A Narrow Fellow in the Grass


danko_icon.gif phoebe_icon.gif

Scene Title A Narrow Fellow in the Grass
Synopsis In which Emile Danko is what's coming to dinner and Mosha is nowhere to be seen.
Date August 11, 2009

The Thornton Estate

It has been quite some since Phoebe has had company at her estate. For whatever reason, and to be frank, she's not even sure of the reason, she has opted to do so, now. Whatever the case, the estate itself, is outside of the city proper, situated away from the chaos and protected by a rather commendable security fence and systems. Now, while there are numerous points of interest about the grounds, a tour isn't really on the agenda for the evening. One can, with a bit of imagination, and taste, very well imagine the sights to be had upon wandering the grounds.

For our purposes, however, Mister Donner, upon his arrival, is escorted into the parlor/sun room. The room itself is palatial in size, floor to ceiling windows, complete with double doors opening onto a balcony, affording an enviable view of a pristine rose garden, and hardwood floors glowing with the force of their polished shine. The furniture is on the feminine side, comfortable high backed couches with delicately carved legs are arranged before a marble fireplace. To their left, taking up the entirety the interior wall stand floor to ceiling bookshelves, all them filled with great works of literature and more then a few texts revolving around art and music. It is in the corner where the shelves meet the windows that a series of easels have been arranged, each of them bearing a painting depicting uncharacteristically grim depicts of the end of New York, if not necessarily the world. And, while the paintings, themselves, are not the focal point of the room, they cannot help but attract at least a bit of passing attention.

It is up a table before the windowed wall that dinner settings appear, a silver teapot and all the accoutrement standing nearby in anticipation of the guest's arrival. Phoebe, herself, is comfortably clad her typical black pants suit and currently standing on the balcony arranging a vase of roses. Fortunately, Mosha, apparently, has been given the evening off. Either that, or he's lurking somewhere on the grounds.

The thing about massive rooms is that they tend to make people in them feel small, and Danko's a short guy even when he isn't kicking around a mansion that probably cost more than he's made in his entire life. The fact that he's more than dwarfed by the scale of it doesn't escape his attention; he looks up often, brows lifted after the dull rake of his eyes after vaulted ceilings and looming bookshelves. The absence of Mosha hasn't escaped his attention either, but she doesn't mention it and he doesn't ask, content to trail along in polite quietude while every white hot detail brands itself into the recesses of his brain.

He's a little ways off, not having made his way out to the balcony that plays host to Phoebe yet. Hands tucked into his pockets, suit, shirt and vest even blacker than they were last time, at a distance he's a sharp conglomeration of jet and ink, exact as ever in the knot of his tie and the close buzz of colorless fuzz.

Perhaps predictably, amidst elegant furniture and novels upon novels, it's the paintings that have finally focused his attention down away from the architecture. His interest is more than passing — curious, in a distracted kind of way. He's trying to keep an eye on her as well, voice lifted to carry to her ears once he's had his fill of trying to make sense of them for himself. "Little bleak, don't you think?"

"I would have chosen excessive over bleak," Phoebe calls back from the balcony. It is only upon glancing inside that she realizes what he is referencing and purses her lips. "Ah. Yes, they are a little fatalistic side, aren't they?" Gathering up the vase of roses, she shakes her head as she steps inside, a faint tsking sounding under her breath as the arrangement is settled on the table. "Slightly more distressing when one realizes that the artist is supposed to be a 'seer'." Her glance toward the aforementioned illustrations if brief and followed by a single shake of her head. "They will be going up for auction in the near future." Frankly speaking, she is looking forward to getting rid of them. "Tea? Or would you prefer coffee?" For herself, she pours a cup of tea, stepping over to brace her hip against the back of the couch.

A seer. A seer who's seeing this kind of shit and then turning it into paintings. The line of Danko's brow hardens a little at that, legitimate unease written clear into the shadows around his eyes while he sets to looking them over again in sharper detail. "A 'seer' or a seer?" How he managed to get a distinction in there god only knows — has to do with the quotation marks implied by the rough of his voice, and a brush of a squint when his eyes flicker back over onto Phoebe and the tea sidelong. He shifts his weight, moving enough to turn back for her in the table with reluctance dragging at his progress. That's the end of the world on canvas, back there. "Coffee would be great, if it's not any trouble."

"A /Seer/." Ah, the inflection was not lost on Phoebe, it seems. Nor is the fact that it is, indeed, the end of the world depicted there. That much is clear in her gaze as she slants a glance at the paintings before taking a sip of her tea. "If there is even a hint of validity in those renderings, things are about to get very unpleasant for a great many people, Mister Donner." And then some. It is as she lowers the cup and pushes off the couch that she makes her back to a side bar tucked discreetly against the far wall. There a cup of coffee is produced, the steaming beverage giving off the sort of rich aroma that makes it clear she has skimped on the beans, despite it not being her drink of choice. In case, she rolls her shoulders in a shrug as she heads over to pass the cup off, her lips twitching in a wry smile. "But we needn't worry, Mister Donner, the government is going to save us all." Ah, the irony there.

