Lunchtime In Little Italy


brian_icon.gif helena_icon.gif magnes_icon.gif romero_icon.gif

Scene Title Lunchtime In Little Italy
Synopsis Helena unknowingly meets Teo's brother, and Magnes has a little accident.
Date October 20, 2008

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.

Helena has lucked out, she's managed to get herself wedged into one of the tables against the window so she can enjoy the view. In front of her is a veritable feast; a chicken parm sub with a side of coleslaw and a ridiculously large Dr. Brown's cream soda. As she absently sips from her straw and uses one hand to heft her food to her mouth, the other hand is occupied by a book, a biography of Sophie Scholl.

Romero has been looking for work since he came to New York. There isn't much for a day laborer to do around here, so he's fallen back on other talents. He's not unfamiliar with construction, and he knows how to make a mean sandwich. So far construction hasn't panned out, but he enters the deli hopefully. He's several thousand miles from home, and that's enough to bolster his spirits for the moment. Moving to the counter he greets the cashier in Italian before switching to English, explaining his situation and how he saw the help wanted sign and… well, so on and so forth. But even as he speaks, his eyes are drawn over toward the woman at the window. The word 'Whoa' occurs, but does not, for the moment, pass his lips. He tries to focus on his attempt to get a job. For the moment.

Helena's eyes flick briefly to Romero, her attention caught by the Italian, and the accent when he speaks English. It reminds her of Teo. Actually, he kinda looks like a skinny version of Teo. Funny. Maybe all Italian boys look alike! Ha ha. Helena will give him an easy smile if he catches her eye, but her gaze will then dart to the cashier with a mock-stern, 'you better pay attention if you want to get that job' expression before she resumes paying attention to her book.

Romero is trying to pay attention. His eyes dart back and forth, and yes, even catch Helena's smile and sternness in turn. The corner of his mouth quirks upward in a half smirk, and he turns his attention back to the clerk, trying to force his mouth back into a more even position. The conversation switches back and forth between English and Italian, and finally he steps back, a sheet of paper clutched in one hand — an application, no doubt. Money has changed hands as well, as a good Italian sandwich is certainly going to hit the spot today. Again his eyes turn toward Helena, and he pauses a moment before heading toward a table near her.

Helena is seated at a table of her own near the window, a chicken parm sub, cream soda, and paperback on hand, which she's reading. As Romero sits and begins to ponder his application, Helena remarks cheerfully, "Hope you have your green card. Or a visa." This advice is offered without looking up from her book.

"'Less you're an INS agent, I'm not too worried," Romero replies, setting the paperwork on the table and putting pen to it, filling in his name and so forth. "I'll have everything in order for the boss. Assuming they hire me." And if they don't, he'll find something else. That's all there is to it. "Thanks for pointing my eyes back in the right direction," he adds as he leaves the 'Social Security Number' field blank. He's settled at a table close to Helena's, near the window, and now tosses his knapsack onto the chair beside his own.

"Nope." Helena responds to the query about being an INS agent. She takes another bite of her sub, dabbing a napkin delicately at one corner. Such the dainty little anarchist!

Entering the deli with glasses being cleaned with a cloth in his hand, Magnes walks in with his skates on and slowly rolls over to the counter to order. "Um, I'd like a chili dog, with fried onions and a bag of that salted popcorn right there." He stands there as he walks for the order, scanning the room to take a look at the patrons as he returns the glasses to his face. He also smells like pizza!

"Somehow I get the feeling they don't pay so much attention to a little deli in New York City anyway," Romero says, glancing up from his application, eyes drifting over the new arrival briefly before returning to Helena. "Not that I don't have the stuff I need. Just, you know, not on me." His English is pretty much flawless — but strongly accented.

"If he was going to hire you under the table they wouldn't bother with an application." Helena points out in a not unfriendly manner. "Good luck, anyway. I'm probably going to quit my job soon, so hey, if this place doesn't work out and you can ride a bike…" She shrugs affably, and snags her drink for another sip. She earmarks her book and sets it to the side. "Helena. Welcome to the US of A."

