2007-03-10: Anti-Hero Squad Aftermath


Cass_icon.gif Jack_icon.gif Lee_icon.gif Alyssa_icon.gif Lachlan_icon.gif Elena_icon.gif Eric_icon.gif

Date It Happened: March 10, 2007

Summary: After the disaster at Kirby Plaza, the small band of heroes flee to Enlightenment Books to regroup. Padfoot dies, and everyone discusses what to do next. It's decided that most of them will give up their cellphones to avoid being traced by the Company, and if anything should happen, a certain Symbol will be painted on a bench in Central Park.

Chapter Two: Betrayals - Anti-Hero Squad Aftermath

Enlightenment Books, East Village

It's getting toward closing time at Enlightenment Books. The store is fairly empty. There are only a few stragglers who have no where else to be that are reading books. Cass sits behind the desk, tapping nervously on the counter. She's been like this all day and all evening. Jittery, nervous and distracted. There's certainly something on the store owner's mind, though she's been denying it all day. She's got a book open in front of her, but she's not reading it. Instead she's staring off into space with a bit of a frown on her face.

Nicely done, Avengers. After failing to take down the Haitian, or even find him, Jack and the rest of the merry bunch fled from Kirby Plaza via.. cab?

Crammed inside the cab, everyone is more of less forced to touch somebody else in an inappropriate fashion as a driver who seems religiously disinclined to shower speeds them across to the Village and Cass's store. Not that Elena minds the touching. She doesn't want to die a virgin, remember? Padfoot is draped across Jack and Lachlan's lap, his breath coming is gasping pants. Leaning over the dog, Jack's hands work furiously as he attempts to staunch bloodflow and stabilize the animal with basic first-aid implements. Then there's a screeeeeeech of tires and a hefty jolt. "You are for the being here, misters and lady-people."

Lee is complaining to Cass about the Secret Lair's tax assessment, which just came in the mail this week. "They must think that the real estate market hasn't been freefalling for the last six months, will you look at this? It's ridiculous. There ought to be a law. Do they think we don't watch the news? Do they think we don't know how to read the freakin' paper? If they're going to charge us that much for that old rathole, they should at least sweep the streets once in a while, I…" Insensitive as usual to Cass' distraction, he looks up at the screech of tires that interrupts his tirade.

She's never gotten quite sick of asking what Cass is thinking about, but since the last inquiry was only about five minutes ago, Alyssa has decided to give the store-owner at least one more minute of peace before quizzing her again. It's only concern, really. Plus, that comic book guy seems to have the whole 'talk to Cass' blank face' thing covered for her. But while she's staying back, she's also buzzing around the aisles and seeing if any of these stragglers need any help. None of them are baiting. The noise from outside earns a brief glance towards the door but only that. This is New York, after all.

The instant the cab is at a halt, Lachlan slips his arms beneath Padfoot and lifts him. Jack has succeeded in stopping the flow of blood, but it's not blood loss that's killing the dog. His lungs are shot; he is, essentially, slowly suffocating. The Scotsman kicks open the cab door and wriggles out with his dog in his arms. "Let's get 'im inside," he growls to Jack. A crowded cab is no place to administer first aid. He moves around the cab at a trot, his bulletproof vest and baton discarded somewhere along the way. As soon as he's inside the door to the bookstore, he looks to the counter and Cass. "Need a table," he states in obvious distress. And hello, Cass.

Oh my god. Someone's hand is in her….oh god. Oh god. In the cab, Elenas's squished somewhere between Lachlan and Doberman, and where Eric and Drake have managed to cram themselves in the cab. Oh my god. She was never doing this again. Never ever ever ever ever! Granted, never had she felt more alive….no! No no no no no! This will NOT be a habit. This will not be a habit! Papa doesn't brake for small animals. So when the door is popped open, she practically -tumbles- into the pavement, gasping and clawing for air. It was pretty tight in there. And how weird was that to have a cab spill out a pile of people wearing black and ski masks? It was like a bad comedic heist movie.

She yanks her mask off her face and flops on the concrete.

"OOooph…" Eric is smished in there with everyone and is just in the process of shaking his head. This is crazy. He just sits there as people spring out and unfold themselves. "…I'll pay the cabbie!" He calls in a slightly scrushed voice. "…you guys go on." And the cabbie is going to get paid, and a 'YOU DIDN'T SEE THIS' bribe. <_<
Lee is starting up on point two of the native New Yorkers' list of yearly complaints, with the eternal: "It all goes back to friggin' Gui-li-an-ni, and…who the hell is /that/?"

Nodding absently to Lee's diatribe against the government and taxes, Cass isn't really listening. She could be agreeing to just about anything right now and would have no idea. "Total disgrace," she says absently to him. Alyssa's questions are answered in the most distracted manner when they're brought up. But the screeching of tires startles her out of her reverie. She's kind of jumping at any unexpected noise. The sudden appearance of Lachlan with the bleeding doberman springs her into action without a second thought. "Lach!" She hasn't noticed anyone else as of yet. Customers are fleeing from the blood and violence, but the store owner doesn't care. "Come on. Back room. Alyssa, watch the front!" Throwing the door open to the employee room, she sweeps everything off her desk so that Lachlan can put Padfoot down on top of it. Explanations can come later.

Only a quarter-step behind Lachlan, Jack pulls off his mask and earpiece and tosses both to the floor. With a scratching rip, he tears loose the velcro tabs on his own armored vest and throws it down, too. No time for nicities. This dog practically landed on a flash grenade, then proceeded to get shot while attacking a man with a very intimidating rifle. Uh. Oh. People. "Hi there," Jack mumbles blandly. No matter, the damage is done now. Turning his back, he produces two bottles of water and a roll of paper towels to go with the first aid kit tucked under his arm, then follows Cass to the back.

Alyssa do the what, now? Because some guy just chucked 'The ABC's of Abductions' at her and took off out the door. Recovering with vague stuttering on her part, the good employee hurries through the shelves to the front door where every member of some crooked team is piling in or nearby. She could possibly excused them as really excited LARPers except for the part where a man holding a bleeding animal hurries past. Stunned, all she can do is grab the front door, and push slightly outside to see if anyone else is coming in or anyone else is staring too much. "Are you alright?" To Eric, Elena, anyone— herself?

Lee turns around to one side, "I…" people rush past him, "Hey…" he keeps turning, people rush past him the other way, "But…" he keeps turning as a dog is rushed past him, "The…" he keeps turning as a customer rushes for the door, "See…" and finally he turns back around to what is happening and although his eyes are wide and he looks as stunned as Alyssa, he looks weirdly non-dizzy. "So…what the hell? Are you guys PETA or what?"

