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Fandom Into the fire (1x1 MzHyde/Gallifrog)

Sub Genres
Action, Magical

MzHyde

'Flamebird'
John's sitting position reminded Fia of how she could sit if she was in a single chair and not on a couch. She loved nothing more than to sit sideways with legs either over the armrest or being completely bundled up in said chair. When Chas' head popped up like a meerkat, both Fia and Kay had to smile as the similarity didn't go amiss on either of them either. "tea it is" Kay replied, as she headed to the kitchen whilst Chas alerted Rinaa to the idea of a drink break. She put the kettle on for herself and Chas, whilst she waited for John to finally make a decision on what drink he actually wanted. When Rinaa followed in to the kitchen and found the beer at the back of the fridge, she waited for Rinaa to get out the way before finding some soda can for Fia, taking it out of the fridge and taking it over to her kid.

"seen it online once but that's it" Fia replied to Rinaa as she took her drunk with a silent thanks. She had seen a video once on YouTube of someone doing the trick with a sword they made themselves, along with other little tricks to show off how sharp and actually usable it was. The tricks were impressive but she always got the feeling it was just an excuse for the maker to show off and get the clicks. "you decided what you want John or want me to grab you anything?" Kay asked him, being all aware that he musing to himself with his options. She headed back to the kitchen as she heard the kettle reaching its boiling point where she then pulled out two mugs, teabags and anything else she needed for Chas' tea as she always drank hers black. Making the teas, she brought over Chas' after remembering how he liked it from before then looked at John for his answer, even though she was getting close to just bringing him a beer and being done with it.
 

Gallifrog

Symbolic Animal of Gallifrey
Rinaa's rule of never drinking alone was another reason she was willing to take out a beer. Even if none of the others were having alcohol, they'd be in the same room as her, so she technically wasn't drinking alone, and therefore not breaking vow to her mother. "Yeah I do actually know it." Chas replied, taking his tea with a grateful nod, curling his fingers around the warm mug. "I saw it on QI of all places." "I heard about it from Bobo, who heard about it from Di. She taught him how to do it using the Sword of Myrra" Fia would have heard of this weapon (also known as the Sword of the Night, a mythical blade allowing access to the magical dimensional kingdom known as Myrra. Traditionally the blade was handed down from mage to mage and now rested in the hands of one sentient chimpanzee who was one of John's closest allies"when they were bored out of their skulls in a bunker in an alternate timeline where the world got fucked over with a zombie apocalypse virus. They and a whole other heap of survivors reset the timeline, and as they were close to the singularity, retained their memories" he paused a moment before getting back on track. "It's pretty flashy trick, but doesn't actually require a lot of skill to do.... as for a drink, what the hell, might as well have some space beer."

Rinaa threw him over the bottle in her hand in response, which he easily plucked out of the air and cracked open. Grabbing a second beer from the spot at the back of the fridge she made her way to the free chair. "Anyway, my point is, the trick doesn't work with beer bottles, the sealer at the top needs to be inside the bottle, not around the top of it. Jay nearly cut off a finger when she was younger trying to make it work." "Did she really?" John asked, a note of surprise in his voice. "Yeah she did, obviously none of you, except maybe Fia" she gave a questioning look at her 'cousin' "would have actually looked at her hands in great detail, she has a line of scar tissue here" she traced on her own hand the area where the finger met the palm "from where the finger was stitched back on. Jack never let it go, just like she never let his own hand scars go."
 

MzHyde

'Flamebird'
Kay hovered standing up because one) she didn't want to sit down incase she needed to get something for John, and two) she was enjoying the leg stretch by standing up. She and Fia both listened to how everyone knew about it, (Kay also did but she just nodded her reply) and Fia knew of the sword well, having been taught about it by John. She always found the story of it interesting and curious and always made it utterly clear that she would love to see it in person one day, but has yet to be able to convince John to make that happen. When John said about having a beer, Kay was about to go get it for him when Rinaa just thew him over the bottle she had pulled out for herself, so Kay took that as a
 

MzHyde

'Flamebird'
Kay hovered standing up because one) she didn't want to sit down incase she needed to get something for John, and two) she was enjoying the leg stretch by standing up. She and Fia both listened to how everyone knew about it, (Kay also did but she just nodded her reply) and Fia knew of the sword well, having been taught about it by John. She always found the story of it interesting and curious and always made it utterly clear that she would love to see it in person one day, but has yet to be able to convince John to make that happen. When John said about having a beer, Kay was about to go get it for him when Rinaa just thew him over the bottle she had pulled out for herself, so Kay took that as a sign that she could get her own mug and sit back down, which she did.

Sitting back down, she sipped her steaming tea like it was luke warm and not boiling hot like it actually was, as she listened to what Rinaa had to say as to why she brought up the subject in the first. As she spoke, Fia started to recognise where this was going and she nodded at Rinaa when she gave her the questioning look to her assumption. "yeah, I've seen it. First noticed it during one training session. I think it was the first ever one actually when she completely floored me then helped me up. So naturally as I took her hand to jump up ont my feet again I saw the scar and quizzical me just had to ask her about it" Fia replied after Rinaa was done talking.
 

