elaine_icon.gif robyn3_icon.gif

Scene Title Style
Synopsis I should just tell you to leave 'cause I
Know exactly where it leads but I
Watch us go 'round and 'round each time
Date December 28, 2018

Bay Ridge, Robyn and Dirk's Apartment

Nestled in a medium grey peacoat and a red-and-green scarf (as if Christmas was somehow not yet over), Elaine presents herself at the door. She checks her coat briefly to make sure that the silver-wrapped package is still present in the interior pocket before she turns back to the door, letting out a slow breath of air as if nervous.

She knocks on the door.

"One moment!" can be heard on the other side of the door, followed by the sound of- something being thrown aside. Probably cardboard from the muted sound it makes after a moment. It takes a bit longer before Elaine hears footsteps and the door flies open.

"Bonjour, je peux vo-" Robyn Quinn stands in the doorway, frozen as she stares at Elaine for a long moment. It probably feels longer than it actually is, and it's only when she blinks twice that she breaks out of her spellbound state. "E-Elaine? I- didn't know you'd be stopping by." Her eyes go half lidded, not quite looking at the other woman. "What, uh, brings you by?"

“I know, I know, it was terribly rude off me to drop in on you like this but I’m here to bring you the Christmas cheer. Well, after-Christmas really. I was never great with timing anyways.” Elaine rocks on her feet for a moment. “Uh, I know you aren’t really expecting this so again apologies for the surprise, but I have a present for you.”

From the coat she pulls a long, thin box. It’s wrapped in silver paper with snowflake designs and a blue see-through ribbon tied around it into a bow. “If you let me in, I’ll let you open it,” she teases.

Peering at the redhead for a second, Robyn lets out a long breath and nods, opening the door the rest of the way as she steps back. "You shouldn't have," is mumbled just loud enough for Elaine to pick it up - not with any sort of disdain, but with what's become Robyn's trademark sense of dour reservedness.

"I wasn't sure if I'd see you, or have time to stop by," she offers as she walks past a crumpled cardboard box. A TV - one much nicer than the surroundings of her and Dirk's apartment, and also different from the one Elaine saw the last time she was here - sits on the stand across from the couch.

…off to the side sits what seems to be the old TV, with part of it's screen broken out. The room smells faintly of whiskey, barely covered up by the smell of the candle burning on the coffee table. "I did get you something, I just… figured I'd mail it." She offers Elaine a small smile. "It's not wrapped, though."

Elaine gently pushes past Robyn as she enters the apartment, observing the surroundings a bit. “I see Santa brought you a present. You must have been good this year.” There’s a tone of teasing there that hints that Robyn had not been good all year, but Elaine won’t give it voice. Instead she moves to the cardboard, lifting it up and unfolding it a bit.

“You could still make a good fort out of this,” she states idly before setting the cardboard aside.

Now she’s the one who’s surprised. “I didn’t expect a present from you, really. I didn’t know if you’d be too busy and forget about me during the holidays. I don’t mind the wrapping, I’ll just close my eyes and hold out my hands and you can surprise me. Mmkay?”

Eyes flick over to the new TV, and then to the wrecked old TV. When Elaine doesn't question it, Robyn can't help but let out a small sigh of relief. "I bought that yesterday," she offers by way of explanation. "The old TV is busted." Obviously. It's not a lie at least. She'd had to drive several hours north - it had consumed most of her time and left her far too alone for her own good, which is probably why she'd also ended up picking up a gift for Elaine while she was out of town.

"Sure." Her smile is a bit more genuine this time, though not much brighter. "I'll be right back."

When she returns, whatever she has is held behind her back, out of sight from Elaine. "We'll take turns, just like- back in the day." There's something akin to a skip in the middle of her sentence, speaking without thinking. She tries her best not to acknowledge it after the moment.

If Robyn doesn’t acknowledge it, neither will she. Elaine beams, the smile not faltering. She sets the wrapped present down nearby before she holds out her hands in Robyn’s direction, palms facing the ceiling. Her eyes shut. “Alright. Let’s see what surprise you have in store for me. Better not be a stocking full of coal.”

