The Colors of the Flowers


sf_brynn2_icon.gif sf_yi-min2_icon.gif

Scene Title The Colors of the Flowers
Synopsis Yi-Min makes a promise to her youngest employee and friend.
Date March 4, 2021

Rose and Trellis


Several days of the flower shop being closed for 'building troubles' has Brynn confused and troubled. She's come by work to see if she's losing her job. Things have been strange since January, and she knows it's mostly her own fault — she's broken more vases in the past two months than she thinks she's ever broken. But she's finally getting a handle on her phasing and not just putting her hand through things or dropping them through her arm with no warning anymore. Maybe Yi-Min will forgive her? She did offer to pay for the vases.

The bell jingles, because this time the door is open. Finally. "Yi-Min?" Over the course of the past year, her tonal qualities have gotten more and more into the 'normal' ranges instead of the flatter quality brought on by her deafness. But still Brynn's voice is tentative, and she's careful as she makes her way through the shop toward the arranging table, which is where she expects to find her boss.

And that is exactly where Brynn finds her, as though nothing at all had changed. As though this is just the start of another workday, with Yi-Min elbow-deep (often literally, given the nature of the business) in whatever work needed to be done alongside her part-time employees.

Brynn catches Yi-Min with her back to the door, and instantly the little Taiwanese woman stiffens from the sound of the voice, the frame of her shoulders going rigid for a few seconds. Just as swiftly, though, she exhales quietly when she identifies the person to whom the greeting belongs.

"…Brynn. Aiya, you gave me something of a start. You did not have to come in today, you know." Yi-Min doesn't exactly seem angry, but then again, it is rare she explicitly does.

Clasping her hands in front of her to keep from signing and betraying her worry, Brynn does admit, "You've told me that enough this week that I figured it might be prudent to check and see if I actually still have a job." Her gray eyes are a little anxious, and despite the fact that she probably doesn't need the job, she seems concerned that she's done something wrong. (Or maybe that she has become something wrong.)

"I miss all the colors of the flowers," she confesses shyly. This job allows her to really play with creativity. "Is it okay that I came, even though I didn't have to?" Her tone is uncertain.

That remark about missing the colors of the flowers is what dispels any last ambivalence about whether Yi-Min is angry. Much of the sharpness retracts from out of her demeanor in her next exhalation as she looks Brynn over, now more kindly as well as more fully.

No. No, of course she isn't. How could she be?

Of course, this entire situation might already be progressing very differently if Yi-Min actually did know of what Brynn had become. But, she does not, and so the result is that she lets a slight degree of softness warm her expression— not too unlike that of the dream-like morning sun just beginning to permeate through the window displays.

"Ai. Brynn. Yes, you most certainly still have a job, and it is alright that you came. Truth be told, I would appreciate the help." The last part is equal parts only a slightly reluctant truth from her, an admittance of sorts, and something gently offered up in order to make Brynn feel better.

The young woman expels her breath on a sigh of relief and the quiet sound is accompanied by a bright smile. "I'd love to help." Now that she's assured that it's fine for her to be here, Brynn relaxes and moves with purpose. She knows where things are.

Hanging her jacket on a hook by the door, she makes her way around the arranging table to check the clipboard where orders are kept. Only once she's looked over the next order in the queue and gathered all the correct flowers from the cooler to lay on the other end of the arranging table does she then settle in. And even as her fingers start to sort stems and trim them for arranging in a bouquet that will go in a vase, she looks toward her boss.

"You looked … really stressed when I first came in," Brynn observes to Yi-Min in a low tone. There've been a lot of strange things going on in her own world lately, and her gray eyes are faintly shadowed by the experiences. "Honestly," she confesses with a small grin, "I wouldn't have been surprised if you turned around with shears in your hand. Is there anything I can do?"

Funny thing about that. If Yi-Min had more thoroughly mistaken Brynn for someone else as she walked through that doorway—

Shears might not have been out of the question. At all.

But as things are, for a few minutes, Yi-Min merely stands and watches Brynn through a half-lidded gaze as the younger girl moves through the store. Some gratitude gradually filters into that gaze at the familiarity of the sight, and she visibly allows herself to relax a little more.

"You simply being here to assist is immensely helpful in and of itself," she assures, closing her eyelids for a moment, then reopening them. Wryness enters her face in the form of the tiniest smile. "It has just been… an odd time lately. I shall say that.”

If you only knew, Brynn thinks to herself. Her world is completely topsy turvy and she has no idea if it will ever be right again. "I'm sorry," the petite brunette offers sincerely. "I hate it when everything feels off-kilter like that. It's a weird feeling of being off-balance for me when I don't know what to expect." She shrugs a little and shoots Yi-Min a small grin. "I don't much like to be surprised, so… 'odd' is definitely uncomfortable."