Gallifrog

Symbolic Animal of Gallifrey
The John in Fia's timeline had only one hang-up about letting Fia meet Bobo and it was age. Out of all his non-human friends, Bobo was actually one of teh calmer more normal ones (once you got over the whole 'he's a talking chimp' part).The chimpanzee and the mage had an unspoken agreement that they'd never go to the other's flat (or in Bobo's case office-apartment combo) unless it was a desperate emergency, so their preferred meeting place outside of the Hall of Justice was Bobo's pub. John had never explained that the problem, having just assumed he'd mentioned that in the pub, Bobo let most things fly, but the one line he never overstepped and rigorously enforced was that no underage drinking was allowed in his pub. With so many mages and Downworlders, this wasn't the kind of bar you could just go to for fun night out and out of respect John wasn't going to break that rule. Once Fia was legal age, he'd have no qualms taking her, so long as she didn't go alone, somebody looking like her would make quite a stir and the message had to be got across that if you fucked with this one, you fucked with John Constantine- an action undertaken at your peril.

Rinaa suspected that Fia would have seen the scar line, out of all the others currently in the apartment she'd probably spent the most time in Jay's company and would have seen allowed to get a) physical close enough to actually see the scar and b) emotionally close enough that Jay would give the real answer as opposed to a vague 'this finger nearly got chopped off once'. "Can't say I saw it when I first met her, but then again her hands were covered with blood from the glass speckled cuts on her torso and her really fucked up leg." "What kind of scars did her brother's hands have then?" John asked curiously. "His are....... were arguably the more impressive ones, he caught a crossbow bolt with his bare hand, and it ripped away a thick line of skin across his palm. The scar tissue over it grew in a very distinctive way, you can see where the sharpened edges of the head initially ripped the flesh off. Had the bolt been going any faster, or if he caught it wrong he'd have serious nerve damage" she paused a moment, then added "it's how they recognise each other when they're in disguise, Jack's scar, a helluva a lotta people knew about that and you COULD make a fake prosthetic of it, though it would take a hell of a lot of time and Jay could easily spot a fake. And coming from the other side very few knew about Jay's scar so if somebody claimed to be her brother and didn't give the correct indicator of knowing her scar, then she'd know it was a fake vice-versa if a Jay showed up with no scar there, Jack'd know."
 

MzHyde

'Flamebird'
Fia never really thought twice about who would or wouldn't have seen Jay's scar on her hand. She knew that Chas had met her way before John or Kay or anyone else, and would have just assumed he'd have seen it during that first meeting, so to hear he hadn't even noticed amongst all the other injuries she had endured, was both a surprise and not a surprise all at the same time to her. His reasons for for not seeing the hand scar did make sense to Fia, as it did to Kay, knowing that Chas would have solely focused on the new injuries to help Jay and not the old scars. When the question came out of John's mouth, Fia had to admit he made a good question. If Jack's was supposedly more impressive than a scar that showed a finger being resewn on, then it'd have to be one hell of a story.

The moment Rinaa said about one of Jack's being because he managed to catch a crossbow bolt in his bare hand, Fia made a wincing facial expression, whilst Kay's conveyed both pain and being impressed. Kay knew how painful it was just to be whipped by a bow string on a standard bow of one brand or another, and growing up she had had her fair share of bow string bruises down her arm that lasted a whole few minutes before disappearing. Despite not lasting long, she still felt the pain of its contact and knew that if that shit hurt like a bitch, then catching a bolt out of thin air had to be seriously painful and downright impressive. "that is impressive that they ended up using it as a way of identifying each other, that Jack could even pluck a flying bolt out of the air to stop it, but as someone who knows what damage bows and crossbows can do? That kind of injury really makes my skin crawl. He's definitely hella lucky to have not lost his hand, let alone anything else" she explained.

"that makes me want to be even more careful with my crossbow violin, or more to the point never let anyone fuck around with it. Being hit by a snapping string is bad enough" Fia commented, as she sipped her soft drink.
 

Gallifrog

Symbolic Animal of Gallifrey
When Rinaa said that Jack's scars were more impressive John knew he was on a winner with his question. Both he and Chas winced at the thought of having their hands ripped open by a speeding crossbow bolt. Both had a healthy respect for the weapon, while it may seem dated compared to modern rifles and machine guns, it was still an incredibly deadly weapon. To hear this twin had managed to catch the bolt prompted John to let out a low whistle and an impressed "bloody hell". The gesture Rinaa made at her palm showed that the scar ran right across it, with some smaller lines on the thumb. It was all too easy to see how, if his hand had been a half a centimetre the other way, he would have lost all his fingers. Both Kay and Fia clearly understood the pain of it, both having extensive experience with archery and being the only ones in the room who'd used a crossbow (Rinaa had helped build one, but she wasn't actually trained in the weapon). If a string hurt that much then being slashed open by the bolt must have been immense agony.

To hear that the twins had used it as a way of identifying each other kind of blew John away. Jay had made it quite clear that she had a very serious reputation as a killer/assassin/mercenary, as did her brother, so using a duplicate for some kind of snare operation would make sense. But no matter how good a duplicate was (they'd seen Deke's shapeshifting in action and it was seriously impressive, but even confessed that unless he knew a person intimately there would be subtle mistakes and inconsistencies somewhere), siblings just knew each other, twins more so than anybody else. "That's really quite something, it's mad to even think about it." "I may not be trained to use a crossbow, but even I know they're bloody vicious. Actually, why did he catch the bolt in the first place? Blokish showing off? Sibling rivalry?"

"Oh he was INCREDIBLY lucky, of that there's no doubt. But he didn't deliberately set out to catch the bolt. He thought it was a knife being thrown at him, Isogrii do that sometimes to keep you on your toes and hone instincts- you've seen the way Jay can pluck a knife out of the air without looking, it's because of that conditioning. He senses something flying at him, nobody thinks to give a warning, he sticks out a hand to catch it without looking, turns out it's actually a crossbow bolt and slices his hand open. But despite the injury he still caught a bolt which made a whole bunch more people respect his skills, it's actually MORE badass in a way that it was unintentional."
Having finished her story she finally opened the beer bottle and leaned over to clink it against John's.
 

