Date: December 14th, 2009
Included are: Instructions on A) Keeping the love alive B) Making a quick buck and C) Dealing with the foundations of your precarious life being rocked.
"How to Make a Dysfunctional Relationship Work"
NYC Bus Terminal
It's been a terrible day all around, and this is something Tiago will swear at the courts if asked to. And, what better way to cap off such a terrible, rotten, no good day than to drop by the bus terminal. The same way he used to when he was a toddler with his mother…in a much colder environment, and with a very different female at his side. The trek to the bus station is long and cold enough to have sobered Tiago considerably, and it is with an uncomfortable sort of clenching of his jaws that he marches onwards beside her, his hands shoved into his pockets to eliminate the desire to touch her as best as he can. He has been mostly silent, the both of them, a result of the heaviness of their stresses.
"This is crazy. I haven't had no place ta sleep since…" He trails off, deciding lamenting his past is probably not the smartest thing to do here. Instead, he rolls his shoulders beneath his heavy jacket, though he finds that it doesn't actually help much - for the weather is biting, and bound to get worse overnight. These are not prime conditions. "This is stupid, man…we should jus' hustle up some money an' go ta a motel or somethin'. Or go ta our old place or…" Beat. Closing his eyes, he lets out a low sigh. "What d'you think 'bout that canadian chick?"
Lena is vigorously rubbing her nose with her palm, trying to chafe warmth back into the tip. It's long since gone numb. But the warm golden glow of the bus terminal is not far ahead, and the sleet has stopped. If they just mind their footing, soon at least they'll be in a heated building with plenty of benches on which to stretch out.
It's times like these that she curses the occasional burst of pride she suffers when her dander is up. Maybe she should have accepted that money from Gene.
"I could do the john trick again, if you want," she says in a cranky sort of voice. It's a tone that hints she means the exact opposite of what's being said. And the fault for that lies entirely with Tammy. The meeting with the woman still has her on edge. "Someone's gonna be prowling here, and I'm dressed for it," she adds, gesturing with her other hand at the snug PVC leggings. "I dunno…I really don't. Who does that? I mean, if you're a goddamn spy, you don't just come out and say it, right? I got a bad feeling about all of that."
"The what trick?" Tiago inquires, glancing over in her direction petulantly as he looks in her direction. But, though the meaning of her words fly right over his head, her tone does not. He recognizes that tone, very intimately. And it makes him uncomfortable. "Listen, don' you be bitchin' at me, okay? I didn' do nothin'. It aint my fault we're stuck out here in frozen hell, so if you're goin' ta gimme attitude, tell me now so I can head off an do my own shit." Once he has delivered his own cranky warning, he narrows his head ahead of then. "I dunno…I dunno either. But well…she had the shit, right? The papers?" Beat. "Then again…I have fake papers, so she could too prob'ly. I dunno. I figure we should stay 'way, huh? Even if she is, an' even if we do need the money…I don' trust no government. They're all sons of bitches."
Apology comes in the form of a shoulder bump, Lena veering against the man to press companionably against his side before straightening up. It's too icy out to lean and walk at the same time. "You're right, it's not your fault. I'm sorry." A short sigh is heaved, breath fogging before her face. "The john trick…let some guy think I'ma take him out in the alley, then drug him and get his wallet…here." A pause follows as the doors are reached, and she hauls one open for the pair of them. Thank the Lord above, warmth!
Once inside, after stomping her feet clean of slush and unzipping her jacket, Lena picks up the previous thread of conversation. "Yeah, I dunno if we wanna get caught up in that spy bullshit. I mean, what do we know anyway? And how're we supposed to get big secrets? She gave me her number, maybe I'll give it to Gene or something." Beat. "Or maybe not, I dunno. I think he's getting sick of all the crap he's had to take care of, 'cause of me."
Tiago has no idea that, in this day, Lena the Bond Babe is about to be born. Uncomfortable, the man stiffens a little, watching her out of the corners of his eyes before offering a curt nod. "Apology accepted." He gruffs out, sniffing the cold away. "An'…y'mean, act like a prostitute ta get their cash?" It is very wary, the way he peers over to her, but the weather makes it obviously an attractive offer. "…D'you think you can get away with it babe?"
