Any Dream Will Do


daphne_icon.gif joseph_icon.gif

Scene Title Any Dream Will Do
Synopsis Some jack-asses attack a pastor a few blocks from his church. An unlikely "hero" happens to be zipping by.
Date May 26, 2009

Greenwich Village

In a time that seems long ago, Greenwich Village was known for its bohemian vibe and culture, the supposed origin of the Beat movement, filled with apartment buildings, corner stores, pathways and even trees. There was a mix of upper class and lower, commercialism meeting a rich culture, and practically speaking, it was largely residential.

Now, it's a pale imitation of what it used to be. There is a sense of territory and foreboding, as if the streets aren't entirely safe to walk. It isn't taken care of, trash from past times and present littering the streets, cars that had been caught in the explosion lie like broken shells on the streets nearest the ground zero. Similarly, the buildings that took the brunt of the explosion are left in varying degrees of disarray. Some are entirely unusable, some have missing walls and partial roofs, and all of the abandoned complexes have been looted, home to squatters and poorer refugees.

As one walks through the Village, the damage becomes less and less obvious. There are stores and bars in service, and apartment buildings legitimately owned and run by landlords. People walk the streets a little freer, but like many places in this scarred city… anything can happen. Some of the damage done to buildings aren't all caused by the explosion from the past - bullet holes and bomb debris can be seen in some surfaces, and there is the distinct impression that Greenwich Village runs itself… whether people like it that way or not.

It's after curfew, and the lights stare blindly down at the pavement, street lamps points of illumination, glowing rather than beaming, giving light for whoever cares for it. They remain still and stoic to the sound of shoes scraping against concrete in a scuffle. They're there to show what's happening, not to stop it, or point to something in particular. The stretch of road is empty.

This isn't Staten Island, where thieves and innocents alike roam free of restriction and crime is something that just exists like the quasi-breathable air. It isn't Midtown, either, with all its strangeness and environmental danger and occasional looter desperately picking through broken building for a break. It's Greenwich Village, which has had its own kind of transformation. A block from the Guiding Light, a car from who knows how long sits on the curb, gutted and looted and forgotten, and this place is no worse and no better than the other corners of New York City.

But perhaps surprising. Joseph had a vision and he didn't see them coming.

It would be flattering to think they are Humanis First!, that this is happening out of any kind of personal vendetta, but no. Joseph knows random chance exists, as do common criminals, around the time they asked for his wallet. Demanded, rather, and the pastor hadn't answered quick enough.


His hands sting from when he'd been shoved into a wall of the alleyway, catching himself before he could bruise his face against it. They don't have a gun, so that's a plus, in that he might not die, and a negative in that they feel the need to bury a fist into his stomach, knocking the breath out of him.

There'd only been one lion. Which means perhaps only one has a knife.

There are some theives that just bug the the hell out of a certain speedster. The types that rough people that they really don't have to tends to be up there with the top of them. Taking things shouldn't mean beating down the people they come from. Or that's Daphne's philosophy.

It is not among her usual modus operandi to stop in the middle of a job, but even while running on the way to one of the richer buildings in the area, she can't help but recognize the area. Close to the Guiding Light Church, which helped her acquire a jewelry set worth a couple hundred grand (which she fenced for half that, but such is the way of thievery). That vision set her up with a nice place to live, free of any mafia ties or needing to run messages for anyone except— well— her. Money never lasts forever, though, hence tonight's job. Which get's interupted as she jumps across a rooftop and spots— a bunch of people beating on a man.

A second glance just before he gets shoved against the alleywall face first tugs on a tiny piece of her conscience. While the irksome sight of possible thieves beating up a man is bad enough, they're beating up a pastorOne she recognizes. One that helped keep her in rather comfortable living for the last month.

A blur of wind zooms down from the roof, passing by and grabbing one of the taller guys. Not a fighter, but speed gives some advantages that most people don't get to experience. A tug and a pull, using her speed to put more force behind it. In theory she could possibly take out all of them before they could blink— or at least put more of a dint than pulling one away. If she didn't feel the need to stop and do exactly what she does…

"What kind of jack asses attack a pastor a block from his own church?"

There's a vicious clang as the taller man is propelled into the dumpster at the end of the alleyway around the time dead leaves and trash are settling from the whirlwind that is Daphne Millbrook's mode of entrance. Joseph is catching his breath back, a hand out to steady himself against the wall, and if the fact he's a pastor has any effect on the two men other than knowing where to find him should there be a next time, it doesn't show.

"Hey, where'd you come from?" It's from the man she didn't swing into a dumpster, his hand still bunched in a fistful of Joseph's coat, wallet caught between his fingers. The other is clasped tight around some other weapon, long and metal. His voice is jittery, but not from fear. "Gonna play hero, blondie?"

