White Flags and Dish Rags


sable_icon.gif tasha_icon.gif

Scene Title White Flags and Dish Rags
Synopsis … both symbolize surrender or truce to a one-sided battle when Sable seeks forgiveness from Tasha.
Date May 21, 2010

The Lighthouse

The observant (or simply nosey) will note a strange new law governing the presence of bodies within the Lighthouse. It's a simple principle: where Tasha is, Sable is not. Or, conversely, where Sable can be found, Tasha cannot. A repulsive force is at work, causing the appearance of one to induce the disappearance of the other. Scurry scurry, Sable beats retreat after retreat, a totally uncharacteristic behavior for the usually brash young musician.

Only Eric Doyle would know the reason for this new principle, being the only witness to Sable's vicious and totally unexpected attack on Tasha's person, one that ended in a two stage process of searing vitriol and bitter regret. Sable is no stranger to self-loathing. As with all megalomaniacs and grandiose delusives, there is another side to Sable's emotional coin, a miserable tails to match the imperious head of self regard. Her misery only blooms further under swelling rain of shame and avoidance.

And soon, very soon, she doesn't even have the pathetic fallacy to rely on. The sun has finally shown its full face to the frozen city, and better moods are budding like snowdrops. It's a time of thawing, and Sable is faced with a choice: hold onto her personal chill, in self-destructive defiance of the positive vibes around her, or suck it the fuck up.

Let no one say that Sable lacks a backbone.

The sun rises on a yellow eyed girl, paler than usual, nerves written all over her features, purposefully seeking out Tasha. Time for an exception to prove the new rule.

The little nooks and crannies of the house are also left vacant by Tasha, not wanting to be found alone in a moment of vulnerability like she was the last time Sable sought her out. Instead, she is teaching a small group of the Lighthouse children an art lesson on pointillism. The children are happily dotting away at their papers with markers, creating the silhouettes of chosen objects — a rose for Mala, a car for Lance, and a curvy woman for Paul, the pose similar to those seen on mud flaps of semi-trucks.

The last gets a narrowed-eyed glance from Tasha and she just smirks. "Pauly, you're ten going on twenty-one, mi amigo," she says, reaching down to ruffle the hair of the little boy she pretended was her brother as they travelled from Boston to New York City just weeks before.

She's got allies! Sable is outnumbered, a fact she discerns as soon as she pokes her head into the doorway. The sound of Tasha's voice makes her stomach do an unpleasant turn. She considers just saying 'forget it'. I mean, there are kids there, it really isn't the right time, and maybe later she'll…

No. She will not chicken out. Tasha may wave her away, may fix her with a death glance (something Sable might actually be interested in seeing, just for the novelty), but Sable will not put it on her to extend the olive branch. Still, her anxiety is worn with all the subtlety of eighties hair metal as she remains, leaning around the edge of the door, within view of Tasha should she look up to see her.

One last thing, to make her intentions clear. Sable pulls off her hat and, from its interior, removes a dishcloth, white but stained with grey. It was the best thing she could find on short notice. She lifts it, and gives it a little wave, her brows tilted plaintively. A white flag. Truce?

One has to be at war to accept surrender or negotiate truce, right? Tasha catches the little flutter of grayish-white cloth, and turns to look up at the bearer of the gesture. Her eyes widen a little and she glances down at the children — clearly not wanting them to witness any sort of 'rasslin' that Sable might have in mind, should the surrender flag just be a ploy.

"To add shading, remember to just have smaller, more dense dots, like along here," she tells Lance, pointing to an area of the car. "And you can add in other colors, like orange, to give it more dimension. Good job guys. Keep it up while I go make you some cocoa," she says cheerfully, despite the hollow fear in her stomach at Sable's presence.

Looking back up, she gives a jut of her chin toward the door to the kitchen, to tell Sable to follow, and she turns to head into the other room. Without looking at Sable again, she moves to the stove to get the tea kettle and then to the sink to fill it. "Yeah?" she asks, over the rush of water running through pipes and into the copper bowl of the kettle.

In truth, under other circumstances it would tickle Sable to know she inspired dread in someone. But Tasha has the terrible manners to be undeserving of this fear, just as she was undeserving of hair pulling and gut punching. As it is, then, it's a kindness that Tasha does not reveal her feelings - they would only make Sable feel worse. Not that Sable's feelings are of any just importance at this point.

Sable places her hat back on her head and ties the dishrag around her bare bicep like an armband. It gives her a sort of 'wounded soldier' or 'irregular medic' look that ties in with the military theme. She keeps her distance from Tasha for the walk, as matter of respect; she keeps out of her own arm's reach. When they arrive in the kitchen, she remains near the doorway, keeping space between them.

