A Divine Image


abby_icon.gif deckard_icon.gif teo2_icon.gif

Scene Title A Divine Image
Synopsis Deckard confronts Ghost about his extracurricular activities but doesn't make it far into an attempted intervention before a low blow catches him off guard. Abby arrives in time to patch over the visible damage.
Date June 28, 2009

The Garden

Situated in a copse several miles away from the nearest stretch of asphalt, the Garden is accessible via an old dirt road that winds snakelike through the woods and dead-ends at the property's perimeter, which is surrounded by stone wall plastered with wicked coils of rusty barbed wire to keep would-be intruders from attempting to scale it. Those with a key can gain entry via the front gate.

The safehouse itself is a three-story brickwork cottage over a century old and covered in moss and ivy. It slants to one side, suggesting that the foundation has been steadily sinking into the wet earth; incidentally, this may be one of the reasons why its prior occupants never returned to the island to reclaim their property when government officials lifted evacuation orders and re-opened the Verrazano-Narrows shortly before its eventual destruction.

Inside, the cottage is decorated in mismatched antique furniture including a couch in the living room and an armchair nestled in the corner closest to the fireplace that go well with the safehouse's hardwood floors and the wood-burning stoves in some of the spare bedrooms. A heavy wooden table designed to seat eight separates the dining area from the rest of the kitchen, which is defined by its aged oak cabinetry and the dried wildflowers hanging above them.

It's dinner-time at the Garden, with something of a sense of community involving fresh produce and creative use of canned everything-else. The truckers keep having to chase Mage back to the table whenever she goes for the sink, or to grab something else from the kitchen— of anyone, surely, she decides to siddown, kick back and eat. Ash-winged moths dart around the lamps hanging over the porch and the stark transition of daytime and evening temperatures sends a breeze riffling through the walls dense ivies. Someone who owns a six-year-old laptop found rickety old speakers to plug into it. Only one of them work, but that's how they have classic rock pouring tinny through the presiding stillness and blue ambiance of the Garden.

The music sounds even thinner from here and you can't hear the meal crowd at all. Having excused himself after an early start and quick finish over the pasta puttanesque, Ghost is now waiting for Abby out back. From his vantage point, leaning on the wall, he can tell that the one of the insects currently courting the burnt glass is now short two legs and blinded. He remains quiet, armed, and passes for someone paying enough attention to be on guard.

A sliver of pale moon knifes silent over the rustle and sway of scrubby treetops in the island breeze on either side of a winding dirt road that Deckard is only just beginning to familiarize himself with. There's just enough light to see by and he's on foot, lean and dashing in the black sweep of his raggled overcoat. Too dark for bloodstains to show and too comfortable to be thrown out despite rough, tatty edges and one shoulder blown out the back as if by a bullet. His boots drag and scuff at fine dust that's settled soft across the toes and clings to the ratty cuffs of his jeans, but Flint himself is clean and cleaned up. Wiry hair shorn short by someone who actually knew what they were doing, stubble shaved down to a two or three day old ash-dusted shadow of its usual, more homeless bristle.

He still cuts a familiar set of lights and darks into the murk just beyond the gate, long bones and hard angles faded blue against the black of the trees further out. There's a click, a metallic tang, and one hand cupped to his mouth so that he can sniff at the whiskey on his breath once he's through.

Could be worse.

The closer he gets to the porch, the odder he looks, well-groomed and kempt despite his regrettable fashion sense and the sink of starvation at his face and neck. Even there, though, he looks better than he did when Teo saw him last, a few pounds managing to creep their way back into bleak pits of shadow at the insistence of people who keep pushing food on him.

"Hey." Hey, he says, talking to Teo except actually talking to the door, according to his eyeline.

Hey! Instantly, Teo looks pleased, insofar as that he isn't— looking like Teo and no one really thinks of him as that anymore, but there is an intimation of familiarity in the enthusiastic labrador light behind his eyes, the quick flash of neat teeth, not exactly unguarded but unmitigated insofar as that— he's pleased. To see Deckard. Up and about. Dashing new hair and, um, shitty coat that smells like— he pauses to check— detergent, a bit, a note or two that survived the deluge of whiskey, and all that.

He pushes off the wall with his shoulder, rocks onto the flats of his feet. Doesn't go for his gun, which is either presumptious or safely so; hard for Ghost to tell at the moment. He is just standing on the porch and watching lepidops die in self-immolating lust, after all, minding his own business. "Buona sera. You look better," he observes genially, dropping his eyes down the long bar of Flint's arm to study the hand fixed to the end of that frayed coat sleeve. "Good to see. They're having dinner, if you want.

"The door is always open." There is a glance over his shoulder, an upward kink of Ghost's brow when he realizes that this is not actually, literally true at the time being, but the principle remains solid, surely, given what both of them know about the Ferry. "Chicken in the pasta tonight."

"Thanks." A one word reply stacks distant atop a one word greeting, graveled coarse despite the unintentional warm fuzzies that ride on the blackened fringes of Deckard's lungs almost as often as they touch upon the black hole sucking at the back of his eye socket.

He looks unnaturally grave, brow level and eyes carved from clear ice in the flat cut they make to study Teo once the hairs on the back of his neck prickle after the study he's already on the receiving end of in return. The way his bones jut and his muscles cord like bundles of stripped wire intensifies the overall effect. Heightens and compounds it. There's the acrid taste of hot metal in the way he holds himself and says nothing, tendons etched bone white across the backs of his hands.

Maybe he's not hungry.

Mmmmaybe he's angry. This would be Ghost's first and last guess. He would consult his peers on this matter, but Gabriel and Teo remain conspicuously absent this evening— and longer, more frequently away now that there are two of them. It would seem that there's a shortage of airspace for all the traffic that would otherwise need going on. Peculiarly, the net effect is disquieting quiet.

There is a lot of that going around tonight.

This is growing increasingly awkward, Ghost decides. He does not start examining interchangeable portions of forest or lawn, which is credit to him. His molars meet with a click that only he alone hears, inside his head. He creases his eyes closed, opens them again. The face he tilts at Deckard is the American's match in age, but not attitude. "Sometimes, you have to talk," he offers, gently.

