devoutish: (027)
[personal profile] devoutish
[Alfie had always thought that, if and when he was able to leave Norfinbury, he'd just want to move on and forget as best he could. He wouldn't be interested in visiting other worlds. He wouldn't be interested in letting other people visit him. He'd want to close off as much as possible, to excise that part of his life that hadn't really been real, at least not as far as his own world was concerned. But as time went on, he'd had to admit that there were a few exceptions - people he would want to keep up with even after escaping. Royce Melborn had absolutely been one of them.

And so, when they leave, they keep up with each other. It's a little strange to have someone from another world visit - especially someone who, for obvious reasons, can't tell anyone that he's from another world. That strangeness rankles at Alfie a bit, but not nearly enough to make him not want to see Royce anymore - all it does is make him wish that Royce was from London.

Months go by, and then years. The visits never drop off in frequency, and they start to feel more like an everyday part of life - get up, go to work, pay a visit to a beloved friend in another universe, ho-hum. Memories of Norfinbury still make Alfie's life a little harder, and it still pains him that it's a part of his past that he can't share with his family. But still, he settles. He continues his organized crime work, he gets married (Royce is invited to the wedding, of course), and he and his wife have a little girl. Life goes on.

Until it doesn't. A little over three years after he gets back, war hits again, and with it come the bombings of London. When one of the first raids hits, he and his entire family are at his parents' place for Sabbath dinner, and the building takes a direct hit. Only six out of twenty-seven people are pulled out of the flat alive that day. Five more die of their injuries over the next few days.

And just like that, Alfie is alone in London.

He has friends on his own world, but he turns to Royce. He can't bear Camden Town anymore - it's too full of memories, and right now, every memory breaks him just a little bit more. So he shows up on Royce's world, uses his last bit of strength to matter-of-factly explain what had happened, and asks if he can stay for a bit. And then he promptly goes to bed and doesn't get up for three weeks.

Alfie Solomons is not a man who gives up easily. But this is too much, even for him.]
devoutish: (insomnia is my greatest inspiration)
[personal profile] devoutish
[Alfie hates the ice tunnels. Oh sure, they're a relief in some ways - the lack of snow makes for easier, faster travel, and not having to deal with the chill from the wind is nice. But they're also too quiet and too dark, and just all-around eerie. He's not really what one would call an outdoorsy guy, but he likes to be able to see the sky when he wants to.

Because of this, and because his back is acting up a little more than usual today, he's in a grumpy mood. They've just gotten into their house for the evening - one of the shittier houses in the tunnels, no less - and he's about ready to drop. He tosses his things on the floor, heads over to collapse on the couch, and says to Royce:]


Anything worthwhile on the network?

[He honestly cannot be bothered to check for himself right now.]
devoutish: (that's just murder math)
[personal profile] devoutish
[From here.

If they're both asleep, Alfie will turn and try to tiptoe away, not wanting to wake them up.]
devoutish: (put your money where your mouth is)
[personal profile] devoutish
[The good news: they get out. They escape Norfinbury, and once they're out of the town's iron grip, all of its effects on them disappear - no more MN poisoning, no more radiation sickness. They're still malnourished and underfed, and the dead among them are still dead, but they're out.

The bad news? They can't go home yet.

It's some sort of time- and universe-travel issue, which Alfie honestly isn't even trying to understand in full. Using the town's power, they'd opened up a portal, but they hadn't had time to fine-tune it. When they'd all jumped through, they hadn't even been sure it would work - but with the town collapsing around them, they'd all been desperate enough to try anyway. It had ended up dumping them all at random into New York City - or some version of it, anyway - in the early twentieth century. Stark and the other tech wizards are working hard on the issue, pooling their knowledge and using this world's resources to figure out how to safely repair and direct the portal to send them all back home, or wherever else they want to go. The ones who can't help with that are, essentially, left to their own devices. Tony the billionaire sets them up in a nice hotel in a decent neighborhood, and provides them with enough money to live comfortably on as long as they don't go too crazy with spending. For Alfie, Royce, Emily, and Tifa, he's able to find a two-bedroom suite that's available to be rented by the month. Nobody knows how long they're going to be stuck, and nobody wants to take the chance of being left without lodging.

