2008-01-28: Mornington Crescent


Sierra_icon.gif Joule_icon.gif Randall_icon.gif Ian_icon.gif

Summary: In which the foursome discuss professional photography, subways, and strip clubs.

Date It Happened: January 28, 2008

Mornington Crescent


It's a quiet evening. People can be seen coming and going from houses and apartments. Some are just getting home from work, others are leaving for a pleasant evening around town. Sierra is the latter. She's been back from her job at the Queens Gazette for a couple hours and is itchy for something to do. Maybe she'll hit up a club, or perhaps a small bar, or maybe a fine dining establishment. One way or the other, she's not about to be cooped up in her apartment all evening.

Joule is actually walking out of the Therapy club, with her camera bag swinging from her shoulder. Couldn't bring her kid Friday along for this one. Not for six or seven years, no. She is whistling to herself. Something fusion-y and infectious. The wind is blowing her hair artistically back from her face.

And somewhere in the middle is Randall, who's just gotten off work and started to think about what to do with the rest of his evening. There's yet another new day job to wind down from; the portraiture gig dried up in a hurry when he came down sick for a couple days— the guy renting the converted newsstand cares not one whit about ability, due to the irrelevance of repeat business. Though, to be honest, he was starting to burn out on it anyway. A battered pair of off-brand earbuds are quietly broadcasting one of They Might Be Giants' more gloomy numbers.

Sierra starts off in the direction of the Therapy club, having been asked to write an article on the place anyway. There are plenty of guys waiting to find out what it's like, she's sure. The brunette start on her way, whistling a tune of her own liking. Out of her pockets, she pulls a bright red scarf and she wraps it around her all warm and cosy like.

Joule tips her shades up and shouts, "Oi! Sierra! Fancy meeting you here!" She quickens her pace to greet the other woman with a warm embrace.

Slipping the buds off and into a pocket, Randall squints at the sign up ahead. 'Therapy' as a brand name? What sort of— Oh, that sort of business. Therapy for people depressed that they're not getting any. Well, he's not in that crowd himself - not yet - but the line snaking out the door will take a minute to get past.

Sierra smiles widely as she hears her name, seeing the voice belonging to Joule. "Ah! Joule! Mon petite friend!" She hugs Joule greatly, even giving Joule a peck on each cheek. Sure, she's not European, but it can't hurt, eh? "Oui, I live not far from here, in fact! Do you live nearby as well?"

"Nah, Brooklyn," Joule shakes her head. "I was doing a little freelance photography. 'Couple of the girls are trying to move up in the world." Okay, if you consider going from stripper to porn actress 'up'…but hey, it pays the bills for both the girls and Joule, who must've photographed them.

Aha, there's an opening. Randall is about to duck through it and head further down the block, but… wait a minute. Photography. Freelance, at that. There's a topic that catches his interest in a way that the club fails to do. "Can you actually make a good living doing that?" he asks, unbidden, glancing briefly between Joule and her Francophilic friend.

Sierra looks back at the club before looking at Joule. "Ah, too bad I did not know you would be here! I am wished to write an article about the club by the Gazette. I could have spoken to the girls while you were taking pictures!" She grins widely. She glances at Randall, but leaves that question to Joule to answer, for it was seemingly towards her that it was asked.

Joule has slung an arm around Sierra's shoulders, and turns to regard the man who asked about her craft. There's a moment of frank appraisal before she shrugs and answers him. "You can," she confirms, nodding and shoving her hair out of her face with her free hand. "But you have to have flexible standards, situational ethics, good people skills, dauntless stamina, and the patience of Job on Qaaludes."

She turns and grins at Sierra. "So, not like I can't go back and take more shots. Your Gazette will be thrilled they don't have to use lame stock shots."

Randall bites his lower lip, nodding to Joule. "I could manage that on my best day," he replies, after thinking it over. Connotation provided by his body language? He hasn't had any best days lately. At that point, he pauses to take a cell phone call as it comes in, only to roll his eyes and hang up on the pre-taped ad pitch. At least it probably won't run up his bill.

Sierra places hands on her hips as she sizes Randall up for her own purposes. "Ah, mon cherie. I am sure that you can manage a good bit on your best days, non?" She grins at him, winking." She nods to Joule. "Oui, I am sure you are right with that. They can probably take all the new, fresh material they can get! But that's just between you and me."

This is not Ian's stomping ground. He's lost. And apparently enjoying it, looking around the polyglot neighborhood with a tourist's wide-eyed wonder. All but wearing a sign that says 'MUG ME'. But hey, Queens isn't a bad place, happily.

Joule sees a challenge in Randall, but not one she's of a mind to take…or is she? "Well, if you want to come along on a couple gigs I can't bring my normal kid Friday on, and you don't mind carrying a bunch of heavy gear, you're welcome to come along. Can't promise you much of a cut, though." She grins sideways at Sierra. "So what you're saying is we could both do better, then?"

Operating on instinct, Randall flashes a smile back at Sierra - but his heart isn't quite in it. Maybe if it were a few months earlier, or later… "I could do," he replies to Joule, quickly retreating to the relative safe haven of shop talk.

