There's Work To Do


caspian_icon.gif keira_icon.gif

Scene Title There's Work To Do
Synopsis Keira returns to Caspian after getting healed, and discovers another unpleasant side effect of her recent adventures.
Date May 20, 2018

Staten Island

Today was supposed to be the big day.

Keira’s boys had found some kind of healer in Staten Island, and said healer was amiable to a meeting with the one-eyed smuggler to see what would be required to make her whole again as hear out her proposition for the exchange for such services. Compared to the hack job that was done in the hospital, it’s probably a good thing that something good might come out of this. Dropping Keira off on the shores of Staten, to get picked up by her boys in a repurposed van, Caspian could only watch and wave as she was driven off.

It was to protect him, she said. Still didn’t mean he felt he was leaving her alone, not being there.

And then? He waited. Like, a while. Loitering doesn’t begin to describe it. He just waited by the boat, fended off beggars and one potential thief while he was reading a dime-store paperback novel, and hoped that things were going okay. If he didn’t hear from Keira before sundown, he’d head home. Night in Staten is a bad thing for those who don’t know where to avoid.

It took a while. She ended up having to go back to the mainland, and she took a veritable army of her boys along with her. Thankfully, the transaction went well, and she was able to walk out of there much easier, with feeling returning in her leg and less pain in her back, and a general feeling that she’s good again.

She also took a detour to get a blood STD test, because she wants to make sure there’s no catch to all of this.

Finally, though, she’s coming back — and looking much better than she did when she left. Stronger, more robust — and sans a leg brace. She slips off of the boat, not needing a helping hand like she did — though she’s still healing, she’s also able to move about like a normal person again.

“So, it worked.” Obviously.

“Well hell.” Caspian grins as she steps off the boat, leaning over at the waist, giving Keira a once-around to see that, yep, she’s not wearing her brace. “Better’n you were, it looks like.” The missing eye not being fixed isn’t mentioned, because hey, two out of three ain’t bad. “So, that’s it? A few days of recuperation and boom, back on the road to fun and adventure in Staten Island?” He looks to the captain of the boat she took over, giving him a quick salute and then turns his attention back to Keira. “So, tell, if you can. Lots of mystical mumbo-jumbo? Glowing lights? Trances and stuff, or what?” How’d he do it?”

Keira genuinely isn’t complaining about the eye. Depending on the results of that blood test, she’ll be considering going back to him to do something about that in good time. Hopefully, he didn’t just give her some kind of disease with his blood — she might just have to shoot a motherfucker if he did. Yes, she’s grateful for the healing, but…well. You know. Disclosures and shit like that.

So much better.” She grins, still quite thrilled to not be limping around, and enjoying the whole sensation of not being a total cripple. “I’m not completely healed, I’m not allowed to do anything too strenuous for about a month or so,” Which she can certainly feel — there’re still weaknesses that, while faded, are still present. “But other than that, good as new.”

When asked the details, she scrunches up her nose. “It’s his blood. Puts a little bit of it in you and it takes a half an hour to kick in.” She rubs her left leg, which retains a slightly unpleasant tingle that will surely fade as she heals. “We smoked some pot while we waited. I’m pretty cool with them.”

She doesn’t mention the blood test yet — she’ll bring that one up if there’s any reason for concern.

“So no marathons or parkour for a while, but walking around without a brace or a bottle of pills is in your future.” Caspian grins and gives Keira a pat on the shoulder, squeezing a little before stepping down into his borrowed boat. “You staying on Staten, or you want to come into the Zone and get something to eat? If you don’t mind going unarmed, Yamagato’s area has a good noodle place that doesn’t run out of food. I could buy you dinner.”

Keira is all smiles about her newfound health — you really don’t know what you have until you lose it, she was just fortunate enough to have the resources to get it back. “Nope — I feel like I could go do one of those crazy intricate ballroom dances like y’used to see in Dancin’ With The Stars, but that would probably not be a good idea for a few weeks.” Her tummy growls. “I could totally go for some noodles right now.”