"Somewhere private." Deckard's voice has gotten quieter for the intervening silence, and he might as well be shrink wrapped in cellophane in place of skin for all that the stone set of his face is doing to conceal the steam and slag pent up in the skull behind it. He glances back at the door, too reluctant to let Teo out of his sights for long enough to guesstimate the number of empty rooms available behind it now that the ball is rolling.

There's dislike in his eyes, bolstered by resentment that the Ghost has already seen once before. He probably isn't here to hear more about how great everything is going to be in ten years. He probably didn't come here to talk at all, given the way his right hand keeps working its way in and out of a bone and knuckle fist. Gentle doesn't help. If anything it makes him glare harder.

It takes Ghost a fraction of a minute to decide against mentioning that he is waiting for a blonde Louisianan out here. Abigail isn't due for a little bit, anyway; mostly, he'd needed some air. Combusting moths, cricket song, a few minutes spent enjoying the fact that he can resist the urge to smoke a cigarette in a time when fortitude seems at risk of dearth. Things like that. He frowns and inclines his head in the same fractioned twitch of motion.

He turns around. Striding across the planks, he handles the door open, swats it wider with his ankle without breaking his pace. "Flint 'nd I are going upstairs to talk shop," he calls out. "He isn't hungry." A little louder, to carry over the crescendo of Boston's Foreplay segueing into Long Time, and the continuous chatter of meal takers. Barely visible around the edge of the doorframe, Mage says Hello; doesn't insist.

Mostly, the digs are what Deckard remembers. Hallway, lots of rooms. More boxes this time, though— big supply dump recently, new clocks and salad bowls and a small bouquet of sweet-smelling dowels no one has any idea whyyyy they included in the stationery kit. Ghost is steps around a stack of cardboard, scrapes a Styrofoam peanut aside. Finds a room with two windows, neither open, and a bed with a barren mattress. There are highway maps pinned to the corkboard and Elvis Shepherd's penmanship scrawled into the margins. No dust; not even a fleck.

He flips the light switch with his forefinger and asks, "What?"

Deckard bumps through the door at Teo's heels in sullen silence, hanging back an extra stride to maintain the distance between them once he's thumped his way across the porch. He doesn't even try to fake a smile for Mage. The look of decent, appreciative acknowledgment he forces out for her in passing is quick to waver elsewhere, typical in his unconscious avoidance in the face of recent or imminent bad behavior. Hi, Mage. Bye, Mage. He isn't hungry.

Hallways, lots of rooms, boxes. The blue of his eyes skips automatically across the semi-organized contents, too easily distracted by things that look unusual or interesting or useful. It takes more effort than it should not to touch. Especially given that he can't see beyond what's directly on the surface.

The walk alone must have been enough to subdue him. At least a little.

There's no reflexive snap of violent motion once he's closed the door behind himself with a dead click of wood past metal. …But the turn of the lock that follows isn't terribly promising. Nor is the continuation of that movement up beneath the lapel of his coat, after his gun.

Deckard bumps through the door at Teo's heels in sullen silence, hanging back an extra stride to maintain the distance between them once he's thumped his way across the porch. He doesn't even try to fake a smile for Mage. The look of decent, appreciative acknowledgment he forces out for her in passing is quick to waver elsewhere, typical in his unconscious avoidance in the face of recent or imminent bad behavior. Hi, Mage. Bye, Mage. He isn't hungry.

Hallways, lots of rooms, boxes. The blue of his eyes skips automatically across the semi-organized contents, too easily distracted by things that look unusual or interesting or useful. It takes more effort than it should not to touch. Especially given that he can't see beyond what's directly on the surface on their way to the room with two windows.

Once they're there, it seems like the walk alone must have been enough to subdue him. At least a little.

There's no reflexive snap of violent motion once he's closed the door behind himself with a dead click of wood past metal. …But the turn of the lock that follows isn't terribly promising. Nor is the continuation of that movement up beneath the lapel of his coat, after his gun.

Or possibly it looks very promising; you just wouldn't like what's being promised, unless you— enjoy— getting— shot. It's difficult to tell how to pay this moment the proper recognition, in light of Deckard's personal attachment to at least one of the other residents inside his head. The ghost's expression turns faintly quizzical; the kind of quizzical a ninja gets before he maybe goes psycho gymnast across unimaginable surfaces of a room.

Instead, his boots remain unequivocally rooted neatly on the floor. Instead, he reaches into his own jacket and pulls at a gun also, his finger looped inside trigger guard, palm rigid on the grip from something that closely resembles perplexity. Instead of mites, quiet clicks command the air, the concatenation of locks, safeties. Always one to be cooperate, Ghost stops asking questions.

Flint's revolver is a pragmatic piece of engineering: middling in size, weight, caliber and barrel length. Efficient the way a prybar to the head is efficient and warm in his hand when his thumb smooths to lever back the hammer. His trigger finger resettles long across the guard, not actually crossing the pull. He's breathing very quietly, air tugged in and pushed out soundlessly through sinuses that have only recently lost the last of their tar-ridden rasp.

"If you are who you say you are, you should know better than to think I care whether I live or die." His voice is quiet too — softer even than it was outside, wary of straining ears and thin walls without decaying into a whisper. The gun stays pointed matter-of-factly once it's out, squared vaguely at the region of Teo's heart and lungs pulsing quick behind the ribs and sternum as dictated by memory. "What are you trying to do?"

The knot of tension on the middle of Ghost's brow implies there was at least one statement in that array that he would like to dispute, but the matter-of-factness with which Deckard is making them— incorrect or otherwise— and the older man's propensity for being contrary for the sake of that— and— the gun pointed at his heart— make him pause, and choose his battles carefully. "I know you care about a lot of things. Frequently unadvertised." Maybe that sounds better than 'But me! You care about me.'

Possibly not. Air passes out of his lungs without incident, but too loud; makes hearing what Deckard's saying in his faded voice difficult. He can't remember what this is supposed to be about, which is unequivocally a bad sign. "Wondering why you're so fucking mad."

