2008-02-12: Slightly Dire Decisions

Starring:

Jane_icon.gif KeLyssa_icon.gif Kory_icon.gif McAlister_icon.gif Sophie_icon.gif

guest starring Leslie_icon.gif, the trust-funded geek of a thousand names, now with knee injury and candy.

Summary: Jane and Leslie have decided to take slightly more …direct and forceful methods to get what they want.

Date It Happened: February 12, 2008

Slightly Dire Decisions


The Secret Lair

Kory is bobbing her head behind the counter, and occasionally shouting "Promise! Promise!", which apparently is something on the headphones she's listening to. This is because the geek boys in the back are mostly still kvetching about how Valentine's Day sucks rocks for guys like them. All the pretty girls are gonna go out with jocks who will not treat them with the appropriate respect and reverence, blah blah blah, yackety schmackety. Is it any wonder the manager's tuning it out with a CD she has playing from the laptop?

You know - there's a dress code to life.

True! You want to get into Sardi's? You aren't going to be wearing shorts and a hawaiian shirt. Want the best prices at the Ritz or the Savoy? Wear a tux. And - if you want to fit in at a gaming store? Wearing something on the edge of formal, go-to-sunday-meeting dress ain't exactly going to make you subtle when you try to sneak pass the game ads and concert flyers.

Of course, if you're /carrying/ some of the latter, well. Maybe you're not in here for the ambiance.

Ali, a little unsteady on heels, admittedly, moves past the board with a packet of colored printing under one arm and her battered bag slung over the other shoulder.
McAlister is looking at you!

Kory has the volume low enough that she can actually hear the door chime that announces a customer tonight. She looks up, and frowns. That hair. Those eyes. Where has she seen them before? Only last night, but unfortunately last night was also full of weird, so there's no associative connection. Instead, Kory goes into work mode. "Hey, evening. You just give a shout if you need anything, okay?"

"Alright then. Uh. 'shout'." That alto /drips/ with laughter, in that moment - and the blonde's not /really/ looking behind the counter. Not yet. She's still eying that flyer for Nilla to the point that her legs are threatening to get away from her head. "I'm sort of here as a favor - are they any good? Heard good things."

Kory grins broadly. Oh, this one's fun. "Nilla? Not bad. They can be bland, but if you wait past the first set, they usually loosen up and get rocking." She sets the headphones down politely, since they're talking about flyers and music and suchlike. Two of the geeks playing Hello Kitty 40,000 look up at the conversation. One of them jawdrops, and the other one just goes bug-eyed. Hot. Hawt. Blonde. At the bulletin board. Whoa.

"Yeah? Huh. I'll have to drop in - " Ali finally gets around to looking behind the counter as she leans on it, and that grin widens. "Oh! Hey. I know you - you're that chick from the signing last night." She waves a hand, vaguely. "How's your.. guyfriend?"

The jawdropping may or may not be noticed. Well. no. It's noticed. She offers the pair a waggle of fingers, a rather wryly naughty smile - but she's talking over here, and that takes precedence, darnit.

Oh dear god, no. Don't encourage them! Kory winces slightly, and grits her teeth, before schooling her face into a smile. The bolder of the two, a guy wearing a faded Mage T-shirt with Kevin Matchstick when he still had hair, sets his game aside, and pushes back his chair. His pants are covered with orange cheezdust. "Wow. You're…you're a new face," he says to Ali quietly. "You …you like Nilla?" Ali has the power to crush a geek's spirit in her hands now.

"Oh, Solarfox?" Kory says, relieved to be able to speak up and invoke the name of the Alpha geek. "He thinks his knee is sprained from hitting the ground. We put some ice on it. Gave him some Tylenol. I'm sure there's no permanent damage. He was fine after breakfast this morning."

Breakfast? The geek who was trying to muster up the courage to try talking to Ali stares at Kory. As do the others at the table. "HE SPENT THE NIGHT WITH YOU?!"

