2007-10-02: A New Look


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Lee unexpectedly pays Enlightenment a visit and shows Cass his new lease on life.

October 2nd, 2007:

A New Look

Enlightenment Books

Lee should be in school, shouldn't he? But he is coming in in the mid-afternoon with his coat over one arm, carying his briefcase. He moves somewhat delicately, a wry expression on his face, glancing around the bookstore as he moves in. He doesn't even say something mockingly skeptical to someone he passes. Maybe he's sick.

Maybe he is. Behind the desk, Cass flips through a book, scratching absently at the bandage around her wrist. She's cancelled her credit cards from the wallet that was stolen and turned off the phone that was taken as well. So, at least that part is over and done with chore-wise. When the door opens, she glances up and gives a wave to Lee. "Shouldn't you be oppressing students somewhere?"

Lee says, "Hey, Cass." and approaches the counter. "No, I'm walking wounded. Marshal Fitzmartin accidentally shot off a dart gun in the hallway and guess who it hit?" He indicates his shoulder. "Nothing serious for me, but you know how it is. Zero tolerance, blah blah. He'll be expelled." The notion troubles Lee deeply, even when he quips: "Two dart shots in as many weeks, I'm waiting on the third! Comedy always happens in threes."

"You're alright?" Even if he did say it wasn't too serious, getting shot with a dart can be no laughing matter. She should know, as she was one of those people who got shot with a dart last time. "If you'd like, I could find a dart gun somewhere, I think. Get it over with quickly." Taking a look at Lee, she slips a piece of paper into her spot so that she can go back to her place. "You let Nima dress you lately?"

Lee says, "It was just a little pump air gun, not even all the way full. The school called an ambulance, they patched me up." He grins crookedly. "Nah, it's all me. I figured if I wanted to be taken seriously, why not wear serious threads instead of just whatever I got in my closet." He leans on the counter, laces his hands together. "How's Lachlan?" he asks.

Now Cass sits up a bit straighter. Who is this man and what has he done with Lee Jones? "He's…fine." It's unclear whether her response and pause is due to Lachlan not being actually fine or just surprise that Lee's actually asking. Since when did he care about Lachlan? Last time she checked, he still thought of him as a cheating no-goodnik. "And…who are you, exactly?" It's said jokingly, but there's a bit of a serious tinge to the question.

Lee laughs, "Don't sweat it, I still think he's an idiot." he quips. "But he /did/ go running after my father when we were both out of it, and I didn't really leave it well with him, so I wanted to tell him thanks. If you see him around, point him my way."

"Well, that's reassuring." Cass gives a lopsided smile. "Sort of." It means the old Lee is in there somewhere. "That's just Lachlan. He kind of rushes into things head first. Especially if he thinks someone he cares about is in danger." But, if Lee is warming up to Lachlan - even a little - she'll take it. "I'll tell him. You know, he moved in with me. So. You could probably find him back home if you wanted to talk to him."

Lee says, "I'll drop in sometime." He pauses, turns to face outwards, leaning back on the counter, making sure no one is /right/ next to them. Cass is looking at the back and side of his face when he turns his face to the side and says: "And I do appreciate what you said about what my father said being wrong, too. It was nice that you would say that to me. It was pretty hard to hear what he was saying, see what he was doing…"

"Good. I'll try to make sure to have some organic, hard to find coffee on hand." Since she knows that Lee doesn't like generic Starbucks brands. Cass props her elbows on her knees and then perches her chin in her waiting hands and watches Lee. The store for the moment is pretty dead, so they're free to talk in only semi-coded speech as opposed to being fully vague. "It wasn't nice, Lee. It was the truth. Your father…his views are the reason I have that place." It's kind of hard to explain without coming right out and saying it. "I think…what he went through…I think it drove him crazy."

Lee smiles sadly, and he's looking away from her when he says: "No. It didn't. I don't think so." He turns back around to face her. "He and Mom picked up and left. It had nothing to do with what eventually happened to him. They left because Nima and I didn't live up to their expectations." He adds: "You don't think /everything/ he said was crazy. Right?" She was being pretty vicious with Lee just before his father came out with the gun.

"Well. I was kind of expecting people to do the sort of thing that he did. And you really do like obscure references." Cass shrugs. She doesn't really like conflict unless someone else brings it up. Or if she's fed up with something or the other. "Every parent has expectations of their children. Some of them are just too much." Just the other day Nathan was telling her how nothing short of the presidency was enough for them. "But…I do think that we need to restructure the way we think about the future. Just. I don't think we need to do things as drastically as he thinks."

Lee says, sarcastically, "Well. I mean, the whole of human endeavour for the whole entirety of recorded history has been completely invalidated, so I can sympathize with the drasticness. But I think I know what you mean." He then ducks his head a little and says softer. "He was right about some stuff, though. I mean, what do I have to be so arrogant about? What have I done since I dropped out of school and came back here to justify acting superior to people? Nothing. So I'm switching things up, changing things."

There's a slight tilt of her head. Cass sort of looks like an older version of one of Lee's more attentive students at this point. Only without a desk in front of her. "How do you figure? I think the whole of human endeavor is just as validated as it was before." But, then, she's also optimistic. "Well. I can't say I'll miss you dissing the store for not having obscure French literature," she smirks a little, though, meaning she's not all that serious. "But you have to do what make you happy. Otherwise what else is the point?"

