everyone has to eat

who: kaori and svetlana
when: morning
where: kaori's house

Kaori got up, and went to make breakfast. She made scrambled eggs, some sausage, and coffee, before she squeezed fresh orange juice to add to it. Setting things up on a tray, she headed upstairs, grabbing a notebook and pen on her way up to the room Svetlana was located in. Knocking on the door softly, she stood back a pace or two so she wasn't crowding the door. "Hello? I've brought some breakfast, I was wondering if you would like to eat with me, miss?" she called in a gentle, even tone, not overly loud.

 - .

Svetlana heard knocking and groggily stuffed her fingers into her ears. Knocking in the walls was an old trick which she'd learned to ignore pretty early on. Only then she remembered that she wasn't in her isolation anymore, so there probably actually was someone knocking at the door. Bugger. And...oh for God's sake.
She rolled out of the bed again, quickly. They loved putting her back into bed, only for the next second it to be sending waves of electricity through her body. Not falling for it. Old tricks, old games, Svetlana figured it was time for them to try some new ones or just leave her the fuck alone.

Speaking of being left alone, there was knocking and talking. Female - so not the Doctor. Breakfast, again, was it? Had they got her note, or did she dream leaving it? She had dreamed a lot of things last night - horrible things. Been shaken and not quite herself. And then obviously drugged again if the fucking scientists had moved her.

Wrapping her blanket around her shoulders she opened the door a crack and glared at Kaori-bearing-Breakfast. The phrase "What the fuck do you want?" was not spoken, but was quite clearly the intention behind the tiny 'hrmph" noise she made, and the pissiness of her scowl.

 - .

"Good morning." Kaori said, not daunted by the scowl leveled on her. "I apologize for waking you." she added. "But looking at me like that isn't going to help your situation, I haven't done anything to you. You're also a guest in my home, and if we're going to be stuck here together, you're going to need to learn to get along with the others who are here. Now. Let's start again." she said, voice light, unpointed. It wasn't meant to needle her, the words were said with only the ring of truth to them, not with any accusation or venom. "I've made breakfast, and would like to share it with you, so perhaps we can get to know each other better and learn to communicate, if possible." she said. "Would this be acceptable?"

 - .

Svetlana was presented with two problems. Food was the first. She couldn't handle eating in front of another person. Even if she wanted to eat with Kaori (which, y'know, she didn't. but whatever), it wasn't something she could physically bring herself to do. The last thing she wanted was to get fat and greasy and gorge herself, and have some skinny Asian witness her doing it. But on the other hand? Food was comfort. She needed to have some available for when she got hungry - and she could feel the rumblings of hunger - for when she needed to purge everything out. So she might as well let the girl bring the food inside. She could do what she needed to later, after all.

The second problem was that Svetlana didn't like being told what to do. She wasn't a guest as far as she was concerned - she was an unwilling prisoner. But fuck it. After being locked up, and her guilt-dream last night, and the message she had sent to Adam, she might as well go the whole hog and let one of these gits into her bedroom. She heaved the door fully open and flounced into the room, cured up in the blue chair opposite the door with an expression that would not be out of place on a bratty 15 year old and gestured to the room with a "knock yourself out" kind of vibe. She did not, however, remove her steely gaze from Kaori's face. The death-glare had worked in the hospital, it unnerved people, made them go away. She'd try it out here, too. Why the hell not.

 - .

Kaori calmly entered, and went to set the tray on the small table by the comfortable chair located in the room, gesturing to it. "I've made two plates, I'm not sure where you'd like to sit, or where you would prefer I do. Do you have a preference?" she asked, looking back to Svetlana. Again, the girl's glare didn't seem to phase her at all. She even smiled gently at her. She also was specifically treating Svetlana's room as if it belonged to her. In Kaori's opinion, for the moment, it did. So, she was observing rules that would indicate she was now a guest in Svetlana's space.

 - .

Still staring wordlessly, looking like a rather pathetic highschool version of the Bride of Dracula, drained of colour and eyes filled with melodrama, Svetlana pointed her scrawny arm towards the bed. Kaori could sit there, because she sure as hell wasn't going to. She ignored the food for now. Having it next to her she could deal with and as long as the woman didn't start forcing the issue she wouldn't flip out about it.

Kaori was not worrying her, actually. She was small and calm, and didn't seem like she was serious business at all. Svetlana was sure that her non-flustered thing was an act, and Svetlana could out-stubborn anyone with ease.

 - .

