Recruiting A Messenger


brian_icon.gif munin_icon.gif

Scene Title Recruiting A Messenger
Synopsis A drunken Brian visits a sleepy "Eileen".
Date December 10, 2008

A Ferrymen Safehouse

He's been in the place a lot lately. But now he's not supposed to. The Ferrymen don't know that not yet. His feet slap loudly against the ground as he makes his way to Munin's cell. He's risked his life, he's been stabbed, he's been killed. And all he gets is yelled at. Unappreciated. Unloved.

The door swings open and Brian manages not to fall down as he staggers in. Shaking his head he closes it behind him. Come on man, get a grip. You're not that drunk. Are you? Why are you here again.

He turns around, gazing at the sleeping girl in the room. Because he's been hurt, and he knows someone who has been hurt. He drags his feet, walking slowly to ensure accuracy. Once he arrives at her cot he leans over, alcohol dominating his breath as he places a hand on her shoulder. "Eileen.. wake up."

Normally, Munin would have woken up the instant she heard the door's handle turn. As it is, she's been put through so much abuse since coming into Phoenix's possession that her ears fail to alert the rest of her body to Brian's presence until he's looming over her — it's ultimately the warmth of his breath, rank with the stench of liquor, that tickles her into awareness. Her eyes open and as the world slowly comes into focus she gives a few slow, bleary blinks like a dazed turtle coming out of its shell. She inhales deeply, recognizes the smell clinging to the man before she recognizes the man himself, then pushes herself into a sitting position with one long arm. The other she holds across her face, shielding her nose and mouth from further harm.

Brian got his wish. "Eileen" is awake. "Wh— What do you want?" There's fear in her voice — that's as plain as the purple splotches that cover her skin, dark paint splattered across a flesh-coloured canvas — but there's a lingering curiosity too. Are they letting her go? Is Ethan here?

Brian plops down once she is sitting. He goes to sit next to her. "Can I sit?" He asks, getting settled and relaxed with her. Though his eyes search her sadly. "What did they do to you?" Brian asks softly. He stretches his arms out, setting them behind him so he can lean back. "Are you okay?" He asks, concern staining his features.

Dried blood is on his chin. The skin there still very tender. He took a punch and didn't take enough time to get fully cleaned up. "Was it that Alexander, fuckhead?" He asks, angrily.

Alexander. The man with the scars around his eye — her signature. Munin blinks another few times, letting out a sharp sigh through her nostrils, and shakes her head. "No," she mumbles, her voice still somewhat slurred. She's still combating a concussion, so it takes her several additional seconds to process what Brian is saying. Like slogging through mud, her thoughts gurgle and stick — it takes a great deal of effort and concentration to get from one point to another, from a simple answer to a more detailed elaboration. "Teo. My nose. It was Teo."

Drunk and concussed, they make quite the couple. Brian frowns deeply. His hand comes up as he leans back up. His hand goes to her back, but its gentle, soothing. "I'm sorry." He mumbles. Rubbing her back softly for a moment, his hand recoils as if it burns suddenly. "You stabbed him." He declares. "You got me in big trouble, why did you do that?"

At the hand on her back, Munin abruptly tenses, her skin jumping beneath his touch. But then it's gone again, and she's able to relax — if only a fraction. Drawing away from him, she pulls her legs into her chest and encircles her knees with her arms as a protective measure. Her eyes grow dark, and she fixes him with a silent stare, saying nothing, watching him beneath her lashes. There's a wary air about her, more so than usual, though it almost certainly has something to do with the alcohol and the forwardness with which he's treating her. "You shouldn't be here," she croaks. "You're drunk."

"They all yelled at me." Brian says sadly, placing his elbows on his knees. "They got really mad. Because I gave you a knife for breakfast.. I didn't even know you could hurt someone with that kinda knife." Brian mumbles, giving her a look. "Why did you stab him?" He asks pathetically, his eyes going to stare at some point on the ground. "I fought against those guys, they almost killed me, and they still all yelled at me." His head hangs.

Munin knows why she stabbed Teo, but she isn't sure could find the words she needs to explain it to someone like Brian. Instead, she simply frowns at him, wincing as she aggravates her split lip and sends pain lancing through her mouth. Her tongue darts out, its tip skimming across the brittle surface of the scab and tasting blood when it comes away. At this rate, it's going to be a very long time before she can smile again without wanting to cry.

