World's End Umbrella

ff_nadira_icon.gif robyn7_icon.gif

Scene Title World's End Umbrella
Synopsis At the end of the world, an umbrella is raised, and as long as there's such a world, everything will be fine.
Date June 30, 2021

The House Above The Sea

The Pelago

The rain's a bit harder today, the water a bit choppier than the last few. With the storm that's settled over the Pelago, these days come and go. What hasn't been coming and going as of late, however, are visitors, travelers, and transients coming or going from the House Above the Sea.

Which is perhaps why it's a little odd to spy a new, small boat tied up at the ever swaying dock that extends out from the former penthouse that now makes up a home for many people. More out of place is the woman who sits at the side of the pier, staring out at the water as she holds an umbrella in hand and with the hood of a hoodie pulled up over her head, partially obscuring her face.

Not enough to keep those familiar with her from recognising Robyn Roux. Which one she may be, however, is hard to tell from a distance. Either way, she doesn't seem eager to charge inside, content to be out in the warm rain for… whatever reason.

Having caught sight of the boat and umbrella on the water from the upper window of the penthouse, Nadira headed in the direction of the docks. When she got there, she didn't hesitate to approach. She also made sure not to hide any indication of her presence–the last thing she wanted to do was sneak up on someone. Requiring no umbrella, the rain is gently repelled from around Nadira as she walks and comes to a halt a speaking distance away.

"Most people are always cursing the rain and water when things are like this, but I like it," the hydrokinetic says with a small smile.

Legs kick against the trashing current, bare feet barely brushing the water beneath as the woman looks down at the water a moment longer before sighing and turning to look up at Nadira. "I used to like it quite a bit," she offers, black hair and a long facial scar making it clear which Robyn it is that Nadira is speaking to. "I guess I still do, but now I have to contend with how much it makes my leg hurt."

With a wince and a groan, she turns and starts to pull herself up to her feet, the old and worn umbrella still held overhead. "I'm guessing she didn't tell you she was here, did she?" Robyn rolls her eyes but smiles all the same.

Nadira reaches a hand over to offer assistance to Robyn, but she smiles regardless of if the woman accepts help or not. "No, I cannot say that I have been as filled in about things as I wish that I was. I have found, as of late, that there is quite a bit I am uninformed about." She chuckles lightly, then studies the woman. "I have some painkillers inside. There are enough that I can offer some without feeling put out, so do not worry if that causes you to hesitate."

There seems to be a bit of hesitation, but ultimately Robyn takes the offered hand and pulls herself up to her feet. "You'll fit right in with my group then," she offers with a grumble and a sardonic chuckle. "Under informed yet pushed to action is how I seem to live my life these days. Always getting half the details needed, if that." She huffs out a breath, looking up at the way the rain curves away from Nadira.

Adjusting her hoodie - one proudly listing the dates for a 2009 Le Tigre tour - she shakes her head. "I'm used to it," she says quietly, "and I can't imagine aspirin will be much of an available commodity on the trip we're leaving on, so I'd rather not remind myself how nice it is to have." She offers a small shrug as she steps closer to Nadira and out of the rain, closing her umbrella and shaking it before latching it closed. She holds it at her side like a cane, eyes angled up at the other woman.

"I brought Zee back here so she could say goodbye to people. Get anything she had here before we leave. I guess she didn't say anything to you because she knows you're coming with us." Robyn scoffs, lips pressed thin. "Kendall's made very sure she's aware of it."

"She might or might not have felt like saying anything regardless," Nadira says. "Sometimes she is hard to predict. A little mercurial. Not always a bad thing, but it requires a little adaptation." The space where the rain is gone is expanded enough that both of them can stand comfortably without the droplets hitting either of them. "Kendall means well, he can just be very hard-headed. Family is complicated and that is what some of us think of each other."

She folds her arms over her chest in a relaxed way, studying Robyn without any hesitation. "I am glad that Zee will have familiar faces around her, I do not think a long journey like this is wonderful to take with people who are relatively strangers." She sidenods her head in the vague direction of the rest of the Pelago. "Richard and I had a conversation, I do feel at least that I will bring value to the journey and perhaps befriend some along the way. He is pleasant company, which honestly puts me more at ease with the thought of the trip."

