The Home Fires Can Rest


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Scene Title The Home Fires Can Rest
Synopsis Abby welcomes Leonard home. Things have changed and both are perhaps a bit more same now. But it isn't until he's in his room that Abby has kept ready for him that it really sinks in that he's home. For both of them.
Date June 18, 2009

Village Renaissance Building Abby & Alexander's Apartment

An average middle class apartment, it's populated with decidedly not middle class furniture. A solitary red suede couch occupies the immediate living room, with a battered coffee table and side tables as it's companion. A decent sized TV sits on a cupboard with a stereo, DVD player. The kitchen sports a relic from the 70's, with matching chairs that still seem to be in decent condition. The two bedrooms off the hall are distinguishable from the other, one bearing a gold cross nailed above the door, the other not.

In the corner of the living room is an ornate cage on a bird stand, a blue budgie within it's depths. In another corner is a massive cat tree house, and often occupied by a black cat with a red suede collar. It looks barely lived in, like the owners are not yet investing their effort quite yet to move in.

Back to the Village Renaissance. A place Leonard would recognize from his time spent with Cat and Helena. It's a stones throw from Old Lucy's and just as far from the Guiding Light. One can see why she was happy enough to settle here. Through the front door, bypass security and up they go. Tot eh third floor, not the fourth. Not that they don't look the same. Claire is out, Niki is working. So it's just the cat and the bird as Leo remebers. Only it's a different apartment. "Helena said you would be different, Lordy Leonard" Hard to call him that. "You look like you just walked right off those mens fancy magazines!"

Once the door is safely shut behind them, he grins hugely, and sweeps her up in his arms again. "I know. I guess the guy who changed me figured I might as well be pretty, huh? It's weird. Not bad, but really odd, you know?" He glances around. "You got any space here? I mean, for, uh, another housemate?"

"Yeah, I mean, I got an air bed you can hav.. well no, Niki can have it or Claire. I mean, when I moved from Chinatown to here I made sure that there would be a room for you, but then you never showed and so I was, gonna see about a new roommate. I figured that you might be having too many issues what with you know.. everything" All this mumbled into his ear as she holds tight to the former military man tightly. Heavens it felt right to smell him again. In that missing a familiar scent sorta way.

That, funnily enough, Sonny can't change. He still smells like Leo, down to the funny incense-ish soap he uses. "Things were kinna f- messed up, and I didn't want to go and bring my troubles down on you again," he says, tenderly. "But….looks like I may need to. The pigs are gonna clean up my last bolthole, as you may have heard."

'The who's are gonna clean up the what? Abigail lets him go, discarding her jacket and then turtleneck. There's a tank top beneath and it's too hot for her to keep wearing. If the blue hair was enough of a shocker, it looks like there's a total of three tattoo's on her back now. Cross, Latin and the tops of some angel wings that span the width of her narrow frame. "Your stuff is here, it's your room. Claire and Niki can stay in my room if they can live with each other and i have the couch. It's temporary, till the latter gets back on her feet" Off to the kitchen she goes, kicking shoes off along the way towards a shoe rack.

Ink. Leo's jaw actually drops, and he doesn't -quite- make the cartoon klaxon of shock noise. "Uh, wow. A….uh. Are you really Abby? Or did someone spike your Wheaties when I wasn't looking?" he suggests. Leo's actually blushing. "Are you sure? I don't wanna disrupt anything…."

"Leo. it's your blanking place. It has and it always will be. If you want your room, then you get your room. Rent's cheap enough you don't need to worry. My scholarship is paying for everything so far" Ink. right. Shit. "Yeah, uhh… it's me. Ig..nore the angel wings. The moment Xiulan is back, i'm making her take them off" There's a mumble about never drinking again as she disappears into the kitchen

Polite protestations aside, he is very glad to hear that. And he follows her, tread soft - he's wearing only faded Converse sneakers, in lieu of his usual combat boots, and they make very little noise.

The kitchen is.. neat, orderly. Some dishes in the sink. The fridge with it's planner and meetings with some Dr. Yee, schedule of her classes, list for groceries, even the meal planner all held to the fridge with magnets. Scarlett's bowl in the corner, Cereal in it's boxes on the counter. The space age coffeemaker is fiddled with as Abigail turns. "Want something to eat? And you don't have to tell me where you've been or the like. I'm fine with.. not knowing. I'm fine with just you coming back cause Lordy knows I missed you something fierce and my parents were rightly thinking that I was making you up. OR that you were my other boyfriend and were skipping out on me without telling me"

"I am -starving-," Leo admits, without shame. He doesn't look underfed, though perhaps a little less muscular than he was. Very lean. "I was….with my comrades, mostly," It's like he's still afraid the place is bugged. "But…the cops are gonna clear out Staten, and even with my past all cleared up, no reason to stay and get tagged again, y'know?"

