Like All Good Intentions


eileen_icon.gif gabriel_icon.gif raith_icon.gif samson2_icon.gif teo3_icon.gif

Scene Title Like All Good Intentions
Synopsis The Remnant returns to the Rookery for one of their own.
Date July 9, 2010

The Rookery

Birds flock.

A murder of crows, flights of doves, an exaltation of larks, bouquets of pheasants and murmuration of starlings, and so on. Their congregations all have names, but the only word that can accurately describe the mismatched menagerie that has descended upon the Rookery's old veterinary clinic is horde, though it's difficult to identify individual species by their silhouettes alone, crooked shapes backlit against a deep purple sky and a fat, bloated sun hanging auspiciously low.

The Remnant is used to working under the cover of darkness. Night is the wolf's time, and if the numerous comparison's people have been drawing since this time last year are to believe— theirs, too.

A fine, misting rain paints the streets silver and creates halos of white light where street lamps are beginning to flicker to life, but the weather remains favourable, damp but cool. No hunting party could ask for more.

Teo is here. Characteristically armored and armed to the teeth, raggedly blond, staring through the eerily warm misery of rain with a scar on his cheek, like some sepulchral antihero figure etched in by an artist's hand at request of some writer reasonably established in the horror genre; an effect that the birds shaggily riddling the silhouette of the clinic like moss doesn't do much to detract from. He is thinking about a little boy as well as a little girl, which probably precludes thinking about a lot of other practical concerns.

The fact that Samson Grey is probably as many shades of sociopath as his ill-used child used to be.

Funny kind of theme to pervade, that. He finally steps onto the road after five minutes of blank-eyed speculation, the heavy rubber sole of his boot grinding out a noise like an exaggerated grit of teeth against the combination of unkempt dirt and old asphalt. Another step, and then he can distinguish the adorable little AR-15 hanging over his arm from the utilitarian darkness of his clothing, street lights picking out geometric details in the cold metal composite.

None of the windows divulge Eileen's matchstick figure, duct-taped face, or anything else like that, but the birds are telling enough. "Hello?" he calls out, over the susurrus of a car passing behind him. Unsurprisingly, the passenger vehicle speeds up as soon as he's in view, peels away with a wet rubber squeak. "Buona sera. Girl named Delilah sent me."

There's not a whole lot that the front facade of a veterinary clinic has to say back to Teo. This old clinic hasn't been used in years and it shows, though that only one of the front windows is broken is something of a small miracle. That particular window was broken from the inside judging from the shower of glass on the sidewalk out front, and the dried smudges of blood on the glass paint a blurry picture of violence from a time not too long ago.

Viewed from the outside a single folding chair lies discarded on the flood beside a warped piece of plywood. The front door is quite literally boarded shut, but that it was boarded shut from the outside seems suspect, and the lumber itself looks salvaged from neighboring buildings in like disrepair. It's as if it was boarded shut to keep something in, rather than anyone out. There's dirt and grit everywhere, paint peeling off of the walls viewed through the front windows and no furniture to speak of.

That there's no welcoming party is either a good sign, or a sign that all the lions are in the tall grass still.

Not far away from the front of the building, there's a small garden in a narrow alley around one side of the clinic where a gnarled old ash tree rises up, leafless and long since dead. Brickwork from the side of the building has broken away from the facade here and fallen down to obstruct views of the basement windows.

Teo's at the front of the building. Raith, meanwhile is waiting out behind it, listening to the headset connected to the radio at his waist, waiting for word from Gabriel, out of sight for the moment, to tell him what is happening in the front. The door in the back doesn't seem sealed, and unless nature or fate has something else to say, Raith should be able to open the lock in short order. Unless something happens that renders this action a bad idea or unnecessary. It depends on what happens with Teo. It depends who is home or who isn't. It depends, it depends, it depends.

