The Walker System


molly_icon.gif matt_icon.gif

Scene Title The Walker System
Synopsis After giving her some time to cool off, Matt approaches Molly again regarding the location of Rupert Carmichael. She's more than willing, and the two share a tearful moment as they prepare for the coming days.
Date November 5, 2010

Petrelli Mansion - Molly's Room

He could have shown up that night, or even the next day, to call Molly on her bluff. But Matt didn’t. Instead, he allowed the teen her have her space, at the risk of precious time - time that could be used to move on Rupert Carmichael.

Still, it doesn’t make him feel like a better father.

When he raps his knuckles against the door to Molly’s bedroom before opening it just a crack, his movements are slow and labored, his expression weary and drawn. “Molly?” he asks, his voice quiet. He knows she’s in here, tucked away in her teenage sanctum between the last of her morning tutoring sessions and whatever lunch Angela has arranged for her to have. “You got a minute?”

No amount of parental influence gives any father the right to just barge into his adolescent daughter’s bedroom, after all.

The teen in question is sitting in a chair in the corner of the room with her legs propped up on a black bag. Inside, holds a few things we would need to be staying the night at another place. On her lap is the almanac that her father has given her recently. Open but she’s now looking down at it, she’s looking at her father in the doorway. She already knew he was coming and she’s already packed.

Pissed of course, but willing to comply with her father for his sake. “I was telling Angela that I was going to be gone for a little bit but she already seemed to know.” she says flatly. Dressed in a pair of black jeans and a dark brown T-shirt, her feet are covered by black Converse. Molly looks at her father and her hands grip the book of maps hard. “I..”

She looks down finally and closes her eyes. “No more after this.. promise?” her gaze hopeful and pleading towards her dad. It’s not that she doesn’t want to use her gift but it’s a different matter when she decides to use it and everyone in the world is asking her to use it to help them.

I don’t mean to be selfish. She thinks aloud to her father.

Matt pushes the door open just enough to slip through, his tie loose around his neck and the top button of his cornflower blue shirt undone. He’s still wearing his thick wool overcoat on top of his suit, but the buttons are undone, making both jacket and coat hang open. Once he shuts the door behind him, he walks slowly over to Molly’s bed, looking at his shoes rather than at his daughter.

“You can’t put much past Angela,” he says, avoiding the white elephant for the first few moments, allowing himself a cleansing sort of sigh as he laces his fingers together, his arms on his knees. “It’s not selfish,” Matt adds after those moments. “You made a choice. I can’t… I won’t dictate how you use your ability. It’s yours. All I can do is hope that you stay safe.” Not keep her safe. Not ensure her safety. Just hope.

Matt swallows and presses his fingers against the backs of his hands, the lattice of digits tightening for a moment as he steadies himself. “I don’t know what’s going to happen over the next week or so, Molly,” he says, taking a more serious, egalitarian tone with the young woman who used to be his little girl. “But I’ve tried to make arrangements in case things go south. But if that happens….” but his voice trails off, and he shakes his head.

Looking to the Oxford Atlas, he nods, changing the subject gladly. “Did you already look?”

“There will be more Rupert’s out there. More bad guys that people will need found.” Molly states as she stares at the atlas. “I won’t find them all.” Because each time she finds a bad person.. she sees them when nobody else does. When they are at their most evil.. alone.

“Just.. if you die.. I’ll.. I’ll kill you okay?” she says with an attempt at a smile but it wobbles into a frown but she looks at her father for a second with a hard stare and then she’s closing her eyes. Nothing bothering to even answer the question of if she’s looked.

Moving at a blur across the country in a fraction of a moment, Molly's vision begins to anchor over a large city that at first is indistinguishable from any other. Not coastal but on water, Molly's vision zooms in on a large and new looking tenement building, passing by a white sign with green lettering that reads Anchorage Arms Apartments in a blocky font.

A moment later, her vision snaps up to a third story window of the six story building, then through the glass and into a furnished and well-appointed apartment. There, at a small table between the living room and the kitchen, the man she has been shown as Rupert Carmichael sits with a newspaper unfolded in front of himself, cell phone clipped to his belt and necktie tight around his throat. His spoon clinks around in a bowl of cereal, sunlight spilling in through partly open blinds.

She's found him.

When her vision comes to, Molly's hand has moved across the map with her pushpin, having driven the marker down into a map of Maryland, specifically the waterside city of Baltimore and what must be an apartment building in the city.

Blinking, the clairvoyant looks at her father. “There.”

Restraining the urge to leap to Molly’s side and look over her shoulder, Matt moves at the same reduced speed that he did when he entered the room. It’s as if she were locating the ice cream man, and he had begrudgingly agreed she could run out with a dollar to buy treats. But Molly isn’t 10 any more, and ice cream has long since ceased to be the Balm of Gilead it once was.

