Swiftly Go The Days


abby6_icon.gif francois_icon.gif

Scene Title Swiftly Go The Days
Synopsis Francois breaks protocol enough for Abby to watch the sun go down.
Date March 25, 2011

Pollepel Island: Bannerman's Castle

Somewhere in the castle that sprawls across Pollepel Island are two people amoung many.

Both at some point in their life played host to an ability that used them for a higher purpose before they lost it.

Both went on to become healers of a different nature. One now a doctor, the other an EMT.

Right now though, in this castle on a wide bench beneath a window because going outside to the parapets was not feasible because of the temperature, one wouldn't imagine that they ever had anything in common because one looks like death warmed over about three times and even then, it's pretty questionable. The other looks… well, the other looks how he looks

She had enough energy to beg, plead with the Frenchman when he'd appeared. Four walls too much, she wanted desperately to see the sun set, as corny as it may have sounded to others. One other person in the world would know the reason why, what prompted it, but he's not here and not who she really would ever want to share that with.

This small corner of the castle will have to be disinfected, but fuck it. She may be dying and don't dying people get one last wish? Her wish, is slinking towards the horizon at a speed to fast for her liking, washing clouds with vibrant oranges, reds, yellows and the faintest of purpley blues. Labored breathing occasionally punctuated by wet coughing, she's laid her head on the windowsill as rheumy eyes take in what the bible calls the Lords promise. It's only dark for so long, before the light will return and with it, a new day.

"How's Teo?" Out on a breath, sucked back in for a cough.

They had talked about it before, in the kind of tentative shamelessness of two boys who might've done a bad thing. The way Abigail phrases their relationship, the sexualised contextual off-handed comments, and the times at which she chooses to bring it up. Like now, while she watches her sunset, and blood rattles in her lungs. The other looks how he looks, which is with a lack of shaving and purple bruises marring his face, bringing up his relatively modest overtures of age and makes his skin stand out paler. Francois has been roughed up from the outside.

Abby from within. "Good," he says, watching the sunset but only via Abby and the colours it paints on her wan features, highlights her dark hair. "He is with Walter now, or so he mentioned. I asked if he'd like to go to the island this time, but it's not good idea." He blinks, and skates a glance out the window.

He is in comfort clothes of his own, deep green wool of a sweater slightly bigger than his frame would fit. Jeans. Boots. Gloves, but these are in a pocket now, his hands bare and currently wrapped around one of Abby's in an absent, loose hold. He's already annoyed the council. Not to start through the wings, beginning with the medical branch.

He at least, won't be annoying this council member, but then again, she might not even be one in the next week unless her body can get a grip on her immune system and fight harder. At the rate she's going downhill, who knows. She can't even bring herself to eat, appetite decimated. "He must be so big by now. On his tummy. I remember… I remember Kasha that big"

Kasha who will likely be celebrating a first birthday real soon.

There's no energy to squeeze his hand, hold it tight or even run her fingers over his or interlace them. Just laying limp, encased in his. "You got him a vaccine right?" She breaks her gaze away from the sunset, languidly moving them to the Frenchmans face, finding it easier on her eyes, she doesn't need to look up. "Please tell me you got one for him. Made him take it. That he's not stupid like I was" Please don't let him have been as stupid as she was.

Blue eyes focus beyond Francois, recognition flickering at something she see's but he doesn't, minute press of her lips together stained nearly red from what comes up from her lungs.

"Never been sick before. I don't liek it Francois. It's for the birds. The big nasty … nasty birds that have people in them"

"Of course, I got him a vaccine. It is, I will admit, half the reason I went on the raid, after he went through last round."

A thumb strokes over the bumps and dips of her knuckles, in turn breaking his gaze from her's when she finally looks at him instead of the sinking sun. Toying gentle with her hand, as if he could spark life in it himself, or heal her of her symptoms. Francois brought a few things. Soup, that's mostly dethawed, that he will make her eat, a mild concoction of chicken broth, root vegetables, egg noodles. A couple of books, one of poetry, left on her bedside table. He hasn't been the main nursemaid, this time. But it's no easier just being 'family'.

He leans his shoulder against wall. "You have been sick before. Little colds. Plenty of injuries. You've limped along and healed before, you shall do it again." Not to downplay it, but when animals act like Abby, you put them down. Such easy decisions aren't available for people.

Shotgun to the head, needle to a vein, either way ends the suffering of the beasts that populate the lives of many. You'd be hardpressed to find anyone who would desire to do such to Abby. They number few and likely on one hand. "Worst time you were sick?" She's going to start letting him do the talking, enjoy the quiet that's only punctuated by her barks of consumption and not that of others. "Tell me about it. please. Tell me… tell me, no, not when you were sick.. tell… Tell me about your favourite healing. The one you were… most proud of"

Because she knows how deep that vein of pride runs through the man in front of her. As deep as her own if not more

The favourite healings could well be ones he doesn't remember — but fortunately, them being unremembered means that Francois himself doesn't have this problem as he climbs back through the dusty recesses of memory.

"It was during my time with Kazimir Volken," he says, after a while of thinking, steering his attention back out the window and watching the waning sink of sunlight. "In the war. There was a spy who had been mistakenly mixed with Jewish prisoners, ones tagged to be killed in Poland, an extermination camp. They had been gassed to death by the time we arrived, but Volken had them dig up his body. He was alive — sometimes they are, they live until they are burned with the rest of the bodies."

If she was going for a happy story, she was barking up the wrong tree.

