And it's so strange to leave a flower on a memory

And it's so strange to leave a flower on a memory

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And it's so strange to leave a flower on a memory

Post by Avery Bishop on Sat Mar 26, 2016 4:13 pm

Avery didn't quite know what to do with herself anymore. She had been granted two years with a man that she had loved more deeply than she had ever expected to, and the Ministry hadn't even gotten in their way. Truly, it had been something of a miracle the entire way through. And yet, of course it wasn't. Because he had been reckless, and spontaneous, and stupid, and perfect. And now he was gone. She had a piece of him left, a shadow that was rapidly becoming more and more lively every day. The girl's memories of her father were fading fast, and Avery wasn't sure if she should have been stopping it. If she should have taken out silver threads and borrowed the Hayes' pensieve to remind her.

But there could be no funeral. If there was, Avery got the feeling that his family wouldn't tell her anyway, despite their granddaughter. Niece. Cousin. They had never liked the girl's mother anyway. And how would they go about finding the girl without going through Avery first? Her name had changed, in a way. Perhaps to keep away the memory of when they picked her first one. Of the trip that started everything.

Now, she sat at the bar in the Leaky Cauldron, pretending like Declan hadn't given her the most horribly pitying look she had ever seen. All of her sleuthing about had been for nothing, because Keiran had told her the truth despite everything his gut had told him. Obviously he had to. And as broken up about the whole thing as she was, she couldn't blame him. But she also couldn't rely on him as she could have a year before. Half a year before. He was so thoroughly entrenched in his home life now that Avery imagined he almost never left, except to work when no one else could be there.

So she sat, knowing that Sophia was at home with Else, and that she would have to return to her mother's stead at some point. Sophia continually asked after whether or not they could go back to their house, but Avery couldn't bear the thought. It was in her name, so perhaps one day they would be able to make that move. But for now, she was content to watch the match thanks to the screens Declan had put up, and to drink until she forgot why life was so dreadful.

In truth, she looked a great deal better than she felt. Until someone tried to feel bad for her, she could manage to pull off a quite put-together image. She had always been brilliant at being something she wasn't. At pretending to be brave while she bottled everything up until it shattered and the feelings spilled everywhere. Lurking behind her eyes, though, was the undeniable pang of heartbreak.
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Re: And it's so strange to leave a flower on a memory

Post by Claire Bishop on Mon Mar 28, 2016 11:43 pm

If he was late... one more time, she was going to find a legal reason to put him down.

Gabby Short had promised to arrive. This was Claire's third attempt at a meeting with the man. The entire department was tired of going after him for petty thefts and trespassing and public drunkenness. She had a deal for him - either they could compile a case against him worthy of jail time, or he could start using his criminal nature for their benefit. She had a suspicion the man knew what was coming to him, and that was his reason for being an absentee. She wasn't horribly worried. She could always get a warrant.

She left the office, late as usual, dressed to give the correct impression of her purpose for being there, and walked down the busy street. She ran a hand through her hair, pushing it out of her way, and the heaviness of a deep sigh within her, a sigh she revisited at the end of every work day, one she would not release until the work day was over, until it was safe, until it wouldn't tear her apart, limb from limb.

She was being ridiculous. Life wasn't that bad.

It just wasn't that good, was all. She could manage with that, she supposed.

She opened the door to the Leaky and cast an eye around, spotting familiar faces but not the face she needed to see. She felt a frown worry at her lips, but she supposed he could just be running late. she turned towards the bar, figuring she could always get a tea and wait for him to show up.

That was when she saw a familiar face she had not seen in awhile.

She blinked, and instincts told her she should make a hasty exit. But this meeting was important and, on the off chance Gabby actually showed up, she could not risk him having the ammunition of him ditching the meeting. He would be much too pleased with himself, certainly. So... what should she do about... She couldn't just leave.

She blinked, and then couldn't believe that her feet were actually moving across the bar, approaching the blonde that she saw far too little of, all things considered.

"Hi."

