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Fandom Into the fire (1x1 MzHyde/Gallifrog)

Sub Genres
Action, Magical

MzHyde

'Flamebird'
Kay could see that what she had said had done the opposite of what she was trying to do, and ended up hurting the teenager, and she did feel bad for it. Yet she knew that wasn't her intention and judging by how everyone else was reacting to Rinaa's outburst, they knew she wasn't being malicious either with her words. She just wanted Rinaa to know that no matter what, it was never too late for her to hear she was cared for and loved, or that she's an incredible young woman who even in her short life has accomplished so much. She was certain that there'd be people out there wishing they could hear that they did right by someone at some point before they died or vanished, but would never hear that and end up as a truly lost soul-living or dead. Yet she also giving the example of the other side of the coin in her words, she wished she had the guts to let her family in and tell them just how much she truly loved them before leaving them.

She just never thought her words could have been twisted so darkly into being an example of selfishness. As Rinaa started looking a lot more pale after her outburst, Kay was about to try and say to the teenager that it was okay and the best they can do is move on from this outburst, but Rinaa spoke before Kay could get any words out of her mouth and was gone up onto the roof. She sighed, and placed her head in her hands after leaning forward slightly, "well done Kay...." she mumbled into her hands sarcastically. The position was incredibly uncomfortable for her but in this moment she didn't care. She said something that hurt a kid, which only brought more fears about her capabilities of being a mother. "mum it's not your fault" Fia said softly, in the hopes that her words would mean anything.
 

Gallifrog

Symbolic Animal of Gallifrey
Rinaa's reaction physically was like nothing they'd seen before- the blanching and recoiling as if from a slap were things they'd never seen her do before. But the running away however, that was completely normal, she'd done it after every other argument with anybody in this timeline. She'd vanish for a few hours do who knows what and then come back, refusing to look at anyone or anybody, making every excuse possible to spend as little time a possible in the same room as them. So when she bolted this time, nobody tried to follow, all believing that Kay needed more reassuring on the matter than the teenager. This was a major knock back, Rinaa couldn't have hurt Kay any more with her venomous words if she'd tried. Fia's words were a start, but nowhere near enough. "The kid's right there" John agreed, leaning forwards to put a tentative hand on Kay's shoulder "it's not your fault she completely fucked in the head about things. How were you to know that that of all bloody things would trigger whatever that bloody outburst was?" Despite his liberal use of profanities his tone was soft (having lost most of it's usual gruffness). And without really knowing what he was doing, John was trying to push the same thoughts and reassurances to Kay over their bond.

The roof wasn't far enough away for Rinaa, she headed for the abandoned fire escape that was cordoned off for health and safety reasons after severe storm damage, the one she'd gone to with Fia when the other girl first confessed to being from an alternate timeline. The laptop was the only thing she handed carefully, putting it well away from any edges it could fall off or exposed metal that could skewer it (she'd taken it because it was something she found comforting to have around and there was some vague idea in the back of her turmoiled mind that maybe she could just hide out and work from there for the foreseeable future instead of going back to face everything). Pulling the back the bandage from her wrist exposed the bond tattoo, half the runes glowing angrily, emphasising just how much she'd fucked up. She let out a litany of curses at the sight, running through every language she knew, until it just became an incoherent mess of wounds. At the same time she beat her hands against the metal of the fire escape, taking all the anger she felt at herself and channelled it into beating the shit out of a railing. It was the railing that won in the end and Rinaa slumped to the ground, sobbing, one hand clutched to her chest, the other wrapped around her knees, pulling them in tight against herself.
 

MzHyde

'Flamebird'
The feeling of John's hand on her shoulder internally surprised her as she was so used to John not showing any kind of softness toward her in front of people but she didn't let it show to everyone else. That said, she was greatly appreciative of the touch and the words he was telling her. It was worded in such a typical John manner but she got the message nonetheless. It took a few moments but she eventually felt his reassurances and thoughts come through their bond, making her lower her hands from her face and glance at the bond faintly revealing itself. Out of instinct, just like she would have done if it was anyone else who was beside her, leaned into John slightly for comfort and the fact she couldn't lean forward into her bump any longer. "You're...youre both right..." she replied, mostly to John but didn't want to ignore the fact Fia was trying to help as well.

"I..just don't get it. I don't get how what I said could have been such a bad thing to say.." she told them. If John hadn't tentatively got closer to Kay, Fia was ready to move from her seat and go to hug her mother, but she didn't want to encroach on Kay clearly needing John. She saw the faint outline of their bond seeming to activate and that told her that she definitely didn't need to step in. "it wasn't in my opinion. I think I can speak for all of us when I say we all knew what you were saying." Fia commented from her place on the other couch. Kay just nodded, not wanting to truly say what was on her mind when Fia was still in the room. Truth was Rinaa's words really did hurt Kay a lot more than she was saying, even if it was clearly obvious to the other three in the room anyway. It was times like this when she hated having empathy for people and kids. She never saw herself as particularly selfish but Rinaa's words made her begin to second guess herself, on top of everything else.
 

