Very, Very Bad Idea


franziska_icon.gif gabriel_icon.gif zachery_icon.gif

Scene Title Very, Very Bad Idea
Synopsis After Rickham plays rough, Gabriel arrives at Zachery's doorstep for medical attention. Franziska arrives, makes assumptions, and helps out. Zachery glares.
Date May 28, 2009

Le Rivage: Zachery's Apartment

There's a fire burning in Midtown.

The stench of smoke continues to rise, to battle the hanging thunderclouds as night approaches the East Coast, and flames fan and flicker against the relentless rain, neither gaining the upper hand. Chemicals, smoke and destruction, all of this is left behind as Gabriel makes his painful way to the Financial District. The smell of it, though, despite the rain, still clings to every inch of him.

It's late when his shoulder impacts against the coroner's front door. So tired. Dripping wet, Gabriel brings the smell of Midtown on fire into the apartment building's hallway, and his hand comes to rest on the surface of the door, fingers curling almost as if he were about to claw at it like a dog. This would be easier—

He has to stop thinking that way. Yes of course it would be easier, and it's not. Gritting his teeth, taking a breath, Gabriel curls that hand into a fist and— knocks.

Three times. Oh, the indignity.

If only he had scratched. Then at least the person behind that door would know to be more cautious. Assuming he would have a reason to be.

The apartment is quiet save for the television humming out some nature documentary at a low volume. Background noise, mostly. Zachery himself sits on the sofa, reading from a thick book and occasionally leaning over it to scribble something onto a sheet of paper that's on the table. Homework in his thirties. Wonderful.

Knock knock knock. Zachery's head lifts, and he looks almost immediately exasperated. "Mrs. Halford, if that's you," He calls, "please go away. I don't need a homemade doormat, honestly." He puts the book aside and gets up, sighing as he walks toward the door to open it.

Gabriel's eyes shut as Zachery opts to call through the door— tempted to just leave— when the sounds of footsteps, the scrape of a lock, makes it so it's too late anyway. Taking his weight off the door, Gabriel places a steadying hand on the frame instead, and as the door goes to open—

He slides his foot forward to make sure his boot will catch it should Zachery opt to close it in his face, jaw set. There's a lot about Gabriel that hasn't changed. The black of his clothing is familiar— the coat might even be the same one— and even the fact he's hurt isn't so strange.

The extent is, however. Deep bruises ring his throat, are smattered over his face and cuts make marks here and there, old and new. He's been bleeding from the edge of his brow, starting to trickle again now that the rain isn't washing it away.

"Dr. Miller. Long time no see," he says, voice raw from the same smoke whose scent clings to his clothing.

The bruises and cuts are enough to throw Zachery off at first, only to freeze up when he finally realizes who the person behind the scarcely opened door is. That is, before he stumbles back with a start and nearly trips over his own feet. "Whh— !"

Steadying himself, the coroner stares at the door in disbelief, pausing only to throw a glance over his shoulder. Was that really who he thought it was? Phone or door. Phone or door. Undecided, he nervously flexes his hands and asks, regrettably anxious-sounding, "Wh-what in the world are you doing here?"

As Zachery stumbles back, Gabriel lets himself in, swiftly shutting the door with a flick of his hand. The mundane kind, but it works, the door snapping shut but not locking. No need. He's favouring one leg over the other, and one hand raises as if to call for surrender, or peace. Both are sort of the same, in his world, and grazes mark his bruised palms. Is there an inch of him that has gone unscathed tonight?

"I needed a doctor," he says. "You hate me a little less than the other guy I know." And other reasons, ones that would sound foolish out loud, ones that wouldn't get much more than a stare or a cynical look. The same reasons that have him returning to his clock shop, calling himself Gabriel.


In surrender or not, that hand going up spells bad news in Zachery's mind. He flinches, visibly relieved when the motion does not make some object go flying or exploding and he himself is still on his feet by the end of it.

"I can see that." He then blurts out, shocked expression disappearing to make place for a confused grimace. Ow. He's hurting just looking at Gabriel. And in his confusion, he walks toward the other man again and almost reaches out to urge him in further. Never quite all the way, though, and his eyes don't leave his visitor. Distrust, undoubtedly. "Well, g-go and sit. Don't, don't pass out here— I won't drag you somewhere more comfortable."

The hand lowers, and comes to grip his other arm beneath the elbow. Relief is there, manifesting in an untwist of tension in his chest, but it's not visible on his face as Gabriel takes a step, then moves as urged. "I'll leave when you're done," is his reassurance, eyes going down to Zachery's outstretched hand then up to the doctor's watchful gaze.

