The Greenwich Village Bicycle


daphne_icon.gif joseph_icon.gif

Scene Title The Greenwich Village Bicycle
Synopsis Not how it sounds. Joseph meets his (other) saviour, and she makes him an offer he actually can and does refuse. But maybe later.
Date July 4, 2009

Greenwich Village Open Street Market

Weekend street markets have gotten a limited amount of buisiness this month— not do to threats of terrorist activities, attempts on the life of the Mayor's wife, FRONTLINE bills, or anything else that might trouble a majority of the city. Instead, there's a smaller issue in the form of rain. Rain. The bane of outdoor markets all over the world.

That doesn't stop people from setting up, tables of fresh produce from out of town, grown on rooftop gardens or in parks, some with large banners declaring that they'd been grown twenty miles outside of the radiation zones, and others with no such thing. The tables all have white tent tops supported above them, to block the rain that could decide to come down at any moment, and though the streets are damp and sloshy, the moment is ripe for buying fruit and vegetables of all shapes, sizes and variety.

Not just fresh produce, either. There's homemade coats and blankets— shirts and sandles— there's a couple less original booths, which sale knock of designer purses and shoes. Cheap jewelry, everything from tacky earrings and necklaces to the booth entirely made up of crosses to hang on the wall, or wear on the body. Nothing too expensive out here— the food might well be the most guarded commodity.

It's the stacks of food that a certain bleach blonde speedster finds herself peering at. Apples piled on top of apples, oranges, grapes, baskets of berries… They look so yummy. Temptation to snatch and run is getting bigger by the minute.

It's been a few months now that Joseph has lived out in this city, and routines take effect. Favourite places to wander and visit at favoured times, and this includes the street market located not too far away from his church, the stalls inevitably set out even come rainy weather.

Moving away from a stall of homemade items not limited to jewelry, jars of jam, knits and bound books, Joseph is tucking something of that last category away into his messenger bag as he walks, leaving behind the appropriate sum of money. A leather bound diary of some description, carefully crafted and likely worth more than whatever price had been set for it in care and detail alone. A scarf, too, had been folded up and placed inside - feminine and so therefore likely not for him, out of season and cheap because of it, but woven woolen strands of rusty reds, gold flecked cream, teal. The tassled end hangs out the corner of his shoulder bag as he goes, moving towards the fresh produce advertising itself to be farmed somewhere not irradiated.

Which is a good thing because the other stuff might have you grow another head or something, but not actually what attracts Joseph over after catching his eye. Not even the ripe food itself, although perhaps it could stand to if he ever learned to cook. No, he spies the not so much familiar as distinctive shape of Daphne Millbrook, and impulsively, finds himself moving on over. The soles of brown leather shoes scrape against the pavement in a meander, coming to a halt just next to her.

"This where superheroes go to shop?"

"I'm not a superhero!"

It is said so suddenly, before Daphne even turns all the way to look at the source of the voice, that she might as well be saying 'I'm not a thief!' Except she is, and this is the opposite kind of accusation. But he took her by surprise! It's not very often that people sneak up on her, but there's the whole… looking at yummy fruit and not being on guard and there's people walking around all over the— he didn't sneak up on her, he just happened to be there when she wasn't expecting, that's all!

"Oh, hey. If it isn't the guy that I saved and ran off to the hospital. I get the superhero thing now, you're forgiven." She glances back at the stand, and then suddenly is stepping forward, looking way up at him with a head tilted to the side, "Lookin' much better, cross-man. Definitely recovered with full marks." Question, is the cross referring to his religion or his eyes? Take a guess on your own…

"Did you want to buy any apples or berries? They look really good. See, the sign even says twenty miles outside of the radiation zone." She points at it with her finger.

If he buys some, she can mack. Win-win situation. And legal(er). Though less nice for him. "I especially recommend the raspberries. Not that I sampled them or anything." She totally did.

"Thank you," is… perhaps the right response, as to recovering with full marks, although much of the compliment is mangled and mixed with unusual nicknames and the fact it was more of an observation than anything else, but— but it pays to be polite. Especially to someone who saved your life, if not actually your dignity. "It coulda been a lot worse than it was if you hadn't've dragged me to the hospital - I never did get to thank you properly. Or if I did I don't remember," Joseph admits.

