Random Awkwardness


f_april_icon.gif ina_icon.gif quinn_icon.gif

Scene Title Random Awkwardness
Synopsis Quinn collides with Ina in front of April, who remains cagily wary in the face of an offer of help.
Date August 15, 2010

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.

She hasn't gone back to her apartment. Made one last call with her cellphone and then divested it of battery, discarding both pieces. Stopped at the bank which kept her small cache of emergency supplies in a safe deposit box for exactly this eventuality — and now, too many hours of wakefulness later, April walks down Canal Street with distracted attention upon the vendors' stalls. Despite not having eaten in a while, she can't manage to scrounge up any appetite; dressed in a light blue tee and tan shorts, the dark-haired woman simply wanders, finding both refuge and hazard in the marketplace throng. She considers the people around her with wary flickers of green eyes, finding a reassuring lack of recognized faces.

Today, Robyn Quinn seems to be in high spirits. It's been an incredibly busy day, to say the least, and now it's getting late in the day. With how the new curfew change had gone into effect, being out on the town and spending money was probably the last thing she should be doing. And yet, here she was with her bag slung over her shoulder, scanning the streets for any interesting shops, stores, or items that she thinks might be worth something to Sable or Magnes, to go with the rest of the presents she had for others. Her iPhone out, staring down and it at its directory listing, she wanders forth, not really paying attention to where she's going.

Ina doesn't mean to bump into Quinn, turning away from a stall with a bag of fresh food in arms. Desiring to stock up on the supplies in her little room above the strip club, she'd turned just do, a lingering glance to the stall owner and right into Quinn with her iphone and apps and directories. "Oh shit." As delicate vegetables and fruits go flying from her arms when her ankle rolls in her tall heels, heading for the ground thanks to inattention. They're bound to hit someone, likely April, as well as an expensive purse.

Impulse shields April from the flying produce, motion having attracted her eye; translucent silver sets itself between her and the two other women, hovering for a long moment of silence afterwards. Ultimately, the former agent closes her hand into a fist, the forcefield disappearing. She hesitates uneasily, watching Ina and Quinn, glancing to either side; then crouches to pick up the items in immediate reach — without looking away from the women. Straightening, April pauses again, before stretching out a produce-filled hand towards Ina. "Here."

"Oh, shit!" is echoed by Quinn as she collides with Ina, sending the Irish stumbling to the side, iPhone slipping out of her hand and to the ground, landing on a corner and skittering off to the side — thank god for protective covers, but the way the screen flickers doesn't bode well. Unable to catch herself on anything, the next place Quinn finds herself thudding rear first on the sidewalk, a book falling out of her bag as well. "What the hell!" she exclaims, both in surprise and annoyance as she jumps back up, eyes narrowed. Fingers waggle as she realises that her iPhone is gone, and she realises what's happened. "Jesus, I am so sorry!" For the moment, she doesn't notice April.

"My fault for not wearing my not so teetery heels." Spoken once Ina's managed to regain her dignity despite being on the ground. "I hope you're okay?" Oh look, someone's passing her back her vegetation and Ina's hands close around the red peppers. "I am terribly sorry." This was her fault, so the bitch switch is decidedly off. "Thank you so much for my stuff." This to April, a gesture to more produce scattered around them and the iPhone. "I think that belongs to the young woman?" Ina flashes a smile to April, a gesture to Quinn and the phone.

April smiles weakly back at Ina, following her gesture to the lost device. "Yeah," she agrees, unmoving for a moment, then drawing in a breath and retrieving the iPhone as well. This one is held out to Quinn, after a brief glance at the screen. "I hope it's okay," she offers, looking down at Quinn with her expression guarded.

"I'm fine, yeah. God, I really should be watching where I'm going better." Quinn grimaces, reaching down to retrieve the book that had fallen out of her bag. "Feckin' hell, where's my-" Hearing the mention of belongings and a young woman, she looks up, eyes settling on the iPhone. "Oh, thank god. I hope you're okay too?" She reaches out to take the device, eyes moving up to the holder - and widening a bit in surprise. "Oh shit. Hey," she says to April, blinking to match her expression.

One knows the other. Ina looks at the poor battered iPhone, gathering her produce till the last is finally secured, digging into her purse so she can fish around for business cards. One for each, offered up. "Please, if your phone is broken, let me know, my fault, I will take blame where it is due and will pay to replace it," is offered to Quinn by the businesswoman.

