If The Situation Changes


alexander2_icon.gif francois_icon.gif

Scene Title If The Situation Changes
Synopsis After Den-izens are driven from their humble abode, Francois dogs Alexander's steps.
Date April 1, 2010

Summer Meadows

It's easier to move yourself than a whole group of people, and Alexander will find it not a difficult task, winding through the minimal streets of Summer Meadows even as the encroaching presence of police flashes red and blue on the horizon. It's as quiet as it can be, out here, asphalt abandoned of driving cars and falling feet. He's really only a minute away from the Den, however, by the time there is the sound of someone joining him — not a car, not the invisible presence of Anders, but the brisk thunks of Francois' boots on the sidewalk as he speeds his pace to catch up.

Steam blasts from nostrils and mouths from even the slightest of sighs and gasps, it's that chilly. Arms wrapped around himself to contain his heat within matte leather, wool collar turned up, Francois doesn't risk calling out to the other man. Either he'll notice he's following before he catches up, or he won't. Towards the east, dawn is only just beginning to blush the sky.

Notice Alexander does, of course, doesn't pause, but slows, walking backwards a little like an impatient jogger, motions Francois on wordlessly. He's got that black watchcap on, the drab parka, just every other homeless veteran, as he crunches along the frozen streets. "All of 'em safely away, it looks like. I'm onna way to get Mel's dog," he adds, once he's in hearing range. No pup left behind.

A scarf got grabbed on the way back out of the Den, in the wake of the driving van and Brennan's reassurances that he can handle Delilah and Else for the next few minutes. The woolly accessory is looped twice around Francois' throat and he keeps his chin tucked into wool of burgundy and black, though this does little to protect the crown of his head, face, or one-point-five ears, from the stinging wind. "One would think we all had practice," he notes, with a wry kind of smile to accompany it — one way or another, they all do have practice, and he falls into step with the southerner.

"Don't we all?" says Alex, lifting one of those copper-colored brows. His eyes are whipped to teariness by the chill of the wind. "I mean, I figured we -do-," he says, quizzically, tucking each gloved hand into its opposite sleeve, as he leans into the wind. Not hurrying so much, now. ALmost more stumbling.

Not only is it cold, dark— it's also really early. Francois has to stifle a yawn, for all that he'd been enjoying a cup of coffee on his "shift" when the Den sprung into action, and he keeps his eyes turned down on the icy pathway as they walk. Round shoulders huddle inwards. Maybe company is supposed to be warming. "You do, maybe. All of you. It is my first time. At least, my first time in a very long while." Evacuation, scurrying from the seeking flash light of armies and government. It would probably be insulting to the sick to say it was enjoyable.

Leaving Else behind wasn't, besides. "You have been at this for sometime, then."

Alexander nods, as he draws his scarf up over his face. "Few years now, yeah," he allows, and he's got that look that people get when they're trying to tot up a specific span of time, mentally. "Well, you done it before, back when, right?" he asks, idly. Just shuffling along, head down, rather than hurrying like they're trying to attract attention.

"Late thirties, early forties. Oui, back when. The more things change." The more they stay the same. Lifting a hand, Francois rubs his slightly twisted fingers against a partially bitten ear, as if trying to smooth out discomfort or perhaps it's— a nervous kind of fidget, for all that he is rarely a very awkward individual. There's a turning point of decades where such a thing becomes less. But the short silence that follows is practically youthful in its uncertainty.

When he does speak next, it's with a certain relief that he's found something to ask. "After you collect Melissa's dog, will you follow the rest? I left my phone with Doctor Brennan. We may need to send word if the one who alerted us before isn't waiting."

"I'll try to. If there's no one there, I'll find the way for us on our own," the telekine says, quietly. "And yeah, I imagine…..the names they use for genocide may change, and the ostensible reasons, but not the thing itself. The devil's the devil, no matter what suit you dress him in." His tone is tired, casual in turn, as he wipes at his eyes with a gloved thumb.

"We might be alright in leaving the island at that. If you are Registered and I," Francois opens his arms a little from their determined fold across his chest, "do not need to be. Escaping notice would be ideal, however, and there is curfew." He's tired and speaking more than he usually does, or at least, speaking with far less precision, the heels of his boots scraping along the ice-cold concrete. Restless energy beneath the oppressive sleepiness. "The difference between now and then— "

Steals a glance at Alexander, as if to check from his profile— something, curiousity evident in forest green eyes before steering his attention back down to his own feet. "We had generals. We had leadership and a finish line, whereas this— the Ferrymen— they do not. We also had the city, insiders, more numbers and resources at our disposal as well as the armies of other nations to assist. But then again, we also do not necessarily have a war to deal with.

"Is this how you met Teo?" It probably sounds clumsy. Francois was trying to make sure it wouldn't. "Phoenix. PARIAH. He has told me a little of it all."

"No, we ain't exactly La Resistance, are we?" The Georgian's voice is dry, and that drawl sound bizarre, when applied to the partisans' group. "And yeah, I'm Registered. They might take me in if they find me, I'm known," he says, calmly, slipping hands back into sleeves again, squinting past the cloud of his own breath. "So let's hope we don't get found. Yeah, it is," He doesn't turn to glance at Francois, not even to slant a glance at him - the pale blue gaze is directed straight ahead.

