2009-11-25: Pimp My Kitt

Starring:

Eric_V4icon.pngGene_V4icon.pngLena_V4icon.pngSydney_V4icon.pngTiago_V4icon.png

Date: November 25, 2009

Summary:

A not-so-leisurely stroll through Harlem ends in Lena getting tased and a copy store being held at knife point. Yeah. It's that messed up.


"Pimp My KITT"

Uptown, NYC - Harlem/Random Copy House

Due to 'Family Business' Eric was forced to disappear, leaving Gene to drive his car alone though Harlem. Thankfully, the lack of a car door makes the ride a little less appealing for car jackings. Just in case, Gene has his taser in his peacoat, still a little miffed on how 'well' his talk with Senator Wynn went.

The young genius pauses at a red light, looking down the sidewalks to make sure there isn't anyone advancing toward his car. This is the last time he goes into Harlem without flamethrowers on the sides of his car. Hey, they work in Rio!

—-

And down sauntering down the sidewalk Sydney is beyond lost and looks at the very least out of her element. Her blonde ponytail, peacoat, and faded jeans might allow her to blend if it weren't for her obvious confusion and the weighty looking bag slung across her shoulder. Map open, eyes squint, nose wrinkles, and lips frown as she tries to find her current location on the map. "Where the heck am I?" Her eyebrows furrow at the street sign as she attempts to read and locate said sign on the map. Lips pursed she glances around the neighbourhood. None of this is familiar.

—-

Lena and Tiago will be forever grateful to those who've provided them assistance and sanctuary. Resulting from that gratitude is a strong need to provide something back, not to mention the need to fill the hours that would have ordinarily been spent out on the street slinging dope. That's why Sydney has a shadow. Decked out in a hooded jacket, jeans and sneakers, Lena follows at a discrete distance. Her hands are in her pocket (one curled around the grip of her little switchblade), and her head is down, face partially hidden by the fake-fur trim of the hood.

In a neighborhood like this, if one were to notice, it wouldn't be a poor assumption to think that the therapist is being followed by some punk kid with a nefarious purpose. But no…Sydney is being tailed because she is sweet, she is wounded and Lena has decided that she needs protection.

—-

"What… What the heck is goi…" Gene watches Sydney with a dropped jaw. There is a hoodlam following behind her! Gene swiftly pulls up to the curb, leaning over to speak to Sydney. The passenger side of the retrofitted 1970's Camaro has no door, so it makes that easier. "Sydney, what the heck are you doing here? Get in here before you get yourself in trouble! This is prime knifing terrority." He keeps an eye on the mysterious hobo, making sure that they don't try and come to his friend from behind.

—-

The therapist jumps as the car pulls up to the curb. It takes her several seconds before squinting again, "Gene??" The question is met with a quirked eyebrow as she peers about the neighbourhood. "What do you mean prime knifing territory? It's SoHo… I'd think Central Park was more dangerous this time of day…" But then, she is lost. There's a pause before she tilts her head a bit, "Where are we… I think I'm lost…"

—-

Except what Lena sees as occuring is an old model car missing a door screeching to the curb beside Sydney. Ohmigod, kidnapping! The overprotective hobo proves the truth of Gene's unheard warning by pulling her knife-wielding hand from the pocket, thumb pressed against the blade's release button without triggering it yet. Then she charges towards the blonde woman, overlooking Sydney's complete lack of panic in favor of her own.

"Sydney! Get the fuck away! You don't give directions in Harlem!"

—-

Sydney is a big shot now, a big name, considering the fact that she has her own personal bodyguards stalking her out. The fact that Sydney is /unaware/ of her own secret service? Well…it's irrelevant, really. Tiago is trailing further behind the pair of women, on the other side of the street. The baggy camouflage jacket and the red bandana he wears, tied around his head, in addition to the familiar swagger he projects while walking is enough to prompt most Harlem-ers to pass without a second glance - he is, after all, one of them.

He is also a man with a purpose. A dual purpose - to protect Sydney as well as his younger, but better, half. And as Tiago continues to strut, sneer, and basically exude attitude out of his every pore, the man catches the sudden movement from up ahead. Lena is running and screaming…and this immediately instills a deep panic within the lad. Before he knows it, he is gripping the cool metal of his pistol and jogging across the street in a blur, before proceeding to duck behind a parked car so that he can scope out the situation.

And they say he isn't smart! Ha.

—-

"This is Harlem, Sydney… SoHo is way off. How did you even get here?" Unaware that he is dealing with people he's recently met instead of random thugs, Gene notices that the hooded person is charging and decides to forget hs former question.

"Sydney, car now," he orders as he pulls out the taser. "This is what I was worried of…" he states as he aims the taser for the open car door. Unless there is some IDing done and Gene is told to stand down, Gene will cause a little trouble in the name of protection. Once Lena gets into range, the young genius will fire, letting the two prones fly through the air to try and tag the possible attack in the chest.

—-

Eyebrows are furrowed further. "Harlem?! I thought it would look… different…" Sydney glances about to notice a hooded figure calling her name, "I don't— " She frowns, glances at the figure brandishing a knife, and climbs in the car. Her own anxiety about the entire situation climbing.

