Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas


joshua_icon.gif shannon_icon.gif

Scene Title Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
Synopsis Coincidence leads two thieves to target the same house. One makes out quite a bit better than the other.
Date December 15, 2010

Ritzy House, Upper East Side

There's a dinner happening on the other side of north portion of New York City. The kind that is called a dinner as opposed to a bite to eat, where the food mostly acts as a back drop, providing texture to conversation in the same fashion as lit candles and violin music, and punctuation to careful words and chosen statements. What happens across town has little relevance here, however.

Built maybe fifty years ago, the building is an untouched gem of the city — not a very gaudy one, simple and whole but fine and tailored. Red brick and black painted paneled wood, clear windows, a rooftop entrance and an underground garage that is missing its Mercedes. It's late enough, close enough to curfew, that the traffic cruising down the Upper East Side street has thinned out into an occasional growl of an engine, a siren somewhere distant, keening like a wolf's howl. A motorcycle lists to the side somewhere adjacent on the sidewalk, spotted with thinly falling sleet. The other houses sit silent and sedate on either side of the three tiered building, while walls play guardian to fine china, jewelry, Christmas presents, a wine rack.

And it's empty.

Well. Not quite.

Somethings are too easy when you're an illusionist and can go invisible. But that doesn't make them any less fun.

With an empty sack and gloves on, Shannon has picked this house for her loot run. Fancy digs like this? She knows they got fancy stuff inside. Easily carried stuff. She's sort of like the Grinch on Christmas Eve, she's just a little early.

Getting in was easy. Show up while people are there, walk in quietly, and wait, out of the way, but close to the panel for the alarm. That way she can see the code and, a few minutes after the occupants slip out, she can disarm the system, giving her free reign to all the nifty stuff in the house.

And just to amuse herself, it really is the Grinch wandering around the house turned shoplifting spree.

No denying there's an art when it comes to the trade of burglary, of ghosting through an empty house through rooms you're not supposed to be in, with nothing to stop you save for the odd locked cabinet or latched box that can't be easily pried open with a butter knife or better if you're tenacious enough. If you're good enough, no one will even notice for a day, maybe more, depending on what kind of path you desire to leave behind — but the critical several hours of silence that buffers you between your theft and the time they realise or even get home is all that's required.

Unfortunately for Shannon, Joshua is artless.

Unheard to her, there's a frictiony scrape of rope and brick, and then a shadow suddenly descends over the nearest window which was showing moonlight, generic evening, obscured with gauzy curtains. If he sees her— or the Grinch— it's probably a little too late, because the shadow is swinging and headed straight for the window. By rights, he should probably just bounce off it and be done for the evening—

Maybe he hits a weak spot, because a boot heel connects with a loud thunk, and in a split second, the glass shatters outwards like a spiderweb, becoming so many minute shards for which the rest of his body has no trouble clearing the way for. Black rope is released and Joshua goes rolling like an expert at— rolling, thudding a shoulder, a knee, and coming to a halt halfway in a mildly unbalanced crouch. Shaven head is protected in a cap of black knit pulled low over ears and brow, and as his only tribute to stealth, the rest of his outfit is similarly darkly layered.

A drill dangles from a belt. That he didn't impale anything valuable on it is a miracle.

The front door opening would've been an expected sound. Or even a dog barking. But glass breaking? That makes her jump and the illusion of the Grinch fades into her normal appearance. Plus sack and gloves. She eyes him for a moment, before eyeing the window, then she moves towards it, giving him a dirty look. "Are you trying to get caught? And me along with you?" she snaps, quietly, as she peers outside, looking to see if there's any visible signs that someone heard the window breaking.

Another burglar was unexpected, but she seems content enough to roll with it. So long as he doesn't try to take any of the loot she was going to take.

Response to voice is largely stealing a pistol from where it's holstered at the small of his back and swinging it around to point towards Shannon, hazel eyes flaring wide in the dimness and body going still. Other hand rests on battery powered drill, but he doesn't point that at her. Grey-dark jeans are at least study against shattering glass, and a black, long sleeved shirt offers some protection, as do gloves, but a small, very fine line of red nicks just beneath an eye. C'est la vie.

