Celebrity Pastrami


cardinal_icon.gif harmony_icon.gif

Scene Title Celebrity Pastrami
Synopsis Late night encounters in the delicatessen.
Date November 3, 2010

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 late.

There was a time, not so long ago, that the hour wouldn't be considered late at all. New York was the City That Never Sleeps, with a nightlife that was famous the world over and clubs that never closed their doors until the sun came back up. The streets were always roaring with cars and the sidewalks crowded with people even at the most inhuman of hours. Now, as the clock's hands upon the wall of the delicatessen tick past eight-thirty, the place is already clearing out so that everyone can return home before the curfew.

These days, New York is a city chained in the grip of fear.

None of that seems to be bothering Richard Cardinal, though, the only customer left in the place settled in at a table finishing off a pastrami on rye. A cup of soda sits beside him, straw piercing upwards through the lid, occasionally sipped from. He's dressed in a sharp black suit that's less sharp for the fact that it's a bit rumpled, the jacket's open and the tie is untied. A fedora, of all things, sits on the edge of the table, and he's wearing sunglasses despite the fact that the sun's long gone down.

Lately, it's become a habit of hers. Like being late to class, or cutting it close when your parents tell you that you have to be in at a certain time, Harmony is in a bit of a rush as she pushes into the deli, carrying with her a net bag with some pretty thick looking books in them. Text books from the looks of it, but she isn't young enough to be a college student. The taller blond girl almost shoves open the door, dressed in a pair of black tight pants and a leather jacket befitting of a female. A stressed out sigh is given as she tosses her books down on a nearby table, sending them to spill out of their back and one of them to sprawl open and fall into the seat. Quite a loud entrance, and just like that, she is perusing over the menu.

"Hi." she nods to the guy behind the counter, sorta leaning forward and planting her hands on said counter, shifting her hips to one side, then the other, "What's good? I'm starving. I kinda want something with lots of meat on it. Surprise me.." she tells him, all in a big rush. As she stands here, waiting on her order, the girl turns around, looking at the shop and spotting the sole customer at his seat.

As the door swings open, Cardinal's gaze flickers up over the edge of his shades in mild surprise that someone would be coming in at this hour. He has an excuse. The police can't possibly catch him on his way home. What's hers? Fortunately, he doesn't recognize her from the club, since he was completely blind when he looked in her direction, and had spots in his eyes for hours afterwards. As he observes her curiously, one hand drifts to the fries in the basket with his sandwich, dipping one into the little plastic container of gravy and scooping it up to take a bite thereof.

Harmony's excuse is that she tends to run into bad situations. Like.. that night? Yeah.. ended bad for her. And she has this thing to where she cuts curfew pretty close. So much to do, not enough time to do it, always ends up late, or damn near. Today is just one of those days. Cardinal gets a look from her, and given the craziness of that night, she doesn't recognize him either. Nothing happened to point him out differently than anyone else in the crowd. But tonight?.. Is he wearing shades indoors? And at night? Isn't that an 80's song? It earns him a single chuckle from the girl as Harmony takes a few steps towards his table, looking to his sandwich and giving a bob of her head to gesture towarrds it, "What are you having? Is it good? I'm a little bit in a hurry, and I'm hungry."

"Pastrami on rye." The half-eaten sandwich is waggled in the air back and forth in demonstration, a gobbet of mustard slipping free to fall into the basket. "Gravy fries. The dinner of champions who don't mind dying at forty of cholestrol poisoning," Richard declares easily, before taking another bite. He chews, chews, swallows, wipes his mouth with the back of his fingers and asks mildly, "Aren't you out a little late?"

"Ew." Harmony's face wrinkles at the nose, her bright blue eyes settling upon his sandwich, "Alright, you almost had me sold until you said rye." With her teeth clenched, she makes a visible shudder and shakes her head. "Uch.. I'll stick with.. whatever he's coming up with." her hand lifting in the air, swinging dismissivly back and forth. "And.. yeah.. a little. But that's almost norm for me. I had a huge line to get my books, and then I had to walk allll the way back home, or hit the subway. I'm SO not gonna make it, unless.." a blond brow arches as she seems to inspect him a little bit closer, "You either have a car, or a spare couch." Harmony takes the last few steps which put her right before Cardinal's table, plating her fingers down on it. Kind of odd for her to be so up close with a stranger, but she seems like an outgoing girl."

