1964-08-03 - A Hard Night's Day
Summary: The plot thickens and further unfolds as Remy works his information source, and she starts to suspect something is up.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
vesper remy-lebeau 


A girl has to get outside of the walls now and then. Warm weather turns a whisper cooler when the sun goes down, and the bright faerie lights of the village come aglow. As far as the people are concerned, going outside makes more sense at 11 PM than 11 AM. Mind you many of those people don't have jobs, or at least the kind that require them to be up before noon. It's a beautiful hour to exist.

The auburn-haired Frenchwoman is sensible of her location, jogging around the edges of Washington Square Park. It should make her cough and ill. Not so much this week, allowing her a pace that proves not too arduous. She gets a few looks for running by. Mostly she ignores these. Partaking of the night anmidst her fellow citizens is quietly pleasing in a way to settle her mind. It won't be quiet, of course, no matter how much she tries. But better than sitting inside an empty apartment staring at her paperwork. Why the X chromosome? What gene? Who and how and what does it all mean?

Remy LeBeau…I mean Etienne….(It is his middle name, afterall) is walking down the street with his hands in his pockets along the side of the road. He looks to be deep in thought. So much so that he almost doesn't realize that Vesper is about to run by. He gives a wave and a smile as she approaches.

The steady clap of her soles against the ground leaves a regular rhythm. Not fast or particularly impressive, Vesper focuses mostly on moving without losing her breath. Put her in the countryside and she can lap any human sprinter or distance runner out there with contemptuous ease, but she doesn't even know such yet. Old rules of existence engage with her. Besides, nice girls rarely jog too much. Things could distract drivers. Like looking for a dog or an assailant.

"Ou?" A quick shuffle and she halts, her movements distilled to just about stillness. Shouldn't do that, girl. But hey, she doesn't know. "Hello. I was not expecting to see a familiar face."

"Me either," Etienne replies. "Out for a job, I see. Nice weather for it. It's been so hot lately." He stops now too since it appears she's willing to stay a while and talk. "On break from the school work?"

The Frenchwoman nods lightly and might well be thinking of the best way to dab away the sweat on her brow without being acutely obvious about the business of it. Ladylike intentions trump any kind of corrections for the moment. Gauzy smile affording a patient response, Vesper says, "Only a need to move. I did not anticipate running you down."

"Din anticipate bein' run down, chere," Remy says with a chuckle. "You gonna let ole Etienne take you out again? Or you done seen enough wit de Mexican food?" He raises his eyebrow and can't help to slow-grin just a bit.

The slow grin on those chiselled features: how many people has that undermined? How many women feel their heart stop beating or accelerate in their chests, the tightness of breath and other points beside? Do they liquefy to a certain charm? He's the exact sort of man a mother warns her daughter about in one of those serious conversations in the kitchen, ideally. Tall, dark, and handsome: never trust those sorts. Don't give them your money, your virtue, or the benefit of the doubt.

French mothers might be a slight bit different. Nonetheless, Vesper reels back onto her heel. If only to stretch her heel or that's the story she can tell herself. The heat of the day and exertion assure some degree of pink touches winter rose cheeks. "I am hardly dressed to go anywhere of quality," she says. Her hand flows down her body to show the ghastly ensemble of fitness attire. "They would toss me out for being wholly inappropriate."

Remy can't tell if she's making excuses or giving him an avenue. Mysterious this one. "Well, I dun tink you bet tossed outta nowhere no matter what yo' wearin, chere. Eitha we take a rain check, or we can stop by yo place and have yaself get dressed. Iss all up to you." His head tilts in his best aw shucks look as he turns the screws one last time before her answer.

"I would not be seen in a proper place dressed like this." The shame of it would be beyond what Vesper can bear. Damp ponytail and a t-shirt sticking to her in places? Perish the thought! Her horror she can stomach for the moment and she has to parse through what Etienne might be suggesting. Raincheck? If she knwos what it means then she doesn't quite reveal that. Instead she says, "Anything we mean to do needs me to dress better than this. I could meet you somewhere once I do this?"

