Life Is Precious


amid_icon.gif brian_icon.gif samara2_icon.gif

Scene Title Life Is Precious
Synopsis Entertaining a terrorist is an adventure in a lot of ways.
Date January 25, 2011

ChinatownConfucius Plaza — Brian's Apartment


The bulletin board has been posted up on the wall. Now the apartment's second piece of wall decoration. Next to Ted, the large bulletin board already hosts a variety of notes and pictures. A picture of 'Jolene Marley' is posted to the billboard with a little note written next to her picture. The note starts to read but then has black pencil crossing out the words that were written. Replaced by new words.

Ugly ugly ugly. I love samara. Under that it reads, Lies about everything. Emotionally confused. I think I made her cry. She also was very.. bubble-esque when we met.

A few other pictures are posted up. Mostly stick figure drawins with labels. 'HOWARD' is a stick with messy hair and a sour frowny face. 'BENJI' is a black haird stick with big pouty lips. 'CALVIN' has long beautiful hair with heels on his little stick feet. As well as angry eyebrows. NORA of course has a cane and sunglasses.. and 'bad attitude' is labelled next to her name. The stick figure for JOLENE MARLOWE has circles drawn on its chest. The only stick Brian decided to draw breasts on.

Since Amid's arrival he's been taken care of every minute of every hour. Having got his body temperature back up, he has been kept on adynomine since arriving in the apartment. But there's only a few more days supply of that, and there's been nothing on what to do with Amid from the Ferry. But what better way to find out what to do with someone than to talk with them…

Since the man woke up, there hasn't been many words. Allowing Amid to do his thing in the bedroom. He and Samara have been busy cooking dinner. Brian doing more of the cooking than Sam. Though he allowed her to do a few things, with strict supervision. Finally the meal has been laid out. Tandorii chicken and rice, with a vegetable medlley. Hoping to have Amid feel a little bit at home, there are no utensils laid out. But a lot of nann laid out in the middle of the table. That had to be bought. Brian is finishing laying down the last few dishes on the table.

A single pea is plucked from the vegetable medley and plopped into Samara's mouth. Slowly she chews the single vegetable before she nods approvingly. She reaches into the cupboard and finds several napkins— eating with hands tends to be a messy enterprise. For her anyways.

These are tucked underneath the cutlery at the table following which she takes a single step back to admire the view. "It smells good~" She begins humming the same song she's been singing throughout this entire process— while she doesn't sing the words now Brian (and possibly Amid if his hear is good enough) has been more than exposed to them over the last few hours: Hey good lookin', whatcha got cookin', how bout cookin' somethin' up with me, complete with a tiny little jig as she strolls back to the kitchen.

A single twirl is given just shy of the counter, she's excited. "I bet I could make rice now— " not tandoori chicken, "— I mean without burning it." There's a short pause as she cranes her neck slightly, "Thanks for… uh.. eating that by the way." She grins and opens the fridge to grab plain yogurt to set on the table only because it's what her mom does.

It hasn't been difficult, the day or so that Amid Halebi has been here in this Chinatown apartment. Having spent most of the day sleeping in recovery from his ordeal, he hasn't yet gotten up the courage to speak with what he presumes to be captors. Not being handcuffed and not being in a cell doesn't seem to mean much to Amid. There are many kinds of prisons, many kinds of jailors. Some trap you with violence, others trap with kindness.

This is, admittedly, the more favorable of the two.

The noise of his bedroom door opening is the first sign of life he's given all day. Dry clothing hangs a little big on his frame, Brian is a little taller and considerably more muscular than his new Armenian roommate is. Nausea has been Amid's main problem, from the exposure to the drugs that the Institute had him on, though the vomiting over the last hour has ceased, and with sleep no longer an appealing option, Amid Halebi has no other recourse left but to find out what his predicament is.

