2017-10-18: Times Are Tough

From Dream Chasers
Jump to navigation Jump to search

<Pose Tracker> Rosaline Calice has posed.

There is a nun sitting at the hotel's bar.

She's only drinking water, which would be frowned upon normally, but she tips as if she were ordering regular drinks, so it all works out in the end. Plus, she isn't even glaring at the other customers for their undoubtedly sinful behavior, unlike some other nuns.

She's been thinking a lot since her commiserating session with Ida the other day. Either this has turned into a regular thing, or she's hoping for it to be. She's determined to help her friend through a tough time!

...even if it doesn't seem to do wonders for her own mood.

"*Sigh* Times are tough."

<Pose Tracker> Ida Everstead-Rey has posed.

Ida is sitting next to Rosaline, holding down a stool in the Hotel Renais's above-ground, respectable lobby bar. She hasn't said much, but honestly, she feels like she doesn't need to--Rosaline might be kind of miserable herself, but she's company.

"I know, Sister," Ida says. It seems like an understatement. Someone made off with her family's property and set her up to take a fall. There are Wels coming out of every other dried-up frontier town in the Badlands. She still hasn't found any of those God-damned statues. "I know."

<Pose Tracker> Dean Stark has posed.

It's been a little while since Dean and Avril last saw Ida, with Dean having seen Ida off to November City once she was feeling balanced enough. He hasn't heard word from her since, but Dean hasn't really gotten the hang of Memory Cube messages (it's almost like he grew up in the boonies) and he can't lean on Rebecca *all* time. Besides, it's just nice to come see someone face-to-face!

That's what brings Dean and Avril to Hotel Renais in November City. "I'm pretty sure I remember which room was Ida's," he says to Avril as he opens the door for her, "so hopefully she's in and--oh hey, Ida!" This is Dean turning around and immediately spotting Ida at the lobby. He brightens to see her, and hurries along--though not so fast that Avril can't keep up--over to her seat. "Perfect timing! Me and Avril were looking for you!" He looks over at Ida's companion, and his smile breaks into a grin. "Oh hey, Rosaline! Nice seeing you too! Are you two hanging out?"

He hasn't *quite* caught on to the gloomy atmosphere between the two of them yet.

<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

That besides, there are things that a mere message can't convey.

And Avril has been concerned since they last crossed paths, particularly when Ida vanished for a time a few days after.

"Dean," she prompts, moments after they cross the threshold into the hotel, pointing at a familiar figure seated at the bar... alongside another familiar figure.

It doesn't take Dean long to see her either, and in fact, he peels right on over with Avril following in his wake.

Where Dean opts for the friendly -- if somewhat unobservant -- approach...

Avril opts for the blunt (and arguably somewhat unobservant) approach.

"Ida. How are you feeling?" she asks plainly, peering at the downspirited young woman with naked concern.

<Pose Tracker> Rosaline Calice has posed.

Misery loves company, and all that. There's something oddly comforting to it all, though the distraction might be welcome.

Rosaline's ears turn to follow the sound of familiar voices, not looking at them before she's directly addressed. Dean may have failed to read the room, but even on her best days, there's something weighing down her timid smiles. Today is no exception, as she turns to look at the duo.

"Oh, hello, Dean, Avril. I... I suppose you could say that..." And it seems they want to speak to Ida? Rosaline leans in ever-so-slightly, curious. If it's not something that concerns her, they'll tell her, right?

<Pose Tracker> Ida Everstead-Rey has posed.

Ida is halfway through a shot of whiskey when she hears someone say her name in the background. She turns the stool around just as Avril points at her and Rosaline. The look in her eyes turns a little owlish, as if she wasn't quite sure how to process any of this. She manages an approximation of a smile, and is midway through figuring out an introduction when Avril just asks that question point-blank.

"Better," Ida says. This time, the cheeriness is more authentic-sounding, but it's still an ill-fitting mask. "I didn't know the two of you were concerned. Rosaline and I were... speaking about some matters." You were sitting together like mopey drunkards. A nun. You dagged a nun into this.

<Pose Tracker> Dean Stark has posed.

Sadly, Dean doesn't know Rosa nearly well enough to know that she's always got something weighing her down. He merely continues to smile back at her with his usual friendliness and read nothing into her response. Thankfully (?), Avril's here to cut to the quick of the matter, and Ida... well, he came because he was worried about her, and when *she* responds, he looks back and forth between the two of them. For the first time, he notices Ida's alcohol. And, while Dean might be dense, he at least *knows* he's dense.

