Hard To Kill


brian_icon.gif samara2_icon.gif

Scene Title Hard to Kill
Synopsis Dying a lot has a negative effect on Brian.
Date November 9, 2011

Pollepel Island

Roughly four weeks have passed since Ali was born. And, despite advice otherwise, circumstances have urged Sam to get as fit as possible as quickly as possible. It's not about getting her pre-baby body; it's about being ready. Not that she's discussed this with anyone. Between dancing and running, she's pushed herself on these efforts when no one is looking.

Othen this means, however, bringing Ali with her with some excuse or other about walking the halls with the babe. Hilariously, this has brought baby wearing to a new level. She has the child strapped to her tightly as she does a tight pirouette, letting her lead foot come back to the ground in a sweeping motion. Her balance is impeccable despite the change, even with her muscles finally tightening.

Hazel eyes flit to the wall beside her, and she reaches out to use it as a balance. As she does so, Ali lets out a whimper, prompting her to try to straighten. But in the correction, her balance waffles, causing her to lose her footing, and to disappear through the wall amid a half uttered Sam-level curse, "Son of — "


The voice sounds hollow and deadened. Brian Winters had warned her about this, had tried to prepare her for this. After the battles in Alaska and the Ark, he would be weakened, fragile. Even with the preparation it's jarring. He doesn't speak to her with such a flat tone. Not ever. Not to hear at least. His voice dances between elation every now and then to a serious sadness but always back to joy. His tone now is just…


"I really don't know if the baby should be phasing that much."

The peculiar sentence has no effect on his features. Winters had rounded the hallway as she disappeared into it and had levelled his steely gaze on the wall, to which he now talks to. Standing there with a stoney gaze, Brian stares at the wall, waiting for its response.

The sound of her name like that puts her on high alert. Sami knew things weren't going to be the way they had always been, but the tone still leaves that horrible feeling in the pit of her stomach. It's the same one that she'd felt when she'd attended her own funeral; when she'd heard her own mother eulogize her.

But even as Sami's best friend did a stint in a mental facility for talking to her, she'd managed to retain some of her hope. There'd always been a slice of optimism.

Yet the wall is silent. There's no pithy reply. There's no head peeking back out. After being sufficiently chastened, she peeks around the corner, having walked around the wall the old-fashioned way. By walking around things. It's a novelty.

"She hasn't been," Sami replies as brightly as she can. There's still warmth in her eyes. "That one was accidental." Her lips curve upwards lightly. "I lost my balance. Sorry," and then immediately following she hums. "Actually I might not be. It's probably better than falling on her or dropping her. Probably." Not that she really knows one way or the other.

His gaze slowly moves down the wall as her voice is heard, trying to see where it came from. It takes him a full three seconds to scan all the way to the right to where now she stands. "Oh." Turning to face her, he starts marching down the hallway back to her and Ali. Whether the Oh was to that Ali hasn't been phasing that much or to Oh, there you are, remains unclear.

He leans forward, pressing his lips against her cheek, but the kiss is stiff and robotic. Something he knows he's supposed to do rather than unbridled affection. "You're probably right." He reaches up to place one hand on the back of his daughters head. His gaze slowly matching Samara's.

"You've been exercising." Whether he approves or disapproves, it's hard to tell. But it's also hard to stay out of view of the man with multiple bodies.

The robotic nature of the touch sees Sam stiffening. She inhales a long breath and reaches her fingers to brush against his cheek. "Hey," she says softly. She seeks his eyes and manages a very faint curl of her lips. It's not an easy smile by any stretch, but she manages it just the same. "You look like the walking dead," it's still warm and has some earnest to it, but it's not an insult. "You look like you could use some rest. Honestly, I've got Ali, if you need — " but she doesn't even finish the thought.

