The Wrong Season


abby_icon.gif francois_icon.gif

Scene Title The Wrong Season
Synopsis Learned from the first time, Abigail lets Francois know she's taking off and the two discuss abilities, their ways to accumulate them and future careers.
Date May 23, 2010

Maison D'Allegre

Stew, chunks of meat, vegetables, broth that has been thickened with corn starch and seasoning simmers away on the stove top in the kitchen. Bowls set out and waiting to be filled in about ten minutes with the thick and hearty meal that promises to safeguard the stomach against the lessoning cold outside.

Fisherman sweater, loose jogging pants that are tight over one leg and hair down, Abigail is making one last meal before she plans to strike out back to the Rivage if there's electrcity, or Cat's if there isn't. What few things she had at Francois's is already packed into a duffelbag or two, waiting for when the owner heads out. For now though, she's taking her time. Need to talk with Francois instead of mysteriously taking off and hurting more feelings unintentionally.

"Dinner!" She calls out, slices of bread pulled out, ready to be buttered and plopped down beside respective bowls. Since her talk with Teo, she has otherwise still avoided being in the same room, but when they have been, there's less tension at least.

Going on ten days since the ambush and the fire that entails, and it's been a sedate kind of ten days — or at least for Francois, in an occasionally literal sense, even. Call it an old habit, that his impulse, when injured, is to lay low for however long to conserve his energy, devote the time to a sort of slow healing until not a scar is left in its wake. It's not a bad principle to retain even without the power of healing, if less instantly gratifying. Still, the call of food can lure any man out of his exile.

Appears several moments later, warmly clad and content in the way that being comfortable will make you. There's no sling, having finally shed it a couple of days ago. "You're cooking for the wrong season," Francois says as he appears in kitchen entry way, a wry jest — the temperatures are still ducking beneath freezing level, none of the pacts of snow outside having melted away even in the face of the cold, white sun in the sky.

"When the sun is shining and you can see grass, you can come over and I will make corn bread and bean salad, and I will turn into one big old person of flame while holding some t-bones in my hand till they're cooked how you like em Francois" She points out, ladle dipped in to test the consistency of the broth, whether she might need to add more cornstarch or not. "Can you look at my back, before I go? Make sure they're doing okay. I can't get a good look in the mirror"

She's satisfied, content with how it looks and that her mother would eat it. "Beside, we'll have three days of summer, and then it will be fall, and I won't be cooking wrong again" She grins at him, offering a kiss to his cheek in chaste affection as the bowl is held out, fragrant stew piled high.

He opts for crooked fingers to take the bowl, better hand curving around her elbow along with the kiss to the cheek, coming away with a small smile. "We better have a summer, or I am fleeing to Nice for the three months we're owed. Merci." Rather than sit down at the dining table proper, he opts to remain close by, stealing a seat on the opposite side of the counter and sharing both the kitchen's light and warmth. Sit-downs to eat are informal affairs, even with cooks like Teodoro and Abigail under its roof.

Francois isn't particularly bad at it either, but increasingly, this skill doesn't seem to have to be tested. "France is interesting in many ways — its weather is not one of them. I will look at your back, oui— whenever you like."

"I will go there some day. Get Elias to bring me back to Ramsgate, and then take the chunnel over. See where you come from" Bowl released, she's setting about to scooping the hot food into her own bowl one ladle at a time, utensil clanging against the side of the pot. With her gone for a bit, to her own place, he might be called to cook more for himself, or when she comes over, he comes over, someone comes over. Maybe when she goes back to work even, she and Peter stopping by for their lunch when they're in the area.

"Why, is France interesting though. Tell me. We've had so little chances to sit and talk about things. Armageddon, soft kitty and painkillers and then personal vendetta's. Things get in the way." Kosher salt is brought out, some poured into her palm carefully and she leans over a fraction, so that she can take a few pinches and sprinkle the flakes over his bowl, followed by hers. He wants more, he'll have to do it himself.

There is a sheepish smile at the words 'soft kitty', directed down at food rather than across from her as Francois navigates stew with the tip of his spoon, appetite slow to build but getting there with the scent of cooking. "It's been a long time," he notes, pausing to angle his bowl for her to salt-sprinkle. "The France I remember won't be the same France there now — it probably resembles America. I grew up closer to Spain than Italy — I think they have the nicer language also. There were bullfights, I remember — when I was younger, I would join in with racing them in the roads before the real thing.

