Consider The Facts


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Scene Title Consider The Facts
Synopsis Phoebe tries to knock some sense into Joseph while Deckard leers on.
Date August 2, 2009

Old Lucy's: Upstairs

Everything is clean, and Deckard isn't here. That should be enough to not feel nervous about Phoebe Thornton's expected arrival, and yet— and maybe this has to do with the boarding rooms being above a coyote ugly bar, or the subject matter at hand, or a fair amount of other things— and yet Joseph is. The door is left wide open so that anyone directed upstairs can find their way, and the pastor finds himself pacing from one wall to the other. Afternoon light is all that's needed to illuminate the nicely furnished room, curtains thrown back to permit it inside. The TV is turned off, and debris like old clothing, beer bottles, and at least one sawed off shotgun have all been put beneath the proverbal rug.

Joseph himself could use a vacation, though he's dressed like he's at least taking a leave of absence. Sneakers worn for the sake of decency are mostly covered by the hems of jeans, with a plaid shirt buttoned towards the throat, sleeves rolled to his elbows. Bruises to his face have softened their severity over the course of a couple of days, now, fainter shadows ebbing away.

Upon the sound of foot steps, he abruptly stops pacing, back going as straight as a steel rod as he angles a looking towards the door.

One can almost feel Phoebe coming up the stairs. While she is not stomping, or making a great deal of noise, there is a pointed aura of disapproving chagrin that washes before her like the tides of the ocean. While that might be slightly intimidating for good Pastor Sumter, and while Phoebe is most assuredly more then a little put out with Joseph, it might be marginally comforting to know that she has directed Mosha to wait for her downstairs. Since at the moment Mosha's dearest wish is to make Joseph bleed? Well, it is probably a wise choice on Phoebe's part.

Since the door is open, Phoebe comes to a halt exactly over the threshold, her lips pressed tight in an expression of pointed disgruntlement as she folds her arms over her chest and silently watches the pastor pace the length of the room. Needless to say, when he turns around to make the return trip he'll find himself face to face a very unhappy Phoebe Thornton. Until that time, however, she is content to wait exactly where she is.

Vibes. Social cues. Picking up on whether someone is happy or not so happy to see you, and all that entails. Unfortunately, Joseph isn't oblivious to these things, and possibly more unfortunate, he cares about them. There's a pause when Phoebe falls under his attention, slightly deer in the headlights, before he manages a smile. It's not insincere, necessarily. "Afternoon, Ms. Thornton," he says, and dark eyes dart over her shoulder as if expecting to see the intimidating shadow of Mosha looming up behind her.

Small mercy that this isn't so. Joseph waves a hand towards where there's a table and chairs towards the kitchen, the sweep of his gesture indicating the seats within the living area too. Come, we have furnishing. "Why don't you come on in, take a seat? Is— everythin' okay?"

"Mosha is waiting downstairs," Phoebe notes in the sort of tones a mother uses to menace a child with the eventual arrival of thier father and thier Doom. "You will want to thank me for that kindness at some point." Again, it is a statement, not a suggestion. The gesture to enter is, for the moment, ignored, neatly manicured fingers begining a slow drum against the sleeve of her jacket. "That," she notes in those same ominously maternal tones. "Is an interesting question, Joseph." /Joseph/, not Pastor Sumter. "You see, everything was not alright when I was unwittingly drawn into The Ferrymen. Have I," she adds in almost conversational tones. "Mentioned that I do -not- approve of terrorism?"

Rather then wait for an answer, she spikes a brow and continues speaking. "Of course, while I was mildly chagrined to learn somehow you reasoned that it would be quite acceptable to engage in that endeavor without consulting me? I was willing to overlook it, albeit with a mild scolding." And one might think that she was finished there…. One, however, would be wrong.

"When, however, I recieved a cellphone call from the gentlemen who, and I quote, kicked your head in? I found myself, again, far less then pleased with the lack of discretion displayed. Needless to say, Mosha is far more displeased then I. Mind you, he lapsed into Yiddish so I am not entirely certain what he was yelling. I do, however, know that your name was very prevalent in the rant."

