2011-03-16: International House Of Paranoia


Patches_icon.jpg Ahdi_icon.jpg Theo_icon.jpg Tony_icon.jpg

Summary: An attempt to discuss multiple matters over pancakes is derailed by an out of town guest.

Date: March 16, 2011

Log Title: International House of Paranoia

Rating: PG

Queens, NY

International House of Pancakes with its signature white building and blue roof is among one of the more suburban areas of Queens. Open 24 hours for all pancake lovers, IHOP has plenty of tables and booths for its customers.

Rain, rain and more rain, seemed to be the forecast for the day. Those unfortunate souls who must brave the weather scurry from one door covering to the other trying to avoid the downpour while they navigate their way to their destinations. A white Audi cuts through the mucky streets heading into the heart of Queens seeking out the familiar white building with the blue roof where one could eat mountains of pancakes at all hours of the day. Who cared if it was the dinner hour?
On the drive over from Pietro's home where Tony picked up Patches a phone call is made telling Theo that should the young man be interested in dinner Tony had broken out of the Towers making a rush to the IHOP in Queens. Multiflavor syrup for all! How can anyone resist? He did have an alterior motive in that he needed to discuss Patches' future but that was on the back burner for a bit. At least until Theo showed up to talk about Xavier's.
The Audi pulls to a stop in a parking space close to the front door so Patches can make a bolt for the inside while Tony could care less if he ended up looking like a drowned rat in his t-shirt and jeans. Once inside he shakes off the water like one would do if one were a dog and smiled warmly to the host. "Table for three my dear!" With that Tony and Patches have arrived and acquired a table.

No bolt for the inside is made by Tabitha; if anything the rat girl who calls herself Patches manages to stay right beside Tony, almost as if she were thinking about hiding behind him. "You sure this is a good idea?" she asks fervently. "I mean, we could've just… I dunno, gotten delivery of something, or something, I mean like, really." She looks over her shoulder at the car she's just gotten out of — a very impressive car no less, and one she's forced to admit would probably trounce her Ninja any day — and then looks back up at Tony. "Well, like… if everyone runs away screaming when I walk in there don't tell me I didn't warn you."

The Ferrari is out of the shop. Just today, in fact. Theo was mortified by the damage done to it, and hasn't spoken to the guilty party since. He pulls into the space next to the Audi, He hops out, not bothering to have brought an umbrella. The water pours down on his own head, and he flips up the hood on his hoody. It's a little late to keep his hair dry now, though. the car locks, and he makes his way up onto the curb behind Tony, giving an odd look for a moment to Tabitha. "Tony! Good timing, huh?" The technopath teen shoves his hands in his pockets, kicking up his step slightly to join the other two. "Who's this?" he asks, stepping a head of Tabitha, and opening the door for them both.

Rain? Bah, Ahdi comes from the jungle, if the sky wants to spit cold sprinkles at him, let it. For the past few minutes Ahdi has been following his nose toward the distent smell of food he picked up among all the smells of NYC, not recognizing this delicious style of breakfast he realizes that that is a shame, and that he must figure out what it is. so, with all the agility of a warrior race of alien natives, he makes his way across the walls and rooftops of NYC to IHOP. Dropping down first on the roof, Ahdi glances tintatively over the edge to find the rectangle caves everyone uses to get inside. Leaping gracefully from the roof, he too, uses the odd rectangle cave to enter the building, ariving in the restaurant in his shining wet leathers, wild hair plastered all around him, and armed to the teeth. This is his first ever restaurant, so he simply steps inside and glances around with dark eyes, confused at what he should do.

