Balloons Over Europa


delilah_icon.gif sacha_icon.gif teo_icon.gif

Scene Title Balloons Over Europa
Synopsis Delilah shows up with a black eye, Sacha with a balloon, and Teo with his foot in his mouth. European superpowers represent.
Date April 22, 2009

Central Park

Central Park has been, and remains, a key attraction in New York City, both for tourists and local residents. Though slightly smaller, approximately 100 acres at its southern end scarred by and still recovering from the explosion, the vast northern regions of the park remain intact.

An array of paths and tracks wind their way through stands of trees and swathes of grass, frequented by joggers, bikers, dog-walkers, and horsemen alike. Flowerbeds, tended gardens, and sheltered conservatories provide a wide array of colorful plants; the sheer size of the park, along with a designated wildlife sanctuary add a wide variety of fauna to the park's visitor list. Several ponds and lakes, as well as the massive Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir, break up the expanses of green and growing things. There are roads, for those who prefer to drive through; numerous playgrounds for children dot the landscape.

Many are the people who come to the Park - painters, birdwatchers, musicians, and rock climbers. Others come for the shows; the New York Shakespeare Festival at the Delacorte Theater, the annual outdoor concert of the New York Philharmonic on the Great Lawn, the summer performances of the Metropolitan Opera, and many other smaller performing groups besides. They come to ice-skate on the rink, to ride on the Central Park Carousel, to view the many, many statues scattered about the park.

Some of the southern end of the park remains buried beneath rubble. Some of it still looks worn and torn, struggling to come back from the edge of destruction despite everything the crews of landscapers can do. The Wollman Rink has not been rebuilt; the Central Park Wildlife Center remains very much a work in progress, but is not wholly a loss. Someday, this portion of Central Park just might be restored fully to its prior state.

Monday lunchtime, the sun is shining, the mystery meat sizzling on the grille, the last remains of the ice skating rink melted away into slimy, gray, oatmeal-consistency nothing much to the forlorn regard of the drove of brightly bundled schoolchildren who've escaped school long enough to be disappointed.

Teodoro is waiting on a bench, a blue scarf wrapped around his throat above scratched and faintly-frayed layers of sweater and jackets, a rip in the three hundred dollar pair of his boyfriend's jeans he'd accidentally accosted. He is probably accountable for the rip, as well as the thievery, but Salvatore rarely really minds. There isn't a lot that the good Doctor won't let his melodramatically depressive housemate get away with, these days.

It probably came as a relief when Teo departed to the park for the day, instead of otherwise condemning himself to a sullen day in electrical darkness, listening to the plaintive mewling of orphaned kittens. His ankles are crossed, and his phone set on Ring, despite that he doesn't expect Delilah will need more instruction than what was given in order to find him.

He is watching a cloud of balloons move by, tethered to a cart that is pushed by a man with a felt hat.

Maybe she is not as noticeable today, or maybe she is just being sneaky. But for whatever reason, Delilah somehow manages to suddenly appear out from behind the bench, doubling her torso down over the back as if she might do a somersault right over it, hair flicking down over her shoulders as brown eyes meet Sicilian. Instead, she just seems to be feeling quite springy, teetering there on the wooden divide behind Teo. For once she is in jeans, wearing a fitted red, black, and white plaid shirt and a pair of patterned Converse sneakers. The only thing aside from the pants that mark difference is the fact that she also has a huge black eye on her left side.


Sacha has, in fact, already had lunch, and is spending the remainder of his luncheontimes strolling the park and sipping a hot drink from Starbucks. Grande-sized. Dressed in his usual attire - gay scarf, medium-length leather coat and wool gloves, though the watchcap is replaced by a beret today. Indeed, the walk would probably go fairly uneventfully, except that once a happy cloud of balloons passes before his eyes, it unveils the image of a Sicilian he hasn't seen in quite some time, with a girl he's never seen and who seems rather happy in spite of having a black eye.

