The Restaurant at the End of the Universe


alexander_icon.gif colette_icon.gif elisabeth_icon.gif helena_icon.gif mallory_icon.gif teo_icon.gif

Scene Title The Restaurant at the End of the Universe
Synopsis Alex and Teo just want a nice meal, but Alex gets a blast from his past, Colette is on a mission, Mallory is suspicious, and Helena does damage control.
Date November 5, 2008

The Nite Owl

The Nite Owl is a survivor from ages past - one of those ancient diners with huge plate glass windows, checkerboard linoleum floor, and a neon owl over the entrance that blinks at those entering. Inside, there's an L-shaped main counter, complete with vintage soda fountain and worn steel stools. All of the cooking is done on the ranges ranked against the rear wall. The outer wall is lined with booths upholstered in cracked scarlet vinyl, tables trimmed with polished chrome. Despite its age, it's been lovingly maintained. The air is redolent with the scent of fresh coffee, vanilla, and frying food.

Alexander is in a booth. Wolfing down a burger like eating is about to be outlawed. There's a chocolate malt in front of him, which he is NOT sharing with Teo with two straws. Romance is dead, I tell you. He looks weary and tired, lids heavy on the blue eyes….but apparently he intends to sleep at a sane hour, for once, 'cause he's not touching the pot of coffee at the table.

Supper-time at the Nite Owl isn't crowded: Americans don't, in general, do 'supper.' Ninety percent of the work force isn't free of their the eight-hour day yet, and impending rush hour discourages those who are well off enough not to have to worry about conventional schedules from driving anywhere particular. The hour lends itself well, thus, to sleep-deprived cab drivers and those who just got out of school.

Teo stops watching the early evening pedestrians and turns, instead, to stare at his companion from across the table. He's started on his fries himself, his bowl of chili half gone. "I have paperclips you could use to hold your eyebags in," he volunteers brightly, ducking his head to draw Al's attention.

She's finding herself here a lot lately. This is the second time this week, which isn't precisely the norm in the past months. Elisabeth has been walking a lot lately, though — not the smartest thing to do in this town, but well… she's got enough skills to manage it. She pulls the door open and heads in to the counter, sliding onto a stool at the counter. She glances around to note who's around.

Mallory comes in just after Elisabeth, tugging her hood down off her needs-to-be-combed hair and snuffling twice. Maybe she's coming down with something. Backpack bouncing gently against her back as she walks. She takes a minute to hog the space just inside the door as she looks around at places to sit. Blocker.

"Don't make me bend you over the table and do terrible things to you in public, because I WILL," Al threatens, lifting his heavy head to give TEo a stare that is positively Balrog in its levels of balefulness. "Don't even start with me," He reaches for the malt, and then nearly turns his mouth inside out with the sheer effort of trying to suck it up through a straw, before he gives up in disgust and attacks it with a spoon. Elisabeth gets a bit of a double take and a frown. Not just 'cause she's pretty - he's apparently trying to remember where in hell he knows her from.

Helena has unfortunately missed that entire exchange, because she sure would have had plenty to contribute to it. Still, within moments after Mallory and Elisabeth, the blonde makes her way in, cap jammed over her head, too-large leather jacket making her appear tinier than she is. She walks up to where Alex and Teo are sitting, slides into place, and steals one of Teo's fries before he can stab her fingers. "Hey, gents." she greets.

Liz is forced smother a grin at the counter. Because well… that was rather… colorful. She notes Alexander's double-take only because she's trying so hard not to listen! Especially since she knows Teo from the school. A faint frown crosses her features when he does it, but she shrugs it off at the sight of Mallory. A nod goes to the girl, and she returns her attention to the counter. "A hamburger, fries, and a Coke, please," she orders from the waitress.

Despite that Teodoro spent the last couple days coming up with bald-humored but politically correct retorts to that kind of thing, words desert him when his friend says that. Which is irritating; either because he's Italian or because he's a twenty-five-year-old young man, he isn't used to being at a loss for words. Thus, the paragon of maturity, he scrunches his face up like a ball of Kleenex, only smooths it when Al looks at the lady who just came in. He looks too, though less for troubling lack of recognition than, indeed, because she's pretty.

