Three Is A Crowd


brian_icon.gif diogenes_icon.gif isis2_icon.gif

Scene Title Three is a Crowd
Synopsis Brian meets Dio for the first time. It could go better.
Date September 18, 2009

The Beach

"Well I'm out here on the night train, drinkin' coffee takin' cocaine…I'm out here on my night train tryin' t'get us safely home."

Beaches aren't as good here. He remembers that much plainly. California's beaches are better. Hell any beaches are better than this. New York beaches suck. But they're still beaches. Ish. Brian's truck is parked on the sand his guitar nestled in his lap. He's playing and trying to sing, his voice sounds alright but the guitar isn't up to par. His fingers miss the chords too many times, he has to stop and restart a lot.

The back of the black dodge truck is loaded up. Pillows placed against the cab, making lounging that much more comfortable. An ice chest rests in the middle of the bed of the truck. The lid is opened revealing a few beers spitting out from the ice. One only half full.

The sun is setting, sending flares of pink and orange through the few clouds that still rest in the heavens. Isis had been invited to come 'chill'. He has some stuff to talk to her about anyway, a little, and besides for a person who can be everywhere at once he's remarkably bad at keeping up relationships. He intends to fix that…ish.

"Damnit." He hisses, trying to place his fingers on the neck of the guitar correctly.

The 'music' is the first thing to greet the redhead as she makes her way down the beach. Her heeled sandals dangle by their straps from her slender fingers, her face turned out towards the sun setting over the ocean, as she walks. Her steps are made through the lapping tide, leaving impressions of her little feet for only a minute before a new wave licks them away as if she'd never been. She hasn't even made the effort to roll up the cuffs of her bellbottoms. It seemed wrong to shun her spontaneity in any form - she hadn't indulged such small, sweet desires in so long, after all.
September seas are not the most welcoming, but for once she does not shun the chill for some reason that is not obvious to any others. As she nears the pickup, her softer, serene smile becomes something more sweet and easily happy. "Strumming my pain with his fingers. Singing my life with his words." Thank the Goddess that the body-changer had not changed her voice too greatly - Isis had quite the ability to sing when the rare, brave mood strikes her to share the talent. She sets her shoes down and leans forward over the tailgate with a smile, loose curls picking up a seabreeze that sends them rushing forward around her face. "Hey, stranger."

For someone who is as tall and gaunt as Diogenes, he blends in the crowd rather nicely. It's all about distance, who are you using to shield you from potential gazes of whoever it is you're following and the choice of colour for your apparel. As if playing Frogger, the man wearing desaturated (yet still retaining a low level of colourfulness) clothing switches targets, picking those only as equally as tall or taller than him. He is not a SAS operative, and someone with a keen eye and a sharp mind would most likely notice Diogenes. However, Isis most likely does not expect such a low move on his part; following her around like a shadow.

Diogenes has his own motives. Primarily, he wants to see where it is she's going, and, possibly, who it is she's seeing tonight. It's not a matter of jealousy should that come to your mind, oh no; he simply wants to mark down the redhead's activities down in his mental notepad. What's that? He could ask her? My friend, that requires social interaction and the probability of a lie. That's how the mind of the modern philosopher works. Although Isis was one of the few people he actually trusted (to… a degree), he still figured it's best to take a peek.

Unfortunately for him, the whole thing goes down on the beach. Diogenes hates beaches. The bothersome breeze blasting against the face and messing up the hair, the sand that gets into your shoes, and all the blissful couples enjoying the sunset, laughing and smiling - actually being happy and showing it off for the world to see. It is infectious, spreading like wildfire, this phenomenon - love. It's a wonder the World Health Organization hasn't declared it a global pandemic yet. Although, it's apparent to both Diogenes and anyone who would know of his hatred of those who are happy stems from inability to share that feeling. It frustrated him.

Having been momentarily carried away by his thoughts, he watches Isis approach someone's fancy truck. For now, he just stands and observes, although there's not much to observe apart from an inconspicous vehicle.