He gets to his feet easily, still holding that gun where it is. He adjusts the sit of a compact backpack at one burly shoulder, errant glass pieces tumbling off it. If he shares her concern for anyone hearing him, it doesn't show. The black rope he came down on strings a few inches from the gaping window. "Fuck," Joshua says, finally, mouth pulling in a grimace. "You don't live here, do you? I better not have fuckin' jumped through the wrong damn window."

"Oh yes, I wander around the house in gloves and carrying a bag all the time," is Shannon's highly sarcastic reply. "Now put that fucking gun away, someone could get hurt and I think you've already hit the quota for bungling thieves in one house tonight. You ever heard of subtlety?" She sighs and shakes her head, calming herself since no one seems to have gone batshit over the sound. "You're just lucky I shut the alarm off or we'd be seeing a bunch of cops pulling up outside."

Another glance out the window, then she takes the time to actually study her fellow crook. "Won't ask who you are, since you'd just give me a fake name, so I'll just ask if you're here for something specific. 'Cause I'd hate for us to get in a catburglar fight over the same trinket we'll just be ditching soon enough anyway."

Murder might be a little high profile, is what has Joshua putting his gun away, tucking it back into place and brushing some remaining glass off his limbs with a fabricy scrape of his gloves. That, and— "I'm not into beating up girls much, we're cool. There's a safe with some shit in it that I'm gonna fuck with, and I was gonna clean out on the way through, but I'm guessing you've swiped whatever's shiny and obvious." He doesn't seem too pissed off about that, even turning his back on her to survey the room, roaming up to a wall and placing a gloved hand on it, skimming a glance up towards the ceiling.

"How long've you been here? I hope you got yourself a getaway vehicle, sweetness."

"I've got myself a nice little haul. Was gonna see what else there is to take, but hey, I can share." Shannon shrugs and cocks her head, watching him examine the wall. "No getaway vehicle, no. Don't really need one. They'll never see me. What about you? Your entrance wasn't exactly low key." There's a long pause, then she just has to ask. "What's in the safe though? Fucking with it doesn't sound too much like stealing it, and what's the point of breaking into a safe if you're not gonna steal it?"

"Well shit, of course I'm gonna steal it. If there's shit in it worth stealing."

And it's a safe. One would expect this is so, although one might also deduce that if it's the kind of safe that houses sensitive paperwork, jewelry receipts or terrorist passports, Joshua probably isn't that keen. "My exit won't be low key either. It's not really my style. But I got burned doing a Best Buy, so I figured hey— " And he pauses, then, casting a confused glance back at her, taking his hand off the wall and hesitating, as if he didn't really see her the first time.

Then, breaks into a grin, a little out of context, and vaguely unfriendly — but maybe that's also just the play of dim shadows, his dark attire and the bright white of teeth, sharkish. "I'd say you could catch a ride on my bike, but." He shrugs. "What'd you get, stones? Cash?" No special option C, backing up from the wall and peering around the corner for the staircase up.

"Oh god. What are you planning on doing for your grand exit? Blowing the house up?" And with Shannon dealing with boredom, with this whole theft thing being as much about entertainment as money, she's sticking to him, for now. Maybe she just wants to see the inside of the safe. "I saw a bike outside. Guessing that's yours. And but what? Don't like having hot thieves are your back?" she asks, giving him a grin of her own, and while it's not really unfriendly, it's not exactly reassuring.

On the subject of what he's planning to do for his great escape, Joshua doesn't elaborate, distracted by his own time crunch as he starts for the stairs, heading up them two at a time in thumping clomps of his boots shuddering up the structure. There's a brisk, inhaled laugh at what he might like at his back. "Naw, you just don't seem the type, legs." Up we go, into the hallway with expensive carpet vaguely pinkish-grey in the low light, seeming too gentle in contrast to steel-toed boots that stomp on through the corridor, muscling into an office that Shannon has probably already picked through.

Touching the wall with two fingers, Joshua roams along the perimeter, headed for where a painting hitches on the plaster. The frame is levered off, and lo, the safe makes a square set into the wall, a modest thing but obviously cherished. Better not be fuckin' passports.

The side of his fist then smacks off metal face with a startling loud thump, enough to make the wall tremor. A second has cracks veining through the plaster around it, lifting dust. That's about when he brings the drill up, revving it once.