After a few moments of waiting, Magnes gets his chili dog and bag of popcorn, rolling over to look for a place to sit. He's only a few feet from the counter when the cloth from his glasses falls from between his fingers, rolls up into one of his skates, then trips him forward. He protects himself with his arms when he hits the floor, but his tray makes a slow flight over to Helena and Romero's table. It moves as if it's literally in slow motion, bumps into a wall, then just slowly falls into the middle of their table like an object sinking into water. The chili dog is unharmed, but the situation is kinda weird! "I fell again…"

"In Palermo, everybody rides a bike," says Romero with a shrug of his own. "Good to know. You're, what, a bike courier?" He settles back in his seat, setting down his pen as he regards the young woman curiously. "Romero. Most Americans I meet wind up calling me Rom or Romy or something like that. It's nice to meet you, Helena. Piacere di conoscerti." The cashier calls his name and he starts to rise, saying, "Be right back," just as Magnes' tray starts to drift down onto the table, and he watches this, half standing, with a look of quiet consternation, one brow slowly rising.

Helena watches this with a surprising lack of shock, but rather, an almost patient concern. "Most of the Italian I know, I learned from a friend. He's from Sicily, so a lot of it isn't repeatable in polite company." She too rises, and walks over to offer her hand to Magnes. "Hey, buddy." she says in a gentle tone, like she's talking to a spooked horse. "You need to be careful about that, okay? Someone might call HomeSec on you, and if you don't have a reg card that'll be trouble."
Helena adds belatedly, "Yeah, I'm a bike courier." Over her shoulder to Romero.

Magnes takes her hand and carefully lifts himself up, brushing his clothes and straightening his glasses. "What? What'd I do? Why would they do that?" he almost panics, not sure what she means until he looks over at his tray, with the unharmed chili dog. "Oh god, that happened again. I didn't mean to, please don't call them, I'll give you my money if you want it."

"Palermo is in Sicily," says Romero, nodding. "I've heard it all." Mostly from his brother, which doesn't bear mentioning. He lets Helena go to deal with the newcomer — the newcomer who is, clearly like him, and his brow arches still higher as Helena simply goes over to talk to this other person without so much as batting an eyelash. Huh. He glances toward the cashier to see if he's reacted, and rises completely to go retrieve his food — a sandwich and little more, but with plenty of oil and vinegar. Just like home. He returns to his table, glancing toward Magnes as he starts to plead and notes, "If she was gonna call anybody she wouldn't have gone over to warn you trouble was a possibility, uomo."

What is it about Brian showing up after Magnes gets scared? For some reason, the young Preacher man happens to arrive just now in this new moment of Crisis. Dressed in a brown leather worker's coat, a pair of jeans and a white t-shirt the young man looks rather tired as he steps into the place.

His grey eyes instantly take notice of Magnes. The young man he's ran into a few times lately who more recently got Brian into a little trouble himself. Raising his brows a bit, Brian walks around the eatery on the other side of Magnes towards the counter.

Helena nods. "Exactly. Why would I bother helping you out?" she straightens, brushing back the length of her blonde hair. Now of course, Brian has only seen her in a baseball cap and muffled up under a jacket, so he may or may not recognize her. She continues to speak in a soft, don't-scare-the-spooked-horsie tone. "You need to get your ability under control, buddy. It shouldn't be too hard to find a teacher, there are a lot of telekinetics." If you check the registry, or know where to look. "Seriously, you need to be careful. There's a lot of crazies out there."

"But I don't move stuff with my mind…" Magnes answers with a look of confusion, beginning to calm down a bit, but not yet noticing Brian. "I have like, Spider-Man powers, but sometimes stuff floats. I can't shoot web though, and I don't have spider-sense, and um…" he explains, because that's the most clear explanation ever, and he also appears to be getting nervous when he realizes he's talking to a girl. Eek.

Romero doesn't know anybody, so there's no issues of recognition. Rather, he feels the need to note, however calmly and without calling any attention from others around to the fact that he's talking to the young woman and young man in such deep conversation. "Maybe this isn't the best place to have that sort of conversation, boh?" Because, hey, public. And just because Helena isn't calling Homeland Security doesn't mean somebody else won't walk in and do so. And, after all, Romero doesn't want to be noticed by any number of government agencies.