"Uh…" Sable begins, or more like fails to begin. What does one even say in a situation like this? "I fucked up bad," she says, settling for the perhaps understated truth, "An', honest, I'm not sure what the fuck came over me or whatever, cuz I never felt nothin' quite like that quite so sudden before, nor done somethin' anythin' like that…" and now this is coming dangerously close to what sounds like an /excuse/ which even she knows she doesn't have - it's just that what happened /does/ perplex her, still, "But, I dunno. I dunno if there's any possible fuckin' way to make this shit right, short of divine fuckin' grace. But, for what shitall it's worth… I'm /real/ fuckin' sorry. Like you don't know and I'm hopin' you never will."

The kettle full, Tasha turns the water off with a sharp up-turn of faucet handle, and moves to the stove, eyes down as she considers Sable's words. She nods, once, twice, to show they were heard as she turns the stove on and leaves the water to boil. Finally she turns around, moving a foot over so as not to burn her butt as she leans against the counter, her eyes still downcast.

Her brows are knit with the hurt confusion she's felt since the fight — if one can all her scrambling to get free a fight. She nods again, swallows hard, and finally speaks.

"Okay," she says quietly, but that's not quite forgiveness — merely an acceptance of the apology. She frowns and tries again. "I'm … it's… don't worry about it. Bygones." She waves a hand as if to magically make the past disappear. If only it were that easy.

"Naw, it ain't," Sable says, voice spiking into momentary testiness, probably not the best choice for diplomacy, but Sable's no diplomat, "Don't lie about that shit. This is important. I… it was a breach of my fuckin' principles," which is to say, John Lennon would not have approved, "And also it's, like, totally screwed with regard to, like, the surroundin' fuckin' circumstances which," she frowns, lifting her own eyes which had similarly been turned down, peering at Tasha, "Somehow y'know 'bout, which I didn't know. That, like, you knew. Or anythin'. Eh!"

Sable's hand waves quickly through the air, a sharp mirror of Tasha's own gesture. "That all's beside the point, an' you gotta believe me when I say that. I've made my fuckin' peace, and I'm fine with seein' how the cards fall," implying, of course, that they haven't yet all fallen, but that's another matter, "And while I know I'm in no goddamn position to make demands or nothin', I need you t'know - whatever it may take, whatever y'need to make shit balanced again, I'm beggin' you, please… lemme know. Cuz I'll do it. I come t' you on hand and knee."

Tasha's brows furrow more as she tries to make sense of that — you know stuff that I didn't know that you knew, which she parses well enough being a teenage girl. She nods slowly, eyes dropping and cheeks flushing at that. The analogy of the cards gets another narrow-eyed glance that at least suggests she's not totally the saint that Sable thinks she is. And finally, there's just a shake of her head at the last request.

"I don't need you to do anything to balance this, Sable," she says with another shake of her shaggy dark hair. "I … whatever made you do that, it's — whatever. It's done, and yeah, it was shitty but you obviously feel bad. And I forgive you. And I'm sorry you feel that way about me. I really really am, and I would say whatever I can do to make you not hate me, I'd do but…"

Tasha takes a deep breath, and she lifts her head completely, eyes focusing on Sable's as she says firmly, "the thing that would make you hate me less? I won't do that for you." In other words, she won't give up Colette. Not that Sable's asking her to.

"And as far as this — you want me to give you something to 'balance' this, if I need it, but it's not me who needs it. It's not up to me, the injured party," (she is a lawyer's daughter), "to come up with something to make you feel better. If my forgiveness isn't enough…"

Tasha gives a shrug. "I'm sorry. It's all I can offer."

Sable blinks, once twice. Her hands lift, palms out. "Jesus, no, no! You've… aw, hell," she withdraws a hand and pinches the bridge of her nose. "Hon, I /don't/ hate you. Don't think f'r a moment that I…" she stops. The fact is, Tasha has no earthly reason /not/ to think that Sable hates her. Seeing as she all but /said/ that she hated her only a couple days ago. "I thought I was /gonna/ hate you, arright? I was all geared up to. But, time came, I shot the shit with you and I didn't. What happened… what happened up there, I just dunno… but I /swear/ that wasn't me. I mean," her arms fall, she looks imploring, "It was, in that it was talkin' through me. And it was talkin' to you. But you ain't anythin' that I said you were, and I /swear/ upon everythin' I hold dear that it wasn't really me that was sayin' it."

This feels insufficient, though she is nothing if not vehement when she insists on the falseness of her seeming admission. Sable feels compelled to go further, and so she does. She literally gets down on her knees, hands pressed against the floor, head bowing before turning up towards Tasha. Her expression is stricken. It's intensely awkward. "If we're guilty of what we do in our dreams, then I'm guilty of feelin' everythin' I said. It's not like all that shit ain't there, somewhere. But I swear, it was like bein' in a /nightmare/. So every bit of me that came up in that moment, I'm gonna keep it locked down tight. I'm just… I'm beggin' you, please, believe me."

