2009-11-17: Mister Hero



Date: November 17, 2009


Orange you glad you met me?

"Mister Hero"

Downtown, NYC - Greenwich Village

As November days go, this one isn't bad. The late afternoon sunlight has that thin, golden quality that doesn't carry much warmth but is pretty enough to look at as it strikes glass and old brick. The entire city seems to have turned out to soak in the rays, storing up Vitamin D for the winter weather that's sure to be coming soon. Outside of Au Naturale, customers are picking over the produce set out on display, bagging fruits and vegetables for snacking, or later healthy cooking.

Lena's one of these, but it isn't a Lena that most of her street savvy compadres would recognize. The emo makeup has been scrubbed off, her hair has been shortened and dyed blonde, and she's dressed like a preppy schoolgirl in charcoal tweed and pink and white argyle. There are knee socks involved, and patent leather shoes; if they didn't have heels to them, she could pass for a sixteen year old who's been watching too much "Glee".

There are those on the street who are sharper of eye and mind, however. A couple of toughs in clothing several sizes too large for them, baseball hats worn askew, have pulled to the curb and are exiting their old land yacht with an eye on the teenager. "Hey!" the one in the lead calls out. Lena doesn't react. "Hey, Lena!"

And Lena turns, the bridge of her nose crinkling, her hands full of oranges.

A duffle bag is thrown over his shoulder, Gene moving across the sidewalk with a calm stride. He wears a peacoat and jeans like before, but instead of a jogging mask he wears a scarf, fashionable black and brown one… A suriving relic of Gwen's shopping. Wherever she may be. Making his way back to his car after securing more high tech supplies, he turns his attention toward the sound of someone yelling. He doesn't do anything as he walks on the opposite side of the street, but like most people in his situation, he does watch as moves unwilling toward the shouting.

The two guys are big, tattooed, scruffy faces. Everything one wants from their thugs and goons. They're also eyeing Lena with that mix of desperation and aggression that usually heralds a bad scene. For her part, the girl seems more annoyed than frightened. The oranges are put back one by one, leaving her arms free to cross over her chest. "Uh uh, no, forget it," she might be overheard saying by the nosier pedestrians nearby. "I told you guys no fucking way right now, it's too crazy. You can wait till…"

That's all she gets out before Thing One reaches out and grabs the teenager by the upper arm, hauling her in to say something in a low growl.

See, this is why she went brunette in the first place. No one really takes blondes as a serious threat.

As the man grabs the older teen by the arm, Gene arches a brow. Without a word, he walks calmly across the street. If there are cars coming, unless they are speeding, he advances on, using his free hand to tell them he is crossing. Hopefully they stop because unlike Sylar and others, his hand motions have no power if people just ignore him. Maybe the two uncivil thugs notice the young man, maybe they don't. It doesn't change what is clear… Gene plans on getting involved.

Tires screech and horns blare but the drivers of New York are accustomed to jaywalkers. There are a few shouted obscenities, more than one bird flipped Gene's way, before they carry on. Business as usual.

Drawing closer, a few more things become clear. The goons? They're smart, maybe, and have sharp eyes. But they're also acting like strung-out junkies in need of a heavy fix. Neither of them can stand still, their heads and hands are twitching, their eyes are glassy and having difficulty focusing on any one thing…except for Lena. Thus they do not look towards the commotion in the street; even the second fellow, the one usually tagged as lookout, does not look around.

"Look, we just need a hit. One sheet," Thing One is saying. "Give it up and we'll take off. It's been a fucking week already!"

"You can let go of my arm, asshole!" Lena tries to yank back, only to get hauled forward again. Her purse falls to the ground but she ignores it in favor of scowling up at Thing One and Thing Two. "You let me go or I…"

And that's when Thing One gives Lena a good shake, as if hoping that the sheet he spoke of would drop out of her pockets.

This is New York. If a person lives here and isn't used to such treatment such creative cursing… Well, they must be deaf or something. He moves to the side of the car, positioning it between himself and the two men. Just in case he needs some cover. They might not shoot the girl, but most thugs feel different about random strangers.

One of the first times Gene saw women in trouble, his attempts at being a 'man' fell apart when froze in panic and almost got knifed. Two years can really change a person.

"You have one warning to let the girl go and be on your way," the man states in a firm tone.

The two Things swing their heads around in the same moment to see who's dared interrupt their business. The rest of the customers at the market are either staring or easing away, slipping inside the safety of the building. The stage is set for confrontation. Thing Two peels away from his bud and the blonde, doing the puff up and strut walk towards Gene. "Who the fuck you think you are? Get lost, this ain't your business!" he blusters, hauling his pants up and sticking his chest out. Another few steps and he's going to circle around the car to close in on Gene.

