2007-08-17: DF: Old Friends and New Beginnings


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Summary: Two old friends search the streets of New York for different things, only to find something unexpected and something much better.

Date It Happened: August 17th, 2009

Old Friends and New Beginnings

Streets of 'New' New York

Every day is different; every day is the same. The city is still ruined; this particular stretch of street is in particularly bad condition. But it has personal significance to Evelyn. Thus this morning, with the air cool and the sun peeking out from behind a scattering of clouds, finds her on this street, hazel eyes scanning the buildings for familiar structures. If she remembers right — and the memory in question is a thing of frequent nightmare — it should be somewhere just around here…

Like the girl herself, Evelyn's clothes have seen better days; it's readily apparent she's one of those people who fell through the cracks of the system and now just survives. Her hair, once short, has grown out to shoulder length, a faint layer of concrete dust temporarily rendering it somewhat less than black. The stiff breeze winding its way down the street, apparently undecided which way it's going to blow, makes some of the strands flutter around her shoulders.

A soft hum of an engine is almost deafening in the silence of the 'new' New York. Gene thought that an electric motor would allow him to move through the city without being noticed. While it does the trick, the sound almost drives him crazy. He would put on ear phones or something, but he needs to keep his wits about him, always listening to the radio for possible movements of the enemy or the sound of someone preparing some sort of ambush. The urban jungle is filled with predators and Gene has important things to do before he dies. Moving through the city, Gene notices a ruined car. Perfect. He looks around, and seeing that it seems to have grass growing around it, suggests it's been here for awhile. The motorcycle slows itself until it stops. Gene thrusts a gray hand upon the front of the bike, a sound of machinery going off before the bike turns off and locks up. The bike secure, Gene removes his black helmet, tucking it under his arm before heading toward the car. He doesn't have a robotic sidekick with him, the Monster still in the shop and Gene wanting to save R2-Darth2 for a rainy day.

Despite the times the young man finds himself in, Gene seems to be looking rather well. His blue eyes are wary and slightly worn, but his face is clean and unscarred. His hair is cut and trimmed, his white t-shirt slightly worn but clean. The blue jeans have a couple of holes in them, but they are washed and pressed, making them seem like Sunday finery in this post-apocalyptic nightmare. His tennis shoes are dirty and worn. A black leather jacket is slung over his body. The only sign of the war's horrible toll is the metal right hand and the light thud that his right foot makes every time it touches down. He doesn't notice Evelyn yet, merely wanting to see what he can do with the car, mark it on the map, and come back for it later with a truck. Not safe to be out here for long.

The sound of the motor distracts Evelyn from her reflections. She spins to face the source of the noise, momentarily freezing in place. The wind, however, does not do the same; a strong gust twists through the street and the shattered buildings, lofting dust on its currents and dislodging a few precariously perched bits of rubble somewhere amongst the ruined structures. The girl reaches up to shove her hair back behind her ears, paying careful attention to her breathing but not yet willing to take her gaze off Gene. Whom is not immediately recognized; it's been a long time, and Evelyn's spent enough of it dodging familiar faces that she doesn't expect them anymore.

Moving toward the car, the young man is about to check it out when he feels the eyes of someone upon him. One hand reaches back to grip a gun as he turns toward the woman, only to find Evelyn standing there. He doesn't pull out the weapon, but he doesn't let go of his grip either. After all, he's heard that it's open season on the Saints. And he didn't even approve of their cracked out plan to steal a president.

There is a couple of moments silence before Gene finally speaks, "You're not with the President's people are you?" Not exactly the greeting he'd like to say, but this isn't like meeting in Central Park like they used to years ago.

He has a gun. (Everyone has a gun. Except her.) The voice is familiar. Evelyn squints at Gene — and the wind blows harder, all through the street, whistling against the metal skeletons of the remaining buildings. "I'm not with anyone," the young woman replies, lifting her chin slightly. But Evelyn is shortly forced to close her eyes, turning her head slightly away. He's… probably… not a threat. And if she tells herself that enough, maybe the wind will listen. She abandons all attempts to keep her hair under control.

The hand remains on the gun. Despite this there is tenderness in Gene's eyes, clearly not wanting to be like this. He wishes he could just trust people he knew, but it's not easy these days. "If you're the woman I think you are… What animal did I not trust in Central Park when we talked there two years ago?" The wind blow by Gene's face, causing his own hair to sway about, but he doesn't put two and two together. Not yet at least.

He wants what? Evelyn blinks at Gene, and then frowns. "An anima —" She's willing enough to play along, but it's just very poor timing for the distraction. " — ohshit." The frown is replaced by alarm. The girl whips around to face away from Gene — out of sight, out of mind, or almost — her hands curling into fists at her sides, tense enough for them to shake. In vain. But the wind that howls above the street, thankfully, is incoherent; it lofts trash and knocks over debris, rattling standing pieces of metal, yet has no focus, no target, and so doesn't do the damage it might have otherwise.

