07.09.3013: The Edge of the World
Summary: While healing from his wounds earned at the D-4 facility on Ignis, Soleil slips into Nitrim's hospital room…
Date: 09 July 2013
Related: None
Soleil Nitrim 

RP Suite — Hospital at Ignis
Provided in scene
July 09, 3013

Since the incident at the D-4 station, Nitrim has been in a terrible deal of pain. In the deepest bowels of the pit, he rests on a medical bed in a quiet, corner of the hospital. The rather comfortable room is white-washed on the walls, but the bed that he rests in is large and comfortable. Still healing, his chest has been left bare from the waist up. A wrapping for his ribs lines his abdomen, a large, metallic unit has locked his shoulder to his broken collarbone, and his right arm is left hanging out in a bent, locked position so that the bone will set correctly. All of this, of course, leaves his left arm free to point at a video screen with a remote, pressing play on a horror movie that has been given to him from a gift box on the nightstand. Wide awake, he rests back against the pillow and uses his only working arm to slip grapes into his mouth, crunching on them in silence while the intro-credits to the movie start to play.

The nurse comes with more morphine— no, wait, what's the opposite of that? Ah— Soleil arrives. She's not got anything in casts and doesn't even have any bandaids, having not got so much as a scratch. She has been on the hospital all this time, however, getting a medical debriefing. She has on a nice modern silk wrap of violet, because sickeningly rich people don't wear hospital gowns, and the wing she's been in is more like a luxury suite than anything else.

The nurse outside confiscated Soleil's vapor cigarette— more because she had the authority to than it being a dangerous device, an /some/ people like exerting authority over Soleil when they actually can. So she arrives without a cloud over her head for once.

Just about to pop another grape into his mouth, Nitrim notices a difference in shadows from the direction of the door. Expecting it to be a nurse, he sets his grape down and turns to face the door and…stops. His curious, green eyes stare across the span of tile that separates the two of them, easily recognizing the face of Soleil Saveur. Instinctively, he brushes a hand over the five-o-clock shadow on his neck and looks to the mechanical contraption that's holding him together.

"Hey." He murmurs, giving her a weak smile as he tries to scoot and make room for her on the bed. His eyes roll back and a brief spike of what probably should pain if not for the numbing medication swirling through his body on his local, right side. "If I had known I was getting guests I would have cleaned up the room but…" He motions to the way he's got to carry around his metallic shoulder-pack to get anywhere. "Are you okay?"

Based on recent interactions, it would not be completely surprising if she told him to go fuck himself in answer, but all he gets is a quiet, "Mhm."

She meanders the rest of the way into the room, noting the aura of the place with a wrinkle of her nose. Though he made room for her on the bed, she nudges a chair over and then drops with her usual devil-may-care air of grace into it.

A silence falls, which she doesn't seem inclined to break. She looks askance, her head tilted a little, while her arms rest on either arm of the chair, her hands dangling over the edges off of loose wrists. One wrist has the little bracelet that all inmates of the facility have to wear, containing all her vitals, all the physical details of her 19 years.

Not. Going. Well.

Nitrim lets out a quiet, mostly inaudible sigh and brushes a hand through his recently washed, blonde hair. Gratefully, the horror movie is still playing quietly on the vid-wall, which gives him something to turn his eyes to as the uncomfortable silence settles in between them.

No…you don't understand, Bria! This thing! We did something. We MEDDLED in something that we shouldn—

OH WHATEVER, Zahn. Stop being weird. Let's go back to the party…

Nitrim glances over to Soleil, failing to make eye contact but getting a rather decent view of her face's profile. Thoughtful, he glances back to the screen. "Yeah…these two are fucked…"

Despite certain intimate knowledge, these two— well there's a lot they /don't/ now about each other. Like the fact she's into horror movies. Soleil's eyes drift to the vid screen too, and after a moment, one corner of her mouth twitches. The beginnings of a wry smile. "Seen it." Oh dear gods. She's seen it. She could do the worst thing imaginable to him now. SPOILERS.

"She dies."

Soleil's eyes drift from the screen to the bedside table, where the movie's packaging rests. Her brow furrows. "No one's even sent m flowers. You really are popular."

On the screen, the monster that carries its own tombstone around roars into view, punching a hand through the girl's face. Poor Zahn's face gets splattered with blood. Rather than run away, he locks up, and the scene does a hard-cut back to the party.

Nitrim cocks a brow, looking over to Soleil with a look of mock disappointment on the edge of his cheek. She didn't need to spoil it for him, and in truth he didn't know what was going to happen, but he gives her the disappointed movie-goer look as he reaches for a grape from his bowl and flings it at her with a flick of his thumb and forefinger.

"She gets hit with a grape." Nitrim comments and then looks to the care package. "There's a couple more movies in there if you want to borrow one. It's not that sweet of a gift, there's also a military video on how to not get hurt in combat." He grabs another grape for himself, watching her while he eats.

