A Matter Of Pride


delia_icon.gif toru_icon.gif

Scene Title A Matter of Pride
Synopsis More than fruit gets bruised when a skater runs into a walker.
Date October 1, 2010


The Bronx is the northernmost borough of Greater New York, and even before the explosion, this area was diverse. Though known infamously throughout the world to be a low-income area, it was not without its finer points, as well as home to the Yankee Stadium. It was dense with life, for better or for worse.

For now, it is the the south-west areas of the Bronx that are unrecognisable. Clean up has not gone steadily, and buildings still lie in ruination. It is now hard to tell what this place is even for. During the day, construction teams work to clear more and more roads of South Bronx, although people seem to take liberties by driving over the burnt out rubble if they have the means. There are make-shift trailer camps and soup kitchens for those that don't have a place to go. One feature of South Bronx is the Yankee Stadium, so far untouched. There is irreparable damage done to the building itself, and no game has played there since the tragedy. Graffiti tags the areas available, and people often congregate illegally upon the wrecked grounds. The field itself is overgrown with weeds between fallen debris.

Heading away from Manhattan, the Bronx takes on more function and hope. This borough, once a place of Jewish immigrants, then Latin-Americans and African Americans, is now a diverse mix of all races, any and all New Yorkers taking up residence on the other side of the wreckage. There is even a semblance of a transport system, the electricity back on and functioning, but crime rates are higher than ever.

For once Toru is out in the early afternoon, well before time to worry about curfew, which is pretty unusual given his recent night-owly habits. He's here checking out the Alley Cat branch, though not actually doing any work for the day; it's seldom that he's up in the Bronx, enough that he doesn't have much of an idea, from day to day, how the place is looking lately.

Not that he works for Alley Cat anyway; he mostly takes side jobs at food delivery places and the like. Still, steady's nice. He's on his skateboard today, and once he finishes looking the place over, the board is dropped to the ground, nudged with one foot a bit before he proceeds to take off back down the street the way he'd originally come.

The clatter of the skateboard doesn't turn the corner as well as one would expect. Sure there's noise, but nothing to really warn someone that there's an Asian on a skateboard about to hurtle that same someone to certain doom. That might be how it would be written in a book.

At the moment, Delia has her nose stuck in her latest romance novel and meandering absently down a side street from the local grocery. Hanging off one of her forearms is a small bag with a few items in it, the hand of that same arm is holding a half eaten green apple. Every once in a while, she crunches into it and chews. Until she walks around the corner and straight into the passing Toru.

If nothing else, he at least wasn't going very fast yet. No point getting to full speed when he's just going to have to slow into the turn anyway! … But even at partial speed, a Toru at high velocity is enough to knock any girl down. So far the ladies haven't made any complaints, but this is a somewhat different circumstance.

And indeed Toru doesn't see or hear the girl coming pretty quietly around the corner, so once the two of them do collide— with a girly shriek that seems to be popular among the thuggy-boy crowd, his eyes go wide just before impact, and he really does try to stop, but in doing so slides the board around and sideways in such a way that it's more likely to take Delia's feet out from under her. He flails his arms as he falls, half-backwards, probably actually landing underneath his crashee once all is said and done.

There's a second scream isn't as high pitched or girly as the one that preceded it. It's possible that the man that emitted could swap and blame the other one on young woman. Hers though, is halted with a gasp as Delia lands on top of him, just as his skateboard land on top of her with a crack.

It clatters to the ground and she groans softly. With a whimper, she rolls off of him and pulls up her pantleg to examine where she's been maimed. It's quite possible that she won't be wearing any skirts soon the way the welt is beginning to form. Her blue eyes dart toward the young man and she winces, "Are you okay? I mean… you're not hurt bad are you?" There's no way she'll be going to the hospital with him.

