Personal Taxi Cab


gillian_icon.gif kent_icon.gif

Scene Title Personal Taxi Cab
Synopsis There are ways to invite a girl home. This should not be one of them.
Date October 12, 2007

The Surly Wench in the Lower East Side

A punk rock pub through and through, The Surly Wench is dim, cramped, and incredibly popular. It's a small, rectangular venue with a bar bordering one entire wall. Despite this, ordering a drink on a weekend can be an exercise in line-waiting and rib-elbowing. There are a few small tables ringed with high stools for seating, but these are prime real estate. The majority of the patrons are forced to stand shoulder-to-shoulder on any given night. Almost half of the cramped interior is devoted to a low stage for live music. There's no dance floor. If you feel the need, you'll have to thrash in place.

Many people have work tomorrow morning, that's why there's a little bit less of a crowd in the place tonight. Still a lot of rubbing elbows and bumping shoulders, but there's a young goth-looking woman at a place against the bar that's not much caring who crowds in beside her. Leaning over the counter, Gillian waits until she catches the bartender's eyes before she makes her order, "A Kiss In The Night." Handing over the required bills, she's given a drink of in a glass with ice, equal parts gin, cherry-flavored brandy and dry vermouth. Listening to the music, she turns away from the bar to survey the area. She too has work in the morning, but there's no reason she can't have a a few drinks before she heads back to her apartment in Queens.

For a man for whom distance can mean very little, it's a wonder why Kent chose this place, as he appears silently just a corner away from it. Maybe because it's more inclusive, less expensive, a little friendlier. Everyone can do with a little friendliness now and then, and he's has an… interesting if unproductive week. Time to have a drink and think things through properly.

The crowd isn't as jiving as it would be on a Friday night, which is fine by Kent, as he navigates his way through the crowd. He's dressed all in black, perhaps out of a conscious choice to not attempt fashion when he doesn't really have a clue, which is doing him some favours. When he arrives at the bar, sidling up next to a girl dressed similarly darkly although he doesn't immediately notice her, he takes out a few crumpled bills from his pocket, sliding them across the bar. "Uh, I'd like a…" Kent quickly searches for a drinks menu as the bartender stares at him. "Can I just get a beer? Yeah, that — thanks."

Rather close quarters. Gillian glances to her side, through a veil of dark hair when a young, if slightly older than her, man approaches the bar. She didn't get carded, he doesn't get carded either, but his beer is poured for him. No brand was specified, so he's getting whatever his crumpled bills can pay for, most likely. "Just a beer?" she calls out over the music, actually sounding a little amused. Her drink is sipped on, leaving behind some of her dark red lipstick on the glass, and she turns to face the guy all in black, with his glasses. What is it with these dorks with glasses the last week or so? They're taking over the world.

Aside from the inconspicuous dark shirt and matching pants is the Chinese coin on a shortish length of thin black rope, ducking just partially into the collar of his shirt. There's really nothing else, besides the glasses, that Kent is wearing that could be call distinctive - not a ring, or even a watch. The tall glass is taken with a nod of thanks to the bartender, and Kent looks towards the gothy woman who addressed him. Unlike the OTHER bespectacled dorks she's been running into, lately, he doesn't seem to have the immediate reaction of not being good enough to chat with an attractive female. He quirks a smile back at her, leaning his back against the tall bar. "Just a beer," he responds over the music. "I was going for manly without breaking my bank. Is it working?"

That is certainly a change, one that makes Gillian smile faintly, a hint of a dimple in her cheek when she does this. She even tilts her head to the side, black hair shifting, bangs falling out of her eyes where they hang. "Getting there. Beer by itself can read 'poor college student', but you're definitely getting towards manly." The confidence seems to have had some affect on her, or at least it hasn't made her take her drink and wander off. She even takes another sip, flashing a tattoo on the inside of her raised wrist, a rose surrounded by a tribal marking.

"College student? Yikes." Kent takes a moment to take a sip of that beer, savouring the drink a little. It's been quite a long time since the days when booze was so accessible, after all. At least, to him it's been a while. "No, I've done the college student thing," he says with a brisk shake of his head. "Walked away with a degree and not a hell of a lot of else. What about you?"

