Hard Feelings


eileen_icon.gif ethan2_icon.gif kazimir5_icon.gif

Scene Title Hard Feelings
Synopsis Ethan has quite a few.
Date January 8, 2010

USS George Washington

This is likely the most time Ethan Holden has spent behind bars in his life, even beyond the time he spent as prisoner of John Logan and James Muldoon in the Pancratium. Perhaps the United States military did not find out just exactly what happened to that entire group of people when Ethan finally did get out. Sylar had warned them about holding Ethan in captivity, about what could happen once that tension finally reached its maximum and he snapped.

His guest down in the brig of the USS George Washington, does not much fear that. In fact, he's counting on it.

The sound is distant at first, Ethan's heard people coming and going from here with regular frequency. The guards come twice a day to deliver him meals, make sure he hasn't engineered a chainsaw out of the collapsible cot and chemical toilet in his cell, and promptly leave. But the sound approaching now, it isn't the guards. Ethan's aware of this not only because of the imappropriate hour, but the sound itself.




It is a measured progress of footfalls and cane taps that Ethan Holden has not heard in over a year. As it draws closer and closer down the hall, there is no breaking up of the sound, jsut a continued progression of footsteps. Kaizmir Volken was something like a meteronme, each step metered enough that it could keep the rhythm of a song.

But when it finally sounds like it is near Ethan's cell, there is another noise with it, the softer padding of another's footfalls. Revelation finally comes when the darkly dressed figure if Peter Petrelli comes in front of the barred door of Ethan's cell, a copper and bronze fixtured cane held in one hand. Blue eyes angle up beneath a furrowed brow, looking into the cell. At his heels, though, is a far more welcome visitor.

"I was about to turn the toilet and the cot into a chainsaw and break my way out of 'ere."

Finally his words are spoken to people that might actually hear if not listen to what they have to say. Bare hands press down against the cold surface, knuckles going white as the muscles strain to erect themselves. One hand leaves the ground and flings to grasp around a bar, pulling up. Soon the man is hauling himself bodily up against the gate. Resting his forehead against the door for a moment he eyes the man in front of the gate. A shallow breath is taken, until his hand releases the bar.

Taking a single step back, his hands drop to his side. Giving the man on the other side of his door an unreadable look, Ethan continues the stare for a long moment until finally breaking the look to turn around.

Bending to pick up a shirt, it is apparent the Wolf is covered in a light sheen of sweat. The shirt slides over his chest and is quickly followed by a thin jacket. Stepping back to the gate, Holden tightens his lips and gives Peter an appraising look. "There. Got my things."

Glancing behind him, Ethan leans against the door heavily. "Last time I saw you, I 'ad to shoot you."

"Good to see you, love."

It's only been a few weeks for Ethan. To Eileen, it feels like much longer. Small hands slip through the gaps between steel bars and close around his, her slim fingers cool to the touch as they interlace with Ethan's knuckles. Apart from the splint she wears on her wrist and a series of stitches above her left eyebrow where she struck her head at some point, she appears mostly unhurt and healthy. Malnutrition has left her looking a little more gaunt than usual, however, but even this is offset by the rosy cast of her cheeks. Like everyone else, her time aboard the USS George Washington has given her body ample opportunity to recover from what it suffered while she was on assignment.

She brings Ethan's hands up to her face and, breathing warmth over them, blows a kiss across his knuckles. It's good to see him, too. "I missed you."

"The honor will likely be reserved for another this time," Kazimir states with a reluctant smile, something that seems wholly unnatural coming from him. "I'm sorry it's taken me so long to come down here and see you, Ethan, and I wish we had more time…" Kazimir moves to the bars, looking at Ethan within the cell, and hangs his head. "I've come to let you out, but I wish it were under better circumstances, and for better reasons." Glancing down the corridor, it is evident that Kazimir is keeping his voice down, not wanting to be overheard.

