Move Away


abby_icon.gif alexander_icon.gif teo_icon.gif

Scene Title Move Away
Synopsis In light of recent 'security issues' — that is, Jessica and the Vanguard ripping through healers in search of Phoenix or vice versa — changes need to be instituted. Abby plans to move out alone. Debate ensues. The roommates do end up divided and at peace, though not in the configuration they saw coming.
Date January 14, 2008

The Bronx — Siann Hall: Abby, Alexander, and Teo's Apartment

It's not overly spacious, It's a New York area apartment. But it suits it's residents' purposes. An open kitchen, crammed with all the accoutrements needed to cook, a dining table shoved against the far wall with chairs tucked in. A living room with a fairly new red suede couch shoved up against a window and TV set opposite on a stand makes up the rest of the communal living area. It looks fairly newly occupied and the personal touches not put to it yet. Five doors down a hall lead to three separate bedrooms, a bathroom and linen closet. What's behind the doors remains a mystery unless one of the residents leaves a door open, though if someone knows the residents, the simple gold cross above one door indicates where the woman in this place lives.

Abby's been home most of the late morning, her usual time for sleeping isn't, she's been calling numbers, disappeared for a bit, returned, making more phone calls. Lunch has been made, a few extra sandwiches made in case one of the guys is home, or comes home. The cat, which has been dubbed Scarlet, is parked on her lap at their kitchen table, getting attention from the blonde, it's true owner, as she tends to her own stomach's needs, milk jug and a glass in front of her, pad of paper and lots of scribbling.

Alexander comes in, looking rather weary and out of sorts - he's dressed in his robe, a pair of striped pajama bottoms. "Hey," he says, quietly, offering her a sidelong smile. "How're you?"

"You are here" Abby looks up, searching the man over, taking in his state. "Tired. It's been… a busy few days. I made lunch, you should have some. Want me to make some coffee for you?" Not that Abby is waiting for that answer, she's already carefully depositing the cat on the floor where it promptly heads for Al to entwine itself around and in between his legs while emitting all manner of pleased purr.

'That would be kind. How are you?" he wonders, still gentle, as he stoops to pet the cat, idly scratching its ears.

"You just asked me that Al" Abby murmurs, getting out the coffee grinds, looking over at him. "Tired. I don't have work tonight though, so I don't know what i'm going to do" There's newspaper on the table, open to the for rent pages, some circled, others crossed out. A yellow pad with a list of things to do it looks like on it.

Alexander cranes his neck to eye her. "What're you up to?" he asks, slightly more tentatively. That doesn't look so good.

"I'm moving Al. I need to move. I'll pay for my part, for the next few months, for here, but… " She pauses int eh scooping of the grind, a moment before she goes on preparing the drink. "Jessica was waiting outside the apartment. Yesterday morning. I have.. countless other people who know where I live, how to find me and… have no compunction using your, or Teo to make me do what they want" Abby turns around, leaning back against the counter.

Al sort of expected that was coming, but he stiffens, nonetheless. "Honey, Teo and I are both quite capable of taking care of ourselves. You move, these folks can just track you down again. Now, if you need to go dark for a while, hide out places no one can find you, we can do that, too. But actually moving…I don't think there's much point. This Jessica… she messes with me, she's likely to come to regret it," he says, in typical understatement.

"She broke Liz's arm, collarbone, chest, i could barely recognize her face, and god knows what else al, all because she likely didn't like an answer Liz gave" Abby informs the telekinetic with a grim look. "She threatened to come after you both if I didn't tell her what she wanted" Abby pushes herself off the counter to come before Al, hands in her pockets. "Everyone around me is getting hurt Al, and I can fix them, physically, but the fact is.. my friends are getting hurt because of me"

"She's also safe in HomeSec's hands, though she knows who Teo and I are, and will likely give that up," Al says, grimly. "She's not a threat anymore, hon. Liz is a big girl. Whatchoo gonna do - cut all ties with your friends and get eaten by the goddamn Vanguard? Not a fuckin' chance, so come off it."

