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Characters: Jeanie, Ramsey, and Marie-Claire
Date: 2020-03-17
Summary: An unlikely trio meets at Taco Bell to discuss 'fine dining' and other curiosities.

Look, when the world is full of toilet paper hoarding Karen-zombies, sometimes you just need to get some fast food. On St. Patty's day, the lure of the Shamrock Shake means the McDonald's has a drive thru line well out into the main street and so Taco Bell it is! Frutistas are almost as good, right? Although there's a problem as Jeanie walks up to the main door and meets a sign that says BECAUSE OF VIRUS - DRIVE THRU ONLY. NO CASH. "Well, crap." The The student turns to eye those cars in line a little morosely as she waits near the line as if pondering the possibility of footing thru the drive thru.

Some people take shake, rattle and roll as a dancing kind of thing, but it also applies to Ramsey's truck! The brown pickup that certainly was never meant to be that color (He calls it patina) turns into the parking lot with its owner in the driver's seat, a white woven cowboy hat on his head and some Texas Hippie Coalition playing on an old radio through an aux cable that it seems a wonder even connects to it. Headlights shine on Jeanie, causing him to squint, tilt his head, then poke it out the truck window for a second to confirm his findings. "Huh. Well ain't that a... Possum's... Uncle?" He didn't have an aphorism handy. pose seems to be watching from the sidewalk, lingering in the shadows as cars come and go from people who just couldn't resist the call of that last Apocalypse chalupa. She makes a quiet sound and murmurs something under her breath, "Mon Dieu," she lets out in her accented tremor, "It's like the Great War," watching everyone mill and move about excitedly. She shakes her head back and forth and seems to take a measure of things with a slightly curious gaze.

Marie-Claire seems to be watching from the sidewalk, lingering in the shadows as cars come and go from people who just couldn't resist the call of that last Apocalypse chalupa. She makes a quiet sound and murmurs something under her breath, "Mon Dieu," she lets out in her accented tremor, "It's like the Great War," watching everyone mill and move about excitedly. She shakes her head back and forth and seems to take a measure of things with a slightly curious gaze.

"Aunt!" Jeanie corrects as she tries to shade her eyes with a hand from those taillights. She doesn't actually need to really see to be able to recognize the voice and probably the truck. "That doesn't look like a Top Hat to me. You getting food? What would the trade value of tacos to beers be?" She might owe him a few after all. At Marie-Claire's call from the shadows, Jeanie takes a step closer to Ramsey's truck. "War? Were you a... refugee?" There's a rather suspicious look given towards the newcomer as she shivers slightly.

"Yeah, I'm.. Jesus," he says, not having noticed Marie-Claire in the shadows near the drive-through, then catching a whiff of predator all at once. "Bonsoir," he adds, his French having a somewhat different accent most likely. "I can cover you for tacos. Do you even eat tacos? Or is this far enough removed from actual animals that we're good?"

Marie-Claire seems to realize what she's said louder perhaps that she'd intended and then steps under the street lights and makes her way up the sidewalk, "A turn of phrase, mon ami, just a remark on a bit of local color," and she takes her hands out of her pockets as she looks at Ramsey with that same returned calculation. Quietly and subtly she lifts her palms to show some 'No Trouble' sort of air and then tucks them back into her pockets, "I am not certain that anything in this place should count as ever having once been alive, but some questions we don't ask as we don't truly want the answers."

Jeanie laughs a little. "I was offering you the tacos. Provided you give the ride so I don't get splatted." The dark grey jacket probably wasn't the best choice for walking to get food, but she's remained not road-kill so far and would like to remain that way. "They have a potato burrito! It's my go-to in queso emergencies!" That's a lot of enthusiasm for some potatoes and cheesy jokes and an even cheesier grin. She'll nod along at Marie-Claire's stance on the food. "Nobody really likes seeing how the sausage gets made." That's why she sticks with the veggies.

"Oh, that makes more sense," Ramsey admits, then taps the side of his nose. "Pota--.. I see, I see what you have done there with your words. They have those new cheddar crisps too. I'm here for the chalupa that is actually three chalupas end to end that you have to tear apart. The Triplelupa." He pops the door on the passenger side, and then seems to take the vampire's gesture in kind, and says quietly, indignantly to himself, "I make sausage all the time.. It's good.." You're good enough, Ramsey, and gosh darn it, people like you.