Not that Munin smiled much in the first place.

"What guys?"

"Those guys looking for you." He slurs with a frown. "It's all over the news." He gives a deep sigh. Forgetting temporarily she has no access to the news. "This guy teleported me. And the other guy was smoke. Asian." He mumbles, looking down again. Then his attention returns to Munin. "I told Alex you like me. Do you like me?" He pauses biting his lip for a moment. "I mean.." An exhale of liquor breath. "If we weren't both.. terrorists. If we were normal, we'd be friends, huh?"

Elias. Wu-Long. Munin squeezes her eyes shut and brings both her hands up to her face, covering her mouth with palms. Relief floods across her features, visibly entering the muscles there and willing them to relax before it continues seeping its way through her body and leaves a warm, tingling sensation in its wake. She sighs again, this time long and trembling. They haven't abandoned her.

When her eyes open again, they're brimming with tears and are bloodshot pink around the edges. For the first time in a week, her irises appear more green than they do gray, though this faint glimmer of colour does not last — as the tears spill from the corners of her eyes, they take this brightness with them and transfer it to the salty tracks on her cheeks that glisten silver in the faint half-light. "I don't know."

"I think we would be." Brian says softly. Straightening up a little bit he gives a sigh. Then he looks over to her, and his head goes sideways in puzzlement. "What's wrong?" He asks, his hand coming up again to her back.

"Nothing," Munin whispers hoarsely. "Nothing's wrong." Except for the fact she's in here and her family is out there, but this is a fact she's more than happy to overlook for the time being. Elias and Wu-Long are looking for her, and they've already crossed paths with Phoenix — she shouldn't have to wait much longer. "I was so afraid."

"You're crying." Brian points out dumbly. "I think." He rubs her shoulder gently, and a tad uneasily. "Of Teo?" Almost laughable. He still has trouble believing Teo broke a girls nose. But…he supposes getting stabbed justifies a little bit of anger. "Are you alright? Do you want anything to eat?"

Munin doesn't want anything to eat. Even with her lifted spirits, she still doesn't have much of an appetite. An empty stomach, at least for now, is a comfortable thing where she's sitting. The pressure on her shoulder, however, earns Brian a mildly reproachful look, and she uses the hands pressing against her mouth to wipe the tears away from her eyes, onto her fingers and then off on the front of her shirt. "No," she hisses, breathless, "Teo doesn't scare me. None of you scare me." That's a lie, and Munin isn't a very good liar. Even Brian — sweet, gentle Brian — makes her stomach churn when he gets too close to her, and it shows in the way she starts to recoil. "I didn't think they'd— I thought for sure Ethan would just—" There's a pause, a hitch in her breath, and her body is suddenly consumed by a violent series of tremors. It feels good to cry, to let it all out. "Oh god."

For some reason, he came here for comfort. And somehow in some way he's seemingly comforting her. He frowns as she hisses at him, his hand slowly trailing off her shoulder. Bringing it back to his lap, he just watches her dumbfounded for a moment. Maybe coming here was a mistake. "Are.. Are you sure you don't want me to get you anything?"

"I'm sure." Munin swallows, hard, and peels several greasy strands of hair off her tear-streaked cheeks and tucks them behind one of her ears. "But maybe you could give somebody something for me instead?"

"What?" Brian asks, a tad skeptically. Eyeing her carefully for a moment. "I don't think Helena wants me to come talk to you anymore. So… I guess this might be goodbye." A little shrug.

Helena. The blonde. Munin gives Brian a strange look as he eyes her, both her dark, semi-bushy brows raised so high that they disappear beneath her bangs. Helena, if looks are any indication, can't be much older than she is — what's somebody like her giving orders to someone like him? "The man who turns into smoke. His name is Wu-Long. If you see him, will you tell him that I'm all right? That I'm not—?" Hurt? Dead? Munin leaves it ambiguous. It's easier for her that way. "I don't want them to worry about me anymore than they already are." She reaches out, places one of her warm, damp hands on Brian's. "I'll owe you one? For next time?"

