How Bad


abby_icon.gif brian_icon.gif deckard_icon.gif leah_icon.gif teo_icon.gif

Scene Title How Bad
Synopsis Somebody's gone and broken Deckard again. Leah too, this time. Teo leads Brian and Abby in to do damage control and gets about 10% of the truth behind what happened for his efforts.
Date January 22, 2009

Leah's Apartment

It is a stiff and scraggling company of two that made its slowly, painful, grumbling way from the guts of the subway system to the apartment building in Chinatown, harrowingly close to their point of origin. In the dead of night, shadow was on their side, as well as the long familiarity of the neighborhood and the habitual alertness of the confirmedly criminal.

It is impossible to be secure in the sanctuary of a place she is known to live, even though she has occupied it under one of her sillier aliases. But it is better than the cold, cavernous, unwelcoming maw of the subway tunnels beneath Canal Street.

Leah does not make much of a show for company. She kicks a few of the more suspect piles of laundry out of immediate view — really, there are more enticing ways to show people your underwear, no? — and, out of rare compassion, leaves Flint to occupy the soft, buttery leather of her sofa.

She sits down on the edge of her desk, looking weary and sore, and tests a hand at her dislocated shoulder without actually touching it, wearing a pained grimace. What she has to say for herself is only a muttered, "Fuck."

Intense pain is kind of a conversation killer. Deckard lies supine along the couch's length, grey suit coat and greyer overcoat open over holster and a blue dress shirt whose previously vibrant hue hasn't faired well under several hours worth of staggering sweatily around in an abandoned subway line. His breathing was shallow when he woke up, and it still is, hitched into short, unpleasant rasps of inhale and exhale that stutter when he tries to hold it to stave off the stabbing in his side.

His cell phone is on the coffee table next to his gun. Back to a semiautomatic. At Leah's 'fuck,' he turns his head enough to glance at her, then looks back up to the ceiling again. Yeah. Pretty much.

Intense pain is kind of a conversation killer. Deckard lies supine along the couch's length, grey suit coat and greyer overcoat open over holster and a blue dress shirt whose previously vibrant hue hasn't faired well under several hours worth of staggering sweatily around in an abandoned subway line. His breathing was shallow when he woke up, and it still is, hitched into short, unpleasant rasps of inhale and exhale that stutter when he tries to hold it to stave off the stabbing in his side.

His cell phone is on the coffee table next to his gun. Back to a semiautomatic. At Leah's 'fuck,' he turns his head enough to glance at her, then looks back up to the ceiling again. Yeah. Pretty much.

"So.. this is where… we're moving too" Had been commented to the two boys by the pink jacket clad woman with them. THe purse and scarf not matching the jacket. One of those tossed out facts as they follow up the steps and wait outside the door. SHe hangs back, knowing what she's here for and unsure of whether Decakrd would happy to see her.

Leah shoots a startled glance at the door at the abrupt banging, followed by a long-suffering look as her physical start jars fresh pain here and there from her recent battering. The elder Deckard is certainly in worse shape, but she did bear the brunt of the fall. Clambering gracelessly down from the desk, she glances a brief question at Flint. She has shed her coat, but not holster, the glock's weight at her hip over her bedraggled black dress a sincere comfort.

Moving to the door, she cracks it beneath the security chain. One blue-grey eye peers out at the assembled, narrowed slightly over an expression that is stiff with pain and uncertain mistrust.

"Just open it," is all the reassurance Deckard can be bothered to offer, the muffled cough that follows enough to bleach him pale against the arm of the couch his head is propped up on. Yesterday he was in a state of mostly organized and potentially even responsible scruff — tonight he looks like something he dug up out of Calvary Cemetary.

The slice of face that confronts Leah's through the gap is younger than she might have expected, but the ones she can glimpse over Teo's broad shoulder are younger still. Apparently, Deckard's comrades in crisis are beholden to him because he purchased them alcohol. "Who the Hell are you?" The single visible eyebrow peaks on Teo's forehead. Little darker than quartz, his iris mirrors her features back at her to see, until his pupil flares, focusing then refocusing in the direction of the voice that had creaked out of the corner. Instantly, the Sicilian revises his salutation. "Excuse me. I'm Teo. This is Brian and Abby," a thumb jerked over his shoulder, swivelling. He actually points at the wrong person with each name, but hopefully conveys the idea. "We're here to help."

