Why Am I Here?


griffin_icon.gif marjorie_icon.gif

Scene Title Why am I Here?
Synopsis Two people seem to be asking themselves that same question when, after 10 years of heartache and seperation, a family is united.
Date September 23, 2010


It's a cloudy day, and while occasional patches of blue can be seen amongst the clouds, it seems to be rather grey over New York today. This only serves to make the abandoned tenement that Griffin Mihangle has taken up residence in appear all the more gloomy.

The man is currently enjoying the company of his newfound studio piano, with its peeling black paint. He's taken all of the strings he collectd while searching for a playable piano, and replaced what needed replacing, and has been spending most of the day making other repairs to the pads and the like. He's finally gotten the instrument into playable condition, and while it doesn't look like much, it plays like a dream.

Currently from behind the closed door of the apartment, it sounds as if there are not one, but two people playing the piano. It's a somber tune that is drifting through the thin, worn walls of the apartment building this evening.

It's all come down to this.

This very moment.

Years of searching, of crying, of fearing. And a large check to that
Private Investigator in Chicago.

She's transplanted her son, herself, her life to be here. Because this is supposed to be real. The detective promised without a shadow of a doubt that he had found her man.

It seems only yesterday, that she thought she caught a glimpse of her missing brother in the crowd while she picked up Owain from school. And the detective had seen him too, a few days later. And then? And then it came to this.

And Owain. Her son. His son. His dead wife's son. God, what could she say? What could she do?

The answer, of course, is nothing. She shouldn't even be here. Marjorie Mihangle has lifted her hand to knock more than once. But she lowered it each time. And now she can hear the music, and all doubt that could exist no longer does.

Her brother is behind that door. 10 long years have passed since he turned himself in for murdering his wife. 10 long years before the Government swept in and made him dissapear. And now, he's here.

Why did he never visit? Or write? Or call? Marjorie hopes to answer as she finally knocks on the door, just once, her ruby-painted lips parted just so in a slight shock at her own movement.

She's dressed to remain hidden. A white sheath dress that looks like something out of the 60s, with a scarf around her neck and head and a big old pair of Jackie O sunglasses. She could be any slender woman, he can't even see her hair like she is. Somehow it felt…safer, this way. Safer, even as she continues to stare at the door like it might bite her.

The knock does little to interrupt the music for a while. Griffin was always loathe to stop playing in the middle of the song, for any reason. But those were also back in the days when he was unaware of his uncanny ability to multitask in ways that no other really can. The scrape of the bench along the ruined floor of the apartment can be heard, even as the somber song continues. It could be a recording, perhaps, if it weren't for the obvious boom of freshly resined strings.

Footsteps scuff along the floor, betraying that limp that Griffin has had ever since his senior year of high school. The man's path to the door takes a moment, but finally, those footsteps bring the tall man to the door.

The peephole darkens briefly as Griffin peers through to see who would be knocking on his door. Nobody knows he lives here. Perhaps it is simply someone who is curious about the piano music that has suddenly erupted from the abandoned tenement this morning.

The music stops as he sees that face. A ghost from his past, one he watched silently back in Chicago. He withdraws his 'vectors' back into himself, his eyes fading from bluish-white to their standard green as he stares through the peep hole, frozen in place.

What is she doing here? He thought he'd been careful, not let her see him when he was watching her. And that was back in Chicago, no less. Now, she's in New York. No less, she is at his doorstep.

After a long moment, his hand scrambles down to the doorknob, swinging the door open to stare at his long lost sister with wide eyes. "Kenzie." He is slack-jawed, staring wide-eyed at the vision before him. After another long moment of silence, of frozen time, he draws closer to her, reaching one hand out to touch her face, as if in disbelief.

She had half started to turn away when the door opened. The sound of his footsteps, the playing of the piano, it was all too much. She could have picked those sounds out of any other in this city, she's sure. And it sickens her. It sickens her that he's alive, living freely all this time. He could have called, written come home at any time. And he's alive. All of these things are so much, too much perhaps.

Before his hand can touch her skin, to see if she's real or not, or perhaps just a figment of his imagination, her own hand comes up. It inadvertantly blocks the path of his hand, though this does not seem to be the intent. Instead, she removes those big old sunglasses from her face, her red lips tight. She glances down. Those green eyes can hardly be seen like that, but she can't help it. They're his eyes anyway, Mom gave them to him first. But she can't look at him. He's real and she's sure that if that fact really hits her, she'll…well who knows what she'll do.

"How did you recognize me?" Her voice has no malice, no confusion, but it is simplistic in nature. Behind it though, there carries a weight, of so much more unsaid, unspoken.

His hand is deflected, brushing against the back of the woman's hand and arm. He has to touch her, to make certain that he's not dreaming this. Slowly, he lowers his hand, pulling it back toward his chest as he stares down at his sister with those intense green eyes of his.