That sounded a bit too casual for her liking. She cleared her throat. "Um, can I sit here?"
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Re: And it's so strange to leave a flower on a memory

Post by Avery Bishop on Tue Mar 29, 2016 1:10 am

Avery was mid-sip when Claire approached, but the moment she heard that greeting her mouth felt chalky and painfully dry, so she took another large gulp before reluctantly letting the glass clink back onto the top of the bar. Claire seemed nervous, still, but Avery knew that it would only get worse.

Her eyes must have been that cliché'd saucer size as she turned to look at her little sister. Really, Claire was the more mature one, despite lacking the marriage and babies add-ons, if only through virtue of maturity. Here Avery was, her same dramatic self.

At least she had more of an excuse this time, she supposed. There was at least that.

When she finally felt capable, which came after a few surprised blinks and another glance at her drink, Avery nodded. "Of course," she agreed. For what else could she say? That Claire wouldn't want to be there if she had heard the news?

Avery hadn't forgiven herself for hiding everything from her friends and colleagues. In truth, she had few of the former and too many of the latter. But Claire was both of those things, and on top of that she was family. The older blonde knew full well that she was breaking a million unspoken rules right then. But it was hard enough to tell herself the truth, nonetheless explain it to someone like Claire.

"Um," she attempted, wondering if she sounded like the room was swaying in front of her yet. "So how are things?"
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Re: And it's so strange to leave a flower on a memory

Post by Claire Bishop on Tue Apr 26, 2016 1:31 am

She still was completely baffled as to why she had allowed herself to approach her sister. What good could come of it? They had not been able to make it through the death of their father without their differences making a whole mess of the situation. Even when they had a reason to put aside their differences, they couldn't. Actually, Claire could. Almost too easily. Almost insultingly, and that was when Avery's emotions reared.

They weren't compatible sisters. They weren't compatible people.

But Avery was telling her she could sit. And Claire was flagging down a waiter. Her sister had something alcoholic. So she ordered herself a glass of white wine, choosing the appropriate option rather than a relateable one.

The drink arrived and she took a drink, enjoying how smooth the wine was that the bartender had chosen for her. She primly crossed her ankles and placed them on the bottom rung of the stool, placing her hands on the counter. Avery spoke before she could and she turned her head, flicking her eyes upwards in thought.

"I'm remarkably the same," Claire said. "I work. I work. I take home my work. Elsie tries to drag me out. And then I go to work." She took another drink, thinking about how a change would do her some good. Just, something to interrupt the daily slew of nothing on top of nothing. "And you?"
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Re: And it's so strange to leave a flower on a memory

Post by Avery Bishop on Tue Apr 26, 2016 11:05 am

Avery watched Claire's movements, out of the corner of her eye, with interest. The older blonde was never so proper outside of work - not just recently, but ever. She didn't have the patience, perhaps. Ironically - or coincidentally, depending on how you wanted to look at it - Claire began to talk about how busy she was with work. Part of Avery wished that she was as well, and while she did have things to do, the busier she was, the less she would think.

Avery couldn't quite meet Claire's gaze, though she kept trying by flicking her gaze in her sister's direction. Ah. There it was. What a weighted question that was, and Claire didn't even realize it. Her gaze fell to her fingers where they were curled tightly around her glass. The liquid inside was deceptive. What looked like a plain soda, perhaps with grenadine mixed in, was actually a mix of soda, vodka and a raspberry syrup that was - shockingly - phenomenal. When she had asked for 'something,' this is what Declan had given her. Perhaps he thought the tinge of sweetness would help.

It hadn't, of course, but the thought was nice.

Clearing her throat, Avery realized she'd been silent for a few seconds, leaving Claire in the lurch. "Well... Sophie and I have been living with mum," she said, intending to start off easy, with something less important. But she realized, after she'd finished the sentence, what it might sound like. "I mean, surely you've heard that Robin went missing?" She added quickly, hoping it would make her sound.... better? Avery didn't know. Perhaps it didn't matter. It was selfish to think that way, besides. For all she knew, Claire was internally blaming Robin for whatever had caused Avery to move out.

