... or just bail, whatever.
Tuesday morning. 19 March 2013.
Ryan gets his FREEDOM back. For now.
Imagine the inside of the nearest NYPD building as any other brick building bustling with busy workers and customers. Except its workers all wear a distinct navy uniform with holstered belt and various equipment, and all drive the same car. Customers, however come in all variety of appearance, but most are family members or lawyers of the accused housed towards the back of the facility, beyond all the office cubicles and desk milling about with response teams.
It is in this unseen part with iron bars and locked doors and heavy surveillance that an officer leads Ryan out from, handcuffed and hugging a plastic bag stuffed full of his belongings and original clothes he wore to the compound on the day of his arrest. Quiet and /not/ upbeat as per his usual self, he follows the policeman to a chair where he is told to sit and stay while he fetches various paperwork that will need signing for his conditional release.
At the FRONT desk, the secretary behind a glass screen speaks over the loudspeaker, calling for Jackson Holland to please pass through security to the back, where Ryan Black is waiting.
Jackson is a bright spot of colour among all the navy. He has leggings, shiny-liquidy looking in a dark reddish-pink that shimmers like an oil slick; a silver skirt worn over top. Velvety purple jacket, black blouse. Neon green and blue hair. Glittery silver makeup. He doesn't really look /proper/ but he has /paid bail/ and successfully had the metal detectors determine he is Not Armed so what can they do? Unlike Ryan, /he/ is upbeat; at least, he /looks/ perky and well-rested and there's a bright smile on his face as he slips back. He bounces over to behind Ryan's chair, leaning down to curl an arm around the audiokinetic's shoulders for a quick squeeze of hug, and press a light kiss to the top of Ryan's hair. "Ryan, honey-honey," is his greeting (bright! Cheerful! But no amount of illusion can hide the stress-worry-exhaustion-guilt-fear that churns underneath, to empathic senses), "did you know that tomorrow's the first day of spring? Things're getting warmer. Brighter."
Ryan has limited mobility with the metal weight of shackles around his wrists preventing him from an open-armed reception. He slumps in his chair against the wall, waiting to be shoved a stack of files and a pen; the admission of Jax /before/ this comes as a surprise. The shiny-bright exuberance of his best friend coaxes out a weary smile, one curbed by the oppression of meeting in these circumstances and with the reminder of all the other problems-to-come that surface with the sight of the illusionist. Nevertheless, he adopts a stage persona, squaring back shoulders, and (genuinely) leaning into his embrace. "Jax," is more of a barely-contained whisper than exclamatory outcry. "I didn't. I lost count of all the days I've been here. They kept me in solitary confinement. Threatened to shave my head. But you should see my prison tattoo. It's all stick-and-poke. I was /initiated/ into some Puerto Rican gang." Those selfsame empathic senses that detect the multitude of disconcerting emotions pluck at a sense of humor; sure, he's lying, it's obvious, but he is trying to elicit laughter.
The attempt works, a quiet laugh coming in time with another kiss; this time Jax's cheek lingers for a moment, pressed down to the top of Ryan's head as he hugs his friend a liiittle closer. Then stands. "Did you /tell/ them you're Mexican," he asks Ryan, "cuz they might shank you when they find out you're an impostor. If you shave your head I'll give you a /sick/ skull tat, though." He shifts away from the chair, moving around it to drop into another next to Ryan. "To commemorate your long stint in the Big House."
"Yep, changed my name to Ryan Negro. Told them I got in for a caper. I'm just glad none of them had ever seen Ocean's 11," Ryan confesses, speaking into his ear and rubbing his cheek against him (there's stubble! razor=bad in prison). He remains sitting, lest the middle-aged blonde officer severely eyeing him reprimand him with a sharp yell. "Hmmm. I think I might just have to shave my head /anyway/ then. To add to my street cred."
Jax lifts a hand, fingers absently skimming over Ryan's arm -- or over the tattoos there, anyway. Less affectionately and more possessively, absently checking /in/ with his own handiwork. "Hurts like you have no /idea/, though," he says, speaking from experience although his current shaggy hair hides this fact, "but a hardened criminal like you ain't no stranger to pain. How many jailyard fights you get in? M'I gonna have to ink you with tears, too, for all the lives you took?"
Ryan gives himself over to inspection, smiling wider as he looks over the images inked onto his skin. "Eh, I'm tough. I'll just make sure I sm--did they take the potcactus?" Fearless or forgetful of where he /is/, the musician asks after his confiscated drugs nonetheless. His voice only lowers marginally to accommodate its illicit message too. "I think I earned a tear for every day I've been in here. I was top dog back in there. No one messed with m--" He cuts off as the officer in charge of reviewing his case and prepping his release papers comes up from behind.
"Mr. Black, I'm going to need you to sign these, as well as I'll need verification your bail's been posted."
