brian_icon.gif lynette4_icon.gif veronica3_icon.gif

Scene Title Salvage
Synopsis In the wake of a disaster, they try to find something to hang onto.
Date November 08, 2011

A dark road to a cheap motel.

"Here will do," Veronica says to Walter, who nods. The argument has already been made — it's safer for the Ferry to go back to their hiding places without the former Company-turn-Institute agent in their midst. Even if she may need their protection as much as anyone else they shelter. And more so than some.

When the van pulls over, she rises from her seat, crouching so as not to hit her head on the ceiling. Some of the children are asleep — others catatonic — so it's a hushed group. Her eyes slide past those she knows, apologies and sorry shared in the brief moment of eye contact. When they come to Lynette, she offers a small, sad smile, but she doesn't say anything before she opens the door to slide out. Now that she's been sitting in a cramped, cold van, her movements are more deliberate — pained. And the dome light that comes on when the door opens causes the handprint of fresh blood on the door handle to gleam, visible as the door swings shut from the outside. Veronica taps the side of the van to let Walter know she's clear.

Lynette was likely part of that argument. Maybe an insistent part of it, but ultimately overruled. But tonight, Lynette is driven by emotion, not logic. Which might be why she watches Veronica go, instead of turning her attention back to those left in the van. And seeing those movements, she reaches up to touch Walter's shoulder. "Hang on."

She climbs out of the van herself, turning back to note, "Let the rest of the council know I'll be there soon." Only then does she let them start off again and she turns to Vee to take her arm. "How bad is it?" Concern is in her words, but her expression is still haunted.

"No. You should go, Lynette," Veronica says, frowning at the blond Ferrywoman. But the tail lights are already ahead of them on the road, leaving them standing on the side. The highway's billboards advertise a motel about a half mile in the distance. "I've had worse."

One arm is gingerly held around her side; her dark clothing making the fact she's injured at all hard to see. But there's a tension in her posture, a set to her jaw that suggests that, now the adrenaline's worn off, she definitely feels the pain. "You should stay with your people," she adds, before turning to begin the walk toward the small roadstop 'village.' "Can you call them back?"

"I don't find that hard to believe, if this is what you've been getting up to since the last time we actually talked." Lynette spots the billboard and then puts her arm around Veronica to take some of her weight.

"Couldn't possibly," she notes, as far as calling anyone back. "The Ferry is looked after. And if anyone has earned a place under its protection, it's you. Plus," she adds, more frankly, "as far as I'm concerned, you are my people. So we're going to drag you to the nearest bed and get you patched up." Lynette herself seems to have escaped unharmed, save for a few gashes and bruises. The blood on her hands and clothes is not her own.

"More or less. Sometimes more than less," is Veronica's cryptic answer to what she's been up to. "One of the robots sliced me. Not too deep, hit the ribs, luckily." She should have been wearing armor, but she had to move fast and didn't get a chance to grab it, unlike the squad of Dong-Tians. She wraps an arm around Lynette's waist, despite her words of being able to go it alone.

"Electrokinetic, huh? I can say that it's not fun being on the receiving end of that one, which happens more than I'd like. Hope it's more fun to have," she says a little more lightly, her voice rough. She glances over her shoulder now and then, to make sure they aren't being followed.

"Alright, well, I guess I don't have much ground to disapprove." All things considered. Lynette looks down to Veronica's wound, but her attention flicks back up a moment later. "You tell me if you need to stop. Or if you're losing too much blood."

When she brings up the powers, Lynette nods to confirm. Not that she needs to confirm. Her power isn't exactly subtle. "It's why my dad moved us away from LA. When this is what I manifested." Ever so long ago. "I can confirm that it's more fun to have than to receive, yes. For me, at least. When did you take up being a double agent? Bit risky."

Veronica shakes her head. "I'm not going to bleed out." She knows what that feels like, having almost done so earlier in the year at the hands of Roger Goodman. The question about being a double agent makes her laugh. "It's risky even when you're not, so why not?" she says a little glibly. She might not be quite all right, actually, but she's moving well enough, if slowly, and the blood isn't coming fast enough to leave a trail, so there is that.