Nadira pauses, her tone lowering slightly despite the fact that it was incredibly unlikely that anyone would overhear them in the rain. "I am a bit nervous only because this is a large undertaking. It has been a long time since I was in a sea of unfamiliar faces. I know that I will adapt quickly and unfamiliar faces will become familiar, but it is a significant change and one I have less agency over than I am used to." Why she's bothering to confess this to Robyn is entirely an unknown factor.

"God, that's… an understatement," Robyn grumbles, leaning her weight against the umbrella. The fact that she's met Richard and her own worries are noted with a pair of nods, though she decides not to acknowledge the topic of Kendall further, less she start to get angry. "If it makes you feel better, you're not the only one who's nervous," she notes in a low voice, looking back up towards the makeshift home behind them.

"For me, it's the opposite," she remarks quietly. "It's a sea of familiar faces that I don't know the way I think I do. Of people who don't know me, but should. Some of them are people I looked up to, have been friends, mentors, people I loved, what have you." Her expression is flat, lips pressed thin as she looks down at the dock. "I knew it would be like that going in, but I wasn't prepared to see so many people I know where I come from. It's haunting." Swallowing down a bit of a lump in her throat, she shakes her head. "And that's before the people that are dead in my world," she whispers. "At least one person I literally held in my arms as they died is alive and smiling here."

Closing her eyes, she takes a deep breath. "But it is what it is. I'm here to do what the mission demands, not to get lost in my memories and desires. It's hard, but I have to push forward. And that's before the wildcard of my variant - whom we all thought had died up north - is brought into the equation."

“I cannot imagine how that feels,” Nadira says, her tone soft. “Richard said it was better not to meet your other selves. I think I can understand why, even if I do not feel as if we would be anything but pleasant to each other. I look forward to trying to build bridges.”

"I agree with him, for what it's worth." Robyn's shoulders rise in a shallow shrug. "The only reason I am is because… well, I don't believe there's much of a choice. I certainly couldn't leave her here, knowing where we're going." Chewing at her lip, she closes her eyes and shakes her head. "If you ever want to know about her… you can ask. I'll be honest. I'll also be honest that I don't think it's a good idea."

Looking past Nadira at the house. "Can we… go wait somewhere else? I don't like the water, ironically, and the unsteadiness of this pier is making me uneasy now that I'm standing." At least when she'd been sitting, things had felt slightly more centered.

Nadira nods slowly. "I believe that she will tell me about herself if she feels the need. I do not need to pry, especially if she is not comfortable." She gestures towards the house, then begins to lead the way. "You are welcome to come sit. Our house is functional, not stylish, but we have done our best to make it cozy."

Robyn raises a finger. "I meant your variant in my world, not Zee. Though… I do think there's more to her than she lets on." Opening the umbrella again, she passes Nadira and starts making her way towards the house. "I'm hoping she'll open up to me a bit more as we travel. She's been oddly cagey about telling me anything from before the flood."

Twirling the umbrella as she walks, she shifts it against her shoulder so that she can look back at Nadira. "Thank you, for taking care of her. I know you don't need to hear it from me, but… it's nice to see myself doing well, for once."

"Oh!" Nadira seems surprised at the suggestion that she'd even ask about 'herself'. She wrinkles her brow for a moment, but focuses on Robyn's mention of Zee instead. "She needed a hand and I wanted to make sure she got it. I am glad you think she's doing well, though. There are times I worry."

There's a long pause, mostly because the prior suggestion is an odd one to her. "Richard did say he had met me before, the other me, and we philosophized about meeting other selves and if it were worth it. I do not know if I would want to know too much about her. I believe that the flood shaped a lot of who I am today, so to think of a life without that… I am certain she would not be even remotely close to the same person I am here. As he said, we are not the same people. I believe that as awful as the flood has been for everything, it has given me a sense of purpose and taught me a great many things. I do not envy the Nadira who has not had that chance to grow."

"I do think she's doing well," Robyn reiterates, looking back ahead. "Which is relative, admittedly. But I'd say that, based on what I've seen, she's doing better than any other variant of myself." She scoffs as she reaches the ladder up to where she had first spoken with Nadira, Kendall, and others after her initial arrival. "She's alive, for one thing. That's a great start."

Pausing, places one foot up ona rung and looks back at Nadira. "She had her own adversities. We were good friends, my and- you, for lack of a better word. For a while at least. We fell out of contact when I… fell out of contact with everyone, really, after our war. I still frequent the club she owns, though." Turning back to the ladder, she begins to climb it, still holding the umbrella in one hand. "I don't think it's healthy to dwell on who might have grown more." Not without more knowledge, but Robyn keeps that part to herself.

