The Sneaky And The Star Struck


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Scene Title The Sneaky And The Star Struck
Synopsis Agents Ryans and Webb show up at the house of Peyton Whitney to see her about a man. She doesn't recognize the pictures, Webb is flustered and Ryans has to pee – Or that's what he wants her to think.
Date March 17, 2010

Peyton's Apartment – Upper West Side

Blizzard. It's not like she really has anywhere she can go anyway. Things are bad enough, hard enough, as it is, but now she can't go to the library to hide away, since doing so might jeopardize her friends. It's hard to hide your tracks in the snow as it is, and if she's being tailed by Company, FBI or CIA spooks due to Albert Winslow, it would be like leading the wolves to the pasture.

Instead, she stopped by the video store, rented a stack of DVDs — has she even been to a movie in the past seven months? One, she recalls, vaguely, with Jericho. It feels like years ago rather than months. "Up" is playing on the plasma screen, the sole audience of the movie curled on the couch with a purple chenille blanket on top of her yoga pants and a worn sweatshirt — if she figured the agents were coming to knock on her door, she didn't dress up for them.

Knock knock

The sounds is firm as on the other side, Ryans knocks, a glance goes to the younger agent next to him. "I am starting to think I should have moved to Florida. Weather is far nicer." It's been bone biting cold and snowing like hell, but like the postal service… the Company still does it's rounds.

While he waits to see if the occupant answers, he brings his gloved hands to his mouth and blows into them in a desperate attempt to warm them. This cold is also doing hell to his knee. Thank goodness for Ibprofin. "With hope she will be home and we'll have the time to thaw before the journey back."

"Yeah. Maybe Miami, someday," says Henry the Wistful. Henry is a sad corgi, today. It's cold out. "Maybe she has a fireplace."

The apartment is a balmy sixty degrees, not that they are given the chance to enter immediately. The clairvoyant peeks through the peephole, purple fuzzy blanket still around her shoulders.

"Hello?" she says through the door. "Can I help you?" No eager welcome with hot chocolate and cookies for the two agenty looking guys standing on her doorstep. She waits for what she is sure to come — the announcement that they are FBI or CIA or Homeland Security — which she knows is more than likely Company.

"A fireplace would be nice," Ryans agrees with a touch of amusement, a hint of a smile is offered to his partner of the moment, brows lifting slightly under the fedora he's wearing, though as soon as the sound of a voice comes through the door, his falls into that neutral cops face.

He doesn't have to lift his voice much for it to reach through the door. "Hello." His hand reaches into his duster, to pull out his badge and holds it up to the peephole. "Homeland Security Agents Ryans and Webb looking for a Miss Whitney? We have some concerning business to discuss." Blue eyes watch that peephole with some severity, cautious people always made work harder. Though he wishes his daughters were this cautious.

Not that he really -thought- there'd be cookies. Not really. But….Henry was hopeful. He's got his own badge in hand, though he doesn't hold it up. Not yet.

"Hold on just a moment," Peyton says, politely enough, padding in her stocking feet to the nearby telephone stand to grab a notepad and paper, then returning to the door, scribbling the number down with a sparkly purple gel pen. "Thank you, Agent Ryans. And your friend? Can I see your badge, sir?" She's trying to remember everything Cardinal told her — but it amounts to just a few tidbits of advice: get their badges and play dumb.

When Henry Webb does likewise, she scribbles his number down as well, then sets down the pad. Deadbolt can be heard being unlocked, and then the chain lock, before the door finally opens, revealing Peyton in all her house-arrest glory — because the blizzard and the fact that she might be tailed amount to that in her mind — a house arrest.

There is a slow dip of the older man head, a gloved hand lifting to remove the hat from his his head, revealing that receding hairline. "Miss Whitney. I apologize for interrupting your day like this, but I assure you it is for good reason and we will try not to keep you too long." Eyes flicker to each side of the woman into the house, a cop move. Cautious.

"Mind if we come in and have a chat?" There is a soothing quality to those words, like a deep purr at times.

Henry offers a hopeful smile to Peyton, as he enters behind the taller agent. Here to sell you paper, ma'am.

Dark brown eyes flicker from the older, taller agent to the shorter, younger one, who might be sort of cute if he weren't the enemy. "Come in. You have to forgive me for being cautious. I'm sure you understand," she says, softly — now that she has her badge numbers, it's time to go back to playing the little lost deer caught in the headlights. Wide-eyed looks are given to both of them. "Is this about Wendy Hunter? I already spoke to the FBI and the NYPD… I don't have any new information, and I'm sure they'd be happy to share what I told them, but I can tell it again." She gives a shrug of one shoulder beneath the fuzzy purple blanket.