Toru grits his teeth, grimacing in pain and lifting a hand to rub the back of his head gingerly, then pulls the hand back around to check for blood. None, which is good, but it still hurts like a bitch. Eyes closed, he just breeeaaathes for a minute, hissing with each exhale. It seems like forever but is really probably more like a few seconds before he answers, "I'll be aight in a minute." No health insurance, yo.

He's pulled himself up to sit with legs crossed, during this ordeal, and carefully moves limbs and other body parts to check for breaks. Which aren't found. Also good. Just gonna have one hell of a bruise in the morning. And after he recovers a bit more fully he opens his eyes, looks over to the girl and— hey, he knows her. "H— Hey! Shake that ass chick! You're uh— whatsername. Delilah. Delia. What the hell are you doing in the Bronx?"

Looking around, her first instinct was to say that she lives here, but that's just a bad idea. Spying the signs around she eyes it for a half a second before rubbing her leg and meeting Toru's eye. "Uhm… No no— I'm no— " with a sigh she nods slowly. "Yeah, Delia, I— I work at Alley Cat, used to work at Alley Cat… I was going to uhm… apply for my job back and uhm… bring them some bribery apples and a .. uhm.. romance novel."

It's a weak cover, lame story, but the redhead's never been any good at lying and it's the best she could come up with on the fly. It was hard enough trying to deny her name.

All things considered, Toru isn't too concerned about the reasons, really. It's just social niceties, to some extent, before he jumps into the heart of the matter. Not that he planned on having this conversation before he showed up, but now that it's happening, he isn't very well-planned. Which doesn't stop him from saying things like,

"My roomie has a weird thing for you. Madca— Amadeus. Scraggly hair, hyper, same damn shirt all the time?" He rubs the back of his neck awkwardly, then winces. Oh, right. "I don't know what's goin' on with you two but he gets to be pretty friggin' unlivable-with when he's whinin' over you, y'know?"

"There's nothing going on with the two of us. I have a boyfriend and it's not that jerk." The redhead actually glowers at the young man as she spits all that venom toward him. For an extremely angry woman at the very mention of his name, she really doesn't curse or swear too much. "I wish he would just leave me alone and stick with that … thing… he's with. Is it his sister or something? I know they're trying to say she's mine, but there's no way that she is. Just look at her. My dad would have never slept with a woman that could spawn that thing."

Well, Toru could tell before that Delia didn't care much for Amadeus, but that reply pretty much says it all. At least he isn't too stubborn to listen! "Man, aight aight. Sorry I even — " Well, no he isn't. Social nicety is cut off midway. "Didn' know you didn't like the guy that much. Fer what it's worth I think he's just too like, enthusiastic or whatever. I dunno what's up with Keira; she's just — she's effed up or somethin', I don't know. They got this freaky thing going on and they're kinda better for each other anyway. You don't really look like Mad's type."

"I'm not." Delia answers quickly, with a few slow deep breaths, she calms enough to shakes her head and comes to a limping stand. "Listen, I'm sorry, I just… He's so pushy all the time. He doesn't stop and then if I say no, there's got to be something wrong with me. Like I'm the jerk or something." Testing her leg, she winces as she comes down on it with her full weight but she manages a few steps without crumpling. "Listen, sorry for running into you and stuff… you uhm… you need a hand?"

A hand? From a girl? Shirley, you jest. Toru pushes himself up — granted with some difficulty — and grunts a bit, hands on his hips and bending backwards for a second. Nngh. Okay. "I'unno, he's just.. somethin'. Too bro, I guess. I told 'im to treat ya with more respect and all that but I guess he took it the wrong way or he doesn't get… he doesn't get how you're supposed to treat a lady, I guess." Toru may be a thug but deep down he knows how to act around proper ladies of high standing and the like. 'Cause he loves his momma. <3 "He's been all actin' like you treat chicks you're into the same way you treat dudes you're — bros with. Shit, I ain't that bright but I know better an' he's older'n me and doesn't get it. Bad upbringin' or some shit, I don' even know."

