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Veronica ([personal profile] veronicamarshmallow) wrote2012-12-01 09:31 pm

Thursday, 9:45 PM | LaGuardia Airport Marriott

It had not been what Veronica would ever have considered a good day.

Not only had she missed her connecting flight to Ithaca, the airline had "misdirected" her single piece of luggage to Virginia. When she'd been waiting on a shuttle to her hotel, she'd been splashed from head to toe with slush by a passing cab. And now that she was dining the a dimly lit hotel bar, the last thing she wanted to deal with was a friendly travelling salesman named Barney - recently divorced, wouldn't you know? - chatting her up from his place at the bar.

About two-thirds of the way through her meal (hurried because of the unwelcome company), another gentleman entered and sat at the bar. As soon as it was apparent Barney was going to invite himself to her table, Veronica took her only opportunity to escape without outright telling the man to piss off. She gathered up her purse with a hurried "excuse me" hurled at Barney.

Veronica crossed the bar to where the man had just ordered. "Where have you been, bonehead? I was starting to worry!" She threw her arms around the stranger and embraced him warmly (hoping against hope he wasn't a worse kind of creep). Veronica whispered roughly into his ear, "Pretend to be my brother, okay? Please."
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[personal profile] thinblueline 2012-12-02 06:40 am (UTC)(link)
Airports happened to be one of John's least favorite destinations, and with as much traveling as he'd done lately, it was probably no wonder. There was always a chatty soul in the next seat over, or a screaming kid running around the terminal, fully ignored by no one but their lackadaisical, overly-listless caretakers. If it wasn't one type, then it was another, or any number of vagabonds with little else on their mind than finding a way to make traveling as unpleasant as possible across the board.

So, when Blake was grabbed and held against a warm body with a familiarity that spoke of old friends, the first thing that crossed his mind was that he'd found another person more than willing to make his airport experience memorable in the way you only consider telling your therapist. For just a brief moment, he considered rebutting the bonehead remark, but he whispered words stemmed any immediate response while he listened.

"Wha-?" He began, reflexively not wanting to follow the directions asked of him; however, a glimpse over the girl's shoulder at the leering man quickly put everything into perspective. Drawing back, John grabbed on to the girl's shoulders and gave her his best impersonation of a familiarly longing gaze. "Hey, sis! Didn't even see you there, you... sneaky thing," he responded, bordering a new level of lameness. Gotta work on that ad-libbing, apparently. "How long've you been there? I was just gettin' worried I'd never find you in this place." So worried he'd ordered dinner, in fact.
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[personal profile] thinblueline 2012-12-02 06:36 pm (UTC)(link)
"You know, uh... turbulent," he joked, trying his darnedest to keep his tone light (although, considering that landing, it wouldn't have been a lie). As he took in the blonde girl across from him, he wondered if this was the sort of thing he dealt with often, or if she was just good at off-the cuff improvisation.

A cursory glance over his shoulder is disguised as a waning interest in the arrival of his food, but in reality Blake was taking a better look at the man at the bar out of the corner of his eye. The drink he had was nursed if the slivers of remaining ice were any indication, and there was no doubt the man was intent on listening in on their conversation from afar.

John returned his attention to his sudden-sibling. "Any idea when they'll get your bags back?"
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[personal profile] thinblueline 2012-12-02 11:52 pm (UTC)(link)
Good practice, right? Instead of responding right away, the young man took to moving around some of the food on his plate — in this case pasta and bread — and bought himself a little time.

"Home. Celia's been sick and Aaron's just gettin' over it so Paige didn't want them travelin'. Tough break, but considerin' how crazy people are bein'," John said, a pointed look tossed in Barney's direction, "might be better for 'em." He gestured for his so-called "sister" to take what she wanted from his plate while he sat forward and pulled his wallet from his back pocket. A couple seconds of investigation on his own part and he tabled it and pushed the whole thing in her direction.