Just as Sable gets on her knees and Tasha's eyes get wide — she's not equipped to handle this — the kettle keens. "Don't — get up, Sable, please, don't … It's okay, okay?" she whispers, as she turns to take the water off the heat, hand reaching to turn the dial to off. She turns back around and shakes her head vehemently, then moves to put a hand on Sable's shoulder, to try to push her to a standing position.

"I… I don't know, I almost wonder if … like, maybe one of the kids is manifesting and can do something creepy or… I don't know. It's maybe something we should tell Gillian about, now that she's better. I believe you, that it wasn't you." Except that she admits that it was, sort of.

"And you were right. I've been given a lot but it doesn't mean… it doesn't mean I don't have problems, too. I … they're different than yours. I can't pretend to know what you've gone through, and I know it's worse than my life's been, but … but I'm not some spoiled brat."

Sable's face breaks into a very uneasy, very uneven smile. It's a wee bit pathetic, but in the full sense of the word. She gets to her feet at Tasha's urging, and now the embarrassment of her prostration sets in. She immediately starts to scratch the back of her neck, before cutting to the chase and pulling her hat from her head, twisting it in her hands. She mostly looks anywhere but at Tasha, though she steals glance after glance of the other girl, unable to go without taking some measure of how her words go over.

"Yeah, yeah, somethin' like that," Sable says, grabbing onto the excuse Tasha provides, "Probably should. Folks like what live here goin' suddenly ballistic… that'd could end lot worse than…" She realizes what she's implying here, that what she did /wasn't/ that bad, and she quickly amends, "Just I mean… Magnes could, like, knock out some fuckin' walls, or, I dunno, mebbe one of the kids could light the other kids on fire mebbe." She winces, "Anyhow, yeah, no, I know. Or, actually, I don't. What you said, it's true. That I don't know you, 'n' I know that I don't know you. Y'know?" Yes, very lucid. "I'm not… I don't got… I ain't asking for /pity/. Shit. I mean, 't least I was born in America, right?" Another very awkward smile - she's trying to be a little humorous, "Coulda been somewhere where shit is really fuckin' hard. Like…" Sable tries to think of the worst place in the world she knows of. Sadly, her knowledge of the wider world is not extensive, so she settles on the very indistinct, "The third world, or whatever."

The pathetic look on Sable's face is easier to deal with by gathering cups and cocoa and busying herself that way. Tasha shrugs. "I don't pity you but I feel bad for whatever you've been through that makes you feel like you do," she says softly. To hate the 'haves' simply because they are not 'have nots.' "But just because you weren't born in … I don't know, fucking Kazakhistan or Cambodia or something doesn't mean you didn't have shit to deal with. Everyone's pain is valid, you know?"

After pouring the three cups full of water, she begins to stir in the cocoa. "I'm not going to tell Colette, by the way… I don't want her to have to worry about me on this, or about you, either. She has enough going on, and I don't want another burden on her, you know? So… you know. The balance shit? It's fine. I'm sorry you felt like that, whatever caused it, and for what it's worth, I forgive whatever there is to forgive. It might not have been your fault at all, and in which case, you know. Bonus forgiveness, you get a freebie at some point."

It is titanic struggle on Sable's part not to make some sort of lewd crack about the offer of a 'freebie'. Of course, that the impulse presents itself so strongly is a mark of her recovery from the depths of her guilt and self loathing. Her mood is on the rapid rise, a benefit of having a mercurial temper. She tugs at the white band around her upper arm, the motion looking idle rather than purposeful, but the effect is symbolic enough. No truce necessary if there are no hostilities. She tosses the rag over to the side of the sink, so it can go back to its proper job of cleaning up everyone's messes, rather than just Sable's.

The mention of Colette does cause a lift of Sable's brow, however. "So… this stays b'tween us?" she sounds skeptical. Not having to crawl to Colette in turn is more than Sable initially believed she deserved, so this feels like getting off uncomfortably light. And that's just the tip of the iceburg for her. Tasha's withholding of information comes as a surprise, and one that Sable has various mixed feelings about. She chooses, however, not to give them voice. She lacks the energy to articulate them anyways. "Arright. If you say so. Yeah. Sure. Don' need to give her any more headaches. Things should be allowed to get better, eh?" She hitches one more smile to her face, and this one is a big improvement over its recent forebears. "The sun's back, and all."

The spoon clatters against one cup and then another and then another as Tasha stirs in the cocoa mix for the three charges waiting for their warm refreshments. "Better is definitely a step in the right direction," she agrees with a chuckle at the inanity of that statement. Conversation will likely be a little forced and stilted with Sable for a time — Tasha does forgive her, but the verbal barbs stung her and the scars remain — mostly because she feels that there was truth, like venom, on those barbs, the better to make the wounds all the more painful. Ridiculous insults can be waved away as the ramblings of a mad woman — what Sable said was a touch too true to be forgotten.

It is not Sable at whom Tasha's anger aims, but herself.

She puts the three mugs on a tray and picks it up to carry into the other room, where three little Serrats in the making await.

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