I Know Him


brian_icon.gif colette2_icon.gif tavisha_icon.gif teo_icon.gif

Scene Title I Know Him
Synopsis When a body washes up on the shores of Staten Island, people converge and realize the beginning of just how connected they are.
Date February 25, 2009

Staten Island, Coast

The coast of Staten Island is as much of a presence as its inland, with rivers that invade right into its heart as well as cutting off the circulation of transport from the rest of New York City. The coastal regions reflect a lot of this borough's rural nature, with rough shores and plantlife, broken brick, and general abandonment. The harbors are left to the devices of those that freely come and go, a conspicuous lack of official presence - a number of them notably overrun by the developing crime syndicate, but there are still quite a few, particularly on the coasts nearest to Brooklyn and Manhattan, that are accessible to the lawful public.

It isn't as bad as everyone says, not from a distance anyway.

The glow of lights far beyond the coast of Staten Island, the neon vomit of the Rookery, seems hardly like the pool of spilled blood and dollar bills that it really is. It's this distant perspective, long after the sun has set, that affords Colette Nichols with a measure of introspection on her new surroundings.

Clunk, clatter-clank.

She's been kicking a discarded can across the rocky coast for nearly an hour, hands tucked into the pockets of her jacket, hood down and hair tousled by the strong breeze coming in off of the water. From here, the shattered spine of the Verrazano-Narrows bridge serves as a focul point, a spot the young girl can view as a symbolic representation of her inability to cross back over to where she'd come from.

Like Alice and the Looking Glass.

Clunk, clatter-clunk.

Tonight, she wanders the shorelike alone. Kameron's dog, left behind at the Lighthouse, doesn't accompany her on this quiet walk along the coast. Moments of silent introspection like this give the girl time to find her sense of balance, a sense of peace despite everything boiling up inside of her — every last bit of doubt. It's not the first time she's taken this walk, over increasingly familiar rocks and pebbly beaches littered with old, smashed televisions, discarded cans of beer, tires, burned out hulks of cars tipped over embankments.

Clunk, clatter-clatter-thud

Mismatched eyes turn towards where her can found itself stuck, wedged between one of those old, torn up tires and some damp heap in the rocky sand. With a huff of breath to blow a lock of hair from her face, Colette begins walking over the loose, shifting rocks, easily navigating the beach despite it being a moonless, pitch black night. Maybe one day she'll realize exactly how it is she can see in the dark. Realize how she can make out the stark lines of a tangled body, laid out on its back, one arm tucked under the body's back, the other sprawled out to its side; deep and dark shades of red sinking into the sand.

Maybe one day she'll look back on this night, and laugh. But when she sees the shredded clothing, a body drained of color covered with a dozen bleeding cuts, eyes closed and umoving there isn't laughter spared. All she can do, is suck in a shuddering breath, one hand moving to clamp over her mouth as she stumbles back along the rocks.

Maybe one day she'll look back on this, and she'll laugh. But right now, all she can do is scream in horror when she recognizes the pallid and waterlogged face staring up at her silently.


Thud, thud, thud. The continual downhill nature of the dirt track Tavisha is following is starting to get old, especially when it's this dark, but he'd set off on his journey and he'd feel foolish for turning back now. Stubbornness drives him to continue, down towards the coastal edging of Staten Island, down towards where the publicised Lighthouse is situated. Curiousity, boredom, these things, urge him along - this place is his home now, he feels, and so now that he's alone for the evening - Gillian across the river, Jack doing what he does best - he takes the opportunity to explore what corners he hasn't.

The solitary nature of his walk through Staten Island harks back to his earlier days, when he truly had nothing to do. Nothing even to think about. It's different, now. He has plenty to think about, and he also has a cellphone, which is currently serving to light his way when what little light there is doesn't do the job for risk of breaking his ankle and feeling like an idiot upon crawling back inland.

Also, the screams of young women is a new addition. There's a pause as Tavisha goes still, bewildered. He can't help but wonder if maybe this is yet another audio hallucination of some kind, but the name, the name kind of rings a bell—

And there it goes again. Angled away from the Lighthouse but close by, nearer, towards the raw beach that is slowly turning the dirt beneath his boots to sand. Tavisha begins to walk again, slipping the cellphone back into the pocket of his green woolen coat— and then, he starts to run, despite the darkness. If he doesn't act upon hearing the scream of a woman on this Island, well, who will? He'd rather not think about it. And he does know that name.

