Date: May 1st, 2010
The reunion of an ice queen and an ice princess is, unsurprisingly, not very warm.
"Sex, Politics, and Sass"
The house in New Jersey that was, until very recently, one of the scattered safe havens for people who were hunted for being extraordinary, is now desolate.
It's a good thing; people have moved on. They're safe.
But against the blue backdrop of a day that just turned into evening, all its lights off, the old three-storey red-doored building somehow seems more empty than it used to. It's not that it seemed full of life from the outside to begin with. Maybe it's the small assortment of cardboard boxes sitting on the front step. One holds clothes, in garment bags atop odds and ends; from another, the neck of a guitar protrudes. Neither of the owners live here anymore.
In the driveway are two parked cars. One's a rental, rented to one of the people who presently stands near it: a woman in a grey blazer jacket and white denim, Tracy Strauss. She hands a set of keys off to an sixty-something man who seems to be the new owner of the house; Tracy smiles, sees him off. No moving in for him today as he gets in his car and pulls away, leaving the prior temporary owner alone on the quiet road in front of the even quieter house.
It's been a good couple weeks since she's been here, but KeLyssa has returned to that old safehouse. It's the first time since she left, after proposing to Nathan and Tracy. She hasn't forgotten her guitar though. She paid a pretty penny for that guitar! And gosh darned it if she's not going to get it back! So, finding a cab that would take her this far out (not hard, since they'd be making a fair bout of money for a return trip), she directs the cab to the address, showing him where to go once they get to the area.
The cab slowly comes to a stop as it approaches the old looking house. Telling the cabby to wait for a minute, KeLyssa steps out of the cab and looks starts for the building. Her gaze first notices all the boxes on the front step. Then, she looks toward the driveway, noticing a person there. She gives Tracy a tiny wave of her hands. "Hey there, sug." She says, with a sugary sweet smile.
Tracy takes a quick turn as soon as the new owner's car has left, blonde hair whipping off her shoulder. She's just started to take strides toward the front steps when the taxi appears; expecting it to be the same car as before, forgetting some detail, she has a smile on her face, poised to be professional as she looks down the driveway.
When it turns out, instead, to be someone more unexpected, her features immediately fall. Her eyes narrowing a touch, brows drawing in ever-so-slightly, Tracy's scrutiny of KeLyssa is almost hostile; more than anything, though, it's suspicious and unsure of the girl and her sweet hello. "KeLyssa…" At least her voice is amiable. "Good to see you're alive."
Of course KeLyssa would greet Tracy sweetly. At least in the presence of another human being, I.E. the taxi driver. "What this all goin' on now? Movin' out, are we? Sure looks that way ta li'l ol' me!" She says, flashing a wide smile, glancing back at the taxi driver quickly before turning to face Tracy again. "I sure am hopin' ya found a good home fer all those sweet, kindly li'l children. They were ever so precious." She tilts his head to one side, her hair hanging to the side. "I'm tryin' ta find m'guitar. I gotsa feelin' that I lef' it here, an' I'd like it back ever so much."
Tracy, turning to face Lyss fully, glances past the sugary Southerner to the waiting cabbie and adopts a thin smile of her own. "They're all back where they belong — there's no need for this place anymore. It's been sold," she replies. As for the guitar— "Your guitar's here." She gives a faint nod of her head in the direction of the house before resuming her walk toward it, a few high-heeled steps taking her to those boxes. KeLyssa's guitar is rather unmistakable, propped precariously in one box and against the rail.
KeLyssa follows Tracy up to the boxes, listening as the older icy lady talks. "Well, m'certainly glad ta hear 'bout 'em gettin' back ta where they belong." She says lightly. "Me…I ain't in my old place no more. Goodness no. Ifin anythin' like this happens 'gain, I wanna live someplace where I kin be a li'l more…inconspicuous." She says, nodding firmly. "An' I'm workin' at a strip club now. Big jump from workin' as a secretary fer a senator."
TMI. As she comes to stand in front of the red door, the tightened smile Tracy gives the younger woman holds back her words. She is, maybe even literally, biting her tongue. "I hope you don't expect to work in a political office ever again," she says, posed casually but her sharp edge gives away her judgment. Never mind what she knows about her sister. Niki was identical; KeLyssa has Tracy's ability. Is she cursed with everyone remotely like her being a stripper?
KeLyssa snorts. "'Don't expect to work in a political office ever again.'" The girl repeats, shaking her head with an amused glint in her eyes. "Don' think I don't hear the judgement in them words. Those are judgin' words." She states simply. "Ain'tcha forgettin' somethin' in that pretty li'l head o' yours? Politicians like hookers an' strippers. There ain't denyin' it none. They jus'…don't advertise it much. Look at Bill Clinton, fer example. I'm sure Monica Lewinsky ain't the only one he had 'improper relations' with. I'm sure there may've been some hookers an' strippers in there. So I ain't so sure yer totally correctly. I may jus'…'work' again in a political office yet."
The shoulders of the political advisor immediately square back, her head lifting as her demeanor chills over. Her head tips to one side as she settles a contrary, self-assured look on KeLyssa. "Trust me— " Tracy's voice is sharp, cynical… and just a bit defensive. " — there's a difference." She reaches down to grasp the neck of the nearby guitar and hauls thing, heart-shape and all, out to thrust at its owner. "Well I hope you have enough cash on you t' cover the fare your taxi is racking up."
KeLyssa keeps her sugary sweet plastered on her face, as she tilts her head once more at Tracy. "Awwww, have I upset the itsy-bitsy 'political advisor'? I'm sowwy." She lets out a giggle, though there's no humour in it, as she takes the heart-shaped guitar from Tracy. "Thank ya kindly, sugar pie. It's been wonderful seein' ya again. We should do it again sometime. Okay? Ta-ta." She says as she turns away, eyes rolled and smile fading as she walks toward the cab. Opening the door and slamming shut as soon as she gets settled back in, she gives the cabby the address of the strip club. Tonight is gonna be a long night.
Tracy tracks KeLyssa's departure with an unimpressed stare and the faintest mocking smirks touching her lips. She can hardly believe the young woman, but gives her eyes a small roll when the taxi door slams. Good riddance. The expression fades into something more tired. Crouching slightly, she stands a moment later with the remaining box in her arms, draped with the packed up clothing that shifts about as she steadies it. Some is hers — but not all. Some belonged to Nathan.
. She makes her way to the rental, slides the box in the backseat. As for Tracy's night, she has the same drive ahead of her … but unlike Ms. Gallagher, she has no work.