1963-09-12 - The Road of Good Intentions
Summary: Just a mercenary, an alien, and a bohemian beating up a groper, and possibly out nicing one another.
Related: N/A
Theme Song: None
domino rogue karolina 

Late morning in Central Park and, happily, it's turning out to be a warm day. Lucy knows she's been fortunate so far — New York is much colder than California and she needs to find a place to live before the temperatures drop. For today, though, she's trying to keep her mind off of that. Last night she stayed at a shelter, blissfully unmolested, and got up in time for coffee and an only-slightly-stale bagel. She's not complaining at all.

It's warm enough that she sheds her coat and slings it through the strap of her duffel bag as she meanders into Central Park, munching her bagel. One of the worst things about being homeless is being bored. Her life in California was non-stop activity. Here, she's always at loose ends.

When she sees a businessman drop his newspaper into the trash, she dodges a few people and darts that way. Reading material is scarce, unless it's religious tracts, and the local librarians seem to have a radar for homeless people. All she wants is to know what's going on in the world.


The universe works in mysterious ways. Just the other night Domino was robbing a store during the early hours of a new day. Today she's back in the Big Apple, lurking in Central Park, hoping that the large black sunglasses she 'acquired' will help give her a bit more anonymity by covering up a lot of the black spot encircling her left eye. But the part that's really weird, the one single action which could be seen as some sort of otherworldly guidance…

Is that she reaches for the same discarded newspaper as the homeless girl does. At the exact same moment. Both of them had swept toward the trash bin like vultures eyeing fresh prey, emerging seemingly from nowhere. Both after the same prize.

Ghostly white fingertips fall upon the slightly crumpled pages then stop, holding steady as her masked eyes turn to look at the other girl, as if silently asking 'where did you come from?'


The day's affairs dawn light at the bes of times, and a young woman in a definite rush cuts through Central Park, as though the several hundred acres of greenery give a quite route to anywhere. However, with the usual choked streets and subways clotted by commuters going here, there, and everywhere, the less obvious path can prove more direct.

Tea graces her hand, a steaming brew contained in a rather sturdy cup rather than the usual cardboard. Over her bag rests a rather elegant bag, at complete odds with the backpack brimming with usual array of a student: books, paper, pens, ham-fisted attempt at a lunch. Culinary skills lacking or a scarcity of resources probably amounts to the sorry state of a wrapped sandwich tumbling out behind her on a path while she darts around a pair of pokey dog-walkers, and bypasses a businessman on the back of a murmured apology. "Pardon, in hurry to make my class."

That sorry sandwich rolls between the pair of women fighting karmically over a newspaper and its mistress swivels around much too late, glancing over her shoulder at the open zipper of her backpack.

Full lips round and she blows out a tired sigh. Not her day.


"Oops, sorry," Lucy is saying just as she's interrupted by a stray sandwich. Oh. Well. That's awkward. Lucy abandons her quest for reading material and retrieves the wrapped sandwich gingerly.

"I think…" She offers it to the woman who probably lost it, the one with the open bag. "I think this belongs to you."

There are worse things than can fall out of a backpack. Lucy has a suspicion that at least one of her fellow homeless people is toting a body part around with them. It's the only explanation for the smell she's willing to entertain. Anything else is too terrible. She's not sure where she went wrong in her short life that a random, rotting body part is the less horrible explanation she can muster.


One more thing which Domino has learned about this city: Never, ever, question if a situation could become any more strange. Suddenly there's another woman hurrying past, one who seems to be awfully well dressed for someone who is trying to make it to a class. Then there's the fallen sandwich.

The albino eyes the fallen prize for a moment, one hand still on the discarded paper as she looks back to the homeless girl. Then she motions toward the sandwich with a twitch of her head. "Pretty sure I saw your name on that one, kiddo."

Free food for the girl, uncontested victory for the paper for Dom. Win-win?

Glancing at the sandwich had also given Dom a chance to look at its previous owner a bit more carefully, actually considering if there might be anything of value worth trying to take from her. The idea is soon set aside, however. What she needs is cash, trying to find a fence for petty wares is too much trouble. She can just hit up another store later.

Once more this city throws her a curveball as the homeless girl offers the sandwich back to its original owner. Eyebrows rise behind the shelter of her cheapie sunglasses, muttering a soft "Huh" as she absently swipes the paper out of the trash. Nothing to see here, folks!


Domino has reconnected.


No one in their proper state of mind is likely to mistake Scarlett for other than she is: a bohemian, one of those strange people with stranger ideas who congregate en masses in Greenwich and East Village, though the latter's really just an extension of Greenwich Village. Youth favours her, and her hat stays fiercely in place thanks to a wealth of pins. It's the only human explanation for her rotating so quickly without it flying off and decapitation some Soviet spy.

