For Jennifer


bebe_icon.gif cat_icon.gif delilah_icon.gif stella_icon.gif teo_icon.gif victor_icon.gif

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Scene Title For Jennifer
Synopsis Delilah nearly gets hit by a car. The one Childs kid that Teo didn't know about mugs him in a fit of undirected grief in the midst of hunting Sylar. Cat takes a gun out. Bebe makes a new achievement with her ability. Stella tries to help.
Date February 18, 2009

The Rookery

After the bomb, Staten Island grew to become a haven for undesirables. If the Island is their home, then the Rookery is their playplace. Equal parts gritty and decadent, it boasts dark alleys, bright lights, and every pleasure that one could imagine. Provided you know where to ask, of course.

Some areas have fared better than the rest of the island; some have fared far worse. For each well-tended brothel or gaming house, there's at least one creaky, crumbling structure left over from the days of pre-bomb suburban glory.

The population is considered universally distasteful, even by much of the rest of Staten Island. Criminals, refugees, victims of radiation poisoning… Those who have nowhere else to go often end up here. The most common method of getting out is to have your body dropped in the river, followed closely by being left wherever it is you got killed.

Good luck.

The differences between the Rookery and any given part of Manhattan are instantly and hearteningly visible. The streets are empty of military and full, instead, of other kinds of garbage, from newspapers runny with meltwater to sallow-skinned hobos haloed in urine vapor and layered coats. Teo is neither recyclable paper refuse nor exactly homeless, but he fits in all the same, another thug holding his shaven head down in the collar of his coat, exhaling beer and white air.

Granted, most thugs probably wouldn't be squinting down into a dog-eared copy of The History of Tom Jones: the Foundling in the staticky light of a dingy light outside a street-corner cafe, but it's an early evening in which there is truly little to do. At least, in that he doesn't have anywhere to be until two AM tonight, in any case. Coincidentally, the book actually smells faintly of ammonia as it is, carefully managed only through the second skin of his gloves.

A blue Caddy squeals by, tugging Teo's attention up by the eyes. He frowns at the alarming weave of the tires, but doesn't flinch when the vehicle narrowly avoids colliding with — something.

The car wheels away after the near miss, leaving a steaming, redheaded young woman in its wake. The front of her jacket now covered in a fresh layer of brown sludge from the road, Delilah stops in the middle of the street. Why? To scream down it after that Cadillac.

"Watch where you're going, you- you- greasy, giggling, girly gombeen who buys STDs from a viral lab just to make it look like you get laid! People like you are the reason cults exist!" Though it certainly isn't as colorful, word for word- she somehow makes a point without uttering a single cussword. Feeling quite proud of herself, Delilah squares her shoulders and finishes crossing the street. She's only a span of sidewalk away from where Teo is, suddenly engrossed in trying to wiggle out of her sogging wet coat; lucky for her, it's not as cold as it could be.

There's a reason she had the coat on. The moment she gets out of it, there's a whistle from somewhere. Delilah is wearing a short-sleeved black dress that comes to her knees, the oval neckline just low enough, and black hose shadowing her pale calves. On the hems of the sleeves are red ribbons, weaving in and out of the fabric and into bows a matching one around the neck hem- it seems to be the only real color that stands out on her, except for that fuming color on her cheeks.

Generally, Dee would be greeted by more than whistles- but suspicion is suspicion, and paranoia makes her marginally safer. There is, after all, probably a reason that she feels confident enough to be strolling around alone. And these days? You never know.

Attempting to blend in with what people are here is a young man in a hooded sweatshirt walking along the sidewalk with his hands in his pockets. Crazy car moments aside, he seems pretty at ease, but manages a private grin to himself as some girl goes into a shouting tirade after her close encounter. Vic's actually walked a little past her and manages a backward glance just to look at the shouting girl briefly, for no other reason than she's loud enough to be noticed.

All told, Vic Childs doesn't fit the picture of a 'thug' or street criminal one would normally find in this part of the greater New York area these days. It's not like he particularly stands out though, since all kinds get smooshed together in the metropolis. For some reason he angles his approach toward the streetside cafe. Maybe to see what kind of stuff they actually serve.

