(2016-06-07) From bad to worse to maybe better someday
From bad to worse to maybe better someday
Summary: Tabitha finally finds the guts to talk to Kaylee. It goes better than expected, if worse than hoped.
Date: 2016-06-07
Related: Rescue
NPCs: NA
Scene Runner: NA
Players:
kaylee..tabitha..

It's the first night for the students with no impending school in the morning! For a long time! And so, what is Kaylee doing? She's binge-watching Netflix in her dorm room! She's in her night-clothes, a plain white tank top with a pair of purple, blue and pink boxers. She's still wearing her socks, and is laying on her tummy, legs bent and ankles crossed, as her laptop is on the bed in front of her while she watches. She also has her glasses on, so she's not using her 360 vision, either. She leaves the door open when she's in there by herself..

No school tomorrow, but for some that doesn't mean no work to wake up to. Tabitha has spent today going over all of her instruments and kit with a fine tooth comb, tuning, tightening, taping, and soldering to make sure that her various second and third hand instruments perform like new. There's just one thing she has to do before she can be certain she's performance ready, so she's walking up to this particular dorm to do it. She can hear the movie as she's walking up to the open door and there's enough thermal bleed through the wall that she can tell there's only one person inside, and sees that person is Kaylee when she reaches the open door. So after raising her hand, pausing, then chickening out a few times she finally just smacks herself on the back of the head and knocks on the frame.

Kaylee quickly whips her head around smiling- until she sees Tabitha. The smile fades immediately and Kaylee looks a little apprehensive. She closes her laptop and sits up, her brow furrowing as she looks at her former BFF. "Violet obviously isn't here, so what do you want?" she asks, tucking hair behind her ear and scooting further back on her bed as if to put more distance between them. The question wasn't harsh, just … Kaylee is obviously worried, being alone with Tabitha.

For all that she's grown a few inches since her surgeries, Tabitha as she is at the door seems to be a bit smaller than before. She prepared for this the best she could think of, dressing in the jeans and flannel shirt that were her cold weather staples (to hide most of the new glyphs on her body), her black knit watch cap is on her head (to conceal her hair color), and she's got on a pair of blackout glasses (to conceal her changed eyes without wearing the also new blindfold). She doesn't cross into the room, instead staying just outside the door.

She puts her hands in her pockets as Kaylee asks her what she wants. She looks down for a beat, then lets out a sigh. "I want things to be like they were before the tower. I want for you to not flinch or feel like running away because I'm in the same room. I want to figure out how to get through how sorry I am."

Kaylee listens, pulling her knees up to her chest as her back hits the wall. Unable to back up any further, Kaylee can't really go anywhere else, so she just sits there. When Tabitha finishes, Kaylee frowns. She looks around, nervously, but there's nobody else there but her. So, taking a deep breath, Kaylee looks at Tabitha and shakes her head. "Well, that's not going to happen, Tabitha. Or Lilith. Or whatever your name is." She tucks some hair behind her ears, biting her bottom lip for a moment, but continues. "I don't know what you said or why everybody else is so okay after what happened, but … I was your FRIEND. When you were hurt and alone in the med bay, I came every single day to see you. And I thought we got really close. But, when we got over there, and I started to freak out? You yelled at me. And you slapped me. And you threatened to ditch me, throw me over a wall, and leave me where ever we were for whatever reason. So, while you might pretend to be all friendly with people over here? /I/ know how you really are, when the chips are down. And I don't want anything to do with you."

Tabitha listens with her gaze down at the floor. She winces as Kaylee calls her Lilith, but keeps listening. In a way she's glad that Kaylee is willing to show her this much venom, because it means her once and hopefully future friend is finding her strength again. When Kaylee finishes, Tabitha nods a bit while she tries to find what she hopes are the right words. Too bad she can't put it to music. Music has always been easier.

"Daxton isn't alright with me. Not yet. But he's been through his own hell of being used and not remembering, so I think he understands more than anyone else what it's like for me right now. Violet and I are working towards being alright. She tracked me down a couple days after. We had a talk." She pauses again, because now it's down to her actions in the tower. Things that can be neither glossed over, nor easily forgiven. Finally she says what she hopes will be helpful.

