emily_icon.gif finch_icon.gif geneva_icon.gif

Scene Title Tr(e)as(h)ure
Synopsis Emily and Geneva discover a soul too pure for this world while walking on the beach.
Date September 1, 2019

Ferrymen's Bay

With the clammy weather of summer still blanketing Ferrymen's Bay, plenty of its people have taken to cooling themselves down along the shoreline. They dot the sands in clumps, some only just ankle-deep in foamy water, some choosing to simply traverse the sand in order to catch what they can only hope is a fresher breeze than that further inland.

Though laughter sounds, occasionally, here and there, the general air is subdued. Many of the people present live relatively close by in government-assigned housing - and though there is certainly enjoyment to be found in visiting the beach almost no matter what your persuasion, it has seen better times.

Better times, Finch thinks, it should see again! She's standing, hands on her hips, stance wide, surveying a big blue tarp that's been laid out in the sand, rocks and bits of driftwood plopped down at its corners to keep the occasional breath of wind from nipping at it. In the middle of the tarp lies a colourful collection of treasure. Partially broken down plastic, dented beer cans, bottles, the canopy of a broken umbrella, exactly three sandals, none of them matching.

A weather-beaten plastic bag flutters at her side, in her grasp, as the breeze tugs at her faux-patchwork skirt and loosely fitted bright yellow top. This trash? It's her trash. A big milk jug full of cigarette butts gets a particularly proud look cast toward it, her head held high with white-framed sunglasses perched atop it. This is a good day.

"Let's go to the beach," Emily had said.

"It'll be a way to destress," Emily had said.

Well, fine, Emily. Geneva is here at the beach, but that doesn't mean that she has to be enthused about the prospect of it. The teenager is currently filled with about as much excited energy as the damp, heavy film of sea-air clinging to every cell and surface here, today without even the mitigating presence of the small but comforting core of heat radiated from inside the soft shelter of her palms. An old and frequent habit of hers, one that she likes to indulge when it is even slightly nippy the way that it is now.

But nope. Today, both of Gene's hands are shoved all the way into the frayed pockets of her black, weathered leather jacket, and both of them are firmly off. A gesture of stubborness and literally nothing else. It's a small miracle that she had agreed to come at all, and she's really only here due to a not-insignificant amount of guilt at Emily's mention of not having gotten to experience beaches much before.

And they both do need a break. From most of everything. That's something she's even less keen to admit.

As the pair of them meander along the beachfront past stragglers in groups of twos and threes, Gene's expression stays mostly vacant, her lips pursed. She is not in fact making a conscious effort to look as borderline hostile as she does; it’s an expression that just comes naturally to her. With the way that her gaze strays relatively little, focused on everything in front of her and yet nothing in particular, it does not take much doing for Finch and her unfortunately kaleidoscopic hoard to drift directly into the center of her view.

"…Why the fuck is that girl standing in front of a giant pile of shit." Loudly, as Geneva Stevenson ever is.

Getting out of the house was always a theoretical way to destress. Theoretical being a key word. The foot traffic was low at least, thank god, but the shoreline stunk worse than Emily thought it would. Low tide. She has no idea what to say for smalltalk at this point, not sure where to throw the hatchet first. Besides, maybe it'd be nice to just be for a bit before they got into delving into each other's business.

In short, it's not for a lack of fucking trying that her expression is nearly as unapproachable as Geneva's. When the other teen points out the pile the strange girl down the beach has, Emily bends her head just slightly to peer over the top of her sunglasses and arch an eyebrow.

"… She cleaning the beach?" she wonders aloud, in contrast barely loud enough to be heard clearly by anyone other than Geneva. Emily lets out a hmph of thought given to the matter, her flip flops tracking through the (still difficult-to-navigate) sand shrouding the entire beach to begin to angle in that direction. Curiosity directs her, a tether established between herself and the situation. She lifts a hand to shield her eyes despite her shades, trying to get a better look at whatever the hell the stranger's pile of shinies might actually hold that has value.

She calls out no greeting while they approach.

But it's too late! Finch has heard a question, and though it wasn't necessarily one for her to answer, she twirls herself around in the sand to find the source.