High overheard, the broad-winged shape of a raven appears as a black splotch against the dark gray sky, light glinting off its feathers where the late afternoon sun forces its way through the cloud cover and outlines them in silver. It circles, slow and lazy, its course dictated as much by the changing winds as it is by intelligent thought — spying Teo on the street below, it angles its wings to take advantage of the breeze and cuts a spiraling path down, down, down…

She's been here before, earlier in the day. Gone to Manhattan and come back now. Eyes alert, clad in jeans with holes in the knees, a ratty coat of several years age, well worn and scuffed boots, a beaten up Yankees cap on her head and hair tied in a ponytail. Cat wanders along through streets, quietly taking in what lies ahead of her, ready to react if danger presents itself.

Street reflects off Teo's eyes as they jerk saccadically toward the source of that noisy, noisy girlish indignation. His brow furrows, casting enough physical darkness down his face to go with the emotional, dilating his pupils with the kind of temper even Italians tend to reserve only for people they actually no.

"Cazzo." Chair legs grate the pavement below him, a shove of his feet on sidewalk. He hauls himself up, leaving the book without a second glance or thought. It's an excellent story, mind you, fraught with maladjusted young men and redemption through violence and other things that make wallowing on Staten Island a masturbatorily fulfilling experiernce, but other things. Red-haired ones. Swerving neatly around a passing pedestrian, he knocks his fist against the back of Lilah's elbow.

"You should know better, bambina," he tells her, conveniently forgetting that that rarely compels him to adjust his course through life. He throws a furtive glance over his shoulder, misses the flying corvid, glancing past the speedster — who looks just as alarmingly out of place — and the delightfully innocuous cap on Cat's head.

Delilah has a certain set of reactions for when she's out- when someone knocks into you in one place, it might not mean 'oh, sorry I bumped you'. Her Staten mode has 'bump' set to 'self-defense'. When Teo's knuckles rap against her elbow, the redhead spins on one wedge heel with her further hand curled into a fist. Totally ready to turn and deck this guy in the face-

-but she doesn't need to, dropping the gesture almost immediately. "Teo!" It is a sputtered response, and both brown eyes fall on his face with a twinge of guilt in them. "Well hiii." That guilt is still in the back of her eyes, but Lilah opens her mouth to laugh regardless. Does this mean I'm in trouble? The coat in her hands, she hugs it back to her front with the slush-side out.

"How're you doin'?" Delilah's tip for the night: when in doubt, topic change! Let us see if it succeeds.

Stella hums softly to herself as she walks, thoughts tuned warily to keep a mental eye on her surroundings. Can't be too safe in an area like this. She has a paperback tucked into her back pocket, with the intention to find a place to sit down and read some place. One ear sports an earbud, which is attached to an iPod that lives in her pocket. Turquoise eyes roam left and right, curiously taking everything in, looking at all.

Too bad Vic's situational awareness isn't really top notch. He'd notice there is at least one person here he knows, but she happens to be behind him strolling with an iPod in a place that might get her mugged. Then again to be fair all of New York might get you mugged. He makes brief eye contact with Teo and gives one of those civil Hi nods of the head that are so often shared between guys that don't know each other but are obligated to acknowledge that they're cool with coexisting. Hands in pockets, Vic stands a distance from the interior entrance of the street cafe, looking into it because he can see the counter menu from here. And frankly it looks suspicious to him.

The raven alights itself on the valve of a nearby fire hydrant that was once bright yellow but has faded over the years to something much duller where the paint has flaked off, exposing the weather-worn metal beneath. It lifts one wing and uses its beak like a comb to pick through its feathers while keeping one eye on Teo and Delilah.

Big black birds, even specimens as large and severe-looking as this one, aren't an uncommon sight in the Rookery — scavengers on Staten Island have grown bold, and this one is no exception. It announces itself with a low croak, perhaps in greeting, or perhaps to herald a warning. Either way, it seems content to perch and preen where it landed, a quiet and astute voyeur.

