Silence Is An Answer


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Scene Title Silence Is An Answer
Synopsis Confrontation ensues between Abigail and Flint in the bar while Raquelle gets busy getting water. Something breaks between the two at the end of the conversation and silence is always an answer.
Date January 8, 2010

Ghost Town, Mexico - Abandoned Bar

The interior of Flint's bar is — what it is. The floor is a flat slab the same color as the orangey adobe exterior. Sand is scattered in small piles where it filters in through cracks in the ceiling and around the door; light filters in gloomy shafts through a boarded up window and the partially criss-crossed back door.

The bar is clear save for a couple of old, old glasses and a bottle of whiskey. The shelves behind it are stocked, both with booze and non-perishables. Soup, fruit. Canned nuts. There is a hint of dreary organization about it — stuff with meat it in it's off to one side, vegetables (mostly untouched) have their own shelf. Rickety tables and chairs have mostly been pushed off to one side to make room for the cot he brought with him, currently host to a single ratty sheet, a pillow and a one-eyed ginger cat who can't be bothered to wake up and say hullo. There's bread in here somewhere. Spare clothes in a beat up old dresser. Guns. Beer. A jackrabbit skull with long brown teeth. But no electricity, and no running water.

It's cooler in here than it is outside, if not by much. A breeze skirts across the floor from back door to front as Flint crosses automatically over to the bar, scrubbing dust out've his hair as he goes.

He brought the cat. That thing is still alive? The sounds of the crutches are more audible in the enclosed area as she heads to the bar to deposit them and her hiking back. Pink is gone, no roots growing in yet, pale legs that could use a tan for all that they've been locked under jeans and pants in the cold weather. Sleeping bag, tent, even her shotgun is packed and attached to the side of her pack. She knew he was in the middle of nowhere.

Over towards the ginger beast she shuffle-hops with the colorfully decorated plaster. Eagle, Rooster, stick figured and misshapen suns and rainbows. The cot likely needs a good washing and she's mentally cataloging what needs to be sprayed, what needs to be burned, what needs just a good wash. Cat needs ones, even as she leans over to stroke it's head and run fingers through it's ginger hair.

"Well. I'm here"

Cat's still alive, yeah. He yawns when Abigail reaches over, overlarge tufty paws kneaded into tatty sheets and eyes squinted happily shut for what attention she's willing to show him. The cat likes company.

It's harder to tell with Flint.

There's a clink at Abby's back when he tips the whiskey bottle over to pour himself a glass, excess sloshed carelessly out onto the bar surface in the process. "Yeah," he says. "You are."

Meanwhile, the cot stinks about as much or more than he does and the cat's covered in a fine layer of chalky dust that comes away easily into a film on Abby's fingers.

Forefinger, middle and thumb rub together, somewhat offended by the dust and the filth, the stench. There's a well, from the sounds of it, he came into the city and he had a car. How hard would it have been to keep clean. Surely there are buckets to at least wash yourself down with. Instead he's- Nope, she's not going to think about it. She and Raquelle will deal with it.

"And you're back to whiskey full-time now?" An observation from the sound and smell. Her pink tongue darts out to moisten her lips as she lifts her sunglasses to give the place a good once over.

"So. A ghost town. Interesting choice, motivated by what? You know that some animals, when they know they're dying, will go away from where their family is, die alone. Is that what this is? You're dying? Choosing to die? This place have some significance to you, or maybe to it? Or are we feeling a tad suicidal?" One last scratch of the cat's head and she's thump-hopping over to the bar where he's made himself at home currently.

The whiskey bottle is liberated, or she attempts to at least, away from him and the mess that he's making. The cap located and put back on it. "Joseph is missing. I thought he was with you, but everyone said you were alone out here. No one knows where he is back home. I'm hoping that he didn't come with you and get himself killed and you buried him out in the back forty" Oh god, this place is so dirty. There's the dirt that accumulates from camping, and then there's this.

It's not that bad. Surely. When you live in a desert things get dirty, and the bar does show signs of having been swept clean every once and a while. There's no old food lying out, no undead stench of rot or sickness or even cat piss.

