2007-06-29: This's Gotta Be A Secret Meeting


Jane_icon.gif Desiree_icon.gif Portia_icon.gif

Summary: Jane and Desiree meet for a private talk, and are unknowingly spied upon.

Date It Happened: June 29th, 2007

This's Gotta Be A Secret Meeting

Oldcastle Irish Pub, Lower Manhattan, NYC

A day or three have passed since her talk with Portia, during which she asked the girl to pass along a message, that she wanted to see her and talk. Through one means or another, contact was made, and so the brunette guitarist is seated at a quiet corner table, waiting for Desiree to arrive. A pint of stout is sitting in front of her, the backpack she carries is near her athletic shoe covered feet, and the guitar case is leaned against the table itself. Jane's clothing is a variation of her usual style. T-shirt, dark with the image of Susanna Hoffs on it, and muted brown shorts. She seems a bit adrift in thought as she waits, occasionally lifting the dark brew and partaking of it.

It doesn't take long for the next visitor to the pub to spot Jane — a bit longer than it would if she weren't at a corner table, granted. It takes some squinting. Desiree is that visitor, and her presence isn't coincidental, for once. Looking around the pub - she's never been here before - she smiles, taking in the atmosphere on her way to Jane's table. Smoothing down the skirt of her dark purple, snakeskin-patterned dress (the fabric itself is silky, however, not snakeskin or any weird synthetic version), she slides on into the seat opposite the lawyer. "Hi there Janey," comes her friendly drawl. "How you doin'?"

"Not bad," the law-degreed guitarist replies, looking up and showing a quiet smile. "And you? Thanks for coming." Jane looks around for a moment, checking for the approach of whatever server might be in the area. "I really like the dress." The location is perhaps chosen for conversation which she wants to be not overheard by anyone.

"I'm good," Desiree answers as she settles in. And despite all the craziness surrounding her, she sounds completely honest. A glance is given to the rest of the pub from their corner table and she raises a dark eyebrow at Jane, quirking a silly smile. "People usually only pick shady tables in the corner for one of two reasons, and since I don't think you 'n' me are on a date, this's gotta be a secret meeting."

She laughs in reply, a hint of mischief in her eyes. "Well, I do admit I like you, Desiree, but you're not quite my type." A grin lingers for a moment, then she moves toward some of what's on her mind. "I wanted to talk to you about Portia, and some other things. She and I talked a few times, I gave some advice, and she's your daughter. I don't want it to look like I'd keep anything I say to her secret, y'know, and I wouldn't step on your aurthority, at all."

Desiree grins broadly and laughs. "Oh, I know she was talkin' to you about some stuff. About music?" She props her elbows on the table and idly looks around Oldcastle. Even though she's casual as can be, the tiniest hint of concern flashes in her eyes, since they are, after all, talking about her daughter. "So, yeah, whassup?"

There's been a tiny sense of paranoia creeping up on Desiree's daughter lately. First, Peter suggested that Elena might be good to talk to about abilities. Then Portia ran into Jane, who happened to ask her some very odd questions and hinted about abilities. And the fact that Jane wanted to meet with her mother? That could either mean somehow everyone knew exactly what was going on with her abilities, or… something else Portia hadn't quite thought of yet. So, being that the sense of paranoia was growing, Portia thought it would be just fine to head off to follow her mother. Soon as she heard her mother leave, she'd struggled for a good few minutes to get herself entirely invisible. That still needed some practicing, after all, and she carefully followed a distance behind. Even if she WAS invisible, she didn't want her mother getting that hair-on-the-back-of-your-neck-cause-you're-being-followed sensation. Slipping in the door behind a patron, she glances around the room, spotting the table and carefully heading over towards it. Now the only question is.. where is she going to stand out of the way?

"Well," she begins, "it's basically boilerplate stuff. I recommended things like being careful with things she writes, taking steps to protect her creations. It's a rough world, ideas can be stolen. It's good to make a copy of anything she writes, get it notarized as hers, and mail it to herself but never open the envelope. If it's ever challenged, she can pull it out as proof with the postmark date to back her up on the timing. And I was recommending not to ever sign a contract without a lawyer's advice. Something I'd give for free. And we talked about education." Another drink of her stout is taken, as she watches for servers to approach. Careful, Jane is, even though they've not yet gotten to any topic she wouldn't want in the public ear.

