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Characters  •   The Caregiver  •  The Defender  •
Location  •  Defender's Room
Date  •  2018-12-20
Summary  •  Triggered with misunderstanding, Caregiver snaps on Defender in a moment of sheer confusion and impulse. Old and new damages might have something to do with that, turns out.

It has just turned over to a new 'day' in the Facility and the only way that the Defender knew that is because he found himself waking up with everything back in order again. The pitcher of water refilled again on his nightstand and the two glasses are back to their pristine condition. So the daily ritual begins once more, he pours himself a glass of water to drink, then pads into his bathroom as usual. After stepping out of the hot shower, he has his towel wrapped around his hips and then begins to make his way towards the drawer where his boxers and white shirt is folded away.

Some things haven't really clicked about the way the Facility works for Caregiver. It's kind of a problem. She might have some accidental deep seeded abandonment issues considering the way things went in Prosperity between her father and brothers dropping like flies and Pierce leaving her out of necessity of task. Actually, there's no might about it. The way she comes in sputtering and blazing with confusion and everything that comes out of her after kind of clenches that, exactly.

You see, Defender might remember sleepily while taking some much needed timeout for himself that this version of Eilis came in smelling like a bottle with sleepy stumble of replacement from wherever she'd been drinking, in one of his shirts and pretty much that alone, underwear and accessories aside. But the then the thing happens and when she wakes up, she's sleeping-nude in her own bed, without his shirt. Considering she's never tried to heist anything as her own, and the amount of pent up 'things' as residual, there's about one conclusion she can make.

Defender might be just waking and orienting himself, but he gets a pretty loud slam of door opening, then closing. She's practically sputtering with rage that flushes her once she's in that door and on one hand, it seems to stall her for breath. But that stall only makes what comes out come out even louder, "Really? Really? REALLY?"

In other news, at least she's dressed pretty. It doesn't match her rage, a sweet and admittedly quite short white little chic sheath dress is on her with blue paisley patterning, heels shiny red to match her flashy lipstick and sultry swatch of cosmetic-decorated eyes and lashes. It's a bit like she sat and tried to put herself together instead of falling apart, as an old habit, but sometimes things don't work out that way.

When his door is almost torn open, the Defender was on his way to pour himself another glass of water when his gaze quickly shoots to who the invader may be, his body tensing up for a moment. The reaction is more out of reflexes than any fear of him being hurt or killed here. However, when he sees that it is the Caregiver, he relaxes but his tense demeanor quickly shifts to confusion when she repeats the same word three times. The only response he could make is, "Huh?" He obviously has no clue what has set the poor young woman on tilt.

There's a pause. Defender in his towel almost saves him. It's distracting and it's all over her as she sweeps eyes up and down his body with lull of response to his confusion and current state of dress. Her head tilts some with appreciation and the unwitting creep of lust. She's still not used to seeing him moving, all told, let alone pretty close to naked with the casual bathroom towel as mere barrier. She sucks in a short breath through her teeth and focuses, arm swinging back to point at the door and by extension, the hallway, accusing, "If you don't -want- me in here and you don't -want- me in your things, you -tell- me. You don't just drop me off and steal the literal shirt right off my back!"

Despite her raging bluster, there is a beat there where her brows come together in tick hearing it aloud, because it just doesn't sound like a thing Pierce would do. But everything's different here, right?

The Caregiver's rather adamant statement does not remove the Defender's confused expression, his brows furrowed as he tries to understand what she is saying, "Wait, what?" He tries to go over her words in his mind again before shaking his head, "Who told you I don't want you here? If I didn't, I wouldn't have watched you... sleep yesterday." If one can even call it that, where she more or less passed out from drinking so much. He would've sounded more amused than anything except the only thing holding it back is seeing the Caregiver's actual anger at the core of her right now.

"No one said anything, I think you putting me back in my room was enough of a hint." Her impulse confusion and repressed rage, those two things are starting to deflate the more confused Defender is in turn. It doesn't stop her jabbing a finger from point to the door onto Defender, and on the last legs of that impassioned fury, the woman he knows as Eilis warns, "If you -ever- leave me without telling me goodbye again, I'll... I'll..." Her hand drops. She actually doesn't know what she'd do, it's clear, and that wasn't what this was about. Was it?

Her brows knit down and as her hand drops, she looks over her shoulder at the door again. Then eyes swap back to the only man she remembers loving, and loving with an unbridled fire at that. They sweep over his body again. The shoulders, the stomach, the towel, his face, all those things making her already quick breath accelerate more, visibly. Then her own slight bare shoulders fall with pure lost confusion, "... why'd you put me back, then?"

