2007-05-03: Saving Heidi: How To Aggravate Your Kidnappers

Starring:

Heidi_icon.gif

Guest Starring: The Guys In the Black Van

Summary: Heidi wakes up from her chloroform-induced nap to realize that the men who took her want to bait Nathan into killing someone, and then use his influence for a particular purpose. She tries to escape, only to fail, and badly.

Date It Happened: May 3, 2007

Saving Heidi: How To Aggravate Your Kidnappers


Undisclosed Location, New York City

It has been around an hour or so since Heidi blacked out, but when she opens her eyes she'll find herself…unable to move very well. As the haze slowly clears from her brain, she'll find herself tied to a chair. Her wrists are strung up behind her and around the backrest by a pair of plastic slip-ties….professionals didn't use rope, after all, and handcuffs were too unwieldy in case they needed to free her and take her someplace else right away. Her feet, as well, are bound against the chair legs by the same, plastic ties. She'll also find that it's somewhat warm in where she was stashed, and she'll be able to see why.

A whole command center has been set up - a few computers, a few electronics. There's a silver laptop computer on the side, being worked on by a middle-aged man with a shock of blonde hair tousled over his head and a scar running down one eye. He's smoking, a cigarette dangling from his mouth as he works. She'll also find a few others, playing cards in a table set to the side. There were no booze bottles, thankfully, laying around.

They were all dressed in jeans, and black turtlenecks. Flak jackets also donned them. There was around five in the room she was in, and they were all armed. They don't seem to be paying her any heed. She was, after all, just a card to be played so the jackpot hits the table.

When she speaks…or tries to speak, she'll find that she can't. She was gagged, but the cloth is, at least, clean and doesn't taste like much of anything.

Her face hurts.

She doesn't even remember why at first, as consciousness slowly returns. The feeling is kind of distant, like she's dreaming it, but it's almost too real to ignore - so it slowly pulls her toward wakefulness, blue eyes opening just a little before her brain really catches up. Hazy? Nn. Smells bad. No one in the house is allowed to smoke, because of how much Heidi dislikes that smell. It's because of that that it finally clicks, the memory returning all too quickly as she wakes up in earnest.

"Mmhhmh!!"

Of course, she notes two things almos instantly. One, she can't move, and two, she can't speak. Damn, it wasn't a nightmare, and now she's back to being somewhere between terrified and angry. If her eyes were any wider, they'd probably just fall out of her face or something. No, this can't be real, this has to be some sort of joke, oh /god,/ how is she going to get out of this?

Think, Heidi. Just— stay calm. Stay calm, and everything will be okay, like in the movies. She just has to get past the men with firearms strapped to their hips, then figure out where she's at and escape from this building - and all that will be /after/ she gets herself untied. Well, /crap./

"She's awake," grunts a rather mean looking man playing poker with the boys. A full beard covers most of his face, framed by a sharp nose and perpetually furrowed eyebrows. He's got a full assault rifle leaning against his chair as he peers at his cards. Someone, despite apparent preoccupation, was paying attention. A smothered snicker could be heard, this time from the other guy next to the Bearded One, and slaps down two cards down on the table and waits for the dealer to give him another.

"She was bound to eventually." The blond by the computer has an accent - Australian, though it's somewhat muted given his mouth is busily working the cigarette. He doesn't seem to pay much attention to Heidi, in fact, he seems to be taking his sweet time acknowledging her presence. Finally, he taps a few more keys, and stands up, pulling a fresh bottle of cold water from the cooler set up nearby and walking towards the captive. He pulls a chair with him, and sets it in front of Heidi. He turns it around, and straddles it, so he could face her.

He dangles the water in front of him.

"You need to be hydrated," he says simply. "But I'm rather reluctant to pull the gag from your mouth. If you promise not to scream, and believe me, no one's going to hear you anyway, I'll pull it down and you can have a drink." He drums his fingers on the backrest of the chair. "We're not out to harm you, Heidi. We're not even out to harm your husband. We just want him to do something for us and to be honest, he probably wouldn't be keen on doing this something if we didn't have a bit of leverage. It was either you, or your sons. We decided to do this a little more humanely."

He shakes the water bottle slightly. "So. We have a deal?

Not scream? NOT SCREAM? When the blonde guy barters with her for peace and quiet, the terrified eyes take a look around, resting on whomever she can see for a moment as she weighs her options. Not scream, and get the gag out of her mouth. That seems pretty fair, and considering the fact that Elena is probably miles away by now, no one who can hear her is likely to help anyway. In fact, she's more likely to be shot than alert anyone helpful to her presense.