As she stands there, waiting for Robyn, she seems content. The short period of time between the hallway and the interior of the apartment seemed to be enough to relax her, probably more than Robyn’s seen her do in a while. She just looks… happy.

Unable to see Robyn, Elaine must instead rely on what she feels. At first, she feels Robyn take her hands into one of hers, and rather than place something into them, she folds Elaine's finger back, and turns one hand over so her knuckles face the ceiling instead of her palm. A gentle push down on the other hand to tell Elaine she can lower it, and then the redhead hears a slight clinking of metal.

The next thing she feels is cold metal coming into contact with her wrist, before something slips into place over it. It fits cold and snug, but with a slight weight to it - and the tinkling sound of something on it.

When she opens her eyes, she finds a small, green bracelet on her wrist, crossing over itself like and infinity sign, and where it meets in the middle, a small clear stone. Hanging from it is a small charm shaped like a rabbit.

“Oh Robyn, it’s lovely,” Elaine murmurs as she turns her wrist over and moves it back and forth to admire the workmanship. “That’s a wonderful gift. You know me so well!” Perhaps that part comes as no surprise, but it’s more of a statement of fact—Robyn did, after all, know her tastes.

She retrieves the silver package, holding it out for Robyn to take.

Upon removing the paper, Robyn would find the simple black box used traditionally for jewelry. Inside is a silver charm bracelet. It’s simple, each little charm a music note or some kind of musical notation save for one, hidden among the rest next to the clasp. It’s a violin.

“I saw it and thought of you, but I added my own little touch,” Elaine says, smiling broadly. “So now when you see it you’ll think of me.”

Once Robyn has the package unwrapped and the black box in view, there's a clear bit of hesitation on her face. She smiles appreciatively at Elaine's assessment of the bracelet she's gotten for her, and nods - it is comforting to know that, after all these years, she still knows her tastes that well.

Which just leaves the little black box she holds in hand. With a hard swallow, she lifts off the top to find the charm bracelet, and stares at it for a moment - and then she chuckles."We… how did we both manage to get each other bracelets?" she asks in a low voice. The gift from Elaine is pulled out of the box, which is then set aside as she slips it on to her arm. Up to eye level she raises it, appraising the charms on it, her smile widening a bit more as her eyes move from note to note.

"I.." She huffs out a breath, seemingly at a loss for words at the moment.

“Even as time goes on, we still know each other Robyn. Some things never change. And I’m glad we still have that. It’s something special, you know?” Elaine laughs a bit. “But perhaps it’s the will of some kind of fate that we got each other bracelets. I’ll believe anything at this point.”

She takes a moment to appraise the bracelet on Robyn’s arm, filling the silence with her own voice. Not talking was dangerous. At least with her babbling there was something to fill in the quiet. Something to keep things from drifting into unknown territory.

“You deserve something nice, something that expresses your love of music, a reminder of its place in your life even when you might run from it. You’ll always come back to it, Robyn. You’ll always come back.”

On the other end of Elaine's babbling stands Robyn, silent. Not talking is dangerous. It meant she was more focused on her thoughts than anything else. Her thoughts, at the moment, are a bit of a mess. "I'll always appreciate music," she agrees in a small voice. "That much'll never change…"

Normally, she'd take issue with Elaine's choice of words - it doesn't matter who says it. She doesn't take well to being told she's running from part of her life. It's not the first time she's heard it or a similar sentiment either.

"Music's not the only thing I keep coming back to," she says before she's realising she's saying it, her voice soft as she reaches up to take one of Elaine's hands in hers, bracelets in parallel to each other. The sentiment is a clear as she can make it without actually saying it - subtly hasn't been her strong suit in years. "Thank you. Joyeux Noël, ma chérie."

Maybe silence was dangerous, but so was speaking. There’s meaning in those words, and meaning in the silence. Elaine isn’t entirely sure which she found more frightening. But it wasn’t a scared frightened, it was a nervous frightened. It was a deer in headlights kind of frightened. She didn’t know quite what was going to happen and she hadn’t felt that in a long while.

