abby_icon.gif aviators_icon.gif eileen_icon.gif nick_icon.gif raith_icon.gif

Scene Title Reunion
Synopsis Brother Kings and Abby argue about the policy of truth when it comes to revealing the identity of a gunshot victim to Eileen.
Date August 16, 2010

Staten Island Remnant Safehouse

The Remnant safe house along the river is unassuming, and that's really all it has going for it. No electricity, old woodwork that worms have eaten in places, and half-finished patches along the ceiling of the ground floor that might keep water from dripping and little else. The furniture- an old sofa, an arm chair that might fall apart at any moment, and an old dining table that Raith and Avi quickly repurposed as an examination table on their arrival- were clearly left behind by the old tenants. The air smells of water and algae, but fortunately not of mildew or mold, and all things considered that means it's better than nothing.

Raith himself returns from a brief absence in one of the other rooms with a heavy, white linen bed sheet in his hands, ostensibly for Abby: His jacket is only long enough to keep her decent if she doesn't lean too far forward or backward, walk up or down stairs, stand in a stiff breeze, or really do much of anything. Quinn has already been sent on her way with the truck and the antibiotics, although just a little bit was kept behind for poor Nicky. "Okay," he says as he passes the sheet over to the EMT, "We have maybe five minutes tops to come up with a really brilliant way to explain who this is without actually explaining who this is. And I mean brilliant. Like Bruges brilliant, you remember, Avi." Although the significance of that mention only has significance to one other person present, the meaning behind it is likely still dead clear. Raith has no idea how to explain this that doesn't just 'explain it' at the same time.

"You tell Eileen the truth" The blonde answer back to Raith, taking the sheet in hand and turning her back to the men. Not the kind to willfully show her private anatomy for all to see. IN the end, she can only fashion the sheet like some sort of mangled sari, tucked here and there and ends tied so that it doesn't mistakenly drop off. Odds of going up in flame are pretty low for the next while. The straps of the monitor aren't around her, instead, they're around Nick, his shirt salvaged to make bandages along with anything else she could use to stop the flow of blood. Her kingdom for her kit.

Across her iphone, vitals skip, the upside to carting around what she does, is that she that benefit. Damn things doesn't just do temperature, it does heartrate. and gps.

"I never met Avi before" She wasn't anywhere but Russia, oblivious to the connection between Raith and Avi. "This is Eileens brother. He punched Amato on Staten Island the other day" Which could lend the question of how abby knows the the latter. The former divulged back at the Pelican. "And you will tell her the truth. He's here, he's hurt, he needs her help. She will help him and you know it. I don't believe that she would just up and let her brother die. Can you make sure Avi there, doens't drip more blood?"

"Fucking Bruges," Avi grumbles from where he's popping up one of the walls, jacket off, shirt unbuttoned halfway ahd fingers plucking at the shoulder of his vest to check and see just how badly bruised he is beneath where he was shot. The answer is very badly bruised. "So I was right, your little butt-buddy Italian friend old Knickers mentioned was Salucci. Okay, good on Nick for punching that blonde lunatic's lights out. I'm liking this kid more'n more."

Avi adjust the crooked frames of his sunglasses with one hand, giving up on the bruise beneath his vest for now. "What I want to know is what the fuck all that on the docks was about. I don't give two flying shits if you tell Ruskin that Nick is the man on the goddamned moon. I want to know who I had to kill so that you," Avi points two fingers at Raith, "didn't get a brain full of bullets."

"You remember all that shit that happened, Avi?" Raith begins, "You know, the death, the tank, the air strike, the facility that blew up." As if to drive some point home without actually explaining what the point might be, Raith gently takes a seat in the arm chair, resting his chin in the palm of his hand. "Uncle Sam's willing to pay for the privilege of hanging whoever's responsible for it. Fifteen million dollars. Guy that Nick capped? Ninety-nine to one odds he sold us out. That's what happened, and there's a good chance it's going to happen again, so let's get one thing straight. You want to sell me out for the cash, fine. We'll patch Nick up, I'll take you both back to the mainland right now and you can go collect. You can do that, or you can stay here and help me figure out what I'm going to tell Eileen, because I know her past a little better than Miss Lilly White, and know that if she knows that's Nicholas Ruskin, it's maybe fifty-fifty she will let him die, if she doesn't him out of her misery. So make the call, brother-king.

