Neither Friend Nor Foe


abby_icon.gif brian_icon.gif deckard_icon.gif eileen_icon.gif tamara_icon.gif teo_icon.gif

Scene Title Neither Friend Nor Foe
Synopsis Abby, Brian and Deckard go out for a walk in the park and hot dogs. In addition to hot dogs, they find Eileen busking badly with some grackles. In return, all of them are discovered by Tamara and Teo. Abby is mad at Brian, Brian is mad at Abby, Deckard and Teo, and Eileen is mad at Phoenix. Lots of people are mad for various reasons. Much awkwardness ensues.
Date December 26, 2008

Central Park

It's a mildly snowy evening, having most dressed snugly. And the three who walk together most pointedly not arm in arm are no exception. Brian stands in the middle, a hot dog in his hand. He had attempted to buy all of them food. If only to keep one of them from talking, and the other.. well possibly from talking as well. This whole threesome date is an attempt at reconciliation, though Brian hasn't made any blatant attempts in speaking with Abby much this evening. And maybe he doesn't intend to. Though Deckard isn't given the same cold shoulder.

"So.. You think that was someone's ability or something? Making us do weird shit?" Another bite as the young man walks next to the older.

Cold air is waking the young woman up, post Hagan Abby's been drowsy despite the nap. The hot dog is untouched as of yet that Brian offered, a mustard packets content being squeezed just so onto hers. her breath coming out in puffs thanks to the cold air. She's not weighing in on the conversation so far, as she has not a clue what Brian's talking about. She's content to hover like some little electron around the nucleus that is Brian and Deckard.

"Me wanting to go into a strip club isn't actually that weird," Deckard notes fairly companionably in return. He is eating his hot dog, because he hasn't eaten today or because he has the munchies or because he doesn't care what's in it or all of the above. He trudges along at a fair pace, long strides making up for their sluggish rate against the drag of muddy slush at his heels. Occasional glances are sent Abbywards, but he makes no comment on her silence.

Evening in Central Park — especially during the winter when the trees are encased in frost and snow — is a quiet time of day. Slivers of rose-hued light slip through the skeletal limbs overhead, creating long, spindly shadows that twist and snake across the pathway unfolding in front of the trio. Somewhere up ahead, the sound of an untuned violin, shrill and crackling, drifts upwards, as thin and brittle as the dead leaves crunching underfoot.

"Leaving weapons in broad daylight is kinda weird." Brian says, eyeing the man out of the corner of his eye. He won't say anything or even glance Abbyward unless she talks to him or starts doing something intriguing. But right now she is not doing a hullahoop while balancing on a ball, so Brian's eyes are on Deckard. And then on the path ahead. "Wow. That's an unfortunate noise."

"No, it's beautiful, in a broken way" Abby counters. Then, tucking the mustard packet into a napkin, wrapped and slipped into her pocket, she slips around the two. A bump of her hip to Brian, she's following the sound of the music, Hot dog in gloved hand giving off a little bit of steam as she goes. "Might be someone playing for money" Like a rat to the pied piper.

Head tilted in lazy acknowledgement of the weirdness of leaving AK-47s to bask out in the afternoon gloom in the middle of Brooklyn, Deckard masticates his way through an overlarge bite of hotdog, possibly with intent to give Abby room to have an opinion. Only she's more interested in the violin. His brows knit against the same shrill song, the light of his eyes against the deep shadows drawn long around his face is nearly automatic. "Sounds like a pterodactyl shitting a porcupine."

It doesn't take Abby long to reach the source of the stringed caterwauling. Standing on the rocky outcropping at the base of the famous Balto statue is a slim, dark-haired silhouette whose pale skin glows faintly in the fading light. Contrary to the fey appearance a prettier, healthier woman might inspire, the violinist's face is coated in a slick layer of sweat, its pallor flat, thick curls of raven black hair plastered to her cheeks and forehead. Eileen Ruskin does not look well, but that's probably not that much of a surprise considering the unfortunate sequence of events that brought her here.

"How long did it take you to think of that?" He asks in disbelief, glaring over at him after taking another bite. Then he glances over to Abby. "Okay.. I know girls say shit like that in movies, to make them unique or whatever, but it still isn't a pretty sound. Broken, I'll give it to you. But no one wants to listen to broken." He mutters, giving a dismissive shake of his head. Though he goes to follow Abby anyway, getting to half of the hot dog.

