2007-08-02: The Broadcaster, The Musician, And Mr. Clemens


DFMcAlister_icon.gif DFJane_icon.gif Eric_icon.gif

Summary: Two friends approach an out of the way greasy spoon of an Italian restaurant and make discoveries on meeting a man one will call Mr. Clemens.

Dark Future Date: August 2nd, 2009

The Broadcaster, The Musician, And Mr. Clemens

Somewhere in NYC

A stretch of hours after she and Ali split up on leaving the S* Y* N* Club, believing the blonde had gone to stash the items delivered to her, Jane's waiting for her to arrive at a fairly empty area of the city, one with access to shadows and spots where light doesn't reach. Her guitar case and backpack are still in place. She moves around a bit, checking into the distance from time to time, muttering "I hope you didn't just say this so you could ditch me and get out of eating a decent meal, woman." Because she's concerned by how thin the Broadcaster has gotten.

"I didn't. I don't ditch people." Ali objects, mildly, moving up the alley from the south, hands stuffed in BDU pockets and a wry grin on her face. "Often. I have if they're grabby - and since /that/ doesn't happen often, you're pretty safe, I figure. Hey."

"Good. Because I'd find you, tie you down, and force you to eat. Somehow." Jane turns toward the voice, her lips twitching into a ghost of a smile which quickly does what ghosts do. Vanish. She has, in addition to the backpack, a box from a clothing store under one arm. "I got your dress too." She reads off the size of it, which is one away from what the Resistant Voice needs. It's extended, offered to her.

Oddly enough, Ali steps past the box, and just.. hugs the musician. Firmly.

"I got no doubt." Backing up a step, she smiles, then, carefully, reaches out for the box. "How much do I owe ya?" Very earnest.

"Ten cents," Jane replies easily. She doesn't intend to take the shorter and blonder one's money. Her arms wrap around Ali, accepting and returning the hug. The box is handed over when they separate. "That is your size, right?" Her tone is hopeful, she made a guess, and doesn't yet know she got it wrong.

"I haven't bought a dress in so long, I have no idea." Ali is nothing if not honest, in that, looking into the box once she's got enough room to do just that. "It - I think it is."

And she wipes at her eyes. Quickly. "If it's not? I'm /mean/ with a needle. I owe you big, Jane. Seriously." A faint smile - "And I've got a dime around here somewhere - but you may have to settle for a quarter."

Just in case, she'll get another one of a different size tomorrow. "A quarter will do," she replies. "You know I'm not one to take money from you. It's not something I worry much about." The dress is the basic little black type, with spaghetti straps to go over shoulders and a neckline that's conservative for such a garment, she perhaps believing Ali's the sort to prefer that. Underneath are items to be worn along with it and shoes to match.

"Yeah, well, it's not my money. it's Jack's - so take it. It'll make me feel better anyway." Ali smiles, wryly - "Shoes. You know, I forgot.. yeah. You take care of me. That's supposed to go the other way, you know." And she tucks that box in close, looking past it to Jane. "No worrying, right?"

"If you insist," she answers. "Worry about what?" The taller of the two rests eyes on Ali's face. Jane adds "It's something I do. Generosity to my friends." Among other things she doesn't go into. "What sort of occasion is it for?" Curiosity, also, is a thing she does.

McAlister's ears flush. "You're gonna laugh. It's pretty stupid - but - " She sighs. "Just once. Just /once/ - I wanted to look nice. You know? So - not really any occasion. Maybe it's just hoping /for/ an occasion." A pause. "I'm.. not tellin' you the /whole/ truth. There may be an occasion - but I can't say." A wry grin. "My life's worth more than that. But I'm hoping there will.. you know. Be a /different/ occasion."

She isn't laughing. Her attention continues to rest on Ali, not harshly, though. "You can say," Jane states. "I've kept your secrets going so far back. Kept a lot of people's secrets. I hope your occasion, the different occasion, comes to pass. Something you can get joy from." Joy, that commodity in such short supply now, one she rarely feels anymore.

"I can't, 'cause I promised." Ali grins, and offers her free hand to Jane. "Goes both ways - but yeah. Who knows, right? You remember George? I ran into him the other day in the Park, and - don't get me wrong. that ship's sailed - just between you and George and Trina … well. Maybe I should start thinking about what comes after, right? Even if it's not right now."

