A Night at the Orchid


lysette_icon.gif sonny_icon.gif

Scene Title A Night at the Orchid
Synopsis Lysette and Sonny meet over a drink and wax philosophical on the the limitations of being a registered evolved.
Date December 5, 2008

The Orchid Lounge

The Orchid Lounge, owned by the mother of Senator Nathan Petrelli, is an Asian-inspired martini bar lit by candlelight and the soft glow of wall sconces spaced evenly throughout the room. Although there aren't any employees at the door to check for identification, it's unusual to find anyone in the college-aged crowd at the Lounge, which caters to young professionals with plenty of extra money to burn. During the day, the plush burgundy drapes affixed to the windows are used to filter out the sounds of traffic and at night are drawn back to allow passersby a glimpse inside.

Seating is simple: clusters of rectangular tables fashioned from white marble, each with two leather benches parallel to the longest sides. Silk pillows in varying shades of red, brown, yellow and orange lend a splash of colour to the Lounge, vivid against the pale walls and black-painted cement floor. On one wall is a giant mirror with an intricately carved frame that reflects almost everything in the room and makes the space appear twice as large as it really is. Clearly, the proprietor of this establishment wanted to get her money's worth - real estate in this part of town isn't cheap!

The Orchid Lounge is quite literally made for people like Sonny Bianco. He may only turn the occasional head out on the street, but in here, in society, everyone knows who he is. It gives him a sense of belonging, but it can also be a little trying as it is now. He's got a few socialites around him, but they all -want- something from him. Nose jobs, boob jobs. Liposuction. Eye lifts. None of them actually want to talk to -him-.

The doors open to permit entrance to yet another female, though one that does not appear nearly as elite in dress as most of the others. She offers a warm smile for the host, murmuring her name quietly, before placed upon a 'wait' of sorts. Blue eyes silently sweep about the Lounge, clear admiration for the decor echoing within their depths. Her attentions pause for a moment longer than may be construed as polite upon the Bianco man and his swarm of circling socialites. Lysette is jarred once more back to the present as the host interjects and leads her on over to a table. Acknowledging the service with a polite bow of her head, she accepts her place upon the padded bench, curiosity beckoning another glance towards the popular man with a somewhat sympathetic smile.

Sonny is be-suited, as is to be expected in a place like this. Though, without the formality of a tie or a tucked in (or buttoned all the way) shirt. He is polite to the socialites. He smiles at them. He reiterates time and time again that he has no room on his schedule and that if they want an appointment, they'll have to book one and hope there's a cancellation. But of course, these are young women who are accustomed to getting their way, so the refusal puts a few heavily made-up noses out of joint.

He excuses himself from the crowd and detaches, to head towards the bar. He happens to feel the gaze on him and returns Lysette's. He looks at her for a moment, trying to think if he knows her at all. But then he ends up settling for a polite nod and a small smile as he waits his turn at the bar for a drink.

Quietly rising from her own table, Lysette makes her way on over towards the bar. She patiently waits her turn a person down from the 'Doctor', glancing again in his direction as she offers with a faint smile, "Might I buy you a drink? I promise you would not owe me a thing in return." Her gaze slips back to look towards the gaggle of socialite femmes before adding in a warming manner, "On second thought, you might need more than one. Liquid courage or something of that sort I believe… then again, perhaps just something to drown out the droll of unwanted company."

Sonny gives Lysette a more though look over as she approaches. He smiles a little at her offer, and then glances to the crowd. Lysette's getting some catty looks. And socialites pride themselves on that particular brand of glaring. "Pardon, have we…met before?" He puts a finger to his lip. "You look familiar somehow."

"It's possible, of course, I could just have one of those faces," she counters as the smile continues to spread upon her lips in a relaxed manner, "However, rather than wax philosophical on whether we have or have not met, why not just make it official." Her body shifts a little to squeeze in closer so that she is finally facing him fully, if not wedged in against the back of the person behind her, "Lysette Harvard, at your service, or to your rescue — whichever you prefer…" Her voice trails off a bit as she peers around him and back to the band of catty women, flashing them a winsome smile before looking back to her quarry with genuine amusement, "…and gauging on the company of wolves you appear to be running with, I would say you are very much in need of rescuing, Mr…?"

The young doctor is not entirely convinced that Lysette isn't just another wolf. Albeit, a solo one. He shakes her hand, "Sonny Bianco." The surname explains a lot. When your daddy runs the town, well, people suck up. "And…" he hesitates for a moment, then, "Beefeater martini."

Some of the socialites complain to each other, while at least one young blonde goes to her mother on one side of the room and whispers to her. Tattle tail.