—-

There will be no standing down by Lena, mostly because what she sees is a driver reaching for and lifting something black and boxy in his hand. Her thumb finally depresses the button, and several inches of lovingly polished steel appear from the blade's handle. She has just time enough to yell out, "Sydney, don't!" when the prongs connect with her chest. Yell becomes a hoarse scream and Lena's down, the knife skidding out of her hand as the muscle spasms take over.

—-

This is not good. Not good at all. The last thing the situation at hand needs is to be escalated, but thanks to Sydney's sudden burst of empathy, the man finds himself running near frantic, his heart rate quickening with anxiety. All he needs is one trigger, one incident and…

Lena's scream does it. Automatically, the lad jumps his way out from behind the car and fires a gunshot in the direction of the car, though the bullet sails far from anyone involved. He's not trying to kill or hurt anyone, just make them aware that he's here, and in charge, thanks to the firearm. "Lena!" He calls out dramatically, as he heads over to her side, gun still pointed at the (still unidentified) Gene's head. "Lena! What the fuck didya do ta her man! I'll fuckin' KILL you!"

—-

"Lena?!"

There are a lot of questions that Gene has, but as the shot is fired, Gene knows that leaving an unconscious woman in a firefight is beyond poor form. More so when you were the one that took them out. While Gene left his own gun behind, his taser is a little more equipped than most. He pulls the trigger again and the metal tips are pulled out, the tension on the cords cause them to go back into the gun. He doesn't have time to really aim the shot toward Tiago, but he still has it toward his general direction. In the battle of tazer vs. gun, gun usually wins, but Gene shows no sign of surrender.

Sydney's little 'boost' does little to help the paranoid young man, but at least he knows who he is talking to. "…The guy from before. I don't know what plot you and your friend were trying, but I think you both need to stop sneaking around my friend and step off. Put the gun down now or I promise you, even if you kill me, there will be a buttload of people wishing for revenge and you'll learn there are worst things in life than dying. Last warning." Gene's triggerfinger is a little sweat due to the extra dose of panic, but for now, he is able to keep his cool. Barely.

—-

The sound of her name again, causes Sydney to frown further. Something isn't adding up. How did the tased girl know her name?! "She knows my name…" she mumbles to herself more than Gene. The sound of the shot only puts the therapist further on edge. Her muscles tense, her jaw stiffens and she straightens in the seat. Her eyes squint as she tries to focus on Tiago. "Gene… I think… " blink. Something begins to make sense. "LENA. It's Lena!" As she attempts to climb out of the car, she raises her hands into the air. "Please don't shoot!" She hasn't identified Tiago yet…

—-

With only the one zap, and the quick withdrawal of the prongs, it only takes a few seconds for the wild twitching affecting Lena's body to taper off. More stubborn is the vertigo, and she voices her displeasure with the way the world is spinning by giving a low groan and groping at the sidewalk. Onto her belly she goes in a shaky attempt to get herself up off of the ground. "…fuck, Chi? Wha' hit me, am I shot?" The hood has fallen back from her head but her hair is in her face when she swings a look towards Sydney, blinking slowly to focus her eyes on the woman. "Syd? You okay? Chi…"

—-

It's a tense, terse situation, therefore Tiago doesn't have much time look over his poor girlfriend. Once he establishes the fact that she is, in fact, alive, Tiago fixes his attention one hundred percent upon Gene. And, on doing so, he realizes that he recognizes him. He's one of the /good/ guys…right? For a moment, his armed hand begins to waver - for it's obvious, he doesn't want to lower the weapon first - but soon enough the man lets out a cry of aggrivation, dropping the fire-arm and subsequently dropping to he knees, moving to cradle Lena's head with his shaking hands.

"You fuckin' dick, what the fuck didya do that for! We're on the same fuckin' team - the /SAME/ fuckin' team!" Tiago points out with a growl, face curled in dark irritation. Suddenly, his attention is dedicated to his girlfriend once again. "Baby, are you alrigh'? Nah, nah, you aint been shot…jus' tasered, I guess? Are you alright, babe? You're not hurt, are ya? Way ta /fuckin'/ go, asshole!"
Only after a few moments after Tiago lowers his weapon, does Gene do the same. His tone is unamused, but not at all shouting. "I dunno, because you were creeps stalking Sydney? I try and offer her a ride out of this place and you charge me. You know most friends follow ALONGSIDE instead of lurking behind people. Now both if you need to get into the car, so we can get to a place where more people won't randomly decide to shoot me. There are seats in back. Come on." There are blood stains on the seats, but that was from a getaway awhile ago. This car has definately been put through its paces.

As Gene waits for people to get in, he looks over toward Sydney, trying to get support that he wasn't jumping the gun. "You didn't know anyone was following you, did you?"

—-

"I'm okay Lena," Sydney insists as she moves over to Lena, offering her arm to the girl. "Are you okay? Can you get up?" she asks quietly. "Gene's right, we need to go. It's best we get a move on before its dark." She glances at Tiago and offers him the most comforting smile she can muster, which isn't particularly comforting. Glancing back at Gene her head shakes, "No, I had no idea… " there's a pause. "Were you actually following me?" Pause. "Why?"

—-

Lena's fingers curl over Tiago's forearm, using the young man as a crutch to help pull herself groaning to her feet. Her free hand rubs at her chest. "I'm okay. We know him? Jesus, it feels like I got beat with a bat…ungh." Once on her feet again, she's finally able to get a good look at the driver, and her expression immediately darkens. "What the hell, Vader? What were you…aw shit." The girl's head lifts and turns; sirens have been heard in the distance. "Cmon, Chi."

