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Scene Title #sorrynotsorry
Synopsis The common room of The Hub plays host to awkwardness.
Date December 4, 2011

The Hub

Hunched over a piece of paper with pencil scratching away, Shaw sits at one of the common area's tables. Morning meal times have come and gone, but it's theoretically, in a more luxurious world, brunch. The man hasn't left the table since the morning though, evidenced by the crusted edges of rations in a bowl and half-drunken water in a styrofoam cup next to it. For now, preoccupied by whatever task he has determined to have on hand, he does it alone.

Peyton's got her head down as she wanders into the central area of the Hub, with her giant headphones covering her ears as she fiddles with her Walkman, before sighing and sliding it into her hoodie's pocket and pushing the headphones down around her neck. She tips her head out of curiosity at Shaw's studious posture, and heads over there — quietly maneuvering until she's standing right behind him and peering over his shoulder — perhaps more for comedy's sake and to be a pain in the ass than because she actually cares what he's working on. She doesn't say anything, to wait to see how long before he notices.

He might have reason to notice sooner than he would have, because Lynette enters the common room and drops her toolbox to the floor with a heavy thud. She looks over at the table, her frown deepening as she sees who's here. But Shaw's presence doesn't send her away. No, she pushes her goggles up onto her forehead and drops onto a couch, sending dirt floating up into the air. There are no hellos, just her inserting herself into the room and taking over furniture.

A kudos to Peyton's stealth, as Shaw doesn't immediately notice until a few seconds tick by, long enough for Peyton to read at least part of the scrabblings on the paper. The upper right hand corner is a drawing of various rectangles and 'x' marks, a map of some kind. Left of that, Arabic. But underneath it, at least partly in English, there's some phrases she can make out:

Butterfly is a metaphor
Peas and princess
Marriage is winning??? (No, miss-ah-jenny)
Worth saving

The further scrawl is obscured by his arm and his hunch, which is definitely covered up as soon as Lynette enters and drops the toolbox. The metallic clatter interrupts whatever scratches he had left in him. Shaw jumps in his seat, immediately slinging a startled glance in the electrokinetic's direction, and then goes still. He turns next when Peyton's hair comes into his peripheral. "Peyton," he greets her with a quick swallow. "How're you?" Ah, but it's awkward with Lynette just there. Silent.

Peyton jumps, too, and narrows her own gaze in Lynette's direction. There's no way that was accidental. "Rosie the Riveter over there's giving me a headache, but otherwise, all right. You?" she asks, moving to sit her butt on the table and her boots on the bench. She nods down at the page he's working on. "Looks almost like a playlist or something, except I've never heard of any of those songs."

She narrows her eyes thoughtfully, tipping her head before adding, "Unless the first one's 'A Boy Named Sue.' My dad liked that one."

The fact that Lynette smirks a little at Shaw's jump probably means Peyton is right and it was not an accident. But her expression evens out a moment later. "Sorry, Peyton, I forgot you were so sensitive," she says, propping her boots up on the far arm of the couch. "I'll look for a softer toolbox for next time." Her fingers work a cigarette out of its box, putting it between her lips as she digs around in her pocket for matches.

"Still alive," Shaw confirms to Peyton, his gaze returning to the paper he has. It's a moment after he's scanned it over that he quickly folds it over once, tucking it away with a shove of it into the pocket of his hoodie. "Are Sues and Susans often guys? Like Shannon? Leslie?" he wonders aloud, looking back to Peyton for some confirmation. But when Lynette speaks, he eyes the direction of the other woman nervously. A hand snakes out to pick up the pencil on the table, his thumb fiddling on the point. Shaw asides to Peyton, although in the common room there's really no way to whisper, "She's not sorry."

"Only to noisy bitches," Peyton says with a bright, pageant-worthy smile, before lifting a brow at Shaw. "Nope, that's what makes the song ironic. You know a Susan who's a guy?" she asks. "I knew a guy Dana once. Here's the trick with having a girl's name as a guy — you gotta be fucking hot to sell it. Courtney, Shannon, Tracy — if you're not at least an eight, you're just gonna get thrown in the locker or the trash can at school. Right, Rosie?" She looks to Lynette for confirmation on this, but doesn't seem to care that much what 'Rosie' says, because she keeps talking.

"Girls with boy names," she points to herself, "It helps if you've got some cool factor going on, but it's not to hard a sell. Double standard. One of the few we gals have working in our favor."

"And yet, you manage to live with yourself, still," Lynette says with a sideways look over at Peyton. There's amusement in her expression— a hint of it anyway— instead of bile. It takes her a moment to get her match lit, and the cigarette just after. But she's listening, because Peyton's assessment of how likely a Boy Named Sue is to get tossed in a locker gets a nod of agreement. "Sounds about right."

