ethan_icon.gif munin_icon.gif

Scene Title Exile
Synopsis What goes around comes around.
Date December 19, 2008

Dorchester Towers: Ethan's Apartment

And suddenly, Ethan is present. Along side, Elias there momentarily. The latter saying something incredibly witty and clever before blinking out of existence again to go get Sylar. So, the Wolf is home. He is dressed in black combat from head to toe, he looks a bit upset. A small amount of blood spackled on his forearm. His eyes scan the flat quickly.. He looks quite out of place in Dorchester Towers. It's early evening.

It isn't the soft flutter of displaced air that draws Munin out of her hiding place in the spare bedroom — it's Ethan's weight bearing down on the hardwood floors beneath the carpet as he appears without any fanfare or warning. Clothed in one of Ethan's dress shirts and little else except for a pair of panties beneath it, her slim silhouette appears in the doorframe, dark hair twisted back and held in place by a plain white bath towel that's still a little damp. Judging by her long, bare legs and the way none of the shirt's buttons fit into the appropriate holes, she just emerged from the shower a few minutes ago and hastily pulled on the nearest item of clothing when she heard Ethan and Elias return from— wherever it is they've been.

She isn't supposed to know, and so she's careful to maintain a neutral mask, allowing only a faint hint of confusion to filter through onto her features, pale and gaunt. "Ethan?"

Ethan eyes the girl, taking a step forward. Air escapes slowly, the man letting it rush out of his nostrils. A slow sigh. The man's eyes carry several things. Hurt, betrayal, anger…

The man is still cool, calm, collected. But his gaze is one Munin would rarely have seen in all the years they have been with each other.

"I love you, princess." The man says slowly, watching her intently. "You've been like a daughter to me." Words that everyone knew, but had never been spoken. "I thot' you loved me. Thot you felt I was somethin' like your.." His eyes lower, words stopping. Wetting his lips. "Sylar could have been killed, Elias could have been killed, I could have been killed." The man explains gently, watching her reaction. A long moment of silence passes, the man just watching her.

Munin's reaction isn't immediate. It takes her several moments to fully absorb what Ethan is saying, and even longer to process his words for what they really are: an accusation. As his eyes lower, hers move to the spots of blood and she frowns, the corners of her mouth curling to show her displeasure. She doesn't know if it belongs to him or somebody else, but this wasn't supposed to happen. When she left Teo her message, she expected Phoenix to find a way to alert Rickham to the threat Vanguard posed to his life — not to tackle Ethan and the others head-on, as they appear to have done.

But really, what does she know? She's just guessing. Maybe Ethan is too.

Saying nothing, she takes a tentative step out into the open, her bare feet making no sound as she begins moving toward him, then stops. Uncertain.

"Insult me with your defense." Ethan commands coldly, his eyes snapping to hers. Then he shakes his head, holding up one hand as if to stop her from speaking. "I've only ever protected you and 'ad what's best for you in mind. But it's been lies, deceit, running out." Anger flares on the icy pool that is Ethan's expressions. But it is quelled quickly. He takes a moment to breathe.

"'e will figure it out. If I did, 'e will. You can't stay 'ere anymore. It's not safe. Get dressed." He commands, waving a dismissive hand to her, as he, still in full combat gear goes into the kitchen.

Munin had opened her mouth to speak, but shuts it again as Ethan's hand goes up. If he doesn't want to hear her explanation, then she won't offer one to him. Instead, she retreats back into the bedroom and shuts the door behind her, presumably to follow Ethan's advice and gather her things together. If it isn't safe for her here at Ethan's, it isn't safe for her anywhere — and while that knowledge shouldn't be anything except unsettling, she draws quiet strength from her fear, her clothes rustling behind the door, bedsprings squeaking as Ethan busies himself in the kitchen.

Going to one knee a cracking sound is heard. Ethan has knelt down below the sink, and delivered a firm punch into the paneling. His arm goes through, and upon withdrawl, a small silver revolver is brought out. One of Ethan's hidden goodies. Setting the pistol down on the corner, the man goes to grab a piece of paper and a pen. Quickly jotting a few things down, the paper is folded up. Taking the pistol and the paper, the Wolf walks toward his bedroom. Going to open the door. He doesn't much care if he walks in on her right now… The current situation transcends possible awkward moments.

Munin has her back to the door when Ethan enters the bedroom, her bare shoulders leaning down into the skinny hourglass that is her waist and hips. She's in the process of pulling on a sweater, and unsurprisingly she doesn't turn to face him until her head has fit through the neck and her breasts are covered. Even then, she doesn't look directly at the man as she adjusts the sweater's sleeves and floppy woolen collar. Her knapsack sits on the edge of the bed, though only one of the buckles is fastened. Sometimes, having only a handful of belongings to your name is useful — when you have to leave in a hurry, as Munin is now, it only takes you two or three minutes to pack.

The revolver is laid on top of the knapsack, the piece of paper over it. The Wolf moves around her, not looking at her right now either. He goes to the dresser, kneeling once again and feeling at the side. Another secret compartment…

This time several stacks of hundred dollar bills are produced, tossed at the bag carelessly. Standing, he makes his way for the closet, reaching up for the top shelf. A box of bullets is brought down. "That paper 'as drop locations. You can drop messages there for me. I will check number one every Monday, Two, every Tuesday, and three every Saturday. If you need something, place it there. You could.. also let me know where you're staying." The Wolf says, raising his gaze just for a moment. The box is placed down. "Only send Bran in an extreme emergency."

