ArchivedLogs:A More Subtle Line of Work

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A More Subtle Line of Work
Dramatis Personae

Anette, Eric


... damn it, now I want bao.


<NYC> Baohaus - Chinatown

Despite its unlikely name, this restaurant dishes up some of the best hot pot in Chinatown. A great place to go with friends, come pick a broth, pick ingredients, and enjoy the Chinese version of fondue, cooking meals yourself in the steaming soup. And, of course, don't miss the signature buns the place is named for!

Though it is mainly and popularly known for its cuisine, Baohaus has been known by a select few to host certain events in the back of a less above the board nature. Gambling, mostly, though some drug trading has been known to happen on occasion. This tends to happen off hours, of course, and certainly not during the dinner rush except on very unusual circumstances. It isn't unusual, though, for the very people who have been pushing chips around the table to filter back into the main restaurant for a break.

It is one of those breaks that finds Eric outside the restaurant, cigarette in his mouth as he looks out down the street of Chinatown. The ex-police officer looks rather more ragged than usual, shirt stained and hair mussed more than its usual just-shagged look. He is slowly turning a small manila package over and over in his hands, eying the post box on the corner with a look as if it just committed some great offense against him and was now standing there, box-like, looking all blue and mocking.

Sometimes you just get a hankering for something other than pizza or ramen. Sometimes you just want to shell out the extra dough on a real meal. Today is one of those days for Anette, who finds herself walking down the sidewalk to one of her guilty pleasures: Baohaus.

She looks typical for her. Skinny jeans, t-shirt, leather jacket to cover her wings, boots for the hell of it. As she steps up to the door, she gives a polite nod to Eric, only to pause and double-take. "Hey...I know you, don't I? Cop of some sort? Long time no see," she says, giving him a brief grin. "How've you been?"

"Of some sort." Eric's attention flicks to Anette and he looks over her for a moment before he shrugs his shoulders. "Used to be, but not anymore." His eyebrows pull together as he gives her a closer look and then smiles, bright and wide, if fleeting. "I think I remember seein' you in Central Park. Flyin' into the trees, if I remember right." He takes another long drag of his cigarette, blowing the smoke out through his nostrils in a long breath. "What brings you ta Chinatown?" The question's tone is friendly enough, though it still somewhat comes across with an almost interrogatory authority to it. Take the badge away, but can't take the cop out. He puts the package under one arm and takes his cigarette out, tapping ash onto the sidewalk.

Anette frowns slightly as Eric mentions being an ex-cop. "Oh? Too bad. Then again, you did seem awfully nice and sensible to be a New York cop." At Eric's 'interrogation', she raises a slight eyebrow and casts a glance up to the restaurant's sign they're both standing beneath. "Well...I had a taste for some stir-fry and I had a feeling Little Italy wouldn't have anything good." She leans up against the wall, crossing her arms over her chest. "Yeah, that was me in Central Park. So what happened, if you don't mind me asking?"

Eric chuckles and shrugs his shoulders, eyes twinkling. "Registration happened, darlin'. I'm on suspension while they investigate and while I make my appeals, but..." He trails off, taking another deep breath in before dropping the cigarette and crushing it beneath the heel of a sneaker. "Well, if you wanted good food, then this certainly ain't a bad place to go," Eric says, thumbing his finger at the restuarant behind him. "It's fuckin' delicious."

Anette cringes slightly at the word 'registration'. "Ah, right. Well, good luck with that. I'm uh...having some fun with that myself." She flicks a chunk of hair out of her face. "I know, I've been. Unfortunuately, I can't afford to go as often as I'd like to." She looks over Eric slightly, noting his disheveled state. "So what are you doing now that you're out a job?"

"Not out of a job yet," Eric says, voice sharpening slighty as he grinds the cigarette under foot a little bit more than might be strictly necessary. "And with a bit'a luck - alright, a lotta luck - I hope'ta not have to figure out how ta find another job." He shrugs his shoulders and takes the package out from under his arms, tapping it against his chest twice and glancing back towards the mailbox. "We'll see, we'll see." Eric murmurs, seemingly to himself as much as to Anette.

"Either way...good luck. I'd offer to help but there's not too much I'd be able to do." Still, it's the thought that counts, right? Anette can't help but notice the envelope, casually glancing to it and sneaking a peek but she doesn't ask. "Well, it's a big city. You'll find something if things don't work out."

The envelope is already addressed and piled with stamps in one corner to pay for the weight. The return address is made out to Eric, but his hand covers all but the first part of the recipient's name - Sha. Not a lot to go on. "From your lips ta God's ears. Still, ain't mean I have'ta look forward to it. Findin' another job wasn't ever on the plan until now anyway, nevertheless havin' ta find one after registration." He pauses and then shrugs his shoulders, non-committal. "Ain't nothin' different than most physical mutants have'ta go through all the time. Less, even."

Anette nods, shaking her head with a grin. "I completely understand. Half the reason I didn't register. I's sorta pointless, being a physical mutant and all but, it's the principle really. That and for the time being, I can hide it. In cooler weather anyway. Still, they don't need to know what else I can do." She glances briefly towards the restaurant door and tilts her head towards it. "Ready to eat yet?"