"I wasn't singing that." Brian moans, glaring over the side of the truck. "If you don't know the song you can just watch, you don't have to ruin it for everybody else. But fine, whatever. You ruin everything, I will accomodate." Turning back the young man goes to change the song. But he doesn't know how to play that song, so he just sings where Isis left off. "Killin me softly with 'is song, killin' me sooftly, with 'is song.." Smirking down at her, he motions with his chin up to the truck. "Whaddup. Get in. There's a blanket on the end there if you're cold. Cold beer uhh.. I had food. I ate it. Sorry." He shrugs. Going to set the guitar down, he straightens his hood over his forehead.

Bringing up one balled fist to stifle a yawn, he collapses against the pillows behind him. "How you doin'?" He asks with a smile, his eyes sweeping the beach. Unfortunately, Brian Winters does have a trained eye and the man in depressing clothes does catch his attention for the briefest of moments. Not investing a whole lot of interest in the moment, Brian temporarily writes him off. Looking back to Isis, in a few minutes he'll look for the man again. And that's when flags will go up.

A lightly hued brow pops up into an impressed arc. He knows the words. And, "You're not half bad," she admits aloud with an easy smirk. With a little grunt she pulls herself up into the bed of the truck, eagerly snagging the mentioned blanket - wading through the tide had seemed smart at the time.

Isis is still oblivious to Diogenes's presence. She trusts him (with most things). "I'm doin'…" There's a pause where her smile falters, where the time is taken to actually consider her state more than the casual inquiry entails for most individuals. Then again, she's not most individuals. "Not too bad," she finally decides. "I went on a date the other night," she comments more quietly, offering a half-smile out towards the view as she glances to Brian from the corner of her eye in a plainly 'don't you dare laugh'-manner. "What about you? And, your girl? Last I saw or heard of her, she had a broken shoulder with your help." She grins cheekily and leans forward, reaching out from beneath the blanket to snag a beer. The pop topped, she wrinkles her nose at the scent of the brew, but takes a sip nonetheless.

Indeed, flags would be worth raising after Brian takes a second wary glance at Diogenes, for he is no longer there. His impersonation of Batman is nothing short of superb, one might say. But he hasn't fired his grappling gun at the nearest skyscraper to plan his stealthy approach from a gargoyle up above. He's done something simpler - walked away. Why, you wonder? To approach the truck from the front. An inspective gaze reveals that no one is at the wheel, which means that Isis is not going or a ride with her compatriot (or compatriots), and to approach it from the front would be approaching what he considers to be its blindspot.

It should be noted that Diogenes has no idea who is inside, who it is Isis shares her company with. He thinks through every detail even when going up against what seem like the most mundane… 'opponents'. It's partly why Diogenes is creepy. His preperation and its desired effects are only limited by his skills, and, as mentioned before, he is not an expert at stealth. But his attempts can't be dismissed as bad or mediocre. At least, that's what he firmly believes.

It isn't too long since his supposed disappearance that Diogenes would reappear and makes his presence known. Having gone out of his way to distance himself from the pickup truck and draw a circle to come back from the side of the beach, creating the illusion of that's where he was all along, he walks boldly towards the vehicle. And when he's close enough, he shouts out: "Top Secret meeting and I'm not invited? I'm hurt!"

"Thanks. I sang choir in high school." He grins a little bit, pulling his hood down a smidge more. All the better to spy on Diogenes out the corner of his eye. Going to grab his already half indulged beer he pops the cap taking a sip. He smiles as she actually thinks about that question before answering. "Good. Everything goin' decent enough. A date? You went on a date? Not with Ash. Please tell me not with that asshole." He laughs abruptly at himself. "Ash-hole." He smiles. "I asked her to marry me." He says softly, going to put the cap back on and tuck it back into the ice chest. His eyes poke over around the edge of his hood again. Lost him.

