1963-10-25 - Something About Your Face
Summary: Lucy gets cornered by Trish and Meredith…somehow Trish and Lucy end up being invited to dinner at Meredith's house. With their dates. And Meredith buys Lucy a 'Lichtenstein' for some reason. Maybe she's just nice. (Also: some horrifying truths about Meredith and Lucy's parents are clarified. We shall not speak of it again.)
Related: None yet!
Theme Song: None
meredith karolina trish 

Tuesday afternoon in Midtown New York City — a perfect time to browse a modern art gallery and get in out of the cold, don't you think?

Well, it's not really COLD cold, but it's a little chilly, especially with the breeze firing between the tall buildings down half the gridded streets. Regardless, the Heinberg Gallery space is doing a low-key opening of a new exhibit. American modern art, hand-picked by the gallery owner, a noted tastemaker.

The paintings on display follow in the style of Robert Indiana, broadly — works that emphasize the use of bold, striking typography and phrases within vivid blocks of color. There are no still life oil paintings, no portraits. Everything is text, stark symbology, and color. Naturally, art collectors and art enjoyers might find their way in to this little show.

One of the art collectors is Miss Meredith McCorr, Hollywood starlet ('Ghosts of Yesteryear' still in theaters!) who is in need of art to decorate her new brownstone with. She's dressed in casual couture along with her big fluffy white fur coat over it, and chews on the arm-tip of her sunglasses thoughtfully while she looks at the paintings. She seems to be in her own little world.


Delivery work isn't bad work when Lucy can get it. Turns out the Heinberg Gallery wasn't expecting quite the turn-out it did and the caterer needs to send over extras of everything.

"I'll be careful," she promises as the caterer hands over precious, precious boxes of profiteroles and other delicious things. She really should try to eat more. She and Laura actually have a kitchen now. It's amazing. She's just not used to having…food. "With the car, too."

New York traffic is almost as bad as Hollywood. Almost. Fortunately, Lucy is a good driver and she makes it over to the gallery in one piece but can't get around the back thanks to a truck picking up paintings.

Great. Through the front it is. Lucy remembers when she didn't know there was a back door to most places. Obviously, there must have been, but she didn't think about it. Now, most of the time, she uses it. The doorman glares but she gives him her best "don't piss me off" look.

It works! Lucy is practically a real New Yorker! She slips into the gallery with her arms full of pink catering boxes.


Art. It's something that Trish's own apartment is severely lacking. What art she does have is rather, what did her agent say? Oh right, drab and sad. That's what she gets for having an agent who isn't afraid to speak their mind! She rolled her eyes, of course, but promised to go to the art show at the Heinberg Gallery. It was the least she could do.

Running up to the door in her heels, right behind the delivery girl, Trish gives the doorman a little nod, while she stifles a chuckle at his reaction to the girl in front of her. "Need help with any of those?" The actress asks of the girl. "I could probably help ease the load a little bit for you." She says as she flashes a smile.


Meredith has just spent five minutes looking at one painting as people have to walk around her. What distracts her from whatever's going on in there is that a delivery girl is coming in with boxes of stuff. "Ah… hm," Meredith murmurs, chewing on her sunglasses for a second more and then putting them in her purse.

Meredith's purse is very expensive.

The redheaded woman drifts through the crowd over to where Trish and Lucy's fates are colliding. Her lips purse as she studies Lucy like she's caught sight of some kind of ancient stone artifact floating around the room. She finally approaches, but doesn't offer to help. Instead, she states, to the delivery girl: "You look familiar."

Assuming eye contact is made, well, Lucy and Trish will find themselves… well, not appreciably different. If things were going okay, they're still going okay. And they're never not going to be okay. Stress is off the menu for a bit. It's all good.


