Bitter Exchange


abby_icon.gif darren_icon.gif

Scene Title Bitter Exchange
Synopsis Abigail Beauchamp and Darren Stevens exchange sharp words over the topic of healing and difficult lives.
Date April 5, 2010

Grand Central Terminal

Grand Central Station was never intended to be a true safehouse, its purpose as a resupply hub to the remainder of the Ferrymen Network is a fact that was not considered when one Doctor Darren Stevens was deposited down here by a Ferrymen operative perhaps too willing to hide him from whatever perceived threats she assumed he was running from.

Now days after the fact, Doctor Stevens has only further sunken into the desperate hiding that the Ferrymen have offered him, taking up temporary residence in the ticket offices where a folding cot and chemical lantern offer mild comfort in otherwise dark and cramped confines. It's not that Doctor Stevens has been remanded to his quarters, but more than he has willingly sequestered himself from everyone and everything.

It's to that ticket booth, with its drawn shades and lit lamp that Dr.Stevens' one singular visotor is directed. When the skeleton crew of Ferrymen trapped in Grand Central by the blizzard on the street overhead are questioned about his activities, it becomes clear to Abby that he's withdrawing from everything, and after her conversation with the Company's Agent Ryans… it's obvious why.

Work off for two days, though at any point, she might get called in. She checked messages before descending and she'll check again when she leaves. Hiking pack filled with stuff and some snowshoes that she had kept stuffed in her closet in Old Lucy's for once in the last year had been broken out and put to use. All the people that said having a great big SUV in the city for such a small - not that small really - girl were being mentally told to suck it. She could still get around. Slowly yes, but she could still get around.

There's a soft knock on the door to the ticket boot, her cop escort long since gone this day and she promised to "stay where safe" because really, they can't get around and there's other more important things to do. She promised to keep checking in instead.

"I brought soup, that will have to be heated up, but it's homemade. Fresh buns too. I would have brought some alcohol, but I didn't know whether you felt like drowning sorrows. So there's only one bottle of whiskey" Abigail's shaken off the snow and unthawed by the time she's made it down to him, the red aluminum snowshes hanging up somewhere to be dried off before she has to leave again. "We need to talk Dr. Stevens"

Sitting on his cot, shoulders slouched and hands folded between his knees, Doctor Stevens looks up towards Abigail where the blonde stands silhouette in the doorway, long horizontal shadows cast by the drawn blinds across her body. "I appreciate the gesture but I'm not hungry," Darren notes in a quiet tone of voice, eyes narrowed as he considers Abigail's figure for a moment. "We don't need to talk, either, unless you're moving me somewhere else." His tone is familiarly dismissive, but at least he's talking unlike the other frustratingly difficult killer in her life.

"So you can turn around and head back out, I appreciate the thought though, but you're better off helping someone else around here. They're talking about a food supply shortage last I heard, maybe you could help with that." In other words, anything but be here.

In she comes to the small space, and the door is closed behind her. What's said right now for the benefit of the two of them and no others.

"So you've killed people" Abigail's lips rest together after that, letting it sink in that she knows what he did. "You have a company agent on your tail because bodies have been turning up with green glows and Melissa survived something, only you know, by the grace of god and likely that all it was was a surge from you, and not the full deal"

The soup is pushed over. "That's not from Ferry stores, it's from my kitchen. I was making some soup for a friend who's come down with the evo flu and and I had plenty left over. The others down here have some too. I've got more food in my bar which is going to be closed until this storm passes"

Down to the floor Abby sits, cross legged beneath her work khaki's and presumably thermals. "MY gift killed too"

"I— don't know what you're talking about." Comes the blatant lie from Darren, eyes wide before he snaps that stare down to the floor between his feet. "I— I've never killed anyone, I'm a doctor not a murderer. So just— get out please, I'm tired and I'd like to take a nap, which is a bit hard while you're in here accusing me of murder." The final part comes sharp and frustrated with Darren's stare leveling back up on Abby. "Why don't you just take your sympathies and your assumptions and back the hell out've this room and go bother someone who feels like talking?"