"I don't want your fucking money." The words are out of Munin's mouth before she even realizes she's thinking them, but she doesn't regret it. Her voice sounds steadier than she feels in spite of the slight hitch in her breathing as she picks up the revolver and uses it to brush the bundles of money away, off the knapsack and onto the bedspread. "You're right. All you've ever done is care about me, protect me, love me like your little girl. It ends here." She loves him too, though there's nothing she could say right now that could even come close to expressing her feelings on this subject. "Grace is dead to you. From this point forward, so am I."

Ethan's mouth opens again to speak the next section of his plan. But she interrupts him. The box of bullets is slowly set down. His expressions tighten as Munin speaks, then his hand flies up.

Once she utters the name 'Grace' his hand comes up as if to backhand her, though he pauses before he lets the strike fly. "Don't be stupid." He growls, looking at the money. "Take it, stay safe." His gaze flashes back to her. "I will come for you when it's safe. When everything is made right." His arm slowly lowers. "You just 'ave to stay away for now." He goes to gather up the stacks of money and place them back.

"I promise."

Munin visibly flinches when Ethan raises his hand, fully expecting him to hit her. It would be the first time. When no blow comes, she lifts her upper lip into a sneer. "It ends here," she reiterates as she picks up the knapsack, fastens the other buckle and slings it over her shoulder. "I don't want your money, and I don't want you coming for me either. If you have a problem with that…" Trailing off, she deftly maneuvers the weapon in her hand between her fingers, flipping it around so she's grasping the gun by its barrel and offering Ethan the grip. "You can shoot me in the back of the head when I'm walking out the door."

Girl to woman, lying with her body, voting with her feet.

Ethan looks down at her with no expression when she offers him the gun. "I told you to stop being stupid." He grumbles. "You need the fuckin' money, Munin. Please. If you ever cared about me, take the money, I need to know you're not laying dead in an alley somewhere." Not that money would prevent that, but at least it would help. His palm pressing the handle of the pistol away. "I don't know what I did, to make you 'ate me so. But I love you Princess. I'll always protect you. Whether you want me to or not." He insists.

With another flick of her wrist, Munin spins the gun back around, clutching it so tightly that the blood drains from her knuckles as she moves past Ethan. She isn't taking a cent of his money, and she doesn't intend on taking his revolver either. That much is obvious. On her way out the door, she deposits the weapon on the nightstand with a muted click, the sound of metal coming into contact with the wood; unable to make her point any clearer than she already has, she pulls her pea coat down from the hook in the living room and drapes it over her arm as her fingers close around the handle of the front door and jerkily turns it.

Looking down at the gun, and the money, but most of all the paper, Ethan makes a 'tsk' sound. Picking up the folded piece of paper he quickly walks to her, slamming his hand against the front door to give it to her. "Please.. You can feed it to your Phoenix friends for all I care. A place they can find me. Please Princess. I need to know you're safe. Don't do this to me." Ethan urges. Proffering the paper to her. His expression, for once in a very long time. Is deflated.

Munin gets the distinct impression she isn't leaving the apartment without the piece of paper. Saying nothing — mostly because there's nothing left to say — she takes it from Ethan's hand and, without so much as glancing at it, tucks it into the interior pocket of her coat. This done, she gives the handle another tug. Open.

His hand slowly departs from the door. "Avoid them, Princess. They're stupid, they're going to get themselves killed." Ethan says, a worried mother giving last instructions to her child before the child leaves for a night on the town.. "Stay safe, Munin. Stay far away from anything 'aving to do with 'im." Kazimir. It doesn't need to be said. "Until.." Until what?

"I love you Princess. I'll see you again." His face goes forward, lips trying to find her forehead. Though whether he makes connection or not is up to Munin.

Ethan may not have had it in him to strike Munin, but the same cannot be said of the young woman standing in front of him. Her face pinched into an expression of fury, she cracks her palm against his face with so much force behind the blow that the slap probably hurts her hand more than it does his cheek. When she withdraws, stepping out into the shadows, her entire body is trembling — not with fear, but rage.

No apology is offered, nor are any words of farewell. She's simply gone, a dark shape growing smaller and smaller as she retreats down the hall, toward the stairwell, and ultimately out of Dorchester Towers, plunging headfirst into the snowy night.

His eyes go to her arm. He could stop the attack, she shows her movement, she's slow. But he doesn't, his face barely budges as he stares down at the young woman. As she retreats, the door is slowly closed. His back presses against the door, the Wolf sliding to sit.

The man drapes his arms over his knees, staring straight ahead. How did he get here. Kathryn, Nick, Grace… And now Munin. He couldn't protect the first three, and now he's driven the last one away. Something has to be done, something has to be made right. A slow fire builds up behind his eyes.

Something has to be done… But what?

The knife is drawn from his boot and dances around his fingers, his eyes watching it coldly. Wheels set in motion…

December 19th: Sometimes the Dragon Wins
December 19th: The Devil's Due, Part IV
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