Gallifrog

Symbolic Animal of Gallifrey
"Fia's right, if even I could see what you really meant by it, it wasn't the way you said it, or what you said that was wrong." Making self depreciating jokes about himself maybe wasn't the best way to deal with the situation, but it was the best way John could think to act about it. He wasn't sure if the bond was actually doing anything (the angle Kay was sitting at blocking her sigil from him and his own sleeve was blocking his own wrist and he couldn't feel anything different) or if it was just wishful thinking on his part that Kay had leaned back into him after he'd attempted to push thoughts through the bond. At some point he needed to ask Chas if the book in the cabbies head had mentioned anything about some kind of divine instruction manual on how to use this bond. If there was, he'd damn well be getting his hands on it, and if there wasn't, well he knew what he'd be researching back in The House while Kay was going through the final stages of pregnancy and the initial stages of Fia's life as a newborn.

"Chas" John turned his head towards the cabbie while still keeping his hand on Kay's shoulder "yer more likely than any of the rest of us know what's goin' on in that kid's head, got any theories to enlighten us with?" The cabbie shrugged, drawing his shoulders as far up to his shoulders as possible to convey just how in the dark he was on the topic. "I wish I did, that way we might be able to stop her lashing out like this. She sure as hell doesn't have any form of heart to heart chats with me, which makes her anomaly out of this group and also means I can't claim any kind of 'insider knowledge' on this." He could say that with one hundred percent certainty, being able to think of of at least one time he'd had a heart-to-heart with everybody who was currently living in the apartment off the top of his head (Dan the blacksmith he also put in that group, sure he didn't live in the apartment, but he was Cal's adoptive father and a great guy in general). He sighed, frustrated that Rinaa was unwilling to confide in him, he thought he had a good reputation for being the person you could trust with your more private thoughts and go to for confidential advice, but evidently Rinaa didn't see him that way. "Which means we're just back to it's the usual line up of things we know about her, which can essentially be boiled down to if it comes from a stranger or friend she'll take it, but from family she really won't and she absolutely doesn't want our pity."
 

MzHyde

'Flamebird'
Kay listened to both Fia and John reassuring her that she truly didn't say anything wrong in this instance and it truly was just Rinaa flipping like a switch. She also didn't remark on how John spoke his agreement with Fia, but was just appreciative of the fact he did agree with Fia and was reassuring her so openly. Like John however, Kay didn't really know how to use the bond's presumed abilities either, each time she had pushed her reassurances or thoughts onto John it was completely doing it out of hope it would work. She glanced up at Chas when John spoke to him, to bring him into the conversation, listening in hope that Chas would know where to go from here, but sadly that wasn't the case.

"I guess we're never going to successfully move forward with Rinaa" she commented in an almost defeatist attitude which was a tone she hadn't really used since knowing John, Chas, Fia or anyone else in their group. She truly felt like it would be the last time she'd let Rinaa in with her own conversations if it was just going to rapidly backfire as it progressed. She was just glad she didn't tell them all absolutely everything whilst Rinaa was in the room as she was convinced Rinaa's outburst would just hurt her all the more. She could also tell that Chas felt slightly hurt that Rinaa didn't see him as the type she could talk to, which she could totally understand Chas' point of view. As stayed leaned into John, she did start to feel the tiniest bit of calm come over her and lifted her hand up to reach for John's that was on her shoulder, absentmindedly looping her fingers through his.

"she's definitely an giant unanswerable question that's for sure, but that's not on you. No way is it on you, or any of us for that matter. End of the day she had no right to snap at you like that, not after you showed her you can relate to her in so many ways" Fia remarked, crossing her arms over her chest in a manner that showed people she wouldn't budge on that opinion. "it's obvious that her words hit you harder for other reasons though but I agreed not to pry" she then added.
 

Gallifrog

Symbolic Animal of Gallifrey
"That's not completely true" Chas clearly disagreed with Kay's defeatist attitude about the whole situation. "We've all moved forwards with her in some way since she first showed up as an angsty masked time-traveller who used to be Jay's neighbour in that prison-slash-torture facility she was locked up in who wouldn't even talk to us unless absolutely necessary. There's been progress it's just been excruciatingly slow." "Sure, there's been that, but it is it really such a great thing that she talks to us? It sure was a hell of a lot easier when she didn't talk to us and we didn't actually know who she was." John was choosing to conveniently ignore the fact that they were all being driven crazy by the enigma of who she was at the time. "Most of the time she does talk these days it's some form of insult."

It was only the fact that Kay had looped her fingers through his that was preventing John from throwing his hands up in the air in frustration towards whatever deity was watching over the particular part of Attil. "Anything that would actually be useful for her to talk about she refuses to. She damn well knows more than she's telling us. She knows not only where Elliott died, but when Elliott dies, probably down to the exact second it happens. She knows what machinations are going on in the Attili government. She damn well knows the identity of the spook in the Attili government here, I don't believe for a minute that bullshit the kid said about there being two of them as Jay asked for information on all spooks in this local area and only got the redacted files of one. All she says is the bare minimum to keep us off her back." He sighed in annoyance, having finished his mini-rant for the moment. Outside the sky began to darken with rainclouds, not the thunder and lighting storm kind, but the kind that were like dark bruises across the sky.
 

MzHyde

'Flamebird'
For some reason Kay wasn't entirely surprised that Chas disagreed with her comment, and what he said to counter her attitude was a very fair and valid counter, but then John spoke up in reply and she had to agree with him as well. It did feel like it was easier when she refused to talk to them completely, rather than all the vague talk they had been given since. She let him have his mini rant, finding that he really did have equally valid points that Chas did, but she just didn't say anything openly. Fia on the other hand had a lot to say on the comments, "I'm in agreement with both of you. Yes, she may have moved since you guys very first met her. Of course, I wouldn't know coz I came back here way after you guys, but dad also has valid points. There's no doubt she knows waaaaay more than she's letting on about this particular situation but choosing to not say anything. Whether that's because of the time travel rules and laws I don't know, but she does also seem to prefer to just lash out at us than be massively useful" Fia commented.

