1964-05-27 - With a Cherry on Top
Summary: Tanya just wants to eat her pie, but Red Arrow and some erstwhile baddies make this task difficult.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
tanya roy 

Another evening, another waste of time. Walking the streets brought her no peace of mind. The usual occurred: leering look and wolf-whistles because those jeans are painted on tight — lingering judgment by those gentlemen coming from from desk-jobs, ring or not — a few suggestive comments — all brushed away with a level of give-no-cares honed to a fine art.

It bring her to the present, sitting at the counter at a small deli on the corner of a street. A cup of hot coffee sits before her, steaming, and she stirs in another packet of sugar. So much sugar went in already — and then comes the slice of pie set down beside it. Cherry, of course — always cherry. Tanya gives the server, a sweet-faced young woman probably paying her way through actress school or something like that, a thankful smile. It's the Big Apple, they all come for the glitterazzi of fame and while some make it, many more fall, moth wings burnt from the bright lights. The pie is good, simple but sweet, a nice compliment to her coffee. She's got nothing in the fridge at home anyways, time for grocery shopping tomorrow.


The peace of the deli ends with the entrance of a man in red leather and grey fatigues, abrupt and noisy.

Mostly because he's flung through the large plate window in a dramatic fashion, glass flying everywere.

Snarling, he's on his feet almost before the second bounce, kipping to balance with remarkable celerity. He has something in his left hand that looks like a bow, but with at least four strings and large, cammed pulleys on the ends. Fast as the eye can follow he puts an arrow to the string and from the hip, whips it Sumerian-style out the window— almost before it leaves the bow, he's got a second one in hand, and it's nocked and goes flying, too. Broadheads glint in the light as he gets to his feet, shedding a kaleidoscope of broken glass around him.

Outside, someone screams in pain. A big man with a pair of machete sheathes on his back, and one in his hand, staggers backwards. One arrow protrudes from a gap under improvised armor that can't be bigger than a thumbnail, and the other looks to have been barely deflected by the armor into a lateral path.

"C'mon Dregz, is that all you've got?" Red Arrow snarls, as the big knife-wielding man rips the arrows out with a drug-addled dismissal of pain.


Indeed, there's no peace when little shards of glass lie upon the counter, in Tanya's hair, and — heaven forbid — on her pie. Okay, she could have excused the coffee, but the pie? Nope. There's a deeply-illogical streak of peeve in a ruined piece of pie.

Swiveling in her chair, still half-cringed in a flinch for the sudden scuffle that followed the shattering of the plate window, the woman glowers something fierce at the gentleman in rust-red and ash-grey. The first reaction is to leave the stool and retreat behind the counter, putting distance between the bow-wielding maniac and then…machete-wielding manic, what the hell?

"Okay, I ordered dessert, not a heaping helping of crazy," she mutters, content in the moment to simply kneel slightly behind the wall. The young server and most of the wait-staff scattered as did the few customers who were here indulging in late-night rewards of sorts, from dessert to conversation to more illicit activities either ignored or missed entirely. However, one must take into account the head waitress, calmest of the bunch, on the rotary phone in the back calling the police.


It's hard to tell who's doing what, because there's a hell of a fight going. The archer vaults the windowpane with effortless mobility and in mid-air, knocks and fires /another/ arrow. This one seems filled with a swiftly expanding foam, which immediately starts to gum up the machete man's weapon. The big fellow with two arrow wounds abandons his main blade and draws a pair of long knives from his belt— with his yellow and black painted armor (which looks more like football gear than anything else) and a hockey mask, he's a formidable looking foe, certainly— but strength and size seem an ill match against speed and mobility, and the man in red is happy to keep the distance and pepper his foe with arrows as they circle one another.

However, the red archer doesn't seem to notice a pair of thugs emerging from the shadows behind a parked van, and one of them aims a shotgun at his exposed back.

Tanya, however, has a clear line of sight.


The clear line of sight is enough to make her show noticeable whites of eyes. Oh…shit. If the guy in the fatigues gets shot, it's a near guarantee that the police will show up and there's going to be questioning and that young waitress saw her face and…

Dammit. It's worth the pie, it is. Tanya can't sacrifice the pie.