Tony rests a hand to the shoulder of his nervous charge. "Firstly, you're with me." This is said as if it explains everything when it really needed a bit of expounding upon. "Secondly, you worry too much. You've every right to be here as much as they do. If it helps I've friends that are all sorts of unique. There will always be someone that acts like an idiot, the trick is flashing a grin and ignoring them."
At the call of his name Stark turns about appearing to have brightened up this little bit of sidewalk with his smile. "Theo! I thought it might take you longer to get here." The hand at Tabitha's shoulder slides away to shake Theo's hand and then he turns towards the young lady, "Theo, this is a friend of mine, Miss Patches. Patches this is Theo." As he's introducing the teens a strange fellow appears looking abouts the entrance way. Tony quirks an eyebrow from behind his dark shades at the man while the woman at the desk asks how many are in Ahdi's party.

Tabitha shakes her head slowly. "Yeah, easy for you to say," she mutters, "You still have the face your Mother gave you." She stows any further comments as she's introduced to Theo. She brushes her hair out of her blue eyes, so she can peer up at the man that just emerged from a Ferrari. "Uhm… hi," she adds, in the same darkly guarded tone of voice. "So like… not to be rude… but does everyone here but me have vast fortunes and expensive vehicles? I'm starting to feel like my ninja is inadequate." She glances up just at that moment, to see… a man in strange leathers making his way tarzan-style into the IHOP. "…Never mind, I take back that last bit," she declares. She holds her thing and thumb up in the shape of on 'L', "EL-Loser," she says, exaggerating the L as she tilts her hand down, pointing her finger in the direction Ahdi went, "At twelve o'clock."

"The lights like me," Theo comments with a grin. Of course, Tony knows why. The teen watches as Ahdi passes him, a rather intimidated expression on his face, he seems to freeze until he's past, and gives one of those 'looks' at Tony regarding the teen. "Hi, I'm not really rich," he comments to Tabitha. "I just have a really great job." He eyes Ahdi, the weapons on his arms looking rather intimidating to a teen who only has mild capabilities to defend himself.

Ahdi folds his hands over his stomach and briefly bows his head to the surving woman, telling her softly, "Am Ahdi Anuati, did no come here for party…" his dark eyes sweep the place again, landing briefly on Tabitha, and looking her up and downbefore they return to his original target the IHOP woman. "Am here for food. Am new to Earth customs, can tell me what am to do?" he asks the woman, appologeticly. His hands remain clasped over his stomach, well away from the long knives on his leg and lower back, a sign of respect among his kind. As for what he thought of Tabitha, well, he has seen so much in the last few days, what could surprise him? He just lables it as one of the things he will have to ask Xorn about.

Tony shakes his head at this, "Come children, let's leave Jungle Boy alone and have some pancakes." Out of all the IHOP's in New York he just had to find the one where a a be-weaponed man decided to turn up. Was his luck always this fabulous? Did he really need to answer that? Pulling off his shades he tucks an arm down then tucks the other at the neck of his t-shirt so the shades hang safely there. The woman is pulling out three menu's and looking a bit nervous considering the collection of various people in front of her. "Uhh, be right with you Mr. Anuati. Got to sit these folks first." She motions towards the trio and Tony shoos the teens to follow her to the booth. When she returns bereft of menu's she pulls out a lone menu to escort Ahdi to a small table beside the booth where the T's are.

Tabitha jumps as Ahdi's eyes settle on her, and her ears flatten. She glances about as she enteres, and cringes away from the server's attention. "…Sorry," she mutters as she walks past Ahdi, "Didn't… didn't mean it, that was, like, rude." She allows herself to be ushered into a seat, and shuffles along it to squish herself into the corner, right up against the wall. Her hands adjust her jacket; the same biker leathers she was wearing when Tony first met her. She reaches up under her jacket and pats about at the side of her chest, then pauses as a realization dawns on her, and she sighs heavily. "So, uhm… Theo? Are you… like… weird? Like I am, but obviously less weird, since you don't look like… well, weird."

Theo continues to watch Ahdi. "Tony, he just said he's new to Earth. Did you hear that?" he asks as they walk to the table. "There aren't any jungles anywhere within seven thousand miles of here." He glances over his shoulder as he sits down, eyes on Ahdi. "That's kinda weird. Maybe he's one of those improv actors. Geez, I hope he doesn't try to pull a flash mob of the Lion King or something." His own hands come out of his pocket as Tabitha asks him the mutant question, however indirect it might be. He glances at Tony, then back at Tabitha with a rather unfriendly glare without answering, and then looks back at Ahdi. Apparently he doesn't like that question very much.

