delilah_icon.gif teo_icon.gif

Scene Title Tangible
Synopsis Delilah gets a little assistance training from one of her closest friends. It is like finding one's center of gravity. And not merely in the sense that she's being asked to repeatedly fall over for practice, either.
Date November 6, 2009

Manhattan Somewhere — A Safehouse

Safehouses find uses for a great deal of things, outside of actually acting as houses for the transients that the Ferry helps. This particular occasion, the near-empty den of one has been groomed for its open floor; the old sofa is nudged against the wall, the rug rolled nearby, the ground swept mostly clean of the drab gray dust that seems to make up the rest of the building. If Delilah isn't something, she certainly is no ninja assassin, sharpshooter, or other various roles that the people around her have learned to fill. The least she's tried to do as of late is learn more about- well- not sucking at everything so much. Some paintball for gun work, trailing along when there are things to be fixed, and then there is learning how to fight properly.

So far, she has tried to follow directions from Teo, who met her a short time ago to see where exactly she stood when it comes to hand-to-hand combat. Tried being the key word. It comes as no surprise that her primary route of fighting consists of things one might watch on a well choreographed episode of Jerry Springer, or a style more keen to appear in a brawl inside of a bar restroom. No finesse when it comes to a fight. She has good finesse for numerous other things, but not really this.

"I don't know about that, what if I hurt you?" The two are in the middle of this 'class', Delilah in her usual dress(her reason being that she has to learn to fight in what she always wears!) and flat shoes. She's practically staring Teo down, stuck between wary and wanting to learn. "I feel like the person getting no callback for The Karate Kid."

The nose centering Teo's face is still more purple than green or fair, and characteristic fatigue clashes with caffeination in the lines around his eyes, but he looks—

—a handspan taller than Delilah, with more than fifty pounds on her, somewhat more sensibly dressed if only because his usual dress happens to be trousers and sweaters and jackets roomy enough to hide far too many weapons underneath, and boots that can take the physical abuse of scrawling around the dense chrome weight of a motorcycle. Anyway. Anybody outside the situation, bearing witness with prior knowledge of neither young man nor young woman, would probably find her question ludicrous. And that would be insulting.

"Then you hurt me. And I get better. Maybe because I am then made a gift of one thimble by the toad princess fair." He lifts both brows, puts up his arms ready to block, his feet configured into an almost evenly-distributed stance, left leading. "Remember: don't straighten your elbows or your knees out a hundred percent when you swing."

"At least I'm a princess…" Delilah sighs this out of her lips, clenching and unclenching her fists in the chilly air. "Right, okay, I got it." The basics are the menu for now- Delilah needs to learn how to hit a target. Sure, she can throw a punch, but the chance of it landing where she wants it is a bit awkward. She takes her own stance, right foot leading and fists curled up in front of her like some vague impression of Jack Dempsey. Lilah starts off this round with a right hand jab that goes a bit too wide, something that most people ready for it could knock away.

Knocking the strike away would make room for a counter-attack, but that isn't Teo's objective at least for the moment. The first two knuckles of her fist bounce instead off his forearms, rebounding their kinetic force down through her elbows— which she prudently kept from fully straightening— but he comes forward, abruptly, a rapid-fired double-scuff of the soles of his boots jostling across the floor scarred from use of stub-footed furniture more than flat-shod fighters. His head blocks out the ceiling light and his presence presses heavy into her personal bubble, the threat implicit, demanding adaptation, though he's yet to throw a punch.

When he moves forward, she takes a blind step backwards, eyes on him with eyebrows knit. Her left fist comes up while the other one falls back from its rebounding off the edge of his arm; the redhead aims for the spot right below his ribcage, this swing a bit more targeted at his soft human bellyparts. At the same time as that strike, her right foot steps back forward, ankle hooping around the back of his. Should the punch actually land- she propels her shoulder into his chest to attempt to trip him backwards over her foot. He hasn't thrown a punch(thank goodness), but that doesn't mean Delilah won't be using him for her personal fight dummy. No offense intended, Fourth Wall!

