A Fish Best Served Cold

Cast: date: 'October 1, 2012'
place: 'Piccadilly, Westminster'
participants: 'Decker, Yuki'
synopsis: 'Decker''s performance attracts the wandering Yuki''s attention. The two escape the freezing rain in a nearby diner, and enjoy a revealing conversation over fish and chips.'
log: "Despite the weather, Decker is out at Piccadilly's trying to make enough for dinner and maybe even enough for some lunch. The rain has kept most of the tourists away, but a few locals are still around, use to the rain. Decker, is standing next to a makeshift table filled with an assortment of dangerous and sharp objects that he swallows. At the moment, he's chewing on broken shards of glass for a couple who have stopped at the table, huddled under an umbrella. He's soaked completely through, but continues with his performance anyway.\n\nYuki is definitely not dressed appropriate for the weather. White t-shirt, faded jeans, white sneakers. It may as well be a mid-summers day by her wardrobe. She's soaked to her undergarments of course, but is decent otherwise. Just dressed in a manner most would find foolish. With her hair wetted to her head and face, she strolls up as nonchalant as possible to the performer's table, eyeing his tools of the trade as the other customers watch him chew the glass. Even Yuki cringes at the sound of breaking glass.\n\nShe stands there, paying more mind to the tools themselves than the show, waiting for the others to wander off before slipping a hand into one of her pockets, pulling out a five pound note and placing it on the table in front of him. She smiles, looking up to the man, trying to make eye contact, \"Maybe it is just for show, but even a stone-cold bloke 'as to eat real food too, right?\" she asks, watching him for a moment before she notices a few more people walking by as though they may take in the show, then turning and taking a step as though about to wander off.\n\nDecker finishes with the performance and thanks those gathered. He smiles as he looks up at the woman as she lays down the note. \"Thanks. I appreciate it.\" He offers, his accent giving away he's an American. He slips the bill into his pocket so the wind doesn't blow it away. He starts to pack up his stuff, not noticing if anything is missing. He just wants out of the cold. With the place being just about dead, it's time to give up and try again tomorrow. He pauses after a moment before he looks back over his shoulder towards the woman as she turns and starts to head off. \"Hey. Since you're really the only one who tipped me today, you feel like getting a bite to eat? It sucks eating alone and I would welcome the company.\" He offers as he continues to pack his things away.\n\nYuki stops in her tracks, no more than a few steps away from the man, when he calls out the invitation to her. She smiles again, droplets of water covering her face. Many of them, actually, don't seem to be running down at all, held up somehow, frozen in place. \"I s'pose I could stand a reason to step outta the rain,\" she accepts, turning back around and moving to the table, watching him pack up, \"Need any help?\" she asks, not really looking at him so much as the trade tools being packed up.\n\nWhether or not he accepts, she does at least pick up one or two of the objects, studying them until they do get put away. She doesn't take anything, though. There wouldn't be any good reason to steal someone's livelihood, as though there were a good reason to steal anything. \"W'ere d'you 'ave in mind? If it's somew'ere cheap, I can treat,\" she offers, returning her gaze to his.\n\nDecker smiles in return as he sees the smile on her lips. A hot girl smiles at him and he smiles back. Though, this does call attention to the drops of water that freezes on her skin. His eyebrow raises slightly at that sight, but her words returns his attention back to the gear he's packing up. \"Umm… sure. If you want, you can fold up the table for me while I finish packing up my backpack.\" He says as he clears off the table, setting his knives and such on the ground, except for the one she looks at. He stuffs the tools into his backpack, making sure they're secure before he slips the pack on. He thinks for a few moments before he looks around. \"Anywhere with coffee and hot food is good with me.\" He says with a soft chuckle, motioning towards a small diner just across the way from them. \"I usually stop there after a performance. Decent food and cheap prices.\" His gaze falls over her form for a moment, giving her a quick once over before returning her gaze.