|Characters:||Louis Phoebe Robin Emma Ian Odile|
|Summary:||Changelings and a human meet up, and test each other's boundaries.|
Louis is besuited, although he's taken off his suit jacket, and rolled up the crisp white sleeves of his shirt, his waistcoat a dark blue with a subtle, silver herringbone pattern. He's demonstrating to the nervous young bartender how to mix a particular type of drink while a couple of rough-looking locals look on with obvious amusement. And a bit of appreciation, when the 'test drink' is handed off to one of them as a complimentary reward for putting up with the slowness while the young woman trains.
Emma enters the building, carrying her backpack and some regular clothes; rather than her parkour leathers. She doesn't seem to be in any particular hurry, getting a good look at who else is here while she heads for the bar.
"I wonder whether there'll be a live act to follow, eventually," begins the voice somewhere behind and to the side of Louis; even if it weren't familiar, it would be distinct, colored as it is by the faint traces of distant Paris. The woman it belongs to has found her way, somehow with very little sound, to the end of the bar in which he is situated, perched on a stool. Even in the indoors, she's kept her hat on - the better to obfuscate her alabaster features with its shadow that only the lower half of her face is visible and framing the lurid, bold color of her lipstick highlighting the curve of a perpetually smiling mouth.
Odile tilts her head, however, just enough that a glint of ice-blue eyes are visible underneath the brim of her hat. "How long has it been? You look well, Louis."
Salome's lighting scheme is going to get all thrown off for anyone who can see through the Mask, because two Bright Ones have just arrived, and there's a person made of glass right behind them throwing prismatic rainbow colors off -everywhere-. Robin is in the lead, with Phoebe over their shoulder and Ian in the back. -Why- is Robin carrying Phoebe over their shoulder? Mysteries of the universe. Robin is stating, very firmly, however: "If we are going to get to know one another, inebriation is -required-. Preferably in public. I have been doing lots of research on the subject and there's just no getting around it."
The Summer fae, doing the carrying, is on fire as usual for those who can see it. Said fire does not seem to be burning Phoebe but -does- put off light, and crawls back and forth over Robin's arms and back and forms a blazing halo behind their head.
Dammit. Ian is Not With These People. It's perfectly obvious by the way the glass man - or perfectly human and extremely, embarrassingly famous Christian soft rock singer Christian Blake (yes, the pun is awful, it's why the real Ian goes by 'Ian') - hangs back, looking discomfited, yet staring at Robin's back and Phoebe's poor dangling form. Ian is dressed in a baggy gray hoodie with the hood up, because that keeps people from recognizing him (sort of), and khaki pants, and generally just doesn't look like he belongs in a club at all - but hey, with Robin and Phoebe to distract people, maybe nobody will notice him. He's the one who pays the cover charge, if there is any, and maybe an extra tenner to keep the bouncer from calling the cops on Robin for person-handling Phoebe.
"Miss York," Louis greets, as the woman enters. His smile is warm with welcome. "I take it that another day of educational accomplishment has proceeded without undue difficulty?" He sort of relishes the over the top question, his tone playful. And then he jumps as the voice sounds very close. He turns in that direction, recognition already turning is startlement to a smile. "Odile! The lady of grace and mystery herself. Whatever are you doing here?" He pats the bartender on the back, and murmurs for her to keep practicing, while he moves towards the newcomers. "And yes, there will be live acts. I'd like to find young musicians who are looking to keep jazz alive and move it forward. Give them a chance to highlight their passions." For, of course, a favor or two in return.
As the trio of Phoebe, Robin, and Ian wander in, he studies them over the lenses of his glasses, then laughs. "Well, I see we're getting lively. Lovely! Allow me to do some introductions." He gestures for them all to follow him to the table that's cordoned off by velvet ropes. It's big enough for them all, barely. "Odile, you simply must meet Miss Emma York. She's doing a little piecemeal work for me. And of course, Phoebe, Robin and..." he studies Ian. "I remember that we met, I'm not sure that I remember getting your name. My apologies, but know that you're welcome."
As the club is in soft open, there's neither cover charge nor bouncer at the moment.
"Monsieur, I assure you, I need no spirits to--this is /wholly/ unnecessary." Phoebe speaks with a strangely archaic accent, more akin to early recordings of the 20th century than anything easily placed. "I really do think you would benefit from visiting the local chapter of the Temperance League!" she protests. All to no avail. She is wearing a long coat over a casual, modest dress.
Emma smiles at Louis greeting, "Mister Verte." She offers in response, and then hears the name Phoebe and notices the pale dangling woman. "One moment, please." So without hesitation, she changes course towards Robin and Phoebe, "Miss Phoebe. Special deliver." She offers, getting an envelope out of her backpack and handing it to Phoebe.
