|Strangers in the Night|
|What: Prabhakar comes across an injured Huntress, and soon so does Lois Lane. Robin's attention is caught later.|
Late night. Like, indecently late. So late it's almost early morning. The ever-busy highways are at the lowest lull, cars few and far between and the majority of traffic consisting of semi trucks hauling cargo of every sort imaginable.
Off of the highway, the side streets are even more deserted ... except for one boulevard. There's a rather oddly behaving motorcycle travelling along the street, swerving seemingly randomly as it goes.
A nice night, especially for one who sees not cars and trucks, but waves and peaks. Prabhakar had just come from a check-up of a meek meerkat-esque young man on the very outskirts of Gotham. Living alone and with a personality that borders on acute agoraphobia, the poor man had no one to call when he'd fallen and hurt himself. A neighbor knew of the clinic and had heard that Prabhakar made house calls, so there it was.
The mutant is flying high overhead, medical bag held tightly, following the highway back to New York. Technically, a straight flight would have been better--but seeing by heat means that by following the highway, he won't get lost. The friction of vehicles moving through air creates easily-followed waves of warmth. Like that small one off to the side. Narrowing his eyes, Prabhakar looks toward the boulevard. That's not good. Curious and cautious, he banks off to the side to investigate, flying lower to come in at an angle where the--ah, driver of a motorcycle--can see him. From far enough away to not be too disconcerting.
Though, he doesn't really remember things like "light", and how necessary it is for most people, so he might just edge too far away from street lamps.
Maybe it's lucky for the doctor flying overhead that Huntress isn't currently bothering with looking up. She's having enough trouble just keeping her recalcitrant Ducati from alternately either leaping forward out from under her or stalling altogether. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that she's holding her left arm close to her chest as if in pain, and is trying to drive the bike with just one hand.
The Ducati abruptly lurches and stalls, leaving her right smack in the middle of the street between the pools of light from the street lamps, muttering curses under her breath because speaking any louder than a whisper makes the drum line in her head crank the volume up to eleven. Thousand.
No, that's not good at all. When the motorcycle stalls and stops, Prabhakar presses his lips together in concern. This is not a place someone would stop willingly, after all. He flies lower still, just a yard or so off the ground. It's only as he passes a few street lamps does he realize what image he may present--though he's also sure he's wrong. Like he knows how other people see, and thus how they'd perceive him flying above the street like that. Oh, well.
When he gets about five yards away, he pulls his wings up and back, swinging his legs forward so he can drop lightly to the ground. Like stepping off a curb, really. As his wings fold over his shoulders, the curved talons at their apices locking together over each other above his chest, he walks carefully forward. Wings billowing softly like a thick cloak, he holds his hands out in a placating pose. "Excuse me," he calls out, keeping his voice friendly. "Do you require assistance?"
Huntress struggles with trying to keep the bike upright and get the engine restarted, and someone appearing seemingly out of nowhere and addressing her is more than her tenuous grasp on her equilibrium can handle. She stumbles, and the bike starts to topple. "No.. damn it..."
He half-jumps a few feet forward, tail darting out to wrap around the handlebar of the motorcycle as he goes to put his left hand near her bicep. The Ducati is let down more gently, and he says, "I am only here to help, miss. I give you my word on this; I am a doctor." He holds up his right hand, holding the medical bag as evidence of his assertion. "You are--badly hurt..." He can see the warmth, as close as he is now, radiating from her wound. That really looks like it needs to be tended to.
Huntress had been focused on her motorcycle and trying to keep it from falling over on its side... it'll be a REAL pain in the neck to straighten up later. She turns her head -- too fast, can't focus fast enough -- and lashes out blindly at whomever it is holding her arm. "Let go, damn you!" Yeah. It's not very convincing.
When she lashes out, Prabhakar jerks his hand back, arching a hairless brow in the process. This is not going to be easy. "I only want to help, ma'am, I promise this," he says, keeping his voice neutral with shades of friendly. "I assure I am a doctor." He slowly reaches two fingers into his coat, and pulls out an I.D. card with the name and address of the clinic on it, and his photograph, to show it to her--backwards, but maybe his crimson, pupil- and iris-less eyes are enough of a clue that he just can't see that he's holding it backward.
Huntress pulls away from Prabhakar when he lets go, and it's enough of an abrupt change that she actually falls over next to her motorcycle. To her credit, though, she's trying (unsuccessfully) to scramble back to her feet again almost immediately. She hasn't noticed the card held backwards, and even if she had, things're kinda ... blurry right now. Goes along with the ringing in her ears from that damned explosion that Red PITA set off.
There's an old curse that comes to mind, but Prabhakar manages to keep it just /in/ his mind. Setting the bag down, he goes to crouch in front of her, to lightly touch her hands with just his fingertips, to let her know he's there but not trying to grab. "Please," he says, softly but with a touch of imploring. "Let me help you." It's difficult when the patient doesn't want to be doctored. One of the things they warn about, but no warning ever really prepares one for the real thing.
Huntress finally gives up, trying to glare at the person that keeps talking at her most HOLY CRAP! Her eyes go wide and she recoils, throwing herself back away from the GARGOYLE crouched in front of her. Her right hand draws and shakily aims her crossbow in Prabhakar's general direction. "Wha...when did the Bat start taking things too literally?"
...now would be a great time for that curse, if Prabhakar could remember it. However, he's focused on the--whatever it is. He can't quite tell /what/ it is, but it's pointed at him after she spiked in heat from fear. Wonderful. "My name is Doctor Prabhakar Bhattacharya, though please call me Doc Prabha, if you wish," he says as he keeps his hands out and to the side, trying to keep the fear from his voice. And failing. But at least he's trying. "Please, I do have identification." With that, he waggles the card between his index and middle fingers.
The crossbow wavers in her grip more, and then she abruptly starts rattling off what sounds for all the world like Latin. "Exorcizamus te, omnis immundus spiritus..."