\n\nThere's plenty to look at with her form. The jeans weren't baggy to begin with, but the water has soaked them to a skin-clinging state, as it has her shirt, which does marvels to show off. The material actually doesn't move all that much, as if sticking rather rigidly to her figure. She seems to pay it no mind, however, nor any mind to his staring as she kneels down and looks under the table, making sure there's nothing she has to hold or twist that'll make her look like a fool for missing it and jumping right into the fold-up.\n\n\"I'll be glad to 'ave a nibble, then,\" she agrees. Her eyes remain on the table as she does start to fold it up, taking a moment here and there to make sure she's folding things in the right order, and to correct herself when she doesn't. Seems she doesn't do this all that often. \"You do this for a living? Eating strange things, I mean,\" she asks, looking back up at him as she nears the end of the small spectacle she's made of just folding a trade table.\n\nDecker takes a second and third glance over her form when the situation arises for it without him being caught. He can't help but smile and let out a small chuckle as he watches her fold up the table, offering help when/if she should require it. Her question causes him to nod his head slowly. \"Yeah. I do this and paint, but there's not much call for paintings as of late, so I do this more and more it seems.\" Once the table is folded, he takes it and carries it under one arm before heading towards the cafe. \"What about you? What is it you do?\" And there's another glance over at her body. Damn the rain making clothing skin tight.\n\nYuki watches him pick up his belongings, making sure he doesn't need any help before starting to walk towards the diner he mentioned. She raises a hand, wiping her bangs aside as they do start to grow heavy enough that the pouring rain pushes them into her eyes, a few drops lets of water being wiped away in the process. \"I scrounge for my living,\" she answers, speaking a little louder now to be heard over both the rain and the small distance being covered while walking. She keeps a rather normal posture. No hips swaying, no arching back, not trying in the least to show off. Doesn't stop the few other people milling about from having a look or two anymore than it does her companion, it seems, though she still seems to either ignore it or not notice it at all, her mind somewhere else completely, probably in the approaching diner already, \"I find it odd, though, don't you? I'd think there'd be more sense to a paintin' than in watchin' someone swallow glass.\"\n\nDecker nods in agreement. \"Yeah. You'd think that people would spend a couple hundred pounds for a nice painting, but no one wants them. At least not from me. So, for now, I'm living day to day from this. It's all hit and miss though. Sometimes I'll make enough for a day or two of three meals while others, I'll make enough for a cup of coffee.\" His shoulders raise and fall in a shrug. \"It all depends on my luck.\" As they arrive at the diner, he pulls open the door and steps aside to allow her entrance first.\n\nShe gives him a smile as he lets her in first. She's not about to say no, anyways. The quicker to get out of the rain, not that she's really given any honest sign that she minds it. \"If I 'ad the pounds I'd buy a piece. But then I'd need a place to stick it, wouldn't I?\" she says and observes, turning to make sure he's following her in before moving away from him, approaching one of the people she perceives to work here, \"Pardon me, w'ich way to th' loo?\" she asks, before setting off for it with their directions, vanishing herself for a few minutes.\n\nDecker does, indeed, follow her inside the place. He offers a wave and a smile to one of the waitresses he recognizes. \"I appreciate the thought.\" He offers, though the last part does catch him off guard for a moment. He doesn't say anything since she's on her way to find the direction of the restroom. In the meantime, he gets the pair of them a table where he waits for her return, waiting until she returns before ordering anything. He just waits and looks over the menu.\n\nYuki is gone for several minutes, but when she finally does return she's notably drier. Not dry, by any real definition, but it's clear enough her clothing has been thoroughly wrong out. It doesn't detract from the skin-clinging, but it does have to be worlds more comfortable. She speaks to one of the waitresses, and the girl points out the table to her, which she approaches and helps herself to a seat at. \"Sorry 'bout that,' she offers, sitting up and looking for a menu, grabbing one to peruse what the place has on offer, \"Y'said you eat 'ere sometimes…anythin' you'd recommend?