Tonight, It's 2009


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Scene Title Tonight, It's 2009
Synopsis A depowered and amnesiac Brian visits Veronica who doesn't have the strength or desire to bring him completely up to speed on recent (two years' worth) of events.
Date March 7, 2011

The Octagon Veronica's Apartment

Holding the jug of water in her "good" arm, Veronica closes the fridge with the weaker — the damage to her neck and shoulder makes every moment in the right a little more tentative, a little more ginger, if most of the pain is gone. When the door thuds shut, Veronica comes face to proverbial face with the calendar that's held by magnets. Scribbled in black ink is the medical appointment for the next day.

She's never been one to nurse an injury for long; usually she's the one pushing for medical clearance sooner rather than later, to her doctors' annoyance. This is one time she's not eager to get back to the grind — for so many reasons.

Not the least of the fact is that the Institute has moved into Fort Hero. The last time she'd seen the place, her former coworkers were being gunned down like criminals.

The water is brought to the counter and without thinking, she reaches with the right hand for the cupboard for a glass and winces, left hand moving to hold her shoulder where the healing wound reminds her it's not yet healed. The problem with being on the mend is that sometimes feeling better makes the patient forget they're hurt at all.

Left hand then grabs glass and sets it down, then lifts and pours a little awkwardly — she's not a south paw — a little water sloshing over and splashing her bare toes. She's dressed for resting — short yoga pants and a tank top that shows off the bandaging at the juncture of her neck and her shoulder. An inch higher, and the jugular would have been sliced.

The rain patters against the window. Howling wind raging against the outside of the Octagon. The tiny storm causing enough of a commotion outside to allow the creatures of the night move around in the shadows undetected. One shadow finding its way to Veronica's apartment finally. It's growing late. Midnight is not far off.

It took him a long time to get this far. Digging. The Company Building was destroyed. Completely gone. Veronica's apartment was completely empty. The forwarding address wasn't too hard to get. But it took a while to get this far. A very long time. Having fought long and hard this far, it was about time his hard work came to fruition. A tiny hook aids him in his battle to lift the window up and open. His legs hovering a feet above the bed before slowly lowering to the ground. Sliding the rest of his body in, the window is turned down quietly behind him. Soaked completely from head to toe, Winters turns some to face the door.

Water sploshes on Veronica's toes. A light smile curls up his lips. The peacoat draping over his suit dripping quietly onto the ground. A few steps are taken to darken the doorway, gray blue eyes skipping over to watch the woman from the kitchen. She's hurt. She wasn't hurt when he left her. Shit has gone down. Obviously. With the building destroyed and him having no recollection of it.

The living room is dark but for the silvery blue flicker of the television, playing one of the many movies she never has time to see but buys on DVD anyway. The apartment is even more spartan than her last; aside from the furniture, there's very little indication anyone lives here, even after the many days in a row Veronica has barely left the couch. A pair of slippers under the coffee table; her holster and gun on an end table; a novel resting on the arm of the sofa, and a blanket dragging from cushion to floor — aside from these details, it could be a set, a magazine spread of fine furniture that no one uses.

Turning away from the counter, Veronica sees the dark figure of Brian, the sudden appearance of someone in her apartment startling her. She reaches swiftly for a knife from the knife block (also mostly unused) as quickly as the presence registers. A split second later, she realizes she knows this person.

The knife is set down. "Brian?" she whispers.

A long moment of silence passes. The figure standing in the rest of the darkness simply stands there for a moment. The knife comes up, the man doesn't move. The knife goes down, the man doesn't move. A few more moments pass by in silence. One hand comes up to pull against his coat.

Water drips into small little puddles as black clad feet slide against the kitchen ground. Water soaked coat dripping against the floor. Brian emerges from the darkness. Brian Winters exposes himself to the light. Black shoes slapping rapidly against the apartment as Brian closes the difference between them. Still drenched, Brian reaches up without greeting. One hand going to rest on Veronica's waist almost immediately. There's no time to waste.

Brian pulls in against her waist slightly, head moving forward. Lips going to press against Veronica's tightly in a fervent kiss.

