Strangers In The Park


darius_icon.gif eve_icon.gif

Scene Title Strangers in the Park
Synopsis Darius goes for his usual evening constitutional in the park and comes across a stranger with something even stranger to say.
Date December 24, 2008

Central Park

Central Park has been, and remains, a key attraction in New York City, both for tourists and local residents. Though slightly smaller, approximately 100 acres at its southern end scarred by and still recovering from the explosion, the vast northern regions of the park remain intact.

An array of paths and tracks wind their way through stands of trees and swathes of grass, frequented by joggers, bikers, dog-walkers, and horsemen alike. Flowerbeds, tended gardens, and sheltered conservatories provide a wide array of colorful plants; the sheer size of the park, along with a designated wildlife sanctuary add a wide variety of fauna to the park's visitor list. Several ponds and lakes, as well as the massive Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir, break up the expanses of green and growing things. There are roads, for those who prefer to drive through; numerous playgrounds for children dot the landscape.

Many are the people who come to the Park - painters, birdwatchers, musicians, and rock climbers. Others come for the shows; the New York Shakespeare Festival at the Delacorte Theater, the annual outdoor concert of the New York Philharmonic on the Great Lawn, the summer performances of the Metropolitan Opera, and many other smaller performing groups besides. They come to ice-skate on the rink, to ride on the Central Park Carousel, to view the many, many statues scattered about the park.

Some of the southern end of the park remains buried beneath rubble. Some of it still looks worn and torn, struggling to come back from the edge of destruction despite everything the crews of landscapers can do. The Wollman Rink has not been rebuilt; the Central Park Wildlife Center remains very much a work in progress, but is not wholly a loss. Someday, this portion of Central Park just might be restored fully to its prior state.

In lieu of running in the dark, Darius has taken his regular day off walking in the park. Working the night shift means a life of virtual vampirism and not much of a social existence. Not that he much minds. At this hour of the night, the chill of winter has set in and the homeless have done their best to tuck in someplace warm. Even the regular evening thuggery has declined in lieu of seeking warmth. So it is that he walks a virtual emptiness with his head bowed slightly and his hands tucked in the pockets of his jacket, his feet crunch the snow in an even cadence.
That does not appear to be a player.

A rustling could perhaps be heard as Eve walks out onto the path that Darius is walking from the brush. Her hair loose and falling to her shoulders. The seer is dressed in her standard attire of black dress along with black boots. Her light grey-blue eyes snap onto Darius as soon as she notices him. She tilts her head and smiles softly, "Hello." is given in greeting and slight nod. A light wind blows a strand of her hair into her face and the woman looks at Darius closely.

Darius stops in his tracks and looks over at the woman with an almost immediate wariness. That wariness softens as he takes in her appearance. "Merry Christmas." Still, there is a lingering curiosity and he doesn't set off to walking right away. He even relaxes from the 'ready' poise he'd assumed unconsciously.

The woman chuckles softly at the 'Merry Christmas', "Doesn't feel like christmas time, with all the havoc being brought down on the city. How can anybody be happy for the upcoming holiday?" Eve states and tilts her head up to the sky before settling her gaze back onto Darius. "People need protecting nowadays more often than they use too." She says softly and moves closer to Darius and looks him up and down as if trying to figure something out, and then it hits her as she says. "Yeah, you are the one I saw." It is simply put like that. Nothing esle follows what she said. A light smile plays across her lips.

Darius gives a shrug. "Always something to be thankful for. You're still alive right?" He smiles a little, a faint ironic thing, and gives a look around the empty park. He takes a deep breath and exhales a plume of steam. "They really do." As he draws his attention back to her, there's a small tilt to his head and he looks her over again. "Have we met before?" Clearly, he's trying to place her face and coming up with a blank. "Darius." He takes a hand from his pocket and offers it to her in an introduction. Maybe there's a hopeful tinge in his voice that says he might remember if he knew her name.

