A Reluctant Truce


jay_icon.gif kaitlyn_icon.gif

Scene Title A Reluctant Truce
Synopsis When Jay goes running through Midtown, he's met with a shotgun and a growling dog, but after a chat a sort of truce is reached.
Date November 17, 2009

Ruins of Midtown

Once again with the running. By this time Jay's used to this area, and he knows what obstacles he can surmount and which he should really avoid because they're unstable. This, for him, is essentially a once-a-week thing, jogging plus acrobatics of the most pure and essential kind - go over instead of around, under instead of through. He has yet to see a dead body, which means this place and all its ghosts doesn't scare him nearly as much as it should. That'll change.

Today, he's determined to scale a particular building, find his way in and through and then out again and down the other side. He's been eyeing it the last few times he came here. There are earbuds in his ears and his outdated iPod is blasting metal; he's dressed in black jogging gear, with a black tee shirt that reads "Alright already, I'm sorry, UNfuck you." He hurdles a large piece of rubble that's never given him trouble and veers off his established course for his target building. He's completely in the zone - focused, intense, and utterly oblivious to the rest of the world. All that matters is the run, the surmounting of the obstacle. Technically he ought to just go in the ground floor, but he needs to work on his climbing.

One thing about Kaitlyn's gift, she is not often taken by surprise… all the scrapes and bruises he's collected from all his running, no matter how minor, scream at her loudly as he passes into range. Glancing up from the cat in her lap, the woman is on alert. "Oh hell…" The cat is spilled on the ground, even as Jerry Lee surges to his feet and bolts for the door with a growl. Grabbing her shotgun, Kaitlyn pumps the slide and hurries for the door.

So the next thing Jay sees in his path is a snarling German Shepard, as Jerry Lee comes barreling out the door, followed shortly by a familiar face, who lifts a shotgun to point at him.

"Whooooashit!" Jay yelps, and the number one issue of the moment is how to stop. "Don't shoot!" Because he's literally lunging to one side, feet slamming into a piece of masonry and bouncing him right off, into the air. Most people freeze when they see guns and dogs - he was going too fast. He comes down on his feet in a crouch, arm coming up defensively as he backpedals a step on pure instinct. If that dog is coming at him, that's going to turn into an outright run - but so long as there aren't any gunshots or snapping, snarling animals, Jake's officially gone ahead and finally frozen in place.

"What the fuck are you doing here?" Kaitlyn snaps the question, not shooting yet, but something in her expression says she is seriously thinking about it. Jerry Lee doesn't attack, but he does stand there, growling loudly with hair standing up along the ridge of his back. The barrel of the shot gun lowers only the smallest bit, her eyes narrowing as she studies him. "Oh god.. it's you… Spiderkid." Lips thin into an unhappy line, "Why am I not surprised?"

The arm comes out from in front of Jake's face. He's breathing deeply, his heart obviously hammering hard, and staring at the gun-wielding woman and her dog with intense wariness. "First off," pant, "I'm not a kid." Pant. "Second, there wasn't…" Breathe. He's finally slowing down. "A sign." Deep breath. "I'm not trying to be any trouble. I was just going for that." He points through the rubble over the top of the building at a high-rise parking garage just visible beyond the summit.

"Your what.. sixteen?" The much older woman, snaps out in irritation. "Teenager always think they ain't kids." With the dog watching Jay, Kaitlyn hazard a look behind her to the structure on the other side of her home. "What the hell you going there for? Ain't nothin' there but some old homeless guy named Barry. Oh wait.. that's right.. your insane." She gives a mocking laugh. "Your just a glutton for punishment… Gonna break your neck.. then what? Cause you sure as shit won't find any help around here if you get too hurt."

"My ID says 21." Girls aren't the only ones who can lie about their ages, and Jake shoves both hands in the pockets of his pants - it's cold out here. "Look, I don't come here for medical care, I want that, my parents have health insurance. And if I do break my neck, at least I'm doing it doing something I love." His attention flicks down at the dog, then back up at the woman, and he breaks into a grin. "I was gonna drop off the roof, maybe. You wanna watch?" It's totally suicidal, but hey, his view on that is already known.