Her attention is drawn by the man and girl, and the voice she hears from the man. Cat, a brunette of five feet eight inches height, studies him briefly, then her, before letting her eyes roam slowly again. Victor is spotted but not assigned much focus. The preening bird atop the faded hydrant also draws a glance, but she doesn't yet attach any significance to it. Cat chooses instead to lean against the wall of a building and observe without calling attention to herself for the moment. The heel of one well worn boot is lifted to rest on that wall where she stands, hands dip into pockets of her old and ratty coat, and the cold air comes in through holes in the knees of her jeans.

The cry of carrion-crawler's song mingles with the bright notes of his quarry's voice, and Teo's head does a confusing little twitch to and fro as he tries to divide his attention between two — birds, to use a colloquialism from Delilah's country of origin. This is primarily a bad move because Delilah's about to punch him in the face or gonads while he's doing it, but he's rescued from his lack of presence of mind by the fact that the little girl ginger manages to have some. "Good," he answers automatically, his eyes on the raven for a moment longer than a raven probably deserves.

The next moment, however, his focus is on Delilah again. "You're going to freeze to death like that," he points out, turning down the corners of his mouth. His jacket's coming off then, after a quick hand divests its pockets of cellphone, cigarettes and lighter. Only to pause, mid-motion, the garment hanging off his elbows. Wait. He's a terrorist. And therefore an expert at changing the subject. He's onto her. "Why the f— what are you doing out here, sorry?"

Eyes making a quick dart to-and-fro, Delilah makes a short note of her surroundings again. People, a big old bird, road. Teo is looking at the bird, so she gives it a second look too. "It's not as cold as it seems, really. I'm fine, I just didn't wanna be all soggy…" Her words that try fruitlessly to redirect him fade out as the coat comes off. Fortunately, there is a moment now where Teo does realize he is being had- the topic swings back to Lilah's presence, and she grimaces visibly. Dangit.

"What would you believe?" Out from beneath a fringe of red, her eyes flit up at him again. "Um. Going to save… my… grandmamma from a wolf?" Delilah cocks her head slowly, squinting sideways at Teo as if she were asking if that was a good enough answer.

Stella enters the cafe in time to hear something about Little Red Riding Hood, and she quirks an eyebrow upward, unable to muffle a chuckle, covering her mouth as she does. She recognized Teo from Old Lucy's, and lifted her free hand in a little wave of greeting. Stella hasn't spotted Cat or Victor yet.

Suddenly somebody shouts from a nearby alley, "Pregnant!" It's the culmination of an argument between at least two people, a male voice and a female voice, and it ends up receding into the distance as they apparently take their fight elsewhere.

What the hell? Vic can't help himself. He has to turn and see if he can see who said that. Because it's like a rule that whenever someone says 'pregnant' you have to stare at them. In turning, he catches sight of someone he recognizes. "Stella?" The surprise he evinces is genuine.

All is kept watch over. Brothels, pawn shops, restaurants, clinics. Cat can't tell which of them are locations of interest according to what she's been told. Teo and Delilah draw her attention briefly by their conversation, her surface thoughts taking on a mildly amused tone. Little Red Riding Hood? Plenty of big bad wolves around here.

Then she too glances toward the shout regarding pregnancy, her ears register whether the voice which spoke that word was male or female, and on turning her head back to the street area Victor is spotted as he names Stella. The woman is looked at only briefly, but the man… he draws longer attention.

In Cat's mind an image of Gillian Childs is called up, and she compares that image with the man who addressed Stella.

There's another man addressing Stella in a moment, or at least targeting a swift wave of his hand that way, cheerfully genial. Teo is, however, distracted by the seventeen-year-old spitfire who seems endlessly prone to accidental confrontations with vehicles and severed body parts, and peculiarly unwary despite it. No, that isn't a good enough answer. Insofar as that Teodoro isn't physically capable of haranguing her, but does settle his most Exasperated expression over his face. Given how animated his mug tends to be, that is pretty Exasperated.