It takes awhile for Heidi to relax a little, but it shows in her posture, which slumps as much as it can against the bonds. At the time, she's in no danger; that could change, but there's no reason to hurry their hand. It's not likely that Nathan will meet their demands, but when he realises she's gone, he'll at least call the police. She's always home at night, so— Okay, it might be until really late that he even realises she's gone, but…

Looking back toward her own personal Steve Irwin, Heidi nods. Between her and her kids, this is much better, since Simon and Monty just wouldn't understand why these jerks would want something from Nathan, and considering the weapons they're all carrying… God, she can't imagine they'd even still be alive. Fine, she won't scream.

"Steve Irwin" nods, and reaches out to gently pull the gag down from Heidi's mouth. He leans back, and twists the bottle cap open, snapping it from the seal and offering it to her lips. But he won't tip the bottle until she tells him to…after all, he doesn't want to force the liquid down her throat. He watches her carefully, spying how her eyes dart around the room. He can practically see her brain gears turn, weighing her options.

"Your husband may be out of the political game for now but he still has an extensive network of connections," the Australian remarks. "We're hoping to make use of that, so if it makes you feel any better, we're not after your infamous Petrelli money. We just want your husband to follow a few instructions, and then you'll be on your way. If you cooperate, you'll be returned unharmed. If things go well, you'll be with your husband again tomorrow."

One of the other poker players shakes his head, slapping down his hand and muttering to the rest of his crew. "The hell does he do this every single goddamned time anyway?" he mutters. "Keep her gagged and shut up. We ain't exactly in the business of comforting the people we take."

The Bearded One calls the bet, and raises it with a few chips. "His momma's Southern," he grunts in explanation. "Probably beat the crap out of him until gentleman's manners were down pat."

She doesn't scream, nor does she really say anything when the gag is removed. Heidi isn't sure howlong the offer of water's gonna be on the table, so she nods, signaling him to tip the bottle back for her. it's not exactly going to be pretty, since she has no control over the bottle, but at least it's something. Still, as she tries to drink, she can feel a tightness, pain along her jaw from where she hit the floor of the van. Yeah, she remembers /that/ now that she's had a second to think about it. Granted, that was probably the best way to knock her out, considering the alternatives.

"Doesn't really make me feel better," she states under her breath as she pulls away from te bottle. She's finished, for now anyway. Is this the point where she says something like 'Nathan will NEVER cooperate with you!!!111one' …No. Not a good idea to piss the kidnappers off.

A /Look/ is thrown toward the guy who urges keeping her gagged. No, thanks. She'd rather be able to breathe as she fights back the panic that's threatening to break. It already feels like her heart is hammering in her throat instead of in her chest where it belongs, but the little voice in the back of her head keeps telling her not to give these guys a reason to shoot her. Heidi isn't just sitting around, though - she's looking for an out - something, anything. It's pretty obvious, too. But she can't really see any accessible escapes, which…

Well, despite the fact that she's relatively unshakable, her face tenses, eyes turning glassy and red as a few tears manage to track their way down her cheek. "Well, if you meant to scare me, you did an awfully good job." …Because despite the fact that she didn't say it, she's not entirely sure that Nathan's going to be willing to give up what they want to get her out of here by tomorrow. And, and— and!

"What if I—" Pause. Realising that's a question she does't really want to ask, Heidi bites her lip.

The bottle is tipped carefully, filling her mouth a small mouthful at a time so she would have time to swallow it, and drink some more. The woman's got a black eye on her, probably due to the struggling, but he's not going to mention that. When she finishes her drinking, the Australian stows the water bottle safely to the side, near Heidi's chair. And of course it doesn't really make her feel better, but to his credit he's trying to make the woman as pliant and cooperative as possible.

The Australian flashes her a rakish grin. "Heh. Pro'ly not," he admits, leaning back a bit on his chair and giving his boys a sidelong glance - towards the man who made the comment. The other man smirks towards Heidi, and goes back to his poker game. "Don't mind him," he remarks. "He likes getting people riled up. It's got its advantages, but in this case, there's no need for it."

When she starts tearing up, he blinks a little bit. "….well of course we had to scare you," the man points out reasonably. "Otherwise you wouldn't cooperate. Don't get me wrong, Heidi. We -will- hurt you if necessary, it's up to you to make sure that it never becomes necessary. You can do that, yeah? All you have to do is sit, sleep, and be quiet and your husband will take care of the rest."