"I actually started with the Company thinking I was doing right in the world, but it was mostly based on a lie," she says, quietly. "And turns out I'm Evolved myself, even though I was supposed to be the mundane side of the 'one of us, one of them' equation. Go figure." She glances at Lynette. "I'm sorry if you lost anyone tonight. We all did, but…" but it's not the same for her, she knows.

"That's true, everything's risky these days." Lynette looks over at her as she explains, only glancing ahead to make sure they don't trip over anything. "I understand that. Trying to do the right thing and watching it slip away from you." There's a sigh there, but it's replaced by a more inquisitive noise a moment later. "One of us, one of us, huh? What do you do?"

Those last words bring some tension to Lynette and her gaze turns ahead, going a little distant. They all lost people. The Ferry lost a lot of people. Comrades, people they meant to rescue, children… and yet, there is one that dominates Lynette's thoughts. "It happens," she says, eventually, not quite hitting the flippancy she's going for, "in a move like this. I'm sure it'll all hit me once we have a moment to breathe." If they ever get one. "Did you… know many of the people there? The ones being kept?"

Veronica chuckles at the question about what she does. "Nothing I can control. I reflect. Targeted powers bounce back on whoever used them on me. It's nice and saved my life a couple of times, but…" she shrugs. "There are times I'd probably not want it to go back. And I can't be healed." The question about whether she knew the people within, she shakes her head. "Not really. Not well," she says quietly. "The ones that died, they were pawns, too. They didn't deserve this. The kids didn't deserve it, for sure." She sighs, wincing a little when uneven pavement jostles her body. "I'm sorry," she adds. For the unspoken losses Lynette is bearing.

"Useful," Lynette says, as far as Veronica's powers, "but that is a serious downside. Doesn't slow you down, I've noticed." Because here they are. Walking away from a battlefield. She nods to the sorry, her smile tight, but grateful.

"Someone in there took a bullet for me today. Several bullets. He said — he believed it was better to make sure I made it. So stupid. We were there to get him out. All of them." Lynette's voice shakes and she pauses to shake her head. Her free hand comes up to rub at her face, smearing mud that hasn't quite dried. "I wish we had gotten them out."

"Easier to keep moving sometimes," Veronica murmurs, her eyes on the pavement. She glances at Lynette though, and her expression grimaces in sympathy. Empathy. "Shit. That's hard. I'm sorry." So many sorries. She squeezes Lynette lightly. "I'm sorry it couldn't be cleaner. Easier. I wish I could've done more inside." Her words are suddenly thick, and she clears her throat, looking away. Her dark eyes well up before she blinks, and the tears are gone again.

"The exit should've been clear. They were anticipating us. Somehow." The sorrow in her face is replaced by anger, but then she grows more practical and nods up ahead. "We need to clean up a little before we order a room or they'll call the cops."

"No, you were amazing. We wouldn't have saved any of them without you." Lynette returns the squeeze, but only to Veronica's arm. "Everything's been messy since I got to New York. This job used to be a lot less demanding," she says, pushing aside her own brush with emotion with a crooked smile. If just a small one.

"Yes, they were," she notes, dryly, about the ambush. Frustration evident. "We had a precog try to warn us, but — Let's say it wasn't given the attention it deserved by all parties involved. They have someone on the inside. One of us is one of them. I was hoping we would root them out in time." But they didn't, obviously.

When Vee brings up the very sensible point that they look bad off, Lynette looks over at her, then down at herself. "We can't just tell them we were in a fight and need the room to make up?" Yes, that's right, inappropriate jokes will save us now. "I was thinking we'd break into a room. But I suppose we could try it the other way."

"I have cash on me. No reason to raise alarms," Veronica says quietly, wiping a hand over her face that just manages to smear the grime and dirt on her rather than take any off. "Besides-" Her burner phone, turned on somewhere in the middle of Connecticut, buzzes and she pulls it out of the leather blazer she wears.

"Brian's here," she says, some relief in her face. It seems to give her a little more energy, her pace a bit faster as she moves toward the motel that's now perhaps a football field's length away.

