We Drink


abby5_icon.gif francois_icon.gif

Scene Title We Drink
Synopsis To the dead, to the living, and to startling revelations concerning murderers.
Date February 6, 2010

Old Lucy's: Upstairs Apartment

How much money is he going to fritter away until there's none left? So much has passed Francois' hands, countless, countless exchanges of fluttering cloth-paper over the past half century that as he slides just a little more across the bar, he doesn't think too much on it. Money is never finite, and he hasn't even talked to Kershner, and he's way, way, way too—

Old to care. The slender vodka bottle is wedged under a folded wing of an arm by the time he's pushing into the upstairs flat, the clink of keys as he palms them with his sound fingers, metal pressing into his lined palm. Alcohol numbs the smaller sensations, and he kind of only feels the door against his heel a split second after he's nudged it shut with a backwards kick that goes louder than he intended. He could stand to have more shame, but he lost it somewhere, which is less inconvenient than any material item.

He makes for somewhere to sit down, changes his mind, starts for the kitchen.

Maybe he'll still go for the kitchen at the sound of the oven door opening and a fresh wave of smell overtaking the spacious apartment above the bar. Cake, or more appropriately cupcakes, are pulled out of the oven with a dishcloth and thunked onto the top of the oven. Books scattered on the coffee table and hand written notes explain where Abby had been, but now she was in the kitchen when she remembered a forgotten birthday for the next day and determination to make amends and make some celebratory cupcakes.

With the opening of the door, subsequent closing and no small amount of paranoia, Abigail's looking around the corner from the the doorway into the kitchen to make sure that it's someone who's supposed to be there. Which it is. Though more than a little sloshed. "Hey. You're home." Eyes drop to the tucked vodka bottle. "Bad night again?" Softly inquired as she comes out of the kitchen proper.

This place smells like an idea of home, baked goods and cleanliness, and Francois isn't so much of a nomad that he can't recognise it, and not so self-pitying to recognise it as something foreign. He halts when Abby appears in the kitchen doorway, hand curling around the neck of the glass bottle she glances towards and feels his features warm even more than they are at both her observation and the again tagged on to it. "It's less bad if you do not drink alone," he states, his voice facetious. "So I brought this with me."

He fingers skim over the books littered on the table, a roaming glance over notes without reading them. "Someone died. Will you come drink to her with me?" he invites, a little impulsively, eyes a little too bright (if not in the way powers make them be, no, the old fashioned kind of something held back and too much vodka) as he regards her again.

The corners of her eyes soften and hands wipe clean on the kitchen towel. "I can. I will. I'm sorry for your loss Francois" She intones quietly and one can tell that she really is sorry that he's lost someone. There's been too much death in her life of late and there's been far too much of it in his life too, she's sure. he's had twice the time alive than she has, if not more. "I'll get glasses and the advil. So we don't regret it too much in the morning hmm?"

Abigail disappears into the kitchen, ditching her pink apron - yes, there's eyelet lace and everything - while getting a pair of glasses from on high. Not many drinkers above the bar, but guests do drink and Teo likes to. Flint did as well and so she always made sure to have appropriate necessities. When she comes out of the kitchen, sunday white on and cardigan long since tossed because of the comfortable temperature in the apartment. "To who, are we celebrating the life of? Was it someone I knew, or someone you knew long ago?" There's a gesture to the red couch and the glasses are placed down with the notes and books removed to places that are safe from accidental spilling.

Sitting down, Francois distracts himself by painstakingly removing a slip of newspaper form his jacket pocket, folded over and obviously crudely torn from whatever newspaper he'd encountered in whatever coffeeshop he'd been loitering about through the long hours of the day. He hasn't been crying, at least, only drinking, and despite the severe cold outside, dark strands of hair stick to his forehead, cheeks flushed through its usual pallor. "Laurel, Laurel Bail," he says, not yet passing over the clip — it remains folded in his hands, looking back up at Abby and offering a glimmer of a smile that doesn't reach his eyes. "No one you knew.

"Someone I barely knew." Belatedly, he's taking off his winter jacket, the suede stained where snow and sleet have touched it, paper crumpling in his palm as he eases sleeves off. The sweater beneath is wide necked enough to show the Company tracer markings, likely not new information — by now, he's explained how he was even found in Antarctica. "She was one of the last— friendships I had, before— before Louisiana."