“Being alive is a good thing,” Nadira replies with a chuckle. “I wish her well and a long and happy life, no matter what her circumstances might be. I got the feeling from Richard that it might be better not to know too much about her.” A smile tugs at her lips as she begins to climb the ladder after Robyn. “Were this world not the way it is, I think I would have liked having a club. My path is a different one, now, but I would still walk it regardless.”

"It's a good one from what I understand." Robyn gives a small shrug. "But it's neither here nor there. Who am I to judge?" She huffs out a sigh. Reaching the top of the ladder and pulling herself up, she hefts the umbrella up again. Stepping aide, she looks down at Nadira, and smile. "But.. I was wondering what's spurring you to come along. Besides Zee and Kendall, I guess." She turns and takes a few steps in before turning back around. "I'll admit, it's weird not knowing much about someone I'm so familiar with, so I'd like to change that if you're amenable to it."

Nadira climbs to the top of the ladder with the grace of someone who has taken that route many times. “It is mostly because of my gift. It makes me feel as if I have a deeper purpose, that I have a chance to help. I have done good here but I do not think this is where I am most effective any longer. A journey like this will require fresh water and knowledge of where more might be.”

She chuckles again. “Richard did give me the idea of trying to manipulate the water within snow and it intrigued me. Something new I could learn…”

"There's always new things to learn," Robyn remarks with a growing smile. "When I first started out with my ability, all I could do was produce light. Then, I learned how to shift colour. Then, how to shape light, combining all three of those into creating light effects and art. Later, a friend taught me how to turn invisible and to black out the vision of others. Eventually, I was able condense light into lasers." She lets out a sardonic chuckle, shaking her head. "And then after I lost it all, I've had to relearn how to do everything.And found some new things along the way."

Looking back up at Nadira, Robyn shrugs. "I'm sure there's a lot you could fo if you put the right knowledge and intent behind it." She holds the umbrella aloft, looking up and overhead, before looking back at Nadira. "Not all of it good, mind you, but sometimes imagination and a little science is the only thing holding you back."

Nadira grins. “I think Richard is of the same opinion. Trying a few new things, learning, and being able to help along the way mean that going along is a wise choice. I will admit that keeping an eye on Zee and Kendall is also somewhat important. I believe they both respect me enough to listen. I know Kendall especially can be very stubborn and bullheaded.”

"Don't get me started on Kendall," Robyn grumbles, pushing back the urge to note how she prefers her Kendall. "I… had been of the same mind to keep an eye on Zee, but she, just…" She pauses, fingers of her free hand curling around her chin. "She keeps catching me off guard. She's much more capable than she lets on, I think." She also lets out a small sigh. "I also don't think she likes me much, despite being so enthusiastic about the idea of being sisters. Besides you and Else and Stef and Destiny, I have a hard time nailing down who she does like."

“No offense, but you are a little rough around the edges,” Nadira tips a nod in her direction and then leads Robyn inside. “There is something satisfying knowing she catches you off guard. I know that people often underestimate her and I believe she is fine with that… mostly. She is, in fact, capable if you give her the space to let her do such things.”

As the rain falls a bit heavier, Robyn stands still, letting it pitter patter against her umbrella. She doesn't follow Nadira immediately, her expression taking a noticeably storm downturn, one that almost matches the world around her. "I guess I was just… led to believe otherwise by the people who knew her before they came over, or had otherwise met her," she says in a low voice. "She doesn't act like it, not around me. Not intentionally, at least."

Turning away from the door inside, she instead look back over the water. "Elaborate," she asks quietly. "About being rough around the edges. Please."

Nadira pauses, her eyes scanning Robyn for a moment. “I mean no offense, I hope you did not take it as such,” she says simply. “If I am to explain it, you will have to forgive me if I stumble across the phrasing. Rough around the edges is the clearest phrase I can think to use. You seem strong and harsh, like a blade made strong by hammering but the edges are rough and not polished. I am fond of people who are straightforward, but you seem a little more blunt. Perhaps a little cold?”

She shrugs a shoulder. “I do not know you well enough to make a proper assessment but those are the impressions I get at a glance.”

There's a long moment of quiet before Robyn sighs and he shoulders slack. "Ça ne me dérange pas, the stumbling or the remark." Rolling her shoulders, she continues to stare out at the water, seemingly taking the sight of it in a much better stride than Nadira has seen her the few other times they've talked.

