Playing Piano For Bums


griffin_icon.gif nadira_icon.gif

Scene Title Playing Piano for Bums
Synopsis Griffin and Nadira get to know each other after the hectic occasion at Tartarus.
Date September 2, 2010

Condemned Tenement

Once home to dozens of working-class families, this building has long ago been officially evacuated and condemned after it was partially gutted by a fire. The brick exterior is covered with layer upon layer of graffiti, the windows are boarded, and some sections of the roof are less than sound. The fire took hold on the fourth floor and expanded upward. Below that, many of the apartments are still intact.

While Nadira's eyes are closed as she recovers from the ordeal, Griffin makes quick work of getting her well away from Tartarus. He really has no clue why he grabbed the woman, but it seemed like the correct thing to do at the time. He watches her thoughtfully as his telekinetic arms work like spider legs, carrying him and the woman over the rooftops until they finally reach the top of the partially demolished rooftop of the condemned tenement that he calls home.

He and the woman swing down through the hole in the roof, ending up in the foyer of the building, the sounds of the city now far removed. It is here, on a somewhat clean section of ground, that those invisible arms gently set Nadira on the ground, safe and sound. It is only a few moments later that Griffin's feet land on the ground, and the glowing white of his eyes slowly fades into those soulful green orbs, which watch Nadira.

"I apologize for taking you out of there like that. You seemed frightened." His tone is gentle, and he keeps a good distance from the woman, apparently worried that he may frighten her.

Settled once more with her feet beneath her, Nadira lets out a slow breath. She tests her hands, her fingers, looking at them to make sure they're her own, double checking, before she looks back over to Griffin. "No, it's okay… I needed to get out." She swallows hard, glancing about slowly. "I… really wasn't expecting that when I went in to work today." She peers back at him, taking a moment to check him for injuries. "You alright? That guy with you… I've met him before. He's… a little fatalistic. Are you okay…? I'm not really sure quite what happened…"

Griffin, aside from having a bit of red skin from the parts of himself that got a bit too close to Luke, and the dusty white residue that covers his suit from the fire extinguisher, seems to be completely unharmed. He watches, making sure the woman is okay, before he limps over to the stairs; something may tell Nadira that this is an old limp, though, certainly nothing new.

"I'm quite alright, miss, but thank you for asking. That fellow…well." He raises his chin, pointing to that distinct Moab scar on his throat. "He and I were in a prison together. He used to start fights fairly often…guess that there hasn't been much that has changed from then, same for…whatever his ability is." He shakes his head slowly. "I'm unsure what happened, myself."

He finally seats himself on a step, peering down at his hands. "I'm just glad that nobody got hurt." By me.

The limp is noted, and Nadira moves quietly to sit down on the stairs next to him. "Well, not hurt badly anyways. Quite a few people got some burns, though I guess they won't be too bad…" The Egyptian woman lets out a long sigh. "I'm… I'm not even sure what I should be doing right now. I suppose things were chaotic enough that most people won't remember exactly what happened with who…"

As she sits next to him, he scoots over, if only to be courteous and as gentlemanly as possible. He's still looking at his hands for a good while, before raising those green eyes to Nadira, offering a somewhat weak, halfhearted smile. "I'm not sure what I should be doing, either. There's no cameras in there, are there?" He frowns. "Last thing I need is to have some cops spotting me in security tapes."

His eyes turn upward for a moment, before he suddenly gestures down the hallway, offering a small smile to the Egyptian woman. "I do know one thing I would like to do, however. Would you like to join me in my room for some scotch?" He chuckles. "It's nothing fancy by any means, but the couch is fairly comfortable."

After a moment, he shakes his head. "What's the matter with me, not introducing myself?" One of those hands is offered out to Nadira. "I'm Griffin Mihangle."

"Nadira Karim." Nadira replies, a hand taken gently. "I wouldn't worry too much about anyone coming after you. I'll make sure things are smoothed over once I get back to the bar. It's the least I can do." She smiles wryly. "I could use a drink. I was rather hoping you might have a bottle, considering." She nods towards the hallway. "Lead the way."

Should she permit, the moment she takes his hand, he raises it and plants a small kiss on her knuckles. It's not a romancing gesture, by any means; it's simply the way he was raised, it seems. Then, releasing her hand, he grabs hold of the banister, using it to ease himself onto his feet. "It is quite the pleasure to make your acquaintance, Miss Karim." He dips his head toward her, chuckling. "And I certainly would appreciate you smoothing things over."