Unlike his Sicilian compatriot, Raith is armed just with a Glock, good ol' Wilby, a few assorted grenades, and a pair of bolt cutters, dressed dark and without his coat. Wouldn't do much to protect him, and it would do wonders for getting in the way. Seconds tick by like minutes, it seems, and Raith can only wait. Things were so much simpler before 2006, when he could just kick in the door and go nuts. Those were good days. Good days.

A hoarse noise from somewhere inside the clinic may not be the response that Teodoro was anticipating. Nonetheless, it's what he receives, followed by a shudder that passes through the collective of birds covering the building's decrepit exterior. Feathers crackle. Wings and long, tapered tails twitch with anxiety that's palpable whether or not the Sicilian has the ability to communicate with the watchers, their eyes all of different shape and size, texture like glass.

It's different for those who do. Quiet anguish and fear manifests as shadows in the building's corners and between gaps in the plywood, and although no storm is coming, there's something electric in the air despite it being so still that even the ash tree's spindliest branches do not so much as tremble.

There's a voice, too, or at least the frayed echo of one. If a breeze was present to tickle and lick at their ears, it could pass for that. A silent mantra of please, please, please…

The rain is insidious, as opposed to the hammery patter of a downpour, lightly drifting beneath the cover that Gabriel has found himself not so far from the building but relatively out of sight. A lanky figure clad in black in the Rookery, he leans back against brick, skull resting on the harsh surface as he concentrates on breathing and projecting his consciousness out far enough that aggravated anxiety clenching his innards can almost be forgotten. In one hand is a smoldery cigarette, burned down mostly to its filtered end. Above him, a common bird sits upon the roof edge, occasionally sending sprays of gutter water before him with a restless flick of feather.

His voice comes across the radio after he spends a few seconds actually working out what it is he's seeing. Confusing enough to give him a headache. "She's downstairs. Under ground. There's something— " Unhelpful pause, until he shifts focus. A bird hops uneasily as if ready to take flight, but is forcibly settled by a soothing kind of presence that extends as far as the basement, too. "She's in a bird."

Shaking his head as if to clear it of that fluttery mantra coming down a psychic line, he moves enough to check the slice of sight he has of the front of the clinic, concentrates enough to add: "Samson is higher up. In the second floor." Hesitates. There is no second floor. "Or I guess the ceiling. Teo's still alone."

There is a noise like a felling tree with Teo's foot connects with balsawood, splitting the board away from the window's raggedly shattered edges. He pokes his head in through the splintery hole, squinting irritably across the gloom of the waiting area where people once might have taken dogs. He swats away the encrustation of glass from the frame, and then reaches up to snag the rusted edge of the frame in one gloved hand, hitches himself up, into the building before any birds get bright ideas about unloading their bowels on his little off-blond mop.

He lands like a panther, quiet, but not silent. Glances around the receptionist desk, finds no nail-marks scarring into the boards on the windows. "I'm the one who knocked her up!" he announces to the universe and everybody in it. He twists his ruined mouth around the curl of a sneer, a reflexive discomfiture at the smell of masonry rotting from the inside out. "Heard you were looking for me and lecturing the little Lime about her parenting skills, so—"

That's Eileen. The Sicilian stops stiffly, turning his head to and fro, pale eyes narrow as glass-spurs. He skirts the bulk of the receptionist's desk, and kicks the nearest door that happens to be available in the gloom and must. "You want to talk, or what? Figure this is as good a time as any."

There's a noise, subtle outside to be something sounding like a whistle or a whine, backed behind a tone of low humming. Inside the veterenary clinic where Teo had brazenly put boots on scuffed linoleum and years of detritus, it sounds more cacophonous, like a half dozen people trying to whistle the same single note at the same time. It's oddly relaxing, as far as shrill noises go, and the feeling of pins and needles in Teodoro's limbs comes like quickly onset anesthesia.

The clatter of his AR-15 landing from slack grip to the floor is the first sign that something is dreadfully wrong, followed by the weakness in the Sicillian's extremities and the slowing of his heart rate. In the time it's taken him to slouch his back up against the wall near the vacant supply closet door he just kicked down.