The young inventor prepares to run after the woman as she turns away. The grip on the gun is loosened and Gene's left hand is seen once more. She's not facing him now, but Gene takes a step forward as he realizes the wind. It couldn't be… Could it? "Evelyn? I didn't expect to see you again," he admits as he weaves his head out of the way of a flapping flying that whips by. Despite the knowledge of her wind powers and the fact they seem to be active, Gene doesn't run. Not yet at least.

The wind soon ebbs, although it doesn't stop. While she hears Gene's words just fine, Evelyn doesn't respond immediately; not until she relaxes, which happens only after she's pretty sure her power will behave itself. One hand shoves her hair back from her face; the other remains at her side. She doesn't turn back around quite yet. "I didn't expect to be seen," is the young woman's quiet reply. "Been staying out of the way." For possibly obvious reasons.

There is a bit of silence as Gene tries to figure out what to say. After all, he didn't expect to see the girl alive. Now she's here right in front of him and looking in need. Of what? The Saint has no idea. "I see." There is a long pause as Gene tries to find something to say, looking to the ground for inspiration. "I got an arm blown off." Gene nods to his hand. "That's why it's gray and stuff. It's artificial." Gene rubs his head with the hand that was once holding the gun. "In case you were wondering about it." Looks like he's still horrible at conversation.

Some things don't change. Evelyn smiles, though with her back still to Gene, it's not exactly visible. But it is audible in her tone. "I honestly hadn't noticed." Her mind had been otherwise occupied. A few moments later, the young woman turns around, hazel eyes flicking up towards the cloud-spotted sky. "I /think/ I can keep a handle on this. For a bit." And if Evelyn sounds like she's trying to convince herself… that's because she is. "It's been a long time. I'm glad to see you." Still alive, but she doesn't say that part.

"You're saying… You can't control your powers?" Gene looks up and around, giving a small frown to what he sees. He thought she was doing it all on purpose. Gene had heard about the windstorm, but he's learned that a lot of people had a lot of powers. It could have been anyone; Gene figures it would be wrong just to assume she was responsible. Deciding that he needs to change the topic, the geek swiftly adds as he takes a couple steps forward, "It's good to see you too. Like the long hair. It's good on you."

"Some days better than others," the girl replies ruefully. When Gene steps forward, she does as well, closing the distance between them. She doesn't explain that closer is safer than not, but her tension eases a bit more, and the restless wind with it. Evelyn smiles crookedly at Gene. "Thanks. I always liked it long myself, but it's also a pain." She runs one hand through the strands, down to the ends, studying them. "I think I'll have to as… get it cut again." The lopsided smile reappears, faintly apologetic.

If Evelyn struggles with the wind, Gene figures the closer the better. After all, if she's the center of it, then being in the eye of the storm is the wisest move. Just nodding at he mention of the powers, he smirks faintly. "I guess I can relate on that one…" He looks toward the hair, noticing that it isn't the cleanest around. He wishes he could offer her to come at his place and take a shower and sleep on a clean bed, but he knows that it isn't safe for all parties involved. The Saints are a protective group and Evelyn might not be ready to stay in a den of strangers. Of course, he doesn't know Eve has already talked with Peter and Elena. "I say keep it long. You look kinda like Alanis Morrissette with it. Just without the crappy attitude that goes with it."

At that, Evelyn laughs softly. A thin ribbon of air winds around them, tugging at said hair; she gives the empty space on one side an utterly useless annoyed look, hooking the dark strands back behind her ears. "There's a name I haven't heard in a while. But I didn't even keep up with music /before/." Unaware of Gene's thoughts — probably a good thing — the young woman shrugs. "I suppose she must still be singing now — the rest of the world keeps going." Right?

"I dunno, I guess it all depends if she made it to Canada or not. Sure she did. People with money almost always get where they want to be," Gene offers with a faint smirk. He lets there be a break in the conversation to look around, making sure there is no one watching. Even while having a nice chat, he feels forced to keep a look-out. "But yeah, I get reports from the rest of the world. They think of us like people used to think of Africa. Surprised no one's threatened war or something, but I guess people are more than willing to let the US beat itself up so they don't have to."

At the pause in their chat, Evelyn also glances about, seeing nothing and no one out of place. This is good. "Yeah?" Closing her eyes as Gene continues, she shakes her head a bit. Another ripple of air blows past, slightly more forceful than the last — but it doesn't seem to give the girl cause for concern. "I… can't say I'm too surprised. As long as we're busy self-destructing, the only ones that have to worry are Canada and Mexico. And…" But Evelyn seems to think better of that thought, cutting it off and shaking her head again, more definitely.

Gene nods. "Well, sure they're watching us. Have a feeling that things will get really bad, then the good guys will win, and it will work out. But that's just me." He gives an honest smile as he says that Like he really believes it. He does, even though he doesn't know when or how. Faith is believing in something even when it isn't visible, and Gene figures he can keep on fighting until that day comes. Or he'll be dead and won't have to worry about what people do on Earth anymore anyway. "So, um, other than trying to stay alive, any exciting news? Dating anyone cute?"

