Pastrami Attack


jezebel_icon.gif simon_icon.gif

Scene Title Pastrami Attack
Synopsis Jezebel and Simon end up having lunch.
Date March 22, 2009

Piccoli's Delicatessen

Everything about Piccoli's is welcoming. There's a large, cheerful neon sign mounted on the roof, the interior is brightly lit and spotlessly clean, and the old-fashioned decor is more reminiscent of mother's kitchen than a successful business. Since the doors opened in 1946, Piccoli's has been best known for pastrami, hot dogs, corned beef, and salami. The wait can sometimes be a little long, but the prices are reasonable and the food is always worth it.

It's the middle of the day and the deli is starting to get a healthy crowd going, which is typical considering its fame. Businessmen, students and families alike crowd in a haphazard line in front of the counter to order, and the others are scattered about at various tables throughout the room. Simon is at one of these tables with a little ticket in one hand, because he's already ordered and is just waiting on his food to be made. While he waits, he does a bit of people watching. People are funny, especially in public. It's as if they think nobody is watching them, even in a room full of eyes.

"Number 23! 23!" yells the man behind the counter, calling Simon's number out. The teen jumps up and maneuvers his way over there to grab his sub, which has been wrapped cleanly and has the juices of whatever is inside peeking through the paper that holds it together. He thanks the man and heads back to his table.

Jezebel comes in. She's wearing her leather biker jacket over her other clothing. When she sees the size of the crowd, she sighs. "I should have known," she mutters. Simon gets a faintly puzzled look.

Simon has a habit of looking up from whatever he's doing to watch new people walk into a room. Just in case they're hot or something. That's why he always tries to sit close to the front door. It's also why he spots Jezebel almost as soon as she walks inside. He gets a funny look and so does she. At first he doesn't recognize her, because roller derbies are dark and now she is presented in a new light. After a moment, though, it clicks. "Hey, I know you, don't I?" he tells her as he slowly unwraps his footlong.

Jezebel blinks as she walks over to Simon. "I think we've met before," she says, "but I don't quite remember you. You'll have to forgive me. I'm Jezebel, if that helps jiggle memories loose."

Simon rolls his eyes back in his hand and smirks to himself before settling his gaze back on Jezebel. "How could I forget a name like that? Of course I remember. You made out with me, right here," he tells her, pointing to his lips and probably making a person or two around him mildly uncomfortable. Whatever, Simon has learned to just say what's on his mind without a care these days.

Jezebel laughs. "I remember you now. Simon, is it? How jealous were all your classmates?"

She remembers him! Oh hallelujah, praise his name! Simon is pretty happy about this to say the least. "Oh they were pretty jealous. I mean they acted like they didn't see anything. You know, that I was lying or something, but I know." He gives his head and nod, pauses a moment and then motions to the seat across from him. "Do you want to sit or something? You know, when you get your food."

Jezebel nods. "I'd love to, Simon." She looks at the deli counter. Wow, there's an open spot! "Hang on just a sec," she tells Simon, then swoops into the open spot. She orders the biggest hot pastrami sandwich the deli's willing to make, some fries and a soda. When she returns to Simon's table with a ticket, she sits down. "Great," she says with a wicked grin. "Making them jealous was the idea."

While Jezebel is away, Simon gets up and takes the empty cup he was given and heads over to the soda fountain. His head was swimming a moment before, but now the noise inside has died down to a light buzz. It's better that way for talking and making actual conversation. When he gets back, Jezebel joins him. "Well, yeah, I guess," Simon shrugs sucks some soda from a straw. "But I won't have to worry about that anymore. Haven't seen those guys in a log time."

Jezebel looks sad at that. "I'd almost forgotten about the bombing. I'm sorry. I'm also glad to see you managed to survive it. Are you going to school anywhere?"

