The Old Haunt


griffin_icon.gif peter_icon.gif rupe2_icon.gif

Scene Title The Old Haunt
Synopsis Peter and Rupert check in on one of Messiah's new transfers in Griffin, while Peter revisits a place teeming with old memories.
Date September 29, 2010

Condemned Tenement

It's a cool, crisp morning here in New York City. The sun has slowly crawled its way up from the horizon, and while it's still slightly early, it's a beautiful day. Fall is definitely on its way, with a few leaves beginning to slowly change their colors; not that it matters among the cold stone walls of this city. Everything looks colder here.

Normally, the condemned tenement rests in complete silence, with perhaps a few bums coming in and out and squatting. It's become a bit more popular, recently, among the bums; a man moved in, and brought a piano with him, and has been playing for them at least once, if not twice a day.

Today is one of those days where he is playing in the morning. Though most of the bums reside out in the lobby, Griffin is relatively alone in the old abandoned apartment he inhabits. The sound of the piano carries well through the thin, unkempt walls.

From the sound of it, two people are playing the piano. In reality, Griffin's eyes are currently a bluish-white, and while his fingers expertly work over the piano on one end, telekinetic hands work just as expertly over the keys on the other end of the studio piano.

Popularity and living off the grid don't usually go hand-in-hand. More word of mouth means more people knowing who is coming and going from any one residence at any given time. That the crumbling tenement building situated on the west end of the lower east side has become popular again raises eyebrows among the people who knew what the building once stood for, and for what rebellion was born within its walls.

Word of mouth and rumors aren't what brings well-dressed guests to the building today, however. Through the front doors of the tenement building, a pair of darkly-dressed man in business casual attire look surprised to hear the sound of music inside. "Quite the pianist…" offers Rupert Carmichael as he slides his fedora off and holds it in front of himself, offering an askance look to the dark-haired and younger man at his side.

Haunted is one way to describe Peter Petrelli's face on being back in this building after so long. Brushing dust and insulation fibers that settled from the ceiling off of his button-down shirt, the paramedic's stride into the building comes with dark eyes scanning familiar and unfamiliar signs of wear and tear.

In the lobby, spray-painted on one wall, a barely visible orange and red splotch vaguely resembles a bird on fire with the words Rise Up written beneath it. Peter's brows furrow when he considers the old mural, then closes his eyes and shakes his head, motioning towards a familiar ground-floor apartment door. "This must be him," Peter admits, stepping over discarded and crushed beer cans from the transients that come and go.

Watching hwere he steps, as if afraid he might put his foot in something, Rupert's approach behind Peter is a humble one, fingers wringing the brim of his hat as he lets Peter take the fore here, following him all the way to the apartment door. Peter's knock sounds through the apartment and the lobby of the old and crumbling building.

"Griffin?" Police don't knock, they kick the door in. They also don't usually sound quite so hesitant.

The music doesn't stop, though the two men can hear the sound of the piano bench scraping against the floor as the man playing raises to his feet. The piano music continues, even as the sound of limping footsteps can be heard across the floor, approaching the apartment door. Briefly, the peep hole darkens, as Griffin peers out of it at his visitors.

Then, the knob clicks, and the door opens to reveal the tall hook-nosed man known as Griffin Mihangle. He's having one of his rare casual days while his sister cleans his favored suits, wearing a pair of worn jeans and a simple white t-shirt, over which is worn a grey hoodie-jacket. His eyes are the most striking part of him, however; there is no pupil, just a field of blank bluish-white, which makes it impossible to determine exactly where his gaze rests, and they give off a distinct glow in the dim light of the hallway.

And still the piano plays itself in the background, even as the man's eyebrows raise, glancing expectantly between the two. For a moment, he seems confused; the men may not approach like police, but he has all three pairs of vectors summoned, just in case. However, as his gaze seems to turn toward Peter…he leans forward ever-so-slightly, blinking owlishly at the man. He recognizes him, if faintly. "…Yes?"

"Griffin," Peter offers with certainty as he sees the man lean out through the door. "I ah, my name's Peter. I heard about you getting shipped in from the Chicago branch when Jesse came out here. I'm…" he steps aside and looks over his shoulder to the wiry, dark-haired gentleman anxiously wringing his fedora. "This is Rupert, he's our tactician." Our. "You think we might be able to come inside, talk about this a little more openly?"

For all that Peter is affable and smiling, Rupert is anxious and tense. There's a little bit of a distance kept between himself and Griffin, one additional step or two further after the door is opened. Certainly, Rupert smiles, but it's strained. It's the kind of smile someone might offer a large and particularly toothy dog that has a habit of biting people and is off of its leash.