Elaine squeezes Robyn’s hand. It’s something.

“Merry Christmas. I hope the new year will bring us both something to bring joy into our lives.”

That awkward silence hangs for a moment longer, before Robyn offers a small smile. For a moment, it looks like she has a comment, but whatever it is, she keeps it to herself. Instead, she chooses to squeeze Elaine's hand back, and then relinquish it back to her.

"Did you have anywhere else you need to be?" is a quick attempt at moving along, stepping back and looking towards the apartment's small kitchen. "Or would you like to put on a record?" Like we used to, even if used to was actually only one Christmas.

Who's counting?

The return squeeze seems to satisfy Elaine and she returns her hand to her side. The quick change to a new subject is noted and filed away in her head. “No, nowhere else to be. I made sure I had time in case you didn’t mind me staying a while.” She laughs. “Not that I’m inviting myself in, but… I’m inviting myself in.”

There’s something sweet about the idea of putting the record on. It’s nostalgia. A happier time. “Yes, please. I’d like that very much.”

"You've been inviting yourself in as long as I've known you, Elaine," Robyn opines as she makes her way towards the kitchen. "Have I ever minded?" There's a quiet, short chuckle. "I seem to remember at least once you were asleep at my door." The fridge door opens, and two bottles are pulled out. "Wine, or cider?" Both are placed down on the counter, and she looks over towards Elaine curiously. "If either. 'None' is an option." And maybe the smartest one, all things considered. Still, she'd feel like a bad hostess if she didn't offer.

“Cider.” It might be a dangerous option but she’d have to have quite a few before it’d really make things awkward. “Cider seems a little more festive to me,” Elaine says as she makes her way over to take a seat. “But you’re right. I have often barged my way in like it was my own place.”

She pauses. “I guess I was unsure if that was something that changed.” Because things had changed, and they never quite settled. Maybe they never really would.

One hand rests on the neck of the cider bottle, while Robyn is still for a moment, before she lets out a sigh. "Do you know what the deal with the auroras in the sky is?" Fingers drum on the glass of the bottle for a moment before she releases it, choosing not to wait for Elaine to answer. "I mean, I don't know, but ever since it showed up people've been having… visions. It's been the talk of SESA ever since it started. Based on all I've talked about with Richard…" She shakes her head. To the point.

"I've had a few," is an uneven continuation. "One was rather unpleasant. Another was rather nice." She turns back to Elaine, holding up a finger to her. "There was one thing in common in both of them." That finger then tilts forward to point at Elaine. "In one, I wanted to get home… to you. In another? I-" She stops, suddenly seeming unsure, like her conviction has slipped away.

Her voice is quieter when she speaks up again, no longer looking right at Elaine. "In the other, I- I proposed to you at the encore of a concert I was performing at. On stage, the whole nine yards." She motions over to the TV. "And that's the story of why I have a new TV," she adds, as if to deflect a bit away from what she's just said.

Despite that, she moves towards Elaine, reaching for her now braceleted arm. "And then we got bracelets for each other." A look down at the ground, and then off to the side. "So no. That's never going to change. No matter how… awful I may be, you're always welcome to invite yourself in. It doesn't matter the where, when, or anything else, seems like."

As her braceleted arm is taken, Elaine takes in the situation wordlessly. “Looks like you can’t escape me even in visions.” She smiles softly, trying to use the humor to lighten the situation a bit. “But things didn’t turn out like I planned. I can’t change that. I can’t change you either. But I do know that no matter what, we have a connection. I’d give my life for you if you asked it. You mean that much to me and I doubt anything you do could change that.”

She looks down at where Robyn’s fingertips are on her arm. “As much as we might try, some things never change.”

Still staring down at the floor, Robyn nods. She looks a bit lost, unfocused for a moment. Where was she going with this anyway? It doesn't matter. Instead, she wordlessly reaches up and envelopes Elaine into a hug, pulling her tight as she can. "Good," is a quiet affirmation. "Because I feel the same way." It's different from Elaine's birthday, when she had drunkenly stated her feelings and position outright. Different from the awkward conversations at Elaine's apartment. This was heartfelt and honest, without expectation or desire. Quite possibly one of the purest feelings she's ever felt in her life, if she stopped to think about it.

