amato_icon.gif ethan_icon.gif raith_icon.gif eileen_icon.gif

Scene Title Physics
Synopsis Some things are just forces of nature, predictable and fierce.
Date December 5, 2010

Pollepel Island

It's late when Amato Salucci lands on Pollepel Island, but unlike those he comes with, his first stop is not to the castle to get himself settled. Instead, he carries his army surplus duffel on his back toward one of the outbuildings, with three short lengths of rope tied to three sheep in tow. In his free hand, he holds a lantern aloft to light his way.
It also serves to alert others to the perhaps strange, late-night movement from the docks to a place other than the stately castle.

The sheep move close to Amato's side, and it is clear that two of them are significantly smaller than the third, though all boast a heavy winter coat of thick, dingy wool. Once inside the small building that has been outfitted to house the two mares that Amato once cared for on Staten Island, the man hangs up his lantern and goes about making accommodations for the wooly additions to the island's ecosystem. The sheep themselves are happy enough to start munching on the hay that has spilled from the horses' racks, and the mares turn their heads and ears with interest at the familiar smell of their visitor.

The months - the years - have not been exactly unkind to Amato. But were the Amato Salucci that came to this country through surreptitious means to see himself today, he would be quite amazed. There is more flesh on the man's frame, though he is still lean, and the one unmarred skin of his palms is now calloused with honest labor. Though he still wears the long, dark coat he once did, the bottom edge is now tattered and stained by tragic battle. His pale skin has been darkened slightly by a summer spent out of doors, but the winter months have already begun to lighten it again.

Flakes of wood drop to the ground quietly. Some would say that Ethan isn't taking guard duty seriously enough. Ethan would say, when Ethan is on duty, the island guards itself. Because no enemies of the Wolf would dare come to the island while Ethan Holden sits out ready for battle.

Except for Amato Salucci. Apparently. Despite the incoming inevitable inferno, the island carries on in silent blissful ignorance. The knife slides across the piece of wood roughly. Over and over, grating against the wood dutifully. Chink, chink, chink. The piece of log is being prepared for Ethan's next figurine. The knife pauses on the wood…

Eyes practically leap up through the night sky, sinking onto the approaching troupe. The sheep are watched intently. Watching the man move with the lantern light go in one of the outbuildings. Ethan stands up from his perch. His wood is placed down, the knife flicking down. Placing the knife in his coat pocket, the Wolf walks toward the building. Heavy steps pounding through the ground as he makes his way forward. Could this really be the return of Amato Salucci? Could Amato really be returning while Ethan is on guard duty. With a gun.

His heavy bootfalls pause as he nears the new sheeps homes.


The clattering of plastic water buckets answers Ethan Holden's call.

It's the voice that does it to him - that unmistakable voice that sends Amato careening into the buckets, nearly falling over as the empty containers rattle against one another and roll across the hay-strewn floor. The elder sheep bleats in protest at the spectacle from where it's been secured, and the bay mare snorts apathetically, turning back into her box. The space may smell of straw, hay, and honest animal warmth, but there is a distinct flavor of fear that joins it as Amato turns his pale eyes to the man in the doorway.

Unlike Ethan, Amato carries no weapon - but he bears no easily visible reminder of their last meeting. When he backs toward a corner, his boot-clad feet shuffling the straw beneath them, two perfectly intact hands gloved in black leather slowly lift up to ward off the wolf at the door.

"What are you doing here, Holden," he asks, his voice low and wary, his eyes narrowed.

The boots start up again. Thundering now against the ground as Ethan's pace intensifies. Ethan's brows knit in a state of carved rage. The scowl becoming more relevant as light washes over his features. Though by the time the Wolf has entered into the light, his frightening pace has made it a little hard to escape from. As he stomps towards the man, his mind swims. Swimming through the possibilities of what ways he could hurt the other man. So many options, but he can only choose one…

Or can he?

Not long after Amato's question is spoken, Ethan's fist is flying up into the air. His fist clenched the hand swings back and then forward as if bopping someone on top of the head. But Ethan does not bop. The strike is quick and efficient to Amato's nose. His other hand flying up to grab the man's collar. Not too long after, a knee is racing towards his abdomen. Grasping the collar tightly, the Wolf then goes to swing the man against a wall.

"You little fuck." Ethan growls menacingly. Going to work his glove off quickly. "Go ahead you little cunt-sucking fuck. Take a look." His hand swings up to press into Amato's face. Drink in the sin Amato, drink it in. Pressing violently, Ethan shouts so that even through the rush of images the other man can hear him. "How long did you know?! How long did you know the old man was playing me? Thought I could make 'im a little evo-slave did 'e?"

Were it not for the rope that ties them to a ring on the wall, the sheep would be long gone. Instead, they trip over one another, huddling in the opposite corner of the small room, spilling out into the mare's box.

