Step Ahead


ethan_icon.gif gabriel_icon.gif

Scene Title Step Ahead
Synopsis Gabriel collects Ethan when migration time comes around again.
Date August 24, 2009

The Garden

Situated in a copse several miles away from the nearest stretch of asphalt, the Garden is accessible via an old dirt road that winds snakelike through the woods and dead-ends at the property's perimeter, which is surrounded by stone wall plastered with wicked coils of rusty barbed wire to keep would-be intruders from attempting to scale it. Those with a key can gain entry via the front gate.

The safehouse itself is a three-story brickwork cottage over a century old and covered in moss and ivy. It slants to one side, suggesting that the foundation has been steadily sinking into the wet earth; incidentally, this may be one of the reasons why its prior occupants never returned to the island to reclaim their property when government officials lifted evacuation orders and re-opened the Verrazano-Narrows shortly before its eventual destruction.

Inside, the cottage is decorated in mismatched antique furniture including a couch in the living room and an armchair nestled in the corner closest to the fireplace that go well with the safehouse's hardwood floors and the wood-burning stoves in some of the spare bedrooms. A heavy wooden table designed to seat eight separates the dining area from the rest of the kitchen, which is defined by its aged oak cabinetry and the dried wildflowers hanging above them.

"You need to eat."

"You need to suck my dick."

The task of taking care of Ethan Holden can be, stressful, to say the least. Especially after the event to led to his bedridden status. A thing that Ethan has tasted only a few times in his life. A foreign taste, one that stings the tongue and makes the eyes water.


"You think I want to eat this shit? It looks like you pissed in it. I ain't eating fuck-all until Eileen gets back. At least she can tell the difference between a toilet and a pot. Fuckin 'ell." Ethan is in the process of chasing out a Ferrywoman. "Well you don't need t'fuckin' take it with ya, do ya?"

"You said— "

"Fuck you, I am concussed." Ethan growls grabbing back his bowl of poorly made spaghetti which apparently has urine in it. He has refused to wear bandages any longer. The cuts and scars on his face plainly visible. He walks back, albeit slowly, to sit on the bed next to his bags packed up.

It's early evening, the sun settling down, shining into the windows of the Garden giving it an oddly happy illumination. Making even the scarred and furious vision of Holden look somewhat inviting.


The Garden has probably been louder than usual, the uneasy stir and response that someone is watching making the hive all a-buzz, and it sees the arrival of unusual guests, such as the man currently walking passed a rather upset and disgruntled Ferrywoman as she stomps on down the hallway. To be honest, Gabriel has been a familiar face around the Garden in recent times, if absent in the past several days, but that doesn't make it any more usual.

The same is likely true for the man he's visiting.

Gabriel's appears in the doorway, dressed in dull shades of black and grey, a leather jacket over a grey sweater, jeans the shade of cement and boots scuffed and dirtied from his trek through the Greenbelt. By way of announcement, he raps his knuckles against the frame of the door in a polite indication of his arrival. Studiously looking Ethan over, getting a read and measure of injury in distant analysis.

Leaning over on the bed, Ethan positions the bowl of spaghetti over the dresser by the bed and drops the bowl onto it. Literally. Leaning back he places his hands in his laps and looks up at Gabriel. "They're probably trying to poison me. I don't see why they wouldn't. By all rights they should 'ave killed me the day I walked in 'ere."

His eyes go to Gabriel's feet before creeping up to his facial features. "You too, by rights." Ethan mutters, placing his hands on the bed beside him he pushes himself up with a grunt. One foot goes forward and his hand comes out, offering itself to the other man.


By rights. Gabriel allows a subtle smirk to hook at the corner of his mouth before he steps forward and takes Ethan's hand in a brisk clasp, and then a chin up of a nod in return. "They've been granting us a few courtesies lately," Gabriel says, once his hand retracts, moving around Ethan so as to further enter the room. His gaze peruses over where the packed bags are gathered towards the end of the bed, before peering out the window towards the verdant green that encircles the cottage.

Nice while it lasted, and all. "Access to their healer, too, who isn't Abigail Beauchamp anymore." That hint is tossed over his shoulder with a critical look up and down.

"Flint. I know." Ethan growls. Is he capable of anything but growling these days? Allowing Gabriel to enter fully he goes to sit back down on the bed, surrounded by his bags, though as the bare essentials man he is, they are not many or large. He sits there, eyeing the wall for a moment. After a bit he lets out a breath.

"What are you doing 'ere Sylar?" Ethan asks, glancing over his shoulder at Gabriel.

There's a sharp, unguarded glance in Ethan's direction at that name - it's been long enough for familiarity to keel over towards the softer sound of what could be interpretted as his human name, and the serial killer pseudonym he'd gotten from a watch face. No correction comes, however, simply a silent pause, before he leans a shoulder against a wall beside the window, his fingers lacing together.

"It seemed like a good place to be, with an assassin watching the place and everything," Gabriel says, blandly. "You're not exactly in peak condition. I thought I might tag along and find ourselves somewhere new to go. The Ferry has enough cattle to rustle."

"I'm peak-er than you are." Ethan points out in a grumpy sort of way. He smooths over after a moment, "But thank you. For helping." Going to stand up, he turns to face the other man. Letting his back rest against the wall. "'e aint watchin' anymore. I woulda found 'im by now." Says scarface. "Do you know where she ran off to t'night?" No need to explain who she is, is there? The only she who matters.

Gabriel only has to raise an eyebrow, as much eyebrow as it may be, in reply to this idea that Ethan would have seen him by now. Okay, Holden. "Even so," Gabriel allows, with a lift of the shoulder not leaning against the wall. "We're moving. Eileen's in a different location - something happened to Teo Laudani, and she's playing nurse. She told me about the evacuation, and I figure she can catch up when she's done."

He takes his weight off the wall, moving to stand more towards the center of the room - what Ethan lacks in easy mobility, Gabriel makes up for in restlessness. "There's a house near the Arthur Kills rivers that's been vaguely fixed up. If we go now while you haven't seen him or anything, we'll be a step ahead."

"Arthur Kills." Ethan lets out a chuckle at that. "Not anymore." He gives a blank look to Gabriel. "What, right now? I thought I 'ad til tomorrow." The Wolf groans, though as suggested he goes to stand. Slipping one of the straps of his bags over his shoulder, he goes to grab the other bag by the handle. "I can always go to my place." His little electrical room underground stacked with guns. It's a nice place.

"Won't be able to keep an eye on 'er though. Or you." He grins a little bit, stepping away from the bed. Pausing he glances back at Gabriel. "I fucked 'im up plenty, you know."

Gabriel watches, rather than offers help, when Ethan goes to collect the bags up off the bed, before simply nodding and heading for the door, nudging it open wider, and turning back to him when that claim is made. The younger man's face is impassive, but without cynicism either or judgment enough to create definition that can be expressed. "Good," he responds, a razor edge of resentment in his voice, but it doesn't appear to be directed in Ethan's direction. His mouth opens a moment later, likely to fill in the blank of reassurance and encouragement — you'll finish him off, for example.

Instead, Gabriel backs out of the room in a step, and disappears around the corner. He was never one for pep talks to those who don't need them, especially not ones he's not sure he's being honest about.

A long sigh is let out. Tilting his head back he groans quietly before following Gabriel out the door. "Can you get your 'ands on Flint? I need to find this bastard and kick the fuck out of 'im." Back to business, his gravelly voice sounding out after Gabriel as he tromps into the hall.

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