"Fifteen million's a lot of money, Avi." Is Raith trying to convince his compatriot to stay and help them, or to take the money. "I don't want you to take it, and I really don't want hundreds of either people to get shot because I gave you the chance to take it, but you know I won't kill you over this, and I know how much they mean to you." Whoever 'they' are. "You take the money, and I'll be disappointed, and hurt, and angry. But I'll understand, too, a little bit. If selling me out is what you think you have to do, if that's going to make everything better, then say so. You're in charge of the family now."

"You will clean up your mouth while I'm present Mister Avi, or I will go flaming Baptist again on purpose and not just as a religious term. I'm a Lady and should be treated as such" Abigail snaps off, southern drawl a bit more southern. "Clean your mouth the lot of you. Only person who has any right to curse right now is Mister Ruskin and the hole the size of a grapefruit out the back of his shoulder. Please tell me Jensen that in everything stored here, you have something resembling a field kit, or something beyond dirty wads of cloth to pack these wounds?"

Abigail glances over her shoulder. "And if either of you comment about using the bedshe-" Wait. Family. These two are family? She tears away blue eye'd gaze from the squabbling brothers and back to Eileen's brother, working to keep him alive long enough to give Eileen the choice to kill him herself from the sounds of it. iPhone glanced to, tracking heatrate, comparing it to what her bloody fingers have managed find at his neck, she's wrinkling her nose. "No dying on me tonight Mister Ruskin, nuh uh, the lord ain't gonna take you right now" Shocky. "Please tell me that you have some sort of supplies here. Really and truly. Or blankets. I'll take those and something to raise his legs"

"If you were a lady, Beauchamp, you'd be in the kitchen making Raith and I a Kaluha mudslide or something while the men do first aid on Nickel-brain here." He— was joking right? Avi's only partly smiling when he finally leans off of the wall and starts walking up to where Nick lays. "And shut up Jensen if I was going to sell you down the river I wouldn't have put bullets in Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee and their… uh… " Avi reaches up and scrubs one hand at the back of his neck, "Imagine I came up with a clever wrap to that."

For his part, Nick looks like he's out, but for the past several moments has been flitting near consciousness — the voices arguing about him, fifteen million, and the ethics of swearing sound like they are coming from above water while he struggles to break the surface, metaphorically. Literally, he's still lying in drenched clothing from his impromptu dunk in the water, his hair damp on his pale forehead. Pain is less distant — his brow creases now and then at the white-heat in his shoulder, and he almost goes under again. There's something keeping him here though — a word. Ruskin — they keep saying his name, but that's no surprise, Raith knew that the other day. Something else. Something more important than himself.


Suddenly his eyes are wide and he sits up, growling in pain as that tears at his shoulder, possibly undoing whatever hard work Abigail's done to this point.

The National Guard will stop anyone on the street if it has good enough reason to believe that person has ties with the insurgents responsible for the massacre in the Reclaimed Zone. Dressed in practical clothes that include a long wool coat soaked all the way through with rainwater, a dark gray dress designed with functionality and movement in mind and a pair of boots made from materials much sturdier and more resilient than she herself appears to be, Eileen doesn't look the part of a terrorist, and if she encountered any trouble on her way from the Dispensary to the river house, those inside can rest assured that it was either swiftly dealt with or it hasn't followed her here.

The sound of keys in the front door announce the Englishwoman's arrival, followed by the wet patter of rain and booted footsteps creaking across the loose floorboards in the entryway before she swings it shut behind her again. She's armed not with a gun but her field kit and a flash of periwinkle feathers at her coat's high collar: a bluebird, its glittering black eyes searching the safehouse's darkened interior for a sign the situation is as Raith described it and that Eileen isn't walking into a trap.

A small, thin smile spreads across Raith's lips. "Never had a doubt," he says, pushing himself up to stand, "Sheets, yet. Some medical, no drugs. I'll ge-" The sound of keys in the lock freeze him midsentence, and the ex-spy turns and trains his pistol at the sound. But it's just Eileen. And just Raith, Abigail, Avi, and John Doe, just like he said. "I'll get them." Holstering his weapon, he adds, aiming his specifically very specifically towards Abby, "Remember, we need him alive, so don't take chances you don't have to." Whether or not she'll listen, well… with Nick appearing to wake up, things may have just gotten more complicated than they were with just the EMT to worry about. Done speaking, Raith heads upstairs, either trusting Abby not to blow Nick's cover, or trusting Avi to make sure neither Abby nor Nick blow Nick's cover.

