Strangers In The Night


eve_icon.gif lisa_icon.gif

Scene Title Strangers in the Night
Synopsis Exchanging glances / Wondering in the night / What were the chances
Date March 31, 2019


Elmhurst is dark at night.

After 8:00pm the scheduled rolling blackouts managing power drain in the Safe Zone come to dramatically impact this otherwise affluent neighborhood. With Spring only having just arrive, there's no twilight hours by the time the street lights go out, throwing the neighborhood into darkness until dawn's rise.

Most Safe Zone residents choose to stay indoors after dark, choose to avoid the dangers still inherent to nighttime New York. But not everyone has that privilege, not everyone can afford to tell the world they're done at dark. Sometimes, there's work to be done, and you don't get to decide when that is.

An hour and a half after lights-out, one such resident of the Safe Zone finds herself sitting in the shelter of a bus stop that hasn't run in nearly a decade, courier bag sitting at her side and face illuminated only by the glow of a cigarette in one hand. Her boots clunk together at the toe, soles worn down to flat and treadless things. She exhales a lungful of smoke, straightening her glasses as she watches the other side of the street through the drizzling rain that's falling.

It's one thing to walk home from work in the dark. It's another to do that in the rain.

So like any person, she waits.

Because she's patient.

And that's what matters.

This has been a good day for Eve, now a good evening.

She's just been able to roll a full joint and light the thing without any explosions, any destruction of the precious herb or her papers. The pale woman is grinning to herself as she sways down the pavement. It's been just over a week since her "reintroduction" to the Safe Zone proper. Control. That's what she was working on. What she needed the most of. As the woman puffs on her joint her eyes that glow a deep crimson shade find the girl sitting at the bus stop. That's not all that odd. Especially not to the former seer.

Instead she walks as she usually does, a pop of blood red lightning leaps off of her fingertips and fizzles harmlessly into the air. That flash of light is brief but it comes along with a stab of pain in the center of the raven haired woman's chest. The black trench coat she wears is old, holes burned into various places. Her boots are dirty, also old. She's not wasting her good clothes, not yet. She hasn't learned enough.

Eve exhales a large plume of smoke and follows it with a whistle that echos down the street as she draws closer to the run down bus stop.

Straight into a fellow smoker.

The blonde that interjects herself into Eve's path comes on the same beat the rain begins to taper off. She pivots on the flat heel of her boots, narrowly misses colliding with the former seer, and pinches her cigarette between pursed lips. "Whoa! Hey! Sorry about that, sweetheart." She reaches out and pats her hands down on Eve's arms and sides.

"You alright?" The blonde asks, pushing her thick-framed glasses up the bridge of her nose. "It's ah, dark. You know, on account of the— " she sniffs the air, "power." Those barely visibly blue eyes narrow at Eve, then focus on her joint, then back up.

"Lark of my heart," the blonde says with a lopsided smile, one hand still on Eve's arm. "Hey uh, you holding, or?"

The older woman didn't carry guns anymore, she didn't trust herself around those yet. Not with how volatile her nature had become… instead the blonde woman feels the hilt of a knife of some kind. Eve grins as the woman steadies herself and the tall woman's eyes flash in that night. "I didn't see that," it drives her wild still to say that. I didn't see that. "But I still see yes. No power." Obviously at this moment pleased and not missing her visions that kept her awake or drained her sleep the woman takes a pull from the joint and peers down at the woman's hand. "I'm sorry love," stepping back a step and tilting her head.

A spider web of lightning fans out from her shoulder down to her hands leaving smoking holes in the fabric of her clothing. "Not too safe to touch! Watch your pinky sweetie!" Eve doesn't say the yeehaw but she's thinking it at least. "This is all I have. We can share. Hmm?" Blowing smoke out of her nostrils, Eve moves to hand the joint over to the bespectacled woman.

The generosity is met with a momentary look of surprise, followed by the stranger snuffing out her cigarette on the wall of the bus stop, then tucking it into her pocket. "Well shit, alright. I gotta keep reminding myself how legitimately generous you Safe Zone people are. Yeah, sure, mi casa," she motions to the bus stop, "est su casa."

Grimacing, she saunters back into the shelter of the bus stop from the misting rain, flicking a near unseen look over her shoulder to Eve. "If it's any consolation I don't intend on knifing you in the dark or what-not. Sometimes you just gotta say these things out loud, y'know?"