"You nearly killed him. …You're fucking up his entire life. Everything he's worked for. I talked to Elisabeth." Deckard sounds very reasonable for someone who's pointing a gun at a ghost of the person he's pointing a gun at from the future who's possessing their body, chill eyes bright against artificial light and furious energy suppressed into creaking tension all the way up either side of his spine. He hardly moves at all save to breathe; subtle adjustments made in accordance with minor movements on Teo's side of the room.

"Did you — think no one would notice?" There's a tilt at his brows, up and out, exaggerated in their inquiry. "Or care?"

There's an intimation of nonchalance around the outline of Ghost's shoulders that implies he might have almost, nearly gave a shrug in response. He doesn't, though. Keeps himself where he is, as flat as the walls and dustless still as the furniture, the thin light through the window marking out the immobile, expressionless curve of his cheek.

"He's worked for a career in amateur terrorism. You saved his life. Granted, I've fast-tracked his shit a little bit but— he wasn't doing anything with his legal identity, and…" This isn't helping. Ghost's lips seal, whiten slightly. "'S funny, isn't it? Three of you have objected with strenuous force, and none of you are really Phoenix.

"Maybe." Ghost pushes his eyebrows up, too. Maybe— he'd thought no one would care. "For awhile, didn't seem like anyone did." His gun is pointed at the middle of Deckard's body, either because he has failed to memorize the normal location of a human heart, or because that is what he means to do. "Thought you liked the taste of freedom."

"Christ, you're full of shit." Disgust roughs thick in the back of Deckard's throat and drags through the fork of his tongue, hard-pressed to make it past his teeth intact. "What happened to you? Is your destiny to spend the next ten years sucking on assholes until you've bled the world dry?"

Where normally there might be room for humor, there isn't any to be found in the lines etched long around his face. Flint's still holding the gun and he isn't smiling, knuckles wound rigid around the grip, back straight.

"I don't care about Phoenix or what they want. I don't think you do either."

More silence is accompanied by a restless shift of his bone jagged shoulders, where energy is twisting and coiling on its way to trying to convince itself down into his fingers. "What are you trying to do. You either answer me or the only way that body is getting to the cops is in a bag."

What ensues is a thinking bit of quiet, more tense than uneasy. Teo looks at Deckard out of a stranger's face without any incredulity showing, which is score one — maybe two — for the presentation of threat, and maybe another couple points for its solid basis in Deckard's understanding of Teo's understanding of him. "Save the world.

"Or a few people in it," he adjusts, not quite a confession. "You, Phoenix, any number of others. I appreciate your humility— I always have, but don't pretend you think this is the first time asshats have died because your freedom was worth a little more to Teodoro Laudani than the lives of others. We probably should have done this somewhere else." Non-sequitur, seemingly, judging from the jaggedy jerk to the fractional spin of his head on its axis, pointing his eyes at the door over Flint's shoulder. "I was meeting Abby tonight."

This observation lacks the audacity of a proposition but doubtlessly bears the unpleasant quality of a taunt, despite the relative neutrality of Ghost's stance, his expression, insofar as that he is scowling down the barrels of two fucking guns. He watches for a twitch, a tremor, —not a trigger-pull, with any luck, anything not so subtle as to be lost to the dark, but he adds anyway, "I'll fix it after. Before I leave, I'll fix it.

"Pinkie swear."

Truth elicits a certain flatness through the concave curve from cheek to jaw, stringy muscle clenched into a weathered knot behind a thin show of teeth. Focus. "From what you've told me, I don't need saving. And I'm not talking about the lives of others. I'm talking about your life. His." Whatever. It's hard to stare into this face and see Laudani in it anywhere save the pale eyes. Deckard's glare rakes after them like steel scrap, polished and glittering in the worst kind of way against the reminder of his own evil doings.

"Maybe this is the part where I forego complacency and return the favor."

His palm has gone a little sweaty, damp against warm composite and metal. The resultant stink is faint but familiar. He doesn't so much as glance sideways at mention of Abby, but there is a delayed, doubtful twitch down at his brows. Predictable even now, ten years prior to the events Teo described.

"I've seen the end of this. Joseph showed me — weeks ago. You're not going to fix shit. I should've put it together before now."

Oh, says the shift of skin and black, barred brows on the upper half of Ghost's vicious thinking-face. You were listening. The look of him flattens out again the next moment and he graduates a step forward, and the demarcations of personal territory oscillate precariously with it, constricting, even if there's no discernible change, yet, in the net balance of power. Ghost's own palm conspicuously dry, the arm attached unwavering for all that his aim seems to be generally lacking in fatal acuity.

The light behind his eyes isn't exactly derangement, but there's a little too much of it, whatever it is, the keening brain chemistry of somebody who has been dealing in terms of life and death scenarios too frequently and too long to remember to think that this could be about anything more. "Things have changed from what I've told you. Not for the better; not for most people. I take it, you can't put stock in my fairytales and Joseph's prophesies at the same fucking time, anyway. You shoot me in the heart, you shoot him in the heart. Abby might forgive you for it, in time, but you'd never forgive her for that.

"You're mostly mad 'cause I did it for you.

"Selfish." There's a brief show of teeth, an intake of breath. One more step balanced across the floorboards. He merely smells of soap. The cheap, functional brand that leaves misshapen lumps of purple tallow melted to the safehouses' soapdishes and caulked edges. Ghost scrapes a blink of Teo's pale eyes, watching for his next prediction, gathering inside himself, silently massing kinetic energy like the wiry torsion in the spring load of a cranked mousetrap. "Maybe you should kill us. You could pass it off as heroism; whatever the fuck happened to me won't. The guilt will fade, I'll stop killing, you'll both retain your honor.

