Freaky Friday 2-22


bf_cassandra_icon.gif dirk_icon.gif isis2_icon.gif sahara_icon.gif

Scene Title Freaky Friday 2-22
Synopsis A little SLICE of small town in the big city turns Freaky Friday fast.
Date February 22, 2019

Nite Owl Diner

The Nite Owl Diner is a small restaurant located on a narrow strip of land adjacent to the Greenwood Heights Cemetery in Bay Ridge. It is a classic metal-walled diner with large windows, checkerboard linoleum floor, and a neon owl over the entrance that blinks at those entering. The outside signage even promises Coney Island Hot Dogs, even if Coney Island only exists in memory now. 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.

What kind of people visit a late night diner? Better yet - what kind of people stand outside staring at one? A slim figure in a gray, wool jacket and tan, crocheted cap with droopy cat ears stands outside the building. Her chin is turned up to reveal a pale face and vibrant hazel eyes, catching the neon glow of the diner’s various signs in a pallid reflection of dim pinks and azures. Whispy, flimsy strokes of gray cloud the crisp, night sky behind the bright signs and reflective metal exterior of the diner.

There’s a low, honey-toned chuckle before Isis tucks her head down and heads in with the sound of a small bell announcing her arrival.

There’s something to be said about remnants of the world from before the war. Seeing things as they were before gives a sense of comfort and relaxation to a lot of people. Even diners - worn steel stools and all - bring back a sense of nostalgia, of people coming in to relive their youth with a hot dog of questionable origin and a soda from the old soda fountain.

Cassandra, newly arrived to the city from a jaunt in the badlands west of Kansas City, made it a point to find places to eat. Sure, New York before was crawling with restaurants, diners, and bars to fill every appetite at a moment’s notice, but now, after portions of the city were smashed flat by bombardments and various invasions, finding a place to get a good reuben or something full of carbs was pretty difficult to start. Add in food shortages and places people don’t really go when it gets dark, you get a unicorn in the form of the Nite Owl Diner.

Exactly the sort to stand outside and look at a place, she takes a few minutes to see how many people are there, the comings and goings, and whether or not unsavory things like gunfire or screams erupt from the inside. When none of that occurs she makes her way from her observation post in an alley across the street, her bag slung across her chest, and enters the diner, the bell chiming her arrival.

Sahara turns away from her seat at the bar on hearing the tinkling at the door. Still dressed for work, dark slacks and a floral blouse, she looks no less comfortable leaning into the seat's back while she lifts a hand to wave at seeing Isis enter.

"Jo!" she calls out cheerily, her other hand curled around a mug of instant, but no less lovingly made coffee. "It's good to see you. Glad you could make it out~" Her usual warmth carries even in her greeting, accompanied by a smile.

That cheery voice.

It sends a tremor of terror running down Dirk’s spine. He hasn’t been back to yoga class because of obvious reasons. Not wanting the bubbly blonde to see him (which might be a first in his life), the petite man sinks a little lower into his booth. He’s just going to eat his reuben and leave as inconspicuously as possible. Sometimes, fate doesn’t give us what we want though. That do not want comes in the form of Agnes, the diner’s waitress and the bearer of bad news.

“Hey hon,” she calls his attention through a series of bubble pops of her gum. “‘Fraid I have to let you know that we’re out of corned beef, so no reubens. Can I getcha something else?”

Dirk squeaks and quickly flips open his menu. “Just give me whatever you have in sandwich form,” he whispers, hoping that a pea soup sandwich isn’t what she comes out with.

The redhead makes a slight obstacle in Cassandra’s way, having lingered in hopes of taking in the nostalgic atmosphere. Her shoulders are just about to rise up in that snuggly fashion when her name, one of them at least, cuts clear across the clink of dishes and low chatter that hums as the natural life force of any diner. What is it about Sahara’s energy that is just so damned contagious? Isis smiles and steps out Cassandra’s way with a quiet apology, quick strides taking her right on by the slinky, little man so discreetly hiding behind a glossy, laminated menu.

