2007-06-20: Top of the World

Starring:

Jack_icon.gif Trina_icon.gif

Summary: Disguises, fake names, and elevator shafts. Welcome to the Chrysler Building.

Date It Happened: June 20th, 2007

Log Title Top of the World


Location The Chrysler Building - NYC

The Chrysler Building. Midday. The expansive lobby is marked by frescoed ceilings, a reception desk with a single attendant, and an electronically operated employee's gate that's covered by several security guards in ill-fitting suits.

The Chrysler is packed today. This is one of the few occasions where a crowd is going to make Jack's job easier. The first part of his plan involves a great deal of blending in. As such, he's smartly dressed in a dark gray suit, a spotless white shirt, and well-shined shoes, and he has a large attache case clutched in one hand. A similar outfit has been procured for Trina, hers in blue. It's even tailored, as the soft-touched Irishman sized his sleeping girlfriend with a piece of string a few nights back.

Standing side by side with his lady just inside the front door, Jack gives Trina's hand a brief, reassuring squeeze and murmurs, "Ok. Let's go over this one more time. Straight in, past the manned gate and the main elevators, then we board the second executive lift. And try not to talk to anybody. You ready?"

Trina scrunches her nose. The suit is an unfamiliar sensation, and she rolls her shoulders against the well-fitted seams. Jack is a wonder, and how he got her measurements right baffles her. However, solving that mystery is not the challenge for the moment. Rather, it's making sure that she can execute this without a screwing it up. Lifting up on leg, the cleaned-up brunette with her no-frills ponytail adjusts the navy pump on her foot, steps on it once to get it back square on her foot, and then nods to the devious mastermind at her side. "Yeah. 'm ready." No talking to people? She can do that.

Jack grins, squeezes Trina's hand one more time, then releases her and leads her across the lobby. When he reaches the gate, he lifts his not-attache-bearing hand to wave briefly to the guard. "Carmichael plus one. Oh my. Goodness. You need my identification, yes?" His voice is suddenly high and nasal, a definite counterpoint to his usual basso rumble. Pasting on a bland smile, he fumbles a stolen keycard from his pocket, then promptly and purposely drops it with a skillfully exaggerated show of clumsiness.

When he finally holds it up with the photo visible, an outward thrusting of his lower jaw and carefully tensed facial muscles stretch his visage into a passing resemblance of Carmichael, Charles. "So sorry. I'll just slide this.. Yes, like that. So sorry, I'm all thumbs today." The card is swiped through a reader in the stile, then the bartender-turned-businessman tucks it away and turns to touch Trina lightly on the arm. "Come along, Sarah. We simply can't be late for our appointment."

The guards don't care. The most active of them doesn't even look up from his magazine as he lazily waves the couple past the checkpoint.

The new voice from Jack gets a brief glance from his feminine counterpart. It's a look of faint surprise and then she glances back towards the ground with slightly widened blue eyes. It's a good thing that the guards aren't really paying attention because, Dear Reader, it would seem that it is taking everything in Katrina's power to just not laugh. She bites down hard on her upper lip, using the pain to help suppress it and the pressure to keep her mouth pinned firmly shut. "Yes, sir," she replies for the guards' benefit, with that smile tainting its seriousness. Once they get about twenty paces away, there's a snort that escapes from her nose. "You kinda sounded ridiculous," she whispers.

Jack breezes past the guards with Trina in tow. After a quick glance to ensure that they aren't still watching, he leads her past the elevator banks and around a corner to the penthouse lifts. He pushes the call button and lets out a sighing, pent-up breath. He massages the previously clenched muscles in his cheeks and chuckles. "Only kinda ridiculous? You're a bloody sweet thing, y'know that?" He spares a fond glance for his lady. They're here, they're both out of their element, and she still trusts him. "Man, I freakin' love you. Anyway. Once we get on, we'll ride up to the 68th floor. That's when things'll start to get really interesting." With his assumed voice and his contorted face set aside, Jack is once again little more than a bartender wearing an outfit that's well above the pay-grade he claims on his taxes. Grinning crookedly, he reaches over to lay a hand on Trina's hip companionably while he waits for the lift to arrive.

