Log:Soap and Salvation
The Caregiver may know who she is at this moment and who the Capitalist is, but that doesn't necessarily mean she wants to watch him walk out of the door at the moment. Laine's still heavy on her, she hasn't been awake and moving in any rational sense all that long, and just seeing him breathe and hearing his voice is so much. Let alone the way his arm is wrapped to remind her of his heartbeat strong while pulled close. After a long and countless time of standing there like that, she asks, "Will you stay for a while? I can... handle this now. I'm thinking straight enough. But it doesn't really mean I want to do it alone. And I want to... wash it all away right before getting dressed. Unfortunately, I um. Kind of crippled myself, and you're here and naked is already a thing. Will you help me?"
The brunette asks this while drawing back from the man some and looking up, and even though she's still pretty well seeing and feeling him as Christian after so much imprinted time without him after his death... her eyes and the sudden creep of nerves on the latter bits of commentary and wondering, they say she also knows exactly who she's with and she's respecting that. Her lips twitch a little, suddenly, while looking, tacking on with a breath, "... at least I don't have to pick which name to call you. You're still lovely."
By now, the Capitalist has full recollection of who he is and everyone else that he's been in the past. That doesn't mean that Christian's emotions and motivations had been pushed aside. In this instance, where the Caregiver as Laine seems as vulnerable as ever, it is Christian's reaction that kicks in, almost as if they were still at the lodge being haunted by murderous ghosts. "You don't have to ask. Of course, I'll help. In fact, we should really get that cleaned off better... even though infection won't set and you'll be fine the next morning." He knows that much, at least, but this urgency to get her wound tended to comes from this idea that it must hurt like heck.
Once the Caregiver pulls away gently, he assumes that she would start repairing her own wound, being the nurse-in-training that he remembered. But when she stops to look him over, there is some confustion on his face, that is, until she calls him lovely. This, of course, brings a smile to his face, "I've got a whole slew of names right now, but I'll answer to whatever you want to call me." Guiding her towards the bathroom sink, he says, as he looks down at the once white towel, now blossoming a dark red, "Let's get you cleaned up."
Laine moves with Christian into the bathroom, nevermind that's not really who they are at all, just a piece of the whole that comes from being those people. But it's a very strong piece right now, and somehow, even with things known as different, there's the remaining bodily ease as she's led along. She stops at the sink while bathwater runs, peeling back the wound towel with the Capitalist to see the damage now that the blood is staunched at her palm. It's not super deep and doesn't require stitches or anything, but she has gone and pulled herself a nasty piece of ouch with edge lashing from the glass mirror shard she gripped to blood on seeing him alive once more. She'd definitely be one-handing a hair-wash with ineptitude had he not stayed, which would have been apt to frustrate her more while already still a little teetering on the balance of 'okay' deep down.
"I'll rip a piece of clothes to wrap it when done and wash it well in the tub. But hey. You shouldn't go telling me that, I can think of a whole other slew of names you might not like as much." Her eyes slant up toward him with a spark of signature dry humor that isn't just Laine specific before she draws in a breath and goes to sink down into tub and bubbles while it's still filling, "I think, though... I'm mostly just keeping what works. Maybe because it's what I used to tell you goodbye. Now, when I use it, it's not goodbye. That and mm, reminding you that you're handsome never hurts in any regard." She's almost naturally chatty while they get things settled, and suddenly, it's almost like she's making up for time lost, because she keeps talking and talking, turning a little to look at him on a hip with slosh of water.
"Our time was free, you know. Before the Lodge. I only spent the money you gave me once, when you specifically told me to for my birthday. The rest of it was in a separate account because it never felt right to take it, have it, or use it. I was going to use it to buy you a watch or something to wear with all of it when we got to Paris, as a surprise." There's barely a pause for breath, "And... and... when my French was decent enough to do full university and medical terminology, I was going to apply to be a doctor, not a nurse. And I was very good when it was time to do the right thing in that hole, I didn't even... hero much. Just enough. Because you..." Her eyes squint while watching him suddenly, her mouth turning up some, "Knew exactly what you were trading. And I couldn't piss on it. Honestly, knowing that, it wasn't unlike you standing there waiting to catch my arm until... well, that moment when you inevitably groan, let me go, then end up chasing me. But Justin was there. And..."