"Not a hooker. Don't call her that, he gets very snappy about it" Abby's a familiar face, as is Brian to the woman at the door. The healers not smiling, but she's not frowning either. Sort of a 'lets get this over with' kinda deal.

Pulling her hair away from her neck with a tug of one hand, Leah frowns, and closes the door. After a rattle and clink of chain, she pulls it open again, and swings it wide to let them in. "I'm — Leah," she says, tone a little flat. She doesn't quite look at Brian, and the set of her jaw suggests that she is vaguely resentful about revealing this, for whatever reason. But the situation does not seem to spare much room for her familiar silliness and casual lies. Her nostrils flare with the breath of a snort at Abby's hooker crack, but she does not smile, and none of her ordinary laughter dances in her eyes. She must just be moody! "Friends of his, huh?"

The first breath of air in Leah's apartment smells a little stale, like old incense and with a distant taint of marijuana smoke (that smell never goes completely away, does it?). Her motion bears little grace as she backs a few paces to let them in, stiff with bruises and the pain in her shoulder.

Teo AND Brian AND Abby. Half the crew is here. Chin tipped away from the open door, Deckard rolls his eyes closed and curls his fingers up against his sleeves, away from imminent touching. Unfortunately, he's not in much of a state to get up and fight anyone off. Pallid, hollow-faced and stale with the smell of cigarette smoke, old sweat, and the dank dampness of their underground adventure, he's mostly in a state to lie right where he is and listen to the exchange at the door with detached sufferance. And maybe shame.

The first order of business is…

Getting the Hell out of Abby's way, or ushering Abby in. It isn't lost on him that she looks less than ecstatic to be here: this is only another dismal evening in a chain of dismal evenings that marks the most encouraging beginning to the year 2009. Teo inclines his head at Leah, offering a quiet, "Buona sera," in salutation, and then leans into a long stride through the door, swerving to park with his back to the wall. From that, he cants an unabashed stare at Deckard's prone shape. His facial expressions are as loud as his knocking fist was. Surprise, worry, consternation dent his brow, grating his jaw with an almost audible suppression of questions.

Abby shuffles in behind teo then around him as he gets out of her way. Abby offers a quiet "thanks" to leah before quietly clomping her way over to deckard. She looms, in as much as she can loom, a twitch of her nose at the smell that permeates the room before she she gives a soft sigh. "I'm guessing I won't need a flower pot this time huh?" She peels off her glove though, easing down to clear a spot on the coffee table if there is already a clean spot, offering a bare hand to Deckard. "How bad?" He knows the drill. He'll take her hand if he wants it.

Rubbing a hand across her face, Leah watches Abby's progress to her brother's side with an utterably weary look drooping across her features. She draws a deep breath through her nose and chews a little on the inside of her cheek, turning a look of intent, worried study on Teo. The other two she at least has seen before, right? "I'm sure it isn't pretty," she says, her arms folded in a loose cross over her stomach.

"On a scale of one to ten?" Deckard asks blandly, voice rough and speech scattered away from attempted cynicism by the intrusion of another breath every few syllables. The answer is pretty evident despite the absence of verbal confirmation. He eyes Abigail, then looks past her to Teo, and eventually, past him to Leah. His arm bends at the elbow, right hand lifted and bruised fingers gently splayed. On a scale of one to ten, bad enough that he wants to cheat and make it go away like, right now.

The archetype of supplicant and saint lies too close to the flesh of Teo's consciousness for watching that quiet spectacle to be comfortable. He blinks twice, allows Deckard the acknowledgment of a nod, before ceding Abby and her patient their corner of the room. He looks at Leah instead, squaring his shoulders like a soldier, or at least all of that fortitude in lieu of belligerence. One long-fingered hand is extended to her slowly, as if in deference to her own obvious injury. Teo is conspicuously ungloved. For Teo, anyway. He must have been in a rush. "I help Deckard with chauffeuring and real estate most days. You don't seem like a hooker to me. May I ask what happened?"

