Ulterior Motives


deckard_icon.gif nataliya_icon.gif

Scene Title Ulterior Motives
Synopsis Nataliya wants Deckard's money. He decides to vaguely dump on her about his crappy life if he's going to be paying for her time anyway. Therapy is expensive.
Date June 14, 2009

The Rookery

Staten Island is full of crappy bars. The crappy bars do business even at two-thirty in the afternoon. Nataliya is not one of the patrons; she's currently kneeling by a motorcycle parked by the sidewalk, whacking at it with tools while an unhappy biker looks on. "I tell you to take this in for maintaining," she's grousing at him. "What do you do? Ride it into the ground. That is why it will not start now. You will be lucky if I can get it to." Her own motorcycle, a rather unimpressive thing, is parked nearby as well.

Deckard is. Or — was. One of the patrons. Tie tugged loose around his neck, long-legged suit ideally cut for someone with more mass around their middle, Deckard shoulders out the door in a cloud of smoke and low, muffled conversation. Cigarette stink and perpetual scruff aside, he looks to be pretty clean. What he doesn't look is healthy. The sockets around the chill blue of his eyes are sunken in deep and dark, creating a coonish contrast with light irises and white rims. His cheek and collar bones jut, his hands are spidery. But! There's a mellow, pleasantly buzzed and lazy air to the way he blinks in the sunlight and reaches to adjust the hang of the holster under his coat. Things can't be all bad.

It takes him a minute to recognize what it is that's familiar just outside. A voice, and then a face once the halo blearing around everything clears off a touch. Oh. Hey. Over that way he wanders, boots scuffing at a drag over cracked concrete.

Nataliya straightens up and attempts to start the bike; it goes, but it sounds sickly. "That's the best I can do out here," she tells the still-unhappy biker. "Bring it to an actual mechanic, yes?" She shoots him a glare. He is mistreating his ride! That done, she turns away to stride to her own vehicle. Swinging one leg over it, she's reaching for her helmet when she spies a familiar lanky fellow. He looks like shit. She winces faintly, flicks her ponytail over her shoulder, and calls, "You look like shit! But still better than the last time I saw you. That is sad."

"Thanks." Maybe it's — a compliment. Kind of hard to tell. Well. In retrospect probably not. Brows lifted after the biker's put-pup-puttering departure, Deckard lets his hands fall into the slack of his pockets, largely unbothered. There are mirrors where he's staying, after all. "You look…the same." It's an honest reply, about on level with the nature of her observation, if somewhat uninspiringly so. "And when I say that," he feels compelled to point out a few seconds later, cynicism twitching down at one brow while leaving the other untouched, "I mean it as a compliment."

Nataliya's eyebrows go up. "Flattery will get you nowhere," she tells him with a pleasant grin. She doesn't seem offended; just amused. Highly amused. She's easy that way. "I cannot help but notice you do not have a cast on your leg, mystery man."

"Are you sure? You're smiling. As opposed to…I dunno. Hitting me with your purse and running away." Does she even have a purse? Doesn't take more than a downward glass to determine that…nnnnooooo. No purse. "Were you hoping I would let you sign it?"

"Maybe. Maybe draw a funny picture," Nataliya replies, still grinning. "I like smiling. Much better than frowning." She shrugs, shoulders rising and falling in a nondescript leather jacket. Protection on the bike, see. But kind of hot. "You seem like the type of man to wallow in misery. Are you?"

That's kind of a deep question to be answering while operating in the warm midst of a healthy buzz. Both of Deckard's brows are up again, forehead furrowed, eyes tracking hazily away across the street while he considers with a slant-shouldered shrug. "Better than drowning in it."

"Just a tip of the shoulder," Nataliya tells him. "Do you have a name? You at least owe me that. And several beers, I would think."

Something like bland surprise lets some of the natural tension out of the lines around Flint's eyes and scruffy mouth, tempering more delicately towards suspicion until he scrubs it away with a steep breath. "…Deckard. Or. Flint. Whichever." Awkward. A blink and a slight shake of his head later, he glances over his shoulder at the bar, then back to Nataliya. "We could go back in."

Nataliya clambers off her bike again and tucks the helmet under her arm. No reason to leave it just lying about. She lopes over toward him. "Whichever," she tells him. "It has been a long day already, and I would like some beer." This is offered as a sort of explanation. Hey, old guy. I'm not hitting on you, I just want some brewskies.