Ahdi moves after the surving woman to the booth, and realizes he can't sit in it and wear his rifle at the same time. After glancing around the room, he removes the long weapon from the sling on his back, pointed at the floor, and slides into the booth with it beside him. Taking the menu from the serving girl with a small half smile he tells before she leaves, "Much thanks." before he opens it and starts looking at the pictures, not able to read. He isn't really sure why he's looking at the pictures, but everyone else is. As far as Tabitha and her apologies go, he didn't bother to answer because he is starting to realize that all people on this planet are disrespectful, and it is just best to overlook this. Xorn told him not to fight with people he didn't have to, and, so, he won't.

Tony settles into the booth looking rather relaxed despite the tension that the teens are expressing. "Patches, tact dear." Tony pushes a menu to Tabitha then Theo before spinning his menu around so that he can take a look at it. "I'm aware of what was said, Theo. As long as he doesn't cause a problem then everything's fine. Not a big fan of flash mobs either. That would be my cue to leave." The items on the table end up turned around and reorganized in a way that Tony likes as he's prone to doing this when he eats out. "There's food to be had, and I need to bring up a few schools in the area to Patches, and figure out just what happened to the Ferrari so I'm jamming all that together to save time."

Tabitha sighs heavily, and looks down at the table. "Yeah yeah, thanks Dad," she mumbles. "Okay, sorry Theo. You're clearly not weird, I didn't mean it that way anyway, I'm the one who's little miss weirdo. And I admit I'm kinda bitter about it." She traces invisible designs on the table with her fingertips as she ponders. She glances up at Theo, and perks an eyebrow before looking back down. "Anyway, in the interests of not pissing everyone off, I'm not gonna ask anymore odd questions." She pauses, and tilts her head up to look at Tony. "School? I can't go to a school. It wouldn't be safe… for me or for them."

"Not the kind of question you ask somebody you first meet, you know?" Theo says to Tabitha, only a mild degree of annoyance in his voice. "Tony, I'm really sorry about the Ferrari. It wasn't my fault. I was giving Shane a ride into town, and some knuckleheads started a fight. And Shane, being the brainless wonder that she is, decided it's be good to kick the door out to get them off the car." He's already defensive about the matter, not very keen on what happened. The teen glances over his shoulder again, still a little curious about the strange youth with the long rifle.

Ahdi is listening in on the conversation next to him, and thinks it is rude to make that a secret. Putting his mostly useless menu down he glances up from it to Theo and folds his hands over his stomach again. The next time he glances back he attempts to meat the boy's eyes and then give him a little bow of his head. Idly he lets his nose play across all the smells of the room, and his stomach rumbles loudly.

"I'm not angry about the car Theo. Merely curious as to what befell it. Now I know." Truly Stark could care less it was just a door that was easily replaced. It wasn't as if someone ripped the engine out of the thing and ran off to analyze it. "Patches, these schools in particular are geared more towards someone with your particular skill set. Particularly one but…" There is a pause as the waitress comes over asking for drink orders. The teens can order whatever they wish of course. "I'll have a pot of coffee, and a glass of water if you please." The loud rumble of Ahdi's stomach has Tony leaning forward to peer around the woman to see the man sitting at the nearby table. "Perhaps you should take his order before ours. We need a bit more time." After the teens are taken care of the waitress will inquire as to what Ahdi would like to have today.

