amato_icon.gif elias_icon.gif felix_icon.gif munin_icon.gif gray_icon.gif

Scene Title Sloth
Synopsis On their way out of the apartment, Munin, Amato and Elias bump into Felix and Sylar. Things get a little awkward.
Date October 23, 2008

Cliffside Apartments — Amato's Apartment and the Outside Hallway

It is a testament to devotion, even love, that Amato is able to keep his cool after such events as what has just transpired within the abandoned Eagle Electric warehouse. He exited silently, slipping away once the group was dismissed, but rather than return to Ethan's car, Kazimir's own Conscience chose to walk the few blocks to Cliffside.

Inside, two bags are made - one of Munin's belongings (or at least those in plain sight or that Amato knew the location of), and the other of Amato's. He doesn't take the time to replace his suitjacket or even his tie, only throw them into his duffel with the rest of his clothing. The pasta is left to rot on the stove, for all he cares, along with anything in the cupboards or refrigerator.

The sort of note that the meeting ended on didn't go unnoticed by everyone. It certainly didn't escape Elias' notice, accustomed to looking for things that seem out of place as if his life depended on it (sometimes, it does). Nothing serious or obvious 'wrong', however. Just, off. That is, of course, why Elias didn't rush straight to Amato's side to find out what was going on. No, of course not.

First, Elias stopped at his favorite deli for a sandwich (a man's gotta eat, after all), and only then did he concern himself with Amato. It might seem irresponsible to some, but as evidenced by his unannounced appearance in the apartment, quite literally, from thin air, getting around quickly isn't exactly something he has trouble with. Of course, it's only then, wrapped sandwich in hand, that he even realizes that he has no idea what *could* be wrong. Best not to tempt fate with presumptions. "Anybody home?" he calls out from practically the front door.

Amato emerges from the doorway lacking a door to the bedroom, both bags in hand. Munin's, identifiable by its sharp contrast to Amato's nondescript duffel, almost as big as he is and strapped across his back, is laid carefully on the single table before Amato begins to take down the various drapery the girl has decorated the room with, folding it up as neatly as he can. "It's good to see you again, Elias," Amato says in an obviously distracted tone.

"Yeah, sure looks like it," Elias replies, taking more than casual note of the going-ons, "It's been a while since- are you moving or something? Because it looks like you're moving." One step closer to solving the puzzle, and to celebrate, the teleporter finally unwraps his sandwich. Hot pastrami, just the way it was intended.

"Munin and I are relocating, yes," Amato answers as he works. It would appear, with his gloves and coat on, that as soon as this bag is packed, his aim is to walk right out the door and not return. "This building is far too dangerous for us to linger in. I'm not sure if you noticed, but it is not a particularly pleasant neighborhood."

Elias' immediate response is a shrug. "You're not a particularly pleasant guy," he remarks, "I figured you picked it because here, you could blend in with the not particularly pleasant surroundings, like the not particularly pleasant camouflage of a not particularly pleasant chameleon."

It's then that Amato pauses mid-fold long enough to stare coldly at Elias. When he continues it is as if Elias merely caused a bump in the playing of a record. "I chose this location due to its proximity to the warehouse. That was a mistake on my part - I am guilty of sloth, have repented, and am now remedying."

"Oh, okay, your sloth, huh?" Elias nods several times, as if everything was just explained to him. It, of course, wasn't. "I got ya. I don't get it, but I got ya." Finally, he bites into his sandwich. If Amato is guilty of sloth, then Elias must be guilty of… well, gluttony might be hard to push. Sloth also? Everyone is guilty of something.

Everyone is guilty of at /least/ one sin. Amato's most recent is sloth, and he hopes to make it a long time before he suffers another infraction. "I would not say I embody the sin, Elias," he corrects gently as he places the last bit of fabric in the bag and closes the clasp. It is hitched up and over his shoulder. Changing the subject, Amato raises his eyebrows in a somewhat bored expression. "If you haven't already acquired a place to stay, you're welcome to this one. It is paid up to the end of this month."

For a few moments, Elias simply stares at Amato. "You're serious, aren't you?" he asks, "Just like that, it's mine? No questions asked, no money down, no vision test? Listen, you mind- well, two things. One, you mind if I sit down?"

