2007-12-15: A Very Artoo Christmas


Lee_icon.gif Kory_icon.gif Gene_icon.gif Randall_icon.gif Portia_icon.gif Cam_icon.gif William_icon.gif


Christmas in the Lair.

Date It Happened:

December 15th, 2007

A Very Artoo Christmas

The Secret Lair - New York City

Kory really enjoys the holidays. And not sleeping gives her time to go all out. In addition to the decorations, she's had a different holiday treat available for customers. This time it's a scale replica of Bruce Wayne's mansion from the first Dark Knight — made of gingerbread. She and Tito painstakingly took pictures of it before letting the crowd near it. It's already missing its west wing and the spun sugar front gates.

Over the stereo is a cover of the Miser Brothers song as done by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy.

Lee leans on the counter nearby, baffled by both the gingerbread house and the line that stretches out the door to look at it. "There was seriously someone here from the NBC affiliate? Christ, they'll put anything on the air, won't they?" he says to nobody in particular.

"It was craftsmanship, you big Grinch," Kory hisses at him through her teeth. "And could you show a little Christmas spirit?"

Lee says, "I am full of the Christmas spirit. 'Marley was dead, to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. The register of his burial was signed by the clergyman, the clerk, the undertaker and the chief mourner. Scrooge signed it. And Scrooge's name was good upon 'Change for anything he chose to put his hand to. Old Marley was dead as a doornail.'" he declaims dramatically. "I can't argue that it doesn't bring in the rubes. When are you heading out this year?" He's not asking to get rid of her, he just expects her to be going like she does every year.

"I don't know yet," Kory answers, turning her head to look at Lee, and setting the bells on her elf hat jingling. "I wanted to see what Randall's doing first. He's an out-of-towner, and maybe he hasn't got plans. Mom would probably be tickled to have him over, but we haven't been an item long enough that I want to inflict my family at Christmas on him!" She pours an ecologically friendly cup of egg nog and passes it to Lee. It's the good stuff; well, as good as one can make without alcohol in it. "What about you? You going to be with Nima in Philly, or is she coming back here?"

Lee says, "She's coming back here again. Actually we might go back to the shelter to serve up dinner like we did at Thanksgiving. To be honest…it was pretty much the best Thanksgiving we've had since Mom and Dad left." It's no longer 'disappeared'. They left. Simple as that. "We worked our asses off in the kitchen, scrubbed our hands raw washing up, and spent basically the whole day together. I kinda want to see what Joule is doing, though."

Kory takes a moment to go "Brrrrrrrrrrrr!" and twirl madly behind the counter in time with that section of Snow Miser's song. But she stops, smiling at one of the kids who recognized the move. "Not the type to go with you to the shelter, is she, huh?" Kory shakes her head. "Takes all kinds."

Lee says, "Actually…I hadn't asked her! Maybe I will. I don't want to make it seem like a thing, though, you know? Hey, come with me to this thing or else I will think you're a bad person." He seems genuinely concerned with what Joule thinks of him. Maybe he did learn something from how it ended up with Bekah after all. Lee is loitering, as he usually does, but he's more conversing with Kory than sneering at the locals. The Christmas spirit in action.

"Well, you'll know either way," Kory tells Lee, coming around the counter to point somebody to the new "comics-by-powers" section. "Technopathy? That's one of the Bochs Brothers. Look under Alpha Flight," she suggests. She breaks off a piece of the roof of Wayne Manor: Maple waffle cookie. She dips it in her egg nog as she returns to Lee. "Maybe she'll surprise you. Bring mistletoe."

Cam comes wandering in the door, as usual wearing his coat open and with no gloves or hat, but not bothered by the cold outside. On seeing Lee and Kory, he waves and walks over closer, "Hi."

William is in a better mood with freedom so close. Though with the masks the man wears, that might not be all that clear. He steps into the store with his coat held tight around him pausing to glance around for a moment, before Lee gets a quick smile.

