Frank and Emphatic


danko_icon.gif joseph_icon.gif phoebe_icon.gif

Scene Title Frank and Emphatic
Synopsis …are two different kinds of truths, and only one of them features during and after an overheard phonecall that occurs while Danko is spending some quality time.
Date September 11, 2009

Monmouth County Jail

Natural light filters in pure white through the barred window of neighboring cells, deceptively cheerful in its play off concrete walls cracked and worn a smooth, uniform grey above a waist-high band of neutral blue. The floors are clean, for the most part - large drain grates worked into cement flooring every so often likely responsible for that. The cell entrances are barred over as well, chained and padlocked where the original mechanism is chewed over thick with rust. The hallway outside looks exactly like the interior, smooth and lifeless and flat, stretching on for God only knows how long before the next locked door looms out of cold sunlight to cut off any hope of escape.

It's late in the day when thick chain clods one heavy link at a time through the grate where the lock used to be at Joseph's door — hours and hours since the last time anyone bothered coming in rather than rounding on past. Long enough for hunger to gnaw in cold and fade into a hollow ache at Jo's gut until that's gone too and all that remains is the stiffness of his numb-legged, stiff-jointed sit in the chair and the occasional passage of combat boots through the hallway outside.

There's something familiar about the approach of these particular boots, though. The owner isn't in a hurry to get in and out again, and somebody else closes the door behind him. Both of them are quiet, which is telling in itself. Whether or not it's promising depends on Joseph's preference of torture styles between the available options of Bill Dean and Emile Danko, whose skullish face is the one washed over in cold light when the burlap sack is drawn deftly away

Down here, there's very little to look forward to. Loneliness can only be matched with the bitter company of capturers, and so when Danko pulls away the bag, Joseph is not happy to see him. There's a flinch at the light of the room getting in his eyes, and only deeper breaths communicate any gratitude for this change in circumstance. Maybe he'll get to stand up, or something. That could be exciting. But as for whether or not it's a relief to see Danko over Dean—

A preference isn't communicated either, save for a sharper kind attention, rather than simply bracing himself. "What do you want," Joseph asks, without the inflection of a question, voice cracked and dry, darting a gaze towards whoever's followed Danko inside, as if expecting to see the unconscious form of Billy Jean Cambia dragged in behind him.

"Aside from the elimination of every evolved from the gene pool?" Or is that what he was asking? Bag dropped into prisoner lap, as seems to be customary, Danko squints after the cracks in Joseph's voice in an effort to match them up with any that might mark his lips, then reaches back over his own shoulder after a bottled water lodged neatly in his pack.

Behind him, Butch stands alone by the door, light brown eyes and AK47 turned up after a long-legged spider creeping herky jerky across the concrete ceiling away from the vibrations of the open and closed door. S'a big fuckin' spider.

Bottle cap unscrewed and the bottle itself pushed up brusque under Joseph's nose, Danko tries a mild, "Thirsty?" on his way to nudging it up against his mouth instead. "You're starting to look a little dehydrated."

The look crossed upwards at Danko couldn't be anything less than baleful. Thirsty, yes, enough that he silently accepts the water, visual focus fuzzying out as if perhaps he could ignore his own action, the acceptance of this small mercy. When it's done, Joseph licks his lips, swallows around a throat less dry than before, clears it. His wrists, in a now familiar and largely unconscious, wistful action, twist within the cuffs that bind his arms back. It shows in the roll of his shoulders, the creak and scrape of metal. "Amongst other things."

As has tended to be the case of late, life has been very busy and very distracting for the Widow Thornton. She has, however, finally found time to take a breath and engage in activities that are a tad more relaxing then her norm. In this case, relaxation comes in the form of lounging on a marble balcony while catching up on phonecalls she had intended to make. In this instance the call being placed is to one Jakob Donner. It is also coupled with a very disapproving glower courtsey of Phoebe's long suffering bodyguard, Mist Mosha Feldman.

