Logs:Sussing Out a Summer

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Sussing Out a Summer

Characters: Molly and Tris
Date: 2019-12-09
Summary: Tris buys Molly lunch and susses out her interest in being part of a freehold or and possibly more organized Summer Court.
Disclaimers: {{{disclaimers}}}

The waitress at Delphine's Diner is smiling. It's one of those overly-excited looks of a woman recently flattered and eager to please. Tris, in his designer tee-shirt and artistically pre-distressed jeans, armed with an easy smile of his own and that annoyingly sexy just-rolled-out-of-bed-looking-this-good quality probably gets a lot of this kind of attention. "Thank you, Peggy," he's saying as the woman walks away from the booth he's claimed with the sprawl of his arm across the bench back and camera bag on the seat beside him. There are menus on the table and only the usual set up of dishes, so he either hasn't been here long or is waiting for his expected dining companion. His dark eyes scan the other patrons of the diner, as the lunch rush begins to dwindle, many vacating tables to head back to their work, in no such hurry himself.


Molly drags herself in through the door looking like she slept in until five minutes ago, her hair messy and wild around the feathers here and there. She's in a black leather jacket, a New Orleans Saints crop top, worn skinny black jeans and blue Converses. She's holding back a yawn and stretching, broad shoulders rolled back, talons scratching at her stomach for a second. She stops to look around once she's in, scanning the room from corner to corner, eyeing the exits methodically. In this survey, she spots Tris and offers a quick upnod before sauntering over in his direction. "Hey."


The returned upnod of acknowledgement from Tris shows the gleam of yellow and orange twisted gossamer stitching lines along the underside of his jaw, not really hidden by the not-quite-stubble length beard. One hand moves to push the fall of unruly brunette locks grown too long out of his eyes, the raised, light-hungry scars of crystalline gossamer on that arm catching the light from the window and intensifying in hue, though not shifting in color nor actually putting out enough light to be useful for anything. The scars along neck, around ears and on his opposite arm glow faintly in similar traceries, all cheery oranges and yellows in contrast with the overcast day. His nonsensical tattoos down his arms are visible in the light, too. One might mistake them for simply poor taste, except that some of those veins of stitching are far too coincidental to be unplanned.

"Molly," Tris greets the rumpled Lost with one of those easy smiles all her own. It's friendly enough, though the expression only barely touches those dark blue eyes that remain thoughtful, with perhaps a touch of habitual wariness. "Thanks for agreeing to meet me." It's said with all the routine practice of one who knows a touch of real appreciation can go a long way to starting things on the right foot. Another thing that helps is evidence of a flush wallet: "Order whatever you want, on me of course."

He'll let her get settled while his fingers toy with the handle of the as yet empty coffee cup before saying, "Jules mentioned you got settled in okay?" If Molly had been home at dinnertime last night, she might even have crossed paths with the Beast when he and his distinctive car when he visited the poor excuse for a house the evening before.


Molly gets to the booth and twists to let herself flop back into a seat. She twists some more once she's there, tucking one leg under herself, shifting, searching for some kind of comfortable position in the relatively cramped confines, like she'd need more room to spread. Eventually, she hooks one arm behind the backrest and stares across the table, pale eyes staring flatly at Tris for a few moments. "Hey, free food, right?" She replies when he thanks her for meeting him, and flashes a small lopsided smile before reaching out to grab the menu.

She holds the menu in one hand, the other coming up slightly to rake long talons back through her hair, not that it helps make it any less messy. Maybe slightly more artfully messy once it's all vaguely swept back in the same direction, though a few strays immediately fall forward over her brow. "You can say that. I mean, settled in's stretching it, but sure, I got a place to a crash," she answers, eyes flicking up over the menu to give him a curious look.


"Some consider the price too high," Tris' tone is wry, the self-deprecating humor coming as easily to him as any other relatively social behavior. That porcelain handle gets toyed with for some moments longer while the photographer considers the Lost considering the menu. His eyes don't linger uncomfortably long though, the Summer's attention wandering to take in the rest of the diner; no doubt, he catalogued exits when he stepped within, too. This sweep is that routine look for anything that's changed, anything slightly out of place, and thus far: nothing.