She keeps arranging flowers but slants her boss a curious look. "Is it funny odd or… uneasy odd?" she ventures hesitantly, three clarifies. "Like… Murphy's Law haha shoot this day sucks kind of odd or a stalker where your hair stands on end cuz you know you're being watched kind of odd?"

"Funny only in an existential way, perhaps," Yi-Min states dryly, but there is a slight note of bitterness in the way she delivers the truism.

Now that Brynn has set herself on task, Yi-Min feels enough at ease to return to what she had been working on before her assistant had come in: affixing the proper labels to a freshly potted row of perennials. Between them, the door to the back room still sits wide ajar, allowing the two to converse comfortably through the open space while still remaining within sight of each other.

"Uneasy odd, for certain. I…" How did you know this about somebody watching me? Yi-Min very nearly asks but does not; her hands only slow down for the briefest of moments. The description had to have been rhetorical.

"I would agree with hating the feeling of everything seeming off-kilter. Like you mention, I truly hate surprises. But… forgive me. The way that you speak, it is as though something has happened to you, as well." Over the top of her work, Yi-Min sends a somewhat long, inquiring glance back over Brynn’s way, though she does not otherwise pause.

Brynn's hands keep at her work, her gray eyes focused on the flowers in front of her as she works on arranging them in a vase for maximum viewing pleasure. She's cautious as she speaks, offering, "I … saw something really weird happen in the park. Or at least…" She shrugs just a little. "I don't know. Nobody else saw it, so I'm kind of left wondering if I imagined it."

She didn't. But it's the only way to really describe what happened that day, and she doesn't want her boss to think she's crazy. "There's a lot of weird things in the world, I guess." As she works with those flowers, Brynn wonders if even mentioning it vaguely could be dangerous… but she dismisses the thought. Only because, well, this is New York.

"You can tell me," Yi-Min encourages, lowering her voice slightly in conspiratorial concern— even though it's only the two of them present. Her gaze is still fixed on her own work, but from the deliberate care with which she is attending to it, she is clearly all ears for Brynn's words.

"There are many ‘weird things’ in the world, to be sure, but I daresay too many have happened all at once lately. Whatever it was, I have my doubts that you imagined it."

Brynn's gray eyes come up sharply toward her boss. "I mean… I probably did. People don't just disappear. I'm sure it was .. just that she stepped out of sight." Into a portal. That stretched her out like taffy. And also erased her from existence.

Sure. That's reasonable.

The young woman goes back to her flowers, trying to laugh at herself. "Maybe they were filming one of those 'Now You Don't' movies or something." That might explain the special effects… If only it were that simple.

Yi-Min's brows furrow sharply downwards at the mention of someone disappearing, and she ignores Brynn’s attempt to lighten the mood. For the first time, her hands falter mid-task, one of them coming to hover just above the blade-like sprigs of gladiolus she had been hunched over.

Something Faulkner had brought up resonates uncomfortably in her mind.

"You wouldn't happen to know if it was a woman with a.. rather odd name, would it?" she asks. "Something like Justice."

Brynn's hands freeze on the gardenias that she's placing in greenery. Her eyes fly back to her boss and she asks softly, "You remember her?"

There is a sense that the young woman is frightened, that she might bolt if given a wrong answer here.

"No," Yi-Min clarifies immediately, accompanying this with a light shake of her head for emphasis. "I did not know who she was before. And… based on what hearsay I have garnered, I am fairly certain that I would have no recollection of her now even if I did." Possibly the most concerning notion of all, though of course all of it is tremendously concerning.

Sensing Brynn's sudden change in mood, the florist closes her eyelids for some time as though in meditative acknowledgement. They are half-lidded when she reopens them, her gaze turned downwards with narrow-eyed speculation. "What exactly did you see? Did it seem like… someone was present who caused it?"

When she says she doesn't remember the woman and yet knows the name, Brynn visibly blanches. "Uhm… no. No there wasn't. It was like … it was invisible to everyone around us when it happened." And then she shakes her head vehemently.

"I can't talk about this anymore!" The young woman has a very real fear of the idea that something is going to happen if she does. And her mom and her sister are at risk if she talks to anyone who isn't already in the know. "I don't know how you know that name, Yi-Min, but you need to forget you ever heard it." There is an urgency under the words, a vague, unformed fear. The senator and her mom are scared — that scares her.

"Brynn," Yi-Min states with extreme flatness, further alarmed in turn by Brynn's response, though she does not show it.

This time, though, she does not even pretend that she has any interest in her mundane work-related tasks in comparison to this.