Tabitha shakes her head quickly. "That's what I mean," she insists. "I… yeah. I'm sorry Theo, I just… never really talked to… y'know. Our kind before, right? Or whatever you call it or… I don't know." She shrugs her shoulders, and sighs heavily. "Look, anyway, I'm not trying to be a prime bitch or anything. I'm just lost." She continues tracing the invisible patterns on teh table with her finger as she talks. "Anyway, there are people out to generally riddle me with bullets, so I can't go to a school, wether it's full of ordinary humans or mutants. They'd all be at risk of becoming bystanders. Y'know, like the ones they talk about in the news that they found lieing on the ground because the one gang member missed the other gang member and hit little Timmy instead."

"Sorry Tony, it just really pissed me off. Some weird drug hit her, I think, so I shouldn't be faulting her. Seemed to make her a little crazy." Theo smirks at Tabitha's comment. "Yeah, well, I'm no fighter," he tells Tabitha. "I do things more constructive with most of my time, but there's some pretty big heavy hitters at my school," he says. "There's some toys out there that can help you with your appearance, too." Indirectly, he's confessing to be one of these school's students, but he doesn't say it outright. As he glances back, he takes inventory of Ahdi's nod. One eyebrow arcs, and he returns the nod, unsure of what else to do. "Um, Tony?" he says through his teeth in a low voice. "He's kinda watching us. It's creepin' me out a little." Not to mention that the subject of conversation is a little sensitive.

Ahdi isn't really sure how to take Theo's comment, eye contact is a way to show respect among his people, but apparently not among these. With a dejected sigh he looks up at the woman taking his order and tells her, after a moment of thought, "Water." when he is asked what he would like to eat, he turns the menu toward hher and points to the stack of 4 pancakes, a plate of fried potatos, and sausage and eggs. When asked how he wants his eggs, he tries to play it off like he understands and says, "Like picture, please." before his attention returns to the T's booth.

"I believe you and I are going to have to talk about who's after you at another time and perhaps continue this conversation in a less than public place," Tony tells Patches. He's a bit distracted by the armed man sitting close by watching the booth intently. Tony's used to drawing attention, being stared at, and generally attacked at random so he quirks an eyebrow at the man as if asking a silent question. What do you want? Turning himself about in the booth to be able to face the man Stark drapes an arm aross the top of the seat and waves outward with the hand. "Is there some reason you feel the need to be watching my table? It can't be that you want to borrow the butter pecan syrup. If you're wanting an autograph or a picture I'm more than happy to oblige. Otherwise would you mind leaving us be? You're creeping out the kids."

Tabitha scowls mightily at that last comment. "I'm not a kid," she protests. "You don't even know how old I am, unless maybe you've seen lots of rat-chicks before. How do you know I'm not like a hundred and fifty years old underneath all this?" She glances up, and eyes Theo. "He's probably just watching me," she mumbles, "Trying to decide if he should shoot me for being rude. Or maybe just because… Oh I dunno, whatever." She taps her thumbs on the table-top, and glares down at the menu. "I used to like IHOP," she mumbles. "You know, it's actually pretty nice to eat at one. Everyone's looking at me though, all discrete-like, like they think I don't know."

"I used to know a guy that looked like a hyena," Theo answers Tabitha. "And he was seven foot tall. Psycho too, come to think of it. But that guy was looking at me, like he wanted to talk to me or something. I dunno." He takes his own water, taking a sip out of it as he lets Tony talk to the armed young man.

Ahdi gives Tony the same head bow he has given everyone else, before glancing back up and calmly making eye contact with him, "Am have hard time understand what are meaning, but, seems basic thing be that you want know why am look at you. My people look eye to eye when listen or talk with people, to show respect. If one look from the other, it show that they think them weak, and no worth watching. is much disrespectful. Was just showing respect to you and students." Ahdi speaks softly with a faint lilting accent to his broken words, though it is hard to place.

Out of habit Tony nods his head acknowledging Ahdi's gesture. "I understand you perfectly, sir. I appreciate your show of respect and thank you for that. I'd like to just throw this out there, you know…" waves his hand again rather dismissively. "That unless you know the group of people you're gazing at it's customary to introduce one's self and to see if they wish to speak with you. Watching as you are comes off a bit erm…intrusive."
Turning his focus towards Patches Tony waves his other hand that is currently resting upon the table in her direction. "You're a bit paranoid. I get that considering your circumstances but honestly you've got to learn to let things go. I know you're not going to take me seriously because I'm this handsome but I've enough experience at being gawked at that I can tell you life is much better when you ignore the masses."

