The Same Boat


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Scene Title The Same Boat
Synopsis De-feathering dead birds is a far cry from normalcy for the Ferrymen, but many things changed on the eighth of November, including the network's way of life.
Date November 15, 2010

Pollepel Island

Daybreak bleeds pink and illuminates hoary frost caked to tree branches stripped of their leaves. The sun has not yet fully risen, but it's light enough outside that Pollepel Island's rocky terrain can safely be navigated by those looking to steal a few hours of fresh winter air before protocol dictates they return to the castle. There have been two fly-bys since the evacuations, both during daylight hours and both involving military helicopters, but from the air there's nothing about the island's gnarled appearance to suggest that it's one of the last bastions of the very organization they're looking for.

This morning, the air is clear except for the fine mist that floods from noses and mouths with every breath, and the sound of quiet conversation happening at the base of the crumbling stone steps leading up to the castle on a plateau overlooking the river.

It's here that a small gathering of refugees sits around a large bucket of dead mourning doves filled with pellets. Although hunting parties have been discouraged from using guns to save ammunition and avoid drawing attention, the snares only bring in so many rabbits, and they have more than seventy mouths to feed. The kitchen will take all the meat it can get.

Hannah Kirby hasn't done any of the feather-plucking herself — she'll leave that to the others — but she still sits at the bottom of the steps with her borrowed shotgun resting across her knees and drinks from a thermos of coffee that she's been more than happy to share, having taken her breakfast early.

Maybe it's being used to cooking, chef type cooking, but Shannon doesn't seem to mind plucking feathers one bit. Especially not since it means more food to prepare, and more ways to prepare it. So she sits and plucks, silent but glancing around at the others who have gathered, studying them as covertly as possible, and listening to the conversations moving around her.

Lynette is by no means a huntress. And her experience with guns is fairly nonexistent, so it's really more in the spirit of camaraderie that she's out here with the others. And possibly the coffee. Her time on the island has come with a severe drop in sleep birthed from a desire not to wake her roommates with her nightmares. The less people see her waking in a panic and cold sweat, the better.

Sitting there on the steps, she looks over at Hannah, her smile tired and crooked, but it's there. "It looks like you all did pretty well this morning," she notes with a nod toward the bucket. She, too, is letting other people handle the plucking.

Huruma is used to plucking feathers all the same- but less from the standpoint of a cook in a kitchen, and more from the fact that it is a necessity when you're on your own in not-so-urban areas. She's already been booted from the kitchen once, but hell if she can't pluck a bird or skin up a rabbit, and her long fingers are skilled with even the small feathers. Huruma was never a terribly great cook to begin with, she's more the type for going out and getting the critters. And just maybe there is a joke in there somewhere.

The doves are small, but fat enough from a city lifestyle. They aren't the gamy birds they could be, at least. Huruma's lived on less than songbirds. It doesn't take as much to feed her as someone might think. Granted, she is less content with scrounging, but it happens.

Megan Young is taking care of all the injured — thank God, most were rather minor. She is also one of the people actually wrist deep in bird feathers. Doesn't seem to bother her a bit to do the job, though as she finishes the one in her hands she uses a bottle of water to rinse them off before stepping to the side. Downwind of everyone, she pulls a cigarette and lighter out of the pocket of her jacket and lights it. She shoves the lighter back into her pocket and draws smoke deep into her lungs, savoring the sensation that comes with it and letting the blue cloud out on a very slow exhale.

"I got lucky is all," Hannah confides in Lynette with an easy smile. She gives the butt of her rifle a pat with one of her hands which, despite having long, feminine fingers, are weathered-looking and callused. She wears her dark hair long and loose, seeming not to mind the way the breeze tugs at individual strands and weaves them together into wavy tangles. The leather jacket she wears was clearly designed for a man but works with her small, shapely frame when paired with a heavy sweater and worn denim.

She pours Lynette another cup of coffee from the thermos, using its lid as a mug as its makers intended even though there's no handle for the blonde's fingers to grip. She'll have to cradle it in her hands instead. "You people aren't real free with names, are you?"

