On The Muppet Show Tonight


deckard_icon.gif niles_icon.gif

Scene Title On The Muppet Show Tonight
Synopsis Deckard needs a purpose and Niles needs a place to stay. What a crazy random happenstance!
Date May 15, 2009

The Lighthouse

At a distance, Brian's Lighthouse is a great grey mass in the damp murk of early morning fog. Closer to the beach, a more active breeze whisks clinging moisture from the brush of the incoming tide, but here, just a little further inland, everything is tall grass and dead air. Tall grass, dead air, and the muted orange glow of a cigarette while Deckard tries to grind a slimy piece of gum off the heel of his boot and into the sandy earth. "Fghh," is what he has to say about his progress so far. Probably because he's not making much of it.

Tall and lean, scruffy and shielded from the fog's sinking chill by a brown leather jacket that looks about as worn out as he is, he's at least twice as old as anyone else currently residing at this place. A distinction he'd probably rather not have.

Young Niles isn't really sure why he decided to make the trek to Staten. The man who told him to come here was also the man who previously had him locked up in a cargo container. Then again, he was also likely responsible for his break-out from the Company.

None of it makes much sense to the young Brit. Who is he? No one, he imagines. Just some kid from the trailer farm who happens to have a dangerous power. Yet someone went to a lot of trouble to bust him out of Level 5, then told him to come here. It's not like he has anywhere else to go. The broken nose and black eye he's sporting is courtesy of Gio - a man who used to be a friend. The only reason the Italian didn't kill him was because Aria intervened and he's clearly not his older counterpart. They didn't tell him why they suddenly hate him, just that they didn't want him around anymore.

The tall, slim young man makes his way up towards the Lighthouse, an old pack slung over his shoulder. Aria and Gio did him the courtesy of allowing him to collect a few of his things from his old trailer. He had to rob a guy to get money for passage to the island. He looks bedraggled, beaten-down and deathly pale.

"Fucking…come on." What are they making gum out of these days? This shit is like melted rubber. Something. If he ever figures out which one of the little bastards keeps spitting it out onto the walk around back…

A deeper drag on the cigarette does little to alleviate his annoyance. Just burns the thing up faster in the corner of his mouth, a thought marked with an irritable rankle at the bridge of his nose. Not much of a morning person, evidently.

Left hand reached up to scuff at an itch on the back of his grizzled head, he half turns, opens his mouth to yawn, and promptly freezes. The dull black of paired sunglass lenses is fixed firmly on Niles' approach, hazy smoke lifting through heavier fog on a gruff exhalation before he looks down at his watch.

Niles catches sight of the smoky profile of the older man as he picks his way up towards the lighthouse. "Excuse me?" His voice carries easily, magnified by the fog. "I'm looking for a man called Deckard."

Which might be enough to spook him. He might look harmless, being pale and beaten as he is, but you only need to be in the city a few weeks to know that danger can't be judged by looks alone. "The Ferrymen sent me." That is what Edward told him to say. It's not the truth, of course.

Paranoia is indeed an increasingly instinctive reaction to the sound of his name in an unfamiliar voice projected forth from an unfamiliar skull. Flint stiffens, shoulders lifting out of their drowsy slope while he looks the younger man over more closely. Guns, knives, shanks, unusual piercings. If they're there, he's going to see them.

Mention of the Ferrymen disarms him. Or at least, it catches him off guard, that bristled rigidity lost quickly to pliable uncertainty. "What, seriously?" Seriously seriously? The Ferry sent him? There's an awkward pause where it's not quite clear if he's simply baffled or actually expecting an answer, then:

"Do we need to leave now?"

There's nothing on Niles' person that's metal save his belt buckle and a money clip tucked in his back pocket. No gun either. Though he'd feel better if he had one. Overconfidence in his power is what allowed the Company to get their hands on him to begin with.

He looks a bit surprised at Deckard's question, then he blinks. "The people who are searching for me, well, I doubt they'd come for me here. This is a no-man's land, right?" Aside from the murdering people (which happened months ago and could technically be considered to be a result of a lack of control over his ability) he is a legitimate Ferryman protectee.

