2010-01-04: Sanctuary Not Solace



Date: January 4, 2010


Tiago enlists Stephanie's assistance (and condo) to help with the cause.

"Sanctuary, Not Solace"

Stephanie's Apartment

Afternoon at Stephanie's condo. The events of last night have been cleaned up, and right now she's taking a lazy bit of time to sit down and be a couch potato. She's stretched out on her sofa, there's a movie on her television, and there's a plate of cookies near her, along with a glass of milk, from which she occasionally snacks.

It was a sleepless night for Tiago, a night spent in his car, parked in some random city lot with nothing but remorse and pain. With no money and nowhere to turn, he wasn't even allowed the precarious pleasures of drinking his troubles away or spending the night with a stranger. What a sober affair for the man, but after taking account of his life and miseries, only one thing remains: duty. And this is what brings a particularly disheveled Tiago to Stephanie's door. Three consecutive knocks ring out, and with a completely neutral expression on his face, he waits.

It doesn't take her very long. She stands, moving to the door and opening it. To say that she's surprised to see Tiago there is an understatement. She blinks, and looks to him, concern on her face. "Tiago." It's a little awkward, and she steps back from the door, nervously as if he might still be mad at her. "Come in?"

"Were you serious?" The mohawked foreigner grumps out, voice hoarse and rough with disuse. "About wantin' ta help - ta do anythin'. Even if it means dyin'? Even if it means gettin' captured? 'Cause that's the risk you run, y'know. Knowin' that you're goin' ta lose your childhood - your happiness to this." Even as he attempts to dissuade her from the cause, Tiago can't seem to muster up anything but apathy for the situation. Though he recognizes Stephanie's fear, he can't bring himself to reassure her.

She nods. "I wouldn't have offered if I wasn't serious." Scrappy-doo has returned. "Come on in…we shouldn't talk about that stuff in the hall." She motions him to come inside, and if he does, she'll lock the door behind him.

Tiago does step inside the apartment, although he is stiff and uncomfortable. He barely looks over the room, barely looks to Stephanie as he steps off to the side and stands in that almost awkward manner. "You have to be sure. One hundred percent sure, or I can't use you. I'm not going to be responsible for strippin' you of everythin' - you've got ta be fuckin' /sure/ that you're ready ta die for this."

Stephanie nods. "I said I was…that hasn't changed." She looks back to him, and scrappy stubbornness gives some way to concern. "Tiago, please, don't…" She stumbles on the words. "I'm sorry I messed up the other day. I didn't mean to make you mad." she says, looking at him with sad eyes.

Tiago barely cocks his head in her direction, staring at her with cool indifference as she attempts to apologize to him. It takes the man a while to respond - mostly because he isn't aware of what she's apologizing for. "It's fine," he assures her, although his tone isn't exactly reassuring. "I wasn't mad. Well, I was I guess, but I aint mad now." There is the slightest shake of his head, which he follows with the longest, most weary sigh a man can give.

Stephanie moves up to him after he says that he's fine, and with the sigh, she reaches up to put her palm on his chest again. "Look…" she says, her voice quiet. "I said I was in this, and I promised I was. I'm not going anywhere. I'm in this for the long haul."

Tiago looks down to the hand on his chest passively, and for a moment he waits, looking for some sort of reaction within himself. But, he finds nothing. Absolutely nothing. He doesn't even bother to remove himself from her touch - he just doesn't care. "Alrigh'. I believe you, I guess. But don' lie. You're only in this for s'long as it's convenient - that's how people work. They use people ta get what they want."

And that actually gets a slightly angry look. "That's not what I said. And I don't "use people to get what I want". Were you using me to get what you wanted that day you saved me on the corner? Or that guy? Was I using you when I took you and Lena out to dinner? I'm sorry that they got you, Tiago…I really am. If I knew the person who did it, I'd do something about it. But if you let them do this to you…if you let them break your hope, break you…then you're letting them win."

