A friend in need – GS

 

Scene setting – Big Joe’s Pizzeria

co-written with VunG

 

VunG:  Elissa hadn’t been expecting that kind of reaction from Frank, it was heartbreaking to see him in a state that he could be so touched by something as simple (in her mind) as helping someone with their case. It was sad that he had reached that kind of point in his life, but at least it seemed that he had some people to hang onto throughout this madness. Even if he was ashamed to admit it. She cared about him and every honest law enforcer in the city, there were few enough of them around and they needed to stick together. The matter of pay was barely a factor here, and she’d shrug to his comment about that; she received compensation for her injury, it was enough to carry her through hard times, and right now he was having a harder time than she was.

After Frank went off to try and get out whatever emotions he had–or sorry, take a leak–she turned back to Tom and was surprised to see that he could actually do a bit of sign language. His reason made sense, and indeed she had a little bit of trouble understanding him in some minor degrees, but it was more like he was speaking with an accent than a whole new language all together. It was a bit tricky for her to keep up with that and his speed though; it was frustrating when you weren’t perfectly fluent in a language that you needed to function, and she definitely frowned briefly at the thought. However, her thoughts would be totally derailed when Tom began talking about his theory of what had killed Rory, and he would very quickly notice her scoff a little and sip at her beer while shaking her head. Still, she’d let him finish, and would be unsurprised to realize that indeed she recognized Tommy from somewhere, and it was just that he was one of the many reporters that she occasionally spotted in the crowd around this. Still, it was interesting that he was pulling a detective’s weight, and it told her that unlike some reporters who would go to any lengths to get their story, he at the very least had a heart.

Not that it made the supernatural thing any less silly (to her). After taking another sip of her beer, she’d set the half-emptied glass down and sigh, rubbing her neck briefly. ~I’m just a former SWAT sergeant. I’m no grand detective really, it’s just what was left available to me with the skill set I have left,~ she commented, looking perhaps a little sad as she considered the job she’d left before shaking it off with remarkable efficiency, ~I’m hesitant to jump to the supernatural. I’ve been with this from early on too, and I agree that there’s something seriously screwy happening, the one coming to mind being a solid steel statue getting launched fifty feet, but I don’t know about it being invisible people or ghosts. I’m not saying I don’t believe in them, but when you see bank robbers drop a fifteen foot tall ceramic pig onto a bank just to get into the vault one you know that there are some disturbingly creative people out there.~ And she actually didn’t believe in ghosts, at least not in the manner involved in what he was talking about. She was open to being religious, and she believed there were spirits of some sort out there, but this was definitely not the sort of thing she thought about in such regards.

Eventually Frank would come back and Tom would offer to give them both a ride, and initially she was going to decline and just walk home; it was something that she did on a regular basis and it wasn’t like she was unarmed. But then she considered the thought that perhaps they should look into sharing what they’d found on poor Frankie’s case, and she had to admit that it would be nice to finally have someone to split information on this. Downing what was left of her beer in one extended chug, she set it down and paid Big Joe with cash before nodding and signing back, ~If you’re willing. I’d hate to intrude on your guys’ romance,~ punctuating it with another thin smirk.

 

 

Razorbackwriter:  Regardless of how Elissa’s body language was as she explained in sign that she was just a former SWAT sergeant, Tommy knew in his heart that the woman must have loved her job. To say she was no grand detective or a mover and shaker as far as investigations go was more a sign of her insecurity if anything. Tommy was engrossed with her words, and could understand her reluctance to jump feet first into an investigation about supernatural. Perhaps in her eyes everything had a logical explanation but she admitted to the reporter that SOMETHING screwy was happening about town. Take the solid steel statue being launched about fifty feet in the air. There was never ever any recordings of supernatural beings having the ability to move objects of that magnitude. As Tommy eased back in his seat listening, he was going over in his own mind the events that had occurred in the last six months alone. He had even considered that perhaps this was all a government cover up operation for some new fandangled technology. Urban warfare but done with invisible suits. It was all a bit science fiction, but with the amount of secrecy surrounding the government of the day, anything was possible. Tommy agreed with Elissa that there were some very creative folk out there in New York city, that was for certain. But the truth of the matter was, it was the ordinary people, people like Rory….and Frank that had been affected by whatever it was that had taken hold of the city’s imagination.