"In my line of work, blunt can be a good thing. I've learned that sometimes the best thing I can do is cut to the quick and stop fucking around, or people end up dead. I don't like to mince words or waste time, no." This is offered with a quiet little sigh, before she squares her shoulders and looks back straight ahead.

"I spent a lot of years pushing people away because I just wanted to leave," she offers quietly to Nadira. "Still do, really. Most people I care about either leave, die, or drift away, so I've stopped - trying very hard with post people. Except with Matthew. He's everything in the world to me. So… I guess cold is fair."

Nadira glances back over to Robyn, the tiniest smile cracking amidst her seriousness. “It is different when someone relies on you, when you are there for people because they need you to be.” She gestures at the house. “Pushing people away is no way to live. There are some people worth knowing that showing your teeth will not convince.”

She looks more serious after a moment. “People die, they drift away, they leave. That is life, that is the water. You will not escape that by pushing people away, you will just end up alone. Then all you will have will be him and how do you think he would feel being responsible for all your care and emotions?”

“Again, I apologize if this sounds harsh,” she adds.

"Ça ne me dérange pas," is repeated, this time more quietly. Pausing, Robyn looks back over her shoulder at Nadira. "It means, 'it's fine'. I should stop assuming everyone's picked up some French from Zee." Her gaze returns out to the ocean, and one hand slips into the front pocket of her hoodie.

"I'd say it isn't the same, but I'm not about to insist that my situation is actually worse than what you all have gone through." The wood handle of the umbrella creeks as Robyn's grip tightens on it. "Despite how a part of me wants to say so. I may be arrogant, but I'm not stupid." She takes a deep breath, half turning to look back towards Nadira. "It doesn't change the fact that in a very short span of time, I lost a career I'd been building for decade, lost some of my dearest friends - some of whom I'm having to see here again, alive and smiling - I lost my mother, I was scarred horrifically, lost an ability that had helped define me as a person, lost my slight, had my father cut me out of his life, found out I had a different father whom died just after I was born, whom I will meet here for the first time. By most evidence, I have died, if I am laying all my cards out, only here now because of the love of the boy I took in."

She lets her gaze linger on Nadira for a moment longer before she turns and leans against the old railing, still holding her umbrella aloft. "I choose solitude, and I would hope no one would blame me for that. The truth is, I don't want to be this person. The person that jumps timelines, fights evil, whatever. I just… want peace, and to be a mother. To spend my days playing guitar in a coffee shop, and then come home to someone who loves me. But that's not an option. Not as long as I live where I do, know the people I do. So here I am."

“You are very focused on your tragedy,” Nadira points out. I understand that things are hard and have been hard. Many here have experienced similar things to what you have. You are the one choosing this path, though. Do not shrug off responsibility, your actions create the person you are. You choose what you wish, the choice is yours and if you choose to justify it by saying things are not options you are still justifying it so you are not taking responsibility.”

At this point, she sounds annoyed. “I will not stand here and tell you that those things are not traumatic, but they are not a badge of honor to wear to use as an excuse for your own behavior.”

Nadira can maybe pinpoint the moment she finally says something that does offend Robyn, the other woman scoffing loudly; it gives way into a sarcastic,strained laugh. "Fuck you," she offers back simply. "People formed from the life they experience. Badge of honour? No. I just know what's made me the person I am today."

Turning back to face Nadira, her expression doesn't seem to carry any malice despite this. "I know I am not the most palatable person. I know I can be a bit cold, a bit distant. But you say this like they make me a bad person. I haven't questioned why she doesn't like me, just observed it."

With a twirl of her umbrella, she remains focused on Nadira. "You don't get to judge me as not taking responsibility without knowing the circumstances that brought me here. I said no. I don't want to be here. I made a choice. But when you're told the actual fate of the fucking world may rest on you going, well. No, you don't really have an option, do you?"

She takes a few steps towards the other woman, a ring of light in her eyes that wasn't there before as she approaches. "I would much rather be in my studio right now, producing music, teaching Matthew how to play piano, and maybe visiting one of the few people I still care to. But I'm not. I'm here, doing the right thing, being a hero for the greater good."

Falling silent for a moment, she sighs. "That's part why I've pushed so hard to have Zee come, to reunite her with her mother. Because one of us deserves that happiness."