At the last, he shakes his head. "Reasonable questions," he says simply. "I know the boys don't look like they've been laid in a while." (the comment of course followed by an outraged 'HEY!' from one of them) "But they won't touch you. Not like that. I mean to keep my word - so long as your husband cooperates, you'll be out of here by tomorrow. If not. ………well. Let's hope he does."

There's going to be a little time where Heidi allows hersel to just be scared. She can't push that aside, despite the fact that it's not helping her think of how to get out of here. It's not the first time she's been in an unfavourable situation, but this kind of thing /is/ relatively new to her. After spending most of her life sheltered, Heidi was in an accident, and now she's been kidnapped. What /next!?/ —She doesn't want to know.

Her eyes glance downward, arms pulling against the plastic straps that are holding her to the chair. She tests her legs next - same thing. Okay, so no kicking or punching her way out. Not that she's really capable of that anyway, but it was the first thing that came to mind.

And… she manages to look absolutely miserable and severely angry at the same time. Grey-blue eyes look back upward at the Australian, and narrow, which causes a couple more tears to fall. "Yeah, yeah, okay," she says softly, giving her arm a good pull again. It's not like she's going to be able to get away anyway, but she needs to know how deep she's in for her own sanity.

And truthfully, the thought of the others needing to 'get laid' didn't cross her mind until Stevie said it, and just the /thought/ of those asses coming near her makes her struggle in the chair in earnest.

…She was /going/ to ask, 'what if I have to use the bathroom.'

He can't help it, "Irwin" laughs when Heidi starts struggling right after he gets to that part. "Don't worry, they won't touch you," he says simply. Sure. They KIDNAPPED her, could she really believe that? But if that was the aim, they would've done it when she had been unconscious - it was less of a hassle that way. But save for the shiner in her eye, she looks rather intact. He actually reaches out to pat-pat-pat condescendingly on her head. "Relax. We'll be gentlemen."

He stands up from the chair. "We'll feed you, of course," he remarks. Because all they had was portable food. "And if you need to use the bathroom, I'll take you. But I'm handing out a pretty big trust card there if you want to go, because that would require freeing you. If you try to run, we'll just shoot you and call this mission a failure. It's a -long- hallway up there, and this building is under construction. And you probably won't appreciate the bodies we stashed in one of the closet in terms of the construction crew working on renovating this building. You're also on the twentieth floor….so no jumping out the window while I'm not looking.

He strides back towards the computer. "There's more of us, of course. I'm sure you'll meet them during the shift change." He tosses something small and yellow in his hand, and unwraps the plastic….pauses, and lifts it up towards her. "Twinkie?"

Please, god, get her out of here.

She wonders what happened to Elena, considering the fact that the younger girl was witness to her being thrown in that van. All sorts of horrible scenarios run through her head, because Heidi knows she heard gunfire just before she passed out. Or maybe they just turned the van around and ran her over, or — Maybe there was another van and… "What happened to Elena?" she asks weakly, the struggling abating again as her attention returns to the floor. When Steve pats her head, the only think Heidi can really do is draw her head downward between her shoulders.

The thought that she could run /did/ occur to her, and it shows on her face when the Aussie says he'll shoot her if she tries. Yes, she's watched movies, but Heidi was kind of hoping these guys hadn't. Right. Okay, so that's out, because she's sure she can't jump.

Her mood is slowly cycling from scared and angry to just downright PO'd.

Despite the fact that she doesn't look up when he offers her a twinkie, it's pretty obvious that she's both heard him by the way she tenses, and that she doesn't want any. "I'm not hungry," she mutters, fingers trying to figure out how she's been tied. She can just reach the plastic if she tries, but there doesn't seem to be any way for her to grab it. There's a question she needs to ask - what happens if Nathan doesn't come through - but Heidi's scared to voice it, because she already knows the answer. Instead, she just says, "Did you talk to him yet?"

"…..Elena?" The aussie looks confused, indicative perhaps if Heidi is sharp enough that perhaps the man actually -didn't- come with them when they kidnapped her. He furrows his brows. Who the hell was she? Some kind of maid? A friend? He looks over at the rest of his boys with a quirked brow. "What the hell is she talking about?"

The Bearded One shrugs. "There was this other girl with her, looks young," he says noncommittally. "She tried to stop us. She failed. Marcus would've shot her if it wasn't for the fact that him and Curtis suddenly got sick." Real names, or aliases? Probably aliases - they wouldn't just bandy about their names for nothing.

