Butterfly Watching


delphine_icon.gif eileen4_icon.gif ethan_icon.gif

Scene Title Butterfly Watching
Synopsis …is something Ethan Holden will never do.
Date July 28, 2009

The Garden

In the waning hours of afternoon, the Garden is found to be a safehaven from the rest of the noise and debauchery that pollutes Staten Island. The cottage is a picture of serenity, a few birds sending up their songs in unison around the house, a few of the Lighthouse children playing in the backyard. It's a cozy and beautiful picture of safety in these troubling times.

"Son of a motherfucking cunt-bitch."

"Cock." Ethan adds in as an afterthought. Bringing his finger in front of him he practically glares it off, blood trickling out the side of it. Ethan's eyes dart to the children not playing too far off before he looks back to the project in front of him. The Brit is sitting with his back against a tree. Eileen beside him, with whatever it is she does when she sits against trees. Ethan had taken to carving, and when he made a mistake. Everyone knew about it.

His creation is a little bird. Though, still slightly deformed most could at least be able to tell that someone meant it to be a bird at some point. And whatever happened to it since then is anybody's guess. His knife is dropped on the ground as well as the stupid deformed bird and his hand is held pathetically in his lap. Owie.

"Maybe you should take up a different hobby," Eileen suggests without looking up from the paperback she has spread across her lap. It's a battered copy of The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger on loan from one of the Garden's other residents. A best seller when it was first published in 2003, the book has since become difficult to find on the shelves without ordering it in advance — but that's what happens when you write a story about a man with a genetic disorder that causes him to travel through time three years before the Evolved are made public knowledge. More than ever, People are curious; they want to read.

She touches her finger to the tip her tongue to wet it and turns the page. "Button collecting, butterfly watching, crochet…"

Whatever it is Ethan chooses to do in his spare time, as long as it involves staying in one spot. That would be useful, at least for the figure now tramping through the beaten forest path towards the cottage. Boots on her feet are perfect for such a hike, but the skirt that comes to her shins is in opposition, a patchwork design of hybrid silks and paisley colours. A black tank top clings to her torso, and sunglasses cover her eyes, hands gripping onto the olive green duffle bag that weighs heavy from her shoulder.

Delphine takes off the plastic frame and tinted glass from her face, wiping the back of her hand across her forehead as the cottage and those just outside of it come into view. Her hair has fallen out of the ponytail, mostly, that she had attempted to keep it in, fraying tendrils and limp curls.

She pauses, assesses, and stares when a somewhat familiar sight falls under her visual search. Oh, it could not possibly be this easy. "Ethan!" she calls out from beyond the gates that close off some of the property from the rest of the Greenbelt, and Delphine picks up the pace to a jog.

"Slapping you in the fucking mouth. Is that one?" Ethan growls. His finger goes into his mouth, and when it comes back out the gushy blood is gone. "This is fucking important. I'm going to make this, and you're going to give it to your children, and then they're going to give it to their children. It's going to be a motherfucking heiriloom, innut?" Ethan asks with just a hint of agitation. He goes to pick up the little figurine before pausing. "Hold the phone— "

"Did you fucking say butterfly watching? Fuck me. I need to go kill thirteen fucking people just because you suggested that. Fucking 'ell." Ethan says in overly exasparated tones. His knife is stabbed into the ground, angrily. But then his features immediately soften at that voice. Brows go high as he throws his head in the direction of the voice.

Immediately on his feet, Ethan is on the prowl towards Delphine. He's not running, that would demean him. But he's walking quickly-powerfully towards her. A smile curls up on his hard features as the two near each other.

"Allo love."

Now Eileen does look up from her book. Although she's never met Delphine before, it doesn't take her much longer than the obligatory pause to put a name to the stranger's face — the accent clinging to her breath helps, but it's Ethan's reaction to it that ultimately seals things. She remains seated, back resting against the tree's gnarled trunk, and plucks the knife out of the dirt by its handle, opting to watch the reunion reflected in the blade rather than turn her head and deny the couple a semblance of privacy.

She considers the discarded bird in contemplative silence, meanwhile, unsure of what emotion she should be feeling. That Ethan expects her to someday have children of her own causes some amusement to curl catlike at the corners of her mouth, but it's a smile that does not quite reach her eyes.

A brisk walk will do fine for now. Delphine is at the gate by the time Ethan is walking on over, hand curling around the bars and yanking them back to permit her through with a creak of rusty iron, the shuffle of clinging vines being forced to make away. The Irishwoman is unable quite to keep the smile off her face as she goes, skirt rustling and boots stamping into dirt with each stride. Once she's on the other side, the duffle bag drops with heaviness to the grassy ground, discarded as she takes quick steps on over, sunglasses folded and forgotten in her hand.

