Neck Deep In A Pool Of Awkward


abby6_icon.gif deckard_icon.gif

Scene Title Neck Deep In A Pool Of Awkward
Synopsis Off the Island to start compiling lists and personal plans, Abigail takes refuge at Hotel California with Deckard.
Date November 29, 2010

Hotel California

An hour's walk into the lifeless waste of Midtown's still heart, an eviscerated office building rises dark from the desolation. Blackened steel struts jut from the exposed floor that doubles as a roof like snarled teeth. Rust and mold stain the vacant sockets of blown out windows in long tracks; what little glass that remains caked thick with choking ash.

At ground level, shattered concrete and gnarled rebar forbid passage through the hollow pit where doors once stood. Inside there is no electricity. During the day, anemic light shafts pale through empty windows and broken bricking, occasionally touching upon grey dust stirred free of the sweeping marble lobby, At night, flashlights are needed to navigate ruptured flooring and scattered debris. Vaulted halls track into inoperable elevators and claustrophobic stairwells further in, the latter made treacherous by damp sections of collapsed wall.

The building's skeletal structure creaks, grinds, and groans under its own weight at all hours, further strained by the wind that drags at the upper levels in steep gusts. For the first several stories, jammed doors, sagging floors and dry decay clogged thick into leaning hallways deter habitation, but somewhere around the twelfth floor, the clutter opens up into a sprawling office.

A dusty row of cubicles hunches blocky and grey across the far wall, affording some privacy to the folding cots stashed within. Decoration is otherwise sparse: limited to a rickety card table, a few wooden chairs and a portable propane stove arranged at the level's open center. Though the floor seems stable, it's littered with broken drywall and bits of ceiling that tend to skitter and tumble one way or the other when the weather picks up. Private offices off to one side keep a more expansive store of canned goods, water, guns and porn sheltered behind closed and padlocked doors.

It's not too cold to go home. It isn't snowing or iced over or on fire, out. So Deckard has no real excuse for still being here at this hour, restless energy turned over into into jugs of fresh water dragged and rolled and levered up twelve flights of stairs one at a time. Boxes hefted, blankets and canned food checked over and inventoried in the gathering dark.

He should call Bella.

There's enough light from a waning crescent moon to provide some distinction between grey and black where it manages to filter dim through ash-smeared windows, but not much more than that. No lamps lit to mark Flint's path when he slings his jacket carelessly over the back of a chair at his card table, cigarette embered orange to set off the chilly coyote flicker of his eyes on the twelfth floor.

Abigail's been here once. A long time ago, but she's swung by her once. It might account for why it took her so long to get here, dodging patrols, slinking through the city with her hiking pack and a sleeping bag. She's not as good at seeing as him in the middle of the night. It would be easier if she switched forms, but then, if she did that, it would be a blatant signal that there's someone here, please come investigate.

Joseph had spread the word that there was someone here. Flint was here. It was hotel california or the GCT and while she didn't mind stumbling around in extremely low light, pitch black is worse when you have no flashlight. So it's hardly surprising when there's as cuff of feet, thud, a missed step and a curse as Abby stumbles and cracks a knee against some steps, announcing her presence. Unintentionally.

Deckard's long face swivels smooth over his shoulders, focus shuttered shrill after the tell-tale bump and muffle of an intruder in the stairwell. Otherwise alone, he's quick to loosen the length of his revolver from its cold rest at the small of his back, whiskey stink not so strong about him that he hooks his forefinger through the trigger guard.

Shotgun hooked up off the table into his left hand after a fleeting second thought, he sidesteps silently for the propped-open door at the top of that twelfth flight. The skeleton in there's a flight or two too far down to make out easily through interference, so.

He starts down, a single stir of silt the only warning of his incoming presence until he's at the top of Abby's flight, tall and lean and armed quietly to the teeth.

One palm out on a step, used to steady herself, skull peering uuuup and the rest of her all sorts of awkward angles of thigh bones, ribs, you name it. Not generally someone that he wants to see there. Maybe. Possibly. If he switched back to general viewing for his pleasure, he'd see a sheepish and tired look on the brunette's other fairly unhappy face. She's done a lot of walking tonight. Bruising a shin wasn't on her menu for the night. "Please tell me you can make hot drinks here Flint." It is Flint right? It's dark, what can she say. Please be Flint.