After all the trauma of the past few months and the chaos of the past few days, their little group isn't wild about splitting up even just for a few hours. But Emily desperately needs a doctor's checkup, and Tifa convinces Alfie and Royce to go ahead and scope out the room while she (with help and advice from the more modern doctors) takes her to a pediatrician. And so they go.

The hotel is towering, and looking up at it makes Alfie feel dizzy, so he focuses straight ahead as they approach the front entrance and its automatic revolving door. He has the envelope with their room number and key, and as they walk, he hands it to Royce.]


We're on the sixty-first floor - larger rooms at the top only. Fucking hell, I hope they've got a lift.
devoutish: (031)
[personal profile] devoutish
[From here.

As promised, Alfie leaves Royce the bedroom, if he decides to move in there and claim it. He stretches out on the couch, letting his hat fall down over his eyes, and dozes off pretty quickly. The blanket and towel he'd given the kid stay with him. He has no plans to take them back, not tonight and not ever.]
devoutish: (it's not blackmail‚ it's fact-checking)
[personal profile] devoutish
[If twenty-first century London had been overwhelming, twenty-first century New York City is even more so. The buildings are taller, the crowds are more dense, and the streets feel claustrophobic - in some places it feels like you can barely see the sky. It's dizzying when he looks up, but it's hard not to look up, because the sight is breathtaking. He isn't actually sure how much he likes it, but he can't look away.]

Here, can we get to the top of one of these?

[It's a creepy thought. He's never been so high in his life. But he knows that if she says yes, he's going to want to try it, because the curiosity will burn if he doesn't.]
devoutish: (I'll never use steroids to get stronger)
[personal profile] devoutish
[Tifa is mad at them. Again. But again, they haven't budged.

When Alfie had heard that the Undertaker was nearby - just a couple of days away - he'd let Royce know immediately, and they'd quickly decided to split off for a bit to go hunt him down. Six months ago, Alfie would have planned to go alone, leaving "the girls" behind. But somewhere along the line, Royce has become something else. She's become a partner in crime - someone that Alfie can unequivocally trust to understand how he thinks and acts, because she thinks and acts the same way. It's a relief to have that, even though he'd never expected to find it in a woman.

They've been gone for a day now, having split off that morning, and calls from Tifa are still annoyed and clipped. Emily is doing well, at least, even though she's also a little wounded about them having left her. For the third time today, Alfie promises them both that they'll do their best to be back soon. He also knows it's something he can't promise one hundred percent.

With a heavy sigh, he hangs up. Then he goes to look for Royce, who he assumes has gotten a head start on searching the house.]
devoutish: (that's just murder math)
[personal profile] devoutish
[From here.

She'll find nothing but bare skin under the robe, his chest hair soft but a little prickly. He opens his mouth to her, obliging, and pulls her closer still - all the way on top of him, if she's willing to go.]
devoutish: (065)
[personal profile] devoutish
[It was a stroke of good luck that had put Alfie within a day's walk of the police station, where Fiona had revived. Watson is on his way too, as are (tentatively) Angel and Rhys - but they're days behind, and there's no question that Alfie will make it to her first. Selfishly, he can't help but be glad about that.

She gets herself to a nearby house, and he's there half a day later - quickening his pace as he sees it up ahead, and calling out her name before he's even up the front steps.]


Fiona?
devoutish: (I can't believe I'm praying)
[personal profile] devoutish
[For two long years, Alfie has been adamant that he's never leaving his world again. He accepts visitors to his own occasionally, but he insists on staying put there himself, refusing to make an exception even for the briefest of trips. He doesn't need to go anywhere else. He doesn't want to go anywhere else. He has his entire life right here in Camden Town (London, England, UK, Europe, Earth), and he's perfectly content to have it stay that way.

This lasts until he gets influenza. It's a particularly bad case even by 1920s standards, and he's heading for hospitalization and isolation. Watson convinces him to come do it in the 21st century.

He's admitted for a week to a hospital in London in the year 2015, where he's pumped full of modern medicine that quickly puts him back on the path to wellness. By the time he's discharged, he's still a little unsteady on his feet, but that has more to do with all the time spend lying around in bed than anything else. Finally, he can go home (to nearly the same point that he had left from - he'd made Watson swear up and down that that was how it worked before he agreed to go). But first, Watson had convinced him to spend a day seeing the sights of the city. Alfie hadn't been too hard to convince. He might as well. He was already here.]


