A Delay In Separate Ways


delphine_icon.gif ethan_icon.gif

Scene Title A Delay In Separate Ways
Synopsis Two former Pancratium prisoners finally leave Staten Island, reflecting on their brief history together and what lies ahead.
Date March 31st, 2009

Somewhere Between Manhattan and Staten Island

It's safer in Staten Island. That's the point of it. That's why Delphine went there in the first place, feet in boots stomping at a hurried march across the then still intact Narrows bridge. Away from cameras, people, the law. Away from everything that made her life what it had been - familiar faces, places, too much temptation. She'd fled.

But that was months ago. Now it was all she could do to get away from that damned island, security or not.

It's late at night and the boat will reach the Manhattan harbors soon. It had taken some convincing. Two beings used to taking control, and Delphine had had it up to here with letting control be wrested from her. No more homeless tenements, no more coastline shacks. Manhattan would not be the most welcoming of boroughs still, but it could be a damn sight better than what Staten Island has to offer. There's electricity and running water and everything. And now whore houses that she had worked in. No Pancratium. No Muldoon with his false promises and Logan with his coercing touch.

She stands near the edge of the large yacht's railings, one bare hand gripping icy metal, the other clenched in the wool of the masculine coat she's swathed in. The river is mostly calm, with just enough chop to it to make the deck rise and fall elegantly under her feet. It's relaxing. Her eyes are now turned downwards, towards the inky black surface of the water that catches light from the boat, from the moon, from places more mysterious.

Ethan's back plops against the railing rather ungracefully as his hands go to grip the railing as he moves to stand next to her. It had been work, getting this far. But it was kind of refreshing to have real 'work' again, something similar to a purpose. His mission was to stay alive, and keep that Irish woman alive while he was at it. Of course there were other factors, keep tabs on Eileen, pay a visit to that Zarek fellow…

But all that comes later.

"You comfortable 'oldin a pistol, love?" Two revolvers. All he could get for the items that Mister Muldoon so generously provided his men with who in turn graciously gifted Ethan… after they died, of course. He pulls up the ratty sweatshirt he wears, revealing the black gripped handle of one of the pistols. "Might put y'at ease." The Wolf suggests, all the while watching the surf way back in the wake of the yacht.

Dark eyes lift up from the water, to peer at Ethan and then down towards the pistols being presented. Eyebrows go up, but her mouth settles into something like a grim smile. She turns her head to peer over his shoulder, tangled waves of brown hair currently trapped beneath the collar of her oversized coat, warming her neck and tickling around her throat. The boat's crew ignore their paying passengers, most of them pirates and a couple just some men here to make easyish money.

"It might," Delphine agrees, then reaches out to take one of the offered weapons, long fingers curling around and feeling the weight of metal and plastic. Her grip is not entirely unfamiliar, as if maybe she has handled such a thing before. There's security, in holding a gun, and her smile brightens a little. "Thanks. I feel more comfy holdin' one than not if that makes any sense." She opens her coat to slip it inside. A woolen sweater beneath it, her jeans skinny and feet crammed into sturdy boots.

"No. It doesn't." Make sense. He might be joking, though there is no curl of his lips, no smirk, no chuckle. Just a blank stare out at the waves behind them. A slow breath is taken as he tears his gaze from the water over to watch her tuck the gun away. "I'll 'ave things to take care of. On this side. If you'd rather go your own way, I would understand." The gravelly voice barely overpowers the noise of water, engines, and other passengers. But it does, just enough.

"But.." His voice raises a bit, the man's grip on the railing relinquishing slightly as he turns to face her. "Like I said, I owe you. As long as you stay with me. I'll keep you safe. Promise." A nod to confirm that the promise is actually solid before Ethan settles back to leaning against the rail, his eyes going to where she tucked the pistol away. "Don't 'ave many bullets." He gives a little smirk. "Aim for the 'ead if you can."

Her head ducks a little, not really in thankfulness, annoyance, anything but thought. She could go her own way. Ethan's protected her plenty, since his clawing his way out of the Pancratium and taking her with him, just as promised, to now. Easy as that, Delphine could step onto the docks of Manhattan's shore and never look back.

Her gaze tilts up again to him, studious. "You owe me for a thing they would've made me do in any case," she says, her voice similarly gentle and just loud enough, at least for someone standing right by here. "That don't bother you none?" Her mouth quirks up in a half-smile. "It ain't a flaw in that honor?"

