2009-11-06: Five Letter Word for FIRE?

Starring:

Hallis_V4icon.pngLena_V4icon.pngTiago_V4icon.png

Special Guest Stars…

Flint and Knox from Level 5

Date: November 6, 2009

Summary:

A convenience store gets robbed. Take heart, Louis Vitton was there to save the day.


"Five Letter Word for FIRE?"

Ling's Easy Mart

Somewhere in SoHo on the border of Chinatown, the owner of a small convenience store, an aging, short Chinese man with at least one cataract bags an older lady's purchases.

It's as a quiet a night as it ever is on this block, which is to say not very, but the store — helpfully named LING'S EASY-MART — isn't seeing much business. It's a claustrophobic little space, longer than it is wide, counter and freezer parallel the door to the left. It has a few, narrow rows of goods, sporting the usual necessities: chips, candy, cans, a limited amount of fresh(ish) grocery items, magazines and miscellany that doesn't fit anywhere else, some of which is imported. It's dim, rather than lit by garish convenience store lighting.

"Thank you!" he says and hands the woman her bag. She shuffles out, the door jingling as she goes, and Mr. Ling returns to his crossword puzzle. What's a five letter word for FIRE?

Soon after the woman disappears, the door finds itself jingling once again, accompanied with the easy laughter of on young man in particular. Tiago is grinning in that raucous manner as he looks over his shoulder to his companion and shuffles inside the convenience store. "Chyeah, shut up. You know I let you win anyway, so don't be actin' all high and mighty on me now. Anyway, you go grab the borin' stuff, I call dibs on cereal and beer!" Because, really, that's all a 20-something year old needs to survive off of in this world. As he bounds through the establishment in his baggy jeans and ridiculously oversized black hoodie, his fingers brush against the products found on the shelves. His appearance, and in general, his disposition is one which sends most mart-owners into fits of panic. He just /looks/ like the kind of kid who would pocket things for fun…and that's because he is one of them.

"Pft, yeah, whatever. You got schooled, may as well admit it." Lena enters on Tiago's heels, in the process of stripping her long gloves off as she goes. It is that they intend to misbehave. It's simply that walking into a convenience store with Tiago means that Stuff Happens, and it's best to be prepared. She shoves the garments in a rear pocket, making a face at the young man's retreating back as she's exiled to the boring stuff aisle. A friendly nod is offered Mr. Ling when the counter is bypassed. "Hey, man."

The day of retail therapy in SoHo was great. On the list of places that Hallis visited the Louis Vitton store may have just been the best. Carrying armloads of shopping bags filled with expensive things? Good. Finding out that her entire clique had been playing a nasty gag on her? Not so good. Finding out that you got a full page ad in W for Jimmy Choo? Joygasmic. The late night phone call from a certain congressman? Yeah, take that Trenton. As she recounts the events of her day, a small smile graces her features.

As she passes by the store, the young blonde pauses and peeks through the window. What's that front page? Oh my goodness!! Really?! Quickly, Hallis races into the store, her armload of bags knocking over a few items (which she doesn't pick up). She makes her way to the magazines and scoops up the rag. Soleil Caught!! Apparently the brunette is in rehab, yet again.

The aging store owner starts to fill in the letters F and L when the next prospective customers comes in. He bobs his head at Tiago and Lena and goes back to his crossword, distracted by keeping an eye on them every so often.

Like many things, business at the store comes in waves. A pair of thirty-or-forty-something men, looking like they're from Wall Street but raucous as a bunch of college boys, wander in off work after Hallis's rush in. It doesn't take much for the small store to become crowded.

After picking up a box of sugar-covered sugar flakes, Tiago ambles over towards the beverages, only to be side-tracked by one particular item in the store. He starts snickering then, and the freezer door is opened so the Brazilian can snatch up the can of Whip Cream without further ado, before heading down the couple of feet necessary to reach the alcohol. In the process, he accidentally backs into one of the said Business men. "Whoa - yeah, sorry there buck-o."

