15576/Random Encounters In The Park

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Random Encounters In The Park
Date of Scene: 08 September 2023
Location: Darlington Park, Sunnydale
Synopsis: Buffy and Willow meet Tommy and Adam. Sandwiches and cookies are shared.
Cast of Characters: Buffy Summers, Green Ranger, Willow Rosenberg, Black Ranger (Park)

Buffy Summers has posed:
It was picnic time.

Not the ideal picnic time as it was in the evening and the sun was setting. Most people preferred their picnics in the daylight hours where they could enjoy the sunshine while playing frisbee or ball with family or friends. These were what was considered normal people.

Yet some people had to patrol at night. And knew that there had been something preying around the area of Darlington Park. These were the less than normal crowd. The ones that others found to be a little off, a little weird. They were the Scoobies. More precisely, it was Buffy and Willow.

Typically, Buffy did her patrols alone but sometimes various Scoobies would join in as they wanted to help. Or were just bored. Whatever it might be. And unlike former Slayers, Buffy was all about having a team of friends around her as opposed to doing everything solo.

The blanket was laid out, the little basket with the various items inside. She had a bottle of Coke in hand and was sipping from it as she watched the sundown. "It's pretty at least. Got to give it that," she commented to Willow.
Green Ranger has posed:
Although a native of Angel Grove, Tommy Oliver had come to make friends on the opposite side of the continent, made frequent trips out to support people in competitions, or compete himself. For some reason, most of the events were held in places like Bludhaven, Gotham, New York, Metropolis, and when it wasn't those four, it would be Chicago, Los Angeles, or Orlando. What about Angel Grove, Starling, Seattle, and Vancouver? Didn't people know how beautiful it was out there?

Today, or tonight, was an oddity. He had come on business. Power Ranger business. He wasn't in costume, but Alpha-5 had told him about some curious readings coming from the Sunnydale area of Bludhaven. With typical Ranger logic, he went there, without any kinds of sensors, to investigate in the hopes that he might be able to uncover something nefarious. It had often worked in the past.

So he found himself walking through Darlington Park, late at night, wearing a black and green tartan shirt, over a white undershirt, and with a black hoodie over them both. It could get cold at night, even in early September. He also had on dark green jeans, black shoes, with white laces, and rubber undersole.

His long hair had been tied back into a ponytail with a hair tie, which had come lose. Stopping, he took the hair tie out, regrouped his hair, and tied it, this time making three loops, as the band was losing its tension.
Willow Rosenberg has posed:
Willow was a fan of late night picnics as it happened. Something about the sun going down, and the moon rising. Mind you, Willow was a pagan, and they often had the celebrations by the moonlight!

"It's always nice out at sunset!: Of course she wasn't taking it as what it seemed - knowing Buffy, there would be a patrol at the end of it. If not sooner!

Of course, Willow had brought her chocolate chip cookies for the dessert.

"I've been to my classes this week. They seem pretty good." Of course, she's already done her readings for the whole semester! Because. Willow. "Are you able to take my daytime shifts at the Box?"
Buffy Summers has posed:
That got a side-eye from Buffy. Because Willow had already giving her most of her evening shifts. Which Buffy appreciated because she wasn't going to school at the moment, after her little complication of losing two years of studies. Although, was she even studying during those times? Or was she just off doing...whatever she had been doing then. Apparently working and in a relationship. But was she going to schol?

Did it even matter anymore?

"You sure? I mean, I already took half your hours. I don't want to leave you with no income at all." Though Willow being Willow, it wasn't like she didn't have scholarships out the wazoo to pay for her school at least. But she did have an apartment and household expenses, just like Buffy. "I mean yeah, I can take some of them. Meg probably will take the others."

Out of the corner of her eye, she caught movement and turned her head that direction. Spotting a guy in various shades of black and green as he fixed his hair. No sensing anything off about him so he wouldn't be her monster but he might be a potential victim so she would keep an eye on him.
Green Ranger has posed:
Tommy Oliver, having fixed his hair, would continue walking, as if it were the most normal thing in the world. He didn't run, he didn't make any kind of aggressive move. He just walked at a normal, regular pace, along the path, until it wound and he disappeared.

A few moments later, he might be spotted, having taken a fork in the path, which directed him back down, 'south', where he might pass by Buffy and Willow, at some distance, on the other side. Strange behaviour to double back at night, but maybe he was just someone out for a stroll, getting the exercise in?
Willow Rosenberg has posed:
"I have to give them to somebody while I have my schooling, and besides, X-Corps still pays me a little bit." Because her hours there are limited in the school year. "And of course the TA-ship pays a little bit beyond my scholarship. I'll be fine. Unless.."