With Frank having returned from the men’s room and the trio getting ready to leave as Big Joe closed up, Tommy had to laugh at what Elissa signed as they donned their coats.

~Intrude on a bromance? Is that what you think this is?”~ Tommy signed, with something of a laugh. Frank, watched Tommy’s hands moving in sign and then glanced between the pair. “What’s so funny?” He said naturally wondering if they were making fun of his state of being. Tommy was quick to alay his fears. “No…she just didn’t want to be a third wheel on the way home.” Frank spluttered, not sure about how to react to that. Sure, he liked Tommy as a friend, nothing more. Tommy, could see Frank was getting his grouchy persona back and was in a way relieved since this was the old Frank he knew and loved.

“She’s accepted a ride. Come on, my car is parked just down the block.”

Holding the door open for Frank and Elissa, Tommy waved at Big Joe, as the lights were being turned out in the Pizzeria. Stuffing his hands into his pockets, Tommy walked alongside Frank and Elissa as they set off for his car, which was a Silver BMW coupe. Tommy had a love for European sports cars, and this one he had picked up at a police yard auction. Apparently it was owned by some mob boss who went down after a major city drug bust. Reaching the car, he clicked the alarm button, and it flashed its headlights as the doors unlocked. He opened a door for Elissa first, then Frank so they could get in easily. Tommy was a gentleman if anything. Once all were in, he shut the doors and jogged around to the driver’s side, hopping in behind the wheel. Reaching over the front seating, he asked of Elissa. ~Is it okay if we drop Frank off first? I’m kinda worried about the interior of my car.~ He meant this, since he kept his car in pristine condition, and hated the thought of it smelling like a back alley dumpster, if Frank threw up. Frank kept quiet, since he really wasn’t feeling all that crash hot, and it showed. His head lolling about like a rag doll.

If Elissa agreed, they would head to Frank’s apartment building. It was one of those run down places for single men….or fathers without families. Frank used to live out in Queens, but all that changed. The car would pull out from the curb, and tear off down the street as cabs and other vehicles whizzed past them.

 

~RB~

 

VunG:  Of course Elissa didn’t think that these two guys were sleeping together, that would be a silly assumption at this point. More than anything she was just trying to lighten the mood, considering just how somber the situation was that they had found themselves in. Still, she didn’t want to get Frank thinking that that was her real thoughts, and she made a sort of ‘settle down’ gesture trying to get across the point that she was just teasing, smiling lightly all the while. She would go ahead and join the group as they filed out of the pizzeria, nodding her thanks to Tommy as he opened the door; she wasn’t all that big on being treated like a lady, but she appreciated the gesture it was meant in. She would adjust her scarf as they walked, trying to make sure her scar was properly hidden as they went, more than anything just her being self-conscious about it; not that she expected them to judge her based on it.

The car was actually rather impressive looking; Elissa was much more about the older European and Japanese sports cars like her Triumph GT6, but she knew when something had a bit of money on it. Though, part of her wondered how much these newer BMW’s cost, that thing couldn’t have been cheap. Again, as she found her door held open, she’d roll her eyes and smile her thanks as she got in, knowing full well that he was just being polite. Sighing softly to herself, she’d settle into the fine seats and lean her head back as they got going. Of course, as the question of first-destination came up, she let out a strange coughing sound into her hand, the closest thing she came nowadays to a laugh, and nodded, eventually signing once her chuckling had passed, ~I’d be worried for your sanity if you didn’t do that first.~ And with that, they were off to Queens, a long quiet drive which she mostly spent staring off into space unless their driver decided to make conversation with her.

One drink too many – GS

 

Scene setting – Big Joe’s Pizzeria

co-written with VunG

 

VunG: God, it was rough seeing poor Frank in this state. He was a good man, and while she didn’t have feelings for him or anything, she definitely wasn’t without compassion and wished that things hadn’t gone the way they had for him. However, aside from looking towards him and making brief eye contact with him, she let it go and returned to her beer, just quietly sipping away at it, trying not to think about her own issues. Those still hurt something fierce.

However, she would be surprised that not only would the men give her direct attention, but they wound up joining her at her table. Of course it wasn’t completely unprecedented and she would gesture for the two of them to go ahead and have a seat even as Frank was asking the question. It was kind of strange to see how the man was walking though, poor fellow looked like a zombie; was probably occupying the same mental level as one at the very least. Oh, Frankie, how far you’ve fallen. You were once the pride of the whole NYPD, now he was drinking so much you could call him a fish.