She’s all smiles and laughs as he pats her shoulder — her bare shoulder — and squeezes. But suddenly, that smile and jovial manner…disappears, and she just stares at Caspian with a shocked look on her face.

Then she reaches out, grabbing his hand and holding it. With her uncovered hands.

Nothing happens.

She doesn’t look happy anymore.

It was an unconscious gesture, a comforting thing he did to a lot of people. A tap on the shoulder and a squeeze to let them know that, hey, I’m here. “Oh, hell, I’m sorry…” He jerks away, looking over for a second and sees that Keira is still Keira.

And then she’s taking his hand - his bare hand - in hers. And Keira is still Keira.

“Holy shit.”

Holy shit, indeed.

Keira is silent for a long moment, holding Caspian’s hands in hers. Staring at her hands, holding his. First, she just…tries letting go, and grabbing hold of his hands once more. Like maybe she needs to jumpstart things.

“…What the fuck.”

She glances toward the boat operator of the other boat that she came back in; suddenly, she’s out of the boat, making her way over to him and grabbing his hands.

Again, nothing happens.

To her credit, Keira is containing herself rather well as she makes her way back to Caspian, eye wide as she processes exactly what the fuck is happening. The negation should be worn off, and she never gave herself that second dose. She should be back to normal.

She should be that boat operator right now.

It’s in an extremely tense silence that the one-eyed criminal steps back onto Caspian’s boat.

Caspian starts his boat and drives off into the channel between Staten and the safe zone, the engine rumbling softly as he accelerates. It’s only after he reaches the middle that the engine slows and stops, the motor turned off with a twist of the key, the pair bobbing in the water, caught on the current leading out to sea before the anchor catches and stops them.

“Take a deep breath.” he says softly, turning to face her in the seat she claimed. “It…it could be anything. Negation lasting longer thanks to the healing, your body having to get used to being fixed…something.” He trails off. Caspian’s no expert on being evolved other than being one, so his words could be considered simple platitudes. He rummages around in the center console of the boat for a bottle of whisky he keeps there for emergencies, quickly uncorking it and offering it to the diminutive blonde. “It could work different.”

“It’s not negation,” she replies, her tone a little more sharp than she intends it to be. The whiskey bottle is taken with a nod of thanks, and the tiny gangster promptly takes a long draught, ignoring the burn. That’s all she takes, however, offering the bottle back and glaring darkly at the skyline of the city.

“I can feel the negation. It’s like…a wet blanket.” She frowns at the palm of her hand. “It doesn’t work any more. Something happened…” She reaches back, gently rubbing at the scar in her back, the remnant of her awful experience in the ER.

The shift is sudden — the little tattooed blonde suddenly has big fat tears rolling down her cheek, and surely the inside of her eyepatch is getting gross and wet. “It doesn’t work any more.”

Oh. She’s crying. That doesn’t happen often.

Caspian takes his own slug of whisky and sits back in the captain’s chair, the boat bobbing on the waves, just listening. He’s never been negated, so he’ll have to take her word for it. Having his fields at his fingertips was something he was used to having all the time. A little sense of power that coursed through his veins. Having it cut off would be….hell.

It’s with a gentle movement that he takes her bare hand in his, pulling her into an embrace, his face stony, unsure of /what/ to do now. So he defaults to nurturing caregiver. “You’ll…you’ll be fine, Keira. You’re still smart and strong and have all the right connections…” She’s crying all over his shirt. “Do you feel anything at all? I mean….anything? Or is it just gone?”

He’s right about all of that, but…she’s grown used to this over the past five years now, and now that it appears to be gone, it’s as if the world has been flipped upside down for her. What Caspian is seeing right now is a rare side of the tattooed thug, raw emotion that normally doesn’t make it past her crime boss mask.

It takes her a moment to calm down, though she’s soaked his shirt in tears by the time she’s done. “Something’s different, but…did that shit break my ability?!” She frowns, leaning heavily into Caspian’s embrace. It’s comforting.