"Salam," is a murmured greeting from the lanky man, his face still too pale for his natural complexion. Old injuries are evident on Amid, ones not caused by the raid on his transport, ones that Brian and Samara both found unsettling. His hands were burned, sometime in the last month or so, horribly. Skin is still sore and blistered, still has been bandaged when they found him. That Amid's hands are bandaged again is only because of their kindness in treating his injuries.

"Hello," Amid sheepishly adds a moment later, dark eyes down on the floor at his feet, unwilling to meet either Samara or Brian's eyes.

"No you couldn't." Brian retorts quickly. Grinning at her. "Okay remember. We want to make a good first impression. Only eat with your right hand. If he doesn't care about any of this, I'm going to be pissed. He better be impressed at my cultural sensitivity." Winters takes a single stride over, his hand going out to slap at her wrist. "Stoppit." He natters before the door creaks..

"Salam." Brian greets in return, his attention being snagged by Amid quickly. Turning his back to the table, he offers a hesitant smile to the man. He glances over to the table, then back. "I hope you're hungry." Winters lets out eventually, glancing over to Samara as if to confirm she's still there in this new awkward adventure. "I.. you don't have to eat this. But I can make some broth.. if you're scared you might vomit some more. I could hear…"

His hands drop before he takes a step forward, his hand coming up to the other man. "My name is Brian. This is my wife to be, Samara." A gesture to Sam. "This is my home. I.. got you at the pond. You were in transit to be.. Mindwiped I'm assuming. Please, come sit."

"Ow," Sami's nose wrinkles. "I think I'm entitled to it considering the very curvaceous stick figu— " the words are cut off as the door creaks open. Their visitor's entrance is met with a warm, albeit psuedo-shy, smile as Sam directs her attention to him. Embarrassment easily rises to the surface evidenced through a faint flush to her cheeks.

A few fingers rise to the air and waggle."Hi," she quips before shaking her head, "Sorry. I mean Salam." Her nose wrinkles again into a small cringe before issuing Amid a warm smile. She nods at her introduction, "Please, call me Sam or Sami." She talks quickly, likely faster than she means.

As far as food is concerned, "We have juice if you'd rather try that— might give more energy than broth. With the sugar, I mean. And it's clear— well" her eyes tick up towards the ceiling, "some of it is. I mean, I like juice, so we have apple, orange, pineapple— you probably don't want pineapple though— my dad's a doctor and he— " she cuts herself off, clamping her lips shut mid sentence. "Sorry. I talk too much." Her cheeks flush brighter.

Awkward tension criss-crossed Amid's features, and his dark brows do an up and down dance across his forehead. Frowning visible, he seems uncertain how to react to the hospitality, save for compliance and a subtle nod, walking over and eyeing Brian's hand. Hesitantly, Amid offers up a bandaged one, but then curls his fingers back towards his palm and reconsiders adding any more stress to the already sore appendage.

"I… am not hungry, but it is kind of you to offer me food. Are— " dark eyes briefly alight to Samara with uncertainty, as if unsure of how to regard her nervous rambling. There's the faintest hint of a smile, bittrsweet, before his attention sweeps back to Brian. It's only a brief, silent look, before Amid's eyes square on the floor again. "I do not know you, or… what has happened to me. I do not recall how I arrived to this… to your home." Those dark brows furrow together, worriedly, and Amid dips his head into a bowed posture.

"Am I your captive?" is remarkably straightforward to be asking.

Brian looks up at him for a moment, dropping his hand. "No. You're not my captive." Winters announces, gesturing towards the table once again. "Take a seat. I'll explain everything I know." Without waiting for Amid to come sit, Brian does so himself. He places his hands on the table, glancing up at the man. "I pulled you from a truck outside of Jersey. In a freezing pond. My associates risked their lives to get you out of the truck. We were attacked by a man named Sylar.. I assume you know who that is." Well.. Samara was bound to find out one way or another.

