Learning To Share


cally_icon.gif alec_icon.gif victor_icon.gif

Scene Title Learning To Share
Synopsis The values of sharing (or lack-there-of) are explored. Cally causes a minor bit of mayhem, and an alliance of sorts is formed between Alec and Victor.
Date February 14, 2009
Alt. Log Titles Be My Herpe-filled Valentine

Canal Street Market

Currently in New York, it is clear outside. The temperature is 28 degrees Farenheit (-2 degrees Celsius). The wind is currently coming in from the East at 7 mph. The wind chill index puts the temperature to 21 degrees Farenheit (-6 degrees Celsius.) The barometric pressure reading is 30.00 and falling, and the relative humidity is 51 percent. The dewpoint is 12 degrees Farenheit (-11 degrees Celsius.)

It's Valentine's Day!!! Albeit still rather early on a cold, Valentine's Day morning, but Valentine's Day nonetheless. Though the people in the Canal Street Market China Town don't appear as aware of it as other places might. Despite the early hour, and the cold, vendors are still open, the smells of raw and cooked meats, of perfumes and cooked noodles blend in a rich and heady aroma. These are joined by the sounds of people talking, some loudly, in a mixture of languages, primarily Chinese, and English as well. And sometimes a mixture of both.

It's all a very heady aroma, and through it all walks a tall teenaged girl, who looks a bit younger then her actual age, despite that tallness. Cally looks about with a mixture of amazement and longing, particularly at the box vendors. She twirls about through the crowd of people, clutching her large, patched denim satchel close to her body, nearly drooling as she winds up near a fried pork seller.

It's at this point she accidentally bumps into a man standing nearby. "Hmm, sorry, watch it, see?" she mumbles, still playing staring contest with a box of fried pork and vegetables, which is being handed off to the man she just bumped into.

Alec was jogging, until he hit the press of people that is the market. Now he's sort of… meandering, and from his expression he's a little bit lost. He turns this way and that, looking more then a little out of place in a jogging suit and standing a couple inches over six feet. He looks around the area, his lips pursed in annoyance, "Well… that sucks." he mutters under his breath, dancing quickly to the side to avoid being run down by a pack of wild children, kinda like dogs, but they talk more. This sends him stumbling in the direction of the girl who's freshly bumped into someone else. Oh the joy of crowds and tourists.

"Hey!" exclaims Victor, freshly gifted with his box of takeout-style Chinese food. Which of course is ambrosia. And he's looking more than a little like he ought to eat, mostly because of how he eyes the food. The bump-into has him juggling the box, which slips out of his hands and makes it into freefall just as he crouches and scoops it up with ninja-like grace. He gives Cally a look that somewhat resembles a hungry dog that's had just about enough of someone sticking their hand in his dish. Then he glances to the vendor and says, "Xie xie." That's probably all the Mandarin he knows, but it's a good phrase to know nonetheless.

Deftly Vic reaches right across Cally to grab a pair of chopsticks and then backs away from her as he snaps them apart (they're those cheap kind that need to be done like that) and he inevitably is backing in the direction of Alec, not watching.

"Hey, whatchit," mumbles Cally, jostled a bit aside as Alec bumps into her. But most of her attention is still for the food, which…

AHHH! The food! It's falling… oh wait, he caught it. Cally was moving fast to prevent it from hitting the ground, but then Victor catches it. She meets his eyes with a very similiar stare, a hungry stray cat with its hackles up, ready to take down the big dog for a scrap of food.

Which is why Cally is the first to see the potential catastophe of Alec and Victor colliding. But she says not a word. Only eyes the food, waiting for her moment…

Alec bumps! Seriously, it's like human ping pong in this place, "Jumping Jesus!" he proclaims as he impacts with someone else and spins on the ball of his foot to try and maintain his balance. Which ends up with him leaning dangerously over a food cart, his arms windmilling to try and help his balance in the hopes that he does not fall into the cart. "Ohshitohshitohshit!