Surprisingly— maybe— she actually manages to bat the grape away, sending it skittering across the room where the little robot that does a daily sweep of the room may or may not find it.

After eyeing Nitrim a moment with the cool look of one who could— and has— hurled some more serious weapons at him in the pas (emotional ninja stars), she leans back and, slipping her feet out of her slippers, deposits them on the foot of his bed.

"I received very stern instructions from your nurse that I wasn't to upset you. I'm not sure how it's gotten around, but people seem to think you and I have a conflicted relationship."

"Making new girlfriends even from a hospital bed, hm?"

Surprisingly— maybe— she actually manages to bat the grape away, sending it skittering across the room where the little robot that does a daily sweep of the room may or may not find it.

After eyeing Nitrim a moment with the cool look of one who could— and has— hurled some more serious weapons at him in the pas (emotional ninja stars), she leans back and, slipping her feet out of her slippers, deposits them on the foot of his bed.

"I received very stern instructions from your nurse that I wasn't to upset you. I'm not sure how it's gotten around, but people seem to think you and I have a conflicted relationship."

"Making new girlfriends even from a hospital bed, hm?" she adds after a moment.

"Well, you know me…" Nitrim replies quietly to her with an air of self-depricating humor matched with a subtle roll of his eyes. It's an inward criticism, something in recent days he's not been too proud of. The bed shifts as his right knee bends, sliding to brace against the outside wall of the railing opposite Soleil.

He clears his throat into his fist softly and looks back to Soleil's face, eyebrows rested and serene. "I don't know why any of these people, nurses, whoever would have the impression that you and I have a conflicted relationship." He says, quietly sarcastic, though far more of a light dusting without any defiance to his voice. They do have a conflicted relationship. "But you're not upsetting me, either."

Soleil reaches to his bowl as he speaks and pulls out a grape stem, plucking the last few that cling to it and dropping them back in the bowl. The stem becomes something to do with her hand, something to settle her eyes on.

The awkwardness is thickening, and she doesn't say anything in response for a bit. The nurse outside peeks in.

When she speaks, it seems she has picked up something entirely different to speak about. "I submitted my report to the Crown Council. I made a stupid blunder. It didn't occur to me that what we experienced could have been chemically induced, a hallucination, a malfunction of our brains. I actually posited that something was reading our thoughts and invading our minds. And, after all, we were just kind of drugged. It /was/ a bad trip."

The robot that keeps the rooms spotless slowly hums in, and begins scanning the floor for debris. She watches it locate the grape. Then, she breaks off a bit of the stem and drops it by her chair. The robot hums over, sucking up the debris.

"But you know what that means?"

"I haven't thought that far ahead, to be honest, because some other stuff has come up, which we'll get to in a minute I'm sure. But…" Nitrim pauses, brushing his hand through his hair again. The poor soul, there isn't much that he can do to move above the bed with the mechanical device attached to his arm, left to his own devices. "…at the very least that means that they might be capable of chemical warfare against us, exploiting a weakness that they don't have themselves."

"Something else too." The robot is humming its way to the door, but Soleil breaks off and drops another piece of the stem. The thing's sensors register it, and it comes humming back toward her chair.

"It means that stuff was not something diabolical planted there in our brains, not something external. It came from inside. Things we already thought and felt." The robot sadism continues— Soleil 'pushing its buttons' and the thing obliviously carrying out its function, humming blissfully.

As the second stem drops, Nitrim's eyes fall to the floor and he sees what she's up to. She's sadistically terrorizing the little roomba-bot, which gets her a little smile and a huff from the center of his chest. He reaches out for the railing and with the aid of it, he tugs softly and sits up a little bit more, forcing his back against the pillows.

"No…it was stuff that I already had in mine." Nitrim replies, jaw tightening and his eyes darkening over in a weighted look. "I have these old dreams from when I was a kid where I'd lose control and burn my family down. Stalking through the halls, setting everything on fire. As I get older and love my siblings more…the dreams get worse. I just…" He flattens his lips and gives a shake of his head. "…know there's pieces of me that I keep locked away. We all do. It's the dark places."

Scratching his chest, he reaches past her to the end table and takes up the remote. He points it to the wall screen, skips back a chapter, then presses pause. He lofts the remote down to near his knee.

"How bad was it for you, Soleil?"

"It could have been worse." There's…so much weight behind that admission, even hough there's a faint, laughing disbelief behind it. "Much worse."

Another piece of grape debris hits the floor, this time when the robot is so close to escape. Hum hum hum.

"I heard your voice."