Evelyn regards Gene steadily for a moment. "I hope so," she replies. She really just hopes Peter can go back in time and change everything — even if she may never know if he succeeds. As Gene redirects the conversation, Evelyn coughs, caught between surprise and, perhaps, laughter. It takes her a bit to recover to the point of being able to speak — but, oddly enough, the wind doesn't make itself a nuisance during that interval. "Um. Sorry," the young woman finally manages. "Can't say I am. Dating, much less someone cute." She rubs one hand over her face. "To be perfectly honest? I… haven't given it a thought in… a long time."

"I guess worrying about Homeland trying to take you in or eating day to day makes looking for Mr. Right a little harder." Looking around, Gene considers something. It takes about ten seconds. "How about this? We do dinner and movie. I don't know of a decent theater around, but I could bring a laptop and some DVDs somewhere. I can't cook, but I know someone that could and it would be a nice hot meal. Could even get a recent release from France or something if you wanted a foreign film. As long as I have an Internet connection, you know?" Gene offers with a sly smile. Despite his awkwardness in talking, he's gotten a bit bolder as time went on.

The ten seconds it takes Gene to consider his impulse aren't enough for Evelyn to see it coming. Not in the least. She stares at Gene for a few moments, even the wind driven to stillness. "Even if there were a working theater," the girl eventually replies, voice quiet, "I wouldn't trust myself in it." She looks away, turns away, begins to pace, currents of air coiling around her, their movement slow and pensive. Her demeanor is not so much 'no', and more suggests thoughts of 'what the hell kind of idiot am I if I agree?'. But… it would be nice to pretend things are still somewhat normal. Just once. Stopping, she turns back to Gene. "All right. As long as it's somewhere I can't damage worse," Evelyn finally answers, lips quirking in a slight, wry smile.

"Awesome!" Gene replies with a big grin. It's odd how cheerful he seems despite his situation. It's almost like this horrible city has turned him into a more outgoing person. Or maybe it just made him a bit touched in the head. Either way, Gene moves to his motorcycle, putting his helmet down on the seat before pulling out a small radio from a side pouch. "Here you go. You can use that to call me if you need to cancel or you just want to talk," Gene offers as he hands Evelyn the radio. "What day works for you?"

Evelyn eyes Gene sidelong, as if she /wants/ to say 'who the heck are you and what did you do with Gene?' — but she does recognize, on some level, that doing so would spoil all the good that's come of this encounter. So the idea isn't even fully thought out, much less said. A restless breeze winds its way around the area, tossing her hair this way and that. "Thanks," she says, accepting the radio. And the girl snorts when he continues speaking. "It's not like I have a calendar full of appointments, Gene," she replies dryly. Rather the opposite.

Gene shrugs as Evelyn talks about her lack of things to do. "Well, just let me know when you want to do it then… I have stuff to do here and there, but I'll do my best to make it as close to when you want it as possible." After all, work comes first. "Any kinda movie you wanna watch? I have Star Wars if you want to watch a classic."

In response, Evelyn shakes her head. "If you've got stuff to do, then you pick when. Like I said — I can make whenever, no question." She fixes her hair (again), then nods to Gene. "That works. 'Long as it's from the original three." The girl smiles. "The second set they did never really caught my interest."

"Right… How about Tuesday night?" Gene doesn't know that he might have a secret mission on that day, but hey, he rarely gets advance knowledge on missions he has to do. "I'll check out the places around New York. See if I can find some place decent place to enjoy the movie. If you need anything, use the radio too. I have friends that help watch out for one another. Sure they wouldn't mind doing a favor for me considering all I do for them."

Finding a place that balances safety, comfort, and accessibility won't be easy, but Gene figures with how hard he works, one night catching up with an old friend couldn't be too bad, right?

Evelyn nods to Gene. "Sure," she agrees. Like she said — she has no pressing commitments. No commitments at all. "Just let me know when and where." Falling silent, she regards Gene, head tilted slightly. After a beat, the girl smiles. "I'll look forward to it."

"Sounds good," Gene offers with a small smile in response to Evelyn's. In another time, he would have said she was doing this only because there was no one else. That might be true, but he doesn't have many people outside of the Saints either. 'Don't look for the bad, look for the blessings, they are so few these days,' Gene thinks to himself. "I have to get going now, but I'll keep in touch, okay?" Gene moves toward his bike, sliding on his helmet. The radio chatter says he needs to get his butt back to base.

The girl nods again. "Take care." She smiles at Gene, then steps away from the middle of the road. Rather than continuing in the direction she had been walking, way back when, Evelyn sets off on a tangent. She doesn't need to go back to the beginning now; another beginning seems to have found her. And though the wind returns, even the breeze is light, and fails to disturb Evelyn.

The young boy has become a young man and he seems to have found his own way. While he came looking for a car, he found something else. Something a lot better in his mind. Whistling a little tune to himself, Gene soon is speeding away. He has no idea what this week is going to look like, but he can't help but think it's only going to go up.

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