Her eyes land on Geneva and Emily, her face lighting up as though they're family only just coming to join her. "Oh, hi! I'm Finch! Wow, that's a nice jacket!" All in one breath, casting a curious look up and down said jacket. But oh - "Are you here to help?" She moves a few steps toward them - on bare feet - clasping her hands together in front of her.

The pile has nothing of monetary value, save for, perhaps, the cans. Even then, it's cents.

It's really all Geneva can do to control her eyebrows when she sees the way Finch does that perky pivot to turn and greet them. Great, a freak. It also has the secondary effect of injecting a good amount of reluctance into her own approach, as if the two of them were coming up on a leper.

Regardless of where Emily ends up: once Gene wanders as close to that mountain of garbage as she cares to get, which is several good feet away, she parks herself and squares her shoulders skeptically. Her blue-eyed stare slowly travels up and down Finch's skinny-ass frame with all the friendliness of a brick wall. No acknowledgement is given to the compliment about her jacket.

"Here to help with what?" she repeats in a way that indicates she does not intend to take the answer seriously.

Emily does not want to help. Emily has precisely 0 desire to engage in helping with whatever this is.

However, Emily asks in tandem with Geneva, with far less apathy, "Help with what?"

Then she catches sight of the bare feet on this beach. Frankly, she doesn't trust any beach barefoot, and especially not one with so much potential to stab your foot on some jagged object — like the half of a glass bottle, which probably once held beer. But no, Finch is fearless, and with that dainty clasp of her hands

Emily suddenly can't shake the thought they're dealing with a real live Disney princess.

And she has no idea how to cope.

"Emily," she says with a vague gesture at herself, hand afterward tipping to "Gene." to introduce them both, albeit with a touch of confusion.

Finch is so glad you asked.

The names given appear to add to the energy within her, and upon noticing Geneva's study, she flicks her sunglasses down from her hair and onto her nose, swaying back a little - almost as if to pose for a picture.

But it's Emily who she turns to as she continues, "Help with the beach! I'm sure you've seen, it's a mess. If you like, I can walk with you and — oh, here!" The hand with which she's holding an empty, sturdy plastic bag is THRUST out toward her newfound volunteer, smile growing wide with hopeful optimism.

Before Emily has the chance to either accept or reject the offered item, Geneva raises out her own hand with a haughtily-bent elbow as though about to slap it out of the way before it has the chance to leave Finch's hand. She does not actually touch it, however. A moment later, a tassel of foul-smelling smoke trickles upwards from the bag, followed by a startlingly bright orange spot—flame— that sprouts inside the bottom of the material and sets to work consuming it like a hungry child.

Whatever mood Finch thinks they might be in, Gene is not in it. Her very dead-looking eyes never leave the strange girl's face, and she merely stands there with her arm still stiffly extended into empty, superheated air.

"Do we look like your hired help?"

Oh no.

“Gene,” Emily hisses, reaching out to swat her friend with the back of her hand. Jesus christ, what was she thinking? Her eyes are wide even as she furrows her brow in alarm and concern both for the casual flex of Geneva’s ability, a frown pulling the corners of her mouth back. She swivels back to Finch in short order in order to stammer out a “Sorry—” because that was the right thing to do.


“We’re— just here to go on a walk.” the thin blonde explains lamely, trying to find a polite way to turn Finch down. Even though they sort of set her collection bag on fire, Gene, and that sure spoke for itself.

The smoke draws Finch's attention to the bag all too easily, but it's the flame that makes her yelp the words, "OH MY GOSH!"

Her smile melts away much like with the bag's material, and she simultaneously lets go of its handle and retracts her hand in reflex, stepping back so quickly that her sunglasses slip off of her face and land in the sand in front of her, next to the smouldering mess.

Holding both hands to her chest, her eyes now wide and glossy as her gaze drifts between Emily and Geneva both, she seems momentarily at a loss for words. At least, until Emily apologises. "… No it's- I'm sorry too," she tries, a little quieter, adopting a new smile which does not match the concern shown on the rest of her face, nor the unease now present in her body language. After she shoots a look at the bag, she promptly sucks in a breath and says with her chin up and with a barely noticeable tremble to her friendly tone of voice, "Of course! Enjoy your walk, Emily and Gene."