Flags are flying all over the place before Brian glances to Isis and mouths 'Keep talking', gesticulating with his hand for her to go on. With that, Brian climbs over her to the side of the truck before dropping silently into the sand. Keeping low and glancing under the truck, Brian has a few moments just before Diogenes makes himself known to react. A gun starts to slide out of the back of his pants but when he yells, the gun stops. Hitmen don't do that, professionals don't do that. Sliding his glock back into his pants, Brian walks around the hood of the truck, behind Diogenes. "Can I help you?"

What an interesting reaction. Was Brian simply reaching for a napkin, or something immeasurably deadlier than a handkerchief? Fortunately, the carefully aimed jest he shouted out disarmed the wary man and lessened the chance of Diogenes getting shot after sneaking up on the two. Yes, Diogenes even considers the possibility of someone else having a gun. The man was bordering on being irrationally paranoid, and while he'd be awkwardly wrong every step of the way with someone who's an Average John, he's eerily precise when it comes to specific types. But don't be fooled. Those are just blind and rapid stabs in the dark.

He does not answer Brian, knowing that Isis will make sure to introduce him to Winters. Indeed, it's a social stigma to be a dick; everyone rushes to explain that he's painful to be around with - either in jest or seriously. But at least it makes encounters predictable. And perhaps it's best that Isis changes her mind, for the answer Diogenes had cooked up to answer her inquiry of how he ended up in here would be… Well, let's just say the way things are is for the best. Somehow.

"And you are… Agent 47, I presume?", he asks Brian, indulging in an obscure pop culture reference.

"Forty-six. Fuck off." Making his way around Diogenes, Brian grasps on the side of the back of the truck before leaping back in again. Flinging his hand up he goes to shove Isis back a bit, albeit a little gently, to make room for himself and not fall on the guitar. Despite his rude command to Diogenes, Winters reaches into the ice chest and pulls out a beer.

Reaching out Brian dangles the bottle over the side for Diogenes to take. "That's a weird ass name." Brian comments quietly, looking down at the man. "So do you have a secret shrine built for her inside your closet, or were you just bored?" Winters asks before shooting a slightly irritated look over to Isis.

"Dio," Isis hisses under her breath, as if chastising one of the cats back at home. She's momentarily distracted, however, as she jostled to make way for Brian. She readjusts the blanket, tugging it up over her shoulders at first. Though, when given a disapproving look from one of her very few friends, she tugs the fabric higher still, until it's draped over her head, leaving her like a much more attractive, less wrinklier version of E.T.

Brian's quip earns a wide-eyed, eyebrow-lofted expression.

"He's my roommate. And, my friend. He's delightfully abrasive and unorthodox. Pleasantly out of the norm." And, though her tone is casual, closed with a heavy swig of beer, there is the overhanging sensation that she is indeed standing up for the dark intruder.

A gaze both appraising and inspective runs across Brian's frame as subtly as a freight truck with dysfunctional breaks moving at over one hundred miles per hour. Either Diogenes has no sense of subtlety and is not familiar with common unspoken social rules, or he exposes himself on purpose, to let Brian know that those depressingly dull eyes throw the weight of a thousand years worth of torment upon him. The name is the least weird thing about Diogenes.

"Basement. A closet isn't big enough to built a shrine for her", he replies, wandering closer to the pickup truck and languidly climbing aboard the ship to grab the offered bottle of beer. Unlike Isis, he was a fan of the brew, and if the cap's not off, he'd rudely use the brim of the back of the pickup to open it, most likely leaving a miniature mark. The cap that flies off looks almost like it'll be lost, but he nimbly catches it mid-flight.

"Unless Isis hangs around ordinary people now, you're someone I want to hear about." He makes himself comfortable and takes a delighted sip. "You a hired killer, too?" He sounds serious enough. Not too Isis, of course. She must be used to his tricks, by now.

