2007-09-30: Not In Front Of the Kids


Cam_icon.gif Lee_icon.gif Joule_icon.gif


Cam visits The Secret Lair and learns his teacher's connection to the store. Joule visits and makes a mischievous suggestion to Lee about a perennial teacher's problem. Lee takes some pictures off the wall.

Date It Happened:

September 30, 2007

Not In Front Of The Kids

The Secret Lair - The East Village

Lee is hanging around behind the counter, which the guy who is actually /working/ behind the counter dislikes greatly, but Lee is not openly making fun of the pockmarked comic book nerds or the neckbearded D&D goons (yet), so that's something. Instead, he has a cardboard box and is considering a collection of photographs hung behind the register, of a man and a woman in various costumes and locations - in Star Trek uniforms at a wedding, with a cute little brown-haired Wolverine-girl at a comics convention (they are Scott Summers and Jean Grey), and in the middle, a poster: "Our Founders - Missing Since 2004" across the bottom. Some of the photos he has already put away in the cardboard box, but it's clear he does it with some hesitation.

Cam comes wandering into the store, starting to step over to where the box of 'used' comics that Kory pointed him to for reading is located, but he pulls up short on spotting Lee. For a moment he just stands there, but then greets, "Hi sir. You work here and a teacher?" The very possibility seems to confuse him a little, though.

Lee looks at Cam just for a moment, his mind elsewhere. "Hello, Cam. No, I don't work here. It's my sister's shop and she's out of town, I'm just keeping an eye on the place. Our friend Kory runs it, have you met her?" He takes down the 'missing' poster and a few more pictures, then seems to reach a decision and starts to take down /all/ the pictures, one by one wrapping them in bubble wrap and putting them in his box.

Cam nods a little at that, "Oh, cool." Then he nods quickly to the question, stepping over to the box to look through for some comics to read, picking out a couple. He says, "She's really nice." Then he asks, curious, "What're you doing?"

Lee addresses Cam with respect for his question, but a certain distance. "These are pictures of my parents, they started the shop a long time ago. They don't need to be up here anymore, they haven't been involved in the shop in years." He says: "Kory's very nice. I've known her for years. I used to torment her when we were in school together."

Cam ohs, nodding a little. He asks, "Are they still missing?" This he asks with a slightly different tone of voice than usual. Honestly curious, but something about the question makes him really serious.

Lee thinks about that a moment, then he says, gently, and with a slight smile, "I don't know where they are. I suppose that means they're still missing." He looks up from his work to Cam briefly, perhaps noticing his serious mood, but he doesn't inquire further on the subject, saying: "How's school going? Everything working out?"

Cam nods quickly at that, cheering up a bit again, "Yeah, it's ok. Kinda boring in parts, but other stuff's fun. I like science class." He holds onto the comics he's picked out, but doesn't move off to read them right yet, either being respectful or just liking having someone to talk to.

Lee advises, "You have to get through the boring stuff to get to the good part sometimes. What unit are you on in science?"

Cam answers, "Heat and energy. It's really interesting. Well, only had one class so far, but that part was good. Didn't know that's what heat was."

Lee grins. "They have some good lab materials at Brubaker that you won't see at most of the city schools. Keep it up." he urges. He looks at the big empty space on the wall and behind the counter, then looks fretful a moment. He finally rummages through the pictures and finds one of the couple in normal everyday clothes, clearly a candid shot, the man's mouth is open, the woman's hand is lifted a little. They are in this very shop, sometime in the 1980s by the dress of the people waiting in line. He hangs it back up, just that one picture.

Cam blinks, "Really? Mostly been just him talking about it so far. Hope we get to start experiments or something soon," he adds. He looks up at the picture and says, "When was that?"

Lee says, "The back says 1986. My sister and I would have been…let's see…six years old. I like this one, they look pretty normal. That's how I liked them most." He looks at Cam with a wry smile and adds: "I really don't like comic books."

Cam looks up to Lee again skeptically at that. "How could anybody not like comics? 'Specially if your mom and dad ran this place? It's like the best store in the city!"

Lee turns back to Cam, leans on the counter a little so he's more at Cam's eye level. "I don't. I never did. They always seemed silly to me. I like regular books. Ever since i was a kid I preferred books with chapters, and descriptive language, and well-written characters…maybe it's /because/ of this place. The diet was too steady."

