Picking Up The Pieces

Kassandra knocks on the door leading to Private Apartment.

From Private Apartment, Someone says, "Wot's at?".

Kassandra says, "Open the door, Lil, it's Kass." (To Private Apartment).

From Private Apartment, Someone says, "Oi, why's that? Wot brings ye by? I'm not sharin' me booze, you know." She's speaking very clearly, very precisely, although her accent is syrup thick.".

Kassandra says, "I don't drink, Lilith. Open the door, please?"" (To Private Apartment).

From Private Apartment, Someone says, "Oh, all right then, come on in.".

Stepping inside, Kass glances around the apartment. She is dressed in dark colours today, 'working clothes' since the girls suggested there is a problem. The elf surveys the apartment, eyes searching for the Lady of the House.

Lilith is sitting on the couch, a mostly empty bottle of what will be seen to be very old, older then Sam perhaps, whiskey. She's got her feet up on her coffee table, along with some scattered papers and pens, and a vague sort of smile on her face. "Hullo, Kassandra."

A vase has been smashed, as well as a couple glasses. A chair is turned over in the kitchen.

Closing the door carefully, Kass considers the broken vase, the glasses, the chair. The state of Lilith. "Redecorating?" The elf keeps her voice light, turning the lock on the door and pacing in a few steps.

Lilith chuckles a bit and shrugs. "Naw, luv. Just had a couple accidents." She raises the bottle to her lips, sipping the precious liquid, then frowning and staring at the couple inches left. She sets the bottle down with the same precise care evident in her voice. "What brings ye by?"

"Well, a few of the girls got worried. It seems there was a bit of noise, some breaking sounds, that sort of thing. No one could get in to see you." Kass starts toward the vase, offering a shrug. "There was some concern Cockney assassins had broken in and were having their way with you."

Lilith snickers. "Oh, the girls an' their imaginations. As if any Brit would want me." Oh, there's a bitter tone to her voice now, although it's mellowed by the influence of alcohol.

Silently, Kassandra starts collecting pieces of broken vase. "I see. I imagine you broke more than a few British hearts, Lil."

Lilith laughs again. "Naw, not me, luv. Other way around, other way around." She nods, sliding her feet off the table and shuffling some papers around. "Ye heard Alex was by earlier? We broke up." She drops that one quietly, casually.

The quiet sound of pieces of vase sliding into the trash are the only sounds for a moment, followed by the elf moving to pick up the broken glasses. "I see." Kass glances to the woman, "And you are alright with that?"

Lilith shrugs, shuffling the papers into a neat stack. "Well, no, not really. But that's breakups for you, I guess. Normal people have them all the time." She settles back on the couch, then pauses, then rises to her feet, moving lightly. Not…really staggering. "Here, here, let me help…you shouldn't pick up after me."

"Sit." Kass spares a look at Lilith, "It is a pleasure to help clean up, Lilith. Service is its own reward. A .. person I .. worked .. for said that."

Lilith hesitates, wavering slightly, but nods, sitting back down on the couch. "Yes'm." Her eyes widen a bit. Orders. Right. Have to listen to orders.

"I am not a ma'am. I work for a living." Kass chuckles quietly, dumping the broken fragments into the trash and moving to right the chair. "So. Normal people break up all the time. I imagine you have broken up with people before, a pretty thing like you probably had lots of dates."

Lilith waves her hand vaguely. "Well, no, I've never been in a relationship before." Another laugh with a touch of bitterness. "It sucks, you know? I mean, I know we had things open, but I thought Alex loved me."

Kass moves back over to where Lil is, casually cleaning as she goes. "It sucks. I have heard similiar from .. associates of mine over the years." She sighs, shifting things in the room, just cleaning for a moment. "Maybe .. I don't know. I am not good with this sort of thing. Why did he break it off with you?"

