2007-02-19: Pondering Purloined Paintings


Jane_icon.gif Hiro_icon.gif Clint_icon.gif

Guest Starring:


Summary: Hiro and Clint return from the raid on Kirby Plaza with paintings and a rescued captive, surprising the woman Clint had stashed in his apartment.

Date It Happened: February 19th, 2007

Pondering Purloined Paintings

Clint's Apartment

Comfortable, and relaxed, the guitarist/lawyer stashed at Clint's place stretches out on the couch as she watches the tube. Food's been had and cleaned up from, she'd settled in to watch something or other and is about to drift off into sleep when something entirely unexpected occurs. An Asian man, teleporting in, dumping paintings in tubes on top of her, and vanishing again. Jane scampers back, watching, and her eyes blink several times. "And the jolts just keep coming. What is all this?"

Minutes later, the tubes have been opened and the various paintings are spread out around the room, being studied.

And then there's that little Asian fellow again. By 'there he is' one means 'literally materialize in the middle of the room'. And he's not alone. He's holding the hand of a girl with dark hair, who is dressed like some sort of mental hospital inmate. She probably appears in a sitting position, except with no chair underneath her. This could be awkward.

Not quite as awkward as Hiro realizing he's… not alone in the room. The last time he showed up and found — surprise! — someone there, he said a quick 'Sorry!' and vanished, hoping he was seeing things. He's not.

"Uh-oh," he says, in English, looking sheepishly red-handed.

Well, it's actually a few minutes later when Clint appears, still holding that Colt Python in his hands, "Whew, that was a close one." He says, mostly to himself, "That could have gone bad.."

Hiro's prediction that it might get awkward is absolutely accurate; the moment Kellie materializes in the room, gravity works its magic, and she falls flat on her rear end. Her hands fly back to break her fall, but the landing causes a sudden cry of pain and frustration. There's a good reason for that: one arm has been shot (though the wound has partially healed now) and the other bears a newer gash that is quite deep. That was not what she expected to happen. She alters her position so that she's sitting on the floor, her legs bent and to one side, with most of her weight being supported by the less injured arm.

Jane gasps, surprised again by the two persons suddenly appearing in the room with her. Her eyes go from the Asian man to the dark haired girl and back again several times. Her mouth opens and closes as if to form words, but none emerge. Mentally she's talking a mile a minute, trying to catch her bearings. 'Stay calm. Breathe. Just breathe, don't scream. Bad things happen when you scream. That girl, she looks familiar, you've seen her… No, that can't be. Not possible. Don't even think about this angle.'

When she manages to collect herself, after taking several deep breaths and closing her eyes, she reopens them to settle on the asian man and asks sternly "Who are you, who is she, and why. are. you. here?"

Hiro holds out one hand to Jane, open-palmed, while he drops to a knee to try and support Kellie and help support her with the other. "My name is Hiro Nakamura. This is—she was being held prisoner by very bad men. I am a friend of Mr. Clint. We are working together," he says, in no uncertain sorts of terms. "To protect the world. The paintings tell the future." That's it in a nutshell, then, isn't it?

"Whoa, calm down, Jane." Clint says, as he comes into the room, still holding the gun, "It's a long story Jane. Trust me.."

Kellie shoots an anxious look to Jane as the girl speaks, her expression looking not unlike a little child's might, were they confronted with something terrifying. It's plainly obvious that she has recently been crying, as there are wet marks down her cheeks and her eyes are bloodshot. Her breathing, too, is fast and shallow. She says nothing, just inches towards Hiro more as Jane regards her with that suspicious stare.

In short, she's acting like one might expect a hostage recently rescued by teleportation to act.

She does calm somewhat when Clint turns up, and her eyes settle on him. Jane's head turns twice, side to side, and the woman speaks slowly. "Paintings of the future, to protect the world, hostage girls rescued, long story. This should be interesting, and, well, I've got all night. Please, qb, do spill."

Hiro turns to Kellie with obvious concern. "I will tell you everything," he says. "But there are other things we must do first." Hiro's concern for the damsel in distress is obvious. "You are safe now. I promise. I will not let the bad people get you—" Hiro gasps, just a little. "You are hurt!" he says, before turning to Clint. "Can you bring a damp towel? And first aid." And then Hiro realizes he doesn't know anything about first aid. "She has a very bad cut," he says, indicating the bloody spot on her shoulder.