Ducking into the terminal, the man shakes his head idly, trying to remove some of the moisture from the hair plastered to his head. "Ugh…An' yeah. Okay, so we wont do nothin' 'bout it. Jus'…forget about it, yeah?" When she mentions Gene, he can't help but purse his lips slightly as well, and he removes his hand from his pocket, placing it upon the small of her back supportively to guide her forward. "Honestly? We've been puttin' too much on 'im. On 'em all. Dependin' on their shit too much. I say, we back off a bit. Maybe get read ta pack it in an' do our own shit. 'Cause…well. He aint done nothin' from what I've seen. /You've/ done more, savin' that chick an' all. An'…I'm real grateful an' all, but if he's listenin' ta that blonde bimbo? He cant be all that smart."
"Sure, I've done it before. It's pretty easy if we're in the right place. Guys are easy that way, if they're trolling for a lay." And the bus terminal is nothing if not the right place. It's huge, and has a decent crowd even at this late hour. But it's only after the words have left her lips that Lena realize they might strike Tiago the wrong way; she looks another apology at him before veering off towards a row of empty wooden benches, her boots fwomping against the tile floor. "I dunno, Chi. I mean…they're like, real friends. Syd let us stay there and hardly even knew us, and Gene got me out when the earthquake happened. He got us those presents too. They're good guys. It's just…" Here she pauses uncomfortably, scanning the passersby. Likely looking for a potential mark. "I dunno. We are causing more trouble for them."
More specifically, she has.
Tiago frowns slightly at the brunette. "When didya do that b'fore? You ain't like…nevermind." He offers, shrugging his shoulder a bit uncomfortably before glancing ahead. "If you think we can, let's do it. We've got ta start lookin' after ourselves again, Lena. This is our problem. Ever since we've made these buds, we've been runnin' ta 'em for every little thin', expectin' them ta fix it an' make everythin' better for us. We've been actin' like damn babies, an' we gotta cut this shit out. No more relyin' on 'em for everythin'. Okay, Lena? If somethin' big happens, if we find somethin' incredible or…then we tell 'em. But otherwise, we chill out."
He falls into a speculative silence, frowning off into the distance as he approaches the nearest bench. "I aint sayin' they're bad people. I aint. I trust 'em, an' I don't want nothin' ta happen ta 'em, but…we /are/ causin' big trouble for 'em. An' if they're so close ta her, then they can't be that close ta us, 'cause you can't play both sides. Not with someone who calls you a rapist. Y'get what I'm sayin'? I aint sayin' drop 'em, jus'…jus' stop needin' 'em. 'Cause they don't deserve all the stress either - we gotta pick up our own slack, an' make our own money."
Lena slumps onto the bench with another sigh, stretching her legs out straight in front of her. These boots, they look great, but they're not the best for tromping around in. "I'm not disagreeing with you, Chi." Except she (somewhat hesitantly) is, to gauge by her tone of voice. "I just…I dunno. It wasn't like that, with her. At least that's what he said. And I don't think they mind helping. But…yeah. We should pull our own weight, I guess. Maybe it isn't a bad idea to just chill unless something big happens, or if they need us to help with something."
After a moment spent simply resting, the brunette begins to struggle out of her jacket again. "Okay, I guess I can reel someone in. I figure I'll take em to the bathroom in the back? You should probably stay close…I only did this like once, okay? If he goes all crazy, you're gonna wanna bust in fast."
Tiago looks over to her, quirking an eye upwards. "Well…I wasn't there none. I dunno what happened, you know better'n me. But what else /could/ it be, Lena? When you can answer me that, then okay. It's real easy for them ta say shit, but meanin' what you say…that's the hard part." And that's what he'll leave it at, unwilling to go over the situation again, for he is too cold, and cranky, and slightly hung over to not end up deteriorating into grouchiness. It is with a grunt that he makes his way to his feet, eventually holding his arms out in search of taking the jacket she has just disposed of to hold for her. "Okay, baby. I think I'ma hide in one of the bathroom stalls, yeah? That way, I can jump out an' save ya if shit goes wrong." He's speaking so casually, like his girlfriend /isn't/ about to go undercover as a hooker to facilitate a theft. "I'll go ahead - take him ta the guy's bathroom, okay? An'…an' baby?" Beat. "I love you."
"I can tell you later." For now, Lena stands and rakes her hands back through her hair to tidy the dark mess of it, and to expose her face. She purses her lips, giving her boyfriend a rather crooked smile. "I love you too, Chi." Then she's off, putting a little strut into her walk, looking like nothing more than a cocky little club girl in a black-and-turquoise catsuit, out wandering the bus terminal at midnight for kicks. Or business.