Ali winces at that - but keeps the wince up there at the counter, thankyouverymuch - along with a smile that's oddly conciliatory. "… er. Well, I hope he's feeling better. No clue what that other chick was doing, but - whatever it was, no harm, no foul, right?" She shrugs, and sets the flyers down - "Chris wanted me to put these up around here - " looks like a Soho music swap meet - "he said to try you. You mind?"

The distraction keeps her from answering that question 'bout Nilla. She's fine with that, for now.

"I'm sure he's okay. He will probably be along in a few minutes. He gets off work around this time," Kory tells Ali. The geeks at the back huddle up and gossip like hens. She knows his work schedule. He had breakfst. She was all Florence Nightengale at him! "But I'm sure he'll appreciate knowing you asked after him. And I have no idea what was up. I kinda came in on the tail end of all the weirdness. I'm just glad it worked out. And no, of course I don't mind. Go ahead and tack up whatever you need to."

"Thanks! I don't know either - " Ali shrugs - she's heading for the door (in that lonely black dress of hers), or, more specifically, the bulletin board. A small stapler's produced from that becoming-threadbare purse, and she sets about posting flyers.

"Alyssa McAlister, by the way. Ali. … seriously, though. Solarfox?" She winces. "Poor guy."

"Kory," Kory rejoins. "And no, that's a nickname. He doesn't like to go by his …um…given name."

A mocking nasal voice from the back provides why in an amused voice. "You wouldn't go by your given name either if it was Leslie Fuchs-Wacker!"

And, as if that were a cue line, the young man going by Solarfox limps in, and gnashes his teeth at hearing at least his last name. He pinches the bridge of his nose, and shifts his weight because he's got something behind his back. If there's anyone behind him, they'll see it's a jar full of heart-shaped Red Hots candies, with a big red bow on it.

Ali shakes her head - eyes the nasal-voiced fellow back there, and then just dismisses him. It's a subtle thing, but, no, she doesn't /say/ anything - this isn't her place - but she's definitely written that one out of consideration, regardless. "Good meeting you, Kory - he seemed pretty nice."

At about that point, Leslie gets past her far enough to enter her field of vision. "Oh, hi! How's your knee?"

"He's a sweetie," Kory confirms, with a warm smile. "He's stuck by me through a couple rough spots lately. We're thick as thieves."

"DUDE!" the geek squad in back greets their Alpha. "Is it true?"

"Is what tru—" Leslie blinks, and turns to look curiously at Ali. "Oh. It's all covered in bruises, but nothing serious, I don't think. Thanks." He gives her a polite smile, and beelines toward the counter. "Evening, Kore. I just wanted to give you a little thank you for taking care of me last night." He presents the package to her with a flourish.

"Awww. You shouldn't have," Kory says quietly, but she's clearly tickled. Her eyes go floorward, shyly.

Ali laughs, then - but it's a friendly thing - shaking her head once. She's not much older, let's be honest - but one can almost /see/ the "young love" she doesn't say. But hey - it's wistful.

Nevermind /that/, though. The DJ wanders back to the counter, having hung a couple of the flyers, there - "See, that makes him a keeper." The woman offers Kory a wink. "Thanks - I appreciate you letting me post those - you mind if I leave these here a sec?" She taps the flyers on the counter.

The door opens a short time after the man named Leslie enters with his Red Hots, a woman with a guitar case over one shoulder and a backpack over the other stepping through. She's got hair pulled into a ponytail and a Yankees cap atop her head. The store's interior is quietly surveyed; Jane spots the gathering near the board and the man with his candies, then Ali and Kory.

For a long moment, she doesn't move from that spot and tries to escape notice, if she can. Her face was, after all, part of that video in Times Square recently. Number Two Pencil.

Before she can be spotted by either of the women known to her, Jane ducks down one of the aisles between shelves, checks for the presence of a Black Canary title she hasn't seen before, then attempts to make her way out as quietly as she arrived. Too much crowd for info seeking. This time.