It's then he sheds his coat, resting it over the back of a chair where it flops with a squelch of rain water and other fluids that aren't distinguishable in black wool. His gaze tracks towards the man's homework. "I hope I'm not dragging you away from anything important." His voice lacks of the genuine tone such a statement requires, slipping back into old habits, of partial-mocking in whimsical smalltalk.

And it's just those habits that spark anxiety back into the doctor. "No, no. I— ah… didn't…" His sentence dissolves into a mumble. It doesn't matter, anyway. His gaze flits between his book, his visitor, and then to his book again before he snatches it up and places it on a cabinet nearby. No smudges of… whatever that is on my books!

He momentarily struggles for something to say to try and break his dazed state of mind, and eventually stands back and mutters, "I'd ask where you've been, but you reek of it. I… I suppose the question now is what you've done."

"There are dangerous people in this world, Zachery." The shirt is next, casually undressing in the middle of the doctor's living room, a white wifebeater beneath the black dress shirt which is mostly a dull sort of red that's gone almost purple around the edges. More technicolour injury comes into view, and bruises around Gabriel's shoulder that indicates it's been wrenched out and snapped back in at least at one point that evening. "More so than me."

The shirt goes over the top of the coat. "It took a fire to get away, and now it won't stop burning. Can you suture living people? There was glass."

Zachery is almost surprised to get an actual answer, albeit a vague one. While he listens, he moves to yank the curtains of the windows to the apartment closed. A little paranoid maybe, but he's just doing what his mind is telling him to. Autopilot wins over stammering like an idiot.

"Of course I can." He almost sounds insulted, now, making a beeline back to eye the injured man with fascination instead of fear, now. Still twitchy and breathing a little too fast for his own good, but beyond his own understanding more determined to get to his medicine cabinet than his phone. And when this finally sinks in, the coroner can't help but crack a painfully self-aware grin. "This is insanity."

Gabriel moves to sit on the edge of the table, one boot planted on the center of a chair and the other long leg dangling, less injured than the other, the toe caught against the floor. His gaze goes up towards Zachery's face when that grin comes along with those words, eyes a little wary before a smaller version of that smile tugs at the corners of Gabriel's own mouth.

"I can't tell anymore."

There are sizeable gashes amongst bruises that range from pale yellow through to deeper blue, and everything in between. "But I didn't know where else to go," he adds, amusement draining from his voice.

Something's off, even if Zachery can't immediately tell what. Nor does he seem surprised by what is said, and he's a long way from showing sympathy. He's had little reason to feel pity toward the man, after all.

After studying the variety of injuries, he starts toward the bathroom to gather the right supplies. "And here I was thinking I might not ever see you again." Whether this would be considered good or bad is not quite revealed in his tone. Purposefully.

Luckily, Gabriel isn't quite delusional enough to interpret this in the positive sense, as ambiguous as such things are. He's not even sure if he's in enemy territory or not, and so when he smiles, it's not one of mirth - nor can Zachery see it as he goes to retrieve supplies. "I'm sorry to disappoint," he says, with more irony laden in his tone than Zachery was willing to put in his. "I've been— " Possessed, mauled, brainwashed, arrested, space-displaced, powerless—


Good answer. Considering Zachery would likely have a lot of trouble wrapping his head around most of the other stuff. His own life, to whatever end, is not quite that eventful.

"Well I— ah. I didn't mean…" comes Zachery voice from the bathroom, apologetically, between rummaging. For things he probably didn't think he'd need at home any time soon. Good thing he plans ahead. When he finally re-enters the room with two arms full of haphazardly collected bandages, disinfectants and pointy objects, he avoids eye contact. "Well you did threaten to kill me a little bit."

A sound in Gabriel's throat, a grunt of acknowledgement, perfectly neutral, brown eyes on the tools of the trade. "It was nothing personal." At least he's being honest about it. Rarely are his murders ever personal. Used to be personal. Something. Dead men in Africa. The more things change, the more things stay the same. The white fabric of his wifebeater clings to his slouched form, large hands braced on the edges of his perch, and he draws in a slightly ragged breath. "Which I guess doesn't matter much."

"… Well alright. As long as it wasn't personal." Zachery responds with forced humor, fighting down a nervous simper as he puts down his things on the table next to Gabriel and puts them in order as best he can. He may look relatively calm, but anyone caring to pay enough attention would easily be able to spot his hands shaking. Even if he doesn't seem to notice it himself. "We'd best start with what's still bleeding."