"Liz is gonna come shove a boot up my ass whens he's done with Jessica" Abby points out. "What other option do I have? I won't go into protective custody, even though it's been offered. Sonny offered on behalf of the ferryman to get me hidden if I needed it, but that would mean I have to stop healing, I've got a SCOUT captain who's trying to shove his head so far up my rear he'll see sunlight. This.. maybe doing this is the answer. It's the only one I know of. If I don't have people around me, they can't use you all against me"

"And you're no good to anyone, then," Al says, trying to keep the harshness from his tone. "We'll deal with these people. Vanishing just leaves you alone and vulnerable, without the resources that'll protect you. Hiding….well, that could work. We could bring people to you who'd need help."

Teo has arrived.

Generally, one can tell how tired Teo is by how hard he walks into the door to open it. After a brief clawing, grinding of the key in knob, he walks into it pretty hard, and pops in through the hiccuped width of egress offered between doorjamb and doorframe. He'd heard voices from the hallway, so it doesn't surprise him that his roommates are home. His gaze roves immediately for the cat, his feet installed at width to block the creature from escaping, should the evening have found it in an especially audacious mood. "Buona sera," he says, baby blues shifting between Baptist and former, a little warily.

"Hiding, I can't hide Al. I can't do what I do and hide. I have the bar, I have, the homeless people. Church, I have.. SCOUT, I made a promise that I'd be available to heal scout officers if they got injured on duty. Al, come on. I know just about every Ferryman hideout, I know about the library and who all is in the group, I know the vanguard, and I can't lie worth my soul. Jessica got Teo's name out of me with just a bruise. I got Sylar wanting my gift, and wondering if I think he'll do good with it, if I believe he can do good with it, and I've for the last week and a half, had Wu-Long as my personal night shift bodyguard, in exchange for healing Eileen which meant I stayed at Niki slash Jessica's so that I didn't lead them back to the house." Abby's quiet vocal objections and informing Al of the day to day of her life is halted by Teo's entrance, and the black cat making a beeline for him. Abby offers up a smile to Teo. "Buona Sera Teo"

"That's my point, angel. You ain't gonna stop knowing me, and you ain't gonna go into hiding, it doesn't help. Doll, I am registered. My name and my address are up on a website, with my picture. I can't undo that. Anyone who wants me, they can come get me. You're being noble, but honestly, all you doin' is wastin' time. T, talk some damn sense into this woman," Al says, increasingly irritable, even as he tries for patience. "She thinks she gonna move and that's gonna keep you and me safe."

Unable to tell whether the cat is making tracks for freedom or for him, Teo squats down, prepared to accommodate either. "She didn't move in with us to stay safe, either," he points out without looking up, a hand open to receive the feline's whiskered nose. He's more of a dog person, easily, but the duration of his acquaintance with the yet-unnamed (as far as he knows) cat gives his overtures a fairly natural cast. "Your address isn't on the website, Al. Last I recall, that was part of the reason you moved in.

"I don't think it's going to help much. Might help a little," he acknowledges, his voice slow as well as steady; he's trying to think at the same time. "Fact remains, if somebody wants us or Abby, there are a lot of assholes out there on the street who know we're connected and willing to fight and die to protect each other. Short of new identities, jobs, changing our patterns completely, there are only so many precautions we can take. I don't begrudge Abby taking the ones she can."

"I was going to try and get a new ID too. I know.. a technopath who can make that ID real, no matter how crappy, and I was going to use it to get an apartment out in Chinatown. Isabelle already agreed to let my mail go to the bar if I want to. I was going to go down to the station when I moved, and notify them that I was 'homeless' and just walk in and show my card the once a month. That way.. my home stays unknown, and people like… Jessica can't trace it, thanks to registering" But she looks to Al before heading back to the kitchen table and the sandwiches prepared there, coffee percolating. "So, my options are, what I thought up, what Al's thought up, or… staying here and … chancing others finding out, and using you both against me."

"I don't think it's gonna protect us. I'm not gonna cut ties with you," says Al, staunchly, looking to Teo. "And yeah, my address is up on the website. Now, anyhow. If you're not gonna stop healing, you're just gonna keep giving yourself away." He drops into one of the kitchen chairs, making the vinyl sigh with his weight. "Anyone trying to use me again you…." he shakes his head at the idea.

After some consideration, the cat decides to walk on Teo. Despite that his clothes are cold. He makes an odd noise, somewhere between disgruntled and distracted, wrapping an arm around the feline's rump even as he rises to his feet again and shuts the door behind him with a heel. "They'll just follow you home from work, signorina. You're— is Al right? You were planning to cut us off? Or… is anybody who wants healing supposed to come to the bar?

