eileen_icon.gif rafe_icon.gif

Scene Title Haggle
Synopsis Some encounters are more surreal than others.
Date January 27, 2008

Staten IslandThe Rookery

Ethan Holden is dead.

There are four words that Eileen never expected to hear, but as it turns out no one — not even Zhang Wu-Long, black dragon of the Vanguard — is immortal. Shrouded in the early-morning mists that cover this shadowy corner of Staten Island, the street upon which she stands bustles with quiet activity; even though most people are still in their beds, bundled in several layers of blankets while waiting for the sun's rays to break through the cloud cover and banish the fog, the Rookery's storefronts are already open for business, even if very few of them actively advertise what they have for sale. One exception to this rule are the street vendors, their black market goods laid bare on the sidewalk for all to see, for in a place like this the police are the last worry on their minds.

"I'll give you thirty for it," Eileen says to one such vendor who is holding up a kevlar vest that looks like it's seen better days, "and not a dollar more. You think I don't know what that's worth?"

"Fifty," counters the vendor in heavily-accented English. "You want cheap piece of shit? See Logan. Happy Dagger. He sell you cheap piece of shit, no problem. This is quality. You pay for quality."

Wedging the piece of greenery out from his teeth, Rafe flicks the little piece of celery or whatever it was off the toothpick. Bringing it back up he places the toothpick back in his mouth, and lets it flick around on his tongue nimbly. His eyes though are intense and trained on a specific point of interest. Letting his boots clip clop lazily to maneuver his way around incoming and outgoing traffic. A little skip in his step, his arm swinging back and forth in an over exaggerated manner. Almost a cartoony walk.

Fingerless gloves, and a green trench coat, his thumbs are tucked into the pockets of the coat. His head sways to this way then that way, his eyes watching Eileen closely. His head swings back as he watches her and approaches in a quiet manner. Though should she look his way, he is making no attempt to make it look like he is approaching for any other reason than her. That tired, dead gaze resting on her heavily.

"I'm happy to take my business somewhere else," Eileen insists. "I could buy something new for the price you're asking, and it would fit."

The vendor gives a little snort, looking down his nose at the young woman standing in front of him, her arms held across her chest for warmth, wild tangle of raven black hair fluttering slightly in the breeze. She's not very intimidating even in spite of her glowering tone, but the man approaching them is. He lifts his chin, eyes shifting from Eileen to Rafe, and curls his upper lip. "You know him?" he asks.

Eileen follows the vendor's gaze, glancing over her shoulder with a small scowl. She doesn't expect to see anyone she recognizes, and isn't surprised when Rafe's face fails to register in the part of her brain where people are stored. "No," she says, "I don't."

Rafe's hand climbs up to his lips, a finger and a thumb closing about the end of the toothpick. His black boots come to a sudden stop as the man arrives at the vendor and her unhappy customer. The toothpick is brought out from his mouth, his fingers letting the little wooden twig dance around the tips of his fingers. That dead gaze settling heavily on the vendor now rather than the young woman. Fingers dig into a coat pocket, procuring a single slip of paper.

Flipping it over and slapping the twenty dollar bill on the top of the vendor's table. Authority and presence are practically demanded in the gesture. He looks over for a moment at Eileen, tilting one brow at her as if asking a question of her.

Three tens join the twenty on the table, courtesy of Eileen, who says nothing. As the vendor counts the cash, she eyes Rafe from beneath her lashes the same way a brazen rat might eye an old tomcat — boldly, but not without a hint of trepidation.

"Ten, twenty, thirty — fifty." The vendor rolls the cash into a wad and tucks it into his coat pocket with a smug expression on his unshaven face. A moment later, he's handing Eileen the kevlar vest. "Will there be anything else?"

Rafe's tongue cascades over his lips, as his eyes go down to the woman. His gaze apparently emotionless as he looks down at her. Finally his lips pull back fully, looking to be like a smile, or a snarl, which is hard to tell. His hand gives the table a little pat-pat, before he leans back away from the stall. His upper body goes first, and his lower body has to move quickly to catch up with him. Almost looking like a drunken stumble, but then he suddenly spins, quite deftly, and non-drunk like.

Turning his back on the vendor, the rather scruffy and homeless looking man takes an over exaggerated step away from the stall and proceeds to march languidly in the way he had came. His feet arch out to the side as he walks, making it look more like some unrehearsed dance move than a real person's walk. Though his lazy stroll carries him away from the vendor, and Eileen, respectively. His hands swaying at his sides easily.

The vendor takes this as a 'no' and returns to his business, leaving Eileen to stare after Rafe, her jaw a little slack. She isn't sure what to make of what just happened, but she isn't about to complain either — she has her vest and she gets to keep the extra twenty dollars in her pocket. It would be polite, she surmises, to thank the man for his generosity. Caution dictates that it would be smart not to.

What would Ethan do?

Lips drawn into a thin line, Eileen turns away from the vendor and Rafe's retreating form, eager to depart before the Rookery's populace takes to the street in force. Minding her manners isn't her number one priority.

Finding a safe place to hide out until after dark is.

January 26th: Bastard Squared
January 26th: No Takebacks
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