Instead, her cheeks hue a pale pink at the notion of exercise. "Necessity, I think. It's not vanity— really. I'm trying to get fit so I'm ready for," she doesn't finish the thought, allowing her gaze to drop to the floor. "Just needs to happen, that's all."

"I'm not tired." Says the walking grave.

He looks down at Ali, then back up to Sam. "I know. I know I'm not normal. It's just.. It was too many deaths. I haven't died that many times at once, ever. It's.." He brings his hand up to her cheek, stiff and rigid. "I'll be normal in a few weeks. Just.." He dips his chin down. "I know it may be hard to be around me but…"

"You help, she helps." Winters looks down at Ali, dropping his hand.

"Please, let me be around you." He tries his hardest not to sound so pathetic, though it doesn't do much. Little changes about his demeanor when she cops to the exercising. No surprise, no admonishmen. "For Eltingville. For here." He nods in understanding. "You're right. We can go on runs, if you want. Get back to training, like we used to do."

Something drops in the pit of Sam's stomach as she reaches up to squeeze Brian's shoulder. The notion of him dying, even if he continues to breathe in front of her, merits a glassy look in her eyes. She manages another flicker of a smile and an eye roll at her own reactions. "I'm sorry," she manages towards him as she blinks hard. "You're a hero," she offers quietly with a tighter smile. "I'm just glad you're here."

Not that it makes it any easier to hear. She blinks hard, holding back whatever emotions threaten to bubble over, but the notion of helping earns Brian a larger grin. "And of course you can be around us. I just… I don't want to drain you, I guess?" she cringes slightly. "I know you love us," she glances down towards Ali, "but I also know that I can be, well. Me." She shrugs.

"Runs would be good," she agrees. "And so would training. I feel rusty. I've been pushing myself hard. But I don't think I have the luxury of time." She glances down at Ali. "I know I don't."

His own eyes would normally be glossy but now there's nothing there. It's not that he's feeling sad, it just seems as if he's struggling to feel anything."I tried to be an army. And I guess I did." He offers, giving a shrug. "And..I did some pretty cool shit. They gave me this armor.. I kept it. It makes you stronger and can jump far…" He takes a breath. Normally there would be excitement in his voice talking about something so awesome, now he's just reading out of a history book. "Bulletproof. I kept it. To protect the kids. I'm taking it to where we took the kids in Canada. So we'll meet them there when we go." He gives her a forced smile. "I don't think I'm a hero. But I'm glad you do."

"When I'm this way, there's normally two things that can bring out life in me. Make me act normal. Fighting, or maybe any sport activity. I guess I never really tried. But fighting always worked." The second thing isn't mentioned. Perhaps he forgot.

Turning to walk with her he gives a light shrug. "I think I need more of you now than ever. Besides I can always walk away." He looks down at Ali, before nodding. "We'll try to bring you back up to speed as fast as possible. But Sami, it's important not to overdo it. We'll push it to the limit, we just have to know what the limit is."

As Brian falls into step with her, Sami reaches over for his hand, curling her other arm around the babe still nestled in her carrier. "You are a hero," she offers in reply. "And not just because of creating an army." Her eyes narrow slightly. "You save me~" she virtually sings. "I thought I was dead and you never believed it." Her eyes warm, "And the Lighthouse kids. They see you as a hero. You protect them and look out for them." Her lips purse. "I don't think heroism is one thing, Brian. It's like a constant action and reaction— a string of choices, some special and some everyday that just… I dunno." Her cheeks flush again and she stares down at the floor beneath their feet. "Sorry. I'm rambling."

And then, rather instinctively, she asks, "What else helps? You said there were two things. We can run. And you can help me train." She manages a crooked smile.

"I'm okay, really. Feeling pretty good. Well. Strong, even," she manages another small smile. "I know it's faster than maybe I should go, but we need to help Koshka, and we've got… I dunno. Things. You know."

