Cheeseburger Standoff

January 23, 2019:

Fun times are had at the local Big Belly Burger.

Big Belly Burger - NYC

Characters

NPCs: Mad Dog, Curtis Hoyle

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Sometimes, all you need in life is a dirty burger. The kind that sits at the bottom of a paper bag and threatens to fall through due to grease alone. Sometimes, when all is shit in the world, the only thing that can make it right is the manufactured flavor of commercialized beef product with a side of deep-fried spuds and a towering cup of blended icecream. Right now, this was heaven.

"Don't touch it." Lena warns Jason, giving him the side eye as the pair were moving in to share a booth. Tray down, heavy with junk, she slips into her side of the booth with a soft hiss, half her face squinting up before she relaxes. "It's just bruising, honest. My fault, anyway. Some of the best laid plans, right?" She muses, smirking softly and handing out each other's selections. "Oh, if you're not going to eat it, may I have the cherries on your shake? I asked for extra, but I don't think I got any."

Jason's tray is also piled with food. More meat than anything else. Jason apparently really likes his beef. "You sure you are okay there?" He asks, with a furrowed brow. "I have heard enough lies about being hurt in my life. Seriously." As he talks, his hand slowly works his way over to her, subtly attempting to steal a fry.

Billy is already here by the time Lena and Jason arrive although not immediately obvious in one of the corner booths. While he may not have been immediately obvious he very quickly becomes so, or at least his group does. Loud raucous laughter and jeering echoing out from his booth around the entire restaurant. The table is piled high with enough food to feed an entire army, and the group of four are digging into it with gusto in between their laughter and calls.

Of his crew in the booth Billy is actually the smallest one, at least when it comes to sheer bulk. But he is clearly in control as the others appear to be hanging off his words when he does speak, and subtle eye shifts show off how they look to him for his take on their jokes and actions. As they shift around in the booth not built for four men of their side one of the men places his arm on the table revealing an old Army Rangers tattoo.

Through the door walks another, although this man wasn't surrounded by brothers in arms nor did he bring a date. Instead, as Floyd Lawton moves into the restaurant he carries with him a large stuffed bear, about as big as a child and still wrapped with a ribbon. Either the man had finally snapped as he tucks it into the seats of the booth and takes one for himself, or it was probably a gift/souvenir for someone else. It'd take him a moment, but only a moment to decide on his food before he leaves the bear in place and starts to walk to the counter, his gaze sweeping the fast food joint.

Lena blinks Jason's way, eyes growing briefly before she smirks. "You know if I want them, I can just take them, right? You won't even know." She notices that sneak, fingers out for her food. Snatching up her straw, she covers its opening with her thumb and stabs down. It'll hurt, just a bit, and stay solid from the air pressure. "Party foul, Todd. You'd get shanked for doing something like that on the inside." She warns, placing the straw into her shake. Smiling, she presses her tray his way. "Next time, ask."

She glances back to the group of soldiers, her gaze finding Billy and quirking a brow in silent question. The view of Lawton, however, causes her to cant her head. Smiling, she speaks out to him. "That's adorable. Yours or…?" She asks Lloyd.

"Ouch!" Jason says, shaking his hand. "That isn't fair." He gives her a mock glare, but its obviously fake. He starts to unfold the greasy paper around his burger. "I've had worse than a prison shank." He fishes out his own cherries and puts them on her shake before diving into his burger. He chews happily, but is obviously keeping his eyes on the large group of soldiers and the new comer with the bear.

the soldiers just appear to be having a good time even if they are creating something of a massive disturbance in the restuarant with their sheer noise and somewhat intimidating (to normal civilians) physiques and gruff mannerisms. A few more minutes of the same stuffing faces of way to much meat and loud crude jokes pass before a chant rises up from the table. "Russo, Russo, Russo!" Billy is doing his best to arm wrestle an absolute bear of a man on the opposite side of the table, almost losing before he adds a second hand to the mix to try and even things out. Even then he struggles to bring it back to level.
You paged Red Hood with 'Nah. I'm good :)'

Talk of prison shanking aside, it was unlikely that Floyd would recognize Jason without his mask and the reverse was uncertain, so they were unlikely to have a firefight around the cheeseburgers. Being addressed by his female companion however has the assassin blinking for a second before he chuckles and shakes his head. "Gift for a pretty girl," he chuckles lightly and begins to reach for his own fries. "Or an apology, depending on how you look at it."

