The Sheridan


deckard_icon.gif joseph_icon.gif

Scene Title The Sheridan
Synopsis Ice sufficiently broken by way of Beauchamp, Deckard and Joseph compare notes. Kind of.
Date May 5, 2011

Chelsea: Deckard's Apartment

Having considered and then reconsidered climbing out the window onto the local fire escape, Flint has since settled himself and his cowboy hat on the sofa where they can sit and marinate in low voices muffled too quiet to be easily overheard. He could eavesdrop, but he hasn't. Same as he could have opened the door and didn't.

The window is still open, filtering cold air and city ambience in dull across white walls and clean wood floors. His only companion, the hat, sits next to him patiently, silence and stillness contributing to an increasingly austere waiting room atmosphere. He decided at one point he wanted it closer. To keep him company while he waits. On the couch.

It's the waiting that stoops his scruffy head and and rounds his shoulders, tension detected in little snips and rises of tone. Inflection. Quiet.

Eventually the door opens again of its own accord and his pupils shutter into focus to account for only one pair of footfalls tracking inward.

He's slow to look.

Somewhere, a brunette Louisianian is biking her way back into obscurity, and upstairs, Joseph is closing the door behind him, neither quietly nor loudly. Irritation so ready to spark up at words has been and gone, leaving him a little heart-tired and mellow by the time he's shuffling back into the apartment, hands rubbing together and gaze tracking along the ground instead of the long limbed figure seated and waiting on the sofa. It's the direction he moves in, however, pants hiked at the knees as he goes to sit down nearby, the stoop of his back letting crucifix pendants hang in the air, silver and stained glass, and chipped gold.

"You alright?" is a general question. Joseph looks at Deckard's hat. Then he looks at Deckard.

"Most of the time," says Deckard. Moreso lately, is not a necessary amendment, according to — whatever sense of tatty propriety he has buried under yesterday's socks and failure to acknowledge the actual question that has been asked.

He examines his knuckles instead, fresh scars bit in pinker than the ones that have had months or years to fade. Deliberately doesn't look to see whether or not Joseph plans on accepting deflection. Why is he sitting?

The question burrows into the back of his mind like a little blind snake, wriggling flail and kick to flinch his brow into a knit and stiffen his near shoulder into pre-emptive defense. Joseph sat down. They are both sitting. This has all the makings of some kind of Conversation.

Great. Good. Joseph doesn't say this out loud, squinting for the ceiling as he gropes around for a way to initiate the Conversation even while most of him is going over what Abby mentioned in this room, in the corridor outside this room. In the courtyard on the castle.

"Do you want to— " No. He pauses, reconsiders, and waves a hand. "I'm probably just gonna say everythin' whether you wanna know or not so never mind. Sorry about Abby, sounds like married life ain't workin' out for her." He could have warned her on that one, really. "But I brought her here so she'd— " A mute gesture to Deckard. "Talk to you. Before making decisions that ain't hers to make. You been getting any weird dreams at all these past few months?" Sitting back, a hand going up to clasp around his pendants. "Like ones where you're livin' out a moment you remember, but it never happened really?"

Banana peel.

Deckard reaches slowly to pluck it up off the end table at his elbow, four flaps felled flacidly inward as they're drawn away from a condensation ring where he didn't put a coaster down, once. It is something to do with his hands once Joseph has finished talking and he has run out of knuckles to check for nicks: checking the empty banana for scratches and dings or. Gnomes. Banana gnomes.

He dreams often and he dreams vividly.

Usually about things that do not bear discussion with Pastor Joseph Sumter.

Which leaves him to pluck a quarter of the peel away from the rest with a protracted, procrastinatory turn of bony fingers and a faint scowl. Abigail's experience with marriage to someone other than him is glossed over in that same tug. Brooding resistance to talking about All These Things. If he wanted to talk about them he would have gone outside.

"I dunno."

"You know. Either you did or you didn't."

His insistent is gently put, but leaves little margin for I dunno, mouth becoming a line of prim irritation before Joseph steers attention out the window and the east coast weather outside, the lighter end of spring. Considers it, maybe, none of his business, because he doesn't press upon Deckard for a better answer. "They're dreams of a future, anyways. And with that came people from the future. A woman named Hannah, who says she's mine. My Hannah." He clears his throat, brow furrowing. "How'd you find out?"


Banana peel abandoned with an air of dragging indifference that has edges too hard and saw-toothed to pass for — actual indifference, Flint scuffs the same hand slow up and down the long flank of his face. "He told her."

Which is a pretty poor summary, upon reflection. There was interrupted sex and an interrogation and a brick. Details that leave him resigned and uncomfortable and resignedly uncomfortable.

"He interrupted us," he says. Finally. Meandering, heel-dragging confession. "You know."

Joseph doesn't make a face or anything — practiced in its neutrality, is his expression, and the manner in which Deckard found out is somehow less bad than the fact that spawn is indeed a Sheridan as Abby says. "Well. I got a dream." Dipping a hand into jacket pocket, he pulls out something small and wooden — it's nothing he tosses to Deckard for fear that the other man might not bother catching it, but it is held in view. It's a bear, an amateur's carving, but enough bearish qualities to identify it as such. "In some fifteen years, maybe less, she gives this t'me. Then— "

Well. He doesn't have to state the obvious. He's holding it.

