2008-01-01: Hot Liquid Candy White Hot Rage

Starring:

Bekah_icon.gif Ian_icon.gif Joule_icon.gif

Summary: Joule goes for coffee and air, but gets confirmation of a dark suspicion about her relationship with Lee.

Date It Happened: January 1, 2008

Hot Liquid Candy, White Hot Rage


A Starbucks, Somewhere Downtown in Manhattan

Joule is sitting by the window, people-watching. Sketching idly. There's a mug of something that once was hot sitting on the table before her. She watches the grey city move sleepily through the evening hours of the new year's first day, with that reticence that indicates dread knowledge of the return to mundanity beginning with daybreak.

Ian glows. Not literally - he's mastered that bit. But there's that certain manic energy to him. Like he's certain and sure all the world is his oyster. And well, he's a nineteen year old kid, with no more serious problem to consider than not inadvertantly killing people through sheer shock, and how best to win the approval of his ladylove. So, he shines, as he enters, grinning to himself. He's dressed rather gothily - black fatigue pants, black hoodie, black Jack Skellington watchcap, black boots. But is in no wise brooding or byronic.

And he's an interesting subject. Broody, byronic clothes, but good god, if he doesn't belong in a Gap ad with that face, or a Disney musical with that smile. "Well," she says, sardonically, "Looks as if somebody's having a happy new year, then, dunnit?"

He really does make it look as if the baristas behind him should suddenly break into a musical number. "I am Californian. We're, like, the chosen people of god. Only, with less persecution and fewer rules," he explains, turning an innocent look on her.

Joule raises an eyebrow at Ian. "Is that it?" She actually smiles back at him; the dour expression fading into the background of her features. "You carry the sun in your heart, wherever you go? You're on the beach in your backbrain?" She gestures to her heart, then her head, setting her bracelets jangling. "Does it keep you warm in New York?"

"That's a lot of it. I've had a really easy life, so I've never b een as cynical as I should be. And I came too late to New York to succumb entirely," he insists. ANd he's apparently in earnest, of all things.

"Like the song, then," Joule asks. "'Live in California but leave before it makes you soft'. 'Live in New York, but leave before it makes you hard' — isn't that how it goes?" She takes a sip of whatever she was drinking and makes a face. "Pfaugh. Cold. Just as well. Americans can't make a proper cup of tea anyway…and I was warned not to order tea in here anyway."

Ian nods, expression owlish. "Why even try?" he says. "Try the coffee, it's not bad, honest. Especially this time of year, what with all the crazy peppermint concoctions they come up with."

"Crazy peppermint?" Joule repeats, dubious. But she shrugs. "All right, then. Surprise me." She plucks her wallet from a pocket, opens it, and hands Ian a ten spot. "And get yourself something for the trouble, hmm?"

Ian stares at her, as if it were a trick. But sheer good nature and a vestigial sense of honor keeps him from bolting with the money. She gets a short white peppermint mocha for her troubles. He gets an esspresso truffle.

"What?" Joule demands, as Ian stares at her. "Is it that odd to have a perfect stranger ask you to buy a coffee, and one for yourself?" She accepts the short white peppermint mocha, and has a tentative sip. She opens the lid and peers into it, as if expecting to see Starlight Mints twirling around on top. "Bloody hell, this isn't coffee. It's hot, liquid candy!"

Ian's whole face lights up, again. "I know!" he says, leaning in conspiratorially. "It's great."

She takes another sip, and has to grudgingly agree. "It really is brilliant," she admits. "Good call. I may have to get some of this to take home. Thank you." She extends him her right hand, warmed by the coffe. "Joule Dahanukar. And you've done your first good deed of the year, bringing me a hot, liquid candy coffee thing."

"A strange kinna mitzvah, but I guess it works," he says, shaking her hand enthusiastically, even as he tugs off his watchcap with his other hand. "Ian Jackson."

"Anything's a mitzvah, if I get the meaning right," Joule says quietly. "Good on you. Bring it with you. I try to do at least one thing nice on New Year's. Kind of sets the tone, don'cha think?" She has another sip. "Mmm."

Ian considers that, cocking his head at her like a curious parakeet. "I….hadn't considered that, in all honesty. But you're utterly right."