And that hairless brow raises again. At least she's not--firing the weapon, throwing it, whatever. Prabhakar really can't tell well enough what it's supposed to be, but her pointing it at him is enough of a clue. "I speak a little German and Russian, if that helps..." he offers, giving her a small but friendly smile.
Huntress pauses, and when the gargoyle doesn't react to the opening words of an exorcism ritual, she finally realizes he truly might just be one of the more unfortunate mutants she's seen. Finally lowering her crossbow to the street, she deflates a bit. "Damn. Don't sneak up on people like that. Especially here in Gotham." She tucks the crossbow back into its holster then starts gingerly trying to stand again.
"Technically we are not /in/ Gotham," Prabhakar points out, then holds out his left hand to her. "Please, ma'am--let me help you?" he takes a step forward and leans over, but isn't about to make the same mistake he made before. Twice.
Huntress stops halfway back to her feet, putting her uninjured hand to her head to wait for a bout of dizziness to pass. "Wait...what? Not in Gotham?"
"We are," says Prabhakar with a glance around, "somewhere between Gotham and Manhattan. I believe the former is that way, and the latter is that way." He points in the relevant directions. "You are on a--by-way? A road that is not a major highway. I saw you as I was flying home." A beat, then, "And I will slip my card back into my pocket, now." That's said as he--slowly, in case she wants to whip out that whatever-it-was again--moves his hand to his coat to slip the identification card back into the coat's inner pocket.
Huntress doesn't pay the returning of the card any mind as she finally struggles back to her feet and with an annoyed huff reaches to try and haul her motorcycle upright again. "Just ... effing ... great."
The gargoyle-esque mutant tilts his head a little as he watches her, using his tail to retrieve his medical bag. "May I please at least examine you? That wound on your arm does not look good." A nod toward the wound in question. It's radiating heat in ways he doesn't like; it's got to be painful, and it needs to be tended to.
Huntress gives up on trying to haul the Ducati up with one hand, closing her eyes against the renewed pounding in her skull. "Why? What do you care?"
"Because I care," says Prabhakar softly, yet very truthfully. "I--do not like to see people hurt. That--is why I became a medical doctor. I--want to help people..." A shrug of his right shoulder, and he holds up his medial bag. "May I?"
Huntress squints in Prabhakar's general direction for a moment, then finally relents. But she won't go without at least some token complaining. "Here? Right now? And you're gonna help me get my bike outta the road, right?"
"After I tend to your arm, yes, I shall help you with your motorbike," says Prabhakar with a warmer smile. "Now, let us see how bad it really is..." And with that, he goes to move around to get closer to her arm as he opens his medical bag. First, a visual--if of a sort--inspection. "How did this happen?" he asks as he peers closer at the wound on her arm.
Huntress sighs and tolerates the gargoyle-esque person moving closer. "Some ... jerk took a potshot at me."
Arching that brow again, Prabhakar starts gingerly pulling some of the shreds of her glove. He's careful to cause no pain; he just wants a better look. The gloves, interestingly, block some of the heat. "Okay, this seems to be just a graze, but we need to take care of it. Worst case scenario, it gets infected and you lose the arm, or worse." He hands the medical bag off to his tail, and absently rummages through it. He comes out with an alcohol-soaked pad and opens it. "This will sting," he says, glancing up at her before reading to start cleaning the wound.
Huntress grits her teeth. She's had to do this by herself enough times. "Just... hurry."
Efficient would be a better word to describe Prabhakar's work. He doesn't linger, he doesn't press any harder than necessary, and so on. He pauses now and then should she require it, as it will sting like the dickens. When he's finished, he wads the pad up and sticks it in his pocket. "Now," he says as he digs through the bag again, "we will use Neosporin. It is a triple-antibiotic ointment that will also help promote healing." He brings out a small tube of the stuff, a baggy of cotton swabs, and a rubber glove. The latter is slipped onto his right hand, the baggy opened and a swab retrieved, then the tube opened. "This will not hurt," he tells her before starting to apply the ointment.
Huntress has been hissing curses in Italian pretty much the whole time, standing so tensely still that she's starting to shake. "I know...what Neosporin is." It's really damned lucky that no one else has driven by yet.
"Ah, my apologies," Prabhakar quickly offers, given with a small inclination of his head. "I just did not wish you to be uninformed." And with that, he begins to swab the wound with the cooling ointment. That doesn't take too long--really, just deposit a dollop and smoosh it around until it covers the affected area. The baggy is dropped back into the bag, then he puts the tube in his coat pocket for use on the abdomen scrape. A package of gauze is brought out next, opened, then wrapped around the arm. An Ace bandage will be next, the whole thing kept closed with metal clips. "I will give you extra bandages," he tells her, "and I would advise that you change the wound every few days, as well as to not get it wet."
Huntress hmphs in annoyance. She's not a newb, she knows the drill, even if right now she REALLY wants the pounding in her head to go away more than anything else. "May I ... at least take off the f... uh... effing glove?"
...glove. Right. Prabhakar had been so caught up that he had actually forgotten about it. This is what he gets for forgetting himself--though in his defense, he'd been rather frightened just a few minutes before, in an area he's not really familiar with. "Oh, yes, of course, my apologies," he says as his cheeks darken in whatever passes for a blush. "Yes, of course." He's close enough, now, to see enough of the expression on her face. "Hmm," he says as he presses the backs of his fingers against her temple, and peers a little closer. "I see in heat vision, ma'am," he says to explain. "So I must get a little closer to see the details properly." Details like heat emanating from her skull in not-so-good patterns, dissipating before he'd be able to see them at a farther distance.
Huntress winces and pulls away from Prabhakar's fingers, which just kicks off another severe dizzy spell and forces her to snag the man's forearms to keep from possibly falling over. There will be NO puking tonight. NONE.
