2008-03-06: Do I Have to Wear a Dress?

Starring:

Jane_icon.gif Jamie_icon.gif McAlister_icon.gif

Summary: Ali takes Jamie to see Jane to discuss freeing her father.

Date It Happened: March 6th, 2008

Do I Have to Wear a Dress?


Jane's Apartment

The knock that comes at the door is likely not wholly unexpected - and the voice that comes /through/ it is familiar enough. "You'll like her, kiddo. She's a really neat lady - smart. She plays great music, too, mostly. And if anybody can help? It's her, I promise."

Jamie grins and nods a little to Ali, standing with her. "Yeah, hope so." She looks to the door and waits, rocking a little on the balls of her feet as she waits.

The door opens a short time later, revealing a brunette of five feet and eight inches. Hair tumbles loose around shoulders and to the middle of her back. "Ali," Jane greets, "please, come in. Both of you." She makes room for that to happen, flashing a smile at the girl, then lifting her eyes to Ali.

"Hey- " Ali leads with a hug, as she does - laughing then. "I haven't seen you nearly enough, Jane - this is Jamie." SHe steps back. "The one I was tellin' you about? Jamie - This is Jane." Introductions out of the way - she asks, "Tell me you have a glass of water I can steal?"

Jamie steps in with Ali, and smiles up to Jane as she's introduced, giving a little wave. "Hi." She then looks around, taking in the apartment with obvious curiosity.

The hug is returned with warmth, then stepped back from, and her eyes lower to settle on the child moving past her for a moment. "Good to meet you, Jamie." And Ali's answer follows. "I do. Cola too." She has beer and wine, but those won't be spoken of. Child present. Feet move toward and into the kitchen after she closes and locks the door. "I've got someone looking over Cat," she adds in a quieted voice. "A really good nurse I dug up."

Then she speaks up so Jamie can hear also while she explores. "Did you want something to drink too, Jamie"

"Good - how's she doin'? What with everything, I haven't exactly been a good friend to either of you, lately." Ali moves after Jane, admittedly fretting. "I'm glad you're gettin' a break, at least. I know it's got to be rough."

Jamie nods quickly, "Yes please! Got any chocolate milk?" She sounds hopeful at this last, as she makes her way towards the kitchen after the adults.

"She's coming along," Jane relates, as she opens the refrigerator and pulls out a carton of the desired liquid. Then she gets a glass from a cabinet and fills it; this is handed to the girl and another is extracted for Ali's water. Cat won't be dwelt on, what's up with her not being a topic to discuss in front of children, the non-evolved, or in Jamie's case both. As far as she knows, anyway.

Ali picks a chair in that kitchen to settle in - "Good. I gotta get by, soon - " The DJ pulls up her legs, sitting indian-style, abruptly grinning between the girl and the musician. "You really think you can help her pops, Jane? I mean - she's /not/ dead." It's a prompt, of sorts.

Jamie climbs onto one of Jane's counters, unless stopped, obviously an attempt to get some height closer to that of the adults. "Yeah, can you? Please? Without then makin' me stay with strangers?'"

"It shouldn't be hard," Jane answers, shifting a bit into lawyer mode. "We have to present you, Jamie, in whatever court he was convicted at and establish you as not dead. An easy thing, DNA can be tested from hair, and compared both with his genetic code to prove fatherhood. Now, for the time is takes to get the case settled and the conviction set aside, you've people willing to step up and be approved by the court as temporary guardian for you."

There's no objection or attempt to stop counter-sitting.

"Yeah. I am." Ali confirms that, flashing Jamie a bright smile. "And Erin doesn't mind - so, it works out, right? What do I have to do to look.. you know.. presentable for the judge and all? I mean - there's that other stuff I was in the middle of last year.."

Jamie asks, "What about the part with my mom? Didn't really understand everything, but didn't they think he did that too? But I heard the ones who did it, know it wasn't him." Then she smiles at the explanation and says, "Sounds easy! How long's it gonna take?"