"Something my dad did when he was still with us," Joule tells Ian. "My father was literally a mad scientist, but he had his good points. And New York? This city needs all the help it can get, from the bad press."
That has him peering at her. "Wait, what? You mean, like, with the collared labcoat and the goggles and the Jacob's ladders and the cackling? Where do you even go to school to get that degree? MIT?" He's only half way teasing.

"He went to school in London somewhere," Joule tells Ian, though she has to stop and consider his question. "Where? If he told me, hell if I remember. But yeah, the high labcoat, the goggles, the Tesla lightning ball thing. He only cackled for the kids on Halloween, though…" She roots through her wallet and finds a picture. It's her, probably age seven. With a kindly Indian man who is wearing spectacles and has black Einstein hair with Bride of Frankenstein stripes starting at his temples. "There. That's Dad."

"You weren't kidding," Ian breathes, as he looks. He sounds almost reverent. "He looks like Professor Membrane from Invader Zim. That's cool."

Joule laughs. "The Jhonen Vasquez thing?" She was a rebellious teen. "I doubt he'd know who you meant, but he'd take it as a compliment." She takes the photo back. "So — what does one do in New York, aside from try not to get pickpocketed by that mad crowd in Times Square on the night before?"

Ian nods, eagerly. "The cartoon. IT was pretty funny. EVerything. Anything. You name it, it's here to be done," Ian says, spreading his hands like the whole city is a circus and he's the impresario.

"Do tell. My daft hipster fuckbuddy," Joule says with casual frankness, "Seems only capable of taking me to artsy subtitled movies and bizarre live band shows where you can't bloody sit down and they play for three hours on Sestinas, pan flutes, and didgeridoos."

There's so much humor in that one statement, matroskhaed in there, that Ian is left speechless at first. And then politely turns away so he doesn't spew espresso on her, or anyone else, but an obliging wall. It takes him a good long time to regain the power of speech. "I can play the dij. I will never subject you to it. And I like subtitled movies, but….like I said. What you think of, it can be done. With varying degrees of legality and expense."

Joule was being earnest, but she's pleased that Ian found it amusing just the same; she's also relieved he didn't spew coffee on her. "I don't mind the didge, per se," she assures him. "I'm a percussionist myself. But a girl just likes the occasional bit of variety. Or, y'know, normality." She has a sip of her peppermintymochathingiedoobobber. "I've been in this city just over a year. Still haven't rode the Circle Line. Or seen the Statue of Liberty. I mean, yes, of course, I could go all on my own, but isn't the point to go with someone?"

"Hell, let's you and I go. I mean, yeah, I'm totally a crazy stranger, but…I'm not from here, either. So it'd be new to me, too," Ian suggests. What has he got to lose?

"That's okay," Joule assures Ian. "Some of my best friends are crazy and strange," she quips. "I'd love to. Probably a bit late to do it just now, though. So, when?"

Ian bites his lip, shifting his weight from foot to foot as he ponders. "Sunday? STuff is open then, and I don't have class," he suggests, finally.

Joule considers, then checks her cellphone. "Sunday'd work," she agrees. "And I can get some killer pictures from up there. The skyline will be brilliant from on the Empire State. And I can see the spot where …" she blushes, faintly, with the admission, "Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan get their happy ending." This daughter of a mad scientist apparently has the guilty pleasure of liking Sleepless in Seattle.

Bekah makes her way in dressed in scrubs under a parka. That lovely disinfectant smell that hospitals have lingers around her. The woman makes her way up to the counter covering a yawn as she orders a large coffee, grabbing an egg salad sandwich to go with it.

Joule gets nothing but a sheepish grin. "I had an ex girlfriend who loved that movie. And admittedly, it was less painful than most chick flicks," he says, shifting his espresso from hand to hand.

"Nora Ephron's clever. More than people give her credit for," Joule allows, clearing her throat. "But enough of that. So — Empire State Building, then? Horrible kitschy souvenirs? And I'll take a good photo for your portfolio, hmm?" With that face, he must be an actor. Or a dancer. Poster boy. Joule makes a face as she looks Ian over unabashedly.

