devon2_icon.gif jaiden_icon.gif ygraine_icon.gif

Scene Title Survivors
Synopsis Three veterans of the Dome walk into a bar. There's not much in the way of humour, but they do at least try to bury the hatchet.
Date March 4 2011

Piccoli's Delicatessen

Everything about Piccoli's is welcoming. There's a large, cheerful neon sign mounted on the roof, the interior is brightly lit and spotlessly clean, and the old-fashioned decor is more reminiscent of mother's kitchen than a successful business. Since the doors opened in 1946, Piccoli's has been best known for pastrami, hot dogs, corned beef, and salami. The wait can sometimes be a little long, but the prices are reasonable and the food is always worth it.

The smell of fresh bread and fresher sandwiches lingers about the deli, escaping when the door opens to allow a patron. The lunch rush has just ended, but people still dive in to grab a bite, much like the proprieters have seen throughout much of the business. As long as people need to eat, people will be coming into the store for one of the best sandwiches the city has to offer.

Devon Clendaniel is one such person, sent off for lunch at the behest of his employer. Fruit and water does not a person make, one needs bread and meat and cheese as well. It helps with the healing! Though, it seems most of the boys physical injuries have faded. The deepest of bruises lingering in greens and yellows on his face, and the wound that runs from temple to nose is knitting well. He still favors one shoulder greatly, but all in all hes recovering.

The door chimes as the teenager enters the establishment, dressed for work in a pale blue button down shirt and silverish striped tie, layered under a black letterman-style jacket. A quick glance through the patronage half of the shop is allowed as Devon steps toward the counter. One hand moves to rest in his coat pocket, noted the favored side, while his gaze lifts to observe the board and wait his turn in line.

As part of Jaiden's 'Keep Ygraine Happy and Sane' plan, lunch was the order of the day. Picking her up in his blue Mustang and being the perfect gentlemen, he drives through the city, managing to find a parking space less than a block away. "Good place, this. I don't know if you've eaten here, but the pastrami is made in the back of the building, the roast beef is perfectly medium rare, and they bake their own bread. Almost homemade." He puts the parking brake on, the car in reverse, and kills the engine, hopping out to get the door for the injured Ygraine.

Not so much disdaining Jaiden's chivalry as not even thinking that it might occur, Ygraine has already popped her seatbelt and opened her own door, unfolding carefully from the car. She looks rather more malnourished and directly drained by her recent experiences than either of the other Dome survivors present, but has clearly put at least some effort into trying to manage an approximation of normality. Though her jacket is merely slung over her shoulders, the sweater beneath has both sleeves in use, her sling worn over it, immobilising one arm.

"I've taken deliveries from here a good few times in the past", the Briton says, tone rather wistful as she peers up at the sign. "It's… rather popular. Was… what first brought me into contact with some people, years ago."

Closing her eyes for a moment, she then chuckles softly and shakes her head. "Back in the days of the near-forgotten past, before 'long ago' and 'once upon a time' were real, there once lived a girl", she intones, moving to let herself into the shop while Jaiden locks up the car, holding the door for him.

When the door behind him is opened, alerted by the chime, Devon looks over his shoulder. A shadowed gaze flicks from Ygraine to Jaiden, a look of recognition that isn't quite placed. Or refuses to be placed immediately. Giving a shrug of his uninjured shoulder, he turns back to the counter and steps up for his turn at ordering.

"Just… just a hot dog, and water," Devon informs the man behind the counter. The hand not already pocketed digs into his pants pocket, drawing out several bills to pay his tab. The change is waved off, the bottled water accepted, and the teenager turns away from the counter. His gaze passes over Ygraine and Jaiden again, no longer than before, as he picks out a table to sit and wait.

The thing about an old car, locking it really is kind of a token gesture, if at all. A flat-head screwdriver stuck into the lock and a good twist would unlock the car. No, Jaiden's locking consists of popping the hood, pulling the distributor cap and popping it in his backpack. If anyone tries to steal it, there will be a lot of difficult times ahead.

Jogging up to the deli, Jaiden gives a bow to Ygraine and slips inside. "Now I'll hear none of that, miss. I'm buying your dinner. What'd you like to have."

Ygraine sketches a curtsey at Jaiden in response to his bow, before closing the door behind him. "Oh… tuna, sweetcorn and mayonnaise sandwich will do me fine. In a baguette, I suppose", she says with a smile. "Shall I claim us a table?"

For the time being, Devon isn't noticed - and for her own part, with unbound hair flowing well down past her waist, and a complete lack of leathers (though she is clad in black and the darkest of blues) she does look rather different to how she seemed whenever previously seen by him.

Another shrug is posed as Devon pulls out a chair for himself. The bottle of water is placed on the table in front of him then left untouched. Jaw tightening briefly, he pulls his other hand free to rest it on the table with the first. He lets out a quiet breath, gaze moving from his table toward the counter then back again. Mostly. Part of his attention turns toward Jaiden and Ygraine, either trying to place them or not.

