Oranges And Bananas


colette_icon.gif grace_icon.gif ygraine_icon.gif

Scene Title Oranges and Bananas
Synopsis A joking conversation over produce between three acquaintances may not be as much of a joke as imagined.
Date September 16th, 2008

Canal Street Market

Day or night, Canal Street is busy in Chinatown. Perfumes, purses, produce, pork, and poultry are all sold side by side in busy open storefronts. One entire portion of the street is dedicated to nothing but jewelry stores catering to various price ranges. Box vendors sell all manner of sizzling foodstuffs to passing pedestrians, some of it identifiable, some of it better left unexplained. The ambiance is one of business and pleasure.

Evening doesn't do much to slow the market down — not, at least, during that part of evening that falls somewhere post-afternoon and pre-sundown. The day's cloud cover has recently begun to break apart, allowing the sun to make a last-minute attempt at warming the air. Not that there's any time in which to notice how much cooler it is today, between navigating the horde of shoppers and passers-by in the streets and not getting distracted by one or another merchant's wares. A canvas bag swinging from one wrist, Grace threads her way through the press with a focused, intent air — she's here looking for particular things. Her clothes today are casual, jeans and a light blue tee beneath a lightweight brown jacket, its front left open.

Moving with somewhat less certainty, but the alertly interested air of someone paying close attention to her surroundings, a young woman in black - her leather jacket decorated with the flag of the United Kingdom - wends her way through the crowd, pausing every now and then to detour to peer at window displays and offered food.

"…no, no, I've got it!" To Grace it's a distantly familiar voice, a young girl met once by coincidence. Kneeling at the front of one of the open-air vendors on the streetside, the dark-haired young woman struggles to gather up a basket of overturned oranges. One by one picking them up and scrambling to get them back into the proper place while an elder asian couple leer disapprovingly over the top of the stall, clearly the owners.

"I-I'm so sorry!" The dark-haired girl grimaces awkwardly, putting the basket back where it belongs up on the angled wooden shelving, dropping oranges down inside. As she stands up to place a few more, her foot brushes into one of the pieces of fruit, sending it bouncing across the sidewalk. "Oh no!" She squeaks, turning around and darting after the fruit, "Come back!" As if it were to stop and listen to her, she calls out for it. Unaware, with her focus solely on the rolling orange as she stumbles along behind it, that she's barreling head on at Grace…

It'd take a completely deaf person to miss Colette's exclamations, even in this crowd. Grace is slower to pinpoint which one of the many they're coming from, however, and this prevents her from having the simple option of getting out of the teen's way. Although she probably wouldn't have, anyway. Her lips curve slightly, in what is closer to an amused smirk than a smile, and the woman shifts one foot so as to block the rollaway orange's path. The other, she braces against the sidewalk, just in case Colette doesn't stop herself in time…

Brows lifting, Ygraine pauses once more, turning her head towards the oddly domestic-sounding little commotion. She rises up onto her toes to peer through the crowd - then grins and raises a hand to wave at Grace, not realising that distracting her now might not be wholly wise.

With all the grace of a bull rhino, Colette doesn't manage to stop her scrambling and grasping for the orange even as she sees a foot raised to stop it's path. She collides with the expecing and braced Grace, her face plowing into the woman's stomach before stumbling back as her balance is foiled by the impact, landing down on her backside with a grunt of discomfort. "Hey! Watch where you're — " Rubbing one side of her face, cheeks puffed out, Colette stops her complaining the moment she sees just who it is she was about to berate. Of all the millions of people in New York, "You!" She says with marked surprise, head tilted to one side, baffled at the coincidence.

Grace's focus on Colette is such that she doesn't notice Ygraine's wave. A soft grunt escapes her at the collision, and the woman is rocked back by it, but she at least had the advantage of knowing it was coming. One dark eyebrow lifts as Colette immediately reacts by trying to pin the blame on her. "I," she informs the girl, "wasn't the one moving." Is that a smile? It's hard to tell. As has happened once before, Grace holds out a hand, silently offering to help the teen up.

Ygraine changes course to approach the other pair, sidling through the crowd to close in on the other two women. She tries waving again as the gap narrows, though she also glances around for something that might explain the collision - smiling as she spots the pursued orange.

Cheeks still puffed out, lips pursed and shifted to one side in a thoughtful stare, as if still debating on complaing more, Colette finally just puffs out a sigh and reaches up, taking Grace's offered hand as she struggles up to her feet, "Thanks…" It comes as an embarassed mumble while Colette dusts her khahis off. Spotting the orange, she bends down and swipes it up off of the concrete, brandishing her index finger at it admonishingly while glowering down at the fruit. Then, once she's certain it's learned it's lesson, she looks back up to Grace, unaware of Ygraine's approach.