Her brow furrows as she takes that hand, murmuring "Portia mentioned seeing a George that night at the Square." But she shakes it off, there's a lot of men named George in the world. "Hope has to stay alive," she adds more audibly. "I came across an old friend some days ago, at the zoo. A younger version of someone. Maybe it's faint, but it's a shot." Her face shows belief in whoever she's talking about. "The future is what we make it."

Ali frowns - but lets that go. The George thing, at least - "Old friend? You mean Peter Petrelli." The 'younger version' is a dead giveaway. "Yeah. I wish I had the same faith everybody else did." She keeps that hand - the contact seems important to her, for some reason.. but she leans against a nearby dumpster.

"I'm not even sure why I'm supposed to /have/ faith in him. He's a little mousey, more than a little lost - and … yes, things suck. But what - he's supposed to snap his fingers and make everything all better? i can't … I just can't count on that."

"Sometimes he needs reassurance, boosts to his confidence," she remarks wistfully. "But I was once accustomed to him coming through. Maybe it's just something, someone to believe in again, the filling of a need that's gone empty too long, but there it is. In those times, when I needed him to back me up, he was there. And now again, in a world become Hell, he shows up. That has to mean something." There's a pause, a quirk of a grin coming to Jane's features. "Besides, when he goes back, he'll have younger me helping him. Maybe younger you too." She doesn't object to the contact, her fingers squeeze Ali's gently.

"Maybe. I didn't meet him until.. after. I saw him once or twice, but.." Ali shrugs, then. "I don't want to take your hope - and I won't. But.. I haven't had faith in anything for a long time. Try not to be dissapointed when I don't, now?" She tries out a faint smile. "So. Since you were plotting against me- you had to have a plan, right?"

"Plotting against you?" she asks, letting out a quiet laugh, and looking a bit confused by the question. "How was I plotting against you, Ali?" Jane tilts her head to one side, watching for the answer.

"Dinner?" Ali quirks a brow. "You set me up." She winks. "But you'll like him - he's a nice guy." She squeezes that hand once more, then lets go. "You know, I could always sneak off and just let you meet him alone. Then you can bitch and you'll have a topic of conversation."

"That's not a plot against you," she tells the Broadcaster. "That's a plot for you. You win when it works." Her released hand drops to that side. "Sven. He sounds interesting. But no sneaking off for you." Jane starts to look around for wherever in the area their destination might be.

"… mmph. Yeah, so you say." Ali chuckles - "It's.. nice going out, for once. There's not much out this way, though, unless you've got a serious hankering for spaghetti." She moves up to the Alley's mouth, curious.

Following, the Ultrasonic one uses her batsonar aimed at dark corners ahead of them, working to ensure there aren't people hiding there who might jump out. "You're getting two plates of it, and maybe more," Jane assures honestly. "No dying from malnutrition for you. Keep going like you are, you won't even have strength to speak on the air."

"You and Jack - you don't need to worry. I take care of myself. Honestly." Ali mutters. "It's not like I'm out to pitch over dead or something. I eat."

"Right," she replies with a touch of sarcasm. "Look at yourself. And are you going to tell me your hands weren't shaking the other day?" The mission is on. Jane proceeds with Operation Feed Ali, her steps moving toward the Italian place not far ahead of them. "Is this where we're going?" she asks.

"If you want. It's pretty good - the maranara's nice. And.. well. Yeah. they were, but I dunno why. I've been good, lately." Ali's a leeetle defensive, there.

Nothing more is said about Ali's state of health; after all, they're headed toward getting her a solid meal. Further comment is unneeded. "It is?" Jane asks. "Excellent to hear. Maybe I'll try that marinara." Her hand reaches for the door as they arrive before it, she intends to let the Broadcaster enter first. "After you."

And Ali? Ali sweeps into the place grandly - a little italian greasy spoon that survived the devastation. Tacky tablecloths and cheap wine. Can't go wrong, there.

"Thanks. With meatballs. And oregano. And cheese." Apparenlty, discussion of food has at least awakened an appetite.

It's a dark corner she settles into, placing her gear on the floor beside her. A chair is taken at that table. Jane seems to have decided on a meal similar to Ali's, and communicates it to a server when one arrives. "Whichever wine you recommend also," she adds. Her eyes drift around the place slowly, but no comment is made on the apparent quality of location. She's herself hungry.

The outside of the resturant looks like the typical run down, hole in the wall little joint. A flashing neon sign over the door proclaims the name of 'Vinnie's' to the unintrested masses that pass by the warn brass handles of the entrence. The windows are dark, the interior dark as well. A few people poke hurriedly at their meals in the corners of the resturant.