Those olive-green eyes blank to black, as if her pupil expanded dramatically to completely obscure her iris and the hiss to escape her teeth quakes. From her body lifts a barely-noticeable mist, not too unlike the finest woven silk in voided-color, and her nails dig into the wooden countertop as she stares directly at the skinhead in the tattered blazer aiming the doubled barrels dead on the archer.

Like a dog hearing a high-pitched whistle, the thug freezes and looks her way, attention drawn with unerring accuracy. "Say goodnight, big guy," whispers the woman, narrowed eyes flooding to beetle-black, glistening and empty. There's a little too much appreciation in those breathy words, likely lost to the crash and smash of the sparring. Like a wraith, the eerie null-energy drops over him like some horrifying combination of a wet towel and thermal shrink-wrap plastic. Immediately, his air is cut off; immediately, his response, at first, is to drop the weapon to the cement and claw at his face. Then comes the unnatural slowing of movements, as if paralysis is settling upon his mind, and he drops to his knees, clearly reaching for something that isn't there.


Roy launches another arrow at the big man with the knives, hitting him in the thigh and driving him to one knee with a bellow of pain. The sound of someone choking behind him— or the clatter of a shotgun hitting the gronud— gets Roy's attention. The lean archer flickers a pair of arrows to his bow and with that low snapping motion from the hip, flings them at the two men. They separate in mid-flight, and when they hit, blue gas *poofts* around the two men. The reflex to inhale in shock is a powerful one, and the two fellows both get a lungful of the powder. It seems to work quickly as the soporific brings the men to their knees, then collapses them on the ground.

Roy turns in place, nocking another arrow, but all the villains the area seem down for the count, for the moment.


Whether it was the clinging and glorious despair of the skim of darkness or the incredibly potent and immediately-effective gas clouds — indeed, all seems to be still. With a sharp inhale to mark the return of her eyes to a normal peridot-green, Tanya stands behind the counter. Her concurrent sigh is equally marked and she flicks a shard of glass with a disdain nearing that of a cat with wet feet. It meets its demise on the linoleum floor with a sad tinkle of sound.

"Alright, are we done now?" The question isn't spoken in any particular direction, but her gaze, most impudently, lies upon the archer in red and grey.


Red Arrow whirls towards Tanya, half-readying his bow— but with no visible weapon in her hand, he pauses before actually loosing the weapon held at low hip-ready level.

"'We'?" he asks her, a little scornfully. "-I'm- done. I didn't start it, but I damn well finish it when someone does," he remarks, in a low, rough baritone. He keeps the arrow clamped in place with his left index finger, but releases the tension on the string. "Don't tell me you're with -them-," he says, jerking the point of his chin at the dregs of humanity clutching themselves in pain on the ground.


"Do I look like I'm with them?" The scorn is thick enough to spread on bread. "I was eating pie. This slice. Right here." The dark-brunette points to the ruined piece of cherry tart, embedded through and through with glistening pieces of glass. "Your little show of Robin Hood shenanigannery ruined my dessert. You owe me pie." She folds her arms beneath her chest, most definitely on show by the fit of the shirt beneath her peacoat. By the thin set of her lips and carriage, this one means business.


"Beats me," Red Arrow tells Tanya, matching her tone. "You're the one standing here griping about pie in the middle of a knock-down brawl." He sets the arrow in his quiver and effortlessly flings his bow onto his back— though like a good archer, he doesn't use the string as a strap, but instead clips it into some cunning metal brace.

"Explain to me why I owe -you- pie. I wasn't the one trying to rob the cash and carry," he says, jerking the point of his chin at the credit union a few houses down the road.


She doesn't leave the sanctity of behind-the-counter, simply widens her stance and locks her knees, mulish nature up front and personal.

"I believe you smashed through that window, if I'm remembering things correctly. There wouldn't be glass in my pie if you'd been…oh, I don't know…less clumsy." Tanya takes a moment to eye her nails on one hand, the smallest curve of a smile on her face. Oh yes, she saw the athleticism. She saw the amazing placement of the arrows from that bow. All the better to beard the lion with that which he considers himself best.


"Yeah, I'm real torn up over it," Red Arrow says, with an expressive roll of his eyes from behind a domino mask. "What was I thinking, dodging bullets and throwing knives." He shakes his head and cranes his neck, hearing the tell-tale sound of sirens approaching quickly.