Lee says, "Well, let's pick a subject at random. Physics. Whoops. Conservation of energy. Bedrock principle. Out the window - and not in a minor, edge-case way, in a big, overtly central way. Take another subject at random. Religion. The whole question of the miraculous? Oh, was it, or wasn't it, or did it, or didn't it…who cares, now. The reason we don't know is not because it's some ineffable mystery of the universe, it's just because people were bad journalists. Take any subject you like. We've got to start completely over." He adds: "And this time around it's going to be science fiction. God, it's going to be absolutely miserable." He nods at her advice: "Yeah. True. But you know, I do like teaching, I discovered. When I'm actually teaching, when I'm actually focusing and working at it, not just using it as a stopgap until my parents turn back up again…it's really pretty great."

"You're looking at it all wrong." Or at least wrong in Cass' eyes. "Look at all the new opportunities these ideas open up. What else we can learn. Here we are, the 21st century and we thought we just about figured out everything there was to figure out. And lo and behold, we haven't. There's nothing more exciting than the unknown. Other than maybe the Cyclone." Ah, roller coasters. "And there's still no such thing as stun guns or phasers or what were those Star Trek things that you scanned and could figure out just about anything? Well, there's still none of those. I think we'll be able to handle it." Things are just different now. Or maybe it's just the way they view things that are different. "That's good, then. Teaching seems like it could be so rewarding. And I'm glad you're enjoying it. You're liking your new school, then?"

Lee says, "Don't tell a magical realism guy that it's all just fantasy." with a smirk, but at the mention of the school he perks up and says brightly, "Oh god no. The school's a disaster, the administration is sabotaging me and they've set me up to fail and fire me as of next year." He grins. "They don't know who they're dealing with. But I do want to know something else from you. What's the story on this company you were so worried about and that Lachlan, ah, visited? What's it's name, what does it actually do? If you can tell me here."

"Oh, so at least that part's back to normal." Thank God for that? Maybe? Cass gives Lee a curious look since he seems so upbeat about the possibility of being fired next year. "So, you're looking for another teaching gig, then?" As for the c(C)ompany, the book store owner shakes her head. "That's a story for a different locale, unfortunately." Not some place so open to the public. Not after what happened to the store the last time that happened. "We'll talk about it when you come by to talk to Lachlan, alright?" Since she figures if his father knows he might as well.

Lee says, "Sure." He adds: "No…at John Philip Sousa the district office was apathetic/, not hostile. The /kids/ were hostile. At Brubaker it's vice versa. No, I'm not looking yet. I'm working on getting my sleeves pulled down over some tricks. I may come to you for help at some point. Nima texted me 'with great power…' when I told her. I won't tell you what I texted back."

"I guess that's a bit better?" Cass isn't quite sure which is the better situation there. "At least the kids are more receptive." She can imagine it being frustrating to try to teach some people not responding well to teaching if you're a teacher. "Good luck with that. Whatever you need, I'll try and help. Though I'm not quite sure what I'd do." She's an occult bookstore owner, not any sort of lecturer. "I'm hoping you just finished the quote. But I guess I should know better."

Lee says, "Yeah. Anyway, Nima's down in Philadelphia, you can get her on her cell. She could use a call, she's trying to stay in touch. When I told her what happened, she…she sort of thinks if she can make the store even more successful she can prove to mom and dad she's worthwhile." he concludes, shaking his head slightly. He doesn't agree with that.

"I'll call her tonight, then." Cass isn't about to let her friend suffer alone in Philly if she needs another call. She shakes her head a bit. "That the store is successful enough, but she doesn't want to listen to that." Nima can be just as stubborn as Lee in her own way. "And she is worthwhile." Of course her opinion doesn't matter as much as their parents. She can understand that, but wishes she could do more.
Lee says, "Yeah. I told her the same thing. The next best thing is not to lose touch with her, the way I did when I went out to LA. Anyway, Kory's in charge of the shop now, so she left it in good hands." He leans back, gathers himself upright, preparing to go.

"I'll visit her soon, then." Just because sometimes the best part about being in a new city is showing an old friend around. Cass lets her arms drop back down to rest on her legs. "That's good. I like Kory. She'll be good at running the shop. I should bring a congratulatory something over. Or something. Does she like occult books by any chance?"

Lee says, "She's pretty eclectic, she even reads some of /my/ novels. The ones in English." He clearly thinks highly of Kory. "All right. Take care, Cass. And thanks. If there's something I can do to help you, let me know. I'm good at organizing things, digging around things, keeping things moving. Annoying people. You know how that goes."

Cass gives Lee a warm smile. "That is pretty eclectic." She's sure she'll be able to rummage something up that could interest Kory. At least she hopes so. "You too, Lee. Let me know how I could help with your school woes." As that is what they'll be called now. "Thanks for the offer." Because you never know who you may need to annoy. "Thanks for stopping by, too."

Lee gives her a wave, and drifts on out. He may have just said nasty things about people and situations, but he at least seems more serene about it.

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