Trash on the Beach


deckard_icon.gif leonard_icon.gif nataliya_icon.gif teo_icon.gif

Scene Title Trash on the Beach
Synopsis Nataliya, Leonard and Teo join forces to do some community service and drag a particularly ill-tempered and unwieldy piece of tattered garbage out of the surf.
Date May 28, 2009

Staten Island: Coast

It's been a rough night, for somebody or something. Black shapes circle far above, blotting out the early morning sun with broad wings and sharp beaks. Closer to the murky skim of brown water up over more or less equally brown sand, slender gulls whip and whirl in in a tighter orbit, less cautious of breakfast than their wizened overseers.

'Breakfast,' is a long, raggled shape stretched dark at the border of sand and surf. There's a trail of disrupted, dark-stained beach churned up for several feet behind him, fading clean where the water has had time to sweep up some of the evidence. At some point, Deckard tried to drag his way up away from the incoming tide, apparently with limited success because…he's still here, with an occasional obstinate wave stretching up far enough to tag at one trouser leg. Matted thick with an interesting mix of dry blood, fresh blood, and caked sand, he lies still on his back with one gull on his chest nipping hopefully at an ear, and another hunched on the toe of his boot. He looks kind of dead.

Breakfast and long walks on the beach. That's what Nataliya's up to; while in earlier days being barefoot in the sand would be nice, these days there's too much junk in the sand to really make that feasible, used needles, chunks of scrap metal. Chewing on a sandwich wrapped in tin foil, she makes her way along the sand, a stick in her other hand. Sometimes she pokes lumps she discovers. That is how she makes Deckard's acquaintance; she pokes him with a stick, standing over him, peering down and trying to figure out if he's dead. Poke. Poke.

Clustered gulls milling around on the sandy stretch between Nataliya's approach and Deckard's dead stop scuttle hurriedly out of the way — some taking flight, others circling back in around behind her to glare beadily at her turned back. The bird on the platform of his chest springs away with an irritable cry. The one on his boot remains, ruffled and sullen in the face of interruption.

There's a sink of bony ribs beneath the poke, almost as if Flint had forgotten to breathe until there was something to push his lungs back into the effort. Stale air expelled, fresher, saltier stuff drawn in, he turns his blood-caked head half an inch against gritty sand and cracks open an eye. It's blue. Also, a little foggy.

It moved. Nataliya leans back on her heels, withdrawing the stick and letting the end poke into the sand with some disappointment. That right there? That is not an easy loot like she'd hoped. The jacket, for example, has seen better days but might still catch someone's fancy at Tuck's. Gun, that'd be waterlogged. He might still have a knife or something, and those don't stop working when soggy, so she keeps at stick's distance. He might still die. Nataliya, more practical and perhaps more polite than in her youth, greets the strange man. "Good morning." Head tilted to the side, strands of her blonde ponytail stray in the seaside breeze.

Morning. A steeper rise and fall of the broken man's chest shudders short of full expansion at a hot stab of fresh pain in his side. In both sides. He has a holster, but it's currently home only to some sand and a couple of tiny wayward clams.

Right eye slivered open to join the left in studying the shadow of Nataliya's face blotting out the brighter halo of white that seems to emanate from his own skull, his return greeting takes the form of a bristle-edged frown and a groggy reach for the side of his face. Blood redampened with cold sweat blurs brown and red beneath the track of his fingers, then lifted for him to study next, like he isn't sure it should be there. "I don't have any money."

Ah. "Sensible," Nataliya tells Deckard with a nod and a bit of an approving smile he can't so much see with her face in shadow against the sun. "I know a good pawnie. You'd be surprised at what sells. Or maybe you wouldn't." Taking a bite of her sandwich, she crouches down to squint more at him. "Let me guess. Bar fight? No?"

"No." Not a bar fight. The hand Deckard had on his face pushes up into the damp curl of his hair to feel gingerly around in there. No cracks. No holes. No pieces of metal or glass. The gull on his boot jumps from one toe to the other, then back again, beak open, button eye round and black. "Frghh — " sounds like it might have been intended to be a word, but it comes up short when he tries to bend his left leg and his breathing quickens instead of anything actually…happening. Down there. Nostrils flared, jaw hollow, he cuts a look back over at her, increasingly awake and increasingly wary of her continuing presence at his side.

