2007-07-29: Violent Sentiments


Niki_icon.gif Vasili_icon.gif Felix_icon.gif

Summary: Violence leads to violence to stop violence which results in violence. In an alley!

Date It Happened: July 29th, 2007

Violent Sentiments

Brooklyn, New York

It's a drab day here in Brooklyn; little do most of its residents know that it could be much, much darker. Give it a few years if nothing changes and the horrible things to come aren't prevented. The sky is grey, threatening rain that will likely never come; it's just humid, sticky, lingering. Late, late afternoon brings a certain blonde to here from Queens. Why? To visit the Den of Iniquity, dive bar of a special variety here in Brooklyn. It's not like Niki makes a habit of visiting places like that… not for a long time. …not that she knows of, anyway. It's the owner she's here to drop in on. It's been awhile since she spoke to Jack. Now, after emerging from the subway some distance away, she strolls toward the Den, her grey, foldover cowboy-styled boots clicking regularly on the sidewalk. There's a red cell phone open in the woman's hand, which she cranes her neck down to frown at instead of actually using.

Hey. Brooklyn might be Brooklyn, but at least it's not the Bronx. Still, the area around the Den of Iniquity doesn't exactly attract the best of the city. As Niki nears the establishment she might pick up the familiar and sickening sounds of flesh hitting flesh. There's a metallic clatter from the alley beside the building, and a few seconds later the battered lid of a trash can wobbles its way out of the mouth of the alley, finally dropping to an undignified halt. Inside the alley, a stocky blond man is currently doing his best to beat the stuffing out of a half-drunk loser that warmed a barstool not more than ten minutes past. Vasili's face might even be familiar.

Violence, at the Den of Iniquity? Gasp! Shock! yeah right. Niki's eyes narrow warily as she starts to near the building, and as such, the alley beside it, sure; and true, most of the violence she knows about at the bar were indirectly her fault (depending on how forgiving you wanna be over the whole alter ego thing - she isn't). But it was it is. You gotta expect it around a place like the Den. Where most people would do the smart - or heartless - thing and walk past trying not to look, Niki finds herself slowing down at the mouth of the alley, glancing down at the trash can lid that wobbles at her feet. She looks, in trepidation, to the fight. It's not even a fair one. Hello, conflict. She shouldn't interfere— "Hey!" she finds herself calling out. "Knock it off."

Vasili steadies himself as he shoves the drunk up against the wall, fingers curled deeply into the ratty leather of the other man's jacket. The interruption brings his head around so that he can stare at Niki. This goes on for several moments while the poor drunk whimpers, a bit of bloody spittle drooling out of the side of his mouth. "What, never seen a man-" Another quiet wail as the drunk gets slammed against the brick "-getting beaten up before? It's pretty easy. Pretty common around here, too."

Has she ever. "You like to beat on people just 'cause it's easy? Doesn't mean he deserves it," counters Niki, her voice taking on a resolute edge. Never mind that the slight blonde woman doesn't look remotely threatening. he should just let it go. Maybe the guy did deserve it. Maybe— she can't actually believe that, but she's supposed to keep quiet. Safe. This isn't quiet, and it's sure as hell not quiet. She steps into the alley, her boots crunching on random bits of stray gravel and who-knows-what underfoot. She doesn't seem to recognize Vasili. Another step, another, all slow. "Why don't you just drop it."

"One among millions. It doesn't really matter, does it?" Vasili smiles, his round, smooth face lighting up with the expression. He looks almost jovial. "It's not like I'm killing him." Even though that would probably be a lot of fun, the higher-ups wouldn't approve. A faint hint of recognition tickles at the edges of his brain, but it slips away from him before he can truly manage to grasp it. Still. It does enough to distract the man from his prey, and after one last good shake Vasili lets the drunk fall from his grasp to collapse against the pavement. Or - well. Maybe. The man gets a kick in the side, too. And another. "Good plan. My arms were getting tired."