"And at Volken's urge, I healed him. It is the closest I have ever come to bringing the dead back to life." Francois allows a small smile, a glance back at her. "I do not know what became of him, and maybe it isn't a healing I should be proud of. I hope he survived and lived as I did. But it did inspire Volken to force his men to dig their spades into the frozen ground and give the dead that day a burial, with markers. One of those— little glimmers of inspiration, that he could feel something. Even if it was selfish guilt."

Not all instances of healing with what they shared, would ever be happy ones. When he turns towards the sunlight, she does too, closing her eyes and resting her chin on her arm so she can let the fading glow creep slowly across her face like some slow race between dark and night, her face and his as the terrain. First celestial object to the jawline wins.

But she can't imagine that all, Doesn't think she could have endured what he did, at the hands of Volken. "You're the stronger of us. I sometimes think that, know that. What you endured, what you went through with it. The people you loved who came and gone and you stayed, just as you were. Like visually frozen in time" Takes her three times the time to speak, than she normally does, to get it all out. "Do you think… Do you think the man you saved is happy you did? That he got to see another sunrise when he was sure he wouldn't?"

A huff of an exhale breathes steam on the windows, which Francois absently smudges away with a free sleeve. "I believe so," he says, only after a second of hesitation. "We are animals built to survive. I don't think nature knew what it was getting itself into by giving us cognition as well, it is a volatile combination, but oui, no one wants to die, as a general rule. People desire that the sunset or sunrise they watch to not be the last one. I perhaps would not assign the word 'happy' to this man, however.

"And also," he adds, remembering her prior, laboured words just before, giving her hand a squeeze. "Only visually frozen in time. It crosses by me as swiftly and slowly as it does for you."

"For fifteen years it didn't. Besides, you don't look a day over ninety you… you nona.. nona…generian" Or something about that age. There's that sickly smile on her face. "I like to think, that god had a plan, when he did that. The cognition. You. me. The people we love"

She falls quiet, feeling the heat creeping across her face, competing with the cold that emanates off of the window, rousing her eyelids to watch it. It's beautiful, made even more so by the confinement to the infirmary with only lamps for lights. The sun has that effect on people, an impact on their health both physical and mental and she smiles a little wider at the squeeze to her palm - so weakly returned - and the sinking shades of warm colors that are quickly giving way to the night.

"I have two. One was, one was just after I met Teo. For Phoenix. I gave a little girl back her arm after it had been amputated. Teo chose her, He didn't realize that… that I'd need more time to do it all. Her arm, cancer" She focuses on a bird far away, flying across the sky and bisecting the sun momentarily. "I didn't get her hand done, I pushed so hard and I was hurt. But I read in the paper that she was fine. No more cancer, and she had her arm, I bet she just has a false hand now. But I guess loosing a hand is better than loosing an arm, and cancer in your bones"

"The healing had a currency. Of energy, time. It was our duty to spend it wisely, and so you did the correct thing. I am sure she was grateful."

Francois' body shifts a little, glancing back over his shoulder at the rest of the space, before turning his attention back to her as the world around them darkens a little. Soon, gas lamps will be lighting up the windows in squares of yellow in the midst of navy and grey, and guttering candles will be clasped in the hands of refugees, and the dining hall will mill with people desiring to socialise while they their meals. "What was the second?"

"He got shot in the head" She's seen enough of the sun, somewhere in her chest, her heart thuds in fear of watching it slip below the horizon so she shifts too, moving herself as best that she can so that she can oh so rudely lay down, park her head on Francois's knee, legs awkward and akimbo in their uselessness courtesy of the flu.

"The did everything they could, Sonny worked on him, they had.. they had another healer that could shorten healing time. They had machines breathing for him, so many tubes. They said the plate had stopped it but it had.. it his brain"

Brains. Tricky things to heal.

"I don't think I ever wanted someone to live, like I did that day. I love him, not like you do, not like I love Robert. I call him my Teodoro but… he has a place in my heart and he's yours, like you are his but…" But she's sure that he knows what she means and even sick, she's rambling. Even while sick some parts of her can't be suppressed like her ability is.

"He's never been the same. It's not like when we regrow back things, that.. that it comes back like it was. It's new. He was always just… not quite the same. But… he lived. He was alive and it was worth all the tears and the exhaustion after to grab him back from the lord and deny him"

There is no objection as Abby lays her head down, and she'll soon feel a warm hand on her head, stroking through brunette locks in slow, soothing swoops, avoiding any catching tangles. "He has told me of that," Francois says. "Perhaps it is also his favourite healing." This is said with only mild humour, before lapsing into troubled silence. There are probably too many instances of 'he was never the same after __' and yet, it's the only Teo that Francois knows, is familiar with, and loves.

"Come. It is late, and you need to eat the food I dragged all the way out here for you to enjoy. Soup, with southern flavours." Look, Abby, he went to all that trouble. In some places, they force feed those that aren't willing to eat. Francois will have to make do with guilting and charm.

But guilting and charming her works so well.

It really does. He got her to switch houses in Russia, to let him bind her ribs when her car got plowed into her at a fire. Francois has the corner on guilting her, parked right there with her mother and her father, just above Robert. And he knows her well enough to know that even as he's speaking of her needing to eat, the swift carry on into guilt, she's closing her mouth with a resigned look on her face.

She'll eat it.

She'll enjoy it.

She'll make him read her a few of the poems while she does. Because even while sick, possibly riding on right up to deaths door, she can't deny a friend.

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