Rustbucketo Ride

January 15, 2019:

Nate finds Rose in Gotham. She has a new car and they go… sightseeing. Underground (really underground) clubs and car racing.

The Streets of Gotham


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

It has been a week or so. To say Nate was surprised by Rose’s return was an understatement. After Genosha he spent six or seven months looking for her desperately, in denial as if was. Then he had to stop himself several times from flying to Louisiana to murder a certain DEO director. It shows some maturity he didn’t. Maybe. Then depression settled on for weeks.

He was almost in the ‘acceptance’ phase when he stumbled on her in Mutant Town, with Rose still showing the sings of her stay in a dark future. It took Nate a few hours to realize it must have been pretty bad to stall her quick-healing super-soldier abilities. She looked… not well.

She ‘felt’ unwell, too. But that had been the norm the last few times he had seen her. Yet he couldn’t stop her. He should have tried even. That wasn’t the deal: A long time ago (not so long, but if feels a lifetime) Nate told Rose he would be there to pick her up if she fell. Not to ‘save’ her. Not to protect her.

In retrospective, it was a stupid deal.

But he thought his relationship with Rose would be short. Intense but short. Then one of them would die. Or maybe find someone else. They were teenagers.

That -definitely- feels a lifetime ago. And that is not what he wants now. What does he want? Today just see her again. There is much to work out, unravel, re-weave maybe. Decisions. Or maybe he should just invite her for drink and go watch a movie.

Hell. ROSE IS ALIVE. That alone makes him kind of happy. Which is not a normal feel for Nate.

Maybe that is why he doesn’t even care too much this is Gotham, it is freezing and probably something horrible is happening in several places of the dark city at once, close by. Gotham gloomy, desperate mood makes him feel actually pretty normal and balanced, for once. And Rose is close by, he can feel it.

Follow me I'll lead you to the light..

Staring into the rear-view mirror of the beat up Charger Rose got as a junk yard special, she rises a hand to adjust the reflection from her eyes to the street behind her.

A glimpse of Nate!

The mirror falls off the windshield mount and into her lap, a sign that has her slapping it from leather-clad thighs and cursing as it ends up on the passenger floorboard with a crack!

"Fuck this noise." Rose murmurs, flicking her cigarette out of the half opened window, cranking it up and shut before she uses a pair of pliers to open the door (and the weight of a shoulder nudge!).

Heavy sole'd boots hit the ground, metal plates lining the deep tred of rubber, lining up to mid-calf and laced over by the criss cross of tethers that keep the heavy footwork to her smaller figure.

A light cough and smoke puffs out, or is it the chill in the air? A single pale eye lifts to Nate, leaving her in his path, leaned fashionably against El-Rustbucketo.
She'll rename it later.
She only bought it for the hemi.

"This doesn't seem your side of the Tri, Nate." A small break of a smile as she precariously leans against the vehicle, care not to hit the bumper coat hangar wired in place, or the gorillagrod glued sideview mirror. Objects appear closer… Afterall.

I pray that angels get you through the night!

And there she is. In a vehicle that looks bad even for Gotham. Weird.

Not his side of the Tri-cities, maybe not. "Not the place I usually hang my hat," he admits with a shrug. "But I thought you would be around," he adds, confirming he is looking for her. "What is this?" He taps the roof of the car with two fingers. Gently, as it does not look able to take much.

Idle curiosity, really. "You look much better today. Despite Gotham," he offers, glancing around the street. Christmas seems only skin deep here, but perhaps that is not too bad. "I thought maybe you would like to have a drink with me," he directs a pensive glance to the Rustbucketo. "Or maybe you need some help dragging that thing to an auto shop?" He asks somewhat unconvinced.

It looks like something Forge would have problems repairing!

Rose does look much better, but she has had time to shower, anti-perspire, and recoup into the present, after handing The Wall her very own X-Mas Gift!

If Nate have gone for her, it would have sealed a fate longer than a year.
Lucky Them.
And still she recalls her reptilian "friend" with an emptiness to that single gaze that draws her pupil to a dialation….

Then back as she refocuses' on Nate and his words go from 'Charlie Brown WubWub', to coherency.

'…to an auto shop….'
'…drink with me…'

"I can get us both." Rose states as her single gaze refocuses, making her way around the Charger. "Get in."

A focused look at his rap-tap upon the roof of her X-Mas present to herself and she blinks… slowly.

In and out of a reality that still has her hair in dreds, braids, and tipped in metallic bands that carry a cadence in her pace, riddled along the small of her back in extension of tresses and dread.

