Sweet Naïvety


abby_icon.gif eileen_icon.gif elias_icon.gif odessa_icon.gif sylar_icon.gif wu-long_icon.gif

Scene Title Sweet Naïvety
Synopsis Elias brings Abby to Eileen's bedside. Wu-Long lays out the terms of their agreement for Sylar while he shares his thoughts with Odessa.
Date January 4, 2009

Confucius Plaza - Wu-Long's Apartment

A downright Spartan apartment building. Neat, but not immaculate, minimalistically furnished— give or take a few militarily-oriented surprises tucked into concealed nooks or replastered behind furniture, and impersonally decorated.

A small plastic Buddha atop a shelf and generic prints of Chinese women on bridges and fat children are framed on the walls. A carved wood tube of wood sits by the entranceway, receptacle for umbrellas; the dining table, knee-height and surrounded by seating cushions, bears a rickety glass Lazy Susan. A faded Xerox of a faded photograph sits on what serves as a mantelpiece, just right of the television, a portrait of a solemn, elderly Chinese couple. There is a plate of fruit before it, peaches, pears or apples swapped out before rot sets in every three days.

You'll find beer in the refrigerator and three small bedrooms in the back.

It's perhaps a good thing that Sylar associates with the sorts that he does. If nothing else, it makes him doubtlessly resilient to strange occurrences. Occurrences such as a trio of individuals suddenly appearing in the apartment where, only moments earlier, there was nothing but empty air.

But that's exactly what happens when Elias returns from the outside world with Wu-Long and their newest associate, Abigail Beauchamp, in tow, completely without fanfare and with only a slight breeze, as is usual. Also as usual, Elias hopes that the one who has never been teleported before doesn't decide to suddenly throw up on his shoes. "Here are we," he says, although to whom he directs his remark is not exactly clear, "How's she doing?"

Sylar is half sitting, half lying on the couch, a book in his lap. He's moved from his post a few times - to pace, to paw through Wu-Long's kitchen. Once to simply go outside for a little while and breathe in winter air. He's chosen, now, to escape the slightly suffocating room of the sick - and apparently greet the new arrivals. Sylar casts a glance from teleporter, to shadow ninja, to miracle worker, whom is treated with a very fixed look. The kind a dog on a leash might give a small furry prey-animal. He doesn't immediately do anything, just watches her, and standing up. He leaves the question of Eileen's health to Odessa, as he casts a questioning glance from Wu-Long to Abby. As if to say, 'So. Shall I?'

In what is either a very small surprise or not much of one, Wu-Long isn't immediately going to volunteer the conditions of his agreement with the littlest healer, despite the fact that he knows Sylar must be somewhere around here and that, thus, Sylar would be able to hear him. He leaves Abby's continued existence to hinge on the probability that Eileen takes precedent, at least in his fellow monster's understanding of the world, and that Odessa must be feeling strain. He only says: "She will do the work." And fails entirely to find any sort of irony in his own phrasing. Not the Work, but they all know that, by now.

Traitors and mutineers, all of them. He's comfortable here: an old hand at treachery. Perhaps surprisingly, both he and his — prisoner show little evidence of violence. He straightens an arm toward the master bedroom, showing Abigail the way.

Elias's shoes are safe though Abby blinks and her knees give a wobble. Decorporealized, corprealized then teleported. The blonde healer swallows hard, the fist of her sling'd arm held tight against her body, and the other, the other is to her stomach and trying to get through the whole ordeal so far. It's minor, she's sure, compared to what Eileen is going through. "Here we are" somewhere. She doesn't know where. Could be Timbuktu for all she knows. The blue eyes quickly scan the room looking for anyone else in it, trying to squash her nervousness. What was it Mohinder said? If she didn't stay calm, it wouldn't work. God didn't answer when she was wrought up. Sylar though. Right there. The boogeyman. "You … You just don't even think about it. You can try and make me into a snack another day thank you very much. Right now, someone else needs me so lay off…please." Manners don't abandon her. She was raised proper. "Where's Eileen?" With Wu-long indicating where to go as she asks, and presuming no one stops her, the blonde is quick on her feet once she recovers from the method of transportation and taking herself into the bedroom and her 'patient'.