With foolishness aside, Trina takes a moment to rest her head on Jack's shoulder. She does trust him, and the smell of him permeates the fine fabric of his suit and goes a great deal to comfort her as she rests her head for a moment on his shoulder. "You look good, all cleaned up. You'd fool me in a heartbeat." It only lasts a moment though as she goes back to standing upright, head tilting up as if to look through the ceiling at the presumably approaching elevator. "…And how interesting are we talking here?" She doesn't sound worried, if her wide smile is to be believed. Merely curious.

When the doors slide open, Jack pauses an extra moment to enjoy Trina's closeness. "We're going for a little climb," he replies mysteriously. Then they're inside the elevator. Jack thumbs the button for the 68th level, then falls to his knees and lays his attache case out on the floor. After thumbing the catches, he flips it open and pulls out a black zippered coverall and a pair of sneakers, all of which he tosses to Trina. "Change into that. Trust me, you'll need it." When he stands he's holding a matching garment for himself. Without further ado, he shrugs out of his coat, folds it, and drops it down on the lid of the case. Shirt and pants quickly follow, and he kicks off his shiny, impractical dress shoes so he can pull the coverall on over his boxers.

Speedy changes? Trina can do that. At the command, the shoes are easily peeled off and she's peeling off layers of cloth. "Sure we can't just stay naked?" The comment is passed with a grin, even as she begins to change the appearance from business woman to covert mechanic? While the fit isn't as flattering, perhaps, it's imminently more comfortable. Once she's given her little hop to pull the thing over her feet, she unceremoniously drops to the floor to pull on her sneakers, deft fingers quickly working their magic. Her clothes folding, is hardly a neat procedure, however. She isn't fast at the practice to start with. Toss in a bit of adrenaline and the 'folding' really becomes more of a rolled homage to the art. "I feel like I'm sixteen all over 'gain."

By the time they're both changed the elevator has nearly reached the top of its climb. When it comes to a halt, Jack bumps the emergency stop button with one elbow to make sure it won't start up again until they're out. "You'll have a chance to wiggle back out of your clothes soon enough," he says with a wink. "We're going through the hatch in the roof and into the shaft. They're remodeling the 68th floor, so the lift next to this one will be stopped there all day. When we're done we'll be able to use it to get back down to the lobby." He stands on his tiptoes and reaches up to push the hatch in the roof aside, then laces his fingers together to create a stirrup for Trina to stand in so he can boost her. "Up y'go, cutie."

Trina looks at Jack for a moment — incredulous — as he hooks his fingers together. He's not serious. He *can't* be serious. He… is entirely serious. "Oh, man." She finally allows, grabbing a kiss before she plants her hands on his shoulders and settles her foot into his hands. "You're fuckin' insane. It's awesome." Hop 1, hop 2, hop UP! With a quick push, Trina gets the hatch open and hooks her hands on the edge of the elevator roof. It takes her a moment to get really working, but then she's starting to worm her way up through. Just don't *think* about it, girl, and you'll be fine, she tells herself when she sees the cable supporting them and the heavy metal chamber in the air. She knows its strong enough, and she should just stop there. Overthinking never does anyone any good.

Once she's gotten enough help to get the rest of the way up, Trina lays flat on her stomach, turns back towards the opening, and extends both arms down towards her beau still down below. "Need a hand?"

Like most lift shafts, the space above and between the elevators is bare except for a great deal of conduit and a sturdy ladder mounted against the far wall. Jack passes the disguise-filled attache into Trina's hands, then hops up to haul himself through the opening. When the hatch is closed up again he turns to wink at Trina and cup one long-fingered hand against fondly against her cheek. "Thanks for trusting me, lover. We'll take the ladder up the top floor. S'the only way to get there now that it's been closed off." He springs lightly to the roof of the adjoining lift, then sets down the disguise-filled attache and holds out a hand to assist his lady in crossing. "I'll go first. You stay right in my back pocket and we'll be there in no time."