"Are you changing your policy? 'Heal anyone who asks?'" His ability to grasp the logistics of hiding people from other people are a little further below par than normal this evening, thanks to a certain level of sleep-deprivation. There's a furrow embedded in the knit of his brow as he studies Abby.

"It had been.. a thought. That I would get a new cellphone, and anyone who needed healing would call my current one, or leave a note at the bar, and.. yes, yes they would. I don't know, come on. It's not like I was raised to this. I've only been doing this the last few months, and so far, I'm.. doing a very crappy job. I was going to give you and Al the address, when I found a place, give you both the phone number…" Confession time it seems. 'Policy's still the same. Anyone who asks, except.. they have to barter. Something."

Alexander notes, some of his crabbiness fading, "That makes you sound like Don Corleone," In his best imitation of Brando's wheeze, he says, "I do you a service, when I call up on you you must do one for me in return. Hon, if you still work at that bar…..people will know. You can't go half on the radar, half not, and expect it to succeed," Al lectures.

Teo bears his armload of cat further into the room, looking for somewhere to put it. He decides on the spot by the heater that the creature tends to attach itself to. "We're as much of a danger to Abby as she is to us," he points out, his features somewhat blank from thought. And probably anxiety, fatigue, and the distinct urge to break shit, which perpetuates whenever Alexander's around these days. His gaze shifts from the telekinetic to the healer. "Plenty of exhibits to show. Jessica here, The Vanguard at the Cathedral.

"Sylar's the only one who wants you instead of us, and he's never come for you at home anyway. It's probably smarter for all of us to live separately in the end, but your thing— I think that's going to take more work." His mouth finds a line, white. He grates the knuckles of his right hand against his eye. "Maybe your bodyguard idea from the other week was a good one."

"Sylar won't show at the church, work or my home. We have an understanding" Abby points out back to Teo. "I'm changing churchs. I'm going to Miriam's church. Thinking of it" But the bodyguard thing. "Yes, and no, it might not. Jessica was also supposed to be watching my back through until the two weeks amnesty was up but…" look how that ended. The coffee pot beeps, declaring that it's ready to dispense with the black gold and Abby slips from her seat to get three cups ready. 'I don't know what your referring to Al, but yes. Favors to be called in, at a later time. I talked with sonny when he was taking out my stitches. He's has the right of it, somewhat. People take what I can do as duty to them, not duty from God, instead of as a service. I can't bring myself to charge money and half the people, like phoenix can't afford to. So.. favors, be it one week of guarding me when I'm not at home, Transportation home, in a safe method, or to a safe place or.. providing the Red Bull to replace what I lost."

Alexander snorts. "I trust Sylar about as far as I can throw him with my actual hands." Because presumably he could throw Sylar a good ways when he gets all crazy Sith on him. "I support you charging. I'm not sure anyone can protect you from the Vanguard, though."

"Jessica was a psychotic retard with her head shoved so far up her rectum her alternate persona felt it," Teo points out, diplomatically. A beat's pause. "Between barter, you should probably have other guards. No one we know. Emphasis on supervision and transport or some shit, not slinging punches. A teleporter, maybe."

"I don't know a teleporter, and haven't come across another one. I've come across a .. firestarter, a technopath, a speedster, and a guy who can… alter gravity" the later spoken with a slight heat to her cheeks. "and a guy who can.. do something but I don't know what. Hagan" He ratted on her, she can rat on him. It's not right or nice but still.

Hagan. Al looks nonplussed. "Wait. I know him. I….." He stares at Abby. "He helped save me from some Triad goons in Chinatown."

The corner of Teo's mouth curls up, then down. "Umbrakinesis. He manipulates darkness." By his tone, not the ideal candidate. No offense, Hagan; you're drunk too often and have a day job, besides. The Sicilian glances over his shoulder, into the hallway and toward door, borrowing a moment while the others speak to try and remember what he came back for "The Ferrymen owe you favors," he says, eventually. "They might know people who could have your back. Fuck: or SCOUT has to owe you that much." One or the other. It would be a bad idea for the cattle hustlers and New York's finest to work shoulder to shoulder, he's well-aware.

