A Father's Prerogative


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Scene Title A Father's Prerogative
Synopsis When Brian Winters and Samara Dunham prepare to take Amid Halebi to Washington D.C., Noah Bennet shows up to oversee the matter personally…
Date January 27, 2011


The sun threatens to break through the clouds, and with only a few hours having passed since dawn even broke, that's a promising start to a complicated day. Through the windows of Brian Winters' Chinatown apartment, the dim light of morning seems even dimmer, intruding between partly drawn blinds into the kitchen.

Seated at Brian's table is what amounts to one of the world's most dangerous houseguests. While Amid Halebi may be docile, his unintentionally hazardous ability leaves him with little ability to control his own self-inflicted pain and sickness on others. Kept in check by regular doses of adynomine, Amid's situation is only temporarily salvaged at present. He stares, vacantly, into his breakfast, hoping to divine some sort of answer to his problems in the floating letters of a bowl of Alphabits cereal.

The bandages on his hands have been removed, in favor of letting the greivous burns on his hands start to heal on their own with exposure to the air. It is with a careful and gentle touch that he holds his plastic spoon, sore hands still too sensative for heavy manipulation of anything. He normally wound't even invade Brian's home outside of the room he had been afforded here. But the glutin-free cereal and soy milk that he and Samara had so thoughtfully purchased for their temporary Muslim room-mate has been too tempting. He needs to get something in his stomach — something that will stay down — before he leaves for DC to meet with members of his Mazdak cell.

He said once that if he ever got out of Mazdak, he would never go back. But there are some things that no amount of common sense can deter a man from, and protecting the life of his daughter is one of them.

A father could make himself do anything for his daughter.

"Morning." Brian is muttering as he slides back into the apartment. Closing the door behind him. The lock is placed up, as Winters looks down at the Mazdak member at his kitchen table. A light smile slides up his lips. "Car is all gassed up, oil checked, ready to go." He informs the room, looking down at Amid's breakfast. One hand goes to pat at the man's back gently as he moves in. "You ready?" He asks quietly.

Glancing across the aparment, he arches a single brow. "Sami? You ready to go?" The former Company Agent moves towards his room. "Baby, it's cold outside. Make sure you dress warm." A little chuckle falls out of his lips. "Baby it's cold outside~" Going into his room, Brian goes to get his black beanie out off his room. Pulling it down over his brow, he makes his way back out to the apartment.

"I'm ready.. ish.." Sam replies to Brian, even though she's not. For a woman who lived in the same clothes for four years, she, like many women, takes a large time to get ready, although her excuse has become one of preparedness rather than vanity. In truth it's somewhere in between. She emerges into the kitchen with a large cream-coloured toque tugged comfortably over her ears and a pair of matching mittens on her hands. Underneath them? A pair of gloves. Better prepared than not.

She peeks at Amid and issues him a somewhat soft and shy smile. "Hi," her lips hitch up further to one side, a hint of good humour amid the circumstance. "How's the cereal?" she bites her bottom lip.

Settling ihs spoon down into the bowl, Amid offers a slow and silent look up to Samara. There's a crinkle in his brow as a frown graces his face, followed by a slow and subtle nod of recognition to the young woman, which is as much of an answer about his cereal as she gets. Brian, however, is turned to with an avoidant look in his eyes. "You… did not tell me that your fiancee' would be joining us," sounds like a problem. "I…"

Amid clears his throat, slowly pushing his chair back and rising up to stand. "You take a great risk traveling with me, taking me out of this city and… your Samara," he motions one burned hand towards her, though speaks as though she were not in the room. "You would risk her being arrested, if we are caught? Authorities are looking for me, your government, your… Institute?" The name rolls unfamiliar off of Amid's tongue.

"She should stay behind," Amid insists with a slow shake of her head, "she does not belong taking risks like this." Amid also, it seems, has the confidence to speak for Samara in that regard. Or perhaps not the confidence, but the gall.

Pausing as he's checking everything on him, he glances over to Amid. He tilts his head a little bit. Looking over to Sam he looks back."Sam can't be caught." Winters assures him, gesturing to Samara. "Show him how you won't be caught, baby." Brian lets out, tucking his hands into his pockets.

"It was her idea. But.. I'm only letting her because I know she won't be harmed." He quickly explains.

