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Dramatis Personae

B, Steve


"{How much you /want/?}"


<NYC> Harbor Commons - Rooftop - Lower East Side

An open-air escape especially popular with smokers and fliers, the Common House rooftop makes good use of its limited space. The railing that circles it has child-resistant gates where walkways can be extended to connect to the other buildings in the development. A colorful and ever-changing table with sometimes-matching benches provides an ideal spot for an urban picnic. There are two garden boxes on the south-facing side, one for vegetables and the other for herbs and flowers, a tool shed and small patio table with chairs between them.

It's later afternoon, the sun already setting but the air still mild. A few small, puffy clouds dot the mellow twilight sky. Steve sits on the edge of the roof, under the railing, bent over a sketchbook with his feet dangling down. He wears a somewhat chewed-up blue-and-green flannel, dark blue jeans, and combat boots. His shield leans against the railing beside him, a faint glittery sheen visible over the patriotic red, white, and blue. The sketch taking shape beneath the swift strokes of his pencil depict a young man with a mess of dark hair, sitting on a table and cradling a guitar; his eyes are closed and his mouth parted, the corners of his lips turned up in an expression of sublime joy.

There's a quiet hum, a glow overhead, the lightcycle-outline of B's bike veering down from overhead to glide to a neat stop not far from Steve. The bike's diminutive rider looks underdressed for even the mild weather, tall stompy chunky boots and glittery silver fishnets rather striking against hir dark blue skin, /very/ short micro-mini pleated black skirt, shiny silver jacket with hir MMMC kutte over top. She tugs hir helmet off as she hops down off hir bike, a definite grimace on hir face. The scowl melts away -- kind of -- as she looks at Steve's sketch, though. "Oh. /Oh/. He's pretty."

Steve looks up as the bike approaches. Lifts his pencil-wielding hand to wave at B as she dismounts. Nods his agreement to the comment, then tilts his head back to face hir, blue eyes appraising. "{You look unhappy. Something bad happen?}"

This is answered with a low growl, B's gills fluttering at the sides of hir neck. Hir eyes fix on the picture, thoughtful. "{Just -- people.}" Hir lips curl upward, slightly. "{A many people out there I can't punch.}" She sounds slightly regretful at this, though amends a moment later: "Well. /Shouldn't/ punch. Shane'd probably punch them for me. {/That/ look happy, though. I like that.}"

"{Many people, I also want to punch.}" Steve looks down, his smile sheepish. "{If can't punch them, I come home, punch bags. Or friends.}" Though here his eyes go wide and he adds, quite hastily, "{If -- if they want. To fight -- /happy/ fighting. Not just punch /any/ friend.}"

B lifts webbed fingers to hir lips, stifling a tiny giggle, shoulders curling inward with the small laugh. Hir eyes have lifted from the drawing, tipping up-up towards Steve. "{Happy fighting.}" There's still a hint of giggle in her voice. "{Don't just, come home, bam. First person you see. Punch?}" Brows hiked up in questioning. "{I have lived long time with Shane. Would not surprise. He always ready for fight.}"

"{No, I ask first, usually.}" Steve runs his fingers through his hair, tucks the pencil into the spiral binding of his sketchbook. "{But that depends, who is first person I see.}" The clench of his fist suggests he has /someone/ in mind, but he relaxes again, shrugs. "{Anyway, can I help? Make some tea? Watch a show? Play game?}" Slight pause. "{Punch someone?}"

B glances down to Steve's curled fist. Rocking forward onto hir toes, she leans up in towards the man. Hir eyes open wider, smile quick in time with another flutter of gills. "{Fight me.}"

Steve blinks at B a few times, tilting his head like a puppy. He sets the sketchbook down beside his shield and twists around, pulling himself to his feet. "{You have seen me fight, /real/ fight. How much of that can you take? How much you /want/?}" His muscular shoulders roll back in a slow stretch. "{I have fought your brother -- you are like him, strong?}"