Hiro tries to smile, at least to lighten the atmosphere for Kellie. "My name is Hiro." He said it before, probably, but that was in Crazyville. "What is your name?"

Clint disapears…Not literally this time, but he heads into the kitchen, returning with a wet washcloth and a first aid kid, "Here." He says, as he tosses them to Hiro, before he moves over towards where Jane has laid out all of the pictures, "Alright. Let's see.."

"K-Kellie," the woman stammers, the slightest movement or sound causing her to flinch. It's plainly obvious when Clint tosses the wet cloth that this is a woman used to abuse; a sound escapes her throat, mostly out of surprise, and she ducks her head, one arm flying to ward off anything that might be headed her way. "You…" She turns her big, expressive blue eyes on Hiro, peering at him for a long moment befor she completes her thought. "You saved me." The corner of her mouth tugs upwards in a barely-there smile.

Her eyes travel from one to the other before settling on Clint. Jane moves to stand next to him and look over the paintings again. She remarks, in a whisper, "It was a bit distant, in the park, but… that might be the one who tossed fire. She looks skittish, girl's been through the wringer, but she makes me nervous. If it turns out that's her, if she even looks about to start flamethrowing, one of you port her to the Hudson. Please." Focus remains on him and the paintings, switching off evenly between them as she waits and listens.

Hiro leans forward, crouched on his haunches and trying to smile. He pushes his glasses up on his nose — they keep getting unfortunately dislodged. "It is what I do," he says, before enthusiastically adding in a whisper: "I am a hero." He pops the first aid kit open and looks inside, and then looks up nervously. "I. Um. I think this may need…" What's that word? He's never had to use it. "Sewing," he finally says, with the implication that he doesn't want to do it. "I will be right back," he says, to Kellie, reassuringly, before standing up to turn to Jane.

"I am Hiro Nakamura. I am sure that she was trying to defend herself, even if it was her. The people who had her are very bad men."

"Stitches?" Clint asks, as he looks back at Hiro, and then hmms as he looks to Jane, "Jane." He says, "What do you make of all these pictures?" He asks, as he looks specifically at the one with the tornado, "That one's pretty obvious, there.."

Craning her neck to try and look at the gash on her arm, which is difficult thanks to the angle, Kellie looks unimpressed by the suggestion that she might need stitches. "S-sewing?" she stammers, her voice barely a squeak, her gaze tracking Hiro as he rises to his feet and speaks to the others. "No, no, I think… I think it's okay. N-no sewing." Chewing on her lower lip, she moves her arm, testing how the movement affects the wound. …which tells her that Hiro's right, but she's not about to drop her scared bunny routine just to stitch herself up. Each time she presses her finger against her arm - not in the gash, but near it, like a curious child - she grimaces a little.

Jane eyes Hiro for a long moment as he speaks, she seems to be considering what he says. Prudence, in her mind, dictates not going too far into the topic here and now. It wouldn't be good at all to upset or agitate the possible firetosser, who's very much in the room. "We can talk about her later, Mr. Nakamura. I'm Jane Forrest. Would… would you mind terribly putting that sword away, sir? And just… don't leave her unattended. Please." Her attention is then directed toward Clint, and the paintings. "This one," she indicates the one where a dark haired woman on a rooftop threatens a girl, "maybe you see what I see. And this one," fingers aim at the shattering vial image, "is also obvious." Then her eyes linger on the one with a young Hispanic woman and older man, silently trying to remember if she was the hostage in the park.

Hiro continues to dote on Kellie. "We cannot take you to a hospital, but we will do our best here. You have to trust us. Your cut is very bad," he says, seriously. Only then does he take a look at the paintings. "Oh. Sorry," he says, and sheaths that sword of his. He's been kind of in a nervous mode of late. It clicks into its sheath, one designed and forged by a master swordsmith. "There is one more," he says, reaching for his phone. He pulls up a painting picture. It's tiny, but it depicts an Asian man with glasses and a white man with blond hair, swordfighting in modern clothing. He hands it over. "I think I know what this one—"

Hiro freezes, staring at a painting. It's the bloody forehead. His jaw drops. He seems… frozen in place, staring at it wordlessly.

