deckard3_icon.gif eileen_icon.gif teo_icon.gif

Scene Title Tonight
Synopsis Eileen delivers Logan's message to Teo and Deckard.
Date March 4, 2009

Overgrown Cemetery

Toniiiight I'm gonna have myseeeelf a real good time
I feel aliii-ii-ii-iiiiive and the world turning inside out, yeah!
And floating arouuund in ecstasy
So don't. Stop. Me. Now. Don't stop me
'cause I'm having a good time, having a good time…

Somehow, daylight over the cemetery looks no less bleak or dispiriting than evening. Moreso, maybe. There's none of that silver limning, starlight or a rock candy moon. With the sky a toilet paper shade of white, the headstones look charcoaled in, physical objects bleached and flattened out in stark, over-simplified, dioramatic relief against the shadows and drab texture of coarse grass. It makes Teo feel fewer compunctions about dropping cigarette butts or stomping them out here, which is shallow, and he'd be the first to admit to that, but he'll take calm however artificial or temporary it is.

Eileen asked to meet. There are only a handful of reasons she'd have done so, and she had made no bones about mentioning Abigail straight off. Easily enough to bring an end to Teodoro's brief vacation on Manhattan, and tap the lanky old grave-robber she had requested beside. The Sicilian is just inside the graveyard's front gates, waiting. His long black pant legs and straight-lined hooligan's slouch are drawn with a weird aesthetic consistency with the rusted bars he stands parallel behind.

There are a lot of distractions on Staten Island, even during the day. Bars, flashing signs, mostly naked people. All the way naked people. It may not be surprising then that Deckard isn't early today, or even on time. He's three minutes late, overcoat collar flipped high to keep freezing wind off the back of his neck. He's approaching from a different direction. Not the gates, but some unseen hole worked into the perimeter by someone who shouldn't have been there. Possibly him.

He's not hard to pick out at a distance. Tall, scruffy man in a suit, coat, and eye patch, all blacks and various shades of grey. He's washed out under the wan absence of color overhead, faded and pale. When he's close enough to Teo to say hey, he lifts his chin instead, weight crackling against hardened snow and some long-dead plant detritus.

A broad-winged shadow passes overhead, blotting out the blanched glow of the sun behind the clouds, and a moment later a large black raven alights itself on the cemetery's gate, long claws curling around the wrought-iron barb that is its perch. With a low croak, it angles its head toward Deckard's shape and fixes one beetle black eye on the man's approach.

There's no sign of Eileen yet, but then again Eileen probably isn't the sort of person who possesses a high opinion of punctuality — time is a fluid thing that carves its own course composed of circular eddies and whorls doubling back on themselves. She'll find her way here, eventually, and if the portentous-looking herald seated on the gate's highest point is any indication, then eventually will be soon.

Other clandestine meetings on Staten Island are held at dingy bars or restaurant backrooms. Unfortunately, when you're the visiting team, one's choice of venues are somewhat less accommodating. Or civilized. Also don't have clocks, apparently much to the detriment of those who did actually show up early.

Teo is smiling, slightly. There isn't a lot of mirth to the look he's cocking at the landed bird, but it it's far from an unfriendly look, either. He winds five rough fingers into the lapel of his coat, pulls out a disposable phone still wrapped up in the thin moulding of plastic packaging. The small device is waggled back and forth, once, a gesture that means — among other things — Hello.

The next moment, he swivels his head to follow the precise quirk of the raven's. Teo waves an arm.

Deckard isn't smiling. Gloved hands shoved down deep into his pockets, he slows and scuffs to a standstill once he's within distance of easy conversation. He looks Teo over once before lifting his attention to the bird. Memory sketched all in crossbeams and bones overlays the big-beaked mass of feathers currently staring at him, and somewhere in the back of his mind, two and two click neatly together to make four.

There but too subtle to be of real significance, the lines between his brows etch in a little deeper. One more reason to hate Felix.

Eileen's slim figure emerges from behind the remains of a lichen-covered mausoleum toward the rear of the cemetery, dressed in a heavy gray coat and long wool stockings that encase the bony shape of her legs and protect them from the chill in the air. Her face isn't afforded the same treatment, though she doesn't appear too bothered by the cold, cheeks flushed a rosy shade of coral pink as she makes her way down the aisle toward the two men.

The dark circles under her eyes and the gaunt lines of her face are as apparent as ever, compounded the weary expression she wears. Either she hasn't been getting a lot of sleep lately, or the situation has started affecting her almost as much as it's already affecting them.