And she frowned. "I should have asked you if you were back at school. I'm sorry. D'uh. That was stupid of me, wasn't it?" *beat* "Are you?"

As Buffy turners and watches.. something.. so too does Willow. Almost immediately she has her magic up and running, using sigils for protection. "Is it a threat? Guess I should have used those before now."
Buffy Summers has posed:
When he wandered off, Buffy simply went back to her talk with Willow. A little shake of the head to answer the question. "No Slayer Sense going off from him but there's been something around this park at night so we'll keep an eye and ear out in case something goes after him."

Then she focused on the question, smiling a little. "Nah, I'm not back at school. Seems like it'd be a waste of money to take the same classes over again and really, what's it going to do for me to have a degree anyway? Not like I can have a normal job." Working at the Magic Box was not normal, despite being a version of retail. Since she could leave anytime she needed to for her actual work of being a Slayer.

Then the stranger was back in view. "Why is he doubling back? You sensing anything about him?" she asked Willow, frowning a little now as she looked in the direction of Tommy openly.
Green Ranger has posed:
Tommy wasn't the tallest man at 5'11", but he was a solid 215 lbs of muscle, in his early twenties, and reasonably handsome. What would bring a guy like that to a park like this in the middle of the night? And why would he be lingering?

It was tough to say. He did stop at one point along his walk to check on his watch, and softly speak into it, though he was far enough away, and speaking softly enough, that the audio wouldn't carry. He was checking in with Alpha-5, "this is the tenth park I've checked out, here, and uh, I think seventeen cemeteries?" His voice to anyone who could hear it, perhaps by magical means, was curious, confused, and saddened in tone. "That seems... unusual. But, I haven't found anything yet. Are you sure you have the right coordinates?"
Willow Rosenberg has posed:
*Now* Willow sees him. As far as she can tell there wasn't anything magic about him - at least not powered up. Which is almost the same thing.. but not?

"Nothing I can pinpoint. And if there were, I think that he'd be better to use it then not? He looks to be lost." Muttering to himself in that way. "Should we take pity on him?"
Buffy Summers has posed:
Buffy considered that suggestion then gave a little half shrug as she raised her voice. "Hey! You! With the ponytail!"

Because there were so many people in sight. It was them and him. But this was Buffy so she continued. "You look lost. Can we help?" If Willow had expected subtle, she was sorely mistaken. Because Buffy tended to fail on the whole low-key thing. She tended to just be more open about stuff and thus why she was screaming across a park at a stranger. Not that he was /that/ far away but he was a slight distance.

"We have sustenance!" she added, motioning to the picnic basket.
Green Ranger has posed:
Tommy Oliver cut his communique short with Alpha-5, "gotta go, civilians," he said, and closed the audio link. He had noticed the two women earlier, but as they didn't seem to be doing anything, he didn't press the issue. Now that one of them shouted to him, he made his way over, moving a bit quicker, despite going off the path and onto the grass. He just hurried his steps a little.

"Hi, I'm Tommy. I've just been checking out the park. I thought it might be a good place to practice. It's good to see it when it's empty, or mostly empty, to get a good sense of its size."
Willow Rosenberg has posed:
"Buffy!" Willow giggled. "And you think I'm backwards!"

Now everyone in shouting distance knew they had dinner, to which Willow had added, "And cookies!" Because, out of the two of them, even though Willow was not a good cook, Buffy was even more pathetic. Thus their regular Tuesday and Saturday eating out. Well, eating take out. (Same difference!) With Willow extra monies coming in, sometimes they had Friday's dinner on Willow.

And frankly, with her schedule it was more necessity than convenience.

When Tommy approached, and introduced himself, she returned the favour. "I'm Willow. And this is my friend Buffy. What do you do? I mean practice?" After all, it was getting very dark. The sports she was familiar with all demanded light! Then again he could be practising something like hide and seek, and parkour! Or.. something more like Buffy practices,
Buffy Summers has posed:
Mention of the size of the park certainly made it sound more like he would be doing something needing space. Otherwise, he wouldn't care. But he didn't have friends with him so no team sports. Funny how the mind sort of ran with things, trying to figure the out even when they would have an answer in a moment thanks to Willow simply asking.