She doesn't speak about Ali's criminal record, or lack thereof. Jane's reply is simply "I don't believe there'll be troubles. You're both gainfully employed, and can provide a decent home. Dressing up for court is a really good idea. I'd recommend a suit, like one I use when I play lawyer."

And focus goes to Jamie. "Tell me the story again, please."

"I.. I'll see what I can do." Ali clears her throat, and nods - encouraging, to Jame. "S'okay. You know that."

Jamie asks, about dressing up, "Do I gotta wear a dress?" This is asked as if wearing a dress is the worst thing in the world. Then she bites her lip at the question and says, "Ok. Um… I was changing with my mom between acts, when some guys came to rob us. Mom heard them coming so she put me in a trunk. They came and weren't gonna hurt her 'til they tried to take the trunk I was in. They…. they shot her when she tried to stop 'em."

She remembers the feeling, the dresses Mother put her in, the society upbringing, the debutante ball, all of that. Jane's features curve into a bit of a smile at the girl's question, but she doesn't answer it, yet. Some bridges are only crossed when they have to be. "But… you were in a trunk, Jamie," she states in a soothing voice, one used when speaking with a child about traumatic things and not wanting to upset her. "How did you see what happened?"

The DJ watches the two, but doesn't really interject - this is not her story. Instead, a sip of water, an encouraging smile to the girl.. and she listens. Intently. Worried, perhaps.

Jamie bites her lip at the question and looks at the floor a moment, closing her eyes as if remembering. "I didn't see. Not the whole time. But I heard it all. Heard them all talking. My dad wasn't one of 'em. He wouldn't have to steal from himself, anyway."

"We can work with that too," Jane assures after listening. "You're alive, and can give an account of things that wasn't available before. It should sway the DA's office to speaking with that judge and asking for the conviction to be thrown out." Her eyes linger on the girl for a few moments more, compassion and sympathy in them.

Then she looks up at Ali. "DAs don't like bad publicity, I doubt they'd want the press for retrying a man over the murder of someone who isn't dead. That probably solves the CPS angle too."

"Okay. So what happens next, then?" Ali takes a breath. "I mean - do we hit the DA up for something, or are we lookin' at going to court.. I promised Jamie if I could we'd take her to see her pop, too. Can we do that?"

Jamie relaxes again as she look sup to Jane, "Really? That sounds quick. Think he'd be right out?" She sounds hopeful. Then she nods quickly to Ali's question and says, "Wanna see him soon."

"I'll get out the lawyer suit and go visit the DA Monday morning," Jane replies. "Then we'll see about a visit to the prison. I'll have to find out what their policies are on visitation," she adds. "Which one is he in?" And she nods. "It could be, if the DA and judge are reasonable. No reason for them not to be. If there are any issues about child endangerment, well, he is serving time. That's something to work with, as is the possibility of a lawsuit over the whole affair. Credibility is on our side, not theirs, given they've locked a man up for a murder of someone who isn't dead." She isn't making any promises, given the need to work with other people and bureaucrats at that. Weird things happen sometimes.

"I - county, I thought. But to be honest, I dunno yet. You just.. tell us what to do and we'll do it. Right, kiddo?" Ali glances to Jamie and smiles, fondly - "See? I told you Jane was pretty awesome."

Jamie blinks at the question of which prison, and asks, "There's more'n one around here?" Then she nods quickly to what Ali says, smiling again, "Yeah!" She looks back to Jane and says, "Thanks."

"He hasn't been tried and convicted yet?" Jane asks, catching the mention of jail rather than prison.

"Yeah? Like a few months ago." Ali tilts her head. "I mean, he's still in as far as I know, unless there was some kind of breakout or something. Unless you know something we don't?"

Jamie shakes his head to Ali and says, "Last year, I think. Papers said it happened after a few months, and I was gone two whole years. I was eight when it happened."

"It's just the thing of him still being in jail, instead of prison, after a murder conviction," Jane answers.

Ali looks blankly at the lawyer. "Huh? What's the difference?" A shrug - "I guess he's wherever felons end up, right?" She reaches up to run a hand through her hair, with a grin.