Her breath catches in her throat; she lets him pull her in to him, her small form melding against his, the rain seeping through her thin clothes and chilling her even as the kiss warms her. She kisses back, one hand finally moving up, to rest against his cheek, and then through his hair.

It's as if they were never apart, for one long moment.

Brain catches up with body and she makes a soft noise in the back of her throat before breaking the kiss. "It's not safe. It's still not safe. You can't be here. They're watching me even more carefully," she whispers; she'd searched for bugs but found none, but technology is not the only way of spying.

"I was careful." Brian breathes quietly. Hand looping around her waist a little more. He pulls back on her slightly, towards him. Pulling her into him, he leans in to plant another kiss against her cheek. He releases her waist, pulling his head back. He tilts it some at her. "No one will see me." He glances up to the kitchen lights. "Turn them off."

Stepping over to the counter he leans against the edge of it. Folding his arms over his stomach. Glancing down at her water then back up to her. "What happened to you?" He asks quietly, peering at her bandages. "Why are you here?" He frowns lightly. "Are you trying to hide from me?"

The touches and caresses and tugs have her biting her lip, closing her eyes, bending into him before pulling away again; she moves to the wall to flip off the lights. His words make her frown, brows knitting as she tips his head back at him; arms crossing against her damp tank top as she stands a few feet away from him.

"What — am I hiding? N-no, you knew I lived here, I think, didn't you?" she says uncertainly. She brings a hand up to the bandage at her neck, and she shakes her head. "Stabbed. Card can tell you about it. I don't… I don't really know what happened. It's kind of foggy."

Watching her step away from him he frowns lightly. The lights go off. Opening his jacket, he goes to pull it off. Taking a few steps back, he goes to drape the jacket on the counter. Placing his hands on the counter, he leans against it heavily. Knew she lived there? No. His lips purse for a moment as his eyes search the darkness for her. He takes a light breath. "I was taken. I don't know who it was. Or how they got me." He glances down at the ground. "My power is gone."

Hand sliding along the counter as he steps forward. "I thought it was adynomine. But it's been a few days. Nothing. I'm out here on my own. And I have no place to go." Brian murmurs softly. Eyes going up to her at this point.

Oh. Her lips part and she stares at him, dark eyes glistening in the dim light provided by the flickering television, by the glow of the kitchen appliances. "You don't remember," Veronica whispers, and her hand curls against chest defensively, as if she could ward off all of the hurt that his proximity causes her, to have him so near to her and for him to have forgotten that she's built a wall between them.

She doesn't have the energy and she feels too alone to build it again.

She takes a step closer, bringing a hand to his forehead, pressing the back of her fingers to the rain-slicked skin, then moving two fingertips to touch his glands. "You're not sick," she whispers.

"Remember what?" He asks quietly, eyes flickering over to her through the darkness. As she moves closer, he smiles lightly. Reaching up to touch his skin, he gives a little nod. "I didn't think I was sick. What would it be? Shanti? Pretty sure that's just a scare." He smiles soothingly down at her. Brian goes to slide his arm around her back. Attempting to pull her into him once again.

"Someone took me, Vee. I was thinking it was Company. Maybe an ex-agent trying to get back into the good graces of the Company? Any female telepaths that would go after me?" He asks. "Someone got me. I got away but…" He smiles softly down at her, going to try and place his forehead against hers. "Why.. How.." They don't matter. "I missed you."

The Company. She doesn't pull away when he leans his forehead against hers; her long lashes dip and she holds still, pressing her lips together. "What year do you think it is, Brian?" she whispers, whiskey-brown eyes sliding up to search his gray-blue. "There's a virus — it only affects Evolved. H5N10. It can take your ability, temporarily, though sometimes it doesn't return. But you don't feel warm, you don't look sick."

She tips her head. "What's the last thing you remember? Where were you? How many yous were there in your head when you lost contact?"

"Going to bed with you. In our apartment. In your apartment. Doing a lot of things." A light grin curls up his lips. "Until we fell asleep." But then she's explaining strange things, asking stranger things. Brian gives a light frown. "I don't feel sick." He murmurs back. Leaning forward to press another brief kiss against her lips. "Three. I think."

