2007-11-18: Life's Too Short For Regrets


Jane_icon.gif Desiree_icon.gif

Summary: Jane runs something by Desiree and they catch up, particularly on how life has surprises even when you can see the future and not to waste it worrying.

Date It Happened: November 18th, 2007

Life's Too Short for Regrets

Jane's Apartment

Greenwich Village, NYC

It's been some time since she saw the precognitive medic, despite her hopes to have done so well before now, but finally the goal is close to being pulled off. Doctor Forrest is in her apartment, passing the door to the room NotElle used when she lived here, and her eyes close for a moment in quiet tribute to the absent, slain friend she knew, whatever her name might have been. Then she's on to the main room where she's got a wine bottle out to share while they talk and catch up, hoping the subject matter she intends to raise doesn't make things weird or sad. A few legal documents are on one of the coffee tables, waiting for review and discussion.

Snow from a barely-there fall of flurries flecks the orange scarf Desiree has looped around her neck, the faux green fur of her jacket, and the unruly dark curls of her hair as she stands just inside the complex, downstairs. It melts only moments after stepping inside the building, leaving imperceptibly damp spots and little reminder of the grey day behind her — one of those days where the sky is bright, yet devoid of colour, and all the buildings look drab. She buzzes the appropriate apartment with a burgundy-painted fingernail.

It's not far from the front entrance to the door marked 108, on the first floor of the building. And it isn't long before that door opens after it's buzzed. "Desiree," Jane greets with a smile, "it's so good to see you again. Thanks for coming! How've you been?"

Desiree is swiftly all smiles by the time Jane opens the door. "Hiya Jane! I been okay, how 'bout you?" She starts to pull her scarf away from her throat as she ambles in the apartment sideways past its resident.

"Well enough," she replies, her hands held out to take the coat and scarf as they're removed in good hostess fashion. "I took a trip a little over a month ago, saw some places I'd wanted to get to, worked some things out in my head." Jane's smile is still present, though as she speaks of herself a trace of somberness slips in. Her eyes dip toward the guest's fingers for a moment.

"That sounds nice, sounds like somethin' you needed," Desiree says. She gives a soft 'oh' of realization as to why Jane is standing there holding a hand out, then slips out of her coat and hands it to her hostess, along with the scarf. Her hands are many-ringed, the even the distinctive engagement ring easily lost among the overabundance of others. "Sorry I been hard to get to. Helpin' to run that household and everythin' else's like tryin' to ringmaster a circus sometimes."

Her features break out into a congratulatory smile, and it seems as if she may step forward and hug the woman, but such a thing is delayed by her receiving the winter gear and moving to place it neatly on hooks near the door. "That's new," Jane remarks, "your diamond. Is there a date?" That embrace is attempted, finally, once her task is concluded.

Desiree stares blankly at Jane until she clarifies. "Oh, yeah," she says with a wide smile once she realizes. Her smile borders on ending in a blush, but not quite; still, there's a hint of bashfulness in her eyes, there. "Not really. Not while…" She waves a hand. "We jus' haven't had a chance to sit down and plan. Two months, five years, I ain't worried."

"It's all good," she replies with a laugh. "It just means we've got tons of time to plan you the most wild bachelorette party in history." Jane takes a few steps into the main room, inviting "Come sit. Relax." She's moving in such a way as the slightly older one will find the most convenient seat near those documents, while on the way to the waiting bottle and glasses.

"Oh, Jesus. Bachelorette parties freak me out, no thank you ma'am!" It's going to happen anyway, is it? Desiree wanders further into the apartment, sinking down into a seat. She gives the documents a glance, but Jane is a lawyer, of course she'd have legal stuff around; she doesn't take much notice, instead watching Jane herself.

The documents, should she choose to look at them, have words at the top which might catch attention, or even make Desiree double-take. It's kind of hard to miss the phrase 'last will and testament'. But she isn't addressing them yet, Jane's still on the topic of bachelorette parties. "Awwww," she almost pouts. "That's a shame." And, of course, the unspoken thing: it may well be planned and pulled off without her knowledge or consent. Two glasses are poured, one is offered to the guest before she moves to sit.

That is, if Desiree doesn't see it coming! Granted, it's not like she'd sabotage her own party. "Oh, thanks!" She takes the wine glass and holds it loosely for now. It's as Jane sits down that she notices the content of the documents. Double-taking, she squints. "What in God's name? I thought you did copyright stuff, you doin' up wills for people now too?"

"Not unless the person was someone close to me," Jane replies quietly. "Or if it's my own." Not far down the page from those telltale words is a name: Michelle Jane Forrest. It goes on to enumerate her net worth in terms of finances and property, most of it intended to be received by one Alyssa McAlister. But beyond that is a section which inventories her musical instruments and whatever body of published or recorded works she might have at any point in time.

"I set them out there for you to see and maybe read part of, to catch your attention, because I wasn't sure how to start, really…"

Consider Desiree's attention sufficiently caught. She stretches ahead to place her wine glass on the table in front of her, a safe distance from those unsettling documents, without taking a sip. The woman's expression is as quizzical as it is sombre as she regards the lawyer. "What's this all about, Jane?"

