elaine_icon.gif sable_icon.gif

Scene Title Telemarketer
Synopsis A pleasant conversation is interrupted by an ominous phone call, and an incessant Sable presses for a secret Elaine has, until now, carefully kept.
Date July 5, 2010

Gun Hill - Sable's Apartment

Oh God… who lives like this?

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 hocness 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. At the moment there are a variety of boxes and plastic pins lining the walls, though none of this belongs to the apartment's actual tenant - she's just letting her friend use the free space.

Decoration has only been recently added in the form of many swaths to 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. 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..

"I'm serious, I looked him in the eyes and he walked right into a lamppost!" Elaine giggles. Laying back on Sable's bed, she's staring up at the ceiling as she lounges, more than content to have spent the previous half-hour or so chatting with one of her favorite people. "I think it served as a good example when I told Quinn… she really needs to get that whole looking someone in right in the eyes sorta flirting down. I just like to tell the story, though, because I freaking made him run into a lamppost. Takes skills!"

"Lord knows the number 'f fuckin' fire hydrants I've banged up my knees on while in strollin' conversation with a pretty gal," Sable says, grinning to beat all, her odd new ensemble having been traded out for the more familiar tank top and cargo pants outfit. "Y' know… I figured Quinn t' be the sorta… assertive, go after 'em type. I mean, I more picked her up th'n she I when we first met, eh, but," she shrugs, "I'm awful fuckin' aggressive. But she gave as good as she took. Flirtin'-wise, that is. She just needs t' feel comfortable, I figure. And she oughta all the time. Gorgeous gal. 'n' way fuckin' cool."

"I dunno, I like your aggressiveness. It's very you. I think it's not really a matter of her being aggressive as much as it is… she doesn't go for what she wants like she should." There's a broad grin after a moment. "She does give it just as good when she's comfortable. I just dunno why she gets so hung up and nervous. She's pretty, and she's got a great personality. I think she just needs to get used to being around girls and being more confident in herself."

Sable peers at Elaine, leaning forward to poke her gently in the side. "You ain't precisely fuckin' shy from what I've seen. Howsit you manage that? Y' look so pretty 'n', like, maidenish - it threw me f'r a loop at first. Honest, I wasn't sure what t' make 'f you."

"Oh, I've got quite the shy side. I was a little more reserved when Magnes first met me. Playful, still, but reserved. I used to be pretty damn quiet. I'm really more like I am now, I just didn't have much of a chance to really be me. You guys just bring it out cause I'm comfortable around you." Elaine giggles. "I'm glad you think I look pretty and maidenish. Kinda like catching people off guard with that when they find out I'm an impish faerie instead."

Bzzzzzzt. Elaine's phone vibrates, startling her for a second, but she laughs, reaching for the phone with a giggle before putting it up to her ear, still lying down comfortably. "Hello?" She answers cheerfully.

"Yer a devil in disguise, hon. Little Miss Strange," Sable says, sounding quite serious when she says this. And then someone calls. Sable leans forward at once, bringing her ear as close to the phone as she can, grinning evilly as she scoots an arm around Elaine, preventing her escape.

The face that Sable's got her effectively pinned would ordinarily be something that Elaine enjoys. However, she's struggling with composure, both on the phone and in outward appearances, and Sable's sudden appearance close to the phone has Elaine's heart thudding in her throat. She can keep it cool. Or at least, she could have…

The voice is strong and masculine, and while Elaine struggles to keep the phone a bit away from Sable, traces of conversation can be overheard. "---else is there---? ....---this time? Is it that---... ---somewhere around there---... ---drop by---..."

… she could have kept her cool, save for the fact that there were two distinct things that caught her attention. The first one causes Elaine to tense, almost a growl escaping from her throat. "She's not a fucking whore, so don't you dare ever speak a word about her like that again." The second phrase that she utters, however, is much less angry and more shocked. "… w-what do you mean around here?"

When it becomes clear that Elaine's struggles are not playful struggles, Sable immediately disengages, going so far as to roll back away from Elaine in order to give her the necessary room. She leans forward though, smile immediately replaced by a look of strained concern. She obvious tense as all get out. That was not a good voice. Not a good tone. Elaine's anger, something Sable's never really seen, makes her bristle. Elaine's growling, but the actual physical snarl is on Sable's face as she eyes the phone with a gaze that, if looks could kill, would cause it to short out there and then.