"The person that did all that to you was not Tabitha. I know how that sounds, I really do. But when I stepped through that fire, more than eight years of my life was suddenly stripped away. At that moment, I had never been Tabitha in the first place. There was only Lilith, and at a time when she was desperately trying to prove to her creator that she was still strong enough to lead. I didn't know who any of you were, only that you were either allies or obstacles."

She pauses there to try and get herself back under control. Talking about herself, who she used to be, like this is making her more emotional than she she can talk through. "What you saw there is not who I am, it's who I used to be."

Kaylee listens, most of her face hidden behind her knees as she watches Tabitha. She lets her say everything and doesn't interrupt at all. When she does finish, Kaylee is quiet while she thinks about things. When she finally speaks, her voice is quiet and uneven, and it's probably fairly obvious that she's trying very hard not to cry again. "Who you used to be is a part of who you become. I lost my friend when we went over there. And she didn't come back." There's a pause as Kaylee has to sniffle. "I … I don't know who you are, now. But I don't like it. I don't like who you are now. I want my friend back, but … but I think she's gone." And the tears are falling, now, though silently.

Tabitha is having some trouble staying strong on her feet, so as Kaylee responds and she can see the tears start to flow she slides down the door frame until she's sitting tailor fashion on the floor. There is a shake of her head a few times. Earlier she mentioned that things are always easier with music, and there is a whisper of song at the back of her mind but she keeps it there for now. Instead she says just a few words.

"You're right that your friend was gone in that tower. But you're wrong that she didn't come back, or that she's gone now. I'm right here. Me. Tabitha Jones, who still hugs her new teddy bear before bed and thinks of way to try and make her friend say 'oh gosh' too many times."

She pauses as that last comment causes her to smile for a brief few seconds. "But my head isn't the same anymore. Like I told Violet, I am Tabitha. But now I have to deal with the fact that I used to be Lilith. She's a stain smeared all over me, and while I would very much like to, I can't ever wash her off or forget who she was or what she did."

"Well," Kaylee says, sniffling and swallowing. "She did something to /me/. Except she looked pretty much just like you. And … I mean, what you were drinking at the bonfire? That's not NORMAL. That's seriously the strangest thing I've seen anybody do since I got here. And it's the weirdest thing I've ever seen anybody do in my life. And it's … YOU'RE not the same. You don't look the same. You don't shine the same. And you don't act the same. And … and …," she has to stop, to wipe at her eyes and cheeks. "And you were SO MEAN TO ME! And I was SO scared and freaking out SO bad, and all you did was hit me and call me useless and want to just leave me behind or get rid of me or … or … I don't even know what else you were thinking. That was YOU, even if you don't think so. It was who ever was in your body, or your mind, or whatever! And I can't just forget you did it, just because you say you were someone else!" And with that, Kaylee chucks the pillow from her bed in Tabitha's direction. But, being a pillow, it probably won't get close.

When Kaylee mentions her 'nutritional suppliment', Tabitha can only shrug and say the words she's managed to keep inside for a week. "No, it's not normal. For a human."

Then Kaylee is crying openly while events from the tower are again fresh in her mind. When the pillow is thrown she doesn't think, she just lets her aura out of herself to catch it. Then she smooths it over and her aura puts it back on Kaylee's bed.

"I don't want you to forget, Kaylee. And I'm not trying to say it wasn't me, but it wasn't the me that grew up on an island in Maine. Who climbed trees and skated down mountains and started writing songs when I was eight." Here she pauses, but only long enough to lift up the blackout glasses long enough to wipe her eyes.

"It was the me that wasn't born, but came out of a womb tank seventeen years and thirty-eight days ago. Who from the day she first existed was raised on the idea that she was superior to everyone this or any other planet. Who trained in combat, tactics, leadership, and intimidation before being sent on missions to further the goals of her creator, her 'Father'. Who never had friends or family, only subordinates, allies, and obstacles." She has to wipe her eyes again at this point.

"Seven years and one day ago, something happened that made her realize her creator was nothing more than a murderer, a monster. There was… a fight that she barely survived, barely escaped from." She looks up at Kaylee, her face just as streaked with tears as her friend's. "It was the worst day in her life, but the best in mine. Because without that day, I never would have become Tabitha Jones. Never would have ended up here, or met you."