He swivels (non-crossed, for now) dark brown eyes towards the colourful produce laid out for them. "Thinkin' about it. Apricots should be in season too, I think." Hell, why not. He'll get brownie points with Frita, too, for taking care of himself properly, and so a woven basket nearby is picked up, and his hand moves to pick out a few apples, aiming for the green ones.

"So you mean to tell me that rescuin' Southern transplants from dark alleys in New York isn't a permanent hobby?" he adds, somewhat wryly, one of the shining spheres of green turned over in his hand, as if he could somehow visually confirm that they were farmed twenty miles outside the radiation zone.

Oh yay, fruit. Daphne bounces up on the balls of her feet, moving out of the way so that she can get a better look at the table and the man doing the searching. Making not so subtle gestures towards the small plastic berry baskets that are stacked up. At his words, she makes a sound, a handwave. It comes out sounding like, "Pssh." That's followed by a simple statement of, "You're the first and only southern transplant I've rescued from a bunch of creeps in a dark alley in New York. But I've been spending a lot of time jetting around the country— And other countries. I'm waiting to find my path, you know— place in the world, road I'm supposed to run down, bridge I need to cross, tunnel into the great beyond filled with riches and happiness— you know what I'm talking about, right?"

She's talking pretty speedy, shifting on her feet as she does, looking around at the produce. Suddenly a hand darts out and finally just grabs a basket of berries, assorted ones. "Come on, these are snack ready and everything. You gotta get one. I'll eat most of it if you are afraid you can't get it home in time." Or all of it.

She could just ask him to buy it for her, couldn't she?

The berries and the girl get a dubious look in turn, but Joseph finds himself taking the package of produce from her and putting it in the basket, almost the patiently exasperated parent allowing the hyperactive child to buy the fun kind of cereal this shop expedition. But look, mixed berries, all set to buy, and Joseph continues towards where a small mound of apricots are stacked. Taking his time to fussily pick out a couple.

"Riches and happiness? You don't ask for much, do you?" The speedy talking, the twitchiness and hyperactivity, is somewhat at odds with Joseph's lazily accented words and shuffling meandering down the rows of fruit, the patient picking out of merchandise. But then again, he's used to being a step behind everyone else. It's almost comfortable. "I think I got the basic gist."

From the smile, Daphne's pleased about the berries, especially since she follows after him like an overhyper duckling with her chin pointed up cause he's taller than her by quite an amount. The bouncing on the balls of her feet might be trying to rush him along, but she doesn't say anything about it, or start picking out peaches for him, either.

"Isn't that what everyone wants?" she asks, though something in the way she says it is rhetorical, or even perhaps skeptical that he could believe any other way. Eyebrows are raised a fraction as she glances up and down on him, until she finally shrugs, "Honestly I don't even know if I want what's at the end of all those things— I just kinda like the whole moving thing so much. Always on the move, always looking for the next thing. Day I stop is the day someone'll probably have to bury me."

Nothing angsty, or even overly serious about her tone of voice, instead she almost seems to be chipper about the idea. Always on the move, never stopping, sounds like a good life to her.

"Ever catch the pantsless wonders who hurt you, or is it one of the nameless assualts — For which you are totally welcome I saved you from, especially if it means berries — Assualts like that take place in the city every day, and you were one of the lucky ones."

"There's a curfew for a reason. My mistake for not listenin' to it, really, and I'm startin' to think I don't wanna know what you were doing runnin' around after dark either," Joseph says, and for a man who preaches the word of God twice a week, his tone is light and nonjudgmental. A second apricot is rolled into the basket, and for fresh produce, that will all cost him a pretty penny enough as it is, so it's towards where the seller is standing for the two, Joseph setting out the basket to be rifled through, his wallet extracted from his pocket.

Rain is starting to patter lightly on the tops of the tent, Joseph casting a look upwards. "And no, I never— I never reported it, or anything. It's a bad habit I have so I dunno if they got caught or what. So I guess I'm just one of the lucky ones." The cash is handed over, and Joseph picks up the berries before it can be tucked into a paper bag, promptly handing them towards the blonde without further need for nagging.