MzHyde

'Flamebird'
Kay and Fia listened as everyone said their own opinions and reactions whilst letting Rinaa answer John's question as to why Jack even caught the bolt in the first place. It was a very valid question in Kay's eyes as anyone with (in her mind) sense woulda tried dodging a flying bolt like no tomorrow. To hear that it was out of second nature instinct and training with the isogrii, it suddenly made more sense to her to why he would have just hel dout his hand to catch it without a second thought. "it's equally incredibly bad ass and insane that's for sure. A bow string whipping your skin is bad enough. Hurts like an utter bitch I can tell you that. Granted, my bruising only ever lasted a few minutes compared to anyone else, but the initial impact and whilst that bruise was there? Absolute agony. My first ever one was when I was... 13 I think?" she paused for a couple of seconds as she tried to remember her age, before continuing, "the bruise quite literally covered half of my firearm, swelled the entire muscle up so much you coulda sworn I'd have gotten blood blisters or the like under my skin. I was lucky I have the healing ability I do, otherwise that'd be a minimum of a fortnight of agony and lack of use of my right arm" she explained, using her left hand to show exactly how much of her forearm got bruised.

The fact it was her right arm as well made it all the more frustrating as if she didn't have her healing ability thanks to Fee, then she wouldn't have been able to do any kind of art during that time. As unlike Fia, she was she right handed, whereas Fia was left handed. "so I'm guessing you were incredibly thankful for Fee during that point?" Fia asked, having never heard that story before, though it did bring home the realisation of why future Kay was hesitant to let her turn her violin into a crossbow, especially as Fia's healing ability was still being honed and not as strong as Kay's due to her mage half of her bloodline. "yeah, something like that, though back then I was still thinking I was utterly insane and almost imagining things. I didn't fully understand everything about Fee and myself at that age. Hell, I didn't fully understand it all until I met your dad" she replied to Fia.
 

Gallifrog

Symbolic Animal of Gallifrey
There was a definite edge of 'is this guys stupid or just plain reckless?' in John's voice when he asked the question about Jack's motives, unable to fathom why somebody would willing try to catch something that could easily skewer them dead. Sure he'd done a lot of deliberately reckless things and he had, one more than one occasion pondered what kinds of stunts he could pull with speedster level of reflexes and quickness (the bullet dodging from The Matrix had been one of them, he already had the coat for it after all). That tone wouldn't have been there had he been asking Jay that question, but since it was Rinaa he felt perfectly entitled to let it be heard. Hearing that the guy thought it was a knife and a not a bolt made a hell of a lot more sense. Catching knives on instinct (and without looking at what you were doing) was an impressive skill, so with the Isogrii conditioning it made sense why he'd act like that. Hearing that catching a bolt in such a badass way earned him a load of respect made John smirk. He would have been damn impressed if he'd seen it, especially if the person didn't bat an eyelid at having their hand sliced open in the process.

This was the first time Kay had ever given any kind of example of just how potent her healing ability was. Sure they (by which he meant himself and Chas) had seen Kay die and come back to life in a blaze of flames but that was what phoenix were know for across mythology, so it was hardly the greatest of surprises. Hearing that bruises vanished in mere minutes caused both men's eyebrows to vanish into their hairlines. Chas didn't get any form of accelerated healing with his limited immortality in his day to day life (the fast healing only happened after he was killed and was completed before his soul/consciousness made it's way back into his body) so bruises took the same time to heal for him as it did for John. Both could visualise the sort of injury that Kay was describing and indicating with her hands, John having seen something similar on a demon tortured corpse once and were stunned at how fast it healed.

"Bloody hell, that's ridiculously fast, certainly faster than most Downworlders, bar certain alphas and a few special cases." John didn't bother to keep the impressed edge out of his tone, it was hardly a great secret that he was jealous of anybody who could heal quickly (working with Superman, Wonder Woman, the Flash and Green Lantern certainly didn't help him in that regard). "I certainly don't get anything like that, my mind has well and truly vacated my body any time any healing close to that level happens" he paused then asked in a more tentative tone "is it weird to be jealous of that kind of healing ability?" "Not in my books anyway" Rinaa shrugged taking a large slug of her beer before continuing "I've always been jealous of that particular one, along with the abilities of pretty much EVERYBODY I've ever met. I'd put good money on Jay being jealous of it too given that the healing abilities she has aren't even hers and don't properly work or sometimes don't work at all."
 

MzHyde

'Flamebird'
Kay wasn't one to usually talk about her healing abilities, for the sole reason as strange as it would sound to anyone else, she actually hated it at times. Especially when she was much younger. She hated it because it made her feel even more of a weirdo and someone who didn't belong anywhere than she already did with hearing Fee inside her head so much. Yet she could see how unbelievably shocked and surprised both John and Chas were at hearing just how fast she could heal of she wasn't attacked with iron of any kind. She shook her head at Chas' question about if it was weird to be jealous, she didn't think it was in the slightest as if she was anyone else, she would see why it was something to be jealous of.

