Dinner With A Madman


jay_icon.gif stephane_icon.gif

Scene Title Dinner With a Madman
Synopsis In which Jay figures out that not all is right with Stephane's head - and decides to pretend he doesn't care.
Date September 11, 2009

Stephane's House

The phone is going to ring, two days later on the eleventh, sometime in the afternoon. The number is someone's cellphone, the area code from within the state but not specifically local to the City.

Here is the thing, every day is very organized and set up a certain way. This was not part of that organized plan. When the phone is answered…it is with that usual purring accent and simply. "Yes?" Lets ignore the phone rang about 5 times before he answered.

"Hey. Um. Hi." Right, what did this guy ask to be called? "Mr. Halford. This's… Jake." Yeah, it feels lame just using his first name, but oh well. "You want your clothes back, right?"

It takes a moment for Stephane to place the voice and the name. There is almost a minute of silence before he replies. "Yes, I recall you…the filthy and well built little bugger from the other night. You do realize you have a certain smell about you, yes? It took quite a bit of pine sol." Then he makes a choking like sound. "Want my clothing back? Did you wash them?"

"God, are you this nice /all/ the time?" Jay asks with dry sarcasm, then, "Yeah, I washed them. S'why it took a whole day to get back to you, I ran out of quarters. Stop being an asshole and tell me where to bring the clothes." Compliment his build and insult his smell all at once? He's really not sure what to do with this guy - or even whether to take any of it seriously. Hmph.

"Have you called to proposition me again? Nice work on the compliments but the sarcasm does come across as off putting." Stephane drawls with little of no emotion before taking a deep breath. "Instructions as well? Or was that a command? Stop being…sweet mother mary, aren't you a charmer. But alas, you can bring the clothing if you wish to my home." He gives the instructions and address.

"What're you /on/?" Jay grumbles, though, and scribbles down directions, then, "Fine, give me half an hour." Apparently these two have a few things to work out - like which one of them wears the pants in this bizarre relationship. If it is such a thing, given how incidental it is. In any case, within about 45 minutes there's a knock at the front door of Stephane's place.

There is an old world meets Modern Living sort of quality to Stephane's home, it is big enough for a large family, very well maintained gardens and grounds and the knock is unanswered for quite some time. When it is finally answered the door swings open to reveal Stephane.

His hair is well done, he wears a black sweater vest over a dark blue shirt, a pair of slacks, nice shoes and…over it all he wears an apron and holds a feather duster. He leaves the door open, turns on his heel and heads back towards his living room. "Do not let any flies in."

Jake's wearing actual clothes this time - his pirate hoodie and a tee shirt which reads "I taught your girlfriend that thing you like." He's got a bundle under one arm, neatly folded, and he steps in, eyeing this entire production with very dubious interest. "Do you ever unwind?" He's skeptical, considering the outfit, the house. He does pause to bump the door closed, but aside from that pads silently after.

Stephane climbs up a ladder to reach one of his chandeliers so he can continue dusting. "Yes, with a glass of brandy and a nice book." He adjusts as he continues dusting and shaking his head. "So did you sleep well?" He asks conversationally as he continues to dust and clean and climb down the ladder to bustle around, as he works on cleaning his living room slowly but sure. He organizes the pillows on his couches next.

"I guess." Jake sets down the clothing on… uh… an end table. There, now it's delivered, he's safe. He shoves his hands in the pockets of his jeans and stares at the bizarre cleaning man. "Didn't wake up till eleven, completely missed Chem, which sucks because I actually like Chem. What, you want the full account?" And with barely a breath of pause, "Are you neurotic?"

Stephane eyes the clothing and the end table as he squints at a throw pillow and brings it over to Jake with a grimace. "There are two flowers in this stitching more than the others, here, you take it. Give it to a lady or male friend you are attempting to impress, or use it for yourself. I don't care." Then he's back off now moving to straighten paintings on the wall and he pauses for a moment.

He listens for a moment and hmms softly. "You like chemistry?" He asks almost suspiciously. "If so, if you are in need of tutoring or assistance, you may ask me if you so wish. Even if most curriculums are sorely lacking." He waves a hand vaguely then goes back to his paintings. "Hm? Neurotic? No. But everything has a place in an order in life you realize. A man's environment should reflect how he wishes to live his life."

"I don't want a pillow." That's the most important thing to convey to the lunatic. Jake sets it carefully down on top of the clothing. "You carry spare clothing and wetwipes. You care how many flowers are on a pillow. You're neurotic." Yeah, he's suspicious. "And if you want to tutor me in chemistry, there are so many bad jokes hanging low on /that/ particular tree that I'm just gonna leave 'em there to rot. Hm." That last is followed by a swift look around. God but it's tempting to… say… knock something over, see if the guy freaks. "You want god's honest truth? I can barely move in this house. I break things. This place makes me damn uncomfortable. I can't afford half the shit here and I am an accident waiting to happen." If only anyone knew how true that was.

