2007-02-20: Of Animosity And Noodles

Starring:

Identity_icon.gif Max_icon.gif

Summary: Max phones Identity, and they agree to meet up on neutral ground. For lunch. For lunch and animosity.

Date It Happened: February 20th, 2007

Log Title: Of Animosity & Noodles


Chinatown - Cherry Blossom Restaurant

Max is standing at a payphone on Madison Avenue, the paper Id wrote her number on clutched in one hand. He lifts the reciever akwardly, his arm a sore, wrecked mess due to last night's activity and busted stitches. Still, Max is humming merrily as he dials the number, then listens to the phone right.

The cell phone rings three times, just one step before a VM pick-up before it's answered. "Woods." Sharp, to the point. One word answer. Cheerful friendly phone personality, too.

"Whatever," Max replies. "Want to get together? I crave the company of my Forbidden Fruit."

Identity replies, "If you call me that in public, you lose a finger." She has a thing with fingers. Maybe there's a shoebox collection under her bed. "You cab buy me lunch."

"Whatever happened to going Dutch the first few times around?" Max grumbles good-naturedly. Still, the fingers of one hand twitch nevously. "Where do you want to go?"

Identity doesn't answer right away, probably thinking. "There's a little place in Chinatown, between an apothecary and a noodle vendor, with cherry blossoms painted in the picture window. Best noodles in town."

"Sounds good. Meet me there in thirty minutes." That said, Max hangs up the phone and leans back wearily against the booth's glass wall. When a woman waiting on the street clears her throat pointedly Max shoots a completely intolerant glare in her direction.

Identity hangs up her cell phone, and rises from her bed, leaving the paperwork scattered, to fetch some things from the bathroom before she makes her way out the door of her apartment to make her way to Chinatown. Any other acquaintance she might have invited to the sandwich shop not far from her place. However, establishing haunts too close to the abode is a bad move, just in case there are stalkery tendencies.

Some twenty minutes later, after a brief stop at a bodega, Identity walks into the tiny establishment, nestled between several store fronts in a busy little section of Chinatown. It's pretty packed, though most of the faces are Asian, and most of the conversations aren't in English. Id places an order as soon as she sits, and then she waits.

Exactly thirty minutes after hanging up, Max steps through the door to the restarunt and takes a deep, appreciative whiff. Mmm. Bad chicken, worse seafood, and MSG. As usual, it's not exactly difficult to spot Id. He straightens the jacket of his black-on-black suit and snags a passing waiter. "Walnut shrimp, lettuce wraps, and green tea," he murmurs, then points to Id's table, making his meaning clear enough. Apparently, the last forty-eight hours have left him with quite an appetite.

The last 48 hours will have that effect.

Identity thanks the waitress for the tall glass of chilled green tea as it arrives. Her fingers close on the glass, and she raises it to her lips to taste is. There's a moment before she sips again, then sets it down, approving, probably. She reaches up to brush her fingers over the bruises at her throat, which have sprung up a lovely purple blue color, with an edge of yellow. De-lish. She might look like a battered woman, except for the defiant posture and tendency to look at people like she's going to shank them. She tips back in her seat, legs crossed, posture going a little more relaxed.

Having placed his order, Max crosses to Identity's table and slides into the other side of the booth. "Charming place," he comments, his eyes roaming over the bruises he's inflicted on Id in the course of their various escapades. It's obvious that he's in much the same condition, if not worse. Faint purpling around Max's nose belies cracked cartilage, there are bruises along his jaw, and he carries his left arm gingerly.

"It is. I stumbled through once when I was chasing someone. Long story short, we had kind of a food fight and it wasn't bad. Since then, I come here for noodles." Identity has the best badass stories huh? She gives him one of those slow, roaming once overs with her eyes. "You get the stitches done up in your shoulder?" Sip.

Max shakes his head. Then the staff comes by with his pot of tea and drops it off. One the waitress is gone, he reaches out and akwardly holds the lid of the pot on with one finger as he pours. "I was hoping you might like to do it for me," His smiles is playful and mischevious.

"Oh, really? Have we escalated to DIY Nurse games?" Identity tips her chin up slightly, eyeing the man across the table. She reaches into her pocket, and slides out a little black leather case. "I come prepared." Of course her miniature medical kit is encased in black leather. There's no telling what wonderful little things are in there. "You look tired, Max."

"I am. You're… vigorous." Max grins and shrugs out of his suit jacket, unabashed. "You want to do it right now and give these people a real show, or wait until after we eat?"

"I'm hungry. Don't be stupid. Just try not to heal too much between now and then." Identity replies with a snort. She sets her tea down, and her eyes drop to his shoulders as he shrugs out of his jacket. "You like suits." She likes ruining suits. It works out.

Max nods agreeably. "I find that the feel of a good suit does much for a man's peace of mind," he replies. He picks up his teacup and blows across the top of it to disappate steam, then takes a sip.

"It's doing wonders for mine," comes the reply from Id. Her peace of mind, that is. That's what suits are good for. Yes. Her lips part, and she looks as if she's going to say something more, but she's interrupted by the arrival of a plate of crab rangoon, and some little shrimp toasts. Id remains silent, and reaches for a crab rangoon once the waitress is gone.

"You like me." It's a statement, not a question. However, when Max smiles now, there is little of the smug, self-satisfied bearing he normally carries. "How delicious." Moments later his own appetizer arrives, a combination of God only knows what wrapped in crisp, fresh lettuce leaves.

"It'll go away," Identity replies, crunching into the little fried bit. "It always does." Throw that ice water on the after-glow, any don't you!

