Breathe Her


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Scene Title Breathe Her
Synopsis It's kind of a pun on 'breather' because I'm terribly uninspired but that's what this is. An interlude of some kind. The Oracle finds the kid from Sicily and offers Phoenix her gun arm for when shit gets heavy. For the duration of this scene, however, things stay light, including the details on Volken and, uh, kisses.
Date December 14, 2008

Ruins of Midtown

Standing in the ruins of Midtown, it's hard to believe New York is still a living city.

There's life enough around the fringes — the stubborn, who refused to rebuild somewhere else; the hopeful, who believe the radiation is gone, or that they somehow won't be affected. Businesses, apartment complexes, taxis and bicycles and subways going to and fro — life goes on. Perhaps more quietly than in other parts of the city, shadowed by the reminder that even a city can die, but it does go on.

Then there is the waste. The empty core for which the living city is only a distant memory. Though a few major thoroughfares wind through the ruins, arteries linking the surviving halves, and the forms of some truly desperate souls can occasionally be glimpsed skulking in the shadows, the loudest noise here is of the wind whistling through the mangled remnants of buildings. Twisted cords of rebar reach out from shattered concrete; piles of masonry and warped metal huddle on the ground, broken and forlorn. Short stretches of road peek out from under rubble and dust only to disappear again shortly afterwards, dotted with the mangled and contorted forms of rusting cars, their windows long since shattered into glittering dust.

There are no bodies — not even pieces, not anymore. Just the bits and pieces of destroyed lives: ragged streamers fluttering from the handlebar which juts out of a pile of debris; a flowerbox turned on its side, coated by brick dust, dry sticks still clinging to the packed dirt inside; a lawn chair, its aluminum frame twisted but still recognizable, leaning against a flight of stairs climbing to nowhere.

At the center of this broken wasteland lies nothing at all. A hollow scooped out of the earth, just over half a mile across, coated in a thick layer of dust and ash. Nothing lives here. Not a bird; not a plant. Nothing stands here. Not one concrete block atop another. There is only a scar in the earth, cauterized by atomic fire. This is Death's ground.

It's a nice afternoon in the city of New York, the sun peeks out from the clouds and a spotlight of sorts from the sun centers on Eve would is sitting on top of some rubble and looking up at the sky, humming softly. She is wearing a black dress and boots and her hair is free and falling past her shoulders. Her eyes close and open and she drums her finger softly on a stone next to her. Eve looks to be in a relaxed mood today.

Blocks away, the bus route 36 stopped a few minutes ago and offloaded all of three people into the ruins of Midtown. One of them was slightly more paranoid about the other two about actually having company down here, for once, but after Teo lost them, circled around and zagged a little, he managed to reassure himself that he wasn't being followed. Wouldn't have to shoot anybody. A mild improvement over the preceding week, certainly. By the time he comes over the rise in the road, his pace has hit a cadence that approximates relaxed as well, despite the everpresent tension that perpetually keeps his shape at subtle angles like a frame to a portrait. The slush makes him frown: son of the Mediterranean, it always would. A glimpse of the woman up ahead, however, brings him pause.



Is said with a soft smile from Eve, "You guys have been going through a rough times, I've seen." She says softly and looks down at the man she once kissed a while ago. "Bad people they are, hurting children." Eve looks sad for a moment and then holds her hand out to Teo so that if he wanted, he could climb up and sit next to her. "I've missed you." The seer says softly and then tilts her head at him, "Alex was angry about the girl, he hurt her for hurting you. Heart in the right place but you don't want to become those monsters."

Eve runs a hand through her hair. "And then there was the leader, the one whole killed /him/." 'Him' should only be to clear as Cameron. "I ran into him once, that Leech of theirs, he took a man's hand off." Eve says the last bitterly. "Should have shot him." Eve's expression is hard as she stares back up at the sky and blinks. "So much sorrow, so much pain."

Without hesitation, her hand is taken in his gloved one and Teo shifts his tall frame agilely up the ascent of rubble and concrete parts. Despite that he has all of his hate on for the Manhattan weather, he's familiarized enough with both the slipperiness it creates on the terrain and hatred, by now, to cope with both in the interest of a little bit of good company. It isn't until he's most of the way up and settling that he hears anything that makes him stiffen, an the fingers laced through her own shift uncomfortably. He expels a breath, opaque with cold.

"People are capable of going all ways, but seeing only one. I heard— a long time ago, there was another shot you couldn't bring yourself to take." Sylar. Before Teo's time. He was a glorified plumber, then; kind of wishes he was, still. "Signorina, I find it hard to hold a grudge against somebody with that problem after the week I just had." He says this like he's self-aware that probably makes him an idiot, his tone; by now, his voice itself has managed to heal from the strangle-job Flint did on him.

"I'm sorry for what you have been going through." Eve says and puts a hand on Teo's shoulder. "What happened to you?" she says placing a hand on Teo's thoart and then back to his shoulder. "What else have you been doing?" Eve's voice is soft and she looks at Teo with concern. "I've been worried but-" she stops and then finishes her sentence. "I became preoccupied so I couldn't offer my help sooner." Another thing is made known to Eve, "You look different, changed."

Does he? Instantly, Teo gets self-conscious in that silly way a boy does when he isn't very good at being self-conscious. A gloved hand goes to the top of his own head. "I need a haircut," he admits, haplessly. Somehow, the words don't come out constrained by the anticipation of pain that the touch to his neck somehow avoided eliciting, either because he's numb from the cold or because Eve was that gentle. He knows they're still visible: the marks, diminutive veins burst to mottle a dense haemorrhage-green and purple in the shape of one man's huge hand.