A flash of irritation crosses his features as he glances down at her. "It's an offer." He says stoically, eyeing her for a moment. "You don't 'ave to talk to me bout flaws and whot bothers me. Fuck it." Though he doesn't look very irritated, just an act. "I'm telling you I wouldn't mind 'aving you around. Fuck me, you tryin' to make me look soft?" He shakes his head. "Take it or leave it." He gives a little shrug as he leans back. Reaching into the pocket of his sweatshirt.

A single cigarette is pulled out, a small lighter following it. The cancer-stick is quickly let up, his gloved hand coming up in front to cover the flame at first. The lighter is then tucked back away. A slow drag is taken, "Whot th'fuck are you gonna do now, anyway? Y'got a normal life to run 'ome to?" Ethan asks, managing to sound indifferent.

To Delphine's credit, she doesn't smile too hard, whether in amusement or victory can't be discerned, seeing as she suppresses it anyway. Gun tucked away safe, her arms come to fold on the railing and says nothing, yet, of whether she'll go her separate way, although now she gives a slight snort at the question, her own show of indifference. "Not yet I don't," she says, with pragmatic honesty than flaky, wispy self-pity. "Might never be too late t'start, though." Her head tips to the side, enough to glance sidelong at him. "What about you? Whether I stay or go, y'got much waitin' for you in the whole wide world?"

He gives a little shrug at her not having anything out there in the whole wide world. When the question is returned to him, his eyes return to the water, the wake, and the island they were escaping. "A little girl." He makes an inclination with his head back to Staten. "She's back there, as far I can gather." He gives a shake of his head. "But it's fine. She's safer the further she is away from me, anyway." But Delphine is safe close to him. Great logic, Ethan. "Right, never too late to start, love." Ethan agrees as he goes to turn around to set his hands on the railing and face the rest of the city in front of them.

There's not much to see of Staten Island at this hour, and yet Delphine finds her eyes travel back to it anyway. Oh, there's guilt, there. And she doesn't believe him when he says his daughter is best away from him than with. But that's a conversation when they're not in a boat traveling to Manhattan.

Her hand goes out to where his rest on the railing, as cold as his would inevitably be as well, and places her palm over his knuckles in a clasp that makes up for its lack of warmth in meaning. "Thanks f'comin' with me, all this way," she says. "Million things you coulda done instead. Include leavin' me there to begin with. I wouldn' want dockin' over there t'be be where we go our own ways. Not yet."

Her gaze turns from his, though her hand remains, chin lifting as she regards the distant Manhattan. The wind pulls insistently at her hair, as if trying to loosen from where it's trapped in her collar, failing to get much more than looser strands. A smile plays out across her face as she says, "Y'make me feel safe." Relishing this notion of safety.

"Down this way he came down— "

The shots sound out crisply and are followed by choked off screams, gurgling, and ultimately the sound of bodies hitting the floor. In the darkness it's hard to decipher which sound means which, but there is another thud, like something being dropped. A clatter, and then the sound of footsteps, thundering footsteps. People moving with a purpose, the running escalates, it could be just outside this dark dank room. The footsteps slow, the sound of heavy breathing replacing them. Then shuffling, people looking for something—

A sudden resounding thud sounds out against the door to Delphine's door, as if it was right out there, someone being knocked into the door. And then the shuffling increased, rapid movement, people growling, grunting, swearing. The sound of a struggle after a moment the struggle peaks, a sharp yelp being let out until… silence.

The quiet seems like it goes on for hours in the sudden irreverent silence, but finally the sound of soft footsteps once again. And then… bang.

The gun lets out one shot at the door knob before the whole thing is kicked in by one powerful kick, revealing the victor of the recent scuffle. Ethan Holden, like he was the last time he came to visit Delphine, he's injured. Badly, bleeding from several places, his face looking like it went through a punching bag training course, the man breathes hard as he steps forward to lean against the doorframe, his chest heaving up and down.

"You ready to get out of 'ere, love?"

Sometimes there's a scuffle. Sometimes one of the Evolved warriors gets a shot at breaking free, get brave, get stupid. The gunshots are new, though, but just a fresh level of awful that Delphine tries to block with hands over her ears, like a child trying to avoid hearing her parents fight. But when it gets nearer, that's about when she picks up the lamp, and readies herself.

And nothing happens for the longest time, and Delphine finds herself simply staring at the door, as tense as a cornered animal, her breathing only picking up again when those soft foot steps sound out.

The door opens in an explosion of kinetic movement after a gunshot that sends splinters inwards, a brief scream almost drowned out by the clatter coming from the woman, almost pitching the lamp towards the invader in some misdirected sense of trying to protect herself, before she sees who it is. Her body, her arms go with the momentum, but she keeps a grip on the object, a look of shock crossing her features.