"She looks bad outside. Inside is what counts." And she dips into the drivers seat again, but after a reach-in to the peeled down drivers side window, crank of the pliers!

Slamming the door closed the wedges her screwdriver-key into the ignition and twists.

The hemi ROARS! to life and then sputter-purrs to an idle before she hits the gas and revvs the motor to a stable life of idle…

Waiting, Rose leans down and tilts her head to Nate and grins. "So get in."

Nate looks dubiously at the vehicle, but when Rose makes the engine roar he allows himself a small smirk and climbs in. "Not bad, but I liked the bullet bike far more," he notes.

He offered to buy drinks, but he is going to let the young woman pick the place. She has been in Gotham for a while and Nate has no doubt she already knows all the best, and all the seediest drinking places.

"Like the hair, looks weird on you, but sharp," and Rose keeps changing appearance, apparently as mercurial as her mood. While Nate aspect remains the same. The civvies are his shape-shifted armor. The hair worn long again, maybe his only concession to vanity in her always nomadic and practical lifestyle. At least long hair means no one has succeeded in frying him lately.

"My Tomahawk is on lock down right now. I owe for the year of storage. Lucky landlord they did not auction the spot while I was gone." Rose speaks about it matter-of-factly as Nate climbs in and she tosses the pliers into a center console, shifting the 60's Charger into gear, causing the glove box over Nate's lap to pop open and light up his area.

Reaching over as she pulls into Gotham's streets, she slams the glove box closed and then floors it! The icy streets of Gotham veered through with a rapid pace that threatens pedestrians as well as they passengers of said Charger. Rose glances around the wrapped plaits of platinum to glance at Nate. He changes just as much as she does, if not moreso. Long to short, to shaved chemotheraputic. Sans muta-cancer.

One year, or more between them…

Shit changes.

Careening through the bi-ways she drops into a lower drive, weaving between barrels of hobo-burning heat, pillars, and cracked concrete, tossing him a bandana that will shield his lower face in a clown smile, her own skeletal smile tugged up over her nose from the twist around her neck.

Gang? Or posession and admission? "Put it on, leave it there, or you fuck me. X-Man." A single glance his way and she shifts the Charger into N'eutral.

The window is cranked down as she spins the vehicle as if it will slam sideways into a wall of that lower tunnel pass, calling out:
"Newton's Theory!"

The car is suddenly lit up in laser-lights, scanned, the patch over he scarred eye flipped up and the bionic is scanned as well before the tunnel wall they threaten to impact opens!!

A still, the cement parts and slams shut, leaving them in darkness after a laserlight 'welcome', the whole vehicle with them inside dropping levels rapidly.

Gravity. Works.

"There are no rules here, only Anon."(ymity) Spoken from behind the bandana that has her cracking a skeletal grin.

"Tsk," is Nate's only reaction to the glove box opening/closing. The whole car seems about to fall apart, except for the engine. There might be a metaphor there about one of them, or both.

Bandanas, damn. But maybe a good idea, since his face is certainly known in some circles. Not that there is much disguising. His skunk-stripe hair is easily recognizable, as is Rose's silver hair. Dreadlocks or whatever. Maybe it is a kind of code. "You take me the most interesting places. Will we have to kill someone to get out?" Because it wouldn't be the first time.

They had it coming, though.

"So, hmm," he is not sure how to tackle the elephant on the room. But he is not one to shy away from the difficult conversations either. "How are your friends?"

"I hope not." Rose states in regards to 'killing someone'. It would have to be under a circumstance of extreme measures - one she is risking by even bringing an X-Man to Newton's, but then again, even a Bat or two has flown through for intel or additions that are more "street".

Nate's approach is not gloved, despite the attempt, it causes a twitch in Rose that revvs the engine of the charger just as a caged awning is sliding open and they meet the level of Down Below: Newton's… The vehicle rocks with the throttle, and likely rust dusts the platform that dropped them in the filaments.

Despite the crank, the vehicle slowly rolls forth into a scene of a spool-made bar, draped in wires, mesh, and a sheen of alcoholo-lacquering sheen.

"Stop pussy-footing, Nate." The pliers are gripped and her door is opened, the tool tossed to a malformed Rat-Like looking male that catches the tool and salutes Rose non-chalantly.

"Everyone's fine, but dispersed." A spark of her zippo to light her cigarette as she snaps the patch back into place over her bionic eye, muting the afterglow. "Some things do not last." A glance his way, lingering and she offers him the pack of cigs and lighter while the path to the bar is cut clear, and her Charger is pulled away into a backdrop.

