Too Young and Too British


deckard_icon.gif eileen_icon.gif

Scene Title Too Young and Too British
Synopsis Deckard heals Eileen's residual injuries after their raid on Pinehearst.
Date July 26, 2009

The Garden

What time is it? Deckard's watch fails to yield an accurate answer. The second hand is still beneath its grime-fogged face when he lifts his wrist enough to see. The actual hand beyond that slacks bonily back to the mattress, heedless of the mess it's bound to make in the process. Whatever blood hasn't worn off by now is cracked in brittle, sticky sheets along the natural contours and joints in his hands and face, bristled thick and dark into the rough of his temple and neighboring beard growth. Patches of grey are just visible on either side of his chin, silver and grey dulled out by dirty water and clinging residue.

His dress shirt isn't any better off — neutral grey blotched dark nearly to the shoulders despite rolled sleeves and the buffer of his vest before someone stripped it away. The collar, chest right shoulder on the right side are similarly ruined, host to the slogging leak of blood out of his ruined ear. He looks a mess. He is a mess. And back turned to the room at large, eyes dull on the edge of light that borders the nearest window, he can't fall back asleep.

"You look like shit."

Not the politest of greetings, but the voice is as warm as it is feminine, its tone soft and breathy. There's no malice lurking beneath Eileen's physical exterior either when she takes a seat on the edge of Deckard's bed and is rewarded with the sputtering creak of mattress springs protesting beneath her additional weight. The cot was not built for someone of the arms dealer's size, and while the ninety extra pounds doesn't make it collapse, her presence causes a rickety sense of tension to accumulate its supports instead.

The door was open. Her feet were bare. It's not as though she planned to sneak up on him, but sometimes these things just happen. "Brought you something."

Deckard doesn't jump or roll off the side of the cot or piss his pants again. To his credit, he only seizes up and twists his head around like a demented owl, air locked in his lungs and teeth grit against the gruff expulsion of air that follows. Just Eileen. Christ. She doesn't even sound scary.

Tension released in a set of snipped wires twanging slack one after the other across the flat of his back, he sinks, slumps and resettles back on his side in a rumpled heap. If ever the exterior doubled as a looking glass into the interior, he would…probably look a lot like he does today. Like shit.

"Thanks," muttered in droll, delayed appreciation of her observation, he splays socked toes not far from where she's settled, knees bent to keep them going off the end of the cot. The sock that doesn't move looks like it might have been on fire recently. Bummer.

"Horse tranquilizers?"

Eileen, in contrast, is dressed in a clean set of clothes just a little too large for her bird-boned frame — but this is the only fresh thing about her. The queue for the upstairs shower must be several individuals long, because the tangled mess of hair that crowns the top of her head is matted with dirt and grime, some of which matches the blood crusted around her nostrils and wedged beneath her fingernails. Either she hasn't looked in a mirror lately or what she's offering Deckard in her outstretched hands takes priority over her personal appearance.

It's a glass of water, incidentally. "Out of horse tranquilizers," she says, not without a hint of apology and some feigned amusement crackling faintly around the edges of her voice, "but this might still help. I think Mage has some vicodin in the safe downstairs."

Disinclined to move again now that he's settled, Deckard is slow to resign himself to the fact that he is having a Social Encounter whether he likes it or not and should probably take strides to behave accordingly. An elbow drags up beneath his side, hitching him up into enough of a half sit that he can look Eileen and her glass of water over before he reaches to take it, one set of soiled fingerprints to the next.

"You look great," intoned with a lift of his brow once he's sniffed for traces of booze and taken a draw off the water, he swallows thickly at the chilly wash of it through his empty gut. "The gore in your hair really brings out your eyes."

"Sure," is Eileen's croaked response. She gingerly draws her feet up off the floor and places them on the edge of the bed, arms encircling her sweatpant-clad legs, chin resting on the top of her knees. "I feel like someone backed over me with a lorry." Not that she's complaining, necessarily. The tense expression on her face, coupled with the uneven sound of her breathing, makes her physical discomfort abundantly clear without words.

"I talked to Raith on the phone," she adds, reaching up with her hand to wipe at the gunk under her nose as if realizing its presence for the first time since she woke up. "Says he'll give you another couple hundred for putting yourself through the wringer like that. Congratulatory bonus."

Oddly enough, for all that he's matted with his own blood (and Teo's), drawn, scored and burned clear through to his insides, Deckard betrays very little discomfort. He's tired, definitely. It shows in his face and in the slope of his shoulders, but his breathing isn't labored and he doesn't wince when he moves. He just is. Half-reclined, tatty and alive, for better or for worse.

"Great," spared the good news re: his congratulatory bonus, he manages another small swallow of water on his way to rolling himself over enough to set the glass down on the table between his cot and the one Ethan was in. "C'mere."

Eileen's legs unfold, gangly limbs swathed in cotton that smells vaguely of soap, tallow oil, lavender and whatever else goes into the brand of fabric softener that's used here at the Garden. It's the same scent carried by the cot's linens, wafting a weak perfume off his pillowcase and the gnarled cluster of blankets hanging curtain-like over the edge of his bed.

When she moves, it's without grace, without poise — she left all that back at Pinehearst along with her body's natural give. C'mere, he says, and she does. Haltingly.