"You talk to me for all of two minutes and you know my type, huh?" Shannon asks, going amused as she follows him up. Then there's the fist meeting safe, and her brows lift. "Talk, dark, thieving and strong. I think I'm in love. Ride on the bike'll just give me type to grope. And to see what I can lift from your pockets without you noticing." And an impish grin follows the words, but now she's watching him work, eager to see what's inside. And okay, so she looks at his butt. Once.

He shakes out a hand, shoulders squaring, before glancing over one back at her, allowing for a crooked smile. "You'd get just a mess of broken hearts. I keep 'em on me." Joshua sets the drill to the safe, and if cracking glass wasn't heard before, the roar of drill bit and engine, the whine of metal, is probably enough to rouse some attention. Still, he doesn't pay it much mind, just exhale as fine dust drifts up, squinting against it. There's a sick sounding crack from within, but he forces the whirring drill bit harder before finally killing the power.

Jamming the bit into a crack, he muscles the door the rest of the way open once all the sufficient damage has been done, tossing the drill aside, abandoned, before he gropes inside his prize.

"Fucking passports." Always the same. Two are flung over a shoulder, before he hisses a yessss and digs his hands inside for something snaky and glittery. A crinkle of paper follows. "Bet he only lets his woman wear 'em on special occasions. Receipts ain't even in her name, natch. What a loser."

"Maybe I'll get that bit of flash instead," Shannon says, moving closer to try to get a peek at the glitter. "Knew I should've learned how to crack safes," she mutters, more to herself than to him. "Good thing you got it though. Me? I'd wanna keep the damn thing. Can't resist a bit of flash, even if no one sees it but me."

She gives him a smack directly to the derrier. "And with all the noise you've been making? I'm gonna bail before I gotta watch you get hauled off to…Okay, so I'm guessing you'd probably fight instead, given that strong right you've got, and just end up getting shot. I'm all for a good fight, but it'd be a shame to have to watch you get shot and that bit of shiny confiscated," she says, stepping back then turning towards teh door.

Flash and paperwork both, the latter folding over former, are stuffed into a zippered pocket in backpack, glancing over his shoulder at a curtained window as if judging its worth— around when she smacks him in the heiny, Joshua blinking into space for a split second before watching her and her backtracking for the door. "Aw, you sayin' you wouldn't swing in and save the day for me?" he asks, backing up in the opposite direction, towards the window.

A hand goes out, and yanks the curtain off its hooks, nighttime ambiance spilling greyly inside.

"I might. Could be fun. Too easy though. You gonna give me a ride or make me walk?" Shannon asks, glancing back with a smirk. "Or maybe I should just leave you my number. Gotta admit. You've got a unique style for this kinda work. Interested in hearing how you've stayed out of jail for so long." Strength, sadly, does not mean invulnerable, and surely at some point he's attracted more immediate attention.

"If you want to give me your number— " Joshua's elbow jars backwards and cracks into glass, which splinters off in much the same way as it did when he'd come crashing through the first time. Gloved hand wanders out and sweeps away the excess, crumbling away as readily as frozen sugar, and he ducks a peek outside, then back towards her. "— then you'd better act quick. I ain't giving you shit tonight — I think I got like a gazillion bucks in my bag right now, yo?"

He paws a hand out the window, reaching for the rope that dangles down towards the floor below he'd batmanned in with, judging the distance of the road below. There's no siren screaming for them. Not yet. "And you're totally walking."

A piece of paper is snatched off the desk, and a number scribbled down onto it before it's offered to him. "Yep, knew you were gonna be one of those types. And don't remind me about your take. I don't feel at all bad at all for snatching everything else now." She nods out the window. "Nice bike, by the way." And, if he glances away, for even a moment, when he turns back, she's gone. POOF! Without a parting sarcastic comment or anything!

"Snap," Joshua intones, absently, before the paper is stuffed into denim pocket. One last hazel glance around the room, mouth twisting, before he turns for the window, heel of his boots breaking glass into smaller fragments against the wooden floor. He levers himself out the opening, and zooming down the rope with a hiss of cord and leather. The choking start up of a bike doesn't follow too long after, and he's tearing down the road before red and blue light can come calling on broken windows and safe, discarded rope and drill, where some people had themselves a merry little Christmas.

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