"That's my cue to leave. Maybe file a police report, or flash those gams at a cop. Who knows? They might buy some of your hot pie." He knocks an arrow and casually aims it skywards, and a thin cord follows the whistling arrow as it goes upwards. With a *thunk* it hits something, and Arrow starts gathering in the tension to his belt, where a little pulley winds up to haul him upwards.


That facade fractures around the edges when Tanya too realizes that the wail of police cars can be heard from a distance. She purses her lips and comes to a quick decision. Around the counter, through the little waist-high saloon doors that designate the barrier between restaurant and kitchen, and she steps with little care across the restaurant towards him. Glass breaks brittlely beneath her boots and her hips roll with a natural ease that either comes from lucky biology or long practice — perhaps both.

"I'll forgive you for the slice of pie if you'll take me with you. I'd rather not file a police report." Her voice has lost the sharpness, rounded out instead to take on a velvety uncertainty beneath the cadence. "I'm hiding from someone and they're on the force. …please." She stops not but a feet from the archer, either brave enough to ignore the utter bizarreness of the weaponry or simply uncaring. Dark lashes partially veil the olive-green eyes that seek out his behind the mystery of the mask. "Please," she asks again, quiet still, perfect parts rueful and beseeching. Perfect parts.


Red Arrow eyes Tanya speculatively when she speaks, clearly misreading her attentions. Once she gets closer, however, his eyes narrow slightly at her plaintive request. It's very difficult to fake that level of fear, and the concern in her voice clearly registers with him on an instinctual level.

"Fine," he says, seeing the first car rounding the corner on the far side of the block. He grabs Tanya's waist, roughly, and holds her against him. He feels liek sinew and knotted hardwood under her skin where she gets a handhold. The machine on his belt groans in protest, but with a skittering of his feet against the sidewall of the building, it hauls them to the roof before the cops can arrive on scene.

He hoists her up the last bit over the building's lip, with a bump of his knee and an impersonal hand under her rump, then lithely vaults up the rope and lands on the roof's asphalt in a low crouch.


With a huff of displaced air for the sudden grab and hold against the line of his body, Tanya is taken from the ground. Indeed, finding a truly-startled grip on his person means taking hold of leather there and fatigues there, but it's not forever that the night air is rushing past them both. The scrape of her shoulder against the wall of the building after the mechanism reaches the end of its ability to regain cord makes her grimace and then, up — flippity-shove-oof! Onto the roof.

It's a far less graceful landing than the archer who joins her not shortly after. She has one booted foot tucked beneath her while the other leg sprawls and a locked elbow keeps her from becoming supine. She drags fingers through her dark hair to get it out of her face.

"Thank god." Straightening that arm and leaning back on the other hand leaves her in a slouchy arrangement, tousled hair and all. "That's quite the skill set you have, Mister…?"


"Arrow. Red Arrow," the archer says, in a low, muttered sotto voce. "And keep your voice down. We aren't -that- far from the street." He scampers along with a monkeylike bent knee posture that's surprisingly mobile and quiet, moving to the far side of the room where someone's got a little garden growing. Once he's in the middle of the flowerbed, he takes a few seconds to rearrange his gear after the encounter, and grabs a thin roll of gauze from a beltpack and starts wrapping it around an ugly red knife wound on his lower forearm that stains his leather wrist bracer an ugly, shining black.


The draw of her brows communicates a sense of quiet perplexion as she watches him get to work on what appears to be a wound. Gathering up limbs, Tanya carefully crawls on hands and knees to the edge of the rooftop. Peering over with utmost caution and silence, she watches the second cop car pull up and the appearance of two more uniformed officers. Doors slam shut and the conversations can almost be heard from this height — almost. A satisfied smirk curls her lips, giving her shadowed face a devilish twinkle in her eyes and she pulls away with as much hushed movement as initially enacted.

Staying low, she too makes her way over to where this Red Arrow works on self-administering wound care. If he's paying any attention, her own movements speak to an education in utilizing the least amount of energy to make it from point A to point B with the least amount of sound emitted. Boots shouldn't be that silent. The scent of disturbed earth rises up around her as she crouches near to him. Someone watered today and the growths of some vegetable are small and green still.

"So…Red Arrow," she murmurs in mid-alto. "It has a certain…je ne sais quois. Not Little John?" The lightness of the question is what imparts the tease.


