1995-10-03A: Not Rosie

Participants:

Jack_icon.gif Siobhan_icon.gif

Scene Title Not Rosie
Synopsis Jack takes a few Grimmauld paintings to de-cursify. Drunk. Sio ends up in one of them. Much inebriated hilarity - and even some inebriated depression - occurs.
Location Torchwood Offices
Date October 03, 1995
Watch For Drunk!Jack's lack of mental filters.
Logger Not-Rosie

Jack is in the back room of his offices, looking over the portraits he's just finished removing curses from. The colors are a little brighter, and the room seems less oppresive. However, he still hates being here. He hates being near anything that reminds him of Rosie. This place, even though it's not home, is named for home, and in Jack's mind, that's plenty. He lifts a wand, and with an alcohol-induced shakiness, summons a bottle of firewhisky. It comes flying toward him, and he laughs at it, as though it were the fault of the wobbling bottle that it couldn't be arsed to come along a straight line, like it should. He catches it, fumbles at removing the lid, and swigs a long drink. "To Rosie."

The paths between the portraits are slow to change. It's one lesson Siobhan learned early. Such things, apparently, are dictated by each painting's relationship to the others around it. So if a portrait is removed from its home, the path to get to it slowly becomes more and more difficult to traverse. Handy, that. Siobhan had been sitting in a rather lovely painting of seaside cliffs, letting the soft sound brush over her mind and add to the calm. It was one of her favorite paintings from Grimmauld Place and so she'd made the trek to come sit and practice. Folding herself to sit cross-legged on the cliff nearest the frame, she closes her eyes and spends long, peaceful moments arranging her mind; thoughts are sifted through, organized and put away, each one seeming to meld into her mind until it's merely part of the scenery. Nothing to see here, folks - nothing to see, here. She's a little surprised not only at how swiftly it comes to her this time, but also how easily.

So it is that when the flying bottle of firewhiskey knocks into the corner of another painting and suddenly Siobhan can see out her frame, she looks peaceful and almost serene. Never one to waste an opportunity, Sio examines her brother while he is alone and unguarded. She doesn't have to smell the stench of firewhiskey to know that he's pissed off his arse and she heaves a heavy sigh. Swivelling her body around so that she's sitting cross-legged and facing him, she rests her elbows on her thighs and her chin in her hands. "Is that the best you can do?" she jabs playfully. "What happened to all the elegance in the world, hmm? Why not something like 'Until divinity decides to reveal the future to human kind, the sum of all human wisdom is contained within these two words; Wait and Hope.'?" She's teasing of course, but there's only a mild touch of humor to her tone. "Did you know Dumas was a wizard? Has a painting in one of the Malfoy attics." Oh yes, she's been everywhere this summer.

"Rosie?" Jack's voice wavers, and he sets the bottle down. It wobbles precariously, even nearly tips over, but luck wins out. He looks over at the painting and crawls toward the painting. "Heeyyyyyy. You look like my Rosie. You sound like my Rosie. But … that's fucked up. Cuz my Rosie's dead." He snorts, as though the thought of Rosie being right here is a funny thought. His wand points toward the picture, and he casts the most basic 'breaker spell. Specialis Revelo. He looks down at his wand when nothing shows up. "Huh. Must be broken." He takes to polishing it against his now-dingy shirt, possibly getting more gunk onto the wand than off. He tries the spell again with the same effect. "Huh. Maybe it's 'cuz I'm so shitfaced." He tilts his head listening to the woman's words, and nods. "Nah, it's more like … 'Life hath no joy, and Death no peace: The years change not, though they decrease, For hope is dead, for hope is dead. … Love dieth not, though hope is dead!' 'Wait and Hope.' My arse. He looks around for the bottle, grabbing it and taking another swig. "Wouldn't have guessed it of him, but I'm not terribly surprised." He shrugs. Unimportant.

Siobhan watches her brother crawl over to the painting and attempt to … show that she's not real? Show that there's magic on her? His guess as to the reasons for failure, however, earn him a disbelieving look - one brow lifting over the other in a very … familiar fashion. "You certainly are intoxicated," is her only dry remark on his state of mind, though her nose does wrinkle at his alternative to Dumas' timeless quote. "Don't be so macabre, Jack. You're starting to sound like Snape." And though the dark, twisted humor is something she can - and does - enjoy an appreciate in the older man, in her Jack it's just wrong. Fundamentally wrong. "I never would have guessed either, but he's actually rather lovely. Has a whole library of books he lets me read when I'm bored." And full of stories of his own for when the painted words become too much. "You'd be surprised how much cool stuff they've got stowed away up there."

Jack snorts. "Yeah. I'm in-toxeee-cay… I'm drunk off my arse. I'mma call you Rosie, even though you're not-Rosie. Because calling you Not-Rosie doesn't make any sense. So, you're Rosie." He shrugs, moving to arrange himself in front of the portrait, his face screwed up in a frown. He's trying to think. It's really difficult. "He's a bit of a prat, but it could be worse, I suppose. He's kinda nice looking." He gives his drunken smile, and snorts. "I told him so once, I think. Or tried to." Memory. It's the first to go. Something strikes him in what she's said. "You went into the attic at the Manor?" He's heard things about Lucius Malfoy's attic, his drawing room, his whole bloody house, come to that.

