1964-07-24 - Stealing from Eric Clapton
Summary: Promise Superman didn't do it!
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
clark vesper 


On first thought, Cafe au Go Go is a good idea. It's an iconic bit of bohemian culture in Greenwich Village. Barely a year or two old, the great musicians of the day crowd onto the quilt-sized stage. Hip beatniks, bohemians, and cool cats gather in close to hear the likes of Jimi or Bob or Janis.

On second thought, Cafe au Go Go is a terrible idea. A place rife with smoke poisons the Gallic brunette with every breath. People crushed in close bring their own libations, the liquor license strictly banned. The night is young, the air electric and alive, awaiting some new legend to emerge from the darkness. A young man loiters around on the stage, holding a guitar. The bill reads in a simple black and white bit of font: "Jam session tonight / Butterfield Band + The Cream + Eric Clapton + Mike Bloomfield & others. Admission $3.'

Vesper is squeezed in against too many people and the wall. The urge to fall into the shadows is not entirely beguiling. She mostly ignores it, other than to say, "They are worth it, I am told."

Clark looks around worriedly. The longer they are here the worse off Vesper seems to be. In an effort to give her a bit more space he uses his back as a shield and the wall as a brace as he pushes against the wall. Maybe most people wouldn't be able to push so many people a couple inches. But not everyone is a "mutant."

Neither is Vesper; that, however, needs no little conversation to really explain. Her head tilts slightly, the sunglasses on her nose oversized and ridiculous in a place so dim. But no one is likely to argue about it, given they're all too cool for school. The hip cats wait impatiently, chattering with one another, while the guitarist clicks his fingers against the neck of the instrument and starts idly strumming while the sound techs flip between sets. The Butterfield Band isn't up for going on so early, huddled outside in the alleyway at street level having a cigarette. Or a few things harder than the norm.

The rest of the Yardbirds aren't around. The fellow with his particularly bobbed English hair starts breaking into a bluesy chord. So begins the jam session, slinking in, bringing out all kinds of interest and curiosity. The slow, slick wobble begins, and there's suddenly a band hastening their way to the stage.

"Boom, boom, boom, boom,
I'm gonna shoot you right down.
Right off your feet,
Take ya home with me,
Put you in my house.
Boom, boom, boom, boom."

Now that Clark has gotten some space for Vesper he smiles down at her. More than anyone he's ever spent this much time with, the frenchwoman had a lot of good ideas on where to go to have fun. Back home in Smallville there was walking in cornfields and…well, it was mostly just walking in cornfields. In the past few weeks he's begun to feel as though he's really understanding New York, really seeing it. And that's the reason that he came here in the first place.

But let's be honest, he does stick out like a sore thumb. His hair is shaggy, which is the style these days, but his clothing is from a different era and a different part of the country. Unfamiliar with the song he doesn't really sing a long, and he's not much of a dancer. The smile on his face, though, shows he's having a great time though.

For what it's worth, she's probably never seen a cornfield in her life. She also calls it maize, deferring to Clark's knowledge. Vesper cannot be trusted to really have the least opinion of a farm that parallels reality except to say 'food comes from a farm.' Marie Antoinette probably knew more.

Not that it matters. She's French. French means cool, even if she prefers much different music than this. Most of the crowd simply sways or occasionally snaps their fingers. Picking up on the lazy beat of 'Boom Boom,' the jaunty, slippery baseline and the piano pick up on an echo of the same bluesy song. Wordless growls and snaps accompany it, surprising that someone so relatively skinny can project such a song. He doesn't sound like he's a fifty year alumnus of the delta, but damn that boy can sing. Rasping and growling, that kid named Eric rules that particular jam session.

Clark won't have to worry too much. Vesper wraps her arm around his waist and moves to the music, almost effortlessly carried away into the beat. It's easy. Sometimes she is the wave, sometimes it's her. She squeezes him once, leaving not so much as a dent, pulling him a little closer. They're not the only ones.

Clark relies on her for the rhythm and as her body pulls him closer the arm that's bracing the all envelopes over her and pulls her just as tight. Growing up all that was in his house was country western music and Elvis, so this is something alive and different, which makes him feel just as alive and different. "Can you see?" he asks, fully willing to making their way to the front if she likes it better there.

Vesper isn't especially tall. The crush of people surely don't impede Clark much but the chances she could see are limited at best from their present situation. Not without a chair or ridiculous heels. Scratch the need for either. "I may hear," she replies. The sinuous seduction on the ears invites being able to move - really, to groove.

"I love to see you strut
Up and down the floor,
When you're talking to me,
That baby talk; I like it like that.
Whoa, yeah! Oh, yeah, walk that walk."

Let it be whatever he wants it to be, her arms snarled around him.