Cam bites his lip, and then comments, a little defensively, "Superpowers aren't all that silly, ya know. Harry Potter's a lot sillier than comics. Just as fun, I guess, but sillier." Probably his only actual reference for an actual novel.

Lee adds, "Not a big fan of Harry Potter either, Cam. Superpowers are /very/ silly. If I wanted to read about magical things happening, I would go to Gabriel Garcia Marquez, or maybe Italo Calvino…something where I could be sure it would mean something, like in mythology. You know, you are probably old enough to read an Italo Calvino collection." he muses. "You have a library card, right?" All homeless kids do. Plenty of useful things in the library.

Cam, as Lee calls superpowers silly, for a split second it looks like Cam might say something in argument. Whatever it was, though, he holds it back, and then just nods a little to the question, "Yep, I got one."

Lee says, "Well, Italo Calvino, check him out. He wrote a lot of short stories, see if you can tell how the magical things in those stories are different from comic books or Harry Potter. Then you'll figure out where I was coming from. You can like whatever it is you like, Cam, nobody can make fun of you for that. But you have to give others the same leeway in their opinions." He means himself.

Cam is quiet a moment, and then nods a little, "Sorry. Didn't mean… just, I think powers are real. 'Mean, not like superman powers but, X-men type stuff. Without the aliens and big robots. My mom said there were stories about powers like that goin' all the way back to ancient Greece. Some of it's gotta be real, right?"

Lee looks at Cam for a long moment. "Say it was. What would that mean?" he says. "It hasn't made any difference so far, right?"

Cam hesitates and says, "How do we know? Jesus walked on water, that's what they say, right? And he healed people? Those are superpowers. And hercules, if he was real he did all sorts of things. What about Merlin? Maybe he had a power to see the future. And bet there's lots nobody's heard of too… or, 'least, that I ain't heard of." He seems quite passionate about this subject, though it could just be because of the stories his mother obviously told him.

Lee says, "How do we know? That is what we call in the teaching business a 'very good question'. If you look into it - how we know what's real and what's legend - I bet you'll really like the answer." He grins in a friendly way and nods to the comics. "You won't find it in those, but I won't keep you from them more. It was good to run into you."

Cam nods a bit to that and grins, "Yeah, but these are fun." Then he nods again and says, "Sorry, I didn't mean to insult ya or nothing." He turns to start back towards the more comfortable part of the store to sit down and read the comics.

Joule has arrived.

Lee and Cam have just parted ways - Lee, behind the counter, has a cardboard box, a small roll of bubble wrap, and he's wrapping pictures that he's just taken down from a big space behind the counter. A couple wearing Starfleet uniforms, the same couple wearing X-Men uniforms with their little brown-haired daughter in a Wolverine outfit…a 'missing since 2004' poster… He's wrapping them up with care but he is rather decisively packing them in a cardboard box. Only one photo remains in the space - a normal one, of the couple in this very store back in the eighties.

Cam is in the back of the shop, just sitting down with a couple of comics. Slightly used comics, by the look of them, not anything fresh off the shelf. The boy seems distracted, though, not actually starting to read yet.

Joule saunters in, hair undone. A pair of shades is over her eyes, and her hands are in her jeans pockets. She looks almost timidly around, before squaring her shoulders and walking in the rest of the way, and going to look curiously at the anime. She may or may not have spotted Lee behind the counter. She doesn't speak.

Lee notices Joule first thing. "Joule, hey." he greets as she heads into the anime area. The cashier instinctively glares at him, like he's going to say something nasty to her. "You made it! I was going to call you tonight." He smiles charmingly. The cashier subsides.

Joule glances over her shoulder, surprised to see Lee. Or is she feigning it? "Lee," she greets him, mouth remaining open as she spots younger kids, and restrains the rest of her greeting. "I was in the neighbourhood, photographing a spread for a new salon opening on East Third." She turns from the anime section to walk over to the counter. "How've you been, then, daft teacher?"

Cam glances up curiously as he hears Lee greeting the woman. The boy stands up, making his way back closer to the counter, though tries to make it look like he's looking through the new comics as he listens.

Lee comes around to her side of the counter, "I'm the best you've seen all day." he says, cockily. "So this is it, my youthful prison and my sister's love child. Colorful, isn't it?"