"Got some school pictures from this year if you wanna see." There were no pictures, but it would allow her a glimpse of his license, which would at least tell her his real name. If she wanted to be particularly snoopy, she would also find a decent amount of cash, probably close to $300 in $20s, and a sparse collection of business cards with handwritten information.

Amidst all of this, John finds himself wondering if this was what a real, normal life felt like. He'd had something akin to it working in Gotham, but no family to speak of, and no kids to boast about. No, this felt particularly strange and oddly inviting when placed against the carbo-loading, non-stop jet-setting, rigorously scheduled existence meant for nothing but training that had been defining his life for more months than he'd be willing to admit.

"Shoulda brought some extras," he added, far too late to make it sound like anything but an out-of-place after thought. "Sorry."
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[personal profile] thinblueline 2012-12-03 01:49 am (UTC)(link)
John was quick to protest, reaching one hand out to fend away Veronica's card while the other stuffed the insurance ad into the inside pocket of his jacket.

"Nono, I've got it, Vee. You've got a lot goin' on. Takin' care of dad's not, uh... it's not cheap, I know." Dropping the facade didn't feel quite right in the presence of the waitress, even if the creeper at the bar seemed distracted. For that matter, he wasn't the only one, as the girl in the red dress caught Blake's eye for an unsuitably long time before returning to look at the waitress not wanting to make a commitment.

John blinked in the lulled moment before realizing his mistake. "Oh, uh, hold on." A smile to cover and he went about extracting some cash from his wallet and handing it off. "Keep the change." For whatever reason, it seemed to be enough for the waitress who shrugged at Veronica and disappeared to square everything up.

Another waning glance and the girl at the bar entertaining Barney and Blake shifts in his seat. "Sorry, that was— Didn't want to make things weird, but— Yeah, yeah, that guy definitely gives off those— those creep vibes. Glad to be of service."
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[personal profile] thinblueline 2012-12-09 03:02 am (UTC)(link)
"Track marks," Blake corrected. "Probably heroin." His voice is held low to avoid carrying around the bar area, but there's little speculation beneath the near-whisper. Being inconspicuous had been something he'd been working on, but the sudden shock of seeing the woman in red drop to the floor had actually managed to surprise him.

His eyes drifted between those helping the woman and sweaty Barney, and before too long he was up out of his chair.

Apparently wary of letting anyone leave, the chef held up a hand as Blake stood, his voice becoming insistent. "Please, sir, please, do not interfere. We are handling with, ah... with medical doctors and everything will be fine, do not worry. You will have a drink. Please, sit. Please."

John hardly heard what the little man had said, his attention keenly focused as the creeper at the bar began making his way out of the area. He gestured, pointing it out to the chef in order to divert his attention. "What about that guy? Looks like he could use a drink, too. Prob'ly before he leaves," the young man said pointedly.

"Ah, ah!" The chef for the hotel seemed just as concerned about Barney and raised a hand as he rushed away to stop him from leaving as well.

"You wanna go, now's your chance," Blake suggested to Veronica, rounding his chair and searching in the pockets of his jacket. He obviously had no intention of leaving himself, but he guessed the girl was smart enough to take a cue. "Not sure this is something you wanna see," he finished as he finally located a couple pieces of paper wrapped around something shiny and suspiciously vial shaped, which he consulted immediately.
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[personal profile] thinblueline 2012-12-09 06:30 am (UTC)(link)
"Looks like it," he agreed, though he was only half-concerned about the new person (mostly because he'd been expecting him sooner or later). They were both on his very short list of people to watch out for, and now that he'd confirmed their presence, it was clear there was something more happening than just your general heroin addict swooning.