Remy's grin never relinquishes. "Well, dat sound like a mighty fine idea, chere. What sort of place would you like t'meet? Ah got to pick last time and it only right dat dis time you might get to pick de spot."

He might be deeply disappointed if she named a bookstore or a lab. The places where Vesper rightly knows are fairly shortened especially given the weekend. Hours might sink into the background. "Ahh…" Stalling for time requires a little more drawing out of the vowel before she conjures a possible solution. "I would not say I know you so well to guess where you might like to go, what you enjoy doing. You don't really seem the person who might want to eat a bagel and go for a walk down Publisher's Row. What do you get up to when not at work?"

"Well, ah dun mind goin' down to an inn here and there, drinkin' whiskey till they close down, and stumblin' home," Remy replies with a finger on his chin. "Also a big fan o' fishin' but I dun tink dere many good spots here in de city, chere." He rocks back on his feet a bit as they come up with a plan.

Fishing. That's the thing with a hook done on a bridge over the River Cam, with a lot of alcohol. The memory slots in and the girl who remains entirely an urban creature has a pause of at least ten seconds. Awkward though that may be, she seeks to retreat into the familiar once more. "A bit of a drink would not be bad. There has to be somewhere around here worth the effort." There is, of course. Greenwich has as many places to drink as buildings. "The Village Vanguard? Jazz and a drink and you can tell me what you would like?"

Remy nods, "Ah'll meet you dere, chere." His eyebrow raises as she asks about what he'd like. "We'll drink whatevah you wish, doll. My drink of choice is bourbon, but ah ain't gun force dat down your throat. Could be a short night." She's not a very large girl, of course. That could get dangerous.

She's not a very large girl. She has the body of a willow tree to some sturdier oaks and pines around. Vesper's weaknesses caused by the belching leaded gasoline and typical fumes dissolving over a city do not apply to alcohol. A smart nod follows. "The Vanguard, by the posters. I think they have opened first. No, then we go to a cafe." There are a dime a dozen of those too. Given no further comments, she nods smartly and starts back off on her jog to get home.

Remy gives a nod and strolls off towards the bar with hands in his pockets, enjoying the breeze. He can start a bit early and allow her to catch up, he reckons, as he saunters off. Always good to get the lay of the land before you start doing shots. Never know when that information might come in handy.

The Village Vanguard; it's an actual icon, a temple to dissolution and emotion wrapped up in brick and a humble environment. Tack on a long awning and peeling posters in places of prominence on the exterior walls. Its unassuming facade contains some of the lifeblood of the Delta and the bayous inside. Those musicians who congregate here have a fingertip on the pulse of music. Their names go on vinyl and radios. They excel and, usually, they're not really hopping until after dark. It's not close to dark yet.

Vesper will emerge eventually in her typical fare for meeting friends and not working. That means either jeans — too casual — or a little black dress. The little black dress could possibly disappoint but there she walks up with her heels clicking. The epitome of Frenchness, down to the scarf instead of the pearls.

Remy lets out a low whistle as she walks up. "Chere, you look like a million bucks. Hopefully our tab ain't gun be dat much dis eve." He is, of course, wearing the same outfit he was when she saw him out on the street. A t-shirt cut down in a v at the chest and a pair of jeans. "You wanna drink?"

"A million?" That's like three million francs, isn't it? Vesper shakes her head in bemusement. "You owe me too much credit. That makes the rest of us look bad when we cannot deliver such fine compliments." Her smile traces something faint. They make a mismatched pair under the circumstances, Remy more casual and her more French. Always French. There should be a tricoleur in her hair and a baguette under her arm. "It's the thing to do when getting a table, non? Then I shall do as they do in New York."