When he's grabbed, he reacts by keeping that arm still for her and grabbing her forearm. When she's steady again, he pats her hand, saying, "Alright, let us get something for that dizziness. I believe you may have a concussion, so I would like to get you admitted to a hospital. Until then, I have some anti-vomit medication and some pain-killers." Making sure she's steady, he reaches into the medical bag for just those--a bottle for the former, a packet of two Tylenol for the latter.
Huntress huffs, closing her eyes until the dizziness and nausea back off a bit. "No. No hospital."
That makes Prabhakar exhale softly in dismay. "I--must suggest it strongly," he says. "Concussions are serious issues that may lead to many other maladies. I could offer to take you to the clinic I work for, but we don't have overnight facilities--and I do not think you would like trying to share my tiny apartment for a few days." Humor should hopefully help, and that was actually a decently humorous joke.
"No." Huntress leaves no room for argument. She /can't/. Especially not in costume. "I just...I need to get home." If she's not in Gotham anymore, she's not at all sure where she is.
"Do you have anyone you live with who can take care of you? A friend or neighbor who can do the same?" asks Prabhakar, brows furrowing in thought. He has a sneaking suspicion what the answer will be, but he has to ask.
Huntress scoffs and finally lets go of the man's arms and gingerly turns to try and heft the motorcycle upright again.
And Prabhakar hurriedly goes to try and take the bike's handlebars from her. "Please, allow me, ma'am," he says, hoping she'll relent. "May I offer my services to at least watch over you? I cannot see the way you do--you look no different to me in one outfit than another; so though I recognize your desire for anonymity--I cannot identify you." A beat, then, "Please, ma'am--I honestly wish only your safety."
Huntress squints at Prabhakar again for a long slow-processing moment, then with a sigh lets go of the motorcycle's handlebars. "Fine. You know how to ride?" She's still more fuzzy than not, but the word 'concussion' is stuck in her head and she knows those mean it'd be only too easy to end up street pizza if she tried to drive herself home.
...ride? Prabhakar blinks once and looks between the woman and the motorcycle. "I--I do not," he admits. He'd never had the chance, since he can't see like most people. On the other hand, it can't be /that/ difficult, especially if they go slow and he can use his wings to help steer. "But, if we go slow it should be--acceptable, I would think."
(( Lois Enters ))
Vroom vroom. Lois is driving out of Gotham, having chased a lead here that ended up as bupkes. Hate those types of leads. Only too happy to be heading OUT of this wretched town. Dark, rainy, creepy... Lois squeaks as the two figures and the motorcycle in the middle of the road seem to all but materialize out of the darkness, spotlighted by the headlights of her car. With a frightened curse, Lois stomps on her breaks and her car skids to a stop a mere three feet in front of the pair. OMG, is that Batman?
Huntress scoffs at the 'slow' comment. "She's a Ducati. There's no such thing as 'slow'..." She gasps and the crossbow is back out and aimed at the car that just skidded and came THIS close to hitting them both. Her aim is still very shaky, but the driver is at risk of getting a quarrel shot at, well, toward them. With extreme prejudice.
And there is yet another temptation to employ a select curse, as Prabhakar watches the approaching vehicle. Wings automatically flare open, and he's /just/ about to grab Huntress and dash backward out of the way when the car actually skids to a stop. Tonight is just one of those nights, apparently. "Oh, my," is what the doctor says instead of the curse that seems to near be far from his mind tonight. He keeps his wings open and ready to beat a strong down-stroke to get himself and Huntress out of the way, but otherwise waits and sees what happens. Not being stupid, he can tell that Huntress is capable of defending herself if she needs to, even in her present state.
Lois pulls her hands away from the steering wheel and holds them up where they can be seen. Her violet eyes settle on the 'gun' being pointed at her and Prab's flared wings, and the reporter has only one thought running through her head: Headline: Murderous Batman Busted; byline Lois Lane.
Huntress keeps her bandaged (and still-gloved) hand close to her chest while side-stepping cautiously to where she can see the driver's door. Well, it looks cautious, anyway. The gargoyle-esque doctor can probably tell it's simply the inured woman moving slowly enough to not let vertigo knock her on her butt. "Get out of the car," she calls harshly to the driver.
And the good doctor follows very closely behind the injured woman. Prabhakar is more worried about catching her should she show the slightest hint of being about to take a tumble. He doesn't think to try and make it look like he's protecting her, or being protected by her, or whatever else. Nope, he just follows, hands slightly outstretched, ready to catch her. His medical bag stays clutched by his tail, held close to him in case he needs it. For now, he's letting the one with the combat experience lead.
Moving slowly, Lois puts the car in park and gingerly steps out of the car. Recognizing the woman, Lois eyes Prab, her violet eyes slightly wide, as she quips at Huntress, "This is starting to become a thing, isn't it? You, Bat, guns..." Please don't kill me before I can get the story... "Just don't run me all over Gotham, okay," Lois asks after a beat.
Huntress says, "The Bat? Where?" She doesn't try to turn to look for the Bat, she knows better when that marching band is stomping around in her skull. The additional comment about running all over Gotham finally percolates through and she lets the crossbow drop back to her side. "Oh, just frigging wonderful," she mutters to herself. It's definitely loud enough for Prabhakar to hear, at least. Then, more loudly though with a bit of a slur, "Why're you here?"
"I would rather prefer to not interject," says Prabhakar, holding up a hand apologetically, "but this woman needs to get somewhere to rest--preferably a clinic or hospital, or at least a friend's home, but no matter where, I must insist that it should be soon. She may have a concussion, and if she does not get tended to soon..." While he is in fact insisting--there's an oddly apologetic undercurrent to his voice. He doesn't like to be so, well--insistent. It's just becoming necessary. And he left his voice trail off to hopefully make it known just how serious it is. After all, people only let their voice trail off when it's very important, right?
