicious place to be holding an impromptu family reunion, and that thought has to be somewhere on Lorraine Fournier's mind on her way up the creaking wooden stairs to the second floor. She's not alone in preparation for this meeting, not by a long-shot, by it's hard to say how much comfort Jensen Raith can be in this scenario. It can't be like this is going to be easy for either of them.

"She didn't know I was her mother," Lorraine says, repeating a fact she knows she's said before, but the nervousness leads to repeating of such things, keeping her voice down. "I used an alias, like you were using when we first met. It was even Moon, actually, Lori Moon. It's rather funny considering that was a fake last name of yours, and I'd adopted it for a fake name too…" She trails off as their steps bring them closer to the door that one of her daughters is supposed to be behind. The other one, further away. Much further away. Miss Moon. Lori Moon. It had been a good identity to use at the time…

An act, to get close to them, but stay secret. After all, Lorraine Fournier never actually worked for that building that collapsed. Not on paper.

"You can tell her anything you need to, but I am going to tell her— about me. She should have known a year ago." And she'd waited and waited til the right time, only to have that right time fall apart. Raising her hand, she knocks softly on the door to the second floor room, to announce themselves. No ninja-ing today, Jensen Raith.

"I'm an uncle, if you have to tell her anything," Raith replies, careful not to speak too loudly, "She won't believe the truth, and there's no telling what might happen if she finds that out too soon." No ninja-ing today. The ex-spy has even been so kind as to leave his armaments 'at the door,' as it were. They don't need to be scary people, especially since he has few problems with that already. "A mother she never knew, she'll probably buy. Just be careful how much of the truth you tell." The truth sets people free, yes. But it also exposes them to ugly realities they're happier not knowing. And Raith knows //all/ about ugly realities he was happier not knowing. The Vanguard is a prime example of this. "I'll be sane. Promise."

There's no response from the other side of the door, just silence. It's not surprising, given what the operator of this safehouse said about Liette's current mental condition. They'd told Lorraine to just go in, and ultimately, that's the way things go. On the hels of silence, the door to the second floor creaks open, revealing a sparsely furnished and somewhat Spartanly decorated den. An old and worn out sofa faces a wall of plywood covered in staple-riddled plastic. Two electric space heaters keep the upstairs warm, one on opposite ends of the den. The bedroom has been closed off, as evidenced by a single board nailed over the middle of the door as if to say closed until it warms up, while the bathroom is left open out of necessity.

This has left Liette turn turn what there is of the den into a makeshift bedroom. Blankets are draped across the sofa, wrapped around her too-thin and birdlike form, almost like a younger and equally skinny iteration of Eileen in Raith's eyes; equally Bohemian in her attire too from his memory of that rooftop evacuation.

All he sees of her now is a wild mane of blonde hair frizzy and uncombed hanging down to her shoulders, back offered to the door. There's a small television up here but it's not on, seated on an old folding TV stand that's seen little attention. "I'm not hungry…" Liette says to the people she's not even certain of the identity of, "unless you're here to tale me home, just— just go away."

She's at that difficult age, where all teenage girls want to be voluntary lab experiments.

"Sane— well, you'd have to be a little insane to do what you do, I think," Lorraine comments in soft tones to the man next to her, seeming to agree with not telling the whole truth. There's a lot she still hasn't told him. But some truthes are important. "Liette, I'm not here to bring you food, I'm just here to see you," Lorraine says in louder tones through the door, before she opens it. The same voice she'd used as a nurse, soothing tones, a little different than how she'd been speaking around Jensen up til now. Voice often dictates response. And she's hoping, cautiously, for a positive one.

As the door opens, she also looks much the same as she had a year ago, with the main exception being bigger and heavier clothes. They had to travel through bitter winter weather to get as far as they did.

"When I found out where you were, and that you were alive— I had to see you," she explains.

Lorraine's main concern upon seeing Liette is to reestablish their old connection as nurse and patient. Raith's main concern upon seeing Liette, beyond shutting the door behind him after he enters for privacy, is to look around the room for the most important and instrumental of tools they need for a successful reunion: A hair brush. Jesus Christ, her hair is just like her life: A goddamn mess. This crime against hairmanity will not go unstraightened.