On a scale of zero to ten, where the other bloated, burnt, rat-infested week-old Verrazano-Narrows corpses Teo had dragged up and sawed apart were 'zero' and Meryl Streep in that Zemeckis film registers as 'ten,' Teo probably comes in at about a six. Seven, if you want to be nice, and he's had a rough day so it would be nice if you were nice.

The water was cold. Means his face isn't swollen up from all the kicks and punches it took, and the blood has receded from his surface and extremities, reducing the bleeding flow from gashes that would've otherwise made up for lack of critical depth or crippling severity with vast and numerous quantity to a sluggish, viscuous trickle. He's pale. He's always been too pale for an Italian, anyway, but at least he's mostly just pale, not apparently missing any fingers— from the one hand that lays limp and prone against the luridly stained sand. Through a dozen and one slits in his skewed clothes, skin wet from two substances squints glassily at the sky, like eyes blinded by infection and cataracts.

There's a trace of a heartbeat in Tavisha's hearing and the strain of lungs processing oxygen with half of their capacity replaced by seawater.

The last thought that had blazed through his brain had emerged, refreshingly, in English, which he had otherwise lost for the past thirty minutes of unsteady swimming and steady blood loss. He'd thought, Lights!

Wherever Teo is now, there are none.

Hands trembling, Colette trips backwards over the loose rocks at her feet. She lands down, unceremoniously on the ground, scrambling away from the body. In her abject horror at finding Teo's lifeless form on the sands, the air around the young girl has begun to shift and distort, color desaturating away from her, draining down in some film-noir black and white cutout that oddly amplifies the ambient light around her at Teo at the same time, making the contrast of light and dark all that more stark.

It's only the sound of someone running, and the glow of a flashlight that causes Colette's panicked screaming to stop. Mismatched eyes move to the source of illumination, the monochromatic desaturation fading back to normal one color at a time, first reds, then yellows and oranges, all the way up through the brightest violet that gives the night its bluish hues. She scrambles to her feet, arms waving, screaming, "Hel — " She chokes on her worse, throat tight, "HELP!" Shaky feet awkwardly tumble through the sands, pulling the young girl towards the source of someone coming to the scene.

Perhaps one day, Colette will look back on this moment, and find the irony of calling out to the man who was once Sylar for help.

Today she's just glad someone, anyone is here to hear her screams.

The flash light of his cellphone switches off around the time the man dressed in a dark green coat gets the attention of the girl with her flailing arms. Certainly, he doesn't need superhuman hearing to pick up on that, although it cuts through the distraction of trying to pick up what other sounds might need to be heard. He makes deep steps in the sand as he runs over, a cautious run at best in this poor lighting, although the play of color he thought he might have seen circling around the girl and whatever it is she found—

"What's wrong?" Tavisha says, just loud enough for his voice to cut through as he approaches, a hand reaching out towards her as if to calm her. Close enough, now, to listen, and the noises of life gets his attention, taller man easily glancing over shorter girl towards where the shadowy figure of—

"Teo?" Tavisha wonders out loud, a little breathless from his journey downhill, a hand coming to touch Colette's arm as he tries to see, to confirm that her screaming was in fact the name of the man he knows. Hard to see, so, he moves at a slower stride, closer towards the unconscious figure amongst the rocks.

"He's dead! Jesus Christ — He's dead!" It's all Colette can manage, crying out in horror with one hand clamped down over her mouth, words strained through the cage of her fingers. The dark-haired man that comes in draws her focus, only when he begins to lay a hand on her arm, body tensing until he passes by, moving to the prone figure laying on the sand, "Oh my God, O-Oh my God, Teo…" Her eyes have already taken on that glassy quality to them, an unbecoming line of snot running down from her nose to her upper lip as she tries to choke back the horror of stumbling upon — what she can only imagine — is Teodoro Laudani's waterlogged corpse. She can't hear what Tavisha can.

"O-Oh my God, w-what are you — " She watches as Tavisha moves to the body, hurried and stumbling steps following him as she fumbles for the cell phone in her pocket, flipping it open with shaking hands, the glow of the screen bright, illuminating the damp quality of her wind-reddened cheeks, and the half-blinded features of her eyes.

She's actually dialing 911.

Clearly she's new here.

"Put the phone away, Colette."

Tavisha could have heard the pair coming for a while now. Especially when one of the men pumps the shotgun he holds as he jogged alongside his compatriot. Who just happens to look exactly like him. The pair of Brian's approach Colette and Tavisha relatively silent as they slow to a walk.