He doubles back, speaking with the balloon man before he can be noticed by either party, and thereafter approaches the pair with a red balloon, string looped around his knuckles. "«Good afternoon,»" in French. "Am I interrupting?"

Suddenly, Teo's solitude is very much— not.

He doesn't quite jump off the bench when the first redhead magically sprouts out from behind the bench though, firmly disconcerted by the bruise puddled around her left eye, he does stand up very suddenly when Sacha joins them with a voice lifted to cover the distance of smooth-worn asphalt. His eyes dart to Delilah's face, his eyebrows instantly contracted into consternation that Sacha probably can't really misinterpret, even when his face stays stuck that way looking at the Frenchman again.

"«And you,» Sacha," he answers. "Not really. My friend here—" he spins a long-fingered hand at her, urging her to come around the bench, "— were just meeting to hang out. Casually. Sort of. I dunno: somebody punched her in the head, which makes me angry." And more formal, possibly. That progression of thought didn't quite cinch.

Delilah tilts her head up and to the side as Sacha makes himself known, eyeballing the passing balloon cart, then the balloon attached to the Frenchman's hand. Then the Frenchman himself. Her own accent is plainly obvious, and perhaps it is nice to know her circle of friends is mostly from the other side of the pond. Lilah just smiles back at Teo when she stands up and he is in the midst of examining her and getting ready to respond to Sacha.

At the gesture, she does come around to the front of the bench. "Only because I punched him first. But- he tried to rob me, so I think I had a fairly good reason." She seems awfully chipper about it now, but Teo might not feel exactly the same once she blurts it out. "Hi, I'm Delilah." That is for Sacha, for whom she lifts a hand and waggles her fingers. Toodle-hellos.

The girl seems a bit less upset about the black-eye thing than the Frenchman had expected, but nonetheless. He steps forward a bit, taking a sip of his coffee before he's in proper talking-distance, and smiles at Delilah. "Pleased to meet you; my name is Sacha. Would you like a balloon?" And there, he extends the hand holding the balloon to the girl, though now that he's actually giving it to her he feels a bit silly. It seemed like a better idea a few minutes ago. Alas.

To Teo, he replies, "I do not know; your friend seems well enough to me, yes?" A look is given at Delilah, and a bit of a smile. "Not that I condone harming ladies, but.. it seems that if she is well, there is no reason to be upset." Granted, if it was a friend of his he'd probably be pissed too.

The corners of Teo's mouth are pinned down by annoyance that doesn't seem likely to wane merely because things happen to be 'well enough' now. At the girl's further explanation, however, his eyebrows lurch up to the top of his forehead and his rancor finds itself somewhat scattered for direction. "You punched a robber?" he asks, incredulous. "I—"

What sort of little girl does that? One who wanders off to Staten Island on a semi-regular basis and was probably completely unarmed when this happened, wherever this happened, and is probably completely unarmed now, which probably shouldn't register as such a completely preposterous state of affairs except that it apparently does, from the look on Teo's face. Oh, blossom. After a moment, he flattens his expression out into some approximation of diplomatically neutral.

"This city is such a clusterfuck." He jams his fists in his pockets, tilts his head back to study the balloon where it bobs, waiting transfer of ownership or, perhaps worse, rejection.

Delilah watches Teo's reaction to this news as if he were some sort of creature on Animal Planet. "Yes. And I spit in his eye." For that moment she seems quite engrossed with his apparent amalgamation of emotions, only to be happily distracted by Sacha's balloon. If she were a less simple girl, it might seem silly to her too. But as it stands, Delilah loves balloons!

"Oh! Thank you." Despite the big muddle of bruise, her smile glows as she accepts the gift from the Frenchman. She's not missed Mister Laundani's watching the balloon exchange either, and once it is firmly looped around a wrist- Delilah tugs it down a few inches and taps the balloon forward so that it invades Teo's face with a playful bounce. Ba-bomp!