Sierra tilts her head towards Joule for a moment. "Oh, I am sure we could do better, oui. But for now, we must play our hands right, and who knows? Maybe we'll get an offer we cannot refuse!" She giggles softly. She gives a small smile to Randall.

Joule shrugs, letting Sierra go, finally. "Pft. I can take a few more bas mitzvahs, especially when the mums don't mind me drinking the champagne so their thirteen year olds don't get more than one glass each." She spots a familiar face coming up the street. "Oi! CIRCLE LINE!" She must not remember his name, but it's clear she means Ian.

That has Ian whipping his head around like he expects Joule to attack him. But he does come sidling towards her, dark eyes squinted in pleasure as he grins. "Hey. Kill that old guy of yours, yet?" he wonders, teasingly.

Randall tilts his head to one side, tracing the shapes in the air with one finger. Null set? Applegeek? No, the inside joke isn't obvious enough to guess at, except perhaps by sheer accident. With a shrug, he nods to Sierra, and braces as Ian prompts what sounds like it'll be a good old-fashioned relationship drama rant.

Sierra laughs at Joule. "Ah, champagne. Such a wonderful drink. My favourite, in fact." She says softly. "I can go on writing about 'exotic bars' and broken down subway lines too, for a little while." She turns to Randall. "J'mapelle Sierra, by the way." She says, holding out her hand to offer to shake his. French accent as obvious as ever…especially when speaking said language.

"Haven't seen him in a few days," Joule says, putting a clearly feigned lament into her voice. "Oh, I miss him so." She sighs. Then smirks. "But my aim's getting better, and I have been hitting all those darling little boutiques for cheap chipped china so I have more to throw!" Her smile grows positively sharkish.

"You frighten me," Ian says, but his tone is admiring. He hasn't bolted, either.

The mess of curls over there is just glad it isn't him that Joule is lobbing pottery at. "Randall," he introduces himself to Sierra, returning the gesture briefly. "But can you work them into the same story? I'm not sure how 'End of the Line' would go over as a strip club name."

Sierra grins a little at Randall after shaking his hand. With a laugh she says, "Ah, non. 'End of the Line' would not be a good name at all for an article. I was thinking more along the lines of…'Therapy Line' or 'Sub-Strip'. Something like that. I'm still working on it, however. It is yet to be perfected."

"You're not thinking creatively enough, Randall," Joule says, without missing a beat after grinning unrepentantly at Ian. She must take being declared frightening as a compliment. But back to discussion of her craft. "All subway trains have those stripper poles, y'know. Combine the two and Bob's your uncle. Not to mention all the metaphors involving the fact that the underground here is all tunnels. And the trains are all letters. 'Come down underground and take the …F train with me, baby'," she concludes in a phone sex voice.

This has Ian making unholy noises as he tries to stifle laughter. "Wait, you're all working on a strip club with an underground theme?" he echoes, as if not entirely certain he's parsing this right.

Randall looks around for something to lean against, because he's about to laugh so hard that he pulls something in his chest. No, Sierra does not count as 'something' in this sense. "It's perfect!" he answers Ian. "You've got your classical symbolism covered with the train entering the tunnel, and then for bonus points, you can double back on 'train' and pull in the swinger crowd…"

Too bad, Sierra would've made an excellent person to pull to Randall's chest. Oh well. She merely just giggles. "Non, we were just talking of work. But if you were wanting something of such viewing pleasures, I could point you to this club here." She points to the Therapy club.

Joule nods approvingly at Randall. He's a quick study. She flips a card out of the camera bag and offers it to him. "They're not really doing a subway theme," she clarifies for Ian's sake. "Just where the conversation was going. Hm. I wonder how those two kids I mortified on the Q train are, now that we're on the subject…" She strokes her chin thoughtfully. "It's good work if you've got the ovaries of steel and the self image to match. Lot of those girls are in school for some truly brainiac topics. Pre-med, Pre-law." She jerks a thumb back toward the club. "More power to 'em. I consider my bare arse viewable by priivlege only."

"It's like that shot that ends 'North by Northwest'" Ian notes, amused. "Me, I'm not out for a stripclub. But yeah. The stereotype that strippers are only bimbos who can't do anything else is wrong. I hear you make good money. I don't know if I'd be brave enough to do it myself."

Randall takes the card from Joule, glancing it over before pocketing it. "Oh, there are some of those mixed in, I'm sure— but then every job's got a few bad people pulling it down." Glancing sidelong at Sierra, he shakes his head: "Appreciate the offer, but I'll pass. Really bad time for that sort of thing."

Sierra smiles at everyone present. "Well, I must be off. I suppose if I want to get my article written, it's off to the strip club for me!" She chuckles. "It was good meeting you, Monsieur Randall." She gives a nod to Ian. "And good…sort of talking to you." She looks to Joule last. "I shall give you a call soon. We'll need to come up with some stories and pictures. If we're working together, I want you in on story ideas too!"

Joule tips a quick, jaunty salute at Sierra. "Cheers, Sierra," she says, genuinely. "I look forward to it. We'll find something to get into." Her expression implies it may be trouble they get into, but at least they'll enjoy it.

Ian offers a little salute, along with a sheepish expression. "Well, yeah, but that's true of any field," he says to Randall, jamming hands into his pockets.

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