|Feel Good Now|
|Summary: Revive Revival helps Louise Halevy work some things out.|
List of things that have gone wrong for Louise Halevy in the last three days:
- Leo won't kill on command for her
- Prisoner has escaped
- GN Cannon is cut in two
List of things that have gone right for Louise Halevy in the last three days:
As such, she's decided to stay right where she is and wait for Revive. ... well, maybe not quite /right/ where she is -- she spent most of last night with S -- with Marie, which was, at least, not a total loss, even if it was perhaps a bit awkward. Now, of course, she's returned to her own room again.
Tops on her agenda at the moment is lying there with a Neo-Game Boy, dong a whole lot of nothing. Usually she'd be doing something at least a little productive, but right now it seems lke there's not a whole lot of point to it. Almost everything that needs doing on the ship is done, and she is pretty miserable on top of it -- so why bother?
Revive Revival doesn't announce his presence by buzzing or knocking. He can get into Louise's quarters any time he pleases -- it's one of those things that comes with the kind of special privilege a guy like Revive Revival has. He's wearing his uniform, and he looks sleek and dangerous in it, like he always does. Sleek, dangerous, feminine, and beautiful.
"You know," Revive Revival says, adopting a tiny teasing tone in his womanly wisp of a voice, "I hear that there are much more fun things you can do with your hands, if you're looking to go blind."
Revive stands a few feet from the edge of Louise's bed, not making any motion to join her on it. His posture is rigid but still somehow relaxed -- he's got the kind of effortless supermodel grace that requires so much work that it stops looking like work and seems perfectly natural. Natural for Revive, anyway, who is better and more special than anyone else who might try it. Leo would just look ridiculous. All the same, Revive has his hands in his pockets, and he smiles, warmly and quietly.
When Revive speaks, Louise scrambles to sit up, discarding her toy of the moment and saying, "Ah -- s -- I didn't hear you come in." Once again, she manages to catch herself before actually apologizing. Once again, she manages to shut off just the tiniest bit of her humanity.
"It's good to see you again, Revive," she says, as she gets herself seated in a position that looks a little more natural. It's not that effortless grace -- but then, Louise is only human. So far. "I... can you sit down? I need to talk about... the last couple of days."
She turns the prison scene over in her head again and again. How did she screw up? How did she manage to turn it from 'Leo beats the living shit out of Allelujah' into 'Leo backs off'? Why couldn't he take that one little step further?
Revive purses his lips, watching the change in Louise. He doesn't even have to push her anymore -- back when she was still in the early stages of 'recovery,' he would find the amount of mental plying he had to do exhausting. Now he just has to walk into the room. It makes him happy, in a perverse, cruel way, and that might be the closest thing to a comforting vibe he can sent to Louise without faking it.
Without a word, Revive sits on the edge of the bed, close to Louise. He takes her hand -- her false one, her 'better' one -- and guides her so that she's laying again, but this time, across his lap, which is warm. His legs feel thin, but fit. His abdominals are hard under the uniform. Despite this, there's nothing sexual about the pose. Revive simply lets one strong, slim arm cradle Louise's head, holding her like a parent might a child.
Revive Revival still doesn't say a word. He still doesn't have to. He waits for Louise to continue at her own pace, taking the risk of doing nothing over the risk of pushing her. Still, there's a certain safety that comes from his hold, a sense that everything is that much more okay than when Louise wasn't in his arms.
Okay, so maybe he's using his quantum brain waves a /little/.
As Louise slips into that child's pose, she snuggles in close to Revive, making herself as comfortable in his arms as possible. For a good, healthy while, she just lies there in his arms, trying to get comfortable with what she has to say. She doesn't want to cry in front of him -- that's just embarassing.
Just the same, when she finally starts talking, she looks like she's about to start crying just the same. "... You probably know by now -- Leo wanted to wait until we got more information from the prisoner about... Marie, before killing him. And now he's escaped." Letting out a long, ragged sigh, Louise glances away from Revive for just a few seconds.
"He won't go back on the pills, either," she says. "I just want him to do something that'll help him... but he just -- refuses." The young heiress chews her lip a little, thinking about what she's going to say next. It feels wrong -- almost treacherous, especially to Leo. But... she's safe, here. She can say whatever she wants -- no, whatever she /needs/ to say. "Sometimes I think even /he's/ not fit for the world we're going to create. Like Takaya."
Revive listens without judgment. He doesn't stroke Louise or anything so crass -- he merely lets her adjust herself until she's comfortable, and then maintains that position, as if holding her barely required any effort at all. When she's finished speaking, he nods slowly, looking down and meeting her eyes.
"Louise... I know I told you to make Leo do it." Revive sounds like he's sugarcoating something he knows Louise doesn't want to hear, but -- well, he's coating it so thickly in sugar. "Why... didn't you kill the prisoner yourself? I'm curious. Do you see why that might also help test Leo's mettle, so to speak?"
Revive nods again, gently rocking his chin to some invisible rhythm. "It's not your fault the prisoner escaped, Louise, but I do expect you to show more initiative in the future. I can only guide you so far. I know it's hard--"
When did it become hard to think for herself? "--but sometimes, you're going to need to be able to take things into your own hands, when I'm not there to help you. It could be that he's not fit. It could very well be. Do you think you're ready to make that decision, though?" Revive intentionally juxtaposes his own emphasis on Louise's dependence and these minor challenges to it, seeing which side Louise levels out on, and hoping to guide her toward the ideal -- independence within the confines of an unlocked cage.
