My Signing Bonus


abby_icon.gif kelly_icon.gif kristen_icon.gif reuben_icon.gif

Scene Title My Signing Bonus
Synopsis Reuben gets broken in.
Date October 20, 2010

Studio K

«Our first caller, Rooster, told me her name is Misty and she wants to let you know something really important. Says she's got a scoop that you just can't pass up.»

It's 6:45am, Reuben 'Revolting Rooster' Spencer is crowing early on the Live Drive at Five, in the AM that is. Today's topic is How To Tell If Your Kid's Smackin The Refrain Train, something the parents of all evolved children really want to hear as they drive their children to school. Then again, given that Reuben's face is on nearly every bus in the city, his callers aren't as interested in the topic as they are in him.

«Hi! Revolting Rooster? Holy bleep I'm actually on the air? Bleep me hard sideways! I love you Rooster!! I have something totally important to tell you!!»

Yes folks, this is Misty from Newark, New Jersey. You know what they say about girls from Jersey…

Swivelling around in his chair and deliberately wrapping a stray bit of shoestring around his neck, Rooster's hand slaps the call button. "Hello, Miss Joisey," he says with a slightly derisive tone. "Just tell me I didn't knock you or your sister or mother up and we'll leave it at that. I hear that kind of thing is very much a Jersey Thing."

From behind the glass in her booth, Kristen smirks and gives a rather liberal roll of her eyes. Reuben just might be able to see her mouthing, 'whatever' if he's looking hard enough. Although a producer for television now, Kristen's first love has always been radio. When Reuben popped up looking for a new venue, she was quick to snatch him up.

«Oh! Uhm… no, you didn't but…»

She's quick to be cut off by a smiling Kristen, giving the radio host a wink as she cuts in.

«And that's all the time we have this morning. Thanks Misty from Newark, I'm sure Rooster'll be more than happy to hear about those double dees next time!»

"Actually," Rooster cuts in before Kristen is able to kill his mic, "I'm pretty sure Misty was more of a B-Cupwhich I do appreciatebut her mother was more in the D-to-E crowd. Please tell her I said goodbye, since I didn't get to pass that message on the following morning," Rooster says as he backs away from his mike and stands up.

"So, if you kids didn't know already, that's the end of the show because my boss won't let me talk to my one-night stands anymore. As usual, we'll end the show on the perfect outro music, provided by General Public," he says, bringing up his own iTunes playlist and selecting the correct song.
"This little number is called… Taking the day off." Reuben "Revolting Rooster" Spencer took his headset off as the song started to play. He pulled the shoestring a bit tighter around his throat, peering at Kristen through the glass to her booth. "Kristen, could you come in here, please? I think I've found myself in an unsafe work environment," he deadpanned as he mimicked strangling himself with the string.

Tossing her headset onto the console, Kristen pushes herself to a stand and stretches out all of the kinks by lacing her fingers together and pushing them well above her head. It's too early for the woman to be awake and she's fairly certain that she's not going to make a habit out of this. The dark circles under her eyes are telltale of the sleepless night before and as she struts into Reuben's booth, her dark eyes sweep over him in a fairly nonplussed manner.

"Really, Spencer, I'd think if you can make your bed, you can lie in it." Crossing her thin arms over her chest, she purses her lips together and puckers them just enough to complete a rather unimpressed countenance. "We need to go over a format, if we're going to catch a good audience. You got any ideas that you want to pitch?"

Unravelling the shoestring from around his neck and placing one Doc Martened boot on the table in front of him, Spencer begins to thread the string through the holes to lace the item once more. "We should have a theme of 'Wanna see some stuff I'm not supposed to be showing anyone?' or something similar to that," he says, pushing his glasses up onto the bridge of his nose.

"On the whole, though, I'm sure that the theme of the show, in this case at least, is as relevant as the breathalyzer machine in Lindsey Lohan's car. It's just there for appearances. There's no real pattern to what people enjoy, nor is there a pattern to what I enjoy. We wing it. Maybe we can attract more people than Jersey beach trash."

Pinching the top of her nose, Kristen closes her eyes and takes a deep breath. "Reuben…" she starts slowly, "We need a format to capture an audience. Winging it never works, it's shoddy at best and we're not going to win any awards if we can't slip into a niche. And trust me… People enjoy what you tell them to enjoy. They're sheep, they go with the flow." When she finally looks back up at him, there's a bring smile on her face and she's lifted her chin into the haughty position it's usually in.

