|2046-09-16 Friday Night, Pt 2|
|Location||The Streets - Mutant Town|
|Summary||Okay, so it's not a date.|
|Related Logs||2046-09-16 Friday Night|
It's been quite a night. It was a whirl of dancing and drink and bright lights, with laughter and a whole lot of teasing that builds into frantic, stolen moments of desperate connection. Valerie probably won. Rohan broke first. But the clubs are out and the music is quiet, and they are walking toward Rohan's apartment. Rohan isn't drunk, exactly, but he's certainly lit up, face bright, shoulders relaxed, loose with alcohol and sex, with Valerie's hand in one hand and a hot dog from street vendor in the other. A glow from the general direction of Avenue B only earns a brief squint; his mind is elsewhere. "Next time I'm winning," he tells her with a grin.
"Pretty sure everyone wins in this game, R," Valerie answers with a grin that borders on a laugh. She's working on a hot dog of her own, which is probably the only reason she's not having some sort of logistical crisis about her hand in Rohan's, easy as you please, as they walk down the street in the night's darkness.
Rohan laughs. "I like how you play games, Lollipop," he says, turning around to watch her, and very intelligently walking backwards for a few paces, so he can watch her eat her hot dogs. "Everyone always wins. And that--was pretty fantastic." His grin is brilliant. "I'm celebrating a year in New York," he tells her. "A lot of it was a pretty rubbish year, but I think it's getting better. And that was amazin--" He stops a breath from the end of the word and frowns for a moment. "Do you smell something?" he wonders. There is a noticeable smell, of smoke and ash and gasoline.
Valerie obliges Rohan by making a show of the hot dog, watching him with eyes bright with laughter. "Glad to contribute," she says before her brows sweep up at his question. "What, like the general odor of Mutant Town at night?" she starts before pausing. Her expression shifts into a slow frown. "Shit," she says. "What is that?"
Rohan's eyes linger on the hot dog, watching the way her lips around it. "You're awful," he tells her. He tugs her a little closer. "I like it," he says, his voice gone low and soft--but the breeze picks up, carrying the scent of burning, char harsher by gasoline, and draws his attention back to it. "Smells like a fire?" he ventures. "Not a small one, either."
"Maybe we should detour," Valerie suggests, peering into the distance with narrow-eyed worry.
"I'm not sure that's that helpful when we're not sure what we're detouring around," says Rohan, but he tugs a little at her hand, and leads on, taking a few twists and turns on the way toward Avenue B. Still, despite his best efforts, the smoke is thicker the closer they get, and the lights of emergency vehicles are bright in the night. And, as they step around a corner, there it is, the smoke heavy over the park, and a cluster of fire trucks and police cars.
"I generally try to detour around things that smell like disaster," Valerie objects. As emergency lights become visible, she tucks away entirely, jerking her hand free of Rohan's to step backward rather than forward.
"What the--" begins Rohan, confused, but blinks as Valerie pulls away from him. He takes a step backward, joining her. "Looks like the park," he says. "I don't know what but--we can circle around and come in through the back, I think. Or--go somewhere else."
"Should've stayed at the Vault," Valerie answers with another edge backward. She glances briefly up at Rohan, then turns on her heel to stride in the opposite direction. She calls, "Sorry, R," over her shoulder as she goes.
"What--" begins Rohan again, and gets even less far into the phrase this time. He turns around, and follows after her, at half-pace. "I don't like dealing with official sorts," he says. "I'm always one question away from serious trouble."
"Generally a bad fucking plan," Valerie agrees. She slows her stride enough for Rohan to catch up, but does not pause in her retreat. "Especially in these parts. Especially when shit smells like fire."
"Yeah, well," says Rohan. There is a very long pause. He finishes his hot dog and shoves both hands into his pockets. Finally, he says, "Let's just say my papers aren't exactly in order."
"I'm fucking shocked, Ainsworth," Valerie says, both light and dry as she rounds a corner quite away from the park (and from the direction of her apartment).
"I'm sure you're shocked to realize I am not one hundred law abiding," says Rohan dryly. "But, there. If you're ever unsatisfied, you can always try to have me deported."
"My whole world view has been shaken," Valerie agrees. She comes to a halt at the end of a block, glancing well behind them before she looks up at Rohan. "Look, R," she says. "It's been a hell of a night. But I think I should head home." You know. Alone.
Rohan pauses. He watches her, up and down. "I can't say I'm not disappointed, sweetheart," he says. "But." He flashes her a grin. "And my annoying white knight side wants to make sure you're safe. I know. Annoying."
Indeed, Valerie looks annoyed. She goes so far as to roll her eyes as she gives Rohan a sharp shake of her head. "I can avoid trouble," she says. She jerks a hand up in a stiff wave as she turns, cutting across a street as the light changes. "I'll see you around, Rocky Road," she calls.
"Wait," said Rohan, standing on the street corner. He grins at her across the street. "I apologize for my stupid idealistic masculine side," he says. "I'll tell it to behave. But--don't suppose I could actually have your number?"
Valerie turns at the opposite street corner, squinting back at Rohan in long hesitation. Then she calls, "Later!" and just like that, she disappears. Quite literally - one moment she's there, and the next she's not.Rohan sighs, and just stands there on the street corner for a long moment, in the smoke-choked air. Finally, he shrugs, and turns away. Not home, not now. He goes toward Open Hands, to hide in his office until he's sure no one who with immigrantion officials on the line is crawling about. It's all right. He has a big desk there.