"No, it's cool, whatever you need," Kory says, brushing her hair back from her face. There's a blush there, and her eyes seem a little fever bright as the man who prefers to be called Solarfox over Leslie whispers something into her ear. But she doesn't shoo him away.

The geek squad has mostly gone back to Hello Kitty 40,000, although there's some grumbling because their alpha is standing at the counter making goo-goo eyes at the (admittedly hot) counterbunny. So Jane goes unnoticed by them, but not by Kory, despite the glassy eyes. "Hey there, Bird of Prey. Long time no see." Mainly because Kory has been avoiding Jane. Not due to the video. Other issues. But there's a crowd now, so hopefully the other woman won't snatch her face off. "Le—that is, Solarfox…I think your boys want you to join the game." But she softens the shooing by brushing a quick kiss across his lips. You can practically see Leslie's pupil-and-iris transform into bright red cartoon hearts. But it's over so fast he doesn't get to kiss her back.

Ali turns away - heading in the direction of the movie section, gaily calling back, "thanks!"

Of course, that puts her in the perfect spot to see the 'bird of prey', there. "Jane!" It's easier to leave those heels behind than to try to make the few steps it takes to. Well. Throw herself at the musician. Just a hug, fanboys - just a hug.

But Ali grins anyway, "Oh, man - I haven't seen you in forever! You should come by the station - I've got a huge pile of demo tracks for you. Geez - how ya been?"

Busted, by both Kory and Ali. Suddenly the woman some may decide resembles Anne Hathaway is being hugged by the Drew Barrymoresque one. Jane curves her features into a smile as arms wrap around Ali to return the hug and she keeps herself from falling over. A laugh follows, as her eyes settle on Kory. She doesn't yet address her with words, just the eyes which say 'sometime we will talk, and you will cease with the holding out on me'. For just a moment, then the shorter and far blonder has her full attention.

"It has been a while, too long," she answers with an extended laugh. "I've been living an interesting life. And my roommate, who was away on business for a long time, came back for a day, then left again months ago stopped paying her half of the rent. It's a little weird. But… what about you, Ali?"

"… voice work, dick producers, and too many too short days." Ali grins, steps back - "But I told Bruce I'm taking a little downtime, and sticking with just the radio gig for a while. I'm going to the Soho meet next week - you've got to come with. it's right up your ally." The DJ bounces back to grab the shoes she left behind. "You'll have to spill the details on the whole 'interesting' thing later - chineese curses are a hobby of mine, you know, right?"

Kory bites her lip and gives Jane an apologetic shrug at the hairy eyeball. Leslie strokes her hair once, and limps over to his table, with a dark glance at Jane. But he doesn't say anything, other than, "Sweets for the sweet. I hope you like them." He hums a little to himself, softly, and Kory hums an answering tune, reaching to open the jar and have a few. "They're delish!" she tells the guy who prefers "Solarfox" to his real name, smiling. Her eyes have resumed that odd fever-brightness.

KeLyssa steps casually into the Lair, humming a tune and drinking a coke. She's seemingly in a good mood. But it can be hard to tell sometimes. She gives Kory a wave. "Hey Boss Lady. How's it goin'?" She says in her typical southern accent.

"Ohhhh," Jane replies, missing Kory's shrug because her attention is no longer on her, "I'll tell you the whole thing. It's quite the tale." Then she's seeking to draw Ali down an aisle between shelves where hopefully between that and the Solarfox person with Kory what she does won't be seen, and what she says won't be heard. There she takes a small piece of paper from a pocket and writes in a neat hand. The message is:

Ali,

Please ask the woman with the candy guy to 'tell Jane everything she wants to know when she asks'. Whisper it to her, do it so no one suspects anything. I'll explain later. Thanks!

Then she shows this to the blonde, making eye contact to indicate the importance of it.

Sophie pushes open the door. She has a coat on against the outside cold, and she is wearing gloves. She glances around the room, probably trying to see what the place is about.

