2009-09-23: Hardly Working



Date: September 23, 2009


A Senator finds it somewhat difficult to focus on what he should be doing, as he's surrounded by who he should be doing.

"Hardly Working"

Washington D.C.

Senator I. Wynn's Office

Long Day. Perhaps a longer day than usual, considering the fact that there's Terrorists that need to be dealt with on a regular basis. Senator Wynn's huge office is empty… until he gets himself through the door. He put in a call to Bert to meet him here, so that he can get the report for the night. He's tossing his briefcase to the side as he enters, moving immediately towards the huge chair that sits behind his desk, so that he can get himself nice and comfortable. There's a sigh that escapes from his lips as he sinks into the expensive cushion. A moment to relax. But probably only a moment.

There's a swish of paper next to the door Ivory opened; a rustle and creak of metal.

Wasn't the office empty?

"Evening, Senator." Maybe not. The voice of Tracy Strauss rings into the spacious office as she stands up from beside the filing cabinet next to the door that Ivory swung open moments earlier. She nudges the door out of the way and saunters for Ivory's desk. Wearing the same trim, classic and vivid blue suit jacket and skirt she wore earlier, she obviously hasn't left Capitol Hill all day. "I was just putting away one of the files you gave me at the briefing this afternoon. How did she even get in— not important. "Hope you don't mind."

Bert's not the most politically minded individual. She does however read the paper on occasion and check the news. She knows of the terrorist threat, but most of the details she's privy to? It all comes from the news. Her security clearance is enough to do her job, and with any good government drone, she knows what's necessary to get things done. (That, and Senator Wynn is the most amazing man to ever set foot in the nation's capitol. ANYTHING for him.) It's this odd devotion that has her dropping what she's doing, and marching to the senator's office. Armed with the necessary paperwork he may want to see, she arrives not too long after Ivory's call.

A beam of pure adoration upon Roberta's face, and she's knocking upon Ivory's door before entering. "You wanted me to meet you here, sir?" The grin does falter, and she gives Tracy a look of venom that says, 'What is /she/ doing here??'

Ivory's in the middle of bringing his hands up to place behind his head, but that comes to a halt when Tracy's form is spotted by the eyes of Senator Wynn. Immediately, his face switches to confused suspicion, but the expression fades into a much calmer version a split-second later. "Mind? Why would I mind? Granted, you don't have a key. That both scares and intrigues me. Resourceful is a good quality." The wink is given to Tracy before Ivory's head tilts to look over at the entering Roberta. "Hey Bert." He may or may not sound like Ernie at that point, but he's smiling that Colgate smile regardless. "Thanks for coming over so fast. I just wanted to see what you guys are working on over in R&D."

"I'm nothing if not resourceful." A languidly resourceful smile spreads across the woman's lips. Before she can explain herself — if, in fact, she had any intention of doing so — there's that knock and the bubbly little voice that follows. Bert earns Tracy's attention insofar as she casts a cool over her shoulder, looks the woman up and down with calm criticism, and turns to Ivory for explanation. She gets it. Indirectly. R&D… "Research and Development? For what?" Tracy takes a bold step toward the other woman, holding out a hand. "Tracy Strauss. I'm the Senator's new advisor." She glances back at Ivory. "At least on a provisional basis." That's what she thinks.

Bert hugs the file folders to herself, trying to not look like a swooning fangirl as Ivory addresses her. However, the bit of breathlessness in her voice gives it away, "Here are today's updates in hard copy sir. I broke down a lot of the terminology for you." The man's a genius, but it never hurts to have layman's terms, right? She walks /right past/ Tracy, ignoring the outstretched hand and introduction, eyes fixed on Ivory. "We're ready for practical application testing. In fact, I can start on that tomorrow morning if you want me to. We've progressed to more sophisticated electronics devices."

"You're a doll, Bert. You know that?" Ivory mentions with a bit of a smirk. He reaches out to take the folders and slides them into a pile on his desk. There's then a finger pointed at Tracy and then at the folders. "I need you to look these over. Make sure they're all good and hook me up with a quick version in the morning? I don't have time to skim 'em, myself. Got Bill O'Reilly tonight." Ivory looks back to Bert, still smiling as much as possible. He's a very smiley person. Comes with being a politician probably. "I would love to see what you're working on, tomorrow, Bert. But… I'm afraid I've got a full day. Is there any way you can work on it tonight and maybe shoot me a link to the video?" Oh, the cutest way to ask her to work unpaid overtime… EVER.

The look Tracy gives to the empty space Bert just left is nothing short of stunned — and offended. Where are this girl's manners? All for the Senator, apparently. "Okay then," she says bitingly under her breath before snatching her hand back from thin air. She gives the back of Bert's head an unimpressed stare until she's alongside her in front of Ivory. Electronics? You can bet Tracy is storing that information away for later questioning. "That's…" she reaches out to take at least one of the folders off Ivory's desk, contradictory to what she actually says. "…not really my job." She flips one folder open to skim it already. So sue her; she's dying to know what the hell they're about. "Don't you have an assistant?"