"I know I have no right to make a request of you, Ethan, but I have found myself at a point in this endeavor to make right my mistakes, where I must turn to those whom I have wronged the most." Nodding to Eileen, Kazimir steps away from the bars, giving her the indication that she is free to unlock him from his cell. "I need to ask you to perform one last mission… one that I am reluctant to trust you with, all things considered," blue eyes avert to Kazimir's feet, voice hushed, "but I can only pray that you will consider it."

Letting his fingers skim over her cheeks briefly, Ethan lets out a quiet breath before curling his fingers up and bringing his fists back through the bars. Placing his head against one bar, he looks her up and down before slowly letting hs lips curl into a faint smile. "I missed you too, princess."

Holden sets his gaze on Peter then, watching him stoically. The words have little to no effect on the other man. His arms are folded over his chest. Stepping to the side so that the gate could be opened. Peter's request does not bring anything from the man. Ethan simply watches in dead silence.

This may be why he chose to bring Eileen along.

"Ethan." Like Kazimir's, her voice is soft enough that it does not carry any further than the short distance between them. The rustle of her wool sweater and stockings is almost louder than she is as she moves her hands to the bars themselves and directs a look over her shoulder — first at Kazimir, then at the corridor yawning open behind them. This isn't the sort of environment where she expects to find eavesdroppers, but if Lucrezia Bennati has taught her anything—

"Please. I don't want to lose you, and we don't have any guarantees that Kershner is going to pardon you and Jensen when this is over. Listen to him."

"I need you to leave this ship." Kazimir very flatly states, without much fanfare, save for the tucking of his cane under one arm. "The team in Russia — your team — managed to capture Yvette." There is a tightness in Kazimir's voice as he states this, at the corners of his eyes wrinkling with crowd feet. "You are the only person on this whole ship that I trust to get her off of this vessel, out of government hands, and into safety. I know that— " he shakes his head, looking away from the bars, "you have no need to honor this request, but Yvette only did what she was doing, because she thought I was dead. She— " Kazimir swallows awkwardly.

"I am trusting you with her life," blue eyes angle back up to Ethan, "because you are going to trust me with Eileen's. It's an equal exchange." That there is perhaps why he has had so much difficulty in this request. "Gabriel will not go along with my plans unless Eileen is by his side, and I need Gabriel to finish this— to stop the bomb from detonating. This ship leaves in just a few days for Antatctica," his head snaps to look down the hall, scrutinizing a pop from the hull. "I cannot do this knowing Yvette may be at the mercy of these people."

Ethan glances to Eileen then back to Peter. "Open the door." The Wolf growls slowly, leaning against the wall beside the door. Watching Peter balnkly, Ethan slaps his hand against the wall, pushing against it to straighten some. "Princess." He mutters, the word carrying more weight than an endearing pet name should. The single word is spoken as Ethan glances to Peter. He won't ask 'wut' right this moment. Not in front of the guy that apparently knows more than him.

Glancing back over to Eileen he watches her expectantly. Eyes dip down as he looks at her quietly, waiting for answers to the questions he hasn't asked yet.

Eileen prickles with defensiveness, an innate urge to undermine Kazimir's argument as he makes it. As difficult as Gabriel is and as strained as their relationship has become in light of her memory loss, she still possesses an abundance of faith in him. She wants to say that he'd help regardless of whether she was alive or dead, at his side or not — but at the same time, she realizes the importance of getting Ethan off the boat and so remains quiet on the subject.

Instead, she says, "Go back to New York City. They'll expect you to turn up in London or Ramsgate when you go missing — not even Aviators will think to look so close to home. I'll find you again, I promise."

Ethan isn't exactly the type to ask a lot of questions. When something isn't understood, you act like you understand until you can get the information on yourself. Otherwise you appear stupid. Weak. Staring at Eileen, his hands drop to his side before he lets out a growl. "Open the door." Holden demands, a little more venom in his tone this time. He gives a pointed look down at the door before looking back up to Peter. "When do you leave 'er alone?" The Wolf asks, bobbing his chin to Eileen.

