In the Back of a Van


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Scene Title In the Back of a Van
Synopsis Brian comes to Peyton to have her look for Helena; she gets more than she bargained for when using her unpredictable power.
Date October 12, 2009

Peyton's apartment

This just might be a first. Peyton Whitney went grocery shopping, by herself, for the first time in her adult life. Really, for the first time in her life, other than midnight runs for snacks when she and her friends got the munchies. This is different. She's told her housekeeper, the one hired by her parents to take care of her and the house when she was a child, and who has continued to work at the apartment once a week, including doing the grocery shopping, that she would take over this task.

Right now, she's regretting it. At the market, she bought several of the re-usable bags, and right now, four of them are cutting into the skin of one wrist, and three cutting into the skin of the other arm. How the hell is she going to unlock the door? She steps off the elevator and heads to her apartment, trying to reach into the tight pocket of her tight jeans for the key card that will allow her into the apartment.

Warm skin slides over Peyton's wrist as the hand seizes the bags and relives the poor girl half of her grocery bags. Meanwhile a similar but completely different hand makes itself useful and goes to take the othre three bags of hers. Peyton soon will find herself in the middle of two well dressed and very handsome young men. Oh yeah and they're exactly identical.

One wearing a sheer black suit with a black shirt underneath, and the other a gray suit with a white shirt. Taking her bags, one of BlackSuitBrian's hands comes out to take Peyton's keys, seems he's in a most chivalrous mood. And if she can find it in her ability to wiggle and pluck the keys out of her tight pocket, Brian will take said keys and go ahead and open the door.

"Hey Pey." Comes the voice of the other Brian, wearing a soft faint smile. "It's been a while. You look god."

When those hands grab her bags, she stiffens for a moment, before relaxing as she sees the face of black-suit Brian. But then she glances over and sees gray-suit Brian, and she gives a little shake of her head. "Shit, give a girl a warning, Brian," she says, her heart pounding, probably audibly in her chest. She chuckles and rubs her wrists. "Thank you, though. Come on in." She follows the black-suited Brian in, gesturing to the other Brian to follow. "God, that's weird," she adds with another shake of her head. Sure, she knows the Olsen twins, but they're fraternal and dye their hair different colors most of the time.

"It's useful for back shaving and stuff like that. See it from all angles."

As the pair of Brians enter, the bags are set down on the counter before gray suit Brian heads back for the door. Shutting it behind him, one half of the not-really-twins departs leaving Black Brian behind. "It's good to see you again. I'm sorry I haven't called or anything. Just been so busy. I hope you're doing alright." Brian murmurs, before half turning. "Heard you were working with Shard out on Staten. That's cool. But…"

"I kind of have something important I was hoping you could look at for me."

"All right is relative, I guess," she says, going to the counter to pull the refrigerator and freezer items out of the bags and put them away. It's healthy stuff in the bags: skim milk, whole grain cereal, fresh fruits, chicken. She frowns a little when he asks her to 'look at' something for him. "That sounds ominous. The only time people ask me to see things for them, someone's been…" she bites her lower lip, and looks back from the refrigerator.

"Who was kidnapped?"


"Helena Dean. You ever meet her?" Brian goes to offer help once again, taking items out of the bag and handing them over to her. "Not sure exactly what happened. I guess a run in with some undesirables. Maybe White's gang, or the Humanis, maybe both. Not too clear on it. But something batshit crazy happens like it always does, in this city, and Helena isn't Helena." He screws up his features. "Or something. Anyway. We need to find her.. body. So if you could look for her. That would be great."

"I … I know who she is, but I don't know her, I haven't ever seen her, I don't think," Peyton says with a shake of her head. "I c-can try to see where her father is, or the other Humanis First people I …" — know isn't the right word, here — "I've met, if it's them." Her face is a bit pale at just the thought of having to look at another kidnapping victim. The images of Felix Ivanov and Cassidy O'Shea still haunt her dreams at times.

A little sigh is let out as he shakes his head. "Don't know her. Alright what about Wendy Hunter? You know that name?" Brian asks, tilting his head slightly. "I thought we were all in the same little network. How don't you know Helena?" But that's a question for later. Frowning slightly the man moves forward to place a hand on her shoulder. "You alright, Pey?"

She drops the bag of bread she's holding. Good thing it wasn't the eggs. "Wendy?" she whispers. "I know Wendy. She's my friend."

She's pale now, all color drained from her face. "Wendy was kidnapped again?" How does she not know Helena? How does he not know Wendy Hunter was kidnapped with her? "Oh, God." She backs up against the refrigerator, her back sliding along its door until she is sitting on the kitchen floor, the bag of bread squished under her legs.