Well, the main focus seems to be on the paintings right now. Clint's mind, however, drifts to the one that he saw last night. The girl in the corridor, with the fire in her hand. He looks over at Kellie, studing her for a moment. Could she really be the same sadistic woman that attacked the park and took a hostage? Then again, he himself took a hostage last night. If she was in trouble, can he blame her?

In the time that the rest of them are distracted by the paintings, Kellie occupies herself with the gash in her arm. It's complicated, trying to slap a pad of gauze onto the wound, then wrap a bandage around it. Still, the cut requires tending. …except two seconds later, she's dropped the roll of gauze with a lamenting sound as it rolls away from her. "I can't—" She shuffles across the floor on her knees, holding the pad of gauze to her arm with the opposite hand, trying to get to the end of the bandage. 'Pitiful' is a good way to describe Kellie.

Hiro breaks his zombie-stare at the painting of the unmistakable handiwork of Sylar. He's seen skulls that had that done to them. Too many. H3 turns around, clearly distressed. "Aiee!" It's not that emphatic a scream. "Kellie! Wait. Sorry. I—we will talk about it later. Here. I can at least put a bandage on."

"What's wrong, Mr. Nakamura?" Jane asks, seeing the man's jaw drop as he freezes. Her eyes go to study the woman in the image, then the asian's face. "This one means something to you, and the other one with the sword fight?" She lapses to silence, going back to studying the tornado and the street it's on, trying to make out some identifying detail of the street or a time, a date, it supposedly strikes.

"I have seen this before," Hiro says, raises a shaking finger to point at the gruesome scene. "There is a very bad man who does this. Someone with an ability who uses it for evil. A… villain. I thought I killed him. If this is him… he must have survived somehow," Hiro says, still dumbstruck by the implications. "… Sylar…"

Oh, this is comforting. Did anyone happen to look at the little rescued hsotage while they were talking about a psychotic killer who might still be on the loose? Because it's enough that Kellie grabs the bandage away from Hiro and shuffles back across the floor, only stopping when her back collides hard with the wall. There's a frightened look on her face, though that isn't surprising. "I-I don't like this place," she whimpers, pulling her knees up to her chest, her eyes welling with tears once more. "I want to go home."

Hiro holds out both hands. "They are only paintings. They cannot hurt you," he says. His desire to dote overcomes his shock about Sylar; maybe the painting is wrong, or misinterpreted, or something. He's got to deal with the problem in front of him. "Where is your home?" he asks, crouching again, reaching out to try to gingerly take the bandage. "I do not know if it is safe to take you there. It may be where they will look for you."

Clint looks at Kellie, "Hiro." He says, "Maybe you should find out where she lives and take her back." He says, "I mean, it's not like I don't want here here, it's just, well, maybe she'll be safer somewhere else.." He says, as he does realize that they must have security camera footage of him or something.

Jane looks up from the paintings toward Hiro, running the name he spoke in her mind a few times. She seems about to ask a question of him about that, but holds it in as he goes to tend the girl. Her attention instead goes to Clint, and queries go to him instead. "Where did you find these, 21? And did they see your face while you were there? You're a public figure, to some degree, I'm sure there are a fair few people who'll remember seeing you before." Concern lines her features, even as she suggests "Get my guitar from the hotel, I can try to calm her down." Because making the potential firetosser not agitated? That can only be a good thing. "Kellie," she asks softly, "do you like music?"

This is where the crying starts anew as Kellie rocks a little where she sits, drawing her back away from the wall, then slowly tipping back again. "I-I-I—" This is not going well. She mashes both hands into her face, trying to brush away as many tears as she can, unconsciously making Hiro's job with the bandage more difficult. "I don't remember. I can't even remember my l-last name. Or what day it is. Or how long I was there. I… I don't know!" She allows her head to fall against her knees, her shoulders shaking.

This is probably not how anyone expected their day to pan out.

"It is Tuesday," Hiro says. "And it does not matter how long you were there. You are free now. And I swear! I will not let anybody hurt you again." Hiro does the most noble job he can with the bandage until he finally says- "Ah! Watch this. It will be over before you know it," he says…

… and Kellie's bandage is applied, not with a skill that suggests a first aid merit badge but with the care of someone who could take his time. Hiro does look a bit drained, suddenly, however; he's done a lot of work tonight. He smiles, all the same. "I took 20," he says, bizarrely.

