2007-07-15: Help and The Not-So-Helpless


Niki_icon.gif Namir_icon.gif Kitty_icon.gif George_icon.gif

Summary: Niki is still feeling rather alienated after her run-in with Benjamin immediately after Misplaced Trust and tries to avoid the friendly concern of people in a coffee shop.

Date It Happened: July 15th, 2007

Help and the Not-So-Helpless

Lower Manhattan, New York City

A few minutes later, Niki's phone lets her know she has a text message. She's is in a hurry to get out of the subway station and the whole area around it. She wants to leave it behind. Thoughts and suspicions and fears whirl around in her head as she moves along the sidewalk at a hurried walk in the rain, phone in her hands now that she drags it back out of her purse. Her look is dark as she reads it.

Txt Msg from Benjamin
Niki's cell phone screen: Received! Sry. Not safe. Tagged.
Niki's cell phone screen: U were already tagged. Sent!
Niki's cell phone screen: Received! Yes.

Messages fly back and forth.

Starbucks, Lower Manhattan, New York City

It started as a few drops of rain this afternoon. Those few, scattered droplets turned into a downpour, drenching the city in much-needed rain, breaking the heat, at least for a few hours. Thunder rumbles overhead. The door to one of Manhattan's many Starbucks opens, one in a dozen comings and goings as people find safehaven in the nice and dry cafe. Its latest visitor seems to have been caught unawares by the rain - a blonde in tight black jeans, white tanktop and silvery cowboy boots with folded cuffs. Niki is drenched to the bone as she steps inside, with rain and maybe sweat, too; she immediately presses herself against the wall beside the door. The way she slips in hurriedly… this really is a safehaven. It could have been anywhere on this street. She's not here for coffee. She's pale. She looks queasy, almost panicky. There's a red cell phone in her hands that she's focused on.

Niki's cell phone screen: What changed? Sent!

While everyone is looking for safe haven, Kitty is already inside of Starbucks. At least leaning against the wall and looking outside, "I knew I should have taken Roxanne out today," she mutters and shakes her head. She is wearing a red tank top with dark blue jeans along with. Huh? High heels? What the hell has gotten into her? She seems to be pretty confident in her heels though. She gives Niki a friendly smile and looks up at the menu. What does she want to order?

Not far behind Niki is another person caught in the sudden downpour. Namir at least has a newspaper to protect himself from the rain, even if that means the paper he just bought is now unreadable. He pushes into the Starbucks with a mutter — something in Arabic — and starts to shake rain from his drenched light-gray button-down shirt (good thing he's wearing a black tanktop underneath). At least his head isn't too wet. After wringing out a bit of water from his sleeves and discarding the soggy newspaper, he takes the time to glance around. He's not really in here for coffee either, but now he's wet and cold, and a little something wouldn't hurt either. Spotting a soaked Niki and her rather off expression, he frowns a bit and steps toward her. "Just a little downpour," he states with some vague assurance. "Are you all right?"

Niki's cell phone screen: Received! Angie. When she went away.
Niki's cell phone screen: I thought that was months ago? Sent!
Niki's cell phone screen: Received! Got a visit.

The soft chime of an incoming text message emits from the blonde's phone. She turns the volume off. Her hands are ever-so-slightly shaky as she tries to work the buttons deftly to reply; maybe from the chill of stepping into an air-conditioned building from the rain, maybe something more. Breathing hard from walking so fast after leaving the subway station, Niki stares down at the phone's tiny screen, reaching up to run a hand through her wet hair. She doesn't seem to pay special attention to anyone in the coffee shop until they get close, which means, at least, that she notices Namir before he speaks up. Is she all right? "Fine," she answers with a ghost of a reassuring smile. "I just wasn't expecting the rain." Another message, another troubled look to the phone. Yeah. Fine.

Niki's cell phone screen: Be careful. Sent!

"Hey Namir," Kitty walks over to greet Namir and smile to Niki. She remembers the name because Bekah had told her previously. She frowns slightly at Niki's expression. Fine? She doesn't think so. But how can she say anything without it being weird? So she just decides to put her hands into her pocket and look at the two.

Somehow Namir doesn't think Niki looks fine. But prying into a stranger's personal life isn't exactly awesome. In fact, it's kinda creepy. Kitty's approach garners a half-surprised glance. He somewhat remembers her from earlier as The Woman That Sam Called At From A Taxi, back when he was Claimed. He offers her a genial smile. "Hello." Back to Niki, he adds in a lighthearted manner, "I wasn't either." As if that wasn't obvious. "Trouble at home?" So much for not prying. Form of Police Officer: GO.

Niki's cell phone screen: Received! Trying to.
Niki's cell phone screen: Is this line safe? Sent!
Niki's cell phone screen: Received! Not sure.
Niki's cell phone screen: I should go. Sent!
Niki's cell phone screen: Received! Yeah. Will find more secure way to contact you. Take care.