He looks Deckard square in the face, shifts uncomfortably, then turns his head and lifts up his hair. There, like a pair of tiny black scratches is the mark. He's not sure that will mean anything to Deckard, but it's worth a shot.

At closer range, Deckard stinks about you'd expect him to from looks alone. Cigarettes and whiskey, whiskey and cigarettes. How he's managed to acquire such an air this early in the morning is a good question. Probably has to do with his bed being saturated with the same stale stench.

"Dunno. Depends who's looking." Slouching exhaustion shaken off more effectively than the moisture curling at his hair and weighing at his coat, he tugs his sunglasses down off his nose to better see what Niles is trying to show him on his neck. His brows knit in an unsatisfyingly dumb fashion — no recognition or realization there. "Wha — s'it supposed to be a quotation mark?" His jaw sets out of its slack once he's shaken that off too. Weird kid. Whatever. The Ferry sent him. If he were capable of being excited about anything, it might be shining in his pale eyes just the least pathetic bit. "Cops hang out further down the island sometimes, trying to blend. You're probably okay here for a day or two, but you're on an island full of kids and crooks. And they all like to talk."

It's hard to lie when you don't know much about the thing you're pretending to be. In retrospect, Niles should have asked more questions of Edward. But he didn't anticipate his old gang would shun him and he'd be forced on to plan B. It's a good thing his swollen face and broken nose makes his expression hard to read.

"Never mind." He straightens up and lets the hair fall back down again, covering it up. If Deckard doesn't know what it is, there's no use explaining it. He doesn't know what it is. All he knows is that he didn't have it before the Company grabbed them. "So. What do I do?"

"If they sent you to me," Deckard trails off, distracted by the mess someone's made of Niles's face, rather as if he didn't see it there before. "We should probably head to Midtown." That same squinty, speculative look turns over into something more like skepticism when it sweeps down to the kid's feet, then back up again. "Ever been camping?"

He doesn't sound all that hopeful.

He doesn't wait for an answer either, already turning back for the front door of the Lighthouse. "You can eat here and rest up while I get my crap together. There are frozen peas. Y'know, if you want to put them on your face."

Suddenly Niles is getting a creepy vibe off of Deckard. Even creepier than a guy hanging out at an orphanage smelling of booze, so that's saying something. "Midtown? What does it mean that they've sent me to you? Is that some kind of code or something?" His face is too swollen to clearly reveal the fact that he's giving the man the stink eye. Every way he eyeballs someone looks a bit stinky right now.

Deckard may not be able to see the stink eye, but he can hear it in Niles's voice. It's something he hears a lot of.

He pauses and turns back before he reaches the door, shoulders gradually reassuming their previous angle. It's really early, and he's starting to feel a little confused, like maybe this is some kind of code or something and nobody's gotten around to telling him what it is. Was there a study guide? Maybe he got drunk and forgot about it. The icy drill of his glare wanders off sideways for a few seconds.

"One of them thinks you need to hide. The only place I have control over is in Midtown. …Did they not tell you, or…?" It's a hesitant question, made moreso by the uncertain tip of his brows.

"Look, the only thing I was told is that if I wanted help staying away from the people who were after me was to come and find a man named Deckard and say they Ferrymen sent me. That is all I know." Which, hilariously, is the truth. Niles has no idea that the man who told him to come here is the mastermind behind a plot to change the future via time travel.

"Which means I've not got a lot of choice but to trust you. So…" He exhales and lets his shoulders drop. He puts a hand to his face, but winces when the touch aggravates his swollen eye. "Do you have any aspirin?"

"Huh." Yeah, that's all Deckard can think to say about a situation wherein someone is told mysterious people are after them and they have to go find some scruffy drunk guy if they want help staying away from them. Huh. Then again, his life is a train wreck and he's met Hana, so. His brows re-assume a more assertive knit.

The nod that follows is also more sure of itself, and he turns once more to open the Lighthouse door. "We have Fruit Loops, Lucky Charms, and a toaster. Also bacon, if you feel like cooking. I think Brian threw the eggs out again." Blah blah blah. His voice fades as he passes in through the entranceway, expectant that Niles will follow. "Aspirin's over here."

