Stolen Goods


barbara_icon.gif howard_icon.gif huruma3_icon.gifliza_icon.gif nora_icon.gif

Also Featuring:

bai-chan_icon.gif lance_icon.gif lh_paul_icon.gif

Scene Title Stolen Goods
Synopsis Three little thieves make mischief, perhaps landing another slightly older Pollepel resident in trouble.
Date December 27, 2010

Pollepel Island

"I'll kill him!"

From anyone else that may be an empty threat, but Howard Phillips is just borderline enough to have no qualms about murdering one Lance Gerkin, no matter who he is. The sounds of sneakered feet slapping against masoned stone comes with the furious pace of Howard barreling down the corridor from his room, door flung open to slam against the wall. "I'll fucking murder him!" Sparks of electricity trail in Howard's wake, crackle-snapping off of his hair and between his fingers as he sprints after…


Bolting down the stairs and through another narrow corridor before exploding out into the dining hall, Howard's entrance is as loud as his approach. "Where are you little shits!?" Skidding to a halt, one door flung wide open and blue eyes scanning the sparsely populated dining hall, Howard Phillips is looking in the wrong spot for a pair of mischief-making thieves.

Three thieves to be specific.

Sitting high up on the exposed rafters over the dining hall, the belly-laughter of Bai-Chan Zhang, Lance Gerkin and Paul Rodriguez is stifled by the silence inducing aura of the blue-eyed brunette of the devilish trio. Cradling a brown paper bag to each of their chests, the combination of an audiokinetic that can make a stampede of snickering children silent, a friction manipulator who can climb walls like a spider, and a boy who can phase through any solid material makes for a great unit.

Shirtless and jacketless, Howard's ire isn't about the stolen alcohol. Though to the fre people sitting around in the dining hall, his irate hollaring could be about anything. Those who know him best will realize, however, that Lance having stolen Howard's tattered old olive-drab jacket — to wear none the less — is the only thing that could get Howard Phillips that riled.

Sneakered feet swing back and forth far above where Howard is searching, and the silent laughter of the three thieves goes unnoticed by the elctrokinetic.

In the corner against the wall, Nora is practicing the guitar; setting her palm against the just strummed strings to stop them, she sets the guitar down, standing when she hears Howard yelling and upset. Her brows knit together with worry, then fierceness that looks just a bit tougher thanks to the cut on her cheekbone — if it weren't for her unfocused eyes, she might look like she could do some damage in a fight.

Anyone who's seen her practicing in the courtyard might still agree.

"Howie?" she calls across the dining hall, her voice questioning and meant to sooth the riled electrokinetic at once. "Are you okay?"

Liza's drinking some apple cider in the dining hall. She holds her hands around the steaming cup, using it as warmth as she enjoys it, but she's a little restless, a little bored, and most definitely not feeling very intellectually stimulated at the moment. Well, at least one of those things might be fixed in the near future. As she hears the shouting, the petite blonde looks up from her cup, just in time to catch sight of the thieving trio followed by… followed by… oh. Right. The guy without a shirt. Sorry, that's distracting!

Her gaze catches sight of the incident as Howard loses them, frowning just a touch. "You know, it's not nice to take things from other people," she offers in the general direction of the children. "Do you like making other people upset? Because I know if someone took something of mine it'd make me upset, and going around and purposefully making people upset isn't a nice thing to do at all."

Barbara was just a bit down the hall when she suddenly heard Howard's rather loud proclimation that someone was, in fact, going to die! And while she's sure it's nothing that terribly serious, but she can't not look into such a daring and forceful - even if just got a laugh at whatever's managed to go awry today. Hands rest in jean pockets as she turns into the dining room with a shake of her head.

What she finds, in teh form of Howard Phillips shouting and cursing, earn a curious look and the removal her hat. Eyes move between Nora and Liza, though she doesn't spot the children yet. "And who, exactly, are you going to kill, Howard?" she inquires with a bit of a grin. "I'm supposing it's not one of the island's ladies who ran off with your shirt, from your reaction." Not really a good joke, but the best one she can muster with the ammo she's given. BUt almost immediately, her expression turns a rather bit more serious.