Lena tucks a long package of toilet paper under one arm (the price of living with a twenty-something male fond of beer and cereal) and then pauses to debate the relative merits of dish soaps. It's a flashback to suburbia, trying to determine if traditional lemon-scented soap is superior to the ALL NEW AROMATHERAPTHY!!! blend, with vanilla and some sort of flower. After a furtive glance in Tiago's direction, seeing him occupied with being a klutz, the teenager goes with the girly bottle. Then it's off towards the front. Except…Hallis. "Shit, are you stalking me?"

Glancing up from her magazine, Hallis barely recognizes the woman in front of her. In fact, she really only knows her from the coffee shop the other day, she was the freak that got in Chelsea's face. Taking a couple of steps backward, the blonde gives the woman a sort of smile/grimace and laughs. "Uh… Who are you?" She places a special emphasis on the last word. Her eyes drift over the woman's meager purchases and she instantly becomes confused by the bottle of dish soap. "What is that?" No, she's never bought the stuff before.

"No problem, kid, just watch where you're going!" Who said New Yorkers were mean. The businessmen carry on with each other as they head to the back of the store along the freezers, too.

The door is hauled roughly open a few moments later by a tall African American man with a goatee, just under six feet of wiry, highly-strung muscle. The guy's dressed in clothes that would make him blend in as a nobody: black jeans and a black jacket on, though it's dusty around the shoulders and collar. He is, however, not a nobody. Knox hasn't thought himself a nobody for quite some time now. And it shows. His glances about the convenience store are instantly shifty, calculating. He oozes power. Danger. Tiago isn't the only one Mr. Ling needs to watch.

And he's got a friend. The door jingle-jangles brusquely as a jingle bell can and a tall, rough, bald man steps up next to Knox. He gives the measly little store an unimpressed glance and shrugs. It'll do. "Let's rock 'n' roooooooooll." Meet Flint Gordon, Jr., and the flame (five across: five letter word for fire) of hot, blue fire that blazes up his hand.

Tiago doesn't much appreciate being referred to as a kid, despite the fact that he acts very much like one. However, he's been in New York long enough to know not to take offense to little things like that, and so the Wall Street types are graced with a wry smile and a roll of his eyes as he proceeds to pluck out a six pack of Miller. With this in hand, he turns just in time to catch the entrance, and the subsequent 'Flame On!' of Mister Tall, Rough, and Not-Quite-Handsome over there.

Tiago reacts almost immediately - although it is not exactly proactive; the box of cereal falls to the floor, and the man crouches down, partially to pick it up and partially, to get out of the line of sight of the two hostile men. With narrowed eyes and that niggling sense of trouble that is being brewed in the pit of his stomach, he lays low for the moment, glancing around the store frantically in an attempt to take stock of everyone and everything.

"I'm the idiot who tried to help you when you got sick in that trash can. You've been following me ever since, I swear to god." Lena grimaces to show her opinion of that. But wait…what? Distaste is replaced with surprise at the follow-up question. "You're kidding right? This?" The bottle of soap is lifted, but when the brunette glances down and spies that only the back label is visible… "Oh, this. It's like a rinse for dyed hair, you know? Put it on, leave it in for twenty minutes…" She's in a prime spot for front door viewing, and when the bell jingles, her gaze shoots past the waif before her to the pair who've just entered. It would have been just a casual sizing up. Except for the fact one dude has fire in his hand. Lena's jaw sags, and she takes a step backwards. "What the fuck?" It's one thing to know how to duck during a robbery, but…fire? In someone's hand?

Hallis looks at Lena as though she is an alien. "Why would I follow you?" she questions, her eyebrows quirking in quite a curious manner. "Seriously.." And with that, she rolls her eyes and begins to ignore the teen. The explanation for the bottle of soap is ignored as soon as the words 'rinse for dyed hair' come out of the girl's mouth. Everyone who is anyone goes to Jacque and if you can't afford Jacque… well you might as well kill yourself.