Finally, she stops to pace herself and let him get some words in edgewise if he wants. She holds up one finger to him and slips under the water to re-wet her hair and blow bubbles before coming up after a lulling spell with tiny gasp and vague smile for him.
The Capitalist does what he can to help when they stop off at the sink, but letting her do whatever she needs done, he moves to the drawer to pull out another set of clean towels. The ones which were hanging were bloody now. These, he slips onto the rack near the tub, his eyes watching as she lifts one leg to slip into the filled tub and then the other, before submerging herself into the warm suds.
Undoing the button at his cuffs, he starts to roll the sleeves of his business shirt up, doing what little he can do to keep them dry. He then crouches down beside the tub, listening to Laine chatter on about everything all at once. He's both quiet and contemplative, letting his hands dip into the warm water, after she's already drawn herself under before breaking through those bubbles once more. He then lifts to pour some of that water carefully onto her already wet hair, making sure that it doesn't drip into her eyes anymore than she's already done. "That whole thing, what you all did at the hole. That was hard to watch. There were just so many of those monsters and I was worried that..." He knows how it ended and both Laine and Justin made it out alive.
Rather than continue in that vein, he simply listens some more. As he has two good hands, he makes use of them, nevermind letting her use her injured one. Gentle fingers massage at her hair and scalp, sudsing it up even more. "Chr--" He starts, then says, "I knew that you had it in you." His attention is more idly focused on the parts of her that he's working on, even if his thought seem to be elsewhere every so often. "I didn't realize that you'd been shot too until I was watching some other footage and noticed the bandages." There's a slow shake of his head, "I'm sorry about that." He means Vivian. "Believe me, I really wished that I could have been there for you." When he really meant 'with you'.
The Laine inside Caregiver isn't the only one sated by the wash of the Capitalist's hands through her hair, the feel of his fingers slipping through suds at her scalp, the splashes and rubs over her skin. At her core, she's always needed to be touched when things were bad somewhere, somehow, and it was exponentially more effective and better when she can feel the intent and familiarity behind the touch. Of course, there's other things she's feeling too, and she has to take a moment to close her eyes, not just for soap precaution, but because her focus on him starts to shift intense for a beat before it's trapped away and reset with a long breath taken to rise and fall at her breast.
Her words come quiet, but absolutely solid and unabashed, because now she's not just trying to put herself together, she knows somewhere inside, the way he died, he needs a little reassurance at the very least, too, "I'd be sorry too. And I know you're sorry. But also, it's... a lot like when you told me in the infirmary what I deserved, how others -don't- deserve to try and be understood or fixed, and that goes for you too, you know. You were robbed twice over. You deserved to be loved. I always knew something... wasn't enough for you. Something aside from the life you were leading with work and friends. I told you that once too. But then I kind of saw a large piece of why you felt so empty because I know about bad men. And even when they're pretending, when they make fires, they're so cold inside, it gets to the bones. And you needed me to make you warm again."
Despite that timeout, though, she shifts upward from sit in the water to kneel to expose more of her body for washing once she's went under to soak out the shampoo and let him cup water to clear away remaining bubbles. It's unclear if it's habit or challenge. And some of his other words hit her with -extreme- delay of realization, because they come out so naturally, the bit about watching, her wet lashes bat a few times and her head shakes, "Wait. Watching footage, what? You were able to watch me? Where, on that TV where the music videos were?"
It was the Capitalist's turn to the be the caregiver here, his primary focus being to bring her comfort, especially after such a difficult and traumatic awakening. He continues with those gentle strokes through her hair, cupping some water into his hands to pour over her. There's this attentive look in his eyes, something more akin to empathy than lust, even if his eyes lift to stare at her profile to observe the emotions which tend to be clear on her face. He could be both Christian or Cillian at this moment. A mixture of both, but with this conversation held, Christian Price is at the forefront of his mind, leaning in on the Seattlite's experiences.