"Tell you what, I'll buy breakfast if you're up for it. You like muffins?"

"Only if you don't get your granny panties in a big white bunch when I cover mine with maple syrup and butter," he says. "I usually eat cold pizza for brekkie-times. Good early morning carbs, if I'm ever up in the morning."

Grabbing his favorite faded orange denim jacket from the coat hanger in the office outside, he smoothed out his dark hair and looked out a nearby window. "If you want a set theme, you're welcome to try using that bleeding heart political shit that I was doing in college, though I'd rather get a paycheck in or two before I get fired for it. Rent isn't cheap in Queens. So, where're we going for these orgasmic muffiny treats?"

"There's a muffin shop downtown, since curfew's lifted we're good to go now. Otherwise I'd have had some here before we started this morning." Kristen waves off the very notion of Reuben getting fired with a quick smile and a flick of her wrist. "And Reuben… you keep me happy and you keep your job. Simple as that."

Stepping back into the production booth, she flips a few switches to power down the equipment and turn all the control back to the various stations that have already bought the program. "God I love syndication… Makes everything so much easier when you don't have to buy all the equipment. Just dial in a program and you're good. to. go."

Oh So Sweet

The cool morning breeze slips into the the little shop like an overexcited four year old on a five-hour sugar binge. Reuben and Kristen saunter in, the breeze ruffling their clothes, the menus on the tables and the loose napkins that simply weren't stuffed in their respective shiny metal boxes the right way. "You ever wonder why a breeze just won't catch a shapely waitress under the skirt and lift it up to her stomach like it always does in movies?" Reuben asks loudly to the restaurant, attracting many stares. "Real life sucks, people. You heard it here," he says, turning to Kristen. "Let's find a seat before the next person walks in. Maybe we'll get lucky and see some bluebirds."

Taking off his wool knit cap and stuffing it into his jacket, he takes a seat in the lovely corner table, inching his way to the edge of the seat and peeking out into the aisle. "Yeah, good vantage point. So does this place only serve muffins, or does it, like, serve real food, too?"

"Dunno, actually… Only ever saw muffins come out of this place." The producer is distracted by unwinding the scarf from around her neck and folding it neatly into a square and placing it in the empty chair beside her. Taking the seat across from Reuben, she stares at the display cases for a little while with the look of a dog show judge on her face. The snooty expression likely does nothing for her fine featured appearance, her structure not suited to scowls as much as smiles. C'est la vie.

Kristen's gaze falls to a neatly arranged case of tarts and the parenthesis around her mouth smooth out. A more pleasant expression crosses her face as she points to the case, "You like cherry tarts, right? And not in the metaphorical sense."

Perhaps unfortunately, the next person to walk in does so not long after Kristen and Reuben, and it just so happens to be Kristen's slightly older sister. There's the usual glance around the room to find a table before she sees Kristen. With a man. A strange man. Her own expression perfectly blank, as usual, she heads right on over to their table. "Kristen," she says, nodding to her sister before studying the stranger, clearly sizing him up, probably in case he hurts her sister.

People line up at refrigerated counter, a college kid shuffling out pastries as fast as they can and muffins to the commuters who have come in, or the people just out for an early morning breakfast before heading off to work. Croissants both normal and chocolate filled, danishes, turnovers, muffins and even a tart that looks to quite possibly be individual little quiches of bacon, eggs, and cheese. Niklaus's eye and that of the others who work here ensure that it all looks inviting and makes the stomach yearn for more.

The massive copper machine that is behind the bar works overtime by a flaming redhead who quite possibly could have used a few more hours sleep a bucket of advil works the machine scratching off orders as she goes with her pencil. When Kristen and Reuben take their seat, Abigail's there slim blonde, hair back and some curls having already escaped, having turned and made the few steps from another table where a businessman has placed his order. One hand on a hip of her denim skirt, the other to her side and a tired smile on her face when Kelly join the table. Her long sleeved raspberry shirt proudly proclaims the name of the shop they're in.

"Welcome to Oh So Sweet, the special this morning is the chocolate stuffed Croissant, and we have a salted caramel hot chocolate. My name is Abigail" She's looking Kristen when she says it, realizing who it is. "What can I get y'all"

Ignoring the taller, leaner, meaner-looking woman's gaze, Reuben immediately seizes hold of the discussion. "I'll have Soylent Green, Soylent Blue and some Soylent Coleslaw," he says, looking at the waitresses' hindquarters before looking up at the back of her head. "Hold the Heston. Failing that, I'll have a cherry tart, an orange tart and your phone number." His eyelashes bat themselves prettily.

