The Secret To Romance


ff_miles_icon.gif ff_namiko_icon.gif

Scene Title The Secret To Romance
Synopsis In the Pelago, it's very simple…
Date October 12, 2018

Namiko's Apartment

November is fucking cold in New York, and moreso in these years since the flood. Namiko stands in the doorway to her radio studio/apartment/former hotel room, wrapped up in a pink sweater with shimmery gold stars all over it. The stars have smiley faces. One star has been sharpied to have a snarl instead.

It is her favorite sweater.

Behind her, music plays from her laptop, but not just for her— for anyone who can pick up her radio broadcasts. Tonight, it seems to be some ancient punk music from the distant nineteen-eighties. Maybe more distant than that. But, she doesn't have to pay attention to the music just now, because she's on a three hour talk free stretch that she uses to nap or cook or hang out or whatever.

Just now she's using it to wait for a friend, who is somehow running late despite being a teleporter.

Maybe if you were a teleporter, Namiko, you’d understand why Miles can be late and also be able to get pretty much anywhere — well, within reason and with some caveats — with just a thought. Or maybe he does it on purpose, who knows. But in any case, eventually the air does start to shimmer in the hall right near the door to her apartment, the telltale sign of Miles’ arrival. He never teleports right into her room, despite the fact that he could do so, because that’s just rude.

“I know, I know,” he says, talking already almost before he’s even snapped into view. “But I got held up. It’s a long story.” So don’t ask, apparently, though he doesn’t look particularly harried. He almost never does. He grins at her instead, “Any first time callers, long time listeners?” It’s funny because she doesn’t get any callers ever, get it? GET IT?! Well, okay, maybe it’s not that funny. But it has to be said that he truly commits, which is something.

“Oh my god,” Namiko says to his joke, “you’re so lame.” Even so, when she steps back into her apartment, he gets a wave to follow her. “Come on, have something to eat. You look skinny.” While her front room is taken over with radio equipment that she’s been able to salvage or purchase, the side rooms look much more livable. Including an office that she’s turned into a kitchen-esque space.

“Are you still up for deliveries today or was your experience too harrowing?” she asks, her gaze sliding sideways as she looks over at him.

“I’m not the one listening to bad 80’s punk,” Miles points out, very helpfully, as though he’s doing her a favor by telling her. Well, he’s not, is he? However, he laughs then, and heads in behind her. “I don’t know if you should be telling anyone they look skinny,” he remarks, eyeing her for a second or two as though in judgement, though it’s not for too long, since he’s not serious.

“I think I could handle one or two,” he assures her as he moves to plop down on one of the chairs, sliding down and stretching out his legs in front of him, ankles crossed. “Depends on how heavy. Those freaking melons were killer. Never again, you hear me?”

"Actually, you kinda are," Namiko says, since he can definitely hear it. "I'm sure someone out there is glad I used to pirate all this music. Although, the smooth jazz fans might be out of luck." She had some standards, even if they weren't very high most of the time. "And I'm not skinny, I'm delicate." Which is why he gets an orange tossed his direction. Because he needs it.

"Those melons made us some money, though, didn't they?" But no, he's going to be spared the crates this time. "Just a quick drop at the Library. Stef needs to restock. Apples, herbs, carrots, the usual. She's gonna send back some books with the payment, so don't lose them. I think she drop kicks people into the ocean if they lose her books."

Miles’ hand shoots out to catch the orange, and he starts to peel it absently. HIs movements are careful, though — he’s clearly attempting to get the peel off in one piece, even though he isn’t paying that much attention to his hands. “Hopefully all the smooth jazz fans can keep that mess to themselves,” he says, his thumb working under a little bit more of the peel. He’s doing a pretty good job — no breakages yet!

“They did,” he admits as he gets to the bottom. “But I don’t know if it was worth the damage to my back.” He says it with a slightly exaggerated groan, just for emphasis, though that emphasis is slightly marred by the triumphant sound as he manages to separate the last bit of the orange peel from its fruit without losing any of it. He holds it up to show her, wiggling it a little bit so that it bounces. “How dare you suggest I’d lose a book,” he continues. “That hurts, Miko.”

"They say it takes about nine months to bounce back," she replies helpfully. Namiko cares about his pain, she really does. When it's legit. She can't help a laugh when he ruins his own complaint, though, and gives him and his peeling skills a golf clap. "Truly inspiring," she says, as dryly as she can manage. "And I'm just trying to warn you, Milo. Someone has to look out for you around here."

She moves to pull out a backpack— one more suited to camping than to school— full up with homegrown fruits and veggies, herbs and spices. It is not light. But it's not melons, so there is that. And as usual, some of it is partitioned off as his own share.

