If All Goes Well


caspian_icon.gif keira_icon.gif

Scene Title If All Goes Well
Synopsis Two old friends spit on a statue and make vows to keep their friendship going — and in the process, an idea is born.
Date May 4, 2018

Memorial Wall

What began, during the onset of the civil war, as a site of missing persons flyers soon swelled into a sprawling memorial for the dead and forgotten. Starting in 2011, local residents of then Jamaica Bay banded together to create a public space to mark those missing in the November 8, 2011 riots. As the riots swelled and more and more people disappeared, the wall's photographs and memorials grew. Soon, the dockside wall came to encompass the entire pier space. As riots turned to civil war and residents fled Manhattan, the memorial wall became a popular gathering space for Brooklyn residents looking to reconnect with lost family members and friends, or for those looking to mourn their passing. Eventually, the area became too dangerous, and the wall was abandoned when Brooklyn was.

When the Safe Zone was founded, the memorial wall was discovered to have largely survived the passage of time. Workers and Safe Zone residents have rebuilt damaged portions of the wall and continued adding photographs of missing and deceased. Candlelight vigils are held annually on anniversaries of the riots and the war's conclusion in addition to smaller personal memorial ceremonies. Photographs of civil war heroes lost in the fighting were added to the wall in 2016, and in late 2016 a Virginia senator commissioned a statue of Emile Danko commemorated as a war hero to be placed on the memorial grounds. The statue was constructed and set up on the night of September 7th, 2016. Vandals eventually tore the statue from its pedestal and dragged it into the harbor, where it now sits half submerged in the marshland surrounding the harbor.

The memorial wall is a four-hundred foot long span of boardwalk following the pylons of a taller pier set along the coast of Ferrymen's bay at the end of W 18th Road off of Cross Bay Blvd. The makeshift wall, once used for community notices, covers this span and is adorned with thousands of photographs, keepsakes, and other memorial items. Candles, flowers, and notes are often left at the base of the wall.

It's a relatively pleasant day today; the weather has been warming up quite nicely, and today is no exception. The sun is out, and there's barely a cloud in the sky. That doesn't change Keira's wardrobe selection — she's still wearing long sleeves, but this time it's in the form of a long sleeved black shirt with leather gloves tucked beneath the hem, and slim-fitting gray jeans with a few worn spots here and there. As always, though, the only skin exposed is from the neck up, and she has a small black newsboy cap set atop her head.

A lit cigarette hangs from the corner of her mouth as she stands at the edge of the harbor, staring coldly at the partially submerged statue of Emile Danko. Occasionally, she closes her lips, taking a drag of the smoke, before letting them slip open again, smoke trailing from her lips after a few moments. Her gloved hand lifts, plucking the half-smoked cigarette out of her mouth, and she makes a strange sound as she promptly gathers up a nice disgusting loogie and spits it, so that it lands on the statue's exposed ear. "Fuckin' shithead," she grumbles, putting the cigarette back in its place at the corner of her mouth.

Relatively pleasant days mean that Caspian can get out to places he sometimes doesn't. One of the monthly contracts he has with the Safe Zone Commission is to take care of the lighting and wiring at Memorial Park when something needs to be done. The place is pretty much bulletproof as far as things go, but sometimes scavengers hit the lights or wiring up, and that requires a little time to replace. Still, as he makes his way down the row of lights toward the van he has parked near the entrance, a successful inspection all done, he takes a moment to stop at a spot on the wall where a gallon plastic bag with Tibby's picture is still pinned. Hesitantly, he reaches out and plucks it from the wall. She's alive and on Staten, not missing and therefore one of the few success stories.

But why does it feel so hollow?

Tucking the photo away, he stops in time to watch the black-clad figure spit a well-aimed loogie at the statue, smacking it right on its metallic ear. "Good shot.". he calls from his spot by the wall. "No love lost by anyone on that jerk. He's in the harbor for a reason."