"I don't mind the keeping us in the dark for a lot of this stuff. Yes it's frustrating to no end, but compared to the lashing out at everyone, I can handle the other stuff. I just... I wish she'd try harder to trust we're not those same people from her timeline. Because all this lashing out is hitting too close to deeply buried issues" Kay finally spoke up. Fia nodded at her mother's words with a sigh as she let herself flop into the back of the couch, keeping her arms firmly crossed over her. Seeing her parents get angry and upset over what Rinaa did really hit a nerve in Fia and she just wanted to fix it, but knew she couldn't. "I just hope if she comes back soon she properly apologises, or tonight with everyone else back is going to be incredibly awkward" Fia remarked with a sigh.
 

Gallifrog

Symbolic Animal of Gallifrey
Maybe John was being unfair, but he was completely pissed off by the whole situation. He could understand the secrecy needed around time travel ad not letting major spoilers out, he'd seen the damage that could be done when time travel was abused. But that didn't mean he had to like it though. Rinaa just infuriated him sometimes and what she'd done today wasn't on. For once they'd all managed to get along and even bond over shared troubles and drinks. It had been going so well, Kay opening up about things that Fia needed to hear in order to understand why her mother was the way she was in her timeline. And then Rinaa had gone and ruined it in spectacular style, throwing the trust Kay and the others had put in her right back in their faces in the most ungrateful way possible.

"Somebody's gotta tell Ell, or worse Jay, what's happened." John sighed in response to Fia's very valid point about the others coming back, paling very slightly at the thought of telling the assassin about what happened. Jay was under no illusions about how flawed Rinaa was, she complained about it just as much as any of them did, but at the same time she was fiercely protective of the teenager, treating her like a younger sibling as opposed to a daughter. Elliott had told John in confidence that he suspected it had something to do with how much the assassin missed her own brother and having Rinaa (somebody who'd grown up in the Isogrii lifestyle) around helped lessen that emotional pain and fill the void that was still there. "She'd better have the decency to come back before any of us have to do that."

"That's if she comes back at all."
Chas sighed, resting his chin on his hand which was propped on the armrest of the armchair. "Every time there'd been a time like this, she's vanished to who knows where to do who knows what. And each time she's been away for longer and longer periods of time before eventually sneaking back, usually in the night when most of us are asleep. Something's gonna give, and I think this time it might be her, given one- the un-explainably over the top reaction this time round and two- the fact she seems to have more she cares about back home than here."
 

MzHyde

'Flamebird'
The idea of one of them telling Jay what had happened was quite frankly terrifying to Kay. She knew how protective Jay had become of the teenager, and it was probably even more protective than even her and John had become of Fia, which in Kay's mind was saying a great deal, considering how protective they were of Fia, even if it was utterly unspoken. Yet she also saw in this moment that Fia was equally protective of them back as she so quick to defend Kay when Rinaa lashed out at her. Both Kay and Fia listened and nodded at John's words about having the decency to come back before they have to tell either Elliott or Jay, as well as listening to Chas' reply to the comment.

"I guess we won't know until it happens. We can't predict Rinaa over anything, even when she decides to return after flitting off" Kay remarked, "I just wanna move on from this, before more unwelcome thoughts creep into my head than I already have" she then added, but refused to move from John. Fia gave a single nod even though she had no clue on how to switch off her angry thoughts toward Rinaa as quickly as Rinaa could switch her emotions on and off. In the end she sat up straight and unfolded her arms, "I'm gonna go grab my headphones" she decided, standing up and leaving the room briefly.
 

Gallifrog

Symbolic Animal of Gallifrey
Chas also gave a visible shudder at the idea of telling Jay and dealing with whatever her reaction to the current situation and her daughter's actions would be. He wasn't ashamed to say she terrified him, he'd seen her in action, even with a busted ankle she was lethal. And with everything at stake for Elliott it was safe to say that Jay would already be on edge. She'd lost a brother, she sure as hell didn't want to lose the guy she was slowly falling in love with. But at the same time, she had a right to know what had happened while she was gone. "Well just have to cross that bridge when we come to it." "Sounds like a pretty good plan from where I am mate." It wasn't ignoring the problem John rationalised, it was waiting to see if circumstances changed.

"And yeah" John nodded at Kay's words, felling she'd hit the nail on the head with her description of Rinaan and her vanishing act "the only thing that is predictable about her, is that she's completely un-bloody-predicatble." When Fia said she was going to go and get her headphones, John nodded, he couldn't blame the teenager for wanting to get away from the room and the tensions within it for a while. "You do that then." Rinaa's phone was still in Fia's room, exactly where the other girl had left it on the sideboard, indicating that the other teenager hadn't come back. Unless Fia was to physically leave Cal and Cliff's apartment and head to the other side of that floor, there'd be no way of telling or seeing where her 'cousin' had gone.
 