Despite the sedative feeling that has overcome Teodoro's body, his mind is perfectly aware and acute. It's like sleep paralysis in a way, equally unsettling in the sensation of heaviness and helplessness it inspires. He can see the back door from where he's slouched in the hall, that locked metal door the onlything between Teo and Raith, aside from about twenty feet or so of hallway and back parking lot, that is.

To make matters worse is the cloying black smoke Teo can see filtering out of the grates on the ventillation duct in the hall. Thick, sooty and ashen, it crawls down the wall like something that should be billowing up out of a volcano, though Samson's crawling cadence leaves it with a certain sense of slowness and deliberation that wasn't there when he was a more pyroclasmic cloud in "rescue" of Eileen at the Bethesda Fountain.

The smoke cloud slithers past Teo, pooling around his bent knees and beneath one of the nearby doors. A moment later that door swings open out into the hall, letting the acrid stink of embalming fluids fill the air. A feeling settles in to Teo's chest, like a painless meat hook jerking on his ribs, enough of a tug to lift his limp body up off of the ground and begins drawing him down the wooden stairs in slow dragging progress, a telekinetic yank to bring Italy to Britain.

The sound of Teo letting himself in was unmistakable, and what recourse did Raith have but to roll his eyes. I'm going in, he says over the radio, rising from his spot and approaching the door. The whistling that Teo hears goes unnoticed to Raith, and the clatter of a rifle on the ground doesn't register with him as out of the ordinary. Pending intervention from a third party, he draws a snap gun from his equipment harness and inserts it into the backdoor's lock, preparing to let himself in.

Downstairs in the basement, covered in a sheet and strapped to a gurney, Eileen Ruskin's wan face is turned away from the steps, giving Samson a view of her long, pale neck and the tangle of dark hair plastered to its nape. The cardinal that had been perched at the gurney's edge, furthest from the door, takes flight at the first boot stomp and has settled on top of a nearby bookshelf beside a butter-yellow canary by the time Teo comes into view.

Outside, the mantra is cut abruptly short, and Gabriel loses his tentative connection with the voice below the pavement, though the residual fog of emotion remains. The Englishwoman's fingers curl around a scalpel, blade angled against one of the leather straps that binds her to the gurney's surface. Instinct has her green eyes opening whether or not they're capable of seeing. Her cardinal has shown her enough.

"Samson," she starts, her voice thin and low. "Not him. Please not him."

Realisation comes later, that someone is in some kind of trouble. It's Eileen that signals it, Gabriel's head swimming and focus going dizzy as he tries to cast psychic sight about with a frantic kind of misdirection to see what just happened. Whatever fleeting glimpses give him a vague enough notion for him to retract entirely, awareness snapping back into him enough to cause a headache. A flick of large fingers has the cigarette end spiraling off, two steps falling on slick cement until his radio goes dead.

Which means it's turned into something that it wasn't, oily ink of a blacker substance than ashy smoke. It rolls for the building with the kind of kinetic demeanor that water takes on when boiled, misty rain only easing on through its intangible self. To at least get a closer look.

Hey guys, Teo was going to say, I did it. Yes. No?


Life is pretty simple for Teodoro Laudani at this point. He falls, thinks, is dragged across the floor, listening to his elbows and the back of his shaggy skull rasping against the grain of the… whatever this floor is made out of; it's too close to his face for him to actually see it clearly, and the combination of nocturnal darkness and the roiling mess of incomprehensible black ether doesn't help matters, either.

The low panel that divides hallway from room from the stairs' landing jabs him in the hip, rattles his shins, and then does a xylophone thing up his ribs, jangling oddly against his nerves. He watches the doorframe slide by, then braces— internally, at least— for the bump-a-thump-thud that will come as an inevitable consequence of going up the stairs upside-down. Body armor doesn't tend to cover your head.

Down and down Teodoro is pulled, around the corner of the stairs once his skull and shoulders are introduced to the concrete floor. From Teo's very static perspective, the dusty and cobweb laden basement ceiling is little more than unfinished wooden floor joices lit by a pair of hanging lamps more at home in a garage where cars would be worked on.

