Meeting Mr Happy Feet


brian_icon.gif yamaguchi_icon.gif

Scene Title Meeting Mr Happy Feet
Synopsis Yamaguchi doesn't even have to do any police work. All the work comes to him, yo. Brian Winters searches Yamaguchi out to give him info on an open case.
Date August 21, 2009

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.

The night is close and dark, and the air conditioning in the diner — rickety, hungry, scented with more than just food — sputters in and out in an angry roar. More than a few lone wolves have huddled onto counter seats, hunching over platters of greasy fare; more sociable gaggles of youth or simple high spirits flock around the booths, streaming in and out at intervals as Friday night nerves flush them from the restaurant.

Yamaguchi is at the counter, clad in the cheap, ill-fitting suits of his detective breed: brown cloth, blue shirt, orange tie, an offense to the eye and the pocketbook. Oblivious, or simply indifferent, he slouches across his elbows on the countertop, a free hand sketching some discussion's point with the young girl next to him. It requires no criminology degree to identify her profession.

"…and when you see him," he is saying, in a sleepy baritone, "you do…?"

"Kiss him on the mouth," drawls the hooker in a false Southern twang. "Tell him I miss him, mention I've been burning a bit when I pee and he should check in with his doctor — you know, for an extra $50, I can give your friend Vinny the full cigar deal."

His aviators are slipped off as he steps into the diner. Lately that battle has been raging through his mind, taking precedence over a lot of other things. Sunglasses at night. Really, it's not that much harder to see and the cool factor is increased tenfold at all times when wearing sunglasses but sometimes people don't like other people that do th—

The door clanks shut after Brian crisply steps in, tucking his sunglasses to the top of his shirt. A crisp white shirt, worn under an expensive black looking suit. The sleek looking young man gazes around the cafe, glancing down at the card in his hand once again. Walking towards the counter, Brian goes to take a seat near Yamaguchi. Though not directly next to him. Why do that when there are so many seats open? It's somewhat rude. Besides, he's talking to his girlfriend. But the pee burning gets his attention, and gives Brian a full visual of the man's face as well as his good friend.

Rather than address the man, Brian slides the card slightly over so in case Yamaguchi should feel like looking over then happen to get nosy and read the card, he will be astonished to find his own name written there. In fact his very own card.

"Vinny's in Internal Affairs," Yamaguchi says with regretful sympathy in his mellow baritone, as one might adopt when describing a tragic accident to interested third parties. "I think actual skin-to-skin with a female might cause an aneurysm." Under the hooker's cracked, unconvincing smile, he slides a folded bill down the counter to her and bids a polite farewell. It is the civil exchange of hostiles, who have learned to cohabit through necessity rather than preference. That done, he returns to his own meal. Coffee. Plate of apple pie.

Glimpse of card.

His eyes half-masted in a semblance of drowsy interest, the detective props his temple in his hand and considers the slip of paper with grave curiosity. "Hello, card," he says mildly. "How long it has been. Where were you? Did you have a nice time?"

A palm slaps flatly against Card, pulling him back slowly. Flicking the paper square up so that the other man can more clearly see that it indeed is a card and not a person pretending to be a card, Brian iterates what is already written.

"Detective Yamaguchi?"

Without waiting for a verbal answer, the card is slapped back onto the counter and the sleeker looking of the pair is trying to find someone behind the counter. "Hi. Could I get a plate of apple pie like that, please? With ice cream?"

"Ala mode?"

"No. With ice cream." Lips thinning, Brian swivles his little stool to face Yamaguchi again. "Hi."

In the time that it has taken for Brian to make his order, Yamaguchi's gaze has trailed from the card stock, up the arm, and to the man himself — and if there is a flicker of a moment where the deceptively lazy gaze sharpens to something more professional, more considering, it is past by the time Brian's attention returns to him. A smile snipes at the corners of his mouth; long fingers flare out in sketched wave. "Hi," he says simply back. And, since he lacks a name, tacks on an agreeable, "Larry."


The correction is quick and precise. As if he knew exactly the whole time how much his name was not Larry. A discerning look stretches over Yamaguchi's face, down his body then back up again. "Interesting tie." He clips before turning back to the front. "And milk please." Then the detective has all of his focus once again. "I think I might have some help to give you, if you could help me." The card is pushed over towards the other man. "The people at the station said you might be here." He purses his lips.

"They were right." He points out.

