Log:Holding onto Memories
As Caregiver knocks on the door with the coins on it right next to hers in the hallway, she doesn't wait to enter so much as she stands forward in leaning to get the man's attention and wait for the opening to beckon with invite. Then she backs into her bedroom space with unspoken showing of the place. It's a fairly good segway as she tells the man, "I haven't shown anyone yet. I go to Pierce's room, really, a lot of the time. Feels like rolling in him." The space is understated elegance that's lovely in airy whites and accents, and it smells just... nice. Not quite like perfume, but lavender and chamomile flowers, which eventually is shown to be coming from a steam wisp diffuser on a bedside table.
Once they're in the room, she goes for the dressing room table and kicks out of her heels in walking, eyeing the man's reflection at the mirror, "Sometime, will you take me to the place with the machines that spin when you put money in them? And make them go 'round?"
When the knock is heard on his door, the Capitalist is in quite the mood. It's a dark mood as some may have noticed from the discussion in the parlor. This mixture of worry and anger blended together to create this storm of restrained emotions within him. Just before the knock, he had been seated at his desk and as he had told the group, he was frantically documenting thoughts and ideas that were shared. There was some point where his frustration gets the better of him, the action that follows finds all of his notes on the floor beside his desk along with several other stationary-like items, pensholders and the contents within, paperclip containers, almost everything but the desk lamp. So when that knock finally comes, the eyes that look towards his closed door is one of anger and annoyance.
It takes a rather long moment for him to respond to the knocking, the door finally opening after he's had time to compose himself, those dark eyes staring down at the Caregiver. At first, he had a mind of simply closing his door, not wanting to be bothered by anyone, but out of, perhaps, begrudging curiosity, he slips quietly between the neighboring rooms, all without a word at first.
On entrance, he gives the room first a brief look over, before meticulously studying certain aspects of the young woman's abode. It's what he had expected, for the most part. It was filled with delicate femininity. That silence, on his part, continues on. He's probably thinking. He does that a lot. Though one has to wonder what goes on in his mind.
He knows that he invited people to his place if they wanted to give a tour of their room. He just didn't realize that he'd have a taker this soon. With slow steps, he wanders the room, before looking over his shoulder at the Caregiver standing beside at her dressing room. The annoyance is hard to keep out of his tone at first, but it begins to soften the more that he speaks, as he gains better control of his temper and mood, "If that's what you want." This is followed by a question, while he's here. "After our discussion earlier," his attention again drawn to the room as a whole, "Do you believe that this room represents you in any way and if so, how?"
The Caregiver knows that the Cillian, and maybe other facets of his personality, that he needs something to seize on for focus, so instead of going into her own immediate observations or concerns on other matters, she obediently flits her eyes around with brief study. Then she pours into two glasses from a cognac bottle that's pretty damn fine vintage on sipping, passing one to the Capitalist before she visibly takes the survey more seriously. She starts to walk with her drink in her bare feet while considering the space, touching things as she might have the first time around, then when she pauses, she pauses by a full length dressing mirror to put her hand to it, "I think..." She squints at herself attached to her reflection via fingertips and palm, "It's nice to be in and around without being overbearing. But... the dressing table and closet and that huge tub means I probably come with some distinct ah. Coloring? I don't know, I guess it really does. But at the same time..."
The brunette makes a noise through her teeth as she drops her hand and leaves the print behind on the glass to be cleared by the new day, looking back at company with another drink at quick upward tip, "I don't know. Stripped down. Some kind of barebones version. It feels odd if I think about how suited it is, but until I focus on it, it's natural."
"It's a luxurious space." The Capitalist comments aloud, making his way through the room in that same slow pace. He doesn't necessarily stop to examine anything in particular, nor does he reach out and touch things the way the Caregiver tends to do. His observations are kept mostly visual and rather fleeting. "Not much different from my own." Thinking back on the few rooms that he has actually entered, he states, "Some of the others are hardly rooms at all." The Creepshow's... "Or very ordinary or utilitarian to suit the person who resides there."