"Perhaps one day you all will be." La Resistance, that it is. It's spoken with a tone that communicates that Francois really hopes not, and he tosses his head a little to steer dark brunette strands out from his eyes without needing to expose his hands again to the chilly air. He opens his mouth to speak, then pauses at the sound of another siren, something that makes his spine stiffen, briefly, until—

Lets out a pent up breath and notes, "Brennan's ambulance."

No cause for running and hiding, just yet, and he only walks lightly and swiftly beside Alex as they head through the dark and quiet streets. "He called you first," Francois notes. His chin is up, now, a sort of proud kind of posture he defaults into on occasion. "It is not an easily gained trust you have of his."

Alexander lifts his head, listens for a moment, nods. "Yeah," he agrees. To which isn't readily clear. He's got his chin tucked against the cold, himself. He pauses at an intersection, turns left, crunches past closed shops, lights off, the steel grills still pulled down. "And I doubt it."

Shockingly enough, Francois can be taciturn too. You wouldn't think it, considering the sheaths of paper he pollutes with his writing, or this conversation at all. He's following Alexander's lead, here, in terms of which street to go down and what building to approach, and he hands him the reins of the conversation also when he simply asks, "Why?"

"The situation's too different. Maybe, someday, we might be more analogous to the Underground Railroad. The Ferry's disavowed direct violence. Also, there's nowhere that's particularly sympathetic to us, save Canada itself. Most countries are worse, I know it," he notes, pausing to stoop and retie his boots. His tone's not particularly bitter - there's that perpetually matter of fact air he has, of late. Like it's all an academic exercise.

To that, Francois doesn't say anything, as if waiting for Alexander to finish tying his laces or taking a moment to think. His brow crinkles a little, before he's turning his back on Alexander — not to walk away, but to take a few paces off, restless, pulling the collar of his jacket closed even more beneath the bulk of his scarf. "And if the situation changes? Would you remain?" He doesn't sound like he's intellectualising much, to be honest — only curiousity over something he might consider a probability.

"It depends on the situation. If the city's truly lost, then there's no point in staying. I don't think there'll be enough collective sense to do so, though. Look at what we've been through, look at what's happening now. People are still here, they're still trying to make it work," he says, rising and going on, after shaking his head, as if to clear it of gathering snow. "What I have is here."

"There's talk of camps. Experimental testing. Things are going to get worse, or that is what I've been told. What everyone will eventually, have to be told." Francois glances back at him, and moves to start to walk again after one last scout around the empty street. "But I did not wish to interview you — I am only curious about the kind of person you are. Teo misses your friendship, I think."

He actually sounds more comfortable as he states this, plainly — it's more his realm than tacit attempts of conversation, and you can't really coax a clam to open up.

No, not really. You can take a knife and pry it open, though. "I'd believe it. I don't mean to sound like some sort of conspiracy theory nutjob….but I was in Moab. There's a core in the government to whom we aren't people, and they will not have any scruples in dealing with us accordingly," He turns that lucent stare on Francois for a moment, expression still unreadable, before he turns back and continues on. "He might," he agrees, politely.

It's very important, very real, the discussion that Francois is willing to abandon on the icy streets of Summer Meadows as he goes to follow Alexander some more, as much determination in his stride as there was when he went to catch up with the telekinetic. "He fears that he damaged things beyond repair, and I think it is a shame," he says, mostly at Alex's back, now, rather than trying to fall into step with him. A hand goes up, rubs at his nose which has gone numb in this climate. "I also think he can be a coward about saying these things." There is no venom, in this thought — simply stated.

"I'm done with this conversation," Alexander says, quietly. "I'm really done. There's no point to it. And we're not far from Melissa's," he says, patting down his pockets in search of keys which might or might not be frozen to the worn canvas of the parka. No alteration in his expression, just a searching look, as if he tries to figure out which of the houses matches the tag on the keychain.

Francois cruises to an eventual stop, breathing in through his nose and out through his mouth in a grand sigh. Steam hits air, flags away, flaring in what little light there is as he twists at the waist to look down the street. He doesn't seem to have much inclination to follow Alexander inside, after all, as he stands with his hands tucked into his pockets.

"There is point if he was your friend before he was your lover," he finally settles on, not quite exasperatedly. Carelessly, maybe, weary and as determined as knife point jimmying at the edges.

He nudges open the door, whistles softly. There's the jingle of tags, the click of claws, and Mel's dog appears. A leash by the door is hooked to his collar, and Al urges him gently out into the cold. "I know, I know," he says, in that babytalk that humans use to canines. "It's so co'd, your widdle nose stings," And then he simply picks the dog up. No reason to have him chill his paws, if Al can carry him. "I'm not discussing this further with you," he adds, tone still casual. "I think I've made myself clear."

It's probably the casualness that does it. Not Francois dropping it, that's more out of a sense of his own manners, and he does, with a, "Pardon, I am not trying to offend you." What the casualness does is line a furrow of confusion in his brow, as if blithe dismissal was not entirely expected. They didn't talk enough when sharing quarters, perhaps. Either way, some colour rises in already cold-nipped features, and he diverts his attention away from Alex, and towards the shadow of the Queensboro Bridge yonder.

"Let's go, then, before it is sun up."

No, they didn't. For whatever values of 'enough' there might've been. He nods, hefting the dog under his arm, after looping the leash around his wrist. "Yeah. Best to be far gone by the time it's full day," Alex agrees. There's no sign of offense in his face. He locks the door carefully behind them, drops the keys in his pocket, turns back to the Bridge, as well.

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