She looks upwards towards the sky and says, "What odd fortune to meet here though, but ... perhaps I'll let you order and we can sit at the picnic table when you are done, well ... assuming that isn't against the rules now as well." She counts the trio and shrugs.

Marie-Claire gives a slight smile that shows off her white teeth, though no more than that at the moment, "But they do like being in the room where it happens?" she quips back to the other young woman with a laugh of some amusement. She looks upwards towards the sky and says, "What odd fortune to meet here though, but ... perhaps I'll let you order and we can sit at the picnic table when you are done, well ... assuming that isn't against the rules now as well." She counts the trio and shrugs.

Jeanie is utterly shameless about the pun, near dad-level really, but she stares as Ramsey describes perhaps the most terrifying monster she has heard of yet, the Triplelupa. "How do you even eat that without it all ending in your lap? It sounds like it's gotta be at least two, three feet long?" Her hands try to guestimate the length of three chalupas. "Definitely too large to be eaten in a truck." She nods in agreement to Marie-Claire's suggestion of picnic tables. "I think I got some wet wipes in my bag still..." Cause someone here still has to deal with a silly thing like a mortal's immune system. She wrinkles her nose a little as she gets in the truck. "I'm sure it's good. But trust me, you don't want me looking at a pile of raw meat."

"I mean, presumably you tear it and it isn't like.. Full size but.. Yeah, sure, why not," Ramsey accedes and then pulls forward a little bit when the car in front of him moves. "Okay, write down what yall want, he says, searching around and finding a little pad with a golf pencil through the spiral and passes it out the window. He assumes the vampire will just write "Not wine" and it will be awkward and he'll just get her a Baja Blast.

Marie-Claire seems to weigh the decision on what eating tonight will mean in the morning, but perhaps that's not different than anyone else eating at Taco Bell. But for the good grace of social discourse she closes her eyes a moment swallows and there's a rush that comes to her cheeks. She scribbles down on the little paper about a Cherry Coke and some beans and rice with cheese sauce and then goes over to take a spot at the table. She gets a candle from her purse and sets it up in the middle for a bit of ambiance and lights it. It smells like anise and ventian violet, bitter herbs purifying the air.

<spend> Marie-Claire spends 1 (-1 points) of her Vitae pool.

Great amounts of cheese demands great sacrifices, it's both curse and blessing of Taco Bell. Jeanie will add her own order to the notebook: two potato burritos, an order of cinnabon delights, and a Baja Blast Freeze for the dinner of champions. Her card also gets handed over with the notebook. "Sign said they weren't taking cash." Knowing at least one source of his income, she's just assuming most of Ramsey's business is pretty strictly cash only.

Ramsey gives a little salute and looks the paper over before saying "I hope Pepsi is okay.." but then figuring a vampire won't really know the difference. "Thanks," he adds, noting the card, then says "I shall meet you over there. Good luck," then drives into the ordering position. "Alright, let's get this party started, gonna need..." and delivers a stoner-worthy order before being asked to pull around.

Marie-Claire doesn't seem to protest the winner of the local Cola Wars and she sits and watches each of the cars line up and continue to line up. There's some beeping and a bit of swearing by various people seeming a bit agitated and not getting their nacho fix faster. She raises a finger into the air and swirls it about a moment and seems to waft a bit of smoke from her candle, and murmurs, "The feast of Damballa isn't a time for all of that," low under her breath and there's a settling to the air as things grow more quiet.

Order and card trusted to Ramsey, Jeanie heads to the table. She did indeed find some wet wipes her backpack and makes sure to wipe down everything on her seat before holding out the pack to Marie-Claire. The scented candle is sniffed a little. "That's not one of those 'essential oil' ones that's just filled with overpriced oregano?" Hopefully the lack of any in-store patrons means Taco Bell can crank out their monstrosities-called-food at remarkable speed, although it'll never be quick enough for those impatient folks waiting in line.

