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Scene Title Hurry
Synopsis After the fall of the Company, Corbin calls the one person he can count on to get him away from New York in a hurry.
Date September 01, 2010

New York City to Niagra Falls

A normal day at work— that is what it was supposed to be. It wasn't. After parting ways with those who escaped with him, Corbin used some of the cash he had on him to buy a new set of clothes, something less suit-like and more tourist with cheap sunglasses, and found a payphone to pump a bunch of quarters in so that he could make a very, very important call.

Less than thirty seconds, he stayed on the line, giving the address and a quick request, "I'm in a gaudy red, white and blue shirt and sunglasses. Come pick me up and take me someplace safe. Fast." He knew better than to risk a longer call. If he'd been calling anyone else, he wouldn't have risked it. He knew some of the things that Home Sec was capable of. He wouldn't risk someone who could not get in and out before anyone could manage to get there.

He put the phone down and stepped back, with the backpack held tight against his side. A backpack full of everything he managed to take with him.

It's a good thing he's holding his backpack tightly. He said fast — like he had to say the word to a certain speedster. Fast is her default. He knows this. So if he says fast, he means fast even for her.

There's only a second of time to register the blur coming his way from down the street before he feels himself grabbed and moving. The buildings, people, cars, lose their individual shapes and become a blur to Corbin.

To the rest of the world, the red-and-white-and-blue-clad man is the blur. Along with the black and red of Daphne's form that's moving him through space.

It's a longer trip than usual — but not too long. When they stop abruptly, the world seems to keep moving for a moment, but when he finally gets it to stop, he'll find himself standing on the Canadian side of the Niagara Falls. The sound of the rushing water gives them privacy from anyone who might listen in on their conversation, though she chose a moment when there weren't any tourists at the moment. Gray skies threatening rain clouds mean it's not the best day for tourists in the location.

"Hi," she says, standing on her tiptoes to throw her arms around him in a tight, tight hug. "What happened?"

When the world finally comes to a stop, Corbin's really glad he'd had his eyes closed. Even then, he wobbles and has to catch himself on railing he hadn't been aware was there. It takes him a long moment to register where they are but he nods his head in approval— and almost regrets the dizziness that follows.


Hand gripping on the rail, he listens to the roar of the falls for a moment— would it be strange to tell her he'd never been? He knew Hokuto wasn't with him, having left him during the fall, but part of him wished she were along to see this place.

After a few deep breaths, he seems to have steadied himself and he looks back at her. "I'm out of a job." He almost looks as if he wants to laugh. "And likely on a few wanted lists now too. The thing I'd been worried about finally happened. Luckily I made it out in one piece."

And without any bullet holes, thankfully.

The job wasn't anything Daphne was fond of anyway — if anything, it almost kept them apart, so that's not too much of a loss, in her book. But the wanted list makes her grimace. "Wow. That's… are you okay?" she asks, looking him over for signs of any damage, and then when she's satisfied he's not bleeding out on her any time soon, focuses on his face, his eyes, his emotions.

"Luckily," she agrees, her brows twitching together. "So you're a fugitive?" she asks, voice quieter than it needs to be — the water's too loud for her to be heard by anyone else. It's so loud he can barely hear her. She turns to look at the water, instead of him, her own hands going to the rail as she looks at the water rushing over the rocks. "I can bring you somewhere else. Europe. Wherever."

On the one hand, something about his blue eyes looks relieved. That it's finally happened, but the rest of him seems torn by worry. Corbin knows too much about what groups like him are capable of doing— and his family's out there. They won't hesitate to use them. "I already know what I need to do," he says quietly, looking back out to the Falls again.

He would have to fall back on all his non-Company contacts to do it. He'd been a reporter, some of his contacts had been anonymous, never put to paper. Those were the ones he could go to— though depending on how much they publized things, some would turn on him.

"My flash— I never told you what I saw that day." They'd been together, but he hadn't known for sure how to bring it up.

She’s quiet, letting him process. Her brows knit together again when he says he knows what to do. It’s likely not sunbathing in the South of France, which would be her choice. Well, maybe not. They’re both rather fair. She takes a moment to reach into the bag she carries almost constantly at her side, pulling out a water bottle to hand to him, followed by a protein bar. He’s likely not eaten.

