One Step Forward


abby4_icon.gif deckard3_icon.gif francois_icon.gif

Scene Title One Step Forward
Synopsis Three generations of healer meet in the flesh to repair some.
Date November 14, 2009

The Garden

Situated in a copse several miles away from the nearest stretch of asphalt, the Garden is accessible via an old dirt road that winds snakelike through the woods and dead-ends at the property's perimeter, which is surrounded by stone wall plastered with wicked coils of rusty barbed wire to keep would-be intruders from attempting to scale it. Those with a key can gain entry via the front gate.

The safehouse itself is a three-story brickwork cottage over a century old and covered in moss and ivy. It slants to one side, suggesting that the foundation has been steadily sinking into the wet earth; incidentally, this may be one of the reasons why its prior occupants never returned to the island to reclaim their property when government officials lifted evacuation orders and re-opened the Verrazano-Narrows shortly before its eventual destruction.

Inside, the cottage is decorated in mismatched antique furniture including a couch in the living room and an armchair nestled in the corner closest to the fireplace that go well with the safehouse's hardwood floors and the wood-burning stoves in some of the spare bedrooms. A heavy wooden table designed to seat eight separates the dining area from the rest of the kitchen, which is defined by its aged oak cabinetry and the dried wildflowers hanging above them.

Between the two women and others at the Garden, Francois was moved, cared for, tended to, stitched up temporarily, given the good drugs, and dressed in clothing appropriate for the climate and location then tucked into bed to elt the good drugs take him away into the quiet night.

The frenchman was sequestered away in a room, warm and comfortable, IV with blood having been set up to replenish what Volkens goons had opted to deplete him of and everyone waited. Waited for Flint, waited for answers as to who the dying - then - frenchman was that Hiro, Abby and Eileen had dragged out from wherever they had found him.

Feet up, arms loose around her legs and back in her own cold weather clothing, the pink curled woman waits for Flints arrival quietly. When he does come, when the one guy who occupies a great deal of her thoughts when it's not focused on school or the bar does arrive, she's quickly out of her chair and standing, hands sinking into the back pockets of her jeans.

"Hey. listen, before you say anything, do anything or get angry at me" because she's had him dragged out here to heal when she's sworn that she'd try to not impede on him in that manner. "There's a man in there, who really needs even just a little bit, of your help" There's a gesture to the door with her chin.

"His names Francois"

She waits a beat to judge his reaction. "We found Francois Allegre"

Before you say anything never bodes well, does it? Not having intended to say much of anything in the first place and still buzzy warm from whatever bar he got the call in, Deckard is forced to focus his attention on Abby with more effort than he really feels like summoning. Or get angry with me.

Funny. As soon as she says that, even without knowing what the situation is, he already looks a little like he's having to work not to be. Perplexed lines write themselves into the space between his brows and the slightest scimitar edge of a leering half-smile fades amidst the fuzzy furrows around his mouth. What did you do? is the silent question written all over his long face when he looks to the indicated door, and then back again more baffled than before.

A stiff, whiskey-tainted breath huffs out've its hold. He frowns; looks at the door again. Knits his brow still further. Does not compute.

Does not compute. Abigail stands there, looking very much like a girl standing outside the principals office, knowing that possibly what she did was wrong, and might get that tounge lashing from the other man. She's expecting a tongue lashing. "He's, he's hurt and needs your help. It's either this or a hospital and we don't have Sonny anymore and he has no ID so we can't drop him at a hospital. Hey, here's a guy from nineteen ninety-four with a stab wound to his belly. We stuck some stitches in him, and then on the outside too. Enough to hold him together and keep him from bleeding out. I'm not being taught how to be a surgeon or a nurse, and Eileen's done the best that she can for him and I really…"

One hand evacuates her back pocket to run through loose curls. "He's hurt Flint and he's temporaily displaced. Hiro took us back to when he was attacked, took us back to when he gave the gift to me. He didn't run off on his own, and that's why my Dah didn't find him. My dah didn't find him because we brought him here"

Perhaps to anyone else the story that burbles from Abby's lips might sound incredulous and unbelievable, and maybe even to Flints ears it still might.

"If any thread of you, loves me, you'll do this for me. Please"

Said words are usually invoked in the back seat of a vehicle between teenagers, not standing outside the sick room of a temporally displaced frenchman.

"please flint. I need this"

Deckard winds up physically taking a step back, as if he needs to place a few inches of literal distance between himself and what she's telling him, and what's in that bedroom. Or he's just had enough that his center of balance isn't what it should be. Odds are it's a mix of both.