Phoebe is placed directly onto a stool at the bar where Louis is working as a bartender. Robin looks very pleased with the whole accomplishment. "We are supposed to -drink-, and confess things which will let us see the world from one another's viewpoints, and empathize with one another. I have watched -several- analyses of -much- media related to this. From that research it -also- seems that we need two more members of our merry band. Since I am obviously the leader, and Ian is The Lancer, and you are The Chick, we still need a Smart Guy and a Big Guy." Robin, once Phoebe is deposited, takes their own seat. "Also: not a Monsieur, you are -obsessed- with this honorific thing."
"To think I'd have reached that level in your esteem that I've accorded a /the/ and not an /a/. If I'm the only one that you've ever chanced to know, Louis, you and I will need to have a serious discussion about your choice of company." There's a subtle tilt of that visible mouth; if nothing else, shadows only accentuate her good-natured amusement as she pokes at the man with the sharper end of her wit. Still, the line of it softens with the warmth that inevitably comes with the realization that there is a friendly face within close quarters. "It's good to see you, Louis. Albeit my only regret is the fact that this isn't /purely/ a social call. But we can talk details, later? Is your current protege fit enough to fix a decent drink?" There's an incline of her head towards the bartender.
As for the rest? The visible Cheshire smile finds its way to Emma. "A pleasure, Miss York." Pale fingers lift, a layered bracelet of pearls finding the light when she wiggles them to Robin, Phoebe and Ian once proper introductions are made. "Odile Devereux," she supplies affably. (fixed)
"I'm Ian," says Ian in that very quiet voice of his which nonetheless carries very well despite ambient noise and chattering Robins. "And Abel is the Smart Guy," he objects. "Though why I count as the Lancer I don't know. I don't lance boils." Some things still elude him. "So all we need is a Big Guy. You hunt for the Big Guy. I have things to learn and do." He's eyeing Louis and Odile with a certain intensity. Apparently he has no interest in drinking - at least, not yet.
Phoebe looks generally confused, as she receives the letter, as she is placed down on the table, as she opens the letter to see an invitation to... where she already is. She inclines her head respectfully to Odile. "Phoebe Delacroix," she says. But then her face stiffens in fear and anger, and she turns to point an accusing finger at Robin. "I am nobody's bird!" she exclaims, nearly shouting.
Emma turns back to Louis. "Delivery made, mister Verte. I still haven't found the other one yet. Soon." She promises, glancing towards the curious collection of strange folks. "Are they like you?" She asks Louis softly.
Louis laughs out loud as Phoebe is deposited on a stool and then Emma delivers his invitation to her. He gives the college student a mock-sad shake of his head. "And Elias?" he asks, with amusement. "I don't suppose you've managed to find him yet?"
Odile receives a warmer, more familiar tone, despite the warmth of Louis' voice normally. "So few compare to you, my dear. Which you know, and don't pretend that you don't," he adds, teasing. "But you know that I love work even more than social calls, so of course. Settle in, have a drink on the house to relax, and we'll talk business a little later?"
His attention skips to Phoebe's raised voice, and he raises his eyebrows although he doesn't immediately intervene.
"It's -metaphorical-," Robin assures Phoebe. "But also it's about your gender. People -really- care about that. You -can- subvert the expectation but only if you're a supergenius or really tall and broad and muscular. Or if you're the protagonist." Which, -obviously-, is Robin. Who else. Introductions! Robin only now acknowledges the fact that there are other people: "Hello, I probably won't remember any of your names unless we make friends, nice to meet you."
Phoebe looks mildly placated. Mildly. She leans over to Ian and murmurs, "Why is he talking about languages now?"
"Mister Ian, Miss Delacroix." Odile accentuates each syllable with relish, unsurprising for a reputedly career hedonist. "Well met."
Louis' returned banter finally pulls a low laugh out of her, her smile broadening with a visible grin that frames her white teeth under the brim of her hat. "As they say, my dear Mister Verte, flattery will get you anywhere with the right quality of pearls. But yes, please. I'll be right here while you see to your guests. And speaking of work." She produces her smartphone, infernal devices that they are, vibrating spasmodically in her hand. "I should take this, I think. I won't be long." With that, she rises and moves further to the other side of the room, practically vanishing there; her clothes, no matter how stylish, camouflage her well in the growing darkness of the evening.
Ian stills slightly, distracted from his intense staring at the two strange fae, and glances over at Phoebe with confusion. "I don't know." There. Off goes the mirrored woman, and he looks vaguely disappointed, but returns his attention straight to Louis. Sorry, Emma, he's prone to ignoring people when his goal is in sight. "We need to talk to you about the situation." Hopefully that's clear enough.
Louis gestures to the cordoned off table he's been trying to gently herd people towards. "Why don't we take our glasses over there and talk, then? Miss York, what would you like to drink, or shall I surprise you again?" He grins, then looks back at the trio. "Miss York will be undertaking various errands for me that overlap with the situation. She's signed, and we've made an arrangement, so I hope you don't mind her invitation to the conversation." He unhooks the velvet rope separating the quieter table from the rest of the room, and gestures again.