Slow, deep breaths. That's all Louise manages as Revive speaks, as she tries to sort through her own feelings on what he's saying. Of course, the fact that hers, right now, are so tied up in his doesn't even register with her. "I understand," she says, with a nod, "But I thought... it was supposed to be his. If it were me, I wouldn't have even bothered with questioning him... right now, it's about Leo's growth, I thought."
Shaking her head, she says, "But -- you're right. You're always right," as if she knew all along. "Right now, I don't think I'm ready to make that decision... but I feel like I'm getting there." These conversations on the tough questions are always Louise's favorites -- it's better than talking to a staff psychologist. Revive never tells her that her vengeful urges are a problem. Revive never tells her she doesn't have the right to decide who deserves to be in their new world.
"Revive... do you think Leo will ever come around?" she asks, chewing on her lip a little. "He's so -- selfish, and petty. He doesn't care about his love at all. Sometimes I don't know if he even cares about mine."
Revive allows another lazy smile to crawl onto his face. It's totally not sinister at all, although any 'remotely normal' person who walked in to find a smiling genderless Innovade glamour-queen-prince-boi-thing cradling a grown woman like the goddamn Pieta in her own bed would... probably find it a little creepy. But right now, in this private space, it not only feels perfectly normal, it feels natural and right.
"The idea was to make Leo grow, yes," Revive says. "But do you grow only when /you/ act? I like to think I've helped you grow, Louise. You can grow through what happens around you just as much as through what happens to you. Perhaps Leo Stenbuck would have grown if he had seen someone he cares for taking a step he could not take himself. Next time you're given the opportunity, perhaps..." Revive stops short of making it an order or anything like that. But the suggestion is strong.
"As for the boy himself... I don't know, Louise. I don't have a crystal ball." Revive's face grows serious. "But... it doesn't exactly require a crystal ball to predict the obvious, does it?"
Nodding to Revive, Louise takes the suggestion -- and the comment on Leo -- at face value, in their entirety. "... All right. I know what I have to do, now," she replies. Right /now/, what she has to do seems to involve a whole lot of lying there in Revive's arms, letting him cradle her in silence. After nearly a full minute, she continues, "... thank you, Revive."
One of her hands drifts toward one of his, not long after that; she gives it a gentle squeeze, as she finds herself at a loss for words. Revive's always been there for her, even when she's been in the roughest spots of her life -- both her old life alone, and her new life in him... so maybe it's not a loss for words, but simply the knowledge that she doesn't need to say anything else.
There'll be another chance. Louise is sure of it. There's /always/ another chance -- the wolf is always at the door, especially when that wolf is Celestial Being. She'll have an opportunity to show Leo the right path... perhaps it won't be as easy and as clean as before, but second chances are rarely so perfect.
Revive's smile returns when he squeezes Louise's hand as well. That silent moment lingers onward. He doesn't reply to her gratitude -- she should know by now that she doesn't need to thank him. He's just being a truly and completely excellent friend. After some time in contemplative silence, Revive speaks, gently, soothingly.
"You seem tired," Revive says, in what is less an observation and more an imperative. Whether Louise was sleepy or wide awake, Revive knows what he's talking about, obviously. "Why don't you get some sleep. Here." Revive shifts his lap slightly, lifting one arm so that Louise can get up.
"Go get changed into your nightclothes and get a glass of water so you can take your pills. I'll sit with you." Revive wants her to feel safe enough to drift into a good sleep, and wake up refreshed and strengthened -- so that she can associate these feelings with her decision to kill the next Celestial Being operative she can get her hands on. Sure, he had planned to spend the evening talking to Anew, but... she'll still be there tomorrow.
Louise hadn't /thought/ she was tired -- yet, all at once, she finds herself exhausted. Groaning a little as she shifts, Louise drags herself into an upright position. "Huh... all right," she says, walking over to her dresser drawers and pulling one of them out. After a little fumbling, she finds her nightclothes -- nothing impressive, since she's not spending the night with Leo.
She changes in front of Revive; why /shouldn't/ she? Revive is, after all, almost completely nonthreatening save for Louise's mild fear of disappointing him. "You're sweet," she affirms, yawning a little, eyelids fluttering as she does so. She starts toward her bed, but quickly remembers the other thing Revive asked her to do; she promptly turns right around, getting a tiny cup of water.
Curling up in bed, Louise reaches for her pills -- assuming Revive hasn't already taken them in hand to give to her.
As Louise changes, Revive doesn't even look. It's as if, for a moment, one of them is just flat-out not in the room -- whether the non-presence is Louise or Revive is debatable.
But by the time Louise has her glass of water, Revive has her pills. He intercepts her reach, presenting them to her with the solemn dignity of an award, as if receiving them was a privilege, or some sort of profound honor. He doesn't place them on her tongue, though. She's big enough, Revive reasons, that she can be given them like an adult.
After handing off the pills and taking the cup when Louise is done drinking from it, Revive sits at the edge of her bed. He crosses his legs and laces his fingers atop one knee, sitting like some kind of haughty schoolmistress. "Pleasant dreams, Louise," Revive says, letting his quantum brain waves pulse just a bit -- psychic ocean sounds.