Beneath his taunting words, there's the sound of scraping boots, a dragged in breath, and a knife shines in what little light there is as a shadow rears up behind the woman. Joseph only gets a breathless, "Look ou— " before, well. It hurts, sure, but it's nothing compared to the way the world suddenly tips and spins into brightness, nighttime splitting apart and giving way to something dazed beyond detail.

Inwardly, it's far more dramatic than what happens outwardly. A metal pipe glancing off someone's skull is a quick thing, although surprisingly loud, and as Joseph crumples, the man only shoves him aside.

"Listen, I am so not a…" Daphne starts to explain, until she catches the breathless words of warning. That warning is really all she needs before she shifts back up to her top speed, spinning to pluck the knife out of the threatening shadow's hands, a knife that she uses to cut the man's belt before he has a chance to twitch, while she undoes his pants button with her fingers. There's a point to this, pants down around his ankles, but it takes enough time that the pastor gets to finish what part of his warning he yelled, and the metal pipe slams into his skull, causing him to crumple.

Since her brain and mouth work at the same speed as her body when she's moving this fast, she manages to mutter out a surprised 'Damn' as she sees the man she might have been trying to rescue crumple.

That's not good. This is usually the part where she runs for it. In fight or flight, flight has always been her first option.

Crumpled pastor. With a magic touch that could lead her towards countless treasures? Well, yeah, it's not totally selfless.


Coming out of super speed long enough to say "Gimmie that," she revs back up to move in a blur, with a push of more garbage and leaves, flying paper everywhere. Beware papercuts? But she reaches to claim the pipe. No funny ending for this 'thug', but she knows she's fast enough to pluck a pipe out of a guy's hand. "Anyone else want their pants around their ankles?" Or their shoe laces tied together. She could do that too.

"Still breathing, Pastor?" Or more likely, still conscious?

This has suddenly gotten more complicated than pushing around some oblivious mainlander for money. The man with his pants down around his ankles seems to have gotten the point, declawed of knives and dignity as he rushes for the mouth of the alleyway, and the currently disarmed companion's P-inspired confidence is knocked around. All kinds of fuck this, taking off at a run with an odd forty dollars and a credit card.

At least the night wasn't totally wasted. Joseph's cellphone lies opened on the dirty alleyway floor, and completely ignored by the pastor who, in turn, ignores Daphne's question for the next several seconds, not completely willing to clasp a hand against where the pain in his skull is starting to throb, a point of strange numbness also, although he can feel blood starting to leak into the collar of his shirt, winding through dark hair and smearing bright red on the skin at his neck.

Ow. But breathing, shallower than he should be, and he gets his legs under him, kneeling, before resting his shoulder against the wall of the alleyway. Only then does Joseph bring himself to touch the source of his new headache, a wince deepening the lines at his eyes and mouth before he's looking up to Daphne.

Two of Daphne. "Yeah."

That's new. Usually Daphne's the one running from the scene of the crime, but in this case, she'll take it. The pipe continues to be held, spun deftly in her fingers like the brandished briefly like a marching band's baton twirler might do. "You're not exactly a prize catch, you know? I'm sure you didn't even have a super fancy crucifix bought with the donation money. You're the nicer side of religion." Also the poorer and in need of those donations just to stay open.

Still holding her makeshift baton, and twirling it rather quickly to keep up the intimidating appearance, she zips over to claim the discarded cellphone, pocketing it for returning later (she doesn't need another cellphone, really), and moves back over to him.

"Looks like you could use a hospital. Know which one's the closest one? I actually hate hospitals, but I'm faster than an ambulance."

Movements come in stops and starts, suggesting what Joseph would really like to do is pass out, but eventually, he's— sitting. Which is a little like progress. Nicer side of what? Now that he's touched his hand to the wound, he can't quite bring himself to remove it, palm clasped firmly over tender skin and palm going damp with blood.

Head wounds bleed worse than they are. "No," Joseph says, voice catching in his throat. "No, I don't know." His other hand is going up to touch his forehead at the headache thrumming what seems like just below the surface. Damn. Forget aching stomach muscles, his head could crack open.

"Thank you," he remembers to grit out, with another dizzied glance upwards, and it's not that his eyes are cross eyed, they're just dark that way. And maybe a bit. "You didn't have to do— "

Whatever it was that he was about to inform Daphne of what she didn't have to do is lost under a sudden gasp, a muted cry as quite suddenly, Joseph can't see, dizziness or no. Can't hear, either, and his knees come up in an almost defensive curl as he's experiencing something quite different to the alleyway and its darkness and silence, eyes clamping shut.

Yeah, didn't have to, yadda yadda ya. If he would've finished, Daphne would probably be telling him just know much she knows she didn't have to. Who really has to do this sort of thing for free? Does she look like someone who sticks her neck out for people she only held hands with once? Well, she doesn't think she does, at least. And he can always just… pay her back.

But finish he does not, and crumple up yet again he does.