There is, in fact, a fireplace, with a fire crackling in it. "Up" is paused on the plasma television, and the apartment is otherwise quiet.

"Thank you. I do admit that your caution is a relief, it will make our jobs easier." Ryans steps slowly through the door eyes watching cautiously. Never know what is lurking. "Our business here is for a different reason." A motion for her to sit, is made by the hand with the fedora still gripped in it. "Please.."

A hand loosen the ties of his duster, but he doesn't remove it, he doesn't plan to dilly dally long after all. "We are here, Miss Whitney, because we believe you may be in danger." Agent Ryans will only move to sit when she does, old fashioned at times. Even so, he reaches into his jacket again with his freehand and pulls out a folded bit of printer paper. "We wanted to warn you and see if you might have information."

Henry waits, too, for the others to be seated. Someone beat manners into him, sometime, somewhere. Right? "And we're here to help you," he offers, in all apparent earnestness.

"Danger?" she says softly, her brows twitching into a frown. She takes a seat on the armchair facing the couch, perched at the end with her hands in her lap. She glances at the printer paper in his hand, and then over to Henry, before glancing back at Ryans. "I'm always in danger, aren't I? I have the special little card and a name in the database. But … who is it this time? Humanis First? Danko? I don't know anything more than I did the last time he tried to hurt me." That's a little bit of a lie, but they don't know just what she can do with her power.

"No, but potentially just as bad." Agent Ryans says watching her, the paper unfolded slowly. "We believe there is a man stalking you. We have found countless photographs of you with his stuff." The older man gives her a reassuring smile. "We do not know what he has planned for you, but he is a dangerous man, so we will be doing out utmost to make sure he doesn't hurt you."

Two pieces of paper are slide apart and they are set before the woman. They look about the same, but one is age enhanced. They are of her father, Albert Winslow. "Does either of these look familiar you Miss Peyton? While you have been out and about during your daily activities?"
Henry's gaze is fixed on Peyton's face. Were it not for the gentleness on his own features, it'd be sort of unnerving. Maybe it still is. He doesn't glance at the images. Those he's seen. It's Peyton's reaction that's important.

Taking the printouts, Peyton holds them in shaking hands. She stares at the pictures, looking for something other than what he asks — like any adopted child, looking at a picture of a birth parent, she searches for any physical connection, a resemblance in the long-faced, long-nosed man. The only she can find is the dark hair and eyes, but genetics are a funny thing — sometimes a child looks nothing like either parent, as the genes mix into a completely unique concoction in the DNA. She could certainly be his child — that much is clear.

Has she seen him? There were pictures of her from childhood through womanhood — surely she saw him at some point — if she did, she can't remember him. Too self-absorbed to notice a lonely man watching from the distance. And later, when she was a pet of the paparazzi, he would have just been one more in the crowd of twinkling flashbulbs.

There is a slow shake of her head. "I don't recognize him. I've never seen him before in my life," she says softly — and honestly, at least as far as memory serves.

"Hmm." Ryans says softly, the sound rumbles deep in his throat, the pictures are collected as soon as she's done looking. Her reactions are watched, but if he's suspicious of anything he doesn't let it show. "He's doing his best not to be seen, then. Sometime individuals like this will allow themselves to be glimpsed by the person they are stalking. It is only a matter of time."

The pages are neatly folded. "Should this man, show himself, I would insist that to run away." They are placed in his coat, only to be replaced by a card. His business card, it simply states his name, and cellphone number. It is offered to you with a polite smile. "And call us immediately. We want to keep you save, young lady."

She really doesn't know him. Not that Henry's any kind of magic lie detector, right? But…..He turns to look at Ryans, wordlessly. Does this guy ever talk at all?

The girl reaches to take the card, glancing at the name and number, studying it, then nods. "Thank you. Should I … should I worry if I see anyone else besides him following me? I mean… should I expect any sort of surveillance? I would hate to call you in a panic thinking I'm in danger and have it turn out to be your buddy just doing his job or something, you know?" she says with a tentative smile, glancing over at the quiet rookie-ish agent and then back to the spokesman of the two. "Do you think it's anything related to HF or… is it just some creep that saw me on youtube or something?" she adds, nose wrinkling a little to show her distaste.

"That is what we are trying to figure out, Miss." Ryans offers gently, climbing to his feet. "You may be watched to ensure your safety, that hasn't been decided yet. My recommendation will go to the brass and be decided on." He glances at his partner, looking ready to go. "But do not be afraid to call in a panic. It is our job to listen when you do." The smile his offers deepens the lines of his face, but then he gives a clap of his hand, the sound muffled by his glove. "Right then, that is all we can do here, Webb."