Thing One maintains his grip on Lena's arm. Her eyes flicker towards Gene, resting there only briefly. See, the guy holding her is still glowering in the young man's direction. Distracted. The teenager seizes the opportunity, draws back her arm and swings. Crack.

It was a square slap, palm connecting to stubbled cheek with both force and precision. Thing One…drops as if she'd hit him with a hammer instead of a hand.

As the other man tries to get to him, Gene decides it is time to show the world what a year of training in the martial arts can do for you! "I warned you," Gene offers in a totally calm tone. His body is starting to sweat, but he won't let fear control him. Not now. 'Grasshopper' lets his duffle bag drop to the ground. Planting a palm firmly on the hood, Gene hops off the ground and uses the hand on the car to support his body as he gives a high swinging kick aimed right for the side of the other man's jaw.

This move would be totally sweet…. If Gene's sweaty hand didn't slip out from under him. The back of his head crashes into the car and Gene lands painfully on his rear end. While a little dazed, Gene is not out of the fight yet, using the same hand as before to steady himself as he gets up. "That's right, I got more where that came from, behindhole!"

"Wha—!" Thing Two (who had been on the verge of snarking at the young man with some unpleasant laughter) does a flaily thing, ducking and waving his arms about. It saves his jaw, but not his shoulder. The thug reels to the side post-impact, slamming into the car as the kick forces him off balance. "What the hell's wrong with you, man?!"

Because we all know he just wanted to talk, really.

Meanwhile, on the sidewalk, Lena is applying the toe of her pretty shoe to Thing One's ribs. "You don't fucking hit girls, you asshole!" Every kick earns a grunt or a groan until finally the goon is compelled to crawl towards the car just to escape the abuse. And she looks like such a sweet young thing, too.

Thankful that he didn't bust his own nose, Gene grunts as he gets back to his feet. "I am kicking your behind, old school. Now if you want to keep fighting, I'll give you some of the new freshness too…" With that, he reaches for his belt, pulling out his taser, handmade with love. And justice. "Now, you going to leave this woman alone or am I going to have to kick you and your friends' behind with the help of my friend, Mr. Lightning?"

Thing Two was totally going to tear Gene's head of. He wants that known and placed on the official record. The only reason he's stumbling backwards with his hands held up is because his buddy over there is a big ol' wuss who needs some help with the chick trying to cave his ribs in. "Asshole!" he says by way of parting shot, before scrambling to get the semi-conscious Thing One away from Lena. Car doors are opened, goon is thrown inside and Thing Two circles warily around (keeping a bleary eye on Gene) to get into the driver's seat. They peel off. Mr. Lightning appears to have saved the day.

The blonde has backed off in order to allow the escape and to retrieve her purse. With that item dangling from her elbow, Lena approaches the curb to regard Gene with a faint, lopsided smile. "I maybe wouldn't have had to hit the guy if you'd pulled that out first…but thanks, man. I appreciate the help."

Time to be cool. Lifting his scarf to hide more of his face, Gene offers a cool reply. "I was hoping to avoid using fear as a movitator, instead appealing to the strength that lays inside myself. Like the sleeping dragon, I still have to awaken my true potential… But enough about me, are you alright?" The question comes with a scan of Lena's features. "How did you take down a guy with one hit? While I am sure you're fiesty…" He leads off, clearly uncertain as he moves to pick up his duffle back once more.

A police car passes by, Gene instinctly turning away, hiding his face just in case they are patroling the streets. They aren't looking for anyone, just doing a crappy job of monitoring the streets. Thankfully, they just keep driving on.

Lena folds her arms, hands cupping under the opposite elbow while she studies her saviour. The smile fades away, lost behind something a little more neutral. "Yyyeah, sleeping dragon. I'm fine, are you okay? That looked like a nasty fall." Pause. "I, uh…had a couple of older brothers, so you learn where to…you know. Hit a guy." Fiesty? More like ill at ease. It's strange to be almost relieved by the slow procession of a cop car gliding by, really it is. She turns to the side, chin tucked down and face hidden behind the guise of reaching up to fluff her hair.

"Um. Hey…you want some oranges?"

"Had worse…" Gene states as he puts a hand up to reach for his head. There is a little bit of red, but he just wipes it off on his jeans. "Either way, glad you're okay." There is a pause as Gene looks at Lena, thinking for a moment. "Perhaps it's an illogical conclusion… But I take it the reason why you're worried about the cops is the same as why you are having trouble with those men." He looks to the oranges for a moment, considering the issue. "Nah, it's okay, doing the right thing should be its own reward."