They travelled back in time, picked up the dead French guy that's taken up residence in his brain. Brought him back. And if he loves her

Indignation is an odd thing to see sitting on his face. Right up there with the warmth and affection Allegre is so fond of forcing onto it, if worn down into something duller and dimmer than it could be. What did you do is fast being overtaken by What the hell with an optional is wrong with you flagging along on an unappreciative delay in the stark blue of his eyes.

But when he steps away, it's to shoulder in through the door said to contain Francois and not the one marked EXIT.

Wrong thing to say. Abigail can see it even as he's entering into the room, walking away from her to hopefully see to Francois and not just stand and stair at him. She opts to linger at the door, not so much to block his way out if he chooses to take off, blue long sleeved sweater, soft in it's cashmere that only multiple years of use can give you and her blue jeans, boots. She's going to have many apologies. Again. When he stops being angry with her. Some day, he's not going to.

There's a lamp aliready lit, crawling low orange light up the papered walls with the blue curtains shut to the outside. Pale arms rest on a patchwork blanket, bared to the elements although it's warmer in here than out there, if not the stifling humidity of Louisiana. Bandages are just visible, binding his torso, and wires run out from where needles are strapped and dug into skin and—

Francois is alive and breathing, head turned from the door. He'd woken up a little while ago from his fainting flower moment, dark hair plastered to his forehead still - vainly longer than the severe brush of a cut Deckard had last seen him, back in a Mexican desert in the corner of his own mind. The one he'd threatened to leave him in.

At the sound of hinges creaking, he casts a guarded look towards the door, automatically finding Abigail framed in it, fixing on her until he realises there is someone else approaching his bedside. Wariness instantly sets in, even if he does little more than lie there.

The man on the approach doesn't look like the sort you'd want at your bedside even if he wasn't doing a pretty good impression of a bull with an ass full of skewers. His hair's buzzed down into a thuggish bristle to match the grizzled growth patched in grey on either side of his narrow jaw and his eyes are blue — too blue, even. He's big, too. Or at least tall.

Francois might notice as much when Flint winds his left fist down into his collar to haul him halfway up out've the bed so he can look him in his pretty face. Eye to eye and very nearly nose to nose, with little heed paid stitches strained along the way. "This your idea?"

"Flint!" oh god, he's going to kill him, break open stitches and organs inside "Flint, you put him down this god damned moment." Fear and worry cross the former healers face and she's flying nearly to the bedside, slender fingers trying to peel back flint's fingers and let go of the other former healer. "Now!"

There's fireworks in Francois' vision for every carefully applied stitch, inside and out, that tears loose with the movement. His mouth parts, a rusty sounding groan coming up from the back of his throat as clammy hands come to grip onto Deckard's arms with a surprising amount of strength. A patch of pristine white bandage floods instantly red, and eyes go unfocused for a brief second before honing sharp on Deckard's.

He could easily be Volken, in that moment, and Francois' shoulder coils strength as if he'd like to strike. He doesn't, however, possibly because the execution would be pitiful and painful and Abby is in the way. "L√Ęchez-moi," is gasped out, barely intelligible.

« You first, » grated out through his teeth with such singularly contemptuous resentment that it could well be Volken building to a cold boil behind his chilly eyes, Deckard yields the grip his left hand has bound into Francois' collar.

He yields so that he can swap to the right hand instead, freeing up the left to crack down and aside across Abby's face (also pretty) in a backhand staunch enough to make her see glittery white stars if she's not fast enough to back-back-back it up on the upswing.

Abigail's not fast enough sadly, so intent on getting Deckard's finger's pried from Francois's before he causes more damage than there was before that she doesn't think that upswing is coming for her. So the impact of his hand to the side of her face, the feel and the subsequent pain the flourishes in it's wake is enough for her to follow Francois's French directions.

Her hands drifts up as if to ascertain that the jarr'd teeth, blinking at the wake of spots, starts, this and that in her vision, that it's all her, that he just did that.

Abigail's eyes water, breath held and yet to be released. She can forgive and has forgiven flint a great many things. But damned if her father would forgive her this.

"Heal him" It's choked out, her drawl deep.

"Heal him, then get the fuck out"

The sound of a hand connecting to flesh is a familiar one to Francois and as jarringly out of place as everything else in this world. Pain has him only register what has happened after it's happened, a delay in sensory input, and he swings a bleary gaze towards where Abigail is standing with her hand to her face and leaky blue eyes. "Abigail!" is gasped out, regret and anger lacing through his voice at this stranger who is still hanging onto him by the collar.

