More Than A Little Ink


len_icon.gif xiulan_icon.gif

Scene Title More Than A Little Ink
Synopsis Len wants a tattoo touched up and Xiulan comes highly recommended.
Date September 5, 2009

Green Dragon Tattoo

Chinatown. Len likes to be down here. He comes here whenever he possibly can. Whether it's the atmosphere or the remnants of a way of life that may have existed at one time, still lingering or even perhaps just the fact that he can speak the language of the locals. Whenever the opportunity arises that he can come down into this area, Len takes it up. So when he asked around about a reputably tattoo parlor, Green Dragon Tattoo came up. It seemed perfect.

He walks down the sidewalk and opens the door to the place and steps inside, ducking his head as he enters and takes a glance around. The cowboy is wearing his trademark jeans, boot and hat, but instead of his typical work shirt, Len is wearing a black tanktop, his large arms exposed. On a Saturday night, is there any other way to spend the evening but to be stabbed repeatedly with a needle?

Xiulan is kinda fond of Chinatown, as well. Course, it isn't China, but it is close enough for her tastes. And, while it is Saturday eevning, Green Dragon Tattoo is experiencing a quiet period. A situation probably due to the fact that Xiulan has been out of town (And out of time) for a bit. The shop is, however, open. And as the door opens, Xuilan emerges from behind the curtain seperating her tattoo area from the main shop. Considering the fact that a big black cowboy isn't typical for Chinatown, Xiulan blinks a moment before offering a polite smile. "Evening, welcome to Green Dragon."

Perhaps Len expected an old wise man to emerge from the curtain, or perhaps even an old wise woman, however when Xiulan appears, Len has to double take. Well, then. He grins as he steps up and gives a polite bow. "Evening to you, m'am. I was hoping that perhaps someone would have time to touch this up a little." He turns to expose the outside of his left bicep and a tattoo that could be about 15 years old. It's the shape and design of a Texas Ranger badge with his last name etched across the star in the center.

It seems the Cowboy intends to go off into battle and to psyche himself up, he's having to go back to his roots and that means the Texas Rangers. "You're more than welcome to add a little to it, as long as the badge remains forefront. Just a little something to remind me where I've come from," he explains.

Dark eyes crinkle at the corner in response to the surprise on his face, a quiet laugh escaping Xiulan's lips. "Yes, I am the tattooist. It's okay though, I've been doing this since I was able to walk." As he turns to display the tattoo, she steps up to take a closer look, her smile broadening. Hey, she likes Westerns and knows the symbol. "You were a Texas Ranger?" From her tone, it is clear that she doesn't disbelieve him so much as thinks that is pretty neat. It is only belatedly that she adds, "I don't think I would add anything to it, really. Unless you happen to have silver bullets and a big white horse." And if so, she definately wants to see the horse.

"I was. Though I'd like to think I still am. Once a Ranger, always a Ranger and all that." Len realizes she was practically reading his mind when he noticed her youth. "You come highly recommended, so I have no doubts in your ability." Len finds himself staring for just a moment, when he blinks and gives her a sheepish, yet charming grin. "You're the artist, so I'll just take your word for it. I'm fairly easy going as far as it all goes." Rubbing his hands together, he tilts his head towards her. "So, where to?" he asks, ready to get this going.

"Really? Who recommended me?" Curious, but not to the point of stalling work, Xiulan steps back and pulls the curtain aside. Of course, as one might expect, there is a big leather tattoo chair and all the acoutrement standing conviently nearby. "Make yourself comfortable," she invites as she steps around the chair to go about the business of fiddling with inks and her gun. Of course, while she goes about the business of pulling out sterile needles and new ink, none of them are actually used in her work. Course, there will be enough inkless 'pricking' to put on a good show.

Len follows her behind the curtain, then makes himself comfortable in the large chair. Of course, it would be large for your standard sized person. He does, however, relax. Honestly, if he knew how it was done, he wouldn't care. He's seen far too many abilities for it to phase him, in fact, he may be impressed. But what he doesn't know won't hurt him either. "A gal friend of mine who suggested it." That's about all he says for the time being on that. He doesn't bother trying to see what she's doing. He's been tattooed before, so it's probably nothing that would surprise him. "Have you been in the area long?" he asks, as he seems to have the impression she was not born in the city, though he could be wrong.