Lynette blinks, then laughs a little. "Cash, right. I've been in exile for too long." When was the last time she even needed cash? Who knows. But when the phone rings, she tenses at first, but it's shortlived. "Brian? Oh good," she says, sounding relieved herself. Because she is. She keeps pace with Veronica, trying to make sure she doesn't hurt herself any worse with this sudden burst of speed. She doesn't mind the idea of getting there faster, herself.

Standing at the mouth of the parking lot, Brian Winters has his hands in a grey hoodie. Leaning out he gives a casual nod in greeting to them. Or at least it seems casual on the surface. Taking his hands out of his hoodie as they arrive he gives both of them a once over as they come to him.


He goes to put himself in between them, aiming to help the pair of them move towards the room described should they need it.

"Yeah. You'll have to give me some pointers," Veronica says wryly. The not very funny joke strikes her as funny, though, and she begins to laugh again. But when they get close enough to see Brian, she sobers, her brows knitting together like she might cry just at the sight of him.

"Thank you," she says, the words quiet, almost a sigh. "We can walk. I'm just bleeding a little," she says, glancing down at her side. Black clothes make it hard to see, but the blouse beneath the jacket gleams where it shouldn't in the buzzing yellow light of the lamps lighting the parking lot. "Lead the way."

It strikes Lynette as funny, too, because she also laughs. A release of tension, perhaps. A touch of mania, maybe. But when Brian comes over, Lynette nods him toward Vee. "Help her. Don't listen to her protests, she's putting on a good face." And once he's in position, she strides ahead. Giving them a little space while she checks room numbers and turns toward his room.

She gives this task her full attention. Even if it doesn't strictly need it.

Handing off the motel room key to Lynette, Brian does indeed ignore her protests. Slinging her arm around his shoulder, his arm slips around her waist in an attempt to make it look more casual. Pulling her into him he leads her over to the room.


The single word is asked quietly, his eyes straight ahead on the room they are walking into. "I didn't see it. They.. They didn't see it. Happen. At the end?"

"Robot. Blade," Veronica murmurs, and shakes her head. "It was still inside." They had split apart to sweep the rooms of anyone that they wanted to rescue. "Like Argentina all over again."

She lets him lead them — under the outdoor hallway lights, it's easy to see she's just a little too pale, even under the grime and blood on her face. "I'll be okay. I just need you to stitch me up," she says. "If you have any pain killer, that'd be fucking awesome. Alcohol for cleaning it. You got a first-aid kit?" He probably packed a bunch of their things, given they need to not be anywhere near Cambridge and can't go back to her apartment in New York.

With key in hand, Lynette unlocks the door, propping it open for them before she moves deeper in to start running hot water and pulling out towels and extra sheets. Apparently, the notion that Brian might have brought supplies with him doesn't occur to her and she's getting ready to rough it. Well, they'll probably be roughing it at least a little either way.

After dumping what makeshift supplies she can find on the bed, she ducks into the bathroom to check the water temperature. And catches sight of herself in the mirror. She looks at her hands, at the blood stains. A tear slips down her cheek, leaving a track through the dirt there, and she shoves her hands into the water. There's soap nearby. She's going to need clean hands if Brian needs help with Veronica's injuries.

As she starts listing off what he would need, Brian gives a slightly exasparated chuckle.

"Vee. I got it. I know."

Moving into the room he stands, keeping her weight on him he goes to throw the blankets back. Pulling the sheet up he goes to settle her on top of the bed. Bringing his hand up to the side of her head he leans in to kiss her forehead.

"I'm glad you're not dead."

Pulling away he goes to the bathroom as well. Stopping short of the bathroom he watches Lynette for a fraction of a second before stepping in. He pulls a small towel and places it on the counter for her. Waiting for his turn. "Gillian and Lene. Still nothing you've heard?" There's likely no chance she would've heard something that he hasn't but.. the question is asked anyway. He goes to scrub his hands vigorously.

"Sorry," Veronica whispers. "Habits."

She doesn't stay sitting, but instead stands again once he's walked away, pulling out of her leather jacket and draping it over the bedpost so it doesn't get blood on the bed. "I should come in there," she says with a shake of her head. Leaving blood all over a motel room tends to draw attention, even in a crappy motel room in the boondocks.

She moves that way, too — hopefully no one is using the commode.

