2010-08-23: Running Out Of Luck



Guest Starring:


Date: August 23rd, 2010


Another runaway makes an appearance in a store, but this one doesn't quite endear herself to anyone.

"Running Out of Luck"


SoHo, New York City

It is HOT outside this evening.


Being inside means being near air conditioning, at least, including here inside Ruby's, a small store shoved into a SoHo building. Clothes are the draw here because the owners find unique pieces, some of them vintage, and many of them cheap. It also sells interesting jewelry and an assortment of products that make absolutely no sense — hence the term ODDS AND ENDS, a cardboard sign which is actually hung in the window to account for the DVDs, salt rock lamps, ceramic owls, and candy inside.

It's all cramped into a long, narrow, store with red walls, a counter to the left — manned by a young woman with short dyed blue hair — and mirrored changing rooms at the very end.

When he was on the run with Micah, Cam never really stopped to buy new clothes, leaving him wearing mostly clothes that were starting to get too small for him, and very few choices. To Cam, this isn't a big problem. KeLyssa had other ideas, though, leading to their arrival today. Of course, when they planned this, it wasn't expected to be so *hot*. Cam looks like he's been in a sauna as he quickly steps in the door of the air conditioned store, relaxing once the first wave of air conditioning hits him.

Early-1900s retro. Vintage. However you want to call it. That's the fashion style that Emily Caulfield is on the hunt for. It was a time of hoppin' jazz, gin-joints, Prohibition, feather boas, veils, cigarette holders, fur coats, two-tone pumps, seamed stockings…on and on and on! Can you believe that, in this day and age, people are forgetting about all this? And what better time to go looking for gaudy retro fashions than on a day when it's about a bajillion degrees out?

Ruby's had something of a reputation…or so Emily'd heard from the folks about the Carnival. Oh yeah? Did we mention she'd been spending quite a bit of time, intermingling with the crowds and the carnies alike? It was a sort of nebulous time, with Damian and Joseph coaxing out more and more of the memories that had been so carefully (or maybe not-so-carefully) erased. Today's shopping trip is a nice little excursion. Combating the heat is reason enough to wear supershort shorts, a tanktop, and flipflops. Hiding behind aviator shades, the bell rings when Emily steps on inside to the AC…and lets out a relieved sigh.

What other ideas might KeLyssa have, you might ask? Well, as long as they involve somewhat fashionable clothing that actually fits the boy, she is happy with it. She can't have him running around in clothing that's small for him! No siree bob! So, with the reluctant Cam in tow, KeLyssa has been dragging the boy around town to where she can buy some clothes for him. Following Cam into the store, KeLyssa lets out a soft sigh. "God bless air conditionin'." She murmurs.

Aiden always fancied himself as good at finding a bargain as he is at charming woman. Which is to say, he usually can find a good deal. Thus, he has come to Ruby's today, to find a nice gift for the most recent lady friend he's acquired, Lizzie. As he steps into the small store, he raises a hand, wiping the back of his hand over his brow. "Wooo, never thought New York could get this hot." This is mumbled to himself as he makes his way toward the jewelry counter, fussing at his hair.

A girl is already slinking around the store; slinking being the key word, because she slouches and tries not to be noticed. It's not working — the clerk is already eyeing her on and off in between being more interested in her jPhone.

Keeping her head down and not making eye contact with anyone, especially not the staff, the girl hovers by a rack of hippie era blouses; she touches the delicate fabrics and the eyelet details with shortly shorn nails and no appreciation for what she's touching.

Her own wardrobe couldn't be anymore opposite than the clothes she lingers beside: white pants smudged by unknowable grime, utilitarian white tennis shoes, and most obviously, an oversized, neon orange sweatshirt, way too hot for anyone to be wearing when the temperature is in the high nineties outside. Tall, teenaged in the realm of seventeen or eighteen, she has a mess of long, wild blonde curls dark at the roots and a doll-like face made up of faintly Eastern European features — made less graceful by the harsh contortion of her expression.

Marcy is a beacon, and she knows it. When the store starts getting more crowded, she inadvertently gives every one of the new customers a dirty look for existing.

Cam grins up to KeLyssa and says, "Totally agree with you there." He steps further in and says, "Of course, we could have stayed in your air conditioned apartment the whole day too, you know." He looks around, a curious look towards the girl but he doesn't approach. Not yet, anyway, not after that look.

