How Much Did It Cost


abby_icon.gif deckard_icon.gif

Scene Title How Much Did It Cost
Synopsis Flint shows up late when Abigail summons and in the aftermath of Corbins visit, they learns the cost of a life, both seen and unseen.
Date March 26, 2010

Old Lucy's - Upstairs

Though one might remember when a certain fiery woman lived here… Now the living area above Old Lucy's has changed hands. The open living room and kitchen are homey, a commingling of two people's tastes. The leather couch sits kitty corner to a one of red suede and a bit smaller. A large bird cage for it's budgie inhabitant takes up it's own corner beside dark paneled walls. Bookshelves with literary pieces of a variety both academic and not take up another small section.

The kitchen is large, with a rolling wood and black marble island to give more counter space to work on. Pots and pans hang from the roof and track lighting keeps it not gloomy. A proper oak dining table has been set up with matching chairs instead of the 70's castoff that the residents have been known to own and a bowl of fresh fruit sits in the center.

Down a hall lay's multiple doors. A master bedroom occupied by the oldest resident and occasionally have a pervading smell of whiskey and smoke coming from it when the door is open. A second door with a cross above it, a third with no marking that is occupied by the third resident of the premises. Two other doors lead to a linen closet and bathroom - Decorated in a very strong pirate theme - respectively. A black cat with a red velvet collar and a little swarovski charm dangling from it can be found meandering at will.

Off work hours ago, actually in an ambulance today and not stuck stocking ambulances. Means her knee is a bit achey but nothing that she hasn't been able to handle with some advil and resting it when she got home, leaving Brenda and the girls to man the bar. It picked up a bit more today, which was nice. But the bar closed and there's no work tomorrow so the resident above the bar in question wasn't hoofing it to bed early, or on time.

Not when she'd left a message for Deckard to come over, that she needed to talk with him, possibly have something for him. So come on down for dinner. Dinner had passed though, and no Flint. Al at the den, taking care of the sick, Odessa somewhere else for the current time which left her with the cat and the bird and Jay Lena on TV. Ugh, the chin. The channels flip to food network instead.

Deckard has been here since well before dinner. Here but not here, intent and inventive enough to stay well out of sight and warm enough not to die with five feet of snow on the ground and more on the way. Only once he's damn sure she's alone and relaxed in the apartment over Old Lucy's does he venture to make his way soundlessly up the stairs, key scraping muffled in the lock until it turns with a dull click.

His progress further in is similarly guarded, tentative and suspicious as a fox with an ass end full of bird shot. His overcoat is of heavier make than usual, likely poached from military resale, and scuffed brown leather resides under that. There's a quiet clink of key against key; a swish of canvas over leather. Someone's here, eyes too pale and shoulders slinky.

"Flint?" Doesn't help that most of the lights are off, save for the glow of the TV and what sprawls from the kitchen. Mute goes the sound and the pillow on her lap is held tight for a fraction. It's either him, Al or.. no, the person is too tall to be anyone but Deckard.

"You came" there's surprise in her voice and the blonde doesn't move from her spot on the couch, only the cat bounding down to greet the victim entering into the apartment proper.

A direct look answers the question of identity nearly before she's wasted breath to ask; Flint's eyes ring eerily blue in the entryway's low light while he measures her and then the rest of the apartment. One more time. The cat draws his focus when he reaches to drag the cap off his head, forehead scarred black and red with stitches in a slash across the far right, grizzled hair razed down into a scruffy buzz that bristles unevenly under static's crackling influence.

He looks wary and thin and most of all like someone's hit him in the face with a bat, which is mostly true. Bruising is shaded in around his eye all the way to his unshaven jaw and probably beyond. "Sorry I'm late."

"You look like you had a good reason" She points out, able to see in the dim light the dark patches and dark lines. There's a soft sigh as the pillow is abandoned and she rises from the red sofa. "Never out of trouble, no matter how hard you try huh? Come on in, I still have food. Least I can do is feed you"

Towards the kitchen she goes, trace of a limp still in her flannel bottoms, tank top and slippers. "Coffee or some whiskey, or both? Before I start peppering you with questions flint?" She's at leas confessing ahead of time, that she's going to interrogate him. "You have some place to keep you out of the cold? They say it's gonna stay winter for a bit longer"

No answer, no answer, and no answer. Demon eyes hooded to half under the low stoop of his brows, he shrugs stiffly out've his overcoat, shakes it free of snow once, and tosses it up on a hook. If he finds the offer of food first endearing, it doesn't show in his long face. Nor does honesty leave any obvious impression upon him.