Bekah exchanges money for coffee and sandwich and heads to find a spot to get off of her feet. She makes her way through the tables to take a seat at the one next to Joule and Ian pausing for some time just with her coffee before anything else.

"Sounds great. Portfo- what?" Ian says, blinking at her, stepping aside to let Bekah take her seat. "I'm a bio student. No art here."
Joule glances aside at Bekah, and does a doubletake. Her hand tightens slightly on her cup. It begins to crumple under her fingers, and she catches herself. "No? Being a pretty boy, I thought sure you were some sort of model or other. Are you too daft and strange, or is science!!" You can hear both exclamation points — "Just the greater love?"

Bekah doesn't catch the look from Joule. She's giving Ian a grin. "Bio major? Where at?" She asks, being forward enough to break into the conversation of total stranger, it seems.

Ian goes bright red at that. And doesn't seem to have coherent reply, for at least a little. "I'm not pretty," he protests, arching black brows at her, before looking to Bekah, startled. "NYU," he says, coughing.

Joule takes a deep breath, and then slams the remainder of her short thing with coffee and peppermint and white something or other. "Y'are so," she says, but leaves it there since he's obviously embarrassed by the observation. She goes stonily silent as Bekah speaks, and makes a polite nod as Ian describes where he studies his science.

Bekah laughs a bit as Ian goes bright red. She's not going to comment on that with a stranger though. Schools are safer. "NYU's a good place to learn. I went to med school there." Bekah states before she looks to Joule with curiousity for that stony silence.

"Uh….I…uh. Thank you," Ian says, having made the mental wheels stop spinning. And then he turns to eye Bekah. "You did? I've kinna thought about being a doctor. I'm not sure I'm brave enough to deal with people suffering, though…."

"Should do some observation," Joule suggests to Ian. And when she realizes Bekah is looking at her, she quirks a brow. "Happy New Year," she says, in a civil tone. Perhaps it's not the same woman she saw on the telly. What are the chances in a city that big, right? Eight million to one?

Bekah nods her head over to Ian. "You should. That's one way to find out if you're cut out for it. Might turn out you're really good with say, family practice medicine, but not cut out to be an oncologist then." Bekah says before she smiles to Joule. "Happy New Year. I hope you had a great night last night." Bekah does look a bit different.
After all, her hair is pulled back in a more servicable style now with no makeup.

"How do you even do that?" Ian wonders, glancing between them. He's also without makeup. Which…makes sense, because he's generaly not that sort of boy.

"Not really," Joule says. "Seem to have been stood up," she tells Bekah with a polite tone. "I thought you Americans considered New Years to be couple stuff." That's it; maybe she's just got the cultural significance all bollocksed up. "That and Christmas, and that food holiday, Thanksgiving, what?"

Bekah digs her wallet out of the pocket of her parka. She passes a card over to Ian for a Dr. Rebekah Morgan at Mount Sinai. "Email me, and I'll help you set it up. I'm in the ER, so that might not be your ucp of tea, but I know people in a lot of other departments." Hey, alumni should be good for something. She looks over to Joule and shakes her head. "Sorry you got stood up. Yeah, New Years Eve is often a coupley thing. Christmas and Thanksgiving can be, but more family."

"I don't know," Ian says, bluntly. "I've always spent it with friends." He takes Bekah's card, tucks it away in a pocket. "I figure id I can handle the ER, well, what can be worse? Save maybe oncology, like you said…."

"Yeah, well," Joule says, unable to keep a little bitterness out of her voice, "Haven't had much luck making many this year. It's been mad. The few I've had have all been busy…but you'd think, wouldn't you…" she just trails off, and blows out the rest of the annoyance in a gusty sigh. "Fuck it. I guess I just had the relationship mis-calibrated. Serves me right for making no plans on my bloody own."

Bekah gives Ian a smile. "That's true. If you can handle the ER, you're pretty good to go." She looks over to Joule and nods. "Men suck. I got dragged out by a couple of friends only to have them find random strangers to hookup with while I got awkward conversation with my ex. Thrilling."

"Too right," Joule agrees with Bekah. "I saw mine on the fucking telly last night. Smiling with this curly-haired woman. In Times Bloody Square." The empty cup is crushed this time. She's not happy.

Ian opens his mouth to protest. And thinks the better of it, eyes wide. Some fights you lose just be stepping on to the battlefield.