\"\n\nDecker glances up at Yuki as she returns, offering a smile as he sets down the menu. He's still dripping wet and is obviously a lot less dry than she is at the moment. \"It's all good.\" He says, waving off her apology. \"The fish and chips here is pretty good. I usually get that or a club sandwich if I'm missing home.\" He offers a soft chuckle before he falls silent for a moment as he looks over the menu again. Finally, he looks up at her and looks up at her once more. \"You said earlier that you'd buy a painting if you had a place to put it. Does that mean you're out of wall space?\" He doesn't want to look like an ass if his conclusion isn't true.\n\nYuki nods a bit as he makes his recommendations, though she still looks over the menu, \"Fish an' chips sounds good, 'aven't had that 'n awhile,\" she concludes, setting the menu aside once she's perused all she wants, her eyes going to his, \"No, I jus' don't have any walls,\" she states. Though if she means homeless, she's considerably cleaner than most stereotypical hoboes. \"W'at about you? If you 'ave enough troubles buyin' your nibbles, w'at d'you do for home?\"\n\nDecker nods and settles on what he wants to eat as well, setting the menu aside while they wait for a waitress. \"I've got a small place. The landlord knows my situation and he's pretty chill. He lets me pay what I can when I can. If I can't afford the rent, he'll take a painting from me or let me paint the flats when tenants move out. He's a good guy.\" He says just as the waitress arrives to take their order. \"I'll have the club today and some coffee.\" He then falls silent so she can order. Once the waitress heads off, he looks back over to the woman sitting across from him. \"I'm sorry. I never introduced myself. I'm Decker.\" He says, offering a hand across the table.\n\n\"Fish 'n chips, with an iced coffee an' a slice of the daily pie, cold, please,\" she orders, looking back at her new acquaintance with a friendly enough smile, \"Yuki. My father named me, I believe. Japanese, the police told me,\" she explains, figuring Yuki to be a somewhat uncommon name in this part of the world. At least compared to Deck, which probably wouldn't raise an eyebrow. She reaches across the table, taking his hand and offering a gentle shake. Her skin is cold, almost freezing, \"So, you live here…been 'ere long? You don't sound like mos' the blokes that try to chat me up.\"\n\nDecker smiles as he takes the woman's hand and shakes it. \"That's a great name and it's nice to meet you.\" He offers, noticing the coldness of her touch. \"You're freezing. Maybe you should order something hot instead of iced coffee.\" He releases her hand and sits back in his seat. \"I've lived in London for about two years now…\" His voice trails off for a moment as he remembers what happened before that time. He shudders a bit before he looks back up at her. \"I spent the first year on the streets myself, so I know what it's like.\" He pauses for a moment. \"If you need a place to crash, I've got a couch. I hated it when I was on the streets, so I try to help others who are in that situation. Wish someone had done it for me.\"\n\nYuki shakes her head at the offer, trying to keep the motion gentle, \"It's fine…I made a frien' yesterday tha' put me up las' night, an' I need to see 'er again tonight b'cause I left my jacket at 'er pad,\" she explains, looking away and at the waitress as the drinks are brought over, \"Thank you,\" she offers, looking down at her iced coffee, then back up at Decker, \"You think I'm that cold? I don' think I'm cold enough,\" she says, cryptically enough, bringing her drink up for a sip, \"Mmm…I've been on the streets for a li'l over four years now, I s'pose,\" she answers plainly enough, her smile fading as she looks back down at the table, \"I was…gone, for a long time, y'see. Truth is, I don' even know w'at a home is like. Jus' the need t' always be on th' move, you know?\" she asks, looking up at Decker again, her smile returning, but looking a bit more plastered on.\n\nDecker nods his head and smiles. \"That's cool. As long as you have somewhere to stay. It sucks on the streets. Especially in this weather.\" He smiles at the waitress as she returns with the drinks. \"Thanks.\" He takes a sip from the mug, wrapping his hands around it to warm them up. \"I… I was gone for a long time too… before I came here.\" He says, biting his lower lip slightly. \"When I came back, I didn't have anyone anymore.\" He offers, frowning slightly at the memories. Her words cause him to look up at her and nods. \"Yeah. I was keeping on the move too.\" He looks around the room for a bit before he looks back to her and leans closer for a moment, his voice lowered slightly. \"Are you running from something too?