The hand that was extended in gesticulation comes to rest at his side as Phoebe begins, thumbs nervously hooking into the pockets of his jeans and otherwise, Joseph patiently listens, gaze now and then tracking towards the floor before returning to the older woman's face. He does, at one point, open his mouth to protest the word terrorism, but has some sense not to interrupt, teeth clicking together as he shuts his mouth once more.

Then, that last part has his stomach sinking, rue and apology written into his expression smoothing into a far more stunned one in its place, almost forgetting that he's being lectured altogether, a hand going out as if he could rewind the conversation back to a certain place.

"You were— he called you?" Joseph stammers out. "Oh— gosh. Ms. Th— Phoebe. I'm sorry, I got attacked a couple of days ago in my apartment, and— and he must've— I think he got contact details or somethin', I didn't think he'd— I didn't think to check."

"MmHmm." Not exactly a sympathetic sound, that. Of course, Joseph isn't in the hospital, or dead, so Phoebe feels no guilt in being openly peeved with the Pastor. She does, however, wait for him to finish speaking, allowing that silence to drag on just to the point of becoming mildly uncomfortable. The moment it does, however, she gives a single shake of her head. "It was an unfortunate occurence," she states plainly. "Apparently our 'friend' is either stupid or incredibly uninformed on my personal security. While it was marginally distressing to know I was being watched as we spoke, I have every confidence that, eventually, Mosha will put a bullet in the gentleman's head." No remorse there, at all. After all, 'Charles' had insulted her daughter.

Joseph brings a hand up to rub the back of his neck, as if trying to will away the tension there, fingertips digging in. He doesn't verbally agree to the act of murder being proposed, out of his hands as it is, just nods once at the idea that Phoebe is plenty and ably protected. "You just keep safe," he utters, words coming on the tail of a sigh, hands coming around to rub wearily at his face, moving to lean against the arm of the sofa without actually sitting down, as if it were impolite tp do so. "What did he have to say, anyway? Did he threaten you?"

"He suggested that I reconsider those with whom I choose to association. I presume, of course, this means yourself and the Ferrymen." Of course, Phoebe doesn't point out that she /didn't/ choose to associate with the Ferrymen (Joseph chose that for her). Her expression, however, makes that unstated point abundantly clear. Of course, it is followed with an annoyed sigh and another single shake of her head. "Unfortunately for your 'friend' I am as Irish as they come. Telling me -not- to do something is the surest way of making certain that that is exactly what I do." A fact, no doubt, which frazzles Mosha to no end. "So, what steps are our 'friends' taking to assure your continued presence amongst the living? I presume you will alert them to the fact that thier identities are likely to be known by our enemies?" Again, not really a question.

"Word's gotten out," Joseph assures, with a nod, not quite relaxing but translating nervous energy into pragmatism rather than stutters, pacing and hand wringing. "I'll see about contactin' people I know more directly, but— I promise it'll be taken care of, long before he can get any closer to— to you. He's— he's targeting people who're more'n capable of dealing with the likes of him."

For reasons the pastor chooses not to spell out here and now. He takes a breath, lets it out in a sigh, and fixes an earnest look on the philanthropist. "I'm really sorry about all this. I truly am, startin' from— gettin' you tied in without proper telling you. If I had any idea it would've come close to bein' like this, than you can bet I— I dunno if I'd've even mentioned it to you, let alone…"

A vague hand wave is meant to complete the sentence. "I don't want to get anyone hurt."

Word has gotten out.

Phoebe stares at Joseph for a long moment before noting pointedly. "Word was not gotten to me, Joseph." No, she had to find out from 'Charles'. "Had word gotten to me, I certainly wouldn't have put myself in a position to be shot be even a half blind, one armed sniper." Yes, she is far less then pleased about /that/. "For what it is worth? I know that it is not your intention to get anyone hurt. However, the very nature of what you are engaging ensures that, at some point, someone is going to hurt." Drawing in a slow breath, she releases it on a sigh her head giving a slow shake as she finally steps into the apartment. "You are a man of god, Joseph, not a card carrying terrorist. Why are you pursueing illegal and potentially lethal means of effecting your changes? I know that you cannot be oblivious to the fact that your congregation is now in danger by virtue of this occurence…"

Flint Deckard has a way of making quiet entrances when he doesn't have to knock. Probably has to do with years of looting, thievery and generalized criminal mischief. Also the fact that he has a key, in this case. 6'2", grizzled hair and beard growth buzzed down into a uniform sort of scrub brush bristle, he closes the door up as soundlessly as he slid in through it. Perhaps fortunately for the impression Joseph might be hoping to make with his friends, he's in a suit. Perhaps unfortunately, he is also in the same cowboy boots he was wearing the other night.

