Harm's Reach


abby_icon.gif deckard_icon.gif teo_icon.gif

Scene Title Harm's Reach
Synopsis Abby brings Deckard booze and irons his clothes for him. He pays her back by drinking, lecturing her about psychopaths and telling her not to be an idiot. Later, Teo drops by with Serious Business and things get a little awkward.
Date November 29, 2008

Casa Segura

Deckard is ironing. Therefore in addition to chair, desk, and bed, there is an ironing board and an iron. Currently he's ironing the dress shirt he was wearing earlier, which means he's down to an appropriately titled wife beater and grey slacks. The matching jacket is slung over the back of his chair, already ironed. His handgun, two books, and the leather tangle of his shoulder holster occupy the desk within easy reach behind him. A single light bulb provides yellow light in its undirected hang from the ceiling overhead.

The man is scruffed and wiry as ever, but lacking the cuts, lacerations, bruises, and sickly pallor that have defined him in past meetings with Abby. Blue ink, faded with age and inexpert application peers out from under the outer end of either clavicle in the form of simplistic eyes. On his right shoulder, a more elaborate tattoo in darker black takes the form of a serpent coiled thick around a robust cross. Neither looks like a recent addition.

She spent most of the day, hunting down which ferryman house he was in. Thank you Teo for letting that little bit slip. But perseverance pays off and soon enough, standing at the door to Deckard’s impromptu prison is probably the last person he actually wants to see. You know, the one who's actually nice to him, consistently. There's a bottle of whiskey in her arm, bought with the fake ID she has, and a cup, liberated from below. Still looking like her face was punched, and the scooter jacket opened to reveal… her now usual work attire. Jeans and tank top. "Hey" Abby's blue eyes peer into the room.

…Great. So reads Deckard's expression when he tilts the hissing iron back away from his shirt and straightens to squint at her across the room. Her, 'Hey,' is returned cautiously, and his eyes wash pale in the room's warm light when he glances through the wall and down the stairs, but nobody appears to be in direct pursuit, so. "Wanna iron my clothes?"

'Trade you the iron, for the whiskey" She offers. Her purse is left at the door, as well as her jacket, outside of the room. 'They wouldn't tell me which one you were in, but I figured it out. That, and I did a lot of walking. How are they keeping you?" The brown bagged bottle is passed over. Crown royal for the win. The cup as well with it. "I'm alone, despite probably how monumentously bad, the others would say it is. But, I have faith that being alone, with you, in a ferryman safehouse, isn't all that bad. Need the button fixed too? No creases on the arm right?"

"By threat of spanking." Dry, Deckard takes the brown bag with the slim beginnings of a smile. The iron is relinquished. He steps back for the desk to push around in one of the drawers after a button, revealing further tattooage across the ridge of his left shoulder blade. Blue ink and faded, like the eyes. 666, it says. Charmingly. "Thanks. And it's good to know you think so highly of me in circumstances where we're surrounded by 'Ferrymen.'"

"better than being alone in a street in Harlem while a large Asian man is shooting another guy and your punching me in the face to try and save me" her hands curl around the iron and she swiftly sets to eliminating any wrinkles from the shirt. She's swift, efficient, tweaking the temperature of the iron a bit after looking at the tag of the shirt. "I wasn't sure, that they had any alcohol for you, so I brought some. I don't need to heal you do I? You look in one piece for once"

Button retrieved and curled up into the palm of his hand, Deckard watches her iron with a puzzled kind of distance for her speed and efficiency. "I'm fine. And he wasn't large." Details. They are borne of truth. Whiskey deposited back on the desk, he heads for the bed, where two more shirts, a jacket, and slacks reside. "I've been running low."

"On non wrinkled clothes, or whiskey? What else needs ironing? I'll do it while I’m here. "So he wasn't big? I don't remember, but I ran into the guy who got shot. he remembered him. I'm starting to piece together what happened that night. Though, don't know whether I should" Abby looks up from the sleeve she's working on. "I really do owe you a thank you, far more, I guess than a kiss and a word. You've cost me a fairly big hospital bill, but I can pay that off with work and time. They treating you well enough here? Conrad getting you out enough or do I need to tell him to let you out more?"

