2007-05-02: It All Seems... So Normal

Starring:

Jane_icon.gif Elle_icon.gif

Summary:

Common life things are talked about, and Elle does something entirely new to her.

Date It Happened: May 2nd, 2007

It All Seems… So Normal


Forrest - Bishop Apartment, Greenwich Village, Manhattan, NYC


It's nearly seven p. m., and Jane's been out of the apartment for most of the day. She was gone in the morning, taking her guitar and backpack as usual, but around four o'clock she returned and dropped the gear off. In its place she grabbed a small purse, stuck her wallet in it, and left again. Now she's unlocking the door and coming in, with a college age guy she slipped some cash to for his help with the load she acquired. Bags after bags of stuff, with a logo from D'Agostino's on them. Into they kitchen they go, and the goods are set on her table. Maybe twelve bags, all told. "Thanks, Al," she says to her helper, as money is passed and he starts to head out.

The blonde was actually asleep much of the morning, like she was up late. But afternoon, she's awake. She's currently sitting there, working on her laptop.

Al, as he departs, doesn't fail to check out Jane's rack before leaving, and as he passes the main room entrance catches sight of Elle. She gets a brief perusal and a nod with a smile, then his back is turned to leave. He thus provides a look at some of his own goods. He's not troubled about doing things like this, after all. Hot brunette, hot blonde roommate, and money too? Ohyeah. Jane doesn't seem to notice he checked her out, she's busy starting to put things away and mulling over what she wants to eat. Eating out or ordering in is something she does more than a little of, but not always. Tonight she wants to make her own food. Yes, Doctor Forrest is feeling culinary. "Got a taste for anything in particular, Elle?" she calls out from the kitchen.

Elle walks over towards Jane, and smiles. "Busy shopping?" she heads for the kitchen. "And most anything is fine." And in a lower voice, she adds "And he was totally checking you out."

"He was?" Jane blinks once, glancing at the door, and back to Elle. Then it seems to hit her. "I shouldn't be surprised. Guys tend to think like that, especially at around nineteen." She turns and opens a drawer, pulling out a recipe book, and flips through pages. "I'm feeling creative today. Maybe something with lamb." After setting down the book and leaving it open to a page with a lamb dish on it, she starts finding the bags with stuff needing refrigeration and putting those items in the proper place, to be kept cool. Except the lamb legs she bought, those are for the meal forming in mind.

Elle chuckles. "Guys of any age will chase anything with boobs." she points out. "And should I chip in for the groceries? That's about the extent of my contribution to cooking efforts."

"This is true, and we definitely have them," Jane replies with some mild amusement, "I guess even better if money comes with the deal. It's rarely hard, with the market being near NYU, to find help carrying bags back and into the apartment." She pauses, glancing over the blonde, while tucking away a few oranges and bananas. "Wow. We never really talked about that, or the rent, even. Don't really have to pay for groceries, you know, you can just help keep things stocked." And a second pause, after which comes a musing statement. "You don't cook." Not a question, a realization given voice, that. "Want to learn, a little?"

Elle laughs as she looks back. "True, but neither of us is really showing at the moment. And no, I've never cooked. But I can do whatever we need money-wise. I've got an expense account."

"Half is fair," Jane answers. "The first few weeks I tapped into the trust fund some to get this place and set up with furniture and all that. Then I started making decent money playing on the streets and at a bar in Brooklyn, and now fortunes are getting better with some steady session work at the studio. Anastasia, Amanda and Mark are so jazzed, we're working on things among ourselves, and the session gigs we all have totally covered their tuition." She finishes putting cold storage items away and checks the recipe book, then gets out a few measuring cups.

Elle looks thoughtful. "I wouldn't mind learning some cooking stuff. But I've never done it. So, I don't know how good I'll be." She smiles at the information passed over. "Your band?" she guesses.

"That's them." Jane starts setting out ingredients to be measured and mixed according to the recipe. "It's fairly easy, at least seems so, but I still occasionally manage to miss the mark. Check the lamb recipe there, if you would." She holds up a package of seasoning, and asks "How much of this does it call for?"