"Brynn." This time, there is a definite sense of finality to Yi-Min's tone despite her continued gentleness— it signals that she is quite done with all of the evasive talk. As though to better encapsulate this point, she sighs suddenly, and her voice drops even further.

"Brynn. You are not making any sense. Just take a breath. Breathe. And then, try explaining yourself."

Setting the flowers down carefully on the work table, the young woman bites her lip and steps back. She looks at her boss, and it's their first time Yi-Min has ever seen actual fear in the girl. "I can't," she whispers, panic starting to spiral in her belly. Her words are a bit disjointed and slurred together, like the months of voice training she's undergone since the cochlear implants are not enough to actually overcome the level of emotion that is driving her. She's tripping over her words, her mind racing through possibilities and consequences.

"No, I can't. We don't know what will happen to anyone who knows!" Brynn backs up a couple of steps. "I shouldn't have said anything! That day, when she vanished in the park, her whole life got erased from existence! I don't want that to happen to me or my mom and sister or to you!"

She's going to bolt. It's as obvious as the nose on her face. "Somebody disappeared her and weird stuff started happening, and then weirder stuff! I … I gotta go! Just… just forget that you even saw me today okay?!" She is terrified that her boss is now potentially in trouble.


It seems Yi-Min has given up on trying Brynn's name entirely, because it's not like that has been doing either of them any good. Instead, she rounds the corner of the pot-covered table she had been behind, abandoning it altogether to tread across the floor straight towards her youngest worker.

Despite how small Yi-Min is, her gait through the familiar layout of the shop is surprisingly swift. Once near enough, the florist attempts to lay a firmly comforting hand onto the lowest part of Brynn's forearm.

"Hey, I know 'weird stuff' has been happening. Trust me… this I know well." Now that Yi-Min is much closer, it's possible to see that there is a strangely gray, haggard light in her eyes, despite how strong her gaze holds.

It's an expression that only gets stronger still as Yi-Min continues her reassurance, an iron edge forming around her voice. "But it's going to be alright, alright? Nobody is going to disappear. Not me; nor anybody else you care about."

"Do you hear me? Not if I can help it. I promise."

Caught by the urgency and the purpose in he boss's voice, Brynn hesitates long enough that her arm is caught. She looks down at that hand… and she phases through the hold. "I don't know if anyone can keep people safe, Yi-Min. The only safety seems to be silence and keeping your head low."

She's terrified that she's shown Yi-Min what she can do. And yet she waits just a few moments longer, wanting to believe that this woman will react … if not positively, at least without screaming the place down.

Not that it's her boss's style to be loud about anything. Great…. now panic has her mentally gibbering.

"Not you, too," Yi-Min utters as though she had been mesmerized, brows slowly lifting at the sight of where Brynn's arm had been clasped in her grip just a second go.

But there is no further reaction than that, at least for the moment. Certainly, there is no screaming.

Instead, the older woman gently reaches out towards Brynn again — but this time, with her mind, fluidly drawing a cherry-colored tulip out of a nearby vase and then offering the bloom out to the girl at the end of a long, invisible hand.

"I do not know either, Brynn," Yi-Min says after withdrawing the tendrils of her telekinesis back to herself. When she does, there is a note of low mournfulness in her tone. "Yet, all I can do is try."

The expression that crosses Brynn's face is a mix of horror and relief. You too?? is echoed silently in her eyes as she looks up to meet Yi-Min's gaze. It's funny, how hard she tries to be so grown up when in that moment Yi-Min is able to see just how young she is — Brynn whispers, "oh God… how many of us are there?"

Manhattan proper alone is millions, and that doesn't count any of the boroughs of the city. And yet she already has to use two hands to count the people she knows of who have abilities. But… why?

"It seems like a lot." Her gray eyes are troubled as she takes the hovering flower. "I don't understand what's happening. None of us do." She bites her lip. "My mom is trying real hard to figure out what's happening to me." Brynn doesn't give away her mother's own status though. "She's … we're kinda scared. She told me to make sure to keep my head down."

"Too many already, that is certain." It sounds just as troubled when it comes from Yi-Min, but for likely a somewhat different reason. Her lower lip curls derisively, and her forearm gropes out to find lightly casual purchase against a nearby sill. Discovering it, she leans against it, assessing Brynn with a thoughtfully decisive look.

"For the ‘why,’ I think at least part of that is abundantly clear. I am also fairly sure Asami herself doesn't quite truly know what it is she has been doing. At any rate, I agree that laying low is certainly the wisest course of action right now. Show… noone what you can do."

Trying to live normally might be out of the question for any of them at this point, but—

What else could they be expected to do?

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