"It's all for you, Senator," Bert says, pretty much gushing at the praise. The folders are relinquished easily, and she stands at the edge of his desk. "O'Reilly? I'll be watching and wishing you good luck. He's bound to throw some hard questions your way." When Tracy speaks up, she looks towards the other woman, again, with an expression of jealousy.. as well as one of, when did you get here? "Does /she/ have clearance for this project? I apologize about questioning you sir, it's just, I was told this was highly sensitive information. As for the video, I'll send you a link tomorrow of what we can broadcast, even on a secure server." Oh, she does look disappointed that he can't be there in person.. however.. "If you have time after O'Reilly, I can give you a sneak peek in person.."

"You don't mind waiting up for me?" Ivory asks, looking at Bert with such cute surprise. So adorable this man. So so adorable. But he's juggling conversations, so he's looking back at Tracy. "I do. She's indisposed this week. Family problems." Ivory gives Tracy a pleading look of her own. "Please? For me? I just need you to do it this one time. I'll be you best friennnnd?" Which may not be too good for Bert to hear, but he's playing this whole cute thing up, while he's at it. "She's clear, Bert. Don't you worry about a thing. Ol' Tracy here is as good as they get."

Tracy's eyeing Ivory with just as much question as Bert. Does she have clearance to read this? Cute pleading isn't exactly an excellent tactic to get this political advisor to concede; she raises her eyebrows incredulously at Ivory, holding back what would be bound to be a sarcastic reply. Riiight, Senator. Whatever you say. "I do need to get up to speed. I'll look them over tonight." …Right, Senator, whatever you say. "But right now, you have to get ready for this interview."

"Of course not sir! It's not late for me at all, not with the hours I've been putting in." Bert is also used to working multiple jobs and many hours a day, on top of college. This is nothing to her! When Ivory turns to Tracy, and starts laying it on thick for her. Well. This just will not do! Despite the highly inappropriateness of this, she strides right up to Ivory, and starts to unnecessarily straighten his tie, and delivers a murmur of some promise or other in his ear. The young woman has absolutely no defense against his power and magnetism.

Ivory doesn't mind that he's suddenly being Berted. Not at all. He even spins his chair a little bit, tilting his head at the whisper that comes into his ear. Lips quirk into a bit of a smirk at that and then he's realizing that Tracy is still in the room. "Right. The interview." He forces a fake cough, before kind of slightly shoving at Bert to get her back on the other side of his huge desk. "Um. Did Bill's people send over the question list? I don't want too many surprises." He looks back to Bert at this point and gives her a bit of a wink. That doesn't include -her- surprises.

Oh really, is that how Ivory's office works? Ms. Strauss can't help the glares that she directs at the R&D lady: first disbelieving, followed by downright hostile. She tosses the folder onto the desk with the rest of the pile and folds her arms. Brows lift 'til her forehead furrows. "You haven't looked at it yet?" Unbelievable! She rolls her eyes, but smiles. It's not a real problem — not for Tracy, and not for a smooth-talker like Ivory. "I've been through a hundred of these things behind the scenes. They'll twist your words on you if you're not careful. I'd like to go over the main points with you." The woman steps around Ivory's desk to stand beside him and promptly gives Bert a skillfully polite smile. "If you'll excuse us…"

"I'll be waiting for you after the interview then," Bert says coyly, before moving as bidden back to the other side of the desk. "I'll have a prototype ready for your personal inspection, Senator." Her brows lift in a rather catty manner at Tracy, "You're not in charge here, Miss Strauss. I'll leave, only if Senator Wynn no longer needs me." The verbal claws are coming out.

Ivory looks a bit confused at what's happening right here. First the folder gets thrown down. Then there's the smiling. Then there's the verbal claws. And Ivory's just trying to see what's happening in the next five minutes. Too bad he can't see the future. "Go get started, doll. I'll be sure to head your way the moment I'm done with Bill." This is tossed with a smile towards Bert, before he brings his gaze back around to Tracy. Where he's probably going to need to focus for a while. "Alright. I'm all yours. But, please. Be gentle. It's been a while since I've been gone over."

Tracy keeps on smiling, not moving an inch of her perfectly poised stance save to tense her folded arms. So what if her smile turns a little patronizing. It remains neatly in place on her red lips while she slinks a hand in her purse-slash-attache to retrieve a stapled printout. "The hard-hitting questions are whats you need to focus on." She moves right along after Ivory's joke (?), consummate professional. Unlike Bert. Who she eyes. Tracy's not going into detail until she's alone with her new boss. "With all you've been up to lately, that means all of them are hard-hitting."