"We drink to Laurel Bail. A kind soul on your long road, may she rest in peace and with the angels" Abby murmurs, reaching over to take the jacket and hang it up proper. She's not drunk, not touched alcohol and so still has her faculties. "I don't think people realize how many people you've known and met and loved. You don't look as old as you should look, even if you hopped across fifteen of those years"

Abigail settles on the couch beside Francois, reaching over and up to push aside a few of those dark hairs, test for a temperature in case it's more than alcohol that's suffusing his face with heat. She'll ask, or look at the paper when he offers it up, but for now it seems he needs to hold onto it. "Do they know how she passed? Natural causes?" She hopes it's natural causes, old age. She tears away her hand to take the vodka bottle and unscrewing the cap, pours two glasses half filled. One for him, one for her. "Tell me about her? Or we can just sit here and drink. I think I can sacrifice my liver to your needs tonight"

That gains a little mirth, a grateful smile that goes as quickly as it came. The touch to his forehead is tolerated, and if there's any warmth there that does not come from alcohol or the exchange between the winter outside and the cosy apartment, she can't detect it. Francois' eyes shut lazily for a moment, thinking. "She had a gift. She could see the sins one is destined to commit, by touching you." A pause, before he goes to take one of the partially filled glasses, though he doesn't dive into it with any kind of craving. Considers it, for a second, then takes a grim sip, and breathes out the sharp taste as if it eases him.

"I don't have much of a right to mourn her, I don't think." She's right, in that he isn't prepared to relinquish the news article yet, but ends up doing so anyway. "I didn't know her for very long, just in passing. I actually— " He takes a shuddering breath in, even as his mouth quirks up in a smile. "I actually saw her, before I called you to help me back here. She was killed." How those two facts fit together isn't clear, but he slots them together in a stilted sentence, handing over the newspaper article.

Rumpled as it is, the words are visible, and a small photograph of the woman before she was killed; hair short, dark skinned, and a generous smile, as much as newsprint inks do no one any justice.

"You have every right mourn her. She was someone you knew, and someone you spent time with no matter how fleeting and that Francois, makes her very much worth a private wake with those you know as well" She takes the newsprint from him, unfolding it with long fingers so that she can right it and then read it. Blue eyes skim right to left, brows furrowing at where this was.

"Have you contacted anyone to tell them that you were there? In case you left fingerprints, what have you. They will want to know even though it might mark you as a suspect" But if he hasn't, and wants to, there's time in the morning to do such things. It's the Jackson thing that's really niggling in the back of her mind, even as she folds it back up neat, fingers sealing edges best she can then passing it over.

"Did you go to her, to find out what you do? Volken had someone like that before. Sins of the past though. Amato Salucci"

The clip is taken back between two fingers, flipped over and studied with heavy lidded eyes. "It did not cross my mind," he admits, in response to her pragmatism. "Tomorrow. I will do it tomorrow." Francois nurses his glass close and doesn't look at Abby, as if his attention were caught on something unseen. "I am so used to disappearing. Leaving. Rules are things I stepped around when I was young— truly young— and there are some things that do not come naturally with old age."

Another sip, a flick of a glance back at her. "Non, it was not her ability I sought, just… I was not sure where to go, and what felt correct. She pointed me back to here."

"You went because it was the last place you went before it all ended as you knew it" She can understand that. "The world is a lot different, the years will not be kind now and there's no ability to make all the hurts go away. There's not Volken either out in the world. Well, not Volken itself. But there will always be Volken's in the world"

Feet come up, tucked under her leg and she wraps an arm around Francois's shoulders to pull him towards her, let him rest his head on her shoulder while she lifts the vodka glass to take a large mouthful from it. Enough to make her cough and grimace at the kick it gives, despite the lack of taste. "Oh sweet mary, I don't think i'll ever get used to this stuff. But she pointed you here. Back to New York and then you called. Half expecting me to turn my back. You should know by now Francois, I won't turn my back, no matter how angry. We share something, that only one other person did" She's not counting peter or Kazimir. "It binds people, I think, and the aftermath, once it's left too and the loneliness and hole that rocks in it's wake."