A backdrop that also has a pitfight and slammed flesh as well as loud jeers occuring. "Be direct, covertcy is not (y)our style."

"Not your style either," replies Nate, "and I am sorry," he adds after a second. Then he sighs. Another group that she lost, it seems. "Most things do not last," and he spares her from telling her how volatile her new family seemed to be from the brief glance he got of the gang. At least is sound like no one she liked got killed.

"So, back to the merc business?" He peers outside, and scans the place lightly with his psychic senses. Bandana in place, he follows the white-haired girl. Looks like your standard illegal fight club, but the security measures are top notch. Interesting. Maybe needed to escape the Batman's attention, he figures.

"Sorry?" Rose looks towards Nate as the Charger is no longer between them, that brow arching in speculation of his wording and apology. "They have jobs too. It's not over, just for now." The cigarette offer is rescinded and she slides one under her bandana, only pushing back that drape long enough to light the cancer stick and draw it away between fingers, tucking the pack into her belt.

The synthetic leather jacket parts just enough to still show the tac belt, the harnessing, and the hardware she still carries that straps also around thighs, across her waist and harnesses her torso.

Only a glimpse…

A pause as Nate follows, abrupt, likely enough to cause impact in how swift. "Keep your brain tucked in your pants, sweets." A clear of throat and she taps her own temple and lowers the hand to partake of the cig before the bar is approached.

"Moscow Mule, Molly." 'Molly', mind you is almost seven feet tall, covered in lines that appear to be ink… But look closer, his skin glistens irridescently. Reptilian.

Molly (the name) is an inside joke, apparently.

"About your scattered friends," clarifies Nate. Some things do not last, she has said. Which is true. Just as X-force couldn't endure; it was a secret that couldn't last forever. "I feel I have gone through the same every so often. Except the X-Men, which somehow manage to exist in an incarnation or other for all my life. But most other things… they fade." Not all, though. She remains. Or maybe she *returns*.

"I suppose it is the nature of our business. It does not lean to long lasting liaisons," and he endures, because he never expected it. He never truly settled. Not in Halo, or the Bunker, or even the X-School. "But you, Rose. You are always seeking a place to belong, to feel comfortable. To become better."

Hello Molly. Nate smiles to the huge… person. "Bloody Mary," you can't go wrong starting with vodka. His choice used to be tequila, but he is branching. "My brain is fine. Are they mutants or inhuman?" He asks with some genuine curiosity.

The Charger is something of the most recent past, but the threat level Nate speaks of does not seem to rise as they sit below-ground of a nexus of interwoven city bi-ways.

Molly is looking dubiously at Ravager while Nate now gets a major lingering…. leer. Tomato juice crushed from the can into the glass, a pump of tobasco, a dash of celery salt, a *plop* of a stick of green into the drink before the concave innard is used as a funnel for the vodka to top it off. "Did not say shaken or stirred."

The glass is slid Nate's way as a copper colored mug is slapped down on the counter for Rose's Mule order.

Take away your life
(Look in my eyes, give me a smile for your given)

"Fuck it up, Molly." Meaning: Extra-Strong, and by the level of vodka that is pured in, that is just exactly what the Ravager ordered!

"I don't think so…" A reach forward to tap at his temple, that cigarette pluming from aside the V'd drop of skeletal bandana. "You're asking too many questions." A dart of eyes to periphery in a hint to Nate, and she leans back in time to catch the rapid slide of her Moscow Mule, drawing it upward.

"Salut!," and only the was there a break in Molly's facade to them before he moved on to serve other patrons.

"I found one, for now so long as it keeps paying this well." A *clink* of her metallic mug against his glass and she watches Nate before she sips from her mug.

Pinky's up, bitch!

Asking questions yes. He is getting too much an X-Men lately. A mutant enclave under Gotham, so Xavier needs to know… no, no really. If they want -him- knowing there are ways. "Yeah, I am getting this thing. Work habit, I guess. Need to stop."

That Bloody Mary is not going to be the best in the city, but it would be crazy to expect so here. Shaken or stirred or even burning, he does not care much. "Salut!" He agrees, taking a long sip. "I do want to know about you, though. Anything you want to share. I am not going in there," he taps her brow lightly. "Not without you inviting. But I still want to know if you are well, if you are happy, if you are sad or… fuck, too stalkerish? Maybe I just need to get drunk with you."