The reaction actually has Sam taken aback. "Hey!" her voice squeaks before she takes a slow deep breath, clamping her eyes shut in the process and causing deep creases along her forehead while exposing crow's feet along her eyes. She frowns deeply, but she doesn't react this time, she gives herself a little bit of space, just a little. "All due respect— " she begins quietly. With another long, deep breath, Sami suppresses her emotions. "— I know what the risks are. I know I'm young and bubbly and excitable, I talk to much, and I'm not the super secret spy Brian is, but— "

Her brows furrow a little at the instruction. Right, that's what will keep her safe save for negation gas. She takes a deep breath and with little thought or feeling she parts into a billion little pieces, parted molecules, transformed structure before reforming in front of them both. "I want to help," she insists.

The demonstration elicits a stern look from Amid, one that he lacks the energy or resolve to maintain. Ultimately, it is with resignation and a sigh that he shakes his head and slouches his shoulders. "I will not persist in this," he admits, "but I feel it is a… it is not a good idea." Those dark eyes wander to Samara, scanning up and down her slowly. "She is young, and this is not children's business. But I am in your debt," he states on returning his attention to Brian. "I disagree, but not enough."

In his resignation, Amid leans back against the kitchen table, looking down at one of his burn-scarred hands, only to have his momentary calm disturbed by the sudden rapping of a knock on the door. The sound has him jostling the table, sloshing his bowl and sending a spill of milk spreading across the tabletop and dribbling down over one side. Dark eyes are wide, and as Amid backs away from the mess he made, he's trying to find the nearest door to make himself scarce through.

"It's Noah," is not the name or voice that Brian Winters expected to hear in the hall outside of his apartment.

He's right. Brian looks at Amid without the ability to argue. He glances over at Delia with a little screwed up expression as if not sure how to support her in this. Winters shakes his head lightly. Eyeing Samara, he opens his mouth as if to say something. But it shuts rapidly as soon as pounding emits from his door. Winters eyes go wide as he looks to the doorway. Noah? How does..

"Get away from the door." Brian commands quietly, going to the kitchen cupboard. A gun is pulled out from behind the pasta sauce. The handgun is held down at his side as he edges towards the door to look through the peephole.

Brian's brows draw back. He's been here before. An old familiar voice asking to come in. It was how Arthur Petrelli killed Brian Fulk. Vague memories dance through his head as he holds the weapon at the door.

"What are you doing here, Noah?" Brian asks calmly. The gun pointed at where he imagines the other man's chest should be.

A stitch strong-headed and a daredevil all her own in most regards, Sami opens her mouth to object but closes it. Her arms cross over her chest, and, if her body language is any indication, she's digging in her heels, as stubborn as she is. The knock on the door and Brian's reaction, however, have her following instructions, her arms fall from her chest as she slides further into the kitchen.

The voice isn't familiar nor is the name, drawing little more than a quizzical expression and vague skepticism.

"I'd rather not talk about it in the hall, it's about your room mate…" Through the peep-hole, Noah's tired and wrinkle-creased face regards the door with a look of consternation. His heavy winter jacket wrapped tight around his frame, leaning his weight down on a cane to help him walk while his leg recovers from the injuries sustained on the night of the riots. "You and I need to talk before you go on that road trip you're planning." However Noah knows is perhaps a bit more in question, but then… he is Noah Bennet.

Sometimes it's better not to know how he finds these things out.

Amid has only partly retreated out of sight, ducked halfway behind the open door to the bathroom, fingers curled around the door frame, brows furrowed and posture tense. The hostility and tension is palpable to him int he air, and it doesn't take an empath's precision ability to know that there is something dangerous going on. Maybe the gun helps punctuate that.

"I like you where you are Noah." Brian commands sternly. He glances over his shoulder. He probably doesn't have very much adynomine left. He could stick Noah with it quickly before admitting him. But then there's the fear of radiation from Amid. Brian stares through the peep hole. Looking over his shoulder, Brian motions for Samara and Amid to go into his room.

Only affter they're in the room, Winters goes to unlock the door. Taking a step away, he sets his gun down on the counter. "Come in." He commands.

Sami doesn't need to be told twice, not when the stern voice comes out, even if it's not directed to her. She rolls the mittens off her (now) very sweaty hands as she nods towards the bedroom for Amid's benefit, a universal symbol of 'follow me'. "Brian— " she begins before cutting herself off following which a few words are mouthed, Be careful.

She slips into the room. Kind of. She lingers in the doorway, just out of sight.

Hesitant to change his choice of hiding holes, Amid quickly crosses the distance between bathroom and bedroom, following after Samara without the look back to Brian that she affords. As he ducks out of sight, they can both hear the door opening; the click of the deadbolt, rattle of door chain, and the clunk of feet and cane an uneven rhythm of entrance into the apartment. Through the narrow space between the door, Samara can see the tall and older man entering inside. She's seen him before, at Bannerman Castle long before she regained her corporeal form.