"Wh— " Howard's eyes grow wide when he hears Nora call out to him, arresting his wrathful momentum for a moment. On Barbara's jab, however, his blue eyes snap in her direction, followed by a point of two fingers. "Fuck off, Red." His attention snaps to Liza, then flicks up to the rafters where the three young thieves are hanging out with their spoils. Lance is busily unwrapping the paper bag from a large bottle of whiskey, dark brows raised appraisingly. Meanwhile beside him, Paul has unfolded what at a distance looks like a magazine with a fold-out middle insert, followed by a confused look of wide eyes.

He shouts something, or maybe shrieks, it's hard to tell. Either way he's recoiling from the magazine and throwing it down to the ground below. Once it passes out of the range of Lance's silence field, its pages can be heard rustling, flapping centerfold depicting bare skin flagging by before striking one of the tables, landing on the floor and just out of sight of its actual contents.

Howard's face goes pale. Immediately thereafter, he's sprinting towards one of the galley tables, sneakered foot up on a bench, then up on the table as he vaults over it and lands on the other side, snatching up the magazine and glaring up at the kids. "That— That is private!!" He flusteredly blurts out with a shaky tone of voice, a few sparks crackling down one bare arm as he rolls the magazine up to hide it. Or perhaps in preparation of bludgeoning someone.

From up on the rafter, Lance swings his feet and finger-waves down to Howard, even as the blonde is beginning to turn red in the face.

At first glance, it kind of looks like Batman is standing in the entrance to the dining hall, lurking in its own shrouded shadow- white eyes- but no, it is just Huruma, same posture, wearing a dark woolen cape around her shoulders, down over the arms of an even darker woolen winter coat. All still sprinkled in dots of snow, melting quickly. She looks perturbed, as she watches the- well, shenanigans, really- of Howard's attempts to cover his ass and somehow simultaneously keep yelling at children in the rafters. A look goes to the rest of the room and its contents and persons, before Huruma steps inside, eyes and face pivoting to glare up into the rafters.

"What is this?" Her mood lately has dwindled from its merriment, maybe because she has gotten used to the children being around, and there is less need to put on that holiday face. Back to her basics, it seems. Not that it is a terrible thing.

The worried look on Nora's face turns to one of frustration as she's unable to tell just what's going on from the cacophony of Howard's yelling, table-jumping, and something slapping the table nearby — the last making her jump and bring a hand up to protect her face instinctively, before hearing the magazine slips to faux-stone floor. The crackling from the distraught Howard brings back the worried expression.

"Howard…?" she says tentatively, teeth raking over her lower lip as she reaches her hand out for the electrokinetic. "What do they have?" There is an edge to her tone that suggests that the worry isn't just for him, apparently.

Everyone's so unhappy! Liza frowns, glancing over to where the magazine falls. She might color just slightly at a glimpse of skin, but no more so than Howard's bare chest. Her gaze moves up to the rafters, and she frowns again. "Come down and give him back his things. I'm serious about this. It isn't nice!" She'll try valiantly to get the kids down, but she's not really sure what to say.

Barbara scowls a bit at Howard, eyes narrowing for a moment. That wasn't the reaction she had expected or warrented, in her opinion. BUt when the magazine is tossed, the redhead's eyes follow it, and while she can't get a good look at what it is, Howard's reaction brings up a mix of a laugh and a scowl. If it's what she thinks it is, it certainly shouldn't be here, much less in teh hands of teh children. But she can't bring herself to be that mad about it. Maybe. It'll depend.

"Mischeif is what this is, Huruma," is Barbara's somewhat amused reply. She doesn't answer Nora's question, instead turning her attention to the hiding children. "Give him back is jacket, you three. If you get back down here, I won't tell Brian or Eric what the three of you have been up to." She glowers at them - though she has no true anger, she wants to emphasis how serious it is that they come on down.