Taking the hand, "Some people would rather be dead than live in this city at the moment." With a nod of her head and another smile, "Eve. We haven't met before… until now of course. But I have seen you." Eve's gaze falls onto Darius' muscles but she tries to be discreet about it. What with them being big and all. "I've seen you a couple of times in fact." Her voice soft and she looks up to the cloudy night sky. "No moon tonight."

Darius gives her hand a firm shake but doesn't squeeze the life out of it despite his strength. He's almost gentlemanly about it. "Ah." There's a blink of his eyes, a mild scrutiny, then a shrug of acceptance. "Happens. Comes with the uniform." Naturally, he looks up to the sky at the mention of the moon. "So do you often walk in the park late at night? Hardly what I'd call safe. I could be a mugger or a serial rapist."

Eve doesn't take her hand back right away but when she does it goes through her hair. "But you aren't." Eve says sure of herself. She shrugs her shoulder also. "I'm never really afraid to walk at night, might be me being stupid but it's relaxing to look up at the sky and think of things. Important things, we're all important. Connected. In the most unsuspecting ways. The Evolved." The last bit said in a almost whisper. "Seems like we are coming together more than we use too." Eve doesn't mention how she would know that Darius is Evolved.

That does draw his attention back to her and he turns to face her completely. Darius, again, looks her over as if to say that 'coincidence' is rapidly running thin on his list of explanations. "Yeah." Was it a question or a statement? His tone was a little vague on that one. "What kind of important things?" Maybe he writes it off to an old newspaper article. Maybe not. His hand goes back to his pocket to keep it warm.

"Rescues, /force fields/. It's all very vague, for the first time in a while. It's also been repeating, for the past few nights." Eve's eyebrows slighlty at Darius. "It's only fair that I tell you what I can do, because I know what you can do." She walks closer again and tilts her head up to look at Darius. "Wouldn't you say?" the woman adds and grins. Her eyes are calm and soft as they stare at the man that is taller than her.

Darius's hands come out of his pockets and maybe the air about him gets a little crisper. Mostly behind him. "Mind if we do it over there?" His head gives a nudge towards a thicker patch of trees near the path. Her proximity draws a scrutiny from him but its clear that his focus is now on his surrounds as his eyes don't linger. They move rapidly from her eyes to surveying the land back to her. In fact, he insists. One of his hands reaches for her waist and moves to assist her in choosing a direction.

"Don't mind at all." is her response as she lets Darius guide her to a secluded spot where people wouldn't be able to see them. Then she turns around and cocks her head to the side as she turns around to look at Darius, "I dream things, things that happen." The first bit of information that Eve gives him about herself besides her name. "One vision had you in it, and it's been…. reacurring…. that only happens when the vision is pretty significant." Eve sighs and looks down, "I'm sorry if I come off a little strange… it seems to be a side effect of my ability." That's a first, everyone that knows Eve would think she thrives on the strange way she acts at times.

Darius listens to her explanation and just.. blinks. "You.. dream things." Okay, so he's skeptical. Opening his mouth to speak, he tilts his head a bit but doesn't say anything. His mouth closes and he's silent for a few more seconds. "Strange doesn't begin to cover it but then strange seems to be our lot in life." Crossing his arms over his chest, which only serves to emphasize it, he adds. "Alright. So you dreamed me. Explains how you knew where to find me. Now what?"

"You are right about that, wait until you meet people who can read minds, and others who have control over the elements." Eve chuckles and adds. "That, I had no idea. I didn't know you were going to be here tonight. Though I dreamt us meeting one night in the park, I had no reason to believe it was this night. Sometimes, my visions don't even happen because myself and others take steps to prevent them from happening, the bad ones at least. This wasn't the doing of my dreams, it was…. just chance. Oddly enough." Then a question is posed. "Is it really /that/ hard to believe?"

