Two More


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Also featuring:

hailey_icon.gif mala_icon.gif

Scene Title Two More
Synopsis Joseph brings two more to the Lighthouse.
Date April 23, 2010

The Lighthouse

The trees outside of the Lighthouse glitter with a sheath of freshly laid ice hanging over everything. It covers the roof and anything outside, and the dogs that once had been outside the house to discourage larger wild dogs from getting close have been moved inside into the kitchen. If it weren't for the sleet and ice, they probably would have been fine in this weather. Huskies are built for the artic temperatures, but Gillian didn't want to chance it. Eve's missing. And those dogs are the only thing she has of her left at the moment.

The fire burns nonstop, under constant supervision from an adult, or one of the Brians, but right now it's Gillian shuffling the pieces of wood around to make sure they keep burning, pushing at it with a metal poker. "Mala, can you run downstairs and carry up some more firewood?" she asks the young kid, a small girl who is giggling at one of the dogs laying on it's side, tongue hanging out.

"Sure! I think I can do that," she says, jumping up and raising her hand enthusiastically, reaching to grab onto Hailey, the blonde girl nearby, and pulling her with. The fact Hailey is in a good mood from the now indoor dogs would be why. Mala needs help carrying that wood up, and it just happens to be the postive emotions bubbling at the surface.

There's a crackle of something outside, as a limb breaks, falling down into the yard, joining a bunch of others. It's a really good thing none of the trees are close, but Gillian bites back a curse and walks over to the front door to pull back a curtain and look out into the afternoon light, to make sure the limbs aren't near the powerlines.

They've been fortunate so far, but losing power would still be bad.

The journey has been arduous enough to cast doubt in its wisdom in the pastor's mind. Much of Staten Island is left unkempt, but the road to the Lighthouse at least allows for cautious car driving, and so when Gillian is sweeping back the curtains, she'll see the twin headlights coming up to park before the building, Joseph squinting through the dotting of thick sleet sliding down his windshield, briskly cast aside with the wipers in glittery, icy sheets. "Looks like we're here," he tells the two children in the back of the car, and neither of them respond, with the eldest girl of the two staring out the window and the boy only glances at Joseph before attempting to open the door.

He sighs, but one last glance at the Lighthouse has him reaffirming that at the very least, it would be worse to try and take them back. Bracing himself for the cold, he climbs out of the car and sets about urging the children to do so too. Though he's no Megan or Melissa, they don't mind huddling beneath his arms as he draws them close to navigate up towards the Lighthouse so as not to slip on ice or sink into the snowbanks.

When he sees a face in the door, he quickly lifts a gloved hand to wave, a little desperate, before it settles again on Jimmy's shoulder as he herds himself and the two children up to the entrance.

Almost as soon as they reach the front door of the Lighthouse, it opens, a rush of warm air for them, a rush of cold air for those inside. Gillian pulled a coat around just for the moment, and the two Huskies both stand up, looking alert and ready, possibly thinking it is time to play— until she looks back and goes, "Sit."

One wouldn't think she'd be any good with dogs, but they must have had some training. "Get in here before you freeze to death out there," she says, reaching to help them both inside to the warm fire, as a tiny dark skinned girl appears from the basement, carrying a pile of wood half her size, stacked up on top of themselves.

"Hey Gillian, look!" she exclaims happily, unable to see around the pile as she carries and carries.

"No no to the right!" the blonde instructs, amused at the sight and even clapping, before a loud thunk drops the whole pile on the floor.

"Did you see me?" Mala asks, smile bright, even as she looks toward the door, letting in cold air and— "People!"

Hailey at least would be recognized, as the girl who tried to attack his dog with hugs, right before the wild dogs tried to carry off a kid…

"I'm guessing this isn't a social visit," Gillian says, looking down at the kids.

Joseph urges the two children out ahead of him — a girl of nine who takes the boy of six's hand and drags him after her, two tentative smiles cast up at Gillian as they go to huddle for warmth, even as the walking stack of wood gets a slightly alarmed glance from the boy. Joseph is meanwhile masking sure the door is shut proper behind him, bundling his arms around himself and taking a breath of air that doesn't threaten to ice his lungs over upon the inhale. "No, never is these days," he admits, a hand up to ruffle sleet out of his hair. "This is, uh, that's Jimmy and that's Hannah. Can I talk to you…?"