"'Nd then maybe, instead of me, you get to be the cock between Abby's legs her first time underneath the fucking kudzu, eh? March 2010, the moon is sweating blue and there's mosquito larvae squirming in the water. It hurts a little, but she's saying something and it sure as fuck isn't prayer—"

"I know what I'm doing." Crosstalk mutters octaves below Teo's reminder and the accusation that follows. Deckard knows who he's pointing a gun at — whose heart is buried in bone and tissue and blood beyond the vacant aim of the revolver. What people will say, how they will feel, what they might assume. He's had plenty of time to think about it.

He hasn't had time to consider what comes next.

Suggestions of false heroism are endured in silence that bristles warily from Laudani's approach, tension steeling out the lock of his arm and the rigid set of his unshaven jaw. Until those last words sink in. Stark disbelief pins at his pupils; the gun lowers on its own — two inches, three before he can catch himself and try to jerk it back up again. Too slow.

By then, the mean kid (kid) is already moving, hooking a hand white-knuckled on the sinew of Deckard's wrist, jerking the pistol's muzzle toward the sky.

The bullet hits intervening ceiling instead.

Fucking loud, the discharge. Its soundwaves roll outward, the lunatic curves and spikes of sinosoidals obliterating any hope of gauging how the Ferrymen downstairs take it, whether they heard it, what they're going to do the next. The situation shrinks in size, choke-holds on the single room, the frenetic, knotty rough-rope abrasion of limbs and sharp-angled joints. Ghost kicks at Deckard's ankle and spikes his forehead with his own unarmored skull, twists the older man's impossibly long limbs, struggles to capture enough points of balance to aim the man's head into the nearest—


Powdered drywall sinks and sifts through the narrow hole the bullet ticked up through the ceiling overhead, dusting coarse and white over the raised twist of Deckard's arm and the bustle of his shoulders bunching under black wool. He twists, reaches, swings his left arm out of the fray — there's an ominous click-schick and a flash of cool metal between them to catch and rip at rough cloth and softer flesh.

His boot stands solid against the ankle kick, overlarge feet braced wide apart when his head rocks back from the crack of Teo's against it. A raggedy breath dragged in through flared nostrils and a wild roll of electric blue eyes mark the drag and slow of adrenaline slogged time, stretching one second into five until the exhalation that follows snorts a fine spray of blood across them both and he's back in again. It's like wrestling a rabid dog. He doesn't stop, he doesn't care — the dropped gun clattering down past them somewhere between a knife-edged shove and the loss of an arm to Teo's more precise efforts, pinned back at an angle improbable enough to freeze him up for the beat it takes his head to swing down into the smudge of a doorknob. Clonk.

The door rattles against the impact, those quick enough to rush to its exterior next treated to the distinct slither and thump of an unconscious body hitting the floor.

Quiet now. Except for the silly buzz of brain chemistry punching Ghost irregularly in his inner-ear, raised voices piercing from downstairs. He feels a strip of burning growing wider on his belly, puts his arm across it reflexively, takes his time nnnot thinking about the repercussions of What if it's very deep and he needs to start worrying about his viscera sloughing out, unzipped. Probably not. Deckard's knives aren't huge.

"Ian, what the Hell is goin' on up there?"

Ghost's next breath emerges in a groan. He snags the fallen pistol off the floor in an awkward sweep-scrabble of callused fingers, fumbles safety on, then for his own, stoops to check Deckard's pulse in an ill-conceived application of blood-sticky palms. "Just" What. "Just playing! Sorry, forgot the safety! I'll fix the ceiling! And the…// And the doorknob."

"The wha?"

It isn't so very absurd that she believes him. After all, the Garden's patronage recently included Eileen Ruskin and Gabriel 'Sylar' Gray. Sometimes, people play. Ghost peels his shirt off his torso long enough to hiss half his vocabulary of Italian curses, and reassure himself that he's oozing more than he's gushing. Frisking mostly involves him pawing haphazardly over Deckard's pant legs, drags his jacket off his body in an unkind yank of lapels, tracking more red on more things including, when he gets to it, the thin, stubbled skin over Deckard's pulse.

It takes him a few seconds to realize that the ache in his jaw marks concussive bone injury. By then, he's trying to figure out whether he can carry the old man onto the bed without ripping an extra inch into his cut. If the smear between nails is any indication, dragging is going to pat unsightly marks across the floor from Deckard's spongy-sopping skull and not— help—

"Well," Mage says, rolling her eyes companionably at the blonde woman, new arrival. Her pasta remains half-eaten at her allotted setting before her, fork abandoned on the rim of the plate. "I'm bringing Abby up. Sometimes, even with Elvis gone, it's still an animal house. Come on, sweetheart, I'll ta—"

"You're supposed to be off your feet for another thirty five minutes, Mage," points out the flannel-clad bear clopping out of the kitchen, oven glove and lasagna tray piping in hand. "Look, I'll take her."

"No one is going to take me" That was a gunshot. "I still know my way around this place Mage. Tell him to get those other casseroles into the freezer" She's been on edge since she stepped foot on the island again. Teo wanting to meet here, instead of the mainland. That's one more strike against him. It's the tiniest bit easier, every visit, to get here, to walk here. Someday she might be able to do it without the help of medication. Her leather jacket hung up, she thumps up the stairs. Accident her ass. Teo never has accidents with his weapon.

So there's no knock on the door, just her footsteps as warning before her head pokes into the room. Back to blonde, not that he saw her blue. Blue sundress, sneakers. "Teodoro Laudani, why are you discharging a gun in a hou…" Look, it's a Deckard body. With blood. With BLOOD. Blue eyes widen in shock at the sight. "What did you DO!"

Being a super-assassin of some years, Ghost is far too dignified to be jumping around, examining windows for emergency retreat, and panicking at the prospect of the littlest ex-healer coming up and jamming a door into Deckard's ribs. He is doing a very respectable job, instead, of standing on the periphery of the floor, peering speculatively at the blonde woman from over Flint's crumpled corpus. Which the door is currently wedged stopped into the side of.

"He was trying to fucking kill me!" Somehow, this statement emerges in the tone of complaint more than— whatever it should have been. Ghost scowls fiercely and points at his own midsection, where the blood seeping through his shirt barely shows against the dark dye of the fabric. "I just knocked him out, okay? His pulse is fine, he's still breathing. You can smell it. Oh.

