2007-03-12: Avengers Assemble

Starring:

Niki_icon.gif DL_icon.gif Drake_icon.gif Elena_icon.gif

Summary: D.L. and Niki try to talk some things out while waiting for their son, when they're approached by a Messenger of the Powers That Be. (What?)

Date It Happened: March 12, 2007

Drake Maxwell's Guide To Saving The World: Chapter One - Avengers Assemble


Streets of NY

New Car. Bought with Cash. Money from operations of a Company nature are, well, capable of paying for things like this. Which is why D.L. went and purchased one. If they were going to be staying in New York, they couldn't rely on taxicabs forever. D.L. is in the driver's seat of the vehicle, flipping through the real estate section of the newspaper. Highlighter in hand and angry look on his face. "This. This right here is why I want to go back to Vegas." He turns to his wife, smacking at the newspaper. "These crack prices!" His eyes move from the newspaper and up through the window of the car. Since, well, it's parked across the street from Micah's school.

An elbow propped against the door, just beneath the securely rolled-up window of the passenger side, is Niki. She has her forehead in her hand, leaning in a pose that screams "tired and stressed out" more than "relaxed". "I miss home too," she says with the tone of voice that suggests there's probably a 'but' coming. "But you know there's no place in Vegas that can help me. We'll just have to find a way to afford it." A way that doesn't involve /crime/, optimistically. "I've been looking for work."

"Yeah." D.L. doesn't sound like he particularly cares for the topic of conversation. Here he was trying to talk about housing and avoid the inevitable, but there are some things that just have to be said. Like, "I ain't exactly on board with this whole 'let these people experiment on my wife' thing. In case you ain't know." He pulls the newspaper back and starts folding it closed. His mood for house shopping is no longer there. "I just think there's more to 'em than whatever they're telling us." He's confused. "Stealing paintings? What the hell does that have to do with medicine?" Jinkies. A clue?

"They're not /experimenting/ on me. You make it sound like I'm some kind of lab rat," Niki replies with a tiny bit of defensiveness in her voice, as if the thought is insulting, and yet… after she says it, the woman adopts a slightly pensive look and gives pause, glancing toward the dash of the new car. "…They aren't what they look like, and to be honest? I don't trust them. But I don't have much of a choice."

"That's what I don't get. Why don't you have a choice?" D.L. shifts in his seat, turning to try and get a better look at her. God, she's beautiful. Even when she's shoving her heel into the chest of another stripper to stop her from calling the cops, she's beautiful. It's that Jessica attitude that turns him off. "I don't get why they're the only ones in the entire world that know about this stuff." A shrug is added to the mix of physical emotions. "I just don't want anything to happen to you."

"When I was in their hospital, there were a bunch of other people there - people who could do all sorts of crazy things," Niki explains - not with the wide-eyed excitement their son might have, for example, when hearing about others who can do the things in his favourite comic books. Hers is a decidedly vexed expression. "That's what they do. They work with people like… like us." Her own wording doesn't sit well with the blonde; she shifts in the unfamiliar seat of the car sitting across from the school, a frown both on her lips and her brow. "When I was locked up, you know what happened. They couldn't handle it when Jessica'd come out. But this hospital? It's like, what they do or something." That's why she doesn't have a choice.

"Work with people like us or use us to steal priceless artifacts from lofts in the middle of the city?" Cynical D.L. has approached Defcon Five and he's not really caring about what lies have been tossed into the head of his wife. "But, I'll leave it alone. I can't change your mind. All I can do is support you." What, being the husband and all is not exactly glamourous. "Just do what you need to do so we can get this family back together." That's the most important thing on the Big Black Man's mind, that's for sure.

Niki faces D.L., unrestrained by any seatbelt at the moment. "I'm not saying they're not shady, but they know what they're doing. And they helped me, so now I owe them." D.L.'s agreement means a lot - more than she can put into words, so the gratitude in her eyes tries to express it for her. "Thank you. You know that's all I want."

