Log:Caring About Stability

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Caring About Stability
Characters  •   The Hunter  •  The Penitent  •
Location  •  The Facility - Parlor
Date  •  2018-10-10
Summary  •  The Penitent and the Hunter finally have a chat and it's not as awkward as one might think.

The Hunter is watching one of the Westerns! She's lounging on a sofa post-workout, sipping at a smoothie. She's still got a bit of a sheen of sweat across her brow. One leg is dragged up against her chest, arm draped over her knee. There's just a sort of glazed look over her eyes. Like she's watching the movie... but not entirely paying attention.

From the hallway comes The Penitent, wandering along with her no cares at all in the world sort of look. She's got a novel of some sort in her hand and seems to be set on making her way towards the wall of bookshelves. Apparently it's time to change books? She halts though when she spots the Hunter on the couch. Oh. "Hello," she greets pleasantly, glancing at the screen. "It is interesting to have something to watch, isn't it? When I get tired of reading, I like to sit here too." Her tone has that sort of vague, not-really-quite-here quality to it as she steps over to the bookshelf. "How have you been?"

Another sip of smoothie and the Hunter shifts, stretching out her leg and unfurling as she sits more upright to watch the Penitent. "It's a change of pace at least," she says, looking back to the screen. "Even if I wish it wasn't westerns." There's a small shrug as she leans and places her drink on the table. At the question she looks back to the other woman and considers, thoughtfully. "I'm... I think I'm doing all right. What about you?"

"Me too," The Penitent says, depositing her book on the shelf, but not taking another just yet as she turns about to approach the couch. "I am not sure I'm so fond of Westerns. I don't really know though." She pauses nearby, her expression shifting into something more serious. "I am doing all right too. Acclimatising. Again." She shifts on the spot, tilting her head, looking thoughtful for a moment. "I feel like I should I have checked on you again, and sooner. I am sorry about that."

"I'm realizing I'm not a big fan of them. I don't hate them. Anton does, though." There's a faint smile there, bemused. "He won't even really even look at the television if you notice, when he comes through here." The Hunter watches Penny approach, but her brow furrows as the other woman approaches. She listens to the apology and shifts a bit uncomfortably. "It's..." She hesitates and bites at her lower lip. "It's all right. I mean, I would have liked to see you more, but it's okay."

"At least someone does," Penny replies, tilting her head slightly, moving to sit nearby. "You would?" She is a bit surprised by that. "I ... kind of just assumed I would get in the way. And of course, a lot of thinking to do. Which is possibly better than last time. Maybe." She's not sure. "So I was kind of just staying out of the way. Conrad did say I should probably talk to you, though."

Running her tongue over her lower lip, the Hunter leans back into the couch as she watches Penny for a moment. "In the way?" There's hesitation for a moment, then the ah-ha moment. "With Conrad." She exhales slowly, brushing hands over bare legs slowly. Still the shorts all the time. "Do you feel in the way?"

A nod of confirmation, and the Penitent settles in, her feet lifting up to tuck beneath her on the couch as she shifts to face the Hunter proper. "I do not. But perhaps that is because I have made the effort to not be in the way. I also thought that perhaps he might be upset with me too, but that is apparently not the case, so. I am likely worrying over nothing. Or just avoiding out of fear."

Turning slightly to face the Penitent in return, the woman known as Maata... or Thorne considers. She leans an elbow into the back of the sofa, tucking fingers up into her hair. She purses her lips in thought. "I took my time talking to him," she says quietly. "I had to sort out myself and... I wasn't sure what he'd think." She casts her eyes down at her lap, free hand falling there. "I mean, in these lives we lived..." Her words fall apart a bit, then she shrugs. "I know we carried on here because we were Maata and Conrad, but those feelings were still there. And they... were and are something greater than anything Thorne ever felt for anyone. Thorne cared for a few people-" she looks up at the woman sitting there, the woman who was Kylie. "But she didn't love anyone. I think once... he was able to begin accepting both parts of himself, it was a bit easier to see that, too." She gives a small shrug. "It's... I mean it's awkward still. It's gonna be sometimes, I guess. I mean, I was beginning to think of you like a sister of sorts and then-" she tilts her head. "But I wouldn't want you to avoid me."

