Avoiding Anarchy


devon_icon.gif russo2_icon.gif

Scene Title Avoiding Anarchy
Synopsis Devon returns from the Dome and finds some odd guidance about everything.
Date February 20, 2011

Dorchester Towers — Russo's Apartment

The windows are open. All of the windows are open. Just a crack. Just enough to let in a nip of cold fresh air— if New York City air can be labelled as truly fresh. The chill extends to the floor, the coldness of tile beneath Bradley Russo’s steps sends shivers through his body, odd trembles of a man who just woke up. His hair is fluffy, bed-headed through the tossing and turning of an altogether restless— and primarily dreamless (aside from one or two base recurring nightmares)— sleep. His wife beater white tank is askew and his plaid pyjama pants, that are wearing thin thanks to his constant use of them, losely hang around his hips.

Bacon pops and sizzles on the stove top and the smell of cooking fritters fills the air. He’s been channeling his inner Martha Stewart for some time already this morning. The coffee maker beeps and alerts him, drawing him and his attention to the task at hand. With a pale face, he slides to where his precious food is become supersaturated in fat and deliciousness.

The knock at the door had brought a quizzical expression, a belief that Tahir— BFF of a lifetime— had smelled the deliciousness and wanted his latest squeeze and him to enjoy a good breakfast. There’s always room for four more with how Russo cooks.

When he opens the door to find Devon standing there, his face had paled further, while his eyes glinted with some secret— unknowable without really understanding or knowing Brad. If he was less distanced, if he was less avoidy, he might give into his more basic instincts— those instilled by being raised by a single mother— and reach out to hug Devon. But distance is easier than closeness. Closeness has so frequently equated getting burned. Burned by family. Burned by friends. Burned by those he pour his very self into. Instead, his expression softens as he slides out of the doorway to let Devon in. “It’s good to see you, Kid.” His head nods into the apartment as he backs up.

Getting by the man at the front desk was an easy task. Devon had walked in with a singular purpose, a stride that brooked no argument regardless of his obvious state, pain of all sorts mingling with exhaustion and distrust. Once the elevator doors had closed him off from the lobby and the button depressed for Russo's floor, the teenager sagged against the back wall, one dirty hand raising to rub at his brows. Blessedly he met no one in the hall after the elevator opened for him. Devon was able to find his employer's door and knock without comment.

The last three weeks haven't been kind, more physical in evidence at first glance. Though Devon has done his best to clean up on the journey over, the abuse still shows in blood and bruises. Fresh red and dried brown crust has left lines on one side of his face, seeping still from a fine four inch line that just misses his eye. Bruises old and new cover the rest of his face, and the way the teenager moves through the doorway, there's a good chance for more damage done. Notably, a stiffness of one damp shoulder.

Stepping into the apartment, Devon pulls out a pistol, the weapon tucked away against his back. Wordlessly he thumbs the magazine release then works the slide to clear the chamber, both going into his freed hand. The ammunition is offered to Russo, the handgun returned to its hiding place. "It's good to be out," the boy says quietly, turning to look at his employer. "It's been… it's good to see you too, Mister Russo."

"Brad, remember?" he counters gently as he takes the ammo, pocketing the fistful into his pyjamas like it's the most normal thing in the world. It's not. And leaves him a little leery, particularly in light of his admission to Kristen just a day earlier. He whistles as he slides into the kitchen, his face contorting into a pained kind of scowl. "Uh… bacon?" his head nods towards the other room as he pats his pocketful of bullets.

"Come on, I'm making breakfast. Not the healthiest, but— " He swallows hard. There are many questions he wants to posit to the teen, but his kinder sensibilities keep his tongue and lips in check.

"When and.. how did you get out?" he manages while prepping plates for impending meal. A little less kinder he adds, "You look like hell." There's a distinct pause as he turns his face to glance back at Devon, "Please tell me I should see the other guy."