His eyes remain white even as Peter speaks, the piano music slowly twinkling down to its finish. A moment after the song is over, Griffin's eyes slowly fade to their natural green color as he pulls his vectors back in, gaze trailing between Peter and Rupert for a moment longer. Then, with a small nod, the tall man steps back, gesturing for them to enter. "I was told about you two. Please, come in." His voice is fairly gentle as he motions the two in.

Once they are within, the man pushes the door shut, moving over to the piano and carefully setting the cover over the keys. The piano may not look like much, with its peeling paint and weather-stained keys, but it plays like a dream, thanks to some TLC on Griff's part.

"I was wondering when I would be able to find you two. I went to Howland Hook, but you both were out." Griffin offers an easy smile to the two. "Care for some scotch?" Rupert certainly looks like he needs it.

"Ah, n-no, thank you though. I don't drink before noon…" Rupert states with an awkward grimace and a wave of one hand in the air and a feigned smile, "but— Ah, thank you?" Offering a look to Peter, one of Rupert's brows rise slowly and Peter glances down to the scotch, then slowly shakes his head in silent refusal of the offer, though the faint smile he wears is gratitude for the offer. "I'm sorry we weren't available when you needed us, Griffin. We're ah— it's been a busy couple of months for Messiah. But we're glad you're here, and we're glad you're in New York. We're… also glad that you returned Rebel's call to arms for that assignment coming up."

Peter offers an askance look to Rupert, then back to Griffin. "Are you absolutely sure you want in on this?" It sounds like making the offer to second-guess, and in truth it is, but Peter Petrelli has always been a pragmatist as far as Messiah has been concerned. "I know you and a lot of other people are eager to get involved, but this is serious. Raymond Praeger and miss Mayes are both very public, very influential figures. This… could mean getting a lot of heat down on you."

As if he doesn't care at all, Rupert adds as an aside, "You know I play from time to time," there's a flash of a smile across his bearded face, "my mother insisted when I was growing up. You… should come by my home sometime, the old piano doesn't see nearly enough use."

Griffin laughs softly, placing the half-empty bottle of Glenlivet back on the kitchen counter. "I quite understand. I've seen the news, and I was expecting for this to be a very…busy place." That, and the man has developed an impeccable sense of patience, after being in holding for ten years. It's easy to be patient when things are happening; it's difficult at best when all there is are concrete walls and books.

The hook-nosed man regards Peter quietly as he makes the offer of second guessing, lifting a hand to rub at his angular chin. "Heat coming down on me, I am not worried about. I've been through worse." He cants his head toward Peter, a faint smile on his face. "To be honest…I'm really not concerned with myself in the slightest."

But there is also the change that is brought with Griffin's son and sister being in the city. "My main concern is a rather unforseen change in my life. My sister and my son are in New York, now." He tilts his head to one side. "I am far more concerned for their safety than I am for my own."

A glance is cast toward Rupert as he remarks on the piano playing, a faint smile forming on Griffin's face. "My mother didn't have to do much in the way of insistence for me. I love to create music." He chuckles. "I would be more than happy to stop by and play for you."

Peter flashes Rupert a look, brows furrowed and lips downturned into a partly lopsided frown. When brown eyes angle back to Griffin, Peter seems more hesitant than before. "I… I didn't know you had family here, I think it might be best if— "

"If you don't worry about them," Rupert interjects with a wave of one hand to land on Peter's shoulder in a gentle squeeze. "If, for whatever reason, the government decides to lean on your family if your involvement in our operations comes to light, then ah…" Rupert arches one brow and flashes a somewhat nervous smile, "we'll take good care of 'em, make sure they're kept nice and safe." His eyes flick over to settle on Peter, and there's almost challenge written in Peter's expression.

"Messiah looks out for its own," is a murmured response from Peter as his shoulders slack, brown eyes finding the floor. Moving away from Rupert's touch, Peter starts to wander the apartment as if invited to. In a way, it's just hard for him to shake that this was his living space just a couple years ago.

"I didn't just come here to discuss business though," Rupert notes with a fond smile, holding out a hand towards Griffin as his expression turns more wry. "I thought you'd like to meet this building's new owner."

Griffin is about to respond to Peter, when Rupert interjects. This leaves the man blinking a few times, glancing between Peter and Rupert with raised brows. Any response to Peter's statement is lost as he peers quietly at Rupert, almost like a hawk examining his prey. He's already heard about this man from Ash, and he isn't quite sure what to make of him. He certainly doesn't like the way the man presents himself so nervously, as if he has something to hide.

However, he always was one to offer the benefit of the doubt. "I wasn't expecting them to follow me from Chicago. Before I met Jesse over there, I made a stop for a few weeks, and just…watched my son." He offers a faint smile. "My sister saw me, and…well, I suppose need to learn to cover my tracks better, because her PI found me rather quickly."