When he does look down to see where the push-pin is, his brow furrows. He pulls a pad from the inside of his jacket and flicks it open to write down nearby landmarks and reproduce the map and the push-pin’s location to the best of his ability. He could turn his cell on and snap a photo, but that could only serve to alert the rabbit to the foxes’ plans.

Pocketing the pad once again, Matt lays a hand on Molly’s shoulder and gives it a squeeze. “Thank you,” he says, his voice still, if not more subdued. Withdrawing his hand, he sighs again. “You’re right, you know. There will be others. But I don’t want you to ever feel pressured. You do what you think is right.” A small smile creeps into one corner of his mouth as he looks down at her, pride sparkling in his dark eyes despite the pallor of the face they’re set in. “I know you will.”

What are you going to be doing?

Molly thinks to her father and she narrows her eyes, placing a hand on her father’s. She thinks back to the first moment she saw her father. After the death of her other father. As he heard her thoughts and was the first face she was to see after watching her parents being murdered. You’re my hero, dad. Remember that.

She thinks with a small smile and she releases Matt’s hand and closes the atlas. “You don’t need to go with them to confront Rupert. It’s too dangerous.” she says to her father and then she’s getting up and crossing over to her drawers, making sure she’s gotten everything that she needs. “And how long am I suppose to be staying at this other place?”

“I’m not sure,” Matt says, his brow furrowing once more as he watches Molly, her concern weighing heavily on him. “Hopefully just a week or so - until this is all over. But you’ll be safe there. Richard Cardinal’s a good man, and I think you’ll be rooming with the Bennet girl. She needs a friend right now.” And apparently Matt has faith enough in Molly to be that friend.

He bends to pick up her back and sling it over his shoulder, keeping the closure accessible in case Molly needs to add anything to it. He moves behind her, lifting his hands once more to place them on her shoulders and turn her to face him. For once, he doesn’t wear a mask of strength - raw concern, mixed with paternal love and anxiety play on his features, and Molly doesn’t need to be an empath to see it.

If the Ferrymen come for you, go with them. They’ll keep you safe, and out of whatever Mitchell has up his sleeve to hurt us. But if that happens, I won’t be able to see you. It won’t be safe. I hate it.

Matt takes one hand away from Molly’s shoulder to reach into an inside breast pocket of his coat, this time to pull out a wallet-sized photograph. It’s the shrunk down version of one taken not long after Matt and Molly relocated to New York, taken on the ferry to the Statue of Liberty, with the iconic green lady in the background. He presses it into her hand and curls her fingers around it, disregarding what effect the imposed grip will have on the treated paper.

There’s an address there. A P.O. Box. It’ll be the only way I can know where you are, and the only way I can hear from you. Safely. Use it only when you feel it’s safe, okay? I hope you won’t need to. I hope the Ferrymen won’t need to come for you.

When he looks at her again, tears are brimming, held it only by the contraction of certain facial muscles. Matt swallows, then draws the girl into a bear hug that threatens to squeeze the very life out of her.

“Shut up.”

Molly says and she slaps her father’s arm. “Of course you’re gonna see me. And if we don’t see each other.. I’ll raise hell until I find you.” Matt should be saying this to Molly, but the teen is a little more crazy than her father. She takes the picture and shoves it in her pocket.

“I’ll expect for you to be available for baking and movies in two weeks. Monday.” she emphasizes and looks at her dad hard before he pulls her into a embrace. “I love you, we’re gonna be fine.” she says softly, for her sake then for Matt’s.

“Like you’ll need to raise hell to do that,” Matt says in a light, teasing tone, his voice muffled slightly by the proximity of his face to the side of her head. “I love you too,” he says, the conversation sobering slightly with the sentiment. “Maybe Scott Pilgrim,” he suggests without any indication that he plans to let go of her soon. “And brownies.”

“Brownies and cupcakes.” she corrects and continues to hug her father tightly. “Just don’t worry about me too much. I’ll try my best to keep my head down and you what you need to do.. to save the world. Kay?” It’s the best thing she could say to Matt right now, she figures. She’s not mad at him, he just has a fucked up job.

“Deal,” Matt says, giving her a final squeeze before uncurling one arm. He leaves the other around her shoulders in order to guide her out of her room, letting go just long enough to help her into her coat and open the car door for her.

It’s possible that he shouldn’t be the one to take her to Redbird Security, but it’s an opportunity to see Molly, to laugh with her about whatever reality show drama she’s seen recently, to forget about the possible impending carnage - to be normal - that he’s not going to pass up.

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