Just a Handshake


amato_icon.gif gillian_icon.gif

Scene Title Just a Handshake
Synopsis A handshake shared between two strangers has unintended effects, at least for the goth woman who allowed it to be initiated.
Date October 7, 2008

Roy Wilkens Park, Queens

Late afternoon, nearing toward evening. There's a couple people about, homeless or otherwise, and one young woman sitting up against one of the fences. Her leg is raised up so a sketchbook rests on her knee, and she's doodling with a pencil. Gillian's pantleg is pulled up just enough that a black tribal tattoo is visible around on her left ankle, helped by the fact that she's wearing smaller shoes than her normal platforms. Her black hair is pulled back and mostly out of her face, with the exception of the bangs that hang partially into her eyes.

The sort of people that Amato's master prefers to keep around him are occasionally found in less than reputable places. That alone is the blond Italian's reason for being in this area of Queens as it crawls on toward evening. He keeps his bare hands in the pockets of his long coat, his neck wrapped in a dark red scarf. If it weren't open to reveal a dark suit, Amato might look even more out of place in this part of New York, not that he would know.

When he spots the artist, Amato's interest is almost immediately piqued. Slowly, he nears her, but he speaks while there is still a comfortable distance between them. "Odd place for a girl like you," he says with a slowly forming, smug sort of smile. His accent is definitely not American, but it's difficult to place beyond that.

There's a bag nearby, strap looped around her arm so someone couldn't just grab it and run off with it easily, and Gillian reaches for it when someone approaches, eyes shifting up from her sketch, which is more a tribal doodle much like the tattoo on her ankle. As he gets closer, a second is visible on her right wrist as well, with a red rose in the middle of the black designs. "Not if I live nearby it's not," she says, voice almost a little rude, considering how well dressed and smiling he is. She's not smiling, though. Her dark and sculpted eyebrows raise slightly. "Seems you're more out of place than me." Accent and dress both.

Such a statement pulls a brief and light chuckle from the tall man, and he shakes his head as it escapes him. "I am new to the country, miss. I am out of place with each and every step that I take in this city. Have you ever known that feeling? Surrounded by strangers? People who do not know — cannot understand you?"

The hand not holding a pencil lifts up to push her bangs back as she looks up at him, the dark eye makeup framing her hazel eyes enhancing the color in the slowly fading light. "That's one way of putting it," Gillian says, her tone sullen still, quiet. Except — there's a hint of a quirk in her eyes and she looks down at the sketchpad again rather suddenly, bangs falling back to shield her face. "There's not a lot of people who are worth knowing."

"That is very true," Amato says more gravely as he moves forward, keeping his eyes on the horizon as he slowly sidles up to Gillian, retaining the appropriate social distance. "But those who are worth knowing are worth knowing well, wouldn't you say? Those who are able to know and understand you for who you really are, at the core of you?"

There's a hint of a snort at the questions, but Gillian starts to close up her notebook, pencil getting trapped between the pages. She doesn't stand up, but she does glance upwards again. "Somehow doubt it's easy to find the people who could really understand." Lips, deeply reddened by lipstick part for a moment as she looks up, a hesitation present for a moment. "Are you trying to sell me something?"

"Sell? No." Amato turns his head to look down at Gillian again. "Offer? Perhaps. But only if you would be interested in such a thing. Some are frightened of being understood through and through. They fear judgment, especially in this city, in these times." Not that Amato isn't a judge in his own right, but it is not the duty of mere men.

"I'm not afraid of judgment," Gillian says, shoving the notebook into her bag. There's something harsh about her words, as if she's bitter about the implications. She starts to move to stand up, holding onto the fence as she does, pulling the bag up over her shoulder and bringing a third tattoo into view, a tribal sun with a red center. "People judge. It's what they do. They can think whatever they want about me." There's a pause, but she tilts her head to the side, hair spilling out of her eyes. "Going to give me a card or something?"

Amato slowly shakes his head as he withdraws one long-fingered, pale hand from his coat pocket. "No, miss. Just my hand, should you care to take it for but a moment." He smiles the smile of a compassionate clergyman, respectful and pastoral. But his smile twitches larger after a moment as he tilts his head. "Forgive me, miss, but…your tattoos are interesting. Do you have one on your other ankle?"

There's a pause at the offered hand and Gillian looks reluctant. Last time she took someone's hand… She does reach out, though, hoping that nothing ends up happening when she does take the hand. "Yeah, I got one a little higher up, on my shin." She doesn't reach down to pull up the cuff of her black pants, though. "Why the handshake?"

But Amato does not answer. He merely slightly tightens his grip on Gillian's hand when she places it in his own, letting his eyes immediately close. Subconsciously, the Italian clenches his jaw in anticipation of the flood he expects to receive.

And there it is. When the man closes his eyes and starts to… do what he's doing… Gillian notices her hand starting to glow again. Second time today. "Son of a bitch," she curses, starting to pull on her hand. No idea what it is he's capable of, she definitely doesn't like it. "Let go of me!" she yells, trying to get out of his grip.

Meanwhile, in this man's mind, he'll see many a sin. Nothing major like murder, but she's not pure of flesh, and body, having experimented with drugs and various other unmentionables. Theft. Cursing. Stopped attending church at a young age. Disrespect for her parents and family. Lies. Many, many lies. Especially about one thing in recent years… an incident with her sister that she lied about. Where they argued and yelled, and she'd grabbed her arm… causing her sister to lose control of her registed ability of control of moisture in the air, and flooded her apartment room. She lied and lied, allowed her sister to take the blame for loss of control.

And it comes quite like a flood. Amato winces at the deluge of not just flashes, but detailed events, shaking slightly before he finally snaps open his hand and releases Gillian. His eyes open a moment after, and he stares surprisingly at the young woman. "I am sorry," Amato says in a softer voice than before. "I did not mean to frighten you."

As soon as she can, Gillian pulls her hand back as if stung. He also got her name in that. Gillian Childs. Her mother screamed it at her one night when she was being disrespectful, came home with her first tattoo, on the inside of her thigh no less, and an unfavorable relationship with an older man. When she was fifteen. Even her place of employment, because she lied about being 'normal' when the gunmen invaded the library and took a bunch of Registered Evolved hostage. She pulls her bag close, she starts to move away. "You did a poor job of it, then," she snaps.

"You are your own woman," Amato says in a voice intended to be potentially calming. That is his judgment, in a way, at least. "You do what you find to be right for yourself in any given situation, even if it means ignoring its effect on others. Is that a fair description of who you are?"

While she has no idea what he'd been doing at all, Gillian knows something happened. The glowing on her hand told her that much. "Yeah. Fair enough. And I think I'm going to go practice that now. I'm going home," she starts to move away, but she does stick her hand into her bag and grab onto something unseen. From one of the rather in-depth flashes, he would have seen her use a can of compressed air against someone in a situation that wasn't exactly self-defense. When he doesn't pursue her further, she turns around and leaves. Quickly.

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