Dreamers at the Orchid


elaine2_icon.gif lynette2_icon.gif nicole3_icon.gif quinn3_icon.gif

Scene Title Dreamers at the Orchid
Synopsis Four women meet for drinks and a discussion of what they see when they sleep at night.
Date April 1, 2011

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!

It's been a few months now since the last time Quinn set foot into the Orchid Lounge. It really is a fantastic place, just not one Quinn can often afford to visit, both because of the price of food, and the fact that it is largely considered a classier establishment, meaning that Quinn isn't always in the mood to dress for such a place. And even tonight, she hasn't exactly gotten fancy, but she has styled her hair a bit, with earrings and eyeliner to match the bright colours of her skirt and button office shirt. That'll pass, right?

These plans were originally meant for earlier in the week, and shit happens. And yet, despite knowing now that they were happening today instead, she was still late. Because she always is. And with her lateness, comes the lateness of her companion, Elaine Darrow. Who had tried to get them out the door faster, but apparently Quinn would have none of that. "We'll be fine!" she had said.


Though part of their lateness had been for good reason - Quinn making a call, hoping to add a fourth to their evening. But Sable hadn't been able to make it, so the next call might have felt the recipient feel like second place if Quinn hadn't been planning on placing it from the get go. And by the get go she means remembering five minutes before they left.

But that doesn't matter now. What does matter is finding the woman they're here to meet. Hopefully, she hasn't been waiting for them for too long now.

Last time Elaine was at the Orchid Lounge, she met Remi and Graeme. Which turned out rather well, all things considered. Maybe Quinn wasn't in the mood for dressing up, but Elaine had made more of an effort, a knee-length white-patternd dress with a black sash high up on the waist and a pair of brown boots. A little more casual with the boots, a little more dressy with the dress. That and she'd bothered with makeup. She hooks an arm with Quinn, peering around lounge. "Man, this is kind of nice, getting out…"

Fortunately for the Ambiguously Late Duo, Nicole hasn't been waiting long. In fact, she'd been relieved to discover her companions hadn't made it yet, because she'd ran late at the office herself. Taking the time to stop at home and change out of her suit and into something that feels less shark and more kitten cost her time, but as it turns out…

Well, Nicole still beat them to the Lounge. She rises from her seat when she spots the singer and her ginger-haired girlfriend, waving them over to her table. The shade of green of her mod dress would much more compliment the colour of her sister's eyes than Nicole's own, but it's flattering all the same. One can't wear electric blue all the time, can they? "Glad you made it!" she enthuses once they're near enough that she doesn't have to raise her voice too much.

"Have a seat!" She peers over Elaine's shoulder, perhaps expecting the pixie-esque (in comparison, at least) form of Sable Diego behind her, but she doesn't inquire. "You two look lovely." Nicole reclaims her seat and wastes no time in lifting her martini glass to her lips for a sip. She got a headstart. It was her idea, so she's entitled. "I don't know if we've been formally introduce, Miss Darrow." She holds out one hand, her nails painted a shade of pink that matches the lipgloss that's more on the rim of her glass than on her lips at this point. "Nicole Nichols."

It's martini time! And that is something Lynette is never late for. That she shows up at the same time as the rest of her party is mere coincidence. She's dressed in a flowy, swingy, red-with-white-polka-dots skirt and a white shirt and a little jacket to match. She's been feeling a little girly lately, but no one ask her why. She'll deny everything.

For all that she knew Nicole was going to be here, actually seeing the woman from her dream is enough to make her pause just a moment. To look her over. But it's not long before she striding forward, a crooked smile on her face. "Goodness, Quinn," she says, her tone full of ease and confidence, "I didn't realize we were going for a girl's night out, I would have insisted on a spa or something. Elaine, good to see you again."

She doesn't wait for introductions, she just turns to Nicole and offers her a hand. "Miss Nichols, it's a pleasure. Just call me Regina for now." Which, of course, isn't because anyone here doesn't know her name, but rather for the fact that her name is not exactly a safe one to be yelling about in public.

While not knowing whether or not Nicole was expecting her, information on Sable is volunteered freely regardless. Well- not before… "Oh good, we're not terribly late," Quinn muses, and when Nicole reaches them, Quinn throws arms around her in a brief hug, heedless of the hand offered out to Elaine. And steps back has her clacking back in low, fat heels - enough to look nice, sturdy enough that Quinn won't be breaking her clumsy-ass neck. "I called Sable, but she couldn't make it. She an' Delilah are in the process of moving off Roosevelt. To Staten Island, unfortunately." It's not hard to pick up on the displeasure in Quinn's voice when she says that.

