2007-02-28: Make Me A Sandwich


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Eliana and Cass meet in Noodle Heaven and discuss her upcoming manuscript. Then Lachlan drops in to try and pick a fight. Cass calms him down and the two head back to Enlightenment Books so she can return the Squaring the Circle necklace.

Date It Happened: February 28th, 2007

Make Me A Sandwich

Noodle Heaven

Despite the fact that quitting, or taking a 'long-term leave' from her job would mean that Eliana should watch her pennies, she's splurging this evening. Jack is still out doing whatever it is that he does during the day, and the pink-haired writer didn't feel like cooking. Notes on counters are so much easier, anyway. So she's sitting in a booth with a tuna melt and her moleskin notebook, taking bites at the cheesy, fishy goodness on the kaiser roll or sips from the glass of cola between long stretches of time spend scribbling away with her pen. Productivity is a wonderful thing. Eliana is dressed in a comfortable hoodie and jeans, and her peacoat lays next to her on the booth's cushioned bench.

Not worrying about pinching pennies or anything of the like, Cass pushes open the doorway to Noodle Heaven, a cellphone pressed against her ear and a deep frown on her face. "What do you /mean/ he's not answering phone calls? /Where/ is he?" There's a long pause as she listens to the answer. Readjusting the strap of her messenger bag, the store owner lines up to get her sandwich, oblivious to her surroundings. "I don't get it. Just…tell him that his daughter's on the phone. No…that's…what, is his patient the president or something? You can't just give him a message? I can hold!" Another long pause. "Fine! God! Just…can you just tell him that I called that it's important? Thanks. Sheesh." Angrily, she snaps her phone shut and approaches the counter.

The restaurant isn't too busy that Eliana doesn't catch a fair bit of Cass's conversation, and what she does hear causes her to frown. She sets down her pen and tries her best to catch the shop owner's eye. If she succeeds, she'll wave her over. It wouldn't hurt to solidify that business relationship, anyway, especially if Eliana is going to quit the day job.

Cass picks up her sandwich in a couple of minutes. It's a house special, so she doesn't have to wait too long. She spins around and does indeed notice Eliana in her booth and the waving over. She smiles at the writer and slides into the woman's booth, acting as if she didn't just have a blow out fight with a receptionist in the middle of this cafe. "Hey there. How's it going?"

Eliana smiles as Cass nears, and since they aren't exactly 'friends', she doesn't immediately bring up the phone call she overheard. "Really well, actually," she says brightly, resting an elbow on her open notebook and cradling her chin in her palm. "But watch, I'll have writer's block in a week. How are you?"

Cass twirls her plate around so that the sandwich and fries are on the right side for eating. "That's good! And don't curse yourself. Just keep reminding yourself how well you're writing!" Reaching over, she plucks out the ketchup and goes about spreading it liberally among her fries. "Oh, I'm alright. Just the usual stuff going on." Or what passes as normal now. She frowns, thinking back over the last time she saw Eliana. "I think I've sworn off skeevy bars till the end of time."

Eliana 's heart jumps a bit at the remark, but outwardly she merely smirks. "No writer likes their first draft." No good one anyway, as far as Eli is concerned. "And why? Was the Scot…less than satisfying?" That smirk twinges toward a grin. "I've had better luck further south and a bit west."

Cass blushes a deep, bright red when Eliana mentions said Scot, though she tries to hide it by rearranging her food. That, of course, does nothing to hide it and only makes it more prominent. "I don't know what happened there. It was like I was drugged or something. Maybe someone actually did rufie my drink." She pauses an then looks up, realizing what's being implied. "And there was no satisfaction!" Another pause, more bright redness. "I mean, nothing happened that would need satisfaction. Or…wow. I'm, totally embarrassed right now."

Despite the guilt that gnaws at her, Eliana chuckles. "It's alright. And maybe. Those other guys didn't seem very…well, ethical." Gnaw, guilt, gnaw. Eli's quiet for a moment, taking a bite of her sandwich to hide her own awkward feeling before she speaks again. "Until we can afford the better bars, we're pretty much stuck with the dives, aren't we?"

