Uncomfortably Neutral


abby4_icon.gif peter_icon.gif

Scene Title Uncomfortably Neutral
Synopsis After a conversation with Ash, Peter brings a worrisome missive to Abby.
Date July 12, 2010

Le Rivage

Ten minutes ago on this Monday evening, Peter would be coming home to the apartment in Rivage to a completely different scene. Screaming baby, so tired but refusing to sleep, Abigail trying every trick in her book - admittedly it would be a small book - to calm the girl and about two seconds from calling Huruma to see if the woman could come back and do her little thing and calm the baby. Fist flailing, red in the face, tongue quivering in her toothless mouth and refusing soothers, bottles, rocking or even abby's pinky finger to suck on. Baby warfare is full on and she's surprised that her neighbours haven't come banging on the doors to find out who she's murdering.

That was ten minutes ago. Five minutes later said infant is fast asleep, limbs lax in it's pink onesie, soother about to fall out of her mouth and little fingers twitching in time with whatever dreams that the infant is settling into dreaming about. Abigail's beside her, sitting on her bed cross legged and watching the bassinet carefully, watching and waiting for the sleep to break and the screaming to restart. Music soothes even the savagest of beasts. Kasha seems to take to lullaby's and a few gospel tunes sung by the medic.

Now she's in the kitchen, working off the frustration of a bawling infant in the form of hand washing dishes, music set low, baby monitor on so she can listen for anything that doesn't sound right. Rhett parked at her feet, gorging himself on his food with wild abandon that can be seen and heard. Pila on her shoulder and let out of the cage for some free time, nibbling at a lank of pink hair that has fallen into prime budgie playing perfection. All is calm, soon there will be some shows on television that she'll sit down to watch before going to bed.

For now, there's dinner dishes to wash nearly half past eight, laundry to do and a day off to plan around. Practice tomorrow. The long day in the ambulance bay isn't as tiring as being in a rig and leaves plenty of time to think about what needs to be done Ferry wise.

Ten minutes ago it probably would have been too much stress for Abigail to handle, with what Peter's bringing to their doorstep.

The jingle of keys in the lock isn't unexpected, but at this hour of evening it is. Ever since their argument, Peter's been avoiding his pink-haired roommate. Coming home after she falls asleep, leaving before she wakes up, trying to keep the peace but unintentionally raising the tension between them. It had been easier while she was gone.

When the door comes open, Peter's uniformed figure looks more haggard than usual, his hair unkempt and his arrival precipitating an immediate five degree temperature drop in the apartment. Closing the door hastily, Peter gives a start and yanks the door back open, this time remembering to pull his keys from the lock before closing the door again.

"Abby," is sharply stated as he rests one hand against the door, face drained of color and brows creased into a furrow. "Abby, are you— " stepping into the kitchen, Peter unshoulders his paramedics jacket, finding the southerner at the sink. There's hesitation on his face, a little guilt, and a lot of unspoken apology. Puppy dog eyes are a power he'll never lose, even if they look a bit spooked today.

"We need to talk."

That's never a good sign.

She's not always asleep when he comes in, just holed up in her room, keeping the baby away from him while she cares for the bundle of helpless human till things are sorted out, so that he doesn't need to deal with the kid or have anything to do with the kid.

The key's scraping into the lock, turning of door and his subsequent forgetfulness causes just a pause in the scraping of lasagna noodles off a pan while Rhett's giving a whoof and trotting out to stick his head past the kitchen island, tilting his head just so as if Peter was an oddity and not something he greeted every day when he showed up.

"You can probably head back to your place, move back home if you like. The monitor came and I just have to try and get it figured out, hooked up to my cellphone and I can be alone in my place again. You don't need to stay here with Kasha and I"

She turns back to the dishes, letting clean water flow over the pan before setting it on a rack.

Breathing in deeply, Peter casts his eyes aside and nods once, distracted by Abby's interjection. One hand moves into his pockets, fingers crinkling a piece of paper folded within. As he looks back over to her, there's that inscrutable expression of his behind those brown eyes. "What happened to Darren Stevens?" It has nothing to do with their living arrangements, nothing to do with the baby that Peter so vehemently wanted out of the apartment, so little to do with everything they should be talking about.

"He's… the Ferry has him, right? Someone? Just— tell me he's safe, and I'll drop it. I know you…" he breathes out a sigh, moving further into the kitchen, then circling over to the ocunter space near the sink, leaning back up against it, heels of his palms resting on the countertop. "Just tell me he's safe and I'll drop it."

"Company blew their right to conscription for this year to keep him out of institute hands"

Likely not what Peter wanted to hear. "Doctor Darren Stevens can.. heal but has something to do with taking someone elses life, in exchange to heal the person. Something he discovered accidentally and a now dead doctor at the hospital bullied him into doing and others made him do. In the case of you."

Hands retreat from sudsy water so that she can dry them with a cloth and can face him proper instead of looking over her shoulder."Mel helped bring him to the Ferry when he said he needed out. It took a bit of work to get past… his fear. The day we crashed the rig in the snow? There was that palmprint bruise on my face? That was him. Eventually, he decided that he didn't want to stay in the Ferry, that he wanted to turn himself in. When I started inquiring, I called up Matthew" Peter knows which Matthew that would be.

"He bumped me down the chain till we came to the company. I made sure that Darren still wanted to do this. If he went straight to the cops it would have been a big to do, they'd never understand what happened, nothing of the sort. They'd lock him up and never see the light of day. The day the turnover, to the company happened…"

"Jesus Christ, Abby…" Lifting up a hand to cover his face, Peter breathes in slowly and closes his eyes tight. "They got him," when his hand lowers, Peter's dark brown eyes flick over to her across the span of counterspace. "I don't know how or— why. I just got some information from one of— one of my people," and there is noticable tension in his voice when he calls them that. "We have someone in our organization who is a postcognitive, she can show other people the past."