Lee replies, "Yeah…it's a good idea. Hello, Cam." He straightens up a little so as not to let his student see him loitering so obviously. "How are you doing? Feeling much better, I see… Going to be ready for finals this week?"

Lee also greets William with a smile and a "Hey, William. Great to see you, come on in." He doesn't reveal William's impending freedom in front of Cam. "Staying warm out there?" He didn't ask Cam that for some reason.

Kory turns, bell on her hat jingling, and waves a greeting to all who enter. Cam, however, gets a "Cam!" and she walks over to embrace him. "How's it?"

Cam hugs Kory back with a smile, then steps back, "It's ok." He looks back up to Lee and says, "I think so. Once I learn stuff I'm pretty good at remembering. Not like my mom, she could remember everything, but I think I'll do ok."

Slipping in quietly, Portia's got her usual guitar, strapped carefully on her back. She's rather quiet overall, gaze flickering about for a moment before she lets out a soft sigh, making her way carefully over to the refreshments.

Randall sneaks in just behind Portia, unnoticed amongst the crowd at first, though he draws a few chuckles as he heads further inside. The shirt is innocent enough - dark brown print, lighter stripes and circles - but the floppy hat and seasonal bling make the Santa Clause reference a lot easier to catch. (Now we just need Benjamin to complete the set.)

William nods to Lee. "Oh, I'll survive. Or at least escape with only minor frostbite." The student is completely ignored as William heads off towards a display of scifish knicknacks. Christmas shopping to finish, maybe. Will does give Lee a quick smile though. "Four more days, right?" He states.

Lee replies to Cam, "Very good, if you need any extra help, I'm having an extra study group on Wednesday after school." Lee is always offering things like that to make up for being sort of a hardass with respect to his assignments. He winces a bit at William's statement: "Four more days." he says, although not with his usual enthusiasm for the end of the year. Lee notices Portia coming over - how is it Lee is always the one that spots her? "Portia, hi. How are things going? Ready for finals?" Your HIGH SCHOOL finals, Portia.

Kory seems relieved that she's out from under Lee's laser scrutiny, and that he has a friend to keep him in a good mood. She makes a circuit of the store, collecting paper cups and napkins discarded by geeks and less-geeky types who wandered in drawn by the crowd and the word of mouth. "…la la la," she sings, "…what to my wondering eyes should appear — hey, it's that guy I've been chasin' all year!" There's a spring in her step, even. Kory really likes the Christmas season.

Cam nods quickly to Lee, and says, "Ok, thanks." The boy turns to say something to Kory, only to find she's started a clean-up round of the store. Shrugging a little, he moves to get himself a drink too, but when Lee greets Portia he looks up quickly. Grinning, he gives her a wave too.

Portia knew it was a risk that she'd run into Lee if she came in here, but she'd taken the risk anyways. She tries not to scowl as Lee heads over, but she fails. "I'm not worried at all. I've been doing a lot of studying.. lots of work overall. Want to look good on applications." She shifts, filling herself a cup of eggnog to distract herself before she notices Cam and waves cheerfully.

Randall blinks, spotting Kory's outfit first and her familiar face second, and heading over in that direction. "I thought it was 'a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer'?" Okay, so he's not up on his New Wave music. "Anyway, looks like an interesting time to drop by." The others get a collective wave as well, though he doesn't recognize Cam from anywhere in particular.

Lee says to Portia, putting his back to the others so they can't see what he's saying, at least briefly, "I wanted to ask you…you were acting really strange when I ran into you outside the other day. Did those other boys not know you attended, uh… Brubaker?" They call this 'busted', but Lee's expression is a little hard to read, not quite the stern adult you might expect. The diffident 'uh' in there also takes the sting out of it somewhat.

The lyrics hold special meaning for Kory, so she tends to drift into them when she's not actively embroiled in another song. She recognizes the voice, though, and whirls, setting the bell tinkling again. "Different Christmas tune," she assures Randall. She takes a second to take in his outfit, gives a genuinely delighted little giggle, then makes a beeline to greet him with a kiss. "You look great!"

