Dinner And Dancing


ash_icon.jpg dax_icon.jpg

Summary: Ash and Dax meet during a restaurant mishap. Ash visits Dax's nightclub afterward.

Date: April 29, 2009

Dinner and Dancing

Rating: G

International District

This area is more like a Chinatown type district. The majority of the population is Asian decent, and a mingling of Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Philippine and many other Asian cultures. The streets are lined with hole-in-the-wall type shops as the main portion of this neighborhood consists of smaller housing and commercial type businesses. Apartments are more so crammed together as small restaurants and other businesses stand side-by-side along the crowded streets. Traffic is thick here during all hours of the day and night, as many pedestrians travel through this area to shop for unique and unusual rarities.

Shops along this stretch of street consist of different Asian eateries, clothing stores, small curios shops, supplies and other type wares. There's a certain 'tang-like' aroma within this part of town, as different Asian foods mixed with car fumes, espestos, incense, and other types of smells and goods linger within the air and may tingle one's more delicate senses. The area is a bit darker as there's lesser lighting upon the streets. The few lamp posts that lie here are more dimmed down to add a mystical, and exotic type atmosphere to the place. Their deep, halogen glow flickers reflections with soft pools of light upon the packed streets.

A long stretch of various goods line this area as they seem to stretch into and down the length of the neighborhood and on into the distance. The oddest thing about the area, besides the unique wares and shops is the fact that the citizens of the area refuse to allow any sort of chain stores here. The casual Mc Donalds, Starbucks and other local well-known, large, businesses are simply absent here due to the public wanting to keep the area rich with culture and not overrun by big-time corporations.

Spicy Stixx is one of the international district's more popular restaurants. Serving a diverse fusion of American-Asian cuisine, the eatery appeals to many, creating long wait times and the need for call ahead seating. Its open kitchen floor plan allows diners to enjoy the entertainment and excitement of seeing meals being prepared right before their eyes. In the middle of this is sous chef Ash, hard at work chopping, stirring, and adjusting temperatures. Its almost like coordinating a massive ground assault, making sure that the marine vegetables do not arrive before a coordinated air strike of wok noodles. "Order up!" A waiter swoops in, snaps up several plates, and whisks them away to finish their next mission of flavor satisfaction. There's not a moment's hesitation before the next order arrives and ingredients are scrambled to the ready.

Dax is wearing a pair of camo shorts and a black tank top today, opting for something a bit lighter on this warm an evening. He kicks at a few pebbles with his flip-flop adorned feet as he wanders toward one of the restaurants, breathing deep and enjoying the summery air. He smells something else, though, something tasty. His stomach grumbles and he realizes that he hasn't eaten all day. Dax looks around quickly and heads toward the Asian cookery. He's eaten here once or twice, and since he's alone he'll probably get a seat pretty quick. The waitress is able to seat him quickly, placing him at the corner of one of the larger tables.

"Order up," Ash calls out, summoning another arrival of a waitress who takes up the food and is gone almost as quickly as she left. Taking a moment to breathe, Ash looks out across the seating, noting the arrival of the man in camo shorts at the table closest to her. Knowing when it is important to be mindful of the customer she nods slowly to him in a respectful manner. She then returns to chopping meat with a large, sharp blade.

Dax's waitress approaches and offers him a smile. "Have you made your decision sir?"

Dax makes to put up his sunglasses, which he's been wearing all day, but decides to leave them down. He notices the chef's nod and smiles at her. He looks around the restaurant, always having enjoyed the atmosphere of this particular eatery. What an interesting wall decoration, it almost seems? “Humwhat?" His is pulled from his thoughts by the questions of the waitress. "Um…Yes, I'll just have the beef & broccoli. Also a beer, whatever's cheapest." The waitress nods and wanders off.

Dax's order arrives in the kitchen and Ash takes hold of the slip of paper. Oddly enough she then drops it back on a nearby counter and changes the pair of non-latex gloves she's wearing. Quickly her hands then go into motion taking some marinating meat out of a large glass dish and slicing it into thin strips with the precision of a surgeon after which they go into a hot pan. Whoosh! A cloud of favorable vapors rise out of the kitchen and spill into the space of the nearby seating causing many mouths to water. The broccoli which is already on a low simmer gets a boost of heat to boil the water faster and a metal lid goes on with a clang. The executive chef makes a pass by Ash and nods his approval. By now Dax's beer arrives, a foreign brew which was on tap at the time.

Dax watches with fascination as his meal is prepared. He is happy that he decided to come here rather than some fast food joint. The flames of the kitchen reflect in his sunglasses as he watches Ash work. He thinks nothing of the changing of gloves or any of that since he doesn't usually watch his food being prepared. His beer arrives and he takes a sip. "Nice. Thanks, deary." He holds his glass up in cheers to the waitress, who gives him an odd look and moves on to the next patron.