"Came out with a bit more than just a degree," Gillian says, glancing back toward the crowd for the moment. There's a lot of people, and they're starting to move forward to the bar, soon she'll get cramped up against the man she's speaking to. For now she holds her own against the elbowing. "Though imagine your degree trumps mine. I only went as far as associates." Two years beats four, in some ways. Small talk, perfectly normal. And then some jerk elbows her to the side to get to the bartender and she stumbles in the direction of the man she's talking to. Without sloshing her drink on anything, at least.

"I don't know, are any degrees really very handy if — " And there she goes, staggering into him when she's pushed. Though her drink doesn't get spilled, it's enough for Kent to put out a steadying hand onto her arm. It's a very simple, very unassuming touch, one he made to make sure she was okay. Perhaps, had he had the chance, he might have lead her away from the bar to score a seat and have a proper conversation. After that, the possibilities are endless. It was all going so well!

However, there's a change of plan, and two twenty-somethings all in black suddenly disappear from the bar, taking their drinks with them.

For Kent and Gillian, the scenery flickers about them most eerily, at highspeed. Suddenly, they stand outside the club, on the open street, and car bearing down on them. Another street, empty, a little more ghetto. A rooftop, another rooftop, sudden coldness as the altitude changes that only lasts for half a second as they disappear again and appear — somewhere completely different and Kent is finally able to wrench his hand off the woman's arm, full glass of beer tipping onto — carpet?

The last stop after the sudden rush of locations has wound them up in what appears to be an empty, rundown trailer. The lights are out and only the moonlight and other sources of artificial illumination creep through the windows. Breathing hard, Kent backs up from the woman, a flash of light on his face revealing the obvious fear there. The door is between them, but locked should Gillian go for it.

That drink she didn't spill? It's rather funny, because somewhere, possibly far away, on a rooftop, the glass has fallen and shattered on the stone. The glass slipped from her fingers suddenly, and they were gone so fast they never even got to hear the glass break, much less the remaining contents spill. For once, her hands didn't glow, and she'd been looking away from him, so he may not have seen the flash of color change in her eyes until it fades out. Her arm released, she stumbles away, hitting the carpeted floor with a gasp of surprise. On her hands and knees, she takes deep breaths to recover from the sudden vertigo, the sensations that she'd never experienced in this world. There'd been a surge of energy, a pull from within her, and she knows she inadvertently caused this. "Shit — how did? — fuck."

Shifting, she glances back at him, her hair starting to hang in her face, as she meets the man's eyes. And then around the room. He's afraid, she's panicked and vaguely ill, but she pushes herself to her feet and darts the distance to the door, even if she can't get it open right away. She's fumbling at the door knob.

Kent is utterly silent for a moment, watching her in abstract shock as she goes for the door. Then all of a sudden he's in motion, foot knocking aside the beer glass which skitters and rolls away. He doesn't go to touch or grab her, god no, he's made that connection pretty easily — but his hand comes down on the door before she can figure out the locking mechanism. "No, wait," he says. There's an excited but still fearful tone in his voice. "How the — I've never done that before." Usually when he teleports that fast, covering so much distance, he'll feel queasy, sick, tired. But right now, he feels fine, as if he'd just covered a length of street as opposed to separate boroughs.

"Yeah, well, I've never done that before either, all right? Now let me out of here." Gillian glares at the hand that's pressed against the door, even as she's trying to get it unlocked in the dark. Unfamiliar locking mechanism is slowing her down, and the hand against the door is too. Her eyes slide up the arm and she turns enough to face the man who transported them here. He may not feel queasy, but she does, if only because the multiple shifts in perspective were enough to jar her sense of vertigo to a point. That and… "Where are we?"

Kent keeps that hand planted there for now, and glances towards the other wall, where horizontal blinds show slots of the outside world. More trailers can be made out, perhaps the light of a trashcan filled with fire to stay warm, a cliche but one people out here have to resort to to stave off the upcoming cold weather. "Thomas Jefferson trailer farm," he says, in hushed tones. "In East Harlem." He gestures around the sparse trailer, while only has a few personal belongings here and there. "This is where I'm staying." A smirk crawls unstoppably onto his features, as if thinking of something funny. "I was just thinking how there's no way in hell I could ever take someone like you back to my place, as it were, and here we are."

Thomas Jefferson Trailer Farm, East Harlem

"And I thought I lived in a dump," Gillian can't help but say, though she does give a glance around the trailer. "Yeah, no way in hell, unless of course you…" She waves a hand around, one with a fresh tattoo of a tribalized yin/yang symbol on her wrist. "Whatever it is you just did." She sounds displeased and legitimately upset. But anyone suddenly kidnapped out of a bar, whisked away on rooftops, and then dumped in a trailer park might feel the same way, "Guess you can't take us back? I don't even know where my drink went." She paid perfectly good money for that drink, too.