"They took my jacket!" Howard shouts as an answer to Nora, but more as a cry to Lance. "They took my booze too— I— I was saving that for New Years you assholes!" Wringing the rolled up magazine in both hands, Howard doesn't once take his eyes off of those little monsters up in the rafters, laughing soundlessly and smiling. Huruma can feel that uproarious good nature of their theft, they're not afraid at all, presuably because they think they can get away with anything. Either way, they're having a grand old time of it.

Bai-Chan tilts his head to the side, then crawls around the wooden rafter like a spider monkey, proceeding to hang by his legs upside down in implausible grip with his heels and calves, arms crossed over his chest holding a paper-bagged bottle to his chest, smiling toothily at Howard.

"Someone get me a broom," Howard grates, his teeth clenched together.

Huruma could be as useful as a broom- we'll see. She purses her lips at Barbara, and Howard, the level stare ending up back on the trio of boys. Good nature or not, she is not quite up for Howard pissing himself out of anger, or any of these troublemakers getting smashed off of whatever contraband they happened to steal from the static boy. A growl rises in the bile of her throat.

"I'ave been too patient with you impudent pups." As soon as she says it, the three boys get properly child-sized doses of fear- children are much easier to strike terror into, perhaps because the majority of them have less control over their emotions than adult counterparts. Whatever the reason, Huruma's influence is likely a humbling experience. If they will not learn to respect adults naturally, she has always seen it best to do it by force. Maybe not the best way of making something happen, but Huruma has never been an expert on kids either.

"Come down from there now."

Nora tips her head, eyes closing, before taking turning booted toes toward where she thinks Howard is. She takes a few steps, brows furrowing and she corrects her path slightly, turning a little more to the left, and then her hand touches his shoulder. Hopefully without a shock.

"Shh. We'll get it back," she whispers, then tips her head upward at the rafters. "C'mon, guys, you need to be polite. We're all stuck in this castle and on this island together — you need to treat everyone the way you want to be treated. Do you want people in your stuff? Stealing your things? We don't have enough here as it is, without worrying about people stealing. I'm really disappointed in you."

Here, Nora adds a little sniffle and ducks her head, long lashes veiling her eyes as if she might be crying. "I really expected better from you guys."

The adults will know it's an act, but the goal is for the three very young men to think they might have made a girl cry.

Liza's eyes shift back towards Nora. Oh! Now she's clever! Why didn't Liza think of that? The blonde falls back into silence her hands curling around the apple cider again. It's already getting cold. She frowns.

Huruma's sternness causes Barbara to wince a bit, letting out a sigh. "I don't think such a forceful manner of discipline is going to work in this isntance," she says quietly, a glance given over in the taller woman's direction. "I'm amke me get Eric. He'll make you give them back." The matter of the booze is left unaddressed for now, and even if she had intended to make a comment, she's quickly distracted by Nora's approach to the situation. Her effort ends a smile, even if the blind girl can't see it, and a quiet, appreciative "thank you," the councilwoman hoping that this will be enough to the Chilren to relent. She really don't want to have t get Eric!

At the hand to his shoulder, Howard relents from his potential rampage. His skin is feverishly warm to the touch, blue eyes angled down towards Nora, then over to the blonde he'd not quite caught the name of before. The one who was hanging the mistletoe. Watching Liza for a short time, Howard finally looks up to the kids, scowling expectantly.

It's like the story of Goldilocks and the three bears in a way. One manner is too harsh, one too sweet, another just right. Each of the three boys responds to a different type of discipline, which is frustratingly complicated but reflects on their upbringing. The moment Huruma demands for the shenanigans to stop in such a forceful manner, Bai-Chan unhooks his legs from the rafters, swings them forward into a small flip and lands in a crouch atop one of the dining room tables. He places the bottle of whiskey down, stares at Howard who is stilled by the touch to his shoulder delivered by Nora.

Bai-Chan's head quirks to the side, his hands sloooowly move away from the bottle as he creeps back, and back, and then just falls backwards off of the table into a somersault before scampering away and hustling out of admonishing line of fire. Watching the display, Paul cracks a smile and roll his shoulders, right up until Nora starts pouting and looking weak-eyed. Her resemblance to the young Ferrymen woman who brought him all the way from Boston is just close enough to make him look crestfallen.

