Clouds In My Coffee


daphne_icon.gif odessa_icon.gif

Scene Title Clouds In My Coffee
Synopsis Daphne and Odessa have breakfast together and discuss how Hiro's prophecy is already coming true.
Date May 31, 2010

The Nite Owl

The Nite Owl is a survivor from ages past - one of those ancient diners with huge plate glass windows, checkerboard linoleum floor, and a neon owl over the entrance that blinks at those entering. Inside, there's an L-shaped main counter, complete with vintage soda fountain and worn steel stools. All of the cooking is done on the ranges ranked against the rear wall. The outer wall is lined with booths upholstered in cracked scarlet vinyl, tables trimmed with polished chrome. Despite its age, it's been lovingly maintained. The air is redolent with the scent of fresh coffee, vanilla, and frying food.

Memorial Day Weekend for New Yorkers usually means picnics and barbecues, trips out to the Hamptons or other beach towns, Coney Island or Central Park. But, while it might be warmer, it's just not warm enough for any of those activities — a few stalwart souls may be found a bit later grilling hot dogs and bratwurst and hamburgers on their balconies or in the parks, determined to celebrate the holiday "like Americans." For now, it's breakfast time, and it's reason enough to celebrate that there are diners and restaurants open to cater to hungry patrons.

Daphne Millbrook enters the diner, her cheeks rosy from rushing through the city streets in the still-chilly but no longer frigid weather. She just finished a job, a stolen file in her courier bag and the adrenaline pumping through her veins as she gets back to life as it once was — before the storm, before the flu. She slips onto one of the barstools, reaching for a menu and cracking it open, something sticky making the laminated pages stick together. Her nose wrinkles slightly, and she wonders why she's not already in Paris, now that ominous storm clouds no longer bank the entire eastern seaboard.

Odessa's only just beginning to feel like she's truly on the mend. To test the waters, she's made the trek to Chelsea to have breakfast at the Nite Owl. She shoves open the door with only the smallest bit of effort and stands just inside for a moment, using the time it takes her to pull off her gloves and unbutton her red wool coat to decide where she's going to sit.

Hey wait a tick. Odessa would know those blonde dreadlocks anywhere. That answers the question of where she wants to sit. She sets herself down next to Daphne and smiles somewhat nervously. "Hey, you."

Daphne isn't surprised by the time Odessa sits beside her, having watched out of the corner of her eyes the door opening and the entrance of the newcomer — what kind of thief would she be otherwise? She tilts her head to look at the other through the veil of dark lashes, smirking a little.

"If it isn't the nightingale," the speedster says, lightly. "You been here before? I donno what's any good, or if any of it's any good." She gives a nod to the waitress who comes over with the coffee pot, and the matronly woman turns over the upside down cup to fill it. Daphne's already reaching for the bowl of creamers to tear open one of the foil covers, spilling it in to turn the dark surface cloudy with Half-n-Half.

"I used to come here with my last boyfriend." In truth, Odessa was sort of hoping she'd see him - but not be noticed. She's funny like that. "I like just about everything on the menu."

When the waitress turns to her in askance with the coffee pot, Odessa shakes her head. "No coffee, Joy?" she's asked. Odessa's quick to smile. Internally, she feels more like grimacing. Damn waitresses remembering their regulars.

"Not today," Odessa murmurs. "Waffles and ginger ale," she orders instead. "My favourite," she tells Daphne.

"I can't do waffles anywhere but France or Belgium. They just don't compare," Daphne says with a grin and a shake of her head. "I'll take the pancakes, extra crispy bacon, please," the platinum blonde tells the waitress. When the woman heads off to give the order to the cook, Daphne arches a brow at her acquaintance.

"Joy, huh? S'okay, 'Gale, I won't tell. It's not like I don't have any noms de guerre myself." Well, she sort of doesn't, at least none she uses too often, though she has a couple of sets of paperwork with varying names — none of which are wanted or have warrants since her usual modus operandi is to flee and not get caught.