"This is the guy you were telling me about. When I told you to find a safe place. You chose him." A wry smirk floats up his lips as he glances to Diogenes. "Dio." Brian repeats flatly. Watching the other man he grins a little bit. "Basement. Right, sorry, I assumed you lived in an apartment." Winters says calmly. He glances over to Isis. "I understand being outside of norm and unorthodox, cool. Whatever." He shrugs a little bit. "I hate to be the jackass but..Wait you know fuck that, I am not the jackass in this situation. You can be weird if you want bro, but don't sneak up on me again. I get nervous."

"Don't make me nervous." He commands coldly before visibly relaxing. Beer handed off, he goes to take a sip of his own beer. He frowns as Diogenes opens his beer with the truck. "They're twist offs." He says in a remarkably depressed tone. Truck. :(

"Yeah," she comments quietly, peeking out from beneath dark lashes, crimson curls, and warm blanket to look at Diogenes. "That's him," she answers Brian. "It was meant to be temporary, but he has this habit of growing on you if you don't watch out." She shares a clandestine smile with her roommate as she wedges her beer between her legs, freeing her hands to compulsively fold her label into perfect squares.

"Dio, this is the guy that took me off to D.C. for a while. The one that hooked me up with the face-change." Even as she says 'face-change', she makes a gesture towards her boobage. She's still rather proud of the newly sized rack. She goes back to folding her label as it becomes apparent that each 'gentleman' has at least heard mention, though no names until now, of each other. She has still pointedly opted out of introducing Brian by name.

The young man's grey eyes are deceptively stoic to those who do not read into them. However, they are capable of a large variety of expressions; if anyone wants to read Diogenes, they will have to stop trying to read his visage and instead look into those bottomless and inescapable pits of despair. From sorrow to joy, you will find everything here. Everything Diogenes wants you to find, at the very least.

Silence lingers around Diogenes. He cants his head to the side and watches Brian with what appears to be an amused look painted across his face, a slight tug at a single corner of his lips. "I know", he replies to the comment about the beer bottle caps being twist-offs absent-mindedly, his mind clearly wandering about elsewhere in the noosphere. He lifts the tip of the bottle to his lips, but pauses before actually taking a swig.

"So… No name, a thinly veiled threat not to sneak up on, a speedily and fitting reaction to an unexpected surprise", he recaps, eyeing Brian. And then Diogenes steers his gaze to Isis. "You're not hanging around ordinary people, after all", the dark-haired one comments with a growing smirk. Time for a morality check. "Is he trustworthy? We could use an able hand in kidnapping Kaylee and capturing Adam."

Beer sprays from Brian's mouth. His eyes swing over to Isis, wide eyed and shocked before going back to Dio. "What the fuck. No more thinly veiled threats, they're big balls out open ones now. Don't talk like that." He looks angry for a moment, holding up one finger. Thoughts including the words 'stupid-est and 'ever' ring through his head though he resists articulating them. "Don't talk like that. Don't joke like that. That's not funny man. Don't joke around like that." Though his facial expressions imply he was very well aware that Diogenes was not joking. "That isn't funny. Why would we do things like that?" What other Kaylee and Adam would he be talking about with Isis involved.

The look Brian gives Dio is very expressly a warning. "Not funny man." One finger circles around, his eyes going to this way and then that. As if warning about talking like that where they are. Then Winters settles down, going to tip his beer up once again. Absently rubbing off the spittle and spray he got on himself he glances over to Isis. "Your friend's a joker. Anyway…"

Isis's reaction is not quite as animated as Brian's. It's obvious she's become accustomed to Diogenes's wild schemes. So, for her part, she remains momentarily silent, nose twitching, as she looks back and forth between Dio and Brian.

"He's not joking." She casts a quick glance towards the beach around them before centering her attention on Brian and his forthcoming reaction.

