One Man's Trash


daryl_icon.gif koshka_icon.gif

Scene Title One Man's Trash
Synopsis Is another man's treasure, and treasure isn't often found amongst the defunct streets of Staten Island.
Date May 19, 2011

Staten Island

Staten Island at night is a whole different place. Of course, Koshka's previous experiences with the district were limited to a directly guided tour in and another equally guided tour out, and her most recent return was done so cuffed and confined. Since then she's come to know her new home, Eltingville Blocks and its government funded amenities, fairly well and even acquired a job of sorts. Non traditional, its payment really only allows the girl to get through the gates to make trips around the island. Suffice to say she enjoys the freedom but understands the risks of going out too often.

However, this is one evening where Koshka can be found outside the fencing that marks off Eltingville from the rest of Staten Island.

Clouds ride low in the sky, dark and with a not so subtle telling of rain to come. The damp in the air isn't just from the waters that lap at the landmass that makes up Staten Island. Koshka is just finishing her run of delivering goods for Logan, and under cover of the darkness is picking her way back toward the ghetto. At this point in her journeys she's alone, the dust manipulator traveling an empty road that's not even lent the illumination of the full moon. Somewhere behind is the gates that let into Eltingville Blocks and the soldiers that check everyone off.

There's still some time before curfew, two hours give or take. It'll take a good portion of that time for Koshka to find the break in the fence to slip back inside the compound.

Times have been rough on Daryl as well, in their own way. He's been free to move around the city - at least as free as the average citizen - but he hasn't been able to go see Koshka, and that's grated on him. So much so that he's taken up a direction that used to grate on him almost as badly: going legit.

Sort of.

For the past few weeks, he's given up most of his usual evening haunts, instead hooking up with a local service outfit. They're more important than ever these days, stepping in to help out with little things where harried government programs and individual effort have fallen short. Eventually, he got onto a team visiting Staten Island: not his exact target, but a step in that direction. Then it was a matter of waiting for an opportune moment and slipping away from the rest, his ability making it relatively easy to slip into the shadows. Down along an unused alley, scouting in the direction of the next hurdle facing him—

—Correction, mostly unused alley. Turning a corner and finding himself standing not five feet away from someone he very much recognizes, he's surprised enough to drop immediately back into sight. "Whoa, what are you doing here?" he asks. At least he has enough presence of mind to keep his voice down.

The voice nearly causes Koshka to jump out of her skin. The package, though small enough to be obscured by her arms is clutched more tightly and wide eyed she looks at Daryl. Every inch about her is tensed, poised to run, even the air carries a sense of preparedness to bolt. In short, she looks much like a cornered animal ready to spit and claw before making a mad dash for safety.

"What are you doing here," the girl hisses back. Her eyes flick toward the distant glow that marks the entry to Eltingville. "Stupid, do you know how dangerous it is to come out here?" She doesn't wait for an answer, simply releasing a hand from her jacket to grab Daryl's and drag him back to the deeper shadows.

Once within the deeper blanket of darkness, Koshka's eyes flick toward the road again, watching for any passing sentries, or worse the hunterbots, before addressing the boy in front of her. Brows arch expectantly as she runs her eyes over him then focus on his face again. "How'd you get here?"

"Hey—!" Daryl was expecting her to be about as startled as he was, but he wasn't expecting that. He almost loses his footing at one point, toe jamming into a crack in the ground before he leans the other way to free it.

Shaking his head to clear it, he presses one hand against the near wall, lifting his visitor's pass with the other. "Joined the Boy Scouts," he explains. Not exactly, but 'Boy Scouts' is one of those names that everyone has actually heard of. "What about you? Thought you were still under house arrest, or whatever."

Another shush is pressed on Daryl, but if anyone heard his startled cry they're not coming to investigate. Koshka looks at the pass, even reaching out a couple of fingers to touch it before looking up at him again. "Sort of," she says and explains by way of showing the tracking device encircling her ankle. "Don't ask questions about it. The soldiers don't know and as long as I keep a low profile there won't be trouble for me."

Sinking a step further into the shadow, her back coming to find a building standing guard in the evening, Koshka's gaze drops to the ground. "Why'd you come out here? Nothing good here. It's dangerous."

