1965-02-21 - Beignets and Brawlin
Summary: The team goes to Jackson Square with JP while he has a crash and burn with his ex. Wandering through town they find a bit of trouble that proves a welcome distraction from the day's unfortunate turn of events
Related: This takes place just after: Meeting Mozelle
Theme Song: None
elmo severin vitale jp 


Severin had come to this little exchange with a pair of six packs. Oh yeah, he knew what was bound to be coming even before the first words left Mozelle's lips. And when she waved to him, he gave her a little salute. Sev was the one who never ended up getting caught, never went to prison, and had the rep for being one of the "good" Bonaventures, if one were to believe such a thing existed. But there was no particular light in his eyes as he watched Mozelle walk away, saw the way that his brother slumped with his fingers laced behind his head. And there was the notable absence of one small person that they had come all this way to see specifically. He pulled out a bottle opener and popped the top off one of the beers. It'd be waiting when JP rejoined them.


Elmo , standing by Severin, has paid strict attention to what passes between JP and Mozelle. His hands are in his coat pockets, anxiously fiddling with bits of junk, and his head is up and focused entirely on JP. People strolling the square get no notice from him. When JP slumps, his mouth twists, and he glances at Sev and Vitale. Then he goes to meet him.


Vitale notes that there was no child either, notes that the woman walks away and JP slumps. He can't heal that kind of pain and for once, Vitale feels useless, helpless. It makes the Italian swallow hard and he glances at Severin, wondering if they were meant to let JP come to them or should they go to him. Which was better? Severin would know best. He pulls in a deep breath and puts a hand on Severin's wrist. "C'mon. Shouldn't have to let him drown in that alone." He says quietly. "He's going to need that beer, I think."


It was after a long while JP, collected took a deep breath after some harsh truths and some deep but sound rejection, came to rejoin them on the other side of the fountain doing an… admirable job of keeping himself together. At least now there were known reasons why he wasn't quick to blame her. He was a rogue but he wasn't unfair; not really. She wasn't wrong and he had to accept actions had consequence and the consequences for his actions. He rolled a look up and took a deep breath, nodding. "Merci, frere." His freehand rest on Elmo's shoulder and gave it a squeeze. He looked to Vitale with a quiet nod of thanks and then looked to Sev. Sev… already knew he and Mozelle well enough to see that one. Hence the beer. Still the elder of the two brothers winced and told Sev what he already knew, "She didn' come. Maybe she change her mind." He looked. She wasn't there but he looked. Taking another drink from his beer he dove head first in exactly what the problem with him wasa nd that was a heist addict. "C'mon le's introduce these boys to beignets and figure out our plan f'today."


Severin shakes his head at Vitale when Elmo moves over toward JP, letting Elmo be the one to first go over to his brother. When JP nears, Sev hands him the beer and then nods his head. "We're here for a bit. We'll see her before we go." That much seems to be a promise from Severin. Oh yeah, that's going to happen. He pulls himself up though and nods over toward Cafe du Monde. "Want to grab a table? I'll leave the beer with you and go grab the beignets and coffee?" He looks at the others to see if they are game.


Elmo is, historically, extremely cagey about showing other men affection in public. Everything about him gets him into trouble with a certain type, no matter what he does, and he's decided not to make it worse for himself. Except—except now he's putting his hand on JP's, now he's slinging an arm around JP's waist to hug him, now he's sticking by JP and anybody who turns an eyeball can go straight to hell. He doesn't do it long, but for the brief moment…yeah. He's doing it. "Yeah," he says to Sev. He doesn't trust himself not to say something mushy to JP right now. "Let's do it."


Vitale takes his cues from Severin. He allows Elmo to be the one to provide the affection, maybe that's who he needs it from right now. "I haven't even heard of a beignet. I'm excited to try it." He says, making small talk seems the best for right now. He reaches over and squeezes JP's shoulder. "C'mon JP. We'll get us a table. You'll see her." It's doubly promised. Triply by the look of Elmo. JP was going to see that little girl before they left.