With that, he gestures for her to follow, limping his way down the hallway to one of the few doors that isn't halfway hanging off of its hinges. "Nothing special, just a hardly-touched bottle of Glenlivet that I've been saving for stressful days such as today." He turns the knob, jiggling it a few times until it comes open. Then, he leads his way into the run-down apartment, which looks like he found it that way.

The only thing that may look out of place in the musty apartment is the studio piano, with its chipped black paint. He runs his hands over the lid to the keys as he makes his way into the kitchen, pulling out two glasses and said hardly touched Glenlivet.

Nadira allows the kiss, finding the gentlemanly gesture nice as she follows him towards his place. She slips inside, taking in the sights, particularly the piano, and waits while he gets the scotch and glasses. "You can call me Nadira, that's allowed." She nods towards him, then her eyes flicker to the piano. "Do you play?"

Griffin busies himself with pouring the scotch out, after pulling ice from the barely-functional freezer. Once the glasses are filled, he lifts them both, offering one toward Nadira with a smile. "Nadira, then. I do play, actually."

Green eyes turn toward the piano, which he limps over to, pulling out the bench and settling down on it. The lid is lifted from the keys, and after a long draught is taken from the scotch, he sets it down on that perfect little ledge that normally holds the music. "I was once a composer…still am, you could say, though I doubt my chances at finding a job are very high."

He runs his fingers gently over the keys. "Would you like for me to play something for you while you enjoy your scotch?" Ever the polite one.

The glass is accepted with a smile as she glances over at the piano. "I'd love to hear you play." Nadira murmurs, moving to the side to lean against the wall near the instrument. "You'd be surprised, though, even if you're hiding from the police there are ways to find connections and things to make sure you're alright, find a job and things… I'm not exactly the most legal myself."

The man chuckles, his fingers splaying over the keys for a moment as he ponders what song to play for the woman. Once he decides, his eyes suddenly turn that strange white color, a small grin appearing on his face. "I suppose I should show off just a little for the lovely lady." He smiles up to the woman, before his eyes slide shut. His fingers begin to play a soft tune, while invisible fingers play an accompanying duet on the other end of the keys.

Even as he plays, he smiles softly. "Who knows…perhaps you could help me get on as a bouncer there at Tartarus. Lord knows I could potentially be a very good bouncer."

The scotch is sipped quietly as Nadira observes next to the piano, a small smile on her face. "You play beautifully. Seems a waste for you to just end up being something as simple as a bouncer. I could see about asking Melissa. She's pretty understanding and I do owe you a favor for you helping me get out of there."

The man chuckles softly, still playing with his eyes closed. Now strictly showing off, his hands leave the keys after a moment, though the song continues to play. Who can blame him for showing off? It's not often he gets to show his ability One hand reaches out for his scotch glass, the man taking a gulp. "Thank you. I've been playing since I was a boy. Basketball and music." He chuckles softly.

Brows raise as he sets the glass down, his hands resuming the play that his vectors were formerly in charge of. "I doubt a Goth club would have much use for a classical piano player. I'd certainly be thrilled with anything I could potentially get. An income would be a pleasant change of pace from being homeless and jobless."

"Yeah, I can sort of understand why you wouldn't mind a job at this point," Nadira glances around before she sips her glass again. "Not that your place isn't lovely." She shakes her head a little. "Let me help you, then. I'll see if I can at least hook you up with a job as a bouncer, and find out if there's anywhere hiring classical pianists. I have a friend who works as a DJ, so she knows all kinds of music stuff… she works at Tartarus too, so perhaps she might know of something you can do. It just seems a shame to waste your talents on me." She sips at the scotch.

"It's never a waste to play the piano, even when I'm the only one who can listen to it." Griffin smiles softly, his fingers trailing expertly over the keys. He's a bit on the rusty side, but it's a bit like riding a bike: you never really forget. "It's a love of music. And some of the bums seem to enjoy the music. I'm just happy to bring a bright note to their day." He chuckles softly.

"Hm, as run down as this place may be, I may end up staying. If I can find a job…well, my sister just found me after ten years, and she has my son." A sad look briefly crosses his features at that mention, though he continues to play. "So I'm sure all of my funds will be going to her."