"Do you run like that everywhere? Fast enough to miss every drop of rain, I bet." Registry or not, Joseph doesn't see much harm in casually discussing Evolved ability out here in the open - and considering Daphne's exit from his church that one time, she doesn't either.

Oh yeah, the curfew. Daphne often forgets about that, cause she never much worried about being forced to follow it in the first place. What were they going to do, shoot a net at her? Actually that's a pretty good plan, but they'd have to catch her unawares, which tends to be hard when she's trying to be awares.

No answer to his speculation, which he doesn't really want to ask about anyway, about why she was out there at that time of night, but she does stick close, waiting for the purchase of food that she can start shoving into her mouth— as soon as it's hers to take, at least. It's always hers to take, but robbing a pastor is a little rude— until he opens the container.

Oh yay! Once they are in her hands she pops open the top and starts to munch on a few of them. Blueberries, raspberries, cranberries… she could munch on this all day, but she only gets a few finger fulls in her mouth before he asks about the running. There's berry juice on her finger tips, which she sucks off cutely before answering, "Pretty much. I mean not right now, obviously. Gotta stop and look at stuff sometimes." Even as the rain spatters down, she doesn't try to dodge each drop, or anything. "If I ramp up to full speed, sure, I could dodge spinkles. Heavy rain maybe not, but the lighter stuff, no problem. It's kinda like everything is standing still when I'm at full speed— but I rarely go that fast, only when I gotta. There's different levels. Like a bike! Only, I'm the only one who can do it." So far as she's met at least. "No one's able to keep up with me."

Joseph extracts a green apple from the paperbag of fruit once it's handed over, tucking it protectively beneath an arm so that it can semi-rest against the top of his messenger bag, freeing up that extra hand as he looks the apple over— clean enough for his less than perfect sensibilities— before taking a bite. Now he doesn't have to skirt around lying when someone who cares asks about his eating habits.

"As long as you stop sometimes. There's much to see," he says. "So— you can really do that?" He takes a step away from the fruit vendor, moving beneath the overhanging tents, although more preoccupied with focusing on the petite blonde. "You can travel all across the country like that? How— " Joseph shakes his head, betraying bewilderment. "It's not tiring or anything? Not sure what I'd give to be able to just— run back and forth between here and Tennessee whenever I felt like it. Sure make things easier."

"I could be in Paris and back before you go to bed tonight," Daphne says, not even exaggerating. "Tennessee is a lot closer than Paris, and I don't have to worry about pesky things like tidal currents and that stuff." Not that she worries too much about the science behind what she does, she's not looking forward to the day she messes something up and faceplants into the middle of the Atlantic. It'd be the last thing she did, she's sure.

"Ever want to try it, I can bring people along— you saw me do it when I dragged you off to the hospital. Just don't expect it all the time. One time pass on the Daphne Express. Price of your little trick should just about cover it." She sways on her feet as she downs a couple more berries, a toying smile on her face as she shifts around. Dragging people around the country may not seem like the best way of using her ability, but she doesn't seem to mind it too much— it's running, it's showing other people what it feels like.

"I think you're a nice guy, cross. If you got buisness down south I'm way faster than any train, plane or automobile." She even has a singsong tone to her voice.

Joseph's eyebrows have drawn into angles of wary consideration as she yammers, focused on her in a way that might justify the nickname apart from the little gold crucifix hidden on a chain beneath his shirt. The Daphne Express. Well, he knows her name, now, doesn't he? A glance down at the green apple in his hand, the white gauge from where he'd taken a bite, and contemplatively takes another, running the back of his hand across his mouth once he does.

He points, other fingers kept clasped around the apple as he does so, mouth only a little full as he swallows the rest of it mid-sentence. "This comes with a return ticket back, right? It's a pain in the rear to get back and forth when you're workin' off a budget, I'll tell you what."

But wait— "Though, I— it's not exactly ethical— I mean, exchanging one trick for another. I'm not like a fortune teller, you know? What I do is sacred." He says this with all the belief in the world, as if Daphne would somehow be able to empathise with that amount of earnestness.