"You never asked mine," Shannon says, putting one naked bird with the others and reaching for another to start plucking. "I'm Shannon though," she tells Hannah without looking up at the woman. Not overtly anyway. She prefers sneaky glances, it seems.

Cradling the cup doesn't seem to be a hardship, especially given how cold Lynette's fingers are out here. The California native still hasn't quite adjusted to New England weather. "Lynette. You'll have to forgive everyone, we're all a little off balance for politeness," she offers with a smile. Oh, but when Megan lights up that cigarette, there's a bit of a longing look, with cigarettes being one of those addictions she's supposed to be breaking lately, and she turns her attention to the coffee. Once vice for another, seems fair enough.

Shannon took the words right out of Huruma's mouth. Tongue at the back of her teeth, the African woman lets out a small tick of air past her lips. Despite having a lap full of pale cream and brown feathers, Huruma looks quite comfortable, her body laid back on the stairs. Her more personal examinations of her surroundings have been going on since she got there- an empath's notebook is never closed. For a second it doesn't seem as if she'll grace Hannah with the same courtesy as the others, but soon enough it comes. "Huruma." Her voice mutters out loud, ivory eyes centered on her deft work in pulling feathers.

The redhead of the group takes another draw off her cigarette before responding quietly, "Megan." Her blue eyes are restless out over the island from the place that she's standing and though anytime she's with the group her expression is calm, there's more than a hint of watchful to her demeanor. She absently reaches up with one hand to tuck a strand of silver-laced auburn hair behind her ear where it's escaped her tidy French braid, the lit cigarette held gracefully in the same slender, graceful fingers that have stitched and bandaged up any number of injuries. When she turns to look at the group it is with a deep sigh. "I'm sorry — it's been a tough week." Like almost everyone here, people she cares about didn't make the evacuation… or they deliberately allowed themselves to be arrested.

Nelly has been fairly quiet as she lurks a bit further off from the rest of the group on the stairs. She's certainly no hunter, but there was no way she was going to pass up an opportunity to taste some fresh air. As she hears the introductions being made she looks towards the group and lifts a hand, rubbing at the back of her head for a moment before she makes her way down the steps. "Nelly." She announces softly to the rest as she takes a seat, slipping her gloves off and stuffing them into a pocket before she grabs a bird to begin pitching in with the work.

"Was just an observation," says Hannah, though she doesn't sound particularly offended by Shannon's. There's genuine humour in her tone that Huruma can confirm with a glance at her emotional make-up, even if it's buried beneath anxiety and other misgivings that she does an admirable job of hiding. "I don't mean to criticize," which is probably true. "Haven't introduced myself either."

A hundred feet below where the Hudson's waters lap against the shore, the figure of a pale woman dressed in an unconventional combination of flimsy white nightgown and heavy wool coat skirts the river's edge. She has the sense to wear a pair of leather boots to protect her feet, at least, as she takes her daily walk. It's rare that Eileen Ruskin makes a public appearance. For all the work she's done and continues to do, the Englishwoman is notoriously solitary and seems to go out of her way to avoid contact with other people unless necessary, which is probably why she gives the group a wide berth on her way toward the docks.

"I'm Hannah."

"I honestly didn't know you hadn't. Not much of a socializer. Hard to be when you hole up in the kitchen most of the time," Shannon says, shrugging and straightening a bit, rolling her shoulder as though working out a kink. Her head tilts when she spots Eileen, and she nods towards the woman. "What's her deal anyway? Anyone know?" she asks, glancing around at the others.

"Well, it's nice to meet you, Hannah. And good to have you aboard," Lynette says with a playful little salute. Her gaze slides over to Eileen when Hannah points her out and Lynette's head tilts, as well. "Not yet," she says, in all honesty.

Being the sore thumb, maybe Huruma is destined for also being a stick in the mud amongst these few. She saw Eileen before Shannon seemed to, and by the time the latter inquires, Huruma is left to thin her lips and stare down her plucking hand at Shannon. "I am no'sure what you mean by 'deal'." A moment of narrowed eyes meets the rest, before her brows furrow inward and her gaze goes back to the bird. "Eileen is in th'same boat as th'rest of us."

