Title: Predictabilitea
Date: September 30, 2748
Characters Appearing:

Summary: Tariq and Bel in an interlude of post-work unwinding, as per usual.

Sunlight streams through the large windows along the southern wall of Tariq's yoga-slash-kickboxing self defense studio, a large space situated above a laundromat near the urban center of Palladium, the city of the future, where Technocrats and Green Dragons battle it out to sway the cityscape. Not so in Tariq's studio, though. Here, the Star Child promotes peace and balance, self-care and self-sustaining philosophies of harmony with one's surroundings and inner workings. The sun is just starting the last third of its trip through the sky, thus bathing the plants that form a natural curtain with life-giving energy and painting the studio with a calming green color. Taking opportunity of the quiet in the studio after his last class has left, Tariq wanders over to the south wall with a large watering can in one hand to water the plants in turn.

Interrupting his calm, Bel makes her way up stairs and into the studio without so much as a knock. "Hey, Tariq," she says, at least. She's still in her police uniform, working on removing her holster and guns before she steps to deeply into the space. "You don't mind company, do you?" Hopefully not, her tone implies. Her hair is up in a sensible bun, but once she sets her weaponry in a safe place, she works on unfurling it and fluffing it up a little before she puts it right back up again. But into a ponytail this time.

Calm is merely a concept, fleeting and precious. It is this that Tariq displays as the door to his studio opens and he doesn't even look up until he's finished watering a not-quite-ready to bloom, all bulb and no flower potted plant. "Not at all," he says once he's done and he turns to her. Tariq's expression shifts into a toothy smile of greeting. "Just got off shift? You want something to drink?" He moves over to the small side room that doubles as a half-kitchen as she fluffs herself, the side branch barely space enough to hold two people in it let alone cook a meal. Still, there's a refrigerator with cool drinks and snacks, and a hot water pot always available for tea or coffee.

"Yes and it was dull. Hours and hours of dull," Bel says, following him toward the side room, but lingering just inside the doorway, as if to give him as much space in there as she can. "My boss is doing this on purpose," she says, in true conspiracy mode. But then, she is a difficuly employee to get to slow down unless you force her. But, setting workplace considerations aside, she adds, "Yes, tea. Please. How's your day been? Pretty zen?" It's a tease, but just a gentle one.

The watering can slips into its usual spot underneath the sink with its exposed pipes and little moss and mushroom garden hanging out. "Pretty, zen, and pretty zen all at once," he says with a chuckle. Wouldn't you know, there's already tea set up like he anticipated the request - or it's merely coincidence. Never know with some theurges. Just add water! Which he does, and lets it run through a muslin cloth bag filled with something that smells like herbs of the home remedy variety. As the tea steeps, he leans against the counter, his brown-eyed gaze both attentive and taking her in all at once. "You know the boss isn't doing anything with purpose, let alone on purpose. But come on, it's good to have a slow day every once in a while. Street fighting isn't a good look."

"You say that, but I saw his face when he told me to man the desk." Suspicious! Bel lets it go with a sigh, though, and maybe a shake of her head. "Street fighting is better than death by a thousand papercuts." She holds up a finger wrapped in a small bandage, as if to prove her point. She nods her head to the tea, though, "Have I become that predictable?"

Straightening, Tariq leans in to check out the bandaged finger. "Pobrecita," he coos sympathetically, following it with a crooked smile and a duck back in further into the tiny kitchen. Not that he has anywhere to run should she swat him. "Mm, no not predictable at all. But, I do like that you come by here when you have a number of perfectly suitable other post-work options at your disposal," he says as he turns to pick up her mug - and yes, a designated mug for her and everything - to pass over.

"No empieces conmigo," Bel says with a light chuckle at his cooing. No swats incoming, apparently. Her smile turns a little more genuine when she takes the cup, but she shifts to a more wry expression a moment later. "I suppose, but I don't want to get in the habit of drinking alone. Even if it is just tea." That's a joke, probably. She blows on the tea a little and takes a sip, which gets an approving nod before she takes a real drink.

Tariq picks up the second mug of tea to do just that, accompanying the kin in drinking. "We're social creatures at heart," he agrees with a sip. "Even if you didn't tell me about meeting la chicharronita and Jason." It's a tease back, though, given that they're both busy people. "That does remind me that I should get out to Lapis some time soon, though. You still have that vacation time?"

"I suppose. Something in the blood, right?" Bel smirks at his accusation, though, "I'm a cop. I have to keep an eye on those troublemakers." Ragabash, probably. "Only a matter of time before I have to sweep something with their name on it under a rug." Just one of the many upsides of having a Kin on the police force. Her eyebrows lift at his question, "Weeks and weeks of it."

