Gillian’s reflexes are what makes her feet anchor to the ground, what make her body tense, shoulders square, arms flex - and what makes her almost reach for the gun tucked into the waistband of her jeans. Instead, she catches her own action halfway and simply leaves her hands on her sides, fingers slightly twitching to neutralize the threat she sees. It’s not that Riley’s gun worries her. She isn’t afraid of that. What makes her wonder, though, is why Riley would ever need a gun. It’s ironic when she sees a post-human with a weapon. She voices her thoughts aloud, I don’t remember being on an episode of Law & Order, so you might want to put that away. Her nonchalance is incredibly out of place - especially for someone threatened with a gun. Gillian should be apologizing, but she doesn’t because, well, she did actually follow Riley. They’re only a little bit away from work, and she’s been too distracted by that thing always lingering over her shoulder to call out to her friend. Besides, she had planned ahead to the point where she’d just follow Riley home and knock on her door. Didn’t exactly count on how aware Riley would be. I was going to talk to you. She says, shrugging. You’re basically my only friend, so. The blonde says that without a single indication that the statement really matters to her - like, most people would be resigned to the fact that they’re that lonely. Gillian isn’t. Less people bother her that way.
The Law and Order reference went over Riley’s head, not having ever heard of that and only confused her more. She ran a hand through her hair, growing frustrated. “What is it?” Riley asked, annoyed because if she wanted to speak she should have done so before Riley left the office. It was a pathetic lie in Riley’s opinion. She would have thought Gillian would be a better liar than that. But maybe she hadn’t planned on Riley noticing. Honestly, did Nexus forget the training she went through before all this happened? It was an insult to their own capabilities thinking she wouldn’t notice someone following her. Once Riley got home she would think it over and come to the conclusion Gillian might be watching her for Nexus. It would make sense to her then.
Leo threw his hands up, shielding himself, as a reflex, “Whoa, whoa!” He backed up enough to put a decent amount of distance in between them. “This is the way to the parking garage, right? I’m just trying to get home. I’m not armed. Just trying to get home.”
When he came into view, Riley sighed, running a hand through her hair. “Sorry—didn’t recognize you. It’s night—the light—shadow,” she attempted to explain. “A girl can’t be too careful sometimes.”
"Hey! — You don’t need that." Claire raised her hands, palms facing Riley, and gave a slight, sheepish smile. "I tried calling out to you, but I don’t think I was loud enough."
"Shit," she exhaled underneath her breath once Claire came into view. "So sorry," she closed her eyes and shook her head. Opening her arms and eyes, she walked closer to embrace Claire. "How’ve you been?"
Riley turned around abruptly. “Why are you following me?” She accused the other person, opening her trench coat only far enough to reveal her holstered gun.
Gillian just hollowly follows Riley with her eyes as the other woman walks over to the area where she’s been staring; Michelle simply dodges Riley’s arms and glares at Gillian, Are you just going to let her spout these lies? You know I’m real, Gillian. She resists the urge to respond and instead mumbles a “Mm” to Riley. Her hand tightens around her mug, and she feels like… just a whole void of nothing. There’s, there’s so many questions. What is she going to do? Listen to me, Michelle walks around Riley and stands next to Gillian, leaning in so close that she swears she can feel warm breath on her cheek. If she can feel it, how can it be false? What if… what if she’s seeing ghosts or something? What if she’s been in touch with the spirit world all along? What you’re going to do is walk out of here because this is stupid. Why do you even trust her in the first place? She’s one of Them, isn’t she? Don’t you remember what we said about Them? We said we’d stick together; how could you forget that? We’re humans; she’s a mistake. They’re all fucking mistakes. Gillian stands up straight and snaps at Michelle, her eyes lighting up with annoyance, The mistake here was trusting you in the first place. You fucking lied to me. She realizes her slip at the last moment and blushes furiously, immediately looking at her feet. If Michelle really isn’t there, then she’s… then she’s yelling at the air.
Her heart sinks as she listens to Riley’s words and those questions come raging up again. - God, she prays, please help me through these hard times. I’m lost and confused, and I need your help in interpreting the path you’ve set before me. I… I don’t understand why you’ve given me this… this situation. Please, please help me understand why, and I’ll do my best to embrace and trust your judgment and decisions, despite being unsettled by them. Please, God, I… - Emotions aren’t something she expresses easily, but the silent tears come, anyway. It’s incredibly uncomfortable to feel herself cry when she knows that Riley is watching. Gillian wipes at her tears and shakes her head, reluctantly meeting Riley’s eyes, No, no, I… came to you first. I, um, I trust you. She says it as if it’s the most obvious thing in the world; it truly is, really. Her doctor can’t give her the comfort she needs; those psychologists they sent her to after being medically discharged couldn’t give her ease. Only someone like her could, someone she knows is a God-loving person. There isn’t too many of those that she knows. She rubs at her eyes, trying to stop her tears, but they keep coming and she can feel Michelle’s hand on her shoulder, trying to comfort her but it’s not working. There’s nothing wrong with you, baby. She can’t listen, no, she can’t. You’re not sick. She doesn’t know what she’s saying. It’s so hard to resist. How could she be sick? That, that wasn’t her, it couldn’t be her. It isn’t her. Who? she asks, desperately, her voice almost a pleading whine, Who can possibly help me? I-I… she sighs, heavily, God wouldn’t listen. He- he gave me this, whatever this fucking brain chemistry or psychology you’re talking about… Gillian rubs her temple, forcing herself not to look at Michelle. Her voice drops low. Riley, what am I… what am I going to do? She can’t… does Nexus allow their employees to get their jobs back after they’ve gone to, what, a loony bin? I love her, she mumbles, shaking her head, She was perfect, and I loved her and… and he took her away, she’s nothing but, nothing but air. I’m right here, Gillian. No, no, you’re not. You’re not fucking real. she trembles, her whole body shaking uneasily away from her girlfriend’s hand on her shoulder.