"Oh, yeah." Eric glances towards the restuarant, then over to the mailbox. "Hang on for a minute, yeah?" With that, he strides over to the mailbox with sudden determination and opens the bin with a scraping sound of metal. He hesitates for a moment, looking down into the darkness, before he drops the package into the drawer and closes it. Eric winces, turning back to head back towards Anette. "Alright. After ya." Eric gestures towards Baohaus, giving the younger girl a smile.

Anette watches Eric curiously as he sends the envelope off but doesn't say anything until he returns. "Good. I'm starving." She makes her way back inside, waiting for Eric to catch up before looking around the room. "Where do you want to sit?" She pauses a moment, taking a deep breath. "God I love the smell of this place."

As Eric walks in, a few sets of eyes come up and watch him walk in with Anette. "Sure, but I ain't got long," he says. "I've gotta get back ta work, while I still got it." Eric shrugs his shoulders as he snags two menus and leads her over to a booth along the wall. 'Wait to be seated' is for losers. "I love everythin' about this place, really. I'd spend way more time here if I could afford it, but considerin' my salary, it ain't a common thing."

Anette nods as she sits down in the booth. "Fair enough." She props open a menu in front of her, casually scanning the options. "So...I don't think you've ever mentioned. Seeing as you know some of mine, what are your 'talents'?" She sets down the menu, apparently having decided what to order already and leans back against the booth, taking a sip of the water from her glass.

"I'm hard to kill." Eric says quietly, shrugging his shoulders. "That's 'bout it, really. Nothin' fancy other'n that. Just... heal pretty good." Eric doesn't bother with the menu either, particularly, toying with one of the edges but not opening it. "Still, useful enough, and I ain't goin'ta complain. Certainly's helped me out'a some jams that I'm not sure I'd've walked away from if I didn't. And definitely some I ain't have survived without neither, so." He chuckles and glances around the room for a waiter, though none is forthcoming immediately. "Ain't somethin' I usually talk about."

Anette nods slightly as she listens to Eric. "That's not a bad skill to have. Not flashy, but useful. I'd like to consider myself hard to kill but it requires a bit more effort on my part." She picks an ice cube out of her water and pops it in her mouth, sucking on it briefly before crunching it. "Well, I'm honored you're willing to mention it, even in passing, with me. Though...I'm curious. It's easy enough to hide, why did you bother registering?"

"'Cause it's the law, and my job is'ta see justice done. I can't do that if I gotta lie." Eric says, giving her a puzzled look. "Sides, in my line of work, ain't so easy to hide not gettin' hurt. Comes with the business, and can't exactly explain away gettin' hit in the face and not havin' no bruises as bein' lucky." Eric grins and shrugs his shoulders. "Though you'd be surprised just how much people'll shrug off if they can't understand it."

A waiter appears from the back and Eric catches his attention with a wave of his hand. "Can I have three Shengjian mantou?" Considering his thick Georgia accent, the pronunciation of the dish is surprisingly natural. "And a glass'a Yuengling?"

Anette chuckles and shakes her head at Eric's explanation. "An honest cop. Next you'll be telling me Santa is real. It takes balls to be honest though. Especially when it ends up screwing you over. Apparently you need to find a more subtle line of work. Yoga instructor comes to mind." She pauses as the waiter appears and takes Eric's order. "I'll have green tea and a bowl of won ton soup," she says, handing over the menu.

The waiter leaves quickly, darting off into the back without a word. "I don't know; ain't that flexible, least in the way ya need to be for yoga." The police officer grins and shrugs his shoulders. "Nah, I'm not sure. We'll see; I ain't givin' up so easy. If they're gonna take my badge, they ain't going'ta take it without a fight, even if it ain't one I'm going'ta win." He smiles and looks around the room, eyes lingering on a table a few seats away of two Chinese men in dress shirts who match his look with an even one of their own. "How 'bout you? What are you don' these days?"

Anette grins. "Well, I'm sure you'll think of something. Massage therapist, maybe?" She nods and leans back against the booth. "I understand though. Good for you, fighting for it. You'd think they'd realize having someone who's practically immortal would be beneficial to them, though." She follows Eric's gaze to the Chinese men, looking them over briefly before turning back to him. "Oh, not too much. Odd jobs here and there, whenever I can. I might have found something a bit more regular though. We'll see how it goes."

One of the two men stands up even as Eric has turned to Anette and continued questioning, "Something more regular?" He asks, curiously. The man approaches the table and looks down at the two. "Excuse me, but Eric, we're about to begin." With that, he steps off down the hall towards the bathrooms. Eric, for his part, looks somewhat chagrined. "Sorry, I've gotta go get back'ta work. Rain check on that answer?" Eric asks, sheepishly.

Anette glances curiously to others again as they stand up and begin approaching. "Well, somewhat regular. It's more of an alliance. Or...Brotherhood, if you will." She glances back and forth as Eric excuses himself to join the men. "Ah, well, take care. I'll be out here for a little while longer if you find yourself free."