"Do stop glaring at me, Mosha." Phoebe notes drily while waiting for her call to be placed and brought out to the balcony. "You are," she notes. "Behaving like a jealous." Which, mind you, more then a few have surmised he is. "Hardly fitting, or even justified, since there is absolutely nothing even remotely romantic about my intentions with Mister Donner."

"He is dangerous." Comes Mosha's equally flat reply. "Do I really need to point out that this is exactly what you have paid me for doing all these years?"

Sipping her wine, Phoebe gives a faint shake of her head, blue eyes attempting not to roll in response to Mosha's words. "I cannot imagine why you think Mister Donner is dangerous. He strikes me as a perfectly charming man doing his best to raise two children on his own."

"Hn," Snorts Mosha in response. "Have you seen these children, Phoebe? I highly doubt that man has two pictures of children let alone two actual children."

"Well then," Phoebe notes reasonably. "We shall found out shortly, shan't we. You know, if you are wrong, I am going to insist that you attend a flower show with me."

Again, Mosha snorts in response, his arms refolding firmly over his chest. "You realize that Mister Donner is likely to get shot if that happens?" Mosha, you see, detests flower shows. Fortunately, it is at that point that Phoebe's flashes indicating her call is placed.

And, conversely, it is around about that time that 'Donner's' phone rings/buzzes/vibrates or what-have-you's….

It buzzes, actually. Buzzes in an insistent fashion that gives Danko pause once he's tipped the water back and set to patting absently after the appropriate pocket somewhere at his chest. It takes at least two rings to get it fumbled out to where he can squint at the number reading out bright across the display. One more to droptoss the water bottle uncapped into Joseph's prone lap ("Sorry about that,") so that he can scrub a sleeve coarse across his nose and drag his sidearm out instead.

Hammer cocked neatly back, muzzle at a casual heft and point at the region between Joseph's black eyes, he flips the phone open, presses it to the scuffed black chest of his fatigues long enough to impart a crook-smiled, "If you could just — keep it down a second, I have to take this. I'll keep it short," and fumbles a gloved thumb over the speaker phone toggle. "Donner."

Joseph jumps, minutely, as the water bottle is tossed into his lap, still clad in dark navy expensive fabric. Nice. Any look lifted upwards to complain is met staring down the barrel of the gun. The flash of semi-rational fear across his face is open and plain, unmasked and probably very recognisable to these men - if there is something more to fear down here, it's an inevitable death where no one can ever know it happened. Even then, the instruction is heeded, though somewhat disbelievingly. Mouth shut, Joseph rolls his eyes upwards either in exasperation or prayer, listening in not by choice.

As the call is being placed Mosha mutters something about stubborn, pigheaded women and crosses the balcony to pour himself a drink. What had been started as a shot ends up as a double before he finally returns to his spot close enough to listen to the call without appearing completely overbearing. Much to his chagrin, the man answers.

At the sound of Danko's voice, Phoebe smirks smugly at Mosha— She knows damned well he was hoping there would be no answer. "Evening Mister Donner, is this a bad time?" Oh, if she -only- knew how very bad a time it actually was. Well, really, Phoebe would be mortified. Will be mortified. Mosha, however, will -finally- have the right to be a smug sonofabitch for many months to come. Of course, more mortifying still is the fact that she is on speaker phone and poor dear Joseph just has to recognize her voice.

"Not at all, Mrs. Thornton. I'm finishing up a little personal business with a client here at the office. He's a good guy, though. I don't think we'll have any problems." Will we? Grey-touched brows lift and cant over the hollow of deepset sockets, not quite a waggle, though the implication is certainly there in a slow, casual shift of his weight from one boot to the other. "Should be headed out shortly."

Then: "S'been a while since I've heard from you. Hope everything's okay."