"it's not entirely weird to be jealous of it. I can see why people would be. Yet as bizarre as this may sound to you lot, I actually hated it when I was younger, and I guess in some I stances I still do. I'd love nothing more than to suffer for a few days with an injury and feel...well....human and normal" she replied, the longing to be normal just once over something becoming evident in her tone the further to the end of her sentence she got. "yet I totally understand why it's something to be envious of at the same time. It does have its use of course, and I'm pretty sure I'm not that fast at healing some injuries now I'm older, not to mention a lot of it is down to Fee not wanting to 'taint her human form'" Kay used air quotes and a sarcastic tone to show it was a direct quote from Fee, "I mean, she won't even let me dye my bloody hair to not stand out without stripping it out straight away." she added with an eye roll.

"there were times when I felt so done with being hunted I'd just find a hidden spot in an alley or underground shit hole and time how long various injuries would take to heal and if Fee would just let me die for good. Well, you can see how well that went" she added truthfully. She rarely opened up about the real truths of her time living rough, but it seemed like a valid time as ever to really bring home the truths of it. Fia was shocked to hear such truths coming from her mother's mouth. She had never heard such words leave her mother's mouth in her time, and she never knew why she was shut out of that history, but she was starting to really see why. She couldn't even reply to what they were told, just completely speechless.
 

Gallifrog

Symbolic Animal of Gallifrey
John could see where Kay was coming from about hating having this healing ability when she was younger. It would be alienating and would shift your entire world view to realise you weren't normal, that this thing that was so inherent to you, this thing you couldn't control wasn't normal. It was more than just soul-crushing, it was life inventorying really. Every sideways look, every murmured comment you couldn't quite hear became a game of 'oh go do they know? Can they see what kind of a freak I am'. Add in the trauma of losing your birth parents at a young age and it was a mind rife for this kind of mental turmoil. When Kay mentioned about Fee not letting her dye her hair John muttered something into his bottle of beer that only Rinaa's sensitive hearing could properly make out- "purity and preservin' is overrated if you ask me."

Nobody was expecting Kay to open the floodgates on her emotions or her past, out of all of them Rinaa was the only one unaware of the fact that Kay's mental state had been far more fucked up as a child, teenager and young adult than she let on. For the rest of them it was a case of them knowing she was a private person and respecting that by not prying. In particular John, sure Kay had hinted about various traumas in her past as well as admitting to being an outpatient of a psych institution, just as he'd made vague allusions to Newcastle and directly talked about the barbaric mental health 'treatments' he'd been put through, treatments which wouldn't look out of place in the 18th Century. Now that she was talking none of them were going to stop her, if she felt like talking about this trauma, felt she could trust them with it, then who were they to say no? Suicidal intentions and self harm were all too familiar areas for John. He'd dabbled with self harm as a teenager, but never had any real intentions of killing himself. Not until Astra and Ravenscar that is.

With Kay's outburst finished nobody quite knew what to say, platitudes were pointless after all. It was Rinaa who spoke first, deciding that, since it was somebody else who had dragged the conversation down into the darkness she could continue that same dark theme. "Wanting to feel proper, prolonged pain? Or what it's actually like to die in slow and agonising pain. That can be easily arranged and without iron too boot." Rinaa remarked looking up from her beer bottle and levelling her gaze right at Kay, looking her dead on (something she rarely did), her words a sort of fucked up challenge. "I'm not a sadist to the level Sykes is, but if you're enough of a masochist and really are serious about feeling the constant pain of having an injury, I'm your woman. I mightn't have anywhere near Elliott's level of MindWalking abilities, but I sure as hell can push my feelings and memories of pain into somebody for.... well.... pretty much as long as I want these days. I've got plenty of it going spare after all- the joys of the chronic pain of my DNA eating itself you could say. Just be sure to ask BEFORE I kick the bucket." She gave a hollow grin, her eyes dark "cos where I'm going, I ain't EVER coming back."
 

MzHyde

'Flamebird'
Kay knew what she was saying would create a moment where everyone wouldn't know what the hell to say. If the roles were reversed, she wouldn't know what to say in reply herself, but here she was finally opening up about a tiny part of her life and what it truly was like growing up being a phoenix whilst not even knowing she was what she was. Now it was out in the open, she hoped Rinaa could see that Kay really did know what it felt like to be mentally fucked up like she was and if she ever told the teenager she knew what it was like, she was just saying it for the sake of it. Until now, being private and keeping people at arm's length is what had kept her alive this long, but she had also learned to know that these people were her family, her family she chose (or more to the point the universe chose for her) so the idea of keeping them away from everything she was seemingly pointless to her.

When Rinaa finally spoke up, she looked at her back, seeing her look at her dead in the eye which she found unusual to say the least. Hearing that she'd gladly show her and make her feel what she was going through just made Kay nod. "I mean just knowing what it's like to deal with general pains prolonged pains that aren't those migraines I used to deal with. Like I said, I only ever dealt with even pain from bruises for a few minutes at a time before it was gone. But good to know the crazy offer is there" she simply replied, unsure if she would ever actually take the teenager up on her offer, but she was serious about what she previously said about wishing to be normal just once. "you've never told me any of that before" Fia finally spoke up, "I guess my future self never saw the point or would want to bring you down by letting you know the downside of being well...what I am" Kay shrugged, unable to explain why her future self would keep it from her for certain. "it's not exactly a conversation for over the dinner table now is it? And there's worse topics linked to my younger years anyway" she smirked slightly with a shrug.
 

Gallifrog

Symbolic Animal of Gallifrey
Rinaa had no idea where her fucked up offer even came from, the words out of her mouth before she really understood the implications of what she was saying. She did want to take it back, surely pain was the last thing a pregnant woman needed on her plate. But Kay was right in thinking that her words had showed the teenager that Kay also knew what it was like to be mentally fucked up from day one. Whether that was a relief or not, Rinaa had yet to decide, on one hand it was nice to know that somebody out there genuinely understood what she going through and could related to it, but on the other hand, if Kay had been mentally fucked up by her own childhood and the people around her, why did she as an adult, do the same thing to another innocent kid? It didn't make sense.