The Capitalist, himself is a fan of mirrors, so as he makes his way to join the Caregiver near the dressing area, he finally stops to observe his own image reflected back at him. With the glass of cognac in hand, he also finally takes his first sip, giving himself this time to relax somewhat."
"I haven't really been in many rooms. Just yours and his. They're that different? Maybe there is something to the ah, touring the rooms bit. Though I confess, it also feels oddly invasive. Not because I mind people in here, but because perhaps... I know conclusions may be drawn. But honestly, that's all we have at this point, so if I have to feel a bit vulnerable, mm. That's that." The Caregiver nods a little at the Capitalist's observation of luxury, despite the understated design of it, "I never much thought myself so much a hedonist, but I suppose when you have memories of certain ways of being, it becomes entrenched."
Coming to refill her glass, she looks at the familiar pair of their reflections in the mirror there while reaching to top the man there off as well in pouring splash, "I don't know how you work in there now, you know. But I know enough to know it's stormy as hell somewhere. I just can't tell if... you're so compartmentalized that you need to let it stay contained or let it out." She pauses as she eyes his reflection, then him directly in turns while swirling her drink, eyes pensive, "I used to say you and me, we got the same smash of our father and uncle to different results. Two sides, one coin, yes? So don't ask me how I know. I like to keep things right where they are til I can't anymore, too. We just have different snap points and ways to snap."
Tacking on with a tilt of her head, the Caregiver sums up quietly, "Tell me how to deal with you now. Even if it's a damn lie, I'll still hear you."
Thinking back on the rooms that he has visited, the Capitalist relays, "Madison's room is simple enough. Somewhat sparse, with artwork on her walls. Bella's looks liks a crime scene." The edges of his lips twitch a moment as if he were thinking of smiling right then and there when he mentions Creepshow's room, but he refrains, his own gaze still looking at himself head on through the mirror. It's almost as if he's talking to himself. "And Maata's room was shabby. She didn't even have a properly sized bed and it was cluttered with weapons and tools of all sorts." He's had very fond memories of that particular room. "Each room reflects those who reside within. That said, I'm sorry to say that if Jonah's room is as terribly sad as he made it out to be, then that's who he is on the inside, I reckon." It's been a while since he's even uttered the word 'reckon', the last time being in Prosperity.... or wherever both Cillian and Anette moved out to in the end. Las Vegas.
His own glass slowly lifts to his lips and when the Caregiver returns with hers, newly filled, his eyes flicker at her image in the mirror rather than viewing her directly. "Are you referring to me or to Cillian? Or did you have your cousin all figured out already?" Even when she disregards his reflection to view him standing beside her, his own eyes keep to her reflection instead, staring ahead. He takes another sip, a quicker one than the slow languid motions that he had been using. "I don't know how to respond to your request. Dealing with someone, an individual, is something that you'll need to learn. I don't think it's something that we can answer so easily, even if we believe that we know ourselves best."
"Figured out enough in the ways that matter. Don't have to know everything to know a thing or two where it truly counts." The Caregiver hitches her shoulders up a little bit at the Capitalist before exhaling a puff of air over her lips and glancing down into her glass, "I mean you as you are now, though. Because that's the only fair way for me to expect you to be. Even if sometimes, it feels like losing Cillian over again. And I miss him. But I'll deal with it. And mm. You're right, of course. I was hoping there was a magical shortcut, maybe. Place might be spoiling me in that regard." There's a bare twitch of her lips as she looks at her glass with lashes lowered a little longer.
She breathes out a sigh after the drink and takes to idly wandering, "Watching you and Anette together scares me. Makes me wonder what kind of damage will be done to me in the time to come. I know I might have actually lost Pierce when he put me to bed that last time. And that all this from here is just... memories we might not get to fit the same." She taps her tongue at the point of an eyetooth and pauses to look at well, Cillian as much as the Capitalist, "I died before I saw your girl. What was her name?"
