|Characters:||Jeanie, Miles and Tris|
|Summary:||Jeanie comes to tell Tris about Chupacabras in unlikely places. Tris tells Miles about his Bargain with Jeanie. Miles tells Jeanie she's disappointing. It's a lovely visit.|
<text> Tris to Jeanie: Come by, if you like. 2912 Prytania. Big yellow house near the cemetery.
Jeanie may have hesitated before making that text... but can anybody really blame her? Start of a global pandemic and then also possibly a little chupacabra or three at the sketchiest gas station imaginable, it's been a busy week but a bargain is a bargain and she does indeed call. Her arrival is on foot and even if there's still hours of daylight left, she gives a bit of a shiver as she passes by the cemetery. The student pauses at the stairs of that wrap around porch, muttering. "He wasn't kidding..." The place is big and Jeanie takes a deep breath before braving the stairs and giving the probably way too elaborate and antique door knocker a tap-tap-tap.
To be fair, Tris is used to pricier places, but this was the best he could do for the location he wanted. 3.5 Mil doesn't end up looking bad with the gorgeous yellow house with actual space surrounding it in a densely populated neighborhood not far from the Central Business District nor from Tulane, as it conveniently happens. In daylight, the house is pretty huge compared to its neighbors, but also adorable.
The door is answered promptly when Jeanie knocks and not by a butler, but by the man she's come to see. The Beast with the rumpled good looks opens the door and makes silent (not at all ominous) gesture within. His greeting of, "Jeanie," is always laced with some strange private humor and he just jerks his head in the direction he heads after closing and locking the front door.
The path quickly trod in his bare feet takes them to the kitchen where a pitcher of what appears to be ice tea (oh, but boy is it spiked) is set on the enormous island around which stools exist, but a gesturing hand indicates where they'll go after any drinks are procured, to the den, an open area off the kitchen at the back of the house where there's comfortable couches and a large television on one wall and a phenomenal view of the pool in the back yard. If Jeanie was ever worried that Tris couldn't afford to pay her tuition as his part of their Bargain, she can see yet more evidence that she's got nothing to worry about.
Miles is part of the view in the back yard at least from the kitchen when Tris and Jeanie find themselves there. The Fairest is smoking a cigarette on the porch while watching the dogs in the yard, but the movement inside catches his attention and he slips in through the door after tapping out his cigarette to offer a smile to neither person in particular. "I thought I heard a knock," is sort of a greeting to the unfamiliar face. Not that Miles seems to have had any intention of answering the door himself. "I didn't know you were expecting company, Tris."
The depth of Tris' pocketbook was never really one of Jeanie's concerns although using them is certainly another story. She blinks in surprise as the door opens, despite the Beast being exactly who she was coming to see. "Tris." Good to know they both still know each others' names. As he leads, she'll follow, carefully taking in her surroundings and hesitantly stepping as if her mere presence might break something. Unnerved as she is, Miles' arrival makes her jump as if she's seen a ghost. She almost spills that tea, but she does manage to recover with a deep breath. "Sorry... if it's a bad time I can come back later..." She glances apprehensively between the both the men.
The truth is that the Beast is not always great at making sure everyone has all the appropriate information. It's a life skill he's working on, but is far from perfecting. That doesn't stop him from moving with the glass of spiked ice tea to move to meet Miles as he steps inside. He slips his arm around the Fairest's lower back and makes a gesture to Jeanie with his glass. "This is Jeanie Fontaine." Miles may have seen the very large expenditures from Tris' personal accounts that go to Tulane University financial office and are marked with that name.
"Jeanie, this is my partner, Miles Norwood. The one who manages our finances." He glances to Miles, "I'd wanted you two to meet at some point, but Jeanie's here because she encountered our kind of problem, and because I have a Bargain with her. And because I told her to let me know if she ran into that kind of trouble." He looks to Jeanie again and smiles reassuringly, "Let's sit down," he gestures to the comfortable seating in the den, offering Miles his glass if he likes it.
Miles studies Jeanie like there's something he's not sure of with her, a slight frown, but maybe that's just his face. "Pleasure to meet you, Ms. Fontaine." It's polite more than genuine, but the Fairest is distracted by the rest of what Tris says. "You what?" Then he must think better of it, "No, never mind." He takes the glass and fills it back up before following the pair into the den. Hopefully they haven't started having a real conversation because his first thought regardless is, "I thought she'd look more... capable. Spending all that money on her." The suited Lost settles in a chair, still studying their guest.