“I mean, it feels like…something? But not like it normally does. Normally my skin crawls if I touch someone with clothes on.” Implying that her skin is not crawling right now.

Caspian’s hand goes up into Keira’s hair, patting her head gently as she leans heavily into him, kicking one foot up on the opposite seat, the rocking of the boat relaxing in the light of the setting sun. He’s seen emotion out of Tibby once. Maybe twice. And that’s staying with her for months on top of months. Keira he’d only known for a little while, so seeing this kind of emotion out of her is so uncharacteristic. It’s so unlike what he’s known before, but then, before she had her ability and now she doesn’t.

“I don’t know.” Caspian says softly. “I just don’t know. If you’re feeling something, it’s probably still there. Just dormant or sleeping, waiting for the right trigger.” He squeezes Keira’s shoulders lightly. “Look on the bright side…you can touch people now, if you want.”

Though she’s calming herself down, Keira is still tense, her shoulders tight. She’s still trying to wrap her mind around all of this — broke her back, lost her eye, and now lost her ability. All because she was trying to do what she perceived as a good deed. Guess it serves her right for trying to be good for once.

There’s something there. That tingle remains, but it’s too far beyond her reach — she never really had any control over her ability, but she knew what it felt like, and this…this isn’t it.

She pulls away to wipe her cheek, turning that blue eye up to Caspian and staring at him for a long moment.

And in a moment of intense emotion, she suddenly, impulsively, decides to kiss him.

It’s not a premeditated choice — she’s just got so many emotions jumbling around inside right now that this seems like the easiest choice.

Sure, he's hugging Kiera, but when she follows that impulse to kiss him, Caspian, for once, is at a loss for words. He doesn't sigh, or grin, or look away when she leans in and, for a second or two, he considers asking her what she's thinking before she leans in and kisses him. He holds it for a few moments, giving her a right, proper hug - probably one of the few she's had in her own form since discovering her ability. It's with a little reluctance that he breaks the kiss, letting out a breath.

“Look.” He murmurs softly. “You've had a shock. You've just gotten healed after a massive, massive injury, and you just learned your ability doesn't work like it did before.” Or at all. He doesn't say that, though. “You're having an emotional moment, and I want you to…think about this. Hard. Talk to Tibby…please.” His fingers brush through her hair. “I want you to be sure before anything.”

That was a silly, impulsive thing she just did. Something she probably wouldn’t have done, were it not this particular moment in this particular situation. Caspian knows it, and she knows it. For a moment after the kiss, she stands there in silence, eye closed, quietly breathing — enjoying his smell and the fact that she can touch him without the uncomfortable flicker.

Then, she opens that remaining blue eye of hers, peering up at Caspian quietly. “I know. That…that was impulsive and stupid. M’sorry.” She turns her gaze down to the floor of the boat — though that doesn’t stop her from leaning against him, enjoying the intimacy of simple hug.

There’s that, at least.

“I’ll talk with her before anything. I just…it kinda made sense in the moment?” She shrugs, shaking her head slowly.

“Don't be. Impulsive, yeah, it was, but stupid? Maybe not.” Caspian settles into his seat, arms still around Keira, not moving away but letting her enjoy real human contact without the flickering. “It's what you needed right then, and I just want to be sure that we're in the same place. Hey.” He touches the tip of her nose. “At least you now know I'm a good kisser, even when surprised, and I think enough of you and your relationship with Tibby to keep an eye out for that.”

A weary smile settles over Keira’s face, and she offers a slow nod. And enjoy the flicker-less human contact, she does, leaning into it slightly. “Thank you. I appreciate it.” She turns her gaze toward the city, frowning.

After a moment of calm silence, she sighs. “I’m not powerless, in any case. I’m lookin’ for a place t’set up shop for real.” She purses her lips, shaking her head once, before turning back to Caspian.

For now, she pushes the kiss out of her mind, and simply enjoys the fact that, after five years, she feels comfortable touching another human.

She’s got a lot of work to do.

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