Get Smart


alexander_icon.gif delilah_icon.gif montag_icon.gif

Scene Title Get Smart
Synopsis Alexander, Delilah, and Montag share a fine American dining experience at the Owl. Alexander has had a bad month, Delilah is unaware that she is being observed and no one believes Montag when he says he is a spy. Maybe it's the hair.
Date December 30, 2008

The Nite Owl

The Nite Owl is a survivor from ages past - one of those ancient diners with huge plate glass windows, checkerboard linoleum floor, and a neon owl over the entrance that blinks at those entering. Inside, there's an L-shaped main counter, complete with vintage soda fountain and worn steel stools. All of the cooking is done on the ranges ranked against the rear wall. The outer wall is lined with booths upholstered in cracked scarlet vinyl, tables trimmed with polished chrome. Despite its age, it's been lovingly maintained. The air is redolent with the scent of fresh coffee, vanilla, and frying food.

It is only the late afternoon, but the dusk is already settling Chelsea in shadow; The Nite Owl almost looks like a little bulb of light on the cold, wet street. If one peers in the windows, about every other booth is busy, and the stools are half-filled. It is not a dinner-hour crowd, but there are plenty of folks to keep the waitresses in their pale pink uniforms and white collars busy.

Delilah is one of these waitresses, though at the moment is not so much busy with the serving. For now, the redhead is all over the diner, putting napkins and coffee cups on tables, wiping vinyl and metal surfaces, and refilling condiment bottles. One of the older waitresses does her best to avoid the girl as she flitters to-and-fro, but at least a couple drops are probably going to be split somewhere along the line, with Dee piping out a 'whoooops sorry' or three.

More comfortable in the shadows drawn long in the wintry dusk than he is on the average sunny day, Gavin Montag's presence on the sidewalk outside is interesting in that he is not wearing a coat. Nor is he wearing a hat, or gloves, or a scarf. He just //is/, trim black suit tugged against long bones by the chill wind, skullish countenance turned to squint in through broad windows at the bustling crowd inside.

Probably better now than earlier. Or later. Resigned to the clamoring mess of people condensed within the diner, he finally reaches to open the door, squinting against the blast of warm air that greets him, all heavy with the scent of fried foods and humanity.


Fried foods and humanity are some of the best smells! Unfortunately, one woman by the door has on too much perfume, and someone burnt some meat on the grill. Oops.

A blonde woman greets Montag with a chirpy hello, leaving him free to sit where he pleases. Delilah is currently swabbing at a stubborn mess of wax and grease in one booth; it looks like a mix of crayon, tartar sauce, and what was possibly fried fish. There are little handprints on the seats that leave absolutely no guess as to what is at fault.

Gremlins, no doubt. Or even worse, children.

This must be what it's like to be eaten by a hippopotamus with a penchant for junk food. A little out of his element, Montag lingers inside the door, almost wary, as if he expects something might leap out of an occupied booth and latch onto him if he does the wrong thing. Nothing does, of course, and having already determined Delilah's vague location from observations made outside, Montag eventually directs himself into a dragging, hesitant sort of approach from behind. Looking down over her shoulder, it takes him a few seconds to swallow down his distaste for the mess she's scrubbing at. The things he does for his people. "Is this your table?"

The young woman whose shoulder he is peeking over gives a small, twitchy jump. So involved with this mess that it was all she was paying attention to. At least the seats are clean and the last layer of tartar gunk is being swept away. "Oh?" Delilah does turn around for a moment, looking from the man, to the table, then up at him again. "Oh. It wasn't when they did this, but now it is, yes." She replies first with mild irritation at said mess, but it does turn into a small smile and nod. Dee does not recognize Montag from any other shifts, and so the girl assumes he must not be a regular. Perhaps he is completely new? Who knows.

Al looks like hell on wheels. Not in a good way. He's pale, and weak, and barely on his feet. The livid scar over the orbit of his left eye doesn't help, either, living the lid there drooping a bit, rather sleepily. He comes in in his usual army surplus chic - olive drab parka, black watchcap, fatigues, combat boots, half fingered gloved thrust into his pockets. The Owl is bright and warm, both of which are a relief, as he heads for the counter, wearily.

Montag's brows twitch down, mild surprise written with expert subtlety into crows feet and frown lines when she answers. The jump, by contrast, doesn't seem to have bothered him in the least. "You're British," he observes, surprise fading quickly into better humored relief when he steps around her for one side of the cleaner (but doubtlessly still teaming with all manner of fetid disease) booth. "Christ, I've been smothering in this sea of Americans. Lucky I found you." And down he goes, eyes flicking darkly to the door to mark Al's entrance as he folds himself into the seat. Looks like someone's had a bad time of things.

