(2018-04-05) Forget About Hope
Forget About Hope
Summary: Eddie and Sophia finally have a chat. He learns some things about her, and about him, for that matter.
Date: 2018-04-05
Related: None
Player Characters: Eddie, Cobalt as ST

-| Brundle Investigations - 6th Floor - Cahuenga Building - The Bay |

A room of hazy lights and lots of shadows. A trio of windows would offer a spectacular view of the bay, but they are hung with nicotine yellow blinds that seem permanently glued in the 'closed' position judging by how speckled they are with flyshit and the permanent bends and tears in the old plastic where someone has roughly bent them apart. Over and over and over again.

There are shapes in the half-dark. An uncomfortable looking loveseat and rickety side-table faces a bulky oak desk with a large armchair behind it. On top of the desk is a crossword collection. In a corner is a cheap office chair and a smaller rolltop bearing a beige computer that looks to be from the 80s, along with a matching elder coffee maker. Next to the door is a coat rack, and numerous boxes line the walls, several seemingly permanently employed as makeshift filing systems. Yellowed photos adorn the walls. The magazines on the side table are years out of date and contribute to the musty smell of the place. Somewhere a hidden radio plays jazz made sibilant with white noise.

It's a rainy evening in Port Angeles, and cold for this time of year. The radio has gone mostly to static, resolving occasionally into a few fuzzy notes of some slow brass, and outside is the low rumble of thunder some place far away. Eddie sits alone in the dark confines of his office, the window open behind him to let in the sound and smell of the rain falling, reading a heavy yellow volume branded simply 'Classics' by the soft yellow light of his desk lamp, trying not to fall asleep and not sure why he bothers. His left arm is still done up in a sling beneath his jacket, and there's an unlabeled bottle pills sitting half empty by his coffee mug, but he seems otherwise largely recovered from the folly of last Friday.

"Leucon," he murmurs, adjusting the battered one-armed reading glasses he wears sometimes these days, "no one's allowed to know his fate. Not you, not me: don't ask, don't hunt for answers."

How long as she been there? Who can say. She speaks up from the chair she's lounging in, "Oh, someone is allowed to know." Her silver hair is a cascade of moonlight over her shoulders, curling ever so slightly at the tips. Lavender eyes are luminous as she watches Eddie, a gentle smile on her lips.

"That's supposed to be my trick," Eddie says, seeming a little surprised, but not very. He closes the book without a second glance and without leaving any marker. He can find this one by memory, now. He's been reading it a lot lately. "You'll have to take it up with Horace. I just work here. Sophia," he tries out the name, now that he can remember it, still unsure of how it feels in his mouth, "I'd been hoping to see you, if hoping's the right word. I wasn't sure where you got to, after that whole mess."

Sophia folds her hands into her lap, tilting her head backward. She looks out toward the blinds, a frown on her face. She says, plainly, "They almost killed me, you know." She lifts a hand and says, "They decided, however, they were going to try and deal with you first, but apparently go busy going and bothering other people… But the others." There's a sad expression on her face now, "Tyla, Penny… two I don't know." She stands now to walk to the blinds, tuck one down with her fingertip. "I wasn't worth even attempting to negotiate." A glance at Eddie, "Did they even tell you that the Feather Street Gang had captured me?"

"They almost killed me, too," Eddie says, with a sort of distant geniality, "I guess that's something we have in common." He shakes a cigarette loose from the pack on his desk and brings it to his lips, now that his good hand isn't occupied turning pages, and strikes a match across his desk. The cherry is nearly as bright as his dim desk light, and he takes slow small thoughtful drags as he listens to her story. Mercifully, the wind blowing alongside the building sucks most of the smoke out of the room. "They told me. We didn't know that's who they were, then. Of course, we didn't know who you were, either."

He looks at her then, an appraising sort of look, and he drops ash into the little wooden tray he has for that. "I guess we still don't, not really. But they seemed to think I'd care. Why is that?"
"It's alright, Eddie." says Sophia, quietly. "You can remember now, if you want to…"

And just like that there is a cascade of memories.

Starting with the very first time he met her, when she walked into his office, sat down across from him and said, "I need your help, someone's trying to kill me…"

And then …

Eddie isn't sure he wants to remember. Memories are heavy things, sometimes. Questions are even heavier, though, and when answers are in reach, he reaches for them. To hell with what any old dead Greek has to say on the matter. It all comes crashing back.

A beautiful woman in his office, asking for his help. His predictable, inevitable reaction, cursing himself the whole time for falling into the cliche. They got pretty close over those few dangerous weeks. He got shot that time, too. He'd been wondering where that scar came from. He remembers her visits to the hospital. And after… after.

His hand comes up to his cheek, the same way it did last Friday, that same stunned look on his face. His cigarette has gone cold, in the time it took him to process all of it. If they'd more time, maybe… "Oh."

Sophia smiles a little bit toward Eddie, lifting her hand toward him. She flickers her fingertips, and there's a spark of pale moonflame there. Silvery and bright. It catches the end of his cigarette once more and then she drops her hand. A small dip of her chin is given and she sighs, "And then came Cahu…"

Not three days out of the hospital and Eddie found himself being pulled toward places in the city. Felt some alien and inexplicable grip upon himself. Stranger than any True Fae he's ever dealt with, stronger too.

Sophia there, trying to stop him as he decided to climb up the skyscraper down town. Screaming at him, that even he wouldn't be able to survive a fall that high…

And then birds… So many birds, forming into a massive cloud, forming a face… The voice of a thousand birds at once, somehow human and ''not'' giving him a choice. Join the Endless Sky, or fall…

Eddie stares at the end of his cigarette, still glowing moonlight pale for a moment before it goes red again. He takes in a long ragged drag, suddenly feeling every year he's forgotten. His hand shakes, almost imperceptibly, just enough to scatter ash across his desk. He takes another, almost down to the filter, then crushes it out in the tray. "I remember falling," he says in a small, quiet voice, then forces his lips into a weak smile. "I guess you were wrong."