Cass nods her head, remembering Ed and the way he picked a fight due to some imagined slight. "Yeah. I'm just glad nothing worse happened. I guess I'm kind of lucky. No more leaving drinks behind." The flush finally starts to fade from her face and she earnestly starts to eat her food. "Yeah, I guess. Or until we can find some very rich benefactors."

Eliana hums, adopting a look of mock-thoughtfulness as she studies something just beyond Cass' right shoulder. "Hrm. The sugar daddy. I don't know if I'd be comfortable in /that/ situation. They never go well, or, at least, you never /hear/ about them going well."

Cass grins, looking over her shoulder to see if there's anything Eliana is actually looking at. Not seeing anything out of the ordinary, she turns back to the pink haired woman. "Well, yeah. But the money would be nice, wouldn't it?" Shrugging, she looks down at the notebook and then up at Eliana's face. "So what's your book about? If I can ask, that is."

"What most books are about," Eliana says easily with a slowly growing smile that only strengthens as she turns her face back to Cass. She lifts a hand to slowly close the notebook, lovingly touching the brown cover once it's down. "Seemingly ordinary people thrust into extraordinary situations."

Cass smiles, nodding her head as she listens. "Ah, the stuff of life and novels. What's the extraordinary situation our heroes find themselves in?" She looks genuinely interested as she munches thoughtfully on the remains of her fries. "I love books like that."

Eliana laughs lightly, leaning back in her chair and picking up her sandwich on the way. "What must all heroes do?" she asks, her eyebrows lifted in a nonverbal question mark.

Cass smirks a little. "Save the world?" Come on, this one's easy! "But how, that's the real question. What's it need to be saved from?"

"Miss Aldric," the writer chuckles, "as thankful as I am for your offered help in finding a publisher when the time comes, do you really think I'd give away the whole plot that easily. You're just going to have to read it." Besides, it's not even half written. Eliana looks out to the rest of the restaurant for a moment, then leans forward a bit, as if her words were some CIA secret. "But I /will/ tell you that there's more than one hero and more than one antagonist, even putting aside the whole 'there is no dichotomy of good and evil' thing."

Cass laughs at Eliana's protests. She even puts down her fries so that she can hold her hands up in surrender. "Can't blame a gal for trying! I was just curious." She beams and picks up her sandwich to continue eating. But before she can take a bite, she leans in so that she can here the conspiratorially whispering. "Oooh, I'm intrigued! Consider me your first buyer once you get this published."

Eliana 's laughter doesn't stop, and her smile brightens all the more. "Hell, if you help /get/ it published, you can have one free. Signed, even."

Cass grins, glad she can keep the writing laughing. That deserves a big bite of sandwich. Once she's swallowed, she nods her head. "That's a deal then! Just tell me when you've got a manuscript you feel comfortable enough to shop around. I'll call my reps. They'll know someone, I'm sure."

Well, that settles it then. Eliana will write, and write full time. Moleskin notebooks are portable, and thank God for that. "Definitely." Eliana only has one more bite in her sandwich, and once's down the hatch, she tucks the pen and notebook into her hoodie pocket and slips on her coat as she slips to her feet. "I hate to rush off, but I've got to see to some things. It was nice to see you again, Miss Aldrich. I might stop by your shop to see you again." Before the manuscript is ready, that is. "Take care!" With a wave, Eliana turns and heads out of the restaurant.

Not too long after Eliana has exited the sandwich shop, Lachlan Deatley enters it. He has just finished securing the leash of his remaining Doberman to a pole outside and shoulders in. Aside from the missing dog, the only thing that's really changed about the Scot is his sullen expression. His face and hand are still wrapped in bandages, he still wears ratty clothes and a worn leather jacket, and he still hasn't wrapped his head around the concept of a razor and the application thereof to one's face. Granted, his fuzzy face at least looks somewhat trimmed. He keeps his eyes locked on the floor until he reaches the counter, and then his gaze moves up to the menu, at which he squints. Bugger. After a moment's perusal, he grumbles, "D'ye make just a plain bloody san'wich?"

