Broken Watch


griffin_icon.gif skyler_icon.gif

Scene Title Broken Watch
Synopsis Two homeless people meet in Central Park, and make potential friends.
Date October 25, 2010

Central Park

Skyler squats in front of a cardboard box set up under a tree in the park. There's a small hose in her mouth, and a small camp stove on the other end of the hose. The untutored might conclude she's smoking crack. But she's not doing anything of the sort. As the saying goes, she doesn't inhale. Quite the opposite. The hose leads to a small coil of copper tubing in the flames of the stove, and from there to a fine outlet, and from there the now very, very hot air that was her breath is playing along the surface-mount connections of someone's iPhone, re-flowing the solder. She snatches the chip out off the solder pads with a pair of tweezers, and sets the phone's guts down, while she rummages through her grocery bag full of junk to find something else with one of those chips. This is one of those time feeling the circuits comes in the most handy. There's one here somewhere. She can feel it.

Such a setup certainly draws the attention of passers by, who steal glances as they pass, doing their best to avoid eye contact. Such is the life of a homeless person in New York City, where people are happy to ignore those less fortunate than them.

Not everyone steals glances, however. Griffin's attention is drawn toward the setup more because he's done that before, sleeping in a cardboard box. He's graduated on to actual shelters these days, from the shanties in Prospect Park, to the homes of his sister and the woman he's been speaking to, to the decrepit apartment building that he's been renovating by day.

He wears a suit today, as he usually does, neatly pressed. Just because he has no real home doesn't mean he can't look sharp. One hand rests on the handle of a black cane, with a polished silver knob-handle. He pauses as he draws closer, green eyes finding their way to the iPhone that is being worked on. By the look on his face, he's fascinated.

Strangely, he holds his left arm rather oddly, holding it away from his body as if it causes him discomfort to do otherwise.

Skyler finds an iPod that looks like it was stepped on. She quickly pops it open and unsolders the chip in question from it from the morass of similar devices inside it. She carefully pulls the makeshift needle protector off her genuine unsanitary used hypodermic syringe and adds solder paste to each of the pads in the iPhone, lowers the replacement chip into place, and heats the connections up with the camp stove hot air rework tool. Once the solder cools, she puts the thing back together and looks up at the customer. "Twenty bucks, please." She says, and powers the gadget up to show him that it works. The customer pays without further comment, and she hands his phone over, stuffing the yuppie party coupon into her pocket

Skyler then stands up straight and stretches, her back popping audibly, and she's just reaching down to turn off the gas stove when she sees the very nattily dressed fellow checking out her digs. The sunglasses turn toward him. "It's not a drug thing." she says, matter-of-factually, as though it's a question she's answered a thousand times.

"Didn't think it was drugs, actually. I know electronics repair when I see it." Griffin offers a faint smile to the woman, his head tilted to one side. "Another homeless lady of the city, I see?" A gesture is cast toward the box as Griffin draws slightly closer, his eyes traveling over the woman's camp. "You know, Prospect Park has some nice shanties. There's always an open spot." The man talks like he knows better than most men wearing suits would know. "Good community there, too. People take care of their own there."

Skyler smiles a little and takes her ball cap off to wipe her forehead with the back of her hand, before jamming the cap back on. "Is that a fact?" Skyler stretches again. "Do they get the kind of foot traffic we get here? I've got a business to run, y'know. Girl's gotta eat, and it's getting toward winter again." She looks the fellow over. "'course the other question is, if it's so great, why are you here checking out my box? Y'know, some girls charge for that."

"Not really, but it's a marvelous place to rest your head at night, and folks come down all the time with food and clothing." He chuckles softly. Then, he gestures toward the box. "I'm sorry for my rudeness, Miss. I didn't mean to offend at all, I simply recall the days that I was living in a cardboard box." He smiles knowingly. "Sucks when it rains, doesn't it?" He leans against his cane, smiling to the woman.

