2007-03-28: A Little Bent


Jack_icon.gif Tamara_icon.gif

Summary: Immediately after the events in Central Park, Jack takes Tamara out for dinner/breakfast and tries to understand a little more.

Date It Happened: March 28, 2007

A Little Bent

Lucky Joe's Diner, NYC

After a long, uncomfortably silent cab ride to Yael's apartment, Jack directs the driver to the Lower East. The inside of the vehicle is clean, and as a rare boon, the driver speaks perfect English. "Eh. I'm thinkin' that you and I should chat about some things, short stack. Wanna grab some grub? My treat." He arches an eyebrow curiously as he snuggles back into Yael's warm, recently vacated seat.

The nice thing about long cab rides is the opportunity to rest. Maybe even sleep. But whether Tamara was just relaxed or actually out then, by the time Jack speaks up, she's clearly awake. "It's a try," the teen says, tone implying that's meant as agreement. "Little late for chat, didn't make it wrong," she adds offhand, rubbing at her eyes and glancing out the cab's window.

Jack has the decency to look a little guilty for keeping Tamara from her bed, wherever it is. Still, he has questions about the mess in Central Park, and with any luck, she'll have answers. "I know it's late," he replies. "But humour me? When we're done, I'll send you out with enough cab fare to get you wherever you need to go." Both Jack's tone and his wardingly outstretched hand indicate that he's not interested in the 'wherever.'

Meanwhile, the taxi pulls up to a red light a few blocks from the diner.

Shaking her head, the girl smiles at Jack. "It was okay, for a bit. Long enough. Don't worry." His actions with respect to 'wherever' elicit no apparent response from Tamara - no indication that she either would or wouldn't care to divulge information in that regard. "Questions are easy. Answers can be hard."

"Ain't that the truth," Jack chuckles. When the cabbie finally pulls up in front of the restaurant, the Irishman forks over the amount on the meter, plus a twenty dollar tip. "That's for not askin' how my night's been, or why my shoes smell like hobo puke." He smiles crookedly, then pops his door open and slips out.

Tamara slides out of the cab without much notice for the driver. She pauses on the sidewalk long enough to run her hands through her hair, though not in any attempt to make it presentable (which would probably be futile right now anyway). Then the teen leads the way into the diner, holding the door open for Jack to follow.

Grinning, Jack steps through the door and makes a beeline for the counter. "Many thanks, milady. Go on, take a seat an' order somethin'. Joe's a whiz with breakfast, if that's your fancy." Politely attentive but never to the point of eavesdropping, one of the wait staff bustles over and fills two coffee cups. Before she can take off, Jack verbally snags her. "Whoa. I'll have french toast with bacon, eggs over easy, and extra-crispy hash browns. Plus whatever the youngin' wants."

Tamara perches on the seat next to Jack's, giving the waitress a brief glance. Rather than verbally specify anything, she grabs a menu and points at one of the options on it. "That one." Looks like waffles for her. The coffee placed in front of her is slid over Jack's way in favor of the universal glass of water. Tamara cradles it in her hands, but doesn't take a drink, turning to look at Jack with one raised brow. You had questions?

"So…" Jack begins a little akwardly when the waitress has gotten herself out of earshot. To buy himself a moment to ponder, he lifts one of the coffee cups and sips from it. When he sets it down, his expression is faintly puzzled. "You knew what was going to happen tonight. Maybe not exactly, but you knew that /something/ was going to happen." It's a statement rather than a question. "You tried to warn those people."

Tamara is quiet as Jack thinks, though her fingers tap idly on the sides of the glass they hold. It's not that she's impatient. It's just that she's only still when she's focused. "Something always happens," the girl replies. "Even nothing is something; it cuts the other shadows, and they're gone." At his final statement, Tamara can only shrug. "Other people's shadows were always hard to shape, but the mirror still tried."

Sighing, Jack runs one hand through his dark hair. "Despite your best efforts, that actually makes some sense. At least from an abstract perspective." After blowing steam from across the top of his cup he takes another sip. "Ahem. Ok, allow me to rephrase. Can you tell me how you knew you should call out to them?"

Setting the glass - the water within still untouched - back down on the counter, Tamara leans an elbow on the countertop and gives Jack a frustrated look. She doesn't answer right away, but straightens again, running her fingers through her hair and taking a deep breath. "The… always if. Better if… if they listen, if you listen…" The girl closes her eyes, brow creasing. "No cost, to speak; to say. Couldn't catch the mirror. Chances. Less… dark. If. For them." Her response is halting, far less easily spoken than most of her cryptic statements.

His coffee forgotten, Jack's grey eyes are locked on Tamara intently and his brow creases with concern. "By now I've guessed that you're limited in the ways you can express yourself. Like I told Cohen, your intuition's always been spot-on in my book. You often speak of mirrors and shadows.. I wish I knew what you meant." It's a statement of frustration, not a request for more information. "In any case, I'm glad o' it. You and me, we saved a lady tonight."

The last of Jack's sentence is bitten off as the food arrives and is deposited. With a nod, he dismisses the waitress.

Blue eyes flick briefly to the waitress; then Tamara offers Jack an apologetic smile. "The ghosts are still close, but that doesn't mean the mirror can catch them all." Not yet offering the plate of waffles any heed, she runs a hand over her face. Maybe she'll give it another try. "Shadows… aren't. If. Might. Shifting, changing. Yours, mine, theirs -" Tamara waves vaguely at the other people in the diner. "Until there's one. One /you/ know. Then it's your ghost." She gives Jack a hopeful look. "You know ghosts; the mirror didn't, really. Shadows in the mirror, but you don't see. Just share what's between," the girl concludes, tapping her hand on the countertop.

Despite his earlier interest, Jack seems content to let his breakfast lie as well. "I'm going to go out on a limb, here," he murmurs, lowering his voice. "It sounds to me like you have some way knowing what's possible. Not what will happen, but what /could/ happen. Am I making any sense at all? Because to me, I sound crazy."

Tamara smiles at Jack, a bright and cheerful smile despite her weariness. Her own previous frustration is no longer in evidence. "You weren't," she assures him. "Still sound. Just maybe a little bent." Now, she peers at the waffles on her plate, considering them from a couple of different angles before picking up her fork and cutting off a piece.

This elicits a warm, robust chuckle from Jack. "A little bent, eh? I've been called worse. And if I'm even close to figuring out why you're after talkin' so funny, then it was effort well spent." Having satisfied his worst of his curiosity, he picks up a fork and digs in as well.

Tamara makes a pretty good dent in her waffles before she finally gives in to distraction. Setting the fork down with a faint clatter of metal on ceramic, she picks up the paper napkin by the plate and begins to tear it into little strips.

"Yeah, I feel about the same," Jack admits as he shoves his own plate away. He produces a pen and pad from inside his coat and quickly jots down his phone number, then rips the page off, folds it, and passes it to Tamara. "Take that. Call me if you ever get in trouble, ok? I still owe you for that glass of water you got me when I was dyin' of a hangover." With a crooked grin, he pockets his writing implements, then presses both hands to the countertop. When he leans back, two piles of bills are left behind. "That's for breakfast," he says, and points to one. "That's for your cab fare," he points to other. "Thanks for tryin' to help me understand what happened tonight."

Tamara drops the pieces of paper towel and accepts the folded page Jack passes her. She turns the bit of paper over in her hands, giving it a curious sort of inspection - without unfolding it - then closes her fingers around it and nods to Jack. The girl echoes his grin. "You're welcome."

After giving the girl a quick, brotherly pat on the shoulder, Jack ducks out of the restaurant and disappears.

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