"Sure." Sure. Not generally one to assume that people are hitting on him for practical reasons, Deckard is unfortunately not immune to wishful thinking. He hesitates again before he nods once and turns to lead the way. Even holds the door open and everything, which would probably be a nice gesture if they were heading into anywhere other than the shithole that is this bar.

It's the little things. Nataliya nods as she passes ahead, heading immediately for the bar. "Your most medium-quality beer!" she tells the barkeep as she settles onto a stool. Jerking a thumb over her shoulder, she further announces, "It's on him." The helmet is plunked down on the bar beside her. Plunk.

"Yeah. Beer for me too," Deckard tells the same keep, stopping him short in his reach for the whiskey bottle he'd abandoned not five minutes ago. He's slower to lower himself onto the next stool over, still a little stiff and sore despite himself once he's finally settled. The mugs that get placed before them are clean, at least. Mostly clean. …Passably clean. "So." He reaches for the handle to turn it towards him, tendon and bone etched clear into the back of his hand, "what's with the accent? Legit or just a tool to help you pick up old creepers in bars?"

Nataliya snorts indelicately. "I don't have an accent. You, you have an accent," she tells him, closing her harm around the handle of her own mug. She turns wide eyes on him in faux-innocence. "Goodness. I'm not picking you up, am I?" Now that he's mentioned it, she's trying a little harder not to be so damn accented.

"I kind of doubt it," Deckard admits, direct without real shame now that he's had some time to get past his initial bumbling. He doesn't…talk to people, lately. Female people even less than others. "Unless you're planning to take me back to your place to pump me full of alien fetuses or something."

"…Does that happen to you often?" Nataliya asks with only a moment or two of blinking over the rim of her mug. Direct works.

"No. At least — not yet." Fingers crossed, according to the wind of paired fingers on Deckard's right hand once control of his beer turns over to the left. "With everything else that happens to me, I'm sure it's only a matter of time."

"If it does happen, you could probably make a lot of money from it," Nataliya points out. Literally, she points at him for a moment. Just in case it's not clear she's talking to him. "A veritable windfall, yes?"

"If I thought I could make money telling outlandish stories based in reality without getting sent to prison forever and ever I wouldn't be here." Which is a lie, if the sidelong tug at the line of his mouth is any indication. He'd be here anyway. Maybe even with a couple of thugs of his own to stave off muggers after his dolla dolla bills. Beer sipped and swallowed and sipped again without regard for the film around the opposite rim of his mugs, Deckard glances sideways down the opposite length of the bar, doubtlessly after someone's ass.

Well, maybe she shouldn't wear those short shorts if she didn't want to get stared at! Not Nataliya. Whatever strumpet Deckard's glancing at, but this isn't really the classiest joint. "Who says outlandish stories? You would have alien fetuses. Right there, in your man-womb."

"Proof isn't the issue. The issue is more that I'm wanted for murder and arson and a few other…related charges. So." Uneasiness returns there towards the end, putting some pause between words while Deckard's brain turns slowly over in realization that this is not an appropriate kind of thing to be telling new people. Jaw sliding into a sideways set, he glances fleetingly back over her way and then away to lift his beer again.

"Mm," Nataliya says. She doesn't sound all that surprised. This is Staten, after all. This is madness! Wait, that's backwards for the pop culture reference win. "So no making yourself popular. I see. Is that why someone broke your leg and left you for dead, or is that an entirely different exciting story?"

"No." Right hand scrubbed idly through the wiry, grey grizzled curl at the back of his skull, Deckard shakes his head. Matter-of-fact. Different ordeal. "He slapped me around with a lead pipe because I killed him a few weeks ago. Except — someone brought him back. And I guess he wound up remembering somehow. I dunno."

Nataliya extends one foot to nudge at Deckard's leg, the one that was broken. "That is even more impressive than not having a broken leg," she says, eyebrows up up up again. Well, it is pretty impressive. "You should do a better job next time."

"He was dead. Trust me," Flint squints an eye, confident in his supernatural skills of observation back when he still…actually had them. "I checked." No heart to have a pulse with. No respiration. He was dead. He nudges her back with the foot on the same side, tension easing off again now that she hasn't freaked out and skittered sideways out the door like a nervous crab. Back to the buzz. "Next time I'll put him through a woodchipper."

