...Will Have Consequences


elaine2_icon.gif robyn4_icon.gif

Scene Title …Will Have Consequences
Synopsis Tension boils over, and history repeats itself.
Date November 30, 2019

Cresting Wave, Elaine's Apartment

Her apartment was a safe retreat, which is why Elaine was there. Excuses were easy—work was always right at her heels and there was plenty she could do curled up at her desk at home. Curled up being the key words. She sits, one leg drawn up under the other, a soft earth-tone knitted blanket draped halfway over her lap, there but haphazardly there. Her shoes have been kicked off near her desk and also lay haphazardly, a smudge on the always-clean apartment.

She’s doing work now, or at least trying to. There are spreadsheets up on her laptop and sometimes she’s clicking on a cell, but it’s always an empty one. She’s not really looking at anything. Her eyes keep going to the kitchen, but she never moves towards it. She just sits. Work is her excuse, like it always is. And she’ll stick to it.

It's left a safe retreat for the other in the room, and more a strange monument to how someone moved on without her. Robyn tries not to think about that, though sometimes when she's in the Cresting Wave apartment Elaine lives in, it's all she can think about.

This is seemingly not one of those times.

Instead, she stands in Elaine's kitchen, staring at a pair of tumblers she's set out, ice in both. Eyes move from counter to counter, before quickly moving to one and opening it to reveal a tall bottle of Irish whiskey - one she had "given" to Elaine, but that only she ever seems to drink when she's over.

"Voulez-vous un verre1, 'Lainey?" Never mind that they were just at lunch, where Robyn had made no real effort to hide the fact that she had spiked her coffee.

“Yes,” comes Elaine’s reply. It’s not a question she has to think about in this particular moment. Yes is the only answer.

The blanket is kicked off with a foot, perhaps because she’s done with it or perhaps it’s to get it out of the way so she can move to go retrieve her drink. But move she does, not waiting for Robyn to bring her the glass—she’ll fetch it herself. Getting to her feet, she heads barefoot into the kitchen and waits for the glass to be poured.

She seems at a loss for what to say, and when she finally finds words, they’re simple. Her tone is honest but it screams of distance. “I hope you find the answers you are looking for.”

"Quelle?"2 Robyn blinks as she moves to pour her own drink, letting it tip for just a moment too long. As it overflows, a string of curses flow from her mouth, moving to get a paper towel. "Combien de temps durera encore le travail?"3 As she wipes the surface of the counter, she lets out a sigh and lets her gaze drift back towards the living room.

"Je ne le ferai pas. Il y a juste plus de questions."4 Tossing the paper towels into the trash, she lifts her glass off the counter and take a sip. "C'est comme ça que ça se passe. Ne trouve rien, ou Richard connaît déjà toutes les réponses et ne le dit pas."5 Staring into the reflection of herself in the whiskey, she lingers for a moment before turning and walking to the doorway into the kitchen. She stands there, watching Elaine for a moment with an expectant look.

The French was easy for Robyn. She slipped into it casually and it was comfortable. For that reason, Elaine chose to reply in English. It was a purposeful move. “Work will always be there,” she replies, moving to pour her own glass, though she eyes the amount Robyn put in hers. She pours maybe a quarter as much. “It’s there any time I need it.”

The redhead lifts the glass to her lips, taking a tiny sip before speaking again. “There’s always more questions, though. We’ve all got our rabbit holes to jump into, but it’s kind of important to remember that there are other important things outside that rabbit hole. It’s a matter of how you place your priorities.”

Her gaze levels on Robyn as she does, looking back at her just as expectantly.

Robyn cocks an eyebrow. "Parait à peu près juste,"6 Taking a sip of her whiskey. She doesn't think much of Elaine having less, that's not terribly uncommon. "Vous comprenez, c'est pourquoi je vous aime."7 She strides from the doorway and across the room, glass in hand.

"Trouver la vérité sur ma mère, c'est ma priorité. Une fois que je fais …"8 She stops, back to Elaine as she nurses her drink. "Une fois que je le ferai, et une fois que je remercierai quelqu'un qui le mérite, je me retirerai peut-être au studio."9 There's a slight nod, before she walks over to the couch, motioning for Elaine to join her.