That may have been a blown kiss at Bert, but who really knows with Ivory. After all, people tend to see what they want to see when they're looking at Ivory. It's weird. Anyway, Ivory looks back over to Tracy, after wiggling his fingers at Bert. "Hard hitting. Got it." Ivory may just be going through the motions with his new advisor, considering that he's pretty well-spoken himself. But whatever the case may be, he's always down for a few more tips to add to his utility belt of verbal warfare. "And if he tries to strip away my charming facade? What do I do, then?"

"You tell the truth." Tracy plants the prep list of questions down in front of Ivory, leaning on his desk as she does so. She stays poised there while her tone gets even more down to business. "At least, as much as you can without giving away state secrets. These questions are the very same ones the American public are asking, and you can't keep them in the dark. And if I am going to keep working for you? I can't be kept in the dark either. I can't give you advice on questions I don't know the answers to." The advisor lifts up the paper, brandishing it at the Senator.

Ivory's hands come up to protect himself from the questioning paper. He, after all, doesn't need something like a papercut messing up his flawless features. But he's wearing a smile this entire time, almost as if he's enjoying this advising that's going on. "Would you relax, Tracy?" Ivory reaches out to snatch the paper and waves it playfully back at her. "I'll have Billy Boy eating out of my hand three questions in. It's what I do." He peeks down at the paper at this point, skimming the questions. "I'll make sure you know what I know. Not to worry."

Relaxed? Tracy is just trying to do her job, a job she only knows how to do one way: well. "Maybe so, but the viewers are gonna have doubts if you avoid the meaty questions here, and doubt? Doubt breeds distrust. Like— here." A manicured fingernail points at the page in Ivory's hands. "'What is the nature of the threat the supposed terrorists present? Are they Americans? What sort of action is the program authorized by the President aiming to take?' These are simple questions."

"Hostile. They come from all walks of life, but Americans are included. We have clearance to use whatever actions are necessary to protect our country." Ivory is Radio Shack, because there goes the answers. Ivory even has the nerve to plaster a smug expression on his features, in accordance with his great speed in answering questions. He feels like he's got this in the bag. "I've got this. So let's talk something else. Let's talk… expense account. Was it to your liking?"

"It was too generous," Tracy says — a demure answer, but a grateful smile (impressed, at the very least). All the same: "And I'm not spending a cent until I know that I'm where I belong." Speaking of, she turns round to lean comfortably against the corner of Ivory's desk without realizing it. "Don't think you're getting off so easily. See, you answered without answering. Politics 101, but you're gonna have to try harder down the road. These questions aren't going to stop. It's a good thing the already public likes you. You're already landing even more favourably in every major media outlet in the country after yesterday's address."

"And you? Do you like me?" Ivory sounds like a little kid with that question. Which may be hard to answer, considering that he's employed her, just now. Well, he employed her last night. But the details of this hiring process can be considered still in process. He just keeps a smile on his face, as he moves the paper back to the desk where it belongs. He's not too worried about this interview. It isn't the first time he went head to head with O'Reilly. There was that issue three years ago with the Cubans…. nevermind.

The question throws Tracy, but only for a second — which is exactly how long her surprise shows. Her expression is swiftly back to its usual cool confidence, though a pursed smile comes to her lips, joined by a barely there little laugh. "I wouldn't have agreed to this if I hated you. I think you're destined for big things, and you've made some bold moves in your career. You're…" She studies the Senator's face; really studies it, staring, again, like the night before. "Interesting."

"Interesting? That's it?" Ivory kind of frowns at this point. Something is muttered about should've added another couple grand. But that's about the gist of it. He doesn't really push the matter. He nods and moves back to picking up the paper and skimming the questions. "Do me a favor? Can you run and see if we're ready to move? I need to get this interview over with. I've got too much left to do tonight." Like Bert.

"You say interesting like it's a bad thing." Where Ivory frowns, Tracy smiles, almost as though she knows something the Senator doesn't — at the same time, reassuring. She stands up straighter, smoothing down her skirt after her prior lean on the desk. "Sure. I'll be back in a few to make sure you get there prepared." Already whisking her phone out, she briskly begins the walk to the door.

"Sounds professional." Ivory mentions, though he tries to keep his tone from sounding too disappointed. He's really got to find a way to charm his way past all this icey demeanor. But for now, he has to prep for this interview. And thus his eyes are focused on the paper in front of him. Crunch Time.

Ms. Strauss gives momentary pause when she reaches the door, half open, touching the edge of it, the multi-tasking phone in her other hand ready to go. She glances back in curiously, blue eyes narrowing before her smooth expression turns … content. Pleased. Only then does she waltz out, leaving Ivory alone with his Crunch Time.

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