Skyler nods. "Not as bad as when it snows." Skyler rubs her neck. "I've been saving up to get one of those Dog-loo things at the pet store. I'm not big on living indoors." Skyler looks around to see if anyone else is heading her way. Finding no-one, she says, "Okay, tell you what. You show me this place, and I'll fix your watch for free. I'm gonna take the chance you're not one of those guys who's going to try something stupid on me."

The man's brows raise, peering at the woman thoughtfully for a long moment. "How did you know that my watch has been broken?" This is asked in a curious tone, the man turning his eyes back down toward her supplies. "Offer accepted, in any case." After a moment, his hand goes to the digital watch on his wrist, unfastening it and offering it forth to Skyler. "No worries about me trying something stupid. I'm quite capable of doing stupid things on my own, without the assistance of lovely women such as yourself. The worst you may encounter from me is an overwhelming sense of chivalry."

Skyler tosses her stove into her bag, and carefully puts the needle cover back on the hypo before slipping it into a pocket on her web gear. She shrugs and smiles. "I saw how you were holding your arm. You do this long enough and you get good at recognizing your customers." She picks up the box and quickly undoes the velcro that long-ago replaced the tape that held it together, then folds the box up and tucks it under her arm. "As for chivalry… you'll have to forgive me if I look askance at it. It's a little rare these days. But. It fits you. By the way. I'm Skyler."

He winces as she points out his arm, chuckling faintly. "Ah, you've notice the fruits of my attempts at being a superhero." He smirks to the woman, watching as she packs up. He's not too different, living his life out of an oversized duffel bag. "I have no issues with you looking askance at chivalry. It is quite rare these days, especially in this city." He chuckles softly, reaching out a hand. "Griffin. Pleasure to meet you, Skyler."

Skyler cocks her head at that. "A superhero, huh?" She puts her house/workbench down to shake Griffin's hand. Her expression goes a little troubled, though. "I've never met a superhero. What happened?" She doesn't back away, doesn't seem uncomfortable with Griffin in and of himself, more with what he said.

"It depends on which wince you're talking about. The newer one, some punk kid decided to pull a gun, shot a woman in the shoulder. I stopped him, but was shot in the arm in the process." Griffin gestures toward his arm, smirking. "The less acute wince, I couldn't tell you about, or I'd have to kill you." He winks at this remark; then, as her hand presses into his, he lifts it, planting a small kiss on the back of the woman's knuckles, if she allows him to do so.

Skyler 's eyebrow rises from under her sunglasses, and she resists the motion at first, then relaxes her elbow and wrist to the process. "Well." she says. She chews her lip a moment as he kisses her hand, and fidgets a little bit. Antique manners throw her a curve. They do. "Well." she starts again. "I guess we'll have to talk about the newer one then, won't we?" She wipes her hand on her jeans when it's released. Not the back where it was kissed, but the palm. She's fully aware how grimy her hands get. "Life I've led, when someone pulls a gun, the best thing to do is get out of the way. Why in the world did you get involved?"

Perhaps that is why Griffin acts the way he does. It sets him aside from less polite folks who wouldn't think of making so simple a gesture as kissing the back of a lady's hand. The man smiles faintly to Skyler, releasing her hand. "I suppose we will, then." He chuckles softly, watching the woman. "Hmm. I suppose I was never taught to get out of the way." He chuckles softly. "I am able to help, so I do." Whatever that means.

Skyler nods. "Next you're going to tell me you're one of those Evolved, and that bullets can't hurt you anyway, and I'm going to ask, "Then what happened to your arm?" Skyler chuckles a little, but the gesture seems like an afterthought more than any real humor. She moves to walk with Griffin, assuming he makes any headway to wherever it is we're going.

Griffin chuckles softly, leading the way in the general direction of Prospect Park, his cane clicking on the pavement. "Mmm, not necessarily…bullets certainly can hurt me anyway." The man chuckles, leaving that topic at that as he leads the way to the shanty village, quite content to change the subject from bullets and being shot. Wouldn't want too much to get out. He doesn't deny being Evolved, however.

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