Rolling Ink - Chino and Sharon
Who: Chino Moreno (remanufacture) and Sharon Kihara (hairy_situation)
Where: Jade Dragon Tattoo and Body Piercing / Tempo Cafe
When: November 5, 2008
"Here. I- I brought this one for you." Chino pulls a wrinkled piece of paper out of his pocket, spreading it out for his artist. "On the- on the back of my neck. It's the Dharma Wheel." Dave, Chino's artist, takes the drawing, nodding over it.
"Sure, go and have a seat, strip the shirt. I'll get everything ready." Chino sits backwards in Dave's chair, arms folded on the backrest, and looks at some of the other clients. And, hell. That girl is here again, getting the piece on her arm worked on. Chino's seen her before, the way she moves, serpentine and utterly graceful. He thinks her name's Sharon, but he's not sure. When she catches his eyes, he flicks a smile at her and looks down. Yeah. Right.
Okay, so maybe she's a liiiiiiitle bit of a pussy. She'd put off getting the work on the underside of her upper arm - so tender! - for as long as she could. But the time is right so here she is, grimacing every couple of seconds, trying to look like she's not crying and sneaking a tissue up every once in a while. When the guy catches her gaze, she returns the smile, though hers is a little bit tight. "How's it going?" Hey, distraction is good, right? Ow! Fuck!!
"Good," Chino answers, resting his chin on the backs of his forearms. "Waiting for- for Dave to get my flash ready." He straightens up, looking at what she's getting done. "It h- helps if you fist your hand. That way the- the muscle stays tight and- and eventually it'll go n- numb. Ish." It takes balls to have that much work done, between the feathers he can see peeking out of the line of skin between her shirt and pants, and the extensive sleeve on her right arm. "And t- tell him not to drag the needle so- so hard." This time it's easier to smile, before Dave comes back with a tissue-thin print of Chino's wheel.
"What, are you two flirting? Chino, that's Sharon. Sharon, this strapping young man here is Chino. There, now hold the fuck still."
Chino gives Sharon a chagrined little smile, raising his eyebrows for a moment before putting his head down so Dave can apply the stencil. Dave, unfortunately, keeps talking.
"Chino here works for Robert Downey, you know? So you know he's got money to spend. I know you're single, Sharon..." Oh hell, no. Dave is not trying to set them up. Especially when Chino's got women-problems as it is, women-problems named Eliza Dushku.
"Unfortunately, I am not possessed of the impressive guns you are," Sharon grins, wincing again when her artist hits another sensitive spot, "But thanks!" Dave coming back in interrupts but it's cool 'cause now they're introduced all proper-like and everything. "Thanks, Dave," she nods, "Nice to meet you all official and everything."
It's the continued words that have Sharon laughing though, she blushes a little too (and isn't it a good thing they guy's got his head down?!? sheesh!!). "You know what, Dave? You're a dick. I don't need your Yenta-ass 'helping' me!" Except maybe she does a little. How long's it been since she had a date? It doesn't even bear thinking about!
"I am the man from YENTA," Dave proclaims proudly, spreading the stencil onto Chino's neck. "Dude, you're getting shaggy. Get a haircut, you lousy hippie." He glances over at Sharon. "And you? I'm no busybody, sweetie. Unless you wanna count gettin' bizzy with my bod! Which, you know, I'd totally be okay with." He's kidding; the wedding ring on his hand actually means something to him. "You two should like, discuss- Hey Sharon? Isn't bellydancing all Buddhist or whatever? Chino here's getting a Dharma Wheel. You two really should talk."
"I hate you D- Dave. Go die with eb- ebola."
"You should talk, Mr. Clean!" Sharon shoots right back, jumping to Chino's defense (she might or might not have hair issues) while Dave's got the poor guy at his mercy and all. Besides, she's always been a scrappy thing. The 'busybody' comment gets an exaggerated roll of her eyes and, one brow sky-high, Sharon reminds him, "Dude, I know better than that! Deb's my piercer, remember?" Another eyeroll and a fond smile for him and she adds in a mutter, "Ass-hole."
