gillian_icon.gif teo_icon.gif

Scene Title Mercy
Synopsis An old deal is renegotiated, with the same price.
Date February 17, 2009

Roy Wilkins Park

Located off of Merrick and Baisley Boulevard, the Roy Wilkins Park is a plot covering just over fifty acres of land, with a number of features to entertain those from the very young to the very old. Boasting four outdoor tennis courts, a quarter mile jogging track that circles the rec center, and a wheelchair accessible basketball court, anyone visiting the massive park can find a reason to spend hours idling away their time. In addition to these features there is an indoor pool open all year round, and a number of baseball fields - two towards the northern area of the park with a smaller field towards the south end, in the Nautilus Playground, which is just south of a small pond.

For convenience of the park visitors, restrooms are located both in the playground and at the rec center. Pristine, with a relatively clean pond, the facility also hosts a summer day camp, a counseling center, and hosts a variety of community events. Along with the rec center and play areas, there is a jogging path and a series of picnic tables scattered throughout the park, complete with nearby barbecue grills for outdoor eating. Far more than an ordinary park or recreation center, the Roy Wilkins Park is a cultural landmark, home to the Black Spectrum Theatre, an acting troupe given to perform socially conscious drama. The most famous feature of the park, however, is the four acre vegetable garden that gives locals an opportunity to grow their own produce, which is often donated to charity.

Roy Wilkens Park has a great deal of activities for people to participate in. There's community and recreation centers, and outdoor playgrounds. Oddly enough, Gillian asked to meet at one of the outdoor sites, despite the weather and the cold. Bundled up rightly in a coat that actually fits her, she leans against one of the fences around a tennis court. No one's using it. Most people at the park right now are seeking out the warmth of the indoor pool, or the training equipment, or the basketball court. Not the case here.

She's bundled in a scarf, wrapped around her neck and covering her lower face. A wool hat with earflaps is pulled over her head, protecting her forehead and ears. The last time she allowed anyone in Phoenix to see her, she had brown hair, reddish highlights… now the lone lock that dangles out of the earflaps is stark black, too black for her natural hair.

Gloved hands are shoved into pockets, and she waits. One noticable thing about this place in the fencing… it's damaged. As if something, or someone, was slammed into it.

A long-limbed figure comes loping, visible through the diamond gaps of the chainlink. Teo. Less recognizable without the strandy mop of dirty blond hanging over his eyes now, but fortunately they've had enough contact that his angular features and permafrost-colored eyes are easily enough identified among anonymous strangers. And her. Like he remembered, aside from cosmetic differences in hair and winter clothes, every meaningful detail down to the T that he had described for one Gabriel Gray. He circles around the fencepost, thumps a swift gait over the cold concrete.

Teo is dressed as nondescript as a penniless young linguist is wont to be, canvas jacket, no-brand hoodie, old jeans. He'll change to darker colors and more distressed threads before heading over to Staten Island for the night, a catalogue of subtleties that matter. Avoiding notice at military roadblocks and checkpoints is imperative on Manhattan Island; evading knife-wielding thieves and strung-out junkies more important for Staten Island. "Buongiorno," he says to the huddled figure. "Good to see you."

For the most part, Gillian's been lucky when it comes to the roadblocks. If they know her name, they know her disguishing features. Her tattoos, one thing that she's unwilling to get rid of. Hair she'll change, face she'll cover, but even than… she has a beauty mark on one cheek, and thirteen tattoos, most of which would have been on record, known to her family or the police. One day, the luck will run out.

"I hate this place," she says, rather than a greeting, moving away from the fence as she glances to the damage. "Glad to see you really did survive. Didn't know for sure if you did." He's also one member of Phoenix that she knows won't need her ability for any reason other than a mission. In some ways, a personal 'little boost' would come off as better. Missions lead to… well… what she's been doing the last month. "So what's going on?"