The overall effect lands him soundly somewhere between gentleman convict and snakeoil salesman, but the stink of whiskey about him is fainter than usual and the bottle of vodka he's swinging along in his left hand is unopened, so. All in all things…could be worse. Especially if Phoebe turns around and catches him sizing up her back end speculatively from all the way across the living area.

Phoebe's words chip away at already shattered faith and conviction, but Joseph has enough of it left to fold his arms and simply listen, expression grim and otherwise accepting of rebuke. There's a flinch or two at certain things she has to say, and then a headshake of denial. "It ain't like that— word got out late. The things he said— I didn't imagine he'd go after you," is the beginnings of his defense, around the time Deckard is ghosting into the apartment. Joseph's gaze unstoppably switches from Phoebe's face to over her shoulder, towards the lanky older man, because, you know, the day could get worse if it really tried hard.

He clears his throat and, despite himself, latches onto distraction. "Flint, hi," he says, perhaps to shatter the amount of time Deckard has to ogle, indignance on the woman's behalf flaring in a sharp look from the pastor. "Phoebe, this is— Flint. Flint, Phoebe— he's a part of the Ferry." There, adequate explanation. Mostly.

There is a man standing behind her…..

To her credit Phoebe doesn't turn around. Instead, she keeps Joseph pinned with an unflinching gaze, one brow slowly spiking in response to the attempted distraction. No, she isn't about to let that go. "I sympathize with your distress, Joseph." And really? She does. "But that doesn't change the facts. Whoever our 'friend' is, he knows who /you/ are and I do not, for one moment, believe that he is the sort of person to resist taking out innocents to achieve his goal." Innocents in this case being the congregation. "While you may not want to hear it, it doesn't change the facts. And that is something you are going to have to consider. Quite frankly, the very best way to get to you is to actively go after your flock. A point it would be wise to consider before now, but still needs to be considered."

It is at that point that Phoebe directs a glance over her shoulder at Flint, one brow spiking at the sight of the vodka bottle. "Excellent, I would /love/ a drink, thank you."

Brows hiked and jaw slack, it doesn't take Deckard long at all to field and return Joseph's unspoken censure with needling appreciation, implied high fives, etc etc etc all the way up until his name comes out of the pastor's mouth all italicized and he's forced to straighten himself up. Annoyance bites through the blue of his eyes and hardens at the scruffy set of his jaw (fun killer) but it doesn't last. He's already fading back into default surlyness when he starts to circle around Phoebe's hinder for the kitchen area, giving her one last apprising look in the process.

The vodka comment gives him pause — almost like he forgot he was holding the bottle at all. Progress slowed to a half turn back towards her, he looks dimly to the bottle in his hand, then to Joseph. The hell. Did he tell her he was the butler or something?

Deckard is awarded with a tight and ultimately helpless smile from Joseph, quick to dim away. Sorry, sorry. He wants to apologise to everyone in the room but instead his hands just kind of raise and then fall. The matter at hand remains unaddressed and incomplete, and he's not as good at getting to the point as the woman he's verbally sparring with. The matter of a drink can be sorted out between the two others in the room.

"I'm considerin' the facts. Considerin' the heck out of 'em, believe me. But it's done. I made a mistake along the way, attracted this man's attention, and I can't in good conscience— cut ties now to the only people I think're remotely capable of helpin' me. To the people I put in danger." Another hand gesture, indicating both of them. "There's nothin' I want more'n to protect my own flock, and— "

His shoulders slump a little beneath the plaid, hands coming to rest on his hips. "If you got any suggestions about what to do next, I'd sure appreciate it."

