abby6_icon.gif nora_icon.gif

Scene Title Vodka'd
Synopsis Ketel One has a definite effect on talkativeness and fighting ability for two Bannerman residents.
Date January 12, 2011

Pollepel Island

Past midnight, the dining hall is an empty, chilly and barren place. Most of the residents are tucked away in their beds with friends or family, or strangers who have become friends and family in the past two months. The few other souls still awake are on guard duties along the shore or on the ramparts. Only one waking soul has taken up residence in the corner of the dining hall, sitting on the bench in the corner.

Anyone walking by could probably guess who it is quickly enough, thanks to the strummed chords coming from the softly-played guitar.

Nora is huddled in a blanket, the guitar resting in her lap, legs crossed Indian-style on the bench. The familiar melody of The Beatles' "Nowhere Man" is plucked carefully, a touch under tempo.

Abigail's never been a beatles voyeur. Her taste in music according to cat is very limited and poor. She'd been going by, one of her nights - too often of late - of restlessness, intention to hie it up to the ramparts and do a little star gazing with the small bottle of vodka that she'd had from her last run to town. She's of the opinion that if people want to drink, a little won't hurt and it'll be healthier than any hooch and moonshine that Avi might be, might have been cooking up somewhere that Howard had spoken of.

As it was, five minutes ago, Nora wasn't so alone, Abby's crutches outside leaning on the wall and the brunette has hopped in on sock feet to sit down against a wall and floor so that she could listen to Nora pluck away. She was well into tipsy, about to verge a little further if the clink of bottle against cup is any indication and warning to the blind woman that she was no longer alone.

The sound of the guitar masked the hopping, but not the clink, and Nora's head comes up, the music stopping suddenly, hand coming down on the strings to silence the residual thrum of the last note.

"Who's there?" she says, alert, dark eyes narrowing as if that will help her see through the darkness and fog. Her heart beats with a fear that's new to her. Being alone is a privilege she hasn't been willing to give up, and yet the worries that come with it make her second guess that choice.

"Abby. Just Abby. That's all. No one else to listen to you practice" She breathes in, then lets the air out, a bit of a hiccup at the end. "I just wanted to listen. Sometimes, it's just really nice to listen to someone play. Momma'd play the piano at night to Dah and I" Clink, her glass goes down, the bottle soon joining it.

"Could you keep playing?"

Nora's eyes close and she rests her head back against the wall. Apparently whoever Nora's afraid of here, it isn't Abby. "Sure. Any requests?" she asks, continuing the melody line she'd been plucking out. "I mean, I might not know it if it's something from your neck of the woods, or anything I didn't grow up listening to, but I'm pretty good at plucking stuff out by ear. Or I am on the piano."

She finishes the line and strums an ending chord, sighing with a bit of melancholy at the end.

"Uhh, I like a little Elvis. I'm not that backwoods. Yes, my music consist mostly of christian music that one would find in a church and a lot of more modern christian rock somewhat makes me cringe. But I like elvis" Abby leans forward as if Nora could see her, lowering her voice. "Don't tell my momma, but I really like Elton John too. Crocodile Rock" Abby giggles, something that many haven't heard from her in a long time here.

"Don't tell my momma that I'd drunk either. Or Eileen. Oh Lord don't tell Eileen. Or Pastor Sumter, oh Lord, no not Joseph. No, not him at all that wouldn't do good, I'd just get the look from him and I don't rightly think that I could take the look from him. He can give that look through his voice, did you know that?"

Nora giggles a little bit at the sudden revelation that Abby is indeed drunk. "No. I don't know the look, and I haven't heard the look, either, but I'll sure to keep a look out for it."


Nora snorts a little. "Funny, I actually was just telling Robyn that I like old Elton John. Like, Elegy for a Friend is a fabulous song, but you know, I don't like his schmarmy stuff. I'm more into things like Pink Floyd and the Doors and the Who and the Clash and stuff your mama and Pastor Sumter probably wouldn't approve of either, to be honest."

She begins to pluck out, a couple of notes wrong here and there, "I Can't Help Falling In Love With You." After feeling her way through the notes the first time, she begins again, a little more smoothly, a little more to speed.

"What are you drinking?" she asks, suddenly.