As he's dragged across the floor on his back, billowing waves of smoke seem to carry him, almost like ants to a picnic. Eventually, there's the rustling sound of plastic and Teo can see a large sheet stapled over the top of a doorframe, the loose bottom end brushing over his neck and face, split down the middle to allow someone to walk through it as needed.

The plastic curtain slides down and away from his face as he makes a scraping and dragged progress through the basement and then finds weightlessness as he's hefted up and onto a metal examination table, the kind corpses are examined in a morgue on.

Head lolling to the side, Teo's first clear sight down in the basement is Eileen Ruskin's bound frame, the same view Samson had been afforded with more mobile perspective moments prior. Laid out on a table beside her and limbs prickling, Teo's inanimate body stares unblinkingly towards the Briton where she's restrained.

The last tendril wisp of smoke snaking through that basement door of Samson's long and serpentine form is the only glimpse Gabriel's ephemeral form gets of his father. When the door to the basement closes shut at the beckoning of an unseen hand, the door to the back of the veterenary clinic rattles open from the click-click-click prodding of Jensen Raith's most subtle lockpicking tool in his arsenal. That Wilby probably could've gotten the door open goes uncontested, that the rest of the building would've still been standing behind the door is more questionable.

Raith is presented face to face with Gabriel's inky black form on the far end of the hall, one door to his left kicked inwards to an empty storage room and another shut with a thin sliver of light escaping beneath it. Laid out onto the linoleum beside that closed door is Teo's AR-15, discarded.

Downstairs, all that disperate smoke pools together, rises up into a column of ashen gray and then coalesces into the wiry frame of a tired old man, his hair clipped short to his scalp and beard slightly more grown in, all parts some shade of gray.

"Easy now, he isn't going to hurt you…" is murmured in wheezing quality to Eileen's prone form, unaware of the scalpel clutched tight in her hand and hidden away against the side of her body. One of Samson's trembling, weathered old hands brushes across Eileen's forehead, his gray brows furrowed together. "You just relax, I told you the people who wanted you dead would come for you eventually…"

Turning hazel eyes to where Teodoro lays on the old, rusty table, Samson seems somewhat surprised by the Sicilian's presence. "I just didn't expect this to be a two for one victory on my part." There's a squint of the old man's eyes at a clunk upstairs, one gray brow lifting slowly, as if in all his foresight he hadn't actually realized there were other people with Teodoro. Even now, though, the numbness and tingling sensation in Teo's extremities is fading and the sense of sedation is fading. Ghost may have abandoned Teo in some aspects, but a resiliant mind is still a resiliant mind.

Gabriel was, in no way, who or what Raith expected to see. None of this was what he expected to see, and none of it was what he really wanted to see. Because it means that either Teo and Eileen are behind that door having wild sex, or that Teo and Samson Gray are behind that door possibly also having wild sex but far more likely engaging in some sort of body mutilation. Whatever's happening behind that door, somebody is fucked.

Raith, however, keeps his cool and doesn't go for his Glock, or for Wilby or any implement of real destruction. Rather, he decides to arm himself with one of the grenades off his harness: An anything but innocuous flash-bang. And then… he actually decides to hang back a moment and see what Gabriel does, figuring that the prodigal son is far better equipped to kick in the door, should he so decide. He very well may. It seems like the sort of thing he would do.

It would take Eileen more time than she has to explain the nature of her relationship with the man on the table next to her, and time aside— she's not sure she has the breath, either. It's difficult to tell whether the creaking sound that fills the basement is the groan of her restraints as her chest strains against them, or if it's something that originates from the pit of her lungs, not yet fully healed.

Later, she can debate with herself the factual accuracy of what comes out of her mouth. It's hard to think with your head instead of heart when your body is crippled, you probably have blood poisoning and the difficulty of forming complex sentences has become so great that your tongue feels like lead in your mouth. "He's my brother."

That is to say, no. Teo doesn't want her dead. He isn't here to kill her. This time.