Clint coughs a bit, "Uh. Well.." He says, "I'm pretty sure it was one of Primatech's buildings. In Kirby Plaza." He says, whistling a little bit, trying to play innocent, "They had armed security guards and guys with powers running around." He says, "And I did sorta kinda take this one guy who, as far as I can tell was pretty high ranking, hostage. For a few minutes.." She's going to kill him, he knows it.

"Jesus. H. Christ." Jane's face displays a range of emotion from anger to fear. Her teeth grit. "Primatech. Stolen paintings, freed captive. Looks like you scored the touchdown, 21. Now the defense is going to come sack you. They'll probably bring that man from Haiti I told you about, he supposedly blocks abilities. As well as memories. How hard will it be for anyone searching to learn you live here?" Her eyes close, her mouth opens, it looks as if she might scream, and there's something made of glass just a few feet away in front of her.

The look on Kellie's face once the bandage is applied is one of genuine, child-like wonder. For the first time, there is something akin to a smile on her face as she looks to Hiro with wide eyes. "That was amazing," she says quietly, as if it were a secret, her eyes flicking back and forth between the bandage and Hiro. "I-I guess I shouldn't be that surprised. We did just disappear right out of that place, didn't we? This is…" There doesn't appear to be a word to describe how she feels about this revelation. To her benefit, however, she's too impressed to listen to Clint and Jane's conversation about just how much trouble they're all about to get in.

"We are the same," Hiro says, brightly. "Mr. Clint and I both have abilities, just like you do." Hiro doesn't know what they are, but given the circumstances, and the presence of the Haitian. "We are all your friends. Now! Listen. I need to talk to Mr. Clint and--" Think, think, think. "--Miss Jane. You can listen, but I think you should try to calm down. I will ask Mr. Clint if we can make some tea. Do you like tea?" he asks, and backpedals a little bit, standing up and turning to face the other side of the room. "I am sorry. I may have gotten you both in big trouble. I forgot that Mr. Clint was famous--they will probably find this apartment."

Clint hmms a bit to himself, as he looks at Jane, "Well, I mean, there's a chance they could find this place, too.." He says, "But we've got a refuge to go to, thanks to you. Somebody who can help protect us from whoever the hell it is we took these paintings from." He glances back at Hiro and Kellie, "And maybe help her recover her memories, too."

Her mouth remains open for a few more seconds as Hiro and Clint both address her. No sound is coming from Jane, at least none they can hear. Is she screaming? No direct evidence to answer that question appears, and her mouth slides closed slowly. "I'm calmer now, Mr. Nakamura." She studies Clint for a long moment, before suggesting "You might want to wear ski masks and keep your faces covered if you're going to try… missions like this one. And yeah, I think I'm going to need to make some calls soon. You've got my number, here's my email too." She looks around, finds a slip of paper, and writes an address on it. "Contact me when you want to meet, give me a brief warning to get into out of sight places before you arrive. Right now you should take me to the hotel, then you three need to be elsewhere."

"I… I like tea." There's a pause then as Kellie seems to consider her words, and she adds, "I think." She's taking deep breaths now, clearly trying to calm herself down, as Hiro suggested. A few times, she still shudders as if she might lapse back into sobs at any moment. Still, she manages to regain control, and the tears stop long enough for her to brush away their lingering tracks. Slowly, she rises from the floor, still holding herself the way a captive would. Her head is slightly bowed, her eyes reluctant to raise from the floor. She flinches, at times, and shies away at others. But she lets them have their little planning session while she finds composure again. "Clint, Jane, Hiro," she says quietly, to herself, as she points to each person in turn, keeping the names in her memory.

Hiro sequesters himself away long enough to put on a pot of tea, making use of Clint's kitchen. "You are right," he says, to Jane. "We have to get out of here. I know a safe place that we can go to. But it is in Japan," he says. "We should stay in New York for now…" He starts to think.

The four depart in pairs to separate locations, and from Jane's hotel room Clint goes to places unknown to her, while she's left to pursue angles with contacts she's made.

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