Her sandwich is a truly sorry thing, a squashed baguette stuffed by lettuce, a slice of irregular tomato, and some kind of meat filling that smells nice enough. It simply got crushed between books and more esoteric belongings. Her tea is held up to avoid being poured out by accident, then she droops forward from hips and shoulders, snatching up a stray pen that dropped to the path on her turn. Just not her day. "Finders keepers, I'm starting to think," she says.

It's easy to mistake her for an English girl in New York. Her voice very clearly carries an accent, soft and well-formed, but it's too New York to be recent off the boat style. "You can keep it. She made a bargain, then."


"Oh, thanks." Lucy's smile is genuinely grateful even though she's getting increasingly worn with this whole thing where people can tell she's poor and hungry. She didn't think that would be so wearing but it really is. So is being dirty, or at least never being properly clean. "I'm getting lucky lately with running into nice people — was starting to wonder if there were any around this town." Her accent is definitely from somewhere else, south and west and probably west even more.

Lucy looks over at the other girl, sizing her up to see if she needs feeding more than Lucy does. She's not about to eat when someone else is hungry. The other girl looks like she might take offense to the idea that she can't feed herself, which gives Lucy pause.


The more that happens here the more confusion Domino is feeling. She almost looks at a loss of words when the Bohemian so readily abandons her lunch. Almost..but not quite. "It wasn't even mine to bargain with," she replies in a voice which almost seems a touch lost.

And if someone held Hat Lady upside down and gave her a good shake, what else would fall off of her? This could be a game all of its own!

There's also the matter of that white streak in the lady's hair, something else to idly ponder as she backhands a fly away from her face then glances down at the paper. Trying to actually read any of it will have to wait, now she's too distracted by everything else going on. But, she can easily keep an eye on these matters while appearing to not be paying them any mind.

Why does something seem really ..off with this encounter..? Something isn't right, she can -feel- it.

Soon her attention is drifting further away from the two, seeking out others within the park. She takes a few slow steps away from the garbage bin and turns, trying to get a read on everyone nearby her.

Something's wrong, something's wrong…


No one rightly will mistake Scarlett for a starveling. In dire need of a week's holiday and more, given the start of the university year that's somewhat alarming, but still entirely in rude good health. Her braids twitch and sway as she moves, the papery poppies woven through them lending a lattice of colour atop the flaming strands. "I insist. If I were so callous to drop it, someone else ought to have it. Maybe a shiny penny will turn up in my path later."

Her warm tone meets with a tired, but sunny smile, and she raises her shoulders in an unburdened shrug. Never mind how overstuffed the backpack is, and the other bag, she's armed for scholastic moose. Instead, she opens the lid of her teacup and pokes at the liquid with a fingertip to assure it is very much still hot, perhaps scalding.

That white streak is very well concealed, but an apt eye might spot it. And then they might discard it for someone who is so plainly what will come to be called a flower child in a few years time. "Truly, it's fine. I agree, the city could use a few more people ready to offer a smile and a helping hand instead of scurrying on their way without so much as a by your leave. You might believe no one here was raised with manners, but they usually do." A pause follows, and the bohemian smiles wanly. "Their thoughts tend to preoccupy them. Mind crossing the street, else you become a squashed dreamer."

Wise advice to all. Even though Domino is departing, she waves lightly in that direction. Manners trump all.


"Yeah, I worked that one out the hard way." Lucy makes a sad face. True. Her mother always said she "bounced" when it came to things like falling out of trees. Fortunately, that held true her first week in the city, when she bounced right off a cab's front bumper. She still has the bruise. Speaking of preoccupied…

The little nagging voice that keeps her out of trouble most of the time draws Lucy's attention back to the white girl. Really white more than pale. The girl is looking around like Lucy does herself when she's feeling like someone might be following her. Lucy can't help but scan the park herself, with that little prickle rising at the back of her neck.

Paranoid, Lucy scolds herself. Still, suddenly she wonders at the serendipity of this meeting. She can't just go being friendly with everyone. She's going to get caught.


Domino isn't gone just yet. She's..doing some recon. A hidden switch deep within her mind had been triggered, now her entire world is in a state of unrest. The noises, the commotion, the scents in the air, the very -colors- (and Miss Bohemia does have a fair amount of bright colors to her name…)

It is perhaps with a bit of irony that the colorful woman is talking about manners seconds before someone accidentally bumps into the wandering albino's shoulder then gets punched square in the face as the monochromed woman spins about on her heel, instantly in a defensive posture.

The punched man, probably in his forties, quickly holds up his hands despite being completely dazed. "Please—! I didn't mean to!"