Taking her own plate, and a glass of orange juice, Kaori went to sit on the bed. She sat on it indian style, facing Svetlana. "Now. It's clear to me that despite the fact that you tried to convince me yesterday that you spoke no English, that you understand me." she said, tone gentle, and non-accusational. "I'm sure you have reasons for the way you're behaving, and the attempt to isolate yourself." she continued, pausing only to take a drink of her juice, and to take a bite of her food. She waited until she'd swallowed before continuing. "I am also under the impression that you are the young lady that was arrested the other day." she added. "I'm assuming the sores on your wrists are from the handcuffs." She set her fork down for a moment, and just kept her gaze on Svetlana. "I have no plans to call and alert anyone that you're here. You are not a prisoner here, nor will you become one. I'm more interested in talking with you, and helping you adapt better to your current circumstances. Right now what I'm seeing is someone who is reacting accordingly to situations that you were likely involved in before the move to this place." she said, making an expansive gesture to indicate the town, not specifically her home.

"I too was part of an experiment, and I understand the need to take precautions. However, as I am understanding the current circumstances in town, I believe that whatever happened to you previously is over." she said. "Which does not mean that we aren't still at the mercy of the scientists, but I believe they have different goals and methods than those already used. So, whatever you are trying to caution against, I'm not sure will aid you. In fact, if you continue on as you are, I'm sure they'll start specifically tailoring tests just to mess with your feelings of safety, to crash through what you've set up as 'safe'." They'd done it enough times at the house. Every time they'd attempted to set something up for the good of everyone involved, to guard against what they'd put into place, the scientists had specifically set up situations that entirely circumvented their efforts. It had been frustrating to say the least, and she didn't imagine this girl would do well with being thwarted like that.

"You aren't here alone. You're upset, and frightened, and you don't know us, but we're in this together. I would like to try to help you become a part of things with us, as opposed to on your own. If for no other reason, than you may need help at some point, and I would like you to be able to call upon people for that, and we may need you to help us. I don't expect this to happen all at once, or even over the course of a day. Judging from the behavior you have displayed, I'm imagining that you have quite a lot to work through. So I suggest small steps. If you can go along with this, I can ensure people aren't crowding or rushing you. I would like to help you work through things, in any way I can, and if you can think of ways to do that, I'm happy to try them. I'm hoping we can work together."

 - .

Svetlana had planned to maintain a blank, bored stare throughout whatever Kaori said, but at the mention of being arrested Svetlana folded her arms underneath her pits trying to hide the red rings on her wrists and shifted uncomfortably. That hadn't been fun. She kept thinking about how scared Shane had looked when he pulled the gun on her. How unprepared they had been. Svetlana hated that, hated seeing people be weak. It triggered too much of who she used to be. It was too hard to cut herself off from them.

She bit her lip and frowned, continuing the wriggling that a guilty child would be proud of during Kaori's speech. Kaori wanted her to talk. She didn't think she could manage it. It hadn't been necessary for nine months, the only person she had spoken to had been herself, and that had just encouraged them to fuck with her. How could things be different now? It was only a matter of time before the torture started again. It was only ever a matter of time.

Svetlana shook her head, not quite sure what she was disagreeing to. She pressed her lips tightly together and looked at Kaori with a new expression. Pleading. Please don't make me. Just leave me alone. It's too hard. Hadn't they got her fucking note?

 - .

Well, the pleading sort of look was better than the glare. It meant at the very least, she was getting through on some level. She nodded towards the tray. "I brought you a notebook and pen." she said. "In case you wanted to communicate that way with me. I've dealt with people who prefer not to speak before." she told her. "And those who could not. There was a young woman in my experiment who was rendered mute at a young age. She had a scar on her throat." she said, indicating where Rin had had a scar. "I know this is going to be hard, but we can take things very slowly. Don't worry, we can go at whatever pace works for you. A little at a time would work best." Because rushing anything like this was just asking for relapse. So, she was good with baby-stepping it. She was also someone who believed in short term goals, setting small steps that one could achieve on their own. It built confidence. The big picture was important, certainly, but Kaori had always been someone who saw the trees instead of just the forest.

 - .

Svetlana reached over to the tray without looking and grabbed for the notebook and pen, keeping her eyes fixed on Kaori. Don't break eye contact - whoever does it first is the weaker party, after all. It was one of her unspoken rules of engagement.
She ripped the thing open and scrawled messily on the blank paper.

Not here. Not here. Not here.
Wrote it down last night. Or didn't. No-one seems to know.
And I did not tell a lie about the English. I am Ukrainian.
But no stupid Americans speak my language, do they?
So I have to try and remember. All my languages at one time.
Everything is hard.
Not here.
Go away.