It's total Horatio Cane when Emily steps inside. Barely over the threshold, she stands silhouetted by the light from outside - tall, leggy, with plenty of skin showing - and pulls those shades off her face. Ok, so it's only partially Horatio Cane, since she looks a lot better, but you get the idea. The arms of the shades are folded back, and she sticks one down inside the front of her tanktop, giving her hair a little shake out, and finger run-through. Then, the eye-shopping begins.

KeLyssa raises an eyebrow and shakes her head, grinning. "You're not getting out of this that easily, Cam." She says, smirking. "We're gonna be getting your some new clothing." As she passes a tie-dye shirt, she stops and takes it off of the rack to show it to Cam. "How about this. This looks pretty groovy." She gives him a little wink and puts it back on the rack. "Alright, let's get to finding actual clothes for you to wear." She says, finally looking at the racks they pass thoughtfully. She glances to the slinking girl as the pass her, nodding to her slightly.

The dirty look from Marcy is indeed noticed by the brown-haired man as he peruses the jewelry selection, and Aiden raises a curious brow in her direction. What's her problem? He quietly examines a small necklace, beautiful in its simplicity, with a heart-shaped ruby adorning the thin chain. After a moment of quiet contemplation, he moves on, checking out other styles of necklaces.

Marcy edges away from circular rack of blouses, meeting KeLyssa's nod by accident and promptly looking away — at Aiden, who she similarly looks away from. She curls her right hand fingers into the too-long sleeve of her prison-orange sweatshirt as she moves apprehensively about the store, pressing hidden knuckles against her leg.

She gravitates to a display of retro t-shirts more fitting of a teenage boy than anything and gives them a more considering study. She bites down on her lip and looks suspiciously off to either side, reaching out to grab a purple tee and lift it up by the hanger as quietly as possible. She almost puts it back when she realizes that it bears a black Mickey Mouse screen-print … but beggars can't be choosers. She grabs another few at random, looking every now and then to figure out whether or not anyone's watching her.

Cam looks to the tie-die shirt and blinks, "Um, no. It's not the sixties." He grins in relief as she puts it back, and says, "Ok, there has to be something." He does glance to that girl again as she takes so many shirts off the shelf.

The problem with retro clothing stores is that they're extraordinarily hit-or-miss. If you find it, great, you can get it cheeeeeeap. If you don't find it, well, not the owner's problem! It would just so happen that Ruby's appears to have a least a few things on Emily's current list…and they're on a rack next to all the boxes of nickel vinyl. Hangars clack on the rack as she slides things around, pulling them out, putting them back. It's in strict contradiction to the girl over there by the t-shirts. Emily just gives her a small shake of the head: amateur shoplifting - it's so easy to spot.

Dragging Cam along to another set of shirts, KeLyssa takes out a couple of button up shirts, one of which looks like it's a 1950s businessman's shirt, and the other one looks as if it's from the 1960s, and would have been used for barbecues. As she turns the shirt to look at the back, there's a giant picture of ribs. "So, whaddya think?"

Out of the corner of his eye, Aiden is indeed watching Marcy. But he's doing a pretty good job at acting like he's not, pausing to examine another necklace with emeralds set into it. He lifts this one up, holding it up in the light to examine in with a discerning eye. Is this one good enough for Lizzie? He smirks, and sets it back down, moving over to a necklace and earrings set to study it studiously.

Draping the t-shirts over her left arm somewhat awkwardly, unwilling to let her right hand escape the confines of her shirtsleeve, Marcy ducks her head down in a tumble of messy curls and winds her way along the narrow stretch of store. She's so busy looking at the store clerk behind her, checking and double-checking that she's not watching, that she bumps lightly into Emily, jostling the hangers she was perusing. "Sorry," she mumbles. Converse to that noncommittal apology, the girl's eyes go wide and she stumbles back, suddenly on guard, a dangerous flash in her expression. "You sssstay away from me!" she hisses, her voice lightly accented; Russian, Ukrainian? Up close, her ambiguously colored eyes are bloodshot — and wilder than her hair.

"Whoa…whoa now. What's your problem?" Emily replies to the girl…taking advantage of her height to loom a bit. The girl pulls back; Emily reaches out to take a shoulder to keep her from scooting back even more, and risk knocking over the whole clothes rack. Strange how the first response when told to stay away is to reach out and touch, but then, skin contact is sort of important for someone like Emily. Maybe this girl knows that? It's impossible to say, so Emily plays it a little wary at first.