Tosses it from one hand to the other. "Calvin's gone and, uh. We dunno how yet, but he's made the Evo flu turn around and attack Non-Evos. You should give Bella a heads up, unless she gets a vaccination before the Ferry's stealing it for themselves."

The manner in which Deckard found out has little to do with his reluctance to talk to Joseph about his son the Sheridan, it is true. He is making about as much eye contact as the average pissy dog and is nearly as hunched, awayward lean a matter of gradual degrees tilting his shoulders at a slant against the opposite arm rest. Now would probably be a particularly poor time to bring up his waifu's upcoming assimilation into an unwitting Ferry, so. He opens his mouth and — closes it again, jaw worked into a an uneven jut sideways.

His eyes tick to the bear only once there's clearly an expectation that he should look, ill-subdued tension tempering steel into the snap and fix of his stare until it veers elsewhere again.

His flat, "Doubt it," re: vaccination does not sound even remotely optimistic. Practical conclusion, nothing more. Insinuation of biological warfare on the horizon does not blip on his radar beyond that. "Who's Hannah?"

Casual and relaxed to Deckard's tense, Joseph's posture only stiffens marginally at the question turned back to him. He has a good few friends now, who are nice, but maybe only two he knows tend to be honest. Thumbnail running along the ridges carved to make up the tiny bear's flank, he takes a breath. "She's my daughter. Her mom is Claira. Ex-wife." Abby forgot her name, so, he supplies it just in case. "She'd be about— one and a half, maybe? In real time. This one's thirty years more'n that."

He falls silent, then, question answered.

Lingering, rankling unease falls off Flint's face like a damp towel, leaving a blank stare in its stead. The only thing keeping it from a full on gape is the fact that his mouth manages to stay closed despite the line on his clamped jaw spooling out slack. He is suddenly doing maths.

Flicking a glance to Deckard doesn't tell Joseph much, who hesitates when he goes to say something, and hesitate again. Uncomfortable, suddenly, he puts the carving back into his pocket, hand then going to once more wrap around his crucifixes, scraping them together like lucky coins. "Anyway," he says. "Thing is that they're all now looking for 'im, and Abby was all, hey, we could get to him through you, and I just figured you'd wanna know.

"Something wrong?"

Flint shakes his head after a slow beat. Decisive, in a lying kind of way.


Nothing wrong with this picture. Lots of people have kids they don't talk about ever to anyone.

"Thanks," he thinks to say belatedly upon realizing that there are still other parts to this conversation. Like the one where Abigail wants to tie him down to railroad tracks.

The next scrub of his hand against stubble grain after a persistent itch is slightly more bitter than the last. "For the heads up."

"Fact is we might need your help in this anyhow." Joseph gets to his feet, adjusting the cuffs of his jacket, turned at an angle where eye contact isn't an easy thing to get by accident. He's the one that would rather not, this time. "And Bella's, I guess, if you two're the ones he'll contact without hurting for sure. More people could get hurt and maybe there's a chance he's the key to stoppin' the virus. But I'll leave that with you."

"Don't." Leave it with him. Maybe. Flint is slow to raise objection but confident when he does, pragmatism layered over half-hearted indifference.

"Put this on us," he finishes after a protracted pause, unwise choice of pronouns delivered by necessity. Guy hasn't said more than a few words to Flint. Bella hit him with a brick in her purse.

He has to scrape his thoughts all together into a shabby pile before he can say what he means, though, guilt thick in a dip at his bristled chin and a rankle at his nose. "Neither of us is equipped to…deal with any of this." Which isn't a very Flint thing to say despite the fact that it comes out in his voice, tone worn coarse and familiar around the fringes. Eventually he follows himself up with a blank shrug of his shoulders.

It wasn't entirely what Joseph expected to hear, pacing away enough to make conversational distance less awkward, turning back to regard Flint's slouch in the sofa. There's a beat of thought before he says, "I ain't sayin' you or even Bella is responsible. But if the opportunity arises, and he sees you again or you see him, I won't need to put anythin' on you for it to be your choice whether you do somethin' about it or not, whether that's giving us a heads up or tossing this man's sorry ass into the Narrows."

Hands and arms go out. C'est la vie. "Abby thinks he loves you. And I can't tell her not to go tellin' everyone what she knows, but if they hear it at all, it won't be from me. That all sound fair?"

Into the Narrows. Blackly evasive in a tarry work of his jaw and a searching veer of his eyes down and away further still, Flint says nothing all the way up until he nods that he understands and that it probably sounds fair to someone.


He does not exude helpfulness. He does not even really exude reluctant agreement.

Joseph nods, in a way that possibly exudes more helpfulness and agreement for virtue of the man doing it. Brows knit together in worry, and he bodily hesitates for the fraction of the time it takes for him to decide not to say whatever pops into his mind, before he takes a step for out and leave Deckard with the privacy of his home, hat and bananas.

Winds up pausing anyway when he says, "Besides all that, you should come by more. Or I can come here too. We could watch sports." There. A somewhat crooked smile is meant to indicate a measure of humour, before he makes for the door in earnest.

All things considered, you'll being seeing more of both of us rrreal soon probably isn't what Joseph really wants to hear.

Deckard nods again instead, more decisively than before. He should. They should. Someone should. One of them. Should.

If he seems less receptive to "humor" (here in quotation fingers) than usual it probably has to do with how he is thinking of ways to tell Bella about this later, if he tells her at all.

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