From Russia, With Warm Thoughts


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Scene Title From Russia, With Warm Thoughts
Synopsis Abigail calls up Joseph to ask some favors, talk about a certain someone and exchange pointed words.
Date December 1, 2009

Over the digital lines.

Joseph is learning that he doesn't mind boats - especially when they're Ferry sanctioned and he isn't going to get mugged between the mainland and Staten Island. Right now, the sizeable yacht is cutting its way back to the mainland, and he has his arms rested against the railings while trying not to be in the way. Wind tousles hair and clothing, the engine and sloshing of river water is a constant audio—

— that his cellphone slices through. Starting, there are several moments of trying to locate it on his person, and then squinting at the device so that he doesn't press the button that hangs up the incoming call accidentally. Eventually, his voice rattles tinny down the line in a neutral, "Hello?"

"Pastor Sumter?" Fourth number that she tried and the fact that a guy is answering the phone means that the pink haired woman has hit paydirt. She's outside, dressed up in Pj bottoms, boots, parka and bathrobe sticking out from underneath the parka. She looks up at the stars squinting to make out the constellations.
You have been applauded.

"Joseph," is an automatic correction for just about anyone who makes the mistake of identifying him in that sense, although flippant names like Preacher tend to go unmolested. It only takes him a split second to recognise that voice, too— how many times has he heard Abby call him that. His back straightens, other hand coming up to cover his free ear from the sounds of boat and water that probably filter in through the phone too. "Abigail?" His voice conveys both surprise and relief, as clear as the reception is mildly dodgy.

"Yup, one and only. How many southern's calling over a bad line do you really know Pastor Sumter?" She ignores the Joseph. "I'm just calling to see how things are back home, a quick call. I can't make it too long because of stuff. Stuff that I can't… really go into" She can hear the water and the waves, and that makes her smile. At least it's not quiet and the sound of rats. "You seen Flint?"

"I know at least one other," Joseph counters, with a slightly wry chuckle. And then, he listens, and Abigail won't have to try too hard to imagine the look of concern some of those words will get. It's exactly the same as when she'd told him she was off to Russia for reasons she couldn't totally go into at the time either. Joseph hesitates, turning to lean against the railing. "Uh, well. Ferry are keepin' awful busy, fixin' up a whole neighbourhood these days. We could sure use some of your baking. Flint— yeah. I've seen Flint. I gave 'im— what you wanted me to give 'im." Cutting more or less to the chase, as he can guess that such a question would come next.

"I'll be back soon enough and I'll bake enough to feed that whole neighbourhood" That's her goal. Things go better if there's a goal right? "Bet that's keeping you right busy and giving you a focus" Make him get back to interacting with others where he's not likely gonna get strung up and hung from a lamp post.

Flint has the letter though and Abigail's lips press down and inwards. "How'd it go?"

The subject on getting Joseph back out there gets a small, minor 'mm' from the pastor, a neutral agreement that it is doing that much. He doesn't allow too much silence to linger after that question - Abby can hear a slight sigh from the pastor, before he offers a, "Who can tell, with Flint? He's— despondent." A beat, in which he tries to weigh the pros and cons of meddling, before he adds, "He's scared of losin' you, I think. Not takin' a lot of hope outta the situation."

One would swear the two had actually been dating for all that has been invested between the two. "Keep an eye on him for me? I promise that I won't do anything until I get home, till.. we can talk. Till we can really talk about what happened" She doens't know whether he's read the letter or not, despite leaving it unsealed. The pink haired woman sighs softly. Russia with the assist to prod her otherwise. She COULD say that she and flint weren't dating, that it's just sex, friends with benefits but anyone who knows the former healer, knows that nothing is ever just.

"How's Alicia? Have you stopped by the bar at all?"

"I will, keep an eye on him. He tends to at least remember we're friends when he's drunk," Joseph says, with a bitter kind of optimism that isn't totally without sincerity and affectionate exasperation as he tilts a look up towards the waning sky. It'll probably start raining before he gets to the coast. Darn. "Alicia's doing alright. She's used to the tunnels and likes frightenin' the life outta me by runnin' off, but she finds her way back easier than I do. Haven't gone by the bar. Is— how's Teo, and Catherine and all?"

"Likes chasing rats I suppose. poor things" Abigail laughs softly at the picture he just painted. Flint and his drinking doens't escape her notice. "Oh, we're doing good. Settled in. I'm gonna be mailing back presents. I got you a big hat, made of real fur. It's really warm. I got some stacking dolls you can pass out to the kids and all that. But we're good. Little scratched up but nothing some polysporin can't fix."

