Things Left Unsaid


corbin2_icon.gif daphne_icon.gif teo3_icon.gif

Scene Title Things Left Unsaid
Synopsis When Daphne's handed over to Ferry care, there's a lot left unsaid. Both here and elsewhere.
Date March 17, 2010

Mostly Empty Commercial Parking Garage

To say Corbin has been unusually quiet would be an understatement. After the last few days of keeping her inside her apartment, subdued with cough medicine and flu supressant, he showed up at the loft, brough the crutches over, and said that they were going somewhere. He packed a quick bag of clothes and a few other small things. The necessities. Not that anything is necessary except breathing right now. His eyes haunted and distant, it's obvious there's something wrong. He'd not stopped by the night before. A few calls to see if she needed anything, but they were short and distant, tense.

Something happened, and he's not saying what. He still doesn't say as he drives her down the plowed street to a parking garage. Mostly empty, cause it's dark, and there's not a lot of people on the street, much less parking in a commercial parking lot. He glances over at his clock, and looks around, before saying, "I'm sorry. I found somewhere for you to go, somewhere they'll help you, that's not a hospital. Where you won't have to register or…" he trails off.

He's doing this because he found out rather harshly that he just can't take care of the people he cares about. Even if he can't admit it.

She stopped asking what was wrong after the fifth try. There's so much wrong with her that she doesn't have the strength to argue with him, to plead with him into talking to her. And then there's that loud voice pounding through her aching head, saying 'He doesn't want to be with you because you're crippled. Weak. A thief. A criminal.' It's not even that surprising — it's more surprising to the cynical part of her, that crippled teenager in her with the jaded soul, that it took so long.

When he finally speaks, Daphne closes her eyes, her head tilted against the cold glass. She turns away, looking at the garage they turn into, looking for whomever it is he's passing her off to. There are no words. She is hurt by his actions, oblivious to the causes. And she feels stupid for letting herself care. She is smarter than this — but their strange paths collided in fateful ways — and now Fate would have them diverge.

There's so much he should say to her. Ease the worries that run around in her mind. But that would take admiting a few things outloud, and… There's only so much he can handle right now. Corbin stares out the windshield quietly as he puts the car into park, on the level he said they would meet up. The snow is plowed, but still falling, they may be out from under it for the moment, but it's colder than sin outside. His heater can barely keep up.

Instead, he says the most impartial thing, just so he can keep from breaking, "I'll keep an eye on your place. Make sure the bills are paid and nothing gets stolen." Like the material things matter more to her. In some ways he might think they do, but in all honesty…

The material things are easier to talk about.

The weather is increasingly bullshit. Fortunate that Teo learned to drive in the snow along with all of the other steering wheel-competent licensed New Yorkers, or he'dve died a dozen times over here. And he'll die two dozen times going back, likely. It's a long way to Roosevelt Island, and the road gets freakish winding down to the docks. Fortunately, he doesn't lose prudence for nerves.

Stacked snow looses off his tires as he finally pushes the car back into gear, leaving a four-wheel print where he'd waited for the hour and watched before and since Ayers drove up. He rolls up the parking lot ramp, makes a dozen turns. Recognizes the late oneiromancer's lover the moment his profile swings into view.

Rubber squeaks a halt. Teo parks neatly parallel, one spot over, on the off-chance they need more room than a yard's width to maneuver the ailing. He has no way of knowing that by far the bulkier of the various and sundry available problems here today are strictly emotional. He cracks the door open and sets a boot down, lifts a hand Hello.

"Don't bother," Daphne whispers. "It's not important. An inconvenience." She talks in short phrases, due to weakness and a lack of breath — if she inhales deeply, she'll start a coughing fit that will take more of her strength away, and she has so very little of it as it is. She glances to the car that pulls up, the man within it. Her hand finds her door handle, pushing her door open with a soft grunt. Despite the cold and the fact that Corbin can barely stay warm with the heater at full blast, her platinum locks are plastered with sweat against her forehead and flushed cheeks.

