|AIR DATE 2011.09.13|
|Location:||The Gilded Bean|
|Synopsis: A shifting fault line isn't the only thing drawing strange looks.|
|7.2 ON THE WEIRD-O-METER|
"You'd figure that this damn city would require that their buildings are up to code!" grumbles more than one customer. There's quite a few of them, milling around in front of several stores after doing the only sensible thing to do in an earthquake and get the hell out of dodge. Stronger than some, but weaker than others, this rumbler was enough to make good mess of things inside. So, of course, ticked-off people who know little about architecture, engineering, or how old buildings aren't built to the same code get to stand outside and grumble while a few employees mop up a lot of spills and get some fresh stuff brewing.
While not strictly 'on duty' Concordia still comes down now and again to get a free cup and one of those pieces of cake that's been in the cold cooler just a bit too long to keep, but isn't actually worth throwing out. What better time is there for delicious chocolate cake - oh, or maybe one of those pumpkin spice muffins which are totally not similar to any other chain of cofee shop's pumpkin spice muffins! - than after an earthquake?
There's a look of bemused confusion on Simon's face as he shoulders his way in, dodging a crowd of people who've decided their patience has reached a limit and they're going to go take their Obviously Significant Consumer Dollars someplace else. "What, did they have a Twist and Shout contest upstairs and not tell anyone?" he asks, looking around to see who is on duty. Does the place even have an upstairs?
Robbie tosses off that motorcycle helmet and flicks her hair like a runway model. Only she kills the image by pointing below her eyes and then pointing to the eyes that got too close to her bike. She allows her lips to curve into a smirk. "I hear it is doctor service, they clear them out for you now." Her voice offers as she overhears Simon. "You are a hero or something."
"I'd figure people would stop complaining so much and just enjoy that a brick didn't fall on their head." There's only so much that Jackie can take when mingling amongst a crowd of customers, arms folded casually over the flat of her stomach while listening and talking. The off-color remark catches a look and she blandly returns it, but takes the opportunity to disgorge from the masses and into the foreground of a different scene. By then she is rubbing at her temples with her index and middle fingers. Blankly, and not particularly paying any close attention, she calls out, "Who's a hero?"
And then there's Concordia. She's not so much mingling and mulling about as she is just kind of standing off to the side and staring up at the sky. "Dang…just a little earthquake. Three point…someting? Three point eight? Good golly, the reception is terrible here!" An agitated but non-threatening stomp of the sneakered foot, and she crosses her arms over her chest. "Let's just see what the other news stations are saying. Traffic and weather every ten minutes on YOUR drive home…LA's number one source for talk radio!" she parrots quite skillfully while meandering into the frothing rabble.
A couple of women with pastel pantsuits and faintly blue hair glance at each other, then at Concordia, then at each other again. "Think she's smoking the weird stuff?" "I don't know, it could just be an earpiece— they make those radios awfully small nowadays."
Simon just takes it at face value. "Hey, you get XM on that thing too? Check out 102 and 103." Oh, and there's Robbie and… someone he hasn't met before. Hello, someone. "Hero? Me? I think you're about five decades off— these days, I'm just 'that jackass who bills a hundred bucks for picking up a clipboard'."
Robbie smiles beautifully for Simon. "So you are a politician now? My you do career jump." Her eyes flit over to Concordia for a few moments of time and then she hmms softly. "Interesting." She steps a bit closer to the doctor as there are more people and every so often sends a protective look at her motorcycle. She has one of those expensive Firebrand design bikes. Jackie gets her attention and a throaty laugh. "Oh our darling Simon here saves lives, so that would make him a hero if you ask me."
"Doctor, eh?" Jackie questions. She looks from one, the woman, to the other, the supposed doctor and slowly nods. By then her hands have dropped back to her sides since rubbing her forehead all of the time is probably weird. "Before I went off to Africa a few years back I asked my doctor how I could avoid getting a disease from biting insects. Well- He just told me not to bite any." She deadpans the joke and continues on at a slower pace, but the deadpanning gives way to a more lightened and appreciative smile, even a small wave of the hand in generalized greeting. She ends up standing with an expectant look toward the walking radio, if only to see if she does get XM while she figures out what's on channels 102 and 103.
"Satellite gives me too much of a headache…and the signals are really particular. I need to be standing just so, and looking up…and then there can't be any increased solar activity or…wait. You charge five-hundred dollars to pick up a clipboard? That sounds like a reason to call the law offices of Ashley, Mercer, and Richards; working to get you the money you deserve for malpractice." If it wasn't for the walking advertisements, she'd still stand out in the crowd here; she's wearing a bright yellow t-shirt with two eyes and a smiley across the belly, the whole thing a giant smiley face.