When Gene first came to New York, the comic book store was his friend. He could read up on the newest comics, talk to those with even poorer social skills than himself, and feel like he was part of a community. But these days, he hasn't had much time. But even a guy like Gene needs a break. So thusly he comes to a comic book store that he passed when meeting a friend, the Secret Lair.

Dressed in a buttoned up peacoat and a set of faded blued jeans, Gene makes his way into the area. His skin is rather pale, but that could easily be from the cooler temperatures. Following closely behind him is the odd companion that steals the show in places like this… R2-D2. Moving toward the closest rack of comics, Gene just glances through with tired and slightly disinterested eyes, seemingly avoiding any eye contact of the other people here. The droid just follows along behind the dark haired gentleman, barely making a sound save the servos and wheels turning to move it along.

Cam, on seeing Lee talking softly to Portia, hangs back a few moments. His attention moves towards Kory again, and first blinks, then rolls his eyes as he sees her kissing Randall. Then, though, the droid catches his attention, and he blinks, and quickly moves a little closer to get a better view.

Portia goes a little wide-eyed at Lee, moving to sip her eggnog to distract herself. She clears her throat after taking the sip, looking back to Lee. "Well, not exactly.." She states, trying not to look guilty.

Lee says, "Portia, I know you're very smart and you're getting a lot more sure of yourself, I've noticed that over the semester, so I'm not going to give you a big speech…" Too late, Lee! "…but I would make sure your mom knows about who you're hanging out with, so if I mention it at the parent-teacher conference at the end of the semester she'll say 'it's cool, I trust her, we've worked it out.' Okay?" That's a not-a-big-deal way of saying he's going to rat her out if she doesn't fess up soon.

Randall returns Kory's greeting in kind, lingering just long enough to not be really annoying about it. "Thanks. Couple of friends back at Berkeley said I had the hair for it." He's seen R2-D2 before, too, but still respectfully steps out of its way so as not to risk squashed toes.

Kory wouldn't be annoyed, but the fact she is at work is what causes her to stop when he does. She follows Randall's cue, and steps back when he does. She is momentarily struck dumb by the sight of such a beautiful Artoo replica. But then her attention returns to Randall. "I should say so," she agrees, plucking affectionately at his dark curls. "I was actually going to text you once it slowed down, but …" by the crowd, that could be two a.m.

"What?" Portia doesn't look happy at all. In fact, she's actually quite offended that Lee's stepping in at all. "Why does it even matter who I hang out with? It doesn't interfere with my schoolwork anyways." She folds her arms. "I can just get a reccomendation from someone else." She looks at the eggnog, not quite feeling so much like drinking it anymore.

Drumming through the comics, Gene glances at Superman, then the Captain Marvel. Finally, he just looks up to anyone that he thinks might help. "Excuse me… You know if there are any new comic lines out? Looking for something along the lines of Wild C.A.T.S. and X-Men if you got it." If he heard any of the conversation going on, he doesn't seem to make note of it.

Tito has been hanging out in the back, and levers out of the chair he was lounging in with a popcorn ball. "We carry all the X-titles." Since the movies, the X-Men are still hot. "There's The Authority, and Planetary, too, if you want team books, though those are a bit hard edged."

Lee says, "It won't affect my recommendation or your grade. It matters because of your safety. If it doesn't affect your safety, then your mom won't have a problem with it, right?" He adds: "Trust me, I get it, I did the same thing when I was in school. And some of my close friends were younger than me when I was starting out in college." He nods to Kory as an example - though technically she graduated high school so young that they were off to college at almost the same time. "It doesn't surprise me they think you're older than you are, you're very mature and talented." he compliments Portia. "But you are who you are. Hiding and sneaking around and trying not to get busted is a giant pain and it's not a good basis for a friendship or a safe situation."

