It's Settled Then


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Scene Title It's Settled Then
Synopsis Francois tries his hand at cajoling, persueding and prodding Abby into moving out of the Spektor household and is eventually successful.
Date December 11, 2009

Kitchen, Spektor Home, Ryazan, Russia

The Spektor house, in these past two weeks, is no stranger to odd comings and goings, and so when the door swings open in the later morning hours, the slam-shut of it is a part of the natural rhythm of the place. "Bonjour," is automatically murmured, despite the immediate emptiness of the front room, and then there's the sound of whispering fabric — a scarf being unraveled, a coat being drawn off and hung up. Francois doesn't take off his boots, however, only wiping them clean of grit and snow. Soon, he will be knocking, rather than letting himself in.

Or so goes the plan. Hands go up to both fix his hair and ruffle it free of snow as he tromps through the house in search of human life, only belatedly peeling off his gloves out of the faith feeling will return to the tips of fingers soon enough.

Abigail's hunched over dining room, two finger typing with agonizing slowness on her laptop. She's not updating the catabase, she's leaving that for others but is instead apparently, flicking through emails. Even from afar, she's determined to make sure nothing is going awry with the bar and looking over numbers. There's another little window open, some chat program that blinks to warn that someone's sent a reply in the small window. Johan826 seems to be the corresponder.

Brown hair is loose, held back by a barrette, upper face and hands raw from the previous day's adventures out at the foundry. "In here" If he's looking for her. She's stated, along with cat and Liz, that she intends to stay at the Spektor's and isn't one of the ones packing their belongings. As such, and given what's happened, she's in a scowly mood and has little patience for the poor laptop.

Automatically, the sound of foot steps redirect towards the dining room, where Francois knows it best to contain agonizing discussion, whether that be enduring a Thanksgiving dinner with the likes of Ethan Holden, or sitting across from his would be assassin. He's fairly sure this one will be easier, and it even opens with a smile for the dour brunette when he sees her at her small computer. Incidentally, it was 1993 that the Internet truly blossomed like so many weeds in an overgrown garden.

Francois never saw the appeal. "You are busy?" he asks, equating her expression and deliberate takataka of keyboard keys as work, and, really, any kind of computer use must be important. He didn't stay here the previous night, nor was he around for Katarina's breakfast this morning.

"Checking in on the bar, making sure things are okay. Telling Johan I haven't disappeared off the face of the earth. Not that busy. I don't have the patience for the computer today. Cat and the others make it look so easy" But it's not. Short of the computer registers at work, she is not and likely never will be a girl who embraces technology. A pen and paper works just as fine.

The lid is flipped down, reddened hand pressing downwards till there's the click. "Thankfully, it seems to not be burning down to the ground while I'm gone. Slender hands push down on the table in response to her body lifting out of the chair. "You heard about Kozlow?"

"He is gone, perhaps dead," Francois fills in in confirmation, voice quiet and eyes tracking down to the raw skin on her hands and arms. "Teo told me, while we were looking for new places." The topic is merely brushed past, alluded to, the Frenchman knowing better than to barrel on with the reason he came to see her, now that there's mention of possibly deceased saviours and healers.

His hand comes to settle on the back of a chair, restlessly tipping it back before settling it again on its four legs. "How are you?" he decides upon, the question as open as the concerned interest his expression takes on.

She knows that it's possible. Likely. They killed the girlfriend. He's either dead or they'll use him to heal people. She's been playing that game before. Pink tongue comes out to lick and wet pinker lips. "Tired. I need to get more sleep. Homesick and want to find this stupid nuclear weapon so that I can go home" Find out why Flint isn't answering his phone or why Joseph isn't returning messages. There's a roll of her head from left, back, right before she puts her hands behind her back, clasping palms and stretching. She's been at the table for a bit.

"You? How's house hunting going? Teo find anything that he's satisfied with?"

"Oui, an apartment complex in town. Lots of university students, but it won't be hard to blend in for as long as we're intending to stay. It was Teo's find — it is probably a lot nicer than I would have made us choose." The smile reaches his eyes but doesn't quite make it to his mouth, busy studying her before Francois braces his weight against the chair, easing out a sigh along with the words, "I think you should come with us. Cat, Elisabeth too. There is room."

"I figured there was room. The same as I always made room for Teodoro, he makes room for me" There's a wrinkle of her nose, lines deepening on her forehead before she sighs and looks over to Francois another wetting of her lips while hands reach for the two coffee cups and she pads to the kitchen proper. "They'll know when we've moved. There will be no difference between being here and being there, save that here, we have former company agents to help us and we know the exits, can get out of here. I talked with Caliban. Even he said here would be better"

Francois follows, naturally, squeezing his hands into the pockets of his jeans, familiar green sweater drowning his torso. Festive, almost, save for the fact its a bland kind of mossy colour, earth tones and timeless. "I don't know Caliban, but I trust Teo's judgment, and my own, more than his," he says, matter of factly, coming to brace a shoulder against the door frame. "Ivan is formerly Company, or so he told me. Do you believe he and his wife would provide better protection than I could? Than Teo, or Ivanov could?"