She can't help it — Keira tenses slightly as she hears the voice behind her. Always ready for a fight if she needs to be — even when she doesn't need to be. The familiar timber and the words, however, prompt her to relax a bit, turning to peer over her shoulder at Caspian with those big blue eyes of hers. After a moment, a smirk tugs the corners of her mouth upwards. "I owe the motherfucker who commissioned this piece of shit a good punch to th'jaw, or worse." She jerks her head toward the statue, as if to summon Caspian closer.

"Things goin' good? Saw you briefly at that gala bullshit." In which she was stuck as a tall black man. She was sexy as hell, but also felt kind of…like she probably shouldn't do that too often. "Before you ask, I wasn't me." That's the terrifying thing about Keira — there's really no way to know if she's spying on you or not. She's the ultimate master of disappearing into a crowd.

She takes another long drag off her cigarette, before flipping it, hitting the statue right in the eye. She smirks slightly — apparently, she does not like one Emile Danko.

Its part of the reason Caspian survived as long as he did. situations are sometimes not what they seem, and rushing in where you're not wanted or needed is a quick way to get punched, shot, or put into a situation that you would be much better not being in. so, he's careful. "The subject leaves something to be desired, but seeing him at the mercy of the tides, his glory denied? that's pretty good, too. And as an artist, I'm glad you aren't blaming them. The asshole who commissioned it deserves all the pain. Artist was just trying to make a buck. Can't blame them for that.".

"Been going okay. Work is good. Been keeping my nose clean, like usual.". He leans on the railing at the edge of the path, overlooking the bay, dressed in clean jeans and a work shirt with a t-shirt underneath, steel-toed boots finishing the ensemble. His uniform, as it were, and dang if he doesn't make it look just fine. There's a chuckle and a nod, the man looking over to Keira. "When I saw Tibby there, I figured you were pretty close by but didn't keep an eye out because…". he waves a hand. "y'know, shapeshifter." It took some getting used to for Caspian, when he hung out with Keira and Tibby in Mexico for that wild summer, but out of all the people who knew her, Caspian took the different shapes in stride fairly well.

"I rarely blame artists who get paid to make shit. If it was something the artist did for free, it'd be somethin' else entirely." Keira adjusts her shirt a little bit obsessively — it's not crowded out here, but she still has never been one to entirely enjoy involuntarily using her ability — especially when the brush of a non-evolved human's hand for a few seconds leaves her in a shape for a few minutes. Not to mention, she knows that there are some people who would do some fucked up shit to get her to use her ability for them.

Blue eyes trail over the man's work 'uniform' one brow raising almost imperceptibly, before she offers a brief shake of her head and turns to look out over the bay. "I never keep my nose clean, but you know me." He does — Keira is never without a gun, and he's certainly seen her get into (and win) her fair share of fights, regardless of the gender or physical stature of her opponents.

Caspian is careful around Keira. He always was, ever since Tibby warned him about her ability and, after all, if you're not polite to the crime lord of Cabo, your life could be a little bit in danger, even with Tibby backing you up. Even in simple conversation with her, like now, he stays at least a foot outside of accidental touching range - just in case.

He chuckles. "I know you don't. it's not in your nature to keep it clean. S'what I was helping you guys out with when I was down there, if you remember." She probably does, him providing an invisible shield during a climactic battle that had him driving a truck away while she and Tibby laid down covering fire, little portals open on his shield to allow return fire, keeping the three of them safe while they escaped to Keira's territory.

He still doesn't know what the items were and he never asked. Again, a way to keep alive longer.

"How's business? And how are you two? You and Tibby taking over Staten Island yet?" It's partially a joke but also a genuine question. "I haven't seen you since the meeting at the bar, and I hadn't seen Tibby since the gala.". The way he says that seems to hurt a little, bit he's healing.

“Oh, I do remember,” She smirks. That was fun. He was fun. He doesn’t ask questions, either, so that’s an added bonus. And that ability of his…well, she is acutely aware that he would be useful in many of the situations that she finds herself in, just like she is useful to many people for various things.

“Business is good. I got some people workin’ for me, getting myself a nice name going. Been looking into my competition, too.” This is remarked with a rather smug smirk, the woman reaching into her purse and pulling out another cigarette and a lighter.

She offers the pack to Caspian after she lights hers. “I’m working on taking over Staten Island. It’ll take a while, but I have plenty of time.”