At first, only silence answers her question, the tall man staring down at her in disbelief, unable to even come up with the words to say in this situation. After a moment, he simply leans against the door, as if he needs that to simply keep himself from falling over in his shock.

"Kenzie…how could I not recognize my baby sister?" He whispers this softly, in that gentle tone he always took when comforting his little sis. After a moment, he raises a hand in an attempt to hook an index finger under his sibling's chin, to lift her face to his. "How…how did you find me?"

She lets him. What is she going to do, stop him? She could, though neither of them are really aware of that currently. And so her own green eyes, just the same as his, tilt up. And look at him. But there's something there that he may not recognize. Something that a happy-go-lucky 19 year old girl does not have in her eyes. Resolve? Strength? Whatever comes from raising a boy from 0 to 10 on your own, that's what she's got behind her eyes.

"Well…it's hard to miss a nose like that. I always said they could see it from space, and now with this new Google maps…." Well, his nose is rather large, after all.

She doesn't ask to come in, but just remains standing there. She has to not…think. Just let everything come in moments. If she thinks about the future or the past, she'll just crack.

When she finally looks, he looks a bit scruffy, his hair a bit too long, and he's let his stubble go for a little bit too long. A few wrinkles have appeared in ten years, mostly worry lines on his forehead. There's a crescent-shaped scar under his chin, as well, remnants of his days in Moab. And his eyes…his eyes have hardened, since she last saw her brother. He's seen so much in these ten years, some that he can't even recall, and it has all left its mark on the man.

As he gazes over his sister, he is unable to help but issue forth a sad smile. Her words prompt a soft laugh from the man, who still leans heavily against the door frame. There's more silence. What does he do in this situation? Invite her in? He doubts she'll be at all impressed with his uncomfortable, makeshift home.

Questions are starting to pop up in his head. "…Why did you find me?" That's his next question, asked in a soft inquiring tone. "I— it's dangerous here, 'Kenzie…I'm dangerous." He frowns. "How…how is Owain?" The questions are coming far quicker than he can even speak them.

Since he doesn't invite her in, and Marjorie is much too much of an old-timey lady to ask herself in, she steps back to find the wall across from hsi door, leaning against it. She fiddles with the sunglasses in her hands. One slender hand comes up to pull back her scarf, revealing her brown hair, mousy as ever. She lets the scarf settle around her throat.

"I found you because I couldn't think of an excuse why I should have stopped looking. I did, sort of, eventually, when there were very few avenues left open to me for investigation. But I saw you in Chicago, and I realized that there was no excuse to not be looking. So I looked, and I found." He has other questions too, akward questions that she won't like to answer and he won't wantto hear. Not while they're both so starstruck.

"It's my turn," she suggests, easily. Her head cocks to one side, she seems nothing but curious now, her voice soft. "Why didn't you wnat to be found? Were you ever really taken or did you just…escape?"

The questions are quelled momentarily by his sister's insistence that it is her turn, and Griffin tilts his head toward her, a suddenly sad look wrinkling his brow. "It's not that I didn't want to be found. They…I was in holding for a day before the Government took me. I…" He halts in his words, a tortured look coming over his face.

"I'm an Evolved, 'Kenzie. A telekinetic." Those green eyes turn down toward the ruined flooring of the abandoned tenement. "I killed Cindy when I manifested. We were fighting, and…she told me she wanted a divorce…I lost it, and then…" He shakes his head, a tortured look manifesting on his face as feelings that he's tried so hard to keep down come rushing forward now, in the company of his baby sister.

"I was in holding. I don't remember much…I was in a cell, and they gave me drugs to negate my ability, I think. I got into a fight with an inmate, right before they put me in Moab…I don't remember much up until then. I didn't want to be let out." Tortured green eyes turn back up to his sister. "Then, something happened, and I was in Canada…and none of this makes sense, I'm sure, but…

He closes his eyes and pinches the bridge of his nose, taking a deep breath. "I'm a wanted man, 'Kenzie. I don't want to pull you, or dad, or my son, into this life…"

"I know what you are," Mackenzie, or rather, Marjorie says as her fingers slide along the ear-peices of the sunglasses. Just some nervous movement - she has to be reacting somehow. "It wasn't hard to figure out, once news of the Evolved was made public. And it wasn't your fault," That, too, she's certain of. Her head tilts a little in some sort of strange defiance as she speaks. "Manifestations are always the most difficult times. And for you moreso than myself, I am sure. At least when it happened to me, I could understand it. Well, that was before registration, true, but it made everything clear about why they said you were in a government holding facility." She looks at him a moment, as if there's more to say. And there is, so much more.

"Nobody calls me Mackenzie, Griffin. They haven't for ages." It's Marjorie. A proper girl's name, as she always called it.

