A Very Brief Rendezvous


amato_icon.gif munin_icon.gif

Scene Title A Very Brief Rendezvous
Synopsis Amato checks in on Munin.
Date November 13, 2008

Condemned Tenement

Once home to dozens of working-class families, this building has long ago been officially evacuated and condemned after it was partially gutted by a fire. The brick exterior is covered with layer upon layer of graffiti, the windows are boarded, and some sections of the roof are less than sound. The fire took hold on the fourth floor and expanded upward. Below that, many of the apartments are still intact.

Evasive isn't a word that Amato would usually use to describe Munin, but it appropriately sums up the conversation he had with her on the phone prior to arriving at the condemned tenement where she's been told to stay until further notice. Although it isn't the safest place for her to be, it's warm and it's dry, and it's so far off Homeland Security's radar there's no danger of her being discovered by the government — or whatever else it is that has her laying low for the time being.

She's there to meet him at the top of the stairs with her pea coat draped across her shoulders and one of Amato's scarves tied loosely around her left forearm. As he ascends, she moves to meet him halfway, her fingertips trailing along the rotten guardrail and leaving fine lines in the dust.

The only words which can be used to describe Amato's expression as he climbs the stairs aren't exactly the happiest ones found in a dictionary. Words like 'anxious', 'worried', and 'pained' might suffice, though there are perhaps other, finer words that would better explain how the lines around his mouth and eyes wrinkle just so at the sight of the frail woman.

Nearing her, Amato wraps his arms gently around her thinner frame, holding her as close as he dares to given her current state. His eyes study the top of her head for several moments before he sighs and looks up at the building she's come out of.

"Let's get you inside," he whispers. "It's sure to be at least a little warmer in there than out here."

"A little," Munin agrees, and she'd know — she's spent the last twenty-four hours there, skipping out on the meeting she was hoping to conduct with Adam and Huruma down in Central Park. She allows him to lead her inside, but rather than move into one of the abandoned apartments, she opts to linger in what's left of the tenement's lobby. "I shouldn't even be speaking with you until this is all sorted out," she says. "Kazimir wants me to stay away from Ethan's for awhile. Until the doctor is settled in."

Amato's face gains a new wrinkle, one associated with hurt, when he looks down at Munin inside the building's decrepit lobby. "Do I look like Ethan Holden?" he asks in a voice that carries the slightest bit of humor. "Because if I do, in any way, I will cut off my own nose, and I don't think my face could take that sort of abuse at the moment." He smiles, then pulls off his coat to add it to the young woman's shoulders. He may be thin and wounded, but he's not nearly as thin or visibly weak as she is. Besides, despite Ethan's claims, Amato can stand a bit of a chill. "I'm sure a call from a comforting friend will not be punished."

Would it? There's a slight narrowing of Munin's eyes, catlike, and she turns her face away from Amato, focusing on some point in the shadows instead. "I appreciate you checking in on me," she murmurs, not to sound ungrateful. "I tried calling him earlier, but all I got was a busy signal." Whether it's his work or something else that's keeping Ethan occupied, Munin doesn't know — and judging by the sound of her voice, this worries her. "Have you been in contact with anyone since last night?"

Placing a hand on Munin's shoulder to guide her, Amato begins to walk again. But there is a subtlety in his gesture and intention, as if he were leading the dance but allowing his partner to chose the steps. In truth, it doesn't matter to Amato which apartment she choose to enter, but his thought is that she might pick the one in which she has claimed for her own, if only for a little while. "Only you," comes his soft answer as his fingers rub through the two coats at the bony shoulder beneath. "And our Mister Gray. I don't plan on letting Ethan know where I have landed if I can avoid it."

Munin blows out a short, snorting sigh through her nose, sounding annoyed. He's still stuck on Holden, but can she really blame him? If someone threatened to shove her face into a lit stove, she'd be avoiding them too. "Kazimir isn't going to like it, you know. Nobody's allowed to keep secrets 'cept for him. What if something were to happen, and only Ethan knew about it? How would he find you?"

"I still retain that deplorable piece of technology," Amato says with a smile that is only apparent in his voice. Once 'safe' inside one of the apartments, Amato takes further stock of the building. He doesn't comment, but his judgment is as clear as that nose that remains on his face. "Kazimir knows my roost, as do you, and because of Kazimir, so does his successor." Amato bends then, his suit creasing over his lankly frame, and he places one gloved hand on either side of the young woman's face in order to steady her and look into her clouded green eyes. "No one else matters as much as you." His own eyes dart between hers as soon as the words are uttered, a thinly veiled fear held within them. Amato swallows, forcing himself to remain still and focused.

Munin reaches up and places her hands atop Amato's own. Unflinching, she meets his gaze and holds it for as long as she is able.

Which isn't very long at all.

"I need some time alone," she says, gently removing his hands from his face, lacing her fingers between his as she guides his arms back down to his side. "My head isn't on straight, and I— There are things I want to think about. To reflect on. You understand what I'm telling you, don't you?"

Such a statement out of Munin wouldn't be nearly as frightening if it hadn't been for her recent decrease in faith regarding the Work. Still, Amato merely smiles again, albeit with far less strength than even before, and nods.

He gives her fingers in his a thankful, comforting squeeze before he lets them slide away as he stands. The coat is left about her shoulders when Amato starts to back toward the door to the lobby. All signs point toward a silent, if somewhat painful exit on his part.

But when Amato reaches the door to the lobby, he turns, letting one hand rise to idly pick at the paint peeling from the wood as he stares at it rather than look at her. "Just," he says, his voice catching and requiring a swallow and furrow of his brows before he can continue, struggling for the poetry that always makes thoughts come out a bit easier. "When you straighten your head at last, don't let the things…the people that matter tumble out of your ears."

Amato turns his head to meet Munin's eyes again, but it's with an insecure pinching of his features that he removes himself from the door frame and then the building.

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