“Good to hear.” This is the same way one would say it if, for example, she was talking about a new car, a new job, is going to visit friends in the country. It's not that he doesn't respect the effort - he does - but hanging out with her and Tibby for as long as he did kind of inured him to the opulence and danger involved in such a thing. “I generally don't go out to Staten. You know how it is. I prefer to know people before wandering into a den of sin.”

Caspian chuckles softly, looking over at the tattooed blonde. “That said, you couldn't do any worse than the guys out there now. I hear about things out there, in the city. Proper criminals would keep all that stuff under wraps. Keep at it. If all goes well we’ll have a Queen of Staten Island without the beauty pageant and a swimsuit portion of the show.”

He takes the offered cigarette. He doesn't normally smoke, but Keira, somehow, gets fresh ones that taste good. So he partakes. Borrowing her lighter, he lights up and blows out a stream of smoke. “Thank god I got you off that menthol kick. It was like smoking a mint bush.”

The tiny blonde chuckles, taking a long drag from the freshly lit cigarette. “That’s a good policy t’have, really, not goin’ out there unless you have business. Prolly safer that way.” She spits at the statue again, this one landing on DankoStatue’s nose.

The mention of Queen makes the tiny tattooed woman laugh. “They call me Mother of Crime. Or something similarly geeky like that.” She shrugs, puffing again at the cigarette with a small smile on her face. “Don’t worry, I’m pretty fuckin’ determined. Already gotten t’know a few of my enemies. Made m’self known to one of them, though he just thinks I’m some stupid gun-for-hire. I’m fine with that.”

She turns blue eyes toward Caspian as she takes back the lighter, pocketing it. “Yeah, now I can’t stand th’shit.” She chuckles, watching the man thoughtfully.

The reason for menthol was ‘any port in a storm.’ When you smoke and can't get a cigarette, you take what you can get, and what they could get was menthol. He passes back the cigarette lighter and glances over to Keira with a grin.

“Mother? Nah, you're too young and beautiful to be a mother just yet.” Flatterer. “A good crime name is tough. It's gotta be something that rolls off the tongue, but doesn't sound threatening. I mean, just calling you Boss would be enough. Ambiguous enough to allow you to represent ‘the boss’ in meetings, keeps people on their toes and stuff like that.” He grins and gestures to the statue. “Surprised no-one’s come out and sawed the head off that thing.”m

And then, he pauses. “You're thinking about something. What's up?”

The woman smirks. “That might actually be a good idea. Get someone to help me put it on a pike…” She looks thoughtful. Well, that’s a thought right there. Suddenly, there’s a small grin on her face — she’s got an idea, and it is in no small part thanks to Caspian. “That’s an idea I didn’t think of.”

“Keep on flattering me like that and I’ll start t’get used to it.” She chuckles softly, taking another pull on the cigarette. “Start havin’ to keep you around for the compliments.” A pause. “I do like the sound of ‘boss’, but then again, I do crave power over others.”

She goes quiet for a moment as he poses his final question, taking another long drag from the cigarette. “Just thinkin’ that Tibby’s lucky to have a guy like you carin’ about her.”

“Yeah.” Caspian says softly, a frown appearing. “Even though we're not together, I still care about the little gal and her cats. But time passed and things changed. I guess it was kind of foolish to think we could just step back in where we left off and live happily ever after.” He wasn't expecting to talk about this part, but here he is.

“After the gala, we talked for a bit and caught up on what happened after we were separated and….I guess she just fell out of love.” Caspian rubs the back of his neck with one hand, taking another drag off of his cigarette and flicking the butt to *thonk* against the statue’s face, leaving a smear of spot on the forehead. “Probably better this way, but it don't feel that way.”

Caspian, dropping some truth.

Oh. Well that’s unexpected. That also sucks — shame on Tibby for giving up on a good one. She loves her friend to pieces, but…also, Keira was never one for the traditional friend rules. After making sure her glove is in place, she reaches out, placing one hand on Caspian’s shoulder. No flicker, thankfully, just Keira making a comforting gesture.