"Merda." He blinks hard, stretches his mouth wide around the uncomfortable fit of the hinge-joint that no longer seems to fit exactly into its fixture. He drags one damp thumb over it, gestures haphazardly with the gun, muzzle carefully pointed floorward. In or out?

Abigail probably knows the correct answer to that, but Ghost has a feeling—

"Language!" Snapped out by Abigail as she carefully shimmies through the open space of the door. "Newsflash Teo. Everyone is trying to kill you." Her messenger bag is squeezed in before she tries to shut the door, as much as it can be shot. "Put your stupid gun away. Before you shoot at me. I don't want to have to go to a hospital and explain a blanking bullet imbedded in me. Accident my lily white ass"

There's nothing in her bag of tricks to help her here, just her bare knee's sinking onto the floor and fingers tentatively touching the first bare skin that she can touch to check for that hum of activity around her tongue that would indicate that Deckards got the gift turned on and outwards.

Nothing. Good.

Now she can check him over, seeing as he's the one on the floor as opposed to Teo who is standing. What little skills she's learned so far and her own normal first aid know how is applied. Gentle fingers probing where the blood is, searching for a bullet hole regardless of Teo's assurance that he was just knocked out. "Get a bedsheet, something, put pressure on your wound Teo. Lord help me if Either of you .." Boys. Both of them.

When 'Ian's left eyebrow pops up and nearly out of joint, he does look oddly, if briefly, like Teo. Is she checking Deckard's head for an entry wound? She is checking Deckard's head for an entry wound.

Annoying. "That's an exaggeration. Even the police only technically want me for questioning." Glancing sideways, he recalls again the bed has no bedding on it, but the chest of drawers set up at its foot seems as likely as anything else. Muttering, he turns toward it, kicking stray knives ahead of him as he goes, like dribbling a football. One weapon skitters, fishtailing underneath the bed, and then the second blade.

With his free hand, Ghost drags the drawer open and finds a T-shirt with a slogan about really liking New York on the front. In another moment, its white is furrowed by dirty fingers and scudding with scabby red. "He discharged his weapon in here," he adds helpfully, pointing the pistol imperiously at the ceiling's ragged perforation in a gesture that is probably only about as clear as it is counterintuitive.

"Somehow, I doubt that you're BOTH innocent in the area area of weapons!" Satisfied that there's no bullet lodged in flint head, the blondee scowls and punches the wall. Hard. "Hate this" Muttered before she slides the door open again, just enough to stick her head though. "Hey! Can I have the big first aid kit? The one Elvis would use?" Don't ask is the unspoken order on the heel of those words.

Pulling back in, she shoots a blue eye'd and angry look at him and then the prone man. "NEITHER of you can go ONE week without somehow getting shot, stabbed, bruised, choked, lord only knows what. What are you going to do now huh? Because Flint's not gonna have that forever. At some point he's going to give in and go and try and get his vision back. And then there will be no healing" Spit out at him and she shifts forward on her knee's to try and bunch up the hem of her dress, press it to the now healers forehead.

"Act like MEN!"

A renewed glare folds Ghost's brow down, a sharp twist of annoyance to the twinned accents of his brows and the artificially induced lines of age laddered up his forehead there. He leans his hip against the oak wall of the chest, his elbow propped up on the age-scarred varnish of its roof, his finger still laced across inside the trigger guard of his gun despite that it's safetied.

Conspicuously, though he doesn't even notice it, really, Ghost stops swearing. "You're a hypocrite. I'm tired of arguing with hypocrites this week. Besides, I didn't want to get stabbed. I didn't know he was going to try to stab me. Or shoot me. He was trying to noble, I was trying to survive. If it bothers your shi— 'f it bothers you that much, maybe you should make different friends and go into professional baking, eh?" There's a half-beat of self-recognition, not to be mistaken for actual introspection; his fingers tighten on the fabric wadded on his torso.

"I'm not arguing," Ghost reiterates, flatly.

"No one ever asks to get stabbed" Abigail barks back out, even as there's thumps on the steps that indicate another person coming and likely bearing what she was asking for. She holds back her tongue as Teo, what she knows as Teo spits out some words at her. There's just a barked out "thank you" as she reaches around the door to drag in the huge tool chest. Stuff in there for both of them.

"If you don't like talking to them, then keep your mouth shut. Surely Lucrezia taught you to keep you're mouth shut if you can't say anything nice. Surely you mother raised you better" He can hurt her with words, she can hurt him back. In Abigail fashion of course.

One hand pops the catches on the black and yellow tool box with it's painted on red cross and flips the top open. It's stuffed with all sorts of medical necessities that one can need for a quick temporary patch job. But she's not looking for sutures or syringes. Packs of gauze are located first, tossed towards the Sicilian before she's tearing a package open for herself, to apply to Fints forehead. This was not in her plans when she was coming here. Patching people up. Patching people up an old fashioned way.

"How badly are you hurt? He get you with a bullet or knife?"

'Gross' is a bad answer, but it's the word that comes facetiously to mind as Ghost wipes away the leaking on his skin, examines the traumatized separation of tissue with a poke and pry of fingers, his chagrin contained behind his lips. He sweats, if not a lot. Exchanges matted T-shirt for gauze and then keeps pressure with his hand. Keeps the gun, too, hanging onto it as a tot would their safety blanket or a teddy bear. "Knife.

"I don't mind talking to hypocrites. I just don't like arguing with—" His irritable growl shorts out into a brief silence. When he finishes it, it's with a dry, not quite humorous rub of admission: "You. You're not saying anything nice. Rough week, I take it." His eyelid drags a little when he moves to reopen it from a blink, and he studies the shape of Flint, his crooked stack still there on the floor, below the ketchup daub of the doorknob.

"My life has been peachy since Christmas, thanks for asking" It's like a never ending pile of stuff on the buffet plate that is her life.

