2007-03-03: Stalk It Like You Mean It


Niki_icon.gif DL_icon.gif Benjamin_icon.gif

Summary: While Niki and Benjamin have yet another surprise meeting, D.L. is lurky and comes to some grossly inappropriate conclusions.

Date It Happened: March 3rd, 2007

Stalk It Like You Mean it

Brooklyn, New York

Somewhere in Brooklyn. Roughly 10:00pm. The best place to go for a walk! Not. Walking down a street that involves some more sketchier establishments than townhouses is a lone blonde woman, Niki Sanders, who seems to be on a mission, by the brisk steps of her high-heeled boots and the intensity of her lost-in-thought gaze as she blazes sidewalk. Her mission is only to get back to wherever it is she came from earlier in the evening, and get there without finding trouble. Trouble very much likes to find /her/, though.

Hidden. Hiding. Spying? Not exactly. D.L. Hawkins is just keeping an eye on his wife. It's honestly more of a protective shadow that he's looking to cast over her and this bad part of town at this moment. He's staying wherever he can't be seen, phasing into walls and buildings whenever he needs to. The Rental Car? Parked. nowhere near here. Passing by it is what caused him to pick up the trail in the first place. As he phases out of a wall and stands there, wearing his hood up to keep himself in the dark, he has that worried look on his face.

A later running bus rumbles up to the stop and Benjamin hops off. It's only then that the door closes behind him and the bus is rolling off that he notices.. he took the wrong bus.. and the wrong stop. "Fiddlesticks!" is said in frustration. Maybe he went back to work too soon. Yesterday was unnerving, today added to it, now he's in /Brooklyn/. Briefcase in one hand, he raises his free one to smack himself in the forehead. Now he'll have to try and hail a cab, good luck finding another running bus now.

Every now and then, Niki breaks away from her thoughts and casts a glance over her shoulder, or into an alley, or the doorway of a building she passes, and sometimes at a figure across the street. But her chary gaze is never a lingering one; if she pinpoints - or even realizes - that she's being followed (by her own husband, no less), she gives no indication. As the nearby bus starts to sneak away from the stop, she looks up again, and her steps halt all of a sudden - so fast, in fact, that her whole body sways a little bit, jarring her. The reason? None other than Benjamin! Again. "…Benjamin?" calls an incredulous voice softly before she starts walking toward the misplaced man. "I don't know how this keeps happening," she says with a small laugh and genuine smile. "What are you doing out here?"

Frown. Definitely a frown. D.L. finds himself stopping at an abandoned building and slides himself into the wall there. He's just peeking his head out at this point to make sure that he can still hear what's being said. That hood is even pulled down, but thanks to it being night, well, let's just say he's not too worried about being caught in the act or anything like that. Darkman Lawerence.

Benjamin wasn't expecting someone to call his name out on the street. He was expecting to, oh, find a gun in his face or something. So he startles and nearly drops his briefcase when Niki calls out and starts walking towards him. "I.. took the wrong bus," he says, sounding and looking embarrassed. He's been taking the same darn bus for /years/ and he got the wrong one today! ".. I don't either, but I don't think I'm going to question it right now. Not in this neighborhood."

Niki, still smiling and pegging the CPA with a look of disbelief because she just keeps running into him, lifts her brows and laughs. It's not that she doesn't think Benjamin's bus woes are funny - it's more that she's just being disarming. "What are the chances, right? You can walk with me if you want until you find a cab or something," she offers, picking up her pace again. She gives another glance around the area, her smile leaving - temporarily, one might presume - as she does so, but she still doesn't see anything threatening. Well, nothing out of the ordinary.

This neighborhood?! Threatening?! D.L.'s got half a mind to bust through the wall, OH YEAH, and pound Benjamin until he looks stranger than fiction. But, no. He doesn't really move except to keep up pace with his following intentions. His body phases through a couple of trash cans and a black cat crosses his path, but he doesn't really understand what may be going on between his wife and her secret lover. Frown. Goddammit. Frown.

"Alright, thanks. Although, I'm getting a little more comfortable with protecting myself with.. you know.." Benjamin them mimes conking out asleep with a dramatic nod of his head. "I actually did it yesterday. I really did it, under stress too. I really thought my daughter and I were going to get run through. Then this morning, I thought I was going to lose control.. Just when I think things are getting better, something else pops up." He matches pace with the woman, carrying on the conversation as they walk. "So, uh, what are you doing out here?"