"Mind if I smoke?" There's a small gap of time, nothing rude or elaborate, during which Teo shakes out his cigarette and summons a lighter out of some unimaginable place. Cancer stick pinched between teeth, he bends the split of his jaws around a grin of gratitude. Thanks. He's glad he really did survive too. "Yeah." And he hates this fucking place, too, though doubtless that's a more geographically generalized than her complaint. "No shit." He glances at the dent in the fence, and back. Doesn't ask Why here? "Few things.

"First, I was wondering if you'd be good to get together with Brian— that's self-replicator boy, curly hair, blondish, looks strong as an ox— at some point. See if you two could figure out or train channeling your boost so that he can focus it on the telepathic conduit between his dupes instead of just generating greater numbers of himself. You might have heard: HomeSec's fuckos grabbed one of his dupes and the connection's been severed. I'd like to know what's going on. What he's told them, or if it's possible the reverse could be used for espionage on us.

"If the link is really, truly dead-dead…" he scowls, briefly. Glances over the expanse of an artificial greensward, the sleek coil of the jogging path through it. "I'd rather know."

"Far as I know, I boost everything about an ability," Gillian says, keeping her hazel eyes on him. There's many colors in her eyes at the best of times. Right now they're a little darker than normal, making the dark ring around the edge of her iris look less distinct. "I could probably increase his access to that, I guess." She glances over at the fence again. "You think maybe they did to his… clone… whatever it is happened to the Peters? They barely seemed to have any link with each other. I remember it being mentioned that it wasn't supposed to work that way. They thought one of them would have to die to end it."

And she's not totally sure what that did to the dumbface who let himself be held by HomeSec. It's not the kind of mission she might want, from the way she grinds her teeth for a few moments, but it's better than running onto a bridge and getting blown up… "Okay… I can meet up with him. Though you realize this may end in having to kill that one, right? The one they got? He might not like that."

Teo isn't going to like that, either, but it isn't a possibility that escaped him. Catherine had talked about putting a bullet to her head before she was compromised, and he had listened, only to find his train of thought careening past a dozen other equally horrific stations. What would be worse: everyone dead from suicide or everybody in jail? What would be the acceptable ratio of each category, and where did the line fall between protocoled, tactical necessity and uniquely personal choice?

Nine times out of ten, he'd be too much the Catholic coward to kill himself. He knows that. "Maybe." He grimaces. Teo tends to reserve his poker face specifically for the poker table. He isn't very good at concealing his feelings unless he's choroegraphing some form of outright deception. "I'd sooner get him reabsorbed. Chances are, if we can get in range to kill him, we could get the boy back together again too.

"I have no idea what they did to Peter either," he admits, ruefully. "Seems likely, though. Precedent's there, symptoms are consistent. You two be careful though, eh? Go somewhere safe, have your panic button for Anne ready by then. If he feels a telepath tickling on the other side or some shit, get the Hell out and we'll work from there."

"I know a couple places. From before getting involved in all this shit," Gillian says, shaking her head. This wouldn't be one of them, though. This is, in a fashion, where it all started. Where she met Vanguard. Where Vanguard staged an attack-and-rescue scenerio that made her turn to her neighbor… who even picked his last name from the name of the park. Gabriel Wilkens. "It's a coincidence that I asked you to meet me here. This is where we both agreed to help him kill himself. Agent Peter."

That might explain the denting on the fence. It couldn't have been a nice conversation. At least not on Gabriel's side. Or Sylar's side. That's not quite nostalgia on her face, but it might be a morbid version of it.

"I'll send him a message, place to meet, all that. I don't intend to get dragged off to some fucking cell, so you can bet I'll be ready to run at the first sign of anything."

