Finally Meeting


doyle_icon.gif melissa2_icon.gif

Scene Title Finally Meeting
Synopsis Doyle and Melissa talk about recent events at the lighthouse, kids, and a certain Company agent. Former.
Date March 23, 2010

The Lighthouse

The snow's still falling, piling up around the Lighthouse in drifting hills of white that seem to have swept away the evidence of the tragedy that happened there so recently. At least the physical evidence, because the wound of the girl's death has left an emptiness in all their hearts, a hole in the community that will take a long time to heal.

Eric Doyle's out front; seated on the steps outside the closed door, a particular Dr. Seuss book held in his hands, turned slowly page after page to read the simple, brightly-coloured words and pictures, his expression wistful and hurting. As if probing an old wound and remembering the ache.

Not too many are out braving the cold. Or the rather large piles of snow. But Melissa is! And after visiting the Garden, the Lighthouse is her next stop. She heads up towards the lighthouse, arms wrapped around her to help keep herself warm. When she spots Doyle a brow arches, but she says nothing at first. Not until she's closer and can speak without yelling.

"Puppet guy. Good. I was hoping to get a chance to speak to you," she says, stomping some of the snow that's accumulated on her legs and feet.

At the call, Doyle's head lifts up to watch the blonde approaching; a faint half-smile tugging to his lips, his heavy chin lifting up to nod in her direction, a bit of snow sifting off his baseball cap where it'd been accumulating. "Hey," he greets, managing a wan smile as he claps the book shut, "What brings you back here?"

Melissa shrugs. "I'm making the rounds. Seeing if anyone needs anything. If there's any sick people who need to be moved. That sorta thing. What about you? More, why are you out here instead of inside where it's warm?"

"I was… I can only pretend for so long, you know?" A hesitance, and Eric leans forward a bit as if to confide, "I didn't want to upset the kids." He leans back then, one hand lifting to rub against the side of his round face, pushing his cheek around with the pressure, "I'm not that good of an actor."

Melissa glances towards the door and nods. "Yeah…I can get that," she murmurs. "They've been through enough as it is. Hell, the fact that they're here is proof of that." She looks back to Doyle, head tilting. "Were you close? To the kid who…you know."

"I know all've the kids," Doyle says quietly, his head shaking a little as his gaze drops to the book, "I did a puppet show for them over Halloween, helped out with the party… played Santa Claus for their Christmas. Everybody loved Denisa. She was… was…" He falls silent, voice choked a bit, fingertips brushing over the Dr. Seuss book in his hands, "I remember reading this for her, back around Halloween."

Melissa winces sympathetically and she nods, moving closer and resting a hand lightly on his shoulder. "You should keep it. The book. And it's good that you're doing what you can to make the kids' lives better. They need someone to play Santa with everything that's fucked up in the world," she says softly.

"Maybe I should've been here… I mean, I don't live here, but, if I wasn't just…" Doyle's head falls, shaking a bit as he murmurs in low tones, "…I don't know. I just feel so— so helpless. And it was— was some fucking dog!" He punches the wall next to him, pushing himself up to his feet, glaring with reddened eyes out across the lawn, "It's not fair!"

The violence doesn't seem to shock or bother Melissa. She understands it. "No…it really isn't fair. Unfortunately, that's life. And in life it seems like kids suffer the most." She looks back towards the door. "There was this little girl at my place. She was three. Had the flu. So believe me, I sympathize."

When her gaze returns to Doyle, it's with understanding eyes. "But the kids don't need to see you like this, puppet guy. I know it's hard, but they need their Santa and puppetmaster. They need a reason not to cry."

"I know." Doyle's hands drop down to his side, fist relaxing slowly, fingers flexing as he ignores the bruising purpling them now, his teeth gnawing on his lower lip again as he stares out defiantly over the yard as if trying not to cry, "I know. S'why I'm… s'why I'm out here. I just… need a few minutes," he mutters.

Melissa studies him for a moment, looks back to the lighthouse, and back to Doyle. Then she puts a hand on his back, trying to urge him to walk with her. "C'mon. Walk with me. I'm Melissa, by the way."

At the touch, Eric glances back to her—heavy shoulders sinking, he tucks one hand into the pocket of his second-hand jacket, head still low as he walks along with her without any resistance. "Eric," he says quietly, "Or Jason, or… whatever. Doesn't matter."