"I assume he was trying to kill you for your ability. We managed to drive him off before he did." Brian places his chin on top of his hands. "Someone I trust asked me to rescue you from Homeland Security. Apparently you've been forced to work for Mazdaq under the threat of your daughter being kiled…"

The question has Sami blinking blankly several times before her hazel eyes track back to Brian, searching for support, "We don't.. keep captives…" it's almost a question that would only be finished by two additional words do we, implicit in the tone. Her hands tuck into the pockets of her jeans as the question is already answered by Brian, bringing a relieved shrug of her shoulders. No captives for them.

There's an obvious pang of confusion across Sam's features when Brian mentions Sylar. Her eyebrows tick upwards as she watches him carefully. A single hand is held up in a stop motion, "Wait wait wait, I thought Sylar was one of the good guys? I don't know about your definition of good, but murder isn't on the list of things I look for in a friend. It's like that turtle-scorpion story or wait, maybe it's a frog and scorpion story…" her hands shake in front of her to rewrite the story, the detail isn't important, "Anyways it's one of those moral tales parents tell their children so they don't take bad risks and the moral is not to be friends with a killer because all things resort to their God-given natures." Her cheeks flush again as her smile becomes sheepish. There was a point— somewhere in her own chatter she forgot it.

Amid only makes it halfway to a seat before he's frozen in place by the mention of his daughter. "Lucine," is breathlessly spoken as the terrorist stares down at Brian, accusingly, then up to Samara. "How— " hopeful, confused, deliriously stunned; Amid is a cluster of conflicting emotions playing a visible battle with his eyebrows.

"You know about— is she safe? Is— " When Amid asks that question, he hesitates, backing down from his urgency and remembering his place. Samara, thankfully, gives plenty of words to mask Amid's awkward fatherly concern. Hands shaking now, he has something more important to ask.

"What- what day is today?" Depending on the answer, his daughter is dead or alive.

Samara receives a look from across the table. If he wasn't scared he might accidentally hit Amid, he would kick her under the table. But only to distract her from herself. Brian simply smiles at her, that might disarm her for a little bit. Looking back to Amid, Winters arches his brow. "I belive she is okay, Amid." He tries to smoothe. "I have associates who are doing their best to rescue her."

He glances over at Samara one last time, giving her that winning smile. What is the day today? "Baby. Could you go check the calendar, please?" Maybe that will derail her poisonous train of thought.

Sam counters Brian's look with one of her own, complete with a small frown, telling in its own right. If he'd bothered to mention this earlier, he would've gotten the chatter one-on-one. And there is nearly always chatter. She sighs and pivots on her feet, turning her back to both of them before inspecting the calendar pinned to the wall. Her eyebrows arch and she tilts her head, "January 25," is the quiet answer.

Her fingers edge on the calendar awhile longer while she keeps her own hopeful eyes affixed to it. Silently. For once.

Then there's still time, is the line from Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. Amid Halebi has never read it.

"My— my daughter— if you know who she is, know who I am… She is going to be executed in five days unless I make contact with a man in Washington D.C. If they think that I was compromised, or if I fled, they will— they will kill her." Amid's expression turns dour, his jaw setting square and head shaking from side to side.

"Please," dark eyes grow watery, "I— I beg of you, I need to leave." No hospitality, no food, nothing takes precedence over his little girl. "If I do not do as they ask, she will be dead. I— she is all I have left, please, please I— " Dark eyes search Brian, and then alight to Samara, watching the young woman thoughtfully before lifting one sleeve up to his eyes, trying to dry them.

"Who are you people? How? How do you…" Amid can't finish the question, he lacks the voice; it's strangled with emotion.

A light nod is given. "I was told as much." Brian lets out smiling gently at the other man. He looks back down to the meal. "You'll find travelling isn't so easy, Amid. Especially for you, right now. But, I've been doing this for a while. I'm going to take you to D.C. It's been a couple years since I've been there. It's about time."