Looking for a brush serves a second purpose: Giving Lorraine time to reconnect with Liette until the time is right to introduce him. Maybe the brush is in the bathroom….

The voice is what stirs Liette, gets the tiny girl moving and has blue eyes going wide. She kneels up on the cushions of the sofa, blanket sliding off one thickly sweater-clad shoulder. There's a hoarse sound in the back of Liette's throat, and the young girl is scrambling up and over the back of the couch, a skinny denim-clad leg hooking around one after the other before socked feet touch down on the floor. "N— Nurse Moon!" Liette practically yelps, failing to notice Raith's quiet slip into the bathroom and out of the line of emotional fire.

For the first five or six steps, it looks like Liette may simply throw herself into her mother's arms, up until she comes to an abrupt stop, eyes growing wide again and back tensing. The overly-large sweater she's wearing rustles around mid-thigh length, and once she's stopped Liette backpedals a step. "You're— you're not— you're not Nurse Moon."

Lorraine can't be, after all. Though the exact reasoning for that isn't made evident until Liette actually speaks up again.

"You died." Now, after all this time, Liette finally has a comprehension of life and death from her time with the Ferry, from Brennan, from learning in the harsh world. Liette hadn't understood it then, and she's only now beginning to piece it together on her own, just how final death is.

Or seemed to be, anyway.

"Well, I thought you died, too, but— we didn't die," Lorraine says, wincing a bit at the thought that the girl now understands life and death a little more than she did before. They'd been so childish, so sheltered. They didn't know things that other kids are supposed to know. "It is me, I promise you— Do you remember the stuffed bears I bought both of you? They had ribbons around their necks, They were different colored ribbons, and you'd sometimes switch them thinking I wouldn't recognize you if you used the other's bear."

Those pranks are something every identical twin has probably done once, and even if they had a very different childhood.

Her arms spread a bit, offering herself for a hug, even then. "I missed you." There's more emotion in the voice than she might have intended. Maybe best Raith went off to get a hairbrush.

The quest for a hairbrush is not going well, and it may be best that no one else is aware of this. It's unlikely that he's gone unheard, since he's not using extra caution to make sure the cabinet he opens doesn't make noise. But finally, there is some success, for inside of that cabinet is a hair brush. It is a cheap and old hairbrush that no sane person would use on themselves, unless they were into pain, but it is a hairbrush. All the same, Raith decides to hang back just a bit longer. Explaining something like life and death is not the right time to be interrupted. Except by poorly aimed gunfire. Then, it's most appropriate.

Big, wide eyes tear up and Liette is frozen in place by Lorraine's explanation. The teen's brows furrow, jaw trembles, and where a month ago she might have openly accepted the explanation, where she might have been naive enough not to consider the convenience of it, there's a fleeting tension at the back of her mind that has her skirting backwards with one scuffing footfall, "No you— we saw— " there's a hitch in the back of Liette's throat, words choking there and brows furrowing like she's trying to figure out what these emotions she's having even are.

"Julie a— m— me and Julie saw it. How— how!?" Hands clenched into fists, Liette's shriek of a demand comes without a more disastrously powered tantrum, just the vocal kind. This is just over a woman she suspects is her nurse as well. Though it's only as Liette's backed away from Lorraine that she hears the clunk of motion in the bathroom, brows furrowed and head cocking to the side, trying to peer in thorugh the door but not having a proper angle for any of that.

"You— you're trying to trick me," Liette stammers out, hardly having anything to back that up, "wh— where's Doctor Brennan?" Oh how everyone else at this safehouse has been tired of being asked that question.

This is not going as planned, at all. Lorraine reaches up and pushes her hair out of her face, stress showing around her eyes as she looks toward the bathroom. So much for a peaceful, happy, family reunion… Instead her daughter doesn't even think she's really the nurse, much less… "I'm not trying to trick you, I was hurt, badly, but I am okay now. It took a while, but I was okay. I thought the two of you had died, which is the only reason I didn't try to find you again."

