Date: April 23, 2010
Jade resurfaces at her place of old employment, only to be offered the keys to management. Belle comes looking for a trinket or two to buy, and, despite the state of the store and Jade's generally unhelpful demeanor, Randall still manages to make a sale.
"I Don't Want It, YOU Take It"
They say you can't go home again… only, sometimes, you can. Considering what happened when the pawn shop last closed for business a few months ago, it's suffered only minor damage: several items are broken, knocked over, or just plain missing, but the windows are all intact (if a bit dusty). Even the Bible thumpers have moved on to greener pastures, counting the shop's abandonment a victory for their side.
Randall unlocks the door and blinks, waving a hand around to clear the air. "I've seen worse," he declares, after wandering halfway down along the side of the used-CD rack.
The back door wasn't exactly the normal way one would use to enter the pawn shop/electronics store, but considering what had happened the last time she had been here, before she'd done her best to fall off of the face of the earth in paranoia, Jade sure as hell wasn't using the front! Besides, she still had her key. After parking her hot pink moped in the back alley, she'd turned the lock with a bit of trepidation, not exactly sure just what the hell she was expecting to find as the door creaks open to reveal the cramped back storage room.
Just before she turns the corner, to the doorway separating the customer area from the employees-only area, a familiar-sounding voice hits her ears. Leaning a shoulder against the doorframe, the dark-haired teenager cautiously peeks around the almost-deserted store, making sure the person there was the person she thought it might be.
"Dude… you got robbed."
Well, it sure is a nice night to go for a stroll. Yes, people actually do that in New York City. You just have to be careful that's all. Keep the mace close, keys in your hand and stuck between your knuckles…that sort of thing. Well, Belle doesn't really bother with all of that. She seems quite comfortable with making her way down the sidewalk. A teal shirt, low cut enough to reveal some cleavage but not so that is indecent flares out until it comes to her hips where it suddenly hugs tight. White pants hug the rest of her lower body and teal shoes, enough of a heel to add an inch or two, match her shirt. A white purse is slung over one shoulder. Her long, ebony hair has been left to tumble down her back.
Of course, when one is out and about, especially on a Friday, one is looking for something to do. And Belle is such a person. New York is new and exciting. Big places have been visited, but the city boasts a bunch of smaller places. Each one has a charm and sophistication all its own. The one that calls to her as she makes her way down is the Canal S & G Electronics and General Merchandise. Now what, exactly, does General Merchandise encompass? Well, there's only one way to find out. The girl turns and makes her way up to the door, expression coloured with her curiousity.
Hearing an all-too-familiar voice as well, Randall turns, leaning back against the rack near the corner— it's anchored to the wall there, he wouldn't risk it otherwise for fear of smashing the whole thing to flinders. "Gee, you think?" he replies, not missing a beat. "This is why I pay you peanuts, you know, because I have to budget for lawsuits and clean-up crews. It wouldn't be like this if you didn't keep throwing sexy parties every other week."
Ah, the comfort of the familiar.
And then a customer shows up. Well, that didn't take long at all! Turning again as he hears the door open, Randall waves to the new arrival. "Hi. Uh, we… got robbed, you'll have to forgive us if we're a little disorganized today."
Immediately, one of Jade's eyebrows arcs up towards her dark hairline, and both of her hands fly up as if to ward off the accusations. "Hey, whatever man. You're just pissed because you weren't invited to any of them." The brash teenager takes several more steps into the room, walking up to her usual haunting area behind the corner, where she would typically spend hours each day doing anything /other/ than helping the customers. She places her elbows on the level, dusty surface, folding her arms for a moment before drawing back, noticing the dirt clinging to the bottom of her forearm.
"Gross." A few attempts to brush it off are made. "Soooooo…" With the counter deemed unfit to lean on, the girl takes to sticking her hands in her back pockets as she cocks her head. "This mean I can have my job back? 'Cause I'd rather not have to use my college money for gas. …I don't do cleaning."
After a moment, her eyes shift over the owner's shoulder to the new arrival near the door way, quirking her lips. "Don't worry about him. That just means everything's half off today if you don't rob us again."