The sudden chanting brings his gaze up and there's a slight narrowing of his eyes. 'Russo'? He'd heard that name nights ago…over the stolen radio when he'd cut through the security team to take down a target. He hadn't killed the men, only his mark, but having them turn up in the same building was unexpected at best and a potential ambush at worst.
"Cute. You didn't…go through much trouble to get that, did you?" Lena blinks now, brows furrowing as her brain begins assuming a thing or two about Floyd. Returning to Jason, she smiles and offers him her fries now. "Yeah, yeah, but I wasn't the one doing the stabbing." She offers up, finally digging into her own burger. With a mess of mayo and ketchup on the corner of her lips, she looks back once the chanting begins. Instantly, she rolls her eyes, muffling a mutter under her breath and returning to her meal.
Jason shakes his head at the soldiers, appearing to disregard their antics. He offers the man with the bear a friendly smile. Lena seemed to know the guy, so Jason might as well be nice at least. He wipes some of the burger grease on his chin, giving her a sly look. "That's-what-she-said," He says quickly around a mouthful of food. He waggles his eyebrows at his own joke.

Finally after much struggling and posturing Billy loses the arm wrestling match with a mighty thud, even though he was using both of his hands to the other mans one. He reaches across the table his hand wrapping around the other mans head before he pulls him forward, he touches his own brow to the other mans before he pushes him back with a laugh. "You know if you could run as well as you could lift weights maybe you wouldn't have taken that round back in the sandbox." He chuckles before he reclines back in the booth taking a small sip of some coke through his straw before he finally notices Lena there with someone he doesn't recognise. His eyes go wide and disbelieving for a second "Son of a bitch…"

His men look at him for a moment, clearly asking what the hell is wrong with him. Billy's response is short and sweet. "Nothing guys. Just some chick following me all around the city, you know how it is." The soldiers react with laughter and jeers "Billy the beaut, Billy the beaut…"

A raise of an eyebrow, Lawton gives a little chuckle at Lena's question and shrugs. "Well, there was only one on the shelf and some other guy wanted it but…" he trails of with a shake of his head. "Just a coming home present, crazy as it might sound." He'd say more, but Billy's exhuberent noise-making draws his gaze, particularly when he turns the attention back to the woman talking with him. A glance is spared towards Jason, whom was at least being polite enough to get a nod in response before he gestures towards the gathering of grunts. "Friends of yours?"

"Bullshit." She grumbles at Billy's comment, regardless of how odd it was for them to be here at the same time. And at the mansion…'Russo' was there, no wonder is sounded so familiar. Shaking her head, she drags a napkin across her lips and pops a cherry inside, chewing it away with a bit of grit to her jaw. Eyeing Jason, she at least gives him a simple smile of 'thanks' for the fruit, but it's Floyd's question, and the 'Beaut' chant that has her mutters. "Fuck no. Associate. I use that term loosely. I don't know the grunts." There's a time and place for keeping things at face value, but for now, she stands up just enough to lean across toward Jason, her arm out and hand open for Lawton. "Lena."
Jason's eyes flick to this Billy character quickly as he comments on Lena. His body doesn't betray any other motion, just a sudden alertness in his eyes. He listens to Lena handle the situation casually chewing and devouring the food in front of him. As Lena leans across him, He leans back to get her plenty of room.

Billy just laughs at the men around him as they tease and chant around him, soldiers never change. He shakes his head and kicks a couple of them under the table, the smile never dying from his face his eyes alight with good humour and laughter. He is clearly at home where he is right now. But after a few moments when his brothers in arms have moved on to the next random subject that pops up in the booth his eyes narrow slightly and the humour dies out of them as though icewater has been poured through his skull. He quickly studies Lena and the men around her, all he knows of her is that she is part of the life. And not like he is, no she has a cold gun which puts her in with the other nutcases. They both look like they could be, but then again so do most of his men. It is impossible to tell. And it clearly has raised his hackles a little.

Floyd didn't tend to miss things, in either sense of the word. That little shift in the demeanor of both men had him slowing his reach for the next fry and nodding at Lena's words. He doesn't reach for his gun or anything like that, but who knows what those long sleeves coceal? Where they about to have a mexican standoff over cheeseburgers? Or was it merely a moment of tense awareness?

"Floyd," he finally offers in return, the handshake brief and little more than a squeeze. He might need both hands for this many potential hostiles after all, Billy brought friends!

It wasn't something that could be missed. By now, even other patrons were picking up on something happening. A shift in the air, a silence from people who were otherwise speaking, smiling, enjoying their time. After the shake, she plops back down, growling once she remembers she was bruising against her back. Huffing a breath, she smiles Jason's way, returning to her food and pointedly ignoring the noise behind her. Or, at least she was trying.