MzHyde

'Flamebird'
Kay was glad that everyone was in agreement on the 'dealing with the situation when it arrives' idea. Like Chas and John, Kay knew they had to give Rinaa the time to try and change the situation herself first before I volving others whom were out of the apartment doing their own important part for Elliott's trial. She also agreed that the only thing they could count on was the teenager's unpredictability. She also didn't blame Fia for wanting to escape the heavy atmosphere for a bit, even if it meant just shoving her headphones on whilst being in the room. She waited for Fia to be out of the room before opening her mouth again, "I'm glad she's someone who won't push a topic, even though it's blatantly obvious she wants to. But she definitely doesn't need to know everything about me, it'll really tear her up if she knows" she remarked about Fia.

Fia got back into the room she was using and saw Rinaa's phone was exactly where she left it before, making her sigh but she didn't know if it was out of annoyance or relief. She walked to her bag and squatted down to grab her headphones out of her bag with her music player before standing back up as she draped her headphones round her neck. Glancing back at Rinaa's phone, she toyed with the idea with finding Rinaa, but she didn't trust herself to not have a real go at her and possibly hit the girl for talking to her mother the way she did. "just stay out of it Fia...its safer for everyone" she muttered to herself before leaving the room, and making her way back to the living room.
 

Gallifrog

Symbolic Animal of Gallifrey
John nodded in agreement, knowing all too well about topics that shouldn't be pushed, having far too many of his own. It had been a relief when Fia confessed not to know the events of Newcastle nor why exactly John had tried (and suceeded) to kill himself in Ravenscar. Those weren't stories suitable for a kid, Elliott had only found out because the day of Newcastle's anniversary had the unfortunate coincidence of being the same day that Elliott was evicted from his home planet- scarred by his father and terrified that he'd never make it through the next day alone, yet alone a whole year in space. He squeezed Kay's shoulder and their linked hands gently. "Agreed, some things are best left unknown. It's a mark of how right things went with that one that she isn't pushing you on it."

Outside the first drops of rain began to fall, at first it was gentle drops plopping off the roof and windows, but it wasn't long before the tempo increased to the kind of heavy rain winter/autumnal that could go for hours. John turned his head at that sound, as did Chas, neither man having noticed the storm clouds gathering while they working or while they were talking about Rinaa's actions and the effect it was having on Kay. "Huh" John remarked, the faintest edge of amusement in his voice, before turning his head towards Chas, knowing not to move his body away as Kay was still drawing some kind of comfort from his presence. He smirked at his mate, although the smirk was not nearly as full as it would usually be though, a sure sign that what had just happened with Kay and Rinaa was still preying on his mind). "Pathetic fallacy strikes again."
 

MzHyde

'Flamebird'
Kay had to agree that there were some topics that shouldn't be told to kids and the last thing she wanted Fia to know was the abuse she suffered from her doctor, just as John didn't want Fia to know about all the things that happened in Newcastle and Ravenscar. "yeah, future us must have done something right in that regard. I cant have her knowing what my father told you John, really happened... Just, not by him" she replied, fully remembering what her father was saying to John at her old childhood home. She just hoped this whole fiasco wouldn't trigger those nightmares or sleep walking, but she was half expecting it to at the same time as she let herself just squeeze his hand back in gratitude for the support. Hearing the rain hit the roof made Kay's eyes glance upwards out of natural instinct, and hearing John talk to Chas, slightly amused, but clearly still pissed off over Rinaa, made herself think what kind of cliché depressing show they were in.

Fia eventually walked back into the living room at the comments on the rain, as she lifted her headphones onto her head. "talk about cliché timing huh?" she remarked, having only caught the very last word of what John had said to Chas. "and I'm pretty sure Rinaa is still MIA at the moment because her phone is still where it was this morning, so don't think she's come back without us knowing" she added, sitting down on the couch as she scrolled through the music choices she had, trying to decide what she wanted to listen to before finally settling on something, pressing play and tapping her fingertips on the armrest to the beat.

 

Gallifrog

Symbolic Animal of Gallifrey
John had never asked about the allegations Kay's possessed father had been spitting out. He was used to demons saying all kinds of things to get a rise out of him, so he hadn't taken it that there was any truth in the statement, just that the demon was trying to emotionally manipulate him. So to hear it was true (though not in the way the demon had made it out to be) was a shock to the system. But it wasn't something that would turn John off Kay either. It didn't take a rocket scientist to see that not only was John a damaged person, physically and mentally, he both attracted and was attracted to other broken people. He could understand why she wouldn't want Fia to know, it wasn't the kind of thing you wanted anybody to know, let alone your kid. He didn't ask any further questions or make any further remarks outside of nodding and saying "fair enough, it's not something she needs to know, no matter how much she thinks she does, that's just the teenage arrogance" knowing that Fia would be back all too soon.

Hearing that Rinaa's phone was still there, the others, like Fia, took it as a sign that Rinaa hadn't been back. The teenager was incredibly connected to her tech, so if she'd come back John was willing to bet good money that grabbing the phone would be her first port of call. He then nodded at Fia's words about the weather and how it was mimicking the whole mood they were currently in. "It's like I just said- it's pathetic fallacy." He repeated himself, knowing that Fia hadn't heard his initial statement on the matter. "That's also one of the only poncy words I knows for technically dissecting English literature. Courtesy of my favourite English literature graduate." "She's also the only English literature graduate that you care about" Chas replied giving John a knowing look. "And besides, you certainly wouldn't have considered knowing English literature inside out and back to front a useful skill had it not been for that racist possessed guy and his use of Tennyson's poetry. Which still doesn't get any less crazy, no matter how many times you say it." John smirked and shrugged in a 'that's life innit' sort of way.
 

