Sold in Truth


eileen4_icon.gif peter_icon.gif raith_icon.gif

Scene Title Sold in Truth
Synopsis Raith and Peter return to a designated safehouse on Staten Island; Eileen comes looking for Ethan and Gabriel.
Date September 12, 2009

A Remnant Safehouse on Staten Island

Staten Island, perhaps, isn't all that bad. For starters, there are no police and no soldiers, and what dangers do lurk there can be dealt with perhaps more easily. This is the case, at least, for the occupants of a poorly furnished and abandoned house near a river on the island. Poorly furnished because it's abandoned, and if Jensen Raith has his way, it will stay poorly furnished; there's no one living there, no sir. But he'll worry about that later.

Right now, his attention is divided between the only other occupant of the place, the small camping stove that will soon produce for them low-quality but hot coffee, his wristwatch, and the cup of instant noodles sitting in front of him on the worn, warped and nearly broken coffee table in the middle of what was once the living room. No couch to keep it company, the floor will have to do for a place to sit. "Time," Raith says, peeling the lid of the noodles off completely and picking up the plastic fork sitting next to it. "Water should be ready for the coffee in a minute." Even terrorists have to entertain guests.

The ratty armchair Raith's guest sits in looks like it was pulled out of a landfill, the back broken and stuffing torn out, frame mostly skeletal wood wrapped in duct tape with a white sheet thrown over it to hide its imperfections, save for the scratched and notched claw feet poking out from beneat htat dingy cloth. Reclining back against the rickety, cloth-shrouded chair, Peter sits with one leg crossed over the other, ankle on his knee, elbow resting on the armrest of the chair and his closed fist supporting the side of his head. Languidly lidded blue eyes stare towards that small stove's glow, brows furrowed in such a way that creases the scar on his face.

The lighting, at this hour of night, casts long and cross-crossing shadows across the dusty hardwood floor, hides the holes in the sheetrock and the bits of broken glass from one of the blown out windows. There's a chill in the air, fall has come and the cold grip of autumn's approach is strangling the last vestiges of summer's warmth right out of Staten Island. Perhaps it's a warm suit, but the chill doesn't seem to be bothering Peter, not tonight at least.

"I can't remember the last time I had coffee…" Peter's voice is distant, brows tensed and the fingers of his fist spreading out, brushing fingertips over his forehead, only to hesitate as he feels the ridges of his scar. "It feels like it's been years, but I know that can't be right, I had to have had some since, but…" those blue eyes alight to Raith, "you know, I just can't recall. Simple pleasures," he explains, "shouldn't be so easy to forget."

"Calling this stuff 'coffee' is being awful generous, just so you know," Raith replies. The light isn't doing either one of them any favors, really. At best, it might call to mind two highway from ye olde days, plotting their next move to keep themselves from starving. Or maybe not. "Sure you don't want any noodles? I can scare up one more, no sweat. It's not gourmet, but at least it's not tree bark soup. Which actually isn't bad, with the right kind of bark." But that's not the most pressing matter on Raith's mind right now.

"Here, listen, are you always like this, Depressio? Do you need a hug?"

"I ate earlier…" Is Peter's only response, eyes focused on the heater, head still tilted to the side, "and I'm not depressed," his eyes drift to focus on Raith, leaning forward as his leg unfolds and he rests his forearms across the backs of his knees. "I'm thinking. I'm trying to draw a line between what Feng has been doing recently, his attack on that musician, and where he might be now." Blue eyes scan the worn table's surface, and Peter leans back in the chair with a creak of the old wood, gloved fingers lacing in front of himself as he rests his mouth on steepled fingers, focus distant.

"And no," he adds with one brow raised, "I don't need a hug."

"Suit yourself," Raith replies with a shrug, slurping up some noodles. "Here, I'll make this thinking thing a little easier for you. Feng Daiyu is a being of the anus. So, besides being an irritating little shit, he's anal. Everything needs to play out a certain way for him to be happy. I surprised him in one of his safe houses a while back, and he didn't react all that well. Wasn't quite sure what he should do, and I made sure I split before he figured that part out.

"So, wherever he is right now, it's a good bet he's been there several times before, or spent plenty of time making sure it was exactly the right place for him to go to. If he doesn't have a plan for it, and if that plan doesn't keep him at the advantage, then it drives him crazy and, as you observed, he starts making mistakes. You digging this, cat?"