That casual image of himself reflected back at him, it reminds the Capitalist of who he is in a sense, without the suit and business attire. He gives himself one final look in the mirror before turning, this time facing the Caregiver so that he may properly continue the conversation. That glass lifts to his lips, but this talk of Cillian keeps him from taking that sip of cognac, believing that he needs to respond to the woman's concerns first. "McTavish is still a part of me, whether I like it or not. And to be fair, Cillian was someone I could respect." There's a twitch at his brow, adding in, "For the most part." He then takes that anticipated drink, the glass slowly lowering to be held at his side.
He knows that both he and Anette-Madison have their issues, ones that they haven't exactly worked out. "What do you mean? What do you see when you look at the both of us?" He's curious now too, because more often than not, whenever he's in the Penitent's company, she seems relaxed, content and untroubled. Most of the time.
What does truly affect him, however, is when the Caregiver brings up Cillian's daughter. There's this moment of quiet as he struggles to sift through McTavish's memories to find the very answer to her question. When it was brought up in conversation earlier, the fact that he could barely remember what the child looked like was frustrating enough. It's at this point, going through those snapshots in his mind, being reminded of what came after the tragedy of Prosperity that starts to fill him with a wide range of emotions, from sadness of their losses, including after having learned of Eilis' death to joy. This child was what Cillian had wanted for years, possibly even ten years before he finally asked Anette Hargreave to marry him. So when he finally reaches those 'memories', he's almost overwhelmed by that elatiion that Cillian had felt at the time. "Maria." He finally says, his voice quiet. "Maria Noel McTavish."
"Body language. Distance. You should talk about her with... Nettie. Even if it means you aren't what you once were when it's all aired out and given to memory anew, it's still..." There's a tiny puff of noise in her throat after she nods small, seeming to expect that very change in the Capitalist's voice as he answers in quiet. Then she rubs a hand at one of her cheeks, turning back to pace his way, "I keep meaning to do it with Pierce and Sebastian and Colorado and it's just not..." Another pause before she actually explains, apparently getting all emotional worked up to keep skipping around like this, "We already don't get a lot of them to keep." The children. "So we need to talk about them now so we can at least remember the bits we do have, you know? These things we say and do here matter too. Right? We have to keep the threads we can keep if they're worth keeping."
She exhales again, "I'm actually scared to do it with Pierce but if things work how they work, I can't not do it and clean up the pain of it later. Because maybe then there's nothing left to... say."
This situation with the Penitent is not something he expects anyone else to understand. There's a part of him that wants to be Cillian to her Anette and there's that other part. Inhaling a deep, rather sobering breath, the Capitalist says in a tone that expresses some of his frustration over his predicament, "She's also been my sister in the past. Conrad and Madison may never have been as close as you were to your brothers, they lived in a different time." He adds that part in as if it were a good explanation for the change in how family's act towards one another. "And Anette has expressed relief that she has little memory of our daughter." He says 'our' instead of Cillian's. "And while that may have been the best life that I've ever lived and possibly will ever live, I don't know if it's right to force that upon her. Especially with our prior relationship muddling things up, for as you've said we have to keep the threads we can keep and the Wellsons have their own threads."
"See, I get that relief of having just enough to hold onto but not enough to miss completely. And I feel a little guilty for thinking it because I... mm." The Caregiver knows well that kind of relief-- while waking up alone was still very jolting levels of odd for her, considering passing circumstances and other bits of abandonment issues about waking up alone when she shouldn't be all wrapped up in that... it was better than longing for what she doesn't get to have. She had to make peace with that bleeding out on the bedding. Maybe it makes it easier now.
Her head drifts in tiny shake then, "That's why I'm scared on infringing it on Pierce, screwing with his other life perceptions for these concepts that maybe he's glad he can't remember. But I also don't get to... have this chance again. Not if the hazy bits start to go more and more each time." She pauses, "Maybe just give her the option. I think..." Another more delicate pause as she looks at her toes, "I thought you felt far away. But I don't think it's just me who feels far away from you." She doesn't say a lot more than that. She's probably gotten some impressions from commentary and alone times given the weight of her tone and cut of her eyes to the side while drinking.