"It'll be over soon. I promise" One hand makes palm to palm contact with deckard, her fingers interposing themselves between Deckards. Her other comes up to where his chest is visible through the V of shirt, being gentle since she doesn't know where the hurts are. "Dear God, Deliver me to my passion. Deliver me to my brilliance. Deliver me to my intelligence. Deliver me to my depth. Deliver me to my nobility. Deliver me to my beauty. Deliver me to my power to heal. Deliver me to You. Amen" Much wanted relief begin coursing through the man a few words in, kicking it up a few notches to get him out of serious pain as fast as she can offer it. Warmth and that familiar tingle from his chest and hand, seeking out the source of the hurts and beginning to make it all better.

Finding the advent of other people's religion on display to be uncomfortable — as though she is accidentally intruding on something intimate — Leah works her jaw, saccadic flickers of her eyes betraying her inability not to look towards what is happening on her couch. "He got the shit beat out of him," she says, her frankness easy but clearly incomplete. Not all that free with her information, her handshake at least is one of firm warmth. It's just afterwards, as she pulls back and winces, working her shoulder, that she reveals what a dumb idea that was. "Total overreaction," she adds with a thin smile. "This town will never escape its lousy reputation at this rate."

Deckard isn't exactly comfortable with the religious display himself, and he's getting it at close range. Jaw hollowed to further flatter his already cadaverous complexion, he avoids looking at Abigail's face and tries to tune into the murmur of Teo and Leah's conversation that he can hear past the prayer. Several cracked ribs are already on the mend, with the pain involved in his concussion briefly flaring to the forefront with the dull absence of feeling there translates into an ache at the back of his skull.

Discomfort aside, he's cooperative in his silence and stillness, sternum shuddering over an exhalation of muddied relief when the pain penned in around his lungs really begins to abate.

"Mi dispia— sorry. By anyone he knows?" Teo releases the woman's hand promptly, of course, not one to insinuate either himself or pain unless he's picking a fight. He retracts into his own space, hands in pockets, shoulders flexing in and out of a conspicuously casual slouch. Because chauffeur and real estate agents always confront the sight of their maimed clientele with complete and utter nonchalance. The Sicilian's eyes drift to the floor, which does little to conceal the fact his imagination just took launch on a dozen different destinations, each hypothetical scenario more horrifying than the last. Ethan preemptively installed a bomb underneath the bed, and when Abby steps back, there will be a pressure trigger—

Thats all the preaching anyone is getting as Abby falls silent, not looking at Deckard either, just concentrating on getting him back to full health, well, get the asskicking dealt with. Two hands are making a quick job of this, each breath deckard takes makes it easier for him to breath. She's oblivious to anyones thoughts, save for her own.

Brief frustration reflecting in a flash across Leah's expressive face, she tips her head with the exhalation of a slight sigh. Gaze narrowing as she fixes Teo with a glance, she shakes her head slightly. "Some crazy bitch packing shall we say excessive heat," she says. "I think he knew her but they weren't exactly pals." Almost about to say more, she pauses, catching the tip of her tongue in her teeth and glancing towards Deckard and Abby with a crease to her brow. Her ordinary restless energy is muted by weariness, and her expression tends to show more concern than she would prefer to admit to.

Having gone outside to watch the door or get a coke from the vending machine downstairs, Brian finally slips in quietly, closing the door behind him. The young man steps in to join the commotion, his lips tugging down as his grey eyes land on Deckard. Then he looks to Leah. A light smile breaks his sad look for a moment. "Tink." The young man says in greeting.

Haven taken to examining the bones in his hand mingled with Abigails, Deckard watches the fade of a hairline fracture around the base of his middle finger with the same monkeyesque intent interest most people have for things that happen much faster or slower than they should. His breathing is clearer, the flat of his chest rising and falling about as steeply as it should when he finally squints sideways after Abigail. Lazy curiosity, relief, other things that don't mesh well with his weathered face and the harsh blue of his eyes.

