Quid Pro Quo


ewan_icon.gif elisabeth_icon.gif

Scene Title Quid Pro Quo
Synopsis Ewan picks Liz's pocket — or tries — and Liz tries, in her own way, to save all the kids out there who could get caught by HomeSec. Cuz fuck all of them. In exchange? Maybe a new informant.
Date February 3, 2009


Mid-day, or perhaps rather afternoon, before sunset, before curfew, and all is well in the city of New York. Or is it? Ewan doesn't give much of a care if it is or not, as long as nothing goes 'splodey right at the street-corner where he hangs, looking about as bored as only a young man can. Loitering with intent official people probably would call it.

He's leaned against the brick wall, the cold pressing through his shirt and coat, his hip pushed out a little to show off a crack of pale skin at his waist. It's cold though, so there's nothing much actually -showing-, as such. He's hungry, not terribly interested in catching death of cold. His bag rests on the ground next to his feet, and he eyes what people there are, people passing by. Looking for marks, looking for anyone possibly interested in anything for sale, looking for a chance for dinner and possibly a night not spent in a cardboard box.

The blond woman coming his way down the street looks wiped-out tired. She's wearing a pair of heavy brown pants and boots, a heavily lined denim jacket over top of it. Her hair's pulled back in a clip. She's not paying too much attention to the world around her, or so it appears anyway. Mostly she's just thinking real hard. She does, however, nod to a street vendor as she passes by. She stops to speak to the newspaper guy, exchanging a few words and a tired smile with him before continuing on her way. She doesn't carry a purse with her, and her hands are jammed in her pockets as she walks. She skirts near where Ewan's loitering, seeming not to pay attention to him.

Ewan cants his head a little to the side, the blonde woman catching his attention for a moment. That air of preoccupation is exactly what he is looking for. On the other hand, no purse, and her hands in her pockets, that probably means any attempts to pick them would be discovered. Then again, not a lot of buyers and other marks around today, and he'd kill for some warm food without a sermon to go with it.

So, he lets his gaze move on for a while, then straightens up from his leaning, bending his knees to pick up his bag from the ground, and heads in her general direction and try to create an 'accidental' bumping of bodies. And, you know.. attempt to find out if she has anything pickable on her.

One of the nice parts about wearing a jacket and not carrying a purse is that her wallet is stowed inside her jacket — he'd have to cop a cheap feel and take a big risk to get it. On the other hand, Elisabeth's badge is tucked into her waistband under the coat. And the flat thing feels like a wallet if you don't know what you grabbed. So when he bumps into her, startling her a moment, Liz's eyes meet Ewan's and she reaches out to steady him… not realizing for the initial moment that he's picked her badge right off her belt. "Oh, hey….! Sorry about that. You okay?"

Flat thing tucked into belt, yeah, that feels about right. Wierd place to put a wallet, but who is Ewan to complain? He quickly flips the thing into the sleeve of his jacket, letting it ride up higher into his shirt with practiced ease, as he stumbles into Elisabeth's offer of steadying arms. Blinking, he blushes, nodding as he meets her gaze, "I'm sorry, ma'm, uh, miss… I wasn't looking, um, yeah, yeah…" He's still on his feet, and he's going to slide into slightly embarrased mode now, "I'm sorry. I'm fine. Just… wasn't looking. You alright?"

Elisabeth tilts her head and smiles faintly. It lights up her features. She's been a cop too long, though, not to take mental inventory when such bumps occur. "Yeah, I'm fine, kid…. but I think maybe you oughtta hand it back. Today's not the day to go stealing my shit. Besides… I got no interest in running you in and my badge isn't going to get you far." She doesn't let go of him, her tone remaining both calm and easy.

Ewan blinks, and there's this moment where one can see him considering his options, the wheels in his head audiably whirring as it were. Running is almost as instinctual as breathing, but the mention of running him in makes the inevitable chase and possible capture all that more dangerous. So in the end, he sags a little in her grip, relaxing, and shakes the arm her badge vanished up in, until it reappears in his hand. A wallet could've been worth an attempt, but… a badge? It'd be just his luck, trying to make a cop a mark. "Fine." he breathes, just a little downcast, "…is there anyone in this country even worth trying to steal from?" he then mumbles, mostly a retoric question, but one at least kinda open to answers, in case she has any.