"I moved to Bordeaux, after my grandfather died. Sold his property for my education — there was only he and I, in our family. I remember people more than I did places, and so after the war— " He waves his spoon vaguely, takes a bite of stew before his hands go to fidget with bread. "Things changed too much. Too many people dead or moved away, myself also. I haven't gone back."

"So you will be a vistor, just like the rest of us, and it will be new terrain for you to explore. I bet if you went deep enough into the countryside with teo, you might find a few places that run on minimal electricity and they would still have wood stoves and rickety old jeeps sheep milling about. Maybe a few bulls or two to let chase you across the pasture"

Sh gathers up her own bowl and a spoon, softly thumping her way to the other side of the counter so that she can take up a seat beside him, fold her bread in half, then take a large bite out of it. Angling her arms around the bowl, bread clutched between palms and bowl protected like some small child, elbows on the counter, she's chewing, staring off across the kitchen. When she swallows, angles her face towards the Frenchman. "Going to go for a bit. Just back to the Rivage or Cat's, depends on whether my place has power. I'm worried about lighting your place on fire and it's not Teo who's uncomfortable with me, it's me who's uncomfortable here. With what I did. Will you be okay with that?"

It's a queerly old self-consciousness, about growing up in the country (and the 30s), manifests now in the slight wrinkle at his nose and the mild look traded across the table towards Abby — but the sentiment is comprehensible, and besides, she's a Southerner in New York. Some semblance of home might be nice to revisit, one day, with or without chasing bulls across a French countryside. The conversation is left to rest in this pleasant pause, tearing bread to soak up the savory oils and juices of stew.

"Ah, oui, of course," seems— like a too easy shrug in contrast to his chilly reservation about her hightailing it to desert city Las Vegas, and this parallel only seems to be made after the fact.

He glances back up at her. There's sympathy in the slight zigzag of study of her expression. "Teo said a thing about a talk you and he had. He seemed apologetic," he adds, before teeth tear off a bite of soaked bread.

"He spoke the truth. Held a mirror up to me that I didn't really look in. I did a rude and terrible mean thing to him. To you but more to him." Another capture of bread and butter between teeth, letting her stew steep in it's own juices, salt dissipate into it all and pepper to join the group. "He said he would get over it. No forgiveness" And it seems that she can deal with that, accept that.

"Really don't want to burn your place down and I'm going to have to find some place to practice anyways, figure out how it work, what makes it work. Listen, Francois" Her hand comes over, palm curling over his wrist. "Don't tell Kerhsner, Sarisa. About this. About how it came about. Think you could do that?"

There is a neutral headtilt at her words regarding levels of wrongness — Francois! Not about to split hairs. Nor is he about to rehash anything between them — his forgiveness came easier and there is no desire to take it back. At her last words, green eyes go up towards her hand, then continues to her face, some surprise visible. "It is your business to tell who you like," he decides upon, some uncertainty shown in the hook of a half-smile. "What would happen if she knew?"

"I'd disappear, taken away. Not because of how dangerous it is, what I can do. My impression is that it's because of how I came to be evolved, again. The formula. Parkman doesn't do me wrong, he's, he said that I'd disappear if they knew, he's helping hide it for now. I trust him. But he warned me against telling your great grand-daughter, or her finding out. The institute he called it. The people who are doing the bagging and tagging that the company used to do. White suits, and gas, all that"

Now she delves into her stew, spooning some potato and meat into her mouth, satisfied with the taste and congratulating herself on another meal well done. "I didn't burn you too bad did I? You seem to still have your eyebrows"

"Non, mostly my coat," Francois dismisses, spoon poised as it had been before to continue eating. Instead, he kind of shovels it back into his food and lets it rest against the lip of the bowl, left hand circling against right elbow, as if staving away the ache of abused flesh some several inches above and in. "Well, I would not have you feeling badly for damaging my home — Cat's, perhaps," he goes on to talk about instead of subjects about spawn doing things he does not approve of, almost tangibly dismissing the topic with a quick smile to vanish it away. "Is it nice? To be Evolved, again. Even if it is what it is."