Darius tilts his head back with a laugh that is, perhaps, a little too loud for a snowy night. The sound dies quickly enough and he doesn't repeat it. "Yeah, maybe. How about we call it surprising, instead." He's smiling a little. Maybe a smirk at irony. Either way, he's looking at her a little less suspiciously. "Aren't you cold?" He reaches to unzip his jacket, apparently intent on offering it to her.

"Now that you mention it." Eve rubs her arms to make them warm and smiles at Darius, "Won't you be cold though?" Her eyes linger on Darius' chest but she quickly averts her eyes so that she is looking directly at his face instead. "Workout a lot?" a casual question…right? Her hair is blown into her face again as she rubs her arms, not to cold but the jacket would be great to wear right about now.

Okay, now Darius does smirk. "A little." The jacket is taken off and he offers it to her. He's wearing a turtleneck at least. "How about we go get some coffee instead of freezing our asses off?" So yeah, he works out. A lot. There's no spare room in his turtleneck. He turns to lead the way then pauses as he has a thought. "So.. just how many nights /have/ you come out here looking for me?"

Eve nods and quickly takes the jacket and slides it on. She smiles as she zips it up, still warm from Darius' body heat. "Warm." she says in delight and then begins to follow Darius, "Sounds good to me. About a week after my shifts at my job." She gives a sheepish smile toward Darius as she walks up to stand side by side with him, noticeably shorter than he is. She looks up, "Does that sound stalkerish?"

"Yes." Darius looks down at her with a smile. "But if I were having dreams about someone for a week, I'd be a little stalkerish, too. I'll forgive you if you stop doing it." He keeps up a brisk pace but not one that will lose her. It takes him a moment to figure out that pace, of course. Once its set, he keeps it up but he does keep his arms about his torso to contain his body heat. The air, again, seems a little crisp about his body. "So what was this dream?"

The singer keeps up just fine with him, "Yeah but it's nice seeing some kind of eye candy in my dreams. Makes them less dark." Eve winks and answers his question with a puzzled expression on her face. "It was… strange. All I could see was you and me, things were really foggy and then you helped me. But that part of the dream always escapes me. You pull me away from something and then that's where the dream ends. I can't seem to clear the fog from the dream and see what esle is going on. At least I haven't been able to yet."

"You're not so bad yourself." Darius returns after a full body sweep of her with his eyes. As the edge of the park comes into view, he gives a look down the street in either direction. "I'd ask if you live around here, but I have this feeling you don't. No purse, either. You at least have some id on you right?" As they walk, she'll likely spot the the semiautomatic pistol that he wears in the small of his back. Its a Glock 22.

"Why thank you." Eve grins and puts her hand into her boots, out comes keys and a I.D. and she jingles them before they go back to her hiding place, good thing Eve's Desert Eagle is concealed by her dress. "I see you can protect youself." She adds as she spots the gun at his back. "And no, I don't live around here." she swings her arms lightly as they walk and she asks her own question, "How long have you known about your ability?"

Darius gives an approving snort of air and a smile. He spots a coffee shop not so far down the street and sets off for it. "Long enough. Since college." He looks both ways, not that there are any cars about, and plays crossing guard with her. "Came in handy in the war. How about you?" His tone is ever so casual about it all but then she's pretty well laid the cards out on the table.

Eve nods her head and follows Darius to the coffee shop. "I was sixteen, thought I was crazy when it first started. Some people think I'm crazy today…" she trails off and then smiles at Darius again. "What exactly can you do? Hold anything off?" Her natural curiousity taking over.

"Took an artillery shell in Iraq." Darius quips wryly. "It was a popular IED. Lived to tell the tale." There's a heavy shrug of his shoulders and he opens the door. Gallantry isn't lost on him and he holds it, patiently, for her. "Got myself a purple heart out of the deal and a week in the hospital. They called me damned lucky. Everyone else in the truck wasn't." With that said, he looks to the interior of the shop and goes silent.

Eve is silent but gives Darius a shoulder rub in thanks of the door being held open for her and she slides into line. "Hmm tea sounds good. I'm sorry to hear about that." she says trying not to make it uncomfortable for him. Her gaze surveys the room before returning back to Darius.

