A Real Flying Fuck


devi_icon.gif richard_icon.gif

Scene Title A Real Flying Fuck
Synopsis The subtle art of pretending not to give a fuck.
Date May 15, 2019

Located in the northern part of the Sheepshead Bay, the immortal sea offers a lapping, timid and yet relentless, resonance from somewhere nearby… until it's interrupted by the banging, crashing, or booming that usually emanates from the nearby garage. Set into the crumbling brick structure that looks like one of many in this barely rehabilitated region are two large, rolling bay doors. The corrugated metal entrances are covered in vibrant colors of chaotic graffiti, the artwork framed by the copper-green patina of rust around the edges reads:

Anarchy Customs II

Just inside, the large garage is home to many vehicles with varying numbers of wheels; parts in different states of dismantling, repair, reconstruction, or destruction; and some things that are simply unidentifiable in their current state. The walls are cluttered with various tools, mobbed further with stolen street signs and more untamed, fresh graffiti. The smell of oil clings to the air as eagerly as the grease stains spattered on the concrete floor.

A small, unassuming, black-painted door with an obvious deadbolt is set off in the back corner. No graffiti here, just a pristine white plastic plaque with red letters: Employees Only.

The large bay doors haven’t yet been rolled down for the night, allowing a crisp breeze to filter in over stains of oil, intricate twists of paint, and a scattering of tools along a tall, metal workbench. Devi stands before the bench, one boot hooked up lazily on the storage shelf below. Her dark hair is tied up haphazardly, and a violet slashed tee hangs loosely off both shoulders, flirtatiously exposing the bra straps and tattoos underneath.

The biker is lost in her own, admittedly strange, little world. To her left a cloud mason jar containing a floating white orb sits mostly obscured by various contraptions, gears, and thing metal rods. She’s working on something of a particularly smaller scale than that to which she is accustomed - tiny screwdrivers, tiny cogs, tiny … spider legs?

“Hey, I’ve got a truck with a giant spider-shaped engine that I’m having some trouble with,” comes from the bay doors as Richard strolls casually in, boots avoiding the worst of the oil-stains on the concrete floor so he doesn’t slip, “Think you can help me out, gorgeous?”

He’s dressed in his civvies — that is, much how she met him originally, an old pair of jeans, a Chicago Air bomber jacket, a simple grey shirt underneath. Sunglasses perch upon his face despite the hour, although since he lost his ability all those years ago he shouldn’t need them anymore.

The tools visibly still. What isn’t immediately seen, though, is the sight of a smile curling up her wine-hued lips. “Nope-nope-nope,” comes her husky, low reply before she cants her head and rests her chin on her own shoulder, the better to look over at Richard. Her dark eyes are accentuated with a sweep gold-to-garnet transition of shadow. She drops a tool and pulls a hand around to give a chastising wag a tattooed finger. “It took weeks to clean up that last mess, and I had more men then.”

She turns, resting the small of her back into the high bench’s edge. “Then again, if you promise ta stick around and pick up - perhaps a little chaos is just what the doc ordered.” One inked shoulder comes up in a casual bob. Still, her gaze lingers on Richard a moment longer - his image against the backdrop of a stylized-graffiti wall. She laughs quietly and shakes her head. “What’s shakin’, Toots?” she inquires, the chuckle still half lingering in her words.

A smile tugs sly up at the corner of Richard’s lips as he approaches, both hands sweeping to either side in a helpless gesture. “I suppose I can,” he banters, “I’ve gotten a lot more experience fighting killer robots since then, and a few more tricks up my sleeve too.”

Hands come back in, tucking into the pockets of his jacket as he stops near the bench with a chuckle, “Thought I’d come by, see how you were doing, interrogate you about a few things, check out your ass, you know, the usual.”

Hand anchored around the edge of the bench at either side of her waist, Devi dates a little sashay of her hips are her behind is mentioned. “In that order? Well, shit, maybe I’m losing my touch.” She lets the left side of her smile come up in an impish, playful way before bringing her hands back up. She tips her palms back to present her tattooed wrists. “Interrogation doesn’t sound so bad, though…” A little shimmy of the shoulders for good measure, and she finally cants her head to the side, a few dark streams flowing across her face.