Cam looks up to Kory as he passes, and asks, "Did you see that?" Referring to R2-D2 of course. "That's amazing. Wonder if he's got some kind of remote control or what…"

Randall shakes his head, looking impish. "Nah, there's a hamster in a hamster wheel in each of the legs," he explains helpfully for Cam's benefit. "There was a thing about it on the Discovery Channel a couple months ago." Meanwhile, he politely avoids paying any attention to Lee and Portia's moment of We Are Not So Different.

Kory is about to answer Cam when Randall does. She smirks and elbows him gently for teasing Cam. She also checks, with a quick scan of the store that no one else needs help. Tito's seeing to Gene, so she returns her attention to her boyfriend. "You got plans for Christmas?" she asks, shyly. It's a big holiday. She doesn't want to scare him by implying there should be Significant Holiday Plans.

"Mr. Jones.. I really doubt I'd have that many friends if people didn't think I was older. I'm sure it doesn't matter to you at all cause you are older, but when you're my age.. if you aren't older, you don't get anything." Portia frowns a little. "And it's not like I'm not being safe. I trust the people I hang out with." She's not going to say much about hiding and sneaking around. Especially because that's one of her favorite things to do. Well, not in the sense he'd think.

Lee says, with a respectful grace almost antique in nature, "I've said my piece, you know the score, I'm confident you'll do the right thing. Good luck on finals, all right?" He pours the last of the cocoa for himself, "…crud, looks like we're out. I'll go refill." See? He can be helpful! He disappears upstairs briefly with the thermos.

"Thanks" is all Gene says in reply as he looks back toward Tito. As he sees the other people around, he can't help out by pick out the kid. "You can come close if you want… Artoo won't bite, will you, boy?" Reaching into his pocket of his coat with one hand, Gene continues to rifle through the comics, getting to an issue of the Authority to look at it.

The droid finally makes sound, just giving a couple of beeps to it's 'master in response.

Peering into her cup, Portia frowns slightly. She sips her eggnog a little, glancing around again. She doesn't quite know what to do now as Lee heads off, so she turns to break off a piece of gingerbread to eat. Shifting uncomfortably, she moves further into the store to glance around at some of the comics. After a moment, though, she pulls her guitar off and flops down into one of the couches for reading.

Cam looks to Randall and just grins, "Yeah, sure." He looks back to Gene and the droid, and at the invitation he steps closer, smiling, "He's awesome." He seems fascinated with the little droid.

Randall spares a bemused shake of his head for the droid. Bite, no. Taser? Now that would be something worth worrying about. "Nothing specific," he says to Kory. "Plane fare's pricey enough to rule out visiting family back home, at least this year."

"I'd kind of had that notion," Kory agrees. What with Randall working so many jobs just to make ends meet. "My folks are in White Plains," she admits, "But I wouldn't want to inflict them on you so soon. We could get Chinese food and rent DVDs, and just have a quiet little Christmas…?" The suggestion trails off. Drawback of being an alpha female geek. She's got some of the social skills, but some of the others are still a little new to her.

R2-D2 just stands there as Gene looks over the comics. If Cam gets within five feet, the robot will give a few chirps in response glancing over to the child with its single blue 'eye'. Gene continues to look around until he notices one those seemingly innocent comic book commentary books.

1001 Comics You Must Read Before You Die

Gene immediately looks away from it, trying to pretend he didn't even see it. He swiftly looks back to it, staring at it for awhile. He swiftly turns away, just picking up a random graphic novel of Planetary to distract himself. He puts the book back and just folds his arms as he looks around the store. He moves to pick it up, but right before he picks it up, he goes back to looking around the store. He doesn't need that book, no siree.

Tito watches Gene with a vaguely amused expression, but does not egg him on.
Portia has quickly finished up her entire cup of eggnog and puts the cup aside, though she glances back to the aisle of comics before she shifts her guitar onto her lap. She resorts to going back to what she knows best—her music. She frowns a little for a moment, then begins to strum softly. Those who might overhear might catch it as an acoustic version of The Holly and the Ivy.

