xp_daytripper: (turf war)
[personal profile] xp_daytripper posting in [community profile] xp_logs
Angelo and 'Domenica' go and meet their mark.




The gang didn't do much to conceal what they were doing, so confident were they that they had things under their control. The young man leaning against the wall of the bodega had the look of every other Hispanic youth in a gang - jeans and wifebeater and a cotton shirt over top, too many tattoos and a certain way of looking at the world that said he didn't particularly care who he went through to get his way, only that he got it. The difference with this particular gangbanger were the spines protruding from his face and body. If he noticed the occasional sideways glance, it didn't seem to matter - he returned the fearful looks with a flat, dangerous stare.

"There's our man," Amanda said quietly to Angelo as they watched a young girl furtively approach the gangbanger and unobtrusively hand him some cash. In return, she got a small white object, which she slipped into her handbag as she walked away. "Broad daylight and all." She tugged her top down a little more so the neckline revealed a bit more of her cleavage, and gave Angelo a mischeivous grin, familiar in the unfamilar face generated by the inducer. "Ready to jump in and be all protective if needed, love?"

He was leaning against the wall in turn, outwardly as relaxed as anyone ever got in this place. Glancing down at her, he nodded. "Ready an' waitin'. Just like we planned."

"Showtime then," she said, taking a breath to still her nerves. Not because of the situation, but because of that damned accent. "Be back in a minute," she told Angelo, slipping into his speech patterns again, before walking off towards the bodega, adding an extra swing to her hips to emphasise the shortness of the skirt. As she passed a car parked outside, she could feel the eyes of several more young men on her, and she glanced over at them, one part assessing, one part contemptuous, all the while projecting the studied nonchalance of a junkie in need, but trying to hide it. Approaching the dealer, she glanced over her shoulder nervously, before speaking: "I, ah, need some stuff. Heard you were the one to go to."

"You heard wrong," came the reply, as he looked her up and down. "Don't have anythin' for you, flatscan. Fuck off."

"Who're you callin' flatscan?" she retorted, snapping her fingers. George appeared obligingly, somehow picking up on her mood and bobbing protectively over her shoulder, flickering in shades of spotlight-white and marquee-yellow. "I'm as mutant as anyone." She licked her lips, glancing around again and dropping her voice. "You know want I want."

Angelo hadn't moved from his spot, for all he was poised and ready to be over there in an instant, but his attention was - almost - all on the deal in progress.

"Power like that, you need all the help you can get, chica," the dealer said contemptuously, but his posture relaxed a little. "Haven't seen you 'round here before. Where're you from?"

"San Diego," she replied. "Had to move out after the big rumble, didn't I? Thought I'd try the City of Angels out, see if a girl could get ahead in a place like this. I heard it's the place for everything."

"Could be. If you've got the price." He nodded at her. "Let's see what you got."

"What you can see ain't enough?" she replied, but reached into the stupidly tiny purse and pulled out enough of the wad of money inside for him to see it. "That good enough for you?"

"Si, it'll do," he said, holding out a hand. "Fifty. New customer tax."

"Man, you are one suspicious guy, you know that?" she grumbled, but handed over the cash. Behind her, she heard a car door open and close, and the skin between her shoulderblades prickled. Shades of Uganda again. She kept her hand out, though. Junkie with more need than sense. To her surprise, the inhaler was handed over without protest, and she tucked it away, willing herself to stand still until she'd been confronted. She didn't have to wait long.

"Hey, chica, you new in town? We could show you the sights." A hand grabbed her shoulder and spun her around. Two of the gang members from the car, with the third remaining sitting in the open door of the driver's side, watching.

"I don't think so," she retorted, jerking back and stumbling a little, her voice rising with fear and aggression. "'Sides, got me a man. He takes care of me."

"Bet he does, a junkie like you," came the response, and the one on the left, with a snake tattooed up his arm, reached for her arm again.

Angelo had been moving, fast and dangerous, from the second the first guy spun her round. Now a hand came down hard on Snake Tattoo's wrist, hard enough to hurt. "Yeah, he does. Hands off."

"Hey!" Snake Tattoo wrenched his wrist of out Angelo's grip, but only barely, and now faced up to him, raising a hand that began glowing ominously. "You wanna be takin' your nose out of our business, ese," he warned. His friend stepped between the two of them and Amanda, effectively walling her off since he was obviously some kind of physical augmentation. Muscles rippled and multiplied across his back and shoulders as he crossed his arms over his chest.

"See, I don't think so, ese", Angelo snapped back, not giving an inch of ground in spite of the glowing hand. "Because she's my business. Mine. You got that?"

It was hard to keep the surprise off her face at the way Angelo was reacting - while Amanda knew he was no coward and she knew his background, she'd never seen him like this before. It was... intriguing. She made a show of trying to shove her way past MuscleMan, but he simply pushed her back with a hand the size of her head. "You keep your filthy hands to yourself, pinche!" she snapped.

Snake Tattoo looked surprised that the smaller man wasn't backing down from the display of power. "You got somethin' to back those words up, little man?" he taunted, pumping a bit more power so that his fist crackled impressively.