What Laine does say hits home, at least for Price. The Capitalist had spent some time since Christian's death reliving parts of the man's life. He held on tightly to that hurt and betrayal that Christian felt due to Vivian at the very end. Something which disturbs him even now as he is forced to think back on it. "She loved him once." This is something that he, or Christian, had been trying to convince himself of. "She must have... at some point. Then things were never good enough." His distant gaze refocuses, his attention still on her features. "I am not going to lie, it was a shock seeing her there and then hearing that venom she spewed, when... this isn't the first time she's acted out. But it was the first time that she's ever pulled a gun on me." His hands pause in their work as he has to confront just how broken Christian's relationship was with his fiancee. "You're probably right and I'm sure it came to mind at some point. Ch," He's switching between talking about Price in the first person and third person, "was probably lonelier than he wanted to admit." Here, his gaze lifts, "But that doesn't mean he clung onto Stella out of mere desperation. And especially not after... spending a blissful two weeks with Laine."
Once she's dunks herself into the bath once again, he shifts where he's kneeling and once more cups a handful of water to cascade over her, watching as the water streams down from her hair along following the form of her body. "When I arrived here, again, I was told that the television was broadcasting everything going on at the lodge. I observed Price's funeral in progress and what came after. That's when I knew that you were safe."
"Oh..." The Caregiver bats her lashes a few times fast and breathes out another 'oh' right after that with realization that he saw her singing and grieving like that, and for a moment, the irony of her farewell in that moment, knowing the Capitalist and therefore Christian was watching in the end anyway, and that she -would- see him again, it hits her like a ton of bricks. Especially when she realizes he was watching her get chased all scared by a fish person after throwing a knife at it, too, that's actually got her looking a bit chastised and vaguely embarrassed because yeah, it's still scary, but she was getting chased in a panic by a fish person, that's so not pleasant to watch in her own mind, let alone on a screen of live action.
The brunette shifts some in her kneeling position largely out of the water and stays looking at the man for a moment as the water floods her body. She's reading between the lines again of what he won't or can't say, because he just called two weeks at a horror lodge with ghosts and death... blissful. Then after closing her eyes and tipping her head back some to catch another dose of water in falling cascade, she reminds him, "You deserved it. Love the way it was supposed to be. So did I. Neither of us really knew how to do it entirely right with others, but we knew how together. It wasn't long enough, but it... mattered."
Her uninjured hand lifts to rub over his moving and wetted forearm before she blinds herself with fall of lashes again for a spell, "... I don't think I could have watched. Was it very hard? Or easier because..."
The Capitalist goes on to remark, "The... funeral was beautiful." Even he was moved by it, but it was -his- funeral, in a sense. A part of him that died. With a quiet smile on his lips, he continues to look over her graceful form, glistening with sudsy water. One of his hands that had once massaged fingertips through her hair, begins to wipe gently against her wet flesh with a soapy towel. There's a quiet appreciation in his gaze, eyes lifting up to meet with hers every so often. "Just like how you said that you got to be yourself there. In a way, the same went for Price, in a sense. He thought he didn't have to worry about upsetting Vivian, but throughout all of that, his plans to leave his life and go off to Paris, while she didn't deserve it, he felt guilt for leaving her. A guild that you helped to soothe and at that time, he really did think that he could do it. Leave everything he knew behind and start fresh."
Breathing in heavily at her last question, he stops to think a moment, his eyes now drifting to absently look upon her hand which now rests on his arm, "It was hard, but it was even harder not to watch. I was rooting for you. We all were. And the part of me that was Christian got to see you all over again."
"Elaine didn't like to think that he might change his mind, but she... was also prepared for it. And she understood. She didn't believe deep down that nice things like she had with him were supposed to exist. That they were doomed for being -too- good to be true. It's why she was afraid you were a dream. But watching, I-- mm. Yeah. I imagine that... yeah. Seeing with different eyes, but the relief of seeing all the same." Something she knows well herself, no doubt, given his death, her survival, and her awakening.