As more words are thrown at him, Defender is finally able to piece together what the Caregiver is rather upset about, and visibly he relaxes further and the confusion fades. A grin threatens to rise to his lips, the edges tugging upwards just very slightly, a tick that Eilis may recognize. He doesn't answer her right away, which may not be the right move but when rage finally subsides, the Defender goes back to what he intended to do which was pour himself a glass of water. Instead of one though, both glasses are filled and he brings one back to the Caregiver, "First, Eilis, that was not my doing. I promised I wouldn't leave you again, didn't I?" At least that point is settled and he takes a long drink of water, watching and waiting for her to do the same so it calms her further. "Sit." He says as he also takes a seat on the edge of his bed, "There are things that happen here where we don't underestand, even those of us who have gone through three different lifetimes. It just... happens. Like how food and drink can just be made, /any/ kind of food and drink. How anything we damage or destroy in here, it returns to normal and its original place." A pause before he says with a quieter tone, "Including us."

"Oh." It's kind of a lame response after all that buildup and it doesn't get any more elaborate. Caregiver breathes that piece out to the first bit about it not being his doing and automatically as the glass is handed to her, she takes a compliant and damn well obedient drink of water, holding it in her mouth a beat before swallowing. She trails in her flashy red heels after Defender to sit as requested too, just as obedient, palm of a hand rubbing against a thigh where the hem of her dress skirt rides, listening with a tinge of embarrassed realization. Now that it's been put into context for her to realize the pattern, it doesn't seem that odd, just bothersome, her brows drawn in sober knit of processing during and after his speaking, "Oh."

Her lashes fall to her water as she holds it with her other non-fidgeting hand, "... sorry. I didn't realize. But now that you say it, I see it." A thick, guilty pause comes. She's holding her breath again. It doesn't come back after she murmurs re-iteration, "I'm sorry."

Amusement rises more to his face as the Defender watches as the new revelation is worked out by the Caregiver. The apology that comes out is expected, but he shakes his head in response, "There is no need to apologize, that is something you couldn't have known unless either someone tells you or you see it happen yourself a couple of times." Another difference between the person that sits at the Caregiver's side and Pierce is that he is more straight forward, not as funny and laid back in a different manner. The Defender is also much more well spoken than his Prosperity incarnation. "I know a few of the others have tried multiple things the last time we were here, before Prosperity, to figure things out and try to find a way out. Unfortunately... escape from this cage is not an option yet."

"Yes. I've... picked up some things, just... not enough apparently. It's just... no, you don't understand. I'm -sorry-." The Caregiver sits a little distressed even after Defender puts her more at ease, listening with the same absorbing expression nevertheless. Then she wets her pretty painted lips and draws in a breath, reaching over for one of his hands, confessing, "I yelled at you sometimes. I remember that. I didn't have anywhere else to put it. And I always heard you back when it started, letting me do it, telling me it was okay, that you could hold me up too, to let it out. That you could take it. So I did. And you were... always so still and quiet in the end. Even in my head where I'd hear you so much. Just silence after it was given. I couldn't fill in the gap there, in my mind." She pauses, "And I just... you're here and I didn't even ask. I didn't trust. I just yelled at you."

Drawing in a slow breath, she wonders, "How many lives do you have?" It's an odd question aloud. But it carries. Her hand at her thigh stills after clenching with confession and stays curled.

Hearing that, the Defender can't help but feel sorrow at what Eilis had to go through, his amusement fading as he looks down at his own glass held in his hand, until she reaches out and takes the other. "That is not something you should be sorry for, Eilis. I put you in that difficult position, I may have suffered but it was only for six days, you... how many months did you have to suffer?" Giving her hand a squeeze, he shakes his head, "If yelling at me helped give you relief, then I am glad I was able to help you at least that much. I was absent for way too much when I needed to be there, for you and the babes."

"No. They did it." The Pierce in Defender knows exactly who and what she means with that quiet exhalation of forgiving clarification. Demons. Some things just are. She doesn't say it but she has that resolve about her again that's familiar. Putting her water glass aside on the nightstand with leaning she catches eyes on the book handmade there, sweetly and achingly familiar. Then she settles anew with another shift of lean, this one toward him to put a single imprint of lipstick marking on the muscular curve of his bare shoulder sealing the sentiment visibly on his skin. Her face tips, nose at nuzzle and holding, "Is it hard to talk about the other ones you lived?"

The Defender's gaze follows the Caregiver as she puts her glass aside and then catches sight of her reaction to the memento that apparently followed him here. The kiss on his shoulder brings a smile back to his face as he shakes his head at her question, "No, I wouldn't say it's hard, I remember it as clearly as I remember the times in Prosperity. Well, at least a section of it. It's odd, I can't remember the previous Reapings, nor can I remember what happened before the period before the Ludovica and Hephaestus docked on the Noc." A pause before he shrugs his shoulders once, "Not much interesting to tell, really."

