delilah_icon.gif leonard_icon.gif tamara_icon.gif teo2_icon.gif

Scene Title Attaboy
Synopsis The sybil brings together dragon, doppelgänger and toad. A little havoc ensues, but only a little.
Date May 29, 2009

The Rookery

After the bomb, Staten Island grew to become a haven for undesirables. If the Island is their home, then the Rookery is their playplace. Equal parts gritty and decadent, it boasts dark alleys, bright lights, and every pleasure that one could imagine. Provided you know where to ask, of course.

Some areas have fared better than the rest of the island; some have fared far worse. For each well-tended brothel or gaming house, there's at least one creaky, crumbling structure left over from the days of pre-bomb suburban glory.

The population is considered universally distasteful, even by much of the rest of Staten Island. Criminals, refugees, victims of radiation poisoning… Those who have nowhere else to go often end up here. The most common method of getting out is to have your body dropped in the river, followed closely by being left wherever it is you got killed.

Good luck.

It's a couple hours past noon, the morning fog and wet having receded; the sky is still gray and dreary but with glimpses of broken blue here and there. The denizens of the Rookery are out in force; rain always has the effect of chasing people off the streets, and now their hectic, vibrant activity makes up for the morning's loss.

In this place, the teenage girl perched on a dumpster's sloping lid catches rather little attention — more for the fact that she's young and alone than for her peculiar choice of substrate. Her fingers are occupied with a length of scarf, vibrant scarlet an accent to light blue blouse and darker jeans; Tamara's blond hair is windblown and tangled, ignored in favor of observing the local traffic, a hint of cheerful smile lurking around the edges of her expression.

There's no bike bearing the little towhead terrorist along the weather-worn warren of the Rookery's streets this afternoon. No, that's been stashed somewhere along with the considerable value of cargo and the boat he'd taken out of the dispensary's ragged docks, leaving a young man walking on his feet, unaccompanied by anything but watery oatmealed sunshine and whatever metal he happens to be carrying on his person.

Teo is walking along the sidewalk, hilariously pedestrian in a variety of ways. His gray hoodie is drawn up over his head, its braided strings pinched between his teeth. Blithe and anything, he's just trucking along— when—

He swerves, abruptly, walks into a Stop sign pole with an audible clangor of knee into striated metal, his shoulders tilting haphazardly, a long-fingered hand smacking upside his own forehead. His eyes shrink wrinkled in his head for a protracted moment, pain guttering his breath raspy in his teeth. The next, he thumbs back the fabric of his sweater, and stares across the street at the dandelion clock of a girl on the trash receptacle, there, his regard fuzzy but unwavering.

"I don't care how much you think it's worth. I'll be keeping it, you cheap bastard." The sounds of the street are met with a familiar voice, cheeky and clear in the afternoon glum. Delilah is stepping out of a corner building, eyes aimed behind her into the room whose door she is starting to shut. A pencil skirt in tiny leopard print- a cap-sleeved black, figure-hugging top- black pantyhose and pumps- she does not seem like she belongs anywhere around here. Looking a bit too respectably done up for her own good. "I won't be back." Ka-clunk, the door is shut somewhat forcefully before the the redhead steps out onto the sidewalk, letting out a grunt of frustration.

Leo hasn't yet availed himself of his real freedom. Too use to paranoia to venture into the bustling confines of Manhattan, even though his own mother wouldn't recognize him. Quite literally, were she alive. He's in dark t-shirt, fatigues, boots, stumping along lazily, wearing the kind of scowl that should be accompanied by a little storm cloud over his head.

The smile isn't fazed in the least by the sudden collision of man and stop sign. It does, however, change its timbre, less cheerfully energetic, becoming a rueful almost-smirk. That was unavoidable. The teen kicks her feet idly in the air, then hops down off her perch, shoes hitting pavement with a less audible thunk than the clatter of a disturbed dumpster lid. She drapes the scarf across her shoulders and pads across the street, until she can stop in front of Teo and peer up at the taller Sicilian. "Sometimes it's pretty important to watch your feet," the girl remarks, tone stern in a gently chiding 'you know better' way.

Tamara digs in a pocket of her jeans, holds a loose fist out to Teo with whatever was extracted from said pocket. Her attention, however, is diverted — or seems to be. Blue eyes flick down the length of the block, a slight tilt to the sybil's head as she contemplates certain others. That smile returns in full force, upbeat naivete. "Hello!" she calls down the street. Hey, you. Yes, I meant you.

Somewhere between growing up on the mafia-riddled streets of Sicily and living in Harlem, and whatever mysterious circumstances have found Teo since, he prrrobably should have learned that it is not personally responsible to accept pills from strangers on the street.