"What did I say?" Nitrim replies, eyes centering onto hers. The robot, the stem, the rest of the room thoroughly ignored.

she dosn't meet his gaze, and seems to be biting the inside of her lip. The robot is a pleasant distraction, and maybe it is the lucky recipient of her passive aggressive attacks so that Nitrim can be spared them for the moment, so that they can actually have a conversation without all the resentment and hurt seething beneath the surface, between the letters of every word.

"'Join me on the dark side and we'll rule the world together'?" She appears to be half joking. Maybe. It is kind of funny when put that way, and she seems amused, but also deeply bothered.

All the humour, the wryness fades. Her voice drops very low. "I can't even make sense of it. But that's normal. Half the shit that goes on in my head, I can't make sense of. It was terrifying when I wasn't sure if it was coming from your head, or what— now, I know it was me. That I haven't let go even though I've been cutting and cauterizing every fucking feeling that makes me think about you."

Though she isn't joking, is she? Nitrim's eyes search hers, reading the tension at the points where her eyelids meet with a quiet, clinical observation. He blinks slowly and reaches to the bandages around his ribs and absent-mindedly plucks at the edges of the wrapping, though never getting more than a fingernail beneath.

He swallows hard, the lump in his throat crawling down to his stomach where it rests, angrily, beneath his skin. His eyes lower for just a second before they close. He sighs. "I've been giving you plenty of reason to hate me, haven't I?" He admits with a shake of his head. "I've just been hoping that while you've been doing that you haven't cut apart the things that make you who you are. What a man I've become to make a girl stab herself rather than I, right?"

"You've been an asshole," she agrees quietly. She's out of things to drop on the floor, and the robot is escaping. It may be Nitrim who gets to experience her hurt feelings now.

"Twice, and I don't know how to forgive you. But that hurts me more than it hurts you. I mean, after all, you've practically got a harem now. You moved on. Me not being able to, too, does me the real injury." She restores her hand to the arms of the chair.

"I should tell you about my first 'boyfriend'. And the fucked up things he did. I'm not going to be emo about it because the truth is— I /asked/ him to." She shifts in her chair, uneasy, and still not looking directly at Nitrim. The wall, the bowl, the vanishing robot— anywhere else. "You did to my insides what he use to do to the rest, only I trusted you /not/ to. And then…just like I'd go back to him and let him tie me up and do it all over again…I went back to you, and offered you my wrists and you…did it again too."

Nitrim stares until he can't bear it any longer. He retreats into himself and his eyes lower to the brushed steel of the handrail on the edge of the medical bed. Beneath it, there's a black sticker depicting the many ways that one is supposed to press on the bed to adjust it. You're not supposed to fold the bed into a 'V' with a person in it. Who knew? Still, it's an escape for the man as the sheer dread of her words wash over him.

"I don't have a harem." He whispers, a bitter breath escaping through his nose. "I'm not entirely sure what people see anymore when they look at me, and I lose track of whether or not they're seeing who I am or what I wanted them to see. But this…isn't about what I want anymore." He looks back to her, eyes lifting to watch her.

"That's why you wanted to just sleep, isn't it?" He asks, starting to understand. "All of those nights you just wanted to sleep, and we did, happily, but…you wanted to make sure I wasn't the person I posed myself as, didn't you?"

"I don't know." She walks her fingers over the arm of the chair, eyes on them. "I wanted to taek things slow because guys all the time say things they don't mean. The faster they tell you they love you, the less they mean it— and yes, of /course/ you're not the first. You're the first I thought maybe did mean it and wasn't just trying to get me to do something kinky. It's why I…fuck around like I do, if you must know. Any guy who stays with you through /rough/ stuff is a guy who actually does want you. Not someone who is looking for something easy, or quick, or brief. But you didn't. I didn't even put you through anything rough and you were on to the next thing. And even if I /was/ wrong about Grantham, Nitrim, even if that was just some tabloid bullshit and you never were trying to go after her— you DID move on after that. Really, unbelievably quickly. So much so that even when I opened the door for you to come back— you didn't want to. You already had someone else. So…" She pauses, takes a breath and lifts her eyes straight to the ceiling. "So fast I had whiplash." She stars at the overhead light, a good excuse if any water comes to her eyes.

Nitrim quiets, watching her uncomfortable movements. He's earned this talk with his carelessness, and it's going to cheapen it by ignoring her. It's a point of masochism that he's accepting of while he brushes his hand softly over the guardrail. Though, he cannot help to stir himself, made uncomfortable.

"I didn't say that I'd moved on." He whispers, lowering his eyes to her shoulder to trace the folds of the fabric where she wrapped them around her body. "I said that there was someone that I didn't want to hurt like I'd hurt you, and what I meant by that…was that I'd hurt myself enough through what I'd done to you that I couldn't bear doing it again." He pauses. "Up until we met everything was recyclable. I could walk away from anything with no problems. There were no ties, no bonds, no emotions involved until there were. And I feel…fucking horrible. I went so fast from barely being involved in my own life to a creature of conscience that I found myself actually missing the things that I'd lost. But even after all of this, I'd never go back to what I was before."