"Abigail," he says again, choosing to speak past Deckard as Francois tries to implore her with big blue eyes. At the same time, fingers make bruises into Deckard's arm. "What is going on? Who is this man?"

Jaw wrenched and clamped into a hard set beneath the hot push and seethe of breath through his nose that could really stand to undergo the wintergreen influence of a friendly tic-tac, Deckard watches Abby's shock and slow-motion recoil all the way down to watery eyes and deepened drawl. His wrought-iron grip on Francois holds true, thumb even twisting to apply a knuckle into added pressure at the younger (older?) man's Adam's apple while his eyes rake and claw for purchase somewere in Abby's hurt.

Somewhere in the back of his head, there's an instinctive twinge to reach out and repair, but by the time it translates through to the tips of his bony fingers, it's little more than a vestigial twitch. The offending hand has migrated back to his side, and without giving Francois an opportunity to clearly hear her answer, he focuses his attention semi-obediently on the process of shoving him back down into bed so that he can clamp a hand across his forehead and whatever else is in that general vicinity. Eyes. Things like that.

"He's the man who's going to heal you"

"Sooner he does it, the sooner he can leave" Sooner she can throw up. Hands clench at her sides, not because she's angry, oh she's angry. Angry, hurt, shocked, wondering why he did it. It's to keep her hands from shaking from the adrenaline that's coursing through her right now. She's giving the bed wide berth while he's helping Francois.

Francois isn't sure he wants to lie down anymore. He hasn't deviated from shock-pale to any kind of healthy tinge but there's the barest beginnings of colour in his face was sheer— whatever this mess of confused reaction is called. Indignity and fear and pain and all of these things are detached and unreal anyway. He makes a sound of protest as he's shoved back down, hand coming loose off Deckard's arm and flopping limply back onto the bed.

There's a cut of a dubious glance towards Abigail, as distrustful as a cornered stray, but he's bleeding into bandages and maybe inside a little, and he's meant to be dead in Louisiana about fourteen years ago. He doesn't fight, as much as his compliance is resigned.

Healing warmth bleeds out through contact at Francois' cranium like a veneer of fresh blood and viscera on a cold day. It slicks down, down through the spinal cord and spreads out to pool and congeal in tattered guts, binding tissue back to tissue wherever it touches until the heat is nearly intolerable. But changes for the better come quickly, and despite a stir of discomfort there is a familiar, friendlier buzz buried under everything.

It's an ability Francois has felt before, because it was his. And still is, if not in a way that would have done him much good without temporal intervention.

In any case, this may be the most efficient rush job Deckard's ever accomplished. In a matter of minutes, he's lifted the heel of his hand enough to lean over and squint at Francois face and the swell of his pupils. Then he's turning to go, one last broody glance snared sideways after Abigail on his way past the foot of the bed for the door.

He's being watched, closely. Abigail remains well out of his way, not giving him a chance to fix what he's left across her face. Air moves in and out through her nose, jaw so tight that she's bound to get a headache not just from the rattle that her brain took at the hand of her lover.

"Thank you"

Politeness more than anything making her grind out the two words of gratitude. She trusts him to have healed Francois all the wall or at least pretty damn close.

Awfully familiar. Francois' eyes close as it takes him, opens them again only when Deckard's hand lifts up and that narrow face is staring into his to judge his health. It's not a nice feeling, the one that replaces fear and hurt. Sickly, despairing jealousy, aching longing, and bizarre loneliness. His back curls when Deckard is leaving his bedside, fit enough to sit up now and ignorant to the needles in his arms and the useless stitches on his chest.

"Non, don't go," is a plea that— is either directed towards Deckard or the power inside him. Francois glances to Abby, apologetic, which translates back to Deckard, looking somewhat ashamed that he'd spoken out at all. A shake of his head is designed to dismiss his own words, slumping back into bed as if he were a puppet with strings cut through. The future is tiring.

There's no reason for Deckard to stop, and plenty of reasons for him to go. Hard to tell what switch flipped that drags him to a halt before he reaches the door, but odds are it's something simple as the fact that he's more used to following orders than he cares to admit. And Francois' voice has been giving him a lot of them lately, seems like. Most of them less direct than this one.

Too late he realizes the plea was probably not actually meant for him so much as it was meant for what's in him. With a lingering glance and a callous snort, he fucks the rest of the way off, clocking his shoulder against the doorframe as he goes.

Abigail's prepared to leave, when flint drags to a halt. An aborted start when he get back into gear and is going out the door. The pink haired woman can't bring herself to look at Francois yet, the reddened side of her face turned away as she stares at the wall with pursed lips. Today has ended so far, on a bad note. So quickly it's gone bad.

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