What Peter needs might be some silence in which to do that thinking and draw those lines. Unfortunately, he isn't going to get it any time in the immediate future. The sound of the front door banging open punctuates Raith's question, and a moment later it thunders shut again and is followed by the clatter of keys, approaching footsteps and a breathy voice that rises in volume with every terse word it bites off.

"I ought to thump the both of you," it's saying. "First you frame the man for murder, and now you're dragging him around by the scruff of his neck. Your mothers must not've hit you enough when you were little if you think kidnapping someone is the appropriate way to treat people who have been nothing but friends to us!"

"Kidnapping?" Blue eyes alight from the threat of coffee up towards Eileen's silhouette, backlit by the pale glow coming in through the windows. "That doesn't exactly sound like something I do, I think you may have me confused with someone else." Careful enunciation and the rise of dark brows is what paints her welcoming from Peter Petrelli. Raith's conclusions about Feng Daiyu foregone, he leans back in his chair and rests the side of his head against one hand, the other laying flat on the cloth-shrouded arm of the rickety chair.

"What did you do?" Peter blurts out next, turning to look side-long at Raith, a hesitant smile creeping up on his lips. "It sounds like you may've been a bad boy."

"Hey, I've have never framed anyone for murder. That didn't deserve it." Raith is very clear about this, apparently to ensure that Peter understands this, before he addresses the angry voice. "Hey, I think you've got the wrong house. If you're looking for 742 Evergreen Terrace, go next door and do a Raw Blink on Hari-Kari Rock. I need scissors! Sixty-One!" This outlandish and obviously insane statement will do two things at once. One, it will frighten off anyone who does, in fact, have the wrong house. And two, it will identify Raith to anyone that actually knows him. The few people that do, at any rate; no ordinary person could survive knowing Jensen Raith!

Or maybe he's just providing Peter with entertainment. Dinner and a show.

The silhouette freezes in the doorway, slim shoulders squared and rigid, hands curled into small fists at its sides. The absence of light masks Eileen's face and the expression plastered to it, though the pearly flash of her teeth is plainly visible as she curls her lip at Peter and leers, "Doesn't it? Gillian Childs and Felix Ivanov might disagree with you there."

The sight of him sitting in a high-backed chair with moon blue eyes doesn't rivet her to the spot for long, however, and she's soon stepping into the camping stove's uneven glow. Her gaze moves from Peter, to Raith, to the far corners of the room in search of other shapes that might resemble men. Finding nothing, she presses her lips into a razor thin line and turns her scrutiny back on Raith. The black eye he gave her the last time the two of them were in the same room together is camouflaged by the darkness, but it's there if he's looking for it. "Ethan and Gabriel aren't here?"

Brows furrow, a puzzled look comes over Peter, and there's a quiet noise of "Oh," accompanied by a tilt of his head to one side, "well when you put it like that." His hand moves up to rub at one earlobe, as if that hand simply doesn't know what to do with itself, wandering and fiddling with things just in reach. "I was hoping they might show up so we could share some information, but it doesn't seem like they're going to… I was looking forward to— " Peter rolls one shoulder, "actually meeting Ethan. I've heard a lot."

Letting blue eyes wander over to Raith, one dark brow raised above the other. "If you want to come in and wait for them, we're putting," his fingers wiggle in the air, air quotes, "coffee on." The hesitant smile offered at that moment of jest ends when it's not Raith who's looking for the black eye, but Peter.

Silences comes, in small portions, and Peter slowly rests that wandering hand down on the arm of the chair and pushes himself up to stand. "How'd you get that?" Dark brows crease together, hard-soled shoes making noisy report over the hardwood floor as he starts to move towards Eileen, then hesitates and looks down to the glow of the small stove, blue eyes lingering there before looking up side-long in regard to Eileen. "The black eye?"

"Yes, Eileen. How did you get the black eye?" Raith says, echoing Peter's question, "However it happened, come in. Ethan and Gabriel may not be here, but their evil twins are." It's a joke on Raith's part, but the resemblance between each pair of men, at least in terms of mannerisms and capabilities, is actually quite striking. It's almost, too striking, in fact. "We need to talk to you, anyway."