“Hey, lady,” Isis’s also voice seems infected with a warm chuckle for the moment as she looks around. “I’m glad I could come too, this is great!” She peels off her gloves and settles in beside Sahara. “You know - the first time I ever came to New York back in…” she stops and catches Sahara in the corner of her eye and feigns a theatrical grimace before continuing. “A while ago - the first place I hit was the Night Owl out in Manhattan.”

It takes a second or two for Cassandra’s eyes to adjust to the warm light inside the diner. Fluorescent lights glow in their fixtures, the ones in the back hallway flickering, as the working ballasts were moved to the more important lights to keep the serving area nice and homey. That’s not the only thing, though - the smells are wonderful. After finding Grimaldi’s pizza still active after all these years, a place that has oil for frying things and a menu to pick from is a nice thing to find.

The brunette stops as Isis slips past to the man behind the menu, bobbing her head before making her way to the counter proper, sliding into one of the red covered stools bolted to the floor. Her satchel is placed carefully on the step just in front of her feet, the strap looped around an ankle to discourage pickpockets or anyone else who might be interested in the well-worn leather bag. Very near where Sahara and Isis have taken up shop, allowing eavesdropping and, perhaps, joining in on conversations. Something she’s not had a lot of recently.

“Just a water and…” She absentmindedly takes up one of the menus, scanning it. With no corned beef for reubens, she’ll fall back on one of her usual dishes for a new restaurant. When Agnes comes to take her order, she smiles. “Whatever you have on the menu, I’ll eat. Bring me your favorite. Anything goes.”

"Well, then maybe it's just fate you ended up back here again, don't you think?" A waggling brow accompanies that mysterious-sounding suggestion for only a moment before Sahara laughs it away. "A good place to start discussing that fresh start we talked about anyway." Laying over her place setting is a thin, plain folder, testament to what she means to either bring up or pass along. "Besides, you seemed like the night owl sort of person. I thought to myself 'what a better site for a little get-together!'" She winks just as dramatically as Isis had tossed her head in that grimace.

Thankfully for Sahara, she doesn't seem to notice Dirk's presence. Her otherwise warm demeanor might start trending tepid.

"I just adore this place, though." she confesses as she looks up at the lights, lifting her coffee and cupping it between her hands. "A little piece of small-town in this great big city." When Cassandra settles in practically besides them, she turns and offers a bright smile. Just a little piece of small-town in this great big city.

Oh shit, Sahara turning put Dirk in full view and he quickly ducks under the table. The squeak? That could have been a very large man sized rat, New York City is full of them. The SESA secretary might even be one. He waits for nearly a solid minute before peeking a well coifed head above the table line and then straightens up when she’s turned back around.

That’s when he spies Cassandra.

Who is supposed to be dead.

Secretaries aren’t always cleared for classified things, Dirk has been cleared enough to see that Cassandra died. He hasn’t been cleared to know she’s alive. Or that people have come through from other realities. So… he stares. Wide eyed, gaping jaw, coffee spill, the whole deal. Cassandra Baumann is here, breathing, alive, and it’s taking everything Dirk has to not scream.

Long fingers one one hand comb some semblance of order into frizzy red curls as the opposite hand tucks a cat-eared cap into her pocket with the gloves. “Just a coffee for me,” she tells Agnes after Cassandra’s order has been taken and it’s her turn. “Night owl kinda person, huh?” Isis tries not to look to smug and mysterious at that, as she shrugs off her jacket.

In her perusing of the diner’s garishly reflective interior, the little man’s cold-war table-dive doesn’t go unnoticed. Speaking of small town, it seems Maine has rubbed off on the woman going by Joanne - if she had thought better of it she would have recalled that city etiquette would have meant keeping her mouth shut, but alas… “Woah. You okay there, buddy?” She turns more fully on her stool, bending to try and catch the man-rat’s eye.

Cassandra, who is very much alive and sitting at the counter, slips the menu between the bright red ketchup squeeze bottle and the stainless steel napkin holder with the dent in the side, her other hand coming up to adjust the pepper and salt shakers to help hold the ketchup bottle in place. Everything neat and tidy and just where it should be. She offers Sahara a bright smile of her own, polite as can be, as Agnes jots something down on her pad, takes the menu, and heads off to ring the bell to get an order going for Cassandra.