He lingers in the entry a while with the cat, then follows at a shady meander to stand gargoylesque at the open join of kitchen and living room with his hands tucked in his jacket pockets and his flat mouth pulled into a frown.

Quite. There is no surprise from Abby as she grabs the pot of coffee to pour a cup and then fishes at a bottom cupboard for the whiskey bottle that is a permanent visitor in case Deckard ever did swing by again. Abby is what one would call an enabler. "You remember that time" Since he won't talk, she will. "That Brian and his clones beat you up and I brought you back to my place. Well, I was about to abandon it for reasons that have nothing to do with this conversation" The cup of coffee is deposited on the counter closest to him, forcing him to move in.

Fridge next to grab the roast beef that she'd cooked so that she can slice some up and heat it, get the rest of the ingredients for a sandwich. "You just ransacked my place while I was there, getting stuff you could pass over to the vanguard."

Flint remembers. Better than he should, given the reduction of functioning braincell's he's incurred through the last two years via various electrocutions, addictions and direct trauma like the headwound he's sporting now.

Narrow jaw clamped hollow beneath its coarse bristle, he answers in the affirmative with further silence, goshawk intensity in the unsteady ground between deliberate disaffection and an increasingly ill-suppressed temper. Maybe he just doesn't want to interrupt.

He isn't ignoring her, though. His eyes occasionally tick in to focus on what she's doing away from an empty span of wall that otherwise holds his interest.

"How much did they pay you to kill Hokuto?" Corbin took the chance, come down and ask about flint, and she professed that he couldn't have done it. Wouldn't have done it. "Was it five grand? Two grand? Was it a you kill her and we won't kill you sort of deal with the Russians?" She doesn't inquire whether he likes mustard on his sandwich, just squeezes out some and with a butter knife, carefully spreads it. She hates even asking him but a man came to her last night, and there's a dead body and she wants to know.

Is it more honorable to have done it for money or to save his own skin? What if the answer is neither?

Ignoring the (still existent) possibility that he didn't do it at all.

When it comes to accusations like this one, drawing conclusions from silence is a dangerous affair, but that's all he he has to give her while she works the sandwich and his long fingers turn a corroded penny slowly over in his pocket.

No answer again. There was the chance that this would be the answer that she would get. Silence ever thickening between the two of them. Silence has been a lot of what made the two of them. Lettuce layered on cheese, layered on roast beef which is fetched forth from the microwaves so that it's not cold anymore.

"Take off your shirt. If you're not going to answer me, then take off your shirt and let me look. Because I had a man come to my home yesterday and ask after you. Ask what you were to me and what you were like. Logan said that the Russian leftovers were responsible for her death" Which might account for the limp.

"But my visitor, if you killed her Flint, you need to get out of New York and we need to get you across into Europe or back across Mexico because Hokuto was an old company agent. Which means you killed a company agent and they don't tend to let things go, if one of their dies. So you can either take off your shirt and I'll get my answer that way, or you can just tell me and either way, I'll still help you"

What she'd do besides that, she doesn't know. One step at a time.

Take off your shirt.

Theoretically a pretty straightforward option, only he's in layers. Also, in no hurry to comply.

But even stubborn beasts eventually come around with the right application of pressure, whether by pain or persistence and there's a rustle when he rolls a shoulder back to start the sluggish process of shrugging out of his jacket. One wiry arm out, then the other, he lets it fall to the kitchen floor in a slack flop of warm leather, maybe a little too deliberately. The holster underneath follows, likewise leather — one of his nicer ones — and the .40 that accompanies it. Clunk. While he stares at her.

The t-shirt is last, twisted off and dropped to expose faded blue ink around the fore and blacker stuff around the wire-strung side and back, including a celtic cross laid into the scruff of his neck that she hasn't seen before. The ribbon sashed across its middle reads simply: Genesis 4:14.

He's lost weight. His ribs poke and taut-drawn muscles stand out in flinching cords against the chill under prison and professional ink alike. Bruising mars his long face. It's also splotched in an uneven, unhealthy mix of green, brown and yellow across his lower back and left side, only a few days out from vanishing entirely.

She hasn't seen that cross before. Something that he picked up between Mexico and here. She knows the passage though, indicated on the ribbon and it springs to mind without much thought. The sandwich is finished, put to the side as she watches him give in to her verbal bullying. It's the bruising on his back that doesn't match the rest of everything that he has. Where a vest would have covered.