Nonplussed, Phoebe's regard returns to Joseph, her arms refolding firmly over her torso. "I would suggest that you consult with the Ferrymen and try to get some information on this man. Unfortunately, until you have some idea of what you are dealing with you can not effectively formulate a threat assessment. /How/ you go about discerning that information is not my area of expertise. Sadly, my ability has a mind of it's own and only works on the occassion." And hey, on the upside? If Phoebe's paintings are correct? We'll all drown in a flood anyway! Yeah, not real helpful, but still. "You mentioned that he attacked you in your apartment? I can have Mosha go over the premises if you like. He may be able to find something that will help identify your attacker." Drawing in a slow breath, she purses her lips and grimaces mildly, her shoulders rising and falling in a slow shrug. "If worse comes to worse I can see about having Mosha call in some of his former associates. Considering you recent associations, I doubt you will offer too objection to having armed bodyguards around." Besides, former mossad would come in awfully handy in the event of a counter attack. "Really, it depends on how dangerous this man is likely to become."

Answerless and still vaguely baffled, Deckard glances between the pair in tandem with their individual arguments, then carries on soundlessly for the kitchen, where he can be seen shuffling around for glasses tall and short once he's twisted the cap off the vodka bottle. Various clankings and clinkings accompany the effort. Short glasses eventually win out over tall after a moment's weighing consideration. Short in this case meaning shot, save for the doubleshot he pours carefully for himself.

"If worse comes to worse," Joseph says, with in implication that it won't in his voice, a hand out to placate then tucked back into the arms folded across his chest, mirroring Phoebe's posture unconsciously. "I don't know if he'd find anything— but if you'd care to, sure." There is a hiiint of reluctance in his voice, there. Mosha is a scary dude, and maybe having himd know where he lives isn't ideal.

A sideways glance is given towards where drinks are being poured, but no other acknowledgment, focused on the woman standing opposite. "There's actually— you know, I got the number of someone who might be able to help me out in tryna figure out who this guy is. I'd like to know where the heck he got all that information from, too.

"But— " Because this was a sticking point that Joseph did not get to deny, he returns to it. "The Ferry isn't terrorism, Phoebe. Come on, now, I wouldn't be— doin' anything like that." Ha ha. Ha.

"MmHmm." No, Phoebe isn't buying /that/. That much is clear from the stare she keeps trained on Joseph's face. "We are not going to argue that, Joseph. You are a pastor and an adult and we both know better then that. If you choose to walk blindly into that dark night that is your decision." Not terrorists. Indeed. "As for the other, if you prefer not have Mosha look into the matter that is fine with me. One way, or another, he will find out who our mystery enemy is and deal with the matter." She is more then confident in Mosha's abilities apparently. Silent a beat, she slants a glance toward the kitchen, regarding Deckard in silence before sharp blue eyes sweep back to Joseph. "Who are you planning on getting involved in this?" Yes, she would like to know and she would like to know now. "Under the circumstances I am disinclined to remain outside the loop." So spill it, Pastor.

Shots 2 and 3 tipped off with a practiced dip and lift of the vodka bottle, Deckard declines to intervene in things that he'd rather pretend not to know about while Phoebe is being scary about them. He'll be fucked if he's going to scurry around delivering drinks to the pair of them, though. Both shots that aren't his are deposited carelessly on an island section of kitchen counter open to the living area where they can come over and get them themselves while he nurses his doubleshot like an oddly shaped glass of water and tracks his way over to the refrigerator.

Joseph's back is a little rigid around the time he's being reminded he's an adult, the prior earnestness sapping away although not quite enough to show anger, or irritation. He has enough insight not to, easing out a sigh and nodding once, shortly. No, we aren't going to argue about it! Moving on. He distracts himself from doing anything like snapping at the woman by steering towards the two vodka shots, picking them up and holding one out at arms length towards Phoebe.

"An investigator, who can see the past through a mirror," Joseph states, words coming out simple and informative. "She did some unofficial looking into the vandalism that I told you about, a while back. I never saw this guy's face but I wasn't exactly conscious the whole time either." Subtle guilt trip is subtle, and potentially ineffective, but there it is.