What happens next is a picture of quick movement. Vic quick-shots a glance over his shoulder when he knows he's bumped into someone and then sees the guy windmilling into a collision. Quickly he stabs his chopsticks into his box of foody goodness and then with one brief economical movement pivots on his feet, lunges for and grabs Alec by the back of his shirt with his free hand, and says, "Bend your knees." Vic's doing exactly that as well, bending his knees, and making his center of gravity low. His other hand, with the box and sticks sticking out of it, is stretched away from himself in something that looks like a dance move for its total effect. And through it all, there's a grin on his face. As if this is kinda fun.

"See what you started?" Vic says with the mildest of accusations aimed at Cally.

"Who, me?" Cally says, pure innocence. Well, at least until the food is practically stuck right in her FACE. A girl only has so much willpower, after all. And it even has utensils sticking out of it. She seems to debate, for a hair of a split second. Then, while Victor is still balancing with Alec, the food stretched out in her direction… she grabs it, chopsticks and all, and ducks between two tourists, her own movements well timed and acrobatic, much like Victor's own as she attempts to escape with the stolen booty. She's obviously done this kind of thing before.

Alec is a good tourist jogger and does as he's told. He bends his knees, his center of gravity shifting, and with with the first tugs on his shirt Vic can feel Alec righting his own balance quickly. Man's obviously in good shape, athlete or some such thing. He turns once he's less 'fally' and eyes his savior with a sheepish grin, "Thanks." he says, running a hand through his hair. He watches the girl run and blinks, "Well… don't see /that/ every day." he mutters.

Vic makes a surprised noise and says, "Dammit. She just ripped me off!" There's a narrative moment for you. The surprised expression is shared with Alec as he glances to make sure the jogger's okay. Sure, Vic's been around as much crime as the next guy but it's not every day he's just blatantly thieved from. Letting go of Alec (since he's not gonna crash anymore), he turns after Cally and hesitates. Because you can't just rip after someone in a crowd. People get in the way.

Except that Victor Childs has a secret. Or not so much of a secret, since it's all over the net in Youtube videos where he demonstrates his Mad Parkour Skillz.

He looks over his shoulder at Alec once more and then takes off at an angle to the crowd, getting out of it and running up to a bench which he leaps on and then runs across as if it were just a high sort of sidewalk, his feet finding balance on one-inch-wide back of it. He runs hard for about twenty yards before catching a utility pole and swinging around it at full momentum, trying to cut the girl off who just took his chow.

Alec just… stares. Alec has a secret too, but you wouldn't catch him flashing his around like /that/. Still… he's drawn, curious if nothing else. As Victor makes a dash and the girl continues to barrel her way through the crowd Alec just sort of melts through. He's no Street Runner, but his clumsiness is gone replaced by the sort of grace that is perfectly human but well trained. He'll lag behind the other too, but he won't leave a crowd of gapeing mouths either.

Cally runs and ducks and swerves, manuevering through the crowd with a skill quickly learned and constantly maintained, somehow managing to do this while keeping her large satchel and stolen food safe. And then… she comes to a screeching halt, her heels practically burning rubber as Victor swings in from out of nowhere. She eyes him, her jaw dropping in momentary astonishment…

Which the blonde runaway girl quickly fills by taking up the chopsticks and heaping a large ammount of pork and vegetables into, giving a 'Hah, I still got some!!' look to Victor, her cheeks bulging like a squirrel.

Aha! So it worked! After a fashion. The girl proves that possession may be nine tenths of the law, but it's also one hundred percent of what you can stuff in your mouth at once. Or perhaps that's just ten percent of the box. He swiftly snatches for the box, not caring that half of it's down the girl's face. It's not like she's a bad looking girl anyway. Guys don't usually mind germs from girls like her for at least twenty four hours, after reality has a chance to set in.

"What's the big idea??" Vic demands, somehow seeming to expect her to answer with her mouth impossibly full of HIS food.

It ought to provide plenty of opportunity for Alec to catch up.

Alec catches up quickly, though, the last few steps, as he nears them, turn into a headlong dash that has him pushing people aside, the smooth flowing pass of a moment's past abandoned for the relative safety that comes with a cover story much more believeable. Like running through a crowd all old school style. He comes to a stop behind the pair, obviously not breathing heavy. Hey, he was jogging earlier! "What the hell was that??" he asks in an excited tone at Victor, ignoreing the girl entirely for the moment.