If nora could see, she'd see Abby's eyes closed, head tilted back, a dopey smile on her face often reserved for looking over at Caliban in adoration or the animals when they're doing something stupid. Or Teo/Francois. She hums along to the music, eventually dipping into actually singing along to Nora's fumblings and eventual smooth success.

"Ketel. Ketel one. Never get smirnoff's, it's American. I brought Howard some alcohol, before, an apology for hurting him. Before. I didn't mean to, we just got to arguing and he was telling me that a ring was just a ring and a tarnished one at that and then he was going to go get walter and I was so upset, and told him that if he'd ever lay a hand on that baby I'd done right turn into fire and burn him up and I turned into fire and then he just went off, like, I think there were sparks. did you know.." Abby finishes off the little dregs that were in the cup, easing up off the floor.

And starts hopping over to Norah, ketel one splashing around inside the bottle. She's coming to park near Nora is seems from the sounds of it. "That his head and his eyes and his arms and where his heart is, that it's all really/ hot"

"You can see… heat?" Nora says, tipping her head curiously, her brows knit together, as she considers that. "He's gone, you know. Howard. He left."

There's a little sniffle and Nora's hand comes up to wipe her eyes with her cuff, unknowingly smudging a bit of dirt across her cheeks. She tips her head at the strange sounds of hops and sloshes, eyes narrowing as she tries to figure out the strange rhythm. "What are you doing?" she asks, looking up toward where Abby's head should be, though those unseeing eyes seem to gaze through her, tears lingering on the long lashes.

"Only when I'm changed. WHen I'm a big ol woman of fire. I don't see normal. I can't talk even. But I can see. There was this.. this movie Alexander took me to called predators, and the predators, they can see like that. And Howard, Howard looks really strange. Don't say that near him, he gets really upset but he just… his head and his eyes, it's weird."

A displacement of air near her indicates that Abby's parked down, not flat right beside him. She's got more sense than to really invade personal space. "Coming to sit near you. Sorry, Megan wants me off my ankle. Don't tell Megan I'm having a drink either, she'd be all raaaaawwwr" She makes a claw motion with her hands irregardless of Norah's capability of seeing it. "Don't be drinking with your anti-depressants Abigail, that's not a smart thing to do, but then, I don't do a lot of smart things. Do you want some?"

Short pause. "Vodka. Do you want some vodka, I got another cup… near… by" She's leaning over over over…. reaching for a cup and snagging one off a nearby table. "It's good"

"He's a good guy," Nora says a little defensively of Howard. "He and me, we're … we both lose our tempers easily. I guess I'm just not literally a hot head. Just figuratively."

The teenager grins a little at the rawwwr. "Yeah, she was gonna tie me up I think when I kept slipping loose. It's not like lying in bed was going to make me see any better, though." With a nod to the offer of vodka, Nora adds, "Aren't you supposed to mix it with stuff? I didn't know anyone drank it plain, you know? But sure. I could probably use something to wind me down a little. I don't think I'm going to sleep anytime soon, otherwise."

'You can. But when in russia… and I've been to Russia, you drink it like water. Only, you know, I don't drink it like water, I just drink it a mouthful at a time. Like a shotglass, but I'm a little short on shotglasses and I like drinking with others. Drinking alone… it's not really a good thing"

More clinks, the gurgle of liquid tippling over into a glass and after she sets the bottle down, Abigails hand finds Norah's, just her fingers, and guides the cup till the tips of her fingers make contact. Norah will have to go the rest of the way with it.

"I didn't know Howard left. I'm sorry if I made him. He's a good guy. He's got a shitty end of a deal, really, the rods and everything and the institute. Right proper jerks" Tinkle, tipple, thunk. Abby's got her own cup again.

Nora's fingers curl around the cup and she brings it to her nose to sniff it — she's no innocent with alcohol, but straight vodka isn't something she's done before. "He is. But he'll be happier not cooped up here, I'm sure. It's nothing you did, anyway. You didn't do it. Just… you know. Being in the Institute, he doesn't like being cooped up. He wants some freedom, and I don't blame him, you know?"

She takes a sip of the vodka, the sharpness of the alcohol earning a wrinkled nose. Apparently it's not really something you can sip if you want to get it done, so she takes a healthier swallow, then coughs as it burns.

When Nora speaks again, her voice is a little rough, her eyes watering from the drink. "I didn't tell you yet, but you know, I'm glad you got away okay. From the … thing on Christmas Eve. I sort of yelled at Brian for you," she admits.