"Ferryman owes me nothing. I gave everyone a clean slate, except vanguard, since they volunteered the favor or more appropriately, their teleporter volunteered it. Not that I trust them to hold to it. I have a speedster I can call on.. I called on him the night with the president. That's how I got from one end of the island to the other in under five minutes. I was thinking of.. sending him your way. SCOUT.. " Abby shakes her head. "For healing Liz, the cost was them to take me home, and get my scooter back here since I couldn't drive it myself" The coffees are brought over, followed by cream, sugar, a motion for everyone to eat. "Hagan.. we're clean slate, He picked me up from the park before I could become a popsicle after Jessica turned me loose. I cured his liver and his lungs from whatever.. almost cancer state they were. We've even him and I and I've only seen him once since. I think I .. scare him. Right now, I'm on very few favors. I have one from Ivanov but, I'm hesitant to use it"

"Ivanov. He's dead," Al says, with assurance. "Cancel that one out. If you meant that Fed. And hon, you selling your ability too cheap," he says, taking his coffee and stirring in unholy amounts of sugar.

Every time somebody says something nice about the Vanguard, a puppy dies. And more of Teo's braincells, incinerated from anger. His jaw twitches visibly. "No, he isn't," he says, pointlessly, but evidently his thoughts are elsewhere. He doesn't move toward the food, coffee, whatever is available; he was going somewhere, he remembers. Eventually, he will also remember where he was supposed to be going. "He has other priorities, though. I think Al's right. Ferrymen or the fucking SCOUTs." The balance hangs in the favor of the former, as far as Teo's concerned, evidently. "They should have somebody.

"They can call it an investment in future healing, maybe. I— I don't think it'd be…" Fucking English. Words. Somewhere. Where— "doing you a disservice to look at it that way. It's good you have other friends, but they sound like they have their own lives, without cutting up their free time into fucking bodyguarding shifts. I can talk to the landlady about breaking lease," he adds. It might seem abrupt. It probably is, a little, but Abigail hasn't been the only one considering it.

"All of us move?" That's an option. "I could.. still do the fake ID thing, can put the apartment under that name… Al, you could do like I had planned, go homeless, only check in once a month.. "I can… talk with Grace, but I can imagine that they'd have the same concerns that Helena did, my healing everyone under the sun. SCOUT, they'd.. They've offered protective custody but I assume that means I'd have to stop doing what I'm doing and who it is that I heal."

Alexander nods at that, lips thinning out into a grim line. "I don't think it's gonna do you much good in the long run, but we could try. Splitting up might give you cover for a little, but…." He's not looking forward to going back to squatting again. Being homeless sucks.

A shrug shifts through Teo's shoulders, left then right. "The Ferrymen are a much bigger and looser network than Phoenix. You'd ask them for contacts, or someone lower down in the ranks at best. They probably have people in private security. I'd just ask Stillwater Securities, but the association there already feels too touchy-feely. And hey, if I'm talking too much, tell me to shut up, eh, signorina?" He remembers to smile, finally relaxing out of the humorless scowl that tends to characterize him when he's taking something seriously. His gaze flits across the floor, locating the cat's reverberating contours. Purring. "I was thinking about moving into headquarters, but I can help you guys look if you want."

Teo's moving out, so he was thinking of it too. But the look on Al's face. "That'd, be good. Al and I can find a place. Then I'm not alone. i think we can stomach each other. Scarlet seems to like him" Abby murmurs, offering a hand to Alexander. "I uhh, was going to look around Chinatown. Someone suggested a place called the Confucius something. And I'll tell you if your talking too much some time Teo. Truth… I've liked.. having people around. Even though we're never.. around. Taking care of your guys, coming home and the sound of you two sleeping and leaving you breakfast. Pila."

Alexander nods. "Could work," Al allows, somewhat less grudgingly than before. "And my work schedule is flexible, so I can play bodyguard." He takes the offered hand, but looks a little bemused.

"I like Chinatown," Teo acknowledges with half a smile. "Shit is cheap. There's a lot of Triad trouble, though. Especially with Phoenix. You two be careful, all right?" Paranoia takes precedence, apparently, but he remembers to park a lid on that in time to say, with all the sincerity in his heart and a little mirth in his eyes, "I liked having you clean up after me too."

"Or chauffeur. Throw them off the scooter scent" She can compromise. She can still do what she planned, but modify it. "I'll still be getting another phone, have one dedicated to strictly healing. I can do that. and Triad.. Anywhere we live, there's going to be trouble, but.. I'll .. try and get a meeting, with Grace. See what.. ferryman can offer or.. I'll speak to one of the scout officers. The one besides Elisabeth and see what .. they can offer, in exchange for me.. being a dedicated healer to them."

