2008-04-08: They Also Serve


FutureHeidi_icon.gif FutureDL_icon.gif

Summary: In the distant future, D.L. and Heidi - old friends at this point - talk about the world as it is. Heidi's got a secret.

Dark Future Date: April 2011

They Also Serve

A Makeshift Church

Not a whole lot of gatherings happen anymore.

Too many people in one place, the Powers that Be not quite so understanding about peoples' social lives anymore. Somehow, though, events like funerals are occasionally well-attended, and if luck is on the side of those paying their respects, they won't all be blown up by some errant bomb, or killed by a hail of bullets.

It's not really a funeral. It's more of a memorial, since it's not even in a church. The body was so badly mauled and mangled that the casket is closed - if there's anyone in it at all. The box is made of untreated and undecorated wood; the minister is wearing jeans and a t-shirt with holes in it. The service is made doubly dangerous by the fact that the deceased was evolved, unregistered, and thought to be extremely dangerous. Some people, though, called her a friend. Wise. Patient. Kind.

The building is dusty, dark, and filled with the few dozen people brave enough to chance such a meeting. A blue-eyed woman shoulders her way through the door, gives two volunteer guards on the other side an uneasy smile, and sits down in the back row, away from the other mourners. Heidi's hair is pulled back, grey almost dominant over the black now that it's been a few years. The scar down one side of her face is still plainly visible, wrinkled and pitted with age, and her hands shake. In a vain attempt to get them to stop, she weaves her fingers together, looking back at the door as she waits for someone else she knows to arrive.


Time. It passes. Almost the way that the next person that comes into this building seems to just pass through the door. Literally. The large and particularly muscular black man that phases through the door could look familiar to some faces and maybe not. But with this funeral being the way it is and the people that are invited being… the way they are. It's all about the entrance. Being as quiet as he possibly can, though, he looks as if he's almost only partially lingering. Could have something to do with his uneasiness of being here in the first place. He's dressed in what could be considered his normal attire for these days and ages, black jeans and a black hoodie, with the hood up. Mourning.


Ah, there he is.

She first met D.L. a couple years ago as she was helping him to avoid capture. You can't really meet people in this line of work - namely, aiding Evolved who don't want to be treated like animals - and not become fond of them on some level. It didn't seem fair… Then again, Heidi was a little biased, knowing quite a few people with abilities herself. Therefore, she doesn't seem too surprised when D.L. just walks through the door. "Hey. Haven't seen you in awhile," she says, nodding him over to the bench, before turning around to face the front of the makeshift church. The minister's been talking for awhile, but with no electricity in here, she can't hear him. That means he can't hear her, either.

She's quiet for awhile. "Thought you'd be here, though. I'm glad. She'd want you to be here." When the shaking gets too obvious, Heidi puts her hands into her jacket pockets, closing her eyes and taking a shuddering breath.


D.L. notices the fact that he's being summoned over by the familiar face. And that's enough for him. Still as quiet as a mouse, he moves himself over to the bench and drops himself down next to her. He leans back and reaches up to pull the hood down. "Shoulda' been there." Immediately, the D.L. is flirting with the option of being all guilty about this and what not, but it doesn't last long. His eyes are faced forward, off in the direction of where the minister is doing his thing. "How you been?" is being asked in the next moment, as it seems like Mr. Hawkins has caught glimpse of Heidi's shaking. Too obvious is always a good indicator.


"There were people there," Heidi assures. "Not much you can do against a shot to the head, though." Among other things that are better spoken about outside of church - even if this isn't really a church. There's God in it, and that's enough for some people. Enough for Heidi, anyway, who's always been religious.

"That's her daughter in the front row," Heidi goes on, pointing. The girl in the front row is sitting as stoically as ever, even though she only looks to be in her mid-teens. "No ability that anyone knows of, but she used to think her mom was the coolest person in the world. Now she doesn't have anyone left."

And this is the 'war' that's being fought.

A not-so-cheery smile is offered to D.L. "You want the truth, or do you want me to say 'everything's fine' and leave it at that?"


"I know what that's like." are the words that come from D.L. in the moment that he's looking off in the direction of the deceased's daughter. He knows all about that, indeed. And this is why he's taking a moment to even possibly consider giving the daughter someone. But with the life he's leading, it might not be such a good idea. So he just sighs and turns his eyes in the direction of Heidi. "The truth will set you free. Or at least make it so I don't have to guess." And he's paying attention to Heidi now. Even turning his head to look at her.


Everyone's lost someone. It sucks. That could be Heidi's whole story.

"You know about the Formula, right?" Heidi avoided it like the plague for a very long time. In fact, she hated the entire idea of it. Didn't mean she didn't help those who took it who needed the help, but it complicated things beyond any sort of reason. There was a reason she disliked it so much, though.

"I was … Someone decided they wanted to get back at me for something. Unloaded a syringe of it into my back." Pulling her hands out of her pockets, she holds them palm-down so that D.L. can see them clearly. Then she looks up at him.