Amato is silent for a moment, as if his ability had been extended and he were able to search Elias's soul from afar. He finally extends one hand to the single chair near that single table where he stands. "By all means," he says rather blandly. "It is nothing to give you this place. It could hardly be called mine, and should you fail to pay a bill, they will come knocking on the door rather than track down a man who doesn't exist."

From inside the bathroom, the faint sound of running water that up until now has been peppering Amato and Elias' conversation, grinds to a halt as some turns off the faucet. A few moments later, the door opens and Munin appears in its frame, naked but for an old navy blue bath towel wrapped around her body like a cotton ball gown. There's nothing indecent about the way she looks, but she is dripping all over the floor. Her green eyes shift from Amato to Elias, and then back again, her cheeks blushing a pale shade of pink. Clearly, she wasn't expecting anyone else to be in the apartment when she exited the shower. "Oh," she says. "I thought—" That you were both back at Eagle Electric with Kazimir and the others? Probably. "M'sorry."

And the door slams shut again.

Elias only pauses for a moment when Munin emerges, before replying, "No worries." Without another thought, he then takes a seat in the single chair. Although in his case, it has a lot less to do with walking and a lot more to do with starting to sit down where he stands, only to teleport across the room and end up in the chair instead. Much better. "Thanks," he says before continuing, "That's one. Now, two. You said sloth, right? It never occurred to you that having this apartment, close to the warehouse, was a matter of efficiency? It's close, so you spend less time traveling and more time, doing other stuff, you know?"

Amato's glance to Munin is quick, and he soon looks away as any decent man would do. He unslings her bag from his shoulder and holds it out. "Get dressed, Munin," he mumbles, kicking himself for being too preoccupied to notice the running water in the first place. "We need to leave."

Swallowing, Amato fixes his eyes on Elias, as if he were wearing blinders. "It was sloth in that I didn't conduct any research. I did not, as Ethan might say, sweep and scan the building before I made my choice. That is where my guilt lies."

When Munin emerges from the bathroom a minute or two later, she's fully clothed in a pair of jeans, her usual wool cardigan and a black pea coat that she received from Ethan on her birthday. Her hair, still damp, is tied back with a length of white scarf. "I don' see why this is necessary," she says as she slips into the ballet flats she keeps near the door. "Ivanov might not even recognize you, an' even if'n he does — he's got no proof you're you."

Elias looks from Amato, to Munin, and then back to Amato. Finally, the hamster wheel is starting to spin. "I think," he says, "You'd better start at the beginning. What's the problem now, and who did you piss off? What happened?"

"I do not think he has proven himself to be one to follow orthodox measures, Munin," Amato responds in a colder, almost parental tone. Now that she's dressed, he can look between her and Elias more freely.

"Our master's mention of my putting fear into the hearts and minds of those who are opposing us constituted me angering two detectives and inspiring an F-B-I agent to fire upon me. It so happens that agent has apartment on this very floor." Amato takes a deep breath, tightening his jaw. "This is either because federal agents do not get paid nearly as much as one might think, or he is on to us."

"I'm pretty sure he was here first," Munin says as she picks up the bag Amato packed for her and slings it over her shoulder. "If he was onto us, he wouldn't be keeping Demsky's pretty little ward with him." It's times like these that she's glad all of her worldly possessions fit into a single knapsack — it makes it so much easier to move around on short notice. "The whole thing's a damned shame. It's easier to keep an eye on him when we're living down the goddamned hall." With that, she turns the handle and steps outside. As much as she might disagree with the decision to move, she isn't the one calling the shots. Amato is.

"So, in other words, bad luck," Elias says as Munin steps outside, mostly for his own benefit and understanding, "Really, that's too bad, but given that, I can see the need for it. Well, when you find a new place, be sure to let me know, yeah?" With that said, Elias once again returns his attention to his sandwich. While it's still warm.

"Indeed," Amato says as he glances toward and the door. "And I shall, though I don't suppose you'd need to know it, would you? Can't you find me by yourself?" It's a bit of a tease - as much of one as Amato is willing to eek out right now.