"You can stay here. If you want I can put up a fake ad for a new roommate, and you can "apply", did Hana get you stuff?" Clear out Staten Island. That causes a pause in her movements. She knew something was coming down the pipes for it, but that Leo was staying out there and it was so soon. "The whole of it, or.. just part?" Hopeful, so hopeful. Please let the rookery be abolished.

Leonard settles into a chair, straddling it and facing the back, watching her bustle about. "Hana took care of me, yeah. I don't know what's gonna happen. The fake ad sounds good, really."

"Then come Monday, I'll do that" There's a smile, bright. Things, things are starting, maybe, to settle back to normal. "So" As she goes about making a sandwich for him, piling it high with ham and real cheese, even a pickle spear on the side. "I know, that it wasn't good for you, while you were.. gone. Anything that I need to get, to help you? Do I gotta keep the cat out of the way? Make sure there's like a special kind of tea or something?"

What kind of tea -do- you drink to deal with the after effects of repeated psychic rape? Leo's expression is momentarily startled, then it settles into a certain gentle, tolerant fondness. "No. I….honestly, I should get suppressants. I still have flashbacks at night, so I need to do the thing where I don't keep anything very breakable in my room. It's no worse than it was. Just….more often."

You drink the same thing Abigail drinks. Tea period. And you stay awake until the demons leave you be. There's a flare of sympathy across her face before the sandwich is slid onto the table soon followed by her at the table. "Well then. I guess the breakable stuff goes into our storage locker that you don't want to risk and we both will keep each other company at night when the terrors get too bad huh" There's an offer of the blue haired woman's hand.

Leonard takes it, even as he moves to pull her down into his lap. It's not the flirtatious gesture it might otherwise be. Not with these two. "Sure. What's insomnia when you got friends, hey?"

"Yeah" It's quietly spoken as she settles on his knees, getting a bit more used to physical contact with others. Part of it being the hope that this time might be the time that god just gives it back to her. But he doesn't, he never does. "I got kidnapped" he should know. He'd hear it eventually.

Leonard puts his chin on her shoulder, with doggish affection. "Who? And why?" he says, quietly. His tone is level, but there's an instant of that subsonic thrum that comes when he's biting back on anger.

"The usual. God's gift. The who will be moot. Cops are.. waiting for him to come off Staten, and there's others who are.. taking care of him. When they get their hands on him" Her hand tightens on his. "They beat me up a bit. That was all. I came out looking like the scarecrow from Oz. Teo and a bunch of others, they.. got us out. If I had your gift, I'd likely be putting holes in walls too at night. As it stands, nights are easier these days, sorta"

Leonard kisses the side of her neck. It's gentle, but definite. "What's his name, dollface? Just tell me."

Leo is like Teo. She can't deny the two of them. Abby's weakness. There's many she'd take a bullet for. There's even more she'd step in front of a forward moving vehicle, if it meant to sacrifice herself instead of them. "James Muldoon and John Logan" Softly murmured as she picks up a piece of his sandwich and offers it. "Eat, my starving roommate. Before I make you drink swamp sludge"

He gently sets her aside, wafting her over to a chair of her own, and obligingly picks up the sandwich, which he wolfs down with just unholy speed. "Thnkz," he says, around a mouthful.

And Abby watches. That's what she does. Make sure he eats every last bite, a hot cup of coffee prepared with any of the sugar and cream that he likes. A couple months don't dull the memory. The corners of her eyes crinkled and the same for her mouth,s he's the picture of near contentment. "Now all I need if God's gift back, and Teo to be Teo and here and.. it's like.. old times. Before everything went to hair hell in a handbasket" Oh heavens, she's got watery eyes which prompts her to leave over and grab a dishtowel.

"What do you mean?" Leo wonders, startled nearly into choking on a sugarcube he was sucking on. "What about your gift? Did you finally burn out?" he wonders. "And….uh. You heard what happened to Teo, right?" he says, more softly. He puts the mug down, quickly, looks away as if afraid he might shatter it with a look.

"I've heard about Teo, yes. He visited just before someone told me. That… it's someone else in him, playing at being him" She's not gonna tell him that she's kept in contact with him. "Tyler case, he got me and someone else outside the bar" She rattles off how many weeks and days it's been. "Apparently, Helena has someone, a person, who can undo what it is that Tyler Case did. I just, I don't know when they're going to do it"

Leonard cocks his head at her. "Wait. He took your power? Or disabled it, or…." Confused Leo is confused, yes.
"God doesn't answer me when I ask for his help anymore Alexander" That should speak volumes. "Nor does anything else come in it's wake when I do"

It's funny how -expressions- don't change, even as the physical features do. There's that purse-lipped, faintly narrow-eyed squint that means Leo is biting back, and hard. "That bastard," he says, calmly, quite obviously adding Case to his very long shitlist.

