A Decent Person


deckard_icon.gif elisabeth_icon.gifniles_icon.gif

Scene Title A Decent Person
Synopsis Elisabeth seems to think there's one in this scene! A meeting in the park clears up some of the confusion around what's going on with Niles and what needs to be done for the short term.
Date May 20, 2009

Central Park

In the comfortable middleground between a warm day and the incoming chill of night, Central Park is bathed in broad strokes of orange and gold. Long shadows cast off by buildings at the park's opposite end draw ever nearer to the bench Deckard has dropped himself down onto to wait. He's clean shaven, freshly showered and in a suit, greying hair organized into some vague imitation of scruffy order, long face carved into intent focus upon the paper stretched open in his hands. Complete with sunglasses, he looks like a normal, ill-tempered human being, with occasional glances spared up over his paper after his current charge. Were Niles ten years younger or furry and four-legged, the constant keeping track would almost be touching. As things are, for anyone paying prolonged attention, he's starting to look a little neurotic.

Neurotic indeed, considering the young version of the time traveling Niles Wight is only a few feet away at the hot dog stand, adding a little bit of every topping on offer onto the tube of meat. You'd think he'd had enough of hot dogs after cooking them over a pit in the middle of Midtown. Truth is, he was craving a decent hot dog after those mutant monstrosities.

He licks a bit of ketchup off his hand and walks back to Deckard. He too is looking more like a human being, with hair combed into a side part with a floppy curtain of bangs. He's had sun now, and doesn't look quite so deathly pale. Though his neck's been burnt red by virtue of the lack of roof in their hideout. He sits down onto the bench beside Deckard and hands over a soft pretzel. How thoughtful. Here, have a huge twist of sodium.

The call from Deckard, of all people, was slightly unexpected. After Scott called and Liz verified that the kid in question was the one she'd sent word about, she expected them maybe to merely get him out of town. But when Deckard wanted to meet, Elisabeth slipped the leash of police work slip out and "patrol the park" near dusk. She walks now, dressed in jeans and a denim jacket, with her hands shoved into her pockets, her blonde hair a bright spot in the shadows of the paths. She keeps a vigilant ear out for anyone following, not wanting this meeting witnessed. The two sitting so casually on the park bench as she approaches actually sort of amuses her. If they were better friends, she might tease Deckard with a voice that comes from nowhere, but they're not and she doesn't. Instead she makes her way toward them, stopping in front but far enough back not to be a threat. "Hey," is all she says as a greeting.

Oh, hey. Food. One brow up, the other down, Deckard lets one side of paper droop so that he can accept the offered pretzel with a few second's worth of baffled non-response while Niles settles next to him. The pretzel shines bleak off the black screen of his glasses until he decides to fold the rest of the paper over more decisively. He can carry the paper around with him all day. Carrying a pretzel around all day might earn him a few looks. His, 'Thanks,' is silent.

Far from oblivious to Elisabeth's approach, he watches her while he chews, head never turning. Not quite a rat with a sunflower seed, but the vague impression is there in the sheer intensity with which he manages to keep an eye on her. From behind glasses, even. Hey, she says. He rankles his nose, but stays seated. Tense. She looks familiar. "Harrison?"

It's pretty easy to develop non-verbal signals when you've been up in someones' face in the middle of nowhere for days. Niles doesn't take any offense to the lack of a verbal response. Instead, he passes over a few napkins and chews on the end of the hot dog.

As Liz approaches, the young man turns his head. There's no recognition on his part, but it's easy to see the similarities between him and his future counterpart. It's also quite easy to see the difference. He's thinner, both in body and his face. Cheekbones protrude more, skin lacks scars and blemishes, lacks the hard muscle gained from prison life. The similarities are uncanny, but if anyone saw them together, they'd look more like brothers than the same man. He chews the hot dog and regards her curiously.

Hence why she's standing this far back. "Yeah," Liz replies mildly. Her eyes don't leave the man except to glance at Niles once. Not until she's sure Deckard's not going to jump her ass for previous indiscretions. "Interesting circles we all travel in, hrm?"

He doesn't look like he intends to pounce, distrust mingled with skepticism mingled with resignation. Either it is her or it isn't. Grace wasn't very specific with the whole appearances thing. In any case, he dusts a hand across one of the napkins Niles has offered open before pushing to his feet, pretzel retained in his left hand so that he can offer the right out, presumably for her to take. "Flint Deckard." There's stiffness in his shoulders beneath the warm grey of his suit, but no malice, and there's definitely nothing of bitter memory written into the long lines drawn into his face. It's an introduction. A first time kind of introduction.

"Nobody really seems to know what's going on. You sounded like you might, so." He casts a sidelong look back down at Niles.

After the last warning not to give his name out to anyone, Niles is going to keep silent. His body posture is relatively casual as he eats his hot dog and glances between the two of them. He certainly doesn't look like a psychopathic killer. But then, they say that they look like the guy next door.

There's a long moment of hesitation, and then Elisabeth smiles faintly. "Elisabeth Harrison," she says quietly. Truce. Or whatever. "I know a good bit, yeah." Now she turns those blue eyes onto Niles and says, "Niles Wight, I presume? The story I'm about to tell you is going to sound… literally insane. But well, I kind of figure there's not much to lose by telling you what I know. What would you say if I told you that I'd met a future version of yourself?"