John and Chas could only stare at them both, still trying to let everything Kay said fully sink in, to fully digest it and give these glimpses into Kay's past life and true thoughts the respect they deserved. Having just about managed to digest Ky's words they were now being thrown a curveball in the form of whatever the fuck Rinaa had just said (the point John was most latching onto was that the teenager had confessed to being a sadist in some shape or form). "Crazy is an understatement I'm not sure where that even came from" the teenager replied, looking away from everybody's eyes again "but since you're not judging me for offering, I won't be judging you for taking it up." Her piece said she returned to her alcohol and let Fia take over the conversation. It wasn't too surprising that future Kay wouldn't have told future Fia this given how many other things future Fia wasn't told.

John having found his tongue felt that now was a good time to rejoin the conversation. "Besides, it's not like any of this is easy to talk about for anybody. You can't just open your mouth and let it all pour out, it's baring yourself in a way that goes deeper than anything else. Actually talkin' about mental health, past traumas and all that comes with? Takes a lot of guts, a lot of balls and a lot of trust to do." This was as close as John would ever come to directly saying he was proud of Kay for speaking like this, so honestly and openly and trusting them with it. "Not to mention that it's a completely taboo subject, no matter how many people say it's okay not to be okay' they almost always don't meant it. It's to make others feel better about themselves, not the ones with the problems. It's ingrained in being British- you make tea, put on a stiff upper lip and keep going regardless. I also have a shit load of stories about how fucked in the head I am, but will I talk about them like that? Hell no, I'd rather die....." an awkward pause as John remembered who was sitting behind him "no offence kid." "None taken" she shrugged "you've kinda described my life plan y'know? The bit of therapy I did attend, it didn't really help as I couldn't give the full details of anything."
 
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MzHyde

'Flamebird'
Both Fia and Kay looked at John when he finally found his tongue and found he could actually speak on the subject. Fia knew John had his dark past, he was the one parent that she did have some kind of inkling to how life was before Kay quite literally fell at his feet. She didn't know everything and that was fine by her, all she cared about was the fact that her family wasn't a complete disaster and compared to Rinaa's, was a relatively good one. She probably knew just as much as Kay did, but whether future Kay knew more or the same amount as this current Kay, she couldn't say. Hearing his words, Fia knew it was his way of saying he was proud of Kay as she was alot more used to his ways of subtle praise than Kay probably was.

Kay could tell from the choice of wording that there had to have been some kind of pride toward her from John, but she didn't say it to get anyone feeling proud of her. In fact, she didn't even know why it all came out when they were talking about weird but impressive scars. It just seemed to flow so fluidly into her own experiences, that it all came out before she could even stop herself. She was just glad her time as an out patient and her horrific time with her doctor didn't come out of her mouth, as she felt no one needed to know that gritty and disgusting part of her life. What John knew from the brief and vague comments she made in private was enough, as she didn't want anyone feeling pity for her. "what those two said. It's not the kind of subject that's easy to talk about. Both John and Rinaa make very valid points. It's been literally years since I spoke about my past so openly. Last time I did, I got told I had split personality...so yeah..not the best topic to discuss" Kay added, deciding that was enough to say as both Chas and John knew already about what she was seen as.

"wait.. Seriously?" Fia reacted at the last part, "yes and that's all I'm saying on that time, trust me. That's not a road you wanna hear about" Kay warned, making Fia nod in understanding, even if she was more intrigued now. The last thing Kay wanted to dump onto her kid was the abuse she suffered from her doctor, the horrific tests and 'therapy' she endured because her doctor thought she was an easy victim to go for as an out patient and one perceived as skitzophrenic as no one would believe her even if she did try and report him. The memories of it coming to the surface was bad enough as she sipped the last of her tea, feeling envious of the fact that John and Rinaa could drink alcohol in this moment.
 

Gallifrog

Symbolic Animal of Gallifrey
Chas knew John well enough to be able to read through the lines getting to the true meaning of what he was trying to say, but wouldn't actually be able to say as he was incredibly repressed in that regard, far more so than the typical white adult male. Chas knew it was down to his abusive childhood, being forced to hide his fear and forced to stifle his cries of pain and anguish. At the same time as he shut those emotions off, he shut all the others off too. It was the same with Cheryl, she wouldn't, couldn't talk about certain things. She was slowly getting better at it, she had the internal determination to try and beat this emotional constipation, while her brother... well sometimes revelled in it, other times used it as a shield against the world. Elliott had made cracks, and Chas could sometimes just bypass it completely, but maybe, just maybe having Kay and later Fia in his life would be able to change it (even if it was just a small portion of the shield coming down). "John's covered it really with that, nothing I can add to that. I see all kinds of people with my job and it only confirms what he's said about how it's a part of British culture to just suppress it all, smile through the pain and keep going."

Chas and John nodded at the mention of split personality, remembering it all too well from the last time Kay had mentioned it. Rinaa on the other hand hadn't heard about it at all, and her level of surprise was on par with Fia's though she didn't probe further, respecting that Kay didn't want to talk about it. It also gave her a pang of sympathy for the other woman. She'd only had Sykes in her late teenage years and that was incredibly rough, but having such a foreign presence as a kid? That had to be leagues worse. "You attended therapy?" That fact had taken Chas by surprise, he really didn't see Rinaa as the type to do that, he had her pegged as a 'keep suppressing the problem until it either goes away or boils over in spectacular style' type of person. "I ATTEMPTED going to therapy" she corrected "as in actually tried and went to more than one session, not just went to one and never looked back. Both group and individual. But as I said it didn't work. So I just threw myself into other stuff instead- work, activism, working with the vigilante network, getting really involved in my friends lives and trying to help them, music..... the list goes on."

