Job Hunting


lynette4_icon.gif miles2_icon.gif

Scene Title Job Hunting
Synopsis It's a bit easier when you went on a dimension-hopping adventure with the owner.
Date March 6, 2019

The Benchmark Center

Inside the Benchmark Center is a calm, comfortable waiting room. Paintings of oceans and beaches decorate the walls above plush seating and wide coffee tables. There's a receptionist at the front desk, chatting with Lynette as she gathers up some paperwork. And files things. There are computers here, but it seems like she doesn't want to depend too much on them. Which, given the state of the Safe Zone, is perhaps understandable.

Background music plays lowly overhead. It's also soothing and not terribly intrusive. But it breaks up the silence of the room.

The door opens somewhat slower than one might expect a door to open, and there’s a face that looks in from the small opening. Well, maybe at Benchmark the door opens more slowly than other places since one could imagine that many people who come here would be doing it somewhat reluctantly, or having some difficulty. However, that’s not why Miles is here today, thankfully for him.

“Hey,” he says as he finally steps in, though he doesn’t quite let the door close behind him just yet. “I saw something about…”

He trails off when he actually sees Lynette. His eyes widen just slightly in obvious surprise, and he shakes his head just slightly, as though trying to clear it. “Damnit,” he murmurs, “that’s never not going to be weird.” It’s quiet enough that while it has probably been heard, it could easily be ignored. She probably has heard weirder things said in this room before. “Um, a job,” he continues, a little more loudly.

Lynette straightens up when the door opens, but when she sees Miles there, she smiles warmly. More warmly than one would for a complete stranger, certainly. It is true that people often say strange things in this room and, indeed, many rooms in this building, and Lynette seems to be able to roll with it. Or rather, ignore it for his sake. So, when he gets his original thought out, she acts like that's the only thing he said at all.

"Oh, yes," she says, sliding a drawer closed and setting her stack of paper on the receptionist's desk. "We have some positions open," she says, circling around the desk to come his way. "Did you have one in mind?" She nods for him to follow as she heads for a hallway, with an almost conspiratorial tint to it.

So nice of you, Lynette! Miles certainly appreciates it, as evidenced by the actual shutting of the door, with him on the inside, rather than the out. There’s just a tiny hesitation when she motions toward the hallway, but he came here for a reason, and so he does start to follow, sticking a hand in his pocket and looking around a little bit as he goes.

“Security,” he says as they walk. “I know I’m not that big but I have a unique skill set that would probably make me pretty useful.” He doesn’t quite say what the skillset is yet, but he’s probably getting there. “How many people are in this place?” he asks after another moment, pausing to look at something or other on the wall before he continues on with her.

"Depends on the day," Lynette says, her tone dry, "But we usually have about twenty residents. There are others coming in and out for appointments or groups, which I'm told is the main security concern." She's told. Once they're far enough into the hall to be free of ears, she reaches over to put a hand on his shoulder. "It's good to see you," she says, which probably gives away the game and that she did actually hear his odd muttering. But also, it's not all that odd to see. "We haven't see many of the others yet. My office is here," she says, pushing open a door to let him into a large room with a much fancier desk than the front. But also, a small collection of seating. Which is where she goes. "Have a seat, if you like." She does, dropping into a plushy chair.

“Oh, okay. Got it.” Miles might have said something else — or maybe he wouldn’t have — but when she puts a hand on his shoulder and says that, he looks over at her again, and he blinks, just staring at her for a few moments. “Wait,” he says, “you died.” Or at least, he thought she died. “I thought you were another you.”
He just stands there as she opens the door, and it takes him a second, but eventually he does go inside to sit. “So you got through?” he asks once he’s settled in. “It looked like you and your husband got vaporized.”

Lynette makes a noise that is something like a laugh, if a strained one. "We got lost," she says, shaking her head, "I'm not really sure where we were, but it took us a while to make it back. But we're both here. The kids, too." Which is the important part, as far as she's concerned. She lets out a sigh, then smiles crookedly his way, "Sometimes I regret that this place is dry." Down here, anyway. She may have relaxed on the upper floor.