Darren's brows furrow, nose rankles and shoulders square. "Because I've already had enough of you in the two minutes you've been in here. So kindly…" He flicks a look tot he door along with a half-hearted wave of one hand, "get out."

**'Then correct my assumptions? Because I have people who come to my bar, who do some not so nice work. One of them, knew exactly what that handprint was, and they say that it's been seen on a handful of bodies that have turned up. Presumably from a serial killer. That same handprint, on Mel's arm? Which, by the way, I said it was on a homeless guy that I used to heal way down in the financial district that they'll never be able to find because the guy is so damn hard to find to heal" And likely moved on.

"So you're not going to eat, you're just going to sit here, and let no one talk to you, see what you need and suicide by starvation? That's a pretty shitty way to go. I mean, self punishment for something that you didn't know you'd manifest, that isn't really healing but people only see the healing aspect of it and now what else comes with it, or the side effects of it. Or they do, and they feel that it outweighs their needs. So you get used, and then… you have to do the other. It's not healing is it? It's some sort of transference. You take what damaged energy is in a person and… put it into someone else? Correct me if I'm wrong, I'm not the expert on abilities" She's not going anywhere it seems.

"Shut up!" Darren suddenly bolts into movement, rising up fromt he cot with a creak of the springs as both of his hands crackle-snap into life with a fluorescent green-yellow light. The flesh of his hands turns a brilliant yellow while his bones are a bleached white burning beneath his flesh while a sickly lime green radiates outward from both of his hands, flooding the ticket booth with light. "You think you have any idea what it is I do, you're wrong! You don't know, you can't know!"

The bed behind Darren rattles and vibrates and the chemical lamp flickers when his hands begin to glow. The venitial blinds in the room, made from paper thin sheets of aluminum rattle and tremor as if being brushed by an unseen hand. "I said get out," Darren hollars, the same green-white light shining out of his mouth and from behind his eyes before the energy snaps off and fades back down, and everything metal in the room stops jittering around.

Breathing heavily, Stevens scowls across the room to Abby, voice dry and hoarse sounding now. "You don't know me or who I am or what I do, and you think just because you didn't sell me out to the feds that I owe you some sort of explanation? Go to hell."

It takes everything in her to not back off, slide forward and squeak out the door when Darren looses it a bit and his ability flares to life. green and yellow to her former white and bone when she was augmented. "No, you're right. I don't know who you are, what you do. All I have is the words of a fed and the handprint on Mel's hand and my ambulance partner, Peter Petrelli, magically healed of everything and what you just did even more tells me that something is true" She's pressed against the door, jaw tight. "I won't get out. Call it…my depression and anxiety medications making me a little bold, or the spine that got somehow found it's way into my back these last few months."

Abigail shifts, enough to get comfortable. "You think you're the only guy who's ability hurts people? I killed a guy in a bridge with my healing a year ago because that's what I had to do, or you and 95 billion other people would have died. I didn't want to do it, but I did it. I don't think Mel's killed anyone. She just projects pain is all. I know… quite a few people who have killed by accident, or had to kill because of the situation they were in. You know how many people the ferry take in and help who's manifested their ability and killed by accident? Delilah. Delilah is toad girl. Because she secretes, on her skin, a hallucinogenic. I came across her when she manifested and the guy she accidentally touched? Deathly allergic. If I hadn't been there, he'd have died. Period"

Abigail draws her feet up, pointing to the bed. "Sit down, man up, tough shit Darren. You got a crappy ability and people want you to use it and now you're in a place where people don't care that you have it, and aren't going to make you use it, and you're sitting here going 'poor me, the monster I am'" Abigail shrugs her shoulders. "Poor me, some fucker came along and in two seconds, ripped my healing away from me and left me nothing but a normal person and all these people relying on me to heal them and fix them and getting angry with me and upset because it seemed to them I was turning my back on people and a heartless bitch. Darren, they won't judge you down here. They won't toss you to the feds. They have people who can teach you to better control it, without a flare up like now, when you loose your temper"

"I don't care about you," Darren breathes out the words, "or who you are, or what you've done or anything that you say." There's a fluster in Darren's words, a frustration hanging in his tone and one his face. "What good will it do talking to you at all? Are you going to make the bodies magically disappear or wave your goddamned wand and make the feds stop chasing me? Can you give me back my life and make me forget what I've done? No." Darren's hands curl up into fists, brows lowered and a frown creasing across his face.