With herself no longer tangled up with Sable, there's a little more freedom in trying to put a cap on this. Unfortunately, though, Elaine already feared that it had gone too far to really cover up easily. It was clearly not a telemarketer, and Elaine's defensive outburst was clearly something a little more personal. That would take some work to cover up, and Elaine wasn't even sure she could be that creative. Her free hand visibly grips the bed, though it's almost an unconscious gesture, one of pure need to keep steady, even if the steadiness needed to be mental.

"No, that's not who I'm with. It was fucking charity, so stop acting like it was something else." Then there's another pause, this one tense. "No… you don't know where I am. No. You don't." The last part is said more along the lines to reassure herself than anyone else.

Anger, without expression, either peters out or builds into a shrieking force in Sable. The determining factor, this time, is Elaine's presence. Her fondness and concern trump fury, and she edges just a bit closer, reaching out to touch against Elaine's knee, very lightly. She tries to catch Elaine's eyes, to make it clear she's here. Not that Elaine doesn't know, but Sable wants to know she knows.

The hand on her knee almost causes her to flinch, an act evident that Elaine's a bit on the jumpy side. The free hand still grips the bed, but Elaine's eyes move, unintentionally catching Sable's gaze. She hadn't wanted to look, especially since she's doing a terrible job of hiding what's in her eyes: fear. Her gaze, however, is suddenly fixated on the window, hand gripping even tighter to the bed, to the point where her knuckles are turning white.

"You… aren't out there. You don't know where I live."

This phonecall is a nightmare that Sable, not being the dreamer but merely a participant, cannot wake Elaine from. Feasibly she could intervene directly, pluck the phone from Elaine's grasp. But that's not she gets to play this. That's too much. She knows nothing. Only that Elaine is afraid. So her decision is based purely on that. She scoots around behind Elaine and wraps her arms about her in a very tight hug, keeping her head low so that the taller girl needn't fear Sable overhearing anything.

With Sable's arms around her, Elaine's grip on the bed loosens a little bit. However, it gives the other woman the opportunity to learn more about the situation. Her heart is beating fast, and with the close embrace she can feel the slight continual shaking.

"I knew you were lying. Besides, you're wrong. You don't know who I live with or where I live. You can't find me and you won't because there's nothing more for you. Do you understand me? I'm not little and I'm not yours."

That trembling only makes Sable hold on tighter, as if the added pressure might still that shake and bring calm to the girl. It's a primal tactic, meant to deal with primal upsets. It's the one Sable simply intuits, not having any more sophisticated notion of how to give comfort.

Primal or not, it's a successful tactic. And while Sable's tactic for dealing with the same situation is different than Quinn's was, it was still effective. With Sable's arms serving as support, Elaine's voice was stronger. She'd been able to protest her refusal, she was able to drive her own point home. However, her voice calms a little more, it's less antagonistic after a moment, almost unsure.

"I'm protective of them because they're my friends and I love them. If I can do something to protect them, I'll do anything in my power to do so." There's a hesitation, almost as if it's a moment as Elaine recalls something. "I'm a different person now, and there are different people in my life. You can't go back to the past, nor can you go back to past mistakes and fix the fact that you hurt me."

Sable's brow quirks a little as Elaine's words become much more complete, implying so much more. These are words of a stripe Sable believes she's heard before. This is a kind of conversation she's familiar with. During her long walk north, she met a lot of people with a lot of shit they were trying to leave behind. Elaine, however, has never seemed like one of these. Never looked, never sounded, never so much as smelt like one of these.

Elaine's body relaxes again, and it's almost like she feels like there's some sort of strength to her again. "Well, good, this conversation wasn't going anywhere in the first place. Just like you never were. Go ahead, talk to him if you dare, it won't make a difference because you can't find me or get to me, and even if you have some little information about my life now, you don't know me. And I'm not some weak little girl who needs you to take care of her. I owe you nothing. So stop calling me. I don't need you."

Sable gives Elaine a squeeze, communicating in what means she feels she can, her support of Elaine's assertion. The details are unimportant. The sentiment she knows to be true as she knows the truth of few things.

