2012 02 07 The Bad Penny Shines Up Nicely

Log Title:
The Bad Penny Shines Up Nicely

Characters:
Misty Knight and Jumpstart

IC Date:
Feb 7, 2012

Location:
Nightwing Restorations

Brief log summary::
Misty puts Jumpstart through a few preliminaries before deciding she'll work with him.

Rating:
r

There is no TS in this log::
Yes

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Only been a few days since Misty got put in the hospital. And fewer still since she checked herself out. Yes, Doctor, deep abdominal wounds, I know, thanks, I will be careful, and you can't do anything about the bionic arm, so I'm /outta/ here, thanks.

So she's at Nightwing, now, in her office. The arm's jury-rigged fix courtesy of Night Thrasher is holding, but it's touch and go. Sometimes the arm powers down for a minute, sometimes for a few minutes. Misty has it in a sling like a regular arm at the moment so as not to tax it unless she needs to — and there is not a phrase in English for how pissed off she is about this.

But she decides to make the most of the time. She fishes the COBRA business card out of the pile on her desk and leaves a voicemail for the kid everybody calls Ray.

Jumpstart enters from the real New York City into the mural New York City, where for once, he is as big as he seems when he opens his mouth. He took the subway up and he's in a crummy Mets jacket to keep himself warm. No mutant would be caught dead rooting for a /winner/ in this world, surely. "Yo, I'm here to see Misty Knight." he says to the receptionist, like he's been waiting his whole life to say that, but you know, it's no big thing, really. A winning white smile. How /you/ doing?

The receptionist, chewing bubble gum like Janine Melnitz, is /so/ not impressed. "You're expected," she says, and buzzes you in. "First door on the left."

Misty is behind her desk. Colleen's side of the office is tidy and recently lived in, but the redhead isn't in at the moment. "Montes de Oca," Misty greets him, having put her black jacket on over her shoulders to draw less attention to the fritzing arm. "Come in. Siddown."

Jumpstart saunters in, says, "Hey." and sits down, Mr. Casual. He does have sharp eyes and a short circuit between brain and mouth. "Carburetor clog up?" he asks.
Misty watches him saunter, like he thinks he owns the world, and gives a faint smirk as he sits. "Child, /please/," she says in that strange drawl only native New Yorkers can manage. "You ain't touchin' my baby until I've seen a little proof of what you can do. So — you wanted a little networking? I can do that, but I wanna see what you're made of, first." Her right hand darts out to point at him as she says that. It wobbles slightly as she withdraws it. Her eyes don't leave Jumpstart's face — daring him to say boo about it.

Jumpstart says, a little too eagerly to keep up that casual facade, "Sure, what you need taken? If you got the bank paper, and a little cash on top of it, I'll get the Donald's favorite hairpiece."

Monet grins. He /is/ an eager lil beaver, isn't he? "I don't need anythin' taken — except maybe a photo of you once you're done." She pulls an envelope out of the inner jacket pocket with her left hand and slides it across the table. It's sealed in only the mildest manner possible, right at that point at the center of the seal flap. "That is, if you're up to the task. I already see you can think on your feet. But now, I wanna see what else you're made of."

Jumpstart flips open the envelope. Knowing it's not exactly in his wheelhouse makes him instinctively more skeptical. She can see it sweep over his eyes even though his body language doesn't change.

Inside the envelope once he thumbs the flap open: twenty five twenty dollar bills. Five hundred dollars. Half a grand. Yup. "You got your way into the party the other night with balls and a smile," Misty says, bluntly. "And that's not bad, but it's not always gonna work. So if you wanna be workin' with me, you're gonna need to shine up that flexibility. And hell, kid, just /shine up/."

Jumpstart shifts uncomfortably, keeping his smile in place, finally venturing, abashedly: "Sorry. You gotta give me a bigger hint than that. What is this for? Exactly? This is way more than my normal weight, if you know what I mean, and I work in a world where debt is pretty much God and the devil all in one. I don't take it on unless. Well, I don't take on debts. Put it that way."

"It ain't a loan," Misty says, leaning back in her chair. "It's an investment. I was a poor kid who needed a chance, a break, just one shot once." She lifts the left shoulder in a shrug. "I was lucky I had a father who kicked my ass so I got good grades and stayed outta trouble. Not all kids got that. You got a lot of potential. So now? Now it's time for you to show me how much you got. Because balls and a smile like yours will take you some places, but they will also get you eaten alive by the kind of people who know you don't genuinely belong there."
She pauses a moment, enjoying the wary bewilder under his game face. "You wanna pass for uptown, you gotta dress uptown, sugar."