Phoebe is not an easy woman to guilt, unfortunately. And while she /does/ care that Joseph was hurt, she's stubborn and Irish enough not to let so much as a hint of that show on her face. "Well then it sounds like you have everything well in hand." Not. And that is fairly obvious in her tone. Yes, she is miffed with the good pastor and she is not about to let that go quiet so quickly. She does, however, take the drink, her lips pressing into a mild frown as she stares silently down at the contents.

That, of course, is when Deckard's phone rings.

Bzzzzzzzzzzrrr. Refrigerator door open, Deckard pauses in his squinting in at the contents to straighten his spine and turn his head down after the sound of his own buzzing. Bzzzzzrrrr. Flat mouth slanted into a frown, he swaps his remaining shot from right hand to left and keeps the fridge door propped open with his elbow so that he can drop his phone out've his pocket and flip it up to his ear. Where did the Chinese leftovers go? Did he eat them? :(a "Deckard."

Joseph is glancing towards where Deckard is answering his phone, which at least breaks up his own staring into his glass by way of distraction. Curiousity is subtle and doesn't have him immediately asking who is it, turning back towards Phoebe. Things are too formal and she seems too angry for Joseph to try any meaningful arm touches, but he does step closer. "I'm workin' on it," he says, quietly, earnestness filtering back in. "This is kind of new to me, still, but I won't let this get any more out of hand than it already has."

Phoebe doesn't look up from her glass just yet. Instead, she watches the contents with a sort of rapt concentration before noting frankly. "This is not the kind of thing you should be involved in at all." It is at that point that she looks up and directly into the Pastor's gaze. Disapproval? There is a hint, yes. "You are a man of god, Joseph. Stepping onto the twilight path, even for the noblest of reasons, is the surest route to ruin." She is mother, there is simply no way that she can be less then that. "I wish I could say otherwise," she admits honestly. "I wish I could could offer you assurances that this is the right path to take…." And here she finally tosses that shot back, her breath held for a moment before being released through her nostrils.

"Hey, old man," is the all-too-familiar (to Deckard) voice on the other end of the line as it's answered, casual, "Abigail told me she asked you to check on Sumter, was in kind've a panic. Everything turn out alright?"

"Yeah." Ffffucking…leftovers. Are gone. Great. Resigned to the chilly hunger sitting like a rock in his gut, Deckard nudges the fridge closed again with his scruffy head and looks instead to a fruitbowl sitting nearby. There are bananas. Half an ear tipped to the conversation still going on in odd starts and stops between Phoebe and Joseph, Deckard leans to squint at the visible portions of both of them, then downs the rest of his shot. "We're fine. Staying above Old Lucy's. There's someone here bitching at him about nobility and getting people in trouble or something."

An impatient release of breath is exhaled in something resembling a sigh, gaze shifting from her in mute resentment that manifests only in the set of his jaw for a moment, a hand up to scratch the back of his neck, the other neglectfully holding onto the vodka shot.

"I know what I am," Joseph mutters, still quiet, as if in respect of Deckard's phonecall. "I haven't done anything wrong, Phoebe, aside from try to help people who need it most, and associate myself with those who do the same. I'm not trying to be noble, I'm trying to help. There's a sentiment amongst Baptists that you can pray, and go to church, and preach all you want, but if you don't live your convictions then you're just as damned."

And that's his turn to knock back the vodka, a wince crossing his features at the bite of the alcohol, reaching to set it down. "'sides. You're not givin' up now, are you? You said."

In the wake of Deckard's comment, Phoebe slants a glance in his direction, one brow arching faintly before she looks back at Joseph. 'See,' her gaze frankly states. 'This is not the road a man of God travels'. Rather then state it aloud, however, she lets that single look and her expression do the point making for her. It is only once Joseph has finished speaking that Phoebe finally responds. "Everyone I love has already been taken from me, Joseph." She has nothing left to lose. "You on the other hand are vulnerable and if the man who called me is half as predatory as he sounds? He will not hesitate to attack you through your flock."

"Oh… kay." On the other end of the phone, Cardinal pauses a moment, "So what the fuck happened? She said she got a call from some guy that he'd been attacked? She was pretty freaked out about the whole thing, I had to talk her out've coming home early."