Watching the bread drop, Brian purses his lips. Hmm. Slowly going to sink down to his knees he frowns deeply. "I'm sorry Pey. I didn't know you knew her. Small city." He tries to work up a little smile for that but then goes back to looking all somber and serious. His hands go out to find hers. "If you can help me, I promise you I'll find her and get to her before anything really bad can happen to her."

"She was … we were kidnapped together. Brian, it's bad they have her again. What she can do — oh, God," she whispers, her eyes wide but not yet unfocused. "She can tell other people's powers. They're going to use her like that — it's not an accident that it's her again. It's not a mistake. It has to be Humanis First." She grips his hand. "I'll try." She bites her lower lip hard enough that the color blanches from the spot.

Her pupils suddenly expand, the brown of the irises shrinking, but all she seeks is darkness. She shakes her head, brows furrowing. "I … it's dark. Like it was when I tried to see Elisabeth Harrison. I don't think it's… I don't think she's dead, or I wouldn't … click … I don't think. I don't know." She's never actually tried to see out of a corpse's eyes before, but something tells her it wouldn't work.

She swallows and her eyes return to their normal state, though watery with tears. "Before they had us in coffins. It might be the same."

Frowning deeply, Brian opens his lips to say something but quickly shuts his mouth. He sighs. "Nothing? Nothing at all?" Brian gives her hands a little squeeze before going to release and plop back on the ground. Hugging his knees to his chest he gives a thoughtful look. "Well if you think its Humanis…" His lips thin. "You could give her father a try." He gives a light shrug.

Bill Dean is not someone that Peyton wants to ever see again, nor see from his perspective, but she nods. The thought of what she might see — the thought of what they may have done to Wendy or Helena makes her heart pound all the harder, and she swallows. She trembles visibly as she closes her eyes and takes a long, shaking breath, then releases it a long shuddering sigh.

Again, her pupils dilate, swallowing up the coppery-brown of her irises as she stares seemingly through Brian.

Static, a point-flare of distorting, aching migraine-white. A needle buried in the surface of a liquid crystal screen, broken picture and unsteady sound, ribbons of indecipherable artefacts choking up the canvas, shitty resolution, warp— twist—

It isn't Dean, nor anyone else that Peyton was looking for, never mind expected.

A spigot swings out of view, rooted into a rusted scab at the base of a wall. Clang is the sound one would ascribe when a flailing foot kicks up, catching the metal plumbing on a wild, spasmodic arc of coincidence, hitching back in recoil from pain that barely differentiates itself from the agonized writhe and scrabble of the body dragged along the pavement. Hands at the bottom of the frame: the one whose vision Peyton has accidentally hijacked, braced within sturdy gloves, gripping the end of the long fibrous cord that's lashed cutting-tight around the captive's throat. She yanks. The head rolls back on the spine and eyeballs in their pits, throwing the reflection of a matte black mask, inhuman as a cyborg, back up for Peyton to see in the moist, miniatured mirrors of eyes arterially red and abulge.

A boy. Not old; eighteen, maybe. Younger than Peyton herself, but something about mortal distress, the drooling encrustation of panic and cyanotic death leaves him so mad with physical deprivation that he barely looks human. His mouth seams open, wheezing, a fatly fish-lipped 'o' like a poorly conceived kiss, but can't form words. Only a syllable, a single, pathetic squeaking cry that barely snips its way through the squeeze of his throat. The helmet's mask wavers. Splits a single hairline crack in the glass, right up over Peyton's right eye.

Harlow breaks his jaw with her knee, and levers him into the darkness of the back of a blank gray van.

Peyton gasps, and gives a shake of her head. The gloved hands don't belong to Bill Dean, that she knows. Somehow it's the wrong person, but as or more disturbing of a vision as she was expecting. "I … someone's beating up a kid, a teenager, strangling him with a cord around his neck," she whispers. "The person's wearing a helmet, I think, or a mask, something… like a motorcycle helmet maybe?" She brings a hand up as if to push the black cover away.

"The kid — his mouth is open, he's screaming, and there's a suddenly crack in the mask. He must be Evo. It's not Dean, I don't know why, but it's not Dean, I know it's not," she says with a whimper. "She just kneed him in the face… putting him in a van… Get a pen!" She sits up suddenly.

In her vision, the person is walking around the other side of the vehicle of the gray van. "It's a gray van, Arkansas plate, 35RF…Dammit, I can't get the rest."

And just as suddenly as the wayward image came to her, her vision blurs out; her pulse pounds achingly like a timpani in her temples. "It wasn't Dean," she says again, bringing her palms up to press into her aching eyes. "I need to try again."

Thirty miles away, a pen is grabbed hastily and onto a yellow piece of paper 35RF — Arkansas is scribbled down. But back in Peyton's apartment, Brian's hands simply go to take Peyton's again as she goes through the vision. He watches quietly, not exactly sure if this has anything to do with Helena. But anything involving Bill — But it's not Bill. Well, at least they know there's a bad motorcyclist strangling someone. That's one crime that should be stopped! "You missed?" Brian asks gently. How does that even work. He nods lightly, giving Peyton's hands a squeeze. "You can do it, Pey."