"Given enough time, I'm sure that I could," Elias replies, pausing only long enough to answer before he returns to his sandwich. For a couple seconds, at least. "But out of curiosity, whereabouts do you think you'll be going? I mean, not for nothing, if I had an idea of where to look, or if you just told me, it would be a lot faster for everyone. Save time, give us more opportunities to successfully save the world. Because, that's apparently what we're doing now."

Amato can't help but smirk the slightest bit at that notion. "Now? Elias, that is what we have always been doing. It would simply appear that the callous Mister Adam Munroe, who sees it fit to call our dear master something as disrespectful as "Sauerkraut" but who is miraculously undisciplined for such a thing, is arrogant enough to think of it as a task to be rewarded with glory. We do what we do because we are a chosen few, chosen to do the work of God and his Angels to cleanse this world. The results are not for our enjoyment." Amato sighs, closing his eyes for a moment. That was quite the weight off his chest.

"We will stay close to where we are needed most. Perhaps we shall find where Ethan has settled and place ourselves nearby." But certainly not in the same building, if it can be helped.

"Yeah, that sounds like a plan." Elias makes a point of not commenting on most of the other things Amato said. His view on it is definitely different, but hey, who's he to speak ill of what his associates think. It's not like he has any more answers than they do. "You think maybe you oughta be catching up with Muny, before she gets to far ahead of you?"

Seeing as she is probably simply waiting in the hall, Amato nods. "I doubt she's gone far," given the hour, it's likely that any unwelcome faces they may run across are inside their apartments rather than out in the halls, elevator, or lobby.

Outside, there's the sound of boots in the stairwell, and the faint scent of cigarette smoke - albeit an oddly spicy version thereof. A very tired Fel appears at the end of the hall, in his overcoat and suit, briefcase in hand - to all appearances, a businessman trudging home from another day on what's left of Wall Street. Save for the gun that that suit is so carefully tailored to hide the presence of.

Munin stands out in the hall, a knapsack slung over one shoulder, her hair held in place by a simple white scarf that looks like it's made out of cashmere or some similar material. She pauses when she sees Felix, the corners of her mouth tugging down into a troubled frown. Not for the first time today, she's stepped out of one room and into another, expecting to be alone. Her lips form a single, one-syllable word, though no sound comes out of her mouth: "Fuck."

It's…..there is some sense of being watched. And he pauses, and glances back over his shoulder. His face betrays nothing but that watchful guardedness - the habitually impassive look of someone who has to lie and bluff for his living. His eyes are momentarily invisible behind the glare on his glasses.

Munin takes a single step back, her figure partially obscured by the doorframe. She, too, is watchful, waiting for the agent to continue on his way rather than move further out into the hall and take her chances. The last time she saw him, she was playing busker on the streetcorner outside his office. If she's lucky, he won't remember her face.

He doesn't take a pace forward, but there's an abortive motion that indicates he had to stop himself from doing it. It turns into him facing her a little more squarely, lowering his head enough to peer at her over the rims of his glasses. Fel offers a small smile, though it doesn't really reach his eyes. "Evening, neighbor," he says, voice pleasant enough.

"Evenin'," Munin replies, her voice soft but amicable. She doesn't want to give him the wrong (right?) impression about her skittishness. "You're Felix Ivanov, righ'? Colette told me about you when I bumped into her earlier on the roof. S'real nice, what you're doing for her." There's a short pause, and Munin forces a smile of her own onto her pale lips. "Since she's got no family'n all."

"I am," Fel says, amiably. "And well, it was really a friend that started it," he explains. He's in overcoat and suit, glasses on, briefcase in hand. He's actually a little ways down the hall from Munin, having just come up the stairs. "It's no trouble, really. She's a wonderful houseguest."

The door behind Munin opens, revealing the tall and thin form of Amato Salucci, duffel back slung across his back like an Alice pack. "There you are," he says in a soft voice to the back of Munin's head, a smile pulling onto his lips. His accent - his true accent - is hard to place, but it is definitely not American.

But it doesn't take Amato long to catch Felix's voice - one he's heard plenty of times. He reaches out one gloved hand to lay it on Munin's shoulder, making sure to keep his profile mostly-hidden from view down the hall.