"He tried to kill me, Eileen." Brian protests giving her an odd look. "He almost sliced me in half. He cut my lung open or something." And yet here he is with only dried blood on his chin. "Wu-Long." He repeats to himself. His eyes go down to their hands. And instead of picking it up as a manipulation, a persuasion, he lets a deep breath of relief flow out of him. His hand turns over to give hers a soft squeeze. "I'll tell him.. If I see him." He mutters hesitantly. "He'll probably try to kill me again."

"He won't." Munin sounds fairly certain of that. "Wu-Long's smart." Not smart like Sylar or even Amato, but there's a poetic sort of savviness about him that gives her faith in what she's saying. "If he thinks leaving you alive will keep me that way, then he'll let you live. Just— be careful. They're not all bad people."

"What's the other one's name?" Brian asks, his gray eyes remaining focused on their hands. "The red head. The guy who teleports." The guy he shot. The guy he beat the crap out of with his naked duplicates.

"Brunette," Munin corrects Brian gently. The beginnings of a smile twitch at the corners of her mouth; she has a hard time remembering some things with her head injury, but the way the light catches Elias' hair isn't one of them. "Eli. You could give the message to him, too. He's the gentlest one of the whole bloody lot."

"Oh." Brian mutters. "He wasn't very gentle with me." He comments, his gray eyes moving from their hands over to her for a moment. He pauses for a moment. "They're killers." He says quietly. "Wu-Long. He thought he killed me. They don't care about killing."

"You took me. Imprisoned me. For all they know, you've slit my throat and left my body to rot in a ditch somewhere." Munin raises her hand to flake the dried blood off Brian's chin with her fingernail. "If you were my friend, wouldn't you want to kill the people responsible?"

"I would talk to them." Not a defiant phrase, just genuinely what he would do. Though.. Elias did just try to talk to him. And then Abby.. Maybe they're not so bad.. "The school." He says with a little frown. "Did the school kidnap you?" He doesn't say it with a mean tone. It may even be said as a joke, but with his current condition everything just sounds sad. He recoils on instinct for a moment when her hand comes up, though he relaxes after a second. Allowing her to do so.

Munin turns her head away from Brian at the mere mention of Washington Irving, and her hand falls away from his face, back into her lap. What can she possibly say to justify the unjustifiable? "No. It didn't." She flicks the dried blood away onto the floor. "But that was then, and this is now. You want to know why they attacked you? Why they tried to kill you? This. This is why."

He gives a little hmph. His hands sliding down to his knees as he leans forward. A moment of silence passes, before he perks up a little bit and looks to her. "I've been to London." He says as if this is great news for her. "I went there on my way to Africa and was stuck there for a full day." A little grimace is given to that. "Have you ever been there?"

Been there? Munin was born there. She leans back, resting her shoulders against the wall as she feels her eyelids begin to droop a little. There's a reason he was asleep when he checked in on her — now that the excitement has passed, she's ready to close her eyes again and retreat into the realm of dreams. The physical world still hurts a little too much for her to be completely comfortable in it. "Yeah," she murmurs tiredly, "I have. Why?"

A little shrug is given. "I.." He stares at the ground for a minute. "I donno." A soft sigh is given. He glances up at her for a moment. "After they let you go.." He assumes they are going to let her go at some point. "Think I'll ever see you again?"

"Probably," is the cryptic answer that Munin offers Brian in response. He's a member of Phoenix; she's a member of the Vanguard — it seems inevitable that their paths would cross again. Just not under pleasurable circumstances. "You sound so sure that Teo's gonna let me go. I know your names, your faces, what you can do. I'm a liability."

A little chuckle is exhaled. "Do you not wanna get let go?" He asks softly. He then leans back a little bit again. "I think if we see each other again, we should have a truce." Brian claims. "I won't tell on you, if you don't tell on me."

Munin certainly won't be telling anyone on Brian this time — she gets the distinct impression that, after the incident with the knife, he really shouldn't be here. "Do you mind if I sleep on it?" she asks. It's the closest thing to a 'yes' that he's going to get.

"Okay. Well.. goodbye Eileen. I don't imagine I'll see you again anytime soon." His hand comes up to her shoulder once again. One last gentle squeeze before he goes to stand. "Sleep good." Brian says, going for the door.

Only when Brian has gone does Munin completely relax. She'll sleep, sure — whether the experience will be something she can define as 'good' upon waking is a matter she can address in the morning.

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December 10th: Hey There, Cowboy
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