She makes a face at the question about Gillian. "She has to be okay," she murmurs, but for no reason except that it's important for her to be — to them.

Vee begins to unbutton her shirt, too-often injured to be shy about doing so in front of a friend she hasn't seen in years.

The wound is long but not deep, a clean slice along her left side along her lower ribs.

It takes her a few moments to notice Brian there, but when she does, Lynette blinks away the tears. As if this might make everything appear okay. When her hands are clean, she reaches for the towel, wringing it over her hands. "I didn't see her. There at the end, it was hard to get a head count. But she had the intel. She'll have found a way out." She speaks as if she believes it, maybe also because she can't stomach any more losses tonight.

She steps out of the way, to let him wash up, too, and she turns to Vee to look at the cut. "Someone needs to tell those robots to keep their claws to themselves," she says, attempting a more lighthearted tone. Failing, but trying. "It doesn't look too bad." She looks over at Brian. "I'm afraid I never mastered my stitching." Not yet, anyway.

"Just bleed through the sheet." Is called out through to the main room. "We'll flip the mattress."

Going to wash his own hands he stares hard at the mirror as Lynette speaks. His grey eyes staring dully forward. His hands are clean and he exits the bathroom. The door is closed.

A minute passes and the door opens again. Brian exits and behind him another Brian wearing only a pair of shorts that were apparently in there exits behind him.

"I got it." He calls out, one Brian going through the bags that Vee had packed in their 'get the fuck out' bags. The shorts-Brian hands a small bottle of rubbing alcohol to the more clothed version who makes his way back over to Veronica.

Going to sit beside her, he assists her out of her shirt, throwing it in the middle of the bed. "I tried going back in for her." His voice catches for a second though, composing himself he presses through it. "I.." His hand is shaking as he holds the bottle over her wound.

Clearing his throat his features relax, his hand steadies. He begins to pour a little bit slowly around the wound.

Veronica catches Lynette's small, momentary melt-down in the reflection, but doesn't say anything. She's had enough of those herself, and she chooses to instead heed Brian's advice, for once. But not before grabbing a towel. She gives Lynette's reflection a small, sympathetic smile before she turns to go. "If you can find actual alcohol," she adds to her, noting the rubbing alcohol entering the room, "that'd be better."

They both need a drink.

She moves back to the bed to let Brian help her, laying the towel down to catch the blood. "I know," she murmurs, quietly. "There were more people in there. Maybe they found another way out." Her voice is quiet, worried too. Until he pours the alcohol and she hisses. "Fuuuuck that hurts," her eyes bright with tears. "Drugs?"

Meeting Veronica's gaze, Lynette returns her smile. Dimly. But she seems glad to not have her emotions called out. She steps out into the room and starts tearing one of the sheets into strips. "I don't think this is the sort of place with a minibar," she says. "Unless you all have some packed in your bug out bag, I think we'll have to make do without. And you might want to find something to squeeze, Ronnie." But a drink would be very nice right about now.

She looks back over to Brian, her expression falling. "You'll see her again. We all know where to fall back to. She'll make her way there." This is all a lot of things Lynette can't possibly know, but she doesn't seem to mind lying about it in this particular moment. Besides. Is it really lying when the other person knows it?

"Don't worry! I got some!"

The other Brian in the room produces a bottle of Jack from one of the bags with a triumphant look. Though as far as glasses the best he can do is some plastic water cups.

The Brian at Veronica moves his hand to hold her hand. Though his features contort for a moment as if realizing something. He looks up to Lynette.

"When we switched powers. I got.. Separated." He looks down at how close he is to Veronica then back up to Lynette. "I'm not cheating on Samara. I'm a different one." There that seems good explanation enough.

"The others want me to take on a different name or a moniker or something. To cut down on confusion." This is more to Veronica and seems to be said as if to distract her from the pain coarsing through her side.

The shirtless Brian comes over, handing one cup of the whiskey to Lynette, one for himself, and the bottle to Veronica.

As far as Gillian goes, if he has any thoughts on where she is he chooses not to share them right now.

The explanation to Lynette about his 'it's complicated' relationship status(es) makes Veronica look away, cheeks flushing a little. "I'm pretty sure Lynette wasn't worried about it, but good to clear it up," she says wryly, but she does look very appreciative when the alcohol is handed to her. She takes a long drink from the bottle, before sighing, a shaky thing that probably hints the pain is more than she's showing.