"'lo, you." She's not shy about winding her arms around his shoulders in a tight embrace, chin coming up to tuck on his shoulder, only a brief glance given to the scene behind him, the children and the girl and the home, before Delphine has her eye closed for the duration of the hold. "How've you been?" Where might be a better question, but she could ask the same of herself.

Swooping his arm around her back, Ethan lifts the woman off her feet into him. Letting his lips brush against hers, his free hand goes to run through her hair. "I've been absolutley lovely. Except I just cut my god damn finger. But nothin' you can't fix now that you're 'ere, eh?" Ethan asks… happily?!?

Going to allow her back onto her feet, he leans forward to plant another kiss on her. "How the 'ell, and where the fuck 'ave you been?" He asks, tone not angry even though the words imply it. With his arm still around Delphine, Ethan glances over his shoulder. "'Ey! You! Get over 'ere." The Wolf demands of Eileen.

Eileen abandons her book amongst the roots of the tree, trading it for Ethan's half-finished figurine. She rises in a series of slow, halting movements, one hand clutching at an overhanging branch so she doesn't lose her balance while she finds her footing. The other finds the knife a new home on her belt, its tip pointed downward to avoid any accidents. Four years has been plenty of time to get used to Ethan's brusque demeanor and the demands he places upon her. If anyone else had ordered her to get over here, she might be walking away in the opposite direction.

As she approaches Ethan and Delphine, she turns the figurine over in her hands a few times, saying nothing at first. All things considered, the expression she wears on her face is a patient one.

Though none of Phoenix are really here to tell, apparently a hug from someone you know and a couple of kisses does wonders. The wan smiles and the distance in the way Delphine had more often than not carried herself seems to have vanished now that something important has been restored, an arm curled around behind Ethan's back as he keeps her close once set back down on the ground. "Fine as ever, and Pinehearst," she responds, in order of the questions asked. "If it's not one fuckin' thing…"

It's another. From fighting rings to biotech companies, it's near all the same to her. She turns hazel eyes towards Eileen, offers a smile in greeting. Just like assumption was turned towards herself, there's presumption in the way Delphine looks Eileen up and down, although arguably warmer. "Afternoon," she greets.

"Pine'earst." Ethan repeats angrily. "We need to invest in cellphones, love." Ethan suggests before loosening his grip around the woman. "We would avoid a lot of 'assle if we used cellphones." Ethan gives her one last warm smile, before stepping to the side as Eileen approaches.

With Delphine on his arm, and Eileen approaching the warmth in his smile increases that much moreso. His hand reaches out to take the younger woman by the shoulder as she approaches. "Delphine, this is my princess, Eileen. Eileen, Delphine." A broad smile before he realizes.

"Holy fuck that rhymes."

Nice to meet you, is probably the appropriate thing to say in this situation. Or maybe I'm a friend of your brother's, though that isn't exactly true. Eileen settles on "Hello," instead and works her thumb along what might be the curve of the bird's wing. Ethan's hand on her shoulder doesn't do a lot to bolster her sociability. Neither does Delphine's apparent warmth.

"Sylar's had good things to say about you," she adds, almost as an afterthought, her voice taking on a slightly more temperate tone as she offers Delphine one of her small, pale hands. "Thank you. For helping him."

"Ah, yeah?" Delphine extends a hand readily, palm meeting Eileen's and fingers curling to give the younger woman a brisk shake. The smile that accompanies her words is wry at best, a skeptical rise to her eyebrows. "Sounds unlikely of 'im, but we did figure out we had some people in common. How's he doing, then?"

As she speaks, her hand seeks out Ethan's, bringing it around to inspect the cut in question, inspecting the red line and the smear of shining blood around it. "Sorry, love— looks like you'll have to settle for a bandaid," she says, a glance upwards at Ethan, smile faded a little at the edges. "Can't fix everythin'."

"Get me a bandaid then." Ethan grunts with a grin as he examines Eileen's features for a moment. Though it seems he gives up, squeezing her shoulder he releases before looking back to Delphine. "You knew Sylar? Guess that makes sense." He gives a shrug using the hand that Delphine was holding to interlock with hers. "Well this skips a step. I was planning on going out to find you. But now that you've come to our lovely.." His hand splays out at the cottage.

"Shithole." He ends, "We can go out and find the three of — four of us a place, roight?" He asks of Eileen and Delphine, making sure Eileen remembers the plan and now that Delphine is familiar with it.

"Better." Eileen's assessment of Sylar is short and to the point, not unlike most of the exchanges she's had with him in recent memory. Her hand falls back down and rejoins the other still toying with the wooden figurine, though her eyes do not descend any further than the bottom of Delphine's chin as she politely continues to scrutinize her from beneath her lashes.