Megan's response is silence for a long moment. Her tone is mild when she speaks. "She just watched a trusted member of the Ferrymen council have all the rest of the Ferry council assassinated. And while the leadership positions can be filled because we have people we trust to pick up and carry on the work, a lot of those people are personal friends of those of us who've been with the Ferry a long time." Her tone isn't rude, but it definitely holds a hint of rebuke. The rest of Eileen's situation is her own to hold or speak of. "We're all hurting, and she's feeling the weight of being responsible for all of us right now. Give her a little space." It's probably the longest string of words Megan's really said to anyone since we landed here.

Nelly casts her glance towards Eileen as the others mention her, studying the woman just a moment before looking back to the others. Any questions or comments of her own are kept to herself however after Megan speaks. It seems all her comments are kept to herself, still quietly plucking with just an occasional glance to the others in the group. She couldn't help feeling like the odd one out in the group, even though it seemed most of them were strangers to one another. It hadn't even been a week since she joined the Ferrymen before all the insanity broke out. The few faces she did know she had yet to see on the island.

At the docks, Eileen seems unsurprised to discover a small boat tied to the pier with a thick length of rope held by a much taller, more athletic and masculine figure with a head of short hair that appears somewhere been red-gold and blond in early morning light. The conversation they have is short, monosyllabic if anyone is watching their lips, and ends with Eileen indicating the group on the steps with a subtle tip of her chin.

Wordlessly, the stranger gives her a two-fingered salute, bends at the middle and picks up a box from the bottom of the boat. Whatever it is, it's heavy, and it takes him almost a full minute to complete the short climb to the plateau and he's breathing heavily by the time he reaches the top.

"Hey," he greets, and must not be one for names either because he doesn't immediately introduce himself. "I'm looking for Megan Young?"

"Don't think I said I was planning on crowding her," Shannon says lightly to Megan with a shrug, before the plucking resumes. Pluck, pluck, pluck. "I just don't know any of you people." Not that it sounds like she really wants to get to know anyone. Maybe that's the real reason she hides in the kitchen.

"It's been a rough week for all of us," Lynette says, just a gentle observation in the moment. When the man makes his appearance, Lynette stands up, bringing her coffee with her. She doesn't point out Megan right away, her own reaction to this rough week being more than a little case of paranoia, but she doesn't stop him, either.

Huruma watches the short event at the docks with a narrowed, observant look. Megan can field these hooligans as much as she wants to, Huruma knows better than to give Ruskin shit. Her interest lies in the visitor at the top of the stairs, as she seems to be watching him with her usual mild suspicion. By the time he's up there too, and asking for Megan, the dark woman looks convinced he isn't there to make a mess, and goes back to her task.

A copper brow quirks, and Megan stubs out her cigarette after a final draw on it, pulling the cherry out and tucking the butt in her pocket to be disposed of in trash instead of out here. That the man got past Eileen tells her that it's probably fine. "I'm Young," she says quietly, stepping forward to take the box. "What're you bringing?" She's assuming more meds or something.

Nelly looks to the newly arrived stranger just as the others do, though she seems more curious about whatever it is that he's carrying than worried or paranoid. For the most part she continues to quietly focus on plucking the feathers, giving the occasional sidelong glance towards Megan and the delivery man.

"Uuhh," says the stranger with a glance down at the box, as if squinting at its closed lid might provide him insight into its contents. "We heard you had some kids up here, so." So. He drops into a crouch and sets it down, freeing up a hand he can use to fish a knife off the belt he wears under his jacket which, like Hannah's, is a thing of leather. A thick cord dangles from his neck, attached to what looks like a tribal hook carved from some sort of bone, and he tucks it down the front of his shirt to keep it from getting in the way as he carves open the box with his knife and peels back the lid.

He reaches inside and plucks out a stuffed mallard with an olive-green head and buttons for eyes, which he offers to Megan. "It's just a few things," he says apologetically. "Some books, too. You know the skinny ones wit' the golden spines? The Velveteen Rabbit, Poky Little Puppy and all that."

Hannah is giving him a very perplexed look.

