Chick On Parade


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Scene Title Chicks on Parade
Synopsis Fowl play in 6 poses: caffeine-junkies get a small dose of reality. And it's got feathers.
Date Aug 20, 2009


It's one of the ubiquitous Starbucks sprinkled throughout Manhattan — there's one on every block, and sometimes two, it seems. This particular one has a very long line because the barista-in-charge is having difficulties, and the barista-in-training doesn't know how to help. Veronica is just two people away from the front of the line! It's too close to the motherlode of a venti latte to turn back now, to walk three-quarters of a block to the next Starbucks.

The brunette agent stands on her toes, craning her neck to see around the two taller people in front of her. "Figures," she mutters to herself. All she wants is twenty ounces of coffee. Is it so much to ask? Apparently, today, it is.

On the other hand, it's apparently a perfectly fowl day.

The door, jingling in constant motion open and shut (in and out!) as patrons arrive and depart, suddenly jams open. Bodies part, as though meeting Moses on a wet hair day. From outside there comes a small crooning sound — it drops into a small hush, strangely loud against the echo chamber of glass, tile and wood — and then a large black and white chicken comes ambling into the store.
Even in New York City, this is not the normal market share that Starbucks is going for.

Tall, slouching, and sporting his badge on a string around his neck, Det. Yamaguchi drifts idly after the bird, his hands in his pockets, his eyelids half-masted over a gleam of interested humor. A spectator might think he is taking the chicken for a walk, though there is no leash in evidence. The bird turns right, towards the line, and stares beadily at the agent. Legs. So, too, does Det. Yamaguchi regard the agent, if less beadily, and without its antagonistic curiosity. Woman. So far, they are both correct.

Sensing the crowd behind her reacting to something, Veronica turns to see what's amiss. Her brows rise in amusement and curiosity as she stares down at the fowl. "Starbucks meets Salvador Dali," she says with a shake of her head. Her eyes then travel up the detective's legs to his face and she tilts her head. There are no words really for this kind of situation, but the obvious questions are written on her face.

"Sir! You can't bring a chicken in here!" the barista-in-charge says with a gasp, pausing in her losing battle with the gift card that she can't manage to load.

Smile lines wrinkle at the corners of the detective's eyes, though his expression remains grave in deadpan professionalism. "Usually they just call me pig," he observes to Veronica. "Chicken is a new one." He tugs a hand out of his pocket, scratches idly at his chin, and reconsiders the barista. There is the punchline of a joke somewhere in this situation, though it may be too obvious to be worth mentioning.

The chicken, apparently concluding that Veronica poses no immediate threat, struts with great dignity towards a fallen napkin and sits on it.

"We're not together," Yamaguchi adds as an afterthought. "It was just a one-time thing. Atlantic City, a bottle of wine, a full moon — these things happen."

"I would say stranger things have happened but I can't think of any off hand," Veronica says with a smile. She's dressed in pinstriped trousers, black boots, a white t-shirt, and a blazer on top that for a moment seems to fall just right to show the outline of a gun-holster — but in a blink of an eye, the fabric shifts and hides the signs of that gun.

She steps to the side. "Look lady, here's fifty dollars instead, all right?" she tells the person at the front of the line, handing the woman trying to buy a gift card a bill that's more than double the $20 amount the baristas were trying to put on the swipe card. "Next," Vee snaps to the man in front of her.

The things New Yorkers will do for their coffee. Yamaguchi listens to the exchange with the same mild curiosity he directed towards the chicken — if his gaze catches at the outline of the holster, it is only for that blink — and returns his hand to his pocket. "Stranger," he repeats, as though the comment has triggered the beginning of some thought…

…but the chicken is startled, and flutters (plops, really) back to its feet at Veronica's sudden movement. Peevish in the way that only poultry can be, it waddles for the door, set on escape. And Yamaguchi, who is already in a serious relationship but is apparently willing to sightsee when it comes to passing chicks, follows it. The things New Yorkers will do for their—

That sentence is probably best left unfinished.

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