Foggy breath mingled with cigarette smoke smears a tenuous screen across the unholy blue of Deckard's eyes, but it's definitely him. All hardened angles and lengths looking down his nose at her until uneasiness settles him deeper back onto one bootheel. Not really an invitation, but in the neighborhood of allowance. Or tolerance. Or…something he can't be pressed to quantify under the circumstances.

"I have a stove if you want to make coffee," is an affirmative, anyway, metered quietly out when he turns to climb back up to his floor.

"I want coffee" This is going to be awkward. "Flint, I can go find the GCT tunnel, if you like, I don't have to stay here. It's not too late for me. I just wanted to make sure you were okay. That you made it through and if there were any supplies that you needed. I'll be heading back to the island at some point with lists of necessaries.." She's straightened herself up, dusted herself off and is trudging her way up the rest of the way.

"I can keep the place warm, while I'm here"

It already is awkward.

Progress deliberately slow in a kind've dragging, reluctant way lest she tumble all the way back down the stairs again without him noticing, Flint leads the way in grim silence. He didn't bring a flashlight because he doesn't need one, overlarge ears flattened back from the rise of her voice after him. Discomfort needled in under his hide too deep to easily shake.

"It's dark," is a reasonable observation to make. It's dark. They're in Midtown. There is no police presence and people know it. "You shouldn't leave."

He forgets that she can turn into fire. Through one little needle, god made her into a self rescuing princess that no one will ever want to touch.

Okay, well most people won't want to touch. "Just point me to the stove. I brought my own food" A corner store for a time card and some sandwiches of doubtful age, chips and some energy drinks. She'll probably eat that all up and more, to compensate for the meager portions on the island. 'Then I'll go find some corner to sleep. I brought a sleeping bag. I'll be heading elsewhere for tomorrow night Flint. I just thought I would have a hard time getting into redbird and I don't know if there's anything at the library still or not" blah. Blah, blah, blah. Likely how it all comes out.

"How are you?" The ring is gone, nowhere to be seen, but for that matter so is the rest of her jewelry, and sometime, when he deigns to go to normal vision, he'll see the change in hair. The blue eyes.

Flint probably didn't forget, for all that his limited awareness of the phenomenon of her self-described fire form is as full of holes as it is difficult to believe. He hasn't actually seen it happen yet, and hasn't asked any questions about it either. It's one of those things that happened after she left and everything went bad.

Revolver holstered and shotgun slung back down onto the card table in passing, he continues on for a chained and locked off office that he has to wrest a key into to shoulder open.

A few seconds later he drags out a portable propane tank and stove, valve loosened on the former so that he can light up the latter and provid the open floor with a volcanic red glow to counter midnight blue. "The same," eventually muttered in vague answer, he slouches back into his seat at the table and sees about pouring himself a fresh drink.

With luck, he'll never actually have to see it. She won't go off on him like she did poor Howard. Or nearly did on Cat. Abigail's quick to lay her stuff out in another area, away from him, arranging things to give herself some privacy and yet still be able to see him should she go about to sleeping. Though not right now.

Right now, she's standing off to the side, hands in her pockets, jacket discarded, comfortable warmth coming off of her as she waits for him to set up the stove. She could fumble her way through it, they're fairly intuitive, but it's one of those times when sometimes, it's a matter of pride than anything else. There's water, there's coffee, somewhere, she'll find it, and with a minimum of silence, leaving him to the quiet that he cherishes, that she knows he cherishes from time spent with him.

She disappears into the storage room to forage, fingers lift this, lift that, looking and peering till she finds all that she's hoping to find, that she'll actually need before she's back out.

Down by the stove, it's time to wait, watch water boil, even pick up a tin cup and hold it out in the hopes that he might share a few mouthfuls of the alcohol.

There are flashlights in there as well — heavy, industrial things that run for hours and can survive rolls down stairs and through holes in the dusty floor. If she needs one he trusts her to collect it herself, keys discarded somewhere midway between here and there to be collected when he feels like getting up to re-lock it.

First cigarette snuffed out into a tray already thick with ash, he lights up another before the original ember's gone all the way out, knuckles bleached and jaw clamped hollow with ill-suppressed tension. Plenty to smoke and plenty to drink and he still doesn't seem likely to relax enough to look over after her until the tin cup is pushed white into the edge of his peripheral vision and he stares sideways after it for a beat before recognizing what it's there for.