Odessa is standing with one hand extended over Eileen's prone and still form. At the ripple of disturbance that is Elias, Wu-Long and Abby teleporting into the living room unannounced, her other arm snaps out, palm open toward the doorway, and in effect, toward them. Her expression is tense, dangerous, but she seems to relax quickly. She's terribly pale, with sweat causing her bangs to cling to her brow. "Stable," she offers tersely as to her patient's condition. She finds herself faced with Abby's approach, sizing her up with narrowed blue eyes. Is she up to this task? She'd better be. With the wave of her hand, Doctor Knutson has released Eileen from her state of effective suspended animation.

"Stable is good," Elias says. It shows well enough that he's relieved to know that Eileen probably isn't going to die after all. He hopes, at least. However, he does not go rushing into the bedroom, knowing he wouldn't be of much use unless they need someone to go get more tongue depressors. He'll let the professionals and the gifted take the bedroom. The teleporter instead moves towards the kitchen. "Sylar, a brief word, please." Eileen's condition isn't the only thing on his mind.

Abby's words to Sylar don't get a response from the killer, and doubtful she expected them as she goes to tend to Eileen. Sylar pauses and watches her go, and he takes a step towards trailing in after those relevant— and pauses when Elias speaks to him. Uncertainty for a few seconds, but with one last glance towards Abby— and another towards Odessa for different reasons— he withdraws from the doorway and follows Elias towards the kitchen. He doesn't prompt the other man to speak, just stands patiently and waits to see what said brief word will be.

The Chinese man doesn't follow Abigail into the room, trusting that Odessa's going to be able to stay on her feet while the healer does whatever she ought to be doing to set up, if not precisely making herself at home. He goes to the kitchen area instead, passing by teleporter and serial killer without an inquiring glance. It's only been a few months since they started working together, but he already navigates the space around them as if they've been pissing in beer bottles at the same frat house for years. He cracks open the fridge with a hand on the handle, and drags out a can of beer and a bottle of water, both encircled in the fingers of a single hand.

Loping into the bedroom, he offers them to Odessa with a soft word of caution, Mandarin, though nothing the gentle touch on her shoulder doesn't say. Sylar understands it. Be careful of your health. His smile fades as he turns his head to look at Abigail.

Abby's not much to look at, nor for the moment does she look to anyone else. A pretty blonde, early 20's at most, a cross dangling on a chain at her throat and left arm in a sling. Abby doesn't for all intent purposes, look like Ethan's Miracle Worker. She doesn't have eyes for Odessa though, not yet. Just standing for a moment to take in Eileen's prone form. Stomach wound Wu-Long had said, but from the looks of it, much more. "Uhh," the blonde rubs at her face with her good hand before digging into her purse awkwardly for a Red Bull even as Wu-Long makes his was to the room. "Coffee, cola. I have some Red Bulls, that should do me for the start if she's not back off. But, if there's coffee around, that'd be better. I need caffeine or something high energy." She should have grabbed some from the bar. Push, push fast, and then a break, and go slow. She's formulating a battle plan in her head even as she glances up to Odessa to offer a small smile and moves around the woman to come to sit on the side of the bed. "You should sit. I'm here now. She'll be fine." The last words filled with faith and confidence. "I promise." The Red Bull is trapped between her jean clad knees and there's the pop of tab as she opens it to drink the liquid down fast as possible.

Odessa takes the beer from Wu-Long with a grateful smile before returning her look of disdain to Abby. This is the miracle healer? Spare me. She turns away, ignoring the invitation to sit, and moves instead to stand in the doorway, where she can be a polite distance away so that she isn't eavesdropping on the conversation between Sylar and Elias, and yet monitor them so that she might seek Sylar out once they've finished. For now, she's working busily on draining that beer. It isn't as if her fellow watchman actually asked her if she needed anything during the times when he got up to help himself. Not that she would have accepted anything from him while she was attempting to concentrate anyway. Beer is totally hydrating. Forget everything you ever learned when you studied medicine, Odessa. It will take the edge off of that fatigue, and that's what you need. "Thanks," she thinks to mutter in return for the hospitality.