"Lynnie, can you get me a glass of water? I should probably hydrate." She's lost a lot of fluid.

"Lynnie and I knew each other back in California. She was my idol," she tells Brian. She glances up to Lynette to smile. "Still is, maybe. I didn't know you had her power — that was why — Oh." The pieces click together a little.

For a moment, Lynette looks a little confused as to where his train of thought is taking them. But it clears up. "Ah, of course. It hadn't crossed my mind." She's not one to judge! "Veronica's happy, that's all I see." She takes her cup and a generous swallow in one, smooth movement. And then she nods to Vee before getting up to get some water for her.

"I was a terrible role model then, and probably still am," she says with a crooked smile to Veronica as she passes over the water. But her expression sobers a moment later. "Yes, for a time. The things he does — well, I didn't handle it half as well, when I went through it." If she wonders what became of the other Lynettes that might have been around when their powers reverted, she doesn't voice it. Whatever their fate, it isn't something she wants to linger on.

"I just didnt.."

Looking between the two women he shrugs. "Whatever." He watches sympathetically for a moment. "My sister had my powers for a little. We haven't really talked about it." He's caught staring at the older woman for a long moment, something like respect in his eyes. "It's a strange sensation? Not many people understand." The sneakiest of glances is given to Veronica. Then back to Lynette. "We never really got to talk about it."

"It would be.. It would be nice to hear how you handled it some time. What it was like for you. I've never. You know. You can feel alone. With something like that, even though technically you're very not."

"Okay Vee." The other Brian has come over with the needle and supplies and places it on the bed near the Brian doing the most talking. He then settles in next to Veronica in a Brian sandwich, going to hold her affectionately, but also holding her still.

"Childhood friends? I.. Small world. I didn't know that."

"I had it for thirty seconds once," says Veronica, usefully, taking another long swallow of the whiskey before she hands it to one of the Brians to set down for her. She takes a swallow of the water, before doing the same. "That was before I had my own so no one got mine."

But now it's go time and while she's been on the receiving end of sutures many times, it always hurts. She shifts a little to face the Brian not holding needle and thread, giving the other Brian more access to her lacerated waist. Her arm comes up as well, to rest the hand on the opposite shoulder. "Yeah. We have only seen each other a couple of times. Lyn probably thought I was the devil who wears Prada." She nods to Brian to start when he's ready. "What name are you thinking? I get veto rights."

"I would say it's definitely strange." Lynette's tone is light, but when she looks over at Brian, she turns more serious. "I'd be happy to talk to you about it. People really didn't… Yeah." They didn't get it. Veronica's addition gets a smile, though. Thirty seconds counts for something.

When the actual stitching starts, Lynette stands nearby, towel at the ready, just in case things start to go bloody. "Well, no one told me you were dismantling the thing from the inside," she says, as far as her impression of grown-up Veronica. "Probably for the best. I might have had to take you out for a drink and blown your cover entirely." On the matter of a new name for a new branch of replicas, she looks over at Brian, her head tilting curiously.

No it doesn't count. Or at least that's the look Veronica gets when she reminds him she had the power for thirty seconds. "I remember." A grin would usually accompany his words, but given present circumstances there just isn't enough mirth to summon one.

One Brian falls silent as he begins to apply the sutures, the other holding her firmly though his hand gentle and affectionate on hers.

"I was thinking Chevalier for the surname." Both Brians pause for a moment. "It was my mothers maiden name. Andrew is my middle name." He shrugs bringing himself out of the brief second of crisis. With his tone already sullen he decides to add in, "Dong-tian is out of play. Completely."

Veronica bites her lower lip, breath hitching in her chest as the needle pulls through flesh. Her hand squeezes Brian's tightly, and her pale skin tone goes just a touch paler yet, but, as evidenced by quite a few scars on her otherwise fit body, this is nothing new to her. "I can live with that," she says quietly. "Though it's not very under the radar. For now, anyone asks, you can be Andrew Jacks- wait, not that asshole. Andrew Murray or something, maybe. You know, motel rooms, things like that."

