Avenues Of Investigation


elisabeth_icon.gif alec_icon.gif

Scene Title Avenues of Investigation
Synopsis Well, when you have to keep a background check on the downlow and your time is limited, what do you do? Answer: Have lunch with a target.
Date February 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.

Piccoli's Deli is an extremely popular lunchtime place for all kinds of people. Elisabeth's not a regular in the place or anything, but she's been here a few times. Often enough, maybe, to be noticed by some of the regulars anyway. When she comes in today, though, the place is royally packed. And she's on something of a mission too… After she orders her sandwich, half of which she asks for wrapped up to go right from the start cuz the things are massive!, she looks around the place with every evidence of resignation. But she brings her sandwich and the large cola that accompanies it toward the table where Alec sits, pausing next to him because he's one of the few in the place who only has one person sitting at the table. The rest are mostly full. "Uhm… hey, sorry to bother you, but… would you mind if I take up a little space at your table?" she asks him politely. "The crush in here's kinda crazy and well…" She tips her chin toward the only other table that *does* have space, and the guy sitting at it is one of those wonderful stereotypes of New York — electrician or plumber, by the looks of him, overweight, not the best table manners, giving every evidence of enjoying his lunch PROFUSELY.

Alec glances up from his own sandwhich and grins, reaching up to remove the earbud from his ear, "I'm sorry, what?" he asks, hitting pause on his phone's TV replay. He glances where she points and puts the image together, "Oh!" he nods, "By all means!" he half stands until she takes a seat, only then retaking his own.

"Thanks," Liz answers with every evidence of relief. "I won't keep you away from your … not a call, right?" She grins. "Your show, then." She settles in to eat, unwrapping the sandwich in front of her and leaving the extra on the table, clearly not intending to even touch the thing.

Alec just closes the phone and shakes his head, "Naw, real people are better conversationalists anyway." he tucks the phone away and turns back to his food. "Alec." he says by way of introduction before taking a bite of his food.

For that, he gets a smile. "There is that," she replies. "Liz." She picks up her sandwich, studying the thing. "Lord, they pack this thing so full, even half of one is more than I can eat, I think." She glances at him. "So Alec… come here often?" She takes a small bite of her sandwich while she listens.

Alec nods his head, "Yup." he says after a swallow, "Food's better here then back home." he says with a grin, "Well, except the pizza. Your pizza is all so flat. Not bad, but flat. What's the fun in that?"

Elisabeth laughs. "I like flat pizza," she confesses — though you couldn't tell it by her figure. She's pretty slim. She looks a bit weary, too, but it doesn't dim her grin. "With *lots* of pepperoni or with everything," she tells him easily. "Actually had a pretty darn amazing pizza with just cheese, garlic, and whole tomato slices. That fancy place — California Pizza Kitchen? — they think they do it right, but there's a place around the corner that's just to die for. Little hole-in-the-wall — Gino's."

Alec chuckles, "And not a decent deep dish in sight. I tell you it's possitivly criminal." he munches his sandwich with a sad shake of his head. Made more amussing by the overstuffed squirrel cheeks.

Elisabeth's bites into her sandwich are more ladylike, perhaps, but made with no less enjoyment. "I take it you're from someplace like Chicago, right? They're the only folks I hear whining about deep dish," she teases. "What are you doing in New York, crazy deep dish man?"

Alec nods his head, "Chi-town for the win." he says with a grin, "I'm an engineer, I'm here to help you flat pizza loving creeps get a respectable skyline back. Frankly, I'm spending more time seeing to it foundations with micro fractures are shored up then I am rebuilding skyscrapers and what have you."

There's a grimace and Liz sets her sandwich down. "Yeah… I have a feeling it's going to be a lot of years before we can actually work on the rebuilding instead of the shoring up. And now with the major bridge construction that needs doing, I'd say this town's….. going to hell in a handbasket, actually." She shrugs a little. "Seem to me like this whole damn country's going to hell in a handbasket, if you want the truth. But… don't quote me on it," she offers. And then rolls her eyes. "Sorry, don't mind me. Been a LONG month."

Alec nods his head even as he waves her appology away, "No problem, you have a right to be tired, everyone in this town does. But, bridges can be built, repaired well enough. I'm hopeing to get on that crew, I have a few ideas I think that might speed up the process by a sizable margin, just have to get a little creative with the math and the asthetic value of the structure."

Elisabeth nods, looking interested. "What kind of ideas?" She nibbles at the sandwich again, barely making inroads in the stack of meat.

Alec shrugs, "Well for starters I don't think the original design accomidates the appropriate amount of traffic, which means as long as it's being redone it might as well be done right, add two lanes. The added stress makes the previous design unfeasible, so if you use an under arched support model instead of the direct pylon approach they used before, you'll have a stronger foundation. Also, it'll look a little prettier if you're a fan of classic styleings. Though, that's for architects to deside. I just make sure they stand, the other guys make 'em pretty."

