*Okay, this is officially my first fanfiction ever published anywhere and seeing as how I'm currently writing a script for classes and a personal project, then I figured I needed to get used to the whole publishing idea and getting feedback and reviews to improve whatever method I develop. That being said, this is going to be the first in a (hopefully) long and interesting arc. This is the introduction of the GISS crew members Atley and the Sphinx to one of my original creations, that will tie into everything I'm working on and help bridge the massive crossover that refuses to leave my brain alone! Oh, and props to Spike Daft for picking such a perfectly badass car for the Sphinx that I had to borrow it, so the glory of the blue 69 Malibu is all yours.*
And It Started With Coffee
The heat of the summer day was particularly stifling around noon of that fateful day. What made it even worse was the solid black, non-descript clothing that they were being forced to wear for this scout, and the lack of precious air conditioning in the 1969 Chevelle Malibu. Tumbler watched, shifting his position in the backseat (again) as Kip groaned, leaning up to turn on the air for the fifth time in an hour. A strong, hard hand caught his wrist in a firm grip mere centimeters from the knob, causing the younger boost to groan louder than before while Atley shook his head from the passenger seat.
"Now, Kip. There's no reason to mess with the air if you'll just take off that damn wool coat in the car."
Tumbler, nodded, agreeing as the Sphinx let go of Kip's wrist, allowing the man to retreat into the relative safety of the backseat as he rubbed the abused spot.
"It's not my fault we have to sit here and watch for this damn ass wipe on the hottest damn day of the year. And why can't we just turn up the air a little?"
The Sphinx glared at both boys in the rearview mirror, silently promising them a painful and agonizing demise if they both didn't quit whining and fidgeting. It was worse than bloody children . . . All heads turned as they heard the signature engine of their lady pull up. Even the Sphinx let a low whistle as the gleaming cherry red 1998 Mercedes McLaren F1 pulled up to the coffee house they'd been casing all damn day, all shiny bits and gleaming curves.
Atley nodded to Sphinx as he opened the door the same time as the larger man, telling both of the younger boosts, "Behave and do not mess with the air or the radio. I can't keep him from killing both of you idiots again if he gets it in his head. We'll be right back."
Tumbler hung his head out of the open window, hollering, "Bring me a low fat latte with a protein shot! And extra whipped cream!"
The Sphinx shook his head, eyes traveling over the parked car as he went in the door of the Starbucks after Atley. It still amazed him that the two idiots had taken this particular boost, especially after how badly the last one went. He and Atley had agreed to help out of boredom and Atley's fear of Memphis's reaction to the dilemma. As they approached the counter, Atley pulled out a card and started "perusing the menu" like the other eighty million people in the shop, all the while never taking his eyes off the mark or his keys.
Sphinx turned, intent on going to secure a window seat so he could watch the bloody idiots in his car, when he was smashed into and effectively soaked with searing coffee and what appeared to be a piece of coffee cake. He looked down at his ruined shirt and stained peacoat, feeling his anger boil.
He looked up, prepared to wring the neck of whatever just drenched him when he saw just who had drenched him. There, standing in front of him in a pair of torn up jeans, grey converses, a faded blue The Coral tee shirt and a grey members only jacket, was a girl that looked frighteningly familiar. She looked up, her large tortoise shell glasses almost falling off her nose as she opened and closed her mouth repeatedly, looking at his stained clothes and her own ruined outfit. Finally it registered as she pushed her glasses up her nose, dropping the huge messenger tote she had slung over her shoulder as she grabbed napkins from the counter and, to Sphinx's amazement, started trying to wipe and blot her ruined coffee of his coat.
"I am so sorry! I am such klutz! I promise if it stains just send me the bill and I'll buy you a new one-" He cut her off, waving her away as he growled and took off the coat, shaking it free of all debris save the coffee that was soaked into the wool. He rolled his eyes as he lowered the coat then almost groaned at the look she was giving him. Why was it every time he shed a coat everyone looked at him like he was crazy? Even Sway looked at him shocked when he was in just shirt and pants. His scowl darkened as he glared at her staring at him. Suddenly, she snapped out of whatever daze she was in, looking from his torso to his face, blushing as she looked into his eyes. He was amazed as she smiled bashfully and her sea blue eyes lit up with mirth and embarrassment.
"Sorry . . . Can I get you a coffee to make up for it?"
He was saved from not answering as Atley walked up behind him, handing a cup of strong, black coffee over his shoulder.
"God, Sphinx. What happened to you? Get in a fight with the barista or something?"
The girl blushed even darker as she shook her head, stepping forward.
"No, he just had the misfortune of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, namely anywhere I am with food and hot drinks in hand while walking."
Atley smiled, shaking his head as he moved around his friend to get a better view of the girl. She was pretty in a bookworm way, her mass of chocolate and caramel curls barely contained in the knot at her neck while the glasses hid most of her face and made her eyes seem huge at the same time.
"He'll be fine, trust me. He's survived worse than coffee and crumb cake. I'm Atley and this is Sphinx. Care to join us? You can even spill my latte if it'll make you feel better."
