gillian_icon.gif jenny2_icon.gif

Scene Title Water
Synopsis The dead walk again and allow for a very surprising reunion.
Date February 24, 2010

Upper West Side

A yellow cab pulls out of the slow moving traffic and stops on the side of the street outside the tall building of condos and apartments that overlooks the northern edge of Central Park. Some of the street still shows signs of damage from the explosion, but most of it has been removed, making it look more and more like it's old self. But the more damaged husks of buildings are visible. It makes quite a contrast, without being among the shattered streets and buildings of Midtown.

The door opens after an exchange of currency is made, depositing a dark haired young woman out onto the street. Boots with only the slightest heel make up part of her outfit, a long black coat with big buttons. Back out into the cold, Gillian reaches to tighten the scarf around her neck, gloveless hands closing the door behind her, and keeping the bag at her side close. At least this time she doesn't have to carry a big box of papers— just a recyclable shopping bag.

The cab pulls away, to find another fair, as she makes her way to the doors of the lobby, a hand digging around in coat pockets for the keys.

Not everyone can afford cabs in this city. Some people have to walk. The shoes at the end of skinny legs have seen miles, maybe, too thin for the winter which might explain the thickness of socks at the ankles over brown suede. The jeans are worn, faded at the knees and showing off the woolen leggings underneath, black beneath white and pale blue threads. These knees bend from where the figure is curled up on the stoop of the apartment building, long arms swaddled in thicker sweater woolen wrapping around them, hands bare to the cold which stings knuckles pink.

There are a lot of homeless vagrants in New York City, and only in the movies are they as pretty as this one. Button nose, freckles, green eyes, although her skin has suffered neglect and her nose is pink and shiny from a cold. Hair is bundled back, bound harshly, with looser loops hanging over her ears instead of tucked behind, as if against the warmth.

The sound of Gillian's approach gets attention, and the girl goes to move aside. Or at least, she stands, and stares, coltish frame obscured in her layered winter things. "Gillian," Jenny Childs breathes out, in steam and disbelief.

Keys that had been fetched from pockets suddenly slide through fingers and impact the pavement with a metal ding. Multiple dings, as the keys fall into each other. One might even say from the widening of her eyes, and the hitch of her breath, that it's the look of someone whose heart has skipped a beat. Or three. The bag even slips from her shoulder, catching in the hook of an elbow, as Gillian stops frozen.

Around her, the world keeps moving. People heading home from work, getting ready to go to dinner. The dimness of the cloudy sky falling, to be overcome by street and city lights.

When she recovers enough to exhale the held breath through her lips, she takes in another, so she can let it back out while she says, "You're not real. You're an illusion, or a trick, or— you're not here."

The last time she saw her dead sister, she ended up helping a man… who she would later help kill.

And Jennifer promptly bursts into tears.

She cries like she's been holding onto it for a long time, hands up to cover her face in shame and trying to get hiccuping breaths under control, rocking a step back that almost has her tripping and falling back on her ass, but a quick adjustment of balance corrects it well enough. "I'm sorry," she whines out, bringing her hands down after furiously wiping her face with her sleeves. "I'm sorry I didn't come home, Gillian — I was so scared. God, it's…"

Shaking her head, there's a moisture now gathering on her skin, on her clothing, little dew drops of condensation sparkling her clothing. This goes ignored, Jennifer gripping onto her own elbows anxiously. "Please don't tell me to leave," she whispers.

Moisture gathering on her skin. Gillian can't help but stare as she watches the whole thing. The crying tugs on her heart in ways that settle the shock, but pull on something else entirely. Her sister is dead— she saw him kill her sister, slice into her skull. Her remains were positively identified.

But then, Gillian had been dead according to those same people, and she's standing here now. People have come back from the dead before, as well.

"But I saw… You died. The newspaper said you were dead, and…" She'd slept with the man who murdered her, saw his sins when she briefly had another ability.

There's so many reasons she should tell the woman who looks so much like her sister to leave, but… The tears. The apologies. The…

"What happened? How the hell are you here?" She looks up at the building, then finally recalls her keys and bends down to pick them up, before she forgets them, but then returns hazel eyes to her sister.

They weren't close, and Jenny seems to know that. There's no reaching for hugs or sympathy, and seems to try and grow a spine in the time it takes for Gillian to do things like: state the obvious, and ask hard questions. She smears away the greasy tracks of tears, staring at their saline gathering on her palms which aren't particularly clean. None of her is, and cigarette smoke can be detected from her clothing, as clingy as the condensation of mist on skin and fabric both.