She gets the use of a cute pet name. That's more than enough reward for Trina. And… then Jack jumps across the small gap to the other elevator. Something in her heart seems to stick for a moment, not helped by the way the other lift sways slightly or the glimpse of a start of a long fall between the two. For the span of a breath she has to think to draw, she hesitates. And then she gets a strange, overtly nervous smile on her lips. Just. Stop. Thinking.

With a deep breath, Trina launches herself across that small, deep chasm to the guy she adores. Her hand clings to his once she finds it, finding her breath a little easier know that stress has released the stranglehold on her lungs. As she gets Jack's instructions, that tight smile is his to behold. "Just don't look down, right?"

Jack catches Trina easily and pulls her into his strong arms for a lingering hug and a kiss on the top of her head. "Right," he replies, smiling back. "Once we get up top, I promise it'll be worth it."

Four floors seems like a lot more than fifty-ish feet when you're dangling inside a shaft that's nearly nine-hundred feet deep. Even the normally fearless Jack is a little nervous as he leads them in their ascent. He's not looking down either, you can bet your ass on that. When they reach the creaky, dusty, unused door to the 72nd floor, he hooks one wrist and ankle around the rungs of the ladder securely and produces a flat-headed screwdriver from the pocket of his jumpsuit. He inserts it between the doors next to several other sets of fresh scratches and probes around until he locates the lock. With a muffled, metallic pop, the doors spring open a few inches. Jack sticks the screwdriver between his teeth, wiggles his fingers into the gap, and grunts in a manly fashion as he forces them the rest of the way open.

"Not worried," Trina replies with a kiss back, basking in the affection as if it were the sun. It's either a vaccine against fear or prudence: the jury's still out on that one.

A climb up four floors on an old ladder gives one much time to think. Time that must be occupied with better thoughts than 'Oh, God. We're morons, this is really high up, and we're gonna die.' Instead, Trina chooses to think about all of the positive things. If she didn't pretend to regard small fluffy things like puppies, kittens, and bunnies with such disdain, now might be the time. But she does and thus it is not.

There is one redeeming quality to this climb, and one thing alone: the slender brunette gets to stare at Jack's ass the whole blessed way. It's enough to change a nervous smile into a giddy grin. For the first two floors. Her foot slips partway through the third, and there's a curse and a skip of her heart, but at least she doesn't do any cinematic dangles. She simply puts her foot back to the tread and keeps on going. Her death grip on the ladder may have something to do with it.

As Jack wrestles with the lock, Trina's rolls her head a little, the motion releasing a few tension-held cracks and pops.

The Irishman nimbly clears the six-foot gap between the ladder and the doors, then turns and holds both hands out to Trina. "This is our stop, lover."

At one point, the entire 72nd floor was Walter P. Chrysler's office and apartment. Though little evidence of that remains, the uniqueness of the space in intact. The ceilings are low and sloped, most of the interior walls have been partially or completely demolished, and what few furnishings remain have been untidily covered by dropcloths and accumulated grime, as have the large, triangular windows.

All but one, anyway. Early this morning, Jack was up here preparing a few things. One of the windows has been uncovered and thoroughly washed to expose an incomparable view of the city, and the dust has been swept from the floor to make a comfortably clean area in front of it and to either side. A small, cherrywood dining table and a matching set of chairs that he found under one of the dropcloths has been scrubbed and set up close enough to enjoy the scenery. It's been laid out with pair of sandwiches on a single covered platter, a silver bucket full of melted ice and a bottle of lukewarm champagne, and two candlesticks. Unfortunately, both of the tapers have already burned down. But it's the thought that counts, right?

For the record, it's *totally* the thought that counts.

There's a furrow on Trina's brow as she concentrates on getting on the other side of a significant gap. Then she makes a stupid mistake as she tries to gauge her takeoff point. She accidentally catches a glimpse down. "Oh, FUCK," she mutters darkly, gripping tightly to the ladder and turning her face to hide it on the rung. Her stomach knots up, and an index finger gets held up… with the hand never letting go. International sign for 'gimme a sec'.

