2012-04-26: Solidarity


Dashenka_icon.jpg JillV_icon.jpg Kalindi_icon.jpg Rashmi_icon.jpg SophieD_icon.jpg

Summary: Secrets are revealed, plans are discussed, bonds are strengthened. Something is coming. And they will be ready.

Date: April 27, 2012

Log Title: Solidarity

Rating: PG-13

Romania - Tower - Top Floor

Grandeur is one word that can be used to describe the rectangular room. A large crystal and gold chandelier hangs from the middle of the high ceiling with long white tapered candles that always stay lit without ever needing to be replaced. Four smaller chandeliers hang from each corner to provide more light and accent the larger one. The high ceiling is nothing shy of magnificent, with gilded molding to accent to the white designs and intricate patterns that almost give it layers.

The walls are all white with golden trip and design which accents the ceiling. A large mirror with a grandiose gilded frame sits above a magnificent marble fireplace that is always lit with a comforting fire, which provides the perfect amount of warmth. Two large couches sit around a marble topped tabled and a few chairs sit on the sides of the couches to be pulled up around the table. On the mantle of the fireplace is a clock that doesn't seem to work, a few small statues and candelabras.

Across from the large fireplace are two large glass doors that lead out to a balcony which hangs over a large water fall. Looking down it's easy to tell the tower is high up in the air and there is at least five hundred feet between the balcony and bottom of the waterfall. The red moon can be seen in the night sky shining down on the tower as it seems to be perpetually night.

Along one side wall two mirrors hang with gilded frames and in front of each is table a with lit candelabra in the center to help provide the brightness in the room. In between the mirrors is large painting of an old fashioned, pale looking male with dark hair and a pale face that hangs over an elegant lit fireplace. On the opposite wall it is covered will books from floor to ceiling along with a small rolling ladder attached to the shelves to reach the harder to find books. It seems like almost any book you wish to read is there.

Two large doors sit on each side of the large fireplace with mirrors set into their doors. One door leads to the hallway where the bed chambers are and the other to the bathroom. The bathroom has a large circular tub built into the floor with many taps around it that provide bubbles, scents and water in the perfect temperature. Golden lamps hang from the walls and there are fluffy towels off to the sides.


As if it were not bad enough that Evelyn disappeared weeks ago, now Jill has gone missing too. Not seen for some time, since who can tell time in a place with no sun and no working clocks, if one were to peek into her bedroom, one would find the girl in bed with the lights extinguished. Always apparently asleep. And suddenly she is back, striding from the guest wing into the large chamber, wiping her mouth with the sleeve of her black dress shirt. Pre-distressed blue jeans and sneakers with orange flames painted on in an atrocious fashion crime, she has yet to wear to the clothes of bygone centuries since another option presented itself. The blonde girl looks good, energetic in fact, a bounce in her step. "Hey!" she calls, waving a hand over her head long before she reaches the sitting area. "Hey! Hey guys! Err, uh, girls!"

In contrast, Kalindi has been nearly always out in the common area, quite happy to start conversations and always studying a large tome with no title on it. The young woman also hasn't been wearing the modern clothes presented to her, favouring the more fancy, regal dresses that are in the closets, today opting to wear a purple gown. At sighting Jill, Kali says, "Ah, hello, Jill. I hope that you are doing well…"

Rashmi has been in and out of her room more or less at random, attempting to keep the other girls' spirits up when possible, suggesting things to do to entertain themselves and each other… until a few days ago. After that, she hasn't gone anywhere without the same stack of books, seven in all, stacked in precisely the same order wherever their put, titles clearly visible. [Victorian Ghost Stories] [The Grettis Saga] [The Hobbitt] [The Gargoyle in the Seine] [The Sea of Trolls] [Gallowglass] [Prehistoric Predators] Off to one side, an old, possibly first-edition copy of [Bram Stoker's Dracula] sits on the table. The Grettis Saga is currently in her lap, balanced open on one leg, a cup of tea in her hands. As Jill bounces in, Rashmi's mouth is open, apparently to continue whatever conversation she was holding with Kalindi, but blinks, glances up at Jill and beams a wide smile. "Hi, Jill! C'mon in, we were just chatting."