There is a smile, perhaps of relief, when the gift of balloon is accepted, and once transferred, he slips that hand into his pocket. "Your friend is very.. spirited," he notes to Teo, and strides forth to find himself a spot on the bench to sit, next to Delilah. Purely coincidence. "It could be worse, with all things considered," he proceeds, and leans forward to look at Teo a bit more fully. Gesturing to his nose. "Could have been our friend le loup, mm?" In French, on the off-chance the girl may be familiar with the Wolf.

He sips from his coffee contemplatively as he sits back against the benchback, and tilts his head up. "Are you truly alright, mademoiselle?" To Delilah. Presumably. "That… does sound like somewhat of an ordeal for a young lady."

"Lilah bounces back fast," Teo responds, not exactly on Delilah's behalf, but obtrusively sequitur nonetheless. He's still got that shade of bristling about him, squintily restless, a wolf circling the heels of some pink girl arbitrarily adopted into the pack. His features crease briefly, squishing under the impact of the balloon, before he stretches his eyes wide and flexes his mouth back into some semblence of functional. "You both have that in common, I think. I doubt it was le loup.

"That fucker would see himself above that." Ethan Holden, robber of little girls. Unlikely. The moreso from his attachment to Eileen and the legend behind his daughters. Huffing in the chill, Teo gestures at Delilah to either indicate that he's sitting down or that she ought to as well. He settles on the bench on her other side, reaches up to hook a finger on the back pocket of her jeans. "If it happened on Staten Island, I swear."

Teo pretty much answers Sacha for her, in terms of if she is really alright. Lilah bounces back just like that balloon on Teo's face. Boing.

The teenager is the last of the trio to have a seat on the bench, not taking a signal to do so until Teo hooks onto her pocket. Oh, sit? Delilah settles in between the two men, feeling at least a little bit doted upon. Oh look, they're worried about me- how nice. She fixes Teo with a pair of brown eyes, hiding her smiling lips behind some fingers. "I was only going over to pick something up." There is even a giggle in her breath. "It figures, the one time I am makin' a trip and being quick about it-" As for who it was, she's not entirely sure if she should explain. Something about it bothers Delilah in the first place, so unless she gets asked explicitly- the redhead will not say anything one way or another.

Sacha looks to Teo, shakes his head. "What I mean is that it is good it was not him. «If it had been, she probably would've come out a lot worse than that.»" Of course, he's assuming Delilah doesn't actually speak French. As it stands, he swaps between languages out of some stupid chivalrous desire to 'protect' the girl from having to know about bad people. She's practically a baby, after all. … Granted, a baby that was playing on Staten Island in the first place.

And on that note. "Why did you think it would be fine to go to Staten Island to begin with?" His tone is rather confused as he brings that up. "It is a dangerous place I think even for those who do their business there regularly."

This is true. Compleeetely truuuue. Sacha asked a good question, which Teo now seconds with an expression of Highly Exaggerated expectation on his face, turned toward Delilah with his eyebrows lurched up into imposing cliff-like topography, blue eyes somewhat larger than even his handsomeness has room for.

His mouth betrays the facade by drawing out on the end of some elastically knowing sentiment, dry. He may have only known Delilah for a few months and based off a handful of occasions, but already, he knows that this is a hopeless cause. He tends to fall in with people who don't do 'prudence.'

"«You're probably right about the Wolf,»" Teo acknowledges, after a quaver-beat. Danielle Hamilton hadn't been much one for prudence, either.

If Delilah spoke any other language, she might think it was weird. No French, No Spanish, No Italian(much to her dismay). She just sits back in between the two men, eyes going from Sacha over to Teo, and back again to the Frenchman. "I can take care of myself if something bad happens. Evidently. I used to carry a gun with me when I went out there for work, but nowadays I do my best just to stick to the coast parts, where it isn't so bad. There are bad guys all over the city, but you never hear people warning each other about that."

She glances off to Teo again, mouth pursing and eyes narrowing just a bit before she admits to Sacha: "Teo keeps yelling at me because I go. But most times he only saw me because he was there." Fff, double standard. By the tone of her voice, however, she is clearly playing.