"Once upon a time," The Capitalist starts this bedtime story, "I wanted to destroy every aspect of Conrad Wellson, ridding myself of those memories because I'd awoken as Rhys Driscoll. Now, with Maata gone and after I'd distanced myself from both Maata and Madison at the time, I still can't shake Conrad from me." The less than half-filled glass is clutched tightly withhin his grasp, mostly forgotten, "This should have been the perfect opportunity to shed myself of those memories and emotions and move on. I had Anette here with me, after all, but she can't shake the fact that I was once her younger brother. Not completely. And here I am," Before he was interrupted, "Brooding in my room over someone who would best be forgotten if I ever want to move forward." This all sounds rather harsh and there really is anger within him that he can't let that part of him go.
The mention of Pierce strangely calms him down some, that grip loosening and as he's becoming more aware of everything around him once more, after that bit of frustration, he keeps the glass secured in his hand rather than letting it fall and shatter to the floor.
"Pierce never knew his children, right? I mean, he probably heard them being talked about," In his vegitative state, though he's not about to say that part, "But how aware was he? He might not want to know because it's easier to not think about it. Same as with Anette."
The last of what the Caregiver says gives him something more to think about. She doesn't have to tell him who she's referring to with her comment. The Capitalist already knows. There's very few people in this place that cares about him, having lost one of them to the mysteries of the Facility. "I'll talk to her."
"Yes, but... just because I don't want a big enough piece for it to hurt too much... doesn't mean I don't want to keep them either. I guess I'll... give him a choice. I carried it for both of us once before alone, I can do it again. Best I know how, anyway." The Caregiver sounds very Eilis when she says that part, though her shoulders hunch in a little bit as she drains her drink and goes to heavily put the glass down. Then after a small smile over the Capitalist's way, she comments, "See. We're good at middle ground, eventually. Always kind of went that way. A series of well-placed poke-points works lovely enough magic."
Her head nods a couple of times to the man's affirmation then, and she turns to arrange her hair in the mirror with a vague slip of worry remaining at her own brow, "I'm sorry about the one you can't find now. I still love you. I just have to do it differently, I think. But if you..." Instead of extending the verbal invitation to squeeze frustration or sadness out, the woman steps forward to wrap clinging arms around the Capitalist with demonstration that's as needless as it is needed at the same time.
While Eilis wouldn't really be able to remember anything about her children, having died giving birth to them, the Capitalist knows that he should have fond enough memories of them even at such a bittersweet of times. But those were even harder to come by now, though he remembers that he and Anette had visited the Coltons after the fact and to pay their respects to Cillian's cousin. Feeling ashamed with how difficult this task is, he finally says, "I can't even remember their names." Though in time and with much memory-mining, he knows that he'll come across them. Maria hadn't even been born yet, but Anette must have been carrying.
The sympathy shown him regarding Maata's disappearance, has him admitting, "After we'd awoken the first time, I probably shouldn't have drawn her back into the relationship which she and Conrad shared together." But even he knows the truth and that it wasn't a one-sided thing. "I convinced myself that I was Conrad and tried to do the same with those closest to him. Now all of that has backfired on me." This admission of love and the embrace which follows has him returning the gesture in kind, all while he continues to carefully hold his glass in hand. "You know that I love you too." It's as if he has to phrase it in that way rather than come out with a more direct 'I love you too'. "I'll try to catch up with Anette." Those are his departing words, it would seem.
"Good. And good." The Caregiver gives her commentary with quiet squeeze a bit longer before releasing to let the Capitalist go for the door with her own wander that way to let him out. She's quiet and it's a little thick, but she seems content to hold it for the time being, turning up a slight ghosting of genuine smile, leaned against the frame, "I'd say sleep tight but mm. No choice about that, is there? One of these times when I wake up, I'm going to need you to remind me of what I was, I think. When I don't know how to hug like that anymore. Night, darling man."