"Call me Bruce." First things first. Danko half-smiles, which is approximately 50% more than what he usually manages in genuinely social situations, shoulders sloped with confidence that far outstrips the physical skeleton built up around it in scope and scale. Comfortable as a pit viper in a rat maze, he slows up his advance to take the offered coffee with a mild, "Thank you," and finishes sipping in time to slant out a cynical smirk for the idea of the government's handle on the country it's supposed to be running. "I dunno about that. But they might be able to convince us that property values are on the rise with so much new beach front territory."

"No doubt Ms. Strauss will make a valiant effort in that arena," Phoebe adds just a tad acidically. Ah, yes, Ms. Strauss, not very high on Phoebe's list of favorite people. "You are welcome," is added in more congenial tones. It is coupled with, "And Phoebe will do nicely." In the wake of a sip of tea, she gestures toward the couch with the cup, her head tilting in invitation. "Dinner will be along shortly. I appreciate you coming, actually. It has been some time since I've had guests out to the manor." It is as she heads over to the couch and takes her own seat that she adds. "Are you an art fan, Bruce?"

"She'll have to if she expects anyone to believe her. I'm not all that sure it was her talent the President had on his mind when he hired her." Voice partially muffled down into his coffee, Danko is once again slow to follow. He takes his time winding around after her, outwardly unruffled by a return to art conversation as he was by the initial switch to politics. "Phoebe it is," uttered with much the same casual air, he settles down on the indicated couch, where he proves to be a better judge of personal space than he looks like he should be. Not too close. Not pinned up in the opposite arm rest, either. He's just kind've there in the right spot, at ease enough to lounge a little against the cushion before he turns his head enough to study her face and cant a brow. "Depends on the art."

"Prophetic art, in this instance," Phoebe provides easily. It is in the wake of a sip of tea that she asides in quietly wry tones. "Perhaps my most unskilled attempt at making conversation, I admit." Shifting in her seat, she settles the cup of tea on a coaster, ankles crossing as she tilts her head to regard her guest more directly. "I admit my own interest has been piqued since the appearance of various prophetic pieces appearing on the market. Of course, I suspect a good many of them are fakes, but one never knows.'

"You could say that…prophetic art is relevant to my interests. I imagine that's the case for most people — especially in matters concerning the apocalypse." A light shake of his head dismisses the idea of conversational shortcoming, brows knit to further emphasize his overall okayness with this particular line of talk. "Real or not, on the kind of scale sitting on those easels over there, some pretty serious consideration is probably in order."

"I agree," Phoebe sighs as she glances toward the paintings. "Which is why I am considering auctioning them off. At the very least, I could arrange for a bit of media attention so the people who /might/ be able to do something about it actually get to see them." Frowning faintly, she gives a single shake of her head before reaching for the cup of tea. "Unfortunately, I am not certain what measure of negative attention such a revelation might incur. There are," she admits. "Far too many people who would all too happily blame this potential occurrence on the existence of Evolved individuals." As she speaks, a pair of staffers slip into the room going about the business of setting out warm rolls and bowls of chilled potato soup. Salad, you see, comes at the /end/ of the meal rather then the beginning.

"Could be dangerous," agreed easily enough, Danko slouches deeper into the couch at his back to better glance over at the activity of the staffers working the food angle. He endures the surreal nature of the setting in its entirety with approximately the composure of a well-fed shark, eyes unfeeling and unresponsive until they level back onto Phoebe and resume some of their previous warmth. "Depends on how legitimate you feel like they are. Could save lives. Prepare people for the worst. I'm no artist, but the craftsmanship seems pretty sleek."

Well, yes, the craftsmanship is pretty sleek… Phoebe is just that good. She simply inclines her head in a nod of agreement with the comment, however. She has /no/ intention of ever taking credit for those paintings. "It could," she admits after a momentary silence. "Which is the reason I am putting them up for auction." Glancing up as her staff slips back out, she resettles the tea cup on the coster before rolling to her feet. "I was curious," she adds as an after thought. "What you thought of the Suresh Center? From your comments it sounded like you had children interested in attending the program?" And yes, she gestures amiably toward the table in invitation. "Shall we?"

Fair enough says a permissive lift at Mr. Donner's chin. He yields easily when the compliment doesn't catch — doesn't press, even if he does give the cluster of them one last look before his eyes rest easy back on Phoebe and her portion of the couch. "I think it's a nice idea, in theory. Peace, harmony and understanding. I also think it's a target. The United States isn't ready to play political pattycake with an organization like this, nevermind New York. People are afraid. People are angry." But she's gesturing for the table, and with a nod, the shorter man pushes himself up off the couch and onto his feet, coffee still in hand. "My eldest. Jason. Water manipulation or hydrokinesis or whatever he's calling it this week. I dunno."