"Both." The wrinkled clothes are collected and carted back to slump it over the ironing board where Abby waits. One shirt smells like cheap cologne. The other smells like he was chased through the streets by bulls in it and could use a washing. The rest just smells like must and dust. Passable. "You wouldn't be at risk if you hadn't helped me. I've only been here a week but I'm already starting to go crazy. People are too nice."

"A lot of people tell me that. But I can't help, helping. It's the nature of..me. I'd probably help the men who are chasing you, if they were hurt and were put in front of me" There's a pause and she lifts the iron so she can work on the collar. "Think I already did. A Russian, though not really Russian." It's folded /just/ so, while she looks for a sink, or some bathroom off the room. "besides, I healed you in the diner, the first time. Would you have turned me over to them then? Why didn't you turn me over to the Asian guy right there? A healer is valuable. I know. I've disappointed quite a few by refusing to join them"

"Fair enough, if you don't mind them beating information out of you for your trouble. At least when I hit you, I didn't ask you any questions afterwards." Mild despite the way he frowns at the idea, Deckard lingers at her shoulder a moment, maybe hoping to absorb some of her iron-fu by osmosis. But the whiskey calls. One breath he's there, the next, he's back at the desk, working the cap off the bottle. There's no bathroom directly off the room, but one a little down the hall, maybe. "Everyone's always asking me why."

"Then I’ll stop asking" Abby murmurs, face low, she's trying to get the collar /just/ perfect. There's a grin when it's finished and the Iron's put up and the shirt snapped out with a contented sigh. "Just like my father liked em" She moves, find some place to hang it and if she can't, well, then it gets carefully draped over a chair. "Can you fill the cap? Of the bottle? I'll have some too. If you'll let me" The other shirts he brought over are gathered, gingerly sniffed, and Abby’s nose wrinkles. "Don't know how to wash your own clothes or can't afford to?" The lot of them are gathered and out the door she goes, a pause to locate the bathroom then in she goes.

Deckard snorts to himself at the father remark, filling first the cup she brought along, then a clean glass drawn up out of the same drawer he retrieved his button from a couple of minutes ago. Too many fingers in both of them, but he doesn't exactly seem the type to measure it out anyway. "I've been a little preoccupied, as it turns out. Being hidden from psychopaths by people who won't tell me who they are, and all."

"Who do you think they are?" Comes nearly yelled from the bathroom. "I think it's because they don't trust you. I mean… your rob graves, and you sell 13 mm bullet proof plating, and guns. To the highest bidder. Who’s to say that you won't sell information to the highest bidder?" There's running water and a "What in jesus name is that…." Before there's the sound of clothes being hand washed.

"I don't know." Tone and volume matched without much effort, Deckard sips from the second glass and allows himself the luxury of a relieved sigh while he's mostly alone. He starts to screw the cap back on, but hesitates, tipping his glass back off again first. "Some…Lord of the Flies type…group of morons trying to help Evolved. I assumed PARIAH at first." But no dice there, apparently. No comment on what manner of mystery occupies the real estate that comprises his clothing. Or his own trustworthiness.

'They'll tell you, when they want to" Abby goes about the quick cleaning, of the shirt, rinsing the hand soap off of them, trying to get them as relatively clean as they can and smelling fresh as opposed to… musty. She's quick, through, and soon squeezing every drop of water that she can out of them. A moment, two and she's slipping back in the room and laying the twisted shirts, now looking like cotton polyester blend ropes on the end of the ironing board. Another snap and one of the wet shirts is put down, flattened out and she starts to iron the thing dry and sans wrinkles. "If it helps, I’m not with either group. Any group in truth. My principles don't match and I won't bend"

"They're not going to tell me anything." Deckard seems confident on that account, chair creaking when he turns it around from the desk and lowers himself into a seat. "They aren't going to let me see anyone I haven't already seen, or run their secret plans to get these people by me." Whiskey in hand, he's making fast work of it despite the absence of ice or water or anything else to muffle the burn of it down the back of his throat. "If they do, they're even bigger idiots than I originally assumed. Your cup is on the desk."

