2008-03-09: What Happens in Chinatown


Gene_icon.gif Madison_icon.gif Mikhail_icon.gif Candice_icon.gif

Exploding rangoons, chinese-food-innuendos, two men and a kid in an alley and a business card. All are important.

March 9th, 2008

What Happens In Chinatown

Chinatown! Talk about a plot twist!

"Did you see the ganzas on that girl? I mean, I really was hoping she was willing to hop around bit because they were going to pop right out."

"Seriously, man. Those would have been…"

"Really damn pitiful. At least she had enough class to not take your stupid bribe."

So begins the stunning conversation down the sidewalk. The two men in business suits look toward the last man that talked, Gene Kensington. Also dressed in a dress shirt and slacks, the slightly paled geek appears displeased, his hands tucked in his pockets and his head lowered. The two older men, appearing to be in their mid twenties and in horrible physical seem annoyed as they look toward the young genius.

"This coming from the Love Machine Kinky Kensington, who thinks that a good date is watching Homestar Runner and playing Teenage Mutant Turtles II," replies the tall twenty-something co-worker with the bad acne.

Gene narrows his eyes as he continues to walk down the road. "Dang it, I told you, it's Teenage Mutant NINJA Turtles."

"It's not that important. Same thing," the taller man offers with a flippant wave of his hand.

"No it ISN'T. The fact that they are ninja is important part of the show. It's like…" Gene pauses as he tries to think of something his baser co-workers would understand. "Hooters without tanks top."

"Then it would be a strip club where the stripper served you hot wings!" the overweight coworker exclaims with a little TOO much excitement in his voice.

As the two co-workers continue laughing and saying various lewd things, Gene continues on down the sidewalk, just glad he took his own car to this little 'get together'. He sure as heck isn't eating dinner with his co-workers again, that's for sure.

It isn't unusual to see people stuffing their faces at a Chinese restaurant. But it is unusual to see a girl so skinny as Candice Wilmer stuffing her face. She stuffed, and stuffed, and stuffed. And then she had desert. Twice. And then she got takeout. She's walking out of the restaurant, takeout bag on her arm while she gnaws on a crab rangoon out of a little greasy bag full of - yep - crab rangoons. As she hears the the three men go by, she can't help but add into it. "Well if they weren't ninjas, they wouldn't be able to kick Shredder's ass. That's like a stripper that doesn't dance is what it is."

Sometimes it's good to not be paying attention to the rest of the scenery. The quick lunch in Little Italy gave the art student some time to think about what he was suppose to turn in to his professors this week, each moment interrupted by the deliciousness of the food. However, the break still counted as procrastination in general; any more breaks taken and he's in for another week of sleepless nights.

Walking off the meal is also adding to his time away from the university, away from the classes he decided to skip today. Mikhail doesn't mean to, but it was necessary. He tugs on the collar of his black trench coat, feeling a little more inconspicuous fashion-wise.

Oh lord. Lost. Again. Some day — some day, Madison's senses of direction and location will improve. But today.. today is NOT THAT DAY! Despite the dramatic setting of being lost in a big city, alone, with almost no friends besides some guy who gave her his number — when she has no cellphone to begin with — Madison makes it look rather blase. She's just walking down along the sidewalk, CONVENIANTLY NEARBY (dundundun), when the sound of talk that sounds vaguely like stuff-about-cartoons catches her ear. What kid doesn't watch /some/ cartoons? She perks up, conspiculously looking over toward the speakers as she walks a little ways away.

A woman that knows about geek things, is attractive, and is talking about strippers. Two of the three men are instantly enthralled. Gene merely watches the two men with a quirked brow. While Gene too might be interested in the fairer sex as well, having been to a place like Hooters has put him on the side of modesty. Of course, his past dealing with Niki has reinforced his proper upbringing as attempts to stray almost cost him a hand. He sticks behind the two men who try earnestly to prove themselves. His attention goes to the girl that is wandering the streets seemingly by herself. He frowns, clearly not happy with what he sees. Gene has learned from experience how dangerous New York City can be. Sadly, the one person that he knows, Mikhail, is currently not seen by Gene.

"Well, I admit that I was never too into the Turtles that much," the taller co-worker says as he tries to lean against the building by Candice. At least he has expensive cologne on It might make up for slightly below average looks. "I was always into guys with guns taking care of business with their fists and not flashy karate crap. You know, G.I. Joe and all that."

The overweight man merely waits for his chance to speak, hoping and praying for swift take down of his friend so he can try his luck. All's fair in love and war after all.