They're working double time with the beef hose and the cheese gun to get those chalupas filled, all right! Ramsey is gone for a bit, but eventually the pickup rolls around and finds a spot to park, emerging and approaching the picnic table with a drink holder and a giant sack. "We're in luck. They gave me extra cinna-twists." He plunks both bounties upon the table and rikers over the bench to sit.

Marie-Claire tilts her head slightly to Jeanie and squints pausing at using up the woman's possibly precious supply of wipes that would be wasted on her. She hopes perhaps to demure the offer long enough that the food arrives as a distraction. She picks out her meager requests from the pile and takes a sip of the drink she winces but works her best to hide it, "You know, the reason Pepsi and Coke taste so different, no? Coca Cola was made at a time before everyone had an ice box," using the quaint antiquated term for a refrigerator, "It was designed to be had straight from bottle at room temperature, but modern soda assumes it will be drunk cold. Which is why, mis amis, it takes like merde when it is not."

She chuckles a bit at that little factoid and then bristles for the faintest of moments, "What is the saying, I am no conjurer of cheap tricks? No, cherie, I make them myself, and they are whole herb not oils, and ... they don't quite work like that."

Food is definitely a distraction as Jeanie whistles at Ramsey's return with the food stuffs, mighty hunter of the Taco Bell drive thru. "Free cinna-twists, what fortune!" The history of colas is listened to quietly and then met with a soft huh. "I thought the reason they tasted so different was Coke was originally made with cocaine... can't get that original recipe any more." There's a careful inspection of burritos to make sure she's getting the right wrapped food stuff. And then digging for hot sauce until she comes out with one of the FIRE packets. She nods as the other woman confirms the candles are probably just the smell good kind. "Good. Those oils don't quite work like anything unless you're trying to overwhelm someone's sense of smell. Definitely not the replacement for thorough hand-washing and Lysol."

"Can't forget that citric acid, too. That's the Pepsi difference. One of many." Ramsey passes Jeanie back her card and receipt and unpacks his own food, which includes more than seems reasonable, but he's a growing werewolf, and it's taco bell so it's like ten bucks anyway. "The... Very Not Yankee Candle Company making new flavors?" he asks, then beholds his Triplelupa, the key to all the world's problems. <Pose Order> It is your turn to pose. Beep! pose chuckles and picks at her food with just enough gusto to make a showing that she's eating, "I like this," seeming amused at the joke, "But no, I make them myself ... for my work, but how rude, Maman would be ashamed of me," and she gestures towards herself, "Marie-Claire Delacroix," she offers as introduction, "I customize them if you are looking for something particular, I can give you a card if you want to come by."

Marie-Claire chuckles and picks at her food with just enough gusto to make a showing that she's eating, "I like this," seeming amused at the joke, "But no, I make them myself ... for my work, but how rude, Maman would be ashamed of me," and she gestures towards herself, "Marie-Claire Delacroix," she offers as introduction, "I customize them if you are looking for something particular, I can give you a card if you want to come by."

"Can't contain the Dew! Or citric acid apparently, getting it in the pepsi," Jeanie will happily slurp at her own Dew Freeze. "Did you ever do that thing as a kid any time you got unsupervised access to a soda fountain where you mixed everything in?" Bonus points if it had crazy flavors like Orange Crush or Hawaiian Punch. The card is slipped back into her pocket without a word to just how much food was obtained. It's taco bell and most things are $1 anyways. "I'm Jeanie Fontaine. And help yourself to some of the cinnamon things. They're a lot better before they get cold." She'll push those fried dough balls filled with wonders of food science towards the apparently peckish woman as if she just needs some more encouragement to eat.

Ramsey says, "I didn't do that growing up because we didn't so much go places with that kind of set up cept if we went in to town where the Diamond Shamrock was. I do it now though, because I'm a monster." He takes a sip of his own unfrozen Baja Blast, because when you're at the only place that has it, that's what you get. And Ramsey obviously needs stimulants. "Ramsey Leger," he adds to the pile of names, with the soft ending, layjay. He rips into his monstrous triple flatbread feast, going for the chipotle end first, and then eyes the cinnamon dough things and attempts an unholy fusion dance. He really is a monster, irrespective of his body count."

