Walking in Central Park Singing After Dark

“I’ve been holding out so long, I’ve been sleeping all alone, Lord I miss you,” Amelia sung to herself as she crossed through Central Park. “I’ve been hanging on the phone, I’ve been sleeping all alone, I want to kiss you,” It was a little after 0200, and technically the park was closed. Not that it stopped people from cutting through anyways. The park sat right across the most efficient trajectory back to the hotel from Fly Me To The Moon, and with how cold it was this time of night, could anyone fault her taking the shortest path back to the hotel? The park was mostly closed to give law enforcement an excuse to clear out what few shady deals and transients still managed to find this city in this day and age.

She rounded a corner in the path she was on, and found herself staring down a couple people. The presence of knives in their hands snapped Amelia out of the soft buzz and the happy mood that karaoke and alcohol had left her in, and she quickly looked them over head to toe, trying to evaluate what she could. Doubling back would mean having to go completely out of the park again, and go all the way around, because she didn’t know the park well enough to try to detour around them. Chances are, they’d chase her anyways, especially since her combadge was buried under the woolly warmth of her green pea coat to avoid drawing attention to it, and thus wouldn’t be a deterrent by marking her as a part of Starfleet.

“Give us your valuables, and we won’t have to hurt you,” one said, holding his knife up to look threatening. A grin bloomed across Amelia’s face, and she felt a tingling up her spine. The other one took half a step back, also raising his knife.

“Uh, Marv, why’s she grinnin’?”

“Thank you,” she said softly, closing the space between them. The unnamed one took a full step back, as Marv looked at her dumbstruck. When her hand closed around the wrist of his hand holding the knife, something seemed to click, and he tried to pull away. She moved too fast, pulling his arm towards her, drawing him in. She turned as she did this, keeping the knife in sight and driving her elbow into his gut. The knife fell clattering to the paved walkway, and she quickly turned to look for his partner as Marv doubled over.

“Bitch.” She heard him before she saw him again, and tried to side step the lunge of his knife. Marv was in the way though, and she collided with him. He went sprawling to the pavement, and she fought to keep her feet, just shy of clearing the swipe of the blade coming at her. It sliced through the upper arm of her coat, but she couldn’t tell yet if it’d gotten deep enough to get at her skin too — she probably wouldn’t until the adrenaline stopped pumping after the fight. His lunge had been poorly planned, and left him wide open to her uppercut as she got her feet under herself again, sending him staggering backwards. Somehow he managed to keep hold of the knife and stay on his feet.

Their eyes met for a moment, then she dove for Marv’s dropped knife, having to tuck and roll to grab for it, as the man lunged for her again. She was clearly the quicker of the two, as he got nothing but air and she skidded across the pavement as she collected the knife. She was pretty sure she’d just destroyed the heavy knit tights she’d worn under her dress to fight off the cold; the tights were expendable, but the exposure that meant wasn’t good — she needed to finish this, fast. She sprung to her feet again, knife at the ready.

“Get outta here,” Marv snapped as he finally picked himself up off the ground. He took off running without waiting to see if his buddy was going to follow. Amelia’s eyes darted towards the back of the retreating mugger, and then leveled on the one who still stood in front of her. She curled her lip back in a snarl, and that was all it took to finally snap him out of it and send him after his buddy.

She stood there a long moment, calming her breathing and looking around. No sound other than the slap of shoes on pavement disappearing into the distance disturbed her, and she couldn’t help a small laugh as her eyes fell on the knife in her hand.

“That’s a souvenir even Uncle Spiegel couldn’t fault me for keeping,” she muttered, turning it to look at it closer. Pretty generic, serviceable but otherwise inexpensive. She bent over to slip it into her boot — probably not the best place for it, but for the distance she was going and with how well the boots fits, it would serve to keep it from drawing attention as she walked. She drew her fingers along the raw red of the pavement rash that covered part of her legs, hissing softly as she did, then turned her attention to the slice in the sleeve of her coat as she started walking again, finding blood on the edges of the slice in the fabric.

When she approached the entrance of the hotel, the bellhop almost turned her away until he recognized her, then he ushered her inside with an arm around her. She shrugged him away quickly, even as he tried to insist he should get her some attention for her injuries. Across the lobby, sitting in one of the plush couches, was Cecil with a nose in a PADD. He looked up at the noise, and before either one could realize he was there, he was between Amelia and the bellhop.

“I have her,” Cecil insisted. The bellhop opened his mouth to protest, but Cecil turned his back on him.

“I have myself, thank you,” she snapped, quick stepping to try to leave both men behind.

“He’s not going to leave you alone until he’s certain you’re being looked after,” Cecil insisted, easily keeping pace with her. “It doesn’t matter to him you’re an Executive Officer of a Starfleet vessel, you’re a guest in his hotel. It’s his job. Now you can either let me walk you to your room, or you’ll have him on your heels until he’s seen the last cut healed with a regenerator.”

“Fine.” She sighed. “Cecil will see me back to my room. I’m fine,” she growled. The bellhop inclined his head and quickly returned to his post. Cecil bit back a smirk as he silently walked next to her on the way to the elevator.

Silence followed them halfway up their ride until Cecil finally cleared his throat and rocked forward onto the balls of his feet. “You kicked someone’s ass, didn’t you?”

“Nothing quite so entertaining,” she returned, though she finally smiled and silently chuckled. “Had a couple guys try to mug me when I cut through Central Park. One landed a lucky slice on my arm, and I had to go sliding across the pavement to collect his buddy’s knife before they finally realized maybe I wasn’t worth the trouble.” She bent over, and pulled the knife out of her boot. “I got a souvenir.” She held it out to Cecil, and he reached for it cautiously as if it was going to bite him even though it was the handle she offered him.

“It doesn’t look like much,” he said as they reached her floor. She smirked as she strode out of the elevator, and he followed.

“It’s the story of how I got it that makes it interesting, not the knife itself. The knife is a cheap but serviceable blade. Something I’d expect a petty thief to steal because it would attract less attention than the flashy things he’d lift off tourists,” she insisted, and Cecil nodded. She pulled her keycard from her pocket, and let herself into her room. “Thank you, Cecil, I’ll be fine from here.” She held out her hand for the knife.

“I can get you a regenerator, or see if Doctor Rotek-” Cecil started to insist, and she shook her head. He handed over the knife.

“Don’t worry, I’ve got a regenerator,” she assured him. He shook his head with a look that said he really wasn’t surprised. “This will be our little secret, okay?”

“But shouldn’t you file a police report or something?”

“I’ll tell Rochelle, because she’ll have my neck if she hears about it somewhere else… like from you, or that bellhop. Otherwise, unless I’m passing the knife around at a cocktail party, I don’t want anyone else to hear about it.” She grinned at him when he shook his head at her. “Good night, and thank you for getting the bellhop out of my hair.”

“It wouldn’t due to have you skin the bellhop with your souvenir,” Cecil quipped, walking backwards down the hall. “Good night.”