"Tis de ting, for certain," Remy replies as he gets to his feet. "Wait here, chere. Ah'll start us out wit a couple of Old Fashions. Gotta go liquor den beer, den you never fear. In reverse? Well, tomorrow will be a bad mornin' for ya."

The brunette steps inside the club. It's not much to speak of at street level. Walk down the rickety stairs into a temple with tiny tables that barely hold four glasses apiece and face the stage. She'll take one midway where either could make a departure or enjoy the music rather than face one another. Cowardice this isn't but a strategic plan while factors and equations roil around in her skull. Vesper shakes her head slightly. "Liquor than beer. Who knew?"

Her point of waiting is done with Gallic aplomb. Doubtful anyone is going to try to hit on her. Still, she makes looking standoffish effortless.

It doesn't take Remy all that particularly long to return with the drinks and he does so with a smile. "Whiskey old fashioned for the lady," he says as he slides the drink across the short table. He stands sort of to the side of her so that he's not in her face, but still able to talk to her. "Thanks for comin' out," he says as he takes a swig from the drink.

She's there, one leg crossed over the other at the knee. Harbouring ambitions of a scientific sort with the carefree aplomb of someone ready to listen to whatever set the musicians play; in sum, Vesper could be called mildly bored. The expression on her face changes a bit at Remy's return. Her masks are up as most girls have to be in public. Especially here when someone could call her a louche or worse - a fallen woman. She takes the glass and raises it in a toast. "Salut. To discovery." It sounds only appropriate. Clink of a glass or not, she takes a sip and holds it close. "Merci beaucoup." Thank you sounds better in French. Parisian purrs. The Occitan south hums. Cajun wanders like a three-legged mule through a bayou at night. They all have their charms. "Your story, then, Etienne."

"De rien, Belle," Remy says with a purring voice of his own. "My story, hmm? Well, dunno what t'tell really. Ah was an orphan because of my special genetics. Got taken in off de streets by my papa, Jean-Luc. Started workin' on cars pretty young and never did find no time for no schoolin' and such. Been doin' de best ah can eva since. What about you, chere? What's yo story?"

"Special genetics, oui? The field came from nothing and now a few see such potential in the unknown. Uncertain times sometimes produce the best insights." Vesper muses over that. Can't distract the analytical mind under two sips of an old-fashioned. Remy might need to bargain on five. She is sparing with her alcohol that well signals an appreciation for flavour and no immature need to chug back on something halfway decent. She'll refrain if it strips the paint. "I grew up in France. Paris, in the city. I wanted to study science. Astronomy was not allowed, so biology. Cambridge had the best program, I went there. After there, NYU for the research."

"Cambridge," Remy says, mockingly aghast. "Well I declah, ole Etienne is hangin' wit one of the genius types." He nods his head and even claps his hands, "Alright, alright, alright. You fixin' t'save de world when you all done wit your schoolin' den?" The drink tastes good, but it /does/ have a lot of alcohol. Just like all of the drinks made at this place.

Vesper does not much yet laugh. "Better than Oxford." She raises the glass so the interior alcohol shines in the dim light that penetrates through whatever constitutes 'bright' in the dark, subterranean little alcove. "Not a genius. You give me too much credit again." The sweating glass leaves her fingertips damp and she smooths them over a napkin smaller than a playing card left on the table. "Work," she says. "Work too hard. Find ways to help. After that it is hard to say. This is not a time when the only path I have is house, husband, dog, two children, church. Refreshing."

"Hey now," Remy says, mocking a hurt look. "You dun know what you're missin, dependin on de type of dog y'get." He chuckles a bit and sips at the drink again, clearly moving much faster than she is. "What ways you envision helpin? I mean, ah know what you mean but not specifically."