His lips twitch for a moment, as his eyes rest on the body of Teo and he hears what Colette has to say. The shotgun remains pointed at the ground, Tavisha doesn't seem to be a threat. Just a good Samaritan. So the non-shotgun wielding Brian quickly bolts past Colette and goes to aid the man in checking on the fallen Teo.

Don't scream. Don't fall down and cry, you have to be strong for her. The replicator leaves the shotgun in one hand as he takes a few steps over to Colette. Bringing up one hand he goes to put it on one of her shoulders. "Maybe you should come with me back up to the house.."

Unconsciously, Tavisha tries to avoid stepping into bloodied sand, barely even hearing the approach of twin Brians as he listens, now, to Teo, the shallow breathing and the heartbeat belying the pallor of his skin and the sheer amount of red— well, it looks like black under this sky, the stains spreading out from Teo's beaten form, and Tavisha kneels down just as Brian does the same. He barely even notes that there's another identical form of this stranger just by Colette, just that there are two of them, and the look the closest one gets is guarded, especially when he glances past him, sees the shape of a shotgun.

"He's not dead," Tavisha says, a hand coming up as if to touch Teo before thinking about it, hand hovering in midair in pure indecision. "Half-drowned and beaten to hell but not dead. I know this guy."

When the request is made to put the phone away, Colette turns to the sound of the familiar voice, eyes wide in disbelief, "B-But — He — " Then she sees the shotgun, and her heart sinks into her chest. The girl swallows, tightly, fear rising up in the back of her throat, it tastes like bile — it is bile. Swallowing that back down, her hands shakily close the phone, nervously fidgeting with it before stuffing it into the one of the front pocket of her suede jacket.

She should go back up to the house, hide her head under a pillow and just cry about what the hell she sees in front of her. Less than 48 hours on Staten Island, and already she's been exposed to death unlike any she — well, unlike any she remembers.

Colette squares her shoulders instead, staring down at Teo's unmoving form. Her eyes blink away the tears, shaking her head repeatedly without words. Quickly bringing one hand up to her eyes, wiping away the evidence that she's too young to be dealing with this. It's only Tavisha's words that rouse her from the shaken state, as best as they can, "He — " She immediately starts moving forward, no further than Tavisha, staring down at Teo with one hand covering her mouth slightly.

"Oh my God, we — shit is there even a hospital out here?" She looks, wild-eyed to Tavisha, then Brian, "This — This guy — he — " Wide eyes stare down at Teo, and the girl quickly drops into a crouch, holding out one hand until a glowing disc of light forms over her palm. It tilts up, balancing on a whisper thin edge made of tiny glowing gold particles, and then shines light like a flashlight down on Teo. The girl's brow tenses, and the light blossoms out into a ten foot radius of golden illumination, like firelight. "We — we have to — " She's not even sure, not even thinking straight enough to be wary about flippant use of her ability.

"I do too. He's my best friend." Which is kind of sad, Teo and Brian not being all that close. But as far as male camraderie goes, it's Teo. And Deckard. But Deckard's different. He stares down at the body, but when he goes to check the pulse-"How do you know he's alive?" The guy didn't even check his pulse or heartbeat or anything. Whatever. So all he has to do is call Abby—

// Sonofabitch.//

"I know a place not too far from here." He quickly intones to Tavisha. "I have a car." A crappy car, but still a car. With his new found 'inheritance' he has been wanting to buy a shiny red truck and drag it out to the island. But that has yet to happen, he's trying to be responsible or whatever.

His hand shoots up to grab Colette's wrist, and he yanks it down. Lots of people would stop to try and help a dead-seeming guy, but not everyone is supportive of flashlight hands. "Colette." Brian repeats, giving a little tug on her wrist. "I'm going to make sure he's okay. Do you believe me?" He asks steadily, even though his grip on her wrist is firm, he tries to put a little warmth into it. Somehow.

"I can— hear it," Tavisha explains, haltingly, but how he knows isn't important and is justly skimmed over, hands out not to maybe— move Teo, at at least get that arm out from behind his back, wincing at just how cold the man feels through even colder clothing.

He pauses, a hand stretching out the material enough to see the clean tears breaking through his shirt, but before he can really deduce anything, before it can really seem very familiar to him, the world lights up. The sudden light show, quickly interrupted, breaks his attention for the moment, blinking and squinting a little when the shadows are chased back by the will of the young woman, giving her a surprised and lingering look.

