A Real Hero


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Scene Title A Real Hero
Synopsis A real hero visits the Red Hook Market.
Date September 24, 2020

Out on the coast of the Safe Zone, just after sundown, the air still has a sticky sweet summer humidity. Though there’s a chill in the air coming off the river, the high brick walls of the Red Hook Market keep the worst of the breeze out and funnels the noise of commerce and social energy upward toward the darkening sky.

You can’t really see the stars at night anymore, not like you could in the early days of the Safe Zone before light pollution became a thing again. So that’s why the Red Hook Market has made its own stars, strung out in glittering strands between the marketplace exterior over the outside dining courtyard under an ivy-crusted trellis.

The meandering twang of an acoustic guitar fills the air tonight with a local band having taken over the courtyard, set up on stools under that greenery and twinkling lights. A few hundred residents of the Safe Zone are standing around on the brick courtyard, listening to the music and talking. The cargo doors into the market remain wide open and the strong aroma of coffee wafting in from Eileen’s, the market’s most vogue coffee shop.

Inside the market, the sound of that music drifts in, echoing off of the vaulted brick ceilings and joining the susurrus of marketplace noise. Stall vendors are making final preparations to close up for the night, and the shoppers left behind are picking through the remnants of the day in the dwindling half hour remaining before everyone closes up.

It feels like any other Thursday night. Any other summer evening.

But feelings can be deceiving.

Red Hook Market
Red Hook, NYC Safe Zone

September 24th
7:27 pm

There’s a shop here somewhere, within this market that sells a muffin that Kasha really likes. Knowing that things have been tough for the tween, Abby’s made a detour to see if she can grab a couple for her daughter. It’s been hard and she’s doing everything she can to make things be somewhat normal for her.

Short of getting another pet.

A denim jacket, canvas shopping bag in hand and blonde hair all up in a ponytail, she’s striding through the market on her mission. Muffins won’t solve the world's problems, but they’ll put a smile on Kasha’s face and Abby could sincerely use some coffee to bring in to work to lighten the mood there as well when she’s around. Desk work means there’s good coffee and Eileen’s is where she’s sure she’ll get both.

Quick footsteps and quicker reflexes are necessary traits when one wants to move through the lingering shoppers of any marketplace on the verge of closing for the night. Luckily, Jac Childs possesses both and wields them as skillfully as a samurai does his sword. Her small size only makes her that much more deft at ducking by and squeezing between one marketer haggling with another. She is on a mission that, had she not dawdled over a stand with books of historical reference, needs to be accomplished before the market closes for the night.

"Excuse me," the teen huffs. She wedges herself between a stall and a couple who are too busy smooching and being in the way. A breath is huffed again, blue eyes rolled at the pair becomes a whole body motion that turns her between a pair of wood-framed high wheeled push carts. Somewhere up ahead should be the baker who's always got the best breads.

The bakery across from Eileen’s is relatively new but has garnered attention as one of the best in the Safe Zone. The engraved wooden sign above the arched entrance reads Cassandra’s and the smell of pastries and bread wafting out mingles with the aroma of coffee and lattes coming from Eileen’s in the foyer of the market to a heavenly concoction.

There is a decent-sized crowd gathered outside of the bakery which, at first, looks like a queue for the front counter, until voices raised in excitement become clearer. Abby and Squeaks come up on the bakery around the same time, immediately recognizing one-another from across the divide of the crowd from the airplane crash in July. It distracts them both from whatever the commotion in the bakery is.

Crowds aren’t really Abby’s thing and for a moment, her brain rears up at the size of people there. A momentary thought to turn around and flee back for Williamsburg and Kasha and the sitter. But the sight of Squeaks, rips that kneejerk thought from her mind and the older woman - relative to Squeaks - starts to head over. One of the Lighthouse kids friends and then, the few days in Canada. Though Abby kept mostly to herself through all of that.

“If I pick up some things -” She calls out to Squeaks over the din of the crowd, presuming that they are not about to break out in a mass group of violence. “Are you headed to the others?” She does her best to be loud enough. “Could you bring it to them?”