“I mean,” Richard replies in playful tones, grinning as he stops nearby and spreads his hands again, eyebrows lifting over the upper rim of his shades, “I suppose I can let you choose the order there… I don’t think that I’ll need to tie you up for interrogation, though.”

One hand lifts, a finger tugging the sunglasses down enough to wink over the edge, “Although if you have some of those fuzzy handcuffs around, I could if you insist.”

“Damn.” Devi drops her wrist-bearing pretense in favor of patting herself down. “Left them in my other pants.” She ends with both hands on her asscheeks and grins. “Tit-for-tat, then? You ask your question and I’ll ask mine.” She inclines her chin, hair falling away to better reveal her dark gaze and tattooed temple. “Shoot.”

A laugh, and Richard shrugs one shoulder. “Fair enough,” he admits, sweeping the shades off his face and tucking an arm into the neck of it to dangle down over his chest. He steps in closer, just past casual range, offering her a crooked smile.

“So what’s your history with Doctor Miller?”

“Well, that’s a wasted question, Toots… I don’t know any Doc Miller.” She wags a finger at Richard playfully. She leans back into the work bench then, elbows jostling aside the strange arachnid-like project on the surface behind her. The posture brings her hips forward suggestively. “But, I’m generous.” She pauses for a smirk here. “So, should I know what the hell you’re talking about?”

“Yeah, you do,” Richard observes with a chuckle, brows raising a little more, “One good eye, was with me in the hall when you decided to suddenly be somewhere else real quick all of a sudden? You know the guy I’m talking about.”

Devi’s signature cheshire grin drops. Poof! Gone. “Huh,” she utters, almost casually. “So, that’s his name. A doc-Ohhhh.” And the smiles back, a little more sinister in the way it tickles at just the right side, dimpling one pale cheek.

“Tough Guy never gave a name.” Devi crosses her arms over her bosom as she explains. “But, that’s okay, he gave somethin’ else instead.” The biker tips to her left, better revealing the collection of odds-and-ends on the tabletop behind her.

One of these things is not like the others. One of these things just doesn’t belong…

There’s a mason jar full of cloudy liquid and an eyeball floating inside. It’s… seen better days.

“Now, ask me if he deserved it.”

The jar’s regarded for a long moment… and then Richard’s gaze slides slowly back to Devi, both eyebrows raised about as high as they can go.

“Alright…” A pause, “I’ll bite. Did he deserve it?”

A slow nod dips Devi’s chin once or twice. “I got demons, Toots. We all do.” Her smile for him is fond as she considers Richard a moment longer. “But, my demons don’t pray on others. Maybe it was a moment of weakness. Maybe it started with good intentions.” Arms still crossed, she shrugs a shoulder. “But, I’m bettin’ it's the last time he’ll take try to tie up an unconscious broad.”

Now she disentangles her arms, looking aside to the half-dissected eyeball floating in the jar as she idly scratches the Raven tattooed on her throat. It’s not entirely obvious from her silhouette, but she may very well be smirking at the contents.

“My turn… How’d you get it back?” Her dark gaze takes in Richard from the corner of her eye.

“That’s not exactly details, hot stuff, and if this guy is kidnapping people I kind of need to know that,” Richard observes rather dryly, bringing one hand up and brushing his fingers through the air in her direction, “Since he’s working at Raytech now, and someone sent him…”

The question, though, has his lips twitch faintly for a moment.

“You always were observant,” he admits, “When the Looking Glass opened in New Mexico, ah, something else came through. It was having some— effects on the Evolved in the room. I was one of them.”

“Well, I ain’t HR or running the background checks, darling.” She chortles, but then leans forward and pushes Richard’s hand down out of the air. “I had a bit too much… to drink.” She begrudgingly elaborates, a side-purse of her lips indicating well enough that there was more than booze at play in this recipe for disaster. “I remember leaving the bar and then I woke up in a fucking tub, duct taped to a chair.” Her husky tones carry on like someone reading off a shopping list - succinently, factually detached.