"To go from not a worry in the world, to please dear lord let me remain calm so that I will not explode in fire and burn down those around me? It's strange. It's strange and at the same time I feel guilty. One dose of the Formula, with the hope that it was healing that I would get and yet it's… I don't know what you would call it. Pyromancy, maybe."

Another spoonful of stew, a chunk of her bread torn away, offered to the frenchman to take with his teeth. "Part of me is glad it isn't healing." Her spoon is stirred amoungst the meat and veggies, careful not to scrap the metal against bowl. "If they had more, would you want some? Be… evolved again?"

Leaning forward, weight on left elbow against counter ledge, Francois obligingly takes the offered piece with teeth. "Mm." He almost leaves it at this neutral answer, finding a spot on the counter between them to eye thoughtfully. "I think I would. I've had two powers also, now. There is the healing, and then there is whatever it is Kazimir was." Now there's a subject, among bullfights and 1930s France, that has been spoken little between them. "The latter being a good motivator for desiring to be normal forever.

"But not all powers can be Kazimir. Even chancing that or pyromancy, I think, oui, I would do it." His eyes go a little distant with thought, before a thin smile writes across his face, and he gives a soft huff of laughter. "Which should not be a surprise. There is— something Teo offered me. Sort of a shortcut. Not exactly superpowers, but…"

"Teo offered you a shortcut of not exactly a super power? Ohhh, I bet he has a set of that uhmmm…" Her fingers snap repeatedly as she tries to dig it up. Where's Magnes when you need his geek-fu. "Iron man armor like Tony stick" It's Stark, but she's not that profecient in comic speak.

Thin smile widens into a grin, fingernails seeking out the edge of his jaw to scratch, slightly bristled from infrequent shaving, and he shakes his head. "Non, but maybe I should ask him," Francois notes, an eyebrow lifting before another brisk head shake follows. "Nothing so extraordinary. Well. A little. I think— I will not tell anything to Sarisa if you can also keep a secret. But he said about a woman who gave him the skills he has now — about fighting, and learning arms, languages."

The shrug that follows is a little bewildered — the only Teo that Francois knows is this one, half-ninja half-teacher. "He said she could perhaps help me. With skills a doctor might have. Things he might know, with an education in the last decade as opposed to half of one in the thirties."

"Do it"

Abigail's hand comes down on his, holding tight. No extraneous or evolved warmth, she's normal in temperature like everyone else. "Do it. You can be the doctor you want to be, you can help people, you can feel useful in your heart and not just.. say that you feel that way." It goes without saying that she will keep it quiet, won't tell a soul about how Teo offered and intends to help Francois.

"You deserve it. If you can't get your healing back, then at least you can get some healing back"

Francois doesn't hesitate to turn his hand to take her's when she offers the hold. "You make it sound a simple and selfless thing," he notes, with a smile and lacking the cynicism that might say he disagrees with her. Or inclined to right now. "Or correct, somehow. Perhaps it is. I'm not used to things coming so easily, I think. But I got used to this place," he notes, with a rolling glance up to indicate the other two floors above their heads, before retracting his hand and releasing her's in turn. "So." He takes up his spoon once more. "I thought perhaps you would be indignant — you worked hard for your qualifications, to find your way of healing."

"I took six months of schooling Francois, and you have been a physician your whole life and you are far more talented than me Francois. You have how many more years on me? Besides, I have many more years of school, four more months, I can go to night school again cough over more money and I can then work towards being a paramedic. Maybe then, I'll go to more school after that and hey, in ten years, I could be a nurse" She points out, squeezing his hand.

"I want, what you want Francois. If it means you stay as you are and open up a clinic in the bottom here and you and teo take up the second and third floor, then I will do everything in my power to make sure that happens. If you want to go to this woman, this person, and take this chance, then I support that too. Would you have been indignant, if the formula had given me back healing?"

"Yes." And the clutch to her hand signals some amount of kidding, mouth twisted in a smirk. "Non, not at all. Jealous, maybe, and I might not have talked to you for a while…" Mirth trails off, abandoning dinner in favour of tangling both hands with her's across the counter, elbows angled against the counter edge and smile dwindling, though remaining. "We'll see what comes of it, ah? If anything, I would like the knowledge — I can decide on— having a career after the fact."