Instantly, the phone becomes more important than the sidearm aimed at his head, or Danko's skull-like visage, or the spider crawling across the ceiling. Joseph's attention snaps to it like a well trained dog, blinking in incomprehension as Phoebe Thornton's tinny voice fills in the cement cell. He does make a sound - it's a small, minute little grunt at the back of his throat that he clamps his teeth against in the next moment. As Danko responds, Joseph looks passed the sidearm at him, helplessness communicated as clearly as fear had been before, his shoulders slack and expression despondent - and otherwise, suggestive eyebrow raises get only a blank stare. Sitting back against the chair although far from relaxed, he listens, shifting his attention between gun and phone.

"Ah, then I shan't keep you terribly long," Phoebe promises in understanding tones. In the background Mosha snorts, tosses back his shot and sets the empty glass on the Italian marble railing behind him. Fortunately, the glare Phoebe slants Mosha's way cannot be heard in her voice. "In fact, why don't I let you go back to your business. If you have a moment later in the evening, however, there is an event being arranged that I think would present a splendid opportunity for your daughter." You remember, the budding violinist.

"…Really?" .45 lowered enough to bump at the water bottle on the verge of tumping over completely in Joseph's lap, Danko gives it enough of an idle nudge to do just that. Glug glug glug glug. Water soaks in dark and dribbles cold to the floor. A waste. As soon as it's over, dead grey eyes lift to seek out the pitch of Joseph's blank stare, intensity solid as a concrete bunker through the wide-pupiled fix of the older man's gaze. "I should be free and clear here in two hours tops, if you'd like to talk about it."

Selfishly, it's the loss of water that makes him wince, not quite sensitised to this game yet to know to keep reactions in check. He'd never been good at it before, either. The news, though, that he's going out to meet her— that'd he dare to do that— has Joseph yanking his legs against the fastened bonds of the chair legs, wrists twisting again. Not making a sound, no, that command manages to sink its hooks into his psyche and still his tongue. Words can come later. For now, it's one vague jerk, the mostly emptied water bottle easily toppling to the ground beneath the shimmer of disruption.

"Wonderful," Phoebe agrees pleasantly. "Stop by for tea on your way home. I promise I shall not keep you terribly long." And really, she's ignoring Mosha completely now. Really, he's behaving like an overbearing bore. "I hope your business goes to your satisfaction in the meantime."

To which Mosha pushes off the balcony and heads over to pour another shot. Aye, grumbling the entire way.

"Of course. I'll give you a call when I'm on my way." The phone's turned around and angled up there, Danko's attention fallen to seeing out the 'end call' button a little in advance. Joseph's struggling is finally beginning to earn the ghost of an unpleasant smile where more earnest amusement manages to wind its way smug onto his face. "I look forward to seeing you again." Again.

In a handful of seconds, the call will end. It would be a good time now to cry out, warn her in some way, and then she would know the truth and could possibly do more to protect herself of whatever aftershock of consequence is pointed in her direction. Handcuffs and other bindings hold fast and true, and Joseph settles back against the chair, resigned to seeing out the last of it in sullen silence, mouth shut.

Again, he'd said. Fingernails cutting shallow crescents into his palms, Joseph waits for the call to end before either courage or panicky tension has him doing something that motivates Danko to simply hang up and pull the trigger.

"Wonderful," Phoebe notes again. "Good luck with your business. We'll see you soon." That said, she hangs up the call from her end, her head giving a faint shake as she slants a glance at Mosha and shakes her head. "I do not suppose I can count on you to behave during our visit?"

"I shall as be silent and invisible as ever, madam," Mosha answers in tones that are just a tad too stiff to be considered pleasant.

"Somehow," Phoebe murmurs as she reaches for her glass of wine. "I sincerely doubt that, Mister Feldman."

"I will. Thanks for the invitation, Phoebe." ~Phoebe.~ Danko hangs up there, first name familiarity judged a safe enough risk to be worth the knife twist into Joseph's gut once he's ended the call and flipped the phone neatly shut in his hand, clack, like a curt little pac-man that subsists on hopes and dreams in the place of little white dots.