There's a brief flicker of anger in Sophia's face. Her hand lifts and she says, "No, you idiot. You cracked your… your skull open." She clenches her fingers and she says, "I had you brain on my fingers."

Her own hand shakes a little, so she clenches her fingers tighter and shoves her hand into the pocket of her coat. "That was part of my deal… All of me to the Smoking Mirror, for you."

Momentary disbelief flickers across his features (who would ever, for him?), then horror (why would anyone ever, for him?), finally settling into a sort of dazed nauseous look. It takes a lot to make Eddie nauseous, these days, but that will do the trick. He runs his hand across the back of his head, like checking for cracks, but of course there wouldn't be any. "There's nothing in here worth…" he trails off, then finally looks back up at her. "You shouldn't have. I never would have asked for that. You shouldn't have made that kind of…"

He needs to stand, suddenly, and he does, nearly knocking his chair back through the window. He paces behind the desk a few circuits, wings buzzing, trying to think things through. His brains feel pretty scrambled now, even back in his head where they're supposed to be. He forces himself to a stop, turning around to crack open the blinds where he always does, sucking in the wet air and watching the lightning flicker somewhere distant over the ocean.

Sophia just turns her attention to the windows. She reaches out and grabs the cord for the blinds, jerking several times until she gets them up … enough that she can look out over the water. Her voice is quiet as she says, "Join the Endless Sky or Fall. That was what was told of every single changeling that had some affinity for air. Bea, bless her heart… She shattered her body on that old locomotive in Tilicum Park in Forks. Quint drowned in the sea— him I couldn't save. The Duke took his body for … god only knows what." A shake of her head is given. "I'm much older than I look… I live long of dance by the grace of the Wyrd. I have so many members stored up. I was quite the battery for the Smoking Mirror."

Bea? Eddie's agitation grows at that, but it seems to soothe him a little, once he's had a chance to think on it. He might very well have asked, for Bea. He goes away from the window, letting her have it for now, kneeling down to rummage through the cabinet side of his desk. He comes up with a couple of mismatched drinking glasses (one made for highballs, one for old-fashioneds), then again with a bottle of bourbon he'd been saving for some really high-class bribery. "Not enough of one, I guess," he says, pouring, "because it didn't stop with you. How much do you know about all that? Lillian seemed surprised."

"I didn't know until it was too late." says Sophia with a shake of her head. She turns to look at him, her head tilting to the side. A small sigh is given, "I tried to tell you… but you'd just look right past me. Your eyes glanced off of me like I wasn't even there." A frown is given and she says, "I.. don't really know how it works. It seems /I/ remember things, still… but everything that I know, everything I feel, everything I experience so does the Smoking Mirror." Her hands spread and she says, "Some of it was on purpose. We were /supposed/ to all not quite forget but mostly forget the magical, while the scouts— Nora, Avaline, Johnson, Eric, and Qora went after the coronets. To help hide us all from Cahu. But… well, never barter with Elder Gods."

Eddie snorts a laugh at that last part, the first he's managed all night. He sets the bottle down and picks up a pen and starts scribbling those names: Avaline, Johnson, Eric, Qora, even Nora, just for good measure. Too late to do any good by now, but it feels like he ought to know their names, at least. "Nora's dead," he says, too scrambled to soften the blow, and not sure he really ought to. "Some time after she passed me the coronet. I've been looking after it a while, now. At least two of the others, for sure. Probably all of them."

He could really use a drink right now. Still, there's the demands of courtesy, so he picks up the first glass and holds it out to her. "We never found the fifth one."

"We will, soon." says Sophia. A little shake of her head is given and she says, "They are all dead. And then I will die, and so will Lillian, and the others." Another shake of her head is given, moonlight hair dancing over her shoulders. "Otherwise more than the birds and the bees will fall."

"So you're the one," Eddie says, troubled but unsurprised. He didn't know, but he'd suspected. He looks out the window again, not out at the sky now, but down at the street, where he saw her before. Maybe memories are heavier than questions after all. He's very quiet for a while, and seems further away than ought to be possible in such a small room. It's colder now even than it was before. "This could be our last winter," he finally whispers, to himself and to the rain more than anything, "it could be many more, pounding the Tuscan Sea on these rocks."

He sets the glass down on the windowsill, in case she changes his mind, and takes the other off his desk and drains it in one swallow. "Do what you must, be wise, cut your vines. And forget about hope. I think you read me that one, while I was laid up. What do we need to do?"

"Hope is tomorrow's veneer of today's disappointments." Sophia says, quietly. She picks up the glass and downs it. Knocking it back and setting the glass back down. A shake of her head is given and she says, "We find something that lets us go into memory to get the coronet. That's what we need to do."

"I never had much use for it anyway," Eddie says, "but I guess you know that. So that's what we do." He seems a little taller, somehow. Not happy, certainly, but resolved. Bolstered up, now that he has a goal, grim as the results may be once he achieves it. "Bea found something. A ring. She thought it was something to do with memories. You think that might do the trick?" He eyes his empty glass, briefly, and thinks about another. He decides against it in the end, twisting the cap back onto the bottle and replacing it in his desk cabinet.

Sophia rolls her shoulders a moment and says, "Yes." She pushes away from the window and …

Was Eddie talking to someone? He's pretty sure he was.

But it's been ten minutes since he last looked at the nearest time-telling device, and he's been standing awkwardly by his desk, with an empty glass in his hand, and his bourbon gone.

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