She begins the slow, arduous task of getting out of the car… pulling one leg out and then the other, not waiting for Corbin to come around to help her.

There's a hint of a flinch around his pale eyes, but Corbin knows he probably deserves it. More like definitely. Even as she fails to wait, he still opens his door and steps around to offer her a hand, nodding toward Teo. He's cleaner than he'd been in the Bookstore, but still has serious and dimmed. The light's going out around him, and it's difficult to even fake a smile. Especially when he's doing what he feels he must.

"Teo, this is Daphne. Daphne, Teo. He knows a lot of people who… he'll make sure you're taken care of."

Which is something he doesn't think he can do. Knows he can't, if he's going to spend all his free time trying to find out who was behind the murder of his best friend.

It's immediately obvious to the Sicilian that more shit happened since yesterday, which is unfortunate for the Company agent, no doubt, since a lot of shit already happened then. His own wintry stare chases the tension between the struggling girl and Ayers, once, before he reaches over to yank the shotgun door open for her.

Steps over to help, the layer of glove fabric over his hands providing some barricade perhaps for her pride, if not — fear.

Second time in twenty-four hours he's had at dispelling tension with words. This time, it's, "Pastor Sumter sends his regards," with a warm smile at the erstwhile speedster, even as half a grasp goes to her elbow, angles her for the doors ajar. "Some other faces you might find familiar, too. In a good way. Ayers isn't taking a blind shot in the dark."

It's an awkward transfer, from car to crutches that do nothing to support her actual legs to the other car. She blinks up at the name that Teo mentions, a look of surprise at first on her face — raised brows and parted lips, but these soon crumple into a look of further despair. Corbin will understand the look, even as it no doubt hurts him all the more to see it. She didn't want anyone to see her this way — and now there are more people to see her in this weak and pitiful state.

Daphne glances back at Corbin — is this it then? She can't quite bring herself to say anything, just watches for a moment with shimmering dark eyes. It's too awkward a silence, and she turns back to Teo. "He's… is he sick? Sumter?" she whispers, looking more distraught at that possibility. At least she still has room in her aching heart to care about someone else.

From the brief look of surprise, that fades back into the same despair and worry of before, Corbin didn't know or even consider she would actually know someone in their network. It's both a relief, knowing that she'll have at least someone to talk to, and also… that this isn't a bad name. She's not trying to flee. But she's not happy either.

It's the same look she'd had when she first saw him on that road in Ohio.

"I'll get your bag," he says, breaking away from the awkwardness and avoiding direct eye contact. He can't go with her… but he can make sure she has her things. The bag is pulled out of the back seat and brought forward, much more quickly than the small woman herself. After all there's nothing wrong with his legs. "I'll look into the vaccine they're offering. Most of the Registered HomeSec workers got it already." Most… "If there's anything fishy about it, I'll let you know." Even if he's offering intel, he sounds distant doing it. Though this intel could be important. Vaccine isn't a cure, but it will making caring for the sick easier.

"No worse for wear than last season's Company experiment left him," Teo answers, with a thin glass-sliver of a smile at Corbin's turned back opposite. Not that that's worse than shooting a woman and dumping her and her vehicle summarily into a lake, mind you.

Not worse. Maybe even better, but different. The capacity for people to do terrible things to each other in this place and timeline. Not that they hadn't in the other one. He stoops slightly, helps slot the girl's feet down in front of her seat if she needs it, careful to avoid being—

Overly intrusive, as if railroading her life into a quarantine and mutant refugee house isn't already the makings of that. "He's fine. Another somebody who could use a hand, you know? No skin off anybody's nose, there's a lot of bullshit on this planet you have to survive. Anyway, signorina, I like to flatter myself to think you're still going to be in good hands." Token selflessness begets token selflessness. Something in Daphne's awkward effort and fraught face makes Teo forget the acheing scar tissue on the side of his own. He looks at her and smiles, for a moment, without remembering to hide.