"Robbed?" Belle's eyes dart about the shot, the disarray it has been thrust into. She clicks her tongue at the site and picks her way a bit further in, leaning over to get a better view around the corner. "I'm sorry to hear that. I suppose this means you're not truly open for business?" Who words flow, lyrical and rippling with an accent that is difficult to pinpoint exactly but sounds like it might be influenced by French. Her chocolate eyes fall across Randall, her small smile tinged with sympathy. "I am sorry to hear of your misfortune."
Jade's comment brings forth laughter, and even that can't be called anything but lyrical, perhaps even compared to the sound of chimes tinkling merrily in a breeze. "Me? Rob you?" Belle looks down at herself, then back up to Jade. "Do I look like a robber? Perhaps in New York they dress more formally when out burgling, oui?"
"Yeah, they're called politicians." Randall doesn't smile at his own joke, though; Senator Petrelli's final news broadcast is still fresh in his memory, and while he doesn't remember ever meeting him, he does know his family a little bit.
"As for your job," he adds, heading over toward Jade's nail-polishing perch by the cash register, "I actually had something a little different in mind. How'd you like to run the place?"
"Couldn't tell you. I'm from Cali, and I've been in the Big Apple less than a year. You can have anything that's broken for seventy-five percent off."
Jade points mildly at herself as she speaks to Belle, eyeballing the woman up and down for a moment, before deciding that she certainly did not look like she was packing major heat that she was about to draw out and lay them low with. After another moment of incredulous staring at Randall, as if he'd just grown a second head out of his shoulder that had popped up and asked her the dumbest question imaginable, she begins to tip-toe her way around a broken vase towards the front of the counter.
"Did you go get high since the last time I saw you? Wait… are you going somewhere?" She marches several steps forward, a finger up and jabbing in his direction. "Tell me you're not about to do something hair-brained! Would I even /know/ how to run this place?" Small pause as she folds her arms and glances around. "Well, if you can do it, how hard can it be? But seriously, what's up?"
"I see." A single eyebrow quirks up at Randall's comment. The conversation turns to something that has…obviously nothing to do with her. The girl makes no comment, but continues to pick her way further in. She's there, might as well look around, right? She reaches down to right up a large statue that, despite being pushed over, hasn't suffered any damage. Unless those arms were supposed to actually be there instead of missing. She glances back at woman and owner…or maybe new owner and former owner, then busies herself with looking around.
The (former?) owner is at least sticking around long enough to help clean up the mess, starting with a couple pieces that look like an upper and lower arm… oh dear, that statue wasn't a Venus de Milo after all. Wordlessly, he offers the chunks to Belle before continuing. "Hey, I'm giving you as much notice as I got last year! Seriously, though…"
Randall pauses, squinting at a shelf he's certain used to contain a stuffed porcupine. Who the hell loots a stuffed porcupine? And Jade thinks he's the one partaking of non-standard cigarettes.
"As much as I love having you insult my manhood six times before breakfast? I just have this instinct like it's time for me to move on. Besides, you'll do fine, you've already mastered the art of firing customers."
"Yeah, but customers are easy. 'You buying something? Then get the hell out.'" Jade watches mildly as the arms are picked up and passed to the psuedo-customer, a woman known only as Not-A-Robber. "So I'm promoted to manager or something now? Co-Owner? Full owner? I know I'm rich and all, but I'm taking classes with that money, which'll probably take four or more years, so I don't have a lot of it to spare. So if you were thinking I'd buy you out… And I wouldn't insult your manhood if you didn't make it so easy."
True to form, the (un)helpful brunette doesn't so much as offer to help pick anything up. Maybe she figured if she kept quiet about it, no one would ask her, and she could get out of doing anything that resembled physical labor. Instead, she toes a piece of chipped flooring with her sneaker where it'd been dented from the statue being knocked over.
"So, uh, Not-Robber, you see anything you want to buy?" Oh yeah, she's already prepared to 'fire' this customer!
So much for not taking damage. Belle accepts the chunks of arms and sets them near the statue. Her mouth quirks up as she continues to listen to the conversation, but she still continues to peruse the items for sale. A wood box etched with various designs has had its top torn off. Belle picks it off the floor and places it back. Well, someone might be able to fix that.