The man behind the greeting counter gives the girls an uninterested glance. The edge of a headset poking out from under his greesy hair "…table for two?" He asks.

Then he blinks, there is a slight pause from him as he raises his hand to his ear.

As Jane and Ali sit the greeter walks over and smiles towards them after having a quiet conversation with whoever was on the other end of the headset. "…actually, your table is back this way. You are expected." He waves them towards a nondescript door in the back of the little building.

Though that door the atmosphere of the place changes quite a bit. The decor is no longer tacky, the wine is no longer cheap, and the men and women dining there are obviously just a bit higher class than most. The pair is directed to a long booth at the back of the second room, where sits 'Sven Marrikson' the new owner of Phoenix Enterprises. He has his back to them at the moment, but the suit is reconiseable at least to Ali.

The taller of the two looks toward the man approaching and speaking with them. An eyebrow raises. "Expected. Interesting." She rises and collects her gear, a guitar case and backpack, then heads toward that door. When Jane sees the difference in this area, she pauses to study it for a short time before continuing on toward that booth and stops again when she reaches it, as if waiting to be introduced.

Standing there the man seems to be talking into a phone. Its a one sided conversation entirely in japenese. However it ends in moments of him realising he isn't alone before turning to face the pair of women. The scar across his jaw is new, and the eyes are much more pale, but the face is still Eric Walker's. The hard edge to it wasn't there before, and the innocent look is gone. The smirk that crawls across his face is mildly familiar though as he raises an eyebrow. "…hello Jane."
Ali comes right along with her, her smile broad and happy at spying the fellow - oh, mind the confusion with the change in decor, but some things go past that. "Sven!" You see? She remembers. Mostly. "It's good to - " A pause. A beat.

And she looks at Jane. Eyebrow raised. "If you tell me you two know each other? I am /seriously/ going to stomp off and be pouty."

Her eyes are haunted now, with an anger lurking in them. Maybe not so much different than when they first met, except then they had the look of a woman recovering from imposed addiction and the time spent breaking it through cold turkey, alone in her apartment. Jane's a bit gaunt to the face now, and leaner. Her body has more of a muscular tone than it did, but is still feminine in shape. She freezes where she stands for some moments, her jaw dropping open a bit, then glances over toward Ali to mouth "Did you know?"

When her attention shifts back to Eric, it's with an appearance of mild shock. "This would be the part where you quote Mark Twain," she remarks. Along with the shock she displays is recognition and respect. She hasn't forgotten things.

She doesn't tell Ali any such thing, yet.

"Come on you two sit sit," Eric replies with a slight smile as he waves them into the booth. There are menus there, with thick leather covers. He waits for them before taking his own seat. "…no she didn't know…" He murmurs towards Jane as he glances then towards Ali with a grin coming to his face. "…and yes, rumors of my death have been greatly exeggerated." He adds after a moment before he laughs. "Oh come on, don't stomp off and be pouty. Sit down. My cooks are going to be sad if they don't get to cook something good up for you two."

The DJ sighs, theatrically - setting a dress box (with something moving in it that's probably shoes) down next to the table before settling into a chair. "Your cooks?" Still that eyebrow arches. "I'm ordering the lobster." She offers a wry grin - "And you're buying. Because. I.. how long has this been here? I've been by a couple times - and yeah, the food is fabulous, but.. uh. This is new."

"It's good to see that, Mr. Clemens," she replies solemnly. "Welcome back from the dead." Jane deposits her gear on the floor by that booth and sits, her eyes briefly lowering to the menu, then raising to study him again. It's only now that she addresses what Ali spoke on just moments before. "Once upon a time, I told you I knew a number of people like us, and wanted your permission to tell them about you, so they could decide in turn what I should let you know. Or who to bring you to for introduction. Some… okay, most, I guess, you wound up meeting on your own. Mr. Clemens is another of those."

"Well I own the back room of this little hole in the wall now," Eric replies with a soft laugh as he pockets the phone and glances up towards a hovering waiter. "Order what you like," He adds towards the pair. "…and of course I'll pay." He chuckles as he slides his gaze over towards Ali and that smirk curves up his lips again. "…and what an introduction it was." He adds after a moment. "I'm sorry I didn't tell you, but with the explosive nature of my demise, I didn't want many people to know I have…left."

"… well. I should have told you yes then. I still remember." Ali's smile falters, a bit. And.. her own eyes fall to that menu, looking it over.

