2010-01-30: FB: Sorry, We're Closed



Date Set: June 7th, 2009


Someone forgot to turn the sign.

Nine Months Ago…

"Sorry, We're Closed"

Gray and Sons, Brooklyn, NYC

Various bangs, clanks, clunks, thuds, and taps echo throughout the Gray & Sons watchshop. All the lights are off save for two, which Gabriel has chosen to turn on even though they're near the front of the store. All he can do is hope that no one walks in- after all, he's not exactly supposed to be in town. But what better place to hide than right under someone's nose?

It isn't clear what he's looking for, but whatever it is, he wants it bad. He doesn't even bother to clean up after himself. Various drawers, jewelry, and pieces of watches line the floor, and as much as it makes his inner watchman scream in aggravated fury to see such beautiful and important pieces lying strewn about like that, he's fighting the urge to pick them up. People pass by on the street outside unaware that the ex-killer is currently ransacking his own shop and very nearly destroying it in the process— anyone who looked in most likely would assume he's searching for something to finish a watch.

Because that's how all fine craftsmen treat their wares, right?

Fortunately (or un-), Lena is unaware of the niceties of crafting watches. Also of business ownership, and of Gabriel's burning desire for privacy. A recent transplant from Florida, she's lost the support system she'd enjoyed down there. Sure, it was a dangerous one. But at least she knew who to go to for quick cash, and how to wheedle it out of them.

Here, it's not so easy.

That's why, with her grandfather's old pocketwatch burning a hole in her pocket, Caroline Grey figured a store called Gray and Sons would be a good place to start. The door opens (as he'd hoped it wouldn't), and the shaggy-haired teenager steps inside. She's got the pinched, wary look of prey on her face, in spite of the cocky strut, the confident set of her shoulders. And, seeing the shop in disarray, she pauses there on the threshhold to stare at what seems, to her experienced eyes, to be a robbery in progress. It'd be smart to leave.

Instead, Lena blurts out, "What the hell, man?"

"It's not here!" Frustration finally makes it way to the surface, causing Gabriel to have an angry outburst at the thin air. If anything, his anger at himself for not simply bringing the watch with him is what's really starting to get to him. It was a slip of the brain in the heat of the moment— he didn't have time to grab it. But then logic would dictate that it's still here, which, at least it seems to Gabriel, is clearly not the case.

He pauses from his crazed drawer searching to pause for a few moments, bringing up both hands to his temple. He knows he left it here. Where else would he leave it? It's a watch. This is a watchshop. Makes sense, right? Just as Gabriel goes to open another drawer, a small bell on the other side of the room announces the presence of Lena, followed shortly by what she blurts out. Whipping around, Gabriel brings his hand up with him, picking Lena up off of the floor and slamming her into the nearby wall. Telekinesis has its purposes. Advancing forward, all thoughts of the watch abandoned for the moment, Gabriel cocks his head slightly to the side, brow furrowed. Speaking slowly, but clearly, he address the new person who just walked into his watchshop. "Who the hell are you?"

Simple fact: throw a girl against a wall with invisible hands, and you're going to get screamed at. Lena doesn't disappoint, although it's a strangled, squeaky sort of scream. She stares wide-eyed at the supposed burgler through the mess of her bangs, twitching in a vain struggle to free herself.

Yeah, that's about as effective as screaming.

"What the fuck! How'd you…I'm just…I wanted to pawn a watch! Serious, it's…it's in my pocket, man! Just take it and…and let me down!" Gloved fingertips manage a spasmodic tap against the wall. No, her typical methods of self-defense just aren't going to fly here. "Swear to god, I'm not gonna call the cops! I fucking hate cops!"

Gabriel does just that. With a flick of his other hand, the pocketwatch comes flying out of Lena's pocket and straight into his open palm. He takes a quick look at it, before turning his eyes back to Lena, looking her up and down a few times. It's not like he couldn't take her, and if she really is here just to pawn a watch…

Releasing his hold on her, Gabriel tosses the watch back in her direction before turning back to his drawers. Opening another one, he sifts through the contents quickly. Not finding what he wants, he moves on to the next one. He continues to do this even as he address Lena, his back still turned to her. "And just how much are you needing for the watch?"

There's another yelp as the girl slides to the floor, ending in a clumsy crouch. She only just gets her hands up in time to catch the watch on the rebound, its careless treatment drawing a scowl. Just for that, it goes back in her pocket. Grandpa's (stolen) watch deserves better. "What are you, a freak?" Bold words from someone who was just pinned against a wall.

Lena casts a skeptical look around at the wreckage before fixing on the man and his search again. "You own this place? Like…you're Gray? Seriously, guy, if this isn't your place and you're flipping it, I'ma go. But, like…you maybe want to lock the door after me. 'Cause you're a shitty thief. For…for a guy who can…do whatever the hell that was."

"A freak?" Gabriel repeats, pausing for a moment in his search to consider the connotations of the word. "Pot calling the kettle black a little bit, aren't we?" He resumes the search, pausing over the next to last drawer at the table. "Here," he says, to himself more than Lena, and he grabs a small box that looks to be made out of some sort of wood, and slips it into his coat pocket. Zelda must have put it here, because it's not the last place he remembers seeing it. It doesn't matter now, though, as he finally has it.