One of the usual waitresses that happens to be behind the counter regards Al's entrance with a small squint before she meets him opposite of wherever he stops at the counter itself. "You look like crap. What can I get you?" Her question is concerned, sure, but she's also hoping he'll be getting coffee or something.

Fetid disease, crayon, fish, it's all the same. But it is possibly the cleanest seat around, largely because Dee just handled it. Fresh seat! She seems to regard him with a similar expression when he makes it at her first, but it manages to ditz into a smile as Montag creeps around into the booth. "I am." Delilah sticks up her chin just-so, enough to make it known that if it were important, she'd tell everyone. "Glad I could be your floatie, then." For that 'Sea of Americans'. She makes doubly sure now that the booth table is clean. "What can I get you?" Not everything is fried! But the coffee is probably still questionable unless it is fresh.

"That's appropriate, 'cause I feel like crap," Alex says, in his barbarous drawl, leveling a rather piratical glare at the waitress in turn, as he tugs off his hat to expose short red hair. "I had some fucking mutant try to rearrange my insides," he says, grumpily, claiming a stool and reaching for a menu. "I want soup, half a turkey club, and decaf coffee," he says, before tacking on a 'please'. The accents have him glancing over, but not commenting.

Having perched himself on the edge, Montag dares to scoot further along the booth's length, bony knees bent out of sight beneath a table that appears clean enough for him to rest his elbows on while he reaches for a menu. "What's…what's good?" The question is distracted because the word 'mutant' bounces off his ears right about the time he goes to ask it, and he has to blink hard past a reflexive look in that direction.

Not going to ask. The woman in conversation with Al only smiles warily and nods gently, as if he could possibly be a little bit loopy. But in the end, she does find a cup from behind the counter and the decaf pot from the duo of machines nearby, pouring him a mugful. "Okay, dear. You just.. relax."

Delilah has taken it upon herself to observe Monty where she can, without seeming too interested in the stranger. He reminds her of an old, crotchety giraffe. "That's a bit subjective. The fish was good today, but-" Yeah, he saw the result of that about two minutes ago. "We have an avocado chicken sandwich that just about everyone likes." It is pretty good. She ate one for lunch, so maybe it's a biased suggestion.

Definitely a little loopy. He carries a weirdly muted air about him - literally. Things are oddly still near him, changing the acoustics of the room in strange ways. The pale face is set, as he runs an eye down the menu. Maybe something new will tempt him, this time. "It is good," he affirms to that comment about the chicken sandwich, as if his opinion had been solicited.

Montag recovers from the hitch that is the 'mutant' thing with more social grace than might be expected of a crotchety old giraffe, but does not seem overly interested in the menu. "No fish," is an easy decision to make while he peruses it, attention too fleeting for him to have actually read any of the columns before he offers it up to her. Alexander's opinion seals the deal. "The sandwich will be fine. With water, I think."

The menu is cold. Colder than it should be, certainly, with a chilly fog set in across the laminate around the padded impressions of his fingers. Sort of weird, really, but he smiles as if it isn't. So…maybe it isn't.

A more studious look is directed over at Alex at the counter, one eye narrowed a hair further than the other, but then its back down to the table again. Still clean.

See? There's even confirmation! On Al's side of things, his soup appears in a hot bowl, followed by some packets of saltines nearby. Delilah nods and accepts the menu back from Monty, and only after holding it a moment does she crease a corner of her mouth in a millisecond's pause. That's really her only reaction; yes, it was cold, but he's also sitting by a big, drafty window. But the fog is new. She decides that it is probably not important. "I'll be right back with your water." With that, the redhead is skittering off to fetch it, and she returns with the glass soon enough, bringing with it a rolled-up napkin. Look! It even comes with some Ice Cubes of Irony.

Alexander doesn't pause to savor the soup. It's more or less inhaled, once he's added the crackers. But that seems to take the edge off both hunger and temper, and he pulls a worn paperback out of his jacket pocket. A very battered copy of the Gunslinger, by King. He scratches sleepily at the stubble on his scalp, an absentminded gesture. Montag's glance has him looking over his shoulder again, expression questioning. What? Do I know you?

Delilah gets a proper thank you, first for the promise to return soon, and again for the water once it's brought. Perhaps with a twitch of a smile for the irony of ice cubes, but not one that's particularly pronounced or long-lived. Alex is looking at him questioningly and it's all Montag can do to take a slow sip of water before he bothers explaining himself. "I'm sorry — just. You mentioned being attacked by a mutant on your way in. There must be a story behind that." The napkin is snapped out so that he can drop it into his lap, and he lifts his brows in hopeful anticipation of said story, with a glance to Delilah to measure whether or not she's similarly interested.