She was surprised to hear Tommy’s comment about her beer, but she took it in stride, giving him a thin smile and a nod in return… and of course shaking his hand at the introduction. Of course, that left her without an introduction to him, and was just about to pull out her notepad to respond when poor Frank went to take some coffee, and wound up just making a mess, and making her jump like she’d been hit by a cattle prod. Her knee hit the table with a bang and she winced with pain but otherwise made no noise or movement to cradle herself. Sighing and shaking her head at herself, she went ahead and wrote her name down for Tom while Frank inquired about the late hour for her. She sighed and shrugged while she waited for Tom to finish reading, leaning back with her beer in her hand. Once she had the notepad she would write down calmly, “[Let’s just say it’s slow enough that I’m looking into matters for a friend in blue.]” and pass the notepad off to him with thin smile and wink.

What she hadn’t been expecting though was for Tommy to come up and outright state something that had been bothering her for some time. She too had been hearing the stories, and she even went out of her way to look at the locations cited in such manners. Aaaaand… well she didn’t know what to think. Wincing at that, she rubbed the back of her neck while she took a drink, waiting for her notepad to come back. When she did, it was obvious that she was hesitant about whatever she was saying… even if it didn’t come through specifically in her writing. “[Well, I don’t know about invisible forces, but I’d believe the being thrown part. Only things I know of that can do that are pneumatic pistons or animals from Africa. And I wasn’t seeing any thirty pound piles of shit around.]”

While that message was being read, she leaned back with her beer again, closing her eyes thoughtfully as she debated how to go about this. She wanted to offer help to them, but she didn’t know how much use a mute SWAT officer would be to them; heck she wasn’t even that great of a detective (in her mind). She wasn’t terrible, mind, but there were definitely better ones out there, Frank for example (prior to his fall). Wincing, she realized that she could probably have skipped the writing, and signed to them, ~Do either of you understand this?~

 

Razorbackwriter:  Tommy read Elissa’s introductory note that said her name and he mouthed “Oh”, while Frank was trying to take another sip of his black coffee with a slightly shaky hand. As he brought the cup to his lips, he took a small sip and then scanned down with his blood shot eyes at the next note that Elissa had written. Saying how she was looking into matters for a friend in blue. Now that, could mean only one thing and when you married that up with the way she offered Frank a smile followed by a wink he knew that her work was about him and his case. Frank didn’t mean to feel embarrassed by this. Why he did appreciate the fact that she believed in him when so many in his own department didn’t. Side ways glances and whispers followed him wherever he went. It took a lot not to let fly and meet their looks and accusations head on, but that would only see him given a further warning and possibly have him clean out his desk.

Frank’s cheeks darkened to match the color of his nose which was now a slight shade off cherry red. “You should be working paying cases…Elissa.” His voice having a slightly gravely tone to it as though he needed to cough. Truth was, he could feel a ball coming up his throat and his eyes were getting watery. Men don’t cry as a rule, right? Well, Frank was fighting all his being not too. Elissa obviously cared. A lot like Tommy too. The detective reached a point where he needed a moment, and set down his cup before pushing his chair out.

“Need…..to go …shake the weasel.” Frank uttered, before staggering off to the men’s room. Big Joe couldn’t help but watch him go and was about to go and get the mop and bucket ready. He hoped that Frank would be able to hold his stomach till at least by the time he got home, and didn’t take to re decorating one of the stalls. With Frank out of the room, it left Tommy alone with Elissa. Her facial reaction to the mention of flying cars said it all. She was thinking about the same things and this was where the pair would click. Tommy had figured that Elissa didn’t have the power of speech, but when she started to sign, Tommy was quick to come back at her and replied USING sign language. ~My grandmother is deaf and I learnt this at a young age. Mind you some of the ways I sign are a little different since my grandmother is Japanese.~ Tommy was fast with his hands and then paused a moment, now to look over at the men’s room and then back at Elissa. ~Frank is a good man. Whatever it was that killed Rory….was not human, and if you ask me not of this world. Be it a poltergeist or…..something that doesn’t leave twenty pounds of shit behind.~

