How Much For a Leg?


brennan2_icon.gif delia_icon.gif michelle_icon.gif nick_icon.gif

Scene Title How Much For a Leg?
Synopsis The doctors Brennan meet up with Delia and Nick while on a search for public enemy number one.
Date September 12, 2011

Northern Staten Island

When people speak of the Forgotten Borough and tell stories about the desolation and rampant crime on Staten Island, they are speaking of its northern half. Everything north of the Staten Island Expressway was the worst hit by the fallout and the first region of the island to be evacuated afterward. It is a highly urbanized region of the island with tightly packed residential homes, apartment buildings and businesses juxtaposed with factories and desolate stretches of abandoned highway, rail yards and miles upon miles of abandoned buildings.

Everything east Route 440 into Jersey City, also known as the Martin Luther King Jr. Expressway has fallen into a state of sickening revitalization under the monicker of the "Rookery", a neighborhood rife with drug dealers, rapists, murderers and criminals who had come to pick on the corpse of Staten Island after it had been evacuated, and simply never left.

West of the expressway are miles of residential buildings, factories and railyards that once connected Jersey City and Staten Island, now sitting in disrepair amidst rusting tracks and derelict train cars. This while northern end of Staten Island is still largely a no-man's-land, and only on the New Jersey side of the Bayonne Bridge that croses north into Jersey City has a police checkpoint designed to keep motorists out of Staten Island..

It's not a place for respectable people, this part of Staten Island. And Michelle Brennan, for one, has long been comfortable being in safe, respectable company. However, her husband's on a bit of a mission and her choices have been to either sit at home and worry or come along with him. And out of a desire not to lose anyone else, she's opted for the later.

She's in a black jacket, a tie pulling it tight around her waist and she walks alongside her husband with her hands in her pockets and a bit of a haunted look about her. She can only keep up appearances for so long. Every now and then, the heartbreak's got to leak through.

Dark in clothing as well, Brennan walks with his wife, starting to make their way back to the Ferry with the hopes of catching the last one back to Manhattan proper lest they have to go get a hotel room out here. Something that isn't that appealing given the state of the Island and it's reputation. That would likely mean that either would not sleep, too worried about someone coming in to rob them blind.

Dark leather jacket to ward off the evening cool of the oncoming fall, hair short short and scruff in need of a trim, he has the haunted look about him too. Only his hand - one of them - is around her waist, a bit of a possessive look to it. All the more to make people back the fuck off and not think of messing with them. Their latest foray into Staten to track down the dreadlocked ginger rasta has been unsuccessful and any other synonyms that one can think of.

Delia can probably count on one hand the amount of people who accuse her of being respectable these days. As such, the Rookery seems to be the perfect place to be for people of her ilk. That and no one really seems to look twice at the heavy plastic cuff wrapped around her ankle. Except for that one piece of jewelry, she doesn't really seem to stand out from anyone else.

The redhead is stopped along the side of a building, staring into the window of a thrift store. There's a collection of books, not the kind she normally reads but a little more to Eileen's taste. Or at least what she thinks Eileen's tastes should be, classics and poetry. Prettier prose than the steamy smut that catches Delia's eye.

"Nick, can we go in there?" She doesn't actually look at the dark haired man, just a quick glance accompanied by a smile. It drifts off as she sees the two in black approach.

As Delia looks in the window, Nick leans against the building; dark glasses shield his eyes that would otherwise give away the nonchalant posture. One hand in the pocket of his weathered leather jacket is loosely wrapped on the gun that he holds there as well; he has enemies in these parts, he is sure — both criminal and government in flavor.

"Of course," he says quietly, then turns his head to see what she is looking at, finding the subject to be the Brennans. He nods in acknowledgement, one side of his mouth curving into a smile that's not totally feigned.

Spotting Nick there, Michelle doesn't smile exactly, but she does straighten up some, making an effort to look less… droopy. "Mister York," she greets as they get closer. It's not her usual tone, something a little too weary in there. "You're feeling better?" There's a clear French accent there, and the way her eyebrow lifts gives away that she's a little suspicious that he's not feeling better. But then, she'd had a few samples of his version of health.