Bekah raises her eyebrows. "He went to Times Square last night without you? That sucks. That's where I was. It was crazy. I couldn't believe that out of that many people there, I had to go and run into Lee." Grumble, grumble.

Joule drops the crumpled cup. That name. It's too coincidental. Couldn't be. Just couldn't. "And — hah. Your ex is named Lee. That's really funny. So's my about-to-be-ex. Tall. Beaky nose. But adorable puppy dog eyes. Sharp wit he uses like a weapon…" she sighs. Yeah, she was falling for him, but that appears to be over now. "But no clue how to treat a woman, apparently."

Ian shakes his head. "I wasn't there. Too many people," he says, trying to slink past that conversational subject, as it were. "Lee. Wait. Leee what?"

"Jones." Both women answer at the same time. Bekah looks over to Joule and shakes her head. "Yeah, good luck with that one. No clue how to treat a woman, like actually remembering things about her life. Though great sarcastic sense of humor. He actually asked me last night about my residency, like I was still doing it. I finished it before we even met."

Joule doubletakes at Bekah. "He's your ex." And her boyfriend hung out with her. At Times Square. On a couple holiday. Instead of Joule. Joule's bracelets jingle, although she seems to be sitting still. "Dear god, I'm going to kill him. Kill him dead."

Ian looks back and forth between them, as if sensing the storm on the horizon. "What?" he wonders, breathless and tentative.

Bekah looks over to Ian. "Looks like her soon to be ex is my ex." Though Bekah only had him shot with a tranq gun after they broke up. "Well, it wasn't like we kissed or anything." There's a hopeful note. Right? Bekah turns her attention back to her coffee.

"Oh, didn't you?" Joule asked. A red CFM-stiletto went through the TV screen. Just as well. She'll need to buy another in a year anyway, given that upcoming cable switchover thing. "Wouldn't know. Turned it off after I spotted the shot." Violently.

Ian looks as if he should be digging a bomb shelter. Or trying to hide under a rock, like Wall-E. "This….man. This is hella awkward," he says, finally.

Bekah gives Ian a smile. "That's life. It's awkward as hell, and then eventually you die." Such a cheery mood. "Why would I want to kiss him? Especially after he went and reminded me of the reason I stopped dating him."

"And," Joule gets up, smiling tightly at Bekah, "Gave me a reason to stop dating him. Very busy he was last night. Get you something while I'm up?" After all, they have something in common now; being dicked over by the insensitive boor Lee Jones.

Ian is frozen, still, and looking down at his cup of espresso like it might possibly advise him. Or something.

Bekah shakes her head over to Joule. "No, thanks. Well, I'm glad you're not pissed at me at least." She states, though really, there's no logical reason to be. Ian gets a quick smile. "Considering means of escape?"

No, there's no reason to be angry at Bekah. She didn't know Lee was seeing anyone new. Lee's the one to be blamed here. "It's not your fault. You were just there, and you weren't calling him out to you." She sighs, and stalks for the door. "Ian, innit? My card." Flicked toward him. "We'll do the touristy thing sometime, hmm? Happy New Year, you all." If Lee's at the end of the place her feet are pointed now? Heaven help him.

Ian says, in a voice that borders on reverence, "Man. That was weird."

Bekah shakes her head. "You'd think in a city this big, things like that wouldn't happen, wouldn't you? I mean, if we were in some place in, say, New Hampshire with a population of 300, you'd expect it. But not in the City."

He nods, with disbelieving fervor. "That actually happened, right?" Bekah's treated to the spectacle of Ian actually pinching himself on the flesh of his arm.

Bekah looks over to Ian with amusement as she starts to munch her sandwich. "It did. As unlikely as that seems. Want me to pinch you, too?" That last part is sarcasm.

"No, no thank you, you're not my type," Ian says, with what dignity he can muster.

Bekah nods over to Ian. "Fine with me. Do send me an email about coming to do some observation. The best way to decide if it's something you're interested in is to see what it's really like."

Ian worries at his lip. "Will do, doc. I think I'm gonna get along. Good to meet you, though."

Bekah nods her head. "Have a good night. Go sleep and put all this craziness behind you."

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