That's a lot of people. Jac sighs at her luck and digs her phone from her pocket to check the time. All while moving toward the crowd. She still needs to get bread, it's necessary for supper tonight — and so she doesn't catch too much flack for being a little late. Hopefully the owners won't run out and also take pity on people who are still waiting when the market closes.

She huffs at the thought of being late again and looks at the phone clenched in her hands. She might as well text… Jolene. Her sister will play interference, right?

The idea is almost acted upon when the swell of voices inside the shop beckon a look. But that, in turn, is aborted when a familiar voice and face are spotted in the interim. The teen remembers Abby, mostly from the plane crash. One of the survivors, like herself.

“I…” Jac hesitates a teeny bit. “I need to get home for supper,” she explains. “After that, I could probably drop something off.” Probably.

“That’s Peter fucking Petrelli!” Abby catches someone shout in the crowd.

“Peter! Peter!

There’s a twist in Abby’s stomach, a sense of deja vu and nausea that rolls over her in the way post-traumatic stress can creep up on anyone. “Peter! Over here!” A young woman in the crowd shouts. It turns Abby’s blood to icewater in her veins.

Peter died. Almost a decade ago now, over Manhattan, in a ball of nuclear fire. She can’t see who the people are shouting about, but the crowd isn’t for the bakery.

It’s for him.

“Don’t worry, I’ll drop some off on my way home. I have the sitter late today. It’s good to see you though.” There’s a sincerity in those words. “It’s a little cro-“ Abby is cut off though at the name of her former co-worker, a dead co-worker and she tears her eyes away from Squeaks, confusion on her face. Looks to the crowd and the bakery where someone insists that it’s Peter Petrelli. She’s draining to a pale shade of southern lady and by impulse almost, she’s bolting for the Bakery. Dead people have come back before. This is totally normal right?

Who knows but she’s trying to slip through and then muscle her way through with a series of polite “Pardon me. Excuse me. Coming through.” Making her way or attempting to make her way toward where Peter supposedly is.

“Oh.” Jac’s brows knit briefly. Whatever confusion or uncertain thoughts might have followed the change in decision are interrupted. Her head turns to the swell of voices and she completely misses Abby’s initial reaction to recognizing the name. The teenager’s own isn't quite so dramatic.

She rolls her eyes. Peter.

He’s the one causing chaos every time he leaves the house,” Jac gripes to herself, “but I'm the one who got grounded for saving the world.” She pushes her way into the crowd, with none of the politeness or restraint that Abby displays. “If anyone needs a babysitter it's him.” The girl uses her skinniness to her advantage and weaves between bodies like a lithe house cat, slinking the distance from doorway to find the weirdo.

“Peter!” A young woman with red sharpie marker slash marks on her face screams. “Peter!” She has one hand in the air, waving, shouting, hoping to be seen. There’s a few other people with cell phones taking video and photographs. It’s an absolute circus.

“Mr. Chambers!” Someone in the crowd shouts, and Phoebe Frady of the Safe Zone Siren raises an actual camera and snaps a photo with a flash. She winds back the film roll inside with his thumb and smiles, then lifts the camera again and adjust the telephoto lens.

What Abby and Squeaks find in the center of this tightly-packed crowd of people and paparazzi isn’t the Midtown Man.

“Ok, look I just— I don’t have time for autographs.”

He’s too tall to be Peter, though he has that hawkishly thin high-cheekboned look. The hair is right, or right enough for the man Peter was. The clothes, though, are just track pants, sneakers, and a hoodie. He looks mortified that he was recognized. But that’s a problem people him this man face.

Celebrities, especially actors, are in short order in America these days.

“Please, I just— want my bagel.” Louis Chambers is not Peter Petrelli, but he does play him on TV in the highest-rated prestige drama on the BBC: River Styx. His portrayal of a haunted, selfish, and at times selfless Peter Petrelli is a stilted hack-job by the rights of anyone who knew the man himself.