"They looked pretty fine to me by the time they got back," the other one at the Poker table remarks, with a few others nodding in agreement. "Just a little pale. Kinda weird if you ask me, not like those two to get squeamish on the job."

"Huh." Irwin shrugs, and looks over at Heidi. "Well, there you go." He seems oblivious to the fact that Heidi's feeling around her bonds already. "And yes, we already talked to him. He has his instructions. By 6:00 pm tomorrow we intend to return you to him if he pulls through and does what we say. Hope he doesn't mind getting a friend of his killed, but I'm sure he'll get over it."

Not immediately saying anything when Aussie questions Elena's presence, Heidi just watches him, trying to read his expressions to determine— she's not sure. But in the end, she decides that the other girl must somehow be safe, which means it's possible that she's already gotten help, and maybe the police are already outside! Not likely, alas. She's not even sure how long she was asleep.

Briefly, she manages to wrap a finger around the plastic, but it's not likely that she's going to be able to break it. She doesn't have anything to cut it with, and she remembers trying to use a utility knife to cut through these ties when she worked at the hardware store. It wasn't easy. Even if she had nails, they've be useless.

Heidi actually seems genuinely surprised at the way Steve talks about killing someone. "You can't do that!" she states, eyes narrowing again as she looks up. "You can't just— Who? Who is it? Maybe you—" She eyes the Twinkie again, looks toward the electronics, remembers that she's tied up, and realises that they can and will, which is really depressing. This shouldn't be new; she's been married to politics for awhile now. Shaking her head, she dismisses the question.

Tug. Tug. Tug.

Heidi gives the whole chair a pull, with the intent to try to tip herself over.

The chair rocks from side to side as she keeps tugging, and tugging, and finally finds a bit of purchase with her efforts. This, however, results in her tipping over, the thing crashing on its side and dragging her petite body with it. The poker players look up from their game. The Bearded One quirks a brow, and smirks. Fiesty one, she is. He proceeds to scoop out the chips he won, and reshuffles the deck for another game.

Irwin blinks, and blinks, when the woman manages to tip herself over, and he shakes his head. "Sure we can, it's easy, we aim and pull the trigger. It's quite simple really. And then we'll go for what we're -really- after." What, wait, so killing a colleague of Nathan's WASN'T the full purpose of this? Then what was? He walks over to Heidi, and without so much of a grunt, grabs the back of the chair with his hands and rights it back up again. "Don't hurt yourself now," he says simply. "You sure you don't want a twinkie?"

What's with this guy and twinkies?

But it looks like she's getting more agitated by the minute, so he walks towards a small table set up on the side, and pulls out a familiar looking white cloth. He fishes around a bit, and brings out a glass bottle. Whistling cheerfully, he starts applying the chemical to the cloth. Dum dum dum dum…..

/THUD./

Heidi grunts as the chair smacks against the floor. Having prepared herself for this, she'd already curled away from the floor as much as possible so she didn't hit her head, but her arm kind of breaks her fall, which - yeah, that hurts. And it unfortunately means that the chair didn't break so she could get free. She's not sure what she would have done if she DID manage to break the chair, but sitting around doing nothing is out of the question. And when Aussie manages to pick her up and put her right without even breaking a sweat, she knows she wouldn't have gotten far, not with these other guys in the room with her. The glare she offers is pretty clear at this point - she doesn't want a damn TWINKIE. RAR.

She doesn't struggle anymore, but the anger continues to burn. She's never been in a situation like this - the last time she was tested, she was paralyzed, and really couldn't do a thing to take out her frustrations. Now, though— Looking at that bottle, remembering the cloth that she breathed into just before she passed out - No, she can't let them knock her out again, because then she'll have no chance.

"Wait."

He mentioned the bathroom, so she knows there /is/ one. "I haven't — since I left home. You said it was down a hallway." Nevermind the mention of bodies. Heidi's just going to pretend he didn't say anything like that, because she'd just rather not think about it.

There is a pause. The aussie sideglances Heidi and quirks a brow when she tells him to stop and that she suddenly needs to use the bathroom. Well. Far be it for him to deny the little lady. Besides, she wouldn't go far - and he meant it. With a shrug, he ducks down to pull out a rather long, Crocodile Dundee-esque knoife (not Knife. Knoife) and walks over to where she is. With a flick of his wrist, smooth, feather-like motions that suggests that the man was rather good with the weapon and could probably filet a bigger man without a problem, he sets her free. "Alright, let's go," he says. "That way." She'll be right in front of him.