At close proximity, there's no whiskey on Deckard's breath. Doesn't stop the stale stink of it from clinging in his clothes and the coarse grizzle of his hair, ever present beneath less mundane shades of charred flesh, dank grime and hot metal. He needs a shower. She needs a shower. Unfortunately, so does everyone else.

Right hand lifted in mute offer, he leans more of his weight over onto the brace of his left elbow, chill eyes sharded bright against the backdrop of his dirty face and purpled sockets. That he currently has more in common with a worn out battery than a mercenary doesn't seem to phase him much. He's had plenty of time to think it over.

Hesitation etches gaunt lines across Eileen's features. It would be a lie if she tried to tell anyone that she didn't take Abigail's gift into consideration when she asked Deckard to accompany the Remnant into Pinehearst, but now that she's receiving actual offer of support, however implicit, she finds herself consumed by guilt, remorse working at her bones like a hungry, slavering dog.

If you're sure, is what her eyes seem to say, colourless and solemn, though she has no voice that she might lend this specific concern. How much juice does a worn out battery have left?

Batteries don't care how much juice they have left. They're either working or they're dead, and as of this moment, he'd rather be working. Hesitation and guilt are registered and dismissed with a rankle of Deckard's nose that borders on irritable — he pushes off his bruised elbow, closing off whatever distance remains between his hand and her to clamp it around her forearm, smearing his brand of grit to hers.

Relief isn't immediate. It isn't even quick. It takes time for him to find the switch. More time to drag it over into output that wavers in and out at the start of a secure connection. Once it's there, it's hard to mistake despite subtle differences in the buzzing warmth's integrity when it works its way deep into strained muscles.

Every time Eileen has experienced similar sensations, she's been unconscious — so while the healing phenomenon may be something that her body is familiar with, the prickly warmth spreading through her is at the same time an entirely new experience for her waking mind. Tension melts from her joints, bleeding out through torn fibers and brutalized tendons. Beneath her clothes, bruises blossom in reverse, cuts and scrapes seal over with new growth, and the lingering nausea in the very pit of her bile-filled belly all but disappears.

Her eyes do not leave Deckard's face. She studies him in uneasy silence that gradually segues into a more relaxed and rhythmic state as her breathing patterns grow slower, longer, languid.

Deckard's face is closed beneath a defensive layer of grimy stubble and bloody residue, long lines and hard angles devoid of anything that might be easy for her to read beneath the level of his brow. Once it's begun, he doesn't actually have to concentrate and the lines etched out flat across his forehead fade in tandem with a slow-drawn breath.

It sifts out again through his sinuses in the form of a sigh several seconds later, smooth enough for all the coagulated crud stuck raggedy to the walls of his lungs. He doesn't look at her while he does it, more interested in watching the opposite cot sidelong while Abigail's creeping warmth seeps in to mold itself into and over the damage.

Eileen has lost track of the amount of time that's passed since Deckard took her by the arm when she gives it a slight tug, accompanied by a stuttering exhalation of shaky breath. "That's enough," she murmurs, her voice thick and drunk. Her tongue has the texture and density of lead in her mouth, forcing words passed lips that were chapped and split just a few minutes ago. "You don't have to give me anymore—"

She's interrupted by a slight hitch in her breathing that has nothing to do with whatever pain might be enduring persistent in her deepest muscle tissue. The fingers of her right hand flex experimentally, straining to aggravate her once-sprained wrist. Nothing happens. "Please."

"You're too young and too British to enjoy pain," says Deckard with the dragging sort of unruffled patience that old people like to annoy young people with, wrought iron grip hardly budging with the motion of her tug. He hangs on for longer than she might like, bent arm flexing to draw her back in towards him until he deems that it's enough. There's some stiffness and soreness left for her to nurse back on her own time, but the worst of the damage has lifted off like a fog by the time he releases her.

More long-drawn breaths, another thick swallow and he settles back into a more comfortable rest on both elbows, glancing up only briefly to mark the physical change about her.

"We eat jellied eels for breakfast and pretend to like it," Eileen breathes in between rasps of whispery laughter. "James Joyce. Polo. What do you Yanks know about pain?" She reaches up and rubs the tips of her fingers along her arm where Deckard's hand closed a vice around it. There's lingering soreness there too, but nothing that won't fade under the shower head, suffused with steam.

Even with most of her body covered by the sweatpants and fitted shirt she wears, the physical changes are obvious. Cheeks flush with colour, she continues to inspect her hands and the pivot of her right wrist, not quite mesmerized by the transformation but something close to it. "Thank you." Then, "Can I get you anything?"

"No." There's nothing Deckard particularly wants, save for a shower. A glance in the direction of the bathroom says as much before he sets to scooting himself back down into more of a recline. Unsurprisingly, he doesn't say, 'You're welcome,' or 'Don't worry about it,' or anything else. A twitch at the corner of his mouth subs in where a smile might go if he were someone else.

Eileen rises from the bed, legs sturdier than they were when she first stepped through the door yet no less silent on the hardwood floor beneath them. There's a pretty good chance she'll attempt to scare up some vicodin for him anyway, regardless of his answer, but for now she leaves him with his solitude and retreats from the bedroom with the same furtiveness that she used to enter.

This time, she shuts the door behind her.

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