"I think it's because I'm scared," she whispers, a tear streaming down her face, partially for that poor boy, whoever he is, wherever he is, in pain and alone and too far away to help.

She grips Brian's hand, the other moving to wipe away the tear. This time, there's a sharp inhalation of air, a wince in pain, as her eyes lose focus.

She is quiet a moment, taking in the surroundings. "It's Humanis First," she whispers, with a nod, goosebumps raising on her arms as her personal nightmares come into sight.

"Two people — Helena I guess and Wendy, I recognize Wendy, she's so tall and lanky… they're tied up, zip ties, bags on their head." She actually begins to feel a little car-sick from the motion apparent behind the tinted windows. "It's Humanis First," she repeats. "They're in a moving van, the back of it, just benches and carpetting, not like a normal mini van or something."

Another tear slides down her face, and her voice is barely audible, a mere breath of a whisper. "They're all there. All of them. Emile Danko. The Irish guy who h-h-had us last time, D-David Legrime. It's… a bumpy ride, but I c-can't see out the windows. I'll keep watching… just don't go anywhere." Another tear splashes onto her cheek.

His hands go to let go of Peyton's. For a moment she will have no touch of him, no trace untill the warmth of his arms envelop her back. Placing his back to the counter, the ex-agent slowly goes to cradle the crying girl to his chest, one thumb coming up to wipe away a tear. "I'm here." He murmurs softly. Finding himself travelling back to when he first officially met Peyton. In a hospital where she was once again most likely crying. A grin winds up his lips as he moves to press his chin against her forehead. "You're okay. She's okay. I'll find her. Just tell me everything you can."

Peyton definitely has been more often on the ground than on her feet, and not in any sort of fun way, when it comes to her escapades with Brian. She sniffles, and lets herself be held. Her knees come up and she wraps her arms around them, cradling herself as well. "It's getting less bumpy," she murmurs, as the figures in the van seem to jostle a bit less; the road must be evening out. "I still can't… nothing specific… no landmarks, nothing that helps." She hates this power sometimes. It has never actually found anyone, not really.

After a few moments, the only noises her shaky breaths and intermittent snuffles, she speaks again. "They're in a parking garage I think now. It's underground."

"Keep watching Pey." One hand comes up to pet the top of her hair softly, his arm across her giving a gentle squeeze. His head tilts back against the counter as he lets out a soundless sigh. He's then looking back down at her, studying her weird eyes for a minute. Becoming a bit entranced with the strange gaze, he waves his hand in front of them, making for sure for sure that she really can't see anything.

She doesn't react to the hand at all. Her eyes do not flicker. She'd pass a coma test. "It's… not normal. The other cars, they are burnt; the windows all blown out. There's trash and rubble and it's … I don't know, must be a dilapidated building or something." Well, that narrows it down — just check every burnt-up parking garage in the city. "Maybe mid-town?" she suddenly says.

She gasps, as the group begins to leave the van, the men dragging the two bodies along with them as they head into what looks like the basement of the building. "They're going into the basement."

The focus of her eyes begins to waver. "I can't hold it…" she whimpers, her hands coming up to her face to press her hands to her face. She slumps her head against the refrigerator, eyes tightly closed. "Can you get me some Tylenol?" she whispers. Her face is damp with sweat from the effort.

"Could be mid-town. Could be Long Island. Jersey Ci—" His fingers are making wiggly emotions in front of her eyes, a few faces are made until she says she can't hold it. Quickly regaining his stoic composure he goes back to petting her head and being an all around great comforting guy! Easing her back into the refrigeratoer he gives a nod. "You did good, Pey." Going to stand he looks around for. "Where…" Checking a few cabinets and drawers, he finally finds a small bottle without having to wait for the answer. Popping it open he places the bottle on the ground next to her while he goes to get a cup of water. "Good work Pey. We can use that. If you could check back in on them every now and then, call me if you have anything new?"

Check back on her nightmare? No problem. "They will use her to find people like us," Peyton whispers, taking the bottle and shaking out not two, not three, but four Extra-Strength Tylenol into her palm. "I'll call," she says with a nod, pouring the pills into her mouth and accepting the cup of water as a chaser. "Find her, please," she says, wiping her eyes with the back of her hand and standing up. She's a little weak, her knees a bit wobbly.

Handing her the cup he gives a little nod. Leaning in he brushes a soft kiss against her cheek befoer giving her shoulder a squeeze. "I'm on it, Pey. Just call me with anything else you see." He says. Again. And with that Brian is taking a slow step backwards, giving her one last concerned look before he heads for the door.

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