From this angle, Ygraine can see only the right side of Colette's face, and by that only her milky-white and blinded eye, a sure explanation for her obliviousness and horrible depth perception. "Sorry for, y'know, ramming speed and all that." Colette idly plays with her lower lip, teeth drawing over it as she looks over her shoulder, peering at the irate owners of the market stall. "I, like, gotta go pay for this." She waves the orange around, "Stay right there, mn'kay?" She points at Grace, as if that was an order, then wheels around like a little windup toy and bounds off back towards the staff.

You're welcome," Grace replies easily, once Colette's back up on her feet. This time, as she watches the teen dart back through the market, she catches sight of Ygraine's motion. The other woman is given a polite nod in return, before Grace moves over out of the high-traffic zone, picking one of the nearby stalls to loiter at and study. She is here to shop, after all.

Ygraine dithers momentarily, before following Grace to her stall, moving into place beside her to quirk another smile. "Hi. I, ummm, can wander off, easily enough, if you're busy. Just thought that I should say hello whenever I spot a familiar face in the city."

Looking over at Ygraine, Grace shakes her head. "Not that busy," she answers. "You're welcome to wander along." She turns back to the booth, scanning the produce. "Just don't mind if I shop while you do." A pause, as Grace picks up a bunch of bananas for closer examination. A twitch of her lips. "So, hello."

Now standing beside Grace at a fruit stall, Ygraine looks relieved. "Thanks. I need to do some shopping, myself. I just… I never feel wholly comfortable about marching up to people in the street. So, ahh, are you okay? Looked like you got rammed, just now."

Not far off, Colette waves his hands animatedly while brandishing money towards the old couple behind the stall. She stomps one foot, arms thrown down to her sides as her brows lower and lips curl into a frown, followed by an equally animated thrusting of one hand in the direction of the basket of oranges she knocked over. Finally, tossing her hands into the air with an overly-exasperated groan, she throws a few bills at the old couple and snags a paper bag, filling it with the entire basket of oranges that she had knocked over onto the sidewalk, then turns and begins storming back in the direction of Grace, an indignant little look on her face.

"I did," Grace replies, glancing over in Colette's direction. One brow lifts again at the sight of the teen's theatrics, before her light blue eyes return to Ygraine. The smile stretches a bit, becoming something more actually recognizable as such. "No harm done." Setting the bananas to one side, she taps on a few of the late-season watermelons.

Ygraine acquires a trio of bananas for herself, though her attention is now half directed towards the approaching Collette-shaped storm cloud of indignation. "You know her?"

On her approach, Colette's grumbling complaints can be heard, "…over the whole stupid thing, s'not my fault. Make me pay for the whole bushel you wrinkly ol' karate-choppin' son of a — " She falters, finally noticing Ygraine directly conversing with Grace. Her eyes drfting up to the british flag printed squarely on the back of her jacket. Eyes wander the coat, admiringly, and she circles around the woman with all of the rude and inspecting nature as could be expected of her, "Nice jacket!" She exclaims without need for introduction, her fouled mood slipping away with the distraction.

"We've met," Grace answers, gravelly voice dry as dust. She doesn't bother to follow Ygraine's gaze towards the approaching teen, but goes about her business, setting one of the watermelons aside. Before the woman sets about purchasing them, however, she watches Colette study the Brit's jacket. "Rude brat." For all the edges her voice gives the words, Grace's apparent attitude doesn't match up; there's much more amusement than reprimand there.

Ygraine laughs, flashing a grin over her shoulder at Colette - and another sidelong at Grace - as she holds her arms out, to better show off the back of her jacket. Close up, it looks as if the flag is painted rather than printed. "Glad you approve. I figured that it was either this, or top hat, tailcoat and cane…"

"Equally fashionable!" Colette says sharply, nodding to Ygraine, "You'd have to have a monocle then, with the tophat. S'required." Her eyes shift slowly over to Grace, smile creeping across her lips as she hugs that bag of oranges to her chest. "I am a loveable brat, there's a difference!"

After a moment of consideration, Colette turns fully towards Grace and beams a smile, "Actually, I meant to more thouroughly say thanks," She shifts the bag to be held in one arm and braced against her hip, "I stayed at the church, like you said. It was really great there, the people were real nice to me." Her eyes wander for a moment before focusing back at the older woman. "The ah, cops picked me up though. Nice guy I guess, but I've got a place to stay with the detective for a while until they find, like, an actual home for me or something. But really, if it weren't for you I wouldn't have been there to be found. Thanks." There's something earnest about those words, not the remarkably sassy tone she's been keeping so far.