"Hey, KeLyssa," Kory greets her friend and coworker as Sophie enters to discover:

It's a comic book shop Sophie has entered, one of a kind. Forbidden Planet can't touch it! Jim Hanley's Universe can't touch it! Not even St. Mark's comics can touch it! The Lair is a geek mecca, made so by the loving hand of one Ghanima Jones, proprietress, and now in Philadelphia operating the second branch. The place is filled with videos, DVDs, anime, toys, comics, movies, T-shirts, collectibles, and geeky doodads of every shape, size and description.

Kory glances up as the new face enters, and quirks a brow. How strange; the other woman from the other night. "Hiya. You need anything, give a shout."

McAlister gives Jane a look - one that says more than words can, 'you don't know what you're asking'. The DJ's smile fades that fast, in fact - and there's a long, long pause before she mutters.

Somewhat harshly.

"You're going to tell me why later, Jane." No compulsion. Just a promise. "And that'd better be a 'soon' later, kay?" But the DJ owes a great deal - and sometimes. Sometimes you just run on trust.

Crazy as that is in the Big Apple.

But Ali starts for the counter, the new smile that replaced the old one a little less happy, a little more wry. Shoes still in-hand, she heads for the flyers she left behind. "Looks like it's gonna be a good night, huh?"

KeLyssa ducks around counter, hiding her drink underneath it. She points to the jar on the counter. "That from lover boy?" She asks with a sly grin. "He ain't never gunna stop, is he?" She chuckles and shakes her head. She looks up at Sophie as she enter. "Hey there. As Kory here says, ya need anythin', just shout. Both of us'll be more'n happy to help!"

Sophie waves to Kory, hesitantly. She offers an uncertain, but warm enough smile. She glances around. "I don't even know where to start…"
She's known to Ali, and should the Drew Barrymore resembling DJ think about it, she already has part of the explanation. Jane mentioned her roommate being away a lot and no longer paying her half of the rent, she said she's been living an interesting life… It wouldn't be a stretch to conclude something is going on with people both she and Ali know.%rJane steps out from those shelves a moment after Ali does and goes about letting her eyes wander briefly.

She's known to Ali, and should the Drew Barrymore resembling DJ think about it, she already has part of the explanation. Jane mentioned her roommate being away a lot and no longer paying her half of the rent, she said she's been living an interesting life… It wouldn't be a stretch to conclude something is going on with people both she and Ali know.

Jane steps out from those shelves a moment after Ali does and goes about letting her eyes wander briefly.

"Nope, I'm not," 'Solarfox' says to KeLyssa with a dark little smirk. "She deserves every bit of the attention, and I mean to see she gets it." He shakes his hand and rolls the round for the guys playing Hello Kitty 40,000. They inspect the dice and groan. "I plan to make Kore very happy if she'll let me."

Kory glances sidelong at Leslie, and blushes. "That's a tall order, even for you. And please, before you get it in your head, don't fill my apartment with roses, okay? I know you were thinking of it. You talk in your sleep."

There's a stung "ooooOOOOoooo" from the table of gamerboys.

Kory sighs. "It's…okay, we're close, but not as close as that…"

"Not yet," 'Solarfox' insists, meeting Kory's eyes. "But I will win you over. Count on it."

Kory just blushes faintly, and falls silent, averting her eyes and putting the candy jar down out of sight. She then reaches for her headphones. "It'll take more than tunes, hon. And candy. D'you think me so shallow?"

Kory's would-be suitor blanches. "N-No, no, of course not. I didn't…" He whistles a phrase of music. Kory hums the next phrase and smiles faintly at him, no longer looking offended at whatever social misstep the alpha geek just made.