It's strange to be here. Niles lost gang members to the Lighthouse. Not surprisingly, hanging out here was seen as a better option to many than thieving and operating out of the trailer farm. Now, here he is, about to eat their Fruit Loops. Fate's a funny thing.

The young Brit shifts his bag off his shoulder and carries it as he follows behind Deckard. He grabs for the aspirin as it's pointed out and pops a handful. Probably the recommended daily dose in one handful, but his face is killing him. "It would have been easier for me to meet you in Midtown. I gave every cent I had to a grizzled man called Tribeca who was missing half his fingers to get over here in the first place."

"You spend a lot of time in Midtown?" For all that Deckard tries to make it an earnest question, skepticism creeps in again while he tracks around the kitchen flipping open cabinets and drawing out drawers. Cereal here, bread there, bowls, spoons. And yes, aspirin. There aren't many left in the bottle, probably owing to the man who's already so familiar with where they're stored.

"Did they say anything about how long you need to stay off the map?" So far the Ferrymen are sounding kind of dickishly short on details, here.

Niles digs into the loaf of bread and pulls out a slice. He pokes around until he finds some peanut butter and slathers a generous amount on top of it. "I don't know. I'm not exactly used to dealing with shady government organizations who kidnap people." He folds the piece of bread in half and takes bites. Yes, he's damned hungry.

He watches Deckard as he chews. Peanut butter gums up his mouth for a few minutes so he has an excuse not to talk right away and to give some thought to what he has to say. "Listen. I don't want anyone to get any heat on them because of me." A touch of nobility. A trait he'll lose in the next ten years if the future hasn't already been completely altered. "I'm sure I can lay low here. I'll be fine. I'm not unfamiliar with the art of fending for myself."

Deckard is still smoking. He realizes this when an alarm overhead gives a shrill warning beep, prompting him to lean over to stub his cigarette out into the sink. Whupsie.

"Kid, I've had heat on me for the past four months. I'm not getting any hotter." A flick of his wrist starts and stops the faucet, rinsing evidence of his rule-breaking neatly down the drain. Unfortunately, the cigarette smell is inclined to linger. Yet another cabinet is opened; this time Lysol comes out of it.

"Looks to me like you're mostly familiar with the art of getting hit in the face." Not one to talk, Deckard looks hale and healthy enough at the moment, eyes clear and face (mostly) free of scarring when he glances back over his shoulder after Niles. "I can get us off the island. A couple've guys owe me favors. Who sent you over here?"

Niles winces at the sound of the fire alarm. The shrill sound rattles the bruised bones in his face. Ugh. Doesn't help the headache. "Didn't give me his name. Had glasses. Kinda buggy eyes." He shoves the bit of peanut butter coated bread into his mouth, then fishes around for a cup to get himself a glass of water to rinse it down with. He lets his pack slide to the floor.

Might as well be straight with this guy. As far as he knows, he hasn't actually done anything wrong. Lately.

"Glasses and buggy eyes," Deckard repeats at a mutter. Saying it aloud again doesn't actually help ring any bells. Then again, there aren't many of them that he's actually met. "Did he give you a phone?" Lysol is sprayed out in a wide arc over his head, then tossed lazily back into the cabinet. It helps. A little.

Right hand scuffed up over the bristle at his jaw, Deckard turns to settle himself back against the counter when the hour starts to creep up on him again. Maybe he should try to get a nap too. "If you really want to stay here on Staten I could probably find a place for you. There's plenty of unoccupied territory along the boardwalk."

"To be perfectly honest, I have no idea how hard they'll search for me. If I keep my head down, maybe I'll drop down their priority list." Oh, if only Niles knew. Well, one Niles Wight knows. "It seems a smarter thing to do to stay somewhere where the cops don't patrol. At least for the time being." As to the phone, the young Brit shakes his head. "No. Just some cash."

He finishes off his peanut butter bread and hops up on the counter. "I'm Niles. In case you're interested."

Oh. Right. Names. Deckard blinks hard, a private curse written coarse into his brow and a clench at his jaw. Stupid thing to forget.