She means it this time, and though passion doesn't always translate into power— not even in these days, where abilities are intrinsically connected to emotion, psionics— it adds speed and force to the hook of her arm and, summarily, Teo is punched in the stomach. Cough. It was fortunate he'd had his abdomen tensed or he might have made a somewhat more incriminating noise in response. Her fist leaves a star-shaped print in the fabric of his sweater, which only shifts its creases, flattens away when his torso cants backward and his weight lists heavy into his other foot, catching. Means he doesn't fall. Also means he's caught up in an awkward sprawl, his knees buckled around smashed-mantis angles.

He lifts both eyebrows, quirks a glance back up at the girl's face. She looks so very serious from this angle.

His mouth flattens into a crooked line, then pulls a sharp breath inward. "Good, good." He lets his leg give, then, drops himself flat onto the ground with a dusty drub of impact, leaving his hooked ankle loosed around the back of her foot. Teo jerks his leg back in like a cat's tail, sweep hard into the girl's legs.

With her fists up and shoulders out, yes, Delilah feels serious enough; intimidating, not so much- possibly because this is Teo, not a thug that she needs to floor for her own sake. If that is one thing she does wholeheartedly, it is take the lesson as seriously as she can. She asked him to show her this in the first place.

Perhaps also because it is Him, when he falls back into the floor, Delilah appears to go a touch less rigid. A mistake, as she soon finds out the hard way. Hard way as in, the floor is Very hard when she hits it hip-first with a surprised grunt, courtesy of Teo's sweep of her feet while she was otherwise distracted by his positive reinforcement. Thunk! The floor doesn't sound like it liked that much either, the floorboards giving a characteristic little squeak as Delilah mostly catches herself on her side, there at Teo's boots.

"On that note: part three of today's lesson is probably going to be a repeat of part one," Teo observes from over the canvas-and-bony mountain range of his knees, propped up, feet on the floor. "Falling." It's an aggravating thing to spend the initial peak of one's training doing, but it's what you learn in it in a relatively formalized academia sort of setting as well as when Hana Gitelman's reaming you on the blue mats in the rusted belly of the Company facility, because there's solid, practical logic both ways. Always. How to break a fall, because the latter part is inevitable even outside Billy Collin's dear little playground of coming-of-age melancholy.

Also: her visiting lecturer would apparently rather sprawl out on the floor with his arms underneath his head and thump his skull down on their crossed sleeves than get up and continue contributing actively to her studies, anyway. "Where's Samson?" he asks the weird Australia-shaped stain on the ceiling, beatifically.

Delilah leans upward into a sitting position, one hand rubbing at her hip where she had landed. She listens and absorbs what he says this time largely because it is a jab at her horrible falling skills. If she learned how to balance that might be more help- but as long as she is falling, might as well do it right. Lilah peers over the same pair of knees for a moment or two before Teo decides that whatever the next part is, it can wait for whenever he wants to try it again.

"Home." Today is one of those miraculous days where Delilah says very little in between actual conversations; she answers with the single word as she scoooots across the floor to sit relatively beside Teo on the floor. "He chewed up his good sweater."

To be fair, Teo could tell her to practice break-falls solo by the wall over there, where he's not lying down in a gratuitous piggy sprawl, but. He doesn't. Maybe he doesn't like the hypocrisy inherent to making the little girl (not little-little— you know what he means—) work while he lazes on the floor. It isn't particularly comfortable down here, but he seems in no particular hurry to part with the petrified gray of the floorboards.

He turns his head to study her, blinks twice, slowly, great bovine sweeps of eyelid. "I have a light machinegun you can practice with, too, if you want to get used to handling rifles and automatic weapons. It's one of those things I guess it would be better for you to know how to do rather than… worse. If you can stand to part with Sam long enough for that kind of session."

With a certain tilt, Teo sort of matches the colors of the floor and whatever leftover mess happens to be dug between boards. Brown, gray, something green over there- there are no blues, however, so when he blinks over at Delilah nearby her attention is drawn back to his face. If he did tell her to do pratfalls she would probably do it- but of course would ask why he wasn't as well. No such thing as a mystery there. The redhead sits up, ankles touching as she sits loosely cross-legged as if waiting for something else.

