2012 01 30 Galahad In A Mazerati

Log Title:
Galahad in a Mazerati

Characters:
Aurelio and Dajan

IC Date:
Late January

Location:
Midtown to Alphabet City

Brief log summary::
Dajan calls the only person she knows with a car to give her a ride. She discovers a couple more worriesome things about her time as a nonja.

Rating:
pg13

There is no TS in this log::
Yes

Post your log::
Normally the arrival of a Maserati at the Baxter Building would mean some supermodel is picking up or dropping off Johnny Storm. But the arrival of a Maserati Grancabrio Fendi - a four-seater - would mean that /two or three/ supermodels were picking up or dropping off Johnny Storm. Not this time. This time it's a oversized kid from Brooklyn parking in the white zone, traditionally 'for loading and unloading only.' "Loading, I'm loading." he argues with a cop, looking over his 99 cent drugstore sunglasses. "I'm supposed to pick up this girl here. Yes, I'm the freakin' car service, don't I look like a sho-fah to you, pal?"
Dajan is hovering near the reception desk, and blinks with surprise as a really swank Maserati pulls up. She only recognizes the car because she has brothers, and the eldest was a gearhead. "Thank you," she tells the security guard, gathering her borrowed Fantastic 4 varsity type jacket and clomping in her borrowed shoes to the door with a slow and ginger step.
Once through the door, she winces, and waves at Aurelio. "Sorry. Didn't mean to keep you waitin' none."
Jumpstart says, "Yeah, her, that girl right there." He eases the passenger door open for her. The back seat is covered in…well, laundry. Rumpled dress shirts, spilled-open briefcases, dead disposable cellphones. The shirts are definitely not Aurelio's size. "Uh…hey. It looks like you found a party after all." he says, half-teasing. "Those ain't /your/ shoes."

"No, they ain't," Dajan agrees, with a sheepish grin and a shrug at the police officer. She gets in and buckles up. "Wasn't a party, Aurelio, I promise," she says, voice throaty and hoarse, like Kathleen Turner, only richer. She's apparently getting or getting over a case of laryngitis. "Nor they my socks. Or my jacket. Or my anythin'." She grimaces. "I ain't even sure if the bloomers I got on are mine," she adds, sotto voce.
Jumpstart jams the car into traffic like shoving a knife into a loaf of bread. "Not a party…" He is about to make another wisecrack when he glances alarmedly in the rearview mirror at the Baxter Building, suddenly concerned. "Did a robot attack you or something? I didn't hear anything on the news about any molemen or robots or anything like that…"
"No, no robots or molemen," rasps Dajan. "It was ninjas. I kinda became one for at least a day or so, against my will." Which does explain why she's all in form-fitting black over her slim and willowy frame…might explain why she needed to borrow a jacket, but doesn't really explain the socks. Her tone of voice indicates she's still struggling with denial on this subject. "I called you soon as I could get the house robot to point me to a computer so I could look your number up on Google. I didn't have …well, anythin' with me, no."
Jumpstart looks incredulous, but then catches her tone. "So how did /that/ happen? And how did you stop? Did a bunch of other ninja have to jump you out?" Midtown is brisk this morning, an easy wind blowing, the slanted sunlight making sundials of the buildings. Aurelio leans on the horn at one of the lights, but doesn't let it interrupt his conversation. "Did you get to meet Daredevil, they say he's a demon ninja or something."
Dajan side-eyes Aurelio for his questions. "No, I din' meet Daredevil, sorry. Nothin' like that," she says. "I apparently was tryin' to finish the mission started by the one who owned the knife I picked up in self defense when they attacked me," she murmurs. "I ran into Spider-Man, an' I tried to whup him. But guess I din' have enough time to set or somethin', because my kung fu is weak. Spider-Man, he wen' mop the floor wit' me an' I woke up here. No memory of what happen." She shakes her head. "Lucky dat is, too," she whispers, sudden realization ashing the color right out of her face.
Aurelio says, "What do you mean? Oh man, do you mean…maybe you did something before Spider-Man stopped you? Crap! Okay, what's the last thing you remember before here? You said you got attacked, where was that?"
Dajan shrugs. "I don't know. Last ting I rememba before wakin' up on a stretcher there —" Dajan half-turns in her seat, toward Aurelio, to point back toward the Baxter building, receding into the skyline. "On the 35th floor. Half froze and nearly killed to death… I had just finished da wors' shift at da diner. I had dis awful bad headache all day. I din' even wanna take da train home, so I put my han' out for a cab. An dat's all she wrote. I came to at the Richards' house."
Jumpstart says, "All right, look…let's go get your regular clothes, then we'll go ask around and see if anyone there remembers you Chuck Norris kicking someone in the face. You don't want the cops looking for you when it was a ninja curse." He tries to lighten the mood a little bit - giving her a little smile. "I bet you kicked pretty good."

