No Dinner in Chinatown

Brief Title:

The Vision, X-23

Scene Runner/Watcher:

IC Date:
02/16/13 15:00

Chinatown, NYC

Chance encounter at a restaurant in Chinatown. X-23 and Victor Shade bemoan the lack of service.

Social or Plot:


Mid-afternoon finds Chinatown to slightly less active than usual, but still plenty busy given the weather. Mostly, it's just ungodly cold and that's more than enough to deter most casual visitors - but not the die-hard tourists or residents. There are still plenty of noodle bowls to be sold and trinkets to be hawked - and there are still plenty of folks willing to stop and peruse and fritter away their money.
Dressed in a heavy, wool-lined leather jacket, thick jeans, and biker boots, a dark-haired young woman steps out of an alley and pauses just at the mouth of it, green eyes flicking briefly from one direction to the other before she melts into the shifting crowd. Her head lowers, eyes seemingly trained only on the ground while she follows the tide - but it's only until she hits a stretch of restaurants, where she stops again, if only to slide over toward the wall and peruse the various names and culinary implications therein. A late lunch or early dinner seems to be the plan and never mind the occasional glance she throws back the way she came. Interesting? Hardly. The girl known only as X-23 is, for now, just another impassive face in the crowd.

Speaking of an impassive visage, Victor Shade seems far from impressed with the service he is being provided at this same restaurant. The holographic disguise of the Avenger known as Vision is seated at a table meant for four. There is a glass of water in front of him, but nothing else. Victor is drumming fingers on the table top as he looks out at the crowd passing by the restaurant.

The door is opened and a young man steps inside. After a brief conversation with the hostess, he's ushered to a table near the kitchen, though he only lingers there long enough to place his order. Then he retreats to the back, leaving the table temporarily unattended.
A minute or two later is when the dark-haired young woman finally enters. Her green-eyed gaze cuts across the room, only to yield a slight creasing of her forehead. "I'm looking for someone," she tells the hostess, who immediately chatters at her. The language is a nonsensical assault that only elicits a further furrowing of X-23's brow.
"Here, here," the woman finally blurts in English. "You sit here."
Unfortunately for The Vision, his spate of bad service is just going to be prolonged - for it's his table that the girl is lead to. Her protests are met with reassuring babble and she gives up the fight for now. After a brief flaring of nostrils as she sniffs the air, her attention settles on the figure she's been seated in front of. Awkward.

The whiff of air that X-23 inhales will certainly bring in a host of scents from around the building. If X-23 picks up anything from Victor, it will be a confusing blend of synthetic materials, metal and ozone. Victor turns briefly when X-23 is brought to the table ahead of him. Victor considers her for a moment before glancing past her and towards the kitchen.

Yes, that does result in a second sniff, though it's reasonably surreptitious. X-23's expression slides back into a well-trained mask of indifference, even when a menu and a glass of water is brought for her. She's silent, with her attention slipping aside to briefly consider the table where the young man was placed earlier. He's still not back.
X-23's nose wrinkles just a touch with muted displeasure. Then her eyes track onward to the kitchen, before she utters as an off-handed aside, "The service is terrible here." The observation is flat, made without a proper glance at the man at the table. "It is always slow."

The comment is picked up by Victor and he cuts his eyes from casting their gaze towards the kitchen to the young lady at the table in front of him. Victor nods in agreement, though he doesn't expect her to see the gesture. He responds, "Indeed, I have come to learn that during this visit." He pauses and elaborates, "This is my first attempt at evaluating this establishment for future visits with guests." Victor then asks the inevitable, cliched question, "Do you frequent this establishment often?"