Abigail breathes in and out, watching the play of colors on skin, imagining how much that must have hurt, running over the possible damage that the bullet would have done if he hadn't been wearing the vest. Lower molars press again upper molars and lips purse just a bit as she swallows.


"It feels good," may or may not be the worst answer in a long list of terrible answers. It's honest, though, quiet in the flat air of the kitchen with its hot sandwich smell and half his clothes on the floor. A sideways look of speculation that flicks from her hips to the nearest empty counter surface is also pretty terrible. There is no subtlety in such matters when your eyes glow in the fucking dark.

Temporary distraction and all around inappropriateness aside, he's hard to read. A decent pokerface probably comes with the territory, but there's tell-tell anger brewing there too in the clamp of his jaw and the hood of his brow. Gradually ghosting on the last look Logan got before they started cracking each other in the face.

"Eat. I won't call the cops. I won't call the company agent who came around." His x-ray vision can't show the turmoil that her heart is in, nothing can physically show that. Just stoic Abby struggling to keep it all inside like he's keeping it all under. Hide that with those three words he admits what he did and that he likes it. Like killing.

She just dumbly nods, hand on the counter as she looks down to the ground, trying to figure out what to do. For all that Corbin had warned her to bring a gun, to protect herself, she hasn't and won't. It's Flint. "I can get money, and we can get you out of their reach. Do you want that?"

Deckard shakes his head to the sandwich and the offer of escape alike. Doesn't even look interested, ribs rising and falling a little faster in their regular hitch as if in delayed recognition that he's said what he's said here and to her.

No waking up this time.

She can play the body language game as well, the nod again. She can also see that his eyes haven't lost that glow to them the whole time he's been in here. Can he even see the sandwich. "You know what Flint. I don't even know who you are anymore. Or I'm starting to realize that I really haven't known you at all. I know this part of you, this wedge of you. He told me that they thought it might have been you. You know what I told him?"

She's moving then, aiming to walk past him, angle herself so she doesn't have to have any part of her touch him. "Is aid no, flint wouldn't do that. I bet my life on it that he wouldn't so that. Sure, he'll beat people to within an inch of their life, but he wouldn't kill someone, much less my friend. And you knew she was my friend Flint. No way you couldn't have known otherwise."

Purely not having to touch him of her own volition isn't quite far enough, as it turns out. His right hand wraps around the wrist of her left and jerks her up and back in towards him, which would only be slightly less uncomfortable if he wasn't half naked on top of everything. In addition to the new tattoo, there are scars she hasn't seen before: notably the pinkish nick just shy of his sternum where Francois put a bullet in him south of the border. The starred out streaking opposite it on his back is worse. Furthermore there are lines under his throat where neckbeard still refuses to grow. Various knife slashes and older shootings and shakings are more familiar, including the one where Felix tried to kill him back however many months ago.

The whiskey stink of him is unmistakable in close quarters, on his breath and in his skin, and his knuckles clamp in like wrought iron around slender bone. Too hard, teeth bared in a sliver and bright eyes narrowed down at hers. "I knew who she was. How do you think she'd feel about you lying for me?"

"I didn't know Flint at the time." There's no attempt made to yank her arm from his grip, just her own blue looking up into the ghostly ones. "How would she feel? You're deciding to ask me how she's feel? She can't feel anything Flint because you killed her. You killed her on their request, because they are killing my friends Flint. And it feels good" It's shy of how hard Logan held her wrist from the floor in Burlesque and she bares her teeth back at him.

"You killed a woman who was my friend and you can't even deign to look at me Flint when you say it. You're hiding behind your god damned eyes, like I hid behind my cross. I heard it all that day. When you sent me for drinks? I heard it because I was standing just around the corner of the door with the tea. How would Hokuto feel? If she was still alive, she would feel bad for you. But she would understand because she wasn't innocent herself." Now she pulls back on her arm, testing to see if he'll let her go.

"I don't know how many times I've defended you, said you were trying to get your act together. Ive forgiven you so much Flint. But I can't forgive you the death of my friend when you knew what it would do to me"

"I don't want your forgiveness, Abigail." Flint's voice gets kind of nasal when he's really and truly angry, irritation pitching harsh through saw-toothed tension and unsanded edges. He also gets pushy. Exhibit A, he absorbs her lack of resistence and flings her back anyway, too hard and fast for her to regain her footing before she hits the counter edge one way or the other.

