brooke_icon.gif doyle_icon.gif

Scene Title Marionette
Synopsis Doyle proves he knows no boundaries, and Brooke learns not to call his bluffs.
Date March 30, 2009

Moab Penitentiary

The cold slide of steel against skin, the crash of heavy chain links against concrete. The feel, the sound of freedom, or at least they would be were it not for the tension of unseen strings threaded through her muscular system, holding her helplessly still in hostile possession of her own flesh. A stranger in her own body, the reins held by another.

The pair of uniformed guards whose position it is to release her from her bondage mutter amongst one another quietly as they do so. "Creepy sonuvabitch," murmurs one, that earns a dry, "…which one?" from the other man. A brief snort of dark humor. Sometimes, that sort of cruel and dark amusement the only way to survive down here without losing it.

As the last of the chains drops to the floor, a hand lifts from behind her, forcing her knees to unbend, her legs to straighten to make her rise. So long without use, abused muscles scream in protest, subtle little cramps and tightness stretched beyond the comfortable not caring for the pain she suffers due to that movement. "So, I was thinking, you see," speaks Doyle, his voice that of a man discussing an idea he'd had for a way to re-arrange the living room or something that needed to go onto a grocery list, "And I realized— you know, I don't think she's really gotten out of her room since it was assigned to her! So I thought, ah, a walk would do her some good."

A small whimper escapes Brooke's lips as she's moved to stand. She'd tried to stretch her limbs before, but it obviously wasn't enough. The stiffness and the dull ache are enough to make her clench her teeth together. Though he can see the pain in her face, Brooke doesn't look to either of the guards for help. She looks upon the men with nothing but contempt. Her expression softens when her gaze returns to Doyle. Even the ghost of a smile appears, a flicker so brief that it was surely meant only for him. Their dirty little secret.

That smile's returned upon Eric's own lips, as wide and open as any he's ever given, as though he'd just seen a prized pet carry out a trick perfectly — but the true smile, the smaller, hidden one, is reflected only in his eyes, and what it means is for no-one to say. There's no uniform for the puppeteer; a simple grey shirt draped over his thick torso, grey sweats leading down to bare feet tucked into fluffy grey slippers. They have bunny ears.

"There's my girl," he murmurs as she looks to him, his voice low and seemingly warm, both hands clapping together lightly to clasp his fingers together. A step forward, and he raises one hand to stir up a few locks of drab, sweat-stuck hair clinging together from her scalp, giving her a dry look and arching a brow over large eyes, "You know, you really could use a shower, Miss Lynwood. Really. Whatever happened to personal hygiene?"

"Perhaps you could put in a good word for me," Brooke responds mildly. "I've tried begging, but they just won't listen to me." She would lean forward, but she has to settle for a conspiratorial whisper to convey what she lacks in body language, "I think it's because I'm a woman. I'm sure they'd listen to a man like you."

The tone of her voice is enough to cause him to lean in a bit, eyebrows lifting up in a rumpling of his brow as he listens to her words. Their content causes a deep, throaty chuckle to rumble up from deep in his gut and tumble past his lips, amusement stirring behind his eyes. "Oh, and you beg so prettily, too," he murmurs, "Some people just have no appreciation for a good plea. It really is a lost art, these days."

He turns away from her, then, the rasp of his slippers against the concrete floor mingling with the slap of their bottoms to the stone as he draws close to the door. Half-way there, he stops dead, turning his head with a quizzical furrowing of his brow— and then it's cleared with a slow smile, "Well, come on, then, let's go…" A golf-clap of his hands echoes in the room, as if to garner her attention, and then he finger-walks his hand through the air, "…places to see, things to do…"

One foot in front of the other, mirroring his gait perfectly as he marches out to the brightly-lit, red-painted halls outside that secure room.

The loathing swells within her so thick she can taste it in the back of her throat. If only she'd realised her position in life would not always be so cushy, she may not have pissed off a man like Eric Doyle. Powerful people make good allies, and he would be one very good ally to have at the moment. Shit.