"I don't need more gallant knights Al" Abby quietly, softly murmurs. "Please. God has a reason. God has a plan. I may not like it but.. the person who has it, has gods gift, it's teaching him, it's hopefully, bringing him closer to God, or at least teaching him to do good in the world Al" There's another squeeze of his hand. "You're gonna break something Al. If you don't get that look off your face. It'll stay that way"

Leonard settles for a little snorting laugh, rather than let that gargoyle glower sit further. "Right," he says. "Right. I hope it turns out like you say." As close as Shelby ever gets to a prayer.

"I prayed that you'd come back Al" Abby smiles at him, blue hair looking fairly ridiculous and yet oddly okay on her. "And you're here, sitting in your kitchen, having a meal with your roommate. Maybe he'll see fit to grant me another prayer yes? Sometimes.. it just takes time. The method is at hand, it's just a little more wait. I can wait" She nods her head. "I can wait. Now. If you're done, there's your room to see hmm? I can trade rooms if you want the one i'm in. And we can get you a proper bed too at some point, if you want"

"A cot's good for now. I'm not demanding," Leo says, with a wry, sidelong smile. No comment on the efficacy of her prayers - even her faith hasn't made a dent in his atheism. "Sure, though, now me."

"Now you what?" Her hand is taken back so she can leans back against the chair, watch the other person at the table. It's AL, but… it's not. It's strange, even though she was told he would be different.

Leonard looks sheepish, explains, "I mean, now it's my turn to see the room." He scrubs at his face with his palm, like a cat grooming. "I'm sorry. So tired I can't fu- I can't think." It is a weird disconnect. The brain says this is a trusted friend, the gut keeps screaming that this is a stranger.

"Oh!" Up from the chair she springs, pushing it in behind her. "Last one on the hall, has a window that leads out onto the fire escape. You'll like it, I'm sure. If you want the one without a fire escape, you'll have to switch rooms with me" It's easy to figure out which room is hers, at least for now. The ever present gold cross nailed above it. The other one though has a duffle bag with Niki's stuff in it but the rest is all Al's. Some things unpacked, some things not. His cot up, linens on it and kept neat.

This, bizarrely, is when Leo falters. He doesn't sob, or gasp, or leak tears. But there's a little uneven inhalation, like a deep wound's pain finally starting to hit. He's home, at last. Months after - nearly six, really. But what a half a year it's been. "Thank you," he says, finally, voice gone thick.

"Can't let you have come home to just a room with box's Al. That's.. That's not right. My momma and Dah keep my room my room still. If I had word you weren't coming home, then, yeah, maybe, i'da boxed it all up for you to be sent where you want but.." She clasps her hands in front of her. "You thank me now, Just wait till like 2 in the morning. When I'm clunking about and making tea so I can get back to sleep"

Leonard goes to sit down heavily on the cot. He bounces a little on the canvas, lets out a long, slow sigh. "That's fine. It's all fine," he says, finally.

She stands at the door, watching, lips turned up at the corners, blue hairs escaping confines and splayed this way and that. "You can move it into my room, if you like. Or I can move the air bed into here. Niki and Claire can stay in my room and the couch. I don't know if you.. like sleeping in a room alone or whether having someone near helps. It helps me"

Leonard shakes his head. "Not me. I beat up my roommates in my sleep. Like I said….best to keep it as bare as I can." He offers her a watery smile, puts a hand over his belly. "I better sleep for a bit. Wake me if I start to make noise?" Like they'll take turns keeping watch over each other.

"Yeah. I can do that. Mind if I warn the other two when they come in? I'll get some food made, in the fridge for you. Get you fat again." She enters fully, just enough to snag Niki's stuff and heads back for the door. 'Holler, if you need anything Al" One hand on the lintel, she looks over her shoulder, lop sided grin. "Welcome home Al"

Leonard offers a sharp little salute to that, and that rather wistful little grin. "Thanks, Abby. But remember. Leo. Leonard. Never Lenny."

'Leonard it is!" ANd with that, the door closes between her and him. On her side, she stops, one palm pressed to the door, head bowed a little, listening to the sounds in the room that are bound to come, of someone moving around. "Thank you dear Lord. For delivering him whole, as much as you can. For granting me something, instead of just listening. Thank you, for the ease… that you bring my heart. I hope that you can bring the same to his" and with that little conversation between her and someone, something more powerful, away she goes, to shuffle things around.

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