Nataliya's leg is as good as ever. "Mmn. Possibly. Very messy, though. You know how to look for a pulse, yes?" Seriously. Dead people don't come back to life!

"Messy enough to deter whichever asshole decided to put him back together last time. He was dead." A little more intense there in his certainty, Deckard peers at her with cold eyes guarding a flicker of out of place insecurity. Over his ability to effectively murder people, apparently.

"Is this more… super… comic book things?" Nataliya asks, draining a good gulp of her beer and signaling for another. She's not quite done, but dammit, she will drink another.

"Probably." Only halfway through his own beer, Deckard declines to keep pace, fairly content with the alcohol cobwebs already fuzzed pleasantly around the fringes of his brain. He props a bony elbow up on the bar surface, palm turned up to support the ridge of his cheekbone. It's cheaper to get drunk when you're drawn and gaunt. So. At least there's that.

"I never got a super power," Nataliya says, a little mournfully. "Perhaps laser beams from my eyes. That could be fun."

"It was fun for a while." Deckard's free hand traces an idle thumb through the condensation settled in thick around his glass. His eyes drag down after the progress it makes, blandly absent. "Not so much now. Anyway. You have other assets."

Nataliya stops wiggling her fingers outward from her eyes. "I am very good with a wrench," she tells him, lips quirked at one corner.

Brows hiked at an angle, condensation etchings tracked to a gradual halt, Deckard slides his eyes back over onto her sidelong. Considering, until one brow twitches just a little higher than the other.

"I am sure that is exactly what you were thinking," Nataliya says, all fake innocence and wide eyes. She finishes her first beer and picks up the second. The buzz is coming along nicely now. "What is it you do when you are not lying mostly dead on a beach or drinking, Deckard?"

"I'm an underwear model." Any less casually departed and it might be true. The rest of Flint's fingers resume directionless drawing through increasingly scarce condensation and he looks away, this time to nothing in particular. "The superhero and assassin gigs are only part time."

Nataliya laughs immediately, nodding. "Of course. I should have guessed." She sobers a little. "What is it you do? Super hero like."

"Kill innocent people. Get kidnapped on purpose. Spend a week in a cage on a big boat. See things I shouldn't see, do things I shouldn't do. Fail to prevent terrible things from happening to people I care about. Lie, steal and cheat." For all that his is a brief summary of the last year or so, it encompasses the big things. Or at least the important ones. Enough so that he gestures for a round of his usual to be poured in place of the beer he hasn't expressed much interest in over the pause that follows. "All the usual stuff."

Nataliya remains somber through that. That's a pretty shitty deal. "Also not a super power. How is the dental?"

"I can regrow my own teeth if they get knocked out of my head." Why so much honesty? Maybe because he has no idea who she is and it doesn't really matter anyway. A squat glass of whiskey is thumped down in front of Deckard's place at the bar; the beer is taken away.

"A pity. You might look good with a gold tooth," Nataliya tells him, feigning a little smile. Perhaps he will cheer up! "But probably for the best overall, yes? You are a strange man, Flint Deckard."

Deckard doesn't look likely to cheer up at any point in the next couple of decades. Granted, he isn't sloggingly unhappy either. Just kind of distracted and tired and maybe experiencing a bit of a buzzkill for his own line of thought. "Yep."

Nataliya considers this. Well, he has been drinking a little. "…But do you play pool?" She jerks a thumb toward the gross old table tucked in the corner. He is not so sad she won't try to take his money. More of his money.

"Not well." He has to twist around to squint at the indicated gross old table over his shoulder, one hand balanced against the bar to root him to the stool.

"Neither do I," Nataliya says, cheer coming back, like a big lying lying. "Let's have a game." No. No, bad idea, Deckard.

Suspicion hardens in again when he looks back to her and sees the smile. That smile. Odds are it's one he's seen plenty of times before in bars around the Rookery, what with a target practically painted onto the suitcoat between his shoulder blades and all. Rather than answer immediately, he takes a long swallow of his whiskey and reaches around for his wallet to start counting rumpled bills out onto the bar surface.

Nataliya has another long sip of beer, considering him as he considers. He looks like he might be wise and not quite as easily distracted as she might've thought before. Huh.


Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License