He's quiet for a little longer, enjoying the previously unappreciated wonder that is being able to breathe without feeling like you've just been run over by a bull. "It was one of your feds," he says finally, voice still gravelled with disuse, if no longer hitched by pain. "The one with boobs."

When the self-replicator comes in, Teo inclines his head in greeting, a half-smile slanting his mouth without an ounce of disingenuity despite that the larger part of his attention stays on Leah and her somewhat less than comprehensive description. A girl beat up Flint Deckard. Teo isn't sure how he feels about that. Perhaps surprisingly, the stark revelation that the girl in question happens to be one of his recent and more skeptical acquisitions in the legions against Kazimir Volken doesn't clarify his feelings very quickly. You'd have to be stupid not to notice the animosity that boiled between Deckard and the three Teo had met in the safehouse.

And only this morning, he learned of the unrest between the Feds themselves. You'd think the terrorists wouldn't be the most unified club in this scenario. He squeezes another blink out of his eyes, glances at Abby briefly, weighing her pink-and-golden shape against the gloom of the room, wondering whether to ask— "Why?"

A moment or two more and she pulls her hand from his chest, another few moments and Deckards hand is put down, silently declaring him healthy. Her hands push herself off from the table, looking over to Leah. "You too?" Common sense. Deckards beat up and the other woman doesn't look so hot.

The twist of Leah's mouth has more to do with grimace than with smile as she glances back at Brian, rue etched into the weariness that marks her expression. She shakes her head slightly. "Hi, Breanne," she says. "Lousy circumstances." Her gaze narrows as she lifts the hand of her still-good left arm to rub at the back of her neck, making a moue at Abby. "Ehhh," she says, "I just fell down, getting him away." Well, it's technically true, sort of. "He's not exactly light. I thought she might've cracked his fool skull or something."

Right hand slid around back the muscles corded taut into the back of his neck, Deckard leans himself up into a sitting position, socked feet swung down onto the floor between couch and coffee table once Abby has moved off. His pallor lingers, absence of sleep and dehydration not being things as easily repaired as broken bones, but he has strength enough to stand and face the conversation at hand.

"She was going to shoot my sister." The answer is matter of fact for all that it makes approximately zero sense in the absence of context. Both hands feel absently over his own middle, pushing and testing to find no tender spot left behind. "So I stole her purse."

"Who is this chick?" Brian asks with a frown as he looks down to Deckard. "Can we call the cops?" The young man asks to Teo then to Leah. "I mean if she was beating the crap out of people and trying to shoot others." He gives a little shrug of his shoulders. "Shouldn't we report em to the cops?"

Oddly enough, Teo has always appreciated Deckard's way with lying to him. The lack of context seems to be his way of highlighting, in bold and if not outright incandescent colors, the omissions and room and probable directions for expansion. He's frowning so hard he might cave his chin in, maybe. Give Abigail more work than any healer really needs.

"She can fix you up even if the injury's mild," he offers Leah sidelong, and though that might seem painfully obvious, his tone is empty of anything but unobtrusive encouragement. "Given the PD's Most Wanted right here—" he jerks his head at Deckard. "I don't want to get cops involved. They might even ask for a statement. Do you know why she tried to shoot you?" He shifts his attention from Deckard to Deckard, now. If the term sister surprised him at all, it was lost in all the other blinking the young man was doing.

Leah doesn't say anything int eh realm of yes, so Abigail just nods, and turns away, moving over to her purse, digging around in it to remove a redbull before shouldering her purse. "I'm done here then. I'll head to work. give you a call when I get there"

The sister statement definitely alarms Brian, though his only acknowledgment of it is a pair of wide eyes for a moment. At least she only hangs around him because she has to. That makes him able to like her more. Brian frowns as he looks back to Teo. "Well we gotta do something right? These are.. feds? Feds who just go around trying to shoot and maim people?"