D.L. clearly wears the dress in this relationship. He can't put food on the table. He's always in trouble with the law. He can't seem to put Micah in a good school. This whole being a husband and a father isn't exactly as easy as Dr. Huxtable made it look. He nods a bit, not really wanting to seem so agreeable, but he's expressed his distrust long enough. "I love you, Niki." Random. He just felt like he needed to say it. In case his recent activities have shown otherwise. "I'm not going to be able to find a job, you know that, right?"

"I love you, too." Spoken with conviction. It's not so random - and it makes things feel so much more solid when they could so easily crumble. "I know it's hard, D.L., it's hard for me too. I mean, you know all the crap that comes up on a background check for the both of us now. But you found a job in Vegas, a /good/ job," A tiny smile starts to show, trying to be reassuring— mostly, it's just hopeful. "A /legitimate/ one," she adds and, perhaps not-so-untimely, glances onto the street toward Micah's impromptu public school. "Have you talked to the New York Fire Department?"

D.L. just shakes his head, not trying to hear all this reassuring nonsense. He's pretty sure that, well, there's not exactly going to be a line of people willing to vouch for him to do the job. Especially since his old job fired him. The whole unreliable, picking up and running across the country thing kind of ruined the whole getting a letter of recommendation thing. "They wouldn't hire me." Translation: He didn't even try. Race + Ex-Con Combo Card.

Niki runs a hand through her hair, leaning back against the seat. Worry etches her face at every opportunity it finds. "I just… I think maybe you should try," she says with a quick, one-shouldered shrug. She doesn't push it any further. Instead, she goes quiet for a spell before she lays one of her deceivingly soft and gentle hands on D.L.'s forearm. "We'll get through this."

Something of a negative person, D.L. doesn't particularly seem to be too reassured. But it could have something to do with the fact he's, well, D.L. And he's been through a helluva lot. Always goes through a lot. "I hope so." He decides to look around a bit, shaking his head before looking at the clock on the dash board. "So. What time does he get out of school anyway?" He has no idea what's going on. He was too busy looking through the paper for something. "Should I go see what's up?"

Running down the sidewalk, with Elena in tow, Drake hollers over his shoulder. "I swear I saw them in that car that just drove past, and hung a left at the street light! I'd never forget her face!" He says, making great strides easily enough, being that he's a soccer playing, slash, martial artist. Hopefully the 'dancer' can keep up with him. "If you want, I can just come back for you later, it's not like I'll have a problem finding you. I got all the time in the world!" Leaping over a bench, he plants his hands into the back of it, and wheel carts over, lands, then continues on his quick pace without missing a beat.

Niki is not exactly the most optimistic person in the world either. It's pretty hard to look on the bright side with the twists and turns and horrors life has thrown at her - but what has to be done has to be done. She's putting on one of those brave faces for D.L.; she squeezes his arm affectionately. "Three," she answers. It's a nice subject change. "But he has chess club, so we have a while to wait while he beats everyone at their own game." Micah's parents are both unemployed losers who have nothing better to do than sit in a parked car reading the newspaper, apparently.

She can keep up, don't worry. While Elena's not running as fast as Drake, she does ohurdle over a few things, and she has been rollerblading for years so she can do some stunts with it (hah hah). She speeds down the walkway - following Drake, and she rolls her eyes skywards from behind him. "Drake! -Why- are we stalking these people again?" she calls out. Yeah. She's so not cut out to be a superspy.

"I'm not /stalking/ them, I just need to talk to them!" Drake says as he cuts another corner, then slides to a stop as he spies the car in the parking lot of the academy, taking a deep breath. ".. They got kids or something?" He mumbles to himself, before looking to Elena once she reaches him. With a clear of his throat, he makes his way for the car, giving it a bit of a wide berth, so that he can round in front of the wind shield, a good five feet away. Wiggling his fingers, he hopes to catch their attention.

