The Myth Of Us



In Memory:

gillian_icon.gif tavisha_icon.gif

Scene Title The Myth Of Us
Synopsis In a moment of weakness, Gillian tries to recall a happy memory.
Date September 1, 2009

Staten Island

There's something about the fringes of Staten Island that will always inspire sentiments of unease. After the bomb, much of Staten Island has fallen into glorious disrepair, so much so that places that were already in stages of decay look more like monuments to entropy than once urban settlements in decline. While much of the island was suburban residential areas before the bomb, there were two crowning moments that drove this borough of New York into an early grave. The first was the mass exodus of survivors and panicked people fleeing Manhattan. They came by foot, bicycle and car across the bridges to Staten Island, all manner of desperate and frightened people flooding into a crowded place. While some fled through to New Jersey, others simply couldn't — or wouldn't — go further. This, like in Queens, led to an eventual chaos that would in time eclipse the pandemonium in the eastern edge of New York after the bomb.

Staten Island was in the direct path of the fallout from the explosion, and after thousands fled to the island, the entire populace was forcibly evacuated. Those few that managed to stay, clung to their homes desperately, and those few who did would suffer from radiation sickness and the ever-escalating crime rate. By the time Staten Island got the "all clear" from the government, the damage had already been done.

What was one suburban neighborhoods and parklands is now a monument to decay. Houses lie in various states of disuse and ruin, and like much of New York has seen property values nosedive. Few want to move out to a formerly irradiated zone, and even fewer want to return to a place so rife to violent crime. Now, much of Staten Island lies in various states of decay. Houses abandoned by families that fled the city, were forced into foreclosure and were never resold, or simply places where entire families went missing and are now squatted in by any number of transients line the once peaceful streets. Staten Island is a home to crumbling infrastructure, spotty electricity, and people who wish to remain undiscovered by law enforcement. Few police will willingly go into this now infamous island.

Cap removed. Plunger depressed. Blue, slightly iridescent liquid expells out of a tiny needle onto gravelly rocks and dirt in one of many abandoned suburbs of Staten Island. This one more abandoned than others— there are no more buildings left for an entire block. It looks as if a large bulldozen went through and pushed everything over, sliding all the debris out to an edge. Anything of value has long been picked out of the pile. The gravel would actually be part of a foundation, torn apart when the buildings got wrecked.

It's in almost a perfect circle. From the sky it looks like what someone would say a crop in the city would look like. And she knows, she flew over it once. While she had the ability to fly. One of the few abilities she regrets losing.

The emptied syringe is thrown away from her. The clouds in the sky keep it cool, the sun barely passing through the haze.

Reaching into the box, she pulls out another syringe. Empty ones lay a couple feet away, some further than others. Disposing of a drug stash one syringe at a time would probably not be the most efficient method. It would have been easier just to toss the whole box into one of the Kills. It is possibly what she should have done. It is not what she did. It wasn't what she did a few days ago before she had to spend time away from the Lighthouse. It's not what she does now, either.

Removing the cap yet again, she stares at the needle, at the liquid visible. So many of her memories are fuzzy now. She's been keeping a journal to try and hold on to more than her brain can possibly manage to hold, but it never seems like it's enough. Nothing is ever clear. It's hard to remember the last time she didn't feel…

Good memories.

The tattoo on her wrist barely resembles the tattoo she'd gotten originally. Scarred, ruined. It's like her memory. Partially mangled, but still there, not erased like her brother. Pale, translucent skin makes veins easy to find. Most people would clean the area first. She probably would too. If she were in her right mind. One trip down memory lane. One quest for a happy memory.

The needle breaks skin with a wince. Thumb pushes down on the plunger. The needle gets pulled out…

Before she even has a chance to throw it to join the others, she's already falling backwards against the broken pieces of foundation, vision cutting out.