Foot steps sound out, heralding the appearance of someone new, moving from upstairs down to the third level. Known to those who recognise him here as Gabriel Wilkens, room 204, Sylar is wearing a plain blue button down and casual jeans, glasses in his pocket rather than worn. They get irritating. He starts moving down the corridor to enter a new stairwell closer to his room a level down, moving by Felix with a glance his way, committing the face to memory by force of habit, before noting Munin's presence as well. "Eileen," he greets, pace slowing, just as Amato's hand comes out to touch the girl's shoulder.

Well, this is awkward, isn't it? Munin visibly tenses at the hand on her shoulder. She's no mind-reader, but it doesn't take a telepath or even an empath to know that Amato is probably feeling as at odds as she is right now. "Gabriel," she returns, a slight hitch in her breath and a quiver in her voice. They're the only outward clues that something about this situation isn't Quite Right, but if he’s listening, he might be able to hear the sound of her heart jack hammering in her chest all the way from the stairwell. "Told you we'd see each other again, didn't I?"

The Fed raises his head, like nothing so much as a hound scenting the wind. He's not sure what's not right here, but something's off - the hallway lights glint off his lenses, before he glances sidelong at Sylar as he passes, before turning back to his own door, and settling the key in the lock. The line of his back is tense, however.

When Sylar passes by his door, Amato simply nods to the other man, but it is clear from stony face he wears that now is not the best time to exchange verbal introductions. Amato's fingers on Munin's shoulder tighten just slightly, and he starts to murmur a prayer under his breath in a long dead language.

Sylar draws to a casual halt, casting a look back towards Felix as he goes for his own door, then towards Munin and the man standing just behind her. Heart beats are telling even if this moment seems completely normal otherwise. "You did," he says. "I was just up on the roof, working on my laser beams." A joke, and it sounds like a joke too, a small smile playing out. He was in fact working on his telescopic vision, but that's beside the point. The prayer that Amato whispers might as well be shouted, to Sylar, and he turns his head a little as if to shake off the strange sound of a super-heard whisper, gaze traveling up. Whether he gets the cues to hold off on a verbal greeting or not is unclear, but if he did, he ignores them. "You must be Eileen's roommate?"

Not wanting Amato to open his mouth again, lest Felix recognize his voice this time, Munin answers for him. "Yeah," she says, reaching back to place one small hand on Amato's hip, urging him back into the apartment, "he is. Is there something we can help you with, maybe, or are you just on your way out?" She and Amato were on their way out, but now she's not so sure this is the best time to take their leave of the complex. Then again, with Gabriel here, Felix might be less likely to cause a scene should he happen to notice something amiss with the man standing behind her.

It is taking Felix an inordinately long time to fumble his locks open and enter his apartment. He puts his briefcase down on the hall floor and swears to himself, under his breath, in Russian. And to Gabriel's hearing, his heart is thundering along at the sort of pace that should have him thrashing on the floor, blue and cyanotic.

Such a touch causes Amato's breath to catch, and the repeated words of the whispered prayer are interrupted for a moment. He gives Munin's shoulder another squeeze before he retreats, letting the door close most of the way, and slowly, behind her.

Once safely on the other side of the door, Amato turns to look at Elias, his eyes narrowed. "It appears we may need you sooner than imagined," he whispers, motioning the pastrami-entranced man closer.

With a look of resigned exasperation, Elias rises from his seat and takes the effort to walk to the door, just to make sure that Amato understands how put upon he, and his sandwich, are feeling right now. "What did you do?" he whispers, although there is just the slightest edge of a hiss in his voice.

"I was just…" Sylar pauses, turning his head towards Felix, eyes narrowing. This is turning into an interesting building to live in, as he temporarily silences, simply listening to Felix's thundering heart beat. It's too long of a pause to be normal, but he does finally finish his statement. "Just heading down to my apartment," he says, turning back to Eileen, frowning just a moment when the door leading to her apartment is drawn closed. "I'll be on my way, sorry for interrupting." He steps back, now, but mostly so he can angle enough to see the number on Felix's door. 301. The voices inside Munin's, however, don't go missed either.

