2007-03-05: Strangers In Chinatown


Alyssa_icon.gif Daniel_icon.gif Lachlan_icon.gif Seamus_icon.gif Stefanie_icon.gif


An Irishman, a Scot, two teenagers, and a camera-wielding author walk into Chinatown…

Date It Happened: March 5th, 2007

Strangers in Chinatown

Chinatown, Downtown NYC

Stefanie makes her way into Downtown. The evening's early, though the time itself is getting a bit late for Stefanie, being a school night and all. She'd had to step in and run an emergency shift at the market, closing up. so her father let her stay up a bit to get something to eat. Her destination turns to Chinatown. Unfortunately she leaves her recently acquired reading material at home.

Chinatown is, in a word, awesome. It's busy and crowded and full of interesting things, which suits Daniel just fine. His customary skateboard is currently absent, but that just frees his arms up. The best part about being a no-account slacker is that as soon as school lets out, there's nothing he has to do - and Chinatown is great for distracting oneself. He's currently browsing in a shop that's little more than a shallow shell in the side of a building, but it's cheap electronics and that makes it good enough for Daniel.

Early evening is just about Seamus's favorite time of day. Work is over, dinnertime is minutes away, the evening's possibilities stretch out before him… and so many people are bustling about in the mix of after-work hurry-home and pre-nightlife consideration, most of them with purses and pockets dangling open and unguarded. It's like a candy store.

It's the many, many people that also attract Alyssa, but for likely differing reasons. Tucked against a building, the writer has her handy-dandy video-camera in her hand, the lens pointed indiscriminately ahead of her so that anyone who passes by is victim. Since there's a discreet white cord floating from her pocket to her ears, it's likely that the head-bobbing she's doing is because of some music or other. The pink-wrapped iPod is, in fact, just barely poking out of her back pocket, her propped left foot the only thing keeping it from being pressed more uncomfortably against the wall.

Stefanie looks around between the restaurants, trying to find one that isn't too crowded. She doesn't notice anyone else just yet. She spies one restaurant that seems to have openings and decides to head there.

Stepping out of a small restaurant (the one Stefanie seems to be moving toward, coincidentally) is Lachlan Deatley, who has just concluded a bit of business and is in an excellent mood. On a leash next to him is Padfoot. The Scotsman is dressed in his usual ratty garb — jeans, T-shirt, jacket — and his bandages have long since been removed save for a strip of gauze over the surgical incision on his left cheek. The left side of his face is still discolored, but the yellowish tinge around the edges would indicate that he's almost finished healing. As he starts down the street, he happens to pass by Alyssa and her camera, which he happens to glance just as he's passing by. He pauses in step and blinks at her. "Wha', ye hopin' ta catch a crime 'r somethin'?"

It takes a bit of bartering, but Daniel is soon triumphant. He leaves the little shop with a not-so-brand-new iPod and without a good hundred dollars that he started the day with, but it's worth it. Though the iPod is undoubtedly broken, it's one of the most recent and advanced models - and Daniel's one hundred percent sure that he can personally fix whatever happens to be wrong with it. Though he could more easily just ask his father to buy him a brand new one, that'd be taking the easy way out. It'd also require /talking/ to his dad. The teenager's shoes hit the sidewalk and he glances up to take a look around while stuffing the iPod into a pocket of his cargo pants.

The word "crime" catches Seamus's attention, as he's only feet away at a cart vendor. …Oh, look, a video camera. /Peachy/. The Irishman gives the /tiniest/ scowl, but soon turns back to the cart to finish purchasing his fried… something-or-other on a stick. It may at one point have been seafood.

Alyssa has fielded a few questions like this throughout the day, so when there's a dirty Scotsman all up in her view she calmly allows the focus to remain on him, pulling her arm back just slightly to make sure it isn't just a blurred spot on his jacket that she's getting. "What makes you jump to that conclusion? Hoping to commit one?" As long as it doesn't happen to /her/. She'd like to stay in the background today. Her gaze follows the leash he's holding to the pet attached to it and her lips perk into a smile, "Oh jeez, aren't /you/ lovely." Because Alyssa never learned that all important lesson as a child, she shifts the camera to one hand and dips slightly to hold the other palm-out towards the dog. She isn't shoving anything in the animal's face, but, uh, still— stranger's strange dog.

It's a good thing Padfoot is friendly and well-socialized, otherwise Alyssa might not be in possession of that palm for long. The Doberman snuffles at the offered hand and then proceeds to lick it, stubby tail wagging. Wagwagwag. Lachlan glances down at the dog, then at Alyssa again and smirks. "Tha's Padfoot," he introduces. "An' the only crime tha's goin' on righ' now is yer pretty face. Think it's illegal ta be tha' gorgeous." What? Just because he's taking Cass to the movies sometime doesn't mean he can't (and doesn't) hit on most of the female populace of New York over the age of 18.