"Which is why you're so unwilling to let on that you have musical talent." John remarked aloud, the pieces falling into place before his eyes, the epiphany of understanding clear in his tone. He remembered when they were flicking through the notebook that Fia had (the one that had somehow come from Rinaa) and coming across various scribbled lyrics. the only one he'd read from end to end had been about how her ex broke her heart. Even just as words it was powerful John could see that. "That's the main reason now yeah. When I was younger it was because it wasn't a talent I was 'allowed' to have, I wasn't worthy or some similar bullshit. But now.. or well in my future it's because any piece I write or play gives you an insight into my mental state and worldview. It was the honesty of the songs and the sentiment behind them that got us noticed."
 

MzHyde

'Flamebird'
Kay could see the surprise on both Rinaa's and Fia's faces at the split personality comment, which told her that in Rinaa's timeline it also never came up like it clearly hadn't in Fia's. She wasn't sure if she should be glad or not over that realisation, but she was glad that neither teenager pressed her on it. She could see Fia didn't want to let it drop and she had a feeling that Rinaa would probably have liked to almost compare her time with Fee to Rinaa's time with Sykes, but she was thankful for the fact that Rinaa was clearly respecting her choice not to delve into it more.

As Chas changed the subject from her and into Rinaa, she felt a discreet sigh of relief escape her. She knew if any of them pressed her on it she probably would have had a massive go at all of them and stormed off to the bedroom just to get away from the questions. She was impressed that Rinaa attempted therapy and varying kinds before finding it didn't just work for her, but the fact she willingly tried was quite frankly admirable. She did find it interesting that Rinaa said she originally hid her talent for music because she wasn't allowed to have it before it developed into a case of it explained too well of how she was mentally. "You say you wasn't allowed to have the talent of music ability... Mind if I ask why? If you don't mind me asking that is" she asked, as she put her now empty mug down on the coffee table. She was unsure if she'd actually get an answer but she thought she'd ask anyway just incase Rinaa was willing to be anywhere near as open as she herself had been.
 

Gallifrog

Symbolic Animal of Gallifrey
Chas was shocked and impressed in equal measure to hear that Rinaa had properly tried therapy and it set him wondering (and not for the first time) just how different the teenager acted in her timeline. They'd seen glimpses of it in how she was with Moya (both when on the island and on Attil) and had seen it again yesterday when engaging in the play water fight with Kay. While Chas was the kind of person all the information he was given, John preferred to focus on one or two specific points of it- in this case the fact she'd tried group therapy. As horrifying a prospect as spilling his innermost thoughts to a complete stranger was, the idea of doing it to an entire roomful of random strangers was more terrifying. He'd take Hell over it any day, ta very much. Hearing that music had become her therapy made him look at the teenager from a shifted viewpoint. he hadn't meant to speak his thoughts aloud, and he certainly wasn't expected Rinaa to give a heartfelt answer. This really was turning into a... dare he say it... a bonding session?

"You won't like the answer" she replied, knocking back another slug of the beer, exposing the lines claw scars across her throat (when out in public she tended to wear some kind of scarf or neck covering and when punked up for the night drinking she used some kind of product to cover it as best she could). The beer by now was nearly finished, she'd been sipping it constantly as Kay poured her thoughts out. She then shrugged in a 'ah what the hell sort of way "but quid pro quo and all that. Plus it's not like it even MATTERS any more. The short answer is that it's a combination of factors which starts with Jay and Jack, takes a loooooong detour through years of fucking 'we're holier than thou you lowborn mutt' bullshit and ends.... well with me and the band, on stage singing about activism, change and performing VERY pointed songs about society, our lives, families, exes and anything else that screwed us over."
 

MzHyde

'Flamebird'
Fia was surprised that it was turning into a bonding session as well as John was. She thought initially it was going to be just a standard drink break and that was that, but it was proving to be totally the wrong assumption. She also was surprised and impressed that Rinaa attempted therapy of both solo and group styles but only kept it to herself. She was still overwhelmed by her mother's words earlier and deep down a little annoyed she wouldn't be told what it was that went on. Yet that didn't stop her listening to Rinaa as she answered Kay's question in a round about manner.

The moment Rinaa said she wouldn't like the answer, she felt it told her everything but kept listening to what Rinaa was willing to say anyway. "oh I see." was all Kay could say on that. To her it said so much that it was her alternate self and alternate Fia that had something to do with the negative attitude toward her, which just made her hate her alternate self even more. Music and talent wasn't something that only belonged to them so why they gave Rinaa that attitude to drag her down was beyond Kay. It just made her feel more determined to not turn into that person, despite the fear of being that person. She also couldn't help but think if she was face to face with herself she wouldn't mince her words and give that Kay a right bollocking. "well... I'm glad you didn't stop, you're great to watch on stage" Fia commented, deciding to be a bit more uplifting.
 