I can't get over the sight of the cars.

[They're walking through the hospital lobby now, towards the front doors. Alfie is leaning on his cane.]

I could see them from the window of my room - it's unbelievable, how fast they go.
devoutish: (a broken clock is right twice a day)
[personal profile] devoutish
[Alfie has been aware of Edgeworth since he'd arrived, but hasn't gone out of his way to talk to him. They don't quite move in different circles - that's hard to do, in a ruined town of less than 100 people - but so far, Alfie knows very little about the guy, and he doubts that Edgeworth knows much more about him.

So when they end up at the same house one night, too close to the nightly lockdown for either of them to find someplace else, there's a little bit of dancing around each other to be done. Alfie settles on the couch (though later he plans to make a bid for the only bedroom and its bare mattress) to sort through his things, digging out a half-empty box of Cheez-Its for dinner. He's been quiet so far, pretty much ignoring Edgeworth, but now he tilts the box in his direction.]


Would you like a cracker?
devoutish: (I know the knife goes next to the spoon)
[personal profile] devoutish
[Ever since everyone in Norfinbury had taken control of the town's dimension-hopping technology, Alfie has stayed on his own world, never visiting anybody else. At first, he'd even been a little leery about the idea of anybody - close friends included - coming to visit him. But by now he's much more accustomed to the idea, and the Riyria duo has an open invitation to pop over whenever they want to.

When Royce and Hadrian come by for visits, Alfie allows them more reign to wander around the bakery than most. There are times - usually during his meetings - when it's "workers only" and off-limits even for them, but for the rest of the time, he trusts them not to do or say anything stupid. They know how this sort of business works. They don't need his constant supervision. And when they show up today, Ollie doesn't hesitate to usher them in.]


Are you looking for Alfie? He's in the back.
devoutish: (that's just murder math)
[personal profile] devoutish
[The former Snowhellions had been very lucky to be able to, eventually, find a way to take control of whatever powers had brought them to Norfinbury. Even luckier, they'd been able to stabilize them, effectively giving themselves a portal to the multiverse - or, at least, to each other's worlds. Some people went home. Some people went to their friends' worlds. And no matter where they ended up, most took advantage of their newfound freedom to visit and explore.

Alfie was not one of those people. It's been a year and a half now, and he hasn't left his world once. He allows visitors selectively. A few people essentially have carte blanche to swing by - and by now, John is one of them. Mostly, Alfie has showed him around the city - but today, he has something a little different in mind.

The Camden Town of Alfie's day is a lot smoggier than John will be used to. It's loud and chaotic as they walk down the road, particularly as they get closer to the docks. Ahead of them, Alfie's bakery building looms large.]


It'll be a busy day. Yeah, it's race day; everyone from the neighborhood will be coming by to place their bets.

[That's one of the reasons why Alfie has decided to let Watson visit today. Plenty of illegal business will be going on, but none of it will be the stuff that he'll object to. Alfie doesn't have any meetings or special events going on. His gun isn't likely to come out.]
devoutish: (021)
[personal profile] devoutish
[It's been a long, full day of walking, and by the time they reach the house, Alfie is ready to be inside. There's rarely heat in any of these buildings, and the cold permeates them enough that it's never fully warm even behind closed doors - but it's at least warmer, and without the biting wind. He sheds his coat and kicks off his boots, and turns to Fiona.]

I'll check the upstairs if you check downstairs.

[It's a system they've developed, for the nights that they're together - they split the search of the house so that it'll go quicker. Each has learned what items, tidbits, and clues the other might be interested in, and they'll take note of them for each other, to share when the search is done. Over time, they've both come to trust each other not to keep things hidden - and not to steal from each other. Alfie never thinks twice anymore about swinging his pack off his shoulder and leaving it unattended with her downstairs.]

Looks like a big house. Could save some of the searching for tomorrow.

[He always likes to do a once-over to look for any dangers or unexpected surprises, but in-depth supply searches are better done when they've had some rest - especially on the days like today, when his back has been bothering him for miles.]

Tired, Fiona?

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