Reunited and It Feels So Good


cooper_icon.gif deckard_icon.gif

Scene Title Reunited and It Feels So Good
Synopsis …like an elbow to the face.
Date March 21, 2018

Ruins of Staten Island

It has been an interesting journey out to Staten Island.

It is obvious to Thomas Cooper… Oops! Sorry, I mean Guy Gergenblatt!

It was obvious to Guy that he hasn’t been outside the walls in sometime. Wow… he was rusty. He hadn’t had to use his skills from his days in Narcotics since the war ended, but with the attempted kidnapping of two people in Gillian’s life… it was time to get out there and get a good look at what was going on. If anything, maybe with enough time, he can help bring it down.

Or die… that seemed more likely. Though… he would rather not.

A cold sea breeze slides in from the water, twisting around him and making him shiver; He pulls his black beanie lower on his head and tugs up the hood of his jacket. This wasn’t a SESA agent, crunching his way forward. There was no suit, just an old leather jacket, with a hoodie under it. Worn jeans, old black army boots; instead of pressed slacks and converse sneakers. He hadn’t even shaved in a while, just thinking about it had him scratching as the whispered jawline.

He hitches his dufflebag higher on his shoulder, as he ducks under a beam, pausing to listen for familiar footsteps… or you know… the sound of a shotgun being prepped. Last time he had been out to Staten Island, he and Flint Deckard had spent a decent amount of time with sledge hammers, make room to hide a special package. It is that package that brings Guy out to the remains of the Lighthouse.

He had to admit, he was excited to be out here again.

After waiting a moment, he purses his lips and gives a short whistle… best not sneak up on the older man, lest Coo — uh Guy wanted to get his ass shot his first night back.

There’s no response — no return whistle, no shave and a haircut. A pair of bats squeak through blackened rafters, and the wind picks up through breaks in the wall.

Crunch. Crunch. Crunch.

A lean, shabby rail of a shadow in a long coat blocks in against the moonlight at “Guy’s” back, cutting off the entrance he slithered in through. The slash of a shotgun on his back juts over his shoulder, and his eyes stand out like coals in his skull, an unholy, irradiated blue.

“I’m not a dog.”


Flint stoops to slither under the same beam, shoulders cocked awkward to spare the gun. Even in the dark, it’s easy to see he lost a fight recently: the entire right flank of his face is blotched dark, a split in his brow pinned together with butterfly bandages that have had time to accumulate some grime.

Even the water is dirty, around here.

“You worried I’d shoot you?” He bumps Cooper with his shoulder by way of greeting, friendly as the average feral cat brushing past. “I’d know the dumb look on that skull anywhere.”

There is a bit of a jump when the voice pops up behind him, familiar or not. Instinct has his hand twitching a little towards the pistol at his back or the ones tuck into shoulder holsters. However, he does recognize that familiar voice full of gravel and grumpiness; so the look of surprise quickly dissolves into a bit of a goofy grin. In fact, it pulls to one side in amusement, as the older man passes, bumping him.

Damn he missed the old guy, not that he’d really say it.

Does he think that Flint would shoot him? Yes! He kinda does. But what he thinks and what actually pops out of that mouth are two different things. “Pfft, What!?Noooo!/ Of course not.” His expression says ‘you crazy’. “Just never know what crazy might be laying in wait to mess up my pur-dee face.” He bats his eyes to emphasis that… though there is nothing really pretty about him… more… vagrant-ish-y?

Eyes squint, taking in the condition of the other man’s features. “By the looks of it, you’ve been busy making new friends. Anyone interesting?”

Flint grumbles low in his throat, jaw flexed stiff against a throb behind his eye socket as he leans to lead the way beneath another fallen crossbeam.

“Just the lovechild of Mad Max and Fabio.”

Ahead there’s a camouflage tarp staked down within the wreckage, mottled greys and browns humped over a great, hulking shape in the dark. Further still, a rusty coil of razor wire glints dull in the moonlight, unspooled amidst the ruin of the wall they caved in with sledgehammers, not so long ago. Flint’s piled some of the bigger boulders back in to fill the gap.

At a distance, or from the air, it all looks like more of the same bombed out shitshow.

Only from the inside does the illusion start to fall apart. And by then, anyone trying to clamber in through the obvious hole to get a closer look would be dancing in razor wire.

“Caught him digging up the garden. What’s new with you?”

Cooper gives a short laugh. “I did not need that mental image.. Though you have to wonder who’d be top,” he says with a feigned shutter. “Though I’d think Mad Max could do better. However, Fabio does have those lovely locks.” Following the lankier man through the wreckage, his pale eyes brighten at the sight of the tarp. It’s one of the main reason he is here.

What new with him, though?

While he talks and walks, the dufflebag is swung around to where he can work at opening it. It’s an old army duffle bag that has clips at one end. “Ellen…” His 19 year old daughter. “Has a new boyfriend. Some punk ass scavenger kid… I should have you go scare the piss out of him.”