Somehow, something about Finch's painfully heartbroken expression only serves to make Geneva even more irrationally angry. Her brow knits slightly in her forehead, and her expression grows darker and stormier yet, like a reluctant stormcloud. Emily's light slap doesn't help matters, either. She doesn't react to it directly, taking it as stonily as though Emily had hit a rock, but the fact that she doesn't just flippantly dip on out of there hand-first with 'whatever' written all over her face is probably a good sign.

Why doesn't she? Gene's trying to fucking figure that out herself. 'Enjoy your walk' would have been the perfect segue into an exit back to said walk. And yet, here she still is, standing around with her hand (the same one that had toasted the bag) on her hip now, glaring thunderously at Finch's shrinking figure as though this was all her fault.

"What the hell is even the deal with all of this garbage? Why are you so goddamned happy? What is wrong with you?"

"Gene," Emily interjects, turning to her friend in an attempt to contain or at least redirect her anger. "She's just fucking cleaning the beach up, let her do whatever the fuck makes her happy, man." She breaks gaze though, looking as Finch slouches off unhappily, and maybe even a little afraid? Though honestly, who wouldn't be, after that.

A knot of uncertainty pulls at her core, and she frowns at it. "Come on, was that really necessary?" she asks of Geneva, knowing better than to try to reach out physically again.

It would have been the perfect segue, Gene.

The fact that it isn't raises Finch's eyebrows up from where they were scrunched up, and something within her changes. She bends her knees to reach forward and down to snatch her sunglasses out of the sand in one fell swoop, then marches past the remains of the burning bag and right up to Gene. Though she stops just out of arm's reach, it's close enough to see the fright's still in her eyes, but… there's also something else. Something else that has her ball her free hand into a fist and take another deep, deep breath.


"What's wrong with you?!" She squeaks asks, voice cracking. The cheer has drained from it, but the same amount of energy remains. "You're out on a nice walk, with a good friend, who's honest with you, and you're being - an ass!" She stands up tall, a whole one inch taller than Gene, and adds in a somewhat more serious tone, like she's twisting some sort of invisible knife, "You don't deserve that cool jacket."

The fact that Finch is choosing to yell back at her as her response rather than turtling up further instantaneously dissolves the bulk of hidden guilt that Geneva is feeling, just like that. In a way that would be completely impossible to explain to herself even had she the spare space in her brain right now (she does not), this is something that feels good.

Or if not good, then at least slightly less shit.

"You were the one who spun around at us like a weirdass and shoved your gross bag of shit into our faces," she snarls back with iron in her voice, husky in comparison to Finch's high-pitched squeak. Her short, stocky frame is stoic and unmoving. Unimpressed. "Right, I may not deserve this 'cool jacket.'" Heavy sarcasm at that little descriptor, if not an outright snort of a laugh. "But that heap of trash sure deserves you."

Ohhhh shit.

What even, here. The princess was all flustered and puffing up like a small bird, and Geneva is just looking for a fight. Emily internally cringes at the escalation, but externally keeps her calm, springloaded into action. She angles her body more her friend's way, diagonally placing herself between Geneva and Finch.

"Gene," she interjects, reaching deep. She tries hard to reach through to her friend on impulse alone, trying to wrap her words in silk and calm. "Geneva, please. That's enough."

But she looks over her shoulder at Finch to make sure the dainty princess hasn't suddenly gone feral and is about to lunge. Her focus is broken, and her words don't quite stick the landing. When Emily looks at Finch, though, the other girl can see a flicker of change bleed through her expression, starting with her eyes. The teen's stomach turns with an odd revulsion.

Man, where did Finch get off here?

The shore, actually, not too far from here, about a week ago. Ha ha.

Finch catches Emily's glance in her direction, but meets it with a small measure of contentedness. Pride. But all the same, with Emily having changed her stance, Finch steps slowly and gracefully back. An attempt to disengage, standing tall (or as tall as she gets, anyway) with her gaze falling back on Geneva carrying the same amount of resolution that was present before.