"I kind of thought that if I just never took it again, if I just let it work its way out of my system, I'd be okay." Heidi shakes her head, though, hands going back into her pockets. "Then I started shaking. Then it started hurting. Someone I was hiding got me another dose, 'cuz he didn't want to see me die."


D.L. knows a few things, but he's not sure he knows all of the details and what not. He's too busy trying to do what he can on his side of the war. Since he's chosen to be on his own side. And that's the best side to be on during these days. "I'm not sure if that was nice of him or not." D.L.'s not really sure if he should be doing that thing where he's making jokes. Jokes may not be the best thing to happen at the moment. Since, well, there's no precedent for them right now. Though, he's looking at her hands to take in the sight. "So. You gotta' keep this going to survive?"


"I don't know, either," Heidi says, looking toward the front of the church. Restless, she pulls her hands out of her pockets again and crosses them over her stomach. She can't think when she's like this. "I remembered I was mad at someone once for being completely addicted to drugs. Now look at me."

Someone enters the 'church,' walking past Heidi's bench, close enough to drop a small, wrapped cloth between her thigh and the high arm of said bench. "And I'm using a funeral as an excuse to …" She doesn't want to finish that. 'Get her next hit' would be an accurate way of putting it. The look on her face is plainly guilty, and she has the decency to at least look at the floor as she unwraps the needle and sticks it into her leg. The used syringe is then wrapped carefully back in the cloth and left next to her.

Someone else is going to need it.

"It's… incredibly addictive. I … honestly, the withdrawal is so bad, that I'd rather have someone kill me than go through it."


"I can skip the drugs are bad speech, then." D.L.'s eyes move from Heidi to the funeral as it goes on and back to Heidi. He's not exactly sure he should even be witnessing the stuff he's witnessing, but at least he's here. And he's not doing that running away thing that he's prone to be doing. He's done it for quite some time. Probably why he hasn't seen what used to be his family in eons. "You know. You don't have to go through stuff alone. Maybe the withdrawal is only bad because you don't got a support system." Not that he's offering himself, but he's not -not- doing that either. Hm.


There's a quiet chuckle, preceeding a long silence on Heidi's part. She suddenly looks healthier. Younger. The shaking slowly subsides, and she feels a hundred percent better, too. In the years following the initiation off all this, she's changed considerably. "Yeah, you don't have to tell me," she eventually replies.

The look she offers D.L. is almost sharp when he speaks of her lack of support. She's been tight-lipped on her personal life, and intends it to remain that way. It's something she'd rather not bring into the war, if she can help it. The expression calms, though. "You get used to having an ability, too," Heidi admits. "Especially when you have a really, really helpful one."

Visibly relaxing now, she sits back in the bench and watches the service, barely making out the words of the minister. "So, I told you my dark secret. Now it's your turn. What've you been up to?"


"Sometimes the ability ain't worth what comes with it." Last token of advice from the D.L., as he's more focused on dodging the next line of questioning that's headed in his direction. Since he's, well, not really into doing that thing where he talks about himself or what he's been up to. That's not exactly one of his favorite subjects… or any subject that he cares to get more deeply involved with explaining. "I been doin' what I can do when I can do what I can do." D.L. just offers a small shrug as he says that, to help convey this whole idea of him not really being all that into this part of the conversation.


It's not that Heidi wanted this in the first place. It's so easy to dodge around the blame for it, she's found. She never would have even had to worry about this if not for that initial accident — and now? She just takes it because she doesn't like the pain. That's what she tells most people, anyway. D.L. gets a little more of the truth.

Biting her lip, she folds her hands in front of her. "That's surprisingly forthcoming, coming from you," Heidi responds dryly. After thinking for a moment - really, quite a while, under the guise of listening to the service - she leans in closer to D.L. "If… You know. I could really use someone to talk to. If you don't have somewhere to be after this."


D.L. doesn't seem to be in a hurry. Not with the way he's nice and comfortable on this bench that's ever so uncomfortable. He's quiet when Heidi is quiet and he's looking at her the next time she speaks. There's almost a small hint of surprise in his eyes when she decides to tell him what she may need. "I'm good at that. Listenin', I mean. It's pretty much the bulk of what I do these days, anyway." Of course, that could mean any number of things. But considering the man and the nature of his Evolution, he's probably some kind of ESPIONAGE guru. "But if you need me, I'm there. You know that."


"…Good. Good, okay," she says, blue eyes glancing again at the wrapped needle. The person who delivered it is sitting a handful of rows up, in a line of chairs that looks like it was taken out of an airport terminal.

Eventually, people start to filter out of the church. A few guys who've been standing by pick up the casket and take it through a back door to the outside. Not many people know where the dead are actually buried. Heidi knows that most of them end up in mass graves out of necessity. Not many people have access to the facilities used for human cremation.

The man who delivered Heidi's dose walks by again, and the needle vanishes.

"So that's another one," she mutters, looking up at D.L., pressing her lips together. How do you think this is all going to turn out?"


