Noodle Dream


marlowe_icon.gif tania_icon.gif

Scene Title Noodle Dream
Synopsis Two women encounter each other again at the place where they had alarmingly though temporarily lost their memories, and get to know each other's identities.
Date April 1, 2018

Yamagato Park: Oishī Noodles & Sushi

As a resident of Yamagato Park, Marlowe has largely not needed to venture beyond the area unless she’s been required by her job. The idea of the park to be a model city within the city, to provide for all needs and wants without significant negative impact on the environment or stress on its people is a lofty goal. And one that seems so far been achieving a satisfactory level with Marlowe’s needs. Despite the alarming developments and strange visions the residents of the Japanese territory had experienced not long ago, that hasn’t deterred the woman from venturing back out of the Cresting Wave or from the main building. A woman’s got to eat. And she’ll be damned if a disjointed vision of someone not herself will keep her from a good bowl of noodles and fresh sushi.

Still, she approaches the noodle shop with a hint of trepidation and wariness. Eyeing the glowing OPEN sign, she lifts a hand and pushes the door open to the chorus of welcome from the staff. Perhaps they’ve all returned to work too, to grasp at normalcy. And to trust that Yamagato Security is working on getting to the bottom of it, the way good citizens are expected to trust in the law. Marlowe breathes out a soft sigh, appreciative of this social contract at least for now. And to wit, stands in front of the ordering screen to make some choices about what she’s having tonight. It’ll be the same as that one night.

Tania hasn't been back to Yamagato Park since the last time she was in this restaurant. But she's here now, and it isn't for the sushi. Well, it's partly for the sushi. Because it's delicious. She comes in shortly after Marlowe, taking a spot at the bar, greeting those behind it with Russian-accented English to meet their Japanese-accented English. She only needs a moment with her own ordering, since she knows what she likes and knows the menu well enough. Once she's settled, she glances around and catches sight of Marlowe.

She sits up straighter, because she remembers her from last time. Lifting a hand, she tries to get her attention, to offer her the stool next to her.

Seeing as she busily taps out her order, Marlowe doesn’t catch the waving movement until her digital ticket is transmitted to the cooks and she looks up. She too, straightens as she recognizes Tania, switching direction to move to the offered seat. “Hey there,” greets the woman in an amicable tone and a smile. “We meet again.” Though technically, they didn’t exactly meet that night, Marlowe treats this newest encounter as a meeting of familiar friends. She sets her clutch down, taking a moment to adjust her seat height a bit and get comfortable. Then, the hand comes out for the usual introductory shake. “I’m Marlowe,” she says, “and I do actually work around here.” The woman lets out a light laugh.

"So it seems," Tania says before she reaches out to shake her hand. "Tania. I mostly come to the Park for the food," she says with a gentle laugh. She does not work here, is the implication. "It's good to meet you, Marlowe. Are you here to eat or to investigate?" It could be both, of course. Tania might be here for both. She hasn't decided yet, on the investigation half. Perhaps not knowing how to begin.

"How have you been since?" she asks, genuine concern there. Because it wasn't fun. And Tania wasn't exactly at her best just after.

Marlowe gives Tania the friendly shake with a glance down to the other woman’s hand. “Tania, nice to meet you,” she says, releasing the other’s hand. “I’m here for both. Both? Mmm yeah, both. But also, whatever moisturizer you’re using, you have to let me in on your secret.” The question of how she’s doing brings her shoulders up in a mild shrug. “It’s strange, but a little bit after that Friday when we were, you know, there was another rash of weird visions. It wasn’t quite like the one here, but.” She blows out a sigh, shaking her head like she hopes to keep it clear of a fog of worry. “How about you? Were you okay? I mean clearly, you’re back here so it didn’t scare you off either.” She smiles at that, glad for the company. Perhaps she didn’t really want to eat alone after all. “Are you more local? Which part of the city are you in?” Her head tilts, curiosity prodding her questions.

"Oh, it's beeswax," Tania says, as if the compliment surprised her. Because it did. "It's some concoction of my mother's." And she uses it to indulge her. Or, well, that's how it started, but then it really made her hands soft, so now she just says she uses it to indulge her. "I was thinking about both. But I'm not sure… how to go about that." When Marlowe talks about the next batch of odd visions, Tania furrows her brow. "Seems to me that either Yamagato park is very unlucky," she notes, "or someone is trying to give you some bad PR." It is possible she doesn't think the first is very plausible. "I wasn't scared off. It isn't like it was the sushi's fault." She doesn't seem shaken, so perhaps it wasn't so bad for her as it was for some others. "Bay Ridge. Very close," she offers to the prodding. She doesn't seem to mind that, either.