Adult talk, probably. He smiles when he recognises Hailey, offering her a wave to both she and Mala. "People it is. You guys mind if I steal away Gillian for a few minutes? You can introduce yourselves," he adds, tilting his head towards the two still quiet children.

"Yeah, we can do that," Hailey says, taking control and walking over to meet them, trying to focus on the fact that she already knows she's older than them. Tweleve means mature in this house! Or so she would probably say. Mala points at the wood, using that to ask her question.

"I saw, Mala. You're very strong, but leave it there for now," Gillian says, motioning the older man to follow her past the dogs and toward the kitchen, and actually the still open basement door, which she glances down as if to check something, and then closes it. Little does the pastor need to know there's a whole arsenal down there, and also, unfortunately, much of their supplies now. They've been stocking up, just in case. Especially on dry burnable wood.

"This is about as private as we'll get unless you want to go outside, and I sure as hell don't," she says, keeping her voice down, even as she curses a little. "It's good to see you outside of meetings and wild dog attacks."

The shock of the cold is starting to wear off, and Joseph glances backwards over a shoulder to make sure the same is true of the two children. Seeing their expressions open up as Hailey approaches them helps confirm that maybe this wasn't a bad idea, worth the cold of traveling all the way out to Staten Island. He starts to feel a little less cruel and selfish for it, dealing them one last wave before stepping into the kitchen.

"Here's fine," Joseph confirms, a glance around the kitchen with a kind of nostaglic appreciation. "It ain't so private, just— don't like talkin' over kids, about 'em. You know," and he goes to untangle his scarf from around his neck, glad to feel like it's oppressive instead of necessary, "this place I think was the first— sorta Ferry spot I ever knew, back when it was just Brian. Deckard was pullin' security. Still a work in progress at the time — I'm glad it's still running."

Letting the snake of wool drape loosely around his shoulders, he goes to lean his back against the counter. "So'm hopin' you got room for two more. I brought a few supplies in the car."

"Had to put it back together at least once, but… I wasn't really living here until a few months ago," Gillian says, looking down and away for a moment, as if suddenly feeling embarassed by the fact that she's been living in an orphanage for a few months now. "I helped out a lot last year while it was rebuilding and stuff. A lot of things here have been replaced, though I think the kitchen was more or less intact. It was mostly the living room and parts of the walls." A small nuke went off inside the house, but she leaves that alone…

"We're holding together, though. Got some extra help staying, too." Though, from the glance upward, hinting at the upstairs, there might be some people she wants there that aren't.

Fidgeting with his gloves like he might take them off, Joseph opts not to, not when he still has stuff out in his car to get in. Folds his arms comfortably instead, giving another once over of the place with more appraisal in his glance this go around. "Well, if you need any help keepin' the place up, 'specially with the awful weather going on, just let me know and I can see what I can't do," he offers, before he tilts his head towards the room they just left. The sound of child-voices and conversation drifts to the edges of their hearing.

"Their parents died in the Beach Street attack," he tells her. "They've been with the Ferry since. Got sick, moved to the Den, then to my safehouse after the government hit it. I'd keep 'em with me, considerin' we're safely off the grid, but the place really ain't a good place for kids to be. It's still a fixer-upper and I'm probably gonna have to close it down for the win'ner if the snow keeps it up. Megan'll get them off your hands if they can't stay — I told her I was bringin' 'em round."

They got sick answers the question that she doesn't even need to ask outloud. Gillian glances out the door of the kitchen to where the kids are, as Hailey is showing them in broad gestures the tricks that the two dogs know. There would normally be tables for games and other things in the room, but they've been moved to the side to make for more room for the dogs, and allow for easier playing. "We got room," she says, looking at the two kids.

"And kids do better with other kids around, and help is always welcome. Only thing I'll warn is— they'll need to get some paper work done, cause this is an offical orphanage. They'll get registered. But I doubt there will be any rush to get that done before the weather clears up, so if anyone in the Ferry has protests about it, we can move them somewhere else before that is needed. But for now— they can stay. There's still a few beds free in the dorms." And one recently emptied bed in the girl's dorm…

And then she reaches over and pushes on his arm, an area-invading gesture, that at least doesn't come with 'oh no visions' this time. "And you're more than welcome to help out here anytime you feel like it."