Anything that's left of the teary-eyed trepidation is sniffled away. "It does deserve me. Because I'm going to help it get where it belongs. Especially if I can find someone to buy these… rusty cans." The energy in her words trails off a little, but then, with the barest hint of a smile finding its way back onto her face, she perks right back up and faces Geneva and Emily anew. HI. What's up. Are we calm now? I'm calm.


Though Emily does not succeed in fully bringing her power to bear on Gene, perhaps what she had managed to do is just enough. Even through the constrictive haze of her anger, Geneva feels the touch of it— the attempt at the link like a cool, if temporary presence pressing gently on the back of her mind. She breathes in, jerkily and deeply.

Her temper-filled glare at Finch does not relent, but something imperceptible behind it does. It is as though a part of her has become weary of all of this, somehow. Perhaps it's the very fact that Emily had apparently deemed this situation alarming enough to attempt to use her ability to deescalate it, despite not fully being in control of either. She raises a hand to the side of her eyelid as though briefly nursing a headache, sullen.

"Yeah, you know what. Fucking. Fine," she growls from between her teeth at the taller girl, letting her hand drop like a stone from her afterwards. There is more resignation than belligerence in the gesture: an improvement.

"I guess I should say sorry. Alright. I misjudged you. I'm too used to people getting in my face for the wrong reasons."

Emily's too busy looking away, a tension in her jaw and worry in her eyes, to feel like she's claimed much of a victory here. She fights down a feeling she can't explain, hand lifting and curling over her midsection as she works through the turning in her stomach.

She has the sense to look back at Geneva with a grateful glance before turning away again, unable to look in Finch's direction still.

Swallowing hard, Emily does manage to ask, "You got another bag, or?"

Whatever concern anyone else is experiencing, Finch seems almost immune, her expression returning back to its cheerful veneer of earlier even as she's watching Geneva struggle.

With a bounce of her hair, she turns to the side and has already started back toward her pile of trash again. "I'm good, thank you! I was actually… I'm going to stop here, and do something else."

She bends down, moves a stone from its spot, and lifts a corner of the tarp before starting to move toward another. If she could bunch it up JUST RIGHT, she might just be able to drag this pile through the sand wholesale. She pauses her actions, though, to cast a watchful glance toward Geneva. "… And I'm sorry too, actually." There's a weight to her tone that does not show in the way she carries herself. A laugh threads its way through her next words, even as both of her hands now tighten, white-knuckled, around their own corner of the tarp. "I can be a little overwhelming! Apparently." She's been told. "Something to work on! Maybe next time you see me, I'll be much calmer. And I won't be spooked." There's that chipper determination again.

Overwhelming. Funny thing, that. Geneva has been told almost exactly the same thing, even if in a vastly different capacity that what must be the case for the other girl. She lets out a weirdly aggressive-sounding snort of laughter (a holdover of said struggle), glance falling heavily onto whatever Finch is doing as a way to distance herself from the fact of her apology but a moment ago. Also, as a way to avoid staring Finch right in the face, which she is still feeling the crazy itch to do.

Both of these things do seem to be helping her calm down in a noticeable measure, even if the process is only piecemeal. She takes another deep breath or two, ending in an unnecessarily sharp inhalation.

Before Finch can get to another corner of the tarp, Gene is already standing over it with her piercing gaze focused downwards, nudging aside the stones holding it down with a very rough shove of her booted foot and bending down to take a hold of it. "…I got it. Here."

Whatever Emily had going on is steadily resolved, save for her confusion about it. She looks back to the other two at what appears to be a case of all ending well after all, standing off to the side while they wrangle the pile of junk into a single moveable bulk. She brushes a stray strand of hair back behind her ear, glancing up the beach to gauge the distance— and terrain— the junk will need dragged through.

"You, uh— you're not from here, are you, Finch?" Emily ventures casually.

Finch's eyebrows pop up, and she watches Geneva with her eyes wide and her smile growing. This measure of goodwill visibly energises her, and it shows in the bounciness with which she helps to maneuver the pile o' junk to a more favorable position, starting to drag it, walking backwards, by two corners. Leaving enough room to where Geneva can walk alongside, course correcting with the other corner, should the pile start to veer off course. It takes her some amount of effort, feet digging deep into the sand with every step, but she'll get there.