"Depends upon the kind of broken" Abby calls back. She knows the woman. Eileen. Birds Eileen. Cohort of the guy who tried to chop open her head the other night. With intent, Abby steps Eileen's way, one hand holding the dog, the other jammed in her pocket. Her purse slung over a shoulder, she makes her way over to Eileen, ensuring that she does so, in full sight of the woman, just out of touch range. "Hello Eileen" Even as she says those words, she's habitually looking over the girl, injuries, hurts, wounds.

"Two seconds," says Deckard. He didn't have to google how to spell it. The majority of his own hotdog already on its merry way to indigestion, he watches Abigail's progress towards another small skeleton ahead — the latter armed with the violin that's causing so much stir. The closer he gets, the deeper the furrow in his brow, until he's drawn out into the clear some distance behind Abigail but in direct line of sight of Eileen and Balto and he's forgotten he's holding a hotdog at all. Eyes glowing dim in their hollow sockets, he just kind of stares.

Eileen's chin lifts and, slowly, the violin slides off her shoulder to hang loosely at her side along with her arm. Although she doesn't immediately recognize the blonde's voice, her face is a little easier to identify. Apart from the mottled patches on her face where her broken nose is in the process of healing on its own, she appears to be in fair physical condition. Her current mental state: iffier. Anger ignites in her gray-green eyes when she sees Deckard and Brian following closely at Abby's heels, though she does not budge from her perch by the statue. Instead, she blows out a short, imperious snort through her nostrils and bends over to begin packing up the leather case at her feet. "Sod off."

Brian's remaining hot dog slips out of his bun and onto the cold ground. His lips tighten a little bit, as he looks over to Abby and gives a huge sigh. "Abby." He says most similar to the same way a dog owner says, 'heel'. He glances over to Deckard. "Maybe you should get Abby out of here." He says much more softly. "Her friends could be around." He suggests to the older man.

"I've already met Sylar Brian. If he was with her, I'd be sacrificed like Jesus and he'd be trying to take my faith again" It's a soft rebuke, a glance over her shoulder to Brian and then back to Eileen. "Can I fix it? Your nose?" That's Abby's reply to the who rebuff. "I can understand if you want to tell me to… sod.. offf" that's a bad word, right? "Just.. Would you let me fix your nose. I know how much those hurt, and how I wished I didn't have that hurt. I wasn't able to do it before I got kidnapped, and you had been returned before I could visit and take care of it" She stayed out of arms reach of the woman. Not that it meant she was out of danger. Birds and all.

"Where are they now? Still trying to drag their cellos throught he snow?" The angle of Deckard's brows takes on a skeptical tilt, but he doesn't actually look away from Eileen to bother with giving Brian a Look. The rigidity in his spine and shoulders shivers taut with adrenaline, and Abby's mention of having played pattycake with Sylar once before already earns a hard blink. What.

At Brian's mention of her friends, Eileen lets out a hollow cough of laughter and shakes her head, throat contracting as she swallows to keep more from bubbling roughly up. "No," she agrees with Abby, "no Sylar." Her voice is raw, coarse. Too many cigarattes in too short a time, or maybe she's coming down with the bug that's been going around — the yellow stains on her fingers and the sweetly strident stench of tobacco mingling with the alcohol on her breath suggest the latter. "Don't know where he is. Don't know where the others are. Don't care." Violin stowed, she claps the case shut and fastens the latches into the locked position with two quick snaps. "And I like my nose just the way it is, thanks."

"Abby, do you remember what happened last time you didn't listen to me?!" He gives her an exasperated look. Something is growled under his breath. That rhymes with we fizz zo thumb.Then he looks back to Deckard. "They can become smoke and blink around town, retard." Brian says angrily at the man. Then he looks back at Abby. "Abby, come on." He says again. Though then he realizes what she was talking about. Sylar… He shakes his head. That question can come later.

She doens't like being rebuked in front of others. Ordered around. Eileen can see it, in the pulling down of Abby's brow, the frown and set of her lips. "Was.. nice to see you again Eileen. Feed the birds for me will you? I haven't had time lately" too busy healing everyone and working. "Want my hot dog? Before it gets cold?" It's held out, waiting for Eileen to take it, likely not, or if she doesn't, to turn around and go back to her spot behind Brian and Deckard like some scolded little golden retriever.

"She's been drinking," Deckard observes at a remove while Eileen packs up her violin, having some personal familiarity with the signs and symptoms. There is a pause, then, while he stands there and is unhelpful all around, cold eyes sketching nimbly over the fault lines in the bird girl's face. Then, then he turns to Brian. "How did you know it was her?"