"I'll jus— " Interrupted by the ring of her phone, Kristen holds a finger up to Abby to keep her there while she chit chats. A brief smile is passed onto Kelly before the thin brunette pushes herself out of her chair and sashays a few tables away. Lifting her head away from the earpiece, she clears her throat to garner a bit of attention as she pulls a few napkins out to write on. "I'll have a coffee, black, and something low carb. And low fat."

A small grunt of frustration is given off as the producer scribbles a few furious little notes onto one of the napkins and shoves it into her pocket. Flicking her finger quickly over the keypad of her phone, she ends the call and makes her way back to the table shared with Reuben and Kelly. "Kelly, Reuben, Reuben, Kelly… and this is Abigail, I think she goes by Annie for short though… might be some southern thing. You know, like they call all brothers bubba and all sisters sissy…"

"Black coffee, bran muffin," Kelly says without looking to Abby, continuing her study of Reuben before looking back to Kristen. "You gave a longer introduction to the waitress than your sister. Interesting," she says in a tone as bland as her expression, before she pulls out a chair and settles down into it, without waiting for an invitation.

"The Waitress also called her show 'little' because she had never watched it before. She couldn't forgive me and sent me two tickets to the show. Also. it's not Annie, but I can see how you came by that. I thought about framing that note. Thank you for it. It warmed my heart to be thanked for working through the night to make those muffins" Abby smiles to Reuben and Kelly, offering her hand out to them. "Abigail, Abby, Mrs Caliban. Take your choice. In other words Reuben, you just asked for the number of a married woman. and a felon" First the wedding ring is flashed with it's plain gold band, then the GPS tracker that sits blockily and snug on her ankle.

"One bran muffin, two tarts cherry and orange, two cups of black, and a death sentence for flirting. I'm sorry but we don't carry soylent… green or soylent blue but I can look into it and see whether our head chef can make it for you. Coleslaw is out as well, we just serve breakfast pastries in the morning and dessert at night." Reubens run afoul of one of the last rocky reefs of ignorance when it comes to most things pop culture.

Smiling wider than a cheshire cat with lockjaw, Reuben takes Abby's hand and shakes it briefly. "A ring is jewelry, but hey, I'd like to keep the popular parts of my anatomy, so I hope you'll ignore my attempt," he said, leaning back in his seat and fixing a gaze on Kelly. "Why are you looking at me like I'm a known pedophile sitting at the playground with my hand shoved down the front of my pants?"

Suddenly, as if remembering something, he turns back to the waitress. "Ohh, I almost forgot. Do you have, like, English black breakfast tea or Earl Grey? If so, could I grab some of that?"

A blank stare is what Kristen gives Abby before the corners of her lips turn up into a pathetic attempt at an appeasing smile. "Well then… that's just… great! Glad you're … " Searching for something, she focuses on the ring and widens her smile even more, managing to actually look sincere. "… married! Isn't that every little girl's dream. So…" and she's searching again, "… did you have a big white wedding with five hundred relatives?"

She waits for just a moment for Abby's answer while inching ever closer to Kelly, reaching under the table, she grabs the other woman's knee in some little sister signal of 'red alert, danger will robinson danger, fire in the hole'. "Kelly… the reason why Abigail required a longer introduction is because you're so — You." Big smile with shiny white teeth, "Besides, we're sitting together, I'm sure you can fill Reuben in on how you like to sleep with snakes. He might even volunteer."

"You're having breakfast with my little sister and I don't know you," Kelly says to Reuben with a shrug. "Trying to judge if you're going to be someone I'll have to kill for hurting her or not." A lot of older siblings say things like that, but Kelly means it. The squeeze to her knee has her looking at Kristen, a brow arching slightly. "I told you, Bob sleeps in his cage. I only sleep with two legged men."

Though here she does give Reuben a second, more considering look. "He is attractive though." And then she addresses the man directly. "What do you think? Want to volunteer?"

"If I was a little girl maybe. I'm just a pyromorph. Everything here is literally baked by me" Choke on that Kristen. "I got both Reuben. You tell me what you want, I'll get you a pot and don't worry, I won't tell Robert you tried. Lesser men have failed" No answer to the white wedding question, Abigail just turns and heads off to go input drink orders, fill them, and gather the necessary food that everyone ordered after Reuben lays down which tea he prefers of course.