Then, he's leaning toward Rupert ever-so-slightly, using the advantage of his height and Rupe's already nervous demeaner to take a mildly imposing stance. When he speaks, his voice is still gentle and polite, but there's an edge underneath it, which suggests a veiled threat of sorts. "I will trust in you, Rupert, that my family will be safe in Messiah's hands."

And if they are not, well…the unchained dog may start biting.

Then, the looming is gone, replaced by an easy smile as Griffin reaches out to to take Rupert's hand. "Owner?"

"This tenement building," Rupert motions to the ceiling with his fedora in hand, the other shaking Griffin's firmly "it's been on the market for demolitions for almost four years now. I bought it on the cheap, and I managed to grease some wheels at the city engineer's board to get the building's condemned status removed in light of hiring Maxwell Construction Company out to repair the building. Things might get a bit noisy around here, but this building could use a few good coats of paint and some restructuring…"

Then, Rupert arches one brow. "And I figure you could use an honest job, couldn't you? I pulled some strings with friends in the Maxwell corp, and we've got you working under the table for the construction company. Like Peter said, Messiah takes care of it's own… and I can't bear to see you out on your luck like this, not after all the good things Jesse says about you."

Smiling fondly, Rupert offers a look to Peter, who's standing by a wall in the kitchen that has holes punched in it about six feet up off the ground, large enough to be a chair leg wide. His brows tense, fingers brush over the broken plaster, and his eyes fall shut.

The man blinks a few times, taking a few breaths as he's nearly floored by this good fortune. "That's— that's wonderful news, Rupert." He glances toward the closed door, presumably in the direction of the lobby. "Will the bums still be welcome here? This place means a lot to them. It's their shelter." He tilts his head toward Rupert thoughtfully.

The news of a job has Griffin's brows nearly shooting up into his hairline. "Thank you. I do quite appreciate it, Rupert." He smiles down to the shorter man. "I— I needed a job, and a decent place. My sister won't accept my assistance until I have a decent place, so…" He glances around. "I'll happily help restore this buildling."

Rupert gained a bit of Griff's favor just for that act of kindness…but favor does not equate to trust.

Green eyes glance toward Peter as he reaches up to brush his fingers over the plaster, his head canting toward his shoulder. "You act like you're revisiting a ghost, Peter. Are you okay?" It seems like Griffin has left the place much as Peter left it, save for tidying things up a bit and trying to make the place look a bit less like a condemned building.

Looking over to Griffin, Peter remains quiet, looking away and then down to the floor as he starts to make his way back over. Rupert's brows furrow, looking around the apartment and trying to figure out the significance, starting to put some pieces together. But it's Griffin that Rupert came here to see and talk to. "Unfortunately the vagrants living here won't have the same opportunity as you, but they'll be directed to shelters across the city where they can get help, better help than living in these… ah, conditions can offer."

Grimacing slighty, Rupert wrings his hands around the brim of his fedora again. "I was hoping you'd be amenable to the idea of the job, I— I'm glad. I know you're a— heh— handyman," he actually winks on delivery of the pun, "so I figured some construction work would be good for you. The construction workers will presume you're a Registered Evolved, but you shouldn't need to flash an ID. Just don't cause any trouble around here and you'll be fine. But if you do get yourself in some trouble…"

Rupert's head shakes slowly, brows furrowing. "There's not a whole lot they'll be able to do to help, nor should they. No one directly involved with the construction will be aware of exactly who you are, that's been me, the wall, and… a little bird, we'll say."

Finally making his way back over, Peter offers griffin a weary smile, folding his hands behind his back as he looks out one of the apartment's windows, vacantly.

Griffin is frowning at the notion that the vagrants won't recieve the same oppotunities. "I must object to that, Rupert. For some of the vagrants, this is their home. Just as it's mine, run down as it may be. I would like to request that just one or two units be set aside for them, as a shelter. They are kind people, and they don't deserve to be put out on the streets again." He tilts his head toward Rupert, brows raising. "Most of them don't choose to live in squalor, as I do."

Then, he is nodding along with Rupert's remarks about the job he will do, rolling his eyes slightly at the pun. "I certainly don't plan on creating trouble. I do my best to avoid it these days…" He tilts his head to one side. "The last thing I need is to get into trouble, and potentially lose my son and sister and family all over again."

Griff then turns a curious glance toward Peter, his brows raising. He doesn't say anything to the silent man in Rupert's presence, though it's quiet obvious that he'd rather be conversing with Peter, who does not leave a bad taste in his mouth like Rupert seems to be doing. Plus, there's the simple fact that he recognizes the man from Moab.

