Umbrella Surveillance System
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Buck Rogers La Ville Lumire is shrouded in darkness. The fog hangs thick and makes a labyrinth out of the city streets; even the Eiffel Tower, proud and well-lit beacon that it is, seems to disappear in the mist that hangs like upside-down mountains of cloud. But this evening, the fog has grown a little lighter, just a spell, and the splendors of Paris manifest in a brightness that's been lost to them for days. Bridges and buildings, clock towers and churches -- all shine like small suns, lending a dignity to the maze of roads and sidewalks that turns casual walks into cavalcades. Beneath the western facade, Buck Rogers stands, strong against the crowds that break around him like a rock in a river. He flips open a phone. Dials. Vivienne is the one who picks up.

"Hey, beautiful," he begins, looking up toward the sky and the rising towers of the cathedral. "Missed me? Come down to the Notre Dame -- let's hang out tonight. Always liked that movie. Meet me at the west side."

Then he waits, humming an old tune under his breath.
Vivienne Vivienne walks slowly around the building, her eyes taking in the saints and other gothic pieces of art. She spots Buck, and pushes her hair away from her face, making an attempt to stand up straight. She walks forward until she has to tilt her head back to gaze up at Buck. "I've never been here before, it's pretty, don't you think?" She says, by way of greeting.
Buck Rogers The crowds around the Notre Dame thin at night, particularly with this weather -- but Paris is an overflowing city, and as such it's rarely truly empty. A mixture of tourists and locals take in the sights, move about, or, sometimes, make a comment about the enormous Buck or beautifully-shaped Vivienne to their friends.. creating that novel metropolitan ambience that can't be found elsewhere. Bells, and birds, and car alarms, and a thousand thousand footsteps make the music of the world.

Vivienne lifts her head and straightens her spine. Buck cups her cheek and leans down to steal a lingering kiss.
Vivienne Vivienne looks abashed but she doesn't pull away, in fact she raises on her tip toes briefly to facilitate getting closer. When she eases back to the ground she takes a deep breath and attempts a smile. "Didn't know if I was going to hear from you again." She says, glancing around for a place to sit. "Is there a nice quiet place to sit here? So I can..look at you while we talk?"
Buck Rogers "I've never been inside," Buck admits, rapping a knuckle against the mighty stone of the Cathedral. "But I loved the Hunchback of Notre Dame, and I'm pretty sure it's full of benches." His grin is broad and his beard scratches her skin, leaving tingling, tickle-itch reminders of the kiss when he pulls away and his shadow covers her. The brute moves to engulf her small hand in his, holding her more by the wrist than anything, and walks ahead of her. His every step is a giant's crossing, his immense body creaking, taking up space, rumbling the ground-- but, more importantly, his legs are very very long, which means she has to speed up lest she be dragged.

Eventually, he's brought her indoors, moving beneath the rows of hundreds of stone-carven saints to dwell in the iris of the northern rose window, bathed in its resplendent and gentle hues. There are many rows of pews.. but, at this hour, there really isn't anyone around. Buck eases himself down in the back row, a hand on Vivienne's rump bringing her over and guiding her to his lap.

"There's a big ol' organ in one of these rooms," he murmurs, quiet, almost reverent. His every word is a deep vibration felt in the bones. "It's famous. Haven't heard it. And if you climb up, you can walk on the paths up above, and see the saints and the gargoyles. Beautiful buildings, churches, cathedrals -- all that. Always liked them, growing up."
Vivienne Vivienne does have to speed up to keep up with Buck but she does it without complaint, her eyes skipping around the different features of the large building until the sudden stop makes her blink and focus on her surroundings. Her mouth opens slightly as she stares at the northern rose window, and she seems distracted enough that she doesn't pay attention to where she is sitting. The rise in height gives her a better view though. She turns then and grins at Buck. "That window will have me back in this building a few times, I can tell you that right now."