The name takes a few moments to register, but register it does. Recognition flashes within her blue depths as she peers around him to eye the gaggle of women once more before finally settling her attentions fully back upon the man before her, "I suppose you are accustom to this a lot, then. Dirty or dry?" The question flows easily from her lips as she reaches in an effort to try and gain the attention of the bartender. It takes a few more moments before the mixologist finally answers her summons, inspiring her to look back upon Sonny, "Incidentally, I really am sorry if I have bothered you. It wasn't my intention, honestly. One minute I was sitting at my table and the next, well, I just thought… oh never mind." She flusters a little.

"Dirty," says Sonny. He stands casually beside her, aware of the eyes on him, but choosing to ignore them. "It's all right, really. I'm not the important person. My father is. And as he'd tell you, he's just a simple public servant, not a celebrity." He smiles widely. It's a charming one, but perhaps more polite than entirely genuine. "So. I know most of the society girls and you don't seem like one. What brings you to the Orchid?"

"Honestly? Because I wanted a place for myself, somewhere I could go without worrying about having my overprotective brother shadow my every move. Don't get me wrong, I love him, but sometimes…" Lysette takes advantage of his preference to break the moment as she places an order for a dirty beefeater martini and club soda with a twist of lime. Once the orders are placed, she once more casts her gaze back upon him, studying curiously as she offers simply, "It's the simple public servants that are the noblest ones, and even history will show you the truth in that. I am sure you are very important in your own right and to those women over there…" She gestures with a tilt of her head in the direction of the remaining socialites, "…as for being a society girl, it depends on your definition of society. I may love to attend the various events and galas, but many times it has been impossible to do so. It's only recently I've had much time to do anything."

Sonny chuckles very dryly and eyes the girls again. "I'm only important in that they want free surgery. Or…'miracle'…" he air quotes. "…surgery. They want to trade blowjobs for nose jobs." He rolls his eyes and tucks a bit of hair behind his ear. That may not have been a proper comment, but he's curious to see how she'll react. Now the socialites are their allies are paying more attention to Lysette than the doctor. They're piranhas.

"I see, well, I suppose it is good to see that beneath all their Versace dresses and Prada accessories, some Trailer Parks still do show," Lysette offers softly, her gaze flickering with a degree of sympathy for the man, "Forgive me, I really don't mean to make light of what it is you do, but I guess I just don't understand the obsession with outward appearances. Sure, we all may like things that are aesthetically pleasing, but perfection grows old and tiring and you can only try to be it for so long before you no longer recognize the face staring back at you in the mirror."

"I wanted to do serious medicine," says Sonny. He frowns a little and his gaze gets a little distant. "But when you can do what I do…" He holds up a hand and shrugs. "I had the choice between being a mediocre surgeon or a great cosmetic surgeon. Besides, I also help people who have been deformed. Those are the lives I get to save." From the look on his face, that's a small consolation that doesn't come often enough.

The bartender delivers their drinks, setting them upon the bar top in between the two of them. She quietly slips a bill from her purse and passes it in payment, not bothering to look at the face value as her attentions remain upon the man beside her, "The only limitations you have in anything are those you set for yourself, Dr. Bianco. A surgeon is a surgeon, and at the end of the day, it is an admirable profession." Lysette falls silent for a few moments in consideration before she continues softly, "People can be cruel to those with deformities, and in that regard, and I can understand the need for cosmetic surgery. I don't think they truly mean to be so, but there is something about seeing deformities that tends to make people keenly aware of their own flaws. Not everyone is made to handle the pressures of being different; unfortunately, some people were not afforded the luxury of hiding their differences beneath a pleasing facade."

"Not only their own flaws, but their own mortality through the embodiment of the flawed human." Sonny picks up his drink and sips it. He chuckles a little at her suggestions, but it's more of a frustrated laugh. He rubs at his cheek. "I'm afraid it's both more complicated and more political than that. People accept me as an Evolved in this position. I don't have anyone’s life in my hands. I doubt anyone would trust an Evolved doctor, especially one who wasn't using his power to heal." He shrugs. "In a way I'm tolerated because what I do is frivolous. And because it's a service those in power want."

"People will always fear what they don't understand, no matter how hard you try to show them otherwise. Evolved, non-evolved, they are nothing more than classifications placed upon us in an effort to permit others to rest easy at night," Lysette replies with a sigh, reaching to swirl the soda in her glass idly as she looks at the clear contents, "Whether their tolerance is based upon the frivolous perception of your chosen career or the fact they desire your service to appease their hedonistic natures, you deserve better, Dr. Bianco. I understand the precarious position you are in, trust me, I understand it perhaps more than I wish I did. At the same time, I find it hard to believe that should it come down to a matter of life or death, that anyone — especially a non-evolved would choose death over your skills."