\"\n\n\"From somethin' yeah, or somew'ere. I don' know. Don' know 'ow I got there, don' know 'ow I left. Jus' know I don' wan' to go back,\" Yuki says, vaguely enough, taking another sip of her coffee and then sitting it back down, \"Lots of spiders there, seemed they were always chasin' me. I hate spiders,\" she explains. Again, vaguely. Words that could easily be any number of unpleasant places, \"Then I come back. Mum is dead, Dad is missin', and the rest of my fam'ly 'as either passed on or moved on and can't be reached, so the bobbies gave me some clothin' an' I left,\" she explains, pausing as the food is finally set in, though she does not immediately go for her own, her eyes seeking out Decker's, \"so I am always runnin' now. I don' want to go back there.\"\n\nDecker's eyes widen slightly at her story and the mention of spiders, his head nodding slightly. \"And demons? Evil, evil demons?\" He asks, sipping his coffee for a moment. \"When you came back, the time was different from when you left, but it didn't seem as long as when you were there, right?\" He bites his lower lips slightly. \"And you were somehow… changed… different than before…\" He glances around the room again for a moment before he looks back at her again. \"I still have nightmares about where I was before I arrived here in London. I haven't been able to put it out of my mind or forget the things that I saw when I was there.\"\n\nYuki shrugs a little bit, \"There were some monsters, but they were not as common. They waited in th' dark, w'ere I hid from th' spiders,\" she explains, her smile softening, \"I don' remember w'at I was like b'fore I wen' there. No memory. Not me, not mummy or daddy…jus' that I ran, and foun' m'self in there. Twelve years there, and now…I'm happy t' be homeless, as long as I'm on th' streets an' not in there anymore,\" she explains, raising a hand and dipping a finger in her coffee. She holds it there for a second before raising it back up, the coffee immediately around her finger having frozen itself there. She places her finger in her mouth, pulling off the ice, then finally reaching for one of her fries, her whole meal seeming to have cooled off considerably. In fact, the air in general seems just a bit…nippy.\n\nDecker bites his lower lip again and nods slightly. \"Yeah. I remember everything. Before there, while I was there and afterwards. It wasn't fun.\" He says before he watches her freeze the coffee. A small smile forms on his lips as he watches before he looks down at his hands as they start to turn into black stone. He moves his hand to show that he still has mobility in this form. \"I was there for forty years.\" He says, sighing slightly at the memories.\n\nYuki nods a bit, offering a short laugh at the little show, though it's not a humorous one. Amused, but not making light of anything, \"That 'as to 'ave some uses, though,\" she points out, picking up another fry, pointedly ignoring the fish for the time being, \"Least you remember all of it, you know fully w'at it is you run from, an' w'at you 'ad before. I don' know w'at I 'ad, or w'at it is I lost. Jus' what I don' want t' lose now,\" she explains, trying to find some sort of silver lining. But the tone in her voice tells well enough that she knows there is none, no matter the spin put on it. \"Fancy meetin' you though. Fate 'as a funny way of workin' things about,\" she finishes, taking two more chips and stuffing them between her lips before finally peeling off a little bit of her fish, cooled enough now that it doesn't give off any steam from its heating.\n\nDecker returns his hand to normal and nods as he looks around the area, making sure no one saw who wasn't suppose to. \"Yeah. It does have some uses. It's what allows me to perform the tricks that I do. Turn my torso and I can eat just about anything.\" He smiles and eats some fries. \"I suppose fate does have a way of bringing people together. Especially if they share some fucked up experiences that other people would lock them up in the nut house for.\"\n\nYuki picks a bit at her fish, leaning forward a little to eat it rather than risk dropping anything on her clothing. She seems to favor eating with her fingers, even if she doesn't strictly have to, \"Mmm…can't say I know much about 'em, jus' what I read at the library. Stories, old news clippin's, that sort of stuff,\" she admits, \"But all I read is about 'ere. Never see anythin' about the other place. You'd think if it 'appened t' you then it 'appened t' someone else…and somew'ere, sooner or later, someone woulda wrote a bloody book about it.