"Yeah. Me, too," Simon tells her, preferring not to remember that day. Sometimes his ears still ring when he thinks about it too hard. "I'm not going to school anywhere right now, but I'm looking into Columbia. Maybe I'll start this summer." He picks up half of his sub and takes a bite out of it. It's an Italian one and filled to the brim, and then some, with stuffings.

Jezebel comments, "Oooh, that looks good. I'm thinking of transferring to Columbia myself, if someone I met can actually manage to follow through on his promise."

Simon nods and chews down the rest of his food. "Oh yeah? Sweet, I'm glad to hear it. You'll probably be taking a lot cooler classes than I will. I hear being a freshman seriously sucks." The soda gets some more loving as he washes down the spicy taste in his mouth.

Jezebel's number gets called. After she brings the food back, she says, "Tough it out, life is a lot better after you get your core requirements out of the way. I just hope Dr. Suresh is okay. I haven't been able to speak to him in ages."

Simon gives a nod and figured as much. Once he starts to get into theoretical algorithms he'll be in heaven. To the second part of what Jezebel says, Simon raises an eyebrow curiously. "Who? Some friend of yours go missing?" he asks before lifting his sub again to take another bite. This time it won't be so big, because somewhere along the line he learned it's not polite to stuff your face in front of a lady.

Jezebel says between bites of hot pastrami, "I hope not. Mohinder Suresh is a world-famous geneticist. His father wrote Activating Evolution . If he can get a spot on the faculty somewhere and get me in, it will be the chance of a lifetime."

"Seriously? I've seen that book in the store," Simon tells Jezebel. "I've never actually read it, but I know what you're talking about." Simon grins and picks a piece of green pepper off the paper wrap in front of him and pops it in his mouth. Chews. Swallows. "So you guys are tight or something? That's pretty cool."

Jezebel says, "Well, I've only met him once, in Columbia's library. We swapped phone numbers and e-mail, though. So I have high hopes. They'd be higher if I could catch him."

Simon nods, understanding better now. "Oh, I see. Well since he's world famous and all, I'm guessing he just got busy. But who knows." Simon drinks a bit more and starts to slow down. No need to rush the eating process. "But good luck. I hope it all works out."

Jezebel replies between bites of her sandwich, "Thanks, I hope so too. Want some of my fries?"

"Sure," Simon says as he reaches over to grab a fry and pop it in his mouth. He tries his best to give her a smile as he chews it down. "Thanks, they're good here." He grabs a napkin from the container to the side of the table and wipes his mouth. "So, what else have you been up to around here? After the school blew up I pretty much dipped and haven't kept in touch.

Jezebel nods. "I don't blame you. Mostly, I've been trying to take care of that house I housesit. It's getting harder, since it's out on Staten Island. I don't know when RollerJam will open again. I try to get myself to skate out on the driveway, but it's just not the same."

Simon nods slowly and grimaces, "Yeah? I hear Staten Island has turned into a zoo. I haven't been near it since I got back, though, so I only know what the news is saying. To be honest, it's part of the reason I'm back here."

Jezebel advises between pastrami and fries, "Don't go out there. Calling it a zoo is an understatement. Of the newcomers, the thieves seem to be the most reasonable. I can understand them. I have trouble wrapping my mind around people who run fight clubs and kidnap people to work in them."

Simon takes a moment to reflect and work on his food at the same time. Fight clubs? Damn, this city really is going to hell. Not that those things didn't happen before, but still. "Ok, so I won't go out there. I swear," he tells Jezebel, though if she knew him better she might know his tendency to get into trouble. "Why do you still housesit there?"

Jezebel carefully considers the answer to Simon's question. "Partly because it's something to do while I wait for Dr. Suresh to whisk me away to Columbia. Partly because I said I would. Partly because the house's owner swore to me that his security team would respond fast if I noticed anything wrong."

"Security team? Whose house is this, and how is it you get to meet people with so much influence, huh? Is it the good looks? I must be," Simon tells Jezebel with a grin on his face. He drinks some more soda, sipping it now because he knows chugging the stuff will just rot away his belly.

