1963-07-01 - Silver Over Gold
Summary: In which Shaw and Clea meet, and Shaw makes a commission..
Related: None
Theme Song: None
clea shaw 

The Apollo, in the afternoon, isn't the most exciting place to be. The sun's still up and the city, therefore, isn't quite awake in a lot of ways. The sunlight itself is a little painful to Clea's eyes, though that's more from not being used to there being a Sun. But be that as it may: she's lingering inside of the theater, in the foyer, carrying with her an empty paper shopping bag.

She looks scenic, even if matters have a pretty simple explanation: She brought some cloth for the costumers, but they don't want her wandering backstage, and so, Clea is waiting for some of that happy legal tender.

Nobody else is immediately around, and just this moment Clea is looking at the little watch on a white plastic-looking wrist band as if to see if she should do something about this wait.


The 1939 Shaw Shadow Classic pulls up outside of the Apollo; it is a fancy, stretch limo in black, and it is fairly occupied at the moment— besides the driver there's five men in it, just one shy of its capacity. Only two men exit, though: both are in fine, hand made suits— but it doesn't take an expert to tell that the quality of the shorter, more slender man's is of a far higher quality.

Sebastian, of course, has the nicer suit. He strides forward, his every step one of the confidence of a man who can have anything and who knows it, and falling behind comes his bodyguard. But once he steps within, there's a slight gesture and the bodyguard stays back, watching the surroundings intently.

He's here for a reason, and soon enough that reason becomes apparent— and its not like he could readily miss her, as it happens. With casual airs he wanders over towards Clea, a warm smile gracing his lips, "Hello, excuse me, I don't mean to interrupt… have you seen a white haired man in a white suit about? He has the most… distinctive mustache, just looking at him makes most people want to reach out and tug it. I'm sure you'd remember?"


Clea looks up when someone comes in! It's going to be better than waiting forever, at least. Her eyes run over the incoming people, and Sebastian's suit, while the details aren't immediately apparent, stands out to her. She is often sure she could do better, in a subtle and casual sense, than what most people wear; with Sebastian, if that's true, she can't spot it immediately.

She doesn't rise as he gets near to her, but Clea does smile as she looks up.

"— I can't say that I have. A mustache that you'd want to tug…? What does that look like?" Clea asks, her voice breathy and subtly and obscurely accented.


Lifting a hand, Shaw traces a line from just under his nose down around each side of his lips and then down an inch past his chin. He smiles. "Unmistakable. If you saw Damien you would know." He shakes his head slowly. "A pity, I suppose he's late. Would you mind terribly for some company while I wait for him?" He glances aside, making a slight gesture towards the other man. He approaches.

"Perhaps, while we wait— it seems we're both waiting— I could provide some refreshment. Do you like scotch?" Sebastian grins suddenly, "Oh, I'm being rude. I am Sebastian Shaw. This is Marco, an assistant of mine. And you are…?"


Clea blinks several times, and says then, "Not at all," shifting her empty shopping bag off the seat next to her and putting it instead under her legs. She smiles then, and perhaps peculiarly enough, she does not seem surprised at the offer. She does say, though, "I've only had it once or twice, but I would not mind having it again."

Then, more formally. "Mr. Shaw, Mr. Marco - My name is Clea - I am very glad to meet you. I hope the man you are looking for comes through soon, though I haven't seen many people with white hair."


There's the slightest gesture of dismissal, and Marco nods and departs. He's well trained.

"Please, it's Sebastian." The man smiles warmly, though his eyes are… alert. Attentive. "I must say I have rarely seen anyone with hair quite like yours, if we are speaking on the matter of hair. Damien's is simply the white of an old man; nothing like the stunning display of silver that frames you." His grin turns just a little suggestive at that.


This makes Clea tilt her head down and reach up with one hand to run fingers through her shortish locks, saying with a sort of half-feigned humility, "Oh… I know it does stand out a little, but I'm terribly fond of it. And if you prefer… Sebastian!"

After this, she looks back up. "Your suit is stunning too. - I am sorry if that sounds strange. I work with cloth."


"Please, modesty does not become you, my dear." Sebastian grins, a hint of true amusement at her mixed display of humility, "Modesty is the sign that we are lying to ourselves, and though as a rule I prefer not to lie, the last thing I am ever going to do is to lie to myself. I do not tolerate others lying to me, why would I tolerate myself being in that position?"