The psychic is completely clueless to the fact that she was followed. Go figure. Then again, Desiree is not exactly the world's most omniscient being - by a long-shot. She nods along with Jane's flow of information; although the woman's eyes are genuinely interested, obviously enough, they're also a little… clueless. "My ex-husband is in advertising," she divulges. "So I've had to sit through some rambles about… copyright laws and creative… rights and… all… that. Well, you're the person we'd go to for advice bein' as you're a singin' lawyer. All this's right up your alley, huh?"

Music, college. These are pretty safe subjects, Portia thinks. Jane's not talking about anything /weird/. Not yet at least. Portia stands as close to the table as she can without being in the way of any servers that might walk by. It's a good spying location. She can hear, and see just fine, and hopefully she won't be accidently discovered.

"You might've heard some of the stories. Like John Fogerty getting sued in the 80s for copying himself by an old record label he was with when he started out. Or a chunk of Paul McCartney's tunes winding up owned by others. A young person with big dreams gets attention, money is mentioned, and they don't think about the fine details, get ripped off so easy. So yeah, I don't practice much law, most of what I do is trying to protect people from that kind of thing. Knowing I'd be able to, well, it kept me going through law school when I really wanted to do something else. Helped me see it as worth the time, beyond making my parents happy." The sincerity of that concern is all over her face. Being spied on by Portia? Jane hasn't the first inkling of a shadow of a clue.

"Yeah, I don't want anythin' like that happenin' to Portia. I mean, if bein' a musician is somethin' she really wants, I'm gonna try to help her do it. It's real nice of you to offer advice like that," Desiree says, tipping her head down and looking up at Jane sincerely. "Ain't many girls her age who got someone so knowledgeable right off hand withut havin' to look all over the city. I can like… hire you on, or whatever, as her lawyer official-like when we need to," she ventures. "I mean, is' your job."

Phew. Safe. Portia stifles a yawn as she listens to the conversation. Things were going much better. Seems as if she had nothing to worry about at all.

"Official hiring is good, it sets up a record of someone covering her back," Jane replies. "But I won't ask or accept payment." She takes another drink from the stout. And she continues. "We also talked about life, music, and influences. Who she likes, the styles that appeal, all of that. And education too. How important it is to concentrate on school, learn as much as she can about music and other things. If nothing else, it gives her more experiences, more knowledge to write songs about. We talked colleges, and I suggested looking at the careers of people who hit success young, as opposed to those who were older. To see for herself where they are as time goes by. To have a clear view of things involved in decisions you and she would make together." Here some of her concern starts to show, the face shows a definite desire not to seem like she recommended anything but Desiree being entirely in the loop. "I talked about how much I like playing for street audiences, all over the city, and said she really needs to run anything like that by you first."

A server, young and female with reddish hair, spots Jane and Desiree at the table they occupy. The woman, seeming about twenty or just under that mark, walks their way. She, of course, is looking right through Portia as if she weren't even here, just as everyone else is doing. Once she reaches the table, greeting happens. "Hi! I'm Maureen. Could I get you anything to drink, ladies?" Two menus are provided for them to look over. She smiles brightly, putting on her best demeanor. The little things count so much, she finds, in getting the good tips. And in her job, it's all about the tips. Got to pile away the cash for her next year at Columbia! Her pen is poised over the pad she holds, ready to write.

Desiree, on the other hand, is a lot more casual about Jane's whole talk with Portia - not that she's not concerned or glad to be involved, she's just easygoing by nature. She nods to Jane, but first-Maureen! "Hiya," she greets with a friendly smile. She looks almost exactly in Portia's direction for an instant without realizing it. "I'll, uh I guess I'll have a glass of red wine." Looking across the table, she shrugs. "We got lotsa time to think about college. She's only fourteen. She's still gotta go through high school. Everyone always changes their minds 'bout what they wanna do and where they wanna go after high school. "Street singin' is all right by me, I always thought it was neat. It looks like fun, y'know? … Well, obviously /you/ know," she says with a laugh, scoffing at herself. "I think I'd wanna go with her though. City's kinda dangerous. Or maybe you could take 'er sometime."

While glad that no one can see her, Portia is growing a little impatient with the conversation. This was all it was about? Why couldn't they have talked on the phone? Why meet over drinks, or food, or whatever they were up to? She wrinkles her nose, folding her arms over her chest. Maybe her paranoia was just getting the better of her in this case.