Allowing no arguments, she pauses only to scoop up her fallen knife before seizing Tiago's sleeve and dragging him to the car to pile into the back seat. Lena's limping, but she manages it. And the blood stains are not noticed. Yet.

"To keep you…her…safe, goddamnit. Saw her down here, didn't want her to feel bad for needing a chaperone…ow by the fucking way!"

—-

Tiago throws Gene a dirty look as Lena is pushed to her feet, and it is with a scowl on his face that he quickly pockets his pistol and then proceeds to support Lena into the car. He can hear the sirens as well, and his dislike of the police /always/ trumps everything else. Always. "Creeps? Yeah, right, we're creeps. You're the one with the ghetto car drivin' around in Harlem and…is this /blood/! Why the fuck is there blood in the back of your car!" This is huffed up quickly as he loads Lena into the back seat first, before climbing in himself and signaling that they're good to go.

"Yeah, we were followin' you. because you were enterin' /Harlem/, and you're a pretty blonde chick who's well off. Y'coulda been jumped, raped - even killed, man. Shit over here is rough, man. And frankly? You aint been all that okay ever since that Ivory Wynn thing that mornin', so we figured we'd tail ya and make sure you'd be okay when we saw you headin' down the street. No need ta scare you away, jus' lookin' ta protect you some."

—-

"Because after I was involved with rescuing a sentor's wife…" Gene pauses to look at Sydney, "Not Ivory's, I had to transport the woman and the people that saved her out. One of them got shot. Considering I've got like two billion other things to worry about like figuring out how to stop Alpha Protocol, getting new car seats has been pretty dang low on the list," Gene replies to Tiago, before he pulls away.

As he puts his taser away, Gene looks in the rear mirror to glance back to make sure that Lena's okay. Why are all the cute girls Gene meets scary or taken? That's life, he supposes. "Sorry that you got hurt, Lena… But NEW RULE for the pair of you; No stalking to keep people safe. It's like asking a drunk to watch your booze."

—-

After re-entering the car, Sydney wrinkles her nose. "I'm not.." Defenseless? "I can…" take care of herself? She can't even say the words at this moment, especially in light of everything that went on with Ivory. Instead, she sighs and runs a hand through her loose blonde curls. Lips are pressed into a firm line as she holds a hand to her forehead.

Frowning she stares out the window as Tiago explains. Her body visibly tenses at the mention of Ivory and the very attentive can see her free hand ball into a fist. The mention of a senator's wife causes Sydney's jaw to tighten further (even if it isn't Ivory's wife). She closes her eyes for a moment, fighting her rising anger she takes a deep breath before she manages, "I appreciate the concern. And… I guess I'm sorry for being in Harlem." Pause. "I didn't mean to end up here. I was just… born without a sense of direction." A glance is given to the heavy bag still slung over her shoulder. Her errand will wait for another day.

—-

As soon as the car is moving, Lena promptly violates all safety laws by laying down across the back seat and placing her head on Tiago's knee. An arm is thrown over her eyes, to conceal the continued grimace of discomfort. "Not like we haven't riden around in worse," she mutters, her only comment on the state of the upholstery. "Whatever, it's fine…you were looking after her too, I thought you were like…gonna snatch her, the way you pulled up…" Wait. Rules? The arm is lifted, allowing one clear blue eye to peer out at the driver.

"We weren't stalking her, jesus. You're not the only one who can look after folks, either." Pause. "Don't worry about it, Syd. We owe you one, you know?"

—-

Tiago shoots Gene a sullen, highly irritated look. "Don't act like we did somethin' wrong, dickface. You did the same thing we did - you saw her out here, and saw us, and tried ta protect her. No one's at fault, it was jus' an accident. And…wait a tick. Who's the drunk? Am I the drunks or is Sydney the drunk?" Ah. You've got to love the Brazilian and his grasp of similes.

However, he settles down after a moment, his defensiveness flying out of his and he proceeds to stroke his fingers through Lena's hair, occasionally darting a curious look over his shoulder to the location they have just left. "…But, okay. Next time, we'll tell ya what's goin' on, Syd. If there is a next time. And it's okay, Syd. We like…owe everythin' ta you. Where were ya goin', if not the ghetto, anyways?"

—-

"Following a person around without them knowing is stalking. She didn't know, you were following, that makes it stalking. Listen, I'm not questioning the motive here, I'm really not. But if you were walking WITH Sydney, this wouldn't have happened. When people make a mistake, you take steps so it doesn't happen again," Gene says, pausing to take in what Tiago says. "See, Tiago knows what he's talking about, just let her know." Considering answer Tiago's question about who's the drunk would defeat his former statement, he just lets it slide for now.

"People just care about ya, Sydney… I'd take it as a compliment. Like I'll take it as a compliment when my friends give me the royal treatment for being later than I said I would be."

—-

"You guys don't owe me anything, anyone would've done the same— " Sydney disagrees as she lowers her hand from her forehead. "But thank you for the concern all the same." The mention of Ivory (and the remembrance of her own stupidity) is now forgotten and her muscles relax considerably as a result. "All of you. I honestly get lost several times a week… even to places I've been before. I'm not good at reading maps."

