Who: Russ C & Sam A
Warnings: Both swear a lot.
The air was early-spring cool but the sun in Marvel New York was brighter than Gotham's silty haze, smog-filtered sunshine wasn't the same as the light winking off Stark's behemoth of steel and blue glass. New York was buzzing this close to the break, little kids herded in sugar-sweet pastel coats and joggers clotting the streets like blood pumping through arteries, relentless and purposeful pace. Newspapers flapped, caught like wingless birds in stuttered gutters clumped with trash and drowning in rain. The city was caught between seasons, and the wind ruffled the overlong blond that met the turned-up collar of Russ's jacket, bit as far as it could past flannel. Russ wasn't running. He didn't have a sticky hand in his, an upturned face asking 'why?' The kid was safe, or at least, he'd been reassured by the bounding energy and the electric-watt smile when Nathan came to the door when he'd dropped off a missing but much-loved video-game, that Nathan was as close to safe as he could risk. There were no protracted arguments, no doors slammed. Russ had melted away from Marina's apartment like the vestiges of snow in city New York; like he'd never been there at all. Weekends, they were now planned. Calendar reminders, shifts booked off work. Nathan was now a holiday, instead of the main event.
Ford was gone too, or so quiet, he was barely there at all. That shit was getting to be habit, people churning through the doors, the hotel locking some of them one by one. But this - New York, another door on a different hallway to the one Gotham lived in that was grime caked into the doorframe's wood so deep it couldn't be removed - this wasn't an empty apartment with a blue painted room and it wasn't nowhere near the bar the guys went off-shift that was so familiar it could have been home. Wasn't anyplace he recognized, and Russ dragged in a lungful of city air along with his smoke, the cigarette ashing down to glowing stub between his fingertips.
MOMA was an imposing hulk at his back, glass and black and he didn't know shit about art but what he'd clicked around to read, trying to find something that wasn't paintings of dead people from centuries ago that no one gave a shit about. MOMA had looked weird, and like the shit in the galleries maybe meant something to people still living, and Russ figured that was better.
He wasn't nothing but himself. Jeans a little too dirty at the knees to be anything but yesterday's work clothes, the thick flannel collar of his shirt turned up against the worn-soft leather of the coat that stretched across his shoulders. New York might be different, but Russ figured until the door slammed on him, he wasn't changing much. The lighter snapped between his fingers; the sprawl on the public bench over weathered wood didn't shift, even if he tracked the passing of strangers with lazy interest in blue eyes.