He steps back without closing the door, on the off-chance Ayers and his young charge have some reconciliation they want to get done. Long steps round the end of the car to pop the trunk in anticipation of her bags.

Teo's sincere smile, ragged scarring and all, gets a smile from Daphne as she rests her head back to look up at him through the open doorway. "Thank you. If I were feeling better I'd make some joke about what fine hands they are and how I'd like to be in them and all but I lost my sense of humor back in Ohio, I think," she says softly, though she has a ghost of a pixyish smirk hinting in the corner of her lips.

Her eyes flicker back to Corbin and grow instantly sad again, solemn and nearly black in her flushed face. Her brows knit together and she drops her gaze to her hands in her lap. "See ya, Books." It's back to nicknames. Distant. Casual. Nothing meaningful — it's what she wanted, right?

"I didn't know anything about that," Corbin says after a moment, only guessing at what it might be. They did after all suddenly have a new method of interrogation in the form of Refrain+Telepath or Dreamwalker. It's something he's sincerely glad they never made Hokuto try. "I don't condone experimenting on people." There's a quiet sigh, before he looks at Daphne, the young woman whom he'd picked up in Ohio. His sense of humor may have died with Hokuto. Something certainly did…

Even if the woman next to him as no idea why the lights went out. A brief touch on her shoulder is the most she gets, though he hesitates as if considering more. "I'll see you later, Daphne," he finally says…

Before he turns tail and moves quickly toward the car.

No matter what the erstwhile speedster might think of her depreciated sense of humor, the half-smile that Teo cranes around to her is sincere. Fades, when the bags come 'round and then Ayers is trotting up to say good-bye, and good-bye is frost-rimed and brisk and all kinds of other things that he funds categorically unpleasant about winter. He steps back, reaches up to snag the trunk's lid and slams it down. Noise and movement flux briefly through the vehicle's springs.

He's a long silhouette slicing through the sterile white of snow-refracted sunlight, flickering over to the driver's side, next moment. "Ayers," he calls over. "While you're sacking their medicine cabinets, you might want to see if you can get a scrip for Propranol, eh?

"Beta blockers won't fuck with your mood," and he doesn't mean that as if Corbin seems like the paranoid type to fear medicine for medicine's sake, but because a man has a right to his grief. "But it could help you put it where you can use it. Call you if anything happens." The driver's door clunks open, and he's roping his rangy frame into the seat, snagging seatbelt with rough fingers.

Daphne's brows knit again and she closes her eyes at the touch on her shoulder. "Later," she echoes — not so much as a farewell but more an echo of disbelief. Half of her is sure there is no later, at least not in the way he means it — for them, she's sure there is no later at all. For herself, her future, her life, she's pretty sure that's up in the air, too. There is no optimism in her — perhaps it is because the man who represented optimism is now bleak with silence, shutting her out, shutting her away

She turns though, and her feverish eyes watch him walk away. "Stay off bridges, Friday," she calls, her voice ragged with more than strain from coughing. She turns toward Teo, questions on her face — propanol? But she's so tired. The journey has exhausted her. Her eyes flutter closed.

There's only the stiffest of nods from Corbin. He doesn't need any beta-blockers… Or at least he thinks he can deal with this on his own. Maybe he can't. At least he hasn't resorted to a bottle and alcohol yet. "Take care of her," he adds over his shoulder to the man, knowing he'll be able to contact him the same way he called him into work the morning after holding onto a woman he loved while she died. A woman whom he could never say he loved… and one that he couldn't ever really be with.

And never could be with, now.

Opening the car door, he drops inside, starts up the engine, and drives away before even waiting for them to take her. Just like she couldn't let him in when she was in pain, he can't let her in right now…

This is a pain he's not sure he could share with anyone…

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