"Signed what?" Phoebe asks, as she glides after Louis.
Emma smiles and follows along, "The Accords." She answers Phoebe, clearly listening with interest to everything and curious about this eclectic collection of people that's formed. "Mister Elias I haven't encountered yet, but the locations you've indicated have been incorporated into my route so I'm bound to run into him soon." Complete confidence.
"Ooh, do you have amaranthine wine? Ian has -extraordinary- amounts of mortal currency, he can afford it. None of us are hurt but I've always wanted to try amaranthine wine." Robin actually looks a little disappointed that they don't get to carry Phoebe, and a bit sad that their choice of seats was not, apparently, the correct one. "We should--wait, are we conducting business? Damnit, Ian, we're supposed to be getting vastly inebriated and -bonding-, not conducting business." Grump grump stomp stomp. Sad Sun-fae.
"Ssssst," Ian complains at Robin, giving them an irate look. "We can bond later. We need a freehold /now/." No giving away Ian's currency! Bad Sun-fae! "You are not from /here/," Ian addresses Louis. "How is this done in other places?"
Phoebe looks back inquisitively at Odile. She stares for a bit, unashamedly. Shadow people? Incredible! Then the conversation draws her attention back. "How is what done?" she asks. "Business? What is... this business about?"
Louis lowers his voice and gives Emma a nod of agreement. "I believe the doctor, Myerscough, mentioned them? I strongly advise doing likewise. If people want to cooperate rather than prey on each other, I certainly won't be the person trying to stand in the way." A soft huff of resignation at Emma's answer about Elias. "Really, I wish the man would get a cell phone."
There's a bright smile at Robin. "I don't actually stock that in the general stores," he admits. "I've never had it requested before. But if you want it, I can get it for you." There's absolute confidence in this. And interest, when Robin mentions Ian having 'extraordinary' amounts of money. He smiles at Ian. "We can bond /and/ conduct business. Just a sec." As people take seats, he returns to the bar to grab a bottle of top shelf whiskey, and several glasses. Returning, he takes a seat and begins pouring with a flourish. Alcohol for all! Even Emma. "I am not from here," he agrees. "In New York, where I came from, the Freehold I joined was well established. But the principle is very simple. A quorum of Courts who wish to protect each other, and establish a community. Freeholds vary in size and structure - and cooperation. I've never MADE one before, but mostly I think we need a structure, an agreement, and enough people to make a difference."
"What's to figure out?" Robin, obviously, has this -in hand-. "We all swear we aren't Loyalists, the Season picks someone to wear the Crown, whoever that person is has to fix whatever bad stuff comes up with the help of whoever likes their ideas enough to help. Problem solved." Glasses. -Whiskey-. Robin goes about pouring whiskey into glasses, starting with one for Phoebe before going around the table. Robin is a...very zealous pourer when it's someone else's bottle. No discreet reasonable two-finger pours tonight.
Emma is very clearly curious and paying attention. "Seasons?" She asks, in between getting out her phone and starting to take down notes. Tapatapatap. "And you're all like mister Verte, then?" She asks, trying to get that clarified. She does take a sip from the drink she's provided with. Odile has disconnected.
"Won't we need a place to stay?" Phoebe offers. She keeps glancing at Odile. Then she looks at Emma. "What is that?" she asks, moving over to stare at what Emma has in her hands. "It glows!"
Ian scoots a little closer to Robin so Phoebe can peer thataway at what's caught her attention, and frowns thoughtfully. "Either of those options would be fine, but tell me: have /either/ of you run into a /single/ Autumn? Or even Courtless?" He lets that linger a moment, then waves a hand dismissively. "As for places, I have a house. Spring is welcome there. It will chase out the last vestiges of my Fetch. /Places/ aren't the problem. It's people."
A sidelong glance to Emma. "Think of them as guilds or associations. Like-minded fellows who share a kinship of choice with each other. We've agreed to a certain bargain with the concept of a Season that embodies a way we choose to live, and an ethos we wish to promote. I, for example, am of the Court of Spring." He smiles. "And that was the question you earned with the delivery to Phoebe," he adds, with a smile. "Further questions will have to be paid for - or maybe someone else will answer them for a better bargain." He winks.
He takes a sip of his whiskey, seeming to bear Robin's enthusiasm with his drinks with good cheer. "Actually, yes. I have run into a single Autumn." A glance towards where Odile is on her phone. "And a Summer, and a Spring. Not a Winter, I think. Not yet. We'd need a Winter for a proper Seasonal shift. Especially since Winter is on its way."
Louis says all of that.