Tensing slightly, Kazimir looks from Eileen to Ethan, then back to the young woman again with a hesitant nod of her to let him out. "Eileen is free once we've finished in Antarctica," Kazimir states quietly, throat tight with anxiety in a way that makes his voice sound hoarse. Clearing his throat twice, in an attempt to alleviate that sensation, he looks back up to Ethan. "Then…" he doesn't explain further, just lets the words hang in the air.

"If there were another way to do this," Kazimir states quietly, "I would have done it." There's a pointed look delivered to Eileen, bringing up the content of their prior conversation in its simple expression, even if only briefly; He's wanted her to leave too. "I've done enough to the two of you in my lifetime, keeping you two apart any longer seems like the larger crime somehow, in light of everything that is happening." Stepping a few paces away from the barred door, Kazimir breathes in deeply and exhales a sigh.

"Once I'm sure you're going to do what I ask," Kazimir offers as part of an explanation, "you two can have time to talk." His brows furrow. "Alone."

Staring hard at Kazimir's back, Holden looks to Eileen and then back. Staring at Kazimir's back, Ethan frowns deeply as he leans forward to press his head against the bars. Pushing his forehead against it tightly, the man scowls. An exasparated noise escapes Ethan's lips, as his hands fly to cling to the bars. "Open the fucking door." He hisses, giving them a single rattle with his powerful arms.

It occurs to Eileen that this is probably the closest thing to Ethan's consent that Kazimir will get. "Stop." Her hands find his again and clasp tight, voice taking on a haggard, breathy edge. "He's going to let you out but this will all be for nothing if you draw attention to what we're doing here. Jensen and I are smuggling Yvette out tomorrow. We'll have time—"

"Let him out." Kazimir urges in a gruff tone of voice, "I think he needs to get this out of his system," he intones in a frustrated manner. "If this is what it takes, then far be it from me to deny him his wishes." Blue eyes narrow to thin slits, and Kazimir untucks the cane from under his arm — not the familiar, old wolf-headed cane, but something cheaper and flimsier in design, too much of an eagle, flag and globe design to it to truly belong to him — and leans it up against the bars and out of the way.

Kazimir's gloved hands fold behind his back, brows furrow and eyes remain narrowed. It may not be the face Ethan most strongly remembers, but the posture, cock-sure commentary and cadence of his speech is enough to make it an easy assurance that it isn't just a power Peter's body is playing host to. How he survived death at the Narrows, that's not something Ethan can explain, but he's here and he's back and there's bars between them still.

Eileen's movements are a result of resignation rather than desire to see Ethan roaming free. She does, of course, want him to be able to experience the wash of the Indian Ocean's air and taste its mist-like spray. Saltwater only hurts when it gets in your eyes or an open wound — of the latter, he has none.

What she doesn't want is to see Kazimir bleed.

As the door to the cell swings open, Eileen takes a solitary step back, making room for Ethan in the corridor. Neither man can see it — she's too heavily dressed for the weather — but tension makes knots and cords of her muscles beneath her sweater, undershirt and pale skin flushed colour. There's anxiety in her expression that wasn't there before.

As the door opens, Ethan fills the gap with his muscular figure for a moment before breaking the barrier between freedom and confinement. Bringing one hand up in another he presses one thumb to his palm and rubs methodically as if getting rid of a cramp. "Thank you." The Wolf murmurs, glancing over to Eileen. "Only one person could sound like my old man while in a child's body."

Glancing up Ethan frowns lightly. "Kazimir." A slow shake of his head, "Don't know whot's goin' on, I do know powers are flyin' 'round like AIDs in San Francisco, so 'ow'd you come in posession of this smooth vehicle?" His hand releases the other and gestures at Peter. "Must be nice to be able to wank off again. Though you're probably findin the size o' the bollocks… Unfortunate." A step is taken forward. "Whot ability y'got now? Boring-people-with-fucking-shakespearinesis?"

A single finger raises up over to Eileen. "'old it princess, like 'e says. I need to get it out of me system."