"There's people worse off than me. Like you and Flint. God.. damnit, would you sit and put the gun away. He won't take a shot at you while I'm here, and YOU won't take a shot at him while i'm here. What you do when I'm gone is up to you both" She digs around for some medical tape, ripping off pieces with her teeth. She knows it's unsanitary, but at the same time, she really doesn't care as she tapes everything into place on Flint's head. At least he's put on weight?

With Flint taken care of, all that she can take care of till he wakes up, it's Teo's turn to now be scrutinized by the blonde. "Sit down so I can look at it. While I'm doing that, you can tell me why I have detective Daubry knocking on my door, asking if I know where you are, have I seen you and do three dead cops look familiar"

At this, Ghost frowns. It's not a particularly distrustful expression, but nor is it enthused as the prospect of accepting the girl's ministrations. After a moment, grudgingly, there's a sigh leaked out through his teeth; he trudges backward three steps, drops himself on the edge of the bed.

Squeaking, and then a conceding creak of bedsprings. He thumbs his shirt up, flattens his shoulder against the bedpost and the strut that connects it to the one opposite, lengthening out the flat of his torso for examination. No tattoos; not even scars, which Abigail might have remembered from her brief stint rooming with her boys, however carefully Teo had tried to guard both their senses of decency. "The answer wouldn't make you feel better. Or Daubrey, for that matter."

"I don't like a lot of answers Teo, but you know me" The big kit is scraped across the floor, not bothering to pick it up as she opts to kneel at the side of the bed. The gauze he's pressing moved with still gentle and delicate fingers, at odds with her voice. She should be screaming and yelling right now, but there's a bottle ever present in her bag that works at keeping that from happening. Keeping her semi-docile. Keeps the shakes from out of her fingers as she gently prods then pulls back. Gloves. She's not a healer anymore, she can't just go touching wounds and not need to worry about what she might be introducing to the field. So she turns back to the kit, sussing out some Latex gloves, rubbing alcohol, more gauze.

"You are giving it back yes?"

Ignorance finds Ghost now. He tracks her small hands across the open kit, the sentiment bleeding out of his face, leaving a husk of simplified parts— nose, mouth, eyes— sitting still on the front of his head as if they'd been affixed to a manikin, empty, artificially architectured, not human once you get close enough a look.

"One of the cops was the man who gave your Registration information to John Logan. His pension starts in two years. Where I come from, he uses it to move to India, where he lives happily ever after. The other two officers were just trying to kill me. As you pointed out earlier." Everyone is. His fingers curl a fist; he starts to shrug away after a moment, a mutter under his breath. "I can stitch myself up. It's no big deal— bandage will do for now."

There's a papery flicker at Deckard's eyelids. A twitch at his fingers. He's coming 'round with all the vitality of a thirty year old horse, sway backed and grey muzzled and stiff at the joints. His tongue pushes out past salt and copper, confirming the source of the tacky cold clagging at his stubble collection and down the back of his throat before he lifts his head, left hand already brushing up after freshly applied tape.

Doesn't hurt. Probably not a great sign.

People are here. Their voices clog unfamiliar in his ears until he turns his head enough to squint at the sources, eyes dully unfocused until memory stumbles back in at a rush and he startles back against the door, already nearly all the way back up on his feet and grasping at an empty holster.

"He won't touch you" The change in Flint's breathing and then the sound of him moving alerting the blonde with her back to him that Flint might be coming 'round. "Not unless her wants me digging fingers inside his belly and ripping stuff out"

This Teo, this.. copy inside her Teo. He's found the cop who'd ratted her out. Wait a second. Where he comes from? Blue eyes flicker upwards as she gets more gauze. "I can stitch. I'll do a sight job better on it than you will, or if you ask nicely maybe Flint will take care of it" Highly unlikely.

"I bandaged your head Flint. Just, stay sitting, for a bit" They're both confusing. "Why were you shooting at each other?"

Nnnot his question to answer, by the look on Ghost's face. A faint sneer tracks a line up the side of his mouth, curls it around his nostril. He hoods his eyes, lifts them away from the twitchy heap of Deckard on the floor.

He doesn't repeat— decides against repeating, that Deckard had started this whole fucking thing, that he had been the one left standing, with a gun, pointed not at Deckard and— it's like everybody thinks he is a completely unreasonable homicidal lunatic these days, while ordinarily such shootings would have been perfectly justified anyway. Probably, Abigail doesn't even have to hear him bitching aloud to tell the obstinacy of his thoughts from the look on him, the stubborn set of his shoulders in their rigidly enforced reticence. The edge of his face is turning purple.

"I'm not worried about me," graveled congested through the blood in his throat, Deckard wipes at his mouth with the back of his wrist to little avail. Red and brown and black have already started to dry along the side of his face and down past the collar of his t-shirt. Why does he even bother getting new ones?

"He's from the future." He's lied and vagued his way through this shit long enough, apparently, spine propped slumped back against the door when dizziness prompts him to hold to his sit. "Trying to change things."

Hands stop their ministrations at Teo's waist, when Deckard spills the beans, looking up at him even harder. Niki had told her everything. About being ten years in the future, about Pinehearst and the run to get home. But Niki hadn't told her about body jumpers hitching rides back through time. Nope. "well"

Well. She blinks a few times, looking over at flint then back up to Teo "That makes sense now. That makes… a lot of sense." Because what else can she say. It makes sense because how would teo have gotten the name of the.. cop in New jersey? How would…"Ohh, Teo, Sonny is gonna be… upset. Are you Teo from ten years from now or… someone else?" And then back to patching him up. Because really. Bleeding. Blood trumps time travel.

The ghost's eyes are pointed at the intermediate space between here and there, Abigail and Deckard, the last remembered location of the stowed weapons and the people who would be wont to use them. He hasn't put his gun away, but it's resting discreetly against his thigh, behind the chest of drawers, where Flint doesn't have to stare at it and Abigail can easily ignore it.

He isn't particularly surprised that Deckard spilled the beans. At least he hasn't lurched onto his feet, charged across the room and tried to choke Ghost by wedging the can down his throat.