Jill draws close, hands folding behind her back as she rocks up onto the balls of her feet like she simply can't stand to remain still. She looks awkwardly shy at having interrupted a conversation, but at the same time eager to butt in. "Okay, so, umm, yeah," the blonde girl begins to say, stumbling over her thoughts as she tries to put them in order. Some things never change, at least. "Okay, so like, I've got good news." She leans in closer, voice dropping. "I've got a plan to get us out of here." For one thing, as she's now close enough to touch, there is something subtly different about her. For another, the irises of her eyes are a bright ruby red, which is more obvious.

Kalindi examines Jill for a few moments and then her eyebrows raise, speaking a Hindi curse, and then she says, "I hope this is not what I think it is…" The young woman folds her hands together uncomfortably and then petting the cover of the book in her lap lightly.

Rashmi blinks, glancing from Kalindi to Jill, brows furrowing. "What…?" Closing the book, she leans forward to stack it back in its place, nudging the stack to turn the titles out toward the room in general. "…Okay…? What's your plan, Jill?"

"W-well," Jill falters. Her hands slip out from behind her so they can be wrung nervously. She squats down in front of the two seated girls, elbows on her knees. "Okay, it's not exactly my plan, but… umm…" She falters again. "And, well, truthfully I don't actually know what it is yet." Realizing her grand reveal is not going as well as planned, she spreads her hands. "Okay, it's Geoffrey's plan. He's on our side. And *he* has a plan."

Kalindi nods once and says, "Geoffrey actually seems like he is an okay man… not the type I would like to be married to, but okay… I am glad that he is on our side." The young woman glances towards Rashmi and then towards Jill, "So what is it that is this plan?"

Rashmi nods slowly. "That… explains the reading list I got," she murmurs, sipping at her tea and raising an eyebrow, eyes flicking between the other girls again. "…I'm all ears?"

"Geoffrey? Aside from how palpably he looked down on me and went out of his way to insult me, I suppose he is 'alright'." Sophie's voice precedes her as she meanders into the conversation, following the soft tap of her cane. Once more there is a blindfold around her face, following her brief experience of vision. She guides herself carefully to a seat, which she pats lightly to make sure there is nobody in it, before sitting. "But either way. I, too, am interested in hearing this plan, si? …I am not surprised that Geoffrey does not wish a marriage forced upon him any more than we do."

"Uhh." Jill uncurls a hand to scratch bashfully at the side of her nose. She looks more and more uncomfortable, red eyes shifty and uncertain. "I don't know," she finally admits, rocking back and forth on the balls of her feet. "But there is one. So that's good, right? And it's kind of already in motion, so that's even better." The girl twirls her forefingers around one another to indicate turning gears. Plans in motion.

Kalindi tilts her head slightly, eyeing Jill for a few moments, before just straight out asking, "So… Why are your eyes red?" The young woman puts her book aside and says, "I am thinking of plans too, but I do not want to speak them because, well… magic everywhere."

Rashmi nods, brow furrowing in puzzlement to echo Kalindi's question. And at the mention of plans and surveillance, she makes a show of straightening the stack of books on the table. "…I think we're going to have to figure out a way to coordinate before long… The *last* thing we need is to worry about everyone tripping over everyone else's feet, when the time comes." As Sophie sits down, the redhead leans over, patting her hand. "You'd be surprised, Sophie. I wouldn't be shocked to learn how much of that was an act, after all…"

Sophie inclines her head, and nods towards Rashmi. "Si, I suppose that is so," she murmurs. "But then, I wasn't to know." She shrugs her shoulders lightly, and turns to face in Jill's general direction. "I… must confess that I have no plan, beyond just… sticking close by to all of you, when we do try to escape. Even after two days spent looking around this floor, I… I don't know what to do," she trails off into an abashed mumble.

"What?" Jill lifts her head to look at Kalindi, blinking those ruby-irised eyes in confusion. Knuckles first, then fingertips rub at her eyes. "Oh, umm, are they? You think Igor can get me some eye drops or something?" Naturally, she has no idea that there's anything wrong with her eyes. For one, the mirror in her room is now on the floor in several dozen jagged shards. For another, she couldn't see herself in it anyway, which is why she broke it in the first place. She's calmed down considerably since then. "And I don't think… we really have to worry about being eavesdropped on as much. He… you know who… doesn't seem to think very highly of us. Probably doesn't think we're a threat."