Dust is dust and sand is sand and Flint is more sober than he'd like to be. He lets her take the bottle but not the glass — the glass is downed at a single long swallow and thunked down to the bar like a spent shot, complete with ground teeth and a hard blink. He should've woken up earlier. Maybe he would've seen them coming.

"Yeah. You run off to Russia with Teo and Francois and I'm the one that's suicidal," rasped with a humorless chuckle, he draws one dirt-lined hand down against the coarse grain of his beard — only a few weeks denser than his usual short-shorn bristle — and draws in a deep breath, steeling himself. "I don't know what happened to Joseph. He was in the Terminal when I left."

"Oh so. That's your reasoning? Because I went to Russia at the behest of the government, you justify coming down here to the middle of Mexico to live in a place that's not fit for even the cat to live in?" Abby's arms cross beneath her chest, one hip out to lean against the bar and regard him. "Think none of us would notice you were gone when we came back? None of us would care? Were you hoping that you could outrun the folks who are unhappy with what you did to my face? Because I can tell you, that's not going to happen. Raquelle's the first in line to have a talk with you about that. What's this about Flint? What is running off and hiding in the barrens of Mexico about? You are a god damned grown man, you did something wrong and you've decided to hide instead of just dealing with it"

Abby shifts away from the bar, back to the cot for want of something to do with her hands other than grab him by the ear and drag him down to the well so she can flea dip him.

Instead she goes for the cot so she can gently displace the orange ragamuffin of a cat and start to strip the cot down, find a way to collapse it and start to drag it outside to be air. "Can't even take care of yourself"

Deckard's teeth bare in ill-suppressed irritation at her turning his jab back around on him without effort, but the vast majority of the resultant porcupine bristle turns inward and he says nothing.

For a minute.

Whiskey's still burning in his chest when he moves to pace back for the bar's end, cutting off her access to the unboarded door…if she ever manages to get that far. The cat she pushed off the cot hops back up with a baffled 'mrorrwl?' and immediately sets back to settling himself in again in the midst of the stripping process.

"I've been happy here, alone. Content. The fuck do you care, Abigail? I left the map in case you needed me to heal someone. Not so you could fly down here one day on the Vanguard's back and lecture me about being an asshole. You knew that in Milwaukee."

"Why? Why the fuck do I care?" He just did not say that. The cot goes crashing back down to the ground the few feet she managed to drag. "Why the fuck do I care? Can you seriously have been fucking me and think that I didn't care about you? Did you think that I would up and do that with someone I didn't care about? Because you know, if I did, then maybe I'd be on my back for Muldoon, or John Logan. I'm sure Logan would love to get a taste of what you've been getting. Know who else would? There's some customers in the bar wouldn't mind if I cared about them as well" There's a shrug of Abigail's slender shoulders, hands splayed outwards as if it was no big deal.

She moves forward then, getting in close to Flint, leaning her head upwards and nose to nearly nose despite the smell."You don't get a choice in dictating whether I should care or not. You never did and you never will. I choose who I care about. Even when you cracked your god damned hand across my face when I was trying to keep you from killing a man that I spent hours with Eileen saving and Hiro expended energy in bringing back from nineteen ninety-four, I cared about you." A lone forefinger pokes at his chest, lips thinned and a flush of red rising from her chest towards her face.

"You left a map, with an X, and your name for people to find you if they were hurt. Yet you left your phone. Left no way for people to contact you. In the two days it took for me to find you, if we'd needed healing, someone would have died Flint. So pass that line of bull down the line and think up of another because it might have worked with Teodoro but it's not with me."

She doesn't budge unless he does, not caring that he looms above her, weighs more than her and could easily smack her again or smack her down if he even thought of it. "I came on the back of a former Vanguard because he owes me and has stated that he owe's me and I called it in, like I'll do again. I got a hundred favors that if I want, I can call them in, no matter where you decided to sit your arse down Flint Deckard. Because I want an answer and I'm not leaving this dusty little corner of the world that you have managed to hide yourself off in until I get that answer from you. I deserve it"

At the crash and clatter of the felled cot, the perpetually nameless ginger tom goes springing away in an offended bristle and flings itself out the door like a shot. Dust literally drifts in its wake and Flint takes a single step forward — about all the steps he has time to take before Abby's somehow managed to hobble her way right up into his face.

