2007-09-18: Taxi Damages Local Church, News At 11


Church_icon.gif Felix_icon.gif George_icon.gif Mariska_icon.gif Miranda_icon.gif

Summary: Three familiar faces shove into the back of a taxi with one stranger and it starts raining men. Sort of.

Date It Happened: September 18th, 2007

Taxi Damages Local Church, News At 11

Upper East Side, New York City

The hour, it is late. Who cares, in the city that never sleeps, right? Apparently, everyone, when it starts to rain. As people wander out of restaurants, clubs, bars, and their homes - which, in this particular part of the city, tend to be pretty nice - the mad rush to avoid the crazy water falling from the sky begins. The evening was warm for September, until the rain began, but the droplets bring a chill, washing the streets.

Taxis are top priority in NYC when it's raining. Miranda Lancaster is in luck tonight, it would seem. So is her husband: she didn't take one of his cars. She didn't even take hers! That would be because she was all but forced to go to a Gloss party at Tabla, which, of course, required a few cocktails in order to endure the company of her pseudo-coworkers. Here we have Miranda, donning a simple, wine-coloured party dress built somewhat like a short a nightgown, flagging down a yellow cab while getting drenched by the rain more and more by the second.

This is why they pay the radio DJs the big bucks. Those weather forecasts aren't /just/ an excuse to talk about the Manhattan Mazda Helicopter! Having caught a hot tip earlier, George ducked out half an hour ahead of his usual with a promise to make it up the next day, and scoots over as he sees the taxi slowing down to pick up a second fare.

…and possibly a third, as it seems Miranda isn't the only waterlogged woman waiting for a dry ride. You might think that someone with Mariska's particular ability might possess a more efficient method of finding a way out of the rain but, here she is all the same, getting soaked to the skin as she stands on the curb with her arm in the air so desperately trying to flag down the only fucking cab in New York who's on duty and willing to make another stop, apparently. Sheesh! When the yellow car slows to a stop, she's there behind Miranda like a shadow, anxious for a piece of that backseat.

As she opens the increasingly slippery handle of the cab's back door, Miranda pushes some of her dark hair away from her face as the strands start to become heavy with rain. Lacking an umbrella, she doesn't really pay much attention to weather forecasts. She wasn't really going for the drenched rat look tonight, either, but who cares, the night's basically over. It's only as she's about to scramble from the curb into the backseat does she realize she's being taxi-vultured. "Where're you going?" she says, voice raised slightly over the splash of rain and din of traffic — while making sure to claim the vehicle with a hand on the open door, don't leave me, taxi! — at approximately the same time as the driver mumbles something to the same effect.

The last reason that Lawrence would ever hope to be out here this late into the day would be for school paperwork. Fortunately, he's done at this point; he is now just as waterlogged as everyone else ducking for cover, but he doesn't seem to mind getting wet. This makes his walk far more peaceful, for one thing. His workshirt is drenched, as is his undershirt. Lawrence's hair has pretty much plastered itself onto his head, and he has to keep smashing it back to keep it from dripping in his eyes. After a few moments of poorly scouting for a nearby crosswalk, the soaked man at least looks both ways before choosing to jay-walk across the street. Traffic is slow in the rain, so he figures it's going to be easier this way.

George turns, giving Miranda a good once-over as she climbs inside. Or doesn't, as the case may be. "Home," he answers, assuming that Miranda is asking him - between the small door, the rain, and where the people outside are standing, he hasn't yet caught that Mariska is also out there waiting. "Greenwich. What about you?"

Oh, god, just get in the cab, lady! Waterlogged woman #2 chimes in with a very Russian assertion of, "Queens!" from over Miranda's shoulder. Sure, the Queensborough Bridge is just RIGHT over there so, would they mind a little detour? Obviously the cabbie isn't going to complain.

Felix is just coming out of the hospital, quietly, having interviewed a surviving witness in a case. He's in his usual suit, glasses on, briefcase under his arm. And then there's Misha. "Oh, hey!"

"Uh, work," Miranda answers in a vaguely snippy tone, but realizing she's wasting crucial seconds by mimicking this guy's irrelevant answer with her own irrelevant answer, quickly adds, "A few blocks." Glance at George. Glance at Mariska. Good enough, she just wants to get out of the damn rain! Without further ado, she crawls, sideways, into the dark interior of the taxi, hurriedly sliding over to the far end and leaving the door open. The cabbie shoots glances in the rearview mirror impatiently, ready to take off the second that door shuts. Maybe before, if his look says anything at all.