Sonny looks at Lysette curiously for a moment. He tilts his head. "You…seem to be making assumptions about me. But, they're -positive- ones. Kinder ones than I deserve, in any case." He sips the drink and shifts his weight. One hand rests in a pocket. "I'm not sure there's actually much better for me than receiving shameful amounts of money to make, in most cases, very beautiful women even more so. Perhaps more…challenging things. Perhaps more meaningful. But 'better' is a subjective term." Then, "Sonny. Please. Only my patients call me Dr. Bianco." And that's something he insists on.

His words inspire her gaze to lift back to focus upon him once more, lips curling into a hint of a smile, "As you wish…" Lysette arches an elegant brow in amusement, "I can think of worse things in life than making shameful amounts of money. For example, making shameful amounts of money and never having time to enjoy any of it. Then again, some of the best times in my life have cost very little. In fact, if you might be interested — or think you could possibly find the time, I wouldn't mind showing you what we non-society social girls do for fun sometime. My complete treat, I promise."

Sonny chuckles. It's bit of an awkward sound. "Listen, Lysette… You should know, that being seen anywhere with me comes with…baggage. Politics. Society. That and I'm almost terminally exhausted." Not just from work, but because of his 'charity' work with the Ferrymen. "You seem like a lovely woman and your attitude is refreshing. But you have to know what you were getting into. Even if it was the most casual thing in the world."

"I appreciate your concern for my sensibilities, Sonny, and it truly is sweet of you. However I am not fragile nor am I made of glass and likely to shatter under the pressure of being within your company," Lysette replies in a somber manner, "I have spent the vast majority of my life tiptoeing around social circles and various social politics around the world. Trust me when I assure you there is very little you could possibly inflict upon me that I have not seen or dealt with in some shape or form." Her glass raises to her lips, poising there for a brief moment only for her delay her sip with an almost impish grin, "Besides, I am quite fond of baggage, just ask my brother — his entire front room is overflowing with my various cases and trunks as we speak." She finishes with a playful wink, finally taking a draw of the clear soda.

Sonny rubs the side of his cheek again. He ponders it, casts a glance to the society girls, then back to Lysette. "What do you have… —” and then his phone starts to ring. Or rather, it starts to blow like a jazz trumpet. He fishes it out and looks sheepish. "Sorry, sorry." He flips it open. "Hello? Yeah. Wendy, calm down. Wendy…listen to me. Prep the room. I'll be there in twenty minutes, all right? Take a shot, dear." To Lysette, he mouths 'espresso.' “…all - all right. All right. See you soon. Bye." He snaps the phone shut and shakes his head. "Ugh. Okay, I have a situation I need to take care of. One of my patient's husbands apparently didn't like my…alterations she had done as a surprise. She's desperate to reverse them." He swigs off the last of the martini and sets it down. "Thank you for the drink, and…" He reaches into his coat pocket and pulls out a business card. Then he leans in and murmurs, "Say you want to speak to Sal. That'll get you past my receptionist. Otherwise I get people calling pretending to be friends or dates just so they can speak directly to me and try to get on my list."

A delicate hand reaches to accept the card, looking it over as she muses warmly in a near return whisper, "Sal, as you wish. If you have a need of getting in touch with me, all you need to do is look up Harvard in the phonebook. It will likely be listed under William, my brother." She places her drink back upon the bar, brushing her finger over the surface of the lettering, as her gaze slips to linger upon the man once again, "Thank you, Sonny, for the conversation and not thinking me completely batty. Be careful out there and I hope your evening affords you at least a little reprieve from work."

The business card is slickly designed, like so much surrounding his clinic. It's a pearly white paper with silver embossed lettering. It says, 'Dr. Salvatore R. Bianco, MD.' and then 'Doctor of Cosmetic Surgery.' Then a website, phone and fax numbers. "Oh, you're not batty. I've met the crazy ones." He looks around to see if anyone's listening. "Most of them are my patients." He grins, and then reaches out to touch her shoulder. He gives it a gentle squeeze. "Good night." And then he's off. He's a moment at coat check to gather his stylish military-style woolen coat, and then he's out to have the valet bring around his Mercedes.
He has such a hard life.

Turning to watch him take his leave, Lysette silently slips the card into her purse and collects her drink. Sparing a final glance towards the catty gaggle of socialistic femmes, she gracefully weaves her way back to her neglected table to peruse the menu.

December 5th: Welcome to Phase Three
December 5th: Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
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