She laughed, picking her bag up and following Atley to a window seat, leaving Sphinx to trail behind as he shook his sleeve, trying to dislodge the puddling coffee from his coat before he sat beside Atley. The girl, still blushing, put her hand out to Atley.
"I'm Chaosia. It's nice to meet you, Atley. Sphinx. Do you guys live in Long Beach?"
Atley nodded while Sphinx took draughts from his coffee, making sure he was never put in the position to answer her directly, letting Atley steer the conversation while he kept an eye on the mark. It was a bleeding miracle that the sod hadn't left while he was swimming in coffee and crumb cake. Atley smiled to her, answering her questions.
"Yeah, we both actually live pretty close to here. Sphinx is just around the corner a piece while I'm about ten minutes away."
She brightened, laughing as she looked at Sphinx. "Really, I'm just moving to this side of town from the University area. It's closer to work and the actual beach. Maybe I'll actually know someone around here other than my brother."
He turned an eye back to the girl, Chaosia. She was looking out the window at the McLaren. He snorted. Of course she would look at the most expensive car in the bloody lot.
Atley, noticing where her gaze landed, asked, "Beautiful isn't it?" She surprised both boosters by snorting and saying, "Yeah if you want it to be stolen before you've had it two days. Sure it's pretty but it can't compare to a Classic or American Muscle".
She shifted, looking around the parking lot and smiled as she spotted something she liked. "Take that Chevelle Malibu. Late 60's model that either been well cared for, restored or both. That's a car to take pride in and show off, not something that the price tag alone could give Trump a heart attack. Sure whoever has it paid a lot, but that money could have been spent a lot better ways than on a car that the value depreciated more than it cost to manufacture the damn thing."
She looked at both of them, taking in their stunned faces as she blushed and looked back out the window , saying, "Sorry, just my opinion. Just ignore the idiot on her soapbox."
Atley smirked then turned serious as the mark actually walked past them to leave, casting a look back over his shoulder at their new friend and nodded his head to her as she turned and looked at him, curious as to why both of her tablemates were watching him. He smirked to the girl as she raised a brow, then rolled her eyes and turned back to Sphinx and Atley, completely snubbing the suited pretty boy in McLaren.
Both men turned to her, rising to leave as she bent to get her bag. She quickly pulled out a notepad, scratching out a number and note on the top piece of paper and thrusting it into Sphinx's massive hand.
"Here. If the coat doesn't come clean, just call and I'll pay to replace it. That or if you want to listen to me ramble on and on about ultra expensive cars and the douche bags that drive them . . . Well, anyway, it was nice to meet you, Atley. Sphinx. Talk to you later."
And with that, she was collecting her belongings as the duo started to the door, Atley quietly ribbing Sphinx the whole time. As they crossed the street, Atley turned back and waved to the girl in the window, laughing as she waved back. When they opened the car door, even the horrid rap crap that Tumbler and Kip were blasting couldn't make Atley's grin disappear, or bring a true scowl to the stoic Sphinx's visage. He did, however, turn off the radio completely and rev the engine loudly as he pulled out into traffic quickly, causing both men in the back to be slung into the floor as he turned into the same spot the McLaren had just vacated to turn around.
Chaosia was walking out the door as he was pulling away, and almost dropped her stuff again as she realized that the very car she'd admired was what her poor victim was driving. She blushed scarlet as Atley waved and Sphinx nodded to her, while both idiots in the back screamed bloody murder as he peeled away. As they regained lost ground to the McLaren, Tumbler looked up at Atley in confusion.
"Who was the chick?"
Atley smirked, "A girl that spilled coffee all over the Sphinx and lived to tell the tale. She felt so bad about it, that she invited us to sit with her and even gave the big guy her number."
Kip looked up in shock as Tumbler laughed, clapping the sinister man on the shoulder before regaining his sense and removing the hand before he lost it.
"Way to go, dude. And all you had to do was get doused with hot coffee. Not bad."
Kip looked at Atley, whispering, "Think he'll call her?"
Atley, smirking started to answer, only to be silenced when the Sphinx actually spoke, glaring at his passengers as he pulled into the parking garage two cars behind the target.
"None of your bloody business, you sissies. And it isn't anybody else's business either, so keep this to your bleeding selves."
Atley laughed as he parked and got out of the car to take pictures of the mark after the suited pretty boy was gone. Atley turned to their charges, "Yeah, I think he might call her. But that's going to be a great conversation. She got good taste in cars, though."
Nothing else was said as the Sphinx got back into the Chevelle, glaring at the cackling boys in the back seat.
As they pulled in at Otto's shop, Sphinx killed the engine and got out of the car, making his way into the paint dock as the trio tailed him, talking about his "latest conquest". Memphis asked what had him in such a mood and where they'd been, just to be silenced as he pushed past him to go and stand behind Sway and Donnie, daring either of the three to speak a word. At least the others wouldn't be informed. To tell about the girl would be to open up discussion of why they were together and looking at that particular place and car anyway. Atley was going to be hell later but for now, he was safe. He barely realized he was fingering the folded paper in his pocket the whole time they were together.