"Hey— heeeey, pastor, I don't want to carry you there all by— you need to be on your feet. Or at least most the way upright. I move really, really fast, but I'm not Wonder Woman." If only she knew for a fact that he couldn't hear a damn thing that she's saying as he curls up into his little ball of hurt. Damn. Damn damn damn.

A hand reaches to touch his shoulder, the hand not holding a pipe. The pipe impacts the floor of the alley to act as leverage so she can lean near him, and she starts to gently shake his shoulder. "Come on, Pastor-man. I need you to tell me where to take you." Where is the nearest hospital. She doesn't want to leave him alone to find out. "Come on, up with you."

For a moment, she wonders how light he really is. Could she carry him back to her hide out (paid for with his wonderful ability)?

He's not towering at 6', but built solidly to match that height, having barely stirred beneath Daphne's earnest urges. He can't see or hear but he can feel, and quite suddenly, his hand, wet with blood, lashes out to grip onto the wrist of the hand trying to shake him into attentiveness. There's nothing aggressive in the movement and the grip circling her arm— just desperate, head tilting back and blinking rapidly at the sky and when that doesn't prove to help, they only close again.

Hands on his chest, his arms, ones he can't feel but see, and the surface of water is above him, the sound of it roaring in his ears. He's drowning, kept under by people he can't see beyond it, and the light is shining on the shifting surface, dazzling. It's terrifying but also something else.

Not drowning. He remembers this, and when he does, those hands clench and drag him back up. By the time he's on his feet, or supposes he's on his feet, the lake is empty. The water laps high at his stomach, drags at his limbs, trying to move as if through a dream towards the shore which is a heap of clear sand, broken rock and abandoned building.

Closer but too far, not before he's slipping back down into ruthless clear water of icy renewal.

The vision ends as quickly as it started, Joseph's eyes snapping open and his body jerking. "Oh…" The alleyway, the woman whose name he doesn't recall, all shifts back into reality, and he's not wet, or even cold, but trembling for different reasons. "I had a vision," he says, disbelief in his voice, completely unaware of all the questions Daphne had laid on him. "I don't have visions."

Except that one time. But that had made a logical sense. He's still clinging to her arm.

"Well, apparently getting knocked on the head with a pipe does the trick. The dude visioned you. Right in the skull," Daphne states a little too calmly, even with a good mood sound to her voice. No laughing matter, really, but she's not him, and she's not the one who's hurting. She stuck her neck out for him and— "Okay, you don't get visions normally, but you don't get beat up every day either, so seriously, you need a doctor. Before something worse happens."

He's clinging to her arm, which in some ways is enough, but at a foot shorter than him, the best she can do is try to put her shoulder under his arm. "On your feet, Pastor. If you don't point me in a direction I'm just going to run with it. I know a good hospital in Paris, but I highly doubt you want to go through that much, so we'll go for one of the ones in the city— unless you happen to know somewhere else I can take you? Far as you want to go. I can run anywhere."

Anywhere at all. Almost. She's not planning to deposit him in heaven, no matter his faith, though.

Standing up. Okay. That sounds— constructive. Most of Daphne's words go streaming past him like so much babbling brook, which isn't bad, in a way. It gives him a moment to collect himself, which he does, drawing in deep breaths. Makes sense, the way she puts it. Sure, he's had his fair share of concussions— and quite a few people out there might be not so surprised— but not since his power.

Clenching his teeth together, Joseph allows the young woman to get him to his feet, graceless and leaning on her. Head pounding and the world spinning, what he wants is— "Home." The singular word is breathed out, and it's almost a plea. "Take me home?"

He should, by rights, go to a clinic at the very least, a hospital as suggested, but the sparse comforts of furniture, his dog, a place to think and stop moving for a while, overrides the need, apparently, to get stitches put into his head.

"Unless you happen to have a little wife at home who happens to be a nurse, you ain't going there," Daphne says rather plainly, glancing around once. The pipe, with blood on it, is finally tossed aside, now that she's sure she won't need to hold onto it to defend herself. As she manages to get him more or less upright, she lets out protesting sounds. This is way harder than running up a mountain. Everest was easier— though the not being able to breathe very well sucked a bit. She didn't stay long, at least!

"Being heroic kinda sucks. You better compensate for it. I take cash, credit and super powered visions. And lay off the holy pastries before you get pounded around me again, okay, Preach?" Not that he's fat, but she's going to call him on his solid build for his height if she can. Especially since she happens to be a delicate little pixie.

"Hold onto your head, this may feel like your brains are leaking out— more." There's little actual thought to this causing even more damage, though the few people she's taken along for the ride have complained of the experience. "Heard it helps if you close your eyes," she adds with a grin, a tease. Remembering his use of ability on her.

With no more though on it, she moves up to full speed again, and drags him along for the ride. Way faster than an ambulance. Faster than an evac helicopter, even. Faster may not always be better, though.

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