"Oh," he says, smile fading. "Sorry, were we interrupting something? I'm glad you're doing better, though, Ida! We're your friends, so of course we're worried." He nods to Avril and--wait, is he including Rosa in this? Yup, he's nodding to her too. "Right?"

<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

If Rebecca were present right now, it's a sure bet that she would have have done her best to prevent Dean and Avril from attempting the approach they've chosen. Or at least attempted to mollify their tacts somewhat, or done something.

But she's not here, having instead opted to tend to other business.

Of course, on the other hand... perhaps cheer and bluntness might be what's needed here. Who in this world can say for certain what is best?

'Better', Ida says, which earns her a nod from the mysterious young woman. "I see," Avril murmurs, gaze tilted as if regarding something inwards, a faint frown on her lips. "Then, that is good to hear. You looked unlike yourself during that day at Wayside," she continues, addressing the matter forthright. "Is there anything you would like to talk about?"

She, too, has taken stock of the alcohol. Perhaps there are many things that an amnesiac might not know about, but alcohol...

"Oh, my apologies, Rosaline. Are you and Ida speaking privately?"

Someone has been explaining 'private conversations' to her... that or she's been learning (also a fair guess at this point, she can't remain socially ignorant forever).

<Pose Tracker> Rosaline Calice has posed.

Rosaline has had to put on a brave face for the digs she's met Dean and Avril on, but now they get to see her in her more melancholy natural habitat. (It's a metaphorical habitat-- She doesn't do bars very often.)

"It's all right," she says, figuring it wasn't as if they were talking much at that precise moment anyway. Maybe Ida would prefer some quiet, but Rosaline isn't always good at reading the room either. "It's good to see you."

F-Friends? Dean's nod is unequivocal. Rosaline's eyes pop slightly wider, and a slight blush forms. Friendship! It's wonderful, but also intimidating in its own strange way. "Y-Yes," she agrees.

Avril mentions Ida not being herself, which merits a slightly puzzled glance from Rosaline. She wasn't there, so she isn't quite sure what Avril means by that. Then, the mystery woman asks if they were speaking privately.

"Um, it's fine," Rosaline says, perhaps a bit too quickly. It would be terribly rude to turn them away, right?

<Pose Tracker> Ida Everstead-Rey has posed.

Ida seems to shrink back a little, despite everything, as Dean mentions that they're friends. Are they friends? They did brave a wel-infested town together, but that's hardly a measure of friendship. She looks back at Avril, who points out The Wayside Incident. Self-recrimination burns through Ida's mind. "I," she says. The fake smile somehow gets even more fake. "I don't know what got into me back there." Liar. "Maybe it was the stress." LIAR.

"Do you want to speak with us? Because we were simply enjoying a drink." For a given value of 'enjoying', one that is not enjoyment at all.

<Pose Tracker> Dean Stark has posed.

Pshawww. Dean needs to know a person for precisely one minute before he's ready to call them a friend. Sometimes even less than that! ...That probably wouldn't really make Ida feel much better, though, because even if he does genuinely consider her a friend, that doesn't make them *close* friends.

Regardless, he takes Rosa's response at face value. "Oh, good," he says, smiling again at her. "I'm glad we're not interrupting anything!" Dean she didn't say *that*, she just said it was fine "Hmmm," he murmurs at Ida meanwhile, smile fading, as she responds to Avril, who does them both the favor of getting right to the point. He's... pretty sure, based on their private conversation, that she's lying. But why would she lie about that again?

"You don't have to worry about talking to us," he hazards. "Avril and me came here because we wanted to check in on you, see how you were doing." Ida gives them a more formal invitation, and Dean's smile returns. "Yeah!" He sits down with them, pulling back a stool for Avril as he goes. "What were you two talking about?" he asks, looking back and forth between her and Rosa.

<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

Dean isn't the only one taking things at face value. "Then, as long as it is fine," Avril says in response to Rosaline, a quick glance taking in the young nun's current apparent status as well. "Are you well, Rosaline? You seem..."

It seems as if there are two peas in a pod here, at the bar.

Briefly, Avril glances over at Dean, as if seeking confirmation that there is something 'off' here.