"…." Elena watches Eric pay for the cab. Suspicion grows, but her face softens and she shakes her head. Maybe he was just frugal? She opens the door and walks into Enlightenment books, pausing to wait for Eric to get to where she is. And when he reaches the door, she heads for the back room. "Hi," she tells Alyssa with a small smile. "We're okay. It's just that the dog had a really bad accident," she tells Alyssa. "And the vet offices around aren't open this time of night." Yes. Yes. Nothing to see here. She starts heading for where the commotion is, and sinks down on a chair, watching Cass and Jack attend to poor Padfoot. "Do you all need any help?" she asks. The kid was pre-med after all. Who knew she was so talented? She's looking out to the window, and she looks apprehensive. Drake already left to go home - he had curfew. But…what about the rest?

Padfoot is laid out on the desk and then Lachlan drops onto his knees at the dog's head and proceeds to pet him and murmur quietly to him. Of course the comfort is telepathic as well, though it's not doing much. Padfoot's eyes are starting to glaze, bloodied tongue lolling.

"Ok.. Let's do this." Jack speaks with a confidence he doesn't feel. Sure, this is the best first-aid kit you can appropriate from a grocery store, but it's still just a first aid kit. He looks at his woefully inadequate tools, then sets everything down but one water bottle. After popping the top, Jack washes the blood from the dog's wounds, then slides a hand underneath him. "I feel exit wounds," he murmurs. "Believe it or not, that's good. No bullets inside. I think the best we can do is patch him up and pray." He shoots a sympathetic glance at Lachlan.

Pulling off her sweater, Cass lays it over Padfoot and starts applying pressure to where the fiercest bleeding is occurring once Jack has finished cleaning the wounds. She's no vet, but it doesn't look like the dog is going to make it. There's no way she can fix that many bullet holes in the dog. Even if she were able to pull all the bullets out of him, the damage looks to be mostly at his chest and that's never a good sign. But, she's going to do her best to stop the bleeding and give him whatever chance she has. Unfortunately for Lee and Alyssa, she's already too involved in trying to help poor Padfoot to answer their confused and very legitimate questions. "What /happened/?" Not caring about the blood that's now soaking her sweater or her hands, she tries to get some information. "Jack, there's a first aide kit in my desk. Get it for me, would you? I don't think there's any more bullets, but if there are, we're going to need something to get them out. And some gauze to help stop the bleeding."

Eric watches the cab drive off before he, his black bag full of things, and his black backpack, all come in though the door. His bags carried of course. He just shakes his head and sighs, looking around the place, oh look new people! He'll smile all chipperly, having pulled off the mask already…he actually looks slightly respectable. Though he drops his voice as he whispers towards Elena. "…next time, give me more time, and I'll hack into something and get a floorplan…"

"Unfortunately I was let in on this a little later," Elena murmurs, taking Eric's arm and pulling him to the back of the stacks as Jack and Cass undertake an emergency procedure to save Padfoot's life. "And I let you in on it even -later-." She looks at him apologetically. "I'm sorry it got so tense," she whispers. "I'll…tell you everything on the way home. It's just that…" She pauses, and she laughs softly. "I shouldn't have said anything after all." She looks up at him and smiles. "I -knew- if I told you I was going, you won't let me go alone." Her expression turns somewhat resigned. "You know if you keep doing this I'll never be able to pay you back."

Lee looks at Elena weirdly, "I'm not as dumb as I look - that wouldn't be actually possible and me still stand upright and get complete sentences out." he quips, for starters. "That dog got shot and you all had ski masks. Accident my pasty white uptown ass. Cass, you want me to call the cops on these maniac…" But before he can finish the question it becomes clear that she's in it with them, and he concludes: "What the /hell/ people!"

"….foiled," is all she says to Lee, and it takes all of Elena's superb willpower to keep herself from laughing. With hysteria. Because she was amazed she got out of there alive.

Having already passed beyond the threshold of pain, Padfoot is completely unresponsive to anything that happens to him. He's still breathing, but it's extremely labored. His gums are deathly pale, indicating blood loss, and he occasionally gives up a wet, violent cough. Like his dog, Lachlan is unresponsive. He's too focused on /willing/ the Doberman to stay alive.

Once everyone's inside, Alyssa slams the door shut very firmly because, somehow, that seems like the thing to do. Anyone who was just hanging around isn't anymore, so there's just people who know what's going on and… like, two who don't. Although she was told to stay near the front, Alyssa trails closer to the employee room at the voices coming from it. "Accident… dressed like… but the guy who….." Unlike Lee, there are no complete sentences for her. "There's /blood/ in there," a helpful point towards the back, "Did you say /shot/? Somebody just said shot."

Glad to let someone else take the lead on doggie first-aid, Jack scrambles off. Moments later he returns with the aforementioned kit, which he sets next to his own. "Ok.. Let's do this," he repeats. Hopeless cause or not, Padfoot is an able-bodied warrior of the highest order. A comrade in arms, no less. Jack plans to do everything in his power to keep this puppy kickin'. "What do you think, Cass? I'm inclined to just sew him up, front and back. Rootin' around inside.. I don't know if I'm up to that."

Lee calls out to Alyssa, "The friggin' /dog/ got shot!" as if that's just the last "friggin'" straw.

Though she's wrist deep in dog blood, Cass knows a few basics about the situation around them. Dimly, she's aware that her store is still unlocked, there's a bleeding dog on her desk, and people asking awkward questions. Somewhere, she hears Elena and latches onto that voice as well as remembering Alyssa works here That's something. "Alyssa! Lock the door. Elena! Don't let anyone out of in until this is all squared away." This is her store and she will take charge. "There will be /no/ calling of the cops until I figure out what the hell is going on. And everyone will /calm the fuck down/ until we fix up Padfoot." Okay, that piece said, she turns back to what is really important right now. "We need to make sure there's no more bullet wounds. Dammit, I don't know what to do with animals. I went to /med school/. Tentatively, she feels the wounds and can't see anything that would warrant cutting the poor dog open even more. "I…I think we're clear on that front at least." Letting up on the pressure, she digs her bloody hands in her first aid kit. Coming up with some peroxide, she pours it over her hands to make them cleaner. "Um…um…yeah. Sewing him up I guess?" She's never done this on someone alive, but that's probably not a good thing to say aloud.

Eric is just…looking around, he has no idea who thease people are, how much they know, or how much anyone is willing too tell anyone. However, when Cass takes charge like that he just nods, thumps the big bag on one side, then his laptop bag on the other side, and looks around for a seat of some type. "…this is going to be a looong night." Uncle Jack! Your the boss! You explain!