She winces as the needle pulls through again, leaning her forehead on Brian's shoulder for a moment. "I'm sorry," she says quietly, regarding Dong-Tian.

She lifts her head again to look at Lynette. "So what about you — Ferry… Council, right?" Because she and Brian had discussed who would receive their intelligence.

Lynette glances over to Brian at that last bit of news, then down to the towel in her hand. "I'm sorry, too." Tilting her head back up to actually pay attention to the procedure, she shakes herself out of her own melancholy. And to that end, she focuses on Veronica's question.

"Yes, but before you get impressed, I'm there by default. Half the council was killed during the riots last year. I try to live up to it, but… well, I think Brian can attest to how seriously my opinions are taken." Which is, not very. Not lately. "But the people know they can talk to me and that's fair enough as far as I'm concerned."

This next stitch is a little rougher. "Chevalier." His tone a little brash, a little too quick, punctuates the moment. The needle hesitates a near her skin.

"I'm sorry."

Forcing himself to relax some he continues with the sutures into her skin. Although they have focused on other topics, and are moving on, Veronica will feel a drop of liquid on her arm. It's not difficult for her to assume a tear had fallen from the Brian who's head is down, focusing on the sutures.

"It's not a big deal about that." Winters presses. "Just an asset we can't use now. I'm not worried about it. I'm more worried about Gillian. And Jolene. We were in that place for months Vee. If there was another way out, we would have known about it." Another tear.

"For what it's worth Lynette. You're the one I trust the most. I only said okay to pass the info to the council because you are on it."

"No? I was going to get you a cake and throw you a party," Vee says with a grin to Lynette when she says not to be impressed. "Leadership's hard. And hard to share, for some," she adds more seriously. She's been lead on enough cases to know not everyone plays well with others.

There's a short, sharp intake of breath at the less-gentle stitch, her hand tightening on the one Brian holding her, but Veronica doesn't cry out. She just stays still, not breathing for a moment as she makes sense of that tear fall. She lets go of the hand of the one that holds her to pull the speaking Brian's head over so she can hold him for a moment, kissing the top of his head. Yes, they're all Brian. Or maybe Andrew. But the one who's crying is the one she feels the need to console.

"Not necessarily. There were people in there that might have found a different way out. Tamara, for one," she murmurs. "Maybe they found someone with an ability Gillie could augment, get them out another way. We don't know yet. It's early days. We don't know. I'm not saying they're okay, but we don't know yet." She glances over at Lynette, maybe for back up. Of course Lynette's been providing that all along.

"Well, I wouldn't say no to a cake. Think any of us can walk into a bakery without being arrested?" Lynette tightens her grip on the towel when Veronica takes in that breath, but she makes herself calm down. This would be a bad time to start sparking. But, luckily, Brian says something that completely distracts her from her worry for a moment. "What?" she asks, incredulously. It is possibly that sort of vote of confidence is the last thing she expected to hear. "I — "

She meets Veronica's gaze, looking for her own save there, and seems to find it, even if it comes with a much heavier topic. "Right. We don't know. We know they're capable people. Resourceful. It was a tight spot, but let's not count anyone out just yet."

The sutures are paused while the kiss is made. Though there is a speck of moisture on both of the Brians, the one that is physically speaking about the subject does seem to be having more of the trouble. As for Gillian and Lene surely being safe? He falls silent.

His silence stretches out as he continues through the sutures applying a little more alcohol and then apparently appears to be finished. Sitting up he looks down at Veronica's stomach then back up.

Reaching out sans ceremony his hand touches the other Brian's shoulder and the man just disappears. Leaving a pair of shorts to flop to the ground. Only then does he go to take the cup of whiskey he poured himself.

"What now?" It's clear he's not speaking on just this moment. Or even this day or this week. What now?

"Thank you," Veronica whispers quietly when the suturing is done, and once she's no longer held captive, reaches into the bag to find a shirt to pull on, so no one has to look at her stitched-up wound any more than they have to.

She reaches for the bottle to take another swig, then moves to refill their cups, should they want any. There's no toasting. "I don't know," she says quietly. "We keep on fighting. But not tonight."

Tonight, they've fought and lost enough.

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