"We've agreed not to cause a ruckus in exchange for the powers that be not asking too many questions about how we made it here. Which is mostly because we don't particularly understand ourselves." Which makes it difficult to answer questions about it, really. She spreads her hands, because that's what you get when you break the universe. "I'm glad you made it. No one seemed sure how many of us all made it through. If you need a job, you've got one. If you need a place to stay, there's apartments on the top floor. I think it might be nice to have some familiar people around while we all… try to settle." It's a weird reality. Probably especially for him.

Miles lets out a laugh as well, but it sounds a lot less strained, if a little wry. “Man, you’re telling me,” he says. “I hit the wall and wound up in Japan. That was a trip. But at least I got back.” A little smile touches his face as he adds, “I’m glad you all made it through, too.” THey may not know each other that well, but an event like the one they experienced together does create a certain bond.

And hey, just like that, he’s hired! “I’m staying with a friend,” he says, “but she’d probably appreciate her own space. I’m kind of annoying.” His smile widens then, “Thank you. I appreciate it.” He pauses, before he admits, “It’s really weird, being here.” As though he’s read her mind. But he doesn’t actually need to be a psychic to agree that it’s weird. “I never thought I’d miss water but yeah. It’s just…weird.”

"Thank you. We're glad, too. Obviously." Lynette lets out a small sigh, but however disappointed she is in herself for stating he obviously, she still looks friendly when she looks back to Miles. It's true that they weren't close, but it is a special situation they went through together. "I'm happy to help. To be in a position to help. We'll pick a start date for you and send you through orientation and the whole nine." Right now is less official, though, and far more lowkey.

"I knew this place would be… less than glittering, let's say," she says with a smirk, "but actually being here is less comforting than I assumed it would be." Her world— one of her, anyway— was a much better place than this one. She didn't have the luxury of regretting that choice when her son was missing, but now she can't help but see all the bits that are… lacking. "It's good that there are some people who understand, though. Who we can actually talk about it with."

God knows it's a bit much, even for a world as clued in as this one.

“Great.” Lowkey is good. Miles has had enough highkey to compose a coloratura aria, and he’ll probably be getting more when he actually starts doing the job, so right now this is nice. “Whenever is good. I’m not exactly a busy bee right now.” It’s said a little dryly, though not pessimistically, since he’s about to have a job and a place! Things are looking up for good old Miles! Or not old Miles. New Miles. Whatever.

He tips his head a little bit to the side when she speaks again, his lips pursing just a bit as though trying to glean more from what she’s said than what she’s actually said. However, after a moment, he just nods. “Yeah. It is.” He reaches up to run a hand through his hair, admitting, “Japan looks better than here. But I’m way too old to learn Japanese, so I guess you’re all stuck with me.”

"I imagine it would be a difficult language," Lynette says with a crooked smile and a tease in her tone. But she doesn't give him too hard a time about it. Mostly because the door slides open and a small girl pokes her head in. Miles has seen Evie before, of course, but she looks more together now. New clothes, color in her cheeks, sparkle in her eye. "Mamí," she says, bumping the door closed behind her as she makes her way in. She carries a sheet of colored paper in her hands, little fingers curled around it tight enough to crinkle the edges of the paper. She pauses when she sees Miles, though, and she notes, "Señor Salto!"

It doesn't seem to occur to her that this wouldn't be the same Miles. But then, four years olds don't generally have to sign NDAs either.

"What is it, little darling?" Lynette asks, taking the girl's nicknames in stride. Most people ended up with one or two during their travels.

What the girl presents, when she turns her drawing around, is definitely the scribblings of a child. It's hard to make out exactly what she was going for, because it looks like a red mass of crayon swirls centered on a wall that is on fire. The fire is easier to recognize. Lynette comes over to crouch next to her, taking the drawing to look at it closer. "Your red lady seems to be in a lot of trouble." She turns it so Miles can see, her expression begging his indulgence. "She has a whole series about this woman made of a cloud."

"She's making things hot now," Evie says, making sure Miles gets the right story, "The wall is in trouble." Duh mom. "She doesn't mean to, but I think she likes it."

Miles looks over and sees Evie, and his eyebrows raise, but he doesn’t question it. If he’d had a kid — god forbid — he probably wouldn’t want her to be very far away from him after what they experienced, either. “Hey, little,” he says, and though he looks slightly confused by the name, he doesn’t question it. Kids, right?