Marie-Claire whispers a quiet, "Merci," and then leans forward to get two of the churro-like puffs and she swallows before she crunches on them slowly and then pushes the rest towards Ramsey perhaps looking to cover his own ravenous hunger for the lack of her own ... at least at the moment. She brushes her fingers together letting out a sprinkle of cinnamon and sugar and then reaches into her purse and digs out some folded cards. Slightly larger than an index card of old-fashioned parchment, it's written with a swirling script using an old-fashioned fountain pen folded over, when the flap is open it reveals in address in the French Quarter. She shakes her head and says, "Maman was rather strict ... and I've always preferred root beer, sarsaparilla, when I have a ... " she pauses and 'taste' is the natural word that follows but she settles on, "Feeling for something."

Two is probably the wise amount of cinnamon delights to consume and Jeanie doesn't question as she turns her attention to her own food, although looks a little sad about Ramsey's poor, deprived childhood. "That's sad. We somehow had a roller rink that looked like it was right out of the seventies. Didn't close up until I was in high school..." But all good things come to an end and the roller rink did too, but at least she has all the memories of Suicide Sodas. The fancy card is read with some slightly wide eyes before being tucked safely away from the cheese and hot sauce. While Jeanie's eating neatly enough, Ramsey has said he was a monster after all and the law student is warily eyeing that chalupa. "You think they could add like three more and then make a whole chalupa circle?"

The thought gives Ramsey pause, saying "It could become either like a crown rack of lamb, or like the oroboros, eating its own tail. It's difficult to tell which, and we wouldn't know until too late." Munching away, he doesn't think much of the vampire's shying away from the food, but he doesn't expect much there. This is mostly recreational for him too, a good 70% of the meal being useless to his body, but he's not willing to give up that side of his life yet. "This looks like the kind of thing someone with a Highlander style antiques shop would have," he says, eyeing the parchment. "Or someone who works at the Renaissance Festival."

Marie-Claire leans back and laughs at the discussion of how to build a chulpa of doom but when the fellow mentions crown rack of lamb she closes her eyes a bit and she seems to be daydreaming before coming back to the conversation at hand, "Over in Tangipahoa Parish? It's lovely, it's ... a display of handicrafts lost otherwise in modern life, no? The best time to go is when it's cloudy and raining ... then you have the shops all to yourselves, though the mud can be like walking through the bayou," and she muses for a bit. "Antiques, yes, at times, people have traded me some curiosities over the years. Sometimes I trade them in return, sometimes I keep them, it depends on my feel for them. Not every antique is worth keeping, it depends on the story it tells."

"It would be majestic!" Jeanie utters a word that's probably never been said on this Taco Bell parking lot before and never again. The freeze was definitely a strategic decision as she has to occasionally battle an unexpected lava bomb of potato, but she's working through the burrito at great speed until the conversation turns to Renaissance faire. "Oh yeah. Although I think lately it's been more a display of guys hitting each other while riding on horses. Is there a specific type of antique that you prefer? Like old books?" Old books definitely tell stories.

"Only went to that one the once," he admits, though seems to have thought of it fondly. "I always though it would be neat to get like, a big stupid sword, but not really a practical concern. Now turkey legs. That's where the smart money is at." He then glances toward Marie-Claire to see if she reveals a love of Regency period lace doilies.

Marie-Claire laughs and says, "Jousting ... the word, ma cherie, you are looking for is jousting and ... I mostly go to visit the lady who runs the Wolf Moon Apothecary, speaking of herbs and such things. We share ... common interests in some things, despite ... our ... differences," she looks over at Ramsey at that and then back to the topic at hand, "Books, yes, though not every book worth reading belongs in the hands of every person who wishes to read it. But I love to collect them, I have a particular interest in mythology."

Jeanie shrugs and chomps into one of the cinnamon balls. "Seems a lot like folks dressing up and whacking each other with sticks. I liked seeing the falcons fly though." As long as she didn't think about how the falcons might have been trained. "I could see you with a big ol' sword. Or maybe an ax." The talk of books has her raising her eyebrows, intrigued. "What type of mythology? Anything on like the uhh... loup garou?"

