Reality Check-In


alexander_icon.gif helena_icon.gif teo_icon.gif

Scene Title Reality Check-In
Synopsis Alex, Helena, and Teo catch up the day after Cameron's death.
Date October 17, 2008

Apartment 1407

Some time ago this spacious apartment may have been a comfortable and warm place to live. The architecture is reminiscent of old-world New York, with many hallways and corridors leading to wide open living spaces and dining rooms. But in whatever times has passed since someone lived here, it has not been kind. Plastic and sheets cover much of the contents of the apartment, pulled over armoires and cabinets, couches and chairs and tables. Boxes half-filled with personal belongings are stacked up in cleared out areas of what might have at one time been a living room. Windows with blinds partly drawn view the streets of what is clearly the Lower East Side.

The address Helena sent to Teo and Alexander was for an apartment in the Lower East Side. It's not a posh neighborhood, but it's definitely not a bad one. She greets them at the door clad in a men's shirt, a pair of bluejeans, and boots that that belong to Claire. "C'mon in guys." she offers quietly. Much of the larger furniture have their storage sheets pulled off to be made use of. It's clear Helena feels at home here, even if it's unlikely that it's her home.

Alexander is….weary-looking. Happily, he's had a couple of changes of clothes in his car, because he hasn't dared head back to the squat he currently lives in. This life on the run thing can be so tedious.

From over the cab man's shoulder, Teo doesn't look quite as worn out. Fatigue shows on the edges of his face, a little of it, but there's a raw light in his eyes, a nervy twitch to his stance and the set of his shoulders, his hands crammed into his pockets as if he'd had to wedge them in there lest they enact some idiotic will of their own. He's clad in different clothes, but not ones he owns; he had a few acquaintances living in the university's frat scene who had been both too drunk and too happy to see him to notice there was anything particularly amiss with him stumbling into a roof party from the ass-end of the evening. He apparently hadn't been the only one. "Evening, Hel," he says, stepping in after the older man.

Helena considers a moment, and then studies them both. "Tarterus." she says, even as she's already let them in. Well, if they're not who they say they are, she'll have to explain the interior damage to the apartment's owner another time. And also, "I can order food if you guys are hungry." She's still waiting for that password response, though.

Alexander says the password, patiently, and waits for her to let him through. "I would love Indian," he says, perking up visibly at the very thought. "And…can I take a shower? I know it's an imposition but…."

Teo gives her a smile that doesn't reach his mouth, a squint of the eyes. "Elysium." Once inside, he swings his arms behind himself; the small, hideous block of his .45 is pushed out. With a distinct click back onto safety, it's dropped on the couch before he yanks the gray denim jacket off by the sleeves. The borrowed garment is crumpled lazily between his palms, ditched on the couch as well while he sets himself on the floor, tucking the handgun back in. "Indian works good. Whose place is this?" A casual question. He glances over the half-packaged belongings, furnishings, the blinds conspicuously empty of dust.

"Peter's." is the reply, even as Helena moves into the kitchen, rummaging through a drawer. Upon finding the right menu, she returns to the living room and tosses it first to Alex. "Pick what you want, and of course you can take a shower. I want to know if the subway is viable for a temporary living space. And what's needed to confirm the museum is livable."

"Museum is structurally sound. We'd not use all of it. Likely basement, part of some of the smaller halls on the upper floor, definitely the offices. Make use of the restaurant's kitchen, for certain," Al says, succinctly, even as he catches the menu and runs an absentminded eye down the choices on offer.

The back of Teo's head meets the armrest of the couch with a solid noise. Too solid; he doesn't look tired, he looks like he's trying to convince himself not to get up and start climbing the walls. "The subway needs— maybe two days if we work fast. I found someone with a diesel generator just off the island, I think Al's talked to him. Take half a day to get it in, down, and installed. The poison should've cleared out of the tunnels the other day, all ventilation considered, so we can start thinking about moving people and furniture down as soon as some lights are wired."

He nods at Al's assessment of the museum, scratching his eyebrow with a blunt thumb nail. "The squatter didn't look like the type to fuck around with the works, so…" his mouth flattens. "I was about to say 'I'm not expecting any surprises,' but." He doesn't bother finishing that sentence, shifting his stare to the back of the menu in Alex's hands as if trying to X-ray access his obvious preferences.

Helena considers. "If the subway tunnel can be ready by Sunday night, that'll do. We'll only need it temporarily, until the museum is ready. How long until we can shift over to the museum?" She's waiting for the pair to make their choices, clearly. "I also need to talk to you guys about something else - PARIAH's leadership."

"I'd say a week, to have the beginnings of a livable space. We need to thoroughly sound out what's safe, what we need to conceal our comings and goings, set up exit routes and hide-aways," Al says, dropping into a seat limply, after handing off the menu to Teo. And then he goes silent, and eyes Helena.