"His name is literally 'Trouble', so it's really only a matter of time for sure," Tariq laughs lightly with a shake of his head, curls bobbing as if the physical mirth extends to the tips of his hair. Leaning against the counter, he continues sipping at his mug and briefly turns his eyes up to the skinny window above the sink in contemplation until she answers. His head turns, eyes back on her. "Weeks? Bel…" he asks with a tint of 'are you serious?' to his tone.

"Can't say he ever tried to hide it, at least," Bel says, her smile crooked. But her free hand lifts when he looks back her way, "I accrue it fast! I've been working there forever! And… and I had a lot of cases piled up for a while. You know. Because Goddard was on maternity leave. And, you know." You know, Tariq.

The more she makes excuses, the more Tariq's eyebrows crawl upward on his forehead til the culmination of maternity leave. "Ay," he sighs over-dramatically like any proper abuela's sigh. And probably where he learned it from. "You're going to go grey faster than my fur," he says, finger wagging as he polishes off his mug of tea and sets the cup on the counter. "So you're saying they haven't gotten you a partner with all the cases? Or, you're hoarding the files." Of the two brows that slid up, one angles up a little further at the kin.

"Grey hair's distinguished. It means you'd done something with your life." Maybe. Bel finishes her tea, too, and sets her cup down near his, squeezing into the free space in the little room. "Of course I have a partner," she says, "She's a little green, though. I like to go over her work, make sure nothing got missed. Plus, you know, homicide isn't always for everyone. Gotta make sure she's handling it okay."

"Can't argue with that," Tariq says with a nod, "going in to that stuff can get heavy." His voice takes on a brief, somber tone with the subject matter, but then he straightens to give space, close as they are. "It's interesting that she took an interest enough to transfer to homicide, though," he considers aloud, then changes expression with a small smile as he adds, looking down into her two-toned eyes, "and you've now got a little bird under your wing. Can't help yourself. It's something in the blood, Guardian."

"It's part of my job to make sure she's there for the right reason. A lot of people try to use it as a fast track up the food chain only to throw up at their first crime scene. She didn't do that, thankfully." Bel seems, perhaps, begrudgingly respectful of that much. When he goes on, she leans back against the counter and shakes her head a little. "It's part of the job," she says, but her debate is only half-hearted. And mostly playful.

Tariq furrows his brow, making a face of mild disgust with the notion, "You mean people actually try to get promoted by stepping on the bodies of others." Yuck. "Glad you're the gatekeeper, in that case and all the cases." He quirks his head and directs them back out to the more spacious studio floor where it's more comfortable. At least, that's the idea. "As a citizen of Palladium, I'll be glad that your job stays dull. At least for a little while."

"Yes, they do. If you can prove yourself in my department, you pretty much have your pick of assignments." One has to wonder, then, why she's not moved on to less gruesome pastures. Bel seems less disgusted, although she's likely felt that way in the past, more disapproving. "Wouldn't have anyone else on the gate. I'm not easily impressed." Maybe more so that her superiors. She comes along to the bigger room, glancing over at his last word. "I know I joke, but I would be satisfied if there was never need for me to be busy."

There's a small seating area where visitors and people who'd just like a place to rest can do so near the sunlit south wall and look out over the street activity between the leaves, which is where they inevitably end up. Tariq folds himself onto one of the cushioned chair and does just that, people and environment watching. "Anyone else wouldn't be as impressive, and besides, you worked long and hard for what you've got," he affirms. "Though, do you imagine you as captain one day?" His curious question turns his gaze back onto her.

Bel takes a chair, too, but sits wide with her elbows on her knees, rather than folding herself up. She looks over at him at that question, reflexively making a dismissive noise. Pft. "Are you kidding me? More politics, less cases. More desk, less mech. Maybe when I'm actually grey haired."

Her dismissive noise is countered by a genuine giggle from the man. "That's the spirit," he says with a twinkle of amusement in his eyes. "Besides, judging by the alpha's fur color, being in charge of it all will really turn you silvery white in the end." And who needs that! After a moment more of people watching he throws in, "Since you just came from work, you haven't eaten yet, have you? Could swing by your place for a change, and I heard there's a pop-up bistro about halfway back. Supposed to be… homey comfort food." The theurge cants his head at her in implied invitation.

"It really might. You should ask him what color his fur was when he was young." Bel might be starting her own trouble there, but it's just a teasing suggestion. She might look a little sheepish at the call out on her eating habits, but since he's not wrong, she gives him a nod. "That sounds great, actually. But for the record, I wasn't hungry until you mentioned it." And with that playful accusation, she gets up to her feet to collect her weapon before they head out.

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