"Louis, your mortal isn't even Fae-Touched. Did you make sure she's not a spy before you invited her over?" Robin is giving -suspicious- looks at Emma. This, though, is when the easily-distracted Sun feels the need to reply to Phoebe: "I mean, -we- can all stay with Abel. Or Ian. I bet Ian's place is nicer. Or--" Ian, poking holes. "Aren't Courtless people just like, mostly Loyalists anyway? I'm sure there are Autumn people even if we haven't met them. See! Louis knows an Autumn. I'm sure we'll find a Winter too." Ian offers his place, but Robin suddenly realizes something: "You mean for the whole -Freehold-? Why do we need a place for the whole -Freehold-? Can't they all find their own places to stay? I mean, I don't want to live in some weird Faerie Quarter. That's the first place anyone would look."'
Emma smiles at Robin, "I'm Atariya." She explains, "And I will anonymize your accounts before I submit them for peer review." She says that like it's a joke, taking more notes at Louis answer, "Well soon you'll have to give me more deliveries so I can earn more answers." She tells him, "And I don't mind the vague directions, it'll work out, but I can't promise it'll be quick." A pause and glance to Phoebe, "Or while it's still relevant." Then to Phoebe, "It's a smartphone. It's a device..." She remembers Phoebe's objections to alcohol earlier, "Allows me to send telegrams to other people with such a device, take notes. It also includes a very clever calendar which alerts me when I have appointments, and a few more things." She explains/
Phoebe stares at the phone, entranced. "How marvellous!" she says, delighted. "It is a pleasure to meet you, Madamoiselle. Mistress spoke very fondly of the luck-touched." Her countenance darkens a bit. "Be very careful. You are a prize many would delight in."
By the time she has put away her phone, her crimson smile returns - it certainly didn't seem to fade /much/ while she was on the phone, but it manages to reclaim its usual tilt when the conversation is finally finished. Odile shifts away from that dark corner, though regardless of how far she moves past it, it doesn't seem to leave her completely - a distinct contrast to Phoebe's beautiful brightness, and Robin's searing corona.
"Well, that settles that, what did I miss?" she wonders, perching on a seat near the gathering, a faint head tilt and a smile towards Phoebe when she expresses her delight on the smartphone; the reaction is an endearing one, not that most of her expression is visible. She also retrieves the drink waiting for her, watching the glass for a moment or two, as if ensuring /something/ about it, before taking that first gauging sip. "....your protege passes, my dear Louis," she declares.
"If she is, it'll be an interesting test of these Accords," Louis says, quite cheerfully. "And she's not MY mortal. She's a contracted employee, receiving a fair compensation for her efforts." That seems important for him to establish, although he doesn't raise his voice about it. "And I wouldn't suggest we get overly ambitious, just yet. Who knows how many of the Lost will even want to chance this place. You recognize that we're the...guinea pigs, in a way. Others will be watching to see if we disappear, or die."
A chuckle at Odile's comment. "Oh, good. I'd hate to have to fire her on the first day. But, Odile, are you planning to stay a while? We were discussing the need for a Freehold."
Oh wow. Emma: giving classes to the Lost. This is actually marvelous. Ian glances over towards the two of them, lips twitching in a slight smile, then drags his attention back to Louis and Robin. "All right. Bring your Autumn. See if we can get the Season to Crown them. I will find a place. Are there any requirements?" He fishes out a phone from his pocket - of course it's a very /nice/ phone - and starts poking through it, light glittering off his glassy face. He glances up as Odile approaches, momentarily startled. She's getting studied /very/ closely as his fingers pause on the phone's screen.
"I don't know what any of that means but if you better not submit -anything- of mine to -any- of your peers, or we'll have a long talk with a short spear," Robin assures Emma. Then looks confused. "Or the opposite of that. One or the other." Robin, at this point, picks up their glass and drains quite a bit of it with none of the reverence that an expensive whiskey requires. "None of you act -nearly- scared enough of anything. Makes sense, though, you're all Spring and only Autumn and Summer -really- know what's up."
Phoebe just stares openly at Odile. She seems as fascinated at the existence of the shadowy Changeling as she is at the existence of the glowing phone. But she frowns at what Robin says. "Avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord," the Bright One says, in a lecturing tone.
"I'm sorry miss Phoebe, but I don't do careful. I'm contractually obliged to be reckless and stupid." Emma answers Phoebe with a completely straight face, "It's why I do things like jump between the rooftops of skyscrapers, need to maintain my reckless stupidity quota." Yes, she's recognized Phoebe. She rolls her eyes at Robin, "It was a joke." Then to Phoebe she giggles, and replies. "I don't think that will convince him? Her?" She glances to Robin, seeming uncertain.
"A while? My dear, Louis, I just got here. Certainly you're not attempting to evict me already when one of the reasons why I visited you in the first place was to inquire as to whether you have the means to find me a suitable abode. I stepped off the plane /just/ this afternoon." Odile's visible mouth takes on a more winsome bent. "Personal business brings me back to New Orleans, and while I'm no writer, I'm not completely devoid of a certain degree of genre-savvyness. You know how /those/ tend to prolong a stay." Ian's close scrutiny is acknowledged by the tilt of her hat back just a touch, to have pale-blue eyes return it. Intensity begets intensity; they cut like diamonds - but only briefly.