Sylar. That's topic number two. Or three. Something. Whatever Teo was going to say next is waylaid by this newfound realization, of murder in Gillian's motivations long before she met Phoenix or the Vanguard. Not to shriek and point accusingly, of course. As Catholics go, he isn't very judgmental; the rancor he harbors for himself by far exceeds his capacity to resent anybody else. Both he and Helena are reasonably good judges of character besides, for a self-immolating idealist and a romantic buried in a dark hole. He's sure Gillian had her reasons.

The confusion eroding his brow indicates that he would like to know what it was. "You were going to help Peter kill Peter?" Teo asks. "Uhh. 'Cause he was with the Company, and the Company are all shitheads worth a vendetta, or why? If you don't mind me asking." The disclaimer may seem slightly absurd coming from a six foot Italian football hooligan, but it's oddly at home in Teodoro's tone and and expression, characterized by a homeostasis of 'oops' whenever he isn't seized by some grim idea or temper.

"Actually— we were going to help the Company Agent kill his terrorist counterpart," Gillian explains, looking over at the taller man, her voice rasped with emotion and memory. It's not a good memory. "The other one, Assface I call him, tried to kill me, but he also… He told me who Gabriel was. And said what he could do." A gloved hand reaches up to slide under the earflap hat, touching the scar that's covered by it, most likely. "I met the Agent in the place Assface told me to go to, to find out who I was living with. That loft, the one with the strings?" She looks back at him, wondering if he knows of it. "The one I camped in with my cat for a while."

Where Cat found her. Where she met Dr. Ray the MIT/HITman. "That's where the Agent found me. And he told me what happened. With Gabriel. With Sylar. With the bomb." All of it. She shakes her head and looks back at the fence again. "I'd met him before that. Even if the Company is a bunch of shitheads… he teleported me out before his people arrived. He jumped in front of an Evolved who screamed to protect me. And he fought himself for me. That was actually the day he split in two. I think it was my fault."

There's a lot to be told here, most of this never made it into the Catabase. "They were fighting, and their fight could have destroyed what was left of the city. The Agent didn't think he could kill himself. He wanted Gabriel to do it instead. And I wouldn't let him do it alone." Cause she'd long before agreed to help him fight both of them if she had to…

"Course none of this turned out how we planned, but nothing ever does."

The veritable torrent of information leaves Teodoro to stare, to have to consciously remind himself to blink when the desiccating quality of the cold begins to grate against the widened panes of his eyes. That is, indeed, a great deal of intelligence that was left out of the Catabase. He isn't sure why, other than perhaps it was irrelevant and there was some perception of finite dimensions to Catherine's memory capacity. The Company and PARIAH. One as devastatingly powerful as the next. He appreciates, at least, that they hadn't both been out gunning after young women who had otherwise apparently done them no harm.

Other than the split itself, potentially. He remembers also that PARIAH's Peter had been the cunt who bombed the Midtown ruins with a Brian dupe months ago, apparently inspired by the spirit of scientific experimentation. Fucking A. Teo's brow furrows slightly, adding new pieces to his alarmingly incomplete understanding of one Peter Petrelli. For all he had encouraged and comforted Helena through the trials of her love life, he had met Peter only in passing back in the day of PARIAH, and hadn't seen him at all since Phoenix emerged out of Cameron's ashes.

"You met us after that," he says, eventually, shifting a pallid eye through the sable locks of hair she had gestured through a moment ago. He hadn't looked closely, but he can guess at the mark she meant to indicate. The hemisphere of one's skull brings extremely prompt associations with Sylar. "After you found out about who S— Gabriel is. What he did to Midtown and all those Evolved victims. And you made a deal with Helena to keep him alive. That the chronology?"

What he did to Midtown. Gillian can't help but give him a bewildered glance. So some people still don't know the true story with that. "There's a lot of reasons why I made that deal, even with everything. I fell in love with a man I barely knew, a man who barely even knew himself. He's dangerous, but not quite as dangerous as everyone's made him out to be. Your databases on certain facts are off. If Assface ever gets out of his cell, he might be able to tell you more than I can."

The lie continues. She's starting to wonder how many people actually know the truth.