"Where are we going, Eric?" Brooke asks, her voice an airy lilt of child-like curiosity. "Could we go outside? I hear they have a basketball hoop and everything." And she might actually figure out whether it's night or day. It's impossible to tell in her tiny little room. No clocks upon the walls. No watch on her wrist. Not even date or timestamps on the miriad of monitors she's forced to stare at hour after hour.

It's more difficult to tell what Eric thinks; it always has been, and it always will. A psychologist would half a field day with him, not to mention his skills as a consummate performer. How much is true madness and how much is an act, though? Impossible to say. Still, he hasn't ever spoken of their shared secret, at least not aloud, although he's alluded to it at times when she's edged him towards true anger. So that's something, at least.

"If you're good, maybe," Doyle replies without missing a beat, his hands folding together in a twiddling of fingers to fingers over his stomach as he walks along with her down the long hallway — shadowed by the security guards, of course, as much there to ensure he doesn't try anything funny as her. A turn of his head towards her, a smile tugging up at one corner of his lips, "You do want to be a good girl for me, don't you? Of course you do." A long-suffering sigh, "A pity it took you so long to realize."

"I was blind then," Brooke laments. "Following directions I didn't understand the root of. If I only knew then what I know now…" The pout on her face fades after a moment to a hopeful smile, "But we can still be friends, can't we?" She follows along with an air that suggest that this is her own choice, rather than his. "I would really like that. You're so much more interesting than any of the others."

"You're laying it on a bit thick, there," Doyle points out in wry tones, lips twitching into a hint of a smirk back to her — one hand lifting to hold forefinger and thumb just a sliver apart, "Just a bit." One of his eyes closes in a wink, then, hand dropping back to his side as another low chuckle rumbles up from his gut, seeming pleased at some level despite the fact that she's obviously trying to butter him up with an entire stick of butter at once. One step, followed by hers. Another, by hers. They could be a marching band. Absently, he observes, "Although, you know, I do think that's something we have in common."

"What's that? Being interesting?" More likely being cruel to each other because somebody else told them to. Brooke chooses not to respond to the comment that she's overdoing it. She's never been the best at reading people, or at manipulation. But she's learning about Doyle now. She's learning just how much of him is crazy, and how much is… "You're really a genius, do you know that?" She doesn't have the whimsy to her voice as she says this. "I mean it. I don't think anybody pays enough attention. But I do. You're brighter than anybody ever gave you credit for, Eric." She even sounds astonished. And truth be told, she is.

"That neither of us have any friends." It's lightly said. It might even be meant as such, as a taunt, or it might have deeper meaning. At the compliments, he can't help but chuckle, shoulders shaking a bit and his heavy-jowled chin doing the same, a sidelong look shot towards her and a lazy smirk curving to his lips. "Do tell. They never thought much of me down in Level Five, either." He sweeps both hands through the air, eyes going all googly for a moment, "The craaaazy puppet guy, oh no, you'd better not piss him off, he'll go all Gepetto on your ass." The expression's wiped away in an instant with a sneer, "As if they'd know Pinocchio from Punch and Judy."

"I always liked Punch and Judy better." The child has set up residence in Brooke's body again. "Did they let you keep some puppets?" she asks hopefully. "If they didn't, maybe we could find some volunteers out in the yard and you could put on a show for me? I mean, I have all this lovely first hand experience with your powers, but I'd really like to watch you perform." If she could clap her hands, she would. Positively giddy with the possibility of entertainment. "It would be so much fun!"

There's no answer to the question about the puppets, though perhaps that alone is telling in its absence, a silent note that rings dischordant in the conversation. As though there was any symmetry to it in the first place. The suggestion brings his hand up, though, fingers molding against his jaw in a thoughtful kneading there, brow beetling a bit. "Now there's a thought. We could— " A smile, and a not altogether kind one, "— bring a little spark into their lives here at the prison."

Brooke positively beams with joy. "Ooh! I knew you'd like that!" She bites her lip. "Oh! Oh! Eric, lemme go! I'm so excited I can hardly contain myself. Pleeeease? Just for a minute!" Her eyes are oh-so-bright as she looks pleadingly to the man pulling her strings.