Kalindi glances towards Rashmi and shrugs, "I need to have a few things known better before I can share it, yes? I am trying, but there are many more things that I need to know for sure." At Jill's reassurance, Kalindi blinks a few times and then says, "Oh, are you sure? Well. I am just trying to identify what it is that is dampening our abilities… and destroy it. It is not a spell, I know that now… perhaps an artifact." She huffs softly and then shakes her head at Jill with a small frown, "I do not think eye drops will help." More than that, she cannot say, as voicing her concerns would contradict a promise.

"Don't worry," Rashmi says to Sophie with a small smile, "everyone'll have enough to be dealing with by the time this is all over. We'll look out for you too, Sophie, and make sure you can do the same." Turning to Jill, the redhead's brow furrows again, lips pursing at the girl's strangely red eyes, and Kalindi's peculiar verbal tap-dancing. "Jill… is there something we ought to know…?"

Sophie hmms? The blind girl cants her head in Jill's direction, and her brow furrows in concern. "Red eyes? I think, Jill, it just means you need some sleep," she murmurs. "I wish I had my powers. …Just when we were abducted, I was thinking that I might be able to make light, si? But I never got to try it." She collapses her cane into itself, and tucks it neatly up her sleeve, before clasping her hands over her lap. "…Though… perhaps what I think of as red eyes, and what you really have, are two different thinks," she murmurs. "It sounds as though Kalindi and Rashmi think what you have is very abnormal."

Dashenka comes wandering out of her room, yawning and stretching hugely as she had just woken up. Indeed, the fact that she's wearing comfortable looking powder blue pajamas that have, of all things, happy little polar bears on them. In one hand she is nibbling a bit of the never ending chocolate that can be found in her room as a bit of decadent breakfast. "Ah," she says when she spies the large gathering of girls. "I was thinking that I had heard talking."

"Well, I wouldn't go shoutin' about it or anything," Jill replies to Kalindi. "And it'd probably be smart to still act like we don't know anything, but I just wanted to tell you all. Y'know. That there's a plan." The blonde girl turns to look sheepishly up at Rashmi then Sophie and fidgets, looking away and shifting her feet in her crouch. "Umm, well," she prefaces her explanation diplomatically, lacing her fingers and squeezing them. "Well. It, uh… There was kind of a deal offered. That, umm, if Geoffrey chose me, then the rest of you would all go free. And at least part of the plan is Geoffrey making sure Dracula keeps his end of it. So I… umm… Ikindofagreedtomarryhimandthenhebitme," Jill blurts, red eyes looking anywhere but at the other girls. "I… umm… I think I'm dead now," she admits just as Dashenka comes into hearing range.

Kalindi sighs and then says, "Well. Now that you have said that, am I permitted to speak freely about what we have talked about before?" Her lips are pursed and Kalindi doesn't seem especially pleased by this, but her fingers tap against the cover of the tome she has. "Though that seems like it would be the entirety of the plan if the master of the house held up his end."

Rashmi's shoulders tense, the redhead staring up at Jill, eyed wide. "Oh, no," she whispers, free hand rising to her mouth. "Jill… you let yourself become a vampire… just… to keep us safe…?"

Sophie's face drains of color, and she swallows audibly. "Jill, I… I…" She mirrors Rashmi's reaction, lifting a hand to cover her mouth. "Jill… That is very brave," she whispers. "But I can't just leave you behind. …I… We will find a way to save you, from this," she asserts. "I do not know how… but we will. Si? …Right?" As Sophie speaks, her voice transforms from her usual, quiet speech, to something much more… shrill.

Dashenka looks doubtful. "No, Jill, I am thinking you are…" she pauses when she sees Jill's red eyes. "Oh. Vampire.' Anybody who's watching the large Russian can see a variety of emotions flick through her. Disappointment, jealousy, and sadness are all in the mix. She looks at Rashmi and shrugs. "I was having same idea. Do not tell me that you did not think it to." She moves over to where the other girls are clustered and finds a wall to lean on.