"Can't you do me a favor, at least tell a fucking lie that doesn't read like a popular fairytale?" he asks, half-smiling. "Like— working?" A quaver-beat's pause. The Happy Dagger is right behind her, and somebody's nearby is experiencing aneurysm about unexpected pregnancy, after all. "I take it back." His jacket shucks the rest of the way down off his arm; he offers it to her.

In her bid to escape from the smoky cloister in the belly of the beast, a heavily-painted and scantily clad young woman wanders her way out of the Happy Dagger only to snag her fleeting retreat just one step out onto the sheltering street. She's like some errant puppy unwilling to wander too close to the buried barrier of an invisible fence; she knows the collar will shock her if she dares put a toe over the line. Instead, Bebe lingers at the doorman's shoulder and puts on a pose that suggests she's been assigned the role of not-so-subtle incentive for prospective customers or the merely curious to step right up and make their way in to see the wares for sale within. Her big, brown eyes aren't unfocused but rather remain sharp as she keeps a very literal eye on the goings-on of her surroundings.

Delilah has more faith in others than herself, sometimes- likely one reason that she tries to make sure her fallacies and failures don't see the light of day. This one isn't as bad as Teo makes it sound. Because it is not what he thinks. As for the coat- the girl takes it with only a bit of hesitance. She is also not as likely to want help as she is liable to give it herself.

She looks a bit hurt by the insinuation of her being a working girl, meeting that exasperated look from Teo halfway. "No." Delilah says that word with enough conviction that it is all she needs to say about that. "My scooter finally kicked it. I'm tryin' to find a way back to the coast. It's not really working, obviously." There you have it. Well. Most of it.

While the explanation comes, she pulls Teo's coat up over her arms. Smells like him, too. And Beer! This must be the universal Man-Smell Lilah hears so much about. "Teo, you smell like a pub." A titter, and then, a sniff of the arm of the coat. But worry not, fair Laudani, she's not about to insult you so rampantly. "I kinda like it." Smells lived-in. "Thanks."

"Victor?" Stella turns to pinpoint the voice, and now she hears his own mental voice among all the others. "What are you doing here?" She smiles as she asks the question, walking over to him after giving a goodbye wave to Teo. Switching off her iPod, she tucks it into her pocket and does a once-over of the area, noticing Cat and Bebe.

Geographically Vic isn't so far from Teo that Stella has to go more than a couple of steps. And actually he meets her halfway. "What're you doing here?" he asks Stella with a grin, obviously happy to see her judging from body language alone. Glance Teowards. "Don't tell me you work here too." There's a smirk indicating the he believes that's not the case and he comes to a ghost of a conclusion that she probably knows this stranger talking to the car-cursing girl.

She has to wonder about the man whose face corresponds so well to the image of Gillian she called up. Is it coincidence? Is he related to her? Cat doesn't know, and this doesn't seem the time to ask, given her desire to not have attention paid to her. Eyes move from him after she establishes the resemblance, to the woman he dubbed Stella who answered to that name; who also both knows and is known by Teo. It's all being recorded in her brain, and some of the musings she drifts through may be picked up on by the telepath she has no idea can hear any of it.

"I didn't really mean—" Teodoro has the good grace to look ashamed of himself at having implied that, however accidentally. A dash of sanguine color across the middle of his face. "Mi dispiace." He's glad, at least, that she accepts the jacket, and offers to take her sodden coat off her even as he swings a gallant arm toward the cafe.

It's dry inside, and has enough vacant tables that her garment could be installed on the back of a chair to dry while he manifests his apology few few dollars' worth of in chivalry.

Or so is the plan that he's attempting to describe in a few ruefully mumbled keywords and vague gestures, when he notices there's that blond boy and the bartender he briefly met between them and the establishment he's motioning at. "Oh, look," he says drolly, offering Delilah a cant of humor with a smile. "Respectable people. Let's go install you there with them, eh? 'Least 'til this thing's dry." He glances optimistically back at the redhead.

