alec_icon.gif tallie_icon.gif

Scene Title Do-Gooder
Synopsis Tallie, the street kid, meets Alec, the architect "do-gooder"
Date February 7, 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.

Alec has occupied the same seat every night without fail for the last three weeks straight. Despite the worn clothes he carries himself like Money, and always pays in cash. Tonight he's eating a hotdog with fries and is looking over a rolled out blueprint, the corners of which are weighted down with salt and pepper shakers and various bits of silverware. He makes lazy notations with a pencil, ignoring the drop of chili that hits the pages as he takes a bite.

The doors open and in comes a tiny blonde lugging a mountain bike. Her cheeks are rosy from the bitter cold outside, and all she wears as an overcoat is a wool peacoat meant for chilly but not freezing weather. With her free hand she is shoving a helmet into the courier bag strapped across her chest, She murmurs "Excuse me's" and "Pardon me's" to the people in line, getting a few dirty looks from the customers but waves from the people behind the counter. Finally she stows the bike in a little hallway leading to the restrooms and employee rooms. She looks about ready to disappear down the hallway before the owner of the deli jabs a finger at her. "You sit down and have some dinner, kid." The girl looks tired, dead on her feet, but nods, and tosses back, "The usual," before heading over to a table and slumping down at its seat. She gives Alec a curious glance - most people don't work on blue prints at a deli, before reaching into her bag and pulling out a notebook and pen.

Alec is obviously not most people. He's far to pretty to be most people. He moves to make another notation and sighs, clicking the little autofeeder on the pencil until he's certain it is to no avail. He glances around and eyes the girl next to him with the pen, "Don't suppose you have lead for a pencil?" he asks hopefully.

Tallie glances down at her pen, and then his pencil, and gives a shake of her head. She unzips a pocket on the messenger bag, however, and comes up with a couple of writing implements — a pen and a regular yellow number two pencil. These she offers, her hands still in too-thing of gloves, holding them by their very ends so that he has the full length of the objects to grasp. "Don't like mechanical, they break too easily," she offers by way of explanation. The yellow pencil is a bit chewed upon, it seems.

Alec chooses the pencil, "Thanks." he manages with a crooked little grin before turning to finish a notation in neat tiny script on one of the plans. "True, but they're more precise, gotta make tiny words with 'em." he points to some of the notations on the plans, "Like that." he doesn't seem to mind it's chewy existence.

Tallie glances where he indicates, and nods, her brows knitting as she tilts her head to try to see what exactly the blue prints are blue prints of. She pulls off her coat, then each of her gloves. By the time she's gotten out of the cold-weather gear, the man behind the counter yells, "Kid!" and she is up and out of her seat to hurry to the counter. She's given a heavy plate full of food, along with a bottled orange juice. "Thanks, Al," she says with a nod and returns to her seat. The plate is over-filled with a sub sandwich and potato salad. She yawns a bit while uncapping her bottle of juice, and nods to the paper covering Alec's table. "You an architect?"

They are prints of one of the bridges, and damn it all if it doesn't look like he's working on the rebuilding project. "Close." he admits as he smiles at her, "Engineer. It's like an architect but we're more about the math and actually making sure it stays standing up and less about how pretty it is. Plus we get laid less often, chicks dig the artsy types and we're all numbers. Kinda sucks really. Bike messenger or you just really like freezing temps and wind chill?"

"Pretty doesn't matter much in the long run. Ancient Greece and Rome still fell, despite all their colonnades and basilicas," Tallie says before taking a couple of gulps of orange juice. "Standing is good when it comes to bridges. Or so I've heard." Her accent hails from Jersey rather than New York, though it's faint — all her syllables are there, after all. "And yep. Bike messenger. Sort of like a mailman but without the ugly uniforms and we get more chicks."

Alec chuckles softly, "Be fair now, a good portion of their wonders still stand after two millennia. No mean feat I can assure you." he points out. "The Romans especially were centuries ahead of their time, some of the things we do today are just rediscovered math they had thousands of years ago. Smart guys for a bunch of dudes wearing skirts." he grins a little more and takes a hit of his coke, "I imagine you get all the chicks." he quips at her with that same crooked smile that's half tease and half… something else.