"I haven't hung up on you because I—" It's a protest that Elaine starts, but never finishes, the phone pulled away from her ear as it clearly reads 'Call Ended'. The phone is carefully set down on the mattress. In some ways, it was easier for her while she was on the phone. While she was on the phone, there was something that kept her from having to explain things, because she couldn't at the moment. Without the phone occupying her, it meant that they were in dangerous territory. She was vulnerable. She couldn't just pretend it didn't happen. Then again, she might. With Quinn, she hadn't pushed. There was a light conversation, then merely a distraction and recovery--it never happened. She was normal again and there was nothing wrong. That was an easy one. This one might not prove to be the same.

"Sorry about that, Sable," the tone is light once more. "Telemarketers." A breath is taken in, almost as a recover as she begins to speak again. "Anyways, yeah, Quinn just has to be more comfortable and confident and she does just fine on her own…" She picks up the conversation, tone like nothing ever happened, save for the slight catch in her breath. She's good at covering.

Sable lifts her head, her chin coming to rest on Elaine's shoulder, arms still fastened about the other girl. "Hon," she says, the worry in her voice very present but not urgent - Elaine doesn't need urgency right now, Sable's sure, "I know y' don't think 'm stupid. So why's it yer actin' like y' think I am?" It's a rhetorical question, stated softly and with concern. Her way of asking simply 'what was that about' and 'why won't you tell me' at once, without making it a confrontation.

"You aren't stupid, and I don't mean to act like I think you are. I just figure this is something left forgotten. It was just a phone call. Just words." Word couldn't do any real damage, could they? Or perhaps it was just that they were better at damaging at the places people couldn't see. Elaine leans slightly back against Sable, pursing her lips. "So I figured it was better to simply move on from it and not make it a big deal."

"Now hon," Sable says, "The shoes on th' other foot, seein' as I know you ain't stupid, yet here you go actin' like y' are." It's tough going, trying to sound both serious and humorous. Sable's got as good a shot as any. She receives Elaine's lean with an easing forward to meet her, one hand clasping her own wrist against Elaine's belly. Her hold is reassuring and very close, but it lacks the tension of other such embraces. This is a hug to a very different purpose.

The embrace is accepted, perhaps even encouraged, and Elaine stays pressed close to Sable, though she falls into silence. The silence, however, is full of thought, and Elaine takes a deep breath. "You aren't going to let me get away with not telling you, are you? What if I want to just pretend it didn't happen?"

"Then, hon, I'll be hopin' dearly that by bindin' me to ask no further, an oath I'll keep as a matter of love 'n' honor," Sable says, the humor dropping out as she speaks on what she considers a very serious topic, "You won't make me unknownin'ly put you at risk, nor result in some disservice t' yer person, as that'd be a violation 'f said love 'n' honor, placin' me in an awful fuckin' double bind." A pause, "I'm sayin' hon… if it's as bad as it surely sounded t' me, I'd go away with heavy conscience if I let it go… but I will, if y' absolutely insist."

Elaine isn't entirely sure if she wanted Sable to push, or if she did, how much she wanted the woman to. Either way, though, there's enough of what Elaine was afraid of in Sable's words and tone that cause the redhead to wince. With Quinn, there was a quietness of the situation. She had told her not to say anything on it, and the Irish woman seemed to let it go. There was concern, but she had slipped past it like Elaine had. Sable, though, was a different kettle of fish. She wasn't even a kettle. Nor did she have fish. She was more a different thing entirely. And Sable would worry—it'd come out in her eyes. Elaine would see it. It was exactly the reason she hadn't told Magnes.

"He's a lot of talk." There's a hesitation. She's not sure on that. "Just wants to bother me. Not going to let him say things about any of you like that. He.. I guess he was around during the charity auction. Saw me."

"This some motherfucker, has some thing for you? Someone mebbe you knew for a bit, got crazy?" Sable asks, sounding deadly, deadly serious. Not yet scary, but edging that way. She wants to be just comforting, to ease Elaine into it, not to let her underlying anger and harsher emotions express themselves - but she's only human. And her feelings are strong. She's seen this song and dance before. Much too common in the circles she kept.

