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The rain that pattered against the back of Raye's neck was nothing new as he strolled through the damp streets with his hand in his pocket, contemplating everything that had brought him into this position in life. It was the horror he had witnessed, and the disability he had gained. Why hadn't he simply just stayed in retirement? Truly from his own desire just to laze on through life in his 30s drinking alcohol and watching old movies rather than fighting crime. Though he was asked to come back on board despite all of his problems.

It's not as though he had anywhere else to go. No husband, wife, children, parents, or aunts or uncles to speak of, he was a dead end if he died- he didn't even have a life insurance policy out on himself. He didn't care what his funeral ended up being, and he knew if he died it would already be covered by the state. He didn't care, simply a leaf floating out in the wind.

So he quietly came out of retirement and continued his research on the Chinese Triad Mob, which had seemed to have started making some bold moves, dangerous ones, which had brought him an email from Chief of Police, Joseph McKainey.

The new boss of The Chinese Triad was unknown, never had shown his face, so now, Raye was the one that had to get inside, or get a bug inside. All they had to do was get a face to a name and this shadow leader would be for the wolves.

Raye had barely spared a glance towards a colleague of his, Mason Noel, who had taken over the investigation after his retirement. The air was saturated with the smell of cigar and cigarette smoke. "Long island please," he requested from the bartender as he pulled out his own cigarette case and lit one before placing it between his lips.

Now all he had to do was wait. Mason had informed him that he believed a member of the Triad frequented this bar, boisterous, flippant type. So it would only be a matter of waiting to see if this suspect is actually who he seemed to be.

chen li

Clipped skin, ugly underbags; scars littering a corner, a jaw, a brow. He'd class as an eyesore — he is one, in usual settings — but these venues collect his kind like trophies. If he's a rat, he's one among many. A sea of vermin. (An idea that doesn't really appeal to Chen. He'd like to think he's more like a wolf among hounds. Yes, he's top of the food chain. He's big, scary, and — )

"Well?" repeats the man on the other side of the counter. Chen furrows his brows, offers a frown. He obviously doesn't look dangerous to this bartender. Here's a hint: he looks like a puppy that'd just had his bone toy taken from him. "What're you gonna have?" he huffs, impatient. Chen eyes him a moment too long. Or so it seems 'cause before his lips can part, and a snarky response can be delivered, the bartender is off, muttering under his breath. Like he's used to the interaction.

"Fuck's his problem?" a harsh jerk of Chen's chin gestures towards the worker who easily moves on to another customer; question, it seems, meant for the other gruff shaped figure on his right.

Chen blinks around, locates the tangerine-colored drink. Mumbles: "this looks good." Then, with another blink, his gaze rolls to meet Raye's own.

His lips unspool a toothy smile that fails to reach his eyes, and he adds: "buy me one, old man."

/* ------ credit -- do not remove ------ */

© weldherwings.
When a brawny figure stepped in, Raye's blue eyes glided towards him, looking him up and down as he let the smoke out through his teeth. He didn't need to look towards Mason to know that this was their guy, just watching him made Raye want to laugh at his overtly confident exterior, the type that thinks he's hot shit but hasn't seen a fellow mobster executed in a warehouse for treason.

Well at least that was the impression Raye had gotten.

Sure, the man was covered in scars, but it was something that was quite expected. Raising his own hand, run ragged with ugly pink scars that ran up his wrist that was still healing, propping his head up as he picked up his drink and swirled it in his hand.

"Don't know what it could be, maybe he knows he ain't going anywhere in this dead end job," he spoke, his voice monotonous and blunt as cold eyes looked the stranger up and down a bit more freely now that they were talking as he pinched the cigarette between his teeth and took a drag.

He raised a brow at the bold statement, not even statement but command, he smirked a bit, a bit amused by it, flagging down the bartender he spoke blowing smoking right into the irritated man's face as he spoke, "another long island please."

He knew this man's type, and he would fit right along, more of a spy than detective, but the lines Raye would cross for his job were few and far between.

"So if I'm the one buyin' could I atleast get a name?" Raye asked with a tilt of his head.

chen li

Doesn't know what it is but something irks him. Runs little nails over the side of his neck, wants him to reach up, scratch at it. He makes a show of craning his head, rolling it over his shoulder. Maybe it's the bland, desert-dry voice of the other that has Chen loosening his muscles with a need. Maybe it's the way the cigarette sits, intertwined between calloused digits. Fingertips that scream experience. Far from the grimy kind that Chen's used to.

It shouldn't, all in all, irk him as much as it does. The cloud invading his senses — pulling his brows together, forcing him to breathe through his mouth — doesn't help. But, really. It shouldn't piss him off so much. He wonders, oh, he wonders.

Chen brings an elbow over the counter. His smile is long gone, his expression with. He raises two brows when he looks to the stranger, eventually bringing his chin to his palm. "You want my name?" comes out as a mumble. Half his hand rests up against his mouth; covering corner to corner.

"Jimmy," he lies. "'least that's what my friends call me." (Hint: Chen has no fucking friends.) "Hey, Old man." Here's something he's more concerned with:

"You kinda piss me off. Why's that?"

Eyes trail over to Mason. Blank obsidians; untelling. Empty.

