Divide By Pie


gabriel_icon.gif raith_icon.gif

Scene Title Divide By Pie
Synopsis Raith attempts negotiations by way of dessert, but he forgot the ice cream.
Date March 12, 2011

Old Dispensary

Remote and backward though it is, the old medical dispensary on Staten Island does mange to contains a few surprises as to the range, quantity and quality of food its kitchen is capable of producing. Unfortunately, 'pie' has yet to make it onto that list, and while the equipment is present, the ingredients are another matter entirely. The three pies that Jensen Raith has managed to procure and place, hot from the oven, on the table are not homemade: They are single serving Hostess Fruit Pies, two apple flavored and a single cherry. Best he can do for the time being, but good enough. Everybodyloves pie.

The exact occasion for the pies in the kitchen have to do with a necessary meeting regarding a sensitive subject. Sitting at the kitchen table, Raith waits for the other party to the information exchange to arrive, have alerted him with a vaguely-worded hand-written note slid under the door leading to the attic. All that's left to do is wait, somewhat nervously, for things to get started. Hopefully before the pies get cold. Or after: They're Hostess Fruit Pies. Not exactly something most people go out of their way to eat.

Notes are there to be read. Responded to, answered and obeyed are a little shiftier.

But nine times out of ten, Gabriel does, especially the vague ones, what with his natural curiousity and plenty of time on his hands to investigate. The scent of box pie gives him pause in his wander downstairs and approach to the kitchen, dressed in casual at home wear, in rough knit sweater, jeans, feet in socks and hands bare save for where they are marked in paint. The scent of the stuff clinging to him, in fact, dried flakes of it on his sleeves, a drying smear near his wrist. Greens and oranges.

Is he being bribed with food? Again? His heavy head tips to the left, before he continues on into the kitchen, giving the display— Raith included— a dubious look.

"No ice cream?"

"No ice cream." It's with a note of sadness that Raith gives this reply, although it might not be clear whether or not he means it facetiously. But regardless, the older man gesture to the chair across from the one he's sitting in. "Have a seat anyway, have some pie. Got something I want to talk to you about, and I'll try to keep it brief.

"More of a heads-up than anything, I guess, just so you know what I'm thinking of." And when does Raith ever give anyone a heads-up before he does anything? Whatever it is he has to say, he keeps quiet until Gabriel has decided whether he'll sit or not.

Gabriel scrapes the chair out in grand obligation — the least he can do, for the sake of being prepare dessert. He sits, and pulls a slice of the cherry towards him, picking out a fork to poke into the temptingly sharp tip of the slice. Slides it off the end of his fork with his teeth, shooting a look to Raith as if the worth of this conversation will be judged by his skills at heating frozen pie. Wrinkles his nose as he chews, and sets the fork back down.

"It could use some ice cream. I'm guessing you imagine that whatever this heads-up is, I'm not going to want to hear it."

"No, I'm almost one hundred percent sure you aren't going to want to hear it." Raith is, if nothing else, honest on this point. A momentary wringing of his hands is the only indication that there is some degree of anxiety felt. Instead of belaboring the point, or attempting to 'soften' the blow, he moves almost immediately into the explanation of what's going to happen. "Long story short," the ex-spy begins, "We need as many hands as we can get. I know you aren't going to like the idea, so I'm telling you ahead of time instead of just blindsiding you one day, because it's my intention to ask Epstein to join up."

"What do you expect these extra hands to be doing?"

If Gabriel is surprised by Raith's proposal, it's muted by swift reply, the ducking down of his stare towards bitten pie, and picking up his fork again. May as well eat. "Does he have connections you don't? Because as far as I can tell, he's been exiled. Kicked out of the nest by one of me. He's old, overweight, and he has one eye. And he hates me." Those two last things being quasi-related. "Knew the government was out to execute me from the beginning of the Apollo misions.

"Is it friendship?" This new question clipped and punctuated by the clink of metalk to porcelain as he slices off another bite of pie with fork. "Charity case?"

"We all have connections someone else doesn't." Raith's reply is just as swift, just as matter-of-fact, even if not necessarily true. "He's familiar enough with the city, he requires no combat training, he's trustworthy for the same reasons I am-" Reasons that have never once been made clear- "Even if his powers of deduction are a little retarded. And." The 'and' is not spoken is a way that suggests the man needs a moment or two to decided what the best answer is, even if his body language, head turned slightly to the side and slightly downward, suggests this. "And, he's my brother-in-law." That is, seemingly, the end of the explanation, as if that one final piece of information would tie everything together with a pretty bow.

There is disagreement, in the set of Gabriel's jaw, when Raith mentions how he and Aviators are trustworthy the same way. Sullen words are swallowed with cherry pie, chipping away at it with fork in small, birdish bites, his eyes down and an eyebrow lifting as the last point slides into place. "I trust you. I don't trust Epstein. Eileen trusts Epstein. Ethan probably doesn't care." There's a clatter of fork dropped back to plate, Gabriel prissily wiping hands cleans off on one another.

Scrapes his chair out some, but doesn't stand up yet. "And the others don't know him. So fine. Bring him in. I'll work to be elaborately apathetic until he can prove a more appropriate response otherwise. Maybe he'll bring ice cream."

"Maybe." Raith bites off any additional words before they make it out of his mouth: A smart response is not exactly what's needed here. "You don't have to like him, or even particularly get along with him," the ex-spy does say to clarify what he means, "Just… tolerate him. And, if it absolutely can't work, if you absolutely cannot work with him, I'll, I'll figure something out. I don't want to leave him hanging out there, but I don't want to chase you away, either.

"I'll…" The word hangs by itself for the moment, waiting for the rest of its sentence to catch up. Raith lifts one hand as if hoping to conjure the rest of what he wants to say from thin air, and then he drops it to the table. "Think of something."

Across the table, Raith finds himself studied, scrutinised, before Gabriel tilts his head in a sort of dubiously dismissive gesture. Hands go out, distributing one, two slices of apple pie to the plate he was using to commandeer back to his attic.

"I can work with him," he clarifies himself, if grudgingly. "I'm a team player. That is, if he opts to be one too without the knowledge I'm not going anywhere by the time it's finished." And he stands, chair squeaking out the rest of the way, pie lifted, fork grabbed too. "Thanks," he says. Maybe for the pie, or the warning — either way, the one word is edged out flatly, bland without being insincere. It is what it is.

'Thanks' may be the best response that Raith could have hoped for. "You're welcome," is spoken after a few moments, and nothing follows it. Gabriel is free to return to his lair, and Raith is free to wonder if he has in fact, made a good decision.

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