Support System


elisabeth2_icon.gif lynette2_icon.gif

Scene Title Support System
Synopsis These two women just barely met, but sometimes one shared tragedy is enough to skip the pleasantries… (also with log icons that are back to back, for emphasis.)
Date August 13, 2010

Just outside the nature center…

Luckily, Lynette does seem to relax once they're away from the crowd, and she even seems more willing to lean on Liz once it's just them. Or maybe she can't keep up the whole walking thing too well after a bit. In any case, once she's had a chance to shower and get some clothes on, she seems to be more comfortable. More herself, perhaps.

Letting out a sigh as she sits down, Lynette runs her fingers through her short hair, frowning a bit as she looks upward at the strands. Alas. "Sorry about that. Just… not used to the crowds anymore, I guess."

"It's all right," Elisabeth says quietly. She sat in the bathroom well within earshot but out of eyesight of the other woman, monitoring her situation to make sure she didn't (as an example) fall in the shower. It's an illusion of privacy, but it's also…. something Elisabeth feels like she needs to do. She doesn't know this woman. She's never really met her, only just today. But they share an experience, and Lynette…. needs someone. As the other woman sits down on a chair to sort through the strands of her hair, Liz wraps her arms around her knees, leaned back against the wall. "Being around people is going to be hard for a while." She sounds like she knows what she's talking about, her blue eyes on Lynette shuttered. "Whenever people walk into the room, you're going to stress about it. Even when you know them. I'm frankly surprised that you let any of us close enough to actually touch you."

"Can't be any worse," Lynette says with a bit of a shrug. "If you all had something sinister in mind. It can't be any worse. I'll say one thing for them, they do put perspective on things." She looks over at Liz, worry creasing her brow and making her eyes droop some. "How long? Till I feel… like myself again?" She turns forward again, her eyes closing for a moment, a tired look on her face, "I just want to go home and pretend like none of this happened."

Pursing her lips, Elisabeth considers the question seriously. "Depends on you, really," she finally answers. "Depends on a lot of things. Pretending it didn't happen? Just means you internalize it more. It gives them power." Her tone is quiet. "Humanis First had me for only three days. It felt like… eternity. Sensory deprivation, no sense of time." There's a pause as she looks toward the ceiling. "I still can't sleep without a night light. If you put me in pitch darkness, I have to fight full panic. And I still have nightmares, though they're less often now." Elisabeth shrugs a little. "It was a year ago almost to the day. So I don't know how long it takes before you feel 'normal' again. A lot of days, I'll tell you that I'm just fine. And then something triggers it and I spend a week putting myself back on solid ground."

Lynette's eyes open at the mention of nightmares, and she looks away just for a second before she looks back toward Liz. "This all doesn't seem like the kind of thing your average therapist is equipped to handle, does it? How to even begin? Once you get to the mad scientist with extra arms, eyes and brains, you're probably looking at a padded cell anyway." Rubbing her face, she leans over her knees, folding herself in half as she shakes her head. "I should have fought from day one. I thought I could bargain. Sit back, watch. Wait. Then act. But it just… made things so much worse. I should have fought from day one."

"You can't know that when it happens," Elisabeth says quietly. "I know right now…. you're going back over every moment. Looking for every choice that you made that you could have done differently and wondering if there was a damn thing you could have done to change the outcome. The bottom line, Lynette… is that there isn't. The ones who fought didn't have it any better or worse than you did because those bastards flat out didn't care whether you fought or not. It wouldn't have mattered."

She goes quiet for a long moment, hoping that the other woman takes those words to heart. And then Liz says quietly, "You lived. And just like any cop will tell a raped woman to cooperate because the goal is to live, to get away, the same is true of the situation that you were in." It's the difference between the situation she was in and the one that Lynette faces — her choices really didn't change anything at all. "Not fighting them meant you weren't drugged when we came for you. And that was actually a help, whether you realize it or not." Her tone is gentle, sympathetic without being overbearing. "There are counselors who can help you. Abby has a really good one. She'll give you the name. Go to her. It will help, eventually."

Lynette is quiet for a long time. Long enough that it's starting to look doubtful she's going to answer at all when she suddenly sits up. "I went years, you know? California, working with gangsters, for goodness sake. And with the Ferry here and there around the country, and nothing like this ever happened. I always felt like… words could solve anything. I get here and within weeks—" She waves a hand around as if to indicate the whole of Staten Island. She slouches down with a long sigh, then looks over at Liz again. "I think I will. I'm pretty damn sure I can't actually deal with all this."

Elisabeth's smile is wry, bitter. "Negotiation only works if they're willing to give you something in return for something you have that they want," she says softly. "You had what they wanted… but they had no intention of giving you anything to get it when they could just take it." She understands the frustration that there was nothing Lynette could offer to get what it was she wanted. "You'll never really understand it…. they are so different from you, they think so differently, you'll never really wrap your head around it. Because you're the kind of person you are," she says gently. It's a compliment, really. "The best you can hope for is to take comfort in the fact that you lived. You held on. And though it will always be the worst thing that ever happened to you, you can let it destroy you or you can stare it down and take pride in the fact that you lived. The old cliche 'that which doesn't kill you'? It's on the money. I promise."

Elisabeth moves to stand up. "C'mon… I'll get you a bed in one of the quieter sections. You look like you could use a little sleep," she says, offering Lynette her arm for support again. "If you ever want to talk… you can call me, okay? I know we're not … anything to one another. But I've been there." She smiles a little. "I can listen. And Abby's been there and is a great listener. You have people. Okay? Don't… try to go it alone. It can be a rocky road."

"I had a friend who once told me he thought I was strong. I suppose… we'll see if he was right or not," Lynette says with a sort of mournful tone about her. Standing with Liz's help, she leans on the other woman again and gives her a nod. "Thank you. It's… above and beyond. All of this is. You all could have just… blown the building and waved goodbye to the bad guys from a safe distance. But you didn't. You all came and put yourself in danger, some died, to make sure we got out." Blinking away tears, she has to clear her throat as emotion starts to choke, "I won't forget it."

Near-perfect strangers. And sometimes a common bond is all it takes to bring them together, make them something other than strangers for a time. Elisabeth slips her arm around Lynette — slips both arms around Lynette, really, to hug her tightly for a long moment. "You'll be okay, Lynette. I promise you," she whispers. And when she lets go with the arm around the other woman's shoulders, still merely supporting at the waist level, the blonde says bracingly, "I already know he was right. You're standing here." It's already a win. Lynette just has to accept it for what it is.

And on a normal day, when a stranger gives you a hug… well, you call the cops. But this being a very abnormal one, Lynette returns it fiercely, clinging to that first moment of support and comfort. There's a bit of a nervous laugh at those words, and Lynette brings a hand up to wipe at her face as the hug breaks. "Only with help," she points out with a gently crooked, but warm smile, "You'll notice." And it's true, as she leans on Liz for the walk back to the cots, slipping into one and into a hard sleep practically the moment she lays down.

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