"About ten years now," Xiulan admits. "My family immigrated from China." A glance up is coupled with the flash of a smile before she steps over and goes about the business of swabbing Len's arm with antiseptic. "How long since you left Texas?" Hey, she might not have been born in America but she does know you need to be a Texan to be a Texas Ranger. Course, the question is uttered as she tosses out the used swabs and reaches for the gun. The quiet metallic humming starts as she braces one hand against Len's shoulder and notes, "Starting now." The warning is, of course, promptly followed by the telltale prick of needles on tender flesh. From the motion of the gun it quickly becomes clear that she's touching up the outline first.

There might be a brief start when the needle first touches his arm, but after that he's cool as a cucumber. This tattoo is like a badge for him. He's about to do battle with a very tough son of a bitch and he knows it. "Oh, just a few months actually. I was born and raised in Texas and lived there for.." he pauses at the number, not wanting to impress the fact that he's pretty damn old, ".. a long time before moving up here a few months ago," he explains. "It's quite the change, I will admit. Took a bit of getting used to. Ten years? You've probably gotten quite adapted to the city."

Now, while the needles are definately pricking flesh, it is certainly a good deal less intense then the pain that normally accompany a tattoo. So, less pain is definately a plus. Also on the upside is the fact that Xiulan's colors won't fade, so, unless there is a desire to remove or cover the tat? Len is going to find he won't need to have it touched up again. Hand in hand with that, and perhaps a bit more telling, is the fact that the more vibrant colors are also considerably more realistic in thier metallic hues. Xiulan is artist enough, and female enough, to want to make her work as breath taking as possible.

It is in response to Len's statement that Xiu exhales a quiet laugh and gives a wry shake of her head. "Sadly, no. I mean, Chinatown, of course. But really, it's only been in the last few months that I've gotten out to see the rest of the city." Round about the time Cardinal showed up in her shop as a matter of fact. "I suppose I am a bit of a homebody," she admits. "But then with all the unpleasantness going on it is probably a wise choice." Which unpleasantness she is talking about she doesn't say. "Did you have horses?" Hey, he was born and raised in Texas, of course he had horses!

Amused, of course. Len's grin widens as she asks about horses. "Well, m'am, I'm afraid I haven't seen a horse in near a decade." Not since he joined the Company, anyway. "But when I was a young pup, my family had several of them which I rose as a kid. Used them mostly for herding cattle." He flashes his bright white teeth at her. "Unfortunately, unless I move out of the city, having horses again ir probably not going to happen." Of course, it's possible he could probably have a couple out at Fort Hero, but he isn't going to mention that.

The fact that the needle isn't hurting as bad as he recalled, causes Len to take a look down at what she's doing. He doesn't notice anything otherwise, and chalks it up to… hell, something else.

"I would love to ride horses," Xiulan admits almost wistfully. "Of course, I don't know about the herding cattle part. Cows," she admits. "Are kind of frightening." They are huge after all, and have horns. She does, however, flash a smile in response to his own, dark eyes crinkling at the corners before she returns her visual attention to her work. "I can't imagine leaving a life like that for the city." As for the tattoo, she transitions smoothly from the outline to the star itself, the silver infusing his flesh in a fashion that is quite stunning against dark skin. Course, it is around about at that point that she strikes on a notion and a ghostly outline of the state of Texas takes shape.

From where he's looking at it, he can only see parts of the tattoo. What he sees, however, "It looks amazing so far. It seems my friend undersold your ability. She said you were good, but you're far better than good." She's actually the best he's ever seen. "Cows are fairly tame unless you rile them up. Most of them are just pretty dumb and need to be led around, which is what we'd do." He glances at her as she seems very impressed with horses. "You never know, you may one day get to ride a horse. Just make sure you do it right and get yourself a hat like mine." he says, though the curl of his lips may indicate the fact that he's teasing her.

The laughter that spills from Xiulan's lips is undeniably merry, a quick smile flashes up at Len before she turns her gaze back to the tattoo. "I have one," she assures in reference to the hat. "One of the first things my father bought me when got to America was a Stetson." And she's very proud of that, obviously. "Course, it's in a case in my closet, but I do have one." At the compliments to her work, her expression softens, a hint of wispy silverish smoke highlighting the outline of Texas. "My family have been tattoo artists for hundreds of years," she admits. "Thank you, though, for the compliment." Of course, while touch-ups are generally fairly quick, this is one definately going along at a fair pace. "We shouldn't be too much longer," Xiu assures. She does, however, think to ask curiously. "What made you decide to get the touch up done?" Besides obviously needing a touch-up, mind.

That's quite the question right there. Len is quiet for a moment, the sound of the tattooist's tools buzzing along. When he finally speaks, his voice does not quite have that cheerful tone to it. "Just a little business that needs to be done. It's been a while since I was a Ranger, and I needed to feel the sting one more time to remind me of who I truly am, no matter what state I may live in right now." He finally smiles to her. "Once a Ranger, always a Ranger, they say. I believe it."