A squeak of wheels on road precedes a different taxi coming to a stop when Lawrence pops up in front of it. He jumps in surprise, looking like a deer in the headlights for a second. He jumps one more time when he's honked at, and picks up his heels again across the street and past another car. His shirt is white, so he's not that hard to see. Sort of.

Oof. George can't see Felix either, but he can hear him - the rain is denser than it is loud - especially since, by now, he recognizes the voice. That's four people potentially getting crammed into a width of vehicle designed for two. He presses himself tightly against the left-hand door in anticipation, silently praying that Felix and his new girl are close enough by now to lap-sit.

Maybe it's because Mariska's already half-way in to the cab, hot on Miranda's designer heels, and partially deafened by the combined cacophony of pouring rain on the car's roof coupled with the blaring horn of a very unappreciative driver on the other side of the road — she someone manages to miss Felix's hail. But, that's not likely to stop him from hot pursuit… if he can get his hand on the closing door in time.

Felix hurries - not precisely running, because a guy running in a suit in New York is usually NYPD after a perp, and that causes all sorts of chaos on busy streets. But he's there just in time to get his hand on the door and peer into the cab. "Mariska?"

Where did that other guy come from all of a sudden?! "Jesus, it's not a clown car," the brunette mumbles as she's jostled about next to George. Holding onto her clutch purse, Miranda tugs down the hem of her skirt. Or tries to, anyway. Kind of a lost cause. Her look is similar to that of the cab driver's — impatient, and directed at Felix. However, it's the driver who speaks up to urge, "I can't wait all night, buddy."

Little rivulets of rain water are coursing their way into the corners of Mariska's pale eyes as she tilts her head and gestures hurried to Felix, "Get in." Of course, until the man accepts or declines, she's all but sitting in Miranda's lap so as to make room for the prospective fourth wheel. Oh hi. "Hello," she says, offering the other woman a wet, apologetic sort of smile. "That is nice dress." Goddamn creepy foreigners.

Felix does, looking rather abashed. Bad New York etiquette. "Sorry," he says, quietly, as he squeezes in. George gets a blink. Hey, he knows that guy. "Misha," he says, smiling at her. He's relatively dry, still.

Whoa, whoa, hey--! Miranda's cringing away from the rain-soaked foreign stranger only results in her suddenly leaning against the shoulder of the man to her left. Oops. Hi. She shoots George a vaguely apologetic smile, which then turns on Mariska with a slightly different bent. She aims for polite, but in reality, lands somewhere more manic. "…Thanks." She folds her pale bare arms as if they could provide some barrier as leans toward the scuffed window between them and the driver. "I'm going to the Gloss building. It's on, um— 54th street? Think it's the closest."

The cab was already pulling away from the curb the second Felix climbed in; now, it starts its trip in earnest. He's in a rush, the street is slick, the rain is splish-splashing everywhere, people are breaking laws — wherever you want to throw the blame for what happens next, it happens regardless. Taking off down the street, the taxi doesn't get very far before it's headed straight for the suddenly right there figure of…

Church ! Right there! Oh shi-. Lawrence has about three seconds or less to do anything about the headlights suddenly intersecting with him. Either he knows how to get hit by cars or he has seen a lot of movies- because instead of trying to duck away, the secret agent man makes the decision to push himself onto the hood of the taxi before it would have connected with his legs and made a Churchie pancake all over the road. Now he's rolling over the yellow hood, back being deliberately aimed for the window. That is, if he just has to hit it. Hold onto your knickers!

Thank you for being polite, Miranda. Because it's your fault that George glances in that same direction, mumbling an instinctive 'no problem' instead of watching up ahead. Not that he could've done a whole lot, but at least he would've known what was going on. Instead, there's a sickening thud of flesh against metal, but by the time George turns back around again, the guy’s face is no longer anywhere to be seen. "—the fuck was that?"

Felix is distracted by Misha. And then the cabbie's hit someone - who has sense enough to make a vague attempt to roll with it. "Oh, Jesus," Fel says, whatever he was about to tell Mariska completely forgotten. The use of his power is completely reflexive, and really, honestly, very unwise. Because whether or not the cabbie has already hit the brakes, the car stops dead. With enough force to send Chuch rolling right back off the front….and then there's the squealing of tires, as the car right behind the cab impacts it.