He does look at her picture, and when he does, and sees it explained, his eyes widen. “Oh wow,” he murmurs, and judging from his expression, he can’t be in awe of her drawing abilities. I mean, come on. She’s four. No, it’s something else. “A red cloud woman, huh?” He looks up at Lynette again, and says a little more quietly, as though that would make Evie not be able to hear even though she’s in the same room, “That’s Eve. You know, Eve? Eve?” He puts a finger to his temple and spins it around a couple of times. You know, Lynette. You know. “That’s how she is here. I saw her all red like a cloud of gas. It might be new. I don’t think she can control it that well.”

"Eve? Prophet Eve?" As if there is any other crazy woman he could possibly mean. Lynette blinks, looks at her daughter, then the drawing, then Miles again. "Eve here is definitely a precog— or… was? We haven't seen her since getting back." Her fingers tap against the drawing, falling into thought. But Evie doesn't miss the conversation going on over her head. Literally over it.

"Eve!" She squeals the name, hands clapping together. "I met so many Eves! She turned into a big monster," she says, lifting her arms and stomping to demonstrate, "and she was scary." Which did definitely scare the girl at the time, but now it seems to be less so, now that it's just a memory. "She's the red lady!" It's half declaration, half question as she grabs onto Lynette's hand.

Lynette, who seems a little bewildered by the whole thing, really.

"We'll make sure you meet her, little darling," she says, cupping her daughter's cheek, "you'll have to show her your drawings." Have to, just to confirm. She looks over at Miles, her brow furrowing. "Was she okay? Aside from being unsteady in her power. She's— " She doesn't really get through her thought, because she hadn't been sure what ended up happening to Eve after the portal.

“Yeah, Prophet Eve. I don’t know a whole lot of other Eves.” Though more than he’d like, probably. Present company excluded, of course. Not you, Evie. In fact, he looks at little Evie and nods, gesturing to her as though she gets it. “Yeah. She wouldn’t hurt you though.” He pauses, and starts to say something else, but then stops. Maybe he was going to add ‘on purpose,’ or ‘unless you’re helping Vanguard,’ but that’s probably not 4-year old appropriate.

He nods, though, when Lynette asks this. “Yeah. She seemed okay. Crazy as ever, but fine.” There’s another pause then, before he does speak again. “She seemed like she knew me. Not me me. But another me. The me that belonged here.” The last part is admitted a little more tentatively. “That might not be great, right?”

Evie gives Miles a few quick nods, then runs off to climb into the desk chair. She knows where to go for paper and seems to have a stash of art supplies hidden in a drawer. It isn't long before she's doodling away at something else. Lynette hadn't worried about her tendency to draw all the time— she's a kid after all— but she looks a little worried now.

She turns back to Miles when he answers her question, thanking him with a smile. But her expression turns more serious at his next point. "It's strange, isn't it? She knows another you, you know another her. How much is it like knowing the same person?" Such questions have been circling Lynette's mind for years, given all the givens. "You'd think we'd have some answers, with what we've just been through." And yet.

Miles smiles — haha — when Evie starts to draw again. He doesn’t have the same worry as Lynette, obviously. Hey, she’s not his kid. He just sees a cute kid drawing psychic stuff. That’s pretty cool!

However, he does turn back to Lynette when she answers, and he nods. “Yeah,” he agrees. “Is it weird to hope that the other Miles was an antisocial shut-in who had no friends?” Except Eve, apparently. “That would make things a lot easier on me.” His smile twists a little wryly, and he shrugs. “Oh well. I’ll figure it out, I guess. Live to fight another day, right? That’s the important thing.”

That particular hope makes Lynette laugh, just a little bit, just softly. "Only weird in that you have to hope it at all," she says, her voice both sympathetic and amused. "But let's hope we're done with the fighting, at least for a little while. Live to live another day, perhaps."

Her gaze moves to her daughter, and she gives her a gentle smile. "Evie, do you want to come show Miles around? Or are you busy?" She asks the question as if she weren't talking to a child with crayons, but rather like the girl was working over there. The girl looks up, then down at her work, then up again. "This needs more purple."

Lynette glances to Miles, gesturing him toward the door. "We'll bring you back some extra purples, okay? Hold down the fort." To Miles, she adds, "I'll show you around. You can pick a room."

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