"Well, they can't be wrong all the time," Yamaguchi says pacifically, sliding a glance down at the card before refocusing on the other man. He blinks solemnly, tugs on his earlobe with his free hand, and picks up his fork. It pokes at his pastry. Poke poke-ity poke. Stabbity. Poke. "So, now you've found me. What can I do for you? Or what have I done for you?" A split-second's thought produces a slightly chagrined, "You're not going to tell me I'm your father, are you? Because I was having a zen moment here, with my pie."

"I hope you're not my father." Brian confesses, "Not that I think you're a bad guy. I just don't know you and I'm really exhausted with forcing relationships right now. I hope you don't mind." He muses, wondering if Yamaguchi can ever forgive him for not wanting him as a father. He pauses, "You were having a zen moment with your pie and your… pie's hooker." Winters points out looking back over just in time at the delivery of his milk.

The glass is taken up and placed on his lips. Tilted back and glug, glug, glug. Then the glass is placed back down. "There's a case in your department. For Isabelle Ashford. Open. I can help you close it."

"If you want."

There is a long span of silence — restful, for the most part. On Yamaguchi's side, anyway, as he considers what part of Brian's reply to tackle first. "The pie doesn't need a hooker," he says at last. "It's Jewish."

His prioritization skills need work.

With that out of the way, he stirs to straighten on his stool, allowing his fist to fall away from his temple and take up the coffee instead. The detective takes it black, as the dim stain around the thick-lipped cup testifies. He breathes on it, giving birth to an enthusiastic little dance of steam, and murmurs into the brew, "Isabelle Ashford. Funny. When I clicked my heels together this morning, all I was hoping for was a pony."

Brian leans forward and peers at his milk intently to avoid looking at the other man. His brows narrow and his gaze intensifies as if he were trying to see something that no naked eye has ever seen before. But the effort is given up after about a half second. "A pony may be involved. You never know with homicide, right?"

And finally his own slice of pie comes, with ice cream. He gives a soft sigh. "I don't really feel like eating this anymore." Then he remembers he was talking to a Cop before. Oh hey cop. "The only thing is.. Isabelle Ashford and I, according to rumor and drug induced flashbacks, used to be very.. close." Reaching out Brian grabs a salt shaker and a pepper shaker and presses them together, tipping the tops together as if the two inanimate objects were kissing. "So I'd like some closure. I'd like to go along the fantastical journey with you."

Mr.Salt and Ms.Pepper are abandoned for the glass of milk.

Detective Yamaguchi regards Mr. Salt and Ms. Pepper with faint awe and an almost childish expectation, as though hopeful that they will move beyond platonic displays of affection to something more meaty. Nothing proves forthcoming, and after a second he reaches out with a forefinger to gently pat Ms. Pepper on the head.

Don't be sad, Ms. Pepper.

"The more the merrier," he says, moving his clean and superfluous spoon to drape its bowl over the shaker's head, like a steampunk wedding veil. "I have no problem with an emotionally invested citizen assisting the police. How close were you? Fidelis ad mortem? You don't seem very sure."

Once the glass of milk is finished and Brian's moustache has a healthy addition of white the glass is returned to its rightful position on the counter accompanied by, "More milk, please." Rolling his eyes over to Mr. Salt he gives a sympathetic look to the maler of spice shakers. Reaching over a different pepper shaker is picked up and placed by Mr.Salt. He found someone new. :(

"I don't know who those people are." He murmurs regarding Fidelis and Mortem. "It's like.." He pauses, thinking of what it's like. "Have you seen the movie where a guy leads a life and falls in love and stuff and then gets his brain wiped by a secret organization and then is living a completely different life?" He hopes not because he just made that movie up. "It's like that except less literal." More literal. "Get it?"

Yamaguchi scratches idly at his jaw, where the dark line of a goatee frames his mouth. The manicured nails rasp against skin and hair. "Is that the movie where the main character is a panda?" he ventures.

(He also needs to work on his people skills.)

"It doesn't matter. Drugs, whatever — I'll take your word for it," he adds, taking another sip of his coffee with a flare of the nostrils for the bitter steam rising from the cup. His gaze drifts across the space behind the counter, taking in the battered decorations and grime-rimmed glass that serves as a shorthand mirror over the cash register. "Do you remember enough to actually be helpful?"

"Yes, exactly. Except it's a penguin." For a moment he allows himself to drift off to memories of Happy Feet before bodily hauling himself back to reality. Picking up his spoon finally he goes to pick up a scoop of ice cream and shove it into his mouth. He tilts his head and smiles brightly over the vanilla though, "Thank you for being so trusting." It's bright and happy.

To the last question Brian screws up his features as if thinking very hard. Bringing up his free hand to his chin he lets out a hum. "I know who the killer is and how he did it."

"Does that help?"

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