She's about to retort to the whole bellydancing thing when Chino's voice wafts up and Sharon giggles. She'd love to call it laughing but it's just not. It's totally giggling.
Chino tries really hard not to think about what Sharon might have pierced. Really hard. And fails. She's got a cute giggle; maybe she's not a- maybe she's not Eliza. Obviously she's not Eliza, and he offers, just as Dave touches the needle to his skin, "You, uh. You wanna get a coffee after?" Wow, and he manages not to stutter. Mostly.
Dave answers, of course. "Sure, hot stuff. Hope you're buying."
And of course, Sharon totally ignores him. "Yeah," she grins, "That'd be boss! Tempo's just down the street?" That way, she can grab some food too, since it's been, like, nearly two hours since she ate last and she's totally starving!
"Sh- sure." Is this a date? Did he just ask her out? "How much more do you- do you think you have to go?" His tattoo'll probably take an hour at the most; it's not very big and it's probably best that they get the coffee over and done with so she can see that they're really not cut out for each other. That he's a dirty, stuttering mechanic and she's some kind of serpentine goddess. Or something like that.
"Oh, I'm just getting some color done," Sharon's voice holds the shrug she doesn't dare do physically, "I'm here until I can't stand it any more..." Chino might not be able to see her face but the slyness that creeps across it bleeds through to her tone. "Or I get a better offer..."
"What, you want this guy to tattoo you?" Dave pipes up. "He does cars, not chicks. Sorry, Chino."
"Mothertrucker," Chino answers, good-natured, focusing on Sharon's voice over the whine of the tattoo gun that's right near his ear. "Well, uh. When- when I'm done, we can grab s- something, okay?"
Dave looks smug.
Chino's a good judge of time; it's almost an hour on the dot before Dave wipes him clean and tapes the gauze to the back of his neck.
Sharon had given up nearly twenty minutes before but it wasn't that bad a wait. "Ready?" she asks with a smile, reaching to grab her sweatshirt. She pulls it on over her little cotton cami, making the fabric ride up and show a glimpse of the tatts on her stomach. Once her head's popped out, she goes over and gives Dave a big buss on the cheek. "Thanks, babe. Tell Deb I might be thinking about upping the gauge on the ears again, huh?" Finally, she turns back to Chino, putting out her hand, "Hey there! Sharon Kihara."
The worst thing is stuttering on your own name. But this time, Chino manages to avoid that. "Chino Moreno." Her hand feels so slim in his, smooth and light against broad and warm and rough-worked. "G- got work on your stomach, huh?" It's not like he was staring (okay, he kind of was, but only out of interest's sake... honest), but. "What else do- do you have?" He pays Dave, gives him a good healthy tip that might shut him up, and pulls his shirt and hoodie back on, careful of the neck hole of both. Done, he gestures toward the door.
It's a good handshake, warm and firm. Truth to tell, it has Sharon smiling - a good handshake can frequently be a good measure of a person. And that smile just widens when Chino asks about her 'boys'. "Yeah," she grins, completely unembarrassed when she lifts up her shirts for him to get a better look, "My cocks?" As always, calling them that makes her snicker.
Chino's eyebrows raise. "I never thought I'd- I'd say something like this, but... those are nice cocks. Peacocks, I mean." It's easier to focus on the work she's had done, on her piercings (five that he can see, plus stretched lobes), than on how pretty she is. It's not even as if she's actress/model/famous person pretty, but... better. She's different, and that's what he likes. Wait, no. Is he thinking about liking her? God, it's so ridiculously teenager-ish that Chino suppresses a grin as he holds the door open for Sharon. "'m actually more of a- a tea guy, myself. Went c- cold turkey on everything 'cept beer and pot a few years ago." Which doesn't count for much, but still.
