The Orchid And The Wolf


abby5_icon.gif matt_icon.gif

Scene Title The Orchid and the Wolf
Synopsis Putting in a call to a friend in high places, Abigail Beauchamp reveals she being stalked by an international terrorist.
Date February 4, 2010

Orchid Lounge

The soft clink of glasses and quiet conversation is the backdrop of one of the more posh eateries in New York City, the Orchid Lounge. While the Petrelli-owned establishment has its busy hours closer to curfew, the afternoon hours at the lounge are still reservation-only, thankfully being a close friend of the Petrelli family and high up in the Department of Homeland Security means when you don't have a reservation, you still get a window seat.

It's under the name Parkman that Abigal Beauchamp searched for her lunch date on this snowy afternoon. Led to his window-side booth, the brunette from the deep south hardly even recognizes the man she's being brought to by a server. Seated at the booth, Director Matthew Parkman looks like he's gained ten years since Abby last saw him. Fifteen lounds lighter, showing in the thinner quality of his face and with most of his hair gone gray, Parkman seems to be a sunken and broken shell of the proud man she'd come to know.

When he catches movement out of his periphery, Matt's dark eyes spot Abby's approach. It's funny, how her hair keeps getting darker and his hair keeps getting lighter. Matt offers a faint, tired smile, and on closer inspection the darkness under Matt's eyes is indicative of many sleepless nights. He raises a hand in greeting, no wedding band on it yet, despite his engagement some time ago.

"Here you go," the young female server states to Abby with a broad smile, "is there anything I can get you while you take a look at the menu? Drinks?" She glances at Parkman, who just dismissively waves a hand and stirs the spoon in his untouched coffee quietly.

"I'll take a seven-up please, if it wouldn't be too much trouble" The few shooters from the night before have long since left her body but it will not be a repeat. But what will be a repeat is the inquisitive look given to the homeland officer as she smooths a hand under her skirt before she sits opposite the man, dirty blond brows furrowed.

"You look like the ass end of donkey Agent Parkman. My momma's wash my mouth out with soap for saying it out loud but.." he looks like shit and there's concern. There's a thought too that maybe she shouldn't have asked to meet him when he quite obviously has a great deal on his plate.

"Are you suddenly in posession of my old ability and running around healing people and not taking care of your own self?"

There's a tired laugh from Matt, one he almost seems uncertain of as his eyes meet Abby's. "It's been stressful these last few months, I've had to take on some additional responsibilities and— " he waves a hand in the air, "it's not really anything I need to worry you with. You know what they say, government work will take ten years off your life. I just didn't know it's come from the front end." The snorted laugh he adds is a bit stifled, and Matt slides his spoon out of the coffee to lay down on the napkin at its side.

"You're… You're looking good." He notes with a faint smile, hands folding in front of himself on the tabletop. "So what's this all about, someone sending you harassing letters? I got a few urgent notices in my voicemail this morning from another department wanting me to check in on you, and then your call. I'm sorry it took me till noon to get to you. It's been a mad-house down in DC." Which presumes that he must have flown in to New York just to see Abby.

"Tell me what's going on…" Matt asks with the tone of his voice dropping, reaching across the table to rest his hand on top of one of Abby's. "Don't skim any details, you know you can trust me. Tell me what's going on, and you know I'll do everything in my power to try and help you."

Damnit with the touching. WHy do people always need to touch.

She doesn't pull her hand away though and the guilt goes up a notch or two. You know, saving the world they say is just as stressful. Only instead of adding ten years I just change my haircolor and get the ever loving lord beat out of me or dumped in a river. opting to take to this way of conversing instead of verbally. She's sure Kershner would be amused.

Dunno if you know about… my trip to Russia. I think I was there as distraction really. look at what one hand is doing, ignore the other. SHe's never had an issue talking this way with Matt, or hiding details either. Kershner said that she knew that Abby always co-operated fully, but what the woman didn't know was that what verbally occured between the two, was a lot different than what mentally occured between them.

