EXT. CITY STREET – NIGHT

The rain cascades down, drenching the brownstone houses, the leafless trees that guard them. LION and MAY walk down the center of the street, drenched but unperturbed. LION leads the CYCLE, lighting their way with its headlights.

LION
Sunshine? Seriously?

MAY
It's a nice name. A happy name.

She's tucked her coat around the CAT, and it purrs happily. Though it leaves her only wearing a thin tee shirt, she doesn't seem to notice the cold.

LION
But it's a black cat. Pitch black.

MAY
And… your point is?

LION
It doesn't seem very fitting. I don't know. He seems more like—

Thunder rumbles in the distance.

LION
—lightning or something.

MAY
Well, we need a bit of sun in our lives right now.

LION
(shivering)
Hell, I'll settle for this storm stopping.

MAY
It'll have to, eventually.

LION
(looking around)
Yeah. Some whether, isn't it.

MAY
It's nice.

She wants it to wash over her, cleanse her. Help her forget what she saw there, down in the subway station. The ransacked cars. The broken bow.

As they continue to walk, the architecture changes a bit around them. The houses become a bit shoddier, more alike—row after row of them. MAY hugs the CAT to herself.

MAY
Know a guy who owns a hotel. Maybe he'll let us stay there. It's not much further.

The CAT meows at her.

MAY (V.O.)
No, I know they're not dead. They can't be.

LION
You want to use the cycle?

MAY
No. We should save it. In case of an emergency.

LION (V.O.)
And this isn't?

MAY (V.O.)
Don't linger on it.

The headlights reflect off of darkened windows, so they almost seem to wink at the two.

MAY (V.O.)
Jack would never—

Suddenly, a door to one of the brownstones slams open. A man comes running out into the rain.

AL
Oi! Pierrot! Am I glad to see—

He halts in front of them, in the headlights of the cycle. A squat man, balding. His eyes widen.

AL
Who the hell are you?

LION (V.O.)
Says the man who jumped out at us from nowhere.

LION
(confused)
Who did you expect us to be?

AL throws his hands up exasperatedly.

AL
They all went off days ago, none of 'em have come back! And now you show up in the middle of the night, get my hopes up. (putting hands on hips) Who the hell do you think you are?

LION
Uh…

He and MAY exchange looks.

MAY (V.O.)
Is this real?

The scene is dream-like. The little man like a gremlin, waylaying them.

AL
Well? (tapping foot) I'm waiting.

Neither of them answers. The rain patters around them, AL becoming soaked as well.

A woman appears at the doorway of the house, still open.

MIL
Albert! Who on earth are you talking to?

AL
Nobody, Mildred. Go back inside.

MIL
Is it the voices again?

AL
Silence, woman!

MIL
(harping)
Not until you come back inside. You'll catch a cold.

AL
In a moment.

MIL
(poking her head out)
Why—is that them? Have they actually come back? (snapping) Well don't be rude, Albert. Invite them in. Come, come. It's raining cats and dogs out there.

AL
(sighing)
No, Mil. It's—

MIL
Well, I don't care. You'll catch your death out there, carrying on like that. Come inside!

AL
(relenting)
All right, all right.

He blinks, his look changing to curiosity as he examines the two teens longer.

AL
I don't know, whoever you are. But it's insane, being out at this hour. Don't you know—

MIL
Albert!

AL
(snapping)
Coming, woman! (to LION and MAY) Come on then, come on. (slightly friendlier) Her, you can leave the cycle there. (nodding to alcove below the stairs) You'd better hurry.

He hurries up the steps. AL and MIL disappear inside, leaving the door open.

LION looks at MAY.

LION
Should we run for it?

MAY (V.O.)
Probably. Can't count on strangers, can't count on anyone, times like these.

She shivers, suddenly cold. So cold.

MAY (V.O.)
What should we do? Why can't someone—someone else—just—

The CAT notices her lack of movement, meows. He meows insistently—MAY doesn't respond. He turns to look at LION, with large golden eyes.

LION
(realizing)
Oh, man—

He drops the CYCLE, grabs MAY. It crashes beside them.

LION
Come on. You've got to get inside.

INT. LONG HOUSE KITCHEN

LION sits at the table with AL. It's a kitschy place—with a faux-stained-glass hanging lamp, '50s era appliances. Everything is pretty shoddy, pretty old. But clean, at least.

LION (V.O.)
How could I have missed it?

He's seen it often before. The symptoms, the shivering.

LION (V.O.)
But the way she talked… she's always like that, isn't she? You should have paid more attention. You should have noticed.

AL
(obliviously)
Luckily, the rain's scared them off a bit. Otherwise, you'd have been rounded up! Like the rest of 'em hobos…

A door softly opens, and LION jumps up. MIL appears above, carefully closes the door behind her.

MIL
(starting down the stairs)
That girl. Your sister, is she?

LION
(blurting)
Is she gonna be okay?

MIL stops and looks sternly at him.

LION
Oh. (lowering voice) Is she okay?

MIL
You, letting her run about in that horrible weather—with a coat on. For goodness knows how long. What on earth were you thinking?

LION (V.O.)
Wasn't. As usual.

AL
Let it be, Mil. He's been through a lot.

MIL sighs.

MIL
It's nothing a little warmth and sleep won't cure. (sitting at the table) Luckily.

LION (V.O.)
I'm glad.

