If You Know Where To Look


wf_devon1_icon.gif wf_quinn1_icon.gif

Scene Title If You Know Where to Look
Synopsis Alone in Central Park, Devon confides in Quinn and finds himself taken in off the streets.
Date September 15, 2011

In Dreams

Central Park

Winter is nipping on the heels of autumn these days. The air is crisp, touching noses and cheeks with red, giving a fragile feel to the trees, causing the grass to crunch underfoot. People who still frequent Central Park are wrapped in scarves and jackets, sometimes gloves can be seen covering fingers in protection from the chill air. Vendors also dot the trails, wares of hot dogs and coffee putting steam and smells into the air, subliminal advertising to go with the peddlers' calls.

A cart pushing hot dogs is catering to one family. A father and mother chat with the proprietor while two children jump and play around the cart, the games of younger children to while away the minutes while the adults handle adult matters. Such as purchasing lunch on the go. A few steps behind them lurks a lanky youth, close enough he might be passed off as part of the family, a sullen teenager made to join a family outing and help watch after the younger siblings. Despite something about the boy seeming to set him apart from the family. A slightly unkempt look, clothes that have been slept in for a couple of days, the way he watches the food while trying not to stare, the lack of sleep noted most easily around his eyes. Dirty hands that clutch at the backpack strap that hangs from his shoulder.

Yet it wouldn't take a trained eye to know that Devon isn't part of that family, and when the father glances in his direction, he quickly looks away.

For some, the quickly chilling weather is both a welcome change of pace, and exactly what makes the fall their favourite time of year. This couldn't be more true for some who's native land is one like Ireland, all that would be needed is a cold rain and some greener hills to make things feel so much more like home. That's exactly what brings Robyn Quinn out to Central Park, as much as anything else. Always her favourite place to write and practice music, she's speant the majority of her day so far parked at a bench with her guitar in her arms, playing for the masses in that impromptu street performer style that she views as a lost art in this day and age.

That was a bit ago, though. Now she's taking a break, acoustic guitar slung ove rher shoulders and hanging across her back as she approaches the hot dog cart, a smile on her face as she pulls her wallet out from the pockets of her hoodie. She stands a bit to the side of the family, waiting her turn patiently when the father gives Devon the odd look, causing the Irishwoman to raise an eyebrow.

"He's not ours," comes from the mother when the vendor raises the question of what Devon would like on his dog, a faint touch of disdain in her tone. Confusion then annoyance touches the vendor's expression, the fifth hot dog returned to the heater. The other four are served more promptly, with apologies added and a look or two cast once again toward the teenager all before the family moves off. Their mutterings can be heard as they pass Quinn, speaking of thieves and how people can't be trusted these days.

Through it, Devon stands silently, gaze angled toward the ground though really set on the backs of the family as they depart. Once they're out of earshot, his eyes flick toward Quinn. He hadn't missed her arrival, and while the look lingers a little longer than any casual glance would, he edges back a step, and then another. A silent acceptance that lunch won't be had. From this vendor anyway.

This is certainly a curious little thing that's happening in front of her, Quinn's gaze trailing after the family as they head on their way. Their grumbles and complaints are mostly met with rolled eyes and a shake of her head as she steps up to the vendor, silent for a moment as her hands slide into the pockets of her jeans. She taps her foot, certainly saying nothing to the vendor as she looks over the food he has - hot dogs and chips really, that's it. No real surprise there.

What is a surprise, though, is when she angles her gaze over towards Devon. "You okay there, kid?" she inquires, offering him a small smile. Looks a teenager, which means he should be in school, or class. Not bumming around a hot dog cart in Central Park.

The boy's brows lift slightly, surprised by the question. He resists the impulse to look behind himself to see if there's another kid being addressed, instead lifting his head a fraction. "Yeah," Devon answers slowly, after a moment and in a tone that suggests Not really might be a better answer. In spite of himself. "Sorry," comes a little more quietly, brows furrowing faintly, "I wasn't… I didn't mean to stare. I was just…" Staring. And trying to mooch a hot dog.

His hand tightens briefly around the shoulder strap, something near to apology and shame flickering over his expression. Devon takes another step back, looking to take his defeat elsewhere.

Quinn watches him for a long moment, with that look of shame on his face and with that tone in his voice. She turns back to the vendor, eyeing a bag of chips before she speaks up again. "I think you're lying," she responds rather nonchalantly, pointing to the chips, then down to the 'dogs, and holding up two fingers as she fishes that wallet back out of her pocket. "About the bein' okay part, at least," she clarifies with a bit of a laugh. "Don't mind the starin', I'm used t' it." She waits patiently, until she's handed two hot dogs and two bags of chips - and immediately she turns around and imemdiately tosses one at Devon. Not that she could really tell he was fishing for food, but she's lived in the city long enough to realise it might be a possibility.