When Gillian stands up and starts yelling, Riley is quickly on the defensive, tensing up and ready to diffuse the possibility of a fight between them if that were to happen. She knew Gillian wasn’t a post-human so that made things much easier, but she had military training that Riley lacked. “I.. didn’t lie to you.” Riley attempted, wondering if that realization would make things better between them, but then it quickly came to Riley’s mind that Gillian wasn’t speaking to her. She was speaking to the hallucination, the voice, whatever it was. She was. Gillian had said it was a woman, right? “Wait, never mind.” Riley put her hands up, feeling the tension inside her fade away. “You… weren’t talking to me.” She didn’t turn that into a question, but she still got her answer when Gillian said she trusted her. It was nice. To be trusted. Riley was aware of Gillian’s strong convictions and even stronger beliefs about the way the world works. She’s not very open minded. Riley hoped could have gone both ways, but it didn’t.
Having much experience about blaming God for receiving the shitty end of the stick, Riley didn’t know what to say. Especially when Gillian continued and confessed that this hallucination was once someone real, someone she loved. Someone that had passed. “It seems hopeless now. I know.” Riley frowns and looks to the ground as she sighed. Riley wasn’t the best person for advice. Hell, she didn’t even take her own advice. It was stupid. “But, with the proper treatment, everything will get better. It’s been proven that things get better that it can be maintained. Unfortunately, I’m not sure there’s a cure for mental illness, but… it can become manageable. To the point where it won’t interfere with your work like it’s doing now. Right now it is harming you. Right now you need to start receiving help. Don’t… don’t let your beliefs stop you from getting better. It’s the only way.” Riley hoped she understood. She really did, because if Gillian didn’t seek treatment and continued to see these hallucinations, well, it would only get worse. Riley isn’t sure what mental illness this fell under, but she knew, unchecked and untreated, it would be detrimental for the person and those around them.
plot ideas for riley
i added two new plot ideas (although i took one out)
"I’m glad that you aren’t an expert in politics. I have enough friends who are, it’s a nice switch up." Lina makes a kind smile in her direction before ordering a small portion of mozerella-sticks. They were her guilty pleasure and she figured she might want to have something to snack on because this conversation was off to a good pace. "You’re a woman who understands, Riley, and I love it." The woman compliments Riley before dipping one of her mozerella sticks in the marinara sauce provided. "I’m a criminal lawyer. So, if you’re ever in need of some help that involves the law — give me a call." Lina hands Riley her business card before continuing. "Even if I can’t help you personally, I know plenty of others who can."
"Ah, well, I guess I’m glad to give you something different today then." Riley takes a bite from her burger, although still listening to what the other woman was saying. She is smart, there’s no doubting that and Riley knows there could be something she would be able to learn from this woman, even if it is just facts about something. Riley thanks her for the compliment, genuinely appreciative of the opinion of someone much smarter than her. That was the thing with some smart people, they could make anything sound true. "A lawyer, wow." Riley is definitely impressed by that line of work. She takes the card and glances at it, nodding, before setting it in her purse. "I take it you’re the defender and not the prosecutor?" There was a difference between those two, right? Riley doubts herself momentarily, but it’s not like she can take those words back. "What kind of crime to specialize in?"
"You were planning on?” War turned to look the other woman over, skimmed over the tickets in her hand and the lack of people apparently with her, and drew her own conclusions, “Sounds like a good movie, though— you know, now you mention it, I think I might remember the first one. Had a talking plant thing, right?” She bumped her luggage and grinned when it came up, “Yeah, I mean, you don’t think they’ll notice, do ya? Got enough gummy bears in this thing to last for days, you don’t even know.”
"Had plans to," she raised the tickets in her hand, giving a close lipped forced smile. "But my friend cancelled unexpectedly. You can have them if you’re waiting on someone," she stretched her hand toward the other woman just in case. Her smile is more genuine as their conversation continues, feeling more comfortable. "A talking tree, yeah," she nodded, looking down at the luggage. "Nah, I’m pretty sure you’ll go right through. Although with the way things are priced here, I don’t blame you for bringing your own snacks."