Either way, she needed to just spit it out. She needed to tell Claire now, before she heard from someone else. Avery had known for days. Over a week and a half, actually. Somehow, after missing him for more than half of a year, she felt resigned to her sadness. The grieving process had begun long before Keiran told her what he had seen, so now she was just in that limbo between depression and normality.

"He left on Sophie's birthday, to help a friend, I think," she lied, knowing full well why he had left. "And, um... Well, he didn't come back. In late November, Keiran went to find him, but he didn't return, either. Until early last week."

She had to pause, pressing her tongue up against the roof of her mouth. It felt dry again, but she knew better than to just down the drink in front of her. She was more of a lightweight than she cared to admit, besides. Bizarrely, she felt tears threatening her from behind her eyes. She wasn't sure how she had anything left anymore.

"Keiran had found him, you see. In the middle of nowhere, lying in--in the snow." She finally turned to look at her sister, wondering if it was fair to put it all so bluntly. Unable to say the correct word, she went for something a bit less callous. "He's gone, Claire."
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Re: And it's so strange to leave a flower on a memory

Post by Claire Bishop on Mon May 30, 2016 5:31 am

Sophie. Yes. That was… That was her niece, was it not? Because she was no longer a sister, a daughter, a professional, a friend. She was also an aunt. It was another title, another thing to describe her by, even if she had done absolutely nothing to earn it. All she had done was be born a Bishop. She hadn’t even worked hard to maintain that status.

Somehow, she matched. With that blonde hair, and that cream shirt, and the pale gold of her wine… It all fit together. She looked like she could be the spokeswoman in a commercial about a kitchen cleaner. Now that CleanBreeze does the work for me, I can enjoy some me time. Cue tossing the head back and laughing, as the commercial drone turns to her matching friends with their own matching outfits and matching drinks, and everything looks perfect under the font of the cleaning product brand.

She hated how much of a hypocrite she was. Only she knew it, too. That was one of the really maddening parts about it all. Claire could dress the part and do the job and stick to the script. But when it came down to it, it was also false. She crawled home into sweatpants and cried about her father and missed the one man she ever loved and watched mind numbing television as punishment for the life she had chosen.

She was the only one who could see it, making her lonely not only in the lies, but lonely in knowing them. Sometimes, sometimes… sometimes she thought Fred could see it, see the big fat ugly truth. It was in the way he looked at her, the quips he chose. Sometimes, she could feel him boring into her core and making her come undone. And she hated him because he was so smug for it and so confident in his ability to do it. But it did feel nice to air out the lie.

She didn’t know what her sister thought of her. She didn’t know what her sister thought of anything. The last time there had been actual warmth between the two had been before the divorce, the divorce that ruined Avery for life and that shut Claire out of life. She had heard some siblings turned to each other in nasty divorces, made the parents a common enemy, and become grand friends. She was too much of a realist to expect that to ever be the case for the two of them.

She hadn’t expected Robin’s name to come up. She had just been taking a drink of wine when his name came out. She blinked and lowered the glass. “Yes, I… I had heard. I assumed he was off… doing something he wasn’t…” She paused. She knew of Robin’s criminal background, as her position allowed her such information. She assumed Avery knew. But, as she had said, she didn’t know what her sister thought of anything.

But it all followed. The last time she had been with her sister had been through the death of her father, the death of a part of herself, and it was happening again.

Robin was dead. That was the word. Dead. The man she had lost her virginity to. The only man she had ever loved. The man she had left so her sister could take him. She had lost him and now he was lost. Lost. Gone.

Dead. Dead. Dead. That was a forever word. You could come back from a breakup. You could come back from a long distance. You could come back from New York and come back to at least be friends.

But Robin wasn’t coming back.