Cam grins as the eye turns towards him, and says, "Um… hi." Starting to doubt that it's remote controlled, it seems. He looks up to Gene and asks, "How's he work?" He does look over towards Portia as the music starts, though.

When he notices that he is being watched, Gene gives Tito an frown before placing the novel down. He doesn't put it in its right place, sticking in a slot that is almost filled Likely making a pain in the ass to pull it back out. Beware the wraith of a passive aggressive who thinks he is being teased.

Glancing back toward Cam, Gene replies, "It's robotics. Complicated stuff, but you can read about the stuff online. R2Builders.com has a bit on them; their website is in horrible shape though." He starts to get a little slow at the end until he notices someone playing. He tilts his head faintly to the side as he notices someone there. She looks familiar…

Randall nods absently to Kory. "Yeah, that sounds fine." He really needs to learn how to reassure her properly, but the odd jobs (even if they're generally only one at a time) do tend to leave him even more distracted than his natural state. Other than that, he hangs out quietly as Portia plays and Gene explains.

Tito wasn't teasing; he works here. He's a geek himself. He knows the feeling of having something on the shelf call his name, and trying to resist it. The smile was meant in fellowship. But he's a geek; he also knows there's a certain distrust of others that comes from being picked on. So the shop worker makes neither comment nor complaint when he plucks the graphic novel carefully out the spot into which Gene jammed it. No sense making more work for Kory either, when she has to clean up the gingerbread Wayne Manor, the egg nog cups, any leftovers, and then still tidy the store.

Kory might dwell on being a bit nervous about the Christmas date, but honestly, it's not actually the biggest worry on her mind. "Okay, it's a date," she says, falling quiet again as she hears Portia play. "Wow," she breathes.

Cam ohs, nodding a little to gene, "Not very good with stuff like that. Bet my friend Micah would understand it, though. He's good with anything electronic." Then, remembering, he pulls a cellphone from his pocket to snap a picture of the droid, "Gotta show him." He steps back then to let Gene shop, stepping back over by Kory.

Lee comes back downstairs with a fresh thermos of cocoa, which he deposits on the table, informing the slightly goggle-eyed roleplayer who espies this act of kindness: "Failed my Will save against the spirit of the season, so sue me. Heyy, Gene. New fans all the time I see." He remembers Gene from when Nima was here and squeeee-ing. It's an impressive piece of garbage that follows him around, after all. "Randall, hi…" he greets, having missed him in the crowd before. He nods to Portia as she plays, pleased at her contribution.

Portia is aware of conversations going on around her while she plays. Multitasking is one of the things she's actually fairly good at. She doesn't look up, however, letting her focus mostly be on her guitar. She switches tunes as that one ends, beginning a rendition of Silent Night. While her gaze stays on what she's doing, her ears still pick up conversations. She tends to do that. Especially when people don't think she's listening.

Randall gives Lee a simple thumbs up in response, to leave him more time to expound at length on things with the other customers, and also to give Portia's background music more of a chance to be fairly heard. In fact, the longer it goes on, the more he seems intrigued by it. "Wait, you don't think—?" he starts to say, and then leans over to whisper something in Kory's temporarily oversized ear.

Kory quirks a brow at Randall, blinks at him in momentary confusion, then the light of understanding enters her eyes. She gives him a silent nod, and then turns to look back at Portia curiously. After another moment of watching, she whispers back to him.

Listening to the music, Gene finds another name of the familiar ringing him out to bring him back to the conversation. "Micah? Um, he's already seen the Artoo before. That is if you're talking about the kid with the curly hair," Gene offers with a slightly awkward smile. The droid just glances back to Gene with a "Bweeeooo". The young genius has no idea how upset Niki might be with him if Micah was reminded of the robot with the deadly secrets, but he doesn't really want to find out. Of course, asking the child to keep a secret won't do much good. Hopefully, it won't come back to bite him.

While Gene would worry more about things he can't really help, he finds himself called by someone else. "Lee… It's been awhile. Hope you and your sister are doing alright."