Well, he asked….

“Oh! Saw Gillian again… Kinda awkward.” He told Deckard of that Sex-capade before. His tone is kinda conversational and distracted as he searches his duffle bag. “She called me twice within a month on people she cares about about getting scooped up by human traffickers. One inside the wall. She’s blonde now… Gillian that is. Kinda sexy really. Also, the reason I’m out here.”

The argon blue glow of Deckard’s eyes in the dark makes it hard to miss the narrow look of dude he slants back at Cooper during his dissection of Mad Max and Fabio’s sexual relationship.

“Scavenging’s not a bad skill to have these days.”


“I used it to find you a spare tire.”

Flint stoops stiff after the first stake, twisting from the shoulder to yank it out and drop it aside. He throws that corner of the tarp up after it, and behold: half the back end of a very special van. Now with a chunky black tire leaned up against the bumper.

“Probably the Arrowoods. You fuck her again?”

There is a familiar rattle of pills, as Cooper extracts a crumpled brown bag from his duffle. “Dude! You got the Magic Mobile a spare?” He’s rather pleased by this development. “That’s awesome.

“No… didn't fuck her again. Took me long enough to get over her the last time. Plus, I don't want to fuck up this case.” The bag and its contents are offered up to his grizzled friends, before he moves to touch the dull black surface of his old smuggling van from the war. “You and me, babe, are gonna be spending a lot of time together.”

There is a bit of a gleeful look like a kid at Christmas as he moves to loosen another tie down, revealing a mural of a wizard casting a spell and a dragon.

He runs a hand over the image as he says, “So yeah the Arrowoods. That is what we heard from another informant… I've been sent in to investigate and watch… maybe get close.” Brows furrow, frustration evident… “But no interfering with business… so… it’ll be interesting.”

Letting things happen is the hardest part about being undercover. Becoming one of them.

With a paper pop, crackle and rustle, Flint takes the bag on offer and flicks it open to peer in at the contents, his eyes dulled dark in their sockets. Smudges of red and orange are left behind to dazzle across Cooper’s retinas — ghosts of the light that was there before.

He dips a hand in — rolls the bottle in his palm to read the label and crumples the whole package to tuck it away in his jacket. Trying not to look relieved and failing.

Fortunately he has the dark to mask anything too embarrassingly earnest about his gratitude.

“Thank you.”

Yeah, there’s a spare tire. And yeah, there are the Arrowoods. He pushes the paper bag down, out of sight and secure, past a handgun strapped in at this side, and a knife at his hip. Staten Island chic.

“I have something they want.”

“Anytime, buddy,” is quipped out like it is nothing, a walk in the park, as Cooper works at another tiedown. Jerking the spike out the ground, he instantly regrets it when it bumps against the van. ThudTink! “Oops.”

Licking his thumb, he rubs furiously at the mark, sighing when it doesn't come off. “Dammit.” he whispers. Of course, the van has seen better days, not that he cares… he just cares about the new dings.

It takes a moment, but then Thomas straightens face openly curious; brows lifted high enough to touch the knitted beanie. //He has… // “What’s that?” For the moment, the van is left alone, the agent’s focus is on his war buddy turned informant.

Flint watches Cooper fuss over his big metal baby at a curious remove, light ringed back to life behind his eyes. There’s a fluorescent flicker in the one on the right — feathery light, and swift to stabilize. The cost of a near constant state of head trauma.

“It’ll buff out,” he assures.

As for what the Arrowoods want — he pulls in on himself just a shade in the dark, bony shoulders brought up against pending scrutiny. Coloring inside the lines on Staten Island isn’t easy.

“A gun. Stolen.” Not the only hot merchandise in his possession, but the only one he’s admitting to a cop. As if shit like this even matters anymore. Still — there’s unease bound up behind the long flank of his face, prickled in the back of his neck.

Old habits.

“Someone swiped a set of them out of one of their shipments. They’ve been shaking down the island for weeks trying to track them down.”

“Are the now?”

The smirk on his lips remains, though his eyes narrow slightly studying the taller, much thinner man — Cooper likes donuts too much to ever be considered lanky. “How did it end up in your possession?” Realizing how the question sounds he holds up both hands, giving Flint an apologetic look “Look, I’m not asking this as a shake down…. I’m just wondering the story behind how it was obtained. Stories that can be passed on… if say —” His arms spread out and shoulders lift in a slow shrug, “ — someone returns it to the proper owner.”

Already his mind is working as to how this turn of events could work in his favor. “That is if you are willing to part with it.” There is doubt there, but he tries not to show it. Instead, he turns to open up the back of the van so that he can store his gear. This would — for the most part — be his home for awhile.

“John Logan.”

The stolen gun was the hard part to get out.