Jade's question draws Belle's attention and the (un)helpful brunette gets flashed a smile. "Not yet, but perhaps. There are some nice things here." She's not ready to be fired. Not yet. Belle continues to make her way around, picking up things, putting things back right (as much as she can) as she goes along.
Ah, poor naive Jade, thinking that the place is all profit and no expense. Well, she'll learn quickly enough if she ends up going for the offer. "Well, it is broken," Randall deadpans, "so apparently it's going for seventy-five percent off."
For the moment, he leaves off with clean-up - the rest is small enough to just dump into the as-is boxes - and turns his attention more toward Belle, instead. "So what brings you to New York? They had that thing with the UN last week, you with the French diplomatic team or something?" At least the accent sounds Parisian to him, though it could just as easily be from Toronto for all he knows.
The dark-haired teenager's eyes narrow just a bit as her lips pucker. It's unclear whether she's pleased or displeased by the Belle's semi-committal answer to her question, but she doesn't molest the other female in the establishment further for the time being, at least.
"Yeah, well, look around. I'm sure there's something that isn't broken or stolen."
With a small frown as the lone male of the henhouse turns to the customer, Jade meanders back onto 'her' side of the counter, her shoes crunching over the broken bits of vase. After vanishing into the backroom for a moment, going half-way out of sight, she comes back with a broom. Unfortunately, despite the fact that she 'doesn't do' cleaning, it's not like they could hire professionals to come in and do it for them!
"Careful." As she begins to sweep up the little bits of glass, she cracks a wry smirk across her lips, glancing at the other two. "He tries that French dimplomacy line on every girl."
"No, I came with my parents. My father owns Moreau industries." Belle picks up a bottle, untouched, made of various shades of glass, like a miniature stained glass window carefully shaped. "He is establishing himself in the United States." Accent or no, her English is quite good. Belle holds on to the bottle as she continues her perusal.
Those deep, warm eyes skip over to Jade and the smile is flashed again, still friendly, still bright. She says nothing in response, however, but steps over a rather large tub, then hauls it up. It's…a rock. A shaped rock. Cylindrical. It would make a good, if rather large, doorstop. Then she pauses. The girl crouches down and reaches under neath a shelf where something just barely peeks out and glitters in the light. As she draws it out, it's a pendant. The clasp is broken, but the pendant itself is no worse for wear. A crystal, a flat crystal with an irridescent Unicorn rearing up on her hind legs etched into it. "oh, this is pretty!"
Randall scratches his head. Moreau? The name doesn't ring a bell - except in the sense of Doctor Moreau, and he assumes her father isn't in that line of work. Well, if the business is only now getting a foothold stateside, then it makes sense that he wouldn't have heard of it.
"Ooh, it is. How'd that get over there, though? The jewelry's normally over—" He gestures toward another shelf. Well, obviously whoever or whatever caused the rest of the damage is responsible somehow, he's just chewing over the logistics.
Collecting the bits of colored glass into a more-or-less orderly pile, Jade bends beneath the counter to obtain a dust pan, beginning to sweep the fragile trash into it. But something catches her ears, making her pop upright quick enough that she nearly upsets all her carefully-collected glass! She manages to deposit it into the miniature trashcan, though her eyes lock onto the browsing customer like she'd just announced she came from the moon.
Leaning her broom against the counter, the brunette teen seems to forget the dusty state of the counter for a moment as she leans against it again, probably getting dirty lines on her pretty, pale pink shirt.
"Whoa, whoa, whoa!" She holds up a hand as if trying to signal traffic to halt. "You're from Europe? Like seriously? C'mere, c'mere." Then her hand begins waving towards herself as she pops open a drawer, rummaging about inside for a moment before coming up with a travel magazine with the cover ripped off. Burning through the pages until she comes to one about the Colliseum in Rome, she turns it around and holds it up. "Ever been here?"
"I traveled between France and Spain…and other places." Belle comments. The necklace and pendant are placed in the same hand that holds the little coloured glass bottle and she acquiesces to Jade's….request. If one could call it that. Carefully she weaves about the strewn items that litter the floor…the burglers certainly left a mess…and makes her way to the counter.