This is a rare moment. Trina has already come much farther than Jack honestly expected her to. He's not about to try and rush her. "Take your time," he murmurs. "Try and think of it this way. If you were streetside, you could make this jump without breakin' a sweat. I'll be here to catch you when you're ready."

Without looking up, Trina nods vigorously. Yeah, yeah. Got that part. Busy being terrified right now. Unfortunately for common sense, there is a stubborn streak that is buried in her, half-a-mile wide. She looks like such a wuss right now. There's a stupid tear that forms, but it's presence on the corner of her eye stirs her into a decision point. She will not back down. She will not. She fortunately has also not given any thought to how they're going to get back DOWN.

That said, it's a damned good thirty seconds that pass before she finally lifts her head. "Alright," Trina finally says with a determined sniff. "Let's do this." Yes! Talk yourself up, and get to that bit of fabulous that's just a bit of a leap away… Only to back out. Now, let's repeat that in various iterations before, finally, she takes a really deep breath, locks her eyes on the prize, and leaps.

Jack extends a hand to snag one of Trina's, assisting her jump with a firm pull. As soon as he's able, he wraps his other arm around the back of her waist and boosts her for the remaining distance. "Good. Y'did real good, sugar." He pats her cheek with a dusty hand, then clamps his lips together to stifle a laugh. Trina looks adorable with a pout and a set of smudged fingerprints on her face. "The trip down will be easier. The elevator rides this high, but the only button that still calls it is on this side of the door." As he explains, he tugs a clean hanky from the breast pocket of his coverall and uses it to gently wipe away the dusty smudges on her cheek.

Pounds of weight just seem to drip off of Trina's shoulders and she finally gets her lungs to fully exhale as she feels solid ground beneath her feet. And then she continues to seem to channel her inner six-year old as she squints an eye and rears her head back a little as Jack rubs off the filth from the elevator shaft. "Thanks."

Once she's been decontaminated, that blue eye reopens to join the other in drinking in surroundings. Which would be when she spies Jack's handiwork. She looks back at him with another expression of incredulity, this one prominently featuring a broad smile. She is beyond pleased. "Did… Did *you* do that?"

"I did," Jack admits with a shy smile. He crosses over to stand in front of the window and peer out across the cityscape. When he turns to look back at Trina a few seconds later, he's nibbling at his lower lip. "You like?" he asks with one brow arched inquisitively.

"I did," Jack admits with a shy smile. He crosses over to stand in front of the window and peer out across the cityscape. When he turns to look back at Trina a few seconds later, he's nibbling at his lower lip. "You like?" he asks with one brow arched inquisitively.

"I *love*," Trina replies with a surprisingly giddy, girly giggle as she bounds towards Jack and his new location like an over-zealous puppy despite the bulky coveralls that she is currently sporting. There are arms to throw about his neck, legs to throw about his waist, and kisses longing to be given. Hope you're not too tired from the climb, Jackie-boy, or she's taking you down with her.

He went to so much *effort*. It's… threatening to undo every bit of macho that she's got left in her. But no one wants to see gushy Trina. "I swear, you're the fucking *best*."

Jack catches Trina, pleasantly surprised by her energy. He swings her into a gleeful circle and presses her to his chest, but the manuever is interrupted when his heel slips. "Ohshit!" They teeter and sway precariously, but he's already critically overbalanced. All he can do is tuck his shoulder to ensure that Trina falls on top of him rather than the other way around. Jack knows how to take a fall, so he's still grinning and laughing when he leans up to press a kiss to the tip of Trina's nose. "I'm glad you like it."

As the couple falls, Trina's momentarily worried, elbows pushing out to make sure that she doesn't get Jack with them. In fact, instinct bids her not even move until she knows that everything's okay. Which is when she feels him laughing beneath her. As soon as feels that jovial confirmation that's he alright and not mad at her, it releases her to let her own laughter into the mix. "'m sorry," she offers against the kiss she gets to her nose before moving to roll off. "Gramma always said I was more bounce than brains."