Robin's remarks about there not being a hefty enough amount of fear in the room has her taking a quiet sip of her glass. "Looks are plenty deceiving but caution has always been the name of the game." Mention of the Autumn and Summer courts coaxes an absent hum out of her, thoughtful in its pitch. Phoebe's open stare earns her a friendly wink from a momentarily visible eye.
"I avenge myself, others, and anybody I choose, 'cause wrath is my whole -deal-, and I don't have any Lords anymore." Robin gestures at Phoebe rather vigorously with their glass. Emma's lack of knowledge of pronoun is so helpfully cleared up with: "Neither, thank you very much."
"Sometimes Summer struggles with jokes, Miss York. You grow accustomed to it," Louis says, amused. He raises his glass to Robin. "Eat, drink, and make merry my bright friend, for tomorrow we may die." He glances back at Odile. "I would never try to hurry you. And I'd be delighted to put you up and help you find a place. For a favor in return, of course. I actually think I just stumbled on something that /might/ benefit from your touch." He takes a sip of his drink. "Of course, stay long enough, and you might end up with a Crown on your head," he adds, with a glance towards Ian at his eagerness to get the bargain sealed. "I do think that representatives of the Courts should meet and discuss some ground rules. Like Robin, I'm not really a fan of grouping us all together. I don't mind providing hospitality for the new fish, but I think we should encourage people to settle in and make their own homes."
Well. That answers Ian's question very thoroughly. He'd been wondering about Robin's apparent lack of gender. He drags his attention firmly back to Louis, however. "That's the point. But someone has to hold down the fort and have a place to gather. So whoever it is... they can live wherever I find. Or not." He frowns faintly. "I want to lock this down before the Gentry come knocking. You don't hurry enough. No one ever does. There aren't many days left of Autumn. So. Any requirements? Because as the Sun mentioned, I am apparently sitting on an extraordinary pile of mortal currency, and that can be useful." To those with the ability to see past the mask, his shoulders have begun to shift in place restlessly. He does /not/ like this idea.
Phoebe jumps and flushes as she is winked at. To mortal eyes, it is an explosion of crimson on albinistic cheeks. To those who can see through the mask, her face brightens from glow to outright blaze. She looks at Louis. "But what... what if one of the Gentry comes? I can't stop Master from taking me back." Her hands knead at her napkin.
"That's what I'm for," Robin answers very matter-of-factly to Phoebe. "If a Huntsman comes, you come find me, I put a spear through the Huntsman until he stops moving, and everything's fine."
Louis gives Ian a mild look. Calmly, he says, "/I/ have already established a covering bargain, a mortal life, allies, and a business plan. Just because I don't see the need to flail and shout about things doesn't mean I'm not protecting myself. I assume you three have done the same, with this 'Abel' fellow. If so, then you fit in. Don't draw attention to yourself, and you have time. Making a bad bargain is, in the long run, more damaging than no bargain at all."
"Ok. Any preferred pronoun or such like?" Emma asks Robin immediately after. She's still taking notes on her phone, she's clearly taking advantage of this opportunity to learn. "So what's about a crown and a freedomhold or something?" She's deliberately looking towards Ian for this one, not Louis.
"Ah! And how quickly he forgets that I'm /retired/." Said with the clear, savored exaggeration of a seemingly young woman who says one thing while making it clear that she means another...at least this time. Odile's expressive, crimson mouth adopts a more playful twist, there. "Your assistance would be most appreciated, and I suppose I /could/ lend my impeccably manicured hand for whatever it is that you think might benefit my touch." Said as if she's the one doing /him/ a favor, nevermind that she sashayed in here to ask him one, but there's mischief in the way she delivers the words. "It sounds...interesting."
She tips her glass towards Ian. "Money is always useful," she says. "But I'm in agreement that clustering all of us together runs the risk of attracting unwanted attention." Her playfulness only grows, however, at Phoebe's blush, and in spite of her serious words, her manner appears contrary. Fingers and their ruby lacquer tap absently on her knee. "Though that isn't to say that we can't share when the occasion calls for it...a task left to the more diplomatic, I think." She inclines her head to Louis at that.
Agh. Ian begins to look frustrated. "The problem is time," he growls at Louis. "I could be snatched back tomorrow. Any of us could. Even with bargains." The narrow-eyed look he gives the man is not pleased. "Purchasing land takes /time/. The cost is not the issue. If you want it, if we are to fill it, we will need to plan ahead. I am not supposed to be the one who knows this." An exasperated flick of his hands and he slumps back, finally picking up the tumbler. Glass fingers click on glass, for those who can hear it, and Ian takes a small, cautious sip, then coughs and makes a face. "Interesting." That's going to take some getting used to. "If you want it," he adds, "it needs to start now. If you don't, that's fine. I'm sure people can make do. Planning is vital, however."
