eileen_icon.gif raith_icon.gif

Scene Title Circumstance
Synopsis Raith responds to the signal for an emergency at Eileen's apartment.
Date February 24, 2010

Fort Greene: Eileen's Apartment

It was a simple plan. Bran shows up, and Raith knows there's trouble at the coral. That's the reason he's taken time out of his very, very busy day (ha) to swing by Eileen's. The truth of the matter is that the half hour it took him just to arrive is not in her favor, but at least she can count on him to show up prepared for anything.

The longest part of the journey is, far and away, the walk from the stairs down the deserted hallways to her front door, screwing a suppressor onto the barrel of his Glock and then drawing a standard issue KA-BAR knife as he does. Ready for anything means anything. The fact that the door at his destination is opened just a crack could mean any number of things. Pressing himself against the wall just to the side of the door, Raith reaches out with his pistol and pushes the door opened further. When nothing explodes or jumps out at him, he moves into the doorway proper, shoulders the door opened fully and aims his pistol at the space in front of an around him, knife at the ready for close quarters combat. Nothing.


It looks like a hurricane blew through the apartment. Upended, the dining table is in pieces and a fine sprinkling of broken glass, splinters and other debris glitters on the dark floorboards. The only light on in the apartment is the one in Eileen's bedroom, its French doors thrown open but undamaged, and it reflects off the shallow sea of destruction.

Scattered droplets of blood not yet completely dry are a more worrying sign than the shattered furniture, but there isn't very much of it and it doesn't appear to belong to Eileen. She sits in the living area with her back to the wall, both her legs stretched out in front of her rather than folded beneath or drawn protectively into her chest.

The same light that causes the glass to twinkle illuminates the sheen of moisture clinging to her cheeks and draws attention to the puffiness around her eyes, which are rimmed in pink. Although she isn't anymore, she was crying at some point before he got here — the sleeve of the cardigan she wears on her small frame is still damp.

Crying. Never a good sign anymore. Raith doesn't venture into the apartment, not at first, but waits a few moments right where he stands for the scene in front of him to provide some clue that they aren't alone. A flick of Eileen's eyes to the left or right, someone's weight shifting on the floorboards, the belated flicking of the safety or cocking of the hammer on a firearm. When none of these occur, he takes another step inside and shuts the door with his foot, sheathing his knife first and then holstering his Glock before he approaches her, glass crunching under his boots.

He crosses the room in silence, careful not to step on the woman, before doing an about-face, pressing his own back against the wall and sliding down to the floor next to Eileen as if nothing were out of the ordinary. Another two seconds, and he breaks the silence. "You okay?"

"No." Eileen's answer isn't immediate. It comes in the seconds following the shaky release of the breath she'd been holding. She doesn't turn her head to look at him, either. Keeps her gaze focus straight ahead on the bedroom in front of her, the nightstand light left on and silver chain dangling over the short table's far side.

There's nothing particularly remarkable about her choice of focus unless you know what transpired here a little less than two hours ago, and Raith isn't privy to this knowledge. That's between Eileen and whoever's blood is on her floor.

"Course not," Raith says, "I wouldn't be here if you were." Reaching up with one hand, he removes his sunglasses, neatly folds them and places them in his coat pocket, using the time to think about the situation. And then using the several seconds after that to survey the damage. Door doesn't look like it had been forced opened. Nothing to "clean," but still spent casings on the floor. Whatever happened, it was still pretty serious. "You want to tell me what happened?" Raith asks, "It would go a long way toward me figuring out the full gravity of everything here."

"No," Eileen says again. She turns over the aviator sunglasses she's holding in her hands, bows folded, and glances down at her reflection in the lenses from behind wet lashes. She smears her thumb across one side, leaving a greasy smudge that distorts her likeness and the tangle of sweaty brown hair framing its face.

As Raith is depositing his own glasses in his pocket, she's reaching into hers. When it comes out again, there's slip of paper pinched between her fingers, which she holds out to him in offering. "We're done with Epstein." The paper crinkles audibly, rustling. "This is the address for Howard Lemay. He's a public affairs director from the Department of Homeland Security with ties to its one of its top coordinators."

The situation keeps getting better and better. "Sure hope he won't end up dead in an alley," Raith says in regards to Avi Epstein. But that's all. "What're we doing with Lemay? DHS isn't much better. No federal agency is clean right now." All the same, Raith takes that little slip of paper, which may as well be made of gold for the information it might give him.

"Just watching for now. I don't know how much he'll yield, if anything, but even a false lead is better than no leads at all." Eileen closes her fingers around Raith's hand he takes the slip from her, and she folds his around it into a loose fist. Her thumb traces the outline of his knuckles through his skin. "I chartered a boat for this weekend," she says. "I'm taking Gillian out to Pollepel Island to look at an old military warehouse and check it for structural integrity. I'd feel better if you came with us."

"I can make time," Raith replies. On the one hand, it's an unusual gesture on Eileen's part. Before he'd been called to her apartment to help care for a dying Eric Doyle, she wouldn't look in his direction, so much as touch him. Circumstances have a way of changing people, and the most dramatic changes of all come when the circumstances leave you no alternative. "Tell me the day and time. I can drive out with or meet you there, whichever makes the most sense."

