2007-05-31: You Gotta Have Faith


Jane_icon.gif McAlister_icon.gif Desiree_icon.gif

Summary: Discussing music, costumes, and parties at Common Grounds.

Date It Happened: May 31st, 2007

You Gotta Have Faith

Common Grounds, Midtown Manhattan, NYC

It's apparently 80's music afternoon at the Ground - apparently, too, "Eveeerybooody waaaants to ruuule the wooooorld!" … sort of blows the jazz ambiance, but it's their fault they put it in the juke, right? There are a few patrons, given that they at least don't mind the music - the usual. Coffee, danishes, newspapers, studying, writing - there's at least three pretentious would-be authors tapping away on macs while sipping latte. Just another day in Midtown, right?

The music, though, is apparently Ali's fault, the woman actually /wearing a dress/ - holycrap - and tapping away merrily on the jukebox, looking for more. The little readout? /22 selections remaining/. Oh, man.

Add another musical minded person to this mix. She who almost always carries a loaded guitar case and backpack steps through the door. Jane's eyes spot the 80s music lover as she ponders those twenty-two remaining selections. An approach is debated, as ears report to brain what's playing, and her eyes close. Tears for Fears, so not rock and roll. A faint expression of distaste shows while she moves to seize a table and ground the gear. From there she's torn between going over and suggesting better alternatives, or enduring and going to secure caffeination.

16. 15. Punching numbers has its own rhythm. Luckily for those who can't stand eighties electroballads from the New Romantics? The next track is as different as can be managed. Ella Fitzgerald breaking out into "Blue Moon", throaty and etherial as only Ella can be.

Ali blows a bubble. Bubble gum? Mmph. Pop. She grins as she chews, calling over to the barista - "Man. When did you guys add good Marley? You shoulda told me."

Sitting at her table, as the next tune comes up, Jane resolves that she Must. Do. Something. about this. So she slides a sheet of paper from somewhere inside the pack, a pen, and begins to write quickly. ZZ Top. Scorpions. AC/DC. Van Halen. Pat Benatar. Eurythmics. Bon Jovi. There are a few song selections under each band name, as well. Notably absent are Wham!, A-ha, and anyone like them. Once the list is made, she rises and strides over toward Ali. Recognition hasn't happened yet, she's been occupied with saving the place from bad 80s music like Tears for Fears, after all.

The list is extended toward her from behind, with a simple hopeful statement. "Try these. Please."

Straight into Common Grounds and the sounds of Ella Fitzgerald strolls a tall, dark-haired woman in a simple olive green dress and bandanna that pales considerably to the silver glitz and fantastical costumery she was sporting the other night. Granted, you can take away the fairy from the godmother, but you can't take away the… okay, failing a metaphor, the point is, Desiree Russo nonetheless has a bit of cheap glitz. She always does. Gold earrings, some bangles that clink and bounce together on one wrist. She tips her head curiously toward the jukebox, appreciative of the selection, but doesn't spy any familiar faces. Yet. She's got coffee on her mind. Beeline for the counter: engaged.

Ali peers over at the list, but doesn't /take/ it. Instead, she tucks her hair behind her ear and grins - widely. "Halen's a good choice. So's Jovi. Ac/DC's overdone - I mean, they're /good/, but I like G&R better." She hasn't even turned around. "Heard any Velvet Revolver? It's been gaining in the charts - fabulous old-school." She blinks. "Heeey! Cocaine! Good choice." Punchpunchpunchpunch. 13. 12. 11.

For the record - there is /still/ glitter on the DJ. You never get that stuff off completely, ya know?

"Appetite For Destruction, yeah, that works," Jane replies with an enthusiastic nod. Her voice enters singing mode for a few seconds. "Welcome to the jungle, we got fun and games." And on she goes. "Cocaine. Which one, live or from Slowhand? You could also look for Men At Work. Who Can It Be Now and Land Down Under."

"Hiya. Yeah, uhm, I'll have a large coffee, jus' coffee, but can you add some of that chocolate stuff? Oh that-it has a name? Ha… mocha. Yeah, I knew that! I'll have that. Thanks, darlin'." Desiree is all smiles for the barista. As she waits for her order, she turns around and leans against the counter - throwing casual glances over her shoulder every few seconds - and… her squints. That voice… "Jane?"