Though interesting things don't normally just present themselves on command, today seems to be a lucky day. Daniel turns slightly and starts strolling in Lachlan's direction, nearing the Scot and Alyssa just in time to hear Lachlan's pickup line. He /winces/. Openly. It's time to intrude. "Fuck, Lach. You might as well just wave a condom in her face."

Even Seamus can't help but snicker at that pickup line. Wow. …Oh, and look! It's the brat from the other day. The evening's potential for fun just keeps increasing. "'S that'ow /you/ usually pick up dates, frien'?" The mechanic /grins/, taking a bite of his fried… shish kebab thing. This part is possibly octopus. "'Cause while advice o' th' sor's usually appreciated, ya migh' wanna ge' some experience unner your belt firs'."

Distracted and slobbered on (by the dog. the canine one), Alyssa doesn't first catch what Lachlan's up to until he gets all the way to 'gorgeous'. There's a pause and then a loud snort of contained laughter. She straightens, giving Padfoot a gentle scratch behind the ear for /his/ affections, and tries to retort when there is not one but two more opinions thrown in. Wow, it suddenly got all testosterone-y out here. Carefully, Alyssa uses a finger to tug one and then the other earbud out so she can focus properly on everyone's voices. "As reassuring as your option is," she tells the younger, Daniel, most of all but them all if anyone will listen, "I kinda did prefer 'hey yer pretty' to 'zo-my-god I use protection do me'. And I do hope my opinion counts." Probably not, but she's not going to just listen to this jibber-jabber.

All the extra opinions are totally not cool with Lachlan either, who glances over at Daniel, then at Seamus with a frown. Hey. He's /working/ here, ya buzzards. "If tha's how ye try ta get girls, boy, 's no wonder yer failin'," he grunts at Daniel. Turning his attention back to Alyssa, he grins. "Ye /are/ pretty. 'Course yer opinion counts." Especially if she liked /his/ comment over all the others. Muaha.

Daniel frowns as he's counter-accosted by… well. Everybody. Alyssa gets a perturbed look, but both Seamus and Lachlan are outright glared at. "Hey. Just 'cause I know a really /bad/ pickup line when I hear one doesn't mean you need to be pissy about it." The comments alluding to Daniel's lack of dates and experience are glided over, because they're absolutely true, and the boy crosses his arms. Hrmph.

"'E's go' a point," the mechanic agrees, gesturing to Lachlan with his kebab. "Even if th' brat /'ad/ given 'alf a word worth 'earin', your opinion's worth far more, 'specially comin' from such a pretty mouth an' in such a pretty tone." Grin. Don't mind him! Seamus is just passing through. Such should become clear as he takes his eyes from Alyssa — he's not really in the mood for competing — and skirts around Lachlan and his dog, ending up sort of between (but still very much behind) the Scot and the teenager. Padfoot gets an especially wide berth.

Alyssa is the center of some bizarre machismo-fest now, where seconds ago she had been totally ignored by each passing individual— beyond the odd look for her camera-having. Ducking her head in unconscious sheepishness, she blurts a dismissing, "Come on, I was kidding," to each response, compliment and insulted defense alike. She raises a hand to tuck random strands of brown hair behind her ear, wiping the other hand absently on her pant leg since it still feels vaguely dog-assaulted. The video-camera is hanging precariously on this left palm meaning she's probably getting some really shaky views of the pavement in all this. "Besides," she recovers, "I don't have a snazzy accent. Indulge me with a couple more sentences, then?" Cause it looks like Seamus is moving away otherwise. Bad, accent!

"Dunna need a snazzy accent ta be pretty," utters Lachlan, grinning still, "but I s'pose it helps." /He/ is obviously the prettiest man-thing in this conversation. Padfoot is watching Seamus with a mixture of curiosity and suspicion. Anyone that is skittish around him is someone that bears watching, or perhaps it's just that Seamus smells like a car. "When ye get yerself a girl usin' a pickup line, then ye can talk 'bout how bad mine are." The last is directed at Daniel, obviously, along with a scowl. Don't you be dissin' until /you/ actually get some.

Hmph - this conversation is turning into one that's distinctly biased against Daniel, which isn't exactly a desirable twist. The boy clams up, taking a few steps to the side until his shoulder meets with the wall of the nearest building with a soft thump. There he leans, sulking. He might even be pouting. It's hard to tell, because his features are twisted into a perfect expression of teenage emo. He'll come up with a snippy comeback soon enough.