When she meets Buck's gaze she falls silent, and she just stares for a few moments, a fairly impassive look on her face.
Buck Rogers Buck is fortunate that the design of the cathedral embodies grandiosity more than pure efficiency of space; he can *spread* on the bench, stretch his legs some, expand, in that way bodies do, when force is exerted down on them. He looks like any normal businessman or high-society type, well-dressed and fanciful, with a beautiful girl on his lap. She can feel the luxuriousness of the fabrics, see the mastery of their stitching up close-- if she has any knowledge whatsoever, or simply an instinct for valuables, she knows from head to toe he's dressed in the finest. His toes tap on the ground with a steady click. "'course you were gonna hear from me again, sweetheart," he says when she falls silent, brushing his thumb over her lips. He eyes her face, and that faded bruise. "Seems you healed up right. Good girl. Does it hurt?"
Vivienne "No, it only hurt the first night." Vivienne says, and for a moment her gaze shifts away to the door they came through. She sighs and looks back at Buck. "How was I to know that I would hear from you again?" She asks, her voice quiet. She huffs out a breath and focuses on something else, looking down at what Buck is wearing, reaching out to touch the fabric for a moment. "What is it with you guys in Paris, always so...smooth and refined and.." She pulls her hand back and folds them in her lap, frowning. "So..."
Buck Rogers It's so soft beneath her fingers, firm, supple-- she might not know the material, but anyone can recognize quality. And such quality it is, hand-made and custom-tailored for his towering, muscular figure-- his chest, his limbs, his shoulders, back, torso, all of it so thick and corded with strength that the suit and the pants stretch tight around him. The powerful angles of the suit emphasize that masculine shape, draw the eyes from shoulder to crotch, solidify that intense V-silhouette and cling to the Adonis girdle below.

Buck is not a pretty man, fair of feature or delicate in shape; but he is built like a Greek god, a statue with too much raw material. More Hephaestus than Apollo-- or Zeus, perhaps, carrying lightning in his fists, a knuckle dragged along Vivienne's jawline. His touch tickles.

