Believing in Something


abby2_icon.gif eileen_icon.gif

Scene Title Believing in Something
Synopsis Abigail finally gets her hands on a copy of a journal belonging to one Francois Allègre.
Date September 19, 2009

Old Lucy's

Old Lucy's has a vibrant and lively feel to it, from the dark wooden floors to the shady crimson walls lit up by neon lights and many times, the flashing of cameras from the oft-crowded floor. The mirror behind the bar reflects prices of various drinks, bottles lined up, as well as the entire saloon as seen from the bartenders; bolted-down stools line the other side, and there are loose tables and chairs placed all around, though many times they find themselves pushed back for more space within the center of the saloon. A few speakers are placed at strategic places and around a raised stage to the far corner from the bar. Above the counter, an obviously well-used bar is hung; it is this that the girls working will use should there be dancing, which is one reason many patrons choose to come aside from the drinks. Across the bar and near the back, there is a door that leads to the owner's office and just inside a stairwell that leads a apartment on the floor above the bar.

A phonecall the night before lead to Abigail being awake, still in her Pyjama's and down in her bar proper. The place quiet and smelling of residual smoke, alcohol and sweat. A completely different place when it's empty. Tables ring the wall with chairs up and coffee percolate behind the counter. Abigail's parked on the customer side of things with her own big cup, a plate of waffles that look to have fruit cooked in them and some honest to god real maple syrup and butter. She figured if she was going to get up this early and Eileen would have likely been up far earlier, then she was going to make it worth it.

Tank top, cotton bottoms, she's flipping through one of her textbooks, going over the finer basics of… the basics. She's throwing all of her into this, the whole EMT thing and determined not to let anyone down. Too many people have prodded her to this way and by god she's going to do it and do it well. The top of the angel wings, the cross and the top portion of the line of latin are a stark contrast against the skin of her back as she sits at the lit bar and shovels piece after small piece of waffle into her mouth. Occasionally, it's a slice of bacon in it's stead, drenched in syrup while the jukebox in the back plays something classic rock in nature.

Abigail is just waking up; Eileen, in contrast, has not yet gone to bed, and when she enters the bar, reeking of Turkish tobacco and leather soaked in rainwater, it's clear that she could either use a cup of that coffee or a pillow to rest her head on and steal a few hours sleep before heading back to wherever it is she's holed up these days.

She isn't smoking now, at least. Her hands are instead occupied by the thick black folder she carries in them, paper wrapped in plastic to protect its contents from the drizzle outside. "Good morning," she greets Abigail cheerlessly, pausing at the threshold to wipe off her boots at the door, though there's not much she can do to keep from tracking residual moisture across the bar's floor as she closes the distance between herself and the counter, feet squeaking against the wood. "I'm sorry this has taken so long."

Bar floor has seen worse. Blood, vomit, all manner of alcohol, mud, rainwater, few crushed pretzels here and there. Probably urine even. When the door opens, Abby's ready if it's not who she's expecting, to tell them they're closed still. But it's exactly who she's expecting even if the woman isn't filled with bright cheers and handing out daisies.

Golden hair back in two braids she offers up a welcoming smile to the smaller woman. "Hey Eileen. Really, it's not that big an issue, not like the world won't end if I didn't get it. As it stands, I gotta go have it translated or so Ms. Ichihara told me" She's not horribly perky herself either, but she's probably got Eileen beat by a good mile. "Breakfast? There's umm, blueberry pancakes and I got bacon. Leonards still sleeping so I thought I'd make you something. Don't know how often you might get a good breakfast or the like" She doesn't exactly know where the woman lives.

"Why on the good Lords green earth did she give it to you and Gabriel?"

The smell of food tickling at her nostrils repulses Eileen rather than entices her. Saccharine sweet syrup, bacon so crispy it curls at the edges, blueberries bleeding purple into sodden pancake batter — it's all too much. She swallows hard, tastes bile in the back of her throat and forces her lips into the shape of a smile that's about as convincing as a cardboard facsimile. "No thank you," she says of the food as she places the folder on the counter and begins to peel away the plastic, scattering tiny droplets of water.

That Leonard is still sleeping appears to assuage her somewhat. "I couldn't tell you why she gave to us," she admits, "but I'm glad that she did. I've needed it."

Abby can see the almost turning green that Eileen does and through that smile. "Or you can get yourself some coffee and doctor it with anything in a bottle. I don't mind" It's all spoken idly though still a sincere offer as her attention dives to the folder. "The journal of Francois Allègre?" please let it be that. "Have you been able to read it at all? Do you know what it's about?"