"I hope you don't mind, but I invited someone else alo-" And then she hears Lynette's voice behind her, Quinn looking back over her shoulder with a smile. "An' there she is. Christ, did we really take that long?" She angles an apologetic look back towards Elaine and Nicole. "Well, we can do a spa another time, hmm? It's Elaine's birthday this weekend, so we may be going soon." She lets Lynette handle the introduction, moving to take a seat at the table across from where Nicole was, stretching a bit as she settles in.

"There is nothing wrong with girls night being drinks," Elaine protests, her gaze shifting from Lynette back to Nicole. "It's nice to finally meet you, Nicole. And call me Elaine!" She's getting friendly and on a first name basis. After all, they're going drinking! It's not all business! And maaaaybe she might have had one before they left. Well, Quinn was busy on the phone, and the alcohol just happened to be right there. Nothing like a head start to a good night.

Aaaaah! Sudden hugs! Quinn is embraced in turn, and warmly at that. But it's like the woman isn't used to receiving those sorts of greetings. At least not outside of a perfunctory manner. All the same, the elder of the dark-haired women offers a bright smile in return for it. At least until their fourth arrives.

Nicole is given similar pause when she lays eyes on Lynette. She's at least seen Elaine before, in the waking world. Lynette Rowan has literally stepped out of her dreams and into her life. "Regina, then," she murmurs with a smile and a tip of her head as she shakes the blonde's hand firmly. "The pleasure is mine, I assure you." And though such responses are generally reflexive and hollow, this one is meant genuinely. "Please, Nicole is fine. We… seem to be on a first-name basis later anyway. May as well start now, hm?"

Whoo. That's the exhale of air the puffs out Nicole's cheeks for a moment as she takes another drink. This one a bit more generous than the first sip. "I know we're here to have fun, but can I just start us off with one question?" She pauses only long enough to dart her gaze between Elaine and Lynette in turn. "What the fuck was that?"

Lynette takes a seat, too, sliding down and setting her bag aside. "Oh, hell if I know. We're working on it," she says, frankly. "I wish I had an answer for you, but it's a mystery at the moment. We have someone working on it." She looks over at Quinn and Elaine, there, "Unless one of you has heard something I haven't yet?" Last Quinn saw her, she was sitting with her very sick double, so it's possible she's not entirely up on the news over on the island.

"Nicole," she adds, testing out the name that comes a little too naturally for a first meeting, turning back to give her a half-smile, "I'd rather be on a first name basis now, so that's perfect."

"I talked t' Kaylee about it," Quinn says quietly, looking between the four of them almost dramatically. If she was actually wearing glasses (her one pair of store bought reading glasses sits in her office, for when she has to spend loooong days reading and signing things) or better, sunglasses, she'd be peering over them like someone in a overblown TV drama. Maybe a crime drama. She doesn't have a good pun, though. Or her MP3 player to play The Who.

"No real idea what they are, but bunches of people are havin' them." A pause, Quinn grimacing as she lowers her voice. "Including Elisabeth Harrison. Though the dream of hers I heard about wasn't the one you guys had." She leans back a bit, letting out a sigh. "She's building, like… a timeline. I'm helping her, finding out what I can until she gets back int' town."

"Well, I haven't had more than one, but… I'm kind of hoping, if this stuff keeps happening, that I get another one… the more information we can get, the more we can figure out what is going on," Elaine looks to the group. "We need much, much more alcohol for this conversation, I think." She pauses. "I wanna know what the heck happens. Why everyone's so angry and cautious. You know. Other than the obvious people-hating-Evos bit."

"I don't know," Nicole says in a hushed voice around the rim of the glass she never quite puts back down on the table, always getting it about halfway there before she raises it up again for another sip. "After the last one… I would be content not having another like it." A small shudder runs through her and she hides the haunted look that comes over her by turning her head away.

"I'd like to know what's going on in them as well, but I'm all too content to let someone else have the visions of the future." Lynette, after all, has some negative associations with seeing the future. Last time something like this happened, she was a captive of the Institute. "But I can agree that we're going to need more alcohol. Always." There's a glance over to Nicole, belatedly registering the woman's shudder. "It isn't going to happen, Nicole. Whatever you saw. It isn't going to happen." That's determination there, folks, mixing with sympathy.