Boots clap against stone softly, the sound of more movement coming from the crumbling old Bannerman Castle sure signs that others are rousing now with the sun having crested the tops of the trees at the eastern horizon across the water. Unlike some of the other, more distant, sounds of movement that have come and gone, these footsteps ponderously make their way from the interior of the skeletal castle walls.

With a gray wool blanket draped around his shoulders to keep off the cold, Peter Petrelli's silhouette is a shrouded one, only the dark of black jeans and his boots visible between where the blanket parts as he walks. One hand is clasped at the blanket's front, keeping it wrapped fast around his narrow frame, dark eyes flit about curiously, as if seeing the ruined castle for the first time.

Gone are the bandages that were wrapped around his face since his arrival, now all that remains is a reddened and still scabbed over scar that cuts down the middle of his face from the right side of his forehead, cross the bridge of his nose, and down the left side of his cheek.

Squinting against the morning light, Peter says nothing on emerging at the top of the stairs, looking down to the people situated on the steps, up to Huruma with familiarity, then Lynette. The rest — strangers, with Eileen out of his line of sight.

Shannon glances over at the box, and for a moment her face softens. Right up until Peter shows up and her eyes narrow. The look is brief though, and she rises, reachign for the plucked birds. "I'm gonna take these inside and get them prepared for dinner. It'll be nice to have something a little different," she says, before starting inside.

"Well, that's very… kind of you," Lynette says to the stranger with the gifts, even though her brow is furrowed a bit. She doesn't know everyone associated with the Ferry yet, though, so suspicions are held back a little.

It's the sound of boots that draws her attention away, and while it starts as a casual glance that way, Lynette does a doubletake when she sees who it is. After all, last time she saw Peter, he was running back into a building and then it exploded.

"Jesus Christ, Peter," she says, stepping up that way, her tone more… chiding than rejoicing. Like he'd just popped out and given her a scare. But when she gets to him, it's a gentle hand that comes to rest on his arm. "Are you… alright?"

Huruma allows Shannon to abscond with the fowl, hands dusting feathers and dander from her pants and onto the ground. Her post makes her look askance at Peter when he shows, though unlike Lynette she does not seem to have any sentiment for him.

"I'm no'surprised someone failed t'acually cut through tha'thick head of yours, Petrelli." You know, Again.

Tilting her head, Megan herself looks a little bemused. Someone sent her — personally — a box of kids' toys and books? Okay…. Megan reaches out to take the stuffed duck and tells the redheaded young man, "Thank you. Any little bit helps." She's sincere in that, and she smiles at him. And then she looks over her shoulder with a scowl. Petrelli's off his bed? Goddamn it. Then she turns her attention back to the box, reaching to take it from him. "It's kind of you to come all this way just for a box of toys," she offers softly, still perhaps a little confused about why it's coming to her in particular but willing to take the box.

Nelly blinks as the contents of the package are revealed, certainly not the sort of thing she expected someone to risk a trip out here for. Still, it brings a brief smile to her lips. If she was on the border of going stir crazy she could only imagine how the kids must be feeling. She nods to Shannon as she announces her departure, giving a wave in her direciton before she wanders off. With the work done she brushes her hands off on her jeans and stands, moving off to the side to lean against one of the worn pillars. Her gloves are pulled from her pocket, her attention turned towards the new stranger and those addressing him as she pulls them on.

The stranger gives Shannon's retreating back a wave of farewell. A glance at Nelly has his mouth curving into an expression that mirrors her, albeit a little slyer.

"Who did you say you were?" Hannah asks with a dubious arch of both her dark eyebrows.

"Didn't," the stranger returns, wiping his hands off on his jeans. "Name's Reynard. The Ferry and I go way back. Way, way back, you might say. Anyway, if there's anythin' else you need, you just have somebody ask, yeah? I'll do what I can t' get it t' you, but no promises. Coast guard's a bitch."

If Eileen takes notice of Peter's arrival, it does nothing to compel her to join him. Her silhouette disappears into the trees a few moments later, swallowed by the fog wafting off the water.

"I'm fine," is a belated and defensively admitted answer from Peter to Lynette. Walking across the landing at the top of the stairs, Peter's boots tread over the dead, brown grass that's grown up between the fissures in the concrete and stonework. Movement pulls him away from Lynette's concerned hand, his eyes shutting briefly as he passes by the blonde and down a few of the steps, eyes opening when he looks over at Huruma, brows furrowing together before a wince ends that aching expression a moment later.