"Piracy gone wrong," is Nataliya's next guess. She makes a face, drawing a circle in the sand with her stick. "Alright. Perhaps you have caught me in a good mood. Want help up?"

The sun is shining, the wind is salty clear, it's a beautiful daaaaay, and Teodoro is riding his refurbished bike around Staten Island as blithe as a blond can be. Speed reverberates along his sleeves and funnels down the collar of his jacket, more a buffeting, sifting, simplified pressure against his torso than a sense of chill discomfort or adrenal pleasure. Something about sensory adaptation, probably. He's been riding his refurbished bike around New York for a few days, now. Neither the physical mechanics nor the existential solitude have gotten old yet, but it's different now than it was before.

Rounding the bend, Teo notices the woman jabbing at a spasmodic body on the ground with a stick. Realizes, a few feet later, that the corpus seated in the sand looks like a friend. Hesitation spans all of three seconds, and then he frowns underneath his helmet and steers closer, the guttural snarl of rubber against weather-beaten tarmac changing to the snow-static spray of churning sand.

"No." Not pirates, either. Both hands fall to hover over his ribcage, unsure of where to settle while a split opened black over his brow begins to crack and reclose, new skin creeping and crawling its way in around the damage while he eyes her. The blue in Deckard's gaze is about the only color about him unless you count reddish brown. He's the color of the beach, sand and dirt and mud clinging everywhere it has space to. "I'd rather lie here," gruffed a little wheezily against the press of one of his own hands to his side, he pants out a few shuddering breaths and — pushes.

There is a pop. The gull is finally so disgusted that it takes wing, powering its way up off the beach with a final fuck you that takes the form of a pat of fishy white goop in the sand at Teo's approaching feet. "What does my leg look like?"

Nataliya grimaces. That should tell him something right there. "Broken," she informs him. "You need a doctor, which I am not." She finishes off her sandwich, wads up the tin foil into a ball, just drops it to the sand. "Much blood. Twisted." Nataliya frowns, raising her head and rotating half about to regard the approaching rider. She starts to stand, expression wary. "Someone come to finish you off?"

In fine style not recommended by riders of Ducati but acceptable to the demographic who'd originally gotten Teo his ride, he dumps his motorcycle and jumps off it in the same motion. The hog tilts, hits the ground one handle first, slithers to an ungainly stop nosed down into the beach, leaving a twisted groove sidewindering back behind it and a final, snorting roostertail of exhaust. The young man hits the ground running, yanking his helmet off his head in mid-motion. It's a little dramatic, granted, but white knights tend to dismount this way.

"Oh my fucking God, man," he exclaims at Deckard, very helpfully, slowing to a fretful hen's trot a few yards away. That is, too close for the appropriate paranoia that a baby terrorist really should show in the presence of a stick-wielding stranger and his beleaguered comrade. "What the fuck happened? Did you—?!" Teo's head snaps around to lance the stick in Nataliya's hand with retroactive suspicion. There's no noticeable blood on Nataliya's club, however, and Deckard doesn't have that caught-and-crippled coyote rictus on his face, so the Sicilian settles for simple incredulity.

"Did you poke him with a stick?!"

Good morning. Your leg is broken. Christ. Deckard mutters something incoherent about, 'Good thing you're hot because…' something something that doesn't manage to resolve itself into a complete sentence. The split in his forehead has narrowed into a cut, dry blood cracking along fine lines along the progress of ongoing repair while even that sutures itself slowly shut.

Little more than a lank length of blood-soaked and sand-caked driftwood at a distance, what movement he seems capable of doing is all there is to flag him as a person and not some random piece of potentially pawnable crap washed up overnight. He's stiff, clearly in pain, bruised and bloody and still a point of interest for a few of the hungrier gulls still darting across the clear blue sky when the incoming 'cycle sends the majority bustling off down the beach en masse. "Hope so," departed at a gravelly mutter, he lets one hand fall slack back into the sand in time to squint blearily after Teo's hustling approach.