"The quicker you are, the sooner I'll be gone," Gabriel says, lifting his hands as if to say— where would you like to start? Then one hand shifts to wipe the back of it across his temple, smearing blood in a shining arc across his forehead. "Will your ability help?" He raises an eyebrow, the one that isn't bleeding at the corner. "One of mine— " Liar, but he doesn't see the need to tell the truth. "— makes the abilities of others more powerful. If you'd like a kick…"

The raise of Gabriel's hands gets another flinch out of Zachery. It almost seems like a bad idea to have him handle the pointy things by now.

But he calms himself down once more, and the temple seems a good place to start. Shaking hands or not, it's not long before a bit of fluid-soaked cotton is pushed against it. It should sting quite a bit, but there's no warning. He's a big boy. "I get along fine without it. I could prod around if you think you've got internal injuries, but I think… possibly… I'll be fine without a kick from you. Thanks."

Gabriel winces, but he manages not to shift. He knows this ritual too well to be surprised at the sudden burn of chemical against the open gash, but that doesn't mean it doesn't hurt. The clear liquid is economical, but a thin rivulet manages to track down the side of his face all the same, mingling with grime and blood. "Just offering," he says, voice laced with tension, arms flexing a little from bared shoulders down to where his hands are braced against the edge of the table. "I got thrown through a brick wall. Will I ever play the violin again?"

Silently wishing for more sterile circumstances, Zachery sighs. For how crude his bedside manners may be, his stitching is about as efficient as it gets. It's hardly even noticeable for the recipient. "… The violin." He pauses, threading flesh back together. "You hit your head pretty hard, didn't you."

When one acquires a new position, it is most beneficial to acquaint oneself with one's co-workers - and perhaps most importantly, one's boss. Doctor Franziska Poisson is attempting to do just that by braving the craziness of New York's streets bearing - of all things - a casserole dish. It's still hot, even! Pyrex is an amazing thing.

Franziska judges that she isn't the first person to decide to call on Doctor Miller tonight. Those prints are far too large to belong to the doctor himself. I mean, the man is not unreasonably tall, and whomever is wearing those boots must be. The Belgian woman approaches the door and stands there for a moment, leaning in to listen before knocking.

There's a light snort from Gabriel at that comment, eyes shutting as he remains perrrfectly still beneath Zachery's suturing - a jagged line of Frankenstein stitches is something he's vain enough to not want crawling from his brow. His jaw is tense, but otherwise, no sign of pain or discomfort. Even when someone knocks— damn the lack of superhearing or that would be far less startling— he doesn't so much as twitch.

Just opens his eyes to look at the other man with accusation, and irritation lances through his voice. "When did you get friends?"

As Zachery's handywork is interrupted, his face twitches. Fine, it can wait. Seeing who's at the door is probably more important. Now that Gabriel's gone and spoken up, the option to pretend nobody's there is probably out the window too. "I didn't!" … "I mean— I have friends. There's that… guy at work and, you know, that one who does the— eh…" This hole does not need to be any deeper, and midsentence the coroner simply stops his actions all together and starts toward the door to open it, muttering a befuddled "Just a second."

Franziska waits patiently, though she checks her watch no less than three times in the space it takes Zachery to arrive at the door. Force of habit, though she doesn't remember what the habit was actually born of. When the door opens, she's all red-painted smiles, holding up her casserole and beaming. "'Allo, 'allo! With all of this, how do you say…" Her thickly accented voice trails off for a moment as she searches for the right word, "fuckery?" and finds it, "going on in the city, I thought you would perhaps appreciate something home-cooked?" A man married to his job doesn't not cook for himself - it's a fact. Jobs do not cook for you - significant others do. "So, I will share."

It's tempting to reach out and drag Zachery right back, when the doctor goes to answer the door like a moron, but that would be a little telling for someone who's meant to be able to control basic movements with a thought. Gabriel sits frozen on the edge of the dining room table, covered in dried blood, dirt, rainwater, bruises and reeking of meth lab chemicals and smoke, and the doctor is—

Answering the door. A hesitation, and Gabriel's hand is going out to where he set aside his shirt, although his movements are reluctant. He came here for a reason, but if he has to make a quick exit, the fuck is he doing it only mostly dressed.

Zachery is not a moron. He has friends. Friends cannot be ignored.

Not that Franziska is treated like one, that is. She door is all but opened fully, and he does his best to block her view inside while staring at her blankly. He tries to decide whether mouthing the word 'HELP' is a good idea. Probably less than. So he just peers down at the dish, then back up at her face again, and shakes his head. "I-I'm sorry." Only he's not, and it's as obvious as can be. "You'll have to come back later. There's. Things. Going on." THINGS.

"Nonsense!" Franziska grins and leans forward just a bit. "I won't take no for an answer, Docteur. You must eat. I went through all this effort to not only cook, but to make it through the madness downtown to bring this to you." A hand on the man's shoulder and she pushes him aside so that she can enter around him.