The remark draws the barest of flinches from Kent, ducking his head for a moment before the moment passes. He agrees with her, naturally, but he never intended to show this set up to anyone. Slowly, his hand lowers from the door, but he stays by it, as if discouraging her to leave just yet. "Your drink could be anywhere in New York City right now," he says. "And I didn't do anything." He points. "You did something. To what I can do. I can't — I can't do that like that. I have to see where I'm going, and there's no chance of going that fast, not without leaving my brain somewhere along the way." It's clear he wants answers, voice becoming earnest.

What she'd seen through the blinds made this especially dump-like, but Gillian won't correct herself no matter how much he flinched. She's not trying to win him over, even if he most definitely owes her a drink now. "Just because you've never done it before doesn't mean you're not capable of it," she says in a snippy tone of voice. She's still not pleased with this. Her hand manages to get the locking mechanism to switch over, but since the door opens inwards she has to pull it against his weight, and he's stronger than she is. She tugs on the door knob a few times. "Maybe it was the beer. You didn't even seem to know what you were ordering."

"I only had a sip! Now it's all over my floor," Kent points out, gesturing, and then automatically backing up so that his back pins the door in place. But he's getting less and less certain, it seems, in accusing her. Maybe he really did it on his own after all. "I just — it takes concentration and I wasn't even — I wasn't really thinking — " he stammers out, because the realisation that he just essentially kidnapped someone is dawning on him. With a start, he steps away from the door, but he doesn't go to open it for her. "I'm sorry. That's never happened. I've never even teleported with anyone before."

"Well you were obviously thinking of taking me home so you could get into my pants or something," Gillian says, glancing down at her clothes to make sure they didn't get left on a rooftop between lower Manhattan and — wait a minute, Harlem? "You moved us over a mile?" Once this clicks in her brain, she stands there looking at him for a moment. That's one of the few abilities that she's ever heard of that's actually useful, besides maybe her brothers. But even he never took her for a spin all the way across the city— though she didn't exactly ask to hop on his back either. Super speed versus stomach sickening… teleporting… "Well, next time you try to do that to someone, make sure they didn't eat beforehand. Worse than a rollercoaster." At least she doesn't sound quite as mad, as she opens the door and feels the cool October air on her face. "You're going to owe me a drink, you know."

Kent opens his mouth to protest, but shuts it again, just taking off his glasses now and absently cleaning them off on the hem of his shirt. "Noted. Rollercoaster," he mutters, before they're slid back onto his face. His forehead is crinkled in general concern, now, watching her stand at the doorway of the trailer, although that comment relaxes him just a little. "Wouldn't that involve seeing me again?" he states, wryly, lifting a hand to shift the horizontal blinds enough to peer out at the miserable nighttime scene.

There's a long pause. Gillian's hand stays on the door, with it cracked open. Not much is between her and freedom. Not much at all. Except of course that she did just leave in an opening to meet up with the kidnapper again in the future. For a drink. Named a Kiss in the Night, no less. Good thing she didn't say the name of her drink of choice when she said he owed her one. "I suppose it would involve meeting again, hopefully under different conditions." It's not every day she even considers exchanging phone numbers with someone, so… "Do you read?" That's kind of a silly question.

"I read. First job ever was at a Barnes&Nobles," Kent says with a slightly brighter smile, if still slightly smirky, and a slight, restless foot scuff against the carpeting. "It's a habit. Hard to break." His head tilts a little, a hand coming up to touch the tips of his fingers against the corner of the spectacles. Acknowledgment of dorkitude. "Shocker, I know. Why?"

"I work at the Brooklyn Public Library, main check out counter," Gillian says, with a smile beginning to break through her heavily painted lips. There's only sixty-some branches of the Public Library in Brooklyn. "If you're that interested in a second meeting, you'll be able to find me." It almost sounds as if she's planning to play a little game on him with this. Hide and seek.

Which will only be more of a bitch because Kent is from Wisconsin as of two weeks or something ago. Pale eyebrows raise up. "Well then we'll just have to see how interested I am in buying you that drink," he says, after a moment's thought, then tilts his head towards the window, indicating the world outside the trailer he's rented for himself. "For now, maybe I should try getting you somewhere resembling home."