Leaning off of the counter, Peter withdraws a crumpled piece of paper from his pocket, rolling it around between his fingers. "She showed someone a vision of an event happening at the Biomere building, two people having a conversation. One of them," Peter opens up the piece of paper, brows furrowed as he reads. "Tall guy, dark hair and dark blue jacket, had a bluetooth headset in one ear. Probably thirty. The other was taller and older, short black hair in business clothes."

Skipping ahead, Peter searches for the relevant line. "Here… 'Simon has me going off to Chicago next week, we're picking up Doctor Stevens before the Company can finish his training and make any appreciable use of him.'" Brown eyes look up to Abby, then back down to the paper. "'How's Hammerdown coming along?' 'Fair, Lupinetti and Dawson are falling in line like we expected, I think that I'll probably have one or two more salvageable operatives by the time we're done. Are they really going to bring on Stevens full-time?'" There's a crease of Peter's brows, "'Probably. Fuck if I know. But Simon says we need him, and what Simon says goes.'"

The piece of paper is curled into Peter's palm, dark eyes alighting back to Abby again as he shakes his head. "This was on Thursday, and there's no telling how far back in time Risa had to look to see that."

Bluetooth in the ear.

"Agent Desmond Harper" The name falls from her lips so easily. "He was the Institute government lackey who came to Old Lucy's. The company people were really afraid of the institute people. They showed up partway through. I locked the doors and was trying to get everyone upstairs. This was… this was just a couple days after I broke my ribs" Gives Peter at least a timeline because she'd had to go on leave. Caliban made his little ankle twist not long after.

"He came in all hoity toity and disbelieving that the company had invoked conscription, said they'd pay for it, knew exactly who I was and then he walked out leaving me with the company people and Darren. Last I knew, about a week ago, he was still doing training. Agent Ryans told me as much, I tried to keep in touch and see how he was doing."

No niceties involved when she reaches over to take the paper and look at it. "Peter, I don't have any way to get a hold of him. It was just through Ryans and even then…"

"Can you get in touch with…" there's a pause and Peter's brows crease, "Wait, Benjamin Ryans?" For the barest of moments, Peter actually looks surprised, before a bitter look crosses his face, dark eyes roll and he clicks his tongue. "Why am I not surprised… For just a moment I'd thought that an old friend of my mother's might not have been a part of the Company."

Squaring his jaw, Peter lifts one hand and rubs at his forehead. "I know his daughter, she works part time at St.Luke's as a nurse's assistant…" Sighing through the non-sequitur, Peter curls his fist closed around that piece of paper. "Can you get in touch with him somehow? I'd rather not have to go through my mother on this unless I absolutely have to. But if Darren's been taken by the Institute, than I need to get him out. I owe him my life, I'm— I'm not about to let him rot in some laboratory, being poked and prodded at for what he can do."

"He wasn't, when I met him, he wasn't working for them. His other daughter, she's one of my bartenders. Lucille. He's been to the bar a few times, he … Peter, if you need help, you can go to him. He's been… he's shuttled someone to the Ferry already, from out on the west coast, out of the institute. I don't know if he would help you, but…"

But he's been successful.

His number is dug out from her memory, the digits rattled off. One has to remember them when your phone keeps getting lost because people kidnap you, beat the crap out of you or you burn it up.

The drawer behind Peter rattles as he pulls it out, rimmaging around for a pen. Turning the piece of paper Ash had written the vision down on, Peter scrawls Ryans' number on the back, then nods once before slapping the pen down on the countertop. "I don't know if I should be the one to talk to him, Abby. The Company… I don't know, I… I don't know if I can in good conscience go to him. I don't trust something like this to anyone in Messiah, though. I don't trust them not to do something to him rather than ask for help."

And here's where their relationship is yet further strained. "You're the only neutral party I know, Abby…" and that shaky hand of Peter's lifts towards her, the piece of paper held out and his brows furrowed, dark eyes meeting her fairer ones. "I told you I'd never get you involved in what I do, but this is different. Darren's life might be at stake, this— " Peter's lips creep up into a faint smile. "This is a job for Switzerland."

"Bloody swiss."

She'd promised and stated that and the paper is snapped away from him, it's contents read over before it's folded and tucked away. "I'll talk to him, see if he can put an earnest effort into seeing where Darren is, and if he's not with the company, then I'll let you know. If he's still with them, I'll see what they can do"

The pink haired woman turns then, a show of trust easily enough by the display of her back and the pigmented skin there. Peter's not one to hurt her ever, physicially. Anyones capable of doing that in other ways. "Is there anything else that switzerland needs to do? Because I know what you and Messiah can do. Stop killing people. If you're going to insist on hitting all those places Peter, try to avoid hurting people who don't deserve it, who don't know any better what they're doing."

Silence comes for a few minutes after Abby takes the paper away from Peter, and his dark brows crease thoughtfully. Eyes cast down to his feet, he takes a step around her and a few more through the kitchen, towards the door of the apartment. It's not storming out if he takes his time, and it's not bitter if he tries to keep his dignity. But both of those things are at the back of Peter's mind, and perhaps that's why his voice is so tight when he turns to look back at her, jaw set and troubled, as if he believes what she's saying, but can't commit his own words to agree to her.

"Them first," Peter coldly notes as he opens the door, and steps back out into the hall, quietly bringing the door shut with a clunk behind himself.

Switzerland doesn't seem like a comfortable place to spend the night anymore.

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