She seems about to say something more, but holds it back when Maureen shows up. The server gets her attention, her choice of drink is spoken after Desiree makes her own. "Could I get another pint of this Guinness stout?" Jane asks. "Thank you, Maureen."

Maureen nods to both orders and writes them down. "I'll be back soon, take your time looking over the menu to decide what you'd like to eat. Please." Another smile, or really the same one still showing, and she's on her way.

Once she's out of earshot, Jane's speaking again. "I was thinking the same." And she looks a bit relieved, to be on the same page. "I wasn't certain what your take would be, I really wanted to talk it all over with you, face to face. And…" she pauses to draw in a slow breath here. Now is perhaps when Portianoia may be proved justified. "Portia tells me she already found a place to play, maybe. Someone named Peter, at a bookstore, said he'd mention her possibly playing there sometimes to his boss." The look on her face? It says yes, that Peter. That bookstore.

Plenty of other things she could be doing. Portia is about ready to zone out and think about other things when her attention is drawn back to the conversation. /Peter/. She brought up Peter. Peter, the only one other than her brother who really knew what she could do, and only because he could do it too. She twitched, glancing feverishly between the reactions of the two. Did they know about Peter's ability too?

"'Lena's friend Peter?" Well, she could just say so! That's basically the expression Desiree gives Jane, smiling brightly. However… "He works at a bookstore? That's a funny place to play music, unless it's… a music book store, or a kids' bookstore where they have the little song circles…" Guileless, Dezi tilts her head to one side and squints ever-so-slightly at Jane. Why all the sighing and pointed looks? "Somethin' botherin' you, Jane?"

"That's the one," she confirms. "The place where I first heard a dog whistle, the same day we met. Cass owns it. Portia says she and Peter have some things in common. I asked her what things, and she told me cats, but… I don't think Pete has any cats. I only remember a dog. So I have to wonder what she wasn't telling me. I even hinted at my own ability, she didn't act like anything like that might be happening. But knowing how people like us keep finding each other, and that store, I… I can't shake the idea. And I'm not so big on telling people if I don't know they're in the same boat, y'know? Hell, I'm twenty-four and I haven't even told my own parents about any of it." Jane looks concerned, compassionately so, for the spying girl whose presence she's so entirely unaware of.

Suffice to say, whatever Dezi was expecting Jane to say, that wasn't it. Furrows suddenly line her forehead, her brows coming together as she squints in sudden, unexpected thought. "You think Portia might— " The woman sits up slowly until she bumps the back of her seat. "Nah," she determines with a shake of her head. "Thas' just gotta be a coincidence." Pause. "Yeah, yeah," she waves a hand in front of her. "I'm the last person who should be talkin' about coincidences, but I don't think… I mean, kids started to grow up while they was away but…"

And the conversation has turned in a direction Portia was glad she was invisible for. Jane had a power. She must have been talking about her own power with the breaking glass. She shivers, watching the two really intently now. No, she didn't want this to happen. She doesn't want her mother knowing, or anyone knowing. Parker was supposed to be the only one and that was just cause he was her twin and she /had/ to tell him. And Peter? Peter was just an accident. He happened to be there. She saw him and he saw her. But this? She didn't like this. Jane's concern was touching, but she didn't want people finding out. She didn't want people thinking about it.

"I've seen it go in families too," Jane quietly states. "Brothers, parents and children. It's very possible, Desiree," she adds. "I remember how it felt when mine started up, the way the whistles hurt, and how my scream shattered that street lamp in Times Square. And I know what it is to face big things alone." Like three days cold turkey at home, with only one person who thought to find her. The cover for her situation that was engineered, the holes in her memory. These thoughts draw a haunted quality into her eyes, but also the glint of steel, and strength forged through having survived the experiences. "It's also possible I've had my eyes open so much for signs I read too much into things," the guitarist/lawyer admits. She's now spoken her piece on this subject, and barring more direct proof, it's beyond her concern now that information has been shared. The whole thing, to her, is strictly between mother and daughter from that point. Moving on, to something else on her mind, a hint of worry and fierce loyalty starts to show through. "Are the Gomezes in trouble, Desiree?" she asks.