Mutants. Hoo-ray. Whether or not Delilah is genuinely interested, she does look like she is at least listening to the ambient conversation suddenly going on. Now that he has been here for a few minutes longer than before, Delilah has also decided that Montag is more like a bird than a giraffe; maybe a heron, or an egret. One of the birds with wispy head-feathers, and the tall, narrow chests. He doesn't really have a beak of any kind, but the gangly thing is no problem. This is what she does when she almost does not want to listen in, and needs brain-chatter.

"Had someone object to the fact that I wasn't willing to give him my wallet and all the money in it by dragging me t hrough a subway grating. Felt awful," Al says, laconically, giving Montag a wary look from under those drooping lids. "A while back. I lived, clearly," he adds, with a touch of sardonicism to his voice.

"Clearly," agrees Montag, with just enough of a drawl dragging at the vowels to suggest some sardonicism of his own. Rather than dwell on it, he sniffs once and turns his head more deliberately to Delilah, who seems to be thinking rather intently about something that is most probably not Alex's face vs subway grating. "So," he says. It's a, 'you don't seem busy so let's chat'…so. "How long have you been in New York?"

Montag has a beak in Dee's mind's eye, and feathers, and his arms are wings- oh, wait. We're not in Disneyland. "Hm?" Her brown eyes blink back to attention. "Oh. Hm. Awhile- four, five years." She sounds disappointed for a second, but smiles past it. "My auntie is one of us too." Dee lifts a hand and whispers behind it to Montag, eyes only momentarily flitting towards Al. "I hope you don't feel like you look forever." If that is any consolation, of some…kind.

Alexander touches the old wound on the eye with a fingertip. "Well, this ain't goin' nowhere," he notes, quietly, eyeing her. "But the rest will get better. Thanks." There's his sandwich, to follow the soup, and he works on that more slowly.

"One of us?" Montag murmurs in return, voice far too low and quiet to be easily audible, and suspect for precisely that reason. "A brit?" Innocent inquiry fits easily onto his face, into the lines and wrinkles and hollows. More easily than it should, perhaps, given his gaunt resemblance to someone recently deceased.

His eyes linger on her, silently conspiratorial in the seconds before they make a sideways return to Alexander. Mean, terrible, mutant-hating Alexander.

Delilah does tilt her head just a bit now. "Yes." She laughs lightly. "What else would I mean?" The chuckle grows a bit, and she makes a gesture with her hand to excuse herself. One minute, please! Dee hands off a wrapped straw from her pocket to a woman at another booth, just as she is on her way to fetch Monty's food. It only occurs to her about halfway though this minor chore that with all that Mutant Mugger stuff that just maybe- oops. But, instead of putting a picture of fret on her face, the girl simply finishes her duty and brings back the food plate with her. He does look like he needs it, too. Maybe he's a zoo heron and can't hunt for himself.

It's not so much a mutant hatred as a specific instance of general misanthropy. He spent enough years as a cop to justify hating everyone over the age of 2, really. He's trying to devote his attention to the paperback, but honestly, it's not working. Or else he's one of the slowest readers in Christendom. There's an equine snort of frustration from Al, and he pushes the book aside with an impatient shove.

Montag lets his brows do the shrugging rather than his shoulders. What else would she mean? He has no idea. Clearly. Once she's gone after his food and he's given Alexander's back another sound stare, he glances down and aside to check his watch, a man stuck at a crowded conference doing overtime rather than a politely interested and highly coincidental Englishman for the few spare seconds it takes Delilah to retrieve his sandwich. By the time she's back, his sleeve has already been shaken back down and he looks happy to see her, spine slouched laxly into the booth behind it. "I've only just arrived here, myself. Business, you know."

It's habit that Dee blurts right back. "Business? What do you do?" What a loaded question. And fortunately, most of the customers are occupied or otherwise content- she's got another minute.

Alexander cocks an ear. Not so much with the subtle eavesdropping, really. He's picking at the sandwich, despite his apparent hunger, and he's lost a little color - the flush from the chill outside fading, leaving him ghostly under the fluorescents.

"I'm a spy," says Montag, who lifts half of his sandwich and squints at it before lifting a brow back over at her. "Don't tell anyone. Very important secret."

"Whatever you say, Mister Bond." She nods seriously in return. Though for Dee, he's more of a Maxwell Smart at this point. Not that she knows any better.

Alexander can't help but overhear, and snickers to himself, even as he toys with the scrap of the sandwich.

"Mmm," says Montag, who looks about as interested in eating his sandwich as he was interested in reading the menu earlier. "Bring me the check, if you would, love, and I'll be out of your hair."

And what pretty hair it is to get out of. If anything, she feels charmed by Monty the Diner Spy, and simply smiles and teeters off to fetch his bill. Here's to hoping he'll come back! Oh, boy, the things only the fourth wall knows.

December 30th: Backup Plan
December 30th: Recruitment Over Coffee
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License