Leah closes her mouth over whatever she might have been about to say, and scratches her fingertips through the dark mane of her hair instead, shaking her head. "She was arresting him when she knocked him out," she says. "Or … getting the cops or I don't know." Still hedging deliberate vagueness over just how she got him out of here, she draws her thumbnail along the curve of one eyebrow, lips thinning as she presses them together. After a heartbeat's pause, she allows some of her own responsibility for the shenanigans of yesterday: "I picked her pocket. She didn't have much of a sense of humor about the whole thing. Even after I ditched her stuff which, if you ask me, is just rude."

Telling the truth in its unaltered and inevitably infuriating entirety is hard. Deckard's posture is slightly stooped. Not quite tail-between-the-legs, but close enough to evoke similar impressions of as of yet untold misbehavior. "Bitch would have put me in prison forever for stealing her purse." In the middle of the apocalypse, he might add. But doesn't. "She's insane. The other night she…kneed me in the balls for bothering her." That part is true as it is. Embarrassingly so, even. The line of his jaw hardens irritably under grizzled grey and brown, and he looks sideways to Brian. Right? Then to Abby: "Wha — you can't just leave her." Her arm is like. Hanging out of its socket or something.

You come in contact with Benjamin Fletcher frequently enough, and you learn to make great and articulate shapes with the breath funneled out of your lungs. Teo sighs. Not loudly nor with visible exasperation directed at anybody in the small room. He puts a hand on the crown of his head, feels the edges of the surgical steel plate contour against his palm, acknowledging Brian's observation with a faint twitch of his head on its stem. "Chris wants her out, too. I don't know what the fuck is going on with her: I know her the least. I'll talk to her tonight. Or tomorrow. See if a reconciliation," haplessly, his mouth fumbles onto a grin. "Is possible." His smile fails entirely to fade when he drops his gaze to watch Abby's hand. Sister.

He'dve guessed, after just now.

"Who's Chris?" Brian asks, pointedly. Getting a little agitated about not knowing what the fuck is going on. He looks down to Deckard. Then to Leah. Then back to Deckard. "You okay Dickard?" He asks, folding his arms over his chest.

Leah looks warily at Abby, stiffness set in across her spine. The wear in her expression makes her look old, or maybe just look her age; without the dance of laughter in her eyes, the spectre of 40 is a lot clearer than usual. Hesitantly, she reaches out to lay her fingertips lightly against Abby's. She looks unsettled. The dislocated shoulder is the worst of her injuries; she has some impressive bruising elsewhere beneath her black dress, but really. Not so bad. Compared to Flint's score of injuries from yesterday, she is superduper healthy, really.

"Chris is also insane. In the event you still haven't noticed and need me to tell you again that all cops are untrustworthy bastards," Deckard snipes across the room's breadth, eyes harsh on Teo and Abby both, with his bristle persisting well past the point of hand-to-hand contact. As such, it's on a delay that he finally looks Brian over. How come he doesn't know who Chris is? "Another feeb. And yeah. Fine."

A shrug seesaws through Teo's shoulders, left through right. "I don't like cops either, vecchio, and I'd never equivocate," oh now he's merely being saucey. "But everyone's crazy. Heard you shot the same kid that other psycho did once. Shit happens. If we can keep it together for another few weeks, it'll be fine." He is lying, but not very apparently. It lurks on the back of his mind that Allen Rickham is no longer a real force in the political arena, and that what influence the President-elect might have once exerted over Flint Deckard's judicial predicament — isn't there anymore.

"Chris is one of the outside guys you'll meet tomorrow," he tells Brian. He's about half a breath from asking the younger man to check his bulletins, but Leah shifts in his peripheral, a smudge of dark hair, fatigue, and reluctant acceptance of help.

There's probably no need to give her more frightening impressions than there already are. "Would you do me a favor and not fuck around with fire for the next two weeks? I'll buy you a hoo…" The word dies on his lips with an abortive almost-glance at Abigail, and he grimaces slightly, dragging his hand off the top of his head.