Burning, it is…

"Yeah, figure out that thing called vacation," A pause as she stamps out the cig and drains her Mule to *Double Thunk* it on the bar top in a signal…

Molly is refilling in parts as he passes.

Lime Wedge here…
Vodka there…

Ginger Beer **tssssss~** opened…

"It could be fun, especially if you get.." A sweep of thumb ofer middle and index finger in a paid 'symbol' of money…money…money.

A pause comes when he reaches for her temple in time, a tilt of her head as if to shy away… But then she stabilizes and allows the touch as well as the innuendo. "You can't go there, Nate." A pause as the mug is slid her way with a wary slide of glance from Molly that she passes off instead for a long drink. "Not anymore. No one can, I need something that is mine alone. Everything else is taken, given, or sold. Type O- Blood. For your information." Mind, body, heart, and soul. Ravaged and gone. Placed in a piecemeal style of Isis and Osiris.

Across the globe…

A level stare at Nate and she says nothing more as a simple shot is placed after her Double-Tap, now by a busty female that bares patchwork of fur… On one side… The side scarred by a Hunter.

Permanently mauled and unable to hide her mutation that is etched in facial stone. Only seen when she turns away and a human feminine smile is revealed as feral by peeled away scarred flesh and canines revealed.

"I am well, it affords me nights like this." A pause in her stand as Molly comes back with the Charger growling a bit lower, but the bass vinbrato echoes like a howl through the underground tunnels. "A lean over the bar and 'Murder'ess is given a kiss on that scarred upper lip and exposed canine by Ravager.

"You the best in the Sewer. /Murdah/!" A rock back and a sign is flipped and the scarred mutate seems to lighten even in the maligned features she wears evident.

A pass by Nate and her fingers hook into the folds of his attire as she passes, tugging him along towards her Charger. "Drunk isn't happening here, Nate-cakes. You ask too many questions.." And the silence afterward is an echo of possibilities as she gets back behind the wheel and the floor beneath the massive sewer ventilation grate begins to slowly rotate and lift.

"Get in, babe. You made a date."

"Vacations? Last time I got vacations it was…" he frowns, and drinks some more vodka. It was ages ago. They went to the beach and got attacked by a freaking pirate called Krakensomething. It was weird and kind of fun.

"Yes. I need vacations. Maybe I will take a week for Christmas. To go to some place without Christmas." Wait, she is trying to drag him away? "Rosie… damnit," he finishes the burning drink quickly, getting some of it on the bandana, and offers a hopeless shrug to the newly met bartender. "I was starting to like the place," he comments.

Light talk. He truly, truly loathed her 'everything else is taken, given, or sold' bit. What can he do with this stubborn, stubborn woman? "Fine," he decides, back to the Charger seat, "paid vacations, or whatever. And now you can ask me questions, by the way."

"A beach with a bank of bullshit?" Rose states to Nate as his brain hits a speed-bump and she is slowly rising and rotating upward towards the surface, waters from the streets above slowly seeping in and spilling over the rustoleum of the Charge…

"Shit…" Rose is cranking the window up by hand before the inside gets water damaged, lunging across the seat to fling the door open in time for Nate to jump up and join her inside the evacuating vehicle and it's occupants.

Once he shuts the passenger door she glances his way and tugs the bandana down to rest around her neck lowly, bunched over the rise of her chest that inhales as they begin to surface into the Lower Levels of the tunnels of byways and bridges that make the inner(under)city.

The flickering orange glow of the pieced apart under-city lights illuminates the concrete tunnel like a wildfire that would be the last broken thing standing here once it all collapses. The flickering a premonition as the grate beneath them finishes its slow rotation, locks with a hiss and the roar of the motor has Rose merging into surprised traffic of after hours in Gotham City.

Cut off by a junker!

Honking, flashing brights… And Rose smiles, looking to Nate. "Sometimes we don't have to ask questions." A statement, but the pulse between the focus on him and the sudden turn in the tunnel has her snapping attention ahead.

"One more stop, then we can go get seafood and sing Fa-ra-ra-ra-rah, remotely." A downshift and she laughs lowly just before her hand grabs the emergency brake and jerks it upward to send them into a gravitron level of spin. Forget the Christmas Story reference, as her shoulder slams against the window in the sudden spin that has them careening sideways towards a wall in a higher level of that tunnel, more towards jagged rock paved over!

…No warning, she knows how Nate operates, and just before they impacted she leans towards him (no seatbelt!) and places a finger on his lips, between her own.
"Shh~!" Her eyes close, as if asking him to do the same before they hit that wall in the seconds they have….


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