2007-03-19: Meeting In Locomotion


Desiree_icon.gif Zac_icon.gif Jane_icon.gif

Summary: Desiree, after going back home, arrives for a second time in New York - this time for a possibly longer stay - and meets Zac for the first time, and Jane again. Thrilling heroics do not ensue. It's totally mundane! With sandwiches!

Date It Happened: March 19, 2007

Meeting in Locomotion

Grand Central Station, New York City

Grand Central Station. Or Grand Central Terminal, as it's technically called, but who actually says that? One of the many former passengers departing from their train today is Desiree Russo, fresh out of Mississippi - or, well, not, as the case may be. It wasn't a short trip and quite frankly, the woman looks exhausted. Her dark, seemingly untameable curly hair has been tied back into a loose and knot which is falling apart, and her clothes are rumpled underneath her fluffy-collared coat. She remembers: New York is cold! Her body tiredness has not reached her eyes, however - as she walks, *click-click-click*, along the slick floor, tugging a suitcase on wheels behind her, she looks around her with a flicker of wonder in her gaze.

…That also means she's not watching where she's going.

Also not watching where they're going is Zac. He's not fresh to the city but he's not far off; his hands are stuffed into the pockets of his trench and he's looking down at the ground as he walks with his shoulders slightly hunched. It's not so much that he looks deep in though, as much as he's used to walking this way. Usually he glances up once in a while to see where he's going. This..is not one of those times. It had to happen inevitably, though. He bumps into Desiree not in a violent way, but one or both could possibly be quite jostled by the light collision.

Given that she's staring at the celestial image on the ceiling, Desiree is, indeed, jostled - she stumbles back a little from the collision. She's surprised more than anything, but Zac, at least, is lucky to run into a friendly stranger today. Instead of annoyance, she has a lopsided smile for the man. "Whoooops!" The miniature wheels on her suitcase (which is covered in a psychedelically swirling pattern of flowers) stop as she comes to an impromptu halt. "Are you okay, darlin'?" She peers carefully, biting her lip. "Guess I weren't watchin' where I was goin'. I'm so sorry!"

Zac blushes in embarrassment at his inattention. He is at least as friendly as the woman he bumped into. "Oh!" he says in surprise at the moment of impact, "Oh man! I'm so sorry, are you okay?" he says almost at the same time as you. He laughs at a little at that, offering a lopsided grin of his own. "It was my fault entirely, miss." he says, politely. "I didn't knock anything around did I?" he asks, concerned.

"Oh nah, I'm already knocked up from--" Waitasecond. Desiree's eyes widen and she backtracks on her words. "—knocked /around/. From the train ride. You didn't hurt nothin'!" she answers genially. She idly peeks upward under the rim of slightly smoky eyeliner she wears - smudged, from her long trip. She's admiring the ceiling again - after all, it's unique, even if it is a weird time to be looking at the ceiling. Apparently, that doesn't occur to her. Nor does it occur to her to continue on her way immediately. "Did you know this place's a National Historic Landmark?" the woman asks pleasantly of the complete stranger, and as if the statement honestly impresses her. "I got this brochure…"

Zac blinks, "Hmm." he says, "Actually, I didn't know that at all." he says, that smile still there and his eyes twinkling a bit now. "I'm afraid I didn't do my homework on the city before moving to it." he explains. He looks over at the woman, well, into those eyes of hers and cants his head, "Are you sure you okay? I'm such a klutz.."

Desiree's gaze flits between Zac's and the ceiling at not-quite-random intervals. "Yeah, it says so in these here tourist brochure I got it right here in…" The Southern implant's friendly smile twitches a little, threatening to twist down into a vexed frown. The reason? The ceiling. She's eyeing it intently now, and it's not bringing her the same entertainment it did a few second ago. "…my pocket," she finishes distractedly. "…what'd you say? Oh! Yeah. Yeah! Right as rain!" She flashes a bright, megawatt smile at Zac. It's kind of manic, truth be told.

Zac nods, "Oookay. I just..well..I'm obviously not from here originally. I still think like I'm back home and when I do somethin' bone-headed I feel bad. My name is Zac, by the way. I'm pretty new here myself." he offers his hand.