"That's good. I'm sure he'll have the place fixed up in no time." Tris doesn't even try to disguise the lie because it's plainly a joke, not that he seems to be insulting Jules' earnest attempt to improve the world with his own two hands. "Have you sorted out any kind of employment yet?" None of this can be why he invited her out, but he doesn't look like he's in a hurry to get to that, nor does he look like he doesn't actually want to know the answer to the question.


"Done worse for less," Molly says, eyes still on the menu before she lets it drop with the finality of someone who has reached a decision. Looking up again, she hooks a claw under the collar of her top and scratches at her collarbone. Her smile sharpens, and she responds with a slight shrug, turning her head to look out across the diner. "And unless he's running a meth lab in one of them rooms, I've lived in worse places too." She rises from the seat, shifts, then drops down again, apparently switching which leg she wants to have tucked under herself. "Not yet. Had a couple - well, I suppose interviews or something. Nothing yet, but I haven't really started getting desperate yet."


"No, and he probably couldn't be convinced to, even if it would turn a profit large enough to fix the place up in a trice." Tris rolls his eyes, because one must when one is speaking of friends too morally high to engage in illegal drug organizations. Pah. Where's the fun?

He pauses as the waitress, Peggy, comes back to give him those cow eyes from a face touched with too much makeup and the lines that are evidence of a life lived with a lack of luxury, the kind of luxury that makes flirting with a younger man like Tris so appealing. Thankfully, she's also brought a pitcher of coffee to pour into the waiting mugs along with a dish of creamer. Tris' responses to the woman are easy flatter but he has a skill in keeping the exchange brief in spite of that, deferring to Molly to order first before he places his own. That done, Peggy is sent off to perform the tasks of her poor wage and Tris returns his attention to Molly.

"What kind of work are you looking for?" It's a natural question, and the sense might readily be that Tris is looking for something in the way of resume information, but then he has had some useful connections before. His hands busy themselves with creamer and sugar, stirring richness into the bitter black.


Molly shrugs one shoulder. "'Long as it doesn't blow up and bring the whole place down, right? Smells, too. I mean, that can't be healthy to breathe in." She scrunches up her nose at the notion, even if no moral reasons are supplied for her objection. Peggy gets a curious look and a small smile before Molly places her order. She'll have a shrimp po'boy, and her flavor of coke is Dr. Pepper. Then she leans back in her seat, arm curling over the backrest again, and mulls over the question in silence for a few seconds. "I'm looking into maybe working in a kitchen or something like that, maybe. Done that before. Worked retail too, but I ain't doing that again. I'm not picky, I'll give anything a try. Doesn't mean I'll stick with it, but I'll give it a try.


"I'm not sure many studies have been done about the long-term medical effects," Tris replies though his tone still holds some humor. "Less, with the long-term effects on any of us." Though, really, given their peculiar nature, could anyone expect studies to be done with any reliability? There's such a broad sea of differences in any two Lost, let alone enough to actually conduct real research. Not to mention the generally pervasive paranoia.

"I heard they're hiring some mortals at our Community Center. I don't know if they'd be interested in hiring any of our kind to work there, but it might be worth asking about. You should meet Robin, too." He taps his spoon on the edge of the mug before setting it aside and taking up the coffee cup. "Robin's also a Summer. They're a star." He says it casually as anything.

"So far you and Robin are the only other Summer sworn that I've met since moving here." That probably explains his parting cryptic remark on their last meeting. "If they do get around to forming a freehold..." He starts and then his brow wrinkles and the question changes. "Are you interested in any of that? A freehold being formed here?"


Molly scratches at the nape of her neck, her smile crooking into a smirk as she replies, "Now, I don't know about the long-term medical effects of an explosion, but the short-term ones ain't pretty." Her hand rises, toying through her hair, and she nods. "Right. Don't know if that's a good idea or not, but I'll ask around. I like a kitchen because - you know, people get pretty riled up, sometimes, on busy days." She taps a talon against her temple, to signal her own cleverness.