Cam blinks, looking over again at the girl's reaction to Emily. Of course, that draws his attention to Emily too, and he blinks as he recognizes her. What with the girl's reaction to Emily, he steps over closer when Emily reaches for her again, "If she wants you to leave her alone, why not leave her alone?" He knows what Emily's touch can do.

KeLyssa frowns, replacing the shirts onto the rack as Cam makes his way over to the girls. As much as she'd noticed what was going on, she had been wanted to steer away from their disagreement and whatever should arise from it. Placing a hand on Cam's shoulder, she says, "C'mon, let's be on our way. Let these two figure out their own problems. They're grown up, they can worry about 'emselves just fine, okay?"

Aiden turns, blinking owlishly at Emily and Marcy, his brows raising. He scoops up the boxed set, which is going for a fairly good deal considering it's one of the more expensive items in the shop, and while keeping a careful eye on the nervous foreign girl and Emily. He sets his purchase down on the counter, still watching with a thoughtful expression on his face.

Marcy (not so grown up) instantly reels away from Emily's touch with an aggressive lurch of her shoulder. Her eyes rove wildly this way and that, alighting on points that hold no interest to anyone else — like she's seeing things that aren't there. "Idon'thaveaproblem," she spits out as she refocuses on Emily, tipping her chin up, tough-girl through the wildness of her eyes. " — if you'll just— if you'll get out of my way, God, what's your problem."

By now, the store clerk has clued in and squints at the little confrontation, hopping off her stool to wander around the counter. "Is everything okay over here or what— "

The teenaged girl whirls around, and her hand comes up guardedly, the one that had been scrunched in her sleeve. Orange fabric falls away enough for a flash of metal to be revealed — something she'd been holding onto so tightly. A piece of scrap metal, greasy but sharp. A weapon.

"I don't have a problem," Emily begins to reply, taking a step back when the girl starts to basically spazz out, for lack of a better term. "I didn't know I was in the way, since you ran into me," she continues. Good thing she stepped back, in retrospect, because that little piece of metal does seem pretty sharp; it could've been a nasty slash on her wrist or arm or something. "So it's not just shoplifting, huh? It's armed robbery? Think about what you're doing, kid."

Cam blinks in surprise as the girl reveals the knife, taking a step back. He doesn't seem too scared, though, saying, "Whoa, hey, calm down." He glances back to KeLyssa, and then forward to the girl then. Thinking, trying to figure out what to do.

KeLyssa takes in a deep breath as the girl brings out the knife. Pulling Cam behind to her side, KeLyssa frowns. "Missy? Ya ain't wantin' ta do this. It won't do ya, or nobody else, no good. Just put it down an' let's talk 'bout this, 'kay?" As she gently places her hands on Cam's shoulders, he'll notice that her hands are even colder than usual, and that ice is starting to form, ever so lightly, around his shoulders.

Now, if Aiden can understand one thing, it's desperation. It's a feeling he's experienced hundreds of times before, and it's not pleasant. But he also can't have a girl brandishing a greasy piece of scrap metal in a shop that he's currently perusing. Turning to watch the girl quietly, Aiden taps into his ability, his eyes finding the nerve center for Marcy's weapon hand. Without batting an eye, the man reaches out with his mind, taking a nice, firm grip of that nerve cluster, and gently coaxing the girl's arm to lower.

Of course, to Marcy, it will likely seem that her arm has been possessed by a demon spirit or something.

Now, if Aiden can understand one thing, it's desperation. It's a feeling he's experienced hundreds of times before, and it's not pleasant. But he also can't have a girl brandishing a greasy piece of scrap metal in a shop that he's currently perusing. Turning to watch the girl quietly, Aiden taps into his ability, his eyes finding the nerve center for Marcy's weapon hand. Without batting an eye, the man reaches out with his mind, taking a nice, firm grip of that nerve cluster, and gently coaxing the girl's arm to lower, while at the same time coaxing her fingers to release their makeshift weapon.

Of course, to Marcy, it will likely seem that her arm has been possessed by a demon spirit or something.

Think about— think about what?!— is the sentiment that washes over Marcy's face as she stares this way and that around the store at the other customers as if realizing what's actually happening for the first time. She looks at the twisted metal in her hand and blinks hard several times, fighting through some haze to realize what it must look like— and then her arm starts to lower. She fights it, only to find that she has no control over it. The makeshift knife tumbles from her hand as her fingers curl open, and it skitters uselessly over her sneakers.