“I’m sorry, man. I…” She pauses, taking another drag from her cigarette, before flicking the butt back at the Danko statue. This one manages to land on his ear and stick, smoke tendrils rising lazily into the air. Heh. “I fuckin’ suck at comforting people, I’m just gonna put that out there, but you’re a fuckin’ catch.”

Caspian glances over at the touch on his shoulder, reaching up to touch the clover hand resting on it, patting it gently, letting his hand rest there for a second. “Thanks, Key. It means a lot. I know you're terrible at this sort of thing, but you're trying, and that means a hell of a lot.” Her hand gets a couple more pats and a squeeze before he lets his hand go back on the railing, looking out at the statue in the bay. “If you do end up liberating that head out there, drill out the eyes and mouth so’s you can put lights or incense in it so it shines out. Make it festive. Paint it with lipstick and rouge and stuff like that. Ass don’t deserve a statue.”

Caspian is pointedly not talking about Tibby and her deciding he wasn't enough of a catch to bother with.

The hint is taken, and no further mention is made of the situation with Tibby. Instead, Keira smirks at the suggestion. “Oh, I have plans for this shit right here,” she murmurs, gesturing to the statue. “Word around the block is, this motherfucker is back in town, on Staten no less,” she grumbles this last bit out through gritted teeth.

“If nobody else does it b’fore me, I’m gonna find that piece of shit, and I’m gonna fuckin’ kill him with my bare hands. Let ‘im die lookin’ at his own fuckin’ face.” She grabs hold of the railing, spitting at the statue again. This one hits an eye.

“I’m gonna cut this fuckin thing’s head off, drill a hole in the mouth and stick an old dildo in there, and then drill a hole in the forehead and bash in the back of his fuckin’ head. Let ‘im know that there’re people out here that aren’t fuckin’ happy he’s back, and that someone out there is willing to do somethin’ about it.” She grits her teeth, glaring at the statue and grumbling something inaudible under her breath.

“One thing. “. Caspian says after a second. “When you do see her, just tell her there’s no hard feelings. We both moved on after, and seeing her brought back a lot of old memories, and I'd like it if we could at least be friends. Meet up every once in a while for a roll in the hay.” He snickers, fully expecting a smack on the shoulder for that. He has no phone number for tibby - one wasn't given - so he's using the next best thing he's got.

Her friend and roommate.

Danko being back? That gets a chuckle. “Honey, he dead. Killed in the war according to the war crimes trials and his body was identified by a couple of medical examiners. Who's saying the dead came back to life? It's probably someone looking to make their colors by banking on the most hated dude he could think of, and he looks kind of like it, so he's going with it and banking on the notoriety.”

Keira frowns a bit. “Unfortunately, it comes from a very trusted source — th’motherfucker is a bastard, but he doesn’t spread false news. And if it’s an imposter…well, he’s stupid for sayin’ he’s that motherfucker.” She glares at the statue for a moment, eyes narrowed. “Either way, I’m going to choke that bitch if someone doesn’t beat me to it.”

Then, she glances back to Caspian. “I’ll pass the word along,” she replies, a faint smirk pulling at the corners of her mouth. “Also gonna tell her that she’s an idiot, but that’s my own personal touch.”

The roll in the hay part was a little teasing, and Keira knew it. “It's good seeing you, Keira. Unexpected. You showing up again in my life. Must be a reason for it.” He rummages around in his pocket for his card, scribbling his number on the back with blue pen and offers it to the blonde. “Give me a call sometime if you want to talk, hang out, or do something. Get your place set up with solar cheap, so you have power without having to be on the grid. I'm generally available whenever, and live near a tower, so if you have signal, I generally can get a call.”

He chuckles softly. “You know criminals, mostly, aren't the brightest sorts. I hope I'm right and it's just some idiot. Not that idiot, cause that raises all sorts of questions about lots of stuff.”

“Honestly, I wouldn’t be shocked if th’dead came back t’life these days. The world is just that crazy sometimes.” She takes the card, glancing it over, before pocketing it. From her back pocket, she pulls a completely blank business card, which only has a number scrawled across it. This is offered forth to Caspian in turn, a small smile on her face.