Her lips twitch into a small smile directed towards Tiago as she pats the bag over her shoulder, "I finished my dissertation finally. SO I was going to go get it photocopied to submit to my committee. There's this place in SoHo that does a really cheap coil binding and I really am about the cheapness… so that's where I was going. Apparently I missed by a long shot." She shrugs a little.

She glances at Gene and frowns slightly, "Did I make you late? Sorry…" Lots of apologizing today.

—-

Something very rude is muttered beneath the shield of Lena's arm, ending with the words, "…not my dad." But her whole body has a headache at the moment, which may explain the crankiness. The silence that follows can be assumed to give consent to the new restriction on their extracurricular activities. It isn't destined to last; it never does around the punk princess.

"Where're we going, anyway?" she asks, making some small effort to sound more civilized. Sociable, anyway. "And what's a dissertation? That was what you were working on the other day, right? The big term paper thing?"

—-

Tiago looks slightly mollified by the fact that Gene has pointed himself out as having it /right/ for once. It is only then that he recalls something very particular. "…Oy. I guess I'm sorry for like…shootin' at ya and shit. But you attacked her, and I didn't know what was goin' on an'…yeah." Beat. "I dun even know you're name, man." It is only then that the Brazilian allows his gaze to travel over to the females in the moving vehicles, shooting his girlfriend a quelling look for her sullenness. "Shh, you're good…anyway. Your diss-wha? Yeah, what she said. Anyway, if ya need, I can go drop it off and make the copies ya need. S'not like I got anythin' else ta do with my time…"

—-

"I'm Gene and it's water under the bridge," the young man states simply to Tiago, deciding to just let the matter of shooting and such go. Continuing on, he drives as he speaks toward Sydney. "So, how about you give me address and I'll drop you three off there to get the copies. Congrats on the disseration, I always wanted to do one of those. What's was it on?"

—-

"It's good to be done… or hopefully done. I'm not out of the woods yet though, still need to defend." Sydney reaches into her jacket pocket and takes out a piece of paper with an address written very neatly on it in very feminine handwriting. "It's on emotion manipulation clients attempt to use on therapists and strategies to cope with it." She blushes a bit before stating, "It's ironic now. Not when I started though…"

—-

Lena twists to the side and gingerly levers herself up from Tiago's knee, keeping a hand over her eyes until she's upright. Is she milking the soreness, a little? Probably. The sigh is genuine, however. "Is the copy place near a McDonald's? I need something to drink. And a tylenol. But I'll take a Coke instead." As her hand lowers, and she re-positions herself propped against her partner's shoulder, a squinty look is aimed at the pair in the front seats. "Are we supposed to understand what that means? 'Cause like…I dropped out in the tenth grade and that sounded like English but…hey, KFC!"

—-

Tiago glances upwards, quirking his brows slightly slightly as they begin discussing academia. Now, this is so far over the poor boy's shoulders, it's not even funny. That's what happens when you drop out of sophomore year, high school. "Gene, huh? That's cool. Nice ta meetchya, man. I'm Chi - Tiago." As Sydney explains the topic of her paper, a rather wry smile appears on his face. "D'you use it all the time? When you're like, theraputin'? I betchya that helps." Automatically, he falls silent the moment Lena starts moving up, and the lad frown, peering down at her in his attempts to facilitate her movement. "Yo…yo, are you okay, babe?" He inquires, readjusting beside her gingerly.

—-

Thats about when Gene's phone…gets a text.

'Where you at man?'

Eric's number is up on his ID if he cares to look.

The young man himself is leaning against his own bike not /all/ that far away from where they are, tapping his fingers against the side of the bike as he glances at the screen of his specialy designed jPhone and wonders just what the Genius is up too. He decided to split up with Gene earlier as he needed to go take care of a little something. Namely trying to get a few more business affairs in order.

—-

The young genius pulls out a faceplate in the dash at the next stoplight, showing something that appears to be a GPS… Along with some other things that are not in cars. Some sort of computer from the looks of it. Even Gene's 'ghetto' car is tricked out to the 9's. Once the directions are in, he makes his way toward the copy place. "I could see how that could be a problem…" Gene pauses as he pulls out his PDA. "Don't have time for this… Car Computer, text Eric Lancaster location. Street Intersection format."

The speakers of the car reply, "Processing…. Text sent."

"Car Computer, text Eric Lancaster a message. Transcribe now… Currently dropping off Sydney at copy place. If you want to show up, fine, should be back at the place soon. Stop message."

Again the standard female computer voice speaks, "Processing. Text sent."

Gene glances over toward Tiago, clearly not thinking much of what just happened. "Good to meet you." He doesn't comment on the paper again, merely looking over toward Sydney to let her know he's listening.

—-

"Yeah, it was English, Lena. I've devoted the last three years of my life to it. And managed to blaze through it faster than expected. Of course that's because I haven't done much else," Sydney smirks. "It'll be good to have it finally finished." Eyebrows are furrowed at Gene's machinations, but her furrowed eyebrows are followed up by a grin, "That's… really cool. I wish my computer could understand me when I talk."