Lilith laughs again, looking over at her whiskey again. "Oh, the usual. Work. He said it wasn't fair for me with him being gone all the time. That he'd never be able to give me children. That he had no interest in ever marrying…granted, he told me that ages ago." She shrugs. "It's all for the best. I knew we were drifting apart…he wasn't overly affectionate, he didn't want to go public…ha. He said he loved me. But he never showed it. Only time I ever got a strong emotion out of him was when he said those cruel things to me."

"You deserve better, Lilith DeWinter." Kass eyes the madam, shaking her head, "You deserve someone who wants you for you and will sweep you off your feet and take you out for no reason, who buys you flowers not because he fucked up but because he wants to show you how much he cares. Someone who can see all the treasures inside of you and how special you are."

The elf slices a hand through the air, "And you are going to find it. He doesn't want to take you out and show you off? Fuck him. He can't commit because of work? Fuck him."

Lilith watches Kass with hurt filled eyes, face deadpan. "You know what? I could've handled that. Because he said he loved me. He came home most nights and at least held me. He didn't look at me just like a piece of meat." She grabs the whiskey again, taking a vicious swig. "But you know what sucks? What's so bloody unfair? He tried *so FUCKING hard* to get me. He humiliated me in front of Sam, even though he didn't know any better, because he wanted to know where we stood. He yelled and argued with me and convinced me Sam and I would never, ever work afterwards. That he didn't want me to waste my life wanting something that'd never work. That he was a man I could take a chance with, that I had hope with. And now, not a few months later? I'm just a good friend and a good shag!"

She shouts and tosses the bottle into the fire place, where the last few drop burst in a puff of bright flame. "It's NOT FAIR! Now I have *no one*!"

Flame. Fire. Kass watches the alcohol burn itself out in the fireplace, eyes swinging back to Lilith. She is quiet for perhaps sixty heartbeats, watching the other, assessing. "Then it wasn't you, Lilith. Maybe it is some sort of .. competition .. with Sam. A way to try to .." She breaks off, groping for words, for terms that she can put this in. "A way to 'one up him', to get something that he had." She shakes her head, shrugging.

"You have no one *right now*, Lilith. Who says what tomorrow brings? Some young man, some young woman walks in the door and *that* is /your/ someone."

Lilith grunts. "Sam never had me. Never wanted me, not like that, not really. And that's not the problem. The problem is how I never had a chance." She shrugs, hunching over. "No one's going to walk in for me. I'm not going to have the chance you and Ally had. I'm not the woman men will ever look at like that."

Crossing her arms, Kass remarks, "Why is that? You are smart, attractive, well-off, learned. Why wouldn't someone want you, why wouldn't someone look at you like that?"

Lilith shrugs again. "That's the problem. *Everyone* does."

"Everyone does what? Look at you?" Kass raises an eyebrow.

Lilith nods. "That's what I've trained for. That's what I'm used to. Lots of people want me. Just not as a love, not as a true companion, not as someone to even think about spending your life with."

Kass sort of looks incredulously at Lilith a moment, then shakes her head. "I have .. some idea .. of what you must go through." She says this without a hint of self-consciousness, shrugging, "As for what people think about you, unless you have some sort of telepathy, I think you might be mistaken. If you are concerned that they are looking at you that way, get out of the house more and go places that don't proclaim your business to everyone."

Lilith snorts. "I don't want to go anywhere." She says, almost sulkily. "I don't want or have any urge to leave right now. And what if I do go out? Who says I'll find someone?" She rises, sighing and rubbing the back of her head. "I know…I know you're trying to help. I just don't know if it's going to work for me. If I'm really meant for a real relationship."

"You are meant for it, biologically coded for it. If you .." Kass sighs, rubbing her eyes. "You are upset right now. I think you'll find what you are looking for, you just have to wait a little longer."

Lilith shrugs, pacing the room a little unsteadily. "Biologically coded. Ha. The sad thing is that's the only thing I've got going for me right now."

"What is?"

Lilith looks to Kass. "The chance for happiness, I suppose. The drive to mate and match."

"*That* is all you have going for you?" Kasws sighs, rubbing at her eyes. "How much did you drink?"

Lilith points to the fireplace. The shattered remains of a good fifth of ancient whiskey lie there. "A lot. Most of the day."