"Caliban has as vested an interest in me as you and Teodoro and Flint Deckard do" That should speak volumes and explain why he picked her up, but she wandered in hours later and frozen the other night. Maybe. Possibly.

"I trust all of you and I trust the company as well to not want to see me dead. my experiences with them have been different than with the others"

White ceramic is placed into the sink with other waiting dishes, dregs emptied into the drain then turned to their sides. The way she's pushing up her sleeves means she's settling in to do the dishes. "Company agents come to my bar. I've met the Haitian three times and none of those times I was fiddled with in my mind. I know they hvae done and likely still do bad things" But then again, teo killed the man responsible for her being kidnapped and her significant - on the outs - other has been in jail and done some not so nice things. Some that she doesn't even know about and if she did, Francois would surely be jumping for joy.

And yet there's that sentence again. Protect her. She hates those two words and the various combination's thereof.

A blind lack of insight, to phrase it that way, and Francois is late to catch up to it, if he even has. He nods to her words, infuriating in that it's not out of agreement, but listening, and his brows tense together at her assessment of the Company, before funneling a soft snort in response, head dipping. "You trust them, you trust us. If you would like, I can consider it even. But what is better — that the Vanguard know where we are, or that they know where we are not?"

He takes his weight off the door-frame, stepping further into the kitchen. "Considering the dinner discussion we had with Dreyfus, he knows we are moving against the Vanguard and what they plan to do. I do not see the harm in them knowing we are cautious also."

'So moving will just keep them guessing. And when they find the next place, we'll move again, and again and again until we find what we're looking for or the world implodes in a nuclear death" The raw hands, ice battered, cold battered, turns on the tap, plugging the sink then dispensing soap into the water. The scent of lemon springs up into the kitchen between them. She's not cut out for this espionage stuff. Or the super secret hideouts. "If we all go in one place, we'll get hit and with one swipe they'll kill us all. Lord, they could have killed Felix and myself yesterday." Might very well have if they hadn't hunkered in the car and called for help.

Francois opens his mouth, shuts it, allowing bafflement to be the predominant emotion that surfaces, rather than. You know. Frustration. A hand comes up to rub at his face wearily as she speaks, before it drops - fingers splay, and open palmed gesture. "Oui, you move again, and again, and again, until we find what we are looking for. To avoid being killed. Keeping them guessing is an advantage, in comparison to them being certain."

He pauses long enough to edge some of that exasperation from his voice, replacing it with something steelier, quieter. Imploring as well as firm. "They could have killed you and Felix yesterday, just as they captured the doctor. Come with us; leave here. We can remain in contact with Ivan and Katarina."

She doesn't like it. Moving. She's by no means a nomadic person for all that she's moved in the last year. That's part of her reluctance even as the water is turned off and she plunges her hands into the sink, grabbing a plate so that she can swipe a washcloth over it and scrub away food particles with the efficiency and ease that her mother taught her when she was younger. She's taking a page from Flint's book and remaining quiet.

It's a good tactic, serving Francois nothing to argue with as he looks across at Abby, waiting expectantly for— anything. So, he wanders further into the kitchen, braces a hip against a counter adjacent to the one with the sink inset. "Good, then," he says, with feigned brightness, needling for a reaction in response to getting none. "It is settled. Shall I go pack your things for you?"

The tap turns on again, rinse off the plate in hot water, near scalding then settled on a towel on the counter to air dry. "Okay" This always works for Flint. This always works for Flint. People just leave him alone, when he says nothing - well except for her. But Francois is still forging ahead. Clink goes another plate and then a cup. It'll make them happy. It'll make them all happy. Not Caliban but Teo and Francois. Forks and knives soon follow after a rinse through hot water.

As much as she's focused on her dishes, she can at least hear the expulsion of air from lungs, funneling out with that note of relief. Then, foot steps, creaking linoleum underfoot until Francois is close enough to brush fingertips high on her back, skirting aside what dyed hair has fallen there. "Merci."

"I don't like" She's going through the dirty dishes quick as a wink, not wanting to leave a mess for the Spektor's. She's been a poor guest so far and her momma's kid her ass. "I don't like it, but if I don't, then Teo'll be the next one to show up and boss me around, and I'm very tired of being bossed around"

There's no effort made to shrug off or move away from his hand, just one last dish thunked down on the counter. The plug is pulled, tilted to allow water to drain but nothing else, blonde brows pulled downwards in a frown. "At least I can sleep in the god forsaken bed and maybe get some sleep. Is Ethan moved out with you both as well?"

"We are not doing what we like. Just what is wise." Francois retracts his hand, chin angled up in an almost proud gesture as he backs up a step, as much as he wasn't shrugged off. "Ethan— je ne sais pas. I do not think it would make a difference to him, whether we remain here or elsewhere. Do you think Cat and Elisabeth will follow?"