"I'm not going to let your daughter be killed, Amid. I'm going to help you. I'll get you down to D.C." Winters says gently, looking up at the man. "Like I said.. My name is Brian, this is my fiancee, Samara. I have connections with the Institute. One of my sources told me that you needed help. I have kids of my own. And I would do anything to protect them." Winters glances over to Samara. She's sad. His lips purse, "Sami.. Would you mind getting him some juice?" You know, since she's up.

There's another vague twitch of Sam's lips, oddly indiscernible as she twists back to the cabinet, reaching for a glass and setting it on the countertop. With a heavy sigh, she shuffles back to the fridge and fishes the apple juice from it, carefully pouring it into the glass. "You really need to keep up your fluids," she says quietly as she passes it back to him.

She manages a soft smile, still discontent. Her smile fails some, fading slightly as her cheeks redden more. "Sir?" no presumptuous first names from her, "She's gonna be okay. Brian is amazing. His connections are great. I know it's not very comforting, but— " There's no way Sam can actually know this, but she has faith just the same. Her teeth graze her bottom lip.

Taking the glass and not having seen what was poured in, Amid offers a wordless nod of his head, but as the glass comes up and he sniffs at it, there's a furrow of his brows. A look is set over towards Brian, and then Samara as he politely holds on to the glass, but does not drink. The Institute doesn't seem to incite a reaction from Amid, and it's highly likely that he has no idea about the organization; few people should.

Silence is humble when it comes from Amid, though there is still worry in his features. When he finally rediscovers the proper words, he's steeled himself some to the terrible prospect of a narrow window of life for his daughter. "Why are you doing this for me? I— the people I work for, they despise you, your country, your President. I— I am your enemy, and yet…"

And yet people are risking their lives to save him and his daughter. "I am a stranger," seems even more important to him. "Why do this for me?"

"Amid. The organization I work with. We work to protect people with abilities. Our main opponent is our country, and our president. So.. I'm not totally sure I totally disagree with your organization." Brian folds his hands on the table in front of him. "I run an orphanage. I have a lot of kids with me. I didn't want to have to add another kid to my roster.. So I saved you. Now. I might as well finish the job, right?" Brian offers a weak smile. He's trying.

"You don't know how many strangers I've died to protect Amid." He lets out a little laugh. "This is no big deal." An uneasy look is sent over to Samara. omg they might fight later.

Sam's lips press together firmly as she sits again. She considers the why momentarily before managing a soft smile, "Sometimes people do things simply because it's the right thing to do." There's another tick of a smile, small, not quite her bright usual self, "I think sometimes people live in fear. They get scared. It makes them defensive and forget what's actually most important."

She swallows hard, "Whether we're supposed to be enemies or not is unimportant, not when compared to the value of life and what it means to live. And I think— " she glances up at the ceiling and hmms quietly, "— being human.. living.. valuing life— just more important than patriotism."

"Life— Life is so precious," sounds like regret in Amid's voice. "I have done so many terrible things, hurt so many people who did not deserve it. I— I am not deserving of your compassion, your heart. I am— " Amid looks away from Samara, ashamed. "I am the Engineer, I— "

There's a moment where Amid's posture falters some; wobbling to one side more so than the other, then stumbles forward a few paces towards where Brian had sat down. One of AMid's hands catches the edge of the table, braces him, while the other slams down the glass of juice in an effort not to spill it. Exhaling a shuddering breath, Amid closes his eyes and hastily murmurs, "I'm fine— " followed by a look up to Brian, and then over to Samara. "I should— " when he leans back, he leaves the glass on the table, but his eyes are focused on his hands.

"My hands… they— " Dark eyes alight to Brian and Samara, uncertain and confused. "I do not feel the heat— the fire." The Engineer's dark brows furrow, but his attention wanders back down to the floor, bandaged fingers curling closed and then flexing open painfully. He doesn't ask how it's possible, he knows better than to question miracles.

"I need… to lie down," Amid offers in a hushed tone of voice, turning to look up to Samara, apologetically. What he'd said to her before, he already regrets it. Why, only Amid knows.

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