"I like the way you bounce," Jack comments happily. He hauls himself to his feet, then dusts off his backside. Then he pulls the champagne bottle from its melted icebath and looses the cork with a POP! A frown creases his forehead. "Forgot to bring glasses. I could magic some up, but then I'd have to carry them back down. We'll do it the old-fashioned way." He offers the bottle to Trina once the initial foaming has subsided. "Wanna take the poison off the top?"

"Who'm I to decline a gentleman's offer?" Trina replies with a hand delicately draping over her collarbone, batting her eyes, and laying a Southern accent thickly atop her voice. Stretching out her hand to take the bottle with all due reverence, she raises it in front of her while her other hand goes out to the side to do her absolutely most ridiculous lady pose with fingers delicately arranged, and then the toast in that same thick dialect. "To love and the rich old bastards who die, leaving us penthouse offices to totally trespass in." To that little toast, Trina drinks and then hands the bottle off to Jack.

Jack opens his mouth to laugh, but quickly covers it with his fist. After all, she's right. He nods once, takes the bottle, and tips it back for several hearty swallows. When he's finished, he sets it down on the table and wipes his mouth with his sleeve. "And now to the main course. Today, the chef has prepared one of his world-famous specialties. Turkey and swiss on sourdough." Deadpanning, he lifts the lid from the elegant tray to reveal the sandwiches.

If she knew she were right, Trina might not find it nearly so funny as she does. Blissfully ignorant of her utter insensitivity, she follows behind Jack and just grins as he reveals his handiwork. "Food of the gods," she declares, positively glowing. "I can't believe you went to all this *trouble*, Jack. Seriously, I'm fine with spending time with you after hours or just at your place." Even as she perches on the edge of one of the seats at the table, her blue eyes earnestly try to search his. "Y'know that, right?"

"Uh huh," Jack agrees, smiling again. He steps behind Trins to gently slide her chair under her when she sits, then takes his own seat across from her. "But sometime a guy has to do somethin' special for a special lady. So I think to myself, what better way to do that than take her somewhere nobody's been in sixty-some-odd years? Och, and the view is to die for."

When Jack pulls her chair for her, he renders Trina entirely speechless. He's lucky that she doesn't just melt into a big pile of goo, right there in her chair. At least on the plus side, he could just leave someone else to clean up the mess. Visible beneath the tanned skin, there's a very present blush and the heat of her cheeks causes her to hide them underneath her cool hands. Hopefully he's looking out the window. "You don't gotta do *nothin'*, Jack," she finally manages. "Not ever." Then one corner of her mouth pulls up higher than another. "Don't mean that I don't think is possibly the most romantic thing ever. Because, honestly, it could be." And then the important words: "Thank you."

Jack turns away from the window to look Trina in the eye. "You're welcome. When I'm up here I feel like I can see everything that's important in my world. It's my sanctuary. Our sanctuary. I'm glad I shared it with you." Embarassed, he bites his lip and picks up one of the sandwiches, then slides the platter across to his lady.

Stopping the platter with the heel of her palm, Trina's second hand snakes out to snatch the other sandwich. Tearing a bit off of it immediately and then pushing it into her mouth, her eyes move first to the table and then to the window. She doesn't want to make Jack any more embarrassed than he already is. Her smile is soft, even as she just looks out at the amazing view of the city that stretches out in front of her. Everything's so small and, surprisingly enough, cleaner looking. It was worth every minute of the climb. Pulling her feet up to rest on the seat of the chair, she rests her forearms on her elbows as she rips off another piece and keeps eating. "Me, too."

Jack's lips curve up into a small smile as well. He glances at Trina again through half-lidded eyes. He lets out a puff of breath, settles more comfortably into his chair, and bites into his sandwich. He chews and swallows, then cocks his head to the side and hmmmms thoughtfully. "You were lookin' at my bum while we were climbin', weren't you? Bum looker." He winks to take the sting out of his playful taunt.