Wire-rimmed glasses rest perched upon a tired, thin face. One of Noah's hands is wound tight around the cane he still uses to walk, and his gait is slow, pondrous and purposeful. Only once Brian has closed the door behind him, does Noah have anything to say.

"While I appreciate the risk you're taking looking after Halebi, you could have brought this up with the council before taking it up on yourself to return a dangerous man back to a terror organization, Winters. If word of this got out to the media, can you imagine the damage it would do to the Ferrymen? If they directly connected a man capable of the Midtown explosion to us?" Noah's brows furrow, his lips peel back into a sneer away from pale teeth.

"Brian I need to know that you've thought what you're doing through…" The councilman's brows furrow, eyes sweep through the apartment, passing over Samara's narrow viewing space between door and wall without pause, squaring his attention back on Brian again. "I know what's been said about Halebi's daughter, I understand. But have you really, truly thought this through?"

Inside of Brian and Samara's bedroom, Amid stands further away from the door than Samara's convenient eavesdropping location. He turns a look to her, dark eyes wide and confused. "Who is that?" Is whispered under his breath to her, distance closed between the two out of concern for being overheard.

"I'm not acting on the Ferryman's behalf." Brian responds sharply as Noah enters the room. "I am an ex-company agent, looking after someone with a similar fate." It might be somewhat of a revelation. Not many in the Ferryman were aware that Brian Fulk was Brian Winters, but it matters little now. "I informed the council.." He gives a little shrug. "Communication can be difficult. What with so much trouble abounding right now." Winters says stonily, eyes matching the bespectacled gaze of the other man.

"I'm going to go assure that a man doesn't lose his daughter. Tell me you wouldn't do the same for your own." Winters arches a single brow, taking a step back. "Or is it easier to make sacrifices for other people?" He frowns for a moment. "What do you want me to do, Noah?"

Hazel eyes blink at the men through the crack in the door, silent recognition hitching in her breath. Her whisper back is no louder than Amid's trying to keep their presence under wraps. "He's from.." it occurs to Sam that she actually has no idea how much Amid knows and so her tone changes some, "He's a friend. Or.. an ally, I guess?" She knows few details, but what she knows tells her he's someone to be trusted. At least in some regard. She squints, still peeking through the crack.

Friend and Ally seem hard things for Amid to understand, judging from the tones of voice and words chosen between the two. Also that the topic of conversation involves his daughter's life at stake. Out in the apartment, Noah paces towards the kitchen table, noticing the spilled milk and sloshed bowl of cereal. He turns his attention back up to Brian at that, brows furrowed.

Noah's silence is a judging one, either the revelation of the former Company association or Brian's resolve, he doesn't reveal which outwardly. When he does finally speak, there's some of his fire left from him. "You may not be acting in the Ferrymen's name, but where do you think this is going to go in the long run?" Noah's voice softens, even if his posture doesn't.

"Amid and his daughter are going to need to be put in Ferry care. They're going to need to be moved, somewhere safe. That may not even be the same place, Brian. We can't keep supplying Amid with adynomine, and if he's as reactive as Ted was… exposure to him, long term, could be fatal for both his daughter and anyone else sent with him."

Noah glances back to the bowl of cereal, then up to Brian again. "I'm not asking you to do anything, except consider the long-term. Amid goes back to Mazdak, and whoever your contact is saves his daughter. Then what? We leave him in Mazdak? I don't think you or I want that. I doubt Amid wants that…"

With all the talk of him as though he couldn't hear, Amid starts to head for the door, with the clear intention of insinuating himself into the conversation, unless Samara can convince him otherwise.

Brian stares at Noah for a long moment. "I realize that. And the council agreed to take care of Amid.. after…" Winters clips his lips shut. Winters glances at the ground then back up. "If he doesn't go to Washington, Noah. His daughter will be killed. As far as I'm concerned that is not an option. This part is a necessity.. Until we figure out what to do next." Winters takes a step back.

"I'm trying to think long term Noah, don't give me problems without providing solutions. I'm not going to condemn a girl to death because I can't think quick enough."

"If you have something to put before me, I'm willing to listen, Noah. But.. I'm not going to let that girl die."

Again her breath gets caught in her throat, the risks outlined explicitly in very clear terms, Samara is left dumbfounded. Momentarily, but then Amid is moving. She slides between him and the door, extending her reach across the door. She holds her hands out in a stop motion. "No!" the words is louder than she intends, nearly forgetful of the circumstances under which she is here.

