Title: Same old Coney
Fandom: The Warriors
Summary: Five years have passed and an old Warrior returns home.
A/N: The Warriors is one of my favourite movies and the more I watch it, the more fics sort of fizzle in my brain but this is the first one I’ve ever shared with folks.
Five years and little has changed. Stepping out from the train onto the platform, it’s still the same old Coney, as if he’s not been gone so long. Walking from the old station he heads for the boardwalk, unsure where to go to first. He’s a man of the streets, always has been, he’s got no home to go to. No family, no relatives anyway. The sun is setting, the winds settled to a cool breeze as red rays of sunset light the sky. The ferris wheel slowly turns and the arcades lights buzz against his eyes as he wanders by. It’s getting into autumn, only a few more weeks before the park closes for the winter, but people are out in force, kids enjoying the last few days of spending their loose change on the rides and on the machines.
He takes a seat nearby the carousel, a vendor is selling his wares, the scent of hotdogs and burgers, stale oil and ketchup fills his nostrils and he tries to ignore the hunger in his stomach. Instead he stares out over the water of the ocean, for the first time in a long time he feels like he’s home. Coney isn’t perfect, but then what place is? Five years of staring at prison walls, something inside him was stirring up to see the old place again. The ramshackle buildings, the old fairground, the boardwalk, the ocean, the smell of the sea.
It’s in the corner of his eye that he sees the familiar flash of red, not too near, but a few of them hovering about, taking no notice of him, just staking their ground. They are in conversation, one of them laughs and he turns his head a little more, recognising the tone. Rembrandt’s all grown up, fleshed out, looking all the more appropriate to be part of Coney’s biggest gang. Although he isn’t facing him, Snow is recognisable too. A few other familiar faces are with them and he feels a strange pang deep inside. It’s been a long time and one thing has changed. Himself. He’s no longer part of their world, he’s like an outsider looking in. Part of him wants to go up to them and join in with their conversation but something stops him, causes him to hold back.
After a few minutes the small group turn and head into the fairground and he waits until their colours merge into the blur of the crowd before he stands and turns to walk the other way. He’s got nowhere to go, so he just walks, from the familiarity of the fairground and boardwalk, along the sands and then up into the streets. The night has set in and it makes him feel a little safer, the dark offers a little protection, shadows places to hide. He smiles, five years and he still thinks like he’s part of the gang. One of the first things you learn is how to hide when it gets too rough, how to choose when to bop and when to retreat. Cleon always thought him a loose canon, but he stuck to the rules right enough when things got too heavy. But he never was one back down from a fight easily either.
Flexing his fingers into fists and stretching them out again, he wonders what it’d be like to fight now, it’s been a long time since he had a good bop. Prison didn’t give him much of a chance to really take someone to town, guards jumped you the first sign of trouble and solitary never was a great way to invite someone into a fight. He’d spent most of his time counting down the days until freedom. He’d figured revenge was going to be on the list of his priorities, track down the bitch who landed him five years of his life in the slammer. But upon release he’d headed straight back to Coney, not really sure why he needed to get back so fast until he’d arrived. He’d needed that sense of familiarity, of home, of belonging somewhere.
It’s not until he’s twisted and turned through the streets deep in thought that he realises where he is until he gets there. The old warehouse, evidently still the headquarters given the markers so clearly defined to a trained eye on the surrounding walls and doors. It seem empty, like nobodys home, but the Warriors were a large gang and the headquarters a mere meeting place for any gang wars or bopping about to go down. Leaning against a wall, half hidden in shadow his eyes linger over the old building as memories of past meetings there flash through his mind.
He slides down to sit on the ground, he’s got nowhere else to go. This is a near to home as he’s ever gonna get and being near the place puts him at ease somewhat. Pulling out a cigarette from his pocket he puts it to his lips and lights it up, dragging in a mouthful of smoke and blowing it out the side of his lips. He doesn’t know how long he sits there, but realises he must be losing his touch because he doesn’t even realise anyone is standing there until their voice drifts over to him from the sidewalk.
“So, you planning on sitting there all night?”
The cigarette is barely a stub now between his lips, burning slowly out. Cracking a smile he glances up at Swan who’s standing close, same staring eyes watching him warily.
“Was thinking about it.” he replies, flicking the stub onto the sidewalk and standing up, brushing himself down. “Didn’t have nothing else better to do.”
“Could have come in and said hi.” Swan tells him, it sounds like an invitation and he thinks it would be nice to see how everyone is doing.
“Didn’t look like anyone’s home.” he says with a shrug.
Five years have passed and whatever animosity there had been between them is long gone.
“Can have a few of the soldiers rounded up quick as that,” Swan says, clicking his fingers and giving him a half smile. “That is if your planning on hanging around long enough.”
“Well, I’m here ain’t I. Wouldn’t be good manners to just take off.” he replies, enjoying the old banter.
Swan seems unchanged, still the same wise look in his eyes, still cool, calm and collected. The obvious choice of Warlord, Cleon knew it, knew he had what it takes to run the gang which was why Swan had been made Warchief when Cleon reigned as Warlord. The evident successor to take over the Warriors, a strong leader who’d look out for each and every one of them. He can see that now, can understand it, he just had to be away five long years to see it. Watching, Swan extends a hand to him and he hesitates only for a moment before taking it in his own. Five years have gone by but now he’s home and he’s anxious to know if he’s going to be welcomed back into the fold. Swan’s mouth breaks into a soft smile as they shake hands.
“Good to see you Ajax.”
“You too Warlord.”