She does not meet much resistance, which, even as Francois tilts, he imagines Teo would sneer at. This does not stop him, leaning into her half-embrace with the loose limbed grace of a sleepy cat. Or a drunk one. The newspaper slips from his grasp when he's bringing his hands around to cup his drink, absent minded and listening in the way where words kind of fog in and out of focus, but the meaning is grasped after a time, a silence that settles wherein he can string them back together.

He swallows, mouth dry despite the drink, or— more likely because of it. Wets it again, head shifting enough to take another modest sip — no sputtering or coughing for him, he couldn't register its taste even if there was one by now. "I do not know what to do," he admits, voice heavy. "I was meant to die, and not have to decide, or…" His voice trails off when his throat closes up, a soft exclamation of dismay at— well, the patheticness, of this.

How many times had she said that? The first part at least. That she didn't know what to do. It took a rooftop conversation and a bar of chocolate and voicing her plan to kick start it. "We drink Francois. We drink, and you will spend a few weeks mourning what you've lost, mourning the hole that it left and letting the edges fray. You can get angry at god, and you have every right to get angry at me for bringing you forward"

Abigail's cheek rests on the top of his head, hand curling protectively around his shoulder, unknowing of what Teo said to Francois. Francois and Teodoro unknowing of the alleyway and the heavy hands that got busy with a Linderman Rep. "And after that, we can sit, and figure out what you are good at, and how to channel that into being a productive member of society if that is how you want to live. Or, alternatively, you can become Old Lucy's newest dishboy after that. Brenda I'm sure would actually take the dishes back from the tables just to hand them to you" Either way "It sucks, but you find a way, and every day you miss it just a little less"

"I took it for granted." The admission is sighed out, damp sounding, but Francois doesn't expound on that. Spares Abigail the dreariness of going over things she knows well, and chuckles at her alternative, still resting heavy against her side. He's a furnace, if not sickly so, but she can feel it against her arm, her cheek, the huddle against her side before he's moving to release her from his sodden leaning, head heavy on his neck and eyes distant. "A new beginning, or something like that. That is what we were promised. Before the war, I had intended to be a doctor."

Drink to that, apparently, as he tips back the rest of his vodka and sets the glass down. It's refilled, no particularly doctorly concern for his own liver. "Kind of a doctor, sort of a soldier. Pardon, it's been a bad day today."

She lets him go, reluctantly, the newspaper article saved from probable death and put up safe on the table. "Some of us were promised no taxes for the rest of our lives, but you should take the opportunity. You are a doctor, and maybe you still can be. You may need to do some school to brush up. Some things like the basics i'm sure haven't changed in fifteen years" her own glass is placed down for him to top up before she takes it back.

"It has been a bad day for you, and you are forgiven" Lips press together in sympathy, eyes landing on the folded paper again. "She lived in Jackson?" Of course she did, it's where Francois got a plane from and it's where it says the murder took place. "He was flying to Jackson" She had thought maybe that it had meant he was going to her parents. Jackson wasn't that far from her parents, a few hours drive. New Orleans was closer though. "Kozlow's plane ticket, it said Jackson Brenda told me"

Elbows against his knees, Abby is talking to his profile for a while, and when drunk, Francois is less self-conscious about the slice bitten out from his ear thanks to the very man she speaks about. He looks back at her, now, green eyes narrowed before he reaches out his awkward hand to pull the newspaper clip closer and read over the words for what would be the thousandth time today. He'd skimmed the nature of the attack but now pinpoints it with the analysis he gave data and clues back in Ryazan. She'd been bound at the wrists and ankles, gunshot to the head in the style of an execution.

His voice has a rasp as he asks, "You said you had been in contact with authorities, non? About Kozlow? If you have— trusted names, perhaps they will… perhaps they will look into the investigation and let us know."

"I trust Matthew Parkman. He trust me too" She hopes. "I saved his life a.. lifetime ago. But he flew in when I asked to meet him, I can pass this to him." She didn't have all the little clues that Francois did with regards to Kozlow, she knew only Dr. Kozlow and not Skoll. Though with what Cat told her as well.