“We ought t’grab a drink sometimes. Just because my friend is stupid and doesn’t know what she’s got right in front of her face doesn’t mean I’m stupid.” She smirks.

The card, unobtrusive as it is anonymous, is taken and tucked away in Caspian’s breast pocket, a light pat showing that, yes, it’s there and he does have it. He’ll be sure to program her number into his phone at some point - as a supplier of solar panels or something - so in the event of someone finding and cracking his phone it won’t be immediately clear who he’s got in his contacts. And that’s before the remote wipe hits.

“I’d like that, but do me a favor. Just…check with Tibby first. She and I aren’t a thing anymore….” he frowns a little at that frank admission. “But you know her and possessiveness and I’d like to make sure she doesn’t think we’re a thing anymore. Don’t know if I’m ready for anyone else just yet but…a drink’s a drink. And friends go out and drink sometimes.”

“Oh, I’m not about to go sneakin’ around on her in regards t’you. She’d kill me and then she’d probably do th’same t’you.” Keira chuckles softly, a shrug rolling over her shoulders. “It’s just friendly, though.” So she says. “Friends get drinks. I need all th’friends I can get right now, in any case.”

She turns back to the statue, smirking. “B’sides, you’re fulla good ideas, and I like good ideas.” She snorts once, and promptly spits another rather large loogie at the statue, this one landing right on its forehead.

He knew Tibby kept Keira around for a reason and that, ladies and gentlemen, is the whole idea of why. Keira thinks ahead, just like Caspian does. In fact, if it weren’t for their thinking ahead, a lot of things might have gone very, very wrong long before they could have taken advantage of it. The one time they didn’t think ahead led to that aforementioned bar in Mexico burning down and the ban on “The Roof is on Fire” for several years.

“What’s goin’ on, you needing friends so bad?” He actually sounds concerned at that, looking over at Keira where she leans, the spittle dripping down Danko’s nose and plopping into the bay. “Lonely at the top, or something else?”

“A variety of different reasons.” The tiny shapeshifter turns her back to the statue, staring at the memorial wall for a long moment. “New York has changed, obviously…especially in the time between when I left and now.” She tilts her head to the side.

“I’m making a move for power. I’m not going to be anyone’s thug ever again, and to do that, I need t’be sure I have allies.” There’s a long pause, before she turns a faint smile to Caspian. “Not t’mention, you’re a pretty fun friend to have.” The woman chuckles, reaching out to gently tap Caspian on the shoulder.

“Anyhow. I have a mission, now, and I feel like I should get started before some other idiot decides to try and kill that son of a bitch.” Keira smirks, winking at the man.

“That….that's not my life, Keira. I mean, I'll help out if I can. You're a friend, so I'll help, but you know how it was with Tibby. Give me the illusion of legality. That's all I ask.” Caspian reaches up to rest his hand on Keira’s, giving it a squeeze and offering a smile. “Still can't sing worth a damn, though.”

He looks to the statue, nodding. “Super psychotic, that dude. If you get him in your sights, don't miss, find the body, and hypothetically empty the rest of your clip in his head. If he's back and not dead, make him that way.” He taps the card he handed her. “You need a place, I got a room. You need a ride, I got a van. You need help? I'll do what I can.”

The woman smiles. “Don’t worry, Caspian. I’m not about to involve you in anythin’ you don’t want to be involved in — that’s not how I roll.” Unless someone is in debt to her, then she’s not shy about making them do things they don’t want in the name of repayment. “I am good at keeping things lookin’ legal, or at least not leavin’ a paper trail.”

The advice for Danko prompts a rather bitter smile to form on her face. “I’ll get him, don’t fuckin’ worry about that shit. I already got my little birds on that shit, it’s only a matter of fuckin’ time before I find him.” She pauses, before turning to grin at Caspian. “I’ll do th’same for you, within the boundaries of friendship.” She’s still a business woman, after all.

“I’ll call you later, Casp. Take care of yourself ‘til then. If all goes well, you’ll be seein’ news.” She dips her head toward the man, and then she’s off, on her mission to leave a message for one Emile Danko.

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