Alright. That's not the right growl. Confused, Lois just nods once, eyes flicking between Huntress and Prabhakar. "Ah, well.. Sure. I guess. Hop in and I'll drive you to a hospital or something," she says, while inwardly squeeing! Best place to interview someone: in her car. Oh, but she's hurt. Can't be too mean about it.
"I'm FINE," Huntress mutters irritably, trying to re-holster her crossbow and actually having to close her eyes for a moment before she can focus well enough to do so. "And I'm NOT leaving my bike here."
And the mutant has to do the most difficult thing he has in, possibly, his entire life. He has to get--/serious/. Capital S, even. "No, ma'am," says Prabhakar, his voice firm yet surprisingly so, as it is most obviously unused to such, "I am afraid I must say that you are not 'fine'. A concussion can lead to many serious problems--including death. Now, I respect your desire to keep your identity a secret. I am willing to work with you to find a way to achieve that in such a fashion as will also ensure your continued recovery. But as a doctor, I cannot allow you to risk your life. I cannot." He stiffens a bit, still looking Serious-capital-S--but he also looks nervous. It should be obvious that he is uncomfortable taking such a forceful position, even though he obviously thinks it's warranted.
"You know, I'm just a reporter here, but if he's a doctor...." Lois starts, looking at the bike. Wow. That's a nice bike. She looks about briefly, then back at Huntress. "Well, I can try to drive the bike, Doc you take the car, and we'll figure this out," suggests Lois Lane, knowing full well that the best way to get follow up interviews is to earn the mark's trust.
Huntress really, really doesn't want to admit it, but they're both right. And that pisses her off. Really it does. Breathing out a long, slow sigh (because huffing in annoyance makes her head hurt worse), she relents. "Fine. But you so much as put a scratch on her, and I'll find you." Yeah, okay, lame threat is lame. Whatever.
...take the car? Drive? But--the glass... Prabhakar is about to object--but then he realizes that if he does, the injured woman may go back to vehement disagreement. He'll--have to hope he doesn't crash. "This sounds like a good plan," he says, lying through his teeth and doing his best to hide that fact. "The question is where to go." He looks between each woman expectantly.
Lois rolls her eyes at Huntress's threat. "Lois Lane, Daily Planet; Superman perches on the roof. Have fun," she retorts, holding her hands out for the keys. Looking between them, Lois sighs again. Must she think of everything. "Hotel room. There's a cash-only place not far from here," she says, the very voice of experience in the middle of the street. "And I've got a first aid kit in the truck, Doctor," she adds. Damn! Whatever info these two have have better be WORTH IT!
Huntress looks at Lois's outstretched hand for a blank moment, then turns and yet again tries to haul the Ducati upright. It's still not working. And the key is there in the ignition, since she managed to stall the thing earlier, just before Goliath here swooped in and started bossing her around.
Ah, none of that. Prabhakar is quick to take the half-step over to the Ducati--while his tail stretches out and snags the car keys from Lois--and reaching for the motorcycle, himself. "Please, no, allow me," he says, wishing he understood these things better. Still, it should be simple physics. Using the spot where the wheels touch the ground, he applies pulling force to the handle bar and the seat, grunting with effort as he manages--if barely--to right the thing. Meanwhile, the keys are slipped into his coat pocket, to be retrieved when they're actually ready to go.
Lois rubs at her forehead. One thing at a time! She turns to Huntress, and smiles. "Let's get you in the passenger seat," she says not doing a good job at all with bedside manner because in the very next breath she turns back to Prab, "Doctor...?!"
Huntress watches Prabhakar pull her Ducati upright, and seems to lose a bit of the tension that's been keeping her belligerent up to this point. She pats the motorcycle since she's standing right next to it and the winged individual, then makes sure the key is in fact still in the ignition.
The mutant arches a brow and looks down at the machine; it's too cool, now, to get much detail. The air currents smacking against it gives him an impression of it from the friction, but not much of one. Prabhakar starts to push it toward Lois Lane, hoping she knows what to do with the thing. He's scared of dropping the freaking thing and ending up with the injured woman refusing to get help even more. That'd be just perfect.
Lois takes the bike with a grunt, cursing herself now for wearing a SKIRT like always. Some day! Some day Lois Lane will wear a pant-suit. Until then... Lois finger wiggles for the keys from Prab. "Mine are in the ignition, I'll lead the way," she says moving to sit on the bike and ignoring the fact that that skirt rides up a little too high for comfort. If she acts normal, they'll act normal, right?
Huntress squints at Lois suspiciously, still not entirely trusting her bike to the reporter. "Ignition's the button on the right handlebar." She's not taking a single step toward the car yet, and possibly for good reason.
Since he can't see the keys in the ignition, Prabhakar can't help but think that the keys he swiped are in fact the keys for the motorcycle. As such, as Lois swings her leg over the machine, he reaches into his pocket with his hand and withdraws the keys, stepping a bit closer to hand them to the reporter, grateful to be rid of the things. Of course, by doing that, he somewhat blocks the view of said keys from their proper owner, Huntress.
Lois takes the keys with a faint grump, and starts to put them in the ignition, only to find that there are KEYS in the ignition. What the HELL!? Confused, but needing to get this crazy train out of the middle of the road, the reporter shoves the newly acquired keys into her bra, and starts up the engine. Oh, that's a pretty sound! "Alright. I'll wait until ya'll get in the car," she calls out, looking over the displays.
Huntress hears the Ducati's engine start smoothly and that takes still more of the fight out of her. She simply stands there, her left arm still held close, and will probably be much easier to steer into the car. "Don't pop the clutch, she'll stall," she offers almost dreamily.
Okay, that's one part of the problem dealt with. Prabhakar offers a nervous smile to Huntress, motioning toward the car. "So, we will just follow he at a nice and slow pace," he says--as much reassurance to himself as anything else. He can feel his heart racing at the thought of trying to steer something as deadly as a car. He'll be lucky if he doesn't have a coronary.