The young phaser turns briefly intangible, shimmering through the rafter like a ghost before touching down on the floor, head hung and eyes downcast. He steps aside, placing the next bottle down on the table and looks briefly up to Nora, then Howard. "M'sorry," he murmurs, not going anywhere, just looking repentant.

Lance— is mostly just stuck on the rafters, realizing his mates have abandoned him lest they get in trouble. A smart man doesn't hedge his bets too far, however, and Lance scratches the side of his cheek with one hand before looking down and askance to Liza, exhaling a silent sigh that blows one dark lock of hair away from his face.

"Fine," the boy whines audibly, then looks left and right in hesitation. "But— can… s- someone get me down?"

Maybe she is too stern because she came trotting back into the castle thinking that someone was going bonkers. Howard is, but thankfully not in a violent capacity. Still, Huruma can never be too careful. When he is the last one left, sheepishly asking to get helped down, she also shouldn't be so surprised when she glances around- and realizes she is the closest to the ceiling. Ah, such are the perils. The dark woman sighs once, stepping over to where Lance sits above.

"Kuja juu." The muttering comes with her lifting up her gloved hands and long arms for the boy. Huruma isn't the most well-mannered lift down, but she can get it done anyway. "Silly boy- come on."

The teenager smiles a little sheepishly at Barbara's words of gratitude, then Nora slips her arm around Howard's waist; her own hands are cold against his hot skin. She tips her dark head toward his fair one, knocking forehead to his temple.

Lips move close to his ear to whisper, "Nothing important missing, right?" as her free hand comes up to cup around her mouth to make sure the words don't travel beyond the young man for whom they're intended.

Well, it's a lot better now that they're all coming down and things are being returned. Liza shoots a glance towards Howard and Nora, a tiny smile on her features before she glances back to the kids. "I'm all for having fun and stuff, but… you've got to know when to stop playing the game. And you don't keep playing a game if not everyone's having fun. That's a good way to hurt someone, and people can do some… well, some bad things when they're hurt."

There's a look of relief on Barbara's face as the kids make their way down - though two of them run off before facing their punishment for their actions. Barbara makes no effort to chase, though she'll say something to Brian later about having them be more careful with their pranks, and knowing when to put an end to them. "I think you got the short stick on this one, Lance. Don't let them drag you up to warm places anymore. Most of us aren't that tall." She grins, looking back over to Liza. "Thank you," she offers to her as well, since she helped convince the boys toc ome down.

"My jacket is important," Howard murmurs sharply to Nora, turning blue eyes down to her, "It's all I have of her." Brows knit together and the taciturn young man shoots Nora a frustrated look that— he realizes belatedly is lost on her, followed by an apologetic expression that she'll never know he made. Her blindness still haunts him.

Rolling his eyes and looking mortified to have to be carried down by an adult, Lance carefully turns, looking down to Howard as he makes a hefting motion with the bottle, then tosses it down towards the electrokinetic carefully. Howard catches the bottle, then narrows his eyes and points two fingers up at Lance.

Exhaling a gruff noise, Lance rolls his shoulders and slides off Howard's too-large jacket down. When he catches it, something metallic flies out of one of the pockets, bouncing on edge on the floor and clattering over to clunk against Huruma's foot.

Hello compass.

Unknowing of the significance of that tarnished old compass case to Huruma, Lance climbs around the beam, hangs by his hands and allows Huruma to snatch him up and roughly bring him down to the floor, looking embarrassed all the while for his predicament, almost as much as Paul looks sorry.

Huruma has only a second to recognize the object that clatters against her boot, between Lance taking her offer for help. She puts the toe of her boot on it to both mask it and keep anyone from taking it while she puts the little boy onto the ground again. Then the first thing that she does is lean in to pick it up. The movement is jerky, and quick- just like Howard's scramble for the magazine, in fact. As if it were something private that nobody else should have had.

