Earth and Sky


peyton2_icon.gif smedley_icon.gif

Scene Title Earth and Sky
Synopsis Contingency plans and Irishmen are discussed as Peyton and Wes plan for the coming mayhem.
Date November 8, 2010

Redbird Security Wes' Apartment

Carson's been barking for the last five minutes or so.

Normally, Wes would probably be either on the old dog's case for causing such a ruckus, or at the very least try to sort out what had him alarmed. But the barks are of the excited, playful variety, not the worried, protective one, and with all the noise of sirens outside, it's not as if Wes's few neighbors are going to complain about the animal. Carson's reports are also coupled with the tricolored beastie spinning in slow circles, his tail wagging as wildly as it can.

So what's the reason for it?

Wes is crouched in the living room, his oilskin coat and revolver-laden holster on the couch. Before him lies what appears to be an Army surplus duffel bag, black in color, and the broken-down, more portable pieces of what appears to be quite a number of larger weapons are spread out on the carpet to his left. To his right are stacks of relatively small cardboard boxes, which he is currently packing into one end of the bag.

It's been a few hours with Peyton locked up in her office, peeking in at the various people she's been asked to watch. The headache is still lingering, no doubt fueled by the repeated use of her power, but she figured she should eat something — and figures Wes hasn't either. This is the reason she comes carrying lunch — sandwiches made in the break room — up to the apartment.

Stepping into the apartment, Peyton's eyes are a little worried as she scans the room for the reason of that barking. Setting the plate of sandwiches down on the coffee table, she raises a brow at the weaponry that's getting packed.

"Only your dog would react to you packing an arsenal as if you'd said the word 'walk,'" she says with amusement, crouching down to let Carson come share his exuberance with her. Von is watching, excited with tail wagging, but not quite understanding what the older dog seems to. The red dog hurries over to greet his mistress with slobbery kisses as well.

Wes leans back on his heels and turns to look over his shoulder when the door opens, a smile finding his face when he sees Peyton. Carson stops barking long enough to let Peyton pet him and to summarily sniff and lick her hands for a taste of the sandwiches before he goes back to running around the apartment in a fit of impatient glee.

"He thinks he's gonna get t'swim," Wes says as he packs a few more boxes of ammo into the bottom of the back. He stands then, his bones creaking just a bit with the effort it takes to do so. But then it's just to move to the couch after carefully shifting his faithful sidearms to one end. "But he'll stick a paw in the water and forget that notion right quick." Smiling softly as he watches Peyton with Von, Wes leans back into the couch, thankful for a break of his own, even if it only serves to remove him from the meditative task that had helped to occupy his mind and kep him from worrying.

Now that he's stopped, his brow furrows some. "You doin' okay?"

The left side of his face is slightly discolored, as if blood has been rushing into area around his jaw for some reason or another. It could be the beginnings of a slight bruise, but it's far too early to be sure.

"Oh, you silly puppy, it's much too cold to swim in November," she croons to Carson, laughing as Von bounces up to plant paws on her shoulders and a tongue in her eye. Ew.

She stands, moving to the sofa and curling up on the corner. She's dressed not for a day as a business woman but instead more casually — in case she needs to flee: jeans, running shoes, a t-shirt — downstairs her coat and everything she needs, like a gun and ID and the like — sit ready to be grabbed in case of flight.

"I'm all right," Peyton says with a shrug, tipping her head to kiss his cheek. "A lot of hurry up and wait. It sounds like it's starting to be bad out there, but I think we're safe here." She reaches to pick up a sandwich — turkey and cheese — and pulls off a piece of bread to bring to her mouth. "So who are you working for? Ferry?"

"Didn't ask," Wes says with a tired sort of overlay to his smile. He doesn't reach for a sandwich, but rather uses the opportunity to rest to let his eyes close. "Don't really care," he adds. "They want out from under th'Irishman, and even if it didn't translate t'more business for me, it's good to screw that bastard over a little. Y'know. To try and keep him humble."

It doesn't really matter if Peyton doesn't know who The Irishman is - Wes doesn't expect her to know. But she might. She's full of surprises lately.

The mention of an Irishman gets a little shiver from Peyton, her eyes widening a little, even as her mind tells her it's just coincidence. There's plenty of Irish people in New York, after all. She nods, pulling another corner of bread off her sandwich and bringing it to her mouth, chewing.

Von comes to rest his muzzle on her foot, peering up with piqued brows, eyes darting left, right, left, in that "See what a good dog I am, I'm not begging" stance that too-often earns him food.

"He a smuggler?" she asks.

"Yeah," Wes says with a grunt as he leans forward to pick up the second sandwich, eyeing Peyton's chosen method of eating it before he looks to Von. Carson's not far off, but he isn't interested in begging as much as he is standing where Wes was just crouched, his tail wagging and his tongue lolling even as he looks at his master as impatiently as he can. It only lasts for a moment before, with his neck extended, he slinks closer to the coffeetable to sniff at the plate that held the sandwiches. Because there clearly must be more.

Wes takes a bite of sandwich - a proper bite - and swallows it before he continues. "A gun runner," is his elaboration. "An I'm sad't say, one of the reasons I'm glad I've got that steady gig with Zarek." Not that it will matter in the next few weeks. Though less supply and more demand will make the market much richer for men like Wes Smedley and Daniel Walsh. "I wasn't ever hurtin' that much, but too many roosters…well, y'know how it goes."

"Too many roosters what? I don't know that one," Peyton says with a chuckle, amused that Wes thinks she knows how any saying about roosters could possibly end.