Sable's on a roll. There's a slight nodding of her head. "I left. Homeless for two weeks and then Magnes found me. I was there with him before that, maybe six or seven months. He took me in." Elaine clears her throat. "It wasn't all bad. I just couldn't…" A breath. "That last time, it hurt too much…"

"Now, hon," Sable says softly, her gravity of tone still constant and considerable, "I ain't gonna make you run through it all with me all at once if that's too hard f'r y'. But that's a son of a bitch you need out 'f yer life f'r good 'n' all, and if you ever hear from him again, y'd best let all us know, 'cause like hell we're gonna let anyone treat you so." She's able to keep the anger in her chest constrained almost entirely, expressed only third hand through emphasis.

Because she knows she'll lose. Ygraine's better, she figures, at taking the high ground and keeping her cool when Sable will just go effing nuts."

Elaine leans in further against Sable, as if to just wrap herself in her own Sable-protective-shell. "I thought he was gone. I don't know how he even found me, or my number. I—" There's the breath, caught in her throat. "I don't want anyone to get hurt." There's fear there. And Elaine's not usually afraid.

This need for more in the embrace is recognized on a very basic level. Every asked for is given as soon as it is asked. For however lupine Sable may regard herself, she's much more a den mother at the moment. "Only person gonna get hurt is him if he dares t' trouble you f'r one more moment, dig? That's a pledge. I will see it is so."

There's a bit of a shake in her head, even if Elaine already feels a little more secure in the hug. "He gets bad, real bad… I don't know. He just… I don't want him hurting any of you. I'll make sure he doesn't…" Now she's trying to do the protecting?

"Y'll be protectin' us best by lettin' us know, hon," Sable says, adding a touch of urgency to her voice, trying to be convincing rather than just receptive, "We ain't gonna do so well if anythin' should come upon us unawares. Let the folk who love you be part 'f protectin' you 'n' each other. I mean, hell," she grins, "Y' seen how Magnes can fight?"

Sable scowls for a moment, falling back in memory. "Though he did smack me once, when m' eyes were closed. Dirty fuckin' pool. He called it an 'experiment'."

Seems Sable's sparked a bit of something. The mention of being smacked. An 'experiment'. That rings true from a time when Elaine was nothing but a seventeen-year-old in search of a little love. Elaine freezes. "He beat me." The words come out, short and simple but full of meaning. It's not an easy admission.

It's very strange, what Elaine feels. She feels the embrace around her grow all the more protective… but in that very protectiveness, and tension, something like trembling, that suffuses that same embrace. She can feel the anger running under Sable's skin. Not letting any out, letting none of it touch her, but undeniably present. "He won't never again, though," she says, slowly, and with a tone of solemn promise.

"I didn't have anywhere else to go…" Elaine murmurs, eyes drifting shut for a moment. "I stayed until it got bad and then I figured I could risk the street. It wasn't even the beatings that were so bad.. it was those words. He could stop me with a word that hurt more than a broken beer bottle. He starts talking the wrong way, and I can't move.."

Sable presses her nose into Elaine's hair and speaks slowly, and firmly, as if she were trying to convince the very earth of her words' truth. "Never again, hon. It won't happen never again. He won't speak one more word t' y'."

There's a deep breath released, as if Elaine were suddenly assured that was true. "He called before. Quinn was there. Told her not to say anything because I didn't think it was so bad. Didn't want anyone to get upset. Thought it could just go away because it's just a call. I don't have to pick up. But then I think of everything and I think of what happens if I don't pick up."

"I c'n see why y' did that," Sable says, "'n' I'm glad y' were brave 'nough t' tell me now, seein' as it's gotten more serious. Just know, hon, the only thing in the world that's gonna upset us is if anythin' were t' happen t' you." She pauses, "What d' you think happen then?"

"I know if I didn't tell you I wouldn't be able to look you in the eye after this. And I don't like that idea…" Elaine takes a moment before she answers that question. "If I don't pick up, he'll get mad. I can't always remember what happens when he gets mad, because sometimes I'll black out. If I don't pick up, he'll get mad. If I pick up, I just might be able to keep him away, at least for a while."

Sable scowls, "How's it you end up blackin' out? Y' mean from bein' beat?" she's not delicate about naming the terrible thing itself, but it's terribleness runs through ever word abut it. "Set me straight on that. Cause if he try's t' come 'n' beat y', he'll have more than he can hope t' tangle with in 'is way."