“Feel free to curse at me, it will not change my opinion of the situation. Not do I feel as if you need my judgment. You asked for input and I gave it. What you do with that is up to you,” Nadira looks Robyn over. “You are convinced that you do not deserve happiness and it is always easier to be kind to others than to yourself. It is a little ironic that you want the best for another you.”

She frowns. “Zee deserves good things not because she is you, but because Zee is Zee.”

Robyn is quiet once more, watching Nadira as she continues to twirl the umbrella, showing a clear anxious energy to it. "You're right, I did ask for your input. I'm sorry I snapped at you," she admits in a low voice, closing her eyes as the light fades from them. "It is the judgement I take issue with, but that's not cause to yell at you like that."

Swallowing down a lump in her throat, she shakes her head. "But you're wrong. Happiness is subjective, and I absolutely believe I deserve that. I also believe that the conditions for getting the happiness I seek - the solitude, the quiet - aren't possible at this moment in my life. So my joy must be found in other places. Places like helping Zee find her mom."

Her head cranes back, looking up at the sky as she lowers the umbrella to her side, letting the rain fall against her face. "She is me, and she isn't. We are all unique aspects of our many selves, split across the multiverse. I've been told I shouldn't hold myself responsible for the actions my other selves have committed, but they are still a part of me, and who they are in turns helps inform who I could be. I know I have the capacity for great evil, for instance; this pushes me to try and do good as much as I can."

Nadira’s nod is slow, but when she does, she’s looking back at Robyn fully. “Doing as much good as you can is a sentiment I respect. You know what the life you would like to live is, and while that is not in your grasp right now, it helps you choose your future. I am glad you have chosen to do good instead of harm. I suspect learning from Zee will be good for you and perhaps show you facets of yourself you might not even know about.”

“Oh trust me," Robyn remarks in a flat tone, “she already is.” A soft sigh escapes her lips, running a hand back through wet hair. “Not that I’m upset about it, I’m just… learning some things about myself I never even considered possible before.” She frowns, tapping her umbrella against the floor. “Not that it’s of any serious consequence, but it is a major shift in worldview. Potentially. We’ll see.”

She gives a small shrug, smiling as the rain washes over her. She closes the umbrella, and starts towards the door, clearly using it as a cane as she favours one leg in her approach to Nadira.

Nadira steps to the side, opening the door to allow Robyn to step inside. “I consider that a positive thing. Regardless of what changes or does not, you will at least have learned something.” She pauses, then laughs. “I did not realize I was becoming such an unfun spiritualist or something. I apologize for all the philosophizing.”

"I consider it a thing. Good or bad… that depends on the subject." Robyn stares ahead quietly, not quite stepping inside yet. "You'll find no complaints from me about philosophy. I enjoy a bit of philosophy, though I prefer the world of psychology." Scratching at the back of her head, she sighs. "I think a degree of philosophy is required for situations like… whatever this is. Whatever all of this is."

Shaking water free of the umbrella, she holds it up and stares at it for a moment. "What I need in life, if we're being philosophical… is my own umbrella."

“You need something to protect you from something? Or perhaps to ward off something unwanted?” Nadira laughs. “I almost feel like this is charades. But on a serious note, there are many ways an umbrella can be used. In the literal sense I don’t need one, most of the time. As far as philosophical…”

Nadira simply shrugs a shoulder.

A wide grin spreads across Robyn's face, tapping the side of her nose and pointing at Nadira as she predicts the direction this particular bit of philosophy is going. Before continuing, she turns and holds a hand out into the rain, letting it pool in the palm of her hand. "The rain is like the bad times in life. It comes and goes. Sometimes it's nothing, sometimes it's constant. Despite it, we press on and let the rain fall on us without a thought."

Turning her hand so the pooled water falls to the floor, she shakes her hand and lets her arm fall back to her side. "Sometimes, though, it becomes too much to bear. The rain falls too hard, or to long, and standing in it is more than we can take." She holds up the umbrella again, giving it a small wave back and forth. "But raise an umbrella, and suddenly the rain can't bother us anymore. Everything is better, if not perfect."

Lowering the umbrella back to her side, she turns and starts inside again. "Even at the end of the world, mine or yours, we all need an umbrella. As long as we live in a world where we can raise one, everything will be fine."

She pauses, and laughs. "A messy metaphor, but I like it. I should turn it into a song if I get home."