Buffy opened the basket and offered a can of Coke to Tommy. "We have sandwiches. And cookies. Best cookies ever. And I can't even mess up sandwiches so you're safe there." Though she could cook at times, such as holidays, it wasn't something that she excelled at. Chef Ramsey was in no danger from the skills of Buffy Summers.
Green Ranger has posed:
"Hi Willow," he said, leaning forward to offer his hand to shake the ginger haired girl's hand, having soft hands, and not gripping it too hard. He would then repeat the effort with Buffy, "hello Buffy," and then to answer Willow's question, the way his face lit up as he spoke, it was clear that he in his element. "Oh, uh, I know some Shotokan, Wado-ryu, Taekwondo, Judo, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai, Wing Chun, Jeet Kune Do, Aikido, parkour, but mostly I practice karate."

When handed the can of coke, "oh, you don't have to," he was genuinely touched by sharing food and drink with a complete stranger. "That's so nice of you. Really, the best cookies ever? That's going to be tough to beat, because I've tried chocolate toffee cookies."
Willow Rosenberg has posed:
"Chocolate? TOFFEE?" There's one Willow hasn't tried. "Ooo! That sounds delightful! You don't mind if I copy that idea?" She holds the Tupperware container, "These are just chocolate chip I'm afraid. But my friends think they're good."

After he takes a few (there are lots!) she sets the container down.

"Buffy makes good sandwiches." That much was true. "You should talk to her about martial arts. I'm just a beginner. You know, hold them off till my friends come to rescue me! Or run. Definitely run."

Unless magic was concerned! (Okay in hand to hand she preferred to use force lightning, ahem. Not martial arts. But she wasn't about to say *that*.)
Buffy Summers has posed:
As he started listing various martial arts, Buffy's eyebrows were lifted up in surprise. "Overachieve much?" she asked automatically when he finished though she was grinning, to take any sting out of the words. "That's a lot to study. And you seem to be our age so guessing you started in the womb. Or as soon as you came out. Like hi doc, kiyai!"

And she giggled at her own joke. Which was just silliness. But hey, it amused her and really, wasn't that the most important thing?!

"I mean, I don't practice anything like...officially. Just picked up stuff here and there. Though I do try to workout daily, keep up the little skills I have." No thunder or lightning since technically she wasn't lying.
Green Ranger has posed:
"Yeah, you don't have those here? I know you guys don't have Nanaimo bars, but chocolate toffee cookies are the best." He nodded his head up and down, "sure, go ahead, I'm sure there are recipes online if you can't find it in a bakery or grocery store." He accepted a cookie, taking a bite of it, "mmm," he made the sound, though chewed and swallowed before speaking again.

"Martial Arts is for health and defence. The surest way to win any battle is to not take part in one."

Blushing at Buffy's praise, at least he thought it was praise. She kind of jibbed at him, but she flashed that winning smile, so it was hard to read. "Oh, I kicked my way out. My mother wasn't very happy about it." He joked, though there was a brief flash of sadness. He had been put up for adoption.

Quickly replaced by a neutral expression, "I've been thinking of teaching classes here. If either of you want to learn, it would help to start out with a few students."
Willow Rosenberg has posed:
Willow just *stared* at Buffy for one second. Sure she just played at all sorts of martial activity. Mind you, no, Buffy didn't want everyone to know how proficient she was. But still! There was a boy, who seemed to not be afraid of a girl who could take care of herself. And she was downplaying?

Wait! Maybe she was trying to get his attention? Maybe?

Now Willow was confused.

Keeping in mind, her own dating record was pathetic. What does she know? De nada is right.

Glancing at Buffy, she asks, "When are you holding your classes?" Taking them isn't the real problem - in fact, she could always use training. Beginners training, and course (well, compared to Buffy she presumes that she is a beginner.) The bigger problem was the time. As it was, her days are filled up to the brim with classes, TA, two jobs with pay, and one job without. Never you mind about her hero gigs, and of course, the Scoobies.. could she fit a class in?
Buffy Summers has posed:
The biggest issue for Buffy is she knew how to do things. On instinct. Thanks to the memories of past Slayers. She didn't know how to do things by their proper names. Or in classes. She'd learned that in training with Giles and testing by the Watchers. Kind of made it more complicated for her to know things without knowing how she knew them. When dealing with an actual professional.