Elias pays no real mind to Wu-Long as he makes his way past the duo in the kitchen, although he does wait a moment for him to leave. The 'brief word' that he wanted comes in the form of a question. "Did you find out what happened?" he asks lowly, "If you did, I missed it and would like to know, please." The reason why, he keeps to himself, although it's just as likely out of pure concern for Eileen as it is anything else. He's not that heartless of a profiteer.

Sylar's neutrally blank expression flickers for a moment, glancing towards the bedroom door where he can just see Odessa, partially, then back to Elias. He leans back against the kitchen counter, arms folding. It's no real secret, not anymore, but with the presence of Abby, he takes care to keep his voice low so no words drift to the bedroom. "Ethan's out searching for him now," he says. "I read her mind." A slight head tilt to the bedroom. Eileen's mind. No, there's nothing he can't do, buy your own sylar for five easy payments of $48.45. "A man was sent by Volken to bring her to him, alive. The man decided he would try to kill her instead." A slight shake of his head to answer a question he's pretty sure would be asked: "I don't recognise him. But Eileen knew he was Kazimir's."

The one arm is slid out of her sling, carefully, and she slips it under Eileen's shirt at the shoulder, flesh to flesh. The other near the stomach wound, trying to get as much of her bare hand as possible on the woman. There's no other instructions to the two in the room with her, just Abigail's voice. "Precious Lord, take my hand. Lead me on. Let me stand. I am tired. I am weak. I am worn. Through the storm, Through the night, Lead me on to the light. Take my hand, precious Lord, and lead me home." And with that, it starts. None here have seen, or felt it. It's nothing. To the woman who she touches, it's something. But as a minute passes, the bruises that litter Eileen's body start to fade, like watched water boiling. Abigail's forcing it, as much as she can to get her past stable and into where she's comfortable going slow.

That, really, was all Elias needed to hear. He was just hoping for a face he could pin the crime on. He wasn't expecting a reason to completely drop the last thread of allegiance he had to Volken. Sylar may be leaning against the counter to make standing a little easier, but when Elias starts leaning back against the wall, it's because he's started feeling just a little bit ill. If he'd visited her just a few hours later, maybe Ethan wouldn't be outside looking for Eileen's attacker. "Should've gotten her body armor instead of picture," he mumbles unintelligibly. Maybe not unintelligibly to Sylar.

Sylar looks again to Elias at his murmur not really intended for anyone to hear. "She wouldn't have accepted," he mutters, which might not be true. But all things considered, it'd be in keeping with the pattern. Now, he moves away from the kitchen, following the sounds of gentle praying. He comes to stand between the kitchen and where Odessa is at the bedroom door, listening, and with a little directional telepathy, he projects to the scientist, Do you think she needs to pray to make it work? with a curious tone in his disembodied voice. He raises an eyebrow at her should she look his way. It doesn't take a genius to work out what he wants. Abby even knows it, despite being here.

As the little healer works, the expression is draining out of Wu-Long's face like water out of a bathtub, gradual, the level of it seeming to fall away from something hard and cold as porcelain. He is looking at both and neither of the girl, his attention undivided but his train of thought undoubtedly elsewhere. After a moment, he pushes off the wall with a flux of motion through his spine, sinuous and in motion slow even for an ordinary man. A knife clicks inside his wrist. He turns toward the door and steps past Odessa, Sylar, and Elias again, respectively, on his way to… the kitchen, naturally. Again. To put some coffee on, this time. He's nothing if not a polite host.

Abby doesn't stop, slipping from the end of the prayer with a breath and launching into a very quiet song, everything one could find in a church hymnal. She can feel the frail woman beneath her, her body gobbling up everything she can give it. Here and there, signs of tiredness slipping in. "…Oh fathers, let's go down down in the river to pray. As I went down in the river to pray, studying about that good old way, and who shall wear the robe and crown, good lord, show me the way." The soft singing doesn't stop, even as her gaze goes from Wu-Long departing and Sylar's arrival. It's not a daring look, but a 'not right now' look. They can come to terms, after. Everything she has is for Eileen. "Oh mothers, let's go down…" Eileen's looking outwardly better as time goes on.

