1965-01-28 - Desperation
Summary: Elmo and Lindon meet a friend of Lindon's on the street, and Elmo's faced with a choice. (NPCs by Triton)
Related: Desperation II & Un-Breaking Bethy
Theme Song: None
triton elmo lindon 

There was an actual date, like going to see a movie type date. '36 Hours' was released just tonight. It's late, and the pair are walking, probably toward the subway. There's frost on Lindon's breath as he says, "I thought it was pretty good, but of course the book it was based on was better. The books are always better." He has his hands shoved in his pockets for warmth.

"Not always," Elmo says, walking alongside Lindon. He's in his big overcoat and it's /cold/. Trying to back up his assertion, he says, "There's…uh…Taming of the Shrew? Maybe because I can't read through Shakespeare."

Lindon tilts his head curiously at Elmo. "You can't read through Shakespeare? But he's the immortal bard." He hunches his shoulders against the cold, walking beside Elmo as closely as he can without it looking strange. "Anyway, Shakespeare doesn't count. His works were meant to be seen anyway."

James was nearby trying to move things in his trunk. It was a long night and a stressful one for anyone paying attention which, well, no one really was. Not in this neighbourhood.

"They are?" Elmo says, surprised. "Wait, I guess they are. That's why they're plays!" Suddenly, a lot of unhappy hours in English class make more sense to him. "I just thought they were made up to torture me," he adds, glancing up at Lindon with a smile in his eyes. "How about To Kill A Mockingbird. …No, book definitely better." These are the kinds of conversations he and Lindon have, when they're not screwing like teenagers.

There's someone doing something suspiciously like loading up boosted goods and it attracts his attention, spending time with JP like he is. Maybe the guy's moving. Maybe not.

Lindon laughs and says, "Surprisingly few works of literature are made to torture someone." He purses his lips, then admits, "Some of them are, though. Writers are a strange and often bitter lot." He considers To Kill A Mockingbird, and he says, "Yeah, the book was better, but the movie was pretty good." Lindon is clueless as to the moving of things. He should probably spend more time with JP.

James might be shady ifthat could be said about the guy that does someone's dry cleaning or pushes invoices around an office. Closer insspection finds him putting a cark jack and a tire back into his trunk or is attempting to. Seems just a tire but getting it in there is heavy and unweildy. The trunk lid sprank open and he sighed, "Lizzy, did you have to put… the stupid car seat in here… now?" Oh yeah, he was dasterdly. Here was to reshuffling things. The pair caught his eye though and he blinked warming a subdued smile, "Lindon? Is… that you?"

Elmo can't deny being slightly disappointed. JP is an absolutely terrible influence on him. He looks at Lindon, since he's being hailed by name, but offers, "Hey, pal, you need some help with that?"

Lindon peers at James for a moment, then perks up. "Yancy," he says. He picks up his pace as he says, "Hey, this is my friend Elmo. Elmo, this is James Yancy, he works at the Brooklyn branch. I'm downtown these days so we don't see each other very much." He offers his hand, sees it's gloved, and takes off the glove to be polite. "How've you been? Yeah, you need some help?"

James looked to them both slightly embarassed and sure enough it's as he groused about. "Yeah, I jsut had to change out my flat but for the life of my I can't tell you why my wife mistakes my trunk for a storage attic." He nodded to Elmo and said, yeah if you can grab the other side I can hold this back so we can fit the tire i there?" Car seats in the 60's were a bulky menace weren't they? Lovely. He shrugged and answered Lindon's question honestly "Eh, Bethy's had a cough she's just not lettin go of, and LIzzie insisted on getting a job which is kinda …well I'm not thrilled she has to, but her employer's been good to us so I can't complain. How're you? How're things in central?" He paused at the hand and showed him teh dirt on hisas they wrestles withthe tire, "Sec."

"Nice to meet ya, James," Elmo says, going around the car to do as requested. He's wearing gloves, too, and strips them off because they're a lot harder to clean than skin. "We'll getcha on your way."

"Yeah, we will in a jiffy. He stands there as his hand goes unshaken. Awkward. So awkward. "Um… okay we'll just… right." He takes off his other glove too for the same reason Elmo does. "The double income must be nice," Lindon says, "Um. I'm okay. Still single, but I've got lots of friends and we stay busy. Still in the apartment in Queens." Because giving out one's home location is brilliant, Lindon.

|ROLL| Elmo +rolls 1d20 for: 10

James shook his head and countered with, "Yeaaaah, Bethy's hospital bills have been somethin else though. Keepin our head above water though." Looking up to Elmo he smiled, grateful, "Hey, I appreciate the help. James, or Jimmy. Nice t'meet you." It wa something Lindon said that warmed a smile on his face, "No kiddin? My aunt's in Queens. Where abouts? She's off Penelope and 80th."