"Ohh nooo you can't sip this, this is not a sipping drink. You just throw your head and the drink back and you just swallow it. I know a Russian, bad russian, who is surprised that I can just rightly throw back-" She demonstrates, swallowing the mouthful in her cup with a harsh bark of a cough before another bout of laughter. "Throw it back and pray it finds it's way down. Maybe I'll get some tequila next time, and some lemons. We got salt"

And Howard. Not her fault, he doesn't like being cooped up. "We have even more in common then, this place is nice but… but there's too many people and I just.. Maybe it's better that he took off. I just hope that he doesn't go off to do anything stupid. If you want to go visit him, I can take you. I know of someone else too, he's out in greenwich, he can maybe do something about your eyes too, if'n you wanna see if they can be fixed"

Abigail falls silent, wondering if she wasn't on the run, if she wasn't some fugitive, who Caliban would direct her to point Nora towards. "Hmm?" She looks over, reaching up to tuck a lock of her hair behind her ear. "Cash! Her name is Deanna. I stayed with her, over Christmas actually. I'd met her before and she took it upon herself to try and… get us out of there before we could get scooped up. You made it away okay. You looked very pretty. If I was a man, I likely would have tried to dance with you, get a date with you. Benji looked handsome too. Who was the ratty haired guy though?"

Nora tries to keep up with the discursive banter and laughs a little at her inability to do so. "Tequila I've done. Straight vodka, no. I'm guessing it'll be about the same horrific results," she says first, trying to remember what else Abby said in that long spiel.

"I'm going to try, yeah, to see a doctor. I'm not sure, though, because you know. I don't want to go to a real hospital and end up in a box somewhere with things in my nostrils pouring adynomine and whatever else into me?"

The teenager takes another hard swallow, wiping her mouth with the back of her hand after as she laughs. "Benji always looks handsome. I bet he was gorgeous all dressed up. The other guy … is a friend of Benji's," she says a little more carefully. "He's a good guy, too. I mean, he's Benji's friend, right?" As if that should suffice.

Another swallow empties the cup and Nora can feel that gulp warming all the way down to her belly. "Hey… you said you need to learn to fight."

"He didn't try to kill me or get me killed, so he holds an okay place in my book. Hair is a little questionable, needs a trim, a wash, and boys don't wear makeup in my book" But it's unspoken, Calvin seems okay. "Fighting, yes. Well, self defense really. Because I don't like guns and I can only charge a taser so much out here and I can't always go poofing up into a pillar o' fire because that's a lot of clothes"

Abigail's fingers close on the cup in Nora's hand, the EMT tipping the cup, another two gulps worth of vodka going into Nroa's cup. "Hana scares me, my Hana not Hannah hana though I hear she's a right proper scrapper!" Abby's r's roll.

"It's okay. They both scare me," Nora says with a giggle. "I mean, I like them both, and I've learned from them both. Haven't seen your Hana, though, not for several days." Belatedly he word seen sets her into another of a giggle, the high proof alcohol already seeping into her blood stream. "Not that I've ever seen your Hana, you know, cause I can't see and all."

The cup is raised in a bit of a toast and thrown back, cup clinking slightly against teeth and eliciting an ow from the teen. She sets the empty cup down and coughs again, cheeks flushing a little.

"I don't mind the makeup, or the hair," Nora adds, fondness coloring her words, a smile curving her lips, before she brings the focus back to fighting. Hana and Hannah and Abby and herself.

"I can teach you!" she says suddenly, lifting the guitar carefully to put it inside the case on top of the table, and then moving off the bench and around to Abby's side of the table. "There's a clear space here, right? Like… between tables? Don't wanna bang hips or — oh wait, you're hurt, your ankle, I forgot."

"You are spared from seeing a LOT of things, like HUruma gutting a deer. The look on her face as she just gets her elbows in and the floor. Did you know that she has eaten human before?" Abigail crosses her heart with her forefinger, grinning as if it was the greatest thing to know. "yuuuuup she once ate human, or so I was told. I don't think she does it anymore, but, you know" Wait a minute Nora's moving, Abbys' turning to follow the other dark haired woman, resisting the urge to get up and make sure that she gets here safe.