Vial concealed loosely in his hand, he turned to Mars and lowered his voice. "Do me a favor? Gonna get a closer look, but if someone looks like they're 'bout to throw some fists, I could use a distraction," he explained, all the while turning up the cuffs of his jacket. "Nothin' too crazy — break a glass, knock over the table, just somethin' simple and non-invasive. Do that and I'll send you flowers on your birthday," he finished, and whether he was being serious about the specifics or not, Blake guessed it was enough to illustrate his point: He'd owe her.
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[personal profile] thinblueline 2012-12-14 02:13 am (UTC)(link)
As he approached with caution, Blake fixed his face with an appropriate expression of concern. The woman was shifting uncomfortably in the hands of the her brutish companion, but from the angle she was being held, it was impossible to tell whether she was understanding the whispers or just riding through whatever effects the heroin was having.

"How is she?" He asked, crouching down next to the pair, his hands shoved into the pockets of his jacket.

The man turned his head to look at Blake, expression blank for a long enough moment that it might be questioned whether he was in touch with reality at all. Soon enough, though, he rested his cheek against the woman's hair to obscure her face even more and grunted out a reply. "You a doctor?" Blake shook his head. "Don't need no audience," the guy added warily.

"How 'bout a good Samaritan? She'll do better if you get her up and movin'," he offered, but as he man tensed, it was clear the advice wasn't wanted.

"You'll do better if you get the fuck away."

"Got it. Loud and clear," John responded immediately, a conciliatory nod following up his words. As he stood, he reached a hand out to grasp the man's shoulder in a sign of support, but it did little more good than provide him a proper hiding place to put the little sticker tracker around the edge of the collar of his suit.

As he walked back in Veronica's direction, he shrugged, feinting a look of uncertainty. "Thanks. Guess they didn't need help after all," John told her, but he was already halfway distracted as he fished out his phone to ensure the tracker was transmitting properly.
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[personal profile] thinblueline 2012-12-18 02:24 am (UTC)(link)
The sudden change in direction had his attention quickly diverting from the blinking dot on the screen of his ridiculously over-complicated concept phone (courtesy of Wayne Enterprises R&D). He glanced over at his faux-sister, an eyebrow raised. She was awfully curious for someone that was looking to get away just a few minutes prior.

Blake raised an eyebrow and slipped the thin phone into the inside pocket of his jacket, right alongside the letter with Veronica's information on it. "Looks like she's gonna be okay," he replied, side-stepping any real answer, even if he had the inkling she was asking in a more pointed manner than he was allowing for. Another look in the direction of the commotion and he could see Mr. Meaty was pulling the girl in the red dress to her feet.

Blake cleared his throat, attention waning quickly as more people arrived to observe the scene. "So, you're— You're good then? No more need for a stand-in?" Purposefully obtuse.
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[personal profile] thinblueline 2012-12-19 05:19 am (UTC)(link)
Malice? Probably not any of that to be noted. Blake found that he couldn't do much more than look a bit guilty, his eyebrows drawn. It wasn't as if lying would do him any good — a guess like that was too pointed to be anything but educated — but if he could at least point her attention in another direction, he might not have to explain too much.

"You're right, I'm trackin' a man known to associate with heroin addicts on the off chance he might lead to somethin' bigger," he whispered sharply. "Someone bigger." It was only half the information, but with enough truth ingrained, Blake was hoping it would be enough for Veronica to stop pressing. He already knew the name, already had a general location, and now it was down to actually letting the brute get back there so he could gather everything he needs to shut the whole crime family down.
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[personal profile] thinblueline 2012-12-21 04:00 am (UTC)(link)
He had a hard time not smirking, though it occurred to John that he must have at least looked self-satisfied when she realized he wasn't just picking on the two elephants in the room. As he checked to see if Mr. Hamhands and his lady friend were moving any faster, he reached a hand up and pressed Veronica's shoulder in a gesture meant to lead her a bit farther away from the bar.