Dropping the hem of her shirts back down, Sharon's pulling up the sleeves as she heads through the door. "Thanks," she grins, "There's also the full sleeve - which you saw - and my little tribal doo-dad," the left forearm goes up to show him, "And the piece on my back. Really though, you only saw the beginnings of the boys there," and with that, she rubs the side of her tummy. Of course, that's about the point where her stomach chooses to make itself known. Pulling a face, she glances over at Chino. "Sorry. I love my coffee but I go to Tempo for their rad crepes. And hey," she nudges his shoulder, giving a broad wink, "At least you've still got the grasshopper, right?" She's more a caffeine freak herself but a little weed every now and then to mellow out...
He can't help but ask. "Huh- how far down do they go?" Purely for aesthetic reasons, of course. The growl of her belly earns her a grin from Chino, and when they come to Tempo, again he holds the door for her. "Your- your ink's really nice. I've got a c- couple of unfinished pieces... this one-" On his right forearm, when he pushes up his sleeve. "-and one on the small of my back. Dunno if you saw it." He orders a white tea for himself when they sit. "Coffee?" Talking about drugs isn't exactly what he wants on casual acquaintance, or in a public place. He wonders if she smokes, too.
"All the way to the tails," there's teasing in her eyes, acknowledging the disingenuousness of her answer. When he holds the door again - gentleman! gasp!! - it earns him another grin. "Thanks. Yeah, it's a never-ending process, right?" It's true, though. Talk about addictive!! She has yet to find anything, other than dance of course (but that's its own thing entirely), that compares with getting inked. She makes admiring noises when he shows his work, shaking her head, "No, I don't think I caught that one. Next time, huh?" And it's not a come-on or anything, just a friendly 'see you at the tattoo parlour'. Honest. Looking up at the server, Sharon orders the portabello crepes and a double ristretto-shot Americano.
"Rather be a- addicted to this than something worse. Rather have this be- be never-ending, you know?" Been there, done that, don't want to talk about it. And he does not want to think about any other circumstances where he could show her the piece on his back. He's practiced The Middle Way for so long by himself - not too much and not too little - that he'd gotten used to the idea that sex (at least for himself) probably means trouble. And judging from Eliza, he's pretty dead on the mark. Sharon's different. There's that word again, different. She seems so open and honest, bright in all the best ways. It takes him a minute to find his answer. Next time, huh? "Yep. Next time." Smooth.
Nodding in agreement, Sharon crosses her arms on the table in front of her, bringing one hand up to prop her chin on. "Too right," she agrees with a smile, "Give me body mod and dance every time!" There's a moment where she thinks and then adds, "Or yoga," with an impish grin. "So...what is it you do?"
Chino scratches his goatee. "'m a m- mechanic for Robert Downey. I fix his cars and- and stuff. Computer mods, that kind of th- thing." Hell. She's cute. Chino looks grateful when their drinks arrive and he can busy himself with scalding hot tea instead of trying to make conversation. But the silence doesn't hold. "Pretty good at it, too. I think. If I can get my- my hands on it, I can fix it." Just a bit of honey added to his tea, and Chino sighs under the pretense of blowing steam off the cup. "Do you d- dance professionally?"
"Oh!" bringing out her brightest grin, Sharon wheedles, "Maybe you could have a look at my old hoopy! It's getting cold and I'll need to put Bucephalus up for the winter soon." There's no sugar or anything, she takes a sip of the scalding-hot coffee just the way it is, eyelids fluttering with pleasure at the beautiful, beautiful taste. "Hmmm?" eyes blinking open again, Sharon looks at Chino, "Dance? Oh, yeah sure. Do some touring, even. But I really love teaching, yanno? Doing the workshops and stuff?" A little wistful smile tips up her mouth, "One day, I'd like to open a little studio, teach movement and dance and yoga and shit, you know?"
