Dust In The Wind


deckard_icon.gif joseph_icon.gif

Scene Title Dust In The Wind
Synopsis Just like last time, Deckard has Joseph deliver a note and take care of some unfinished business before his departure. There are some notable differences to last time.
Date April 14, 2010

The Garden: Basement

There's light filtering in through the basement's single window, dusty and wan. Hard to tell if it's dawn or dusk. Or neither. Flint's eyes stand out like coals dying out blue in the soot and ash of a burned down fire pit, gloom trenched up on either side and around him much the same as it's been all along.

He's sitting on the side of his cot with knees wide apart and overlarge great dane feet bare, recently scrubbed enough that the stink of him is on the lesser side of scent-of-a-man offensive. He's gradually approaching homelessly beardy and his buzz is losing some of its harsh-kept neatness. His blue jeans are clean. His shirt could stand to be put through the wash. And he's lost weight since he's been here. But none of that is surprising.

On the cot next to him, a folded piece of paper and a marker rest idle. Can't stab anyone with a marker. Not as respectable as a pen, but better than a crayon. I almost wrote butter.

Awkwardly, he's far enough away from the head of the cot that his left wrist is suspended away from his side by the bite of the cuff it's still linked to, and for the moment, he appears to be staring at nothing at all.

The door screeees open— and squeaks a little further as the hinges are disapprovingly tested, the door jiggled in its frame before the fidgeting ends and a descent into the cellar begins. Joseph's silhouette in the much brighter doorway is recognisable, or his skeleton is, considering the shade Deckard's eyes have turned. Useless to him, a flashlight flicks on, darts sporadically around as he seeks out the shapes of the stairs and starts headed on downwards, dressed a little like he's been here a while before coming down to say hello. Coat is shed somewhere upstairs, the sleeves of his sweater rolled to his elbows, and the lingering cold of a winter vastly outwearing its winter all gone.

Rural Staten Island and Queens are reasonably far apart, especially when one can't simply drive. Joseph's stays at the Garden are longer and more frequent than his treks back to the safehouse that got converted into a plague den. For more reasons than not wanting to become diseased.

"Hey," is a tentative greeting once he's nearing the floor, lifting up a look and shyly letting the flashlight briskly travel over Deckard's shape. It snags on the sight of the handcuffs catching against Flint's hand, not an unfamiliar addition, but never comfortable to notice. Joseph's fingers fumble a little over turning the flashlight off, allowing the hazy light of the small window provide him with what he needs to see, for the time being.

"Hey," says Deckard. Dejection and distraction are difficult to differentiate in the length of his face. Not that differentiating them is probably necessary: they're intertwined enough by now that one is nearly always involved with the other. Unless the source of distraction can be filed under boobies.

And sometimes even then.

He reacts to the flashlight's passage like an image on a flatscreen, pupil dilation unfazed and eyes unblinking for all that shadows line out in a sweep through the wrinkles in his shirt and the hollows in his face. Here but not entirely here. Also the norm.

He's relaxed some since he stopped with the shakes, shoulders sloped and narrow jaw slack under grizzle and scruff, resignation lined in long around his mouth. His head even tips like he might say something else. Like conversation. Except that then he doesn't, opting to use the breath he drew in to that end to breathe out with instead.

Not so unusual, Joseph takes his distanced seat at the bottom of the staircase, stretching his legs out in front of him with a hand briefly gripping his left thigh — though even if Deckard has his eyes turned off, there's no particular expression, willing or unwilling, that crosses Joseph's face to accompany it. Being in the Ferry means all kinds of aches and pains, anyway, though the starburst scarring of a bullet wound may or may not have come from the gun of one of their own. With friends like these, who needs enemies?

Speaking of which, hi Deckard. Joseph sets the flashlight glass down on the step beside him. "Been thinkin' I should bring you something, though I dunno what. Keys to those things," a tilt of his head to the silver linking Deckard to his bed and inevitably this little, dank hellhole, "if I could. But Teo's got 'em. He, uh, mentioned you wanted to talk, though."

He shrugs, beneath the dull, shapeless folds of a woolen sweater. I can do that.

Flint's reaction is played down, goshawk glare mitigating increases in things like irritation and resentment with pre-existing intensity. "Probably not a good idea anyway," is honest enough as far as replies go. He looks down as if he'd forgotten the restraint was there, measuring with his eyes rather than testing force and structure. There's scabbing around his wrist to balance out bruises new and old — silent confession that he's already tried.

"I wrote," he mutters at length after that, the back of his unrestrained hand nudging blandly against paper folded at his side. "For Abigail." The silence admission #2 compresses out of him is longer than the first. Doubtless filled with many a poignant dot dot dot. "And I need to tell you where the keys are. For the safehouse supplies in Midtown."

Sigh. Joseph does sigh, audibly — visibly, too, it's cold enough that steam accompanies it, chilled basement air drawn in in exchange. He doesn't get up, doesn't obediently shuffle on over to take the paper — yet, which is probably what the sigh is really for. Joseph indulges in not doing so right away, arms folded on his bent knees, fingers making creases in the woolen sleeves of his sweater. "Well, that's thoughtful of you," doesn't sound entirely insincere. He kind of sounds like he's admitting something.

"That mean you're takin' off someplace again?" he asks, a sort of reserved hope in his voice. Better that Deckard gets out of the city, this time.