Spotting Eileen only as she's disappearing out of his periphery, Peter exhales a huff of breath and lets his head sink down in a sagged motion, as if he were deflating with how his shoulders slouch. Apparently he'd been looking for someone. Casting an askance look to Reynard, Peter watches the courier in silence, before looking back up the steps to Lynette.

"How many more are here?" It's a question left rather open-ended, but between Peter and Lynette, there's a tacit implication of how many of us are here that needn't be verbally clarified. That he and Lynette — unless Huruma could be counted — are the only ones isn't likely what he'll want to hear.

The name of the stranger isn't enough to stop Shannon, who just continues on, disappearing inside moments later, with the birds in hand. Likely to hole up and hide in the kitchen once more. Such a social butterfly, that one.

Lynette opens her mouth to say something more, but either his tone or his movement causes her to close it again with words unspoken. Otherwise, her reaction is mostly just shifting weight to her unwounded leg and sipping at her coffee before he's coming back again.

This is not a question she wants to answer, really. But. "What you see, Peter. No one else got here that I've seen," she answers on a whisper. "I'm fairly sure Perry got away clean," and she doesn't seem to think he'd be doing anything foolish, however misguided that thought may be, "Melissa helped me get a group from my safehouse here, but she didn't get on the boat with us. And Griffin… helped with Gun Hill. But he didn't get here." Which brings a frown to her face. But she spreads her hands a little helplessly there.

"Well, Reynard, we're much obliged. I'll take the box, if you like." Megan reaches to tuck the duck back into the box and moves to pick it up. "We can't offer much in the way of our thanks, but you're welcome to share breakfast in the kitchen if you'd like," she offers quietly.

The offer of food has Reynard's blue eyes twinkling with predatory anticipation. "Thanks much, Miss Young," he says, pushing to his feet, and Hannah is doing the same. She takes the shotgun with her, and while it isn't mistrust that's written across her features, it's clear that she doesn't intend on letting him escape so easily.

"I'll show you where it is," she offers, not unkindly. "Does anyone else want anything while I'm down?"

Hannah's offer falls on deaf ears in regards to Peter.

"I sent Knox and Oleander from Midtown to meet up with the Ferry on Staten Island," he explains to Lynette from lower steps, "I figured if this is where everyone wound up I'd run back into them…" Peter looks across the steps again towards where Eileen had disappeared, then back up to Lynette. "Managed to save them, Thalia too. God knows where she is now, I left her at an old safehouse in the ruins, I don't know if she stayed…" Peter's dark eyes track once more over to Huruma, then back up the steps to Lynette.

Looking out to the water, Peter grows silent. In the same time, the chill morning breeze whips over that freezing cold water, bringing with it a biting reminder that winter isn't all that much further away, even if the near stickbare trees dotting the island and across the water still have some shades or autumn left in their branches.

Hannah's words get Lynette's gaze flicking over that way, and she smiles warmly, for all that she's feeling a much heavier emotion under it just now, "Nothing for me, thank you. I should probably make this my last cup before I start jittering all over the place."

But when Lynette looks back to Peter, that expression slips away again and she takes a moment before she speaks up again. "We'll track everyone down again. Regroup." And there's another pause before she steps a little closer to add in a voice that's even barely a whisper, "I ran. I'm sorry." There's guilt there, in that apology, so much so, she doesn't even try to excuse her actions, she just leaves it there and then steps away again, finishing off her coffee and making sure Hannah gets the lid to her thermos back before they run off to the kitchens.

Huruma doesn't need anything, but she apparently doesn't want to stay here, either. A hoist brings her to both feet, and she pivots to slink away, and back inside the castle. She might be doing a little muscling past the others, but only enough so that nobody will want to bug her again, lest it turn worse. But it also probably gets a bit of a frown, too. Huruma will be Huruma, and her bad moods can vary from this- subtle- to her being a total danger. Luckily she has relied on the former lately.