About ten minutes pass and things are progressing nicely. Ash assembles the beef and broccoli and puts it up on the hot deck. "Order up!" She then eyes the sunglass wearing patron a moment longer before returning to the next culinary task. A moment later the waitress picks up the food and ends up heading towards Dax's table, however she walks right past him and ends up giving the plate of food to someone else. Looking quite well to do in a suit and tie and of middle age he smiles to the waitress and then returns to his conversation with another gent in a suit and tie. If Dax recalls the pair had come in after his arrival.

This does not go unnoticed by Dax. He ponders for a moment what he wants to do, he has several choices, but a quick glance around the room tells him it's too busy to risk causing a scene. He flags down the waitress and points to the suits. "'ey there, missy. I'm fairly certain that was my order." He holds up his hands in conversational defense. "Not that you don't know how to do your job, just I saw my ticket go to the chef, she made that dish, and you gave that dish to someone who came in after me?" The waitress seems annoyed, glancing back at the suited man and then down at Dax, frowning. "Ah, I see." Dax glances back at the suits. "They can afford nice things because they don't waste money on tips…Serving him early won't change that."

Ash is in the middle of making the next meal when she looks up and notices the patron and the waitress in conversation. Her almond eyes narrow as she watches the drama play out. Seeing how he holds his hands up she wonders if the dish is inadequate. Her eyes roll. Picky picky. Then she realizes that the table has no food. Her eyes widen. Looking angry she immediately rips off both of her gloves and heads out into the dining area. The people who are eating immediately take notice and begin to whisper to one another, pointing in the direction of Dax's table as Ash arrives on the scene. "Is there a problem?"

Dax is frowning at the waitress, who has thus far remained silent, as Ash approaches. He is about to say something else when he notices her arrival. She seems a little upset and Dax raises his hand to his glasses subconsciously. He merely adjusts them and clears his throat. "Eh, a slight one, yes. He motions his head toward the waitress. "Little Miss…Erm" He looks at the waitress's nametag "Gertrude? Really?" He shakes his head, "Anyway, Gertrude here gave me dish to another guest, one who's dressed a bit fancier than me." He frowns at the waitress again. "And so far not even an apology."

"Well that's not right," Ash replies, frowning. The sunglasses are a little aggressive to be worn indoors, but nothing is said. Obviously things are not fair here. The chef's blue eyes shoot towards the other patron. "I see. Excuse me I'll have your dish ready as soon as possible sir. I'm sorry about the mistake." Unlike many Asians, Ash's voice has no tilt at all, her English spoken perfectly in a cutesie soft voice that matches her heart shaped face and button nose well. She shoots a glare at the waitress. "And I'll deliver it myself." She then departs to the kitchen to prepare Dax's meal, again.

Dax nods a thank you to the chef. "Thanks so much. Not often things like that are cleared up so quickly. " He is a bit surprised by the hue of her eyes, they appear blue but the tint of his glasses makes it hard to be sure. He doesn't dare remove them, though. As he watches the chef depart he turns to face the waitress again. He notices she's trying to sneak away and waves his hand for her to come back. "Eh, Gertrude, be a dear and get me another beer, eh? And make sure you get it to me this time?" She sighs and walks toward the beverage area.

Its a long wait for Dax for the meal to arrive because when you are hungry time always slows down. Eventually Ash returns with a large dish of beef and broccoli in one arm, and a weird looking dessert on small white ceramic plate. Approaching him she gives a rather formal bow. "My apologies sir," she says softly while placing each in front of him. "Care for some tea?" The young woman rests her tiny hands atop one another at her abdomen while looking generally concerned for the customer's satisfaction.

The wait did indeed seem long, and Dax had a few more beers during that time. The lack of food helped it take effect faster and he has a slight buzz by this point. He looks up to see the chef and grins widely. "Ah, yer the best." He eyes the dessert, "An' that as well? I didn't order…Um…Yes, tea would be great. Whatever you've got would be fine, miss?" He looks for a nametag but doesn't see one. Maybe he's just slightly too tipsy. He grabs some chopsticks and takes a bit of the beef. After chewing he nods in approval. "Fantastic!"

Ash smiles momentarily, one of those embarrassed type smiles. Quietly she departs and a minute later she returns with a porcelain teapot and a small matching cup with artistic blue dragons on the outside. Quietly she pulls a full measure of tea for the man. "The moon cake is rather heavy so don't feel compelled to eat it all. It goes well with /whip cream/ at home." The whip cream is whispered softly as if not to incur some unseen wrath from any nearby 'traditionalists'.