Through some coincidence of trajectories and super-keen terrorist senses, he also then glimpses Bebe behind her. That cues another slight furrow of recognition of his brow, a distracted swivel of his head much as the crow had jiggled out of him.

While Teo appears to be six or seven shades more sober than the last time Bebe laid her babydoll eyes on the man, he doesn't appear to have found the sense to find his way off the island yet. That never bodes well. If he hasn't made it off by now, odds are, he'll just keep coming back for more until he's a full-time resident… breathing optional. All the same, since he and Stella and now Victor dance familiar in front of her face, they're worth watching while she puts only a half-hearted effort into enticing passers-by to take shelter inside John Logan's Happiest Place on Earth.

Funny enough, six or seven shades stands correct for Delilah too. She seems to try hiding her neck below his coat's collar, looking a little bit like a turtle wearing a red wig. "Respectable people." She repeats, eyeing him mostly because of that mumbling. "I wonder if they have many watering holes 'round here." Not too likely, considering. Dee smiles aside to Teo, who glances behind her into the background; the girl doesn't look where he does this time, taking it as Teo's own brand of suspicion. Maybe he is just like that too, when he's in his right mind. Nothing wrong with caution. "Okay." Hello, Teo, look back over here.

Stella chuckles. "I came wandering," she said, "And no, I don't work here, silly. I don't know if I work anywhere, right now. Still haven't heard back from Isabelle. So what are /you/ doing here?" She asks, tilting her head to the side. Stella is clearly happy to see Victor, if the big silly grin on her face is saying anything.

Vic explains to Stella, "Remember that thing I told you I was working on? With my sister?" red flag, Cat! "I was kinda looking for something related to that." He tries to be vague because of mixed company and all that. "Not that anybody seems to know Sylar." Red flag for everybody else. Play ball!

Oh, the things one learns when simply observing. Cat continues to just lean against the wall with the sole of that one well worn boot pressed to that surface, her eyes moving around from time to time. The Yankees cap remains in place, perhaps shielding where her attention is directed somewhat. The people Victor mentions, however, cause perceivable reactions within her mind. Sister? An image of Gillian appears again, complete with scar on her forehead. Sylar. Another image flashes, this time of Gillian sitting as hands work to place stitches in the woman's forehead at the place where the scar was in previous visualizations.

Yes, Teo is paying attention. Snapping his attention down from one young woman and back to the one at present, he proffers a smile and steers in her wake at a leggy gait. "I owe you a coffee or something. Maybe with raspberry or something; sorry I stink like sh—" He almost trips over the pavement behind Victor, startled as he is.

Jesus fucking Christ. And he thought Manhattan was a small town. "Ragazzo, you should probably think better than to run around saying the Midtown man's name around anywhere here," he says. Automatically, he glances around, checks for eavesdroppers; meets Cat's gaze briefly, meaningfully, but he doesn't break away from trailing Delilah like a particularly courteous puppy. Teo does a lot of things the same whether drunk or sober.

Once she is sure Teo is coming along(yes, just like a puppy), Dee starts towards the building with him. When he pipes up because of Victor, The name Sylar disturbs her slightly- His name is like saying Voldemort! Or even Candle Jack! You never know what's going to happen whe- "COFFEE SOUNDS NICE." If speaking more loudly doesn't only distract the three, four people there around her, it will probably make several others on the block look over too. Almost like her outburst did a short while ago. I don't want to hear anything about Sylar! Dee even reaches out a hand to tug on Teo's sleeve to make sure he's still coming along. "He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named doesn't deserve us speaking about him, period." Clue bat, for Victor. Bonus points because she's got the accent to match the slang.

Stella jumps a little as the Little Red Riding Hood girl announces, quite loudly, her desire for coffee. She doesn't need telepathy to sense the tension in the room once Victor mentions the name Sylar, and she isn't sure what to say to him. On the one hand, the redhead has a point. On the other.. it's his sister. So she tries, "Um. How about some coffee?"