She takes a seat on the bench, brows up over the frames of her glasses and one fingerless-gloved hand extended not for the joint, but in greeting. "Lisa Bradbury. Like the author except for the racism."

"It's been a long time since I've been afraid of something like that but thanks!" Following after the stranger she grins at the joke, "What a lovely home. I just stopped sleeping in ruins, this is an upgrade." Eve isn't bothered by the woman but she does take another pull of the joint before extending her hand quickly, "I'm Eve," a too wide grin plastered on her face. She hasn't been able to smoke like she is use too, the feeling feels fresh. It's nice, a heady sativa as if the pale woman needed any help with imagination.

"No racism is nice, rips the world in two. Opposite sides. Look what it's done here." Waving her hand around before she's trying to pass the joint again. "I like the name Lisa."

Leaning against the bus stop to stare over and down at Lisa with smoke slowly pouring from her mouth. "Where do you hail from?"

Lisa shrugs, switch the handshake for a joint-pilfering two-fingered snatch. "All over the place," is her dismissive answer as she takes a slow drag. Lisa's eyes close as she inhales, then holds her breath and passes the joint back to Eve. "California, originally," she says in a slow and steady exhale, smoke wafting over her lips, "was born in Bakersfield which might be less of a shithole now than when I was born." Lisa smirks, "Because the Dead Zone is a step up. Is the joke." She grimaces. "I wasn't really sure that one landed."

"Bakersfield! I blew up some mean old dudes over there during the war. Did you ever hear about the Battle of LAX?!" War days, fun days. The best days. She and Lynette, Luther and the others had done so much damage there. Liberated so many but then Lisa is talking about failed jokes and set ups.

"I was just set up! By my ancient Mother and Father!" That's not necessarily true. She willingly allowed the Crossing to continue knowing the cost but she didn't see her current status, not in a million years. "Tricky women, the Fates." Stretching her hand out to look at the gleam of red that shines underneath her pale skin. "Tricky, Tricky. Tricky."

"Tell me about your set up!" They seemed to be sharing stories.

She doesn't.

"Yeah I didn't exactly do much fighting in the war, I'm more of a hider, not a fighter." Lisa admits with a grimace. "But you know, I didn't wind up against a wall or drowned or whatever so… you know how it is." Sounding unconvinced of herself, Lisa briefly looks down to the street, then back up to Eve. She squints to try and get a better look at her in the dim light spilling over from neighboring parts of the city that still have power.

"I pull weeds and paint doors," Lisa explains, which isn't so much what Eve asked but a different kind of set up entirely. "You don't strike me as a fuckin' Church lady," comes with a snort, "but then again neither am I, but they pay me to pull weeds and paints doors, so… you know, it ain't all bad, right?" Lisa eyes the joint. "What does a disaster like you do for a living?"

"Hiders can be a good thing! Smart thing, a friend told me to hide more once," Eve snorts because she of course didn't listen to that. "But yes you're alive, you're well. You don't seem like you're begging at the bare ends of the back alley roads." Taking the joint to smoke on it thoughtfully while asked what it is she does for a living.

"I've always been a trickster. Meddler but I guided or forced your eyes in the right direction." There's a frown now as she feels it that emptiness from what she had lost. It was so easy to revel in what she gained despite the pain. "That's all changed now. I don't see like that anymore. I can't tell them a thing." Looking down at her hands. "I may still be a meddler though, a trickster. Just a different kind." Eve's brow furrows and she shakes her head, "I still have work to do." That last bit to herself before continuing, "Church is just an idea meant to unite us. Enslave some. Do you need a higher power?" Tapping the ash off the end of the joint gently she watches the hot orange ember, that color reminds her of those eyes. "…or can you manage yourself?"

"It's different for everyone. Some need the idea, me? I'm not so sure." Snapping back into it, "Oh oh! I own a bar, Cat's Cradle! And I use to be a terrorist."

Lisa slides a side-long look over to Eve in the way someone might a street-corner doomsayer. Incredulity turns into resignation as she takes the joint back and draws in another lungful of smoke with a thoughtful nod. "Good t'see New York's still totally fucking crazy," is said with a measure of wistful appreciation. "I used t'live here for a little while, before…" she waves one hand around, motioning to the night dark city. "City's always changing."