Jumpstart replies, "You want me to take this five Cs and put myself an uptown outfit together? For what, what do you get for your investment? I'm not trying to be, you know…suspicious of someone who has the rep you do. But, uh. I am. What you going to want me to /do/ with this uptown outfit once I got it and got used to looking as good as I will look in it?"

Misty blows a sigh out between her teeth and looks heavenward. "And I thought the boy was as quick on his feet as he is cute," she says, as if speaking to someone on the ceiling. She looks back at the young man for a long, silent minute as if to ask him, really???/. Then she says, "What I get for my investment is seeing whether you're the diamond in the rough and you can rise to the challenge, or if you're just a cheap, busted wannabe who knows deep down he can't walk the walk even though he tries to talk the talk."

Jumpstart replies, "The challenge of dressing like I can pass in a party like the one you was in last week." He nods slowly. "I…can do that. I mean, yeah, I can do that no problem. Not a problem at all." The money disappears. "I think I get it. Don't look at me like that, I've had a lot of favors done for me over the years that didn't turn out to be. Maybe you had a few yourself." he says, defensively.
Misty leans lazily on her left arm, still keeping the right folded in her lap. "Kid, I am on your side, here," she points out. "If you want me to be, that is." She straightens back up and leans toward him. "I do my research." And she's had time in the past few days being well below strength. "Your name is not the sort of name one forgets." There's a weight in that sentence, an implication. No judgement as such. Just a recognition that he has a past.

Jumpstart scratches his cheek. "I had reasons for doing what I done." he says awkwardly. "I don't know what exactly you heard but…I had reasons. I didn't ask for things to work out the way they worked out."
"You do know you're talkin to me, right?" Misty asks, lifting her brows. "You honestly think you're the first street kid I ever met to grow up in the ghetto an' do somethin' regrettable for 'reasons'?" The right hand comes up with the left as she makes those air quotes. "Fine. You did it. Are you done doin' it? Are you ready to move past your past?"
Jumpstart replies, "I've been proving that to my uncle all along. I guess I'm going to keep proving it until there's nobody left who remembers anything else." Except him. "Hey, don't yell. I don't know what you heard. A lot of people say a lot of stuff out there, you know that."

"Honey child," Misty says, tone firm but with a mild undertone, "Do you think I would have the rep I have, let alone this office, if couldn't tell the difference from 'stuff I heard' and the real deal?" She leans back. "Ok, havin' somethin' to prove is gonna get you killed if you tryin' to step your game up. That is not the point."
Jumpstart says, "I'm trying to move in new circles. Half the stupid crap I did was because of the people I was hanging with." The other half was trying to keep them from guessing what he really was. "I do have something to prove, but not to them. Some people took a chance on me, my uncle, my probation officer, the city process server people…I had to sweat out three license hearings before they agreed to give me a shot. So, you know." So /none/ of them can find out the truth, /ever/.

Misty regards Jumpstart in a moment of silence. "Okay, you know the circles I run in." This is a statement. It's not a question. It's a point, sharp, but presented bluntly. "A disadvantage in one circle is an advantage in another."

Jumpstart says, "I'm not there yet. I don't even own a five hundred dollar suit. The whole idea that the Green Goblin could blow up that wall right there any second to have it out with you over something you did to him last year scares the hell out of me. But you give me a job and I'll get that job done."

Misty chuckles. "that's not terribly likely, son," she tells him. "I don't generally run in Spider-Man type circles unless there's ninjas or street level foolishness. Or maybe, he don't run in street type circles unless he's not fightin' the Rhino or the Juggernaut or who the hell else. The little folks need little heroes. That's us. That's cool, because while your big ass Avengers are takin' on Skrulls and only God knows what else, people like Colleen, me — and maybe you — are lookin' out for the people who gotta be worried about not gettin' mugged on payday."

Jumpstart says, with some relief, "Exactly, exactly, some guy rips off some other guy, the cops don't care or can't find 'em, they give my uncle a call and bam, I go and get it back. I mean, it's mostly banks wanting their cars back but we get all kinds of other weird calls too. But, uh. Some of the rumors out there about me, I appreciate that people in your circles won't think twice about it, but out there…well, I don't gotta tell you it can be ugly. So I stay low. As much as I can, it ain't exactly my natural talent. But I've learned it."

"Good attitude," Misty nods approvingly. "But here's the thing. Even if you're not wanting to consider it your natural talent? Learn it. Get /good/ at it. Get /so/ damn good at it, Montes de Oca, because if you are lookin' to swim in the same pond as me, it is very possibly gonna be the difference between winnin' a fight an' losin' one. Or hell, not to scare you, but it could be the difference between life and death. You could be the difference between life and death," she says, with a certain expression that invites him to think in layers beyond the ones of discomfort, shame, embarrassment, guilt and regret that have been his companions of late. "You got courage underneath all that flash. You gonna need it if you workin' with me."