"I'll pass," Quinn murmurs, looking down for a moment. "I've had enough of these bad dreams. If I have t' have more, let's at least it be somethin' happy." Because so far they have decidedly not been. "Or at least not somehin' that makes me feel like I'm goint t' hate myself in the future" Nicole's comment gets Quinn to look up at her, and while she doesn't see the shudder, she can tell thinking about it makes her uncomfortable. Hell, it makes Quinn uncomfortable. Her answer, since Nicole is too far for her to hug or otherwise physically reassure, is to reaching forward and sliding Nicole drink to her. "Lynette's right. We won't let anythin' come t' that."

"Nothing bad'll happen," Elaine insists, cheerfully. "Just cause… it won't. There are too many people who know what's going on to let shit happen, you know." She looks to the others. "I think we should get a pitcher of sangria," she suggests. "In any case… all this shit… it doesn't happen until way later, y'know. It's not tomorrow. So we have time to make things go the way we want them to."

"Thanks," is a little distant, but not exactly hollow. Nicole's lips tip upward in a small smile that fades once she's realised her glass is empty. This prompts her to hail a waiter. "They don't really serve things by the pitcher here…" This isn't a Friday's after all.

The smile she gives to the man now is a bit tigther, more false even if it doesn't quite look that way. "Hi. I'm gonna take another one of those gin martinis. Very dirty, three olives." And she even holds up three fingers to illustrate. "And whatever my girl friends are having. And don't come back to check on us unless I call you over." Her napkin is lifted and a hundred dollar bill procured from beneath it, proffered to her soon-to-be willing accomplice. "And you don't check our IDs."

Which could be because Elaine is underage. Or it could be because Regina is a wanted woman. Either way, Nicole's smile turns a bit lopsided and she waves the bill back and forth enticingly.

"Very good," the waiter offers by way of compliance, slipping the bill into the pouch on his smart black apron. His brows lift as he eyes the other women expectantly, waiting for drink orders before he hurries on his way to make sure they're fulfilled.

"And I'd like a dry vodka martini with three olives. As dry as you can get it. Raise a glass to Antonio Carpano, that's as wet as this martini is allowed to get." Not that she expects the waiter to know who invented vermouth, but she finds it amusing anyhow.

Lynette turns to look at the others, waiting until the waiter leaves before she speaks again. But she does give him a smile while he gathers orders.

Quinn's order is a duplicate, more or less, of Lynette's. Mostly because everything else she'd want - whiskey, scotch, ingredients for some wonderful margaritas made with blue curacao and anjelo tequila - is all at home. "I'm sure we'll know more about those dreams eventually. Magnes gave me a number for someone t' call. Apparently he knew the FRONTLINE woman in our dream." Which means, yes, he had it too. "I still need t' talk t' Sable, but… hopefully it leads me t' some more people who've had 'em. Kaylee'll be back soon, she might want t' see at least one a' you guys."

Elaine is feeling fruity. Wait. That sounds wrong. Either way, she orders a strawberry daiquiri, looking back towards Quinn. "Well, this is the kind of thing that's up there with Magnes' conspiracy theories. If I hadn't seen time travel with my own eyes, I'd probably think all of this stuff was just bad sushi or something. I just think there needs to be something… I mean, really, I think figuring out who it is that's sending these is the most important. Is it a warning? I feel like it is, somehow."

"Wait. Time travelling?" Nicole's brows go up. "What the hell do you people get up to over there?" She knew that seeking an entrance to the Ferry was going to complicate her life, but time travel…

Nicole lets out a deep breath and smiles serenely. Because she has to. It's a smile that Colette would roll her eyes at if she were on the receiving end of it. It's one Kain Zarek would have poked fun at her for - make some comment about her feathers being ruffled. "If it is some sort of omen, I just… When did you first notice the dreams?" Her gaze lowers to the table as she sorts through her mental datebook. "I first saw… my little princess in January." She looks up at Quinn then, knowing the other woman understands what she means. "My daughter," she clarifies for the others.

"That was not our mission," Lynette is quick to point out, "It just so happens that some of our people got swept up into it. Not network business, just general… save the world business." And she's so blasé about it. But then, she has to be. If the leadership starts to freak out about things, then everybody freaks out.