—-

"Yeah, just felt like I went a few rounds in a boxing ring, but…" Lena's quiet reply to Tiago ends when Gene's car goes all KITT. There is stunned silence from the backseat, Sydney's explanation about her dissertation ignored. Then, very softly, in tones of reverence, the once and future blonde says, "He really is Batman."

—-

"Dude…" Tiago comments, eyes wide as he stares at the dashboard of the car. "Man! Where'd you get this thing? …Can it like, fire missiles and shit? Or make martinis for ya, like a James Bond car? It can, right? Haha, I betchya got champagne or shit, for when ya start wooin' the women, huh?" The grin on his face is one of boyish enthusiasm and awe, the result of a poor kid faced with such incredible opulence. Needless to say, everything else is near forgotten.

—-

Eric? Eric just kicks his cycles into gear as he gets that text and shakes his head. He'll be there in a little bit as he guides his bike through trafic expertly towards a meeting with /destiny/…or Batman and co.

—-

Someone has asked about his designs, which means Gene rants:

"I designed everything in the car that was electronical. The engine, the comptuer system, the works. The first thing I learned how to do was improve simple devices like car engines. The complicated stuff tends to be the mircochips and stuff. That usually requires tools that I can't get my hands on these days. But I really don't woo the ladies with it, Tiago… Always the Q, never the Bond, so to speak. But it's alright…" Gene admits with a soft smile. Coughing as he rants about a new tech, he looks over toward the therapist.

"Anyway, if you want me to work on the voice recognization software on your computer I could sometime, Sydney, it really isn't that hard. It's mostly fine tuning the code. It takes awhile, but once you get the voice print right, you can put the software into other stuff, letting you use it for stuff like the computers in your home, personal devices like the cellphone… and as you saw, the car. Anyway, good luck on the paper." He appears ready to say more, but he sees that the paper store is right ahead. Looks like it wasn't as far away as he had thought. "There we go, everybody out."

—-

"Is it really that bad, Lena?" Sydney questions. The tone is concerned. "I've never been tased (?)…" she quirks an eyebrow as she tries to figure out the right word "… tasered (?)… no, tased before." She decides on the word right or not. "That would be great, Gene! Seriously it would shave hours off of my therapy notes AND I'd manage to get everything done early! I could just read them instead of having to type them… it takes forever." She's literally beaming now. As they pull up, she steps out of the car, her bag still slung over her shoulder and she pads into the store and up to the (very bored looking) clerk who is twiddling his long green hair. "I would like five copies please!" the blonde woman chimes as she hands over her massive four hundred page thesis. She forces a pleasant smile.

"How many?" "Five." Smile.

"Hmmm. That'll be pricey."

"Just make them… please," she counters meekly. The clerk then disappears with the thick document into the back room. She calls loudly, "Please don't lose it!" Not that she can't print it again. She just doesn't want to.

—-

"Everything?" Lena echoes the Geek God, glancing up at her boyfriend. "Can you like…do that? Outside of a factory?" It occurs to her immediately following the question that it could appear…well…dumb, especially in the presence of a Sydney and Gene. Fortunately by that point they're pulling up to the curb and there's more to focus on than how fish out of water she feels. "It's okay, the chair to the head was worse," she assures Sydney before the woman exits. Then she's scooting to the door herself, moving slowly but taking special care to not present a pained appearance while leaving the car.

And there'll she loiter, standing on the sidewalk like every shop owner's worst nightmare: hands shoved in pockets, shoulders up, a frown on her face. It's for the best that she doesn't trail the therapist into the copy shop.

—-

"Well, /yeah/ it don't. It looks like a piece of shit from the outside!" Tiago announces, almost offended to hear that such an awesome car has such a horrible exterior. "…Err. No 'ffense or nothin'. Hey, listen, I know a thing or two about cars." He should. He's stolen enough of them. "I can help you out, man. Bring up the pimpness, ifya know what I mean. Bond was nothin' special, he just had all 'em gadgets, and if you have the gadgets? Fuck, I can give ya the look easy." Oh dear lord. Tiago really is offering to tutor Gene in women.

This cannot bode well for anyone involved. Period.

As Tiago shuffles out of the car, he takes special car to watch Lena, observing her every move carefully. And as a result, he is quite familiar with the fact that she's holding back in an attempt to come off as strong. "…Yeah. Hey, baby? You stay here, alrigh'? Ima go grab you that coke you were talkin' about from the place next door, maybe grab some Advil or somethin'." And without waiting for her nod of acknowledgement, the lad disappears.

—-

"I could fix up the car if I wanted… I just haven't had the time. You know, trying to figure out how to tear down government agencies isn't easy!" Gene points out as he gets out of the car. "I could get the look if I wanted. Gwen used to dress me up all the time… Dang, I need to figure out where the heck that woman went, I bet she's spending my nest egg as we speak," Gene points out, merely folding his arms as he follows everyone inside. Once he is inside, he arches a brow to Lena, more out of lack of understanding than anything else. "Do what outside a factory?"

—-

The green haired kid (okay so he's in his late teens) returns without anything in hand. Sydney stares blankly at him. And he stares back. She opens her mouth to say something, and then closes it moments later. "So… you're photocopying it then, right?" she asks in a pleasant tone.

"Photocopying what?" the green haired kid, much like Lena, sticks his hands in his pocket.