The man watches his siter for a moment. Then, he suddenly clears the distance, unable to help himself. If she'll allow it, he scoops the smaller woman up off of her feet, and into a large, strong hug. He's certainly gotten more fit over the ages, judging by the strength in his arms as he does so. "God, it's so fucking good to see you, 'Kenzie. You…you have no clue how much I've missed you!" This is whispered into the woman's shoulder.

Then, he sets her down, stepping back to watch her. "I— I'm so sorry, for everything, 'Kenzie. I'm so sorry…thank you, so much, for raising my son. He—" He falters, tears choking his voice suddenly. "He looked happy when I saw him." He raises a hand, wiping a tear away with his shirt.

Then, despite the tears in his eyes, he smiles down to his sister. "At least I'm not calling you Mack like I used to. Don't complain too much, I just might start up again." He can still tease her.

She's been swooped, sir! She seems a little off-put at first, as though her prim and proper ways have suddenly been thrown over the side and she wants to dive in after them. But when she feels taht it's just him hugging her, she slips her arms around him as well and comits to it.
She's nowhere near as strong as he is, she is still perpetually skinny. Amazing how a woman who worked in a cupcake shoppe for 12 years could stay so skinny.

And in that hug, she realizes that's it. She's lived her life for the past ten years, and in a matter of seconds, she understands where he's been. It's a very basic clarity, but it's a clarity she's never had before. And they're right. It is better knowing.

"He's a good boy," she promises her brother, not minding about the names for now. "He's more like you than me, though I imagien that's because I'm just so darned girly and he's trying so hard to be a man." After all, someone has to be the man of the house. Who better to struggle to fill such a role than a ten year old boy?

Griffin nods slowly, raising a hand to push away a tear. He never did like to cry, and the tears were always rare growing up. It's no different now, the man putting on that strong front to disguise the bitter, self-loathing man broken by circumstances. He didn't really even want to pull away from the hug, but he forced himself to do so.

Green eyes meet green eyes, and Griffin nods, smiling faintly at the description of his son. "He likes basketball, I saw…just like his old man." The smile turns melancholy. "Is…" He falters in his next request, peering quietly at his sister. Does he ask the inevitable question? Does he really want to meet his son…to potentially bring the poor, innocent boy into this life he's strived so hard to keep him out of?

"Is he here with you?" He pauses, eyes glimmering as he looks over his sister.

This was something she was afraid of. Of course he wants to see his son - he has every right to! But the government. The government took away his chances for a fair trial, where the truth would have come out and he would have been exhonorated. The government, who would come out a few years later and announce it all anyway, decided to take away this man's chance at a normal life - as normal as his could be - in order to keep their agenda secret for just a little bit longer. The government.

"He's at school," she assure him. "I wasn't sure what I was going to do when Detective Lassiter told me that he'd found you. We'd been living in the same apartment in Chicago for tne years - it seemed like a good a move as any, to get closer to you. And if I got too scared or couldn't find you…well, I just couldn't leave him behind." She steps forward, palms placed flat on her brother's chest. Her eyes are now imploring as she looks up at him to speak. "You can see him. But we have a lot - a lot - to talk about first."

As she answers in the affirmative, Griffin has two reactions that merge into one. First, there's the fear that gleams in his eyes, the fear that all of his worst nightmares will come true, that his son will be caught up with the government. Then, there is the absolute joy and relief and excitement, that he'll finally be able to meet his son after ten years of not knowing him.

"Of course. I don't expect you to let me see him right away. It's been a very, very long time…" He reaches up, placing one of those slender hands on her shoulder with a hint of a smile on his face. "And whatever you want to talk about, sis, I'll talk about until I'm blue in the face, or until you're satisfied."

She lifts her slender wrist, using her other hand to tilt a faux-gem and silver watch face toward her. She glances. It's old-school, of course. "I only have about an hour," she admits. "I have a lesson then and I can't miss it - I need to start building up a clinet-base in this city. But if you'd like to go inside…" she gestures vaguely toward his apartment. "I could use a cup of tea." Surely he has a kettle and something nice to offer guests, right?

A glance is cast toward the apartment, and a sheepish smile is offered to the woman. "I do have tea, thankfully…but I warn, it's really not the nicest place." Surely nothing she's used to. Despite his misgivings, he pushes the door of the apartment open, gesturing in. "I just kind of found it like this, and it seemed as good a place as any to set up camp…" This is said as he leads her into the small apartment that doesn't exactly look very livable. "The only thing in here that's mine is the piano."

Her heels make soft sounds as she steps into the place, looking around. The shoes themselves seem out of place, seem to press against the floor in a way that makes it creak differently. Her shoes aren't expensive, of course, but they are bought with expense and fashion in mind, two things that this apartment has sene little of in qute some time.

But far be it for a lady to be insulting. "It's…very cozy, Griffin. Tea would be lovely."

It's going to be a long hour.

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