Gallifrog

Symbolic Animal of Gallifrey
From the first sentence it was quite clear that 'the alternates' had a major role to play, hardly a surprise at this stage given that they seemed to systematically touched and tainted nearly all corners of Rinaa's life. When Rinaa said it didn't matter, all she managed to convey through her tone and body language was the exact opposite- it did matter, it had always mattered to her. The air quotes she used were aggressive and her eyes flashed as she almost spat out the word bullshit. She'd spent years being told that she couldn't be good at music because it wasn't in her bloodline the way it was in Fia's and Kay's, whatever talent Rinaa possessed was nothing compared to being gifted with music through divine sources. Like with so many other things she'd eventually learned to see it for the lies it really was and threw herself into it heart and soul.

"Of course it was" John muttered darkly, his disapproval evident when Rinaa confirmed in her own angry way that Kay and Fia had been the main instigators. Chas' reaction was to just nod solemnly, at a loss for what would could say about such a thing. Had it been anybody else he would have given them a hug or at the least a pat on the shoulder, but he didn't know if Rinaa would be particularly receptive of it. the teenager questioned gave a small smile, reddened slightly at Fia's praise. "I really do enjoy it, being a front woman and lead singer, it's something I'm just good at, though it's not something I ever would have tried had it not been for some very persuasive people. And I won't lie, having the complete adoration of a couple of hundred people?" She smirked "it's a damn good feeling. I'm certainly a bit of a narcissist at heart. That line has me well and truly nailed down." The last two sentences were aimed more at Fia than at anybody else as she was the only one who'd heard Rinaa perform the song changing shape in such a way that it was a condemnation of all the shit the alternates had put her through.
 

MzHyde

'Flamebird'
The moment John's tone went dark at his reaction to who was the culprits for Rinaa taking her time on doing what she was good at made Kay just thankful that he didn't think of her that way. That Cliff managed to convince her that no one thought she was the same as that alternate version of herself. Yet when Fia decided to give more of a lighthearted reaction and find the positive out of what was told, she had to admit her kid did a good thing. The small smile and slight blush of Fia's compliment didn't go amiss on Kay and she was felt proud of her for bringing the mood up with just a simple honest comment.

Listening to Rinaa talk about what it felt like to be in a band and be the frontwoman as well, made Kay feel proud of the other teenager for having such faith in her talents and passion for it. Fia chuckled at what Rinaa said nodding as she knew exactly what she was implying and referring to. "not such a bad thing. Usually narcissists make me roll my eyes but you have ever right to be like it with your musical talents. You've proven those in your timeline wrong and that's damn cool. Haters gonna hate.. Am I right or am I right? " Fia replied to her, a small smirk appearing at the corner of her lips. "pretty sure if someone hated on my playing I'd take it properly to heart and probably quit the violin" she then added truthfully. As certain as she was for her abilities, she did take people's opinions to heart at times and if someone told her to quit whilst she was ahead, she probably would. "You should never quit because someone says to, either of you." Kay commented to both of the girls. "if I quit every time someone said I couldn't draw for shit I'd never have found my refuge" she clarified.
 

Gallifrog

Symbolic Animal of Gallifrey
John could tell that Fia and Rinaa were talking about something none of the rest of them had a clue about- about something that had happened in Rinaa's timeline. It wasn't quite an in-joke, but it was the closest thing they'd seen to one ever pass between the two. They'd clearly bonded on the night out drinking Chas noted (had they know all it would take to erase most of the tension and awkwardness between them was booze and a night out, they'd have let it happen A LOT earlier on in the visit thus saving everybody hours of stressing and emotional turmoil.

"All musicians are narcissists in one way or another though" John declared, downing the last of his beer "especially those who perform for large crowds. You go up there and demand everybody's love, nothing ta be ashamed of- the audience are givin' it willing after all. Unlike certain other people in your case." John was confident that he'd figured out part of Rinaa's love of being onstage- it allowed her to feel what it was like to be properly loved while at the same time allowed her to do something she loved, John knew this because it was the same for him. The audience's appreciation of the racket his band produced was a way of getting the love his father and dead mother were going to/never able to give to him. What he didn't believe however was that Fia would simply give up because somebody told her she wasn't good at it. He had her pegged for the kind of person who'd just throw themselves further into it, determined to prove the haters wrong. "There's no point in quitting, it'll just make you miserable, much better to devote yourself to it and prove the assholes wrong." "I'm with John on that one. If you're passionate about something it's worth persisting with, if somebody doesn't like it, that's on them, not on you."

"You might have a point there"
she replied in response to both Fia's quip and praise, trying not to bask too much in said praise (this wasn't about boosting her narcissistic ego after all). Some haters could change their minds, though they were a rare beast, most (or at least those that Rinaa encountered) seemed to be born with their predispositions. While Kay's sentiment was greatly appreciated by Rinaa (not that she'd probably ever say so to the other's woman's face), it was said far too late to make a real difference. Rinaa was in the final days of her life, not exactly enough time to change her whole life completely around. "Tell that to Leah, or whatever equivalent comes after me.... if any. They'll need it and no doubt appreciate it, for me it's just a sentiment delivered when it's really too late to do anything about it."
 

MzHyde

'Flamebird'
Kay was surprised that the two teenagers seemed to have a little in joke between them, but was glad that they had something that was making their relationship an improved one. Even if Rinaa saw all of this as too little too late, Kay saw it the other way. That it was something that showed Rinaa people did care about her and she could go out knowing she went out with a positive group around her and not one of hate. She listened to what John said about all band members being narcissists to a certain degree, and she did have to agree with that. She may not have known personally any band members before John and Chas, but she did see musicians from the neighbouring university go by and would overhear enough of their conversations as she'd sketch on a wall or under a tree.