Caregiver opens her eyes again to watch Capitalist as he speaks, breathing coming with slow deep drifts of intake and exhale in a set rhythm she's probably working like a sense of centering or control there for a spell. Because her eyes keep at drift down to his hand, the caregiver to her body and soul with such a simple thing as touch and cleanse and soothing, "Thank you. For this. For him. For you. I don't want to seem particularly greedy here or anything, but I... would like to ask you for something else. I know I'm not Elaine, but Elaine needs something from Christian before we're too awake. Is that...?"
She's looking back up at his dark eyes with her blue ones a bit hesitant, but not with shyness, more with gauging before she makes the request in full, ensuring he's receptive to the idea of embracing Christian just a moment more.
"You were both kids." The Capitalist says, having considered all of his various lives now. "At 25, he had his whole life ahead of him." But it does remind him of someone else, "The first memory I had was of someone not much older than that. 26. They both died, while the others," Driscoll and Cillian, "lived to fight another day." It was a survival of the fittest. He knew that. Both Christian and Conrad were so very much alike and not capable of surviving the harsh encounters that they had to face. But both of them were not killed by the monsters that terrorized the story. They were killed by wicked outsiders
After he's spoken his mind, his gaze finds hers again when she offers up her thanks, followed by a request. The hand that was wiping the suds from her skin stops, lowering slowly to dip into the water as he idly works to rinse and ring it out. While he, himself, has already returned to his life as the Capitalist, with their reminiscing their time together at the lodge, among other things, it keeps that part of him front and center. "Of course..." His usual response would be 'It depends on what's asked of him', but he goes for this answer instead.
"Elaine needs a kiss goodbye. You know how... I would chase you for it before you'd leave the room. How I insisted on it even while still pissy drunk from argument. I know how much it mattered to have that the first time I lost someone. And I know... that it's something you might not want or be able to do. But I'm asking now, not only because of that, but because..." Caregiver wets her lips and puts her hand up to the side of the Capitalist's face, cupping and stroking, inviting the familiar nudging push into it as prelude, gentle leadup or testing hand to let him answer from with that prompt.
And though she's given up on the steady deep lulls of rhythm in her breath, turning it more shallow to rise with fluttering spells instead, though the very action of doing that gives her goosebumps that send response in flash over her skin, over feminine swell of breast where she seems to be a little bit struggling... her eye contact stays direct and absolutely lucid with the request, not the haze of unwitting lust; it's a different intensity. It's respect for who he is now.
"Because if you kiss me again after this, it's all of you instead of him, lovely. And we'll have it out of our system. We'd be able to know the difference when the urges come. Right?" The question at the end isn't canted with tone of convincing air, it's more theoretical posing in a mere breath that's vaguely uncertain. She doesn't want to say it, even though he's alive now, but it's still a kiss goodbye. She phrases it another way, instead, intent, "Because I'm always going to let you be all of you. Not just cling to the pieces I need or want."
This request of a kiss doesn't come as a complete surprise, but just hearing that word 'goodbye', "That's almost depressing." The Capitalist murmurs, but he understands full well what she means. Even now, he was a mixture of memories, having been awoke for longer than she had since Price's death. Dark eyes drift from his lingering gaze that stare upon hers, to venture down towards her lips for the briefest of moment, especially once her hand is against the side of his face.
While he's not completely Christian, all of this stirs up that part of the Capitalist who is desperate for this one final kiss. That part of him whose life really was cut short with all of his dreams and aspirations unfulfilled. However, those lost and cherished moments at the Lodge was something that he still tried to cling on to.
So when he leans forward to grant the Caregiver this wish, there's some heat in his touch, his arms lifting to wrap around her and to pull her in close, dampening the front of his buttoned down shirt and those folded sleeves that he tried to prevent from getting wet. She would feel that passion which Christian had possessed, being driven by his lust and needing the warmth that only she could give him. In fact, he doesn't want to let her go, almost as if refusing to be compartmentalized, the way that she knows the Capitalist to do with all of his memories, so even after their kiss should have been long broken, it takes a while for his grip to loosen.