JP was having a rough go of it but really? It was the small gestures that spoke loudest to him.He dropped his arm around Elmo's shoulder and gave him a small jostle-half hug that spoke for him. It was enough to get him on by. Severin, though, he knew was as good to his word as he was. Severin saying as much wasn't an assurance as was a plan B forming if someone wasn't gonna cough up the goods. It was seconded by Vitale and that roused him out of that funk enough to nod "Yeah. Le's do it." Beignets now, and beer and… table. He said get a table and that they could do under the expansive green and white awning in the morning warmth of the riverside street. Unlike New York it was warm, green, and the air was clean. Ya know, really things were pretty good in and around the Big Easy.

The men in the suits watched them leave and cross the street. They didn't engage them, though to be fair it wasn't every day one got to see a small gossip column play out. The beignets were everything a tiny pastry should be: Piping hot, slightly doughy, crisp without being crunchy like a cruller and a throw pillow had a baby pastry and an entire ant hill of powdered sugar on top. JP kept Elmo on hand finding some normalcy to conversation was keeping his head level at least offering, "Well… at least she know me. Tellin' me she got the doll we sen' down to her too. That's… good." It was a start. He was really looking for some solid ground there.

Those men in the suits though were walking down the street and having a chat with some other folks, a small group of guys down the way just beyond the short line of horse and buggy carriages.


Severin wanders off to get the beignets while everyone takes a seat. He's pretty casual but not affectionate down in the good ol' south. There's no touching, really, a comfortable distance kept, and a lazy sort of detachment to the cat that came as natural as breathing. He acquires the goods and comes back with the little powdered sugar covered throw pillows and coffee for those who want it, cream and sugar for those who want them, and then there's the beer for those who prefer that. He plops down into a chair next to Vitale though and grins over at him before grabbing a beignet and making a right and unabashed mess out of eating it.


Elmo made a newbie mistake with the beignets, inhaled a bunch of powdered sugar, and coughed until his eyes watered. He said a bad word in Yiddish and muttered, "Shut up," pre-emptively expecting everybody to laugh at him. Once he's got the technique of eating a mouthful of powdered sugar down, though, he's impressed. "Jeez, these are good." Does he notice the motions of trouble stirring beneath the surface? No, he's here with his team, it's a beautiful day, and they have plans to make. "Kinda seems to me," he says to JP, "kinda seems like you're on the same side. You both want what's best for her. And she don't got any ideas about 'conversion'."


Between watching Severin scarf down the pastry like the wild animal he is and watching Elmo choke on his first one, Vitale can't help but laugh, despite the previous tension of the moment. "Don't follow Sev's example of just breathing in your food, Elmo." Vitale teases, shoving the smaller man's shoulder lightly before he takes one of the beignets for himself. God, this was good, it tasted like heaven so much that Vitale actively has to stop himself from moaning.

He does watch those men in suits, wondering what such finely dressed men were doing in a park, he watches them warily from the corner of his eye.


JP snickered and held the back of his hand to his mouth. Aaaah he was waitin for that to happen to someone. "A'ight a'ight a'ight, is like Whiskey. Breathe in, stuff face, exhale as ya need to or you' get sugar lung." Okay, Elmo he was still amused at the accidental misfortune but there was a grin there. "Yeah Vitale ain' wrong. Never eat like anyone that can unhinge their damn jaw." Wise and sage words. Turns out though while the morning was a wash, beignets could fix a wounded soul. JP had to reason, first to Elmo and the others, "The garage we found? Found one we like. Actually has a pretty boss kitchen tha's really open. Gon' hafta make these. I dunno if Big Apple have enough powdered suga' like Big Easy's got tho."

As it turns out the finely dressed men really aren't out of place so much as they lack a bit of colour from their attire. Breakfast was, coffee beer and beignets later, a decision of wandering around downtown, walking off the buzz, and taking solace in the agreement they were /going/ to see Amalie before they left. Had they not 3 angels they could reason with? No! But they had 3 angels on that trip and if need be they might be able to cut some sort of deal if it really really came to that.