"Did you put enough in it?" She doesn’t make a move to touch it yet, it's a few moments that pass before she moves to take it, eyeing the amount. "more than a capful. Are you trying to get me drunk?" It's a full mouthful though that she throws back, leaving well more than half of what was poured in it and a pained look on her face as it winds its way down her esophagus. The glass hits home, in one piece, with a thunk and her other hand is at her mouth, back of her wrist pressed to lips and eyes scrunched close. If she could speak, there's be a swear word.

"That would be unethical of me." His own glass held light in the cage of his fingers, Deckard watches her drink. And flinch. "It's possible that I'm just being generous." The sip that follows is slower on his end.

'Point" Abby hoarsely chokes out. "I don't drink much. Not really… a past time. Just serve it" The rest of the glass is eschewed, pushed towards him, sure that he won't let it go to waste. What she did drink is a nice burn in her stomach. "I choose right? Or was there a different brand?" Back to his shirt she goes. "What will you do, once they turn you loose from here?"

"Crown is fine. Just…next time, make Brian pay for it." Her glass is eyed, measured, and left alone. Deckard sticks to his, for now, with just enough of a forward lean to drag his billfold out of his back pocket. "He owes me anyway."

"he owes you?" That's a shocker. "Do you know how he's doing? I haven't seen him since one of his copies died. He's… not taking it good last I saw" She divides her attention between him and the shirt, satisfied with how the cloth is drying with the heat from the iron, and making swift work. He'll have a few pristine shirts in no time. "Anything you need while here? I can’t promise I can get it here, they may kick my ass if they found I was here, but I can have it sent" A pause. 'They did bring you the meal I sent… yes?"

Deckard doesn't answer immediately. He has to refill his glass, first. Then hers. "He's depressed. And paranoid." One last dollop and there's the scrape of metal against glass to signal the cap's return. "With the way things are going lately, it's probably a pragmatic way for him to be." To the question of whether or not he needs anything, he lifts a shoulder into a lazy shrug and slumps a little deeper down into his chair. "A deck of cards would be nice. And the spaghetti was nice, yeah."

'Am I bothering you?" Is followed, a look to him, even as she keeps ironing, knowing when to move her hand out of the way, tugging here and there, almost done the first shirt. "I can take the shirts to another room, or I can leave them for you to iron dry, if you like. I forget that sometimes, people just like to be alone"

"Nope." That answer, at least, comes pretty promptly, and he looks up at her from the spot he was studying on the floor. "I've had plenty of time to be alone. Watching a woman iron my clothes is vastly superior to watching dust collect on the floor."

"I'm sure I could scrounge some paint, together we could paint the walls and watch it dry as well" Though, his comment gets a rise out of her. Her cheeks turning a brilliant red beneath the collection of bruises.

"I'm not allowed to paint the walls unless I paint them back the way they were before I leave. I already asked." It's difficult to tell whether or not he's being sarcastic, but there's a definite tilt to Deckard's head when he takes note of the blush. "Is it hot in here?" he jerks a thumb at the door, "I could ask about having the heat turned down."

"Little hot" Abby answers. "The iron" A whopper of the lie, but there is steam coming off it. There, conveniently, one shirt is done. Abby snaps it out, quickly striding to place it with its like mate, so she can do the other. "Do you have any questions to ask me? Since you tire of people asking them of you" deflect deflect deflect.

Deckard's brow furrows with exaggerated interest in the discomfort her proximity to the iron is causing her, and he passes his glass from right hand to left so that he can lift and offer the one he's already refilled for her. "Well, you have your drink, if you need a breather. I think it's still pretty cold from being outside." Polite concern, that's all, really. "What kind of questions?"

She gets the second shirt fitted to the board before her steps carry her once again in the direction of the alcohol. Another swift throw back, swallow, stifle the cough. There's not attempt to disguise her watering eyes as the drink. 'Whatever, you want to ask, that I’m allowed to answer. If you don't want to ask, that's fine as well, I can go back to ironing in quiet. I can sing while I iron, or.." her eyes fall on the books. "Or I can read to you"

"How long have you known Teo?" Innocuous enough, for starters. Deckard doesn't take the glass back, but lets her do with it what she will. He just scratches the back of his head and studies his own booze for a second or two ahead of a lazy swallow of the stuff. "Contrary to popular assumption, I did attend some school before I went into my cocoon and emerged as a piece of shit. I know how to read."