Flint dumps Logan’s name at Cooper’s feet like a dead rat, just shy of interrupting his reassurance. Almost like he was paid to do it. Which — there’s a crinkle when he shifts his weight in the face of Coop’s raised hands.

“He gave it to me.” Because they’re such good friends.

“You can have it. It’s tainted. You’ll just need a good cover story.” He reaches up to hold the door open, the beginnings of his defensive bristle already smoothing back down as they settle into the routine of loading and unloading. “One without my name in it.”

“Ouch, man.” Cooper understands the comment and the reason for it, but he still clutches at his chest like he has been genuinely hurt by the comment. (He’s not really) “Give a guy some credit here.”

The door opened to the back of the van, Cooper gives the awful yellow ochre a glance before he scoops up the duffle and deposit it in the bed, sending up some dust. “Why, am I not surprised that Fancypants is involved.” The pack slowly and unceremoniously falls over on its side. Fwump.

He’ll tuck away that bit of information for a bit of thought. “Thanks.” The jovial nature falls away as Thomas angles a look at the other man, “Let me know if anything else comes up on that stuff and…” his mouth quirks up at one side, “If you hear anything on Safe Zone foods being sold. Been some thefts.” He adds that last as an explanation. “I know SESA has already been tap dancing around out here, but might as well ask.”

Another noncommittal grumble, on the subject of faith. The Vanguard was one thing, the military another. They’re in the crazy hillbilly post-apocalypse now. It’s the difference between fighting off a pack of dogs and a pack of rabid opossums with guns.

Thinking of — he turns at the hip to check through the walls around them, and sees only the fine little bones of a one-eyed ginger cat slinking in to visit “Guy” through the ruins. Hands sunk down into his pockets, he’s quiet for a moment while he watches.

“I just want you to be careful.”

The cat wraps through his legs, tail lifted and shivered on his way to help himself up into the back of Cooper’s van, bypassing Cooper himself without so much as a glance.

“They’ll test you if they suspect anything. They don’t have anything to lose, but you do.”

As for the rest?

“I’ll keep my ear to the ground. You heading out tonight or sticking around?”

The cat doesn’t get a chance to get comfortable…. Cooper is not much of a fan of cats. “Oh no you don’t,” he growls, risking claws to scoop up the cats and toss him out of the van. Gently of course. He’s not a heathen. But, last thing he needs or wants is a cat stinking up his van.

The doors are loud as they are slammed to keep the cat from attempting that venture again, Cooper’s back pressed back against them as if the cat might attempt to open it. Which of course it can’t.

“Luckily, this isn’t my first rodeo.” Cooper offers as somewhat lame reassurance that he’s ‘got this.’ He only — kinda — sorta — maybe thinks he has this.

Shifting to lean, getting a look at the hole created by their own hands; he can already see big flakes of snow fluttering down, just beyond the shelter. Cooper considers for a moment, “If it is all the same, I’ll stick around. Maybe you can catch me up on everything going on out here in the Wild West…” that way he isn’t blindsided “…and I can brief you on who this,” his finger circles his face, “is going to be for the foreseeable future.”

The cat croaks out half a meow before Cooper has him around the middle, pelt rolled loose up over his shoulders, tail lashing. He’s tossed aside like the scruffy, scar-tattered rug he is, and lands on all fours, tail whisked upright on his way to stalking right back out of the lighthouse. The van doors slam behind him.

He didn’t want to be in there anyway.

Deckard couldn’t look less convinced if he tried, jaw set at a scruffy jut, a sidelong look wary from under the hood of his brow.

No comment.

The old man turns to follow after his cat, one boot lifted high over a slat of fallen timber, hands still tucked away warm in his jacket. Presumably, this means Cooper can stick around.

“You know what would really sell the look?” he asks, as he goes.

The cat is watched warily until it is far enough away, that Cooper can open the back of the van again and rummage in that rucksack again. A boxy item with a handle is removed and everything closed up again.

With a quick shuffle of feet, the agent moves to catch up to his host of the evening. “Oh? What’s that?” he asks as he draws up just behind Deckard, sounding a little distracted as he checks out the digs as they move further in.

Flint never takes his hands out of his pockets.

He just takes a single, sharp step back across Cooper’s foot behind him, and hooks an elbow hard up and back into his puppy face, bone to bone. Not hard enough to clock him out cold, but enough to ring in his ears. Enough for that slow, crawling, warm kind of pain.

They’ll have matching bruises by morning.

Elbow connects, head snaps back; Thomas Cooper stumbles back a few steps, his face pinched in pain. “Son — of — a —” He doesn’t finish that thought as he becomes more more interested in seeing if his nose is bleeding. Swiping his hand across his nose a few times, just to make sure, brows furrowed.

Then something seems to occur to him and Cooper starts to chuckle. Still holding a hand to his face, he quickens his step to catch up, and slaps the emergency crank style radio into Flint’s chest.

“Damn… I have missed you, too, old man.”

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