There was a vanguard member, a Doctor Sasha Kozlow. He was supposed to be dead but they never found a body. Which is like the first rule in declaring someone dead. Find the body right? She is hungry, it's lunch and she drags her eyes away from the haggard officer and down to the menu. He showed up in the bar, asked about me, where I was and left a note in cyrillic with a sketch of an orchid. I brought it with me, and a copy of the security tapes. I was hoping you could get a hold of Kershner for me. I don't have a direct line and it would take too long. Liz thinks that… the death of my bartender might have been… Kozlow.

Matt's hand moves away the moment he hears Abby's thoughts. Not so much what she was directing to him, but what he felt behind those conversational tones, the secrets and unspoken words about touch and guilt that he didn't want to hear. Looking momentarially shaken, Matt nods his head and furrows his brows. "Kershner— Kershner's department can be notified, but I don't think she herself will be of much help. I know some of what happened to you and the others, but not everything. I spoke with Secretary Hicks about it prior to you being shipped off, but his hands were tied on the matter. I— personally I didn't want you to go out there for just this reason."

Breathing in deeply and rubbing a hand over his mouth, Mat looks down to his still untouched coffee and is about to speak, right up until the server comes back with Abby's soda. Matt's expression and silence, and perhaps something unsaid turns the woman around right away without so much as a query for food. He doesn't seem concerned with verbal communication of what's being discussed, not here.

"I can get in touch with the CIA, this is definitely something in their turf as well as mine. Would you feel safer if I assigned a few police officers to you for the time being? I can have them watch your apartment, watch the bar. Whatever it is you think you need, because if this Kozlow character is still out there, I want to make sure that he doesn't have an opportunity to do anything to hurt you." Furrowing his brows, Matt glances out the window of the Lounge, then back to Abby. "Can you think of anything he might know about you, anything he found out in Russia, that he could use against you?"

"My apartment is the bar. It's above the bar. If you think that might be prudent then, I'll agree to it. But he hasn't been seen around and the camera's haven't caught anything else since, I've been going over them" So calling Kershner would have been pointless. She listens intently, brown hair tucked behind her ear and lifting the soda to her lips to sip.

What did Kozlow know about her? Oh well, the look on her face probably tells a lot more, and the myriad of thoughts in her head. "Too much. You can look if you like" Look through her head for the time spent in Russia and in Kozlow's company.

"I…" Matt's hesitation comes when he finally picks up the coffee, drinking from it rather than giving her an answer. Only when the mug moves from his lips, do dark eyes settle squarely on Abby, and his reluctance shows in his features. Tension creases at the corners of his eyes as crow's feet, and Matt's shoulders square, throat moves in an awkward swallow before Abby feels the pressure between her ears of his less than subtle invasion.

Moments are like snapshots of film out of context, glimpses of things plucked and pulled from within Abby's head like an editor making a more succinct copy of a film long beyond its estimated running time. A crib notes version of the tragedy she suffered in Russia. It's obvious when Matt's seen enough, when his eyes go distant and he just stares down into the half emptied mug between his hands.

"I… I'll send someone up to your apartment, have them watching you. If this psychopath is bold enough to come into your place of work, he might do it again and I'm not willing to take that risk. Kozlow is a very dangerous, very wanted international terrorist. This goes beyond my personal feelings, and cuts straight to the core of what I do at DHS. So— don't misconstrue this as a favor." Because it might make Matt misconstrue it as a favor.

"Aside from Doctor Kozlow, is there anyone else you can think of he might be working with? Anyone from your time in Russia that could still be alive or may hold a grudge against you? Or is there anyone else aside from yourself yout hink Kozlow might target?"

"I'm sorry Matthew" The hesitation causing her to reach over and this time initiate the contact, her own hands closing around the other mans. "I apologize. It's stupid of me to have asked you to do that. Next time just tell me to tell you. I forgot how hard it can be to use.. ones gift all time" As she's sure he's been doing. "I would think that everyone really. Teodoro Laundani's mother was shot at and badly hurt. it wouldn't surprise me if it was part of his doing" SHe'd found that out while going through old newspapers and the like, and it was added to the pile of things to talk to Teodoro about. %RBut who might be working with him? "The only person I know who was part of the Vanguard out there that might, that I knew of would be the Rusalka. She was uhh… Kershner called her Volken's daughter. She visited me in the cell when they had me and it was not a good visit but she said that the girl had been caught. So unless she's giving orders from a cell.." Which would be hard because the girl is a mute.