There's a furrow of her brows at the mention of gun running. The Irishman she knows of had a shitload of guns in a van at one point when she peered in on him at Brian's urging a year ago. More than could possibly be legal. She sets her sandwich back down on the plate, no longer hungry. Even if they're talking about two different people, her appetite is ruined by the thought of the Irishman she knows, and what he did to her, Wendy, Helena, what Bill Dean did to them, what Emile Danko did to Felix.

"Too many roosters," and Wes pauses once again to take and swallow a bite of sandwich, "spoil th'henhouse. I guess they say in the henhouse, but that didn't make much sense t'say. See, 'cause there ain't enough hens't-"

But he stops his explanation of what he wouldn't have imagined was that much of a regionalism and looks at Peyton and her newly formed frown. Tilting his head slightly to one side, he thinks back over what they've been talking about. "Pey, I run guns. It ain't that bad." He runs guns for Endgame, after all. "I mean, I get you bein' a little apprehensive when it comes to the Horse and the Snow, but guns's bread and butter."

"Horse and Snow? You mean, like drugs?" she asks, looking up a little confused, and she shakes her head. "I'm not… I don't care that you smuggle — at least, drugs, guns, that kind of thing? Whatever, it's a living. And I'd be hypocritical if I did act like it was bad because it's illegal; it's not like I'm exactly a saint."

She leans to kiss his cheek and offers a wan smile as she picks up her sandwich — not to eat it, but to tear off pieces to feed to Von, and Carson when he comes sniffing.

Wes just nods at that, his own frown and furrowed brow undeterred by Peyton's kiss. "What's wrong, Pey?" he asks, his voice low and patient. His gaze shifts from her to the dogs who eagerly take the bits of meat and cheese from her hand.

He doesn't press too hard for the truth, despite knowing that look. He doesn't even continue to watch her. Instead, he goes back to his own sandwich, letting Peyton answer him in her own time and in her own way.

She shrugs and reaches up to rub her eyes. The pain is still there, niggling behind her brows.

"One of the people who … the Humanis First guys who kidnapped me and Wendy — and Wendy and Helena later on again — he was Irish, and he had a van full of guns once when I looked in on him," Peyton murmurs, then shrugs a shoulder. "Could be a lot of people. How many Irish people are there in this city? And I haven't seen him since, so, it's not like he's after me or anything. I mean — not any more than he's after anyone who's Evolved. One of his Humanis partners, she turned turncoat because her daughter turned out to be Evolved, and she needed help. Funny how that happens right — everyone hates us until they need us."

There may be more people of Irish descent in New YorK City than in any other city in the United States, but how many of those people are known by the moniker The Irishman, smuggle arms on Staten Island, and are members of radical, violent, anti-Evolved terrorist groups?

Wes does his best to swallow his current mouthful of sandwich, but it has turned to ash in his mouth. When he looks at Peyton, his grey-blue eyes are almost as wide as those of the begging dogs at her feet.

Oh shit, they seem to say. I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry.

Moving with concentrated effort, Wes reaches forward to put what few bites remain of his sandwich back on the plate, but he doesn't move to pull Peyton into his arms. Instead he just looks at her, unsure what to do with his hands. "I-" he starts, but whatever was going to follow it is choked off, and Wes ends up clearing his throat into a balled up fist. "You're stayin' here tonight, right? You aren't gonna try to hike back to your place?"

When in doubt, change the subject.

Peyton answers with a nod, eyes downcast. "I figure it's safer here," she says, with a nod out the window in direction of the government buildings so very close by. "I don't think we're in danger, and the basement is safe. I don't plan to leave unless I have to."

She moves closer to him, reaching to touch his face, brushing his hair back softly, then kissing his cheek. "I'm fine. I'm not that girl any more, but if it is the same guy — the more you can screw him over, the better." She smiles at that, resting her forehead against his. "You want a contingency plan — somewhere to meet if we can't find each other?"

Wes closes his eyes at the kiss and then wraps his arms around Peyton as if this were any other day. Of course, even something as simple as a touch can't shake the fact that it isn't. He's quiet for a few moments, the bridge his nose angled away from her face in an effort to mask his frown. But then a chuckle bubbles out of him, low and gruff.

Contingency plan.

"If I knew where I was goin' t'night, sure," he says softly. "Or when I was gettin' back. But… you just stay here." Where it's safe. "If I ain't bringin' you coffee t'morrow mornin', then you can look for me - but you can only look. Like y'do."

"All right," Peyton breathes out, her own brows furrowing. What if this place isn't safe? What if wherever he is when she looks is Armegeddon? But she knows there's no use arguing. Her arms wrap around him and she buries her face into his neck, breathing in deeply his scent, clean and masculine, hoping it will be enough to carry her through the hours without him.

He holds her tightly to him for a few moments, his breathing steady and deep, even if the effort is palpable. "Hey," he says after the span of a few minutes, moving his head so that he can kiss her temple. "It's gonna be alright, y'hear me? S'all gonna blow over, and you'll be no worse for the wear."

There's a strength in the words, as if Wes saying them will make them true. But he moves a hand from her back to the side of her face, angling it so that he can look into her doey eyes. It's only then that she can see the cracks in his subtle promise - the cracks in his eyes like far off lightning across the prairie sky.

For once, it's her Peyton reassures Wes, tilting her head to press a soft kiss against his forehead, then leaning back to smile, her dark eyes searching his face — their warm brown like the solid earth beneath that tempestuous sky.

"I'll be here tomorrow," she promises him.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License