"Little John?" Red Arrow gives Tanya a level look, clearly unamused by her attempt to get a rise out of him. Muscles move like snakes over his bared arms as he ties the gauze off— it's been heavily impregnated with some kind of powder that almost immediately clots the blood and keeps him from leaking. "You never read the books, I guess. He wasn't much of an archer— more of a brawler." He ties off the gauze with a bent metal clip, locking it down. Even the gauze is a dark grey in color— practical and low-key. The red of his shirt is a dark enough that it won't exactly 'pop' in low light, either.

"Who are you, then? Am I really supposed to believe you're just an 'innocent bystander' here?" he inquires.


And here Robin Hood was supposed to have Merry Men.

Those clear-green eyes roll to one side before she stands up to her full height, which isn't much but grants her knees relief. She dusts off dirt as she grumbles to herself about the fact that she did, in fact, see the old movies.

"I'm a perfectly innocent bystander," opines Tanya, giving him a sweet smile completely at odds with the dark glint in her look. "I was innocently having a piece of pie that became a casualty of a brawl." A little sniff imparts her unaltered feelings on the matter. Given the odd play of the light and shadow from the moon, it would come as no surprise if it seemed as if the rays caught in her irises all of a fleeting second. "You don't really need my name anyways…" There's a slow, slippery core of conviction in this statement, impressing upon Red Arrow that truly, there's no reason to pursue that line of questioning further.


"…fine," Red Arrow says, as if her pointed rebuttal has driven itself home. "Whatever. It's your life." He watches her stand up, but stays in a low, hunkered squat, resting his elbows on his knees. "Guess everyone has a reason not to wanna talk to the flatfoots."

He does that odd little kneewalk a little ways towards the edge of the planters and peeks over. They're pretty well concealed, so he moves back to the garden, finds an unopened bag of potting soil, and sits on it. "They've got the block surrounded for now until they cordon off the scene. We might be here a minute."


Oh, well. That was easy. She watches Red Arrow check the perimeter of the rooftop and thus, he might miss the fleeting passage of regret over her features. …damn, but it's lonely sometimes when you're new in a big city. Folding her arms conceals the act of hugging herself in a moment of self-pity and Tanya looks up from watching how the moonlight shines off the clean patches of her boots.

"I figured as such." The ambient sounds of the process reach through the murmur of the city nightlife, doors shutting and radios crackling, voices rising and falling over the continuous rush of distant traffic. "So…Red Arrow." Not Little John, though that same flicker of tease remains. "Why all of this?" A single finger brushes all of him with the gesticulation up and down before retreating away beneath the folded sleeves of her peacoat.


"This?" Red Arrow echoes her gesture a little flippantly, at his sternum. "Y'know. The usual. Dad hit me too much, not enough, take your pick. Wanted to be a circus folk, didn't like clown shoes."

He digs in his belt and comes up with what looks like a little cookie or cake wrapped in wax paper, and takes a few heavy, quick bites. It smells strongly of peanut butter— some kind of trail bar, or something.

"Why all" he mirrors her gesture back at her. "that? You like the attention, or are you just more comfortable in children's size shirts?"


Peridot-hued eyes flatten. "I'm anything but child's play, Red Arrow." Delivered with the precise balance of toe-curling conviction and haughty dismissal, she turns and walks away a few steps. Always let them watch you leave…for at least a dozen feet or so. Turns out that the end of the rooftop is an irritating reminder that she is indeed stuck up here until the police complete their task of securing the area.

She remains there, indulging instead in the new viewpoint of the city skyline. The glitter of electric light wavers faintly in the night, stark against the solid outline of buildings. The stars beyond are more ephemeral in their multitude and — ew, what the hell, her brain is going poetic on her.

A snort and she toys with one of the buttons at the collar of her coat. "You're a vigilante then?" Turning her face to him brings it back into better moonlighting.


Red Arrow chews on the snackbar deliberately, taking his time to finish the bite, savour it, and relax. He stares at Tanya, and juuust when she's on the edge of thinking he's ignoring her— he swallows, sucks air between his teeth, and shrugs at her.

"If that's the word you like. Ain't a cop, ain't helpin' rob the bank, so— guess that doesn't leave a lot of options, does it." He wads up the wax paper and shoves it into a cargo pocket, his thin-soled shoes gripping the asphalt as he lounges on the potting soil.

"Anyone ever tell you you're kind of chatty for a dame who's hiding from the cops?" he inquires, loftily.