"Absolutely," he deadpans flawlessly to Kelly's request. "Maybe while we're at it, you can show me how many ways you can kill a man with just your little finger. I'll bring along my assorted works of Ed Gein and we can have some liver with fava beans and chianti," he says, flashing a wide smile before looking over at Kristen. "So, your sister! Can I just call you two sugar and spice, or would that be presumptuous of me?"

"And for the tea, I'd like Earl Grey. One sugar with no milk," he says, visibly watching Abby as she walks away, then turning back to the snake lady and his boss. He opens his mouth to say something to Kelly, then turning directly to Kristen. "Maybe we could bring your sister on the show. She could stare at the microphone and we could have the creeped out people call in."

Having just lifted her mug to her lips, Reuben's suggestion of having Kelly on the show has the effect of a spray of coffee going out her nose and mouth in all directions. "Zombie Christ… Reuben!" She fumes as she grabs a nakpin and begins cleaning off her white shirt. It's too early in the morning to be covered in coffee stains already. Pulling a few bills out of her pocket, she tosses them on the table and gets up to head to the ladies.

"Coffee's great Cr— Abby, I'll recommend it to everyone I meet." Her little almost slip is peppered with a sweeter smile, the gentile kind learned by all Southern Belles, "And the orphans did appreciate your muffins. I would have saved them for our audience but we didn't film for another four days after you sent them over… So…" Clicking her tongue, she stalks off.

The spittake has Kelly looking back at her sister and arching a brow, then looking down to her clothes to make sure they didn't get coffee on them, then back up to her sister. "So we won't be having sister time today?" she asks before cocking her head and looking back to Reuben. "I was thinking we'd just just have sex, but if you want the kinky stuff too…" She trails off and shrugs.

Somewhere, there is a tide to go pen being shuffled around and the flaming red head entering into the bathroom not long after Kristen to pass it over to help with her little clothing issue. "I'm sure you will" A wave off to Kristen and the blonde owner carries on with getting the food order done for their table and the adjacent ones.

Nodding casually to Kelly, he calls after Kristen as she runs off to the bathroom. "Is she part of my signing bonus or something?"

After a few moments of silence, Reuben apparently took that as affirmation. "Yeah, sex with my new boss's sister sounds like an absolutely A1 plan. My pelvic tilt is much smoother and has a better rhythm after I've eaten, so we can do that afterwards if you want." He picked up a menu, despite already having ordered his food, deliberately putting the menu up and blocking her line of sight to his face.

"I'm not part of any bonus. I'm just not shy about natural needs like food, sleep and sex," Kelly says with a shrug. "And other than trying to tease me about sleeping with snakes, who I sleep with is none of her business, or vice versa." Despite the whole threatening to kill him thing a few minutes before which had everything to do with him sleeping with Kristen. "What kind of show do you do, though?"

Here she comes again, balancing small plates just so. Something for everyone at the table, and a plate settled with a pot of hot water, the twinnings tea, tarts, these set down in front of Reuben. The bran muffin with a few small jars of varying jellies are put down in front of Kelly with a smile and then a chocolate croissant, placed right where Kristen would sit. "anything else, let me know okay?"

"I wave my dick around in front of a microphone for four hours," comes the almost bored-sounding voice from behind the menu. Eventually, it was lowered to reveal a facial expression that matched the voice. "It's a variety show. We talk about anything and everything. I play local music in between segments where I or whomever I manage to drag into the studio talk about local events going on, popular culture, politics, stuff like that."

As the nibbles are brought about, Reuben nods at the waitress as the tea is placed before him. "Ahh, good ol' Picard's favorite. So yeah, I did the same thing in college until I got fired for publically humiliating the Dean of Admissions on my show, once. Still, he really did send his son to a Catholic Gay Camp twice. Lousy prick of a man." A pause as he sips his tea and takes a bite of his cherry pastry. "So, what do you do, Spice?"

"I'm fine, I'll just want the check shortly," is given to Abby with a nod, the jellies pushed to one side. "And Kristen's your boss? Interesting," Kelly says, glancing in the direction said boss took off to. She takes a sip of her coffee then shrugs. "I work security for the Corinthian Hotel," she answers which, while true, sort of, is only partially true. "But I'm probably not a good choice for your show, which my sister is well aware of, hence her incident with her coffee."

"Can do" Abigail murmurs, glad to see that everything seems in order, at least for now, and swings away to go tend to the other customers and help out at the counter.