"They could be a warning. It certainly seems likely. I'm not ruling out other possibilities until we get a better idea of what's going on here." Lynette looks over at Nicole, lifting an eyebrow. She may be a little grateful, suddenly, that hers haven't involved finding out she gets herself knocked up in the future. "Mine was just a few weeks ago. January this started for you?"

"Everyone seems t' think they're a warning. I mean, I can understand the people hearin' about it second hand thinkin' that. It's kinda basic sci-fi, you know?" Quinn quirks an eyebrow, crossing her arms as she looks between the other three. "I'm… I mean, I don't pretend t' know what it is, but that seems too simple, you know?" That's twice with the you knows. At least she wasn't saying don't'cha know with her accent. It'd probably be hilarious.

Nicole gets a laugh though, Quinn sitting up a bit. "That, Nicole… is a long story. I'll tell you about it sometime, if you want, but it sucked and I hate time shit forever and that's why I am so…" A pause, and the Quinn huffs her cheeks, blowing a raspberry, "about this whole future dream bullshit. I'm sick of time shit."

Quinn probably got the 'you know' thing from hanging out with Elaine too much. The redhead looks back towards Nicole with a tiny grin. "Colette and I went. It was pretty fucking scary but we did what had to be done." She shrugs a bit. "I don't like feeling like there's some great big puppeteer in the sky telling us what to do."

There's a very slow nod from Nicole as she clearly attempts to wrap her head around the idea of time travelling. Not that she finds the concept impossible - she's seen far too much in the years following the bomb to hold onto impossibilities. "And at the same time, it's kind of nice to have someone to blame for all the inexplicably bad shit that happens in life." There's a sardonic smirk around the rim of her martini glass before a generous swallow of gin and olive juice.

Then Quinn earns the woman in green's attention again. "Only a few weeks ago? Gee, wonder what makes me so special." And so very, very sarcastic. Nicole rolls her eyes skyward and then finally lets her drink settle back down on the table. Her hands clasp together in front of her, settled where her plate would be if she were actually intending to eat anything tonight. It's Lynette that's looked to next. "Did you know the others in our… dream?" The term makes her wince a bit. It sounds a bit too fantasy, but she lacks a better explanation.

Lynette is just setting down her glass as Nicole asks her that question. "Oh yes. That dream isn't… the best to judge them all from. Even Elisabeth. I can't imagine what would turn her into an honest to goodness enemy." But then, who can imagine any of the things they've all seen in these dreams.

Knowing everyone in that dream isn't something Quinn cann really comment on, so she settles back into her seat, taking a long sip of her drink. "I got stuck with Magnes in 2007 for a few days," Quinn remarks quietly, tone making it clear she doesn't really feel like talking about it. Clearing her throat, she sits up a bit, looking across the table at Nicole and Lynette. "I'm not even worried about who's in the dream," besides Elaine, "more about the situation."

"Yeah, Quinn's right, of course," Elaine says, drumming her fingers lightly on the table. "The situation looks pretty grim. Life as we know it is gonna change a lot in the next few years. If these are true, I mean. They might be wrong. Someone might be trying to trap us or something like that. Man, I just wish I knew who was behind all this. It'd make a lot more sense."

Easy to be less concerned about the players in a dream when one knows what they're dealing with. For Nicole, the additional unknown adds more worry. "So they were… All from your network?" Her eyes flicker to the diamond bracelet around her wrist, but then slide back up to regard her companions as her opposite hand moves to fiddle with the piece of jewellery. "Then I feel like I'm making the right decision." Again, she looks to Lynette. "If your people will have me, at any rate."

"Personally, I'm worried about it all. Who's there, who's on what side… it all might be clues to how to stop this. Or give people a nudge toward one choice or another. I'm not pretending any one element is more or less important than anything else. If these dreams are to be believed… we're heading to war. some of us have been expecting it anyway, especially after November Eighth. But maybe someone will get a hint of how it turned that bad. And apparently in a relatively short time." Lynette lets out a sigh and picks her glass back up for a long drink.

"They are," she confirms to Nicole, "And don't worry. We're not that picky." It seems like it's supposed to be a joke, that, but there's just a hint of bitterness there that might make it miss the mark. "I'll let the right people know you're wanting in and we'll take it from there."

"War…" There is just the most unhappy, bitter look on Quinn's face. "There's somethin' comin', from what I've seen in mine," Quinn states with her voice still quiet. Another long sip of alcohol, and she sighs, slouching a bit. "I don'y understand how we prevent somethin' like that, though. I mean… I'm not saying we can't, because goddamnit, I'm not livin' that future. I just… I don't even know where t' begin for somethin' like that."