"Sub from Washington Irving," he says. "Teaches music. She seems n—" —merda. Spotting the Other Allistair Twin the next instant, he moves his gaze noncommittally to the window. Sees Hel seconds before she sails in. "Ci'ao, Hel. Heard the news? Rickham, Darfur? Seems like the world changed last night."

Mallory peers about; Teo. Elisabeth. Alexander, who's only a little familiar. She adjusts her grip on her backpack's straps. "Uh. Hi," she addresses them. Helena's given a glance as she passes by, a thoughtful look. Her gaze slips back to Teo and she suffles down the aisle to claim the booth nearest to his.

"Heard about Rickham." For which Helena is glad, though she expects he won't keep the seat long. "What about Darfur?" She'll wait until the waitress has a moment to take her order - bacon cheeseburger, onion ringers, and Oreo shake. Mal's eyes are met but only briefly, and Helena goes on with a smooth sense of continuity.

"That would be another incident of 'America, Fuck Yeah', I'm thinking," is Al's oh so sage pronouncement. He gives Mal a politely blank look, before peering again at Elisabeth. "New? 'cause my hand to god, she used to have a twin sister on the police force, or something," he says, between neat spoonfuls of malt.
Poseorder is not enabled in this room.

There's no point in trying to hide behind a chili bowl when you're six feet tall, and Teo knows better than to try. He also knows well enough than to follow through too far on a first-pass instinct. Teachers aren't supposed to be leery of their hateful seventeen-year-old critics, or the dour-faced siblings thereof, so. So, he locates his backbone roughly in the location where his paranoia ends.

"Afternoon," he answers Mal, politely. He offers Hel a few French fries and murmurs something lightly in her ear, before pulling back when a comradely ruffle of long fingers through the locks poofing out from under her cap, if she'll bear it.

"I wouldn't know." That's to Alex. Teo casts Elisabeth a half-grin from across the aisle. "I'm newer than she is. We can find out. Buon giorno." That's for the music teacher. Teo straightens and tosses her a wave, half-turning in his seat to put Mallory in his peripheral vision out of some remarkab

Mallory raises her hand to give Teo a feeble little wave accomplished mostly via wriggling her fingertips. Her expression is hardly friendly. Bowing her head so her long hair partially obscures her face, she slides a menu toward herself. Mostly she's eyeing Teo.

Elisabeth turns on the stool at the counter, nodding to the greeting. "Evening," she offers. Both to the guys' booth and to Mallory, who seems to be ill at ease. She studies the group, noting Mallory's response with a critical eye though she makes no comment. Maybe the kid hates Teo cuz he did something in class, for all she knows. "How're you folks tonight?" she asks mildly.

Helena peers at Elizabeth now. Strange person is talking to them. In New York City. Where strangers do not talk to each other. Maybe she's Southern? Abby can be funny like that. "Fine." she feels compelled to answer, and then focuses on the gents at her table. While she's waiting on her food, she steals another one of Teo's fries, and chewing lets her gaze settle on Mallory. I see you watching us, watching you!

"Ma'am," says Alexander bluntly, "This sounds like the oldest and dumbest pickup line in the dustiest of books, but I swear, I know you from somewhere. Didn't you used to be a cop?" he asks, setting aside the now-empty glass of malt and glancing over the table with a scavenger's keenness. And then his gaze swings between Teo and Mal. "I take it you know -her-?"

In truth, Teodoro is completely unremarkable in class. Just as Alexander is a completely unremarkable cab driver, and Helena drives around on her bicycle like a perfectly ordinary courier, most days. "Good, thanks. Though I swear, half the English IV class picked the Catcher in the Rye for their two-thousand word essays, so I'm not sure that's gonna last.

"Salinger is one talented bastard, but I wish they'dve tried something different." He can feel Mallory burning a hole through the edge of his corneas. It's mildly disconcerting. After a moment's deeply intellectual consideration— "Pardon," to Helena, Alexander, and the other might-be former officer. He turns around. Sits his elbow on top of his seat, and stares right back at the girl, his expression pleasantly blank.

Elisabeth turns to pick up the Coke that gets set behind her, her burger isn't ready yet, and turns back around while she sips it to look at the booth. A faint grin quirks the corner of her mouth up. "That is a pretty lame pick-up line," she retorts easily. "But yeah… I did. Once upon a time." She shrugs slightly, and stays out of the situation with Mallory — Teo seems to be dealing with his student.

