Something That Isn't Girly


mack_icon.gif peyton_icon.gif

Scene Title Something That Isn't Girly
Synopsis Peyton asks for help training herself not to react like a "stupid girl." Mack learns that a certain friend of theirs is not as dead as they thought.
Date February 25, 2010

Upper West Side Peyton's Apartment

Having spent the last three nights at Faye's and then the library, Peyton wanted nothing more than her own bed and the comforts of her home tonight — she'll just hole up and try to avoid letting Aaron see her face. However, she also wanted a peace of mind that only comes with feeling some semblance of control — even if false. On a whim she called Mack, no doubt surprising the man, asking him if he would meet her at his apartment — that she needed his help with self-defense. Who could resist a helpless socialite asking for an ass kicking — and promising not to get mad when it is delivered in full?

Once at her apartment, she changed into yoga pants, socks, and an old sweatshirt. There is music playing — The Ramones of all things — on the stereo, and she waits for Mack to show.

Mack's arrival is announced by a firm knock. Its the kind of knock one learns working for the NYPD. It gets heard, but it isn't the brash pounding most people imagine in connection with the police. A Detective has to learn to back it off a little; you want the occupant to know you're there, without aggravating them for no reason.

As for his attire, he's wearing a pair of adidas running pants, matching shoes, and an unadorned black hoodie. He smells vaguely of a subtle cologne and cigarette smoke and mocha. An odd combination, but at least it doesn't involve liqour. And the sunglasses. Always the sunglasses.

When Peyton appears at the door, it's easy to see why she needs his help. Her undereyes are that mottled combination of odd colors — blue, purple, yellow, even green — that bruises get when they begin to heal. He'll know from his own experience that it's not the kind of black eye that you get from being hit in the eyes, but rather the area between them, due to drainage. One side of her upper lip is puffy, a healing cut in the corner. In short, it looks like she got her face smashed into a wall — which is exactly what happened.

"I thought you quit smoking," she says by way of greeting, though she knows his body will heal itself of the damage, so it's not a nagging remark. "Danko's free," she adds, stepping out of his way and into the apartment. The living room beyond the entry way has been re-arranged, furniture moved so that there's an open space for fighting on top of a classy Persian rug for padding.

"Lots of people are free. At least, thats what I hear." Mack enters with his hands stuffed in the pocket of his hoodie. "Why would I quit smoking? Thats for all you mortals, the willpower and shit. For the dogs, man." He hesitates just inside the door, though, looking down at his shoes. Her place is 'nice'. It has 'nice' things. His own apartment actually isn't half bad, but its not 'nice'. "Should I take off my shoes?" Maybe the only thing that can really make Mack uncomfortable is 'nice'. Without a badge, anyway.

"Shoes? No." The place is nice, but the couch will show it's lived in as there's blankets piled up and not put away. The coffee table has a couple of glasses on it that haven't been cleaned up, and an empty plate with crumbs on it. "It's just an apartment. My parents. They're gone, but it's paid for, and don't worry about messing it up. Mi casa es su casa, que sera sera, whatever."

She smiles and heads to the area she's cleared. "Thanks for coming. Cat Chesterfield gave me a name of a … Kra… Krav … Krag Magnum? Something or another instructor, but I don't want to go to someone I don't know." She waits for him to join her. "No weapons, it was just face to face. He pinned me, and I tried to knee him but he knew what I was going to do and spun me around before I could do anything. How do I fight that?"

"Krav Maga? Thats some crazy shit… they'd be better than me. I'm tainted because I know in the end I'll heal. But we'll see what we can do." He takes his shoes off anyway- if he kicks her in the face, there's no real reason to make sure he breaks her nose, is there? Theres a funny thought… "Well, I didn't see it so I don't know what he did. But the answer is do something he doesn't expect you to do. Girls always try to knee you in the balls or stomp on your foot. Its kinda pathetic, really. Do something that isn't girly like headbutt 'em, or punch 'em. You remember how to throw a punch, right?"

"So I'm predictable?" Peyton says, wrinkling her nose as if that's the worst possible thing to be. Well, it is, in the case of self defense, perhaps. She nods. "I didn't really have a lot of hand room, the way he pinned me, but a head butt — maybe." She frowns. "Here, he had me like this…" she nods him back to the wall, so that his arms are mostly pinned by his own back, behind him. She puts her hand up to his neck, thumb lightly against the hollow of his throat, and her other hand pressing against his stomach. "The throat — he was pushing in. It hurt," she says quietly. "I'm not sure if I could have gotten enough power to a head butt."

Mmm. "This is a shitty position. Best answer is, don't ever let someone get you here. If they do, you either gotta work your arms free or you're fucked." Its odd, to see Mack just standing there letting her hold him against the wall. Thoughts drift in and out over possible exit strategies from such a position, but when one considers they have to work for someone considerably smaller (and less able to heal injury), none of them seem satisfactory. "A headbutt would have pushed him thumb right into your throat. For me, that would really suck- but take him by surprise. For you, that'd be dead Pey Pey."

"Well, yeah, I'll keep that in mind next time," Peyton says with a chuckle. There is something different about her — she seems less fragile despite the ugly injury, and less fearful. "I was heading up to the roof at that Linderman party and he was walking down on the same stairwell. It's my fault, totally. I freaked out and pinned myself against the wall, really, to let him pass, and he saw it and jumped on it. Like a dog smelling fear." She shrugs, one shoulder lifting as she drops her hand from his throat. "I know better now… it was a stupid reaction. I need to train myself not to react … like a stupid girl."

"Its not just a 'girl' reaction, Pey. Its most people. Because everyone is afraid, and it takes a lot of people a lot longer to learn how to act even when they're scared. Just remember that with the right word, the right look, if you make them believe that you're holding something back… that you've got a trick up your sleeve that they can't figure out… you can make them as uncomfortable as you are." Mack pushes off the wall when he's released, and then indicates for her to walk toward him. "Plus, watch this. This shit is just cool."

She nods. "Thanks. See, I knew you could help me. I'd ask Cardinal but he's not really in the right shape to —" she stops, realizing that Mack hasn't been in the library, probably doesn't know Cardinal is back in any shape. She keeps walking, though, so he can show her whatever he is planning. "He's stuck in shadow form, Mack, but he's alive," she says softly.

Mack doesn't move as she gets closer. He was standing there, the subtle signs all there that he was prepared to move. The slight tensing of his muscles, his entire body taut and prepared to move with praticed eased. But then he just doesn't. Whatever look is in his eyes is lost behind his sunglasses. And he just stands there, as if frozen all of a sudden.

"He's at the library," Peyton whispers, stopping in front of him, then reaching for his hand to squeeze, to let Mack know she understands. Her own eyes shine a bit more from the sudden moisture that floods them, though she manages not to actually cry. "I figured Liz would have told you. I'm sorry. I didn't mean to surprise you with it, Gabriel." She shakes her head and the tears glimmer again. "This doesn't leave here — but he saved us all. He … he wrapped the bomb in shadow and it went off and that's why he is like he is. But he saved the world by doing it."

Mack lets her take his hand, but he still doesn't move for several moments. When he does, its to wrap her in a hug, assuming she allows it. If she does, its a quick thing, but firm. And then he's pulling away, face still, all emotion convienently hid behind his sunglasses. "I gotta go." His words are nuetral, carefully devoid of emotion that might betray any of the inner workings of the Mack Man. "Its good news. Well, better than it could have been. But I gotta go. I'll text you." And then he's leaving, walking out her door with all the confidence and possibly arrogance they were talking about at the beginning of this conversation.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License