"Well, you'd be one of the few guests. I finished my second week of shows just this morning and so far the only people I've managed to drag into the studio are folks who don't have jobs or don't care about their jobs. I'm actually thinking of moving the show to evenings, since I'm more awake during that time and more people like myself are also waking up," he said, sucking some cherry filling off of his fingertips.

"In any case, you should come around sometime, tell us about people you've snuck in the back door or tossed out the front. May even be worth a few laughs, you never know."

"Maybe. It might be…interesting," Kelly allows with a shrug as she starts to work on her muffin, eating it neatly enough it's a surprise she doesn't cut it with a knife and eat it precise piece by precise piece. "What sort of people would you like to have on the show if you had your pick of anyone?" she asks, looking back up to Reuben.

"Anyone? Mahatma Ghandi because it'd just be funny to listen to him talk. Martina Topley-Bird because I badly want her to have my children," he says, eyebrows arching. "Seriously, with a honey-coated voice like hers, she could read me the transcripts from the least interesting CSPAN programming and I'd be hers for life. Tricky, because he's amazing and Matt Berry, because he's the funniest Englishman I know of next to Richard Ayoade."

Kelly shakes her head at the first name. "I meant live people. People who could conceiveably be on your show," she explains. "But just interesting people. Not necessarily political or talented people, just people listeners will be interested in. I'm sure Kristen can find you plenty of people once she gets into your show."

Reuben shrugs. "I don't know anybody in town, and I'd rather not have people from work come on the show because they've all got their own agendas. I want people that have a good head on their shoulders and like to have more fun than seriousness in their lives. New York is one of those cities where everybody knows everybody and nobody all at the same time. I could have my next big show sensation living one floor down from me in my apartment building for Christ's sake, though I don't think that's a possibility—my fellow tenants don't like me that much, so they're likely not interested on going on a radio show that's disturbingly popular with the New Jersey crowd."

"It's true. There are connections hand in hand with anonymity. It's odd, but it seems to work for the people here. Or in most large cities for that matter," Kelly agrees, nodding. "But if you want people who have fun, then you don't want me on your show. It's been ages since I had any sort of real fun."

"Well, sex is fun," Reuben says loud enough to cause a few heads to turn. "Other than being an amazing way to futher one's own genetic longevity or pick up an extra welfare check, people mostly boogie down purely for shits and giggles."

"So, what you're telling me here," Reuben says, aptly changing the subject, "is that you haven't had any real fun in a long time. Okay, I'll buy that. Either you're really lousy in bed," he says, raising one finger with each item he 'ticks' off, "or you haven't gotten laid in a long time, or you're a creature of habit and playing a round or two of Sheet Shuffling is just another way of you satisfying another habit, like eating a spoonful of ice cream before bed doing your toenails each week in different colors.

He leans back in his seat, the meal almost forgotten as he centers his gaze on Kelly's face. "So what do you say, Spice, am I in the ball park?"

"I've had sex, but, while enjoyable, I don't really consider it fun," Kelly says with another shrug. "So none of the three. It's satisfying a need, but not just. Fun to me would involve laughing or smiling, not moaning and screaming. But is that the sort of fun-loving you wanted for your show? I expected more fun-loving in general."

"Fun depends on your definition," he says, signalling for a doggy bag while speaking. "Some might say that going home with your boss's sister for a Good Ol' Fashioned Fluid Transfer would be fun while some might say it's risky and idiotic. NASCAR fans think that watching a lot of cars burn loads of gasoline going around in two hundred circles is fun. Dogs, for instance, think that running and retreiving a sick after some mongoloid chucks it is fun," he says, taking the bag from the silent waitress and packing his breakfast up as he finishes his tea.

"So, were you serious about going back to your place, or am I finishing my breakfast after I have a four hour nap at my place?"

"True," Kelly allows with a nod of her head. "But then, in general, people are insane. Their insanities simply differ." She finishes her coffee and lips curve upward in a faint smile. "I was serious. I rarely joke, especially about having sex with an attractive man. Two-legged snake or not." She rises to her feet then and tilts a head towards the door. "Shall we?"

"Sure, why not?" he says, getting up and tipping the waitresses as well as leaving Kristen a briefly scribbled note as well as last will and testament. "As long as you don't bring the snake with you to bed, I think this may be kinda fun," he said, opening the door for her to walk out into the cold morning air. "Not funny ha-ha, funny ooh la la."

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