"Me either— not from around here, that is." As if that wasn't monumentally obvious. Desiree's smile softens, becoming less frenzied. Okay, Dezi, just don't look at the ceiling. "I kinda like that excuse. Next time I do somethin' bone-headed, I'll blame it on not bein' from around here," she says with a wink - then, as an embarrassed afterthought, sticks out a hand and shakes Zac's with it. She has a firm, warm grip, full of energy. "Desiree," she replies. "You waitin' for someone?" She peeks around the man, not seeing any telltale bags to indicate he's boarding. "'Cause, I'ma go get myself a coffee and maybe somethin' to eat. I think there's restaurants in here?" She cranes her neck around. "Said somethin' about that in the brochure too."

Zac chuckles, "It's worked for me so far anyway.." he shrugs a bit goofily and smiles. "Nice to meet you Desiree..Nope, not waiting for anyone. I just kinda like to walk around, get used to the lay of tha land I guess." he grins, "I'm guessing..hmm…Alabama?" he ventures, running a hand through his hair.

Aha! Restaurants. Spotted. Desiree zones in, tipping her head toward it in an invitation for Zac to join - because she's just the kind of person who has supper with random strangers she bumps into at train stations. It's going to get her in trouble one day, but this guy seems nice, right? "Mississippi, but y'aint the first to guess that," she says with an amused, one-sided smile as she starts to head toward the Dining Concourse. The suitcase trails along behind her, pulled along by the long handle. "I'm crap at figurin' out other people's accents 'less they're from the South like me, then I can pinpoint 'em by county." Perhaps that's an exaggeration. "S'true. Where you from that you're not used to New York?"

Zac steps in to join her, because hey — she's pretty and nice and it's not like he's got anything else to do and if he did, he'd sure as hell cancel! "Eh, can't win 'em all." he says, shrugging again after missing the state she was from. "Me? I'm just from Ohio. Nothing exciting there." indeed, his rather flat, midwestern accent (or lack thereof) is a dead giveaway." he pauses, "I'm..I'm not so sure of the restaurants around here either. So we'll make a deal here. You pick the spot, and since I bumped into you and got this whole thing started in the first place, I'll pick up the tab. Call it a welcome to New York gift, since I don't randomly go out with a Green Bean Casserole at the ready."

"I been to Ohio once," Desiree says. and that's all she says. Apparently, there's not much to say about her trip there. As she walks toward the various restaurants jammed into the Station, which involves following a sign that takes them down to the level below, she flashes a smile to Zac. "That's downright good-hearted of you," she says, sincerely touched. "Really, it ain't necessary, but I'll go 'long with it if you insist!" She doesn't want to insult him by turning down the offer, after all. "Are you okay with escalators?" Answer fast, Zac, because Desiree is about to step onto one!

Zac chuckles, "Then you know there's not much to it but flat..flat..flat..urban sprawl.." he walks along side Desiree and smiles, "It would be a pleasure, Desiree." he says sincerely. The twinkle in his eye and the sincerity in his smile reflect that he really would like to do a good turn here. He steps onto the escalator next to, "Well, I'm fine with 'em, but I just hate seeing little kids ridin' 'em without their parents."

Stepping into the station, Jane lets her eyes wander slowly over the interior. A mildly grim expression settles onto her features; she remembers the last time she was here was after waking up somewhere south of AC, and the few days following that were very much other than fun. A deep breath is taken, she forces those thoughts from her mind and ventures inward. As is common for her she's carrying guitar, backpack, and amp. Jeans and a hoodie are her garb, under a winter coat with gloves she cut the fingertips out of at spots appropriate for playing guitar.

Desiree wobbles and eyes the moving stairs for a second, holding onto the rail. "Yeah, I was always scared these thing'd gobble me up when I was little. I think my kids inherited my fear but I—!" She holds up her pointer finger triumphantly, looking over at Zac with a silly grin, "Overcame it. I'm proud of myself, it's a big pers'nal step," she kids. (Maybe.) And so the pair descend. "Wow…" Desiree's eyes go a little wide at the various restaurants this level has to offer, blatantly showing off her gaping I'm Not From Around Here stare. "Well. Now I got choices."

Zac can't help but laugh some. "Yeah, choices are cool. Sometimes you find too many choices here, it was a little too much for me when I first came here. Ate nothing but grilled cheese and tomato soup for the first week I lived here." he smiles, "Ahh..so you have kids? How old, if you don't mind me asking?" he says, interested.

In another part of the station, she heads for escalators herself and steps on one, Jane's carried to the lower levels by it. She looks around still, seeking out the best place to set up. High foot traffic areas and people with money. A grin forms on the woman's face as the perfect song to start off with here once she's found that spot comes into mind.