"Define Neurotic, the definition please." Stephane spins around rather quickly, untying his apron, folding it and placing it neatly somewhere or another. He has to roll his eyes though. "I wish to help, so that you do not develop into another toxic influence on our next generation. Stupidity, willful ignorance and a desire to never try and push yourself beyond what others might do is just lazy and ridiculous. So staying on top of such subjects as chemistry is something good to support."

Two fingers move to his temples and massage slowly as he tries to remember if he took his medication. While he's doing that he just gestures towards the couch. "Sit." He instructs. "You aren't here to buy, you're on a social call and the less you move around, the less possibility there is for an accident." A pause. "Unless you have a weak bladder."

A quiet snort spills out and Jake sighs, then steps over to the couch, drops onto it, looks left, looks right, and drapes both arms over the back, sprawling forth comfortably. "Neurotic: the state of mind where little things matter so much that one must attend to them at cost to more important things, like food and work and not embarrassing your guests with funny gifts." His mouth quirks into a sharp little smile. "Not that I'm embarrassed, because I'm absolutely shameless. So. I should warn you that I'm really not interested in having my life meddled in. I'm pretty sure I can handle it on my own."

"Impressive." Stephane comments, moving off and seemingly about to leave Jake by himself, but when he returns it is with a golden tray that holds a couple of glasses and a pitcher of ice water. He places the tray down on the coffee table before settling down in a chair across from the couch. He does have good hearing so he simply leans forward to start pouring glasses of water. "Your life is yours. Why would I want to meddle?" He inquires voice with an underlying slithering like quality. "I have no desire to meddle. But our paths have crossed have they not and in your time of need, was I not there? There are no accidents in life, Young Master Jake."

Water is served, he settles back with his own glass, hands wrapped around the glass and nail idly tapping against the glass before the sound irritates him and he just licks his lips and gives a tiny shudder.

"You are /strange/." At least he didn't say 'creepy'? But Jake leans forward to, after a stare of wary thought at the glass, take it up and have a sip. It's purely irrational but some part of him is suddenly worried that something's been done to the drink, and he wishes it away. Surely the man wouldn't try something quite so improper. "There are accidents. They happen all the time. They're really hard to predict or prevent. …And if you accept that all things are as they must be because that is how the universe works, then we're clockwork toys rolling along waiting for the three year old to step on us. I'd rather go with the accidents viewpoint, thanks."

"It isn't poisoned or altered in any way." Stephane takes a sip of his water calmly. He's quiet though, resting an arm along the arm-rest and quirking that eyeing as he hmms. "I believe in unfortunate happenstances. You cannot predict things and you cannot prevent things if things have been set in motion for them to happen. Trust me young man, if I trusted and put faith in accidents, I'd be insane." He hesitates and takes another sip of water. "Whether you come or go, call me or not, seek my services and assistance or not…that is up to you, but our paths have crossed and will be for quite some time I fear." Another sip of water.

The reassurance regarding the water is worth a pause as Jay lowers the glass, looks at it. Was he that obvious? Then he sips, deliberately, and listens to this deterministic view of the universe with a hooded, thoughtful stare. He could be flippant, but… no, he just doesn't feel like it at the moment. "What if you could predict things? Maybe there are Evolved like that. Maybe they're rich as fucking kings." That gets a quiet snort. "What does that say about your theory? If they predict something and then keep it from happening was the prediction false?"

Stephane's expression hardens as he hears the word Evolved and he takes a deep breath and takes another sip of his drink before offering. "Evolved, yes. They could perhaps be rich if they so wished." Then he waves a hand dismissively. "No. The prediction was not false, it was a glimpse of what could be. Why would you see it if there wasn't a reason for it? Who are we to understand such things. My entire family died and was taken away from me through unfortunate happenstances."

Jake winces at the very idea. "That would explain the neurotic." Then, "I'm sorry, man." Not that he's looking. Instead he takes another sip of the drink. "You're not fond of them, huh?" This right here is a very careful, very casual fishing expedition. He doesn't dare say more - it might make things a little more obvious.

"I am not neurotic, Young Master, I'm mad as a hatter." Flash of a wolfish smile goes here then it is gone rather quickly as though it was never there and he clears her throat, sipping water. "Do not apologize. But I appreciate it." Stephane now has to consider the question.

"I am neither fond nor not fond of them." He admits after a few moments. "I am curious about them and I do indeed have a vested interest in them."

Ohh, this right here would explain the bad feeling Jake's had ever since he ran into this guy. He swallows that gulp of water, spends a moment staring over with slightly wide eyes, then, "So what's your interest?" Note how little he's saying? That's very, very deliberate. Must not provoke the nutbar. Especially must not let his own nature slip out. Damn, but this is uncomfortable, and he shifts uneasily in his seat.

"My interest lies in keeping them…safe so to speak. There is quite a bit about them I must learn, for my family's sake." Stephane sets his glass back down on the coffee table as he leans forward and straightens up in the seat. "There is quite a bit of fear in their ranks, if I can help remove that fear, I can help prevent…certain things. Perhaps."

