Can You Erase The Past Few Days Too?


len_icon.gif xiulan_icon.gif

Scene Title Can You Erase The Past Few Days Too?
Synopsis Len hits Chinatown for one purpose. To erase "Juliet" from his back.
Date October 12, 2009

Green Dragon Tattoo

Things have been relatively tense in Chinatown of late. Particularly with regards to the Flying Dragons. Even so, business has gone on as usual and the shopkeepers and street vendors are still out in force. Despite the appearance of business as usual, however, there is a subtle tension in the air, the kind of tension that, as a rule, people steadfastedly pretend not to notice and almost never comment on. Commented on, or not, it has effected business, at least to the extent that, despite being open, Green Dragon Tattoo is empty of customers to the great dismay of the proprietress. Xiulan, however, has endeavored to put a good face on the situation and, with the absence of living customers, has turned her hand to working on canvas— canvas sans paints, but canvas all the same. So it is that the evening finds her perched on a stool in front of a currently blank canvas, a steaming cup of coffee clutched in her hands as she goes about the all important business of deciding what it is she wants to 'paint'. Thoughts, of course, stir ghostly images and half formed colors to swirling on the white surface, a few of them taking firmer shape before dancing back into nothingness.

After meeting earlier in the day with Elisabeth Harrison, Len seems to have regained just a little bit of the focus he had lost after finding the body of Minea Dahl in Meadow Lake. He knew it was time to get his life back in order so he took a couple of hours and arranges for some of the furniture that was bought by Juliet to be returned and hit up his savings account for the remaining balance on his cards. And, just in case Juliet still had the number, he cancelled his cards and ordered new ones. He even shaved off most of his beard, letting it go back to his normal goatee pattern that he had before the possessor decided to shave it off for him.

All that remains to deal with is the tattoo. Other than having is lasered off, he has no clue what he could do to get rid of the tat, so he figures that the one tattoo artist he knows in town may have some ideas for him so down to Chinatown he goes. As he walks into the tattoo parlor, he clears his throat since the place seems so quiet. "Is it some Chinese holiday that I've no clue about and am being ethnically sacriligious or something?" he asks out loud, making his presense known to those inside.

The colors on the canvas die the moment the door starts to open, their absence coupled with a sharp yet subtle inhalation from the artist. Once assured that there is no immediate danger, Xiulan relaxes, her lips twitching in a tightly wry smile as she turns on the stool and wrinkles her nose. "Everyone has been on edge since Song Ye was murdered," she admits in quiet tones. "It is getting better, slowly. Sort of." Mind you, her tone is less then convincing and so is the half hearted shrug that follows it as she slips to her feet. "Coffee?" is offered as she heads across the room to refresh her own cup.

The name Song Ye doesn't register as familiar to Len. Of course, he's been moving in three directions as of late as it is, so it shouldn't be surprising. He steps in further and nods. "Coffee would be nice." he says in response. "Sorry to hear about the troubles around here. You haven't had any problems because of it, have you?" He doesn't sit just yet, not until he explains his situation.

Blinking once at the question, Xiulan flashes a warmer smile, her head giving a single negative shake. "I haven't, no. Well, beyond what one might expect, under the circumstances." Apparently, she is running on the assumption that Len knows all about her and affiliations. Silly girl. She does, however, smile a bit more as she pours a second cup of coffee and extends it outward. "Thank you for the concern…" And it is at that point that she notices he's sort of hovering and her head cants to the side. "Is something wrong?"

Well, cutting to the chase then. "I have a bit of a problem that I need to have dealt with and I thought maybe you could give me the best advice. Since you are the best tattoo artist I know, that is." Well, the only one in the area anyway. Len looks a little hesitant as he speaks, as this apparently is something that is going to cause him just a little bit of embarrassment.

Regarding him silently for a moment, Xiulan can't help but have a hint of a smile touch her lips. Hey, here is this massively huge cowboy standing in her shop looking more then a little embarassed and asking for the kind of help that a tattoo artist can give. "Tell me you didn't go out and tattoo a woman's name some place sensitive?" Of course, she's joking. Mostly. At least one can presume so from the crinkle of her eyes and the dip of her chin toward the empty couch. "Relax, Len. If it is a tattoo issue, I can absolutely help you and I'll promise to keep it confidential." Hey, she's seen some /bizarre/ things in her line of work.