A thank you still playing on her mind, unsaid but with gratitude painted clear across her face, her attention is promptly drawn to Emily instead. "Oh! No no, not even a little!" The answers, her words a little strained between pulls and the rattle of garbage, "It's kind of a long story, but I can tell you if you like!"

Emily's lingering confusion is matched in aspect by Geneva's very grudging, but also very unequivocal, change of stance to let's get this over with god fucking dammit. She resists the urge to jerk the folds of the loaded tarp along with far more force than necessary, instead hauling at her share of it in time with Finch with an aura of surprising patience. The smile lighting up Finch's face definitely burns a little, but she accepts her capitulation to the situation without a word.

She'd done this to herself, after all.

"Where do you want this shit." Is something that she does grunt out after they've been going at it for a minute, an asymmetric bulge of rubbish clanking up against her hip after her latest maneuver to steady the load.

The hauling is left definitely to the other two. Emily is there for support.

Some of which she displays by assuring Finch "Nobody's making you." in regards to telling her story, and only afterward does she shoot a skeptical glance Geneva's way. How long is a long story with this perfect stranger? "You could try waiting more than 5 minutes before telling someone your life story, but that's up to you."

Grudgingly, she feels the need to add both for her sanity and to satisfy the frustrating need to be honest: "When we need to head out, though," for whatever reason that might be, "we'll have to go. Might consider keeping to the Sparknotes version."

Geneva's question hits Finch as though she hadn't thought about it before she started dragging the pile, and a brief look of panic flashes on her face - but when she looks over her shoulder, she breathes a sigh of relief in finding two older men still chatting over by a large piece of driftwood just up ahead. "Not very far now! It's right there, by Kato and Kirkman!" Spoken like the names should be familiar somehow.

"'Sparknotes'?" Comes Finch's reply to Emily, then, between strained but ENTHUSIASTIC pulls at the tarp. But even the threatening shortness of breath can't stop her from rattling off one word after the other in response, expressions animated and plentiful. "Wow, that's great word! I love it! Notes that spark! Okay so I was born in -" PULL, "- California, and raised there, and it was great! So many loving and protecting people, and the grounds were lovely! It's really different though, like," PULL, "I think maybe a lot of people here could do really good if they stayed there a while but it's hard, right, because everyone's used to what they're used to? You don't even have curfews here! Or the morning bell! Do you think maybe I could put one up? With help, of course."

PULL. A questioning look is shot in Geneva's direction, then swung toward Emily.

Who in the actual fuck are Kato and Kirkman supposed to be.

Says the darkly annoyed look on Gene's face, though she doesn't actually voice it aloud, perhaps because she's still busy wallowing in her own private version of shame. Neither does she have any protest for Finch launching straight into her life story as though she completely hadn't heard Emily's lightly cutting comment.

"Put what up?" she finally grunts noncommittally when it becomes clear that Finch is directly asking her a question that requires a response. Momentarily, she allows her hold on the tarp to slacken while she stretches out the knuckles on one hand with a loosely satisfying crack, though she is not at all out of breath like the other girl is.

“I think,” Emily suggests mildly. “—The war’s over. The goal is to keep curfews a thing of the past. I know there kind of is one, at least as far as travel in and out of the city goes…”

She kicks at a bit of plastic poking out of the sand. A shredded bottle flips out from below. With a frown, she doubles back for it, pinching it between two fingers and touching it as little as possible until she lobs it into the pile on the tarp. She’s helping, see.

Hands wiping on her pants, Emily supposes, “But they’re over, basically.”

Another beat passes before she looks back toward Finch, brow suddenly worming together in confusion. “Wait, a bell?”

"Yeah, like a bell, in the morning - a morning bell!" Finch enthusiastically repeats herself, which is sort of like an explanation, right? The lobbed bottle has somehow further stoked the fires that fuel her happy face.

After a few more huffs and puffs - starting to lag a little behind Geneva's efforts but appearing to pay that absolutely 0 mind - she peers over her shoulder at the two men doing nothing except wait for her to bring her trash treasure (trashure?) over. Seeing them closer than before, she gives a tiny 'eee!' and turns, once more, to both of the other girls in turn.

"Today was pretty good. But now? With you guys? Now it's freakin' GREAT."

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