Perhaps emboldened by his desire for her to be able to see, along with an inflating bit of courage, Clark decides to lift Vesper up off the ground as easily as your or eye could lift a pencil. He brings her up and over, intending to put her upon his shoulders so that she might be able to see a bit better. Most guys might get tired of carrying someone, but that won't be a problem with this farm hand.

The moment might be momentarily startling. Vesper automatically loosens her embrace and goes slightly slack rather than rigid. Not really deadweight, though. And certainly not to someone as strong as the Kansas farm boy by way of Krypton. Her startled cry isn't at all audible through the music building up to a gutter smack of guitar. The musician and the pianist have themselves some kind of duel like gentlemen settled things with pistols or swords ages ago. Ducking a little for the height of the roof, Vesper adapts to her new perch. "«So high up here!»" Her French might turn a few heads. Not many. "Are you making your preparations to run away now?"

"Run away?" Clark says as he holds her knees down so she doesn't slip backwards. "Why would I want to run away?" A few people might look, but it's a small price to pay for Vesper to be able to see, and eventually it will be all the rage anyways.

"Putting me up here makes for an easy getaway," answers Vesper. The smokers are abundant and there isn't much to speak of for good decor. Sure, it's flammable. No chance of a concert fire at the moment nor any queasy scent of smoke. Her lungs will protest with a mild flutter every few breaths and that's no different. "This would be how you can carry someone off quickly. Except the stairs, those are awfully low." She's right; the subterranean club has a pretty rickety, tight staircase.

The growling notes become a faster beat as the song flips over, and the main Yardbirds guitarist in the future is finding a second song for his jam session.

Clark caresses her right leg with the back of his hand, "As soon as you're bored we can make our break." He chuckles before he adds, "Wherever you want to go after that is up to you." Somehow, despite all of the cacophony of sounds all over the place, something strikes the Kryptonian out of place. His body underneath Vesper goes rigid as he focuses on what he hears.

She can't very well dance up there without causing Clark discomfort. Or flaming flamingo pink. So Vesper manages not to shift about too much save for a spot of clapping. By no means masterful at music, she can hold the beat. Bobbing heads and shoulders spread out before them. The pianist surrenders to the second guitarist plugged in to join the thrill, and a drummer forgotten in the corner. Thus the soul of the cafe lives up to its hyped name. Dance, groove, and be cool. Her fingers briefly dust along his hair in an affectionate ruffle. Going stiff under her is a measurable difference. She carefully looks over her shoulder into the dark and then up to the lit crowd. "You do not have to stay if this is not to your tastes?"

"Someone is stealing the spare equipment," Clark says absently as he's still listening intently. Clark twists slightly to put her on one of his shoulders. Then, reaching up his elbow he gives her a ride down as he lowers his arm. "They want to steal the bands vans."

A troubled look creases her features. "Their equipment? In a van?" Vesper is easier to drop than lift thanks to the fact she is mildly prepared for the descent. She slides right off his shoulder and lands on her feet with a bounce. "I am grateful for capris." No doubt they both are. The sweep of her hands and tug on her shirt make everything look right. "We call…" Who, the drunks at the bar call the police? The first band up there high on pot and who knows what else? Nuisances, them. The rule of helping seems to apply. She nods to Clark and takes his hand. Not impressive, how fast she moves on the ground. Not really. In the sky? Another matter.

Clark's eyes are on the floor as he follows along with her, holding her hand and letting her take the lead. "They have extra equipment from some larger shows at larger venues," he says as almost in a trance. "I can't tell if they want the equipment or just want the van. There's a staircase that goes down the side of the building. Over there."

Looking about through the dark would be infinitely easier if she could simply cease to be herself. The very idea of that being a solution grounds Vesper more than anything. An apology here or there for nudging into the dancing beatniks wins no thanks from them. It isn't meant to as she leads Clark by the hand on a fairly direct course. Soon enough they're headed up the stairs, nudging past the people watching the performance from up there. A total violation of fire code, natch.

"When we get down there, stay behind me," Clark says as he leaps down the stairs several at a time. "I think they have weapons, though it's hard to see it from here." See it? Yeah, it is. Given there's a building in between them. Either way it doesn't take him long to scale the steps and get to the back door, which he throws open.


Vesper stares with widening eyes behind her sunglasses at the door bound to open before them. It's a busy street with taxis coming and going. Greenwich hums after dark and Bleecker Street is busy. Heck, a certain Sorcerer lives a couple blocks down. The Devil they know, however.

Off of the busy sidewalk there are just as many sprawling one-way roads and service alleys. Vesper simply starts strolling past the building to find any sort of cover. It's less for her than for modesty.