And answer Cally does, after a fashion. While chewing, and attempting to swallow the massive ammount of food she managed to store inside her mouth. "Mm, gggngg, kmmm," she says, gesturing to herself, then him, then her stomach. And still managing a beautific smile, while scarfing down the food. It's freshly cooked hot, too, though she doesn't seem to notice. It's as if she expects Victor to try and take the food out of her mouth, so she's fully occupied with swallowing it. She looks curiously at Alec as he comes up, but somehow manages not to look the least bit guilty. She is just here, chewing food, nothing to see.

Vic glances toward Alec and grins as if the man's just asked a question he loves to answer. "I do parkour. Sucks for her." Then he's giving Cally a hard look again, inspecting his pilfered box of (now) leftover Chinese food. "You're a little old for the starving street urchin game, aren't you? Don't even think of running away. I can so catch you if you try."

Through all this the trio are indeed garnering more than a casual amount of attention from bystanders, but the general mood seems to be that nothing's TOO amiss. Nobody's got a weapon. Nobody's bleeding. No bombs. No rape or fire is occurring. Everything is New York Normal.

Alec eyes Victor for another long moment before grinning, "Kid, we need to talk." he says beaming with the expression of someone who's just found something entirely to interesting to pass up. He looks back and forth between the two idly, "Um… Tell you what, to avoid a shouting match with all manner of noodles sprayed everywhere I'll make ya a deal. I'll buy you more food if you talk to me about your Parking Meter or whatever it is you called it." He glances back and forth again, "Truce?"

Cally takes a moment, tucking down the last of the food, and spending another moment licking her lips of the wonderful greese that dribbles down her chin. Once this priority business is complete, she eyes Victor appraisingly for a long moment, then Alec, then back to Victor.

"You wouldn't know what to do with me if you caught me. You don't know what to do with me now. Besides, I'm only too old when it stops working," Cally points out, matter-of-factly.

Then the girl does a double take, looking to Alec. "Food?" she asks, suddenly interested in the man, beaming at him.

Something about what Alec says just then makes Vic put on the That's Not Fair face. "Dude! Don't buy her anything! She just ate like half my box of pork chow mein! She's totally fed already." Whirl on Cally then, "And I know exactly what to do with you. Grab you by the ear and haul your butt to the next cop I see. Don't think I couldn't." Although the fact he hasn't made so much as a gesture to do so yet speaks that he probably doesn't mean it.

Alec points at Vic, "Naw, you got me wrong kid. I'll buy /you/ food. She can keep that crap." he points at the box Victor holds. He eyes the girl and gives her a 'don't push it' expression. He continues to look back and forth between the two hopefully.

Cally gives Victor a classic roll of the eyes, the unspoken 'boys' comment that every girl on Earth has perfected to one degree or another. She looks to Alec consideringly, then nods in serious agreement, holding out her hands for the box. Though this time, politely waiting for Victor to hand it to her, giving him a big, catty smile.

Vic looks sideways at Cally, giving her a narrow-eyed look of someone who is Watching You and is also unhappy with how things are turning out. "She can have it anyway. Now she got her herpes all over my chow." Then he thrusts the box (with chopsticks still stuck in it) at Cally. But he adds, "You don't have to pay, dude. I got enough cash on me to cover another box. Anyway you shouldn't have to shell out because SHE is a THIEF. I work, you know." The last four words are directly aimed at Cally.

Alec snorts, "I'm not shelling out cash because of what she did, I'm shelling out because of what /you/ did. The Parking Lot or whatever you called it. I fun five miles every morning, I'm in yoga, one of those silly fake kick boxing classes for cardio… I've never seen anythign like that. I want to talk to you about teaching me how." he eyes the girl, "My luck you got jacked by Raggedy Anne here."

Cally takes the box without having to be asked twice, about to shove another chopstick-full of food in her mouth, when Victor makes his last comment. She glances between him and Alec, rolling her eyes again. "You're such a whiner," this said to Victor. She firmly sticks the chopsticks back into the food, freeing up one hand, which she dips into her satchel. She pulls out… a fairly flattened-looking small heart-shaped box of chocolates, with most of the chocolates still left inside. She thrusts this in Victor's direction, and says, dryly, "Here, be my Valentine. As long as you don't mind the herpes I spread all over them." She gazes at him challengingly, fully expecting him to decline. Daring him not to.