"Don't worry, lass," Jack quietly encourages Cass. He's certainly stitched up enough of his own scrap-marks over the years. "Just take your time, and keep the stitches small. Everything will so stellar." As he speaks, he cracks open his own first-aid kit and pulls out a pre-threaded needle with a generous length of suture in clear packaging. After peeling back the plastic, he passes it over to Cass. "Go on. If you went to med school, you're a damn sight more qualified than I am." Sorry, Eric. Uncle Jack is too busy to mock your fledgling masculinity just now, but rest assured that he'll be with you as soon as he's able.

If Cass has never done this on a live thing before, she doesn't have to worry now. One more cough from Padfoot and then his ribs sink with a soft hiss. At the dog's head, Lachlan starts up a low panicked line of swearing and half-rises to his feet, gripping the animal's head with both hands and giving it a small desperate shake. "Paddy? Paddy?" Beeeeeeeeeeep goes the imaginary heart monitor.

"Oh my /God/, who would shoot a /dog/?!" This, obviously, being ten times worse than shooting a person. Alyssa snaps to attention at the sound of her own name, luckily. See, 'lock the door' is a very nice, normal thing to do. Now with a purpose, Alyssa maneuvers to way back towards the door and turns the lock on the door. "The door is locked," she informs herself quietly in order to help with Cass' second rule— that there be some sort of calm amidst the /bleeding/ and the /black masks of doom/. The medical expertise in the back room probably rates higher than her own failed journey into that area and yet she can't help but be drawn right back to the employee room, her palms pressed nervously to the doorway. The offer of help catches in her throat at the sound of someone else mourning the dog. She might recognize Lachlan if she weren't so shaken up, herself.

Eric /also/ suddenly realises that Elena is talking to him. He blinks then grins slightly towards her. "Don't worry about it…." He suddenly murmurs softly towards her "Its…well of course I couldn't let you go by yourself, you might have gotten hurt." A pause again before he just watches the latina girl. Then he slowly reaches over, grabs her by the shoulders, and pulls her towards her too kiss her quite soundly. Right on the lips too. He lets it go on a little bit before letting her go, and then nodding firmly towards her. "There. All repaid."

It should be noted that his face is a WONDERFUL shade of bright red now. It was the adrialine that made him do that.

"Shit!" In true, high-drama ER fashion, Jack sends all of the piled medical supplies flying with a shove when Paddy lets out his last breath. Pill bottles, bandages, and clippers shotgun across the room. Before they've even stopped rolling, Jack is at Lachlan's side. Despite all his bluff and bluster, he /likes/ the Scot. He gives Lach's shoulder a quick, gentle squeeze. "It was an honor to share the field of battle with your friend, boyo." It's the highest compliment that he can think to pay.

Lee says, "Well, don't bring your friggin' dog on the Lindbergh kidnapping next time, for crying out loud!" displaying neither empathy nor survival instinct. When the youths smooch, he rolls his eyes with the kind of blase' that can only come from turning a garden hose on oral sex behind the janitor's shed three times a month. "Cass, what /is/ this?" he asks.

Taking the needle from Jack, Cass takes a deep breath and reaches forward to lay her hand on Padfoot. She wants to calm him down before she sticks a needle through his skin, but as she does so, the dog gives it's last breath. Holding the needle, she looks at the dog that was just recently living with wide eyes. She was trying to help. She wanted to help. She's shocked and heartbroken. Lachlan's dog. Unsure of what to do in this situation, she puts the needle down gently and spreads her blood soaked sweater over the rest of the poor dog to give him some dignity. "Lee, shut your face right now. Please." Her voice is tight. Impulsively, she reaches out to wrap her arms around the Scot. She's not sure it will be well received, but she has no idea what else to do.

Wordlessly, Jack straightens from Lachlan's side and crosses the room. Standing in front of Lee now, he speaks with a calm cheerfulness that's one-hundred percent artificial. "I'm going to punch you now. Right in the testicles." And then he swings a low, mean uppercut.

Lee says, "What?" and collapses, vomiting.

"I just….I don't know what's come over me. After hearing that there's…I'm -never- this reckless. Never. And I've been trying to keep you a secret away from these people, but with so few of us going I thought…it—" Elena is cut off, forced to face him as her shoulders are grabbed and his mouth is on hers. Her dark eyes are wide, her shoulders stiff, feeling his strong aikido grip clamp down her arms as he drags her in. Never been kissed, it takes a while for her to realize just what he's doing exactly. But held like that for a while, for once, the teenager closes her eyes and lets herself go, kissing him back shyly….before pushing him back against the stacks and pushing the kiss further. Adrenaline. Pure adrenaline. Taken up by the sudden gesture, the usually shy girl who thought she was going to DIE an hour or so earlier just SNOGS THE CRAP out of her classmate. It was LIKE A TEEN MOVIE, if we're covering a bunch of genres tonight. Just with more….dog killing and beating people's faces in. Yes.

When she's let go, she, too, is red, looking away and clearing her throat. "Ah…" Her fingertips move to touch her lips. They're tingly. Are they supposed to do that? "Eric, I've…I mean, I haven't been…"

And then, Jack's bellow catches her attention. She looks at Eric in alarm, and trots over to the back room. And leaves him there. A husk of his former self. Evil succubus.

The Eric Husk follows, looking slightly dazed. However, its such a good kind of dazing. The evil succubus has left him a very /happy/ shell of himself, however the daze passes as he walks into the room just in time too see Jack go low and cruel over the family jewels. He just stares, and turns slightly away, hissing in pain. "…ow…just…ow…" Sympthy pains are a bitch.

No amount of shaking Padfoot's head is going to bring him back, but hey, Lachlan's not exactly rational. The Scotsman continues to plead with the dog's corpse until the sweater is drawn over his head. Then, he lets out a whimper and stands there, eyes watering. He doesn't return Cass' embrace or even really react to it much at all, but it sure saves Lee from being flung through a window that would need expensive replacing later. It's the least he can do, since Cass paid his /bail/ last night. And hey, Jack took care of things anyway. Lachlan simply stares at the sweater-covered dog in silence.

There's people shouting /everywhere/ right now. Alyssa jerks back away from the door and the sight of the depressed Lachlan the moment that Crazy Mask #1 lets loose with the launching of all things off the table and so is quite able to see exactly how he stalks forward and delivers Crazy justice upon Lee. "Excuse me?!" she gasps, "Because that was completely necessary!" The world has gone /Crazy/. Actors make it look so easy, because now there's so little left to do for a real person in this situation. She's outnumbered, what with Lee being down and out. Maybe she'll go crouch by him, make sure he didn't fall into his own vomit or something.