"You can work, go as you please where you wish. Wear glasses and no one sees a difference, oui? That is a privilege not given to someone who knows at once I am a lady. Our rules are different." She puts the glass down and stares up at the empty stage. Vesper hardly sounds angry, more mildly thoughtful than anything. "Marie Curie, she is my hero. A woman who won the Nobel Prize twice in two different fields. A heroine of France. A brilliant mind and a very good person. We have not had many more like her who pioneered. Maybe this is a time where I can try to follow those footsteps and learn the things no one has yet learned. For a purpose that is better than my own gain. Helping can be isolating the cause of a disease. Genetic disease that I may help find a cure. A therapy. Something of value."

"Dat true, but dere not a whole lot of positions out dere when folks be cool wit a guy wearin' sunglasses all de time. 'ventually people start askin' questions," he replies with a chuckle. "Dat bein' said ah ain't gun get in no argument bout who got it worse. Suffice to say a whole lotta people got it real bad and makin' it betta for everyone should be everybuddy's goal." He nods as she talks about Marie Curie, "Ole Mama Tante tole me about Marie Curie lil bit. Din understand none of de science no how, but it was pretty interestin' jus' de same."

Not that she knows. Not a mutant, not a superhuman, not anything of substance. Vesper cannot really hold a bond of empathy over the shared difficulties in the turbulent world they occupy being so newly come to it. But she tries at least. "It being better is only reasonable. As long as we keep devaluing one another, we cannot achieve as much. A waste of life and opportunity." Her mouth tightens a little against frowning. "But that's scarcely interesting to speak of." The lazy swirls of jazz and smoke on the air are their own kind of intoxicating drug. "You likely did not want my company to hear about ways to change the world, non? Especially when my way is limited to test tubes and microscopes."

"Ah just like listening to you talk and watchin' you do whatevah, chere. Tubes, microscopes, microbes, or tunin' forks. Dun really matter much t'me," Remy replies with a chuckle. He reaches his head back and downs the rest of the Old Fashioned as if it's nothing. "What would be more excitin' to talk about?"

"Tuning fork? What should I do with that?" Asking the wrong starlet about that particular outcome. Vesper doesn't really sing. Dance to the music like a fiend, sure. Remy finishes his drink and surprise, she isn't that far behind. The empty glass pushed to the edge of the small table gives the signal for a waitress squeezing by to take care of them both. A flash of two fingers is age-old for more. "Not pipettes and cleaning solutions. What wild thing takes your fancy?"

"Drivin' way too fast, stayin' out all night. Gettin' into mischief. Good hearts who sometimes act a lil naughty. Dat sorta ting, I spose. Ah sorta like all kinds of tings," Remy replies devilishly. "What about you, chere?"

"What's mischief?" It's not an idle question of philosophy. Not really seeking a definition so much as examples. "Wild. I lived in a dovecote." She knows that, but not raincheque? England for you. "The mild little bird. Someone did not tell me I was dove, I thought I was. But a bird of a different feather, and now I am trying to see what my wings will take me to. It is a learned talent very late."

"Whatevah mischief ah can get my hands on," Remy replies with a shrug. "Y'stick 'round long enough, girl, you might be gettin' some." He tilts his head, considering her words, "What you learned so far, pretty dove?"

"What coos and floats about like a dove could as easily be a peregrine falcon or a duck. There is much more than I know about. Getting the lay of the land also means flying out further. Cafe au Go Go, the Peppermint Lounge. They are places to party but also learn." Her misty gaze flickers back up. Dark eyes smolder in their unshed laughter.

"Dat so," Remy says as the next round of drinks arrive. He takes a sip before he looks back to her from behind his sunglasses. "Well, what is tonight for you, madamoiselle? A night to party or a night to learn?"

The faint tip of a smile follows. The drinks have the same contents, same rhythm. Clink, 'Salut', and drink. "Learning by experience. It is not the same from a book." She raises the rim to her lips. "Lead on, then, Etienne."

Etienne looks around at the patrons, "You wanna dance?" There's no band playing as of yet, but there is, however, a jukebox that sits in the corner looking for love. He doesn't wait for her answer before he takes another large swig from his drink. "Dat is if you a dancin' type."

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License