"Oh.. before I go." The Older agent suddenly looks a touch sheepish. "Might an old man use your bathroom?" He gives her an apologetic look. "Age and all that plays hell on my bladder."

What the- ? Henry makes an embarassed moue on Ryans' behalf, even as he's on his feet. "It's hard to say, ma'am. But I promise, we're looking into it."

"My restroom? Sure," Peyton says, looking a little surprised. "It's just in the hallway on the left," she says, nodding to the hallway that branches off from her living room. "I'm sorry if it's a mess at all," she adds. It's "Aaron's" Bathroom, as her own is adjoined to her bedroom suite.

"Thank you." There is a short nod of his head. "Agent Webb, make sure she has the contact information for you too. And an emergency number for the department." The words carry even as he goes where directed, a glance goes to the other agent, brows lifting a touch, before he disappears into the hallway. Shortly after there is the click of a door.

However, Ryans isn't in the bathroom, the lack of feminine things a dead give away, so he makes his way softly down the hall. This type of thing is not new to him. He looks quickly for her room, spotting the doorway into another bathroom, he moves to see if he can find a brush, to extract some hair. The fact that Winslow has infant photos, makes the old man suspicious.

Brush or not, he'll be out in short order, there is only so much time he can spare.

"Oh, oh, right." Henry's….a little distracted. Because let'sface it, even in such ordinary clothes, Peyton's -pretty-. He's clumsy as he scrambles to come up with the proper business cards, and succeeds in spilling a riffle of them out on to the floor, like a stage magician failing spectcularly at a card trick. He's blushing, as he stoops to gather them up.

Peyton laughs a little at the fumble-fingered dropping of cards. "Fifty-two card pick up? You're missing a few. You new to the Department of Homeland Services?" The clairvoyant has actually learned that's not the name of the agency, but she uses the former malapropism deliberately now, to go along with her portrayal of Bambi. "I think I only need one card," she adds, reaching for one of them and adding it to Ryans' on the table.

After getting what he needs and it's safely stowed away, Agent Ryans slips back into the hallway just as quietly. A moment or two more, the door to the bathroom opens and Ryans steps out into the living room, tugging gloves back on his hands. "Thank you Miss Whit…." Noticing the cards on the floor, brows lift slightly and he can't help but smirk. "Well.. seems my counterpart, is a touch flustered." There is a good natured chuckle as he bends down to scoop up a few of the card.

"I don't think he's been around too many local celebrities." He offers the cards to the younger agent. "If you are done, Agent Webb, we should be going, snow is getting deeper and these old bones are aching to relax." The senior agent doesn't seem to have a problem with playing the age card, even if physically, he's much fitter.

"Homeland Security, yeah," he says. "I am. I used ta be a Marine, you see." He's got that Missouri accent, slipping through. Sad corgi is sad, as he fixes those blue eyes adoringly on Peyton. But then Ryans is back, and Webb hastily stuffs his cards back into his pockets, still in disarray. "Aye, sir," he agrees.

"From the frying pan into the fire, hm?" Peyton says, then shakes her head at Ryans. "Not a celebrity. That's all behind me." She rises, too, to prepare to walk them to the door — she'll then go scour the rest of the apartment for a a bug, not that she'd be able to remove it without their knowledge. "Thanks for letting me know. I … I'd appreciate it if any mention of my name didn't get leaked to the media or anything. I'm trying not to be on Youtube or TMZ, you know?" She doubts Ryans knows what TMZ is.

"Trust me, Miss Whitney. We have no intentions of letting any of this slip to the media." Ryans explains gently as they are escorted to the door. Oh, he knows what it is.. he has two girls after all. Does he watch it? Not a chance in hell. His girls make sure he knows all the celebrity gossip whether he wants too or not.

The tall man opens the door himself and rather reluctantly steps out into the cold. Turning back, he gives her a smile, though it doesn't reach his eyes, "We will be in touch if we need too, otherwise know we will do our utmost to protect you." His hat is places back on his head and adjusted, his duster tightened against the cold.

Ryans gives a tip of his hat, "Enjoy the rest of your day."

There's a last, longing look cast over his shoulder, as Henry hustles out after Ryans. He's got his shoulders hunched, embarassed, as he assures her, "Of course, ma'am." And then he's gone.

Peyton closes the door behind the two men. It was not that hard… at least she had forewarning. It would have been much more frightening had she thought she was some strange crazy man's target. As it is — it's frightening enough, but part of her is sure that Albert Winslow, whoever he is, does not intend her any ill. That at least gives her some peace of mind — even if she hates the idea of having such a "monster" as a father. She peers out the peephole, and seeing no sign of the two men, turns to go explore her apartment for a bug she will not be able to find.

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