“No,” she says about him not telling her. She’s not upset. There’s so much they hadn’t told each other in the past. “You don’t have to,” she adds, glancing at him, then back at the water. Whether it’s tell her or do what he thinks he has to do post Company, it’s not clear.

"No, I want to. I'd planned to, but now I get it," Corbin explains, looking back at her. He could remember one conversation he'd had, in Battery Park. Anyone would have thought he had been talking to himself, but he'd been speaking to a ghost who lingered. She'd encouraged him to talk about it, finally, but he's glad he understood it now.

"I need to make them think I'm dead. I know a few guys who might be able to help." He reached out and took her hand. No, no France for him— once they thought he was dead, he would try to travel without problems. As long as he talked someone into helping him get a new identity. If not, well, he had a super fast woman who could help him evade them.

But that wasn't telling her what he saw, so he continued, "I was visiting my own grave. With how things have been, I didn't quite understand it," Had he actually been dead, somehow piggybacking onto whatever kept Hokuto around? But no, now he got it. "Now I do. As far as the government is concerned, it's time for Corbin Ayers to die."

She stares down at the water, frowning as he says he’s going to fake his own death. It’ll make things both easier and harder — as usual, there’s no in between really. When he says what he saw at the flash, she frowns, turning to stare at him. The emotions roll through her, visible on her face, swiftly. Then fear. Then hurt. Then not-quite anger, but something close.

“You should’ve told me,” she says softly, despite the flash of her eyes. “You shouldn’t have kept that to yourself, letting it eat you up. I know what that’s like. I did that with Hiro and what did I get for it? A bunch of hallucinations. I’m lucky I didn’t fall down the stairs of that stupid sickhouse and break my neck chasing him.”

"I know," Corbin responds to her words quietly, still looking down at the waterfall. Even Hokuto had told him he should say something— he hadn't been able to hide it from her because when he went looking for the graveyard she tagged along most the time. He never did find it, but he decided it didn't matter now. It would find him. Probably end up being whichever one would be most convenient for whoever he managed to talk into doing him a favor.

He'd planned to tell her, but he didn't bother giving that excuse. It still would have been late, even if he told her today without the knowledge of how he might have ended up there. When he looked back at her, he offered an apologetic smile instead, until he focused on her hair—

And then reached up to touch his. The natural curl of his hair kept it from getting too crazy, but he could definitely have used a hat. "Thank you. I probably would have been able to figure out something, but I'm glad I won't have to do this on-the-run thing alone."

“I have apartments. All over the place,” Daphne offers. She doesn’t live extravagantly but she must have quite a bit of money to be able to afford them. Of course she doesn’t have to pay for travel, so that helps. She squeezes his hand in hers, and moves closer, because now they’re standing still, she’s cold.

“How are you going to do that? Make them think you’re dead?” Her voice drops a little on the last word, as if it’s something she shouldn’t say aloud. She shivers a little, before turning, putting her back to the railing so she can face him. “DNA and fingerprints and dental records are sort of a pain in the ass, and they have all that stuff on you more than they would a normal person.” Normal meaning not working for the Company.

How hadn't really been something he had time to think about. Corbin ran his hand over the back of his neck to feel the tattoo he'd gotten to imitate the Company tag in hopes that they would just see the fake paperwork he filed showing he'd gotten it, and the black marks and just— skip him. Now he understood why they might have been in a hurry to tag even the human agents. He knew he hadn't been, but did the others who escaped the facility get so lucky? He hoped so.

"I don't know how it'll work. I have contacts who do… rather unsavory things. I'll see what they recommend." And he hoped it did not involve losing teeth. "I'll definitely use one of the apartments. I already moved some things to a storage building in another name. Paid for in cash." Things like his miniature car collection. Including the one she'd gotten him. And every file he had on the Company that he might have normally kept at his apartment.

And he had a few things to add to it straight from the archives. He hadn't had time to check what all had been in them. "Maybe we should stay here a night, though. I've never been to the Falls," he added, trying to lighten the mood a little. He knew he needed it lightened after he watched a man die.

Daphne wraps her arms around his neck and stands on her tiptoes to kiss him when he suggests staying the night. “We can be tourists. Totally ordinary tourists. From,” she purses her mouth to think for a moment, “Ohio. You can be Doug and I can be Georgina. And I’ve never even been out of state.”