Perhaps recognizing that the girl feels caged, she doesn't try to approach again, though she keeps her arms spread a bit. "You know that there's dozens of abilities in the world, you know this— mine kept me alive so that I could see you again."

Doctor Brennan most definitely isn't here, but Lorraine is quickly losing her attempt at holding herself together. She's far more vulnerable looking, sad, distraught, the more this goes on.

"Liette— I was decieving you about one thing back in the labs before. My name isn't Moon— my name is Fournier."

Downhill in a hurry. Sad. "Found one!" Raith exclaims. As he steps back out of the bathroom, he adds with somewhat less cheer, "Not a very good one, but I found one." A hairbrush, he must mean, given that he's holding one in his hand when he hadn't one before. He gives a quick, slightly pathetic (after all, he just found a bad hairbrush!) glance to Liette, and then back to Lorraine. "Is this a bad time?" he asks, "This looks like a bad time. I can come back when it's not, no, no I can't-" Another glance back to Liette- "Not while that hair remains untamed. I'll just…." briefly, he makes a brushing motion with his new instrument of, grooming, "Real quick, and then I'll come back when it's not a bad time."

His voice is different than what he might normally use. Given what Lorraine knows of Raith, maybe it's no surprise that he is speaking, and indeed behaving, in a much gentler and less overtly threatening manner than what most would expect. Even just a tiny bit silly. Maybe in the hopes that his chameleon talent will help to calm Liette down a bit.

Mouth open and about to voice some form of protest, there's something about the way Jensen's attitude seems to strike Liette blindsided has her staring confusedly at the man old enough to be her father. A ha ha. Her mouth slowly closes, protest to everything going on now only in her posture and not in her words, soon only in the crease of her brows and te wary look she gives Lorraine. Time with the Ferry has made her more wary, but not quite taken the child-like naivete from her that makes her seem so much younger than she really is.

"Moon's a silly name," Liette finally admits, her shoulders hunching forward and arms crossing at her waist. It takes just that long for something to click, for recollection to trigger and Liette's eyes to flutter back up to Lorraine with a confused expression again. She tenses, looks to Raith, the hair brush, then over to Lorraine again worriedly. "You— you— have the same last name as me and sis…"

She's retreating, emotionally and physically, moving over to her sofa again, pulling back blankets and sinking down onto the cushions before wrapping them around herself again. When she looks back to Raith, it's not nearly as standoffish as it was the first time, now mostly because she's had time to consider something.

"I know you…" Liette murmurs to the old soldier, her head crooking to the side and dark brows furrowed together. Her blue eyes dart warily back to Lorraine, then find Raith again. "You— you're the guy who saved me from the roof, the— the pilot guy." There's a swallow, a look away, then down to the floor before she settles her stare on Lorraine again, then just absently motions to her spot on the sofa and an empty seat beside it.

"What— what do you want?" Everyone who'se come to visit her has wanted something. "When can I see doctor Brennan again?" He's become like Luis before him, a source of security and sanctuary, and despite Lorraine's attempts thus far, Liette is seeming slightly resistant to change. Through of all things, a brush seems to be settling her nerves, even if she hasn't considered how horrible that'd feel going through her tangled hair.

"It was a silly name," Lorraine admits, glancing over at Raith nearby, especially as he appears and starts to dott on her a bit, with a hairbrush. It gives her time to recover, to turn away for a second, while she retreated. It's like a game. They both took a few surprised blows, and then retreated to their different corners for the second round. Which happens to start pretty fast. Always asking about Brennan. Brennan who'd wanted to give her back to those people…

"It would help if she has a bath and washes her hair, before you attempt to brush it," she starts, before beginning to take steps towards the couch. "I don't know exactly where Brennan is, but he's okay. He wants to see you, but I asked to see you first because— my real last name is the same as yours, because that's the one thing that no one took from you, or Julie. It's yours, because it's mine. Because I'm your mother."