"Met 'em," she says, on the subject of Robin. "Very hot. At least, well - I don't know too much about astral physics and it turns out a star's not made of fire?" She shakes her head, then goes quiet, watching Tris's expression shift as the question evolves. The answer comes after a long pause, accompanied by a shrug. "Sure? I mean, why not?"


"I don't know," Tris' smile is suddenly bright reaching all the way to his eyes, laughter contained but only just. "It depends on how much of a badass you are, I guess. Ask Robin about that when see them next." He recommends, smile shifting to a grin that might be a little disconcerting for its glee. Fortunately, he can hide all that behind his coffee mug and by the time he's finished taking a long sip it's just back to more sedate levels of enjoyment.

"I'm not someone to ask about the composition of stars. I'll just take their word on the plasma and stuff." Tris waves a dismissive hand in the air then drops to drum fingertips against the table through another sip. "I don't know. It doesn't hold a lot of interest, naturally, for some of us, but there is something to be said for some degree of cooperation for collective protection. No one wants any of Them to come nosing about and I think we'd all want to know if any of them do." So at least he's talked himself around to seeing one point of a freehold organization. "Where did you come from last, Molly?"


"I suppose it does," Molly admits with a nod, bringing a hand up to rub at her face, lightly scratching her nose with a claw before letting it drop, eyeing Tris across the table. Her gaze, when it's not scanning the corners of the room, can be unnervingly direct, a flat fixed stare with tired blue eyes. She listens to the explanation, and her brow creases for a moment in thought, giving it some thought. "Right? I don't do politics, but - well, numbers and all that. And that story about people not being able to come here for some reason, that's weird. I mean, I wouldn't know, but I've been told it's weird..." she pushes back her shoulders. "Last? Shreveport."


"This whole place is weird," Tris' tone is matter-of-fact, but it holds humor in it, too. "Weirder than a lot of other places and that's saying something. Shreveport isn't far," he observes. "Anywhere else notable? Before or Since?" Before she vanished, after she returned. "I'm from New York," he offers as an afterthought, as if only now realizing that he's doing a lot of asking of questions without much in the way of return offerings. It's probably a bad habit owed to his former profession, but at least he remembers now. "I don't know if I couldn't come here before or if it just never interested me, or if it never interested me because I couldn't come." Who can say with magic in the world? The photojournalist doesn't seem to be overly concerned about it and his shoulders rise and fall in a shrug.

"Is pooling our talents in some more... formally structured way something you'd be interested in participating in? Robin is, rightly, concerned with safety. So am I. I'm not... really sure that either of us is..." Tris is trying to choose his words well, but this isn't his area of expertise either, "Really all that good at organizing things. I'm giving things a bit of a go since some want summer represented in conversations about a freehold." He reaches up a hand and rubs his face before pushing it through his hair. "I'd rather go blow things up with Robin." It does sound much more fun, doesn't it?

But about this time, the food arrives. Molly's po' boy and Tris' American breakfast of hashbrowns, eggs over medium, bacon and white toast. It's too late for breakfast, but that doesn't seem to bother the Millennial. Peggy is perhaps a little overly solicitous with her loaded patron, but Tris has the smiles bespeaking of building the foundation for a solid regular-to-waitress relationship and gets her back along her way to her other customers with aplomb before his eyes return to Molly.


"Weird besides it being New Orleans?" Molly asks, then stares at Tris for a second, breaking into a grin to go with a sudden, sharp exhalation. Not a laugh, but almost. "Notable? Not really." She shakes her head and shifts in her seat some more. "Well, I've been places, but I haven't lived anywhere out of state if that's what you're asking," she explains, before going quiet to listen. "Sure? I'm not sure what you mean exactly, but I guess that sounds alright. Pooling our talents. Don't really think I've got any talent for - well, I got claws. That's about it."

When the food arrives, Molly looks up, flashing Peggy a small tight smile. First, she takes a small sip off her Dr. Pepper, then she picks up half the po'boy, glancing over it in Tris's direction before opening her mouth wide for a big bite. Her eyes lock onto her fellow Lost's plate, though, staring as she chews.