"The suits feel nice," he admits with a laugh and a growl. "My agent says I look good dressed up. Says it helps 'cement a heroic aesthetic in the eyes of the onlooker'. What he means is it shows off my muscles, my cock, and makes me look rich and powerful. But hell, baby girl. Not my style. I'm not from Paris; I was born up in the good ol' US of A. Northeast, country boy. Asked me if I'd wear this when I was fourteen, I'd have laughed in your face." He pauses, staring down at her. His gaze is intense; it never drifts from her eyes and her lips. Whenever she looks at him, there too is he, and he always forces her to break contact first. "Been thinkin' about you, cutie."
Vivienne "I hope good thoughts." Vivienne finally says, and she makes an attempt to get up, on her feet. "I think we should have talked right after what happened in that alley, but..wasn't to be, I guess." She shakes her head at the talk of the fabric, the clothes, the agent. "You got a lot going on for you, I'm sure that makes you happy, right?" She looks down at her plain shirt, her tattered jeans and the scuffed boots.
Buck Rogers Buck's shark smile is wide and full of teeth. "Makes me miserable," he says, that expression never faltering, even as the girl slips off his lap and rises to her feet. "You grow up thinking you want to be rich and famous. The thing is, we treat it like the terminal goal-- we think being rich and famous is the goal itself. You pass Go, you collect your $200, get your face on the cereal. But what then?" He flexes one heavy arm, brings those scarred fingers to his chin, scratches at his beard. The crush of the hair bristles against his nails is loud in the quiet. "Hell, it ain't so bad. Better than being poor. But it bores me to tears; I don't gotta work anymore. I don't gotta struggle for anything. I'm not in any danger, not really-- gettin' cut up saving your sweet ass is the most hurt I've been in months." He leans his head back, pats his lap again, beckoning her. "C'mere, beautiful. I'm gonna tell you about Raccoon City."
Vivienne Vivienne doesn't look convinced that he's miserable, the smile - though predatory - looks genuine enough. She retakes her seat and her eyes automatically travel to where the knife wound would have been. "Are you okay?" She asks, embrassed that she didn't think of that sooner. When Buck mentions Raccoon City, she looks slightly skittish and she shifts in an attempt to get comfortable. "Alright, though you don't have to tell me about it if you don't want to."
Buck Rogers "After you went on your merry way, I swung by the local hospital," Buck says, taking her hand and bringing it low. He presses her fingers against his pants, pushing against his thigh, where she can feel the little raised bumps of stitches. He holds her hand there. "Feel it? Healed up just fine; I'll take those out any day now." He releases her, and his arm snakes around her waist, hand resting on that flat tummy as he encircles her whole body with one limb. He's so much bigger than she is. "I'm not sad-miserable, sweetheart. It's different. I don't talk about it much; no real point. But you're sweet, and I'm gonna keep you close from now on, right where you belong. So what the hell." The smile fades, and his brows furrow in thought. "You know the gist. Major American city. First major incident of bioterrorism. More good US citizens died then than in World War 2 and the Civil War put together." His fingers trace along her stomach. "It was beautiful."
Vivienne "Beautiful?" Vivienne says, and she squirms then, not looking terribly comfortable, a frown on her face. "Why in the world would you say that? All of those people an their friends and families?" She opens her mouth and she almost doesn't recognize the sounds coming from her. "You know what's worse than never having a family? Losing one to something like that when you actually HAD one that you loved." She shakes her head, and her hair gets in her face, making her sputter slightly before she speaks again. "Tell me you don't believe that." She almost pleads, her chin trembling slightly.
Buck Rogers "I'm not saying all those people dead is a good thing," the man growls, his palm flattening against her stomach. "God bless the poor bastards. It'd have been better if it never happened." His free hand curls the hair in her face around a finger, tucking it behind an ear to expose those big eyes of her. With a focused exhale, he blows the lingering strands up and away, his breath cool on her skin. His hand remains at her face to cup and steady, thumb tracing along her lips. "They never should have died. I'm not talking about that. Have you ever felt lost, sweetheart? Inside. Not sure what you're doing. Not liking how the world is, or how your life is. That gnawing in your stomach like hunger, but it's not food you want, it's something better."
Vivienne "All my life." Vivienne admits, not sure how to take Buck's gentle and relentless caresses. "Still do." She glances back at the stained glass window, her teeth scraping against her bottom lip.
Buck Rogers "You feel like that because you're surrounded by poison messages. From billboards to blackboards, we're all taught the rat race is the way to go. We break ourselves to fit into modern conceptions of a Good Life, but it wears down the spirit, baby girl -- we're not our cars, our clothes, our newest brand-name phone. We're not where we work. We're not the people we know. We tamed the world, broke it, and then broke ourselves. We're not these piece of shit masks we hide behind."

His hand has drifted from her face to her throat. Her head is tilted back to expose it.

"It's not about the job, the car, the white-picket fence. We're meant to live in the natural state; we're animals. These concrete prisons aren't good for the soul, princess. The human animal needs something wild-- we think in terms of years and decades when we're meant to think in minutes or hours. Raccoon City? It broke all that. It short-circuited the toxic wires built in our brains. You didn't worry about taxes or if you were living up to your potential. You didn't worry about rules meant to castrate the spirit and make men into eunuchs. You fought, and bled, and sweat. You struggled-- and you were alive."