Jumpstart rubs his chin. "I, uh, I'll think about it. I meant staying low's not my natural talent." He's not going to even admit out loud that the ugly twist in his DNA even exists. "I hope you're right."

"I am right so often, sugar, you are going to find it really annoying," Misty favors him with a brilliant white smile. "Now hit the road. Come back when you think you can impress me." She starts to raise the right hand, thinks better of it visibly, and raises the left instead to make a 'shoo, shoo' gesture at him without vitriol.

Aurelio is apparently one of those guys who, despite having no money, spends a lot of energy and time on his appearance and makes no bones about it, so the five hundred goes a long way. He gets a solid three hundred dollar dark grey suit, does a favor for a tailor who takes it in in the waist, giving it a trim appearance and emphasizing his athletic shoulders and arms. He gets a designer vest out of a discount bin somewhere in Jersey - another fifty bucks - and a pair of black all-purpose dress shoes. Anyone who doesn't do favors for shoeshine guys does not work on the street in New York, so they're at a mirror polish. His hair is darker, oiled a little maybe? Nothing out of place.
His five o'clock shadow now looks like a rakish affectation instead of that of a guy who gets his razors out of a 99 cent bin and who had to be up at 4 AM to stake out a classic tricked out Pontiac. A handkerchief and a silk tie finishes off the impression. If he didn't spend all five hundred bucks on it, he spent pretty close to it, or at least he looks it when he comes back. "Hey," he says to the receptionist. "This is the GQ photo shoot, right? Check with Misty, see if she'll see me. Tell her it's Montes de Oca, suited up and ready for the spacewalk."

The receptionist remembers the voice so almost doesn't look up at him again. But something about his voice, a tone of confidence rather than smirky-coverup bluster, makes her look. She does a doubletake over her cat glasses. "Hm. Not bad, space cowboy," she says, giving him an unabashed nose-to-toes once over, lingering over the shoulders and the sharp creases in his pants. "Hey, Misty. Your project is back." She's not being mean when she says it, as if Misty takes boy toys and flings them away. After a second of listening to her phone, she nods. "Go on in."

Misty is in a foul humor as Stark Industries, thanks to that attempt on their warehouse, has been in a hubbub of activity. She is going to have to put her foot down and call Tony to get her arm looked at, and she hates having to throw down like that. So she's scowling down at her phone when Aurelio walks in.

Jumpstart does indeed go on in. He ignores her mood, assuming that his own awesome presence will cheer her up. "So. What you need robbed on Wall Street?" he says. "I'm ready for the uptown jobs, what do you think?"

Misty looks up. Like her secretary, she gives Aurelio a long, slow, nose-to-toes scrutinization. "Hm. Geoffrey Beene," she declares, apparently identifying the suit on sight. She has to make sure Luke Cage and Danny Rand are presentable when they need to be, now and again. "Good choice." She gets to her feet and actually walks a spiral around him. "The vest. A little old school, but I like it." She inspects his hair, the starch of his collar. She gives a close look to the tie. "I think you are probably a good eighty to ninety percent of the way uptown," she pronounces. "And I wanna know where you picked up an Italian silk tie for cheap, because that tie is easily worth almost as much as the whole suit!"

Jumpstart says, "Police auction. I knew it would be in the guy's luggage because everyone knows Joey Santino is the best looking check kiter in the five boroughs /and/ I saw he left his luggage in his car when he jumped his bail. Ten bucks bought me the luggage and everything in it. The shirts are, uh, way way too small, but I got three ties /and/ some nice looking suitcases in case, you know, I gotta pretend to be checking in the Ritz-Carlton or something."

Misty parks her hip on the edge of her desk, eyes bright with interest as he describes the methodology for having acquired such an expensive necktie. "See, that's the quick thinkin' I saw the other night that made me think you had potential. And clearly you livin' up to it. You could easily walk in any five star place now, and as long as you mind what you say, nobody'd bat an eye. So — how's it feel to have a new item in your repetoire?"

Jumpstart admits, "Pretty hot. I definitely think I could get some higher scale jobs done. Maybe even work a repo crew for one of the bigger outfits every so often, or the local private investigators, you know the type." A cocky grin. "So investment's looking good so far then?"

"Oh, yes, honey," Misty assures Aurelio. "You passed. There were a number of different things you coulda done with that cash. Some I'd have approved of, even if you didn't come back in a suit." She doesn't even hesitate to continue with the consequence of his failure, since it's no longer an issue. "The rest woulda had you pickin' up Chinese delivery for me when I got the munchies, and maybe shakin' down the occasional schoolyard drug dealer. You did real good, and are gonna be worth whatever deal we work out."

