2010-06-28: Stranded



Date: June 28th, 2010


Circumstance appears to be an enemy of Tracy and Ivory. Or does it?


Off Fiji

Welcome to The Middle of Nowhere, Pacific Ocean.

The breeze that drifts in off the sea is warm, filled with the smell of saltwater and nothing else — there isn't anything else for who knows how far. Above lush green, the sun that had once been high in the sky is starting to sink downward — still bright, it shows no signs of the eclipse that seemed to signal danger.

Not that either of these two had a chance to sky-watch.

The small motorboat that once contained several men with guns cuts awkwardly into the sand of a beach below a cliff-face, dead silent. Every inch of the vessel seems to be covered in water, much like its occupants: not men with guns, but unlikely castaways Tracy Strauss and Ivory Wynn. " — I don't know, some… island," the former is in the midst of saying, none too pleased about any single development of this day. She presses her hand against the man's bullet wound — she's none too pleased about that either.

Bleeding to death with Tracy Strauss is not on the top of the list of his favorite things to do. There are much more intense things that he'd love to do with Tracy Strauss. Instead, he is just kind of lying here, bleeding. Which is probably not a good thing.

"What happened? Did you…?" the question comes out with genuine worry, not anything that could be considered accusatory. He's honestly too SHOT to be worried about who to blame. He just wants to know why he can't make his Enthrallment work. This is not good. Not good at all.

Ivory's been asking questions since he regained consciousness. It's a wonder Tracy hasn't punched his lights back out, yet.

It truly is. Lucky for Ivory, Tracy isn't really a punching kinda girl. "Did I what? Get stranded on an island? Yeah, looks like," she says sarcastically. Her hand lifts from the wound at the man's shoulder and she looks at the blood on her palm with equal parts concern and disgust. At least almost equal; the latter wins out by a few increments in her impatience. "Uhhrgh," she mumbles through a hesitant grimace, narrowing her eyes. "You've gotta get this fixed up," she announces obviously before her eyes skirt around the grounded boat. "Try to keep pressure on it," she instructs, setting aside some of her annoyance to be logical, shifting to stand up from her knees, a balancing act since the boat is not quite sitting evenly.

"You're very angry, these days. Did you know that?" Ivory's trying to make random conversation, it seems. But then his own hand is replacing hers, making sure that his blood is being held into his arm as much as it possibly can be. "Look, if it's between you and me getting out of here alive, maybe you should just leave me for the buzzards and make a swim for it. Ain't water like… perfect for freezing?" Once again, the Wynn is trying his hardest to make sure he's being as chivalrous as humanly possible.

"My— … " Tracy, looking up at the cliff-face ahead of them, to the tops of green trees above, cuts herself off with an uneasy frown, her gaze going back down to Ivory reluctantly. Even once she looks down she's looking away again. "They haven't come back," she answers, her voice just a hint too low to be as spiteful as she meant it; the thought scares her. "…I'm as stuck here as you are. 'N'— I dunno how to make this boat start running again."

"If we can get my arm fixed, I'll see what I can do about patching it up?" Ivory sounds like he's confident in his abilities to deal with the boat, but who really knows if he's capable of making it ocean-worthy again. "Y'know, unless this is some crazy twisted plot to get me alone on a deserted island so that you could have your way with me. Because, if that's the case, you better hurry before I start losing consciousness again." Ivory must be trying to make light of the situation, because even as he speaks, he ends up pushing himself up into a more seated position. "Maybe we should see what's up on the land…"

Tracy has a quick roll of her eyes for Ivory's joke (it better be a joke), her jaw tensing. She looks back up to their new whereabouts, lifting a hand to shield her eyes from the sun. "Maybe there's water— or… people. A phone," she says, high on determination but low on optimism even as she says it. Still, she'd very much like to know where they are. "I found a map in here, and … some water— but it won't last long." She crouches to take an army green canteen (gross) from the compartment next to the boat's navigation, previously investigated, and hops her bathing suit clad self onto the wet sand. She's dressed for the beach, and this is a beach, all right, but she's ill-prepared for an adventure. She looks back to Ivory over her shoulder. "If you're not up to it," she offers; her gaze is studying, her words are flippant. At odds. "I can check it out by myself."