"I t- totally would, if you wanted me to. Whatever 'hoopy' is?" Bucephalus just reminds Chino of Aphex Twin, and that totally bizarre song 'Bucephalus Bouncing Ball', and Sharon sees his train of thought wander for a second, until she talks again. "There- there are lots of places you could open up I'm sh- sure." On a whim, he pulls out his cigarette pack and tears off a bit of the cardboard. "C- call me. If you want." He scribbles his number down for her and hands it over before the sane, rational part of his brain can tell him he's being brainless. "I've- I've seen you before getting work there. Just n- never thought about- that. That you'd talk to me, or whatever. So, cool."
"'Old hoopy' is how I refer to Brunhilde, of course!" of course, Sharon knows that doesn't tell him anything, so she leans towards Chino a little, like she's going to tell him a secret. "That's my old Volvo SVO conversion, by the way, and Bucephalus is my vintage Vespa Primavera." When he passes over the little scrap of soft cardboard, she tucks it into the front pocket of her cargo pants. "Hey, thanks!" she grins, but an eyebrow creeps up at him at that last comment. "What? Why wouldn't I talk to you? I'm a dancer so I'm some sort of stuck-up bitch?" There's no sting in the words, though, just tease as she giggles at her own 'witticism'.
"'cause I never said anything to- to you first." Chino finishes his tea, smiling over the rim of the cup at her. "And I d- didn't know you were a dancer until like, an- an hour ago. So it couldn't be that." He gestures for a refill on his tea, and the waitress brings it along with Sharon's crepes. "I don't- I don't usually work weekends, so if you wanna call me and s- set something up, it'd be no problem. I p- promise."
An eyeroll and a sigh and Sharon admits, "Well, there is that...but you know me now!" Okay, so he doesn't know everything. And just that thought has her hair shifting on her back like some phantom breeze just gusted or something. Ignoring it though, she smiles her thanks at the waitress and digs in. The full mouth is why she doesn't respond verbally to Chino's reiteration of his offer, just gives him the little Bill & Ted 'Excellent!' air-guitar thingy.
Chino just about snorts his tea out his nose. "We used to- to have a drinking game. That when anytime one of them s- said 'excellent!' or whatever, you- you'd have to do a shot." He doesn't miss getting drunk, doesn't miss a lot of the things he used to do to himself. Instead, it's one day in front of the next, with new things to do, to discover and build and learn, and it's a pretty awesome feeling. Like discovering Sharon. Silence falls between them as she eats; he's not sure what else to talk about, what else she'd be interested in knowing. The car thing has him thinking about the arc reactor that's in Mr. Downey's half-built Audi, but that isn't something he's going to broadcast. "If- if your Volvo's converted, I can probably throw a- a rebreather on it, and you'll get better fuel c- consumption, you know."
She has to swallow first but Sharon admits, laughing, "Yeah? Ours was whenever they did their little air guitar thingamabobber hoo-ha." It's still occasionally fun to go out with the girls in strange cities and get nicely toasty, but she's getting old enough now that she just doesn't partake the same way she used to. Thoughts of her age and mortality and other random seriousness distract her for a couple of minutes as she practically inhales her food, so it's a second before she realizes Chino's talking to her again. Another second for her to catch up with his words and she rolls her eyes, snickering, "Yeah, cause you gotta be careful, don't wanna waste that Wesson Oil!"
"B- bio fuel? Awesome. I'm- I'm a big fan of environ-" He stops and tries again. "Environ-" A third time, his expression grim. "Earth-friendly s- stuff." Again, he thinks of the arc reactor, and the tests that are still required on it before doing anything real with it. As if Downey's building being run on it isn't real enough, right? "How about tomorrow night? If- if that's okay with you, I mean. I can bring my t- toolbox over and have a look at... hoopy?"
"Brunhilde," Sharon corrects with a friendly wink, "She's just an old hoopy - old knock-around car-thing, yanno?" She shovels the last bite - and who'd have thought she could eat that whole plate of food!? - of crepe into her mouth and chews for a second, a blissful look on her face, before nodding. "But yeah," still friendly but more serious now, "Earth-friendly, recycle, all that. More. We've got to do as much as we can right now. It can't wait until 'tomorrow'!" It's a stunning change to see her go from the silly, teasing, hippie-chick of a few minutes ago to this passionate activist.