"I'll follow you down, if you don't mind," Munin says. She needs an excuse, a solid excuse, to get away from Felix without following Amato back into the apartment. Because God knows that wouldn't look suspicious — not at all. "We're running low on milk. Figure the corner store's got to have some." Amato has Elias. Those men are more than capable of fending for themselves with both their abilities between them, and now that Amato is safely on the other side of the door she isn't concerned about his safety anymore. Slowly, gradually, her heart rate drops back to normal, and the smile she wears plastered on her mouth takes on a more genuine appearance. To Felix, she adds, "It was nice to meet you, Mister Ivanov. Tell Colette I said hullo?"

The last lock finally clicks open, and Fel puts his hand on the doorknob. Just as Munin speaks to him. He glances back to her, blinking rather owlishly, then smiles. It's about as convincing as that on a plaster saint. "Of course," he says, smoothly. "What was your name again?" he adds, with a slight squint at her.

"Eileen," Munin tells Felix. "Eileen Ruskin."

Amato pauses, turning his head toward the door to catch Munin's plan before he eases it shut, cutting off any way for him to hear Felix's words. "The neighbors are coming home," Amato whispers pointedly, frowning at Elias's lighthearted tone given the situation. "I need you to get me out of here. Preferably downstairs so that we can rendezvous with Munin. It is up to you then, but if you wouldn't mind lifting us someplace safe for the night," a hotel, perhaps, "it would be very appreciated."

"Could do a hotel. Then again, a hotel might be a little tricky," Elias replies, "But a lobby? I can do that, or some place close to it. That's what you want, right? Just give me a couple minutes." And, of course, he's right back at his sandwich. What little remains of it, at the very least. A 'couple minutes' is probably longer than he really needs, but it's probably all the better. It gives Amato a little time to come up with a plan before they go gallivanting off through time and space. Through space, at least.

"Eileen Ruskin," Fel says, quite visibly stowing that name away. And then he remembers his manners enough to gently shove his briefcase inside his apartment door with his foot, and amble towards her, hand extended. "Pleased to meet you."

Amato's plan consists of locking the door as quietly as possible from the inside, then fishing out the keys from his coat pocket to pass off to Elias. So long as he can make rent, they are his now. He nods his readiness, squaring and bracing himself for the 'ride.'

Rather than speak it aloud, Amato once more recites that same prayer in his head.

Domine ad adjuvandum me festina…Save me, O God; for the water are come in unto my soul. I sink in deep mire, where there is no standing: I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me. I am weary of my crying: my throat is dried: mine eyes fail while I wait for my God…

Munin steels herself, willing her feet to remain firmly in place. As tempting as it is to rabbit away before he can close the distance between them, she stays where she is and takes Felix's hand when it's offered to her. "An' you."

Elias has an easy enough time accepting the keys; his now. But his part of the deal? Still a piece of cake. Resting one hand on Amato's shoulder, he closes his eyes, concentrating. And then, as if they were magicians, the pair vanishes from the apartment, bound for a destination that none save for them know.

Sylar simply watches the exchange between Felix and Munin, eyes mostly on the man with his curiously racing heartbeat. Should he be looked to, he only smiles benignly, and turns towards the girl. Putting her out of her misery by urging her request along. "Shall we?" he says, stepping back towards the stairwell, an arm out in gesture for her to accompany him.

Munin's reluctance is palpable. And Fel's smile widens fractionally, turning into something like a smirk. His handclasp lingers just a hair longer than it should, before he takes his hand back and steps aside to let her pass. "I shouldn't keep you, when you have errands to run," he says, in a tone that would be kind, save for its brittle edge. "Do take care."

With one final nod to Felix, Munin wordlessly lets her arm drop back to her side as she slips past him, past Sylar and into the stairwell. She'll wait for him to catch up on the platform between flights — she wants to thank him for helping her remove herself from a bad situation before it had the chance to get worse. And, in her own way, to say goodbye. She and Amato probably won't be coming back here again.

October 23rd: Join PARIAH, See the World

Previously in this storyline…

Next in this storyline…

October 23rd: You Can Tell Me Anything
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