Simon shakes his head. "One hundred's the friend rate. Three's standard, five's reserved for the government." To go along with their five-hundred-dollar wrenches, no doubt. Fishing out his wallet, he takes out a credit card for when it comes his turn to order something. "So do you two know each other, or—?" His gaze flits from Robbie to Jackie and back again.
Robbie shakes her head to Simon. "I know you better than anyone else around here, Tiger." She stops short of making a rawr noise. Her pale eyes seem to move back towards Concordia for a few more moments. There is just nothing to add to that at current. Then she looks back towards Jackie with a smile. She offers her hand. "Robbie Connors."
Robbie adds. "You are buying me a coffee, right, Doc?"
Jackie starts half of a comment regarding expensive clipboards after the fact but given that it is, indeed, after the fact and it would just be another rather dull and dire joke on her part she lets her lips purse back into a closed-mouth smile. She'll be quiet. The quietness doesn't last too long and from Concordia she looks to the other two. She eyes the credit card for a lingering moment. "Oh?" her attention drawn back, "Oh, no- uh, sorry, Jacklyn. People call me Jackie." The woman starts to take up the handshake and then hesitates, and then accepts it. "Sorry, I try not to accidentally break people's hands these days. Uh. Yeah. Who pays for snacks with a credit card?"
With the awkward question posed, she looks helplessly aside and asks Concordia. "I mean, you know, what's the traffic look like?"
The traffic is just the same as you imagine it would be at the trailing end of rush hour. It doesn't appear to be affected by the tremor, and is congested but moving near the speed limit in virtually all places." It's pretty much exactly what the announcer on the radio says, parroted through Concordia, who doesn't seem at all phased by having it go in one ear and other the…mouth. Even if the question was rhetorical, she's oh-so-happy to answer. "And hey, you're that doctor guy from before! With the peek-a-boo look! You know the one!" she belts out loudly at Simon.
Okay, in retrospect, maybe he should have thought twice before confiding in the Walkman-with-nice-hair, if she's going to be sharing it with just any random person within earshot. "Hey, I told you they dismissed the case for lack of evidence," Simon deadpans, before returning his attention to Jackie. "It's just a bank card, saves hitting the ATM all the time." A quick affirmative motion to the cashier: yeah, go ahead and put Robbie on his tab, it's only a coffee after all. Aaaaand another curious look at Jackie. What type of person has to worry about injuring other people just by— oh, wait.
Robbie opens her eyes in the first show of fear yet. That hand is snatched back rather quickly. "Heh.. I sort of need my hands if I want to make rent, you know?" She then smiles at the walking radio with an odd sort of look. "Peek-a-boo eyes?" Robbie turns to look at Simon's eyes before placing her order.
After slowly nodding to Concordia's recitation, Jackie looks down to her extended hand and wriggles the fingers back and forth in a rhythmic wave. "Oh, yeah, it's cool. I guess that's where everyone I was getting to know starts avoiding touching me 'cause I can lift a car." She's going to ignore being so self-deprecating and change mental gears. "Sorry about that. It was a joke on my condition, a bad one at that. I've got a lot of them, really. Like, say, how do you kill a chemist? Barium." Bury him, get it? "I'm totally in control, promise…" She trails off because she's rather curious about the notion of peek-a-boo eyes herself. So with an expressive lift of her eyebrows she leans forward and looks between Simon and Concordia. "Radios, ATMs, and nice bikes aside, I smell a lawsuit. What happened, doc?"
Count Concordia out of this discussion; she doesn't know any more about anything than what Simon's told the rest of them. In fact, to her, it seems pretty much forgotten. The fresh joe is getting doled out and the mob-turned-orderly queue is now moving pretty well. People are peeved just enough to get their plain coffees and get home instead of waiting for their fancy cofee prom date concoctions. She too is in the line with the rest of this crew, looking up and over, down and around others to sneak a look into the cold case and around the back of the counter.
Simon laughs, shaking his head. "No, no lawsuit, just a thing we were talking about last time we ran into each other here. You remember those old X-ray specs that you used to be able to order out of the Sears catalog or something?" As his turn comes up, he orders a mug of 'that one over on the left, that one smells good' and looks to Robbie to see what she's getting.