“It is a nice place.” Cassandra says aloud, taking a sip of her water once it’s arrived. “Finding quiet and good food is always a good thing, but in the heart of New York…” She gives a one-shouldered shrug. “It’s rare.”

Her voice is Cassandra’s, her mannerisms are Cassandra’s, and the way she sits? Well, if Dirk ever saw Cassandra, the mannerisms are pretty much exactly what she acted like before. “I wonder if the pie’s any good here.”

“Best in the city!” Agnes calls out from the back, sending Cassandra into a fit of giggles.

"Oh honey," Sahara surreptitiously murmurs to Cassandra with an wave of her wrist. "Don't let her upsell you on that pie. There's better out there." She knows a good pie. Hell, she'll make you a better one.

At first, Sahara hears the squeaking noise just past Cassandra but doesn't think much of it … at least until Isis points him out. Still smiling, she leans back a little in her seat to peer around her, and it's plainly visible to the world-traveler how her smile becomes a little less sincere, and plenty more 'why me'.

"Jo, I don't think that one's okay even on his best of days," she practically stage-whispers with faux timidity, her eyes a little wider than normal as she wonders just what on this whole green earth has got Dirk looking like that today.

At least he's got his shirt on.

Shirt. Tie. Blazer. All of the above, thankyouverymuchmiss. The SESA secretary had just come from the office for a quiet meal. What he’s not looking for is a run in with donut unfriendly yoga instructors and zombie evolved. ‘Jo’ gets a weak smile and a nod, “Fine, thanks, just… saw a ghost.” Then he gives a pointed look to the woman known formerly as Agent Baumann.

Since the rat is out of the bag, Dirk straightens fully and picks up his cup. Dabbing away at coffee spills with piles of napkins torn from the dispenser. Nothing to see here, his demeanor suggests. Passing yet another glance to Cassandra, he clears his throat and motions to a seat at his booth… an invitation.

While pie is unquestionably a very important conversation, Isis doesn’t get a chance to put in her vote (which is apple, like any sane person). “A ghost!?” The redhead is on her feet and glances swiftly around them. But then, there is no sparking ball of crimson light arcing over all the shiny metallic surfaces of the dinner. There is no sign of garnet sparks and silver shards whipping outside the windows either.

Sheepishly Isis glance back to Sahara and her fellow pie-connoisseur, a hand rubbing at the back of her neck. “Oh, come on. We all have off days. And, ghosts are no joking matter,” she tries her best at taking on a playful, light tone and busies herself. A fistful of napkins from another table has her helping to mop at Dirk’s mess instead of meeting the other women’s gaze.

Oh god, it’s one of those situations again.

It takes a lot of doing for Cassandra to not react outwardly to what Dirk said, but thankfully there’s a glass of water to distract her. Tasty, tasty water. On the outside she’s just drinking her drink, shrugging a little at the man’s reaction with a roll of her eyes, but inside? Oh, lord, if someone could somehow visualize much of a panic that comment brought up, you’d get a light show on par with the old New Year’s fireworks in Times Square. She’s got that sick feeling in the pit of her stomach, like when you’re called to the principal’s office or about to speak in front of a large crowd.

“I think he means me.” Cassandra finally volunteers. “I’ve apparently got a doppelganger running around here, somewhere, that I haven’t met.” It’s a perfect test for her backstory.

Let’s see how well she handles it.


Each new encounter always has the possibility of shedding new light on people, another stage lamp coming to shine on them from a new angle. And today, Sahara learns Isis has ghosts that haunt her. She keeps her cool when the woman jumps to her feet like an actual ghost might be in the room with them, only smiling reassuringly at Isis before she takes off to assist her fellow fearer of ghosts.

As disapproving of Dirk antics as Sahara might be, neither is she a monster. She'd hate it if someone didn't offer her help were she in such a bind! She leans behind her to dig a hand into her purse, pulling free a tide pen. "This ought to help." she suggests as she comes to her feet with her bag off her shoulder, closing the difference between bar and booth to offer the item out.