Somewhere in the trees, feathers rustle and a flock of grackles — amber-eyed, glossy-winged and forty-odd individuals strong — makes its presence known by fluttering down several branches and adopting a collective perch closer to the statue, closer to Eileen. No ravens or pigeons today. The trio receives a reproachful look, but the birds do not attack. "No," she says to the youngest of the three, "but they might."

"We're pretty much best friends." Brian says wryly, as Abby goes to walk away from Eileen. He turns just a bit to address Abby. "Thank you Abby." He says hushedly, before taking two steps forward to Eileen. He looks behind him, jerking with his head for him to take Abby and start walking away. "I'll be right there." Then he looks back to Eileen. His eyes going up warily to the birds. Then his eyes go back to hers, a sympathetic look crossing his face. "They could find you out here." He says softly, followed by, "I did what you asked."

"Then they'll get a hot dog" She tosses it off to the side, away from Brian and from Eileen. A sullen look to Brian before the younger woman just shakes her head. 'Come on Mike. Take my leash, lead me away. Was nice to see you Eileen" The blonde waits then, for Deckard and the proverbial imaginary leash. She's tired, and not in a mood to argue.

There is a problem. The problem is that Abby is a good dog, but Deckard is a grizzled old mutt who eats shoes and pisses on the carpet and thinks Brian is kind of dumb. He stays where he is, disinclined to move past a cursory glance over Abby to make sure Eileen didn't explode any of her organs with evil mindpowers or anything. "I didn't know you were into bondage." That was to Abby. We hope.

"They being?" Eileen asks Brian as she picks up her violin case, handfuls of coins and tattered dollar bills banging noisily around in one of the velvet-lined compartments. There are a lot people he could be referring to: other members of Phoenix, Homeland Security, the police, Vanguard. None of those options are particularly appealing, though she'll readily admit some are worse than others. In the end, she brushes off his concerns with a half-shrug, seeming to agree with Abby's cavalier assessment of the situation.

There aren't a lot of things Teo would brave snow for. They just happen to repeat themselves in the context of his life a lot. Abby's notes on the fridge, Alexander getting tangled up in his IV, the library's generator crapping out because someone forgot to clean, and the tingling pain of the beginnings of what felt like actual starvation. It's the formermost item that brings him out to the park on the evening of Boxing Day. Whether because of the casual nature of the note or because he was trying on a little solitude, he doesn't call ahead. Walks steady, his boots quiet in the snow.

"Alexander, or Teo. You know, they." Brian says with a little frown. Then he looks over his shoulder to Deckard, giving a sigh. "You are such a dick, Dickard." Brian says with aggitation. Then he looks back to Eileen. His eyes tick down to the case then back to her. "It sounds broke." And with that he starts to back up, to go with Abby and Deckard.

'There's a difference between broken and out of Tune and no Brian, he's not. He's being Deckard. Your being the dick, ordering me around. We had this conversation before" Abby mutters from her spot. "Do you have a place to stay Eileen, and really, i'll fix your nose, no strings attached, nothing" Abby switches to the other side of Deckard, away from Brian.

Unlike Teo, Tamara has no particular objections to snow. Or… much of anything weather-like, for that matter. Dressed in a crimson sweater, a middling-violet scarf, and jeans whose black fabric has been liberally spotted with snow, the teenager skips down one of the paths, apparently employing just enough care to not collide with anyone else who happens to be using it at the time. She stops a short distance away from the little gathering, fingers toying absently with the fringe of her scarf as she studies the whole lot of them. "It wasn't," Tamara informs Brian. She looks curiously at Abby, and is careful not to watch Eileen too closely in the process.

Deckard, Dickard. Unphased past a mildly off-put knit between his brows, Deckard takes another bite of his hotdog. He chews it slowly through the Abby-Brian exchange, all the way up until Fulk makes it back to their merry little band. "Are we friends with her now?" Voice muffled around hotdog, he swallows later than he should have, eyes trained on Eileen again after a quick glance to her grackles, and a less quick one at Tamara, who is unfamiliar. Somehow, somehow Teo is missed in all this, metal skull and all. There are a lot of thngs to look at. "She doesn't seem like she likes us very much."