"Yeah?" Lena looks up in time to catch that telltale smear of crimson, blue eyes widening at the sight. "Worse than bleeding? Jesus…here." The inconveniently small purse is opened and rummaged through in order to produce a tissue. She holds it tweezed between two fingers in order to extend it to the young man, the gesture somewhat hesitant. "I dunno what you mean, worried about the cops. Cmon." The tissue is flourished, hankie-like. "Hold this against your head till the bleeding stops. And you're getting oranges."

The young man laughs at the mention of worse than bleeding. "Yeah… One of those long stories that leads to another long story and by the end of it, you wonder what you were talking about in the first place," Gene replies with an awkward smile. He arches a brow at the flourish, but just dismisses it as the girl trying to be pretty princess. He sighs at her tissue before he takes it.

"It's not bleeding badly, honest." He daps the wound from time to time, checking on the bleeding and clearly not impressed with it… But it's uncertain if it's because it's painful or because it isn't as bad as he thought Lena was making it out to be. It's not flowing freely, but every dap gets a quarter sized withdrawl from the Geek God's head. "No oranges. If you really want to do something for me, just give them out to a homeless person or some heroin junkie. New York's got enough of both."

"Any bleeding's bad. Especially with the head…you didn't black out or anything, did you?" It isn't that the blonde's fussing over him, not exactly. But out of a street full of bystanders, this is the one guy who helped. Lena seems compelled to offer aid, however reluctant the gentleman is to accept it. "No, no, don't…gah. Here." Another tissue is produced (several, really) and wadded up to epic proportions while she tries to step around Gene. Plainly, she intends to show him how it's done. Direct pressure means pressure. "You seriously want me to go around handing out oranges to junkies? You're not from New York, are you?"

"No, but I'm from Washington DC. You think it's bad here, look up Anacostia. It makes the Bronx seem friendly. Not that I've done more than driven past Anacostia, but you get the id-eee" Gene winces as he gets direct pressure. That's why he wasn't pressing on it, it frickin' hurts.

"…Anyway, the point is that it is something that people don't do. It means there is a need. As for the cops, you know what I mean. But if you want the matter dropped, that's fine. Everyone's got their stuff to hide, I guess."

It could be worse. Lena's doing her damndest to avoid any sort of actual contact with Gene, which means that direct pressure isn't as pressureful as it could be. "It's not so bad," she reassures him. "I got hit in the head with a chair this one time, it was tons worse than this. But I'll do that…Anacostia." She won't but this is Lena being polite and friendly. At least until the cops are brought up again. "I didn't see you waving them down when they went by…you wanna talk about why you're walking around like that when it's not even that cold out there?" There's a note of sulky aggression in the tone she uses, completely at odds with her appearance.

"Doing the right thing doesn't always work out for you… But that won't stop me from helping people. Techicially, I shouldn't even be out, but I refuse to live my life in total fear," the young man replies before he just looks over at Lena in shock. "…A chair? That's not cool."

"Hey, keep your head still! You're gonna start bleeding again." Lena aims a poke at his shoulder to encourage the idea, her own hand still pressing the tissue to the cut. "Why shouldn't you be out? I don't get it. And yeah…some drunk at the library was hitting on a chick in this really obnoxious way, so me and my roommate tried to help her out. That didn't work out so well either but I didn't die or anything." Evidently not, because she is here now, torturing Gene. The tissue is finally pulled gingerly away and the spot given a critical look. "I think you're good, so long as you didn't black out."

The Geek God touches the back of his head, glad that the bleeding has just about stopped. "I'll make a deal. You tell me why you're phobic of the police and why those guys were after you, I'll tell you why a nice guy like me is worried about the police." Figuring the answer is going to be 'no', Gene moves to sling his bag over his back, likely preparing to move on. "Either way, sorry that you got chaired."

Lena, not the good guy type, just tosses the used tissue aside in the street. A sweeper will get it eventually. Her attitude so does not jive with the get up. "Sure, why not?" Snapping her purse shut, she flashes him that same quirky smile from earlier. "I'm on the run from this top secret government organization that's probably gonna turn out to be trying to take over the world or something. And I am the key." Pause. "That's from a movie too. You be good, Mister Hero. Thanks for the rescue." Then she swans back towards the oranges.

"Don't steal my answers unless you mean them!" Gene calls before he just shakes his head. "Yeah, you take it easy," the young man adds softly before he sighs. With a simple shake of his head, the young man makes his way back to his car. This looks like one of those stories that he isn't going to bring up to his friends. After all, getting out without a disguise is bad enough… Fighting criminals while doing so? Yeah, he's so going to just claim he spend the day at the comic book store dressed as the Joker.

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