Mr. York. That's an easy way to get his attention as once more, Michelle and he seem to be running into the man that weeks ago, they were patching up. Brennan's hand tightens at his wife's waist, eyes roving over to Delia with a bit of a surprise. It's been a long time since the two of them met and to both, he just nods his head, letting Michelle at this moment, take the lead with something other than a glance to his watch and keep an eye on the time.

"Doctor Brennan and Doctor Brennan," Delia greets with whatever tiny smile she has leftover. "You're a couple of people that I would never expect to see around here." Stepping a little closer to Nick, the books are forgotten from the moment in favor of the two physicians.

She quiets and glances to Nick, her eyebrow arching a little at the question of his well being. It wouldn't be a stretch for the man to hurt himself and not tell her in the few days that they don't see each other. Tucking both of her hands into her pockets, the young woman's eyes drift upward to meet those of Harve's.

Nick's eyes are hidden behind the dark glasses as they dart from one doctor to the next, taking in the clues to their well being that makes him afraid to ask, though the polite thing would be to do so. "Madame," he says in his French accent, stepping away from the wall he'd been lazing against. "I'm good, thanks. And thanks again for your help last time." This is said mostly to Michelle, but the young man gives Brennan a nod as well.

He presses his lips together as he considers saying more, asking the question that looms large like an elephant on the sidewalk. His head turns slightly toward Delia, then back to Michelle, opting for French in case the topic isn't one they want to discuss in front of the redhead. "Your daughter? How is she?" he finally asks, voice soft and uncertain.

"Good to see you again," Michelle says to Delia. She's looking better than the last time the woman saw her, but then, it's been a while so that's to be expected, "And wonderful to see you're both doing well." She doesn't comment on not expecting to see them together, because well, she knows that l'amour likes unexpected things.

When he asks about their daughter, even with the familiar language being used, the woman looks down to her feet for a moment, then over at her husband. She's giving him the lead in this one. Of course, the way her eyes well up and how she can't exactly look at Nick probably does a lot for answering the question.

"She wasn't strong enough" Should be sufficient an answer enough, and he squeezes Michelle to him, plant a kiss in the dark hair at the top of her head. No French, because it would be rude especially since he doesn't know if Delia actually speaks it. "She didn't make it. But thank you for asking after her. Delia, a pleasure to see you as always, it's been too long. How have you been?" The two of them together, somewhat a surprise, he can't remember if he knew they were together or not. "What brings you both to Staten?"

"Wh— " Delia's expression of confusion starts with the French, carries over to the looks, and turns into a frown that's pointed down toward the ground at her feet. "Good t'see you too, Doctors," she mumbles to both of them. She doesn't miss the surprise on both of their faces at Nick's choice of company.

"I live in Eltingville," she explains for her reason for being in the area. She shrugs one shoulder and then as further directions to where she resides, lifts one hand from her pocket and points toward the woods to the south. "There's a fence, I live just past it…"

The man at Delia's side is quiet — it's hard to see who he's looking at when Brennan speaks, but his hand twitches at his side in an indecisive way; in earlier days, that twitch foreshadowed a trip to his pocket for cigarettes, but instead it curls into itself, into a helpless fist with nothing to strike out at.

"I'm so sorry," he says, his head turning to Harve, then toward Michelle. His forehead furrows, and he shakes his head with the inability to say something — anything — of use. "So sorry," he repeats, more softly, to Michelle. He looks down, rather than to look at the pain on their faces or the dawning sadness he knows will be on Delia's; his jaw twitches, and the sentiment he'd almost said when he learned the Brennan girl was sick echoes in his head: that he'd change places with her, let her survive in his place, if he could.

The words won't mean anything now, no matter how true.

It's a sentiment they've heard a lot lately. But even so, Michelle gives Nick a grateful nod. Perhaps it's because he knows the how and the why and the who behind the whole tragedy. However, she only gets as far as a nod before she clears her throat and turns her focus to Delia.