KeLyssa grins at Leslie. "Hun, you're sweet an' all, but sometimes ya just scare me a li'l. I thought you should know." She giggles and offers him a little wink. "Believe me, though, Kory is a good lady. Ya better not be disappointin' none. I'm nicknamed the Ice Queen back home." Though it was only her brother who called her that. "Ya don't wanna see me when I'm mildly dissatisfied." She giggles again and looks at Kory with slightly concerned eyes, she turns to such an angle that the goodly nerdboy can't see. She whispers, "I know he's sweet, Kory, but I get a strange feelin' from that boy, Kory. Just watch yourself, won'tcha?" She turns back to Sophie. "It is pretty big, ain't it? Really, any questions ya have, big or small, no matter how silly ya think they sound, just ask, okay?"

It's at about that point that Ali leans up on the counter, scooping up her flyers, and offering Kory her best-managed sunny smile - but there's something speculative in her expression. "So - are you coming? To the Soho meet, anyway - " She holds out one of the flyers to the woman. "Definitely worth visiting. Trust me." She leans in, crooking a finger, an invitation for the store's employee to lean in as well.

Sometimes the simplest plans are best, after all. "I'm liberating some demos from work - and a couple prereleases. You know Jane, right?" A hand's waved in the direction of the musician - "If you get a chance to talk to her, she can tell me what you want. No big deal - but you'll probably have to answer a dozen questions. It's how she rolls - lawyers, you know? Just tell her what she wants to know, and she'll make sure I hook you up." Her alto's compelling, amused. Definitely friendly. "Least I can do after the mess yesterday, right?"

Kory blinks at Ali, and smiles a bit more widely, her eyes going a little glassier than they were to begin with this evening. Is she okay? "I will see about making it," is all she says, though. "Hey — Solarfox? Wanna walk me to my front door?"

Wild horses, wild whores, or any other mangled metaphor one might care to use could not stop Leslie from doing so. He's up and out of his chair in a burst of long limbs, offering to help Kory with her coat.

There is guilt over what she asked for, what Ali does on her behalf, but there are also friends in trouble, an accusation by one that another murdered his father, an Evolved hating man at large who tried to kill her and whomever might be working with him, she hasn't been in her apartment since before New Year's Day, Elena fell out of contact, Elle and Peter being hunted by alleged FBI agents, and Jane Forrest is being stonewalled. Again. Loyalty and altruism, together with her own troubles, demand action. And action has been taken.

Sophie pauses, at the offer. She sees a few familiar faces, including the blonde DJ. She hesitates, then admits to the sales people, "To be honest, I'm a reader, but I don't know anything about this.. Some friends said that.. well, I should try it out."

KeLyssa smiles and waves to Kory. "See ya round. Don't be a stranger! I'll come visit ya in the apartment soon!" And she back to the conversations. "Soho meet? I don't know." She says with a shrug. "Might go…haven't decided."

"If you liked any of the comic book movies," Kory suggests, as Leslie gets an arm around her waist and guides her to the door, "You'll probably like the comics. But I'd suggest staying away from Spider-Man, given what's coming up in his title this year. Unless you want romance, then you can read Spider-Man loves Mary Jane." She raises a hand in farewell to KeLyssa. "I'm out, hon. Thanks for the concern." Her expression indicates her friend's concern is misguided. "See you tomorrow. I'll have heart shaped cookies." And maybe even broken ones. With that, she sweeps out into the chill of a New York winter night.

McAlister grins, and pushes one of those flyers over to 'Lyssa, too - "You should - no better place to get decent music, you know?" But the woman's heading for the door, even then - "Hey - " That's aimed at Sophie - "You still have my card, right? Call me tomorrow - I need to ask you something, before I forget."

But even as she heads out - she shoots Jane a look, miming a phone at her ear.. "Soon, huh?"

Her reply to Ali is simple. There is eye contact, gratitude in hers, and a slow nod indicating Jane will definitely call soon. "Yes, of course, Ali. Take care."

Sophie looks puzzled, but she nods to McAlister. "Ok, I'll try to remember." to her. Then to Kory, "Well, maybe Batman, if that's not too cliche?"