But Louis Chambers is a British actor on a British tv show and given the current political climate between, shouldn’t be making regular stops in the US.

Rarely does Abby have time for television, much less for a show of her former partner that does a poor job of portraying that complicated man that she worked and lived with.

It’s one thing to know though, that there is a show and an actor who resembles Peter enough that it feels like a punch to the gut when she makes her way to the commotion and for a split second she sucks in her breath. The next, the parts of her brain responsible for logical fucking sense kick in. Not her Peter. But he is being mobbed and she calls to Jac. “Get to his left, help me with him” and Abby’s coming in from the right even as she is producing her badge from a purse and offering it visually to Chambers.

“I’m an officer with the NYPD, Sir, do you need help?” stating it loudly enough to get the mans attention and gestures to Jac before raising her voice even louder, channeling Doreen Beauchamp. “Y’all have thirty seconds to step back and give the man room. Please. This is not a request” followed by the withering look she had learned from her mother and flashing the badge to add weight to the not-a-request.

Jac stops short when she sees Peter who isn't even Peter. He hardly even looks like Peter and he isn't even on crutches. She enjoys the far fetched stories that make up River Styx — knowing enough of the real people the show is based on it's not hard to find out what really happened and what's a Big Fat Lie. And that guy is a Big Fat Lie.

The teen huffs annoyance. This is why she's going to be late for supper.

She nearly turns to finish her shopping, since it isn't the Peter she thought it was and there's still bread to buy. But Abby’s gesture and words root her in place. She looks at the woman, then at herself.

“I'm not a cop,” isn't the first protest to come to mind, but it's the one that's put to words. Not that she's afraid of the mom, it's just that she's small, hardly anything that's taken seriously by presence alone. Besides. No one needs to know she's lost her abilities, especially not this crowd. She looks around at the so many faces, press and fans and just absolute chaos. As she comes back to her starting point, the not-Peter is given a look that's probably meant to be an I'm sorry. Then she turns away

and bumps right into Phoebe Frady. Hard enough to make her fall look realistic to anyone not paying attention. “Ow! Hey!”

Frady’s yelp comes a split second before the “reporter” windmills her arms, trips over an untied shoelace, and then falls hard on her side. Frady’s camera bounces from her hand and skitters away, even as she lets out an exaggeratedly loud pained cry. It isn’t clear if she realizes who it was that bumped into her, but her howl of, “I’m a journalist!” Sounds half like a threat and half like a plea for help.

Meanwhile, Louis is staring at Abby like a deer in headlights, even as the woman behind him at the bakery register is trying to dangle a bag in his direction and get his attention. “Sir? Sir? Your bagel?”

The crowd parts for Abby, but now there’s a different current of recognition moving through the audience. “Holy shit, is that Abigail Beauchamp?” Because of course they’d recognize her by that name.

“No, that’s just a cop. Abby’s taller!”

“I don’t see her wearing a cross.”

“No that’s how Helena Beauchamp dresses on the show!

Those are at least the most intelligible pieces Abby picks up as she tries to get Louis to do anything other than stare awkwardly at her. After a moment he manages to croak, “I’m sorry,” at her. Though it isn’t clear what he’s apologizing for.

Abby inwardly cringes at the comments that stick out. At Louis’ apology. A shake of her head Is her response to that apology before she is taking up the bagel being dangled about with one hand. “Lets get away from here before we both suffocate from community excitement.” She has a car, a few blocks away. “Stick close, you’ll get to eat your bagel in peace” Offering it to him before turning in the direction she came from and starts moving forward, making space if she needs to.

“Clear the way, let us through. Please and thank you, don’t make me call for backup now.” She looks to see where Jac went to and ensure she’s safe but keeps making an escape route for Louis and… herself.

The following shriek is only slightly feigned. Jac makes the sound on instinct when it looks like Frady might fall on her. She crabs backward to avoid being crushed, yelps when someone’s foot finds her hand, and directs a look of adolescent angst at the so-called journalist.