While she made the joke of getting all the girls, it seems the ball being bounced back in her court with that spin of … is it flirtation?… is more than she's prepared for and she just shakes her head, murmuring that she was only kidding. She busies her hands with adding some pepper to the potato salad, and picking up a fork to take a bite after a moment. Her fingers are still pink from the cold, no doubt starting to thrum with the pain of warming blood and the return of circulation. "So which bridge is that? You fixing it?" she says after a moment.

Alec shrugs, "Not so much fixing as checking on it. The fallout from the bomb did more then level the near buildings, debris, hazardous materials, they can weaken nearly anything they touch so we have to check over everything. So far it looks like the city was made of stern stuff, but still. Cross the t's, dot the i's and all that. This is the bridge over the hudson, making sure it's foundings aren't fucked. Marking points of interest." he makes another notation and a small circle on the map near a joint in the structure, "I know, riveting stuff right? Math and notations. Lucky me it pays well. If the artsy types get the chicks as least I get the paychecks. Seemed fair in college, now a days not so much."

She listens and actually cracks a bit of a smirk in that solemn demeanor when he says "riveting," amused perhaps by the inadvertent pun. She gives a small shrug of her shoulder. "You'd think they would've checked it before now," she says in an off-handed way. "And really, civil engineers? They can't usually afford those sorts of watches, can they? Or maybe you're a do-gooder with a rich grandpa." There's a jaded tone to her voice as she picks up her sandwich and takes a bite.

Alec grins a bit, "I'm not civil, private contractor from up north, got sent here cause of my amazing record of being totally awesome. Dude." he ends the statement with a fake little surfer accent and 'hang ten' hand gesture, "They did check it, but they're not me. I like to make sure the work's done right and not by some guy who, despite meaning well, rushed the job. Perfectionist I guess."

The little blonde eats as she listens, taking the food in steadily rather than the slow pace of someone chatting with a friend. "Lucky you. Welcome to hell," she says. "Hope they're paying you combat pay and … what, radiation-possibility pay," she says, yawning again and taking another long drink of her orange juice.

Alec chuckles, "Eh, I don't break to easy. Sure, the Big Apple's a mean place but you should see the neighborhood I grew up in. NYC ain't got nothin' on that." he winks playfully and pushes his now empty plate aside. "And now I'm all fat and happy." he pauses and then reaches across to offer her a hand, "Alec. Nice to meet you Biker Babe."

She glances down at the hand offered to her, and frowns a little, then places her small hand in his. There is a set to her jaw as if she is concentrating on something. She glances up, her steely gray eyes searching his for the joke, the trick — business men like him don't usually talk to the 'street kids,' after all. "Tallie," she says, retracting her hand and yawning again. "No need to be so nice though. It's not like you'll see me again, right?" she asks, standing up and gathering her coat in her arms, then her plate. "Good luck with your bridge."

Alec gives a firm solid shake, one that actually shows callouses on his hands and nails that, while manicured, look like they need it more then it's a vanity thing. He's a worker. He smirks, "It's never to soon to do kindness, because you never know when it will be to late." he quips lightly, "Emerson said that. Not a bad bloke all in all. By the way, if you're any good on that thing," he nods in the direction she put her bike and licks his fingers clean of chili before fishing a card from his wallet and thrusting it her direction, "Gimme a call. I got a lot of plans and documents that need to get all over the city in short order. Meet me at the address on the back which is where I work, or call the number. Might have some work for ya."

She takes the card and glances at it, before sliding it in her back pocket. Her eyes are guarded and her stance stoic, yet she still leaks distrust and something more… fear? But she gives a nod. "As long as you pay, I can get it there," she says. "Next day's booked but I'll see if I can find you at the end of it," she adds, moving toward the busing station to drop off her plate, then tossing the bottle in the recycling. "Night." She disappears down the hallway, perhaps surprisingly, lugging her bike after her.

February 7th: Frenemies
February 8th: The Dying Warm
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