It would be an easy choice, if not for why his skin rubs rough against her palm where Sasha's scars spiderweb out from his knuckles. Surgeons have better hands than his. Though his attention diverts to it, he leads the conversation elsewhere. "I will miss you staying here. Not a terrible idea, however — at least until you know your power better. Teo also. He will come to you with forgiveness when he is prepared to do it, I think." Speaking from experience.

"Maybe he will. Maybe he will not. Time will tell in that. But whatever you choose to do, even if you do it but don't go to get the title to go with the skill, I will still love you very much Francois, and I will not regret plucking you up from the middle of the woods and all that came with it" Not even the slapped cheek hours later or the interrupted kiss, or the chasm that opened up after he was no longer stone.

"I did what I did, and I hurt people and got people hurt. I have to accept the consequences of my actions be they Teo's disfavor for a bit, or… able to single handedly melt all the snow here in New York if I dared to walk the streets" There's a slightly cheeky grin, A kiss dropped to the back of his palm right on the scar. "Come on, you can check my back, change the bandages for me, before I'm stuck doing it on my own. I'll still come back for you to take out my stitches"

Nudging himself sideways, feet finding the ground, Francois goes to loop an arm about her shoulders, keeping hands tangled together. The embrace is still, a slight squeeze to communicate something of I love you too, before he's helping her up to move on out of the kitchen. "Oui, it is the least I could do. For dinner, anyway — I will figure out what is owed for saving my life on at least two counts another time."

"Oh, oh, you can completely stand near me with a hose, and hit me with water if I start to flame. You could do that. And when I do take up the third floor again, with my cat and Teo's bird, You can buy fire extinguishers for every room. You know, I could totally knit some cozy's for them, blend them into the decor and disguise them"

She'll take the help, spinning on the hell of her of her air cast, following him out towards the non-kitchen area. "Hose me down and then help me calm, or find my trigger. I figure, that many years alive, you will surely know a thing or two about self control and harnessing an ability"

"Yes, and I managed so well with Kazimir's power," sounds droll, a chuckle just above her ear, as Francois leads her towards the loungeroom and the hearth warmth basking the immediate living space. "But oui, je le ferai quand tu veux. I will, whenever you want to. In this weather, I would not discourage a little heat."

"If you had had it longer Francois, then I am sure that you would have managed it well enough. You had an understanding. I don't know another person with the ability to manipulate fire. Isabelle did, but she's dead" There's a soft chuff at the memory of Joseph's proffered vision when she asked for it. That what would come after would be far more stronger, holy fire.

Into the livingroom proper, there's a pause at the fireplace, a glance to the flames and she leans into him. "Do you think, if I stuck my hand in the fire, that I'd burn… or would I be fine?"

There's a subtle frosting over in response to her opinion, on what he could have done with Kazimir's power, but in the same manner that he'd considered news of Sarisa's dealings and knowledge and other unpleasant things he doesn't feel the need to bring up now, Francois makes no further comment on it. From here, she can't see much of his expression anyway, especially as firelight catches her attention.

Francois' grip tightens, weighs up possibilities, cost versus benefits, before stating, simply, "Non. You would not."

"I don't think I would either" If what she'd heard was right, before Matthew had messed with minds. Naked as the day, laying in hot rubble and not a burn on her. "Not going to test it. Not here, not now. Giving myself a week, and then.. I'll go try things out. Try things out."

There's a deep inhale, eyes still on the flickering flames as she taps each of her fingers on her right hand in turn on the pad of her thumb, back and forth one time, then twice before turning away from the fire. "We can watch a movie, before I leave. We'll find something funny, can make popcorn even, before I head out. That sound good?"

"Oui, it does. Better than experimenting with my fireplace," Francois responds, taking her hands and guiding her further away from the fire, to sit down on the couch. "That is something you can do at Cat's place also instead of here, along with becoming fire. Sit still, I'll be back with the kit." And leaving her alone with her new favourite element, the Frenchman moves off towards the staircase — batting the switch of the kitchen into darkness as he goes, before the creaking sound of his footsteps in ascension heralds temporary departure.

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