"We probably could find a few others too. Xander might want to join in, right?" she said, glancing to Willow to see if she'd agree with that idea. "And I suppose I could try but not sure. I might do better watching." So she didn't break the guy in half accidentally.
Green Ranger has posed:
Tommy Oliver was in the Sunnydale area of Bludhaven, which was in New Jersey, far away from Angel Grove, which was in Starling, British Columbia. But he had been sent there to investigate something for Alpha-5 to no avail. Instead, he had met Buffy Summers and Willow Rosenberg, and was currently having a coca-cola and chocolate cookie, while sandwiches were on offer in the evening park.

"Oh, I haven't committed to teaching more classes yet. Here, why don't I give you my number, and you can text me your availability, and we'll see what we can work around," to Willow.

"I'm an experienced instructor, and can help people at any experience level, from fresh off the street, to black belts," as he himself was a fifth degree black belt, the highest level he could attain without travelling to Japan.
Willow Rosenberg has posed:
"Xander!" That was an idea! "I'm sure was we could fill.. what? Half a class?" To heck with did she have the time - she'd make it! What was 5 hours compared to 6 of sleep? She will work it out. She's only young once!

"I'm sure it'll be okay. Especially if you have it after dinner!" Taking out her phone, she flips it to the correct apps without looking. "Let me see.." Looking off into space, she made some calculations and finally came up with three dates that almost worked. "Your number, please!"
Black Ranger (Park) has posed:
The young man is walking through the park he'd never been here before. Adam wears a black leather jacket over a black shirt, black jeans and you guessed it black sneakers with a white soul. Spotting Tommy he jogs over. "Tommy, yo Tommy." He calls out getting close he sees the others and runs his fingers through his hair. "Hi, oh I ummm...I apologize am I interrupting something?" Adam asks looking around a bit. "This place is kind of nice."
Buffy Summers has posed:
Unlike her bestie, Buffy did not take out her cell phone. She'd just get the information from Willow later. After all, her phone might not even make it throught the night so why bother going through the motions?

There was that movement at the corner of her eye and she turned to look toward Adam just as he called out to Tommy and moved to join the small gathering. The girls had been out having a picnic at sunset. They had seen the lost looking Tommy and offered assistance, as well as goodies from the basket. Thus this moment.

Though two of them had her attention a bit more than one had. Because Buffy had trust issues. Came with fighting monsters on an nightly basis. Not that she was sensing anything from the new guy either. Probably human and nothing to be concerned about. "Not interrupting. We were just chatting. Tommy was offering to teach us martial arts. I'm Buffy." She motioned to the redhead at her side. "This is Willow. Would you like a soda or a sandwich? Or a chocolate chip cookie. Willow made them."
Green Ranger has posed:
"Half a class, already, that sounds like a great start," and would make it worthwhile. While Tommy wouldn't object to some one on one training, getting an actual class together was better for him, and allowed people to grow together. It helped create friendships, or solidify them. He gave Willow his number, and then turned around at the sound of his name from a familiar voice. "Adam," and he greeted his friend with a more involved handshake, showing that they were friends, something that Zack Taylor had taught him, and he had passed on to Adam.

He did note that Buffy hadn't offered or asked for his number, but he didn't take it personally. Maybe she wasn't as interested in learning martial arts, or she'd just get it from Willow. He would then take a sandwich himself, but before biting into it, "the cookies are really good."
Willow Rosenberg has posed:
Willow did not have the same trust issues as Buffy. Which may be responsible for her dating fare (a demon to name one). Of course, without the reaction that Buffy had, she did give a second (and a third.. and fourth..) chance most often before giving up on them.

Willow was, at heart, a softie.

Turning to Adam, she picked her container of cookies and offered them, "Have some! I'm Willow, and that's my beste Buffy. Quite a crowd for this time of night. You might think we had nefarious plans if you didn't know us."

The joke of that statement was neither group knew the other one to be certain that the other groups wasn't planning something.
Black Ranger (Park) has posed:
Adam Park smiles and returns the shake. "I'm alright bro how you doin'?" He asks before smiling shyly at Willow and Buffy before taking a cookie. "Sure I'll take a coke and sandwich." Adam says before glancing around them all. "Oh Martial arts lessons, need an assistant instructor Tommy?" Adam grins before looking to the ladies again. "I'm Adam, by the way. I'm also a very accomplished Martial artist myself."
Buffy Summers has posed:
That had Buffy looking from Adam to Tommy and back again. "Two martial artists. Trainer and potentially assistant trainer."

Then she smirked before she could stop herself, giving Willow a little nudge with her elbow before she dug out a Coke and sandwich to offer over to Adam. "If watching movies had taught me anything, we will be attacked by ninjas at any moment now. And the two of you are on a quest to find the person that killed your master, right?"