Niki hitches her purse more firmly over her shoulder, holding tightly onto the strap - streetwise, for this part of town, but it's mostly an unconscious move. "When things are getting better, that's always when something happens to make it worse than ever," she adds. Pessimistic, but she's learned. "I'm just on my way--" She almost says 'home'. But that's not true. She doesn't have one, not anymore. "--back. To be honest, I'm probably lost."

THAT'S where he knows that dude from. The roof. He was there when they all had to help the crazy couple not die on the roof of that apartment building. D.L. frowns even more, since this is suddenly more than just a coincidental meeting, in his eyes. It's like the clues are slowly starting to piece themselves together like a puzzle of sorts and his vision is becoming clearer at the same time. 'Probably lost'. Yeah right. Try calling your husband to get some help! Oh wait, you can't cuz you're out with your other man! D.L.'s face says all of that. He's even getting sloppy on his following, forgetting to phase as his foot collides with something metal. CLANG. Duck. Phase. Hiding like a mofo.

"Yeah, I'm starting to see that. I swear, I run into Anders yesterday, some /creepy/ guy pulls a sword on Rose and I, then I get a lawyer wanting me to talk about the hospital.." Benjamin sounds frustrated, but there's a note of excitement. Sure he's tired, he'd like to feel normal again, but he does feel alive for a change. (Even if it scares him witless!) He hardly knows Niki, but he trusts her, otherwise he wouldn't be saying anything to her about his weekend. It's weird. Then again, they did have that hospital stay in common. "Oh, lost? Uhm, this isn't really a good neighborhood to be lost in.. not that anywhere in New York is good for being lost." At the foot versus metallic collision, he stops in his tracks and looks around. "What was that?"

"You ran into Anders? Do you think he was following you?" While all of the other unusual mentions gain concerned looks from Niki, it's that one that prompts a response. "Hey, I didn't see you before you—" The metallic clang draws her attention immediately, her hand grabbing Benjamin's arm by sheer instinct as her head swerves to look in the direction of the sudden noise. It could be anything, in a big city like this, but… she slows down, apprehensive. "Yeah. Look, I-I don't know, but they might be after me."

Goddamn right he's after you. Out here sneaking around and all of that craziness. Probably about to go out here and have a night at the Roxbury or something. But D.L.'s just listening at this point. Staying phased, he doesn't make any more sounds as he float-crawls around something, through something else, slides along the wall and appears somewhat adjacent to where they're talking. Time for some more in-depth eavesdropping.

"I don't know, he said he was following me, but Elle said I was off the radar. I don't know which one to believe," Benjamin says quietly as he looks around. "Oh crickets.. I hope I'm not following, or they aren't following you or whatever and I'm responsible.. which is kind of silly to feel that way and all. I just.. wait.. you did disappear awfully quick the other night. Maybe I should just go the other way and get a cab on my own."

Seeing nothing in her search, Niki doesn't seem entirely convinced that there was nothing to /be/ seen. She squints in D.L.'s general direction, but looks away, back toward Benjamin, clueless of her husband's presence. Not that it matters, because she's not doing anything wrong! Case in point: now that the immediate threat of potential danger is gone, her hand drops away from her former fellow patient. "I don't want to get /you/ into any trouble. I mean— you were released, right?" Which would indicate… Niki /wasn't/ released? She keeps on walking, her former briskness picking up again, even as she suggests: "At least let me wait with you for a cab. We can share! I'm starting to realize that I don't know Brooklyn at all."

Oh, now this is just getting out of hand. D.L. watches from his not so distant distance and works pretty hard at listening in. And that's when he hears something about her about to catch a cab. Anger boils and a can is hoisted up into his fingers. He leans himself back near the wall of some building, some structure and hurls the can in the general direction of Benjamin's head. Immediately, he phases into the wall to hide. But his ear is still listening out to see if his aim was as true as he needed to be for him and his slight tantrum.