"Uhhh… huh." It's not that he means to be audibly skeptical, but Jay is. "And speaking in riddles is /really/ reassuring." Might as well go for broke, if he's going to be audible in his skepticism. "What do you mean?" Mad as a hatter. He's got a bad, bad feeling about this.

Stephane's eyes roll before he leans forward, elbows on his knees, fingers steepling and his eyes never leave Jake's face. "I mean that they are not my enemy and I will choose my friends amongst them." He holds up a finger though. "But that will require them to get over the fear of being exposed." He shrugs a shoulder.

Twitch. "Yeah, well, people tend to not like being exposed very much." And Jake smiles, but there's no humor in it. "Unless it's happy fun sexy time and no one's looking but the pretty girl." Pause. Oh, right. "Or boy, in your case."

Stephane's eyes still stay on Jake. "You don't seem to have a problem being exposed Young Master Jake." He points out before blinking. "I did have a wife you realize." He points that out before snorting and shaking his head. "Is there a point to your questions on my feelings on the Evolved?" He's quiet for a few moments. "But it doesn't matter. You still want the 25 dollars an hour for the days you come into work at the gallery, yes?" Quick subject change, out of the blue almost. "It would only be part time so 30 is a tad much I feel."

Cough, splutter, choke. Jake doubletakes, stares, and then shoves to his feet. "Dude. The only thing I want to know is what's wrong with your head - and that I'm half afraid to ask because you might turn out to be the bad kind of nutter." He feels better on his feet - there's room to run. "Are you trying to get into my pants or what?" He's got to ask, he almost can't help himself.

"Do I want to wha-Good heavens no." Stephane just looks horrified for a moment before getting to his own feet. "I wanted to give you the opportunity to make extra money. Why do you keep asking if I wish to have intercourse with you? It is getting quite insulting and a bit frightening." Then he hesitates for a moment. "And nothing is wrong with my head, I am a very clean, very successful and comfortably wealthy businessman who wishes to extend an offer to a young man. Young people in college are always in need of extra money."

"When we first met you accused me of hitting on you," Jake points out. "And then when I called you asked again. So excuse me for getting some kinda hint here, but people like you don't offer people like me jobs at random, all right?" And then he grumbles, "Besides, you're a total poof, wife or no wife, and I'm irresistible, as established in thirty-one states. So it's only natural." But he crosses his arms and plants his feet rather stubbornly. "But you also offered me chemistry lessons, a job, and a pillow. So either you want to get laid, or you're really fucking lonely. Which is it?" In Jake's world, no one does anything for free.

"Well the first thing you ever said to me was 'F-' well you know what you said. So excuse me for being a tad uncertain." Stephane just makes a tsking noise as he moves to start cleaning up the water tray, lifting it and narrowing his eyes at Jake. "Poof…" He trails off and actually twitches as the younger man describes himself as irresistible. "I am not from the United States, there is nothing natural possible there."

Then his jaw sets stubbornly as he walks off towards his kitchen to put the tray away. "I have no desire to get laid." He leaves it at that. Is he lonely? Maybe…talking to golden statues in your back yard isn't exactly company but he doesn't even really know. "But there is not secretive motive here. I don't give a damn enough about most things to have a motive."

Excuse Jay for having a jaw-dropped reaction to that. He'll just stand there while the other guy rambles. …And then? He follows, stalking after towards the kitchen. "Wait, wait, just because I said /fuck/ you think /I/ want to…" And a sharp laugh pops out. "Loony goddamn Brit!" And Stephane is going to get poked in the ribs, if Jake ever catches up, which he will at that quickening, almost-bounding pace. At least he has a wide grin on his face now, so that's a good sign.

"Will you be staying for din-" Stephane is cut off from his domestic pattern in the making by the laugh and the label. "Insufferable Bratty Yank." He calmly retorts as he turns to put things in the dishwasher neatly. Then he's being poked and he freezes up, hand moving before he realizes it to yank a steak knife out of where it rests in the utensil section of the dishwasher and he closes his eyes, deep breathing, fist closing around that handle rather tightly and when he places the knife sloooowly back into place. The handle is gold. Maybe it was that to start with? Who knows, he may have gold handled steak knives. He just whirls around to swat at that hand that owns the finger with a dish towel, then swat at the owner of the hand with the same towel. Not aggressively though "Do get washed up." Then he turns and just walks off. "Tea is soon." - Strange is an understatement.

That behavior right there makes Jake stop right where he is and just… eye the guy. Maybe he'll move, maybe he won't, but… the knife gets put away and just like that Jake smiles again, bright and brazen and utterly cheerful. "I say fuck all the time. I flirt with everything that moves. You really don't want me working in your gallery or whatever. Me around expensive things is bad. But thanks for the offer." And with that, he spins to go sashaying off, literally swishing his tail for the towel-swatting. And yeah, he's going to find a bathroom, wash his hands, and then, shockingly enough, show up for dinner. He's insane. At least he's in good company?

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