“Why are you like this,” she crows loathing at the woman. Jac skitters sideways, afraid Quentin’s flailing might actually hit her. A knee from another groupie clips her shoulder and she recoils, but still aims all her fear at the reporter. “Why did you shove me?”

Frady struggles to parse Jac’s question over the screaming crowd. She manages a deafened “what” at her as loud as she can, but it’s ultimately unhelpful. Instead of focusing on Jac she’s scrambling on his hands and knees trying to get to her camera.

The rest of the crowd is focused on Abby and Louis, the latter of the pair looking both apologetic and sheepish as he’s forcibly escorted through the crowd that parts around Abby with cheers of “Kazimir Killer!” It’s raw excitement, raw pandemonium. There’s more people outside the arched doorway of the marketplace cheering and taking pictures and video. For a moment it feels like everyone and everything is closing in around Abby.

Until one tall woman wedges her way through the crowd. “Caliban,” she calls out, offering a hand to the officer, “back way out.”


Joanne Dair isn’t a familiar face outside of being someone who Abby’s seen around the market a lot. “C’mon.” Jac can make out the exchange from a short distance, see the weave and wend of the crowd and gaps in it she could squeeze through to cut the distance to the two women and Louis.

There were barricades at the Albany trials that kept people back from her. The odd person would manage to find her in Butte La Rose at the farm. These were times easier to manage. This never happened in the hospital because usually there, people were too busy focusing on friends and family and their hurts to really notice and SCOUT, well. There was a helmet.

Her left hand clamped onto Louis’ is strong and her other arm raises to duck her head beneath, block pictures and block the look of sheer anxiety that’s curled about in her. Kazimir killer. It pierces through the air and leaves things tighter in her chest. A little harder to breathe. There but for the grace of whatever happened to her not too long ago that left her bereft of her ability, she doesn’t ignite or exude rolling waves of heat. She’s struggling though, it can be seen.

Then her married name is used and a familiar face is there. A split second is all she needs and her free hand comes down on Joanne’s while holding tight to Louis and with a nod, follows the other woman. “Stay close” Croaked our to Louis as she follows

“Stay away,” Jac half yells. Feet and hands maneuver to keep her well out of Frady’s reach, even if she isn’t her actual target. She scans the legs and feet nearby, both to avoid being stepped on and also to find her way out of the crowd. The reporter’s camera is discovered by a hand reaching backward. The find startles her a little, drawing a quick look to it and a sudden inspiration.

The camera becomes the victim of a scurrying twist of teenage arms and legs. Jac turns herself so suddenly and sharply, she accidentally knocks into a chair with her shoulder and rattles the settings on the table it belongs with. But the prize is she sends the camera skittering and spinning across the floor and deeper into the throng and all those feet vying to get closer to the look-alikes as she turns herself over onto her hands and knees. It's probably an accident. She's trying to escape the deranged reporter and all.

Flipped over presents Jac with the gaps and spaces she can just squeeze through. Keeping her head down, making herself as compact as possible, the girl maneuvers her way through the opening. She weaves and wends, pausing sometimes to avoid being stepped on. But in all making progress crawling in the wake created by Joanne, Abby, and Louis.

Joanne’s tall silhouette cuts through the crowd like a knife. She leads Abby and a reluctant Louis toward the side entrance to the bakery, and notices Jac as she’s holding the door open for them. Joanne recognizes the girl, from a number of places, from too many to be coincidence. Gillian’s girl. “You too,” Joanne says with a quick jerk of her head, allowing Jac to slip in ahead of her before she shuts the door behind them all.

It isn’t the back of the bakery that Joanne has led them into, it’s a maintenance hallway in the basement of what was once Textile Factory 17. Steam pipes and electrical conduits are bolted to the brick wall. It’s damp and cold in this passage, lit only by flickering fluorescent lights. The noise of the crowd outside is dulled to a muffled whimper behind the steel door, giving everyone a moment of much-needed respite.