"Oh, maybe, maybe…" It trails off in the manner of a tolerant parent teasing their child with something they'll end up with in any case. His eyes half-lidded, a broad grin carved into his face in a jovial expression. The last of the cell doors left behind by their steps, he pauses beside an opening that's blocked by another wall just within, forcing one to step around it to either side to fully enter. The sign upon the concrete labeling it clearly. The puppeteer's steps pause, and he lifts a brow at her mildly, "Oh— yes— didn't you want a shower, Miss Lynwood?"


The excitement drains away quickly. "I thought we were gonna play," she pouts. But then, her expression turns more thoughtful as she turns her attention to the wall they've come to. "I would like to wash my hair…" This act is getting harder to keep up. The enthusiasm previous is genuine. Some habits die hard, and Brooke would love to watch someone else be subjected to Eric Doyle's ability for her amusement. With a deep breath, and a swallow to ensure she isn't about to taste bile in the back of her throat, Brooke banishes the pensive look, exchanging it for a sly grin. "Are ya gonna watch me, Mister Doyle?"

"Now, now, you know the rules…" The puppeteer's lips form a slight moue of disappointment as he meets her gaze steadily, one finger crooking in a motion that tugs against the muscles of her neck and shoulders, turning her head to face him. "I'm responsible for you, after all. I can't just let you run about here all by yourself."

Doyle's fingers brush back over his shaven pate, her own arm sweeping up in a mimicking gesture that rakes back through her rather unpleasantly-clumped and lifeless locks a few times, those pursed lips curving into an almost impish smile, "Don't worry. I'm nothing if not thorough."

Head turned back toward Doyle, Brooke's eyes glance about once a little mischevious. "Don't you think someone will protest?" She actually giggles. "It's so wrong. It's like sneaking away from your handlers to go skinny dipping!" Handlers, not parents. Friendless orphans. That's two things in common now.

"Oh, who, them?" Doyle sweeps a hand towards the security guards that have been their constant shadow this entire way, the mere gesture making them twitch as if already instinctively pulling back from his power. They get a derisive smirk, "They'd piss their pants if I so much as twitched too much in their direction. Seriously. It's kind of… pathetic." Of course, despite this, he hasn't tried to bust out of here.

Is he messing with her? I mean, seriously. Brooke glances toward the guards, then back toward Doyle. "Can we leave them outside? This is rather personal, after all." And besides, it isn't as though there's any other way out.

A roll of heavy-lidded eyes and a rather droll expression is given to her "Oh, they'd defeinately have to stay out here," he agrees without missing a beat, "I wouldn't want them to be drooling over you, after all, would I?"

"Are you gonna drool, Eric?" Brooke teases with a bat of her eyes. "How long are we gonna stand out here talking about it? My hair's not getting any cleaner just standing out here."

"Maybe." A slow smile creeps across his lips, and he tilts his hand towards the showering facilities—currently, mercifully, empty thanks to the hour. That motion is followed by silent demand, those tired, sore legs carrying her into the bathroom. "We'll be back in a minute, boys," he dismisses the guards, leaving them lingering awkwardly outside as the puppeteer guides the 'security system' within.

March, two, three, four. Left… Left… Left, right, left. Once inside, Brooke's expression turns a little more serious. "Seriously, Eric. Please. Just for a minute? I haven't been able to move on my own for so long. If I run, you can… I dunno. I'm not stupid enough to try and run from someone who can stop me. I'll be ever so grateful." She bites her lip and gives him those wide puppy dog eyes. Please please pleasepleasepleeeeease?

"Jesus," one of the guards mutters to the other as they settle in to watch the shower's entranceway, leaning against the wall, "Why do we even have this fuckin' guy? Creeps me the hell out." The other just shakes his head, murmuring, "I'm not paid to ask questions. But, totally agree… not sure she's much better, though."

