An Evening Away


brian2_icon.gif ling_icon.gif

Scene Title An Evening Away
Synopsis Two strangers have a chance meeting in the Golden Luck Dragon Restaurant. Interesting conversation ensues, and a decision is made.
Date July 25, 2009

Golden Luck Dragon Restaurant, Second Floor

It's early evening, and the Golden Luck Dragon is doing just fine. Not a full house tonight, but certainly not a slow night either. Patrons are being seated hastily as the staff tries earnestly to keep their valued customers satisfied. The bottom floor of the restaurant is a collage of people hustling around tables like busy bees, while the other more seated customers enjoy their mu shu pork or what have you while telling stories that they've already told fifteen times…

On the second floor however, a man has abandoned his table and has come to stand over the balcony. Hands spread out along the railing; Brian Winters overlooks the people below. Dressed nicely in a black suit with a white shirt under, the young man looks quite professional even though he currently has no profession to speak of. Fingers tap idly against the railing as he simply watches.

Ling had come to frequent the Golden Luck Dragon Restaurant in her weeks working for Bao-Wei's medical clinic. It was almost like a home a way from home, one of the few places she had found in the city that seemed to food that genuinely reminded her of China, rather than the processed and over Americanized variants often found on street corners and in strip malls. And so, she decided there was no better place for her to celebrate the end of her second full week working at the clinic, and no better way to spend the still somewhat unfathomable amount of money being funneled to her for her troubles, as little as they had been so far. Besides, if the rumors ere true, she would find herself here a lot anyway…

She had taken the time to change when she had gotten off work early, now wearing a long black dress, and as she stepped in the door, she had made no hesitation in making her way to the rarely open second floor, eager to eat above the masses, a purely symbolic gesture. She was surprised, however, to find another man staring out over the balcony. An eyebrow raised, she placed her usual order, and then made her way to the balcony, walking up beside the man, arms folded and initially silent. It was only after a moment she finally spoke, looking over at the man with a grin.

"It's not often there are other people up here," she comments, cautiously as she looks the man up and down. He didn't look like a Triad, but you never know…

"There's a woman that gives me a lot of money so I can waste it on coming up here." Brian responds softly, glancing over at the woman joining him. "I'm sorry if I've ruined your getaway. I'm just…” A hand comes up and waves a bit in gesticulation. "Reminiscing." Thinking about how he shot the leader of the Flying Dragons in this restaurant. Killed many of his bodyguards. Yeah, reminiscing is as good a word as any.

"I can take my food to go if you want your fortress of solitude." Winters offers, pushing against the railing to straighten himself out. He turns, looking over and finds that his food has not yet arrived. His lips pull down into a bit of a frown. "Eventually." He adds in as an afterthought.

A frown initially crosses the Chinese woman's face, but after a moment it reverses, shaping into a grin as she took a curious note of his mention of being given a lot of money. Already, there was a common thread of sorts between the two. She looks over at the man, waving a hand dismissively at him. "No, no. No need to leave on my account, I assure you," she replies, looking back over the balcony. In truth, the only real contact she'd had with others in the last few weeks had been Bao-Wei, his nurse she had still neglected to properly learn the name of, the various thugs and lowlifes who had found their way to his clinic, and… Kain. Perhaps dining with someone else would be a welcome change of pace.

Still standing straight, Ling's arms fall to her side as she too glances back at the table she had been seated at - and saw that now awaiting her was the glass of wine she had requested. She let it sit, for the moment, looking back to the man. "To be quite honest, it's a pleasant difference to have someone else to speak to, as opposed to the company I've been held to keep the last few days."

Giving a tiny affirmative nod to her company situation, he goes contemplative for a moment. His company he can actually be himself around is limited. To his girlfriend slash sugar momma and an old woman at a bakery. Everyone else he has to perform for, so it might be nice to drop the charade for an hour or so with a random stranger. "I feel the same." He finally answers, offering a small grin.

His hand comes up to her, "Brian." No last name offered, no last name needed. Brian and just Brian will do just fine for this meeting.

A quiet chuckle escapes Ling's lips as she nods in response, pausing for a moment before she turns and steps away, walking to her table to retrieve both the glass of wine, and the glass of water that had been previously set don when she had arrived at the table. While it was clear, at least to Ling, that this man probably wasn't a Triad, she felt compelled to keep the conversation going regardless, perhaps despite herself.