"I have a handgun- not that I can hit much with it." Delilah lifts the corner of her mouth in a half-smile. "All the times I ended up with some kind of automatic I didn't fire it anyway." She has little to no experience in that, which means Yes, She Will Want To. "Samson's not scared of guns, if that's what you mean. Or does his presence just make you feel competitive?" Dee's eyebrow lifts up in question. She is almost totally serious.

"He can come if he wants," Teo responds, pulling his arms in underneath his head, crossed over to cushion the bowl of his skull off the floor. "Just didn't want to shoot him. By accident," he's quick to add, though not quick enough for the transition to be seamless. "I'm more of a cat than a dog, I think. And more of a cactus than a cat. I got no beef with your cane, si-gnor-i-na. We're all right.

"I grew up around a lot of dogs, although my mother never let us have pets." His gaze swivels across the ceiling again, penduluming back and forth, suddenly restless from recollections too vague to evoke an image visible to his mind's eye. "Yeah, pistols are fucking difficult to aim.

"It's why you see television gang-bangers holding them almost upside down when they're firing down alleyways." He hooks his thumb, twists forefinger, pretzels his hand around the shape of a hanging handgun. "At least that way the kick pulls the muzzle in toward the target."

A shoe prods Teo roughly in the hip at the not-so-seamless accident reference. "It's too bad there isn't a gun for people with bad aim. Is there? Should I just pick one weapon to get good at? Or should I just familiarize myself with a bunch and never get too good at one? Flexibility or reliability?" Delilah's mind appears to work the same even when she is talking about guns. Lots of questions- bets are that her family would say she was the kid that asked 'Why?' at every

A moment later Lilah's face is hovering into Teo's view of the ceiling, peering down at him and interrupting his examination of the South Pacific stains. "Where do we practice with the guns? Field trip? Is there somewhere in the city? The only field experience I've had with rifles are the ones with paintballs, actually."

The Sicilian pulls a little face when she sort of trods on him, but he doesn't recoil, taking the jab of her flats with the half-hearted peevishness with which one might tolerate getting their hair ruffled. It is not really peevishness at all. "Midtown is okay for our purposes. The ruins. I can take us on my bike, though there are a few buses that actually stop on the couple of routes through outside the irradiated zone. You need both, I think. At least to be comfortable with a few different things.

"But aiming a pistol is going to be important," he agrees, distracted or rambly, perhaps both. "Maybe with throwing grenades, too, though that kind of thing gives Phoenix a bad rep. I didn't know you like paintball."

Delilah laughs, still peering down at Teo, though now from the side rather than in his view. "I didn't either, until I tried it. Does that mean I have a propensity for getting used to all of this? I think I'll skip grenades if I can- I just need to make sure I know how to interact with them, right? It looks just like tossing a baseball." She doesn't sound certain about this parallel. "Am I going to get to play with any bazookas? I'd rock a musket." Ah, that was probably coming for a while. She has bad gun humor, unfortunately.

"And- I guess that I need to learn how to fall before I go making anyone else. I'm no ninja, I know that much. But even ninjas start somewhere."

The musket joke elevates one skeptical brow but he is otherwise an accepting and loving sort of companion, ssso there's no major objection offered to her delicate British humor. At the lattermost statement, however, there's a shake of Teo's head, scraping his bristly hair on his arms with a sound like rolling in a happy pig rolling hay. Rustle, scrape. "I was born this way," he argues, facetious as you like. "Rocking so hard it could fucking kill a man."

He sits up without using his hands, a burp of effort that starts at the waist and ends with his elbows sprawled on his knees, head cocked lazily on its axis. "How often do you think about running back to England?"

Delilah smiles at his unabashed proclamation of awesome- she's not bound to argue with that. "Born a ninja. That sounds …accurate." Lifting both hands, she folds her forearms back to pull her hair into one bunch, using one hand to pull the tail of red around one side of her neck. When Teo sits himself up, she gathers her half-fists in her lap and tilts her head, observing. "Running back to England?

"Um. Not often at all. If ever. So…never. The same problems there as everywhere else- besides- I have nothing to go running back to, even if I did think about it." Her immediate family(considering the circumstances) lives in New York; any family that she still has over the pond is likely to consist of her Grandfathers' siblings and their own descendants if they happened to even have those.