"I haven't seen it. Eltingville. Are you… comfortable?" It probably means something a little deeper, but she's leaving it at that for now, as she jumps on this new topic.

"Thank you for your sympathies. She's at least not suffering anymore" He'd say she's in a better place but that would be a lit because everyone knows that the better place is with ones families, in their arms safe and sound, loved. Eltingville, he hasn't been through it either, they've had the luck to not run into trouble that would end up with them there, or been called in to help with the PR. "I've heard it's not the greatest place to be, do you need anything that Mish or I can help you wish? Are you confined to there or…" Or is she allowed to take off. But then, if she's out here, then clearly she's allowed to take off.

"How's your arm Nick" He switches his own attention to the arm in question but not taking a step forward to look at it, just sticking with his arm around his wife.

Mathematics aren't lost on the redhead and as emotional as she can be sometimes, logic isn't lost on her either. The doctors both in black, Nick speaking in a foreign language (probably French), and a she that's no longer suffering, the Brennans must have lost someone recently. In accordance with all of the unexplaining happening, Delia simply looks down at her feet while all of the questions about her living arrangements are posed.

She's quiet, not answering any questions until after Harve diverts his attention to Nick. Then she looks at him for a long moment and knits her eyebrows together before lifting her head to look up at him properly. "How much for a leg?" It's a straight face that greets him, no humor in it. Her hand goes down, flat palmed and softly chopping just under her kneecap. "Say from there? How much would that be?"

The hand curled in a fist opens and Nick wiggles his fingers. "S'good, thanks again," he murmurs, but Delia's words overlap his, and he frowns, reaching for her hand. "Shh," is a bit terse and tense, not a gentle hushing so much as a drop it.

"If there's anything I can do," he murmurs, reaching up with his other hand to take off his glasses a little belatedly, hooking them on the V of his grey t-shirt. "I mean, I know there's nothing that will help, but…" but he feels like he has to offer. To do something. It's not the first time he's lived with survivor's guilt.

It's not the first time someone's asked her for a leg, but it is the first time someone with two present and functional legs has asked her for an extra. Michelle puts a hand on her hip, her brow furrowing a bit as she looks at Delia. "Most people do not need a third," she says after a moment, although it's more curious than chiding. She flicks her gaze over to Nick, though, and she shakes her head gently. "We're handling it."

Maybe not particularly well, but handling it.

"She's asking for us to take it off Mish" Which has him frowning. People - Sane people - don't ask for limb removal which has him leaving Michelle's side so that he can hunker down. "If you see Mr. Rosen, you can give him a good fist, is what you can do, maybe even dig his heart out with a spoon" This to Nick, with little seriousness, and even less jest behind it.

He bends to knee and - barring Delia skittering away - attempts to lift a pant leg and get a good look at one leg, then the other. See what on earth Delia might be suffering from that she wants to chop off a leg. Cancer?

The angry red line of skin above and below the cuff is raw and seeping a small amount of blood, self inflicted damage as Nick well knows. Almost immediately after Harve sees it, Delia pulls her leg back and straightens her pants over the anklet again. "I was kidding," not really, "I want it off bad but not bad enough— I guess."

She quiets down after murmuring apologies to Nick and the two doctors, then turns back toward the books. Pressing her lips into a thin line, she flits a small glare at Nick, not for his offer but for what the doctor requests. "No," she says sharply, "he's too dangerous. He'd kill Nick." Probably Delia as well, she's already had her free punch.

"If I see him, I'll do my best, Doc," Nick says, eyes narrowed as if steeling himself for just such a task.

He glances at Delia, something unapologetic in his eyes as he lifts his shoulder in a shrug. A humorless half smile curves his lips. "He's 0 for 2 so far. I'll do what I can." His promise to Benji was forgotten as soon as Calvin strung him up by his ankles; he has no qualms about trying to kill the rogue time traveler now.