And she's telling Abby that she can teach her! 'Really? Like, no, really, you can teach me? Like, some super ninja blind see where fists are flying sort of deal? Oh please tell me you can, magnes will be creaming in his super hero underwear if you are like the herodevil.. or.. no it's not hero devil's…" She can't remember who the blind fighting super hero was.

"I can stand up, I shouldn't put my whole weight on my ankle, what Megan doesn't know won't kill her and it's not like it's broken it's just wrenched!" it's just wrenched! It's nothing! IT's fine! It's perfect! Abby's getting up out of her seat, putting the wrapped foot down, but no weight, not yet.

'There's like.. like.. six feet, I think, sorta. we cna push tables"

Even a blind person should be able to see that this is a recipe for disaster. But vodka is starting to fog Nora's mind and she giggles a bit more. "Brian mentioned the daredevil too. I don't know it, so he acted like I was some sort of freak for not knowing it. I donno. I don't read comic books," she says with a dismissive shrug as she lets go of the table to face off with Abby, using her voice to help guide her.

She chews her lower lip thoughtfully for a moment. "What do you want to know how to do? The stuff I know… it's basically about changing the direction of their motions and taking them out as fast and as effectively as you can, you know? Sort of … no such thing as a low blow."

"I don't either, though Magnes has seen fit to educate me now and then. But then Magnes likes to educate everyone and magnes also runs around the town in white and saving the world and he messed up Japan and he likes to think that he's a super hero too" Abby leans forward a bit, pushing the table over over over, so that there's more room, that there will be no bumping into table or whumping of heads into the table tops and incurring the wrath of the matron mamma megan.

"You serioulsy know how to fight?" Abigail's voice filled with awe, coming to stand in front of Nora, a foot or two away. Any heat she was radiating is gone, the last of it lingering in her hair as she has the smarts to crank and turn down her ability so that she doesn't combust on the woman.

"uhh, I guess, I guess take them down. I get kidnapped a lot, they like to grab me round the neck or come right for me"

Figure she'd ask for a chokehold, the thing that Nora failed to get out of the other day, bruises on her neck and cheek finally faded. She nods, chewing her lip thoughtfully a moment. "Yeah, I've been learning this shit since I was a little kid, it's no big deal. Only I kinda suck now that I can't see. Still, I can teach you what I know, sort of. I mean, I can't correct your form if I can't see it, but… I think there are people you can ask for that."

She thinks for a moment, then nods. "I'm going to show you something you can do if they come straight at you, putting their hands on your neck. So… Go ahead and do that to me, and I'll show you what I might do to stop it, okay? I'm going to be slow and talk about it, and not actually hit or anything."

'Well I guess that you know how to fight like I know the bible!" There's a hint of perk, alcohol induced perk in the former blonde, who puts her weight on her toes on her bad foot, as opposed to her heel, shuffling towards Nora and not in the least bit tentative about putting her hands on the blind woman. The woman said she knows how to fight, she's no wilting violet. And she does what's instructed, Abigail's hands close around Nora's throat. Firm but in no danger of actually choking the other girl.

No worry about abigail pulling a Brian here. "Okay. I'm listening" With whiskey on her breath and glassy eyes.

"Okay, sooo there's a couple different techniques here, you can do," Nora says. "The wrong thing to do is this." She brings her hands up and tries to pull downward. "My leverage won't work. You're gonna win."

"This, though, can work." She brings both hands up to hook on both Abby's upper arms, pulling apart and leaning forward at the same time. "Then, you can headbutt or knee to the groin to get the attack in, because just breaking the attack isn't going to be enough. You need to decapac… no… incapitate… incapacitate! your victim." She raises a knee but stops short of hitting Abby in the crotch. "Gitelman says that women have an eight second window of incap… taking down their victims at the start of a fight, or it's a pretty sure thing they're gonna lose."

She exhales, the puff of air blowing the swoop of too-long bangs up from her face, revealing the slight bruising still there. "Now, the other way you can do it is this…"

Nora lets go of Abby's hands, then takes just her right hand, hooking around Abby's left hand at her own neck, taking a step back and turning away at the same time so she is perpendicular to Abby. "That breaks the grip and the choke, then you can strike with a palm and a knee."

The knee comes up again, and so does the palm, meaning to cut short of hitting Abby in the face. But Nora's spatial reasoning is a touch vodka'd, and instead she makes contact with the woman's face. "Oh, shit!"