Just like Teo to be the only one who bothers to use the gate. He doesn't move away from it as the other two draw out of the stones and desiccated shadows and his face doesn't change. At his side, the disposable phone seesaws once or twice, frenetically, an idle fidget rather than nervous, the tips of his fingers rolling, penduluming the edge of plastic inside their clasp.

There's a brief, quizzical squint shunted sidelong at the avian when it elicits more of a reaction in the old man than carrion crawlers are normally wont to. Mostly, though, he's paying attention to the other ones with hands. And once they're within earshot, the usual salutation: "Buongiorno."

This is maybe the closest to the actual gate Deckard has ever been. His narrow study of the raven branches out over wrought iron, twitchy, flickering adjustments of focus and direction tracking along with evident distraction until the footsteps of a third party drag him back to the present.

His head turns all the way around, largely by awkward necessity. His shoulders are slower to follow, but soon enough, he's squared between the two of them. The gaunt, one-eyed, unshaven Mr. Feeny of Phoenix. He doesn't say anything. He's just kind of there.

Eileen completes the triangle, adopting a position that's within a comfortable distance between both Deckard and Teo. The raven remains unmoving, a silent observer, glossy feathers rustling faintly in the afternoon breeze blowing in from the waterfront only a few miles away. The disposable phone in Teo's hand gets a brief glance but nothing lingering — she can ask questions later.

"Logan wants to make a deal," she says, folding her arms, gloved hands curling in the crooks of her elbows for warmth. When she exhales, her breath comes out in the form of a fine, smoky vapor. "I don't know what all it'll entail, but we're supposed to settle on a time and place."

The delay on questions regarding free electronics suits Teo just fine because then he is busy staring at the young woman. He hadn't honestly expected that. Hadn't really expected— anything, honestly. Some small knot in his lung gives way. He hadn't been holding his breath, but some corner of his mind is permanently reserved for worst case scenarios.

Maybe Abigail's severed head in a box, crucifix tied up in her hair? Something melodramatically morbid like that. He's from Sicily. He bears a level of respect for organized crime that is founded on disgust. Of course, a beat later, it clicks through his brain that a request implies answer, and the connotations of that come stampeding in through his head on the rolling percussion of a headache.

He rubs his face with the heel of his hand, abrades color into pale skin with his calluses. "Tonight works for me," he answers, presently. "I don't know if it makes more sense to do it on Staten Island or Manhattan." He doesn't look away from Eileen, and he certainly does not look at Deckard.

Not 100% immune to reaction, Deckard straightens his spine and levels his shoulders, shedding his slouch for a more attentive (if not necessarily more pleasant) regard of Eileen and the latest news. Wool sifts over the battered grey of the old, black-smeared suit underneath, but his hands stay pocketed, and there's no suggestion of suppressed violence in the hard lines around his face.

"What kind of deal?" is asked after a delay, giving Teo time to fathom the when and where, though he's not looking at the younger man about as hard as he's not looking at him.

Teo doesn't have to look at Deckard — Eileen watches from beneath the feathery veil of her lashes, gray-green eyes studious and solemn as she attempts to garner meaning from the creases in his face and the subtle shape of his mouth. She doesn't see anything there that she wasn't already aware of, however, and restlessly she turns her attention elsewhere, skimming the graveyard's periphery.

"I don't know," she admits, somewhat grudgingly. "He didn't outline any terms with me. It would be safer for us if it took place on neutral ground — that said, I don't think Logan's willing to risk venturing off his own turf. He doesn't know how many of us there are, or what lengths we might go to get Abigail back." That last bit isn't entirely true, and the quaver-beat of silence that Eileen allows to elapse suggests as much. "I can use my eyes in the air to ensure we aren't walking into an ambush, but that's about it. With Zhang and Holden gone, I don't have a lot of physical support."

Without a ruler, it's difficult to match the knuckle-print on Teo's face to the measure of the older man's hand. It is probably apparent and suffice to say there are enough other targets for both their ire. Teo scowls at the girl's answer, which is probably the most heat and color for miles to the nearest Chinese diner kitchen god's shrine.

He hadn't honestly expected they'd bullet point a proposal beforehand, but it's annoying, having all the unknowns highlighted, underscored, boldfaced, and sirens blaring about how much of the rest is left to optimistic inference.

Or pessimistic inference, depending on what one reads into Eileen's spare margin of silence; Teo squints at her until she breaks it. "I know 'f a few teleporters," he says. "In case we have to run. Someone very good with electronic surveillance, too. And Phoenix can find muscle, too, if it comes to that." Whatever that means. "The Ferry have been established here for awhile: someone could probably find some ideal real estate to do this thing in."