There's something rather impressive about that particular comment, in and of itself it means little. The Evolved are so common that technically all gifts would be from the same God if one gift came from God, wouldn't it? "Who says my taking you from one place to the other wouldn't be the will of God too? Jesus could walk on water, and so could other saints until the dudes fell in and stuff, and I do the same thing, just a heck of a lot faster than he could— so whose saying that I'm not blessed by something too?" There's a pause as she bites down on a blackberry, the juice running down her throat for a pause before she glances back over.

"The day I got my ability— my mom'd just died. It was her wake. Everyone was saying stuff like how she was running with the angels. And suddenly I could — I could run really fast. Maybe even faster than the Angels. And— maybe if the vision is so sacred that I'm not supposed to have it I wouldn't have had it."

She can be thoughtful sometimes, apparently, though there's hesitation in her story, as if she's leaving out important details.

"Like if you hadn't given me that vision in the church that day, I might not've ran near the church the night you were attacked and you might've been on your own, like a Christian thrown to the lions— but instead I stopped and— hey, if it doesn't work, it doesn't work." Visions sound like a nice investiment, either way, but there's a pause as she stops, shifting so she can stand right in front of him instead of off to the side. "But no ticket, you get tossed off the train."

Another bite is stolen from the apple, not out of nonchalance, or an affectation of that; absent-mindedly picking away at it until there's nothing but a core, the shape of which is beginning to form. Joseph shakes his head, and adds, "I didn't mean to say— I believe all gifts are God-given. Special, sacred. It's just— when you're dealin' with the future and all that can come from knowledge, the— the ripple effects, it's sort of my responsibility."

What is he trying to say? He knows he's not trying to repeat what a serial killer had lectured him on, but perhaps he agrees. To an extent. "So I shouldn't be tradin' visions of God's will for a joyride to home, even if it is the fourth o' July."

First one away from home, even! For a while, anyway. There's some rue when he states that, and he adds, "And I certainly don't wanna get abandoned there, thanks much."

There's a sing-song tone of disappointment from Daphne, who pops another berry between her lips before she looks over at him as the sprinkles try to tame her sticking up hair. Not working too well.

"Well, next time you run into me maybe you can think of another form of payment that doesn't mess up your lofty sense of rippling whatever. I accept cash too, and obviously berries." Berries. At least with berries he'll know where his money went. Practically fuel for the engine. "Good to see that you're not all broken and battered anymore, though! If I'm in town anytime soon, I'll try to catch you again."

That's not much of a good bye, really, but the only reason she pauses long enough for him to give a response is because she's enjoying one last berry, and then putting the lid firmly on and handing it back to him. Looks like she's not planning to run off with all of them, after all.

Lofty sense of— honestly! Joseph squares his shoulders a little but otherwise keeps his mouth shut and indignance stifled, instead taking one last bite of apple before tossing it into the trash can just nearby. There's a hesitation of registering surprise when she offers out the berries, before, hey— he takes 'em back with a half-smile. "Thanks. And do - you know where to catch me, and we'll— we'll talk about that. The Daphne Express."

Because, you know what they say, about there being no place like home. Joseph just isn't entirely convinced he knows exactly where that is.

"I got a couple ideas," Daphne admits as she glances around the market. It's not just here, but she knows the Church, and she might even recall his home which he mentioned as a drop off point before she went 'nu-uh' and took him to the hospital instead. "See you later," she adds on, a genuine smile on her genuinely upbeat face. There's a lift of a foot, a pause, and a, "You might want to hold a little tighter to your stuff," as a warning, before all of a sudden the Daphne Express pulls out of the station.

A gust of wind follows after her, sending a few people's money flying, tossing rain water under the tent tops, and making people reach for their hats. A poor woman nearby with an umbrella finds out how weak her umbrella is when it inverts on her like it got caught in a mighty gust of wind.

At least she warned him first?

Yeah no Joseph remembers this bit. He instantly grips onto all that he's carrying, tightly, and screws up his face a little when the gust of wind that is Daphne's running away kicks up from every direction, rearranging combed hair and letting his coat flap dramatically and loudly before it dies down as quickly as it began.

At least the pastor didn't hand flail this time.

He lets out a breath, and casts a glance around the place as people inevitably stare his way, a sheepish but not insincere smile put on before he's edging his (much, much slower) way out from the market and inevitably back to his church.

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