"It's Aldric," Cass corrects, but then adds. "But call me Cass. It's a lot less of a mouthful." She smiles at Eliana and then waves as the girl departs. "Alright, I'll look forward to seeing you then! Take care, too!" Settling into the booth all by her lonesome, she's facing the wall, so she doesn't notice Lachlan enter or ask about a plain sandwich. She's kind of wrapped up in her own thoughts again and quite involved with eating the rest of her food.

The sandwich jockey behind the counter blinks in surprise, then slowly responds, "What would you like in your sandwich, sir?" Lachlan's response is plain and a bit louder than is really polite: "Bread. Meat. Cheese. S'no' bloody complicated." Not in his mind, anyway. However, the employee seems to want to make it such when he cluelessly asks, "What kind of bread, sir? We have— "

"/Bread/! Just bloody /bread/! Yanno, the /white stuff/. Ye put the bloody meat an' cheese on it an' ye get a /san'wich/!" By now, the Scot's voice has risen to a near-shout that can certainly be heard in every corner of the shop. It's doubtful that Lachlan is usually this rude to employees in any shop without a good reason. He's probably just looking for a fight.

It's hard for Cass to miss Lachlan's temper tantrum as he tries to verbally accost the poor worker behind the counter. There are a couple of Scotsmen in the city, but when she turns around to see what all the commotion is about, there's no mistaking who it is. Her eyebrows raise in surprise…she thought the guy was still in jail. Sliding out of the booth, she approaches the man. Once she's close, she address him. "Lachlan, you're causing a scene," she points out firmly. While she doesn't know the man that well, she doesn't like to see others yelled at for no good reason. "Stop yelling at the poor guy."

"D'ye no' know wha' a bloody san'wich is, ye brainless gi— " And then there's somebody talking to him. It was /almost/ what Lachlan was looking for. Truthfully, he was hoping for someone … well, taller. Tougher. Less feminine. So he could get into a fight. The fact that it's Cass completely throws him off-kilter, and he whips around to stare at her with a mixture of disbelief and anger. Damn it. Why couldn't she be /male/? After a moment's pause, he stuffs his hands into his pockets and scowls in a somewhat childish manner. "S'no' my fault he's daft," he grumbles quietly. If one is close enough, one might be able to detect the smell of liquor on his breath, though it doesn't seem like he's had enough to make it terribly impairing.

Cass keeps a stead gaze on Lachlan. Could he be more charming? Really? Rolling her eyes, she reaches out to take a hold of her arm and then, if she succeeds in tugging it so that he'll follow her. "I'm really sorry. He's…you know….Scottish," she apologizes to the poor counter worker as she attempts to drag the slightly inebriated man over to her table. "No, but it /is/ your fault for being a complete ass in a public place. I thought you were in /jail/. What happened?"

There's no resistance from Lachlan and so he is pulled along rather effortlessly. He wasn't looking for a sandwich anyway. /Fight/. Not sandwich. Now that this seems to be a remote possibility, he'll take being dragged to a table instead. Once he's there, he takes a seat and slumps into the chair, still scowling. "Posted bail," he grunts vaguely. "'M out fer a bit." He glares hard at the top of the table, perhaps pondering different ways it could be turned into splinters.

Cass hms at that, sliding a little more elegantly into the booth where her own sandwich lays waiting. "Well, that's good I guess. But…what happened? It said there was an assault in the paper." She follows his gaze to the table top, but doesn't understand what's so interesting there. "Are you okay?"

Lachlan snaps out of his reverie to lift his head and stare at Cass as though she just magically appeared right there in front of him. Oh. You're still here? He rolls his shoulders before slouching again. "'M a bit pissed," he admits in a mumble. "Had summat ta drink." Yeah, that's probably obvious. "He killed m'dog."

Cass raises her eyebrows at the man. "I…yeah I can see that." She frowns when he mentions the killing of the dog. "I'm sorry." She does sound it, too. "But why was he after you in the first place?" She lowers her voice and leans in a bit. "Was he after the necklace? Or the knife?"

"Nah." Lachlan shrugs, contorting his lips into something between a grimace of pain and a snarl of frustration. "Nothin' like tha'. Somethin' diff'rent. Doesna matter." No need to go telling Cass all about his ventures into the criminal world, now is there? "Cops took the knife after it all went down. Called someone I know an' she said it was part o' a murder investigation. Wanted the necklace, too." As though this suddenly brings something to mind, he squints at Cass. "Di'ye know it was part o' a murder investigation?"