The first thing she sees is Lee going down and puking. Elena crouches down next to him and rests a hand on his shoulder. "Easy," she murmurs. "Stop vomiting." ….and while one would think that anyone couldn't NOT just stop puking, Lee will suddenly find that it's extremely possible - at least when the girl is around anyway. She feels it work, feeling his system adjust to dull the pain and ease the gagging from it. She stands up slowly, and looks at the back room. She stands up and heads over once her work is done.

The high from the adrenaline and the soul-sucking snog drains away. When Elena moves to the backroom and sees a dead doberman on the table, her hands move to clap over her mouth. Her eyes start to water, staring at poor Fluffy as he lays on Cass's table lifeless.

Lee groans, coughs, chokes for breath, curls up, pale. "WhaddidIsay?" he manages, weakly.

Jack brushes imaginary dust off of his hands and looks down at Lee, who is busily reviewing his last meal. "That'll teach you to mind your manners, eh boyo?" Finally, a chance to accomplish something productive. He lifts one foot, preparing to kick the downed man. Then, at the last minute, he pulls the blow back and skips to a halt. Lack of tact isn't an executable offense, after all. Still, he frowns when Scrappy crouches to help him. Sighing, he turns his back on the spectacle and returns to help Cass comfort Lachlan. In an uncharacteristally emotional gesure, he also wraps one arm around his drinking buddy's shoulders. Then, realizing that this moment might be better shared between two people than three, he withdraws a pace.

Letting go of Lachlan almost immediately, Cass goes straight for Jack and attempts to grab him by the arm. "STOP IT!" There will be no fighting or rendering her friends inept while she's standing here. "Just /stop it/. Jack sit down. Lee, are you okay?" She kneels down by her friend to make sure he's still breathing, careful to avoid any vomit. That looked like it hurt. Once everything is checked out, she stands up again. "There is /obviously/ some explanations that need to happen here." She looks over at Alyssa and then to Lee. These two have no idea what might have been going on, but they're here and should probably have some sort of reasoning about what just happened. Stepping backwards a few moments, she reaches out to grab Lachlan's hand. It's a small gesture, but one to show that she's there for him. "Can someone please calmly and quickly tell me what went on?"

Lee adds, in the same vein as before, with Cass and Alyssa and (briefly) Elena over him, "Whatthefuckdid/I/ do?" He tries to uncoil, but even with the senses dulled, that's too much for right now. So he just tries to breathe.

"Something inappropriate and rage-inducing," Alyssa informs Lee, having stepped forward next to him once Elena had moved, "Maybe you should zip it for a couple seconds until you can stand at least." She isn't being sarcastic, but she isn't going to be gentle either. A dog just died. This is cause for serious breaking up of emotions. She also glances up at Cass when the boss looks at her and then to Lachlan and then… to whoever decides to speak up.

Lee ugghs, but takes Alyssa's advice. Either that or he's muttering nasty things under his breath. The probabilities of each outcome are left as an exercise for the reader.

With little else to do, Jack's attention returns to Lee, who already seems a bit improved. May as well enjoy things while he can, then. Leaning low over the man, he kisses the top of his head and whispers, "My name's Jack. And yes, I just mooshied your chestnuts. You be nice to my friend now, y'hear?"

Sorrow very quickly turns to anger, and when Cass takes his hand after checking up on Lee, Lachlan squeezes it. It's not hard enough to cause pain, but it's definitely very firm. His lips form into a flat line and press together tightly as he turns to the woman beside him. "'ll tell ye wha' bloody happened," he growls. "There were a buncha guys there with /guns/ an' /flashbangs/, tha's wha'. They fuckin' knew we were comin'." And right now? Right now /everyone in this room/ is to blame for the loss of Padfoot. Lachlan has enough angst for all present.

Padfoot is dead? Padfoot can't be dead! Little tears start falling from her eyes. Elena was no badass, but them going in there….it was their fault. It was all their fault. Granted Lach didn't have to go and he didn't have to bring Padfoot. That and she likes dogs - she wants to have one of her own someday. But the thing saved their butts and gave them enough warning that people were coming. Padfoot was a hero. And like most heroes before him, he died. Her hands are still covering her mouth, what they've just -done- and -tried to do- hitting her in full force at the sight of a dead body. Even if it was a dog's. But the dog was one of THEM. HER crew.

"I don't know what exactly happened, or what you know or don't…" Eric finally speaks up. "…oh, I'm Eric by the way…but…he's right. They were waiting for us, they knew we were going too be there…we got out because there were only a few of them…but…" He gestures towards the dog and looks down. They had guns, he didn't think they would shoot anyone. However when Elena starts too try, he looks down and does the only thing he can do in a situation like this. He hugs her. Poor thing.

Oh no. Nodding approvingly when Eric takes up the job of comforting Elena, he whispers, "Take care of her for me, Nearly Male. I'm too tired to handle a leaky teenage girl just now." And he looks it. It's as if he's ten years older. Suddenly, the pressure of the nights events and Epic Failures weighs heavily on him. Premature worry lines crease his brow and the corners of his mouth.

Lee tries to laugh at Jack, and regrets it even /without/ any retaliation, coughing and curling up and breathing deep again. He finally manages: "Y…you have friends? I bet they have to go your bail a lot."

"Hey, shove off, you've done enough," Alyssa hisses at Jack as he comes near, putting a hand on Lee's shoulder, retracting it, hovering it near and then pulling both hands tight to her stomach instead. The explaining starts to happen, but Cass had better be getting this better than Alyssa is because, uh… 'them' and guns and… does this really happen? Somehow, robberies and ski masks and real people with guns seems more surreal than anything evolution-wise that's been going on. Maybe it's the overwhelming weight of that something has died in here today. She's got no words- oh wait, except "Hey, and you were being quiet!" goes to Lee.

There's so much going on and too many conversations happening at once for Cass. She's trying to take it all in, but she's got to prioritize. Right now, as selfish as it is, Lachlan and his grief is taking a big front seat in her mind. And she listens to his explanation with a deeply furrowed brow. "They…they knew you were coming? What? Are you /sure/?" This is something that is deeply worrying if he's true. How could the Company know about a covert operation? She looks around at the people milling about her store in a dazed sort of manner. Oh man, what does she do with these people? "Um, Elena…Eric, was it? Would you please look after Lee? There should be some pain killers in my first aid kit. Make sure Jack didn't break anything. Jack, Alyssa, would you, um, try and find something we can…uh…cover Padfoot with?" Something better than her sweater. Jobs make everyone happy. And less confused. Then she turns back to Lachlan and kneels down instead of taking a chair opposite of him, concern clear on her face. "Lach, I'm really sorry about Padfoot."