Stunning is saying it lightly. The shift is almost palpable, and Chino can't help but agree. "There- there's a guy in the UK who's putting his f- fortune into building the largest forest in England. I think that's kind of- kind of neat, you know? And I t- try to work as clean as I can. Even with- with the scraps I end up with... I usually make something out of it." She'd probably be horrified if she saw his place, a conglomeration of wood, of brass and gears and tools and books and, and, and. Why is he thinking about her even coming over? "Though I r- read somewhere that it would only take a couple of hundred years for the world t- to go back to what it was, if humans- if we disappeared. Interesting concept, huh?"
"It is," Sharon agrees, peering down into her near-empty cup, "Makes you wonder if there wasn't some way of getting things back in balance without, you know, Mass Genocide." Thing is, she's not even kidding now. If there were some way to remove humanity's footprint on the world without, like, killing everyone off, she'd be behind the idea in a heartbeat.
Good thing she doesn't know about some of the things that he'd made during drug-induced sleepless weeks in Mr. Downey's workshop. Things that could have potentially allowed mass genocide (humanicide?) if Robert hadn't stopped him. So Chino only nods thoughtfully. He's not the same person, and he'd like to forget all about that section of his life if he could, thank-you-very-much. "M- matter of education, I think? Getting people to- to learn that what they're doing is k- killing the only place we have to live. Though they- they've figured out how to b- bolster the atmosphere on Mars, m- maybe make it into a blue planet."
Nodding along, Sharon mm-hm's. "Getting the word out to the people who'd care," she agrees, then makes a face, "Though the people who don't want those who'd care to know are much more well-funded than those that do the getting-the-word-out." The bit about Mars, though... "Red planet to blue?" Sharon grins.
"You- you'd be surprised, but Mr. Downey's working on some en-" Okay, so not trying that word again, when it stuck like a chicken bone in his throat, before, "-earth-friendly stuff, energy-wise. It's all in p- prototyping right now, and he- he'd have my head if I told anyone about it. But it's interesting t- to say the least." He glances down at his watch (an old calculator watch he's had since time out of friggin' mind), and adds sheepishly, "I should get back- uh. Back to work, you know? Mr. Downey'll have my h- head if he finds out I went and got inked on l- lunch. When I figure out how to m- make Mars blue all by myself, you'll be the first to n- know."
"Could tell me but you'd have to kill me?" she teases, waving an unconsciously graceful hand, "No worries. As long as work's being done, I don't have to know every single detail." And that's the truth. Sharon's not the sort of person to get hung up on the details - she's more a 'big-picture' thinker. She suddenly bursts out laughing, though, "You...on your lunch!?" The look on her face is definitely impressed, in a completely laughing sort of way, "Holy shit, you must have cahones the size of basketballs!"
"I don't like to- to brag..." But Chino laughs as well, digging his wallet out of his back pocket to pay for her lunch and their drinks. "But, yeah. Mr. Downey doesn't really give a crap about how long I'm gone most of the time, but the- the project we're working on is pretty b- big. So I should get back." He touches the bandage on the back of his neck briefly. "Just- you know. Call me whenever. 's my- my cell I gave you. It's always on."
"Just remember you said that when you're all 'Why does she keep callingme!?'" Sharon laughs, leaning over to give Chino a quick, impromptu hug before he can stand. When he does stand, she smiles up at him, "Take it easy. Good luck not getting, like, nailed for the two and a half hour lunch!"
He barely gets his hands up to hug her back before she's pulled away, and as Chino passes her, he rests his hand on her shoulder for a moment. "P- promise. I won't say that. Talk to you soon, Sh- Sharon." Shit. He stuttered on her name. How fucking stupid. But he gets out of the coffee shop, pulling in a soothing hit of cold autumn air before dropping his board down and skating back to Downey Enterprises. Apparently, when it rains, it pours. Women. Jeez.
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