Tanya clearly rolls her eyes this time, not even bothering to hide it.

"We could ignore one another in stoic disapproval and refuse to talk entirely. I'm perfectly content with that option and — " She twirls a hand a few times before her sternum and bows slightly in mockery of courtly manners not seen for nearly two hundred years. " — I'll even let you be the gentleman and stop talking first." The palm is left out and upright before those delicate fingers curl in and she straightens. "Unless you want to be the vigilante. Go on, give me a smart rejoinder. Come on." The look leveled on him haughtier still given the fact that she can literally look down her nose at him since he's still seated.


Red Arrow stares at Tanya, flicking the last little crumbs of peanut butter from his teeth. He rises to his feet, dusting his fingerless gloves on his grey cargo trousers as he gets there. In no particular hurry, he meanders over to Tanya, easily moving into her personal space with a casual regard for polite proximity and gives her a thoroughly speculative once over.

"I'm sure I don't have any put down that'd even ruffle your petticoats," he tells her, resting his hands on his belt. "Any dame with your fashion sense probably doesn't give two toots about anyone's opinion."

From his tone and expression, it is impossible to tell if he just put a shot across her bow or paid her a high compliment, and before she can put it to him, he walks past her to the edge of the roof and props a boot on the low edge, peering down at the dwindling brouhaha below.


There's a steel frame under those unruffled petticoats and she doesn't move one little centimeter away from his approach, brimming with insouciance as it is. It makes her tilt her chin up to remain in eye contact with him and she rolls back her shoulders in a simple unconscious reaction to his closeness. He's got this low voice with a touch of gravel and…now he's walking away, dammit.

Glaring at his retreating back — and lower, don't lie, girl — she then stomps as silently as she can over to his side. "You smell like Captain Crunch cereal," she observes in quiet tartness, " — and you look like an Errol Flynn reject. And you're right, I don't care."

Indeed, things seem to be settling. Only one cruiser right now and it seems like they're nearly done taking statements. One officer remains by the driver's side door while the other is writing something down on a notepad. It's the young waitress being interviewed and this gives her good reason to fold her arms again tightly. It comes with the perks, of course. "I have to find another diner now and this one had good cherry pie." She cocks one hip, looking over at Red Arrow. "Look, let's just get down from here and go our separate ways and you promise never to disturb me eating pie again, okay?"


Roy doesn't seem to hear her— he's watching the cop, and checking the streets to make sure no cruisers or suspicious unmarked vehicles are lying in wait for him to pop up. He's quiet for a second, then tilts his head backwards and to the left, at the far side of the roof. "Fire escape's back there," he tells her. "Might have to do something a little ungraceful to get down the last step if the ladder's broken, but worst case, aim for the dumpster to break your fall."

He turns to walk towards the edge of the rooftop and digs out that grapnel arrow again, the muscles in his upper back and shoulders cording as he tensions the bow. With a *fwip* the arrow flies towards a more distant building and locks into place, and he wraps the cord around a notch on his bow as a handhold.

"New York's not as easy as you thought it'd be, huh?" he asks her a bit rhetorically. He turns, half looking over his shoulder at Tanya. "The Big Apple ain't Chicago, lady. You can keep swinging that tight lil' rear around, but if you let little stuff like this rattle you—" he shakes his head.

Without another word, he grips his bow tight and leaps off the side of the building, whistling into the murky, upwards spilling light of the city street below.


Tanya eyes the far diagonal corner of the roof, with this mythical fire escape, and shrugs infinitesimally to herself. It'll do. It's done before. Escape is escape. Run and fight to live another day and all that jazz.

An arrow's impact brings her attention sharply back to him and she listens silently, weighing the chances of a polite drop-off to the street below rather than clambering down steel bars in boots. No such luck. He leaves her with mouth slightly agape and a quick step up to the edge of the roof simply to see where he swung off to.

"You…smart-ass," she grumbles. "Little stuff. Ruined pie is not little stuff." Someone's got interesting priorities. Regardless, it's actually not too much of a travesty making her way down the fire escape. Indeed, it's a drop to a dumpster with a landing muffled as much as can be by lithe legs and practiced bend of joints, and the woman saunters out onto the sidewalk like she meant to be there. Off to home. Another day, another chance to hunt out another diner.

And hopefully avoid Captain Crunch there.


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