"{Yes, I want you,}" B replies, cheeks flushing darker blue after this. Hir hands press to hir cheeks, rubbing there as if she could rub /away/ the blush; in combination with the duck of hir head, drag of teeth against lower lip, its an affectation unconsciously quite similar to hir father's. "{-- I mean I do not mind. You are strong. I know. I am...}" She hesitates, head still ducked, toe of hir boot scuffing in against the rooftop. "{Not Shane.}" Hir foot drags, toe of one boot kicking lightly against the opposite heel. "{But I can handle, I think. You -- okay to fight me?}"

Steve blushes, too. "{I did not mean to say that you are weak.}" He slides one foot back, settles his weight quite low and puts up his fists. "{I can handle -- I think.}" He smiles, kind of shyly, too. "{I'll let you know if I can't.}" When he strikes, he comes at hir fast and hard, two quick right jabs aimed at her face and a low left kick.

B's face lights up as Steve comes at hir -- hir smile, now, is bright and wide, teeth bared in fierce toothy grin quite unlike her usual shyly reserved expressions. She's launching hirself in towards Steve as he strikes, twisting sideways with lightning speed. Hir hands come up to grab at the arm that has struck towards hir, claws sinking down hard into his forearm.

She hisses out through hir teeth at the kick, though as hir foot slides out from under hir it doesn't seem to unbalance hir all that much; hir hands twist in against Steve, and she runs right up /onto/ the guardrail, flipping around off of it to swing a knee in towards Steve's midsection.

Steve's smile brightens, too, though not so fierce or toothy as B's. He grits his teeth when hir claws tear into his arm, but it doesn't slow him down. Pivoting on his rear foot, he just accepts the kick to his side and swings his left fist at B's shoulder while she is still airborne.

A harsh growl thrums in B's chest at this punch. Claws still gripping Steve's arm, she plants her boot against him and pushes off of /him/, this time, arcing up over the arm she holds. Her grip doesn't slacken until she's nearly flipped, claws releasing only in order to ball up hir fist and slam it up towards his chin. She's tucking down low already once she lets go to drop, rolling in towards Steve's legs with a low sweep of kick.

Steve hisses a sharp breath as B's claws come free from his arm, blood soaking through the sleeve. He's just a little too slow to block the punch to his jaw, coming as it does from such an unexpected angle. The blow doesn't knock his head back very far, though, and he recovers from it in plenty of time to sweep at B (not very /precisely/) as she tumbles through the air, then to leap over her kick.

B is knocked back by this sweep, though the hit just shifts her momentum. Backwards tumble, now, thudding in against the guardrail. She drags herself up off it, getting to her feet to push off the railing and throw a hard spinning kick back towards Steve.

Steve winds back for a vicious right hook just about as B pushes off of the guardrail again. He still makes no attempt to block or dodge the kick, though he turns his body enough to take it on his side. The clench of his jaw as he braces for it looks less like a grimace than a grin.

The blow slams B back, skidding back to fetch up against the side of hir parked bike. Hir gills are fluttering, teeth poking up beneath hir cheek where Steve hit; ze spits out a sharp serrated tooth a moment later, wet and bloody. Charging back in towards Steve, shoulder tucked, it seems like she might just be attempting to /tackle/ the larger man; only at the last instant does she drop, low to the ground, sliding down towards his legs instead. Claws lengthening, outstretched in hard /slash/, one boot lifting to snap towards the back of his knee.

Steve drops his stance even lower in anticipation of a tackle. He begins to shifts his weight back onto his trailing foot and turn away when B drops, but not quickly enough to evade hir claws, which slice through the denim and leave bright red lines down his left leg. He sucks in a sharp breath and starts to shift his weight back -- perhaps in preparation for a counter-kick -- which proves to be a grave error when B's boot slams into the back of the knee now bearing most of his weight. Throwing himself into the direction of his fall, he performs a backflip, aiming to land in front of B (or possibly /on/ hir?), right fist already winding back for another punch.