Claire could feel that resounding wave of numb and shock, spiraling through and trying to burst out of her fingertips and her toes, the top of her head and the base of her spine, finding no escape, pooling in the pit of her stomach. She was close to falling apart at the seams…

And Avery was holding back tears. Her eyes were shining and even though she had gotten through every horrible word, her voice had finally caught, her hands had finally trembled. Avery’s seams had already unloosed and spilled out. She had put on a temporary suit to hold herself together long enough to be out, to be okay, to tell her sister.

And just like her body had chosen to sit, her hand took its fate into its own hands. It reached out and took her hand, strength coursing out of her as she tightly clung to her sister’s hand. She felt her rigid face breaking from its familiar pattern of set eyes and a clenched jaw as it loosened and fell slack with empathy. “Avery. I am so sorry.”
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Re: And it's so strange to leave a flower on a memory

Post by Avery Bishop on Sun Jun 05, 2016 12:26 am

In another world, Claire would've been the one married to Robin. Perhaps Claire could have saved him. If not, maybe that incarnation of Claire would've told Avery and perhaps that duo would've had some variant of an adult sleepover to talk through everything and decide what was to be done. Instead, Avery lost her first tear, and it escaped down her cheek. Instead, the elder daughter was living with their mother because she couldn't bear to walk into the house that he had owned and invited her into, almost unwillingly. Unwillingly at first, that is.

Keiran had hated it, but it had been made clear that Robin had grown to love Avery as he had loved Claire. He had loved their daughter, he had beaten up his best friend when he thought Avery might be drawn away. He had taken her on adventures when he shouldn't have, knowing full well that she might mess them up because if Avery was anything, it was not 'sneaky.'

Claire's hand found Avery's just as the elder blonde was about to reach for her drink, so she caught herself and stared down at her lap instead. "I should've told you sooner. Mum knows, obviously. It's strange, being there instead of, well.. home. Thing is," she continued more slowly, "I received a letter months ago, saying that he was dead, and I didn't believe it. I was right not to, apparently, but I didn't do enough. Keiran went and I guess I should've gone with him.

"He left on Sophie's birthday, so I guess I should've accepted it by now. It's been over six months."

Avery shook her head, then did reach for her drink with her free hand. After taking a couple of sips, she looked over at Claire, registering for the first time that perhaps her sister had been planning a perfectly lovely evening. "Um. Sorry. You probably had something you came here for. Wasn't necessarily the ideal time to just... spring that on you."
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Re: And it's so strange to leave a flower on a memory

Post by Claire Bishop on Sun Jun 05, 2016 3:08 am

Claire did not know what lay for her once there was no face to put on, no act to uphold. Even if Avery had been a stronger person, one who understood that a history and past love couldn't just be erased, one who wasn't at such a precarious moment in her life, Claire would not have been able to open and reveal what she was feeling. Maybe with Elsie, she could show the pain and the hurt. But maybe not, either. Elsie had become far more distant, far more removed. She was currently off in... France, was it? She could hardly keep up.

There it was her. Her mental techniques she had learned when studying espionage in the states. Think about problems that did not involve conflicted emotions, consider problems with definitive solutions. Mentally backtrack from anything that could unravel you. And never, ever, let a shadow of unchecked emotion cross your face.

It was instinct at this point.

"It's fine," Claire said, in response to Avery's regrets. "There's no... manual for this kind of thing." She was really consoling someone else about the death of Robin Ivanov. This was happening. "And who's to say when someone should accept anything."

Avery reached for a drink and Claire let her hand slip away, reaching for her own drink. Claire could not help those pervasive thoughts : I would have gone looking for him. Even now. I would have wanted to see the body. I would have been there for him, even in death. But these weren't fair thoughts, not to her sister, not to herself. She had to banish them... even if she knew she was going to spend hours pouring over his death information at the Ministry, trying to find fault, trying to find justice, hoping to find some semblance of closure.

Claire quickly took a drink of her own wine, and both blondes set their drinks back down in unison.