After a moment, she releases Elaine. There's not quite a smile on her face, but she looks visibly more relaxed. "Come. Let's listen to some music."

“No,” Elaine says. “Not yet.” instead, she pulls Robyn back into the hug, holding her close. For some it might seem too long, but it was nothing more than a moment where the two could just feel close, relaxed, safe. She needed that. She hadn’t had that for years. She’d gone on too long on her own.

When she finally feels like the moment is done, she’s the one who pulls back this time, smiling softly at the other woman. “Alright, you said something about music. Let’s do that.”

Robyn can't help but go wide eyed and a little scared when she's suddenly pulled back into a hug. Its one thing when she does it; when Elaine makes that move instead, she finds herself paralysed. It's certainly not what she would've expected after most of their previous conversations, and leaves her unsure of how to react. The fact that she's gone at such great lengths to put moments like this at arm's length over the past several years doesn't help with that moment of sudden, subtle panic.

But, it turns out, it's just a hug, just a continuation of the one she had initiated moments before. She swallows, relaxes once more, and returns it in kind. Nuzzling into the other woman's shoulder, she lets this just be what it is - a moment both of them need, regardless of how much they've been willing to admit it.

And then, back to where they were before. She takes a breath, offers a small smile, and nods. "Right."

It’d been too long since she hugged Robyn. Too long since she hugged anyone for that matter. Elaine moves smoothly over to the couch, choosing that instead of a nearby armchair. She waits for Robyn to prepare the music, taking the moment to shrug off her coat and scarf and set them aside. Her dark blue jewel-tone dress underneath clashes with the red and green scarf a bit, but it doesn’t seem to have bothered her much. She was trying to be festive.

Tugging the long sleeves down a bit, she adjusts her skirt, using the time Robyn is occupied to fiddle with her appearance. Whether it was for appearance’s sake or out of nervousness was anyone’s guess.

“Least you have a nice new TV. I bet it’ll be great for watching movies on.”

Robyn, on the other hand, hasn't been trying to be festive at all, wearing a simple black dress with white trim and a choker. She looks at the TV, then back to Elaine. There's a moment of thought, before she returns her attention to the crate of records on the ground next to the record player, a second one she's added to compliment the one in her art room. "It's really for Dirk, not for me," she admits, flipping past albums - The Black Parade, Red, O, Hate, Ceremonials, Glass Wonderland, Rumours, Kiss Kiss Kill Kill, Sports, and others, until finally she pulls one out.

She turns it back to Elaine, revealing a cover of a man standing in front of a lit up telephone booth, with two sets of words in different colours above it - "Jimmy Eat World - Futures". Pulling out the first disc, she sets it down on the turntable, before following it with a needle that is expertly dropped in the opening groove of the record. As the satisfying pop hiss comes from speakers mounted on the walls, she moves to sit down on the couch too.

"A lot's changed in the last few months," she admits as the crunchy guitars begin to fill the room, followed by the singer's voice. "I think soon I'm going to be moving."

“Yeah, but even if the TV’s mostly for Dirk it doesn’t mean you can’t watch some stuff with a tub of ice cream from time to time.” Elaine chuckles, but her eyes stay on Robyn instead of the flatscreen. Maybe she’s heard the music, but it doesn’t really pass her ears. Something the other woman said was in her head.

“Moving…? To where?”

Robyn rolls her shoulders nervously. "I don't know yet," she admits. "If what I'm investigating pans out, I may be headed to Kansas City for a while." Her hands fold into her lap, her gray eyes staring down at the floor. "If not… I think it's time I got my own place, and- I don't know. I've felt a drive for something recently, I don't know from where."

A small laugh, and she shakes her head, looking down at the charm bracelet that Elaine got her

"Because, you're right. I always go back to music." She doesn't offer an elaboration on what, exactly, that means. "I don't know if that'll be in the Safe Zone or further north. You know how I feel about this place. And things have just been… rough lately."