So you go this way, or you go that way, Abby's face follows the movements of Nora's hands and body as the radiopath demonstrates the most effective and ball crushing ways to someone let the fuck go of you. Filed away, to practice for later, or in a few minutes. There goes the second suggestion and Abby breaks away imitating the way that the attacker would go. "

"Gitleman taught you?" Abby looks impressed, looks impressed for all of three seconds before Nora's palm is connecting with Abigail's nose producing a strange sound that the young woman hasn't heard since her early days with Phoenix and Felix.

She also produces a howl, hands flying away from Nora's neck to her own face, taking a step back and promptly going down, ass to floor when her ankle goes out from under her. Which is unfortunate for Nora since Nora's the direction that she ends up toppling, elbow up, unintentionally doing to Nora what Nora's done to her but with an elbow instead of palm and to the eye instead of the nose.

When Abby goes sprawling, Nora is trying to roll so as not to land utterly on top of the poor Southerner, but the elbow to the eye foils that plan, and she lands on top of the other with a "Fuck," hissed from clenched teeth. She'll feel bad for offending Abby's pious ears later.

Her hand comes to her face and she rolls off of Abby and flat onto her back. And laughs.

"Or, that could work, too, I guess," she says, fingers gingerly probing her skin and knowing she's going to have a shiner. It won't be the first, nor the last, she's sure.

"Are you okay? I didn't break your nose did I? I really really thought you were like… an inch further away."
Don't worry about sensitive southern soudn receivers, Abby's whining those same four letters in a more nasally tone as she rolls on the floor going fetal as she touches her nose as if that could stem the bleeding from the middle of her face and then pulling away when the touch invokes a fresh wave of pain on top of what's already going on.

"fuck. fuck. Megan's going to kill us. Eileen's going to kill me. Oh lord I'm dead, oh lord, oh lord, I think it's broken Nora" Blood making it's way down the back of her throat too, if she could actually see the southerner, she might laugh at the perpetual motion machine that she's become and the mess they make on the floor. "I think you broke it, oh god, this is like the third time I've broken my nose, my nose… oh nora, my nose" And the whining turns to laughing.

"God, I'm sorry," Nora manages, the laughter subsiding when she realizes from Abby's words and the wet sound of her voice that she's actually bleeding. "Sit up, don't drown yourself," the teen says, pulling at Abby's clothes, catching her sleeve and tugging the older woman to sit up.

She makes a face, tugging her knees toward her chest as she sits up, wrapping herself into a little ball of contrition as she stares past Abby, looking like she might cry for hurting the other. "I'm so sorry… I didn't mean to… I … with Brian, I meant to, but I didn't mean to with you, I swear!"

"S'okay" Really, it's okay. "Xiu did it all the time" only it comes out 'hu id ih hall fah hime' between her accent and her nose. No anger in abby's voice at all that even the sharpest of ears could tell. "Accident. Accident, we're drunk. Very drunk. Oh Lord my nose, oh lord my nose… it's gonna be crooked, Brian deserves a broken nose, he can be a jerk sometimes" Herh.

She moves though, sitting up like Nora tugs her to, using her top shirt, taking it off so she can wad it up and press to her nose. "Don't cry" She can see Nora's face through her own tears. "Don't cry, oh no I made you cry, I'm sorry. I didn't break a rib at least!!"

"Brian won't have one, he has too many of hims running around and can just … disappear the one that got a headbutt to the nose," Nora says, a little vitriol creeping into her words. She hadn't told anyone on the island how she got her bruises, and either she hid them well enough no one asked, or they were polite enough to leave her alone on the matter. The vodka's made her forget her vow of silence.

She chuckles a little. "I'm fine," she says. "You didn't make me cry, I just… I didn't mean to make you bleed. I can't fight worth shit and now I can't even teach you without hurting you." She heaves a little bit of a sigh, though she chuckles wryly at the end of it. The daredevil, Nora is not.

"Come on. Let's go get some snow to ice the swelling."

'How, how about we do the snow thing, I'll keep us warm, we'll… we'll lay off our booze and… and when we are sober and you can see, or even when you can't see, just so long as we're sober, you can teach me. I'll just.. I'll learn to dodge" Abigail uses her free hand to start getting herself upright, seek out the crutches and see if they can't get themselves cleaned up without anyone being any the wiser.


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