"Dunno. Sumter thinks the guy that attacked him called her. Sounds like one of the F…one of the operatives that went to check on the coordinates the guy gave wound up getting shot." Shot glass clinked down so that it can be refilled once Deckard's grabbed up a banana and meandered back over to the vodka bottle, he pours as deftly as before despite only giving the effort about 1% of his attention. "I dunno who this lady is."

Maybe if Joseph throws a sheet over Deckard— instead, the pastor shrugs kind of helplessly at Phoebe. He didn't even meet Flint through the Ferrymen. Blame New York. "Then let me reassure you— I am first and foremost a pastor of the Guiding Light," he says. "My flock's safety is my priority. My flock's ability to have access to the Ferry is just as important in some cases— people need help, sometimes, real help." Even as he continues to speaking to Phoebe, his gaze tracks on over towards Deckard upon hearing his own name. "There's always gonna be risk. But I won't let that risk be needless." And then, more directly addressing the other man, he gives a quizzical raise of an eyebrow.

There are a thousand arguements Phoebe could offer, all of them practical and all of them valid. Instead, she remains silent and steps across the room to set her glass on the counter. It is as she turns around and calmly smooths her suit jacket with one hand that she affords Joseph a fractional nod. It is, by no means, a nod of agreement or understand. More like one of those nods that makes it clear she is not going to waste breath argueing the matter. "Well then, I suppose I should I take my leave." Stepping away from the counter, she pauses near Joseph and notes, "If you need anything, call me." Lord knows she didn't have to extend /that/ invitation to 'Charles'.

Oh my god, Deckard is using discretion over the phone. And— and the last time Cardinal saw him, he turned down booze. This is just more evidence that the life-generating power-entity-thing has some sort of affect on its host's personality! …or else Flint's just having some sort of psychotic break, that's possible too. "Motherfucker. Don't tell Abigail that, she'll fucking cripple herself out've guilt," the thief mutters, "Okay. But Joseph's okay, then? And who's the woman?"

"He's fine. And she'll find out," muttered over the line with dreary resignation, Deckard pushes the bottle up where he left the shot glasses for them in the off chance either of them wants to pour themselves a refill. The phone is shifted up onto his shoulder so that he can work on peeling his banana in the meanwhile, brows lifted back at Joseph only briefly so that he can free up his attention for checking Phoebe out again sidelong. "I just said I dunno. Kind've hot though. In an acronym kind of way."

Nnno. Nooo. Joseph looks a little dismayed as Phoebe goes to leave, but doesn't offer a protest, regret in that he didn't simply fold to her argument making his brow furrow but otherwise he nods back, the sharp angles of an unfinished, unresolved argument making silence sharp. "I'll do that," he agrees, quietly, shoulders losing their tension. "And— you can call me if you need anything too. Just— "

There's a pause, before he decides not to dignify Deckard's peanut gallery phone commentary with even a scathing look, and finishes with words direct to Phoebe instead; "I am sorry. You— take care."

Canting her head, Phoebe regards Joseph for a moment in silence, her shoulders rising and falling on a quiet inhalation. And yes, she is steadfastly pretending she cannot hear Deckard on the phone. Instead, she reaches out and lightly touches Joseph's arm. "Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life." She doesn't qualify the quote, having faith Joseph'll recognize it. "Just be careful, Joseph," she states quietly. "You may be willing to take risks to do what you think is right, but are you making that choice for others as well?" Does his flock know the risks? Are they willing to see thier sons and daughters in harm's way? "This man… he did not strike me as the sort to care who he kills, young, old, woman or child. I would hate to see you have to carry the burden of lives lost." Drawing in another slow breath, she slants a glance at Deckard, one brow finally arching in response to the acronym comment. Oh really?

Her attention returns to Joseph, however, lips pursing at the dismay. "I can and will help you, you know that. But you have to give me some indication of what you want to happen."

"Yeah, well— just let her find out after she gets back from her vacation, alright? I had to jack a mercedes to pay for the tickets," Cardinal replies crankily, "And she deserves at least a couple've weeks of peace if anybody does. Anyway, lemme know if you hear anything about who the fuck this guy was, okay?"