Dajan swallows hard, and glances over at Aurelio. "Phantasm an' Spider-Man, dey axed me what I was up to dat ninjas would be after me. But I never met a ninja in my natural life before last week. Ain't no ninjas runnin' around Louisiana!" At least none she can point to, so far, anyway. "I only picked up the blade 'cause I ain't no kinda fighter." She gulps at the suggestion. "You don' tink I realy wen' hurt somebody?" She seems to shrink inside the borrowed jacket. "That'd be bad. Real bad."

Aurelio replies, "Look, if you did, it wasn't your fault. Don't worry about it, do they got paper on you or something? Listen," he says, trying to be reassuring as they wait at an expressway exit, pedestrians on cellphones with Starbucks cups crossing in front of them in a massive swell of people. He puts his hand on her arm, reassuringly. "If the Fantastic Four are gonna vouch for you, no five oh is gonna run you in on an assault beef, unless they got some other reason to want to. Do they? It's okay if it is, I been in trouble with the law before too."
Dajan's eyes have that telltale shimmery shine that indicates she's near tears, but they don't cross her lashes or eyelids. "I'm just a girl from a small town outside Nawlins, 'Relio," she insists. "Even the thing with my family wasn't ninja-related, most like. Hate crime, more prolly." She stares out the front windshield. "They were real, real kind," she adds, in response to his commment about the Fantastic Four. "De police hassled me a time or two as a kid walkin' home from school. Bein' poor, broke, an' da wrong color'll cause dat." She shrugs. "Either way, I jus' glad it's all ova an' I can try' get back to my life."

A few beats go by before she adds, much more quietly. "Tank you for comin'a get me. Tought you'd be … y'know, mad." She manages a quavery little smile as they stop at another light.

Jumpstart says, "Mad? No. I got a high opinion of myself, that's for freakin' sure, but if I get stood up, I don't get mad, I ain't /entitled/ to take someone to a party. Besides, you called me when you was in need, and that makes me ten feet tall, yeah? Maybe only nine. Okay, so direct me, I don't know where you live."
Dajan doesn't appear to be in any hurry to get to her place, now that she's convinced that Aurelio holds no ill will for being stood up. "Well, no," she agrees, "But it's like — da rudest ting," she says, shaking her head slowly. "Jus' da kinda ting my mother woulda told me well-raised girls don't do. Ever."

But his remark about her being in need makes her smile. "You always been ten feet tall since I met you. Comin' to my rescue in flashy cars like some strange New York twist onna knight onna steed."
Aurelio laughs, "This one was a guy's house. No, really. His wife left him, took the kids from their house upstate, he had four mortgages and had leveraged the car. He literally would park it in different office lots pretty much daring people to tow it. I had to be Mr. Smooth to get in and out of there with it." Aurelio seems rather cool about saying that he is taking a man's last possession. "I wouldn't come pick you up in a rattle down old POS! Classy girl like you wouldn't want to be seen in that! Ennh, I don't get hung up on rude. I can be rude and crude and all of that. You said sorry, it's done."
Dajan can't complain about last possessions. Everything she owns is hand-me-downs at the moment. And he couldn't have been such a great person if his wife took him and the kids, is her logic. "Tanks," she says, with great sincerity around a lump in her throat. "I hope somebody trow another party soon." A pause, a breath, and she adds. "I'd like a secon' chance for my firs' date." She turns to stare out the window. Oh, look, Times Square!
Aurelio says, "All right, let's see, do I pretend that I didn't hear that, pretend I'm Mr. Cool, City Mouse, and Charles Bronson, or do I stop the car and do a dance on the hood? Decisions, decisions. It's a good thing I'm not saying this out loud, she'd think I was pumped about the idea." He grins at her. "So, what's the inside of the Baxter Building like? They say it's got laser beams in every room or something?"
Dajan's smile at his playful response is visible in her reflection on the window, especially as it's gotten darker and started to snow again. She turns back to him, eyes bright in a warmer way rather than an uneasy one. "Only saw the Infirmary, one or two rooms, an' the lobby. Comfy, but kinda sci-fi, if y'know what I mean. Some of the bots work … really well. some, not so much. Din' have much chance or inclination to run around much." She wiggles her feet in the borrowed sneakers. "Touch a frostbite in my toes."
Jumpstart turning the computerized climate control to get some warm air to her feet is a little bit like he's getting ready to land a plane, but he seems expert at it. Outside of Midtown they head to Dajan's neighborhood and roll up on a bundled up guy with a Mets jacket holding up the outside of a brick building, smoking a cigarette under an "ABSOLUTELY NO SMOKING" sign. "Yo, Kev, wassup man, it's Aurelio!"