Elisabeth sets her food down again, and she looks at him thoughtfully. "Well, I like the idea of more lanes, that's for darn sure," she replies, picking up her soda to sip from it. "You think they'll listen to you?"

Alec shrugs, "That depends on if my firm wins the bid." he points out, "If so, I will probably get the lead on the case. They like me, they know I put in more hours then the other guys, and I'm well liked enough that I can /mostly/ manage to keep the peice between the geeks and the artists… sorry, engineers and the architects. More work then you'd think. I should be a negotiator or diplomat or something, it's crazy."

Elisabeth laughs softly. She wishes she *had* it so easy. "Believe me, you don't want to do that fulltime. And be glad it's geeks and artists." She toys with her sandwich. "So what do you like about New York? I know you don't like the pizza, but there's gotta be something to balance that out, right?"

Alec shakes his head, "Yeah, nothing could possibly go wrong with a bunch of guys who blow things up for a living and another bunch of guys who cut things with exato knives all day." he rolls his eyes. "It's a war in there sometimes." he teases, "People are nicer then I thought, and um… I dunno. Food? It's awesome. Beyond that it's really not all that different from home. I expected it to be, but it's not. Well, your water smells more salty, that's about it."

That elicits another laugh from Liz, if only because … well… guys with Exacto knives. On a number of levels, she's amused by his description. "Given what's going on in the streets lately, I'd have to say your description of the office as a war zone is… perhaps overestimating the ability of your geeks and artists to enact a full-scale battle."

Alec shakes his head, "You'd think so, but you forget. The geeks are the same guys they always were, way to good at math and outcasts, so you gotta keep an eye on them before one goes all Columbine on you, while the artists are like all artists, snooty with long hair and chin pubes that they call goatees. Heads in the clouds, they never think twice about doing the oddest things, like putting rat poison in the sugar thingie at the coffee station." he shrugs, "Like I said, they're all crazy. I think the only reason I'm the sane one is because I'm a nerd who was to pretty to be an outcast. Kept me level headed. And I bathe regularly. That helps tremendously."

Elisabeth dies at the 'chin pubes', leaning back in her chair to chuckle — no… to *giggle* — at the outrageous description he lays out for her. Damn… she actually LIKES the guy. This is the first good laugh she's had in quite a while. "Wlel, keep on doing it," she tells him. "It gets the girls to sit with you at lunch instead of …" she jerks her chin back toward electrician-guy over there who was the only other table open when she sat down.

Alec nods his head, "Bathing and all that iron I pump. Keeps me rolling in sexy, draws in the ladies." he makes a face at the mention of iron, as if working out was for suckers. Though Liz knows for a fact he runs 5 miles every morning at the crack of retarded-early-o'clock. "What about you hotness? What's your gig?" he starts to munch into his food again.

Sitting back in her chair, Liz admits, "I don't want to tell you. It sends guys screaming into the ether, and .. I kinda like you. So to see you get all 'oh, whoops, gotta go now' is gonna just ruin the nicest lunch I've had in weeks."

Alec quirks a brow and eyes her, "Professional mixed martial artist? I can see how that'd freak some guys out. I'm cool though, I like a woman that can break my spine, adds spice."

There's that chuckle again, amusement lighting her eyes, but Elisabeth's demeanor seems more tentative now. "Worse," she tells him with a sigh. Picking up her soda to sip from the straw, she says baldly, "I'm a cop." She looks like she's waiting for him to run screaming.

Alec starts to stand instantly, "I gotta go." he says with a deadpan expression, "It's that tiem and the phone is ringing back in the oven that I left turned on in my apartment." he flops back down into the seat with a grin. The flurry of movement covered his more honest startlement.

She was watching for the reactions behind the quip, figuring he'd joke with her. Elisabeth smirks faintly when he does what's expected, but she's more interested in the idea that she startled him. "Yeah, lotta guys say that to me when they find out," she replies mildly. "I've heard any number of those kinds of things. Up to an including 'you know… I should probably tell you I'm actually married, so … yeah, I really can't have dinner with you anymore.'" She's not kidding; it's happened.

Alec holds up his left hand, "I'm not married, and this isn't dinner, so I think you're safe. But I should warn you that I'm a dangerous man with dangerous friends." he adds after a short pause, "bum bum buuuuum." he brow waggles and sips his coke, "Exacto knives. And don't you forget it."

Elisabeth chuckles easily. "Dude… *my* friends all got guns and cuffs. You think your Exacto-wielding artists are gonna stand a chance? Now… your explosives-making geeks might," she concedes with a smile. She leans forward again, since he seems to have no inclination to just run off, setting her drink down to pick up her sandwich again and nibble at it. "Although I run with a pretty tough crowd, you know. They're all Evolved." Heh… great way to read someone. Drop them a few bombshells.