"Ten years ahead. I know," he adds, gruffly, about the young Doctor in question. "Sal" even now, he's protective of the Bianco runt's reputation, so there's only a trace of emphasis there, "and I've been fighting."

"He's fucking things up. Making a mess." The sluggish seep of fresh blood from Deckard's nose has ceased. The hand he carries over to the socket of his eye eventually falls away to drag at the work Abby's done instead, taking the promise of dark blotched bruising with it. The split in his scalp is suturing itself, skin pulling to skin with a deliberate, sickly slowness to the effort.

He waits until the worst of it has repaired itself to push up onto his feet, brooding quiet at the door while his eyes rake around in search of the weaponry Teo's thoughtfully relieved him of.

And that's any different from how you do it… It goes unspoken by Abigail, and it's a petty thought. She regrets it the moment she said it. "Maybe he is, maybe he isn't. Maybe it's all going according to plan" She glances up again and there's a slight poke, deliberate, with her finger against the injured flesh. "That's for Richard. Shame on you again. he was there looking for my bible. SO what brought this bought of fighting to the forefront?" blame, in her eyes, lays on both parties. "Lemme get stuff to stitch you up, lest you'd rather do it yourself?"

More to Ghost's credit, because he could always use some: he doesn't squeak or pop tearduct when Abigail jabs him in the gut. There is, however, something of a bulge of his eyes, a stoop of his shoulders, an elongated monosyllable with too much air in it to be a groan tendriling out through his teeth. "If— you please," he answers the girl, loosening his knuckles from white around the gun.

His head slides sideways on its axis, hits the chest of drawers with a thunk of bone against wood, a little bit too loud to be attributed entirely to gravity. The first thing Abigail's seen or heard of him tonight that attests that this is, in fact, Teodoro Laudani. Propensity for head trauma and all. "What'd you see?" His breath rattles on out; it takes him a moment to remember to look at Deckard across the room. "What was it Pastor Sumter showed you?'

"What I saw was between me and God. …He's that omniscient guy upstairs who makes things happen how he wants them to." In the event that there was some confusion. Over who he might have meant. Cynicism bites ragged through the rough of his voice, eyes ringed vivid around something that looks a lot like hatred from across the room when he takes them in together. Teo reclined, Abigail's hands on him. His teeth bare out again ahead of something that can't quite piece itself together into words, and he declines to answer her question less directly than he didn't answer his.

"You still hit your head against things ten years in the future? No wonder you're so different. Brain damage" It's muttered under Abby's breath as she lays out what she needs. She pauses though, a glance to Flint. "Before I do this to him, maybe.. you have it in you to try and get this closed up enough he won't need it? If not, that's fine." She's ignoring the snark in his voice about God. Abby's ignoring a lot of stuff. This has been an overwhelming week.

"I'm not evolved. Did you know that? I tested Negative. Not a single evolved gene in my body and it's not because of Tyler Case"

Let's switch topics, before Deckard kills people with his eyes after all and Teo decide to jump out windows some more. She starts in then, with the needle and the thread that she had been preparing, not giving Teo warning.

More than enough outlaws in this room sucking on asshole, then, though Ghost thinks better than to say that out loud as long as Abigail is hovering over his belly with a pointy needle and another reprimand waiting ready on her lips. His annoyance shows in the length of the silence gritted in his teeth, and then the rough of his voice when he finally speaks, looking at Abigail. Frowning.

"No. I didn't know that." The machined spike of steel dives in and out of his flesh, thread pinching the riven halves of his epidermis together, and he doesn't flinch; he frowns. Doesn't really think Flint's going to do anything to the wound except try to dig his fingers into it and twist its gaping edges wider still, but he doesn't do either of them the discourtesy of refusing first. "That's fucked. I'm sorry."

Anger and petty frustration keep Deckard rooted in place without an answer. Let him heal himself. His fingers are clawed at his sides, itching to realize precisely the kind of torment Teo is busy imagining. He says nothing.

"Language" It's not barked out this time. "Stop saying you're sorry. No ones ever really sorry" THey're not eileen stitches, or any sort of medical professional stitches, but they'll hold, hold enough for him to heal. Her mother did teach her how to sew. She'll make someone a happy housewife some day. If she ever settles down.

"This is very awkward. Being between you both, one shooting daggers at me, the other stiff as a tree while I poke him" There's a soft sigh and the finishing off as a stitch as she keeps deftly sliding needle into flesh. How is it that only when it's going into her a needle of any kind, that she gets queasy, but not the other way around. "I'll be done soon, then you can go back to yelling at each other"

There's an audible chuff of air through Ghost's nose, a tremor that jigs through the line of his shoulders, his chest caving inward. Fortunately, not far enough that it pulls dangerously at the thread trailing from Abby's needle.

"Abigail, don't tell me I'm not sorr" he isn't barking either, not exactly, but there's a sparking figment of temper there that he has to smother the next instant, with a damp blanket of a sigh. "but I'll stop if you're tired of hearing it. We know how important it was to you, a'right? No young woman would come out to this God-forsaken city, put up with" His jaw squares with a bullish clack and scrape of hard parts. "I think I'm just gonna go. Unless there's anything else you two need."

Overcoat retrieved and shaken off with a snap of his wrist, Flint shrugs his way back into it, drywall still clinging white to the shoddy mess of the shoulders when they snug down flat over his own. He's withdrawing again, ill-temper wavering hot through cracks and fissures in the overall effect. His insides are on fire. It's hard to pretend like they aren't.

It's written fine into the lines around his eyes and mouth, starker distinction allowed there by the absence of grizzled fuzz to obscure it when he looms up behind Abigail's shoulder. Not close enough to touch, he maintains a less tangible distance in the hardened level of his glare.

There's a final snip of the last stitch as Teo starts to bitch her out. At least she's looking at it as such. And then Deckard is looming and any thoughts about what else she had to talk to Teo, future Teo about is out of her mind from the look that Deckard tosses about, the way he gets that jacket on. She shouldn't have come to the island. Not at all. Should have stayed mainland and yelled at Teo over the phone. Neosporin applied, gauze is pulled from the package and taped into place over Teo's wound, she pulls back much as she can and slithers sideways to pull off gloves and tidy up her mess, falling silent as a grave under the weight, meta physically, of both men. erstwhile protectors of her in their own ways. She is, appropriately cow'd and feeling bad.