Jumpstart sniggers, "Yeah, I don't think that's gonna be exactly my style. So you got my number, yeah? I don't want to take up whatever it was you were doing, it looked like you were concentrating on something when I came in. Unless I can help? You got work now?" Eager again.

"Actually, I do," Misty says. "I'm having no luck combing the rooftops, so you're gonna keep your eyes open, your ears open, an' your mouth shut 'til you hear about — " She counts on her fingers. "Ninjas. Weapons moving around in ways rather than just the small time crap. And /especially/ about shipments people may want to move around. I'm not sure they're all connected. I'm not sure they're /not/, but these are the three most annoyin' things I got on the burner at the moment."

After a minute or two, she pauses, "I also could send you on a gig that uses the suit. Teenage daughter of a Latverian movie actress is gonna be in town. She could probably use a bodyguard who is not gonna mack on the baby girl. And the baby girl would probably sulk about it less if the body guard is eye candy."

Jumpstart says, "Bodyguard? Uhhh…guns aren't my thing?" Anymore. "If I hear a gunshot, the best I'm gonna do is grab her and get the hell out of dodge. Let me see what I can dig up on your weapon thing. I can see what trucks are up on blocks and which ones are rolling. I have a little nibble on the ninja info thing, but it's from this girl, so, you know, I wanna make sure it's okay before I tell it. If you know Spiderman, he was involved. Might be better to get it from him, she was pretty shaken up by the whole thing."

"Spider-Man's skinny ass is what got me involved with the ninja nonsense in the first place," is Misty's response with an annoyed wave of the good left hand. She's visibly torn between affection for and annoyance with the aforementioned wallcrawler. "You aren't required to use a gun to be a bodyguard, though I would make sure you had the kevlar if you feel the need. The daughter herself ain't famous, but you know what kinda crazies we got in this city. Grabbing her and getting the hell outta dodge would still be keepin' her safe an' unharmed. You got time to think it over."

"Oh, and one more thing, Aurelio." And just like that, Misty's tone goes serious. She very rarely uses his first name, and apparently situations like this are why. "Tell your boys to be careful after dark. The ones who are kinda-sorta-tryin'-to-go-legit? The ones who know guys who know guys who are still in it, and they think that just knowin' but not sayin' anything will keep them safe? Not right now. There's a crazy motherfucker out there right now, and he doesn't pull punches. You saw the article in the Bugle last week?"

Jumpstart says, "When you got attacked, yeah. Wait, you mean this is someone who is targetting, uh…" Well, don't put too fine a point on it, Ray. "…street criminals? Like the Punisher does?" Of course every street gang's bogeyman is the Punisher.

"You saw the article then." Misty shrugs out of the jacket, and reveals her arm is still in a sling. Thrasher's little fix is finally starting to wear down. "Yes, like the Punisher, only the Punisher does mercy bullets on small time muggers. This bastard will tear your throat out." She looks up and meets Aurelio's eyes, adding, "This is not a figure of speech."

Jumpstart replies, "I figured you meant an actual throat. Yeah, a lot of crazy stuff out there… I'll let people know to be careful." He's disturbed a little, eyes her arm. "It doesn't hurt you or anything, does it?"

"It's not hurting like you're imagining it," Misty says with a shake of her head. "At this point, I'm just mostly annoyed Team Stark is that busy. I'll have it fixed in a day or two when I get pissed off enough to throw my weight around." She gives a wry smile. "Point is, that he did this to me just for getting in his way." The bionic arm is only part of what got done, but Aurelio is not getting treated to Misty pulling up her shirt to show her new scars — still healing as fast as possible courtesy some Kun Lun meditation techniques. "And tried to convince me I was wrong for getting between him and the would-be muggers."

Jumpstart replies, "That is a real jerkoff. Mugging's not a capital offense in this state, last I checked. If you don't have a weapon it's barely a felony at all." That's someone who has been charged with mugging before. "Okay. If I hear anything…I'll tell you."

"He's not a jerkoff," Misty says, slapping her left hand hard on the desk for emphasis. "He's either on some kind of drug, or he genuinely believes he is a vampire. You see him? You /run/. You don't stand around. And anybody who does not run with you — too bad for them. You tell me where you saw him. And I get Luke or Spider-Man or somebody on the case." Because Misty? Not going head to head against Morbius again anytime soon without backup. "Go on outta here. Do you. Think about the bodyguard thing and check in when you got something to check in with." She picks her jacket up, turns her back, and goes to stare out the window, now agitated.

Jumpstart gets on outta there. Nobody will ever have to tell him /that/ twice.

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