She also could see that her words and Fia's did mean a hell of a lot to Rinaa, even if she wasn't willing to say it out loud and instead tell them to save the words for Leah if there's one in whatever timeline happens after all this. Kay then shook her head and looked right at Rinaa, "Rinaa, trust me when I say this. It is NEVER too late to hear what you deserve to hear. You don't have to do anything with those words or about it, but it is never too late to hear them. There's only a time when it's too late to tell them. Take it from someone who knows. There are many things I wish I could say not just to my mother and the people who raised me, but to Sam as well. I left it too late and now I don't even know if my sister is still alive. But I do understand why you feel the way you do about sentiments. " she told her warmly but firmly.
 

Gallifrog

Symbolic Animal of Gallifrey
A large part of Rinaa really did want to believe what Kay said, to be able to believe in the inherent good in the world and not let her views and judgements be clouded by the ever-present darkness, to be able to take good words and heartfelt praises for what they actually were, not dissecting them to try and see the hidden agenda, underhand insults and sly manipulations that might be in it. She was all too aware of how her innocence and chance at a normal had been ripped away from her by those who were supposed to care. For all future Fia and Kay talked about the importance of their own bloodline, they were incredibly hypocritical when it came to others bloodlines (or more specifically the many bloodlines that had gone into making Rinaa).

She sighed, Kay's words had started off so well, but by the end they'd been ruined. "ah, but you see, that's the point that NOBODY gets. Even when the person in question is gone, it's all about you, not about them, that important person. It's always all about what YOU should have have done, about clearing YOUR own conscience and YOUR internalised guilt first and foremost. If it boosts the other person's day, that's just a bonus. when you're dying, people settle their scores, cancel any debts, apologise, tell you the truths they should have done long ago all because they want THEIR conscience clear when you eventually snuff it. I'd be perfectly happy to leave things unsettled and unresolved, but no, even when your life is slipping away day by day, it's not actually about that, it's about the other person" she scoffed disapprovingly and had they been outside she would have spat to indicate just how disgusted she was.
 
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MzHyde

'Flamebird'
Kay didn't intend to have her words be so misconstrued and misunderstood by Rinaa. She thought she was saying the right thing, so when it turned out she seemed to say the utter wrong thing and just upset the girl greatly, she felt like she hit a brick wall at full speed. 'good going Kay... You fucked up yet again' she thought to herself as she mentally hit herself for thinking she could do right by the teenager. "I don't think that's what mum was getting at Rii...she was just trying to help. Just showing that it goes both ways, not that it's about the person telling the words at all" Fia defended Kay calmly. "she didn't mean any harm by what she said" she added. "it's okay Fia, you don't need to defend me" Kay spoke up but quietly, remaining calm when there was a tiny part of her that just wanted to say 'well fine, take my words hoe you want. I'm only trying to be kind and caring but if that's your bloody attitude then quite frankly kiddo, fuck off'.

Kay would never actually speak to a teenager or kid in that manner, but it did annoy her that yet again Rinaa twisted what she was trying to say and deem her almost as the bad guy. If she was anywhere else and thoroughly not pregnant, she would have made some excuse to leave the room and go do something else on her own. She always deemed herself as a good observer and someone who could always help people successfully, but Rinaa was really testing her patience and kindness levels at times like this. Fia went to almost protest Kay's words but she just got the gesture she knew all too well...the hand up to say 'that's enough'. Kay didn't want drama to be created between the lot of them yet again.
 

Gallifrog

Symbolic Animal of Gallifrey
Nobody was expecting the torrent of words that came out of Rinaa in response to what had come across to everybody else as very kind, caring words from Kay. And it was Rinaa speaking the whole time, there were no hints of amber in her eyes, no slipping into a deeper, growl-laced tone. This was her own internalised anger. the thing that fuelled her and was always there, lurking below the surface, the true monster that had always lurked beneath her, transforming her from a mostly normal teenager to something from a nightmare. Her words weren't just a vicious attack, they were an explosion. John and Chas could only gape, moments ago it had seemed like she might actually open up about something, that she might trust them enough to let them in. How wrong they were.

But the anger dissipated as soon as Fia and Kay started speaking, making it clear just how much the words had hurt her. A lance of burning pain shot through the teenager as both Kay and Fia's words washed over, her whole body physically flinching as if struck. By the time Kay had said she didn't need Fia to defend her the blood had all but drained from Rinaa's face, her usually tanned complexion replaced by a sickly off white. She felt equal parts shame and sick, not quite able to believe just what she'd done, how she'd shattered what could have been a good thing, a good moment between them all. And not just that, but so soon after Kay had opened up about the traumas and tribulations of her life, meaning she was particularly vulnerable at this moment and the last thing she needed was to be treated so...... Rinaa didn't even have words (in any language) to express what she had just done.

"I.... I..... I didn't... I didn't mean it like that..... that ...... came out all wrong." Her mind was in such turmoil that she couldn't even speak straight. Seeing that her attempts to explain her original comments were just making matters worse (and weren't really true either, she had meant them in the moment she had damn well meant them and would have stood by them had the more compassionate side of her brain finally got into action and given her a kick up the arse). She closed her eyes and shook her head, biding the tears to stay away, she had no right to start crying after the verbal attack she'd just given. "I need some air, don't follow me." With that she got up, grabbed her sticker covered laptop from the spot on the kitchen table and made a beeline for the balcony (or more precisely the ladder on the balcony allowing access to the roof) needing to get the hell out of the apartment before she said anything that hurt anybody else's feelings as badly as she'd hurt Kay's. Moving quickly just further exacerbated the pain in her arm, but at that moment she didn't care, sprinting from the room at speeds that would make an Olympic athlete jealous.
 

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