"I don't know what happened," she sniffs. "That's— there's a lot of things I don't know about. I was taken care of, at the trailers, and it's like— you know how you don't really know about when you first wake up? There's like a line between sleep and awake, that's hazy?" Her eyes are very green as she stares at her sister, bidding her to understand. "That was me, for days. And I didn't remember anything, not even my own name."

She swallows, but seems to understand that some amount of justifying needs to happen. "I started— I started taking Refrain," she heavily admits, and her eyes start to swim with tears. "When it hit the streets. And I started remembering."

"This isn't possible…" Gillian says quietly, closing her eyes as she grips the keys she holds. People keep moving in the city, but she might as well not see them. Blurs of color in the background. If she were asleep, she'd think the nightmares were back— maybe she is asleep. Maybe she fell asleep in the cab!

But no.

Amnesia. She's been around that. Refrain… that too. Everything, all the justifications, they seem plausable. But her remains were found, and … wouldn't it have been easy for him to deny if there were a chance she was alive?

There's a tremor in her breath as she exhales, eyes drifting back up to the building. Peyton's been staying somewhere else lately, Aaron would likely be home…

"I know a hotel a few blocks away," she finally says, shoving the keys back into her pocket as she stands. "I can get you a room, we can figure this out… You're not using Refrain anymore, are you?" What she wouldn't give for this to be real…

Jenny gives her a watery smile, taking a breath before shaking her head. Errant strands of rusty-ginger hair come free of the scraggly ponytail most of it's been pulled into, and she goes to pick up a backpack, as worn as the rest of her, and this she slings over her shoulder. "No, I'm not," she says, with shaky strength. "I— wanted to get off it. Before I tried to come back from the dead." Wry smile, faded. "When context kind of started coming back on its own, I stopped trying to get high to get it back. It's slow, but."

She sniffs, stepping down onto the pavement proper. "I guess we have a lot to talk about — just go easy on me." A small sliver of wariness, as if that had been part of what had been keeping her away.

"It's not easy— getting off Refrain," Gillian says, wincing a bit as she realizes she failed to make it neutral, rather than speaking from experiencing. It's not easy, talking to your dead sister. Who— may not be dead. There's a slow inhale as she begins to motion down the side street away from the park, to a hotel she used not too long ago. Once it had probably been fairly expensive, only a few blocks off Central Park— now not so much. It's one she can afford a few nights in, for her sister.

"I can help you through it. It'll take a while, but… I know someone who can make it hurt less, too." Part of her knows that Aaron made it easier for her to do, but…

It's not toward Aaron that she leads. Not yet.

For the last few days, that knot in the back of her head has been so tight, so controlled, that even the shock has kept it from unravelling. Ever since a voice in her head told her to control herself.

Boot covered feet stop, and her eyes close, bare hands clenching in the pockets. "If this is a trick, please say so now."

Jenny stops as Gillian does, her face going still in uncertainty at that question. Her brow crinkles, and she rubs her itching nose before her hands go small and tight around the strap of her backpack. The smile is weak, but she manages to meet Gillian's eyes — or rather, focus on her older sister's squinched lids. "No trick," she says, with a small breath of laughter. "I guess I just— got given a second chance. That's what I was told. And trying to take it.

"If you…" Her jaw goes steely, as if trying on 'tough girl' for a moment, a shrug jolting beneath her sweater. "I mean, if you want me to clear out, I won't be a baby about it. Back there, it wasn't…" A glance back to the stoop, where she'd broken down, and her already flushed face goes a little more so as she pinches her mouth shut.

Before her eyes open again, tears bead at her eyelashes. Gillian blinks as she looks back up, rubbing fingers over her eyes, before saying, "No— no don't… Don't go anywhere. A second chance. I— I kinda know how that feels. Just without everyone having thinking I was really dead— for longer than a day, at least." She'd had the memory and the friends who could clear up that misunderstanding. Maybe it was a misunderstanding.

With her breath shaking, she moves a little closer to her sister. Jenny'd always been taller, by a few inches, and the slight heel on her boots won't do much to change that. They'd never been close, they'd fought half the time…

And Gillian had never been the touchy feely type when it came to her family. That had been Victor.

But there's a small warning before she reaches out and tries to hug her sister.

The whites around Jenny's green eyes show for a moment, and at first, she doesn't move, not an inch. Gillian's arms wrap around her shoulders, and there's the tiniest of self-conscious flinches before she simply gives in to it. Her hands clutch desperately to Gillian's coat as she tucks her chin down on the other Childs' shoulder, eyes closing hard and fresh tears cutting tracks on her face.

"I'm sorry," she whispers, with a shudder, then gives a small, wet sounding light. "Man." She smells like stale cigarettes, and something else. Faint like a coming storm, or the road along a coast. She smells like water.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License