Jill sucks in her bottom lip shame-facedly and presses her teeth down on it. If there was any doubt about her story, the fangs are only further proof. "I guess it's not really a secret anymore, so yeah, speak up." She steeples her fingers, doing her best at a nervous 'aren't you proud of me?' grin at Rashmi. "Umm, yes?" She flinches, raising her hands as if to ward off a blow or just to quiet Sophie down. It's unclear which. "It's cool, it's cool," she assures quickly. "If you all just end up being let go, then great, end of story. If not, there's still a plan to get you out of here. And Geoffrey will've been married, so there won't be any reason to go after you and bring you back here. So it's… it's all good, right?" Jill draws in on herself under the combined looks of everyone gathered.

Kalindi raises her eyebrow slightly and says, "Well. I am indebted to you, Jill, for your actions. Though I wish you had not… I understand that sometimes we must take action that we do not so much like to stand up for our principles." The young woman rubs her forehead lightly and sighs, "I hope that things will go well for you…"

"I can think of at least three ways he can ruin this deal without ever once breaking it," Rashmi says, voice sad as she sets her teacup aside, rising from her chair to approach Jill. "Whether or not Geoffrey is even involved. But… still." Closing her eyes for a moment, she shakes her head. "…Actually I *hadn't* thought of it. …Or. Well I had, but threw it out almost immediately, because I didn't want to even *risk* anyone getting hurt if I could have possibly avoided it." Lifting one shoulder, fractionally, she glances over her shoulder at Dashenka, smiling a bit. "…I guess I've been out-amazinged then… twice, even." Drawing in a deep breath, she steps forward, taking Jill's hands and looking her directly in the blonde's red eyes. "Thank you," she says softly. "That was an incredibly brave thing to do, Jill… So we'll have to work extra hard to make sure you come home with us."

Sophie breathes hard for a moment, before sitting up straight and composing herself as best she can. She clasps her hands in her lap once more, and exhales slowly. "Jill," she murmurs at last, willing her voice back to her usual tone. "Rashmi is right… it is very brave, what you do, but… but when we first arrived, you promised me that I would be looked after, si? That nobody would mind my blindness being a disadvantage. I… after that, I can't… I can't just leave you behind, si? That would be wrong," she firmly states. "I will pray for you. God loves you, Jill, and… and so do we."

Dashenka continues to nibble on her chocolate, as she scowls at the floor. She remains silent while the others compliment Jill on her bravery.

Blood red eyes wide, Jill looks side to side uncertainly as Rashmi takes her hands before meeting the gaze. "Y-you're… you're not mad?" It is more of a broad group-level question than one directed solely at Rashmi. "Y-… you guys," she tries to say but her voice is slightly choked. It may come as a surprise as the first of the clear droplets rolls from her eyes that vampires can cry real tears. "But… really, don't… I mean, whatever happens, you all need to go back. Evelyn too. She's still alive. You have to take her too!" The new vampire sniffles and ducks her head to wipe her nose on her shoulder, gross but understandable. "If I can't come with you, and I *promise* I will try, it'll still be okay. I'm sure as hell not staying here. I hate this place. I wanna go home."

"Of course, yes, I was wanting to get us all out of here, Evelyn as well. I do not know her well, but I do not want any of us held against our wills," says Kalindi, sighing softly and then offering a shrug, "I did not want for this to happen, Jill, as I have told you, but it was your choice. I will do what I can to help make this plan work, whatever it is." She looks back at the cover of her tome, falling silent and studying it.

"We're all going home," Rashmi says, squeezing Jill's hands, voice soft and steady. "All of us. That's a promise." Squeezing again, she lets her hands fall away, drawing in a deep breath and stepping away. Sidling closer to Dashenka, she touches the Russian’s arm with the back of a finger, eyebrows rising in silent, unobtrusive question, hopefully unnoticed among all the displays of solidarity.

Kalindi glances between all of the young women present and then nods once, "I am going to go to my room to do more studying… if anyone has questions about things that are magical or would like to talk to me about any plans or anything really, do not hesitate to call on me…" She shrugs lightly and then starts off towards her room.