Max bites into the crisp, lettuce-wrapped appetizer, chews, and swallows. "I think you'll find me a bit more difficult to kill than your earlier lovers," he comments wryly.

Identity regards Max across the table, picks up another little crab rangoon, and gestures with it slightly. "I never said—you're not my lover. Stop saying lover."

Max grins, a tounch of his usual smugness finding it's way back into his eyes and the curve of his lips. "You're beautiful when you're caught off-guard."

A slight eye narrowing is the only herald to the flying crab rangoon. It isn't exactly a lethal weapon, but it's not polite, either. She has poor impulse control much of the time. But that was probably obvious. She gives her head a slight toss, dark strands flicking out of her eyes. "Keep it zipped until I finish my rangoons."

Identity and Max are inside a restaurant off a busy section of Chinatown. It's a small place, with cherry blossoms painted on the plate glass window, nestled between an apothecary and some other small business.

Max blinks, then lifts his napkin to wipe rangoon remnants from his cheek. "I can guarantee that you'll pay for that, p'tit," he rumbles ominiously. However, his crooked smile and the twinkle in his eye are in conflict with his words. Max and Id are nestled into a booth near the rear of the restaurant, sipping tea, picking at plates of appetizers, and sniping at each other mercilessly.

Identity shakes her head slightly as the little nicknames persist. She isn't going to waste any more of the delicious appetizers, of course. Crunch, crunch, glare, glare.

Max smiles wider, picture perfectly mock-innocent. He pops the other half of his lettuce wrap into his mouth, slowly chewing and savoring the crisp, fresh flavors. His mischevious blue eyes continue to twinkle. Perhaps he's already thinking of the next dig he'll send in Id's direction.

Identity shakes her head, and finishes off her crab rangoon without incident, just in time for their order to come up. She snags a shrimp toast as various plates are delivered, and arranged on the table. "What do you do all day?"

"I draw. I read. I harass people like you. When I was younger I yanked off the door to a bank vault, so I have little need for a day job," Max picks up his disposable, paper-packed chopsticks and tears the packaging open with his teeth, then shakes them out and snaps the two sticks apart. "That was the stunt that put me on the Company's radar, ironically enough."

Identity blinks. Oh, good. He's a bank robber, too. Maybe that's the sort of thing you miss when you speed read dossiers. Yeah. "Right."

Max lets out a long, low whistle in response to Identity's expression of surprise. "Boy, you are a fresh cut of meat. That's good. Bishop and his cronies aren't exactly an example to asipre toward."

"There's too many damn inter office memos. I didn't bust my ass kicking ass to sit around and read all day," Identity replies, only slightly irritated by his reference to her newness. She's till just young enough that implications like that annoy her.
"And a fine ass-kicker you are," Max comments, rolling his shoulder as a clear physical example of his statement.

"You're not missing any limbs. I went easy on you," Id replies with a little snort, crunching on her shirmp toast before she opens her chopsticks, splits them, and positions them in her left hand. "Because you're so cute."

Max flutters his eyelashes prettily at Id's remark. "It's so kind of you to notice," he mock-swoons. "You're pretty easy on the eyes yourself, stranger." A moment later his broad, hearty grin is back in action as he loads his chopsticks up with shrimp, rice, and walnut sauce.

"Hold onto that one. I don't do compliments very often," Identity informs him, in case saying a nice thing started off any chain reaction of expectation within his Evolved little brain. She digs into her chicken lo mein, wielding the chopsticks like a pro. Someone hearts Chinese food. "Pretty easy on the eyes?"

"Fairly," Max teases. "But I wouldn't let your head swell up over it." He unloads his own chopsticks into his mouth, savoring the dish's combination of flavors and textures.

"Thanks for the advice." Identity could not be more sarcastic if she was birthed by sarcasm and then painted with sarcasm and dipped in chocolatey sarcasm. "What are you eating?" She's been watching him shovel the foodstuff into his maw for a couple of moments, and lacking anything else to say, she just asks.

"This is one of my favorites. Shrimp and rice in walnut sauce. Mmm," Max shovels in another chopstick-load and chews with relish, then piles another mouthful onto his utensils and extends it slowly toward Id's mouth to avoid spilling. "You want?"

There is a pause of epic proportions. Identity leans forward, eyes on the shrimp, on the chopsticks. Which, by the way, make excellent stabbing instruments. Her lips closed on the shrimp, dragging down the wooden utensils slowly, as her eyes flick up to Max.

Max watches Id's slow, suggestful consumption. His tounge slips out to trail along his upper lip in a near-unconcious gesture. "Jesus, you make that look good," he says. He meets her eyes sqarely, and a small smile spreads across his face.

The pad of her thumb brushes across her lower lip to catch a crumb. She licks that from her thumb, then dabs her lips with a napkin, chewing thoughtfully for a moment. Dark, heavy lidded eyes remain on Max for a long moment. She mms. "It is. Very good."

"Yes. It is." Max reaches up to dab a bit of walnut sauce from the corner of Id's mouth with one finger, then licks it off in a gesture much similar to her own.

The lazy, slow blink of her eyes, and the wandering gaze leaves little about the direction of her thoughts a mystery. "You should finish it before I finish mine. Nothing is safe within arms reach." Okay, so maybe she's thinking about stealing his lunch.

Max snorts at Id's antics, then takes a final bite of his lunch before he slips out of the booth. "Be my guest. I have to see a man about a dog. Want to meet up at the Den for a drink in an hour?"

"I have something to handle." Identity replies, taking her time with her food. "Call me."

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