"Pleasure to meet you, Mr. Norwood," Jeanie can do manners because that's something normal as she gives a smile and a polite head nod. It's almost as if things are getting back on track as they walk into the den. The seating may be comfortable, but Jeanie perches on the edge of the seat, with posture even the strictest etiquette coach could applaud. The smile rapidly vanishes as the Fairest sets out his very honest (and probably accurate) impression and her jaw clenches and she grasps the glass of tea just a little tighter. "I normally look much more capable, but it's not every day I run into three monsters waiting in a gas station!" It wasn't today that happened either, but that's not the point!
"I made a Bargain with her," Tris repeats for Miles, not that he actually thinks Miles didn't hear or process that. "I think you and Jules should consider doing the same, if you don't have arrangements already in place. Having one place we can all go and be protected is tactically useful." Trust the Crimson Courtier to come up with group tactical solutions, even if true strategy is far beyond Tris' mental facilities.
"I've encouraged Jeanie to look into finding ways to be legally useful to us and our interests. It would be helpful to those of us who occasionally flee the site of a crime to have a number of Jeanies on our side." He points out to the Fairest. "She's in law school." He makes an inviting gesture for Jeanie to explain that bit if she's willing.
There's more, of course. "Tell me about the monsters, Jeanie." Some people would mock, would disbelieve, but not Tris. If anything, the Beast, even as he settles himself in a chair and leans forward, elbows on his knees and hands interlaced, could probably not look more sober and serious if he tried.
Miles, unsurprisingly, doesn't look super convinced by Tris' logic, but neither does he shrug off the thought. "Is law school useful these day?" he wonders, but then perhaps more seriously, he asks, "Three monsters waiting in a gas station for what? That sounds like the beginning of a bad joke." Since Jeanie is here, presumably unharmed, Miles probably doesn't see a need to be too serious. Especially not with how serious Tris is being.
Jeanie is confused enough for the three of them as Tris starts going on about his tactical suggestions. "Wait... more arrangements?" She's still wrapping her head around the first one. Her neck might get whiplash with how quickly she turns to Miles with a stare. "It is if you want to actually you know, practice law? Can't take the bar without it." For the actual monster story, she takes a long gulp of the tea before starting, the spiked liquid courage definitely useful here. "A couple nights ago, some friends invited me out to karaoke with them. But while we were driving out, I had some car troubles..." Troubles puts it lightly considering the smoking the engine was doing. "Axle was able to do something about the car, but then someone found a dead goat in the woods and started screaming and it was dark, but there were definitely three things and one had hands for feet and another had this long, poky nose thing that was dripping blood..." She makes some wild motions of sizes with her free hand. Sera somehow... I don't know. Blinded them? But one tried to eat her and I hit one with my car and we bailed away in the truck." It's a real mess of a story that she doesn't tell particularly well but in a rush to actually get the words out. "With the goat... are chupacabras real?" The name does mean goat drinker after all, and then she has one unrelated afterthought tacted on. "And... how would someone tell if someone is a werewolf?"
Tris offers up a quelling hand toward Jeanie and there's a reach in Miles' general direction, even if he's not actually close enough to touch at this moment. He waits until Jeanie has completed her whole telling before he starts from the top. The first thing is a piece of information for the law student. "Miles is from an earlier era, Jeanie." It's matter of fact and the least amount of information that Tris thinks is still useful to the law student. "When you're dealing with us, you need to bear in mind that it's Rip Van Winkle for some people. Not quite that for the people here, but many of our kind are having to re-learn the world because it's not what we left. Even if it is close to what we left, so much has changed for us that..." He blows out a breath and shrugs, dropping his hands to his knees. "Everything looks different."
Then, "We can have your car fixed or replaced." He doesn't care. He could probably buy a new Jeanie-level car without having to leave the house for the cash, honestly. He's squinting at the human. He did think he'd picked a smart one but... "I've only ever seen Chupacabras in Arcadia, and even then it wasn't a real Chupacabra, just a-- you know, muddled up mess made by some insane Keeper with a goat--" He cuts off abruptly, gagging slightly at the memory. Listen to all that sensitive vocabulary that just spilled right out of his mouth. He quickly glances between them and adds, "Don't worry, I ripped the throat out of that one with my bare hands." Were they worried? This is reassuring, right?
Okay, so Miles is listening, but he's also making short work of that hard iced tea like listening to this pair is making his head hurt just a little bit. He doesn't even bother trying to defend his knowledge of modern times just now. "Let's not start talking about that place, shall we?" It's a place best forgotten, or not known about at all, honestly. "I don't know how people like you know a werewolf from Adam. They have a distinct feel, though, to someone like us," the last said with a lingering look to Tris. It's not a particularly pleasant look, granted, because the Fairest has never liked the idea of the Beast going off and getting into trouble.