"Brad," Devon echoes, a small twist to his mouth marking humor. He follows into the kitchen, casually glancing, taking in the furnishings and decor. His eyes settle on the pan of sizzling bacon, considering, before he nods. Food would do him good, it's been a few days. "A hot meal would…" Another nod finishes the sentence.

"Got out… today." The boy frowns slightly. "Not sure how, it just.. disappeared." His head lifts, eyes finding Russo again, for a moment a distinctly haunted look shows. "—The other guy looks far worse," he replies, chasing the shadows of memory away with another small grin. He'll save the experience from being shared, keep the horrors to himself and spare Brad that much.

His arms cross over his chest as Brad hands plated food to Devon along with a fork and knife. There's a small nod at the comment of the bubble just disappearing. "You're safe now, Kid." His blue-grey eyes narrow slightly as he inspects Devon in better light (thanks to all of the kitchen windows). His fingers tap against the counter. "Do you need a hospital?" his eyebrows arc. If he had Delia around he'd just have her look Devon over, but now? Hospitals. There's another breath as he shakes his head. "Just.. keep breathing, okay? Keep breathing."

He expels a slow breath and he leans against the countertop to shovel several strips of bacon into his mouth. Crunch. Crunch. Crunch.

He glances down the hall. "The guest room is yours. I prepped it a week ago or so." Just in case. After that whole news broadcast, even when he didn't know if/when Devon would be here.

He inhales a deeper breath now, "What.. what.." he can't finish a thought now, not for the life of him. "Look. What happened— " he begins, "I.. I'm sorry. For all of it."

Devon takes the plate and utensils, eyes going to the food with a sudden uncertainty. "I… No hospitals." Too many people, too many questions that would lead to being kept someplace else. "I just need some bandaids." The plate is placed on the counter, untouched, to place that had against the damp seeming shoulder. "Please… no hospitals."

Sucking in a breath, Devon looks toward the hallway. Relief and pain anew catches his exhale, making the sound unsteady and tight, as realization takes hold. It all happened, every minute of the last twenty-one days. Shaking his head, the teenager turns back to Russo. "…It's fine. We came out alive. We made it."

"Alright… I.." does Brad have bandaids? He frowns slightly. "I have super glue?" it's more a question than a suggestion. He shuffles towards a drawer and pulls out a small tube before tossing it towards Devon. "I used to use it when I was a teen, begged less questions from my mother than bandaids." After years of coming home with split lips, he's adjusted.

"Yeah.. it's about more than just surviving one day though. Or three weeks as the case may be," it. Whatever it is. Brad lowers his plate to the counter and hmmms quietly. "I'm not content to let the future be ruled by.." he doesn't finish that idea, instead shaking his head. "Just. Do what you need to. You can take your time bouncing back from this."

The super glue is caught and stared at, Devon's fingers leaving reddish streaks on the tube. "I just want to return to normal," he says quietly, a cold edge temporarily replacing the fear and pain his voice had held just a moment ago. Still, it's not unkind, but a tone of detachment from what he'd rather not remember. It's gone quickly, the teenager slipping again toward a more troubled expression.

"Brad, I killed people." Devon's hand tightens around the tube of super glue, his voice tight yet still soft. His captors hadn't been kind, they wouldn't have been but opening fire on them only worsened their response. He takes a steadying breath then looks up again. "There were Humanis First there." He'd already reported that, but it seems important enough to say again.

Brad sucks on the inside of his cheek. It's a silent action as he pushes off the counter and fills the distance between him and the teen. A hand reaches for the tube while the other guides Devon towards the living room. The host can handle the super glue. "Come. Sit." His eyebrows arch a little higher again as he sits on the ottoman in the room.

He frowns a little at the sentence, "I figured." The words are quiet as he taps the pocket full of ammo. "Not a good feeling, is it?" he swallows as his lips purse together again. "I'm sorry it came to that. I hoped. I hoped it wouldn't come down to that." He swallows again. Harder this time. "What happened in the Dome.. you did what you had to. Remind yourself of that.."