She finished the thing off with a big swooping cross, scrunched it into a lose ball, and threw it at Kaori. Her huffiness was definitely worthy of the naughty step, but Svetlana didn't care. There. That was the most anyone had got out of her, communication wise, for a long time. She didn't plan on a sequel. That would just have to do. She wasn't here, mentally. She didn't want to be. She didn't want Kaori to be. Pretty much any negative meaning you could pour into those two words were adequate.

 - ...

Kaori took the ball of note and unballed it, reading the words there. "Well, first of all, I didn't say you lied, I said you were trying to get us to believe you didn't understand us." she corrected gently, reasonably. "It's a manipulation technique. I'm sure you believed if we did not speak your language that we would give up and leave you alone. It's alright, it was a valid effort." Kaori assured her. "It means you're intelligent, and your privacy is important to you." she finished. Then she went on to her next point. "Second...you are here. You're here, and you're going to continue to be here. Pretending otherwise will not help you. Continuing to avoid will not help you. Playing games will not either. I've said already what, and mean it when I say that I'll be doing my best to help you." She gave a light smile. "I'm going to be difficult to get rid of, and why would you do that in the first place? Logically speaking, the more of us there are around you, the less likely the scientists are to take things out on you only."

Which was not necessarily how she felt about the subject, but she thought that the idea was something the woman could latch onto. If she put things in such a light that it was best for her own well being to start adapting herself to her new situation, she imagined she'd have an easier time. The goal was to get the girl at least somewhat re-integrated into a more normal situation, how she got there was less relevant. It didn't have to be sunshine and roses, heartfelt or anything. It could in fact, be purely selfish and only about personal survival.

 - .

Svetlana pulled her knees up to her chin and pouted. The more of them there were around her the harder it was to hide. Attention would be drawn to her. And then of course there was the issue of what happened when she found the weak ones? the ones who couldn't take care of themselves, who needed help? People like Ben - there were bound to be more. What happened when her guts started churning with that feeling of needing to help and interfere? She couldn't risk it. She couldn't risk the complications.

Of course, Kaori didn't need to know this. All Kaori needed was that she was perfectly alright on her own.She didn't need pity. She had died - hung from the ceiling like a rag doll. Been in hell and paid for her sins, and now? Now it was just a matter of staying alive. She grabbed another sheet of paper and scrawled once more.

What do you gain, then?
I was alone before...
I died. just ask Shane. Idiots idiots.
and now?
I don't play there games.
I don't play yours.
No games. Just surviving.
Why the FUCK do you care?
Go away.

The English was worse in this one. Written with less deliberation. She forgot grammar and spelling so easily. She threw the note in the same fashion, but with a little more force - aiming at Kaori's head, and then buried her face into her knees. Time was up.

 - .

Paper being thrown at her was hardly the worst experience Kaori had ever gone through with a patient. So, again, she was unphased, and didn't look ruffled by Svetlana's behavior. She just got the note, and read it over. Then she looked back up to Svetlana. "To address your first question first--what do I gain--the answer is a better living environment for everyone here. Not only a better living environment, but a survivability factor that rises. For instance--the power is flickering today. I personally do not know how to fix that. It means I need to find someone who does, because I cannot do it on my own. There's a reason human beings are social creatures who live in communities. It's because it's a necessary function of life. Right now, we're in the middle of nowhere in Russia in the winter. It's going to get very cold very fast, and if we don't have power and heat, we're all going to freeze to death. If we don't work together, then we're going to get picked off one by one by the scientists, an easy feat, considering even most recent events--everyone being moved in the night. Clearly, they have access to us, and can do as they wish whenever they would like, and we won't even remember it." she said. "I want as many people to make it as possible. The more of us that survive, the better chance there is at keeping more alive, and getting the scientists brought to justice at a later point. If, for instance, you alone got out and went to the authorities, it would easily be laughed off. However if a group of us do, and we're all backing one another's testimonials, it will get looked into."

She paused, and looked at the note again, before continuing. "You were alone before. Was this by choice, or because of your experiment?" she asked. "I'm assuming you were isolated in your experiment. C, was it?" she asked rhetorically. "They did that to you, and you're continuing to let them by self-imposed solitude. Basically, you're letting them win, because they don't even have to cage you up by now, you're doing it to yourself." she told Svetlana lightly. "If you died, you've obviously been ressucitated, because you're sitting here with me. Therefore you aren't dead, you're surviving. You say just surviving. What I'm trying to tell you is that your goal here--surviving--isn't going to be reached if you continue on as you are."