Having defended herself and her chosen profession, Jeanie can concede that Miles is from a different world and any metaphorical hackles are lowered as she nods at the explanation. "AAA towed my car to the shop. I told them I thought I hit a possom... A really big possum. Or a raccoon." It was a cover story that worked well enough when she cued up the fake waterworks when calling in. "They were a big mess of mis-matched parts, and there was that dead goat..." She's still not convinced it wasn't something crazy escaped from Arcadia since that's most of her exposure to the supernatural so far, so logical explanation there, but when Tris elaborates, she stares for a moment, blinking. "Did they just have you like... gladiator fighting them?" Sorry, Miles. She can't help but ask the question although she shakes her head and straightens back up about the werewolf answer, giving a slow nod. "Is that, kinda like how you feel different? Like standing a little bit too close to a power transformer. I thought that was just part of the bargain we did..." But her still not quite understood unseen spidey-sense have been tingling since stepping into the house.
"Well, we don't have to now," Tris allows, "But I did tell Jeanie I would inform her view of the world a little more, if she's intending on having a long career with those of us who would need the added understanding." It makes a certain kind of sense if not every kind of sense. Tactics, not strategy.
This is perhaps why he answers Jeanie's question (or possibly because he's still showing EXCEPTIONALLY POOR JUDGMENT in his choice of knowledge shared, it's fine. "Oh, no, nothing like that." The grin he gives the law student is positively lunatic. "That would imply I could ever win." When he shifts to scratch the faint lines of scars that Jeanie can see on his forearms, that she once saw as Miles sees them, luminous, gossamer ridges of stitching now greedily snatching light and refracting it into the kind of light that couldn't help but gleam enough to be spotted at a far, far distance in the dark or in the day, perhaps a few pieces slot into place. (They're blue and yellow right now, Miles, in this light, in the sun through the windows, the occasional wink of a pearlescent white peeking through here and there.)
"Anyway, it certainly sounds like you encountered something that's... well, I suppose it could be one ours. Normally, you wouldn't be able to see what you saw, though, if that was the case. And if you feel something particular around us, it's possible that you're... I'm not sure. I've heard that things like that can happen to some humans." He eyes Jeanie speculatively. Has she begun to feel a little like Little Red Riding Hood? Hopefully Miles is at least as nice as Granny because the feral intensity of the Beast's eyes is probably getting disturbingly predatory.
It's probably not in Jeanie's best interests that Miles still seems more suspicious of her than worried at all about the Beast's intensity. "Something like that. It can be different, person to person, how you know." The Fairest finishes off the rest of the drink he took from Tris, and rises to his oxfords. "Perhaps it would be best to have this discussion another time. You seem unharmed. Tris can see if he can find anything out, surely, and get it taken care of." Miles probably doesn't have that sort of authority, but damned if he doesn't make it sound like he does.
Long career or more practically just any sort of living since this only an inkling of knowledge seems to be a very hairy situation to be in for Jeanie and she's definitely feeling that there are way more things with teeth waiting out in the dark than anything benevolent. She gulps and begins to turn a little greenish at she spies the scars that she can still vividly remember (damn imagination kicking up when she doesn't want it). "It was definitely something. I'll email you the pictures of the car. And the address for the gas station although it didn't seem like anything their when the tow got there..." She shrugs. The tow truck driver did at least survive the task. Miles' sharp dressed form and air of authority is more than enough when combined with a very unsettling conversation to have Jeanie ready to leave. She nods and gets up as well. "I feel like I still have a lot of studying to do... and not the type that the school library can help with."
Well, if everyone else is getting up. Tris rises shrugging his shoulders in what is probably Millennial assent with Miles' words. Sure, he'll check it out. In the meantime, "I'll get you cash for your car. Wait here." Then he moves over to Miles to take his empty glass and leans in to murmur something in the man's ear. That's comforting after everything, right? Some secret that isn't volunteered? It's fine. "I'll get you some weed too. Looks like you need some." That's probably the best kind of thing that he can do for her, honestly. It won't take him long to leave the room and return, but enough time for words to be exchanged, if anyone wishes.
--Miles narrows his eyes after Tris for whatever he said. Then to Jeanie, "Just be careful, hm? Not everything appreciates being known about." That even almost sounds genuine. "Have a good day, Ms. Fontaine," he says before he's heading back to the kitchen to pour another drink, and out the back door to check on the dogs or something.