There’s a touch of something like concern on Elaine’s features that she can’t quite hide away. A touch of some kind of disappointment as well. All things aside, she smiles, giving Robyn a gentle pat on the knee.

“Well, you know I can’t keep you from whatever you truly desire, although I’ll miss having you close. I hope at least I’ll get a chance to visit you when you move then. I know things are… rough. I think that’s the thing though. I think things are always gonna be a little rough wherever you go.”

"We'll have to see," sounds like a non committal answer, but there's something about her tone that say otherwise - a hint of sadness that even Robyn might not have been expecting. She stares on ahead, quiet so that the music can plan for a few moments. When she does speak up, it's foreshadowed with a heavy sigh. "I would certainly miss some people, if not the place. Gillian, Eve, Richard." She looks over at Elaine, and offers her a weak smile. "You, of course. Not being able to visit Yamagato has been… unfortunate."

Her fingers on one hand flex in and out. "I suppose I should see about getting reregistered, but… I honestly don't know that I want to. Even though I have to for work." The words of the young girl who had visited Kaylee while she was visiting still stuck in her mind - about how she had fought a war so that they didn't have to reveal that information.

"Not that I've had much time," is added after a moment. "To be honest, I still don't know what it is I… truly desire, I guess. It's been almost a year since I started seeing people again. Since you all started asking who I want I truly am. I still don't know." A beat passes, and she moves to lean against Elaine a bit - the other woman being taller makes it easy for Robyn to rest her head on her shoulder.

She doesn't immediately say anything else. It seems like she wants to, but whatever she's thinking goes unvoiced.

“I hate change,” Elaine mutters, her head leaning slowly over to rest atop Robyn’s. “Every time I’m happy for a while something changes and ruins it. I feel like I’m always waiting for the other shoe to drop. I mean at least I have Yamagato. That’s a good place for me if nothing else.”

She would look at Robyn but that would involve moving her head so instead she stays where she is and shuts her eyes. “You should register anyways. I could use the company at my apartment. I rarely have guests these days. But I understand the sentiment… registration has always sort of been kind of a contention point for a lot of people.”

"The whole point was getting rid of things like registration," Robyn offers rather blithely. "Or at least, that's what I thought." She takes in a deep breath. "Sorry," she mutters. "I just- the Yamagato situation reminded me how… stupid it is. It's not necessary. I'd argue it does more harm than good, and- it's voluntary, just not here. Or at work."

She'd roll her shoulders if she thought it wouldn't disturb Elaine. Instead, she stays still and shuts her eyes. "You could always come with me," is said in a low voice. "Change is good. It keeps things interesting. Adventurous." The end of the word is cut shut. "Though I guess I can't blame you at all."

“Cute girl asking me to run away with her, that sounds like a dangerous proposition.” Elaine grins, though she doesn’t move her head from where it rests against Robyn’s. “I just don’t know where I’d be if I uprooted again. It took me so long to get to a point where I felt like I was using my ability and making a difference with it. There’s something addictive about the idea of belonging, of knowing you have a unique position in which you can influence people’s lives.”

She sighs. “But even with that, part of me would follow you in a heartbeat.”

Robyn is silent for a long moment. "You shouldn't," she offers back. "You know me, I'm just trouble. Besides, I don't think I could bring myself to actually uproot you again. I know you like it here. You should get up to Rochester sometime, though. See Adel. Maybe get out to the library, see Gillian and some others."

Looping one arm though Elaine's as as much for her own comfort as it is for anything else, but it does cause her to smile a bit. "I'll always think it's neat that you get to use your ability regularly. I still think you should apply at the UN or something. Wherever they're headquartered now." Because it sure as hell isn't New York. "I… miss being able to regularly use mine."

“Sometimes I wonder what kind of person I’d be without mine. I feel like it defines a lot of me, even if I don’t want it to. And when I look at you, though, I see the same Robyn regardless of if you’re using an ability or not. Somehow it shaped you but you didn’t become it. Honestly I really like that about you.” Elaine lifts her head up slowly so she can look at Robyn.