Oddly, Eric's gaze has her sort of vaguely shifting, offering an explanation. With a faint twinge of embarrassment, in the bargain. "Jane was one of the people that figured out .. you know. What I can do. I didn't exactly have - uh. A lot of control over it at the time. She put up with me anyway - even after she figured out probably the only reason she even bothered liking me was the fact that I probably didn't give her much choice in the matter. Then."

Ali glances Jane's way - and the smile is still apologetic, even after a pair of years, now. "That you put up with me /now/ is probably more of a feat. But I should have told you yes then, instead of dithering around it. Hindsight being 20/20 and all that."

Her menu is opened and perused briefly, she doesn't take much time deciding what she's after and closes it within half a minute. "It's not putting up, at all, Ali. You've got your head straight, and you're responsible. Always were. I know from experience what someone who isn't responsible with that ability can do. She wasn't at all worried about the ethics of it. Not even after I managed to slap her across the head with a guitar and get her influence removed." Jane pauses, remembering that encounter. Mostly naked from the command not to be so modest, using the stereo at full volume for defense against vocal commands. And she winces slightly because with that memory is also a recollection of opening the door for Peter Petrelli without thinking to cover herself.

Eric shrugs slightly. "No harm no foul in the end of it all eh?" He asks with a smile as he reaches across the table to pick up a glass of water there and take a sip out of it. "…and I think I have a much easier time putting up with you now. Though I'm sure I wouldn't have minded back then either." He grins slightly. "Can't change the past though now can you?" Something amuses him about that, and he has to chuckle slightly before he sighs. "…I am sorry though for not saying that Jane and I knew each other. I just for some reason wanted it to be a suprise. Hopefully you'll both forgive me."

"You're buying dinner. That works." Ali sets the menu aside, and flashes Eric a bit of a sheepish grin. "Uhm. Thanks. You probably would have - I was a bit of a bitch." Maybe. She thinks so, at least.

But there's something about what Eric says that has her frowning. "no. No I can't." It's something other than anger - just a derailed thought, and she moves to stand. "I'll be right back. I need to hit the bathroom."

… mmm. Learning table manners from Jack and Trina, apparently.

A glance goes Ali's way as she excuses herself for necessary functions, followed by attention returning to the location's owner. "Nothing to forgive," Jane assures. "I understand security concerns. Given the times, it's in your interest those rumors continue to circulate, Mr. Clemens." It's perhaps a mark of understanding this that she hasn't used his real name yet. "And it is a bit amusing. She only told me you were a man named Sven I'd get along with. So in that respect, even not knowing, she pegged it right."

"Security security," Eric shakes his head slightly, a mild smirk coming to his face. "Its all about security thease days, I supose thats true enough. Times being as they are." He laughs slightly and shakes his head. "…yes, she was right about that." He glances the way Ali left with a slight frown coming to his face though. "…I'll apologise to her about it later." He murmurs, half to himself.

"I know what it is to trust someone and be badly burned," Jane replies with darkness to her tone and anger rising in those eyes. The voice is hushed as she speaks. "I once was an ally of the man in the White House. Put a lot of faith in him." His name is one she won't speak, just mentioning him draws a hatred into her gaze. "Can't ever be too careful. Things often aren't what they seem." She looks around for a waiter while shaking off that memory. When she once more addresses Eric, it's wistful. "It's a long way from Hartford and New Haven. Our childhoods probably have their common points."

"Mmmmmm," Eric replies simply, watching her with eyes that are now much more calculating than she would remember. "Trust is a precious thing, and a difficult thing." He says slowly before he shakes his head. "It can be nice and can get you in alot of trouble." He glances once more the way Ali went before he sighs.

"…I'm afraid I can't stay here much longer, but there was a reason besides a suprise that I wanted to see you. I want to know if you have heard anything. Anything at all about who tried to kill me?" Its a long shot, a false hope, but he has to ask. He has to ask everyone he knows at least once. "…as for childhoods…well they might of, but we have come along way since then."

"I haven't," Jane replies in a quiet voice to the question he asks. Her volume is kept at a level only he can hear, she expects. "If I had, or if I do, I'd be in for anything you want to do about it. If you need a sniper, a riflewoman, or someone whose voice can make concrete crumble, find me. You took a bullet for a close friend. I'll put it all on the line for you, any time, Mr. Clemens." She's deathly serious saying that. "People tried to kill me too, when all this started. My own bandmates."