"Yvette Volken?" Matt's brows raise up slowly, and his eyes cast to the side, hand slowly creeping away from Abby's. "She was on a detainee list originally shipped thorugh to DHS from the US Military, one of the Vanguard operatives that weren't given amnesty and were to be detained for questioning and extradition to whatever country that could pin crimes on them. She… went missing on the USS George Washington, someone let her out of her cell. No one knows where she is now…"

Matt leans back on his bench seat, considering the predicament of the people involved in the mission. "I don't have a list of everyone involved, but I know Agent Kershner does. I'll sent a smoke signal her way and let her know what might be coming down the pipe, then see what the CIA can throw at it. I'll put out a bulletin about Kozlow, see if I can catch him somewhere making a mistake. If he's making international trips, we might be able to catch him transferring to another country.

Nodding his head as if trying to convince himself that he can catch one of the Vanguard on his own, Matt looks a bit hard pressed to find any victory in this. "I promise you, Abby, we'll find this guy. I'll have people looking into the families of everyone else involved, and if I were you I'd probably put a call down to your parents, let them know what's going on and to maybe get out of town for a little while. I'll try and call down to the local department where they live, see if I can get a couple of officers to watch their place. If they targeted Laudani's family— " Matt shakes his head, not wanting to finish that sentence.

He knows what it's like to have a family in some sociopath's sights.

Abigail looks at Matt like he just might have told her that the world is going to implode in five seconds and counting with the way that her eyes widen, horror seeping in. The woman escaped. "Matt, I killed her father. I killed her father and she knows it. She came into the cell and she took away the pain in my ankle and then she took away everything good emotionally wise before letting it all crash down on me… Liz says I passed out"

Her hands abruptly pull away from Matt's and she's digging for her purse for her cellphone. It never occured to her that they might go for her own parents but given who it was that she killed… "Matt" A ten comes out put down on the table as she gets up, heading for outside. She's not a person to take a call inside a restaurant and suddenly - perhaps predictably - she's lost her appetite. Fingers press the digits that always connect her to home, to a white rambling farmhouse in the wilds of Butte La Rose the moment she's hit the door out of the Orchid Lounge.

"Abby wait— " Parkman's already lost her attention to the phone call as the brunette is bouncing for the door. The part of her paying for the coffee and her unfinished Sprite that he would have argued to hell and back over is forgotten as he slides out of his seat. When the server comes over, Matt only motions towards her, and her comment to what's going on simply passes away from her like a forgotten thought. With each and every day since his father's death, Matt has found casual use of his ability more and more likely, and more and more seductive.

He follows Abby out the front door of the Lounge, out onto the snowy sidewalk. But he doesn't stop her, instead he just clears the distance behind the brunette, one hand tentatively hovering over her shoulder before moving away as he circles around in front of her, watching for any telltale sign of something going wrong.

One hand is up, finger plugging her ear and listening to whatever's going on through the pink phone. Come on, come on Momma, answer. heart pounding a million miles a minute, she looks more anxious with every pass of the ringing. After the seventh, she hangs up, then redials. Her parents the kind of people who don't very well believe in voicemail or answer machines or machines of most kinds that are technological advancements. They're the kind of people who don't have a cellphone.

But there's still no answer and the phone is closed with a sharp clap, rubbing at her face. "It's Thursday. It's Thursday, Dah doesn't work on Thursday's. Momma doesn't have any laundry to do" So the phone should be answered. Logic dictates it.

"I killed her dad, Kozlow was with her, in Russia. the note, the note it said that he wanted to get to know every inch of me, waht if, what if. What if he didn't mean my body and he meant.. my parents, my friends my… my co-workers. what if it was a metaphor" It could mean many things, but damned if she would know. "Oh lord on high, god, please let them be grocery shopping"

"Abby— Abby, I want you to calm down, okay? Calm down for me." Matt furrows his brows, looking down the street and waving one hand. He's never truly alone in any situation, even if he seems it. The black sedan that rolls up to the curbside has two additional people sitting it in, barely visible through the tinted windows, one man in the front and one man in the back. "Abby, it's alright. That's Agent Vicks and Agent Walden, they can take you home. I'm going to put in a call right now and see if I can get a squad car down to your parent's house to make sure everything's alright."