MzHyde

'Flamebird'
Kay deep down knew that John just assumed it was all lies when it came up back at her childhood home, and at the time she was perfectly content in letting John believe that. Not only that so much else happened, she got stabbed by iron and almost died for good, Rinaa came in and saved them and her home is now no more. So she didn't give much else any thought, it was only when all the talking was going on earlier that it seemed to pop back up into her mind. She also felt like now John deserved to know briefly and vaguely it wasn't lies, even if she couldn't go into it in depth with Fia returning. She nodded, appreciating that he respected Fia was still around and why she wouldn't want Fia to know or Rinaa. "right" she simply replied, but if she was ever asked about it when in private, she wouldn't keep it from him.

Fia nodded at John's reply, smirking at his choice of words. Her smirk only grew when Chas came back at him countering his English literate graduate comment. It was when John shrugged that Fia had out her headphones on her head and managed to find a track to listen to. A track that was utterly different to her usual playing style, but she was never one to be solely into only one type of music. She liked to keep a broad mindset on music, which proved valuable as it meant she could play all kinds on her violin and play with her family any genre of music.

Kay had to raise an eyebrow at the words that left Chas' mouth, "of course you would have come into contact with an racist possessed guy who loved old literature" she smirked ever so slightly, but it wasn't her usual level of smirk she was known for. "I don't think I'll ever get tired of the stories you two come out with" she added.
 

Gallifrog

Symbolic Animal of Gallifrey
John had to admit that even to him it did sound utterly ridiculous looking back on it, and he couldn't even imagine how it sounded to an outsider to the world of magic, demons and celestials he so easily inhabited. It wasn't that Kay was naive to it, she just hadn't seen anywhere near the level of crazy, bizarre and messed up shit he had. He had a lot of stories, good, bad, ugly and everything in between. The possessed racist man fell into the grey category. Sure John had managed to stop him and make some friends (and an ally of sorts in the form of a reluctant policeman) who he was still on good terms with and started gaining a reputation for being able to deal with the weird and unnatural in the area, a lot of people had died and he accidentally started a gang war.

"You should see this one when he has a reunion with some mage he actually likes, or Aish or Nat or even Cher" Chas remarked "it's boasting and crazy stories like you wouldn't even believe. He loves having an audience for this kind of stories, and that lot actually know when to challenge him and not just take everything he says as gospel truth." "No point in keepin' in the good stories to meself" John smirked. "Besides, those guys buy me booze, it's the least I can do to provide some entertainment. Oh an for the record that particular guy got what he deserved in the end." By which John meant he ended up dying in agony. "He was sadly, far from the first racist we bumped into round those parts, but he was particularly nasty, pretty sure if I'd turned my back for any longer Noah would have knifed him."
 

MzHyde

'Flamebird'
If this was the very first meeting of John and Chas, and she had met him in any other circumstance than demons chasing her to either kill her or take her to Hell for The First to own and torture and who knows what else, she'd have called bullshit on this particular story and the many others she has heard since knowing them. She listened to Chas say about John's reunions with people he actually likes and it did bring a small smile of amusement to her face. She then leaned her head back just enough so she could glance at John as he replied to what Chas was saying, glad to hear that the racist got what he deserved.

"well I guess I know how to keep you happy, buy you copious amount of alcohol and 'I'm uncultured'" she remarked in a light amused tone. She was pretty certain it would just encourage John to be the way he was and probably not the healthiest way of keeping on John's good side but she didn't care. She was hardly conventional herself after all so she wouldn't expect anyone else around her to be it either. "either that or just cook for you constantly" she added. Despite listening to music and just generally using it to cool off to stop herself from going after Rinaa, Fia could hear the conversation going on, making her roll her eyes. "you shouldn't encourage dad ya know" she remarked with a smirk.
 

Gallifrog

Symbolic Animal of Gallifrey
John was tempted to make some remark of 'I'm a man of simple tastes' in response to Kay's comment, but instead settled for giving a smirk that said 'I see no problems whatsoever with that life approach'. Booze had helped John get out of a lot of problems (as well as making many of them worse, but in this moment, that wasn't the point he was trying to make. "Too late" John smirked in response to Fia's words. "It's being going on like that for most of my life, and besides I do the exact same thing with Cheryl when I want to grill her, it's like a sort of weird compensation. If she didn't show up with some kind of booze when she comes to visit I'd be pretty damn pissed and REFUSE let her in until she produced some."

"That's one hundred percent true, she's done it to him when he didn't bring any alcohol on that one visit years ago." "And I learned my lesson from that. Always bring booze!"
John smirked, waving the empty beer bottle to emphasise his point. "And what about Gemma?" Chas asked, eyebrow raised as he humoured his mate, already pretty sure what the answer would be. Cheryl never came to visit without Gemma, as a single parent she couldn't just leave the kid alone for a weekend- John's at twelve John's niece simply wasn't old enough and it was so rare that they got to see John that the kid would jump at the chance to visit her uncle and the rest of the London gang. "She doesn't need to bring anything, the kid's presence is enough. And besides that kid loves me for some bizarre reason." "True, true, she's pretty much your number one fan."