"I don't want you to forget what I did, Kaylee. I just hope that you can understand what happened and why. That you'll come out of it stronger, brighter, and better even if you can't find a reason to forgive."

Kaylee just sobs and hugs herself, rocking now as she cries. She doesn't know what else to say or to do and she doesn't have even the slightest clue how to make the hurt and the pain go away or even get any better. Her best friend had slapped her and been just pretty horrible to her, and now was saying that she wsa really just a terrible person who forgot about it! What the heck was Kaylee supposed to DO with that? She hasn't got a clue. So, she cries. And hugs her knees. And rocks. And wishes with very bit of all of her strength that she'd never found out she had super powers and had never learned about Coral Springs or anything else so that she wouldn't ache so bad.

Tabitha can't stand seeing Kaylee like this, but as she is now she can't find the courage to step into the room. So she flies away, across the common rooms and dorm hub and back to her own dorm room. There she picks up the teddy bear Kaylee gave her, then stands in front of her mirror. She tears off the hat and glasses, then stares at her reflection trying to find the focus to let her do something she only recently remembered was possible with her powers. And when it's done she puts the knit black watch cap on the bear's head, the one item of clothing that she always wore before the tower or her surgeries.

Then she flies back and lands outside Kaylee's dorm, looking like she did when Kaylee first met her. Not exactly the same. She can't do anything about the added inches and she couldn't bring herself to put the scars back on. But her face is the same, her hair is its old strawberry blonde, even her eyes are their previous shade of green. She kneels next to Kaylee's bed, hugging the bear to her chest then holds it out towards Kaylee. "There's someone here that really wants to hug your tears away. Well, two someones, but…" And now she's crying just as much as Kaylee, if for different reasons.

Well, since Kaylee's eyes aren't really useful through all the tears, her spatial awareness kicked in, so she saw Tabitha fly off. Which made her cry worse and roll onto her side so she can bawl openly, curling into the fetal position. But, then Tabitha is back? And she's brining … oh gosh, the bear? Oh, poor Kaylee can't take this! She sobs and curls even tighter into a ball, her heart breaking into itty bitty pieces. Oh, where was Violet to come and protect her? Or her mommy? Or daddy, daddy would protect her! But no, there's nobody there to take away the pain. Nobody but ….
Crying out, Kaylee rolls over and will literally pounce Tabitha, if she lets her, and cling. And cry. And fail completely to try and tell her anything, even though she's TRYING to form words. But, the crying just won't allow any communication. So, Kaylee just balls up her fists and worthlessly beats on Tabitha's shoulders, incapable of putting any actual force or effort into the blows, just light little bumps on her shoulders as she cries out her angry and her hurt into the girls shoulder.

Tabitha may be the last person Kaylee would want protecting her, but when she comes barreling over Tabitha catches her. She's knocked down onto her back at first, but as Kaylee starts to hit at her shoulders she manages to sit back up and get her arms around Kaylee. Anyone looking in from the hall might not quite understand what they were seeing at first… Tabitha, the smallest person in the school, holding onto someone more than a foot taller than her, rocking back and forth getting cried on and hit while she's crying and rubbing Kaylee's back. And squeezed between them a stuffed bear in a fisherman's watch cap.

Tabitha is having just as much trouble finding words as Kaylee, but after some time the song that's been bubbling at the back of her mind through all this makes it easier. Music always makes it easier. Her voice is hoarse and pitchy from the crying but she manages to get out the words… o/~ 'No matter how dark the road… You light my way… No matter how far my home… I'll find my way.' o/~

Once she's finally able to maybe form a couple words, Kaylee pulls back and paws at her eyes. "I'm so mad at you," she says in between blubbering. And then she clings again and just cries herself out.

Tabitha nods, her own face covered in tears. If she were the kind to wear Violet style makeup, it would be a horror show by this point. As it is there's a tiny, quiet part of the very back of her mind that's surprised her illusion didn't slip when her composure did. But outwardly she just nods to Kaylee's words. Then once Kaylee's clinging again she response. "I know. I am, too. I deserve it."