Later. Fanboy fascination with powers aside, the man who introduced him to his girlfriend… type person is lying near dead on a beach in the worst borough of New York City. At Brian's urging, Tavisha nods a little. "There's a clinic," he says, a moment of 'are you thinking what I'm thinking?', a little relieved. A car would be fantastic. Struggling with Teo inland all the way to the Rookery doesn't scream practicality, and there are no ambulances out this way, but at this area of the coast, they'll have to put up with a little of it. As one of the "twins" comforts the girl, because indeed he just assumes they're brothers, Tavisha moves to grip onto Teo's arm, telling the other one, "Help me."

At the grip to her arm, Colette grumbles and shakes her hand away, then hesitates when she realizes how much of an ass she's being. Finally noticing the other guy by Teo is Brian's brother, she arches a brow, "When'd he — " No time for that, really. The girl circles around Teo, looking down at the cuts on his body as she cups a hand over her mouth, "Look I — I'll be fine. I'm not leaving him, he — he's done way too much for me to just, I'll be a fucking nervous wreck."

Though she does take the clue about not lightning her hand again, eyes peering down at Teo as she starts to move for the Sicilian, but hesitates when she notices Brian's brother is already getting in to position to help carry him. "G-Guys he — is he even breathing?" Colette rubs a hand over her mouth again, "I — " she looks around, then down to her hands, "Jesus Christ, how did — who did — " The girl's jaw trembles, then stiffens, eyes gazing up and down the bleeding wounds on the poor man's body. "I'm going with you, I — I owe him."

Hear it? But no time for processing weird things right now. Or why this guy gives him that little itch in his brain as if he were familiar, but isn't really. "Filatov's." Brian affirms at Tavisha's words giving the man a reaffirming nod. "I'll get the car over here." But for appearances sake, "Can you get on the phone and get the car down here, man?" Brian asks to his 'brother'.

"Yup." Comes the short answer as Brian number two tries to reclaim Colette's arm. But if she wants this badly to go, there's probably no point in trying to stop her. But he can at least try and make sure she doesn't do anything else stupid. "He's going to be fine Colette. Trust me." He tries to say soothingly.

Over at the Lighthouse, the 91 Dodge Spirit is fired up. Time for twin #3 to make his arrival…

Tavisha opens his mouth. Shuts it again. Let's go of Teo's arm. Desolate beach isn't so desolate, because he can actually hear the car fire up from where they are, even if no one else in this vicinity can. Of course, it comes a little too early, which makes him go still with suspicion, but—

Ultimately, being surrounded by friends is what's best for Teo. He's no doctor, and Tavisha gets up out of his crouch, backing up a couple of steps, staring down at the injuries. The slashes in his clothing. At the fact he's left on a beach. Glancing between the two brothers, then towards Colette, he nods once. "He's going to be okay, he just needs help soon," he says, adding his own quietly toned few words of reassurance. "Just stay with him." Perhaps he's humoring Colette. Perhaps he thinks it's a good idea.

Safety assured, and the nagging knowledge he's supposed to be staying away from the clinic that houses a certain doctor's assistant anyway, drives Tavisha to give Brian a nod of thanks and move back on towards the dirt track from which he came.

"Fuck you he's not even breathing!" He is, but there's no way for her to notice. Colette throws a hand towards Teo, "He — he looks like someone fucking tried to cut him apart and you want to take him back into the city!?" The young girl's dark brows lower, face turning bright red, "I'm going." For all her tiny little fury, Colette for the moment seems to have forgotten who's house she's a guest in. "Or you might as well start dragging me back, I — " She flicks her mismatched gaze over to Teo, her hands clenched into fists before finally taking a step back, one hand rubbing over her brow as she pinches the bridge of her nose.

Watching the man she didn't even get the name of, Colette furrows her brows, looking over to Brian with a scowl. "Fine, whatever," She's shaking from head to toe Colette backs away from Teo's pale figure, jaw cocked to one side as she raises both of her hands to run through her hair. "Jesus Christ, Teo…" she whispers under her breath, backing away a few more steps. "I swear to God if — If he — " Her eyes wrench shut and she just shakes her head again, "W-whatever I — I'll go be a good little girl."

Well, no one ever told Brian running a halfway house for wayward kids would be easy or particularly rewarding.

Except her footfalls have her moving away from Teo and Brian, moving along the beach in a hustle of steps, "Hey!" She jogs up a few panting breaths later, turning to stop in front of Tavisha. "Hey I — thanks." For what, she's not really certain, looking across the sand towards where Brian struggles with Teo, teeth pressed into her lower lip. "You — You didn't have to — " Her hands fly up, shaking back and forth, then with a distracted look turns her focus back to the direction he was walking in. "Thanks for… coming to help. Y-you… I'm sorry." She starts to back away, feeling embarrassed and out of place as she tries to find the words she wants to say to the stranger, but can't.