“Cold water. He started in on somethin’ ‘bout how he got in over his head and I needed friends or some shit.” She pinches the bridge of her nose and closes her eyes momentarily. “Man, I was really hungover,” she gripes quietly in regarding to being forced to recall the events. “He cut a piece a tape as a show of good faith or some dumbass game. So… “ Without opening her eyes, she pulls the hand away from her face to gesture towards the eyeball jar.

“I only took the one,” Devi says innocently. Then, peeking open an eye, “Who you think sent ‘im?”

“You went straight for the eye? Christ, remind me never to tie you up,” Richard quips, one hand lifting to rub over the curve of his jaw, “That’s fairly… well. I’ll have to look into that particular incident and make sure he’s not a serial killer. I mean, I can think of uses for a serial killer, but they typically make poor interns.”

All the strychnine in the coffee.

“No idea,” he admits, “Some girl on a bus, who seems to know more than she lets on - Lisa Bradbury. Told him that she was a ‘good friend’ of mine, but I have no idea who she is. He’s ex-Institute, though, did time after the trials before getting out legit. Recognized Monroe’s name, though.”

“Aw.” Devi teases back. “Not up for a challenge?” She waggles her penciled brows once, husky laugh spilling forth. And so their usual balancing act, business on one end and shameless flirt on the other, is carefully calibrated anew.

“Uses for a serial killer - that’s dark.” She’s still smiling, though. “I can keep an eye on him.” This time she leans the other way and reveals the project on her workbench. Reaching back she picks it up by its center mass - a small, metallic ball… an eyeball - attached to four spindly little legs dangling limply off it.

“Just need to get Warren or Alia to work their programming magics.” She holds it out to Richard like a proud mama. “Wanna hear the best part?”

“I call it the Spyball.” Her grin looks like it hurts for all the effort it take to keep her laughter in behind it.

“Oh, and I’m the one that’s dark here?” Richard smirks, both eyebrows lifting up as he looks down at the ball, “It’s… well, what kind of recording and broadcasting capabilities does it have? If it works well as a spy-bot, we might be able to sell it to the CIA for a pretty penny. Or SESA, I suppose, but I think my CIA contacts might be more interested.”

“And,” he admits, “Having it tail Doctor Miller as a prototype run isn’t a bad idea at all.”

“Five miles if you want it mobile. Beyond that the little boy sits stationary but can still broadcast over satellite.” She turns her left wrist over to reveal a thick, blacksteel cuff. “Smart style controls - that’s what I need someone with real brains for.” I.E. Alia or Warren. “Not sure I’m ready to sell,” she adds casually enough and sets it back on the workbench behind her.

“My turn.” Devi pauses, dark eyes taking in Richard’s shaded visage. Sure, she’d got a laundry list of work related, and no Doc McTough Guy related, questions. Instead, though, she inclines her chin and tips her head. “How you holding up?” Simple, but effective. This is more than your average, passing Howdya Do.

“Fair enough,” Richard brings one shoulder up in an easy shrug, “Let me know when you are, and we’ll add a few zeroes to a paycheck or two. I’m sure Alia’ll be happy to help out with the controls, or one of our other computer geeks.”

Then the question, and a brow tic’s up slightly before he chuckles. “I’m doing alright,” he admits, fingers raking back through his hair briefly before rubbing at the nape of his neck, “Better than before the new year; being proven right has helped a lot, since everyone thought I was a lunatic.”

“Not everyone,” Devi chimes in without missing a beat. Her cheshire smile is softened into something a little more charming. The Spyball behind her gives a random twitch but with a habitualness to her motion she reaches back and thawps it. It goes still again.

Moving on, she bends over to a cooler at the end of the workbench and procures two dewy bottles of beer, passing one over to Richard. “I talked with Mama Bird…” She slooowly puts a bend in one eyebrow as her gaze returns to Richard. “I think she likes Alia more.”