Brows furrowed and lips downturned into a frown, Kazimir takes a step towards Ethan now that he's out. The thin man's frame squares with Ethan's, blue eyes settled squarely on the man in front of him, hands still folded behind his back. "Gabriel is to thank for my survival, and any further detailed explanation is wholly unnecessary. It wasn not his intention but it was his fault." Those blue eyes squint, breathing rising up in his chest, and as Kazimir exhales that tense sigh, he glances at Eileen for just a moment, before looking back to Ethan in that awkward, tense silence.

A gloved hand is offered out to him. "Thank you," Kazimir intones in a hushed quality of speech, "for stopping me, when I could not stop myself." There's difficulty in his admission of those words. "Than you for protecting her, and thank you for being the leader I always knew you could become."

Neck muscles tensing, Kazimir watches Ethan in silence for a moment, before adding with a tone of finality; "You have always been my most trusted, even when I could not trust myself." His brows tense just a bit more, creasing that scar across his face. "Please, get Yvette out of here."

A long moment of silence passes, as Ethan stares dully at Kazimir. Rubbing his thumb on the back of his hand, he tilts his head back, rolling it along his shoulders. Finally his chin hovers over his chest. But something, something seems to have hit a chord with the man. Slowly his eyes move up, though his head still angled down. Watching Kazimir closely, the man smirks dryly. "Oh. Don't worry bout it. You're welcome." A step forward to match Kazimir's.

"In fact."

"Let me show 'ow welcome you really are." Hands fly forward to grab at Peter's collar. And with one heavy swinging motion, the older man in the younger man's body is hurled powerfully back into the cell. However, Ethan's foot intercepts the stumbling path Kazimir takes. Giving him a quicker path down. Spinning around Ethan goes to grab the back of Kazimir's shoulders and follow him down. The take-down much quieter than his original rage would promise.

As soon as Kazimir collapses against the ground, one of Ethan's arms flies in a powerful strike against the side of that man's head. And another strike. And another. "Most trusted." Ethan snarls, raising up to his knees. "You filthy fucker. I gave you everything I 'ad, I carried out your evil shit. And you fuckin' betrayed me." Another punch. "I killed kids for you, you stupid fuck." Punch. Punch. Punch.

There are people who claim that biological differences can account for the discrepancy between the way that men and women behave, that their brains have separate schematics and are not wired the same. This may well be true or it might not — either way, it's a common belief that men are more adept and expressing their anger through physical violence than their female counterparts. Just don't tell Eileen that she doesn't understand what Ethan is experiencing right now.

She did, after all, almost murder a loved one in a fit of uncontrollable rage.

Not that it makes this any more acceptable. Her arms are around Ethan's neck and midsection, her hands clasped tight in front of his chest as she tries to pull him off Kazimir before he can do any permanent damage. Although she has no memory of what Gabriel was capable of doing with Kazimir's ability when injured, the experience has left a distinct mark on her psyche. Instinct is telling her that this needs to stop, and not just because the man sprawled out beneath him is otherwise helpless to defend himself from the assault. "Ethan!"

He was bracing for that first punch by the time he's on his back, and Ethan's points of contact against Kazimir are brief enough only to string his own knuckles but hard enough to hurt like a son of a bitch to Peter's body. He hasn't turned had generations of nerve death to lose the sensation to pain like Santiago's body had, so the sharp pain of head-wounds sends Kazimir reeling across the floor.

Growling, like two junkyard dogs fighting one another is his retort to the blows, he doesn't defend himself more than reflexive arm-raises towards each punch, he doesn't try to move himself up off the floor, this is what Ethan needs and what, Kazimir can only assume, he himself deserves.

It's only when Eileen tries pulling Ethan from him that Kazimir's bloodied face shows any sign of something other than contempt at himself. Spitting red on the floor, he pushes a gloved hand at the center of Ethan's chest, then curls his finger in the white tanktop that has been afforded to the prisoner. Another punch to his jaw sends Kazimir back up against the wall, and he's looking up at Ethan witha line of blood trickling from a split at the side of his brow.