"I—" Brian looks after the mysterious man who was helping him then riding off into the sunset to maybe bed a good little girl or something equally as cool and or dashing. Looking up at him, his lips press together for a moment. "Thanks." He says a bit too softly to the man who leaves him with the body of Teo.

"Colette. You need to calm down. You can go with us. Just please. We're going to get him through this okay. Flipping your shit isn't going to make him better." He goes to offer his hand, a hug, something. But then she's off running to Tavisha. So Brian is left with himself and himself. Going over to the other side of Teo he takes a knee, lowering his ear to the man's mouth. Listening for breath or something like that, they do it on the movies right? "What the fuck did you do?"

Less the sunset, or even bedding a good little girl, more a long walk back inland, because not all of us have cars. At the sound of footsteps, Tavisha does Colette the courtesy of slowing down rather than glance back, coming to a stop when she determinedly blocks his path. The action doesn't irritate him, just surprises him a little, and manages half a smile for her when she stumbles over her words, stutters out what she's trying to say. He's no stranger to awkwardness, not these days.

"It's alright," Tavisha says, with a shake of his head, taking half a step to the side so he might twist around enough towards where the two men are kneeling over Teo, the sound of the car getting closer and closer. The 'thanks' is heard, as easy as he can hear Teo's hindered breathing, the dull thud of his heart beat, and Tavisha looks back to Colette, trying not to flick his gaze towards the clearly blinded eye that blinks back at him. "I owe him too."

And if Teo's still in the clinic by the next day, maybe Tavisha'll do him the courtesy of visiting, Eileen's presence or not. Bring flowers, or something. For tonight, he seems prepared to leave it at that. Although… "Do you need to be walked back somewhere?" The offer is obligatory, practicality over true concern. He's not sure where she came from, she's just obviously so new. Newer than even him. If she says no, he's going to keep going on his way with a final goodbye.

It may come as some measure of relief to Brian, that most of the cold in Teo's limp corpus comes from the sea soaked into him. He wears too much clothes always, and he's soaked through in as many layers as he's wearing, sodden, waterlogged, even despite having shed some of that weight on his magical aquatic adventure. Eventually, when he's pried off the stone and sand, the handgun holstered at the small of his back smears a dent in Staten Island's shoreline; doomed to be effaced with the next lapping wave that comes up.

He's breathing, all right. Faintly, more a ghostly impression of temperature than a tangible pressure or discernible sound on the side of Brian's face, labored, wet with something that isn't health. He emanates neither heat nor cold and there's no smell on him except for brine.

The arm Tavisha had extricated is regaining color from the weird featureless state of severed circulation it had had before. Less, now, like someone had gutted a manikin for parts and plugged it into his arm, more like a human limb, thickness of veins and red knuckles, all. The sea tugs at his foot like a fretful dog. His buzzcut skull tilts bonelessly, capilating to simple gravity, the same defenseless roly-poly bowl of silly, impressionistic dreams as an infant's equally wispy-haired head.

The part of him that remains continues to be profoundly incapable for response. To all but Tavisha, anyway: there's a false start to a cough spasming through his chest, gone slack, dead in the water again before it makes it to his throat. Rub your ears and it sounds a little like a Thank you. Thanks, guys. I'm dying, here. Grazie.

Paused by Tavisha's side and away from the others, Colette looks past his broad shoulder towards Brian and his brother carrying Teo away, then back to the stranger. "I — um," he says he knows Teo, he came to help at the sounds of screaming, everything in her head says trust, but at the same time there's something so familiar about this guy's face. "You… could should me where this, uh, Filatov's is?" Her lips crook up into a smirk, one brow raising. Sure, Brian said she could go, but there's a part of her that feels for the stranger coming out of nowhere to help, mildly reminiscent of Tamara in a way, even down to the harmless and seemingly lost expression in his eyes.

"If you know Teo, he — it… it might help if there's some more friendly faces around when he comes to." The young girl offers out a small hand, that very same one that had earlier projected a radiant disc from it, "My name's Colette," she offers with the gesture, "It…" Her eyes narrow slightly, head tilting to the side as her mouth opens again, "That's where I know you from," she starts, a strange expression creeping across the girl's face…

"You were my neighbor, in Queens."

Well, it could've been worse.

February 25th: Jesus Walks
Previously in this storyline…
Jesus Walks

Next in this storyline…
Gentle Into That Good Night

February 25th: Darkness There, And Nothing More
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