Tabitha looks up at Tony, and perks an eyebrow. "Yeah, you are good looking," she replies. "I used to have a posters of a couple hot actors up on my wall back home, you know. But hey, that's nothing, now I'm sitting next to Tony Stark." She shrugs her shoulders lightly. "And you're right, you are damn good looking. I *used* to be pretty decent looking too — and I didn't stick out like a sore thumb either." She drums her fingertips on the table. "Alright, look… can we talk about something else before I really start sounding like a broken record, and get just as annoying? Like… I dunno, mechanics, maybe? She glances at Theo, and then looks over her shoulder at Ahdi. She looks the man right in the eye, and holds his gaze for a moment. "Please accept my appology for being rude. Also, please don't shoot me, I hate it when that happens." She tilts her head back to look at the table, and shrugs her shoulders. "So, motorcycles. Two stroke or four?"

"Four," Theo answers. "Though you have less in the way of moving parts with the two stroke, easier to work on." Apparently he can talk engines at least. "I just think the four stroke engine is more creative." He drops the menu to the table. "Intrusive, yeah, and likely to get you punched by somebody. I promise you there's plenty of people with bigger guns than that old thing there. This is New York City, not exactly known for the friendliest people in the world."

Ahdi takes in all Tony says without reaction, and nods slightly when Tabitha appologizes, giving a small half-smile. Glancing briefly to his gun he says to the three at the table, "I am sorry, would no shoot person with gun, is for…" he ponders over the right word, and after a seccond says, "Dinasaur, large lizard, big teeth, are much hard kill only knives, but can do that way. Have know how, so can teach students for when gun is no there." Once this is said he returns his sad eyes to the group and his half-smile returns, "I guess, polite ask, may join at table? Do know what engine is about, though."

Patches comments amuse the billionaire who's taken to looking rather smug as he leans back against the booth. Still got it! "I'm beyond that," meaning the motorcycle engines Patches is referring too. "I like complexity however. Just an fyi sort of thing." Theo's comments rain true and hopefully the stranger across the way heeds the helpful warning. Tony's quite sure that the young man across the way means no actual harm to those at the table. Case in point he asks to join those at the booth. "For the sake of welcoming you to New York feel free to join. So, wait…dinosaurs?" Blink. "Really…."

Tabitha opens her mouth to say something, but ends up just clamping it shut without voicing whatever comment she was about to make. She brushes her fingers through her hair, and manages to move off the wall and take up a little bit more space in the booth. "I notice you're not taking his gun away and hiding it," she mutters at last, before raising her voice back to normal. "Well, my Ninja is four cylinder, four stroke. And I've been thinking about getting some nitro for it. …Assuming I can find any place that'll sell nitro to… well, me." She drums her fingers on the countertop once more. "Where'd the waitress go? And…" She leans over towards Theo, and drops her voice to a whisper. "Did he say… like, dinosaurs?"

Theo nods, but doesn't look like he really believes it. "What, you a few hundred million years old?" Theo asks. "Dinosaurs have been extinct for a pretty long time." He smirks. "Guess that ends the old debate about whether there were people co-existing with dinosaurs," he comments. That is, if Ahdi isn't really an alien like he claims.

Ahdi slides out of his booth, grabs his gun by the but, and steps around to join the T's at their booth, taking whatever seat is available, the gun between him and whoever is lucky enough to become his seat partner. Reaching up he pulls his very long hair around behind his back and addresses Theo, him being the one who caught his attention the most, "Yes, Dinosaur. Am from Planet Atjad, am Ahdi Anuati, silver wolf of my village, teacher of young Atjadni. Am new to Earth, but see planet has no jungle but weak jungle, no good game, is no like my home." his hands re-fold over his stomach once he is situated.