He remains silent through her speech, though his hand does accept hers in his. Normally he would thank her or continue to dissuade her. But today, he just lets his silence ride out. "It's fine." Winters looks over at Ali, his lips finally curling upwards faintly. "I would like to be a hero to her. I think that would make me happy."

To her question about the second thing, he glances back up at her. "Oh. Sex." Is stated matter-of-factly.

"It's not going to be just Koshka. I've met someone else in there. I think you'll really like him. His name is Raquelle. Raquelle Cambria. He has two daughters. I told him we would do our best to help all of them. Delia's in there too.. But she won't come unless we can get a whole lot of other people out and.. we're already risking a lot."

"You're her hero, even if she doesn't know it yet," Sami replies as she looks towards Ali. "Man, I didn't think I was a baby person, but between this rugrat and Kasha, they're starting to grow on me." She flashes Brian a bright smile, but it loses some of its sheen with Brian's continued matter-of-fact attitude.

It's also fortunate she's not drinking anything when Brian deadpans the mention of the second thing because it definitely would've resulted in a spit-take. And, rather ironically, prompts a deep blush. "Welllll. I mean, we could…" her face scrunches. "I mean, soon, I guess. Pushed a human being out of me and all." There's a pause. "At least she was tiny."

As far as Eltingville is concerned, Sami nods. "Of course. You know I'd want more people out, I just don't think I'll have much time to do, well, anything. Weird fact— I seem to interrupt electrical signals when I phase through them. It's weird."

"Kasha is staying with Abby. So luckily. We have this one to replace her." As she blushes he tilts his head a bit. "I'm not asking for it. Just telling you. I don't want to over-stress your vagina." Comes the deadpan once again. Something Brian might say, though generally there would be a lot more laughter and smiling involved. "You take your time to heal."

"When did you learn that?" He asks, arching a brow as he looks over at her profile. "About the electrical signals? And I don't think Raquelle or his daughters have anklets. Koshka and me with the three fingers do." Brian pauses in his pace and looks over. "Can I hold her, please?"

"I didn't think you were?" it's more a question than an actual answer as Sami wrinkles her nose. But the deadpanned nature of the assertion unsettles her, meriting a vague nod that follows while her eyebrows draw together.

The question merits a lift of her eyebrows, "A few weeks ago. I was trying to get the sleep sheep," a noise maker lovingly given from Aunty Adisa, "to work. But I was half asleep and phased through it. I shorted the sheep out." Her eyebrows draw together, "Which really sucked, actually." Her lips twist to the side. The pause has her reaching into the baby carrier. Slowly, she takes Ali out, and the small babe coos lightly, making a quiet noise as Sam passes Ali over.

"Well I could help with the anklets, I think. And getting out." Her eyes turn up, "Well and the getting in first. And then the getting out. Without the anklets."

"Sorry. We can have.." He glances at the baby, that he is taking into his arms. Trying to reposition her further away from his mouth. "We can do it whenever you're ready. Just because it jostles me out of this.." Vague hand gesture to self. "I just didn't want you to think I was pressuring you." There. Now that that inappropriate talk is out of the way, Ali is brough back to the forefront directly in front of him.

A small smile curls up his lips. "She definitely helps." He says warmly, breaking from his deadpan for at least a moment. His eyes flitting over to her profile when she talks about the short circuited sheep. "You broke the sleep sheep?" He repeats, frowning just a tad.

"We can get a new one but.." Hm. "Well.. I'll have me with you outside the walls, with cars and whatever, and I guess you can meet me, missing fingers me, on the inside. All I have to do is touch the inside-me's hand and I'll be out of there. I wish it was that easy for the rest of them. So.. Koshka. Raquelle. And two daughters. Four people. And.. me. Four and a half." He looks back to her. "Think you're ready?"

Sam's smile grows when Brian takes in Ali. "She's amazing! And smart. I swear, she's smart. I see genius potential." Not act Sam Dunham has any capacity to see it. Sami looks dejected at the question about the sheep. "Right? It really sucks. It's why she doesn't sleep as long during he night," Sam rolls her eyes at that. "And I'll have to get a new one. Eventually." Her cheeks puff out with a heavy exhalation.