Her eyes close again as he kisses her and she sighs softly, a wistful thing. It'd be so easy to be with him, to not be alone for at least one night.

A tear slides down her cheek as she looks up at him. "It's 2011," she whispers. "March. There's no Company anymore. I don't … I don't know where you've been, Brian, why you don't remember the last…" year? two years? "It's not safe for you to be on this island. It's… you need to be Registered, and I don't think you are. I can get you out of here, somewhere safe, if you want. But the government — the Institute — they're probably watching me so we'll have to be careful."

2011. Institute. Two years gone. There's not much to read from Winters features for a long moment. Completely neutral, he watches her for a long moment. One hand slowly climbs up to wipe away the tear from her cheek. Pulling the moisture away from her skin, he lets his warm breath splash over her, refusing to pull away despite recent revelations. "I am registered. From the Company. And if the Company no longer exists…" He smiles lightly. Looking down at her adoringly. "If you're really right.. Then I'm not being hunted anymore."

Going to pull her in again. "This is.. This is great, Vee. We can be together." He smiles, leaning forward to kiss against the wetness on her cheek. Another kiss is planted there.

A sob wells up in her throat and she pulls away, running her hands through her hair. "I can't do this again and again and again," she whispers, sinking down uncharacteristically to the ground to rest her back against cabinets, her elbows on her knees, her hands in her hair. "I'm … I can't tell you. You don't remember, you're safer that way." Safer not to know.

But there are some things he should know for his own safety in this amnesiac mind of his. "Company agents who didn't change over, they're wanted. You're not safe. You need to be careful. You can't be caught, Brian." Her voice is raw, huskier than normal, as she tries to keep the tears back.

Brian watches her fall down. He goes to follow her, features screwing up in confusion. "Vee…" He soothes softly. Hunkering down into a crouch, he reaches forward to retrieve her hands. "Vee." He reiterates softly, trying to rub her hands gently. "I'm not going anywhere Vee. My place is here with you. I won't be caught. They haven't caught me yet." Over two years? How is that possible? Squeezing her hands gently, he lowers his face going to press his lips against her fingers tenderly. "Calm down, baby." He soothes.

"I'll be fine, Vee." Except he can die now. This is new. His lips pull back at the thought, but he can't think on that now. He's in soothe mode. Lowering his head down, he frowns thoughtfully. "Hey.. I love you."

Her eyes close. It's not safe. How many times has she told him — how many times does she have to break both of their hearts by choosing whatever this mission is instead of him? And here he is, loving her, without any memory of the fact she's hurt him time and time again. Her fingers entwine with his, and she tips her head up to kiss him, her lips salty with tears.

"I love you, too. Always," she whispers, her other hand coming up to brush back his wet hair, curling in the blond locks. She doesn't have it in her to break his heart this time — somewhere, there must be a Brian who knows better.

A light sad smile curls up. Brian's other hand goes to flow through her hair, pulling down her locks and then onto her back. Rubbing up and down gently. Finally they stop, tipping his head down to match the kiss. Wetting his lips with her tears, he goes to track them with his lips. Dabbing them away. Pulling back away from her. Tipping his head forward, his forehead clunks against hers.

His free arm goes to slide around her legs. Then he pulls his first arm away sliding it behind her back. Pushing his feet against the ground, he goes to pick her up. Holding her against his chest in a princess carry. Standing up fully, he starts to make his way towards her bedroom. "Shh." He murmurs quietly. Going to plant one more kiss on her forehead.

How many scars does her body bear that he won't remember? is an idle thought that runs through Veronica's mind — perhaps to protect it from the questions of ethics, if it's fair of her not to tell him their most recent history, even if some of what she's keeping from him is for his own protection. Her arms reach around his neck, and she laughs, a husky and rough thing, made raw by her tears, as he lifts her.

Her lips graze his jaw, and she stares up into his eyes, her own liquid and shining with love for her unexpected visitor. The morning will likely bring with it regrets, but for now they are pushed aside.

For tonight, it's 2009.

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