Soup and Popcorn


cardinal_icon.gif pearl_icon.gif

Scene Title Soup and Popcorn
Synopsis Cardinal talks to one of his few friends, making plans for new lodgings upon his return from Japan. If he returns.
Date May 8, 2009

The Rookery

The sun's just gone down, and Cardinal's just gotten up. There was a body on Pearl's couch during the day, and a body-shaped dent after he departed, along with a used razor and toothbrush in the bathroom. Maybe some hair in the sink. Clearly, he was visiting, whether or not she was aware. Now, however, Richard's perched on a stool at the counter in the Sheung Wan Kitchen shrouded by the steam from the cooking, carefully plucking chunks of various things out of his soup and eating it, looking like he hasn't been awake for very long, his hair still slightly damp from a shower.

It isn't long before Pearl enters the establishment of things with questionable origins. Sure, the shop owner might take issue with such a statement, seeing as surely he knows exactly what everything within these walls is, or once was. Pearl won't make such a statement out loud. "What the fuck." She pokes a jar with shriveled bits in it. Ok, so maybe that whole thing about not saying it out loud is only partly true. The jar teeters, but remains upright after it settles down. The brunette makes her way across the establishment, and she slides onto the stool next to Card. "You are a bathroom slob." Yes, she takes issue with little shave hairs in the sink.

Of course, Cardinal notices her about when she's poking at a jar and being incredulous about its contents. The thief crooks a smile her way in implicit invitation before delving chopsticks back into the soup, poking around in search of a meaty bit. Best not to ask what -sort- of meat, in this part of town. "Hey," he protests casually as he comes up with one, waving it at her, "That was your roomie. She was shaving her legs in there." Possible, if unlikely.

"You expect me to believe the leviathon from the deep was able to get her cankles up onto that sink to shave there?" A look is leveled at the thief, eyebrows up, lips slightly pursed. Pearl leans over, torso almost over Card's soup, to peer into the bowl. "Is that a starfish arm?" She lifts a finger as if to reach in and poke the floaty bit.

"I have no idea," replies Cardinal, squinting down at his soup, "I try not to think about what they put in this shit. They tell me it's healthy." He pops the meaty bit in his mouth, chews, swallows, and then waves the chopsticks vaguely, "Going to Japan in a couple days."

"So what is this?" Pearl asks, looking up from the soup, "Practice?" She smirks a little, then drops back onto her own seat, into her own personal space, and leans on the counter. "I mean, if you'll just do anything I tell you is healthy, I can come up with a few party starting ideas." She glances up at the menu, thinks about it for a moment, and then orders up whatever noodles sound the most like lo mein on the menu. Purist. "What's in Japan, besides, you know, a bunch of Japanese people?"

"I trust the people who work here more than I trust you," Cardinal replies without missing a beat, stirring the soup about with the chopsticks. "Got a job to do there. 'Course, the psychopaths I'm taking the job for might kill me in the process, so, if I never come back, you can have my stereo." Of course, he's never told her where he -keeps- his stuff. He must have somewhere to live the rest of the time, after all.

"Wow," Pearl says, "Harsh." She doesn't really sound like she thinks it's particularly harsh. "I don't know where your goddamn stereo is," she reminds him. "But thanks for the sentimentality. It makes me feel…" She presses a hand to her chest. "Gosh. Sort of itchy." She kicks her legs crossed, glances over toward the menu again, and adds, "You should find some less psychotic friends. What is it with you and people who might kill you? I mean, hey. I like a little mystery in my life too, but I like to know if the evening's more likely to end in a chainsaw axe murder or a slushie sugar high."

"I wouldn't exactly call them 'friends'," the thief replies with a vague gesture of the chopsticks through the air, rolling his eyes at her sarcasm, "Business associates, maybe. And really, I'd rather know what they're doing rather than having them running around doing god knows what and fucking up everything." It's his usual casual cynicism and sarcasm, though he sounds a bit tense.

Tipping back against the counter, Pearl looks up at the ceiling. Her hair brushes the countertop, elbows propping her against it with her back to the help. She yawns, and shifts a little, trying to get comfortable. It's easier on a couch or an overstuffed chair. Slouching at a countertop bar isn't as simple as it looks. "You need some valium in your soup, GTA. You sound a little tense. Trips should be fun. I'll go with you sometime, show you how to breathe through it."