The white lady looks about ready to strike him again while he's still down on the ground but something stays her sudden outburst from getting further out of hand. While it isn't too late to spare the man a worse fate, it's much too late for any sense of Dom being incognito around the park. It's quickly drawing a lot of attention, something which she's gradually starting to realize as the guard edges out of her posture and her raised hands slowly return back to her sides. Curiously, she's still holding onto the paper.

Lucy isn't a stranger to unusual feelings, though the only person really out of place here isn't the guy scrambling back to his feet and running away. That albino, having felt a similar sense of paranoia, is now the very root of the problem.


The unease around the pair of those women projects itself upon Scarlett, and she withdraws a few steps, pulling on her bag. The urgency that set her forth upon the leafy byways and broad, lovely avenues of Central Park instead of fighting her way through the underground rail system pricks at her again.

"You sound new here," she tells Lucy, as much a question as a statement. "Are you trying to get somewhere in particular? I may be able to provide directions, at least a general idea of where you might begin." Correcting herself for the city state they dwell inside, she inclines her head towards the tall line of impressively posh apartments flanking the west side of the park. "Otherwise, I can leave you to your own devices." An absent statement, that.

She's already rotating in the direction of the fellow about to have a collision with another immovable force. The punch brings her hands to her mouth, sealed teacup and all. Surprise burns across her face, those huge green eyes one shade too stark. "Mon dieu, c'est quoit ton probleme?"


Lucy was about to spin one of her stock lies about being in town with friends when Domino punches the man in the face. She's not remotely shocked, which is in and of itself shocking to her. All she wonders is,

"Is that one of those gropers?" The gropers are one of her least favorite parts of New York City. They make her extremely cranky. "I wish I thought of that," she adds. Punching. Why has she never really considered punching? It's not in her nature but people need to keep their hands to themselves. Her concern is for the girl, not the man.

"You better run," she yells after him, stepping closer to Domino, her new hero, Puncher of (Probable) Gropers. "Are you okay?"


Um. Whoops.

It's the sunglasses which manage to conceal the fact that Domino's eyes are wider than usual, left standing alone around a loosely formed ring of bystanders. It's as if the entire city is holding its collective breath, waiting for an explanation for the outburst. Think fast!

"That gentleman made an inappropriate pass at my person."

One by one the frozen bystanders begin to thaw and continue along their way, much more wary and hesitant but quick to pretend the whole thing never happened at all.

Dom sloooowly releases her breath, head dipping forward long enough to pinch at the bridge of her nose. If the expression 'get a grip' ever had an associated posture, she'd be doing a great job of demonstrating it. What pulls her back out of the moment isn't a force of will but a voiced question from the Newspaper Girl. Her next breath hesitates, her head lifting away from her fingertips to silently consider the girl. Not knowing just how to answer such a question, she automatically claims "Yeah. Fine." It's followed by the softest of words being sworn under her breath, her raised hand physically dismissing the entire situation as she states "It's nothing. Sorry."

Then she offers the newspaper to Lucy.


"Oh, thanks. That was the best," Lucy says, a little awestruck. She takes the newspaper but only because she's really not paying attention to anything else. "I wish I could do that. Men are terrible, I didn't think they were terrible before, but they really are." She's practically starry-eyed.


… Bwaaaah..? Domino actually reaches up to absently pull the sunglasses away from her eyes, properly staring back at Lucy with her pale blue gaze uninterrupted. Maybe she really -is- losing it, here..!

"Are you for real?" she asks. It doesn't even sound all that sarcastic. But, it does give her something familiar and usual to latch onto. Something that remains well out of place for a civilized society.

"You could do that," she replies without giving it much thought. "Are the boys giving you trouble?"

Ding! Common ground discovered!


"Always." Lucy stamps a grubby sneaker on the ground in frustration, tossing her hair like an irritable little pony. "I almost ended up in a cult my first week here." And she just got away from one, thanks. "I thought the guy was being nice, but…no. And then some other guy in the bus station said he could get me "work". Well. Work." Her eyeroll suggests just what kind. "I have a bruise on my — backside," she says, dropping her voice. "From some guy I didn't even see on the train. I feel like I'm wearing a sign." Maybe not a sign but "blonde waif" is a hard role to play in a hard town.


The white lady's expression turns cold and hard as she hears the story. A perceptive individual might notice that it isn't from Lucy's description so much as that her story hits a bit close to home for Domino. "Yeah," she says in a flat, low-pitched voice. "I can help you with that."

She didn't completely forget about Miss Bohemia, though. She glances up to Rogue then motions her on over. "Feel like learning some self-defense?" She seemed like a nice gal, why not extend the offer so long as this is happening?

"It's all about control, standing your ground. You need a strong posture, so long as they can't disrupt your foundation nothing will get through."