As Junie and Sway brought out the pizzas for their little impromptu get together, Freb asked, "Hey, dude. Where is your coat? Don't you like live in that thing or something?"
Atley smirked as Tumbler and Kip erupted into peels of laughter, causing everyone else to stare. Sway, never one to be left in the dark, demanded to know what was going on. Atley, smirked.
"Oh, Sphinx and I went for coffee earlier before we got here and Sphinx got a coffee shower courtesy of a pretty little thing with big glasses and a soft spot for a certain late 60's model Chevelle Malibu. Sweet little thing was so worried about hitting him with her coffee that she even offered to get him a new coat and gave her his number if he couldn't get it cleaned."
Suddenly, he was the topic of discussion as he glared at Atley and the idiots. As Mikhail walked in and joined the conversation, Sphinx was concrete on planning just how to tell Memphis that not only was his brother boosting with Tumbler but that Atley was enabling him, just as soon as he got away from all of these buffoons and broke Mirror Man's jaw for asking about the girl' ass.
When Chaosia got home from work later that night, she was dragging. She groaned, tossing her bag and coat on the couch as she passed through the living room into the kitchen. She was navigating boxes and plastic storage containers, trying to find a glass she hadn't packed to move into her new apartment across town when a blinking light caught her attention. She crossed to her phone and answering machine, curious as to who would leave her any messages.
She listened to her brother drone on about the safety issue in Long Beach and how she needed to be ready for anything. And how happy he was that she was finally leaving the University area for a more upscale location that was safer. She rolled her eyes as he told her to scout the area around her new apartment before she moved. Did he think she was stupid or something? That was what she was doing earlier before work. She'd been to scope out the local restaurants, grocers and gas stations. She'd even found a few shops she wanted to look in, after she moved. And her apartment was only two blocks from a Starbucks, meaning coffee before work and class was much more feasible now that it wasn't fifteen minutes out of the way.
She blushed as she remembered the incident earlier with the quiet man and his talkative friend.
She couldn't believe she'd drowned the poor man in coffee then tried to talk him to death. If his friend Atley hadn't been present she would still have been floundering about with napkins and apologies flying. God, she hoped her brother never found out about that, or she would hear about how she was living up to her namesake for the rest of eternity. She started moving boxes again as she listened to the second message from her brother, telling her he had friends he wanted her to meet when she was settled and how a few were even going to help her move. She smiled ruefully at the machine. Her brother was always trying to take care of her, even though he couldn't take care of himself most days . . .
She was secretly glad that these new friends of his had helped keep him out of the majority of the trouble he could find by himself. Now if someone could just keep her from assaulting the tall, dark and silent types with coffee and crumb cakes in Starbucks they might just be alright . . .
Her black cat picked that moment to hop up on the nearest box, demanding her attention. She laughed, telling the cat all about the coffee incident as she scratched and petted him.
"He had the prettiest grey green eyes . . ."
A vaguely familiar voice filled her small apartment, causing her to jump and look around. Finally, her eyes rested on the answering machine.
"Hey, Chaosia. This is Atley, from earlier? Well, I just wanted to call and tell you that-"
She could hear the commotion of a ruckus and several different voices shouting and cursing as she got up and moved closer to the machine, hoping to make out the rest of the message.
"Oh, that's great, just let her think you're weirder than she already thinks you big lug-"*BEEP* She stood, almost afraid to hear the next message.
It was more of the same, save this voice was younger and definitely in some kind of pain, "Hey, you don't know me but the number to reach the Sphin-*BEEP*"
Finally, after three more messages like that, and in one she could swear she heard her brother's laughter in the background, she got a shock. A strong British tinged voice filled her apartment.
"This is Sphinx. You'll have to pardon the idiots, but Atley and the lads thought it's be funny to call and try to do-well, who knows what they were going to try to do. Don't worry about the coat, luv. Instead, just buy me a cup of coffee tonight and we'll call it even. Just call back at 555-853-9119 if you decide to. If I don't answer, just talk. I'll be at work but I'll hear you. G'night, Chaos."
She sat on the floor, stumped as she looked at her watch. It was only ten and the coffee shop wouldn't close for another hour and a half, if she went now, they could talk or give his clothes time to dry should she trip again. She grabbed the phone, dialing the number and waiting with baited breath as it rang.
When the other end picked up but no one answered, she started to talk.
"Um? Sphinx? If you want to meet for coffee, then meet me at the same Starbucks in about fifteen minutes. And bring another shirt just in case I trip again. Okay?"
She heard a chuckle before she was answered.
"Okay, luv. I'll meet you there."
And with that, the line was dead. As she rushed to put on a different tee shirt and grab a new jacket, she wondered what they would talk about, seeing as in how he apparently didn't talk much. As she pulled the red Cure tee shirt over her head and threw on her grey track jacket, she threw her reading glasses on the couch. She locked the door, grabbing her keys and shaking her hair loose as she practically bounced down the stairs to the garage.
As she was jumping in her black 1966 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 396 with white racing stripes, she laughed at the similarity in their cars. As she made her way back to the scene of the crime, she tried to fight her giddiness. Maybe, just maybe, she would find that they had more in common than just an appreciation of Chevelles.