Phoebe's chef is good, /really/ good. Honestly, it's a crying shame that he's locked away in the Thorton estate. But then, the pay /is/ exceptional, so he's probably not that unhappy about the whole affair. It is as she slips into a chair at the table that Phoebe notes. "Sadly, I agree with you on all counts." Canting her head at the last, she regards him seriously for a long moment, obviously mulling something over. (In fact, she's mulling over a certain phone call she received not so long ago.) "Bruce, if you do nothing else, do not let your son attend the Suresh Center." It is, in her opinion, far, far too dangerous.

"He's old enough now I couldn't tell him what to do even if I wanted to." Coffee swallowed down first, he sets the cup down and draws out a chair for himself opposite her with such a slowness that he very nearly seems to relish it. Maybe he really likes fancy dinner tables.

The smirk that turns up at the corner of his mouth has muted itself into tired resignation by the time he's seated, jacket buttons unfastened once he's down to free up some of the tension the dusky suit's shored up across his shoulders. He does gravity as well as anything else, back straight and expression one of understated agreement. "I've informed him of the risks."

"Well, hopefully he will listen to you." It is no secret that Phoebe thinks it would be foolish to do otherwise. It is in the wake of tasting her soup that she cants her head and asks curiously. "How many children do you have? If that isn't too terribly personal a question?"

"Two. My daughter's thirteen. Plays the violin." Which would probably be a more innocent choice of imaginary hobbies if not for the knowledge of what went down with Phoebe's own little bundle of mutant joy. Meanwhile, fatherly pride is a tough thing to replicate. Fatherly pain at the idea of violin practice at all hours is less so. "And…not at all. I'm flattered you've gone through the trouble of having me over, and…dinner." Servants. A vague lift of his right hand trails absently after them.

Phoebe actually blinks at that, obviously surprised by the statement. She does, however, exhale a pleasantly throaty laugh. "Really? I've played the violin all my life. It is a wonderful instrument." Around about the time the soup is finished, or mostly so, the servants reappear, each of them carrying a covered dish which is traded out for the soup. Beneath the silver dome, the chef has prepared Tandoori Spiced Chicken Breast with Grilled Tomato Jam and Herbed Yogurt Sauce and a lovely Jasmine rice.

"I wouldn't know." Soup relinquished without protest to the server who seems intent on doing away with it, Danko adjusts himself a little awkwardly against the chair while he waits for the next round of inscrutable food to appear. Gun's poking him in the back, temporary discomfort masked with a sheepish cant of his brows. "Maybe once she's had more time to practice."

"It can be a bit taxing in the early stages," Phoebe admits wryly. Silence follows for a bit as she tastes the meal and offers a nod of approval to the servants who promptly take the signal and slip out of the room. "If it isn't too terribly personal a question, do you mind if I ask about your wife?" And, just in case the question /is/ too personal, she follows it with noting. "To skip tracks, again, I am hoping that the director of Suresh Center takes me up on the offer to assist with thier security measures."

Danko sets to eating after Phoebe does, a few steps behind here as he has been elsewhere. Hard to know what the delay is for. Watching, maybe. Curiosity or courtesy. Whatever it is, the questions she asks in turn don't earn any ripples in the mask of his face and there's still no tension to be found anywhere on his person. "We're divorced. Going on…seven years. I think." Bullshit flows as freely as the blade of his knife through tender chicken; he doesn't even glance up from cutting. "Are you pretty good at that kind of stuff?" Security, he means.

Glancing up, Phoebe exhales another quiet laugh, her head giving a faint shake. "No, but I have more then enough money to be able to afford people who are excellent it." Never having been one to eat overly much, she sets the knife and fork on the edge of her plate and settles back in her chair to drink her cup of coffee. "Mosha, my bodyguard, is former Mossad." And Mosha, it should be noted, would be mortified to know Phoebe told Donner that.

"Wow." Maybe for the first time all evening, Danko's really and truly impressed. The flat grey of his eyes sparks with a more intense brand of interest — one that he's hard pressed to dismiss out've crow's feet while he gives his own utensils a rest. "That's pretty heavy stuff. They could probably use the extra eyes."

"It certainly couldn't hurt," Phoebe agrees. "And I have utter confidence in Mosha's ability to correctly asses the situation and take appropriate steps. He has," she adds with more then a hint of pride. "Never failed me." Taking another sip of her coffee, she smiles pleasantly, her shoulders rolling in a fluid shrug. "If you like, I can let you know when the auction is arranged?"

"You're fortunate to have someone like him. Always there to keep an eye out." Except for when he isn't. A more subtle lift at Danko's eyes traces over nearby furniture as if Mosha the ex-Mossad might be posing as a footstool or an armchair. Or hiding behind the curtains. Could be spread eagle under the fucking table. God only knows. Emile's smile goes a little tight at one corner. "I'd like that."

< Fade. >

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