You take that name 'cause you're such a pleasant and amiable personality, easy to get along with?" Daphne asks, smirk curving her lips as she regards Odessa with dark eyes, reaching for the sugar to stir into the creamy coffee.

"Actually, I needed an alias that was entirely off the grid, so I took the first name of a favourite actress. They know me here as Joy Saint-Jacques." Odessa smiles thinly, resting a hand absently against her healing stomach. "I am pretty fucking sunny, right? Joy's totally an apt name."

"The color of your hair is about the only thing that's sunny about you, 'Gale," Daphne says, finally getting her coffee the way she likes it — sweet and blonde, just like her. She brings it to her lips and takes a sip, then sets it down again. Apparently Odessa-Joy has yet another name. Her dark eyes flit to the glass windows of the the diner, before glancing back at Odessa.

"You seen that crazy Cat girl? Or for that matter, the friend we saved that we don't know what happened to — the one from now, not the one from the past?" She still feels the need to be sure that particular Hiro survived the night in the hospital, and so far there's been no evidence either way, as far as she knows.

"Guilty as charged," Odessa admits, tugging at a strand of her hair to illustrate. For a second, she thinks Daphne means Chesterfield rather than Clara, but it fortunately clicks before she responds. "No, I haven't really seen Clara. But my place kind of burned down, and I haven't replaced my cell yet, so that might be the biggest reason." When one doesn't know where to find you and can't call you, it makes it difficult to keep in touch. "As for the other guy… No. Not hide nor hair of any incarnation of him." And from the tone of her voice, that has her slightly worried.

Daphne's face screws up a little at that information, or lack thereof, but the waitress returns with both their orders, stacking pancakes and waffles and all the accoutrements in front of the two blond patrons. After thanking her, Daphne picks up a piece of her extra-crispy bacon, crunching into it thoughtfully. "Sorry about your place. That's a bummer," she says, in perhaps the understatment of the decade. "You doing okay? I guess he was right, about stuff just getting worse, huh?"

Odessa thanks the waitress who smiles and winks at her and calls her sweetie like she does with the majority of her regulars, and sets about smothering her waffles in butter and maple syrup. She winces when Daphne inquires as to her wellbeing. "He wasn't kidding, that's for sure. The guy I was working for," you know, when she wasn't busy betraying him to his enemies, "decided to terminate my employment."

She draws a line across her stomach over her jacket and her blouse. "With a knife. If we hadn't had a healer nearby, I don't know if I would have made it." Violent experiences are somewhat commonplace for Odessa at this point, however, so the whole divulgence is terribly casual as she cuts her waffles into bite-sized pieces with an appropriately surgical manner.

"Holy shit," Daphne says, eyes widening as she turns to regard Odessa. "See," she points a fork at the other, "that right there is why I don't really have an employer. Freelance all the way." She cuts her pancake with the side of the fork, then takes the syrup container to drip just a single drop on the bite-sized piece, then pops that into her mouth. No soggy pancakes that way.

She has her there. Odessa nods her concession and sips at the can of ginger ale that was set in front of her plate. "I'm opening up a clinic in the Ferry network," she reveals in a hushed tone. "So, you know who to come see if you ever need stitches, or a bullet dug out of you. I mean, I hope you don't, but…" She shrugs. "Just ask for Doctor Price."

The words Ferry get a little frown from Daphne — not from any animosity on her part toward the network that took her in and cared for her when she was ill, but simply because the name is a reminder that she needed people to take care of her.

"Yeah, I'm hoping not to owe Ferry any more favors for a while, you know? I already owe them a couple now, and I don't like to owe anyone anything if you know what I mean," Daphne says quietly, mindful of others in the diner who shouldn't hear what the two are saying. "But I appreciate the offer and will keep it in mind. I don't usually get hurt, doing my thing. Hard to catch me, right?" She flashes a grin and cuts another bit of pancake off, drizzling a dot of syrup on top and then adding a bit of bacon before bringing the fork to her mouth.