Returning to the balcony edge, she offers the glass of water to Brian, holding her own glass slightly aloft. "To an evening away from the usual, then," she speaks, looking down at the diners below once more before glancing over at Brian. "Ling," she continues, finally giving up her name too.

Taking the offered glass, Brian bows his head in thanks. "It is very nice to meet you, Ling. Thank you for tolerating my company." Winters offers politely going to tilt his head back and take a swig. "To that." He repeats quickly after her quasi toast. 'To an evening away from the usual' is too burdensome to repeat entirely, after all. His mouth starts to open though he quickly shuts it. The conversation should continue, but how? He doesn't want to ask her what she does, that will lead to him having to make up something that he does.

Turning to face the people dining below, Brian replaces one hand on the rail. "It's scenes like this that make me overthink life. Be all existential and what not. Like I'm detached from everything and above the trivial points of life. Then I remember that I'm not." He notes, chewing on his lower lip thoughtfully for a moment. "You ever think that way?"

"Tolerate" seemed like such an odd choice of words, even if that was what it typically came down to most of the time. Ling regards the man with curiosity for a second, her free arm taking its place across her stomach as she continues to take sips of her wine. As Brian finishes speaking, she shakes her head, this time out of disagreement. "Not exactly," she replies, and at that moment a bit of Ling's truest, rawest demeanor shines though as her gaze turns downwards, eyes narrowed and judgmental.

"I have no illusions of detachment, but being above the trivial points and people in life…" she trails off, gesturing outwards with her free hand, "That's a place I wouldn't mind being," she finishes, looking back at Brian. It's entirely possible she'd misunderstood exactly what he meant, but regardless what she says is one of the truest things she has spoken in days.

"Think you'll ever get there? To that place?" Brian asks softly, taking another sip. He watches the people below mostly but after a moment his gaze turns to regard her for a moment. “I don't know if that place even exists. While being alive I mean. And then you have the whole issue of once your above things we now deem trivial, we get new trivial things. One day your tedious necessity is you have to type up a report on the computer, and the next day you've risen out of that place moved onto something better. But your tedious necessity, while by most would be viewed rather extraordinary, is something that is a lot worse than that computer report." His mouth closes. "I'm not making sense." He points out, going to drain the rest of his glass.

"Sometimes I just rattle off the words that float into my head. I'm sorry if I sound… Crazy." He inflects the last word, giving a little smile as if to prove he's not crazy.

A "hmph" escapes from Ling, the woman again shaking her head. "No, you're fine. I guess. I just can't say that I agree," she replies, turning her back to the crowd and leaning against the back rail. "Tedious as the task may be, it's just another stepping stone," she continues, finishing the rest of her wine. "'Do what you must to succeed', as I was always told. I believe that eventually, when you reach that pinnacle, the trivial will be eclipsed by the sense of pride to the point where it no longer feels trivial." She looks over at Brian, an unusual smile that echoes the ruthlessness of the words to follow on her face. "Do what you must, at any cost, to reach that pinnacle, to reach the top, and when you get there nothing will feel trivial anymore."

A long moment of contemplation passes as Brian stands at Ling's side, facing the crowd below. His glass is set beside him on the railing. One hand rises to his chin for a moment. Straightening, he lets a moment of silence pass. "I suppose you're right. Two years ago, I would have disagreed with you to the death. But… things have changed, I guess."

Looking back over his shoulder at his food finally arriving, Brian raises one hand. "Could I get that in a box, please?" He asks of the waiter before looking over at Ling. "Ling. It was very nice to meet you. I think I have some things to do." He murmurs, offering his hand to her.

Ling looks a bit surprised as Brian extends his hand to her, intrigued by his sudden decision to take off. She doesn't hesitate, however, in taking the man's hand and shaking it, offering a show bow to go along with it. "A shame to hear that, Brian. I was looking forward to having someone to talk with over dinner," she responds, still smiling. "Regardless, it was a pleasure. I hope someday we can run into each other again up here," she remarks, even as she disengages her grip. She stares at him for a second more before beginning a stride towards her table, pausing as she motions to the waiter for more wine.

"May you have luck in your endeavors," she says as she looks back to him, raising her empty glass.

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