Hickeys fade off him in maybe half a week; this will take a little longer. "Ferrymen work. And recruitment for Phoenix. And accidents," he adds, characteristically rueful. He grins: his teeth show white against his ruddy skintone. "I should stop letting my guard down." Or hugging people. Hugging always gets him in trouble. Stabbed, throttled. "Be too much to hope, for you to be preoccupied by Christmas shopping and rainbows."

"You trust people, it's what makes you human," Eve says with a smile. "I have seen the accidents. I do hope Helena doesn't drive herself to nervous breakdown over here, also congratulations on your promotion." Eve winks and continues. "No time for Christmas shopping and rainbows when the world needs to be saved." Eve is silent for a moment and then she looks at Teo, some hair falls into her eyes as she says, "I want to help you guys." A simple request is all.

The Sicilian's eyes flare subtly brighter when she offers her congratulations: more paranoia than pride, though Teo lowers his eyes the next moment, in gratitude. "I trust people because I've fucked up so many times, myself. Lost too many fights. Forgiving people is because of the same. It's my curse." Her little white hand is tugged up through the air, and a kiss pressed to the top of her knuckles before he stretches his arm to length, tucks her hand into the warmth of her other. He pushes his own into his pockets and glances away, across the ruins, squinting under the glare of sun off snow.

"It could mean finally taking that shot," he hedges, quietly. "Are you sure?"

Eve merely listens to Teo as he speaks and then nods her head, "I understand." She says as her face drifts closer to kiss Teo on the forehead and she slowly withdraws. "I'm ready to take that shot, I should have taken it a long time ago." The singer's expression grows dark momentarily and then she looks at Teo again, "Just tell me what to do." She clasps her hands in front of her and looks out over the ruins. "So much destruction has already struck this city, we can't let it happen again. More importantly, we can't let the world experience this destruction."

Despite that Teo is incapable of failing to recognize honor when it's shown to him, even in small measurements, he has never been the kind of man who could bring himself to protect the women by locking them up at home. Which isn't to say he doesn't understand; only that his mother had done enough slapping him upside the head for treating female incompetency as anything worse than what his sex constantly struggles with. As it was for Elisabeth, so it is with Eve.

His mouth tightens slightly. "Nothing, yet. Do us a favor and keep an oracle's eye out. We have a few windows we're watching. I'll let you know when it's time to kick in a door, if you'll keep the information going both ways."

His voice catches on the end of the sentence in a way not unlike the little blow his breathing had taken when she kissed him, and then he smiles. "You're right," he answers. He probably means about that fact they can't let everything go tits up, but he adds to that after a moment: follows her back as she leans away, his shoulder bumping hers before his nose brushes her cheek, then his lips on her jaw, once. "Thank you for coming back."

"Will do. I'll let you know if I see anything." Eve says softly to Teo and closes her eyes as he comes in close and she runs a hand through his hair and traces his jaw with her finger. "It's good to be back, at least until this mess is all over with." She breathes in deeply. She expects that Teo will pull away again and be confused like he was before, she doesn't want to scare him off. Her gaze studies Teo waiting for his reaction before she shrugs lightly and decides to savor the moment. The seer closes her eyes and sighs in content. "I really have missed you."

When Teo smiles, Eve can feel it tugging at the corner of her mouth, the traction of skin on skin, his jaw slanting against her dainty finger. He turns his head the next moment, glances out over the snaggletooth remains of Midtown's skyline; doesn't withdraw from her space just yet, enjoying the proximity for what it is, and for as long as it lasts. Not long. He always has something to do. Abigail's on the agenda tonight; getting her home, seeing how she is. Fortunately for everybody involved, he turns off his brain long enough not to behave like a branded colt. "That goes both ways, ragazza," he answers.

Eve grins as well and she seems to notice that Teo won't be pulling away too soon. "I never told you that when you speak Italian is so sexy." Eve teases and then she places her hand on top of Teo's for a fraction of a second before she pulls away. "Come see me sing soon." She says into his ear.

"Everything sounds better in Italian," Teo agrees with something like a laugh, its airy contours delineated in translucent warmth rebuffed first by the curve of Eve's cheek then the next wind that steals by. His hand curls when she touches it, but there's no conscious recoil in it. For the moment, he's too busy not thinking about some things to overthink others. "I will. I'll find time." Somewhere. Waiting is something you can do while doing other things at the same time. "Orchid Lounge still?" He glances back in the direction of her whisper.

"The very same, people seem to like my singing." Eve says and squeezes Teo's hand gently and looks at Teo, their faces so close. "Have to try to find some kind of time to relax while saving the world, right?" Eve blinks and smiles softly at Teo. For the moment craziness seems to not be affecting her while she is with Teo.

Moderation is key. Too much of anything tends to send Teo's head off into wrong places, which is probably why people treat him like glass whenever they aren't stabbing, strangling, yelling at, working with, or straightforwardly punching him. He's a practical man. When practicality gives out, he doesn't really know what to do with himself. What she says makes sense.

He grins. "Si." People seem to like her singing. He does. "Do no one any good if we all lose our minds between now and go-time." He comes no nearer, but nor does he retreat, holding his weight on one arm and the distance without particular comment or ceremony. "I need to go," he remarks, after a moment. "I'll ask Wireless to text you my new number." It's changed since she had it last; a disposable.

Eve nods her head gently and then runs a hand down his face before she stands. "I have to go to." She says and looks as if she doesn't want to. "I'll see you soon. Don't get killed, ok? I don't think I could take it." The seer winks and hops down the pile of rubble and begins to walk away, singing softly but loud enough for Teo to hear. "All I want for Christmas is you." A chuckle escapes her lips as she continues to walk away.

December 14th: Make 'Em Bleed
December 14th: Old Faithful
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