Elle looks over. It's her first time really looking at a recipe. "Err…how much weight is the meat that you're cooking?" She looks at the packet, and then back to the meat. "I hope Peter knows how to cook."

Good question. Jane picks up one of the lamb legs, then the other, checking the sticker with weight and price on them. "About six pounds each," she reports. "Maybe he does, maybe he doesn't. I can afford not to do this so much, I just sometimes like to."

Elle smiles a little. "Well, I'll help with what I can, assuming you want the help. I might just as well end up fumbling things."

The brunette roommate is thinking now, a quiet smile showing, as she steps over and scans the recipe on that page again. "One of the best ways to learn is doing. Maybe you could do the preparation and I'll read off the directions for you, assist in moving things around." As she speaks, the seasoning in her hand is poured carefully into a small measuring cup, it calls for 1/4 cup per pound.

The blonde doesn't look so certain, but she nods. "All right…what do I do first? No, wait. Wash my hands, right?" she starts for the sink. She has seen shows.
"Yes," Jane replies, stepping back to take up the book. Her eyes scan the page, and the first measured ingredient is left on the counter, ready for the next step. She waits for the blonde to be ready, her eyes sweeping over the things she bought. It's a quick inventory, she got everything needed for this. The book isn't a standard one, it's a collection she snagged once from a chef Mother had at the house. Jeanne was from France, and really good.

Elle washes her hands, and comes back. "All right. I'm ready." She looks over to Jane, moving to take things up as directed.

"This," Jane states, holding up the measuring cup with lemon juice in it, "is the start. Then you add two teaspoons of snipped fresh parsley, followed by one tablespoon of basil." Those ingredients are on the table, in small labeled packages.

The blonde girl smiles. "Well, I don't think it's that easy to do it most times. The stuff usually isn't premeasured like this." She moves to add it all to the cooking vessel.

"You need to set the oven at 325 degrees, Elle, and get a shallow roasting pan from the cabinet right by your left foot. And the drawer right by your hand has a meat thermometer." The recipe, for herb-rubbed leg of lamb, calls for the things already measured out, as well as one tablespoon of fresh rosemary, 1/2 teaspoon onion salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, two slivered garlic cloves, mint jelly, and one package of creamy mustard sauce. One by one Jane reads these off and waits for her roommate to add them in.

Elle turns on the oven, and starts to get out the things she's asked. She makes a bit of a face at some of the scents. "It smells better when it's all done, right?"
"Pretty much, yeah," Jane replies as she reads ahead for the next step. "Flip that switch on the wall, it'll turn the exhaust fan on." The spot her head nods toward is close to where an Elle lightning bolt struck, one the blonde doesn't remember, that's now been painted white and so may look fresher than the rest of the wall. She doesn't let any of that on, however. "Now you put one of the lamb legs in that pan, take a knife from the rack and make slits along the length of the meat, about half an inch wide and one inch deep."

Elle turns things on, and moves to pick up the knife. A wry smile. "Trusting the insane woman with a knife in your kitchen…you're a brave woman." But she starts to prepare things, adding the meat and other ingredients to the pan.

"I've trusted you with more risky things, Elle." Jane grins. "If you wanted me dead, a knife isn't what I have to worry about." At that moment her eyes rest on the painted over spot for just a moment, then turn back to the Electroblonde. "We were experimenting out in the main room once, and you asked me to find my pulse. I didn't really think it through, though, I just did what you asked." Her eyes dip back down to the page. "Stir the seasonings together, you already did that, and pour it slowly out over the meat. Those slits let it get inside and go all the way through."

Elle can figure out why, and she looks a little apologetic, even as she pours the sauce. "Sorry?" she asks. "Hopefully I wasn't being mean about it."

"You weren't," Jane replies with a chuckle. "It was scary, but… you said afterward you didn't want to kill me, and meant it. It was a milestone for us as friends. It's like… I trusted you without thinking then, probably why I didn't stop to question what you had in mind."

Elle smiles. "Well, I don't. Want to kill you, that is. I…like having someone around. Someone to talk to."