Devon lets himself be guided to sit, after brief hesitation, on the edge of a chair, facing Russo. With the sleeve of his jacket, he dabs at the slice that's still seeping, an absent gesture that helps a little. Lowering his hands again, the boy gives heavy consideration to the question, to his thoughts on the experiences in the dome.

Pale eyes go to the pocket holding the surrendered ammo, then Devon shifts slightly against the weight of the pistol still held. An uncomfortable reminder of what had gone on. "It sucked," he answers finally. "…But…" He'll do it again, if necessary. Until all the world is right again.

There's a silent nod, acknowledgement of what needed to be done, what still needs to be done. Russo opens the tube and gently begins to go to work. Steady hands have their advantages, particularly as they knit together Devon's broken bits. No sewing, but certainly sealing. He frowns slightly at his work, it's not an experience he thought he'd experience.

"Right," he murmurs as his eyes track up to find Devon's. "Look. I know you've been through a lot. I know you've had.. an ordeal." His lips press together tightly, whitening. "But the war that's going on out there— Humanis First, the Ferrymen, Messiah— they're all responsible for the way the world is. You know that right? They retaliate against each other. They retaliate against law. They retaliate against that which keeps society bound together. But government exists for that reason. People can't be trusted… " his head tilts slightly. "It would be naive to assume that people can cope without that organization, without the influence of martial law.. and without order in society."

Devon flinches as glue is applied, cheek twitching reactively at the sting. "Frrgh.. Didn't think anything else could hurt." It's not quite a complaint so much as an observation. Once done, however, he leans back a little, fingers lifting to test the new tackiness. "Thank you.."

Eyes lifting again, Devon catches Brad's gaze, watching steadily through the explanation. His brow furrows slightly, showing an understanding that could only be proven after the three-week ordeal. Two of the organizations, only vague names that he might have heard in passing and shadows of unrest, but Humanis First certainly receives a darker look. The teenager's head nods slightly, expressing his understanding.

There's a slight smirk— nearly apologetic at the non-complaint. "And I'm not suggesting that the government is always right. They're not. They get it wrong sometimes, but that's why I do what I do," Brad emphasizes carefully— to himself as much as Devon— as he leans away, depositing the tube of glue beside him on the ottoman. "We need to support that which brings order and justice. Lest we completely fall into anarchy and madness. That's what happened in there, isn't it? There was no semblance of control. No real democracy… "

"The worst is," his head turns towards the only picture on the wall— a blown up star chart taken from up high, "those organizations think that they're bringing government back to the people. But as they do what they do— as they avoid legitimacy and registration and social order— they instill the wrath, they bring about martial law, they create fear…"

"That's what happened," Devon confirms after a moment, bringing to mind an argument and temporary truce. That no one had even attempted democracy, left people to fend for themselves up until the first very public attack. There had been skirmishes before, the kind of back street brawling that ended with both parties equally torn but shaking hands. But lawlessness took over, as the teenager remembers it. He'd pointed it out then, he'll not deny it now.

At the gesture, the boy's eyes follow to the picture on the wall, studying the charts. "— I'm registered," he remarks quietly, off handed for his own status. He's little to worry about regarding his own status.

"And that's what these organizations want for the rest of us," Russo mutters bitterly as he grasps the tube of super glue, before pushing off the ottoman, back to his feet. He shuffles towards the kitchen, slow mindful paces. "Good," he mutters about the registration. "It's important. I'm also registered." Clearly. You don't manifest on television without requiring registration.

He doesn't ask the status of the registration, minding the complications Devon got from Humanis First as evidence enough. Besides, it's none of his business. "You should have a shower and get some rest," he advises as he begins to tidy the pan full of bacon grease.

"Unmanifested," Devon states as though he'd read the man's mind. He hadn't, really, it seemed simply something that should be known. His eyes track to Russo, watching him return to the kitchen before making the effort to stand himself. "A shower," the teenager agrees, turning for the hallway. One of the things he'd most looked forward to, being clean. He moves down the hall to do just that.

"…Brad," Devon calls, just before going into the bathroom. "…Thank you. For everything. All the help, the place to sleep and everything."

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