See, she's not just a slightly-judgmental holistic health nut. She's a well-meaning holistic health nut.

"Now, now," Sahara intones in an attempt at mollification — both for Cassandra's nerves and Dirk's alarm. "There's no need for anyone to have a fit over a look-alike."

Sahara is given a wisp of a smile as a thank you. Regardless of their past, the tide pen is appreciated, though he doesn’t take it just quite yet. He’s still busily mopping up coffee. “No fit, my fault, I just… “ he glances up to where Cassandra is sitting to give a bigger smile. “That must be it, doppelganger. Yeah…”

Seeing as his invitation hadn’t been received with the cordiality that it was presented with, he just chuckles and waves it off. ”My mistake, my mistake.” Scooping a few of the napkins into a pile, his fingertips brush against Jo’s.

A brush of fingertips. A tender act that can be comforting, seductive, or as this one was intended to be - entirely innocent…


Ten years of practice has given Isis a small measure of control over her ability. A very, very small measure. And the mention of ghosts? Well, that did cause a stir that leaves the redhead's nerves frayed at the edges as she focuses on trying to save face in front of the other ladies. If only she had been more literally focused on saving her face.

Nervous nauseous like that pitted in Cassandra's stomach has nothing on the lurching, heaving sensation that hits Drik and Isis simultaneously. As if barbed hook as been hooked in one's navel and yanked - the thoughts and memories, the very essence of each party is flung across the table like a flippantly dealt card, and lands in the opposite form so that…

Dirk's body is slumped back in the booth like a limp drunkard. "Oh fuuuuuck…" The words are Isis's, but the voice is Dirk's. The lower, nasally resonance has Isis-in-Dirk's eyes flying open before brows knit nearer to one another and a look of pure horror settles on the vaguely more masculine features.


Apparently discussion of why she’s a doppelganger to whoever Dirk knows - Cassandra has an idea who it might be - is off the table when the man falls backwards into the padded bench seat of the booth that he was formerly cowering beneath, coffee-soaked napkins and well-meaning Tide pen left on the table. She’s not exactly sure /how/ she’s supposed to react here, and the confusion on what to do is evident. “Is…” she pushes herself up on her stool a little, peering into the bench where Dirk sits, slipping off to peer closely at him, not touching just yet “Are you okay?”

She’s going through the signs of a stroke in her head - face drooping, arm weakness, speech difficulty, and call the paramedics ASAP - thinking that’s what might have happened. Or dizziness. Or lack of conscience for spilling hard-to-find coffee all over Agnes’ clean booth.

Sahara's all for being a good samaritan when she can, but this latest batch of behavior from Dirk has her flinch back in a startled jolt, pen and all. A whole strand of hair comes loose from her messy bun, framing the side of her face and hazel eyes filled with alarm.

Something unusual has happened just now. Something not natural. Was it Isis? …Was it Dirk?

For her own sanity, she immediately jumps to mentally blaming him over her acquaintance. "Joanne, honey, are you all right?" She offers a hand out to Isis, her concern for her paramount and firm.

The wave of nausea had him doubled over and the swirl of his vision crossing over into a somewhere else is dizzying. When he opens his eyes again, he’s not where he left off. “I…” Dirk stops, that’s not his voice. Then he starts as he sees his own body across from him. Bringing a hand into view, he studies it for a moment, breathless and awestruck. Slowly figuring out what has happened.


Holy fucking freaky Friday, the first thoughts that come into his head. Then, ‘Jo’ beams at Sahara. “I’m… we need to go now!!” (S)he scrambles out of the booth, grabbing onto the other woman’s arm. “I just remembered I have somewhere to be.”