He glances down at his suit, blinking, "Ah. Giovanni is a true artist. It helps that his budget is limited only by his ambitions, but in all my years I have never met a man more skilled. He makes all of my suits by hand." Interested, he tilts his head with a smile, "You… work with cloth?" he inquires.

Walking in from outside comes Marco, carrying two glasses and a bottle of scotch retrieved from the limo outside. One glass is handed to Sebastian first, then one to Clea, and he pours in the same order. The scotch is 40 years old, though she may or may not recognize it is likely of a greatly different caliber then she might be used to.


Clea smiles a little bit. She listens as Sebastian speaks but doesn't interject, though she does cross one tights-wrapped leg over the other's knee. "I see what you mean," she says then, before her head tilts back, and she actually laughs as she accidentally matches Sebastian's headcocking exactly. "Yes," she says, but before she can explain…

Scotch! "Thank you very much," she tells Marco, holding her glass with her fingers a bit splayed. After it's poured she takes a sip, leaning forwards… and lingers for a moment, appreciating it, even if the distinctions aren't standing out to her in the wholly normal way. "This is very good. Who is the maker?"

Back to the topic. "Yes, though, I work with cloth. I'm waiting to hear, actually, on something that I dropped off…"


Sebastian names the brand, smiling, "I have some older selections at the Grigorian, but when out and about, this is my preferred… casual drink." He lifts his glass up and sips. Yes, Sebastian is the sort of man who decides he wants a drink anywhere, he gets a drink. This all comes off as completely normal to him, even if it is decidedly weird.

"I'm not sure I understand what 'work with cloth' means, Clea, my dear. Are you a tailor? I don't know very much about textiles except what my preferences are— black usually, truth to be told, but sometimes nothing sets the mood better then a white suit while dining on a yacht." He smiles, "Besides, somehow I doubt you are as simply defined as a woman working with cloth."


Clea seems unmoved by the oddity. She takes a sip from it, and seems to be considering just what to say.

"I make textiles," she says slowly, "and - yes, I'm a tailor, you could say - Oh!" A door opens and out comes someone holding a bolt of what looks /exactly/ like woven gold, and Clea briefly excuses herself. In the end (it's a quick end) she has to take THAT back, but she receives a small roll of $20 bills along with it. "I'm terribly sorry for the interruption," she tells Sebastian, even as she sets back down. "This was the only one they didn't want."


** edit previous entry: a small roll of $5's


Sebastian regards the exchange with some curiosity, "Beautiful work. They are fools." He says this with such casual indifference, as if: such is the world, they are so many of them fools. "Can you do a similar quality fabric in silver instead of gold? Something as pale as possible yet which has as much metallic glimmer as can be?"

He smiles, "I have a certain dear friend who would look positively stunning in a dress of spun and woven silver, and perhaps I could offer you a commission to make the fabric for it? Name the price and it is yours." There's a certain nonchalant way he says 'name your price' that may imply this truly is a man who has no consideration for money.


Clea blinks several times. It's rather pretty, if a little eerie with how light her lashes are. "Oh, easily," she says. "I could just -"

There is a pause here. This is probably confirmation for Shaw that yes, any reports he had are true, and this woman is up to something weird. It's not a /long/ pause, but she's more steady when she speaks. "I could make it in a couple of days, though I might have something already made that meets what you need."

She does smile then. "Oh — I could make the dress for her if you have the measurements, but let's see, for a bolt of the cloth, would… oh… I would say twenty five dollars." Based on the estimate of 'what the costume department man gave her,' 'the probable number of bolts of cloth she brought with her,' this is not a substantial markup. Maybe she's enjoying the Scotch too much.


"I have her measurements." Sebastian smiles. He noticed the pause but let it pass for the moment: he's setting up a second meeting, really. Its not the first time he's had a dress bought for his White Queen, after all. "What I am thinking of is something that is the picture of elegance in pure, liquid silver. Take your time: if you can have it done in a couple days but do something truly special in a week, I would rather wait. I am a patient man, Clea."

"If just the cloth cost twenty five, then a full dress? Five hundred? That sounds fair." He sounds completely serious. In the modern world, that's $4000 for a dress, and for Shaw? It seems modest. Perhaps he even thinks he's haggling to get the dress for cheap. He sips his scotch, though, watching Clea with those intense, alert eyes of his.