Abby's hands itch to unpeel it herself, but she remains perched on her stool with her hands one in the other, waiting patiently like some child waits at 5 in the morning on christmas day for his parents to wake.

"Not the journal," Eileen says, "but a reproduction of it, yes. I don't think you'll need a translator to make sense of what's written." She slides the folder across the counter to Abby and takes a seat on one of the stools at the bar proper, politely declining the other woman's offer of coffee with a faint shake of her head. "He and Kazimir knew each other, though I haven't been able to puzzle out the exact nature of their relationship. Until Hokuto brought it to our attention, I didn't even know Allègre existed. The old man never mentioned him."

"Well, no, I Didn't expect that it would be the origional, I wouldn't dare to ask you to have the origional. I am more than thrilled and happy with this copy. You cannot fathom, maybe, how much this… this means to me" And the answers that it might have. "But she said it was in french and I know very little french. Just what the creoles around home spoke"

Francois and Kazimir knew each other. Abigail looks over. "Mr. Nakamura said that much, that a man named Francois knew Kazimir, that the two abilities had a long history of.. clashing"

Much like the bible a few days before had been taken with reverence, this folder that contained the link to her past - to a portion of her past and the history of an ability that she carried, passed down from the author - is handled much the same. Even if it just a copy within. "Is there anything I can give you for this? Pay for the copy? You didn't have to do this, could have refused me even" She open the top to peer at what it contains, unsure of really what to expect.

For several long moments, Eileen says nothing at all and allows the silence to stretch between them like thread unwinding from a spool. The gap is punctuated by the sound of rain pattering against the windows and trickling down the glass in the form of snaking rivulets that glisten silver in the early morning light. Outside, a taxi blurs past and sprays the curb with silty puddle water the colour of sewage.

"You saved my life and you're asking me if I want you to pay for this?" she finally asks, genuine bewilderment in her voice and the expression mirrored in her pale eyes. She reaches up with her hand and pushes rain-drenched curls of dark hair away from her brow with its heel. "Abigail—"

Inside the folder, held together with an oversized paperclip, are enough photocopied pages of parchment white paper to fill a book — or a journal, as the case may be. If it isn't a complete reproduction, then it's something very close to it; should Eileen be withholding anything, it isn't very much.

"I don't take payment for god's work. I won't take payment for it after the fact. A life is a life, precious and to be cherished. It was why even though there was a promise attached, that I healed Gabriel countless times now" She tears her gaze away from the journal to the brunette.

"You remember what we were, when we first met? I do. You were someone near my age, who was sitting in a deli and eating a sandwhich and we went out and spent nearly an hour feeding birds Eileen. I'd spent so much time just before that, healing. I spent every day, as much as I could, just healing people. And it was nice to sit and just be social, make a friend who didn't want me for gods gift or need me to lay on a hand, and just be."

The first few papers are turned so that she can see if it's in french like Hokuto said. "I don't keep track of who owes me what. Not unless I really need it. Like with fixing the church. Or … keeping Ivanov away from you for a bit so that you can breath. There's no pricetag that can really be put on what I did for you, short of some day, maybe god will call on you to save my life"

Eileen's lips thin out further, her smile faltering before the fall. As her brow knits and her mouth twists, she uses that same hand to cover the lower half of her face and shield Abigail's eyes from the grimace spreading slowly across it. "I tried," she murmurs thickly through her fingers. "Teo'n I, back in March. We helped arrange the cage match between Gabriel and Holden while Phoenix broke you out of the pens. I was a sparrow, Logan probably doesn't remember."

It's not the memory of terse negotiations across the table from a hungry-eyed monkey and two fiercely predator men that has Eileen's face contorting, however. It's what is at the root of what Abigail says last. "We do what we need to, whether or not trumpets are blaring. Where do you think he is now? Kazimir?"

"Oh" Vaguely she remembers Logan asking her about Eileen and who the woman was to her. "I know that you scared Logan awfully good. Good enough that he tried to come down and beat it out of me who you were" and almost everyone knows how that story went, or maybe not. The loss of tongue, a bible and an pimps eye. "I didn't know that you'd been with Teo, if that's the case then, you succeeded, as evidence that I am sitting here right beside you Eileen, so I guess that we are even, in some fashion"

Her hands settle on the papers, a glance off towards the mirror that composes the back of the bar. "I think, that he is enjoying, or may enjoying might be too strong a word. But enjoying none the less, a nice span of time in hell to make up for all the lives that he took from this world and for the crimes that he visited upon it, no matter whether he thought it was in the best interest of mankind." She looks over to Eileen.