"There was an incident early last month, Desiree," she explains quietly, "a dream was had which featured me not surviving. The trip I talked about, it was something I needed, that's why I took it. The danger's gone now, probably, but it still left me thinking about having things in order, tending to details, so I wrote that, and… before I make it final I needed to talk with you." She rises and approaches, her fingers aiming to settle on the document where the musical instruments and whatever works she might accumulate are mentioned, to indicate the inheritor. Portia Maddox.

"I… ain't sayin' it's a bad idea to have these things ready, it's responsible, but Jane…" Desiree leans onto her knees, reaching out to touch the papers, her fingertips coming to rest under the name of her daughter. "That's real thoughtful of you. You know she ain't ever gonna get those instruments 'til you're old 'n' grey though, right? You know the future can be changed. Hell, I know it, better'n anyone. I'm still here, too."

"I don't expect to be going out anytime soon," she answers with a chuckle. "The person who allegedly would murder me is dealt with, hopefully it stays that way. But the whole thing still made me take stock and prepare for the unexpected. I don't intend to tell her about any of this, ever. She's got what she's got, invisibility, but is too young to have any knowledge of our dealings. Hopefully the world lets her stay in the dark. And, of course, I wouldn't finalize anything like this with her name on it without your knowledge and agreement."

"Well, good." Desiree regards Jane for a moment just to make sure. "Sure— yeah, I mean, of course. Sign it off." Seeming to relax some now that things don't look quite so pressing, she plucks the glass from the table and settles back with it, taking a sip. "You're sure it's all taken care of— your would-be killer?"

"Well, given the kind of person he is, I gather the Company has him. Hopefully it stays that way. I'm not terribly confident they'll not let him escape somehow, but at present he's contained, and if he isn't I'll have a much bette idea what to expect," Jane asserts. She gathers the papers up and tucks them away, offering quietly "Thank you."

"Oh," Desiree says quietly. "And you're welcome." A veil of thoughtfulness taking over Dezi's face, she sips the wine, twisting her mouth to one side as she ponders before speaking up with, "I gotta wonder how many folks there are out there… seein' the future like I do. Seein'. Dreamin'. How many different futures there are."

With that not so pleasant business handled, Jane takes up her own glass and eyes it briefly before sipping at the contents. "I know of three," she offers. "A girl called Tamara who found me at opportune times, Peter, and you. Tamara hasn't been around in a while, though."

"Poet Girl," Desiree says with a fond smile. "I think she's drifted on her way," she surmises reflectively. "There're others," she adds, "So many, out there. So many of us in the world, Jane. Been thinkin' on what it all means."

"You and me both," she replies pensively. "I've always got my eyes open to spot others, sometimes I wonder if I'm getting tunnel vision, seeing the extraordinary in the mundane and not even thinking twice about it. I think the main thing is us staying in contact and sticking together."

Desiree reflects on that, though she doesn't carry it further — she just takes in what Jane says, sips her wine and leans back. "I didn't know your first name was Michelle," she comments idly. "How come you go by Jane?"

"Oh, that," she laughs, "it's an Ivy League and blue blood thing. My parents wanted me to be pretentious and snobby, call myself M. Jane Forrest, and I gave in partly. It became a habit, and I don't really think to tell anyone otherwise." She goes quiet for some seconds to think, before adding "Besides, the way things get altered, some people would try to call me Shelly. Or Shell, like a turtle."

"Yeah, that— no," Desiree laughs. "You don't seem the turtle type. Not that there's anythin' wrong with turtles. If your parents wanted you to have a snobby name, they just shouldn't'a named you Michelle." Simple logic, by her standards. "I got hell for my name when I was in college and med school," she confesses; it's with a shrug, not bitter.
"It's French," Michelle replies with a knowing grin, not saying what it translates to. "And I can imagine. Where'd you attend college?" she asks.

"Oh, back home in Mississippi. Never strayed too far," Desiree answers, her smile half-regretful. She crosses one leg over the other, idly ruffling the skirt of her plain black dress with one hand on her knee. "Where'd you go on that trip of yours, anyhow?"

"Lots of places," Jane begins. "I started out in London, I went to that crossing from the Abbey Road cover and did the barefoot walk across it. Then I started hunting out landmarks. Places Eric Clapton played, the Stones, the Beatles, The Who… Liverpool, Berlin, Dublin… It was all over, really, and eventually I made my way to Seattle. It was a tour of musical influences and history." Her glass is lifted, she takes a small drink from it. "I did a lot of thinking, came to terms and shed some baggage along the way. I don't so much feel like screaming when stress builds anymore."

"Wonderin' if you're gonna die soon puts things in perspective," Desiree says … agrees, in fact; her voice is more hushed than usual, laden with knowing. "You been on a real adventure, Jane. Tha's— good for you. It's too bad it takes somethin' like that to make folks go see the things they've always wanted to, but at least you went."

"The adventure isn't over," she asserts. "I expected it to be a wild ride, coming to the city to break into music instead of doing the corporate thing and practicing law. I got what I anticipated, and then some." There's another sip of wine, as the glass is lowered Jane muses. "Life's too short for regrets. No one knows when the end comes, or from where. It's just out there. I won't dwell on or run from it."

"Amen to that," Desiree lifts her wine glass toward Jane's in cheers. "We gotta make it count. You never know what's comin'." Pause. "…unless you're me. Oh, hell, even then. Life's still got some surprises in it."

"Even when you know what's coming, you still don't know where or when, so those have surprise in them too," the musical lawyer replies as she raises her glass in toast and drinks.

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