It was Mardi Gras though and that meant there were just people everywhere and everything was done up purple, green and gold. JP Snapped his fingers and looked to Severin with alarm as they wandered their way to have a look throught he city, "Ooooh Frerefrerefrere! We got' have ma make a king cake!" King cake? Sounded big. He noted, "Suuuuper tasty and one of tha pieces has a baby in it." He nudged Elmo's shoulder with his assuring Vitale and Elmo, "Lil ceramic one tho. No' real one. We give up canibalism fo' lent."


Severin makes his way through a plate of three beignets without breaking a sweat or even taking a breath, it might seem. There is powdered sugar EVERYWHERE, on his jeans, on the ground, on his shoes, on his fingers, around his lips. It's like the man set up a few lines of coke then sneezed. When he finishes though, he wipes off his fingers and takes a few steps away from the table. Grabbing the edges of his shirt he pulls it out and shakes it out, then dusts off his pants before plopping himself back down until the decision is made to walk around town. He ambles along with the others, nodding about the cake easily enough.


"Sev!" Elmo complains. "Yer an animal." Of course he is! Elmo has tried with decent success to keep the pernicious stuff off him, but he's not going to be happy until he goes over every bit of coat and tie for sweet white dust. "Feh," he says to V, grinning his long half-grin. Coffee'd and sugar'd up, he's taking in the sights. "Okay, the colors, I like." But there's something else. Something going on. His dark eyes flick to the countermotion through the crowd, then away. "JP," he mutters. "You seein' this?" New Yorkers are finely attuned to crowds, and he's sensing something wrong with this one.


Vitale smiles affectionately at Severin, covered in sugar. "You're even sweeter now than you were before. You are good enough to eat now. Maybe you guys gave up canibalism, but I haven't." Vitale teases, quietly because being loudly flirtatious to your boyfriend in the south is probably not the best idea, even for a healer. When Severin shakes off all the sugar, Vitale can't help but smile harder. God, he adored Severin.

When they decide to walk around, Vitale sticks by JP, as JP points out a lot of the historic things and shops. It's a good distraction for JP and Vitale is hooked on every word because it's exciting, to be in a new place, so far away from home, so different from it. He does occasionally look back to Severin to share a smile, to ask him something about the shops that JP points out as well. Completely unaware to any growing trouble around them.


JP could probably quit his day job (had he ever had one) and become a tour guide. He could point out the place where all sorts of historic people dies, got the clap, things burned down, then they got un-burnt, and how some people think ghosts don't know how light switches work. "Really Elmo, We gotta bring you up in one 'them buildings and jus' have you tell us if it is the wirin or not. Cause if it's the wirin? Tha's one thing. If it is a ghost?" He considered and nodded, "I wanna fight it. Hey Sev you ever fight no ghost before?"

For a moment the people that Elmo and Severin noticed following them dropped from view and then were too close. As they rounded one of the side streets one of the people spoken to outside of Jackson square was suddenly up blocking the path. Specifically he was stepping up on Vitale. A large, barrel chested brunette of a man blocked the path. When Vitale tried to step around he moved with him. Those 4 young men that looked all sorts of College Varsity of some nature and the two men in suits were gathering up. Yup, Sev and Elmo picked it; they were certainly being shadowed.


Vitale apologizes when a man blocks his path, because of course he does, polite gentleman born and raised. "Oh. Excuse me, man. Sorry about that." When he attempts to take a step to his right, the man moves the same way. Vitale laughs, "Well, great minds think alike, huh?" He moves to the left and the man moves with him once more and all traces of politeness fade from Vitale's face. His right hand clenches into a fist. "You want to get out of my way or do you need incentive?" He threatens, voice foreboding now.


Severin is, in fact, on most days, an animal. He actually spends more time in animal forms than human on most days. But for now, out wandering with the team, he's in human form, even if covered in powdered sugar. He glances over at Vitale and smirks, shaking his head just a bit. "Terrible," he says, but it's with a grin. And then they're off to wander around, he points out some landmarks here and there, places that he and JP did stupid shit in when they were kids. None of it has any historical value — he leaves that to JP. He grins and shakes his head, "Can't say as I have," he answers in regard to ghost fighting. They were being followed, however, and he noticed, but didn't pay it too much mind at first, just keeping an eye out. But when they move to block Vitale's path, Severin is right up front with a broad grin that is almost feral. "Trouble?" he asks the man. Maybe he's offering up the menu, and it only has one item on it.