One corner of her mouth tugs back as Ygraine models the jacket, but Grace's expression clears very quickly as Colette continues with her thanks. A flick of her hand, as if to brush away a nonexistent insect; a slight shake of her head. "There's no need," that rasping voice replies, perhaps just a bit stiffly. And Grace turns away to settle matters with the vendor, conversation put behind her.

Ygraine's expression also changes in response to Colette's shift of mood and delivery of thanks to Grace. She looks quite impressed, remaining silent as her gaze flicks back and forth between the two, demeanour now very much concerned rather than amused.

"Like ice," Colette says with an approving smile as Grace turns her back, looking up to Ygraine, "Are you one of her henchmen?" Colette teases, crooking her lips into a smile, "She seems like the type to, you know, have henchmen." The young girl huffs and blows an errant lock of black hair away from her face, one that was disruptingly covering her one unblinded eye. "Name's Colette, by the by, if Gracey didn't tell you." She offers Ygraine that one free hand, fingers wiggling as if to entice a handshake.

Henchmen? Grace doesn't quite snort at that; the fact that her back's still to the other two is the only reason she allows the smile as she puts her purchases into the bag. "My henchmen," the woman replies, in a tone seemingly more akin to shifting gravel than a human voice, "would squash you like a bug for lese majeste." One of them, anyway. Turning back to face the pair, expression rather well composed (all things considered), Grace raises a brow. "Lucky for you they aren't here."

The Briton utterly fails to stifle a giggle, flashing a grin at Grace before reaching out to accept Colette's hand, with the intention of shaking firmly. "Ygraine", she provides with a warm smile. "A pleasure to meet you, Colette. I'm afraid that I'm just a courier, these days."

"Aha, I knew you had them!" Colette teases, thinking that Grace is just playing along, "You've got all the poise of a Bond Villain!" Her lips twist into a mischevious smile, "Ms.Freeze!" She exclaims, finally bursting out laughing herself, her mis-matched eyes shifting to peer up at Ygraine, "Wow, that's a heck of a name! Don't think I've ever even heard of anybody with that one before," Her head cocks to the side with a swish of her bangs falling over her white eye. "Courier? Like… a mailman?"

"It's British. Like her coat." Grace looks over at Ygraine, echoing her grin with a far more subtle smile. Blue eyes flick across the surrounding stalls; spotting one with other produce she'd like to buy, the woman tips her head in its direction, before turning and heading that way.

Ygraine chuckles, accepting Grace's silent direction, gesturing for Colette to accompany them. "On a cycle. I pedal around New York, delivering things. Black lycra, rather than a uniform and sensible shoes."

"Oh! Okay, I guess…" Colette idly chews on the inside of her cheek as she thinks, then shoots a glance over to Grace. "Don't think I didn't see that smile." She says with a crooked grin, scooting over to nudge her elbow gently into Grace's hip before shuffling back over to Ygraine. "Hey, well…" She cracks a thin smile, "It was cool talkin' with you and all that, but I've like, really gotta get back to Sourpuss' apartment so I can start dinner before he gets home." The young girl steps back a few paces and throws one hand into the air in an overly dramatic wave. "Guess I'll run into you two again?" She adds with a giggle, winking her blind eye at her own self-depreciating joke.

Grace starts at the surprise nudge to her hip, and peers down at the teenager. "Hopefully not so literally," she states, gaze flicking to Ygraine. "Otherwise, it's your turn," the Brit is informed. Then the woman goes back to perusing peppers and carrots.

Ygraine laughs once more, offering Colette and Grace a cheerfully flamboyant bow. "I shall endeavour to protect the mastermind next time around, then. Do feel free to say hi if you see me, Colette."

Colette flashes Grace a smile, as if in victory of the conversation. She turns, with a proud smirk over to Ygraine, "I'll keep that in mind, espescially if I need to mail something!" She grins, waving again with a broad and sweeping motion of one hand, half-stumbling down off of the sidewalk before bumping into a parked car, steadying herself up against it. Her face turns bright red, and she laughs awkwardly, "H-haa! Yeah!" Her eyes shift to the side, "See ya! No takin' over the world without me!" Trying to pay more attention as she crosses the street — no need to have a repeat incident of last time — Colette disappears into the busy crowds of Chinatown.

Glancing over her shoulder at the pair, Grace snorts softly. Before she can go back to considering the produce, the woman is distracted by the phone in her pocket. Consulting the screen, she gives Ygraine another subtle smile. "Excuse me. Henchman calling." And wouldn't Scott just love to be called that? A brief wave to the Briton, as Grace flips the phone open and starts to drift away through the crowd. The rest of her shopping can wait.

Ygraine finds herself laughing once more, shaking her head and smiling at Grace… only to thereafter be left alone with her bananas in the crowd.

September 16th: Freed From Carbonite
September 16th: Out of a Hat
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