"Got it," Lois calls out, looking over the foreign dials, searching for said clutch. Huntress, please don't kill me if I destroy your transmission. I'm just saying. That one time I drove a bike, was college, and I was a little drunk. And no asking Lex for details - just saying. "Let me know when you're ready," she adds, praying they take their time.
Huntress doesn't seem to notice Prabhakar's gesture toward the car. She's staring at Lois and her Ducati, and then she offers with vague pointing gestures, "Accelerator, brake, clutch, gears."
"Well," says Prabhakar, trying to not be harrying and perhaps not doing the finest job at it, "it would be best if we were underway, yes? The sooner we leave, the sooner we arrive." And such other trite, over-used phrases. He touches Huntress' good arm lightly to get her attention, once more motioning to the car--with his wing as well as his arm, both fully extending.
"I got it! I got it!" Lois retorts over her shoulder, mostly figuring things out. ACK! Okay. Thankfully that was just the blinkers.
Huntress is actually finally allowing Prabhakar to 'escort' her over to the car, starting to look more shocky and spaced out than any time since the doctor happened upon her. It might be slow going, but she's eventually settled into the front passenger's seat of the car, cape pulled in and everything.
Trying to remember something, anything, about cars, Prabhakar almost closes the door--but then remembers at the last second and fumbles around near the top of the door until he finds the seatbelt. it takes a good thirty, thirty-five seconds of jerking the thing, fighting with it, until he figures out how to pull it across her. At least he's trying to be safe. Then he has to walk around the car and to the driver's side. Heart thundering in his chest, he opens the door and slides in, having to sit at a cockeyed angle because of his tail. Wings are folded under his arms, around and around his torso, leaving him looking rather barrel-bodied, but whatever. Trying to keep his hand steady, he reaches for the key and turns it.
The car grinds at Prab. HEY! DUMBASS! I'M ALREADY RUNNING, it seems to screech. Lois looks over her shoulder, frowning. "Just put it in gear," she shouts at the winged blunder in her car. And then she looks back to the bike, takes a breath and starts the engine. Lois is going to yell at Prab for grinding the car engine. Huntress is going to yell at Lois for grinding the bike engine. Fun shall be had by all!
Huntress startles at the car's engine grinding and turns her head ever so slowly to look at Prabhakar. "You want me to drive?" she asks sort of vaguely. Yeah, like that would be ANY better.
...put what in gear? What gear? For a moment, Prabhakar just looks at Lois out the window, thankful it's already down. As for the interior of the car itself, well. He can't really see anything. He really can't. "Um, no, I do not believe you should drive," he tells Huntress, but quickly adds, "However what is this gear, where is it, and what am I putting into it?" he asks Huntress, turning his head a little to look at her as his hands grip the steering wheel tightly.
Huntress ohs faintly. "Haven't you ever driven before?" She's already forgotten what the Gargoyle said earlier about only seeing heat patterns.
With the engine on, Lois is carefully working on getting the bike going. She hasn't a clue Prab can't SEE.
"No, I have not," says the doctor, trying to remain calm. He finds the moving stick-thingy, and starts sliding it back and forth, trying to find the "go forward" gear--though the grinding and protests of the transmission tells him he's not exactly on the right track.
"OHMYGOD! It's not a stick shift! Just drop it in drive and go," Lois yells over her shoulder, and nearly drops the bike. Grumbling, the reporter tries to restart the stalled thing,and manages a few more feet.
Huntress closes her eyes, trying to make her brain work. When she starts speaking, it's slow and quiet and a bit halting. "All the way up is park. There are two foot pedals, to go and to stop. The one on the right is the gas. Step on the other one until it stops -- don't stomp it through the floor. Keep stepping on the brake pedal and move the gear stick down... um," she pauses briefly before continuing. "...three settings. When you move your foot off of the brake the car will start moving forward." She starts to lean her head back and decides against it. "But wait for, um, Lois to go first. Then follow her."
Between the yelling and the complex instructions, Prabhakar starts to break out in a sweat. This is not what he'd expected. Not by a long shot. Still, he manages to follow Huntress' instructions, and manages to start relaxing--if only by degrees--once things seem to be going as they should. At least there are no more grinding noises coming from anything, so that's a plus.
With halting starts and stops, Lois leans the way to a motel. It's low-rent by Gotham standards, seedy by Metropolis ones. She stops the bike, and looks behind her to see if Prab's gonna stop or run her over.
Huntress says, "Use the brake to slow down or stop again if you need." She's keeping her eyes closed, because seeing things move is just ... well, Lois probably wouldn't appreciate puke in her car. "Just step on the brake slowly until you get used to it or you'll throw yourself into the windshield."
There's just a nod from the doctor, as much concentration as he's trying to devote. Between the awkward and cockeyed sitting position and the fact that he's never driven before, it might be understandable why Prabhakar drives almost as slow as possible and still be called "moving". Especially because he has to stick his head out the window like some mutant Doberman. It might take them a while, especially after starting with a few not-quite-gentle jerks as he fights to control the thing, but eventually he'll coast in behind Lois, and a few more jerks herald his attempt at using the brake.
Whew. Didn't lose the rental. Lois struggles but finally finds the kickstand, and kills the engine. She moves to the car, seeking to open the driver's door. "Let me grab my purse, I'll run around and pay for the room. Wait here, and ... God I have no idea what we're going to do with that bike. Not like /I/ fight off carjackers. See if you can get... I dunno, a nearest relative or a phone number out of her we can call so SOMEONE can come get her." Yes Lois, but all masked vigilantes give out their business cards with an 'In Case of Emergency' number on it.
Huntress generally stays as still as possible while Goliath over there learns to drive, ow, and then Lois claims her purse to book a room... did they take her to a hotel? Oh for crying out loud. She makes a generally annoyed sound and starts fumbling with her right hand to try and unlatch the seatbelt.