She's not sure she sees the family resemblance there. The more she thinks about it, the harder it is to summon up a mental image of Julian's face — it's been a long time since she and Delphine's brother last saw one another, and the circumstances of that encounter are best left unremembered. "I ought to speak with Raith first," she tells Ethan. "He's offered me a job."

The most the two likely have in common is eye colour, in terms of the Kuhr siblings, and accent; such details quicker to fade in longer kept memories than anything else. While Julian looks like he could wither and die in exposed sunlight, Delphine's skin soaks it into a healthy tan, figure strong and lean as she rests a hand on her hip, assessing this little scenario and feeling not quite as nervous as she expected in meeting Ethan's oft spoken of Princess. Not so bad, really. Awkwardness being the least of her worries, lately.

She blinks, twice, at this plan Ethan states so plainly - baffled by the inclusiveness, the decisiveness. Hell, the easiness. "I've been lookin' to get out've the city lately," Delphine admits. "Got a couple of loose threads to tie up and then I think it best I disappear."

"Yeah. That sounds fuckin' great." Ethan agrees, his eyes swerving over to Eileen. Expecting her to immediately make an argument, Ethan speaks up first. "I was actually thinkin' of some place more.. local. We 'ave some stock round 'ere. Figured we would stick around. Keep an eye on things. Find a safe place, stick together." Ethan lets out to Delphine. Glancing back to Eileen, making sure that she's sated with those words.

Sated may not be the best word for it, but Eileen doesn't put up any verbal resistance to Ethan's suggestion. She offers him the figurine. "I'll let Bai-Chan know we should start packing his things," she says. "We need new IDs, paperwork. I don't trust what Vanguard left us with — it's too easy for people like Daiyu to track." Which is one of the reasons she has the phone Feng gave her in storage elsewhere on the island.

Gray eyes move between Delphine and Ethan, then drift back in the direction of the children playing closer to the cottage safehouse. "When do we need to be ready?"

Delphine nods slowly at what Ethan has to say, and doesn't immediately respond to him, a hand up to toy with the end of a long tendril of hair as she slides a glance towards Eileen. "These people— who keep places like these. Phoenix said they'd give me everything I need to vanish. I don't see why they can't help us vanish too, if that's what we need. Otherwise we can make our own way." All these 'we's and 'us', rattled off like a normal part of how this should go. Uncertainties are kept close, allowing herself to get swept up in the opportunity of ideal solution.

"Still got someone to help out, but after that…" Delphine studies Eileen for a moment, then nods to her. "Catherine— she said you needed my help too. That you needed fixin'."

"Fuck Phoenix." Ethan responds quickly. "You think I'm going to let those kids plan somethin' out for me?" The man asks indignantly. "I can set it up just fine. I've done this much enough in my life." He assures her. Eyeing Eileen's hand, he waves his own hand dismissively. "Keep it. Give it to your kids."

"'oo do you 'ave to 'elp out?" He asks, looking over at Delphine. Catherine. Psshaw. Then he looks back at Eileen. "You need 'er 'elp?" What kind of 'help' is that? His eyes dart back between the two women rapidly.

Eileen pockets the figurine at Ethan's insistence, her mouth creasing at its corners with tension caused by words that are probably best left unsaid. She cages them behind her teeth, swallows them back down. Kids. She isn't ever going to have any.

"Catherine's— persistent," she tells the other woman, and is tempted to leave it at that. Consternation knits her brow and draws creases across what can be seen of her forehead behind her bangs. "I haven't made a decision either way yet. There's someone I want to consult with first." To Ethan: "It's nothing serious."

Delphine opens her mouth, shuts her mouth. The secrets of girls aren't ones you're meant to just go pointing out to anyone. Opening up her sunglasses to hook them into the front of her shirt, freeing her hands, Delphine shrugs her shoulders at Eileen, a look as if to say, whenever you like. She turns her attention back to Ethan. "If you've got it sorted, I trust you," she tells him, with an air of relief that she could say such words. Ignorance is also bliss. She doesn't know the story behind Ethan's glance at the name Catherine, after all. "And I'm helping out of a friend of a guy who did the world a favour. Don't mind it, love."

Watching Eileen for a moment, he gives a little 'hmph'. Reaching out his arm engulfs Eileen's shoulders and brings her into his side. His lips are brought over, a brief kiss planted on the top of her head. "Alright princess." He says, a tad uncharacteristically. "Do what you've got to." The Wolf allows, his other hand sliding around Delphine's waist as well.

Pulling her close to his side, he leans over to plant a kiss on her as well. Though it's a tad different than the one given to Eileen. "Let's 'ead in ladies. We can get some dinner, but it can't take that long." He reminds, "I've got butterfly watching to do tonight."

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