Mallory lowers her menu and stares back at Teo. "You dropped something the other day," she finally deadpans, pale eyes lacking any warmth.

Helena makes a face. "You're making them read Catcher In The Rye?" she asks. "That's cruel. Maybe not as cruel as forcing them to read Ethan Frome, but." Her brow slowly arches. Man, was she that snippy in high school?

Alexander is apparently very proud of himself. SOmeone pat the redneck on the head. Al slaps down a palm on the formica tabletop with perhaps unnecessary vehemence, and grins hugely. "I knew it," he says, sounding delighted. "I used to be Patrolman Knight, out in the Four-Ten," he says to Elisabeth, almost as if bragging. "You were with one of the taskforces, right?" And then his gaze follow's Teo's, and he demands of Mallory, "Lady, what's that face for? He spit in your cornflakes, or somethin'?" And there's an aside to Helena, "I couldn't stand that book either."

Teo spares Hel a defensive glance over his shoulder, half-serious, fractionally distracted. "Oy. I don't make the syllabus," he says. "And they like it. It's literature." He offers Elisabeth an inoffensive smile, before turning his head back to look at the girl with the Arctic stare, easy humor fading from his features. He adopts a quizzical face then. "Paper clips?" he volunteers, sitting his chin on top of his forearm as if he lacks the strength or diligence to remain upright on his own power.

A flash of red goes by the diner window, a hooded sweatshirt with the hood drawn up. A shoulder-stapped messenger bag creating a diagonal stripe of army green that clashes in awkward contrast with the crimson. For the briefest moment, the figure passing by the window comes ot hesitate in mid-stride, turning towards the diner. Choppy black bangs hang down under the hood, long enough to get in the way of her eyes, but not enought o mask that one of them is a blinded, milky-white color. The girl — clearly, once she's turned towards the window — takes two steps closer, raising sleeve-shrouded hands up to the glass, pressing her face up against it. There's a momentarily scrutinizing look her nose pushed up to the glass, breath fogging it up on the outside. She says something, muffled by the glass, but certain profanities are very clear to lip-read.

In and instant that red is jogging by the rest of the windows, the front door swinging open with a creak of the aluminum frame and a jungle of the bell over the door. Her eyes are wide, a tattered looking army-green messenger bag swinging around hip level, buffeting against too-large jeans with crusted smears of dried paint on them. She looks for all her worth a little red in the face, and that's either from the blustery cold or whatever spurred her to blow right into the diner.

Hastened footsteps carry booted feet across the tile floor, straight over to the booth Helena is in. But whatever righteous indignation had spurred her over to the table fades into remarkable confusion as she spots another familiar face seated across from her. She falters, opening her mouth to speak, but nothing comes out. The girl raises one hand, all but her index finger which points skyward obscured by her red sleeves. Mis-matched eyes dart around the diner, then back to Helena, and then finally, "Mallory?"

Elisabeth shakes her head at Alexander, her smile widening. "Do you get this excited every time you remember someone?" she asks him in amusement. "Yeah, I was with one of the task forces. Hostage negotiation." And then the newest arrival blasts through the door in a flurry of motion, and Liz raises an eyebrow. She sips her drink and smiles her thanks as the waitress drops off her burger.

"Bookmark," Mallory flatly tells Teo; Alexander and Helena are eyed in turn. It's not really very friendly. Mallory is totally that creepy kid at the back of the class that hates everyone. Her eyes flick again to the bright red of the newcomer, and she peers at Colette with a faintly quizzical arch of her eyebrows before venturing, "…Hi?"

"Which one, Catcher, or Frome?" Helena asks Teo, then flashes a grin at Elisabeth. "He's a small town boy with a big city dream." she supplies. Mallory isn't so much creeping her out as crossing the borders of irritation and amusement. And then Colette shows up. It'd be difficult not to remember those eyes. Softly, so just her table can hear, "Fuck."

It makes Al blush. And man, when Al blushes, it's like the giant neon Citgo sign on Boston's skyline, for real. "I…no," he says. "Not generally. Glad to see you again," he trails off, and looks back between Teo and Helena. And then his smile's gone again entirely, and he frowns at Helena. "What?"

