Elephant Balls


magnes_icon.gif minea_icon.gif xiulan_icon.gif

Scene Title Elephant Balls
Synopsis Xiulan hates them. She's also inking "Groovy" as a tramp stamp for Minea when Magnes shows up to do what he was told to do. Only, he's Magnes right? Minea ends up sighing and kicking him out and making Xiulan promise to keep her mouth shut in exchange for some hadn to hand, AK-47 training and shooting John Logan in the face.
Date June 12, 2009

Green Dragon Tattoo

The interior of the Green Dragon is cramped, at best. No larger then eighteen by thirty in total, the space has been divided in half by the presence of an ornate blanket hung on clothes line. Upon stepping through the door, clients find themselves in a modest waiting area, the walls and ceiling all decorated with samples of the artist's work, the majority of the work displayed from Chinese myth and legends. A low slung, dark blue loveseat is arranged before the picture window to the left of the door. A view of the street, however, has been blocked by a rendering of a massive Chinese dragon. Over head, the single bulb lending light to the area has been draped with a red scarf, creating an almost eerie crimson glow that just barely manages to penetrate the room. Needless to say, numerous shadows haunt the nooks, crannies and corners. To the right of the door, an end table boasts a coffee pot, Styrofoam cups and a basket with creamer, sugar packets and stirrers.

Beyond the hung curtain, the space is even more cramped, boasting just enough room for a reclining tattoo chair and the shelves of inks, needles, guns and cleansers required for safe working conditions. Upon the far wall, rickety bookshelves play host to numerous bodywork texts and magazines, a goodly portion of those in Chinese. While the workspace is most assuredly cramped it is still immaculately clean. Of course that could just be because of health regulations, hard to say.

Mid afternoon and Xiulan still looks the worse for wear. Considering everything that has happened? She's counting herself lucky at that. So it is that post meeting with Doctor Cong, she's back in her shop, her expression still borderline grime as she makes an attempt at going about the business of the day. Mind you, word gets around fast in Chinatown. The fact that the tattooist is in an uncharacteristically bad mood definately a topic of conversation amongst the locals. Course it isn't like she's killing kittens, or throwing things. Nah, she is, however, perched on the shop's counter with the US Army manual for the AK-47 in her lap. You know, a little light reading to suit her mood and all….

Asking around for the tattoo shop, one that has an employee by the name of Xiulan, especially when the woman in question is bearing quite a few piece of ink on her arms and back, isn't that strange of suspicious. Not at all. So when she hits paydirt, Minea's interrupting Xiulan and her self education on the topic of Russian firearms with a smile. The woman, mid 30's at most opens the door, walking in like any other customer. Because really, she is. "Hello?"

Slanting a glance up from the book, Xiulan regards the woman a moment before flipping the book closed and tossing aside. The fact that it lands on the floor doesn't even earn a blink from the tattooist as she hops down off the counter and brushes dust off her jeans. "Afternoon. What can I do for you?"

"Word on the street, your the place to go to for some ink. At least in chinatown" The distinct lack of visible tattoo's might lend word to quite the opposite, which Minea notices. "I'm in the market for a new piece" The door's closed behind her and Minea takes in the shops surroundings. "Minea"

Oh. A customer. Xiulan actually smiles at that, although it's a quirky half smile that just barely manages to reach her eyes. "No, no, this is the place to go, period." At the name, the smile broadens a bit and Xiulan extends her hand as she observes the considerably taller woman. "Xiulan, come on in, make yourself comfortable." Whether or not the offered hand is taken, she dips her chin toward the books arrayed on the coffee table, all of them boasting various styles of a tattoos. Along side them rest some photo albums with Xiulan's personal work in them. "Did you have something specific in mind?"

"Memorial piece" She answers, easily enough. She has been thinking of something to remember Conrad with. "Friend, lover, he died not long ago" She takes the other woman's hand, squeezing it firmly. The gesture to examples of Xiulan's masterpieces are duly noted and she drifts over there once she lets go. "No tattoo's yourself?"

"Oh." Taken aback by the answer, Xiulan mentally trips, her expression going from surprised to pained to sympathetic and just quickly to noncommittal. So it is that Minea's last question stirs her to sucking in a slow breath, dark hair brushing over her shoulders as she gives a single shake of her head. "None to speak of," she finally answers. "I was too young when my father died and I haven't found anyone to compare with his work, so." So, she's remained unadorned by choice.