B doesn't quite try to pull /away/ when Steve flips towards her. She does shift upward, angling herself so as not to be /pinned/ entirely when he drops; there's a bright gleam in her expression, though, when he lands on her. She braces for the punch with a low growl, teeth clenching as she presses herself back against the ground. Her legs hook up around his, hands lifting to slam inward towards his sides. Curling to rake claws upwards, hard.

Steve punches B in the jaw, not once but twice in rapid succession. He might have /continued/ doing so, but the scrape of claws up his sides actually puts a hitch in his movement -- the first time in this fight that pain or injury has seemed to slow him down in the least. His fist freezes where he has drawn it back again, pausing just long enough for blood (his /own/, as likely as not, from the first time B's claws connected) to start dripping down from his knuckles. The next strike he aims at hir chest -- as well as he can figure where hir solar plexus is.

B's head turns in against the cold rooftop with a sharp keening yowl of a cry, the sound not altogether /human/ in quality. When she looks back up her bared sharp teeth are streaked red with blood. In the brief pause of Steve's fist, /her/ claws sink in harder, legs tightening sharp in their hooked hold on his. Partly out of restraint and partly out of leverage, twisting hir whipcord-lean body upward, curling in around to champ teeth hard at Steve's ribs. Twisted to the side the punch comes down, then, along hir side rather than hir chest; the blow against the long arc of hir gills draws another sharply keened creel from hir throat.

Whatever Steve had been about to do it's forgotten the moment he sees the /inside/ of B's mouth -- more of it than he probably could have reasonably expected to see -- and the rows upon rows of teeth that she sinks into him. He finally pushes free of hir legs, but the jaws are harder to escape where they have lodged in between the slats of his ribs. The wrenching of that movement, however, tears the wound wider. He yelps -- kind of quietly, all things considered -- and taps the roof beside him, slow, reluctant, but loud.

B's jaws unclench the instant Steve taps, claws retracting though hir hands stay pressed -- more gently, now -- against his bloody sides. Hir knees crook up to either side of his hips, breathing ragged with a faint edge of whimper in the sound. "Oh -- /oh/." Hir head has pressed up against his chest, though only for a moment, thumping down against the roof after. "You okay?" There's a faint quiver through hir tensed muscles, shivering underneath the much larger man. Hir tongue slides up over hir mouth, licking blood off her lips. "{Like I say. Not... Shane.}"

Steve slumps forward, breathing hard. His right hand, coated with /his/ blood as much as B's, drops to hir head as it hits the roof, as if he hadn't just been pounding on it a few moments ago. "Yeah. You?" He looks hir over, and his pale blue eyes go wide, not apparently at any particular injury -- after all, he inflicted them -- but at the arrangement of their bodies relative to each other. "Oh -- I uh. {I should...}" His face turns quite red as he hastily removes himself from between hir legs, only to drop heavily to the roof beside hir with a grimace. "{But, yes. You are /not/ Shane.}"

B's gills flutter, hir cheeks darkening deeply as Steve moves off of hir. She tugs down at hir skirt, pulling it a little bit further down hir thighs, fishnets hopelessly torn now. "I'm fantastic." There's a thick edge of pain in hir voice. It doesn't stop hir from pulling up, into a slow crouch and then to stand, offering a hand out to Steve to help him up. "{Needed that. Thank you.}"

Steve's eyes slide shut for a moment. Open again when B replies, and though there's no surprise in them there's the hint of a smile that doesn't make it to his lips. "{I not have a beating like that since...well. Last person did that, was trying to kill me.}" He stretches out his red right hand and lets the much smaller sharkpup pull him to his feet. Hisses out a sharp breath as he rises, disturbing the wounds along his sides, bleeding visibly through the gashes in his shredded shirt. "{Thank you.}"