“Thanks for that. You’re so helpful.” Miles tosses the orange peel in the general vicinity of the trash, and when he doesn’t quite make it, he lets out a heavy sigh, but does get up — it should be noted, quite easily — to get it all the way in. And them makes a super mature face at her at the nickname. “Message received,” he assures her as he sits back down, starting to section the orange.

He pops one into his mouth, chewing thoughtfully for a moment as he watches her prepare the bag, though his mind doesn’t really seem to be on that. “You got any gossip for me?” he asks from around the mouthful, crossing his legs again and slouching back into his previous posture.

“What, you don’t like it? Miko and Milo, they solve crimes. I think I just found my next radio show. It’ll be like Sherlock and Watson, only better because one of them’s a girl.” Namiko gestures to herself as if which girl was in question.

She picks up an apple, tossing it back and forth between her hands as she comes to sit by him. “Well,” she comments to his question, “I heard that Marlowe is looking to create her own brothel, to make some competition for the Sill, you know? Except, hers is gonna be all sex robots.” She catches her apple on those last words, to emphasize. “More costly upfront, but in the long run, might shake out in her favor.”

“Miko and Milo sounds more like a kids’ book about an unlikely animal friendship,” Miles counters, but he grins before he pops one of the orange sections into his mouth. His eyebrows raise as he chews, though — that certainly is gossip.

“A robot brothel?” he confirms, as though he hasn’t heard her right, and a little snort of laughter escapes him, though he doesn’t necessarily seem like he thinks it’s a bad idea. It’s just funny, okay? “Damn. Well, she’ll probably get a good amount of customers, just from the weird factor alone. Gotta be careful about the chassis, though.” He winces as though imagining the consequences of a malfunction of fake skin in certain places.

“You know, you’re right. Milo would be cuter as a dog.” Namiko smirks over at him and reaches over to take one of the slices. “Cheaper, too. Don’t have to pay another actor.” Actor may be a generous term for her radio shows given that they take more inspiration from the radio programs from the 50s rather than anything Hollywood ever made.

“That’s a good note, I’ll pass that along.” Marlowe is totally going to take that well, guaranteed. “But I think it’s a great idea. A robrothel. There’s always a market for companionship, especially companionship without all the gooey emotional center.” The gross part. “I’m sure she’d take live entertainment, too. I’ll put in a good word for you.”

“I bet I could do a good dog voice,” Miles says, in a goofy sort of voice that does sound a little bit like it’d be at home on an anthropomorphized golden retriever or something of the sort. “Whadda ya think, huh? Huh?” He gives her a very enthusiastic nod as well, coupled with wide eyes. He can’t hold it for that long, but while he keeps it up, it is undeniably effective.

It fades, though, into a laugh at her next words. “You’re a good man, Charlie Brown,” he says as he reaches around her shoulders to give her a side hug. “Let her know to hurry up. She has an impatient future loyal customer.” He shifts forward then to shoulder the bag she’s given him. This seems to remind him of something, though, and he reaches into his pocket. “Oh, hey,” he says, “I almost forgot.” He pulls something out a moment later and hands it to her — a signal extender. “Found this the other day. Thought you might want it.”

Namiko can't help a laugh at his impression, and she doesn't try very hard to do so either. She returns the hug, still chuckling lightly. Running the radio station can get a little lonely, and cabin fever is rampant, but her friend dropping in has a way to brush all that away.

Today's drop maybe a little more than others

She gasps dramatically when he produces the extender— mostly because making it dramatic helps cover how genuinely touched she is. "Holy shit, yeah, I want it," she says, although she doesn't make a move for it or anything. Just enthusiastic. "What do you want for it? Tomatoes? Rose bush? Bag of weed?"

She doesn’t have to wait too long, luckily, since Miles relinquishes it without making too much of it. Maybe he does it with a little flourish, but hey, can you blame him? No, no you cannot. “I’m never gonna say no to a bag of weed,” he says with a laugh, clearly pleased about the reception, though also smug, since it wasn’t like he didn’t know. That was the point, right? “I’ve been meaning to learn to bake. Maybe that could be my first project. Thanks for those strawberries, by the way. They went over big.”

It would not be inaccurate to describe Namiko's reaction to having it in her hand as a squee. The flourish fits right in around here. "Well, it's got your name on it," she says, as far as the weed and she even pushes herself back up to dig into a cabinet to grab it out. This is handed to him the same way a priceless artifact might be. It's a sizeable amount, for gratitude's sake. She doesn't even mind the smugness. He earned it. "Did they?" she asks, of the berries. "Well, now you know, if you want to woo anyone else— the secret to romance in the Pelago is through the stomach."

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