Kids, always remember to buckle your safety belt, okay? Otherwise, you end up like Mariska — abruptly greeting to plexiglass partition positioned between the driver and his fares face first. CRUNCH! Ow. Now she knows how Marsha Brady must have felt when she failed to catch that fateful football. The Russian woman cries out muted and suddenly brings both hands up to cradle her face. Someone just got a bloody and (possibly) broken nose.

Miranda lurches forward and grabs onto — well, nothing, and so her palm slams against the divider. Her panic-struck, wide-eyed expression matches George's words quite well, which is all the better for her, because she can't quite get her words out right away. Slam! Just as she's about to sit back, the car is rear-ended a moment later and her palm re-slams into the partition with the impact. "Jesus Christ!" she shouts — through her teeth, no less — and draws her hand back, cradling her wrist.

It's raining men… hallelujah, it's raining men! Amen! The radio declares through the musical stylings of the Weather Girls. The cab driver, holding his head, stumbles out of the car babbling incomprehensibly in something that may not be English (or Russian, for that matter).

"Crap, I think we hit someone," Miranda says, squinting at the figure on the windshield, only noticing now. "Is that a person? Shit."

The abrupt halt of the car sends Lawrence bouncing off of the windshield and back over the hood again. CRACK. BUMP. Roll. He moves to grab some sort of purchase on the metal, but the rain makes that immensely hard; if anyone sees him slide back off and THUD onto the road, his expression is pretty much 'PANIC' as he goes down. Drenched 'PANIC', no less, with a side of having the wind knocked out of him. At least when the second car hits, the first doesn't run him over. The bumper does shadow over his shins. He's not looking, though. Lawrence is lying on the pavement, looking at the rain landing in his eyes. Ow. Ow. Owintheeye.

Just when George is figuring out that, yeah, that vaguely human shape on the other side of the rain-streaked windshield really is a human being? That's when the taxi screeches to a halt. He's halfway through turning around, instinctively realizing that the car behind them is about to become Really Bad News, when it proves him right and throws him sideways against the divider. Which hurts - a lot - but at least it's spread over a large enough area that nothing breaks.

Fel? Also sans seatbelt. Which means he ends up with the side of his head slammed into the plexiglass partition. He shoves himself away, shaking his head. «Shit,» he says, oh so eloquently in his native tongue, already reaching for the door handle to go inspect whatever unfortunate who just so nearly got squashed - swinging hastily out of the cab. The driver of the car behind is also getting out of her car - a BMW convertible. There's an angry tirade going on - she hasn't interrupted her cellphone call. Fel's got his own out, already dialing 911, only to stop cold when he recognizes the man on the ground. "Lawrence. What the FUCK?" he demands, as if Church might've done it deliberately to inconvenience him.

That must mean that Mariska is summarily left to lean over into the lap of one slightly unsober Miranda. Blood'll come out with a little club soda, right? What about illegal immigrant cooties? Probably wanna pull out the Tide stick for that.

Sandwiched between a bunch of strangers who are jostling about, all Miranda wants to go is run out into the rain again. Irony, huh? "Hey… hey… there," she attempts, flatly, to comfort or— well, do something about the Russian woman sprawled over her. She makes motions with her left hand as if to pet Mariska's back, her hand hovering, getting closer, hovering, until she eventually pat-pat-pats the woman's shoulder. "It's, uh. It's okay. Oh… hey, you're bleeding," she says, monotone. "On me. That's great. That's stellar." Miranda takes a moment to clench her opposite hand and cringe. Hello, wrist pain. "Just, uhm— isn't that a hospital over there? Is that guy alive? Did we just kill some guy? And— by 'we' I mean, not me, because I wasn't driving," Miranda sounds decidedly unimpressed and disadvantaged, but if you listen very closely, there's sincere worry in there somewhere. "Fuck." Like there.

Church takes a few seconds to realize his name has been said, and the wet man on the ground tilts his head to look past his own half-raised arms towards the source. Oh. Hi, Felix! "…..I was hoping for some blonde, buxom, Swedish angels, but you'll do."

Once he recovers his bearings, George opens up the door and hurries toward the front of the cab, not bothering to close it behind him. Looking down toward Church, he squints and rubs water out of his eyes. "Oh, man. And I thought the gals who ran into that burning building were brave— you went out /walking/ in this? You know if you broke anything?" He did fly several times further than any of the passengers could've.