That last comment does elicit a bit of a snicker from the Frenchman, though he has the grace to cover his mouth. Although at that point he pauses and affixes Teo with a bit of a Look as well. "So what are you doing there, my friend?" A raised eyebrow. "You are full of mysteries as well, it seems." Granted.. mysteries he doesn't ask about. But still, the point stands. "But still," back to Delilah. "It is still dangerous. Yes, there are bad people here, but.. there are more there, and it is a smaller place. Population density," he adds, after a pause as he sought the phrase.

"I may be a bit biased myself, as I had a bad experience some time ago. I do not like to see others injured, and.." He shrugs. "There is a special place in my heart where I dislike that island very much."

"Blah blah, hiss meow." Teo is an elaborate show of disgruntlement. He puts his elbows up on the back of the bench and sprawls his legs out, giving the general illusion that he's taking up far more space than he actually is: an old trick from his hooligan days. "I work! I'm prepared. Like a Boy Scout.

"Which was probably the wrong analogy to invoke, but the principle holds. I have like a hundred pounds on her." Exaggerating. Eileen described him as 'skinny' to a poker table, and Leah dismissed him as a small boy.

He isn't either of those things either, though. "And not to make a huge point of the gender divide, but it's there." Teo purses his mouth in a way that wrinkles up his nose and fails entirely to look superior, sweeps Sacha with another glance. "You've been keeping your business to Manhattan lately?"

What. Delilah's mouth has fallen open and she has locked Teo with a stare. "Excuse me?" Gender Divide? He is a skinny bastard. What is this nonsense? The girl lifts her hands to his shoulder and gives him a small, offended shove in the arm, the balloon bobbing above. Lilah is still being playful, but also happens to actually be astounded he would say it out loud. "You're horrible. Just cause I'm a girl don't mean I'm inept." FEMINIST LOLRAGE, GO. "And you have what- maybe thirty pounds on me at most. Smug bastard."

Leaning back in his seat, Sacha tips his hat forward a bit and smirks over at Teo. "I am not certain where you think you are keeping the extra weight. Mm, mais oui, I have been behaving. Very dull, but no accidents. I made a new friend," he adds, off-handedly, but doesn't elaborate.

And really, he's all set to get himself cozy and comfy until Delilah takes offense to the admittedly somewhat offensive 'gender divide' comment. Pushing himself back up to sit upright again, he puts a hand on 'Lilah's shoulder and says, quickly, "Now then, please, I am sure he did not mean anything by it. He is a boy, after all, boys say stupid things, yes?" Disarming smile. "I think he is just being concerned. Truly. I am sure Teo would never mean anything terrible like that." It's hard to tell if he's being sarcastic or not.

Ahhh Teo is getting pushed around by a girl. He manages not to fall off the end of the bench, squiggles a scrape on the tarmac with his heel to support the defensive huddle of his shoulders. Fff. What. "New friends are nice," he mutterss. He pitches a frown at the side of Lilah's head that lacks for real heat. "Sometimes.

"I just meant women get attacked more often then men, okay? I don't think it's right. It's just an observation, and pretending it isn't true isn't going to make it not true." Alternatively, he could stop flinging great metaphorical shovelfuls of dirt over his shoulder in the process of burying himself alive as anybody with any social sense whatsoever. After all, Delilah is the one sporting a black eye, and Sacha was the one Ethan Holden ground his heel into.

After a moment's twitching, he capitulates. "I'm sorry." Sort of. "Well we don't need to discuss that thirty." Another beat. "Sorry."

Scoff. Sometimes? Was that a jibe I heard? Delilah just smiles at the Sicilian, turning her head to Sacha after a moment, eyelids lowered smartly. "You are absolutely right. Boys say stupid things." After a spare second, she looks back at Teo with a cocked eyebrow. "And so are you, unfortunately. I don't like being seen as the weaker sex." One shoe finds a heel digging into the ground. "You could have worded that better, but it's okay- I forgive you and your horrible common sense."