“I think that would be a lovely song. It is a good metaphor even if a little messy,” Nadira agrees. “I like to be that umbrella for others, it is why I have such an odd collection of housemates. People I have come across have needed that protection for what was our world ending. I am not certain that I have much of one for myself, I am afraid, as I am supposed to be the strong one.”

"Heh," Robyn chuckles, shaking the umbrella again. "I think you will find that most of the people going on this trip feel similarly." She next shakes out her hood, peeling her soaked hoodie off and looking for a place to put it. "I hope you find your world's end umbrella. Hopefully you find better luck in that than I have."

“Thank you. Perhaps your umbrella is closer than you expect,” Nadira says, nodding in her direction. “We shall find something to make do with at least. That is something we have to work toward.” She glances over at another part of the building as she heads inside. “The others need to learn to be more tolerant of people, especially ones ‘invading their space.”

Threading wet hair behind her ear, there's a small chuckle that comes from Robyn as she twirls the base of the umbrella's handle agains the palm of her hand. "I can only hope," she remarks quietly - and in a tone that indicates there's some genuine hope behind that thought. "What do you mean, 'invading their space' though?"

“People are protective. You saw the way we all rallied around Zee. When people rock the boat, to use an awful metaphor, it can feel like the whole world is falling apart. I am looking forward to the opportunity to meet new people, explore where I have not previously, but that is also a deeply new and terrifying thought for some people,” Nadira says. “We cling to stability on choppy waters so it only makes sense that something to stir that up feels like a threat. Not a threat of danger, though, the threat of change.”

Robyn stares at Nadira for a long moment, before turning and walking past the door and further into the penthouse with nary a word offered about the threat of change. The look on her face makes it clear she has thoughts, but for whatever reason, have chosen not to voice them. Speaking of change, though…

"What are the people not coming with you and Kendall going to do?" It's a question teeming with curiosity, Robyn quick to find a place to sit down rather than stand or wander too far.

"They are clever, thankfully. I have gathered them together because we have helped each other, but it is not as if they cannot handle things on their own. Sometimes people do not need saving, just a helping hand," Nadira says as she moves to take a seat near Robyn. "They have all always known I would need to leave at some point to help someone else. I cannot seem to stop doing it, what with the water. I have a calling because of my gift. I have always felt as such, so they are prepared for me to leave. I admit that I will miss them, but they will be fine without me."

"You should make sure they know that!"


Robyn's voice, but not coming from the photokinetic, meaning only one of two things has happened. The long shadow that stretches out from the doorway betrays Zee's arrival, the other woman concealed by a darkness that reaches out across the room, creeping it's way towards Robyn and Nadira as she stands at the threshold.

"I mean, they do, but give a speech or something! Something grand and heroic, they'll eat it up!" There's a wide smile on her face as she steps into the room, a bag slung over one shoulder and held loosely in hand, with a pair of stark white trainers with a single lace on them in the other. Glancing over at Robyn, she raises her eyebrows, her expression neutral.

"I thought you were too worried Kendall might be here, Quinn." There's a teasing quality to those words, the kind that prompts Robyn to sigh, and slink down in her chair.

"And I still am, but I decided talking with Nadira was better than catching a cold before we leave." Robyn looks up at Nadira and smiles weakly. "But I agree with Zee. You should absolutely give a speech."

"Zee, I am not one for speeches," Nadira laughs, almost looking flustered for a moment. "At least, not ones of grand and heroic natures. I could thank everyone for being there for me and letting me be there for them, but I think that is about as heroic as it could get." She glances between the two, marveling for a moment at seeing them both there. "It very much feels like extraordinarily different twins, looking at the two of you."

"I could make it triplets if I wanted to really confuse people," Robyn notes wearily, eyes closing as she listens to Nadira.

"Please don't," Zee is quick to say, expression dipping into a frown. "I don't like that trick, she's even meaner than you are." Rather than linger on that thought, she turns on her heels to face Nadira, bare, wet feet squeaking against the floor. "Aren't we just?"

Shaking her head, Robyn , reclines back in the chair.

"Anyway! You should do something tonight, Naidra." Shuffling towards the other woman she looks up at her appraisingly. "Tell them you love them. Thank them, tell them you'll miss them. Grand doesn't have to mean overwrought! Right?" She looks over at Robyn, head canting to the side. "…Right?"

"Something like that." Robyn's remark carries a hint of dismissiveness, a hand rubbing at her cheek. "I do think she has the right idea, though, Nadi."