Candice leans lightly against the wall, now that the man has, in essence, cut her off along the sidewalk. The very full take-out bag sways slightly as she props the bottom of one foot against the wall, putting her leg at an angle and making it almost dissapear under the Catholic School skirt. "Well, you know what they say." She says, her smile grinning wider, and more mischevious. "Guns are just another way for compensating for being a little…" She gestures lightly towards the man's pants….we'll call them pants. "…light in the load." The wonton crunches as the girl continues to eat, her appetite uninhibited.

Bleached bangs fall over an eye as he turns his head, noting the boisterous tone of one of the business-suited men that rises above the normal noise level and how he's talking about things he'd hear within his ring of college friends. It has that 'nerdiness' to it, but not quite. The sense of familiarity…Mikhail has been missing that most of this semester. Time and time again he wonders what became of the people he met.
But hey - he recognizes one of them. "Ge- " No, not 'Genie' - it would probably be embarrassing for the guy to be called that in front of other strange people. The artist looks thoughtful as he goes back to being silent, blinking as he looks over at the little girl who decides to also eavesdrop on the conversation. Yes, she's been noticed.

Erk. This certainly is in impassable mess! The sudden small crowd blocking up the sidewalk causes Madison to stop in her tracks — she is, apparently, not brave enough to try to push past them all. She allows her gaze to wander over toward Mikhail instead, and — noticing that she's been noticed! — she recoils her head just a little, as if trying to make herself seem a little smaller.

The young Geek God watches the young girl as she sees that someone has taken notice of her. It's Mikhail, someone he knows. He just gives the man a light wave, but the youngest of the three Pinehearst technicians is soon distracted by the talking, trying figure out how to keep an eye on the conversation without seeming like he is grouped with the two older men. At least the Lancaster people he hung out with were just rude and didn't try and pick up girls on the street.

"Come on, not everything is about overcompensation. After all, sometimes the eggroll has MSG in it… Other times it's as good and filling you hoped it would be," the taller man offers, giving a smirk. He offers a hand a second later, giving a confident declaration of who he is. "Brad, by the way, good to meet you."

Candice begins to grin wider, having a little too much fun with this. She doesn't move from the wall - indeed, she seems perfectly relaxed. Munch munch munch. She looks at the hand, eyeing it as if it were some little puppy crapping on the floor because it didn't know any better. "Yeah, but I don't like eggrolls when they aren't cooked properly. If the display is poor, I'm not even going to bite." Munch munch munch. She's loving it, really, because there's so little to do around here sometime. And is there anything as satisfying as shutting down a bunch of slobs?

He doesn't mean to scare the little girl. Really. It's just the way he looks. Deadpan. Expressionless? The corner of his mouth twists when he realizes this, uncertain of what to do. Eyes glance back over at Gene for a moment, a slight wave returned. That's done with. Next.
Back to the kid. Mikhail stoops down to Madison's level, offering a small smirk. "…Sorry about that," he says quietly, "-didn't mean to sneak up on you like that. It's…a habit."
He then cringes a little at Candice's wordplay with Brad, unfortunately understanding what they both meant with good things like food. "Why?" he wonders aloud.

Biting her lower lip lightly, Madison eyes Mikhail warily, before looking over toward Candice, Gene, and company — it doesn't take long for her to decide that Mikhail is the least terrifying of the group. "U-Um.." She mumbles off, bringing a hand up and delicately scritching at her cheek with a few fingertips. "It's.. okay! You didn't really scare me or anything." She mumbles in reply, offering a friendly, if faint, smile. She rocks back and forth a little on her heels, nervously.

"Well, I suppose so. If you ever rethink the deal, here is my card." Brad offers out a business card, which has his information that shows that he works at Pinehearst. Regardless or not if the woman takes it, the man soon says, "Come on, Frank, your ride's leaving. We'll see you later, Gene. I'd say enjoy the company, but I'm not even sure you like girls." The two coworkers leave with a laugh, though Frank turns to look at the girl, upset that his own friend prevented him from trying his own chances.

For the moment, Gene is alone with Candice. He gives her a sheepish smile, clearly not sure what to say. Finally, after a few moments, he offers quietly, "Sorry about those guys… You know how it is when people that get most of their dating advice from Maxim."

Candice seems more than willing to ignore the card, but Pinehearst catches her eye. She tilts her head slightly to the side, taking the card curiously as she glances over it and tucks it away. Gene gets her attention, though, and he gets a smile - this one appearing less psycho killer, and more just…smile. And a little psycho, but only a smidge. "It's okay, it's probably for their best that they left." She takes another bite, the crumbs from the wonton sprinkling around her like ash around a chain smoker. "I'm not a very nice person. Rangoon?" She asks, offering the bag, open side, towards Gene. "Greasiest in town, can't beat them."