Jezebel replies with a wicked grin, "Hang out in libraries and you might meet world-famous scientists too. As for the house, it's owned by someone very worried about his real estate investments. One of these days, the place will be worth serious money again."

Simon nods and remembers that you can also meet gun-wielding maniacs in libraries if you're not careful. "Well, that's cool. It must be a real nice place," he says before breaking into his sub into his mouth again. The first half is almost gone.

Jezebel tells him, "It's an old Victorian. It's nice now, if not decorated in the proper style. It's got a big lot, a boundary wall and a gate at the end of the driveway."

"And hundreds of snarling, rabid madmen outside the gate," Simon says with obvious exaggeration in his voice. "Sounds downright homely to me." He chuckles and sits back in his seat, patting his full belly.

Jezebel sips her soda and devours some more of the fries. "Some of them are actually sort of decent. I met one guy who looks like something straight out of a 1930's detective novel. He gives me advice designed to keep me in one piece. When I first met him, he told me that he'd beaten up an old man. People are strange."

"Sometimes old men deserve it, though, don't you think?" Simon is just saying, anyways. He had a neighbor once who used to bitch and moan about his dog barking, so Simon kicked him in the shin. He was four. "But I'm glad someone has your back over there. Nothing seems very safe anymore."

Jezebel thinks for a moment. "I once met an old man who might have deserved it. I have to object on general principles. On the other hand, the old man had a pretty sharp knife, so it was probably a fair fight."

Simon grins and nods, "Yeah, I'd say so. In my opinion, it's perfectly fine to lay out anyone coming at you with a knife. It's just self-preservation." He sighs and looks at his sandwich, then picks up the rest of the half he was working on and finishes it off.

Jezebel says, "I'm sorry if I've ruined your lunch, Simon." She works on finishing hers.

Simon blinks a few times as he finishes swallowing his food. "Um, are you kidding? You made it a hundred times better. I hate eating alone. It's so - lonely." He shrugs and starts to wrap up his other half to take with him.

Jezebel points out, "You seem to have lost your appetite."

Simon shakes his head and lifts the other half of his sandwich a bit. "I'm just full. I had a big breakfast and I want to save this bad boy for later. Trust me, it has nothing to do with you. In fact," he pauses here for a moment, looks away, and the back at Jezebel, "I think we should do this again."

Jezebel chuckles. "I'd like that," she says, "although I can't promise to do it often. It's hard to get on and off the island now. I wish the state would hurry up and fix the bridge. Knowing road repair projects, they may not bother to do it in my lifetime."

"How do you manage, then?" Simon asks her, curious about travel to the island as well. Not that he's going to visit it or anything. Of course not.

Jezebel says, "There are all sorts of boats going out there. I've seen everything from dinghies to barges over there. I even have the phone number of a boat captain. Sailing with him's expensive, so I try not to do it often."

"I see," Simon says, thinking that over. "Well, I know you don't need me to say this, but be careful, ok?" He nods and then adds, "Well I should be going. I'm still looking for a place to stay, so I need to get on that."

Jezebel raises her eyebrows. "You be careful yourself. I'd offer you a place to stay, but the owner would have my head on a platter. Best of luck, Simon."

Simon laughs and shakes his head. "Don't worry, it's fine. I have enough money to keep me floating around for now. Listen, what's your number? Can I give you a call sometime?" He reaches into his pocket and pulls out a cell phone to take the number down in case it is given.

Jezebel says, "You lost my number? You fink." She reels off a number, going slowly in case Simon's phone gives him crap. "Sure, call. It'll be a welcome change from my parents calling."

"My last cell phone got blown to hell along with my school, give me a break," Simon says happily enough, given the grim storyline. He punches in her number and then slides the cell phone back into his pocket. "Ok, then. I'll see you around." He waves and starts to head for the door, giving another glance back at Jezebel before leaving through it.

Jezebel waves good-bye.

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