"Your son?" Nadira's lips curve into a frown, giving a bit of a nod. "I guess I can understand putting your money towards that… but why don't you live with her and your son? I'm sure he'd love having his father around." Another long swallow of the scotch, wincing slightly at the burn.

The smile he wears suddenly turns sad as he continues to play, his white eyes staring down at the keys. After a moment, the scotch glass seems to float to his lips, and he takes a larger swig than before, wincing ever-so-slightly. "It's a very long story…but to keep it short, his mother and I were only in my son's life for his first five months, before the Government took me away. I don't believe he even knows that I exist, for now." A soft chuckle. "I don't want to impose myself in his life so quickly…"

The sad smile disappears, replaced by a frown. "I manifested right when my wife told me that she wanted a divorce…she didn't survive the ordeal." Slowly, the music slows to a stop, and his eyes fade back to their normal color, the man taking up his scotch and draining it down. Without looking back up to Nadira, he raises to his feet, moving over to the bottle of scotch and pouring himself another glass, before offering the bottle toward the woman.

"Manifestation can be… it can be intense, yes. I got lucky that way… not so lucky in others." Nadira nods, taking a long swig of her scotch before offering it forward for more. Might as well, after the day they've had. "It's good to know he's safe with your sister, though. That's a good thing. Family's… important."

Griffin chuckles softly, pouring more scotch for Nadira with that pained smile on his face. "Mmm, yes. She's done amazing with him, considering the circumstances. She was 19 when I was taken away…and I'm fairly sure that she's been caring for my son since then." He raises his glass toward Nadira, taking another long swig of the amber liquid.

Then, he's reaching into the pocket of his shirt, pulling out two photographs. One is a candid shot of a young boy, playing basketball. The other is an older picture, wrinkled from being folded for over ten years, of a beautiful redheaded woman. He peers at these, before offering them out to Nadira, so she can get a good look at them.

After a moment, however, he laughs at himself. "Here I am, showing a beautiful woman photographs of my wife who has been dead and buried for ten years…I must seem horribly pathetic right now."

"It's not pathetic. I'm honored that you would be so honest. Someone I knew recently had lost his wife a few years ago and still felt strange about things. He opened up to me a bit… so it's not really that pathetic. I just think I must be the type of woman widowers decide to talk to. Getting to be a habit, I guess." Nadira murmurs, but frowns. Considering what happened with the last windower she'd met, though… she folds her arms, taking a long swallow of the scotch, grimacing at the burn. She studies the photos for a long time before offering them back. "Your sister sounds like an amazing woman. I don't know that I could have raised a child on my own when I was nineteen. I don't know that I could have raised myself at that age."

The man chuckles softly, tucking the pictures back into his pocket. With a gesture for her to join him, he limps his way over to the couch, scotch bottle in one hand, glass in the other. "I normally don't open up about it to anyone. Likely a combination of having spoken to my sister for the first time in ten years, the evening's spectacular events, and the wonders of our good friend Scotch." He seats himself, rubbing at his right knee— the one that seems to give him trouble.

"'Kenzie always was mature for her age, and she and I were always close. It really isn't much of a surprise to me that she would take over Owain's raising in my stead. She loves him." His smile turns fond. "He's turning out a lot like his dad, from what little I've seen when I was watching him, back in Chicago. A basketball player in the making, and a little musical genius, if the violin he faithfully carried around was any indication."

"My brother and I used to be close. He came and found me recently but… he disappeared. He was caught up in some really nasty stuff.. I'm not entirely sure where he is now." Nadira muses, glancing at her glass of scotch and taking another swallow of the amber liquid before she settles on the couch next to him. "He sounds lovely. I always wished I could play an instrument, but we moved around a lot and so it was hard enough having a book collection… carrying an instrument with us when we moved would have been nigh impossible."

"My…well, I hope you can find him." This is said with a slight frown as he watches Nadira settle on the old couch next to him. "It's always awful, losing contact with a sibling…" Griffin takes a long swig, wincing once. Thankfully, the scotch is starting to numb him, if only a little. He'll sleep well tonight, that's for certain.

"It's never too late to start, you know. I'm quite capable of teaching piano lessons, if you're interested." It is, after all, what he went to school for. "I'm also able to play violin, cello, guitar, bass, and percussion fairly well, and I'm familiar with just about every musical instrument, at least enough to teach their use." He drains his glass again, pouring more for himself, and waiting to see if Nadira would like more. "It would be rather nice, doing what I went through college for, even if only informally."