When Lorraine speaks, Raith's attention moves from Liette to her. And when she shares the truth, his attention goes back to Liette briefly, and then back to Lorraine, and once more back to Liette, eyes slightly widen as if by surprise. Although silent, there is plenty for the young girl to interpret, even if anyone with a little bit of knowledge could puzzle out that all he's doing is staying in character. Whatever his current character happens to be.

Lorraine feels it first, a pressure in her sinuses like congestion forming and then clearing. But it's not so much from anything so mundane, as it is something extraordinary. Liette's head tilts to the side and the blue-eyed teen's eyes narrow even as they begin taking on a glassy quality. It's a gambit most people wouldn't dare pull, but before the words you're lying can find their way venomously to her lips, Liette is performing the psychic equivalent of a full-body cavity search.

Her expression is a steely, tempered one even as tears well up in her eyes, swell at the bottom of her lashes and then dribble down her cheeks. The teen's throat tightens, and when her eyes settle on Raith, he feels the sensation next, between his eyes and behind his nose, like a finger wiggling in his sonus cavity.

There's the barest moment of a hollow echo in his subconsciousness, but despite her efforts, there's too much jumble up there for Liette to puzzle out what Raith's got going on behind the stage. It's one thing to search through Lorraine's mind like a rolodex of guilty deeds, it's another to sort through Jensen Raith's crowded out of order filing cabinet— espescially when he doesn't want anyone nosing around up there.

"That's— " Liette's tiny voice cracks and forms into a squeaking sound when she tries to talk, from both the tightness of her throat and the emotion that caused it. "That's not possible." If she'd ever seen Empire Strikes Back, it might have been an attempt at irony. Thankfully for everyone in the room, Magnes isn't here to say search your feelings, you know it to be true in response.

"I— Mmm— my mom died giving birth to me. That— that's what mister Petrelli said. He— he told me I didn't have parents, and that's why Julie and me were raised with him, because— because— " because of the wonderful things she does, is unfortunately the answer. She was raised because she was needed; An asset.

The psychic search over makes her wince visibly, whether she knows exactly what it is or not. This is not one of the things she's lying about, though everyone has secrets, guilty and otherwise. "Mister Petrelli wasn't the best at telling the truth, not when lies suited his purposes," Lorraine says quietly, keeping close, but no longer moving closer. Or further away for that matter. "I was told you were dead, both of you. I believed it for years. I don't know exactly why Arthur Petrelli found me and told me the truth, and offered me a chance to see the two of you if I worked for him…" She doesn't know possibly because the man died before whatever plot he had came to fruitation.

"I wanted to tell you. I wanted to tell both of you, but I— I couldn't. I always thought I would tell you tomorrow, and…" Tomorrow ended up beinge today, almost a year later. "I'm sorry. I was lied to, too."

"It's a crazy world that we live in," Raith says, "Where people get lied to when they really shouldn't be. But it happens all the time, you know. Sometimes… well…." For a moment, the ex-spy allows himself to drift off, casting his gaze off to the side as if in thought. "Sometimes, people have to be lied to, you know? Sometimes, it's better. Safer." And quickly, his attention is back to Liette. "But sometimes, it's not, you know? Before? It was safer. But now, it's not safer, so we're telling you the things that people didn't tell you before. Because now, it's not safer." For another few moments, Raith manages to keep silent. But only for a few.

"I'm sorry but, can I, just…?" Once again, he makes an up-and-down motion with the hairbrush, as if he were simply an eccentric hairdresser forced into a strange position.

"Pop— P— Pop ww— wouldn't…" Liette's fingers curl into the blankets she's wrapped around herself, expressive blue eyes showing only one emotion right now, and from the way she's crying without crying it's evident that she's trying to seem strong through all of this confusion. When whining noise rising in the back of her throat comes with a slow close of her eyes, a creep of her mouth back into a grimace and the first whimpering sounds of a sob that she can possibly muster. There's some things a teenager can handle, there's some things that a teenager with the mind of a much younger girl simply can't handle.