When he directs her where to go, the door is opened by a guard stationed outside. The hallway is spacious - this was going to be a new office building after all, and the lights are dim - powered more by generators than the New York City grid. The hall stretches downwards, to a few elevator shafts where elevators are going to be installed - they are both incredibly deep drops. And then the hallway branches out into a T. He leads her to the right hallway.

She'll be able to see the bathroom. Two of them, thankfully they function. He opens the door to the ladies room, and gestures for her to go inside. He'll wait outside.

Whenever she steps inside, it's….dusty. People aren't done tiling the thing yet - and they never will considering he just said his group just killed the construction crew. The water runs, and there are a few toilet bowls. There is a steel vent in the ceiling, over one of the bowls, though it looks like it's screwed shut.

Ah, circulation in her hands. That's a good feeling, thinks Heidi to herself as she pushes herself to her feet. It's hard to stay standing until the last of the chloroform works its way out of her system, but by that point, she's fairly steady.

After eying the knife, she moves in the indicated direction, stepping into the hallway and moving at a hesitant pace down it, as if she expects the crew who worked here to jump out and say 'boo' at any moment. Zombie construction workers are uncool. In all seriousness, though, Heidi isn't so sure she really wants to see the dead workers, so any little nooks and passageways they go past are ignored; the blue-eyed woman stares straight ahead until they reach the bathroom.

Twenty floors up. Christ. No, she's not going to be able to jump, and a quick look around tells that she's not likely going to be able to escape. The vent? No. She can't get up that high.

At least she can wash her face and hands while she's in here, since just being in this place makes her feel filthy. Heading over to the sinks, she raises a hand to scrub the dust off the mirror, and stares dully at the black and blue mark under one eye and down her jaw. Ouch, but not as bad as it could be. And as she washes her hands, she keeps staring, because she's having a conversation with herself about whether it's in her best interests to try to make a grab for the rag that Aussie shoved in his pocket on the way out. Sure, she could do that. She could also sit around and wait 'til they kill her.

After splashing water over her face, she dries it with her shirt. "Okay," Heidi assures the mirror. "…Okay, I'll just… Okay."

Returning to the door, she puts a hand on the handle, takes a deep breath, then… Throws it open. Wherever Stevie is, she lunges for him, and for that cloth in his pocket. All she has to do is get it without getting herself stabbed, and she'll be golden.

The Australian waits outside patiently. At least he didn't insist on going inside with her to watch her pee or do whatever the hell girls did while they were in the bathroom (which was really…the same stuff as men do, it's just that men don't really like thinking about pretty girls doing nasty things in the bathroom). So he checks his watch, and he slips another cigarette between his lips. It was twilight now - it was getting quite dark, and oblivious to the fact that somewhere in New York City, Elena Gomez just got a text from her friend that told her of where Heidi's phone number was just traced, despite the fact that it was a cellphone.

He is utterly oblivious of Heidi's plan. Of course, considering how scared she was earlier, he wasn't expecting the woman to walk up to him….and suddenly LUNGE at him. The man despite his mild mannerisms….for a dangerous criminal anyway…. blinks once, he only has time to do such until Heidi is on him….and manages to grab the rag off his pocket! Yoink!

"OW! Hey. HEY!" he yells, grabbing the woman on the wrists, and in a surprising show of brutality (though it might be an accident, who knows), swings her into the wall behind him to basically ram her left cheek and the side of her head against the other wall. "Now, see? Look what you made me do." To his credit, he actually does sound sincerely apologetic, but his eyes are narrowed, and his grip on her wrists are tight. "What did I tell you about cooperating? Did you honestly think you could get the thing on my face and hold it down long enough for me to breathe the chemical in before I did something?"

She didn't actually have to use the toilet. More like the sink, just to get the dirt off her face. And hands. And regroup herself so that she could even /try/ to get rid of this guy. She wouldn't kill him, because she's not sure she's capable of killing anyone. But she fully intended to put him to sleep, then find a way out of the building.

Oh, yeah, she kind of forgot that he's a gorilla, and she's a mouse.