"Oh, you're too kind." Lucy gives Trish a bright smile. Okay. Not quite a New Yorker yet. "I'm fine, thank you. Stronger than I look. And you're dressed all nicely." Heels. A pipe dream now. Though maybe Lucy could run down vampires and demons in heels…she could play tennis in them back home, and did. Best way to kill time at boring parties, sneak off and play tennis with someone.

Meredith's approach startles her, though. "I? Me? Not me. I'm no one." She looks over her shoulder at Trish, who is the recognizable one. "You mean her, right? I need to get these to the back." Yes. Nothing to see here. Carry on. Just the help here!


There's a pause as Trish gazes at Meredith, making eye contact with her as well. "Ah! Meredith McCorr? How lovely! I wasn't aware you'd be here today as well!" Either her own agent was unaware, or she was just wasn't told. Either way, it seems to be a pleasant surprised for her. "What a lovely purse!" She looks down at her own which, while expensive, is not quite expensive as Meredith's. "You'll have to tell me where you got it! I just absolutely love it!"

Looking between Lucy and Meredith, she frowns. Finally looking carefully over Lucy, she tilts his head. "I'm nearly sure she was speaking about you…and you do look a little bit familiar. Have we, have we met somewhere?"


"Hi," Meredith says to Trish, pulling her in for half-hearted air kisses to each cheek. "You look good. I don't know where I got this, actually." She might have stolen it. That weekend was fuzzy.

"She taught me how to play tennis," Meredith informs Trish as Karolina tries to leave. "A while ago. I don't know how long ago. She taught me to play tennis. It was fun, I think. What was your name?"


"Oh, I don't think so, you must be misremembering. I have one of those faces," Lucy says sweetly. (She does not have one of those faces.) "I'm just Lucy. Lucy West. And I need to…" She's about to say 'leave' when the manager swoops down like an angry vulture to grab the boxes from her.

"You're welcome? Need me to pick anything up?" Please. Yes. Have something for Lucy to do. The manager is no help at all but also doesn't want to disturb the wealthy patrons if they're amusing themselves, inexplicably, with the delivery girl. Girls. Delivering things. The last war turned people into savages.


Following suit with the air kisses, Trish nods a little. "Well, if you do happen to remember, please be in touch. I'd absolutely love to get one similar." Of course they can't have exactly the same purse. That would be a social and fashion faux pas. "And you know, you're looking quite good yourself!" She pauses as she takes in the other actress. "You know, we should schedule a spa day together. Just you and I. That would be absolutely wonderful!"

She clucks her tongue as her attention turns back to Lucy. "Are you sure you didn't play tennis with our dear Meredith?" Looking the slightly younger woman over, she frowns. "You really do seem somewhat familiar. Are you sure neither of us have met you before?"


"Lucy. That's your name. I knew your parents. The Wests." Meredith actually seems to take Lucy's fake name at face value and slot it into her memories to replace blanks. "We went away on a weekend together. The four of us. You were young. You taught me to play tennis. I gave you some of my reefer. I liked that weekend." Meredith, at age 19, was exactly the sort of person who would think nothing of gifting an 11-year-old a joint, regardless of whether they used it or not afterward. At age 26, she's still that way, really.

"Lucy," Meredith repeats, walking over like she wants to touch Lucy's face but is being kept away by a velvet rope. "You should come with Trish and I. To the day spa. It'll be kicks. Just us girls. Better without your parents around, really. They got awfully cold to me. They were…" Meredith drops into a stage whisper, looking to Trish and Lucy like she's sharing a secret. "…kinda square."


Now, Lucy does place Meredith and it's one of those clarifying moments when, at nineteen, you know what you didn't know at eleven: when grownups are having breakfast in bed in their pyjamas when you come in to see your mother to ask if you can go swimming, there's a chance that they're not having a sleepover like they said they were. This is not the most shocking thing Lucy's uncovered about her parents, though now she's horribly embarassed that she didn't catch on. She really doesn't want to think about that at all. Wow. No.