"Oh no," Eric replies softly. "…once I find out their blood will be on my own two hands. I will personally twist the knife, I will /watch/ as light fades from their eyes." He says it without passion, without malice. Just a cold feeling that is matched by the wintery look in his eyes. He shakes his head slightly though. "I only did what I had too," He replies softly in responce from her comment about taking a bullet for someone. There is a pause before he sighs and reaches across the table to pat her hand softly. Comfortingly. "…that you had to go through that Jane. You are a good person, just like the rest of us." He pauses a moment before he shakes his head. "But no, I won't have any more good people put at risk for my own personal revenge. If you find out anything I'd be thankful if you tell me. I will handle it myself."

His phone goes off again then, and he curses softly as he glances down at it. "…I have to take this. Corporation from Japan I'm working a deal out with. I should be back, but please…I hope you both can enjoy dinner even if it is without me."

"I'm here, they're not," Jane states simply when he touches her hand. "It was what I had to do. Call on me or not, that's your choice, but the offer stands. Some things are never forgotten." She is, above all, a person of intense loyalty made more fierce by experiences.

When his phone goes off, she nods once. "I'll hope to see you again soon, Mr. Clemens. I'm not hard to find, and my number is 283-2260."

And about /that/ time is when Ali wends her way back through the crowd in the direction of that table - and. Well. The reason for her longer-than-usual absence in the depths of the powder room is readily apparent, even if she'd likely wish - and probably firmly believes - it were more subtle.

Apparently, a few dozen washrags and liberal application of soap and water really /does/ make somebody more presentable… or at least a better fit to the more posh surroundings (though the ANARCHY! t-shirt and suspenders are still wildly gauche). Heck, she's even pulled a brush through her hair, though - kindly? Still a bit hopeless.

And the sunny smile that she offers as she moves back in range is wholly genuine. "Hey - sorry. You know how it goes. You two ordered yet?"
Well what no one saw, until he stood up, is the Grimlock t-shirt that Eric is wearing under the suit. So he dosn't really seem to care about their looks. After all he owns the place, so they all don't have to go by dress code. As Ali returns though he glances up as he starts to stand. Pausing a moment he just blinks. She /does/ clean up well!

More thoughts go on behind his eyes, and he grins half to himself. Yes. Yes. His moderatly amusing plan is coming together. INDEED IT IS!

However he just nods once towards Jane. "…thank you," He murmurs towards her before looking back to Ali and shaking his head. "Order what you want Pretty Eyes, I need to answer a call. No rest for the wicked." Then with a wink the pulls the ringing phone out to answer it.

"We haven't," Jane answers as Ali returns, looking human. Or superhuman. "Mr. Clemens and I were catching up a little, and I didn't want to order without you." She raises a hand to signal a waiter, hoping to catch his attention. "It's good to see him again." She relaxes in her seat.

Ali watches him go - admittedly faintly dissapointed… but settles into that chair again. "He's a really sweet guy. Mostly." A faint shrug, and then she focuses on Jane. "Split some chiante with me? Haven't had a decent one in years.. and it's on his tab anyway."

"Hopefully he makes it back," she offers. "Seems like forever ago he did a big thing for a close friend. I never forget that sort of thing." The mention of Chianti is answered without delay. "Certainly, Ali. If it wasn't on his tab, it'd be mine. Neither he nor I are strapped for cash."

When the waiter comes over, she orders medium rare prime rib with baked potato and mushrooms. Plus the Chianti. He takes it down and turns toward the Broadcaster.
"The chef's salad and a side of linguini?" Ali is apparently unashamed, "The balsamic beef medallions sound.. really good." She flashes the fellow a smile. "And thanks." But, back to Jane - "He's done some big stuff for us, too - he's got a good heart, at least. I think. I guess the plan of introducing the two of you, though, was kind of a bust."

She winks, leaning back in her chair. "Well, if you two already knew each other, anyway."

The waiter takes down Ali's order and moves away to place it with the kitchen, leaving the pair alone again to converse.

"It was a good plan," Jane admits. "You judge things fairly well, we've similar backgrounds. Families not worried about money, etc. But we don't have chemistry that way. Even if we did, that's not something I'd do to the person he helped out all that time back." Her tone, in discussing Eric/Sven/Sam Clemens, is pure respect. Aaaaaand, there's curiosity, even if she already knows the answer. "Who's us?"