It just needed something, a whisper or a word to make everyone twitch for one reason or another. It could have been small, a fork dropping on the ground or one of the foursome speaking up about whatever was on their mind. Instead, it's a spidering of glass as something breaks through it. Something small that rips through the stuffed bear sitting across from Floyd, sending it flying off, sprawling, with tufts of cotton sticking out of what appears to be an exit wound.

From the Exterior, Jason appears calm, cool, and collected. He munches his food softly and contentedly.

At the smashing of the class, Jason explodes with movement. Like a tightly wound spring, he acts. The burger is dropped, and the same hand holding it grasps at Lena. He hauls her downward beneath the table and into the booth. His other hand moves to the small of his back, withdrawing a handgun. "Never a dull moment," He grumbles to himself.

Before the glass even breaks billy is distracted from the mexican stand off a burger bouncing off Billy's head as one of the soldiers notices that he is distracted. Billy turns around with a laugh and a snarl before the window cracks and breaks, he honestly isn't truly alarmed until he notices the bear sprawl with a large exit wound tearing it apart. He doesn't hear the shot past the chaos but there isn't a lot that does that. "Contact!" He calls out loud and hits the ground his hands immediately scrambling to free his Smith and Wesson M&P from his jacket. His men act almost as fast as he does, clearly driven by trained response as contact is called. All of them pull identical pistols as they hit the ground, standard carry for all Anvil employees.

"Anyone got eyes?" He shakes his head as he tries to look out the window without exposing himself, if that is a rifle his pistol might not be capable of doing a damn thing for him. What the hell are they even here for, this clearly isn't a robbery or a police operation. "Jackson, get ready for a run. Long arms in the back of the SUV."

In its own way, it was a sobering reminder that even the best weren't unbeatable. The shooter had either missed, or was making a warning shot. Perhaps it was simply a crazed gunman, or a rival out to make a point. It didn't really matter as Floyd dives from the table and rolls around the seating of the booth. It wasn't exactly bulletproof, but it would make him harder to see and thus hopefully harder to shoot. From beneath his jacket the man pulls his own handgun, a H&K P30L, but the firearm had much the same problem as Russo's. At this range? the 9mm wasn't going to do much. Of course, he had other options strapped to is wrist, but there were few things more identifying he could do.

At least the shouting from the grunts made it pretty clear the shooter wasn't with them. The promise of longarms? Well, they were certainly a lot closer than his own.
Lena feels her body crash down and get tucked away. Growling, she eyes those around her, a cold stare skipping about at the activity. They had hit the ground, found some cover, but everyone else was a frantic mess. At least the staff were attempting to lead everyone out of a back entrance, and someone was probably calling the cops. Lena? She scoffs and sighs, "I'm the only one without a damn gun…I feel naked." She smirks, glancing about once more and eyeing Jason for a moment, her fingers digging against the fabric of his shirt.

"Hot /damn!/" A voice calls out from somewhere outside. "A two for fucking ONE day at the Big Belly! Never thought I'd get that lucky in all my years. How you doin', Lawton? Been awhile." The voice asks, gruff as if its speaker ate cigarettes more so than just smoked it, then chased it down with a gallon of gravel. "And Russo? Damn, didn't think I'd see you outside of the 'box, much less here."

The voice alone was really all it would need to take for either men, perhaps even Jason should he have had to deal with his sort in Gotham. It was known that Gotham was fertile for bounties and the like, but Lawton and Russo both knew it was hard to put down a Mad Dog.

Jason roughly grabs Lena, pulling her to him for half a second. "Next time we go out, I'm bringing my armor," He whisper-growls in her ear. "This is twice now." He lets her go, patting her back reassuringly.

"Fuck," Jason curses at the voice. "This asshole." Tonight was supposed to be a free night. He left the base without grenades or gadgets, bringing only a pistol, kris knife, and two full magazines. This wouldn't last long if Mad Dog had the place sighted in. "Come on," Jason says, tapping Lena and rolling out of the booth. He begins to soldier crawl towards the door, staying low and out of sight.

Billy's voice is loud as he calls out, while simultaneously waving Jackson back. He sounds close enough, if he can hone in on that sound he might be able to give Jackson some decent covering fire while he makes his run. "Dog? What the hell are you doing here? Shooting into a godamn Big Belly Burger, and what do you want with this asshole. Hell what do you want with me, still upset you couldn't make the cut?" Keep him talking, get a half decent read of his position.

He nods towards Jackson before holding up three fingers before slowly folding them down whole mouthing the numbers. Hitting zero he rolls his shoulder against the wall making sure to prevent a small profile as he blazes with his pistol out the window, emptying the magazine as quickly as possible before falling back into cover. A dull click and thud echoes through the restaurant as he drops his magazine and inserts a new one before racking the slide.

