Partial Anonymity


eileen_icon.gif leonard_icon.gif

Scene Title Partial Anonymity
Synopsis Chance encounters on Staten Island are a dime a dozen.
Date May 22, 2009

Staten Island

Sonny's worked his alchemy, turning Al from a pallid coppertop into a saturnine little thing like a grumpy faun. Black hair, dark eyes, a faintly olive tinge to his skin. His scars are all smoothed and rearranged, though the expression of sullen watchfulness remains. At the moment, he's heading in towards the warren of the Rookery, hands in his jacket pockets, eyes narrowed against the gleam of the neon.

Off the side of the road, sallow face lit up by the glow of a burning cigarette, is a young woman that Alexander — now Leonard — will undoubtedly be familiar with. Eileen's dark hair is damp and gleams like the oily feathers on a raven's back, though there are no birds perched on the stone wall atop which she sits. She is alone, with only the smoky air and distant creak of springtime insects coming to life in the trees to keep her company. Gray eyes track his progress toward the Rookery, utterly despondent, unrecognizing.

He doesn't -quite- double take. But she gets a series of blinks, a fractional pause, before he manages to keep himself from slowing. "You're not gonna pick up any johns out here," he says, voice deeper and rougher than it was. Lacking the accent, as well - it's more Brooklyn now, than anything else.

"Not looking for a john," she replies around the cigarette's filter. That's a lie. Eileen is looking for a John, capitalized, but having spied no sign of Mr. Logan thus far, it's probably time she gave up for the night and headed homeward. "Just some peace of mind."

Leonard grunts understanding to that. And the scent of smoke reminds him - he scrapes up his own pack of Camels (none of that faggy Russian tobacco for this little black duck) and a disposable lighter, lights up without a by-your-leave since she already is herself.

Eileen watches Leonard with some small amusement as he goes for his lighter, her expression mild and guarded, a slight curl at one corner of her upturned mouth. She blows out a steady stream of smoke through her nostrils. "Are you looking for a john?"

"Nope. For you, free," he says, blithely, letting smoke leak between his teeth like a gargoyle.

Eileen's laughter is abrupt and choking, a spasmodic cough that consumes all breath and leave her body wracked, wheezing. Not the answer she'd anticipated, apparently. She moves the cigarette away from her face to tap some ash over the side of the wall as she struggles to wrest back control and find her composure. "Really?"

"Man, it is -time- to move on to filters, girl," Leo admonishes, putting on a face of bodhisattva level serenity. "Sure."

"I'm flattered," Eileen replies in a sardonic tone that suggests she isn't. Her eyes move from Leonard's face all the way down the lean length of his body, nothing recognizable about its structure or the way it's put together. She's no Flint Deckard, and while the ability she presently wields allows her to identify the injuries beneath the man's clothes and the surface of his olive skin, she sees nothing that tips her off to his true identity. "Do you usually offer to fuck people before asking after their names, or am I just an exception?"

This is apparently a matter for serious consideration. He rolls the cigarette around a few times. "After. I guess that -does- make you an exception," he says, eyes widening a little.

There's a snort, and Eileen pulls one of her jean-clad legs up to fold at the knee. She rests a hand on her thigh, the leather of her glove blending in with the denim in the absence of daylight to properly illuminate it. Fingers drum against muscle. "Yours first."

"Leonard. Leo, rather than Lenny, if we ever get to the nicknames phase," he says, cupping his palm around the end of the cigarette to shield it from the breeze.

No surname attached. That suits her just fine. It's easier. Safer. "Eileen." A beat. "Just Eileen."

Leonard doesn't seem to mind that partial anonymity. "Sure," he says, waving the hand with the cigarette lazily. "Works for me."

Eileen glances in the direction that Leonard was headed, the Rookery's neon colours and flickery lights leaking through the trees, casting strange shadows across the pavement that stretches out in front of them. When her eyes find his again, curiosity is brimming in them, visible in the faint rings of her irises. "So," she says. "Leonard. Where are you headed?"

"There, of course," he says, inclining his head towards that distant glow. "Gotta run a few times around the Qa'aba, drink from the Wells of Zamzam." Which is blasphemous on so many levels, really. He sets off for the Rookery at that former loping walk.

It's tempting to follow, to push off the wall and feel her booted feet squelch in the mud, to trail after, to see if anyone really does call him Leo. Or Lenny. Instead, she raises the hand with the cigarette dangling between to fingers by way of farewell. The Rookery is not a place she should be; she'll just have to trust that the stranger is who he says he is.

Which he isn't.

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