Eileen visibly bristles at the name 'Alexander', less so at 'Teo'. "I like to think I'm capable of keeping my priorities straight," she tells Brian grimly, waiting until he's in the process of moving away before she steps down from the base of the statue onto the pavement. "What are they going to do? Dangle me upside-down by my toes and come after me with an ostrich feather? Threaten to tickle my nose?" Another snort, this one descending into a phlegmy snarl as she bites back a cough. "Which is worse, do you think?" she asks Deckard, pointedly ignoring Abby's question about whether or not she has a place to stay. "Being too nice- " Eileen jerks her head in Brian's direction. "-or being too dumb?" She hasn't noticed Tamara yet. Blame the gin.

There are no ostrich feathers on Teo's person, which might have been altogether easier to pick out of the evening pedestrian crowd than a bit of metal inside his face. He's busy being nondescript. A skill worth cultivating when you're in his line of work. His ears are freezing now. To verify that they are still attached, he puts his hands up on the sides of his head, notes the curve of cartlidge on the flat of his palm.

On autopilot, his hand roots for his pocket the instant he notices Eileen's silhouette. Change jingles in his fingers, extended obligingly toward the park musician, an instant before he sees the faces on the fronts of the backs that were turnd toward him. Tamara's kaleidoscope chase of color, Abby and Brian linked in Deckard's stilt-legged shadow. Eileen. His eyes close and open. "Buona sera."

A set of knuckles goes white as his fist clences incredibly hard. His gaze goes downcast as he tries his best to regain control. Rage sweeps over him, though the only response he makes is his eyes darting to Abby. Really, she's going to tell him there's a difference between broken and out of tune now. He then rolls his eyes and looks back to Deckard. Oddly enough it is this man who keeps him from totally flipping out. He looks up slowly at Deckard. "No, we're not." Then he turns around to Eileen, his brows narrowing. "Fuck this noise." He growls, stepping away from Deckard and Abby. Though Tamara is in his path. He's too annoyed to recognize her, so he simply maneuvers around her. Even in his rage he won't shoulder her, but go out of his way to dance around her even if it damages the credibility of his storm off. And then he see's Teo.

Teo's presence causes him to stop for a moment. Shit.

Abby just sighs. A mutter under her breath that only deckard hears because of his proximity. Tamara and Teo are boths potted, a nod of her head in greeting to both. She falls silent though, still feeling very much the whipped puppy, looking over to the tossed hotdog, to see if it's being devoured by the avian forms or not.

The precog contributes to Brian's maneuvers by stepping around him in turn, clearing the path for the replicator to depart. Not that he'll get far, what with the Sicilian's arrival and all, but she does get out of the way. And giggle at Teo's belated realization that he knows… well, everyone here, one hand hiding her mouth. "Hel-lo," the girl singsongs in return, face crinkling with amusement. After which Tamara leans down and scoops up a handful of snow, fingers automatically packing it into a sphere as she watches Eileen, expression now hesitantly curious.

"Nice people heal me and give me a place to live. Dumb people beat me up four on one and then electrocute me." The scanty remains of Deckard's hotdog bun are slung out of his napkin to the grackles. The napkin itself is tucked into his coat pocket. "So I guess it depends on whether or not me being in pain makes you happy. Personally, being me, I'd have to say terminal niceness is the lesser offense." A grating, black-lung chuckle is etched out for whatever Abby mutters, only to be swiftly silenced by the sound of familiar Italian. Deckard's head snaps around pretty quick at that, and he stiffens again. Kind of like Brian. Caught misbehaving.

Perhaps surprisingly, it isn't Teo's appearance that spooks Eileen. It's Tamara's. She notices them both at the same time, and anger quickly segues into guarded wariness. The last time she saw the teen, she was in the presence of Kazimir Volken; not knowing where Tamara's loyalties lie, she's eager to extract herself from the gathering before somebody else, somebody more volatile and dangerous, shows up. As she stands there, weighing her escape routes against one another, eyes moving from person to person, the flock of grackles — their enchantment broken in Eileen's moment of hesitation — finally descends on Abby's discarded hotdog in a flurry of black feathers gleaming navy blue at the edges.

It's not like Teo is anybody's mom. Half Deckard's age, only six years Brian's senior. He isn't entirely sure why either of the two men are going all poker-up-my-arse the way they are, and it warrants a slight furrow of his brow, before Abby's wordless salutation elicits a weak smile, Tamara a scowl with slightly more sincerity. She's always laughing at him. The little girls do. Only with the last face out of the four does Teo actually turn his head to look at her.