"I see." Kass leans out the door to the horde of girls expressly NOT listening at the door, "Coffee. A lot of coffee." She closes the door again, "We'll see about purging your system of poisons first and then we can see about fixing other things. Right now, you are .. pretty wasted."

Lilith shrugs and smiles bitterly. "At least I'm normal, aye? Doing the normal breakup things? Getting smashed, opening up to my friends. Bitching about my ex."

"What is normal?" Kass shrugs, frowning and moving to fix the drapes before heading over the fireplace, checking for loose glass near the front.

Lilith laughs, flopping over awkwardly onto the couch again. She giggles drunkenly. "Ain't that the truth! Especially with us. In this group, in this town."

"Very true. We go out and do stupid things for a living; I daresay we are far from normal. Even police and firemen have a *reason* for what they do. We have some small idea on a danger and that is it."

Lilith laughs again, going from maudlin back to carefree. "True, true. At least it's something to do, aye? We got a reason too. Savin' the world and all that."

"I suppose. Me, I'd rather spend my day baking and let the world save itself. But that isn't a really good thing to do, so I help. And you know, we won't save the world today or tomorrow. You won't find love today, maybe not tomorrow. But you will." Kass glances to Lilith, then moves to answer the door and take the coffee from the girls.

Lilith sighs and shrugs. "Enh, either way. I don't think I'm really interested in love right now…any more…don't know about it. I used to. Know everything." She lets out another small laugh. "What a shitty thing to have to wait for and think about."

"It is." Kass considers the fire a moment, then moves to set down the coffee service and pours Lil a cup. "Drink." The elf rises, shaking her head, "Everyone waits, Lilith. Everyone."

Lilith takes the cup, wrapping chilled, pale fingers around it's warmth. She sips the bitter black brew and wrinkles her nose. "Now I know why I prefer tea." Another sip, all the same, and she looks up at Kass. Her expression falls again. "I'm sorry, Kassandra. You keep helping me. You keep seeing me at my worst. You keep dealing with my shit, my darkest moments, all my mercurial vagaries." Wow, she's really, really smashed to be playing with big words so easily. This close, the alcohol fumes rising off her are almost enough to make one light headed. "I'm a bitch. How'm I supposed to repay for being that?"

Kass takes a step back, waving a hand, "More coffee and a bath. You smell like a brewery." She chuckles a bit at that, shrugging, "I don't need repayment, Lil. I don't keep tally on things like this, I stopped keeping score a month or so ago. You are my friend, you .. " She frowns, toying with the hem of her coat. "It is important to help friends."

Lilith blinks up at Kass with the fuzzy, yet oddly focused perception of a drunk. "I'm a wot?"

"You are my friend .. at least I hope you are. Otherwise, boy is my face red." The elf glances to Lilith.

Lilith smiles genially at Kassandra. "Mate, yer Ally's bird. Ally was me first best friend EVER. Now ye are too."

Chuckling, Kass parses that into English and nods, "Well good. And as your friend, I believe I am honour-bound to listen to you when someone breaks your heart. It is in the handbook."

Lilith sniffles a bit. "Aye, Kass, yer a good friend. Yer too good to me." She takes another hearty sip of the coffee, wiping her eyes. "Y'know, I'm really glad to have met ye? To have ye as a friend? Back…back when we was just workin' together, back 'fore Ally was yours, I was always kinda worried 'cause I thought you looked down on me, 'cause I was just a whore to you. I wanted to have friends, deep down. I didn't want people to hate me."

"Look down on you, Lilith? No. I looked down on myself, really. Your .. job .. reminded me of things I've done in the past, is all." Kass sighs, shaking her head, "I don't hate you, I didn't then nor do I now. I just .. it was and is complicated."

Lilith eyes widen, lashes fluttering as she chugs down the last of the coffee, then staggers up and gives Kass…a hug. A big, warm hug, maybe a drunken hug, but meaningful all the same. "Oh, Kass…ye don't need to explain. Ye never have to explain. I've been there. I know what ye mean. S'all right…s'all right."