Her voice turns to a desperate whisper, missing the the warmth and enthusiasm of her regular tone. "Amid, please. Please. I know he's an ally but please, please let Brian handle it. It'll be okay," her hazel eyes widen as she implores him. "It will, just— Brian can handle it— he— " she frowns slightly.

Samara's protest halts Amid dead in his tracks, and the assertion of will on the young woman's part has the engineer hesitating. His brows furrow, indignation briefly flashes across his face, then resignation once more. Amid lifts his burned hands, in show of relenting, and takes a step back and away from Samara, before beginning to pace the room like a caged tiger.

Noah's attention briefly flicks in the direction of the bedroom door, timed with the raise of Samara's voice. But Bennet doesn't pursue the obvious sound, instead turning his attention back to Noah. "I know a place we can take Amid, when this all settles down. But none of that is going to do any good if Amid gets himself killed in the process, or Mazdak winds up shipping him off to God knows where…" Better's brows furrow, and the old former agent makes a slow, meandering pace back towards Brian.

"Let me deliver Amid down to D.C. I have a contact down there from my days with the Company, he's in the State Department and he owes me a favor. I can keep an eye on him, put an ear to the ground and follow his movements. I may not be field-agent material anymore, but I know how to sit in a room and run surveilance…"

Noah's eyes narrow, crinkling crows feet at the corners. "I'll let Amid finish his work with Mazdak, make sure that the guillotine isn't hanging over his daughter's head any more, then help him get into hiding before Mazdak can whisk him away again, before they can use him again." Sliding his tongue over his lips, Noah looks askance to the bedroom door, then back to Brian again. "When your contact comes back with Amid's daughter, we can figure out what to do with her independantly. But putting her immediately with her father, until we can resolve how to protect her from his ability, is inadvisable."

"I've been doing this too long to agree to something like that. I'm going with you." Winters says adamantly. Glancing to the door, his gaze is slow to return to Noah. "Start to tell me no, and the deal is offf. I was an agent too, you could use my ability for surveillance." Or anything else.

Bringing his arm around his chest, Winters goes to lean against the counter. Before Brian pauses, eyeing Noah for a long moment. "Noah." Brian says quietly, "Do you mind if I give you something?" He scoots away from the counter, going deep into the apartment.

Sam's lips curl upwards slightly as her cheeks flush slightly. She's relieved. "Thank you," she whispers quietly. Her eyebrows knit together slightly as she nods firmly, "Good. Yes. Thank you." The pacing, actually has her standing down. He's not persisting in his stance, there must be some measure of relief here. She manages a tighter smile only for it to drift into a frown. The notion of being separated from loved ones for an extended period of time all too familiar, easily wearing on her features.

Concern briefly flashes across Noah's face, but it starts to recede as he offers a subtle nod to Brian; he can work with this. "I'm not really good at taking gifts," Noah admits to Brians unusual and unsolicited question. Though as he follows the young man's progress into the apartment, there's a look of scrutiny that creases his brows and makes his attention linger on the former agent.

Noah starts to follow, using his cane to support himself as he walks, though in passing the bedroom door Noah arches a brow with an expectant well, are you going to say hello look, though he can't quite tell who's on the other side of the door from this angle and the way the apartment is lit.

Unaware of Noah's observations on the other side of the door, Amid circles back around towards Samara, his jaw set square and brows tense. "We are wasting time," is his new complaint, anxiety and nerves getting the best of his normally cool nature.

Pulling out a small black box, Brian pulls out a syringe. Glancing to the bedroom he gives a warning look. A look that hopefully says be prepared to run. But it might possibly convey that Brian is hankering for some string cheese. Placing the box down, Winters turns to face the other man.

Holding the syringe up, Brian glances to it then back to the man. "Adynomine. I'm sure you understand. After all, Sylar was after this man. So I'm sure you won't object when I say I need to inject you. Shouldn't do anything to you, right? I would be an idiot after all, if I didn't take precautions like this." Winters takes a few steps forward, holding the syringe up.

The expectant glance given to the crack in the door actually causes Sam to freeze, statuesque at the gaze. Her jaw tightens, her shoulders tense, and she retains that breath in her lungs. Everything seems safe, but Sam tries to play it safe. She shuffles towards Amid, a step away from the door, extending a hand to his shoulder while her voice soothes, "Just hold on. I promise it'll be fine. Brian is looking out for us. Just one more minute. Please. I promise, just one more minute."

Her eyebrows draw together as she attempts a soft smile, somewhat reassuring in nature. "I swear, one minute. Just one. Please. And then— and then you can go to DC."