"It matters. But it's nice to meet you, Eric," Melissa says, her hands going into her pockets once he starts to walk. It doesn't seem as though she has much of a destination in mind beyond just away from the lighthouse.

She lets them walk in silence for a minute before she breaks it. "You're staying here to protect the kids, aren't you? To keep any of them from getting hurt? That's admirable. If I didn't have a house of my own to worry about, I might even join you. It's our job as adults to protect the kids." Mel glances to Doyle, and she gives him a faint smile. "You should see about doing something to take their mind off of it though. And yours as well. Making snowmen or playing some games or something. Kids like Candyland, right?"

"Denisa liked Mouse Trap." A heavy sigh spills from Eric's lips, shoulders raising and falling, his head turning to look over the landscape as he admits, "Yeah. I'm gonna… stay here for awhile, if they don't object. At least I can protect them if I'm here." A bit of an edge to his voice, then, "Nobody's going to hurt them with me here."

"I don't see why they'd object. We all want the kids to stay safe. No matter what else, kids are innocent," Melissa says with a nod. "Surprised I keep running into you. You were there at the park, that day that the old man harassed that girl and the kid on the sled took a header into a wall. Then at the bridge, when the bus blew. Then the other night." She gives him a little teasing smile. "Not stalking me, are you?"

"What?" A slight jerk from Doyle has him straightening, looking at her sharply as if thinking she's serious— although once he sees the smile, he relaxes, nose wrinkling as he shakes his head, "No. No, I'm not. You were— on the bridge?"

Melissa arches a brow at his reaction but doesn't lose her smile. "Mmhmm. Was getting my cabbie out of the taxi. Door was stuck. Saw you though. Saw a lot of people."

"I was… helping that prick, Peter, get people out've the bus," Doyle says, his opinion of the other man twisting his tone with a hint of anger, a bit of snow kicked out of his path, "Guess he's an ambulance guy now, or whatever. Lucky him. He gets to start over after all the shit he's done, but me…"

Melissa frowns a little. "What do you mean, the shit he's done? What sort of things?" she asks, immediately curious.

"He's Company. Or was," Doyle shrugs one shoulder, waving the Dr. Seuss book vaguely, "I don't even know if you know what that means, I just… heh, sorry, I'm just babbling. I shouldn't. I'll just— I'll just say something stupid or dangerous eventually."

Melissa frowns a little. "I know what the Company is. Are you sure he was working for them?" There's a pause, and she tries to move on. "Talked to Magnes. About you. Sorta. He's not exactly the world's most discreet person, is he?"

"I saw him walk past my window often enough," Doyle mutters bitterly under his breath, "Yeah, he was Company. If Kaylee hadn't stopped me, I would've killed him when I met him…" A glance back over, then, brow furrowing in confusion as he squints at her, "To who?"

Melissa stops and frowns. "Your window? Oh. Magnes…He ah…the guy who keeps yelling out puppet guy everytime he sees you. He was there the other night, with Ruby and her son?"

"Oh, that kid?" Doyle brings his free hand up, scrubbing at the nape of his neck in bemusement, "I have no idea who that kid is, to be honest. I don't remember ever meeting him or anything…"

Melissa nods. "Well, either way, I talked to him. He'll be a little quieter and less blatant next time he sees you. And if he isn't…Let me know."

"I just wonder when I met him, I mean…" A vague wave of the hand through the air, and it falls, as Doyle admits, "Guess it doesn't matter." He sighs heavily, looking back over the snow, "Guess I should just be glad he doesn't want to kill me or anything, heh?"

Melissa smiles. "Yeah, that's always a plus," she murmurs, rubbing lightly at her bandage. "So how'd you get involved in all of this, Eric? Not the kids, but just the whole enchilada?"

The question hangs in the air as if the chill and the gently falling snow had frozen it before it ever reached the puppeteer's ears. "Because I'm a monster," replies Eric finally in quiet tones, turning to start trudging back towards the lighthouse, "So people keep trying to lock me up" A quicker beat, " look, I should— should get back to the kids. Thanks for the talk."

Melissa cocks her head and watches him for a moment. "People try to lock up anything that they can't understand or control. They tried to lock me up too." There's a pause, then she nods. "Okay, sure. And Eric? If anyone here, including you, needs anything? Don't hesitate to let me know."

"Alright," Doyle glances back over his shoulder with a wan smile, "Take care of yourself, alright? See you around, Melissa…"

Melissa smiles. "You too, Eric." Then off she goes, heading out rather than back to the lighthouse.

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