Elaine scowls a little. "Well, I dunno that we can stop something like that. It'd require a lot of knowing where to strike and who to strike or protest or what information gets out to the public… things like that." She looks to Quinn, frowning a tiny bit. "Maybe this is just to get us prepared. Gear up, in case there is a war."

On the heels of Elaine's words, Nicole speaks up, looking suddenly serious, "My question is, is there an event yet to come, that if we can stop it from happening, or change its outcome, will prevent what we've seen from coming to pass?" And for all that she looks seriously, she also looks suddenly uncertain. "Do you think just knowing changes things?"

"When we know more about these dreams, I think we'll be better equipped to know what we can do. I know it's frustrating to wait for answers, but sometimes that's all we can do." There is one thing her summer in captivity taught her, and that's when to be patient. Lynette lifts a shoulder at Nicole's question, though. "Maybe? I like to think so. But it's also possible that someone is showing us these dreams to push us in some direction. Toward this, toward something else, who knows. We don't even know if these are the future or just someone's creativity. But I think, knowing this is out there will color all our decisions from here on out."

"That's how it always works in the movies. Knowin' or doin' one small thing can change everythin', you know?" Again with the 'you know', either Quinn's nervous or drunk. And she's probably not drunk. "For all we know, somethin's already happened. Or maybe we don't have the one thing yet, maybe." She chuckles a bit at Lynette, shaking her head. "I suck at bein' patient. Particularly with somethin' like this. I just hope we can stop this… an' we don't end up walkin' right into it." Like, you know. They did on the 8th.

Elaine's definitely had some to drink, so… she at least has more of an excuse if she says something silly. "Well, yeah, knowing always means something changes. Maybe something tiny, but there is always a change. So if we take that, add it onto whatever efforts we make, it'll change something, I'm sure."

"You I like," Nicole offers with a small smile in Lynette's direction, lifting her glass again. "Biding my time is something I'm good at, when the situation calls for it." Even though she's a fan of the aggressive approach herself. "I don't know if it means anything or not, but… I didn't have visions of the riots. Not the way many others did. This… also doesn't seem as wide-spread as that was. And didn't people just… Drop where they stood?" She shakes her head, a small shrug of her shoulders. "Point is, this is different, yes? But still, we… People changed some of it, right?"

"Maybe nothing changes. My vision for the Eighth was freakishly close to reality, so I'm willing to entertain the possibility that this is what's coming. But this is from a person who's willing to entertain that this isn't the future at all, but some ridiculous mind fuck from some sadistic bastard. So, take it as you will." Okay, so… maybe she's been drinking a little.

Lynette looks over at Nicole, grinning crookedly, "I've found sometimes it's best to wait and make your play at the right moment instead of rushing in. I suspect politics works that way, too." She nods, though, as the other woman goes on. "It was more wide spread and some people did manage to change things they saw, as I understand it. This has worked different, but then, it isn't from the same source, either."

"Things changed in small ways, even if, you know. Whole things didn't." Quinn rolls her shoulders a bit. "Mine… changed a little bit. But I still ended up in the same buildin', gettin' saved by the same woman. Just… the details were different. So… I guess it depends on how much we know an' how much we do…"

"Mine changed. No bridges were blown up, so… it was good," Elaine agrees. "So if those visions can change, just by knowing… why not these dreams." She looks back to the others, seeming thoughtful. "I could've even changed it completely, but I wanted to go talk to the person I saw in my vision. So I did. The context of things changed entirely."

Nicole smirks and lets out a quiet breath of laughter. "I'm the odd one out at this table it seems." The only one who didn't have a vision of the riots. She plucks up the skewer with her olives on it and slides one off the end. "You know, just once, I'd like to have good dreams again." Glancing between the others she sighs. "New subject, ladies?"

"I'm all for that," Lynette says to Nicole's suggestion. "Let's do something normal and talk about boys or something." They way she says it, it's like that is an experience outside her realm.

"Boys are boring," Quinn notes with a raised finger and a sip of her drink. "I can always talk about cute girls, though, so it still works!" She actually seems amused and a little excited at this prospect, the idea of sitting around and just talking about something normal for once. "Something that's not terribly depressing would be wonderful. Heck, if we have time, we should go catch an amusin' movie or somethin'."

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