Alec is on his guard now, it's harder to shock him once he's made aware of her profession. Still, the word gets a real surprised and shocked expression from him. Then curious, "Really?! I mean, I've heard and stuff, but there's not a big showing of them back home, kinda was hoping to meet some when I came down here." he grins, "You know, preferably the non-splodey type. With a harmless power thingie, like, I don't know, grow their hair real fast or turn thier skin purple or something. What are they like?" he doesn't have to hide his interest, he lets it show, couldn't hurt….

Now that's interesting. Elisabeth shrugs mildly. "Just like normal people, really — got one guy who can fly, one who jumps real far, one who has a forcefield that keeps him from getting hurt. It's pretty cool," she admits. "Makes for an interesting field of play, too, when we're all together and talking politics. 'Bout half are on board with the idea of Registration cuz we deal with the worst of the worst out there, people doing nasty things with their abilities. The other half of us are anti-Registration because of the stomping on people's privacy and civil liberties. So far, it hasn't turned into a brawl in the squad room," she adds with a grin. "But I'm sure we'll get there at some point."

Alec just shakes his head, "Honestly? Not sure where I land on that line. Big hot button topic I know, but I just can't wrap my head around it yet. Seems all to far fetched I suppose, people shooting fire from their hands, lazer beams from their eyes, leaping tall buildings in a single bound…" he shakes his head again.

Elisabeth chuckles softly. "If you're like the average person, you fall on the 'I don't want to be REQUIRED to do anything,' at the same time you don't want those people shooting fire from their hands and lazer beams from their eyes running about hurting anyone." She shrugs. "It's a hot button, but like everything else in life, there's got to be room for moderation, right? Cuz there's a crap-ton of abilities out there — like turning your skin purple or growing your hair real fast — that just don't have the kinds of implications." She then grins. "And listen to me on my soapbox. I'm sorry. Hazard of being a female cop in today's madness, I think. I tend to feel people out on their views about girl cops and what I do almost as soon as I meet them so I don't have to deal with all the BS that happens if they think I lied to 'em later."

Alec ponders that for a moment and shrugs, "I don't know. Like you said, some of them seem harmless enough, but others… Well, I'm in favor of gun registration see, and some of the things I've heard about them doing are WAY more destructive then a simple illegal glock on the streets. No punk kid with a Glock has gone Sylar on a third of a city I guess. But I don't want normal people who's hair grows fast to end up persecuted either. I guess that's where I wanna stand, I just don't see how that could happen is all. Course, it's not my town, so I really shouldn't get all preachy. I'm just here to rebuild it."

Elisabeth snickers softly. "You don't think mandatory registration is just a New York thing, do you? That's coming from the federal level. Nationwide, man." She shrugs and then grins. "And now I owe you an even bigger apology, cuz you know…. nice guy lets me sit at his table for lunch and I get on my soapbox and make you have to think about hard stuff. Can I make it up to you?"

Alec ponders this, "Yes you can. I will allow that." he sage nods and leans back in his seat, "But I have conditions. No politics, no religion, no professonal stuff, leave all the boreing conversation topics at home."

Elisabeth slants him one of those looks — the kind a woman gives a guy who's just said the right thing. "Deal," she says easily. She reaches behind her and pulls out the small notebook that she's begun to carry lately to jot things down and writes her phone number down, tearing the page out and sliding it across the table to him. "Call me … if you get really lucky, I'll even cook," she says with a grin.

Alec eyes the number, then her, and he shakes his head. He jots a number down on the paper and pushes it back at her, "You call me." he says with a grin, "I cannot tell you how horrible my timeing is. I'm just destined to call you in the middle of some policey thing and get you shot, or french fried, or whatever it is Evolved people do to cops. Me? Worse case senerio is an artist gets jumpy and stabs me with an exacto knife. I'll life. Prolly."

Elisabeth laughs at him again, taking the paper back. "All right, then. I will. Cuz you know, I'd hate to get all french fried while you're on the phone, would just totally ruin the moment."

Alec nods his head, "Plus you just know they'd still charge me for the minute. Phone companies are the suck." he pushes himself to his feet and smiles at her warmly, "But alas, I do have a city to rebuild and an office building to keep from being blow up as the war rages on. Was nice meeting you, but I'd better go before my better judgement flees and I start making in appropriate jokes about the use of your handcuffs."

Elisabeth tilts her head and waggles her eyebrows a bit. "Never know, maybe it's a perfectly acceptable use of them," she teases. "Bye, Alec."

Alec beams, "Somehow I doubt it. You couldn't possibly be that kinky and still single. There's a rule against it somewhere." he winks and heads for the door, offering a wave over his shoulder, "Happy arresting!" he calls out.

February 21st: War Zone Medicine
February 21st: Watchkeeping
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