Dax nods a thank as Ash returns with the tea. Though it's only been a few moments he's already eaten about a third of the dish. "Ah, thanks a bunch." He leans in and chuckles as she whispers about the whip cream. "Is that a secret or something'? " He looks around to see if anyone was watching. He's actually surprised to see that a few people are looking. It's apparently not common for the chef to serve the patrons directly. "Hmm? Oh, right." He nods and motions with the chop-sticks "Probably not something' you carry here, eh?" He adds with a lowered voice.

"I'm afraid not sir," Ash replies. Seeing that Dax is well into his meal and in good spirits she bows once more, though less formally, and then heads back to the kitchen to return to the list of orders that have been piling up. Within a minute she's back hard at work, moving at double time, flames shooting up periodically, highlighting her striking blue eyes which constantly remain visible over the edge of the hot deck.

Dax thanks the chef once more as she departs. He manages to finish his meal rather quickly and consumes half of the moon cake before he has to ask for a carry-out bag. He'll try this with whipped cream as Ash had suggested. When his check arrives he pays and waits for the waitress to return with his change. When she does, he sends her off again. Dax pulls out a small notebook and jots something down in it. He then tears out the page and places a few items inside of it before folding it up and giving the paper to a different waitress. He asks her to deliver the note to Ash. He stands and prepares to leave, but makes sure that the letter is delivered to the chef before he starts toward the door. Inside of the paper is a small note "Thank you so much for handling that situation so well. It's people like you that keep attendance at your restaurant so high. If you're ever near my club stop by and I'll treat yaw to a few drinks. ~Dax." Also inside of the paper is a small card for "Club Seal" with mention of a 'DJ Dax' and a fifty dollar bill. He leaves no tip for the waitress, however.

The Following Night…

University District

With the college community at large mostly centered around this area, there's no reason to not understand why a lot of the places tend to open late and stay open later. With loud music and cars roaring, people yelling and the clanging of dishes and what ever else is in the area, the din grows to incomprehensible levels at times. With newly paved roads, as well as the streets having linings of trees all up and down the main road with residential filled less by families and more by college students and teachers.

Small shops are run and owned by couples wanting to get a start. Families running the small restaurants, everything from the ethnic varieties to the Wing Dome greasy hot wings that every college student loves. With the hospital down by the college, and the public library up on the hill everything anyone could need is almost all within walking distance. The college seeming to be mostly with medical students that can all be found at the UW Hospital.

The night is pleasant, with a warm breeze which is significantly cooler than the heat of the day. The denizens of the city have come out to the clubs wearing their best clubbing clothes. Most of the clubs on this street have smokers standing out front of them, Club Seal, however, does not. This is because there is an outer deck through the back of the building with an exterior bar for smokers. Inside the club is a bit dark. The bars are well lit with neon lights and strange panes of glass with lightning running through them. The dance floor is huge and is currently partially obscured with a bit of fog and the flashing of strobe lights. The patrons of this particular bar are mostly men, and the rainbow pattern on the club name might give away why. There are plenty of girls here as well, and everyone seems to be having a good time. Anyone who looks up into the DJ booth will see Dax up there working the computers. He's currently playing some heavy techno, and the people on the dance floor appear to be enjoying it.

Ash enters the club after some squabbles at the front with identification and all. She's of age but hardly looks it, creating the problems that it did. She winces a little at the deep thump of the music on her ears. She seems a little out of place by how she moves, almost lost as people swirl around her, headed to the bar to gulp down a drink before hitting the dance floor again. Clutching her purse close, elbows pressed against her sides, Ash slowly makes her way through the place which is packed, being a late Friday night. Without any company she refrains from the dance floor, skirting the edge to keep out the way of the others. Finding what seems to be a not so busy corner Ash finds a place up against the wall and slowly takes in the sight of all the dancing and bodies pressed closely together. A few people just seem to flail body parts around in their attempt to dance, making Ash smile a bit before shaking her head.

The music decreases in volume for a moment as Dax's voice comes over the speaker system "This is DJ Dax at Club Seal, bringing you the hottest songs from the world over. I'll be taking requests at the DJ booth if you've got a favorite techno-beat, so stop by the booth and write me a note." The music kicks back up and Dax sets up a particularly long mix. He looks at the timer and nods, thirty-two minutes until he needs to be back up here. He figures he'll go bartend for a few minutes, try to pick up some tips. On his way out of the DJ booth he almost trips over Ash. He waves an apology and then stops "Hey! Year that chef from that restaurant! Glad you made it!" He has to yell over the thump of the woofers.

"Yah, I am," Ash replies loudly over the beat of the music, half yelling as the disco ball throws a flash of light over her face. "I… I got your message," she continues reaching into her purse to pull out the fifty dollar bill. "I… I just can't accept this. Its too much." Suddenly a couple squirts into Ashley's space and she dodges them abruptly with a harried look. The money continues to be held out, pinched with just two fingertips to the man in front of her.