Joule tips down the shades to the end of her nose to give him an 'Are you SERIOUS with that' look, before returning them to the bridge of her nose with a smile. "It is colourful," she agrees. "I rather like it." She plucks a camera out of her jeans pocket, and snaps a photo of Lee. "You rather stand out, all monochrome-esque, amongst the four colour. Nice effect, see?" She turns the digicam around to show him. "What d'ya think, hmm?"

Lee approaches. "Monochromatic, whaaaat?" he says, tilting his head, looking, looking closer. "What can I say, you're right. Pretty talented, you almost make me look like I belong here. So how are you doing? Get any callbacks on your job search yet?"

Cam grins at Joule's answer about the store… at least the parts he can follow. But then he is looking at the new comics in front of him, apparently seeing something he likes. He picks it up and carries it to the clerk, "Can I get this?" Then, looking up to the one Lee's talking to, he adds, "Hi."

As Cam approaches, Joule answers Lee's question with a dramatic sigh. "One. Turned out to be snapping photos for a—" she pauses, lowers her voice to whisper to Lee, "bloody porn spammer." She raises her voice back to normal and sighs. "I'm going to start kicking in doors on Madison Avenue at this rate." She smiles down at the kid. "Hullo," she tells him politely. "So a little escapism is about just what the doctor ordered, I think." She glances down at Cam again. "What's good, then?"

Lee says, "Joule, this is Cam, he's one of my students." It's interesting, with Joule, he's warm and charming, when he introduces Cam, he's more formal and dignified. It's definitely a shift of gears. He blinks at Joule's job search update. "That's a story I want to hear. Another time."

Cam shows Joule the comic he picked, "New Ultimate Spider-man. They're always really good." He puts it up on the counter and starts digging through his pockets for money to pay for it. Doesn't look like he has much, but enough… barely. Then, at the introduction, he adds, "Nice to meet ya."

"Spider-Man," Joule muses pensively. "They did him in India a few years ago. Saw it in the airport. Good call, mate," she tells Cam, giving him a quick, tight smile, and then turning to make good on her declaration. "There is a *lot* of Spider-Man back here," she comments.

Lee says, "More than you could ever possibly comprehend. Unless you're my sister. Did the story change at all in India?"

Cam smiles up to Joule and nods quickly. He says, "Spider-man's like the best hero. He ain't an alien or anything like that, just a kid with powers. Or a man, in Amazing."

"Good bit," Joule agrees with Cam. "But the basics are all about the same." She nods at Cam, and glances over her shoulder at him. "Just like that. Even in India, he's a poor boy the other kids are mean to." She plucks a copy of Amazing off the rack, then scans alphabetically. Birds of Prey picks up her attention next. "Hm."

Lee says to Cam, "Got it covered?" He's being casual, but he did notice that Cam was a bit short. He did not offer to help. "Kory got you signed up for the members club, so you get your discount?"

Cam recounts the momey, and then nods quickly, "Yeah, got enough." With like 5 cents to spare. He blinks, then, looking back up to Lee and asks, "Member's club? She didn't mention that. But I didn't buy anything last time."

Joule decides she likes the looks of some of the Terry Moore stuff. Particularly Strangers in Paradise and Echo. "Members club? For comics? Wow, there's one of those things for everything a person can buy these days," she remarks, vaguely bemused.

Lee nods, "You get a ten percent discount on your next visit, then. Give him a card to fill out?" he suggests to the cashier, who obeys even though Lee claims to have no authority here. He eyes Joule's selections with abiding skepticism. "Nima says they bring in repeat business. I guess the reason they're everywhere is they work."

Cam blinks and smiles, "Awesome!" He fills out the card as it's passed over. His writing's a little rough, but readable. "I've never heard of store clubs like this before.

Joule waits patiently for Cam to finish up, taking her time scrutinizing the store for other interesting things. "I may have to come back for some of these cute little things," she murmurs, thinking aloud, as she passes over some SD anime characters. "Terribly cute, they are."

Lee says, "There's a lot of local people that do things like that, we have a wall set up to enable, I mean support them." The joke's a little highbrow for Cam, intentionally so, but he gives a smile to Joule anyway. "Take care, Cam. See you in class."

Cam finishes filling out the card, and then smiles, "Thanks. Bye." He takes his comic, putting the others he was going to read back in the box, and then moves to start out the door, waving to Lee and Joule.

