Weight Of The World


helena_icon.gif teo_icon.gif

Scene Title Weight Of The World
Synopsis Even though two people shoulder the burden, the load gets no lighter.
Date September 3, 2009

The Foxhole

As people make their way from the Foxhole, Helena moves swiftly - bypassing Peter, or more to the point, willingly bypassing Gillian and Peter - to try and catch up with the Italian who made his way so promptly from the meeting. When she finally does catch up with him, Helena's a little out of breath, a little beside herself, a little coming apart at the seams.


The way Helena calls his name is a little bit of a lot of things. In most parts it's a plea, because she doesn't understand the stranger he's become, doesn't understand his distance. He's a stone that she has long missed in her foundation, and perhaps it is to her detriment that she doesn't understand why he's taken himself from her - not just from Phoenix, but from her.

It would appear that the errant stone is trying to outpace the encroaching growth of moss by rolling away as fast as he can. Except— not really: he's looking for Deckard, trying to track him, but the healer outstripped the immediate perimeter of the ghost's ability and it's shakey footing from there. He's slowing, finally, his tread decelerating down to a cranky rample and scuff, which very nearly speeds to a hasty escaping trot again when he hears his name called out. Fortunately for the young atmokinetic, however, he's not that much a dearth of courage. Three more footfalls, and he finally drags to a stop.

Looks back over his shoulder, and turns up the corners of his mouth. "Ciao," he says, putting a thumb up, > that way. "I was heading… there's a safehouse"

"No," Helena says, the word making her chest hurt. "No, you've got to - you've got to talk to me." Catching up to him, she stands straight, hands twitching as she keeps them in check, wanting to reach for him in a familiar way that hasn't been for some time. "I know you're in this movement, and this fight, and this cause, but I don't even know if you're Phoenix anymore. Part of us, the way - " she stops, starts again. "Did I do something wrong?" she asks. "Because I feel like I'm constantly doing things wrong and I'm wondering if I'm just dragging Phoenix down, and I can't." She stops, closes her eyes, and grits her teeth before opening them again.

"When I say I need you wish us," her voice is soft, and carefully controlled, "What I really mean, is that I need you with me. I lose a lot for not having you around, and I can't help but feel like I've failed you in some way, only I don't understand how. It's like you're sending me the message in a language I don't understand. I feel like there's no one left, and I'm afraid, and you were always - " She stops, self-disgust evident.

Well this is a critical mass of awkwarrrd isn't it? Uncertainty swims in and out of Teo's face, a familiar fish to those particular seas— maybe almost reassuringly so, considering he's seemed so much the stranger these past few weeks.

Maybe the months before that, too, what with the sinister and the haunting. He scratches at his elbow with the hooked fingers of one hand, looks down at the floor, then the wall, then finally at her when she puts herself right there. Inhale. Exhale. Through his mouth, which may not have been a good idea. Though his breath is fine, after a cigarette and a stick of gum, that's a tell, when you breathe through your mouth. Betrays that you have tension to release, that not enough air is getting through without, and highlights every infinitessimal quiver in your jaws.

Ghost never used to quiver, and it's his assessment, self-check routine, programming that's running in the back of Teo's head. "I'm sorry." Of course he's sorry. "I'm sorry, I've just had— a lot going on, after… after the ghost left, I'm— kind of mixed up and shit. Confused. It's nothing you did. You have a lot to worry about. You always have too much to worry about. I don't…" His pale regard shifts inches across the walls, chance eye-contact again, falls by reflex. He lifts his head. "I don't mean to add to it."

"I wish you would." Helena says fitfully. "I know there's a lot going on and that people are dying and that we've got a whole lot to be fighting for, but at the end of it all, I'm just me, and you - you're not entirely you anymore, and I don't know how to deal with it. It's like…I used to carry all the doubt and the fear and the hurt in this pouch, and you'd carry it for me, and now you're not there anymore and I don't know how to process it - and it's so much worse, because I realize that I put the burden on you and maybe I could have been carrying something for you in exchange. I could have been better. And worse again, because even though I know these things, I still want to run to you."

"Everyone wants me to be tough and take it in the chin and suck it up and all those stupid sayings, but no one ever asks me what makes me strongest, what puts me at my best. And I know what that is. And maybe it makes me weak."