Turning back to face Lena, he leans up against the desk he had just been ransacking, crossing his arms over his chest. "I'm the owner of this shop, yes," he responds, crossing one ankle over the air. He got the watch, he can relax now. Besides, this person that just happened to walk into his shop is rather intriguing, but not for obvious reasons. He's intrigued by something else. "So, what can you do? Fly? Shoot fire from your hands? Turn to stone?"

The instant his back is turned, Lena is sidling towards the door. Because who knows what he's looking for and maybe there's a gun and…oh, hello, weirdo. She freezes, deer in the headlights at being caught in the act of inching towards escape. "Uh…"

The advantage of having big huge eyes is that it's so easy to look startled. Also, she's got that innocent thing, underneath the surface veneer of emo punk chick. "I don't know what you're talking about, dude. None of the above? You're like…whoa." Black-clad hands open wide on either side of her face, to demonstrate just how trippy Mister Gray is behaving. "But if that's your gig, hey. I can hook you up if you're into the magic carpet ride thing. Just…not right now, okay? Seriously, I just wanted to pawn a watch, make get a burger, you know?"

"Please," Gabriel says, his head dropping to the side slightly in disbelief. "Let's drop the pretenses, shall we? I don't have all day. I'm not trying to be rude," he continues, raising a placating hand, "but considering I'm not even supposed to be in town, let alone my own shop, time is precious." As if to punctuate his point, the door to the shop suddenly closes with a rather loud slam. "It's not locked. You're free to leave at any point, but I don't want any more people wandering into my shop if I can avoid it. So." He spreads his hands wide, as if saying 'hit me with it.' "Your ability. What is it?"

The slam earns a flinch, the sort of cringe that ends with her arms lifted in an aborted movement to cover her head. Not the face! that shift says. But she uncurls a little when words instead of blows follow. "Ability," Lena echoes blankly. That at least is not pretense. "You're…what, you're like…Jean Grey?" Her fingers wriggle, probably to indicate the telekinesis.

"I…seriously, man. That's what I'm about. Drugs. I deal, okay? Just…uh." The teen slides another step towards the door, obviously tempted by the offer to leave. Maybe testing the truth behind it. "I just make my own. Look, I can come back some other time with the watch if you're like in a rush or something. I obviously interrupted some…thing."

"I was looking for a watch," Gabriel says, fishing the box out of his pocket and holding it up for Lena to see. "My watch. Being as it's my shop, I assumed it would be okay if I didn't pick the mess up." Sliding the box back into his coat pocket, he lets out a shrug, arms spread wide again. "Look, if you want to go, then go. I'm not going to waste your time, but I'm not exactly Jean Grey, not like you put it. It's a lot more complicated than that, and trust me when I say you don't want me to get into it."

Another time, just a year earlier, he would be locking the door and making sure Lena never escaped. The pull in the back of his mind says to do just that. Over time, at least he's learned to overcome that pull, ignoring it, locking it away and keeping it subdued, which is why he doesn't do anything of the sort. Even then, it doesn't stop him from being curious about her ability. "If drugs are what you say you have, then that's what it is. I've seen a lot of abilities, and I know I haven't seen them all."

A watch, not a gun. Lena looks from box to man and back again, before crinkling her nose. Whether that's a good thing or bad is difficult to say; she remains poised to dart for the door, but she doesn't go just yet. "Well, duh. She had boobs and spandex, you're kinda like…" A flourish of one hand indicates his current appearance, decidedly lacking in either. "It's…I dunno. It's different. The drugs," she goes on, shifting her weight and scratching at one elbow. Wearing high gloves in summer isn't always the most comfortable of fashion statements.

Better to just change subjects entirely. "Look, you wanna buy this watch? 'Cause I could use the cash, until business takes off." Pause. "Unless you wanna buy a few hits. It's good shit, I promise. Won't fry your brain like the other stuff out there."

Lifting an eyebrow, Gabriel wonders for a moment just exactly what he is kinda like, but it seems he'll never get the answer. As for whether he wants any hits or not of the drug, whatever exactly it may be, he's inclined to decline the offer. "No thanks," he says with a wave of his hand. Besides, if Zelda found out, she would probably kill him. "If you need cash, take whatever's in the drawer. You can leave the watch on the desk." He pushes off of the desk, making his way towards the door. "Nothing funny. I'll be watching." And right on cue, with a shimmer, Gabriel disappears from view.

"What, just…?"

Lena's left staring, mout agape, as Mister Jean Grey vanishes. Telepathy and…what? Teleportation? Invisibility? She looks around, squinting in definite suspicion. Yeah, that's all a little too creepy for her. Maybe she's not as immune to her own stuff as she thought. Her hands slips into the pocket holding the watch, curling over it…then she's darting for the door herself, deciding to pass on the weirdo's funny money. In fact, she's going to pretend like this never happened.

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