Suddenly, supper-time has gotten very crowded. Not a moment that a categorical terrorist enjoys being included in, even if Teodoro is a reasonably social creature. There's something wrong with this girl's eye, he realizes. Colette, one of those doe-orbs white, both of them round. Part of him was hoping that the girl's incredulous salutation would distract Mallory from— whatever the fuck this is they're doing, but he's pretty sure that Mallory's distraction is temporary at best.

"I have a pretty good memory," he answers her. The corners of his mouth turn up. "I don't use boomarks. Sorry, ragazza. Eh, Hel," he glances at the wall clock, and then at Helena. Lightly, he asks: "You want to get your stuff in a box?" She doesn't look like she needs to bolt just yet, but keeping the route clear seems like practical wisdom. His brow pops a fraction of an inch out of joint when he realizes Alexander's face has caught on fire.

"Why are you — " Colette blanches as she leaps over the conversation bluntly, turning to look at Helena as if she were eight feet tall with six heads and nine mouths. Her mouth hangs agape, and she turns back to Mallory, "Why is she — " Her hand finally lowers, that pointing finger retreating into her sleeve. She breathes in deeply through her nose, shoulders rising, "Why am I — " Hands curl into little fists, arms shaking as she strains out a sigh and gets her words to match up with her brain. "Where is the girl?" Not that it helps much.

Colette reaches up one hand, covering her face as she breathes through the fabric of her sleeve, one brow twitching up and down slowly before she leans over, rather animatedly laying her hands down on the booth's table as she looks at Helena, that twitching brow raising slowly. "The uh — " She's terrible at the tough act, perhaps it's how young she is and her inability to look convincingly stern. "The girl who works here, Abigail?" She knows her name? "I need t'talk to her about…" She glances at Mallory, then over to Alexander, then back to Helena. "Are — Is this some kind've — " A quick snorted breath and she straightens, motioning with one hand to the table, fingers wiggling abstractly, " — thing?" The fingers wiggle again, "Like… ghetto Justice League thing?" Mis-matched eyes flit back to Helena, that distinct pair lacking just as much subtlety as Colette.

Mallory opens her mouth to reply to Teo, but then there's Colette, who is in fact distracting. "…Justice League?" She wrinkles her nose. "I hope I'm Batman. Uh. Everyone… knows each other and stuff?"

Elisabeth grins at Alexander, obviously having been teasing him, but the she tenses slightly at the counter. The word 'fuck' tends to do that to her. She sets her cup of soda down, now warily eyeing the situation as it plays out. Whatever's going on there is …. well, so far as she can tell, Not Good doesn't begin to cover it. Colette's near incoherence has her more than a little concerned. A ghetto Justice League thing? Whatthehell is this girl on?

"Shit, shit, shit." Helena hisses. Man, she's got a potty-mouth tonight. "She saw Abby heal that guy." she murmurs, again soft enough for her table to hear. "Naw, this won't take long. I hope." She scoots out of the booth to approach Colette, moving along side her to snag the girl's elbow in a pincer-grip. "Ladies room!" she chirps sunnily, and starts wheeling the other girl in the aforementioned direction. Chicks go in herds, after all.

Alexander is silent. And as owlish at the neon sign outside. "What the - ?"The thought isn't completed, and he looks back to Teo, as if desperate for guidance. "What's the pirate queen there want?" he wonders. "What'm I missing?" he wonders of the Sicilian, under his breath.

Though Teo is internally spewing enough curses to have drawn lazers out of Elisabeth's eyes, externally he looks about as calm as one's average confused civilian— which may just be a function of being blonde when his hair grows out. Beats the alternative: panicking as tactlessly as the one-eyed girl Helena's dragging off into the ladies' room before further explanation on the Justice League sirens to Mallory and reawakens the former cop in Elisabeth.

"I have no Goddamn idea," he tells Alexander, his eyes drifting after Helena before jigging back to the bleary redhead. "I think she's going to calm her friend down—" and a quiet murmur, before she blows her and Abby's cover so far open it fucking herniates.

