Birds In A Pod, Peas Of A Feather


deckard_icon.gif joseph_icon.gif

Scene Title Birds In A Pod, Peas Of A Feather
Synopsis An epic romance continues as Joseph confronts Deckard outside his apartment about another epic romance.
Date August 28, 2010

Chelsea: Apartment Building

Deckard didn't come home last night.

This happens sometimes, as Bella is doubtless beginning to learn. More often than not he's still sober enough to send an, "I'm not coming home," text her way when he decides that he isn't.

Last night having been one such occasion, he has nothing to slink about on the way down the hallway to door number nine. Still in his suit from yesterday, the only drag in his step is that of exhaustion to match the shadows worn deep into his eye sockets — one darker than the other. Blackish scabbing has hardened into a line across his cheekbone on the same side. Fresh split some hours prior. Something else that happens more often than it should.

Wiry hair shorn too short to muss, the skewed pinstriping of his rumpled suit has more of a tale to tell. The tie's missing all together — collar open three buttons down from the throat when he sweeps his lapel aside to fumble tiredly after his keys.

Unexpectedly, Deckard isn't alone in the hallway. The shape of someone pacing its narrow width, indecisiveness in anxious steps, too much thought going on there for the early hour, but there's light enough filtering in that there's zero mystery by the time Deckard is noticing him. Joseph is a few feet from front door, after all, denim over flannel, more denim, boots, a fabricy messenger bag of kinds slung over a shoulder that he grips the strap with two handedly.

Probably not armed, either, or at least with nothing but good intentions, supposedly. He pauses, back straightening, and one hand peels off the strap to offer a motionless wave of splayed fingers. Regret is already making a line out of Joseph's mouth, taking in the other man's appearance with growing concern.

The bleary resolution of Joseph out've the hallway ahead is unexpected. Which is to say, Flint isn't expecting it. He stops short with keys in hand — like he's suddenly realized he might be in the wrong hallway — and stares, long face long, blue eyes blue.

After an uncertain beat, his left hand reaches back around to tug the tail of his jacket down over the grip of his revolver. Looking like crap is pretty in-character for him. Evident lack of sleep and broken face aside, it's hard to discern whether or not last night was rougher than most of the ones he has. He's sober. Nothing else is broken. There's no blood on his suit. He doesn't have a limp.

"Is that a purse?"

Joseph's attention dips down to what would have to be pretty big to be a purse, not that he doesn't see Deckard's point. "…not that I'm aware," is honest, at least, a hand going down to where the magnetised flap of it seals off its contents and zippers, like maybe whatever is inside the not-purse is directly relevant to his presence, but not dire enough just yet. His attention doesn't skip back to the other man, but instead looks at the sealed up door roughly between them.

Disapproval, in the twist of the frown that follows, and only gives Deckard a fleeting glance when he asks, "She in there?" without making a move like he'd like to follow inside just yet.

Skeptical of Joseph's uncertainty over whether or not his purse is a purse, Flint gives it a look that matches disapproval for disapproval while he adjusts the warm sit of his invisible gun again and tips his head after the 'there' in question. His apartment.

It's not often that his ability causes problems for him. Problems like this one, where saying, 'I dunno,' is a lie rather than a diplomatic roll of the dice potentially in his favor with no blame attached for the outcome. So instead he nods, non-specific as to whatever 'she' is up to 'in there.' Sleeping, more than likely.

"Okay." Joseph's feet may as well be nailed to the hallway floor, such is his enthusiasm for potentially waking the woman up, he assumes, or getting overheard, or worse, running into her and forced into more tense conversation without enough sleep to buffer him. "She came to talk to me the other day. Been meaning to try and catch you." A head tilt, dismissing the fact that he hadn't 'til now as mostly irrelevant. He's here.

Flint's here. This is where he says got a minute?, but instead falls pensively silent. The last time he'd been in this hallway, rageblackouts had been imminent, and it doesn't take a lot of study, bone deep or otherwise, to note it probably isn't all gone.