As she bends down to acquire the beer, Richard leans a bit as if to make good on his threat to check out her backside, making it very obvious what he’s doing. Then he chuckles, reaching out to accept the beer offered, “Thanks… and eh, most people did. They do that when you start talking about dead people being alive, and other worlds and dimensions.”

He twists off the bottle-cap with a faint hiss of escaping carbonation and wisp of cold steam, admitting, “I’m not surprised. Mom’s one of the smartest people on Earth, I imagine it’s hard for her to talk to more down-to-earth people sometimes…”

As she twists off the cap of her own bottle, a sly smile silently relays the ogling has not gone missed and was, in all likelihood, very much intentioned. “Gotta be lonely, that.” Devi responds. She chews on her lower lip a moment before taking a deep draught from the bottle. “She was something else,” she finally admits with a rare bit of reverence.

“She put the brakes on our project though, Toots.” She tips her beer one way and her empty hand the other. “Apparently what you want has a hefty price tag. Something even your little empire can’t handle, possibly? Four satellites.” She makes a swirly gesture of an tattooed finger. “Nothing kills the mood quite like the word ’budget’.” A shadowed lid comes down in a flirty wink.

“I don’t recall saying that I wanted you to worry about a budget,” Richard replies, pointing the bottle’s mouth at her and raising both brows, “I want the technology behind it, and I want to know how to do it. If we need four satellites, then I’ll get four satellites. I have people who owe me favors, and a government that’s very aware of the danger.”

He takes a swig of the beer, then lowers it with a sigh, “She’s not worried about the money, she’s freaked out about… the chances of making another mistake. I’ll talk to her.”

There’s a quick shift as Devi straightens, free hand coming up to point at Richard in what is clearly an a-ha-style moment. “I fuckin’ knew it.” Vindicated, the woman kissed in ebon swirls of ink grin unabashedly, but falters quickly enough. “And yet, I got stuck discussing hydroponics for upteen hours. Did you know you aren’t even growing any pot in that greenhouse?

Doc Tough Guy: Check
Spyball: Check
Mamabird: Check

Mooooving right along.She transitions subjects with a short indulgence of a deep draught from her beer bottle. It takes her a moment - stopping to pull herself up onto the workbench, a masculine pose with knees wide apart leaving a place to rest her beer on an empty area in front of her. “I’ve been instructed to keep it under wraps, but I hear congratulations are in order.” The right side of her painted lips comes up gently as she tips the neck of the bottle out at Richard.

A fingertip taps against the side of the bottle for a moment, Richard’s head shaking. “We need that facility to grow food, Devi,” he dryly observes, “Food, not weed. Although once we have the food issue solved, a medicinal wing could make sense.”

Then the observation, his nose wrinkling a little as she observes that she’s been let in on the secret. “Ah, yeah,” he breathes out a chuckle, raising up the beer bottle, “Who’d’ve thought it? Thanks.”

“See?” Devi replies about the medicinal wing, boote feet dangling idly as she reaches up and taps her temple.

Richards secondary reaction earns a single blink, but otherwise that tilted smile remains unchanged. “Can’t tell me you didn’t see it comin’,” Devi counters in her naturally playful way.

“No, I did, I’m just surprised she’s telling anyone,” Richard admits with a wry smile, his head shaking, “She really doesn’t want to make it a big thing, but… well, chances are it’s gonna end up that way, unless we run off to Tahiti or grab a justice of the peace when they’re gardening.”

He glances around the garage, then back, “I might be some big corporate big-wig now, but I still hate those huge events.”

“She needed to talk,” Devi casually defends their mutual blonde connection, albeit casually and with a half shrug. “She’s got a way of…” Her face scrunches up in the absence of words, the stars around her temple taking in the wrinkles of uncertainty. Instead, Devi makes a weird gesture of steepled fingers on one hand waving around her sternum.

“Tahiti, eh? Sounds like a reoccurrin’ promise, Toots.” She tips her chin down, leveling a dark gaze on Richard over a toying smirk. “As a big wig, if you let this get away from ya, you got no one to blame but yourself. Maybe it’s time to make good on that promise.”