As she leans to the counter, Cardinal twists around on the stool to face her; one foot up on the little rung near the floor, the other hanging down and brushing the floor fully. "Uh huh. Babe," he observes with a smirk, "You aren't gonna know what to do without me to taunt every few days."

"How long are you gonna be gone?" Pearl glances over then, frowning slightly. Maybe she really has gotten used to the taunting. "Just so I know when it's safe to go to pee in the middle of the night without checking to be sure the toilet seat is down."

"It depends on how long it takes for Monroe's team to do his thing," Cardinal admits, one shoulder raising in a slight shrug, fingers brushing absently in a 'no idea' gesture, "A week or two, at least, maybe more if shit goes bad. Given his plans, it very well fuckin' might." A grin's flashed, then, as he notes, "You do like having me around. Aw. I'm touched."

Pearl snorts. It is the snort of derision and denial. She's silent for a moment, then just turns around to face the counter. "Try not to die. You haven't found me a new place yet." Not that he ever really agreed or anything. "Make that to go." She waves and points regarding her order. "Gotta get back to the shop before the guy on my table wakes up." She came in late last night, but there's no way she had time to get out today before coming here, which means she left some dude passed out somewhere overnight. Possibly bleeding. "Nothing says placid like prescription drugs."

"I'll see you back at your place later," offers Cardinal, bringing the chopsticks up to his brow and away in a vague gesture, "Gonna crash on your couch again before I leave, so I at least can grab a decent shower before I hop on our plane."

Sometime after nightfall, probably just before Letterman, Pearl sits on the counter in the kitchen eating microwave popcorn from the bag, listening to the chainsaw snoring of her preggo roommate through a door and down a hall. She glances over at the novelty knife rack, and considers the little man skewered through with cutlery. "Life is about to imitate art."

It may well save the pregnant whale of a woman's life that Richard Cardinal chooses that moment to make his appearance. A shadow sweeps up the wall behind her, and he steps out—one foot, the other, and then he's solid, though it takes a few moments for light to start reflecting colour off his form again. "You'd ruin the knives," he observes.

That's what she gets for sitting on the breakfast bar with her back to the livingroom. "Dude. You could squeak your shoes or knock or something." Pearl turns, one leg coming up onto the bar. "I gotta get out of here before I start stealing cars just to have somewhere to sleep."

As she turns, Cardinal steps up to the bar, resting both hands on it in a casually slouched lean forward. "I'll tell you what," he suggests, utterly ignoring the 'stop sneaking up on me' demand. I mean, he hasn't listened to it before ever, has he? He's certainly not starting now. "When I get back? We can start huntin' for a place. On or off the island. But!" A brow arches over the edge of the shades he's always wearing, "I get my own room there too."

Crunch, crunch, crunch. Pearl shoves half of a handful of popcorn into her mouth. She gives him a long look with those dark eyes, slightly narrowed, as if she's mentally searching for the phrase in there that's going to have her sleeping in a walk in closet. "… You can afford to fly to Japan, you can afford half the rent." She said rent. Ha. "And you still have to take out the trash. I don't like dumpsters." She pauses for a moment, then says, "Those goddamn shades make you look shifty."

"Done," Cardinal affirms, smirking back at her, "And the light hurts my eyes. Turn off the lights or fuckin' deal with it." He leans forward, reaching over with one hand for the bag of popcorn to steal some — noting as he does so, "I'd pay all the rent, but you don't put out, so you'll still have to pay your half."

"Now that you said that, you're paying all the rent," Pearl decides, without so much as a smirk to tell she's kidding. That would probably be because she's not kidding. She shoves the rest of that handful of popcorn into her mouth. "I'll think about paying the utilities." She grabs another handful from the bag and shoves it over on the counter before she reaches over to flick off the light in the kitchen, leaving the room lit only by a little push dome on the wall, and a two small lamps in the other room. She squints a little in lower lighting. Crunch, crunch, crunch. "So are you playing spy this week? From GTA to springing whores to flying to Japan?"