"Yes, we'll have to see," Gillian says, still with a game-playing sound to her voice. It's almost mischievous. The ball is in his court, either way. But then he goes and makes an offer she can not resist. "You wouldn't be one of those rare people in the city with an actual car would you? Cause that would really save me on taxi fare. Maybe if you're nice enough I'll narrow the branches down to a specific area of Brooklyn."

Kent raises his hands and gives her a rueful smile, before dropping his arms down by his sides again. "No car," he says. "Do I look like I can afford a car? No. I mean I can try and get you…" He makes a sort of gesture with his hands, one that might denote his ability. Point A, point B. "Hell, if I got you all the way here…"

Very tempting. "Don't need a car when you are the car, I guess," Gillian says, thinking on this for a long moment before she steps back inside and closes the door. "My own personal taxi cab. Do you need a map, or something? I'm not sure how this works. I live in Queens. Long Island City portion of Queens, to be exact." It's giving over a lot of trust, but she holds out a hand anyway. "But if you make me throw up, I'm not giving you any clues."

Kent is trying to hide his nervousness, but like he even said — this was the first time he'd ever teleported with somebody. And this will be the first time he's ever attempted it somewhere at a long distance, not just across to other visible rooftops, to the other sides of streets. Queens? Okay. No map on hand, but — "What's the address?" he asks, with sudden confidence, not yet taking her hand. Instinct tells him to pause until he's ready.

Not wanting to give a drinking buddy a free pass to her apartment, Gillian actually pauses for a moment, "Not going to be much of a search if I give you the address to my apartment." But — she thinks on it. "Here, there's a laundromat I use — walking distance." And with her hand still held out, she gives the address of that particular laundromat.

Kent nods his head. Fair enough. He takes a deep breath, breathes it out, and with a lot of caution, he takes her hand. Instantaneously, before he can even begin to think of what to do next, they vanish from the trailer, leaving it empty and smelling faintly of beer.

Around them, scenery flickers by like someone thumb through photographs, and Kent squeezes his eyes shut, trying to harness his ability. Laundromat. There. Go there. Not the cafe where he stole that woman's purse, not the phonebooth where he'd decided not to call home, not the bench in Central Park where he'd spent hours simply watching people before vanishing again —

Long Island City, Queens

He lets her go with a sudden intake of breath, eyes wider behind his glasses when they finally "land". They stand on the sidewalk in Long Island City, just outside the laundromat specified, which gets a look from Kent as he nervously smoothes down his shirt. "Th-there we go," he stammers out, spooked all over again. His ability's just never acted this way before.

It could just be a trick of the light, but when his hand releases hers, there's a hint of a glow around her hand where she's touching him. Gillian's eyes are closed, though, because, just like before, the trip jarred her senses. She closed her eyes somewhere around the time he did. Similar to before, she's looking unsteady. She bends over, hands on her knees, hair spilling to cover her face in places. Deep breaths later, she doesn't lose what little she has in her stomach, and she finally straightens to look around. The laundromat's lights are dark at this hour. She fingers at the strap of her top — too light for this particular weather, but it could be worse. "That — you're handy," she finally says, voice a little deeper than it'd been before.

The glow goes unnoticed, Kent busy trying to decide exactly how the hell he managed to do that when it took him what felt like so long to get from Wisconsin to New York. His gaze snaps back to her at her statement, and again, his tension unwinds a little, raising a hand to run through ginger-blonde hair in a nervous gesture. "Handier than I thought," he says, with a breathless chuckle. "I'm also Kent, by the way."

There's a name thrown into things. Gillian's lips part, briefly flashing white teeth as she looks over to the darkened windows again. Not the best neighborhood, by the look of things. There's a liquor store and a porn shop within seeing range, denoting just how run down and possibly amoral the place might be. Not that she looks like the most moral woman in the world. None of the tattoos that are visible give much to an illusion she might be saintly. "Central branch," is what she finally says. "Biggest one. Can't miss it." With that said, she starts to move away in a specific direction. And he's on his own for trying to get back.

And Kent is left standing there, watching her walk away for as long as he can get away with. Then? He vanishes from the sidewalk. Not so far away, quickly learning that he'll have no chance of miraculously appearing in East Harlem no matter how hard he tries, but gone all the same.

October 12th: Agent
October 13th: A Teaspoon And An Open Mind
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