Lee says, "She's doing great, she's off in Philadelphia opening another dump like this one." good-naturedly. "How's life treating you? I see you met Cam, Cam's one of my students."

Cam blinks at Gene's answer about Micah, "Oh. Well, that's cool. Yeah, that's him." A little disappointed he's not going to be able to surprise Micah, but it doesn't last long. He looks back up to Kory and asks, "Something wrong?"
Geez, but that kid is perceptive. Kory is surprised he spotted anything off about her. She's been trying to keep her game face on all evening. "Nah, I'm okay," she tells him. "Just not looking forward to being up half the night cleaning up with Tito." Not entirely true, but she's not going to lay her true concern on a thirteen year old.

Randall nods vaguely to Kory, reaching over with one arm to scratch the back of his ear on the opposite side. "I'd offer to help, but I got stuck with early shift tomorrow— other guy called in sick at the last minute." Also it might seem clingy if he did stick around that long. In any case, having settled that, he falls quiet again as he continues to study the guitarist.

"I've been fighting off a nasty sickness," Gene admits, telling a half-truth of sorts as he averts his eyes downward as if in shame. "Having one of my better days, to be honest. No worries, it'll run its course soon enough, I'm sure." After giving a short break, Gene adverts his eyes back toward Lee's when he speaks once more. "I didn't know you were a teacher Private or public?"

She can feel the eyes on her, but Portia doesn't mind it. She likes playing her music, and she figures the more experience she has with people watching her, the easier it'll be when she makes it big. Not if, /when/. She looks up a little bit as she finishes Silent Night, moving into the next song. The next one, though, has lyrics to it. She's not /trying/ to sing too loudly, she's keeping her tone soft, not wanting to interrupt the shopping experience. This one's 'O Holy Night'. She does, however, glance up a little bit now.

Lee says, "Brubaker Secondary right now - I was at John Philip Sousa Middle School up until this semester. So I've seen both sides of it. Yeah, some nasty bugs been going around. I seem to have dodged it all though…"

Cam looks a little relieved at that, and says, "Ok, cool. Guess you'll have more time to talk when it isn't packed." Which is what he noticed, of course. He isn't saying it as if upset, though, just relieved it's something so simple. Then he hears Portia singing, and he looks to her again, "Wow."

"Yeah, but it'll be late. We can chat tomorrow if it's not too busy," Kory assures Cam with a smile and an affectionate ruffle of his hair. To Randall, she adds, "That's sweet of you to offer, but I know you've got work. Swing by when you can." She parts reluctantly from Randall, making another circuit of the store. This time she ends up getting the broom and sweeping up crumbs from the now-devastated gingerbread Wayne Manor.

Randall finds an open patch of floor and sits down, after giving Kory one more hug to tide her over for the moment. Absently, he nods to Cam, one finger tracing patterns in the air in time with the music; if he's never actually conducted, he's at least paid enough attention to pull off a decent imitation.

"Ah. Lucky you, I'll pray you stay in good health." Another pause is given a chance to float as Gene looks toward Portia for a few moments before rubbing the back of his neck. "Well, I suppose I should get some stuff and get out." Gene grabs a few issues of Planetary, the Watchman Graphic Novel, a few issues of the Authority but for whatever reason, doesn't get the hidden gem known as 9th Wonder. Likely better that way. Glancing back toward Cam after slapping the comics down to get rung up, he gives a nod to the child. "Take it easy, kid… Stay safe."

Lee nods, "See ya later, Gene." He continues leaning up against the wall, listening to his student's stunning performance. He had nothing to do with it, but somehow there's a feeling inside him that connects to this. That's teaching, or is it learning?

Cam nods a bit to Kory at that and says, "Ok." He smiles a bit again and then says, "I gotta go anyway. Gotta get home." He looks up to Gene and nods, waving with a grin, "Thanks. Bye."

Kory picks up the store's phone and answers, "Secret Lair." But the sound level's a bit too high for her to handle the customer. She doesn't want to ask Portia to stop, so she heads into the back office.