"Yeah… okay.. and I'm the Queen of Sheba." Obviously not believing the age thing, "You kids and your immortality shtick…" When he asks Kaitlyn if she wants to watch, she stares at him like he grew a second head and was doing the Macarena. "What?! I do not want to watch you kill yourself. " She sputters out finally, the shotgun lowering, "You are insane.. I knew it.. Completely out of your fucking mind." She glances at the structure behind her as she tries to calculate the distance. "And your not doing it there.. It's too close to my home… and it's upwind.. You kill yorself.. the stink of your corpse will be all in my place.. Do your crazy stunts somewhere far from my home… and downwind." The last added as an after thought.

"Christ, you're a wuss for someone waving a shotgun and a toothy dog," Jake opines wryly, and gestures at the row of brownstones. "You mind if I head on and over then, or were you actually planning to shoot and maul me?" Somehow he's doubting it, considering the expressed dislike of corpses. Sixteen! Hmph. He's gonna have to try growing a beard or something. Ugh. He scratches his chin grumpily.

"A wuss?" The words are cold and flat from the healer. Suddenly, the shotgun dips down and….


Dirt sprays up from the ground in front of him as the spray of pellets it the ground, the loud sound reverberating across the crumble city around them and sending a flock of pigeons into the air. "Anywhere a mile away from my home." Her range isn't that far, but she'd like some breathing room after all.

Yow! Jake leaps impressively high for a standing jump. When he comes down, he's at least four feet back from his previous position. "Watch it!" He looks… somehow offended, oddly enough. "Look, lady, sticks and stones, you called me sixteen, I called you a wuss, water under the bridge! That is not a toy, you and I both know it, there's no need to go splattering your ego all over my feet!" And now he begins to retreat further - at least ten feet would be nice. "Whatever your problem is, I'm just here to run, okay? Knock that shit off unless you mean it, and if you mean it, say so and gimme a head start, stop dicking around!"

"You may be here just to run.. But I can feel every god damn scrape and bruise you got on your pretty little body." The shotgun is pumped again as Kaitlyn glares at him, shot gun pointed at his chest. "So I ain't playing around kid. You get hurt worse and I'm gonna feel it.. and I don't want to fucking feel it." She glances down at the dog. "Jerry Lee…" The dog looks at her with ears pricked forward. She turns her head where she can glance at Jay out of the corner of her eyes. "Got the count of five, if your not well on your way of being out of here… then I let Jerry Lee go. One…" And the countdown begins.

That confession gets a stare - a look which is momentarily confused and slightly alarmed - and then that stare hardens. Jake spins and darts for the wall of the brownstone. Quickest way to make sure the dog doesn't get him, after all - though he heartily dislikes the idea of turning his back on the lady with the shotgun. Then a thought occurs to him and, as he heaves up onto the wall of the building, atop the first floor, he spins and looks down. "Hey. Stop counting for a sec." He's got partial cover - if she's serious, he truly can flee. Nevertheless, he hovers there for a second, looking down thoughtfully, warily ready to jerk back the moment that gun comes up.

"Thr….." Kaitlyn trails off when her darts up the side of her place, Jerry Lee out of instinct chases after and teeth snap near a foot that is just out of the way. What the?!? "Your suppose to fucking run away, you brat!!" She yells at him, motioning away from her. "Not…. climb my home!" The german shepard growls and barks sharply at the bottom of the brownstone, hopping along the wall.

"Closest possible escape route," Jake replies with a grin. "Sorry, Jerry Lee, you'll have to wait for your dinner of human flesh." His attention flashes back to Kaitlyn. "Look, lady. Settle down a sec, listen to me, okay?" Not that she's gonna, so he talks rapidly, overriding whatever response there may be to that. "Lemme tell you a secret. I'm not as big a dick as I look like. I figured you were just playing territorial with your pseudo-peen out and waving - I was wrong. I'm sorry I called you a wuss. Tell me where not to run and I'll stay away, okay?" The smile fades into something serious. "I've been through that shit, all right? Wouldn't share it with anyone. I'm not about to go step on a nail or something with you around to share it. Peace, okay?" One hand comes up, a calming motion made.