Thoughtfully turning the joint over in her hand, Lisa knocks some ashes to the street with a flick of her thumb. "How's a terrorist own a bar? Or are you one of the good guy terrorists? I'm still not one hundred percent clear on that whole thing."

"As if the West Coast is even saner!" Retorts Eve with an impish grin, slowly she snakes her arm around the bus stop swaying slowly as red lightning glitters around her hands and dazzles to her fingertips. She's like a fucking crimson sprite. Here to foretell your doom, or just seal it. "These bricks have changed but they stay the same. The energy is constant. You can feel it if you tip your head back just a little… close your eyes a fraction." Wiggling those pale fingertips.

"Why I fought for my blood brothers and sisters. For the downtrodden. I liked to blow things up as well." And now Eve's a living bomb, how ironic.

"PARIAH were considered the enemy once but we proved ourselves. Schisms and all. We found our way and look now." A grimace on her face as she looks around the street, were things better off? Absolutely on the grand scale. Something Eve was use to looking at more than day to day. "Progress takes time. I was pardoned for all my crimes but some would still call me a devil." The former seer isn't bothered by that.

"Which are you? Sinner or a saint? Lost Lamb or a Shepherd?"

A hoarse laugh escapes Lisa in response to Eve's antics, and she offers the joint back and slowly lifts up to her feet. "Wow, Eve. You might be the most extra bitch I have ever met, and trust me when I tell you I've met some extra bitches." Scrubbing a hand across her brow, Lisa rakes a hand through her hair and offers Eve another lopsided — if difficult to see — smile.

"Y'know, I love this city's particular brand of crazy." Lisa confesses with a shrug. "But I can only take so much of it in a night. I'm gonna walk home in the dark," she says with a jerk of her thumb over her shoulder, "alone, in the rain. Y'know, like a single lady does in a big post-Orwell city."

Those red eyes gleam brightly at Lisa and Eve dips her head, "Extra knows extra." Extra could even be subdued sometimes huh?? The dark haired woman takes the joint and takes a deep pull. "One's brainpan can't help but sizzle a little hotter after the things I've seen. The things I've lived. Is that drama?" Eve doesn't really care. Eyeing Lisa still, "You know, you have that sort of face." Practically ignoring the fact that the blonde was giving her leave. "The kind of face that can make you forget you got lost on a lazy Sunday afternoon."

"Come to my bar sometime hmm? Have a drink on me and a smoke! Maybe another night of crazy you can tolerate." A wicked grin crosses her unpainted lips. "Or I'll find you, that happens." It use too at least, a lot.

"Eve, do you get a lot of restraining orders?" Lisa asks, tongue-in-cheek but only just so. She pivots on her heels, reaching into her courier bag for something, a card. "Here, how's about instead of you just creeping across town however it is you do, you just come knock on my door sometime, yeah?"

Lisa hands out a business card for the Farkas Psychiatric office, except all of Doctor Farkas' information has been scratched out in Sharpie marker. On the back Lisa Bradbury is scrawled in the same marker, along with a mostly legible address. Lisa doesn't really wait for Eve to take it, but instead just sidles up and tucks it into Eve's hair behind her ear.

"Fair?" Lisa asks with a rise of her brows.

"Only about six or seven times," no bigggieeeee. Eve continues grinning and she nods readily to the woman's words. "I've learned a new trick that makes doors obsolete! But for you, for you Miss Whacker I will use the proper channels, entrances, doooorways." A merry tune escapes the woman as Lisa tucks the card behind her ear, how nice of her. The older woman doesn't reach to take it, it won't fly away before her fingertips wrap around the edge.

"I'll bring some of that good ol Mary Jane!" Waving her joint hand with smoke rising quickly off of her hand, evaporating before long.

"Be safe out there, our Safe Zone isn't always that safe. Hide hide if you need." A gleam of crimson from her eyes as well as a flash down her back. Eve will need to disperse soon. She's getting better at holding it, almost.

Lisa cracks a smile, walking backwards and watching Eve flicker like an incandescent bulb in the night. "Yeah, doors. Absolutely. Definitely a good idea, you never know what you'll be walking into." With one hand raised in the air into a fist, in some sort of gesture of mock solidarity, Lisa slips away into the darkness, leaving Eve and the remnants of her joint on the sidewalk.

It would be later that Eve realizes the trick played on her, that the card Lisa gave her wasn't ever for her home.

But that was a story for another day.

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