One thing Elias has never been very good at is feeling guilty. Even when his mother died, he didn't feel guilty about being somewhere else. Sylar's words, although unexpected, do plenty to jolt him back into reality. How is this any different than that? He teleports, he doesn't see the future. There are plenty of other things he can do for Eileen instead of getting sick.

As Wu-Long reenters the kitchen, Elias straightens up, certain of what lies ahead of him. And then less certain about what lies ahead for them as a group. Profiteer or not, Elias' past hasn't completely left him. Like it or not, Abby came and did them a big favor when she did not have to (willingly), and because of that, he feels they owe her something. Sylar will likely not share this sentiment, and that will have to be reconciled, likely before the night is done.

There's a whisper from the blonde scientist, and the two— Sylar and Odessa— share a private conversation of kinds, half telepathic and half too quiet to be heard by anyone. Brief, an acknowledgment of a shared thought. Odessa remains disinterested in the activity going on in the bedroom, however, whereas it holds Sylar's attention, moving past the blonde to take up his prior post - a chair in the shadowed corner of the bedroom. He relaxes there, and doesn't attempt to interrupt the soft song that fills the room. And he watches Eileen's healing, and studies Abby in a way that might prove uncomfortable, all things considered, not the least of which is the last two times, the only other times, they had come face to face. And waits.

The song ends, not the healing. Abby's slowed it down now. Odessa doesn't interest her. "She'll need blood. She's lost a lot. Why her color is not improving. I can't do a thing for blood. I can make bruises disappear, but if she doesn't have enough, she can still pass. Can you open the can for me Sylar please? I need the second Red Bull that's in my purse." Slow blinks. Time to conserve, work slowly, leave no mark on the organs, as god made her. "I'm sorry, for what it's worth, that they took her. When I found out.. I wasn't happy. They brought me in to make sure she was alright when they first brought her in. I would have .. if I could have, fixed her nose before they traded her, but someone .. someone else took me to fix some things." Like you guys would have if I hadn't said yes. She looks over to Sylar, a switcheroo of hands, one always on Eileen, waiting to see if Sylar's going to pass her a Red Bull. "I fed birds with her once, before I knew who she was. Was fun. Not a care in the world, just.. feeding the pigeons."

Not knowing his way around Wu-Long's kitchen, and knowing that really, it only takes one person to brew coffee, Elias makes his exit and zips through space, moving in the blink of an eye from the kitchen to the frame of the bedroom doorway, brushing his way past Odessa. Eileen is looking much better off than she was the last time he'd seen her. He catches the tail end of Abby's note about blood, but he already knew that. Blood is hard to get without filling out a lot of paperwork, and unlike plasma, giving Eileen the wrong blood might kill her. Barring another miracle, she'll just have to tough it out.

Now, however, he has a chance to see how Sylar will react in this situation. Specifically, he's hoping he'll react like a civilized man and won't try to kill Abby. Kazimir might permit behavior like that, but Kazimir's not around. Neither is Ethan, which gives Elias seniority and, in his mind, makes him the captain of the ship. And when he's captain, they do things a little differently.

As the song comes to a close and that request is made to him, Sylar's gaze switches from the prone girl in the bed to the "miracle healer" with a slight lift of an eyebrow. It's the way she switches her hands, ultimately, the indication that she shouldn't stop touching Eileen, that leads Sylar to stand up, to move for her purse and extract the can of energy drink, to open it and then hand it to her. Polite as you please. As he hands off the drink, he looks towards Elias, raising an eyebrow in an innocent sort of 'what?' expression, before sauntering away from the healer once more. "You've stepped into the lion's den for a girl you fed pigeons with once," he says, looking at her. "I'm not sure if that makes you brave, kind or stupid." Not that the three, in Sylar's book, are much different from each other. He addresses Elias, now, too, in his usual serene tone of voice, "What deals did you all make to get her here? I'm curious."