This night is just getting more and more--interesting. That's one word for it, though any more accurate words, Prabhakar wouldn't necessarily feel like saying. When he lurches to a stop and Huntress starts fumbling with her seatbelt, he grimaces and opens the door, to try and get out in one piece. "No, wait, please..." he says as he grabs his medical bag with his tail, wings unfolding from his torso and stretching out as he hurries around to the passenger side.
From the roof of the hotel, a shadow sits, only a shade lighter than the rest of the dark roof. The Teen Wonder is sitting there, laser mic tuned to a window of the motel, listening to a drug deal go down when the car pulls up, right beneath him. Robin glances over, and double takes. 'What in the hell is that...' he thinks, as Prabhakar gets out of the car.
Turning the laser mic, he aims it at the windshield of the car so he can hear what's being said below. 'Looks like there is someone else in the car.'
(( Robin enters ))
No laser mic needed for Lois Lane. She's headed for the manager office, yanking off her press badge to shove in her purse as she grumbles about this crazy town.
Huntress gives up on releasing the seatbelt in a huff, closing her eyes again as the pounding in her head briefly gets worse. "This SUCKS," she says quietly, mostly to herself. Of course, if the gargoyle-esque doctor hears her she doesn't really care at this point.
Wings settling against his back, Prabhakar hurriedly opens the door for Huntress, politely ignoring her comment; he knows it wasn't really meant for him, anyway. At least she apparently gave up on trying to get out on her own, so he can breathe a tiny bit easier. "We are almost there," he tells her as he leans in to unfasten the belt for her, though it takes him a couple of tries before he can unlatch it and let the thing retract. Can't exactly get a clear view of the thing in the car.
'Is that...the Huntress?' Robin asks himself, and shakes his head. She looks like she's been worked over pretty good. With a sigh, the teen glances down at the stakeout he's been on for the last two hours, and quickly aims the mic back at the correct window before propping it up. Hopefully his drug dealers don't move rooms.
The teen attaches his grapple line to the roof and takes a running leap, gliding through the air a moment before landing with a thud on the roof of the car. He lowers his staff point at Prabhakar. "Excuse me...thats a friend of mine. Explain."
Lois finishes paying for the room and starts back toward the car.
Huntress startles at the thud on the roof of the car over her head and her crossbow is brandished yet again, and this time aimed up at the roof of the car and Birdboy on top. Still holding her bandaged left arm close to her chest, she tries to sound all mean and stuff. "Since when am I your friend?"
When the young man lands so--abruptly--and points his weapon at Prabhakar, the doctor's brows lift and his wings flick open out of nervousness. Yes, tonight just keeps getting more and more "interesting". At least the woman speaks up with familiarity, so this isn't some very unusual robbery. For the moment, he stays quiet, turning his head a little to indicate his attention is on Huntress; she knows him, so she can do the talking.
The teen calls down to Huntress, still training his staff at Prabhakar. "I owe you one for the graveyard incident." Robin states flatly. "This....guy...with you?" Moving sideways, Robin hops off the car near the back door on the passenger side, cutting off Huntress' shot. Just in case. He keeps his the long titanium stick between him and Prab though. "And how badly are you hurt?"
"Alright, I got the-" Lois looks up at... oh great. "Robin? Well, now isn't this a fun turn of events." The reporter steps closer so she can lower her voice a bit.
Huntress reholsters the crossbow and starts to ever so slowly try to extricate herself from the car. "Huh? Oh. Yeah. Doc, Robin. Robin, Doc. It's not THAT bad. I'm just a little scrambled from that damned red-masked jerk's grenade thing."
Well, everyone seems to know everyone else, so that makes Prabhakar a little more relaxed. Not a lot more, but. When he's introduced, he offers a polite inclination of his head, saying, "Doctor Prabhakar Bhattacharya." He affects what he hopes is a rather winning smile, though as nervous as all of this makes him--just after driving a car for the first time, to boot--he knows he doesn't succeed too well.
Robin lowers the staff, and with a button press, collapses it back into a 12 inch cylinder which he attaches to his belt. "Why on earth would you come to the Hookers n'Blow Motel, in costume, in a car? Scrambled is right. Forgive my rudeness Doc."
Great. Lois is SO glad this is NOT her town. She steps around the car and gives the Doc the keys. "Because it was the only place I know of on this particular stretch of road, thank you very much," she quips, hand on a hip, violet eyes on Robin. "So, I can leave these kids here with you? Pray this rental makes it back to Metropolis without the transmission falling out?"
Huntress pauses just short of standing up out of the car. "'Cause Doc won't let me drive myself home and she," a thumb is hooked toward Lois, "rides a bike worth crap." She closes her eyes again as all of the chit-chat makes her head start hurting worse, on par with a world-class migraine. Damnit.
For a moment Prabhakar isn't sure what to do with himself, so he settles on interlacing his fingers in front of him, letting the others talk it out. He does, though, give another polite nod when the youth gives his apology for the staff-pointing. Wings curl over his shoulder, the small talons at each apex meeting over his chest, so his wings hang somewhat like a cloak.
The teen shakes his head in amazement for a moment, glancing between the three. "Forgive me. H'n B motel, in costume, in a car, with a giant winged guy...no offense Doc...with a /reporter/....no offense Lois." he states, before lifting his wrist and tapping a couple of keys. "Are you in need of medical attention, or just a ride?"
Robin lifts a hand to his ear and turns to glance back at there his lasermic as now fallen over on the roof with a soft crash. "Damn." he mutters.
Lois rolls her eyes at Robin, "None taken." She sighs, folds her arms and waits. As the teen 'curses' faintly, she quirks a brow. "Problem?"
"Just a ride. Really. But whatever, I'm NOT leaving my bike here." Huntress finally regains her feet, bruises starting to join the scrapes and cuts on exposed sections of skin. The change in altitude of course is anything but pleasant, so anything else she was going to say goes unsaid.