"Sometimes I think you're kinda. Supernaturally— immune, I guess, to the grass-is-greener syndrome." Teo's head sinks down between his shoulders, a bow curve taking up residence in the line of his spine. It's the closest he's come to slouching in the past few weeks she's seen him, even progressive drunkenness at a gay bar withstanding. "You see what's there. A good thing if it's staring at you right in the face.

"Or bad ones, if they're really right there in front of you but the rumors and neighborhood crime statistics can go ahead and fuck themselves, uh?" The corner of his mouth curls around a half-smile, a wry nostalgia for seasons of highway overpasses, borrowed scarves, encounters inadvertent and coincidental if not necessarily more innocent than the one they're having right now.

Delilah doesn't bother giving a thumbs-up right away, as Teo knows he is right- that describes her subscriptions in essence. She just smiles back until he finishes, lifting her chin when he does. "Immune? I wouldn't say that." Certainly there are some moments where she is not entirely set on the thinking. Lilah's hands fold and unfold around her lap, indecisive about what to do with each other.

"I see what's there cause I've got eyes to see it with." Last she checked, Teo wasn't actually blind. "But I think you're right on the button. It sounds silly when someone else explains how I think. Makes me sound almost like I ignore the worse things." She laughs lightly, her smile fluttering in and out on her face. She knows she's not ignorant. Not entirely.

Delilah doesn't bother giving a thumbs-up right away, as Teo knows he is right- that describes her subscriptions in essence. She just smiles back until he finishes, lifting her chin when he does. "Immune? I wouldn't say that." Certainly there are some moments where she is not entirely set on the thinking. Lilah's hands fold and unfold around her lap, indecisive about what to do with each other.

"I see what's there cause I've got eyes to see it with." Last she checked, Teo wasn't actually blind. "You're on the button. But it sounds silly when someone else explains how I think. Makes me sound almost like I ignore the worse things." She laughs lightly, her smile fluttering in and out on her face. She knows she's not ignorant. Not entirely. Then again, next thing she knows her cute quota for the day has reached capacity. "Sooo… if I see the good things when they 'stare me in the face', you know what that makes you, right?"

A shrug seesaws through Teo's lean shoulders, neither Gallic nor entirely transparent. Agreement. Acceptance. Gifts, foibles. If you had the first without the other, that would just be creepy. "I think I prefer looking for things that aren't there. Or at myself, depending. Looking is different to thinking about it, though. That probably doesn't make a lot of sense," he allows, a grin creasing his nose with a coyote's slant on either side. He regards the compliment from an arm's length for a moment, before bringing it up to squint at closer. A beat's pause.

"Awkwardly mediocre. Long-sighted. But my scores would improve if I was as attentive a friend as you deserve." He grins, sanguine, nips his boots back toward himself and starts to scrabble and tilt back upright and onto his feet.

Delilah is less folded lengthwise, and it takes her a shorter time to actually pop up onto her feet; enough that she is able to prepare a word in as Teo gets up. Her hands meet behind her back, and the girl observes him again with a tilt of her head into the trail of red hair still over one shoulder. "You still have one of the high scores, though." She grins, in part because of his continued 'yote-like expression.

"If you didn't consider yourself awkward and long sighted- estimate yourself to be currently mediocre- you wouldn't be Teo. I wouldn't have it any other way."

"Too bad there's no currency conversion to American dollars," Teo is obliged to reply, grinning crooked, wide enough that his irises almost go dark in the squinted shadows between his eyelids.

He links his fingers behind his back and pulls his arms out straight like they are the string to his wind-up motor, releases before anything overly audible pops, and loosens his shoulders with a roll of motion. Preparation as thoughtless, automatic as any punch he's ever thrown. "I think it's time to fall down some more," he declares, scrubbing blunt fingers down the sinew at the back of his neck. He makes arcs with his hands through air, mimicking the flare of motion he has already demonstrated so many times before, even as he graduates a stride backward to the dusty carpet strewn across closer to the door. Better to learn to fall on something softer, at least to start with. "Crouch again, rock back. Hit the floor with the outside of your hand and forearm, don't jam your elbow into it.

"It'll absorb the impact so your—" Yeah, yeah, she's mouthing the words at him now, she knows. So your bum don't bruise. "It hurts less the more you do it. Promise. All right. Thirty times, let's go."

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