She catches the gesture, if in her peripheral vision. A final look at the empty table finally ends with her leveling her cool, innately analytical attention on the man. X doesn't smile and her dead inflection carries well beyond her initial conversational gambit. "I see." One beat, then two, filled with his question. Her answer comes a few moments later, coupled with a shallow roll of shoulders. "No, not often." With the waitress taking her sweet time to wander over, the girl continues. "I only come here when I am in the area. The food is very good, but they take a very long time to serve it." The menu that was brought remains closed in front of her and the water, likewise, is untouched. The game of cliched queries continues with a flatly asked, "What did you order?"

The Vision purses his holographic lips as he glances down at his table once her question is uttered. He admits, "I am having trouble recalling what I ordered, actually." He looks back up from the table and shrugs his shoulders, "I must say that I do not often indulge in this genre of cuisine-" Or any, really, "-as I have someone that works with me that provides all the nourishment that I need." A forced friendly smile forms on Victor's face. He adds, "I want to say that I requested some dish where the main focus of the meal revolved around a water fowl. Duck perhaps?"

One eyebrow teases upward, though the expression lasts for only a split second. Blink and it's gone. X sniffs the air again, as if she might actually discern his order that way. The fact that she probably can is neither here nor there. "I see," is echoed from before. "Peking duck is one of the most common dishes with duck as the primary focus."
He's spared from the conversation for a few moments when the waitress finally comes by and the girl is able to rattle off a matter-of-fact, "Number three, number six, an extra side of egg rolls and an extra side of rangoons to go."
Another look is shot to the empty table and yields nothing more than another measured display of irritation that fades quickly. She doesn't attempt to force a smile, leaving the man at the table with little more than her neutrality to work with in a visual sense. "Do you often forget what you order? Or are you not typically in the habit of questioning what someone else brings you?"

Victor raises a hand to get the waitress's attention but fails. He grimaces and glances back to X-23, "No; I suppose you could say that I do not have the habit of questioning what someone brings me. I also do not obtain nourishment... this way often. So after coming up with my decision, I seem to have shunted that memory off a little too far into the back of my mind." The fingers of the holographically disguised person go back to drumming on the top of the table.

Curiouser and curiouser. Though some part of her senses continues to monitor the kitchen and so forth, X-23's attention is held by some peculiar hooks. "That does not seem very logical," she observes of the first point. "Or safe." Her sweating glass of water is regarded only briefly, as is the menu that the waitress failed to collect. The rest of what he says, however, earns a bit more prodding. "How do you typically obtain your nourishment?"
When the man resumes tapping on the table, X lifts her hand in an attempt to flag the waitress down. She is just as unsuccessful - and the woman slips into the kitchens, further complicating matters.

Victor shrugs his shoulders and raises his arm up, awkwardly looking at his wrist to obtain the time. Victor responds, "As I said; I work with someone who cooks and serves meals and snacks." He stands up out of his chair and pushes the chair back under the table, "Unfortunately; This establishment will not retain my business. I suppose my search continues."

She watches him, but does not rise. Her expression skews pensive, but only until a spate of rapid-fire chatter in the kitchens catches her ear. X-23 looks in that direction, then back at the man, before replying, "Two blocks east of here, there is a decent restaurant. It is small, but clean and quick. The owner is very talkative, however." She remains seated, but for good reason; she has an order to wait for and, apparently, plenty of time to burn in the process.

Victor offers the young woman a smile and a thankful nod, "Your suggestion is most appreciated. I will scout it next, than. And I enjoy the company of talkative individuals." He starts to walk towards the entrence and looks towards the kitchen. He pauses to turn around and look back at her, "Though I doubt this may happen, but if the server inquires on my whereabouts, please appease her curiosity with what you think the problem may have been." Another small smile before the disguised Avenger heads out the door.

"You will enjoy his company greatly, if that is the case." Another matter-of-fact observation given with the same flat inflection and unsmiling expression. A shallow nod is given in response to his request. "I will." X-23 folds her hands on her lap and grants another slight bob of her head in his direction when he finally does depart, though whether out of mere acknowledgement or polite dismissal is impossible to tell.
Then it's right back to waiting for the taciturn youth.

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