“Neither of us have the time or desire to make this into a big, huge… thing,” says Richard with a wrinkle of his nose, pausing for a swig of beer before he shakes his head, “There’s too much going on to take some sort’ve tropical trip right now. We can rest when we’re done.”

He smirks, then, eyebrows raising, “You must have been talking to her a lot.”

“That sounds an awful lot like ‘You can rest when you’re dead’-shit.” Devi’s long, pale fingers work on fishing out a black cigarette from a rumpled pack on the edge of the workbench. She offers the pack towards Richard while a black, aromatic cancer stick bobs between her lips and words. “Known a few too many people where that became true. You learn nothin’ from the war?” Her free hand comes up and snaps sharply in the air between them. “Maybe not the tropics, but a warm beach? Just the people that matter? Before what matters ain’t nothin’ but dust.”

“Life’s too short, Toots. For people like us, especially.”

As the pack’s offered out, Richard’s gaze seems to drop to it from behind his shades, and it lingers there for a moment. Fingertips twitch briefly, but finally he shakes his head, “Shouldn’t. Trying to quit.”

He has been for about a decade now.

“Yeah, yeah, I know,” his nose wrinkles, “And I know what it means. It’s not death though. I got to rest for seven years there, Devi.”

“Now? I got more work to do.”

A slight nod is give before the rumpled pack is tucked behind her. Devi even goes so far as to pluck the unlit cigarette from her own lips and tuck atop one pale, pierced ear, her dark locks easily obscuring it. She holds up her hands, low but surrendering. “Hey, pressure ain’t my game, Toots.” No, her business has only ever been giving people what they want… or what they deserve.

“But, I gotta call it like I see it.” She turns one hand over in a small, swooping gesture Richard’s way. “There’s always gunna be more work. Always gunna be someone else ta save. Always going to be something you can make better.” Devi tips her chin down and aside, dark gaze angled up at Richard. “So, if you’re takin’ your time - do so cause you guys wanna. But, if it’s cause of excuses…” She tsks.

“You two just do you, the rest of the world can work it’s shit out for a few days.”

Richard reaches a hand out, one finger tapping to the tip of her nose as he smirks back at her. “I know. Not like I need a lecture here, Dev,” he says with a roll of his eyes, “I know what I’m doing, even if I don’t seem like I do sometimes. I got it.”

Devi’s mouth stretches round and around as she scrunches and wrinkles her nose this way and that. Her left eye goes twitchy-squinty. “Did you just fuckin’ boop me?” She points a playfully warning finger Richard’s way. “Oh… I know you got it,” she taunts back, husky tones heavy on the double entendre. Wiiiiink.

“I did, in fact,” Richard replies, arms folding over his chest and brows raising along with his chin a bit, “Boop you.”

The smirk broadens as he taunts right back to her, “What’re you going to do about it?”

Dark chocolate eyes consider Richard - blank and unblinking. Slowly, very slowly, Devi reaches up and plucks, like a petal from a flower, the little clove cigarette behind her ear. With eyes half-lidded, the biker bitch strikes open and lights a zippo on her worn out jeans and puffs a ember to life at the the tip of the black cigarette. She leans forward, flashing the curves of pale flesh just below her collarbone in the same moment that aromatic smoke coils lazily over her lips. “Mmmmmm.”

As she leans forward, Richard’s gaze dips down to appreciate the view before raising back up again, those eyebrows remaining lifted up high. His stance shifts slightly, subtly challenging as he grins back at her roguishly.

“So,” he casually responds, “Nothing, then?”

The black cigarette stops short halfway to her lips and there’s a soft twitch at a little star stamped in the skin near her eye. Devi rolls a glossy, painted lip beneath her pearly teeth as hre thumb worries the butt of the cancer stick and her eyes linger on the curve of Richard’s taunting grin.