If Vic's feelings are subject to the approval of strange girls, it's hard to tell. Although there's a smirk on his face that replaces the being-offended he's been showing up until now. And he holds up a hand to the chocolates. "You…really don't wanna see what those do to me." he warns cryptically, letting that hang without explanation. Then he's talking to Alec with, "If you're in decent shape already it's not hard to learn. Just takes a lot of time and practice. Glad to talk to you about it, but are you inviting the Orphan along too?" He jerks his head at Cally. "To teach you how to score free Chinese?"

Alec smirks, "It's a free country, mostly, she can come or not if she likes. Besides, I already know how to score free Chinese, I help build them a better apartment complex." he eyes the box of chocolates dubiously himself, but says nothing, he's letting Vic deal with his thief.

Shrugging, Cally somehow juggles the box of chocolates open, pops a smushed looking, pink-filled one into her mouth, then stuffs the heart-box back into her satchel. "It was wrapped when I found it, just smooshed is all. Your loss." She looks between Alec and Victor once more then. "Don't need lessons from Scooby Doo here," she says, head ticking to Victor with a bright smile. And, to prove it, she nimbly leaps onto a nearby bench, then to the bench's thin metal arm where she balances neatly atop it. She does wobble a bit, as she settles herself, mostly because she has a heavy bag on one side, and is still clutching her box of chinese food. But she looks quite at ease, rather like a gymnist on a balance beam, same posture, as she begins to eat once more, looking down on the men from on high.

Now it's Vic's turn to roll his eyes a little. But just a little. "Wow. You're good." he says with no conviction. "Where to, man?" he asks Alec, crossing his arms but apparently pretty much over his being wronged for the day. Hey, at least he fed a poor person. Though it lacked the feel-good virtue of doing it at a soup kitchen or even just answering a request for it. He looks Alec over briefly and asks, "No offense but you don't look very young. Meaning getting into the sport involves a lot of falling on hard surfaces. You okay with that?"

Alec just quirks a brow at the girl, "Wow. And just like that I feel old." he states evenly as he then turns to eye Vic, "Hey, I did my time in the sports growing up, put some serious time in making sure I didn't go the way of the broken hip. Besides, I'm not /that/ old yet." he rolls /his/ eye in the tried and true expression everyone over 25 has mastered when looking at someone younger then themselves, "I don't know where, you tell me oh-most-acrobatic-one. It's your show, I'm just here to pay for the lessons." he shoots Cally another glance out of the corner of his eye, why is it everyone's all show offy but him?

It's all in the personality, man. Some got it, other's don't. Cally attempts to lift one foot up, all crane style… and when she wobbles, wisely puts the foot down again, so as not to spill the food. She looks between Alec and Victor one more time, pulling a face at the latter and even going so far as to stick out her tongue at his words to her, though her eyes dance in bemusement and she lets out a quick, happy laugh. It's probably the food.

"Well, it's been fun, boys. I hate to eat and run, but… wait, no. I don't. See you around boys. Good luck with your training n' all that." She beams brightly at both Alec and Victor, leaps off the bench arm, and into the crowd, quickly mixing in it and dissapearing. Not running this time, but blending in.

Cally's departure causes Vic to shake his head. "It's like she thinks she's on a TV show or something." Which of course they aren't. That would be ridiculous. "C'mon. Let's just go grab something and we'll walk and talk. Sound cool to you?" he asks to his new aquaintance, already turning back toward the Chinese food vendor.

Alec just watches the girl go and sighs, "I gotta tell you, street kids back home are half that nice, mostly they stab you steal your stuff then kick you while you're dying. New York is a way nicer city." he moves to follow Victor, "You lead the way man, I don't even have the slightest clue where I am."

"Not really, it isn't." counters Vic easily, not much feeling in the argument. "She's actually not too bad and I feel kinda bad for her. If she'd actually asked me I would've bought .her her own box. It's just…getting something snatched out of your hand really poisons the gesture. You know?"

Alec shrugs, "I suppose." his tone suggests a complete lack of give a damn, or more accuratly, an interest in a different conversation. "All I can say is it's nice she didn't try to steal my watch."