Blue eyes raked blankly across Joseph's fog shrouded mug, Deckard shakes his head slightly only to contradict himself a few seconds later with a mild, "I dunno." Not where, at least. To prison. Out of the city. Out of the country. Straight down. The if and why are both easier to discern. Seeing as two out of three isn't terrible when you don't really deserve to know much of anything, Flint lets it go with a drowsy blink and scuffs after an itch at his chest.

He's not going much of anywhere right this second. The chain makes that much clear. "They're in a toilet. In the ladies room on the thirteenth floor. It's dry in there but you might want to wash your hands after."

"Alright." There doesn't seem to be much more to say. It's probably unwise to ask the man handcuffed in the basement about what fate has in store for him, and Joseph should probably know better, but he'd like to think that knife-sharp sympathy is selfish and projective as opposed to accurate. At least he's putting himself in Deckard's place, as opposed to Danko.

Getting to his feet, Joseph wades through the darkness at a pace of someone less certain with it than those who can see in the dark, going to take the folded over piece of paper. Maybe he won't even read it this time, as he folds it over once more in a gesture of safe-keeping. "You're sort of a force of nature, you know? No one's goin' to change your path, really — God's cut one deep for you and the only thing I could do to help it is show you what's comin' along the way, if you ever want it.

"All you got to do is ask. I just," a shrug, paper crinkles in ever-nervous fingers, "I wish I could help you like you've done for me. Beyond passin' notes in class and tidyin' up."

"Maybe I don't deserve to know," is an unintentionally dreary answer, dampened on the back end with a pitchy, searching kind of silence. Probably while he considers whether or not he wants to ask anyway. "I've never seen anything worth looking forward to," is probably the more honest reason for denial after it, long face inclined with grey-touched brows at a semi-apologetic skew. "No offense."

A subtle measure of relief lets some lingering tension fall out've the flat of his chest once the note's been taken up, meanwhile, the light in his lurid eyes sketching tell-tale after crinkled paper. No accusations this time. No pithy put downs. If he reads it, he reads it. He wouldn't put it in his care if he was worried about being judged.

"Anyway. Don't worry about it. You stuck around. Under the circumstances that's more than it sounds like."

He's given out a single, willing vision in the last six months, and so where Joseph might have pressed argument about such a thing's worth even to the likes of Deckard, he only nods in acknowledgment at a decision made with something that is almost like relief. The leather sheen of a wallet taken out of his pocket catches the faint light as he turns it over, and slides the folded over note between cheaply felt lined folds, a collection of zippers and coinage in the realm of X-ray vision. "None taken.

"I'll see her soon. Maybe— " And whatever sentiment that was dies into uncertainty, wisdom of suggestion doublechecked and found wanting. Joseph awkwardly cruises back a step, heels scuffing along on the cellar floor that probably needed a sweep through two years ago. "Well. If you did want t'talk to her, I could see that she does. Before you're off in Idunnoville."

"Everything I need to say's already in there." Scuff scuff scuff. Deckard's blunt nails move from sternum to the back of his head, sandpapering restlessly against the grain. He fails to look even remotely interested in the prospect of face to face interaction, having perhaps already resigned himself to the improbability of such a meeting. Or how ill-advised it would be to try, given how the last one panned out.

Eye contact veers into non-existence nonetheless, lambent blue diverted from Joseph's skull despite the absence of any eyeballs suspended therein to stare back at him. His hand falls back into his lap. The other stays up off the mattress, chain clicking once with a quiet shift at his shoulder. "You going to be okay?"

"Probably," is an honest enough answer, wallet slid back into a pocket and scuffing back some more steps, eventually turning his back on the other man when eye contact becomes difficult to do. Whether because of the searing glow of Deckard's X-ray vision, or because the turn around of the conversation has Joseph skittering back from the figurative microscope. "I mean, you know."

He steals up the flashlight from the step, flicking it on to beam up the wooden staircase. "One day at a time — it ain't like I got visions either unless someone cracks me across the skull or somethin'. There's beer upstairs." He gestures, with the beam from the flashlight, the yellow eye of illumination settling high on the closed door. "Want some?"

Deckard nods, satisfied enough with the approximate level of honesty being put forth to the basement now laid out ahead of them both. One by flashlight and the other further along the spectrum, eery blue never quite bright enough to scatter past the faint diffraction of light that filters through his foggy breath.

The offer of beer gets a skeptical look swept over the back of Joseph's head, automatic irritation bristling like iron fillings to a magnet as he sweeps one long leg up onto the cot. Then the other. Getting ready to lie himself back down. "No thanks."

Well, it ain't whiskey, Flint Deckard, is what Joseph almost points out in misguided defense when that subtle switch of irritation shows in the long lines of Deckard's expression. Holds his tongue and just nods out an, "alright," before going backwards up one step when Flint goes to lie back down, and turning to navigate up the others in a less adventurous manner. "I'll be back down soon, if you need anythin'." Considering he's come down here every time empty handed barring food and water when appropriate, it'll have to be a request Deckard puts to words.

And the pastor doesn't seem convinced that Deckard is going to, as he continues up the stairs. Even the creaks of wood beneath his feet seem quiet, as if he could will himself to leave as if he hadn't been there at all — which is his default attempt whenever entering or leaving a room — though he does mutter something about maybe fixing that squeaky door too, whether Deckard desires to know or not.

Flint watches him go, torso reclined with stiff care to keep pressure off his middle until he's down enough to roll over onto his side. Cuffed wrist wrung around to his lower back and head turned back to the usual wall, he rustles around enough to draw sheets up over himself and is still by the time the door creaks to mark Joseph's exuent behind him.

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