Like nearly every instance in which Ethan Holden wishes to inflict violence, Amato is defenseless. He's barely able to react to his potentially broken nose before he's grabbed, pushed, and kicked. Gasping for air with eyes mostly shut even before Ethan shoves his hand against his blood-soaked face, Amato chokes on his breath and hitches up the wall at the onslaught of sensory input.

His teeth grit, his teeth pulling back. Seeing Ethan's sins - the new along with the old - has never been a pleasant experience. Once it's over, he lifts a shaking hand that only ground itself when it curls around the other man's wrist, his thin fingers tight around the fabric of Ethan's coat.

"If I remember correctly," he seethes, his words drenched as much in righteous anger as they are in pain, "You're the one who brought him Gabriel. But that's done with."

"Don't touch me." Ethan hisses, his forehead swinging at Amato's face. If his nose wasn't broken before, it likely will be now. With the powerful headbutt, Ethan reels back, his scowl permanently etched into his face. Pressing the other man's back against the wall harshly. Now Amato's blood smeared on his own face. "Wrong answer. How long did you know that he manipulated my fucking life. Sent the Ruskin woman to fuck me so we could make Eileen. Because the old man wanted a fucking fortune teller."

For no reason at all, Ethan swings another knee at Amato's stomach. He then drops the man, taking a few steps back. Give him space to revel in the pain. Taking a few steps back he glowers down at the smaller man.

"And don't even think for a second that now I know she's my daughter, I'm going to let you off the hook for trying to get your shriveled member inside her for years." He thought he was done with beating Amato.. buuut. A boot swings out to the fallen man's side. Taking a step back, Ethan circles the downed Salucci much like a predator surveying his kill. Heavy breaths and heavier steps as he stalks his way around his prey. One hand comes up to wipe Amato's blood from his head, it is then flicked down at the man. "And now you come here. Why am I here? Why the fuck are you 'ere Salucci? Going to try to get your girl back? I thought I told you. To. Stay. Away!" His hand swings into his jacket for the knife he had put away.

"I see you lost your reminder…."

But each question comes with an attack much less verbal, cutting off chance after chance for Amato to fend off the blows. The straw laid out for the sheep sticks to his face courtesy of the fountain of blood that streams from his nose, running down to drip onto his shirt and coat. He curls onto one side at the second kick, letting out his first real grunt of pain.

"It-" he breathes, his voice choked and strained, "it was never like," he counters, the news of Eileen's parentage slipping to the back of his mind in order to give his own fate precedence. "She- I just wanted to help her. You have no idea…when we… when I found her."

But those fateful words send a chill through Amato, and he forces his eyes open to look up at Ethan, his hands curling in the straw, pulling the strands into his palms. "Ethan, you don't understand."

Down to one knee he goes. The knife twirling around deftly in his hand. Lowering his head, Ethan glares at Amato through the blood. "I hope you appreciate this Salucci. In my older age I have grown to be slower to anger. Not only a few years ago, you would be dead by now. But I'm willing to listen to what you have to say." The man growls. The knife is pounded into the floor.

"So. Enlighten me, Priest." It's an insult. Amato is no more a priest than Ethan is a vegetarian. "Wot don't I understand? I don't understand how you lusted after 'er. I don't understand the sick fucking twisted labrynth that is your vacuuous hole of a mind." His hand leaves the knife, brushing across the hay strewn floor.

"Tell me Amato. What do I not understand?"

These are precious seconds, and yet Amato spends the first few catching his breath to steady himself, not breaking the other man's gaze. He swallows, wincing at the taste of blood in his mouth, and pushes himself up a few inches from the ground, bracing his weight on his arms and the side Ethan didn't kick.

"I never touched her," he whispers, shaking his head slightly. "I never even tried." Trying to explain courtly affection to a man like Ethan may be a lost cause, but Amato has only one chance at saving himself from that blade. "And I haven't…I haven't even thought of her in such a way in years." How he envied her strange innocence, how he longed to possess her so that he could claim to possess that naïveté, he doesn't even try to communicate. That is not information that neither Ethan needs nor Amato is willing to share. Not now. Perhaps not ever.

"Bennet brought me here. To help. I didn't even know she was still alive until you…" and Amato shuts his eyes then, taking a deep breath and fighting against the blinding pain in his skull.

"I know you didn't touch her. She would've kicked your frail little ass if y'did." Ethan spits back. Glaring down at him, Ethan reaches over to the fallen man's side to retrieve his discarded glove. Slowly pulling it back on one hand goes to scrub some of the blood out of Amato's face. Just to give him better peripherals so he can see his ass getting kicked, most likely. "Didn't know she was 'ere?" Ethan laughs, peering down at the man. "'Ow am I supposed to believe a little fuckin' snake like you? I don't know why Bennet thought it was okay to open up this island to you. But I know better. I know you're a rat, and under pressure you run and hide, and do whatever you have to to survive. Your life is pathetic, Salucci. You're a fucking worm."