Lee says, rounding on her slightly as Cam departs, "I have got to hear about the spammer. Come up for a drink?" he asks. He indicates with his thumb the 'Do Not Enter - Private' door.

Joule sets her purchases down on the counter. "So, you tied to the store, then, or can you point me to a good place around here—" she pauses, as Lee speaks first, and her smile widens. "Precocious. Incorrigible. You're on."

Lee leads on with confidence. "I am sure if anyone can corridge me, you can." he says, ascending.

Onward to the Jones residence..

As far as apartments in the East Village go, this one is rather spacious and well-tended. More importantly, what space there is has been optimized with lots of shelving and savvy arrangements. Dark wooden floors pervade the entire abode, save where some colorful rugs have been placed. Overall, the mood is welcoming and a bit whimsical, and there is plenty of natural light due to the many windows.

Slightly sunken, the main room is inviting, complete with a very comfortable couch and sturdy coffee table. There also is a television rigged for some serious video gaming, with several consoles and other electronics neatly kept in the entertainment unit. Nearby, a moog, a theremin, some samplers and sequencers, and a portable rhodes piano are often put to use.

The kitchenette is semi-open with a decent amount of counter and cabinet space, plus a narrow pantry. Tucked in one corner is a table and enough chairs to accommodate a quartet. Despite being small, the single bathroom successfully serviced four people for nearly three decades and is kept in excellent condition. None of the three bedrooms are claustrophobic in square footage but they don't allow for much more than a full-size bed and a dresser.

Joule glances around the apartment, one brow quirked. The glasses get shifted to the top of her head. "Nice," she says, and there's not a cynical edge on the words at all. "Reminds me of my own flat back home."

Lee says, "Sorry for the boxes there. Big shipping job." Of Nima's junk she absolutely can't live without. "It's /very/ nice. Preference on the drink?"

"What've you got?" Joule asks, lifting one shoulder, and letting herself settle almost bonelessly onto the sofa.

Lee says, "The usual bohemian cabinet-full of this and that. Whiskey? You strike me as a whiskey and soda type, very classical. Tell me I'm wrong."

"Bohemian, yes, whiskey — well, it's been awhile," Joule admits, one brow quirked. "So you're a student of Brit culture, then? Or do I just give off 'whiskey' alkie vibes, is it?"

Lee pours the whiskey and soda. "Not at all." he says, and he's more serious this time. Drugs are no joke with him. "I do watch a lot of old movies." He gets one for himself, seating himself opposite her, but up on the edge of the chair, so even with a table between them they're close. A table that used to be piled with comics and video games is now mostly taken up by Everyman Classics and PTA memos. "So. The porn guy."

"Y'know. Typical arsemongering bastard," Joule seethes, accepting the drink. "Trying desperately to come off all smooth and clever. Dancing around the truth with carefully chosen words. I finally got fed up with the lot of it, got up and told him he'd bloody well give me the numbers and the actual job description, or I was walking." She sighs, and leans back, contemplating the glass a moment. "So he tells me the numbers to get my attention, and when he finally gets to the job —" She slams her drink, letting that gesture finish the sentence for her.

Lee grins at her anger approvingly, "Not much respect for the artist's integrity?" he suggests. "What a world. It's almost comforting that all the pornographers haven't been driven out of the city by Disney, though."

Joule says, "Fuck no!" Joule snaps. "I didn't go to bloody university so I could take pictures of wankers wanking to sell fake bloody Viagra to middle aged tossers so they could cheat on their wives!" All of this spoken in a low voice, made husky by the whiskey. "Pft. They weren't even in Times Square. They were one block down from Fifty-Seventh, can you believe it?"

Lee sips his own drink. "People sell out too easily these days. At least /pretend/ to put up a fight, I say." he says. "Take a stand for something, anything. If you don't have integrity you don't have anything."

"Cor, that's a lovely philosophy," Joule's lips curl into something that would have been a smirk if not softened by the whiskey. She twirls the glass between her hands before finally setting it down. "Only reality doesn't work that way. All the big porn operators can make big money from a little server farm in a big office building. Why fight the Mouse over /space/?"

Lee grins, "You sound like me snarking about the assistant principal." He leans back and puts his big feet gracefully up on one of her memos. "I got chewed out today for not spending the, ahem 'required fifteen minutes teaching reading comprehension of state assessment test question structures to low-achievement students'. Yes, that's right, they're behind their grade level by two to three years, but let's take a quarter of the hour out to try to get them to memorize test questions."