He nods back to the two doctors. "That why you're here? Not the safest place for a lunch date, yeah? I'd take you two for something posher." The glance toward Michelle shows his concern for her more than Brennan.

When Harve explains and then goes looking for what bothers their redheaded friend, Michelle can only blink, and look at her. It's easy to imagine it's an expression close to how she looks at her kids when she knows they've been up to something.

But, fortunately, it's shortlived as Nick gets her attention. And that extra concern on her part gets a frown. After all, she's proven herself resourceful in dangerous situations plenty of times. Nevermind that Nick doesn't know about her history. "The Ritz had a long wait."

Backup, away from the leg. Raised eyebrows but a great desire to not get kicked by one of the surviving women that he knows in his life, even if it's just an acquaintance. "Indeed" The Ritz. Only thing Ritz on this island is a cracker. No comment about whether he'll rescind his request of Nick, but Brennan rises back to his feet, taking the few steps back to beside his wife. "I should go get tickets for the Ferry" pay the horrendous price.

The air in her lungs makes her chest feel heavy and Delia's just not strong enough to push it out on her own. Narrowing her eyes at Nick when he agrees to take the hit on Calvin, she turns her back on all three and stares into the window. "Fine," she utters in a quiet and neutral tone. Still, she doesn't take more than a short breath in to replace the small amount that left. The younger woman isn't above turning blue to get what she wants but she'll spare them today. Mostly.

"I'll help you look."

If going after the man is good for Nick, it's also good for Delia.

Nick picks up on Harve's subtle exiting, and gives a nod, then turns to frown at Delia. "No," is another terse and tense syllable; this time, it's accompanied by worry, his brow knitting as he regards Delia's back.

His eyes move to the ferry and then to the doctors, and he nods once more. "It was nice to see you," he murmurs, the words sounding ridiculous in his ears — they just lost their child; they're discussing killing the man responsible for it; Delia is a prisoner of the government for all intents and purposes. Nice is not a word that could describe anything in the scenario, except, perhaps, the weather. And that only in comparison to rain, sleet, snow, or heat waves — otherwise, it's merely mediocre.

"C'mon, let's look at those books," Nick offers to Delia, putting a hand on her lower back to gently push her toward the thrift store's entrance.

When Delia jumps onto the bandwagon, too, Michelle brings palm to face before dragging her hand down. She's muttering in French, something about idiocy being contagious? Hard to say. Although, her husband probably knows that tone even if he can't quite make out the words. He's heard it all before.

"I have to side with Nicholas on this. No." Which of them that's meant for is left vague. But she nods her farewell to the other couple and reaches over to take Harve's hand. It's getting late.

It's getting late, they have a boat to catch, an empty house to go home to. A quiet house to go back to. Nick is taking his girlfriend to see books, Michelle is easing her hand into his and he's following. His wife. No goodbye, no farewell, stay safe, take care, try not to chop off your girlfriends leg unless you call us first. Just a nod, to the pair, and a back turned as they start off for where the last boat home will be leaving soon.

The no is either ignored or unheard. It's most likely ignored by the young woman as she allows herself to be guided toward the door. Before Delia reaches out to open it, she passes a last look at the back of the unhappier couple and then looks up at Nick. "I'm sorry for their loss, Nick," not that she knows who they lost, "but you can't do this, not by yourself."

She expects protest but her rebuttal is slightly downturned lips and watery kitten eyes. "You know if you go and do something stupid, I'm just going to go and do something stupid too." Reaching for the hand at her back, she laces her fingers with his and squeezes gently. "Please think about this?"

"It was their kid," Nick says, letting that stand as his own rebuttal. "It's one thing if someone like me died from it, Delia, but a little girl didn't deserve to die like that." His eyes aren't watery but hard and angry, brows knit and muscles tensing around them. But he leans to brush his lips across her cheek.

"Don't worry about it," he murmurs when he straightens, trying to brush away the discussion as easily as the hair he pushes back from his eyes. "Let's get you some books before you have to get back."

He pushes the door open to the thrift store, knowing that will cut off any further debate on the topic.

For at least a few moments.

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