"I've stepped into a lot of Dens. Intentionally, unintentionally and I'm often called that last name. Add naïve, and idiot to that list. I call it faith and understanding. I believe… that I'm put, where I am, for a reason. There's some divine providence, a crossroads many times over that I'll stand at. I can stay still, or I can choose a path and forge forward. He puts people in my path for a reason. I haven't figured out why he put you in mine, maybe I'll never know, but her," The bad arm is touching Eileen, the Red Bull guzzled, each last single drop before the can is placed on the floor, hands switched out again. "She fed the birds. Whether she can talk to them, it doesn't matter. I couldn't take care of her before. She refused me as well. Turned me away. It's some small thing that I can do for her, here, now. She's loved, in some strange way, and.. it's not her time yet" She sounds certain of that too. "Thank you, for that, the drink." Abby looks to Elias. "Thank you, for the transportation. As to… what deals," Abby shakes her head. "Not money. I never take money. Protection. From you, from everyone here. This night, I'm given reprieve so I can heal one of yours." She smiles a little at that, a glance between the two men. "No offense… but, I really need a good nights sleep, instead of sitting awake, terrified you're gonna come through my door and take my faith Sylar."

"I think that Abby summarized it fairly well," Elias says. Even though she's never given him her name herself, he has ways of finding out what it is. One of them is his neighbor. "We asked her, well, Wu-Long asked her nicely in a somewhat surprising show of restraint to heal Eileen. I'm very proud of him. And she said, I understand, 'okay, I'll heal her for you guys, but seriously, please stop killing my buzz and quit trying to eat me brain, pretty please'." He gives a shrug. "Something like that."

The coffee is done. Wu-Long is coming in with it, a mug of it accompanied by condiments atop a tray balanced between hands that serve better with less domestic tasks. "She asked me to protect her for a week," he supplements Abigail, and mildly corrects Elias. "I said I would do it. She said, after that, you could do as you please." There's an utter lack of irony in the man's voice, but it's impossible to think there isn't an inkling of dark humor in his phrasing. "We also need to leave Flint Deckard alone, and return her to Old Lucy's unharmed as soon as she is done here. I said I would do those, too." He measures the distance to Abby's side in even footfalls, and sits the tray down on the bedstand. "She thinks highly of my abilities." That remark, he drops on Abby with a smile of gratitude, even as he turns away with a swing of leather coat panels.

Sylar listens to Abby, then to Elias in turn, in silence. Finally, his attention switches back towards Eileen. Then, he offers the room, "I don't eat brains. I just look at them." And poke around a bit. He doesn't go into detail, however, pausing a little and almost smiling at the darkly humoured mention of what he could do in a week, flashing a glance to Wu-Long. For a moment, he simply mulls over these negotiations, mostly the ones that include him. The agreement to leash the wild dog for a week. Not particularly flattering, but he says nothing, just fixes both Vanguard men with a flat look each before saying to Abby, "God works in mysterious ways. I have better things to do anyway." More people to kill, see men about dogs, and the like. With a last, fleeting glance to Eileen, he adds, "Just fix her," before moving out of the room, out of the apartment. He has an appointment to keep.

"That he does," Abby answers to Sylar. "Cast me gently, into morning, for the night has been unkind." It's sing-songed, a dip of her head for the coffee. "God bless Sylar. One day we'll know the reason our paths cross. Maybe.. maybe you are meant to have my faith, but not right now." And that's all she says. She goes back to singing, quietly, with a great sense of weariness. This takes a toll on her that even fifteen cans of Red Bull can't eliminate.

Elias watches Sylar leave, happy that everything, apparently, has worked out for the better. For now, at least. He walks the rest of the way into the bedroom, next to Abby, and very deliberately places a hand on her shoulder. "You've done a great favor for us, Abigail," he says, "For all of us, and where I'm from, we remember the people who do favors for us. Anything that you need, anything at all… you just ask." And you'll have it. The last bit is only implied, but implied so heavily he may as well have said it. Elias de Luca may be a thief and even a cheat, but he always remembers the people who do favors for him. Always.