He plucks the one out of Tamara's hand anyway, glances at it once, briefly, gingerly accepting its color and shape with the girl's chastisement, before slapping it into his mouth with easy compliance. Why not? It's Tamara. There are a dozen ways you could conclude that progression of logic, and all of them are reassuring insofar as that all Teo's suffering from, now, is a splitting migraine.

Anyway, he winds up dry-swallowing Excedrin, pulling a childish grimace at the acrid taste and powdery slick of residue. "You used to make a mean cup of English tea," he says. He doesn't mean it when he says 'used to;' not exactly. "What the fuck happened to that?"

Don't get him wrong. Teo had heard Tamara call out, and he's standing stiffer now, his shoulders squared into defensive severity, something wolfishly confrontational about the stoop of his head, but that's all. Blearily, he tracks an eye past her face, up the street to check.

If someone yells 'Hello!', everyone is going to look. Even if it was not aimed at them. Most people out on this street do, but probably only a couple of them actually stop to look at Tamara. Delilah being one of them. The redhead turns around on her heels at the greeting, only to spot the source as an unfamiliar face on the breezy sidewalk. The figure next to Tamara, however, gets a considering stare for a few extra seconds. The downward hood and generally not-good-mood may be the only saving Teo when Delilah looks down the street to Tamara, lifting a hand to point at her own chest. Me? She mouths.

Leo ….isn't quite as jumpy as he might've been. But nervous enough to turn that dragonish expression on the sibyl….and then his brows cant down in canine puzzlement. "Do I know you?" he says, as he turns towards her, pacing forward nervously. And…..that would be Teo, who is just who he's looking for. He doesn't break into a run, but turns that into a fast pace, like he's just answering the summons. The cloud of loose dust and litter that kicks up behind him is entirely disproportionate to one human's passage, and a marker of just how much stress he's under.

Tamara takes the words in stride, bypassing the complications of mangled tense; gives Teo a level, sidelong look. "Tea goes in mugs," she informs him. The girl wrinkles her nose, grins at the Sicilian, unabashedly hooks her arm through his as if he were an old and familiar friend. He might as well be. "You don't have one, I don't have one. That means no tea. Unless you wanted to go get some."

Still grinning, Tamara wiggles her fingers at Delilah, a twist of her wrist turning the gesture into a beckon. Yes, you. Blue eyes slide to one side, and Tamara regards Leonard with a frustrated huff. The girl crosses her arms in front of her chest, angling her shoulders to face Leo square-on, half a step away from Teo. "You ought to," she informs the approaching man. Never mind whether she knows him. That's complicated.

The light behind Leo's approach-blurred silhouette is not moving right. Dirt and garbage— draw Teo's face into a blink of alarm, and he glances down at Tamara, briefly, as if searching for the next step of laddered instructions down the side of her face, only he's learned better than to expect those, by now.

Anyway, the mad little princess is off to confront the dragoconian telekinetic, which leaves Teo making idle joggy motions with his forefinger over his shoulder, like, yeah, I'm gonna be over th— "Lilah," he says, turning the artificially nonchalant gesture into a wave. "Ciao."

Delilah gets closer just as Tamara plants herself in front of Leo, the second stranger. And then, the man in the hood is suddenly someone she does know. Thank god! The redhead does a qucik-stepped little U-turn around Tamara and Leo, skirting closer to Teo with eyes roving between him and Tamara. Uncertainty on her face, but a happy greeting nonetheless. "Hey you. …Should I know her?" Heh-heh.

"'scuse me," Leo says, flatly, stepping around Tamara. She does get a double-take, as a face he knows. Should know. Teo…..will feel the brushes of impatient little telekinetic touches on shoulder, hands. "Hey, you. We gotta talk."

Delilah is talking to Teo, and that's fine. Leo is ignoring her, basically and — well, it's not fine, but the sybil does nothing more than roll her eyes. Even if Teo may be the only one that notices. "You don't need to be rude," Tamara informs Leo. Or perhaps Leo's back. A rueful quirk of her lips is given to Teo; tea, it seems, will have to wait. For the sybil then vanishes herself from the scene.

The last asshole who really ticked Tamara off copped a fatal syringe to the neck, far as Teo is aware of, so he's left squinting somewhat tensely between the young seeress and his friend for a moment, there, before the girl folds herself up like so much confetti in the wind and blows away with a sifting curlicue of blond hair. "Probably. You will, though, 'specially if you go looking," and he crooks Delilah a hooded half-smile with that. "I think you'd get along.