"Most of these apartments are filled with mold, Griffin… No disrespect to the people living there, but there's a reason why this building was condemned, it's better that they have some safehaven at a shelter. There's places all across the city for people like this, and I assure you I'll find one for all of them if that's what it takes. But having them stay here, breathe in the aspergillum spores…" there's a slow shake of Rupert's head, "it's just not safe. Like you said, they don't have a choice to be here… you do."

Meeting Griffin's stare for a moment, there's a briefly haunted look in Peter's eyes as he walks past Rupert and out of the apartment, onto the landing out front with his hahds tucked behind himself and head down, his shoulder coming up to lean against the wall. On seeing that wordless exit, Rupert turns his attention back up to Griffin.

"I'm sorry, he's… Peter used to live here, years ago. This is where PARIAH was born, where Phoenix rose up…" Rupert's brows furrow, motioning with his nose deeper into the apartment. "Judging from the way he was acting, I figure this was his apartment. It's…" there's a faint snort of breath from Rupert, "well, there's a lot of memories here."

That answer seems to quench Griffin's thirst for doing the right thing, and he ofers a slow nod. The vagrants won't be happy about it, but Rupert does make a wonderful point of the people he's come to enjoy the company of potentially breathing in aspergillum spores. "That all well and good, of course." He tilts his head toward Rupert thoughtfully.

Peter's exit draws a single raised eyebrow from Griffin, before he turns his gaze back to Rupert. "I could see that, yes." He tilts his head toward the door, and promptly slips around Rupert, peering after the man for a long moment. "Perhaps, at some point, he could share his memories of this place with me." This is said, hopefully, loud enough for Peter to hear, before he turns to peer at Rupert with a thoughtful gaze. "I would love to learn about the history of this building…about the paintings I've found."

He tilts his head toward the door before glancing back to Rupert once more. "So, what of this assignment I have agreed to join? I feel rather lost going into this, I must admit; I know that the objective is to assassinate Mayes and Praeger, but details are vague, beyond that. I would like to know as much as I can before diving head first into this."

Looking back to Peter out on the landing, Rupert narrows his eyes and considers him thoughtfully for a moment, before looking back to Griffin. "All in good time, there should be some information being send out by Rebel, ah… in a day or two? I'm not sure what else he's— they're— it's— " Rupert confuses all his pronouns when considering Rebel. "You know what," there's a feigned smile. "I'm sure Rebel will find time as soon as he can."

Lifting up a hand to rest on Griffin's shoulder, Rupert flashes a fond smile. "All you need to know is that you're going to be on one of the two teams, and you're going to be put to good use. If you don't have a ski mask, or a balaclava or something, I'd invest in one. We don't want anyone finding out who you are and endangering your family, you know?" One of Rupert's brows raise at that, a smile spread across his face as he pats Griffin on the back.

A moment later, Peter is stepping in from out in the hall. "Rupert," Peter's tone is one of lacking patience. "We should go, Knox and West are going to be waiting for us." Both of Peter's brows raise, as if to imply you know, about that thing?

Exasperatedly, Rupert exhales a sigh and slides his hat on, offering an askance look to Griffin. "Peter's right, and… I wouldn't hold your breath about him explaining anything." Leaning close to Griffin, Rupert stage whispers, "he can be downright secretive at times."

The man nods slowly toward Rupert, peering down quietly toward the man. It's impossible to tell what Griffin thinks of the man, with the stoic mask combined with the small, passive smile. "I appreciate that. I'll certainly invest in one or the other." The mask slips briefly, the man showing a faint amout of disdain as Rupert touches him.

Perhaps not the best idea to start grabbing and patting that unchained dog.

The man raises his green eyes to Peter, brows raising briefly. He likes that one better. "I don't hope for explanations. Perhaps just…ideas." He smiles faintly toward Peter. "I'm curious about this place's history. I've heard things from the vagrants, but most of them sound more like hearsay." He shrugs.

Finally, a hand is offered out, first to Rupert, and then toward Peter. "It was a pleasure to finally meet the both of you. I look forward to working with you in the future."

"Likewise," Rupert notes with a fond smile, offering a look to Peter as he merely stares in silence down to Griffin's hand, then reluctantly takes it with a slow but firm shake. Not knowing enough about his ability, it remains unborrowed — for the time being. Peter's silence breaks, eventually, as Peter looks into the apartment again.

"You seem like a nice guy," Peter admits in a hushed tone of voice, turning for the door. "Don't… forget that." Shoulders slouched forward as he walks, Peter's departure earns the raise of one brow high on Rupert's head, and as he turns to offer a smile to Griffin, there's a painted smile spread thin across his lips.

"He gets that way sometimes."

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