Till They Can Glue Themselves Back Together


abby_icon.gif elisabeth_icon.gif

Scene Title Till They Can Glue Themselves Back Together
Synopsis When one breaks, the other has been there to gather the pieces and glue them back.
Date February 2, 2021

Some instincts are hard to tamp down.

Like the instinct to run. Go to ground, get rid of everything technological, use only cash, buy a burner phone and just run. Ingrained in the mind that it’s an option is just a telling sign that even though it’s been ten years, some things never go away. Go bags, emergency escape plans, keeping a handful of grand at all times tucked away in a safe place. Abby had stopped keeping go bags, and the cash was kept in a bank these days. Escape plans were a given. Especially the last six months.

Abigail hadn’t slept. Things and emotions that had long thought to have been put to rest through endless years of therapy in Canada and here had surfaced again. Of men with glowing eyes and crashed planes, the bass thumping and the smell of corrugated shipping containers when one closes their eyes. Of terrified children hopping over walls in freezing rain.

Abby didn’t sleep. She held Kasha to her all night under electric blankets till the sun peeked through curtains and come the morning when Dean woke left him to care for his granddaughter and took off to the apartment they had been staying in. Past the guards and cleaning up the biscuit mess as best she could, in a state of mania that hasn’t surfaced in some time since likely Staten Island, she’s packing. Looking like she’s packing to run again.

Kasha’s suitcase is already sitting by the table, a set of sunglasses along with Abby’s phone which while turned on for now, is likely to be abandoned. Unlike back then, one can’t just pop off the battery. The guards watch at the door as she moves in and out of rooms at a semi-glacial pace, stopping to lean and take a moment to rest before she’s off again. Right foot dragging just a little. Things carried mostly in her left. It’s when she goes to the bathroom to gather other things that they past three months have accumulated that there’s a crash from the bathroom and a scattering noise of small things falling and an audible and frustrated scream before another thing goes crashing.

Probably for the better that Kasha’s with Dean this morning as Abby sits on the lip of the tub while pressing the heel of her hand into her right eye socket and orange medicine bottles spread about the floor and one having broken open and tiny white pills coming to a rocking stop on the floor.

It’s a bad day. It’s a very, very, very bad day.

Looking around the apartment with the damaged door and wall, Elisabeth can't help a grimace. Maaaan. The look on Richard's face. With a sigh, she looks around for Abby, but the crash from the bathroom startles her.

"Abby?? Are you all right?" Oh God… did the stress of yesterday make Abby stroke again?! It takes fewer than half a dozen steps for Liz to arrive at the bathroom door, a hand on either side of the frame and worry evident on her face.

There's a momentary pause while Elisabeth mentally sorts out the situation and the she moves to wrap an arm around Abby's waist. "C'mon, sweetheart… let's get you laying down." She recognizes the pain in her friend's body language. She'll come back for the meds shortly.

Curled over with one arm wrapped around her own waist and not giving up on pressing on her eye. “If I just sit still it’ll stop hurting. It’ll stop and I can pack our things and I can figure out how to drive and we can… we can just… go somewhere. Maybe the safehouses still stand somewhere. We had them everywhere. I can find one. There has to be one still standing. I can find one and we can run. If we keep moving they can’t find us. Or it’ll be too hard to. No phones, no tech. I have money, I can pull it. I can get Tabaqui from Hailey and just… run. My Dah can go back to Butte, he lived through the war and without me, he can do it again.” She’s babbling, words flowing out one after the others in a verbal torrent. “Or I can leave her with you. I can leave her with you and I can run. I can hide in Greece, or go to Italy. They don’t want her so she’ll be safe with you. They want Jac, they want me, they want us. There’s bugs in my brain and they can’t get them out and there’s bugs in my brain Liz.” She lifts her head and looks at her best friend.

“They -grew- bugs in our brain.” She’s not having another stroke but is without a doubt having a breakdown. “Bugs in my brain and in my blood and they can’t get them out and they’re everywhere and people are coming for us” Breaking apart and shattering where her daughter can’t see her.

Oh Abby. It breaks her heart to see Abby pushed to this point. But part of Elisabeth is actually relieved to see this happening. She herself is a master at pushing off the actual reactions and compartmentalizing the fear and panic until 'a better time.' In the end, it always comes.

Instead of urging Abby to her feet, Elisabeth wraps her arms tight around her friend. She can't change any of what Abby is going through, but she can offer the shelter of her hug, a safe place for Abigail to lose her shit totally.

"I've got you," she whispers gently but firmly. "I know you're scared." And more so after today, understandably. "Running is not going to stop them." Not that Abby really believes it will. "The reason they didn't get you is because you were here and not alone. Leaving just leaves you open to them again." She holds Abby tightly, not mentioning that she's concerned they could actually be tracing the damn bugs.