"Fair enough answer. What's your favourite style to do? Your speciality?" She's got one of the albums open, flipping through it slowly, taking the time to appreciate the artwork adorning skin. She's looking for something else too. She looking for signs that they're real tattoo's the telltale visual texture difference. The fine fine lines that even a tattoo needle can't make.

"I can do anything," Xiulan answers frankly. And while it might sound like a boast, it is clear from a glimpse at the artist's face that she's serious. "I prefer traditional Chinese designs, personally. But I am not the sort to push my tastes on my clients, so." Watching the woman flipping through the book, Xiulan cants her head as she steps over to the coffee pot and grabs two styrofoam cups. "Coffee?"

As for the art? Some of it has actually been done with an honest to god tat gun. There are, however, more then a few that might appear just to perfect. Of course, that's only because those are private pieces courtsey of her ability and not done with the gun.

That's what she was looking for. Odds of getting the woman to do that sort of thing? Not likely. "I have an asian styled tattoo. You'll need a balcklight to see it" Not to mention the colorful lotus that peeks out of the back of her top as she bends over to look at the pictures. "It's a beautiful style none the less. I'm amendable to it. What would you suggest, in that genre, for a memorial piece. Palm sized at most"

Pouring two cups of coffee, Xiulan sets one next to the book as she returns. "Honestly? I would suggest something simple, perhaps the name and 'in loving memory' in kanji." Taking a sip of her own coffee, slender shoulders rise and fall in a slow shrug as glances down at the book. "While a memorial piece is an honorable thing, having to explain them over and over can be emotionally trying."

You say, "In loving memory" There's a laugh. "He's kill me if I did that. He'd roll his eyes and probably demand something funny or…." There's a pause. "just a moment…." She knows what exactly now. It's corny, terrible, but she's sure he'd laugh. The blackberry is brought out, flicking her fingers over buttons. "You were in Staten Island. At the bar" It took her a few minutes, but she's finally lit upon where she'd seen Xiulan before."

"Bar?" It takes Xiulan a moment to recall what Minea is talking about, but when she does, she blinks once and laughs. "Oh. Right. Yeah, when the drunk guy went nuts and decided to take on godzilla. Yeah, that was…. something else." Wrinkling her nose, she grimaces mildly before taking another sip of her coffee, a few steps carrying her over to the counter to gather up a pad and a pencil. "It's probably one of the main reasons I rarely go drinking anymore. Too many drunk men thinking they're Bruce Lee."

"I think at some point in our lives we all think we're Bruce Lee. Some in childhood, some in adulthood. How do you write 'groovy' in Kanji. If at all?"

And Xiulan can't help but laugh, despite the fact that Minea is serious. She does, however, neatly print out 'Groovy' in Chinese characters. "Really, it looks very cool," she admits as she hands over the sketch pad.

Minea can't help but laugh either. "Was his last words. Or so I was told. very much Conrad" She glances to the letters as they're drawn out, a nod at the look of them. "Tramp stamp. That's where I want it. Low as it can go" He had enjoyed all her tattoo's and asked the meaning over the many times spent in bed. "He'd approve"

"Most men do," Xiulan admits wryly. Even so, she dips her chin in a nod, glancing at the printed characters before rolling her shoulders in a fluid shrug. "It's pretty simple really, wouldn't cost you more then seventy bucks and we could knock it out in about an hour. When did you want to get it done?"

"I have the time now to do it." She was just here, looking on someone that Magnes had tattled to. Off comes the leather jacket and then long sleeved shirt. She's done this before. "Maybe see if my arm needs some touching up. It's starting to fade a bit" The cost of the piece was minor. It's not like she didn't have money. Minea stands near Xiulan's show book, Xiulan having drawn up some symbols in Kanji for her to look over.

"Well, alright then," Xiulan notes with a smile. "Lets do this." As Minea goes about the business of undressing, Xiulan draws back the curtain to her work area and adjusts the leather tattoo chair to a comfortable position for laying down. "I can check the colors, see what needs to be done," she assures as she gestures toward the chair and steps over to go about the business of setting up her gun and inks. "You gonna need a pillow or will you be fine with folded arms?" In the wake of Magnes' entrance, Xiulan peeks up from her tools, one brow twitching slowly. "If I wasn't here, she'd look awful silly with no shirt on, wouldn't she?"