Her real eyes open to blurriness, to unseeing. She can't register the circular rubble expanse all around her, the sky above, the dirt below. Because a second set of eyes have opened, turned inward, splitting apart her brain with the eroding affect of chemical, the simmer of euphoria low in her gut, warming and flushing. Her second eyes open to the same place she lies down.

Except the walls are back. The house is back. The bulldozed area of the suburb she'd lain in the center of has sprung back up as if by magic, and hazy spring light of early March is hitting her face.

"I have something for you."

It's doomed to be destroyed, what's in his hands, when all of this gets destroyed, but it's nothing Gillian can know right now, as she repeats her actions. Clothed only from the waist down, feet bare against the carpet, Tavisha moves back across the bedroom to settle on the edge of the mattress on the floor, long legs folded in an awkward, haphazard fashion. The book is offered, a water-ruined paper back, with a curving, tree-like symbol on the cover.

Norse mythology, poems and tales and explanations. "I know you like books," comes the slightly stilted explanation, a shrug of a bared shoulder, gaze lazy and slightly tired, though not in a world-weary kind of way.

Blankets lay in a state of disarray on the matress. Gillian pushes herself up from where she lays to get a better look at him, wearing little more than a long dark button up shirt and some underwear. Tattoos are pristine, if faded, not even well hidden. The top buttons are undone, even showing off the dragon on the side of her breast, even if not all of her chest.

"I also like presents," she says with a smile, reaching out for it with both hands, touching the used cover, the pages. It's an understatement. She loves presents. Even if she would often say no one has to get her anything, she can get them for herself, it always makes her smile. The dimples appear on her cheeks, deep and genuine, the smile touching her eyes as she flips the book around in her hand, checking the back cover, then the front.

"Norse mythology. That surprises me. With a name like Tavisha I would've thought you'd grab a book on Hindu mythology," she says with a teasing wink, as she often does with his name, the name he didn't give himself, the name she tries to call him as he requested— though there are occassional slip-ups.

"Have you read it? Do you have a favorite?"

There's a chuckle of response, fluttery and caught in the back of his throat, like a moth trapped beneath a cupped palm. "You'd think," Tavisha agrees, resting back against his palms, lightly muscled arms stock still and sturdy on either side side of a concave slouch. "The person who gave me the same— she's enough of a resource for Hindu stuff that I don't have to bother. But I guess— something told me I'd find this more interesting."

He thinks for a moment, then recites, with perfect memory, "Flies from the South, the famished raven, flieth with him, the fallow eagle; on the flesh of the fallen, I shall feed them no more: on my body both, will batten now. It's a poem about two men fighting over a woman."

A wolfish smile accompanies his conclusion; "And then everyone dies."

"And that is your favorite?" Gillian says with a raspy chuckle on her lips, drawing herself up more fully so that she can flip the water damaged book open, to look at the pages, survey the full extent of the damage. A book. A book of poem and myth. "I've always liked myths, I even like it in poetry. I always loved Tennyson. I had a whole complete unabridged works for a while. Though I wish I could pull up quotes as easy as you can…"

There's a smile as she looks down at the pages, scribbles visible in the margins. Someone who'd had this book before had well loved it. Or was reading it for a class and made illegible notations.

"Everyone dies— cause two men were fighting over a woman," she gives a brief version of what he said, the basics, as she looks back up at him, leaning foward over her crossed legs to get closer to him. "Did the woman die too? Then again, even if she didn't, I can't imagine she was too pleased with the result. Unless she didn't like either of them."

"Don't think she did. Only the men, except for one. There's always one. Someone has to continue on the legend." Tavisha levers himself further onto the mattress as opposed to the edge, sitting in its center, a leg folded beneath the other. "She only loved one of them. You figure that would be enough to seal it. I guess it's more complicated for vikings." He reaches a hand over, flicks a few age spotted pages.

Tiny, old print writes itself on the page. "The Song of Valkyries," he says. "Is this web woven and wound of entrails, and heavy weighted with heads of slain; are blood-bespattered spears the treadles, iron-bound the beams, the battens, arrows: let us weave with our swords this web of victory.