And this is where Prabhakar pipes up, lifting his hands and holding up a finger as he says, "Actually, this young woman needs much more than a ride. She has a possible concussion, so must be be watched at least for the night." A beat's pause as he turns his torso a little to indicate the no-tell motel. "This was the purpose of bringing her here, young man. To give her a place to rest that would--protect her identity." He's sincerely apologetic-sounding for cutting in, but concussions aren't things to play around with.
Robin pulls an air-hypo from his belt and holds it out to the Doc. "Give her this. She'll make it home. Low level morphine, caffeine, and adrenaline. The Batman special. She'll make it home just fine."
The teen glances at Huntress and turns to Lois. He shakes his head and snarks. "No comment."
"Let me get my equipment and I'll drive her home."
Robin steps back and pulls his grapple gun from his belt, preparing to head back to the roof.
Yep. Typical response. Lois just snicker-snorts at Robin as he gets ready to head out. "I'll quote you on that," she retorts at him with a wink, before looking at Prab and Huntress. "And on that note...." She turns to go, forgetting she's got Huntress's house keys in her bra. Because that happens!
Huntress huffs in tired annoyance, though is keeping her eyes closed. "I do NOT have a concussion." This really REALLY sucks. She owes that red-masked jerk BIG TIME for this.
Quirking a hairless brow, Prabhakar takes the hypo from the youth, looking at it with a touch of anxiety. On the one hand, strange injector filled with who-knows-what. On the other, the trio seem too familiar; no one's heat patterns spiked out of the ordinary, at least what he can determine to /be/ ordinary for those who like to dress up in costumes and run around in the middle of the night. Exhaling softly, he watches the youth depart, then turns to Huntress. "I cannot vouch for the security of this," he says as he holds up the hypo-injector, "so it must depend on how much you trust the young man." Even as he talks, he sets his medical bag on the hood of the car and starts to rifle through it with his tail, bringing out more bandages and small, wrapped packs of pain-killers. Having an extra appendage like that does come in handy, so he can get that out of the way before the woman leaves.
Robin grapples to the roof and picks up his recording equipment, and can't help but glance around to make sure the fairly odd little party in the parking lot isn't attracting an audience. That is all Robin needs is to accidentally hit youtube /again/ this week. He folds up the laser mic and slides everything into a small black bag which he hooks to the side of his belt.
Lois sighs and waits, semi-patiently, while Prab and Robin do their thing. She glances at her watch and grimmaces at the time. It's going to be EARLY in the morning by the time she makes it back home...
Huntress considers Prabhakar's words and takes far longer than she cares for to mentally rewind to what Robin said. Morphine. Caffeine. Something else. Fine, whatever. "Fine. Whatever. Go for it." She's half leaning on the still open passenger's side door of Lois's car. As far as she can tell, Robin has gone on about his business and won't be back.
Well, that's about as good as Prabhakar is going to get, and he knows it. Giving a nod, he presses the device against her upper arm--the good one, of course--and finds the button, to press it and wait for the soft hiss. He hasn't used one of these kinds of things in forever, but he still remembers how they work.
Robin grapples back down and lands on the sidewalk this time, rather than the car. "Who has the bike keys?" he asks, before holding his hand out to the Doc for the empty air-hypo. "She should perk right up." he assures him.
OH RIGHT! Bike keys. Lois was playing with them. "Right here," she quips and under hand tosses them at Robin only after she's sure he's looking her way. It's then that the reporter takes a moment to study the Batboy a little more closely, now that she's not.. you know... about to fall off a roof.
Huntress flinches at the hypo hissing against her arm, but Robin's assurances were not exaggerated. She starts feeling closer to human almost immediately and steps away from the car. She can't exactly turn her head rapidly yet, but she's at least parsing a little better. "Wait, what's going on?" Okay, maybe not.
When the youth reappears, Prabhakar gives another polite nod and readily hands over the device. "I believe," he tells her while Robin deals with Lois, "that the young man will take you home and watch over you to make sure you do not, in fact, have a concussion. And speaking of, I have assembled some more bandages and Tylenol for you."
Robin catches the keys and turns to Lois. "I am here strictly off the record Ms. Lane." he admonishes as he pulls his cloak a little tighter about him, hopefully not giving Lois much to look at. He takes the air hypo and slides it back into place before turning to Huntress. "Relax Huntress. I'm going to drive your bike and take you where ever you need to go. My car will follow me. You've got about an hour before the cocktail you just got wears off."
"Yeah," Lois quips with a chuckle. "Me too." She does whistle though at the mention of a car that follows someone. "It'll follow you? That's handy. If it makes waffles, I'm sold." Yes, cause she can so totally afford things like that on a reporter's salary.
As much as Huntress'd really rather just go home, there is no way in hell she's going to tell Robin where she lives. So... where can she ask to be dropped off? And, of course, now that she's feeling less pain, she's also unintentionally more chatty. "No way I'm telling you where I live... uh... I don't know."
"Is this not," Prabhakar interjects quietly, "the very reason a night's stay at this establishment was purchased?" A nod given toward the bargain-basement motel. "A place to rest, where they do not ask questions, and no one will inquire as to any--truths that may be uncomfortable." Like trying to see faces beneath masks.
Robin grins a little at Lois' waffles comment and moves in a little closer to Huntress. "If you truly intend to stay here, fine. I'll stay and make sure you wake up in the morning. If not, lock the door, move the couch in front of it, and hope they don't think to come through the wall. You're gonna crash and crash hard in like 55 minutes and counting."
Lois chuckles, beaming slightly as she got the Teen Wonder to grin. Yup. Nice kid. She moves to toss her purse into her car, while talking to the Gargoyle. "You hanging around, Doc? I assume those wings are more than ornamental and I don't have to give you a lift anywhere?"
Huntress rubs her forehead with her right hand, the pounding in her head now just a dull background roar but still there. "We're here... but what else do you suggest?" She looks toward Doc as well, wondering what his decision is going to be.