Drawing back from the whisper, he sticks a fry in his mouth and slumps back, making what he hopes is a reassuring motion at Elisabeth and glancing back at Mallory again. A half-beat. Hesitation disguised in the process of chewing. You can hide almost anything behind enough food. Still, he needs to know if the girl's capable of discretion— PHOENIX candidacy or no. "What did it look like?"

"Cause if this is like, some super secre — yeek!" Colette seems to not have been expecting the arm-grab at all, and the proclimation of destination causes her to stammer more than she already was. "W-wait I — I didn't — we don't have to — I don't have to go that bad!" But for as much as she protests, Colette in the end is too submissive to put up a fight, espescially against someone as assertive as Helena. While her boots give a scuff against the tiled floor as she turns around awkwardly, the girl eventually obliges in her reluctance, and with a thump of Helena's hand slapping the door open, the pair disappear within.

The first thing Helena does is make sure all the stalls are empty. Satisfied, she hisses, "She told you not to come look for her. Do you have any idea of how much danger you could place everyone in who's involved? HomeSec would love to pick us up, and they'd make Abby practically a slave for what she can do."

Oh it's safe to assume the former cop in Elisabeth is VERY wide awake now, if the wary expression on her face is anything to go by. She's watching this entire situation play out in front of her, and her green eyes sling over to Teo — who seems to at least know some of what the hell that's all about — and demands mildly, "Your friend's not about to do anything to the kid that I'm going to be pissed about, is she?" Her reputation at the high school is actually halfway decent — she's fair, and she's tough on the kids she's been subbing with, but she listens. And being as she knows Mallory's a student, she's assuming Colette is as well. She motions for the waitress to box up her dinner. She doesn't want to be in the middle of whatever this is at the moment.

"What did it look li…?" Mallory starts to repeat incredulously, watching Helena yank Colette off. Her eyebrow goes up. "You know what? I'll talk to you about it later. I'm sure I'll see you around." There's a thin, humourless little smile there.
"I'm sure it's just girl stuff," Al says, lamely. Which encompasses a world of possibilities - everything from gossip to lesbian affairs. "It'll be cool," he says, offering Elisabeth the grin of a dog that's just broken into the pantry and eaten all the treats, and is so sure you won't mind at all.

"No, no," Teo is hasty to reassure Elisabeth verbally as he was with his gestures, chiming in with the red-haired man across from him. "She's a little bossy, but only because she's protective. They're friends. Girls, you know." The statement might not hold so much water with Mallory collapsing the local area into a black hole of sulking misery from the next booth over, but his intent is good. "Eh, dispiacere. Sorry for interrupting your dinner if we did.

"See you tomorrow, Miss—" he doesn't know her surnames. Polite protocol has all the teachers employing each others' first names, except for Madame Caffarelli, whose stipulation can either be attributed to the fact she's a bitch or that she's French and no one else is. Mallory fetches a second glance but not a third, the sort of thumbs-up a young man gives when responding politely to a crazy person.

Elisabeth mm-hmms. Girl stuff. Yeah. Right. Liz believes that …. and she's pretty sure Alexander has some land to sell her in the Everglades too. But she keeps her mouth shut about it. With a look toward the bathroom door, she gathers up her box of food, pays for it by dropping money on the counter, and stands up. "I sure as hell hope so, Knight." She's clearly skeptical. "Good to see you again, man. Take care, okay?" she adds to him calmly. And to Teo, she says with a small smile that doesn't quite meet her eyes. "You didn't interrupt. Liz Harrison. I'll see you at the school," she agrees, and then heads out to take her dinner home.

She really wasn't sure at first, but the severity of the situation that dawns on her, on top of Helena's chipper attitude backs Colette into both a proverbial and literal corner. The girl raises both hands of her sleeve-covered hands, "Y-you're all really… Oh my God." Her brows furrow together, swallowing nervously. "I — Look my friend she — The thing she did to him, I need her help!" Colette swallows awkwardly, teeth pressing down on her lower lip after that moment of assertion.

"I — I don't want to get anyone in trouble, but, s-she has like, she can…" Her eyes wander to the side, then back to Helena. "I know what she did to Trent." There's a somewhat more resolved firmness there, "She — I want her to help someone. He got hurt, chasing that serial killer. He's like, he might not ever be able to go back to work because've how bad he's hurt. It — That job is his whole life. Please…" Colette takes a step forward, fingers curling around the cuffs of her sleeves. "I — Trent told me to come here. He says he saw her working here once… Please."