The menu is taken with an easy snatch of fingers. Teo doesn't move his head, lifts the paper up in front of his eyes for a moment. He finds it. Masala. Also, poori bread. That stuff is awesome. Like balloons baked out of flour. Precisely the kind of combination a glorified plumber needs to keep himself going. Or such are the errant, irreverent notions that pass through his head while he's keeping others out, and they keep the tone of his voice light, clear when he answers: "Then I'll pick up the generator tomorrow." And they'll be online by Sunday. He drops the menu to his lap in order to look up at the girl, almost silhouetted against against the electric ceiling light. "That would be you," he answers without a lift at the end to imply any question or uncertainty. Also, the sun is yellow.

Helena gives Teo a wry look, pausing to rise and place the order over the phone, adding in her own request and seeming inclined to pay in cash. Returning to the couch to wait she says, "I'll let everyone know where they can start trickling in on Sunday night. I want you two to do what's necessary to get the museum habitable, even if only minimally as soon as possible. We can make fixing it up more securely as a group. Use whoever you need to that's willing to help." Clearly she trusts the pair to take care of it. Then, "I can't do it alone. Claire's been occupied with her family, or I'd ask for her help. I'm going to keep my eye out for someone to share the hat with. But the thing is, I trust you two a lot, and I'm going to be looking at you both to help me get things done. Yeah?" she looks between them.

Alexander offers a little salute. "I understand. I'm happy to be…." he searches for a suitable metaphor, and comes up with "Starbuck to your Ahab? No. Maybe….Helo to your Adama." That's better. Even though Tigh is second in command, well, he's a drunken, mean bastard. "We'll have at least one floor workable pretty soon."

Teo's right eyebrow curls on his forehead, advertising his ignorance far as Helo, and Adama go. Metaphors and Melville, he's comfortable with; popular media references are, however, not so much his domain. He doesn't answer until after Alex has, and it's subtle but obvious, that that isn't so much because he's deferring to the older man as a priority than because he's actually taking longer to accept. There couldn't have been much doubt that he ultimately would, but it takes him an extra moment, his features showing a measure of muted surprise and nerves.

"Yeah," he agrees once for all of the questions. He can get stuff done. "Hope Claire's family is doing okay." Nor is that a lipservice courtesy. "We should go after the squatter one of these weekdays, then." A beat, relevant associations clicking into place in Teodoro's head; he twists his head slightly, looking at Alex first, then Hel. "I'm going to get in a few night classes if I can, but Knight here may be enjoying exigent circumstances for more than 48 hours, from what I remember." His throat moves. "Any word what the coroner found out?" He means the jacket, the prints.

Helena shakes her head. "We're all scattered. I'll have to talk to Sergei to get those details. But I think I have something - a few weeks ago - you were both out - I saw this man, he killed someone just the same way that Cameron was killed. I told Cam about it, and Eve as well. Only I didn't see his face. So I know who killed Cameron, it's the one they're calling The Reaper - but I don't know who he is."

"To the best of my knowledge, they don't have anything out for me. I've had no contact with the cops, official or no," Al says, tone gone oddly clinical. "You've seen this serial killer, then. That…you might wanna drop an anonymous dime to the cops. Might help 'em."

Murder, then. Teodoro wasn't honestly optimistic enough to believe otherwise. Coincidences are capable of being just as offensive, but not to the leader of PARIAH, just outside the Hangar. The invocation of that moniker, though— The Reaper? That's pretty fucking eerie. "You might want to drop an official notice to PARIAH, too," he says. "Anything you remember about him, even if it isn't much. I doubt anybody will get too trigger-ready over it, if you're worried about your people cutting down any dozen civilians who match the half a description. Hell, I think it'll help focus the aggression a little. Eve didn't look too stable when I left her last night." Eve may well be the upper end of that bracket, but the bracket's there. Teo suspects Alexander is the other extreme.

Helena shakes her head. "I didn't see his face at all." she says mournfully. "It was shadowed." There's a pause. "The birds were acting weird. I don't exactly know if that's something to go on, but." At the mention of Eve, she closes her eyes and takes a cleansing breath. Opening them again she says, "Could you look in on her, Teo? I'm far from the best person to deal with Eve, even with this."

Alexander looks entirely innocent. "Yeah, it likely is. That may be an ability he has," Alex muses, and then shakes his head, as if clearing it. "I'll get that shower now, if you don't mind…."

"Body type, height, anything," Teo says succinctly, but without pressing the subject. His brow furrows slightly. "The birds sound pretty distinct," he remarks, as a proud owner and companion of a budgerigar himself, but that notion, too, is floating around in the nebulous realm of speculation. In contrast, Helena's orders are fairly concrete. He twists his mouth slightly. "Will do." Not one to trouble himself with the interpersonal wrinkles of others until they become tactically relevant, he leaves that alone. Glances up when Alexander makes his proposition, and allows humor to touch his features finally, faint. "In fretta," he says, cuffing the olderman lightly across the calf. "Quickly. For all our sakes and the edibility of my masala."

"Your masala's going to be edible no matter whether he's in the shower or not." Helena points out as they watch Alex disappear further into the apartment. She looks back at Teo. "You think I'm being too harsh with Eve?" she asks.