“I will absolutely make sure they know I love them,” Nadira agrees. “We have all gone through a lot together, we have survived this together. I could not leave without at least giving a goodbye of some kind. I do not know about a heroic speech, even if I do a speech.” She laughs.

Her eyes move to the reclining Robyn, a smirk clear across her space. “It sounds like you are quite familiar with this other me.”

Robyn's eyes widen slightly, having not realised what she said until it was indirectly pointed out to her. A bit of red touches her cheeks, tinged with a faint, just below the surface light, giving her face a bit of a telltale glow.

"I, ah…" She trails off, looking uncomfortable for a moment as she glances over at Zee. It's only another beat before she rises back up to her feet with a groan and retrieves her umbrella. "I'm going to wait outside," she settles on, voice small and quiet - clearly this isn't something she's particularly keen to talk about, at least not with other people in the room.

Zee watches as Robyn makes her retreat, not heeding any comments or questions as she slips back out the door, opening her umbrella as it closes and removes her from sight. Zee's eyes never leave her the entire time, not until she's out of sight.

"I don't like her," she offers in a low, honest tone to Nadira, frowning. "She keeps so many secrets, but she won't keep anyone else's." She exhales sharply, before turning to Nadira and mustering a smile. "How are you feeling, after talking to her?"

"She is guarded, holds her secrets, holds her pain, and focuses only on that. I admit that at times it is difficult to see anything in her that I treasure in you," Nadira says, cracking a small smile. "Perhaps she will lighten up with time on the journey, but I have plenty of other people to trust and rely on. Perhaps she will even learn something from you… I can only hope. I am truly sorry that she bothers you, I know this will not be an easy path for you to take. You have me, though, if you need someone to lean on."

"It's not her pain that worries me." Spoken in a grumble, Zee steps up to Nadira quickly, bare feet squeaking against the floor every step of the way. She hops up next to her, bouncing side to side as she holds those white trainers in hand. "It's everything else she's not telling me." Eyes flit side to side for a moment, as if looking out for something or someone, before settling back on Nadira again. "I think she's telling the truth about mom, about this whole- trek across the country thing, before you ask, or before Kendall overhears. But I think there's more to it."

She lets that sit for a moment, before she shrugs. "And she's just really mean and selfish! I'm not like that, am I?" After a moment, she looks thoughtful, a finger tapping at her chin. "Though I guess the line between private and selfish can get a little blurry," she notes with a frown. "She wants to be sisters. I said yes, 'cause I just don't really think there's any other way it can be? But I'm not thrilled about it."

“She is mean,” Nadira agrees. “You need to remember that you and her are very different people. Simply because she acts one way does not reflect upon you. Sisters seems to be the simplest of ways to look at it and deal with it, but siblings do not always have to like each other. My brother and I were often at odds, he was mean to me and made me feel lesser. It does not mean he was not my brother. Sometimes we got along.”

She doesn’t particularly bring up her family from Egypt very often, so when she does, it tends to be information she uses with weight.

"Wouldn't know. I never had a sister before. Now I have two, kinda." Obviously, but Zee doesn't seem to dwell on how unneeded that statement is, instead turning on her heel to face back out at the door. "Whatever! I guess I shouldn't worry about it too much. Just have to hope it all turns out fine, yeah?"

She looks back up at Nadira and smiles wide."I'm glad you're coming. I feel a bit better about this whole. Kinda sucks to leave the others, but… no helping it, I guess." She leans back, looking behind Nadira and back at the way she came from. "Think we could convince Kendall he needs to ride the entire tway there in a box for space reasons? Like on that- old show from the 90s. It'd be a lot quieter at least!"

"Perhaps you could convince him if you told him he needed to for stealth reasons, that he needed to be a secret weapon," Nadira says with an amused smile. "I am glad I am coming as well, though. I cannot imagine a better move for me at this point in my life. I need to go where I am needed, and there is a need there."

"Really?" Zee seems genuinely surprised, blinking confusedly for a moment. "You think it's a good idea?" There's clear relief in Zee's voice at that, seeming to visibly relax a bit. "I was, ya know. Kinda scared you were just going because I was…" The corners of her lips quirk in a small smile, before she looks back up and at Nadira.

"I'm glad to hear that," she says quietly. "I've been worried about that. I don't- want to be a challenge to everyone else's lives. I just want to be. That's, um. That's part of why I didn't tell people when I was leaving last time. Why I didn't tell people where I was staying when I wasn't here." Her jaw tenses. "So I'm glad."

