Still Human


abby_icon.gif sasha2_icon.gif

Scene Title Still Human
Synopsis Abigail visits Sasha in the basement of the safehouse where he's being held and tends to his injured leg.
Date April 18, 2010

Staten Island: Anonymous Safehouse

Someone else could look in on Sasha's leg and other wounds, but she's around, out of the house and running around in the blizzard and it won't be a burden on the blonde to stop in and make sure that the Russian Doctor's leg is healing fine and check in on his sickness. Regardless of whether she might actually have resistance to the evo-flu, she's still descending to where he's being kept with a white mask on her face so that she doesn't contract it.

Someone else comes with her, more to keep an eye over the blonde since Sasha could, might, maybe pull something and she won't be in a state or shape to frankly do much other than scream for help. Small pack with what she needs to change bandages, clean out wounds and if need be, restitch him up, there's a knock on his door to give warning that someone's coming in. "Are you decent Doctor Kozlow?" The voice maybe familiar to the man, maybe not. Regardless, she waits outside just in case he isn't.

If decent translates to handcuffed to a derelict radiator with a bucket to relieve himself in, then yes. Sasha is. Stripped down to his pants, a section around the bullet wound already cut cleanly away, and the sweat-soaked wife beater he wore beneath his sweater and overcoat when Charlie brought him in, the Russian should be cold, but he isn't shivering and he isn't curling into himself for warmth. He's resting his head against the radiator's metal edge instead, one arm hooked over his head like a large bird hiding behind its wing, the other lax at his side.

His blue eyes are bright as ever, rimmed in pink and slightly bloodshot, hooded rather than fully closed. He looks terrible, and from the top of the stairs it isn't clear whether this is because he's physically sick or emotionally exhausted from waiting for an execution that so far hasn't come.

Execution at least, will not be coming at the hands of the woman who comes the rest of the way down the stairs after entering, pausing at the bottom step so that she can take in what he looks like. The way her forehead lines and her eyes rest on the sick man speaks volumes. They don't call her a bleeding heart for no reason.

"I came to check your leg and the rest of you. Make sure you're healing, see if there's anything that you need" God, chained to the radiator, she expected that, but the rest of him. "How's your fever?"

The chain attached to the cuff rattles, and the sound that it makes in the empty basement sounds strangely hollow. His bucket is empty except for a splash of wet vomit at the bottom that's probably an hour or two old, most of it water. He hasn't eaten anything in the time Charlie has kept him below the safehouse; unsurprisingly, there's not a lot in his stomach except to heave up except for digestive juices.

He does not lift his head. "Your English is getting better," in a voice that resembles a growl, all sandpaper and gravel, speech nearly unintelligible on top of his coarse accent.

"I speak English" The blonde points out. "I just have the southern accent" She glances behind her to the armed Ferryman before she eases forward so she can take the bucket, switch it out for a fresh one and put the used one towards the exit. Russia wasn't that long ago and she inches forward, getting out antiseptics and gauze, getting up the nerve to sit beside his leg and reach for it so she can start peeling away the bandage and get a look.

"I don't know what they're going to do with you Kozlow. Likely use you as bait for Dreyfus" She points out. "Then hand you over to Homeland Security"

Sasha twitches a look in Abigail's direction, and in spite of their luminosity, there's no recognition in his eyes when they settle on her. As she peels away the gauze, it comes away sticky, coagulated blood acting as an adhesive between the dressing and his skin with a texture similar to glue but much more rank-smelling. He seems not to notice the stench. Whether he dies of an infection or a bullet to the neck is inconsequential; one way of going just happens to be longer and more drawn out than the other. Painful, too, but it's becoming clear that he isn't exactly thinking straight.

"Dreyfus will not come, milenky. The Americans are wasting their time."

"Maybe he will, maybe he won't" She murmurs, gloves hands holding the bandage aloft with a wrinkle of her nose. She pulls her mask down, peering over at the wound and sighs. "Why are they wasting their time Sasha?" This didn't look good and she settles in on crossed legs with a grimace to start dragging out waht she needs to clean. "This might hurt, I'm sorry. But I don't want it to get infected. Why don't you tell me why they are wasting their time?"

Antibiotics are shaken out of a bottle that she brought with her from her own stores of drugs from her variety of wounds, proffering them to him and a bottle of water. Hands then push his pantleg up further and alcohol wipes are ripped open to start working away at the wound, gaze flickering between it and the Russian.