"Jesus— " she starts to swear and cuts herself off as a hopeless look takes over her round eyes…

Because the blue-haired store clerk has jogged back to the counter and grabbed the store phone.

Marcy throws the t-shirts she'd gathered off to the side in a clamor of plastic hangers. "No! No, don't call the cops! Look, okay, I wasn't going to fricking rob the store, but I swear to God I'll— " She rushes the counter, determined to shove past anyone who's in her way.

Cam frowns, throwing a look up to KeLyssa like she's nuts when she pulls him back like that. When Marcy makes a dash for the counter, threatening the clerk in the process, he forms a tiny pebble of ice in his hand and then opens his hand, and it goes flying at Marcy. Not big enough to actually hurt her in any way, but it might sting enough to distract her from possibly attacking the clerk.

Good thing that, in this case, Emily is not in her way. With the clothes tossed aside, Emily just stands back and leaves it all in the clerk's hands. That's not to say she doesn't watch the girl. The hunt for retro-clothes is forgotten for the moment, though Emily ostensibly goes back to looking through the rack, all the while watching what happens next over and through the clothes.

KeLyssa watches the events unfold with narrowed eyes, not taking action herself. She's got no quarrel yet with this girl. At least she hasn't tried to harm her. Have to figure out if she can talk the girl out of hurting people. But then…with the knife falling out of her hand and she starts running up toward the counter as the clerk attempts to call the police. "Uh-oh." As Cam starts to make the balls of ice, she places a hand on her on the floor and extends ice toward the girl, hoping to have her slip.

As she rushes the counter, and in turn rushes toward Aiden, a gentle arm suddenly reaches out to catch her in a tight hug, while cheerfully sending a nice command to her nerves to relax against him. "Mona, what on earth you doin'? Did you forget t'take yer medicine today, cher?" He asks this in his thick cajun-french accent, shaking his head and turning to look at the clerk. "Please, don't call the cops, ma'am. I didn't realize— She has these freak out sessions from time t'time, but sometimes she f'gets her medicine."

Then, Aiden turns an apologetic look to the crowd. "Please…please forgive me. I really shoulda been watchin' her better. It's my fault."

Marcy's arm flies up wildly as her cheek is stung by the ice, the oversized sleeve of her sweater billowing. She doesn't even look to see where it came from, barging straight for the counter — only to slip, her flat sneakers giving way easily to the surface underfoot. She slides and lands … right in Aiden's arms. She doesn't struggle physically, weak in his grip, but her voice does the struggling for her body. " — don't need any friggin' medication, who the hell are you, get OFF of me you creeper— " … but, belatedly, she seems to realize the hoax and calms down, with big surprised doe eyes all of a sudden going up to Aiden's face.

Veeery unsurely, the employee starts to lower the phone. "Uh…" She's a little distracted by staring at Cam and KeLyssa, because she's pretty sure ice just appeared out of nowhere in a heatwave. "…right…" Who's seeing things again? "Whatever you say, dude, just get her out of here before I actually have to call the cops. Or my boss."

Cam blinks as KeLyssa goes for the better alternative, and comments softly, "I thought you were going to go forward, or I would have done that." He grins, though. He looks back to Aiden and Marcy again at their words.

KeLyssa smiles softly and shakes her head. "I don't like direct confrontations unless they're necessary or…well, that explains it really." She says softly, gazing at everyone.

Aiden turns a soft, brotherly smile down to Marcy, rubbing her shoulder. "Mona, honey, it's me, yer big brother. You f'got to take your medicine t'day. Let me get the necklace I picked out for ya, and then we'll go home and get you feelin' right as rain." He turns another apologetic look to the woman at the counter as he reaches for his wallet, quickly throwing out enough cash plus change for the necklace he was intending to buy. "Here, keep th'change, ma'am. I'm so sorry, once again." He waves the box set of jewelry toward the clerk.

Then, once he's satisfied that she knows the correct amount of money is there, Aiden takes his little box of jewelry and attempts to sweep Marcy toward the door.

"I… yeah. Sorry brother. I'll totally take my valium next time…" The runaway is something of a rag-doll as she's led out. A wide-eyed glance over her shoulder has her looking around frantically at everyone in the store, but that wild-eyed look fades into apology… until *rrring!* the bell above the door chimes as she's led out, causing her to look up at it in sudden angry paranoia. Screw that bell above the door.

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