Dirk’s chin goes up, eyelids fluttering away the last of the disorientation and gaze settling on Cassandra, all under the puppet mastery of Isis stuck inside the foreign body. “Hm? Yeah I mean-” Isis-in-Dirk looks sharply back at the rightful fleshy vessel that is starting to spout excuses to leave. At first there’s a glimmer of relief - the stranger is playing along… righ-

Even in her unsettled delirium she can’t muster up the foolish optimism to continue that thought. There’s throaty cough as Isis tries to adjust to the new body’s lower vocals. “That answers the question about the pie, eh, ladies?” The male body among them moves to scoot out of the booth and stand, making a little gesture towards the table. “Y’all are so kind to ask about me though. Come on, no rush. Next coffee is on me.” Isis-in-Dirk keeps eyes carefully trained on the redhead, literally not letting the female form out of sight.

Cassandra takes a big step back. And then a second one, getting as close to her bag as she can, putting the stool in front of her, looking from Dirk to Isis to Sahara and wondering, exactly, what the hell she just walked into. Dirk scrambling out of the booth elicits a squeak from the brunette, Cassandra actually moving to put the counter between herself and the man, finding a spot to stand that’s out of the way which is normally where Agnes takes her breaks. It’s a little spot with a part of the counter that swings up - thankfully up right now - that she can stand in, watching.

“….” Cassandra looks to Agnes who, in her years at the Night Owl, has seen some shit, let me tell you. At least that’s the expression the other woman is giving. “I think I’m going to get mine to go.”

The bright bubble of Sahara's demeanor pops. Something slice has happened and she's not a fan, nor willing to deal with it. When 'Isis' insists they need to leave, holding onto her like that, all she does is nod. She's got her girl's back, and it's clear she doesn't want to be anywhere near 'Dirk' after what just happened. It's time for them to leave and regroup.

"No, thank you, we'll be on our way. We've got business to see to." Sahara's voice is is polite with an edge; falsely warm and openly curt. She positions herself between 'Isis' and 'Dirk' to prevent any more brushes from occurring, sure to keep an arms-length away from 'him' now. "Jo, can you grab my coat and the folder? We'll get out of here." To wherever was needed — most likely back to Sahara's place.

Dirk-in-Isis is more than happy to comply with Sahara’s request. “Try to be nice to a homely little man…” She mutters as she quickly gathers her friend’s things. Then, she’s edging toward the entrance of the diner, feeling her pockets for whatever’s inside: phone, wallet, anything that can help her determine her next course of action.

If there’s one thing that Dirk is keenly aware of, it’s just how far up the ladder he’s climbed when it comes to swapping bodies.

“Toodle-loo~” Is the last thing that Isis can hear her own body saying as it exits the diner without another look backward. Dirk is counting on Sahara to protect him from that coffee spilling letch and plans to make the most out of the headstart he has.

Robyn is never going to believe this.

Sahara’s icy etiquette has Isis-in-Dirk slack-jawed. “Wait, but-but-…” Aaaannnnnddd there they go, moving away from the stuttering stud making a move on three lovely ladies. Swing and a miss!

“Toodle-loo?! Who even says that?!” Dirk’s male voice has almost reached a pitch that Isis feels accustomed to as it reaches higher and higher in distress. On the outside it sounds and looks much like the tantrum of a man-child whose been snubbed. But, on the inside - that’s her body walking out the friggin’ door and everyone is looking at her-… no, no, him like a mental hospital escapee! Male hands start fondling one’s self all around, finally brandishing… a wallet! This is not Isis’s first rodeo, and if she doesn’t want to draw too much more attention, Dirk’s wallet is going to pay for the trouble.

Isis-in-Dirk looks pointedly at Cassandra. “Doppleganger do you know m-?” But Agnes is shaking her head. Dirk’s mouth screws up to one side and the man-face looks painfully constipated - pent up with frustration and confusion. “UGH!” He throws up his hands in total woman fashion and hurries for the door. Outside the large paned windows, lit by the garrish neon, the man’s form can be seen looking here and there before jogging down the sidewalk.

That leaves Cassandra half behind the counter, Agnes looking incredulously at Dirk and company as they flee from the Night Owl. “Vince!” She yells into the kitchen. “We've got dine and dashes going on!” The server wheels on Cassandra, a thick-necked man barging past in pursuit.

“So, honey. How about a slice of pie?”

With an offer like that, how could Cassandra refuse?

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