Perhaps she should switch to less violent types of movies. She had given up horror when she became a Slayer because it just seemed silly when she knew the reality out there hiding in the shadows.
Green Ranger has posed:
"We're young, we'll sleep when we're eighty. Or don't need to wake up until an afternoon classes," Tommy joked to Willow. Then shifting to regard Adam, "thanks to caffeine, cookies, company, and sandwiches, I am doing great, except with coming up with a c-word for sandwiches." A moment later, he added, "sounds like a plan," at Adam's offer to assist and potentially cover some classes for him, as schedules vary.

Then at Buffy's joke, Tommy looked down, trying to do his best sad face, "well, now that you mention it, I do believe that Master Senzo Tanaka was poisoned," but of course, Master Senzo Tanaka was the father figure and sensei in Bloodsport. Would anyone catch the reference. Xander definitely would.
Willow Rosenberg has posed:
A giggle comes from Willow. "I'd be the safest person around here." Unlike Buffy, Willow still enjoyed the odd horror /because/ she knew unequivocally how fake they really were. Ghost stories and demon.. sometimes they were still scary. Because, they /were/ true, and sometimes it was hard to parse out the fact from the fiction.

"Says you!" Willow pulls a face. "I don't have morning classes to attend, but I sure have TA office hours to give. You're right though, sleep is for the old."
Black Ranger (Park) has posed:
Adam Park nods his head to Tommy. "Well that works for me. After all two instructors are better than one." He says as he listens to the joking. "Wait sleep is a thing that exists?" Adam asks with a shake of his head taking the coke and sandwich as he munches on the cookie for a moment. "Wow these are good!" Than there's Buffy's joke followed by Tommy's retort and Adam also looks down playing sad. "Ah yes we must find our Shidoshi Tanaka." He says with a soft sigh.
Buffy Summers has posed:
Although Buffy doesn't get the exact movie reference, she is glad to see that they are playing along with the idea of it. Though, the evening is passing pretty quickly. She glances off toward the shadows that were spreading in the wooded areas of the park now that the sun had set.

Ninjas? Unlikely. But she had no doubt something would be out there lurking in the night.

"Though we probably should start wrapping up and get indoors before it gets too much later." Such a fib. Cause she wouldn't be going indoors however, she wasn't going to be leaving Willow alone with two practical strangers either.
Green Ranger has posed:
It was great that Adam got the reference and played along. He gave a curt nod to his Angel Grove alumni friend, before no longer able to hold the solemn look. First his lips cracked into a smile, and then he warmed his whole body, posture and all.

"I think I'd be killed off early," as horror films often liked to kill off the toughest looking member of the group first, to establish how strong and scary the big bad was, "but hopefully it'd be a good death, where I got to die by saving my friends," new and old.

Alas, Buffy had seemed to cut things short. "Of course. We'd be happy to walk you to your car, bus, bike, or however you were planning to get back home." He didn't like the idea of untrained young women walking the streets alone. There were bad people out there.
Willow Rosenberg has posed:
As she receives the secret message from Buffy, Willow has to reluctantly agree. "I've got homework. Some writeup on this book about theoretical maths - which I know isn't everybody's idea of interesting. Trust me, Buffy borrows my texts as a sleep aide when she has trouble."

"More cookies before we pack them up?" The other things get packed away in the interim. "It was nice to meet you! Both of you. Text me, Tommy, when you have your schedule."

As she looked at Buffy, and back again, "We've only got a short distance to cover. I mean, who would come out in the middle of the night without knowing the locations around? My parents are just around the corner. See. No worries!"

Of course just because she said her parents lived in the neighbourhood, doesn't mean she was going to pop by! Lying by omission. She had gotten good at that.
Black Ranger (Park) has posed:
Adam Park nods his head finishing the cookie. "I'll take the sandwich with me then. It was nice to meet you two as well, but yes like Tommy said we'd be happy to escort you two back to your mode of transport." He says nodding as they all get ready to head out.
Buffy Summers has posed:
"Yeah, we've got this. But thanks. We aren't going far."

And Buffy rose to her feet, stepping off the blanket and picking it up to do a rough fold and add it to the basket o' goodies. Well on top of the basket, not inside with the food since it had grass and who knew what else on it now.

"Nice meeting you both. Willow will let me know when the class is as well so I can show up." So that they knew she was interested in attending, even if she didn't take the phone number. Or at least watching, as she'd mentioned to Tommy.

"Good night!" And she turned to lead her bestie off toward the exit of the park.