"Ah, yeah. Niles. Sorry. Just." Didn't cross his mind. He doesn't actually sound all that sorry, either. Too busy being exasperated at himself maybe. "I'm Flint." Should he offer to shake his hand or something? Further insecurity leads to yet another awkward pause. "There are no cops in Midtown. Not any sane ones, anyway. We can start there. I'll ask a couple of the older kids here to keep an ear out here — see if anyone's asking about you."

There's a pensive moment while Niles studies the older man. He scratches the side of his cheek on an uninjured bit of jaw. "Why do you do this, Flint? You lose a kid in the explosion? No offense but…" He lifts a shoulder, "You don't look like a guy who's got very much. Why bother helping someone like me?"

Anyone who's met his older counterpart would easily see what a difference ten years in prison made on his life and his personality. Sure, he's been illegally imprisoned for six weeks, but that's a far cry from ten years.

"No kids," isn't actually an answer to the question Niles is asking. Deckard is uneasy in his section of counter space, blue eyes fixed at the far join of wall and floor. "I owe a few favors." Which is an answer, just. Not a very convincing one, or one that lines up with the energy his interest initially inspired in him.

His jaw works, his nose rankles, and up he goes away from the counter to swing closed one of the cabinet doors that's still hanging open. "There are two or three empty beds upstairs if you want to get some rest before we head out. How long has it been since you slept?"

"I did plenty of sleeping when I was locked up in a five by five cell and then a cargo container that wasn't much bigger. I can handle staying up for more than twelve hours." Niles scratches the side of his head. "What I could use is a shower, though." He slides down off the counter. "Is that all right?" He tugs up the side of his pants. They're too loose, and they're his. Funny. But he'd be glad to know that at least he grows out of the beanpole stage at some point.

"Cargo container." That's a new one. Brows tipped up in hazy acknowledgement of the crappiness of such means of transport, Deckard meanders a few idle steps away before he turns back again. "I spent a week in a cage in the bottom of a cargo ship. So we have that in common." Destined to be BFFs? MAYBE.

Alternately, maybe Edward is a huge dick.

"You can use mine, off the basement. If you keep the decor to yourself. And don't touch anything."
Ah, but which Edward is the bigger dick? Probably the future version who is likely to kill himself, if he hasn't already. "I've had enough of being locked away for a good long while," says Niles with a sound very much like a whuff. He nods to Deckard. "Thank you. I appreciate it." He starts to step that way, then stops and glances over his shoulder. "If…you are ever in need of someone who can discretely gather information…" He lets that hang as he starts off in the direction of the basement. He can't smell himself, but he's sure it's not pleasant.

Deckard shrugs in the face of thanks, which is — probably not surprising. "There's deodorant under the sink," may qualify as a weak, 'you're welcome.' In some different world and/or dimension. "I'll keep you in mind if you manage not to get crammed into another cargo container for long enough." When Niles starts for the basement, he intercepts just enough to hook a key into the padlock at the door. Once it's open and the kid is down the steps, he levers himself in to follow.

Not because he's a perv (although he is) but because the 'decor' he mentioned takes the form of many, many guns mounted on the walls and stacked into racks beneath that. Shotguns, rifles, machine guns, revolvers, semi-automatics. Etc, etc. The gang's all there. Other highlights include empty bottles of whiskey, dirty clothes, and old porno mags. At least the bathroom is clean.

"Well," says Niles when faced with the mass of armaments. "…this…answers one of my questions. Which is if you knew where I might find a gun." He walks around the perimeter, eyes skipping from weapon to weapon with, well, the appreciation of a twenty-one year old street rat.

He sets his pack down just inside the door and glances back to Deckard. "Seems a little dangerous to keep these near the children, don't you think?" His lips twist into a wry grin, then he tugs off his shirt and closes the door to the bathroom. Briefly, Deckard gets a look at just how pale the poor kid is. He's sickly white and has a few old scars that stand out in stark relief. But the door closes soon after.

Down the stairs and to the left, Deckard shifts his own pack aside on his cot so that he has space to drop himself down onto it. The comment about guns and children and how it's probably not a great combo gets a lifted brow, but not much more than that. The same brow stays lifted after the kid's pallor, but. It's a long way to the middle of midtown. They'll have plenty of time to talk and/or be awkwardly silent at each other later.

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