There's a dropping feeling in her stomach as she successfully grabs the cloth. Heidi's not sure if it's excitement or exhileration or /terror,/ but she doesn't have long to think about it before she's slammed face-first into the wall. She cries out, the sound dissolving into a grunt as she clenches her teeth together to shut out the pain. If she didn't have a headace before, she's certainly goingg to have one /now,/ and despite the fact that he's holding her, it's now her life that she's concerned about, and doesn't stop trying to get free. The taste in her mouth is awful; she must have bitten her cheek at some point. Her lips and teeth. are turning a rather slick red colour. "Let me go!"

Let her go? Stubborn one this is. He yanks one Heidi-wrist away from the wall, the one that's still clutching the rag….and squeezes it so tight that she's forced to let it go into his waiting hand. Yeah, he's not being gentle now. He was -pissed-. Despite the fact that the Australian is still somewhat smiling, there's a tightness around his eyes that clearly lets her know that he is NOT amused. With the chloroform hand deposited into his other hand he inclines his head at him.

He holds her there like she was made of nothing more than feathers. He tosses the other cloth lightly in one hand. She beats at him, kicks, and struggles, but he doesn't seem fazed in the least. The man was, as aptly put, a gorilla. "You're bleeding," he notices dispassionately, even as she cries at him to let her go.

So he moves to wipe the blood off her mouth….with the chloroform cloth. He presses it bodily over her nose and mouth, and uses his bigger body to brace her against the wall to hold it there.

Heidi's just waiting for him to try to stab her, which would be /very bad,/ which is why she's pulling so much, which is why she's starting to move from anger back to panic, which is why she's got to get away /right now/ so she can at least try to run.

Looking back at him just makes her struggle more.

She squeaks again when Aussie tries to crush her wrist, and of course, the cloth is dropped. It's not given up without a struggle, though, and when it does fall from her fingers, the action is accompanied by an unlady-like word. She's used those a lot today already. And now that she sees what's coming - namely, another chloroform nap - there's a few more choice phrases that make their way past her lips.

This time, she's more prepared, taking a deep breath before he puts the cloth over her face. Her mouth opens, almost as if she's going to scream again, as he shoves her against the wall. But, thusly prepared, she's got one more trick up her sleeve, and inclines her head just enough so that she can clamp her teeth down on his finger if she's planned this properly.

Well. Fine. Clearly she doesn't want to do this the easy way.

"OW! SONUVABITCH!" the Aussie yells, the cloth dropping into the floor after Heidi bites him down on the finger. This might give her time to turn down the hall and flee because he's effectively let her go….but when she tries, he'll reach out and grab her by the nearest thing he could reach…..which would be a fistful of her hair. He'll attempt to drag her back.

And he really hates to do this, but it had to be done. He can't reach the cloth - he'll only lose her, she'll run down the hall, try the stairs, and someone will shoot her. That will not be a very good thing.

So he does the next best thing. Once she's close enough, he'll pull a hand back….and slug her.

Easy way would have probably been better in hindsight. But he didn't seriously think he was going to give a Petrelli a little freedom ad have her be completely obedient to whatever he wanted! Did he? ESPECIALLY with the thought of the men in that room who - as Aussie put it - looked like they needed to get laid. No /way./ No.

So, she does attempt to run. Turning, stumbling, she only makes it a step before she's yanked back by her hair. Thankfully, he's grabbed enough so that he doesn't tear it out, but it /still hurts,/ and draws a protesting syllable while she's wheeled around—

She simply doesn't make any noise, because the wind is knocked right out of her. At first, Heidi's sure she's been stabbed - that's how painful it is - as she falls to the floor with her arms wrapped around her abdomen. She tries to suck in air, but it takes a few tries before she's actually able to, and /that/ hurts, too. After rolling back and forth in place for a good few seconds, the woman finally finds some comfort in lying on her side, coughing, trying not to lose her lunch. At least there's no twinkie in there to bring up, or she would have by now for sure. Oh dear god, that hurt.

…Okay, she's done now. She'll be good.

When she's able to speak again, her voice is mostly comprised of syllables and groans, because that's about all she can manage at the moment. If she tries to really say anything else, she sure she'll lose the tentative grasp she has on the contents of her stomach.

There are no more words, and no more niceties. After all, there was only so much stubborness Stevie can stand. While Heidi did her husband proud in the end, she did look like she got hurt pretty badly. He'll tie her up and lay her down someplace sort of comfortable at least. They had sleeping bags after all. So when Heidi stops rolling around, he reaches over, and swings the woman up and over his shoulder in a fireman's carry.

"Look at it this way," he says simply, turning to head down the hall and carrying Heidi with him. "At least I didn't use a gun."

Yes.

Thank heavens for small favors.

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