Stumbling, it takes Ivory a second to follow suit. He almost falls, but manages to hop from the wet boat to the wet sand and takes a breather shortly thereafter. "If you think I'm gonna' let you wander around an island nobody's ever heard of, alone, then you don't remember me at all." Ivory takes a little dig at Tracy's memories, before huffing to himself and starting off in some random direction. Blood dripping with each step. "Let's just see what we can find so I can get away from you, Ice Queen." Hmph.

The beach crescents out of sight around the rocky crags of the cliff on either side. There's no going up, so they go around. Random direction seems to be as good as any.

"Yeah, well, you think you know someone…" Tracy murmurs cynically as she walks along the sand, her steps slow — but still keeping just ahead of Ivory. She casts her head down, half her face becoming hidden by long hair gradually drying in the sun in strangled threads of blonde. "Do you have any idea who those guys were?"

"Not one." Ivory takes the moment to glare off in Tracy's direction, while trying to make sure that he can stay keeping up with her. It's a pride thing. "I figured they were with you, since they kind of invaded my personal boat. Kinda' like you did." Ivory's tone has decided to come along with the accusations, this time. She started it! Not being civil and all!

"They were not with me," Tracy informs Ivory matter-of-factly, complete with an incredulous expression of raised brows; not that he can see it. "But whoever they are, I can't say I'm surprised — you made a lotta enemies."

Noticing she's hastened her pace, Tracy slows down, though it doesn't seem to be out of pity; it's to look at him while she talks to him this time. She gestures with one hand. "Maybe— maybe they had some kind've… anti-ability solution like the Protocol. Does yours work?" That hand goes higher, palm splaying, and she's suddenly turning around, ready to back up. She can't slip or freeze her way out of it were Ivory to use his ability on her; it would just be him versus her willpower, and she is all too aware of it.

"Dunno." Ivory responds, shrugging the one good shoulder that he has. Ivory stops to turn and look at her. His eyes are about as honest as they can be at this moment. He's in too much pain to lie. "I promised you I wouldn't use it. So I'm not." He's pretty sure that'll mean something. Because he's turning away from her and stomping with a little more purpose to try and put some distance between himself and the Strauss. "Let's just find a phone and you can go back to pretending you weren't trying to kill me for doing the only thing I could think of to do in one of the most hectic times of our lives." Bitter, much?

"If I had been trying to kill you? You'd already be dead." Sounds like Ms. Strauss has had some practice in the area since last she saw Ivory — even back then, she had deadly potential. By now, stopped completely in her tracks in the sand, she lowers her hand to her side. "I just wanted to see you. " And not in the way he may be used to from women under his spell. She had to see him alive for herself. "I needed some answers," she says sincerely, not without that same bitterness. "I know you've been messing with my life. If you wanted to get my attention, you got it. But all I wanted was to be left alone."

"Goddammit, Strauss. I have NOT!" Ivory whirls back to look at her and wobbles. The pain in his arm is coming back and he winces. "Shit." He winces and just kind of takes a moment to try and compose himself. "You know the first thing I did when I got back to the States? I picked up the phone. I dialed your number. And I hung right up." Ivory sighs. "I had no right to call you. Not after everything I put you through. Not after 'dying'. Not after… the whole Protocol business." He shakes his head, still not happy with how he handled that situation. "Answers? To whatever you think I've been doing? I don't have. Because, and you can ask anybody at my club, I've been working my ass off trying to get that place going. So unless messing with you came underneath the constant auditioning, hiring and remodeling of a gentleman's club…"

"Well someone has been sending me messages— " Tracy points at him around the canteen, " —of things only you could know about." Ivory's former advisor sounds awfully convinced. She doesn't back down easily, but despite her doggedness, a real thoughtfulness touches her resentful blue gaze, at least causing her to think, if not rethink. "And in less you have a body double…"

Tracy trails off only to pick up a new track: "I mean, you must've heard I was getting Malden an appeal, and— " she laughs, faintly, under her breath, not a humorous sound, "that I'm fully prepared to blame you for everything — shouldn't be a problem for you since you're supposed to be dead." It's all a very strange conversation to be having, stranded, on the beach…

"I'm done with politics. That part of my life is over. What I thought I was destined for turned out to be nothing but a sham. Come to find out that the people I thought were on my side were trying to destroy the people I belonged to. You think I want anything to do with that life again? Ever?" Ivory manages to scoff. "There's a reason I died." Ivory tries to shrug away these accusations and Tracy's disbelief of his earnest statements. "I didn't take anything with me when I died. So everything I knew, the government very likely confiscated or has under their wraps by now. As far as I know, all of our secrets are still secrets."