"You think I want her to come home early with all this shit going on?" That sounds more like Deckard, coarse irritation crackling harsh across the line. Up until he takes a bite off the end of his banana and absorbs Joseph's lack of acknowledgment with a rankle at his nose. After that it's kind of hard to sound legitimately pissed. Fortunately, Cardinal can't see (or hear, as he tips the phone away) him grinding away at soft fleshy banana, so. The effect probably isn't overly mitigated over distance.

Possibly worst of all is the slant of a half smile he credits Phoebe's glance, which borders upon sinister. So much for the whole pretending to be normal for Joseph's sake thing.

A reminder of judgment and end times in conjunction with the possible burden of which she speaks isn't exactly something Joseph can argue with. "I understand," he says, not dismissively, a hand coming to cover her's, just briefly, before retracting with a step away. "And I will. And I'll let you know what I find on this man so you can be a step ahead if there's a next time."

"Oh there will be a next time, Joseph," Phoebe assures. If she got anything out of the conversation with 'Charles' it was the assurence that there would be a next time. It is that very assurence that stirs her to frowning and stating, "You are welcome to stay at my manor, Joseph. I don't care who this man is, there is far less chance of him getting past Mosha's defenses then he might like to think." Of course, that means Joseph would be living with Mosha, a thought that is probably vaguely disturbing. Deckard's smile, as sinister as it might be stirs Phoebe's lips to twitching the vaguest hint of laughter to humming in her chest. Fortunately, that takes some of the tension out of the air, at least on her part.

"No," replies Cardinal from over the line, "Especially not with— well, anyway. I just wanted to call, make sure everything was a'ight and all, she was freakin' out. I'll call her back." There's a pause, "And, uh, how're you handling shit, man?" He wasn't in good mental shape last they talked.

"Everything's fine. Except for the dead chick." That's less fine. Also the hand touching and offers of move ins…Deckard slants a dimly confused look between the pair and holds off a second bite of banana. Too distracted. The edge to his expression dulls while he attempts to do the math there, then there's Cardinal's voice still in his ear and he's forced to swallow. "Sorry? I think you're cutting out."

The offer calls for some surprise from the pastor, and a hitch of a pause before he ducks his head. "That's very kind of you— f'now I'm gonna stay up here, until I talk to a couple of the Ferrymen about everythin'," Joseph states, most of his tension gone in favour of something more flustered. "Right now let's just have Mosha keep an eye on the one person." The chuckle of her's in Deckard's direction has a quick glance from Joseph, to what it is he missed, before dismissing it in the next moment.

"Understandable," is Phoebe's response to Joseph. Glancing back at his face, she offers a tired and obviously worried smile before producing a gold embossed business card from her pocket. "My new number." She changed it. Obviously. "Call me once you figure out what you are going to do." That said, she glances over at Deckard and offers, "It was very nice nearly meeting you, Mister Deckard. Enjoy your evening, Gentlemen," is stated as she heads for the door and the bodyguard waiting patiently downstairs. As an aside, Joseph can say whatever he likes, Phoebe is still going to hire bodyguards to shadow his every move. One cannot, after all, be too careful.

Probably a bad time to broach the subject again, then. "Heh. Alright. I'll talk to you later, old man," replies Richard, his tone touched with rue, "Watch yourself."

"You too," comes out — reasonably politely, for a Deckard driven response, even if his brows are skewed up at an odd angle between Joseph's glance and pursuant awkwardness with Cardinal over the phone. Unfortunately, he doesn't realize that what he's said applies to both conversations until he pulls the phone away from his head to check and see if Card is still there. Christ. Oh well.

The card is taken with a nod, and then a fleeting smile as she makes her departure, the piece of cardboard restlessly flicked against his fingers. "Will do. You have a good evenin', Ms. Thornton," Joseph quietly tells her back, and then tilts just a little to watch her go before he's backpedaling about three feet backwards so as to collapse into the sofa on the most world weariest of gestures, an elbow resting against the arm of the sofa and his head balanced against.

"Coulda gone better," he notes, to the room in general. In case anyone had any doubts.

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