Raith's hesitation is filled with Gabriel shifting shape, turning back into himself from the shapeless swatch of black that had surged through the kicked apart door. There is a scan of brown eyes up and down Raith as if to see what the hold up is, before that attention narrows on the door that bars off activity beyond it from prying eyes, but certainly not spidey senses or even remotely keen hearing and observational skills. "I'll keep him occupied. Just get Eileen," he suggests, already moving, stepping passed the rifle on the ground.

What follows is a distinct lack of finesse almost uncharacteristic of him. With a sneer the gleams bone-white teeth in the dimness, Gabriel bats the door open, a sharp sounding crack that probably does not need supernatural strength behind it, even if the scent of dim fear from down below is beginning to nag at his senses. He moves downstairs with a thumpathump of boots hitting creaky wooden steps hard, because by now, it won't matter — Samson will have to know that Teo isn't alone.

May as well let him know something's coming. Gabriel will figure out later if volunteering for Distraction, Take Two is about effective use of resources, particular desire for revenge or mercy. He's not doing that much thinking.

What does blow through plastic curtains is not something with foot steps. The mass of black shadow and its winding tendrils that flow in like a broken dam don't doesn't make a noise, only a half a second of hesitation before it's heading straight for Samson, dimming out the light as it passes by for a split moment.

There's a flashbang or three on Teo's own person that would have been good to go after, soon as he had his index finger back, but there's a blackness flowing around in the air about Samson's head, sheeting through the overhead light, and the Sicilian remembers enough about this situation and the various worlds from which he had come to remember that the combination of this, that, and the other would be bad. He isn't completely sure he has his index finger back, anyway. Teamwork speaks well for the human spirit, and perhaps also the mutant spirit as well.

He looks at the ceiling. Watches Eileen's profile out of his peripheral. She looks intact. Kind of fuzzy, granted, and outlook-pessimistic, and that can be solidly attributed to either of them. Both of them. The state of the world in general. He counts to three, wonders where Raith is, listens to his heartbeat percussing its gentle, tranquilized cadence against the dingy table through the wall of his back.

Diverting the attention of a homicidal multi-powered psychopath by coming unexpectedly (to everybody) out of a state of total vegetation requires a certain level of optimism, all things told; it's a bad thing to measure wrong. "No," his voice sounds like it's the wrong shape and texture for his throat entirely, "that's stupid."

Shadows boil and surge and Samson's posture is already tense from Eileen's hoarse warning that Teodoro isn't here to finish the job that was started so many weeks ago. Turning sharply towards the source of that umbral blot headed his way, Samson breaks apart like ash on the wind as soon as the shadows strike him, discorporating into a thick and billowing cloud of dark and choking ash that quickly swirls across the room like some sooty dust devil.

Blossoming sparks of fire burn briefly inside of the smoke, like fiery flashes of lightning in muted shades of orange and red. By the time Gabriel's inky form has come to the opposite side of the considerably cramped surgery room, all Samson can feel in the back of his currently intangible mind are the varying spikes of get out that his danger sense is slamming into the back of his skull.

But he recognizes the ink, recognizes that swirling blot of watery darkness more than he recognizes any intentions he might have had for Teodoro at some nebulous point in the future. Instead, the ashen cloud relents from its combustion, thinning enough to reveal the smoldering silhouette of an old man hunched back against one of the walls, fingers splayed on wood, shoulders rolled forward and posture crooked.

Wheezing breath accompanies Samson's voice as he tentatively, and worriedly rasps to that dark cloud, "Son?"

All things considered, this wasn't how Samson had dreamt of this all happening.

Well, great, now what? Raith can't very well just walk down the stairs after Gabriel, grab both Eileen and Teo, and then walk out without any issue.

Or, can he?

Hooking the grenade back onto his harness, Raith sucks in a deep breath, and then casually walks down the stairs after Gabriel, being careful not to stomp and make a bunch of noise. He should still be polite, after all. And once at the bottom, he succeeds, with very conscious effort, at ignoring the general weirdness going on around him, takes a quick survey when he enters the room proper, and calmly walks towards Teo- waving some stray Gabriel out of his face, real or imaginary- and proceeds to unstrap him before moving to Eileen just as if he'd come down to deliver milk and mail by prior arrangement.

