1964-01-22 - Connect The Dots
Summary: Tommy spies Ava walkin into an opium den, and drags Hope in after.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
ava tommy hope 

Ava is a young woman of many talents. And many allegiances. Most of which she makes a very strong point of keeping apart. For example, she hasn't told anyone at ALIAS that she also works for SHIELD. And she hasn't told SHIELD about everything she does with ALIAS. And she still keeps more than one place to live. One on the books and one off.

While there are big enough issues in the world and out of it with the aliens, there are also issues that are more human in nature. Like drugs. Drugs aren't Ava's preference, but she's willing to pretend if it means gathering more information about the latest one on the streets. And where better to look for one drug than where you know you'll find another?

She hardly looks like herself when she steps into the nondescript building, dressed in a skintight, short dress of dark green with her hair pulled up…but then again, that hair is distinctive.


What's Tommy doing out? The same thing that he's /usually/ doing out. Taking a run through the streets of the city for no other reason than to stretch his legs. It's good exercise and occasionally either provides an interesting target to fleece or a familiar face to spot. In this case? It's a bit of the latter.

…it's perhaps fortunate for Tommy that there aren't any telepaths around because it's the dress that draws green eyes to Ava first. Hey, he might not /touch,/ but can't help but look. …but more specifically, a girl dressed like that, going into a building that doesn't seem to have any particular purpose? That has all the hallmarks of an interesting place to go.

Yes, the hair /is/ pretty familiar looking to be certain, but he's hasn't made the connection in his head /just/ yet, not nearly as quickly as his twin did. Of course, he's not exactly /alone/ right now either, so there's a couple of pokes directed towards the girl running alongside him as he goes.

"Hope! Hey, hey. Didja see that?" he's pointing backwards, and looping around. When running together, a sudden stop is even less feasible than running alone, afterall. "I /bet/ there's a party going on in there. We need to go." Because really? He's promised himself that since so many parts of her future /suck/ (seriously, no pizza?), he's going to introduce her to as much fun as he can. How little he knows of what's coming up as the man in the leather jacket and jeans slows to a stop outside the building, and makes his way inside after the sharply dressed woman.


Going out for a run on a cold New York night means wearing actual clothing that's sensible rather than sensual. Surprisingly there is a difference. The concession to looking good? Hope has a rather swingy green coat, more mint than jade, which proves totally impractical for a proper gallivant. It constricts in the worst ways, looking great on the exterior with its bell shape, and getting in the way for everything else. Thus it's unbuttoned to reveal a rather scandalous striped knit shirt, much more comfortable by her liking, but not really all that stylish.

Her zipping movements are equally as smooth as Tommy's, though. He stops on a dime and she stops on a haypenny just because she can. When he halts his path through the dens of iniquity and inequality, she more than likely is right there as his shadow or a guide. "What? Here? I thought you were more likely to want the place with all the noise and smoke around the corner."

Several blocks over, but still a corner at Mach Thom.

"A party?" Her eyebrows lifted, Hope gives a bit of a nod, somewhat incredulous. "We're not going to stick out too badly, are we?"


It's hard to say what sticks out inside. It's dimly lit, with soft music playing on an old record player in a back room. Curtains hang everywhere, as does heavy smoke that makes the head spin just a bit on its own. There's a desk in the entry-way, manned by a middle-aged woman of some Asian descent with hooded eyes. The magazine she flips through is hidden behind the desk, though. It might break the atmosphere.

And atmosphere there is beyond the curtains. Chaises and more drapes, where patrons lounge and drink, letting the smoke take them away. Ava sets her elbows on the desk as she steps inside, glancing toward the back of the house. "Do you have an opening?" she asks quietly.


Are they going to stick out? It's debatable, ut "It's all about the attitude," Tommy assures Hope, "Works anywhere, really. If you act like you belong, you're gonna. They might have a… less favorable opinion about your sense of style, but…"

Of course, when they walk through the door and see that it's not quite the rave that Tommy had expected at first, a brow arches slightly. Well. /This/ was certainly not what he was expecting. A brief glance is given over towards Hope; well, trying new things was on the list, so unless she's backing out, he's going forward. You only live once, right?