Oblivious to the fact that she has a stalker, Niki shrugs and takes the newspaper D.L. discarded earlier, glancing over the highlighted sections of type. She props a singular knee up on the dash and rests the paper over the denim, balancing it there with a few self-manicured fingers. Her eyes are just starting to widen in dismay at the housing prices when she catches something out of the corner of her eye - at first, all she spots are schoolkids crossing the street with the help of a crossing guard, since the bell rang a short time ago to let them out. Presently, though, her attention catches on Drake, and to a lesser extent, Elena. "…Isn't that the kid from the roof?" Attention: caught, but she doesn't do anything about it. Yet. She just glances at D.L.

"They -are- together, and if you see wedding rings…" lena points out reasonably, slowing down and braking on her rollerblades. She has her hood up, and she slides her hands in her pockets. "But…why do you need to talk to them?" she asks. "Is this about the roof again?" She fiddles with the lining on her pockets. She knows they're…similar to herself and Drake. The only problem is ever since a couple of days ago, she's been wary of approaching strangers. Drake has yet to develop that problem, or so she thinks, as far as other Evolveds go. When Niki's eyes fall on Drake, she nudges him. "You're right, she is pretty hot," she murmurs. Niki's got the classic svelte blonde thing going for her after all.

"Ridiculously hot." Drake murmurs to Elena, giving another wave to Niki, motioning to her and D.L. With a call over, he says, "Hey, can we talk to you, please!?" He cups his hands to his mouth. "It's important." Like, real important, really, really important. He himself is wearing a baggy pair of jeans, and a simple shirt with a zip up jacket hugging his frame. He looks anxious, practically bouncing up, and down on the balls of his feet. "Niki, right? That's your name..?"

There's some obvious reluctance on Niki's part. She regards Drake with a vague air of wariness that, perhaps, matches Elena's. But she can't exactly blame the guy for wanting to talk to her - so, with a sidelong glance of reassurance to D.L., she tosses the newspaper on the dash and opens the car door. "Hey," the 'ridiculously hot' blonde calls out, a friendly - and modest - smile on her face. She only has a thin, unzipped hoodie and tanktop on to protect her from the chill that still lingers. Grey, blue. Jeans. Pretty standard mom wear. "Yeah. Um. You were on the roof the other day, right?"

She gives a noncommittal wave, Elena sliding over to where Drake was standing earlier as he approaches. It was his show, he can do the talking. At the same time, she'll be the one doing the listening - and the watching of his back. She slides her hands from her hoodie, and into her back pocket, giving Drake a glance. She still looks a little confused, but she'll remain around.

"Yeah, I was. My name is Drake Maxwell." The young blonde says as he makes his way over, offering up a smile. "I.. I saw what you and.. him could do." He says, motioning with a hand towards D.L. in the car. "And.. I assume you saw what I could do.. I just wanted to thank you .. formally, for saving my life, when I probably would have toppled over the edge when I caught that woman. Strength such as yours is a gift."

Oh hell no. There is not about to be no drama while D.L. is up in this piece. The driver's side opens up and the big black man of black buffness steps out. Unlike the others, he's not really dressed for the winter. But that could be because his player is too lazy to write multiple descriptions. Beyond that, though, he works on turning his face up into that Angry Black Man Go Away face that he knows sends chills up the spine of those that aren't capable of handling them. Boo. His frown stays plastered on as he moves right around the car to come up behind Niki and make with the protective arm-wrapping. "Sup." is the only greeting given to Butch Elena and The Sun-Drake Kid.

Niki holds onto the car door, shielded by it; but after a few moments of listening to the teenagers, she steps away from the vehicle and shoves the door shut idly, only to be shielded by D.L. instead. She pointedly does not introduce him; she just flashes him a thin 'it's all okay, really!' smile. "…we were just in the right place at the right time. I mean— you're welcome, though," she says, quirking a one-sided little smile, but it's warm, even if it's still modest as all get out. This woman is a reluctant hero at best. "It's nice to meet you, Drake."