Blinking, Sydney's expression fades from hopeful to dismay. "I —" she takes a deep breath and manages a smile. "I just gave you a really thick document to photocopy five times… remember?"

The green haired kid just shrugs. Sydney twitches.

—-

Thats when the sound of a motocycle comes from around the corner. Then a vechicle appears, driven by the black-clad from of Eric as he goes around the corner and slowly pulls up next to the battered car that Gene and Company seem to reside in. A hand is waved as he pulls to a stop and pulls off his helmet to look towards the littel group in the car.

—-

"Wait, I can't…take advil. Godamnit." But it's no use, the solicitous Brazilian has already charged off. Even Tiago's attempt at providing comfort falls flat, leaving Lena to glower at the cracks in the concrete under her feet. With few other options than to stand there alone or go into the shop, she heaves a huge self-pitying sigh before making her way inside. "Do what now?" Gene receives a narrow, wary look, and it seems she's fully prepared that she never gave voice to that idiocy back there inside of the car. "I don't know what you're talking about, I didn't say anything. About factories. Or cars."

See? Innocent.

The sudden note of ohmigod in Sydney's voice brings a fresh glance towards the counter, eyebrows knitting together at the employee's behavior. Unfortunately, the sound of the motorcycle is missed, as it seems someone might need a talking to. "Everything okay, Syd?"

—-

"Well, I got time. Gimme the material and I'll do all the handy work for ya, man. I'm real good. Y'can like, trust me and shit." This is Tiago's final offer before disappearing off in in the direction of the convenience store next door like the dutiful boyfriend that he is. Grabbing the materials necessary are not difficult. Seeins as the store is relatively empty, he's in and out before anyone can shake a stick at him. But, before entering the copy haven, his eyes catch sight of Eric. "Wait - I know you. You're that…Eric dude, yeah? The one Bond was textin'?"

—-

Merely offering a shrug toward Sydney, Gene nods toward Tiago. Clearly a conversation for another day. For now, he looks over toward Lena, merely arching a brow at her words… Another matter for another day, it would seem. Hrm, a lot of people seem interested in what he can do for cars. Maybe he can turn that into a business of his own. He taps his chin in thought for a moment before he sees Eric. "Hey, dude, how's it going?"

—-

"Lena, I think my dissertation just got lost," Sydney admits with moderate alarm while still staring at the green haired kid. "Um… I really need those copies…" she hisses through a toothy smile that's pasted on her lips. "Did you lose it?"

"Um… I never had it."

Eyes widen. "I JUST gave it to you! LITERALLY!" There's a pause for a cleansing breath that's followed by a calm smile, "May I speak to your manager?" Grin.

"I'm the manager. What seems to be the trouble?"

Blink. Twitch. Frown. "I had a document to be photocopied… it appears to have gone missing…"

The green haired kid points to a sign on the desk that reads The Staff of //Buy More are not responsible for lost or stolen documents. Sydney twitches again. It doesn't take an empath to see she's losing her patience.

—-

Wait, so Lena's been left unsupervised by the menfolk in a shop with Sydney, who is about to have a nervous breakdown?

Score.

The bottle blonde approaches the counter. Her hands are drawn from her pockets and hang at her sides as she approaches the gateway to behind the counter in order to look up at the kid. From that angle, and the big blue eyes, it'd be easy to think that she was preparing to unleash a deluge of flirt on the employee. And then she opens her mouth.

"What the fuck is wrong with you, losing something that big, asshole?"

Then she stumps by him, fully intending to push her way into the back to find Sydney's blood-sweat-and-tears. If green boy grabs for her, a simple hand to the arm is prepared to dose him with enough happy juice that he'd probably end up helping with the search.

—-

"Yup, that was me. Eric, the one who got texted," Eric replies with a slightly wry smile towards Ti. "And not bad, just got back from visiting Dad. He's still not doing too well." A slrightly wry smile before he glances up at the Copy Store. "…er…what are we all doing here?" He asks curiously towards the pair in the car. "…and…wait. Tiago?" Pause. "I take it Lena is here?" He glances around for a moment. "…and Sydney you said too I think…did they need something coppied?"

—-

Tiago shuffles his small plastic bag from one hand to the other, quirking his brows up in Eric's direction as the man returns the greeting. A nod of recognition is given then, followed by the man gesturing to the store. "Hey, what's that mean, huh? I can't exist without Lena none? I'll have you know, I totally go places without her. I aint /always/ hangin' 'round her, I aint whipped or nothin'." Lies. "…But yeah, she's in there. C'mon, I think most everyone's waitin' for you." With a flash of a smile, the man proceeds to push his way into the store, clearly expecting Eric to do the same. He's oblivious to the drama Lena happens to be stirring up.

—-

Gene is about to say something to the other gentlemen, but finds himself getting a call. He gives a hand sign to say that he'll be a second and just makes his way toward the men's restroom. He'll be there for a bit.

—-

Sydney is slightly relieved when Lena comes to her aid, but her reverie only lasts a few moments.

The green haired kid looks at Lena dumbfounded, "You can't come back here." He crosses his arms over his chest.

Generally Sydney might object to bullying a green haired store clerk, but between losing her dissertation, Lena's reaction, and the green-haired kid's attitude, she's been pushed over the edge. "Yeah! Where the heck is my freakin' dissertation… buddy?!" Okay, so the words aren't as colourful as Lena's, nor are they as forceful, but they're punctuated with something else a kind of odd emotional energy. A very angry emotional energy. The guy lost her life's work in thirty seconds!