"Raayyyy." says Kev, exchanging fingerless-glove fist bops with the young repo man. "Nice riiide." he says, admiring both Dajan and the car. Apparently he is not picky about clothing options, our Kev.

"Yo Kev, man, this girl's cousin got tangled up with some real life ninjas. You seen her around anywhere?" Kev leans in to get a good look at Dajan. "Hey, I'm Kev." he says, cool smile curling the edge of his lips. Aurelio's eyes look like trouble. Kev's look like /impending/ trouble.

Dajan sits up a little straighter, and her own eyes go a little sharp. She's had a couple of experiences in New York since making her not-quite-failed date with Aurelio. "Kev," she says, playing up that Nawlins lilt in her voice, since the laryngitis is making it husky anyway. "Charmed." She doesn't offer a handshake though, just nodding and smiling at him through the half-rolled-down window. "My cousin, she look /just/ like me. Only perhaps a wee lil bit thinner. You tink you seen her de past few days? De family, dey worry sick."

Kev gets a close look before Aurelio 'playfully' taps the guy in the middle of the forehead with a finger. Back off. Kev does, spreading his hands, "Yeah, they said a girl with hair just like that in some kinda weird outfit was hanging off the fire escape up the street."

"She trash anyone? Anyone take a shot at her?"

"Wha? Oh, hell no, but she went diving across the rooftops like…like a pro. They said she a mutant or something, they're all mutants."

"They ain't all mutants, idiot, open a newspaper sometime."

"What's she into, man, how come she prowlin around like that? I heard it was scary as hell, all looming in the shadows."

Dajan flutters her eyelashes. Distressed southern belle at three o' clock high. "Oh, /no/," she says, clutching first at imaginary pearls, then Aurelio's elbow. "She fallen in wit' a bad crowd it look like." She shakes her head at Kevin. "Mutant? Non. She were a wannabe at de mos'. Tinkin' she make a name for herself in dis town. Tryin' impress somebody. Only heaven knows who."

Kev says, "Well, she made a fuckin' impression, that's for sure. If she gets it in her head to go all Punisher on people, there's gonna be some lead thrown."

"Probably a guy. You shouldn't see her around again," Aurelio says, "but if you do, if something happens, you call me, yeah?"

Kev shrugs. "What you done for me lately, Ray?"

"Ugh, whatdja /need/, Kev?"

"My sister's car broke down and she ain't got the money to fix it."

"You pay for the parts, I fix your sister's car, and in return, you hear or see anything, you call me first, and don't go shooting off any lead or your mouth, got it?"

Kev glares at Aurelio, then their thumbs lace and they shake on it. "Aight. Don't faint, lady, it's just New York." he says, waving as Aurelio pulls back out.

"Stay away from Kev." Aurelio says. "He's just waiting for the right felony."

Dajan sighs, rolling up the window and curling her lip slightly as they pull away. "I could tell. Dat, my dear maman woulda called testosterone poisonin'. Tanks. You know everybody in da city, 'Relio. I wouldn't even'a tought to ask aroun' if I did anyting wort' anybody talkin' about." She shakes her head. "An' I prolly need to go back to da Baxter Buildin' after I have a minute to collect myself. Because someting just occur to me."

Aurelio blinks. "What's that, what's the problem?"
"Don' know how deep dat ninja ting goes," Dajan murmurs, bringing her knees up to her chin despite being strapped into a bucket seat. "I was so busy stressin' over not bein' able to remember anyting I did while I was under — dat I only jus' now 'membered de ones dat got caught? Dey fizzed up like pop rocks an' vanished. Dead type vanished." Spider-Man said so, and it's not like she has reason to doubt the hero who came to her rescue.

Aurelio replies, "So…what does that have to do with the Baxter Building? Do you think you're in danger of disappearing too?" Okay, this, this is finally too much for him. "Wouldn't you of disappeared in there already?"