"You don't know because you don't care. I'm not a fucking charity case." He squeezes his eyes shut, left hand scrubbed too hard over the unbruised profile of his face and further back, where it lodges fast for a moment before it slings down to sweep something that looks breakable off the counter to the floor after her.

"Everything that matters is gone. We could be gone tomorrow because some other Teo fucked things up even more and nobody will know what I did or why."

There goes a teapot, dainty china with flowers on it, half filled with steeped water after Abigail ricochet's herself off the counter, clipping hip against the granite as she puts a hand out to try and soften the force of the hit. One leg with darker splatters and pink slippers turning brown.

"We're weren't gone!" Fingers cling around the edge of the counter that meets with the steel sink as she ups her own voice, letting her own anger slip in. "We've never left. You just hid Flint. You hid, like right now behind your eyes, in your holes wherever it is you hide. We can't help, we can give you what you are willing to take if you won't come and take it. Instead you go to our fucking enemies, and you take a job from them. Are you even seeing me? Or just seeing my bones because you're too afraid to actually see my face?" She kicks the large pieces of teapot to the side. How much Flint?" Abigail pushes herself away from the counter, moving fast to get in his face.

"How much did our friendship cost you?"

Case in point perhaps, Deckard's already crawling back into himself like a drugged up hermit crab, one taloned foot at a time. A shuddery breath steeps down into something deeper and more even, the tension in his chest held fast while he forces himself away from a pant. In through the nose, out through the mouth. He heard that somewhere. Once.

It's not helping very much. He looks upset. Cornered, at least, too distracted or no longer invested enough in the argument to correct for mis-communication. His fault his fault his fault his fault.

"How. Much. Did. Her. Life. Cost Flint? How much is a life worth these days, how much is it flint" He may be inwardly scrambling backwards and she's getting a faceful of whiskey breath, but Abigail's still right there, red creeping over her features and hands in fists at her side. "A couple hundred flint? A couple thousand? A warm night in a hotel somewhere? What was it Flint? I want to know how much selling your soul to them, selling something that I once loved, cost you.

Her turn for her hand to come out, not with the force that she could have put behind it, but with the intention to try and knock him into actually looking at her and seeing the rage in her eyes that's been building. It's better than crying right now.

"HOW MUCH FLINT!" Lips thins over her teeth.

Flint's long face turns with the impact. Not far, but his eyes dim out before he adjusts enough to look at her head on again. Resentment fast on its way to loathing is easier to see in them that way, at just enough of a safe, bitter remove to keep it from creeping into the lines around his face while he watches her.

"I would have done it for free."

Done it for free, cause it felt good. A while ago, she made him feel good, and he made her feel good and right now all she can feel sitting in the pit of her stomach is something that isn't good. "Teo didn't kill the future Flint. Didn't kill our future. Right there, in that bookstore when you killed her. That killed our future and you have only yourself to blame Flint. No more, no less. You made that passage on your neck more real than you could imagine" She moves to go around him again, satisfied in that at least he's not looking at her skeleton.

He doesn't look like he believes her or cares very much if he does. Assuming he's listening at all. There are broken pieces of kettle on the floor.

Neon draws itself back in around Deckard's irises once she's passed and he stoops after his shirt to pull it back down over his head. Tattoos, scars and bruising vanish beneath faded red in an uneven sweep. The holster is up next, shrugged on with automaton precision in a sleek X across his back.

Jacket's last. The one she bought for him, though he doesn't spare his origin any more thought than is necessary on its way up while he surveys the kitchen without seeing any of it.

In the time it takes him to collect his discarded clothing and get it on, slippers have been abandoned for boots, jacket over tank top and purse is fetched from the coat tree near the door. A sweep of the kitchen doesn't give way to anything but just that kettle and the slam of the door as Abigail does what she does at a time like this. Go somewhere else. Down the stairs goes her skeleton, the thumps audible and through the bar downstairs to leave him alone in her home, his former home. Where she's going could be anyone's guess.

Slower to follow, Deckard takes his time wandering in and out of familiar bedrooms once the jacket's on. He has places he could go, theoretically. Most of them are places he couldn't be easily discovered. But they're all cold and if the police are coming he might as well do them the courtesy of still being here when they arrive.

But they don't.

Left to his own devices, he picks up the broken pieces of kettle and sinks them all absently into the trash before making his own way out with the door locked fast behind him.

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