"Cat says the note from him is literal likely. She's concerned about the note" And now she's even more concerned. "Teodoro's momma. This woman, who had some significance to you…" She refrains from calling her parents yet again to make sure they're okay. Her mother was getting weirded out and her father had cautioned her. Back goes another mouthful of Vodka. "I'll place a call to Matthew, and take this out to the police who are watching the place Francois, I think.. maybe it is safe to say that they are targeting loved ones yes?" Loved ones of those who were on Charlie. "Yvette volken escaped, Matthew told me that. Maybe it's a good thing that you did come back. So that i'm not alone" She leans forward, sitting side by side with him now, bare feet planted on the floor and peering over, ducking her head to try and catch his eyes.

"Will you be okay? Do you need to come sleep in the bed with me?"

His back straightens from its slouching curl when she peers at him, eyes bloodshot and now mildly dazzled at the easy offer, a simple gesture of friendship that nevertheless has his tongue freezing to the roof of his mouth. Regret and rue seem to age him a little, lifting a hand to rub at his face as if to make sure he can still feel it. "I talked to Teo this morning," he says, seemingly off topic, completely neglecting to respond. Or maybe this counts. "It did not go well." He was going somewhere with that.

Honestly. But a spark of thought derails him completely, turning to look at her, shaking his head, "When did you know he was going to Jackson? It— my decision to go there was only impulsive, and it's been fifteen years. Handful of months to me, but unless— might he have tracked me there? Do you recall the day?"

"Teo can be a prat. He hasn't even come here when I'm here." Abigail coo's reaching over to push dark hair out of his face again. Forget that the offer to have him sleep in her bed will not equate to doing anything else but sleeping in her bed and her holding him. "he.. came into the bar on the.. sunday. I didn't get home until later that afternoon and then.. Tanya was killed that Evening. Brenda didn't tell me until today though, I didn't know until today, but Brenda she saw his ticket and the destination on it. She's nosy that was and was hitting on him" Brenda hits on anything really.

"Maybe the time spent in Russia? In Ryazan and grigori. Grigori could pick out things from your head to use as illusions. He picked out Muldoon from Liz's and Muldoon is…" Someone nasty. "Maybe he picked her from your head and they did their homework?"

It's very possible Francois could have mistaken the gesture. Just drunk enough to do so. But then, sex is but one thing, an awkward (probably, considering the booze) act in the middle of the comfort. He shuts his eyes when her hand smooths back his hair, and his foggy mind grips feebly onto the train of conversation. "Maybe it was Dreyfus," he says, opening his eyes and looking at her, discs of green made more so with the red around them. "He— he could have known about Laurel when he was tracking me in '94. He would have known if there was anyone— "

Words stumble and stagger, and the world goes a little strange. Francois isn't the type to swoon, but he looks a little ashen. "Merde, Abby, we got his son killed."

There is a great deal that Abigail Beauchamp was not filled in on. The death of Dreyfus's son is one, that he usurped her form and tried to off Teo only to be killed by Liz. Last she knew he was neutral territory but… the homicide of ones young son could drive one over the edge. "I'll.. let Matthew know this. That makes more sense Francois. He tracked you then, he'd know to go there, to hurt you" To kill someone you love. Teodoro's momma, Francois's lover and Tanya? The latter doesn't make sense. Not in the least, and frankly, the remains of Grigori's collective knew that she didn't have blonde hair, that she was brunette last they knew. Tanya's looking more and more to Abby, like an unfortunate victim. Wrong place, wrong time. "We killed his son, I killed Yvette's father. We have done a great deal of killing Francois. Maybe yes, they're coming for thier due?"

"Perhaps," he agrees, a hand out now to grip her arm as if in silent comfort that at least they're within the same room, the same city, as opposed to prey that's wandered too far from the herd. Weariness is starting to weigh in on drunkenness and moroseness, though the hour isn't particularly late. Francois manages a brief smile. Where was he? "I wanted it to be him. Is the. Ah. When I had Volken's ability— well it is not like ours. Ours required touch. In a sense, I suppose Volken's relied on it as well, but I could not, and I wanted— "

Explanation is abandoned, words falling like scattered cutlery only much more silent. It feels whiny, to express mourning simple contact, and then gaining it back. "Perhaps I will sleep in your bed," he responds, finally, without particular implication at all. "Perhaps it is not a good time to be alone."

"You wanted it to be Dreyfus?" Would make sense. The man would have certainly signed his death certificate if time traveling and the company of three people from the future hadn't put a stop to that. She could picture the sense of rage and need for revenge. How many times had she lain in her bed after Staten and imagined Logan's head on a pike, or who knows what other needlessly cruel things being done to the pimp.