The reply is without words initially, in the form of a quiet smile, as she watches the face for a moment. Jane's touched by the statement, and it shows. "We… just came to understand each other, I think." When she looks away, back to the meat, she suggests "Put the thermometer in the center. It should take about two hours, or until it reaches 140 degrees, to be done. So we check after about one hour and forty-five minutes. When it's done, turn the oven off and cover it with foil for about fifteen minutes, the temperature should be 145 after that."

Elle sticks the thermometer in, and then puts it in the oven. "People must have a lot of time on their hands to do this." she quips. "It's a lot faster to go to a restaurant."

"Sometimes they do," Jane replies. "Sometimes they don't want to pay the restaurant price, or both… The ingredients and meat aren't exactly cheap. I knew people in college who lived off campus, when money got tight they lived on oatmeal and Ramen noodles. I'm just glad I never had to live like that. It's part of going to law school when I didn't really want to. I was still living on Dad's money, and wanted to make him happy." Once the meat is in to cook she takes a seat at the table and relaxes.

Elle moves over to sit with Jane. "I still don't see why you do both. The law and the music. It seems you like the second more."

"I will," she replies with a grin slowly spreading across her face. "I had a plan, in law school, to focus on copyrights and trademarks, they interested me most about the whole thing. I wanted to be able to manage my own affairs, handle contracts and all that, without involving attorneys. Now I can do that. And I can help other musicians, for free. It's so easy to get the short end of a record deal. Folks play, and struggle to make it until they find success, often they're so happy just to see a steady income they don't really pay attention, and the deal means things they write aren't their own anymore. They've given ownership away, cheap."

The blonde sits, considering that. "It all seems…so normal." From her tone, that doesn't entirely seem a bad thing. "It would be nice. To just be able to deal with normal things."

"It is," Jane replies quietly. "And it's also why I don't mind the need to keep what I can do quiet. Beyond the witch hunt and getting hanged danger of going public, of course, I also like the feeling of having a secret. That no one among most of the people I meet knows anything of my true vocal range. Normal things give me peace, something to do when I want to stop thinking so much. To just get and stay busy. Cooking's one of those things. It can be messy, and it eats time, with preparation and cleanup, but that's kind of the point. That time is time for shutting the whole world out. I just use my guitar for that far more often."

Elle smiles. "I like listening to you sing." she admits. "When you don't have me tied up in a bathtub, that is. That part sucks."

A spreading grin, but no words, as Jane rises from the table and walks into the main room. She takes the Fender Strat into her hands there and plugs into an amp, then fingers test and adjust tuning. There's time to kill before the food is ready, after all, and she's rarely one to pass up an opportunity or a mood for playing. Her voice calls out "Name one of your favorite tunes, Elle."

Elle laughs. "I still haven't listened to much off that iPod yet. Pick something you think I would like." she suggests, as she watches the brunette get ready to make music.

There's silence for a short time as Jane considers, and the idea comes to her. It's an edgy tune with good licks and a quick pace. Metallica. Keeping the amp at medium volume so as not to have neighbors pounding on the walls, she begins. Enter Sandman. When the time for vocals comes, her voice is kept at mid-range. Or what most would say is a soprano's mid-range.

The blonde listens, and grins a little after it starts to get well into it. Power ballads are rather up her alley, it seems. And she doesn't know that it's not supposed to have a girl singing (or growling) it out.

After Enter Sandman, Jane reaches for Heart's Barracuda. Her pitch is higher for this one, as she uses the vocal style of Ann Wilson to perform a tune she wrote. This one's a favorite of hers, being an example of how women can rock like men and still be feminine. Nancy Wilson's guitar, the sound of it goes through her mind and is recreated as best she can without actually being Nancy. "… you lie so low in the weeds, I bet you wanna ambush me…"

Elle watches Jane's fingers on the guitar with some amazement. The singing doesn't strike her as much…after all, everyone can sing, she figures. But getting one's fingers to do that, now that's impressive. She looks interested, but what she asks is "So was that guy from the other night your boyfriend?"

It takes a bit for Jane to answer with words, the question asked drawing a mysterious smile of sorts. Partly from thinking about the guy, and her stage music performing mind picturing the effects Elle could achieve if she played guitar in concert, with sparks and flashes of current dancing around while she plays. It's only when she's finished with Barracuda that a verbal reply comes. "He could become that," she opines. "Jaden's a little crazy, loves to have fun. He makes me laugh. I'll spend time with him, and see where it goes.