She practically tears her gloves off, palming it from one hand to another and jamming the gloves in a coat pocket. Huruma looks like she just found a treasure, unwilling to acknowledge anyone else while she feels its faint weight and tilts the lid open to look at the familiar red, black, and creamy yellow paint on the inside. The tilt and wobble of the silver and red. The tiniest squeak of the hinge. For her, it is a time capsule, just as much as her visit with Joseph Sullivan was earlier in the month.

"I know, How," Nora whispers, her own brows contorting in an apology for something much more than just her thoughtless query. She doesn't see either look he casts her way, but sharp ears made sharper by lack of sight do catch the clatter of metal and her lips part, head dipping as if she is following the compass' path to Huruma's boot, the rustle of clothing when Huruma stoops to pick it up.

Her arm tightens on Howard's waist as she bites down on her lower lip to keep from speaking.

Liza takes a sip of the cider, now cold, and wrinkles her nose at it before slowly pushing it away from her on the table. She offers a smile to Barbara as she's thanked, shaking her head a little in a 'it was nothing' maneuver. Still, there's something ghat has caught her eyes now, and it's not Howard's chest this time. It's the compass. The blonde's eyes fixate on it, but she makes no move, her eyes staying upon it, not even to look at the others to see what they plan on doing or who was going to pick it up. Her head inclines slightly to the right as she looks at it curiously.

It seems the focal point of everyone's attention ahs shifted, and Barbara is no exception, eyes narrowed as the device clattered to the ground. It's certainly not the first time she's seen a compass, nor the first time she's heard of a compass being in Howard's posession (thanks, Abby). But this is the first time she is seeing Howard's compass. Sheis unable to keep her eyes from darting to look at her efore she takes a step forward, intending to retrieve it.

SHe's too slow, though, the object scooped up by Huruma, and Barbara is left at a bit of a loss. Her movement and intentions had been obvious enough, and the way she slinks back as it's palmed in the taller woman's hands, she seems uneasy about having been beaten to retrieving it. Not that she had intended on keeping it. Maybe. Her lips urse as she eyes Huruma, curious to see what she does with it, and for a moment, and thoughts of scolding Lance are lost.

Lance? What Lance?

Lance is gone.

While attention has turned elsewhere, Lance has turned away, sidling out of sight and quietly making his escape while the adults are fascinating by something he hadn't noticed in the jacket's pockets.

Howard's hand moves to Nora's, first gently, then as if remembering himself he eases her fingers away and takes a step past her. Swinging his jacket over his shoulders, Howard switches hands that the magazine is kept rolled up in as he slides on his sleeves and leaves the thin, patched up and burn-hole riddled jacket unbuttoned. Warily approaching Huruma, Howard holds out his free hand, magazine kept tucked behind his back.

He doesn't dare venture a verbal request for the compass back. There's an unusual, reserved nature that Howard displays around Huruma, his back tense and jaw set, nostrils flared and looking all in one both poised like a smaller animal trying to fluff itself up to a predator, but also not threatening. A precarious peacock dance if ever there were one that Howard could actually perform.

It may as well be a music box, or talking to her, for all that Huruma is regarding it. She knows that Howard has stepped closer to her, expecting the woman to just hand it back to him. He doesn't quite get what he wants, not before she has a moment to gather some information. Her eyes flick up from her hand and the compass, to narrow down on Howard's face. There are mixed emotions in the room, and certainly mixed ones in Huruma's expression. On one hand, she can assume he has it for the same reason she did- it would fit, considering his temper tantrums. This expectancy fights with a suspicion, there behind her stare.

The compass is pointedly still between her long fingers, and it takes another moment for Huruma to say something, lifting her chin at Howard. "I used t'ave one of these…" She purrs, a quirk of her lips upward. "Though they'ave not been passed out f'years, last I knew. …Passed on is another story."

When Howard moves away from her, Nora reaches out and takes a couple of steps until her fingers, poking out from her cuffs, touch a table to hold on to; she's much more comfortable when she's moored to something — preferably one of her friends, but for now a piece of furniture will do. Her posture is tense, still, as she waits — listening to the silences of the room between the words the others speak.