KeLyssa bows her head to McAlister. "Well, I guess I can't quite say no. We'll see. Might be closin' the store tomorrow night, and we usually close quite late, but if I can, I'll be there." She explains with a nod.

After Ali and Kory are gone, Jane takes up a couple issues of Black Canary and approaches the counter. They're placed on it, and one hand pulls out however much cash is needed for the transaction. If any of the nerd squad are commenting about the Drew Barrymore lookalike being friendly with the one who resembles Anne Hathaway, Jane doesn't give that any attention.

Some may, also, recognize her as having been in the video by Number Two Pencil, with her serious guitar chops.

KeLyssa smiles at Jane as she approaches the counter. "I hear those issues are pretty good from those who've bought them." She comments. She looks at Jane long and hard for a few seconds. "Hey…don't I know ya from somewhere…" She pauses for a minute or two before looking from Jane to the TV that they have in the shop (where the video happens to be playing again) and then back to Jane. It takes her a few seconds to click in with recognition. "Oh hey! You're in that video!" She points to the screen. "You're a real local legend 'round here!" She says happily.

Sophie moves closer in. She's only recently come here. So she hasn't seen the movie. But she walks closer, then she looks at the screen. "That's you?" she says, in surprise.

Of course it's playing here, Jane thinks. The owner's brother is in the piece with her and the others. She graces KeLyssa with a smile, and Sophie too in turn. "That's me," she confirms, "getting my Hendrix on." There's pride in the way she speaks of it, a quiet confidence. "I've been here a few times, haven't seen you before," she remarks to KeLyssa. And she turns a bit cryptic. "I identify with the Black Canary a little. She's intriguing."

KeLyssa smiles at Sophie. "I'm sorry…you asked about Batman didn't you? And I totally neglected it. I am terribly sorry!" She points to a section against the far wall. "He would be over there. Look under 'Bats'…or is he under 'Animalistic Humans'…no, look under 'Bats'." She smiles. "Should find some interesting issues there." She turns back to Jane. "Oh, I've been working here since December. I often work earlier in the day, or late at night. Sometimes I just come in to do the closing, to be honest."

Sophie nods, about to ask, but then she shakes her head. She walks over to the shelf indicated, starting to flip through the choices, carefully. She peeks back toward the celebrity.

Her head tilts to one side, regarding KeLyssa. "I'm Jane," she supplies. "You're a student too?" The money for her titles is placed on the counter along with the comics, she adjusts the guitar case and backpack carried over opposite shoulders.

KeLyssa smiles. "Nice to meetcha. I'm KeLyssa." She shakes her head. "Nah, I ain't no student. Just your average, run-of-the-mill Southerner moved up to the big apple for the glory of it all!" She says happily.
Sophie still looks a little confused. She walks foward, with a few in hand. "I.. well, these looked interesting." then she pauses, "I don't know how people get these all the time. So many, its easy to get lost."
"KeLyssa," she repeats, her lips curving into a smile. "Likewise." She waits for her titles to be rung up and change returned. "I'm sure you'll find the Big Apple full of adventures," Jane states. "I certainly have."

KeLyssa rings in the paid amount and hands over the change to Jane. "It's very confusin' in here, eh? Don't tell Kory none, but I occasionally still get lost in here." She says giggling lightly. "Most've the regulars just know where everything is, but…ya know, that's where people like me come in handy."

Sophie nods and says, "Well, thanks!" she smiles, "They talk about all these.. I think they're like Japanese or something? But maybe its too late to try to learn about them.. you know, like trying to get into a show after its been a few seasons."

Pocketing her change, Jane takes the Black Canary issues and adjusts her gear again. "Thanks. See you next time, maybe, KeLyssa." A nod is aimed at Sophie, and she makes her way out.

KeLyssa smiles and nods to both. "Well, if you do have any more questions, feel free to ask." She smiles at Jane. "Good night."

Sophie nods as she takes her purchases, heading out the door.

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