She spins the little tale, to try to help lighten that mood. “We can stay as long as you need. Maybe you don’t have to go back to the city at all,” she suggests again. “France is amazing this time of year.” She says that at all times of the year, of course, but it’s one of her favorite places.

Leaving for good would be so tempting. In fact when her lips touched his, Corbin considered it a lot longer than he should. "I can't go away forever— There's documents, files in my old job that are now in their hands. They who drove the scary black vans who certainly didn't get a warrant or tag and release to keep an eye on." He worked for a company he now no longer agreed with, but he knew, from the start, he didn't agree with whoever was in charge of those black vans.

"I can't just let them do whatever it is they're going to do. I think we're both going to need to help out, in some way."

He doesn't know how yet, but he knew running away wouldn't be the answer. "But that doesn't mean we can't have a little vacation first," he added with a smile, hand going to her cheek as he leaned in to punctate his words with a kiss. A few days? A week? Doug wasn't a bad name. Perhaps he'd use it for a while.

“Not me.” That is Daphne’s definitive answer about helping out. “I mean, I’ll help you but I’m not going to try to fight those people. I’m not good at it. I made bad decisions. Remember?” She had helped extract a few of their allies from the Institute’s care — but with almost disastrous results.

“But,” she says, kissing him again and snuggling close, since it’s much colder on this side of the Falls than it was in New York City, “I’ll play chauffeur when you need it. Provide you with an apartment. I might even steal things you need. But that’s because it’s you. Not because I’m heroic and selfless.” She leans back to study his face. “I’ll leave that to you, Doug.”

"We all make bad decisions at some point," Corbin mutters quietly, wanting to make her feel better about what happened, but knowing that time might be the only thing that does work. But if she helps him, that's still helping. "You might be the only one able to keep poor Doug from ending up in a locked cell or a padded room, so I'll be most grateful for your help, Georgina," he adds on.

That will be help enough. Cause he didn't think he could manage to do any of this on his own.

“Maybe. That shirt is certainly a mistake,” says Daphne, wrinkling her nose. “Hold on.” With that, she all but disappears, a blur streaking away from him until she’s out of sight in mere seconds. He knows it won’t be long before she returns. And it’s only a few minutes that tick by before that blur can be seeing growing closer until she stops right in front of him.

She’s already wearing a jacket she hadn’t been a moment ago. A backpack of clothes and other items is pushed into his hands. “Since we’re staying for a day or two, I thought I should pick up a couple of things.”

Of course, that didn’t mean she paid.

If there's one thing he never asks his speedy girlfriend, it's where she gets certain things. When she reappears, Corbin grins, taking out the bag. What she did might not be the strictly legal or nice to whoever she took it from, but it's safest considering the lack of paper trail. And he's sure whoever she stole from has insurance. "Why thank you. I did have a few things in my backpack, but not nearly enough to last a day or two."

The former Company Man hadn't thought they would be going so far from New York— he had other things in that storage building that would have done the trick, but no reason to run back and get them- yet.

"And what's wrong with this shirt?" he jokes, knowing full well what she meant.

“You did say you liked color,” Daphne says with a smile for the man, thinking back to early days when they’d met. “But it’s good not to draw too much attention to yourself when you’re hiding from the government, or so I hear. So there’s some more subtle things in there. Don’t wrinkle your nose or your face will freeze that way.” If she realizes she makes a lot more faces than most people, the irony doesn’t seem to bother her.

“So shall we go find some terrible diner and then a terrible motel and try to feel like normal human beings without problems for a while?” she asks, tucking her arm in his and turning them to start walking away from the waterfalls and toward the road.

"Pfft. No one would ever expect someone in bright clothes of being wanted." Corbin responds with a joking voice. But he doesn't mean it enough to fight her. She's probably right, even if he'd been dressing more professionally the last few months. It would draw eyes, and he'd rather not wear a mask.

"I can always get glasses. It worked for Superman," he added on, rubbing his beard. He could also shave, but— nawh. He rather liked his nicely beard and didn't intend to get rid of it.

"Let's go find a place to pretend we're a normal happy couple spending a vacation together at the Falls. Just the two of us." He added that last bit, just to let her know it actually would be just the two of them.

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