Vic clearly doesn't get what the problem is, but suddenly and quite by accident he finds people reacting to the name Sylar. Whoa. "Hey." he says, glancing at Stella as if to confirm that she's seeing this too. "You know who Sylar is?" They don't like him saying that name?! Tough! Sylar Sylar Sylar! "Hey, dude. Come back." and he's walking after Teo. Coffee indeed. He just got a scent on the trail. At long last.

Eye contact is made when Teo looks at her meaningfully, and Cat's mental voice groans quietly. Teo. Don't look at me. She isn't sure being possibly made as knowing any of them would be a good thing here, especially after Victor mentions Sylar. She eyes the group heading into that cafe for coffee briefly, as if only mildly interested, then returns to looking toward some distant point. Nonchalance is the plan. It's only when it seems to have been long enough that she could appear to head for the cafe of her own accord and not out of any interest in the others that she'll drift that way herself.

Fortunately for Cat, the single file profession into the cafe precludes her being 'made' in any fashion that could be attributed to Teodoro's glance or anything he would have been trying to communicate with it. Now, he mostly looks mortified. Teo doesn't want to hear anything about Sylar either. He lets himself be dragged off by the Englishwoman, and seconds her literarily referential opinion with a brief backward frown at Victor. "No offense, but I'd rather not."

Everybody knows who Sylar is. Is supposed to. You can look him up in the library and everything. Overall, Teo does a stupendous job of following a girl around with her stuff look defensive and warily standoffish. It's not easy to do. He squints over Delilah's head at the menu overhead.

Delilah seems to be giving Victor a similarly bad-eye as he follows them inside. Is this guy a creep? She can't decide. "…Have you been living under a rock?" Dee turns herself to peer past Teo's arm at Vic while he looks up over her head. "Are you illiterate? Slow? I can't tell. You're too clean to actually have been under a rock, huh."

"I don't think anyone wants to hear you keep talking about Him." He is the reason that everyone is where they are. The reason that their world smells like garbage and bureaucracy, and their lives keep sinking further into respective tar pits.

Stella whispers softly to Vic, "I know you want revenge on this guy, but maybe this isn't the best way to go about it. These people don't seem to want to talk about you-know-who, and I don't blame them. He's a really scary guy. How about we just get some coffee instead?"

Meanwhile, outside of the Happy Dagger, wee Bebe is bouncing her heavily-kohled, brown-eyed gaze down along the ground in pursuit of something besides shy and awkward or outright disdainful passers-by. You know. As if the denizens of Staten Island really had much more than a dung hill upon which to climb and crow about mixed morals and loose women. Here, people hunger — both for food and for flesh — and those who can't afford the former most certainly haven't the funds to purchase the latter and so they sneer.

It doesn't bother Bebe a bit. She isn't even inclined to notice. She's too busy becoming transfixed on an old bottle cap that just so happened to hop, skip, and jump its way down the sidewalk in order to sneak a peek up her short skirt. Hmph. That's rather rude! Instead of allowing the small, circular interloper to get a free show, she sends it bouncing back across the street… with her brain. Cor! That's a neat trick eh? Not that anyone else really got a good look but Bebe can't help but brandish a smile at her phenomenal feat.

"I don't want Revenge. I just want Answers." comes Victor's voice in something bordering on abject anger. Call it more frustratedly pissed-off. His eyes fix on Teo. Because he's a guy. Delilah's in the same group as far as Vic is concerned, but he has a problem doing to girls what he's about to do to Teo. He looks to Stella and says, "I need answers. I'll Be. Right. Back."

With a blur of motion and a whirlwind gust Victor Childs vanishes and there is a flailing shape that is Vic and Teo barrelling down the street, Teo getting a surprise look at what one of the remaining Childs siblings can do. At the end of the block there is a mailbox, disused because postmen won't even show up when the weather's bad. You think they're gonna come to a criminal cesspool? Vic pulls the impact enough that Teo won't bodily fall to pieces when he impacts the box, but rather uses it as a backstop to press the man hard against, fists curled hard in the other man's shirt and drawing his collar in something close to a choke. "Tell. Me. Where. He. Is. Or so help me I will run your butt to the South Pole and leave you. Do you understand me?" Yup. Pissed off. And poor Teo, it's really not his fault.