Alexander is silent, in that grudging way that indicates displeasure he can do nothing about. Not fond of having to change his habits. "Can do," he says, finally.

Despite whatever their wee Southern belle might say, Teo is well-aware that he talked to much. He's getting kind of raspy. Coughs, once, like a puppy choking on a button off the television remote control he accidentally swallowed. "I'd be careful about the SCOUT guys. Might discourage certain kinds of people from coming to you for healing. But— fff. I'm done meddling, I swear." Surrender: he puts his hands up, eternally apologetic, even as he essays a step backward to his room. "I'll get to the landlady. Let me know if there's anything I can do, please? Anything." He holds her gaze longer than he does Al's, but there is no room for anything but earnestness, either way.

"You'll never be done meddling Teo, it's in your nature. Why settle at the dispensary? Why not join us in china town? we can all still afford to have a place, you can hit the dispensary when your tired of.. my cleaning up after you. I like.. I frankly liked having you both, here, when I needed it. Safer" Abby doesn't break that eye contact with Teo, at least on her end, and squeezes Al's hand.

Alexander squeezes in return, gently. "She's right," he says, voice low, not meeting Teo's gaze.

It's terrible. Teo marvels, inwardly, that he can't seem to stop lying even when he honestly doesn't mean to. "By 'anything,' I meant besides that," he clarifies with something that vaguely resembles a laugh, studying the coffee, briefly, before he raises his head again. "Besides, it isn't safer. Al and I, we're both in Phoenix. Crazy assholes follow us around wherever we go. Sometimes, they're carrying explosives. Be bad to compromise you twice." In other news, he's nursing a broken heart, but that doesn't do anything except make him look sad right now, and he is. It's getting obnoxiously hard to breathe. "Would you like to keep Pila?"

"Pila's yours, Teo. That you even.. think of that" but there's some mental decision making. 'Al and I will find an apartment, big enough for the three of us. Pila can stay there, and there's a room for you, or for anyone of phoenix or.. whomever, that needs healing and a night to stay, or when you need away from the dispensary" Abby states. The kind of tone not often heard from the blonde that states it's not an argument. "Unless you want Pila with you at.. wherever the new place is going to be. If not, I can take care of her for you."

Alexander just nods. Abby's making sense, and that at least leaves him with a real home rather than just a squat. But they might be able to afford that.

It sounds like something of a waste, in Teo's understanding, but given there are people with money who would be more than happy to sponsor an outsource sick room for Phoenix— it's good, really. Better than. "Okay. Pila stays with you. Grazie." He inclines his head and turns toward his room, casting a still-gloved hand up in salutation. He needs to have a cigarette and get some knives, or something fancily terroristish like that. …Clean clothes may apply too.

She wins. "I'm sure you'll come once a week if only so I can do your laundry and clean your birds cage and freshen her stuff and play with her" They'll be able to afford it. The tips from the bar have been good. So long as she doesn't give up the job, she can do it. "Go. Your itching to get out. Wait" A sandwich is grabbed, takes a moment, two, to dig for a little baggie and then a brown bag, passing it over. "Eat, before I tie you down and make you eat. And get some sleep, please. You look terrible Teo, you need rest. I don't want.. to be called in to tend to you"

Al won't kill her. That's about all he can offer. The redhead grunts, and heaves himself up, the better to wash out his coffee cup. Abby doesn't have to do all the housecleaning.

"Fft. Don't say that. I'm perfectly good-looking, and you know it," Teo mumbles ignobly, juggling paper bag between hands, one eye squinted shut, a smile trying the corner of his mouth. Managing to get a grip on the load of food, he murmurs his thanks, and offers the opposite fist to bop hers. Season's salutations from Sicily's hooligan population. "See you two later."

Fist bop back. That's what Abby gives, letting Teo escape with then a press of cheek to cheek. But then, he's released, turned loose, run free little Teo, for the world needs you. Abigail turns, to gather her own cup, guzzle it down, join Al at the sink to rinse out her cup.

"Later," Al says, very quietly. Poor Teo.

January 14th: Alpha
January 14th: Beer and Chit-Chat
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