Cass frowns, though, obviously thinking that it does matter. "Something different? Seriously? How many people do you have after you? Other than the police, me, and some person who likes to assault people?" She sighs and then shakes her head. Knocking the table a little when she hears the knife was taken by the police. Really, it's a good thing, but she wanted to see it before it got relegated into the system. The last question catches Cass by surprise and she looks at the drunken Scot with a slight frown on her face. "No," she answers truthfully. "I knew it was part of a murder, though."

He's always the last to know, it seems. Lachlan purses his lips, the corners of which pull downward sharply. "Ye knew an' ye dinna tell me?" he remarks. His tone sounds more hurt than angry, but it's probably the whiskey talking. "An' it's no' just one murder; the cop said /serial/ murders." So /there/. He /did/ know something Cass didn't. Ha! The Scotsman leans forward, resting his elbows on the table and clasping his hands together. "'f I were ye, 'd get tha' necklace ta the police righ' bloody fast. 'S prolly no' a good thing ta have lyin' 'round the place, ye catch m'meanin'?" Obviously, if it's involved in a serial murder case.

"What was I supposed to say?" Cass responds to his hurt tone. "It's not exactly something I'd like to broadcast." She looks down at the remains of her sandwich, but she's not hungry any more. Pushing the plate away from her, she looks down at the table. Actually, she /did/ know about the serial murders, but she's not sure she wants to let him know that right now either. He's not exactly proven himself trustworthy. "Yeah. Well, I will. I showed it to who I needed to. I was actually going to go down the police station to talk to you. I can give it back to you if you want. Not right now. I don't have it on me. But, later."

Lachlan nods, bringing a hand up to rub at his jaw absently. "Yeah, mebbe tha'd be best." Because then he could make a deal to lessen his fee and/or sentence, if it comes to that. Hmm. After a moment's consideration, he drops his hand to the table again with a sigh. "So then, who's the one tha' was murdered? Friend o' yers?" He's rather curious now.

Cass nods her head. "I said I'd give it back to you, so I will. I don't really want to keep it longer than I have to. It's back at the store. We can go get it if you want." The pressing about how she knows about the murder isn't really well received. Her only response to that is, "No. She wasn't." Standing up, she grabs her winter clothes and bag, but leaves the half eaten sandwich where it is. "Are you coming?"

When he's drunk, Lachlan is dense. When he's /not/ drunk, Lachlan is dense. Still, even he manages to pick up on the fact that questions are not things he should be throwing out there, so he decides to keep it to himself for now. After blinking up at Cass a moment, he shrugs and rises to his feet. "Sure," he grunts, "a'righ'. Ye mind if I bring m'dog? He's outside." It's not really a question; the dog's coming with him whether Cass likes it or not.

Cass slings on her bag and nods. "Fine by me. I like dogs. And I'm not about to make you leave him here alone." She warms up a little when she realizes that he's not going to push the matter. "Might as well get this over with before the whole thing gets worse than it already is. I don't want to be the one arrest next for hindering an investigation."

Yeah. That's what Lachlan was arrested for. He'll go with that. The Scotsman tucks his hands into his pockets and heads for the door. The sandwich jockey behind the counter shoots him a dirty look as he passes, but Lachlan seems oblivious and unapologetic. Once outside, Padfoot is retrieved and is more than happy to follow alongside his master.

Cass can't think of anything to say on the walk to Enlightenment Books, so she stays in her own thoughtful silence. Once there, she unlocks the door and allows him inside. "You can bring him in, if you want," she gestures at Padfoot. Whether he does or not, she leads him to the employee room, which is where the necklace is stashed.

Never one to pass up the opportunity to bring along his canine companions (especially so soon after losing one), Lachlan is quite happy when Cass allows Padfoot inside the bookstore. He even grins and nods, uttering a grateful, "Thank ye." There are few ways to get on Lachlan's good side more than being nice to his dog. He follows Cass into the employee room obediently, glancing around the store as he goes. Hmm. More books. He remains in the doorway of the employee room, propped up with his arm leaning against the door jamb.