And. Once that beat's expired, he reaches for the open brace of his bottle to tip it over in silent cooperation. More than a few mouthfuls, because if you're going to drink, you might as well get drunk.

Getting drunk isn't good, and she can't just pull back the cup when he's poured enough for her liking. She's his guest, regardless that it's a ferry safehouse and is technically open for any who want to risk being in the care and under the auspices of a former government agent no matter how questionable that really was.

"Thank you" A quiet murmur, movement of her jawbone as she cranes her head to look out the window as if by doing so, it might relay unto her the same evolved ability and to see what it is that he's looking at. Besides steel girders and cement walls. Tune in a little radio on low and it might actually suffice to be a stand in for camping. "Guess you won't be tossing a scorpion on me this time" A lame attempt at a joke.

Former government agent, former murderer, former bogeyman, former healer, former arms dealer and informant. Deckard's resume is approximately as fucked up as the rest of him, which probably has to do with why he's long since stopped bothering about trying to find work to keep himself occupied. Under an alias or otherwise.

Her attempt at a joke is received but not well received, his sense of humor decidedly damp to match the sweat dark at his collar and cold between his shoulderblades. He looks at her the way dogs look at people when they know they're being laughed at, brows tilted and face long.

That is a mighty long sip at the alcohol in the cup as if by keeping her mouth busy, or full, she might cease opening her mouth and alienating yet more people than she already has today. Burned one, not Deckards giving her the look and in go the shoulders, they curl around her cup in as much as shoulders actually do such and skull dips down, as if the contents of the cup in the dim light from the stove as it chugs away at heating up liquid might reveal something important.

It just reveals that she has got a lot more alcohol still to consume and that quite possibly she should have sought out other places to sleep. "sorry" muffled by the cup, a glance to the pot as if willing it to boil faster so she can add it to the cup with some instant coffee and retreat to her corner. "I uh, I need to know if there's any medical supplies here, particularly any vaccinations for the evo-flu or flu vaccinations that might have gotten stored" Get the business part of it all over with.

The pot will boil as slowly as is physically possible, as pots do.

Just like Deckard will sit quietly and try to sort out the specific details from the memory she's referencing, the corners of his mouth turned down into a frown that is more distracted than resentful after the initial sting.

"S'fine," dismissed too automatically, he shakes himself out've it enough to notch his smoke down into the edge of his ash tray so that he can take a longer drink to mirror hers. And then — another. Because the first one wasn't enough. "I have basic first aid. Bandages. Disinfectant. Cold packs. A few epipens. Penicillin." Not a very long list, but the Hotel California's more about getting by on the bare minimum than triage or. Comfortable living.

The pot will boil as slowly as is physically possible, as pots do.

Just like Deckard will sit quietly and try to sort out the specific details from the memory she's referencing, the corners of his mouth turned down into a frown that is more distracted than resentful after the initial sting.

"S'fine," dismissed too automatically, he shakes himself out've it enough to notch his smoke down into the edge of his ash tray so that he can take a longer drink to mirror hers. And then — another. Because the first one wasn't enough. "I have basic first aid. Bandages. Disinfectant. Cold packs. A few epipens. Penicillin." Not a very long list, but the Hotel California's more about getting by on the bare minimum than triage or. Comfortable living.

"I'll go over the stuff, in daylight. If there's anything that you want here, just write it down, I'll…you know, bring it to the suppliers" Repeating what she's already said. She'd rather be at home, in a warm bed, in a warm apartment with her cat, dog, turtle, husband. She's grateful at least that there's someone here. Someone she knows.

The tin cup with it's hard liquor is tipped back, gulping down the rest to make a warm pit in her stomach, just enough left to lace the coffee, not intending to impede on his reserves. Settle it down by the jar of instant stuff that holds no flame to her preferred brew but beggars can't be choosers. In her bag is an ipod, the little solar charger having been used to oh so slowly charge it up and she turns to get it out, dig through her pack. "Just ignore, that I'm here Flint. Thank you, again" For not shooting her on sight. For not running at the sight of her.

She unwinds the earbuds, slipping one in, volume low so as to be unheard by anyone without the headphones in their ears, a glance to the pot as it finally starts to boil the small amount of water. Mercifully this means she'll retreat the her corner, leave him alone in the big puddle of neck deep akward that she's put them both in.

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