"Oh!" Lucy is a bit wide-eyed — she's a good little actress. Please, someone, save her from Meredith. "I see. Yes. That was…that was you. I didn't…it's been a while. I was very young. And things are different now." She gives Trish a bit of a tight smile. "That's very kind, but I do need to get back to work."

Lucy is not dressed remotely like someone whose parents would have gone away for a weekend with a starlet like Meredith. Her clothes are utilitarian and shabby, she's not made up at all, her hair isn't even done — just pulled up in a ponytail. She looks like a blue collar family's child, not the child of Hollywood socialites.


"You two do know each other then? How lovely!" Trish brightens. "Oh, I think it would be just wonderful if you came with us to the spa. Just absolutely lovely. You know, they do an amazing seaweed wrap. Oh!" She looks between the two others. "There's a mud bath to die for! And then their steam room? It's the best place I've ever been! I absolutely love it!"

She definitely seems enthusiastic about the thought of all three of them going. "Oh, and we can get something to eat afterwards! And trust me, I know this wonderful restaurant…and squares definitely do not spend any time there at all!"


"That really is very kind but I do have to get back to work." How is Lucy going to get out of this one? Invoke a non-existent boyfriend? Where is Laura when Lucy needs her? Usually right here. But this is not the kind of emergency Laura is equipped to handle.

"If I don't, I'll be in trouble for not returning my boss's car. I'm going to get a traffic ticket, even, and that would be even worse…unless he reports it stolen, which I also don't need." Bosses, right? Blame the bosses.

"Lovely to see you again," she says cheerily, and tries to make her escape. Around Trish.


"Steam room," Meredith repeats, distantly, like the words put her down some other mental path she's not sharing with anyone. She shakes it off quickly enough. "Hm? Yes. What do you do? For work?"

The fact that Meredith just watched Karolina make a delivery of hors d'oeuvres doesn't seem to enter into the question being asked.

Meredith looks from Trish to Karolina. "If you don't… go to the spa," Meredith continues, like she's piecing together what she wants to say as the words come out of her mouth, "Come to my pad. For dinner. Both of you. Bring someone. Both of you bring someone. I don't have any friends here. I'm lonely. So let's all have dinner. It'll be kicks." She's still projecting that aura of calmness to the two women she's talking to. She does it all the time now, without really thinking about it. She doesn't like it when people get anxious or sad or angry or shouty. So she likes keeping everyone on that nice, even, feel-good level she wants to be on.


"Oh, we don't want you to get in trouble. No! No trouble. Trouble is bad." Digging through her purse, she pulls out a card and holds it out to Lucy. "If you have any trouble, give this to your boss. Tell him to leave me a message there. I'll sort things out for you." She smiles widely.

"Oh, dinner! Of course. Dinner at your place. Just name the time and…well, I don't know that I've been to your place here? We'll figure it out!" She nods to Meredith. "Oh, this will be fabulous. I'll bring us some wine. I know this wonderful wine store near where I live where I'll pick it up." She says happily. She even starts planning her outfit for the dinner. But who will she invite to bring with her? Jessica? Jessica might come, though she'd have to tell Jessica that they were going elsewhere, like the liquor store. But it might be doable.


"I. Well. Thank you." Lucy has manners, so she takes Trish's card. She also has a soft heart and Meredith looks so miserable and it doesn't seem like a bad idea. Lucy understands how lonely being famous can be. As long as Meredith thinks she's Lucy West — and so does Trish — it can't hurt, right? Bringing Laura is…well. Maybe it'll be educational. Yes.

"I suppose, if you let me know when and where…" She'll get out of it somehow. Or she'll just go. Food is good.


"Oh, right, my place here," Meredith says, reaching into her purse and digging around for a moment. "I had to write it down. I can never remember my new address. It's weird when things change… you know?" She takes out a pen, and starts copying text from one piece of scrap paper to another, and then another. Her writing is odd. It's not unreadable, but it's more… sinuous than one might expect. Not quite cursive. Not quite not cursive.