John and Chas ended up going down a tangent of various stories related to the dramas of Cheryl's life. Kay would learn that John's sister left the most hilarious drunken voicemails (some of which John had saved permanently and still used for blackmail to this day) and that she actually became better at Mario Kart when drunk- when sober she could barely hold a controller the right way up. John's niece on the other hand was excellent at video games and was starting to get really into rowing and sailing. Cheryl was convinced that when the kid was older she would either be a Greenpeace activist or would do a John and turn into some kind of punk/goth type.

It would be another half hour before Rinaa would show up again, completely drenched, still ghostly pale, hair plastered against her head, the bandage had been removed from her wrist and rewrapped around the palm of her hand like boxing glove. About three quarters of the runes of the forfeit bond were glowing angrily, their colour made even more prominent by the paleness of her skin. "First off, I'm sorry, so so SO fucking sorry for all that. You didn't deserve it, that anger, that abuse of everything good you've tried to invest in me. Most of it wasn't even true anyway. I shouldn't have lost it like that earlier, nor any of those other times for that matter. Neither you nor Fia deserved that kind of shit any of those times, so don't think any of it's your fault, it's not, it never was in this time. My shit is my shit and may actions and their consequences all rests on me. You deserved better treatment than everything I've put you through, all of you have been dragged into this and I never wanted this to happen. So I'm sorry" The words were spoken in a rush, but the emotional brokenness in her voice was very real.
 

MzHyde

'Flamebird'
Fia rolled her eyes again when John told her it was too late, and that it had been happening way before Kay came into his life. She didn't have words for a response and instead half listened to the stories that he and Chas were telling Kay about Cheryl, knowing some of them already due to managing to get liked by Cheryl relatively easily and quickly, finding it was then that it was easy to get anyone to like her. Kay listened fully to the stories, chuckling at a lot of them and finding that hearing these stories really helped to lift her spirits after the earlier events with Rinaa. She found it to be like a typical family moment with the way she she against John, fingers still very much interlocked, Fia doing her own thing and the rain hitting hard on the roof. With the picture as it stood now, she thought if they were in ahousr by a fireplace it would have looked like a typical cliche family shot. She declared that she hoped one day she could meet Cheryl as she sounds utterly amazing and an incredible woman.

When Rinaa showed her face again, looking pale and soaked, not to mention her bandage round her hand and not her arm this time, Kay got a wave of sadness seeing the girl looking so hagged. She listened to the quick but honest apology to her and Fia (who had pulled down her headphones when Rinaa entered the room) was quite frankly surprised that Rinaa was apologising for so much and so willingly. For a few seconds neither woman knew how to react to the apology as it threw them both completely off guard. They were hoping for one but wasn't expecting it, so when Rinaa did apologise it was a surprise. Kay then found herself doing something that not even she thought she would ever do, she pushed herself up off the couch, walked over to Rinaa and just hugged her tightly. "apology accepted kiddo" she simply said to her, but her honesty shone through her tone that was warm. She didn't know if it was because she was pregnant and hormonal or if she'd have willingly hugged Rinaa anyway in response, but it felt like the right thing to do. She didn't even care that Rinaa was soaked through, right now it was clear to her that Rinaa needed the hug and in a way, so did Kay.

Fia was shocked to see Kay get up and hug Rinaa, but she was strangely proud of her mother for doing it. To her, it showed what an empathic and caring person Kay was deep down. That as easy as it was for Kay keep people at an arm's length or just shut them out after they did her wrong, she would still know when to be the bigger person with certain people. She couldn't help but glance at John and Chas as if to ask if she was truly seeing this and not hallucinating.
 

Gallifrog

Symbolic Animal of Gallifrey
Both Chas and John tried not to gape at the sorry state of Rinaa. She was still dressed in the clothe she'd slept in- a light t-shirt and loose trousers, both had been baggy on her, but now they were so saturated they were glued up against her skin. Evidently she hadn't taken shelter from the storm and had spent most, if not all of the last half hour being rained on, the words 'drowned rat' not beginning to do her story state justice. The fact that the bandage had moved position didn't make much of an impact on them, and was forgotten about when she began to speak. Rinaa's apology was rushed, words crowding on top of one another, but the fact she managed to make some kind of eye contact during the whole thing led both men to believe that this was genuine. None of them were expecting an apology of such length and detail, not only making it clear about how sorry she was about treating Kay like shit, but also for lashing out at Fia and by proxy dragging everybody else into what she eloquently described as 'her shit'. Kay going to hug Rinaa was just as much of a surprise and Fia wasn't the only one thinking it said a hell of a lot about Kay that she was willing to do such a thing and forgive the kid. John caught Fia's look of shock and gave her a returning one conveying that he was just as surprised about the turn of events as she was.

Rinaa hadn't known how her apology would be taken (if at all) and when Kay got up and began to walk towards her she didn't move, dropping her gaze to the floor, not looking up as the other woman approached her. It would be impossible for Kay to tell if the teenager initially stiffened when embraced or not. She'd certainly been tense beforehand, her limbs drawn close to her body to help conserve heat. Rinaa was cold to the touch, her t-shirt so saturated that it was practically fusing with her body. When Kay wrapped her arms around the girl she would be able to feel through the shirt some of the pits, ridges and blobs of burn scar tissue on her back. Rinaa did relax into the hug very slightly, almost but not quite burying her head in the other woman's shoulder, really needing that kind of contact and comfort. It was Rinaa who broke it off, mumbling something about how pregnant women should most definitely not be hugging wet people like her as she took a few steps back and composed herself again, steeling her shoulders before speaking again.