'Some people like to be read to. It wasn't meant.. as an insult. I apologize" Her glass is put down, though her hand over it to indicate she's had enough, more than enough. "Few weeks before I met you. My gift tends to elicit the… protector in a lot of people. The need to keep me from harms reach" So, back to ironing it is.

"Your tendency to blunder into harm's way because Jesus loves you while being young, attractive and female elicits the protector in a lot of people," Deckard corrects without hesitation, free hand drumming idly over the rickety platform of the arm rest under it. "If you were a big fat atheist healing bitch, they'd just throw you in a cellar and refuse to let you out if you didn't help them. No offense taken, by the way."

"Supposedly, the young and attractive. I would wager for sure, on that" Abby murmurs, the flush now settled on her face and not just because of the comment about watching her iron. "No offense is taken, it's hard to offend"

"Probably a safe bet." One last sip and Deckard rests his mostly-empty glass down on his knee with a brief glance sent away from Abby to the iron to make sure what little remains of his wardrobe isn't about to be set on fire. "What about Helena? You guys a pretty recent item?"

'before Teo. I stumbled across her hurt, fixed her wounds" Nope, not on fire, she's pretty good at this ironing thing, go figure. Makes sense being that she's a very neat and tidy young woman most of the time when not laying crumpled at the foot of … insurance salesmen. "Conrad, a few weeks past. We don't get along. I dislike him, and he doesn't much care for me. He likes to find buttons, and I would lay a wager he's going to crow the moment he finds it" Abby looks over. "No. I'm not with any of them or their groups. I'm just me. Alone. Doing the lord’s work he laid before me"

"So you really haven't been here long at all, then. Just a month or two." That seems to have come as a surprise, because it's a while before Deckard says anything else. He watches her iron. He watches the door. He watches his booze. He watches her iron some more. Plenty of time for thought in there somewhere. "Sounds like it must be kind of tough existing on the outside of a group most of your friends are deeply invested in."

"Not all my friends are involved in just one group flint" The blues flicker up to his evolved eyes. "I can't tell you who belongs to who, it's not my place. What I can do is just make your stay here more bearable. And I’m no stranger to being outside any one group. My faith anchors me but separates me. Scares people. I like being alone, and when I need company…" Abby smiles, the corners of her lips turned up a fraction. 'Then I find someone to be around for as long as I need and they're amenable" Flips the shirt, work the other side. "I didn't quit my job at the diner because of you. I refused to heal someone and the person who demanded it, decided they were going to turn me into homesec. I had to quit, find a different job and place to live"

"I was careful to say 'most' so that wouldn't be a sticking point, Abigail." The rest of his glass is drained on that point, and Flint levers up onto his feet. "The people who work with Homeland Security may be assholes, but they've got nothing on these guys. If you're not going to listen to me, fine, but I hope there's someone with half a brain out there that you will listen to. We aren't talking about another group of rascally kids who didn't fit in at school because they shoot rainbows out of their eyes, here."

"I should have said, not just because of you, and they may be assholes, I’m sure their assholes, or else why would you have done what you did to me? Abby regards him, the alcohol loosening her tongue a bit. "I can only pray that god doesn't throw me in their path, and to keep my nose to myself. I was oblivious to this all before I came to be known by other groups, and I can't be entirely oblivious now, but I can try. I can try to keep doing what little good I can in this world, and save someone’s life from horror and illness that they might otherwise endure for the rest of their life and say a little prayer that the person I rest my hands on, isn't one of the bogeymen that you and at least three others have warned me of"

"They aren't just assholes. I deal with assholes every day. I am an asshole. That's the point." Exasperation keeps Deckard turned to her while he speaks, but as quiet creeps in behind him, the drive to keep pushing drifts. Another round of whiskey. Just one more would be about right. There's the scrape again, and the slosh of booze from bottle to glass.