Elmo's right beside Sev, whipping around to confront the guy blocking V. He knows there's more than this guy, though. There's others prowling around. So he lets Sev face with this guy. He's got to keep an eye out for the rest of the assholes. He pulls something shiny and metal out of a pocket. It's a telescoping antenna, and he untelescopes it, giving himself a slim silver rod completely without menace.


JP was sort of on autopilot, but not enough so where he wouldn't be ready to hit the ground running as soon as his feet proverbially found it. His grin returned a bit latching onto fun ideas to distract him from a very real and crushing present. "We need to find some ghosts and fight em. Ooh Think we could fight the ghost of Andrew Jackson? Could be cool? Hey guys if you could fight the ghost of anyone who you pick?" They weren't walking tightly packed but turned when Sev went back for Vitale realizing he was getting separated int he crowd. Okay this guy wasn't a ghost yet but he was willing to be patient or help that happen. Vitale was talking and Sev was over there. tik-tik-tik was heard from the telescoping antennae sloooowly extending. He had to say it. "Awww and here I thought you jus' were gettin real excited abou' radio parts." Well let it not be said he lacked a sense of bad humor still.

The burly blonde brute blocking the boulevard bullishly (or B6 for those into brevity) was pressing his walk forward moving as far as to lay hands on Vitale and slam him back into the door frame of one of the nearby residence hard "You're in the wrong neighbourhood. You need to go." It would seem that some overly flirtatious comments were overheard, or perhaps something against Northerners, or some other ridiculous bullshit reason that he was up in his face..


Vitale doesn't get his arms up quick enough to block the man from shoving him into the door frame hard. Hard enough that anyone not used to take other's beatings might have grunted but this is just another Thursday to Vitale. Bullets hurt worse. "Oh shit? You don't say? What neighborhood is this again? I don't remember seeing a sign for Dumbassville on the way in." Vitale sasses while he brings his fist back to slam it into the other man's chin.


Nope. As soon as that guy lays hands on Vitale, Severin is in motion, and it isn't even a moment after Vitale hits the wall that Severin grabs the guy buy his trousers, and hauls him backward. Now, Severin's got some muscles on him, but he also has a hidden animalistic strength that goes beyond what one might expect for his physique, and so either the guy's going to give, or his trousers are going to give. One or the other, when Sev drags him. And in his cajun drawl he says, "You don't got permission to be tanglin' with my guests in my town, and I didn't hear my brother give you none either. So you round up your boys and you go find some rowdy tourists to harass or I feed you all to the gators back of my mama's house."


"Sure, laugh it up. You gotta twenty minute grace period." Elmo's only letting JP get away with that because JP got his heart broken. He gets a couple free shots. Although he's trying to keep alert for further trouble, he's grinning a feral grin of his own, watching Sev handle the one guy. And V is doing great. So far, nobody needs to get electrocuted today.


JP was so smug. 20 minutes of free harassment? SOLD! Let the friendly antagonistic revelry begin! He could back up Sev's words "Yeah naw I ain' say merde, frere." He looked to the side and added, "Pascal ain' here." Apparently more Bonaventures. How many there were was a mystery. Fewer than a Guthrie family dinner, but more than a basketball team. Then people laid hands. Aww heeeeeeeeell no! Vitale got slammed into a wall and Sev was up on that shit. Good! Then there was that fantastic right cross from V gettin his cannoli on. Yaaaaaas! JP couldn't pray for a scrap to come more conveniently timed. Getting one's heart ripped out was like fight pre-gaming. Lot of emotions and no outlet. Until now!