“I admit, having your back is certainly one of the factors to weigh. But since the Flood I have formed my identity around my ability. It is who I am now, and it is a gift I need to share. I will miss those here, but certainly I can be better help going. Access to clean water at all times is vital on any overland journey just as much as it is here.”

Nadira’s smile is warm as she looks over at Zee. “And if you feel like you are a challenge or a problem? Come confide in me. I can set you back on the right course. I prefer calm waters, so I will bring them with me.”

"People've been telling me since the flood that I'm in the way or annoying," Zee grumbles, moving to sit down where Quinn had been moments before. "I actually ran into less of it at the Arcology, but…" She huffs out a breath and wrinkles her nose. "I still felt useless."

She falls quiet on that thought, before looking up at Nadira. "If you were in my position, you know with the…" A finger points at the side of her head before dancing around, her way of indicating her trauma/, "Thing." She sighs, her hands falling into her lap. "If you could fix that, and be normal again, would you?"

“No. I am not saying it is a great thing, but it is part of who you are now. People change, certainly, they walk on new paths. The Flood changed everyone, and sometimes things happen now that change people by the universe putting something in their path or their own choices.”

Nadira takes a deep breath. “I think before I would come to terms with the current issue before moving onto the idea of ‘normal’. Are any of us normal? Normal changes every day. I do not think you are useless or in the way or annoying. Do you think that about yourself?” She cracks a smile. “Maybe you’re looking at yourself from the wrong angle.”

"I think I don't like where I am these days," Zee whispers quietly. "I didn't used to think about it much, you know? Like! Why would I? Not like there was anything that could be done about it, yeah?!" Her lips thin, and she pulls her legs up into the chair with her, knees pulled up so they partially hide her face.

"But then everything at the Arcology happened. Then Little Ms. Quinn happened. I just…" Nostrils flare, looking up over her knees at Nadira, her voice a little muffled. "Even before her, I was thinking about who I used to be, who I could be. I hate it. And now I hate it even more now that she's here. She takes herself so for granted. I want to be me again, not this… shadow of who I could be."

“Maybe I am phrasing myself poorly. I suppose a lot of my thinking comes from not seeing a future where things are easy. I think it is good you got to see the differences between you and her. Were the stars to align and somehow undo the damage, you now know what you could be like if you did not have the experiences you have.”

Nadira clears her throat a little. “I only meant that the idea of undoing that sort of damage in the way the world is now is a tough goal in life. Never stop looking, if that’s what you want, but take joy in who you are and who you can be now. You’re stronger than you give yourself credit for.”

Zee is quiet for a long moment, face pressed against her knees. She raises her head just enough to look up and over at Nadira, expression stormy as she regards her for a long moment. She knows something Nadira doesn't, but she clearly isn't in the mood to share. Instead, she lets Nadira's thought linger on the air, before her legs unfurl back to the floor and she sighs.

"I guess I should see if she's ready to go, and not make her wait in the rain too much longer. She still has that umbrella, right?" Zee blinks, looking around to see if it got left behind int he room their in. "Maybe I'll take it when she's not looking." Said with a hint of amusement, at least.

Pushing herself up to her feet, she doesn't head immediately to the door, but rather, to Nadira, crossing the room to her quietly, and abruptly throwing her arms around the other woman in a big hug. She doesn't say anything while doing this, she just lets the action speak for itself.

The hug is returned, Nadira saying nothing in kind. Verbalizing the sentiment isn't necessary, especially when it comes to more complex emotions. She squeezes her gently, letting Zee decide when she's comfortable enough to leave. "I believe there is a saying about 'being the better man' when it comes to not stooping to someone's level," she replies, but she cracks a smile. "But I will not tell anyone that you have it if it suddenly disappears."

Zee doesn't offer a response. Not a verbal one, at least. She smiles up at Nadira, reaching up and pressing a finger against the other woman's nose. A laugh echoes for a moment as she turns on her heels and starts out to follow after Quinn.

They would have a whole trip to discuss the idea further, but for now, Zee steps out of the House on the Sea for the last time and under a waiting umbrella, the constant pounding of rain against it's untorn fabric drowning out all sound from around them as she glances over at her twin, who stares vacantly at the water head of her without a word.

There would be a time for a lot of things, soon.

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