"She's a nice woman," concluded at a companionable murmur, man to man, Danko turns the conversation over once in the back of his head, then busies himself with the process of tucking gun and phone back into their appropriate holsters. "It's a shame she's one of you."

"She isn't." It's a quick response, a straight lie that he'd been holding onto throughout the duration of the call. There is no mistake to be made, here, about who Danko's enemies are and are not. Joseph leans against his restraints, as if he could somehow approach the other man, to reason with him. "She's doesn't have an ability, there's nothin' you could want from her. She's a sympathiser, and no more. You got— " His voice hitches a little, be continues on, "You got better things to do."

At such rapid and ready denial, Danko — hesitates. It's a subtle, suspicious thing twisting slippery under the surface of his glare, unblinking through the pause of his hand at his shoulder. "You sure about that?" He sounds sure. Looks sure. Or at least emphatic enough that Emile tries to steady his own focus with a steep breath while Butch turns himself in a slow, retarded circle at his back, still following the spider's progress.

"In the off chance I haven't made myself clear, I don't respond well to liars." Nevermind the fact that he doesn't respond all that well to people who tell the truth, either — but he's not here to brush up on his debate skills. He's here to draw a narrow plastic case out've a side pocket, lambent blue showing spectral through milky plasting while he fumbles for the latch.

Alert more through force of will, Joseph can catch that hesitation, hook onto it as much as the threat in Danko's words shows itself clearly. Hell. What's there to lose. "I ain't lying," he says, and licks his lips, still dry despite those few mouthfuls of water he was given. Trying to clear the overtired fog of his mind, his words come out measured. There's more simper in them than he'd be proud of, but his heart is already hammering.

"You don't want to waste your time on people who don't deserve it, do you?" Somehow, the question of sin doesn't factor in right now - it will, later, when he has time for it. Danko's movements nearly go missed, but the subtle glow of blue is interesting enough to catch his attention, words stalling.

"If she's helping your kind stay under the radar, she's as much a threat as the kid who shoots lightning out've his fingers that she lets hide out in her basement." Pop goes the case, and one of three slender syringes camped out inside is rolled out of its plastic grip. Danko's being more careful, now, fingertips maneuvered carefully to clear the cap off the needle on his way to pumping out a narrow squirt of a substance that's glowing a whole lot less subtly now that it's out in the open.

"I have ways of being certain. And if I find out anything interesting — trust me when I say that you'll be the first to know." The pad of his boots around Joseph's back has an ominous ring to it. Maybe less ominous than the claw of his left hand over the Pastor's face when he wrenches it aside to better expose the pale underside of his neck. "I'd stay still if I were you."

Complaint is muffled both by Danko's hand and Joseph's own will, words giving up before they can take shape. Whatever that was - the quick lies, the earnest expression to back them up, using that good ol' Southern honesty as a tool in itself - was not the courage of actually warning her, made less so by Danko's simple assertion that it's useless. He wants to struggle, but there's an inevitability that's beginning to sink in, for as long as he stays here.

It doesn't actually matter what he does, anymore. So Joseph doesn't struggle as much as tension sets like steel in his posture and stillness, the set of his jaw and the flash of cold anger in his eyes, and tries not to imagine what's going to be injected into his neck. It probably won't kill him.

The needle slips in — stings. The fluid stings going in, too. Stings and burns cold, already crawling its way down through the neck and towards the chest ahead of the rapid hammer of Joseph's pulse. Then Danko's stepping away, needle and all, waterbottle kicked once by accident on his way for the cell door.

"I gotta change clothes. Watch him. If he says anything interesting, write it down. If he starts to crash, call the medic. And don't fuck around." Orders, orders. Butch looks back down to eye level long enough to nod semi-responsibly after a hard look from The Hunter, and then it's just him an the pastor with a wet bag in his lap and a bloodstream full of Refrain.

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