The action started to unfold quickly. The B6 Brute that had Vitale in hand got punched good. It was a hell of an opening volley really and that landed solid. Vitale might look light in the loafers but you don't grow up a Don's kid without being able to tow the line. It didn't put him out though and got a solid headbutt to the bridge of Vitale's nose first before being wrenched back (with pants) in Severin's grip. So, Severin had him in hand now. It was then two more goonies came up announcing their presence by approaching Elmo on the right, the guy on the left through announced his presence by getting the drop on JP grabbing him in a headlock from behind keeping him from responding. JP yelled, "ne gache pas mes cheveux!" Yeah don't mess up the hair? Man had priorities. It was clear the X-Ternals could fight here and be tangled in citizens and outnumbered a bit quick or try to find better ground running into who knows what.


Vitale brings a hand up to his face momentarily afterwards, still the man didn't make a sound at having his nose bashed. His hand comes away bloody but that's less than concerning when the rest of his team was in immediate danger. He hadn't brought a gun because surprisingly the first thing Vitale thought of when he was told they were going to be in a public area meeting JP's child was not to /bring a gun/. He had fists though, and he had learned how to use them from an early age. When your daddy's a Don, the first thing he teaches you is how to break someone's nose or how to bust all their teeth right out of their mouth. "JP!" He breathes when his eyes refocus because Fat Head here really knocked him one and the first thing he sees is JP gettin' snagged from behind. What he'd give for a combative mutation now. He looks to Sev first though, unwilling to leave Sev alone with this big asshole unless it looks like he has it handled. "What the hell is the matter with you guys? You got a problem with two men huggin' in broad daylight? That not allowed here? Hell."


Severin has a thug by the pants, and what do you do when you have a thug by the pants? You use his momentum to go thug bowling. That's what you do, and Sev keeps on dragging the guy around fully to shove him bodily into one of the other guys coming up on Elmo. The shove is hard, forceful, and aiming to throw them both off balance. The snarl that comes from him is nearly inhuman. He's not up for chatting at the moment. Sev's got his dander up, and he isn't in the mood for banter anymore.


Elmo has that crazy grin that rivals JP's when he's fighting. He darts away from those guys coming up on him, towards the man who has JP. The antenna flickers out and taps the man lightly on the shoulder, as if knighting him. Then *CRACK!* Electricity leaps down the metal. It's awfully close to the Cajun, but Elmo can avoid him. Mostly.


Bowling for baddies! It's everyone's favourite past time! Thu B6 went stumbling into the other to that were coming up on Elmo. The dragged man hit one causing him to stumble back. The other guy dodged out of his way but it bought both time and distance making him do so. That electrified rod arcs hitting the asshole with JP in a headlock. He flinched, JP flinched setting his teeth muttering, "
Merde, mes couilles!" Gearhead wasn't going to sweat that one as it let him try to place himself to get out of that position. Pulling himself lower he elbowed his handler in the groin before adjusting the front of his own jeans backing out. He spared a squint at Elmo like 'dude!' before looking back to Vitale. "Inbound, behind you." JP tarted a half circle to put the asshole that headlocked him between he and Elmo at least, ooor he just cut Elmo off trapping him between a few people.

Okay the team was outnumbered and these guys had some brawn on them. The man-turned bowling ball turned from Vitale to Severin. Ah well they can fight in any direction now. There was that which was good because a couple of bats seemed to be in inventory and at least a couple of them had what might be a blade of some nature. 7 in total. Oh joy!


Vitale looks behind him when JP points out that there's another three jerks on the way. He was beginning to think that this was planned out and had nothing to do with the fact that he'd told Severin he looked good enough to eat within earshot of some homophobes. He narrows his eyes and releases a sigh. They were in public, a place where killing people was frowned upon and usually punishable by law for some reason. "Too many eyes, JP. Would be real nice if a car just happened to run some of them down right now, don't you think?" He shouts to JP as he rushes at the human bowling ball as he sets his sights on Severin now instead of Vitale. Oh no you don't. There will be absolutely none of that today. Fist pulls back and, now with protective rage triggered, flies into that guys cheek with all the force Vitale has and for the second of contact he has, he transfers part of the pain back to himself but hardly feels it. "JP. Cars!"