A curtsey! MY! It's certainly highbrow, this deli. Jaiden grins to Ygraine and starts for the counter. "Claim us a table, miss Ygraine. I'll have your meal in a moment." he makes his way to the counter and, after a wait in line, orders Ygraine her tuna/mayo/sweetcorn on a baguette and his chicken salad on wheat with lettuce, tomato, and bacon just to make it extra healthy. Paying with a $20 and pocketing his change, Jaiden grabs two bags of crisps and two bottles of water, weaving around the tables to the one that Ygraine has chosen near the window.

It's when she casts her gaze around the restaurant in search of a suitable seat - her present instincts suggesting that she should ideally find one that lets her put her back to the wall and see at least two possible ways out - that Ygraine's gaze alights upon Devon. In his case, his colourful injuries pose the barrier to identification, but they're sufficiently startling that her gaze lingers… long enough for recognition to follow. A moment's hesitation, then the Briton picks her way around the obstacles of tables, chairs and customers, moving closer to the young man's table, raising her one available hand in slightly nervous greeting. Unsure whether he'll want to acknowledge someone from in there - especially given how things seem to have gone for each of them since last they spoke - she loiters by an unclaimed window-side table, not wanting to impose herself unwanted on the wounded youth.

Caught in the act of staring, Devon does what any normal person would do. Without shame for his scrutiny, he picks up his bottled water and works the cap off. That Ygraine moves closer, and later Jaiden joining, his eyes slant in their direction again, giving him full notice of the wave. The callousness of youth would allow him to overlook his earlier attention of the pair, but decorum for even the tentative greeting asks one in response. Lowering the bottle of water, the teenager gives a small wave of his own and a lopsided not-quite grin.

That kid looks familiar, and as Jaiden lowers himself to the rickety chair that creaks beneath his weight, he throws one leg over the other, one arm over the back of the chair, the other holding the bottle of water. Returning the wave and adding a grin, he sighs and takes a swig of his water, using the bottle as a pointer. "You look familiar….were you inside with the rest of us lot?"

"Devon", Ygraine says, just loud enough for her voice to carry to both the others over the background sounds of the deli. "I… recharged his phone. He came with us into the Subway, on the first day. I lent him one of my torches, then." Perhaps best to gloss over some later disagreements.

Gesturing to the table Jaiden has claimed, she offers the younger man a somewhat nervous smile. "Would you care to join us? If you'd rather eat alone, we'd understand."

"—Yeah." Devon's response to Jaiden, while less than enthused, affirms that he was there, inside with the rest of them. At metion of his name, he looks at Ygraine, further nodding in confirmation. His own hesitation is obvious, joining the two after the disagreements, and the experiences within that damned bubble. A hand drags through his hair as he lets out a breath. "Sure. Thanks." Keeping the favored arm close, the teenager stands and draws a chair up to join Ygraine and Jaiden, retreating only once to grab his own water.

Sitting quietly, Jaiden makes room at the side of the table, scooting the salt and pepper shakers against the far side of the table to make a three-way eating arrangement, ready for the arrival of the sandwiches whenever they happen to be ready. "I remember now…." Jaiden says with a nod. "No hard feelings, mate."

"Jacob survived", Ygraine informs Devon, venturing a slight smile as she carefully moves out a seat for herself, then folds onto it. "The guy you helped me carry, then treat, back when it first came up. I've not managed to see him since then, but… he made it through to the end. And I'm glad to see that you did, too, though… it looks like you're another for whom things got… rather more exciting, before it all finished. I hope you're recovering all right now."

"Likewise," Devon responds to Jaiden first, settling himself into his own chair. "Things… things got a little crazy near the end. And… Sorry. We didn't need more arguments." He's speaking more to his bottled water, rather than the Australian, yet with a glance toward the man first and then the woman, he tries to include both in the apology. He doesn't regret his decisions during those final days, but fighting amongst those trying to survive was unnecessary.

Ygraine's words all together bring up a different reaction. Devon goes quiet, hands tightening around the thin plastic encasing his water. It's good news, the PMC fellow survived, the more survivors the better. But for himself, he'd rather not speak of it. The teenager's jaw tightens as he swallows, choking back the haunting memories before finding the ability to nod. "I'm fine."

"Let's….let's not think of that unless we absolutely have to…it was stressful for all of us…some more than others. Good to know you're doing well, Devon. Dressed quite sharp today as well. Searching for a job?" Jaiden tries to put the subject on something else.

Well, that wasn't exactly what she'd hoped for. Good news seemingly blanked, and good wishes met with marked tension. Though Ygraine managed a nod in response to Devon's statement that no more arguments were needed, her face has fallen - and she lets her gaze drop to her food. Focusing upon her sandwich, she puts some effort into protecting herself from spillage, trying to lock the whole of the contents into a gravitic attraction to the bread, to spare herself from one-handed clumsiness and spattered food all down her front. Think of the tuna. It's safe for consideration.

"No. No sir." The change in topic doesn't exactly remove the tension, though Devon withdraws a little from it. His hands around the bottle relax and a briefly thankful look is shared with the two adults. "I have a job. Just… on lunch right now." Speaking of, here's the hot dog as requested. It's regarded with a sense of disinterest.

