Staying Calm


elaine_icon.gif sable_icon.gif

Scene Title Staying Calm
Synopsis Easier said than done, when Elaine brings Sable some troubling news.
Date July 14, 2010

Gun Hill - Sable's Apartment

To call this room sparse would be, if not unfair, then not precisely indicative. Yes, there is little in the way of furniture here. In fact, the only object that really qualifies is a salvaged mattress sitting on a salvaged box spring sitting on the floor. There are sheets, but they are almost always coming free of the mattress itself, crumpled and tangled up with the blanket, a ratty old quilt that must have been through several previous owners. But sparse does not convey the sense of general disorder, the ad hoc-ness of the resident's lifestyle. On either side of the bed is a pile of clothes, one for clean clothes, the other for dirty clothes, and neither pile is very large, nor sports anything like a variety. Tank tops (usually white), cargo pants (usually brown), and underwear (usually depicting cute cartoon characters who have been given eye patches, devil horns or fearsome scars using black fabric marker) dominate the selection.

Decoration has only been recently added. First and most noticeable are the many swaths of brightly colored, patterned cloth pinned in drapings upon the walls. The impressions is chaotic but enthusiastic, like the combined work of a hippie, an ADHD child, a crazy person. The last is true. The others… arguable. Second, clustered nearer to the bed, pinned to walls and ceiling, are pictures from old Playboy magazines, all from the 60's and 70's from the looks of it. Beauties from another era.

Other that than, there are only a few items that suggest the tenant's personality and interests: a CD player, a pile of CDs, an amplifier and two guitars, one black electric, one blue acoustic-electric. These alone, of all the (admittedly few) possessions in this place, look well cared for. Even the way they rest in the corner, arrayed with care, suggests something like love for them.

9AM finds Elaine at Sable's door. Opening the door (although it still feels a little weird not knocking), she steps inside, looking around to see what was happening. "Sable, are you here?"

She is. The music that's playing (she's programmed her CD player to act as an alarm, in a remarkable feat of ingenuity for her) betrays this fact. This may be a bad time, though. Sable's is wild eyed and dashing about, dressed just in a tank top and a towel, both wet from a shower she's not yet dry from, her dark hair darker still and shedding droplets as she hops from floor to bed, bed to floor, desperately seeking her shoes. And she doesn't even have her socks on yet. Elaine's never seen her in such a rush - Sable isn't usually a rushed person. She doesn't usually have anything she has to do.

Elaine's arrival causes her to stop mid-leap, causing her to flail out and fall into her pile of clean laundry. She scrambles to her feet, tugging her towel tighter around her waist in a needless but automatic show of limited modesty. Her smile is confused, embarrassed, but still pleased.

"Oh, hey darlin'. Uh… runnin' a little late here. Mind if I keep gettin' ready?"

"Sorry! I didn't mean to come at a bad time." Elaine moves to step out of the way, looking for a good location where she can still talk to Sable but not disturb her morning routine. "Just keep going. I wanted to duck in and just give you a heads up on something."

Sable does keep going, though now that she is under some watch she is somewhat less frantic, not wanting to appear utterly ridiculous - as if there were any grace left to save, illusions left to maintain. She locates her shoes, each on opposite sides of her bed, each under different articles of clothing, and kicks them both towards the entrance of her room. "Whassat, lovely?" she asks, getting up on her bed for the sake of vantage and scanning her clean clothes for the articles she needs.

"Magnes left that group he was with yesterday, Messiah. He came in last night saying we were leaving, going out of the country." Elaine frowns. "I managed to get him to calm down from it last night, but… I'm not sure he won't bring up the idea again."

Sable stops dead at this. This… is not anything like she was expecting. 'Head's up', to her, means 'head's up, the downstairs kitchen is broken' or 'head's up, Ygraine's around so maybe you want to make yourself scarce so you don't start shit'. What Elaine tells Sable, right then and there, is more the 'shit has gone down' type information, at least in her ranking system. The yellow eyed girl rounds on her visitor.