"This drive" she said, reaching for one of the cords around her neck with her bandaged left hand, only for a flicker of pain to come across her face and force her to switch hands. She pulled it from around her neck, careful not to spray water everywhere in the process and setting it down on the table "has the alien languages translation programme you've all been using earlier on it, along with a user's manual for running the programme, explaining it's intricacies and common bugs or errors. Jay knows the coding language and has worked with the programme, so there shouldn't be any problems on that front but it doesn't hurt to have an the instructions anyway. There's no password on the drive now, but obviously don't let it fall into the wrong hands. All relevant files are already backed up onto database and everything relevant on this laptop has already been uploaded. Chas has full control of the admin account now so don't piss him off as he's basically god in that small universe. Any hacking can probably be done by Deke, though I believe Jay is already planning to some breaking in and snooping around."
 

MzHyde

'Flamebird'
Kay felt the burn scar tissue but that didn't even come close to being the first thing she could acknowledge and think about in this moment. What she was focusing on was the fact Rinaa did lean into the hug, even if it was only slight. She could tell that Rinaa needed it as much as she did to move forward from it. She also felt the surprise radiating off the others at what she did, but again, she tried not to focus on that. When Rinaa pulled away and mumbled about how Kay probably shouldnt hug soaki g wet teenagers, she just pretended not to hear it. She was more interested in seeing what Rinaa was doing when she carefully pulled off an USB drive from round her neck and putting it on the table. Kay felt confused at what she was doing, but listened to her words, or more to the point, she didn't like the tone the words were giving off to them all.

She sat back down next to John, placing one hand on his knee as she leaned back slightly against him, making sure not to lay on top of his arm, but under his arm like she was just moments ago. Fia was also curious to what Rinaa was getting at by telling them about the drive and that they had access to it. Yet like Kay, she also felt like they were words of foreshadowing and she really didn't like that. "why do I feel like you are giving this weird foreshadowing, 'I'm leaving' tone to your words?" she couldn't help but ask. "please say I'm barking right up the wrong tree here with those feelings and they're just general instructions for going back to what we were doing before everything kicked off" she then added, noting Kay sitting back down, a position she was all too used to seeing in her timeline and feeling thankful for the sight of familiarity coming back into the room after the short sharp moment of shock.
 

Gallifrog

Symbolic Animal of Gallifrey
As soon as Rinaa started talking, it was clear something had changed. Her voice contained that same sadness as earlier, but there were undertones of something else to her words, a defeated edge that definitely hadn't been there earlier. Earlier Rinaa had been throwing herself into saving Elliott, sifting through information at incredible speeds, adding locations of images Kay had found to Jay's mural map, helping John and Fia with the translation system and the Attili set-up of their laptops, all with an infectious edge of passion and determination. But now she just sounded defeated.... and the words themselves, it sounded far more like a final briefing being given before a battle or major operation than a simple 'let's all get back to work and figure out how to save Elliott's life' kind of spiel. This wasn't sitting right with either of the two men.

"Rinaa, you're speaking really weirdly, as if this is the last time you're gonna see us all." Chas leaned forwards, eyebrows knitted together, concern written all over his face as he looked at the teenager. "As if you're gonna leave us permanently. Shit happens sure, you got any angry and lost it, but you've been forgiven, you don't need to go and flee like this." "Kid you sound like you're about to leave us and go in front of a firing squad." He took in the sorry, soaked sight of the teenager again, the unnatural paleness of her a stark contrast against her dark clothing. "Hells, you look like you're about to go in front of a firing squad, sure you're not hypothermic and all this weird edge to your voice is just because you're about to pass out or summat?"

Rinaa gave a sad smile at everybody's words, pushing her wet hair back from her forehead with her bandaged hand. "It's not a joke, there's no misinterpreting going on here, I'm not hypothermic either, though that was also Cliff's thought.... along with a whole set of other illnesses. There's no wrong tree to bark up here either. I'm leaving, simple as that." "Why the bloody Hells are you doing that?" John seethed, his glacial blue eyes narrowing at the teenager. "You were the one earlier saying about how we were all supposed to be a team in this and make sure Ell gets through this in one living piece." Rinaa met his glare with a sigh as sad as her smile, taking a few steps towards where everybody else was assembled and holding out her arm in front of them, rotating it around so they could see the runes in her skin. One quarter were regular ink, but the other three quarters were glowing, almost looking like they'd been branded into her skin. "I broke my bond. Leaving this place.... this version of you lot.... that's my forfeit. If I don't leave in...." she did a calculation "about twenty six minutes I'll die an agonising death. As soon as all the runes are activated... I die."
 

MzHyde

'Flamebird'
Fia was glad she wasn't the only one hearing the utter change in Rinaa's tone and demeanor. She had hoped it was just her imagining the whole thing, that Rinaa wouldn't just leave before finishing helping Elliott, but the moment Chas and John both expressed their own concerns for the change in Rinaa, it felt so much more real. Her and Kay listened to what Rinaa said in response to everyone's comments, not quite believing what they were being told. When she said she was indeed leaving, Kay felt John seething and it had nothing to do with the bond. Being sat so close to him, she could feel it just radiate off of him and she completely saw where he was coming from. She couldn't speak still, just watching as the teenager sighed as she looked at John whilst walking to them all.