His fingernail scrapes against the railing, as if dragging his thoughts out of the deep, dank pit of his mind. "No one's ever told me no. I've never wanted someone to say yes so bad, but after everything I realize why now." He quiets. "Did you really want me back?"

She crosses one leg over the other and bobs her foot, eventually so hard that her whole body kind of quivers with the vibration up from her toes.

"I wanted you to fix it. At that point it was possible, but now, I don't know." She still stares up, her arms folding beneath her breasts, the kind of body language that wards people off. "I wanted to accept I was wrong about everything, and too hasty. I would like to have thought I /did/ confuse you. I've got no more experience with relationships than you do. The only other relationship I ever even had with a man was a guy who had a wife, who I just went to when I felt like suffering would be good. So, clearly, it was entirely possible that I didn't know what I was doing either. You could have fixed it, then…"

Then, as if exhausted with more emotional examination than she has ever put herself through before, she sits forward and drops both feet to the ground, putting her hands to either side of her head.

"I did, yes."

The room grows quiet. Deathly quiet. Nitrim finds himself not able to count the seconds anymore, but all he knows is that the video screen is making a soft humming sound that he didn't recognize before.

"I did get confused, Soleil." Nitrim finally speaks, his lips barely a mumble. "I got confused. I acted. I went too far. I looked back and I didn't like what I'd seen. I tried to calibrate and I fucked that up. I wanted to tell you that I'm trying to get better at being me at the Solarium because I was trying to show you that I don't want to be the same piece of shit that did you in. I wish there was a way without invading your mind that I could show you just how responsible I feel."

He quiets again, resting back against his pillows and staring at the ceiling. With nothing left to do with himself, he rubs his fingertips against his tattoo, tracing little circles into it.

"I want to fix it." He admits after another long silence.

She finally, FINALLY turns her eyes to him, and settles them there. She wets her lips, then purses them, slightly parts them, and lets out a soft breath. "I want to trust you." It's a common enough phrase that, depending on tone, context, inflection and a hundred other thing can mean so many different things. How does she say it? She says it with earnest desire that implies no 'but'.

"I want to give in to the voice I heard the other night. Everyone else saw something they dread happening, I guess? Something they were resisting. Well me too, but…"

She slowly leans back. "Every sense of self-preservation I have is telling me to walk away from you."

Feeling her eyes on him eventually, Nitrim turns his head against the pillow to watch her. He frowns and settles his arm to bar against the railing. Now it's his turn to walk his fingers over the edge, thumb and forefinger dancing in place.

"I don't deserve your trust. To try to earn it back would just make you feel like I'm going to hurt you again, and so…I haven't been trying. I wanted you to see me wanting something more from my behavior. Maybe if I fix me you can forgive me for who I was." Nitrim replies, letting out a cleansing breath.

"I'm not ready for you to be entirely out of my life. I keep getting nearly all of the way out of the door and I stop, and then I self-loathe a little bit more every time. I look at you and I see what I saw when I'd look into the mirror when I was on the Red. I want to change things. I feel ashamed." His fingers stop with a quiet tap of his fingerpad against the metal. "But…if you walked away, I'd forgive you."

With a sigh, he shakes his head and looks back to the ceiling, wrapping his arm around his stomach. He closes his eyes and sighs once more, muscles filled with tension and self-loathing. "I'm so sorry, Soleil."

For a long time she lets the silence exist between them, sitting very still herself while he stares at the inside of his eyelids. Whatever's taking place, whether wounds are scarring over or knots are untwisting— whatever metaphor defines the silent activity— it ends at last with a feeling that must be extremely familiar to him— the sensation of added weight to a mattress s another person climbs into bed with him. And whatever that means, there she is, settling against his side in the space he made for her when she first came in, cautious so as not to aggravate the great pain he must be in.

It probably won't last. The nurse who gets to give Nitrim his sponge-bath will probably drag Soleil out of there the moment she finds them together. Not that Soleil is doing anything. They're just sharing a bed and a pillow as they have before.

And then she's picking up the remote and pressing play.

With only one arm to spare, gratefully the arm on the side of the bed she entered from, Nitrim keeps his eyes closed and wraps it around her shoulder to draw her in close. Locked all-too-much into place by the medical equipment, his body is forced onto a flat plane that cannot move, though his shoulder can move just enough to make things comfortable.

He presses the hollow of his cheek against her temple and lets out a soft, relieved sigh against her brow and allows his fingertips to come to a stop on the silk of her shoulder. The video starting again distracts his attention, not as if he had words to say to begin with, and one of his eyes cracks open to watch. Words are dangerous, and he's content to focus on a different horror movie for a change.

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