"Oh, all right." An expressive roll of the broad man's eyes briefly shows the whites of them in a pale flesh, lips twisting in a rueful little grimace. The expression of one being terribly inconvenienced by something so very minor and silly such as free will. One hand lifts, Eric's fingers flicking dismissively at her as if to brush away the strings that move her hands, her feet, and her heart.

Of course, it may be just about as he does this that she remembers just how little exercise she's had, and the shape her legs are currently in.

With a soft, but grateful groan, Brooke rocks backward and leans against the wall behind her, sliding down to the floor. She flexes her bare feet slowly and then stretches her legs out one at a time. "Bastards. I'd actually be grateful for one of those morphine shots right now." Big blue eyes look up through dark bangs. "Thank you." Her lips twist upward into a small smile.

"Oh, posh," Eric dismisses with a deep belly-laugh, waving a hand at her and giving his eyes another roll, "You're making me blush now, seriously." The puppeteer's slippers shuffle over the starkness of the concrete floor as he approaches the shower heads, looking up at them with a faint smile curving his lips. "Besides," he murmurs, a twitch of his finger hooking her hand's muscles to hold it fast where it rests beside her, fingers curling slowly into a fist, "I didn't think you knew what a morphine shot was."

Brooke's breath hitches in her throat and Doyle's display of ability is rewarded with a flash of fear. This is covered quickly with a guilty look. "That was the past, Eric. Things are different now." Long, dark lashes are batted. "I have a better appreciation now. If I could do it all again, I would do it differently." Her gaze turns down toward her immobile hand, brows twitching minutely with the effort she attempts to exert to move her fingers once more.

As she looks down at her hand, she finds her wrist turning to bring her hand up towards her, fingers together and thumb beneath in the traditional 'wagging mouth' flapping to match her words. "You hurt me, you know." The words quiet, almost wounded, "They treated me like an animal, Brooke. Locked me away. You never cared then, did you?" The softness ramps up to a sharper voice, his head turning to fix her with a cold, flat gaze, lips curling in a smirk that never touches those eyes, "What makes you think I should believe you? Hm?" Brows lift upwards in an arch, his steps carrying him closer.

"No. I didn't care then," Brooke admits. "I was a different person then, Eric." When he approaches, she can't quite keep the apprehension out of her face. With her free hand, she braces herself and rises to her feet again. If they're going to do this, she's going to be standing, dammit. "I know what it's like to be locked up. We both were. We were just on different sides of the glass." Dirty hair sways heavily with a shake of her head. "I was jealous. I'd never felt the sun on my face or the wind in my hair, grass under my feet or rain on my skin." It's pleading for understanding, but it's a lot of honesty. "I think we understand each other better than we ever realised, Eric. She reaches out toward him to touch his face.

The bristly roughness of a face that could use a razor meets her fingers, rasping lightly as he tilts his head in an untrusting shift of his eyes. Those heavy-lidded eyes dubious of her honesty to say the least, suspicious but perhaps open. Perhaps a little. Then he exhales a brief snort, moving to step past her and away through the room. Broad shoulders rise and fall in a heavy sigh, and he turns back to regard her, "I wish I could believe you, I really do. People have a tendency of disappointing me, though. And I haven't forgotten being an animal in a cage, Miss Lynwood."

"Nor have I." Brooke turns slowly, stepping away from the wall and disregarding her screaming muscles. "And that's what they've made of us now. We deserve better. And together, we could get out of this place." The longer she can make this little outing last, the longer until she's tracked down for her next shot of morphine. Maybe, maybe she'll regain full control of her ability. At her sides, Brooke Lynwood's fingers twitch restlessly.

"We'll see, pet," Doyle replies with just a hint of smugness, the arrogance of one who considers himself utterly in control of the situation, "We'll see. Now, then…" A dramatic twist of his hand upwards, those unseen strings coiling into her nerves as his ability claims her once more, that now-familiar but no less terrible sensation of being a stranger in one's own body sweeping over her consciousness. That smile widens a bit as he turns his palm out in an invitation towards the shower, "…I believe you wanted to… clean up, yes?"

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