Avery was giving her an out, a time to make an excuse and give her another reassuring squeeze before she left and sorted out all of these emotions, let them both sort out their feelings as they always had - separately. So it came as a surprise to her when out tumbled the words, "My last meeting cancelled on me. I have time."
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Re: And it's so strange to leave a flower on a memory

Post by Avery Bishop on Sun Jun 05, 2016 3:27 am

"It'll sound stupid but I can't help feeling that it was unfair. Keiran made sure that Robin's family knew, you know? Took him home. But they never liked me, so I didn't hear from them." She shook her head, grateful for the back of the barstool as she leaned against it and looked up towards the wine glasses that hung upside down from the bar's racks overhead. "I'm just a Bishop again. Not that it does me much good, knowing that Sophie will have his name, have some part of him in her."

Avery turned her head to look at Claire when she was informed that her worries were for naught. "Look, I- ... That is, when he first found out who I was - you know. That I'm related to you and all... I don't think he was very happy about it. Maybe he was happy that we didn't get along, but that's probably it."

She let out a breath through her nose that might've sounded like a laugh if she didn't look so thoroughly downtrodden.

"I don't know if it helps or harms, but he loved you, Claire. I don't think he would've ever actually have- I mean, if it weren't for the Ministry stepping in, he would've had no reason to- ..." Avery lifted her hands in an almost desperate gesture, implying that she just couldn't get the words out on her own. She didn't doubt that Claire understood, though. Everyone knew what those combination of words meant, it seemed. Perhaps if she had looked less dead inside than she felt, this would have been easier. "If he hadn't been forced to, if I hadn't changed my name... He would never have pushed that recognition away. Maybe some part of him didn't, but I think the bigger part did.

"We both worked at the Ministry, he could well have run into you. But he came by now and then, risking that chance. I wasn't-" she halted, having to turn her head away entirely to swallow down the guilt that she felt. "I wasn't enough for him and he knew it. Everyone did. I think that he loved me in his own way, but he would never have proposed to me, Claire," she concluded, swinging her gaze back around. "It shouldn't have been me."
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Re: And it's so strange to leave a flower on a memory

Post by Claire Bishop on Sun Jun 05, 2016 7:41 pm

Claire found herself falling back on the more comfortable position of the quiet listener, relying upon her abilities to observe and become a foundation, than offer any sort of advice. For all her mental clarity and resolve of character, she knew she did not have the emotional range to actually provide real lasting comfort or advice in this situation. She was struggling to keep her own feelings at bay, there was no way she could handle the even wilder feelings of the more tempestuous Bishop girl.

Still, she felt as though she might need to minister a little. "Losing his name doesn't mean you've lost the time you had. And besides, being 'just a Bishop' isn't so bad."

She, after all, was the one who could have been an Ivanov and chose to be 'just a Bishop.' She should know.

But Avery was insisting on talking about the thing they never talked about, the weird overlap in their lives that neither had expected. For such estranged siblings, it was amazing that they could both find love in the same man - it was mortifying, actually, that was the word. Claire assumed the two would just... work to forget that strange family similarity. But here it was.

"Ave-" Claire began, hoping to head Avery off, but she couldn't find space to do so. She dropped her head, breathing out and tapping a fingernail on the glass. She wanted to tell Avery that the other woman didn't need to do this, didn't need to reassure her, that she had long made peace with her decisions and choice - which was, of course, a bold-faced lie.

Claire also did not think it was good for Avery to invalidate all she had with her late husband, with the father of her child. Claire understood human psychology well enough to know that Avery just wanted reassurance that her experience was not null and void. Claire ran her tongue over her top row of teeth, and then swallowed, trying to steady herself for this difficult task.

"Should or shouldn't, it was," she said, finally lifting her head, her eyes a bit duller than normal, shielding any leftover, unbridled emotion that would wait to spill out until much later. "He was very different when I knew him, Avery. Very, very different. He proposed but there was no guarantee that he would do the things for me that he did for you. He stuck around, Avery. He stuck around. And you have his daughter. Who gives a f*ck about what should have been?"
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