2007-03-28: Currents Are Strong

Starring:

Jane_icon.gif Desiree_icon.gif

Summary: Sylar, life, wine, and music.

Date It Happened: March 28, 2007

Currents Are Strong


Apartment 108 of an unnamed High Rise Apartment Building in Greenwich Village, Manhattan, NYC


PHONE: You answer your phone, "Hello?"

PHONE: Jane says, "Desiree? It's Jane. I… I've got something I have to show you."

PHONE: Desiree says, "Well hi Jane! You ain't lookin' to break some more bottles in Times Square are you?"

PHONE: Jane laughs a bit, but it doesn't chase the seriousness from her voice. "Not today, no. That's actually turned into some other interesting things. Are you near Greenwich Village?"

PHONE: Desiree says, "Greenwich Village… Greeeeenwich Village… uh. I can't honestly tell you what Village I'm close to but I don't mind goin' 'cross town, I got some time. Where'm I goin'?"

PHONE: Jane sounds like she's on the street, walking. Traffic and people sounds come through the phone. "I live there, apartment 108 in a high rise building. Where are you now, I can help you find the place. Or meet you somewhere else."

PHONE: Desiree's location sounds quite serene, on the other hand. "I'm at this bed and breakfast called Small Worlds, s'funny 'cause it's not even a real bed and breakfast, not really, 'cause it's in the city and they don't have have—" She cuts off her babbling, "I can just take a taxi. S'everythin' okay, Jane? I don't know what you'd want to show *me*…"

PHONE: Jane replies "There's this guy, and he… You'll see when we meet and I give you the envelope. Yeah, taxi. Tell the driver Greenwich Village, you want the Nameless High Rise Apartment Building. They'll know the one." From her end, it sounds like a cab is being hailed too. The sound isn't close to the receiver, she moved it away from her mouth, but the whistle that follows? It's high and shrill, whoever made it has to be a high range soprano.

PHONE: Desiree says, "Well, a'right then. 108, yeah? I'll be there in a bit."

PHONE: Jane says, "Excellent. See you soon."

PHONE: The phone call has been ended by the other person.


After being dropped off by a taxi in Greenwich Village outside the High Rise Apartments, and the whole business with the intercom, sharp knuckles rap a slightly off-rhythm knock on Jane Forrest's door. Desiree stands outside, holding onto the strap of a gold-swirled purse and peeeering up at the ceiling idly while she waits for the door to open.

She arrives at home before her expected guest does, and goes into the room she uses as an office. From there Jane takes one of the sealed manila envelopes and returns to the main room, where she waits for Desiree to reach her door. When the knock comes, it takes just a handful of seconds to open the door and admit the woman. "Come in," she invites. "May I get you something to drink, Desiree?"

"Hi-yaa," Desiree waves a few-fingered wave from around her wide purse strap, giving Jane a characteristically friendly smile the second she sees her. The Southerner looks a little tired around the eyes, and there's a curious, almost wary look given to Jane - she has no idea why she's hear, after all - but that doesn't dim her smile any. "Um, sure. Yeah. Anything's fine, I ain't fussy," she answers as she steps inside, giving the place a casual glance-about. "Nice 'partment."

"Thanks," she replies with a slight chuckle around her mostly tense mood, and goes into the kitchen. There, she gets a bottle of wine, two glasses, and a bottle of Pepsi-cola, thinking either might be chosen once the envelope is shared and contents are read. Moments later she returns, and gestures toward a seat. "You probably want to be sitting when you see this, so…" Items are placed on the table, and the envelope is offered up.

Desiree quirks a weird sort of look at the different bottles - Pepsi and wine are quite the opposites - but sits down, smoothing the back of her long, cream-coloured skirt out of habit as she does. "Uh. O… kay." She looks down at the envelope then up at Jane questioningly before taking it. Although she's tentative at first, she's soon tearing into it like a Christmas present, only, well, one's not usually so wary about Christmas presents unless the gift-giver is a joker. The contents are quickly laid out, and Desiree starts to read the paper. It's clear, by the way her eyes rove, that she's skimming, not reading it all the way through. "Jane…" She abruptly lifts her palm from the page as if it burns. "How'd you— how'd you know about this? Are you some kinda detective?"

Her eyes watch as the contents are read. "Detective, no," she replies quietly. "But I'm not too bad with research when needed. Law school gave me that. I got contacted yesterday, told there was some recruitment going on, and talked with another contact. I agreed to do some legwork, dig up a few things to pass around, like the photo so people know who the subject is, they can match a name and a face. Since then I've put the word out to anyone I know with talents like ours."