Tommy continued to sign. ~ I’m a reporter with the New York times, but…I been investigating this case since it happened. I have some people down on the bad end of town seeing what they can come up with, but so far….just a lot of weird bursts of activity. Like where things are being blown up, but not leaving any residue. Whole walls. Gone.~

Big Joe brought over Frank’s tab and tapped Tommy on the shoulder. Taking the paper, he took out his wallet from his coat and then offered Big Joe his credit card. “I got this.” Big Joe was grateful, since Frank usually always paid his tab, but he must have been having a rough week. With the bill paid and the card returned, Tommy pocketed both, as Frank emerged from the men’s room. Thankfully, he didn’t have vomit on his clothes. Big Joe was getting ready to close the Pizza shop for the night, and Frank joined the pair at the table. “Guess this is last drinks?’ he asked uncertainly.

Tommy shook his head. “No…time for you to go home. Need a ride?” He asked, before signing to Elissa. ~ I can give you a lift if you like.~

 

~RB~

Turkish delight – SS

Scene setting – Park

co-written with Krystal.

 

Krystal:  Maya nodded to the woman, taking note to call her as such, and when she winked at her, Maya smiled, though still feeling a little uncomfortable. “It is quite luxurious… It must be wonderful to be able to travel like this around the Kingdoms,” Maya said, clasping her hands together on her lap. Her nails were painted black, also, and were at a nice length. She raised a hand to touch the tassles on the window beside her. They felt very soft.

Seeing Domi move out of the corner of her eye, she saw the box and it’s contents. Maya took it in her hands, looking at all the different sweets. She bit her lips, and not wanting to be rude to someone who was so kind to offer them a ride, she took one and popped it inside her mouth, chewing with her mouth closed. It tasted wonderful.

Allister had stayed straightened up and sat properly after Maya corrected him. He was good like that, especially when he knew he was in trouble. After taking his eyes off of Domi’s bosom, he cleared his throat and moved some hair out of his face. He took the flask and smiled, his face still blazing from already being drunk. He flipped it open and took a swig before closing it and replying to her about her question. “Y-yeah, Lady Gabriel finally killed off that bastard Belial, finally… She’s the new Princess of Wraath,” he slurred.

Maya swallowed her Turkish delight after closing the box. “That’s right… Prince Belial is dead, and a new Princess has risen,” Maya repeated. “We saw the fight end. Princes Leviathan and Astaroth were also present.” Maya didn’t seem emotionally phased by this, but she did seem interested.

 

Razorbackwriter:  The carriage jostled along on the cobble stone path that weaved its way through the park with its occupants now enjoying themselves on the gifts of confectionery and alcohol that Lydia provided. These were more than just gifts, but a polite way of making Allister and Maya feel comfortable and relaxed in Lydia’s company. A demon with high ambitions always knows how to groom her targets or new friends to help get a leg up, so to speak.

Lydia’s gloved hand toyed with one of the nearest tassles, while she smiled at Maya’s comment that it was wonderful to be able to travel this way around the kingdom. “Beats walking any day. And nothing compares to the reception one gets at the castles of the Princes. You get treated like royalty by the staff. Not that I am royal mind you. I just love the way they live.” Lydia brought her hands together to be placed neatly in her lap – her eyes twinkling at the very thought of the juicy tales that this pair might know. Of course, when asked if there had been a death that eve; as Lydia had come to believe, she was rewarded with both offering information that one of the Princes had fallen to the blade of another. And not just any other. Lady Gabriel.

Lydia took out a black fan and snapped it open – flitting it furiously as she drew in a sharp breath feigning shock.

“Oh…my goodness! Belial lost his head….to a girl?” It was sensational as it was scandalous. Maya backed up her companion’s statement adding that they saw the fight and that two other princes were present. Prince Leviathan and Prince Astaroth. Lydia’s jaw dropped even further. Mammon was going to want to hear this…if he hadn’t already. Lydia could almost imagine the Prince’s reaction to such news. A Princess of Hell. What a treat.

“Such ambition the girl must have. I must say I am impressed.” Lydia added, forgetting herself for a moment, since she was of course the Demon of Ambition. Lydia didn’t normally have to resort to violence in order to get what she wanted, but this news shone a new light on just how a girl could rise to greatness in Hell.

“So how is it you both escaped the scene unscathed? Are you both blessed with good fortune, or was it just luck?”

 

~RB~