"Body double?"

Body double? Not worth repeating, in Tracy's eyes; all things considered — her own body double trouble — maybe she should take the possibility more seriously, but she only lifts her brows and gives a mild scoff under her breath.

"Then why didnt you change your name?" she counters flat-out. "All you did was go from Ivory Wynn the Senator to Ivory Wynn the slum lord. Doesn't say to me you're quite ready to turn over a new leaf. I found you. Those men on the boat found you. You're not forgettable, Ivory." She turns around, begrudgingly resuming the trek along the beach. "If we get off this island? Some day, your past— it's gonna catch up to you too."

"I like my name. My Mama gave my my name. Ain't nobody, no government, no ice queens, no nobody gonna' take the only thing I got left away from me." Ivory's counter is quick and almost too ready. It was like he was waiting for that question. Or any question like it. "Maybe I don't want to be forgotten. Maybe I just don't want to be remembered for all the bad things I was forced to do." He's not taking responsibility for that crazy government. "Maybe I was hoping you'd find me… but not like this." He shrugs half-heartedly around the doom-filled island.

"Look. I don't know what's going on with you. Or who's trying to do whatever. But if they're using me to get to you, then maybe we can help each other."

A few things stick with Tracy. Her steps slow; she thinks. Ultimately, though, all Ivory gets is a shake of blonde hair as her retreating figure beelines for a natural path that travels up the rocks onto higher ground. "Mm, and trust you? No. You can be chivalrous all you want, Ivory, I'm never going to do that again. I'll help myself."

And at the top of a steep embankment Tracy travels up? Wilderness. Lush, green, imposing jungle. "… well that's promising."

Ivory doesn't follow. Not this time. He just kind of watches… while trying to catch his breath and making sure that he's not about to pass out. "What is it that you want from me, Tracy? I didn't know what I was doing. How are you going to stand up there and punish me for something that I wasn't even in control of? Are you telling me that you've never lost control of your little freeze ray hands?" Ivory's pretty bitter about this whole subject. He cannot believe she's treating him this way. And he's shot! "You want me to go back in time and stop myself from ever meeting you? Thus stopping myself from ever inadvertently and unintentionally mind-whammying you into liking me? Cuz if that's what I gotta' do, then I'll make that my new goal in life." Slight sarcasm, with a hint of genuine frustration.

Tracy stays at the top of the embankment for more than truly necessary; she has no particular desire to tromp through the jungle. She presses a few fingertips to her forehead before marching back down, all the way to Ivory. Despite the determined stomp of her bare feet, her eyes — though clearly showing signs of frustration — have softened. Faintly. "… I know … how hard it can be controlling the kinds of things that we can do," she admits — even sympathetically. "I believe you didn't mean to do some of what you did." Her lips pull uncomfortably into a melancholy, bitter smile on one side and she shakes her head. "But not everything." She turns around to keep walking. She changes topics briefly to shout back: "I don't think we're going to find anything out here!"

Ivory sighs, but has rested enough that he may be able to try and keep up with Tracy a little more. "I'm gonna' have to stitch this up myself. I'm not sure how much more blood I can lose." Truth be told, he does seem to be getting less stable on his legs. Bloody fingertips go to his forehead, as he starts to feel a little light-headed. Which can't be good. "You're right, though." He looks down at the ground near his feet, trying to find something to focus on so he doesn't pass out. "I did do some things for personal reasons. But I swear, out of everything that I did, I never once wanted to hurt you. Or wanted you to even get mixed up in what I was involved in. All I ever wanted to do was help you. And that's…" Ivory seems to realize something. "… that's what I'm gonna' do the second we get off this island." Uh oh. What's he thinking now.

"If we get off this island," Tracy corrects. Evidently, doesn't even want to know what Ivory has going on in his head now. She's listening, however, you can be sure of that; but she goes silent, focusing on trying to discover more about their surroundings. Beautiful surroundings, and so far no sign of civilization. Tracy only glances back to make sure Ivory hasn't passed out yet.


There goes Ivory's body slamming into the ground. He's barely still conscious, but he's clearly trying to hold on. He's losing the ability to focus on much of anything, but he does manage to narrow his eyes at Tracy. Clearly, he's using her for a focal point in whatever last thoughts he's going to have before he blacks completely out.

"I'll… confess."

Black Out.

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