delphine_icon.gif julian_icon.gif

Scene Title Vinegar
Synopsis An unexpected family reunion turns sour. Destiny has come a-knockin'.
Date May 4, 2009

A Flea Market in Chelsea

It was one thing she liked about the Rookery. The market places.

If you could close your eyes to the fact guns were being sold in broad daylight right next to beaded necklaces and jewelry she can only imagine was stolen, it was just like any flea market. Places Delphine liked to wander, alone if possible. Alone adrift in a sea of strangers, of course, which is the kind of alone Delphine is used to, now. No more friends, no more family, no more lovers.

Well. She has one companion, and he wasn't invited to this excursion as much as she might cling to his arm and hope he beats the world into a marginally more tolerable shape. But that's another story.

Picking up a heavy necklace of jade stones and something she thinks looks like obsidian, Delphine turns to the circular mirror propped up for potential buyers, holding the piece of jewelry to her throat. The flea market winding down for the day, most stalls had already closed up, the already thin crowding thinning out into almost nothing. A few lone wanderers, like her, or those passing by. No criminals, no cuttthroats to worry about on her way home - this isn't Staten Island. Which is a rather optimistic view of Manhattan, to be honest, but she's rather sure that if she could survive the brothels of the pirate island, she can survive some little nook of bohemia in the mainland. She ties the clasp of the necklace together at the nape of her neck, and paws through her wallet.

But not before catching a ghost in the reflection of her mirror, making her freeze and her eyes go wide. A pale face, paler than her skin could ever go, the same burnished brown hair and general— oddness. She knows him from anywhere. Flinging the bank notes in the approximate direction of the marketeer, Delphine spins on her heel to stare at the man seemingly waiting for her across the market place. Standing casual in a leather jacket, stained jeans, heavy boots and a cocky smile.


Swinging her bag back up onto her shoulder, clutching the strap so it won't slip, Delphine takes off at a precarious, high-heeled run on cobbled road, an incredulous grin spreading on her face, mimicked by her brother though he doesn't meet her hand away, and flings up pale hands to prevent any chance of an oncoming hug. "So I take it y'happy to see me?"

"Well I never thought I would again. C'mere, would you?" Delphine says, trotting to a halt and extending her arms up for a hug, which Julian just steps back from, an eyebrow raised cynically. "Oh don't be daft, Julian." Her smile fades, some, exactly when his does, and after a moment, she lets her arms swing back to her sides. "Right then. Not the exuberant reunion I was countin' on. What've you been doing with y'self all this time anyway?"

Raising a hand to scratch his head in monkey-fingered fidgeting, Julian gives a jerky shrug. "Been in all kinds've trouble," he admits, not quite looking at her, before he's tilting his head. "Walk with me."

And they do, foot steps falling in tandem.

"It's about what I can do. You'll remember I sort've took off after I Registered, aye?"

Delphine gives a quick glance to her younger brother, a hand up to fidget with her newly bought necklace. The shopping bag at her arm is bundled with a jacket, one designed for a man of broader build than either of them. She hopes Ethan likes leather, it cost a pretty penny. "I remember. What a mistake that was." It's stated searchingly.

"Aye. What I can do it, sort've— it got people interested. The wrong sort've interested. I ran into some trouble, and from what I've heard…" He glances at her, eyes of the same brown studying her face. "So've you. You're runnin' from somethin'."

"Where'd you hear a thing like that?" Her sharp question is met with no answer as they walk aimlessly, veering around a corner from the markets, out onto the sidewalk. Up ahead, the sky darkness. "You've been spyin' on me or somethin'? I swear to Christ, Julian— "

"Just answer the fuckin' question— "

"It wasn't a fuckin' question and that's the fuckin' problem, isn't it!" Delphine snaps, in a savage whisper. "You already know the fuckin' answer!" She lets out a horseish snort, bundling her shopping bag closer to herself, and still they walk together, the siblings falling into a familiar, sullen silence for a few more paces. She breaks it. "Yeah, alrigh'? I've had some trouble, with people bein' too interested in what I can do. It's not healin' like the department thought it was. It was somethin' else. Where in God's name 'ave you been anyway?"

His hand goes out as if to touch her, stop her, and never quite makes it, but it does halt their journey on the sidewalk. "I've found somethin' that could help," Julian says, turning to her. "A way to handle what I can do. Find a purpose for it."

Delphine's eyebrows raise. "A purpose for makin' people sick?" But this goes ignored.

"They're good people. Not the government, or the fuckin' mafia. Legitimate people, though. I told them about you an' they want to help, alright? It's a company, of kinds, an organisation. 's called Pinehearst. Come with me, Delphi." He hadn't called her Delphi since North Ireland. "You don't have to keep runnin'."

She's already shaking her head. "Jules, they'll be like anyone else. No, listen to me. I don't want a purpose, right? I c'n do that myself and for that, I need a life. One've my own, where I don't owe people anythin'. Now, stop stickin' your nose in things after all these years and gimme a phone number or some such thing so we can talk proper some other time," and her hand goes out to touch his face, "without you lurkin' about like some kind of ghost— "

Her fingertips brush his skin.

And proceed to pass right through it.

There's a moment in time that passes by, frozen. Julian's expression doesn't change even as Delphine's longer nails cut through bloodlessly as if she were trying to touch milk, and Delphine can only stare in abstract dissonance before her hand abruptly flares a bright, and startling white. Wherever it glows, the image of her brother fades into nothing.

She screams, and at the same time, tires screech against the road. It's always a black van, you know? By the time metal doors have slid open, there's the crackle of electricity in the air, her running steps stumbling and failing her, convulsing body surrounded by competent feet in serious boots.

Sometimes you attract flies with honey. But not when they've had more than their fair share of it, have grown wise enough to know better. Vinegar is always an option.

The lounging couple across the road on the on-street cafe don't see a thing, and by the time the vehicle has curved away to some unknown destination, the unscarred face of Julian is all that's left to watch it go. In the next blink, he vanishes with far less fanfare than that of his "sister".

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