There are a few customers in the shop. Its warm and New York never really sleeps. Darius lets the door close behind him. "So I guess if you're not going to be a stalker anymore, I'll have to know something about you. What do you do for a living?" His eyes give a survey of the shop, its patrons, and lastly the menu.

"I'm a artist, mainly a singer at the Orchid Lounge. Ever been there?" she steps forward and orders a tea and then steps aside for Darius to order his drink. "People say it's pretty pricey to get in. I never really had to pay."

Darius orders a black coffee of an exotic blend. "I'd imagine not if you work there." He smiles at her, fishing out his wallet to pay. In fact, he pays for both drinks. "I haven't had any reason to go to be honest. Between work and decompressing after it, I get a workout, a solid meal, and sleep. Not that there's much open at night to see. I work the graveyard shift." Which likely explains why he's looking wide awake at this hour of the night. "Was in a high school musical once. Glee club at the Academy. At least when it was out of football season." Go fig that he'd play football right?

"Figured that you were a football player." Eve teases and thanks him for buying her drink. "The lounge does pay well, I can't complain about it." The woman grabs her drink when it is made and waits for Darius to get his drink,"Well then perhaps sometime you can come and see me sing, I'll even cook back at my place so you will have that solid meal." Eve says /nothing/ of the sleep part, though she is thinking about it. Good thing he isn't a telepath. She grins so widely her white teeth show.

Darius laughs. "I might just do that. Though it might need to be the other way around. I go in to work around ten thirty. Shift starts at eleven and I'm off just in time for dawn. Of course I could just stop by during a shift. Do they do food?" His coffee is provided and he turns, gesturing for her to pick a table.

Leading them to a table Eve slides into a seat. "Ok, yes the Lounge does food. I can cook at my place before your shift starts?" she offers and then adds, "You are a gentleman by the way. Thanks for the drink, and not thinking I was crazy."
"Crazy's still an option." Darius notes with a grin, pulling out a chair for her with a free hand. "I don't know you so well that I can rule it out completely." He moves to the other side and sits down. "What time do you normally go in? I try to be in bed by nine or so. Up by five." He takes a sip of his coffee. "I'll give this much to other there. I can sleep through anything."

Eve swats the officer on the arm playfully and laughs. "I usually go in around eight or so." a sip is taken of her tea and she licks her lips and raising a eyebrow at the man, "Sleep through anything?" a light chuckle escapes her and she hums a little note as she thinks about how much of a gentleman he is. Her eyes are alight with curiousity and happiness with the company she has at the moment. She hadn't been around people for awhile.

Darius quirks a brow right back at her over his coffee. "Most anything." A beat. "Doesn't leave much time for dinner. How about on a day off? I work weekends.. of course I imagine you do, too, seeing as that's when folk go out most often. How does monday sound?" He looks at her a bit bemusedly as the realization that he's coordinating a dinner date with a complete stranger sinks in.

Eve blinks and nods her head, Eve doesn't find it all that strange, maybe because Eve can be a little strange at time. "Ok, Monday it is." Another sip is taken and she smiles into her cup, as she thinks about what she will cook.

Darius tilts his head a second, inspired by a thought. "Are you working Christmas? I'm not doing anything if you wanted to go out for something before I go in?" Ahh the joys of public service. "Don't have any family in town so its just me."

"No work on Christmas so that would be great. I have a sister… but that's all complicated so I don't know if we will be spending Christmas together." Eve admits and and ruffles her hair a bit as she snugs into Darius' jacket more.

Darius swirls his coffee before taking another sip. "Isn't it always? Half a half-sister myself. We haven't spoken… I can't even remember how long its been. From my mom's first husband. Last I knew she was living in New York but…" Yet again, he trails into silence as the possibility of her being wiped off the face of the earth is very real. "I should walk you home." He suggests.

December 24th: It's a Wonderful Life
December 25th: La Vigilia di Natale
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