"And when his time in hell is done, then maybe the Lord will see fit to welcome him into heaven"

"Is that how it works?" Eileen wants to know, rising from her seat at the counter. She unloops her legs from the steel bar and places her feet, one right after the other, onto the floor. She doesn't arch a brow at Abigail when she asks it; her tone lacks the usual condescending lilt it takes in situations like these, flat as the soles of her boots, flush against the wood under her feet or the surface of the counter upon which she leaves the crinkled plastic.

She lets out a slow breath. "When you're dead, you're dead, Abigail. Shouldn't losing yourself and everything you are be punishment enough?"

"When you're dead, you soul is released to receive your earthly delights that you've earned Eileen. That's how I was raised" She shifts to lean back on her stool. "But maybe you don't believe that, and maybe others do. Or don't. It all depends. So you asked, what I thought, where I think he is. That's where. I'll see him. I don't know how long, when I die. Because I took his life. I firmly believe that too." She's not trying to preach, be condescending or the like.

"Till then, I’ll try to account for that in my day to day and be a better Christian woman" There's a soft laugh at that. "Good christian woman with tattoo's, owns a bar and is having relations with a man twice my age and not in the least bit interested in going steady much less putting a ring on my finger" Not that she's of the time in her life to think of that in all honesty. "Why do you ask Eileen? Do you believe that dead is dead and that's your punishment? That there's nothing beyond the absence of body?"

Eileen tenses at the question, discomfort plainly visible in the set of her narrow shoulders all the way through the curve of her spine. "When we were in Pinehearst—" she starts, but doesn't get much further than that. Like the smile that had shaped her mouth, it too hesitates, then breaks. The light seeping in through the window plays off her hair and skin, bathing the side of her body that faces in the door in the morning glow while the other sinks deeper into shadow. The dichotomy between light and dark exaggerates her face's features, transforming it into a caricature of itself with big eyes, a small mouth and a long nose that tapers down into a delicate point like the muzzle of a fox sans whiskers.

"Yes," she says instead. "That's what I believe."

"Then that's good Eileen. So long as you believe in something." Spoken sincerely, and with a trace of thankfulness in her voice. Unlike other Baptists from whence she comes, she's not beating a bible into everyone's head and talking about the end times. Light just makes her own hair that is all it's natural honey hue thanks to the touch of a woman so long ago who righted wrongs glow a bit till she shifts and is out of the sun.

"Who was the guy, at the ferrymen meeting? He had the scar across his face"

There weren't a lot of people at the Ferrymen meeting. Even fewer with scars across their faces. There's only person that Abigail could be referring to, and his name rolls off Eileen's tongue with the practiced ease of someone who has spoken it frequently. "Peter Petrelli." Then, "If you're interested in Allègre's journal, the two of you should meet. Flint, too. I'm getting the distinct impression you could learn a lot from each other."

"That's Peter Petrelli?" There's surprise on her face. Surprising that she's never actually met him. She's always either met his aftermath, or just missed him. "Why? I mean, if I could ask why. He's.. not exactly the kind of person that I woul.. wait scratch that." A hand up to derail her own thought. "Who am I kidding. I'm Abigail. I healed men who were framed for blowing up cities and terrorists alike even former president-elects." She shifts forward, leaning over the bar so that she can fish around on the business end blindly for some paper and a pen.

"I have EMT school Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings. Whether Flint will want to come, is something different because I managed to get him to Hokuto and that.. didn't pan out so.. well" Panned out to Abby in a corner of the bookstore crying while Deckard and hokey had 'words', she's sure of it. "But, i'm here, during the day unless i'm out at the garden helping."

Eileen is blessedly spared from having to give Abigail an explanation as to why she and Deckard might want to acquaint themselves with the President's younger brother. "He's staying with us for the time being," she tells the blonde, watching as she fumbles for a pen and some paper to scratch at it with. "If you don't have any objections, I'll just give him this address and he can come visit whenever it's convenient?"

"Send him in when the bars not open. I unlock the doors at 8 in case folks want to visit" Abigail seems fine with that before a imaginary lightbulb seems to come on above her head. "Crap, right, you still have that key I gave you?"

"Of course." Eileen places a hand on the breast of her jacket to emphasize that, yes, she still has the key. It, along with her pocket watch and a pair of tortoiseshell reading glasses she keeps in a slim leather case, are safe in its silk-lined interior pocket. "Did you want it back?" she asks. "Or would you like me to make a copy for our friend Petrelli?"