Deckard doesn't smile, but then, he doesn't really seem predispositioned to do much smiling anyway. He does knit his brows at her hesitation, hand falling back to his side after a firm shake to sink itself down into his pocket. Weight rocked idly back onto his boot heels, he takes half a step back to clear himself out of the way and occupies himself with his pretzel. He's already had the time travel is maybe for real talk beaten about his head once before.

Niles blinks a bit dully at Elisabeth. The fact that she knows his name is a bit concerning, but not overly so. He glances to Deckard again, then takes another bite of his hot dog while he considers what Liz just said. "I'd say anything is possible. But it certainly doesn't make all the weird shit that's happened to me over the past week crystal clear." He wipes his face with a napkin and lifts a shoulder.

"Certainly would explain why my friends weren't happy to see me." And why his nose looks a bit crooked and still has bloody scrapes on the bridge. The swelling of the dual black eyes have gone down though. Now he's only got a crescent shaped bruise under his left eye.

Elisabeth nods slightly and rocks on the balls of her feet. "Your friends weren't happy to see you because the things that have happened to the future you have made him…. extremely dangerous, Niles. He kills people," she says quietly. "And he came to me, God only knows why, and asked me to do whatever is in my power to keep it from happening to you… so that you don't become him." She sighs heavily and glances at Deckard then back at Niles. "You have no reason to believe me, and I realize that. But he's given me a couple suggestions about what he thinks went wrong and how to help you. I'd like to do it, if you'll let me."

He kills people? Deckard scratches at his temple, awkward distance making him seem further away than he actually is. He's so quiet that even the familiar, constant rasp of his smoker's breath is quashed to grim silence, but he didn't just spend however many days camped out in Midtown with his kid to wander off now.

Niles's chewing slows. He sets what's left of the hot dog aside and wipes his fingers off fairly carefully. Ketchup, but when his older self came to Liz not that long ago, that was blood on eerily similar hands. When he looks at Liz, he looks…surprisingly innocent, and very much like a confused kid. The sun's even brought out a few freckles on his nose. "I have no reason to think you're lying."

The words are a little stiff in his throat. He clears it and rubs the back of his hand beneath his nose. "So. Did I bust myself out of that holding facility, then?" This is all rather strange. It's making the hair on the back of his neck stand up. What's more, he doesn't deny that he could be a killer like you might expect someone faced with that accusation.

With a soft laugh, Elisabeth admits, "Honestly? I wouldn't put it past you. The older you." She shrugs a little. "The first thing I would suggest is that you don't split yourself into more than one or two duplicates, at most." She glances at Deckard. "If you're thinking to stay with Deck for a while…. there's a place on Staten where unregistered Evolved kids tend to go. The guy who heads up the place, he has an ability like that… he may be able to help you get a far better handle on how to manage the sensory input. And I'd like to have Abby come by to see you. I don't know if there's anything actually wrong with you, but she's a healer. She can help out with the wounds you're already sporting. Would those things be okay with you both?"

A hazy nod on Deckard's end turns over into a dry mutter once he's blinked hard enough to realize what he's agreeing to. "Sounds fine. Save for the part where we don't know who's after him, so we don't know who we'd be leading into a lighthouse full of homeless kids." He's still at a remove, lean profile turned to focus on a jogger bouncing past well out of easy earshot. "I can put him up somewhere nearby."

"He's right. It's not safe to go to the lighthouse," says Niles. There's a dull hollowness to his voice. He doesn't know what to think of all this. That he's a time traveling murderer from the future? That this future self did something to his friends to make them turn against him? It's all pretty heavy. "I'd rather be somewhere that I'm not going to endanger anyone else." He bites the edge of his lip. Somewhere along the line, he started shredding the napkin into his hand into tiny snowflakes. "If I'm a murderer, then why are you helping me?"

Elisabeth smiles faintly. "I didn't suggest necessarily taking him up there… or rather, didn't mean to. I was suggesting you could put a call in to Brian and ask him to send one of his own dupes to have a conversation or two. But that's fine. If you two are okay with hanging together…. my best guess here is that the Company — Homeland Security — has a tracer on Wight. You're going to need to keep him on the move a bit." And then she looks at Niles and moves to that she's at eye level to the younger man. Little more than a boy, really. "Because no matter what OLDER you has done, that is not YOU," she says firmly. "Because helping you means maybe I can help a decent person stay that way."

Something that looks a lot like bitter irritation hollows at Deckard's narrow jaw and cinches tight at the corners of his eyes. The sunglasses do their part to hide the worst of it, but can't disguise the step he takes back away from Elisabeth's reassurance. The way he turns to poke around in his coat after a smoke isn't terribly subtle either.

Niles glances to Deckard, then back to Elisabeth. His lips purse into a thin line. "I…" a hesitation. "…I think it's up to Deckard whether he still wants to help me, knowing all of this." He pointedly looks at Liz and not at the scruffy man as he says this. "He stumbled into all of this."

With a slight nod, Elisabeth glances at Deckard and only waits for confirmation or denial.

One or both of them might have been hoping for a better answer than the shrug they eventually get once he's managed to maneuver a cigarette out of it's smashed box with one hand, but Deckard is…Deckard. A flick of his lighter later, the best he can offer is a coarse, "It's fine. C'mon," in tandem with a vague gesture with his pretzel. His copy of the paper is left behind for the wind to scatter.

With a nod, Elisabeth says, "Get in touch with Abby, I'll warn her you're coming. And keep in touch if anything looks weird. I'll do my best to keep them off you." And then she turns to go the other way.

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