"Nope. I have a plan." Ali taps her nose - and finally grins back at Jane. "It's a /good/ plan. Seriously. you gotta have /faith/." 6. Stalled there for a minute. "And the ZZ Topp top end - it's a better driving track." Desi gets a small wave as the pair, apparently, attract attention over by the juke.

Her attention is drawn by another voice, one from someone taller and Southern over at the counter. Jane looks in that direction, and flashes a grin of recognition. "Desiree. Good to see you." She seems about to converse more, but is diverted from a dire crisis which erupts. Ali said the word Faith, and the guitarist looked over, just in time to see her finger about to press that button. Noooooooo! she thinks. But it's too late. George Michael done been pressed. Oh, God. This could be worse than dog whistles. She's gonna be in pain.

When she's reminded by the barista that she needs to, you know, pay for her coffee, Desiree does so by pulling some change from one of the pockets on her dress, at her thigh. She takes the cup in exchange and heads over to the jukebox. "Heeeya," she greets the guitarist, and when bright hazel eyes fall on McAlister, her dark brows knit together. She points around her coffee up. "… Wolf girl!" Laughing, Dezi slants a gaze to the jukebox. "What is goin' /on/ over here, huh?"

"I am /experimenting/." Ali offers that, brightly - "I think there's a correlation between whiny protest songs, jazz, and coffee drinking. And I think that if.." Ella stops. "99 Red Luftballoons" starts. Fear. "..if you drop bubblegum pop and new classics, people will buy more tea." Her grin is impish. Indeed. And then she's singing along, quietly. She does add, with a laugh. "I'm holding out for that wish, you know."

That's not so bad, the pain in her ears does not yet begin. Jane glances at Desi, though, and groans slightly. "She's trying to poison the place. She's already subjected everyone to Tears for Fears evil, and later there's the travesty which is George Michael. I tried to salvage things with a list of good 80s rock, but she won't listen. Or cooperate."

"Yeah? Well, let's see," Desiree stands near the jukebox and looks out over the Common Grounds crowd as if to watch the effects of McAlister's experiment. "I didn't bring my magic wand today," she admits with a silly grin, "But you keep wishin'.Wishin' and hopin'. S'all we've got sometimes." Wise Fairy Godmother is wise. "Aw, now," the woman reaches out to poke Jane in the arm lightly, good-natured. "This one ain't so bad, I think it's cute. EVen if it is about war. She tries George Michael I might help you start a whole different war, though, I got yer back."

McAlister cackles. Gleefully. "Oh, he's already in there. I'm thinking… uh. How about some Deep Purple, though?" Punchpunchpunch. Yup. "Highway Star." "There's nothing wrong with George Michael. But i'm saving the last three slots for Bruce, and there's nothing you can do about it."

A slow nod is given to Desiree at the comments on George Michael. Solidarity, Sister Russo! "We may be fighting soon, she already picked one." And back Jane's attention goes, to Ali and her ongoing selectage. "Deep Purple's good. Smoke On The Water and Lazy are their best tracks. And Bruce, he works. The River, Hungry Heart, Glory Days…"

"Wuh-oh. There's everythin' wrong with George Michael starting with his pants and endin' with WHAM!," Desiree comments, "Or maybe that's backwards. Anyway," she waves her free hand with its many-ringed fingers and takes a sip of coffee. Evidently, it's too hot, as the drink is brief and wincing. She grins at McAlister. "You're forgiven 'cause of your other choices, though. And 'cause it's for scientific purposes. Can't deny a gal research for the greater good."

Ali rolls her eyes. "Six days a week I build playlists for /other people/. One day a week I get to listen to junk." Laughing, she picks the last three - yes, the Boss is fairly represented. And then? She reaches for what is likely a very chilly mocha. To Desi, she introduces herself, "Ali McAlister. Ali."

As Ali rolls her eyes and introduces herself to Desi, a male customer turns away from the counter and begins to head toward his table. But he seems the clumsy sort, getting tangled up in his own feet. In this happening, his coffee is spilled on the floor and spreads out in a random pattern. Should the precognitive southerner happen to spy this pattern, she may observe two images. One has Jane with her head bowed, resting on a table and ears covered while the jukebox shows George Michael is playing, and another features she and Desi… singing a duet?