Niki doesn't exactly flinch every time the beaten man is kicked, but as she watches - her eyes, maybe, a little out of sympathy — but her expression hardens by increments. Silent, she doesn't argue with the guy, not outloud, but it's pretty obvious that she doesn't share his sentiments. She slips into the alley further, standing against the wall - the side the bloodied man is slumped - and just watches Vasili, making a glower out of her pretty face. Here in closer quarters, he does look vaguely familiar, but she can't place why. She's still holding her cell phone. How easy would it be for her to call the cops?

The drunk's head rolls limply on his neck as he quails under his attacker's assault, more blood appearing on the sidewalk by the second as it's coughed up. Vasili teeters on one leg as he kicks, almost as though he's dancing to some unheard beat. Several more heavy blows are delivered to the victim's chest and stomach, but soon Vasili stops again - in order to look back at Niki. "Don't look so damn pissy. You'd be much prettier if you smiled." He steps away from the drunk, one hand coming up to wipe its back across his face. Go ahead and start dialing. Go on. It'll give him an excuse.

"That's enough!" Niki shouts; even though she's louder than she was, her voice is harsher and throatier as she gives the … order? Command? Scolding? Nothing that she should really be doing to some thug in an alley, if appearances were telling. About her, that is. She steps with purpose in front of the battered man and Vasili making a slender blockade of herself. She's not quite fast enough to stop those last few hits, but she's not about to let any more happen. "What'd he do to you, anyway? Get out of here." Does that sound like a threat? A bit.

What did he do? Something inconsequential. Something that any normal person would simply accept an awkward apology for and then go on with their day. "You know," Vasili laughs, taking a half-step back with his arms swinging free at his sides before slapping against his thighs. "I don't even remember? Probably said something stupid." But Vasili isn't going away. Instead he's stepping forward, putting himself toe to toe with Niki. "But I might be getting a little bit offended by your tone."

Niki's heart is beating like mad; facing off with random violent men in alleys isn't exactly normal for her, not for her specifically, but she keeps her cool. Her blue eyes don't move from Vasili save to catch up to his every movement. She's almost exactly eye-to-eye with him. "Get away from me," she warns dangerously with only the slightest hint of a tremor in her voice. Her hand slowly switches the unused phone from one to the other. He's too close for comfort. She's gonna change that — with a splayed hand going to his chest to try to shove him out of her space.

It might not be normal for Niki, but for Vasili it's pretty much old-hat. Though usually doesn't find himself up against blonde bombshells there has to be a first time for everything - and it makes a pleasant chance from filthy street bums. When Niki's hand comes forward the agent's hand snaps up to try to grab it, which… doesn't exactly turn out like he planned that it should. Instead he finds himself suddenly going backwards, almost flying across the short length of the alley until his back knocks up against the wall. "Holy shit."

Niki's hand stays outstretched in the air where she pushed Vasili, until he stops— you know, flying. Oh boy. "I'm calling 911," she tells him as her arm swings back down to her side, and she starts punching buttons on her cell phone, glancing up and down from its screen to the man near the end of the alley. She just takes one step toward him in her cowboy-heeled boots.

Vasili just eyeballs Niki after his shoulders finally reach a state of slump, both hands coming up in front of his chest. Instead of holding them with their palms stretched outwards, however, he's got them in more what you'd call. Uh. Fists. The prelude to fisticuffs. 911 doesn't matter to him - not really. Especially if he gets that phone away from her first. The time for words has passed, and as soon as Niki moves forward he springs away from the wall, thrusting one fist up towards the side of the woman's face.

She sees him coming at her. Before she honestly knows what she's doing, Niki is swiftly turning her hip off to the side - the rest of her body follows suit. With that one quick movement, Vasili's fist goes flying past her face. The woman is certainly distracted from using her phone, so he wins there. Face dark with anger, she braces with one leg and kicks at his. Hard, forceful. She just wants to call 911 and get the battered man in the alley some help!

That hit to the leg hurts. It really does. However, Vasili keeps his head straight and his closest hand snaps down, trying to catch the offending leg (and what a leg it /is/ - yowza) in order to yank Niki off balance by hauling on it. It's not like he doesn't enjoy it, either. If he can reach her phone with his other hand, he's definitely going to be trying to grab the thing.

