It's just an orange!


This area, in the northwest section of the city, is characterized by a large number of Korean-owned businesses, serving a primarily Korean community, despite signs that simply label this as the "Asian Trade District". The streets are clean, the storefronts barely containing any English to them at all. Several of the more prominent businesses in the area do have English signs, but they are always below those that name the establishment in Korean. Restaurants, cafes, noraebang bars, grocery stores, and gift stores are among the shops found here.

As the sun sinks toward the horizon, the promise of night does not bring with it the expected cool temperatures. The heat continues to rise from the pavement down the city streets, hurrying everyone along their way to reach their destinations (and hopefully at least a fan, if not air-conditioning). Everyone, that is, except Todd. He seems curiously unphased by the heat, aside from a trace of sweat on the back of his neck, and he casually peels and eats an orange as he wanders down the street, a bemused expression on his face as he takes in the Korean-language shop signs.

Given the deep colors reflected in the sunset across the horizon, it's possible some of heat might be alleviated by overnight rain. But, that remains to be seen.

Gregory Warren emerges from a noodle shop, raising his hand in farewell to someone inside. "Annyeonghi gaseyo. Eumsig jusyeoseo gamsahabnida," he says as steps out onto the street. It's some of the very, very scant Korean he knows: 'So, long. Thanks for all the fish.'

Well, alright. That's not a literal translation. But the sentiment is there.

He shoves his hands into his pockets only briefly as he pauses to look up and down the street. It's really too warm to leave them so confined. So, he lets them fall loosely to his side and steps away from the shop entrance, to get out of the way of those entering the shop by stepping into the way of those passing by.

Todd glances up at another sign, passing overhead, and even turns around to walk backward in that kind of absent-minded way of tourists everywhere. He is just lifting an orange slice to his lips, mouth open, when he backs into Gregory. He wasn't exactly walking fast, but he connects solidly enough to drop the orange. Without turning around to see what he bumped into, he looks down at it with some dismay. "Oh! Oh no… My orange." He /wanted/ that orange.


Gregory's voice is sharp and he turns as he's jostled. His hands come up in a WTH gesture. "Watch where you're going, buddy," he tells the dismayed man.

He looks down at the orange slice on the sidewalk, and up to Todd's dismayed expression.

Oh, fer cryin' out loud. It's just an orange.

Another couple of people jostle into both of them, more heedless of their actions than Todd is. "Hey!" Gregory calls out again, this time to rough tangle of youths that pass. "Hey! Watch it!" A beat. He pats himself down. "I find my wallet's gone, I'm coming after you!"

But, his wallet's fine. He looks back at Todd. "Seriously: You need to watch where you're going."

Todd's attention is pulled forcibly from the orange by the sharpness of Gregory's voice and the jostling from the rowdy youths. He looks up, with a few startled blinks, and just stares at Gregory blankly for a moment. Finally, he gives a slow, apologetic smile. "Sure, sure. I'm sure you're right. Sorry…I'll ah…I'll try to remember that, okay?" He glances down to his sticky fingers, then to the ground again to spot the orange. He looks disappointed all over again. "Man. I'm still hungry. You wouldn't happen to know where a grocery store is?" he asks, glancing back to Gregory.

Gregory blinks at the question. A dark brow arches. With one hand, he points directly across the street, where a large Asian grocer's can be seen. "That close enough for you?" he quips. He notes the man's behavior is a little absent-minded, but he's not the first one he's seen like that. Nor is he likely to be the last.

Todd glances toward the grocer across the street and gives a bit of a laugh. "Oh! Well. I can't imagine how I missed that! Thanks!" Especially since that's probably where he got the orange to begin with. He reaches into his pocket, then frowns a little. He presses a hand to his chest, as though to check his shirt pocket, then glances around the ground. "Hm. Have you seen my wallet by any chance?" he wonders, with a glance back toward Gregory.

Gregory's brow arches a second time. "How would I have seen your wallet?" he asks. Then, however, his eyes narrow. "You sure you don't have it?"

He doublechecks his own wallet. Yes. It really is there. That, and his keys.

But, maybe he didn't peg those yahoos wrong after all. He starts looking to see where they might have gone. There are a couple of different convenient places to detour.

'Course, that doesn't automatically mean he'll actually chase after them, if the guy doesn't have his wallet. But, he can't help but figure that's what happened. %

Todd blinks a few times, looking back to Gregory. "I don't know. Stranger things have happened?" he suggests, then shakes hish ead. "No, no… I guess I can't be /quite/ sure," he comments, as he goes through his pockets once more, more thoroughly. "It certainly doesn't /seem/ to be here. Hm. Oh well." He glances back to Gregory, with a vague smile. "Maybe I never had it to begin with," he theorizes. "Anything is possible."

"Good God," Gregory says now, rolling his eyes. "Either you've got the shortest memory in existence or you're the freakin' Absentminded Professor." He shakes his head, once again glancing up and down the street.

He snorts a single bark of a laugh. "I'll tell you, it's just as likely you just got your pocket picked. All those guys that bumped into us?" He gestures to the other man, almost derisively. "Easiest mark in the world, wandering around with your head in the clouds."

A beat. He considers. Another dry laugh.

What the hell. He could use the exercise, and it could be fun. "You want? I can try and catch 'em for you. We can ask 'em."

Sure, he's a trifle sarcastic as he makes the offer, not really expecting it to be taken up.

Todd gives a slightly uncomfortable smile at Gregory's observation. "Yeah. Probably something like that… I mean, I guess." He rolls his weight forward onto his toes, as though somehow by being a few inches taller, he can spot said guys. "What guys?" he wonders, with a suddenly worried frown. "I mean…Oh. Right. The guys. That bumped into us." He looks back to Gregory, anxiously. "You think they took my wallet? Why would they do that?" Oh, but then Gregory actually offers to help, and Todd's expression brightens, suddenly hopeful again as he asks, "/Oh/! Would you? Could you? I would hate to lose my wallet…"

Gregory stares at Todd a moment. Is he serious? For just a second, the younger man laughs again. "Yeah, I bet you would."

Frack, this guy could be the Scarecrow of Oz, he's so brainless.

Chuffing out a disbelieving snort, Gregory looks about. "There's a hundred different places they could've gone, but…" His eyes scan openings between the stores and the flow of pedestrian traffic. "I'll bet you ten bucks it's that way." He gestures up the street and off to the right. That's where he'd go, anyway, if he were looking for a quick way out.

"C'mon, Professor. Let's go see if I'm right."

Todd watches Gregory, smiling uncertainly. "Ten bucks? I'm not sure if I have ten bucks, but okay…" he says, and follows Gregory up the street. As they go, he says, brightening slightly. "Oh, am I a professor? That sounds…unlikely. But anything's possible, I guess…"

"Oh, yeah…" Gregory says, voice dripping with sarcasm, now. "You're definitely a professor."

Still, he snorts another laugh as the guy takes the bet. "Better hurry." 'Cause, really, those guys should be long gone, by now. But, if they're staking out the street, they'll be coming around for another sweep. At least, that's why Gregory's actually betting on.

(And here the log fades due to RL interference… In any case, Gregory didn't have all night to search for the poor guy's wallet. He had to go meet with his boss.)

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