"I intend to— " Ethan's fist connects to the bridge of his nose, breaking it. Kazimir snorts blood out, falls back against the wall of the cell, and struggles out his words "I'll pay for what I did," Kazimir growls out before taking another flailing swing from Ethan, head jerking to the side. "I'm sorry."

As Eileen's arms fix around his chest. Ethan surges forward, bursting against her hold. Swinging his shoulders to free himslef of her grasp, so that he is able to attack the man without hurting her in the onslaught. Though her pulling manages to throw him slightly off balance. Tugged backwards, Peter's hand grasps at his shirt. Ethan's hand flies up to grasp at Kazimir's hand. Grabbing onto his little finger, a sharp twisting motion is made, aiming to snap the finger in the wrong direction.

Finally, pulled off him just enough so that his bloodlust is somewhat sated, Ethan sits a pace away from the other man. Glaring at Kazimir, Ethan places his hands in his lap. Going to pry off Eileen's hands gently. He goes to slap his hands against the ground to push himself to the feet. "Yeah. I'll take care of Yvette." Taking a step towards the door. "And you don't 'ave to worry. I won't treat 'er any worse than you ever did."

As Ethan stands, Eileen's focus shifts off him and back to Kazimir. Mindful not to touch her skin to his, she loops an arm around his middle, places a steadying hand at the small of his back and drapes his arm across the narrow span of her clothed shoulders, pulling him into a sitting position. The blood oozing from his nose and mouth is wiped away with the weave of her sweater's sleeve. It pushes back his hair, too, dark and matted, leaving an ugly red smear across his bruised forehead.

What withering look she'd usually reserve for Ethan she holds back, her expressive brows arching high instead, anxiety rather than venom appearing in the shape of her small mouth.

"Wait— " Kazimir slurs out the words, breathing in a rattling breathing, "I still need you to— " he wipes the back of his gloved hand over his mouth, "help Eileen." Like the tentacles of some horrible octupus, black tendrils of ephemeral smoke lash out towards Ethan, sliding thorugh his torso and into his back, sending lancing waves of heat and pain into the man's body, that prickling-pain sensation of Kazimir's ability at work that he has never once had to suffer before. He was always smart about that.

The moment Ethan feels that sensation, Eileen feels the same, piercing coils of inky smoke slithering around for her injured arm held in that chicken-wing sling. But when the pain first comes, it is quickly replaced by a warm sensation, still tingling, but not full of hot pokers and skinning knives. Where Ethan feels pain, Eileen feels pressure at the bones of her wrist, then, after a moment, relief.

Stolen as sips of life-force from Ethan that manifest are bruises across his body, reciprocal punching blows that Kazimir held back in delivering, Eileen's broken wrist is healed by the very same ability that one tried to steal half of her face away. Admittedly, Kazimir also heals his broken nose and the injuries Ethan left him with, but he would not be Kazimir if his actions were entirely altruistic, just more than usual.

When the black streamers of darkness dither and fade away, Kazimir slouches back against Eileen's arm around his back, an exhausted look spread across his face.

Falling to his knees, Ethan grasps at the doorframe, letting out a large breath as if he had been kicked in the stomach. But it doesn't last too long, bringing himself back up to his feet. Ethan looks down at the ground, glancing at his arms. Slowly his weight shifts so that he is once again facing Kazimir. Staring at him hard for a moment, Ethan turns his back once again.

"I love you, princess."

And with that, he's stepping out and away from the cell.

Eileen's mouth moves around the same words, minus the term of endearment, though she lacks the voice with which to speak them. The temptation to pursue him is rejected for the time being in favour of helping Kazimir to his feet — this isn't the last she'll see of Ethan before tomorrow afternoon. Even if it was, the only thing exceeding that abudance of faith she has in Gabriel is the hope that she'll be able to keep her promise and find him at the end of this.

"Come on," she whispers against Kazimir's ear, experimentally flexing the fingers of her previously injured hand. For the first time since she pulled herself out of the wreckage of the plane in the Malagasy jungle — no pain. "Let's get you cleaned up."

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