…She what? Irritation tightens like twine through the clamp of Deckard's jaw, lean muscle cut sharp under scruff and an unconventional evening's worth of grit. That the light in his eyes never changes to match one way or the other lends him an eerily aquiline quality — spectral blue stable as ever despite the lick of his temper up through the lines in his neck.

He doesn't actually voice his displeasure. Somehow it stays down behind the barbed-wire fence of his posture, twistedly defensive while he sizes up the way Joseph's standing and looks back to the pack again. At length he opens both of his hands, palms out. So, says the gesture, I'm caught.

Uneasiness sets in, whether to do with any visible cues of anger from Deckard or the wordless response, or simply due to the fact that Joseph is only working out now he hasn't actually forgiven anyone and—

"And so that makes her bein' the only person lookin' to make things right with me," he abruptly points out, quiet exasperation in the sigh that flags along those words. "But it ain't all that surprising. I came to give you back a coupla things…" And his voice wilts off, hands unwilling to retrieve said items as he glances back at Deckard, shoulders settling into a more defeated angle. "Figured it was worth hearin'— what you're thinking of, helping her out. Can't just be the free therapy."

"We're the same," is a deceptively simple answer. Also a bad one. Not one Joseph wants to hear, with just enough fork-ed inflection to suggest Flint knows as much. There's a subtle rankle at his nose — a less subtle shift in weight, aggression under pressure turning restlessly after its tail just under the fine lines in his suit. "Peas in a pod. Birds of a feather. Sinners all."

He could go on, but he looks suspiciously to the ~purse~ instead, eyes lanced stark to any objects of interest that may reside within. Rapt for those three or four seconds spent tracing outlines and overlaps, he flexes his grip back around his keys. "She makes me dinner." When did Joseph ever make him dinner? NEVER!!

There is a small startle when Joseph notes Deckard's glance down, understands too late what it means, but there's little he can do about it, and guilt immediately winds tension up his spine. There is a distinctive shape within the not-purse that probably glows starkly through, maybe familiar at least on a generic level, maybe familiar in a more personal sort of sense, but who knows, when it comes to the scrambled egg collection of memory within Deckard's skull?

It's a knife. The one the cops said he experimented with.

It has Joseph setting the bag down on the ground and crouching, taking a knee as he rifles through its contents with some harried irritation. Wrapped in cloth, the knife is pinned by his hand to the slightly rumpled notebook journal that Teo had given to him too long ago, and Joseph stands up again, a distinct lack of empathic understanding in his expression.

"Yeah, she said about that too," he says, before offering both things out two-handedly. "It ain't fair."

The knife is taken first, once he's close enough to take anything. As it is a knife, it is a greater object of interest to one Flint Deckard, arms dealer, who hasn't carried one since — he used the last one to slice through people all soft and sweet. Like flans.

In the time it takes him to feel the weight of it balanced in his hand he hesitates, significance doubted in the same unconscious twitch of detestation that nearly sees him pushing it back into Joseph's possession. Except that denial is weakness and the knife is his and Joseph is giving it to him. So. Into his pocket it goes, still wrapped, blade unopened and unexamined. A lump of coal. That's his.

She did? is the theme of the morning once that's done and he's reached to take up the journal as well, less terse in his absorption of cohabitant shenanigans this time around. He looks like he'd like to know more — moronically hopeful even in an upward glance from worn pages and text he hasn't really looked at yet. Flint Deckard wants to have sex with Bella Sheridan (but hasn't yet.) It's practically written on the apartment door between them in sharpie.

It's disappointing, to say the least, Joseph's stare flattening in response to hopeful glance his way, hands resting on his hips as he struggles with what to say. Stupid optimism is probably what got him here in the first place, and maybe a lack of communication and understanding over the past— ever since they've known each other. Is what it is.

Dejection is in the sound of his heel scuffing the ground, before a hand goes out to gesture at where the knife disappeared to. "If I were you," he starts, instead, leaning to pick up not-purse and slinging the strap back over a denim-clad shoulder, "I'd find a lake to throw that in, or a hole to bury it."

