Healthy Skepticism


deckard_icon.gif grace_icon.gif

Scene Title Healthy Skepticism
Synopsis Deckard is bored; calls on Grace to fix that. Everyone agrees they don't trust one another all that far.
Date December 26, 2008

Near a Bench in Central Park

Stubble collection shaved down to a nostalgic minimum, even in dark sunglasses and a knit cap, Deckard's person is pretty distinct. He's tall, all angles and lengths in the black of a wool overcoat over jeans and various other, warmer layers, and carrying a briefcase in one gloved hand. Rather than risk the feeling that he retains in his rear against the cold iron of the particular bench appointed for the meeting he's early for, he's standing next to it. Past an occasional glance down about the region of his watch, he doesn't seem to be looking at much at all. Just standing and waiting.

Grace took the time to query Wireless for information on Deckard before this meeting, but even with that distraction and delay, she's still anything /but/ late. Then again, neither is she early, as Deckard's glancing at his watch will prove. The dark-haired woman is dressed more lightly, her dark blue jacket winter-weight but not bulky, jeans a plain and unassuming shade of black. Clear blue eyes flick over the loitering man, Grace's lips quirking sideways a touch as she considers the way he hovers. "So is it nerves, pride, or discomfort that keeps you on your feet?" she asks curiously as she draws near, the harsh tones of her ruined voice sounding flat on the winter-dampened air. A voice that has absolutely nothing in common with her name. "Grace," she offers, holding out a hand in the requisite polite gesture.

There's a beat while Deckard tries to match voice to face and finds the two to be an awkward match, but it stretches nowhere near long enough to be blatantly impolite. It might even be attributed to his thinking up an apt reply if the one he did come up with wasn't, "Nothing more suspect than a bench too cold for me to put my ass on." A thin-pressed smile familiar to everyone who's ever spent time around career salesmen neatly undercuts his proposed innocence, and the briefcase is swung around from right hand to left so that he can take her offered hand in his larger one. The pump of his grip and is likewise all business, firm but too brief to be oppressive. "Flint."

Just as well, since 'oppressive' is not an environment conducive to amiable discussion when Grace is on the receiving end. As it is, his response is met with a brief and sardonic grin. "Fair enough," she replies. "Well, I won't beat around the bush and risk you freezing to death," the woman continues; while the grin has faded, some of the same sentiments linger in the cast of her features — a sort of rough-edged but not unfriendly regard. "We're a lot of things, Flint — though you've probably seen most," she allows, in light of Deckard being a beneficiary of the Ferrymen's operations. "What is it you think you'd like to be 'involved' on?"

Deckard's regard of Grace speaks more of wary curiosity than anything, but there is an air of good humor about him and the regular fog of his breath that downplays any deeper unease that he might be feeling. Mention of briefness as a defense against the cold is met with a nod, and he leans back half a step or two to squint through the snarl of bush and bramble that cuts off the bench and the pair of them at it from a wide swath of clear park beyond it. "You say 'most' — I say… it's hard to know what I'm seeing without context." Brows lifted over his sunglasses, there's another shorter pause before his full attention swings back around onto her and he ventures out along a slightly different track. "I am good at finding things, seeing things, selling things, and shooting things. If I could do any of the above in a capacity that might be of help to you and your people…" he trails off.

Grace raises a brow at Deckard's venture of qualifications on his knowledge, but after a moment merely bobs her head in acknowledgment. "We can always use more supplies," she points out, slightly obliquely. "Not so much in the way of guns, but a few. Mostly everything else." That grin makes a repeat appearance, in the form of a small and lopsided smile. "Finding things is sometimes very important, but I wouldn't know what 'things' that might include unless the need actually came up." The woman tilts her head, regarding Deckard for a moment. "As for context… you've been around enough I shouldn't have to explain the term 'cattle rustler'." One dark brow arches, inviting Deckard to confirm or deny recognition.

"In the wake of certain legal complications that you're probably already aware of, I've had to expand my inventory." When the authorities are looking for a guy who sells guns, it's probably wise to sell other things for a little while. Wiser to sell nothing at all, but. Her lopsided smile is mirrored in marginally less-sincere kind and Deckard shifts his weight over onto his right leg, briefcase resettling there in the process. "It's come up once or twice."

"Good," Grace replies. "Then I won't bother with a long explanation that isn't worth the hot air it lets out. Unless you have specific questions… no offense," although the accompanying smile suggests she doesn't really care if he's offended or not, "but I don't know you yet." The basic summary will just have to do. "I suppose the next question I should ask is what you want."

Content with doing more watching and listening than talking, Deckard is more stonily silent than usual while he eyes Grace from behind the convenient shield of his glasses. He peers at her lungs first, moving slowly up from there. His jaw retains its angle and set while his eyes do all the work, maybe a little more invasive than usual, and completely ignorant in regard to what supposedly happens to cats who suffer from the same affliction. "I don't know you either," pointed out without tremendous feeling, he tips his head a little and attempts to consider while he searches. "What I want is something productive to do while I'm hiding under a rock."

"No, but you approached me," Grace points out, if with no particular heat. If she notices Deckard's unobtrusive scrutiny (and probably not), she doesn't seem to pay it much attention. "We can arrange that, I think. You decide you want to assist some other way, we'll adjust." The woman shrugs easily. "You decide you want to walk away, there's no strings, 'long as you do it the same way you came — quietly. Until then, if you need something from us, ask and we'll do what we can." A brief pause, before she fishes a card out of a pocket. The name on it isn't hers. "One of my housemates handles logistics, so he's the one you should deal with most. Other times, it'll probably be me."

"I approached you because Teo gave me your number and seems to be at least distantly interested in keeping me alive. And don't get me wrong — he's a nice guy — but I've seen some of the people he trusts with important stuff, and I think he's a few terrible betrayals short of healthy skepticism, if you know what I mean." Within the frame of the conversation so far, that's a long speech for Deckard, and it's a little more aggressively irritable than anything else he's let fly with. Chin tipped up the degree or two necessary to make invisible eye contact, he eventually nods to what she's said anyway. Nods or…sort of jerks his head in acknowledgement. Close enough. His grip on the briefcase has gone a little rigid. "Sorry. That sounds fine. I don't need anything other than something to keep me occupied."

Grace's crooked smile broadens at Deckard's little monologue, the skin around her eyes crinkling just slightly. "I know what you mean," the woman replies with a ghost of a grating chuckle. She extends the card a little further out for Deckard to take. "Then I'll let Alistair know his newest hat is keeping you busy," Grace remarks dryly. "He'll be good at it."

Still a little cagey despite the lack of anything about this meeting more unsettling than the sound of the voice he heard on the phone anyway, Deckard finally leans to take the offered card. He glances passingly at the wrong side, then pushes his hand in under the collar of his coat to tuck the card down somewhere more secure than his exterior pockets. "Cool."

A small smile is Grace's response. She regards Deckard for a moment, somehow not awkward despite the ensuing silence. Then the smile becomes more crooked again, and one hand flicks in a slight shooing motion. "Go hang out somewhere warm," she says, tone amiably dry. "T'was nice talking with you, Flint," the woman concludes, stuffing her hands in her own pockets and turning to continue on her own way.

A heavy breath expelled with force enough to represent unconscious relief, Deckard takes a step back at the shooing motion, only too happy to comply. "You too," muttered ambiguously after the 'it was nice,' he tugs his overcoat back down flat after his card shuffling and heads off on his way. A glance back over his shoulder seeks to take note of which direction she's headed in, but there's no more formal farewell on his part.

December 26th: First Time at Headquarters
December 26th: Seriously
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