Belle takes a half glance at the picture and nods. "Oh yes, we have vacationed in Italy on more than one occasion." Her lips curl into another smile, still warm and amiable. "Have you been there before?"
"No! I've never even been out of the country." Now that Belle is closer, it's shocking Jade doesn't latch onto her with both hands to keep her from going anywhere. "What was it like? Do the women shave? Are the men cute? What about Paris? Romantic as it's supposed to be? Do they actually run from bulls in Madrid? Is the Spanish food there different from the Spanish food we have here, or is it just Taco Bell everywhere?"
As the girl's rambling questions jump from country to country, so too do her fingers flip through the pages, detailing different cities around the world, finally coming to St. Petersburg, which she jabs with a finger. "Is it true there's an all-white marble mausoleum somewhere in Russia?"
A quick glance off to the side has her narrowing her eyes shrewdly at the male. "Hey! Don't just stand around. If I'm going to be cleaning things, you have to, too. You can't just pass me this place off while it's a mess!" Well, at least he had his answer on his offer, even if she harps at him while giving it.
"Oh, fine, shame me into it. But this is the last time, you hear me? Next time I come here, I swear I'm egging on the deadweight on general principle." Randall makes another circuit around the floor, nodding that the tile actually looks like tile now and not a hardcore wrestling match, and wanders into a back to scrounge up a dustpan and a wet rag. "Oh, and they do have Big Macs, but it's called 'Le Big Mac'." No comment on Whoppers, naturally.
Belle can't help but laugh, those chimes tinkling once more. "Oh my, you do have a lot of questions, do you? Paris can be romantic, but so can any city if you know where to look and what to do. It does have its charm. Some women shave, some women do not, though it is probably more common to find those who do not in Europe than here in America."
Belle ticks off the items one by one on her fingers. "Yes, there are events where they really do run from bulls. It is not something I ever cared to take part in. Seems rather stupid. The Spanish food is _very_ different. Taco Bell is nowhere _near_ Spanish and only slightly closer to Mexican.
It is there Belle takes a breath before she continues, "I don't believe I know of a white marble in Russia…do you perhaps mean the Taj Mahal in India?" Her gaze drifts over to Randall, "And yes, it is actually called Le Big Mac." Then the brown skips from man to woman. "Any other questions?" Her expression is one of amusement - at least she's not offended.
"So…" She addresses Belle, but is looking square at Randall. "Do the men in Europe complain as much as the ones over here do?" Turning her head enough to wrinkle her nose at the male. "Oh, how would you know! You've never been there. …If you've been there and you never told me, so help me God, I'll-"
"Wait, India?" Turning the magazine back around, the brash young teen begins to flip through it quickly, but fails to produce any confirmation of her mis-placed geography. "It's not in this one. India, huh? Asia might be worth looking at, after all. After Europe. And Morocco. What about there? I hear they have some of the most killer beaches in the world with waves a girl could die for."
With a sigh, she snatches up the magazine, hugs it to her chest a moment, then drops it back into the drawer, bumping it closed with her hip. "Anyway, you wanted to buy that necklace thing? Randy, quit standing around, ring her up! Man, this being in charge thing will be a snap."
"Yeah, I'll get on it in just a minute…" If Jade is power-tripping, then Randall is going to take at least one shot at putting his own spin on the heel-dragging-employee gimmick. As he walks back out, he's got the dustpan and rag tucked under one arm, his hands occupied with penciling a new cardboard sign for the register. 'Tipping is not just a village in China.' Yes, the theme of the grand opening is International Week, it seems.
"And this pretty bottle." It's not very big, perhaps something in which to put purfume or body splash? Or maybe purely for decoration. Bell sets them down upon the counter and pulls out her purse. "You wish to travel?" Not that she really needs to ask. It's obvious, but if nothing else, the girl seems inclined to continue the conversation. She glances up at the sign and chuckles softly. "Indeed." The wallet is pulled out, a patchwork wallet that looks to be hand made. The clasp is undone and she waits patiently for her items to be tallied.
"You move any slower, you're going to start collecting moss. Look, if you have to slack off, at least try to make it look as good as I do." She proudly places a hand primly against her chest, lifting her chin smugly as she does so. "…It's weird. I was almost sure coming back here would end up with me getting darted."