A gentle squeeze. "I was alive."
Vivienne Vivienne gazes at Buck, her chin raised slightly at his hand to her throat. "Was being alive worth all of that to you? What did Raccoon do to you, Buck?" She stares at him as she speaks. "Is that whole thing why you are what you are now?"
Buck Rogers Buck leans down and steals another kiss from Vivienne. He tastes like cinnamon and his breath so close is molten hot. His eyes twinkle, such a bright blue against the wiry black of his beard and the sun-kissed bronze of his flesh. "Raccoon City taught me how to live," he says, thumb brushing along the hollow point of her throat right beneath the chin, his massive hand sliding down. "All my life, sweetheart, I've battled my demons-- smoking, drinking, fighting. Feeling out of place. So much so I even spent time in prison; gained discipline there, focus. But Raccoon... Raccoon taught me that we don't need to fight our demons. When we live the right way, they work for us. We own them."
Vivienne "I saw your demons in that alley, and they scared me. There is a place for that, and it scares me ...to think that .." Vivienne takes a deep breath and sighs softly. "You scared me very badly, and I think that it will happen again." She gazes down at her knees, her chin trapping his hand near her throat. "I'd like to not be afraid of you."
Buck Rogers "I wouldn't hurt you," Buck says with all sincerity, using his grip on the girl's throat, and the fingers that reach to the back of her neck, to bring her head in against his broad chest. "I know I can be scary-- but I used to be a cop for a reason. The only ones I hurt are the bad guys. Raccoon.. woke something up inside me. Taught me the way to live -- taught me that it feels good to struggle, to be in the moment. It's simple and clean and rejuvenates the spirit. But it didn't make me an abuser." His smile is a little sweeter now, and he brushes her hair with his other hand, in long, gentle strokes from scalp to nape. "See, baby girl? I wouldn't let a thing do you wrong."
Vivienne "You did hurt me, a little." Vivienne says quietly but she doesn't struggle out of the embrace, she just accepts it. "You were a police officer?" She asks tilting her head up slightly before she lets out a short laugh. "I believe that you're not going to hurt me anymore, but ..are you sure that you want to spend time with me?"
Buck Rogers "You didn't read my book," the jolly giant chides, reaching over to give Vivienne's cheek a little pinch. "Tsk, tsk. That's right, sweetheart-- Richard Buchanan Rogers, after he got out of prison, spent six years working private security. In his late twenties, he leveraged that experience into a career with the Raccoon City Police Department, where he quickly passed the S.T.A.R.S. assessment and became commanding officer of Charlie Team. He had a valorous career where he was known to rush headlong into danger, rescuing people and doing the city proud." Buck chuckles as he recites a brief summary of his history like might be found in the blurb on the inside cover of a book under his own stoic face. "I spent years on the force. I saw everything a person can see; the worst of the worst. I can tell good from evil, sweetheart-- and so help me God, I'm on this earth to put down evil." She asks her question then and he glances down at her. "Absolutely sure. I like little girls like you. Call it a vice."
Vivienne "I have a copy of the book, you brought it to the hospital. I haven't had a chance to finish it though, I've been spending some time with James." Vivienne says, wincing at the cheek pinch. "So does this mean you'll take me somewhere for food?" She asks, a slight smile on her face.
Buck Rogers "I'll buy you anything you like, sweetheart," Buck replies, releasing her cheek and petting her head. "Food, drink, clothes. Lord knows I got more money than I know what to do with. It'll be one of those sugar daddy deals -- you bring the sugar, and I'll be the daddy." His grin is more lecherous than before, and he gives her a little scoot off his lap, holding her steady until her feet are on the ground. With a wide yawn, he rolls his shoulders, stretches high above his head, joints cracking and popping, spreading his legs. He hooks his arms around the back of the pew. "Mm. Don't go hanging out with other men, princess. You belong to me now."
Vivienne "I work with other men." Vivienne points out, her arms folded and a slight smirk on her face. "I have friends." She quirks an eyebrow and her eyes narrow slightly. "Are you telling me that we're...seeing each other?"
Buck Rogers "Work's fine, and so're friends," Buck replies, reaching around to palm her ass. He gives it a firm smack and squeezes. With the height difference, sitting down he's still taller than she is. "You gotta go be that sweet ol' military girl. But this," another squeeze, "is mine. Anybody asks, you tell 'em your Buck's girl now."
Vivienne Vivienne looks faintly amused, jumping when Buck smacks her ass. "That is only somewhat demeaning, so we'll work on that." She gazes down at her stomach as it makes a rumbling noise, in the silence of the cathedral, it seems very loud. "I think I'm going to find some food though, I'm pretty hungry."
Buck Rogers "Come on, baby girl," Buck declares, rising to his feet and taking control of the girl's hand again. "My treat. We'll hit up all those fancy French restaurants and buy things I can't pronounce."