At first, it isn't clear to Eileen what Peter is talking about. As he rises from the chair, springs squeaking beneath the shift in weight, she gives him an odd look, both her dark brows raised into a mildly inquisitive expression tempered by the flatness of her mouth. When he starts moving toward her, she tenses up as if to start moving away or maneuver clockwise around the stove in an attempt to maintain some of the distance between them, but then he hesitates and saves her the trouble.

One hand drifts up, brushes lacquered fingernails across her cheek and trails along the bruise's outermost edge. It's a superficial injury; unless she's examining her reflection in a mirror or stealing glances at glass panes, she easily forgets that she even has it. "Doesn't matter how I got it," she says, hand falling away. Then, looking squarely at Raith, "It wouldn't have happened if Kazimir was still in charge."

"No," Peter notes with an incline of his head, "if he were still in charge, everyone in this room would be dead." There's a succinct clarity to the words Peter lays out there, but he doesn't leave much room for contemplation of them. "Kazimir's gone, and the world is fortunate enough for that. So," his blue eyes drift over briefly to Eileen, "why don't we talk about the problem we can handle, not the problem that's already been handled?"

Clunking footfalls take Peter around the stove, eyes downcast to it before he looks up and stares out one of the windows to the dark of the island outside, then looks towards Raith on the sofa. "I was just talking to Raith about Feng Daiyu, who's a problem I think we all have in common." Both gloved hands dip into Peter's pockets, shoulders rising in a shrug. "I caught him in SoHo at the apartment of that musician who went missing, Else Kjelstrom. Given the content of her music and the rumors floating around that she was a prophet of some kind, I knew it wouldn't be long before he showed up and…"

Shaking his head, Peter sighs and looks over to Eileen. "He was demanding information, about Munin. Something had spooked him, and when she didn't have the information, I'm fairly certain he was going to kill her. He did leave one bit of information that was helpful though, but not because of Else. When I was there," Peter wanders back around towards his unoccupied chair, "I was interrupted from eavesdropping by Gillian Childs and Eve Mas, the latter of which is a prophetic artist in her own right." One gloved hand slips out of his pocket, vaguely motioning around in the air.

"Eve said she painted something relevent to this, and I'd seen some of her previous work. She painted an eclipse," the word is given a pointed treatment, looking to Eileen as he says it. "Feng seemed to wonder how she 'knew' about the eclipse, and before she could answer, people started shooting. Feng got away, and I haven't been able to track him down since."

As Peter fills in some details about what's been happening, he can't help but roll his eyes and give a sigh of total exasperation while he starts the making of coffee. Instant powder in cups. Nasty stuff, but cheap and better than nothing. "Fucking precogs," he grumbles, unintentionally audible, "Sneeze in a napkin and it tells the future, give me a fucking break." One cup: made. It's up to anyone else that wants some to make their own, because face it, if they're doing to be subjected to bad coffee, it's better if they do it to themselves. "Do you suppose that anyone, in any of this, has stopped to think that maybe some of it is just a series of bizarre coincidences that is ultimately unimportant except for the fact that we can use any alleged prophecy we want as part of a plan, since they appear to lure Daiyu out of hiding?


Peter's choice of words send a bristle up Eileen's spine. She reaches into her coat pocket and fishes out a beaten-up package of cigarettes, occupying her hands with the slow peel of gold foil as he wanders the room and speaks. It isn't until he arrives at his conclusion that she selects her cigarette, slides it smoothly from the package and purses her lips around its filter. The package itself is slipped back into her pocket and traded for a miniature book of matches that fits in the palm of her hand.

"He was a person, not a thing," she says finally. "Somebody's son, somebody's father. You don't just get to put a tick next to his name and mark him off. Life's not a fucking grocery list."

She snaps a match against the striking strip and is rewarded with a flash of heat and a tongue of flame that licks the back of her knuckles when she raises it to light her cigarette. "You can't find Daiyu because he's a snake and snakes have holes. Tracking's useless unless you can get him to poke his nose out and taste the air like he did with Kjelstrom."

"You're right, he wasn't a thing," Peter's brows furrow, "he was a monster that tried to destroy everything around himself out— " swallowing awkwardly and cutting off his words sharply, Peter turns to look towards Raith, breathing out a sharp sigh as he presses the heel of his palm to his forehead. "You're right, about the prophecy, but Feng's not someone to just fall for a simple piece of bait, it has to be something he can test, verify and believe in. It has to be a lie sold in truth."