Tony leans close to Patches, "Because unlike someone I know he's not open fire upon me. Also, if you're a 150 years old then you're incredibly immature." Besides the situation with Patches living arrangements Tony is interested in whatever drug may have been in play during the situation with Theo's car but now was not the time to discuss either of those things.
The waitress comes back with the food that Ahdi requested and looks confused for a moment finding the man at the booth then simply sets the food out. "Sorry, everyone. What can I get ya?" Tony hands over his menu, "I'm having the all you can eat pancakes with an order of eggs over hard on the side and an order, no two orders of bacon as well." The waitress scribbles then waits for the others orders. Talk of dinosaurs, alien planets and jungles will have to wait a second.

Tabitha's eyebrows rise, and she opens her mouth and quickly shuts it. She eyes Tony sideways, with just a bit of a pout. "Okay, fine, so I'm seventeen," she replies. "And… and I didn't mean to… I mean… you just scared me silly, that's all." She looks down at her menu, and eyes it sideways. "Uhm… could I just have… I dunno." She sighs, and shakes her head before pointing her thumb at Tony. "I'll just have what he's having. And a glass of chocolate milk, please." She shrugs, and looks up at Ahdi. "You kill dinosaurs with knives?" The rat girl pauses, and cants her head to one side. "Do you know Kung Fu?"

Ahdi cross-references things in his mind, trying to think if he has any clue what Tabitha is talking about. As he starts to arange his plates without looking down he puts the pancake plate in his lap, then dumps the potatos on top of the eggs and sausage so he can stack the plates and save room, "am no sure what is Kung Foo." he responds, sounding it out. Still working without glancing at his plates he scoops a mess of stuff from the slop plate into the plate in his lap, rolls it in pancake, and picks it up to take a bite.

The look that falls upon Patches is one of gentle amusement which turns into astonishment when she copies his breakfast order exactly. Perhaps she was just that hungry? "Anyways…" but before he can steer the conversation to where he wants it to go Theo is ordering food and the waitress quickly flees the table when there is mention of dinosaurs and weaponry. "Ok, now that the helps been run off…" and again he can't get a word in edge wise because there is talk of Kung Fu and open staring at how Ahdi is eating his meal. Clearing his throat whilst he pours himself a cup of coffee, "Kung Fu is a martial art, a close combat fighting style that some use. There are many martial arts, Ahdi. Sorry," has to derail for a second because this is particularly driving him nuts. "People here tend to leave the plate on the table and bring the food to them via silverware. Not to put you on the spot at all." Tony nudges over silverware wrapped in a napkin.

Tabitha nods her head quickly. "Yeah, what he said. I know Kung Fu — Wing Chun style. I'm not a master or anything, but I'm learning. Or at least I was." She shrugs her shoulders lightly. "It's great for self-defense. Apart from when you try booting someone in the crotch while he's wearing super-armor from space." She tilts her head, and peers sideways at Tony. "Or whatever the hell that stuff you were wearing was made of."

Ahdi seems to understand what is being said now, though when the silverware is offered he responds to Tony with a smile after clearing his mouth, "I see how is done, but, is no better than what I do." That being said he addresses Tabitha and tells her, "I, do no know Kung Foo, do know Close combat fight, though…translate to, uh, Balance of self, maybe. Am teacher of it to students, am grand master of close fight." he looks a bit proud of himself as he says this, then takes another bit of his improvised wrap.

Tony knows quite a lot of different fighting styles but sees no need to bring that up. There's a smirk towards Patches for her comment, "Not about to tell you either." The waitress returns setting down several plates and has to make a second trip to finish up before leaving the booth to their own devices. "Please pass the Strawberry syrup someone." Main reason Tony was here was because he loved the flavored syrups for the pancakes. "Ahdi, how did you wind up here on Earth?" Deciding to ignore the terrible table manners of the alien.

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