“Having you in Rochester I can deal with. I can get there and still see you. Just… don’t go so far away. I always miss you.”

Robyn is quiet as the music continues, moving on to the next track in the record. "I don't agree<" she says, though she doesn't say to which point exactly. "But if you think so, I'll take it." Elaine's sentiment causes her to fall quiet again, eyes still closed. "I think," she says after a moment, "that I shape my ability. Do you want to see something?"

“You shape your ability? I like the idea. Make it work for you, not the other way around.” Elaine’s gaze stays on Robyn and she slowly nods. “Of course I want to see something. What is it?” Her gaze is only briefly drawn away by the sound of the music before fixating on Robyn once more.

Robyn's eyes open, and she shifts slightly as she raises her head. An arm reaches out, fingers flexing in a manner that likely looks familiar to Elaine. They curl in theatrically, into a snap. The moment the sound issues out, everything goes black around them - pure, lightless darkness surrounds the both of them. Robyn smirks, looking over to her blinded companion.

There’s a gasp, Elaine’s hand reflexively moving to rest on Robyn’s leg to make sure that it was only darkness and no absence of the other woman. Once she’s secure in what is going on and that everyone involved was still there and safe, she turns her head around, taking in the inky blackness.

“Well, this was unexpected…”

When Elaine moves to her leg, Robyn takes her hand in hers, offering a bit more grounding in case she needs it. The darkness doesn't fade, not yet. "It started on my birthday," she remarks. "I don't know what to make of it. Absence of light, instead of light itself." She sits up a bit more slightly. "A reflection of who I've become, perhaps." She says this in a manner that indicates that this doesn't seem to bother her - she knows well enough she's a more reserved and dour person than she used to be.

"I can still see," she adds. "I can see in the dark. That… it's nothing like what I used to do." Eyes flick over to Elaine for a moment, eyeing her for a moment, considering. "I can see you," she remarks quietly, a hand moving up to Elaine's cheek. "But you can't see me." Something about this amuses her.

“So it’s changed, really. I’ve always wondered what it would be like to have an ability that is so… I don’t know, useful?” Elaine’s hand squeezes Robyn’s as she turns her head in what she knows is the woman’s direction. “Kind of have to say, this feels like a game with you being able to see and I can’t. You’ve just got to promise not to be too unfair if you’re leaving me in the dark.”

"I suppose that is rather unfair, isn't it." And maybe a little creepy in a way Robyn hadn't previously considered, withdrawing her hand as light returns around them - though between her darkvision and her colourblindness, it's scarcely any different for her. "It has changed. I don't know why. I've been told I'd been doing it wrong for years anyway." She gives a small shrug of her shoulders. "I'd been trying to keep it secret, but… I blew that at one of Richard's big the world might be ending soon meetings several weeks ago." This, delivered with a nonchalant manner, as if one of these meetings happened every few months, or something.

Elaine glances around once the light returns, then one more returns to looking at Robyn. “Well, no one can truly tell you that you’re doing it wrong. If there’s one thing I learned, everyone manifests differently. Even people with similar abilities aren’t all the same when they use it. You might take advice to make yourself stronger but eventually you’re gonna have to figure it all out for yourself. Even if it changed.”

She pats the other woman’s knee. “Just don’t have too many of those meetings. I like to imagine our world isn’t constantly totally fucked, even if that’s just a dream.”

Oh, there's so many replies that dance in Robyn's mind. Most of them are rather cynical, focusing on how, no, the world is in fact always totally fucked and they have the history to prove it at this point. Instead, she focuses elsewhere for once. "This wasn't like… Colette telling me I was doing it wrong. My ability isn't what I thought it was, apparently. What I was doing - the photokinetics - it was described as, uh… oh right. 'Trying to lift a truck with my teeth' or something. Sure, it's possible but eventually I was going to hurt myself. And I did."

She huffs out a breath. "I trust the woman who told me that. She… feels abilities for what they really are, if I understand it right. Colette sent me to her." She leans back down against Elaine. "Honestly it was kind of primal. Impressive, if nothing else."

