In the HomeTown Diner's Dining Room
This room is both cozy and fairly modern in style, with oak panelling along the bottom half of the walls, while the top has been painted a rich, bright shade of white. Open windows on the eastern wall look out over the diner's pergola and firepit, offering a gorgeous view past that of the horizon to diners. The tables are spread out around the room so that the waitstaff can easily make their way to all diners, and the smell of home cooking fills the air at all hours of the day.
It is morning, about 78F(25C) degrees
Dynamic Places: a window-side table for two
Darrow gulps down his sweet tea looking out the window as the sun illuminates the clear day. A clink of ice on the glass and some loud, audible gulps are the only noise from the booth, undisturbed by the rest of the diner. The slender young man allows himself a moment of pause as the chimes of the clock tower ring out the time and he exhales, not needing to put up a show or impress or put on a facade for the first time in what seems to him an eternity. There is a brief moment of peace, that forms into a smirk where he drops his guard, not feeling watched by anyone other than the dining room staff. Using his hand rather than a fork, he scoops up a few strands of hash brown to shovel into his mouth, savoring the fried potatoes and closing his eyes, allowing the savor of the starchy brown morsels melt away the troubles and trials of the past few weeks.
The morning is as peaceful and temperate as the spindly fellow enjoying it. The soft crash of waves on the shores of Sidney beach just outside is a soothing hush beneath the mild buzz of civilized activity within the well-populated diner, a spot enjoyed by many of the Haven locals. The height of the morning rush is passed, but activity is still high; a trio of teenagers is over in one booth chatting away, a young couple share breakfast and light laughter at a table by the window, and a bevy of customers await their to-go beverages at the counter. Darrow is left alone to partake of his morning meal undisturbed.
...For about fifteen minutes, at least.
*CRASH* goes the front door as it's smashed open by a booted foot. There were no flashing lights outside -- Darrow was given no forewarning, but a pair of officers, armed with standard-issue handguns come storming in, one male, one female.
The woman flashes her badge and calls out to the diner, "Em ess pee, everybody stay where you are!" A waitress drops her tray, the teens all pale, but everybody in the diner this morning is otherwise totally okay with obeying the law enforcers. Nobody moves.
Except perhaps for Darrow. What will he do?
An inaudible mouthing of, "Shit." comes from Darrow' stubbled chin as he quickly pushes his wiry mane into his beanie. The action instinctual based on the sound of a door being kicked in. A mask of sleepy expressionlessness, akin to a plastic mannequin crosses his features. It is a posture and expression known only by those who have been in situations where they truly wish to disappear and blend in with their surroundings. Placing both hands near his plate to avoid suspicion, he keeps a rigid posture, gulps once to both steel himself and swallow his food as he looks at the entrance, his brown eyes dilated in a flight or fright response, and his right leg firmly planted to avoid shaking.
The impeccable blue uniforms themselves are more than enough to identify the pair as State officers, and the badge the woman shows the room confirms it. She tucks the thing back onto her belt and strides farther into the space, earning blank looks from all the diners while her partner covers the exit, handgun drawn but pointed to the floor.
The dark-haired woman in blue performs a full scan of the patrons at the counter, then eyes off the teenagers (who all shrink beneath her gaze, save for one bold boy who only lifts his chin in defiance), and then...
...her sharp eyes land on Darrow. The scanning immediately stops after that. Confident steps carry her over to his table, where she tilts her head to try and get a better look at his face. "Darrow Branheim?" she inquires in a low voice, tones hard with a total intolerance for nonsense, as though the name were an invocation of gravity. If there were any doubt left that the incident unfolding here isn't about the spindly guy at the table, it can pretty safely be dispelled right now. Her hand is on the gun holstered at her hip.
An employee at the service counter and the nearest patron begin whispering to one another, riding a private high from the drama unfolding before them. And every set of eyes in the diner is on Darrow.
Hands on the table, Darrow is emotionless, and nigh plasticine save his dark brown eyes peering out from his grayed beanie. His tongue is tightly situated between clenched teeth in his closed mouth as the morning sun drastically alters its purpose, from a warm, soothing pleasantry, to a harsh, exposing illuminator, a betrayer of all things that are who he is. The spindly man says nothing as the clock chimes out, instead looking directly at the officer, attempting to discern if she or her accomplice is a personal acquaintance.