Flint Deckard's personal resources have taken something of a dive, lately. And he isn't volunteering the ones he still has for a visit with Logan. So it is that he remains conspicuously silent on the subject of circumstances, blue eye easing over Eileen's face the instant her attention turns away from his.

"He could just leave her somewhere else and have her tortured or killed if nobody hears from him. Maybe tortured and killed." The adjustment comes after a second's thought given to plausibility in the way of personal taste as it applies to John Logan. "We already know he has another healer."

Eileen gives Teo a cautious, sidelong look that's difficult to read. "The fewer people involved, the better," she agrees with Deckard, "we spook him and Abby ends up cast off at the bottom of a ditch. You want to pick a place? Pick Shooters, pick the Pelican, pick someplace public where Logan's reputation is on the line. He's less likely to try something with other people watching"

That he has another healer on hand comes as news to Eileen, but she doesn't appear as surprised as she probably should be. When she measured the dosage, she made sure she prescribed Logan enough painkillers to induce a swift and relatively uncomplicated death — the fact he's still walking around, seemingly unscathed, is evidence he's had an ace up his sleeve all along. "We need to do this soon, before things escalate any further'n they already have."

"She could have that much more company if we don't at least take precautions. Even if Logan never has to know about them," Teo replies, flat in a way that expects objection without inherently providing that much resistance to it. Whoever goes would inevitably be fully prepared to die doing so if something untoward were to happen. He realizes he has to put up a good show of pretending that would be okay with him. "From what I understand, an audience is just as likely to make him want to…"

He stops talking, either because he is coming to uncomfortable grips with the limitations of his own understanding or because he can't, much to his plentiful annoyance, and it doesn't matter anyway. He closes and opens his eyes. "Tonight?"

"He didn't get to be what he is by being an idiot," is Deckard's opinion, delivered at a mutter, the way a lot of his opinions are. "We'll be watching. He'll be watching. He can't be that secure in his ability to not get screwed when he's already had one of us manage an escape under mysterious circumstances."

Even so, the lilt of Deckard's brows has already taken on a few shades of fatalism under a series of similarly suggestive lines. For the first time since he's been here, he glances sideways at Teo for a read, tension hollowing at his jaw for all that he's been largely successful in keeping it out of his face so far. "I had a date but I can cancel."

"Filatov can do without me for a few hours," Eileen concurs with a small, almost imperceptible nod. Her chin tips back up, gaze winding its way back to the raven on the gate. There's no outward indication of what passes between them, only that something has as — without any semblance of warning — it launches itself off its perch and uses several powerful thrusts of its wings to get airborne.

She watches her proxy disappear through the trees and waits, presumably, until the raven is no longer within her immediate sphere of influence before addressing Teo and Deckard one last time. "Where should I tell him we'll meet?"

The noisy disruption of the bird breaking waves through the air draws Teo's gaze about three beats in, his expression neutral, lip buttoned from thinking. When he turns his head back, he remarks like Eileen had just reminded him, faintly sheepish: "I owe you two some money. Take care of that tonight." His eyes shade toward half-mast, apologetic, before blinking wide again.

The feel of Flint's single remaining eyeball burning blue into his peripheral is uncomfortable. Mysterious circumstances. Despite that Teodoro Laudani tends to ruminate endlessly over his past errors as a pathological compulsion, that isn't a hedonistic inclination by any stretch of the term. He remembers the consequences. There had been a lot of those.

Eileen's right: this can't escalate further. Somehow, amid all the remembering, he manages not to forget to answer. "I guess Shooter's would seem… fuckin'… polite. Flint—" he turns his head to look at the older man. Coincidentally, this presents his less-bruised side, for the old man's convenience; by the expression on Teo's face, he's half expecting another twat for this question, but he has to ask. "You sure?"

"Wow. My first name. You must be really worried." The look that chisles down the length of Deckard's face in return is as cold as it is stonily annoyed, but a narrow-eyed lean in Teo's direction fails to turn over into anything more combustable. He straightens up again, looks Eileen over as he wishes she were temporarily somewhere else, and drags in a deep breath. Then, simple as anything, he turns to leave.

I'm a shooting star leaping through the sky
Like a tiger, defying the laws of gravity
I'm a racing car passing by, like lady godiva
I'm gonna go go gooo
There's no stopping meeee!

March 3rd: Lioness
Previously in this storyline…
Mutual Friends, Mutual Acquaintances

Next in this storyline…
Coliseum Diplomacy

March 4th: Not Without My Husband
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