"I'm sooo sorry, My bar burned down, I can't make you anything to drink. Guess you'll have to resort to pissing in a shot glass and drink that" Snapped back by Abigail who finds that her patient is rearing himself up and Raith going to get sheets and other things. "Stop fighting and help me" The second littlest medic throwing her weight across the man, knee going up on the table to aid in getting Nick to lay back down.

"You've been shot. You will lay back down now, or the lord help me, you will be talking to him and not to me soon enough, do you understand me?" Her palm going to the good shoulder and attempting to press down. "Lay back do-" And her hand moves from his shoulder, going to cover his mouth, falling silent herself in case the person at the door, is not a friendly individual.

It's Eileen.

That could be construed in this situation, as a hostile entity, from what she's heard. "Oh thank the lord, a sane person. I don't done have any supplies and they're having a fucking family reunion over there, he's been shot, bad"

"Language," Avi taunts at Abby for something as little as the word pissing. "Oh, good, you're here," Avi notes to Eileen with a quirk of his head to the side and arms still folded across his chest. "You mind helping Beauchamp here stitch up my buddy? He got shot making sure that Jensen didn't take a bullet between the eyes. Apparently there's, I dunno, a bounty out on you folks or something?" Arching one black brow, Avi takes a step away from the makeshift bed that they've laid nick out on.

"He took a .32 caliber rifle round to the shoulder, went clean through, he wasn't wearing any body armor. Jensen's going to get some crap from somewhere in this Hills Have Eyes house," and that much is added with a roll of Avi's eyes. "Speak of family reunions… Avi begins to say, then cracks a smile with an awkward laugh and waves one hand, "nah nevermind. But seriously, he's bleeding a lot."

While he's barely conscious and barely able to think through the pain and the shock, Nick has seen enough spy movies to know that phrases like we need him alive don't usually bode well for the person writhing in pain. Trying to look past Abby toward whoever it is who has entered the house, the images swim and he collapses back down, which brings about a hiss of pain. Both sides hurt when a bullet rips through muscle, bone, and flesh. A couple of inches over and his lung would have been hit too, so all in all he's lucky — depending on how one looks at the situation.

"Goin' the other way, Belle," Nick tells Abby, his eyes re-opening to slits as he peers up at her. The American accent has been given up since he got shot, which doesn't help Raith's plan much, and probably irritates Avi since it doesn't suggest he'll do that well if he's ever tortured for information. James Bond, Nick Ruskin, aka Nick York, is not.

With a flick of its wings, the bluebird flies ahead of Eileen, scissors past Epstein's ear and alights on Abigail's shoulder. He can rest a little easier when she steps into the room alone — wherever Gabriel is, it isn't with her. Booted feet carry her the distance between the entryway and the makeshift operating table, and it's fortunate for everyone in the room that the bluebird's attention is on the gaping hole in Nick's shoulder rather than his face.

The similarity between his voice and the one belonging to a boy she once knew has her hesitating, but only for a handful of heartbeats. She sets the kit down on the edge of the table, pinches the clasps between her fingers and snaps open the lid. "How long ago?" is the first question she has for Abigail, her gentle tone much less tentative than a few of her steps had been.

Bluebird bluebird through my window, on my shoulder, making Pila jealous. Abigail's used to small birds perched on her shoulders and when the near weightless winged beauty makes alights there, she's careful to shift her hair out of the way so that her blind friend can get a good view. "Abby, or the nun, you can call me Bella" She doesn't miss Eileen hesitation and combined with Avi's need to be a smart ass, the secret is likely out, but Abigail won't be the one to be accused of spilling the beans.

"Forty minutes on the outside, at most. Maybe a half hour" A glance to the iPhone and a nod. "Forty minutes. I got his vitals on my phone, if you want to look them over, I can scroll back. I got most of the bleeding stopped but he's gone done and moved" Chiding Nick, putting on her best guerney side manner despite that they're at a table. "I don't have my gear, I burned up everything on me, I hope you got stuff or can get a hold of some stuff. We have antibiotics!"