"That's good," Mikhail smiles, forcing a little more life onto his face. See? Nothing bad here. He straightens up again, taking a step back so that Madison has some room to breathe and be comfortable. His attention falls back upon Gene and Candice once the two men leave, tilting his head upward. Well, he can step in and join the two, but he figures Gene will be fine. Sort of. Best to be on hand to make things more awkward if necessary.

Still, the little girl's presence makes him curious. Blue gray eyes fall back upon her as he blinks. "…What are you doing out here alone, anyway? Where are your parents?"
Hm-wha? That question hardly elicits any surprise from Madison. "Oh, I'm just a little bit lost. But I'll be fine. I get lost here all the time." She replies, puffing her up chest just a little — have to look confident! Too bad she probably looks more.. foolish. ".. I'll be fine, though. Really. I don't get lost for very long anymore." She says, suckling her lower lip softly for a moment - her head turns to look over toward Gene and Candace after a few moments, since Mikhail looked over.

"Well, um, sure," Gene offers with a weak chuckle before he takes a Rangoon. He takes a bite of one hesitantly, clearly not sure what to expect while eating one. As he does, he watches Mikhail for a second, who seems to be busy talking with the girl. He doesn't interrupt them for now, figuring he can talk to Candice for a bit before trying to invite his bud over. "..Well, you're offering a stranger food, that's nice, right?" he asks with some certainity. After all, he learned another important rule from women: Most are unpredictable and scary.

And Candice is more unpredictable and scary than most. "Are you sure about that? Just by feeding you I could make you fat - repuslive to everybody. Maybe even give you diabetes. So am I really that nice?" She lets the question hang there as she chomps down on another rangoon - the bag is getting empty fast. She glances sidelong at the other two in the area. "See that little girl there? If she were ugly, that guy there probably wouldn't even have stopped. I could really be your worst enemy." Munch munch munch. None the less, she offers another oen with that same smile. "So. You work with t that guy or something? Brad…whatever? The chauvanist?"

A chuckle is stifled. She really is trying her hardest, but it's fine with him. A gloved hand runs over his hair as the smirk becomes lazy. "As long as you're sure about it," Mikhail nods. He tugs on the collar of his coat again, the black fabric just engulfing his lanky frame. It looks good, though. His ears can't help but pick up parts of the conversation Gene and Candice are having, his curiosity perking at some of the harsh suggestions.

Madison , on the other hand, is quite oblivious to the references to her — she just turns to stare up at Mikhail for a moment, then looks toward the other two yet again. She gives them that.. curious-little-girl stare, her head vaguely tilting to the left. "So.. umn," She mumbles off, swaying a few times on her heels. ".. Do you know them?" She asks, turning to look up at Mikhail again, "I'm Madison, by the way."

"You offered a gift. It's my responsibility to judge if it is wise for me to take. Unless you did something like spike it, which would be hard for Chinese take-out, then it's nice gesture. If I get fat from eating stuff like this, that's not your fault." There is a pause as the woman says something about being people's worst enemy. Gene is confused, glancing over toward Madison. She doesn't seem ugly now. "Why would that be? I mean, you going over there just to say mean stuff to her?" Clearly he doesn't get it… Or he's keeping any theories he has to himself as he continues to watch his friend and the young woman as well. "I work over there, yeah. I don't exactly fit in, but I'm a rare breed of guy apparently."

Candice rolls her eyes, shaking her head at Gene. "No, I'm not going to say mean things to her. I'm not completely mean." Just mostly. A black heart, sure, but even that only goes so deep. She eats the last of the rangoon, rolling the paper bag into a ball and tossing it aside nonchallantly, letting it land wherever it might. She apparently doesn't care very much about keeping the streets of New York clean. "So what do you guys do there, like, nerdy stuff? Most CEOs don't walk around talking about Ninja turtles and hooters. Well…the hooters, maybe." She starts to dig around in her bag, still hanging from her arm. "I think I had some more of these in here….."

There's a pause as the artist switches gears, his attention snapping back toward Madison. "Oh, um…I'm Mikhail. And I know him," he says plainly, pointing out Gene. "He's a friend. I don't know who the girl is. She's a new one." He looks at Candice, unblinking as he studies her features. No, he's never seen her before. Her mannerisms, her tone - all of it seems make him feel a little wary. "Maybe we should go join them," he murmurs, flicking his gaze back at the girl. "…unless you have to go back?"

"Oh." Madison replies, with a little shrug, "Nice to meet you." She continues, with another small smile. "I'm sort of new here. So I keep getting lost. And I only know one person really." She explains, bringing a hand to scritch at her cheek again.. at the latter question, she tilts her head to the side. "Huh? Oh, I don't have to go.. if you want me to, I'll go with you!" She replies. PERKY SMILE.