"Hey." That's the best thing he can think up to say. Hey. How's it going. His brows lift and he looks away again, after a passing bird. The line across his brow creeps away and is gone.
Leo's just coming along the beach - he's got a string bag over his shoulder, and has been either ragpicking or doing some other sort of salvage, though without worthwhile results… that the bag is completely empty. There's Teodoro and his ridiculous crotch rocket, and seeing it tipped on its side like a discarded toy has him picking up his pace from that weary browser's shuffle into a hasty jog-trot. "Teo," he says, habitual scowl settling back into place, as he comes up on the Sicilian.

Nataliya swipes her free hand clean on her jacket. "Yes, I poked him with a stick. I needed to know if he was dead or not. You two know each other? Good. Lucky." She nods to Teo then. "Now you can be concerned with him and his broken leg." Glancing down at Deckard, the narrowing cut on his head is blinked at. "…Wait. Just how lucky are you?" Leonard's glanced up at, but the curious case of the nearly dead okay not really man at her feet pulls her attention more firmly, beyond basic wariness.

Teo sloughs down onto his knees at the broken graverobber's side, at about the same moment Nataliya tells him he should be paying attention to his friend's horrific injuries, acknowledging her gem of wisdom with what looks like prompt obedience. What hesitation that the presence of an unknown quantity had stalled him evaporates the instant Leonard shows up. Despite that they haven't really been able to keep each others' company for— an eon, having the telekinetic around to watch his back still comes to Teodoro as naturally as breathing.

"Heard you could do that now," he says, glancing up at Flint's narrow face, his sealing brow, with a grim sort of conscientious. "I don't— I've never seen how healing broken limbs is gone, but Abby's healing used to fuck around with the plate in my head, so— uh." His gaze swivels down to the torqued misalignment of bone underneath the fabric of Flint's pant leg. "Do you— should we reset that?"

"I'm lying on a beach in a pool of my own blood with a broken leg. You tell me," muttered irritably up at Nataliya's blinking observation, Deckard proves that his mental facilities and social deficiencies are mostly intact despite the battered state of the rest of him. The back of his hand pushes moist grime up off the space where the slice was, chilly eyes harsh against the sun's warming beat. That same hand is stretched out in a bland request of assistance, from Nataliya or Teo, whichever of them happens to take an interest in helping him into a painful sit.

He coughs, sand and a fresh dribble of blood slicking vibrant from the base of his nose once he's semi-vertical. More deep breaths; more wheezing. Odds are the leg isn't the only thing about him that's still broken. "I dunno." His eyes are hollow in his head, unhealthy shadows blacked in around crisp blue in distant resemblance to an anole that's had a similarly shitty time of things. "Sure. Wh—why not."

"Not here, either way," rasps Leo. There's really not a lot of pity in his face for Deckard's misfortune, but nor is there malice and schadenfreude. Nataliya's presence keeps him from using his own power to help Deckard, so he simply offers a hand up. "Should get him to the Lighthouse, or some other shelter," he notes, dark gaze coming to rest on the stranger here with a notable lack of actual curiosity.

Nataliya hesitates to stick her hand out to Deckard to help him up, and then Leonard's reaching out instead of her, so she stays where she is. "Do any of you know how to set a broken leg?" she asks, eyebrows raising. She looks over at the bike, shading her eyes from the sun. "You are lucky," she asides to Deckard. "Look, three angels just for you. What are the odds?"

Always one to be helpful, Teo hoists one hand up in the air, waves it around a bit. Yes, he knows how. Don't ask since when; it would take all day to explain, and there would probably be time-consuming debates afterward. "He'll be easier to move if his leg isn't dicked up," he points out. "It's not like any of us have a fucking car or anything. I— unless you have a car, signorina?

"Please?" He adds a hand to the totem pole formation on Deckard's proffered arm, and then a stabilizing grip on the old man's hip, but careful, like trying not to disturb broken tiles underneath the preserving tarp. Blond, blue-eyed, and profoundly worried, Teodoro is the opposite of Leo in every italicized circumstance other than physical size.

