2010-06-11: Julia Thorne



Date: June 11th, 2010


Victory — alias Julia Thorne — tries to befriend Tracy.

"Julia Thorne"

Washington, D.C.

Mid-afternoon on a bright and sunny Friday sees one former Hill staffer striding briskly across a small lot next to one of the area's nice apartment buildings. Where she lives, as it happens. It's no wonder that the woman in the expensive dress — sleeveless, steel blue, tied, at the waist, trench coat style — and carrying an attache case would live in such a building.

But as Tracy puts distance between the car she so recently stepped out of — the silvery roadster she had to abandon months back to later reclaim — and makes her way toward it, her high-heeled steps slow down. In fact, she comes to a complete stop behind the building and brings a hand up to her forehead, shielding it against the sun even though she's wearing black, slightly cat-eyed sunglasses meant to do the same job.

Thoughtful, and not pleasantly so, Tracy stops staring at the window she knows is hers and decides to take a turn onto the cobblestones instead of heading home.

Not far up the cobblestone is one of Tracy's newest neighbours, Julia Thorne. Like her neighbour, she's dressed in a designer grey-coloured sundress paired with a light tanned coloured trenchcoat and belted at the waist. Her hair is sandy coloured, and her eyes are concealed by a pair of designer sunglasses. Unlike Tracy, a small smile plays on her lips as she looks at the horizon with what appears to be a deep-seated sense of wonder. Next to her a stack of files hundreds of pages deep just sits.

She crosses her legs before resting her hands in her lap, still staring at the bright blue sky. As Tracy approaches, however, she stands to her feet, and slides the file folders off before collecting them in her arms. But she's not fortunate in her collection, instead the files themselves tumble to the ground in a mess along the cobblestone. "Dammit," she murmurs as a distinct frown edges her lips.

Helping the woman whose things have tumbled on the cobblestone wouldn't be putting Tracy out of her way. She doesn't really have a way as she wanders away from her apartment with no real direction. Still, there's a pause in her step as she looks at the files on the ground, as if wondering if the stranger's got it under control and she should just walk past, or…

"Need some help?" Not heartless after all, and in no hurry, Tracy crouches upon her heels to swoop some of the files up and hand them up to the sandy-haired woman.

"Yes… please," the woman answers wearily before shooting Tracy a grateful smile as she crouches down in her skirt as she collects some of the files. "I'm sorry, I'm normally more organized than this. This is my employer's filing system, I'm redoing it. Which should be his assistant's job— " Her cheeks flush a pale pink before she rolls her eyes behind her giant sunglasses.

Tracy stands and hands over the last of the financial ledgers or whatever it is that was spilled everywhere. Thus righted, she hitches her own oversized gleaming leather attache — looking much like it could contain legal documents; it does — over her shoulder. "Sounds to me like you need to put his assistant in line," she offers. "Or hire him a new assistant." The smile on Tracy's face looks friendly enough, the rest of her expression quite hidden by her own sunglasses. Friendly … or just polite. There's a vaguely impatient edge to be seen for anyone looking close enough, through no fault of the stranger's apparent clumsiness.

"Well that's the worst of it. I fired his assistant today. Fired." Julia twitches. "And without a replacement. I already contacted the temp agency and I made arrangements for tomorrow, but it's shameful how the assistant— " she cuts herself off and issues Tracy an apologetic smile. "I'm sorry. I realize I'm holding you up from wherever you're going." She presses her lips together into a thin line before her lips twitch into a grateful smile once again, "Unless you'd be willing to let me buy you a cup of coffee. Or a glass of wine. Without the help I'm sure some of these ledgers would've vanished thanks to the wind— " She cringes a little at the thought.

Tracy's smile widens only to thin out and become slightly reserved throughout Julia's sharing of her work woes. Over-sharing. It happens. There's a half-murmured "well— " under her breath as she then considers the woman's gratitude. "I'm not— going anywhere…" she says, a tone of realization to her own voice — she really doesn't know where she was about to go — which soon turns to a sure, whatever attitude as she starts to stroll down the sidewalk. "Really, you don't have to."

"I really should. You have no idea. I would be so dead if I lost any of these. You have no idea." Julia straightens again and securely tucks her folders under her arm before extending the other arm, "Julia Thorne." She falls into step with Tracy. "There's a small coffeehouse around the corner that I discovered just a week and a bit ago— "

"Mm, I know the place." With an air of distracted nonchalance, Tracy is neither especially welcoming of the tagalong and kind offers nor brushing Julia off. She extends her free hand across her body to shake the other woman's as she keeps walking. "…Tracy Strauss," she replies in turn. It's good to be able to actually introduce herself as herself, she thinks, after a life on the run, and her smile turns sincere for a second. "Where do you work?"

"Holte and Younge Research Group. I'm not a researcher, mind. Just the resident media relations specialist," aka spin doctor. Julia grins, "They've just opened up a branch here and my role is media releases, comments, and the like." She holds up one of her hands, "I know it doesn't seem important, but the magic can't happen without advisors— people who can guide the process." She hmmms before straightening the sunglasses on her nose. "And yourself?"