The rectangle of card stock is offered out to April too, just so she doesn't feel left out. Ina Anderson, Corinthian Hotel & Casino, Floor Manager. "Please, if there's anything at all, to make up for disrupting your day, both of you."

April blinks at Ina, accepting the card with a nonplussed frown. She looks down at the print on its face, then nods briefly. "Thanks." Looking back towards Quinn, the woman nods again, then steps past them as if to move on her way — and trying to keep her shoulders from hunching up defensively as she does.

The card is taken with a bit of hesitation and surprise, Quinn cocking an eyebrow as she looks down at her phone. There's a small crack in the corner where it impacted, but it's still extremely usable. "That is way too nice," Quinn says quietly, clearly caught off guard. Slipping the phone into her bag, she looks up. I think it'll be fine, thanks. An' I'm really sorry for runnin' into you. All your food in order? Cause I can totally cover that, if I need t'. I feel bad."

As April begins to take off, Quinn looks back with a bit of a frown. "Hey! Runnin' off so soon?" It's only the second — well, third — time she's seen April, and the woman's presence intrigues her.

Woman is going to take off, she's not going to say anything. Random meeting with someone who she'll likely never see again unless the woman happens to cross the stage at Burlesque or onto the floor of the casino. There's a wave off of her hand as April takes off which turns palms out in protest. "The food looks fine so long as I can keep from running into other people or they to me." There's a glance to make sure her wallet is still there in her purse on the off chance that April and Quinn are working in tandem to rob people. But no, everything's there.

April pauses as Quinn addresses her, looking back towards the younger woman. Then she turns, facing them both again. Noticing how Ina checks the contents of her purse, the brunette doesn't appear to take offenseee at the implied suspicion; rather, her posture seems to relax, albeit only slightly. Green eyes flick back to Quinn, considering her for a long moment before April finally responds. "I don't have too long," she says, glancing to Ina. "Why?"

It's a bit of an awkward moment that follows, not unlike when Quinn first recognised April. She doesn't catch Ina's checking of her purse, but she wouldn't think much of it anyway. "Oh. I just wanted t'— you know. I dunno. Say hi? But… don't let me keep you." Quinn wrinkles her nose, looking back to Ina. "Well, that's something we'll both have t' work on then, so that our stuff gets home in one piece."

Back up on her feet she goes, Ina steadying herself with the bag of produce, a quirk of her head for the former company agent and a nod of her head — appreciatively — and one for Quinn too, she's turning away to leave them to their conversation, teetering off on her manolos and ripped pantyhose.

April hesitates, gaze dropping. "Sorry," she says, a bit quietly. She glances over to Ina as the woman takes her leave, then returns her attention to Quinn. The older woman remains quiet for a long moment, one hand ruffling at her own dark hair, indecisive. "…Have you eaten yet?" she finally asks of the musician, a peace offering of sorts.

Quinn smiles, chuckling quietly. "No need t' apologise if you've got t' be somewhere. I mean, it's not like we just kinda bumped int' each other or something." Wait, no, that was Ina. Quinn shrugs, watching Ina leave for a moment before she turns to fully face April. "Not yet, nope! Was going t' get somethin' back home."

April nods, then gestures up the street — in the direction she came from. "I think I saw a food stall back that way," she offers. In for a penny, in for a pound. "We could get something there if you wanted."

"Oh!" Quinn looks a bit surprised by that turn of the conversation. She does, however, look rather pleased. "Sure! Might as well while I'm out. It's just microwave dinners back home anyway." The Irishwoman adjusts her back, a hand in her pocket thumbing at her damaged phone. "I mean, if you don't mind, then lead the way!" Even as she says that, she's pivoting on her her heel to face the direction indicated.

April nods, but smiles ruefully at the younger woman and gesturing her forward with a twitch of one hand: she doesn't want to lead. Anything that lets her keep an eye on Quinn will suffice, however; side-by-side is fine. "It's not hard to spot." They walk up the street, dodging other pedestrians, and it isn't long before the former agent points out the stall advertising filled dumplings (four to the dollar). Also fried noodles and soups, two dollars a bowl. "There."

Quinn meanders happily alongside April, remaining quiet lest she drive things into a further sense of awkwardness. There's an "Oooh" as they reach the food stand, the musician walking up to it with a wide smile. Hands withdraw from pockets with a bit of money in hand as she looks over the options. "What do you want?" she asks, looking over at April. "My treat."