"Ain't nothin' the matter with grilled cheese and tomato soup," Desiree says matter-of-factly in her drawl as she disembarks from the escalator, strolling toward the restaurants, looking them over indecisively. "Thirteen," she answers Zac, despite the plural she put on "kids" earlier. "You like Mexican?" She heads toward the Mexican restaurant, which looks quite nice, really, but then she stops. "Nah, too fancy. I think I just want a sandwich. Maybe a grilled cheese now." And so she heads for a simpler restaurant. She doesn't spot Jane yet, though the woman's face would be familiar.

Zac smiles, "That's cool. I dig kids, but really never thought I was responsible enough for my own. So I'm content being everyone's silly ass uncle." he says, nodding as Desiree decides on a restaurant choice. "I'm a fan of sammies, I have to say. Though it's a dangerous ground to dance on. If I weren't such a fan, I might look a little less overstuffed than I do now." he looks around and spots Jane, recognizing her from the other day at Starbucks, even though he hadn't spoken to her. If he catches her glance, he gives a friendly nod and a smile in recognition. He's just friendly like that.

On reaching the bottom of her own escalator, Jane steps off and strides toward a spot in the middle of a stretch of restaurants. There's a hint of mischief in her eyes, like she's thinking about something privately amusing. Heeled boots tap the floor as she walks. Although she's in their path, the woman hasn't yet spotted Zac and Desiree. A few more feet, and she reaches what seems a good place. Her gear is set down, the guitar is pulled out, plugged into an amp, and she sets the volume at some moderate level. Loud enough to be heard without blowing the place away and getting tossed out.

"That's what I used to think, 'cept replace 'uncle' with 'aunt'," Desiree admits with 'what can ya do' sort of grin. "Kids change your responsibility level faster'n you can blink." Laughing, she heads to the counter of the sandwich shop. "Hey, sandwiches is somethin' I can actually make up decent, they deserve praises." What she actually orders is not a grilled cheese, but a toasted something-or-other piled high with practically everything on the menu. And a hot chocolate. Lanky though she may be, the woman's hungry, okay?

Zac has a seat next to Desiree and nods, "I can imagine. Still..I don't wanna risk it. Besides, I gotta get a girl that's interested in me before any of that happens." he pauses letting the rest of the thought trail off before ordering a cuban and a Diet Dr. Pepper, side of chips. "Ya make a decent sammich, huh?" he says, waiting for their order to be brought to them.

Her fingers set about manipulating strings and frets; music is produced. The open case rests by her left foot, the right foot taps along in time with her sound. It's a fast paced song, one by Jethro Tull, which she thought was fitting to play in Grand Central Station. A short time later her voice joins in, adding lyrics. "In the shuffling madness…"

Desiree, settling in and shoving her suitcase this way and that until it stays put beside the table, laughs good-naturedly at Zac. "Yeah, s'pose you do. I ain't got any advice there." She flops her arms onto the table. "I can do sammiches. Not much else, 'less you go into dessert territory, then, well, that's a whole other ballgame!" Hearing the beginnings of the train-themed song in the station, she looks around - and when she eventually spots Jane, Desiree squints. She looks familiar. "I think I know that girl…" Dezi gives the musician a chipper wave and smile.

Zac chuckles, "Eh, it'll happen when it happens I guess. If it doesn't happen..oh well. I'll live, I guess." he shrugs and then leans in when she points out the girl, "Oh yeah. Ya know, I've seen her around at Starbucks, but that's about it. Never talked to her, though."

She looks amused as she plays on, singing the lyrics with enjoyment. "… He sees his children jumping off at the stations, one by one. His woman and his best friend, in bed and having fun…" Jane's eyes move around to make contact with various people in the area, she practice the art of musicians to make it seem they're playing directly to everyone in the audience, and in time they fall on Desiree and Zac. He gets a nod of vague recognition, like maybe she remembers the poetry guy from Starbucks. Dezi, however, gets a look of very not vague recognition. Her eyes widen in surprise, she nearly fouls up her song from it. The connection to the older woman is one she won't forget, unless of course the Company's designated Eraserman took it from her. He didn't, that memory is undamaged.

Desiree winces and ducks her head, hunching down, when Jane almost messes up. Oops. "She got a nice voice," Desiree comments to Zac, watching the musician. "I'ma go say hi, before our food comes along," she says, sliding out of her seat to wander Jane's way. She leaves her suitcase where it is. "Hi… Jane, right?" she says as she nears, her voice low so as not to interrupt the singing too much. Her big, friendly smile is out in full force, albeit a tad apologetic. "Locomotive Breath. Ain't a bad Jethro song."

