2009-12-15: Hero Worship



Date: December 15th, 2009


Stephanie's on the hunt for her Knight in Slightly Tarnished Armor, but Lena finds her first.

"Hero Worship"

Midtown, NYC - Times Square

There are plenty of sides to New York. The glamour of Broadway. The money of Wall Street. The excitement of Madison Square Gardens. But then there's also the seedier side of the city, the one that everyone would prefer to gloss over and ignore. The one where people are sleeping on benches or in alleys, in all-night restaurants or bus depots. The one where people are on the street asking for handouts, or trying to peddle their drug of choice.

The blonde in the floofy grey down jacket and the jeans really doesn't belong in the latter world. But that's where she finds herself today. Specifically, she's spent the better part of the last twenty-four hours trying to track down Tiago. She doesn't have a name…all she's got is a good verbal description and a hastily-snapped picture of Tiago from the rear, taken as he was starting to run.

She's gotten a lot of false leads, and handed out a lot of five-dollar bills for a lot of wrong information. She clearly Doesn't Belong, and that doesn't make most of the street types inclined to trust her. Of course, on the other side, she seems far too naive to be a cop. It's probably just dumb luck that she hasn't fallen afoul of anyone /really/ nasty yet.

However, information does trickle about through the streets, for people they /do/ trust. And after almost a day of searching, there's been enough time for word to trickle back and hit Lena's ears, surely…some blonde girl's out asking around about Tiago, with a picture of him from the rear (his best side?) and passing out 5's like candy for people with leads on finding him.

It could be argued that Lena counts as really nasty; paranoia and a tendency towards acting before thinking tend to be a volatile mixture. Stephanie's only saving grace on this grey Tuesday morning is that the Terrible Twosome were able to locate a "john" with a fat wallet at the bus terminal last night, meaning they had a bed instead of a bench to sleep on, a hot shower to enjoy, even a complimentary continental breakfast at the hotel they'd checked into. Complimentary breakfasts just make a girl feel a little more human.

So the brunette is still decked out in the black-and-turquoise Lara Croft bodysuit (with matching boots) and her cast-off coat, the fur-trimmed hood pulled up over her head, but she is also clean and had the cash for an extra large hot chocolate with whipped cream from Starbucks this morning. Life isn't that bad. She's loitering outside of the coffee shop sipping from the to-go cup when Stephanie walks by, matching the description Lena had been given: blonde, grey jacket, lost puppy expression. Gotta be her. The girl pushes away from the wall and enters the current of foot traffic. She falls in behind the other female. Close enough to invade personal space, close enough to reach out with one gloved hand and land a tap on Stephanie's shoulder.

"Hey. You're looking for a guy, right?"

The blonde is in the aforementioned foofy grey down jacket, gloves, scarf, earmuffs, as well as jeans that tuck into fur-topped boots. She might look at home in a lot of the parts of the city, but tracking down petty criminals isn't one of them. She gets her shoulder tapped, and turns around quickly, in surprise. There's /more/ of a surprise when the person addressing her is dressed in a PVC-looking bodysuit. She blinks owlishly a couple times, and then says "I…yes! I mean, a specific guy. I'm not, you know, looking for…" She blushes a fairly bright shade of red. Apparently her brain has jumped to the conclusion that women walking the New York streets in bodysuits are in a line of work that might offer girls or guys for /entirely other purposes.

It isn't necessarily a bad assumption, considering how Lena and Tiago have used it to their advantage. To have this fresh-faced blonde making it, however, while on the hunt for Lena's man…well, it's only natural that the punk princess rewards Stephanie with a scowl. "Yeah, well, no shit. He doesn't do that. Why're you looking for him?" she demands, giving the other young woman a once-over. The intensity of the suspicion in her eyes is almost a palpable thing. "He doesn't deal to the college crowd, that's all me. So what do you want?"

Another slightly confused look. "Deal?" Why, no, she didn't know Tiago was a drug dealer. "He helped me out the other day, but then he ran off before I could thank him. I've been trying to find him so I could thank him for helping me." She's either clueless, or a very very good actress at portraying clueless, because she doesn't seem to realize exactly how much trouble this whole misguided quest could get her into.