Her hand closes atop his and her thumb strokes across the fingers there. "No, I'd rather you not alone right now. Not after finding out about this." Feet press to the floor and she scoots forward to wrap an arm around the other man and help him up to his feet. "What was it like? Holding him in you, after having had the other. What made you think to come to Mexico and do… what you did?"

A protest starts and ends, a short moment of denial at the name, but the conversation's rattled so far off the tracks that it would take some rewinding the half bottle of vodka in front of him to motivate him to correct it. "Dreyfus should stay in Russia," is the only attempt at correction Francois makes, waving his hand through the air as slowly as if it were pushing through syrup. Never mind. As mentioned, it was whiny anyhow. He grips onto Abby enough for practically, gets to his feet and pausing at the rushing sense of vertigo that fades once he finds his balance.

"It felt wrong. And powerful." An arm companionably over her shoulders, Francois nudges them both in the correct direction. "And after everything— all that has happened, I wasn't sure I would be stronger. I killed men to live. Without thinking, trying. It was like breathe in air. Killing should not be easy. Healing wasn't."

A pause. Mexico. "I'm sorry about Flint," he thinks to add, before continuing. "I knew what our power could do to it. I sought to end it, that is all. Kill him. I did not mind if it took me too. If I were to die— it would be at the hand of our power."

"Maybe it was good you didn't tell me, that you just went and did it. I probably would have tried to stop you. I was still hoping that Flint would just give it back to me" She's still convinced that he could give it back to her. No one ever explained why it couldn't go back to her. "But it's done, and the chance you took paid off and Kazimir's ability and .. ours is gone." Carefully, one foot in front of the other she walks beside him and guides towards the hallway that leads to bedrooms, bathrooms and the laundry nook at the end.

"I guess that's why Teodoro's mad at you, he didn't know what you were going to do, or he did and thought that Deckard might perish as well? You'll have to forgive him, he doesn't know that.. Kazimir's ability couldn't hurt us. Well not all the time. He knew enough for the bridge but.." Her own gaze focuses on the door with the cross above it, the big bed beyond and all of her belongings. "Do you love him Francois? Is it.. was it a … one time thing, or .. is.. it, you know, gonna be a possible long term thing with Teo I mean, I'm fine with you know men who like men, I mean Teo and Leonard they were a thing, and teo's pretty handsome"

His eyes blink open and closed at the question, a small sandpapery chuckle either at Leonard, which is a third name for all Francois knows, or that Teo is handsome. "I like women too. Often." For the record. His fingertips brush the edge of the door as they pass it.

Detaches from her, then, to get rid of his shoes. He's had enough experience at drinking to be able to do this without paricular complication, boots tumbling to the carpet. "It was not one time," he settles on, with a brief smile at her, knowing he's answering around her question, before he shrugs, back straightening. "I do not love him right now," sounds more cantankerous than truly severe.

"Does it occur to you," he asks, in honest curiousity, "that Flint did not want to give you back our gift? We spoke, some. I drove with him to Mississippi."

And she'll take the ring around the answer, maybe not wanting to deal with it head on yet. Teodoro knew, she knows that, and he stopped a kiss from happening in the colds of Russia. When he returns from wherever he's hiding himself, or Italy, she'll have to deal with him.

It's the next words that spill out of Francois's mouth, the question laid before her with regards to their shared gift. Hairs stand on end and she visually bristles at the thought of Deckard deliberately not giving it back. The selfishness that such a thing would be when the lack of it quite obviously wore on her and with how very much a part of her it was.

"It wasn't his right to decide not to. He could have, and he chose not to" If she takes what Francois's inebrieted words are at face value. "You let it go because you were dying. The one who came before you I don't know why. I had it taken from me, ripped out of me in a bolt of red. Are you telling me that he chose not to because… he didn't want to? That's not a good enough reason. It wouldn't kill him to give it back, he knew how much that meant to me." The few large mouthful's of vodka swimming in her system don't help. Dirty blond brows are pulled down, lines of anger marching across her forehead as she focuses on the Frenchman's collarbone in an effort to reign in her anger.