“Who’s this?” Joanne asks with a jerk of her thumb at Louis, who looks like a deer in the headlights at the moment. She must not watch much TV.

Reprieve from her own stupidity. The door closing provides a physical barrier between them and the crowd outside. A palm to her forehead, she takes a few steps away from the group, relieved that Squeaks made it in and then turns to face the wall, placing palms against it as she bends over, pushing the wall and trying to focus on her breathing. On forcing the anxiety that’s curling up and pushed high to come back down. Face is flushed but there’s no danger of that flush turning into the blistering coronal surface that it might have months ago.

“He plays Peter on television overseas.” The little cross slips out with her movements and dangles, her voice reedy and stressed. “Louis Chambers.” A palm slaps against the wall and she stands upright again, hands going to her hips as she walks the few steps to the other side of the wall of that corridor then repeats, lips moving as she rattles off a few recitations under her breath of our father.

Just shy of the doorway, Jac pushes up from her hands and knees to hurriedly sidle through the opening. She helps in closing the door, in as much as she leans on it once it's nearly latched. Her head turns, an ear pressing against the seam in a brief effort to gauge the crowd for any unexpected followers trying to gain access.

As the moment passes, as Abby replies to Joanna, Jac lets out a breath she'd been holding. The sigh isn't heavy or annoyed, somehow it's closer to relieved. Her eyes lift to Abby and Louis, focus briefly on Joanna, then take in the larger picture. This is somewhere new, a labyrinth of secrets that she's never been.

Weeks ago she would have ignored all else to explore the hallway with the reaches of her ability. Months ago she'd have possibly tried the lengths of the three’s patience with a flood of questions. Jac does none of those things this time, as her head swivels to look far from one end further to the other. “Woah,” is all that's offered, on a breath and as she returns to the more immediate reason for being in this place. Then she offers further explanation.

“We heard the crowd. Abby said we should help him when we thought it was the real Peter.”

Joanne’s eyes narrow slowly at Louis. “Fuckin’ hell,” she says with a shake of her head, looking away and then looking back at him with a sneer. “You pompous fucks got it all wrong on purpose, din’ ya?”

“I didn’t write it,” Louis protests. “Can you just— get me out of here?” He asks in a nervous breath, followed by an anxious rejoinder of, “I thought you Americans didn’t have bloody TV anymore?”

Joanne slides her tongue across the inside of her cheek and turns down the narrow corridor. “This way,” she says with a sense of clipped finality. Seems she isn’t a fan of the show.

Exhaling a sigh of relief, Louis looks to Abby and Jac with momentary uncertainty as he starts to follow Joanne at pace. He looks guiltily at Abby, then down to the ground. Her representation — as a pastiche of she and Helena fucking Beauchamp — hasn’t always been favorable.

Abby hasn’t seen it. She knows of it, but hasn’t seen it and lives for the most part under the radar at least. So the guilty look that’s thrown to her by Louis is returned with a sympathetic one then to Jac when it’s time to start moving and follow Joanne. “You okay?” She asks Jac, the concern real. “Thank you for your help.” There was help after all. “I appreciate it. I owe you.”

"Phoebe Frady ran into me first,” Jac points out to Abby, neither affirming or denying that she somehow helped. Nor does she claim any sort of win for doing what she could to ruin the reporter’s day. It was all accidental fallout from a man who seems bent on writing the most inflammatory articles ever knocking her down in a crowded room. She’s lucky to have escaped unharmed and it'd serve Frady right if his camera got a little banged up.

She slips a look past Abby to Louis. She's seen the show a few times, but the real stories are better than whatever his writers make up. They're really not much better than the local reporter. The teen shakes her head, instead of commenting on any of that.

She jogs ahead, joining Joanne. “How'd you know about this place?” Jac glances up at the woman, then follows the conduit overhead to where it becomes indistinguishable from anything else up ahead. “Where even is this?” It might be somewhere she actually knows of, if not from the direction they're going.