There's a knock on the door, despite it being a shop, then Magnes slowly skates in—yes, the skates are back, just for Xiulan! "Xiulan, you here?" he calls out, then spots both her and Minea. "U-uh, hello, ma'am." he says to Minea as if he has no idea who she is, letting the door close behind him.

"Folded arms will do me well" The lower voiced woman assures Xiulan, even as she's looking over to the door at the entrance of the mutually acquainted gravokinetic. "Afternoon Sir" She knows him, but since he's feigning ignorance, she'll do the same. She also unbuttons the top of her jeans and loosens the zipper a bit. It is going to be a tramp stamp. "He'd probably think I was your new employee" she points out to Xiulan, even as the older woman shifts to heft herself up on the chair and lay on her stomach. There's a tattoo lower, Another flower that peeks barely above the waist of her jeans.
From afar, Curt picks up a stick and waves it menacingly!

Magnes stares at the curtain, hears the zipper, then flushes brightly as his eyes practically burn through it. Oh yeah, he may have not been Minea's biggest fan before she got him permission to visit Delilah, but Minea's still hot. Unfortunately, he gets no show, dumb curtain. "X-Xiulan, I just wanted to talk to you, but I don't wanna interrupt your work."

"Well, you'd probably go a long way toward selling my work with all your ink," Xiulan observes. "Of course, I'd have to redo most of it. Artist pride, you know." And -whirrrrrrrrr- goes the gun as the ink set up and adjusted. It's the presence of a tattoo still lower on Minea's back that stirs Xiu so smiling wryly, albeit it tiredly. "You should just get it over with and go for a whole body piece." Course, Magnes' comment brings a glance in his direction, her shoulders rising and falling in a shrug as she settles alongside Minea's hip and rests one hand on the small of the woman's back. "You aren't interrupting me, Magnes. I've given tattoos at full blown ravs. Speak." And her attention goes to Minea's flesh and the beginnings of the tattoo suddenly taking shape.

"I don't go for full pieces. Each piece is special. Has a story to them" Minea knows the impact of this all is having on Magnes, there's only the slightest hitch of breath at the touch of her hand. He can come around the corner. I don't mind. The human body is a beautiful thing" There's a wink as she looks over her shoulder much as she can to see Xiulan work.

"Alright, well, there's some stuff I have to say. I'm not tied up in anything, I mean, I had therapy, I guess I had post traumatic stress from all the stuff in Tokyo. I was never involved with the government, it was all in my head." Magnes explains, with all too familiar guilt laced on every word. Of course, at Minea's words, he does walk to the curtain, peeking around… he's curious, alright! "B-but, I'm fine now, we just can't have our date. I'm not sure if it's healthy for me to go after a girl who's, uh, doing stuff with a guy I don't even like. I'm not judging you, I just don't wanna get hurt or anything."

Now, while Xiulan -is- using her ability to make absolutely certain the tattoo is /perfect/, she is also using the gun just to be on the safe side. The -only- people she tattoos completely without her mundane tools being people she knows are evolved and trusts with the knowledge that she is evolved. Even so, the lines come smoothly and perfectly without the need to go back over them time and time again. So it is that just as the first character is finished, she draws the gun away from Minea's flesh and goes about the business of swabbing up the blood with a specially treated cotton ball. "You doing alright," is asked out of habit. One never knows when a client might have an adverse reaction to the needles— Really, some days are just more touchy then others. Course, Minea's response to being watched brings a nod of satisfied agreement and a smile from Xiu.

A smile that fades as soon as Magnes starts talking. It is at that point that Xiulan draws the gun entirely away from Minea's flesh, her expression flat and cool as she simply stares at Magnes for a very long, very uncomfortable moment. When she does speak, it is with quietly angry words, her tones making absolutely clear that there is very imminent danger bubbling on the horizon. "That guy was there for you when you needed help," she states flatly. "And that guy may very well be dead at the moment. Beyond that, I agree with you, Magnes. You should go and you should -never-, ever set foot in my shop again. I have a thing," she adds in very pointed tones. "About people lieing to me. You do not do it very well and frankly you have made it clear that you are determined to run out and get yourself in trouble. So, yes, Magnes," she agrees. "You should leave before you get hurt." In this case? Getting hurt revolves more around Xiulan shooting him herself. Obviously, she's had enough nonsense on /all/ fronts.