"In the end… I made a deal to keep him alive after I found out that he's not in control of a lot of the things that happened to him," she says, pulling back the hood to show the scar. The mark of Sylar. "When he got back from the future, I was waiting for him. I didn't want to leave the apartment in case he came back, because I wanted to know the truth. If he was dead… it was my apartment and I'd stay there. But I wanted to ask him a question." A personal one, perhaps. "I lost control of my ability, and I boosted something in him. Something… else. Not a flashy ability like his hand lasers, or moving things… or even his super hearing. It was something that made him try to kill me."

She knows how weird that sounds. "That's when I got this. Abby said it happened to her too, and Helena said he attacked her once… they both escaped cause they defended themselves, or because something saved them. I didn't have that. I was pinned against a wall. I couldn't move. I couldn't fight. I could barely talk. But I could clamp down my ability. And he stopped himself. He stopped himself and he left and he didn't look back. Not until he found me in the loft, just after Christmas. Right before New Years. Before I showed up at the Library to make the deal."

So much more information, stuff she never shared before. There's reasons none of this was there. She looks steady as she explains this, no outward signs of deception. She's omitting certain things, but… "He told me that I augmented something that made him try to kill me. He described it as an addiction. Doesn't make what happened okay… But he didn't kill me. And he told me about the future. And that he wanted to stop it. That's what made me go to Phoenix. I wanted to help him."

That hunger, Teo suspects, like the avian telepathy is sleeping still. Or was. He has no way of knowing whether or not the erstwhile serial killer ended up taking his advice or forgot the ratty-clothed stranger he had met between Rookery dumpsters the other day. Here in the coiffed athletic gardens of Queens, Staten Island's squalor and secrets seem deceptively far away, except that memory evokes people that seem as real as the haunted young woman here with him. "I think," he starts, presently. "I think this makes me glad that I didn't shoot him in his fucking head on Valentine's Day last weekend.

"That would have been pretty hard to explain to you, although I think the fact that I didn't is going to be pretty fucking messy to describe to any other member of Phoenix, so I'd appreciate it if you didn't mention that to anyone for awhile. Your boy seems to have come down with a pretty fucking bad case of amnesia. Doesn't remember a damn thing since before January.

"Except maybe one memory. Of you, signorina. As some kind of impressionistic dream he's had. I described you and the image made sense to him, ink and all. He's alive. Healthy, far as I could tell. And he wans't careful enough. As close to harmless as he's capable of getting, I think. Understandably, had a shitload of questions." For all that his words are precisely chosen and his tone carefully gauged gentle, he looks momentarily a million miles away, considering the implications of this, filing away that short-lived look of puzzlement that had prologued her information.

Warmth and introspective intelligence coexist in the lucent, quartz-blue stare that he sets on her now. Despite the question, there's little in his posture to imply that he would hold her man — or her love for him — hostage to his faction's convenience. "Suppose I hook you two up. Will you leave Phoenix to help him?" Teo tilts his head, studies her face as if he could read it.

Any other member. Will you leave Phoenix. In any other conversation, Gillian might laugh and say that his co-leader sucks at passing on memos. But this is one of where she gets a little distracted. Shoot him in the head. That hand on her forehead drops away, eyes widening as she listens, lips parting. They're deeply red, just as he described them, a contrast to pale skin and white teeth. "He's alive."

And he considered shooting him in the head. But he didn't.

He's alive.

He has no memories. No memory of what happened, what he's done. He's been given a clean slate, in a lot of ways. Doesn't remember anything since January. The bridge. That night.

Except he remembers her. A little. A tiny piece.

She doesn't even seem aware as she takes a few steps back, leaning heavily against the fence. Her fingers grab onto the wire to help keep her upright, but she looks as if she wants to sit down.

He's alive.