Sophie stands slowly, though she leaves her collapsed cane tucked up her sleeve for the time being. She brushes her fingers over her silk skirt, before holding her hands up in front of her. Slowly, the blind girl crosses the short distance towards Jill, and pats the air until she finds the newly minted vampire. Once she does, she wraps her arms around the other girl and squeezes tight. "We'll get you out of this," she whispers. "And someday soon you will see the sun again. All of you will, si?"

Jill nods, her mouth set firmly like she means business. "Okay, yeah. I'm sorry I can't be more helpful. I don't know what the plan is either, yet. But something's gonna happen. And I guess… you all need to be ready for it." She pauses, grimacing and worrying at the pad of her thumb with a fang. "That's not really helpful either, is it? Damn it. I should have asked more questions." Looking up in surprise, her hands raise to meet Sophie's questing ones, guiding the other blonde girl down to her, having guessed at her intent. She puts a hand to the back of the blind girl's head and strokes her hair. "I know I will," the vampire whispers back, a comforting lie. Looking over Sophie's shoulder at the rest, Jill frowns. "I… I dunno, this might sound kinda stupid, but what about the buddy system? To make sure we don't get separated when… whatever's going to happen happens."

Dashenka's lips press into a thin hard line when Rashmi mentions that they're all going home. She looks up to meet the other girl's eyes, which she can see a certain amount of frustration and anger.

Rashmi blinks, but nods fractionally, glancing in the direction of her door, a silent 'I'm sorry, let's talk about this' before looking at Jill, smiling and nodding. "That's a really good idea, considering what's probably holed up underneath us," she says, nodding at the stack of books on the table. "Best not to chance getting separated at all, but, making sure none of us are alone is even better. Regardless of what happens outside, we're probably going to end up having to fight our way free. So… remember that, okay?"

Sophie gives Jill one last squeeze, and she sighs softly at the lie; if she's detected it as such, she doesn't say. The blind girl moves to sit in the seat beside Jill, and gives the other girl a light pat on the shoulder. "The buddy system is a good idea," she murmurs. "But I don't think we should have set buddies, we should just pair up with whomever is most convenient at the time?" She pauses, and shrugs her shoulders lightly. "Rashmi has dealt with this sort of thing before," she nods, "And… I expect that Dashenka is strong, si? I imagine she is very powerful and heroic."

Dashenka snorts at that assertion from Sophie. "I am…" And then she shakes her head, never bother finishing whatever it was she was about to say. "Is not important. I am thinking that we need more than one to stay with Jill. I know she is fine now, Da, but how long before…" a pause as she searches for the right English, "… urges come? I know about such things, and sometimes they are stronger than you think."

"Yeah," Jill agrees with Sophie, reaching up to twine her fingers with hers. "Since we don't know what's going to happen, I guess we gotta play it kinda fast and loose. And we're- you're all probably at a disadvantage without the powers you're used to." Her red eyes glance up at Dashenka, mouth curling downward in a slight frown before she looks away. "She's right. It's true. I don't even know how this really works yet, and the last thing I wanna do is hurt any of you. Or anybody at all. Geoffrey's supposed to be bringing me more-" The girl halts, unable or afraid to say the word. Her fingers slip from Sophie's. "More… blood, so I don't get hungry or crazy or whatever." Her face is downcast. "I guess… I guess that's it. I don't really have any- oh! Rashmi. Geoffrey mentioned something about giving you the floor plans or something, but he hadn't had the chance to talk to you about it. Do you have them? Or know where he might've put them?"

Rashmi's lips twitch. "…Actually yeah," she says, nodding at the books. "…That was me trying to be subtle about it, actually… Turns out, all the things that took us? Are um… sort of sitting under our feet. Each one got its own floor. …..So all we need to do I guess is work on breaking through? Or…." The redhead shakes her head, shrugging. "…Iunno. I'll have to think more about what to do, but, probably we'll all want to bump heads at some point to figure things out."

Sophie's eyebrows sharply rise. "…All?" she purses her lips, and bows her head forwards. "Well… at least we know the men who took me can be reasoned with," she murmurs. "At least… at least to a point, si? But I do not know about ghosts or werewolves or whatever else." She pauses, and squeezes her fingers around Jill's. "If you see Geoffrey again, Jill, please… please tell him I am sorry, for misjudging him so grossly. It seems I have done him a disservice."