O Holy Night soon fades into The First Noel. Portia doesn't seem to mind the singing and playing at all, having been able to really sink herself into the playing. She might have been a little irritated before, but that's all pushed aside as she enjoys the music, pure and simple. Her gaze shifts around at those still sticking around, but her focus and fingers go back to the playing and the singing. She might have been acutely paying attention before, but now she's really focused. Music is when she feels most at home, and right now she's more at home than she's been in a while.

Randall gets up again, after a minute, wandering around and partaking of the egg nog - more slowly if there's nothing obvious around to cut its potency with. Eventually, he gravitates back to where Portia is settled down; he doesn't say anything to her directly while she's still in the middle of the number, but his body language suggests 'can I talk to you soon?' plainly enough.

Cam, after Kory wanders off, and not knowing Randall, just waves to Portia and turns to slip out the door, hurrying down the street once he's outside.

The musician watches Cam leave, noting the way that Randall seems to want her attention. As soon as the song ends, she offers those paying attention a sheepish smile before she moves to stand up and strap her guitar back on her back.

After he gets rung up, Gene takes his bag and slings if over his shoulder. "Come on, Artoo, time to go." With a few chirps, the droid obeys. As Gene moves toward the door, he gives Randall a nod. As he moves by Portia, he gives a weak wave. "Hey, Portia… Let the Gomez family know I said hey." And with that,
Gene makes his way toward the door.

There is, of course, a round of applause, and Randall has the good sense to wait till after it dies down before piping up himself. And wave back to the robot wrangler who's just now heading off. "I know this is going to sound a little weird," he says to Portia, "but I was wondering if I could record one of your performances some time? Thought I caught something earlier that— well, I wanted to check it out, is all."

An odd thing for Randall to say at the end of that, but Portia focuses on the beginning part of the statement. Recording her performance? "Oh? I wouldn't mind at all! I'd really like to get more people to listen, and I really enjoy it, so…"

Oh. Well, Randall isn't an agent for one of the big record labels or anything, or even one of the little indie ones. Then again, by the time this finishes playing out, maybe he will be. "Yeah, I can tell," he replies to Tia, spinning off the top of his head. "It wouldn't be the same as a live performance, of course… but it could be the foot in the door that gets people to try the real thing."

Gene leaves the shop.

"Oh, that's fine." Portia doesn't expect Randall to be some big executive or agent, but every tiny little bit helps. "I made a little sample CD before, too. Just so I could have one. Just on my computer, though, so it's not great quality or anything." She looks over. "Trying to see about getting into Julliard. I was asking Mr. Jones for a recommendation letter."

Randall nods, his gaze following after the direction where Lee was last spotted before ducking back into the back, or upstairs as the case may be. "Yeah, I heard you guys mentioning something about it earlier." Oh, so he was listening to that thread, after all. "Juilliard's a high bar to shoot for— I can see why
he'd be taking it so seriously."

Portia looks a little sheepish. "Yeah. Well, Jane said I should go for Yale instead. But she's biased because /she/ went there." She shakes her head a little. "But yeah.. started working now so that I can get in. I suppose if I don't get in I can try somewhere else.. but if you go to Julliard, you're like.. guaranteed to have a job in music."

At the mention of Jane, Randall's lips quirk, and not exactly upward either: another person whose music he's encountered. Among other things. "I can imagine. People know it brings in the audiences, too, 'cause /they've/ heard of it." He fishes out a copy of someone else's business card, borrowing the pen by the cash register and scrawling down a phone number on the back, then offers it to Portia. "I think I've got Saturday afternoon free? Sunday, too, but if you've got family stuff…" Picked up on that detail, too. One advantage of listening for things that aren't there is that you also end up picking up things that are.

Portia accepts the card, giving a nod. "Oh, I'm entirely free. Don't really end up having a lot of family obligations.. family's kind of interesting nowadays." She nods. "Saturday or Sunday is just fine."

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