Mallory glances after Liz as she leaves; Teo's given a squint and an annoyed pursing of her lips. "You're fucking weird." Thank you, Mallory.

Helena stares at Colette for a few moments. "I'm not her…pimp, or whatever." she states flatly. "I can talk to her, but it's up to her to decide if she's going to help you, and if she says no, you can't harrass her. I'm not kidding about everyone getting all kinds of locked up, you understand? She's not some kind of crazy faith healer getting overrun by lepers. So I'll talk to her, but you have to leave her alone. It's the best that can be done. You got it?"

Alexander looks around. Food. More food will totally help. Al lifts a hand. "Waitress," he says, tone both bright and pleading at once. "I need more chocolate. Can I have a piece of the cream pie?" When in doubt, stuff your face. Elisabeth's departure gets a wave.

Although the Sicilian's pretty sure that most teachers don't get that sort of recrimination from their students, ever, he's equally certain that there is some kind of default response. He considers this for a protracted silence. Unfortunately, he lacks the sensitivity or the insecurity to realize he ought to take offense, and fails to consider himself older enough to actually try something like 'scolding.'

"You'll understand when you're older," Teo answers, finally. "Try the chili. It's the house recommendation as well as mine." He bends his mouth around a smile is just as thin as hers.

Finally untwists his torso to return his attention to Alexander. Who's ordering food. More food, and still looking about as dead tired as he had prior to taking in five thousand calories. Prodigious eyebrows would've hiked right up into his hairline if, you know, he had enough hair. "Brother," he says. "What the fuck have you been doing to yourself? Fasting prayer? Porco miseria, you're going to come down with something if you aren't careful."

Mallory turns about in her booth and climbs to her knees to thrust her arm over the partition between Teo's booth and hers, hand extended. "Can I use your cell phone?"

Straining her expression into something that might be a try at a stern glare only comes off looking grumpily adoreable. The girl's nose wrinkles, and she seems to retreat back to a more softer countenance after a moment, hands tucking into the pouch at the front of her hoodie, shoulders rolling and head turning to the side, "Alright." The words are quiet, reluctant. Perhaps she had gotten herself worked up to believe something entirely different would happen, that this wouldn't be the outcome at all. Her gaze flits away from her delusions, and back to reality, looking up at Helena with one brow raised as her hand moves out of her pocket with a business card — it's certainly not hers."

Detective Judah Demsky

The reverse side of the card had a phone number, and another written in pen. "Call the one I wrote in there…" Her sheepish look likely coming from what the front of the card says, which in hindsight may not have been the best choice of stationary to make the number clear on. "She can call me there, it's his house number. He won't tell anyone anything, I promise." Her brows knit together for a moment, "He doesn't tell anyone about my friend, and she's just like your friend is. She's really special." Her teeth tug at her lower lip, eyes flitting back up to Helena. "Um, my… my name's Colette." She probably should've written that on the card, in hind-sight.

Helena stares at the card. "NYPD." she reads aloud. She narrows her eyes. "I can't believe you'd be this obvious about a potential trap." Colette's likely odds of getting help will probably drop a little as a result, though. "Alright. Go ack out, act normal, and don't breathe a word to anyone." With that, Hel pockets the business card, plasters a smile on her face, and heads back out. "You guys better not have eaten my food!" she calls out cheerily.

Alexander looks up with relief as Hel reappears. No blood, no nailscratches. Clearly, there was no sexy catfight in the girls' room. "Did you know," he says, completely, utterly non sequitur, "There was a mass murder here back in the late forties? Gang killing, I shit you not."

She just won't leave him alone. Teo was trying to bother Alexander, here. He'd sooner be doing that than confronting a seventeen-year-old who hates his face, a fact which he's pretty sure that the seventeen-year-old who hates his face is intelligent enough to recognize.