"How much longer do you need? Or have you done everything that you can?"

"Zai jian," Wu-Long calls toward the departing serial killer without turning or elaborating on the tingle of curiosity that the other man's destination invites. Someone's going to die. Someone should have died at Old Lucy's, probably. If he thinks about it too much, he'll probably start itching and bitching and wall-crawling with nerves or something equally embarrassing, and he's far too professional for that. Elias' touches and promises elicit a brief glance, a fluctuation of one black eyebrow. As if reminded, the ex-soldier remembers to look at Eileen who, in her unconscious and unresponsive state, irrelevant to the activity and consequences of the room, had somehow deleted itself from his awareness.

She looks better, he realizes, his eyes narrowed critically. Good. "If he isn't dead already, one of you will have to kill whoever did this," he remarks, finally, for any given member of the Vanguard still within hearing distance. All of them. "I have other commitments, eh?" A callused hand claps Abby's free shoulder once, brightly, before he backs into her own space.

Elias doesn't get a hand on her, nor does Wu-Long. She ducks forward, wincing. "I don't like being touched, no offense. It's not just you, it's everyone. But thank you. I understand. I already named my price. Just keep it. Don't break my faith. I'll.. " On some level, she can't believe she's saying it. "You know where to find me. Like I told Phoenix, and I've told others. If you need me, ask. Don't kidnap me, don't take me, don't threaten me. God deserves better than that and I have a life, and a job, and obligations. I don't belong to any one group. I'm on my own, but… I have many friends," and glance to Wu-long then Elias, "and Churches are sacred. Don't park me under pews. if you come after me, wait till I'm outside a church. Please. For my sake"

She's almost done. The shoulders they tried to touch sit low, and she drifts a little to the front then back. "Minute more. Shoulder, her nose, she might need antibiotics, likely, if she picked up a blood infection or bacteria from her innards. Chest… was something with her chest" she rattles off where the healing all went and by the time it's done. Eileen is resting quietly, the picture of perfect health, if maybe heavily anemic. And Abby's dizzy as she carefully tugs her arm back into the sling. "Blood, antibiotics. She'll pull through. She's tough. if you don't know her type, go for O negative, it's what they used on.." The coffee at her feet is picked up and gulped down even as the hand that holds it shakes and looks at Wu-Long. "Someone I know who Wu-long here tried to kill. Death by.. Did you corporealize him while something was… in his middle?" She's near exhausted, but she needs to know.

"No." Wu-Long lies without effort, balancing the half-truth atop a technicality. He'd been trying to recorporealize Alexander with the subway grille through his legs, so he could finish him off with metal holding him. What actually happened was some weird nightmare of telekinesis and gravity that otherwise should have left the man cut to spaghetti strands the width of a toilet-paper tube, as far as he's concerned, and he isn't sure what happened or what it left the telekinetic with. He's merely aware that Al was hurt.

And now, also that the Phoenix operative survived to tell the tale. "I shot him."

But Abby knows there's a lie there. She had her hand on Al's midriff, she felt it. How wrong it all felt. The coffee cup is put down, the two cans put onto the tray with the coffee cup, ready to be taken away as she stands holding out her hand to Elias. "She won't need me. I'm sure of it. But I need to go to the bar now. I need to.. I need to sleep" She looks it. Her eyelids drooping to half mast and her movements with her good arm slow. "Deckard's waiting. But not for too long."

Gingerly, Elias takes Abby's hand as if he were an actual gentleman. "Better not keep him waiting, then," he says, "My friends, Eileen is now in your very capable hands. Hold on, Miss Beauchamp, and, if there's nothing else, please don't throw up on me." There's a dozen other things he could add, but he's not Ethan, and has no need to try to embarrass his associates in front of other people. Shutting his eyes, he needs to think about where he's taking the young woman for only a moment, and then they're gone, vanished into the air like a glass of taro root beer in front of Wu-Long: instantly and completely.

January 4th: Holding the Gates of Dawn
January 4th: Special
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