\"\n\nDecker chuckles and nods. \"Yeah. You'd think, but maybe most people are just trying to ignore it and forget about it. Or they're still running from it and they don't want to let them find them.\" He shrugs as he picks up one of his sandwich pieces and takes a bite, washing it down with his coffee before he speaks again. \"Supposedly there's this group who deals with this kind of stuff. I ran into them and they talked to me about it and what I can do.\" He takes another bite from his sandwich before he continues. \"If you want, I could try to get them to talk to you about it.\"\n\nYuki shrugs a little at that. He makes a decent point. It's not like she has stopped long enough to write a book, after all. Then again, she doesn't have the materials either. \"If there's someone out there that can help, I'd be a damned fool not t' go f'r it,\" she says, accepting the offer in roundabout before leaning back in her seat, grabbing a napkin and wiping her fingers off with it before she picks her iced coffee back up. Cold as it is, it's not exactly freezing in the diner, yet her ice isn't melting down at all. \"This is a nice place…I bet it gets a grander crowd w'en th' weathers clearer.\"\n\nDecker nods his head. \"I'll try to contact them for you. I have the phone number somewhere in my apartment.\" He takes up his coffee again and takes another drink of his coffee. At least he's feeling warm and a bit dryer since they've been in the diner. He looks around at her comment, looking around the area. \"Yeah. This place is more grander when the weather is better and the tourists are out and about. That's usually when I make my better tips. I'm trying to learn fire breathing so I can make more money and spice up my performance a bit.\" He thinks for a moment before he speaks again. \"You know, if you need some cash, maybe you could get a job here. I'm sure you could score free food, decent tips and I could have another reason to come in.\"\n\nYuki shakes her head, though she does look a little upset about the refusal, \"I'd love to, but I can't do it. I've 'ad a few jobs 'ere' an' there, an' I like t' think I'm a bit of a grafter, but I can't do it,\" she says, pausing a moment to down two more pieces of her fish, then wiping her fingers clean on another napkin, her eyes raising back to Decker's, \"Ev'ry job wants you t' know things like math, w'ich I can't do…or t' do things, like cook, w'ich is I also can't do as I burn easy,\" she explains, pushing her meal aside and finally grabbing a spoon, sticking it into the pie she'd ordered, \"That's w'y I like th' cold so much. It's comfortable…\"\n\nDecker nods. \"Oh, yeah. You have a good point there. Well, you could always get work doing those ice sculptures. That should be cold enough for you to do. Just have to learn how to sculpt and use a chain saw or whatever they do for that stuff.\" He smiles as he looks into her eyes for a moment. \"You must really love the winter months then, huh? That must really come in handy as well. So besides the coffee trick and your high cold tolerance, is there anything else you can do?\"\n\nYuki rolls her shoulders a little before reaching out and touching the back of your hand with one fingertip. It's a numbingly-cold touch, and the sensation remains briefly when she pulls her hand back, any rainwater still on your skin would be frozen to ice. Aside from a reddened area however, like a place an ice cube had touched for too long, there doesn't appear to be any actual damage, and it quickly begins to fade. \"I c'n freeze with a touch…but that's concentrated, you've probably already felt the unconcentrated, the cold in the air, like a freezer door left open, or a window cracked in the middle of winter,\" she suggests, taking a mouthful of her pie and chewing it, letting that sink for a moment. She is at least polite enough not to speak with her mouth full, even if she does just reach out and freeze men she just met, \"Mmm…also, I don' stick to ice or anything if I touch it, an' if I walk on it then I don't fall on m' arse. There's something else too,\" she says, looking around to make extra-sure no one is listening, before speaking in a lower voice, \"Let's say th' whole room w's cold as witch tits…I could appear anyw'ere in th' room, long as I could see it clearly,\" she explains. Short-burst teleportation, with a low-temperature threshold, \"Not sayin' that's all I c'n do either, but I'm spillin' everything 'ere…w'at about you? Jus' gettin' 'ard can't be the 'alf of it.\"\n\nDecker gets chills at her touch, pulling his hand back after she moves her finger. He rubs the spot she touched with his other hand, warming it up. That's impressive.