He smiles in relief. MIL continues to gaze at him steadily—she's almost an exact counterpart to her husband, AL. Both of them well above middle age, grey hair. She wears librarian-like glasses.

MIL
Well, sit.

LION realizes he's still standing, dripping rainwater all over the kitchen floor. He scrambles for the remaining chair, banging his head against the hanging lamp in his haste.

MIL
(reaching up to steady it)
More importantly, young man. Who are you? And where have you two com from?

LION
Uh, Seventh District. Tech Hub. We're—

His words die on his lips, under her steady gaze. Lies won't work here—not that he's ever been good at lying in the first place.

AL
Mil—

She waves him silent.

MIL
(after a moment)
I understand. You don't want to tell us everything. But give me something at least. (catching his eyes) I just want to know I'm not housing—a criminal or something.

LION looks away. He contemplates a wooden clock on the wall. They listen to a long half minutes ticking. And the rain falling outside, of course.

LION
(rising)
I'll leave. Just—just let her stay.

MIL
(snapping)
Don't be ridiculous. You can't go back out there. What would they do if they found you?

LION stops.

LION (V.O.)
They'd kill me.

It's something he's accepted by now, engraved into his mind. But still. It sends chills down his spine.

MIL sighs wearily.

MIL
Well, I don't know who you are or where you came from. And you're not helping us out. (takes glasses off) But at times like these all I can think of is what Ryan would do. (sadly) I know he'd never turn away someone who needed help.

AL
Our son. (standing) Come on, then. You must be exhausted as well. (to MIL) We can talk in the morning.

MIL
Of course.

AL leads LION up the stairs.

AL
You can use Ryu's room. He's away right now.

LION
Th—thanks.

It's not enough, he knows. But it's all he has.

AL
Don't mention it. (tone changing abruptly) Hey, kid. (lowering voice) By the way—you can drive that cycle, right?

LION nods, surprised. There's a glint in AL's eye.

AL
Good, good. (to himself) Well, it's not what I was expecting. But all the same—godsend. (nodding to himself) I have a feeling.

He walks off before LION can react.

AL
(to LION)
So. Sleep well. make sure to get a good night's sleep—I mean it!

But LION continues standing in the doorway a few minutes longer. He looks after AL.

LION (V.O.)
Should I run?

No. He can't leave her.

LION (V.O.)
Is that any way to thank someone who saved your life?

And besides—he shakes his head. No. He doesn't need to remember that right now.

He shivers. Even though he's well used to it, the fatigue's starting to get to him. And he's glad. If he's lucky, it'll stop the dreams too.

He closes the door, walks through the room without turning on the light, without looking around. Falls on the bed.

LION (V.O.)
Ryu. It's strange.

He drifts off.

LION (V.O.)
I feel safe here.

INT. LONG HOUSE BEDROOM

MAY shivers, forcing her eyes open. Flowered wallpaper. She turns her head, not recognizing the room—shivers, on the verge of panic.

The CAT meows. He's sitting on her chest. Warming her. Two golden eyes, staring at her concerned.

MAY
(faintly)
Sunshine.

MAY (V.O.)
It must be all right then.

The CAT meows again. MAY closes her eyes. She's exhausted, but she can't sleep. She keeps seeing that image in her mind—the raided subway. The broken bow. She opens them again.

MAY
Sunshine?

The CAT looks at her intently.

MAY
They're not dead—are they?

The CAT meows. It almost sounds human. As if she might be able to understand—but her eyelids are becoming heavy. She reaches out, pets SUNSHINE.

MAY
Sunshine…you won't leave me—will you?

The CAT meows.

EXT. CITY STREET – DAY

An afternoon long ago. A District of warehouses. Shouts fill the air, in that other language. Angry.

The sun. The blue sky. LION looks up, contemplating it. He's slightly younger—but looks much more so. Looks like an entirely different person, in fact. Clean shaven, with military-length hair.

LION (V.O.)
That's the same everywhere, at least.

Blue sky and clouds drifting across. He could lose himself easily up there, in his thoughts.

LION (V.O.)
Why does nobody else notice?

But those noises drag him back down to the ground. The sounds of running, the sounds of desperation.

LION (V.O.)
Are they coming over here?

He looks down the narrow street he's supposed to be guarding. And it is them—those two. They've been evading his squad all morning.

LION (V.O.)
But their luck's up now, I guess.

They come to a stumbling halt before him. RYU and MAY. Breathing heavily, looking at LION with frightened eyes. LION moves forward.

LION (V.O.)
Worms.

He knows what he has to do.

LION (V.O.)
And if you can't do it—

LION stops.

LION (V.O.)
They're just kids.

The three of them stand for a moment, staring at each other. Like strange animals.

LION (V.O.)
But isn't it funny? Only a few years apart, at most.

It feels like millions to him. Just the way they stand apart from him, the way they look at him.

LION (V.O.)
You know what you have to do. And if you can't do it—

His rifle feels heavy in his hands.

LION (V.O.)
And if you can't do it—

Without a word, he steps aside.

MAY seizes the chance, runs past him without a second glance; LION barely catches her face. But RYU stops in front of him.

RYU
(grinning)
Thanks, man.

He looks like one of those Cuban revolutionaries, tan skin and dark hair. And he's got the cap to match.

MAY
Don't talk to him. Ryu!

RYU nods at LION.

RYU
See ya.

He runs after MAY.

And LION just stands there, motionless. Watching them go.


"Sometimes we laugh in order not to cry." — Ras the Destroyer