She's hugged, and Elena sags onto Eric. Adrenaline was draining away, and she was exhausted. Puffy, red eyes peer out from around Eric's shoulder at the rest, her eyes tilting to Cass. She tries not to hiccup like a baby, and when she speaks, her voice is surprisingly steady given her excellent willpower not to do anything she doesn't want to. "Sorry for barging into your place like this, Cass. But we didn't know where else to go," she says, her voice muffled slightly by Eric's shirt. But when Cass says what she does, it snaps her head upwards. She looks at Cass. "….what do you mean…? Who -else- was in this aside from our crew?" she says, looking at everyone. "Who else knew about this?" But at Cass's direction, she moves away so she could get the painkillers. No need to flaunt her abilities to someone she doesn't know.

Not too much anyways.

Damn the rules, and damn all your sensibilities. Jack's going to smoke. He flicks a pack of Marlboros from his sleeve, then twists two between his lips and lights both with a match. Casually, he flicks the hot, spent bit of wood onto the floored Lee without actually aknowledging him, then offers one of the lit cigarettes to Lachlan. A moment later, the Marlboro pack is replaced by a slim, silver flask of good bourbon that Jack can rarely be found without. This is also offered up to the Scot. Then, without a word, he shucks off his long coat and uses it to cover Padfoot more thoroughly.

Eric sighs and nods towards Cass. "I'm sure, they had a team of three, all loaded for an attack, with flashbang grenades…tazers…" He shakes his head. "…I…don't know what happened to the other group either. The alarms started too go off…we got out of there while we could, lost contact with the rest. We heard something about the cells…but they wern't using the radios either." He looks down a moment. "…I don't think they saw any of our faces though, were lucky in that." And after that bit of information towards Cass, the young man just turns and nods, following Elena too go get some stuff for Lee. Who, though he is indeed awsome, is not awsome enough to take squishing of the jewels.

Lee replies to Alyssa, trailing off, "Man addressed me…not gonna be rude and say /nothin'/…" Rude, or smart. The match actually falls into the li'l pool of Lee-sick, an odd air current probably. He keeps his mouth shut as Ocean's Eleven describe how the plan went wrong.

Lachlan's got the office chair. It's comfortable. But it's not terribly comfortable, because he's got strange dogs from somewhere outside chattering in his head. He can and usually does only focus on his Dobermans, but now he can't, and that's unsettling. Still, aside from reddened eyes and a frown, he's not showing any signs of crying. That comes later, when he can go home, get drunk, and bawl himself into a coma! And oh, hey, Jack's offering him booze now. And a cigarette. These are accepted after a moment's hesitation with a nod and a grateful grunt. "'S fine," he lies to Cass. "He was a good dog an' he did wha' he was s'posed ta do."

She remains quiet, her eyes falling on Lee and Alyssa and pondering. Elena looks at Cass with a bit of alarm. Her words clearly tell her that she, too, was in on it. Should they be having this discussion in front of Alyssa and Lee? They might be friends of Cass's though. They could be trusted, but she doesn't know. Suddenly she's regretting that she took off her ski mask and the words are spilling out between Lachlan and Eric and Cass. So she's not going to mention anyone by name in hopes it helps mitigate whatever breach they were having at the moment. Maybe, and she hopes, they all just thought it was a robbery gone wrong. But she does administer Lee his painkillers.

"Hardy har," Alyssa mutters for Lee's supposed sensibility but she's got that order thing going on again so she pushes to her feet, skirts around the entirely unhelpful guy smoking with a roll of her eyes, and begins to rustle about the back of the place for something- anything. It isn't till she's got herself away from everyone else that she can let out a little choke of a breath, a hint of a cry that isn't happening. She bites her lip to keep her shoulders from shaking. "Search, search, search," she mutters when she thinks she can, "Cover. Finding a cover." What sort of cover happens in a bookstore?

Cass gives Lachlan's hands a squeeze and then stands up again. This is a mess. There is just no ifs ands or buts about it. She looks around at everyone gathered here and sighs. Where is Hiro to take control of this situation for her? She looks to Lee and to Alyssa. She trusts them and likes them, but can they be trusted with /this/ information? There's no real choice, is there? She catches the look given to her by Elena and gives a quick affirmative nod. "Okay. This is….awkward. And weird. Lee, Alyssa. I'm going to talk about something here that is really strange and might be potentially dangerous. It has something to do with that conversation we were having earlier, Lee. And, Alyssa, it has something to that book we're selling here. Activating Evolution." Just so the two know some of what they might be getting themselves into. She sighs and looks around again. "If you don't want to know, please leave. And /please/ don't tell anyone about what you've seen here tonight. But if you want to help, you're welcome to stay and listen." She looks around to se who all agrees with her on this decision. "I have a feeling we need help," she says to those already in the know.

For the first time, Jack thinks of the other Company raid team. "Ohshit.." he mutters as he digs out his cell phone. No missed calls. No text messages. He bites his lip and ponders briefly. If he'd been captured, the last thing he'd want is for someone to call him and stumble into the whole mess. Instead he replies to Cass, "Tell me about it. Everybody check your phones. Any contact from team one at all? I've got nothin'."

Lee says, "Thanks." to Elena. Under the influence, he is - slowly - able to straighten out his legs and push himself up to be seated against the wall, and listen. He can't tell if he's sitting or laying down, and it shows on his face. Cass gives her pitch and Lee's reply comes: "Or what? I might get my chestnuts mooshied?" That's his way of saying he's staying. Of course he's not going to be exactly running a hundred yard dash anytime in the next day or so.

The latina digs out her phone, Elena sliding the cherry red phone with the cartoon ninja on it. She flips it open, and she checks her messages. She shakes her head slowly. "No…none on mine. But nobody else has my phone number in the team save for you and Cass," she says. And then she blanches. "…the alarms…." she says softly. "The alarms. If Lachlan and Eric are right and they were -waiting- for us then…." Then something went wrong. Terribly wrong. Oh god. Oh god. Her face drains of color. The facility was secure. She saw it herself running down the hall and down the stairs. She remembered the guns and the flashbangs and god knows what else. She saw -people she knows- in the facility. And Jane. Oh god. Jane could be dead.

After taking a quick swig from the flask, Lachlan reaches into his pocket to retrieve his cell and glances at the display. One new text message. "Mm, wait," he utters, flipping open the phone and pushing a few buttons. After a moment's silence, he shakes his head. It's not the sort of message /they/ want to see, but then he hardly expected to have a call or text from anyone in Team One. After all, he didn't really /know/ anyone. "Nevermin', I got nothin'." To Lee, he shoots a cool glare and a scowl. "Ye'll get more'n tha'," he utters, before quietly settling down to smoke and get drunk. These are pleasant things to be doing.

Lee says, "How many nut-punching drunken foreign pals did that dog /have/?" A pause, he shakes his head as if trying to clear the haze of the painkillers. "…was that out loud?" he mutters. "…how about that?" he adds, even softer.