Because, really, falling invisible is the thing to do right?

Clark walks down the alleyway and is, for some reason, completely unafraid. He approaches the van in question from in front of the grill. There's a lot of activity towards the back and another vehicle behind it. "Hey," Clark calls out as he gets towards the back part of the van. "This stuff doesn't belong to you guys," he declares. The crooks in the back of the van seem dumbfounded, as if they never thought they might be interrupted and certainly not by some kid in red and blue plaid shirt.

One's girlfriend - are they that? Shocking! - turning into light means a serious advantage. By the time Clark reaches the van she's already there. A relatively simple electrical system ought to be easy to navigate. In through a headlight and Vesper needs only run where the copper wires go. Never mind she gets stuck in a bulb twice until she figures out the way out of a bulb. No matter, it's not flashing to light. Yet.

They'd probably be more dumbfounded if they understood that young man telling them to back off robbery is a journalist. They might be doubly so with a girl playing snakes and ladders to find the ignition. It has to be in here somewhere, right?

"Hey kid, we don't want no trouble," says the more experienced crook. He knows that violence in this situation means an automatic long term jail sentence. The younger crook is not so wise and pulls his gun, aiming it right towards Clark's chest. BLAM BLAM BLAM! Round after round strikes the Kansas farmboy in the chest, but he doesn't even move. He simply reaches out and takes the gun from the crook, throwing it against the wall. "He's a mutant!" yells the older man.

The protesting cry in a liminal spectrum means nothing. Vesper ought to stay safely where she is in the wiring, dancing along those conduits fed by the battery. They give her no barrier to emerge unseen. So often being in this form means she has the relative usefulness of a cucumber in a disco - there for show and not a whole lot else. But the older man and the younger one are facing Clark. Not the one behind them who perceives the wrongness of a torn shirt and no blood. It takes her concentrated effort to even make herself visible as a glimmering of light.

"Repent. Run." Trust a girl raised in a strict boarding school Madeleine style to know how to sound stern now and then. Or she hopes it does. It might really just sound a bit weirdly disembodied even though her glowing outline is there.

"There's another one!" yells the surprised criminal. That's enough for him, he's booking it. Lucky for him, too, that he's not in Clark's reach. The other one, who is, gets his shirt yanked where he is unceremoniously tossed down upon his shoulder. The Kansas farmboy has a not so happy look on his face. "Listen to her, because if you don't, you're going to have to deal with me."

For the most part, the incandescent outline of the girl has few telltale features. Sunglasses tilted back don't exactly do much harm but her eyes are glowing the same shade as the rest of her: mostly amber. She could make an excellent turn signal for Clark running at speed. Speaking is difficult when focusing heavily on holding herself even vaguely corporeal. Her hair waves around her as though underwater. Not running yet? She points a finger at him and the building spill of light comes simply from the street lights in the vicinity. They dim briefly as she pulls more or less unconsciously. "Go. He gives you a second chance."

They do not need to be asked again. The baddies take off down the alleyway and around the corner. Unfortunately, the gunshots will soon bring the police. And the three holes in Clark's shirt are not really in style. "We should probably get out of here," he says, looking upwards in frustration at the likelihood of missing the rest of the concert.

Vesper emerging from a perfectly solid object likely looks strange. Beyond the pale, even as she simply slips out of the dashboard glass and lights. Her toes touch the floor of the van between passenger and driver's seat, and then she has to ease her way through with an entirely physical nature. She doesn't have to turn sideways to squeeze through. Her mass is negligible. Clark thought she was easy to carry before? This is practically nothing. Her hands rise out of habit to cup his face if he doesn't pull away. She is light and sheds a certain warmth as a result. Those wide eyes darken to topaz, discernable as more human in all ways. "My place. We can have dinner and watch television." It's not the best alibi but it counts.

|ROLL| Vesper +rolls 1d20 for: 13

Clark smiles as she cups his face, enjoying the warmth for a few moments. Though he doesn't really understand why, he often feels that he is somehow pulling energy from her. It brightens him every time. "I'll be there," he says as the smile turns to a grin. "You want to race?"

An intangible kiss might be living electricity to his mouth, lingering there for several seconds. "Not fair," she warns. Is it really when he has the wavelength of a sunny morning floating off the ground? "Bang bang." It's supposed to be the nearest imitation of a starting gun. Then she simply vanishes out of the spectrum again.

It takes eight minutes for the sun's light to reach Earth. Two seconds for a signal from Earth to reach the Moon. Thirteen minutes, on average, for a radio signal to hit Mars if there were any satellites out there. How long it takes her to cross Greenwich Village isn't even a fair measure.

She won't talk about how she missed at first and fell into the Hudson if he won't question why she has a towel laid out.

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