She doesn't sit, when Dean pulls out a stool for her. Avril gazes at Ida for a long, long moment, her expression unchanging except for the thin lines of worry that crease her brow.


She tilts her head to one side, her inspection of the young woman only intensifying. "...Why are you lying?"

Dean may need to intercept this one very fast.

"Something is troubling you, is it not? You seem as if you bear a heavy burden."

<Pose Tracker> Rosaline Calice has posed.

Rosaline doesn't protest when Dean sits down. She's just not a protester.

Dean asks what they were talking about. Avril asks if she's well. That faint blush on the nun's face only intensifies. She gestures, as if fumbling with an invisible object. Delicate question crisis!

"I-I'm fine, I'm fine! I'm just... tired, is all... I've been working very hard." She glances at Ida. "As for what we were talking about, um... A lot of things. We talked about the Wels, at least... It's been tough..."

To tell the truth, she isn't even sure anymore what they were discussing before they fell into awkward semi-silence. Conversations meander! But the Wels crisis was at least one of the topics they broached, and one the two newcomers would know about.

<Pose Tracker> Ida Everstead-Rey has posed.

"The matter of the Reapers," Ida says. It seems, for a few moments, as though they can talk to Dean and Avril and regain some semblance of normalcy. Rosaline can let them take over the conversation, Ida can be friendly and interesting, and--

Avril takes that hope out back and shoots it in the head. Ida's face falls. "I don't want to trouble you any more than I already have," she says. "The last thing I want to do is be a bother to people who call me friend. I should be able to deal with the matter on my own." She sounds frustrated, ever-so-slightly, when she says that last bit. But Rosaline--does Rosaline need help?

<Pose Tracker> Dean Stark has posed.

"Oh, really?" Dean says to Rosa, concern stealing over his expression. "You better get a good night's sleep, then! It'd be terrible if you worked so hard you wore yourself out." ...That she might mean a tiredness more pervasive than 'I worked hard today and now I'm all tuckered out' does not occur to him. Dean has never experienced such a tiredness in his life. He nods again, looking between the two, when they talk about the Wels. "Oh, yeah, I bet," he says. "Do you two need more help taking care of them? We'd be happy to pitch in anytime!" Yes, Dean is speaking for Avril. He doesn't doubt for a second that she'd want to help, too. "We can't just leave them alone, after all."

Speaking of Avril--intercept? Why would Dean do that when he could instead *join in*?

Avril catches Dean's eye, and he shares that glance with her that something is 'off.' Rosa's one thing, but Ida... He doesn't insist when Avril doesn't sit down, and instead focuses on Ida with her.

"Yeah, I'd like to know that too," Dean says, sobering, as he nods along with Avril. Ida explains, saying she doesn't want to trouble them or be a bother, and Dean shakes his head. "We came out this way to check on you, and we were prepared to help you if you need help. It's okay--you don't need to hold back on our accounts. If you're still hurting," and even Dean is reasonably sure Ida's not magically A-OK after what he saw of her before, "you can tell us, and we'll do whatever we can for you!"

<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

"Tired. Hmm. Perhaps a stimulating drink may be in order? I have found tea invigorating," Avril says, apparently also taking this at face value.
How does Rebecca stand this?
Rosaline brings up the Wels though. "Have more been sighted?" Avril asks, tilting her head to one side. "There have been rumors regarding creatures in the wastes, but I have not yet heard further details. That machine... Have I seen something of its like before?" As if troubled, her lips press thin and she glances away, to one side. "...Please let us know if you require assistance. With those, or with locating the statues. Have either of you had success? I am afraid that we have discovered nothing..."

People can recover from distress, sometimes even grave distress, but to have recovered completely from that...

Avril may be a babe in the woods, comparatively, with all of about eight months of memories to her name. Avril may still be learning much about people and the world about her. Avril may not know very much about herself.

But no one should have a face like the one Ida had worn that day.

Expression sober -- grim, perhaps -- Avril stares Ida down. In some things, the young woman is as relentless as a glacier.
Particularly when Dean joins in.

"Yes," she says, nodding all of once. "It is of no trouble to us. If there is anything that you wish to speak of, we shall listen."

<Pose Tracker> Rosaline Calice has posed.

"Hm... I've never drunk much tea, but I could try it. And I should, yes..." Rosaline says, regarding a good night's sleep. It is indeed more complicated than that, but sleep couldn't hurt. But then, the Gear engineers are starting to resent having to wake the beastwoman up every time she spends the night in her cockpit.