The young woman is quite the stranger to danger. In fact, walking along the sidewalk alone in the middle of the day is the closest she's ever been to any sort of a situation. So when the man comes in brandishing fire without a lighter, Hallis eyes him with a little bit of contempt, another Target… or Tarjay as some of the lower class refer to it. She looks around the store to spot the cameras, this man is probably just a Chris Angel wannabe, she saw the show in Vegas and it wasn't that impressive. Turning to the teen, she furrows her brow and shakes her head, "Calm down, it's probably one of those reality shows. Just smile and wait for the cameras. Gawd."

Maybe Flint's got a hell of a lighter. Or not. His whole hand is just on fire, and he's grinning like a madman all the while. Did someone say smile and wait for the camera? The man grins toothily in the direction of the girls, as if he overheard them — hell, maybe he did, it's a small store — and gets on with his first job, to turn and send a stream of the hot stuff up past poor Mr. Ling's head to the security camera. It sparks and melts instantly.

"Everybody DOWN or my friend here'll light you up!" his more calculating cohort shouts. It's half-hearted; he's more concerned with the shop owner. Knox stalks further into the small store with a swagger, approaching the counter. Without hesitation, he reaches across, grabs Mr. Ling by the throat, hauls him over the counter, and throws him on the floor with a snap. This is no ordinary robbery.

The Wall Street men drop instantly to the floor, the door to the freezer still open from where they were getting ice cream. What? Everyone needs frozen treats.

This…this is not good. Having preemptively hit the floor, Tiago licks his lips anxiously as his forehead crinkles with consternation. All of his personal good are dropped until, after a second of thought, he reaches back to grab the closest thing to him: the can of Whipped Cream. Holding onto it tightly like it happens to be the Holy Hand Grenade itself, the lad swears under his breath and tries to crawl his way in the direction of the exit - and more importantly - to the direction of the girls.

Lena's lack of faith in Hallis' explanation is justified when the security and then poor Mr. Ling are summarily dispatched. With a yelp, the brunette loses all semblance of cool and seizes the socialite's wrist, hauling her down to the floor. "I don't think they're fucking around," she mumbles to the blonde, huge eyes fixed on the men by the counter. "Don't move, okay? Just…keep your head down. Shit, where's…" But no, she doesn't quite dare cry out for her partner. Not yet.

The skin to skin contact with the emo girl would normally be flung off, but there's just something about her that feels so gosh darn good. With first contact, Hallis' heart begins to pump harder, as though she was running in the sand along the beach. Then little droplets of perspiration begin to form along Hallis' hairline. This is better than that late night phone call! Through the danger, Hallis gives the emo teen a flirtatious smile and nods. "Sure… anything you say."

Knox hops over the counter, sliding off it onto the other side. He tears the cash register open and starts stuffing bills into his coat.

Meanwhile? Flint takes a little stroll, enjoying himself. Fire still blazes in one hand, flickering and bright blue, a constant threat to everyone and anything. One move and the whole place could go up. This man's clothes looks like they've been put through the ringer — an ill-fitting jacket over a white shirt that's been stained, burned, and sweat through, and what looks a lot like pyjama bottoms. Escaped inmate chic, bitches.

One of the Wall Street men huddles behind the open freezer door. The other wrestles his phone off his belt and struggles to call it while on his belly.

Flint spots him with relish. He raises both hands and scorching azure fire of hell jets halfway across the small store, down at the man no doubt dialling 911. It's just like Knox said: he's lit up. The man is on fire from head to toe and screaming in agony, just like that. Isn't everyone glad they picked this store for all their convenience needs? "Who's bringin' it on next! Crispy or well done?!" Hands blazing, he whirls to Hallis and Lena. "Well hey there, little girls," he drawls, eyeing the bag of the petite one. "You buy anythin' pretty?"

Knox glares. Idiot's going to set the fire alarm off.