"They do a lot of research, I'm just the computer boy. Don't even let me get in to the good stuff." Oddly, this is the truth. Of course, Gene's importance is what he does in the shadows rather than the light. He's still a hero… or that's what he tells himself. As Mikhail points, Gene just gives a wave before he looks back to Candice. "What do you do? Lawyer?"

There's something oddly satisfying in being confused for a lawyer, particularly at 25 and in a Catholic school girl skirt. "Do I look like a lawyer?" She asks, deciding to let that hang out there because of all the amusing answers that might come from it. Her grin widens, deciding to tease the boy a little bit - he looks like he could use the teasing. "Or is that just wishful thinking?" Hot girl, knows ninja turtles and strippers, and a lawyer? Could be the total package for some.

Whoa, perky. Mikhail wrinkles his nose with amusement, shrugging. "Up to you. I don't mind a tag-along." With a turn, the tail of his coat flaps around his feet. He'll be joining the two soon enough, raising a hand with a simple, "Yo."

Madison follows along! But without the dramatic swirl, sadly. She just follows along toward Gene and Candice — and then stares up at them while Mikhail does the greetings. She's almost immediately gone from friendly to cowardly once more, peering up from one to the other several times — her head lowers down a little.

"No, just seemed like the sort of job a woman that likes power and using it would be?" While normally that would be a statement, the grin and tone cause him to be nervous. Thankfully, her suggestive behavior will be forced to be put to an end. There are people around. Can't be suggestive around young girls (or so Gene thinks). "Hey, Mikhail Just speaking to this nice woman whose name I haven't asked yet and have a feeling won't get." After all, Brad struck out and Gene is not even tall. "See you met someone new too." He gives Madison a one handed flex of the hand as a small little wave. "Hey there."

"Candice." Well, that was easier than it seemed, wasn't it Gene? "And I work for a paper company." She doesn't argue with the idea of being a woman who enjoys her power. You…can't really argue with a statement like that. "And apparently I'm nice." She says, cheerfully, almost placidly to Mikhail. Yeah, apparently she's nice. That's news.

Madison perks up slightly when she's waved at by Gene — but not the happy, perky, going-to-hug-lots-of-cute-animals kind of perky. No, the 'panic mode' kind of perk — she smiles nervously up at Gene, and lifts her hand for a reluctant wave in return. "Ah.. Hello.." She murmurs off quietly in reply, before drawing her lips together tightly and clamming up. She even edges a little closer to Mikhail, who has apparently been unwittingly designated 'Adult Shield'.

"Paper." The fact is given a long pause. An attractive woman working in a paper company with a personality like that? Ah, well, suppose everyone works in every kind of field. "Good to meet you either way, Candice," Gene says with a smile that shows a hint of warm. After all, she's being 'seemingly' nice. Of course, as the little girl is silent, he does too, just looking back to the other three. If no one else says anything, he will go into the realm of awkward silence. It's okay, he's a professional geek, he's cool with awkward silence. Or at least, not AS uncomfortable with it as most would be.

Candice pulls out a small bag from her other bag…the giant bag of takeout. "Hey, kid." Oh no, this could be bad. Candice bends over, hand on her knees. "Want a rangoon? I mean, don't eat them if you're allergic to shellfish or cheese, cause you'll swell up like a balloon and get hives and stop breathing. But if you're not!" She adds this last line, perfectly cheerful. "Dig in!"

Adult shield, huh? That's seems about right. Mikhail looks over a shoulder and down at Madison to check where she is exactly so that he wouldn't step on her or anything. "Ah, I see," he says to Gene, nodding as he keeps his poker face. And at the offer of food, he takes a moment to stare between Candice and the Rangoon offered. Candice. Rangoon. Candice. Rangoon. Blunt warnings? "…Sure," Mikhail grins mildly.

Madison's eyes widen just a little at Candice as she quietly listens to the explanation of the joys of Rangoon. She just sort of.. stares as she accepts it with a subtle motion of her hand, looking down for a moment to it in her palm afterward. ".. What's it made of?" She asks slowly — one might infer from the whole 'fish' thing, but, well. Kids. ".. It's a little cold."

As people eat and offer food, Gene merely laspes into silence, perhaps getting a little shy around the new people he's met. Or maybe it has to do with the fact that his face is paling a little bit more as the conversation continues. He seems to be breathing somewhat regularly, so clearly that's not the issue.