Elmo makes a startled hiccupy sound when Lindon says he's single, but has 'lots of friends'. He puts in a heroic effort to not start laughing and just focuses on the task at hand, helping James heft out the car seat. It's minor, but that he does this kind of thing all the time is obvious.

Lindon gives Elmo a sidelong look, and he purses his lips so he doesn't smile. It's easy to forget smiling at the mention of hospital bills. "Ah, yeah, that is rough." When James mentions his aunt is from Queens, Lindon perks up a bit. "No kidding? I'm not too far from there, Penelope and 75th. What are the odds?" Somewhere, Lamont is gnashing his teeth as Lindon tells people his address, practically.

Somewhere John is about to tell Lamont 'You complain about me, but I don't just hand out my address to associates' even though he hands out business cards. It was not a time in life to try to play favourites.

The mild mannered researcher tiredly but warmly offered to him, "Yeah? We'll have to visit next time we call on her. You still have the cat? Bethy wants one but I told her when the… condition stops? Ya know we'll look into it."

Elmo's just working on the problem, mostly absorbed, when what Lindon is saying hits him in the realization. His eyes go wide. With that he promptly drops his end of the car seat, and curses loudly in Yiddish. "Sorry, buddy! My hand slipped. You okay over there? Hey Lindon, come here for a second." He knows it's no good to even try to give Lindon a meaningful look, so he just tries to get the conversation derailed.

"Sure," Lindon says, though still somewhat awkwardly James is a friend from work, but friends from work are still… well, from work. A life apart from his little place in Queens. "You know, cats can be good for restoring health. A kitten might give her something to focus on getting better for." Then Elmo's talking to him, and he nods as he says, "Um, sure. What's up?"

James looked over to Elmo and his first instinct was to ask, "Buddy, are you okay? Those things can be unweildly like a Thanksgiving turkey." Standing up he offered a hand to Elmo to help him up then Lindon. "I'll talk to Doc Spurling and see if that's something that won't aggrivate her condition." Which he didn't get into the specifics of. There was no pound cake out. Wouldn't be polite.

"I'm good," Elmo says, now not managing to suppress shooting Lindon an 'are you kidding me here' look. He muscles the seat into place; it goes ker-thunk. "That oughta do you." Amid all of the jostling he's doing, he notices something odd. It's a doll, latched in with the carseat, presumably for calming the child that will be in it. Just a handmade dolly like kids all over New York have. Except this one has three eyes. He pauses, looking at it.

Lindon blinks at Elmo. He chews his lower lip as he puzzles out things Elmo could be giving him that look about. Oh! Oh. But James is a friend from work, surely that's nothing. He offers Elmo a lame smile and murmurs, "It'll be okay." He glances at Elmo, though he doesn't notice what Elmo's looking at. Looking to James, he says, "Give Lizzy my love, will you? It's got to be hard to be a mom with a sick kid." That's when he takes James' hand. "I don't…" That's when his eyes roll back in his head and he falls to the ground, his back arching as all his muscles go tight.

It's when Lindon takes Jame's hand that something jolts back; hand being squeezed too hard, and what? Feedback off the Archive going awry!? Taking a deep brath James looks panicked, "Oh god, oh God, Lindon? Lindon are you okay?" This was not the screaming headache James had signed up for when he got a flat tire. "Hye, it's gonna be okay, pal!" He held tight to Lindon's hand to keep Lindon's head from hitting the ground.

Elmo steps back from the car just in time to see Lindon fall. "/Lindon/!" He bolts to Lindon, helping James catch him, arms around him. "Call an ambulance!" he orders James, trying to ease Lindon to the ground without letting him hurt himself. He maybe panicks just a tiny bit, hovering over Lindon. "Oy gevalt, I don't know what to do," he groans. The only thing he can think of is loosening Lindon's collar, so that he does, so the fabric doesn't pull against his throat.

Lindon's head jerks back and rather than spouting profound facts of some grand vision, he blinks blankly and says, "I can't see. Elmo, where are you?" He's still seizing, clutching at James and Elmo both. Then he just sort of slumps and moans in pain. It makes him easier to handle at least. Conveniently so.

James looked just distressed. "Ambulance?" He popped his head up like a ferret. It was late and most shops were closed and he didn't see a payphone immediately in sight. "I got a car, we can use that?" This was all sorts of not good and not what he expected. "Aww man."

Elmo nearly sobs in relief when Lindon comes back to himself. Blind, but conscious. "I'm here, sweetheart." Who cares about some random librarian hearing him call Lindon by endearments? Not him, that's for sure. He grabs one of Lindon's hands and squeezes. Looking up at James, he snaps, "What happened?"

Lindon clutches Elmo's hand reflexively, and a tremor of tension passes thorugh him. "I can't… I don't… I don't know anything. How do we get home? Can I just go home? I think I have books. I need my books. Elmo, I can't process any information." Because after a seizure and finding himself blind, that is what Lindon finds most concerning. He swallows, hoping James didn't hear the affectation, even if it does warm his heart. It's the sort of thing that could get a man fired from a family institution.