Tiago does not watch as the man is burned to a literal crisp, but he can smell it. Clenching his jaw, he is instead struggling to catch Lena's line of sight, and after a few more awkward squiggling, he manages to turn a curve into the aisle holding the Swiffer mops and catch sight of her. Unfortunately, Flint just so happens to be stalking his way closer to the girls as well. Suddenly distraught, he shoots Lena a determined sort of look, willing her to understand as he mouths: 'Take Him Out'. Suddenly, a series of actions are pushed forward - Tiago lifts his arm and chucks the can of Whipped Cream as hard as he can to a rather empty corner of the small store, hoping the loud clang that follows will serve as a distraction for the two escaped inmates.

"What?" Lena rewards Hallis with a startled glance. Oh! If they weren't in mortal danger, it'd be her cue to feel pretty damn stupid. She snatches her fingers away from the woman's skin, wiping them uselessly against her hip. "Right, whatever, just stay *down*, oka-" Then it's time for more yelping as a bolt of fire roars by and the screaming starts. Wide blue eyes stare up into the crazy ones above her, holding them for a split second before flicking towards Tiago. She blanches but rises slowly to one knee, hands held up in the universal signal of surrender. Time to dial up the sedatives… "T-that's a fucking awesome trick, man." It's just another con, right? Sure, Lena, keep telling yourself that. She'd stammer on, but then the can clangs against a shelf and the brunette lunges forward to in an attempt to grab Flint's wrist, this time.

Hallis is feeling pretty darn good right now and is almost ready for a cigarette. In fact, that's exactly what she does. Reaching into her purse, she pulls out a pack and taps out a slim filtered cylinder and places it between her lips. She digs further into her purse and frowns as she finds the silver zippo missing. There's got to be fire around here somewhere… She's not quite silent as she peeks her head up a little, just long enough to garner the attention of the man with all the fire. Sweet. When he saunters over and begins chatting her up, she gives him her most eye catching smile and twitches one eyebrow. "Yeah, do you think you could give me a li—"

It's right then that Lena lunges. Leave it to the poor people to spoil her fun. It always happens this way.

Flint would've gladly given Hallis a light — of some kind — but the clang of the canister is enough to distract him. He spins around, blazing fire and all, to see what it was. His fire is bright — his mind… thats up for debate. When his wrist is grabbed by the teenaged girl, it comes as a damn surprise. He's ready to whirl around and quite likely burn her face off on pure, animal instinct, but Lena's grasp… does something to him. The man staggers woozily, whatever focus he had squashed. His fire lowers into smaller flames around his fists — which lash out clumsily at Lena. "…what… the hell…"

On the other hand, the predatory eyes of Knox focus in the direction the Whipped Cream Distraction of '09 came from. He leaps over the counter, landing hard and marching down the nearest aisle looking for Tiago— but veers at the last second. "You," he threatens Lena all of a sudden, wild-eyed. Knox hones in on her instead, more looming the closer he gets. "Pack up the haul," he orders Flint sidelong. "I said pack it in!" Now to get to the bottom of this. Staring down the girls, especially Lena, he says, "You diiid something." Or Flint is just a moron; it's hard to tell.

If Tiago didn't know any better, he'd swear he had been drugged too. Adrenaline, fear, and panic all thrum through his veins, beating its persistent rhythm as the young man ducks behind the shelves to avoid being detected. He can feel the sweat trailing down his back, can hear the plopping of their feet on the linoleum floor. And, worse of all, he can see, in his mind's eye, the two thugs turning themselves on the defenseless (in his fantasy) girls. And all because he had fleeting delusions of heroics, too.

There is no turning back, and so after gasping in some of that sulfurous air, his hands grope along the shelves, searching for something, anything to be used in his advantage. And soon enough, his fingers close upon the steel handle of some object or another. Suddenly, he properls himself forward with a disorienting cry and lounges himself at the person of Knox, one of those oversized frying pans held over his hand, and he attempts to swing the cooking aid to Knox's noggin powerfully.