Resting her head atop Abby's as she holds her best friend tightly, Elisabeth whispers, "We will figure this out, Abby. You are going to be okay. I'm not going to let them take you from us."

Logically Liz is right. If they had been in Williamsburg where there were no safety measures besides a couple bolts on the door, a shotgun, hunting rifle, her service weapon and a pissed off Dean Beauchamp. Maybe some kitchen knives. Likely these individuals would have succeeded.

“They have no way to prevent remote distancing or teleportation. To protect against that. I can’t protect her. I left ten years ago to keep this from happening to her.” words keep flowing, like a pot filled with water, boiling over. “I left so She wouldn’t have that future. So she wouldn’t grow up on the run, wouldn’t know this way of life” She up and left NY. Just got on a boat with Kasha from Bannerman castle with only a few letters to a handful of people. She fled when she had been able to move around again, took her child and left the fight.

Tears have started to fall and she shakes in the other woman's arms. “I can’t drive, I can’t work, I can’t function half the time and I need my Dah to help me around and bring me drugs, drive me around. I don’t know if I’m gonna stroke again and someone, someone -grew- bugs in my head and I don’t know when. When did they do this. Why me?” Abby pulls back enough to lift her head and look at Liz. “If you hadn’t been here, they would have succeeded” Wrong. If the DoE hadn’t been there, they would have succeeded. Iov had laid Liz out on the floor with a single word but Abby didn’t know that. “I can’t protect her. From anything. I can’t do anything. If I leave her with you, if I leave her here, she’ll be fine. She’ll be safe. My Dah can stay with her. They can do it. They’ve done it before. He’ll have a Spot to help him. When it’s safe, I can come back” She’s pleading even as tears run down her cheeks, for permission to run.

“I can’t do this. I can’t do this. I can’t do this-” Like a broken record now, saying it on repeat.

The trembling of panic setting in is far from unfamiliar. Elisabeth holds Abby tightly and says quietly but firmly, laced with the subsonic undertones to try to calm her some, "Abigail, ~breathe. In…. out. In……. out.~" She works for now on coaxing Abby down from the ledge before trying to get her on her feet. "~I have you, Abby. It's going to be okay. I have you.~"

For now, before she tries to make her friend move, she just wants to get her breathing and a little less freaked out so she can then get her out of this apartment.

She’s never been fond of abilities being used on her. Telekinetics hold a special place in hell in her heart. Empath’s have always been pushed back against and rejected, asked politely to stop. If she were more cognizant in the moment, she might tell Liz to stop. She takes a gulp of air in, switching to trying to breathe as instructed instead of repeating words. In, then out, ragged and erratic. Echoes of twelve years past. Of an apartment elsewhere, of a phone call in the middle of a night ten years past. Echoes through the years from either side. The younger woman leaning on the older woman, or the older woman leaning on the younger woman.

A chance meeting so many years ago at the Nite owl where one served the other. Edward would probably have cackled to see the string that wound back and forth between the other and tying them together.

But everyone breaks. Not everyone has someone to hold the pieces till they can glue themselves back together. Till now, Abby hasn’t really had that either. Not for a long time.

“It hurts.” She can’t breathe through her nose, breathing through her mouth. “I can’t see out of my right. I can’t feel my right side. I knocked things over and then couldn’t pick them up.” Spoken on outward breaths with pauses to noisily suck in oxygen. "I’m tired of hurting liz, I dunno if I can keep doing this. I dunno how people do this. I don’t want to do this.” Less frantic. “So tired Liz. I want off.” She’ll move then, stand up when nudged and guided to.

Once Abby manages to calm just a bit, Elisabeth eases off the power application and gives of her affection and her strength. "I know you do, sweetheart." With an arm wrapped securely around Abby's waist, Liz maneuvers both of them carefully out of the bathroom and, after a brief hesitation, over to the couch to lower Abby down gently. "Lay back. Let me sort the pills and make sure you get the right ones. Close your eyes and try to relax a little. We'll move you up to a bed as soon as I have what you need." Her voice is still low and holds comfort and calm, but it's unenhanced.

Abby's state makes Elisabeth want to cry but now is not the time for that. She smooths Abby's hair gently and then goes back into the bathroom to pick up the medications. "Abigail Beauchamp Caliban, you can do anything you put your mind to," she assures softly while she gathers the pills and sorts them into their respective bottles. "You can't run from this. The threats are terrifying, I know, but running will leave you defenseless. And right now… you won't make it far." She's nothing if not honest, even though she lays it out gently. "Separation from your support system isn't the answer. But we will find the answers."

She's more or less talking just to keep Abby anchored in the present to head off another round of panic. "Have I ever not done what I said I would? I will keep you and Kasha and your Da safe."