Jamie looks just as lost as Ali at Jane's words, and then nods quickly, "Thought they were the same thing." She hops down to the floor from the counter finally again. Then she asks her earlier question again, "Do I gotta get a dress?"

"Jails are run by cities and counties, they put people in them while they await trial in most cases, and in some few after conviction for misdemeanors. Prisons are run by the state, people convicted of big felonies go there. Murder, robbery, etc." Jane makes a mental note about finding out where he's being held, then moves on.

"You really hate dresses, don't you, Jamie?" She understands. "Me too, mostly. I'm kind of a rocker chick most of the time. Jeans, boots, sneakers, band t-shirts. But sometimes we just have to do things we don't like, y'know? I mean, if I showed up to see a judge and the DA dressed like normal, what do you think would happen?"

Ali ahs, but sips at her water - and abruptly pulls her purse into her lap, thoughtful.

Jamie nods quickly to the first question, "Uh-huh. Looks silly doing handstands and flips in a dress, and it really screws up balance." Then she bites her lip at the next question and gives a little shrug, "I dunno."

"They wouldn't take me seriously, that's what would happen. So I wear suits with skirts, or really nice pants, for things like this. You don't have to wear a dress, but you do have to dress up, and well," Jane's features show sympathy again, "you kinda need to take it easy when you go to court, okay? No flips or handstands. It'll make you look less nice."

"Heh. I dunno - aren't judges all big fans of the circus, really? I mean - they deal with DA's - you'd think they'd be used to clown parades, really." Ali has /opinions/, apparently.

Jamie nods quickly and says, "I wouldn't do it in court, but there's the time 'fore and after." She looks up to Ali again and blinks, totally lost on the joke.

A chuckle escapes, Jane's eyes flash with amusement as they move to Ali's face. "Before too, Jamie," the musical attorney answers gently. "After you get dressed nice, you don't want to mess up your hair or get dirty. After you get back from court and can change, then you're free."

"We'll get you something decent, kiddo - promise." The DJ grins. "So… okay. We need to get her a dress, and .. I guess I need to dust mine off. What else we need to do?"

Jamie ohs, and then nods a bit, "Guess a dress is ok, then." She looks up to Ali again and then back to Jane at that question, listening curiously still.

"The waiting game," Jane answers, "while I start with the lawyerness. I'll have to get in contact with the DA's office and get the ball rolling, set up the meeting, and see what happens from there." And there's a curiosity she has, one she tries to address without the girl seeing her do so. One hand gestures at herself, then at Ali, and finally Jamie as if to ask 'is she like us?'.

Ali gives her an artfully blank expression - then dissolves into helpless laughter, grinning, abruptly, over at Jamie. "Ask her, Jane. Don't ask me." She pauses, then adds - "Kiddo - you can trust Jane with anything. I do."

Jamie nods quickly and smiles again, "Thanks!" Then she blinks, totally unable to follow the silent question, looking up to Ali and smiles at her words, "Ok." Not knowing what's going on still, she looks up to Jane, "Whatcha wanna ask me?"

"Okay." That part wasn't expected. "There are people in the world who can do things that aren't at all usual. I've seen people fly, heal injuries, walk through walls, turn invisible, teleport. All kinds of things. And…" Jane trails off, to find the right words for a ten year old. "It's like we're drawn to each other, y'know? We can't really explain it, it just happens. So my friend Ali comes across you, and brings you to me, so, I gotta wonder here. Are you like us?"

Ali just grins, widely - being absolutely no help. She finishes off her water, even stands and crosses to the sink, refilling the glass - whistling. Tunefully.

Jamie listens to the explanation and then grinning, and she doesn't answer… though, she makes it obvious soon enough when her body suddenly turns to water, falling and splashing to the kitchen floor and then reforming into a puddle. Her clothes stay, and now lie in the puddle.