There's no verbal prayer for the others to hear. Abby recites something in her mind so that when Leah touches her, it's ready to go. her free hand reaches over to help ease Leah's dislocated arm back into place when the tissues have that imprinted urge to go back to their proper place. A look of concentration on her face and the weight of thier combined wounds seeping into the young woman. "HE'll buy you a hooker, and not your sister" Abigail finishes it for teo, though her attention is still on leah, studying the arm, making sure verythings going back to proper places. All that warmth, and light tingle, good tingle. The bruise's disappearing slowly.

"Hooker." Brian repeats Abby quietly. "I was going to guess Hoosier." He says with a little shrug. Giving a glance from Abby to Teo, he approaches the older man for a moment. "Should I leave a few me here to watch after Dickard?" The young man asks, giving half a glance to Leah as if it's more up to his man than her.

Her expression twisting like that of a woman who has just bitten into a lemon, Leah closes her eyes and scrunches them tight. The tingling sensation — weird. Suggestion of banging her brother for money — weird and gross. "That's okay," she says as to no one in particular, with her eyes closed. Misinterpretation deliberate and obnoxious, she explains, "I don't need a hooker. I can get laid on my own." She cracks an eye and eyes Brian, confusion registered in that sliver of her gaze. There's been plenty going on in this conversation a few feet above her head, but this is something that seems to be involving her apartment and thus, her periphery.

"I didn't shoot anybody." He shot a hat. There is a distinct difference. Many differences, in fact. Hats don't bleed, for instance, and you can't break their bones because they don't have any and they aren't alive. The frigid lock of Deckard's glare has this to say to Teo, and more. Maybe something about how he'd like to hit him in the face with a plank of wood. Past his defensiveness over the hat, it's a little hard to tell.

Also, they're talking about buying him a hooker in front of his sister. All of them. Not just Brian, from whom that kind of thing might be expected. "The next person that offers to pay for me to get off is going to get a lesson in catching bullets."

Although it might be expected Brian is the one who wouldn't suggest that thing. At least not in front of Tinkerbell. A nice classy lady, as far as he's concerned. The young man gives a little frown to Teo. "Let me know later." Patting him on the shoulder, the young man goes to take post outside.

Catching bullets. Promptly, Teo apologizes: "Mi dispiace. I heard you shoot people." There's only a little cheek, if you don't mind, and even if you do, there don't seem to be any visible planks of wood leaning on anything in here and he suspects that any effort to swing or cut him with a bong would be halted promptly. He does understand the distinction between Christian Powell's bellicose nature and Flint Deckard's habit of getting hamburgered by such individuals or similar, however.

"Up to him," he nods Brian at Flint, before jerking a thumb back at the door. Takes a step toward it. "Be right out side. 'M gonna make some calls. Whenever you're ready, ragazza," to Abby. And Leah, "It was nice meeting you. Ciao."

There, it tapers off, trickles down to nothing and Leah's soon fixed up too, a twitch from the blonde as she lets go of Leah's hand. "Your done. I'm going to go now, i'm not needed. Try not to get shot, or whatever. God Bless" the blonde tosses out. "I'll be at the bar, if youd on't see me, i'll be upstairs sleeping" There's a thread of something on her jacket and Abby picks it off, protective of her new coat. "Call if you need me T. Take care Brian"

"Thank you," Leah mutters after Abby as she works her shoulders, barely audible. She glances toward the door, tipping her head in acknowledgment. She still looks tired, but now, more wry than before. "Later," she says, with the brief flash of a crooked smile, "I'm sure." She wiggles her fingers and then scrubs both her hands together, glancing towards her brother with upswept brows.

"No," is the simple answer re: Brians and multiple ones camping out around Leah's apartment. "Leave her a number if you want. If she wants. Just—" don't — fuck anything up any more than it already is. If that's possible. Teo's apology gets a hard glance, and quickly enough, it's just him and Leah.

The insinuation of a long, awkward pause is inevitable. The fact that he eventually chooses to break it by mumbling a, "Sorry," and stooping down after his shoes instead of actually saying something explanatory or otherwise helpful, also probably inevitable.

January 22nd: Like Violent Strippers
January 22nd: On Pawning Children
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