Food is caught, nearly lost to the pavement before Devon's fingers close around them. He looks at the food, shoulders lifting into a shrug. "I guess." Creases form across his brow again, lower lip pulled in, pinched between his teeth. He sucks in a breath, letting it out slowly as he nods, eyes lifting to look at Quinn again. That something is wrong is more evident in that look, though he's hesitant to say outright what the problem could be. He looks lost, a youth alone. "I… they came and…" A look darts toward the vendor then back. "…My aunt had to leave."

And there it is. Her own brow furrows as she watches Devon for several moments, waiting until her finishes talking before she approches, offering the second hot dog to him. She could eat both herself, but Ygraine keeps teasing her about shit like that, and she's not about to give her anymore ammunition than she already has. A hand pats him on the back, guiding him alongside her as she moves to his side. "Come on, walk with me," she says, voice low. "You can tell me all about it."

Shaking his head, Devon declines the second hot dog. The one already held in his hand is considered, the foil encasing it peeled back a bit. Though he doesn't eat just yet. He glances up at Quinn as she moves him away from the cart. He's quiet for several steps, until they've moved away from the vendor. "They came while I was at school," he explains quietly, re-wrapping the hot dog, something to put his focus on while he walks. "These official looking cars I didn't recognize. Other families have been taken to those Evolved neighborhoods." His head tilts slightly, eyes slanting toward Quinn. "They took my aunt…"

Her hand still against his back, Quinn's smile finally dips down into a grimace, though she tries her best not to show it in view of Devon. "I'm sorry," she says quietly, gaze angled off to the side. "Is your family alright, at least? Can you go home?" An unfortunate question, but one that has to be asked in this day and age, and it's not the first time she’s had to. Heck, she's pretty sure if it wasn't for her job, she probably would've been shipped off into one of the neighborhoods herself by now. There's a few moments of silence, before she looks back at him. "I don't mean t' be rude, but… what about you?" Are you Evolved. "Trust me, you don't have anythin' t' fear from me if so."

"No." It's probably an answer heard far more often than anyone would like. Devon's gaze goes back to the aluminum wrapping, brows knitting once again. "She was my family. The bomb…" Nothing more ever really needs to be said after that, though he fills in the rest with a shrug. Everyone was affected by the explosion in Midtown, and a lot of kids have similar stories to his. The next question earns a sigh and a nod of the boy's head, though he's slower to respond. Hesitant despite assurances. "I'm… I haven't shown anything yet. But I… took the test."

Quinn winces a bit, taking a deep breath as she looks back at Devon. "I'm sorry," she says simply, sympathetically. "About your family. Your aunt. Not about…" She waves a hand at him dismissively. "The other thing. Like I said, it's no big deal to me." To prove that point, she holds out a hand and shakes it, causing little motes of light to float outwards and away, fading the further they get from her. She's silent for a few moments longer, looking ahead a bit, before she speaks up again. "You're not just… hanging around the park now, are you? That won't do. What about school, and all a' that?"

Brows arch upward at the display, an expression that’s rather impressed. Despite living in a world where there are those with special powers lurking around, it’s not something Devon has ever seen displayed. He’s quiet for some time after the question, feet scuffing over the sidewalk. The hot dog has made its way into his coat pocket for now, though he’s hungry, it’s not really polite to eat while talking. “Don’t really have anywhere else to go,” he answers finally, shrugging. “It’s too late to get a dorm room, if the university even has one available. If I tried any of the charities I’d probably end up packed off to Eltingville.”

The grimace painted across Quinn's face only grows dimmer at this news. It was about what she expected, to be entirely honest, but that still doesn't make it news she wanted to hear. Far from it, of course. She, too is silent for several moments, unwrapping the other hot dog and taking a bit from it as she keeps alongside Devon. "You can't stay out on the streets," she finally says after a moment, though somewhat obscured as she forgets that she's not supposed to talk with her mouth full. She looks around, shifty eyed for a moment, before she turns, motioning for Devon to follow her.

"Not like I have many other choices," the teenager says to himself, resigned. His steps slow slightly, watching while Quinn gets a couple of steps ahead of him. The first resumed step is hesitant, but then he hastens to catch up again, unsure of why he'd told the woman anything at all and wondering why he's trusting her enough to follow still. Besides that she gave him lunch. "…I'm Devon," he offers on reaching Quinn's side again, glancing sidelong at her.

"Robyn Quinn," she says as she galnces over at him, mustering a smile. "You may have heard of me," is such an egocentric thing to say, that's never stopped her anyway. It's kinda of like being an anti-hipster - instead of being that act no one's heard of, she's the one that surely everyone's heard of.