Jaw clamped tight as she actually allows the boy to talk, even though Kaitlyn's expression is still not all that friendly. She seems to consider something and looks at the dog. "Jerry Lee! Heel!" The barking stops and the dog hurries to her side, still growing some. Kaitlyn takes a moment to scratch behind a ear. "Good boy." She murmurs, before giving Jay her full attention. "Oh I'm territorial alright.. have to be out here, if you ain't you'll get shot or worse." She glances around her and adds. "When your all banged up and shit… Or being suicidal… just stay the hell away from my home." She motions at the brownstone with the barrel of her shotgun. "Then we'll be peachy."

"I'm not suicidal." That does need to be clarified. "I'm good at this. But accidents happen, I've busted myself up pretty good in the past, and…" He shoots that parking garage a thoughtful, assessing look. "What's your range? Maybe if I stay on the far side of that thing?" It's a big place. He'll at least be out of visual range. "Christ, no wonder you live out here."

There is a heavy sigh from the older woman as her eyes shift slightly to look past him. "Yeah… far side should be far enough. But don't come to me if you do have an accident.. I don't heal without monetary compensation up front." Kaitlyn seems reluctant to admit that. "And yes.. it's why I live out here.. You have no idea how nasty it is living in the tight packed city… out here all I gotta worry about is radiation."

"So why live here at all?" Jake asks, and now he drops down onto the edge to sit. The pressure to take off isn't precisely persistent. "New York's a bit of a hellhole these days - I wouldn't be here if it weren't for college." He makes a face, shrugs one shoulder, and raises one knee to wind an arm around it. At least he doesn't appear to be inclined to get himself killed in the next few moments?

"Cause…. " Kaitlyn looks rather flustered about the question. "Cause it's home." Seems like a good explanation to her, as she continues. "I thought about leaving, but everything is here for me…. even if I can't stand being in it. I don't stay completely holed up all the time. My in-laws are here.. I use to be K-9 in the department… my…" She doesn't continue for a moment glancing down at the dog at her feet, the shotgun lowers to hang in a hand at her side, seems Jay gets a reprieve. "My…. husband's remains are around here somewhere.."

That gets a pained wince and Jake looks away for a moment, unwilling to look grief in the eyes. "Yeah, okay, I can see that. Shit, that's horrible." A pause for one profound second while he gets a handle on it, then he sucks in a sharp breath and steers the topic firmly elsewhere. "So you heal things?" His attention comes back, keen. "What're your rates? Cuz I know people who crack bones on a regular basis. …And if your healing's quick and doesn't have side effects, I know people who'd pay dearly not to be in casts for months. I may be broke, but some of them have money."

"Pretty expensive.. " Kaitlyn states when she finally gets her composure again, clearing her throat since it's suddenly a bit tight, "I can only do one healing at a time… and I have to rest afterwards. Broken bones.. I can heal a broken one one every couple of days.. So your looking at a few hundred… cause I gotta be able to feed myself during that time, not to mention.. something like that is like having a bad rash all over my body.. It's gonna make me miserable til it's done."

"You want me passing the word on, or no? I can be discreet. Kinda doubt the frat boy crowd has ever heard of you, though, and they could be annoying if you aren't used to them." Jake thumps his dangling foot against the wall idly, still watching the lady with the gun rather intently. Now that it's all business, he seems surprisingly capable of sitting still - except for that regular, quiet fidgeting. One hand sneaks up to adjust the earbud in his ear, but he already turned off the iPod when he stuck his hands in his pockets, and now it's just a matter of scratching an itch - or finding some way to move while sitting still.