Deckard's fingers wrap like iron rails around Leo's wrist in return, bracing there while Teo adds in his own assistance and the old man draws into himself, teeth grit pinkish against the full creative scope of his own vocabulary. Scruffy head dipped, he pays little attention to the sand sifting out of his hair and down the back of his collar. Meanwhile, where his exposed skin meets that of any of his self-proclaimed angels, pleasant warmth finds its way to any bruises, cuts or scuffs in ragged, uneven bursts, like water trying to break its way through a frozen hose.

Teo's please gets a mute nod and a blast of death breath when he expels the air he'd been trying to hold in against cracked ribs and a bruised gut. Whatever it is: fix it.

The reluctance attached to this admission is clear, but Leo notes, lowly, "I can carry him. If need be. I can set a broken leg. Got that much training, at least," He moves to Deckard's bad side, drapes the older man's arm over his shoulder obligingly. Deckard will suddenly find it much, much easier to balance; the support offered is far more than just mundane.

Nataliya shakes her head. "No. Not unless I need one," she tells Teo, still standing back. She gives the three men a thoughtful look, then Teo's bike, and comes to a decision. "I'll be back," she says, turning and trotting toward the fallen Ducati. "If you can trust me."

"That would be fucking stupid," Teo says, casting his keys toward the woman in a graceful overhand flick of his arm, before reestablishing his hold on Flint. "I don't know you. Please don't get lost: I don't want to have to look for you." From a different sort of man, that would have been a threat. Teodoro sounds distracted, more than anything, as if he doesn't know a scuba ninja with GPS satellites linked into her head who would only kick his ass after she gave him the means to recover his vehicle.


"He has healing now," Teo tells Leonard, through the pain that blasts airy through Deckard's teeth between them. "He and Abigail got a visit from Tyler Case. I think he needs to be better than basically conscious to pull it off, though, and the reset would probably knock him on his ass again— so— fuck. Do you have any booze on you?" He probably isn't actually asking Leonard that. Setting his shoulder in under one of Deckard's dubious armpits, he scratches his jacket zipper down, digs up a flask.

"Thanks," managed grudgingly for simple support, Flint makes an odd kind of gasping noise when his arm is lifted those few extra degrees before he can protest. He's quiet again after that, less personable now that he's at a ninety degree angle and feels like…well. Like someone has taken a lead pipe to him.

At close range he smells about as well as might be expected, bright eyes turned aside after Nataliya's imminent departure. What's her name? Exasperation tightens into crows feet tacky with accumulated blood, but he doesn't waste the air necessary to press Teo into asking. Breathing is the main thing, especially with static fuzz buzzing white at the fringes of his vision and in his ears. He does have booze somewhere unspecified. Another nod says so. It just doesn't say where.

Leonard is merely there to be essentially a fence post, for the moment. "No," he says to Teo, flatly. "Not a drop on me. C'mon, I was raised Baptist, what're you thinking?" At least his tone turns faintly teasing on the last few words. He doesn't seem particularly bothered by Deckard's state. He's seen worse. A lot worse - Flint isn't human barbecue with only his dog tags to prove he was ever a person.
Nataliya catches the keys with a faintly surprised look; she recovers quickly, smiles a flash of a bright smile, and is up and away on the bike lickety-split, ponytail streaming out behind her as she spins up sand in her wake. And soon enough she's out of sight, for better or for worse.

Names schmames. Teo just handed off his 'ridiculous crotch rocket' to a complete stranger who happened to be trying to peel his half-dead friend off the beach with a stick because she sort of seemed like she was about to help. A name isn't going to change anything, and he's busy unscrewing the lid of the liquor receptacle with his teeth by then, anyway. Freeing it, he glances over his shoulder at Nataliya's shrinking figure, then turns back. "Won't kill us to wait a half hour.

"Here," he holds up the nozzle up to Flint's mouth. "Try'n patch up what you can and we'll sort out the rest after we get you to the Lighthouse. What happened?" The lines around the edges of his nose deepen slightly when Flint eddies up into his delicate sensibilities, but Teo doesn't make a face or anything. Glances, instead, over at Leonard.