Elle smiles a little. "Well, if he doesn't behave…let me know." Because god forbid anyone mistreats Jane. They aren't likely to be around very long.

"I will," she replies with a slight grin." She goes back to playing, and soon it's time to check on the cooking meat. Jane's fingers go still.

The blonde looks back to Jane. Having breached the topic, she now approaches it more carefully. "How many boyfriends have you had?" Right now, she's only had one.

She doesn't have to use more than a few fingers on one hand to count them up, and doesn't seem to have trouble remembering any of them, though it's likely one or two she thinks she could handle forgetting. "Four," Jane replies. "At different times in my life, going back to age sixteen." Her expression shows the memories aren't entirely unhappy. "There was one, not long after I got here, who seemed interested, but he stopped calling. Don't really know why," she muses wistfully, "and I didn't call him to find out. Sometimes that just happens." This, Elle may know, would be Clint Evans, and the story is what she decided happened after her memory truncation removed the knowledge he probably got captured by the Company, with no one having mentioned his name to her since.

Elle listens. "How do you know?" she asks. "I mean…if they're the right one?" Sadly, Elle doesn't know…any memories relating to Jane got wiped too…while she might know Clint is captured, she doesn't know that he has a connection to her.

"I can't really describe it," Jane replies softly. "I think… at some point we'll just know. Obviously none of the four were him, since we aren't still together. Sometimes we think it might be him, or want it to be him, but… the best way I can say there is to know is if that person's safety and happiness matters more than my own. I've not reached that point yet. Will I with Jaden? Only time will tell. Part of the fun, and the pain, is in taking the journey to find out. Sometimes a person one decides to explore with isn't at all who she thinks she could ever be drawn to."

Elle looks back at Jane. "I just…" She seems a little awkward about it. "It's all very new. I kind of missed the whole teenage dating thing."

Her features show compassion, sympathy, the desire to give comfort. It's a soft reply when Jane speaks. "You're young still, and now you've got someone to have the experiences with. Maybe better this way, you're older and less likely to embarrass yourself, to be looking at him and not know what to say or so. When I was sixteen, and the first guy I'd come to call boyfriend asked me out, that is outside of balls and stuff my parents set me up for, I almost forgot my name, just getting lost in his eyes. And the way he was built." She blushes a little, remembering.

Elle blushes some a little bit. "Yeah. I think Peter's cute." she admits. "Moreso than most of the other boys they had locked up at the Company from time to time."

The grin spreads, as she chooses not to comment on people being locked up, until the expression suddenly turns into an 'aw, crap' sort of look. How long has it been since the meat was put into the oven? "Elle," Jane suggests, "I think it's time to check the food." Seconds later, to her relief, the oven timer goes off to signal the arrival of that time.

Elle gets up, and hurries over that way. She grabs the oven mitts with one hand, flips off the oven with the other, and works to get it open and the food out with difficulty.

Entering the kitchen to get the foil for the final stage and backing Elle up,. Jane inhales deeply. "Mmmm. See, it does smell better after cooking than when preparing." She consults the recipe page again, remarking "Cover with this," she holds up the foil box, "let it sit fifteen minutes, and after that it should be 145 degrees."

Elle considers. "Why didn't we just leave it in the oven longer if we wanted it hotter?" She does move to do as asked, though, covering up the meat with the foil.

"It's just five degrees, actually, and somehow meat keeps heating up for a while even after taking it out. It's like…" Jane thinks for a moment, "if you put current into something, and stop the current, the electricity sometimes still has an effect for a bit longer, y'know? If we left it in the oven longer, the meat would keep heating, and after taking it out could get hard, and dry."

Elle grins at the comparison. "I do know. People keep twitching for quite a while after you shock them, if you shock them right."

"Exactly," the brunette answers, paling a bit at the mention of shocks and twitching. Jane chooses not to follow that thread further.

A short time later, the roommates eat part of the first food cooked by Elle Bishop, and store the rest.

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