"Wouldn'ta let her." Vic says, somehow making it sound like he could've stopped the girl from doing it. He parks himself in front of the same booth he got his pork chow mein from earlier and goes about ordering exactly the same thing.

The lady handing out food grins and says, "She rob you good!" like it's all hilarious to her.

Vic smiles ruefully and shakes his head, "Yeah, yeah, I'm a sucker." Everybody saw the girl snatch his box of food and take off with it. Seeing him come back emptyhanded tells them all they need to know.

For Alec, Vic asks, "Where you from? Obviously not here."

Alec makes a wishy washy motion with his hand, "Chicago most recently, mostly Detroit before that." he grins at the woman's words and laughs, "See? Here they just laugh at you. I think I'm gonna like New York."

Food in hand and all paid for, Vic turns away from the booth and proceeds to pig out as he walks away from the crowd. "Mm. Don't mind me. I gotta eat like whoa." he explains. "Chicago?" he says between bites. And he practically inhales the stuff. He must have some kind of condition or something. Because he's not even near being fat. "So what's so special about Parkour? I'm kinda surprised you never heard of it." Another bite. Inhale. "It's in a lotta movies these days."

Alec shakes his head, "I haven't!" he states willingly enough, "That was the first time I'd seen it in person. I mean sure, in that Bond flick a couple years ago, but I don't see to many movies…" he sighs, "Mostly? It just looks like tons of fun and it seems like it would be a great work out."

"Oh it's way cool." replies Vic with a grin. "But if you're serious at all about it you're gonna be REAL sore." At the rate he's killing the chow mein, he ought to be real sore. But he's putting the stuff away like there's a spacetime rift in his gut.

It doesn't take long to lose the crowd. They're only hanging around for food and to eat together. A year ago this would've been a busy street, but since the Bomb things are significantly less populated in New York than they once were.

Vic explains, "I practice in unused garages and stuff. Used to have a group I'd do it with but most of em left town after the Bomb, and the ones I knew in California are still in California. So aside from me and this girl I know, not many people in New York are much good at it."

Alec hrms, "Sore I can handle, my job is a lot of sitting around drawing and punching a calculator, it'll be good to find something new to get the 'old' bones working." he quips at Victor. "Not that I can promise I'll be any good mind you, but I love new challenges."

Big grin, and Vic says, "Tell you what. I'd be glad just for the company even if you are just starting out. The only reason I'm any good is I cheat at it." And with that, he empties hsi box and deftly dunks it in a trash can that he walks past. "Name's Victor Childs. Call me Vic." he offers a hand to shake.

Alec quirks a brow at the cheating part and takes the hand, "What? You use wires or something? Alec Bonder." he says by way of greeting, "Pleasure-" he stops and sighs before pulling a blackberry from a zipper pocket on his Nike running gear. He checks it, "Well fuck me running. I gotta run, they discovered some mirco-fractures in a bridge abutment and want me to see if the whole thing will come down or if we can ignore it." he sighs, "You know, I thought I was only here to work on a couple buildings, not take over the entire firms fucking projects." he mutters as he types out a return txt and sends it. He glances at Victor, "So, if you wanna talk more about the whens and wheres of practicing your Park-a-whatever stuff, you can find me here." he hands Vic a business card with Chicago info on the front, and on the back hand written NYC addy and number stuff. Nice digs for an out of town company. The card states his profession, Engineer, and name along with the other info bits. "Cool? Drop in anytime."

Vic takes the card and grins. "Thanks, Alec." He checks out the card when he realizes it has a Chicago address on the front and then nods to see the New York info on the back. "I'll call you. I owe you for the food now. Peace!" And Vic turns without answering the question of just how it is that he cheats, striding away with a bounce in his step.

Alec watches the kid go with a small shake of his head before turning to head in another direction, looking for a cab as he goes. Alec knows a good thing when he sees it, and he /really/ likes learning new ways of… transporting ones self. A part of him knows this is just one more tool in his arsenal, but another part… is actually excited to test himself with something new. He grins despite it all and hails a cab…

February 13th: Hearing Voices
February 14th: An Artsy Endeavor
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License