/* ------ credit -- do not remove ------ */

© weldherwings.
(edited, only difference is the last 2 paragraphs)

He watched as the suspect rolled his neck, a show, perhaps an act of intimidation. Well, Raye already was quite aware there was no surviving an encounter with the man without a proper weapon, his hand at the moment too shaky to even pick up his glass without spilling, much less getting in a fist fight.

"That's what I asked," he responded blandly, his tone dry as he peered up at the taller man. Raye wasn't intimidating by any means in his appearance, being scrawny, 5'6, and pale as a ghost. Though Raye had been in enough of these sorts of situations that he had learned how to become unbothered and perhaps unnerving.

"Nice to be introduced, Quinn," he introduced a fake name. Well, his middle name, but it made no difference as long as it wasn't associated with his first.

Raye's head turned towards Mason who seemed to freeze under Jimmy's gaze, and then Raye looked at Chen as he asked his question, "don't know why that could be, I've hardly done anything," he stated.

Raye only lifted his cigarette out from his mouth, with his good hand, "is it my smoke?" His question was dull and bland sounding. While he didn't want to challenge the suspect or cause a scene, he did want to get to the bottom of it, what made this guy tik.
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chen li

Quinn. QuinnQuinnQuinnQuinnQuinn. Should it ring a bell?

Empty of color; his gaze travels to the corner of his eye. A lone (metaphorical) bullet shot towards a lone hand. Not the one that carries Quinn's cigarette, but the erratic one. Its jitters, familiar and un-. A faulty result of something — Chen only half wonders what. Wonders whom. Wonders: do people enjoy hiding things from him?

"Hm," comes a grunt. Attention ebbs from its course. The eye that gazes sees; but the tar that blinds it paints the truer picture. And Chen, who's always been a slave to his vices, easily creates problems where there are none. No, it isn't your fucking smoke, he wants to bark. But he stays like that, a hand covering his mouth, shoulders lazy, stare ever so empty. Like he's searching for a clue. Looking to fill the emptiness with color.

No clue comes to him, but he remembers the reactions he'd gotten when he'd asked the same thing to others. Explosive. Nothing as tame as don't know why that could be.

In lieu of an answer, Chen asks Raye this: "he your boyfriend, or something?" nodding his chin in Mason's direction. "You two don't look like you're on a date."

/* ------ credit -- do not remove ------ */

© weldherwings.
Raye had lazily watched Jimmy, who appeared deep in thought, though it's not as though Raye wasn't either. Though this 'Jimmy' seemed smarter than what he let on, or whatever Mason's initial impression was. Now what was it that made him tik, that was the question, though the man across from him seemed to be much more than a meathead.

With his good hand he raised his glass he swirled it a moment and then took a sip. The blend of the liquor, tea, and chilled taste of nicotine in his mouth that all mingled together.

Raye only raised a brow at the absurdity of the question, as a look of confusion crossed his face, "no- never seen the man in my life," he responded simply, a bold faced lie that he spoke casually. "Did think he was someone from I knew from school," he shook his head, "but 'never met him in my life." He stated.

"Why? You want to flirt with him or somethin'?" it was a bold question that was spoken casually or more of a joke, though Raye was actually quite excited to see Jimmy's reaction, even if it wasn't something that had shown on his face.

chen li

"Then why's he looking my way?" Chen snaps, head craning slightly. Any further and he'd look like a wild animal, eying Mason with a predator's curiosity.

Deeply hidden amongst a plethora of thoughts was a buzz. Swimming in his blood, veering his emotion one way, then the other. Uncontrollable. Colorless eyes know nothing but darkness. But it's this buzz — (or the very early stages of it) — that trips a wire, paints shades of the ocean, greens of a forest. And, well. Right now, it's nothing but a dying buzz. Doesn't help Chen's gaze when it darkens and doesn't soothe his mind when it thinks it faces danger. Which brings him to this man. Fucker practically reeks of it.

"And why do you care if I do?" he adds, bringing his voice down a temperament. Here, his gaze slides back to Quinn. Finally, a metaphorical bulb lights alive. "Wait," he almost whispers. "Waitwaitwaitwait." Glee begins to paint over his voice, his expression.

Here, he does whisper: "you're a fuckin' cop. Right? And that's your partner."

He grins like a child playing a guessing game.

/* ------ credit -- do not remove ------ */

© weldherwings.
Raye only shrugged his shoulders as dull blue eyes stared 'Jimmy' down, "why the hell would I know why he's looking at you?" He asked.

Fucking Mason, the dumbass was going to get the both of them killed if he didn't just fucking watch the game on the TV or talk to someone else. Barely out of his retirement and Mason is already blowing his cover worse than a $5 harlot.

Raye only shrugged, "why would I care? Go ahead, go flirt your night away," he responded. He remained calm as not an ounce of emotion showed on his face other mild disinterest or irritation as he lifted his drink and took a deep swig, running his tongue over his upper lip quickly, almost like a snake testing the air.

He could see the excited of realization cross Chen's face, like some little kid coming to a realization.

Raye only raised a brow, an offended one at that. "You think I'm a fuckin' cop?" He repeated, louder this time. "Look that guy might be but keep me out of it," he stated as he lowered his voice a bit as he continued.

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