"I know what you mean," the Penitent says quietly, tilting her head slightly as she listens t othe Hunter afterwards. "Kylie wasn't in love either, not really. But she naturally got ... close to people. Anything to keep looking foward, because she was too afraid to really look behind. Until the very end, anyway. She was quite upset at how she handled that, though. With Thorne." She lifts a hand then, making a vague gesture. "I am glad. I don't know ... what we are now, or where we go from here. I will make it clear though that I don't need what Kylie wanted from Thorne." There's an attempt at a smile. "Which should hopefully make things a little less awkward."

"It was... miscommunication," the Hunter says carefully, looking quickly to Penny, then away. "Thorne's casual and Kylie's weren't the same thing. And Thorne was... stressed and bad at communication in general. She shut down." She bites at her lower lip. "She talked to Rhys, but even then not really." Fingers continue to press at hair and the woman lets out a breath, looking sidelong at the television before she sinks into the sofa, drawing a knee up to her chest once again. "Sex was the only way she knew to get close to people. The only way she knew to... reach out. There was one person she... started to feel like she could maybe, possibly relax around, but- things went to hell and I didn't see much of him. I hope he got out, but I don't know. And-" There's a bit of a grin. "It's probably for the best."

There's a sort of conspiratorial look over to the other woman. "I think he's the only person in everything that Conrad is bothered by."

There's a shake of the Penitent's head. "I am not so sure about that. Looking at it from a more distanced point of view, Kylie certainly made some assumptions and just let herself believe them even though she kind of knew better. Not really by conscious choice, but still. She didn't really talk to anyone, either. Not really." She does arch a brow curiously, a hand idly reaching up to run through her hair. "Oh? Someone who is here with us? Now you have to tell me who it is!"

"You know, Rhys warned Thorne." There's a small grin at that. "He saw it coming, I think. That Kylie would... become more attached than expected. Thorne didn't think so. She figured it'd be fine and-" the Hunter shrugs a bit. "He teased her about it, later." When they were able to send messages again. When demanded to share, the woman leans back and stretches her legs out, shifting forward only to grab her smoothing before propping her feet on the table where it once sat. She takes a drink.

"Not here with us, I don't think. Least I've never seen him. That's the weird part, you know. Because he was on the island, too." She tilts her head to look at the other woman, looking a bit sheepish. "Remember Victor? I, uh... well, Maata slept with him, before getting to the island. It was... just a drunken thing." She clears her throat before taking another sip of the smoothie. "But... he was on the Noc, too. And I guess they'd... crossed paths in their past. Her while she was still a marine, before she lost her leg. He was nice, there. Not... not nearly as terrible a person. I think Thorne was starting to feel she could open up to him a little. If only because he was... separate from everything, right? Not the Company. Not a Marshal. Someone... apart from everything else." Her brow furrows. "But I haven't seen him here." She tilts her head. "On the other hand... the fact that I slept with him once upset Conrad enough. Twice... moreso. It's probably a good thing he's not here."

"At first, he would have been wrong. There was an understanding; Thorne even told Kylie as much that evening in the casino. In a kind of round about way, but it was known. Kylie just made a mistake and she -- I -- am sorry about that." All this talk about Thorne, the Penitent's gaze can't help but peer at the Hunter's legs. Or leg, really, when they're being all stretched out. It helps that they're not unpleasant to look at.