Candice chuckles, standing up tall again after rangoons ahve been offered all around. "Crab, cheese mostly. If you're not allergic, no reason to be afraid." She winks at the little girl, looking back at the adults. "Well, that was fun. I'm sure I'll see you folks around more." With a mischevious chuckle, she pushes off the wall and sashays between them to head down the street, head bobbing lightly.

Very nice. Eyebrows quirk at the woman as she speaks and passes by him and the others, a slow nod given as acknowledgement. Acknowledgement to what, her leaving? Sort of. Of course, he sort of felt a chill run down his spine when she said she'd ;see them around more.' Mikhail watches her another minute before glancing back over at Gene. A brief look of concern crosses over his features. A gloved hand reaches out to lightly tap the other young man on the arm. "Hey. Gene. Something wrong, man?"

Madison's body turns to help her gaze follow Candice when she walks past and heads away — before her attention returns to this strange food she's never tried before. She furrows her eyebrows just a little, gingerly handling it — she stares at it. Concentrating. As if that'll somehow help her perceive the mysteries of this food without having to actually put it in her mouth.

"Later!" Gene replies with as he figures he accidentally scared off another woman. As she goes, Gene instinctively looks to where she heads to. You can't sashay hips like that with curves like that and expect Gene not to look. He might be a good boy for the most part, but he's only human! When Mikhail puts his hands on his shoulder, Gene just gives a slightly awkward smile. "Um… fine, just thinking for a second."

Mikhail just looks at Gene for a few more seconds, a small smile appearing shortly afterward. It is normal for guys to stare after women as they walk away. "Aight," he says. The look doesn't disappear completely thought; he isn't really sure what else is going on in the man's mind, but that's all personal stuff he shouldn't go into. And don't forget about the kid. "Hey, Maddy…?" She already gets a nickname, too. An eyebrow arches in question to whatever she's pondering about the rangoon.

Hrrrf. Concentrate concentrate! Madison's attention is broken, however, when Mikhail says her name — or what is equivalent to her name — and she suddenly lets out a loud gasp of surprise when she discovers the thermodynamics of heating up a rangoon too quickly. Which is to say, it splatters all over the front of her shirt when the internal pressure ruptures the casing— "Huh? W-.. What?" She mumbles out, trying to act as if nothing happened even as she wipes goo off of her hand onto her shirt. "Y-.." She mumbles out, looking up at Mikhail with as innocent and oblivious of an expression as she can muster. "Yes?"

Turning his attention back toward Madison and Mikhail after Candice has offically departed, he doesn't say anything for the time being. Of course, he is ready to say something when suddenly… Explosion. Gene looks toward Madison and then to Mikhail with a focused concern. The artist should know the look. It was the same look that he gave his friend before dragging him out of a bar to give him a 'talk'.

Yes, he knows the look. It only takes less than five seconds for it to sink in. Slow reaction, but he turns.
The artist's eyes have never been so wide open. A finger floats in the air, somewhat pointed at Madison in disbelief. Where did it…? Did she just…? Mikhail finally blinks. "Maddy? …What…happened to your rangoon?"

Madison stares up at Mikhail for several moments, her glance flitting over toward Gene a few times — she looks vaguely guilty, under that innate sense of 'You just did something wrong' that a kid gets when adults look at them in a way that isn't normal. "I-.." She mumbles off, nibbling her lower lip a little. "I squished it? Um," Glancing over toward Gene for a moment, and then back to Mikhail yet again — "I.." Suddenly — TEARS! She's welling up like a sprinkler system, and soon bursts out in whimpers as the tears flow down her cheeks in panic. "I was just trying to do it better! Like the man said to! He said I did it too hard and that's why stuff splatters all over and.. and.." She blabbers out, "I'm sorry!" Que the whimpery-ness.

The tears come as a surprise, Gene not exactly sure what to do at first. But then he hears the mention of what might be an ability and someone telling her what to do. He looks up toward Mikhail, then nods toward an alley. "We need to talk about this away from prying eyes and ears. This is for your own sake." With that, Gene just begins to walk toward the gap between Hooters and the Chinese resturant, expecting both Mikhail and Madison to follow after him.

Oh shoot, they didn't think she would cry like that! This definitely ends the poker face look Mikhail had, more expression going into it as he holds up hands. The attempt to calm the girl down is probably futile. "A-ah, no, you did nothing wrong," he says, trying to balance Gene's sense of urgency with some touch of caring. He is the wrong person for the job, but yeah - going into the alley seems to be a good idea right now. The art student carefully places his hands on the girl's shoulders to usher her forward. "Come on, Maddy…"

…Two guys are not going into an alleyway with a little girl. This is usually a bad thing.

To Be Continued...

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