Molly's grin gets an answering one from Tris. "That would be enough all on its own, wouldn't it." But then, it is weird on top of that, starting with the Accords and not ending there, but the Summer settles in to eat with efficiency that doesn't lack long-routine manners.

It's quiet for some long moments while food is the focus, but after Tris has consumed at least a quarter of his plate in short order, he comes back to her words. "Not everyone is made for action, but you're very observant of your surroundings." The fact that Molly has looked around the diner more than once isn't lost on him. "Some of our kind," he probably means the Springs, because who else could he mean? "have bad habits for self-preservation that way. You might have more to offer than you know. And you don't have to know how you could help now to know whether or not you'd want to. Some of the summer courtiers I met in New York didn't do action, but were good with other things. Weapons," he offers the example offhandedly. "Some were, I think, just good at thinking on their feet." He shrugs, as though to allow for a wide variety of ways a person could be useful to any more formalized arrangement it they wished to be.

"Anyway, I'm probably boring you by now. I'd be boring me if I were in your place." He makes a solid offer to dismiss the whole topic of the freehold and business related, opening a door to an alternative line of conversation that might be more enjoyable with a charming grin, "What do you like to do for fun, Molly?"


The po'boy isn't exactly dainty food, and Molly is not a dainty eater. She goes through it with big bites, making something of a mess, hunched forward onto the table. And yet, she's staring at Tris's plate all the while. Not at him. His plate. She sets down what's left of one po'boy half, and grabs a napkin, finally lifting her gaze to stare at the other Lost. Her mouth is still half-full when she replies. "No, I'm - I can use 'em. These." She extends her long, clawed fingers, then reaches for her Dr. Pepper. Her fingers look a little twitchy. Her nostrils flare. Her eyes return to Tris's plate, dangerously fixed. If Tris's plate were a rabbit, it would be getting nervous right about now. "I mean. That and - well, I'm pretty good at falling." That's apparently a skill now.

"Hmm? For fun? You know. I go to bars and watch Law and Order: SVU. Hey, you don't mind if I..." she says, and reaches out across the table for Tris's plate. First slow. Then faster. To snatch a piece of bacon between two talons.


Tris isn't oblivious to the plight of his plate; he just picks his moment. Setting his fork to the side, and lifting his coffee to his lips before he nudges the plate to meet the other Lost's reaching fingers. "Take whatever you like." While she's helping herself, he slides his phone from a pocket, checking the time or maybe an incoming message. "Unfortunately I need to get going. I'll make sure there's enough for pie or something, if you want dessert." Because even if he has to deprive her of his inestimably valuable company, he can at least leave her with a parting gift.

Sliding off the bench, he reaches back in for his camera bag. "You have my number if something comes up. I have a friend who's going to hit a sports bar with me sometime, on game night." Whether or not that friend is aware of this is anyone's guess, of course, but bars on the night of a sports game can be an awfully good place for those who like it when tempers run hot. "I'll send you a text next time we're going in case you'd like to join us." Why hunt alone when you can hunt with friends?

"Take care, Molly. I'm sure I'll see you around." Then he's heading to catch up with Peggy to pay the bill plus extra and give her a tip and a few more flatteries before he's making his way out of the diner and down the block to where his obnoxiously loud car growl-roars to life.


"Hmm. Thanks. No, it's fine, just..." Molly holds up the piece of bacon, then shoves it in her mouth, alongside what's left of the last po'boy bite. Having done that, she seems to relax, enough to at least stop watching the other Lost's plate like a hawk. "I'm good," she insists, and picks up her sandwich once more. "Hmm. Alright," she says, giving him a curious, slightly confused look once he stands up. Like she was expecting more talk of - politics? Whatever that was.

The offer gets a small grin out of her, curiosity sharpening. "Depends on who's playing. But sure, why not?" Molly lifts one shoulder and tilts her head. "You'll see me around, sure thing. Take care. And thanks for the food, Tris." A hand goes to her head in a sloppy salute.