Sounds serious, too, but maybe that's just some kind of Christian appreciation for symbols and gestures.

Baptists like rituals. "You like her 'cause she likes you, but that won't stop her from walkin' all over you 'til she's finished. It don't erase the things she's done, either. Or it shouldn't have. I can't begin to figure what's gone on with you to think this is remotely okay."

Flatness is recognized, fielded and deflected with a more defensive iteration of the same phenomenon — a hardening of Flint's brow and a deadening of his stare. The knife's already out of sight, meanwhile, heavy against his leg and not likely to go much further from him than that without direct intervention in days to come.

Could be because he has his own close-bound arrangement of meaning attributed to certain objects and symbols of his own. Also could be because it's a pretty nice knife.

The fact that he doesn't immediately think to ask Joseph why he has this stuff is a fluke. One that is destined to be shortlived, as he can only look uneasily resentful for so long before he has enough spare attention to scowl down into the familiarity of his own untidy scrawl. The unhappiness-per-square-inch has increased several-fold before he's even finished the first page, grimdark displeasure mingled with something more like embarrassment he doesn't have the time or convenience to hide. Clap goes the little black book, closed cover to cover in one hand about as quick as he made the determination that a certain amount of guilt must have played into him receiving this only now. Months after he blipped temporarily off the Ferry's radar.

"The hell does it matter," is a bad start that only promises to get worse, even if he's somehow conscious enough to keep his voice from rising out've it's sooty growl, "as long as I'm still around to drag you out've the next pit you fall into."

There is a certain amount of guilt, too, by the time Joseph is watching Deckard read the thing, explanation decaying before it can be fully-formed. Now would be a great time to throw Teo under the bus, here, but either Joseph doesn't want to or it never occurs to him, decides it doesn't matter if he took it home from Hotel California or sitting in the Staten Island bar after Teo's departure. His attention darts up, late, by the time Deckard is closing the thing, and there is weaker dismay that dilutes the righteous severity in Joseph's expression.

There is a second to judge the impact of these words, a hand up to rub the heel of his palm to brow, mouth pulling into resentful frown until something is shelved in the time it takes to breathe in. "Does it— this ain't about— " Words stall out like a car's engine in the depths of winter, a hand out in a gesture at the door, the whole apartment, the woman inside that lays her claim over its contents that mingle with Flint's. "Maybe it matters 'cause she's the one that kicked me in the last time, and she'll do the same to you. You're not the same as her!

"Why am I bothering." This abrupt change in mood is a little like a leash snapping, though it only proves to rein in exasperation rather than vanish it entirely, Joseph glancing ceilingwards, floorwards, hand abruptly hanging at his side.

"I'm not the same as you either." ~Deckard~ doesn't read people's secret diaries. For instance.

That he makes no argument against the high probability of the arrangement behind door number nine ending with Isabella Sheridan bending him over a table is probably telling. In some kind of, he's stupid, not an idiot — sort of. Resentful, sideways acknowledgement while he turns his keys over in his hand and sidesteps in towards the door.

"Anything else?"

Arms go out, clap back inwards at a slump. "Until next time." There are three steps towards out taken, before Joseph reverses to at them, a hand splaying like a star as he adds, "We're not that different either. Not like she says." There, that's the anything else taken care of, spoken in even and earnest summary before Joseph is resuming his exit, unhappiness in the thud of his footfalls and resentment in the swiftness with which he carries himself.

Leaving Deckard to his hot redhead sociopaths and their dinner making. And possibly a deep sleep.

Initially the first thing on his mind, 'a deep sleep' has marched steadily further down the line of Deckard's priorities the longer this interaction has gone on. Journal in hand, knife in pocket, he watches Joseph retreat off his stoop like he might a wayward Mormon before he wrests the lock and shoulder's in out've sight.

The door closes behind him with a deliberately quiet click.

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