Dashenka scowls even deeper at the news. "I am not liking the thought that there is dragon living beneath us," she says. "Even if we get powers back…. I do not know that would be enough."

"Stone gargoyles too," Jill says sourly. "Not so easy to hurt *them*, I think. They're not even as slow as you might think they'd be." She shifts her weight to the side, bumping her shoulder gently against Sophie like a friendly hip-check. "I'll tell him. I haven't seen him since… since he bit me, but when I woke up again there was a bottle in my room. So he might be back to deliver more. I'm sure you know what was in it." Red eyes fall down to her lap, tongue unconsciously darting out to taste the traces on her lips. "It was… delicious. It was the best thing I've ever had," she admits shamefully, eyes squeezed tightly shut.

"Probably not," Rashmi says, "but there are ways around that… Also Connor's team. We'll have to wait for them anyway, since… well once we get out, getting *away* is an issue I'm not sure we're up to, on foot, y'know?" Lifting a shoulder, the redhead sighs. "We'll have to play a lot of this by ear, I guess…" Trailing off, she looks to Jill, head tilting briefly. "…It's okay, y'know… My roommate, Robyn? He's… kind of like a vampire. Only he need… Iunno what to call it, psychic energy or something… Anyway, I'm sure the school can help you manage things, Jill."

"David defeated Goliath," Sophie murmurs, "With naught but a sling and some stones, though the Philistine was a giant nine feet tall with a sword and armor." She reaches around Jill to rest her hand on the other girl's opposite shoulder, and leans over sideways to rest against her. "I trust you, Jill," she murmurs. "I know you won't let anything happen to me, si?" She glances up, looking in Rashmi and Dashenka's general direction. "Perhaps… my powers might be able to undo what has happened to Jill? I do not know."

"Perhaps," echoes Dashenka doubtfully. "It will be worth a try, but I am suspecting it is not something easily cured." A helpless sigh escapes her, "I do not know much about vampires or magic. I have fairy tales mother told me but I am not thinking they are all that helpful."

"Right now," Rashmi says, resting a hand on Dashenka's shoulder, "I think just about anything we can come up with will be helpful, Dashenka… Maybe we should listen, tomorrow?"

Patting Sophie's hand, Jill nods but there is despondency in it. "We have to get you all out of here before we can try any of that, so let's stay focused. Everything else we can worry about later." Her eyes flick, slightly pleading, at Rashmi with the words 'everything else'. Everything else, it seems, includes Jill herself. Awkwardly, she reaches up to scrub a hand in her blonde hair. "Jeez. I should probably feel awful, but I don't even feel tired. Do vampires sleep? Do I need a coffin? That seems kinda tacky." She tugs at her black dress shirt. "I should probably put on some clean clothes, too. Don't know how long I've been wearing this. You guys go ahead, sleep on it or whatever. I think I'm gonna take a bath." So saying, she levers herself up, reluctantly letting go of Sophie's hand, and wanders off toward the bathroom. "G'night," she says. "Or whatever."

"Si," Sophie nods, echoing Rashmi's sentiment. "Tomorrow, we should listen. …We should all tell each other as much as we can remember about our kidnappings, too, I think?" The blind girl gives Jill a last squeeze, before rising to her feet. She produces her cane and snaps it out to full length, before sweeping it in a circle around herself. "Goodnight, Jill. I think I am going to sleep; I am rather tired." She starts off towards her room. "All will come right," she murmurs. "I have faith."

"U vas bolshe very , chem ya," mutters Dashenka as she watches the other two girls go off to their homes. "YA dumayu, chto mne nuzhno vypit." Having already slept she just shrugs helplessly at Rashmi and turns to return to her room. "I am having chocolate and vodka in my room," she announces, and proceeds to her room to do exactly that, leaving the door open for any who wish to follow her.

"Okay," Rashmi says to Jill, nodding her understanding. "Sleep well, Sophie. I'll be in Dashenka's room, if anyone needs either of us." Offering Jill one last, strained smile, she turns to follow the larger teen into the room.