James looks at this work friend withthe slurred speech and replied to Elmo, "I don't know. He lurched. I just tried to keep his head from smacking the ground." THe distress was transparently genuine. "He doesn't sound so good. C'mon let's get him moved. LIndon, we're" He did pasue. Yeah that was heard. that endearment was distinctly noted. However, man in distress, "Lindon we're here to help. Everything's going to be okay" He pulled Lindon to a sit up where Elmo could keep and eye on him and efficiently got the passenger door on the sedan opened.

Elmo gets a wild notion. Three eyed doll. Lindon having a seizure. And now this guy wants them to get in his car. He hesitates. But Lindon's pleading decides the issue for him and he has literally no other ideas. "It's okay, Lindele, it'll pass. Just hang on." He hopes it will pass, anyway. He gets James's help getting Lindon into the car. "What's the nearest hospital? Central?"

|ROLL| Elmo +rolls 1d20 for: 20

Lindon can manage squeezing Elmo's hand, but other than that, he's a lump. Pouring him into the passenger seat isn't all that hard once one accounts for the long, spindly limbs. "I can't," he mumbles, "can't think, can't process…" He closes his eyes, his breathing evening out. Maybe he's blessedly lost consciousness.

James hit the door lock so Lindon doesn't fall out and closed the door. He started walkin g around the side. The problem though was James Yancy was too distressed and while Elmo's brain was putting all those tiny contextual clues together from worry and paranoia (go back to thanking JP for that one, Elmo) he turned, almost teary to Elmo and there was a pistol in hand. He was shaking but the gun was not. It was entirely the look of a man who did not want to be in this situation. "You're a nice guy, Elmo." He knew Elmo's name? Elmo didn't give it. "I don't wanna hurt anyone. J-just stay here." If that wasn't a look of remorse who knows what is?

Elmo's about to say something to James and there it is. Okay. It turns out he was feeling all kinds of pings for a reason. "Buddy," he says, voice tight and low. "This's a real bad idea. I remember you now, you know? I've seen you in M.T." He almost glances at the doll, but the pistol has his attention. "C'mon. Put it away. Whatever's going on, mutants help mutants."

|ROLL| Elmo +rolls 1d20 for: 8

James was a soul conflicted. The downside was Elmo was pretty closeted for a mutant and only until recently kept that way under wraps. For the moment the argument doesn't gain much ground but it is buying time. "You help, you have any idea what this is like? I can pass, my kid doesn't stand a chance. She's dying because the damn hospital can't cure her and the people who can need Lindon to do it." Which meant… he knew.

Elmo grimaces. Extorting some grieving father over his sick kid—everybody in New York knows that one. "Yeah," he says. "I know a little what it's like." Lindon is out of it in the front seat and he /has/ to get him to safety and somehow deal with this guy, too. So he spreads his hand, slowly, and lets tiny lightning dance up between his fingers. "Don't let them do this to you." His other hand creeps onto the body of the car, behind him. "We can help."

|ROLL| Elmo +rolls 1d20 for: 17

THe man wa sprepared to sweep, shoot and scare Elmo off and drive off ack to… well relic hunters feeling terrible. In the end James Yancy wasn't a bad young man, and rather than tapping into the electrical line Elmos eemed to find a way to tap into that. The gun was no longer aimed at Elmo, but the ground and his free hand covered his face. His hand legt go of the pistol in any way that it could fire holding it by the barrel. His teeth clenched and through terrified tears told Elmo glancing to the slumped LIndon in the car, and back, "I just want Bethy to be okay. She needs help." He swallowed and admitted, "Lindon's okay. He's stunned. I don't… I don't want to hurt anyone I jsut want this to be over."

Elmo gently takes the pistol from James. He doesn't know much about guns, but it's not hard to open it and dump out the bullets. And then he hugs James. Hard, full-on, no-hesitation hug. "Hey," he says against the man's hair. "It's okay. We'll get her help. I promise, okay?"

The man was a mess and jsut took the hug. Sometimes the solace helps and a little compassion and humanity go futher than given credit for. There was a moment. After he composed himself he pulled out a small kerchief to cry his face. His hand was shaking but he'd made a choice. That choice was to not take a life today and in this siatuation it was as terrifying as doing it. He swallowed taking a deep breatha nd said "There's people interested in our friend. I can tell you about it on the way to Queens."

Lindon remains still in the front seat, not entirely unconscious, but so out of it he may as well be. Maybe he's catching bits and pieces of what's being said, but more likely, there is no one to witness this moment but the silent street and the two people in it.

Elmo wipes roughly at his own face. He's amped up so high on adrenaline that he's jittering. "Someone tried to tell me that before," he says, about Lindon. "I didn't listen so good." He grips James's shoulder. The unloaded gun has gone into one of his pockets for now. "You're a good man, Jim. C'mon, we gotta take him home."

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