"I don't need to sit here and listen to you lord your own problems over me. Your life sucked, fucking wonderful for you, but you aren't me and I don't give a shit how wonderfully you cope with being a monster like I am. Unless you can change the past there's nothing you can do for me. So get out of my way or I will move you myself."

"Hiro Nakamura can change the past. There's a man with the company who can Erase your memory. There's quite a few ways to get rid of bodies. Anything else on your wish list?" Abigail rattles off, looking at him.

"Cute." Darren states with a sneer, not for a moment believing the too quickly rattled off name of Hiro Nakamura. "Look, I don't know what kind of projecting you're doing, but obviously you have your own problems in your life that would probably be better served being taken care of rather than doing anything to help me. If I honestly wanted help I'd ask for it, but right now if you're so very conscious about doing whatever it is I ask, why don't you turn around and forget you came here."

Darren lifts a hand ot motion to the door, then lowers it down. When he moves his arm, the blinds rattle subtly following the motion of his hand. "Take care of your own life and stop trying to fix other people's. If the feds are looking for me the last thing I think they're going to want to do is help, I'm— " Darren scoffs noisily, "Like you said, I'm a serial killer. So turn around and focus your efforts on yourself, or someone who deserves the help more."

Glancing down to one of his lowered hands, Darren shakes his head slowly. "So just… leave me alone. I don't want your sympathy or your pity." Blue eyes lift up towards Abby, and Darren's voice is quieter than before. "I don't need it, I just need to be left alone."

"Shall I leave a rope for you to hang yourself with while I'm at it?" Now Abby's getting snarky. "maybe if I crush up enough peach and apple pits in the soup, you can eat it and wait for the poison to set in. Or I'm sure there's something sharp around here, I can leave, close the door and let you just have at your wrists. I mean, that's an option. Don't think they'd like me much doing that though seeing as these guys don't ferry dead souls to the underworld" Abby's hand comes out, catching his jaw in her tightly.

'Grow up, Man the fuck up Darren. You got a shitty power. Own it. Don't sit in a god damned ticket booth in an abandoned subway track and bitch about how you want to change the past, and erasing memories, won't do shit to help you. The guy who can do the first will only tell you that to do so, would affect more than just you. The second? Memory wipes aren't all that they're chalked up to be and I see people who regret having it done"

"There are people out there with worse off than you are. You're gift? Nothing compared to a guy who's ability was parasitic life leaching death. Jumping from person to person and doing all sorts of horrible thing over years. Can you imagine his death toll compared to your.. two or three? There's another guy, transferred a 100 tonne nuke into shadow and blew himself to bits but saved the god damned world. And now he's trying hard to find a healer who can save him before even his shadow form just slips away from him."

There's a slight shake to his face while she holds him like that. "Woe is me, woe is me. Woe is you, you got a shitty power. I feel bad that you got a shitty power. I want to hug you and tell you that it'll be alright even when I know that it might not. I want to smack you too, because of how you're acting like a petulant teenager. But I did that too. You have people here who will bend over backwards to help you, but they can't, until you choose to help yourself. You took the first step by taking Mel's help and coming down here. Now you have to take the next step."

Reaching up and grabbing Abby's wrist, it's clear that Darren's touch isn't quite as gentle as a doctor's should be. He moved the hand away from his face, brows furrowed and blue eyes staring down into hers. "Fantastic, other people have it worse than me, congradulations you've solved all my life's problems." Releasing her wrist, Darren steps around her forcibly, moving towards the door she was blocking before that sytep over to Darren and the hand to his jaw. "Did you know someone's probably being murdered right now, somewhere in the world? Guess that means anyone who's still alive ain't got a reason to bitch. Nice way of thinking."