Ethan goes to lower himself to be seated, playing at the handle of the knife stuck in the ground. "And I don't know if you've caught onto this, but I don't like you very much." Ethan's eyes flick up to make contact with the bloodier man. A slight smirk is given. "'Ow many times you came against me, tried to 'umiliate me while we were with th'old boys. 'ow many times did you try to make me look bad in front of the old man. Your only protection was th'old man. And now 'e's gone. You have no skirts to 'ide behind, Salucci. You cowering little…" He pauses, looking to the man. "What's an animal I 'aven't used yet?" Thinking about it for a moment. "Snake? I might've used snake…" Pondering, he looks up. "A ferret. Ferret's bad? Not really. Fuck it. Rat. Let's just go with rat. It's solid. It's classic. You're it."

"Lettin' you on this island was a big mistake. But.. as I 'ave before. So many fucking times. I will pass up my chance to kill you. But obviously, you know, if you don't cut your own stupid fuckin' wrists, I'm going to kill you one day. Stand up, stupid."

The words are nothing new, really. They're just expressions of the sentiments that Amato already knew the other man held. To his credit, he takes them in stride. The Amato Ethan knew before - the one he met across the ocean - would be writhing in anger with each accusation and comparison, twisting with fury at the implications drawn even as he winced and cringed at the ham-handed ministrations to his face, the nerves on fire around his nose, which is already starting to swell some beneath the darkening skin and the blood.

He braces his weight on his forearms, gathering the strength and the will to rise further. He spits, blood flying from his mouth to splatter against the dirtied straw and the snow beyond. "Does that log hurt your eye?" Amato says, squinting, turning his head to eye Ethan. "All," he breathes, pushing himself up enough to straighten his arms. "Al I've ever done is injure your precious pride."

Pride is a terrible thing to have injured: Sometimes, pride is the only thing a man has left in the world. Neither Ethan nor Amato, however, are at that point, and that just might be all the better because their interaction has drawn attention from the rest of the world. And perhaps not the rest of the world they might have preferred attracting attention from.

The gruff and irritated, "Alright, what's going on?" that comes from just outside the stable's view can only belong to so many people. And the mystery, however small and uninteresting, is solved when Jensen Raith steps into view of both the other men, after which he spends a few moments processing the scene laid out in front of him. He's not visibly armed. He didn't even come in ready to kick ass: It looks, for all the world, like he was just passing by and ducked in to step between a couple islanders who'd gotten into a heated debate. Really, that's not far from the truth. Except that it is pretty far from the truth. "The fuck is this?"

Having risen to his feet, Ethan plucks the knife out of the ground. Waiting for Amato to get up, the big man watches the other condescendingly. The knife dangles in his hand lightly. His eyes glaze over Amato to the new arrival. Surveying Jensen, Holden smirks a little. "Jensen." Ethan growls lowly. "Was just welcoming Salucci to the island. And bidding him farewell." The knife is folded up and placed in his jacket. "You know this guy, Raith? 'e's bad news. We don't want 'im on this island.. Can't really trust 'im off it either."

"We got a dungeon or some shit we can throw 'im in?" The Wolf asks, looking at the other man. His eyes then slide down to Amato. "Wann' go chill out in a dungeon, Salucci?"

Amato moves himself into a sitting position, his weight resting on his heels. He leans his head back and lifts a gloved hand to tentatively feel around his face. He hisses with an intake of breath and blood that in turn makes him cough. The entire experience is a series of blunders that leave Amato taking deep, heavy breaths through his mouth.

"Vaffanculo, Ethan," he growls, shutting his eyes after a brief survey of the blood that's been transferred to his hands, coat, and the straw. He opens them again to look at Raith, but keeps them narrowed.

Some part of him wonders just how many of these more violent tableaus he's shared with Ethan Holden have been witnessed by others - others from the old guard - and perhaps, how many Jensen Raith is even aware of. Trouble within the ranks, especially at such levels that were occupied by Fenrir and Tyr, respectively, are rarely broadcasted in such organizations.

So rather than address, or even call attention to the obvious, Amato simply sits there, his lips pursed halfway toward a snarl as the blood starts to dry on his injured face.

"Yeah, I know him," Raith replies flatly, "And despite seemingly everything, I get the feeling that I know him better than you do, Holden." And, perhaps shockingly, that's all Raith has to say about the matter. No blithe remark, no sardonic comeback, nothing. And beyond that, even with an agitated Ethan holdin' a knife, Raith moves towards Amato not in a manner that would suggest another imminent beating, but casually indifferent concern, if such a thing is possible. "Get up, baboso. Maybe one of the bigwigs left you here, but that doesn't mean you get to roll in the hay and bleed all over everything instead of working."