Leaning forward, it's the kind of pitiful motion that a child makes when they're searching for someone to lean on, but Lorraine — perhaps symbolically — is too far away to prove to be the shoulder for Liette to pour her heart out on, nor is the man she has no idea is her father. So instead, and perhaps like she has in the past, the tiny blonde girl curls up around herself, pulling her knees up to her chest and pressing her forehead to them, letting out a whimpering and helpless sob as she starts to cry.

Liette has been through more in the last month than most girls her age will ever go thorugh in a lifetime. All of it, topped with the cherry of truth from Lorraine, has simply been too much.

People lie— they lie far too often sometimes. Or not enough others. In this case, the lies become too much for a little kid. Though she's kept her distance since the young girl retreated, once she curls up and cries on herself, Lorraine moves closer, kneeling down to sit in front of her and the shield of blankets, and put her hands on the girl's side. "I really am sorry I didn't tell you. I wish I'd know where you were before…" But she hadn't. And she'd believed that lie.

A glance is cast back towards Raith, and then she reaches up to touch the girl's hair. "Your hair is a mess. And the guy who saved you in a helicopter really wants to brush it. Think you could handle it if he tried? We may need to wash it first, though— it looks like a cat is trying to live in it."

No lies about how everything will be all right. Just the truth about her hair being a complete mess.

"We could even jump right to the washing of the hair," Raith suggests. "Maybe that's the best idea, in fact. A washing and a good cream rinse, followed by a hair brushing and a mug of hot cocoa, and aaaall will feel right with the world." He only promised Lorraine that he would be sane: He made no guarantees beyond that. "And that's the truth, because that's what I do sometimes and let me tell you, it works." Lorraine moves to kneel by Liette. Raith moves and has a seat on the arm of the couch. "And then, maybe we'll see what we can do about that television. Rabbit ears are so last century I can't even think of a good joke to go along with that statement. I'll think of one. Probably."

It's enough to make Liette laugh, what Raith's doing. Somewhere between the death of his dignity's last shreads of life and the expression of a little girl's crying face, there's some hope for his humanity yet left in him. Jensen Raith is a man who has done many terrible things in his life under the auspicies of doing what is right. Though in the here and now, what's right seems to be coming up here and soothing the frayed nerves of a girl who has spent the whole of her life being a labrat to three seperate clandestine organizations.

As Liette feels the hand on her side, she reacts for the first time in her life like a girl her age, throwing her arms around Lorraine's waist and squeezing tightly, her arms shaking and shoulders trembling, face buried in the older blonde's shoulder as fingers curl into the thermal fabric of her jacket. There's a subtle cold that clings to Lorraine's clothing from the outside still; cool enough to make the tears on Liette's cheeks feel even more visible to the young teen.

Somewhere between a sob and a laugh, is what's right for Liette. But she isn't quite there, isn't quite past the point of crying yet, but that she's acknowledged Lorraine, that she's on tha road to acceptance is one thing But to imagine that right here, is one of two children that Jensen Raith himself helped bring into this world, and that she's worth enough to as many people as she is to cause this much trouble is a profound thing.

Somewhere between here, things will eventually get better. Odds are, though, they're never going to be just right.

It takes some time before the hair washing and brushing happened, even longer before they heard the inevitable bunny ear joke. For a few moments in this house with a dark history, a family with one of their own enjoyed a reunion, even if not all of them knew it was a reunion at all.

"I'm glad you were here," Lorraine says, once they reach the place that she's been staying for the last few days. Still on Staten Island, but not near his own home. Before he turns to disappear on her, she's reaching toward him, a brief gesture of gratitude and affection. "You put her more at ease than I did."

Just as the truth she had tried to tell her daughter, the words seem to carry the same truth. No, she couldn't have done this much without him. He knew how to crack the ice, whether he knows how he did it or not. "Now I remember why I liked Michael Moon so much," she adds, grinning just a little before she closes the door to her room. Despite those words, she's not inviting him in.

Because she has a phone call to make. It's the phone that she asked for the first day, disposable, untracable. The number she dials goes to another cellphone, very similarly set up. Disposable.

As soon as the person on the other end picks up, she's speaking quietly, "I've seen her. Liette. Our daughters are alive. We need to meet up soon."

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