With Vitale seeing to the one guy that had turned on him, Severin was freed up to go antagonize at least three more, because that's how he rolls. Holding both hands up in front of him, he makes a "come at me" gesture, curling his fingers toward himself and giving the three, at least two of them with bats, a broad and toothy grin. Oh yes, Severein Bonaventure is poking the bear. He even gives them a little wink, just to rile them up some more, complete with a waggle of his eyebrows, "Ey, let's put on some Zydeco, dese boys want to dance."


V is yelling at JP, but Elmo reacts. He yanks something else out of one of his many coat pockets. It's a soldered-together contraption of wires, batteries, and the thumbsticks of an RC car controller. This, he jabs his antenna into and flicks a switch—and a nearby car, sedately parked, roars to life. It shifts itself into drive and it launches straight at the struggling mutants and their suitors. Elmo gets out of its way as it comes barrelling in, controlling it with the joysticks, aiming it to plow into the grouped-up guys Sev is facing down.


JP looked to Vitale and ran towards- NOPE! Away from where the car revved to life. Still there were a few guys coming from the other side. JP Looked around and had to think fast. He ran away from the team and the guys. When was JP ever one to bail on a brawl!? OH when he could get his hands on a horse carriage. One of those guys up the side alley was closing in on them. The elder of the two Bonaventures let his palm streak across the back of the carriage trying to put it between them but, hey it was a simple device but it was a machine still. JP flinched slightly as he made the buggy suddenly torque in all the wrong directions at once throwing one wheel forward, the other backwards and popping all the latched on it so that it came down behind the horses pulling it with a loud crash! The horses took off and people were now making a crowd blocking the arrival buying some time. "Guys, they might got more friends come'in? We might wan' clean up quick here." That asshole #5 was there and diving at JP and out of the way of the horse. Still +1 is better than +3.

OF the three that were facing off with Severin? Elmo hit one with the car! Nice parking job! The two with the bats who were not hit were in fact half startled and half pissed, "I told you they're filthy Muties!" The one that got hit in the balls, however took a moment but wasn't out and he pulled his knife taking a swing at Vitale.


Knife. He has a knife. Vitale could work with that. He pulls his arm up to not quite block the blow, so that the knife lands deep in his arm. Alright. That one brings a wince out of him but he yanks his arm back fast before the thug can pull the knife out of his arm. It's an unconventional way to get a weapon but Vitale will take it. "Thanks, man." He says way more happily than someone with a knife in his arm should. He pulls the knife out of his arm and drops himself low to reciprocate the cut with one to the inside of that man's thigh. "You're gonna wanna get that looked at real quick, pal." He says and then turns to toss that knife, with precision aim, right into the nearest man with a bat, into the hand holding the bat. "Sev. Sev, he's right. Let's get out of here."


Severin closes in on the one with the bat that wasn't injured. The guy took a swing at him and Sev ducked. Coming back up, Sev took a swing back and clocked him in the side of the head. The bat got him in the side, but he wrapped his arm around it and gave a twist, wrenching it right out of the guy's hands and turning it around to clock him soundly with it. Hearing the others calling out, and glancing at the numbers present, he looked reluctant, but, taking the bat with him, he began to take off in the direction that JP was headed, but not before grabbing Vitale's arm and pulling him with.


Oh no. Now it's on. It was on before, but now it's REALLY on. "Filthy muties?" Elmo snarls. He flicks the joysticks. The car backs up. "Wanna say that again?" The car lurches forward. "I didn't— " vroom, lurch, "HEAR ya— " vroom, lurch, "the FIRST FERSHTUNKEN TIME!" Oh, everybody's running. Like before at the motel, he doesn't really want to run. He wants to make some jerks regret. But sense just wins out and he bails, taking off after his team. The car, he leaves parked where it is.