The girl promptly reaches up to try and pull Teo's head closer, but only in order to peck at his cheekbone with her lips. Kissu~. Forgiven.

Adjusting his beret back to proper alignment, Sacha leans forward, arms on his knees, and smiles off to the side at Delilah and Teo. Ah, how cute. "Well," he answers Teo. "when it is not nice, I suppose they are not friends, non? This does remind me, I had intended to speak with him at some point. He had a problem I tried to help with." Frowning slightly, in irritation with himself for not keeping up on these things, he nonetheless shakes his head and waves a hand idly.

"Never mind that, I am talking too much again." And another smile there. "Indeed, it is probably time I should be heading back to the store. My lunch ends soon." He pushes himself to his feet.

"Not problems with le Loup," Teo says to Sacha, the outline of his posture sharpening instantly. He suffers the kiss without any apparent. You know. Suffering. Despite that his question has a certain risk of forestalling the Frenchman's departure, he lifts a hand in incipient farewell; not to pressure, of course. Gossip is more often a vice than a virtue. Somewhere in the back of the theater, the audience is cackling at the idiot irony. "I hope it worked out.

"And I'm glad you've been well. I'm sorry I haven't checked in." Apologies function mechanistically a lot like avalanches for Teodoro. One small stone and then the moving column of wreckage. "I'll be better about that. It's good to see you, Sacha."

"Where do you work?" Delilah is able to interject the question before Sacha gets very far, and just after Teo's third apology. Luckily, she also mimics his last words, to a degree. She leans back into the bench again, feet bobbing out in front of her and tap-tapping off the ground. "It was nice to meet you! Thanks for the balloon." Which she still loves.

Sacha shakes his head hurriedly at Teo. "No, no, I think he is too smart to wander through strange forests dressed in red." He smiles. Again. "It was, ah, relationship issues. I am not certain if it worked out; that is why I need to speak with him. I think if it had not, he would have called me, however." As for the apology, he waves a hand dismissively and shakes his head. "I have your number, I could be better about that myself. I… am often of the impression that you are too busy for such things." He blushes a bit there, and rubs the back of his neck. "I will talk to you later." With that, Sacha goes over to stand in front of Teo, leans forward and gives him a little kiss on the forehead. Chu~ Isn't he popular today?

As for Delilah, he turns his attention to her and finally replies, "I work at a jewelry store in Brooklyn." He gives the name, which the player made up once and subsequently forgot. "It is dull, but good work nonetheless. It was quite nice to meet you as well, and you are welcome. I had hoped you would appreciate it." Smile, smile. "I hope your week is better than it has been." And with that and a wave, he vanishes off into the crowd.

Well, that maybe just short of strapped a rocket to Teo pointed out of the closet, as far as Delilah is concerned. Fuck it. There are worse things.

Long fingers lift again, seal off the salutation with another wave. Sacha's leaving, to sell beautiful things and rescue men from bad relationships, or something— that seems all in line with the ginger Frenchman, and Teo leaves him to it with largeness of spirit. He allows conversation to steep into silence for a few seconds, listening to the cadent click of Sacha's departing feet and the swizz of wind halved around Delilah's balloon string.

Presently, he flits his eye back up to her face. "I'll buy you some hot chocolate," he suggests, rocking forward to find his feet. Teo offers the young woman a chivalrous hand, squints at her marred face. "Hope the other guy looks worse than you do," he says, entirely without irony.

Delilah does eyeball that second kiss, then watches between the two until Sacha finally departs. Closet rocket. Huh. It doesn't seem to phase her, even though she obviously notices.

As Teo rocks up to his feet and offers Lilah a hand, she happily takes it and uses Teo as a step up herself. At his words, the redhead just smirks and smiles, the edges of her nose wrinkling mischievously. "Probably. I did spit in his eye. You can ask Mike how his overdose was next you see him. And then give him a kick for me." Hopefully, Teo only knows one man named 'Mike'. Before she can give him a chance to respond, Delilah has taken an initiative and tugged the Italian into a brisk Central Park stroll.

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