As she revealed the bond on her arm that was now glowing and looking a hell of a lot worse than when she did the bond, she looked shocked. Listening to the very fact that she broke said bond and if she didn't leave, she'd die just broke Kay's heart. "oh Rinaa..." she just found herself almost whispering due to the shock stopping her from fully speaking with full volume. "is there not any other way? I mean..sure you upset mum but it's fine, she's over it and just glad you're back" Fia tried to find a way, even though she knew it probably wasn't the case. She knew how important bonds were and that nothing could be done to change the rules of them. She just didn't want to see her 'cousin' go in such a manner, not when the others weren't back either.
 

Gallifrog

Symbolic Animal of Gallifrey
Rinaa could practically see the anger radiating off John from where she stood along with the mixture of shock, horror, sadness and pity in the others' faces. Neither John nor Chas had wanted their suspicions (which were also shared by Fia and Kay) to be anywhere approaching true. John was hoping desperately that this was just his negative bias kicking in and making him read into things that weren't actually there, but at the same time there was a sinking feeling in is stomach that told him it was the truth. To hear it confirmed so brokenly and to see the way the runes were almost fire-branded in her arm was a kick in the guts. Hearing there was a time limit made it even worse. Kay's words may have been barely above a whisper, but they all heard them in the dead silence of the room. "Oh kiddo, no...." Chas couldn't even finish the sentence not even sure what he wanted to say to the kid. John on the other hand was still furious, but not at Rinaa, at the bond and it's severity. He'd been around when Jay had went into a furious in depth rant about forfeit bonds and just how serious they were, wanting to impress on Elliott just how serious it was. There were only two only kinds of Isogrii bonds that were ranked higher in importance and strength than a forfeit bond- one of them being marriage bonds- and it wasn't a thing you made lightly. Even if there was no other way, people were unwilling to make them as they were so unbreakable and rigid. It had actually been pretty fascinating to learn about, but all he could think about now was how badly it had backfired, it was supposed to be about keeping Sykes under control, not causing this. "Bloody Hells, that's fucked up you know? Having a countdown around your wrist like that. I know these things aren't supposed to have loopholes, but are you sure there isn't some loophole you or even bloody Sykes could exploit to turn it around it.... or delay it or something."

Rinaa shook her head sadly, water droplets falling from the loose strands on her forehead and landing on the table and floor. There was a redness to her eyes that suggested crying, but with all the rainwater, there were no tear tracks visible. She ignored that 'glad to have you back' bit of Fia's spiel, unwilling to let herself believe it. "We made it so that everything that applied to Sykes applied to me and vise versa. So no, there isn't another way, it's not as simple as having an apology accepted is enough to make everything fine and happy enough that I'd be allowed to stay here for the last few days of my life. I can't cheat it using some loophole in the bond contract, both Sy and I made sure of that by getting rid of every possible one we could think of before drawing up the bond contract. And I most certainly CANNOT alter it, that goes against all the Isogrii principles I hold important and should have tried harder to live by, not to mention I'm pretty sure there's a fail safe in this that would kill me even quicker should I do such a thing."

Chas, still unable to believe that they were having to deal with this situation, that Rinaa was upping and leaving because she'd die otherwise- resisted the feelings of despair that wanted to make him put his head in hands. One particular detail was stuck in his mind, the fact she'd mentioned that Cliff had a similar thought process thinking it was a hypothermia induced fit of madness (which was pretty dang possible given how there were always stories of hikers up some mountain Everest who succumbed to hypothermia and believed they were boiling hot and took off all their clothing). "Wait a minute" he waved a hand, trying to assemble his thoughts into some kind of coherent words."my brain needs to catch up, did you mention Cliff back a few minutes ago." Rinaa sighed, wanting to flop down in the armchair and rest her weary body, but also knew if she sat down she wouldn't have it in her to get up again. "Yeah I did mention her..... I've spent the fifteen- twenty(ish) minutes before coming here having this EXACT same conversation with the others. They didn't take it well at all, pretty sure Jay would've slapped me into next YEAR if I was anybody else."
 

MzHyde

'Flamebird'
Kay really hoped that there was a loophole to be had like John was suggesting, but hearing from Rinaa that there wasn't and that her and Sykes made sure there couldn't be any loopholes to get out of the bond just made the severity of the situation all so much more crippling to acknowledge. She could also tell that Rinaa refused to believe that she could be glad to have her back with them and not outside somewhere in the storm. She didn't want Rinaa to be in danger, despite all her complex opinions on the teenager, and this was just a massive punch to the gut. She started feeling like although Rinaa said it wasn't her fault, it was partially her fault for this. If she had just kept her mouth shut and not triggered the outburst of anger, this wouldn't be happening.

It was only when Chas thought back to Rinaa's spiel that it dawned on both Kay and Fia that yes, Rinaa had mentioned Cliff in her initial words which now that they think back made them wonder when she went to see Cliff and the others if they were busy in a meeting. Having Rinaa confirm that yes, she did in fact go and see the others and have this same conversation made both girls realise they weren't imagining things. "this is so much to take in....and fucked up, and just how pissed is Jay? Other than punching you into next year if you were anyone else that is" Fia mumbled. "I know we've had our differences but I don't want you to go Rii..." she then admitted, knowing deep down that out of everyone else, its Jay they'd need to know the mental state of, for fear of Jay going for Kay, pregnant or not, it was Kay's words that triggered all this even though it was kind words said. "is there anything we can do...before you go?" Kay then asked after a brief pause, also concerned that Jay would have a go at her.
 

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