Glowering at Amato, Ethan swings one arm loosely at his side. Rolling his neck this way then that. He doesn't impede Raith's rescue of Salucci. His anger has been worked out mostly. Amato heard Ethan's threats. The Wolf clearly feels that the message has been delivered. Watching Raith, Ethan's gaze goes down to Amato. Bending slightly, the Wolf's free hand goes to secure Amato under the arm to hoist him to his feet. Contrary to popular belief, Ethan's not stupid. Continuing to fight would lead to a fight with Raith, which would lead to a fight with Eileen, which would lead to some very damaging quips. Yuck.

As true as that progression may be, Amato doesn't take too kindly to being lifted up faster than he had planned - especially at the hand of the man who put him in his current state. On his feet again, Amato lashes out with the very arm Ethan used to haul him there, pushing the wolf away.

"«By the hand of God, if you touch me again you will wish you'd have died on that bridge.»"

The words are growled more than said, but the threatening tone looses some of it's vigor given the state of the man's nose.

With a deep, steadying breath in and out with little to no use of his nasal passageways, Amato does his best to square his shoulders, tugging at the lapels of his coat. "Forgive me, Jensen," he adds to the man who may very well be his savior. "If the lamb is born with three heads, we'll know why."

"Zip it." Raith's words are direct and biting, aimed squarely at Amato, but almost certainly intended to catch Ethan in the crossfire as well. If he were himself a wolf, he would be snarling instead of speaking. "You two don't get along," the ex-spy says, looking between Ethan and Amato, "Hell, you even hate each other. I think that's great. I'm glad there's something so special between you two. Only problem I have with it is the fist-fighting. You see, we got rules here. They include a prohibition on fist-fighting, and while I understand that this is less-than-ideal for your relationship, as long as you're on my island, you will obey those rules. Both of you, I don't care how bald you are or how faggy you look."

If the silhouette standing in the shadow of the stable's door takes any offense to Raith's claim, it holds its objections until later. Eileen is visible as a pale hand curled in the wooden frame, lamplight transforming a ring on one of her fingers into a band of liquid gold. She wears her black hair tied back at her nape, her face a full, white moon and eyes shining like a cat's in the dark.

She says nothing, and not because Raith is doing the speaking for her.

Looking over to Raith, Ethan remains silent for the duration of his speech. At the end, the Wolf opens his mouth. "Just to clarify, I'm the bald one, 'e's the faggy one?" The bigger man asks, jerking a thumb at Amato. Eyes swinging over to Eileen beyond Raith, his jaw tightens. The flipped up knife re-enters his jacket pocket.

From Ethan, Amato would expect such a remark. And low, given time, such inevitable things will come to pass. Amato's eyes widen at Raith's choice of words, but they slide closed at Ethan's addition. He's half a mind to try and make the wolf replace the straw and get the sheep settled, but it isn't his place to force such a ruling. Nor would he ask for one if he were in any such position.

Picking the muddied straw from that which is covered with blood out to salvage what might actually still be clean is a lost cause, but Amato is far from in the mood to muck out the box at this time of night - a fact that is only solidified when he sees Eileen in the doorway. But he doesn't speak to her, or even look at her for very long. Instead, he moves toward the stack of bales at the side of the room and snaps the twine with a well-placed, practiced finger. Balling up the two strands of dangerous red rope and tucking them into a pocket of his coat, he lifts two flakes away, holding them in his arms for a moment.

"If you gentlemen don't mind," he says pointedly, inclining his head toward Eileen. But doing so forces him to look at her, even if it is out of the corner of his eyes. "I'd say lend a hand, but I think they've had plenty of excitement for one night." He winces then, promising himself to find whatever passes for a medicine cabinet before ferreting away a bed for himself.

Raith affords a glance towards the sheep. But only a glance. "Finish up what you need to, Amato, then check in over at medical. You're stuck with me as doctor tonight." Exactly what anyone would want to hear. "Ethan-" A glance now to the Wolf- "Stop fucking." He never explains what he means: The retired spy simply looks from one man to the other, and then turns around and leaves.

Raith stops momentarily, just momentarily, to send a glance to Eileen, as if to silently ask her if she plans to stay or plans to go. Whatever her decision, he lingers only for a few seconds, and then walks into darkness of the island's night. Just like the sheep, he's had enough excitement too.

In the stable's rafters, a barn owl blinks soulful brown eyes much darker than Eileen's and looks between Ethan and Amato with a turn of its head that can be measured in fractions. A moment later, it's spreading its wings and kicking off the wooden beam it had been perched on. There's a rush of wind above their heads, but the only sound its feathers make is the soft rustle of hay disturbed in its wake as it soars out the open doors and plunges into the black.

She isn't far behind.

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