A moment later, the lamp falls with a clatter onto cement floor. Suitable time to run into the arms of your rescuer and all, but instead, Delphine pushes her hair back and moves to yank on some shoes, collect up a sweater warmer than the tank top she's wearing. "Aye," she says, once her head appears out the neckhole, moving for the door with a frenetic kind of energy that knows too well this window of opportunity could slam shut on her fingers.

Leaning on the doorframe heavily for support, Ethan leans back as she pops out her little head. His feet backpedal sending him into the wall behind him. His mind and heart may be strong, but after a fight with Sylar, a severe beating from the friends he had made on his tenure here, as well as fighting off some crazy monster, the man's body isn't as helpful as he would like it to be. His back eases against the wall, as he lifts a hand to his side. Taking a stabilizing breath the man notions with his chin to the bodies. Two fresh ones, complete without bullet holes.

"Clothes. Get 'im out of their clothes. Then drag 'em in. 'urry." He manages, sounding rather pained, his head tilting back against the wall.

But that doesn't mean he won't help. Shoving himself off the wall, Ethan stumbles forward going to grab one of the recent kills by the ankles. Tugging in short staccatto motions to bring the man into Delphine's room.

This is one of those moments in life where questions aren't a good idea. Still, the man is wounded, it's enough to give Delphine some pause before she's snagging the ankle of the man Ethan is tugging inside, making quicker work of it. "I have it," she says, a little breathlessly, moving off towards the second man, eyes wide and fixed on the gunshots in the corpse's chest even as she shuffles backwards down the hall. The man's skull hits the edge of the doorframe after one last yank pulls him inside.

Standing up again, she looks back to Ethan, resigned concern in her expression as she asks, "Did they beat you?"

"I need 'is shirt." Ethan says breathlessly, "Get 'is shirt." The man is still shirtless, he didn't take any time in getting here. She was priority. And now she's with him, and getting out is priority. The rifle is slowly lowered and the man rests it against the wall. Sticking one hand against the wall he lets his head hang, allowing Delphine to take care of the task he gave her. He smirks a bit, just making his wounds and scratches that much uglier. "'oo 'asn't? No time worryin' bout me love, get me dressed, you can worry bout fixin' me laters."

It's not an impractical request, so Delphine nods, moving to strip the nearest man of his shirt, uncaringly maneuvering limp arms around getting the garment off him, bloodied as it is, it will do for as long as it takes to get out of the building and somewhere safe. There's a knife, too, in the dead man's belt, and this she takes, flicks open once to view it, closes, and tucks into the pocket of her sweater. She takes his watch, too.

On swift feet, she steps over him nimbly, avoiding the spread of crimson that makes an opaque, dragging trail from the hallway. "Here," she murmurs, opening up the shirt so Ethan can put his arms in, drag it over his head once he's done. Helping him dress, not because he's incapable, but because it's just quicker that way.

She keeps her distance once her part of the task is done, though now she studies his face, bruised and cut up as it is, a flat look of amazement and incredulity in her eyes. The slightest turn up at the corner of her mouth. "Y'did as you said y'would. Nice t'know some promises can be kept."

Getting the shirt on, Ethan bends slightly to pick up the rifle. One arm is slid around Delphine's shoulders as some of his weight instantly goes to be supported by her. The rifle is hefted over, "Give me the knife." The Wolf grunts as he lets his head hang. "You carry this, you do exactly whot I say, when I say it. Move when I say move, down when I say down. If you do everything I say, we just might 'ave a chance at getting the fuck out of 'ere. We straight?"

The rifle is slipped into Delphine's hand, his hand encapsulating hers for a moment. And then it's off to the races. Gesturing to the door urgently with his chin. "Let's go."

The knife is handed over when asked for, and the rifle taken when given, hands clasping it in unfamiliarity for a moment before settling into a more practical, understanding position, the weapon pointed for the floor. There's a wiry strength about the woman, and Ethan gets the support he's after when he leans.

His words are verging on militant, at least to her ears. Delphine's gaze flicks towards his face in their close proximity, eyes wide but not dazed. Alert. She breathes out a simple response: "Aye."

His thumb slowly lifts, resting itself on top of the hand on his. He takes a deep breath, letting the sound of the water fill his ears. Ethan brings up his other hand, rubbing it over his chin for a moment, pulling his lips back. His face now completely void of any of those bruises, or marks that stained him that fateful night. Bringing his hand down he rests it on the railing. "I try to keep my promises. Don't always do, won't say that. But I try." The Wolf intones allowing their hands to intermingle for the moment. For warmth.

"Right. Well if you're stayin with me, we'll 'ave to go on a few errands together." Ethan says as casually can be, even though errands probably means bashing in skulls or some such not so casual thing.

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