Dashenka's room is no longer quite the mess. The clock that she had been working on is finished, but still. Beside it are several tomes of clockmaking, mechanical engineering, and quite a few car magazines in both English and Russian that she has collected to keep her mind occupied. Beside it all is the plate of never ending gourmet chocolate, the never ending flask of vodka and a Russian Samovar that is enameled with ornate blue white and gold patterns. Dashenka walks into her room and slumps into the chair with a heavy sigh, and idly pushes the pendulum of the clock with a finger. It swings back and forth once, making a feeble attempt at keeping time, but just gives up the ghost as if to say, 'Meh. It's midnight. Whatever.'

Rashmi makes a quick side trip to her room, picking up the eternal plate of petit fours, and the everchai pot. Holding them up with a weak smile at Dashenka's doorway, as though bringing hospitality gifts, she sets them down on the table opposite the vodka and chocolates. "…First I wanted to say I'm *really* sorry for being thoughtless… and that's a beautiful clock, Dashenka."

Dashenka scowls at the compliment. "It does not work," she says. "I cannot understand why. I have read the books and checked my work. It should work, but does not." She looks over to her drinks, eyes darting between the alcohol and the tea. "Why are you being thoughtless?" she asks after having decided that it's far too early, so to speak, for vodka after all, and pours herself a cup of the strong tea that's made by the samovar.

"For talking about going home?" Rashmi says, pouring out roughly a finger's width of the samovar tea, picking it up and sniffing. "Whoo… wow, strong. …Anyway, I noticed the look you gave me, and… well, figured I should probably apologize. As to the clock… *None* of the clocks here work. So, probably it has something to do with the magic all around this place, y'know?"

"Oh that," Dashenka says with a shrug, helpfully adding some hot water to her and Rashmi's cup to cut down on the strength of the tea. "Is okay. You have homes to go to and New York is not unpleasant place to live." At the mention of magic being the culprit behind the failing of simple mechanical devices she nods. "Da. I am thinking I was coming to that conclusion."

"Oh hey, thanks," Rashmi says, blowing on her thinned tea to cool it. "…Anyway… I wanted to let you know I meant what I said, back there. You *were* brave for even *thinking* about it. I don't know many people who'd… y'know… pitch away part of what makes them *themselves,* on the strength of maybe it'll be good for someone else." Looking down into her cup, she lifts a shoulder. "*I* wouldn't. And now I sort of wish I had been."

Dashenka's scowl deepens as Rashmi compliments her undeservingly. "Nyet. I…" she begins, takes a steadying breath and continues, "It would not have been so selfless of me. Everybody has homes to go back to. I do not." Her teeth almost audibly grind with her frustration and anger at the whole situation. "It is stupid and selfish of me for thinking that maybe I could go home with this."

Rashmi falls silent for a moment, eyes locked on Dashenka's face. "Lemme ask you a question… If you *had* volunteered… would you still have done it if it meant the rest of us died?"

Dashenka can't meet Rashmi's eyes, and the girl looks like she's close to tears. "Nyet," she concludes. "I would not. I long for home, da, but it is not worth the lives of five other people."

Rashmi sets the cup down, getting to her feet and moving over to wrap her arms around Dashenka's shoulders. "Then if it's not the same thing, it's close enough that it doesn't matter," She says, squeezing gently. "Either way, we'd have to find some kind of bright spot after everything fell out anyway, right?"

Hugging Dashenka is like hugging a brick wall, as the whole situation has gotten her very, very tense. "I am still thinking I am bad person for being jealous. I should not be. I should be helping, but it is hard for me."

Rashmi snorts quietly, shaking her head. "You're *not* a bad person, Dashenka. Not at all. You're just… human. I mean, c'mon; you'd have to be *crazy* not to be a little jealous, in your position. All of you. But just because you *want* something… there's still that line, right? Too high a cost to be worth it? That’s *good,* Dashenka… Seriously."

Dashenka takes a staggering breath, as she wipes at her eyes with the palm of her hand. "Is… good you think so," she says, leaning slightly into Rashmi, even though she doesn't sound all that convinced.

"I do," Rashmi says quietly, patting Dashenka's back. "And when we get back to the States? I'll talk to Agent Drew about what we can do to help you out, okay? I think after this, you've *earned* something nice for yourself."

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License