"Not lookin' to get into details, but they're part of somethin' bigger," he informed her, though it had to have already been obvious. "Ever seen one of those movies where the klutzy buffoons stumble into a situation they can't handle?" He waved his hand. "Just waitin' for those hilarious results."
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[personal profile] thinblueline 2012-12-23 07:33 am (UTC)(link)
"A PI." Blake felt almost impressed with himself, as his tone managed to stay even. For as far-fetched as it seemed, the level of persistence meshed, and aside from the earlier incident, Mars didn't have any reason to lie to him. Of course, there was more to the situation than John could admit, but it might not hurt to let her in on a few more details.

Or, at least, it probably wouldn't have hurt if not for the sudden appearance of some faces that Blake wasn't counting on. Immediately, he turned his back to the door and grabbed Veronica's arm so he could force her to do the same.

The din of the commotion was nearly breathtaking as a group of be-suited individuals swarmed into the room. Two talked on their cellphones and another two began folding in on the departing heroin addict and her large friend. As Blake pulled on a ball cap, he just barely caught sight of the group out of the corner of his eye.

"Thinkin' we oughta continue this elsewhere," he warned as he aimed her in the direction of the elevator. A quick glance at his phone and he doubled the pace. If he was lucky, the tracker would remain undetect—

"Over there!" The yell came from behind them and Blake pushed the elevator button with some urgency. This wasn't a good time to have to wait, so he pressed against Veronica again and pointed her toward the stairwell. "Gogogo!"
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[personal profile] thinblueline 2012-12-23 09:25 pm (UTC)(link)
Blake found that the training had been paying off, as he expected to be a bit more winded than he actually was. If nothing else, it was a bolstering surprise, though it did little to help with the nagging feeling that they just hadn't escaped far enough, and now there was another person involved. Veronica had somehow managed to involve herself on some level, sure, but that didn't mean she needed to be directly in the line of sight with these people.

Feeling he had little other recourse, he stepped toward the center of the room, somehow still at the ready even behind closed, locked doors and tried to explain. "Been investigatin' 'em for two weeks. Andrea da Panicale — that's the girl in the red dress, also known as Erica Fortham — and Gianlorenzo da Panicale, or Jerry Jonas. Been posin' as brother and sister, but they're a coupla con artists that got upgraded by the mob. They've been managin' a group of drug runners pushin' heroin through the kitchen of this hotel," he told her, and no matter how hard he tried, he felt like his roots in the police force were seeping though.

After taking a moment to just breath and be, he took it upon himself to sit on the edge of the bed, a hand running through his hair. "Things are gonna start goin' really bad for 'em real soon and I need 'em to find my way back to the source, so blowin' it now's not gonna do me a whole lotta good. Must know I'm on to 'em by now. Gotta switch gears." Even before it left his mouth, Blake was reformulating his plan, trying to decide the best way to get through these two and to the top without exposing himself in the process. He's supposed to be working transparently, after all, and thus far he'd been anything but.
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[personal profile] thinblueline 2013-01-03 01:47 am (UTC)(link)
"Undercover?" John repeated her, not because he didn't understand, but more because he was considering the possibility. Truthfully, he'd already been undercover in some aspects, but going even deeper undercover might be a good idea since some people had already managed to see their faces. Not to mention, that sort of thing was a part of his job description these days, therefore he gathered he ought to get used to it.

He nodded a little late. Having picked up on her visual cues, he stripped off his jacket and handed it to her and then went about dragging his fingers through his hair, softening out the generally chiseled look by pulling everything down toward his forehead. The next step had him getting rid of his sweater so he could roll up his sleeves. It wasn't the most convincing change, but if he kept his head down and didn't do anything to attract attention to them, it might actually work.

Without preamble, he tossed his sweater to Veronica, guessing she'd find some creative use for it that would be better than trashing it all together. "Hate to say it, but somethin' 'bout this says you picked the wrong brother," he added a little later, voice rueful. It was a shame she was involved now, but she didn't seem to mind all that much considering her call to action.

[[OOC: No worries, my love! <333 ]]