After lots of crying that finally subsides to gentle sobbing, that gives way to sniffling, Kaylee finally sits up and crawls away, pulling a box of tissues off of her night stand and grabbing a handful before sliding the box back to Tabitha. She starts trying to clean herself up a little, blowing her nose and wiping at her face.
"I still don't like the new you," Kaylee says, finally, still trying to regain her composure. "And I don't know if I like the fact that you can go away and come back looking like you used to. Because you're still not the same Tabitha. Not my Tabby. You're … a new Tabby."

Tabitha takes the tissues with a smile then hands the box back once she's got her own handful. When she blows her nose it isn't any kind of delicate. She's a singer, so she keeps her airways clear which means almost clown style honks when it's nose blowing time. She doesn't think anyting of it, but sometimes it catches people off guard.

When Kaylee starts talking again she looks up at her friend, meeting her gaze for the first time in this whole mess. She nods her understanding of what Kaylee's saying. "It's tricks of the light. You can probably do it, too. Maybe better than me, even."

But she closes her eyes and lets out a long, deep breath. The illusion on her hair goes away, the strawberry blonde returning to copper with a black streak at the left temple. The baby fat leaves her features, returning her face to its new leaner look. The eyes don't change back to their solid charcoal grey with flames, though. When she opens them they've changed to the dark shade of blue she had after the surgeries. She'll just shrug at this, "I like the hair, but the eyes creep me out. You're right, though. And I've got to figure out who this new Tabby is." She sucks her lower lip in and bites it nervously. "And though I don't deserve it… I'd really like your help in figuring her out."

"Ohhhh gosh," Kaylee sighs, chuckle-crying and wiping at fresh tears as her eyes rotate towards the ceiling. She has to let a couple sobs slip by before she can talk again, constantly trying to keep up with the tears by wiping at one eye, then the other with a kleenex. "I don't know, Tabby. I … I don't know. I really really want to. But … I'm still really really upset."

Tabitha seems to have cried herself out. Her eyes are still moist, but nothing like the earlier waterworks. She nods gently, dropping her gaze downward again. "I know. I don't mean right away, just… not never?" Once more she's finding it hard to put a thought into words without music, and there's no more of that poking out of her brain this time. All she can do is look up at Kaylee again, her eyes filled with a mixture of pain and contrition, and hold a quiet hope for a start at least.

Nodding, Kaylee agrees, "MAYBE not never. We'll see." She sniffles, and then quickly adds, trying to reassure Tabby, "I'll try." She sighs and chuckle-cries again, lamenting over the growing pile of used tissues in her lap. "If anybody ever makes me cry this much, ever again, I'm gonna askk Violet if she'll smash them into infinity."

"And beyond." Hey, she may not be sci-fi or fantasy savy, but Tabitha is a Pixar fanatic.

Laughing, and blowing a snot rocket right out of her nose while doing so, Kaylee quickly has to cover her face with another tissue. "Oh gosh, Tabitha. That was terribad," she says, wiping her face clean.

Tabitha just nods and hugs her arms around herself at the 'oh gosh'. To her, hearing that is the best sign of hope yet. "Yeah, it was bad. But fitting." She reaches down to pick the teddy bear back up, straightening her old watch cap on its head and holding it out to Kaylee. "Peace?"

Kaylee's brow furrows when Tabitha offers the bear to her. "Well, it's ME, so I can't really promise PEACE. But, I'll promise not to ignore you anymore, at least. Or to avoid you. And stop trying to give me Mister Bear. I'm not in the hospital," she teases, sticking her tongue out at Tabitha.

Tabitha nods her head vigorously as Kaylee lays out her terms, then grins and hugs Mister Bear to her chest. "Deal." She sticks her tongue out right back at Kaylee, then grins. "Oh, and the band is coming into town tomorrow. If you want, you can come meet them. Especially Trini. She's who I blame for all of my regular crazy." She stops herself then, hugging Mister Bear even tighter. "But I should probably get some sleep before then. It's a lot later than I thought it would be."

Kaylee nods, pushing herself up from the floor and her mountain of kleenex. She holds her arms out, then, waiting for Tabitha to get wrapped in a great big hug, before she murmurs, "I don't know when the next time we'll hug is, sorry."

Tabitha happily steps into the offered hug, wrapping her arms around Kaylee and leaning her head against her shoulder. Given their height differences it's a natural position this way than the reverse was earlier. "That's fine. I'll just have to bank this one away until then."

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