Joule quirks a brow at Lee, tilting her head at him. "How's that work?" she asks, flinging a braceleted arm into the air. Jinglejinglejingle go the bangles. "In fifteen minutes? I mean, unless you have some manner of rock star and video vixen shakin' 'er arse while singing about it, kids don't learn that fast, do they?"

Lee explains: "Fifteen minutes /per day/. One fourth my face time with these kids. I'm a crap teacher by nature, I'm only just now starting to get the hang of it, and I'm supposed to just give up one fourth my time?" He shakes his head, takes a big drink of the whiskey. "I got narcced out by the biology teacher across the hall, who thinks I should go back to the Bronx."

"Can you sing, then?" Joule asks, smiling slyly at him through her hair.

Lee says, "I can sing, dance, /and/ play the electric violin. You musical at all?"

"Remember that unsavoury hobby?" Joule asks, keeping the sly smile exactly where it was. "Answer's yes. I sing. I dance. I play the drums." She blows the hair out of her face. "Shall we make your class a video, then? I'm sure I can convince some of the girls who were waiting in the office for my spammer interviewer to take twenty minutes for a good cause."

Lee says, "A video, I…oh!" He blinks at the suggestion. "Could do a cover of James K. Polk by They Might Be Giants, I suppose." he chuckles. Then he blinks. "You're serious!" he says with delight.

"Well, hell, yes, I'm serious," Joule replies. "It'd be a good showcase for my talents, and if you want your kids to learn, you've got to speak their language, right? They'll memorise ear-wormy pop right quick, especially if we can make it a downloadable they can put on their ickle iPods, hmm?"

Lee rubs his chin. "Damn. That is a frankly obscene suggestion, Joule." he says, his own voice lowering. "What you're saying is that we are going to distribute the state assessment question structure that the school is requiring me to waste my time teaching in such a way that, if we do it right, goes viral, will escape the bounds of the school, and no doubt land in the news as evidence of how desperate schools are to teach the test. All the while doing exactly as I'm being ordered to do." He adds: "I. Love. It."

Joule leans her chin into her hands, tilting forward so she's a little closer to Lee, despite remaining on the sofa. "Beating them at their own game. Isn't it just /lovely/?"

Lee leans back forward himself, putting his whiskey glass down next to hers. "There's only one problem. Like a lot of cheesy hipster electro bands, my sister and I only did covers, we never did our own songs." With their faces this close, he can lower his voice, and he does, right down into his chest, with his slender elbows on his knees and his hands laced together.

Joule's lower lip juts forward in an expression that's half pugnacious, half pout. "That might prove a challenge," she admits, expression going thoughtful and distant. "Have you any allies on the faculty? Or any creative types who frequent your sister's store downstairs, then? We needn't even write an all-new tune. We could just bastardize something else, something catchy."

Lee loves that pout, it's clear from his face. "My friend William, but he's not musical." he says. "If we could just get some lyrics, I'm sure we could work up the rhythm…and I /have/ the worksheets I'm supposed to use for the kids…maybe we could combine them somehow…" And here he lids his green, green eyes: "…there's a first time for everything, isn't there?"

"It's a start," Joule declares, decisively. "Lyrics shouldn't be too hard. They've put bloody Romeo and Juliet to rap already, haven't they? If they can do that, we can do this. Let's have a look at the worksheets, then." She pauses, drinking in that dreamy expression of his. "This is a good sort of mad, isn't it?" she asks him, breaking into a much warmer smile of her own, almost in spite of herself.

Lee says, keeping that eye contact up: "Say 'daft' again, and I'll go get the worksheets."

"You are completely barking mad daft," Joule obliges, voice gone a touch more throaty, despite the fact she's had no more whiskey.

Lee's smile gets wider, he rises - his head sweeping so close to hers that his narrow chin almost touches her cheek - and goes and gets his leather briefcase, rummaging around in it. He pulls out some worksheets - pristine, free of pencil marks. "I'm /never/ handing these to a student. It would be child abuse." he says. More normal tone. All teachers have red pencils - he offers her one like the Lady of the Lake bestowing Excalibur.

Joule's intent gaze follows Lee up and across the room until he returns to her. Then she gracefully extends her own long, deft fingers to accept the proffered writing implement. Her fingertips brush his for the faintest instant, before she tucks it behind an ear, just as it was the night they met. She scans over the paper, and pulls a pained face. "You're not exaggerating. This is bloody awful. I'm sure we can come up with something, though."