"Fuckin' what is this I'm hearin'?" she says, and she sounds both shocked and mad, "First… just first 'f fuckin' all… he was part 'f what fuckin' group? Messiah? That some sort of cult? 'n'… 'n' second… leave the country?" The anger spikes 'cult', but then takes a nosedive into desperation, sadness, "Jesus God. Y' say 'we'? He means th' both 'f y'?"

Elaine frowns a little. "He's worried that they might try to kill him, so he wanted to leave." She rubs the back of her neck. "Messiah's the ones blamed for those bombings, government called 'em terrorists." She looks back over. "Magnes said he'd get tickets for you and Quinn if either of you wanted to come too… but I don't know if it'll even come up again. He was just freaking out."

Sable has completely lost track of what she was doing. She flops down into a seat at the foot of her bed, staring dead ahead, at nothing, looking stricken. There's a little hope the returns to her eyes when Elaine suggests that maybe it won't become a further issue. Really? Please?

"But if these… these dudes 'r' real bad dudes…" Sable puts forth, then suddenly her brow furrows, blackly, "FUCK. Fuckin' Magnes. I told him t' quit that shit. I told him this," she jabs her finger at the floor, meaning the band, meaning their crew, meaning the harmony on Gun Hill, "Was t' be his highest fuckin' good. FUCK." Distraught only begins to cover it.

"Sable, calm down!" Elaine moves to sit down next to her. "I told him to find someone who fought them, maybe. Organizations like that always have enemies. They always have someone to fight them… so I think maybe Magnes is going to find something to do about it. He did get out. You can't blame him for that!"

Sable closes her eyes, trying to smooth out her breathing, trying to do as Elaine asks - calm down. If most anyone else had given her that command, or even suggested it, it would have sent her into an even worse fit. As it is, Elaine is among a chosen few, and few even amongst that chosen. She bites her lip, hard, and holds her breath for a moment. She feels her own heartbeat, racing. One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Six. Seven. Eight. Nine. Ten.

Her breath comes out in a weary sigh. "Fffffuck…" she breathes, "I jus'… I though this shit was done. 'n', I mean… fightin' in rings 'n' shit… that's one thing. But fuckin' bombs?" she turns to Elaine, expression pleading, "Tell me that's, like, propaganda, eh?

"Remember when Magnes was off in some mission and I was freaking out a little bit? It was one of those things that was on the news…" Sable should at least remember when it occurred. She'd been doing a fine job of keeping Elaine distracted at the time. "It's gonna be okay, though. Worst case scenario, we run off somewhere else for a bit." She doesn't like the idea.

This is not a time when fond memories will easily surface. Sable saves the better parts of her life from contamination out of reflex. Lesson long since learned, however unhealthy. Her toweled legs serve as support for dangling arms and her shoulders hunch. She looks both grim and thoughtful. "That's pretty fuckin' bad all by it's damned self…" she says, "We gotta, like, talk t' the folks who run th' buildin' 'n' all. Jus'… jus' fuck me. This ain't no kind of shit we need. I… I gotta talk t' someone who'd know…"

"He said he'd be talking to someone named… Eileen?" Elaine comments, looking over. "I dunno. I'm sure Magnes will find something he needs to do… he's just not gonna let it sit and boil over. He'll take care of it." She's looking hopeful about things, at least.

Elaine's hope is something of a balm to Sable, who looks up at her, seeking solace in her words and her expression. Hoping for a transfer of confidence. "Arright…" she says, trying to be satisfied with this, "But… don't you run off without lettin' me know? Neither 'f you. Arright? I dunno what th' fuck I'd do. Nor Quinn." She tries to make this less personal through Quinn's inclusion, as if self-centeredness didn't constitute the greater part of her feelings.