"I'm usin' you now." Tiago points out coolly, dispassionately. "You're usin' me so you can fight 'em. It aint a bad thing - it's natural. The quicker y'learn that…the happier you'll be. Y'just gotta make sure everyone's tryin' for the same thing, that's all." There is a pause during which she tries to prod Tiago out of his apathy, but it doesn't work. The man is broken, and there's no way to fight it. "I'm not letting anyone win. I will kill every single one of 'em before I die - that's all I'm here for. That's all I've got."

Stephanie shakes her head. "It doesn't have to be." she says, her voice quiet. "Fighting isn't enough, Tiago. There's got to be something worth fighting for. But yes. I'm here. I'm not going anywhere. The offer's still open. You guys can stay here if you need to, and I'll do anything I can to help."

"There's no you guys. But I do need a place to stay." Tiago corrects mechanically, finally taking a moment to examine the apartment and, slowly, step back so that he may sit himself on the couch. "I jus' need to meet with some other people I think'll wanna help. I need ta find Dex again - she fuckin' owes me. Then, we'll come up with our plan. It'll have ta be quick an' no mistakes. We've got ta replace everyone in one blow. An' make sure the truth don't leak out."

She blinks. "No you guys…" She repeats, looking upset. "Is Lena okay?" Something happening to her would have explained why he's in this state. "And of course you can stay here. Who's Dex? I can help you find her, if you can give me details." Because details would be good.

Tiago shrugs his shoulders dispassionately, although there is the slightest of discomfort on his face, indicating that this is not a subject he desires to really explore. "She's alive." And that's all that needs to be known. "She's one of you, Dex. Extremely powerful - she can move shit wi' her mind. She'll help me take 'em down. She 'scaped before, an' is now layin' low."

The blonde doesn't press. "All right." Her voice is gentle. Sympathetic. "I'll get the guest bedroom ready for you. And then we can figure out how to get all these people rallied up. Right now, you look like you could use a good meal and some rest." She has that worried look still.

"Steph. I'm fine." Tiago clarifies with disinterest. "I don't need nothin'. I jus'…" He pauses for a moment, before quickly reconsidering. "D'you have advil or somethin'? I got a bit of a headache. I need like, four of 'em. My metabolism's all fucked up, drugs don't effect me much 'nemore." Of course, it's all a lie, but he feels no remorse. After all, he warned her - he told her that all people do are use one another.

She shakes her head. "You do need sleep. And you do need food. And I will get you some Advil." She sounds oddly big-sisterly, tiny little blonde laying down the law. "Blood sugaring is only going to make that headache worse." She starts out towards the bathroom first, to get the pills, then the kitchen. She returns with junk food. Twinkies, can of Pepsi, and four Advil. "It'll be a sugar rush, but it'll help with the headache."

Tiago is not in the mood to be mothered. Twelve hours ago, he would have killed for attention of that sort, begged for the comfort she seems willing to offer. Today, though, all it does is irritate him. When she returns, his jaws are clenched slightly and he proceeds to climb off of the couch, leaning forward to grab at the pills with a grunt of thanks before moving to disappear into the bathroom. Once the door is closed behind him and he has dry swallowed the pills in his hand comes the search - opening and closing cabinets in order to find exactly where the bottle is at. For a moment he stares at it, but soon afterwards, the cabinet is closed and he proceeds to wash his face off with cold water before re-emerging. "I'm not hungry."

She looks at him, her voice colder now. It seems like even the blonde has limits. "Suffer, then. Kitchen's there, food's there. When you get hungry, you'll eat." She turns. "I'll get some linens on the bed. You can sleep when you want." She starts down the hallway.

Tiago stands at the doorway to the room, leaning up against the wall as he watches Stephanie first harden, then get on with her duties. Sleep? Sleep… Silently, he stalks after her, looking to examine his new place with his arms crossed over his chest. He doesn't say anything however - he's merely looking at her, hollow, lifeless eyes boring holes into her back.

She makes the room, and comes back out, looking at him. "Room's ready. Sleep when you like." And much like Lena, she vanishes into another room, shutting the door behind her.

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