2009-12-06: House Hunting



Date: Month Day, Year


Tiago and Sydney look for a new house.

"House Hunting"

Streets of NYC

"I didn't like the last one," Sydney complains as she strolls down the sidewalk. "Seriously who puts a shower in the kitchen? Some of the buildings don't make any sense…" Dressed in her very casual wear, she shakes her head. "I can't believe the number of listings though. Everyone's selling. I guess it's the economy or something." With a hmmm she looks back at her house-hunting mate. "What did you think of the last one? Yay or nay?"

Tiago is serving a double duty today. He's partially here to make sure Sydney doesn't 'accidentally' stumble into the Bronx and end up getting mugged, and he's also here to provide his less than professional opinion on the state of their newest place of residence. Scratching the back of his head idly, Tiago smiles faintly over to Sydney, his brows arched in amusement. "I guess so you can cook and clean at the same time, ya? But, nah, I didn't dig it either. Pink flowers for wallpaper, nuh-uh." He's emasculated enough on a daily basis, thank you very much. "I mean, it's cool 'nough livin' with all ya girls and surrounded by your estrogen all the time and shit, but…a brother needs some time ta himself, ya know? A man room. A batcave. No! A mancave." He is an equal resident in this house. He deserves to have (some) rights too! "So…yeah. Where's the next one at?"

"Seriously," Sydney says with a nod at the pink flowers. "Who would even choose that? And it's hideous! It's not even like kind of nice. They were downright ugly pink flowers." She grins at him though and sighs a bit, "You need a mancave? Hmmm. Perhaps that can be arranged. I was hoping to be in the basement though. Sometimes I have nightmares, and I don't really want everyone else in the house to be terrified…" She winks at Tiago at this, but keeps walking. "I'm glad we're moving. Should be safer for everyone."
"I feel kind of bad though. I don't … um… well like Eric. He's helping us right? And it's generous, but I don't… I haven't…" she shrugs a little as she can't actually articulate her thoughts.

With Tiago's hands stuck in his baggy jeans, he treks alongside Sydney, occasionally throwing the blonde a passing glance out of the corner of his eyes. "Ha, well yeah. No offense ta you gals or nothin', but me an' JD are really outnumbered, y'know? And I can't even be the slop I am 'cause I know Ima be yelled at if I am…so, yeah." He has felt his manliness take the hit. The wink throws him off, and he tries to figure out just exactly how it is supposed to be construed as - a joke, perhaps? "…Uh. Who's terrified and why, again?" Poor guy is just confused.

And his confusion is only compounded on as she goes on with her unfinished sentences. Frowning, the lad actually comes to a stop to peer at Sydney, eyes squinted thoughtfully. "You haven't what? What's wrong, Syd?"

Sydney chuckles a bit as she falls into step with Chi, "I can understand that. I'd feel like I need my own space if I was the only gal." She shrugs a little. "No offense taken, I can only imagine what it must be like for you." She offers him the most comforting smile she can muster. "I'm terrified when I have nightmares. And, I have little control over my ability when I'm awake. If I'm sleeping… it could spread like wildfire…"

"Nothing's wrong," she sighs. "It's just… I'm used to standing on my own two feet, you know? I like to do things for myself. Like school, for example. I paid for it myself along with scholarships and government grants. Not that my grandparents would've… they hate that I'm in the social sciences…"

"Oh! Oh, right, what with your abilities and such," Tiago comments, suddenly understanding with a bright laugh. Then he grins at Sydney, broad and boyish. "I thought you were makin' a crack at me, like ya wanted ta live in the basement so ya didn't have ta walk in on my naked like, all the time." Snickering, he shakes his head for a moment before sobering up. "What d'you have nightmares 'bout?"

Her sigh prompts the lad to furrow his brows and frown thoughtfully. Suddenly, he carries himself up to his full height. "Chyeah…no, I get what ya mean. I do. It's been jus' me for s'long as I can remember. Well…jus' me an' Lena. We got what we got without no help or nothin'. An' now, we aint even allowed ta do the one thing we can do, and…well. Ta be frank, I'm fuckin' broke now. All th cash I done saved up is gone. I don' wanna ask for money for no one or nothin' - but no one's lettin' me go out and make some more."