She'll cover the basics. Pressure points, soft tissue targets, where and how to catch people off guard, mostly things which will either interrupt another's behavior or drop them to the ground in order to make a hasty retreat.

There's a couple pointers on really messing up someone else's afternoon, too. No lady should be unprepared! Proper revenge just makes her all glowy inside.


Lucy tucks her new acquisitions away in her bag on top of her folded coat. She's up for a little learning, any time. Laura is going to be proud of her for learning to take care of herself a little more — she hopes.

Lucy's a quick study at this stuff. Oddly strong, too, for someone so slender. And maybe a little eager for figuring out how to do something like hurt someone for getting into her space.

"This is the best luck, running into you," she says warmly. No sarcasm. "I wish I'd learned this instead of tennis." They frown on using the racket for hitting anything but the ball.


Dom just might be a bad influence, she's all too happy to teach this other girl how to make others hurt. Personal experience doesn't help matters any, here is a very Not Nice person teaching someone else how to be similarly Not Nice. Some broken noses may result.

Inside, she's kinda hoping that's exactly what happens.

"Never too late to pick up some new tricks," she suggests with a thin smirk. It's even managed to lighten her own mood! It's a nice change of pace, being seen as something other than a resource or a reject.

"You're a quick study. What's your name, kiddo? I'm just…" she pauses, then shrugs. "Domino."

Because normal is over-rated.


"Lucy," Lucy says cheerfully. She offers Domino a proper handshake. Manners, of course. "Lucy West. I've always been good at that stuff, guess it's just from running around a lot as a kid."

Normal is definitely overrated. No matter how Lucy tries, she usually comes off a little too normal for where she is now. Too straight and narrow, too cheerful, too steady. That's the problem with bouncing where other people go squish. A girl stands out.


Fewer ideas in the world are worse than sparring with the soul-thief. One, gloves aren't present, and two, the idea of Mr. Gropy McGroperson evidently holds some upsetting qualities for her. She glares under her sunhat at the man and proceeds to loiter until invited. Mostly.

"A few minutes, I suppose," she murmurs, mentally doing the math on how high an arc trajectory she needs before she goes crashing back down to Columbia, hoping no one notices she's flying around the speed of sound. Not at the landing, obviously. Bonny smile and a bit of jabbing and defensive gestures prove a few things. For one, her physique is lithe but the young woman evidently knows her way around her own balance. Years of yoga, the hardcore sort practiced here, will amount for that. Two, she mostly blocks on her sleeved arms and with very little apparent force. Her style is much more step out of the way-do than smash your ribs in-te.

"I'm Scarlett," she'll offer after that, clutching backpack and book bag. Don't try lifting either; they're heavy. Mostly. "A pleasure to meet you both."


A nod is given to Scarlett, the albino making eye contact for a moment as if trying to read the other woman once more. The way she moved back there, just..something a little peculiar. Maybe she's used to being more of a 'proper' sort, less hands-on with the motions. That she had already been running late before all of this went down doesn't seem to bother Dom one bit, either. Not her concern!

Then there's the matter of shaking hands, clearly not the most familiar of actions for Dom. Lucy can probably tell as much. The hold is firm but the timing cues aren't quite read properly. Just awkward enough for someone else to notice. "That running around has served you well, it seems. Never be the victim, ladies."

She might have chosen her words a bit differently had she really known about these two. "Afraid that's all the inspiration I have to offer today."

Maybe she should get in the habit of punching random strangers more often…


"I hope I see you around." Lucy is still starry-eyed about the whole thing. Lady friends and hitting things — she may have found her happy place, even if she hasn't found a place to live. "I'm, well…" She gestures around them. "I'll be around. Not like I have anywhere else to be."

"You, too," she says to Scarlett. She starts to offer a handshake but hesitates, remembering the reluctance to touch earlier. Maybe she's just got a germ thing. Lucy wouldn't have been in a hurry to touch homeless people herself back when she was, well, not like this. Scarlett looks pretty fancy — not proper fancy, like her own family, but modern. Very New York. Lucy is a little envious, to be honest.


"You might try stopping by the Jefferson Market Gardens. Something new they're starting up since they just got the property secured this last year, but there are always veggies to be picked, flowers to be planted, and fresh showers to be had," Scarlett offers as a off handed suggestion. "We're a friendly bunch over there and welcome another pair of hands. Usually we end up in a communal picnic by the end of the day," she notes with a certain, rolling ease to her speech and gestures, even if she might be prone to running off.

"Forgive me, though I have to be off to class. As much as I might wish to stay — and I very much do — I need to be there before the rest of the seats are taken up." Not the way to show off on the second week of classes. She beams a smile, giving a friendly wave to the pair of women, and if there were doubts about being shy or a germaphobe, that brilliant candor is enough to brighten an overcast sky.

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