"Then I'll find a place with one bedroom," Cardinal ripostes verbally, shoulders rolling in a shrug. Hey, two can play that came! The handful of popcorn that he's captured is settled in a small pile on the counter, and he brings his hand up to his shades - fingers pressing to the edges, he draws them free of his face, the legs snapped shut by fingertips on either leg. The glasses are tossed over to clatter onto the breakfast bar, fingertips pressing in against the corners of his eyes as they adjust. "Mnm. Something like that. Moving up in the world. Or down. Not sure."

Pearl slides off of the counter with a glance over at Cardinal. Her eyes adjust much more slowly than his, but it's still better than staring at his shades all the time. She pulls open the fridge, spilling out yellow light and pretty much hosing her night vision again. She snags two bottles and tosses one to Card. He might notice it before it crashed to the counter in a bunch of pieces and spill. "If you find a place with one bedroom, you can enjoy the comfort and economy of the couch." She cracks open her bottle. "What is it you do for them?"

"You're a bitch," the thief notes, one hand coming up to catch the bottle (a skill he's developed mainly due to her throwing the damn things at him without warning so often) easily in hand before he pushes off the breakfast bar and straightens, "You know that, right?" The cap's twisted free, and it clatters to the counter, "Oh, spying, stealing, you know. Honestly, I'm more of an information broker'n anything these days."

"Information is worth a lot, and you're sneaky if nothing else. Don't be ashamed of doing Crime Lite." Pearl smiles, and nudges the fridge door closed, blinking as her eyes try to adjust again. "Mom always told me to be assertive. You saying you got a problem with that?" Sip.

"It pays better," observes Cardinal, "The risks're a lot higher, though. You'd be surprised how many Evolved are borderline psychopathic." He brings the beer up to his lips, pauses, lowers it a bit, "Or way, way beyond the border." Then he takes a swig of the beer, lowering it and using it to point at her, "Nah. I'd have just stolen your shit and taken off a long time ago. Clearly I just need to ply you with better alcohol."

"You wouldn't have made out very well. I don't have a lot of good shit unless you count my clothes, which, by the way, are altered to fit me." Pearl says that last bit in case he was lusting after her leather pants she has. "I wouldn't be surprised. Criminals with superhuman abilities have less to fear than criminals with nothing but a .38 and a knife. At least they think so." She certainly doesn't sound convinced. "Truth is they just get sloppy relying on their… gifts."

"It's true," admits Cardinal with a shake of his head, shifting to step around the breakfast bar to join her in the kitchen proper. Another few sips of beer vanish en route. "I try to keep in practice just in case my own fail sometime - God knows there's enough negators out there, and who knows what else." His hip against the counter, and he uses the bottle to point at her in the dim lighting, "Hell, I waltz in and out of this one asshole's place all the time, and he likes to think he's invincible."

Something in that last sentence makes Pearl snicker. But after a moment, it's not so funny anymore. She takes a drink. "Nobody's invincible," she says behind her bottle, before she takes a longer pull. She sounds a little annoyed at that.

"I really should just snuff the sonuvabitch, but he deserves worse," Cardinal mutters against the mouth of his own beer, lowering it then to rest on the counter. She's given a curious eye for a few heartbeats, before he asks, "What?"

She sweeps a hand through her long, dark hair and shakes her head. "I can't think of anything more annoying than being taunted by you at all hours of the day." Pearl finally comments, without addressing his look. She jerks a thumb at the fridge. "There's some cold pizza if you're hungry." She moves out of the kitchen, crosses into the livingroom proper, and heads for the couch. Her boots drag a little on the floor.

"Whatever. You love having my ass around, woman," replies Richard with a roll of his - revealed, for now, although hard to see in the lack of light - eyes, stepping past her going the other way to open up the fridge. At which point there's a stream of cursing from the kitchen as the light inside sears his vision. "Motherfuckinghellshit—" Fumble, fumble. The pizza's grabbed, and then slammed shut as he stumbles back, "Christ on a stick."

A light snort-snicker from the other room hints she kind of thought he might forget to put on his glasses. Or she just took the unexpected amusement in stride. But it was probably premeditated. Unless Cardy's just paranoid. Then maybe it wasn't. "Everybody needs a morally ambiguous gardening ex-con cat burglar type," Pearl replies, "Even ex-drug dealing tattooists."

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