"You tell on us and I'll get Nima to mooshie your chestnuts for the rest of your life," Cass replies to Lee, a smirk finally playing on her face. "So shut your smart mouth unless you actually have something to say." Jack's sudden thought about the first party. Reaching into her pocket, she pulls out her phone and shakes her head. "Nothing." She pauses. "Dammit. I don't know anything of what the plan was to go rescue that kid. Just that it was happening." Then, she realizes that Lee and Alyssa are still not briefed. "Look, I'm giving you the quick and dirty version of this. There are people who have abilities. Powers to do amazing things. And there's an organization that kidnaps these people and then holds them against their will to test them. See how far they can stretch those abilities. Tonight a couple people tried to rescue the people who were held there." She says nothing about abilities or anyone's name yet. She's not going to break anyone's trust. "Apparently something went really wrong." That's it for the catch up. "Now tell me what went on. Where's Hiro and the others? Can we call them?"

Now that he's put two and two together, Jack likewise turns a lovely, porcelain shade of pale. Looking a bit sickened, he meets Elena's gaze. "No.. You think so?" Before he even asks, he knows. It makes too much sense. Only two teams, and Team Two had silenced every bit of opposition that they encountered. Absently, he takes the flask from Lachlan's hand, swigs from it, then gives it back. This is Definately Not Good. Forgotten, the long column of ash that's formed on Jack's cigarette finally gives way to gravity and falls to the floor. Though he's more than happy to lead people into a fight, thinkin' man's planning is hardly his forte. "What do we do now?" he queries. Then Lee speaks up. Of course Lee speaks up. "Boyo," Jack growls. "Next time you sneeze and I don't like the color, I'm going to turn your eyebrows into a moustache." His reply to Cass is a little more complex. "Things went fine, for our part. When the alarms went off we rabbited. For now, I wouldn't call Hiro. Team One could still be inside, working." Mightily, Jack tries to sound like he believes that's possible. Fail. :(

"Yeah, I'm here," Coming up beside Cass, Alyssa has a ratty but functional piece of fabric over her arm that was once used in a front display and then forgotten. She had to pass by a couple things of bubble-wrap to get it, but it's there and, pointedly not looking at anyone else, she approaches the still Padfoot and carefully lays the fabric over him. Right before the head is covered, she pulls away Cass' sweater and then leans in to give the dog a light, shaky kiss on the forehead. It's obvious they, including this dog, were through hell this evening. And it ended up tying back to the whole evolution thing anyway. She swallows hard at the summary she's given and since everyone has something else to say about this mission- and apparently /more/ people- she's unable to voice any of the questions scratching in her throat. "There's people," she finally says, sliding up next to her boss, who she knows the best, "… people like this everywhere? Going all… evil versus Bondish?"

"Elena is the only one with my number," Eric replies easily as he turns towards the rest of them. He blinks once, then again. "…you mean…the other group had…their numbers in their cellphones." He blinks. "…I…oh my…they could trace those." He adds lamely before he rubs the back of his neck. "…if they figure out who you all are at least." He adds after a moment. He lapses into silence as he goes off in thought. His eyes snap back toards Cass though, and he shakes his head. "If they are captured, I wouldn't try too call them, that will mark you…I mean…the alarms went off and we weren't the ones that tripped them." He fumbles though, lapsing again into silence, he…dosn't really know how too handle this very well. He runs his hand though his hair then before he sighs. "I'd offer too try too slice into whatever system they have there…but I don't even know /what/ they have, and I didn't think too do it while I was inside…" He sounds apologetic now before he just shakes his head. He's…at a loss here.

Lee says, "…/whose/ mustache?" But he can't sound belligerent while drugged. He just sounds puzzled, like he can't quite work out how exactly that threat is supposed to work. He listens closely, and his drugged voice seems willing to 'entertain the notion' even if he's too dazed to believe or disbelieve what is going on. "So there was another group that was supposed to rescue this guy, and you're not sure whether they succeeded or not? What were /you/ supposed to do exactly?"

The flask is easily given up to Jack and accepted once again by Lachlan. He takes another gulp from it as everyone talks. Having not really known anyone or anything going on with Team Two, he seems to be one of the less-perturbed people present. Alyssa's display toward Padfoot gets a small smile from the Scotsman. "Thank ye, lass," he utters quietly to her. Other than that, he says nothing and is content to simply listen to the others. And smoke and drink.

Cass thinks as quickly as she can. There are new people being brought into the fold, there are dead dogs, there is betrayal. "Okay. Dammit. Dammit, this isn't good. Eliana was right, this was a bad idea." She crosses her arms and tries to keep the urge to pace at bay. "Okay, I think the first thing you people do is get new phones, new phone numbers. I don't know if they'd be able to trace you or know who you were through cellphones, but let's not take that chance." Deciding to take a moment to explain a bit more to Alyssa, she shakes her head. "No. Well, yes, I guess? I don't know. I got the feeling that where ever there were people with abilities there was this Company." She runs a hand through her hair. "I'm not sure on this plan myself. They might be in danger, though? We need to get /information/. There were two teams? Who was doing what? And who may be left in there? That's important." She looks at Alyssa and Lee. Names. They're going to hear names.

With a spitting hiss of extinguished spark, Jack drops his spent cigarette butt into the near-empty water bottle he used to cleanse Padfoot's wounds. Right now he's too weary to think much about consequences. He's too weary to think of anything besides the fact that Team One is still out of contact. Cass's sensible series of suggestions perks him up a bit, though. "It's not really important what we were doing. What matters is that we failed. Hiro would've gotten us out when the alarm went of if he was able…" Jack leaves the rest of his thought unspoken. Short Round was so cheerily pudgy, he'd always seemed unassailable. The thought of someone besting him isn't pleasing to the Irishman, who's faith in Hiro has been unswerving thus far.

Eric frowns slightly. "…the only thing that could stop…" He waves a hand. "…the boss…is…that Hatiain we were suposed too distract right." He slowly reasons out. "If he didn't get out…then that would mean the guy was waiting for him right?" He frows again. Someone was waiting for them. That…has too mean. Well he won't say it, given he's the new guy there besides Lee and Alyssa. He's thinking it though, they were all betrayed by…someone.

Lee says, "I /assume/ someone thought of getting some proof and going to the press or the cops or a university or the Internet or…" He seems to have run out of possible authorities to go to. "…the Food and Drug Administration. Department of Labor." A longer pause. "Oprah." Another pause. Or maybe he's reached the end of his thought. A tough time focusing results in the following idea, not really in sequence: "Maybe the first team's not contacting you because they think you gave them up, or because they're busy giving /you/ up. I read a lot of Le Carre." /Not/ Bond. No, no. Lee is /literary/.