"Old hat. I'm fine" The process made smoother by the womans ability, Minea watched as lines appeared far better then they would have normally. Yet… Magnes speaks. Oh god. Please tell me this was not the story that Magnes had been plying? She hadn't asked the telepath for details, just that he wasn't telling them he worked for the company. She's grateful for the tattoo gun pulled away from her. She idly wonders if Xiulan could have changed that mistake or not. But wary brown eyes and raised brows regard Magnes. She's not saying a word. Nope. Nope. Nope. But there will likely be lots of sympathy junk food in the house when she gets back. Courtesy of her own wallet. Double chocolate chunk ice cream anybody?

"B-but…" Magnes can't say anything, he can't defend himself, defending himself would break his cover, his stupid, dumb, and idiotic cover. And no, he is not a Word Girl villain now. "I don't want this to be it, Xiulan! I still like you, I just, damnit!" He takes a deep breath, then starts skating to the door, speaking in a manner that Minea would certainly not be familiar with him speaking. "Fuck, just, fucking shit!" He sucks at swearing, but, he's frustrated, and angry. "This sucks…" is said in a quieter tone, staring at the door, almost dreading it. This could be his last time in the shop…

"Yes," Xiulan agrees as she turns her attention back to Minea's tattoo. "It sucks that Richard could be dead. It sucks that you are laying judgements on a man you have no right to judge. It sucks that you think you can come in here like this and feed me a line of bullshit about therapy. It sucks that my client has to listen to us argue. It sucks that I have not slept in three days from worry. It sucks," and yes, Minea she is working that tattoo. Fortunately, despite being incredibly angry, it is still coming out with precisely perfect lines. "It sucks, Magnes. It sucks big, fat, hairy elephant balls. But it is life and frankly, there is nothing that can be done about. You made the choice to march in here and lie to me. It is an unfortunate choice, I agree. But it is the choice you made. Now go, go play with your new friends and try not to get killed 'saving' us all." And that is all she has to say on that.

Boy, that kid has a foul mouth when he wants to! Poor Xiulan doens't know that one of his 'new friends' is on the table beneath her hand. Maybe then that tattoo wouldn't say groovy but some completely other word that isn't nice. Minea remains quiet. No magnes, you are going to find no quarter here.

Despite Minea being there, despite there being a telepath outside, Magnes can't leave, and he certainly can't be selfish, at least not in a situation like this. "Xiulan, I don't want this to be the end, and I never said I was ungrateful to Cardinal, I've just, never really felt like I could trust him, it's just how I feel. But he saved me, and I owe him. So please…" He turns around to face the curtain, taking a deep breath. "Please tell me everything you know about where he could be, and what's going on. I'll do everything I can. Just, trust me, alright? That's all I want. I have so few friends, I can count my genuine friends on one hand, so, just, give me a chance to keep you."

"No, Magnes. Seriously, just… no." Glancing up from her work, Xiulan casts the delivery boy-turned-who-knows-what a very tired, very seriously hurt look. "I believe you -think- you are doing the right thing. I do. But there is no way on god's green earth I am going to tell you anything about Card. I have that handled." Sure, she had to sell herself to the Triad to do it, but so what. "Just…" Drawing in a slow breath, she shakes her head, her lips pressing as she turns her gaze back to her work in progress. "Don't worry about it. I'll pretend I believe your story and we can just agree to go on being friends. But there is no way I am going to put Richard's safety in the hands of people I do not know, do not trust and have no intention of ever doing business with. See, it's a Chinese thing, Magnes. We -know- better then to trust the government."