Jane says, "\An eyebrow raises as she watches Jamie transform and depart her clothing, to puddle on the floor. Jane leans forward to watch the fluid. She doesn't appear at all shocked or stricken by it, no, the musical attorney is just intrigued. Her voice is heard. "I at first hadn't thought things kick in until the teen years, really, going along with all the other changes, but I've met others this young and heard of still more," she shares with Ali. Then a smile forms.

She speaks in a normal voice. "Maybe we can play a little game with this, Jamie. If you want. If you can hear me talking, how about you make the word yes?""

"Hey, all I know is - since I've been payin' attention? Not a single date. So you tell /me/ how soon it shows up, you know?" Ali rolls her eyes - and turns to lean against the counter, watching. "I don't think there's any real rhyme or reason to it - not that way, anyway."

The puddle that is Jamie gives a ripple at Jane's request. She flows away from her clothes and starts trying to form the shapes. After a minute or so she finds the right ones, though they're kind of blobby and crooked, and have a line of water connecting the letters.

"Wow," Jane breathes out. "Impressive. Thank you, Jamie," she offers, still in that normal voice. She leaves it to the girl as to whether she takes girl shape again, not that she could do otherwise; Jamie would slither away and catching her would be at the least very tricky. "Thanks too for letting me see. Me, well, my thing is all about the voice."

Then she glances over at Ali. "I don't believe that. I've seen you with a guy, you know."

"Once in four months doesn't count." Ali quirks a brow, "And don't /you/ start." She sets the glass on the counter. "It's bad enough when Erin does it."

Jamie flows back over her clothes, and then starts retaking human shape. This is slower, it takes a few moments to take the right form before turning, let alone lifting her clothes into position with water pressure. When she's changed back, she still remains barefoot, and has to sit down on the floor to put shoes and socks back on. "That's parta why I don't like dresses too, never practiced putting them on as I change back."

"Guys are overrated anyway," Jane murmurs. "Say they love you, then go for the empty-headed gum twins." Moments later her voice is back to normal tones. "I get that," she tells Jamie. "I didn't do anything like that, but I hated the dresses Mother put me in. Like I was some display piece. Do you ever change when you don't want to?"

This is the crucial question, the reason for asking in the first place. Given the way powered people find each other, and the need to take this one to court, a potentially stressful situation, she needed to find out if there could be any… surprises.

"uh-huh." Ali moves back across to snag her bag, there, on the counter, leaning over to smile at Jamie - "You can always practice, you know - nobody in the apartment's going to mind."

Jamie smiles again to Ali and says, "'k. Once you get me a dress, I'll practice. But, it's gonna get really really wet while I do." She looks up to Jane again and nods quickly, "Sometimes. Not very much. But happened in school the other day."

She nods slowly. "When we go to court, and when you see your father again, it'll be emotional. Things like what we do, they're our special secrets. We really shouldn't let it be known too widely, y'know? Can you concentrate, so you don't change there?"

Ali asides - "Jane? I promised a trip to a store up the road.." THere's a bright smile with that, and a pointed addition.. "I gotta get moving if we're gonna have time to do shopping before I go back to work." Just a point, nothing more.

Jamie nods quickly and says, "Long as nobody shoots off any guns. Always change when I hear guns. Only time it happens by accidents, usually. At school, one of the boys made a loud gun sound right behind me with his Nintendo." She looks up to Ali and grins, quickly stepping to stand by her, and then looks back up to Jane, "I'll be ok, promise."

Her attention is given to Ali when she asides, and the reply is a nod. "Sure. See you soon, Ali." Arms open to hug the adult blonde. Then Jane turns back to the girl. "So…" she starts, "do you like music? I've got lots of instruments, I can teach you some basics…"

Ali returns that hug, and, laughing, heads for the door - "… see, that's a good idea - but no drums, or Erin will /kill me/. Dead. Seriously dead."

Jamie nods quickly to Jane and smiles, "Uh-huh! I love music. That'll be fun! When can we start?" Now, of course, isn't an option as, (she assumes, since it was promised before), toy store awaits. So she waves with a smile and hurries after Ali, though lagging enough so Jane can answer. Once she starts to go, she adds back to Jane, "Bye!"

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