Damn it, Floyd had just wanted lunch! Now he was down a gift for his kid, under fire from a psychopath and EVERY DAMN TIME the crazy bastards had to go yelling his name and outing him to the whole damn city. A sigh, the man adjusts his position behind his cover but doesn't speak. He was happy for Russo to be yelling back, happy to have the moment to try and concerntrate and work in reverse. Sound might be hard to track, but tragectory wasn't. He knew where he was, where the bear was. Even if the 'miss' had been caused by glass deflection, it gave him a good idea of where the shooter probably was.

Counting out the shots from Russo's own return fire, he waits till about eight shots have been fired before he pops up from his own cover, firing his own handgun on the position. It might be enough to get his head down, but without a clear target at this range it was going to be harder to take the sniper down at this range, especially since 'Dog' knew of his tricks and probably had the sense to wear body armor.

Bullets were singing out now, mixing in with the screaming of bystanders. Why was this becoming normal? A guy who runs fast, she could handle that. Cops threatening to fire, that too, a gaggle of men all packing heat? Christ…If there was anything Lena was, it was at least attentive. She counts, always counting, working through her mind how people were shifting, clips clicking into place, rounds cracking out in quick succession. "Boys are so messy…" she mutters at length, dragging up the excess flare of her skirt and handling her gun. "I got you covered!" She tells the men, rolling onto her back and firing out, coating the showcase windows with a heavy layer of ice.

The room was bright for those few seconds, arctic air sweeps through before it rolls across the ground. "Move it! Get your guns and get a better position." Outside, there was no telling where their shooter could be lurking. From the angle, at least, it was from higher up. This part of town only had a few buildings that might offer such a point. There was one thing, however, now they couldn't hear a thing from the outside. The communication dropped.

The icy cover goes up, and Jason uses the opportunity to scramble up to his feet. He flattens himself by the door, peering out and looking for cover. The Red Hood looks back to Lena and gives her a quick wink. The girl could look after herself he hoped, but someone had to neutralize this shooter.

The first piece of substantial cover he sees, Jason makes a break for. If he draws fire, so be it. It means Dog isn't shooting civilians AND he is giving away his position.

"GO, go, go!" Billy yells as he starts to run for the entrance covering the ground remarkably quickly, but what he lacks in size he more than makes up for with speed and manueverability. He hits the door at a sprint only a couple of seconds behind Jackson, his remaining two men only a couple of seconds behind him. He doesn't slow at all until he slams into the side of his the Anvil SUV relatively certain he has put the vehicle between himself and Mad Dog at least. He nods to Jackson with a slight breath of relief before he picks around to flip open the boot. "Well alright."

He dives into the back, fully commiting to every move he makes, chances are he is going to be sore in the morning but it is better than getting hit. He fires off a quick burst from his HK416 before slamming his boot into the weakened glass, allowing him to push the glass out to hand out the weapons wothout exposing himself another HK416 and two Sig MPX's joining the mix. And then it all goes wrong when the bear he was arm wrestling with earlier makes his run to the SUV a round punching through his chest sending him to the ground before he manages to claw his way around the wheel and into cover. "Fuck, I'm going to kill you. You son of a bitch!" Billy screams as he leans out of the rear end of the SUV blazing off several quick bursts.

The gunfire in return had been limited, but that wasn't that suprising with all the supressing fire going downrange. For a moment or two, Lawton had wondered if Mad Dog had caught a round or retreated to a new position when that gunshot rings out and hits one of Billy's guys, dropping the man. Ever sadistic, ever sloppy. If it wasn't for the ego of the killer wanting him to know he'd caught him, the round in the stuffed toy would have found Floyd's head and the firefight might have already been over.

He'd question the icewall thing later, right now he had bigger issues. Bigger guns were being handed out, but one hadn't quite made it to his hands. Fair enough, since the mercs didn't know him (which was probably for the best given the last encounter), but it left him with a range disadvantage. He'd have to make the most of it. "Throw me a rifle!" He yells over the gunfire, holstering his pistol once more only to lift his left arm and flick the release protecting the hidden trigger. The sudden semi-autofire coming from his sleeve was probably quite suprising, let alone the tightness of the grouping in what was essentially blind-fire. "I'll take him down, but I need the range."