"So, hey.. Niki, and… I take it this is your.. boyfriend? Husband? It's just.. it was nice to know that there are others like me who are willing to do the right thing out there, instead of sitting around on our gifts, and wasting it. Even if it was just right place at the right time." Drake pauses for a moment, before saying, "So.. um.. New York is gonna like.. go to hell.. and um… we're trying to stop it." He says, motioning to Elena. "So, um.. long story short.. there's this virus that's gonna wipe us all out, as well as a tornado. Crazy, huh? There's sorta these.. pictures that can tell the future. And so.. long story short.. we… could use help.. if.. you know.. if you were into that.. sorta.. thing." How does one explain saving the world to practically complete strangers. Weird, yes, but isn't this how the Avengers first got together? "Cuz', I am, and I believe it's my destiny to be apart of this.."

D.L. stares. Like that's the only way to describe it. He's in the middle of snuggling closer (yes, black men snuggle) his wife, as he subtly brings the wedding band hand in front, when Drake goes into spiel mode. Which, for the record, causes time to freeze around D.L. and he finds himself lost in the world of words that comes from Drake's mouth. "Say what?" He heard stuff. Something about pictures. The future. A virus. Pictures. "What the hell are you talkin' about?" He looks over to Elena, recognizes that she'll be no help and looks back at the babbling kid. "I'ma' tell you like I told my son. I ain't wearin' no tights."

There's no other way to put it: Niki looks like she's about to be sick. Her blue eyes widen in intervals the more Drake talks, and she stares. She gapes. Her fair skin seems to become a little paler yet. It's a good thing the imposing figure of D.L. is standing where he is, because an arm lashes out to use him as support - and also wraps around his back and clutches at the fabric of his shirt. "I'm… not some kind of hero. Believe me," she adds to her husband's comment, sounding a bit… disconnected, but manages to offer Drake an apologetic shake of her head. "I'm sorry. I don't know what you're talking about." She looks to D.L and says quietly: "I think it's time to go get Micah."

Letting out a breath, Drake says, "Well, at least it didn't go as bad as I thought it would." He says, side long glancing to Elena, dropping his shoulders a bit. "Alright. Well.. sorry.. for bothering you two." He says, working out a quick smile, before saying. He looks a bit uncomfortable, wondering if he should push the issue, but one look over at D.L. causes him to stiffen up some. He's not about to get his ass kicked by a big scary dude who can walk through walls and make wife beater's look like a bra. He shifts his stance a bit, heading back to Elena. "Alright, I guess that's it. Let's go. I'm an idiot."

His companion doesn't say anything more. Instead, Elena is looking at Niki and watching her reaction, given the color draining from her face even as DL gives Drake the look. "….it sounds incredible, yeah?" she speaks up to the two quietly. "Almost fantastic. Even to people like Drake and you. But ….it seems like you believe us," she says, her words turned to Niki. "You look pale, even if it sounds ridiculous." She doesn't say the question out loud - but it's on her face. Does she know something? Even if she were evolved, if she didn't know what she knew, she would've told Drake 'Boy is you crazy?'

"Got that right." D.L. remarks, more or less to affirm Drake's statement of being an idiot. "Yeah, let's go." is tossed towards Niki. His eyes move over to Elena for a moment, but he doesn't say anything. There's nothing to say. In fact. he's only going to be here for a moment longer, because he's moving to lead his wife off towards the school. He can tell she's a little off and prays that it's not Jessica coming out, but whatever. They have a son to retrieve. Nope. Not heroes, are they.

Niki knows something, alright, but she's not about to explain it to Drake and Elena, poor kids. She starts to head toward the school across the street along with D.L., winding her away from the car; she pauses just long enough to shoot another apologetic gaze to the young man that she pulled off the roof's ledge, then to Elena in turn. What's she supposed to say? "I don't know anything about destiny."

"C'mon Elena." Drake says, pausing for a moment to watch the pair of older evolved head off. He squints his eyes in thought as he rubs the back of his neck, before settling his gaze into Niki's. "The only thing I know about destiny, is that I don't believe genetics had that much to do with what all of us can do. I believe in a higher power, and I believe that we have roles to play. This just may not be your chapter. It may have already been read, or the pages have yet to be turned, but.. you'll find it one day I'm sure." He says with a smile, giving a slight nod in their direction. "Plan C." He says, tilting his head to his BFF, before heading off down the street once more.

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