Flesh To Bones


deckard_icon.gif gabriel_icon.gif

Scene Title Flesh To Bones
Synopsis Gabriel and Deckard try something new.
Date July 24, 2009

A Bedroom in the Garden

Freshly showered and redressed, even in the absence of blood and grime Deckard looks more the part of the ex-convict than he has in weeks. The freezer burn on his face has made some unconscious progress in the way of repairing itself, angry red faded somewhat in the midst of sooty black. His right ear is going to require a more concentrated effort at some point: he's still missing a sizeable chunk of cartelage out of its shell and the remaining edges are crusted and gummed black. The comfortable fit of a wifebeater exposes the thick rope of a snake around a robust cross at his right shoulder; a pair of crudely inked in eyes occupies the shadows cast by the join of clavicle and shoulder.

A full day after the chaos of last night, he's still bone tired. It shows in the sluggish stiffness with which he shrugs himself into a clean dress shirt when he thinks no one's paying attention, crisp white sifting carefully over a burn blotted and blotched in dark around and across his left hand. Back to the bedroom door, duffel bag open on the bed, he glances once to check on the progress of the bathroom mirror — still unfogging — and sets to shuffling around in the aforementioned bag for a flask while his free hand finishes flipping his collar out the right way.

A shadow in the doorway of the bedroom, Gabriel takes to observing Deckard for a little too much time before his right arm is raising to rap knuckles against the doorframe. His own ink, a jagged spiral design, is his only tattoo on the forearm of this limb, trendy if meaningless and thickly black in design on pale skin.

"Leaving so soon?" Polite as he was brought up to be, the question is offered by way of greeting, too, voice scratchy in his throat and worn from the amount of sleep he's gotten since crawling into the Garden in the wee hours of the morning. Otherwise a non-presence in the Garden to anyone but Eileen, until now. In jeans that only kind of fit him, bunching and bagging at the knees and the hems catching beneath his bare heels, held in place only by a belt, such things act as indication that he's far leaner than he was before for those who don't know Gabriel well enough to tell. A t-shirt hangs off his torso, tight at the neck with a print too faded to be decipherable on the chest, mostly obscured anyway by the dry towel he has draped over a shoulder.

Perhaps more strikingly is the hand gripping onto his towel. It seems comically out of place, the muscle depleted to the point of Third World thinness, the skin flaking as if burned, wrinkled like age. Tendons and veins stand out against tight and injured flesh, fingers claw-like and brittle.

Can Gabriel smell fear? Can he smell it through lingering overtones of cheap shampoo and burnt hair? It seems like the sort of thing he'd be able to do. Not that it's strictly necessary to translate the lock of vertibrae up the ridge of Deckard's spine. There's a stiff pause in his rooting around in the bag, a fumble and an uneasy turn of his head over his shoulder, blue eyes stark in their exhaustion bruised sockets.

If the speed with which his tension decays into resumed rustling through the duffel is any indication, it was an automatic reaction. Instinctive and uncoordinated. Gabriel's voice isn't one he's heard much of, but he has heard it, and made certain assumptions in the times he did hear it — and. He's tired. And tweaky. And in need of a drink. The chill of his glare is last to peel itself awkardly away from the onset of a reserve rush of adrenaline, aaalmost inclined to linger on the creepy claw hand in the seconds it takes him to focus down on the flask that's turned up in his relatively normal hands. Staring is rude and eye contact might be perceived as a threat if Sylar has in much in common with wolves as the rest of the Vanguard remnant seems to.

"Phoenix is looking for me." Looking for Abigail's healing, anyway. Nevermind the exoskeleton it's dwelling in, all scruff and bone and dubious sanity. "Am I going to miss karaoke night?"

Phoenix. The heroes to the remnant's villains, the white pawns to the black, or— whatever. Gabriel is tired too and only dwells on this exchanging dichotomy for the time it takes for him to raise an eyebrow and lower it again, fixed on watching Deckard's shuffling movements. It's bewildering, to see him here. Wrong, like bringing in a piece of irradiated midtown and installing it within the cosy confines of the cottage. You can put a potplant next to it and everything but it doesn't seem to belong, really, and Gabriel only knows the other man as the looter with blue, glowing eyes who resides in gutted buildings and dive bar bathrooms.

Perhaps why his gaze seems as analytical as it is, watching the negotiation of fear and tension and tiredness within the older man's posture and demeanor. His hand clenches a little. Near creaks in its withered skin. "All roads lead back to the burning bird," Gabriel observes, karaoke aside. "It helps if you have something they want. I was going to ask if you were done with the bathroom."

Deckard doesn't belong, it's true. Here or at Abigail's or in the flat above Old Lucy's. But people keep bringing him home and feeding him, trying in vain to stick meat to his ribs or money in his wallet. Hard to say which brand of unwarranted kindness he burns through faster these days. He has Midtown, though. And Staten. And a cleared name.

Arguably Gabriel doesn't even have that much. He blends better. Maybe. If he wants to. There's that. Flask uncapped, swallowed at, and recapped, Deckard drops it back into the bag so he can set to buttoning up his shirt, tingly fingertips fumbling through the first few, relearning the process as they go. "Yeah." It does help. And he's done. The slack leather drag of a holster is hooked aside out of the bag next, draped aside without enthusiasm so that he can glance at Sylar's fucked up hand again. Sylar's fucked up hand. Sylar cracker of skulls and destroyer of cities. Deckard lifts his left hand in silent offer in the span of space between himself and the bathroom, bony fingers splayed slack while the right wrests a semi-automatic free of the duffel bag's clutter. "What about you?" Rustle, rustle. The gun muzzle is snared in a pair of generic white underwear, forcing Flint's attention down on freeing it. "Good vibrations not on your list of desireables?"