"Mr. Varlane. That's enough" Minea's voice cuts through the air before the younger man can even talk back. "I think you need to go out and wait at my car, or go wait with whomever brought you. I think you've done enough here. We'll have a conversation when I get home" There's an apologetic look to Xiulan. "I owe you an explanation, before you decide my tattoo isn't going to say Groovy anymore. Rest assured, he's not in trouble and I really did come here for a tattoo. It just happens that Mr. Varlane here picked this time to show up and make his apologies and see through excuses" There's an unhappy company agent on the table with half her ass bared to an evolved woman who can turn it purple if she so wants to.

"Y-yes, Minea." Magnes sighs, opening the door and quickly exiting, walking down the street to the car with the telepath.

Now, while a part of Xiulan wants to strangle Magnes for bringing some unknown government agency into her shop, another part of her can just sigh and accept that that is just part and parcel of having someone like Magnes as a beloved friend. It is in response to Minea that the tattooist sighs and notes in tones that have very little weight and a whole lot of exhaustion to them, "Don't make me shoot you, Minea. Really, I am not good with guns and I am fairly certain I'll hurt myself with the AK." Yes, AK-47. Don't ask. "I am going to finish this tattoo," she decides as she goes back to work. Mind you, she doesn't bother with the tattoo gun at this point.

The none tattoo gun part is nice. Really. And Minea's smart. She knows when to shut the fuck up. And she does, until the tattoo is actually done. Then, then she speaks up. " He's being trained for Homeland. You heard me out on the island. He mentioned your name, but I didn't know it was you. He mentioned your ability, buy only because we needed to know who he'd told what he was doing to" There' s glance to the door, even with the cloth barrier. "He was supposed to tell folks he was going away for a bit. The simpler, the better. Elaboration gets you in trouble. Needless to say, I won't be hauling you in for an unregistered ability, not anytime soon, and if it's amenable to you, i'll see about letting him come out to hang. He's.. lonely. He doesn't understand the need for structure and discipline. If you keep quiet about his job, I'll let him come around when.. either of you prefers"

"He is a kid who wants to do /something/," Xiulan admits quietly. "You don't have to sell me on Magnes' virtues, Minea. I -know- he means well and I know he wouldn't do anything deliberately to hurt me." Even as she speaks, Xiulan goes about the business of preparing a bandage for the part of the tattoo that did come from the gun. It is that topic on which she comments, now. "While there was no ink in the gun, you are still going to have take care of this first character. Fortunately, it should heal relatively quickly. The rest? The rest is fine without anything being put on it." Bandage in place, Xiulan steps back, sighs and goes about the business of washing her hands. "Honestly," she says after a bit. "I don't know what to think about Magnes working for you all. I will say if you get him killed, life will become very unpleasant, very quickly. And," she notes as she turns around to lean against the sink and meet Minea's eyes. "I don't need to be evolved to make certain that /that/ happens." Yes, she is protective of Magnes, call it a character flaw. "As for him coming to visit? So long as he understands that I will not tolerate lies? I would rather not have to cut him out of my life."

"I've known himf or a bit before we dragged him in. His little stint in Japan was… dangerous. And showcased a kid who if unchecked might accidentally do harm, while thinking that he's doing good. I'll pound the snot out of him in the gym and make him see that. We won't tolerate, you shouldn't have to tolerate it" Minea doesn't move off the table yet, letting Xiulan apply said bandage. She's taken care of them before, she knows the drill. "If you need help learning the gun. I'm pretty skilled at weapons myself. But I won't approach you unless it's to get more art done, or if I'm dragging his ass in to sincerely apologize to you" On that note though, her eyes still meeting Xiulans when she moves away. "You're friend is missing. Do you want me to see if I can't stick my nose in as well?"

That offer is /so/ tempting. More tempting then Xiulan really likes. "I don't think that that is a good idea, Minea," she admits. "I imagine you know more about who I am what I do then Magnes does, under the circumstances, involving a government agency could cause more harm then good. But, if you ever happen to be in a position to shoot John Logan in the face? I would consider it a great boon and owe you a few." Hey, the more people hunting Logan, the better. "As for weapons training? That I would be willing to take you up on. Frankly speaking, I've been looking to work on my Kung fu with people who know how to use it outside of martial competitions. So on that score? I would be happy to take you up on it. As far as Magnes goes, keep him safe until knows how to kill responsibly, please." Other then that. "Seventy dollars, you should give me a time and date to work on recoloring the others. Obviously, my work doesn't fade."

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