A Flatbread Fiasco


gavyn_icon.gif nick_icon.gif smedley_icon.gif

Scene Title Flatbread Fiasco
Synopsis Sandwiches are ordered, mixed up, and sorted. Senses of humors are less simple to figure out.
Date October 12, 2010

Piccoli's Delicatessen

One of the finer, more appealing points of the Big Apple is it's wide variety of delicatessen. No matter what your preference is for cured meats or fresh fish, be they of the Italian or Ashkenazi variety, they can be found in New York City. And all manner of people descend on such places for nourishment - whether it is to pick up food to go, stock up on groceries, or enjoy a meal in the middle of the hustle and bustle.

But by two in the afternoon, most of the lunch rush has died down, leaving a few regulars perched on stools and tucked into booths. Wes Smedley sits at the bar with the sleeves of his green flannel shirt rolled to his elbows so that he can fully enjoy his pastrami on rye. His brown leather jacket hangs on the back of the stool, and the heels of his boots are hooked into the rungs.

The door swings open with the electronic ding-dong chime that alerts those behind the counter that they have a customer — not that there's really ever a time Piccolli's doesn't have a customer. The young man is dressed for work on the docks in a long-sleeved white shirt beneath a blue and gray plaid flannel. Nick York looks a bit weary after an early morning over on the Brooklyn docks, back to work at the "legitimate" job after several weeks off. He moves toward the register where a teen Italian boy waits with a friendly smile to take his order.

Nick stares up with weary blue eyes at the menu boards, not noticing Smedley for a moment as he rubs his right shoulder with his left hand, eyes narrowed by pain. His right hand is bandaged with white tape, and a fading red welt marks his jaw right in front of his ear.

"Patty melt an' a coffee," he mutters to the boy who punches in the order, takes Nick's bill and actually counts back his change. Piccoli trains his workers right. Old school.

Nick takes the little plastic card with his number on it and the cup of coffee and heads toward the counter to wait before noticing a familiar face. "Oy," he greets the other man as he slips onto a stool with a couple of spots between them. "Small world." As always.

No better timing to arrive than after the lunch rush, when there's no elbows to dodge or shoulders to run into. And so it is, not long after Nick's entrance chimes in that another sounds. The woman that enters is dressed casually, with blue jeans and black hoodie emblazoned on the back with a shark. Upon her nose are perched a pair of sunglasses, nondescript and certainly not designer by any means.

Gavyn Mitchell, a newer face around town, lingers near the door while awaiting her turn in line. Her head turns idly as she visually explores the establishment, taking in the decor and patronage as much as the signboard listing the choices. When her turn comes up and the counter is cleared, Gav steps forward and places an order. It's simple and nothing fancy, roast turkey and flat bread. No, nothing to drink.

The tab is paid with cash and a nod, and Gavyn steps back toward the doorway to wait.

Smedley looks up when Nick takes his seat, and he smiles, his lips tight around a mouthful of sandwich as he desperately chews to get it down in a timely manner before he wipes a hand on his jeans and extends it to the other man in greeting. "S'good t'see you. Nick, right? Thanks again' for helpin' me keep 'n eye on the lady t'other night." For as big as he knows New York must be, it does seem strangely small. But maybe that isn't so much of a bad thing, when all the people he keeps running into aren't trying to riddle him with bullets.

He glances briefly at the girl in the shades and the hoodie, but he soon goes back to his sandwich again. "What'd'ya do, anyway?" he drawls as he adjusts his grip on his lunch, readying to take another hearty, conversation-stopping chomp.

The younger man turns the placard with his order number slowly in his hands as he nods then shrugs his left shoulder, favoring the right. "She's a good one, Lydia. I didn't want to see her get hurt or taken advantage of, is all," he says in his generic American accent, glancing over his shoulder when Smedley peers that way.

He glances back. "Docks. Loading and unloading the shipments, that kinda thing," he says casually. "You? I didn't catch your name."

At that moment, the smiling teenager brings over the turkey on flatbread to Nick, taking his placard without actually looking at it, then delivers a bag to Gavyn — presumably Nick's patty melt. Nick glances at the turkey, and looks over to the kid. "This ain't my order, kid," he calls, pushing the sandwich in its little red basket to the side.

Gavyn seems not to notice the looks, her own attention more intent on watching the work behind the counter. That focus follows the youth that delivers the bag to her and she nearly turns to leave, unthinkingly, when Nick speaks up. Her steps pause and she looks at the bag again, then inside it. Yeah, that's not turkey.

"Think this might be yours, sir," Gav speaks up, holding the bag out in the general direction of the two men, though she's looking at Nick. "Looks like you got mine."

Sir? No one's called Nick sir in his life, except sometimes facetiously at school in London growing up, a stern maths teacher saying, 'And just where do you think you're going, sir?' or something of the matter. He raises a brow and nods down to the basket he's pushed aside. "Good, that was too healthy for me by far," he says lightly, reaching for the bag and then for a napkin, unfolding it onto the counter to act as a makeshift plate for his patty melt.