I — hrr? Seamus blinks at Alyssa's query, turning toward her with eyebrows rising. Who, me? A beat, and then a /grin/ splits over the Irishman's face. His accent is /snazzy/. "T'be fair, jus' abou' anythin's an accent if'n ya ask th' righ' person." Padfoot earns a nervous glance for his watchfulness. Seamus does not like dogs. This, then, is just more reason to put himself on the /opposite/ side of Lach from the animal. And if that brings him closer to Alyssa — bonus? "S'far's I'm concerned, ye've go' more'v an accent than I do — an' if no' quite snazzy, yours is def'nitely musical, 'specially with your voice speakin' it."

"It helps a lot," Alyssa replies as confidently as she can over another nervous fidget— why must they keep using 'pretty'? And why does she have to be such a high-schooler about it? To cover, she swings the camera back in front of her face, letting the lens take over for her gaze so that she can watch both men without feeling /completely/ silly. "Anyway," she says from behind the technology to Lachlan, "What do you know about his dating life? Unless you three take to the streets every day to pick on hapless women. Not worth the effort, really, cause most women suck. And not in the good way. You'd do better to just get it all out with a round of Soul Caliber at that point." Yeah, so she's a dating cynic. Seamus is coming closer now, though, and she swings the camera towards him for the best audio— no, it's not creepy that she's video-taping them. Hey, they're hitting on her! So there. "Musical?" she echoes with a less-delicate snort as if it's proving her point, "Uh huh, sure. I mean, so, really though, what's the big flirting idea? Is it chivalry or actual dating attempts? The inquiring public need to know."

The mention of dating brings back the memory that, uh, Lachlan has a movie date sometime this week. With someone who isn't Alyssa. He hesitates a moment, lifting an eyebrow as he considers. Huh. Well. What Cass doesn't know won't hurt her, right? It's not like she /knows/ Alyssa and her camera or anything. "Wha', if a guy notices a pretty girl, he's after somethin'? 'S just a bit o' talk 's all. An' if it leads ta somethin' else, tha's no' a bad thing." He waves an arm toward Daniel and Seamus. "As fer these two, 've never seen 'em in m'life. 'Cept the boy. We've talked a bit 'bout this sort o' thing." He smiles over at Daniel.

Daniel continues to treat the other participants of the conversation to a sullen glare, and he tightens his arms even more over his chest. Keep talking, Lachlan. There will be revenge. One day, Padfoot will wake up painted pink. He kicks at the side of the building, scuffing his sneaker. "Accents are overrated. I can talk like I'm chewing on rocks too, if I tried or cared to."

"Aw, now, lookit tha'. Think th' li'l bligh'er's jealous." Seamus grins at Daniel, and one shoulder gives a slight shrug. If he didn't think it might cause him to lose a hand, he'd probably be ruffling the boy's hair. "An' I've no idea 'oo this is, either," he nods sideways at Lach, "though th' brat showed me t'other day 'e seems ta like spewin' racial slurs at anyone 'e can spit a letter at." And then there is a camera in his face. "'Llo," he says amiably, giving the lens a winning smile. "T'be honest, yer a pretty thing. Flies, bees, an' butterflies all gravitate toward 'oney. Sure we all 'ave our own reasons." Grin. "Me, I'm jus' curious if your mind's as pretty as you are. 'V yet ta see otherwise."

"I don't know if guys are," Alyssa retorts easily to Lachlan, feeling better now that she's in the groove of tape and pester with questions, "That's why I'm asking. Makes sense, now doesn't it?" The sullnness of Daniel is not missed and the writer spares a glance over her shoulder with a thoughtful bite of her lip before, "But if you /didn't/ care, wouldn't you then also not bother to make a statement about it now?" She sounds less teasing than actually curious but the moment doesn't last long when there's a third fellow to split her attention around. "Spitting's bad," she chirps, "And certainly no way to deliver anything, much less a slur. But doesn't everyone do a little racist thinger once in a while? I've heard it said." From a bunch of puppets— shh! "And, anyway, my mind is squishy and made of ridiculousness. Why do you think I steal people with my snazzy camera?" And what a nice camera it is. A slim, expensive model that makes everything technological attached to Alyssa at this moment nearing thousands of dollars. You can't see her new phone right now, but it's there.