The resident Southerner holds out her hand to Ali, which involves switching the hand her own mocha is in so that the other woman doesn't have to for hers. "Desiree Russo. Dezi," she introduces - in the same manner, no less - and with a warm smile, to boot. She happens to catch sight of the clumsy man nearby, and squints at the spilled coffee… but when an employee goes to his side to help him, she looks back to the other ladies. "You a DJ or somethin'?" she deduces, curious, as she regards Ali.

McAlister nods. "Yup. 'Midnight McAlister..' - WNYU. Well. Until yesterday." Ali sips at her coffee. "I'm going over to WYRK, but it's sort of held up. Something about ratings - but, Monday, they keep telling me." Her handshake is as firm and as friendly as her voice is distinctive. "If you're up late, tune in, right? I could use the listeners." Her grin is impish - "There aren't many of us real people left in the industry, you know? So what is it you do when you're not out granting wishes and sending plucky young women to ritzy parties that they gotta leave before midnight?"

While the other two talk, Jane makes her way to the counter and places an order. "Vanilla mocha cappucino," she requests, while extracting a debit card to make payment with. The cup is set under the appropriate machine to fill while the card is run, and returned to her, with the drink coming less than a minute later. "Thanks," she offers.

Desiree's handshake is warm, and would be more firm, if she weren't distracted by such things as talking. "Oh yeah? I think I mighta caught that a couple times! Sometimes when I forget to go to bed I turn on the radio." She takes a sip of her mocha before her lips, painted with a shade of lipstick with a namesake to match her coffee, and slightly too shimmery, spread into a silly smile. "Funny story, it was actually the plucky young woman who sent /me/ to the party, funny how real life's topsy-turvy like that, huh? I'm, uhm- well, it's— Right now I'm not anythin'," she answers, glancing down at the floor. Hi, floor, I'm your friend, Desiree. "I'm kinda between. Uh. Everythin'." She suddenly perks up with, "Good luck on your W… Y… K…" Was there a U in there? Or was it an O? "…on Monday!"

"WYRK. Thanks! Yeah - it doesn't pay much, but what are ya gonna do?"

Ali and Desi are by the juke at the end of the coffee bar, Jane up just a little ways gettin' a fru-fru cup of coffee, like the rest of the bunch here. Over the speakers, Bob Marley is exhorting everyone to 'Get Up, Stand Up'; the DJ is grooving a bit to it as she babbles on to Desi. "And no worries, right? Work doesn't make you, like.. better or something. You aren't what you do."

With cup in hand, and letting it cool, Jane makes her way back to the others by the jukebox. She doesn't seem troubled by Bob Marley at all. It would seem, to her tastes, this is much better than Tears For Fears. Or that other fellow who was once in Wham! She doesn't say anything, choosing to simply stand near them and observe while an employee tends to mopping up what the clumsy guy spilt when he tripped over his own feet.

"Yeah, but it sure helps pay the bills," Desiree replies with a one-sided little smile that is, for a flash, self-deprecating. She props a decidedly bony elbow up on the jukebox. A few long fingernails (decorated with a hot pink polish that in /no way/ matches her outfit) tap on the side of her coffee cup to Marley. "How's your CEO, Jane?" What an odd question, followed by: "Keepin' outta cars and jail?"

"Preach /that/, yeah." Ali picks a nearby table - with a nearby chair, and settles in it in the vaguely uncomfortable fashion of a woman getting used to having a hemline again. "CEO? I thought you were lawyering?"

"He's good, Desiree," Jane replies, her eyes closing a bit and head shaking, as a slight smile appears despite herself. "We had a discussion about his… hiring practices, and reached an understanding. And we've got an understanding about the driving issue as well." Fortunately the table and chair Ali picked are the same one she left her case and backpack at, she won't have to move them. "Boyfriend," she answers, not elaborating. Perhaps she doesn't want there to be a connection between her and the man who staffs a party with kids in the media eye.

Anthony decides to make his way in… from the outside. Yeah. Looking a bit worse for wear and in definate need of a shave is Anthony. He grabs a copy of today's Times as he walks to the door and makes his way up to the counter. When his turn in the queue opens up, he orders a cup of coffee. Just. plain. coffee. Brewed in a glass pot, poured into a mug of either ceramic or paper-like material. Yes.. Like that, Johnny Nose-Ring. He pays for the coffee with cash and makes his way over to an ampty table. A glance goes to the trio of females, vague registration on his face when he recognizes Jane. he takes a second to look around, just to make sure that he is indeed in a coffee shop, and not having some vague hallucination while sitting in the Den Of Iniquity. He opens up the paper.