He stops behind Ava, glancing forward at the desk and the environment that surrounds them. Debating how to best fit in… and deciding that attempting to be more mellow is probably better than his usual attitude. He makes his presence known by leaning towards the redhead in the dress and speaking, softly but with that same familiar accent… "Much of a wait today?"


This is not her typical environment but, arguably, is anywhere? Biting her lower lip thoughtfully, Hope stuffs her hands deep into her pockets rather than leave them completely out in the open. It leaves her arm bent at an angle easy for someone to hook onto and guide her out, and redoubles the wordless elegance she scrapes up from somewhere.

"I should just run out and find a slinky dress and heels, you're saying." Her chin lifts slightly, a hint of a threatening mischief and bold, glittering confidence burning in her eyes. "Not happening, baby. I like the way I look." Besides, she'd probably come back in a leather coat and leather pants, so might as well live a little.

Ava she assesses the same as that woman with hooded eyes, giving them both an opaque nod and not much more.


The woman at the desk gives Ava a look, slowly turning her chair to look to the back. "There could be space," she says, without even a hint of an accent. Apparently she's mostly for show and atmosphere. "But it depends on what you're looking for. And who sent you."

Ava nods, smile faint, and opens her mouth to answer just as Tommy shows up at her elbow. She starts to turn toward him…and then she recognizes him, the faintest spark popping off her fingertip when she does. Her expression doesn't change, but the look in her eyes is sharply warning.

"This is not a deli counter," she drawls, glancing to Hope behind him before she turns back to the woman at the desk. "I heard the dragon was here from the cheshire cat," she answers. "But I was actually wondering if you had anything…special."


Unlike Billy, Tommy's not about to go blabbing out, 'Hey, I know that chick!' at the sight and recognition of Ava — helped through a good look at her face and the spark from her finger. Yes, he saw, and yes, he remembers.

"If it was a deli counter, I wouldn't be here." Tommy shoots back. It's true. He probably would've just ran behind said counter, grabbed a bunch of whatever he was looking for, and made his way elsewhere to snack. Because waiting for food? Oh no, nononono. He doesn't play /that/ game very well.

Hope's addressed next, the platinum-haired teen leaning back to talk to the redhead he came with as Ava makes her conversation with the desk minder. "Well, I wouldn't /complain,/ but I like the way you look, too… and I'm the one that matters, right?" he asks, winking cheerfully in her direction while trying to listen to the conversation in front of him, as well.


The smoky mystique of an opium den is more familiar than other corners of the city. It's also more fraught with danger, which might be why Hope keeps her mouth squarely shut when Tommy starts defusing the conversation by channeling his usual teenaged bravado. Right, he's a man who has never made lasting acquaintance with subtlety. Oof. Letting Ava do her work smooth-talking the mistress of the establishment seems a bit safer than interjecting.

"You might think so," she says in an aside to Tommy about dressing for his pleasure, developing no clear answer on that front. She stands a little taller, though, giving no sense she is at the least uncomfortable about her surroundings.


The woman at the desk sniffs, waving a hand toward the back. "Money on the counter, then you go back. And maybe I see if there's anything new. Always the young ones want the new things," she adds with a long look at Hope and Tommy.

Ava slips a few bills across to the woman, giving the pair her own look. After a moment, she slips a few more bills over. "I will take them," she says, tipping her chin upward. "Show them the rules, yes?" she smiles faintly. See? She's totally helping the establishment out here.


The temptation to stick his tongue out at Hope is there; but that'll wait for a later point in time. You know, when they're not in a place that — admittedly — he doesn't entirely know how to deal with. But sometimes it really is just about acting like you belong, or in his case, being around someone you sorta-kinda know who's acting like they belong.

Speaking of… the offer to show them the ropes is made, and while not directly /at/ him he flashes a grin in that direction. "I think we're both willing to learn. Right, Spicecake?" asks Tommy, glancing backwards.


Sticking his tongue out would be a good way for her to yank it and let it roll up like a windowshade. Then where would Tommy be, other than imitating Odie? Sadly Garfield is not a thing yet. She gives a little smile to the woman at the desk, one dismissing the cares that could possibly linger with the 'young ones' clueless about the world but willing to pay filthy lucre to get it.