"I met some detectives," Desiree says, daring to touch the paper again, her nail underlining 'Parkman'. She recognizes that one. "I know 'bout … 'bout that little girl and the man bein' taken, by this Sylar person," she explains. Worry seeps into her voice already. Feeling like she can't stay still, she pushes out of her chair and stands restlessly behind it. "Whaddaya mean, 'talents like ours'? You can break glass, I see pictures, they don't seem much the same."

"They're the same," Jane answers quietly, "in that they aren't things most people can do. And that, from what I was told, makes us possible targets. I don't want to frighten you, didn't want to, but… I can't just not let you know what's out there. I just found out about him yesterday myself. Had to spread the word that if anyone sees him, run away and report it." There's worry in her eyes and her own voice, but it's tempered with resolve. "From there they can also make their own choices, whether to help deal with him or not. I'm in favor of proactivity."

"Well. It ain't the first time I've heard of him." Desiree runs a hand over her head, trailing it down her mess of pulled back curls. "I been keepin' close to the hospital these past couple days on account of a woman was there, scared for her life. 'Cause of him, 'cause of— " She plucks the black and white printed photo from the table between two fingers. "This … man. He's the second killer I got somehow involved with since I came back, did you know that? I dunno if I'm like you, I'm jus' - jus' some kinda, I dunno, Jane, some kinda dimestore psychic," she says, her voice raising as she gets more worked up. "Or, I dunno!" Dezi throws the picture back on the table. It hits the wine bottle and ricochets. "But I know I didn't come all this way just to get killed by some freakshow! Mm-mmm, s'not how it goes."

Her voice is kept at low volume, the tone chosen to calm and soothe, hopefully. "I didn't come here to die either, Desiree," Jane answers. She stands and walks over, trying to offer comfort. "Really don't want to die." Her voice falters with that thought. "But I'm also not thrilled about the chances of being picked off one by one. I don't have it in me to just let things be other people's problems, no matter how much I might wish I did. Label me, label you, I dub me altruistic." She trails off as something seems to sink in. "Staying close to hospitals, oh… you had visions already, didn't you?" Arms open, offering the comfort of a hug, something to cling to. Or beat on.

Clinging, that's the ticket. Desiree holds Jane's forearms with a warm, tight grip of her own, and looks her in the eye. "I hadda tell a woman she might die, only, not in so many words. I don't know if it means that, not really, but she's sure he's comin' for her." She bites her lip, looking off to the side before her gaze returns. "Things're happenin' here. In this city. I keep seein' it, in the ceiling, in the bathtub, in the goddamn ugly wallpaper at the bed and breakfast, all these people. It's us, ain't it? We're all connected?"

"Somehow, yes, I think," Jane replies. Her hands grip in return, squeezing gently to give support and comfort. "We have things most people don't, and that brings responsibility. To help each other, to share information, figure out what we're capable of and how to use it." Her eyes don't look away, they show her own fear, the pain she's been through over these recent weeks, and the hope too. The determination to rule her own life. Trying to lighten the mood a bit, she softly asks "Did I tell you I can move in the dark like bats do, and I think I can protect people from pigeons?"

"Yeah…" Desiree looks at Jane for a few seconds longer before looking away, pensive. "I know. It's jus', it's hard enough figurin' out how to be the messenger." She manoeuvres into her chair again, plopping down. "Pigeon protector, huh?" she quirks a smile.

"It was weeks ago, and it's vague, like flashes of images in my head, but there was a woman, and pigeons. They seemed to not like me, but they didn't mind her. I remember thinking about something, how animals can hear higher frequencies than people, and I sang a note. A really high note, above the threshold. The birds all flew away. So, I wonder if maybe when I see birds around I can make them fly somewhere else and not drop… things on people around me."

Desiree laughs at that, giving Jane a silly smile. "Well, you work on that. I'd say 'poor pigeons', but, well, that'd be a right public service. You seen how many pigeons there are in this city?" she asks - rhetorically … maybe - with widened eyes. Waving her hand, she reaches for a bottle, wavering as to which one to take. "So how many of them envelopes you handed out anyway?"

Jane chuckles. "Dry cleaners, however, may hate me for reducing their business." A pause is taken, she has to think for a moment, add the numbers up. Cass, Ramon for Elena, Jack, Eliana, Desiree, Hailien's by computer. "Six, I think. The first one went to a girl just sixteen. She recently got herself caught on YouTube doing very unusual things, so letting her know to watch her back was priority one." She seems about to pick up a bottle herself, the wine bottle, but moves the hand away to let her guest have first choice.