Kass hugs the drunken woman, patting her carefully. "One day I can explain but .. not now. It's still sort of .. tender." The elf hugs the woman quietly for a moment before chuckling a bit, "Lil, you smell like you have had sex with a bottle of scotch."

Lilith snickers and leans back. She just grins.

"Anyway. It is probably better to sober up and face reality. It is always there no matter how hard to try to hide. Believe me, I know." Kass shrugs a bit. "A bath, some more coffee, a good night's sleep."

Lilith sighs and gives Kassandra an almost…innocent, childish look. Again, for a rare moment, the girl that never was. "Do I have to? I'm not tired."

"You do not have to, no. But after the bath you are going to get tired, with all that alcohol in your system." Kass shrugs, letting Lil decide.

Lilith nods simply. "I'll take a bath. I should…drink water…too, right? So I don't get dehydrated?"

"Lots of water. And I'd say to eat something small, like soup, if you can. Maybe some crackers. Nothing too heavy or too greasy." Kass gestures to the doors, "I'll have the girls vacuum in here and make you something."

Lilith nods. She hugs Kass again, and then makes her way unsteadily to the kitchen. "Going to get some water then. Gotta get started on that."

Kass makes her way to the door, opening it and giving suggestions to the ladies gathered outside. No orders, but strongly worded suggestions on how to what needs to be done.

Lilith pours herself a drink of water. Drinks it. Then another. Then sets the glass down and stares at it for many long moments, tears starting to well up in her eyes as she clenches one fist, her breathing becoming just a little heavier, a hitch in her shoulders. She closes her eyes and lets out a very low, soft, but continuous moan. Hoping Kass doesn't hear her cry.

If Kass hears she doesn't give a clue, giving the girls their suggestions and then moving to tidy up, opening a window to let some breeze in.

Lilith takes a deep shuddering sigh, then wipes her eyes, takes another breath and straightens. The coffee and the water do their work, and her head starts to clear up a little bit. She downs another glass of water, takes another slow breath, and then grabs some dry crackers out of the cupboard and moves to sit on the edge of her bed. She munches steadily, mechanically, watching Kassandra bustle about. "Aww, Kass…you don't have to trouble yerself so."

Kass waves a hand, "It is no trouble, Lilith. I am not much of a runner these days, and I am not much of a fixer. But I am getting better at cleaning, and that is enough." She shrugs, then the door opens and several of the girls bring her a vacuum. "Go bathe. Celia, Reina, could you help Mrs. DeWinter or at least make sure she has everything she needs?"

Lilith blinks, then lets the somewhat wary girls take her arms and help her to the bathroom, looking over her shoulder at Kass. They disappear, and soon the sound of running water and then vile, soft voiced Cockney cursing. "…fecking….cold…what the HELL…."

Kass looks around the corner of the bathroom, making sure that everything is alright. She hangs back, otherwise cleaing up.

Lilith emerges several minutes later, looking nothing so much as a draggled cat with her long, thick hair hanging in long, rope thick strands around her face. She shooes off the girls, who flee the room, and grumbles as she wanders back over to the bed. She's clean, dressed in her white comfy pants, but still not entirely sober. "Oi, Kass…looks grand…"

"Not entirely, but it will do for the night. You .. sleep. Or at least rest, neh?" Kass rolls the vacuum out into the hall, then comes back for a moment. "Everything will look brighter tommorrow .. at least the parts without the hangover. I've mentioned to the girls to wake you quietly and make you breakfast."

Lilith looks dumbfounded. "FOOD? Are ye mad? When I'm hungover? I'll be si…." Speaking of. There's a lot of poison floating in Lil's stomach right now. Food does not help her. She goes a peculiar shade and bolts for the bathroom. The door slams shut and very locked behind her.

Kass mentions through the door. "And this is why I don't drink. I'll have the girls come fish you out in a bit. Stay in bed! Alone!" The sounds of Kassandra's laughter fades as she heads out.

Lilith just answers with a miserable wail and then more retching.

March 12, 2009

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