Lena's hands spasm and then close tightly around Flint's wrist, knuckles whitening with the strength of that grip. "Fucking right I did something." That retort would be far more impressive if it hadn't squeezed its way through a closed throat and emerged as a squeak. Then she scrunches her eyes shut and concentrates mightily upon knocking Flint out with a surge of pure heroin. It's a great plan, she knows it would totally work. Except for that fire in the fists thing.

"Ow, Jesus!" It's almost impossible for the human body to hold onto something that's burning them, and Lena proves it by screaming and letting the man go. Hands are flapped then curled to her chest as the teenager staggers back and hits the magazine rack beside Hallis. Tiago's entry the fray is a thing of beauty but alas, his roommate misses it, choosing instead to hunker down and whimper over her new blisters.

It is at this point where Hallis finally realizes that… oh my gawd, she could die! Her face blanches when Lena falls back, burned. She looks around confusedly, the forgotten cigarette falling to the floor beside her and rolling under the aisle to the other side where Tiago is creating his own version of Custer's Last Stand. "Oh god… oh god… I'm too pretty to die!" Hallis whimpers, obviously missing the real point of this entire scene. Save the drug dealer, save the world?

Flint's fire dies down entirely in a show of poor timing on the part of Lena — or the universe, pick one to blame — and he staggers back, grabbing at his bald head. "Grrrh!!"

Knox's dark, gleaming eyes snap to Tiago as the item comes swinging toward his head. He's fast, and he dodges, but not enough to escape the clang of metal on the side of his head entirely. The wiry man staggers to one side— like Flint, he grabs his head, which is undoubtedly ringing. Unlike Flint, he recovers. Too bad it wasn't cast iron! He reels around, wild-eyed. "I can feel your fear, boy! Keep it comin'!" He's fast and he's strong — far, far too strong. He shoves the aisle shelves out of his way. That's right — out of his way, knocking the whole thing over like it was made of toothpicks, sending it toppling, opposite the ladies, at least — before he throws a punch at Tiago.

For a second, the frying pan vibrates powerfully, ringing in Tiago's hand as he stares, wide-eyed, at Knox. But alas, his efforts were mostly in vain! The man is quick, and he recoveries much fast than Tiago could anticipate, even with his brawl-filled background. He manages to jerk backwards just enough to keep the blow from breaking his jaw, but the hit that lands is powerful enough to knock Tiago back on his feet, which leads to him tripping over the newly fallen items and collapsing onto his bum.

It takes a moment, but soon enough his pride begins to surge up, and he spits to the side. "You hit like a fuckin' girl, mother fucker!" It would have been bad ass, if his voice didn't waver at the end. He proceeds to chuck the frying pan at the man, hoping to by some time as he scrambles back to his feet in a scrappy fashion, grabbing hold of whatever else he can to try and fight the man off.

Only, the only thing his fingers wrap around in the scuttling process is a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. Letting out a cry of frustration, Tiago also chucks that at Knox's head.

"Call the cops for Christ's sake!" Lena could be nicer about it, but the socialite's cry does not incline the punk princess to sympathy. Her hands are throbbing and stinging, her partner is taking on a real life version of Barracuda and who knows when Flint's sedation is going to wear off. Now is not the time to worry about breaking a nail! Wincing, Lena ducks as the shelves go over and then scrambles once more to her feet. Then she's tagging Tiago out by throwing herself at Knox's back, trying to arms arnd legs around him from behind so she can press a singed hand over his face, or maybe bite his ear off. Like they do in the movies!

Hallis just watches the scene in horror. Oh hell no!! she's not going to end up a burnt piece of bacon like the guy in the corner over there, and so the deb just presses herself into the corner. Her hand does however make its way into her pocket and she presses a button, hoping the noise in the place covers the quick beeping of the first person on her speed dial. Then she pulls her hand out and covers her face with a small squeal. There's a package of something that just bounced off the bald man's forehead and it's sailing close to Hallis. "NOT IN THE FACE!!!" she cries out before the sponge lands *bink* against her hands.