Lee says, in a self-mocking sing-song, "Identify what the symbols in the diagram are and list them specifically, using the word 'represent'!" He adds: "Interpreting political cartoons and graphs and so on is /hard/ for these kids, and rewarding, but how does it help them to say the magic words 'identify' and 'represent'?"

"Represent?" Joule repeats, smirking faintly. "That's practically teenage vernacular in this city. 'East side, represent' and bollocks like that, innit?" She glances down again. "But identifying symbols? How, exactly, is this gonna be of any use to them in the real world after school in the first place?"

Lee says, "Well, you can't really navigate a newspaper - unless it's USA Today, I guess - without knowing how to read and understand a graph of some kind. And political cartoons, that's art." A pause. "Wait, this is from the map unit, too, look down at question 3. Maybe we can use that as the theme. Being lost, going somewhere, which way, how do you know, look for the symbols…"

Joule gets up to lean over his chair, resting a hand on his shoulder. "Oh, I like that. And isn't there a song like that? Or at least a refrain we can plumb." She sings in a soft alto, "Life is a highway, I'm gonna ride it all night long…If you're goin' my way, I'm gonna drive ya all night long…" She pauses. "Might have to tone the lyrics down a touch so your parent groups don't lose their collective little minds, but it's a start, then, innit?"

Lee groans, laughing: "Oh, lord. Overplayed nineties pop. But there's no way it won't stick in their heads. Yeah, it's a start, it's definitely a start." He leans back as she leans down. Face to face again, this time hers above his, her hair tumbling down all around. "Hell, if it goes viral, then one of the kids will do the dirty version." He adds, softer: "I like your voice."

"Well, if not that, we could always dial back to the eighties. Depeche Mode, even: 'It goes through St. Louis, Down to Missouri…' And true, the kids will make the raunchy remix on their own…" she trails off as he looks up at her. "Thanks. Been awhile since I've felt much like singing. You always this infectious?"

Lee says, "I really hope so, because I'd love to take you dancing on Friday. I do have a whole catalog of Depeche Mode stuff already programmed in…" he admits. "Does that make me less of a man?"

"Dancing," Joule practically lights up at the suggestion. "Oooh, I do like that idea." A good way to burn off all this aggression she's had pent up. Well, /one/ way of doing that. "Mate, I'm /English/," she reminds him as he speaks of the band. "Depeche Mode's a sign of painfully hip where I come from. Europe isn't all hung up on whether music is macho enough for you to listen to if you've got wedding tackle."

Lee says. "Not even Erasure? No wonder Europe is in decline." Her eagerness comes back to his face. He has his own tensions and they're bouncing off hers, teasing and reassuring in a circular wave.

"Erasure's another story," Joule assures him, straightening up from the angle at which she was bending, so she can stretch. Comfortable, yet awkward. "You'd be surprised what we like that never makes it across the pond."

Lee gets up with her, gallantly, yes. "Don't tell me. I do like surprises." he prompts.

"I'll let you borrow my ickle iPod sometime, then," Joule murmurs, bending to pick up the glasses and carry them to the kitchen. She already scoped the apartment well enough to do that. "So - spare classroom to rehearse in, then? Or the roof of my building? Or did you have something else in mind?" She looks over her shoulder at him before setting the glasses in the sink.

Lee says, "Roof of your building works for me, but I know a guy, when we're ready to go, he can get us some studio space." Lee's kitchen is tidy, but lived-in, this is not a guy who eats out all the time despite his clear bachelorhood. He follows politely. "Thanks." he murmurs.

"No worries," Joule tells Lee with a shrug. "You were nice enough to pour me a drink to take the edge off. You've got my number. You'll give us a jingle when you're ready to start our marvellously devious and …daft…plan, then?" She ventures to chuck him gently under the chin, jangling bracelets heralding the gesture.

Lee says, "If not before. Thanks, Joule." He escorts her to the stairs down.

Joule makes her way down the stairs without incident; clearly one drink was just enough to take some of the hard angles off her and return her to being smooth and curvy. "Y'welcome. I look forward to fighting the power with you." She pays the cashier for her purchases, and then, bag in hand, she's outside and raising one braceleted arm to hail a cab.

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