The older woman hesitates at Quinn's offer, but she can't afford that kind of pride right now and knows it. "Thanks," she says quietly, nodding slightly. "I'll take the dumplings," April adds, before moving to stand where she can see both Quinn and the street, the buildings behind her back. Her gaze flicks over the crowd, such windows as she can see, the people around the cart — someone's on edge.

Quinn nods happily, placing a quick order for two sets of dumplings, one for each of them. Waiting for them to be handed out, Quinn turns over to April with a quirked eyebrow. "So, what brings you out here? I don't usually come out t' Chinatown m'self, so…"

April focuses most of her attention back on Quinn, shrugging one shoulder slightly. "Shopping — although wandering just as much, I guess, to be entirely honest." She nods down the street. "I live over that way — or I did." The older woman presses her lips together, the better to not say more. "What about you? I at least have the excuse of residence."

Quinn laughs, shrugging as she takes their order. Handing one over to April, she grins. "Out windin', getting some gifts for friends. Thought I'd come by Chinatown an' see if I could get some import records or that kinda stuff for some people." Her head tilts at April, eyeing her for a moment. "Did? Y' movin'?" Not that she really knows April well enough to ask, but Quinn's just curious.

Cupping her hands around the bowl of four dumplings, April nods to Quinn. "Yeah," she says. Picking up one of the dumplings with a fork — no chopsticks while she's standing, thank you — the woman takes a bite out of it and occupies herself with chewing. Momentarily, anyway. "Did you find what you wanted?"

"Nothin' worth getting' yet," Quinn replies with a half smile. "The person I wanted t' get a record for likes a lotta older music. Most a' the stuff I see here is modern stuff." Quinn shrugs, leaning back a bit, taking a bite of her own dumplings. "What about you. Find anythin' worth getting'?"

Eating the rest of her dumpling as Quinn speaks, and abruptly realizing she hasn't eaten anything all day, April shrugs at the musician and nods down towards her own hands. Except for the bowl and fork she was just given, there's nothing in them. "Not really. Guess I'm not in the right mood for shopping." Starting on the next dumpling, April eats it more quickly.

The lack of anything in hand is an important detail, one Quinn had managed to overlook pretty easily. "Well, if you're not doin' anything, we can go lookin' for stuff t'gether? Maybe you just need some help," she says with a joking nudge at April, laughing. The look on her face, though, is one of slight uneasiness, something that seems to permeate the air around them.

The humor doesn't quite find purchase for April, as she fusses with the third dumpling in her bowl. Looking away from Quinn, she chews on her lower lip. "Thanks," she says quietly, "but I'll handle it." Although she still doesn't look at the younger woman, except in the periphery of her vision; and that periphery never leaves her, as if letting Quinn out of sight could pose a hazard. Not until April reaches up to rub her eyes anyway; she's tired, and that's all there is to it, surely.

Quinn only acknowledges April with a nod of her head; she's not entirely paying attention at the moment. Rather, she's fishing for a paper and pen, for whatever purpose — in this case, to jot down an address and phone number. But April's already moving away when Quinn looks back up, bringing a frown to musician's face, her head canting to the side. "Shit," she says quietly to herself. "Hey, mind givin' one more moment?" she asks with a half smile as she takes a towards the other woman.

April pauses as Quinn addresses her back, pivoting around a little too quickly and ending with a last step backwards — away from the younger woman. Slightly narrowed eyes regard her for a moment, flicking down to the paper in the musician's hands, back up to her face. The bowl is held in one hand, near April's chest; the fork in her other hand has fallen to her side. "…Okay," she agrees cautiously.

"Sorry! I didn't mean t' startle you," Quinn replies with a bit of a laugh, before offering over the piece of paper — cautiously, or more nervously, than their earlier conversation. "I— If you want t' give me a call or stop by sometime, feel free." It feels like an odd gesture, but she's offered the same to people she knows even less. "You know, if you ever want t'. Or if you need help moving." The last part is added with a grin.

It's a long moment before April accepts the scrap of paper, fingering it with hesitant uncertainty. Another pause before she folds it one-handed, uneven, tucking it into the pocket of her shorts. "Thanks," with a smile that says I do appreciate it just as sincerely as her eyes suggest but I don't expect to call, ever.

Then the woman turns around again, and this time, brisk strides carry her irrevocably into the press of market patrons.

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