Dajan blinks, jarred from the panic attack she was winding up toward. "How'm I supposed to know, Aurelio?" she croaks, voice cracking. "It's not like dere's a textbook on ninja stuff. An' if I got my brain back, how do I know it's not like, way diluted, an' gonna happen later?" She tries to calm down. "I'm sorry, it's not your fault. And dey did take da sword away from me. So maybe I'm not gonna go all smoky an' disappear." Though her expression still holds a wrinkle of concern between her brows.

Jumpstart says, "If you start to, I'll call 911. That's…an ugly way to handle people who might snitch." He shakes his head sourly. Then he says, "All right, but you feel okay now, yeah? You found out you didn't hurt anyone else, nobody shot at you, and you're ready for that first big city date."

"Dat's sweet," Dajan says, gently, without going into the explanation of 'if she starts to, 911 won't get help to her soon enough.' "I feel fine," she assures him. "Laryngitis was the last bit of a cold. Dr. Richards did someting so I went trough all da symptoms in six hours instead of four days." She shrugs. "Only annoyed I los' my good boots. Gotta go find another pair now. To go wit' my outfit for da date," she adds, almost shyly.

Jumpstart says, "You got an outfit in those bags you brought? Now that's a girl who's prepared. Now, you are going to have to show me where you live at some point. Or at least let me drop you outside your building. You'll get blisters walking too far in those shoes.

"Nuh-uh," Dajan shakes her head, smiling crookedly. "Couple days good tips." She tells him where to take a turn, into Alphabet City, a few blocks from the L train. "You'll see it nex' time your people trow a fais do-do."

"Dere's usually parkin' aroun' back at dis hour, if you wanna come up for a minute. I tink I got a couple packs o' Swiss Miss left."

Jumpstart unconsciously checks his $5 black fake-leather drugstore watch, then tries to play it off, keyboard cat style. "Yeah, no problem. Is your phone hooked up yet? I'm out of minutes on mine and should probably call my uncle."

"I just got one like yours," Dajan emits. "Pay as you go. But I ain't used it in days, so it should still have some lef so you can call your oncle." She gets out of the car and stretches. She will swear up and down if asked that she remembers nothing about her time as a ninja, but she doesn't seem as fawn-awkward as she was when they first met. The snow is getting heavier, and Dajan grumbles slightly, heading for the stoop. "I won't hold you up long. Weather lookin' like it about to get ugly, yeah."

Jumpstart says, "That's a good reason not to be on the streets right off. The slickest time is right after it starts. I don't want some Hummer driving douche to slide sideways into my payday. /I/ can handle some ice on the streets, it's everyone else I worry about." When he gets out of the car, he has a big heavy faded jacket from a deceased bowling league. It fits his arms and shoulders but is way too big around the waist.

"We don't get a lot of dis in Thibodeaux," Dajan offers by way of explanation. She blinks. Does a quick pat down. "Sac au lait," she murmurs, facepalming. "I din' even tink to check. I don' got my key wit' me. Ninja me musta used da window." She pads gingerly down the stoop and around to the fireplace, looking dubiously up at her third floor window.

Jumpstart peers up, "Hell, I almost hope you didn't leave it open, the snow would of blown in for sure. Well, come on up. Let me take a look at the lock. I got a few tricks up my sleeve for when I need to get into places."

"Yeah, me too. T'say noting of whether or not anybody else woulda got in an' made off with my lil small bag o' stuff." She doesn't even bite an eye. "So, is Aurelio like, Spanish for Galahad or someting, man?" It's playfully spoken, but her expression is openly grateful.

Jumpstart says, "Galawho? Was he one of those American Idol guys?" Ah, book learning. "Now that I think about it, it might be a good idea for me to go in first. Just to be safe. Lead on."

Dajan gives Aurelio a nod, after a quick, half-blushed grin that he has no idea who Galahad is. Too much time in the library reading to the littles on her part is what she writes it off to.

Apparently the fire escape is something Dajan's become familiar with. She reaches behind the dumpster in the alley, and pulls a long, thin piece of metal out. She goes up on tiptoe, hooks the bottom rung of the ladder, and has to pull with all her visible might to get it to come down. "Dis way."

Jumpstart and Dajan are able to get into her apartment. He makes her wait outside while he ensures there are no ninja traps lurking. Fortunately she seems to have been somewhat aware of where her dark clothes were in the apartment, so the place isn't trashed.

Dajan is so completely thrilled that the ninja-version of herself didn't leave the place open to thieves, and didn't trash it herself, she screams in delight, and flings her arms around Aurelio's — well, waist. He's tall. The scream also costs her the last of her voice. Whoops.

A couple cracked mugs of Swiss Miss via secondhand microwave are shared in companionable silence as a result.

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