“Well, that you managed to even attempt lifting a truck with your teeth is impressive, if you ask me. I think you did well with what you understood and knew.” Elaine moves her arm to lean on the back of the couch, her body angling a bit towards Robyn to lean against her. “But the fact that you’re learning new things and sort of exploring new territory in that regard is a very good thing. Not being able to do anything with your ability has always been a point that bothered you ever since you couldn’t control it anymore.”

She smiles. “So things changed and you got to do some pretty cool shit.”

Robyn shifts and turns a bit, laying more directly into Elaine's arm, though her immediate reaction is to purse her lips. "It's… time will tell. It's like starting all over again. It's frustrating." Her eyes flick over to the turntable. "I think we've talked about me enough," she offers pensively. Despite that, she doesn't start up a new topic, which would almost inherently steer back towards her anyway. So, she decides to just enjoy the music and Elaine's presence for the brief moment.

“Starting over is hard, trust me, I think that’s the story of my life. I’m getting pretty okay at it though. Time helps you figure out what you really need to survive.” Elaine’s arm curls around Robyn slightly, noting the attempt to change topics. “What, but you’re one of my favorite topics Robyn. Why would I talk about anything else?” She grins. “Besides, I don’t have anything exciting to share. My life is even more boring than yours and I don’t have any of those secret meetings to stir up my life a bit.”

See? Right back toward her. "Because I'm not really worth talking about that much." The idea of secret meetings earns a chuckle though. "Maybe you should start coming to them. You might be more helpful than you think." She considers for a moment, and then quietly adds. "Magnes comes up a lot." Because that's no different than things ever were back in the day, Magnes coming up at meetings.

"We could always just sit here. Listen." That was the plan originally, after all. Robyn shifts slightly, looks up at Elaine, and then curls in a bit closer to her. "This is fine too."

Elaine hugs Robyn a bit closer to her. “I don’t know that I’d feel of much use, although I could try. Talking about Magnes, though… that’s always a tricky topic.” Her head goes to rest atop Robyn’s again. “I like talking, though. Makes me think of how things were before. We always talked about everything. Guess I enjoyed having that connection. But sitting and listening is nice too.”

"No, we didn't." A knowing joke, one that's delivered in a rather flat manner and then left to hang for a moment before she continues. "It is. I still…" She shakes her head. "I don't like talking about it." The irony isn't lost on her, since she's the one who brought it up. "I think you might be surprised. And… I enjoy the connection. I just have far less to talk about - or that I can talk about - now. SESA isn't like the Ferry. I can't find excuses to share things with you."

Elaine laughs at the joke. “You’re right.” She tilts her head. “Well, I mean, I guess that means we both need to learn to have lives outside of work. I mean, I love Yamagato and my amazing apartment and whatnot but I need more of a life beyond that. I need more hobbies, more people in my life, I need to enjoy things again.” She pauses. “That’s why it’d be a shame if you moved far away. I like having you in my life.”

Silence is Robyn's only initial response. "I still don't understand why," she murmurs after a moment, but that's a point that has been several times belabored by now over several other conversations. "Most of our old friends are still in town. For all the reconnecting you pushed me to do…" She glances up at Elaine, and then closes her eyes again. "I missed you," she says finally. "I always have."

“I know. I guess it’s easier to help other people than to help myself. It’s something I need to work on. Reconnecting or making new friends, something like that.” Elaine smiles faintly, shutting her own eyes as her other arm moves around Robyn to just hold her. “You should know by now that I’ve always missed you too. Regardless of what you do you’ve made your own little spot in my life that I’ll never get rid of.”

Whereas in the recent past, Robyn has shied away from moments like this, for once she doesn't find herself literally pushing Elaine away, or making her way to the other side of the room, or whatever other defence mechanism takes hold at the moment. Instead, she embraces both the moment and Elaine.

"You know I don't believe in fate," she says quietly. "But sometimes I wonder if, even despite that, we're always meant to be at least friends." At least, if her visions are anything to go by.