Clea's eyes widen at this. She may be an ingenue but she can do math. At that sum, she thinks, surely she'd be able to travel this world - she could probably /find/ the Ancient One herself. The calculations aren't really her forte, but she raises her glass, an index finger extended, though not towards Sebastian: it's a pose she's seen in films and book covers.

"Well, I would need to make less if it's for just one dress. But I must insist on adding that on top, Sebastian, if that is not too hard for you. Five hundred and fifteen." Another sip of the scotch. She's nearly killed it. "And… What sort of an occasion is it for?"


Sebastian looks… pleased. She's negotiating with him. Oh, its not that people don't negotiate with him, but its still novel on this level. "I think you are trying to take advantage of me." He smiles, lifting his glass and reaching it forward for a toast, "And so the offer is five hundred, flat. As to the question, there is to be a gathering of figures of international repute, and I desire that my friend is the absolute center of attention. No eye should miss her, no one should forget her. She lends herself to this naturally. But with the right costume, this particular play I want to put on show, she will be a star."

At that, Sebastian grins suddenly, "And so I show my hand to try to inspire you, but of course you deserve a premium knowing this is important to me. Five twenty five. Not a dollar more."


Clea presses her glass forwards. In fact, she is careful enough that there is no clink. But she got the idea.

"I understand completely," she says with a dip of her head. "And I accept your terms, Sebastian. Where will you - Oh, I suppose I should meet her, if there is time enough, more than just the measurements. Though if you have a photograph or two, I believe I could work well with that."


"I would prefer it to be a surprise. You can meet her when you present it to her. Believe me, the measurements are accurate, and as for Miss Frost, well yes, I have several photographs I can provide." Sebastian reaches into his coat pocket and pulls out a leather wallet, and from this a business card. A pen comes out next, and he writes a quick something on the back, and offers it over to Clea.

"Speak to Marissa, my assistant. She will arrange everything." Sebastian smiles, and finishes off his drink, handing it off to Marco— the man was paying attention to this, and is there to take it right away, "When you are ready, then perhaps I will have the pleasure of presenting your masterpiece to Miss Frost at the same time I can present the gift to her? That would please me."


Clea surrenders her emptied glass once Marco comes back, telling him, "It was lovely." And then as the card is provided, she accepts it and tucks it carefully into a pocket? (Women with pockets. This modern day.)

"I would love to do that, Sebastian! I will be focusing every iota of effort that I can gather into this project," Clea says, heartfelt if yet another strange turn of phrase. "Please tell Miss Frost to ask, ah, Marissa to tell me, if she has desires of her own that she wishes to share with me."


"That would be better for a second project; if you please her, believe me, Miss Forst is a patron in her own right." Sebastian smiles, nodding his head and standing more clear, "But this, between you and I, is a gift. I would surprise her with this, and perhaps it can be an introduction to further commissions and there you can consider her desires."

And with that, Sebastian pauses, and pulls out his wallet and from it takes out five twenties, offering it over casually, "For materials and a deposit on the work. Spare no expense. I am Sebasitan Shaw." Shaw Industries is one of the largest companies in the world, really. It's what happened if someone happened to marry Boeing and General Electric. Clea may not know this, but perhaps 'Shaw' is sinking in— if she's aware of the modern world. From cars to warships to airplanes, Shaw Industries makes all that has an engine. "For me and mine, there is no limits, my dear. Do tell Marissa when you are done. I will have you over to the Grigorian, a private gathering where we can reveal to the Lady Frost her gift. Yes?"


Clea nods along with the rest, a hand on her hip at a stylish angle. Nonetheless she's heeding. BUT THEN:

Clea's eyes widen a little as the hundred dollars come out and are handed forwards. Accepting them, she says, "— /Yes!/" in emphatic agreement.

For her now the real challenge will be stalling and getting the shape of the dress right.


"Marissa will have detailed figures on Miss Frost's measurements. Call her as you need." Sebastian smiles, nods, and then, "Do remember. She is a queen among women, and she knows her power is that she is a beautiful women. She is not shy. Find the balance between these. Do call, when you are ready for the rest. Or?" A glance back to Clea, and Shaw's tone becomes sharper, "Or let us not meet again." A hint of a challenge. He is not a man whose deals are not satisfied. But then he's smiling again.

"Good evening, my dear.. I will have to meet up with Damien later."

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