There's a pensive cast to Caregiver's features, head pulling from Defender's sweetly marked shoulder with his summary ending shrug. Her eyes take a wander away from him, to the desk where a certain folder is, the glass case patch. Oh yes. She nosed around, she didn't just steal his shirt to burrow in. And she looks entirely unconvinced that there's not a lot to say about certain ways of his own being, once upon a time. But then her eyes are back on his face, a hand lifting to knock the pad of her thumb at the corner of his mouth where it lifted with smile there for a spell in response to her kiss.

The subject changes. So does her attention to a degree, even though the question comes in earnest through more leaning sentiment-- her lips drift to his collarbone. Another red smudge of print, this one less clear, less sweet, more claiming. Then they move to one side of his chest to mark him there, breath warm and fluttering, this one a piece of lust, "Everyone keeps giving me the same look. The one that doesn't want me here when they find me." Her hand moves to his leg, pressure for balance as she leans more to knock a kiss at the other side of his chest lower, marking near the ribs, "If I don't belong with the people that love me, where am I supposed to be?"

Though the Defender tries to focus on her words, what the Caregiver is doing is a bit distracting, especially with the memories of their times together in Prosperity. His gaze is still focused on the one he knows as Eilis, mind trying to focus on her question, "It's not that they don't want you here, Eilis..." A pause as he reaches over to put the glass on the nightstand as well, lest it falls and breaks to the ground. It will fix itself, but it will be a major annoyance for the rest of the day in here. "It's that they are disheartened that another that they loved is now caught in this web. Now that you are here, you belong like you did in Prosperity, trust me." His words trail off as a hand raises up and gently caresses the Caregiver up the back of her sheathed dress, the other remaining planted at his side, "And you realize that I just showered, so your lipstick isn't helping."

"But you would have thought I wasn't real if I weren't here at all. That's no better fate for me. Even if I wouldn't have known at all." Her words are drifting, thoughtful, casting the breath of them over Defender's skin. Her spine automatically rolls with the gliding stroke of his hand up the back of her dress, leaning lower to place a kiss there in the middle of his stomach where the lines of musculature meet central, above the navel, dark hair brushing in tickle. She pauses there. Still. Quiet. Thickly so. Then she wonders with her eyes drifting to close as she breathes him in anew, clean skin, different, the same, "Do you want me to stop? Damage is already done, as far as I see it. But... I can."

Hearing that, the Defender shakes his head, "There is no way I would have thought that you weren't real, even if you did not appear here. My memories /are/ real, Eilis, all of them. From Prosperity, from the Noc, from that damned Island." He seems rather adamant about that, perhaps not just to convince the Caregiver but to reaffirm himself, his own beliefs which may differ from others and how they view this place and their experiences. Those thoughts though are temporarily set aside, as she begins to remind him again of the intimacy that they've shared back in Prosperity, and once more he shakes his head, this time in amusement, "I guess I will just have to take another shower, won't I."

Again, she'd been holding her breath. In that space of still silence, before and after her question waiting for Defender's response, the brunette doesn't outwardly show it. But it was bracing. Awaiting denial. He looked different. He smelled different. He sounded different. He had other lives. She just knew him. Caregiver finally lets that breath out flush against his stomach to one side, more heated and damp in an open mouthed rush. She smudges there in caress instead of kiss. Falling into more lean aside low, her teeth catch on the edge of the tucked towel, tugging, hand on his leg helping with logistics so she can bare his hip bone for full marking kiss that comes with pressure and sucking release. Her body starts to glide down from leaning sit on the edge, a graceful tumble to kneeling on the floor so she can kiss at his thigh, "Maybe. Do you mind?" Her eyes finally lift to look at him, riveted there with the kissing question.

The tugging at the towel is met with no resistance and the Defender shifts slightly, allowing what movement the Caregiver may wish upon him or his towel. All he can do is focus on his breathing right now, trying to focus on keeping it even, which is difficult with the teasing kiss she offers him. Then when she shifts position, his gaze follows every moment she makes, the beautiful young woman now kneeling in front of him. Her question has him grinning, the answer coming easy as she kisses him again, "Not really, the showers here are nice." Much better than the simple baths in Prosperity, that's for sure.

"Good. Because I might have minded you preferring otherwise." The Caregiver shifts in her kneeling space, from alongside Defender's legs with more drop of head on the way, residual smudge at his knee before she's edged her way between them. She doesn't have a ton of actual lipstick left at this point, at least not on her lips, but they're flush with the crimson stain of it and not near as neat. In fact... nothing about her is neat anymore in some sense.

He’s different. But he’s alive and hers again. And she loses herself into that with desperate fire that no longer feels entirely Eilis. And he’s not of a mind to argue at all.