“Do you, though?”

The way Elaine says it is sharp. It’s a genuine question. She elaborates as she moves towards the couch. “Do you like me, I mean.” She sinks down on the couch once she’s close enough, turning her body to face Robyn with fiery intensity. “Because there are times when I really wonder if you do. Are you even aware of how rude you were today?”

She scoffs. “But you certainly proved exactly where your priorities are.”

"Excusez moi?" Robyn slowly turns to look at Elaine, clearly caught off guard by both the comment, the intensity, and the implication. "Qu'est-ce que c'est censé vouloir dire?"10 She turns to face Elaine directly holding her glass close to her face.

"Bien sûr que oui. Je pensais que nous avions dépassé ce l, 'Lainey."11 She takes another sip of her drink, longer this time "Est-ce parce que j'ai crié sur Richard devant Liz? Il le méritait."12

The tumbler is gripped tightly in her hands but Elaine doesn’t take a sip from it. She holds it in her lap, looking down at it for a brief moment and taking in a breath before she looks back up and levels her gaze on Robyn. She clears her throat.

“This isn’t about Richard. This is about me. You were rude to me and it not only hurt it was embarrassing in front of our friends.” She seems torn between continuing and letting that point rest for now, but opts to continue a bit. “You don’t even know what you did, do you?”

The blank stare that Robyn gives Elaine probably speaks volumes. "Qu'est-ce que j'ai fait pour t'embarrasser?"13 There's a moment where she looks thoughtful, before taking a sip of her drink. "No," she states plainly, quirking an eyebrow as she returns to matching her gaze with Elaine's. "Vous devrez me pardonner d'être assez concentré sur toutes les autres conneries."14

She lets out a small sigh, looking up towards the ceiling and decidedly not at Elaine. "Alors écoutons ça."15 She motions with her free hand to Elaine, as if bidding her to continue. She still doesn't look at her, eyes cast towards the kitchen instead.

“No, I don’t have to forgive you,” Elaine says, firmly. “You told me to shut up in an incredibly rude way and Elisabeth and Richard made up an excuse to leave because they were well aware that you were doing something hurtful.” She looks at her glass, then over at Robyn’s, then sets her own glass on the coffee table, away from herself. She’s not drinking it.

She lets out a breath, grateful that this one’s not shaky as she’d feared it would be. “You’re so caught up in ‘all the other bullshit’ that you’re ignoring people who care about you and treating them like crap. You’re treating me like crap. I get it, I know you want answers, I do, but you’re treating this quest about your mother like it’s the only thing worth pursuing in this universe and that everything else can and will be collateral damage. Is that what you want?”

Studying Elaine for a moment, Robyn does the opposite of the other woman and holds her glass tight, taking a long sip from it. "Je ne suis pas d'accord."16 She's smart enough not to just leave that there though, as she begins to pace forward. "Je t'ai demandé de te taire parce que je ne voulais pas que Richard soit distrait. Je ne savais pas que c'était si mauvais. Désolé."17

She stops once she's standing on the side of the couch fully opposite Elaine, staring down at her. "Mais si vous pensez une seconde que ce n'est pas la seule chose sur laquelle vous concentrer, vous avez tort. Elle est morte, 'Lainey. Avant ma naissance! Je ne devrais même pas être ici!"18 Her hand tightens around the glass, before finally taking a moment to finish it and set it aside.

Gray eyes focus back on Elaine, narrowing. "Ne voudriez-vous pas connaître la érité? Si votre maman travaillait pour la Company? Peut-être même l'Institute, elle vivait à Boston! Donna Dunlap la connaissait même!"19 As if Elaine knew who that was.

“Nothing I said was going to be a distraction to your very important conversation, Robyn. You could have said ‘Shut the fuck up, Elaine, I don’t care’ and given the same sentiment as what you did. If all you wanted to do was yell at Richard, why have Elisabeth and I along anyway? Oh right, you wanted it to make it like everything was normal and you weren’t single-mindedly obsessed with this,” Elaine breathes out. Her eyes note Robyn’s position and she, too, gets on her feet.