"It's incredibly depressing. And incredibly worth it." Caregiver tells the Capitalist, right before he's falling into Christian and she's falling into Laine and they're falling into each other. It's whispered intensely with the breath of the tail end catching his lips just before they're on hers, during the pull of his arms, and her hand falls from the side of his face to the side of his neck. It grips with small curl of pressure there at his carotid where lifeblood flows, reminder of his heat and life, his pulse, the relish from the hard beat of it elicited by them giving each other this. And it's mildly possessive too, especially with the intensity with which she meets his mouth.
She might have called it a kiss goodbye, but more than anything, in the moment, it's the biggest form of lustful gratitude for him being right there to give it to her, a welcoming back, a piece of lascivious salvation, her kisses are never all that simple when she's into them, even blinded by feeling or lust. Her tongue is a rush of sweet meet and sweep and her injured hand turns upward dripping with drag along jawline opposite of where her hand is at his neck. Then it's Deja Vu again, to her, twice over and literally, the actual club Deja Vu and that fateful night, the moment when neither of them can let go. But when he does break she tips her nose against his, "... thank you. I forgot I was naked. I'm very much remembering I'm naked now. Does that make me accidentally a little bit of a bitch about this?"
She can feel the warmth of his skin, the pulsating of his rapidly beating heart and the heat of his breath against her lips all at once. The Capitalist was very much alive. So much so that he hungered for her, to taste her, to touch her. Right at this moment, it didn't matter that he was being drenched in soapy water. If anything, that just made him feel all the more alive to go with her warm softness in his grasp.
His eyes then open, his breaths coming in quick and sharp, as if that kiss had taken it all away. Her words elicit a soft laugh that goes with this fond smile. He enjoys this bit of closeness, though he does notice her hand, the injured one that brushed against the harsh bristles along his jaw and side of his face. "I wouldn't say bitch, exactly. Not that any of this wasn't pleasant." His focus on her hand again, he takes it within his grasp once he is forced to release her, something which he already regrets, but now is not the time, even if by the looks of it, it would be a the proper place. "Let's get this wrapped up," That was their initial plan, "and you dried off." He then adds, "I won't force you to come out and have something to eat or drink, but if there's anything that you want..."
Her own breath is gone, stunted, trapped in him with stealing before it's pushed back out in the soft sound of a laugh. It probably doesn't help that the smell of the wash and shampoo used on Caregiver smells suspiciously close to Laine's bottle in the shower, hints of gentle lavender and other subtle floral sweetnesses touched with honey. But eventually, she breaks away entirely with drawback in her bare wet melt against his now water-blotched attire, skin fired at flush, and she looks at her hand, then Chri-- no, the Capitalist, holding that hand.
Then with slosh of water and rising, she decides, putting feet to step over the edge so she can be wrapped in towel over body and have the other rubbed over dripping cling of hair to her shoulders and back, "I can come out and eat and drink. Something preferably a bit stiff, but... I'm... okay, I think. For now, at least. And you, for the record..." She's still somewhat flustered, though, even though she seems to be speaking and seeing him clearly enough for who he is, "Are totally amazing at... well. Me."
The Caregiver means all of them. She means Cillian telling her what to do, how to proceed, even if it saw them butting heads, then picking up the pieces after helping drug her to try and save her, knowing that's what it would take. She means Christian, knowing how to distract her and use the ways she fell apart for sensual pleasures to hide in, always ready to grab her arm lest she dart off in a worry panic into something untoward, to praise her for being strong. And here, for everything right now since he walked through that door, knowing there's other personas there that make things like this patience harder to manage, tall and strong and alive with maybe not all the answers, but the kinds she wants and needs, more or less. Even when they kind of suck to hear.
Like that getting dressed idea. Ugh. Her body is starting to throw a tantrum about it, but at least this time, it's quiet save for the hot skin and flush that takes a while to be cooled, or at least covered by eventually dressing and occupying primping. That's another thing that carries. Caregiver puts herself together to look amazingly together physically. It's almost like she dresses for distress instead of success as a means to power through.