Shooting his eyes from the left then to the right, Brian takes a big breath. Talking about it so openly??? He does not recognize Helena yet, the voice sounding familiar though he is unable to put a finger on it just yet. For some reason, Brian likes Magnes and even though trying to protect the younger guy before didn't work out so great maybe he'll have more luck this time. "Magnet." He calls out. "Maybe you shouldn't talk so loud, bro."

Talking about Evolved abilities in public isn't a big deal. Talking about PARIAH or burning your registration card? That isn't so smart. "Just be careful." Helena says in a friendly fashion, giving Magnes a pat on the arm if he doesn't shrink away from the girl cooties. Then she goes back to her table and resumes eating. Just like this sort of thing happens every day.

"I don't really know what's going on too well…" Magnes admits, walking over to the same table to take his tray. "Do you mind if I sit here? Since my tray is here anyway…" That's when Brian catches his attention, not yet saying anything to Romero, he just nods his head. "Oh, hello, sorry, I was just in this confusing situation, so I wasn't paying attention…"

Romero picks up his pen and twirls it about his fingers as he munches his sandwich, pretending to ignore what's going on nearby and listening in all the same. Hey, figuring out the order of things around here is for the best right now. He idly fills out his application in the meantime.

Shaking his head. "No man. It's fine." Brian goes to get his food and get out of there.

Helena stares at Magnes a moment. "You don't know what's going on? You're Evolved. You've got an ability." There's a certain level of clueless that Helena is just not willing to put up with. Buzzwords like Evolved and the idea of abilities is everywhere right now. Activating Evolution is still on the best seller list. She eyes her sandwich. "Actually, I think I'm taking this to go, so you're welcome to the table."

"I know that, I just don't get into these kind of situations often." Magnes explains as he pulls up a seat to the table. "It's really awkward, not to mention incredibly scary because you don't know how people are going to react."

Romero's eyes rise again and turn toward Helena. Leaving? Damn. He had questions for her. But possibly not the sort of questions that one wants to ask in a public location anyway — whether or not discussion of evolved abilities is viable around here. Rom prefers to keep his to himself, thank you very much. He glances at Magnes again, considers saying something, decides against it, and just takes another bite of his sandwich as he focuses on Helena, silently establishing a gateway. He'll have to catch up with her later.

Helena rises from her seat, heading to the counter to get a bag to stuff the remnants of her sandwich in. Her book is left abandoned with her food for the moment, the title reading Sophie Scholl: Against The Nazi Regime. On her way back she begins to wrap up her sub, and looks to Magnes. "You said again." she notes quietly. "So this has happened before, right? Seriously, dude. You need to get it under control. God knows who or what'll scoop you up, especially if you don't have a card." She looks over her shoulder, flashes an easy smile at Romero. "Romero, right? It's nice to meet you. See you around, and good luck with the job."

Romero returns Helena's smile, just as easy for all that his eyes are active and curious. "Gratzie," he says comfortably. "See you around, Helena. Was nice meeting you, too." He twirls the pen once more, puts it to the paper — he intends to hand in the application before he leaves, for all that it is missing one of those fairly vital bits of information.

"How am I supposed to do that…" Magnes trails off, staring down at his food in deep thought after hearing Helena talk about it as if it's incredibly urgent. "It's not like it's something I can just make happen, but thanks for not calling anyone." he says with a smile, nodding in agreement. "So um, I guess I'll see you later then…"

"Va bene." Helena replies to Romero, and then sighs. Digging into her pocket, she tugs out a pen, walks to the counter, and pulls a napkin out of the dispenser. She writes something down on the napkin, and drops it off on Magnes' table on her way out.

Activating Evolution, the note says, by Chandra Suresh.

October 20th: Things Left Unasked

Previously in this storyline…

Next in this storyline…

October 20th: There are Better Ways to Get Into a Girl's Pants
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