"Well there's that too," Sydney beams as she chuckles about the naked comment. The smile, however, frowns at the question about the nightmares, "Just memories. Thoughts. Things resurfacing. Hopefully they'll stop soon… I hadn't had one for like four years until last night. And the night before." She shrugs a little. "It's fine. Everyone has bad dreams sometimes. And now that Bryce is gone again…" Pause. "…I owe you an apology about him, actually. I don't really get it, but when he's physically in front of me… I think he knows. He knows he can manipulate my emotions…"

"Yeah, it's frustrating, hey? Like I don't know whether I should just be thankful or something else… and there's no way to pay something like this back. I don't feel the best about taking it, but it doesn't seem like there are any other options…"

Tiago shakes his head soberly when she moves to apologize, and one hand is lifted magnanimously, a sign that she needs not apologize. "You don' owe me nothin'. It's alrigh', yeah? I understand. Some people…they jus' got a hold on you, whatever they do…But he's not one o' the good sort. I…I aint a mean bastard who likes ta hit things all the time. I mean, I am, but I wont jus' hit people if you don' want me ta. But I had ta with him, 'cause I knew he was fuckin' with ya already. That's like, poison, man. He aint even said his peace, and he was already fuckin' with ya." He sighs tragically, and if only for a split second, he seems to have aged dramatically. It's the look od a weary man, the paranoid glance he gives the streets of New York. "Yeah, I know. I guess. The best thing we can do, I guess, is jus' try an' help 'em out best we can. Do whatever they want us ta."

"The thing is I know that! I knew he was messing with me the instant he walked in. His voice, his tone, the smirk…" Sydney clucks her tongue at herself. "But I… I like couldn't help it. He's just got that power over me. I hate it. I hate knowing that he can still get to me. Even five years later when he looks old and I've had time to think about it all." Her sigh is equally tragic. She reaches out to squeeze his shoulder, "It's not like w'ere not doing anything though. I needed you the other day. I'm not sure how things would've gone down if I'd been alone. I've spent the last five years avoiding him to just stay safe. It's providential that he came while you guys are around." She sighs again, "I just don't feel like I'm helping much. I cause trouble. Make people feel what I feel. Get drugged and it gets worse… I'm like the constant damsel in distress it seems."
Tiago does so.

Tiago quirks his head to the side, gracing Sydney with an almost sheepish lopsided smile. "Yeah? Well…I know. I gotchya. And, hey - I'm glad I was there, man. I really am. I dunno 'bout the you needin' me or nothin', 'cause I know you're tougher than ya give yourself credit for, but I'm super glad I got ta help. An', hey? If he ever…you know. Pops by again, or if ya need me ta go teach 'em a lesson…jus' tell me."

As she continues to bemoan her situation, Tiago bites his bottom lip. Thoughtfully, he glances up to the sky, as if questioning the Big Guy, before even beginning to try his luck on Sydney. "Hey…" He begins, tone surprisingly soft even with the gruffness in his voice. "Hey, don' feel like that, okay? I know it's hard and stuff. I do. I aint goin' ta lie…I feel useless. Ta everyone, 'cause I can't do shit but stuff I aint supposed ta do. And I aint used ta feelin' like this…but we gotta keep morale up, man. It's like, war, yeah? You're not causin' trouble and you /are/ helpin', in your way. Jus' like we all are…I think." Oh, how much more effective would his ghetto therapying be without that niggling feeling of self doubt.

"You help a lot Chi. Honestly. You look out for us and you can do way more, it's just making sure everything goes smoothly for everyone involved, right? I'm sure you'll be able to use more of your skills as we figure things out more." Sydney offers a small smile. "I don't feel very tough or capable," she admits quietly. "But then I guess I managed to stay out of trouble for awhile without help. It's amazing, really."

"Yeah…" Tiago accepts her words, if only to make it a fair trade off. After all, he can't expect her to listen to him if he doesn't listen to her. He…just will pretend to believe it, is all. "Well! If you want, man, let's change that. You ever hold a gun b'fore? Or shoot it, maybe?" Tiago inquires kindly, smiling over to Sydney. "I can toughen ya up some. Teach ya how ta like…defend yourself a bit. I mean, I aint no pro, but I've een 'round the blocks. And, yeah! You did manage ta! See, this is a…a…well, it's proof that you're good 'bout it!"

