Song and Dance

Music. That's the first thing you hear. Bright, cheerful music, grand in it's tones, and a voice….sweet, high, pure and clear, laughing at times, a woman's voice. Singing with such energy, passion, life, with the kind of skill and beauty that comes not from training but from feeling, emotion and a natural gift. Even so, you can sense the power, the range and grace that she sings with, trying to distract from the worry and sorrow she feels.

Inside, it's…Lilith, unaware of the knock on the door, the creak of a hinge, and a baby's laughter, peals of laughter, mingling delightfully with the joyous tones of the music. Maya is *laughing*, in that cute, happy, contented way baby's do, wrapped in a blanket and perched on a massive stuffed toy panda. Lilith…spins and spins, in a big, bell skirted fluffy *pink* dress, bubbling and bouncing along with the music, singing and dancing for the babe.

And for herself.

A commotion may alert Lilith, coming sometime after midnight. There will be an urgent noise at her door from one of the girls, probably Celia as it so often is at times like this, "She is here, Kassandra is coming!"

Indeed, Kassandra is here. She is moving with none of her usual grace; indeed, the elven woman is very grounded at the moment, walking with a definite limp in her left leg. She looks tired, so very tired, the sort of weariness that comes from lack of sleep, from depression, from distress.

She is dirty, which is almost unheard of for Kassandra: you could ask any twenty people and they would be hard-pressed to recall seeing her this mussed, this dirty. She looks as if she might smell of sweat, of fire and smoke and ash, cordite and blood. Her expression is set, almost cold in determination but her eyes are moving, raking the room with a specific target in mind. And she is armed, oh God is she armed. Her left hand doesn't stray far from the pistol on her thigh, and there is evidence of multiple other firearms, a wickedly curved fighting knife strapped to the side of the holster her hand is closest to, shuriken and throwing spikes across her belt.

Lilith doesn't hear Kassandra's approach, the music to loud in her ears, the frantic joy she's trying to push herself through ringing in her head. Be glad for Maya. Stop thinking. She dances and dances, finally losing herself in the role, acting joy, entertaining the girl, not thinking about what could come in the dawn.

Kass doesn't slow, eyes traveling to Lilith's dance routine, to the song in question. She only comes to a stop when she is next to Maya, driven by purpose, by direction, by orders. Only then does the elven girl stop, looking questioningly down to Maya, her right hand straying to the laughing child, letting her take her fingers in her tiny but fierce grip.

Lilith voice rises in a high crescendo…and then lifts in the tail end of a startled, operatic cry as she sees Kassandra. She stops mid spin, eyes wide and staring as her hair tumbles down around her. Maya continues to burble happily, and then shrieks again with joy as she she's Kass…sees her through the grit and mud and blood, just sees her eyes and touch.

"Oh gods, Kassandra!"

Lilith lets out a soft cry of her own, and then takes several quick, but careful steps towards the woman. Irregardless of her dress, of being caught doing something she'd never admit to normally…Lilith extends her arms, eyes filling with worried tears, and wraps Kassandra in a hug. Tight, shaking slightly. Relieved beyond measure but still trembling with fear.

Kass accepts the hug with quiet dignity, neither mentioning the fluffy pink dress nor the dance. She doesn't move her hand away from Maya, letting her daughter hold onto her, the physical contact helping to soften the rough edges on the woman currently.

Her voice is a rough thing, as if she has been smoking unfiltered cigarettes and screaming at a ball game all at the same time. "We're back. Everyone came home." The few words seem to be all she can muster at the moment, stripped of her usual smooth tones, just the facts ma'am. She holds onto Lilith for a moment, then another, letting out a shuddering breath. She holds, barely, her body vibrating with emotion, with exhaustion of more than one type, of concern.

Lilith keeps holding on to the woman, her arms relaxing slightly, offering comfort rather then taking it, offering ease, soothing as she gently touches the back of Kassandra's head in a soft, tender gesture. "Shh." Lil whispers, her Cockney toned voice gentle, quiet. "Shh. I'll be here to help. Help with anything and everything. Hear anything and everything." The simple, quiet determination can be heard as well, the voice of a new woman, and the simple practicality too. She will do it, gladly, freely, and that's all there is to it.

Willpower and determination, that seems to be what is keeping Kassandra aloft right now. There is a tension to her that you find in people that have just been on a dangerous operation or shadowrun, that sort of tightly-wound level of paranoia and self-defense that makes one wonder what they will do if someone drops the crockery.

Kass nods once, twice, her voice quiet most likely due to overuse and damage. She rasps, "I have to take Maya to Ally. I have to be with her." She takes a breath, coughing, shaking her head. "We .. need time. *She* needs time." Looking down at the baby, Kass smiles to her daughter, to Ally's daughter, telling the girl, "Yes Kassie sounds funny love. It's me."

Lilith nods, releasing the woman. When she steps back her delicate pink dress is stained with the same blood and ash, but she doesn't seem to care. A new aura settles around her. She's a gorram *Englishwoman*, dammit. Her ancestors have fought off wave after wave of enemies from the Romans to the fucking Germans. And survived. Determination settles in her features. She's going to be here for her friends, for her family, and she's going to go through worse hells then they have, even, if she has to, to keep them safe and help them heal. "Ally…yes. Yes, of course. I want to see her, at least once, and then I'll give you time." A soft smile, and then she peers closely at the other woman. Her voice settling down to a simple quiet that falls like drops of water…

"Kassandra. What about Samuel?"