Draped drearily between Teo and Leonard, Deckard is looking more and more corpselike rather than less. Taking note, a familiar-looking gull comes in for a hard landing a few feet out, where it then fast-walks over to hook its beak down after a scrap of plastic trash. Like it isn't watching every move they make. Grizzled stubble scrapes caustic against leather when Flint turns his head vaguely to the sound of Teo's voice in his ear. "I can't do anymore," muffled between their shoulders, he does not show any outward interest for the offer of the flask when his chin dips back towards his own chest. Meanwhile, his broken leg seems to have stiffened out somewhat in the position its in. The broken…position. That he might have just partially healed it into. "Guy with a…I dunno. A bat. A pipe. Something."

"You get robbed?" Because that fake homeless guy look just begs 'Rob me for my Rolex', doesn't it? He shoots Teo a disbelieving look. "Did you just fall off the turnip truck, Teodoro? You're never gonna see that bike whole again in this lifetime? Who'd you blow to get such a sweet ride, anyhow?" And then he thinks about it a moment, and his question is answered. Which has Leo looking more dour than ever.

Amazingly, Teodoro manages not to go tomato color from the collar of his shirt to the top of his head. "Oh for fuck's sake. Elvis gave it to me," he mumbles, in a voice that proposes in bold font and capital letters, despite the lack of volume, that they not do this now. "Thanks, asshat.

"Fli… Flint?" The tip of Deckard's chin winds up pressed up flattening against the nudge of the flask as the Sicilian makes a poorly-conceived effort to right him out despite not having any hands free to grasp with. Consternation mashes Teo's brow into creases as he then hazards a glance over at the leg. "Oh, fuck. Why d—" he cuts short with a sigh through his teeth and squints against the wrinkling refractions of sunlight off the sea, checking open bleeds, other injuries. "Later, then."

"No." No, he didn't get robbed. One eye squinted shut against the press of the flask against his face, Deckard offers up no resistance one way or the other. His scruffy chin lifts an inch or two, blue eyes slitted out at the surf he was almost drowned in a few hours ago. Trash and bloody sand aside, it's almost cheerful out here during the day, with the foamy rush of waves over sand and gulls crying out dibs on the soft bits around his long face. If there are any.

He swallows when the cat fight starts, one brow lifted in silent resignation for the sandwich he's just realized he's a part of. For all that there seems to be blood everywhere, there are no open wounds left in open sight on Flint's person. "I'll be okay." He even frowns to himself as he says it, so you know he really means it.

The legions of crabs are still mourning their lost meal. Ah, well, some other day, right? "Ah," says Leonard, a wealth of mollification in that one syllable. The prospective spat dissolves like morning mist. "You're welcome," he says, sunnily.

A motor rumbles in the distance, fast approaches. Soon enough, an old, solid station wagon complete with side wood paneling appears and rolls on down the beach at a decent clip with a blonde woman at the wheel. Nataliya came back! That was fast. Really, really fast. Criminally fast.

"Good." Despite his saying so, contentment is far away from Teodoro's face, as ever. In the next few awkward minutes that the lopsided manwich spends on the beach under the intensifying dawn, he is busy scowling at seagulls and visibly straining against the instinct to fling his flask at the single crab that is peeking out of its driftwood camp, daring it to signal its comrades. It's probably a good thing when Nataliya shows up. For Deckard, the crabs, the flask— which is put away after he takes a pull. Just one.

He waves, just once, before starting to ease upward, his fingers latticed against the round bone of Deckard's wrist, other arm creaking rough-rope against the fabric of the other man's jacket, careful. "I should have laid bets on it," he mutters, sidelong at Leonard.

"Should get her number," is Deckard's hoarse opinion on Nataliya's return. Hard to tell which of his shoulder supports he is suggesting this to. Especially when you consider that he might be suggesting it to himself, though Brian's cell phone stuffed down into his back pocket will likely never see another phone call in its corroded life.

Uuup he goes at their behest, right leg staggered into a shoddy support beneath him where it may not even be needed. The left swings useless, boot toe dragging another line out in the moist sand when they finally start for the approaching car.

Upon the realization that its meal plan is on its way out, the one remaining gull on the beach gives up on its piece of plastic wrapper and turns its head to focus on the rapid blink blink blink of little stalk eyes and motoring mouthparts. A few seconds later, the flat, bloody stretch of sand Deckard was resting in is covered over anew with castoff of the ensuing battle.

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