Prior, his attention had been divided between glancing through the trees and studying Eileen's face as she moved between fight and flight reflexes. After a moment, his hand full of spare change falls to his side. His stupefication doesn't wear off immediately. At length, he realizes it isn't going to at all, so he squares his shoulders like a proper soldier. "Can I talk to you some time?" he asks Eileen, finally.

Brian stares at teo for a moment. Finally he looks over his shoulder to Eileen, then back to Teo. He didn't get adressed, so he continues in his retreat from this awkward party. He departs.

Deckard's elbowed by Abby when he laughs. Gently. She's not into beating people up. "I should go. I got work. No matter how much I want to curl up and sleep some more. See you around Mike?" Tamara gets a smile, heartened to see the precog again. She hadn't seen her since they went looking at the apartment. "Hello Tamara"

Watching Eileen tally potential escape routes, Tamara's own guarded expression surrenders to a peculiarly wistful sympathy. "Don't be afraid," she says, softly, softly. There's a brief pause as she continues to regard the bird-speaker, and then the teen exhibits another mercurial mood shift and returns a smug grin for Teo's scowl. "Don't be too blue," she instructs him, as if that has anything to do with… anything. Her fingers break the snowball back into its constituent powder, which showers down onto the ground below. "That's the bird." Tamara probably doesn't really mean Pila — but who could say?

"Brian said she's not our friend," Deckard pipes up helpfully for Teo from the same post he's occupied for most of the scene, lurid eyes lit stark against the lanky assembly of angled components that comprise the whole of his height. Tamara gets a more appraising sideways look when Eileen focuses on her (Don't be afraid of what?), but his interest is interrupted by an elbow in his side.

Chin tipped down after Abby's imminent retreat, he flickers his eyes past Teo to check the span of park that stretches on behind them, sees only the retreating form of Brian, and nods.

The shadow of a larger, broader winged shape sweeping by overhead ultimately solidifies Eileen's decision, and she starts making her way toward one of the paths that leads out of Central Park. With the sky making the final transition from dark purple to black, she needs to be looking for somewhere dry and warm to spend the night rather than a different place to busk. Telling Eileen not to be afraid is like telling a rabbit not to bolt when the breeze carries with it the scent of the fox — or in this case, the shrill cry of a hawk. "Talk to Chesterfield," she advises Teo as she passes him, her voice low and hoarse, "if you haven't already."

There's either a lot of logic or none, in that Teo chose to address Phoenix's erstwhile prisoner and informant first. With the exception of Tamara, he locate the others with relative ease. Call them. Bang on a door, drag them to a bar. The mad little seer herself comes and goes like the wind, and he's doomed to as much success in calling on her as he does speaking to her, probably, so she's this whole other category of consternation-inducing: he squints at her.

Jerks his head up at Deckard, in what must be confirmation— that Eileen isn't their friend. Which might be why Eileen's leaving, beating a retreat in the opposite direction of Teo's roommate and the multiple man. His gaze snags momentarily on his friends, phasing pained for an instant, before he drops into a single stride after Eileen. He says, "I did." A quarter jingles against a few nickels caged in the cold-clumsy weave of his fingers. "Please."

This evening is just great. Eileen's fleeing, Brian's fled, Teo's chasing after Eileen, Tamara's playing with snow and Abby looks up at Deckard. Up on her toes she goes, a peck to his cheek as it's seeming to be normal, and then, with heavy sigh, starts heading in the direction she needs to go, opposite Eileen, so she can head to work.

Teo goes after Eileen, at which Tamara smiles, though odds are no one will see it. Then the seer turns away, shoes crunching in the snow as she heads out in yet another different direction, leaving them to their business.

Eileen does not acknowledge Teo's request. She continues on her way, gaze fixed straight ahead, violin case tucked under her arm. In the distance, the hawk completes a lazy circle around one of the park's gated exits, then disappears in the shadowy gap between two low buildings — her destination, inevitably.

No sense in pulling away, really. Abby'd probably get him anyway. Deckard just stands there, one eye squinted into a resigned wince while the deed is done. Then it seems like people are heading off in every direction, leaving Deckard with a lot of snow, a few straggling grackles, hot dog (two words) crumbs, and his own whiskey stink. He glowers at the birds, then up at the sky once his eyes have gone dull to check the light and find that there is a lot less than he thought.

December 26th: Seriously
December 26th: Friends in the Strangest Places
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