"I know a place I can drop you that will provide medical attention and leave the mask alone. I'm not about to take a reporter and an unknown there. Stay if you're going to stay, let's go if you're going to trust me. Clocks ticking." Robin responds. "And I'd like to hear about the red-masked fellow while your still awake enough to tell me about him. Your ID, your call though."
Suddenly on the spot, Prabhakar arches both brows and thinks for just a moment, then says, "I would suggest either staying here or hurrying with the young man. You could use the time to get ready before this--crash. So, yes," here he turns to look at Lois, "I believe I will be staying, at least for the moment, though I thank you for your offer." The last said as he inclines his head politely to the reporter. But while she readies to depart, he swiftly uses his tail to grab the items off the roof of her car, so they're not dumped all over the place when she leaves.
Lois just shakes her head lightly, grinning at all this. While she /tries/ to look completely innocent, sharp eyed Robin's probably going to notice that the snoopy reporter noted that the Bat-Peeps have a clinic in Gotham. Makes sense. After all, it wasn't so long ago that Robin told her that he was just a normal guy in a fancy suit, completely unlike the super powered people in her own home town. She nods to Prab, and lingers over her departure. After all, if Robin's going to give up any more tidbits, she'd really like to be around.
Huntress thinks about Robin's offer and can't argue. It keeps her home off the radar and keeps Doc Gargoyle here from getting pushy...er. She knows better than to nod, so instead says to Robin. "That sounds best, especially if I'm gonna crash from that shot. And, yeah. I'll share everything I can." She looks at Lois and Prabhakar. "Thanks, both of you." That's about as sincere as she can get at the moment.
A nod given with a slight bow, from Prabhakar. "You are most welcome, madam." And with that, he turns to Robin, to hold out the extra packs of Ace bandages, gauze wraps, and little packs of Tylenol, saying, "These are for her. I suggest changing the bandage as infrequently as possible, and of course, do not get it wet. If there are any complications or questions, I left my card with the bandages."
As if on cue, the Redcar, Robins smaller version of the Batmobile pulls up, and a door pops open. Robin throws the bag with the laser mic inside and starts walking towards the Huntress' bike as the doors on the car slide shut. Yep. No driver. The car's engines purr a moment before they rev back up and the car takes off again. The observant might notice Robin tap a button on his wrist.
Robin takes the items from Prabhakar and nods his head once. "I'll make sure the vet knows." he says, his voice even. He starts the bike, and waits for Huntress. "Doc. Lois. Don't jump off any buildings here. The sidewalks get expensive for the city to repair."
Lois grins and gives Huntress a nod. "You're welcome. Look me up if you're ever in Metropolis," Lois quips, giving Huntress a wave she probably doesn't see. It's fine. She's injured. "Doc, pleasure, and same to you. Find the Globe. Can't miss it. It'd be... interesting to get your take on things, I think," she adds to the gargoyle, before looking to Robin. "Robin," she says to the teen, head nodding once. Not much else to say to the boy that rescued her favorite pen EVER! But as his quip, the reporter is laughing. Laughing so that she doesn't quite catch the tap to the boy's wrist. "No promises," she retorts to the teen as she gets into her rental.
Huntress watches the car a bit blankly, but then focuses on something Robin said to the Doc. "Vet? You're taking me to a VET? Like, an animal doctor?" She's /trying/ to sound offended, but really is only managing vaguely riled
Find the Globe? Prabhakar actually doesn't realize what she's talking about at first--and then it finally clicks. He's read a few articles of hers. To her, he says, "Yes, I would most enjoy being able to--give you my take on things." Since Robin is dealing with Huntress, who's apparently feeling much better for the moment, he feels it's safe enough to pull another card from his inner breast pocket and step closer to Lois, to offer it to her. "Here is where I can be reached, so we may set something up," he tells her.
Robin revs the engine of the bike once, and just gives Huntress the /look/. If Batman were here, he'd leap for joy and give the teen a bat-certificate of achievement for just how good the boy's impression of Batman is. If Batman was even remotely like that, he would. In reality, he'd probably just give Robin the /look/ in return, but hey...one can dream. "Coming?" he asks Huntress.
Lois, too busy getting into her car, didn't notice that the Red Car didn't have a driver. At the offered card, Lois smiles and reaches out to take it.
"Sounds lovely. I'll call you," says the reporter, putting the card down in the passenger seat.
"You owe me $24.99 plus tax," Lois quips toward Huntress.
"Drive safe, Robin," Lois calls out, as if the two were the best of friends. They aren't, but she says it that way anyway. Just because.
Then, turning on her i<3radio app on her phone that is connected to the car radio, Lois taps the play bottom, and jams out to some CrunchyHairGlitter rock as she touches the automatic windows, puts the car in reverse, and heads out. Lois Lane, rock you and I'm out.
Huntress says, "Yeah. Ready." She steps over to her bike and has to take a moment to make the minor change to the Ducati's tail so it can carry two people. She murmurs something faintly as she does so, then settles onto the motorcycle. This is just... odd. Passenging on her own bike. "Just, um, don't grind the gears."
Arching that brow again, Prabhakar takes a few steps backward, allowing the motorcycle plenty of room to leave. He takes the medical bag from his tail, and just--shakes his head. He's not entirely sure the staff of the clinic is going to believe this--especially since he can't really tell them anything about these people.
Robin drops the bike into gear and drives off smoothly, like he's been handling motorcycles for years. Which, if you think about it, the boy doesn't look old enough to have been legal to drive for years. But there he goes anyway. Making sure that he isn't tailed, and taking a semi-round about way regardless, Robin delivers the Huntress to their destination. "She needs a tune-up." he comments as he kills the engine and coasts the rest of the way in.
Huntress hooks one hand into the side of Robin's belt so she doesn't fall off while they travel, and tries to explain the Red Hood as best she can. When they reach their destination, she's THIS close to crashing so doesn't even question what's going to happen to her Ducati.