"Amen!" Desiree follows suit and takes one of those chairs at the same table as Ali, inviting herself to sit down. She has no such reservations about her hemline, crossing her legs with the fluid motion and practiced modesty of someone who can't remember the last time she wore real pants. "Good. I'm glad. You keep it up, and he might just be okay," she tells Jane, punctuated with a succinct nod of her head. "Boy knows how to throw a crazy party though, I'll give 'im that. I haven't seen that much crazy in one place since the eighties." Whoops, were you trying to be subtle, Jane?

Ali grins like a loon. "You date Jaden Cain? Lucky - he's cute." She sips at her own overpriced coffee beverage. "I still can't get over using the orphanage. I was wondering where he got so many dwarfs to be care bears, ya know?"

The guitarist/lawyer, recognizable indeed to Anthony as she who at one time played guitar in Jack Derex's bar, takes a long drink from her cup before replying to either of the two seated at the table where her gear is. "He's certainly not one to ever be boring," Jane admits and, being busted, adds "That's him. The one and only." This, known only to her among the table trio, is a lie, for Jaden is at times more than one. Sometimes he's even three.

Anthony peruses the paper quickly. Your same old bad news compunded daily. The talking doesn't bother him, he just adds it to the rest of the white noise that envelopes him in a place like this. He gets half-way through his coffee and takes a long glance around the shop. Just looking for anything that stands out. Eyes not landing on any individual person for long.

Desiree just smiles a smile that is, at the same time, a small wince over the orphanage. She hides it - halfway - with yet another sip of coffee. Her gold bangles slide down her narrow wrist every time she lifts her cup, making metallic jingles. "He's uh, a character, what I seen. You have fun at the party the other night, Ms. Ali?"

"Just Ali, you know? Yeah - I did. I wish I'd gotten off of work sooner, but hey - so it goes, right?" The DJ's distinctive alto is touched with warm humor still - "I feel like I missed most of the fun." With a slight shift of her weight, a shrug, she points out, "But I'm glad I picked up what I did. I got a pic of one of my bosses that's going to be /so/ worth having. Blackmail material for a couple of /years/ if I play it right." The music segues - Bob Marley giving over to Wheezer's "Buddy Holly."

Pictures. Oh, boy. Jane just remembered there are pictures. Of Nathan Senator Candidate Petrelli, dressed as he was, at a party staffed by kids, at which alcohol was served, and she hopes Elena destroyed them all. That's something she may have to ask about, and soon. She doesn't think La Latina would let them out, but weird things sometimes happen in these cases, yes they do. Not much is said as she drifts through these thoughts, no, she just sips her cup and mouths the words to Buddy Holly in silence. This tune counts among those she calls good.

Anthony doesn't see anything of note in the shop, though he didn't expect to. He returns to his paper, opening it up to the sports section. He grimaces at an article about the potential of the Red Sox, and mutters something about lynching and the author.

Talk of party pictures prompts a laugh from the Southerner. "Yea, I bet. Picture takin' was at a prime!" She should know; she rescued incriminating pictures from being stolen by a lion. She glances over at the jukebox with a faint narrowing her of eyes before she asks, "Which one was your boss? Sweet Jesus, I can't even imagine what Halloween's gonna bring."

"The one in pink - Jack." Ali grins widely. "After the talk about assless chaps, well, that one's going on the /wall/." She eyes the jukebox. "They need to crank the volume up on that thing. Damnit, I hate working nights - well, I don't, but you never get into decent clubs at, you know, three in the afternoon."

Jane's head tilts. Jack? Ali works for a Jack? Now, normally that might not raise an eyebrow, there are probably thousands of Jacks among the millions of New Yorkers, but at that party? Not so many. "Tell us about Jack," she suggests, before taking a drink. Got to see if it's really the same one. Might not be.

"Pink - with the little heart on his?" Desiree swirls a finger around vaguely toward, well, her lap, in memory of Jack's outfit. "Poison rocker? Yeah, my friend 'Lena snapped a couple of him too. And some politician? I guess she knows 'em. Girl's got connections for a young little thing, I guess 'cause she's PR or somethin' for Mr. Cain." Which is not the case at all.

Anthony finishes his paper and his coffee at the same time. He stands, making his way to the exit. He tosses both in the recycler.