As if that will make up for everything. "The jerk tried to turn us over for the bounty" Abigail pauses, lips pursed. "And not the asshole behind you" aka Avi. One hand settles on Nicks forehead, getting his attention for a second. "Eileen here, she's like.. she's far better than me. I'm just an EMT. I only know how to get you to her, I'm gonna let her take over but you're in good hands. I trust her"

"Yeah, Eileen's got all sorts of experience stitching up people with shady pasts," Avi jabs, "she sort've made it her living for a while playing a walking needle and thread for guys who'd shoot people like Beauchamp here," there's a tip of his head to Abby, "in the face for being what she is. You know, a living candle, not a Bible Thumper. They weren't Satanists or nothin'— well, maybe their leader was the Devil, I dunno."

In rare form after having been shot, Avi walks in a slow, pacing stride around the table. "He was in the water for a little bit too, I had to fish his ass out after he got shot. "My best buddy here's working on an angle of checking out some arms smugglers for me across Staten, works for this Grade-A D-Bag named Danny Walsh. NYPD homicide, does a little arms smuggling in his spare time, might also be a Grade-A Humanis First bigot?"

There's a flash of attention between Avi and Eileen and then over to Abby. "Thankfully Leenie here's batting for our team now after my man squeeze Gabe mellowed her out or something. You know," there's a shrug of one of Avi's shoulders as he comes to stand at the foot of the table.

"How's your day been, Ruskin?" And all Avi does is just sort've stare indirectly between Eileen and Nick.

Eileen. Nick can't really see her, not behind Abby, but his blue eyes open wider and he searches for her, just catching a glimpse of dark hair and green eyes through already blurry sight now dimming with tears. They close again and he shakes his head. "'m dying or dead already," he murmurs, more to himself than to anyone else in the room. "Or hallucinating or somethin' else but it ain't good."

His eyes open again, focusing on Abby's face, not realizing that looking up allows him to address, indirectly, that blue bird who Eileen watches through. "If she's real, you can just stop trying and Epstein there can give 'er a gun and she can go ahead and finish me off," he whispers. "I wouldn't bloody blame 'er." The exertion of speaking makes his eyes roll back in his head, before closing once more in another faint.

There are words coming out of Epstein's mouth. Abigail couldn't ask Eileen to repeat what they were. The cadence of her breathing changes, growing tight, and she reaches out with her hand as if to touch Nick's cheek, but her fingertips hover above the line of his jaw instead. When she does make contact, it's to push a few curls of sweat and rain-soaked hair from his brow so the bird perched on Abigail's shoulder can get a better look at his face.

She opens her mouth to ask something else. Closes it again when her voice fails her, a strange sound at the back of her throat in lieu of words. Her hand at his head curls in on itself, and she feels the glass points of her nails bite into the softer skin of her palm.

Her face is a mask. The only clue she provides to what might be happening behind it is her absolute stillness.

The next time she makes an attempt to speak, it's in a thin, shuddery rasp. "Abigail, I need you to prepare a sedative. Epstein, there's a well around back and a stove in the basement. Start boiling some water."

Finally, Raith returns from upstairs, carrying a bundle of sheets and what additional medical supplies he could find, primarily sterile gauze, antibiotic ointment, and some needle and thread. Enough perhaps to augment what Eileen brought, but clearly not a replacement for a full kit. "Sorry for the delay folks," he says. It's only a moment later when he takes a moment to look around that he realizes that something is amiss and not the way it should be. "How, bad and what do you, need?" he tries again. Maybe everyone was merely struck by a sudden but quite awful smell?

"As if she's do such a thing. I won't let her" And he's fainting dead away again. Not good. One hand closes on Eileen's shoulder, squeezing gently. "It's who you think it is. Take a deep breath and just… just save him first okay." Letting Eileen get in so she can take care of things, gentle fingers if a bit bloody maneuver the bird to where Eileen can get a good look through the tiny avian eye's. Stupid Avi and his inability to let sleeping dogs lie. "I can do that" A guess at Nicks weight and starting to look through the kit for the sedatives and a syringe. "I know full well who Eileen is and Mister Jensen here. Eileen I've healed a few times, Mister Jensen here, well, he accepted a bounty on my head that wasn't anywhere near fifteen million. I wasn't always a fire mimic, I used to heal once upon a time."