But the last warrants a nod. "We have to try," it's quiet; whispered. "The kids need to come out and we need to get them to safety. And we're responsible for Koshka. If I can do this—" she shrugs. "And I've been practicing. And getting fit. Honestly, I'm as ready as I'm going to be."

Cradling Ali he rocks back and forth, his eyes entranced on the little one in his arms. "Even if she's not smart." He starts, leaning in to plant a small kiss on her small forehead. "She's very special just the same." Winters maintains this for a moment before buckling. "But you're right, she's probably got an IQ of a billion."

"Missions have things go wrong Sam. Pretty much every time. You and I. We're hard to kill. Not everyone gets that. We're going to have to plan it, plan it again, and over plan it. What to do in case negation gas happens, and all that…" Looking down at Ali, he slowly looks up at Sami. "If anything happens. We'll do our best, and we'll protect ourselves. For her. But.." He purses his lips before letting it just trail off. His eyes fltting up to her.

"Hey. When should we get married?"

Sami's eyebrows lift and her hand absently trails up her sleeve to the handprint permanently scarred into her skin— a permanent reminder of missions going wrong. They retrieved Amid Halebi, but that had hurt and it had caught her off guard. The mention of negation gas has her frowning, "Guns, I guess." She frowns at that. "Unless you have a better idea. I'm hoping it doesn't come to that." Her lips quirk, "I'm not sure negation gas even works on me if I'm already incorporeal, or how it would work. I'd rather find some solidity again."

Her mind works around the problem, attempting to resolve it, only to be pulled out, almost jarringly by the last question. She blinks owlishly and cants her head to watch Brian a few beats. "You're… serious," she actually surprised. "I haven't thought about it for awhile. I mean, things are kind of crazy right? With the kids, and the island, and Ali. And all the things," wherein many Brian's died. "I just… I thought maybe we should wait until things got quieter?"

It's a question, not an answer. And then she adds, "I mean, I'd marry you now, even without you seeming like yourself, but it'd be nice to bask in the moment. To stand in front of our friends and family and tell them I love you or something." She shrugs her shoulders and casts him a lopsided grin, and then repeats, "Or something."

“I wish we had some gas. To try it. Not the kind of experiment we should be having in the field." Winters smiles again at the baby in his arms as he goes over tactical logistics. "You wouldn't either would you? Huh? No experiments in the field." He leans in, toching his nose to hers. "You got it boss. You're the genius."

He looks back up at her. "I think things will always be crazy. I donno, maybe some day they'll calm down. Or maybe it will just always be a different kind of crazy." He nods at her. "I haven't thought about it in a while either. I just thought. I dunno. We should put it on the list."

He again gets distracted by the little girl in his arms, "We can do it whenever you'd like. Hopefully it could be a morale booster for some of these people. Everyone loves a wedding." He takes a beat. "I love you very much Sam. Thank you for letting me walk with you and be…" Vague hand gesture to self. "This way."

Experimentation would take the guess work out of the problem, "Yeah, but beggars can't be choosers," Sami offers in reply. "We do the best with the information we have and go from there." She manages a one-shouldered shrug. "So for now, we assume that our plans are boned with negation gas— that we're both dead in the water." Pause. "So. Guns. Right? Man. Someone on our side has got to make some kind of negation drug antidote."

And then softly, she adds with a nod, "We could have a wedding." And then with a smirk she offers, "I mean, it's not really going to be legal anyways, right? I'm pretty sure someone who's legally dead can't get legally married." Her eyes warm at that when she redirects her attention to Ali.

The smile extends, "Of course you can walk with us. Always. We're family, Brian. And it's going to hold." She reaches out to squeeze his shoulder, "I promise. We're in this together."

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