"I.. I was told I was released, by Elle." Oops, maybe Benjamin shouldn't have mentioned her. That whole letting him go thing still feels suspicious when he thinks about it. "You didn't get released? Did you just break out, snap some bars or something?" He looks around again, still not sure that any threat or such has passed. ".. Alright.. hey.. did you get to talk to your son or husband some more?" He didn't get to ask the other night, nor did he put two and two together about D.L. Thusly, he is unaware of jealous angry black man hurling things at his head. So when the can connects, there's the obligatory THWACK sound accompanied by, "SUGAR!" He whirls, one hand on the back of his head, incidentally the same spot Anders nailed him with the pistol butt. "What just.."

"I… left sooner… than I was supposed to," Niki answers pragmatically enough, choosing her words carefully and reluctantly. Just as she's opening her mouth to reply further, Benjamin gets whacked in the head, causing her to blink in surprise and shoot a glance in the direction the angry can seems to have flown from. "Are you /okay/?" She quirks a brow in Benjamin's direction, skirting another glance toward that building. The woman crouches down to pluck the can from the ground; she eyes it, then it's tossed to the side as she starts to stalk toward its source.

Not good. This is not good at all. D.L. doesn't quite know what's going on, because he's not looking through the wall. He's just hiding, crouched, on the inside of the building and leaning back against the wall. Listening as hard as he can, but unphased enough to make sure that he doesn't accidentally show himself. Maybe there's an open window above him or something, but he's breathing kind of hard. Mostly because of anger, but also because of a little bit of running and keeping pace with the brisk couple. It got quiet. Hrm.

Benjamin rubs at the back of his head still, "Yeah, it was just a can.. but still.. seriously.. what's /with/ that? I could have sworn I left the 'kick me' sign at the office." When Niki stalks off, he follows after her. "Uhm.. could just be someone throwing things for no reason.. It's not a big deal. Really."

No one throws things for no reason. Anger is usually that reason. Her brow knitted sternly, Niki is determined, if incredibly wary, to find out who's behind the random act of mischievous violence - and just maybe, the suspicious noise, too. She can't help but be paranoid these days. She doesn't respond to Benjamin; instead, she slows her bootfalls as she approaches the building. /Now/ she wonders what the hell she's doing. After biting her lip for a few seconds, she sneaks up to peer in the dirt-smeared window. It's above D.L. - all she sees is a dark interior. But… is that breathing? She cups her face around the glass, trying to see. What's she going to do, say hello? Bravado: fail.

D.L.'s eyes go wide for a moment, before he ends up pressing his back to the wall even more. He's not getting himself caught. Especially since he didn't even notice the window at the time of phase-thru. He holds his breath and doesn't move a muscle, quite intent on just staying down low where he is and letting this moment pass. Maybe he should NOT throw things.

Benjamin watches Niki with some anxiousness. He just knows someone's gonna get shot or something. "Let's just forget it and find a cab?" he asks pleadingly with the woman. The plea for the cab? That just makes Benji look even better in this situation right?

And the moment passes. Frowning, Niki pushes away from the outer wall of the building and turns on her heel, shaking her head as she strolls back to Benjamin. "… Yeah. I don't know," she glances over her shoulder once she's back at the sidewalk, not entirely convinced over the randomness of the thrown can. She nods, her head dipping down anyway as she starts to fish her cell phone out of— wait. Damnit. She doesn't have hers anymore. "…do you have a cell? I think we should get out of here, too." Poor D.L. If only he could read Niki's mind and know she's being completely innocent.

D.L., unfortunately, doesn't have cool powers. Instead, as he listens to Niki walk away, he stays where he is. He gets himself back up to his feet and stands in the window, staring out at her for a long moment. He even pulls his hood back up and just watches for a short while. It's like he's been there the whole time or something. He's draped in the darkness of the building. He shakes his head and turns, becoming one with the darkness as he phases away…

Not to mention Benjamin totally doesn't have the cajones anymore to flat out make a move on a woman.. well he would, but Niki's married and he's just not seeing her /that/ way. "Yeah, I have mine." He pulls it out (the phone) and offers it to Niki, "Where do you want to go? I'm just heading straight to Greenwich from here. Man, Rose is going to give me such a hard time about this."

Niki folds her arms as she waits, evidently feeling a little self-protective all of a sudden. "Greenwich… uhm… I'm on the way," she answers distractedly (and also a touch unsurely, but hey, she's not a New Yorker). She glances sidelong at that building again and squints, as if her gaze catches on something; but if she did, she doesn't see it anymore.

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