Robbie lowers her brows to the coffee choices. "I think I'll have a Caramel-no-we-aren't-bux-cuz-we-don't-sux blended drink." She turns to look at Simon for a moment of confusion and then her eyes open a bit wider. A quick soft comment or two are mentioned and then she smiles towards Jackie. "Hey, it's not you really. I mean.. I really do need my hands. I become a raging bitch if I can't work on bikes. It's my superpower. Bike mechanic." She winks and then looks back towards Concordia and back to Simon.
With a small tut at the thought of no lawsuits, Jackie turns about. She looks to where the group of blue-haired women are before turning back to her group and listening in, nodding in vague understanding and then looking down at herself. She squints when regarding Simon. "Well, I'm not really unemployed- and no peek-a-boo looking at it," Jackie vaguely warns when pointing out the white words written across her black t-shirt: I'm not unemployed. I'm NSFW. So with a new smile on her lightly painted lips she offers a pair of thumbs up before pocketing them. "No offense taken, really, and… hey, I've got this RZ 350 that needs to be looked at if you've got the time." She's the last in line, as far as the four of them are concerned compared to the rest of the group, so settles for watching, especially Concordia. Her movements distract Jackie enough from the conversation to ask, "Does she do that a lot?"
Concordia settles for not one but two slightly-past-expiration time muffins, and a hot chocolate. It would seem that this off-day happening is regular enough that one of the other employees set the food aside rather than throwing it right out in the dumpster. Prize in hand, she claims a seat at a table tucked off in a corner of the shop.
Simon leans over, listening to Robbie, then arches a brow. "When you buy, you mean. It's your turn." What is it with those two, anyway? And then there's Jackie, who gets another amused smile, immediately followed on by a look of confusion. "Does who do what? If you mean her," he adds, gesturing toward Concordia, "we only met the one time but I'm guessing that's pretty much her typical self."
Robbie smiles in a full manner like one that is really, honestly happy. "Oh no.. I think I recall it's your turn. I might even let you ride my bike." She winks and lightly hipchecks him. Her eyes move back towards Concordia for a few moments and then finally back to Jackie. "Seriously, you have a yamaha?" There is a shake of her head to that and then she smiles. "Bring it into the shop and I'll look at it. Did you say you had a job or are you low on funds?"
"Yeah… It's like she's casing the joint," for muffins, but still, Jackie finds it distracting. When it happens to be her turn to order something, she doesn't order anything, at least not right away. She just likes being in the line with them but she ends up paying for a muffin with cash; she glances up blankly and offers a shrug, "I have like a billion degrees, licensed as a plumber, and own a Yamaha. Yep. I'll need an address but I definitely could swing it by." She herself is headed for Concordia's table, to investigate.
The table's small, but it has two chairs; neither of them will be easily claimed, however. Conk proper is sitting in one, and Conk's sneakered feet are up on the other. One muffin's unwrapped, but rather than eat it like a normal person, she picks and pulls at the top. Sipping coffee, she's kicking back and apparently getting a little chuckle out of some invisible television show that only she sees and hears.
Simon just shakes his head, making his way over to another table nearby and pulling out a couple of seats. "You are so going to get me killed," he mutters under his breath to Robbie. He keeps an eye on the others as well, radio chick and World's Strongest Woman: something interesting's gotta come out of that pairing before long, right?
Robbie is willing to sit pretty close to their table. She's pretty interested too. There is a gasp from her lips. "Why Doctor, are you doubting my ability to do my career? I don't assume you will kill me when I go to get my reflexes tested." She winks to him. "Or you could pick me up in a car. With doors. I'll wear heels." She looks back towards the others.
The best way to break the ice with a conversation is with a really, really big bat. Or hammer, Jackie could probably use a hammer. Then again, she could just use a pinky finger. It's all the same thing in the end so she looks over her shoulder to the other two and shrugs before turning back to the table. This is going to get interesting. "Are you really using that or could I?" She's pointing her muffin at the seat currently occupied by the other woman's feet.
"Well…kinda, yeah. My feet are really the ones using it." That seems to be pretty funny to her, since she gets a chuckle. "I mean, if you really want to sit, you could, but I'm kinda watching something here. I'll be done when I finish this muffin!"
Robbie is sitting and making small talk with Simon. They are probably jokingly arguing over who has to buy dinner.
"Well all right then, tell me how it goes. I'm going to get a coffee in the meantime." Undaunted, Jackie is going to walk back into the background and meander to the rear of the line in order to do just what she had said: buy a coffee. She may not have interesting people to talk to this time around but she does have a muffin to nibble upon in the time being.