'I hope he's happy. He's probably got back his stupid vision, and i'm… fucked"

"I don't know. Perhaps he didn't know how," Francois states, quietly, a reminder that he's as speculative as she is — maybe more so. Quieter, also, in the face of anger, as if not wishing to incite more, the idea more wearying than words can express. He watches her carefully, arms folded around his midsection as if to trap in the heat his body is exuding, warm to touch like a fever without the sickness. Just as tentative, he adds, "Do you know what it meant to him?"

"Flint doesn't talk. Flint's entire vocabulary consists of the word Okay. I hate that word. He just grunts or stares or we sat side by side and watched movies on television till we'd head for the bedroom" Though by the way she speaks, it was never a bad thing. "And he knew how to give it back. I showed him, it told me how it gets passed from one person to another. Probably when the time came for me to pass it along, I would have known. You probably know more than I do, from the trip to Mississippi" She's willing herself to calm down, to stop nearly vibrating at the edges. Pink lips purse and she's taking the few steps forward to pull him into a hug, wrap her arms around him and try to not look so angry or him look so miserable.

It's not hard to get Francois to open once more, arms curling lazily around her, before firming the embrace to hold her properly. "He talked some, if not much. I think it changed the way he saw himself. Saw other people. Perhaps when you see him next, you should find out if he feels a little as we do. I'm the one who took it from him this time, against his will." His hold eases enough so that she can pull free of it if she wants to, but doesn't withdraw completely, managing to get in a glance when he says, with a heavy kind of earnestness, "I'm sorry it happened that way for you."

She knew some of how it made him feel. People suddenly wanting him for things. That was where a small amount of her jealousy had been from. The increase of people who needed him, directly related to the decrease in people who needed her. The feeling of being needed and useful. "Everyone's sorry. Sorry doesn't make what happened go away. Sorry didn't bring it back. Sorry won't bring it back for him and now, he'll know how it felt in the alley. or he won't. He's Flint. He'll survive like I have, like you have. I'll still love him regardless even if right now I want to ring his neck and get answers" That she'll never get.

Francois may have loosened his arms, but she hasn't, taking to resting her cheek on his shoulder and for lack of not wanting to let him go, a focus for something other than anger, starts moving her and him back and forth is some silent waltz with only the sounds of the city outside. "I don't want to talk about him. I walked away. Maybe some day i'll go back, when it hurts less, maybe I won't."

A hand comes up to brush his palm against the back of her head, then the barely-felt touch of it following the swoop of brunette hair, coming to rest in the center of her back and obligingly following the subtle lead of her sway. "Then we won't," Francois responds, easily cutting that thread of conversation loose, voice sounding richer when she has her head resting just beside his throat. "Or murderers. Or Teodoro." Small list, relatively, but it does rattle loose the items of conversation of the evening.

Not for the worst, the sound of traffic comfortable to him. He drops a kiss against her hair, affection and gratitude expressed simpler than flowery prose generally conveys.

Sometimes, no conversation is appropriate, and she seems content to not talk and just sway, a nod to the proposed embargo's on topics. "We'll just drink and then sleep. or watch a movie or.. something. Something" The murmurs into his shoulder, looking off at her window and the quiet world behind it and the noise and music below thier feet that barely makes it's way through the sound proofing. "I'm sorry Francois. I'm sorry we changed your life"

"Sorry doesn't make it go away," Francois repeats back at her, gently, a smile in his voice even if she can't see it from here. "Sorry does not bring anything back. But you should not be, even if it could. Unless you regret my being here, and I know you do not." There's comfort in that, the same he can find in her showing up at the airport, or drinking with him when asked to, or this. "And for that I thank you, although I suspect at least one of us should sleep before we become so maudlin we swear off vodka forever."

"We should probably both sleep. Tomorrow I have school. My last week and then, well, then school no more. I'll make you a breakfast fit for a hangover" She lets go then, pulling arms from around him and lifting her head. "I'll go get changed in the bathroom, you pick the side you want. We can watch TV in here until we sleep" She offers a grin to him with the few steps to the dresser of hers sos he can turn on said flat screen and grab her pyjama's to take to the bathroom.

And if Abby comes back to find the Frenchman already asleep, it's but a testament to alcohol content and how much he wants the day to end, as opposed to what's on the screen or what company Abigail can provide.

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