Desiree slides the wine bottle toward Jane. She can do the honours. "Six…" She frowns a little, introspective, and pokes at the edge of the table. "People who can… see the future, an' read minds, 'n scare pigeons. Don't seem very related," she says, mostly to herself, since it's pretty much repetition by this point. "Thought I was goin' crazy."

The bottle is opened, the cork having already been loose, and two glasses poured. Guest gets hers first, then Jane's own glass from which she sips slowly. A murmur escapes, she perhaps thinking out loud. "So glad Peter told me I can still enjoy this and not relapse. He was right." Not realizing she might've been heard, the hostess continues in a conversational voice. "Get in line. You were there with me, at the beginning. It's a lot to wrap the head around and make sense of. I'm still there at that place sometimes. Things happened that occasionally make me not trust myself, but it all comes back to this being my life, and me ruling things that happen best I can."

Desiree seems to notice Jane's murmur, because she watches the younger woman closely as the wine is poured. She takes her glass, looking into it for a few moments before replying - but don't worry, she's not seeing any doom and gloom in her wine. …That was last week. "Friend of mine gave me some good advice once, and now I'm startin' to believe that things happen for a reason. So I'ma just go with it. Life's a stream," she says, taking a sip of wine. "…or… a creek or river, or… oh, hell. Whatever. It's like water."

"And we're in boats. Currents are strong," Jane opines, "they can carry us away, sometimes they do, but we've got oars to row and control the course." Her own glass is lifted and sipped from, then set down again. "I'm edgier than I was those weeks ago. That day you saw me, at the station, I'd been… sick a few days before that. Really went through the wringer."

"Yeah," Desiree agrees with the continued water analogy, swirling the wine about in her glass. "You're right we can control it. I know that for a fact." She bobs her head decisively. Hazel eyes settle with concern on Jane and she asks conversationally, "Oh yeah? You alright now, all better?"

"I am now," Jane replies with a quiet chuckle, "but the memory still sticks. Not the kind of experience to ever be forgotten. Three days. Three days in hell." Her eyes focus on a wall as she mulls over the reality of that memory against the words told to her about how she got there. It's a four or five second silence before she blinks it away and moves to another topic, to chase that time from her head. Her gaze falls on the piano for a moment, and she asks "Did you ever take lessons as a kid?"

"What was wrong with you?" Call her nosy, but she comes from a medical background. Dezi is jarred from her curiosity by looking over at the piano - she shakes her head with a slightly flustered smile. "Lessons? Nah. But my grandmother used to have a old grand piano."

The opportunity is taken, she lets the question go unanswered and focuses instead on the grand piano angle. "I first got the music bug from piano, parents wanted me to be well rounded, the proper society girl, so I made it through ballet lessons, ballroom dancing, debutante balls at sixteen, thinly veiled attempts to marry me off as breeding stock." Another sip is taken from her glass, after setting it down she rises and wanders over to the keys. Jane sits, focuses for a moment, then begins to play. Mozart, if one recognizes classical composers.

Dezi's eyes go a little wide as Jane mentions such things as debutante balls and ballroom dancing. Not her forte, apparently. "Sounds like my ex-in-laws," she murmurs before she slides out of the chair to stand near the piano and watch Jane play, sipping her wine as she does so. "You play nice," she comments. "Mozart?"

"That's right," she answers as her fingers dance over the keys, seemingly without effort. "I'm a rocker, but I've had training and practice in other genres too. It's interesting to me how classical has been merged with metal guitar in ways. Speed playing, virtuosity. Been experimenting lately in that area, starting to write my own stuff. Oh, and I'm a professional musician now. Found a steady paying gig, covers the rent and bills and then some." Music, it seems, has an effect on her. She can pour everything she feels into it, let out the demons that've come to find her.

"Well, good for you, Jane, that's nice," Desiree says, sincere in her congratulations. She casually watches Jane's fingers move, though it's not with wonder; she understands this art, perhaps. "Where you playin'?"

"Brooklyn," she answers, moving on to a Beethoven piece and thinking for a moment as she goes, perhaps to come up with something new of her own in that vein. "It's a dive bar, but it's so rock 'n' roll to play there. Starting rough, the whole thing, y'know? Three hundred per night, four nights per week, about four hours each."