"Thanks," he tells Gavyn, pulling the patty melt out of the bag and laying it on top of the napkin. "I didn't touch yours or anything, so, you know, it's safe to eat and all, still." He offers a crooked smile at that.

"I wouldn't believe 'im, if I were you, miss," Smedley says with the same tone of voice gas station attendents on lonesome roads use when they warn city-dwelling tourists away from the deceptively convenient shortcut. He glances from his sandwich, his mouth moving in a slow chew even as a grin twinkles in his. It's a blessing the girl is wearing shades - he can pretend he's looking her in the eye.

A grin works its way into Gavyn's expression as she takes her order, though she does her best to keep it subtle. She takes a long time in inspecting the flatbread and turkey, occasionally looking between Smedley and Nick in what would be a critical gaze if not for the glasses. After all, life and death resides in just how edible the meal is.

"Looks well enough," Gav declares, since the loss could have been tragic. "Thanks."

"Welcome," Nick says, arching a brow as she does scrutinize the sandwich as if perhaps he'd done something nefarious to it. He looks a little baffled, as if trying to decide if she's joking or really that worried about the sanctity of the flatbread. He glances to Smedley as if to say, 'can you believe this broad?' before reaching across the counter for the creamers and sugar, pouring generous doses of each into his coffee, then stirring it with a spoon and replacing the lid and taking a sip.

"I'll try not to contaminate anything else," he mutters wryly as he takes a bite of his own sandwich.

Smedley chuckles at his own joke, even if it was a little one that only barely landed square. "S'Wes," he says with a nod toward Nick after he glances at Gavyn again. He could say something on the whole 'protecting Lydia' front, but he lets it slide. If this man wants to think he had anything but noble intentions toward the Painted Lady, well…he can just keep on thinkin' that.

"Dock's' good work," he adds with a nod. "They treat you right?"

Gavyn had been joking, so says the small grin that finally comes out. Or, that had been her intent, though in truth a little caution never hurt. "—Right," she replies with a little uncertainty. The basket is taken up in earnest and a step backward made to politely excuse herself from further intrusions. With that met, Gav turns and retreats to a table apart from the two men where she seats herself and attends to her food.

The younger man gives the cowboy a nod. "It's work. First day back after a bit of an injury so I'm feeling it, you know." When Gavyn moves away to take a seat, he jumps up from his barstool, grabbing the empty bag his sandwich came in. "Hold on," he says to Wes.

He crosses the space between the counter and Gavyn's table with a few strides of his long legs. "You want the bag? I mean, since you got it to go and all," Nick says, holding out the bag to the woman. "If you wanted to take it to go, that is," he adds, a little redundantly. "Unless my patty melt tainted it for you. I can get you a fresh bag, or I'm sure the clerk can give you a fresh one."

But all Smedley can do as he watches Nick is chuckle to himself. Sure, he may be misconstruing the younger man's actions, but that doesn't mean he isn't amused by them. He takes the time to continue to chomp away at his lunch, getting to the point where he's more eating it out of his hands than using his hands convey the sandwich to his mouth. After a few noisy slurps of sauce from his fingers, and grabs a napkin to do a more thorough job of cleaning himself off. Then it's time to wash it all down with his soda.

Gavyn is caught with her mouth open and awaiting flatbread and turkey, eyes wide behind dark shades, and sandwich lingering half way to her mouth. She takes a moment to recover, lowering the meal with one hand, the other nudging glasses further into place.

"No, it's alright," the young woman says, still with the lingering doubt that her joke had been way off the radar. "That's not necessary. I can as easily eat here as elsewhere."

"Suit yourself," Nick says easily. "Sorry for the mix up." He gives a two-fingered wave with the hand that's taped and bandaged before heading back toward his own seat at the counter. He nods to Wes as he re-wraps the sandwich in the butcher paper a bit messily and puts it back into the bag. "I should get going, actually." He glances at the green neon clock on the wall. "Need to get across the water to Staten by three."

"Godspeed t'yuh," Smedley says with a nod to Nick before he glances back at Gavyn, idly wondering if he got the girl's number that fast or if he was just roundly turned down.

"Don't worry about it." Gavyn waves off further concern about the mix up with a shrug of her shoulders. And as soon as attention is turned elsewhere, her's returns to the sandwich. There's a brief pause, shaded eyes catching Smedley looking her way again. Nope, no telling if there was any exchange of numbers. In fact, the woman gives a lift of her sandwich, a salute if you will, to the older man then takes out a rather large bite. Finally.

"Fucking need it on Staten," Nick says with a smirk. "You too. Say 'howdy' to Lydia if you see her soon." The howdy is a little jab at Smedley's southern accent, though Nick's fake and bland generic is a cover for his own abrasive East-Ender accent in his "real life."

He grabs the bag and his coffee cup, pulls a pair of sunglasses from the pocket of his flannel shirt to shove onto his face, though the day is cloudy enough outside. It's back to double-shifting, morning on the Brooklyn docks and evenings in the warehouse of Port Ivory. The door is pushed open and he steps into the gray-lit street outside, the ding-dong punctuating his exit.

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