"Yeah," Elaine admits in response to the blackouts. "Hits my head a lot." She shakes her head. "He.. doesn't want to come to hurt me. He wants me to go back with him. He's not out for revenge. He thinks I'm still his."

"Well, I will admit, hon, my second dearest desire it t' find this motherfucker, and pummel him so hard his momma couldn't recognize him," Sable says, with a remarkable almost-delicacy that is her version of extreme emotional control, "But my first is t' see you safe 'n' happy, so I will do whatever it takes t' make you secure, 'n' won't do nothin' unless it pleases and protects you."

"I don't want anyone getting hurt over this." Elaine murmurs, tilting her head up just a little bit so she can get a better view of Sable. "I liked it better when everything was fine. You don't think less of me, do you? I liked it when it was just like the worst thing to happen to me was the bomb."

Sable sets a single, nurturing kiss on the back of Elaine's head, dry and warm. "We'll make it fine, darlin', I promise you that. Arright? I told y', I pledged it. I don't take that lightly at all. We just gotta talk about how t' handle it." She pauses, "We don't have t' talk about it now though. Y've been through enough for one fuckin' sittin', eh?"

"Thanks." There's a sort of comfort in the way Elaine lies against her. She's trusting. The phone's lying there, not ringing, not threatening, and there's something about simply having Sable there that allows her to pretend like it won't ring again. "Sable, I don't know what to say to Magnes. How do you tell someone something like this?"

"You tell 'im that y' need him t' trust you, 'n' t' let y' finish what yer sayin' before doin' anythin'," Sable says, adding this clause to prevent what to her seems like the very real possibility of Magnes charging off half-cocked, an ill-prepared but valiant avenger, "Then tell 'im someone y' thought was out 'f yer life has popped up again, 'n' he should talk t' me b'fore he does anythin' so we're all on the same page." She pauses, "Y' can go ahead and tell him t' tell me, if y' need t'. Rather than have him think y' can tell me things quicker th'n he, when really it was all 'bout time 'n' place."

"I just don't want him to worry. I don't want anything to go wrong. I don't want him to regret dating me.." Elaine murmurs, letting out a breath. "He's had so many problems with girls in the past I wanted it to just be okay with me…"

"Y' love 'im, y' ain't leavin' 'im, 'n' y'll be totally fuckin' open with him…" Sable says, "Ain't that the reverse 'f a fuckin' problem? This son of a bitch, he's the fuckin' problem. And we'll work somethin' out. You just make sure you reach out t' those that love you."

There's a smile, if Sable was able to catch it. Elaine lets out another deep, long-held breath. "Sable… how do you feel? 'Bout all of this." She can feel the underlying tones of anger, in spite of everything. "I just need to know."

"See, hon," Sable says, a small laugh easily felt through their shared contact, "What I want t' say is 'only concerned f'r yer, like, welfare'. 'n' Thats the heart of it, it's true. But there's a fairly fuckin' prominent wish t' do some awful harm like, harm 'til death's door 'n' maybe a little shove further, if it wouldn't stain me with sin f'rever, to this motherfucker." She's not about to ask his name. 'this-' or 'that motherfucker' is sufficient as far as Sable's concerned.

Elaine shifts now, turning so she can look Sable in the eyes. "You're an amazing friend and I'm blessed to have you." She looks at her seriously. "If he shows up, Sable, you got to promise me that you won't let me go, even if I start doubting. He makes me doubt. He makes me not me."

Sable looks back, her resolution requiring not an ounce of show. It's all natural, baby. "If y' make me pledge t' it, know I'll be held t' it, no matter what y' may say, dig?"

There's a nod from Elaine. "Then don't let me go with him. Don't let me be alone with him, if there's anything you can do to stop it. I don't trust myself the way I trust you. Magnes and Quinn too. He doesn't know any of you, so he can't talk to you the same way. He knows me too well. Knows the weak points. Where to hit so I don't know what to do."

"It's as good as done," Sable says, "Better. It ain't a concern. It's been done f'r all time 'n' will henceforth as then 'n' now. It's fuckin' cosmic law."

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