Mentally filing that bit about beeswax away, Marlowe nods a few times. “Listen, if your mother and you want to make a few bucks and supply, I’ll get you a whole list of buyers,” she says seriously. “‘Cause this skin don’t stay this way once I get my hands dirty with whatever it is I need to be working on. Plus the office ladies will go gaga over it.”

Once they’ve gotten into visions and a little more detail, Marlowe utters a thoughtful ‘hm’ at Tania’s theory.“It affected a lot of people,” she mentions, “I was out of the park for the first one though I heard it was intense. There was a long line in the appointments made at the health center, people wanting to check out their mental and physical health.” There still is, though much of the people in the park appear for all intents and purposes normal. New Yorkers, skeptically resilient in the face of weirdness, as always.

“But oh, Bay Ridge, definitely the place to be,” she speaks of the Safe Zone’s most densely populated zone with a degree of wry knowledge. “Have you ever been to The Vault? There’s a lot of lovely pieces there. You can really tell they’ve taken care of the items in it.” The glimmer in her eyes when she speaks of the place tells of an appreciation for the older items, even though hardly anything physically about Marlowe would give away that tidbit.

"Doctors use it," Tania says, as if this still needs to be pitched, "because they have to wash so often. So it will probably work for you." Whether her mother would like to sell it or not, she's not sure. But she looks intrigued by the idea. Probably it will be discussed in the future.

"I was there. In the park. It was… not as painful," Tania says with a bit of a wry smirk. "But the memory was more detailed, covered more time. Some people must have seen… some truly awful things." The park was not calm after the fact. "I'm not surprised to hear that people needed support. Mine wasn't so bad. A good memory." Mostly. But she smiles, as if it was nothing to worry about. That smile widens at the mention of The Vault. Warmer. More genuine. "The proprietor is one of my oldest friends," she says, clearly glad to see someone appreciate the place. "He does take very good care of it. And care of what he sells and doesn't. If you go again, you can tell him you know me. See if he charges you less or more," she adds the last with a light chuckle. She genuinely doesn't know which he would do, but that fact seems to amuse her rather than annoy her.

The conversation takes a pause as food arrives, and Marlowe has a brief exchange with the server in Japanese with a quick bow of her head, which results in a bow of the server’s, and short exchange before there’s a smile for Tania, and the server’s off again to tend other customers. “She said everybody here’s also pretty much okay, too, if a little bit weirded out by what they remembered,” Marlowe explains, a short gesture for the staff. “Glad yours was a good memory, though. Mine was sort of? I just remembered boot camp.” The woman shrugs helplessly, not entirely certain what it could mean.

However when the conversation returns to The Vault and Tania mentions being friends with the owner, Marlowe’s brows jump. “Really? Oh I’m definitely going to try and get a discount then. You don’t think he’d charge me more, do you? Not with a face and a smile like this.” She laughs as she tries to put on a sweet, sweet smile. “But if he comes across any old jazz or lounge records, I’m afraid I might be done for.” Or rather, her wallet. Then she regards Tania once more, turning naturally on topic, “What do you do? Considering you’re friends with Mr. Logan.”

Tania gives the server a thank you, but doesn't interrupt as Marlowe converses with them. She nods to the news— it isn't too surprising. "I can't blame them for feeling strange. As much as we know we live among giants," she says, her smile crooked, "it can still be a surprise to feel their footsteps." She doesn't seem to think this is a bad thing, though.

When the talk turns to one John Logan again, she can't help the fondness in her expression. "If you think of him as a particularly finicky cat, you'll be able to handle him well enough," she says with a chuckle. Whether or not this tactic works for his customers, well, they'll find out soon enough. "John is very good at picking out your weaknesses. My advice is never to let him see what you actually want or how much you want it. He has an eye for it and likes making money." When the matter of her profession comes up, Tania tilts her head a little. "I'm an artist. A painter."