Noah offers a look down to the syringe, brows furrowed and lips pressed together in a thin and distasteful line. Fingers curl tight around the cane, Noah's throat works up and down in a dry swallow, and no answer is given. The cane is set aside, leaned up against the wall next to the bedroom door, and Noah lifts up one hand, slowly unbuttoning the front of his black wool overcoat. It's shed and laid over the arm of a sofa, allowing Noah the freedom to roll up the sleeve of his sweater to his elbow, watching Brian with a firm stare.

That bared arm is offered out, along with his other hand, palm open and out expectantly. His silence is intense, as is his stare, though only Brian falls victim to that intensity. Were he not so tired, so thin, and so old looking these days, it might be more impressive.

The silence in the living room has Amid hesitant and still, breathing shallow and quiet in the hopes of overhearing something or perhaps not being overheard. Wary eyes consider Samara again, and he reads the expression on her face with difficulty and uncertainty.

Taking a step forward, Brian examines the arm carefully. His eyes flick to the door again. Reaching up, Winters goes to hold Noah's wrist. Taking a step forward, the syringe coming up. "Thank you." He murmurs quietly. Placing the adynomine against the soft of Noah's arm near the elbow. His thumb is pressed on the bottom of the syringe. And then press.

Without her eyes on the door, Sam has no idea if Brian's given this man the drug or not. Her gaze moves away from Amid for a moment as she twists back to the crack in the door, trying to catch what's going on out there. The thank you relaxes those tensed muscles. She's convinced well enough that things are okay. "It's okay," she whispers again. Her hand turns the door knob and she cracks the door open, slowly peeking out the door. "Thank you. For waiting," she whispers to him again before craning her neck into the hall.

She pads along the floor, a couple of paces outside the bedroom. "Uh.. hi," she waggles a few quick fingers at him.

There's a strain of breath out Noah's nose at the injection, he'd wanted to do it himself and his discomfort shows readily that he wasn't prepared to be administered the drug. There's tension in Noah's brow, a tight swallow and then a wince as he feels the drug burn hot in his veins for the barest of moments. He inhales, then exhales a shuddering breath on turning to regard Samara out of the corner of his eyes.

Folding his injected arm up, Noah reflexively rubs his hand along the side of his arm. "Nice to finally see you, miss Dunham." That Amid Halebi is a dark shadow at her back, looming in the doorway is possibly not one of the best impressions to make. As Amid steps out, Noah's attention moves to the man's burned hands, then back up and over to Brian.

"Now that I hope your suspicion has been cleared," he glances briefly to Amid, then back to Brian, "I think you and I have somewhere that we need to go." Still tending to his sore arm, Noah looks back to Samara, and brief worry flashes across his face.

"I take it this means there'll be four of us?" Noah turns an expectant look back to Brian, one brow raised.

Brian gives a light nod, taking the emptied syringe back. "Noah Bennet, this is.. Obviously my fiancee Samara Dunham. And as you know.." He gestures past Samara. "Amid Halebi." Winters goes to place the syringe on top of the bookshelf. Glancing to Noah he gives a right nod. "Let's get going."

Then to Noah's last murmur, Winters goes to reclaim his weapon. "Four." The younger former agent confirms.

Noah earns a small smile, sedate because of the circumstances, but it's there just the same. "It's nice to be seen," she shrugs slightly in response. "And it's Sam. Please. Just call me Sam. Or Sami." Her smile broadens a little before melting from her lips.

The good news is during that entire time, she remained ready for the trek. "Right. We need to go. More than one of us made a promise— " she cringes a little at the promise she'd made, the reassurances she'd just issued.

At the notion of promises, Noah manages a wan smile, then clears his throat and looks towards the apartment door. He steps towards the sofa, picking up his jacket and starting to awkward draw it over his lanky frame, trying to minimize the time his arm remains straight. Over the wire frames of his glasses, Noah considers Amid thoughtfully, then offers a steady nod to the man.

"We'll make sure your daughter stays safe, Amid. You have my word on that." Looking to Samara, Noah clears his throat and offers her a courteous nod of recognition as Amid finally makes his way out of the bedroom to Samara's side, turning a wary look to Brian. The silence is difficult to mitigate, everyone here has made a promise or a deal in some fashion, and every single person here intends to see it play out.

The unfortunate truth is, some of these promises are mutually exclusive.

"I've got a car waiting outside," Noah instructs with a nod to the door, no time to waste. Not when someone's daughter is at stake.

Amid's and Noah's.

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