"I couldn't resist,” she answers during an instrumental part of the tune, without breaking her sound. "It just fit the location." A quiet laugh follows. "That's me. We're probably hard to forget to each other, what with things happening that night. You probably never saw anyone do that before or since." Her eyes show hints of recent rough experiences and the confidence, the edginess from having survived them. A smile is flashed, just before lyrics at the tune's end commence. "He picks up Gideons Bible, open at page one; old Charlie stole the handle and the train won't stop going, no way to slow down."

Zac is quiet, though he returns her nod. He listens, bopping along silently to the tune. He blinks a bit as the two women seem to at first recognize on another fully, and then chat a little. He chuckles, "Such a big city, such a small world.." he says, sipping from his soda when it arrives.

"No ma'am," Desiree replies with a grin. "You're a special little flower in that for damn sure." She just listens to the song for a few moments, bobbing her head a little appreciatively. "Well, I ordered a sandwich should be comin' soon so I'ma go back over there," the woman gestures to where Zac and her flowery suitcase sit, "If you wanna maybe join us on break," she offers by way of run-on sentence. She dips her head and heads back on over to the table, sliding in. "Nice gal. Met her in Times Square when I was visitin' the city last time. Though… guess I ain't so much /visitin'/ now."

"Break's when I want it to be," she chuckles after finishing. Her guitar is placed into the case, gear is carted over to the table and deposited again as Jane settles into a seat. "Thanks for the invite, Desiree." Legs cross at the ankles, she sits with her back straight and shoulders up. "Is life in the city treating you well?" A nod of greeting goes to Zac, she says simply "Poetry man, from the Starbucks."

Zac nods in understanding, "Moving here for good, then, eh?" he asks, sipping his soda. And then when Jane comes over and she busts him, he blushes. He grins, though. "That would be me.." he says, a little softer than he'd been speaking. He offers his hand, "I'm Zac, by the way, miss." he says to Jane.

"So far," Desiree answers brightly as Jane sits down, pleased to see her join them. "Seein' as I just got here 'bout twenty minutes ago and ran into this nice fella who's buyin' me a sandwich," the hazel-eyed woman gives a flourishing gesture in Zac's direction. Her grin fades as she ponders out the question Zac posed, simple though it seems. "I guess. Got all my essentials. Came here lookin' to figure it all out… don't even know where I'm gonna stay, long term. Just gotta figure it all out." She plucks her sandwich up, pensive as she looks down at it.

Her hand goes out to shake his once, then release. The skin is soft and smooth, but fingers have calluses. A grin is flashed at his introduction. "Miss? Not quite. Doctor Forrest, if you want to be formal. Otherwise, Jane will do." The younger of the two women turns to the other and smiles. Her only reply to the bit about figuring it all out is a slow nod, it perhaps means something private between the two, her own eyes show she's had to do some sorting out too.

Zac grins, "Well, perhaps I can meld the two and call you Dr. Jane? Not in the medicine woman sense of the word, but because Doctor Jane just sounds cool." he shrugs and picks up and takes a bite of sandwich, letting the moment between the two women pass. He chases the bite of sandwich with a sip of soda, "Would you like a sandwich yourself, Doctor Jane? My treat?" he asks the woman, smiling.

Desiree smiles rather softly at Jane before she bites into her very over-stacked sandwich. Crumbs fly everywhere, but she doesn't seem bothered. Chomp chomp chomp. "Well ain't you generous," she comments to Zac (after she's finished her bites, that is, although only barely). Looking to the other woman, she asks casually, "How you been, Jane?"

She considers the man for some silent seconds before answering "Steak and mushroom sandwich. Thanks, Zac. I'll tag you back for the food sometime when you catch me playing in public, the tip you'd want to leave is already paid." Confidence, there, that he'd want to leave money. "And Doctor Jane…" she chuckles, "just don't expect medical treatment, I'm not that kind of doctor." Then her attention goes back to Desiree, something somber flashes through her eyes, mixed with resolution. Learned strength. "I'm surviving. Keeping it together."

Zac smiles and motions to the waitress that the three of us are on one tab. "Well, that's good to know. If I ever get shot or stabbed, I'll make sure to hightail it to the nears ER. Might be kinda messy, lookin' for ya for free stitches." he grins, and seems to have no issues with Jane's confidence. She's right anyway, he'd have flipped a bit of bank into the guitar case. He smiles to Desiree, "Being a working actor in New York does have its privileges." he winks. "Like being able to buy dinner for new friends. Cool stuff like that."