Kaitlyn seems to consider this…teeth catching the corner of her lip, "I'd… rather not have a lot of frat boys trampling in my yard.. so discretion is best I think. Last thing I need is the curious coming around to check out the crazy lady." Jerry Lee can tell the tension for the most part is out of his owner, so with a groan he stretches out on the ground, setting head on his paws. "And.. if you don't want them shot or a dog attached to their ass.. make sure these people tell me who sent them." There is a moment and then she offers. "The name is Kaitlyn."

The idea of people checking out the crazy lady gets a soft snort and then a grin - Jake seems built for grinning. "Jake," he says, and, "I'd offer a hand, but I don't want to piss off JL there." The dog. "I'll keep the news to people who actually have need of your services." The grin goes wicked for an instant. "Maybe earn myself a commission of free beer for the trouble. Dunno why I bother, I've got a friend who owns a bar, but it's nice to have sources when you just want a drink, yaknow?" He lowers his knee, slouches forward, and eyes the ground. It's not all that far - he could drop off safely. Still, he stays up there - it'll save him time when he does decide to take off for the parking garage.

Seeing him lean over, instinct takes over and Kaitlyn lifts a hand to stay him. "Don't you even think about it… I'll feel it." There is actually worry in her voice… it's been awhile since she's felt anything bad. The scrapes and bruises make her skin twitch… but something like the jarring of bones and such.. wouldn't be fun. "Just remember.. one bone equals a couple of days… and it had to be set… I hate setting those things." She glances passed him and makes a shooing motion.. "Now git… Go try to kill yourself well away from me."

"Guaranteed it'll already be set, actually - these are rich kids, football players 'n stuff. They don't wanna end up on the bench all season, thassall." The rest of that, though, makes him grin wide. "Relax. I'm not gonna do anything stupid. I meant it when I said I wouldn't do that to somebody on purpose. But hey, I'll see about stopping by again sometime. You need anything out here?" It's good to be on the good side of someone who can do positively magical healing. It means if his lack of gift ever gets him in serious trouble, he might not be down for the count.

Kaitlyn actually groans at the thought of this kid showing up again, now whether he hears it or not it's another thing. Her head starts to shake, but then she stops, noticing Jerry Lee laying next to her. There is a thoughtful moment and her head slowly comes up to give the young man a rare smirk. "Dog food… can always use that.. Cat food." He might even notice a cat or two lounging around. "Not cheap taking care of Midtown's strays."

"Shit, lady, you don't ask for easy stuff," Jake says with a laugh. "Sounds like fun, actually - give me something to carry through the place. No using the hands. 'Course, if anyone sees me coming in here with giant bags of dog food on my shoulders…" He can't help it - the idea is laugh-worthy. "Fuck, I'm already fucked if they see me here. No big deal - life's short." A wave of the hand dismisses the thought, and he grins impishly. "I'll do you a favor going outta here - I'll walk." Waggle of brows, rather playful. He pulls his feet up and climbs onto them, apparently oblivious to his height above the ground. "You strike me as somebody who needs the occasional box of eggs, a beer, and someone to drink with, too, but I'm not gonna push there - you might decide I'm flirting." The grin goes devious, because, well, he is. Jake's an incurable flirt. "Seeya 'round?"

Amusement touches her lips as Jay babbles on, Kaitlyn shakes her head slowly and suddenly she chuckles… It's an odd sound. "Get out of here, kid… And seriously.. stay away if you got any sort of injury." She doesn't say anything about the money for healing.. that goes without saying. Glancing down at Jerry Lee, she smirks. "Come on… I'll get you a treat." The dog is on his feet at that word and trotting for the doorway. Glancing up, she gives him a wave, before starting after her dog. "Be safe, Jay."

"You too." Yeah, he's a chatty bastard when he gets the chance. "Seeya 'round, Jerry Lee." No doubt teeth-first. Jake spins around to go stalking off out of sight along the roof divider, already plotting. …He doesn't run, but he does take a four foot drop, then a six foot one, bouncing down a pile of rubble and a closed garbage can on the far side. Then? Off towards the parking garage at a jog. Time to go do some actual practice. The metal gets turned back on.

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