"I can leave a note for them, or you can go see if you can find them, they should be around. See if they'll go too" What is wise. There's another sigh - Where are you Ben - at the thought that Ethan might still be there. "I don't trust Ethan, not further than I can look past my nose. I think he set the fire at the clinic" One of Katarina's hand towels is snatched up so that she can carefully dry her hands then hang it up. Even here, she's a neat freak about keeping things as she found them.

"I'll pack my own clothes. I don't like people touching my underclothes and we'll share a room no matter how bad it'll make my Momma's head spin, if only because it'll make Teodoro's head spin" She's serious. "You should go find the others. Felix might be around too"

Flutter-blink, go the Frenchman's eyelashes, as if maybe his own head was spinning at the woman's serious words. From the possible betrayal of a team member through to perhaps boarding in the same room— Francois lifts a hand, fingers splaying as if imploring her to stop, though the word isn't verbalized. "You believe Ethan set the clinic on fire, and yet you have no issue with staying under the same roof as he? Zut alors, do you have—

Whatever he was going to state that Abby does or doesn't have is sheared off as he clicks his teeth together upon shutting his mouth. "I am racing to conclusions, pardon. To what purpose, would he burn down the clinic, and to lie?"

"Kozlow said he never saw him around, till he was pulling him out of the fire. We've been trying to get information from him about the Russian cell of the Vanguard from him and yet so far he keeps telling us to go do lewd things. Man wouldn't care if anything happened to us, I can't fathom why he'd pull the good doctor out, but I can fathom why he'd be there conveniently when the place goes up in flames. I don't trust him, its' simple as that. But staying under the same roof"

The barrette is removed to let the rest of her hair fall as she heads for the doorway out. "Because it will make you happy and Teodoro happy and every other male who see's fit to boss me about for my own protection or because they think I need to be protected and coddled and know what's better for me"

There's that posture again, the one where it's like taking offense means Francois attempts to gain some height in the soldier stiffness of his spine and the angle of his jaw. The pause isn't so much hesitation or even deliberate — rather, he takes a moment to pick at her words, and then pick his own. They come out patient. "You know Holden better than I. If you truly believe he is our enemy, then it is incomprehensible to me that you would tolerate his presence. But it is also incomprehensible that you would remain where a Vanguard assassin knows where you live.

"Teodoro is sending a message to Dreyfus, a false— or not so false alarm about the nuclear weapon, and we intend that he scramble. He knows it is what we are after, and we do not know his allegiances yet. Do you think it is coddling, truly, that I ask you not be in the possible line of fire when he does react? Merde. Only children are bossed around."

"I know Holden as much as I know… the lives of my bartenders outside of work. He planted a GPS on me after getting run through with a mop handle. I sat across from him in an electrified cell in a warehouse in Staten Island for near a month. Crossing paths with him beyond that. I don't.."

Abby's right hand rises to run through her hair as she closes her eyes, other hand pressed to the lintel of the doorway. She tolerates a great many things. For the sakes of others and her crazy idea of love on all different levels. "I am a kid. Compared to the rest of you, physically, mentally, I'm a crazy little kid who believes god will protect her."

There's the sharp rap of her head against the doorway, a movement Teo does as well and where she gained it from. "I'm going crazy. Just… Ignore me Francois. I'm just having a hard time processing things and understanding things and i'm not as smart as the rest of you. I'm just here to patch people up" Get people killed.

The wooden sounding knock of a skull hitting the frame of the door does much to extinguish frustration, turns out. Francois' hands twitch, as if in some ingrained compulsion to— well— heal, as minor as it is, and he slants a glance out the window instead. "I could not ignore you. And you are all children," is added, gently, spoken through a very weary smile as a hand comes up to rub at his eyes, and drops again. "It is as you said, before, about men who have lived as long as Volken and I - you are not crazy, Abigail. You have a home. You desire to go back to New York.

"I am tempted to remain here, in Ryazan. Or somewhere close by. If we cannot dismantle the Vanguard's presence here by the time we are busy finding the nuclear weapon, then perhaps it is a thing I can do. Going from place to place — it is all I know. Moving in groups is not, and it shows, I'm afraid."

Of course he'd stay. She wouldn't blame him. It's what he did before they plucked him up from the woods of Louisiana bleeding and dying.

"Maybe that's why they picked us for here. We're all so different and so out of our element, that we won't be able to do anything but succeed right?" Abigail settles her gaze over her shoulder, fixed on Francois for a long hard minute before there's a nod to something and she's heading out the door. "I'll be packed in ten"

If he had been given telepathy, he wouldn't be alive to wonder what it is she's thinking anyway. Still, Francois can't help but be curious when he meets that stare, as much as he doesn't let that question become verbal, or even in his expression. She nods and he nods back, a ducking gesture before easing out of the way.

"Très bien."

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