She took one more moment before she addressed the last point. "I care because that's the type of person I am. I see someone who needs help, and I'm sure a lot of people would give up immediately on you, as a matter of course. I don't function in that way. Life isn't easy, and I never expect everything to just fall into place, or take no work. I'm willing to do this. I would prefer not to see you continue on as-is and have an awful fate befall you."

 - .

Svetlana was in full not-talking mode. She kept her face pressed into her knees and rocked gently in the chair. She told herself didn't care about any of what Kaori said, or believe it. The meddling bitch had been in her space too long, she was getting too close, and Svetlana hated it. Was reminded of the doctors in the facility pumping her with things, ripped from one trauma to another to another without so much as a by-your-leave. Who gave a fuck if she was handling it badly? She was handling it her way.

An awful fate had already befallen Svetlana. She was broken and wrong. Not the same girl who'd signed up for a social experiment. Nothing worse could happen to her. She just wanted to be alone. Even if it was irrational. Even if she couldn't explain it. She was happier without having to worry about the feelings of others.

She pulled her hands to the back of her head and pushed the fingers into her spiky, badly cut hair. Felt at the scab left there by that stupid fucking chimp who'd pushed her. People were forever pushing her. Her natural reaction was to push back, of course it was. She was Svetlana Rosalie Hutz, strict and bossy and stubborn and pushy.

Only she wasn't any more. She was broken. So fine, fine. She'd stop pushing. They wanted to take that from her too. Fuck.

She kept up the silence, curled in her ball, for what felt like a good few minutes. Letting the hush steep itself into the air. And then suddenly, She looked up at Kaori, her expression blank, passive, disinterested. She picked up the pad one last time, writing without looking. Didn't throw it this time, held it up for Kaori to see. Anything to shut her up and make her leave.

What do you want me to do?

 - .

Kaori read the words there and gave a light smile. She wasn't stupid enough to think that she'd magically gotten through to Svetlana and everything was going to be roses from here out. But progress was progress. "I'd like to know your name. Or at the very least, what you would like me to call you." she said. "For today, that's all. Tomorrow, we can work on something else. Maybe we could meet in the living room, in the morning?" she suggested, wanting to go for a neutral space, hoping that would help some. "If you prefer in here, that's fine, I would just prefer not to invade your personal space any more than absolutely necessary. If you think to, if you make me a list of things you like to eat, I can try to have them made or set aside for you." she added, not at all adverse to either cooking, or setting aside things that this girl liked. It was the little things.

 - .

Svetlana scrunched up her face. She wanted a name. Urgh. Fuck it, ripping the band-aid off quickly is always the best option, isn't it? better than sunshine.
She began to write again. She looked passive, but her insides were boiling.
She'd agree to whatever the woman wanted. Didn't mean she had to fucking do it.

My name is Svetlana.
You want me to come and see you fine.
But no Doctors.
Don't want that doctor anywhere near me.

she paused for a moment before she continued. She wasn't going to go - in fact, she was going to try and leave tonight. Despite the snow. She'd find a way. But she might as well be on the safe side.

Don't want Adam or Everett either.

She ignored the food issue entirely. She'd get her own food. Sneak down in the night and hoard. That was best. Then she could just have it in her room, and no-one would make her actually eat it. Not that she was staying. No way. She'd go back to her own little house. She nodded to herself as she held up her notepad and tried to look meek. She didn't pull it off very well, Svetlana was anything but meek, but she wanted to seem like she was playing along.

 - .

"That's acceptable. Dave can stay clear. Everett can as well. Adam...I knew an Adam, from my experiment. Basically anyone that you don't want to have to deal with during this you don't have to. I'm not going to make you interact with people you aren't comfortable with and wish to avoid." Kaori reassured her. "And Svetlana. That's a pretty name." she said.

 - .

Blah blah blah. Svetlana attempted a smile, but it came across as more of a sarcastic smirk, and she gestured her hands towards the door, shooing Kaori out. Svetlana was a common name in Ukraine, not that pretty. But let her have her false niceties. Let here have whatever she wanted if only she'd leave. Svetlana was going to get the hell out of this place. Snow or no snow.

 - .

It never helped to overly push anything, so, Kaori stood, and headed for the door. "I hope you enjoy your breakfast." she told Svetlana, nodding to the girl before she exited, shutting the door behind herself. This...was going to be a ton of work.