"In my books, they're assholes" Abby mutters, still working away at the shirt. "You're not an asshole you’re… misguided" She glances at him, the smoothes out his shirt sleeve trying to get the last bit. "The Asian man, he was an asshole, a proper… fucking asshole for just shooting Magnes. But then Magnes shouldn't have been wherever we were and I shouldn't have been driving through there when I had better things to do"

Thonk. The bottle is turned upright. He doesn't bother with the cap this time. "Misguided," is repeated at an incredulous mutter over the rim of his glass, lifted carefully to avoid any sloshing over the lip. "The Asian man is probably a psychopath. Do you even know what that is? He doesn't feel…things the way normal people feel them. The way you feel them. He sees a baby run over by a bus, he smiles about a joke he heard a week ago. He shoots a guy in the head and wonders if the spatter will stain the wallpaper." Addressing the window rather than Abby, Deckard has his back to her. "The average dog probably has a better understanding of what's right in the world than he does."

"Sweet Jesus" Abby's looking at Deckard now, the iron still on the shirt. 'Truly? He'd just.." Abby looks down at the shirt, lifting the iron in enough time, the alcohol by this time, swimming through her unused to it system. "Thank you… for doing what you did. Thank you five times over. If that was him who Magnes said was there"

"Stop fucking thanking me and listen to what I'm telling you. Make an effort to stay away from these people. They're smart. If they get an idea of the lengths people will go to keep you from getting burned." Booze is maybe making him a little more emphatic than usual. Irritation lines in around his mouth, visible enough from behind when he glances over the snake on his shoulder at her.

'They'll use me.. to get to them" Ring, ring, it's the clue phone for Abby. She's picked it up finally. She just stares at Deckard now.

Deckard stares back. Eventually he leans some of his weight sideways into the desk and goes back to drinking.

"How much do they know about me?" Is asked very quietly, his shirt done with and the iron turned off when she breaks the look.

"They know you worked at the Nite Owl with Brian. They know I was with you after we fought, and that you 'fixed me up' — or something like that. I don't remember exactly what I said. They know you have ties to these people." A lazy gesture indicates the floor, the walls. Everything. "If you healed one of them, they know what you look like, and what you are."

"The janitor. I was blonde then. Didn't have a face that looked like it was.. broken. My accent though" There's no more shirts it seems all relatively clean and draped on a chair. "I'll stay away from the diner, lest they figure out it's me. Thank you" She turns then, heading for the door and her stuff there, so she can start dressing for the cold weather.

A dim nod follows the latest thanks. Deckard twists enough to peer at the clothes, which are…better than they were. So that's something.

"I'll see about someone sending you some cards" Abby winds her scarf carefully around her neck, zipping up her jacket. "Any other needs?"

"Nope." Simple question, simple answer. Deckard watches the scarf winding process, then turns back around to push his holster off the books. Back to entertaining himself.

"Take care Flint. God bless" There's a pause before she's walking back across the room, dropping a kiss on his cheek, provided the man doesn’t flee screaming something about cooties. "Stay in one piece please" Then she's back across the room.

Kissing Flint's cheek is a little like kissing sandpaper, and the process isn't made easier by the fact that there's an automatic turn of his head away from the gesture. No running or screaming, though.

The light's on for once, and there's an ironing board loaded down with a couple of sets of freshly washed and pressed clothes close to the desk, and Deckard, who is currently looking out through the wall and drinking in slacks and a wife beater. He has tattoos — 666 in faded blue across the left shoulder blade, and a snake roped thick around a cross in black on the right shoulder. Possibly others. Abigail looks like she might be on her way out.

Teo, on the other hand, is on his way in. He's wearing his usual onion-layering of shirts, hoodies, and jackets and things, and furthermore sporting a dash of color on his face: an ever so slightly broken nose. Slight, insofar as that it isn't going to ruin the line of his profile any further than his childhood quarrels had, but constituted a considerable amount of bleeding before, and adds a dash of vibrant red and purple across the bridge and his left cheek, where Brian's fist had registered for therapy. He makes several footfalls in the hallway before appearing in the door. His eyes go immediately to Abby, furtively jerk toward Deckard, and there's this pall of resignation that falls over his face—

Sort of TO BE CONTINUED in a separate log shortly.

November 29th: All Those Dark Things

Previously in this storyline…

Next in this storyline…

November 29th: Flint Deckard Saves The World
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