The officer at Darrow's table is a short-stack woman of hispanic descent, somewhere in her mid to late thirties, sporting a low bun, a strong physique, and a stony expression. The woman stares back down at Darrow, unflinching beneath the hollow look he sends up. If that alone wasn't enough to confirm his guilt on at least some level, she must have access to a photograph for identification purposes, because getting a look at his face front-on only seals the deal. She begins speaking again in the crisp syllables of someone with many an arrest under her belt.
"I'm officer Hernandez and this is my partner, officer Bradshaw." A tick of her head is sent off towards the taller fellow guarding the exit and watching the rest of the patrons while Hernandez handles business with Darrow. "We have a warrant for your arrest under charges of rioting and assaulting a police officer." She keeps it professional, but the mechanical way she says it only *just* masks an underlying disgust. The shiny cuffs on her belt get reached for as she instructs, "Hands on your head please, sir."
The whispering becomes a tumultuous murmur to rival the quiet crash of the ocean outside as the whole diner overhears the charges being laid against Darrow and drinks up the scandal of it all. This'll be a hot topic of discussion for days to come, no doubt.
Darrow breathes out, an exhale quite short and followed by a longer inhale denoting his lack of breathing before his respiration returns to normal. With phone in hand he places his hands behind a gray beanie, tucking each into an armpit. An acrid smell is made present to him as he exposes his armpits, a scent of disregard to hygiene over the past week. This draws a smile to his lips for the first time since the officers have entered, flashing a shit eating grin at the two of them as he fans it with his elbow in the officers' direction. "Oink Oink. Officer, are you sure you have the right person?" He asks, not condemning himself, but certainly not indemnifing himself as he makes eye contact with Officer Hernandez.
Hernandez doesn't mess around. The cuffs are brought out, and she reaches in to snag one of his wrists, reading him his Miranda warning. "You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and... will be..." Darrow's gaze bores into her, two different shades of brown squaring off. She blinks, slow and sleepy, and starts to frown down at him. Confusion. "...used..?" she guesses, trying to remember the script to a very distant play. Next moment, all focus slides away from her gaze, like an internal light winking out. The no-nonsense officer is rendered inert. She just stands and stares sightlessly through Darrow, the cuffs slowly lowered with the drag of gravity on her arms gone limp to rest at her sides.
The other officer - Bradshaw - immediately notices that something is up. "Gabby?" he calls over to his partner tensely, flicking his eyes that way, though his gun remains trained on the floor. "Y'good?"
Onlookers about the diner start to stir as the previously firm control over the situation begins to look just a little bit compromised. A little less certain. There's a light buzz of mild anxiety as people begin to realize that something is wrong here, no longer feeling the safety and sureness of Hernandez's presence.
"She's fine, she just loves a good looking man." Darrow says to Officer Bradshaw, lowering his hands from his head. His lips curl into a smile that forces his stubbled chin into a point. "It sounds like she needs some rest... you know... cops do too much, snooping about where they shouldn't, kicking in the doors to peaceful diners." Grabbing a handful of bacon and eggs he breaks the runny yoke in his mouth chomping as he smuches the food greedily, they yellow of the yolk only slightly more yellow then his actual teeth as he stands to place down a sizeable tip for his server. He stares Bradshaw down, though not making eyecontact intentionally or foolishly. He corrects himself into an on guard crouch stance, though he raises his hands and puts them on his head as to appease the male officer, attempting not to get shot as he takes a few steps and then stops to assess his next move.
Bradshaw ignores the quips Darrow throws his way, his concern resting far more squarely with his partner. "Gabby. Gabbs!" he calls, trying to rouse the woman. But she daydreams on, by all accounts unaware of what's going on around her. The diner's other patrons are restless with building anxiety now, tension sizzling through the atmosphere which had all too recently been a serene one.
As Darrow makes for the door, he's reminded that officer Bradshaw is standing right in front of the exit. The man flusters. "STOP RIGHT THERE."