Dax shakes his head and waves a hand dismissively. "Naw, you can keep it. Best service I've had in a while." He smirks at the woman, "Sides, I get tipped pretty well here. Like to return the favor when I can." He motions for Ash to follow him as he heads toward the bar. The music isn't so loud here, since the bartenders need to be able to converse with the customers. "Names Dax, by the way. Don't think I caught yer name, Miss Chef." He slips around to the back of the bar and turns to face Ash. "What'll it be? Beer? Liquor? Wine?"

Ash follows Dax through to the bar, looking happy that its not so hard on the ears here. Its a also a lot less congested as all the action is out on the floor. Slipping into a bar stool the young woman lets out a sigh and appears to be a bit more comfortable. The purse goes to her lap where its safe from someone trying to snatch it. "Ash," the woman replies watching intently as he begins to serve up his first drinks of the night in rapid, and likely showy fashion. "I really appreciate it. No one has tipped me like that before." She looks down a moment to consider the options laid out. "I really aught to have water, please."

Dax pours up a line of drinks as he speaks to Ash. He seems to have a knack for keeping his conversation going while managing to serve the other patrons. "Nah, you just don't LET people tip you that well. Come out of the kitchen more often and you're sure to get some." He nods at her and fills a glass with ice and water, a twist of lemon peel goes in, and he adds a drink umbrella to make it look a bit more flashy. He pours himself a vodka sprite and moves down a bit toward Ash. He watches the other server for a few minutes, and when he sure he isn't needed he turns back to Ash. "People at that restaurant respect you. You can tell by the way they all looked at you when you came out that night." Dax isn't wearing his sunglasses tonight, but he is wearing tinted goggles which obscure his eyes from view. Odd for such a dark place, but no one at the bar seems to think it odd.

"Oh, I don't know," Ash replies softly, looking down as she takes the drink and rolls it slowly between her hands, one finger playing with the paper umbrella. "Thanks," she murmurs. "I don't want anyone to think I'm a sissy." Raising it to her lips she takes a sip and then slowly returns the glass to the table surface, using the time to think of what should be said. "I'm actually supposed to not leave the kitchen. But I couldn't help but do something. That guy comes in all the time and has his way. He should have to wait like everyone else, its only fair."

Dax takes a swig of his drink and shrugs, "I guess I really can't blame the waitress. I mean, I tend to pick and chose my customer order here." He gestures toward the people at the bar "I know who tips well and I serve them first." He shrugs again, "An I mean, I don't think the manager would mind if you took five minutes every once in a while to go out and see how people were enjoying their meals."

Dax nods and makes a 'I suppose' sort of gesture about her kitchen comment. "I guess I understand that." He takes another swig and listens to the music for a moment, he's still got time before he needs to return to the booth. "My" he reaches up and adjusts his goggles "Ah, me goggles. Yeah. I like to protect people from my amazing good looks by obscuring part of my face." He smirks an shakes his head, hoping Ash will understand it as a joke and not arrogance.

"Ah I hear you," Ash replies with a laugh reaching up to run a pair of finger scissors across her bounteous bangs. "Sometimes you just want to blend in, am I right?" The lifts the glass to her lips and takes another sip. "You sure do bartenders a lot of justice. I always figured them to be the stand off types, you know, put up a wall because I figure a lot of people come in with problems and try to use you as their psych."

Dax chuckles and shakes his head. "Not here, no. That kind of bartender inhabits the corner pubs of the world. This here's a night club, a place of fun. People don't come here 'cause they're sad." He motions out to the dance floor "And I DJ here, too. So I only really do the bar three nights a week and then when I get bored in the booth. He stops for a moment and listens. "Just to warn you, that mix o' mine's nearing its end. I'll need to run back to the booth in about five minutes."

"Oh then I should let you go," Ash replies. "Again, thanks… I mean it," she says though its hard for her to make eye contact. "That's the nicest thing someone has done for me in a long time. I do appreciate it. Gives you hope, you know?" The youth offers a hesitant smile.

Dax shakes his head. "Naw, just did it to return the favor. You're the one with the nice gesture." He finishes up his drink and makes a slightly confused look. "Hope, eh?' He's about to question it when the music starts to wind down. One of the other bartenders shouts to him and points to the dance floor. "Ah shit! Sorry to run, but I gotta get back there. Nice seein' ya again, come back whenever you want. And if ya want anything' other than water just ask Rodger there. He won't charge you." He jogs off toward the booth and offers a quick wave behind him.

Ash raises a hand to bid Dax farewell as he heads off to the dance floor to ensure a constant flow of energetic music. A smile breaks her lips before she looks back to her water, enjoying it slowly. Once done she quietly makes her way out of the club, fading out unobtrusively.

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