Phoebe nods in agreement with Ian. "If Mistress comes, I cannot outrun her to come find a helper. I will be taken back. I can't... I can't go back. She'll cut me open and pin me to my cage to shine brightly, and she won't ever let me move again." She shuts her eyes tightly and shakes her head. "I can't."
Emma's questions draw Robin's attention back. "You can call me 'Robin Aster' if you need to call me something. Robin, if you insist on shortening it. But human, you -say- you were joking, but it still -seems- like you're writing down what we say, looking for more information, and might just tell others. I want to be perfectly clear that -I- wasn't joking. There are literal spears involved. And they -will- go through you if you are writing things down about this conversation, or if I find later that you're talking about this conversation to other people. Louis has very specifically said you're not his. I read the Accords -very- closely, and I'm willing to to give Ian's money to anyone who complains about your stabbing -or- simply stab them, too, as often as need be, if you don't think I'm serious. Stop writing things down. Do not share anything you learn at this table with others. We're not your subjects to study."
While making threats, Robin snakes a hand out, finds Phoebe's, and squeezes it. Until threats are done that'll have to do.
"You sit in my building and tell me that purchasing property takes time. In my business, and suggest that I don't understand that planning is something required for success." Louis studies Ian with a faint smile, his eyes gleaming behind his glasses. And then Robin starts talking. He doesn't interrupt. But when Robin's done, he says, "You may leave, Robin. You may come back if you're feeling like being polite in my establishment, but not before. Anyone who prefers to go with Robin, please do." It's not angry, but it is firm.
"I was joking about sharing. Mister Verte invited me to join, and he knows I am interested in learning. To learn takes notes. If you have an issue with me taking notes for my personal use, you can be polite about it and ask, but I do not listen to threats." A pause as Emma takes a sip from her drink and heads for Delphine's contact information in her phone, "But if you threaten me with physical violence one more time, I will have no choice but to tell my Accorded lawyer to get the paperwork done to file a restraining order. Of course, if I were to do so, I will have no choice but to provide my lawyer with all relevant information. I'd rather not."
In the end, Odile communicates nothing of importance, but her hidden eyes do watch the ever-shifting social calculus present in her environment. They fall on Emma's tapping away at her phone, towards Ian when he adopts his rough tenor, to the threats Summer's favorite(?) son levies on the single human in the room, and the way he squeezes the Bright One's hand. The strategic press of her glass to her mouth does well to hide whatever expression is present.
"Please don't joke about that, Miss," Phoebe says softly. "It is... it is very frightening, to be free." She opens her eyes and gives Robin a weak smile. "All of us have been... all of us have suffered."
Ian takes a deep, careful breath. "I see I was mistaken in seeking the aid of an elder." Like it or not, Louis is the one of them who has the most experience here - thus, elder. "We'll sort it out ourselves, then." The disappointment is audible in his faint voice. He reaches a glass hand out to touch Robin's shoulder and urge the Summer Fae away from the table. Nudge, to Phoebe. He's herding them, or trying - obviously they're perfectly capable of refusing. He's being quite gentle about it.
The Summer stands, steps away. "I will threaten anyone I like. -Especially- when someone is being stupid and letting a human take notes on us. It's either stupid or -Loyalist-. Louis, if those notes still exist ten minutes from now, you'll have to worry about me being more than rude. -Lawyers-. -Humans-." The Summer throws up both hands, and stalks outward.
"A good evening to you," Louis says, rising politely when Ian and Robin stand. He smiles at the Summer. "Oh, I prefer not to worry if I don't have to. As I said, it'd be an interesting test of the Accords, and we have no bargain between us, you and I, so do what you feel you need to do, and I shall answer in kind." He watches, and waits, as Robin stalks away.
Emma presses the call button, waits a moment and sighs, "Miss Laurent, I have an issue with what I believe to be a fae creature flinging death threats at me. I would quite like to make an appointment to discuss the matter with you in detail so we can talk options please contact me at the earliest possible opportunity." She shakes her head with disappointment, "Answering machines."
Phoebe looks torn. "Can we not resolve this amicably?" she says, looking between the two parties. "We have a common enemy beyond the Hedge, Monsieurs and Madames. Can we not--oh no. She is sending a telegraph." The changeling looks at Odile helplessly. "Madame, please, can you not help everyone see reason?"
"This /is/ amicable, Phoebe," Louis points out, with a faint smile. "Not everyone is going to agree on which path to follow. That's all right. We must all follow the desire in our hearts. And I suspect the Accords are going to be difficult for some of us to adapt to. That, also, is fine. It's a learning process." His voice gentles. "Go with your friends. You're welcome here anytime you like. All of you are, so long as you behave with respect towards myself and any guest that I have." A glance at the message Emma leaves for the lawyer. "Fascinating," he says, cheerfully.