Taking a moment to let the ramen noodles cool before partaking, Marlowe also considers. “Hm, finicky cat, eh? I’ll definitely keep that in mind,” the woman says thoughtfully, filing that away with a crooked smile. “I haven’t got a cat but I do take care of a friend’s bird every once in a while. He can be a good bird, but can also sometimes be a punk.” The title is said with affection of course. Foggy is a great bird.

She can’t help but keep the crooked smile for what she notes as the fond regard for the man in Tania’s expression. The other woman’s referring to him by a first name, the way she reveals his mannerisms, it’s telling even if she might not realize.

Then Marlowe quirks up a brow. “An artist?” She leans in with interest. “What subjects do you like to paint?” Finally picking up her chopsticks, she pokes some of the toppings around, prepping and planning the meal out of reflex. “Do you have any plans to attend the museum exhibition gala a little later this month here?”

It's likely Tania doesn't realize how much she is giving away, but if she has a weakness outside her love for her brother, it's wrapped up in John Logan. "You'll do fine," she says with an amused smile. "I'll give you a heads up if any jazz records come through." She's there often enough, she'll probably catch it.

"I mostly paint by commission. A patron knows what they want, most of the time, and I am happy to oblige." And obviously, it pays well, given how she dresses and eats and where she lives. She picks up a piece of her sushi, her expression turning thoughtful. "I'm told what I like to paint is often melancholy and pensive," she says with a chuckle. "Rain through dirty windows. Women sitting alone. Abandoned gardens and dark forests." She doesn't seem melancholy herself, though. Perhaps she puts it all in the canvas instead. "I already have my ticket," she says with a brighter smile, "and a dress. I wouldn't miss it."

“Blame my father for that,” Marlowe says of the jazz records with a smile, one that speaks to an affection for the parent and the tint of homesick sadness in missing him. The subjects she lists off do indeed sound dour as well, enough that Marlowe tosses a piece of her sushi in to distract herself for a few seconds. She’s thoughtful through the chewing, and by some degree formulating a reply. When it comes, she sounds more straightforward. “Do you - could you - paint off a description? Sort of like a sketch artist?” She twists a hand to explain, “The way my ability works, it’s something like that. Simply that, I break down what I’ve got into the basics and then build it into what I’m thinking.”

She looks to one of her chopsticks, setting it down on the countertop. Then, with a short touch of her finger, transforms the wider end of it from the plain bamboo stick it was into a wavy shape, formulating the end of it into that of a small, flat butterfly with wings spread. The woman lifts her finger off the chopstick, allowing the sculpted end to solidfy. She smiles again, continuing after, “Maybe, if I told you about the dog and such in my vision, you could paint it? I’m not that great with a brush, myself. And heck, if you’ve already got a ticket to the gala, I’m going to find you there and we’ll get a little hammered. What else are those events for, really.”

"I haven't tried, not of a person in any case, but I would be willing to," Tania says, as far as her skills as a sketch artist. Painter. Whichever. As Marlowe displays her ability, Tania tilts her head, watching with eyebrows lifted as she eats some of her own sushi. "That is quite a gift you have," she says, in real, if mild, appreciation. She reaches over to tap the butterfly, perhaps to see if it's real. "Come to my home," she says after a pause, "I have a workroom there. You can tell me about the dog and I'll see if I can capture its likeness." She reaches into a pocket, pulling out a card to slide over to Marlowe. "It gives us a place to start, anyway, in figuring this mystery out." As far as getting hammered at the gala, Tania laughs and nods. "Count on it."

The butterfly is in fact as real as the bamboo wood it’s made out of. With a smile, Marlowe slips her finger over the rest of the chopstick and with a slight narrowing of her eyes in concentratio, turns the piece from just the chopstick topper into a smoother, less likely to splinter, hair pin. This she pushes over to Tania in exchange for the card. “Sounds like a deal to me,” she says, plucking up the card to check the address and slips the card into her clutch. “Believe me I’d like to figure it out as much as the rest of them. Can’t be having my workflow interrupted by large man hands and objectively cute dogs.” Because the dog in her vision really was a big fluffy affair. “That all being said and done, let’s get some drinks too and really get this food down. And, you can tell me a little more about the stuff you’ve painted.”

The small talk is easy for Marlowe, and as it turns out she has an appreciation for the creatives. The conversation flow, she instinctively tailors to not be awkward as much as possible, always caring to engage with her companion. The meal goes as the time does, and by the end of their shared time, at least Marlowe hopes to have made a new, talented friend as well.

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