The blonde hits the ground rather hard, flat on her back, caught by Vasili. Making an audible 'mmph' as she falls, Niki's world gets very confusing all of a sudden; she goes down hard enough to be completely confused and unmoving for a few moments. In the chaos of suddenly being down here instead of up there, her eyes shut and her phone gets away. In her scramble to get up, though, she tries to elbow Vasili in the face and haul her leg away from his grip.

No face-hitting, please. Vasili's face is far too pretty for it to be messed up by some crazy hooker woman's bony arm joints. The russian snaps his head to the side, just barely managing to evade it - he can even feel the short burst of wind caused by her elbow going past one of his ears. They make a pretty weird sight, do Vasili and Niki. Two people brawling in an alley behind the Den of Iniquity while some pulverized drunk lies on the ground amidst several trash cans, quietly groaning his pain. And it's not even six in the evening yet. Priorities have changed, however, and he drops the phone to the ground. STOMP STOMP STOMP. Goodbye, cursed electronic talking device.

And what luck! Felix was just coming by for a drink. But the sound of a scuffle is unmistakable to a cop's ears….and so he's peeking in, blinking owlishly past his glasses at them. "What the fuck are you doing?" he demands. He's in white oxford shirt and gray slacks, the remnant of his suit.

The second her boots both get some kind of leverage on the ground, Niki gets to her feet, staggering backwards just a little. What is this guy's problem? She's slowly backing away, her back to the mouth of the alley - maybe she can go inside, get Jack to call the police, or… something - when the new voice calls out. She whirls around to spot Felix, gaping and surprised, but she doesn't want to take her eyes off of Vasili. "This man is attacking people— for no reason!" No good reason.

Hey now. Heeeey now. Vasili's hands come up again once it comes to his attention that there's now another bystander, frowning at the newcomer's recognized identity. "She hit me first. Self-defense." A classic case, to be sure. Pay no attention to the man behind the garbage. The agent's fingers soon fold together behind the back of his neck, pressing against it while he does his best to even out his breathing.

"You," Felix's tone could etch glass. It's been a few years since he's run into Vasili, and it's enough to make him itch to have his old badge back. "I'm sure," he says, sarcasm clear. "Get up."

Niki isn't breathing quite so laboriously. "Did he hit you first?" she snaps, gesturing with her eyes to the poor, slumped man by the garbage. She looks between the two men tensely before taking this opportunity to jog across the alley to fall into an easy crouch beside the wounded man to see if he's… alive. She can tell that much, but the beyond that, it's up for debate.

"Did who - oh. that guy." Psh. The /loser/. "Yeah. He did, not that it's any of your damn business." That makes things sound a little more defendable, doesn't it? Vasili takes a few steps backwards once he's fully up and recovered, soon leaning his left shoulder against the wall on the end of the alley opposite from Niki's. "Didn't you get killed in L.A. or something?"

Felix spreads his hands. "As you can see, the rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated," he says, still just his edge of a snarl. He glances at Niki and the victim. "What happened, ma'am?" he wonders. Because clearly he doesn't trust Vasha's account of the incident.

Niki looks up from gently trying to move the head of our friend the random bloodied guy, assessing damage or maybe consciousness or both. "I found them in the alley," she answers. "He did this." Note the man she crouches beside. He's pretty obviously a drunk or lowlife, but he's beaten up all the same. "I tried to call 911," the blonde adds, lines of distress furrowing her brow sincerely as she explains, "He broke my phone." No mention of how she shoved Vasili, though.

"And /you/ threw me across a damn alley, you /freak/!" Yeah. Normal people don't have the ability to do that, and the little hint of recognition from before is starting to wiggle like a ten-year-old's loose tooth. Sooner or later it'll pop itself free. After he's certain that this tidbit has been entered onto the record, Vasili thoughtfully adds: "You look good for a dead guy."