The fact that Huruma recognises the compass comes as a surprise to the redheaded council member, though this time she tries not to show her emotions as much. Instead, her arms corss, simply eyeing her hands as she holds on to the compass. "They seem to get around," she adds drly. Nothing accusatory about the statement, simply as if it's fact. And given the presence of one i Thompon, HOward's, Huruma's mentioning of having had one, and what she'd heard form Abby and Cat, it seemed to be accurate. For now, she circles around so that sh'es off to the side of hwoward a bit, though enough distance to keep it from looking like she's cicling him like some sort of hawk. At this point, she's merely curious.

"It's an antique," Howard quietly agrees with a raise of his brows, then a curled gimme motion of one hand. "It also happens t'be mine. So— " he carefully selects his words in a way that implies tacit understanding that this is much like trying to take a chew toy away from a dog. Careful, or you'll get bit. "If y'could…" Howard's eyes flick down to the compass, noting that the needle is slowly spinning in a lazy circle in Huruma's hand.

The movement of the needle is familiar to Huruma. Anywhere outside of the Sullivan Bros. carnival it would point towards the direction of that place. Inside the carnival, all the Compass would do is spin slowly, as if to say you're home. Whether symbolic or scientific, the meaning is a poetic one for Huruma, if not an intentional one.

Barbara's comment offers an askance, frustrated look, but quickly does Howard's attention turn back to Huruma. "Please?"

Huruma seems to want to watch the needle hobble lazily along for a few more seconds, shoulders slacking a little from the rigid angles they had been in. "I suppose that it is still in proper order, isn't it?" Her voice is that much warmer, too. A fondness for the little thing, maybe a fondness perceptible of where it came from. Who it came from. "Tricky creatures." Her palm closes, clicking down the top of the compass before she palms it gently into Howard's outstretched one, her own hand pausing on his for just long enough for there to be a pause.

"B'careful with that, Howard. Per'aps find a safer pocket for it, would you?"

Nora takes a step closer toward Howard's voice, moving up behind him and a little to the side, her lean frame just touching his so he knows she's there, a slightly off-kilter and smaller shadow that will be sure to follow him once he flees the room. One hand reaches to curl into one of the pockets of his coat.

"Mm." Barbara gives a bit of a smile as the compass is returned, and she turns away from the group. "I think I agree with Huruma. You need a more secure place for that. Someone could stitch a pocket you can clasp shut into the inside of your jacket, if you'd like." Not Barbara. She is terrible at stitching and embroidery. She shrugs a bit, finding a table of her own to lean against, not too far from Liza. She regards the group once more, before she tilts her head again. "I think I should say the same about your magazine too, HOward." SHe's teasing, and hoping it doesn't get the same barb in return she got earlier. THe booze, well… wanting booze on New Years, she can understand. Unless it turns into a problem, she'll let that go for now.

Curling his fingers around the compass when its handed back, Howard offers a faint smile to Huruma, dipping his head down into a slow nod of appreciation for having something so precious returned, something so important. For once, he's taken the smallest piece of advice without being standoffish about it.

"It— " Wait, magazine? Howard's face flushes, brows furrow and he brandishes the rolled-up magazine at Barbara on turning around, compass in hand. "I got a perfect handle on it, trust me." Blue eyes flick to Nora, and Howard's lips downturn into a frown. Maybe Barbara is right about that, however, someone more responsible might benefit from hanging on to that particular treasure of his.

Blue eyes flick to Nora thoughtfully as he pockets the compass, then reaches out to take Nora's hand. "C'mon," he urges quietly, offering a look briefly back to Barbara, then Liza at the table, then finally Huruma before he starts to tug the blind girl ahead, backpedaling all the while, moving around the table to collect the remainder of the paper wrapped bottles, tucking them under his arm one by one until he's precariously carrying them to his chest.

"We gotta' give a Christmas present t'Hannah."

Whiskey or compass, maybe both.

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