Knox brings an arm up to deflect the frying pan, whipping it toward the ground where it dents the linoleum and crumples in on itself. He's ready to move after Tiago, already leaning down to grab 'im, and if it weren't for Lena, the sudden monkey on his back, he would have. With a roar in his throat, the man spins around, the girl's hand clamped over his mouth. Normally, he could throw her off in one, adrenaline-pumped heartbeat — hers. But like Flint before him, he becomes disoriented, bumping into the shelves that still stand, falling. On Lena.

Flint is coming around, however, and the Level 5 escapee is pissed. When he's pissed, things burn. He torches the fallen shelves so near Tiago, lighting up a row of chips, pretzels, other snacks and dish soap (the store's organization leaves something to be desired, but it's tiny!). A container of Jiffy-Pop bursts open with popped popcorn, but he's too pissed to take advantage of it. Finally, the smoke detectors sound off. Hurriedly, he jogs around the store, whisking right past Hallis and starts shoving canned goods, of all things, off the shelves into a bag he takes from his coat.

Tiago should probably preoccupy himself with the human matchstick that is coming to and crumbling all around, but upon catching sight of Lena being pancaked behind the man, he lets out a terrified wail. "You fat ass mo'fucker, can't you even fall right!" And with this, he pounces on the fallen Knox, ignoring the Flamer in favor of attempting to drag him off of his battered roommate. "Lena! Lena, are you okay? Where the fuck is the police!" Never had Tiago ever imagined that he would be crying for the presence of the Men in Blue. Today is a momentous day. Probably scrawled down in some Aztec calendar somewhere.

It marks the beginning of the end for all.

Lena goes down hard underneath Flint, the back of her head bouncing off the floor and the wind forced out of her lungs under the weight of his body. That is officially the end of the fight for this fierce little monkey. The world's gone grey and hazy (or maybe that's the smoke). Breathing is hard. Better to just lay there, smooshed and gasping with her eyes closed. Someone else is going to have finish saving the day. Dun dun dun!

Speaking of saving the day, number one on Hallis' contact list just so happens to be her grandmother. Though the old lady didn't answer the phone herself, the butler had the presence of mind to call 911 from another extension. Unfortunately Westchester 911 is a little different from the inner city 911 and the Rye police end up at the old Van Cortlandt manor. Poor Basil, he really did try.

In the meantime, Hallis is huddled in the corner, trying her best to be invisible as the 'fireman' grabs cans of whatever. Her eyes flit to the brand new Louis Vitton, still in its white plastic bag, hoping against all hope that he doesn't grab it. She doesn't even care about the people who are dead and hurt, as long as her brand new bag is okay.

Knox is heavy for such a thin guy, his strong, heavy weight bearing down on the much smaller Lena until he's hauled off by Tiago into the fiery, smoky blur that the store is turning into. He's disoriented as hell, weaving this way and that and, by his unfocused, wide pupils, not seeing clearly. He's still unnaturally strong, though, and that makes the punches he swings at Tiago the superhuman equivalent of an inebriated barroom brawl.

Flint finishes shoving things into the bag and turns back around, halting at Hallis. He snatches one of her bags, looks at the incredibly expensive Loius Vitton inside, and throws it down as if it's worthless, clueless. "Knoooox!" he bellows, storming to the other man. "We gotta bail, man!"

Sirens in the distance. Firetruck in addition to NYPD.

"I'm not goin' back in any lock up!" He hesitates and … screw it; Flint takes off out the door.

Tiago is hit in the side, as he had been unaware of how sober and cognitive Knox actually was. He lets out a sharp cry of pain at this point, and his knees give out just as he manages to tug the criminal off of Lena, sending him down to the floor if only for a moment. With his brows furrowed, with his teeth gritted in pain, he rolls away from Knox in a dizzy sort of way. And there he remains, clutching at his side with his free hand, until he manages to glower over at the crook. The string of swears he lets out are low, vehement, unflattering to Knox's mother and - even better - in Portuguese. So he finds himself spitefully reaching for the nearest solid item - a large can opener - to slam against his 'Filho da puta' head. Despite the fact that the smartest thing to do right now would probably be to book it and run.