"Scrappy" paces around, trying to work that analytical brain. Elena has been rather surprised at just how much streetsmartedness she had exhibited so far, ducking into a spare room before the flashbang affected her, suggesting that her team wear gloves and ski masks and nondescript clothing so they wouldn't be recognized. As everyone talks, she is thinking, staring out the window of the closed store. After a pause, she looks over the rest. "We can't call them," she decides, nodding to what Jack says. "No. We can't call them. I know someone who has my cellphone number. I need to ditch mine or change it. You guys should do the same. The facility looked pretty high-tech. They can try a trace and all my little shenanigan-filled thinking and movie watching wuold be all for naught. Because if we got away and owned the others as just mere distractions they're going to think -we're- the dangerous ones. I would suggest lying low for a bit. No visible methods of contact. We need to devise a system. Something low tech and can't be traced."

She starts pacing around again. "…if anyone from Team One got out, they'll contact us first. Jack, you're our contact point - you should keep your channels open. But we can't call them. Any of them. We'll wait for them to call us. And I also have another suggestion." She pauses. "….the man they were trying to rescue is Peter Petrelli. The brother of former Congressman Nathan Petrelli. I'm going to assume that the family bonds are tight. While we can't call those who we think were taken, we might be able to contact those who are -close- to the ones who were taken, and see if they heard anything."

In essence, they can call the Petrelli house.

Alyssa knows that she's one of the strangers here, at this point, and the sort of sideways attention or general distrust aimed towards that makes her infinitely more uncomfortable than anything else somehow. She hasn't got anything to contribute and now she's out of jobs to do. In fact, she's even starting to regret saying she'd stay five seconds ago. Just being here could be giving her some kind of scary negative bad-guy attention. Sucking in again one of those heavy breaths required to keep from freaking out, she steps to what she knows, and that's now Lachlan. The most hesitant of hands goes near his shoulder as she considers and then dips in to give /his/ forehead a kiss too. "I'm /so/ sorry," she expresses. Then it's quick to shuffle back, cross her arms tightly over her chest, and absorb what she can hear without looking… too much like she's just standing there absorbing.

Thought it's not without reservation, Jack nods to Elena's suggestion that he be the contact hub. Of all the people here, he's probably the best-equipped to evade capture and fight back now that Lachlan is indisposed. "I'll keep my old number on," he rumbles. "And I'll try to set up as many other ways to get in touch with Team One as I can. I'm not without my resources. In the meantime, Scrappy's right. You should get rid of your phones. Technology's a bitch. Just give me your new numbers so I can spread whatever word I get."

Betrayed. It's such an ugly word and situation to find oneself in. "Yes, Lee, because when faced with the supernatural and people who can bend space and time, we run immediately to Opera to bare all. Why not just call Jerry Springer while we're at it? Super Heroes Gone Wild." This is not a joking matter right now and Cass isn't taking it as such. "I've already started on a system, Elena." She sighs and looks at those gathered. "Hiro and I talked about me gathering all the information I could and encrypting it for later use. I've…um…already got it started." She looks a little sheepish at this. "I was going to call and talk to each of you to make sure I got everything as thoroughly as possible. I'm still planning on doing that. So, I'm going to need everyone's new number." Sighing she shakes her head at Elena. "I'm not sure. What are we going to do? Call the Petrellis and ask if anyone involved in a covert operation has shown up at their house? Ask if that son they've been missing for awhile randomly turned up? It's too suspicious. If we want to lay low, that's the last thing I would do." Alyssa's kiss on the forehead to Lachlan isn't missed and it deepens the frown Cass already has. Just react to that, Lachlan. "My number's staying the same, too. I'll pass it around."

"I can set up some fake email addresses, something with some kind of rotating ISP thats difficult too trace if you want that too be a general information drop," Eric speaks up them, offering his services quickly and easily. He wants too help as much as he can. It looks like he just got in at a /really bad time it seemed. "And if you trust me enough, I can help with encrpting things if you like." He adds after a moment. "…I think though laying low is the best thing too do for right now."

Lee looks slightly confused at Cass' rebuke, like 'who mentioned Oprah'? Don't abuse prescription painkillers, kids. He replies, "Right. And the Department of Labor is out because it's too boring." distractedly. He lifts his knees up to his chest and then lowers them again. He doesn't throw up again! Or pass out! Woo hoo! He listens to the rest with somewhat hazy interest.

All this talk means basically nil to Lachlan, except the bit about phones. He glances at his again before carrrrrefully setting it on the desk near Padfoot's corpse. There. He's gotten rid of it already. It's going to be such a hassle to change his number, what with all the criminal contacts he's got. Alyssa's kiss to his forehead is met with a bit of a surprised stare, but it quickly turns into a smile. Aww, thanks. The thought doesn't even cross his mind that Cass is watching. "Think layin' low's the best bet," he grunts in agreement with Eric. "'Sides, 'm in enough trouble as it is." What with his two recent arrests and pending trial.

"No, we call them in a few days," Elena says. "Not right away. And ask if former Congressman Nathan Petrelli is home. And if the answer is 'no', like we're assuming it's going to be, ask when we would be able to get in touch with him. If they say I don't know, then they haven't seen him and we move on. They could be covering up if they -did- see him, but it's worth a shot. They might not know anything about this which would probably give us more of a chance in getting an honest answer." She shrugs. "Either way. It's a phone call that can be made anywhere, like a payphone in a subway, or a cafe, heart of the city….even the Company can't be everywhere at once. Especially if they don't know who to look for." She also looks at Cass with interest at the encryption.

"You wankers can lay low. I plan on pounding pavement 'til I find out what happened to our friends." Despite his words, Jack lacks the force or anger to actually be insult. He just sounds tired and sad. "Sorry," he apologizes, a rare event. Then he finds himself thinking about his Significant Something, Eliana. Having stopped by once and called twice, she's not suspiciously out of contact. Not yet. It's only been a day or two. Still… A slow, suspicious frown crawls across Jack's face. Headhshake and back to reality. "Lying low is the smartest thing any of you can do. I'm.. Well, I'm going to have to see what I can find out." Slumping, Jack seems to deflate. Despite his best efforts, the weight of tonight's failure and that of Team Two's fate weighs heavily on him. As he never has before, he looks small, weak, and defeated.