For all she'd known, he was dead. She would never see him again. The rest of the questions kinda buzz by her head, before she lets go of the fence and moves forward, reaching up to grab the man by his shirt. "Where? Where is he?"

Will she leave Phoenix?

"I already left. I told Helena I was done before we even made it to the last mission. I said I'd help on a case by case basis afterwards, and I will continue to help you in some cases— including what I already agreed to, but where is he?"

The clink and scratch of chainlink on hard earth rings tinny in Teo's ears. He tilts his head slightly, acknowledging the terms of her departure — as it were — without comment or ceremony. If her relationship with Phoenix hasn't actually changed, whatever name or position was attached to it, that suits him for all practical intents and purposes and he is a practical creature at core. "Thanks for making Brian one of your new cases," he says, first. Lapses into silence, second, watching her out of eyes the color of winter albeit with little of its cold.

Gillian's face is reflected back to her in miniature. His shirt rucks up and furrows in the grip of her white hands. Just as he'd described them. Teo would congratulate himself on reuniting lost lovers, but…

God knows, he doesn't want her anywhere near Sylar if an Evolved immortal KGB defector, millionaire, assassin man is still gunning for him. "I don't know, exactly." True. "He's holding down some kind of job but he didn't tell me where." Technically true. He hates himself for that, a little. Leaning on technicalities. "I can get in touch with him — he asked me to leave notes at a bar. If you want, I can get your number to him by tomorrow. Soon, anyway. But…" There's no resistance to the grip on his shirt, but something hardens over behind his face; neither cruel nor pessimistic, but the sort of armor he might pull onto himself for fear of that.

"I need some time. To make things safe. For you and him. I wish I could explain more because I know that's vague as fuck, but I can't. Please, bello." Teodoro never does it on purpose, of course, bats big baby blues in vain hope of adding that to the tipping scales of crucial judgment, but it happens as a function of sincerity, a plea of expression, enough earnestness to make his own jaw hurt. Please understand.

"I want to see him," Gillian says, her fingers gripping the shirt tighter. The skin around her jawline turns even paler with each moment, as her jaw clenches tight. She even pulls him a little closer, even if she does see that he won't relent. He's trying to protect her. "What bar? Where? If it's safe enough for you, it's safe enough for me. I may not have your training, but I've been hiding for the last four months." And she's got far more reason to believe that her face is in some very important databases. "I fought the end of the fucking world to see him again. I'm not going to sit in my stupid apartment waiting for you to get ahold of him when there's something I might be able to do myself."

There's a mild push against him as she lets go and steps back, gloved hands going up to her face and rubbing the cold skin there. There might be tears, but there's also determination. She understands, but… "Son of a bitch," she curses into her gloves. Though who she's calling an SOB is up for debate. When the gloves come down, she meets his eyes again, her own gaining a lot more splotches of color all of a sudden. It could be the lighting.

"I thought I was going to lose him." There's a tightness in her voice, drawing her words out. "I thought that the last I would see of him… was that monster inside him. And he didn't die. We killed him and he… he was okay." She'll leave out Sergei being an ass and beating him in the face. "And then he made it over to me. We didn't even have a minute… and the last thing he said to me before…" There is moisture on her eyelashes.

"Now that I know he's alive… I have to find him. I have to."

Her lips weren't the only detail that Teo had gotten right. Small but strong. And prone to unpredictable gestures, anyway. Small though it was, the push to him tilts his axis back far enough that he has to slide one foot a few inches to compensate. He doesn't brace himself, doesn't really expect further violence. And it doesn't come. Flexing his back once, he throws a faint crick out of his back, turns his face downward to study his shoes, feeling like an ignobly jerk.

He probably is one. It's none of his business, really. Serial killers, star-crossed lovers, FBI agents and their psychotic centurion godfathers — that's a whole lot of Evolved people drama he could do without. That doesn't even want him involved, probably. He could leave it or pick a side and tattle. Let them duke it out. See who walks out, or let time and the revised priorities that inevitably come of living in a war-zone change Felix's mind or Fedor's, and maybe Gillian and Sylar would be all right; or else that the world would be short one less serial killer. But there's a chance, however slim here, he could keep them all and God knows Phoenix could use a few favors.