Even just a hint of what they've all endured before from Phoebe's lips causes a brief tightening at the hinge of her delicate jaw, and the sip that Odile intended on her drink becomes a full on swallow, the soothing burn of her old fashioned barely registering. She watches the exeunt of the trio from over the rim of her glass; the look of her, perhaps, would be silently assessing - but considering the headgear and the way it obscures her face, it's certainly difficult to tell.
When Phoebe turns to her, she pauses from her drinking, finger sliding against her glass. Her air seems faintly resigned, but her smile returns. "I believe that cooler heads will prevail, my dear, but in order for that to happen, sometimes stepping away is necessary. Do not worry. Doors can always be opened again. Meanwhile, please see to your friend. I've only just met you but it seems to me that your presence is a balm."
Ian goes gliding out, with a brief backwards glance of concern and worry. His steps slow to see whether Phoebe's coming... but in a moment, he too slips out after Robin. The Sun needs him more right now. No one there seems inclined to harm Phoebe. Otherwise Robin /would/ have pulled out the fire, and if nothing else, Ian trusts Robin's instincts. Out he goes, shoulders still twitching unhappily.
"I find it hard to be amicable when people threaten to kill me, miss Phoebe." Emma answers the woman with a sigh, taking another sip from her drink. "Your friend is a bully clearly used to getting their way. Don't let this Robin drag you around, in fact I think it'd be wise if you kept your distance. I am sure Robin can fight well, the question is what happens to those who are nearby when a fight breaks out with someone powerful enough to fight back."
Phoebe looks around, bites her lip, then flees wordlessly. Her flowing hair, impossibly long and floating in defiance of all laws of physics, lingers, before simply fading away like smoke dissolving in moonlight.
Louis clucks his tongue at Emma as he sits down. "Robin is new. Anger is hot and burning inside, and it takes a while for that to moderate. You will find that many of us are frightened, and these Accords are...unusual. To put it mildly." He shakes his head. "I beg you not to judge Robin too harshly, although I understand the need to protect yourself." And then Phoebe disappears, and he blinks. He glances around at his employees, and grimaces as some of them are staring wide-eyed in this direction.
"Well, /that's/ going to be a fun conversation," he mutters a bit wearily. "New fish." A sigh.
It's only when they've left that Odile rolls her elegant head to regard Louis with that half-hidden face. "Well, that, too, was interesting - it's rare that I witness you fail to close. He isn't wrong, you know, about the notes. The risk is too great. But...." She laughs. "I know you well enough to know that you're not without your methods, Louis, and you know the value of keeping your cards close to your chest, which is something that can't be said of your young friend. Had that been me, that fearsome lawyer and the resounding slap of a restraining order would have been a /surprise/."
A glittering eye finds Emma from underneath the shadows of her hat. "Lawyers are well and good, but dead is dead, little one, and your retained counsel is only required to /keep/ your secrets post-mortem, and not to raise you from it when it happens." Humor flashes from her teeth when her grin resurfaces. "So hopefully you've included that clause in whatever agreement you signed with...Miss Laurent, was it?"
"I think this Robin will find that there are lots of awkward things that happen when people try to hurt me. This one time, there was a guy who tried to shoot me, missed and the bullet ricochet of the refridgerator handle, and knocked the chandelier above his head. Things like that." Emma answers Odile. "I am mortal, sure, but I am not without magic of my own." Then to Louis, "I can understand that. But I do not submit to threats, I do not cower in fear. There are many in this city that will do far worse than call a lawyer if Robin tries that kind of stunt. Someone will get hurt due to that attitude one day, and I fear it will be one of Robin's friends."
Louis gives Emma a look. "As amusing as that is, I will ask you to be a bit more careful in the future. I'd like this to be a place that the Lost feel comfortable spending time in, and having someone take notes...well, Odile isn't wrong. It's concerning. I'd rather you didn't. I won't stop you, but I also won't protect you from consequences that don't involve a murder investigation in /my/ bar. Right after it opens. I don't need that sort of trouble. And the thing about luck is that you're not the only one who can play games with it. Don't count on it to protect you."
Then he takes another sip of his drink, and lifts a shoulder to Odile, amusement returning to him. "The negotiation isn't over yet, you know. But certain boundaries must be set, and set early, or else it is an unending /battle/ to establish them later."
"Yes, yes, little one." Odile waves a hand airily, as if she could dismiss what has just been said with a flick of a graceful wrist. "But just because /you/ know that doesn't mean you have to let /others/ know it, is what I'm saying. Your bravado is admirable, and I can understand the allure of recklessness. Louis is well aware of this, in fact." That mischief returns, subsumed by darkness, directed at the man before her attention returns to Emma. "But you don't need to warn them of how well-equipped you are at surviving. I say let the world be surprised."
There's something more feline in the bent of that visible smile, when Louis impresses his point about luck. "His counsel is sound," she murmurs. "Fortune is a fickle mistress, and I know better than most. I've danced with her plenty."