"Uh-/huh/. You talk big but your pretty face, I bet you were /everyone's/ favourite girlfriend." Jackson frowns at Ryan's question, nudging his shoulder up against the other man's. "Ain't nothin' illegal about havin' a cactus. But, uh, no, they took it for evidence. Don't think they got no idea what to do with it." At the officer's words he straightens, reaching into his pocket and procuring a sheet of paper with a receipt stapled to it. "S'right here, sir." He's so polite! The southern drawl just makes the sir more /sir/y. The instinctive distrust and discomfort and dis/taste/ that accompanies Any Interaction With Police does, at least, not show through, in his polite tone or careful smile. But it's there, and at Ryan's side Jax is /just/ that much tenser.
"No way, I was the toughest." Ryan tightens his features into his best approximation of Stern, and flexes. All such antics cease with the approach of the officer, as he adopts a somber attitude. The officer takes the ticket from Jax, scrutinizing it for a moment without any reply. His manner is gruff. Ryan waits patiently, then, "Alright. You can go as soon as you fill out this paperwork. I'll not uncuff you until then." The man hands the stack of papers to the /unrestrained/ illusionist, then paces away with the promise to return. "Ugh, I just want to be /out/ of here," the audiokinetic whines.
"You know," Jax says, as the man leaves, "you'd think filling out paperwork'd be the perfect time to uncuff you." But he clicks the pen open with his left hand, starting to fill things out /for/ Ryan in neat-precise handwriting, small and spiky-sharp. For the most part he doesn't even ask for answers! He just knows them. Possibly he's been busy stealing Ryan's identity in his spare time. "S'aright, you'll be out soon. I baked cookies. Like jail cookies? They got little razorblades in them for your prison fights. And cigarettes you can trade for sex."
"Right? Guess they don't want me running. I'm just glad I'm not getting mutant treatment," Ryan admits, frowning as the activist in him stirs. Content to let Jackson fill out the various forms for him, he continues on talking. His good mood is returning, and with it, his empathic touch flourishes, encouraging a eased feel. "Oh, man. If only you'd delivered those a few days earlier. I coulda' scored some of the /better/ stuff they have in there. Maybe if I just go back--" He breaks off laughing. "Did you-- how did you come up with the bail money anyway?" comes upon a more serious note.
"Sure," Jackson says, with a crooked smile and a wry touch of amusement, "they save that for the freaks, dude. You're a celebrity. Probably get an /extra/ blanket for your cot." He glances up from his form, a brief side-flick of his single eye. The answer he gives is very serious: "Sold half my liver. You want to see the scar?" His right hand is reaching for the hem of his shirt as he writes, clipboard on his lap. "I mean, sorry, man, I know I was saving that for when the booze makes yours give out but I figured since it was for you /anyway/ you'd forgive me."
"Man, you should /see/ the luxury suites they keep for the A-listers back there. Sparkling water comes out the /faucet/," Ryan jests right back, sitting up to glance over the paperwork. A punch in the liver region accompanies the frown he offers Jackson. "No, /really/. I'll need to pay you back. I just hope you didn't, like, actually sell your kidney."
In answer Jackson lifts his shirt up at the hem. A thick V-shaped scar runs across his abdomen, fresh and recently stitched, marring the tattoos already there.
"That had better be an illusion." Ryan is frowning even /harder/.
"You could touch it and find out," Jackson is saying, totally deadpan as he lets his shirt drop back into place over the scars. "Is groping in the police station illegal, I got no clue." He's filling out the last of the fields, and slipping the clipboard onto Ryan's lap. He tucks the pen neatly into one of Ryan's cuffed hands.
"Let's not add to my charges," Ryan grumps, clutching the pen to scribble out his signature. "There. Done."
"S'there a bell we ring or somethin', service around here don't seem so hot. I bet your room service didn't even come with a proper /menu/." Jax takes the clipboard back, and the pen, glancing around for an officer. More concerned is: "/Have/ you eaten? I, um, I kinda cooked a lot for when you get home. Not just razorcookies. Jails ain't generally the most vegan-friendly."
"Uhhhh..." Ryan is going to plead the fifth on that one and /not/ answer about eating during his prison stint. Instead he waves his cuffed hands frantically in the air, summoning the attention of an officer who grunts, and leaves his desk to attend to them.
Jackson's lips twitch, but it's kind of a thin smile. He bumps his shoulder against Ryan's, though, and then smiles a little warmer. "I cooked a lot," he says again, quieter and more like a reassurance as he hands the forms over. With a polite smile! "Thank you, officer," he says, "I think this should be everything, sir."
The policeman takes his sweet time about reviewing each sheet, skimming the pages for the relevant signatures. Finally, he grunts, and holds out his hand. Ryan supplies his shackled wrists, and, is freed! He doesn't bother with any gratitude, just grabs Jackson's hand, and tugs. "C'mon, I'm /starving/."
"Uh-huh." Jackson is amenable to tugging, hurrying along with Ryan with noooo desire to linger in the police station. "Just remember, dude, if you skip out and make me lose that bail /I'm/ going all bounty hunter and tracking you down." This might be more of a threat without his bright smile. It gets brighter still as they head back out into the sunshine outside. "Smell that? That is the smell of /freedom/."
But it's New York. So it mostly smells kind of like car exhaust and piss.
Beggars can't be choosers, though.