A warning shot cracks off and is sent whizzing up to the ceiling. Everyone in the diner reacts with gasps, yelps, and ducking out of harm's way -- well, everyone except for officer Hernandez, who just keeps on staring dreamily through the empty seat Darrow vacated moments ago. She looks perfectly at peace.
But the shot is just a show of force and intent in the hopes to cow Darrow into submission; Bradshaw remains reluctant to actually point the gun at the spindly man himself. It gets angled down onto Darrow's leg while the other hand reaches for the taser on his belt in case things come to closer quarters. "Get on your knees! /Now/!" he barks, eyes wild. He's younger than his partner, undoubtedly the junior ranking member of the two. Though there's a mild panic about him, to his credit, he hasn't given up any ground, keeping himself between the spindly guy and the door.
Darrow cackles like a mad man, suitably at home with egging the officer on. "Boy, that's quite a lot of paperwork you have on your hands officer... I imagine if you didn't bring me in to custody you'd be held accountable for damage to property of these poor poor people." He says, unblinkingly, attempting to draw Bradshaw's eyes to him. He begins to kneel as if to appease the officer, his eyes trained squarely upon the man's face. "You'd be buried in so much fucking paperwork, you wouldn't be back on the streets for another month!" He places his knee to the ground, genuflecting more than fully kneeling. A full grimace of yellowed, bared teeth is shown in intimidation, a wolf baring its teeth before it mauls its prey.
The teens are all taking refuge under their table now, one of them in tears with her hand clamped over her mouth. Everyone looks just a bit paler and more shaken than they did before the gun came into play.
Bradshaw is coming apart under the stress. He's probably used to playing a supporting role to the more competent and experienced officer Hernandez, and is now more than a little lost without her leadership.
The gun is lifted, shaky, to point at Darrow's chest as the fellow crouches and antagonizes the officer. Strained and faltering, the officer bellows out, "I don't give a FUCK about paperwork! What did you do to Ga--?"
His mouth keeps moving but nothing further comes out, muscles continuing a motion automatically without any meaning left behind it before falling still. The sentence's conclusion is obliterated by Darrow's stare, which captures Bradshaw and holds him hostage. A veil shutters behind his blue eyes; the gun gradually lowers to the floor again.
Unlike when the same thing happened to Hernandez, this time, the gun-toting policeman falling into a daze actually seems to introduce a tiny bit of relief into the hapless inhabitants of the diner. And once again, they all watch Darrow.
"Everyone, everyone." Darrow announces. "I know what you have seen here is an unjust use of police force, and I want you to know that assholes like these can not keep infecting our community." He says to the people of the diner. "I suggest that all of you invoke your right not to tell pigs shit. That doing so will only cause MORE damage to property, and that we're better off without them. Thank you.... uhhh... the eggs were lovely..." The spindly man says, very aware of the attention of everyone upon him and basks a moment in the limelight before using the tee shirt under his jacket to cover his nose. Standing from where he was previously kneeling. "And... I dunno, God Bless the US... Che Guvara probably said it..." With this he flashes a Nixon-esque victory pose and attempts to maneauver out the door and book it.
To say that the speech was well-received might be a bit of a stretch of the imagination, even for someone like Darrow. The words are met with stares and silence, but he absolutely has the attention of every single person in the room, down to the very last moment of his presence.
Working his way past officer Bradshaw without touching him and breaking the trance means that Darrow has to climb over a table, but thankfully, he manages to make it look pretty good. Every set of eyes in the shop (with two exceptions) stay trained on him, following him out the door, practically urging him along to end the threat of further danger. The situation has evolved well beyond a little bit of exciting gossip for the week.
The silence is absolute, and the result of a collective holding of breath. Darrow can practically hear it being released behind him as he exits the diner. Hurrying is certainly advisable; back through the open door, Hernandez's groggy voice can be heard to ask, "...Jake..?" as she begins to snap out of it. Just in time to watch Darrow go absolutely pelting down the road through the restaurant's storefront windows.
She probably tries to give chase. The fugitive will never know. He's long gone without looking back.
In the HomeTown Diner's Dining Room