Dark blonde brows arch above dark sunglasses as Tracy looks across at Julia, though it's more out of consideration — and some amusement — than surprise. "Hey, no, of course. I happen to know advisors're key," she points out, smiling. She should know. Her lips purse as she walks toward the street corner where the coffee shop is nestled. "Since I'm … one of them. I'm a…" Political advisor? Lobbyist? Consultant? Ex-fugitive? Safehouse coordinator? On a personal mission to free the former Governor of New York from crimes she committed? "I guess you could say I'm… taking a… hiatus."

"Well, sometimes hiatuses are a necessary evil," Julia quips as she smiles at the response. It's an easy smile, really. Nothing coercive or malicious about it. "What are you doing during your hiatus? Regrouping?" Pause. "I imagine that's what I'd do if I ever take a hiatus. Although arguably, I'd want it to be in Acapulco where I lounge on the beach sipping fruity drinks loaded with ice." Pause. "And booze." Her smile is transformed as she chortles lightly.

"That would be nice," Tracy has to agree with a smirk and a tip of her head. Would be nice — but not the case. And even if she could run off and do just that… "Mmn, but regrouping — you could say that. I'm … working on a legal matter," she says with choice words, but does clarify. "For former Governor Malden. I'm… sure it'll be on the news soon." It's only a matter of time.

"Malden. Ah. So I take it you were his advisor. Well I can't say I envy your job right now. Even if you are on a supposed hiatus." She half-smirks. "I'm sure everything will work out the way you want it to, Ms. Strauss." She presses her lips together, before adding, "The news gets wind of everything eventually. He should consider issuing a statement of his own to the press, it's always better when a candidate speaks for themselves rather than through third parties."

"I'm more than acquainted with speaking for him," Tracy replies, though it's very nearly a mumble and almost said to herself more than to Julia. She irons a frown out into a smile that she turns on the other woman. "You really are an advisor." She sounds like one — like her.

But, quite willing to leave all talk of Malden to the mentioned press, Tracy quickens her step toward the coffee shop now in sight. "What does Holte and Younge research? I've— been out of town. I guess it makes me out've the loop." An obvious, but natural, subject change. "I used to consult for a research firm."

"It's primarily tech research. Trying to build a better mousetrap and all, but I have to admit I only know as much as I need to in order to do my job well. I'm not one of those science-y types, although at times I'm sure that would help, particularly when trying to find my way through the scientific jargon." Julia smiles faintly.

"Oh? Which firm? Maybe I'm familiar— I'm pretty connected in that world now, although it took longer than I'd expected to do." Her lips flicker into a broader grin.

Tracy gives the woman a faintly patronizing smile. Strangely, it takes an opposite turn a moment later: self-deprecating. It would be easy to imagine that, behind her sunglasses, she's rolling her eyes. She makes a quiet chuckling sound. "With this one, I doubt it," she answers as she approaches the coffee shop. With quaint little tables set up out front under elegant umbrellas, it seems the thing to do to sit down there, so she does just that, shrugging her attache onto her lap. "Pinehearst Research, it was a biotech firm." Key word: was. It kind of burned down. Little did Tracy know that crashing and burning would become a trend amongst her employers.

"No. I'm not familiar. And we're not into genetics at all. Pure technology. Faster computers, better cellphones, etc. And that's probably why I like my job so much. I have a love for the swag, not that I'm a techy, but I love my laptop and touch phone." Julia smiles faintly as she too assumes a chair across from Tracy. "So is politics better than R and D or vice versa? I'd assume you like politics better considering you're still dabbling." Tracy is now issued a polite smile as the waitress appears to take the pair's order. "I'll have a London Fog. Thank you," Julia chimes with a dimpled smile, soft, but dimpled nonetheless.

Tracy lifts her sunglasses from her face, sliding them up on her head where they push her hair back. Revealed blue eyes first go to the waitress. "I'll have one as well actually. Thanks," she says with a polite smile of her own. To Julia, she admits, "Consulting was more … on the side. It's always good to diversify, right." Come to think of it, her last consulting job was with Hanner Enterprises; the thought brings a transitory furrow to her brow and she clears her throat, seeming faintly impatient again. "Most of my work is— or … was, on the Hill."

"It is. It's important to have different experiences. I just explained this to my fourteen-year-old nephew the other day; can't figure out why I moved." Julia smiles weakly again as if to silently say 'oh children!' before getting herself back on topic. "And so you'll be back on the Hill in short-order, I'm guessing? I have to say, I could never stomach government work. Being a civil servant would be particularly trying, but then I suppose your work never took that route."

A few of Julia's words stand out to Tracy and her eyes narrow, smiling in a faintly discomfited way on and off every time; but whatever is going on in her head never reaches her tongue. "That's the plan," she says, more dully and unconvinced than she intended. She keeps a certain polite poise and half-smile but her attention drifts past the face of the pleasant advisor to the street. Maybe she's just waiting for her coffee.

The London Fogs are brought out quickly in go cups. Always in go cups here… less mugs disappear that way and Julia leaves the waitress with the necessary cash. "I'm sorry if I'm keeping you. I realize that you probably have things to do and, as it turns out, legal matters to settle…" Finally she removes her sunglasses, showing off her dark brown eyes.

"You're not," Tracy assures as her divided attention slowly converges on Ms. Thorne again. "Keeping me, that is. It's just…" Her hand appears to wave dismissively before picking up the drink that's been set down. Her brows lift coolly and her smile is on the tired side. "Nothing. Thank you, for the coffee."


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