To his credit he doesn't shrink back or cower or stiffen up. He's quiet while she goes on, blue eyes clear and cold enough to burn in the gloom and the dust. And the cat hair.

Whiskey factors into his stink up close, already stale on his breath where it's had time to fade somewhat out've his hair and clothes. Anger recedes from the dirt-defined lines around his face degree by degree, leaving inscrutable distance behind through the hollow of his jaw and the slacked knit of his brow. "What do you want to know?"

"Why'd you do it. I want to hear your reason for hitting me. I already know what others think the reason is that you did it. That you're scared, that it influenced you, that you got mad, a whole host of reasons. Doesn't erase the fact that you hit me, and I deserve to know why you did it" Abigail's not backing down, even though she's switched to breathing through her mouth as opposed to her nose in the hopes that it makes the smell less offensive. The flush has reached her neck, and one can imagine what her blood pressure is like. How it's been the last few weeks.

No answer.

Deckard glances down at the question, and aside. Then back to her, breathing slow and regular. More time passes in static silence. Wind rushes through wide-spaced slats and stirs sand across the floor. And when he finally moves, it's to shake his head at an angle so slight it's nearly imperceptible. Impossible to tell if it's a 'no' or an 'I don't know.'

"Can't even answer that can you" There's another shrug of her shoulders and eventually a look down and away from him. "Somehow, I knew that'd be the answer. It's the Flint Deckard way. Why answer when you can just be silent. Just be silent and maybe the problem will go away. Cause that always works for you" Another shrug of her shoulders and Abigail turns, jaw tight and lips pressed together. Only sound from her is the thump of the cast as she heads back for the cot so she can take it outside and start to clean it, heedless of the cat and it's abrupt departure. Thin fingers close around the metal supports as she hefts it up once again and starts for the door, not caring if he's still in the way.

"For what it's worth, and I guess it's worth nothing, what I said outside that room? It was wrong of me. For that, for that Flint. I'm sorry"

The apology is absorbed without any real reaction. Flint blinks. Then swallows. That's about it. He doesn't follow her back over to the cot and he doesn't say anything and he doesn't get out of her way. There's a lot he doesn't do, now and in general.

He is blocking her path to the door, though, even if he's not standing directly in the frame. There isn't enough room to get around him with the cot on either side.

"Did you really believe I was going to kill him?"

"Yes Flint. I did. Maybe not on purpose but he was badly hurt." She looks up, brought to a standstill before him again with his bed. "We pulled him out of the Forrest Flint. Five minutes before, he'd passed me, little five year old me, the gift and he was being hunted by the Vanguard. I wouldn't have called you if I didn't worry that he wouldn't make it through the night no matter what Eileen and I had done."

Abigail shakes her head, craning her head to look beyond him and hopefully for Raquelle to come sashaying through the door with water. "I don't know with you Flint. I really don't know any more. But you make me realize that I can't hide what it is that I want to do, what I like, who I like, like i'm ashamed of it. I also know, that… I'm not going to do that anymore, with any guy. Not till they're willing to do the same thing"

More than the lecturing or the yelling or the chest poking, the answer to his question seems to strike him. For all that she hasn't slapped him, she might's well have for all that he's staring blankly at her through the feeble drift of unsettled dust and particulate stink that filters in and out of pale sunlight. Outside, the sheet over the el camino flags at a regular flap flop flap and he glances after it when he realizes it's been too long for him to not have said anything again.

Raquelle doesn't show to break up the awkward and neither does he, but he does find thought enough to step aside to where the door is clear.

Words can cut just as sharp, sometimes sharper and hurt more than anything physical. Words of exile stab quicker to the heart than a blade sometimes. Flint steps aside and Abigail takes the silence as another answer, as his rebuttal and defense against what she said. The crutches remain behind long enough for her to get out the door with the cot to start housekeeping, and housecleaning Flint's temporary hovel.

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