"A gun?" Sydney raises an eyebrow skeptically. "You think I could manage a gun? I've never held one let alone shot one…" She wrinkles her nose. "Is it like hard? I don't even know how to throw a punch. My grandparents didn't think that was a necessary thing to teach a girl." Pause. "…and I used to wonder why my mother rebelled against them so much…"

Tiago grins faintly. "Yeah, I think you could manage it, easy." He encourages, placing a hand high on her back in support. "It aint that hard - it's pretty fun, actually, once ya get used ta the kick. I aint sayin' you should use it ever - damn, I wish you aint never goin' ta need ta. But…but you won't feel so helpless is bad shit goes down, y'know? It'll help, I think." Beat. "Wait, why your mom rebelled against who? Your grandparents?"

"Well… maybe I could hold a gun? Is it heavy? Where can you teach me? Like where would we go?" Sydney purses her lips together. "And where do I even get a gun? I have to register it or something, right?" Yes, she really knows nothing about guns. "I guess I should at least own one, but only if it's not too much trouble to teach me how to use it. Like I don't want to be a burden." She nods a little bit about her mom, "Yes, they always complained that she never listened to them. Makes me think she was some kind of hardcore rebel, but I never met her, obviously. And it's not like I have a father around to ask…"

Tiago grins gingerly as he heads forward. "Well, they aint /heavy/, dependin' on the type, I guess. I'll teach ya somewhere else, like…a…I dunno. We'll drive ta the woods or somethin'. I don't wanna go ta a firing range 'cause they'll be able ta trace it back to us an'…no! Oh god, no. You /cant/ get a legit gun. They're tracked. But, I can get somethin' in the underground, for sure. A pistol like mine. We'll make it work, alrigh'?"

"Oh-kay. That sounds good. Can I name it? Will it be all shiny?? I like shiny things… can I wash it if it gets dirty? Like in the sink, right?" The things Sydney doesn't know about guns are becoming more than apparent. "Where do I get a gun from underground? I don't know people who are gansters — or is it ganstas?"

Tiago arches his brows slowly, before allowing a sly smile to appear on his face. "Uh…yeah, sure? Naw, you can't wash it. You'll fuck it up if you do. I'll teach ya proper maintenance and shiz later. And - don' worry. I got it - I've got mad connections. From /gangstas/." And as he begins to walk forward, his hands tuck themselves into his pockets thoughtfully.

"They aint bad people, y'know. Not all of 'em. And they can do shit, too. If Gene's serious 'bout his whole takin' on the Man thing, he's goin' ta have ta get over this always doin' good things vibe. 'Cause it wont work, man. He's goin' ta need the help of others too, an' he's goin' ta need the help of people not very good an' moral and righ'. The help of people who'll stab him in the back if given the chance."

"Well I won't stab him in the back," Sydney announces matter-of-factly. "And I don't think you or Lena will either. I think it'll work out. All of it will work out. And maybe I'm being idealistic, but maybe there's a way to do all of this without involving criminals? Although, I guess in a way we're all criminals now. Gene included."

"How do you think Lena is coping with everything? I know it's been an immense change for both of you…"

Tiago smiles wryly. "I know you won't, man. I aint goin' ta either. But, if you think we can do it alone, you're real…well. Optimistic. I mean people like…like that crazy chick, Emily, he was tryin' ta work with. He gotta learn ta work the way that them folks do, 'cause though Gene might ta be a hero and treat his collegues like heroes, them kinda folk wont. He's goin' ta be walk all overed."

When she mentions Lena, however, he sobers up slightly. Clenching his jaw, he looks down to the floor, offering over a faint shrug of his shoulder. "I…dunno. I really don't, man. An'…that's a problem, aint it? She's been…I man, I guess it cant be that bad, since she seems okay, but…I feel like we don't talk no more. She don' turn ta me no more. An'…I aint meanin' any offense or nothin, 'cause I'm glad as hell I met you guys, but sometimes…sometimes I wish we didn't."

Sydney frowns. Deeply. Causing frown lines to appear on her cheeks. "Chi… I'm sorry." Pause. "Have you tried talking to her about it?" Eyebrows are furrowed with concern. "I know you're still the most important person to her… she trusted you before she trusted any of us, and… we just want to help…"

Tiago shrugs his shoulders faintly, looking directly ahead. "It's whatever, I guess. Prob'ly jus' a funny feelin' o' mine, it'll go away." And that, ladies and gentleman, signals the last of painful honesty time. You can tell by the way his features settle into an unbelievably neutral territory, seeming devoid of any emotion. The walls are back up. "Yo - so like, where's the next place again?"

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