Another bite of the hot dog, a big one, is enough to silence her for a few moments, but once it's swallowed down, she looks ahead and shakes her head. "That's wrong, y'know. Not having a choice. You always have choices." Another smirk as she hands slip into her pocket and she pulls out an iPhone, the corner of it's screen cracked noticeably. "It's just that sometimes the choices really, really suck," she laments, letting out a bit of a sigh. Fingers move across the screen, appearing to type out a text message as she stares at it for several moments, before she stops and turns to look at him. "There are places you can go, if you;re scared, you know. If you're scared, or if you really think you have nowhere else t' go." she says a bit more furtively, her voice low. "You just have to know where t' look."

It's not that he hasn't heard the name, more that Devon's trying to place it. He ends up shrugging slightly, looking a little apologetic. He reaches into his pocket to pull out the hot dog, unwrapping it and tearing off a single mouthful while Quinn works her iPhone. Teenager that he is, the act doesn't seem at all out of place, walking, texting, and maintaining a conversation. Her final words draw a pause, a swallow forcing down the mouthful of food as his head turns and eyes go to the woman, brows furrowing. "I've looked. I haven't found anywhere that isn't going to stick me in some boys' home or worse."

Quinn watches him for a second, before she turns to continue walking, again beckoning him along. "You think?" she inquires, mostly as a point of conversation as she finishes her text message. "Why don't you come stay with me and my roommate for the night, at least," she says as she looks back at Devon. "Or my girlfriend, I'm sure she could use the company around her apartment." She does a turn so that she's walking backwards and facing Devon once more. "And then maybe we can work out something."

"I…" Declining the invitation trails off. Devon had just been told there's places to stay for those who know where to look. He's quiet for a few minutes, walking, watching Quinn with a small frown, considering. "Yeah, I'd… I'd really appreciate that, Ms. Quinn. As long as I'm not putting anyone out." He takes another bite from his hot dog, more mouthful and just managed than any sane person would take. "Thank you," he continues after finishing the bite. "I… you're the first person I told. None of my teachers know anything about… anything. They don't ask."

"Just call me Robyn," Quinn says with a bit of a laugh. "Ms. Quinn makes me sound like an old lady, and I really hope 27 isn't considered old now!" Hands on her hips and a smile on her face, Quinn shakes her head before taking a last bite of her hot dog. "They don't? That's… a shame," Quinn says with a bit of disappoint in her voice as they approach the streetside where Quinn had parked. "You're not going t' be putting anyone out. You just might have t' spend a night on a couch is all. Though Ygraine, my girlfriend, she has a spare bedroom if you'd rather spend the night there. I doubt she'll mind either." Foil wrapping tossed into a trash can as they pass, and she stops at her scooter, reaching into a rather large side pocket and extracting a helmet.

"And tomorrow, if you're up for it," she says in that low voice, just loud enough for Devon to hear, "Maybe I can introduce you t' some friends who can help you out."

"A couch is fine." The teen musters a half grin, a one-sided quirk of his mouth. He'd be happy with a corner of the floor, to be honest. It beats whatever corner of street or hedge he'd been able to find. His own hot dog is finished in a couple, barely chewed bites, the foil tossed into the trash can as well. His hands are wiped off on the seat of his jeans before being pushed into his pockets. "Twenty-seven isn't old, I have a couple of classes with people that age, some a bit older."

Devon looks at the scooter as Quinn speaks in lower tones. His frown returns, a questioning sort, eyes flicking up to meet hers. He nods after briefly considering. "Yeah, sure."

"It'll be fantastic," Quinn says with a bit of a laugh as she climbs on to the scooter, tossing the helmet nonchalantly at Devon. "You know how t' play any instruments?" she asks out of curiosity, before fishing a key out of her pocket and getting the scooter started. "And trust me," she says, eyeing the frown, the flickering eyes. "If we can work out something, it'll be better than anything you could get from sticking around like you are now. It's not really up to me, though."

"My dad was a drummer for a band," Devon answers as he catches the helmet. "I'm mostly an actor, or trying to be, but he started showing me things before… when I was younger." The helmet is pulled onto his head, the second strap to his pack pulled onto the other shoulder. His head nods to Quinn's assessment, that following her will be the better option than sticking to the streets. "No, it's cool. I understand." Mostly. What he can grasp without knowing any details or who her friends might be. Whatever it is, he's hoping it won't lead to those so-called Evolved friendly neighborhoods.

"A drummer! I may have t' make you stay with me for a while then. The band I'm in needs a drummer, you know," Quinn jokes with a smirk as she fits her own helmet over her head - inevitably, she will be complaining later how it ruined her perfect hair and she should just dye it from brown back to black so no one ever notices. It will probably be one of many inane complaints that Devon will have to put up with voer the course of the next twenty four hours. But beggars can't be choosers, right?

And that's exactly what she's going to tell him tomorrow. Not that she doesn't want the young man around, she's serious about needing a drummer, and a fresh face around might be nice. But from the sounds of it, it may not be best for him to stay with her, not with how things are lately. So, when she brings him to meet with someone from the Ferrymen for shelter and placement in someplace better than the streets or Eltingville//, it's exactly what she'll tell him.

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