His hand turns the doorknob, pushes it open and out to the empty rail platform lit by the tall halogen construction lamps. "You're a self-righteous little pill, you know that? I'm going to help myself, just like you said. But I have to wait for the storm to clear before I get out of the city. You think I'm going to just— " he looks back into the room, then shakes his head. "Sit in here and die? Go to hell, Abigail, you're as much of a pretentious bitch as everyone else in the hospital thought you were when you took away good surgeons jobs with that trick of yours."

Swallowing dryly, the words come off as bitter and frustrated as Darren steps out of the ticket booth and slams the door shut, leaving the venitian blinds on it rattling and smacking up against the glass after it's shut.

Another slam of the door quickly follows as he's not getting off that easy. Abigail footsteps quick to catch up with him. Hand quick to latch onto his collar and spin him around so that her hand can meet the side of his face with a crack.

"You don't tell me that again. You don't talk to me about taking away the jobs of good surgeons. Surgeons couldn't give back Belinda Chu her arm or cure her cancer." Her forefinger is stuck in his face, hovering there. "Don't you tell me I'm a pretentious little bitch when I sat beside how many bedsides in that hospital and fixed the hearts of people who if they didn't get a heart the next day would be dead. No surgeon would have been able to help them. I took over where they couldn't and if they were that upset, all they had to do was ask me to stop." Blue eyes are right up in his face, still gripping his collar tight

"I would trade the world to get that ability back and to feel that useful again. I ran myself ragged to heal people. I answered 3 am phonecalls from the NYPD because their officers got shot in the line of duty. Because some asshole terrorist blew up a building. I was twelve years old when my gift manifested. Twelve. I was a child. You're a grown adult and have a support system to fall back on" The hand on his shirt rattles him back and forth, giving him a shake.

"I spent a month and more in a god damned brothel basement and then a warehouse where all they made me do was heal people and heal and heal and heal till I couldn't heal anymore. Then they'd make me do it again till I was literally unconcious. Someone razed that warehouse and got me out. I looked like a fucking warcrimes victim from a work camp. All someone needed to do was look at me and I jumped. You can call me righteous, you can call me pretentious and you can fling all sorts of words at me, but I'm someone who knows what the fuck it is that you're going through, just a fraction."

Flint Deckard was the last person to slap Abby across the face.

Now that title goes to Darren Stevens.

The motion is reflexive, leaving a stinging red handprint across the side of her right cheek and head cocked to the side. From the look on Darren's face he didn't even realize it was happening until after the contact and after the reverberation of the smack had stopped ringing in the halls. Whatever he was going to say in response to Abby's words are promptly cut off by a look of resentment and apology that rather quickly washes over the taller blonde's face.

"I'm— " Horrified, sorry, wishing I did that earlier, going to be sick; there's a lot of ways Darren could finish that sentence. Ultimately, he chooses not to at all, shoes scuffing across the concrete floor as he takes a few steps back, throat working up and down in a ragged swallow.

"You're getting your wish." Abby's hand comes up to cover her face, turning away from him so he can't see the wet at her eyes in reaction to the sting across her face. "Congratulations, enjoy the ferry's hospitality. If you need Mel, just let one of the others know" She's backing down, heading away from him down a hall with the backpack left in the small room. Off to other parts of the station to find something cold for her cheek.

Posture tense and voice lost, Darren just stares at Abby's back as she retreats, mouth open and brows lifted. He doesn't make a sound as she leaves, just tightly clenches his jaw shut and stares down at the hand now balled into a fist at his side that had struck her. Jaw giving a tremble, the doctor's eyes wrench shut and his breath is drawn in sharply through his nose, head shaking from side to side slowly.

He lets her leave, because after that outburst what else could he do. Because aside from being able to bring life to the dead, there's one thing Doctor Darren Stevens is learning he excells at.

Driving away anyone who wants to help.

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