There's a part of her that yearns to correct his misconception, but a combination of common sense - he's too drunk to understand the complicated explanation right now - and self preservation - the fewer people who know, the better - has her biting her tongue. Besides, if it turns out she is dead after she'd said she isn't, well. That'd just be too cruel. So she just accepts what he says about Rosies and Not-Rosies and moves on to Point B. "Lucius Malfoy?" It's not a concept she'd ever given much thought to, before, but sitting down and pulling the picture to her mind's eye, she finds that she can't exactly disagree. "He's intelligent and he holds a lot of power." Where that power lies she doesn't comment on, either. It'd only muck things up in the end, but she's not used to keeping secrets from her brother. "And he didn't hex you into next week? How'd you manage that?" And then she recalls a few choice events and suddenly doesn't feel bad about keeping things from him at all. "I did, yeah." And the rest of the Manor. And the Parkinson's. And the Zabini's. And the Nott's. And even McNair's townhouse. All over, but she doesn't spill those beans.

"Huh. You even do stupid things like my Rosie. Wish you were her." Jack says, shrugging. He's dealing a little bit better with the loss. Not much, of course, but enough that it doesn't send him into a tailspin to think of her. For brief, drunken moments, at least. "It's a wonder you didn't get all hexed, either." He glares pointedly at the portrait. A small smile appears, showing just a hint of Old!Happy!Jack. "I'm good like that." He shakes his head. "People expect it of me. So, I don't disappoint. Besides," he waggles his eyebrows just a little, "it's fun."

Siobhahn's comments about how powerful Lucius Malfoy is merit more thought than he is capable of at the moment, so he merely nods. "Makes him more dangerous, not less, Rosie. But my Rosie knew that." He sighs, running a free hand through his hair. "Why do you look like her so much?" It's actually more of a question than a lament. Which is quite a step.

Siobhan's lip curls up in a sneer that Jack would recognize for sure if he was sober and that would give Alistaire heart-attacks to witness. "We don't all have your gift for bashing through things head-first and then coming up roses." It's a dry comment, but it does turn that sneer into a smile of sorts. "The trick is not to get caught." And she's been very good at that, so far. His idea of fun earns him a snort of wry amusement, but Siobhan chooses not to comment in favor of responding to his more sensible remark. "Makes him more interesting." And though Siobhan knows very well where the Malfoy patriarch's powers lie, she rocks back on her hipbones and watches Jack carefully. "C'mon, Jack. We've known Lord Malfoy and Narcissa since we were kids an' neither one of them ever did us a bad turn, now did they?" Playing Devil's Advocate? Possibly. She's got to entertain herself some way. "I don't, really." Look like her old self, that is. "Not nearly enough substance." Har. Har. Har.

"We dealt with him and his family on very specific bases." It does not occur to Jack to think that he's answering her back as though he really were talking to his little sister. "Here and there. And on polite terms and known grounds." He shifts a little, settlng in for a long discussion. "Just worry. You're kinda like her, and even if you're just a memory of someone who's kinda like my Rosie, memories are important." He grins, just for a brief moment. "She was there when I talked to Snape. I think. Or nearby?" He tries to remember that day through the haze of drink. "Hey, what can I say, Not-Rosie. It's a talent. It should be put into the curse-breaking brochures. 'Land on your arse and still look like you meant to? Fall into weird phials of something and end up smelling like lillies and begonias? Then maybe Curse-Breaking is for you. Only the luckiest bitches and bastards need apply.' " He ends his 'pitch' with a flourish, just missing the bottle of booze again. He sets it further out of the way — another small step — and snorts. "Sometimes, I wish I wasn't as lucky. Rather it'd have been me." Aaand the morose returns.

Sio shrugs, seemingly willing to drop the argument with a final comment. "So? I could say the same for Dumbledore." And she doesn't trust him one bit - even less now than ever, really - but she knows Jack does, still, and uses that to make her point. Her nose wrinkles in confusion as her brother mentions Snape, but then it clicks and she laughs out loud. "Tall, dark and brooding! Hah! Eileen'll love that one." She makes a mental note to tell the older witch all about that, but doesn't seem inclined to elaborate further on the subject. "Quite a sales pitch you've got, there." And she's grinning at him crookedly, then, the tip of her tongue poking out to one side between her teeth. "I think you missed your calling, there, Jack." The world of advertising would never be the same again. Breathing on the tips of her fingers, she rubs at them and then folds both hands into her robes for warmth. "You weren't even there." Cold, hard logic, that. "So stop being all mopey or I'll hex you." It's not a serious threat, but one used to try and lift him out of his funk. Whether or not she trusts him, he's still her Jack and she still doesn't feel right when he's blue. It's not natural.