"Is' funny, lookin' at the Gomezes, I never stopped and stepped back and thought it could run in my family like that too, y'know? I mean, if it's genetic it would make sense, but I jus', I dunno," Desiree jabs the wall with an elbow, leaning against it, running her hand through her mess of dark curls. "Y'alls weird things are so … physical, or straight-up mental when I belong on some sleazy phone line or hoverin' over a crystal ball, I forget sometimes that is' all connected." She glances down at the table, her expression darkening considerably; there's a pause before she says more, namely on the family she's gotten to know so well. "You know, I think they're gonna be okay." Unsure of how much, exactly, Jane knows, she peeks up to ask. "What makes you ask?"

The invisible one does not like this. She doesn't like the idea that her mother now questions if she has an ability. Portia isn't sure she wants to go back and have a conversation about it. But there's more to the conversation, and Jane brings up the Gomez family. She's about to think on that when she stops. Wait, her mother has something too? Crystal balls and phone lines? Portia's not sure what to think. Does everyone have these abilities? The teenage girl, clenches her fists, trying hard to just contain everything she's feeling.

Her voice has an edge to it now, the idea of a possible threat to friends is disturbing to Jane. "When I visited the apartment that day, and met Portia, you remember I had a small package, a gift for Elena? The mirrorshades, I brought them because something private and… embarrassing happened to me not long before that. It hit me a bit later, after I left, and I can't shake it. Senor Gomez told his son to take the package and put it in the freezer until they could be sure it wasn't a bomb. And… why would he think I brought a bomb into your home, Desiree?"

Desiree regards Jane for several long, drawn out seconds, her face the epitomy of seriousness, disquiet, concern— and then she cracks up laughing. Shaking her head apologetically at her outburst (but still laughing nevertheless), she wipes at an eye, careful to avoid hurting herself with one of her long, dark-painted nails and eventually simmers down. "He don't think you're some kinda kitchen terrorist if that's what you mean. Ramon's jus'… paranoid." She flashes Jane a smile of assurance. "An' he's got every right to be nervous, let me tell ya. Guess you could say he's got … enemies. But he takes care of everyone, he's real good at that. He was nervous 'cause there were lots of people 'round his house he didn't recognize — includin' my kids that day."

A bomb? What sort of mess were the Gomezes in? Why would anyone be so paranoid like that? Portia's listening intently. So intently, however, she doesn't notice as she leans in against an empty table, knocking over the centerpiece as she leans to try and pay more attention to what was going on. Shit. Disturbed centerpiece. She needed to move positions. Didn't want to be discovered. Shifting, she tries to carefully step out of the way and move around to get closer to the table once more.

Her attention is on Desiree as she looks as she does, then dissolves into laughter. Jane thusly doesn't register the sounds and disturbance nearby. It's all serious to her, the finding of humor in things draws a darkening expression to her features as she watches and waits while Portia's mother recovers. The smile of assurance dispels it, partly, but some lingers. Her voice is solemn, entirely serious, when she speaks. "Sticking together is crucial. He has enemies. It hurts that I might not be trusted. But it is what it is. I'd put it all on the line for them, you, and any other of my friends if they needed it." Then she's trying to shake it off and move along. "You know there was another freak wind occurrence recently in the East Village, did some damage. And that truck. The cargo wasn't right. There were glass bottles in some of the boxes."

Maureen the server is starting to make her way back to their table and check whether or not they're ready to order food.

Desiree glances sharply over at the other table when the centerpiece is upset. It's a momentary distraction - it's a pub, people get drunk and knock things over all the time, right? She doesn't see anyone, but she doesn't think anything of it, simply lifting one shoulder to Jane in a shrug. "I dunno, how well do you know Ramon? I know you know 'Lena, but her daddy's a different story. He's jus' careful." Another shrug and another reassuring smile. She fades off to pay attention to the server. "Hi Maureen! Uhm…" She hasn't looked at the menu once during her chat with Jane, so she flips it now and picks the first thing that looks tasty. "I'll have a… um. That there."

She places her own order, and lets go of her concerns for the moment. The question of the truck cargo and whether or not Desi saw what she did can be raised another time. Jane simply eats when the meal arrives, trying not to stew and mull over what's on her mind. It's most certainly a boring stretch for InvisiPortia to observe if she sticks around.

There isn't much of anything left for Portia to stay for. She's got a lot to think about. Grateful she wasn't discovered, the invisible girl slips towards the door, planning on staying that way for a while. She has things to think about.

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