She might've noticed what Bebe is doing with the bottle cap, having not followed them to the cafe yet, giving it just that much more time, but her attention is pulled away by the sudden blur and gust of wind which Victor and Teo become. Cat's head whirls in the direction they went. She spots them at the end of that block, with Teo being pressed against the mailbox, and abandons all pretense of not knowing who he is, any semblance she might not be linked to him. Her feet go into motion and one hand goes behind her back. It comes out with a silenced .40 caliber pistol, and she takes aim on one of Victor's legs.

But Cat doesn't fire, yet. She attempts eye contact with Teo, seeking to ask him non-verbally if she should intercede and equalize the speed factor.

Suddenly, Teo is no longer in there, but all the way over here. And it's a long—


—long fucking way, which ends with a bang of his back into rusted metal, as well as a ragtag swirl of shouting and blaring automobile horns going up all over the street. If there was a bad place to do this, Staten Island was probably it. Not that Manhattan would have been much better, granted. At least here, there isn't a single cop to come and investigate. That — is a good thing, at least in the baby terrorist's estimation. Though Cat's here now.

And there are guns. He knows better than to go for his own, naturally, nose to nose with a speedster who threatened to leave him to die in fucking Antarctica. Not that he's about to behave especially prudently anyway. "I don't fucking know," he snarls at the younger man, though it emerges as more of a painted wheeze, really, gusting on Victor's face through clinched teeth. "He's a world-famous serial killer, you ignorant asshole.

"How the fuck should I know?" Because he's a terrorist. Running a free social networking and dating service for Childs' children and world-famous Evolved serial killers. That's private information, though, and previously established to be worth dying to protect, so he's left to shove at the hands on his sweater, and jerk his head, once, a brusque No at Catherine. "Who the fuck are you?"

And whoa nelly. There goes Teo. Dee is literally left in the dust, staring wide-eyed at the space where he had been just seconds ago. "The bloody hell was that?" She announces to the small cafe, similarly left with little or no words. Fingers clutching at the coat she wears, the redhead passes Stella a confused look before stepping back out of the small, raggedy cafe and glancing up and down the street. And there they are, down at the end of the block. Okay, Staten Island is Officially full of weirdos. If the Dirty City wasn't enough, there are people using abilities in public view. And guns.

Whoahh boy. Okay. So this was not good. At all. Not even sort of a little. Stella buried her face in her hands for a moment, sighed loudly, then exited the cafe in Delilah's wake, going to where Cat was pointing a gun at Vic, who looked like he could strangle Teo then and there. Stella flailed a little. What the hell was she going to do to fix /this/.

"I'm the brother of Jennifer Childs." Vic says to Teo, letting go of him and digging a crumpled photograph out of his pocket. He has to unfold it, it's been so worn and looked-at. A high school photo of a very pretty girl with dark hair. Model looks. Smiling. Vic thrusts the photo in Teo's face. "My sister. I KNOW who Sylar is supposed to be. I don't care WHO he is. I want to know WHERE I can find him!" Just to drive the point home Vic lets Teo have a look at the photo and then presses it into Teo's nose like he's rubbing that nose in dog crap. Then he takes the photo back and says, "And I've had enough of people acting like he's untouchable. He's untouchable because people like you and your jailbait girlfriend don't care. But I care." He looks at Teo as if the other man were just a thing and says, "Rot."

Then Vic turns his back and walks back toward the diner in a pace pretty much consistent with a normal human walk, putting a hand over his eyes to hide the tears.

And suddenly the outside world gets so much more interesting. Bebe blinks at the sudden gust of wind and, hey, maybe that was really more to blame for the bouncing bottle cap than anything else she might have done. But, then, there's a woman wielding a gun which, in these parts, it pretty much an invitation for way more trouble rather than a whole lot less. The whore doesn't have to say a word to the Dagger's doorman; he's already on the case, coaxing the merchandise back inside before Bad Things<tm> are apt to occur.