"Neither of you are EVER getting that dissertation back!" the kid's voice echoes through the store.

—-

"You don't even know what the fuck dissertation means!" Lena accuses the shop's employee. Her hand shoots out to grab for the kid's wrist, and if she were any stronger, there'd be a good chance that bones would be grinding together. As her temper flares, adrenaline adding to the slight boost of anger awarded by Sydney's ability, her other hand pulls the knife from her pocket. It hisses open. So much for trying to give him happy vibes. "Syd, you go back there and find your paper thing," she says quietly, locking eyes with the young man. Quiet is usually a bad thing, where the punk is concerned. "Asshole's gonna stand here and explain himself."

Where's the calvalry?

—-

As Eric follows Tiago into the building and the sight that greets him is…chaos? Lots and lots of chaos. "…er…" Pause. "…I wonder if we are going to need a taser for this." He mutters under his breath as he shakes his head and starts to stroll up towards the counter with a raised eyebrow.

—-

Following Lena's instructions, Sydney jumps on the counter and slides to the other side where she promptly walks to the back room. The anger vibes continue, however.

Meanwhile the green haired kid is in Lena's grasp. At first he gets happy tingles, after that… sheer adrenaline, just like Lena. "Let go bitch!" he yells as he attempts to yank his wrist from Lena. He begins to make his way to the back room to push the therapist out.

But before green haired kid can kick her out, Sydney storms out of the back room, a stained dissertation in hand, "YOU THREW IT OUT?! THREE YEARS OF WORK AND YOU THREW IT IN THE GARBAGE? SERIOUSLY?! SERIOUSLY?!"

—-

Tiago's grip on the plastic bag is jiggled free of his loose grip, prompting the man to drop it altogether in shock of the sight he is presented with. His girlfriend assaulted a poor, retarded, green-haired teenager. Despite the fact that his coke is now fizzing like mad on the floor, he steps over it quickly, suddenly overwhelmed with that same aggression and irritation that is being perpetuated by Sydney. "Babe!" He barks, a harsh reprimand. "What the fuck're you doin'!" He makes his way to the counter before moving to hop right over it in one sharp display of athleticism (after all, he had to hop over a fence or two in his lifetime…he's /got/ to be athletic). As he approaches Lena, he throws Sydney a look, as if to ask why this is happening and - more pointedly - why she didn't stop Lena.

—-

Oh no no, green-haired dude isn't getting away that easy. Lena's silent now, yanking him back and spinning him around. This time he's slammed with that much more force against the counter and the knife is held across his neck. She glares up at him, absolute fury in her eyes as Sydney's agitation crests.

"Is it ruined, Syd? 'Cause I could…look at what he did, Chi! He fucking threw away three years of her life! Her life. If it's ruined, I swear to God, man, I'm gonna make you pee your pants before you go to the morgue."

—-

Eric twitches and facepalms before he slowly slips the bike helment /back/ on his head. Without a word he turns to flip the sign on the door from open to closed and stand leaning against the door. Whistling. With his back against the door, as he tries to /not/ just leap over the counter and punch the green-haired guy in the face. "Syd…" He calls out. "…you are projecting…"

—-

The green haired kid is slammed against the counter, and cowers as the knife is held at his neck. "Well I'm going to have reprint it," Sydney skulks staring at the green haired kid. "Why was it in the trash?! Answer me, punk!" She stares him down, but she's not the scary one here, is she? The green haired kid doesn't answer. He's under Lena's power now. She growls at Eric, "I don't know how to stop. I'm very upset."

—-

With a growl, Tiago lounges forward, only to stop himself physically. After all, the last thing Lena needs is someone to jostle her now that she has a knife at someone's throat. "Yeah, I get that, but it's jus' a fuckin' paper. Put the knife /down/, baby. We're tryin' not ta fuckin' draw attention to ourselves, slittin' people's wrists don't exactly help our cause!" As he tries to talk (read that as "yell") some sense into his short-fused companion, the man slowly eases his way over to her, moving to gradually wrap his hands around her waist and, eventually, tug her away from the poor kid. "Baby…princessa, listen ta me, okay?"

When Eric shouts out to Sydney, Tiago suddenly comprehends. Now, with that awareness in place, he glances over to the natural blonde, attempting to stiffle the flash of annoyance he feels for her as a result of her emotion-tweaking. "Listen! Y'still got it at home, right? You're good. You've /got/ ta fuckin' control it, Syd, you're makin' us act fuckin' crazy. Get a hold of your fuckin' abilities, /now/!"

—-

Lena eases the edge of the blade towards the soft flesh under the kid's chin, the cowering only egging her on. But she hasn't drawn blood yet, nor does she seem inclined to. The little bag of neuroses is balancing unnatural anger with sheer enjoyment at having some control over someone or some thing in her life, for once. "You guys," she remarks quietly, "You guys gotta shut up and stop yelling, I swear to god he's about to pee himself, don't…" Ruin it for her? That's just what Tiago is intent on, pulling her away from the employee before she can make good on her threat.