And he'd be the first to admit: he's a sucker for happy endings. He's a sucker all the time, anyway. "I'll help you." He says it as if it's a promise. It is.

Teo's arms are loose by his sides, shaven head slightly bowed as if in the beginning of obeisance. "I'll help you find him again. And keep him alive.

"Falls roughly under the umbrella of your original… fuckin'… contract, as I remember. I guess. I think you should be with him," he adds, his tone falling rough as he fumbles for something like an explanation, as if logic or reasoning would provide her greater reassurance than simple oaths from some guy. Even if he is some guy she'd just privileged to a great deal of confidence. "History has a way of catching up. I don't want it to find him backed into a corner alone. I wouldn't want to see what would happen."

"It does," Gillian says, noting the small amount of irony in this situation. She helps Phoenix, she gets to meet up with Gabriel again, and he doesn't get shot in the head by members of Phoenix. Hopefully. They didn't stick to the plan quite as much as she would have liked, considering Sergei opted to spend a few moments beating him in the face in his weakened state after the possession left him.

"I don't know how this will end up, but… I don't want it to end like this." She pulls her glove off of a hand, letting the fabric drag as she does. The fingers turn inside out. Once her hand is revealed, she reaches out to him. It seems she may want to shake his hand offically. "We'll extend the deal. I'll help your group, case by case basis… you help me with Gabriel." In some ways it's a selfish thing. But everyone has their own bit of selfishness. She was never in this to save the world.

Apart from a few cosmetic similarities of hair color and musculature, Teodoro Laudani bears little resemblence to Norton Trask. Eighty percent of the time, he's nicer. The remaining twenty is up for dispute. He's comforted, vaguely, that she hasn't brought up the fact that they didn't stick to the plan quite as much as she would have liked. He'd heard something about that. Found it hard to blame Sergei, honestly, with the whole getting telekinetically ripped apart by six bullets thing, but there's only so much room for interpretation with any given agreement before the terms are fucked up beyond useful recognition.

He grasps her hand, his own bare palm rough. From work, probably, rather than violent play. His handshake is firm. He inherited it from his mother.

"Mind you, ragazza. If Gabriel kills again," he says, quietly. He isn't going to end that sentence. It's already overburdened, clumsy, a hideous golemn of parts that don't belong — the arrogance of personal justice, self-interest, tacit dismissal of uncounted bereavements that he has absolutely no right to forgive.

"If he kills again when he doesn't have to…" Gillian says, firmly putting some emphasis on this. "Everyone kills, even you guys. I know that it wasn't just our group who lost people that night. There were casualties. I would wager there were innocent casualties, even." But they saved lives, and that's how it all rounds out in the end. Acceptable losses. "But as long as you recognize the distinction, we're on the same page." He might have to kill to defend himself, he might have to kill to defend her. He might have to kill to ensure his freedom…

"There's a hundred reasons to kill. I hope to give him a reason not to, though." Which is more than she can say for the rest of them.

There's a pause, before she regains her hand and adds, "He killed my sister." That should have made her first in line to put a bullet into him, right? In a simple world, it might have. "I did shoot him when I found out. Kept him from killing Peter. I betrayed him. I saved Peter. And Peter sent him to the future. But if that hadn't happened… we wouldn't have been able to stop that Nazimir fucker." It's like those string maps. So much happened. One event leading to the next, leading to the next. Cut one of the events out…

"He said he tried to find another way to get what he wanted, without killing her. I'll give him reasons to find another way…"

Doesn't have to. That leaves an expansive margin, doesn't it? Self-defense, the dispensation of justice, greater causes— who's to say that taking another Evolved's ability doesn't have its own amoral cause and justification? Short answer: Teo is to say. Or so he must believe for now. After Helena gets back, she can yell at him or fire him or some shit, he doesn't fuckin' know. Won't be the first time he's ever done an acknowledgedly shitty thing to do something else. It's probably worse than the first time, though, and he knows it.