A flicker of concern glimmers in Dezi's eyes for the near-stranger that is Jane. "Well, I'm glad to hear that, Jane," she drawls sincerely. "Oh hey," she smirks at Zac, "You ever got shot or stabbed while I'm around, I might be able to patch you up, 'least 'til you get to the ER - but bein' a actor ain't that dangerous, is it?"

She doesn't elaborate on her words, Jane opts to keep that to herself, it being something she isn't proud of in the least. Nor does she share what sort of doctor she is. A glance goes toward Zac, what he says draws a quiet chuckle. "Not unless one of the fake props turns out real, or a stunt goes bad, I wouldn't think." Then, turning back to Desiree, she offers "I've got a spare bed if you need it for a while."

Zac shrugs and smirks at Jane, "It's dangerous if the critics don't like you." he nods to Jane, munching his sandwich. "And exactly, you'd be surprised how many stage fights end up with bruised egos or broken jaws." he shrugs, "Ya'd figure New York actors were built Ford Tough. Not so much.."

"I think I'ma do the bed and breakfas' thing 'til I find somewhere more permanent," Desiree replies, saying the last word slowly and precisely through her accent. "That's real sweet of you though, thanks. If I get in a bad way I'll look you up. … Do I have your number? It's been a real weeeeird month, my head's all in the stars." She quickly eyes the ceiling again, but it's not so interesting on this level. "I always thought it'd be fun to be a actor."

"You do, but I'll share it again." A pen and a small sheet of paper is fished out of the pack at her feet, Jane leans over to get them and writes when she straightens up. There's a phone number on it, and an address. Apartment 108 in a Greenwich Village high rise building. She folds and slides it to Dezi, then tucks the pen away. "Critics," she muses, glancing back to the man while waiting for her own food, "someday soon they'll write about me too."

Zac sips his soda. "It's fun, but it's harder work than people might think. Especially when they're paying you. They wanna see results quick, and not so much with the messing things up. You don't get kind notes from directors like it community theater, you get told to deliver what the director wants or they'll find someone who can." he laughs at Jane's remark, "Well I'm not important to get written up about yet. Maybe one day, though. I could do a musical, and you could get in as a musician, and they'll write about both of us!"

Desiree gives Jane a thankful smile as she swipes the paper from the table and tucks it in her coat. Listening to Zac, she's enwrapt in her sandwich for awhile - it's pretty huge, so it takes some focus! It's washed down with gulps of hot chocolate here and there. "Musicals, huh. I was gonna be a musician at one point but I get all shaky and nervous all those eyes lookin' at me on stage. What kinda things're you actin' in now, Zac? Anythin' we might go see?"

"Only if it's a rock musical," Jane replies with a quiet laugh. "Like Meatloaf's stuff. The guy who wrote that was big in theater. There wasn't originally a play around it, but there easily could've been. It just had that feel to it." Turning to the other woman at the table, she shares a look which says 'You're welcome.' without actually saying it. "You could still try it. The worst that can happen is you don't get what you already haven't got." Her eyes light up as a server brings her food over, she begins to eat carefully.

Zac nods, "Very true, very true." he says to Jane's statement before sipping his soda and regarding Desiree's question. "Well, I've not been here long but I've done three shows: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, played Gooper in that. Lucked my way into doing Barachio in Much Ado About Nothing. And about a month ago, finished a run of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, and played Nick in that." he munches his sandwich. "Got a line on a couple of upcoming auditions. Bigger theaters, so more exposure. Might be nice."

"Yeah…" Mainly, however, Desiree just shrugs and pops half of a crust into her mouth. Her eyes light up with interest at Zac explains his recent resume. "That sounds like a pretty fancy list," she says, but, really, she only passingly recognizes the names. "Well, I hope you get real good luck." Her sandwich finished - in record time, considering how huge it was - she downs her hot chocolate to the very last drop.

Silence, now, from the guitarist/lawyer as she carefully eats her sandwich in a fashion which hints at a cultured upbringing. Napkin in her lap, chewing slowly and carefully… Jane just listens to conversation around her and from time to time drinks from the pepsi that came with her food.

Zac shrugs, "Eh, it's not as fancy as it sounds but it sure looks good on a resume. At least I'm not stuck doing dinner theater in Yonkers." he sips his soda and smiles, "Ya know. I'm glad I met you guys." he says out of nowhere.

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