"Not in this town, probably. Not lately," Elisabeth answers mildly, retrieving her badge from his quick fingers. Tucking it back into her belt, her free hand still with a grip on him, Liz studies the kid. And she doesn't bother with subtlety this time, she laces her voice heavily with suggestion. "~You pickin' pockets for the hell of it, kid, or out of need?~"

Ewan doesn't take entirely well to suggestive tones, be it from a cop or not, especially when he finds himself still being held on to. He arches an eyebrow slightly, the defeated air about him brushed away as he straightens up to his none-all-too-impressive … lack of lenght. "Because picking pocket beats selling myself in cold alleyways, or just plain hoping they'll have a free bunk at the shelters tonight." he replies, perhaps a touch more acid in his tone than was originally intended. But, what can you do? He might be old enough to not technically be one, anymore, but all of him radiates teenager still.

Tilting her head to study him, Elisabeth nods. "All right," she tells the boy quietly, gently letting him go. "Don't run off yet," she says, reaching into her jacket and coming out with her wallet. All she's got on her is about $35, but she pulls it out and holds it out to him.

With a faint smile, Liz adds quietly, "And it'll go further if you head down to a place called the Nite Owl. Natasha's got a weakness for hard-luck cases. And the food's good."

Ewan finds himself hessitating as she asks him to stay, and then cants his head to the side, eyeing the money she offers him, before he accepts it. Quickly, before she might change her mind. What is it with people in this town, awyway? He tries to steal from them, they catch him, then give him more money than he would've stole in the first place. He just doesn't know what to make of it all, so instead, he just nods slowly. "The… Nite Owl." he repeats, and then gives her a bit of a suspicious look. "…you ain't gonna haul me in?" Badge equal cop still, right? Or did he miss a memo?

Elisabeth shrugs. "Not today, kid," she tells him, her expression weary. "You taken a look around you this week? We all got bigger problems." She hesitates, and then looks at him. "And I'm not assuming anything about you or people you know…. but you tell any of the unregistered kids on the street that you *might* know to get low, stay low, and *stay out of trouble*. Homeland Security is not being kind." Because you know what? She might have been forced to Register, but she's going to try to keep the kids out of their grip. "Don't get caught. For any reason." She looks at him with eyes that are shuttered, though compassionate.

Apparently, even Ewan can catch a break, even if it's far from how he imagined one. The mention of 'unregistered' has him tensing up a little, hiking his back up on his shoulder for a moment, as the bills disappear into various pockets and spaces in his clothing and bag. Stupid to keep that kind of money in one place, after all. "Stay out of trouble, and don't get caught…I'll spread the word, if I see anyone who… needs to hear that." he offers, quietlike, with a touch of worry in his eye. Homeland Security sounds… not fun. At all. "…thanks, ma'm." He doesn't specify as to just why he's thankful, but one can assume she just told him all he needed to know. He cracks her a quick, wry grin, might even lean towards 'cocky'. "If I swung that way, I'd say that sorta warning's worth something. Maybe you'll let me buy you coffee, sometime."

The blue eyes on him warm a bit with amusement. "Tell you what," Liz says softly. "You can return the favor sometime, even if you don't swing this way." She pulls from her inner pocket a card, one of her personal ones. "You run across information you think a cop needs to know, you gimme a call, okay?" She shrugs a bit. "Hell… you run across someone who needs a little help, you can gimme a call too — I can usually be trusted to help someone out long as they're not killin' people." She shoves her hands back in her pockets.

Ewan accepts the card, eyeing it for a moment and then nods to Elisabeth. "Okay, that sounds fair enough." he agrees, the card disappearing in the same manner that the money did - into his secret little stashes, where money and other treasure is as safe as it ever gets, carried around with him. "I try not to hang around people actually killing people, it's not good for you." he adds, a touch absentminded, as his stomach currently reminds him that he now has money, and directions to a place where food might be good. And maybe there'll be warmth, too. He clears his throat a little, his smile returning as he belatedly actually offers a quiet "…just, you know, sorry. You were just looking like I could make it, so… look a little more alive, when you walk around?" A mild suggestion, that is all.

There's a bitter cast to her smile when she offers it. "Yeah… thanks for the advice, kid." She studies him a moment more, maybe memorizing his face, maybe just lost in thought a moment. And then she says quietly, "Good luck out there, okay? You decide you want something more than skulking on the fringes, you come find me. I'll hook you up with something better than selling yourself in a cold alley or pickin' pockets, okay?"

Ewan isn't quite sure if he's supposed to linger still, or if he's free to go, but after the offer she gives him, he figures he at least can give it a try. He flashes her a bit of a wider, boyish grin, tossing his half-long hair back, barely refraining from another cocky comment. "Okay, ma'm. I'll keep it in mind… not like I'm doing much business between the weather and curfew, anyway." And on that cheerful note, he hoists his bag up to slink his other arm through the other strap, to carry it more or less on his back. "Thanks." And granted that he's free to go, goes he does. To find some warmth, and food. Preferably both at the same time.

February 3rd: Southern Comfort
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