"You call three hundred bucks a night /rough/?" Desiree's brows rise, appraising this state of mind before taking a drink of wine. She lifts her glass up a little. "Rock 'n' roll!"

"Well," she replies with a grin, "I am that good. It's more about the place and the people who go there. It's not MSG or Giants Stadium by any stretch." Jane's fingers keep moving over the keys, not missing a note or striking any of them in a foul way. "I'd toast, but well… Hands taken." Something else experimental follows, trying to turn Smoke On The Water into a piano tune off the top of her head. "We all came out to Montreux…"

"Y'are that good," Desiree agrees with a nod. While Jane continues to play, she peers around the room quickly and finds the edge of the recliner to sit on (thus negating the purpose of a /recliner/ but she doesn't always follow the rules). She's content to just listen to the music for awhile.

"Do you know the story?" she asks during one of the instrumental portions of the tune. "A good example of experiences being turned into musical works, this one." Jane's focused, keeping her fingers going as she operates the piano with some added flourishes like running the keys back and forth."

"Nah, never heard the story," Desiree answers idly between Jane's musical flourishes. "I like to imagine my own stories. Make up whole new meanings that're more interesting."

"They went to Switzerland to record the album it's on, and while there the place burned to the ground. It's on the shores of a lake, so smoke rolled across the water. What story would you put behind it, Desiree?" That one finishes, and another is started, this one originally written with a piano part. "I read the news today, oh boy… about a lucky man who made the grade. And though the news was rather sad, I had to laugh. I saw the photograph…"

"Oh, I dunno. It's pretty literal, y'know. I'd gotta make metaphors." Desiree idly picks at the ruffles on her skirt while she listens to Jane play the next song. "Beatles, you're pretty versatile. You still bein' all lawyer-y while bein' a musician at a rock'n'roll bar?"

"I use that here and there," she answers, "but not so much regularly. I'm not finding the need to get a steady office job, I just play when the mood strikes, look for musicians, and stay ready to help them not get cheated by contracts and the lure of more money than they've ever seen. It's a fairly common story, famous performers who don't hold the rights to their own legendary work, because of deals they made without advice and understanding. Not really planning on charging much in those cases, anyway." She trails off, musing over the word metaphor. "Like someone taking a metaphoric bullet for someone else. Do you write, Desiree?"

Desiree smiles and nods, not having the first clue about the world of recording artists and such, but is sincerely interested in what Jane has to say. When she's asked a question, her eyes widen. "Hmm? Me?" Obviously, since she's the only person in the room named Desiree, as far as anyone knows. "Oh, uhm, not really," she answers, self-conscious over the subject, it seems. "I wrote some songs before, that was like… a long time ago."

"I'd like to see them," the musician answers with a grin as her fingers play on, nearing the final piece of A Day In The Life. "Don't sell yourself short, Desi." All ten settle on separate keys and press down hard at the same time to recreate as closely as she can the resounding final note and make it linger in the air after she releases.

Desiree waits for the last note to play and fade away before replying, giving Jane a meek smile that's ill-suited to her face. "They're floatin' around in an empty house somewhere in Mississippi." She shrugs one shoulder while her hands clasp together over her knees. "Don't even 'member how they went." She makes a vague gesture with her elbow toward the piano. "Your neighbours don't mind?"

"I've not heard any complaints," she answers with a chuckle. "Maybe I just got lucky with thick walls." Or maybe her luck could soon change. "I don't play here that often, though, it's usually somewhere in the city, outdoors. Guitar's my favorite of three to play, really, so portable." Jane stands and walks back to her wine glass, settling into a seat and sipping from it. "Shame about your tunes."

Desiree chuckles, but on the subject of her tunes, she just shakes her head and waves a hand. "Mm, don't be. S'old news, come and gone." Still, there's a hint of dissappoint to her tone of voice; or, perhaps, nostalgia. While Jane only returns to her drink now, Dezi has been sipping hers the whole while, so her next sip drains the glass. She stands up to return it to the table. "I should be headin' out, I got some… phone calls to make."

Nodding, Jane stands to walk toward the door. "Yeah," she replies in a muted sigh. "Keep your eyes open, Desi, and watch your back, okay?" There's a touch of that worry from before, and the touch of friendship. "Good night."

Desiree hesitates a moment, staring at the manila envelope on the table before drawing it toward herself and taking it with her to the door. She very nearly let it stay there, but the contact numbers… "Thanks, Jane. You take care," she says as she steps out, offering a smile and wave over her shoulder. "Don't scare too many pigeons."

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