The shots were only meant for specific people. One, now two, but once Jason makes a run for it to have some other advantage, he does get a warning shot all his own. The bullet crashes against a near by wall, clicking its side and sinking into the sidewalk. "Don't be a hero, kid! I'm not here for you!" Dog explains as he smoothly reloads and flicks down the massive member of Russo's crew. There's a low whistle catching the wind, eyeing the running and gunning, the steps taken for cover and that wall made of ice. "Today just got pretty exciting!" He calls out, down, he had to be close. The echoing was so near…Something is wrong.

Jason makes it to a car, flattening himself against it and bouncing off slightly. Everything is off, and Jason can tell. "Is he firing remotely?" Jason asks to himself. "Robotic assembly. He's pulling a Jackel." Jason reaches up to tilt the passenger side mirror to get a better look at Mad Dog's position. "Asshole has to have eyes on from somewhere…" Jason scans the rooftops, looking for siloheuttes. He takes another look at the building, looking for Lena.

Jason waves for the Mercs with the heavy weapons. If they see him, he pantomimes making a run to another piece of cover to draw fire, then he counts down from three. On three, Jason takes a deep breath and bolts again. A round barks, and there is a plume of blood from the outer part of Jason's left shoulder. He spins at the force of the shot and collapses behind the second car he was running to.

Billy rolls from the car again and ducks back behind to reunite with his men. "Fucking hell Anderson…." Billy looks at the bear like man as he breathes rapidly, blood frothing at his lips. "Fuck, we need plastic and tape. Place it over the wound and tape it on the top and the sides. You guys know the rec center near here right? It should have what you need. Get him there. I can get help there long before an ambulance will get here. Go. Take the MPX's."

He comes up from cover firing off several more rounds before ducking back in cover to reload before sliding the other HK416 towards Deadshot. "Hope you know how to use it soldier, I ain't got time to give you the rundown right now." Apparently he missed the wrist gauntlets, but he is more than a little preoccupied. After reloading he pulls out his phone as he hunks it down hitting a recent contact and turning it to speaker before he blazes off another burst. "Curtis! Get to the damn rec hall, got one coming in hot. Needs your help. Ambulance coming."

Finally the hoods words enter his skull about the remote setup. "You have to be fucking kidding me, how did someone like fucking Mad Dog get his hands on that? He peeks again before ducking back to cover "And where the fuck is it, where the hell is he?"

Now it made sense, why the echos weren't matching trajectory of rounds. A sneaky trick certainly, but the move of someone with more ego than smarts. Deadshot actually shakes his head at that. Fucking Mad Dog. Seeing Jason get hit, the man gives a frown, but the rifle was being slung his way and it was exactly the solution he needed. He actually rolls out of cover for the weapon, seemingly catching it mid-motion, flicking the selector and charging a round all in one before he comes up onto his back and fires a trio of rounds off. The pistol calibre bullets he'd used couldn't reach the sniper, but 5.56? Now the cards had given him a better hand.

Despite the ego, it was something between respect and prior knowledge that saves Mad Dog from catching a bullet in the eye. Three rounds, impossibly straight and precise in file, tear through the scope, the first one shattering the frame, the second blasting through the debris and the third? It flies straight through the newly cleared hole right to where his eye had been moments ago, grazing the sniper's skull. Were it not for the pained noises over the speaker? Floyd might have sworn he'd caught him, but the man clearly knew to move once the shield of range had been removed.
With a fizzle and pop, the sound coming from a hidden away speaker dies out, leaving the beating of their hearts to drum away in their ears. The Dog that was hunting them had gone away, at least for now.

Sirens blare off in the distance, heading in their direction as red and blues whip about, only stuck behind some lines of traffic. Billy's boys do as they're told, having driven off before Floyd let loose a bit of justice all his own. They'd get there, they knew the way.

A voice answers the phone, "Billy, he-…what?" He'll hear a sigh, but it was the kind that was more so tired, but accepting, than a rejection. "Alright, but I'm calling an ambulence." Curtis hangs up.

At length, Lena exits the shop, bear in one hand, and suckling salt off the other. "Fixed this." She murmurs with a stuffed cheek, tossing the toy Floyd's way. Eyeing Jason, she tenses before jogging over his way, swallowing her food down before reaching him. "Hey, thought you weren't going to hero today." She smirks, eyes up and down the road. "First time I've ever liked hearing that noise."

Jason looks alittle worse for wear. Blood is streaming down his left shoulder, coating his shirt sleeve and the left side of his shirt. He leans against the wheel of a car, gritting his teeth in pain. "Yeah, that job doesn't end," He takes another deep breath, stumbling to his feet. "Can we get out of here? I would rather not have to deal with the Blues." His head nods towards the oncoming police. Holstering his piece, Jason attempts to wrap his arm around Lena, and use her as support as they move away.

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