Matt looks taken aback by this, by Abby's fear, by her reaction, by the fact that no one considered the Beauchamp family angle yet. "Is there anything else you need me to do, anyone else you need me to get in touch with? I promise you I'll do everything in my power to make sure your folks are okay, Abby, you understand?"

Teo would tell Matt just how futile it can be to tell Abby to calm down when she's latched onto worry like a dog with a bone. She looks back and forth between Matt and the black van that pulls up, cellphone clutched between her fingers and racking her brain. Just the others who were on the trip, her parents. Their parents. Francois didn't have anyone that she could think of. It's all enough to make her chest tight with the fear and clamp down on her thoughts so that she's not yelling unintentionally at the man.

"I drove here" valet has her green vehicle somewhere and she's digging up the ticket as if to prove that she did. "If he hasn't gotten to them now he probably won't.. have by now, it was days ago he came. Brenda said he was catching a flight" The slim CD case nearly falls out with the digging for the little yellow slip of paper and she almost fumbles it to the ground before shakey hands clamp around it and offer it up to the man. "Sound isn't on it.. I can't record with sound. Be pointless… but.." it's a good quality capture and maybe Matt with his resources can find something off it that she didn't.

'They're safe, they have to be safe. I was nice to him Matt. I was going to help him get away from the city and find him protection from the Vanguard" and then found out after everything was done, that he was vangaurd.

Running his tongue over his lips as he takes the disc, Matt's brows furrow, his head quirks to the side and he seems set on something. Taking the plastic case, Parkman's eyes drift up to Abby, and his attention seems drawn in multiple directions at once. "You're in no condition to drive right now, you're shaken up, just let my boys drive you so I know where you are. You have a very dangerous international terrorist leaving you threats, I'm not letting you drive off on your own, Abby."

When the rear passenger's side door to the sedan opens, Parkman motions for Abby to get inside with a wave of that plastic case like a conductor's baton. "We're going to do this right, okay? I'm not going to just watch you drive off, and then find out that something was waiting for you at your apartment. Go with my boys, they'll take you home and make sure everything is safe. I'm getting on the horn right now to find out if I can get a cruiser down to your folks' house from their local PD, see if we can just check up on them and keep an eye out. Trust me on this one, Abby, trust me to do my job."

I want to go home. And by that she seems to mean Louisiana and to little Butte la Rose. But Parkman's never steered her wrong and with a glance to the two men in the black vehicle. He's marched her into Homeland security and made sure she wasn't blackholed like Helena and the others when he could have certainly looked the other way.

"You'd have a hard time getting into my apartment, Kozlow will have a twice as hard time" She points out, thanks to Alec's modification and the security system. Mind you, windows still break they'd just take a longer time to actually break. She thinks. Maybe, cause at some point Alec had turned into the adults on peanuts when explaining the brighter points of the security system that didn't involve how to turn it on or off.

She obeys regardless, as she always has with him, and latches onto the trust that she has in him. One foot in the car, she turns, looking over at him before her hand grabs his arm. "You found me, and came to me in that shithole of a basement Matthew. You gave me hope and helped me hang in there" Blue eyes regard his with their wealth of emotion.

Leaning down from the sidewalk, one of his hands resting on the top of the door, Matt looks in to the back seat after Abby's gotten inside. "I never needed to give you any of those things, Abby. You're a whole lot stronger than you give yourself credit for. But for now, just let me handle this…" A look is given over to Agent Vicks in the front seat, but nothing is said. Matt leans away from the door, hand resting on the corner, and just watches Abby in silence for a moment. "I'm going to do everything I can." Because at the moment, it's more than he can do for his own fragmented family.

It's on that happy note that he swings the door shut and turns away from the car, reaching into his coat. Gloved fingers speed dial 5 on his phone, brown eyes watching the snow fall on the sidewalk as people move past and the sedan pulls away from the curb and out into traffic. "Hey, yeah this is Director Parkman from Homeland Security. Could you connect me to Agent Lancaster's office?"

"I don't care if she's in a meeting."

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