Teo scratches at his shoulder through his shirt, his arm held slack, idle, but something frenetic about the twitch of his fingers. "I should've been more tactless," he says wryly. "I meant: he stinks like shit and it's getting on stuff." Thus a shower would be helpful, a kind and magnanimous thing to do. Discussing Eve, on the other hand, isn't something he immediately recognizes as beneficial, even if he lacks malice toward either the seer or her young critic. So he exchanges quizzical glances with Helena a moment, before offering her a Gallic shrug. "As someone who helps you get things done, I think being hard on Eve accomplishes something, and being sweeter would accomplish something different.

"She could probably use a friend right now, but I've never been under the impression that that's what we owe PARIAH or the people in it. Or I'd say, yeah, you were being too harsh. I think you might lose her," he says, after a moment, glancing of and idly and up at the ceiling as if referring to Heaven or somebody in it, though he isn't.

"I'll be honest." Helena says. "The only reason I don't lose her is because I'm afraid of what might happen if I did." She sighs. "Maybe she'll grow up after all of this." It just made Helena older. She shakes her head. "Do you want to borrow the shower too? The couches are also comfy if you guys want to crash here. Alex has before. But I'm not a gentleman; I get the bed."

Teo picks up one leg, bending the knee at the joint where it was stiffening in its sprawl. "I'll see if there's space after Alex figures out what he wants to do," he says. He doesn't have to mention aloud, that he has places to go, somewhere to stay, paid for or with invitation, and discreet, whereas the other guy apparently spent the night out of the trunk of a cab and rolled in looking seventy shades more cramped and haggard for it. If there's room, he might exploit the convenience; if not, well. He's fucking wired, anyway. He sniffs at himself once, nothing lewd or anatomically particular. Smiles crookedly. "Thanks, I'm fine. Although I would kill for a beer," he notes suddenly, pushing himself up onto his feet with an effortless shove of one shoulder against the couch. He cocks his head. "What might happen if you lost her?"

Helena rises, heading for the fridge. "She gets caught by Sylar and her brain sucked out. Or she gets snagged by HomeSec or the Company, and they have their resident telepaths root around that head of hers and find everything she knows about PARIAH." When she returns she has two bottles - Red Stripe. Hooray beer.

Two fingers snare a bottleneck from Hel's grip, and Teo turns to brace the cap against the table's edge, pops it free with a sharp strike from the heel of his hand. Offers to do hers too, suspecting or at least making allowance for the possibility that she isn't the kind of teenager who wanders around with an opener hinged on her key ring. He's pretty good at recognizing those, normally. He used to be one of them. "Then you probably need do something about her," he says, without real proposition as to what. "I'll see how she's doing— and I like her," he adds, as if that weren't apparent despite the business tack their assembly required, "but I kind of get the feeling you and I aren't exactly interchangeable.

"Could be the height difference." The rank difference. The difference in the time spent, the blood spilled, the errors survived. He's been in the background, good there. Lacking anything else to say about the precognitive in her absence, he takes a swing of beer and looks around the apartment. "How's your boy?"

Teo seems to get it on a few counts but namely opener and metaphorical height. She does likewise with her beer and resettles herself. "Then do you mind if I kind of…make you the unofficial Eve wrangler? It's probably better if I just take a step back from dealing with her unless I have to. It'll keep her happy and save my sanity."

"Peter…" Helena shrugs. "He's still with the Company." she says, her lips pursing. "And I don't know if he's going to come home once they find Elle Bishop or not." And she's afraid that after that duty is fulfilled, he may stay with them.

"I don't mind," Teo says, accepting that as easily as he had the next thing, or the ones before, no matter how diplomatically the request was phrased or not. "I'll let you know if it doesn't work." In which case— well, he hopes Alexander has to come up with the next course of action, then, because that leaves the two of them clueless. He folds his tall frame, drops into a crouch before rocking backward on his heels to sit cross-legged just beyond her feet. He looks surprised at her take on Peter, though less than he could be. That might be thanks to the relative impact of Cameron's undoing, or chalked up to the time Petrelli has spent away and presumably drinking the Kool-Aid. "Is that like…" his brow creases as he prods at verbiage. "Fighting the good fight from inside the belly of the beast, or did he change his mind about who the beast is?"

Helena looks momentarily somewhat pinched in the face. "He says they're not who we thought they were. That they aren't holding Molly Walker and never were. Thinks they do good, but they've still got some bad direction. But he also thinks PARIAH isn't a target, at least not for the moment. He's staying because he feels responsible for Elle Bishop, and when that's over…" she trails off.

The Sicilian takes another pull from his beer, dropping the amber meniscus down to the level where his hand is closed around the cold glass. He doesn't say anything for a moment, studying the girl's heart-shaped face, the conversational lull broken up by the distant patter of Alex sluicing off a day's worth of cramped concealment. "That sounds kind of like optimistic intelligence and tactical advantages," terms that he's used to seeing her employ. They have a man in the PD. Damn telepaths aside, having one in the Company doesn't sound like an altogether suicidal idea, and if anyone was equipped to deal with damn telepaths— "All that aside—" He's about to say something else, but either forgets or thinks better of it. A quaver-beat, and he raises his bottle, good-naturedly finishes with: "Bottoms up."

October 17th: Two for Tea
October 17th: Business as Usual
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