Felix makes a little noise of irritation, even as he crouches to examine Church. "He's alive." And in perfect hibernation. If only. He examines the Company agent carefully, handing off his cellphone to George. "Call 911, please. I know there's a hospital there, but there's gonna need to be a police report," he says, oddly calm, matter of fact. Even though a good bit of this was his fault. Misha gets a careful glance, too, but Miranda apparently has that under control.

And thus, Mariska provides Miranda with the impetus to invest some thought in the age old debate about what might be worse… lipstick on the collar or blood on the cuff? Once the Russian woman's found enough loose marbles to regain her senses and return to a full and upright position, she does her best to do so slowly and relieve the other woman of her incredibly awkward acquaintance with her lap. Goddamn. That really hurts. Mariska favours the seat that Felix vacated in order to investigate Church's condition and now hangs her head over the edge, one arm rested on the ledge of the door, letting the rain help wash away the blood on her chin.

For Miranda, blood on the cuff — the very metaphorical cuff, in this instance, she has no sleeves to speak of — is definitely worse. "You'll be fine," she says in an attempt to reassure the other woman, smiling a bit even though Mariska has turned away. "Maybe you should go to the ER. You're bleeding." She looks down at her dress and grimaces. Yep. "…I'm just gonna…" After looking around the suddenly roomier back seat, Miranda snatches this opportunity to do the same as George. The somewhat bedraggled Lancaster is crawling, clambering, outside. The rain instantly streams down her face, and she swipes a hand over and underneath her eyes - her makeup's only partly waterproof. She makes her way to the scene of the accident, as it were, and looks down at the man on the ground. Miranda is neither blonde nor Swedish, is hardly an angel, and is only questionably buxom. She squints her dark eyes in disbelief. "…Mr. Church?"

Lawrence is sore all over, may have a bit of a bump on his head, and needs to get his breath to catch up, but otherwise he'll be fine; probably due to his knowing to roll up instead of away. Felix helped too, of course- having the potential to be tossed into an oncoming lane is no good. The line about Swedish angels seems to have taken concentration he did have, because now he is just grunting in response. Once he breathes wholly again, Church puts his arms down in order to push himself up into a sit. Blocking traffic, too, yes. Honking from every which-way. Why are all these people I know climbing out of a clown car? "'M okay. …Did I miss a party?" That's an obvious explanation for all these people in the taxi.

George begins to reach for his own phone, but yeah, it's that much quicker to just go ahead and use Felix's. It only takes a couple extra seconds to work out where this one put the 'dial the number' button. "Just… not enough cabs to go around," he offers to Church, while waiting for an answer. Of course, this whole accident thing isn't helping any in that regard— "Yes, hello? Yes, there was an auto accident. No, I don't think anyone was seriously injured, the one guy lucked out, but anyway— "

Felix peers up at Miranda. "You know him?" he wonders, offering Church a hand up, since he doesn't seem to be all that bad off. No broken spine or internal injuries. There are already EMT types boiling out of the hospital's ER entrance, heading for the accident.

Despite the fact that she's bleeding and a little bit light-headed, Mariska waves off any EMT foolish enough to wander her way with, "Fine… m'fine…" Which may or may not be the truth but the prospect of being taken anywhere that she might have to be officially registered squares her firmly against even looking emergency medical personnel in the eye, let alone allowing them to have their way with her right here in the street, so to speak. She pulls herself up to standing, one hand still rested on open door of the cab, only to then jerk an elbow away from some hapless hospital employee doing her damnest to play good Samaritan. "…m'fine!" Time to go. Green eyes are already searching the surrounding area for someplace she might be able to duck into and disappear.

"He's the guidance counselor at my kids' school," Miranda says with mild bewilderment, gesturing with a glance over her shoulder in the vague direction of the nearby Brubaker Secondary School. Although she does shoot a concerned look down to Church, frowning, more important things take precedent. "Forgot my purse in the… cab…" she mumbles under her breath, smiling fleetingly to the other men before brushing aside EMTs on her way to the backseat, behind Mariska, to grab her clutch purse from the middle. Mariska gets a glance, but since she hasn't passed out or anything yet, that's about it.

Church turns his dripping head to look at Felix, the dog-like look he gives is just making him look that much more pitiful, honestly. He carefully lifts an arm to accept the offered one from the younger man. Standing up is a dizzier affair than sitting up was. "Hiii-. Bye, missus Lancaster." Lawrence mumbles this when he recognizes Miranda, but this is also once she starts moving away again. The agent is pretty much latching onto any support Felix can give him for the time being, making an attempt to step off to the side of the road where he'll be inevitably met by a pair of EMTs.

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