There's an awkward pause before Len's fingers come up and begin to one by one unbutton the cowboy shirt he wears, as he tugs it off and lays it across the back of the couch. He wears a white t-shirt underneath, and after he takes his hat off and sets it down, he tugs the t-shirt up and off as well. "If you laugh, I'll walk out." he warns, though there's a part of him that can see the humor of the situation, so the corners of his mouth threatens to curl. As he turns around, to show a tattoo that is a series of large gothic letters, about three inches in length that runs from shoulder blade to shoulder blade, all in black ink. It simply says 'Juliet'

"This was a practical joke. I need it to go away," the cowboy explains.

"I won't laugh," Xiulan promises somberly. Of course, the moment he turns around to display the tattoo she very nearly makes herself a bald-faced lier. Fortunately, while she /does/ chortle, it is mostly swallowed and comes out as a mildly strangled choke of amusement. "Um… I suppose it is safe to assume that you haven't got Romeo tattooed elsewhere on your body?" Okay, so she managed to resist laughing-mostly. She made no promises about teasing. She does, however, set the coffee cup on the table as she steps over to brace her hip against the arm of the couch. "Did you," she asks as she cants her head and regards the letters. "Want it gone or covered?" Really, she can do either one, so.

Len starts to blurt out that he wants it gone. Forever. But something stops him, he narrows his eyes at his teaser and puts his hands on his hips. "No fair taking advantage of a cowboy when he's shirtless and has an embarrassing tattoo. I think there's a law somewhere." Probably in Texas. "What are my options here." Part of him wants to keep the tattoo, if only to remind him not to be so careless next time, but he's going to have to explain the tattoo to everyone who sees it. "I guess my first question is, can it be removed? If it can be removed, perhaps a smaller version of it." Len turns his head up a moment, "Maybe something not so conspicuous. Something to remind me that I need to keep my eyes open."

"Oh, I can remove it with very little effort," Xiulan admits as she regards the ink. It is as she slants a glance up to Len's face that her lips twitch in a faint smile. "I would have thought that you would know that, considering your occupation." Wrinkling her nose mildly at the thought of The Company, she gives a faint shake of her head before tossing him a wink. "Fortunately, you're sweet and polite and at least peripherally an associate, so. Up to you, gorgeous. Gone or small, it is completely up to you." It is as she reaches for her coffee that she notes. "You should let Minea know that she's welcome to come back for more body art. I am assuming she misinterpreted my disdain for Magnes for dislike for your occupation."

"I think gone. But let's get a picture first. For my collection, not yours." He smirks. Len was with her all the way until the mention of Minea and his expression changes almost painfully as he finds himself lowering down onto the couch the weight of it all catching up to him again. The fact is, he enjoys the playful banter between himself and Xiulan, and she's hell of an attractive woman, but the fact is what he does isn't always for public consumption. He broke protocol as it was telling Harrison about Minea's death and yet it was Minea who recommended Xiulan to him in the first place. The fact that he doesn't respond to her query because his mind has drifted a million miles away at the moment as he runs his hand over his large bald head.

Xiulan isn't particularly dense and she most assuredly can see that something is wrong the moment Len's expression changes. Considering her own associates and experiences, her first question is, quite naturally, "How bad is it?" Of course, she doesn't wait for an answer before giving a faint shake of her head and gently touching his shoulder. "Or lets not talk about that if you prefer." If there is one thing she has come to understand it is when not to press. Instead, she gets slowly back to her feet, steadfastedly refusing to assume the worse as she heads for the counter and the ancient polaroid camera tucked beneath it. Without another word on an obviously unpleasant topic, she snaps a picture and hands the still developing snapshot over to Len.