It's that camera that's got Lachlan a bit ruffled. Cameras make him a bit uncomfortable. Just a bit. And doesn't he have somewhere to be? Yeah. Yeah, he does. The Scotsman glances at Daniel and Seamus again before rubbing at the back of his neck with his free hand. "'M sure it's a nice mind," he utters absently. "Anyway, I've gotta bit o' business ta take care o'. Mebbe I'll catch ye 'round sometime." This is directed at Alyssa, though it could be meant for everyone in the immediate area. With a grin, he reaches out his hand to obscure the lens of the camera for a moment, then he turns and trudges off, Padfoot in tow. Business. More like "date".

By all accounts, Daniel just can't win. The insults - both real and unintended - from everyone else cause him more than a little annoyance. Rather than immediately rise to the bait, however, he just nods at Lachlan as the Scot begins moving off. "Don't fall into an open manhole." It's a weird warning. He's not going to deny it. The boy's attention is soon turned back to Alyssa, and he squints at her before jerking his head in Seamus' direction. "I don't spit, no matter what your boy here wants you to think. I can also pronounce my 'h'es. If you haven't noticed, he's the one who's slinging insults at /me/." Defense!

"On'y cause ya deserve it," Seamus jibes, grin still one-hundred percent intact. Does he know Daniel deserves it? Not really. Aside from the whole racism and insulting him first the other day thing. But it's amusing anyway. When Lachlan moves away, Seamus raises a hand to wave him on his way. Doesn't seem like a bad guy. "…An' y'know, there's nothin' wrong with a bit o' ridiculousness." Seamus shifts his weight from foot to foot, taking another nip from his… dinner… before continuing. "An' I'm no' complainin' ta bein' stolen."

Alyssa instinctively tries to move the camera away when Lachlan's hand comes forward but he's gone almost as soon as he's blocked it, so there doesn't seem to be damage done. Should look… funny, anyway. And then there he goes and Alyssa watches him go, marveling at the kinds of people you can meet on the streets. "It's true, you know," she offers, "He doesn't seem to be spitting at all." Since they've talked for a little bit, she does actually lower the camera away from her face and it's obvious that this the trigger to making her more sheepish once more. Still, they're not throwing around compliments quite so much so she's still feeling like herself. "That's good," she adds, "Because I've had a few complaints. Blah blah rude and disorienting blah privacy blah."

Daniel certainly isn't of the opinion that he deserves the verbal abuse from Seamus, and so he starts walking with every intention of clearing off to his dad's apartment. He's got an mp3 player to take apart, after all - but before he quite gets to that, he'll do his best to shoulder Seamus on his way. Hard. "Stupid Irish fuck. Have fun harassing the lady." Apparently, Daniel's sulk-powers have been activated.

"Dunno who'd complain abou' bein' disoriented by such a pretty face." The mechanic punctuates that thought by rising up on his toes for a moment as though to peer over the camera at Alyssa. There's a pretty face back there somewhere! "Besides, y— 'ey, now — !" There is a /shoulder/ attacking Seamus's shoulder, and it forces the Irishman to take half a step back to catch himself. He scoffs, and his empty hand snaps up to catch Daniel by that offensive shoulder. "'S'no need for tha'. Y'go' ta learn th' difference 'tween a real insult an' a friendly joke, alrigh'?" /Brat/. No need to be such a /teenager/ about it.

Alyssa doesn't like fighting unless it's done with Xs and triangles so she takes an unconscious step backwards when the two guys collide. "Jeez, like there's a need for that," she vocalizes, though it's not clear to which one. Maybe to both. The camera swings towards her, held protectively near her stomach incase things besides words start getting thrown.

Though Daniel's shoulder is caught, Seamus is almost immediately shoved away by the teenager, who continues to storm off. The boy is clearly not one who really distinguishes well between insults and jokes, possibly because of too much of one and not enough of the other. "I hope you choke on your next meal." As soon as he's clear of Seamus the boy takes a turn, heading down the other side of the block and quickly disappearing from view.

And more shoving, which begets another half-stumbling few steps back. "Sunnuva — !" Seamus gapes after the boy, honestly surprised by his actions — not to mention his words. "…S'no reason for tha'," he murmurs, shrugging his shoulders forward and readjusting his coat. His eyes move back to Alyssa, and he offers another grin, this one slightly sheepish. "Sorry 'bou' tha'. Kids t'day, y'know?"

Alyssa gives a mostly noncommittal shrug, fiddling with a few things on her camera and then glancing up at Seamus again only after that, "Yeah, I guess. Though maybe we all kinda laid into him pretty hard. I think the whole condom thing really threw me off, you know," It's always fun while it's happening, but Daniel marching off the way he did has set Alyssa to a very late rethinking of things. But it isn't to last long. Curiosity always wins out in the end and soon she's sliding the video-camera more carefully around her arm and asking, "So your day can't be too interesting, you having all this spare time to talk to strangers…?"