The syringe slid into the bottle of sedatives and the plunger pulled back.

"So I'd appreciate you just sat the hell down and let us save your little lackey, or I will not hesitate to come over there and shut it for you" A glance over as she holds out the syringe for Eileen to take if she wants to do the honors, staring at the one eye'd man. "I was a baby when I learned to suck Avi. But you, you're raising it to an art form. Masterpiece. Sit down and shit up, stop antagonizing"

A glance to Raith isn't long after. "You're brother's a dick"

Sometimes people light a fire just to see which direction it burns in. Avi used to be able to channel that destructive urge to sow dissention among enemies in the line of work, turn friend against friend or just turn strangers against strangers. Now a days that instinctive need to test other people's limits makes Avi difficult to be around, and sometimes leaves him wondering about the long-term consequences of his social engineering.

"Beauchamp told her, not me," Avi notes to Raith as he dusts off his hands and moves quickly towards a doorway leading out of this dining room. He's not fleeing, but rather following Eileen's instructions, stepping through the doorway into a kitchen and headed for the back door of the building for the well.

Avi lights fires to see where they burn, sometimes they burn him, sometimes they burn his friends. Most of the time he can't help himself.

"Don't touch me," Eileen instructs Abigail in that same voice, and the other woman will feel the energy surging in her taut muscles through the sodden material of her coat and dress. Tears carve paths down her cheeks, following the curve of her cheekbones and jaw, all the way through to her throat and the trembling pulse that flutters there. To her credit, her hands are comparatively steady. Overwhelmed by emotions too old and powerful to fight off, the most she can do is deny Epstein the pleasure of witnessing the results of his hard work.

While Abigail is still measuring the sedative, Eileen selects a needle and the appropriate width of glistening black thread from her kit, a small pair of what look like sewing scissors and a solitary cigarette, which she then tucks behind her ear for incentive. "When he wakes up, you tell him that Abigail is responsible for everything," she says thickly, sounding bruised and raw. "I was never here. I don't even fucking exist. Do you understand?"

Raith's attention migrates from Eileen to Avi, then to Abby and finally, back to Avi. Without a word, he turns and follows his brother-in-law out, although at a much faster pace to enable him to catch up. Avi's lucky, when Raith grabs him by the bicep- harder than he actually needs to- to stop him and turn him around, there is no fist flying to his face. But there isn't an angry, wrathful Jensen either. "Beauchamp told her?" he asks. It's not a question he allows Avi any time to answer. "You should have stopped her. The one thing-" A single finger raised up very aggressively- "I said not to do, and somehow you both did it anyway. I'm not supposed to be the responsible one, Avi. You are."

That's all. Raith turns on his heel and walks back to where Eileen is treating the brother she wishes was not on the island. The one he tried to keep a secret and keep alive because, whatever happened between them, Nick Ruskin is still her brother. And deep down, Raith knows that Eileen would never forgive him if he let her brother die, even if she never wants to see him again.

Why is that so hard to understand?

Somewhere outside, there is a loud, metallic clang. That was Avi, kicking the metal pail for the well pump across the yard.

Now? Now he's pumping water with a bruised shoulder while debating on just how much of an asshole he is for making Eileen cry. When did he change from being someone that was dependable, to a destructive jackass who hurts everything around himself. Anyone who knew Taylor Epstein could tell the answer right away. Yeah, that's about when he changed.

This really has been a shit week.

The two final items Eileen requires for her work are her pocket watch, placed at the head of the table, and her knife cracked open between her hands. She skims the edge of her thumb along the blade to test its sharpness but does not wait for boiling water with which to sterilize it. It's not a necessary step for what she has in mind.

A few inches deeper, and she'd be slivering open Nick's belly instead of splitting his shirt up the middle. She can't work with clothes in the way.

The bluebird flutters from Abigail's shoulder back to the Englishwoman's and huddles in the damp space between her collar and her throat. If she did not need its eyes to see, she'd envy it hiding behind the tangled veil of her hair.

She can think of few places on earth that are worse than in the dark with her big brother.

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