2007-09-26: It's Schadenfreude!!


Benjamin_icon.gif Church_icon.gif

** Guest Starring:** Margie Winters

Summary: Mom and Son run into Church at the theater!

Date It Happened: September 26th, 2007

Log Title It's Schadenfreude!!, alternately known as My Girlfriend Who Lives in Canada

John Golden Theatre

"You look much nicer with your hair shorter Benji," Margie says in a tut-tut manner as she reaches up to brush lint off Benjamin's shoulder. "Although, I think you've had a few changes this past year, all for the better! Now you just need to find a nice woman, not like that bitch you married."

Benjamin tries to not look embarrassed as his mother treats him like he's getting ready for a prom date. Despite the pair standing in the lobby of the John Golden Theatre, slightly dressed up for a night at the theater. This is a normal thing he does with his mother, they both enjoy it. One of these days, Rose will be dragged along. Kicking, screaming, sound asleep.. one of these days. "Mom.." he starts to say in a long suffering tone.

The last two days are just full of surprises, aren't they? Especially when one keeps meeting people (apparently) randomly that one would not meet outside of normal circumstances. Today, outside of the John Golden theater, Benjamin has been spotted by a keen pair of brown eyes floundering around the small crowd outside of the building. Lawrence is dressed in a gray turtleneck, with a black suit coat overtop; simplified, but nice enough to deserve a night out. He even has an accent of a red kerchief in the front pocket, and expertly avoided getting rid of his five o'clock shadow. Only the muffled click of loafers precede the appearance of a hand out of nowhere, picking invisible somethings from Benjamin's other shoulder. HI, BEN.

"The long hair isn't that bad."

Benjamin takes his mother's behavior in stride. You try telling her to knock it off. It doesn't work very well. Not that he has the heart to do so. Before the woman can go for his tie, he settles an arm around Margie's shoulders, effectively stopping her. For now. "I'm not remarrying, but.. I am seeing someone. Work's been hectic for both of us, that's why I have.." Before he can say too much more..

"WHAT? How long? When did this happen?? WHY did you not tell me! Don't you try and pull that line with me Benjamin Avery Winters!" And cue swatting at Ben with her hand, Margie is not amused.

"Hey! Stop that! People are staring! It's.. been a few months.. ow! We weren't sure how serious it was going!" Benjamin yelps and jumps a little as Church approaches. "Uhm.. I just.. get.. busy.. and.. mom this is one of my work associates.. Lawrence Church.. this is my mother, Margie Winters." Because he knows if he's not prompt with the introductions, Margie will step in.

Church is torn between watching poor Ben fumble for a sentence and keeping an eye on the woman who is announced as his mother. At least he looks entertained, what with that big, white smile on his face. "Your son is a busy man, ma'am." See? Churchie's got your back. He holds out a friendly hand, mostly palm up, to finish the introduction to Margie. His other hand has rested on the edge of Ben's shoulder as if to help back him out of his slightly abused state of mind. Not that Margie is particularly abusive. "It's nice to meet you, Missus Winters."

Even with the introductions, Margie muscles past Benjamin, and holds out her hand to Church, shaking firmly, "This is a pleasant surprise.. I find out my son is back among the land of the living and I get to meet a coworker of his. He never introduces me to his coworkers." There's a faint narrowing of the eyes as she looks up at Ben, before flitting back to cooing up at Church. "Such a polite young man you are.."

Pinching the bridge of his nose between thumb and forefinger, Benjamin just counts to ten, letting his mother… practically flirt.. which is mortifying to say the least. No one else from the 'office' is here are they? SO. SMALL TALK. "I didn't know you liked the theater Church? Not that this show counts really, from what I've heard. Mom and I've been trying to get decent tickets for awhile now. Although it's not as hard to get into as The Producers was."

He tries his best. Really. Lawrence doesn't mind being cooed at one bit, either. A morbid thought might be the fact that just maybe he is used to it. Margie keeps getting funny mother points, regardless. Is that why Benji looks exasperated?

A small clap onto Ben's shoulder comes before Lawrence moves his hand back to his side. "It's on a stage, isn't it?" Does to count. "I love the theater." He straightens his coat and tilts up his chin with added pluckiness. "If I could perform worth beans, It'd be my second home."

"The Producers was a /nightmare/. I was telling Mel that myself. 'Mel, you've made the biggest hit of your life with this.' I bet he will be delighted when the show closes and he can rest.. but does he? Oh no, he's got 'Young Frankenstein,' in the works." Margie prattles on, latching to the topic eagerly. "If I weren't retired.. I would have auditioned. I just might anyway. You're never too old for the theater!" Margie couldn't be more delighted to be talking with Church!