"Help is always welcome," Rosaline adds, on the matter of the Reapers, and the Guardian statues for that matter. She then shakes her head sadly. "There are no specific plans just yet," which is part of the problem-- Leads are being frustratingly scarce and slow to bear fruit, and while they're not losing this apparent war, it doesn't seem like they're winning either. "But you never know when something urgent might come up."

Avril says Ida is lying. It's a bit rude, but it's also true. Dean doubles down on the assertion. Rosaline shrinks slightly.

Ida claims she doesn't want to bother her friends (if not in those specific words). Rosaline, too, looks concerned, though in a more subdued way than Dean's. She doesn't say more, only looking on with silent approval of the young man and the grim woman's words.

<Pose Tracker> Ida Everstead-Rey has posed.

Ida shrinks back, her hand tightening a little around the shotglass. "You shouldn't have done that," she says, to Dean, her voice soft and full of pain. "I don't deserve your kindness. I'm sorry. You can do nothing to fix me, and I wouldn't ask that of you even if you could."

"I am broken," Ida says, after a moment, as if clarifying. Her voice is even softer now. "I... I realized it once I felt a little better. I think it's what Id saw in me, and what I saw in him. Why else--why else would I feel that way about Riesenlied?" There's a little anger in her voice as she says the name.

<Pose Tracker> Dean Stark has posed.

Dean's not much of a tea person himself, but an invigorating drink sure couldn't hurt when you're feeling tired, so he nods along with Avril's advice. And Rosa seems to take it! Or say she will, anyway, along with that of more sleep. All's well that ends well, then! He nods, too, about talk of no specific plans. "Mmm, yeah, it's hard to plan anything when we can't even find the Guardian Statues yet... But yeah. Just let us know! We all just have to keep trying!" Both about the Wels and the Statues. ...Dean pretty much means the Statues right now, though.

Avril, meanwhile, continues to press Ida, and Dean does too. Rosa doesn't join in, but she doesn't stop them, either. And so Ida finally admits to how she feels... To feeling broken. To being broken, though Dean doesn't think that's really true. Still, he doesn't argue the point with her, expression only turning more concerned. "Ida..." She asks a question with anger, and while it's rhetorical, Dean considers it as if it's not. "I don't know," he thus admits. "But I do know we *want* to help. I know we can't fix whatever's making you so unhappy. Even I know it's not that simple. But that doesn't mean we can't do what we can to help make things easier for you. And just so *you* know, we'll be nice to you if we want! Whether you 'deserve' it or not doesn't matter. ...At least, that's what I think."

<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

"Rebecca showed me a tea that makes it easier to sleep, as well. Perhaps that might give you comfort?" Avril ventures further.

But there's also the matter of the statues -- and the Wels. "We will find something, I believe. If we have not yet found a thing, then is it not reasonable to assume they have not, either?" Clasping her hands together, she then nods, as Dean says they need to keep trying. "Yes. It's as Dean says, is it not? Nothing is impossible..." She glances sidelong, as if to prompt him.

"Ida," Avril voices at last, gazing at the woman as she declares she doesn't deserve their kindness. "Must someone deserve kindness to have it granted? I do not feel this is so. Since I have awakened, I have seen those of all walks of life behave cruelly. But I have also seen them behave with great kindness. ...I do not feel that receiving kindness is something that is earned."

Broken, is it...

Her lips press thin. Once again, she regards Ida as if taking her measure, weighting something.

And simply asks, no hint of judgement in her words: "Are you envious of her, Ida?"

Envy... There's something she can almost recall. The shape of words, of a confrontation. Regret, bitterness.
But who was the envious one?
Avril for a moment appears as if she's stalled out somehow, reaching for something her fingers can't encircle.

<Pose Tracker> Rosaline Calice has posed.

Rosaline places her hands around her glass of water, which has gone untouched for some time now. Ida speaks her mind, each of her words more heartbreaking than the last. Rosaline's gaze lowers.

Dean continues to reach out in his earnest way. Avril takes a different tack but arrives at the same destination-- Talking about 'awakening' along the way, but the question this raises may be one for another time.