She watches Teo intently, standing there poised to put a bullet into Victor's leg, but when the jerk of his head comes Cat lowers the weapon and returns it to where the thing was hidden. She continues to watch the pair as Victor shoves something into Teo's face, what it is she can't quite make out, nor the words at that distance. It's only when the speedster is making his way back that she lets her eyes wander to take in the presence of Delilah and Stella, then Bebe being ushered back inside the brothel.

After ensuring there don't seem to be any other threats afoot, Cat heads for Teo at the mailbox walking briskly. "You okay?"

And Teo had thought Gillian had given him too much information. Apparently, she'd left out a few vital details. Third Childs kid. On warpath. Trying to kill her beau. Still breathing, but potentially not for long. The photograph that rears up against Teo's nose rears up way too close, and his eyes cross to see Jennifer's gorgeous face before sliding out of focus with a twinge of an incipient headache in his temples. His shoulders curl into a slump, his lungs reinflate ounce by ounce, and he's left staring at Victor's back and wishing he couldn't guess — or didn't know — what the hand the boy lifts to his eyes is for.

"Fuck." Cat's the only one near enough to hear him hiss it out of his teeth, a grunt that bottoms out in his throat. He raises an arm over his face, takes a moment to yell at the imaginary representation of Gillian he has in his head.

"Fffffuck. What the fuck." Pulling himself upright, he gives Cat a second twist of his head. This one means Yes. And is slower, weighed down, clumsied by the acid weight of guilt in his throat. "'M getting out of here. You take care." His eyes flit briefly to the edge of roof the raven's on.

Stella walks straight into Victor's arms, her own opened wide. He needed her, and she was there. She pulled his head down until he could rest it on her shoulder, and stroked his hair gently. "It's going to be okay," she murmured in his ear, pulling him close. "I've got you."

Somehow Stella's not helping Vic with his guy cred. Because as soon as she does the arms and the holding and the hugging and everything, he just starts bawling. Like, loudly. Great. Now he's a big ol wuss crying on the street in the middle of the hardened criminals and all their jaded uncaring world of dirt. "I wanna go…" he manages to say, embarassed to even be here now.

Of course this crying wuss just jacked Teo up against a mailbox and made him look like a punk. But then Teo's not crying.

Teo says he's okay, and is getting out of here. Cat nods once, and scans the area again. There's Victor, and Stella comforting him. She understands, she really does. She wants to kill Ethan slowly and painfully as she imagines Victor must want to end Sylar. The truth of it is she believes him the sane one, whereas Gillian is the semi-nutjob for wanting to protect a man who murdered her sister and nearly cut off the top of her own head. That image of Gillian flashes into her mind again, sitting there being stitched up. Gillian later defending Sylar against retribution, making not seeking to kill him a condition of things…

Brother and sister really need to get on the same page, Cat thinks to herself. It's between them, and I'm not touching it with an eighty foot pole. But I also won't just let him attack people around me while I can take action.

Her voice is quiet, as she turns to address Stella, Delilah, and Victor. "Come with me, and I'll get you to safety for the night."

Stella keeps an arm around Vic as she turns towards Cat, frowning a little as the woman's thoughts filter into her head. If Cat knows what's what, Vic's got some pretty twisted family dynamics. She puts those aside for now, and put her attention on Cat. "That would be much appreciated."

Wonderfully, Teo's thoughts remain locked up to himself, curiously opaque to the telepath at Victor's arm and even his face gone uncharacteristically still. Whole clusterfuck's too complicated. And he's still hanging onto a woman's coat, which he'll have to make time to return, some point. He has to go now.

Really has to go. Every sob that rips out of the blond kid's chest is a new drop of blood in the shark pool and an existential knife to Teo's gut. "You do that," he grunts at Cat as she goes to tend to the civilians. Off the fucking island, preferably, but that isn't for him to say. He turns his shoulder, times the next few breaths he draws down his throat, and stumps off down the pavement, his shaven head lowered against the bite of wind.

February 18th: To Become The Person We Need To Become
February 18th: Wants And Needs
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