Blue eyes focus back on Eileen, and Peter's attention on her is brief. "I— " she's smoking again, and he wants to flick it out of her moth. But then, they're both quite good at pushing the other's buttons. "I think we should see if Gabriel or Ethan know anything, or have any ideas on where he is. You— " he waves a hand towards Raith, "you should see if they know anything that I haven't spotted. But if he keeps getting away it isn't going to matter how well we make him poke his head out. He's got someone that's healing him— and the sooner we figure out who, the better."

Peter's eyes close, breathing strained. "I've been up since this time yesterday…" he admits in a quiet voice, "I think… I think I'm going to find some floorspace to lay down for a little while before my head splits in half."

"Yeah, I think you'd better." Because, let's face it, Peter is useful. And possibly also dangerous. Most likely dangerous. And the last thing anyone needs is him losing more of his marbles. "I'll track Laurel and Hardy down, find out what they've got to say. Eileen, you'll explain more about this kidnapping garbage, because this sounds like something I need to know about." Oh, but Raith's been forgetting completely: his noodles. Slurrrrrp.

Eileen could argue with Peter all night about monsters, whether or not they really exist and if Kazimir Volken deserves to be called one. She does not. Leaking smoke from her nose and mouth, she takes a drag from her cigarette, runs her tongue along her upper lip and then lets out her breath in a slow stream. "There's a cot upstairs," she tells him. "Second room to the left. It's a fold-out in the closet. The boxes are pillows, sheets." In other words: help yourself. It's probably more comfortable than the floor — or the chair, for that matter.

Raith gets a look, black brows lowered, gray eyes dark with an emotion that isn't immediately recognizable or even identifiable. "I'll do no such thing. It doesn't involve you."

Swallowing dryly, Peter rubs at the side of his head and nods slightly to Eileen, making his way towards the stairs with an uneven gait. About halfway there, he hesitates and looks over his shoulder to Eileen, then Raith, brows tense. "You two— " his words are just a bit sharper, "should try just a little bit harder to get along, because if you two keep fighting like cats whenever I turn my back, one of you is going to wind up dead." There's a dry swallow, and Peter stares blankly after the delivery of the words.

"I'll… be upstairs," doesn't quite suffice as an end to his sentence, but it's all he gives as he slouches through a doorway and out of sight, the clunking creak of footfalls on stairs leading to the second floor reassuring the pair that he's not just lingering beyond the threshold to eavesdrop — he really is tired, or at least discomforted.

And he didn't even get his "coffee".

"Night." Raith at least has the courtesy to wait until Peter's left before he says anything else to Eileen, suffering through a sip of his coffee. "Let me get this straight," he says, "Ethan and Gabriel have done something remarkably stupid, that will potentially have far reaching consequences in the very near future, and because I'm not somehow directly involved, I don't need to know about it?

"Now, let's face the facts, Eily. I will find out about this, either from you, or from Gabriel. Now, logically, which one is going to suck less for everybody?"

Eileen flicks the spent match to the floor. "What happened," she says, "is between Gabriel, and Ethan and I. I've already smoothed things over with the other person involved, so no — you don't need to know about it. If you want to approach one of them, be my guest."

Dust filters down from the ceiling as Peter moves around upstairs and causes his footfalls to reverberate through the house's wooden floors and aging structure, all the more audible due to the distinct lack of furnishings inside. She doesn't have to angle her head with one ear turned toward the stairs to know he isn't eavesdropping. "I'm sure Gabriel will be spinning like a top with excitement when you tell him you've dragged Petrelli into all this."

"Well, when Gabriel's the boss," Raith begins slowly, "He can decide who gets dragged into what. But I'm the boss, I say Petrelli's in, and if Gray's got a problem, he can stick it in his mouth and suck it. But you say it's dealt with?" Raith… shrugs. "Okay. It's dealt with. In the past. Done deal." And that, perhaps amazingly, is that.

"You crashing here tonight?"

"No." There are other places Eileen would rather be; namely, where Jensen Raith and Peter Petrelli are not. For at least one of them, the black eye is a good reminder why. "If you need me," she says on her way out the door, shrinking away until only the glowing embers of her cigarette are visible, "leave a message on my phone. I'll let you know if I turn up anything on Daiyu."

That's fair enough. Raith nods, and as far as he's concerned, that's the end of the exchange. "Good night," he says to Eileen, "And good luck."

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