Cass shrugs and smiles back at the man. It's not a big deal as long the dog doesn't make a mess on the floor. "No problem." Once in the back room, she opens the center desk drawer and pulls out the handkerchief wrapped symbol. It's right where she left it from when she showed it to Ramon. She holds the whole bundle out for Lachlan. "Here you go. Returned as promised."

Lachlan straightens from his slouch against the door frame when the necklace is held out to him, and he unwraps it after accepting it. Satisfied that it's the real deal, he tucks necklace and handkerchief into his coat pocket and bobs his head again. "Thank ye." After heaving a sigh and glancing around the place, he adds, "Ye need anythin'? Ye gonna be a'righ'?" This bit of concern is a little odd coming from him, but it could be the whiskey talking once more.

Cass isn't about to give him a fake necklace. Not only would that take a lot more planning than she has time for right now, she did give him her word. "You're welcome," she responds, feeling a little awkward now that that's all done. It's really the only thing that the two had in common with each other. His concern about her well being comes as quite a surprise to her, as well. Did she read him totally wrong? It brings a curious smile to her lips. "No…I think I'm okay. Thank you, though." Thinking something over, she adds, "What about you?"

A little heavy drinking, a bit of creative drug use, sure. Lachlan will be right as rain in a few weeks. He smiles faintly, blandly and gives a shrug. "Yeah. Think I'll manage." He pauses a moment, frowns, then turns away from the employee room. "'ll see ye 'round sometime. Thanks fer yer help." In a way, it's a good thing he gave her the necklace. Now he's got a bit of a bargaining chip — something he wouldn't have had if the necklace had been in his apartment a few days ago.

Cass doesn't need to know about the destructive drinking and drug use. She'll just assume it's therapy sessions and heartfelt talks with friends. Unlikely, but she can picture a more rosy colored world. "Okay then. Thanks for letting me borrow the necklace." She catches the frown, but doesn't know him well enough to call him on it. "Yeah. I'm sure we'll bump into each other at some point." She doesn't really sound all that sure of that, though. She waits until he's a couple steps away before she calls out, "Wait…maybe I should get your number or something. Just in case." In case of what, she's not sure. She's not even sure why she's asking.

Now there's a bit of a surprise. Lachlan half-turns and glances blankly over his shoulder at Cass, struck dumb for a moment. "Uh. Yeah, a'righ'." He starts to dig around in his pockets for a pen and paper — as if he'd have the presence of mind to actually carry any one of these items on him. Cigarettes, lighter, wallet, coins, sure. Pen and paper? Not happening. After a bit of digging, he adds, "Ye got somethin' ta write on?" In a bookstore? It's unheard of!

Cass gives Lachlan an amused smile. "Sure. I've got a pen and some paper." Heading back to her desk, she produces a pen and a pad of paper for him to scribble down what he will. At least now if she has more questions about the necklace or the dagger, she can call him. Or something along those lines.

Two numbers are jotted down: a cell phone and a hotel room, the latter of which is explained as Lachlan hands the paper back: "'M stayin' at a hotel righ' now 'til I can get 'nother place. Landlord kicked me out after tha' whole mess." Who wouldn't? "Tha's m'cell." A moment's hesitation before he extends the pen toward Cass. "Can I mebbe get yer number too?"

Cass takes the pad back and looks over the numbers, nodding at the explanation. "That's pretty insensitive of him," she replies. "You're the one that got assaulted and shot at, it wasn't your fault." She takes the pen from Lachlan and gives him a smile. She hesitates a moment, but then scratches down two numbers. "The store phone and my cell phone. I'm normally here at the store, so you're probably better just calling that first if you need to get a hold of me." Ripping off the sheet of paper, she gives it to him.

Lachlan glances at the paper before stuffing it in his pocket, where it may get lost for a few days before he remembers he even has it. Such is life! Still, he grins a bit and nods. "A'righ', then. Thank ye, Cass, yer a nice girl. Ye take care now." And with that and a small wave, he heads for the door once more. There's a bottle of whiskey with his name on it somewhere.

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