"Round here that one's called the rougarou. Got them swamp wolf mans, from Canada," Ramsey jokes and then takes another big bite of his chalupa chain. "Got a friend who runs a shop up west side of town, it's mostly hokum, but some stuff in the back for legitimate root workers and all that. If you're in need of that sort of thing."

Marie-Claire clears her throat a bit at the question of Jeanie and gives careful smile, "Ah, cryptids aren't usually my ... flavor of choice, no? I'm a mambo, ma cherie, my special interest is ... the myth and mysticism of the dead. Though I'm always charmed when tourists like to ask for advice from La Poule Noire, they get extra points the worse they manage to pronounce it when asking." She nods aside to Ramsey, "Their name, bon homme, so I can ask for them?"

Jeanie deflates just a little bit when Marie-Claire confirms that her focus is more on the spirits than the physical supernatural monsters. Or maybe it's just a early strike back from the Curse of Taco Bell as her stomach grumbles slightly. "I... I'll be back." Right now, she's running off and since the dining room is currently CLOSED who knows exactly where it is she's going. At least there's still a couple more cinnabons left to go with the free cinnatwists for Ramsey's dessert.

Marie-Claire looks after where Jeanie runs off, tracking her with her eyes until she finally makes it out of her long field of vision and then she looks back at the table at Ramsey and sits up a bit straighter after there is no longer a mortal third party sitting in the middle. She lowers her spork no longer needed as a prop for the performance at the girl's benefit but then she folds her hands together.

Ramsey glances to where Jeanie has runnoft, then says "Her name's Seraphine, shop's called Jinx. She's got some actual stuff in back." He eats the last section of his monstrosity, then regards the vampire. He modifies a quote, saying "I don't always eat food. But when I do, it is Taco Bell."

Marie-Claire swallows as she tries to work the taste of 'modified cheese product' out of her mouth and says, "Beignets at Cafe du Monde, every Friday at midnight for ... we'll go with a very long time. I can repay you for ... however much this was." She tilts her head then slightly, "Seraphine? Pack mate then?"

Ramsey chuckles a little and shakes his head, saying "She was paying anyway. Yeah, she's with my pack. She's one of the Lost though. It's a kitch store, but she has some supplies people actually use."

Marie-Claire squeezes her fingers together and says, "I usually abhor that kind of thing, it just encourages the outsiders to get up to nonsense, not that ... I don't appreciate the boon from time to time of drunk tourists wandering out to cabins in the bayou with a shake of salt and some birthday candles from Dollar General attempting some bullshittery. Free range stupid."

Ramsey shrugs a little, "I mean, it's all bullshit from one kind of way or another. Might as well just let them have their fun. Well, unless they figure out how to wake actual spirits, which is really fucking annoying, but none of that is likely to most days." Ramsey takes a long drink of his soda then crunches on a cinnamon twist. "Might as well make a slightly shady buck off of it."

Marie-Claire smirks at /ramsey and tweaks her lips as the coloring begins to slowly fade from her cheeks and she looks up towards the sky keeping an eye on it, "It is less about waking them, but how to hear them, and see them and speak with them or how to bargain with them, knowing what to do if you offend them. How to open a portal or a baye, and ... that's a rare talent outside except by ... the most devoted of mortals keen on occult studies."

Ramsey peers slightly over the rim of his Mountain Dew Baja Blast, saying a little dryly, "Lady. I don't go around talking about the bouquet on this skull goblet full of B Negative and its special properties, you ain't gotta tell me 'bout my food neither. Those aren't the only ways that regular folks wake and stir up spirits, and most times it's not on purpose."

Marie-Claire reaches up a hand and pinches at the bridge of her nose and holds up her other hand then, "Paix, Paix," she says in a calm voice, "No ... and especially not around here, the danger of a place soaked in so much ... everything, no?" And she lets the matter drop with a quiet sigh, "It is ... good to know, however, I'll need to seek her out. I'll need some more Calamus root soon and ... with everything going on, I imagine it will get more difficult."

She moves to stand then and pushes in her chair and cleans up after herself, "Another time, bon homme, perhaps you'll manage the great Taco of Death then," and she laughs some and meanders off at a brisk pace working to get ahead of the pink warning of dawn.