Boot sole scrapes metal deck, nudges rough against rust as Joseph wanders beside the railing as she talks, hand still blocking out the sounds of the yacht ride back. He smiles, and gains a glance from a passing sailor whom he politely steps aside for. "Thank you, sounds nice. Keep 'em with you though, instead've postin' 'em. Getting them in for Christmas don't mean much when we'd all rather you was home. Wish I could give you a hint about the future— shoulda done before you took off, really."

"Sometimes, it's better not to know the future. I think in this case, probably was for the best" Abigail opines quietly, breath curling out into the cool air as she shuffles around the back yard. "Tell you what, i'll send the stuff for the kids back, but i'll keep your stuff here so that I can pass it off to you when we get back yes? I would think that we'll be back before christmas" If wishes were horses too, maybe they would. Abigail's not going to hold her breath.

"Will you uh.. If we don't get back before christmas, can you stop by the bar and have the girls pass you some money and get flint some things for christmas from me? I mean, just, you know, on the off chance that i'm not, you know able to get to a phone and the like. I suppose I could order some stuff online but I don't like using the computer to shop. THey're just banking my paycheck from the bar in the back, i'll call and let them know. Get some folks at the safe house some good food for Christmas dinner and all that too. Some gifts from santa for the kids"

Minor needle-thin drops of rain are avoided when Joseph shuffles more towards the cabin of the boat, still outside, still battered at by cold less icy than a Russia winter. His eyes narrow as he listens, mouth in a line of disapproval at most of this, and he clears his throat. "Yeah. I can do that," he states, putting as much reluctance and general discomfort into his voice as he can to make up for the fact he's—

You know. Going along with it. Abby talking like she might not come back, or be thrown into so much danger she can't call home— "Did you want me to tell Flint anythin'?"

What to have Jospeh tell Flint. Abigail crouches down free hand making a smiley face in the snow. "Tell him… it's cold here, That I hope… That I hope he's doing well. That I think about him"

Abigail glances up skywards. "You read it, I know you read it. I don't know what to do Pastor Sumter. It's not like we're dating or anything" Casual sex, could be construed as anything.

Joseph can't even summon up guilt for accusations of letter reading, as yawning silence stretches out between New York and Ryazan. Finally, there's an honest to goodness disapproval in his voice, as if he had a church to back up such righteousness, when he says her name, "Abigail." It disappears a moment later, and he sighs. "Dating don't mean much between you two, does it? You wrote like you knew he loves you, in your letter, and the other way around. That ain't an excuse. But I'll tell 'im that - that you think about him still.

"And it's 'Joseph'," is added, a little gruffly.

Ohhh the shame floods across the line in the silence that comes from Abigail, interspersed with the crackle of digital lines. This is not the secure phone, this is not the handed out modern thing dished out for the operation. It's her pink little thing that was adapted for international calling.

"Your still a pastor. Your flock is just a little scattered is all. Just because you don't have a church doesn't make you any less a man of the cloth Joseph Sumter" She can send her own disapproval back through the lines.

"Okay, Abigail Beauchamp." There's enough affection in there to be teasing, as much as it's also weary resignation. Okay. This isn't the time and place for such a conversation anyhow. "As for what to do— just. Don't worry about Flint. I'll— " Take care of him, is somewhat gay sounding, isn't it? Joseph settles on, "Keep an eye on him for you. You just focus on doing what you need to do up there, and comin' home safe."

No. It's bro-mance. Guy love. "Course I'll be back. Just maybe not in time for Christmas, who knows. I mean, look how much I have survived Joseph" She'll say it, only because she made her point and he made his. "If I can survive the bridge, and Staten Island and everything else that the good lord has seen fit to throw at me, then some folks holding something Nasty will be cake right? Job, Jospeh. Someone once told me that I am the new Job."

"Someone said that, huh?" Joseph, apparently, doesn't have much to say on the topic, unable to completely follow Abby's trail of optimism. As if they perhaps swap sides whenever one thinks one thing, exchanging it for the opposite. "Well. Statistically, you're at a disadvantage. But I know you're strong and smart, and will do just fine. Doing whatever it is you're doing."

"But I have faith"

And that's enough for her. "I should go, try to sleep again. I think it's the altitude" or the stress or a great many things. "Give Alicia a big hug for me and you know, just, just be good okay?" Abigail straightens up, scuffing over the smiley face. "Keep us in your prayers"

"Working on it. Being good. Take care, Abigail, God bless." A moment later, once parting gestures are returned, Joseph pulls his phone from his ear and looks down at the screen for a moment or two. With a soft click, he folds the device as if to physically sever the bond between America and Russia, and wonder what the hell a guy is meant to buy a guy on behalf of his girlfriend for Christmas.

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