"He's… adventurous." She swivels her hazel gaze to Dio as she lifts her bottle, puckering her lips and blowing air across the brim until the brown glass relinquishes a low, hollow sound. After a moment she sighs and shakes her head. "Haven't you gotten into enough trouble? I haven't even scratched the surface of what's going on in Adam's little operation. Besides, Kaylee's powerful. You know that. Plus, he's got Ash and god knows who building a wall of protection. What do you hope to gain? And, how do you expect me to help? He's my boss." She knew Adam was bad. Brian had revealed that much. But, as of yet she hadn't the slightest inclination as to why or just how much.

Ding ding ding ding ding!

The little imaginary bell rings to mark a small victory. The toothy grin that appears on Diogenes's face would make even the Cheshire cat jealous. He watches Brian's reactions and listens intently to those rushed, repeated words, his facial expression fixated and giving the illusion of him not listening at all whatsoever. But he is.

He does not respond to Brian, however. He responds to Isis, instead. "Trouble?" He snorts. "You're one to speak. You got into trouble only to be saved by someone to get you into more trouble - enough to change your looks." It isn't an accusatory statement, but rather playful mockery of the choices the woman had made. "I, on the other hand, managed to kill over a dozen people in total - both here and at home - and I'm still off the radar", he states proudly and boldly; he doesn't stop there, though.

"Ash isn't an obstacle. He's a muscle mountain with a double digit IQ. If he could think further than delights of smashing someone's face in like a caveman, he'd be a real threat, but as it stands…" He sighs softly and takes another swig of his intoxicating drink before continuing. "I want information. I want to know everything there is to know about Adam - even what brand of tooth paste he uses. Kaylee is an extremely valuable asset; he won't give her up. And if he does… Then she'll be given a reason to mistrust him, ergo I would save her in that scenario." He looks to Brian, as if checking if he's still there or drawing an RPG to blast Diogenes into bloody gibs. "I only expect you to help behind the curtains, Isis", he says, still looking firmly at Brian. "Adam wouldn't even know you're involved."

"Shut the fuck up." Brian scowls over to Isis. He still looks rather pissed. But now he's basically forced to bring it into the light. "You realize I'm a part of Adam's crew and he doesn't trust me. It's not very hard to bug a fucking truck. For fuck's sake. Obviously you're not trained, so what, you got a power, think it makes you a badass? What the fuck are you gonna do with Adam when you catch him?" Brian still looks a little angry. "You fucking…You killed a dozen people? Off the radar? Well you're on it now fucker. And leave Kaylee the fuck alone, you're not going to mess up all the work I've put into this. She's going to leave, and if you do something stupid you fuck everything up if you haven't already."

Isis cringes. This Brian is not one she's ever seen, nor does she like to. At least they have seen one another tempers. Yay? She sighs and lets the blanket fall away, reaching out to gently take Diogenes's bicep. "Come on, To-Dio." She begins to shimmy off the end of the tailgate, even as her half-suspended ability instills a slightly disorientating state for her companion. Hard to argue when your concisousness is fighting the urge to jump, one hopes.

"Listen, Brian. I'm sorry. Diogenes doesn't know what he's talking about. He's friends with Kaylee." Hopefully it's enough to cover Brian's ass should they're be any bugs.

"Have you been dipping into my stash of Vodka again?" she asks Diogenes for affect. "Come one, let's go home." With a little huff she hits the sands and turns back only to pick up her shoes and offer Brian a rare smile - an apologetic one. "It was good seeing you again. Keep in touch."

"Tisk, tisk, mind your manners", says kettle to the pot. Diogenes takes another sip of his beer before rising to his feet and jumping off the back of the truck, making sure to skip Isis's touch. "Who said I have an ability? You assume far too much." He looks over his shoulder at Brian. "You yourself are an amateur if you think 'trained' constitutes complete lack of exposure… And even more so if you allow your truck to be bugged." A light scoff escapes him, and the man smirks again. "Short temper, omnipotent threats, ignorance… Just who's the deluded badass here, hm?" Another sip, and Diogenes indeed wanders off with Isis. "He's an interesting one", he'd mutter to her.

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