"It's kind of… interesting, don't you think?" Amber-brown eyes go up to study her features, then back down to the page. "It was one of those things I kept in my head. A line of poetry, from stuff like this. I don't know why. I thought it would help."

During the look to study her, Gillian's studing him right back. That smile has lowered, tugging on the corner of her lips as opposed to being wide. Dimples still stand out— she can feel them, even if she can't see herself as he sees her. A hand reaches out to touch his cheek, reaching across the way to rub down from his temple toward his chin, feeling the texture, "It is interesting, if a little morbid."

There's that smile again, wider this time than a moment before, creasing up her eyes. The hand drops down to his wrist, touching his arm, and staying there. "I'm glad you got me a book. Though you could probably read the whole thing to me without even having it open." It's not said with jealousy, but with admiration. There's something so admirable about the fact that he can remember everything that he reads— even when he doesn't remember who he was a handful of weeks ago.

Shifting, she moves on the matress, pulling her feet under her instead of folding her legs, moving that hand back up to touch at his hair, hair that may need a trim. "I do disagree on one thing, though. I think love is complicated for anyone, Viking or otherwise." Fingernails slide through hair to touch scalp. "Though hopefully not all of them end in entrails and flesh eating birds."

Tavisha responds in subtle movements to her touches, doggish responses of leaning into her hand in a gentle tilt, keeping his eyes on her's. His eyes hood enough to turn irises into crescents, a content, long breath easing through his naked torso, in a sigh. "It does for the Vikings. What will be after heaven and earth and the whole world are burned?" He tilts himself forward, now, leaning his weight on but one hand as the other snakes out to touch her, around the time his forehead gently goes to meet hers, coaxing her into a kiss as tepid and mild as the sunlight, angled from the east, warming the side of their stolen home.

"It's not like history has to repeat," he murmurs against her mouth.

The kiss, however light it may be, draws her closer, elliciting a satisfied sound from her lips, breath brushing down on them. The smell of cigarettes against his skin, the taste of it on his breath. Gillian's gotten used to such a thing from him, something new, something old— something that certainly didn't repeat from their own personal history.

"It's a myth," she mutters quietly, whispered voice raspy as her hand trails down his scalp, toward his neck. Warmth settles in her stomach, a tightness in her chest, gooseflesh against her arms and shoulders, covered by the button up shirt— one of his, actually. It smells of cigarettes too, now that she thinks of it. Maybe that's one of the reasons she likes wearing his shirts when he's out for the day…

"And it's a good thing I'm not a Viking," she adds, nudging her nose against his, before she pulls him closer against her, with the hand on his neck.

"I think I'm the one who keeps seducing you," Gillian says with a grin as the present she liked falls forgotten. It will certainly be enjoyed later, in absenses when she has the house to herself. The cat, even if he only really hangs around when Tavisha isn't home, doesn't make for much interesting conversation— and after he read lines to her, she knows she'll hear his voice when she reads it.

The feel of his fingers, of the fabric getting pulled away, all of it makes her warmer, lighter, makes sounds pass through lips against his.

"And good news for you…" she starts, touching the sides of his face, fingers up in his hair. "Books aren't the only thing I like." Shameless to a fault, she's lifting a bare foot up to slide her heel against his clothed leg.

The sounds that pass through her lips transcend visions of history. Laying back on the uncomfortable, rough, broken foundation, the same sounds are mirrored, even if the thing causing them to pass her lips isn't present.

A ghost. A myth.

Something past, remembered in full, as if happening right then. Unseen hand sliding under her clothes, lips touching her face. The warmth, the euphoria, it fuzzes the edges. The sun doesn't touch her face at all, but she feels it there, only cut off in part by shadow hovering over her. The sunlight touches his face in places too. Like the book, destroyed in this very place, the empty syringe lays nearby, forgotten.

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