Meredith's native language is Tilan, but she doesn't go around telling people that. Still: it shows in some ways.

"Here," Meredith says, handing the two slips of paper. "I live there. I mean… it's a real building. I don't live on those pieces of paper. There'd be no privacy." That might be a joke, but it's delivered so deadpan that who can tell? "My number is on there, too. Phone number. Not number for anything else. Next week. A week from now. I need to learn how to cook first."


"You're quite welcome! Anything I can do. I'd hate to think I caused someone trouble at their job. And, if I did, I certainly want to clear things up." Trish says with a firm nod of her head. "Now…dinner…" She accepts the piece of paper from Meredith and looks it over, slipping it into her purse. "Dinner next week sounds lovely. I'm sure your apartment, not on paper, is lovely. I look forward to seeing it!"

Taking another card out of her purse, she holds it out to Meredith. "If you call the number on there, they can patch you through to my home number. You'll be able to reach me as well, should you need to." She chirps happily.


"Yes. Thank you." Lucy is feeling worse and worse for Meredith by the minute. She wonders if her parents had anything to do with the poor girl's…oddness. The more she thinks about it, the more she wants to follow up. Find out what really happened, if Meredith remembers at all.

"I should go. Really. But. I will call and find out when your dinner is," she promises. "I'll bring a friend. I know most people would be thrilled to meet both of you." She does recognize them both. Who doesn't? "You're both too kind." She gives them a little wave, trying not to think about where on earth she's going to find something to wear.


"Wait, Lucy, before you go." Meredith points to the manager who took the boxes from her. "Give that man your address. And your name. Tell him I'm buying that painting there and it's being delivered to you." The painting in question is a blown-up replica of a comic book panel of some kind. The artist's name may or may not rhyme with 'Blichtenstein.'

"For showing me how to play tennis." Meredith smiles, and when she does, it's clear that this is why she's a movie star — when she's not a space-case, she really can light up a room.


"Oh, think nothing of it!" Trish waves her hand dismissively at the mention of kindness. "I'm sure anyone would do the same in our places." Well, maybe not. A lot of Hollywood people aren't really the types to pay much attention to delivery people, let alone invite them to dinner. "Just don't be a stranger now, ya hear?"

Looking as though she's moved by Meredith's kindness, Trish smiles softly. "Oh, that is so nice of you, Meredith! Buying her some art! That's quite the piece of art, too! I'm sure it'll look great in your home, Lucy!"


"I'll. I'll let him know, Miss McCorr. You have a good day, Miss Walker." Lucy remembers all her finishing school lessons. The more she's around people from "home", the more it shows. Mrs Tuttle would be proud. Those are not the manners or bearing of a shabby child from Mutant Town. She heads out to give the manager Meredith's instructions and her address.

"I don't know, she just seems lonely," Lucy murmurs to him when he huffs at her. "It's Miss McCorr, you don't say no. And it's a sale for you, so…" She glares at him. "Don't make me tell the caterer you said the pastry chef's Napoleon cakes were chewy."

Quelle horreur! Apparently Lucy remembers how to leverage an angry French pastry chef as well. The manager looks like he swallowed a whole lemon but he does as he's told.

At last! Lucy can make her escape.


As Lucy exits, Meredith turns to Trish. "I should get someone to paint me," she observes. "I wonder if they'd make me look the same way I'd make me look. It's interesting, don't you think? I mean… art." Then Meredith begins to unceremoniously drift away, like a lazy housepet whose attention has been caught by a passing fly.


"That's certainly a curious thought." Trish nods. "It's hard to know how others see us, isn't it? I suppose the only way you can know how you'd be painted is if you did, indeed, get someone to paint you." She shakes her head, shrugging. "Art is certainly…something…else…" Meredith certainly is a curious one. Trish won't deny that.


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