The scotch is nice. Nadira offers her glass once again. She can hold it decently… something useful for bartenders. "I wouldn't mind that." She does chuckle, though. "If I was doing what I went to college for, I'd be back in Egypt, knee-deep in sand with windburned lips and a chisel in my hand squinting over some broken piece of pottery. They make archaeology sound so very romantic when it's really a whole lot of nothing."

The narrow-faced man chuckles softly as he pours more scotch for Nadira, offering her a warm smile. "An archaeologist. Must say, you're the first one I've met. It does sound romantic, but I'm not sure how well I could do, digging around and examining broken pottery." Griffin raises his shot glass to clink against Nadira's. "To new friendships, and to the hopes that family ties will become and stay strong." He's fairly good at holding his alcohol, at least, enjoying the slight numbness that comes from two rapidly consumed glasses of scotch.

"To friendships and family… may they both stay safe." Nadira murmurs, the thought of her own family causing a bitter taste in her mouth. She washes it down with the scotch after she raises her glass to him.

Griffin washes his own bitter taste back with a long drink of scotch, his eyes closing briefly as he savors the taste of the scotch, rather than the melancholy thoughts that haunt the corners of his conciousness at all times. Then, those green eyes open once more, and the man offers that gentle smile to Nadira. "If you'd like, you can sleep here tonight. It's not the most comfortable bed in the world, but it works." As an afterthought, he adds, "I'll sleep on the couch."

There's a slight smile as she looks around the place for a moment. "How about you come to my place and the offer still stands. I can guarantee the couch there is comfortable if you're set on sleeping on the couch. It's safe there, if you're worried about getting caught. And… to be honest, I could use the company." Nadira looks embarrassed. "Don't really have a lot of friends here. Hard to start new somewhere you know no one. I just work all the time. So I could use the company. Someone to talk to. Now who sounds pathetic?"

Griffin's brows raise, and he casts a glance about the apartment. The recluse in him wants to decline her offer, stay here in this nice secluded place, with the bums and the spring in the couch that sticks into hips when said couch is used as a bed. He deserves this, in his own mind. However, Nadira's other remarks override that reclusive self-loathing that he carries with him, and a warm smile is offered to the woman.

"Well, I suppose if you put it that way…I would be happy to come keep you company, Nadira. I couldn't let a lovely woman such as yourself go lonely." Chuckling, he drains the glass of scotch rather quickly. "So long as you don't have any objections to me returning here tomorrow afternoon. My sister is supposed to be bringing lunch and her patented cupcakes." He chuckles. "I may even invite you along."

"Alright, that's a deal. But you're getting breakfast in the morning. It's only fair. And I suppose I can't keep you forever. Especially if she's got cupcakes." Nadira smiles gently, finishing her glass before pulling herself to her feet. "I wouldn't want to intrude on brother-sister time. Unless you're about to protest that it's fine and then I will begrudgingly accept, because there are cupcakes involved."

Once the glass is completely drained, Griff raises to his own feet, reaching out to take the glass from her. He then limps his way into the kitchen, dumping the ice out and placing said glasses in the sink. "Oh, I suppose I can deal with breakfast in the morning." His stomach almost lets out a growl at the thought of a potential home-cooked breakfast. "And I believe I am about to protest that it's fine, so long as you don't object to a potential grilling from my little sister, until she realizes that I really did just meet you this evening." He smirks.

"Her cupcakes are to die for." Once finished in the kitchen, he limps back over to Nadira, smiling and holding out a hand. "Would you like a ride again, milady? You'll have to tell me where to go, but I assure you, it's much faster than walking."

"Oh, I know how awkward meetings with siblings can go." Nadira smiles wryly. "Careful, I may try and convince her that we've been having a passionate love affair for months now and how I've decided to leave my fiancé of seven years to be with you because our love is so passionate and serious." She raises an eyebrow. "But somehow I think your sister would be smart enough to see though my deception." She takes the hand, giving a nod. "I think I can direct you just fine. Shall we depart?"

She actually earns an audible laugh from the normally quiet man for that remark. "You can try, but she may attack you for it. If you're willing to stave off my jealous sibling's ire, then you're more than welcome to try to convince her." Once her hand is in his, he reaches down, attempting to scoop her up and off of her feet, assuming she doesn't protest. "I think we shall." His eyes turn white again, glowing as the door opens and he raises into the air, Nadira held securely to his chest.

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