"Sorry," is directed at Ygraine, quiet but certainly apologetic. Devon lifts a hand again to rub the back of his neck, the motion exposing wrists with half healed wounds, the sort one gains from having hands bound with plastic. "I'm fine, really. —How… How are you two?"

"I'm doing okay, as far as things are considered. Finally putting on a little weight after the time in the dome. Trying to keep everything together." Jaiden is doing what everyone else is doing who was in the dome - just trying to get through day after day. He gives the pair a small smile, digging in to his sandwich with several large bites, decimating it.

Ygraine peeps up when Devon apologises, in time to have her attention caught by those distinctive wrist-wounds. Her brow creases in worry, then she snorts in bleak amusement at his question. "God turned into a doughnut while trying to negotiate for people to have access to food. Then, a short while after I got out, one of the people I trusted most on the Continent decided that it was the right time to find out what it took to break down what was left of my mental defences."

Firing a somewhat amused look and smile at the elder of her two companions, she shrugs her one mobile shoulder. "Jaiden here has taken it upon himself to cheer me up. Though I fear it'll while before I'm suitably able to beat him to a pulp." A momentary pause, then she feels obliged to add an explanation. "We sometimes provide self defence and martial arts tuition together. Though I suspect that most of that'll be on hold for me, for a while."

"Nothing like kicking you when you're down," Devon replies darkly. "That sucks." He picks up the hot dog, giving it a once over before sighing and setting it down again. He averts his attention from his own lunch to glance up at Jaiden with a half-grin and a nod. "Keeping it together is what everyone seems to be doing. And… you two don't really strike me as the martial arts type."

"That's the trick - you don't want to look like a bad guy, otherwise people will want to test themselves against you. Better to look like us….kind of lets you surprise folks." Jaiden reaches across the table to pat Ygraine's hand, taking a swig of his water before straightening. "We're not going to worry about that - the whole kicking while down thing. happened to her, happened to me, too."

Ygraine musters a faint smile for Jaiden, then chuckles and nods at Devon. "We're not exactly into setting up a black and white photo of a little old guy and bowing to it before and after each session", she says dryrly - recalling two different martial arts clubs she saw in action during her university days. "We're… rather more pragmatic on the whole. Though perhaps adopting the spiritual approach to that sort of thing would provide us with a wonderful degree of mental and emotional equanimity." Her tone suggests she doubts it, however.

One shoulder rises and falls, though Devon lifts his gaze away from his lunch and looks from Ygraine to Jaiden. "I meant… I don't know. Just didn't think either of you went in for that sort of thing." He picks up his water and takes a long drink. Then lowering the bottle again, that shoulder once more lifts. "Cool though. I trained for a few years, when I was younger."

Jaiden takes a bite of his sandwich, nodding. "As long as you don't think the world is like the Karate Kid or Bloodsport or a Jackie Chan movie, you'll do okay in a fight with the way we teach. The way I work…" He glances to Ygraine with a grin. "I try to end the fight as quickly as possible to prevent me from getting hurt. Where'd you train?"

"I've ridden a bicycle professionally for most of my adult life, so… I have thighs the size of tree trunks", Ygraine says, sufficiently deadpan that she might actually be serious. "Combine the ability to kick the breath out of someone with a hefty dose of dirty tactics, and I'm not bad in a fight myself. Mostly, I teach novices how to cheat like crazy and give themselves a decent chance against larger, stronger, more skilled opponents."

Devon half grins at Ygraine, the expression still barely more than an upturn of his mouth. "Trained in a studio that… suffered after the explosion. I sort of tried to start again after…" It didn't happen, and he only looks mildly regretful. The cap is placed back on his water, the bottle nudged closer to his abandoned lunch. "Focused on getting through school, didn't allow for much time to keep training."

"I'll get her in a bikini one of these days - a trip to the coast in Florida or something. Blind the entire beach with our pasty white backsides." Jaiden chuckles. "So….how's school going for you now?

"I know that bulimia and anorexia are still trendy in high fashion", mutters Ygraine, arching a brow at Jaiden, "but I seriously doubt that the 'underfed and shot' look is in fashion in Florida, you know". She does, however, leave it at that - munching on her sandwich, while looking to Devon.

A glance is given to Ygraine, brows lifting in dubious fashion, then higher as he looks at Jaiden. Bikinis in Florida? To each their own, the teenager's been told a few times to get out of town for a few days himself. "Graduated last May," Devon says. Though despite everything he could still look too young to have graduated already. "I spent most of a semester at Columbia before applying for an internship."

"Once you get healed up, Ygraine, we'll go somewhere pleasant on holiday. Get a big group together and get _away_ from the city for a few days to a week." Something in the future. Out there a ways. something to work toward. "Congratulations then, Devon. I've never done the college route m'self. Took my terms and went into the military, then started taking pictures for newspapers."

Columbia? Recruitment ground of teenage Evolved criminals? Ygraine once again arches a brow at Devon, then musters a wry smile. "I've… got two degrees, myself. And largely made my living by making pedals go round and round. What sort of internship have you got, Devon?"

To be continued

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