Hope does a better job of following after them, and she nods. "I've never said no."


The woman at the desk gives them all one last look, then nods. Ava, for her part, pushes the curtains aside and steps into the back, where the smoke is heavier and patrons lounge on chaises and groups of low-lying chairs. More curtains hang around each grouping, granting some semblance or peace or privacy for those who wish to chase the dragon on their own.

Ava makes her way to an empty grouping, starting to load the pipe while she waits for Tommy and Hope to settle in. Only once they have does she pull the curtain to give them a little privacy and let the bored expression fall from her features. "What are you doing here?" she hisses - mainly at Tommy. Clearly he's the instigator.


Oh, that may have been the wrong question to ask. He's on his best behaviour until the curtain's pulled — which, admittedly, isn't saying much other than he's trying (occasionally? /very/ trying). Once it is and that question's asked, though… "I saw /you/ walk in." Tommy replies, lips curving into an amused smirk. "Didn't know you were into this kinda thing, but…" He'll go with the flow. New experiences are just that, and it extends to him as well as his partner in crime.

Speaking of whom? He can't help but /grin/ in response to her comment about never saying no. Oh, there's /so/ ways he could stick his foot in his mouth. But for the moment, he opts to keep it shut.

She probably knows anyways. He might even be bracing for a smack.


The slow, easy answer comes in a slightly clipped accent. "Looking for information." Hope twitches the nearest curtain behind her with an easy gesture, and then she settles deeper into a seat. For all the casual ease Tommy has, she could bolt off towards the back door at a moment's notice. Too many points obscuring clear paths to entrances and exits for her liking, and the tension settles into the base of her spine where it intends to make a happy home for a few hours.

There's no hope of matching Ava's elegance and she doesn't even bother. Those two engage in a battle for the night's purpose. She merely looks at the table and then measures whether anything passes as a menu or an object to throw in her own defenses. "I'm not resorting to helping you." Tommy's on his own.


Dress or no, by the time the curtains are pulled, it's clear that Ava is on edge as well. The difference is that she knows the building, knows the people, and can come up with six ways out if things go south. "I am working," she mutters at Tommy, even as she passes Hope a pillow. Hey, if he brought someone to beat him up for her, who is she to turn down the offer?

"And so help me, if you make one smart comment about it…" She trails off, letting another spark jump between her fingers to complete the threat. "This is a place where drugs are sold. There is a new drug on the street. This is a place that maybe I can find out about it." While her words are mostly free of accent, there's a slightly different cadence to them that suggests English is probably not her first language.


While Tommy doesn't know all the ways out of the place… he knows enough. The front door's pretty easy to make from here with his speed if things go south, and if a block of escape is prepared? There's always the option to go through the wall. The ability to blow things up? Pretty useful in the times a quick escape is needed. Even if it'd be a fairly tight squeeze these days, thanks to reduced powers.

"Wait, wait. Hold up a second." Tommy replies, changing gears just like that. Lowering his own tone and turning green eyes on Ava. "You're chasing that /Vigor/ stuff?" Oh, yes. The speedster knows about it. He keeps his ear to the streets more often than not, and has friends of friends who've been affected by it. That changes the game from 'potentially enjoy some vices' to 'mission time serious face'. He'll save the smart comments for later, because this is something that /matters./


"Your source is a blonde woman, about thirty, glamorous as much as people expect here. Hair teased about this tall," Hope indicates a height that's pretty impressive considering, "and has a taste for cigarettes. Filtered, as it happens." She combs her fingers over her shining locks, something that can be easily mistaken as grooming due to being surrounded by prettier people, or a challenge to her footing as the beta female in the current setting. Anyone overlooking them through the curtains, if it were possible, can easily draw this conclusion. The pillow ends up in her lap. She eyes it and probably measures whether any tassels can be used to add to its impact rating.

Her knees pull higher. "No point or need to say it's not safe stuff, is there? Because it really isn't."