There’s a slow blink as the cigarette finally finishes its trajectory and she inhales a chestful of smoke. “Don’t you have enough playthings on your hands?” Devi’s tones picks in flawlessly into her usual, teasing tone. “Adding this one to the shelf may be bitin’ off more than you can chew, Toots.” She brings up her free hand in a claw-like gesture momentarily before leaning back.

Arched subtly away, knees still parted with one hand behind her, she ashes the cigarette into a rusty coffee can nearby while managing to look across her nose at Richard. There’s an attentiveness there, barely disguised by the shadow of dark lashes. “Besides, I’m breakin’ in a new one myself and I’m not sure if there’s room for more.”

The tone of those words is teasing, but the content has Richard straighten up from his slight lean forward as if he was slapped— a grimace twisting over his expression, momentarily glad for the dark glasses hiding his eyes. “Not a one,” he replies quietly, clearing his throat as he steps back, “Not a one.”

He sweeps a hand towards the workbench, turning rather suddenly to start for the door, “Mnm. Well— anyway— I’ll leave you to your work here, Devi. Let me know how your eyeball works out, and if Miller gives you any shit. I’ll talk to him myself.”

“Woah.” The cigarette hits the concrete pad of the garage floor in a little spray of embers and ash. With a quickness that unexpectedly banishes her usual carefree laziness, the raven-haired woman reveals an oft-hidden panther’s grace and reflex. Her boots hit the floor with a thud and her tattooed finger reach out, trying to catch Richard’s bicep and turn him back to her. Her grip is quick, but not presumptuous enough to be strong - easily evaded if so desired.

Richard’s not running out of the garage, so he’s caught without much difficulty by those fingers; stopping in his tracks and turning back to look at her with a brow’s arch over the edge of his shades and a frown upon his lips.


What indeed. When he turns back what he finds is Devi’s visage contorted in a grimace, eyes wide and unsteady in the way they search him. His pain is her pain. Even the slight hint of it as he turn away had been enough to uncurl something that had been otherwise left to rest. But, she had caused him this pain, somehow, and now it is compounded there in her expression.

Her grip twitches on his arm as she looks at his shades. She squints, trying to screw her face up into something more common - more toying, more flirty, hell even more nonchalant. But, she doesn’t succeed in the slightest. “I didn’t mean-… It’s just-… Fuck, man.” Her free hand comes up and combs away her wild dark hair to no avail.

“I didn’t know, before.” She makes a gesture at him. “That it was an option. A real option.”
“I didn’t know, before.” She turns the gesture on herself. “That I gave a flying fuck. I mean, a real flying fuck.”

Tattooed digits finally fall away from Richard’s arm, spidering as they go as if changed by the sensation of his skin having been beneath them, before culminating as a tense fist down at her side. She cants her head as if trying to crack a pained pinch in her neck.

“What…?” Richard’s brow furrows in three deep lines as he looks back at her, the echo of the word from his lips more confused now. As she continues, it doesn’t seem to clear things up for him at all.

He shakes his head a little, forcing a smile and bringing one hand up in a dismissive motion. “Nah, it’s alright, whatever— look, it’s fine,” he tries to reassure her, “Just teasing, is all, like always.” If it ever was just teasing.

He tilts his head over towards the workbench, ”Look, you got— work to do, so do I, probably. I’ll see you back at the office.”

Pain curls inward, mutating her own expression into one of confusion. Her gaze becomes more unstable - dancing, searching, hoping despite her usual facade. But the shades reveal nothing; she must rely on his smile, on his words - and the result, while it is subtle, is that they seem to physically and painfully rip something out of her in the way her shoulders gently rise and her stomach draws in.

“Yeah, just teasing.” The words are bland and with each breath a wrinkle of concern here, a crimp of pain there, and contour of hop elsewhere - they all smooth over. She gives a squint at the dismissive nature of being directed to work before she sucks her tongue at the back of her teeth. “Right. Always a world to save. Always work to be done.” She turns back to the workbench, shoulders up as she sets her hands on the surface and uses the toe of her boot to crush out the spent, hot light of the cigarette…

“See you at the office, Richard.”

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