"Hey, suit yourself. You don't have to stick with the rye," Cardinal points out without offense, taking yet another bite as she talks - observing her with a mildly amused expression as she keeps going on. By the time she's up to his table he's set the sandwich down and brought the cup over to take a sip out of it, both eyebrows raising slowly together at the bold inquiry.

"You ask a lot of guys whose names you don't know to go home with them?"

"Hey." her eyelids lower a little while her mouth tugs into a sarcastic smirk, "It isn't even like that. Number one.." Harmony holds up a finger, "I asked if you had a car first, which a ride home would be much more preferable. Number two.." up goes the second finger, "If you weren't concerned about my well being, you wouldn't have mentioned it. And number three, you look like you have an honest face, so I guess I can trust you to not try any funny business." The girl then quickly slides herself in the seat directly across from him, folding her forearms over each other on the table, "C'mon.. help a girl out, be my knight and shining armor for the evening. I'll totally pay you back, or something like that.."

"I don't," admits Cardinal, waggling a french fry at her, "Have a car, that is. I might be able to provide something approximating a couch, though, but I don't know if I trust you enough for that. I mean, you might try and rape me." He manages to say that with a straight face, up until he tosses the fry in his mouth and chews it, grinning.

There is a pause and an arched brow given to Cardinal, "Really? Me? Rape you? C'mon now.. All 5'9" of me?" Harmony stands from her seat for a second, raising her hands like she had a weapon pointed at her, giving a slow turn, offering her hips and even opening her jacket to display. "Do I look like I could conceal a weapon in this? I'll tell you some information about me, if you feel safer." she comes to face him again, "My name is Harmony, for one thing. Harmony Roberts. Annnd.. I'm usually not dangerous." she plops back into her seat. "Normally.." the blond girl gives him a wink.

"Hey, looks can be decieving." Cardinal leans back a bit in his chair, a rogue's grin crooking to his lips as he regards her through the shades, "Richard Cardinal. And I suppose that I technically am dangerous, or at least it'd help my press if you believed that I was. Wouldn't be very effective at my job if everyone thought I was harmless."

The name she is at least familiar with. Harmony gets a grin across her face, her eyes getting a little bit of a better look at him, "You don't say.. Fortunate for me to end up bring rescued by a celebrity? And a non-harmless one at that? Okay.." she dips he head to the side for a second, the curls of her hair travel to sweep down one of her shoulders. With her arms folded on the table in front of her, she leans forward onto her elbows a bit, "Okay.." Harmony reaches out, a little further boldness for her to try and capture one of his fries. "So I'll acknowledge that you're dangerous, I'll even tell some people that you tried at thing or two, up your rep. Will that get me a couch spot?"

"Oh, god, I'm a celebrity?" That actually seems to pain him, Cardinal's forehead drawing into a few furrowed lines as he regards her with a 'please say you're kidding' sort of expression. Finally he slumps forward to rest an arm against the table's edge, allowing in dry tones, "You know, there was a time I took pains not to be known by anyone." As she steals his fry, there's no argument, his hand drifting over to his cup, "Christ."

The fry comes up to her mouth, a quick bite on the morsel, and then a second of hesitation from her when he explains himself. Her eyes going a bit distant, "Mm.. I know what you mean.." she tells him, "For the past 4 or so years, I've been living a little bit of a low key— Mm.. That's not the right word.." she wrinkles her nose, "I've been sorta hiding out.. to be honest. One of those turning points in your life where you turn in the wrong direction? Or.. you believe you do. I had a lot of adjustment to go through. Which.. if I'm gonna stay on your couch, I should probably do the honest thing and inform you about it."

The straw briefly darkens as the soda fills it en route to his tongue and belly, Cardinal's gaze hooding behind the shades as he savours the cool taste of caffeinated beverage. "Where'd you hear about me, anyway?" A lift of his brows, curiously, then further at the mention of something to inform him about.