"Even if he just stopped swearing, took a shower, got a job, you know… stuff normal people do instead of free loading and drinking and smoking his joints all day." Rolling her eyes, Delia lifts a hand giving it a flippant wave and sighs. All her fruits is rolling all over the sidewalk, her book is nowhere to be found. Examining her plastic bag, she find a hole in the bottom and groans. "Why… does this always happen to me…"

She starts limping around, collecting the apples and oranges all over the sidewalk, holding them between her hand and the crook of her arm. The garbage on the corner will be just a little bit fuller now. "Hey… do you think you could help me find my book? It's called Mean Heat, I dropped it when we crashed."

"Hey man, nothing wrong with that." She pretty much just described Toru's lifestyle too, you know! But he manages not to get horribly offended and instead puts in a few more half-assed torso stretches before starting to figure he should probably help out a little bit. First, though, he collects his skateboard, tucking it under one arm, and gets to looking. "Doubt anybody else's droppin' books around 'ere, man." Not that she's a man. But. The book is actually found in fairly short order once he looks behind where he'd been mistakenly concealing it, leans over to pick it up, dusts it off a little and goes to hand it over. "So yeah, uh, sorry about that again. He doesn't really like me bringin' it up on accounta it ain't my business, but I'll try and get the guy off your back."

Delia accepts the book with a smile and clasps it in both hands as she looks down at it. "You shouldn't have to do much since I shouldn't be seeing him at all anymore… On account of having to move and everything." The look the young woman gives Toru indicates just a little that she might have moved on account of Amadeus. She glances down to the cover of the book and smooths her thumb over the man's face. "He should… just stick with that tattooed lady, she seems to be exactly his type."

Toru folds his arms behind his back, managing to keep hold of his board at the same time, and grins a little impishly at that. "The problem with him sticking with Keira is I'm sleepin' in his van. They ain't there all the time but when they are, then I gotta deal with her too." He sticks out his tongue, makes a sound of disgust. "So it's pretty much in my best interest if he hooked up with you but I know it won't work out and he's too dumb to figure it out but he's so annoying when he's mopin' around like a bitch, y'know? So if I get him convinced to keep away from you, I don't gotta deal with him bein' so emo and shit." Ironically, there is no way he will ever think to apply this logic to his own current romantic hangup. Double standards~

"Right, uh, anyway, I guess we both got shit to get to. Didn't mean to run into you or nothin', but I guess it kinda worked out seein' as I wanted to talk to you about all that anyway."

"Wait… you're homeless too?" Delia's squint as she looks over the young man in front of her is somewhat incredulous. With a long sigh, she reaches into her pockets and digs out what little change she has and holds it out to him. "Here, this is all I have." In the world. "I'm sure you can use it a little more than me… I mean, I have a bed and an apartment and stuff…" No food in said apartment, but there's heat and light. "If you want, I can get the names and numbers of a few good shelters around the city?" THe question is posed in a rather uncertain tone of voice, along with the expression on her face it's quite plain to see that she has absolutely no idea what to do with this sort of information.

Toru's eyes go wide for a second and he steps back, holding his free hand out palm-forward. "Wh? N— naw, that's not— put that shit away." He almost looks scared for some reason. "I'm okay, I'm just— I'm between domiciles right now, right?" A change in tone helps to try and make that sound better than it is. "I mean I'm picking up jobs here an' there, it's just, it's easier to build up a nest egg if I ain't droppin' all my cash on rent, you know? This is more like, economically sound." Not to mention the higher risk of beatings and the fact that in two months he's going to be a Torucicle. Planning ahead is for chumps. "I just— some shit happened and it kinda threw me off, I just gotta get back on my feet, I can make it on my own. I'm good."

Abruptly, he drops his skateboard back to the ground, setting one foot on it though not moving to go just yet. "Keep your money, I got what I need." And with that, he does actually go to leave, turning in a different direction entirely and almost tripping over himself in the process. Soemthing certainly freaked him out! It probably boils down to being a matter of pride.

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