Elaine looks at her seriously. "Come on. It's Magnes. Do you think he'd really drag me off without actually talking to you first? Besides, I'm pretty sure he'd want you to come. Quinn too." She looks back at her. "Don't worry, I'm not goin' anywhere without you."

Sable lifts a hand to her brow, massaging gently. "Jesus. There's things b'neath out feet, darlin'. Thought they were still, but they're movin'. The dead 'r movin' in their dozen coffins," not very cheerful words, and where are they even coming from? "Preserve me from learnin' what's not mine t' know, but I'm ever more unsure 'f the ground 'pon which I walk." She reaches out and slips her arms around Elaine, pulling her into a sudden hug, squeezing her. "I'll try 'n' keep m'self 't peace, darlin'. I'll try. Struggle f'r one such as I."

Elaine wraps her arms around Sable tightly, pulling her close. "I'll keep you updated. And you'll be okay. Just remember. I ain't leaving you alone, okay? Not gonna leave you in the dark or anything." She states, soothingly.

Sable keeps trying to take deeper breaths, keeping herself reeled in. She tries to think of nothing, because thinking will get her worked up again. She tries, for the moment, to let herself be soothed. For the moment it works. She stays close to Elaine. "Always, somethin', eh? Life's gotta stay fuckin' interestin'."

Elaine hugs Sable in tightly, letting her fingers trace into the other woman's hair. "Hey, just keep calm. We'll figure things out. Magnes is just going off the deep end, you know? He's just going to extremes, if you ask me. We'll find middle ground. I just thought you deserved to know. Just in case."

Being calm becomes much easier very quickly. She makes a grateful noise high in her sinuses and nods a little. "Thanks f'r tellin' me, darlin'," she says, "'n' sorry f'r goin' off th' deep end like that. I… I dunno if I won't be divin' in 'gain soon, once I'm given time t' think on it. Just…" she rises a little, lips quirking, "just think mebbe I need t' find out a few things, for good and all. Tired, a little, 'f feelin' like I came in on th' bridge, 'stead 'f the first verse."

"I know.. just be careful with the whole.. going off the deep end thing. If there's any sort of real threat with this involved I don't need you and Magnes overreacting." Elaine leans her head in against Sable's shoulder. "I hate pulling everything together. I'm not good at being the glue!"

"Just need t' get some things sorted," Sable says, seeming set in her determination to do whatever it is she intends to do. "'n' need t' tell m' boss I ain't comin' in t'day. Hell… what sort 'f excuse should I give 'em, such that he won't think I'm just fuckin' skippin'? I need t' keep that job, but I ain't gonna be no use today."

Elaine shakes her head. "Sable, might be best to just call him, let him know you're coming in late, and head that way. Doing something you're supposed to do, your routine, it might help calm you down. Focus you." She looks back at her. "I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news.."

Sable presses a kiss to Elaine's cheek. "Now you know I ain't never unhappy t' see y' or hear from y'," she says, "'n' I'll… see what I c'n figure out." Which is not a conclusive 'yes' to Elaine's suggestion. "First thing first, though. Need t' put on some goddamn pants…"

Elaine laughs, shaking her head a little. "I should get back. Told Magnes I was just coming over here. I should probably head back before he starts wondering if I got attacked or something." She peers at Sable curiously. "You gonna be alright?"

Sable nods, "Figure so," she says. She smiles, crookedly. "Just you take care 'f him, arright? See he doesn't come t' no harm. Busy protectin' others, boy c'n f'rget he ain't immune himself."

"I'l take care of him. You know me, with the carin'." Elaine giggles. "Magnes' be fine, you just take care of yourself, too. I can't protect everyone at once." She winks, moving back to her feet to head for the door.

Sable watches Elaine as she departs, holding onto the temporary peace the girl's presence gives her. Temporary, she knows. What's within her will bubble up again. It always will, until she knows enough to keep it down.

Okay… where are her pants?

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