D.L. does that thing where he stands out of respect. If that means anything. Perhaps he's one of the few that knows where bodies ends up, because his body tends to end up in all sorts of places. But that's neither here nor there. And for some reason, he's pulling his hood back up. It has a lot to do with the fact that, well, he's using it to shield his emotions (which ones he has left) from the world and the Heidi. "Eh. Bad. Worse?" D.L. shrugs, in the midst of offering his unjustified opinion of how things are likely going to be when all this is over. "So long as the handful of people I care about make it through…" And for some reason he's looking over at Heidi when he says that part. "… I'm good."


Unlike D.L., Heidi remains seated until the casket and most of the people are gone. A few remain in the front of the church, though they're off in their own conversation. Eventually, she does stand, pulling herself reluctantly to her feet with the realisation that there's nowhere to actually take D.L. to talk. She has no real home, she's wanted, so she can't go into a restaurant and order a cup of watered-down coffee. "Think I'll be staying here for the night," she mutters. It's not exactly a shelter, but she's sure she can get food and blankets out of someone.

"Think they'll ever get better?" Heidi asks. It's in the face of his statement - people he cares about. And really, that begs a new question. What if there's no one left to care about? "I see different people every day. Not sure who I care about anymore." Even so, she reaches out, hesitates, then takes D.L.'s hand. It's lax enough that he can pull it away, if he feels like it.


"I dunno." D.L. doesn't seem to be pulling away. In fact, there's even a bit of a squeeze that happens when the Heidi takes part in holding his hand. He stares off in the direction of the front of the nonchurch and realizes that things shouldn't be this bad. His mind races through bad thing after bad thing after bad thing and somewhere in the midst of all that, he manages to find a good thought. Something that makes him smile… just a bit. Which he gives Heidi the pleasure of seeing. "That depends on how many more needles she's going to stick into her leg." And with that not-so-cryptic answer tossed in her direction, he's already turning to head off towards the nearest wall… hand-holding Heidi to pull her along. "You can stay with me, tonight. Just don't hog all the covers."


She almost cries when he squeezes her hand. It's not because she's sad necessarily, but because she's been so desperate for any sort of human contact that this is a Godsend. Appropriate, given where they are.

And D.L. isn't the only one who can only remember the bad. Sometimes, it's hard to think that there can be any good at all in the world anymore, but there is. Somewhere. Maybe here and now. This is essentially a split second of peace in all of that, and it feels good. Maybe after this, she won't feel so compelled to keep searching out the expensive drug. Maybe she can finally—

Stopping herself before she gets to that happy ending in her own mind, Heidi realises that she'll never be able to. Even with all the willpower in the world, she'll just need more. There's no one in the world who can help her stop. "Thank you," she responds simply. "I'll try not to."


D.L.'s taking his sweet time making it to the wall. And it could have something to do with the fact that, well, he's making sure to start the preparation of phasing both himself and her through the thickness of it. He doesn't want to make any mistakes or anything. "Good. Cuz then I might have to reconsider letting you stay for as long as you want." Yeah, maybe the D.L. has managed to secure himself a place to live and all that, but with nobody to share the space with… it gets kind of dark and lonely and everything else. As they get closer to the wall, he squeezes that hand of hers even tighter. "Now, this may tingle…." Time to get his phase on.


Good, because Heidi doesn't want pieces of herself left behind in the wall, either. She's left enough behind over the years, and she doesn't really want to add, say, an arm to that pile.

Heidi attempts to suppress her own smile. It's only mildly effective. "This problem could easily be solved by letting me have my own blanket," she suggests, one eyebrow raising just a little as he approaches the wall. There's a small tug on her end, because - despite everything she's seen - she's still not so keen on walking straight into a solid wall. "What about the door?" she has to ask. "I mean, I'm not… scared or anything, but the door is, you know…" Nodding in the direction of it, she finishes, "Right over there."


D.L. just grips tighter and makes sure the phasing goes through his body and into her hand and up into her body so that she too can be all phased as he passes through the wall and brings the woman with. And once on the outside, he's got the audacity to smile and everything else that goes along with showing off his puny ability. An ability that has saved many a life in recent weeks. Not just his own. "Yeah, but using the door would've been nowhere near as cool." And now it's time to address the blanket situation. "If I get my way, neither one of us'll be needin' a blanket tonight."


Once she feels it, Heidi's sure as hell not letting go. In fact, as soon as they're through that wall, she's still holding onto D.L.'s hand for dear life, as if she'll fall apart if she releases him. There's a good couple moments where D.L. will really get to revel in her wide-eyed stare, if he so chooses. She just went through a solid wall.

Once she collects herself, she looks behind her to make sure there's still a wall there. Chancing the consequences, Heidi also lets go of his hand with one of hers, and reaches out to touch said wall. Just to make sure.

Yep. It's a wall.

"Huh," she says.

His next statement does make her cheeks flush just a little, though she recovers. Kind of. "I'm not sure what to say to that. So." Finally allowing the smile to appear in earnest, she adds, "Lead the way?"

The world can't be all bad. It just can't. There's always small moments, even when everything seems to be falling apart around you. Tomorrow, it might not seem like it matters, but it's small kindnesses that can keep a person going just a little longer.

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