Joseph allows himself to sway beneath the push, quirking her a smile and dealing a nod. "If y'can hold off on anythin' official for a little while— well, you should talk to Megan about that. If people do start pokin' around and askin' about them, we can find another place to put them, but I figure for the short term…" He trails off and gives a shrug. "Not to compromise your business or nothin', but they needed somethin' better at least for a little while, and I didn't want to wind up taken them down to the GCT.

"Heck, if we do wind up shutting down the Brick House, this might be the place to be, dependin'. Least y'all have electricity and heat and all those fancy things."

"I doubt anyone will be nosing around anytime soon, so I'll talk to Megan and see what she thinks," Gillian says, looking around at the sink and the overhead lights, which aren't even flickering. Their electricity is probably completely by thanks of Linderman. Not that most people are giving thanks to Linderman these days. "Electricity, hot water, and roaring fire day and night keeping the house toasty warm… If necessary there's extra room in the basement…" Though the weapons will need to be moved… "And I can even sacrifice my nightly privacy to let people bunk with me. Like I said, I don't see them poking their noses in here for a while." Not after the last time they poked their nose in. "Though I do think the kids'll be better off here, anyway, even if they'll have to be Registered. Kids do better with kids, and I make sure they read and get what passes for an education." They can read, write and know their history at least. Math— not quite as good.

Taking his weight off the counter, Joseph goes to sling a tassled end of his scarf around his shoulders once more, bracing himself for the inevitable fifteen foot trek from car to building. "Megan'll probably agree with you," he says. "I figure that'd be okay for 'em anyhow, but it ain't up to me — and some Ferry folks take offense to the whole Registered thing." Which is putting it lightly. The Registered precognitive shrugs helplessly. "It'll work out. I'll go get the stuff I brought round— "

He makes a vague gesture to approximately where his car is parked beyond. "Some extra food and water, and some medical supplies for the virus, stuff to keep the fever down and whatever. There's only so much you can do for it. Thanks for this, by the way — I know I'm kinda springin' it on you."

"Yeah, I used to be one of 'em," Gillian says with a shrug, looking out the frozen window, and feeling his pain. Not quite enough to offer to go out with him just yet, though. She has to walk the dogs already, and from the way they're lulling on the floor with the kids, rolling over on their backs and playing dead, they aren't going to be ready for that in a bit. "Pretty much everyone in the house is vaccinated, the kids at least. I've dealt with regular ol' flu before, so I think I can handle it."

She offers him a smile, before shaking her head, "Don't worry about it. That's what this place is here for, taking care of kids in need. Just cause they're not bomb orphans it doesn't mean they won't be welcomed…" There's a pause and she rocks in place for a moment, as if childishly trying to decide whether or not to add on something. It seems she does. "Need any help getting the supplies in?" No, not looking forward to it, but— she did put her coat on already. "I'll just have to slip into my snow boots."

He roams a glance over her with black eyes, a small quirk of amusement bracketing his mouth before he shakes his head. "'s alright. Get some coffee goin'," Joseph advises, moving to shuffle on out of the kitchen. "That'll be all the help I need, I think — I'll at least stay up this way tonight, what with the meeting tomorrow not so far from here." He pauses at the kitchen door to glance back at her, occuring to him to ask; "You goin' to that?"

"I'll make sure there's a spot for you at least on the couch, if you don't want to bunk with any of the kids," Gillian says, already moving toward the stove to begin heating it up for boiling water. Sure, they have a microwave, but she's using the stove for the coffee. He could have even gotten tea, if he'd asked for it… they have a wide selection. But don't call her domestic. She wouldn't like that. "Though I'll warn you may wake up with dog blankets— at least they're warm dog blankets…" And he'd had a dog last she saw, so he may be used to it!

"And I am going, so I may try to hitch a ride," she adds on, turning back from the work. "I have a pretty strong opinion on the matter, so might as well stick to it til the end."

The utter lack of protest and the slightly blase shrug to his shoulders communicates Gillian's suspicions — Joseph is more than used to dogs, as much as they're used to people. He nods once. "We can take my car," he confirms, then smiles somewhat grimly, thinking over the agenda now that she claims to have a stake in it. "It should be, uh. Quite the rodeo."

But it won't be his first one, at least. With that, he disappears from the kitchen door, the sound of his foot steps trekking to the front door preceding the sound of it opening to cold.

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