It's gross, mind you, but at least the front of Ghost's shirt isn't drenched or anything. Falls slack and reasonably neatly back into place across his torso when he brushes it down with his hand, says a soft word of gratitude, apologetic— again, though not this time in so many words. That's one habit that finally wore off after a decade's abrasion of time dragging over the contents of his soul. Awkwardly, he pats her hand, where latex separates skin.

Yes, Deckard's looming. Don't think Ghost doesn't notice. But he has the gun, and Abby is here, so that is two things in favor of his generally preferred scenario of 'no more insane and theatrical violence happens.' We're all friends in here. Supposed to be.

Suppressing any all signs of difficulty, he gets up onto his feet. Takes the gun with him, swinging in hand, keeps watching Flint like he's about to bust out crazy rabid dog on him again; an understandable suspicion, no doubt. As he's standing here, though, and starting to move toward the door with scabbing blood tugging skin against shirt and residual pain easing in his teeth, Ghost is struck by an unwonted urge, as ever, to move perpendicular to practical paranoia.

Or practicality at all. He drops a kiss on his own free hand, sudden, harmless as anything. Pops his arm up, pats fight-rough knuckles once against the skinny incline of Deckard's cheek. "I lied, all right?" he says, pointlessly given honestly no one ever him after he's told the truth that hurts more, but there's wolfish confrontation in his smile, his weight skewing easily across his heels as he swivels to walk backward at the door.

Intent on doing the whole belligerent statue thing, Deckard hardly moves while Abby finishes her work, eyes more interested in drilling into Teo's mashed up face than the work she's doing at his midsection. Brows and mouth flatlined against the quiet, he stiffens his spine out all the further when Teo moves to stand, working all six feet two and a half inches of himself for all it's worth.

But he has the gun. And Abby is here.

Blown kisses, contact, and wolfish confrontation are all ill-received. The abrasive scrape of Deckard's cheek against undesired affection is about right so far as overall feelings go — there's an audible scuff that follows the touch and leads directly into an aggressive lurch of forward movement.

Abigail just hunkers, watches. What was he lying about? When Teo makes his little kiss pop movement, there's a sound of caution from her. She sees Deckard bristling. It's enough to make her reach out and wrap a palm as much as she can around Deckard's upper arm, try to keep him in place, prevent him from going after Teo. He just might, even with her here. "You should go Teo. You have my number. Tell Teo I said hi," Then quieter, softer "Come on flint, let him go. for me please"

There's a hastened backward scoooootch of movement, Ghost sliding off in a violent jerk commensurate, perfectly timed to the lunge that Abby barely manages to reign in. His teeth show, double-barred, hard and brief as a dog-bite. No verbal accompaniment. Not to that, precisely. "Buona sera. Y'ave my number."

He doesn't give either of them his back, which is a token of respect, one way or another. Fiddles the lock open with a hand behind him, his weight balancing seamlessly even across his feet despite the complaints that encrust his bones and muscles, the wound slow healing on his belly. Hinges creak. The room spills a bar of light out into the hallway, and he slips out with all the pernicious, heat-slaking silence of his namesake.

Deckard's arm is like old iron beneath Abby's hand, rigid and immobile. Fortunately, so is the rest of him. He's effectively stayed past that singular scuff of his boots and a brush of wool over wool. No gun left to draw. Nothing to do with hands that tremble with adrenaline-driven ambition and an aching desire to pull Ghost's head into messy halves all teeth and gore, like a sprung bear trap in dire need of a reset.

He watches him go without much change in expression, Italian fairwell pressing down almost undetectably at the furrow over his brow. Fuck you. He doesn't actually have to say it, what with body language doing all the dirty work for him.

He doesn't look at Abby or relax once he's gone, either, grizzled temples turning aside to scope after a metallic glitter somewhere around the bed instead.

There's a nod for Teo as he disappears and then she's cocking her head, looking up at the miles taller than her man, hand tightening just a fraction. "Wanna go get something to eat? If not, you can walk me to the boats, I can see about catching a ride back across the water. Maybe this day won't have been such a waste of time"

"I dunno," says Deckard, listening about enough to detect that Abby's said something with a question mark on the end of it. He looks back to the door, distant and distracted, jaw slacking enough to allow for a swallow before he starts tugging himself away from her. That's his knife, under the bed. One of them.

And she lets him go, fingers slacking so he can slip past them. "Mage has food downstairs. Hot food. Make sure to eat" Abigail turns away to let Deckard fetch his shiney knife. She collects the first aid kit and her bag, slinging the latter over her shoulder and the former with her hand curled around the yellow handle. "Call if you need anything Flint. I'll be at church tomorrow"

He won't. Probably. Deckard doesn't look interested in the prospect of Mage's food any more than he looked interested in the half-heard suggestion of going out to get something. Single minded, thoughts turned inward, he draws away from her for the bed and crouches to retrieve what's his — the first knife and the second behind it, blood drying into the dip of the blade beneath the grip. Wiping it off on his sleeve once he's sunk himself down onto the side of the bed does not have the desired effect, but it does give him something to frown at aside from Abigail.

No answer. Same old Flint. But how could she expect anything else. And it's rote by now. Abigail talks, Deckard glowers. It's like Felix and Deckard, or Teo and Deckard. Pattern and habit. The blonde eases out the door, a glance to it's hinges and over all safety of use. Yeah, someones going to need to fix that. "Take care" and with that, out the door she goes, the thunk of the first aid kit against the wall and then her feet down the steps. It is going to be a quiet thoughtful ride across the water back home. Likely with more pills in her immediate future.

Deckard doesn't watch her go. He doesn't look up at the bump of the kit against the wall or the track of her footfalls down the stairs either, knife turned over in his hands until he nicks one of his own knuckles and thumbs the blade back down into its lock. Could use a drink.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License