Sasha occupies himself with the bottle instead of the pills, which are placed on top of the radiator as he uses his teeth to unscrew the cap a little bit at a time, jaw clenched. It doesn't put out the fire spreading across the nerve endings in his leg while Abigail works, but it prevents him from making any noise apart from his haggard breathing and the wet sound at the back of his throat caused by a tacky mixture of saliva and phlegm. She was right to wear a mask.

Cap freed, he purses it between his lips like a fish teasing a piece of bait on a hook, then spits it across the floor and does not bother to watch it skitter into the shadows. "I was happy in Berlin," he says, "but I wanted to see you and Tatiana Nikolaevna. The stupid cat. Can you believe that?"

He's hallucinating. She's never been to Berlin and her hands hesitate in their work as realization dawns on her. His flu's one of the more severe cases it seems and blue eye's lift to Kozlows, the abandoned pill bottle cap and then back down to his leg. "No, I can't believe that you were happy in Berlin. So why didn't you stay there? You could have been happy instead of sick Sasha" She murmurs, cooing away behind the mask.

"Dedushka and Babushka are dead. Iosif. I know you hate it when I call him that." Rather than drink the water, Sasha pours it over his head to wet his hair and face. It carves paths down his neck and broad shoulders and trickles down his chest, gathering in its curly red-brown hairs. His shirt is so saturated with sweat that the excess moisture does nothing to it.

The empty bottle is cast aside, bounces, and spins like a top before hitting the wall and coming to a rattling stop. "I have responsibilities. Also, I am a coward. Is there a match?"

"You are not lighting yourself on fire, and that was not gasoline. that was water" She points out. "I don't have a match, i'm sorry Sasha, I'm fresh out" And he's sopping wet and there's another scowl behind the white mask. "Can you get me some towels and some fresh clothes for him please?" She inquires, turning her face towards the waiting ferry. "Some soup, liquids if you could and a cool cloth? He's hallucinating." If they didn't know it already.

She has scissors though, safety ones and she's grabbing them, away from him, so she can cut off layers of gause to pack on the wound to wrap it. "And who do you think I am Sasha? Another one of the poor women that you befriend then kill? All in the name of being Skoll?"

At the top of the stairs, the Ferry operative standing guard disappears from its frame, and over Abigail's head the sound of footsteps can be heard. It may be a few minutes before anyone returns with even one of the items she asked for; ever since the Armory was raided, they've been scattered and short-staffed, though the network's situation has shown signs of starting to level out again. It had been the same after Beach Street.

Sasha lifts his eyes, water clinging like dew to his lashes, and tracks the progression from where he's slouched. If he had the ears of his namesake, they'd be swiveling. "His name means treachery."

"mmhmmm" The last piece cut, scissors put away and bag moved out of reach so that he can't get any idea's should he suddenly become more coherent in a moments notice. "Why'd you move to Ryazan though Sasha? It's so cold there. Why did you come with Dreyfus to America. It's even more cold here" Antibiotic cream is smeared along the wound, keeping it a thick layer before putting on the new bandage. Hands bend his leg, maneuvering it so she can get a look at any other wound. "And why will the stupid Americans never find Dreyfus Sasha. Surely they'll find him, they found you twice already"

"You should read my letters more carefully." Whatever that means. "The Englishman will. When he finds them." Sasha is being selective about what prompts he responds to, and while there's a chance this is a conscious choice, there's a proportionally greater one that he's only half-listening to Abigail and reacting to what resonates with him. His hands roam over his chest and sides, tug haphazardly at the pockets of his pants in search of a match that, according to Abigail, does not exist. "You and Tatiana are going to be so disappointed in me."

"And why will we be so disappointed in you Sasha?" She's done, with his leg and sets about to grabbing her thermometer so that she can take his temperature, stethoscope to listen to his chest. Ideally, she'd rather be sticking him with an IV and pumping him full of fluids but they're likely not going to waste those resources on him. "You need to drink Sasha, you're ill and you're only going to get even more ill. You need to stop looking for matches and talking about how disappointed we will be in you. We already are"

"I tried to save him," Sasha insists lowly around the thermometer, voice made rougher by the thick note of resentment it carries. "I knew what it would do to you." When he breathes in, it produces a reedy hiss that originates somewhere in the cavity of his chest. "It's cruel to blame someone forever for something they had no choice in. You should be old enough now to realize how much this wounds me."