Daryl leans back against the wall, turning to face her. "Why'd you think? I've been trying to find a way to get you out. First step's getting in to look around, and even that took me this long to pull off." Taking a step forward again, he looks Koshka over more closely. "Well, at least you look like you're doing all right— you know, for being sort of under house arrest and all."

Aside from being in clothes pilfered from good will boxes, Koshka looks okay. She's always been more skinny than average, for all that she enjoys junk food she'd never had a lot of meat to her, even when Daryl had seen her last. But there's a subtle thinness to her even on top of that. Injuries are hidden, and not offered for examination or even questions. Her head tips lower as he approaches, eyes slanting to look away from him and to her opposite side. "There's no way out, not that I've found. Not that anyone knows. Legally I can't take the ferry off the island." But sometimes she can come out of the ghetto to deliver goods.

Daryl makes a face. 'All right', not 'good', even picking up on only some of the signs of her current condition. "I had an idea about sneaking a badge in to you, but I guess that'd be no good unless we figure how to get that off," he muses, indicating the tracker. "Or break it, but then they'd be looking for you. Dammit, there's gotta be something…"

Koshka makes a sound as though she agrees. Her feet shift, hard rubber soles of her shoes scuffing against the uneven pavement. She can't explain how she's out now, that would certainly land her and Logan into trouble. With a sigh, she drops a hand to twitch her pant leg, concealing the anklet once again in the baggy folds of denim. Her eyes flick upward once, looking at Daryl briefly, then drop away again.

Unaware of Logan's bargain - what would he say about it, if he knew? - Daryl just sighs, glancing down and meeting her gaze for a moment, lingering longer than she does. Slowly, he reaches a hand out toward her shoulder. "I missed you," he whispers. He'd just as soon do more than that, but they weren't on the best of terms before she got nabbed.

Lifting her head a little, Koshka looks up at Daryl again. Longer this time, studying his expression as best the lack of light will allow. Her own reflects that nervousness, the very same uncertainty she'd displayed during most of their earlier time together, and the fear and roughness that's since settled after being brought in to the ghetto. With a small nod, she looks down again, a silent acceptance and agreement for his sentiments.

Again, a small amount of progress is better than nothing. He doesn't try to push further, lest he risk losing even that much. "All right," Daryl sighs, taking a step back toward the street, "I better let you get back. I better get back myself," he adds, "otherwise I gotta make up a longer story."

And he needs to hit up the pawn shops again, this time as a buyer instead of a seller. One man's trash…

For a long minute, as Koshka's eyes alone lift to watch Daryl back away, she looks as though she might follow after. As that moment passes, she sinks further against the wall, her eyes darting away for a second to judge the distant glow of Eltingville's gates. As her gaze returns to him, she steps away from the wall to press a tight and verbally unexplained hug to his chest.

Again, she catches Daryl off guard— but this time in a good way. Promptly switching gears, he slips his arms around her waist, silently drawing her in as he leans his head down. Oh man, this is going to make it so much more annoying when he has to let her go… but he wouldn't dream of passing up this moment.

Fingers clutch at the folds of Daryl's jacket as Koshka's shoulders shake slightly beneath his arms. She holds fast, drawing in a slow breath and exhaling again to steady herself. But it can't last forever, she also needs to get back before it's too late or it might look suspicious. Stepping back, fingers trailing over his sides to follow the length of his arms, she looks up for a moment, her expression touched by sadness but mixed with hope. "Call me," she whispers, taking another step back.

What he said earlier is still true; they both need to go soon. But now? Now he pushes, just a little: brushing a kiss against Koshka's forehead just before she takes that first step back, squeezing her elbow before the second. "I will," he promises, and begins to fade from sight again even as he walks out into the better-lit street.

The parcel she'd been carrying clutched in one hand to accommodate the hug, is now hugged against her chest. Koshka watches until there's little left of Daryl to be seen before she turns away to continue her own journey. Back to Eltingville and the hole in the fence that will allow her surreptitious entrance. Along the way, the small package is slipped into her coat and concealed, freeing her hands and giving her easier movement.

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