"If you come see me, the worst you risk is owing me a thank-you," Odessa assures the other blonde. "And yeah, I don't usually get hurt, either." She smirks ruefully. "Shit happens, though. Anyway, it's my practice. They just give me space and I help their people out." That's how it'll work in theory, at least. A seemingly random piece of waffle is speared on the end of her fork, though it's held aloft for a moment or two almost thoughtfully before she actually consumes it.

"Good to know. When I was coming down with the flu, I went to some guy in Chinatown, since I have some Triad connections. Wasn't a bad guy, despite being … you know, Triad." Did she return the crutches? She isn't sure, actually. They might be stuck in some corner of her apartment, ignored as yet another reminder of what she went through. "And I'm not Registered, so… you know. If I have blood coming out of me, I don't want just anyone getting their hands on it to find out I'm all SLC-positive and shit."

"Ugh. Tell me about it." Odessa's feelings on the subject are similar to Daphne's own, it seems. "I'm getting my first proper legal identity, but I'll be damned if I'm going to register." Despite the conviction in her voice, she keeps her volume low. "Nobody's damn business what I can do. Least of all the sons of bitches who want to keep us locked up for being different."

Hiro's words of warning, of how bad things are going to get, echo in Daphne's mind and she pushes away the rest of her food. "Why the hell am I still here… and not in Paris…?" She throws down her fork with a clatter, then pulls out a ten to pay for the meal. "You wanna go to Paris? I can get us there in a few hours. They're not quite as insane there, you know. Since they didn't have the bomb and all, they're a bit more open minded. Laissez faire so to speak." She grabs her cup and downs a healthy swallow, as if fueling up to go running across the Atlantic Ocean right this very instant.

Odessa watches Daphne's fork bounce and rattle against her plate, then looks up at her. "Are you serious?" She squints dubiously. "I've always wanted to go to Paris." So maybe it isn't nice to tease. "…Could you have us back for dinnertime?"

Daphne makes a face. "I'm fast but… you'd basically just get there and have to turn around and come back if you want to be back by dinner," the speedster says, nose wrinkling. "I'm not quite planning that sorta turnaround trip. I am not a booster bus!" Her urgency stifled a little, she sighs, taking a slower drink from the mug before glancing for the waitress to come refill it. "You've never been? "

"Never been to France," Odessa admits forlornly. "Someone promised to take me to Paris once upon a time, but… That didn't exactly work out. I hear it's beautiful there. I do want to see it sometime. Perhaps when I don't have obligations, we could go?"

Daphne pulls out a card with a printed number on it. "That's me," she explains. "Paris is amazing. France is amazing. I think I'm gonna go… tonight. I need to get away from this place. I haven't been in one city so long since… since before I could run." Her gaze flickers to the window and back to Odessa's face. "Once I have a phone set up there, it'll re-route to connect you to me. If not, I'll check voice mail and get back to you. Depends how long I'm staying."

The speedster jumps to her feet, the urgent feeling rushing through her again. The talk of Paris has her yearning for the Seine. "I can't … I need to go." She literally fidgets, pulling her courier bag up on her shoulder, adjusting it, checking the file is still within — she has to drop that off and pick up payment before she can fly across the water.

Odessa doesn't necessarily understand the urge that Daphne feels fully, but she can accept it. She smiles and nods, taking the number and tucking it into her jacket pocket. "Thanks. Enjoy your trip, then. Take care of yourself. Look me up when you get back, huh?"

"Sure. Francy knows where you're at, right?" Daphne says, pulling a hat from her courier bag — it is yet another Olympic tuque, Ralph Lauren, embroidered with moose and American flags. But she doesn't wait for the answer, her wanderlust slash restless leg syndrome clearly taking precedence over polite conversation.

Instead, Daphne heads for the door, managing not to speed her way there. However, before the door can swing all the way shut, there is a blur of navy blue and cream and the near-white of her hair, the wintry wind of her wake catching the door and keeping it from closing as it would otherwise for a moment.

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