A far wind spirals into the white sky, stealing away the white from Teo's cheeks even as it dries Gillian's eyes with equally ungentle fingers. He resists the urge to close his eyes. His eyelids are burning.

Even you guys.

They don't 'round out' in the end, as far as Teo's concerned. Every error leaves an indellible stain, a cruelly constructive reminder to do better next time. Every lost life is irretrievable and incalculable, just as every one that remains must be guarded to the best of his ability. Unfortunately, as one Flint Deckard once so eloquently pointed out, his best sucks.

"If he doesn't have to, then," he says softly, inclining his head. "I'll give you a call again soon. For now, though, you have my word I'll do this for you two, whatever that's worth. But I would like another promise — or agreement from you in light of your…" a vague gesture in the air. She said a lot of things. "That when you see him—" he doesn't say if. Faith. That's his area. He's Catholic, after all. "You keep keep your power shut down with him. Completely. Seems like he has a fuckload of relearning to do. I'd rather avoid accidents.

"Seems best." There's a shadow of a smile there, too self-deprecating to be perverse. He knows how that sounds and half-expects her to respond, wryly, As if you'd know.

"He's the one who taught me how to clamp it down. Seems appropriate," Gillian says, looking down at her hand for a moment before she pulls the fingers of her glove back into place and sticks her hand in. She should be used to New York winters, having grown up in Queens. It doesn't quite work that way, though. They're still cold. "I'll keep my phone on, and I'll contact walking orgy. Set up that meeting too." It's a few things she needs to do, after staying in hiding for weeks. But there's something new already. A new fire burning that had been drenched in river water for the last few weeks.

Hands slide back into her pockets, inside the coat, and she says, "Be safe getting home, Teo." Probably one of the few people who get their real name most of the time. There's a mild nod of respect. "And keep me posted on what's going on with Windy— Helena. Or if you intend to do something about that. If it doesn't get in the way… or if you think I could be useful…" She might have some personal reason to help there. Maybe.

She starts to move as if ready to leave, though, taking a few steps away from the fence.

He will let Gillian go, because he's Teodoro Laudani, and he has three places he needs to be at any given time and no good reason to stop her. Occasionally, Teo capitulates to good reasons. He nods in return, mistaking respect for simple salutation. Pauses, and nods again, acknowledging her offer of assistance with a hard line to his mouth. "Grazie. I would deeply— I'm sure we're going to need your help." She is useful. Courage and ability in crucial proportions. "When we find something.

"It should be soon." He takes one step toward parting, himself, hiking his shoulders up inside the onion layers of his clothing. He doesn't wear gloves or scarves as often as he should, sacrificing a margin of largely psychological personal comfort in favor of physical maneuverability. "Let me know if you need anything else, all right? New ID, different face, place to stay." An expansive offer, but never apparently disingenuous when Teo offers it.

He opens a hand outward: wave good-bye.

New ID. "Actually I could use the new ID, if you got the time," Gillian says, looking back at him. The one she has is getting a little warn around the edges. It was a fake ID from her crazy wacky youth, after all. A gift from one of her tattoo parlor friends. "If you could use the name Lillian… that'd be great." It's close enough to her real name in sound that she'd answer to it, and better than Leane, which she got from the guy helping her out. "Same face, though. I like my face."

The rest she seems to want to keep too. "Good bye," she adds, nodding her head instead of waving, and sticking her hands in her pockets. It's a long walk to avoid the checkpoints. Or to go through them with enough reason. Luckily, she happens to have the right kind of job for this kind of travel right now.

February 17th: Angry and Disillusioned
February 17th: I Want In
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