Harmony's eyes come to roll thoughtfully back and forth, "Mmm.. Around. Never seen your face, just heard the name mentioned a few times." her shoulders coming to lift in a shrug, one of her black painted fingernails taps across the table in front of her, scratching at a design there. "Evolved." she tells him, pursing her lips. Her finger pulls back towards herself, giving him an indication as to who she means.

"And?" Those brows stay up as Cardinal looks at her, waiting a few beats as if for the other shoe to drop. "Lot've people are Evolved. Me, a lot've my employees, most people I know more than casually…"

She closes her eyes for a second, running her fingers firmly over them, "Mm.. my ability." she continues, slowly shaking her head, "I just like to clear it up, and assure people that I have a hang of it, because.. well.. They just said it's good practice, given the nature of it, to assure people in case they try to come back later and say that I did something to them.." She pulls her fingers away from her eyes, opening them to settle upon him, "Yanno the bomb, right? And.. the fallout areas and the like? Well.." she purses her lips, "I can sorta do that. Not as grand of a scale? But.. yeah. Radiation. But I totally have control over it!" she speaks up quickly, "Mostly.. I also don't really get affected by the fallout.. Which is what I'm trying to study up on.."

"Christ." It falls from Cardinal's lips in a brief, startled exclaimation, "You've got… you can generate it? That's a dangerous ability…" He shakes his head ever so slightly, "You're lucky, if you do have control over it. The other two people I know of weren't so lucky…"

Her expression drops, that worried crease forming over her brow, "It's only when I get afraid that I have a problem." she says, reaching to push and tuck a few locks of her hair back over her ear. "But even then, it really doesn't come off as anything really dangerous. That isn't to say that it can't? I just.. have control over the more dangerous aspects of it. Like.. I can focus this beam, like you would see on sci-fi? Melting through walls, eradicating matter.. That sorta thing?" she flips her hand back and forth idly in the air as she explains. "It took some practice, but I gained a hold on it. I was soon heating water, knocking out computers and wireless signals.. and other little stuff. So far.. no leakage, or meltdowns, knock on wood."

At that, Cardinal nods slowly. "Good," he murmurs, "You're probably on the low level of things where it comes to spontaneous radiation generation, then, which is… a good thing for you. You registered?" He arches another brow, reaching for a fry as he does so.

"Mm hm." she answers, "For years now.. Which kinda feels.." she frowns and seems to mull through words in her mind, trying to find the right one. "I dunno.. It's like the curfew, yanno? I dunno where I stand with it, but I'm sorta helpless to do much about it." she lifts her shoulders in a shrug. "This guy I know, Warren? He thinks that I can possibly learn to absorb radiation, since I'm immune to it? So then I could clean up some of the areas. Which would be great! I just.. think I need to learn more about my abilities."

A bark of laughter is just barely muffled against the side of Cardinal's hand, the black gloves he's wearing pressed against his lips for a moment until he can swallow the fry without choking. "So you're the one he mentioned," he says with a tight little shake of his head, "I should've known. There's no such thing as coincidence in this city…"

Harmony's brow lifts, "He's mentioned me?" she peers a little curiously across the table. She looks a bit suspicious, "Wait.. what did he tell you?" she inquires, "Just about my powers, right? He spoke about wanting me to help clean up the place, buuut, I haven't heard anything from him for a while. I just thought I'd go ahead and take the initiative myself." she looks behind her, where her books are at the table just next to her seat. Frowning and reaching to gather them up from where they dropped. They're books containing information about radiation and such.

"Just that he'd met someone who might be able to help with a certain project," Cardinal admits, his chin dipping in a slight nod, "Nothing other than that… he's been a little busy lately on a job I had for him, so I'm not surprised if you haven't heard from him." A flicker of a look to the books, and he murmurs, "S'pose the place could use some cleaning up."

"Mmm." Harmony nods, "Okay, I actually didn't know he would be speaking to someone about me. He seemed confident that I could do some good. Which.. I like the sound of." she dips her head from one side to the next, smiling. "If something good can come out of this ability, I probably wouldn't have as much of a problem with it. But, it's all a matter of getting to know the right people."