She continues to remain silent by the sidelines, as emotions she doesn't quite understand simmer beneath the surface. She wants to say something more, to help her friend further as two relative strangers (but friends, right?) have gone out of their way to do just that. Their offer of support is unconditional, and why wouldn't it be? It's admirable, truly so, but why can't Rosaline manage to say anything? Why is she sitting there, trying and failing to muster a smile, and-- Oh, Avril has guessed correctly, she thinks --and why is she so mad, and confused, and she's going to break something, isn't she? Maybe that's it, maybe she, too, is--

Glass shatters.

Only a small part of the cracked glass she's holding just went flying off the counter, but that was enough to send water spilling, and for a sharp edge to tear into one of the nun's gloves enough to reveal a single crooked, white-furred and disconcertingly sharp-clawed finger.

"O-Oh no, oh no, I... I just..." She looks at her hand, seeming on the verge of tears. "I need to go fix this. I'm sorry. I'm so sorry... Please, um... Tell them I'll pay for the glass, a-and for the spilled water..."

And briskly, she leaves her stool, making to leave with catlike celerity.

<Pose Tracker> Ida Everstead-Rey has posed.

Were she not held tightly in the grip of self-loathing, Ida would see the telltale way Rosaline's hand is tightening, the way she's tensing up and withdrawing into herself. Focused inward, she does not see it. "I am," Ida says, to Avril, "and I hate it. She would never say a word in anger to anyone. She would give the shirt off her back for someone who hated her. She somehow managed to be on speaking terms with the Trial Knight, who has done nothing but torment me, and anyone else they feel like. She takes in strays and orphans and cares for them, and is a champion of the downtrodden and dispossessed. She defied the station of her birth, and I--I hate her for it." Her voice is barely a whisper, but the words hold great import all the same. "I want to hurt her for hurting me this way. You see what kind of monster I--"

Glass shatters. Water spills across the bartop. Ida trails off, looking up at Rosaline. Idiot girl! You're so wrapped up in your own selfish suffering you can't see a friend suffering right next to you!

"Rosaline, wait--!" Ida says. She looks like she's on the verge of tears, herself.

<Pose Tracker> Dean Stark has posed.

"Right! Nothing's impossible as long as you don't give up!" Dean confirms, smiling bright and strong back at Avril. But... well, that's an idealistic outlook at the best of time. It's not going to be helpful to people who've already given up on themselves to some degree or another. And, like Ida, he doesn't notice Rosa's grip tightening on that glass; he's too busy looking at Avril with increasing sobriety when she figures out what Ida had to explicitly tell him, then listening to Ida admit to her darker feelings on Riesenlied. It's honestly distressing to Dean to hear this, that someone might hate someone for being too kind. At the same time, though, he doesn't want to vilify her; she's already doing that to herself. And, honestly, Dean doesn't really understand jealousy or envy; he's never wanted something of someone else's so badly that he hated them for having it. If Rebecca were here, what would she say?

Then, all of a sudden, as Dean is trying to figure that out (with no luck), that glass shatters in Rosaline's hand.

"Woah! Rosa, are you okay?" Dean starts to say, taking a step towards her--but then she flees faster than he can offer to bandage her hand or ask Avril to heal her. Then Ida calls after her, and everything is terrible and people are crying. "I-I'll go get her!" he says, and then hurries after the nun. "Rosaline, wait up!!" ...Given her feline genetics, though, even Dean "Tiny Ball of Energy" Stark might not be able to keep up.

<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

Envy, indeed, is an emotion that Rebecca could understand -- if not speak to -- more than Avril herself is able.

Slowly, slightly, Avril tilts her head to the left. Her lips purse, her brow crinkles. The depth of that feeling extends so far into a dark place...

She is still reaching understanding of it. Still trying. Her hands -- or her mental extension thereof -- slide against a glassy wall, unable to cross the distance to where the context of this feeling lies. She relinquishes her attempts, steps back mentally.

Returns to now, as Ida expresses in full the depths of her envy.

And once she lays all those cards out onto the table, Avril nods. "...Then, that is how you feel. Is there shame in that?" she queries as if this were a matter of mere fact, gazing at Ida.
Which means that the full spectrum of her focus is not on Rosaline.

Glass shatters. Avril's hand flies to her chest and she turns sharply as water spills across the tabletop. "Ah--?!"

As Rosaline hurriedly pays up and flees. "Rosaline...?" Avril blinks all of twice before something -- suddenly -- appears to occur to her. Shaking her head, she calls out, "Dean, she's--"

Before turning herself and joining the others in attempting to chase down the young nun.