Well, that's an unexpected windfall. Ava blinks between the pair, caught between being glad to have gotten some information and being piqued that she went through all the effort of cleaning up and coming here when she could have done the whole thing much more easily. Without pouring herself into a stupid tight dress.

"I mostly knew there was a drug," she admits after a moment. But she's taking in the information, filing it all away. And since Hope seems reasonable and Tommy hasn't made introductions, she offers a hand to the other redhead. "I am Ava. What else have you heard?"


"You both know me, obviously." Tommy chimes in, relaxing back into the seat he's in. Now that Ava's taken the burden of introducing herself — and sparing him the shock he's pretty sure she would've loved to deliver to Billy the /last/ time she was made, introductions carry forward. "Ava, this vision of loveliness that you just armed is Hope. Hope, Ava's a friend of Billy's and mine."

Granted, as soon as the redhead he's /not/ dating was out of sight, one-way introduction would've been made anyways. He takes the 'no secrets' thing pretty strictly, because honestly? The boy doesn't want to be kept in the dark. Not again.

"I, uh, clearly don't know nearly as much as she does." There's a glance over towards Hope. He's curious /how/ she knows, but that's a story for another time. "…but I /do/ know it messes people up pretty badly, and makes them like us for a while." Thus, exactly the sort of thing he'd like to deliver into the middle of a Friends of Humanity luncheon and watch the chaos unfold. With his piece said? He'll let Hope fill in any more pieces to the puzzle that she cares to.


"Hope," adds the eponymous redhead so armed. It might be unnecessary but she's not going to be rude, especially in the company of someone who got her entry. She chews on her lip for a moment. "I don't know a ton. It's not like I took the drug, I'm not stupid. But this woman is selling it around bars and fancy places. She codes them in vials using coloured dots. I noticed a few different ones. Red, green, blue, yellow. Probably has something to do with effect or dosage? Not totally clear except the girl who drank red totally threw flames from her hands. Started a brawl and some big strange guy, like nine feet tall and German, punched her out."

Her eyes narrow a fraction. She's not a summer soldier, and she stands up to any scrutiny or disbelief. "Seriously, he was taller than a door. Soon as she went down, no more fire. Whatever this crap does, it makes these people go out of control with abilities. Wonky powers. I've seen… what, claws, fire, really loud shouts, weirdo hypnosis."


Ava purses her lips as Hope explains, rubbing her hands together slowly in her lap. She doesn't seem like the sort for nervous habits - she seems colder than that - but whatever this stuff is, it's put her on edge. And apparently that has side effects. Like the slight electric blue glow building between her fingers. "That is…dangerous," she says slowly. "On many levels."

She looks back to Tommy, considering. "The woman with the hair," she muses. "Where can she usually be found?"


Hope's explanation is noted in his head; information shared is information gained, to be sure, she has a lot more of it to offer than Tommy does. So he in turn offers a slight shrug lets his eyes carry from Ava to Hope, and shrugs his shoudlers. to the question posed. He doesn't know, but he sure won't stop his companion from answering it.

His only addition to the conversation? "You can say that again." to the prospect of it being dangerous; Tommy may not always make the best choices, but there's some things he won't even try.


"Farrell's in Hell's Kitchen, far as I know. She seems to be fairly mobile." Hope supplies that after mining her thoughts for whatever constitutes a useful fact, coming up with a name. Success scores a victory for getting the drugs dealt with, hopefully, and she nods to Tommy. "I never found out what she calls herself. But in terms of what she looks like, she's a total glamour puss. Flashy as all get out, and totally confident. Which stands to reason given she's pushing."

A distasteful look gives no question on what side of the divide for Vigor she stands on. The redhead reaches over and squeezes Tommy's hand. "It'll be less of a problem soon, with any luck."


"I know the place," Ava nods, glancing toward the curtains. After a moment of consideration, she nods once to herself then stands. "Thank you both. I…think I should go and investigate there before any of this gets too complicated. Thank you," she repeats herself, pausing to give Tommy a look before she starts pulling curtains. "Be careful," she cautions him. "People here don't trust if you're flip."

She doesn't wait for a response, slipping past the curtains and heading toward a door toward the back - just one of the ways out.


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