Lena is actually kind of pretty when she's not moving. Or talking. Or generally making an ass out of herself. Too bad she has to ruin it by groaning, rolling onto her side and hacking/retching as smoke fills the little shop. "…sonofabitchwhathitme…"

Heaven helped Louis, and apparently it's about to help Hallis too! Her mood surges as Flint takes off and she scrambles around the floor to grip up her day's purchases before the fire gets them. Once this is done, she rushes out the door as well, waving one hand to flag down the police. Gosh Darnit, she WILL be the hero today!

As the cars screech to a halt around the store (and the waving woman) she cries out as though completely traumatized. "You have to help them!!" she cries, looking back into the store as the fire spreads. Of course the rescue personnel are thinking about the people, but poor Hallis is thinking about the pair of Prada shoes that she seems to be missing.

The store is getting quite engulfed by flames at this point. When Hallis opens the door, a stream of grey smoke follows her out.

Knox doesn't avoid getting smacked in the head with the kitchen appliance. It even cuts him— his temple bleeds. His eyes widen with an off-the-wagon sort of look, gleaming dangerously and showing mostly whites; his nostrils flare like a bull as he breathes heavily, quickly, taking in smoke but not caring. Or noticing. "I don't know what you did to me," he says with a threatening lilt to the girl on the floor, "But it wasn't natural, I'll tell you that," he says, pointing as he backs away. "One of these days, it'll catch up witch'you. If not by me, well, know that this world don't like people like us." Us? He's smarter than he looks. "Gotta stay on top of the game." He turns and bolts, unsteady, knocking a few things over on his way, angrily tripping over Mr. Ling before tearing out of the store.

…Where he immediately tries to shove Hallis out of his way without a second thought and takes off down the street in the opposite direction of the approaching cops. Will he make it? It's more a question of 'will the cops regret it when they catch up'.

There is nothing worse than feeling utterly helpless, Tiago decides, as he realizes that he can do nothing to stop the man from giving his threats. Resentment, sour bitter hate broils in the pit of his stomach as he glowers at Knox - a man who is really no different than Tiago himself - but then the felon makes his dramatic escape. And with a groan, the Braziling drags himself over to Lena. "Ugh…Lena, baby, c'mon we gotta go. Can you move? Are you okay, baby? D'you - d'you need me to carry you?" Oh god, he's hoping the answer is no, as his liberal coughing just goes to show how pathetically weak he happens to be. His hand travels over to shake her arm. "C'mon! We gotta - we gotta go!"

"…five more minutes…" No, wait. Wrong situation. Lena cracks one watering eye open to peer at Tiago before the coughing takes over again. It's a distinct possibility t hat Knox's dramatic monologue passed right over her shaggy little head. "…fuck…okay. Goin'…" Truly it is a herculean effort to herself off of the floor, with her head pounding, lungs burning and her blistered hands tucked against her chest. But with a little help from Tiago, and a few nudges from sharply-honed instincts for survival, the battered pair manage to stagger to the door and into the relatively fresher air that's found outside.

It's a sign of just how inconsiderate the petty criminals are that they emerge without the bag of Prada shoes.

Hallis is shoved into the arms of a newly arrived police officer. A police officer with whom she back away from as she tries to make her way back in to the burning building. By this time, the poor woman is in hysterics and crying for the firemen to "Save them! Save them please!!" Of course, they still think she is talking about the people inside… maybe she's the significant other of one of the wall streets? When the officer tries to pull her back, she sags in his arms, whimpering softly. No one will ever understand her pain, the pain that can only come with the loss of a great pair of shoes. Oh well, she will just have to be consoled by the purse.

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