The combination of answer and demeanor are enough to set Lena's jangling nerves at ease, at least a little. She lets out a slight huff of air while she eyeballs Stephanie for a moment longer, then looks off to do an idle sweep of the neighboring area. "Yeah? You're gonna get yourself stabbed or shot or something, you know. Wandering around asking folks about folks…people don't appreciate it," she volunteers helpfully.

A pause follows, during which time Lena enjoys a long, lazy sip of hot chocolate. When her blue eyes shift back to the young woman's face, they hold a faintly amused smile. "Mmm…yeah, anyway, I can pass it on if you want. He's my boyfriend. What'd he do?"

A smile of relief crosses Stephanie's face when Lena says she knows the Dark Knight. Apparently asking for proof of that is something that never even crosses her mind. "There was some weird skeevy street guy that was grabbing on me and wouldn't let go. He came over and made the guy let loose. Saved me. But then I slipped, and fell, and he was running off before I could thank him." Maybe just a little bit of hero-worship in the tone? Possibly. "I've been trying to track him down, so I could thank him. Maybe take him out to dinner or something." Brief pause, and eyes widen a little. "I mean, you're totally welcome to come too! I'm not trying to—" Awkward blushy moment again. "…I just wanted to thank him." she finishes, a little awkwardly.

"Yeah, that sounds like Chi," Lena says with a snort, caught somewhere between amusement and annoyance. "Whatever, chica. Look, I know Chi's hot and all. He's a good guy. And you aren't the first chick who's gotten that look when he's helped them out. But that's what he does, got it? He's like…dumb that way. You're not anything special, trust me." It isn't the kindest thing she could say, but it doesn't take a psychic to see that the brunette is not fond of the tone of Stephanie's voice, nor the look on her pretty little face. She pauses to take another sip of cocoa, eyeing the girl over the rim of her paper cup.

"What's your name? I can tell him you were grateful and all, I guess." Pause. "Dinner would be cool."

The blush, stubbornly, refuses to leave her cheeks. And she does recoil just a bit at the "not anything special" line, like it were a verbal slap. But she presses onward, despite being set off her minimal game. "S-Stephanie." Complete with a s-shy s-stutter in the face of bullying. She offers a hand out to Lena, though…whichever one won't make her have to switch off her cocoa cup. "I'd be happy to take both of you to dinner. Your pick; whereever you wanna go."

There's a moment when it seems that Lena is not going to accept that handshake; she looks from hand to face and back again before giving a shrug. Her gloves are on, why not? She takes Stephanie's hand and gives it a single brusque pump before releasing it. "Lena. And he's Chi. You got a number, Stephanie? We're kinda…having some problems right now but I guess we could maybe figure something out. Chi knows this Portugeuse place that's really good." Another pause ensues, during which time she scrutinizes the other girl's appearance more thoughtfully. "You look like you could afford it."

Run, Stephanie. Run now.

The blonde shakes Lena's hand, and nods. "Lena. And Chi." As if she's committing them to memory. "Sure, that sounds great! I've never had Portugeuse before." Not a surprise, coming from Little Miss Nordic Blonde. She rummages in her purse a moment, and comes up with a pen, and a little notepad. Out they come, and she jots down her phone number before tearing off the sheet. The paper is passed to Lena, and the pad vanishes back into her purse. "Thanks!" She apparently doesn't register the scrutiny as anything predatory. "Yeah, totally not a problem, like I said. Anywhere you guys want! Just give me a call!"

"Yeah, sure," Lena says with slightly less enthusiasm, taking the little slip of paper and glancing at it before stuffing it into her jacket pocket. No attempt is made to reciprocate with their number but perhaps that's to be expected. "You stop asking around about him, okay? You don't even know how close you got to being rolled. Especially with the cash you're handing out, jesus. Stop carrying that shit, okay? It's not safe."

Maybe she's not entirely heartless, after all.

"See ya." And with little fanfare, her mission accomplished, Lena turns away from the blonde and sets off into the crowd. No doubt off to give Tiago a hard time for winning himself a crush from someone so…so…white.

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