Angelo gave him a sharp-edged grin and didn't bother trying a show of plain physical strength, instead holding up one hand and whipping strands of skin straight at the other man's face. "Could say that, si."

Snake Tattoo involuntarily stepped back, jerking away from Angelo, and nearly fell over his own feet. Face flushing dull red with embarrassment, he made to step up to Angelo again, but a single word brought him to a halt.

"Enough."

The speaker was the third man in the car, in the driver's seat. Now he stood, unfolding slowly and lazily, eyes not moving from Angelo. "Eduardo, stand down, man. This ain't the time."

Grumbling, Snake Tattoo - obviously Eduardo - did as he was told. His leader - since who else would a gang member obey so quickly? - nodded at Muscle Man, who stepped aside and let Amanda get past him. She rejoined Angelo, George still bobbing over her shoulder, and got in close enough to show she was Angelo's prize, but not enough to crowd him.

"New in town, bro?" the leader said, speaking to Angelo after the briefest glance at Amanda. "LA's not always the safest for new fish."

"Not that new", Angelo said almost easily, eyes flicking between the leader, Eduardo, and Muscle Man. "I was gone for a few years. Now I'm back. Girl's from San Diego."

"San Diego, huh? I can see why you're back." Dark eyes moved back to Angelo. "I'm surprised your boys didn't tell you not to come sniffin' 'round here without a free pass. We don't like strangers on our turf. Means trouble - nothin' we can't handle, but too much brings the cops down on us."

"Trust me, man, I don't want to tangle with the cops any more than you do", Angelo said flatly. "But your guy here put his hands on my girl."

"A misunderstandin'," the leader said, glancing at Eduardo, who was smart enough to keep his mouth shut. "Ain't nothin' meant by it." Pulling a pack of cigarettes out of his pocket, he took one for himself, then held it out Angelo. "You got yourself a crib, yet? Could be I know a place. Got everythin' you want, no hassles from nobody, enough of the good stuff to keep your girl happy..."

Eduardo stirred at the offer, but another look shut him down.

"Yeah?" Angelo asked, his look somewhere between wary and knowing. "An' what's the catch?"

"No catch, man. We muties, we gotta stick together. Big bad world out there, man. One of the local gangs, it's got a real hate on for our kind. I'd hate to see that pretty girl of yours messed up 'cause they ran across her." The leader shrugged, lighting his cigarette with a fingertip. "'Course, it's up to you want you wanna do. Me, I'm always on the lookout for talent. It seems to me you might have some."

"I've got a few tricks", Angelo said with a nod, seemingly coming to a decision. "Okay... you're offerin' all that just for one more on your crew, I'm in."

The leader was too good to let his satisfaction show on his face, but there was the slightest hint of smugness in his body language as he offered Angelo the cigarettes again. "Name's Ricardo. My boys call me Ric. You got a name, ese?"

"Angelo", was the simple answer, as he accepted the cigarettes this time, burying his own triumph deep. "She's Domenica."

Ricardo lit Angelo's cigarette with his powers, and leaned back. "You met Eduardo. This here's Ox..." The man-mountain, now shrunk back to a normal - if beefy - size, nodded without speaking. "He don't talk much, but he's solid. Don't piss him off or he'll tear your head off. Seriously, I've seen him do it." Ric barked a laugh at the nervous glance Amanda shot the other mutant, moving in closer to Angelo and taking his arm. "You don't got nothin' to worry about, chica, if you stay outta his way." Then he abruptly banged on the side of the car. "Hey! Baby A! Get your ass out here!" There was a female voice, mumbling sleepily in response, and he gave Angelo a slight shrug. "Women. 'Specially when they get a taste for the stuff. You know what I'm sayin', si?"

That voice had sounded familiar, even sleepy as it had been, but Angelo just nodded with a rueful glance down at "Domenica" that - according to their act - she wasn't supposed to see.

"Still, keeps them in line." Ricardo banged on the car again. "Don't make me come in there..." he warned.

"Ayyyyy, whaaaaaat?" Came the sleepy whine. A head poked ouf the car window. Even though she'd obviously been alseep, the girl's pancake makeup hadn't even smudged. She tucked one strand of hair that had been curled and hairsprayed so much it's texture was actually crunchy, behind one ear. "Who're these putos?" Alejandra slurred, peering at the newcomers blearily.

Amanda bristled. "Who're you callin' puto?" she began, stepping forward, but then Angelo took hold of her arm and jerked her back.

It wasn't exactly a surprise to see her there. Not when he'd known she was with this gang. But she'd only been fifteen when he last saw her, and the difference between then and the girl in front of him now... Angelo kept his reaction firmly off his face. "Angelo", he said calmly. "Looks like I'll be joinin' you."

Alejandra Torres gave both the newcomers a once over, inspecting them like she would chipped nail poslish. She then gave a sleppy shrug. The new girl had something to prove obviously, but she'd take care of her if she got too uppity. The grey one cute, but obviously with the new bitch. "Whatever. Riiiiico," There was that whine again. "When we goin' get somethin' to eat? I'm starvin'."

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