"I'm always the right person to know," Cardinal replies almost absently… and, perhaps oddly, it doesn't come off as arrogance. "I know everyone who matters in this city, or at the least I know somebody who knows them. Warren's… well. He's making up for his past. If he keeps it up, he could be doing some good work…"

The fact that Harmony doesn't really chuckle is an indication that she takes him seriously, "Mm. He mentioned that, actually. Don't know the details, but he said he had stuff to make up for. Honestly.." she pauses, her expression dropping to a thoughtful remembrance, "I do too.. And.. Since you're the guy to know.." she grins, "I guess it's good I'm crashing on your couch?"

At that, Cardinal's shoulders shake in unvoiced laughter… a glance over to the clock, one brow arching, and then back to her with an amused little expression. "I suppose so," he confesses, "I suppose so. If you really can learn to disperse radiation with your ability, you could do a lot of good…"

Harmony shrugs, "Why not? I learned to focus it into a beam, didn't I? It just takes a little understanding and some time, I think." she sorta rolls her eyes with a grin, "And maybe a wide open area.. I might be immune, but I am pretty sure other people can still get hurt. I'd like to avoid that, if I can.. Like I said to Warren, at the very leas, I could get out there with a broom."

"I know someone else with a power better suited, but yours might be complimentary… and between the two of you, we might well be able to pull the Mother Earth Project off," Cardinal murmurs under his breath, almost to himself as he considers the possibilities. Wry, then, "So long as you don't get yourself scooped up by the feds."

Harmony hesitates and looks a bit unsure as he says this, "Wait.. the feds?" she appears skeptical. The notion actually has the girl looking around for a second, "Um.. yeah. I'm like.. not some kinda terrorist or anything, I dunno why they would have an interest in me. I try to keep a low profile. Is there.. something I have to do? Like hide out or something?" she lowers her voice.

"No, it…" Cardinal hesitates, as if he'd said too much, his lips pursing in a tight line for a moment. "Just… next weekend, on the eighth? Get somewhere safe, and I mean safe that day, and spend it there. Don't turn on the radio, the television, anything. If you can manage it, go on fucking vacation, hit Wildwood or Atlantic City or something. Things could get… messy, the feds are planning a series of raids."

Harmony seems to take the news a bit by surprise, "On.. the 8th?" she blinks, looking around and lowering her voice, "Well.. I'm not sure where is safe.. I mean.. if the radio is a problem, I can keep anything from coming through on my end. I sorta disrupt cell signals and stuff. Radio waves, when I use my powers properly. I'll have to find someplace to hide, I guess.." her brows knitting together at the news.

Cardinal rubs his knuckles against the side of his jaw, lips pursing briefly. "Probably shouldn't've said anything. Worst case scenario… you can give me a call, the Redbird building should be secure, as far as I know." As far as he knows. Not terribly comforting.

The girl chuckles lightly, feeling the awkward moment of a lack of security, "As far as you know.." she shakes her head, "Well.. I suppose there is safety in numbers? I'd rather be there, than by myself, helpless.. well.. not exactly helpless but.. you know what I mean." Considering the news she just got, she doesn't seem like she is devastated. A little shaken up, but otherwise not too bothered.

"Anyway…" An eye to the clock, "…it's just about curfew, you never picked up your sandwich. Get it wrapped up and I'll show you the way, you can borrow my couch for the night at least. We can talk about the other stuff later." The chair's legs squeak as he pushes them back, rising slowly to his feet, reaching over to snatch up his fedora.

She had lost track of time, as she is aught to do, and the girl blinks as she looks at the clock. "Oh! Yeah.. right." she frowns, looking a little sheepish. Harmony pushes up out of her seat and rises, "When it comes to the curfew, I can lose track of time sometimes." she sighs, moving to the counter to have her sandwich put on to go. "You're a life saver." she smiles to him.

The fedora's placed back atop his head, a low chuckle stirring on his breath. "Don't mention it.. no, really, I mean it, I've got a rep to consider here," he states in casual, likely teasing tones as he strides for the door, "Besides. Always been a sucker for a cute blonde in distress."

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