"I don't want you to misunderstand me when I say that I love you." she says. "I love you like I love Leo, it's not romantic, and it's not sexual, and it's not brotherly either, but the two of you - you - you were always there for me. I think that's where it comes from, inside me, when I'm strong. Knowledge that I love, and am loved in return. You're slipping away. And Peter - my father - do you understand? Everything about what makes me strong is slipping away, and I don't know what to do."

Well. It must have made sense in her head.

Of all the things. Of all the things she had to say, she had to say that. That safehouse that Teo had been on his way to evaporates from his mind, so completely that even if it had been literally vaporized by the malice of FRONTLINE or Autumn or whatever the fuck else has its hooks in these things, he probably wouldn'tve been able to manage to more than blink at the prospect. He is, for a moment stretched out over too many ribs-clenched heartbeats and the slow dehydration of the surface of his eyeballs, speechless.

What can he say to that? What is there to say to that? He isn't him, but he isn't him in a way she wouldn't know to remark on, yet. "It can't be the way it was," he says, finally. "I don'… I don't want to upset anyone, but it can't— be. You can't go back. There's no point looking back, except to learn— it's what Hana tells me, it's what she's always told me, about carrying things." A miniaturized reflex of muscle in the corner of his mouth, then: a tiny smile. "Except for grudges. But I don't like harboring grudges, so I don't. And I won't.

"I love you too." This, he presses in as if unsure of where exactly it's meant to fit, the last pea out of the pan dropped at arbitrary between the serene and architecturally perfect institutions of garnish on the dish, genuine, and wee, and perfect and sweetly green, but a little lost between the flower made out of the apple and the carrot horse. "I just have to do things. By myself, a little… a little bit. Exorcise some demons, now that the… the" wince. "The ghost's gone. I know it's hard to understand and I'm doing a bullshit job explaining, but maybe maybe afterward—

"I could come back. If that would be okay."

Helena hasn't learned yet that in some ways, being selfish is more forgivable than others.

For example, in this moment she is being told I love you, I need to do things, I need to follow my own path. but what she hears is, I love you, but if you were just a little smarter, a little more clever, stronger of heart, more certain of purpose, I wouldn't have to go.

Helena nods. "Of course." she says, stepping back, not realizing that the very gesture is similar to that of someone who's been advised to back away from a burning bush. "Of course you can come back." Why does she feel humiliated? Why does this hurt? She understands, she really does, that Teo has things to sort out. But the part of her brian where logic doesn't rule is in mourning, people are always and forever leaving her. It is perhaps, the part of her that is still young, slowly shriveling. Even with a face that so frequently has her mistaken for younger than she is, Helena Dean's growing old before her time, and she doesn't have the gravitas others do to carry it.

"I better let you get going."

Reality is retreat, curling the hand back from the over after learning that it's hot. She continues stepping back, shoulders hunched, but keeps a smile on her face with the force of clenched teeth. "I'm sorry, I - I shouldn't keep you. I'll see you - soon."

And the thing staring at her in the hallway, who so often feels the fact that he's one half monster, and a cluttered mutant hybrid chimera of too many lives and unretractable years, finds himself feeling rather incurably human. He would reach out, but he doesn't think that would make things better: he'd hate to have to explain where he was trying to go, and how, why he deserved it, how it was that the good, fierce boy she remembers had interfaced with the blithely remorseless mass-murderer the Jersey PD had been taught to fear, and made a man to take all that honor and use it to lever responsibility onto his back.

Before he leaves, he will have to trick another smile back into her. Just not tonight: it's too soon. Just way too fucking soon. "Don't be sorry," he says, because it's a little bit better than merely repeating himself for the nth time. "I'm glad—" there's no ending component that sentence that wouldn't make it sound utterly, irretrievably trite, so he doesn't bother. "I'm glad." Teo lifts his hand.

He'll trick a smile out of her, but not tonight. She lifts a hand too, and for a moment, she looks like she might reach, extend her fingers for that interlacing and interlocking that was so natural before all of this, but she doesn't. The hand drops, and she blinks at him owlishly before nodding. Her sneakers don't squeak, they're too well worn for that, and when she turns, he may have a glimpse of what he must look like at that angle, carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders.

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