That's the plan, anyway. Worst that happens is a horrible, messy death, and in the back of his mind, he knows that Adrianne Lancaster would be so damn proud that he died doing something so incredibly stupid.

The scalpel that had been clutched between Eileen's fingers, knuckles gone bone white, clatters to the basement floor with a sharp tinkling sound. The need for a weapon hasn't yet passed, but she's lucid enough to realize the danger of blindly wielding one in such close proximity to someone unbinding her from the table. Small hands grasp at his forearms, nails like porcelain biting into his skin beneath the elbow where fingers curl, clasp hard. A combination of touch and smell tells her what her eyes can't.

Gabriel doesn't reek of tobacco or gun oil. His bones aren't this dense, or his arms this thick around. But he's here. Even if Samson hadn't confirmed it with that one tersely-spoken word, his presence in the room sends tremors down the empathic link that they share. A spider knows when there's another plucking at its web, whether or not it means to alert the other to its presence.

The cardinal wings down and alights on Teodoro's left shoulder, the canary at his right. "Jensen—"

The mess of flowing shadow that Gabriel's turned into is probably the most chaotic thing in the room, having danced through the ash as if trying to ensare it, folding back in on itself and outwards again until Samson slips free, backs against the wall and becomes flesh. Rather than find gripping purchase again, Gabriel's change follows suit at the end of his father's words, landing almost heavily on his feet with a sheen of sweat dotting high on his brow, crawling down his cheeks and the nape of his neck, evidence of the wear he goes through changing back and forth.

As easy as a one syllable exclamation may be, Samson was a hell of a lot more articulate than the near growl Gabriel gives in response, a hand coming out to snag strong— very strong— fingers around the old man's throat and force that stoop to his back straight in a shove against the wall. Better boyfriends might glance back to see if their other half is okay, but he probably trusts Raith better than that.

And he's kind of pissed off.

"Hhh," is as far as Teodoro manages to get, in terms of salutations when he sees Raith, upside-down. He twists his head, peels himself up, off the table in a heave of movement that seems terribly pubescent in the nature of its coltish uncoordination, mumbling some appreciation with regards to the help. He rubs his mouth, the bad side rifted through the wall of his cheek, because its slackness of some minutes prior had resulted in a rather uncomfortable slurry of leakage. His movements are discouragingly approximate, but—

There's a bird on each of his shoulders, and that seems better, somehow. If you're going to die drooling, it might as well be in a prettily-plumaged state that Snow White would have envied, or that's rather gay, but Teodoro's mind is just this side of dislocated-enough to appreciate the butter-yellow reliefs of canary-feathers, sloe eyes, the quiddy of souls just large enough to carry little tokens of Eileen's, against the streaky light, macabre walls.

Knife out of his boot, and he assures himself of where Eileen's arm ends and the nearest flap of metal begins. Tucks the blade in, winds it outward, as deftly as he would have sleeking the belly of a halibut open. Manages not to take off his thumb or arrive at too great distraction, what with the uncomfortable reunion going on back there, over his shoulder. He mumbles something about Dads, blinks at the trailing flick of thin pinions at the nape of his neck and the uneasy scritch of claws.

"This isn't— " Samson is cut off by the fingers around his throat, a brief choking exhale through the swirling motes of ash and smoke; excuses cut away too. No, this isn't what he wanted to happen, but no amount of imploring that he had the best of intentions matters now. They came here armed, that's all he needed to see. Everything about Samson has the awkward and harried posture of some sort of cornered and mangy animal. All thin-bodied and struggling up against the wall, his wild eyes and bared teeth obscured by the clouds of smoke blowing past him with nicotine-tinged scent mixed with something more like charcoal. For all his angular and long head bristles with hair it's hard to tell that detail in the bleak light of his ashen cloud. Maybe he'd always known this endeavor would end so disastrously, like all of his good intentions.