“I’m not a big believer in fate, but I do think that there are soulmates, that there are people who are really made to be in someone’s life. I mean, despite everything, I still want you in my life. It hurts a hell of a lot but it’s… it’s like a marathon. It hurts, but if you push through the pain and keep going, you might just win.” Elaine smiles faintly. “So I do plan on having you in my life for a long time, all of it if I have my way.”

There it is, that instinct to run away. It creeps up into Robyn subtly at first, and then a bit more strongly as Elaine goes on. Still, she pushes it back. She gives a small nod of confirmation, before leaning up and kissing Elaine on the cheek. "Same," she replies simply, this time smiling a bit herself. Something about this feels right to her, for whatever reason she may choose to acknowledge.

The kiss on her cheek causes a small smile from Elaine and an actual blush creeps up on her cheeks. “We’ve both changed a lot but at the same time we’re still us. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about who I am and who you are and what that ends up meaning for the both of us. But every time I figure it out, I come back to the same conclusion. You’re still the same Robyn and I forgive you for everything that happened between us.”

"Too easy," Robyn whispers. "Just… being forgiven. I did wrong by you, Elaine. I thought I was doing the right thing… I still stand by that, but…" She huffs out a breath. "You were right. We should've gone together. I should've found a way. I shouldn't have run off into smuggling and gun running alone." If there's any one big difference between Robyn now, and the on Elaine had met a year ago - this one has found her words apparently.

THough it's questionable if she's truly learned her lesson, still focused on the war as she is. Still, Elaine can feel a tenseness that was there even as they were now fade, Robyn curling more into her. "I never stopped loving you," is something she's said before, echoed here for emphasis. "Won't stop now."

Elaine remains with her arms around Robyn, just content to keep the other woman held. It felt safe, being able to hold Robyn like that and keep her there. Somehow it gave her a sense of control over the situation. “I’m glad you agree with me. Things could have been very different but I suppose that’s the way of the world. You can always wonder what would have happened, but at some point we just have to move forward.”

“I never stopped either. I’ve never changed my feelings about you, I just hurt for a while.”

Robyn is quiet for a long moment, thoughtful as she stares ahead at the blank TV screen. "Do you… want to pick up where we left off? Or… is it too soon for that. I'd understand if it is." A pause, and she looks down at the floor. "Well. I guess… not exactly where we left off, but somewhere adjacent to it?" She's not sure she is quite ready to pick up exactly where they left off, even if she doesn't want to admit it.

They've had this conversation before, or at least ones similar to it, rather fitfully. But this time something is different, and Robyn feels less… ill at ease about asking.

Elaine looks up at the ceiling for the moment. “I thought a lot about how I felt when you broke things off. I hurt for a while, then I tried to understand why you did it from your side of things. I didn’t like it, but I at least understood what happened. And once I at least figured that out I could understand that you hurt too. It wasn’t as if you didn’t care. And it took me figuring out what I could trust you with to get to this point. It was how I felt alright forgiving you. I realized I still trusted you with my life. I could still, with perfect certainty, believe that if I was in mortal danger you’d help me to the best of your ability.”

She takes a moment to shift, looking down at the other woman. “So while I can’t say all my trust issues are gone, I forgive you and I’m willing to see how things go. I miss you.”

There's a small nod. To Robyn, that seems fair. No words of defense or argument well up from her, just a smile. "I can't control if I get reassigned to KC," she admits, "but I guess otherwise, I'll be nearby, if not closer." She looks up at Elaine, head tilting slightly. "And if that's going to change? You'll be the first to know."

She closes her eyes and settles in against Elaine. "I promise."

This wasn’t where Elaine had expected the night to go. She hadn’t expected things to be smoothed over in a much more personal manner. “If you get reassigned to KC, I’ll see what I can do. But we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. For now, you’re here and I plan on keeping you here for as long as I can.”

"We'll figure it out," Robyn remarks absentmindedly, smiling. "I feel like, if there's anything I've learned… it doesn't matter, when, where, whatever." She sits up a bit more, looking over at Elaine, continuing in a bit more lyrical manner. "When we go crashing down we come back every time, 'cause we never go out of style."

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