"I s'pose," Seamus agrees on count of the three of them laying into Daniel. It was honestly all in good fun on the mechanic's part. …More questions. "Well, y'know. Off work. Too early ta head ta a bar. S'dinnertime." He lifts his kebab a bit in gesture. "An' why no' talk ta random strangers? Y'jus' talk ta th' same people all th' time, your life's gonna be painfully boring." Munch munch.

"I agree," the young woman assures with a quick shake of her head, "I'd just have to say that the number of people who parked their butts here long enough to talk to me instead of bitch me out, plus all those who just walked right on by…. well, you're in the minority, pal," There's a pause and then Alyssa can't help but— "That looks like a horrible dinner."

Seamus /laughs/, his teeth separating from the bit they were about to bite into. "'S'no' as bad as it looks," he assures her, grinning brightly with a new sparkle in his eye. "No' th' bes' thing've ever eaten, but i's no' bad." The Irishman gives his own head a little shake, still grinning. "An' 'onestly, I'm in th' minority everywhere. 'S'nothin' new."

Alyssa wrinkles her nose a second for the suggestion that this whatever-the-hell on the stick is more than edible but she doesn't flat-out shut down his defense of it. Instead, she moves on to, "Oh, hardy har," in a light tone, "You know what I meant. Makin' this a race thing. What an Irish ego." Shaking her head a little some more, she twists to fish the Katana phone from her back pocket — opposite the iPod — and flip it open to check the time displayed therein. "Oh, crud, speaking of eating. I think I was supposed to a while earlier. That's what I get, getting all involved with the camera."

"'Ey now, don' be pokin' 'oles in m'Irish ego. Y'could 'urt me deep, y'could." Seamus even goes so far as to put on a hurt-puppy /pout/ before his grin returns again. "I was on'y jokin', after all." The checking of the phone earns a slight tilt of the red-haired head — the man probably couldn't operate one to save his life, much less use it to check the time — but Alyssa's assertion of her need for food gets him to glance down at the slightly charred stick still pinched between his fingers. "…Y'know you're righ'. No' th' wors' thing ever, bu' this tastes like crap." A quick flick sends the half-eaten mess into a nearby bin. No real loss. "Would you an' your camera care ta join me for somethin' a bit more edible?"

"Hm?" It takes a second for Alyssa to connect that she wants to get something to eat with Seamus' offer until, "Ohh.. Well, I'm walking in that direction, I don't think there's any law that can let me stop you from following till you cross certain /very/ ungentlemanly lines," She goes so far as to give him a sly look here. Despite the camera being gone, it's obviously much easier for her to only have to face the one guy. She then counters his earlier puppy face with what is a very extreme jutting out of her lower lip, "And that would be /sad/."

Oh, oh-oh. Pouty faces! Such things strike Seamus in his very heart, and he takes two quick bustling steps closer to Alyssa. "I'll do no such thing," he says, his voice suddenly serious, and lifts his right hand to draw an X over the left side of his chest. "Cross m'heart. I shall be th' perfec' gen'leman." And with that, he actually offers her an elbow. "Seamus O'Malley atcher service. Where to, miss?"

Well! The elbow pretty much seals the deal because, hey, when doesn't a girl want to wrap her arm around a guy's like that and announce, "Alyssa Christianson and I'm cheap. I do the sandwich thing. I'm only going to start getting a second income tomorrow, so until then… it's fast and cheap. Food." As soon as she stops talking, her lip quirks. Then her cheek twitches. A few more seconds and then she can't help it, she's letting out two little giggles at a time, as if sectioning them off like that will make it less obvious that she's laughing.

Oh, it's no less obvious. But it's /cute/, and the fact that Alyssa is trying to /hide/ it is cute. The "cheap" comments also earn one cocked eyebrow, because while Seamus may know what it is she means, he also knows what it is all of that sounds like. "Fas' an' cheap it is," he agrees with his grin somewhat cockeyed, completely unable to help himself. "I know a li'l place up th' street." Already, this evening's going better than the mechanic-slash-pickpocket would have expected.

"Alright, lead away," Alyssa commands, gesturing forward elaborately. There goes that marching off with strange guys things again— and what with the last time ending so well— but this writer is charmed and in honor of this triumph she would probably /let/ Seamus get all the way into that seedy back alleyway /before/ attempting to beat him over the head with the full weight of video-camera and everything in summoning distance. Mmm, yeah, that. She was going to practice /that/. But, hey, food is good for the soul. And so are accents.

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