McAlister watches Anthony - the people-watching distracts her for a moment - but she answers the question, "Irish guy? Decent smile? Runs a bar in brooklyn.. he's lettin' me pick up afternoons there for tips to help make rent. The radio gig's fun, but it doesn't pay until you're Stern, you know?" Self-conscious, for a moment, then she forges bravely forward. "Yeah! Hey… wasn't that that Senator guy?" She blinks. "Would you believe I wouldn't have picked him out.. but it was, wasn't it!"

Check, and check again. The bar owner who gave her first New York paying gig and helped her get clued back in on some stolen memories. And the former Representative who stopped his brother from nuking New York, who Jane was told she helped on a failed raid, and who came to find her in hell when no one else would. "I know them both," she states quietly, her voice serious. "They're decent people who don't deserve embarrassment or humiliation." Not angry, just… serious. There's respect for both in her face and the vocal tone.

Desiree just shrugs with general cluelessness and drinks her coffee. They were just two guys in cool costumes, as far as she's concerned! Jane's seriousness garners a quirk of the woman's eyebrow. "If you're gonna go out in public wearin' glitter, a zebra halter and pants ain't fit for your granny to see, I think you're askin' for it." Sip of coffee. "Kudos to 'em!"

Ali raises her cup, laughing. "No /kidding/. Those two made the party - you know, I'll vote for that politician any day." She leans back again, giving Jane an odd look. "how can you embarrass somebody in hot pants?"

"Nearly three months ago," Jane begins quietly, "I was really sick. Made it through on my own, somehow. I was new to the city. Former Representative Petrelli found me. I think my family in Hartford made contact and asked him to. He offered me help. It was probably the darkest time of my life. No one else thought to check on me. It was just him. And Jack… a week or so after that, I was still shaking off the last of it when I found his bar, and got my first New York music gig. Ordinarily, I'd agree with you that their clothing earns mockery, but… not those two."

"Everyone's costumes just blew me away!" Dezi takes one last sip of coffee, and despite the tall cup, finds it drained. She edges it onto the table, poking at its base idly after the fact, listening to Jane. "They sound like real good people, then," she says more softly. Never mind what she saw at the party. "Mockery 'n' silly fun's a whole other deal. If it makes you feel any better, 'Lena ain't the type to go plasterin' silly photos willy-nilly."

"Hey, he gave me a job. Doesn't mean I can't tease him. He's a nice guy - don't worry about it, huh?" Ali still gives Jane an odd look. "You're taking it all awful personal. They that touchy?"

It's not so hard to tell there's more to the story than Jane let on, she didn't speak the entire truth. And she doesn't plan to. Ali's question is let go by, she opts instead to pull the mockery and silly fun attention onto herself. "If you need silly fun," she replies, with something of a grin appearing, "let's hear it about the woman in the cartoon femme fatale dress."

"She was a pretty smokin' lady! Ain't nothin' more to say than that and Mr. Cain better watch out 'cause you'll have men lined up outside with memories of that dress, Jessica Rabbit. I bet there were photos snappin' of /you/ could be incriminatin'!" Desiree chimes in with a wink that glitters with warmth.

"There were. And a couple of the care bears were really eyin' ya, too." The DJ takes a bright delight in teasing, it seems.

"I'm not really that hot," Jane replies, taking on the Jessica Rabbit voice again, "I was just dressed that way. And that Roger, well, I love him because he makes me laugh." She lifts her cup and drinks from it, while also making a mental note of what the juke is playing now.

For the record - "I Ran", Flock of Seagulls. 80's electropop and bad hair for the win!

"And I bet that Roger has somethin' to say about how hot y'are or not," Desiree says with a smirk. Speaking of rabbits, the woman suddenly and unintentionally takes on the role of the White Rabbit as she lurches forward and starts looking around the coffee shop for a clock. That's before she realizes she's wearing a watch between those gold bangles. It blends in. "Oh, I gotta run a errand before I go home. Got a real craving for oranges." Don't ask. She rises in a hurry — then eyes the jukebox and gives Jane a sympathetic glance before beaming and saying, "It was nice seein' you gals!"

McAlister works her way up to standing herself, laughing - "Good meeting you, Desi - tune in, huh?" And she winks at Jane. "I'm out myself - six more 'till George Michael - gives you thirty minutes, right?"

"I won't be here that long," Jane replies, still using that Jessica Rabbit voice. "Take care, Desiree, Ali." She lifts her cup again while the other two prepare to depart.

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