"Oh ..." she says, thoughtfully. "You know, that explains a few of the things he said about Maata. That must have been extra frustrating for her." She clucks her tongue thoughtfully. "I didn't think Victor was here either ... and I don't think I ever saw him on the station. I guess I can see why Conrad would be more bothered by this; he didn't care much for Victor. When we were still trying to hide our involvement in that thing with the ruins ... Karl suggested just having Victor killed. Conrad may have actually considered it for a second. If Madison wasn't there, who knows." She blinks, slowly. "I'm not sure how that's relevant, really. I am not sure we can really be held responsible for things we did without all our memories."

"Now you understand, maybe, why she hit him," the Hunter says with a bit of a grin. She's not ashamed of that. Maata certainly never was. The woman is quiet for a moment before giving a small shrug. "We love each other, Madison. Maata and Conrad do. And... they're a part of us. No matter how much you try to distance from it all, it's still there. If it wasn't, you wouldn't have tried to avoid me to avoid making things awkward. You wouldn't be concerned or worried. You still care. You still feel something, even if it's muted. Well-" She finishes off her smoothie before leaning to set the empty glass on the floor by the sofa.

"For us it's... not, really. We never said the words until we were here. We never... came clean about certain things until here. Me about Victor. Him about the things he'd hidden from Maata or how he'd used her. In a way, the strongest part of our relationship came-" she lifts her hand, palm up, "in this place." That hand drops back to her lap and she looks forward. "The muting of things came from us being Rhys and Michel. But even they got along. And were drawn together. To some extent. They didn't have feelings for each other. It was just a friendship and sex. But they understood each other. So... He's bound to have some jealousy. I... imagine that if this all happens again, there's going to be someone I'd find myself bothered by, too, whether I want to or not."

There is a small smile at that reference. Madison was so angry that Maata had assaulted a guest -- not that she'd ever have actually confronted the security chief about it. But now? It's just kind of amusing. "Oh no, I know it's still there. I never really ... debated that. Because it is still there is why I tried to distance myself from it. Madison didn't ... have people she cared about. Except her brother. And she was terrified and guilt-ridden and alone here. Not alone for long, but for long enough to be upset by it. I couldn't face being her, anything had to be better, and with the memories vague, it was easy. So I pretended. Now with Kylie's experiences in addition to that ... it's better, honestly. I can see Madison from a different point of view. You're right though, I do still care. About both of you."

She pauses though, and shakes her head. "I don't follow though. When we were on the Noc, we had no knowledge of the Island, or this place, and we can only act on what we know. To be jealous of something that happened based on what we knew at that time would be ..." she struggles for a moment, "... it would be like me being upset that Rhys didn't look after Kylie or protect her because he was her brother once? But he wasn't, Rhys and Kylie didn't even really know each other."

"It's all right if you don't follow. Just like some people are clinging to who they were and some, like you, are letting it go. Some of us were trying to find a happy medium and..." the Hunter gives a small shrug. "Some things are going to dig deeper than others. Apparently, for Conrad, Victor and me is something he struggles with." She moves to get to her feet, stretching as she does. "I can't explain it, but it... in a strange way, it made me glad to see. It was the last bit of proof I needed to know that he hadn't rejected Conrad completely. That... the man I had feelings for was still in there. That he honestly felt them back, for me. What we have -- our relationship -- may not be the same it was, but it's... something."

"And I need that. It's... stabilizing. It's like having a north star in this place some days." The Hunter pauses, looks at the Penitent, and gives a bit of a smile. "I'd hug you, but," a gesture to self, "I'm still kind of gross from my workout earlier. So, I'm gonna go shower instead." And she starts to pad off towards the hallway and its many doors.

It gives the Penitent something to think about, and she nods slowly at it. "I guess when you put it that way, it's more understandable. If you want something to continue throughout all this, the bits in between can't mean ... nothing." It's a thought that she's probably going to work on for some time, how to fit the various pieces together with her own views on this place.

There's a smile though. Thoughts for later. "That sounds nice," she says, in reference to the stabilizing relationship, then is on her feet too. "Okay! Thank you. I am going to eat. It turns out that scrambled eggs are, in fact, delicious." And that's the Penitent, reverting to her pretense of not really caring about anything.