With that, she finishes her bourbon, and another laugh escapes her afterwards. "Like I said, Louis. I trust you to know what you're doing at the very least." From afar, Odile is one of those who can manipulate Luck, so she is also laughing >.>;; Long distance to Odile: Louis pets Changing Fortunes.
"Ok, won't take notes in the future without asking first. You know I'm an occultist and that I'm curious about these things; so when you invited me to join I thought that was invitation to learn." Emma answers Louis, "I'm sorry," She doesn't sound too bothered, then glances to Odile. "Well it's simple really, you live life the way you want to, and then you die. You make it sound so complex. I don't know the day or the hour, but one day I will die; and that's fine, so long as I have no regrets getting there. You seem to want to talk me into making choices I will regret."
Louis waves a hand. "I'm fine with you learning, Miss York. I did invite you to the meeting. But people /squirm/ when you take notes. Even if they're innocent. Listen, watch, and write things down afterwards. Imagine you're meeting with the mob." He grins. "We're about as paranoid, sometimes. But, apology accepted."
"Not at all, little one," Odile says, the tone of her so innocent that everyone in the table can practically see her widen her eyes with distressingly convincing innocence. "It's the simplest thing in the world to shut up, now and then."
There's a surreptitious wink delivered to Louis at his mock-aside.
"Well I guess you must be really bad at the simplest things then." Emma answers Odile with a smile, adding; "And it doesn't feel fair to know that you all like him, when you don't know what I am." She shrugs, "Maybe I'm just too nice. But hey, that's my flaws to worry about." She takes another sip from her drink and nods to Louis. "So what you're saying is that I should've set my phone to record and they wouldn't have noticed?"
"I'd rather you didn't," Louis says again, mildly. "I do expect my guests to treat each other respect, which does not include recording people without their permission, Miss York." He's losing a little bit of his smile as he studies her, head cocked to one side. "Our arrangement is useful to me, but I don't mind terminating it, either, if you decide to cause me problems out of intent rather than accident. I don't believe I've done anything to deserve that. Do you disagree?"
There's a sudden peal of laughter there, Odile's amusement growing in spades. "I wouldn't cast aspersions there, little one," she tells her gamely. "You're the one who brought up a lawyer, name one of those who /ever/ made anything simple." She leans back against her seat, tilting her head. "As for the hothead, I only met him today - like is a /very/ strong word, and incredibly inaccurate, but I don't need to like anyone to see reason. There's nothing fair about survival. And if Louis gave you the impression that he /also/ likes the hothead...well, it's probably too early to tell, but he /did/ kick him out of the club for threatening you and saved his chastisements outside of their earshot. He was infinitely more obliging than anyone else of our ilk in his position."
"That was a joke, mister Verte. I would never record anyone without making sure they had a chance to object. That's why I went with the notes, so they could tell." Emma answers Louis, and now she's clearly serious looking him straight in the eye. Then she answers Odile. "Oh there you go with the softball questions. That's an easy one Delphine Laurent. That's why I go to her." She nods to the latter, "Yeah, I know. And I appreciate it, though like I said, I wasn't too worried. Worst case, I die."
"Witnessed," Louis says, easily. "I hope you mean that. I'm going to assume you do." He finishes off his drink, and eyes the amount left in the bottle. "Mm. Not too much damage. And I hope that you don't die, but as with a surprisingly large number of things in this world, that's in your hands, I feel." He rubs his hands together, and grins. "Well, this has been a bracing couple of evenings, to be sure. I do have to meet with a supplier, though, so I'll have to leave you ladies to enjoy the hospitality of Salome. Odile, you have a place as long as you need it. My loft is right upstairs, or I can arrange something off-site that meets with your standards. I'm so glad you've ended up here." He stands. "Is there anything else I can do for either of you before I leave you to your own devices?"
"It's good to trust your counsel," Odile replies, still laughing, slinging her arm over the back of her chair. "But if bringing lawyers to a problem is your definition of /simple/, perhaps Louis will need to introduce you to a proper dictionary." To the man, himself, she smiles. "You've got your work cut out with this one, Louis. I don't envy you in the slightest. I look forward to seeing how much this investment actually returns."
With Louis standing up to deal with business, she rises smoothly from her own chair. "I'll take the loft, but only because I'm curious. I don't intend to spend the night, I do have a perfectly serviceable hotel booked, but I'm happy to assuage my curiosity with your new...how do they say it, these days?" She cocks her head to the side. "...digs? Regardless, I'll wait there to have a proper conversation with you, and you can tell me about this thing you need my touch on."To Emma, there's another grin. "And /do/ be careful getting home, Miss York. I don't doubt that the formidable Miss Laurent will do her best for her client, but I don't know if she'll be all that keen on representing a corpse." With air-kisses to both, she pivots, her heels clicking back into the dark until she is no longer seen.