"Let those without sin stand as thy vanguard, the paragon of the Shepherd, stood by example before the Light and the Throne." Ali's smile is wry - and the quote from St. Benedict likely apt. But nevermind, she lets it pass - "Oh. So he's got his eye on somebody? I figured he didn't - the whole dead-for-a-while thing I figured would make that sort of thing pretty tough." Pointedly, and picking up her fork to point it at Jane - "You can't say I didn't /try/, though. That's something, right?"

"Some things stick around, even after that," she states, "although it can be complicated." Apparently the nature of whatever he did for whomever is something Jane feels has very lasting implications. "I could be wrong, but in any case I wouldn't do that to her."

She pauses as the waiter arrives with the Chianti and glasses, pouring one for each woman and leaving the bottle as he moves away again.

"Thanks for trying, Ali." It's a smile she gets, a quick one, and her fingers lift the glass to offer a toast without words.
Ali raises her own, with that same, wry smile… and sips. And then sighs, oddly content. "I haven't done this in way too long. And it smells good in here."

… and then she sets the glass aside. "So. I hear that S*Y*N is actually doing a live band thing, soon. And - that's one of the /few/ places I can sneak in without worrying to much. Wha'cha think?"

She takes a sip from the glass, then lowers it, as a pensive expression crosses her face. "I did meet a drummer recently. If I could find a bassist and maybe a keyboardist too, that's something I could take a shot at," Jane replies. "Live music would certainly be an improvement on the noise they had there." Her eyes roll a bit.

"You should. I can ask around - Porta's got a good voice, too. It'd give her something to do besides pick up a ricochet." The Voice considers, for a moment. "I wonder if she does bass? I bet she would, one way or another."

"Or I could and let her play lead, maybe she and I could switch off that and singing too," the brunette muses as fingers curl around the Chianti with intent to lift it. "I haven't heard the drummer I met play yet, though. Got to check her out soon. She's got spirit and attitude, well, who doesn't anymore, but it's a rock thing anyway. Except for her mocking Pat Benatar."

"Pat Benatar deserves a little mockery. Say Billy Idol in that sentence, though, and I'ma claw your eyes out." Ali leans forward. "Worst case, you can always layer in a bass track. Or just go with a low end rhythm guitar instead." Oh. My goodness. She grabbed a breadstick - right when the waiter brought them, in fact.

"I am /liking/ this plan. And if you practice at the Zoo? there's a lot of people in there that would probably appreciate something other than staring at the walls and worrying."

"Some of the later stuff, yeah, was a bit off. But the early work, like Fire and Ice, kicks. Billy Idol's all good, but his work doesn't translate over well to being sung by a woman. A song originally done by a baritone won't sound good coming from a soprano, at least to my ears. It's the same thing, in reverse, if a guy tries to do Aretha, y'know?" Discussing music brings a change to her eyes. There's a passion which pushes aside a good deal of the anger normally in them. Playing's always been a way to channel things out and cleanse herself of them for a while. "I've played there before. I play lots of places, wherever the mood strikes."

And.. you know? Ali may be as enthusiastic.. music is a passion. But.. there's something in her eyes that's warm, and knowing, and worried. And perhaps, when it's all over? Well. Maybe it'll be obvious she pushed the conversation this way for a reason. When she sips at her own drink, even as the meal is brought out to both women, it's to hide a faint smile - an odd joy that she can't /quite/ cover entirely.

"I dunno. Do the right arrangement and somebody earthy might be able to pull it off. But you /could/ pull out some Hart or some other early stuff too. Most of the decent girrlpunk is more recent - but you can always arrange."

"Part of a song came to me a few days back," she states as food is placed before her. "I call it Broken Apple… Life in the broken apple, where the suffering is ample, but we make it through. Better times are certainly due." Jane falls silent after that snippet of spoken lyrics, watching Ali's face to see if her reaction is favorable or otherwise. She lifts the Chianti again to sip from it and enjoy.

She considers that - "A little rough, but it's got potential." Professional opinion and all that - it may be rusty, but Ali's honest. "You thinkin' power ballad or something with more force behind it?"

"My mood is mostly metal these days, with angst," Jane answers. "Light just isn't in me anymore." Her eyes close as she drifts in thought.

"Pretty hopeful lyrics for metal and angst - you're pushing the Marylin Manson vibe." Ali grins, and reaches over to tap the guitarist's hand. "Not everything's bad, you know. We might even win."

Her hand doesn't move when tapped. The woman's face is calmly confident when she speaks. "I always expect to win." It's not bragging. Jane just believes in her own ability when it comes to music. She refills her glass of Chianti and proceeds to eat, the two of them enjoying their meals and the rest of the evening.

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