It's funny Raith should say that, but Eileen lacks the emotional energy for even a breathy rasp of laughter. Nothing makes sense anymore. The cardboard tube he brought her from the Dispensary sits propped up against the wall nearby; at some point since her parole officer's departure and Raith's arrival, she rolled up her map and slid it back into its sheath for safekeeping.

She doesn't have a lot of possessions that are dear to her. For whatever reason, that flimsy piece of paper is among them.

"Thank you." Eileen bows her head, resting her chin on the back of Raith's hand, her breath warm and even. "I need this."

"I know." Raith doesn't elaborate on how he knows. He doesn't elaborate on anything else at this point in time. All he does is gently twist his hand free of Eileen's grasp and drape his arm over her shoulders, pulling her closer to him the way one might do for a sibling or an old and dear friend. Close enough also to test limits a bit and kiss the top of her head. He doesn't say anything because words aren't necessary. He's here and not about to vanish into the shadows like an unreliable phantom: That's what's important.

Eileen's head comes to settle against Raith's chest in a tired lean. Her hand finds his again as soon as it's secured a grip around her arm, and there's nothing amorous about the gesture, loving and affectionate though it is — she'd do the same to Ethan or Teo, were either of them here in his place.

As it happens, they're not.

A few residual pieces of glass are still caught in her hair and in the material of her cardigan, too fine to be dislodged by fingers. What's in her hair should rinse away the next time she takes a shower, which should incidentally be soon. Her face reeks of heat, sweat, salt. "I can't stay here tonight," she says, "but I don't want to go back to the Dispensary either."

"Yeah, I guess that would be needlessly risky," Raith replies, although he doesn't really it to Eileen or to anyone, simply vocalizing his inner thoughts. As he resumes speaking, he takes a few moments to straighten Eileen's hair. Not too much, due to the few flecks of glass in it, but enough so that it looks like a bit less of a mess. "I know a couple flats you can use for the night, no one's living in them. If you feel really daring, I could set you up in an alley with a cardboard box, but that doesn't seem much like your style."

"I have enough cash to rent a room at the Red Hook Speakeasy for a few days." Beneath her knit cardigan and top, Eileen's ribs are bruised and it hurts to breathe. She'll be sore in the morning, but apart from the purple mark on the crown of her head that she earned at the gala and exposed by Raith's idle hair brushing, she appears otherwise unhurt. "I need some time to figure out what I'm going to do before I come back."

If she comes back. Hesitation makes her voice tighter and more despondent than desolation does. Her attention drifts across the apartment to her coat hung up on the hook beside the door, then drops to her shoes set off to the side of the mat before coming back across the field of busted debris.

Either she braves it in her bare feet or she asks Raith to lift her over it. Both options are decidedly unappealing at the moment.

At the moment, there are probably few, if any options that are appealing to Eileen. "I can probably scrape together some extra if you need it," Raith says, sounding genuine if nothing else, "I can keep an eye on things here, too, in case they come back." 'They' obviously being whoever it was that messed things up around here to begin with. "Hold things for you, that sort of thing." But there is, of course, one other slightly more important question for Raith to ask.

"You want me to go with you?"

Eileen is proud. She isn't stupid. There is safety in numbers, and although she isn't afraid of being attacked by the individual responsible for the current state of her apartment, there are other people to consider. Sasha Kozlow. Emile Danko. The Speakeasy doesn't provide quite the same protection that Fort Greene does in terms of readily accessible escape routes — she takes a risk no matter where she goes.

Ferry houses aren't viable at the moment. Won't be again until she's confident she isn't being followed. "Yes," she says, "but just for the night. I'll ask for one of the suites with two beds."

"Doable," Raith replies, "You ready to get packing, or you want to sit down here a while longer? Either one's fine by me. For a change, I don't have anywhere to be."

"I'll pull a bag together." There are things Eileen will need. To name a few: her Glock, map, journal and a change of clean clothes from the steamer trunk she keeps at the foot of her bed. Medication. The pocket watch she'll take as well, and while the bloodstained dog tags in her jewelry box are better off where they are until she's in a place where she can attempt to make sense of them, she's sentimental enough to pack them too — if only so they aren't lost in the event that someone really turns her apartment upside down during her absence.

She's not ready to take them out. Won't be for a long time. "Will you bring me my coat and shoes?" she asks. "It won't take but a minute."

"Sure thing." Finally, Raith breaks contact with Eileen, standing up and trekking across the broken bits of everything to retrieve the items requested, leaving her to pack what things she needs to survive the next few days away from home. He doesn't stop, of course, with simply gather up her coat and shoes. He takes note of where everything in the room presently is, not in the hopes of noticing if someone returns and leaves something out of place, but to take stock of what surveillance techniques will work best. Especially those that don't require him to actively be present. As a final 'safety check' just before the two of them step out the door, he scoops the spent casings up off the floor. Evidence of a scuffle, he can live with. Evidence that Eileen possesses a firearm she shouldn't is not.

So much of both their lives, it seems, can be summarized with just four words: bullets and broken glass. Violence and bad memories. Hiding at the Speakeasy may by a few days of reprieve from it, but sooner or later, it'll catch up to both of them. Their best bet is to stay one step ahead of it, catch it off-guard and punch it in the teeth. More or less what they've been doing to each other before they realized the value of working together. As they say, one is the loneliest number.

Two gives them a fighting chance.

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