She’s got several inches of height on Robyn, more if she hadn’t discarded her heels, but it’s enough that she feels more like she has a literal high ground. Her arms fold across her chest. “Don’t think that I don’t want to know the whole story of what happened to my mother. Just knowing she was not from here is enough to bring up questions. That may be the whole story right there and it may not but I’m not going to sacrifice everything in my life to find out.”

She lets out a sigh that sounds legitimately tired. “I’m not saying not to pursue your answers, I’m just saying that…” She struggles to find the words, but when they come to her she speaks clearly. “I’ve been waiting for you to come back since 2011, and I’m tired of waiting.”

Any retorts Robyn had in mind, about 'have you asked Richard' or 'WHY aren't you asking the same questions' die on the tip of her tongue. She recoils visibly, eyes widening as the words tumble out of Elaine's mouth. Elaine can see her nostrils flare and her breathing quicken as she stares at the taller woman for a long, silent moment.

"Soit!"20 She shakes, tearing her eyes away from Elaine. "J'ai tellement essayé de rattraper toutes ces années, mais si c'est ce que vous ressentez… "21 She turns fully away from Elaine, staring off into the distance. And then, suddenly, she shrugs. "Je m'en fous."22

She holds a hand out in front of her, palm up and fingers out. Huffing out a breath, she curls them back in, and in that moment everything around the both of them becomes utter darkness. Except unlike, Elaine, Robyn can still see.

The found of footfalls rings out, followed by a bit of clinking. "Maybe it's time to stop waiting."

Elaine was unsure of how Robyn would react. There would be a best case scenario and a worst case scenario that she had puzzled out in her head only moments before but ‘whatever’ had not been one of them. Confusion and shock roll over her, but it’s only there for a moment as it turns into bitterness and resolve. The darkness that Robyn brings about is a cop out and Elaine knows it. She can still be seen and she’s not about to let her guard down.

“Remember that this was your choice. Just like last time.”

If that gives Robyn pause, Elaine can't see it in the moment.There is a long silence in the wake of Elaine's comment. A scratching or scribbling sound is there for just a moment. And then, only silence once more.

It takes another moment for the darkness to recede. When it does, Robyn Quinn is nowhere to be seen, and the room looks just like it might always were Elaine alone with Inger.

Save for two post it notes stuck to the door.

"I can't compete with all your damn ideas
This isn't working out for you or me
The truth is I'm too tired to play pretend
This is goodbye, this is the end."

And another:

"C'était bon tant que ça a duré, mon amour.23
Slán24, Robyn"

As Elaine retrieves the notes and reads them, she lets out a shaky sigh. She had kept strong through all of this and now things were coming apart at the edges. The first sticky note, the song lyrics, are read again before they’re crumpled up. She throws it in the direction of the wastepaper bin next to her desk. It misses.

The second she makes to crumple as well, then stops, smoothing out the edges. She walks to her desk, lifts up the pencil holder, and tucks it beneath it. There, but out of sight. Gone, but not forgotten. Never. She numbly moves to pick up their two glasses, then moves to the kitchen where she pours them both out. She glances at the bottle of whiskey, but decides against it. She moves to lean her back against the kitchen counter, but ends up sinking down to the floor and just sitting there.

“I hope you find what you’re looking for,” she murmurs.

There’s no one there to hear it.

Yamagato Park, a short distance from Cresting Wave

Cold air swirls as Robyn Quinn rushes down the main street of Yamagato Park, fumbling with her phone in one hand, the other stuffed deep into her pocket. An email from Matthew asking when she'd be home, another from Eve about God knows what.

Her finger stops as she comes across a message from Elaine, from earlier in the day when she'd asked her out on this ill fated afternoon.

She stares at it for a moment, feet shuffling slowly until she stops entirely. The cold seems to sting that much more in the moment, leaving her unable to swallow down a lump in the back of her throat.

The sheer enormity of what has just transpired isn't lost on her. But she had been at least hoping to get home before tears started. As her vision fills with water, she clenches her eyes shut, turning and hurling her phone off into the distance, before she starts running towards the Park's exit.

She'll just hail a taxi the old fashioned way.


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