Quizzical, Gabriel's head tilts as Deckard's hand goes out, and he's not quite domesticated enough to not be hesitant. Hesistant of prices or the unlikelihood of danger remains to be seen, and eventually rendered redundant as he moves in through the bedroom. His pace is a meander, and his approach is distanced. Maybe pride, come to think of it. "I don't have much in the way of lists anymore," he states, a little more humour and life in his voice than the flat comments of previous, a crease of a smile at the corner of his mouth.

Bridging the gap, his left arm goes out. The damage reaches halfway up his elbow, and the subtle swells of muscle further up his arm play the contrasts to the injury dealt, the portal in which his life essence was drained from him. His skin feels ashy and delicate to touch, as if the barest squeeze could snap everything within grasp. A wince readily writes itself across Gabriel's face upon any contact, and he holds the overt kind of cagey wariness that a wild animal might have upon sensing a trap in help offered.

"Did Eileen pay you, or is all of this done out of the goodness of your heart?" he asks, voice uncertain beneath the genuine curiosity, managing to drag his amber-brown gaze back up from his hand to Deckard's pale eyes.

Patience doesn't seem like one of Deckard's likelier virtues, but he doesn't look up or roll his eyes or rescind his offer when Gabriel proves to be reluctant about taking him up on it. Tendon and bone cages light around the ruined flesh of Gabriel's forearm, thumb hooked talon-like beneath the wrist, callouses scuffing coarse against brittle skin. It'd be hard to describe anything he does as delicate, but he takes evident care not to squeeze or twist or scuff. Contact is enough, cageyness registered and dismissed in a graze of eye contact that's too sincere in the sink of his gaze to suit him particularly well. Reminescent of the way foxes are known to behave under the influence of rabies' early onset. Tame.

"Five-thousand dollars," sounds more like him, blandly honest about the boundlessness of his own depravity. Would anyone really expect him to go around helping rescue people for free? Meanwhile, a creeping sort of warmth kicks a freshly restored flow of blood to the shriveled limb whose repair he's overseeing, vessels winding open further along with every kick of Gabriel's pulse under thickening skin. There's a familiarity to the damage that Deckard can't quite put his finger on — enough to draw his eyes down after the progress he's making, though he doesn't comment upon it.

Despite himself, a look of reassurance— from Flint Deckard— somehow manages to help. Gabriel relaxes, if only a fraction, recognising the care taken. But there are other reasons for wariness and this manifests in the hawk's gaze currently focused on their joined hands, waiting for searing burning pain of holy light thaaat— that never comes. Just gentle warm, innocent and familiar, vitality restoring itself and fleshier pink seeping through too pallid skin, and slowly, the stinging continual pain that feels like infection starts to ebb away, give room for the sharp ouch of fractured bone beneath it.

Cleansing, and confirming. He doesn't have Kazimir's power anymore. A whisper of a chuckle escapes Gabriel's throat, bittersweet. His hand shifts a little on Deckard's grip, without breaking contact - just enough to see if his fingers work normally, a tingle in the wake of numbness. He swallows, dryly, smile faded and voice scratchy when he gives what counts as a sincere, "Thank you."

The sensation is comfortable for its buzzing, vaguely inappropriate for straight manly touching warmth. Less so for the muddied invasiveness of it slothing around cleaning up wear and tear that doesn't need fixing in limbs that aren't broken or battered. Maybe that's the difference between drinking tapwater filtered through a clean rag and sucking down rainwater strained out of a homeless person's pants.

Whatever it is, Deckard seems largely immune to it on his end, only marginally less torn up than he was when Sylar packed him up for the others to drag to safety. Evasive in his distraction, he looks away from the healing hand to focus on the window and the light fading on the other side of it instead. Places to be, responsibilities to avoid.

"Don't mention it." Like, ever. A cinch twitches into crow's feet as his fingers start to lift away, too sardonic to be particularly friendly, and too tired to be…all that sardonic. "Especially not to the police."

Hand retracting as Deckard's does, Gabriel spreads his fingers, no longer snappable like dead branches in appearance, veins no longer making thicker ropes beneath wet paper skin. There's strength, now, in the fist he forms experimentally, in the way it doesn't mean instant pain, and a look glides back up to Deckard at his words. Heh. "I'll try not to bring it up," he says, apparently no longer too tired to be sardonic, himself. A glance up and down the man, then towards the items being packed or gone completely, and a chin up in a nod. "I should let you get going."

And apparently, he has enough faith in the healer that there won't be wild-eyed shooting as soon as his back is turned, as Gabriel drifts away from the man to head for the open bathroom door. A dismissing wrist flick follows as if there were someone in there to shoo away. There isn't— just steam, which obeys him instead. The fog on the mirror sharply retracts from the glass, and silently, the warm mist still lingering high by the ceiling curls in on itself and disappears.

"I still owe you," is added, presently, over Gabriel's shoulder, as he rounds the corner into the bathroom. "How about that."

Sure it looks better now, but Flint started touching it when it looked the way it did before and there's an unconscious brush of his palm down the front of his shirt accordingly. Gross. A glance to the fist Gabriel is able to form is confirmation enough for him that nothing has gone terribly wrong. He goes back to the business of his gun and holster accordingly, barrel poked in past stiff leather rather than swinging out after the other man's turned back. The thought doesn't even seem to cross his mind.

Not that anything else really is either. He blinks slowly after the lift of fog away from the mirror when he catches the movement aross his shoulder and sinks some of his weight sideways into the bed while he sets to navigating his arms through the holster. It feels unusually heavy. Probably not a great sign.

"Better than having it the opposite way around."

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