"Goddamnit, Chi! I wasn't done yet, let me go!" The kid's wrist is released so Lena can push at her boyfriend's hands, giving him the same dose of adrenaline she's been treated to. "Don't you move!" Lena adds, pointing the switchblade at her erstwhile victim.

—-

"Then get ahold of the anger before Lena hurts someone," Eric says reasonabily before he pushes himself off of the doorframe and starts to stroll towards the little group. "Or before I do something drastic!" He adds as he shakes his head and comes closer and closer to the little group. "Lena, come on let him up. He's a problem and a jackass but he's not worth any of that! Come on! Please!"

—-

Tiago's words help Sydney calm enough to clear her thoughts. She takes several very deep cleansing breaths. "Right… it's on my computer at home. It's not totally lost. Just doused in ketchup or some other mystery red liquid," she purses her lips together angrily. The tone has lost some of its edge, but it's not easy to come down from this level of irritation.

And the kid doesn't dare move. He's TERRIFIED. He wouldn't move at all. Finally he answers the therapist's question, "I didn't feel like photocopying. Do you know how long that would take?!"

Feeling her anger spike again, Sydney just closes her eyes, takes a deep breath, and recites out loud, "Kittens. Puppies. Ice cream. Kites. Shoes. Eating. Drinking. Dancing. Singing. Laughing. Smiling. Remembering things that make me laugh. Kissing." It's at this moment that calm overtakes her. Dalai Lama type calm.

—-

"Are you fuckin' kiddin' me? No! No, I ain't goin' ta let go!" It's almost stubborn, the way Tiago's hands clamp down on her wrists and he continues to forcibly pull her away from the kid in spite of (or perhaps because of) the adrenaline boost. Highly irritated at this point, he leaves reasoning with Sydney to Eric and proceeds on working with Lena - after all, he has tricks that most people dont. "Finish /what/, you fuckin' retard? What're you goin' ta do, cut him? Well, I aint goin' ta let you. So, it looks like you're just goin' ta have ta /drop me/ if ya want ta do anythin'. You know, put me ta sleep!" After this attempt to guilt the younger woman into submission, the man uses his considerable strength advantage over her to pin /her/ against the counter.

—-

Lena's precious switchblade is released by suddenly slack fingers, clattering unnoticed to the floor as the rage just flows away. She's left looking blankly at the poor kid she's been terrorizing and then up at her partner in crime, who appears to be doing his best to break her. Mind rapist and now psychopath? It's a little much for the rational mind to comprehend and so she regresses, turning to Tiago as the one stable thing in the world. Even though he's got her spine rammed against the counter. Her expression crumbles. "Chi…Chi, we gotta go, I gotta go home," she says in a very small voice indeed.

—-

"Better," Eric says as he takes a deep breath of his own. "Better…" He smirks behind the mask. "…I thought I was going to have to kiss you to get you to stop." He adds with a slight shake of his head. A glance towards Lena and Tiago before he blinks a moment. "Lets get her to the car." He adds towards Ti before looking back towards the green-haired kid and leaning slightly down towards him and frowning behind the featureless helment.

"If you talk to /anyone/ about this. If you even breathe a word to the cops or anyone else. I will find you, I will come back, and you will. Not. Like. It. Do you understand me. Don't talk, just nod yes if you understand."

—-

The green haired kid nods a bit, "I won't say anything… at all…" He's too terrified to say anything and he's not even entirely sure what happened. He finally stands up from the counter and darts to the back room. He comes back moments later with a dvd, "The security feed… I don't want no trouble… don't come back here…" After he leaves the dvd on the counter, he runs back to the back room to avoid the freaks.

Sydney picks up the dvd. She glances at Eric as she pads back to the car before simply noting, "You just wanted to kiss me again." With another sigh, she's uttering an apology, "I'm sorry, I don't know how to control it… I'm working on it…" She frowns as she reaches the vehicle.

—-

The moment the switchblade is dropped, Tiago eases up on the pressure of attempting to squish his significant other, allowing a shuddering exhale to escape him as he, too, feels the draining of that intense rage. Uncomfortable, he clenches his jaw and lowers his head to peer down at the girl that's suddenly breaking, right before his very eyes. And his response is positively immediate. He wastes no time, narrowing his eyes thoughtfully before lowering himself in an attempt to actually bodily pick the young, smallish girl into his arms. "Don' worry. I got ya, princessa. We're goin' home, I'ma take you home…" As he coos these assurances over to her, his eyes travel the room over towards Eric, awarding the man a nod of recognition. "Ima take her ta the car, okay? Can someone pick up the knife? Ya'll…ya'll got it under control, huh?" And, thusly, he's already trying to make his way around the counter with his cargo in his arms.

—-

Lena has her hands over her ears by this point and her eyes scrunched shut, like a five year old trying to block out everything around them. So there's no protest to being swept up and carted out. She's done.

—-

"Possibily," Eric returns towards Sydney. "Right now I think we should get out of here." He nods as she takes the DvD in hand and the man himself reaches down to pluck up the knife. "We'll get out of here. Reamember buddy. Not a word." And with that he turns on his heels and starts towards the door. "…I know you are working on it…" A flash of a grin. "…we'll just have to work harder won't we?"

—-

"I am trying," Sydney agrees as she reaches the car. With another sigh she glances at Lena. She frowns as she studies the other girl: it's not fair. With a frown she whispers, "I'll just have to try harder…"

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