Nevertheless, he gives Mallory his attention without visible reluctance, some sentiment turning over behind his blue eyes, quiescent, razor, akin to curiosity. His mouth curls around a smile one wouldn't characterize as cold; he pulls the phone out of his pocket and proffers it. "Welcome back, ragazza," that would be for Hel. "I didn't, though you owe me fries. Al's paying for his own fatness. I think he must have worms." </re>

The girl in the red hoodie comes out of the bathroom a few moments after Helena does, stealing a glance at Mallory, then the other people at the table. Her eyes divert back down to the floor, hands tucked into the pouch in the front of her hoodie and her shoulders rolled forward. She smiles, hesitantly, after a pause mid-stride. It seems as though she's terrible at bluffing much of anything. Her eyes wander over to Mallory, "I— I ah, I gotta go. It — um, good to see you again, um, Mallory…" Swallowing, Colette affords Helena a hesitant smile. "Bye — y-you." That smile slides to something more lopsided, then a grimace as she very quickly makes her way for the door, pushing it open with her shoulder, a creak of aluminum, and a jingle of the bell.

Mallory takes the phone, twisting about to sit properly in her seat again. Helena's given a suspicious look as she returns. Colette, too. "Uh. See you later. Take care or something," she tells the other girl before turning her attention to Teo's phone, opening it up and thumbing the menu.

"I stole two of your fries. Um…why does she have your phone?" Idiot. She's probably looking through his contact numbers. Helena tilts her head toward Mallory; looking at Teo her expression indicates: Get it back!

Alexander's smile is suddenly worthy of the Joker. But whatever bon mot he was about to come up with, he decides against it. For lo, there is pie. And milk. And then he clues in, and gives Teo a dismayed look. MAn, what ARE you doing?

In the meantime, Teo rests his head on his knuckles, elbow leaning on the table-top, blue eyes studying Mallory's facial expression intently inquisitive; he's curious about her reaction, far more than he's concerned she might find something incriminating in there. "You know," he says. "You have the subtlety of a car wreck. Monster truck wreck. That's pretty fucking rude, bambina. I think you're freaking my friends out; they saw what happened the last time I lost a job for fraternizing past professional demarcations." Glancing at neither of the other PHOENIX operatives, he holds out a hand, palm-up.

That red silhouette moves back across the front windows of the diner again, this time turning to look at the booth Mallory is at on her way down the sidewalk. Mis-matched eyes watch the girl handling the phone, then squint as a few droplets of rain start to fall down, striking her on the nose. She looks up to the overcase skies as more cold rain starts to fall from above. Despite the glass, the heavy sulk of her shoulders and the way she hangs her shaking head almost gives the impression her sigh could be heard inside, it was so heavy. Such is Colette's luck. And with that sigh, she continues walking down the street, letting well enough alone for the time being.

Mallory's expression is blank for a few moments as she holds the phone; it's on, she's just holding it. Another couple of heartbeats and she blinks, shaking her head a little. "What? I zoned out. Did you just say something about me being rude?"
You have been applauded.

Helena looks faintly irritated, but then her food comes. She sets about to eating it, and absently places two fries on Teo's plate. Quiet, she watches the interchange between him and Mallory with a mild expression.

Alexander has begun to drum fingers on the table, restlessly. Pie is not sufficiently soothing, it'd seem.

Unaccountably gentle, Teo reaches over the space between him and his sometimes-student. Closes his fingers around his phone, slowly, as if not to scare a skittish horse and pulls it out of her grasp and retracting back into his personal bubble.

He squeezes a thumb against the power button, shutting it off, ostensibly to conserve batteries— it's down a few bars. Unsurprising, considering the number of drunken messages he'd had left on his voicemail, stored for blackmail. A multitude of other ridiculous, civilian things. Suddenly and perhaps just as strangely, Teodoro looks tired; he's either lost interest in Mallory completely or can't stand to look at her face.

"I should go to the library," he says. He snags his two fries, stuffs them in his face; flicks salt off his fingertips. "Fucking midterms. Ciao you two, eh?" And see them soon, he means. He reaches over to give Al a chuck upside the chin, tug lightly on Helena's erstwhile pigtail, before he slides out and finds his feet.

Mallory blinks a few times at Teo as he takes the phone back; she mutters, "I guess I'll just find a payphone," and starts to scoot out of the booth again, face red.

November 5th: For Want of Chinese Food
November 5th: A to Z
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License