Len snaps out of it as if even forgetting he's in this place and immediately looks apologetic as she touches his shoulder. His hand moves up to cover her's for the brief moment that it's there. She takes the photo and he reaches for the picture. "Sorry. It's bad. I'm trying to keep a lid on it, but it's very bad. She's dead, Xiulan." It doesn't mean much these days, but Len was the one who found the body and he knows dead when he sees it. "Trying to figure out what happened. She wasn't the careless type."

"…Dead?" Alright, despite expecting it to be, Xiulan hadn't expected dead. It takes her enough by surprise that she nearly drops the camera. Fortunately, she manages to catch it as she sits hard on the edge of the couch. Stunned for a moment, it is Len's last that stirs her to shaking her head, dark eyes narrowing dangerously as she meets his eyes. "When you get a lead, I want to know." And that is promptly followed with. "Have you told Cardinal and Elisabeth yet? We can definately help you track down whoever is responsible…." Course, she slides off the arm of the couch, squeezing in next to him before gently reaching for his hand. "Are you alright?"

"I'll be alright. I'll be alright when I find whoever did this." That is a promise he's been making for the past several days now. "I've told Harrison, and she's going to give me a hand with this, but other than that, I really can't talk too much about it, I'm afraid. I don't mean to put you off, just.." Len's taking this one very hard, it seems. Almost personal. "I just needed to take a moment to deal with some personal business." Such as the giant unwanted tattoo on his back. "I was scolded today for not taking care of myself, so this is a part of that." The sad part is that the tattoo isn't even the most embarrassing part of the result of him being possessed.

"I understand," Xiulan assures. "Just know that if you need help, we're around, yes?" Affording him a quietly warm smile, she gently squeezes his hand before shifting her weight to regard the tattoo. "Course, I can't imagine anyone having the guts to scold you, but still." So saying, dark hair spills over her shoulder as she regards the tattoo, her hand gently drawing away from his own to brush over his shoulder blades. Without so much as a tickle, black melts away the skin tones returning to thier normal unmarred chocolate brown. "Fortunately," she murmurs quietly. "That problem is easy to solve." A firmer pat on his shoulder is offered before she notes. "Tattoo free, at least as far as Juliet goes."

"I thought you said you knew Elisabeth Harrison?" Len tries to force some humor back into the conversation. She would be the scolder in the scenario. She covered her ability before, but this time she doesn't and it takes Len a few moments to make the connection. He doesn't comment on it. He doesn't need to. He nods as she mentions the tattoo is gone. "Well, trust me. Juliet's name may no longer be on my back, but I assure you, I'm not going to forget her any time soon." He stands and reaches into his pocket for his wallet. "How much for the services?" he asks as he opens the faded leather and reaches in for some cash.

"Liz only scolds me when I decorate the walls with Georgia O'Keefe," Xiulan admits with a wry snort. "I think she has something against vaginas, personally." Curling back on the couch as Len stands, the tiny tattooist grins and shakes her head. "You aren't getting off that easy, cowboy. Put your money away, if you are going to pay, you have to take me out to dinner. Not this moment, mind you, but once you get some free time." Brazen little thing when she wants to be, isn't she?

That comment earns her a raised eyebrow. "I couldn't imagine why she'd be offended by such a thing." he adds with a smirk of his own. His wallet gets tucked away and he nods. "I'll call." He means it, as he puts his t-shirt and shirt back on, then reaches for his hat which is placed atop his head. "I just need to wrap my head around this Dahl situation and then I'll get back in touch with you." Brazen indeed. There are no complaints from the cowboy.

"Good," Xiulan agrees. "Take all the time you need. You know where to find me after all." Flashing a playful wink, she sobers a moment later, her expression turning serious as she leans forward and gathers up her cup of coffee. "And if there is anything I can do to help, please let me know? I realize that you cannot talk about what you do, but the offer is still there." And it certainly wouldn't be the first time she's worked in the dark. "I really liked Minea."

Len places his hand on the counter for a moment, then his hand moves to her shoulder and he gives it a gentle squeeze. "I did too. I'll call for that dinner as soon as I can." He turns and exits the building. Despite her protests, there sits $200 on her counter. She isn't going to let him get away that easy, and neither is he going to let her off that easy.

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