Megan lifts the box from the ground and moves to carry it downstairs to look inside it and distribute things to the kids, letting Hannah take Reynard in. There's a bit of a perplexed frown between her brows, though, and she glances at Huruma. If the guy meant harm, the woman would have already dealt with it, so she leaves it be. But she's not exactly trusting him.

Hannah leads Reynard up the stairs after Shannon, Megan and Huruma. At the top, he twists his head around to get one last look at those left behind, his gaze snagging on Peter, but the woman toting the shotgun doesn't give him the opportunity to stare. She roughly takes him by the arm and drags him through the archway, their footsteps echoing away into nothing.

"I'm leaving," Peter seems to abruptly explain to Lynette as he makes his way up the steps, back towards her. That lingering look from Reynard gets missed, and as Peter ascends the steps his head is shaking slowly from side to side. "Not— right yet, but soon. Hana and I had a… disagreement," is one way to put it, "and we're both of the mind that I don't really belong here. I… need to talk to Gillian, then probably get out of here as soon as there's a boat leaving the island."

Rubbing a hand over his face, Peter looks askance to the water, brows tensing briefly before pain reminds him how ill-conceived that expression is. "I don't think I'll be looking for anyone else…" not any of the survivors of Messiah at least. "I haven't decided what I'm doing yet, but… I think the war's over," Peter admits reluctantly, slowly turning his attention back to Lynette. "I think we lost."

If that man's just now figuring out that we lost the biggest fight yet, well… someone might need to slap him with a clue bat. Megan's tone is calm though a bit ascerbic. "No, Petrelli. We lost a major battle. But count on the idea that it ain't over until we say it's over." She takes the box with her as she goes. "Before you go, let me check you over one more time. I'll be in medbay."

"Looks that way, doesn't it," Lynette says, her shoulders lifting slightly. "I'm going to be focusing on picking up the pieces with the Ferry, try to get us back on our feet. But that being said, Peter… I want you to know that you helped me feel a lot less helpless in all this madness. After what happened over the summer… I was really pissed off about feeling that way. And whatever happens from here on out… if you need help, or whatever. I'll be around."

Glancing over to Megan, Lynette gets a little smile before she looks back to Peter again. "These people, so stubborn," is her comment, wry humor returning to her voice there.

Nelly isn't entirely sure just what everyone is talking about, but she does know that this probably isn't the time to be asking questions. She pushes off of her pillar and slips her hands into her pockets as she begins to make her way up the steps. She moves to quietly make her away around the small group back towards the castle, doing her best not to disturb them.

Watching Megan's back, Peter's response is just a vacant stare, his dark eyes tracking to Nelly when she moves to leave as well. Silence hangs until both she and nurse Young have disappeared back inside of the castle, and Peter's attention squares on Lynette again. "I was wrong," seems like it could have a lot of different meanings, and Peter lets it's actual explanation be left open to debate for a moment as he comes up the steps to stand beside Lynette, blanket still wrapped tightly around his shoulders.

"Recruiting you, it was a mistake. For all I know, what I did only ruined your life more than it already was. I turned you from a victim into a murderer." There's a tense swallow Peter offers before he closes his eyes and looks away. "That blood… never comes clean."

"For that, I'm sorry."

Lynette holds a hand up there, to stop him. "Alright, look. I know guilt is like, your thing. Your own, your brother's, probably Rupert's now, too. But I did what I did and it was my choice. I'm an adult. So you don't need to apologize." Her hand drops there, falling against her hip with a soft thud. "Besides, if anyone turned me into a murderer, it wasn't you."

Peter hesitates, affording Lynette a quiet look, eyes down to her hand, then back up again. His expression's shift is subtle, admittedly rueful as well. Dipping his head into a slow nod, all he does is make passive acknowledgement of Lynette's words, then turns with that same half-hearted consideration back towards the crumbling stone arch that leads inside of the castle.

His boots clap against the stone underfoot,, the sound of which soon grows so soft that only the noise of the wind whistling through the trees is left, along with the subtle lap of water up along the shoreline far below the fort. Lynette is left alone, with a bucket of plucked birds sitting on one step, discarded feathers littering the scrub grass that pokes up through the cracks in the steps.

It's cold here.

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