The pencil-holding hand idly flips the writing utensil around his knuckles, and Shaw utters a soft 'hunh' with this information like it's new to him. It might be. "Steve," he adds in for this girls-with-guys'-names-with-some-cool-factor category, helpfully. But then in a late reaction, he sits straight up to something of what Peyton says and looks back and forth between both women, lingering in the middle distance. The man wets his lips, uttering, as if recollecting, "Double standards. Standards to judge a woman's worth. Impossible standards. Peas and princesses." He glances over to Lynette on the couch, again with an anxious air, then back to Peyton.

"I'm a nosy bitch, not a noisy bitch," Peyton clarifies for Lynette. "Hey, can you charge batteries or are you in the off mode at the moment?" She's not sure exactly if that's how the woman's power works, when she's not negated, because generally they don't occupy the same space for very long, but it never hurts to ask, right?

Unless Lynette hurls a lightning bolt at her for asking.

She nods at the name Steve, tapping her nose to show him he's on the right track, then tips her head to study Shaw, trying to figure out the connections between the phrases he speaks, the phrases he writes. "All right, Tagline. What about peas and princesses and mattresses, then?"

Lynette puts her cigarette between two fingers so she can rub her face at Shaw's words. There's no small amount of frustration in the gesture. So she focuses on Peyton instead. Her cigarette goes back between her lips and she sits up. "Yeah, I can. What do you need charged?" No lightning bolts today, apparently.

She lets out a smoky sigh and looks over to Shaw for a moment, then back to Peyton. "He's trying to learn Feminism 101."

As negotiations about batteries ensue, Shaw almost looks like he blanks out. It's not a rare expression for the man whose eccentricities are well-known. "Double As?" he interjects, "Or triple?" But the conversation bounces back as does he. "I'm learning," he claims after the Lynette's frustrated comment. To Peyton, he explains, without really managing to explain, "She took the Starbucks. Paid for with a story. Two stories." And then more genuinely, "They were good stories. Disguises and fate and fucking butterflies."

"Doubles. Unless you're guessing bra size, in which case, screw you," Peyton says cheerfully enough, before hopping down from her perch to head over to Lynette, pulling the walkman out of her pocket and handing it over, then, perhaps surprisingly, peering into the bag she carries at her side, and pulling out two hand-rolled cigarettes, which she sets on top of the toolbox. She doesn't smoke, but it's a good currency.

This is, after all, a sort of prison.

"Feminism," she echoes. "I'd say that's one thing that we have going for us in this hellhole. The virus, death, Vanguard — they all treat men and women equally, right?" She nods to Shaw. "You say something to piss her off, then?"

Lynette takes the walkman, flips it over, and slides out the batteries. There's a glance to the cigarettes, and it seems like they're payment enough because she closes her fist around them and sparks start to flick out from between her fingers.

"Sad that we see 'a virus that kills equally' as our big step forward," she says, but she can't argue that nothing trying to kill them seems to mind what gender they are. "That's right," she says to Shaw's last words, "they were practically Shakespeare." That's a joke. Probably. The sparks cut off and she opens her hand again to put the batteries back where they go. And the walkman is held back out toward Peyton.

The recharging of batteries gets a second witness as Shaw watches the sparking come out of Lynette's fingers. Not everybody's powers are so flashy, let alone active. The man looks almost regretful that the batteries have a capacity and she has to stop charging them. And when Peyton asks what he said to piss off Lynette, he drops his gaze to the bench and mumbles his reply that sounds something like "babies" and "civic duty", but at the same time doesn't sound like he wants to say it loudly enough for Lynette to hear and get angry again. Even though she can. The reminder seems to turn him off too, and Shaw rises to his feet finally, and he gathers his bowl and styrofoam cup along with the rest of him. "I'm gonna go wash up," is the announcement instead, and he starts away towards the designated area for said clean ups.

"Let's be honest, I'd be happy to go back to flirting for free drinks and backstage passes if it meant we weren't equal on those grounds," Peyton says to Lynette with a smirk of something almost apologetic. She takes the Walkman. "Thanks!" It's almost civil.

When Shaw repeats the words, Peyton throws back her head and laughs. "Oh, shit, son, you are lucky you still have Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum attached to your body. Unless maybe you don't. But you seem to be walking okay. Hopefully you learned your lesson on that one. I too won't be doing my civic duty in that regard." Like anyone expects Peyton to do any sort of duty, really. "Jesus. Like I'd bring a kid into this fucked up place," she asides to Lynette.

"I officially disagree with you, but hell yes I would, too." The grass, it looks much greener… when you can go outside and see it. Lynette doesn't look at Shaw when he tries to explain to Peyton, or tries to not explain. But the other woman's reaction gets a smirk. "You bet your ass if they had to have the kids, that pamphlet wouldn't exist," she adds, picking up her new cigarettes to add them to the box. She looks over at Peyton at the aside and nods, "Right? Exactly. Thank you."

She shifts then, to prop her feet back up and lay down. Her arm covers her eyes and she looks very much like she might be going to sleep. Except for the fact that her cigarette is in her mouth. More likely, she is just done talking. Sorry. (Not sorry.)

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