"Mom's an actress," Benjamin manages to slip in there in between the woman pausing for breath. He's not embarrassed with funny mom points, he's just embarrassed in general.

"I tried to get my boy up on stage, but oh no, he wouldn't do it. Too scared. He's got such a lovely voice too," Margie dives right back in, undeterred and raises a hand to pat Benji's cheek, then tsks as she looks up at Church once more, "What a load of tosh! You have a face and voice for stage. Try it sometime!"

The dynamic between Ben and his mother silently thrills Lawrence- it's like someone pulled them out of one of those romantic comedies. Or y'know, maybe just a comedy. "Do I reeeally? I've never been able to try it. Workaholic, just like Benji." There's no telling about the first twenty years, though. Maybe once upon a time? It'd certainly answer a few things. "Who I never knew had a lovely voice!" Church peers at the other man again, curious. "Number crunching doesn't give a lot of time to go a-croonin'."

Benjamin is starting to look like he wants to sink down into the floor as he raises a hand to rub at his temple, then makes a show of double checking the seats on their tickets. Not looking at either of you! "Especially during tax season.. it eats at my life."

"He uses that excuse /every/ year… and my darling son.. you have no life."

"Because tax season keeps me at the office every waking hour.. almost.. and I so am getting a life." Still not looking at Church, Benjamin's put the tickets back in his pocket and is flipping through the playbill, and nearly drops it when he notices some of the song titles. Oh. My. God. The show has puppets! It's not supposed to have titles like /that/. "I get stage fright okay? Getting up and singing in front of people? It's not for me." There, he admitted it. Happy now?

Church sniggers just a little bit this time. Oh, man. "Well, at least it's an excuse with merit, right?" He notes the man's fidgeting, and decides to change the subject only slightly. "So you've been planning on coming to this, you said? Ben, you don't strike me as the Avenue Q type. Somehow. Where'd you get seats?" Lawrence sidesteps half a step to bump the other man with his arm. Stop fidgeting, you are starting to look like you're the exploding man.

"I.. had no idea about the show.. I mean, it's got puppets in it. Mom and I usually plan to see a show every month or so. On Broadway, off, it doesn't really matter." Benjamin however is going to stick this through. "Oh.. ah.. Mezzanine, row b.. 102, 104."

"/MY/ favorite place to sit," Margie interjects before checking the time, "Excuse me boys for a few moments." A wink is flashed at Church before she disappears through the lobby.

A brief sigh of relief is heard from Benjamin as his mother takes off. He does seem to relax some with the departure of Margie and the bump on the shoulder. "Where are you sitting at?"

Ho-oh, why is she winking now? Lawrence just smiles as Margie leaves, turning his head back as if he and Benjamin are conspiring teenagers of some kind. It looks like it, really. After a moment of processing, Church just starts chuckling and trying to tone down his smiling. "Man…" Somewhere, someplace, the fourth wall cracks. "106. Same row. I'm totally sitting right beside you two." AWESOME. At least they won't be on opposite sides of the place texting each other under the seats, which could probably only lead to disaster. This way, he can also pull Ben out from under his seat when the show starts.

"Really?" Benjamin looks at Church with a faint air of incredulity. That's either a coincidence or some weird little tug of fate that seems to happen around certain people. (Like how he kept popping up to help Niki. Talk about weird.) There are several good ways to look at this odd twist. The lack of texting will be a good thing. It's liable the pair would be thrown out of the theater by a surly usher who takes his job too seriously. It's also time out of the office, where you get to find out little quirks about your coworkers. Such as, not realizing Church likes theater. "That's just great! Unexpected, but great! Hey, how often do you attend the theater anyway?"

"Really." Lawrence affirms this twist of fate with a somewhat bewildered nod. "Maybe I'm just that magnetic. So much that I cross the boundaries of probability." Hrrhrr. "I try to go every couple weeks or so, but at least once a month." Incidentally like Benji and Margie. Lo! A sign! "If it's a good time, I prefer to go to live shows more than I like to go to movies. Not that movies are bad- Hollywood is just stale."

Benjamin laughs at Church's take on the situation. "Better you than say, Vasili. No offense, but we just can't let him out in public. Yesterday.. I don't even want to know what got into him. He should count himself lucky we showed up when we did." To defuse the situation. Then again, the Russian could probably have done with a night in jail. BUT! Back to more pleasant topics, and less work related. "Hey, next time I try to work on some tickets for mom and I, want me to snag a third for you? We usually pick something at random, sometimes we also wind up seeing the same show again. It just depends. Ha! You think that too? I like movies, but yeah, nothing beats theater."