“Honey, unlike your friend here,” Joanne says with a motion to Louis, “I really was a Ferryman. These passages were used to hide booze during prohibition, we kept stashes here during the war before everyone evacuated the city. Bootleggers used them to move around the factory unnoticed.”

Louis listens to Joanne, though his eyes are averted to the floor. He only interrupts with a quick, “I just need to get to my car,” when there’s a brief lull in the conversation.

Joanne looks back over her shoulder at Louis, narrowing her eyes. “The fuck’re you doing here anyway? You come all this way to pick up a few more stories you can tell wrong? Make us out to be the bad guys?

Louis stops in his tracks and Joanne does as well, shoulders squared and jaw set. She looks for all her worth like she might just wind up and punch Louis in the face. But she doesn’t. Louis stands in anxious stillness, watching Joanne with wide, dark eyes filled with guilt.

“There’s a way out to the lot over here,” Joanne says with a motion of her head to an unlit corridor. “No lights down here, but it’s straight and level. Just follow the sound’f my voice if you don’t have a flashlight.” She then looks at Squeaks, “not that you’ll have a problem down here, Bat Girl.”

Reputations spread fast, but word of what happened to Abby and Jac a few months ago is less public. Joanne is unaware of the event they survived.

“Joanne, he doesn’t write the show. He just… acts with what he’s given. Maybe you might reach out to them and tell them what they’re getting wrong, or let them have their artistic license?” Abigail is swift to carefully and as gracefully as she can, slip between Louis and Joanne, a shake of her head. It’s not worth it. ‘We’ll get you to your car, get you out of here and back to your keepers. I’m sorry it became a ruckus out there. At least you got your bagel.” A consolation prize surely. She’s digging into her purse, dragging out the keychain that holds the keys to her home and car, the little flashlight on it meant to provide enough light to see where you can put a key in a lock and she presses the place where one should so they can turn it on.

The Bat Girl comment gets a raise of brows and Abby looks to Jac before she’s offering the little flashlight to the younger woman with a sympathetic look. Before the event, she would have let a hand light up or a finger, and let it light the way.

“Did you use these tunnels to help get people out of the city?” Jac wonders quietly to herself, likely choosing to ignore Joanne’s surliness. Or leave the blame with Louis, since he's the one that caused problems to begin with. So much history in one place, and she never found it before now. She looks overhead to the conduit that disappears into walls or darkness, eventually finding herself facing the unlit corridor their guide says will lead them out.

In all the time that she lived in the subway tunnels and even before while she was still kept by the Fords, Squeaks was never afraid of the dark. Even now, knowing she'd be blind going in there, she's not exactly scared. The Bat Girl comment rankles a little. But it isn't something Jac can blame anyone for, since she's kept her losses to herself. But going into the dark, unknown doesn't exactly scare her.

She draws her attention from the unlit corridor and looks at the light Abby offers, then at the woman making the offer. The offer needles her almost as much as the nickname, but Jac keeps it from her face. “You keep it,” she says, starting after Joanne again, showing no apprehension to the darkness ahead. “Louis might get scared.”

Joanne angles a quiet and thoughtful look at Abby, not quite one of being chastised, but Joanne still looks like her frustration’s been tempered a little by the Baptist’s rationality. As she leds the trio through the tunnels, her attention squares on Jac. “I did. Me an’ a few others who work here ran evacuations when they started dropping bombs on Manhattan.”

Louis has grown silent for the time being, listening to Joanne though sticking close as he’s led through the winding intersection of steam tunnels. He momentarily looks at Jac, as if reassessing the girl, before returning his focus on the woman at the lead.

“There were more of us then,” Joanne says quietly, “but one day—”

“Napalm.” Louis suddenly chimes in. “I— that really happened?”

Joanne pauses, looking back at Louis with a piercing stare. “Yeah, it really fucking happened. If you’re so curious why don’t you flash your big movie-star dick at the guards at the Exclusion Zone and go see the little kids’ bones fused with the melted cars?”