Kass swallows, forcing the words out through her sore, abused throat, casting a look around for Maya's bag. She'll move to retrieve it, staying as close to the baby as she can before and thereafter as she repacks, "I don't know if Ally will see anyone right now. She .. wants to be left alone. She is … not well. We are locking down the house, hiding." She coughs again, shaking her head and letting the moment pass before answering the second question, every wall and defense she has snapping into place.

"Samuel is .. alive." She swallows again, her exhaustion and heart-soreness letting more get by than she would like. "He .. got hurt." A truth, if partial. "I believe Marcus is going to take him to see someone, to .. fix .. the, um, damage." The elf coughs again, packing Maya's bag with brutal efficiency.

Lilith nods, her voice still infinitely soft and quiet. "I will see Aladriel, Kass. But. Where is Samuel?"

Silk looks at Lilith, her eyes narrowing slightly, her left hand straying towards her hip. She fixes a gaze on the madam, her words dropping like ice, shattering with brittle cold. "Ally isn't seeing anyone right now." The tone is implacable, the edge obvious. She leaves the glare there, the exhaustion sliding back as adrenaline hits her system again.

"I do not know where Samuel is. Marcus took him away as soon as we landed." Again, truth as far as it goes. She shrugs faintly, moving to hoist the bag onto her shoulder, clearly about to lift Maya next. "He needs time, Lilith. It .. was not good."

Lilith arms around herself as she nods, acknowledging Kassandra. Leave Ally be. "I can…imagine. And no, don't tell me I can't, because I can." Her voice never changes from it's soft, modulated tones. "He needs *someone*. Marcus needs *someone*. If only for a moment, if only for a word. I have spent this entire time…praying….pleading. Fasting. For my *family*. And I *need* to see them." Her eyes lift, unnaturally bright, the shadows once again casting her features into a strange shape. She doesn't speak further, though, unable to properly articulate the thoughts scattered in her head.

Kass doesn't draw the firearm at her side, she doesn't break into a tirade, she doesn't respond for a moment. A beat, then another, and Maya is lifted with exquisite care and held, wrapped, in the elven woman's arms. "I can't speak for him, or Marcus. I can't tell you what you can and cannot do with regard to them." She lets out a shuddering breath, eyes casting down to Maya a moment before she speaks again, moving her head so the baby can play with one of her braids. "We are all in different stages of shock right now, and are all handling it differently. I know you are concerned .. " She hesitates, then finishes, "but right now .. I have to worry more about Ally than anyone else. I have to protect her. I have to keep her safe. I *will* keep her safe."

Her voice hardens just a bit, "I will keep in touch as I can, Lilith. If .. and when .. Ally can see someone I will call." She frowns as Maya tugs hard, pulling her slightly off balance. "I am not being unkind, please forgive my fatigue. I've been beaten, shot at, .. a lot of things. I am going home and locking the doors and taking care of my wife. You might try Marcus' phone rather than Sam's." She will rattle off the numbers from memory, shifting Maya's weight and turning to leave.

Lilith nods, stepping forward again. All she does is plant a gentle kiss on Kassandra's forehead. "Wait." She smiles at the woman, goes to the bed, kneels…draws out a box. Unseen, out of Kass's view, she opens it. Without hesitation she draws out a coin, rises, and turns. Looking right at Kass, she holds out a…gold…coin. Soft, shining, gleaming, one of her treasures. And then snaps it in three pieces.

Three gold pieces are pressed into Kassandra's hand. "One for you. One for her. One for the child. Three, part of the whole. What small gift I can give, I give to you."

Looking down at the pieces of the coin, Kass nods slowly, letting her hand curl around the representation of her family, the gift from Lilith. She rasps, "Thank you, Lilith. I am .. sorry .. I cannot be more .." She frowns, looking for the right word and shaking her head, "comforting." Worry skirts the edge of her expression, eyes casting to the door. "I have to go. I can't leave her long. She needs Maya right now more than anyone." The elf lets her head loll towards the baby a moment before straightening.

"Call first, Lilith. I don't even know that he is in the city anymore. Call *Marcus*, not Sam. He can't .." Kass stops, corrects herself, "He won't talk to you right now. You'll need to go through Marcus." Another lie, another omission. She sways slightly and then shakes her head. "Hitting a wall. I have to go."

Lilith nods. "You don't need to be comforting, Kassandra. That's what I'm here for. Go, quickly, take my Shelby if you have to." Again, another of her treasures offered without a blink. And she notes the pause, the hesitation. "I will speak with Marcus."

Lilith then speaks again. Quietly. "I love you, and Aladriel, and Maya. With all my heart, like dearest sisters. Tell her that."

Shaking her head, Kass remarks, "Car is here, although I parked in your yard. I'll send a landscaper by." She shoulders her burdens, physical and mental, moving to leave with Maya cooing in her ear. "I will tell her, Lilith. We love you too, it .. I .." She pauses again, shaking her head. "I will tell her. Be well and blessings on you."

Lilith smiles again. Now…you notice something else, around her wrist. Probably just a bracelet, not anything to notice, really, but for the tiny cross that dangles from the beaded line. A rosary, if more thought is given to it. One that she takes in her fingers and idly begins to run through her hand. "Tell her, and then I want both of you to tell me. Everything." She just smiles, asking for nothing, just being…there. Ready. "When you're ready, or when you're not. Let me hear it, let me take it on for you. Because I love you all."

"I .. will tell her. It isn't my song to sing, Lilith, but I will tell her." Kass shakes her head, her eyes telling a different story: there are some things you just don't talk about. "I *have* to go *now*." The elf turns, moving with speed she doesn't have, pushing her already sore and battered body past its limit.

Lilith nods. "Go."

And like that, Kass is gone, leaving only the faint smell of burned hair, of gunpowder, of sandlewood and more behind.

March 19, 2009

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