That thug that went with JP around the carriage was down to one knee on the sidewalk with him exchanging punches blow for blow with that impacting sound of knuckles to meat. JP, as per usual was grinning like a man possessed, "Vraiment? C'est tout?!" Narrowing his eyes he spat blood onto the sidewalk pushing himself back up to his feet, the aggressor doing the same. "My lil sister hit harder than you." The fact she was also amour plated he left out. Unimportant! Oh good he was pulling back? No. ooooof course not.

One thing changed up the entire revelry of bravado in a heartbeat and that was about a block down there was the sound of whistles. The sort of whistles that belonged to beat cops, and some of those beat cops were on horses. Yeah this was the good time while the adversary was scattered that they could have a window to make a break for it .


These Bonaventures and their love for danger was going to be the death of Vitale De Angelis, for certain. When Sev grabs his arm, the pain in his side leeches right off of Severin and into Vitale, Vitale wrapping his hand back around Severin's to pull it off quicker and it's like getting tickled at this point, his body trying to focus healing on the open wound in his arm more than anything, taking Severin's wound to let it sit. There was a far more pressing matter and that was getting JP and getting away. Especially when whistles hum in the distance. "JP! Elmo! C'mon, we're not spending a night in jail here." He shouts urgently at them.


Severin wasn't particularly wounded. With his enhanced strength and endurance, stamina, and such, he takes a hit pretty well without actually being too bad off, considering it just glanced off his side and he caught the bat, so it doesn't do too much damage to Vitale. Then they are all running, and the whistles are coming, so it's time to high tail it out of there. He takes off down a side street and into an alley then through a small courtyard, dodging a fountain "Mind the fountain!" he shouts over his shoulder, as he almost careens into it and makes a graceless stumbling path around it, headed for the alley on the other side, and hoping that the others are following.


Elmo's head snaps up as the whistles start blowing. Is JP coming? No, of course not! He shouts for JP. "Jeanushka! We're LEAVING!" Nobody can yell like a native Yiddish speaker. He flicks another switch on that cobbled-together gadget of his, and—*POW!* *CRACK!* *FIZZZZZZZ* Every street lamp, every lit-up storefront, every single light bulb in thirty yards explodes in a cataclysm of shards and sparks. Elmo races through the periphery of the damage, arm up to shield himself.

-

JP actually responds to a few things: one his mother using his full name. She didn't even have to raise her voice, she just had to think it and give him that look. Whooooooo! Help him if she had to repeat it! Aside from that on the short short list of things snapping him out of a parade of pugilism was Elmo dropping the diminutive on his name in argument. Hey, he listened and it worked! The dickweasel he was fighting with bade a grab for his sleeve but came up short opting to shield his face from the popping and the spray of glass.

There was cheering from bystanders rather than screaming because that much excitement, revelry and alcohol did wonders for what people will enjoy. Craziness. Still JP's arms windmilled as he caught up with Elmo grabbing his sleeve, "allez! allez!" On they went and SHITSHITSHIT! He almost went right into the fountain Sev warned them against, which- …good. His hand brushed the fountain and the water stopped letting them run past and after target sprayed the one guy trying to follow at full force.

Down down down across courtyards and between narrow buildings they went. JP grabbing a gate to force it open and locking it fast behind them getting further distance with the other aids for keeping them from being followed that the rest of the team provided. He… was out of breath, but they were able to snake their way far enough from the epicenter of chaos for now. JP looked to them taking a deep breath and said "Yous wan' the good news… or the bad news?" He waved a hand, "Regardless, I park Jeanne d'Arc not too far. She 14 blocks off… but I had to leggo of her t'hit up that carriage so… we hoofin it…" DEEP breaths. "Merde, V, you bleedin? They stick you?"


The warning from Severin keeps him from stumbling over the fountain. He brings up his arms when he hears the shattering of glass while it crashes around them. "Nice, Elmo!" He praises because that was one awesome move and even if they should be running like their lives depended on it, you need to give credit where credit was due. That was wickedly groovy. Vitale's legs carry him swiftly ahead. Next time they go anywhere he's bringing his damn gun.