"I'm sure you deserved it," Felix says, curtly, already fishing out his phone and tossing it to Niki. Yeah, she might bolt with it, but it's a crappy phone anyhow. "What, you tried to roll some drunk in an alley? I thought you'd grown beyond that kind of punk ass stuff." Oh, definitely a longstanding and cordial hatred here. Niki gets a keen glance at that comment. Martial artist, maybe?

The Russian man earns a harsh look from Niki, but she sets her jaw and doesn't reply. Not to him or Felix, at the moment. She just catches the phone that's tossed to her, eyeing the two of them warily. She starts to stand up. As for bolting, she looks on edge enough to make a run for it, but so far… the woman has a 'make slow movements in front of dangerous animals' vibe going on. Niki starts to dial. Again. Three simple numbers— 'cause it worked so well the last time.

Slow movements won't save you now, Niki! - or. Well. They probably will, because filling the role of Dangerous Animal for today is Vasili Babenkov. His eyes are now on Felix, not Niki, and his hands part and come down in front of him, hovering about waist-level. If anyone's going to run, the smart money would bet on the Russian taking foot first. "You should check up on her. She's not normal. She's a freak. She'll probably fix the part where you're not actually dead as soon as you turn your back."

"Freak?" Felix says, very low. He's got his hand held poised at his side - it's not exactly the stereotypical gunslinger's stance, but he's clearly quite ready to go for a weapon if necessary. Despite the warning, he's still got his attention on Vasili. "Fuck off, Babenkov. You're the NYPD's problem now, not mine."

Vasili could be entirely right, or surprise of surprises, Niki could be in control of all her faculties this week and not, in fact, murderous. Pressing the phone to her ear, she starts to walk backwards toward the street with her eyes on the men. She murmurs quietly into Felix's phone. "Hi, there's a man who needs an ambulance… by the Den of Iniquity. Yeah— Brooklyn…" Et cetera. Ignore her gradually sneaking off.

Weapons are where Vasili draws the line. Those hands, previously ready to curl into fists, rise up in a gesture of surrender - and the man begins backing up. Rather quickly. And once he reaches the rearmost part of the alley, he simply takes off down the adjoining one as fast as his legs can carry him. Stick around for the cops? No way. He /was/ told to 'fuck off', after all. By an authority figure!

Luckily for Vasili, Felix isn't inclined to pursue. His fellow Russian is a local problem, not a federal, after all. He watches him go, before turning back to Niki. "May I have my phone back?" he asks, quietly, extending a hand to her.

Niki, quiet now a moment after thecall to 911 ends, lowers the phone and obliges to Felix, handing it over. "…Thank you," she says, her uneasy gaze flitting from the him to the direction Vasili disappeared and back again. "I'm glad you happened to be here."

"Luck," Felix says, quietly, gaze searching her face. "I know him. He's a bastard. He didn't hurt you, did he?" She gets a close-looking over, though it's curious more than lascivious.

"I'm fine," the blonde tries to assure Felix, a grateful, charismatic smile appearing for the first time to help with the extra reassurance. It's true enough, she's okay; she might be a bit sore tomorrow after falling so hard earlier, but that's it. Which begs the question, how does a girl like her go without a scratch against someone like Vasili Babenkov, but oh look, there's the Den of Iniquity. Backtrack, backtrack, sidestep.

"Listen," he says, briefly, before glancing down and fishing in his pocket for a business card case. He plucks one out, and proffers it to her, between his first two fingers. "If you wanna press charges, or you encounter him again, call me."

"It's not me who should be pressing charges," Niki says as she reaches out for the card, frowning with faintly pursed lips. It's the man who groans against the wall who should be pressing charges. It's implied. It goes unsaid. She looks down at the card, tousled blonde hair falling forward as she does; as she reaches up to tuck it behind an ear, she takes an instinctive step back. Felix Ivanov. More importantly, an address to an FBI office. "… sure, Mr. …" She looks at the card again. "Ivanov. Thank you." Smiling weakly, she turns entirely to finally leaves the alley altogether.

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