"Well, I need it back, it's useless now, but I made copies of the new keys and I can give you the code so you can get in via the roof if you need to. If you want, you can make a new copy for Petrelli or he can knock" Such a trusting woman. "The third room is still empty has a bed and such, so if you still need to keep low on this end of town, the invitation still stands. Just a moment. I was going to get a ferryman to give it to you if you didn't show soon enough"

Abigail slides from the stool, hitching around the bar so that she can disappear into the back. "Some woman takes a shine to breaking in and stealing stuff from me. Robbed me in New Orleans when I went home. Now she's breaking in up here. Can't wait to see her face when she tries again. It's like a steel trap now. No one can come in unless they got the codes and keys. Now I just have to figure out where she lives and send Richard to steal back my fucking statue" Swear word. Means Abigail doesn't like Lola in the least bit. "Beware women with cajun accents names Lola"

"I may take you up on that offer," says Eileen. "It's getting harder and harder to find a place of my own, and when I do the wrong people always come looking." While they're exchanging warnings: "There's a woman named Odessa Knutson who used to work for the Vanguard alongside Gabriel and I. Before that, she was a physician for the Company. Watch out for her, would you?"

She reaches into her jacket and pulls out the key a moment later, its metal exterior winking in the light along with the silver of the rings she wears on her fingers. A gentle toss, underhand, and it's sailing through the air toward Abigail in a perfect arc. "I think she might be going by the name 'Brooke Lynwood' these days. Gabriel and I tried to get her help from the Ferry for her morphine addiction, but she turned us down and took off. Maybe a gentler hand will have better luck."

The key is caught as she comes back out with two new ones on a simple keyring. She won't throw the other one though, just tucks the old one under the counter out of sight as she pads around the bar in her bare feet to hold out her palm and the new set there. an envelope has the code for the security and the door. "The.."She has to think. "Blonde one, who looked at me like I wa… oh wait, no, you were unconcious. There was a blonde, tiny, she didn't like me. But then again, I don't think much of your friends at the time li.." Speaking of friends.

"Elias says hello"

Eileen takes the envelope between her fingers and slides it into her jacket along with the new key. "She's a brunette now." The mention of Elias gets a nod, though it's difficult for the dark-haired woman to feel enthusiastic about this news with Feng Daiyu still on the loose. Another old ally nosing around New York City is another back that she needs to watch, and as the situation continues to follow a downward spiral, she's not sure how much more attention she can afford to divide. She'd much rather he'd stayed in Ramsgate.

"Thank you."

"He said not to tell the others, just you. He's.. he's out in Ramsgate, but he apparently, sticks his nose in now and then. But, message delivered. If you want a way to get in contact I can give you that" Abigail breathes deeply, stifling a yawn with the back of her head. "Lord on high I am running myself to the ground. Are you sure you don't want something to eat? I can make something else" There's a pause and the blonde looks back over. "You managed to meet up with Delphine or are you still.." There's a wriggle of her fingers to indicate Julian's ability that resided in her at one point.

"I have my birds back, if that's what you're asking." Eileen adjusts the sleeves and collar of her jacket as she starts toward the door, eager to be breathing fresh air again in spite of the stench that clings to her hair and skin and wafts off her clothes. "I don't think I could stomach breakfast, but thanks. Save some for Leonard."

If Eileen's ever seen jealousy, in Abby, it's there, for a few moments before it's wiped away and there's a smile on it. Everyone's got their back. Save for her and Flint. "Sorry, I just.. sorry" realizing she was as always readable as a book. "I'm glad for you Eileen. Very glad that things are as they should be with you and your birds. We should go feed em again some time. Like.. before things went to pot huh? I won't keep you, I'm just starting a sure to be busy day. Thank you.. thank you greatly for the book and if Peter Petrelli would like to speak just.. send him over" Still beyond her what he would, maybe the ability, but why, she doesn't know. "You need anything, call"

"I will," Eileen agrees in a neutral tone as she crosses the threshold, one hand gripping the door handle, the other sliding into the back pocket of her jeans, "and yes, we should." Hinges creak, groan, and the door clicks back into place with the Englishwoman disappearing into the early morning mist on the other side.

She hasn't been gone more than a few minutes when a pair of pigeons flutter down from concrete lip at the edge of the bar's rooftop and settle themselves on the windowsill as if taking shelter from the rain beneath the overhang, but Abigail probably knows better.

She can hear them, Abigail sitting at the bar, her forehead resting against her hands until she hears the rustle and bump against the windows. She looks over and with a shake of her head and a pancake is picked up. She creeps over, wrestles with the window and eventually when it opens and if they're still there, starts tearing it up into pieces for the birds. "There we go. Eat your fill. She won't eat it, least you guys can" and likely will. Flying rats they may be, the blonde also reaches out to run a finger down their backs like she does Pila.

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