"Mmhmm, well, you shall have to live with what you did and how that makes me feel" She bounces back and forth between playing along at being this Milenky and peppering him with questions about Dreyfus. "I don't know if I'll be able to visit you again Sasha. I may not be allowed. Or they may have decided what to do with you." The metal disc moves, here, there, and then draped around her neck to take away the thermometer to read it. Thank you digital, she wasn't about to use a glass one with him. "He died though, even though you tried. Maybe someday, i'll forgive you" That's tucked away after a mental comparison of the fever and a reach for the pills, add some motrin to the little pile and offer them to him again. "Take them Sasha, you need to take them, or I won't get you a match"

The promise of a match is just enough to secure Sasha's compliance, he cups his hand, closes bloodied fingers around the pills and forces them to his mouth. There's no water to wash them down with except what's clinging to his lips, and yet this doesn't appear to pose a problem. His throat contracts and when he shows Abby his hand again, it's empty.

"I would like to die now. Please."

"We can't always get what we want Sasha" She murmurs and in lieu of a match, she digs a bandaid out of the bag and lays it out in his palm, closing his fingers around it. 'there you go. Your match" Abigail sighs, quickly followed by a grimace from the pain that rankles up her side and sits, waiting, hoping the ferryman comes soon enough so he can be changed into dryer clothes and bathed.

Idly, she thinks, and wonders, whether this was what it was like for Flint down in the Garden. But it's put away, fast enough, and reaches out to wipe at Kozlow's forehead. "It's not your time to die yet though Sasha. Not here, not now" Echoing the words that Tamara told her.

Annoyed, Sasha picks at the band-aid, which is clearly not a match, peeling off the tape under his blunt fingernails. It flutters to the ground at settles there, two perfectly square petals, and flexing it between his index finger and thumb, sticks it to Abigail's nose around the same time the Ferry operative is coming down the stairs with an armful of clean towels. No clothes or food. Maybe they wanted to get a better look at how big he is. More likely, they don't have any at the moment to spare.

"If Laudani finds out I left you alone with him for even a few minutes," the operative says, "he's going to skin me alive. Come on, Abigail. You've done what you can down here. He's going to die no matter what."

"I'm a big girl, I'm a self rescuing princess and Teo can skin me alive for asking you to get these things. Wouldn't be the first time he's cursed me out. So I don't want to hear it" Abigail points out to the Ferry operative. "Besides, I don't care if he will. Kozlow's still a human no matter what he's done and deserves to be treated so."

There's a flinch when he puts the bandaid on the nose of her mask, but wheels away to come and grab the towels. They're taken gently, returning to the russian so she can unfold one and pass it over. He can't kill himself with ONE towel, can he? There's a glance to see if anything that was left behind when her back was turned was taken, particularly scissors or anything he could use to hang himself with before glancing back up to Kozlow. "You should have just left us alone Sasha"

If he twisted the towel into a rope and looped it around his neck, he might be able to do some damage if he had something to hang himself from. The radiator does not make a very good gallows. Instead, Sasha wraps it around his bare shoulders as best he can with one arm affixed to the piping and lays his head back down, both legs stretched out in front of him in what is probably a very uncomfortable position. "I have been leaving you alone for years," he mutters against his arm. "As you asked."

"Where did you leave me?" Another towel unfolded so she can lean over carefully, dry his hair so that it can have a chance to be dry before he gets more water to just pour on himself or god knows what. Dry him off and screw the ferryman who stands watch. And they want her for one of the higher ups?

This time, there's no response from Sasha except for an ornery growl that starts to build but doesn't make it all the way to a snarl. The muscles in his arms tense, tendons growing thick and wiry.

"Abigail," the operative says. "I don't give a shit how big you are. He's a fucking animal. Come on before you get bit."

She hesitates at the growl that builds in his throat, putting the towel down slowly, leveling her eye's not with his, but just below so she's not looking him in the eyes. Abigail knows how to go submissive, half the time that's what she's like around the guys, and others. Her hand closes on her medical bag and starts inching backwards at the operatives demand. Sasha's gotten as much care as she's likely going to be able to give him today.

The operative places a palm between Abby's shoulder blades to usher the young woman back up the stairs as Sasha flexes the fingers on his uncuffed hand with obvious difficulty. The last thing she sees when she crests the topmost step is him balling it into a white knuckled fist that he abruptly slams against the wall. Or tries to.

The chain doesn't let him move even that far.

She looks over the Ferryman's shoulder and hers towards the Russian and the sudden change wrought in him. One step, two, three, then she's looking forward again, moving fast as the escort wants her too. "God have mercy on him" Because everyone else won't.

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