“I won’t make it far.” She agrees to that. There’s no need for the Ferry anymore. The network is no longer really in play. With routes and safe places to stay with just the right word. Food and clothing, a clandestine network of those who could fabricate ID’s and smuggle to near anywhere in the world. She lays back on the couch, moving her left arm to cover her eyes, bury her face in the crook of her elbow and listen to her breathing, her heart pounding in time with the stabbing in her head.

There’s nowhere to run to. That has been the background realization even when packing that was ignored. Only to Williamsburg. Or Butte. She’d run to the only place that could feasibly protect. To someone, to people who had pulled her ass out of fire in the past.

The pills are few, the bathroom graciously devoid of much so makes it easier to gather them up. Each of the three are distinct from the other and can be sorted into their bottles swiftly enough. Some the woman is familiar with, Abby’s taken them for years now and Liz was the one to help her fill them from time to time. Drugs that help to keep nightmares at bay. New bottles too, painkillers to be taken sparingly, abortives that half the time don’t work or sometimes just enough. She’s not a full pharmacy yet.

The bedroom can be seen, bags mostly stuffed. She had gotten a great deal done before Liz had been called by the ones outside the door and found her in the bathroom. Three months of their lives reduced to suitcases, everything that makes the Caliban/Beauchamp family in a townhouse in Williamsburg as this was meant to be temporary. Only temporary. No attempt was made to make concrete and metal more homey except the smell of baked goods and homemade meals, of father and daughter and granddaughter puttering around the kitchen.

“You do. You always do.” Abby agrees quietly, breathing starting to fall in line to somewhere near normal as she stays curled up on the couch, a green quilt with embroidered violets on it that’s seen better days, drawn against her chest and held. A quilt that her mother made for her many many years ago, that made the trip to NY from Butte when she returned. Now kasha’s blanket on her bed.

Making sure they're carefully put back in the correct bottles, Elisabeth comes back into the living room and makes her way to find a bottle of water so Abby can take these. It's obvious she needs them.

When she brings it all back, crouching on the side of the couch to help her friend get upright enough to swallow them, Liz sighs softly. There is both a kind of relief and kind of weight that comes with the knowledge that she is still trusted so much. Her hand smooths back Abby's hair again. She'll get Richard or even Mike to carry Abby to the other apartment when the painkillers lessen her agony some.

"It's what we always do for each other," she murmurs. When one of them gets knocked for a vicious loop, the other stands between them and the world until they can once more stand together.

God, if she ever gets her hands on the people who have done this to her friends. There is a deep well of rage being kept carefully tamped down. They are going to regret it.

They tend to regret it. The people who kidnap the former healer or make threats on her life. People crawl out of the woodwork that have been touched by her in some fashion. Perhaps likely why she lived as long as she did, way back when, healing everything that moved. She even had government agents and cops moving mountains to make things disappear.

She moves to sit up, head turned so that Liz is mostly kept to her left side and takes pills and water then lean forward, rest her head on Liz’s shoulder and just stay that way. “Can Kasha come spend the day with Aura when she gets back from school? Just… I don’t want her to see me like this. She can’t see me like this. My Dah’s barely ever seen me like this.” Broken. “I can take him seeing me like this. He’s my dah. He changed my arse when I was a baby. I just need to spare her. Maybe she can sleep over.” Something. On a school night. She pulls back a little then, head dropped to her hand, wriggling her head, trying to find a spot that will make everything stop for two seconds until drugs kick in.

Gently pressing Abby's head tight to her shoulder, Elisabeth's voice is still soft. "Of course she can. I'll let her know your headache is just particularly bad tonight so you're already asleep," she tells Abby. When the former healer sits up and presses her own head with her hand, Liz adds, "Let's get you upstairs so you can rest in a dark room."

She's entirely focused on taking care of the young woman who took care of Liz herself in some of the worst moments of her life. A solid arm around the waist and moving slowly, she offers with a small smile, "We're going to need to get you prone before that painkiller fully kicks in, I think." If nothing else, maybe sleep will give Abigail some rest.

“Ten minutes. It knocks me out.” She looks a hot mess. Probably a good thing that Kasha’s headed off to school and Dean will be ferrying her off. But up they stand and after a moment, Abby reaches for the worn quilt and holds it close to her. Then shambles off with Liz toward the door, a stop for the sunglasses to put them on and shelter from the hallway lights and her phone to her pocket. Just in case. Then onward again.

“I love you, you know?” She doesn’t look over, striving to keep her head straight and still, focus on getting from point A to point B. Dean will come later and finish packing things up to at least move it all to the new apartment. “Picking me up. Putting me together. Thank you.” Her voice barely above a whisper.

Ten minutes is plenty of time. Elisabeth keeps her attention on getting Abby and the precious quilt over to the other apartment, squeezing her friend in a hug even as they move.

"It's what we do," she whispers softly. "I love you too."

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