2009-12-14: Trying To Play The Hero



Date: December 14, 2009


Stephanie is assaulted by one of Tiago's strung out customers and he learns, once again, that doing the right thing totally sucks. Totally.

"Trying To Play The Hero"

NYC - Times Square

The Holidays are coming. No, better yet, the holidays are /here/, and a string of unfortunate events has left Tiago broke and unable to afford the various presents he has put into his mind that he /must/ purchase. This can only mean one thing. Or, well, two things. On the less desperate side of the fence, it means that he's going to have to hang up his 'good guy' outfit for a bit and return to his less than reputable activities, peddling away prescription drugs and acting as the face and contact for the trafficking of stolen goods. And, if this isn't enough, he'll just have to get desperate and start putting on street performances on the corners of Times Square in his underwear, like the Naked Cowboy before him.

Luckily for his extremities, he's not quite desperate yet, and so he is still fully clothes as he stands at a corner in Times Square, looking around in the suspicious, up to no good fashion. Soon enough, he is met with a rather tall, dark-skinned man that is quite gaunt in the face. After a brief interaction of low murmurs, during which the young Brazilian seems to get a little heated, the pair seem to resolve their differences with a clasping of the hand and one of those 'gangster hugs' that is nothing more than the pair touching opposite shoulders.

It looks innocuous enough. Only the extremely perceptive would notice the hefty wad of bills that Tiago pockets right afterwards, as well as the smug smile that splits his features.


~Oh, the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful..~

Right about now, Stephanie could use a little more fire and a little less frightful. She's not a fan of winter in general, despite going through twenty New York winters by now…most of them in Buffalo, of all places, where they mock Alaska for "getting a little bit of snow". Prior to now, she's mostly been able to huddle up inside and ignore it, remaining inside her bastion of heat.

Not this year. No, this year there's college classes, and there's also this "socializing" thing. Even if she feels like right now she'd be socializing with polar bears; it's /cold/ out here. The blonde is armored against the chill in jeans which are in turn tucked into mid-calf boots (complete with fur, or faux-fur, lining at the top), a grey down jacket which puffs her up a bit like the Stay-puft marshmallow man, a scarf wrapped about her neck, and earmuffs. At the moment, she's trudging along down the sidewalks of New York, along with the other huddled masses. Through chance, her path has taken her to Tiago's corner, where the glowing red of a "Don't Walk" has halted her progress for the moment.


With one customer satisfied and money in his pocket, Tiago is feeling the holiday cheer. What had previously seemed like an impossible task has suddenly converted into something highly probable, and so it is casual, the way he stands leaning up against the metallic pole with his hands shoved into the pockets of the large 'Salvation Army' camouflage jacket he wears. He's even good in good enough spirits to shoot the blonde stranger that is Stephanie a warm, amiable smile. "S'cold, huh?" He offers, friendly as he is.

Before long, however, his attention is wrenched away from her by a sudden clutching of his arm. With a scowl, he cranes his head to the side to glower at the source of the pressure - a balding man in his mid-thirties with a distinctly 'homeless' look about him and bloodshot red eyes. "Give me a hit, man. I /need/ a hit, man, I'll pay you back, I'll do whatever you need, please," The unidentified stranger coughs out, tugging at Tiago's sleeve until the Brazilian manages to pull away with mild disgust.

"Fuck off, man. Go get a job or somethin'!" Pot, meet kettle. You are black. It is only then that the desperate man flashes his eyes around in a hazy panic, before deciding to fixate on Stephanie. He approaches he with surprising speed, reaching over to tug on her arm the same way he did with Tiago's.

"You're a pretty girl, you look like a nice girl, I need some money, any amount, can't you feel sorry for a poor old man like me?"


Stephanie looks over as she gets addressed, and smiles back, though there's a little awkwardness to it. "It is. Freezing out here; I hate the cold." But then Tiago's accosted by the homeless man. Stephanie watches like one might watch an owl mauling a mouse…in a sort of horrified fascination. She gets grabbed by the guy, and looks back with wide eyes. "I…sure, just let go!" She actually might make with the money; she doesn't seem overflowing with social skills, and she's probably the sort to feel guilty for the poor guy, even if his situation is entirely of his own making.