Cass gives Eric a grateful smile. "That sounds good. It'll certainly make things easier." The smile turns a little wryer at the offer of help. "Um, that would be great, but it's mostly all hand written. I don't trust computers." Hence why the store doesn't really use one. She looks around. "Laying low. We all agree. Great." She looks at Alyssa and Lee, a concerned frown pasted onto her face. "I'm really sorry about this all happening in front of you. Look. Just…come back into the store tomorrow and we'll talk about it, okay?" She's looking for at Alyssa for this than Lee. Lee looks like he's about to pass out any moment. If they're lucky, he'll think this is just a bad dream. "Yeah. Okay. Just, you know, discreetness." She's no good at this whole trying to keep everything under control stuff. She looks over at Lachlan and poor Padfoot in her pause. She catches the smile, but doesn't respond to it any sort of way. She sighs. "Keep us up to date, Jack. I'm going to see if I can find out anything from my end. We should all keep in touch somehow."

"I think the bookstore should be a meeting place for now…whenever we need it." Elena pauses, and looks at Cass. "I read this in a LeCarre novel once. Whenever a spy makes a drop, they stow the package in a drop point, and then mark some sort of landmark near it with a random mark. Like black indelible marker on a street sign or something. If someone finds something out, maybe we can do something like that, and just make a note to pass by that street sign every day and meet up here whenever the mark is up. It'll save us from calling one another." And New York? Full of graffiti. Nobody's going to notice. The same idea was also in Enemy of the State, except the mark was on a mailbox.

Lee says, "No no. I'm glad I was here. In fact I'm wishing I had been down here instead of standing over there when that sad sack went after…uh…my sack. That didn't start out as the ending I wanted for that sentence. Hey, uh, why would these Company dudes pick out a congressman's brother to kidnap? Are they stupid or…?" He can't come up with other options at the moment. But he's not exactly firing on all cylinders.

It doesn't take too long for Lachlan to finish off the flask. Whoops, sorry Jack. This is set on the desk next to his phone, and his spent cigarette is stubbed out on the side of his boot. "Mebbe a bench in Central Park," he adds to Elena's suggestion. "'S a nice public place, ye can walk by there whenever. Tha's where I usually wa— " he trails off with a frown. Oh. He doesn't get to walk his dogs anymore. "'S a good place ta walk," he finishes lamely.

"I don't think they care about much they seem too run roughshod over any kind of civil law or anything," Eric pipes up after a moment before glancing back toward Elena. "…dead drop, isn't that what they call that?" He asks curiously before he shrugs lightly. "We can do that…I mean I bet it would work, change it every week or so." He adds after a moment. "Central Park would work for me…"

"That's a great idea. My back room might get a little crowded, but I guess we're okay with getting a little close." Cass looks around at those gathered. "Let's decide on the symbol to use so we know." She thinks for a moment and then grabs her copy of Activating Evolution. Holding up the cover where the large helix symbol is, she shows it to everyone. "How about this? It's unique, but graffiti like. Whenever we see this symbol on the park bench we decide on in Central Park, we meet here half an hour after the store closes. How's that sound?"

"Yeah. A certain place. A certain time. So if we see the mark is there, we know to meet here at….say… 8:30? 30 minutes before the bookstore closes?" Elena adds. "And then whenever we meet, we change the new place then." She rubs her eyes and holds back a yawn. She shifts a little bit on the floor. She was exhausted. The adrenaline was gone and she's ready to crawl into bed. When Cass shows them the symbol, she nods. "Works for me. I've been gawking at that symbol since I got that book from you, Cass."

Jack nods wearily to Cass. "I'll let you know." Every minute that goes by heightens his nervousness. "If I find anything out, I'll draw the symbol on the super-secret park bench in black Crayola." For a half-second he takes himself and everyone else seriously. "Nevermind, I'll use a Sharpie.. Either way." When Lee speaks up again, it gives Jack an avenue to vent his frustration. "Who are you calling a sack, you fucking pussy? Why don't you puke some more?" A dangerous, angry expression crawls across his face, and he fingers the stun gun that's holstered at his right hip. It seems very possible that he'll continue to vent his frustration on the irritating but otherwise harmless man. Then, after glaring at Lee for a long moment, he turns his back. No matter how much Jack might wish it were so, no one here is to blame, and loosing his anger now won't be good for anyone.

Lee explains, somewhat disbelieving, "Because I haven't eaten anything since the last time I puked, come on, you /have/ to know how vomit works if you're going to go around nutting innocent people for no reason."

"There's a bench by a big ol' tree when yer comin' up on the zoo," Lachlan offers helpfully once again. "We can use tha' one." Then, he glances at the dog corpse again with a frown before rising and picking up his phone. "'F tha's all, I think I'm gonna go." His phone is tucked into his pocket and then he slides his hands under Padfoot's body and hefts it in his arms. It's already starting to get a bit stiff from rigor mortis.

Eric looks from Lee, too Jack, and then just coughs once. "…well…if thats that…" He murmurs. "…I guess we should all split up and try too keep under the radar right?" He glances around for a moment before his eyes fix on Elena again. Pause. Think. Think. Think. "…so…can I walk you home?" He murmurs quietly towards her, trying not too bother Lach and his sadness, and too his credit his voice dosn't even break. ._. Poor Lach. Poor Poor Lach. But…on the positive side, maybe Elena will try too suck his soul out though his mouth again if he walks her home. ^_^

Always look on the bright side of life!

Jack must be tired. He doesn't even mock Eric's attempt to pick up Elena. Without another word, he slips out of the store. The plans are set. There's little else to talk about. And so Jack leaps back into the fray. Still, the silly man wouldn't have it any other way.

"Works for me," Elena murmurs, taking a step for the door. She didn't have her bag tonight - there was no way she was going to risk losing her backpack with all of her stuff in it. But she looks exhausted. She also knows Jack is angry, so she reaches out to give her 'big brother' type dude a tight hug. "Remember, no contact for a bit until the mark shows up," she says. Eric, she'll make an exception. They were classmates. They have an excuse to interact out of the double life she was leading at the present moment. When said classmate-friend-personal soul husk steps towards her, she looks up and manages a nod. "Okay," she tells him softly. She moves for the -back- door. "Watch yourselves, guys," she says. And then, she steps out.

The serious part of this meeting seems to be over. She gives Jack a warning look, but says nothing else, since Lee is being a bit of a prat during this whole thing. "Okay. Well, I guess just look for the symbol. If you need to call a meeting, slap one on that bench and we'll all come running like the bat signal." She sighs and looks over at Lachlan and poor Padfoot. Without saying a word, she entwines her arm in his as her quiet support. Everyone's leaving and she plans to go with Lachlan to help him cope.

Lee gets cranky when he gets punched in the balls. It's a true statement. "I'll let myself out once I can walk." he says. "Don't worry about me, I'll just…sit here…"

Having been very quiet for a while, Alyssa doesn't break that now but aims to start moving around the store again, grabbing up some paper-towels from the back so she can clean the mess Lee deposited on the floor by care of Jack's Crazy. She may be wiping up puke but it's more than nice to have something to do and she isn't so squeamish at least.

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