Exploding back into a pyroclasmic cloud of volcanic ash, Samson rises up in a plume of heat-raised smoke to the ceiling with tendrils moving between Gabriel's fingers, pouring like chalky water across the floor joices overhead before falling like a curtain down over near where Eileen lays on the table, being unstrapped by Raith. A yank of unseen fingers rips the cloth covering away from the shelf near where she's strapped to a gurney by ankle and wrist restraints, fluttering to the floor as the wavering light of the basement reveals rows of glass jars filled with embalming fluid and preserved brains, each marked with a piece of tape and a name and power.

Like a greedy storm swallowing up a small town, Samson's black and ashen form surges against the jars — sooty tide crashing on rocks — and when his billowing form withdraws from the shelves the jars are gone, leaving his swirling black cloud of smoke sinking down low. Samson swirls between the wheeled legs of the tables and through the plastic curtain that divides upstairs from downstairs.

Like Samson had told Eileen once, the Grays are selfish creatures.

And they excel at running.

The sudden burst of excitement and smoke is enough to give Raith a short-lived coughing fit. But only a short-lived one. A quick look around apparently reveals that they are as safe as they can hope to be. "That's it," he says, carefully hooking one arm around Eileen's back and the other under her knees before lifting her off the gurney once her restraints are removed, "That's it. I'm done. We're leaving. Teo, put your shoes back on."

Eileen hooks fingers in the collar of Raith's shirt. Legs bare below the knee dangle pointed toes over the crook of his arm. The clothes she's wearing cover her well enough, but they aren't the ones she was wearing when Samson brought her in. Nearby, a familiar cane with a snarling wolf's head gleams silver teeth. Beside that, a bloodstained coat, discarded leather gloves and contrasting fabrics all in varying shades of gray that Raith may recognize, if he's thinking about it.

Although her pocket watch isn't among the items in the coat's pockets, her knife is. She'd probably like her things back, even if they're not what she's asking for. What she's asking for is murmured against the man's neck and is a reiteration of somebody else's name. He'll recognize that, too. Teodoro has four syllables. Jensen has two.

Gab-ri-el is exactly three, which is the number of times her lips keep moving against Raith's lower jaw, albeit without sound to accompany them.

After everything, the meaty smack of a hand against a wall is an unimpressive sound at best, as well as the delicate crack of bones mingled in. Gabriel's back is turned to the room, one hand gripping the other and shoulders rounded with tension. There is a sharp inhale, then nothing particularly audible, breath let go of slowly and surely. A slice of his profile is visible when he merely glances back over his shoulder, but his feet may as well be set in cement on the ground for all that he doesn't move to tag along.

Which doesn't mean he won't. "I'll follow," he states, voice sedate and at odds with brimming tension and anger that only Eileen can feel through their tentative empathic link. He'll probably collect up her stuff too. Just not right away.

"Yeah," Raith says flatly, "Yeah, no problem." He doesn't give Gabriel a chance to answer before he is dividing his attention between Eileen, Teo and the only thing in the room capable of really giving him pause. "We'll get her to a doctor." Shifting the woman around in his arms- and very grateful that she doesn't way that much- Raith affords Teo a quick smack on the cheek to get him to finish waking up, and then he focuses entirely on it.

The snarling, angry wolf is lifted off the ground in one hand and held just in front of his face so he can stare right into its unblinking, silver eyes, challenging its supremacy. "Go on up, Teo. I'll be right behind you." It might be slightly unnerving to see, the ex-spy standing there with a girl in his arms, clutched against his chest, and the cane, the wolf in his hand, regarded with all the care afforded to something that might come to life and bite him at any moment. The rest of those things, the coat, the knife, all the rest, Raith trusts to Gabriel. He just needs a moment, and he'll be fine. But the wolf goes with Raith, eye contact broken only when he turns and walks to the stairs, and reestablished immediately when he pauses at their foot.

"To old acquaintances," his whispers to it, "To chance encounters, and to reaffirming one's worth."

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