It's an unfortunate thing, to have your kindness taken advantage of. And it's something Stephanie is in the process of experiencing. Despite, clearly, being strung out, the man is considerably larger than Stephanie, and considerably stronger, one may presume. The moment she caves, and offers her charity, he does not release her as one would assume he would. In fact, he merely tightens his grip on her arm, clutching at her with a near bruising strength despite the layer of fluff her jacket provides. "Yeah? You're good people, you're good people…I need a place to sleep to. My wife kicked me out, you can give me a place to sleep too, right? Some food, maybe even a warm body…"

Tiago has been in the background of this interaction. After all, who's he to tell a complete stranger not to bother with a junkie? It's her money, her life, and her charity. But as the man continues to grip onto her, and presses forth with requests that have taken the tone of demands, then the warning signs fly up in his mind. "…Yo. Dude - she said let go," he gruffs, furrowed brows and all as he pushes himself off of the pole and carefully approaches the pair. "Y'gotta chill, man…"


There's a moment…just an instant, where a look of uncertainty crosses her face. As if she's totally lost for what to do. The gripping of her arm to painful levels seems to shock her back to action and she looks over to Tiago, her expression spelling out what her words don't: /Help me/. She tries harder now to pull her arm away, backing up, but she's not gifted with any kind of superstrength, and if he keeps up with the Power Kung-Fu Grip, there's no way she's going to pull free of him. Words finally seem to percolate through the panic or confusion in her mind, and she says in a louder voice "Let go of me!"


The unnamed drug addict essentially ignores Tiago the supplier in favor of contorting his expression into one of indignant rage as Stephanie proceeds to try and break free of him, and the other grimy hand shoots upward, grabbing hold of her firmly with both hands as he attempts to tug her into him. "No! You said you would gimme money! Where's my money, bitch! Where's my fucking money!"

This is all Tiago needs to hear. That look of desperation is all Tiago needs to see, before his expression shifts into cool indifference. Suddenly, as the adrenaline pumps through his body, he finds that he can see the situation more clearly, can visualize the danger of it escalating. And he decides, right there and then, to put an end to it. In a swift motion, he ends up almost directly behind the man, pressing the barrel of his glinting silver pistol into the man's side. From afar, the stance does not look particularly threatening, and his jacket does a good job of hiding the firearm from the general public, but Stephanie and the junkie ought to be able to see it - and more importantly, the latter of the two can definitely feel it.

"I aint goin' ta say it again. Let 'er the fuck go." He mumbles, his tone of voice cold and dangerous. And, predictably, Stephanie ought to feel the man's vice grip loosen considerably.


The loosening of the grip is all she needs…she yanks her arm away suddenly…not so much violently as "in a paniced"-ly. She tries to backpedal, to get some distance between the two, and of course, promptly forgets that it's New York. In winter. A couple days after a major storm. And we spell that I-C-E. Her boot hits a patch of it, moving faster than it ought to be, and balance decides to leave the party. She slips and falls backwards, landing hard on the pavement. Of course, what her shout didn't do, her falling does; even in jaded New York, the combination of the two is enough to get attention, and the logical conclusion isn't that she slipped, it's that she was pushed. Her assailant (and by extension, Tiago) now has the attention of the nearby pedestrians.


And with this attention comes the panic that surrounds the firearm. Now that the veil of crowd anonymity has disappeared and the attention of the masses has fixed itself on the pair of men, it doesn't take very long before someone screeches out, "Oh my God, he has a gun!" and the general cries and screams of the people begin as they disperse. This leaves Tiago in a less than good situation.

This is what happens when you try to play the hero, Tiago. You should know by now it's nothing but trouble, trouble that you can't afford. With a loud, vehement swear, the man pockets his firearm and immediately pushes the junkie away, glancing around frantically, and only fixing his attention, his pale green eyes upon Stephanie for a moment. After that comes the clenching of his jaw and the subsequent running away - down the street of New York in an attempt to get himself out of the public eye and escape before the cops manage to appear and ruin everything.


Stephanie half-sits, rolling a bit to the side and trying to get her arms to help push her up; the fall looks like it might have taken the wind out of her. "No, wait!" She tries to call to Tiago, to stop him, to thank him for his help. But her voice lacks a bit of projection at the moment (that whole lack-of-breath thing), and whether or not he'll hear her is decidedly up in the air…as is whether he'd stop if he did.

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