\" He says, especially the part where she can appear anywhere. \"I can turn myself to stone from head to toe or just different parts of my body. I can also eat anything without it hurting me. I've drank poison and wasn't affected by it.\" He pauses for a moment before he continues, his voice softer than before. \"It was a rather low point for me when I found that out.\"\n\nYuki nods, seeming to understand how that could be. She does have some idea of what he went through, after all. She reaches out, giving him a pat on the shoulder, quick and brief before leaning back. Her touch isn't painfully cold this time, apparently something she has some measure of control over, but her touch is still fairly chilly. \"I can't say w'at I eat doesn't hurt me. Once it's in my mouth it's right as rain…b't if it's warm, it c'n still burn my face or 'ands from bein' too close,\" she says, before laughing a little. It's not a sincere laugh, nothing but an attempt to lighten the mood a little more, \"That said, I c'n eat a lot that other people can't. Long 's th' food isn't bad…diggin' in th' trash is far fr'm th' worst place I've got my meals…speakin' of food, w'ere's the check?\"\n\nDecker smiles at the touch on his shoulder. \"Well, then I can see how you've done well in the time that you've been on the streets. Don't have to worry about what you eat too much or about freezing to death.\" He says, trying to lighten the mood somewhat. At the mention of the check, he looks around for the waitress and tries to signal her for the check. \"Should be coming.\" He says, looking back at her. \"Thank you for coming and having a bite with me. I really appreciate it.\" He offers her a warm smile. \"I hope to see you at some of my performances sometime.\"\n\nYuki grins, looking genuinely pleased again, sitting right up in her seat, \"It'd be my pleasure, maybe next time it won' be rainin' an' you'll 'ave a lot more money comin' in,\" she offers, leaning a little as she reaches into her pocket. Once the check arrives, she pulls out a damp roll of bills. She stares at the check, seeing just how much it is before she starts to carefully count out the money. Seems she can count, it just takes a little time for her, \"An' two f'r a tip,\" she finishes, being a bit more generous than fifteen percent on that. Rolling the money back up, she stuffs it in her pocket and then looks at her remaining food, still half a meal left in all, \"More here th'n I needed…guess I've got dinner tonight, then.\"\n\nDecker seems that his smile grows slightly brighter as she agrees to come to his performances. \"I hope so. No matter what, next time the meal is on me. I'll make sure to set some money aside so I can pick up the check. It's not very fair that I couldn't really help out this time. I'm sorry.\" He says before he looks at the food left on his plate then to the waitress. \"Can we get some to-go boxes, please? Thank you.\"\n\nYuki shakes her head a bit, \"You don' need to worry none 'bout that,\" she offers, still smiling as the waitress delivers the boxes, \"Thank you,\" she offers the waitress, before proceeding to box up her own portion of the meal, being rather meticulous about keeping everything as separate as possible, \"You're a right diamond geezer, an' handsome t' boot. You gave me fr'endly comp'ny, so think of that as repayment an' we'll be square,\" she offers, not even looking at you for the latter half of the delivery, working with the box to make sure it has folded and closed properly.\n\nDecker nods his head once. \"Fair enough.\" He says after thanking the waitress for the box and starts to move his food into the container. \"Well, next time I see you at the show, stay until the end and I'll treat you to dinner or whatever the case may be.\" Once he has the box closed right he smiles and slips out of his seat, starting to gather his things. \"I must say, it was a great pleasure to meet you, Yuki. It's not every day I get to have lunch with a gorgeous lass like yourself.\"\n\nYuki starts to stand up when she hears Decker's compliment, the surprise causing her to lose her feet and land back in the chair. She grins, giggling a little, \"Haven' 'eard that one before…even if you're jus' bein' polite, thank you,\" she offers before pulling herself to her feet properly, gathering up her box, looking out a window briefly to see if it's still raining outside, giving a little sigh as she sees it has gotten a little worse, \"…I s'pose I should head to Fitzroy Square. If I 'ope to get my jacket back an'ways,\" she comments out loud, looking back at Decker and smiling, \"'Ave a good one, I'll be 'round for 'nother show soon.\""

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