When they're finally in the clear, adrenaline and worry pumping violently through Vitale's veins, he releases the death grip he'd had on Severin's arm, and still bleeding himself, yanks JP's hand into his, because he'd taken the most hits out of all of them. Breathing heavily while he pulls JP's injuries off of him, he looks at the wound in his arm, still trying to heal while Vitale pulls more injuries into his body, too much energy expended into running away, fighting thugs and pulling more wounds away from others, he hasn't healed yet and the wound still pours blood down his sleeve. He shrugs as if this were just another day. "I let him. I wanted his knife." He says between deep breaths as he reaches over for Elmo's hand as well. "M'fine."

Totally fine. Still bleeding a lot, but just fine, gimme your injuries.


It's only when they are in the clear that Severin lands against a wall and leans back there, panting for a moment. He watches as Vitale reaches out and grabs for JP to take on his wounds too while he's still bleading. "Easy there, chere. Nobody's dyin'. Let yourself recover first." Since he's already taken Sev's wounds, he doesn't hesitate to reach out and put an arm around Vitale's shoulder, drawing him in for a moment and murmuring something quietly into his ear before releasing him.


Elmo, panting and laughing breathlessly, skids to a stop with the rest of him team, half hanging on JP and half leaning against the cool brick wall. V takes his hand and he pulls away, arguing, "Ya dumkopf, you're bleeding still!" He only has scratches from flying glass, nothing serious, and he gets worried, "V, Vitele, you're bleeding like hell."


JP flapped his hand away from Vitale. "Naaaaw, no' yet… Fix you… then… do the thing… Lemme enjoy this." He was avoiding being tackled just yet. not… yet. The sting of the distraction was good and kept him thinking of everything except how this morning went entirely upside down. A sloooow emphatic nod as Severin explained it. Hunched with hands on knees he took deep breaths looking up to Elmo with a murmur, "You… is never drivin my car." Hell he had to laugh at Elmo remote running over that asshole. That was boss.


Panic sets into Vitale loudly when JP and Elmo both jerk away, so overcome with worry. "What… but JP, you're…" Severin is drawing him in close, trying to settle him. He closes his eyes when Severin whispers in his ear and pulls in a deep breath. "It's okay, Elmo, it's not a lot. Did you just give me my own nickname?" He says, smiling warmly at the smaller man but his reassurance is completely unconvincing when his sleeve is soaked red. It was blue this morning. He's gotta relax. But JP.. "Okay.. Okay.. Let's just.. keep going? It'll heal. When it heals, I'm taking that off of you, JP." He says very seriously.


"Okay," Severin says. "When you've healed your arm." He then sets to tugging his shirt up over his head and using it to bandage Vitale's bleeding arm, to at least staunch that some to relieve Elmo of some of his concern. "Relax and heal yourself first." He stares Vitale down then, probably a look he learned from his ma. He does agree though, "Let's keep going where we were headed. Maybe take a trip out to ma's."


"Hmph," Elmo says, grinning sideways at Vitale. "Don't let it go to your head." Sev staunches the wound, to his relief. "You can heal us when you don't gotta hole in you." He looks fine, sweaty and lightly bloody from superficial scratches, but fine. He wipes his hair out of his face, then laughs and grabs JP's face to kiss him. "Meshuggener momzer. C'mon let's get goin."


JP was tired and in… a weirdly good mood for the immediate moment. He needed that boost to his adrenaline. But hey gettin kissed, face smoosh or no? Hell he wasn't saying no to that. Preening slightly he mused, "I do like winnin me a prize. Really, V, This my natural state. I ain' proud. I hurt hurt you know." Yup! He pulled a sucking chest wound out of him. That statement held up, but he wasn't going to revisit talking about it. "Frere, you good?" Looking around things were presently quiet.

JP reached over and lightly slapped Elmo's cheek in an affectionate gesture before leaning an elbow on his shoulder. Sev though came up with a rightly good idea. Looking around he looked back to Vitale with a squint. Yes he was concerned. Worried? Nah. He's seen him recover from worse. Concerned though? Totally. He didn't care to see his own need to deal with that. Finally he offered, "V, you rest here. I'm a go get the car. Sev's right. We go back t' Ma's place. Best plan we got."


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