"You said it sonny," Margie says as she returns to the boys, dabbing at her nose with some powder from her compact. "And.. I think it would be /delightful/, if Lawrence here join us for theater. It's more fun in a group." She gets a sly sort of look to her eye, "And perhaps eventually Benji will bring along his girlfriend."

Church is staying away from the topic of Vasili, instead allowing himself to think of singing puppets. "Sure thing, Benji. Just let me know, and I'll slip you some money for a ticket." He smiles as Margie ventures back, that expression growing bit by bit more conniving than what it started at. "It is. Quite. I didn't know Benji had a girlfriend." Church sidles half a step away to peer at the man from almost beside his mother. "…You sure it's a girlfriend?"

"Alright, as mom put it, more fun in a gr… Church!" Benjamin darn near sputters.. scratch that. He flat out sputters. "I… What.. NO." It's not he doth protest too loudly, he's just taken completely aback. He also can't elaborate to Church just who this lady is, because, no telling Company secrets in front of mom. "She travels a lot," and no it's not the whole girlfriend from Canada excuse either. "Her name is Angie. Angie Alvarez. Rose has seen her!" Not that Rose is a good witness, she has a very twisted sense of humor and is liable to mess further with her bio-dad.

"Rose has met her, and I haven't!? Well, I'm not surprised. I hardly get to see my own granddaughter as it is. But I let that slide, as you tell me she's a hard working student." Margie says with a piercing look to Benjamin.

Church laaaughs. That was worth it just to see the reaction. But wait. What is this. This news. It just keeps getting better. "Hahaha- oh my god, Benji, you reproduced?" Nevermind the fact that somewhere, out there, Lawrence has a grandson.

"Ha ha.. Yeah, I know. I'm as surprised as everyone else. Alcohol, college parties, coeds. I was a real party animal, and the result shows up in my office without warning eight months ago." Benjamin is turning red around the ears now, but despite the rising embarrassment at the teasing.. There's a fierce note of pride in his voice.

"Possibly the best thing to turn up in your life son. That heartless bitch of an ex-wife of yours is so cold, I bet her ovaries shriveled and died before she hit eighteen." Despite the words, Margie manages to sound sweet about it. And proud that she has a grandchild.

"What mom means to say is that she's bitter Eileen didn't want kids. Which turned out to be a good thing. The divorce wasn't exactly amicable." and yet somehow, Benji still managed to reproduce.

Church pockets his hands and sways on his heels. "Wow. That kind. That's a bit different." All of a sudden he feels the need to meet this offspring. If just to see for himself. A wary eye moves toward Margie as she begins a sweetly spoken tirade about an ex-wife- name apparently Eileen, as Benjamin wraps up. "Well. All of a sudden I'm glad I've never been married." Not in this life, anyway. "It…it sounds scary, sometimes, to be honest." Poor Felix! Poor Misha! So scary. "I'd be in it for the cake." Mmm. Cake.

"It wasn't so bad to start with.. But the last year we were married, things just fell apart." Namely the manifestation of Benjamin's power, frustration all around, not so much fun in general. As he says that, he's pulling out his cellphone, opening up the pictures file and proudly shows Church what his not so little girl looks like. Obviously, Rose was caught off guard while practicing her cello for the shot. "It's kinda hard to get her to agree to having her picture taken. I have to catch her by surprise." He grins a little when Church says he'd be into it for the cake.

Margie taps Ben on the shoulder, "The doors are opening, we can go take our seats now. Shall I leave you boys to talk.. and just /where/ are you sitting Lawrence?" Since she missed that part of the conversation!

Lawrence gives a silent 'aww' at the picture being shown to him, smiling and giving the other man's arm a friendly nudge. "She looks like a nice girl." That's also in part, a consolation for teasing Ben about it. He glances up at Margie again after a moment, smile fleeting over his face again. "I'm actually…sitting right beside you two! Imagine that. I suspect someone has to pull Benji out from under the seat for this show, so maybe it's luck." That's right. He sees right through that good-guy thing.

Benjamin smiles and looks at the picture before he makes sure his phone is on vibrate. Seeing as his double life puts him on call at all hours. "She's her own person, but I wouldn't change a hair on her head." Even if she calls him bio-dad, and isn't exactly forthcoming emotionally. "And.. I'm not going to be going under my seat." Sure, he says that now.. just wait until the middle of act 1.

Margie just beams with delight, "Isn't that just a stroke of luck. Budge up there son, I'm sitting between you two." Thus it has been decided. Margie even holds out her arm, offering it up, and clearly expecting Church to take it.

"Hahaha. You got it, mama." He likes Margie already. Lawrence links the offered arm with his own, all with a grin on his face; he beckons Ben with a glance. "Ready for puppets, Benji? Come on." Churchie is.

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