Nodding her head absently, Jade fingers the necklace, punching buttons on the register. "Okayyyyyyy… eighteen ninety-five for the necklace… a dollar ninety-five for the bottle… plus tax… twenty-three forty."
"Yeah, it'd be nice to travel. But, I dunno. Euro-trip's kind of on hold now that I'm in school and I've got family here. Family who don't return phone calls, dammit. But… it's just been a trippy year. Everything's changed, so I'm not so sure I can go anymore."
Setting the sign down in front of the register, Randall sets to wiping down the highest shelves first. Dust rolls downhill, after all. "Hey, I make it look better than you do," he retorts to Jade, not even bothering to turn around. "You try hacking all your hair off and have it look this good a couple months later." The curls are finally back in place, all's right with the world.
The entire back and forth between the two is definitely providing some entertainment to the newcomer. She takes out two twenties and hands them over to Jade. "Don't give up. Perhaps you can't go now, but some day. One never knows, non?" She glances over at Randall, "So you two together? You bicker like a married couple. It's rather cute." And funny.
"Oh, you'd like me bald, wouldn't you?" Indignantly, the dark-haired teenager flips her hair over her shoulder and shoots the older male a sour-faced look. "I have the best hair on the block, and you know it. And curls? They went out with the 'fro."
Taking the bills, Jade begins to fish around for change, having to look at the register which tells her exactly how much to give back a couple of times. Apparently someone wasn't overly good at math! After a few moments, her face scrunched up in distaste, she hands back the bills, and coins, to the woman, slapping the register closed and reaching under the counter for a bag. When she comes up with the plastic thing from a local grocery store around the block, she balls it up and throws it at Belle. It… doesn't quite reach her, the air resistance stopping the overly-light plastic and causing it to drift slowly down to the counter.
"Ew, don't be gross! He's been after me for months, but I only have good taste in men."
Oi, there's another sign that Randall needs to move on from this place. He hasn't forgotten how awkward things got, the one time they did get together (thanks to a certain randomly-targeted ability). Deal with that on a regular basis? No thank you.
"That's what I'm saying," he retorts, wiping down the empty spots as he wanders around the store, "you'd look terrible with a whitewall. Need to have some actual muscles to pull off the hot-army-chick look, you know?" Reaching the front door again, he sets down the junk box as an impromptu doorstop, now that it's full enough not to just get tipped over and out of the way.
"Hm." Belle doesn't seem at all annoyed by the rather…rude gesture of flinging a bag at her. At least it didn't hit her. She takes it and opens it. Carefully the small glass bottle is placed inside, then the bag rolled around it so that it is padded on ever side. Then the bottle is slipped into her purse. The pendant goes inside the coin section of the wallet along wtih the change and then that is also replaced. "I don't know. I kind of like a man with curly hair." Belle winks at the young man, her grin brightening.
"I have muscles, jerkwad! They're just… in my calves and thighs." Looking decidedly indignant, it's probably a good thing Jade's hands were empty of any instruments of blunt trauma, or she likely would have sent one sailing for Randall's skull. Her head whips around to look at Belle as she pipes up on the topic of the male's hair. After a moment, she steps back, lifting her hands helplessly.
"You two probably deserve each other. Anyway, I was just stopping by to check up on the place." Hooking her thumbs into her jean pants pockets, the dark-haired girl cocks a hip. "I actually have a class in a few hours and I don't want to get my moped stolen, so I'm gonna take off. But, uh, I'll come by tomorrow morning and try to finish putting this place back together, okay? I'll see you tomorrow and we can talk about the finer points of… running this place. Wow."
Shaking her head a bit incredulously as she begins backing towards the door she'd came in (the back one), she addresses the other woman. "Hey, ah, have fun with your necklace and bottle… thing. Come again and all that."
"You have a good evening, Miss." Belle calls to the new owner. She grins back at the old. "And you as well, sir. It was a pleasure shopping with you." Even though the place needed to be put back together. But hey, they had just been robbed, she needed to give them some slack, right? With a wave and another wink to Randall, Belle also makes her way out.