"Amico, stop hitting me," he adds, his head swiveling sharply at Leo. A frown recurves his mouth, a good-natured sort, something like ignorance keeping the cast of his features; he curls his hand against the tug of the psychic's insistence, eyes Delilah. "Do you two know each other?"

Delilah is watching, now, for the most part, hovering just to Teo's side. Within talking range, but not close enough to see why Teo asks the other guy to stop hitting him. He's standing over there! What are you talking about? Brown eyes slooowly turn to look at Leo- running a quick observation even if it will not change her answer. Up, down, up- "Never seen'em before." That is a resounding No.

"Teo. You need to come with me. We've had something urgent come up," Leo's voice is grim. Sal made him beautiful, in a strange way, but even that alchemist can't infuse kindness into features that haven't had it in a long, long time. He flicks a look at Delilah, but doesn't comment.

The younger man's eyebrow declines slightly, quirked around a retriever puppy's consternation. He looks at Alexander— Leo for a moment, before cranking his head back around to regard Delilah. "Leo, Lilah. Lilah, Leo. This asshole's my best friend and we didn't always used to rhyme—" the words halt on Teo's tongue with a philosophical squint. "We have to go somewhere, or I'd introduce you more. Sorry, ragazza.

"We'll catch up soon, yeah?" Teo does, however, leave her a token of affection, and does so thoughtlessly. A kiss dropped on the nail of his forefinger, flicked at Delilah's chin in a fond parody of a gesture she might otherwise have found condescending. He pushes his fists into his pockets and, unsteady still from his headache, starts down the sidewalk in a direction almost arbitrarily chosen, glancing over his shoulder at the telekinetic.

With Cat's luncheon tucked in her head, Delilah regards Teo's friends quite differently, though never negatively. Leo gets a tentative smile. "That's alright. 'S nice to kind of meet you, Leo." Technically, it's the second time. How backwards.

The little motion of affection gets a little squint in return, but her smile keeps a presence on her face. Yeah, okay. "Ciao, Teo." Oh wow, she even said his name the right (not Americanized) way. Mark the calendar.

Leonard puts a hand, lightly, on Teo's arm. He's trying to make it look like impatience, affection, but it comes off as what it is - resisting the temptation to just frogmarch the Sicilian back to the Dispensary.

Nor does this difference in treatment fail to escape Teodoro who is, you know. Being frogmarched back to the dispensary. It's an uncomfortable state of affairs, particularly in the middle of the Rookery, where one would much sooner prefer to escape notice. Leonard's advertised belligerence provides, at least, some assurance that they won't have their little knot of conflict intruded on by anybody else's.

Teo angles a glance over his shoulder, studies the angular pale of Leo's face for a protracted moment, before turning away again. "What the fuck is going on?"

Leo, little black raincloud. "I don't dare say out here," he says, simply. "C'mon, let's get home," There's that weird muting of sound around him that happens when he's very desperately keeping a clamp on his power. ""Blondie really needs to talk to you."

Turns out, that Excedrin really was Excedrin. A good thing: Teo operates much better without his brain throbbing from the tidal crush and pounding of infinite possibilities that have rerendered Tamara's mind in climate and topography that most mortals would find terrifyingly alien. Less so to Teodoro than most, but—

"Okay," he says.

Very abruptly, he's no longer standing in compliant tandem to his friend— he's almost gone, only he isn't; there's the edge of his lean shape ducking down neatly underneath the crook of Leo's arm, levering around, moving in a way that the telekinetic had never seen of his friend before, a Mobian unspooling of movement that ends in the vicious arc of his hand, the flattened edge of it, driving down into the side of Leonard's neck with stunning force.

Rage has always been the driving force behind Leo's power. And it comes out now, with horrifying alacrity. Teo is hit by a full-body wave of force; whatever squeamishness he acquired at Moab, it's apparently swiftly dismissed. He's staggering, even, but one of Verse's perverse gifts is….a sort of lack of fear of pain.

Slapped by a brute wind that isn't, Teo takes a fall surprisingly well, though by now that can't come as a surprise and of itself. He tumbles off in a blithe cartwheel of limbs, lands in a slithering crouch several squares of pavement down, staring up at Leo out of eyes as wide and nearly as blacked-out, subsumed by pupil dilation as a reptile's regard. He spends an instant with nothing on his face; the next, he cracks a smile.

"Attaboy," he says, a little ragged

Steel flickers. He flips a knife at Leo's face, overhand, and twists on a heel, bolts down an alleyway in a single, torquing circle of motion, breaking Leonard's line of sight around a wind-chapped corner of brick.


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