It is hard to say what clues Xiulan in, it could be the change in tone, or it could be the words themselves. Whichever the case, her expression is both serious and measuring as she slants a glance back up to Len's face. "You are law enforcement?" Admitedly, there is a whisper of wariness that touches her features at that statement. Of course, considering the fact that she is 'techincally' a Flying Dragon, it is understandable. Still, there is a great deal going on with the Dragons and there is a hint of concern that Liu might be about to have trouble added to his mourning. That, of course, would bode ill for /anyone/ in the Triad. It is as those dark eyes quietly assess Len's profile that she adds, "Should we be concerned that the Rangers might ride into Chinatown?" Course, she hasn't stopped working and the quality of her work remains pristine. Loyalties to Liu or not, she's an artist first.

"Retired Ranger. I still do a bit of work, but if Law Enforcement comes riding into Chinatown, you won't be seeing me." It's not an admission of being LE, though it's not a denial either. He has heard rumblings though about Chinatown, though it doesn't stop him for coming down for a meal, or a tattoo or anything else for that matter. There are some shop owners who know him by name, and it doesn't hurt that he speaks the language. "I suggest if there's something going on down here that would draw the attention of Law Enforcement, you may want to keep your head down and out of mischief." It's not a scolding, and the smile he offers can attest to that fact. Just a friendly warning from a gentleman cowboy to a pretty young tattoo artist. Whatever else she may be, at this moment, it doesn't concern Len.

"Oh, I make it a point to keep my head down as much as possible," Xiu notes with a smile that is pointedly wry. She was, after all, born and raised in China. If one learns anything in China, they learn to keep thier heads down. It is with a barely audible sigh that she focuses her attention back on the tattoo, her chin dipping in a firm nod. "At any rate, I hope the battle that you are preparing for goes favorably." At that point, the gun leaves his flesh, her head canting faintly as she examines her work and makes a few quick touch ups, sans gun and ink, before flashing a self-satisfied smile. "I think we're about done, though," she notes as she reaches for a hand mirror and holds it up to grant him a full view of the tatt.

"You never know, I may need a new tattoo someday and it'd be a sad thing if you weren't here when I needed you." he grins, then glances at the reflection of his tattoo in the mirror. It's probably the most vibrant tattoo he's ever seen. "You have an amazing gift." he admits. "If this doesn't inspire me to victory, then I don't know what will. Do I need to do anything special to take care of this?" he asks. Len pushes himself out of the chair and stands. He takes another admiring look at the tattoo, and it should be plainly evident that he is very pleased with the result.

"Nothing out of the ordinary," Xiulan admits. Rolling to her feet, she reaches for a roll of saran wrap tearing off a length and pressing it over the tattoo. While there is no danger of ink fading, there is still the wound care to think of. "You'll want to leave the plastic on until you get home. Once you're settled, pull it off and let the tattoo air out a bit." Stepping away from Len, she snags a bottle of antiseptic lotion and passes it over, a faint smile touching her lips. "Keep it hydrated and you should be fine. Of course, if the colors -do- fade, come back and I'll fix it on the house." Mind you, the colors won't fade, but still.

As he watches her work, he would find a pity to not have a reason to come back. She's been rather charming. He'll keep an eye on the place. "I'll try not to flex my bicep too much and rip this plastic." he teases briefly, a shiny glint to his eye that speaks of his mischieviousness. He gives her a polite bow, now that he's all Saran-Wrapped-up. He reaches into his back pocket and pulls out his wallet. "How much do I owe you, Miss.." Well, all this time and he never asked her name. That's awkward."

"Xiulan," is provided easily. "Xiulan Song." Flashing a smile, Xiu glances at the aforementioned bicep and lightly clears her throat. "I think I'd prefer you wait to flex it until I can be there to observe." Course, that's an unexpected bit of flirtation and it is promptly followed with a clearing of her throat as she slips over to the cash register. "Fifty will be fine," she assures as she snags one of her cards off the counter and extends it out. "Course, if you need more work done, feel free to call me?"

The card disappears and and five 20s take it's place on the counter, and underneath those is a card of his own. "I'm Len." Just a phone number and his first name written neatly in pen. "Your work is worth far more than that. You let me know if you find yourself in any trouble." Len tells her as he gives her wink. He reaches up and lifts his hat off his head as he bows politely to her. "I appreciate your time and your work. I'm honored." His hat is placed back on his head as he turns and heads out of the shop. It's not far to where his Jeep is parked, but right now the cool of the evening feels very good against his skin.

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