A frustrated look ravages the blonde's features even as she tries to keep a neutral face while sending messages back and forth on the phone; people are looking at her, after all. Concerned. "No," comes Niki's flat answer. "A friend… he's in trouble." That's nice and vague, right? As she punches the last message in and shoves her cell phone into the purse that's slung over her mostly bare shoulder, she does something that surprises even her. She glares at Namir, and Kitty, by proxy. Concerned. It should be heartwarming. It is. It has been. But everyone is so concerned, so nice lately, and you know what— after what she just learned, Niki's had about enough. She looks out the window. Lots of rain. She leaves her politeness behind today and walks briskly past the pleasant strangers toward the counter. They've been officially shunned.

Kitty looks confused for a moment and looks after Niki. She wants to help, but she doesn't know the woman. So what can she do? Talk to Namir she guesses. She turns back to him, "Do you think she is going to be ok?"

George ducks in off the street, taking down a plain black umbrella as he talks on an earclip headset. The awkwardness of holding the phone against his shoulder is replaced by that of having every tenth word cut out by static interference. "What? I didn't— Oh, okay, that's actually not until tomorrow, but I should at least be able to get started on it this afternoon." With the umbrella safely leaned against a wall, he tips up a notepad and scrawls something down, absently walking forward and getting in line somewhere behind Niki.

Niki's sudden decision to walk away causes Namir to frown more, but really, what can he do? "I hope he'll be all right, then," he states as she moves off. He wants a bit of coffee as well, but opts to hang back a moment and give the blonde her space. He glances to Kitty and shrugs. "I suppose she will be."

Niki orders something. She might not even be sure what it is, but it's hot. Comforting. After giving the barista a twenty, getting her change, and taking her coffee in short order, she slinks along the counter with that same, uneasy air she's carried with her since stepping foot inside. She chooses one of the couches, sinking into the corner, taking her phone out to glance at it. Just in case. No more messages.

"Ah, well I guess you can't help the ones that don't want to be helped." She has gotten in line as well and taps George on the shoulder to wave at him. Kitty smiles back to Namir, "You gonna get some coffee as well?"

George turns, waving back to Kitty after taking the earpiece off and dropping it into a pocket. "How's the packing going?" he offers, meanwhile glancing around at the others that Kitty has referred to. One he recognizes, one he doesn't.

Namir continues to watch Niki with a slight frown on his face, and his distracted response to Kitty is, "No, not right now." He then steps away from the line and takes a seat at a table not too far from Niki's, but not close enough to be considered stalking either. It's one of the few vacant tables in the shop, after all.

Kitty shrugs, "It's going," she says as she orders her drink and receives it. She walks over to a table not /too/ far from Niki and also not too fat from Namir. She looks at Niki, "Are you sure you don't need help miss?" What can she say? She hates seeing people in trouble.

Away goes the phone again. Drawing her cup of coffee close, and only really noticing now that she's soaked because of the rain, Niki shrugs her shoulders uncomfortably and glances around the cafe. She notices Namir somewhat nearby and regards him for a little longer than she normally might, because, well, she's having a paranoid sort of day. Just before the look goes on too long to be strictly polite, she's surprised by Kitty's sudden question. "Do I look like a damsel in distress? Seriously, someone tell me, 'case if I do…" Her annoyed expression turns apologetic and regretful almost instantly, but she just shakes her head, looking away. "I'm fine."

George settles on one of the more popular Kenyan blends and a slice of pastry, taking them over to a spot near the wall rather than occupying one of the increasingly scarce tables. "Nice to meet you too, Miss Garbo," he says to Niki: no sarcasm in his tone, just an acknowledgment that she evidently isn't ready to talk about the whatever-it-is. At least not with strangers.

Kitty smiles and nods at Niki, "Ok, I just have this very weird tendency to want to help people. For some reason I like to help people I /don't even know//. It's weird right? And my mother always said that was going to get me in trouble. It has, a couple of times but one day. I am going to just. Not try to help anyone!" she chuckles and takes a sip of her hot chocolate.

"That's good," Niki tells the young lady, and despite snapping a moment ago, she sounds sincere in the compliment - if a little distracted. "It's not a bad thing. Just be careful. Not everyone needs to be helped. Not everyone should be." Her hands tighten around the cup of coffee. She looks over at George, not clueing in on his reference. When did-is everyone watching her? God. "I'm sorry…?"

"Yeah, you are right on that," she takes another sip and gives George the eye. Way to scare her dodobrain! She seems to think and she shakes her head. Smiling, Kitty sags into her chair. Boy is packing a job.

Why, yes. Yes, that's exactly what's happening. Well, no, actually it's just these three. "'I vant to be alone'," he adds, then shakes his head. "Don't worry about it." He starts to say something back to Kitty, but then the phone intervenes again. It's going to be a long day.

Now that the way seems clear, Namir, who has been silently listening in, gets to his feet and gets in line. He's soon got himself a warm drink and then tucks himself away into a quiet corner to wait for the rain to stop.

George earns a vaguely confused - or at least unimpressed - look from the blonde who, as it turns out, does want to be alone. She watches the rain fall outside for a moment before deciding to try her luck at calling a cab. Slinging her purse over her shoulder, she abandons the couch, she gives a passing polite smile to Kitty, and starts to wind her way out of the coffee shop. She'll brave the rain. Not like she's not already soaked.

Kitty grins as she gets up from her seat and poke George, as she leaves to home. Have to finish packing! "You dodohead," she teases and winks as she exits the building.

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