"Great man, Dumbledore…" Jack quotes Hagrid, but there might be the slightest hint of sarcasm in his voice. He's a little angry with the headmaster for one reason. Nobody told him that Rosie was dead. That should have been the man's first priority: telling the family. Instead, he had to learn from someone who knew them tangentally, several months after the fact. He sighs. "Eileen?" He can't remember anyone by that name. The question is only asked to make conversation, and the answer doesn't really matter to him, because, after all, this isn't Rosie. "Well, if I were in advertising, it'd be in the front of the painter, not behind him." The big, flashing grin appears, disappearing just as quickly. "I know I wasn't there, dammit!" He slams a fist down on the ground. Several of the nearby paintings shake, though he reaches to steady only the one she's in. Not-Rosie is close enough to 'Rosie' that he will still do the protector thing. "Yeah. Tall, Dark, and Brooding. I think he was thrown by that, but you know, it's true."

"Yeah, a truly wonderous gardener." But that dry comment seems only to amuse Sio - for whatever reason. Baby Noble is odd, okay? "A friend," she asnwers smoothly, content in the fact that it's not even a little lie. When his fist slams the ground, she does startle - but not nearly as much as she would have before. Not nearly as much as she should have done. And isn't that a lovely thought? His confirmation of the title, however, has a slow, wicked grin spreading across Siobhan's face. "Was he really, now?" That's interesting - for more than one reason.

"Gardener? What?" Never mind, Jack. He's too drunk to try to understand it. "Really what? Tall dark and brooding? Yes. You know me… or would if you were my Rosie." His smile is sad. "I like guys, too." Duh. Admission is not really admission. Everyone who knows him knows this. "I think someone thought I was askin' Took to bed that one time. Wasn't. Would, but wasn't. He's not that way, I don't think." Their family healer is used to Jack, luckily. He pushes his mind away from the less pleasant thoughts. "So, whatcha doin' in a normally un-in-habit— empty painting?"

Thank Merlin for easily distracted drunks. "Oh yes, Jack. I know." And plans to use that information to its best possible purpose. It's the little things that have let her keep her sometimes tenuous grip on sanity over the last few months - the simple pleasures. Or the ones she can enjoy, at least. Like watching Snape squirm. "Artemis?" The Healer who discovered and solved Sio's Cruciatus allergy continues to have a fond place in her affections. "How is he?" She shrugs, allowing the back of her mind to slide away from this conversation and sort the thoughts into place as they come. It's not as if this scenario is in anyway dangerous, so she can afford to test herself and stretch her boundaries. "Practicing Occlumency." Jack's drunk and he knew she was learning it, anyway. "It … it helps. Here." To keep her her. "And it's very soothing." Now that she understands it better, anyway. "Which reminds me. This is supposed to be hanging in the upstairs drawing room at Grimmauld. What's it doing here?"

"De-hexing it. Gotta do something. Might as well go through that place and take all the weird stupid curses off all the paintings. Well, the ones that won't make the whole damn thing fall apart." He peers more closely at her. "Occlumency? Huh." Something rattles around in Jack's inebriated brain, but the neurons won't connect properly. "That's the brain-protection stuff. I learned that stuff." Kind of have to learn a little of it when you're never sure what kind of overreaching curses might be on a thing. "Some of it anyway." He wasn't very good at it. Over time, he's gotten a little more of a hang of it, but definitely nowhere near the pros, of course. "Yeah. Artemis. Somebody saw me kind of falling into him, and …" He shrugs, making a gesture with his hands that may mean, 'oh, you know the rest.'

Siobhan just sort of … stares. There are a few minutes of almost stunned silence, broken only by the soft scraping sounds of gravel against stone as she pushes to her feet. "Go to bed, Jack." Cause when Rosie can't understand what he's saying anymore, it's too far gone to be anything but a lost cause. "You're not making any sense." Which is, of course, the universal signal to call it a night. Leaning down to brush dust and gravel from her robes and denims, Siobhan sighs. "And don't forget to stick a Happy Hangover-B-Gone in the fridge before you go." The store-bought hangover potion wasn't as good as one brewed at home, but it would keep him from killing anyone tomorrow. She hopes. "I've got an appointment with a friend I very much can't be late for, but I'm sure I'll see you around." Oh yes, how could she possibly wait to sit down to tea with Eileen. Sio has things that need to be very casually let slip in the older woman's hearing. It's a vital mission, you see.

"You know, not-Rosie, that sounds like an exc-shell-ent idea." Jack nods twice in quick succession and then grabs his bottle. "Sleep well, Not-Rosie." He totally doesn't catch that she said she had an appointment. "Hangover potion. Right. Fridge. Cooly-thingy." He stands, or reaches an approximation thereof, and heads to find this potion his not-sister speaks of, and then go collapse into bed. "Niiiight!" He waves wiggly fingers at her, and staggers out of the room.


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