Louis stalls, jaw flexing and eyes wide. He looks down to the ground, then back up. “I didn’t really— the news coverage was— Davies…”

“C’mon.” Joanne says flatly, motioning up ahead, “bulkhead to the parking lot is this way.”

“News coverage in other countries, didn’t really tell the whole story Louis.” Abby points out kindly. “Even in ones own country, the media follows, to a degree, what they are told or permitted to cover and how much of the truth can be told.” Abby picks her way through the tunnels with the trio, now and then looking back at Jac, just in case. Abby left, before the worst of it. So she doesn’t really comment further. There is, no doubt, some guilt that she left before it went really bad. She left after she was gutted.

“You have a ride Louis, or do you need one?” A look to Jac as well. “You need a ride?”

Davies is a rocket fueled turd who'd romanticize his own mom’s hanging at the hand of his xenophobic great aunt because she gave him a dollar to do it.” Jac may not have officially met the man, but her encounter with him didn't leave the best of impressions. The look she gives Louis implies similar regard toward him simply for passing the blame. “You could do yourself a service and read what actually happened here and not buy that pile of botswarf.”

The offer from Abby gets a head shake. “It's not far to walk. And I have to try to finish the shopping.” By This time, she knows that's pretty unlikely now, since the hour was already late when all hell broke loose in Eileen’s.

“I lived in the sewers most of the war and never knew about this place.” Jac casts a look up at Joanne. “Most people I know don't ever talk about it.” And it's something she's been wise enough to not press. “That's amazing what you did. What you helped do.” Then and now, regardless of anyone's opinion of River Styx. “Thank you.”

Louis fixes a look at Jac, flat and uncertain. He starts to say something. “No, you don’t get it. Davies never believed— ” but he’s cut off by Joanne as the group reaches a set of stairs headed back to the surface.

“Bus stop here.” Joanne says, unlocking the bulkhead door at the top of the stairs and opening it up to the crisp night air. The bulkhead empties out beside a brick pumping station near the water, some two hundred feet outside the walls of the textile factory grounds.

“I have a rental,” Louis mumbles in answer to his ride.

Joanne flicks an expectant look to Abby and Jac. “Don’t tell anyone about this entrance,” she says gently, more for Jac and Louis than Abby.

Exit. Away from the awkward situation that developed. There's a thankful look to Joanne for her assistance, then an offer of her hand to Louis. “It was a pleasure to meet you. I hope that you make it safe to your car. I apologize for the enthusiasm that you were bogged down with” She regards him for a moment. “Thank you. For doing what you do. Seeing you, it… I miss him. He was a good man despite what others may think. He saved a lot of lives trying to make up for everything. You made me smile. Thank you for that. Joanne, take care.” To squeaks she smiles. “See you around”.

And she off. Adjusting her purse and tucking hands into her jacket, heading off in the direct of her car. Muffins another day for Kasha.

“Look.” Jac sighs at Louis like she would sigh at anyone who's just unable to grasp the most simple of concepts. A strong part of her wants to go off the rails and absolutely hammer into the man why he's misguided about the show. She's set in her opinion of Davies and it's frustrating to be told she just doesn't understand. However. A quieter part also seems to understand that it's maybe not the time or the place for it.

It's the quieter part that wins this time, when Joanne indicates they've reached the end of the line.

After shaking her head at Louis, Jac looks up at the woman who'd guided them away from the chaos. A pinky is offered in a promise to Joanne, the secret is safe. “What entrance? All I see is a bus stop and the river.”

Louis is quiet for a moment, looking down at his feet. He doesn’t say anything on his departure, just slinks off toward the parking lot with considerably more to think about than he had prior. As Louis departs, Joanne watches him in tense silence, then looks in the direction Abby went. Her stare lingers for a time before her attention settles on Jac.

“You ever want to know what a real hero looks like?” Joanne asks, then motions at Abby’s back with her chin. “You talk to that woman. Nancy-boy there might play a hero on tv… but Abigail?” Joanne’s expression tightens as she shakes her head.

“That woman’s the real deal.”

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