Once inside, Franziska finds herself a good view of Zachery's visitor. She raises her brows and then looks back over her shoulder. "Things?" She sets the casserole dish down on the dining room table, addressing the other doctor further with an indulgant smile. "Mon dieu. You play rough?" Fortunately for Mademoiselle Poisson, she's not exactly the ambitious, career-ladder-climbing type. Unfortunately for Mister Miller, this means that she's not afraid to tease him.


One hand with very green-painted nails is extended toward the obviously injured man with little heed to the dirt, blood, or grime that may transfer. "Doctoresse Poisson. You need assistance?"

Unreasonably tall he may be, that doesn't help to be inconspicuous, Gabriel too busy staring balefully at Zachery's back to devise a way to hide himself in the bathroom like the doctor's best kept secret. He's half standing by the time the woman is in the room, an expression on the erstwhile serial killer's face like a guarded dog who might bite if you get too close.

Amber-brown eyes flick to look at Zachery, then back to Doctor Poisson and her outstretched hand. Gabriel grips his shirt in both hands, like an excuse not to touch. "I was getting assistance," he says, still leaking blood and suspicion.

Zachery barely even responds to being pushed aside. In fact, he sort of just stands in his newly appointed spot as though he can't quite figure out what just happened. It's only when he's spoken to again that he reels round, throws up his hand and walks right after Franziska and - before he knows it - he's reaching for her outstretched hand in an attempt to drag her out like one would an overly explorative pet. "No that's not— gghh— what are you even— " Whole sentences seem hard to grasp somehow, when colleagues are introduced to serial killers and then implied to be entirely something else.

"I am offering to help?" Franziska knows exactly what she's doing, and it's nothing so innocent as that, of course. "An extra set of eyes and hands can only help, no?" Though she may be stubborn, Zachery is still over half a foot taller than her, and however slight he may be, she is moreso. Black pumps skitter and stumble over the floor as she's dragged back toward the door. "Oh, come on! I am already here, I have already seen. You may as well allow me to assist."

Gabriel is watching the two, about as unimpressed as one man can be, and stresses the collar of the shirt in his hands as he watches Zachery attempt to guide the woman away, head tilting. She is at least foreign enough to not instantly recognise him, and she makes a fair point.

Fuck everything. "Yeah, Zachery," he hears himself say, tone edged with malicious impatience, cutting across the room as if his voice alone might be enough to halt them. "You may as well.

Gabriel sets his shirt back down atop the coat, and casually resumes his perch on the edge of the table. "Two sets of hands make quick work." His head tilts again to look back over at them, and offers a smile— of all things— to the woman. "My name is Gabriel, it's nice to meet you."

No no no. This is all wrong and Franziska is going outside. Outside.

Wait a minute. Gabriel? Zachery promptly stops, lets go of Franziska, and faces this 'Gabriel' with a frown. "Is it? You never told me that."

"Gabriel," Franziska repeats rather thickly in her native accent. It sounds more like a girl's name. "Franziska," she allows after a brief moment, giving him something less formal than her title. "Now, aside from the obvious," she sweeps a hand to indicate cuts and bruises, "where does it hurt? How can I help?"

Gabriel's eyebrows lift at Zachery's comment. "You never asked," is his easy answer, although a lingering look might attempt to drill that particular point home before he's looking towards Franziska. "Well. I can walk and breathe fine, I'd just like to stop bleeding."

Zachery begrudgingly moves back over to Gabriel, sending the injured man a glare while Franziska is decidedly and fully ignored. "This is a bad idea. A very, very bad idea."

"I believe that can be arranged," Franziska assures Gabriel smoothly. She approaches the man to scrutinise him, as well as Zachery's work. She glances up with wide eyes to her boss. "I don't think I've ever seen stitches that neat on a conscious patient!" She returns her gaze to Gabriel, "They tend to flinch, you see. He gave you something for pain?" With some dampened gauze, she begins to wipe away some of the dirt and blood for a better look at what she's dealing with.

The very very bad idea comment just gets a look from Gabriel, before he's holding still, chin up, and an uninjured eyebrow raises up at the question. He's not going to answer it, whether because he's not going to lie on the doctor's behalf or he doesn't want to whine about the truth. As for what she's working with— it's not clean but the injuries seem shallow, if numerous. The bruises and battering is the worst of it, the cuts themselves are manageable for a team of two.

"Keine panik," she tells Zachery, lapsing into German of all things. "Do not panic. I have no intention of telling the county about your free clinic services." That would be the only reason this is a very, very bad idea, no? "I will ask no questions. It will be nice to stitch up someone who can actually thank me for it for a change."

Did she just wink at Gabriel?

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