Trina's head tilts in Jack's direction, one cheek packed full of sandwich so she can reply. With forehead crinkled and saucy smirk well in place, she hides nothing. "Oh, I totally was! I won't deny it! Golden opportunty." A sweep of one sandwich-bearing hand moves grandly towards Jack after she swallows. "You." Then her other hand rests on her heart. "Me." That heart-covering hand then starts climbing. "Four floors of ladder-climbing…" Then her hands spread sloooowly away from each other with a cool roll of her shoulders as if describing a fine painting, her grin seemingly to grow wide by their bidding. "View of nothin' but ass." There's a sniff as she bites off her sandwich and talks over her chewing again. Ah, she's such a graceful beast. "Y'r just jealous." Then a headtilt to get her own jab back. "You just are wishin' you coulda watched your ass go, too." Then the smug smile and a vicious, victorious rip of her sandwich as she gets another bite. "Don't blame you one bit."

Trina's volley of return teasing earns her a grin. Jack swallows his second mouthful and replies, "I do have a fabulous tushie, don't I?" Complete lack of modesty? Check. Gleefully, he tears off another bite, then washes it down with a gulp of champagne. "It's akward for me to look at my own, though. I'll just settle for starin' at yours."

After actually remembering to chew and swallow and THEN talk this time, Trina reaches up to fluff her ponytail. "We'll call us Even Stevens, then." With another push of her fingertips, another giant hunk of sandwich disappears into the transplanted Southerner's gaping maw. OM NOM NOM NOM. Hungry, much? After she swallows, she rubs at a piece of bread stuck to her teeth with her tongue. There's a click as she clears it, and then she quietly adds on with an entirely dramatized naughty look, "But I still win."

"You have a vagina, it's only naturally that you should win," Jack replies flippantly. He sets aside his nearly finished sandwich and produces a pack of cigarettes and a book of matches with a snap of his fingers. After prepping and lighting a smoke, he sets both pack and book aside so that Trina can take them when she pleases. "I don't mind losing, though. At least not to you."

Well, that takes all of the fun out of it. Trina shoves the rest of her sandwich into her mouth with little ado and then wipes the crumbs off on her legs before reaching over for the pack to carefully pick out one for herself without really moving the pack closer to herself. The book, there is no choice, so that is dragged over to use after she finishes swallowing her current mouthful.

It's amazing to her how quickly that bizarre effect of genetics has just seemed to become so naturally part of what Jack is. Nothing strange about it. Most of it she attributes to the ease with which he does it, and that is what drapes the man in wonder moreso than the power that is his to command. "That is still the coolest thing ever."

Jack raises both eyebrows curiously. What he does is so much a part of him, it takes him a moment to realise what she's talking about. When he does, he shrugs one shoulder casually and takes a draw from his smoke. "'M so used to it now, I don't even think about it."

"I know. That's the awesome part." Feet still perched on her chair, Trina looks out the window for a bit and then finally puts the cigarette in her mouth and lights it. For a moment, a wary eye gets cast upward, as if the smoke alarm might go off, or sprinklers begin pouring down… but then she relaxes back against the chair, hands dangling just past her knees. "Maybe you win a little, too."

Jack catches Trina's wary visual exploration. "Don't worry," he rumbles. "I disconnected all the alarms up here the first time I came 'round." Despite that, he stubs his cigarette out against the side of the champagne bottle. The legs of his chair grate against the floorboards as he pushes back from the table and stands. He steps around next to Trina and takes one of her hands in both of his. "After we strip down and shine this table with your backside, I'll feel like much more of a winner. We've got a little time before we have to catch our lift back to the lobby."

As Jack takes her hand, Trina rises to join him. The cigarette in her hand is dropped distractedly to the floor, and she smashes it with the toe of her sneaker. The floor should be okay! Right? Here's to hoping, because the girl is already slipping her hand free of the ones that hold it so she can slip her arms about his neck, lips moving to hover over his. "I didn't want a cigarette anyway."

The dead guy would probably be proud that his office was being put to good use.

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