Not So Fluffy


kristen_icon.gif russo2_icon.gif

Scene Title Not So Fluffy
Synopsis K and B-Rad talk about life in general and the new episode. Panel building isn't as easy as it looks.
Date February 19, 2011

Studio K — Kristen's Office

Darkness has befallen the hallowed halls of Studio K. It's a Saturday night; most of the non-essential staff have gone home leaving primarily janitors and true workaholics behind. Outside? New York has started to slow down. Thanks to curfew the city that never sleeps has become the city that goes to bed early. Save for those that choose to sleep at work. Or live at work. Or just never leave.

Light creeps out from underneath Bradley Russo's door, indicating one such workaholic. Russo, however, isn't at his desk working. Instead, he's lounging on his couch with his tie wrapped around his forehead like a headband. His suit jacket had been dismissed hours earlier and several buttons on the top of his white dress shirt are left entirely agape.

The host himself has his legs propped up on his coffee table as he stares at the whiteboard hanging on the wall across the room. "Most unbalanced panel ever," he mutters sullenly as he tries to balance the guest list. "Maybe if I get a T-Rex. Do T-Rex's exist? That could balance the fluff we've lined up for next week… that's what it would take. Giant lizard teeth. Or a lot of liquor to take with the sweet." His gaze over to his partner-in-crime as hie eyebrows arch upwards, "You know how long it's been since I've had a whiskey sour? Ages." His grin transforms into something playful and toothy, "Like that time that girl.. the leggy one in grad school did that strip tease on the bar.. " his smile becomes even mroe playful, "…wait… was that you?" he's teasing.

Tilting one heel back on its stiletto point, Kristen tosses an over the shoulder glare at Brad and purses her lips. "Haven't I had enough embarrassment in the last month? Really Brad? I thought we weren't ever going to bring that up again… Especially after the first time you and I had a tequila contest." A smug grin makes itself known as she turns around and places her hands on her hips. "If I remember correctly I drank you under the table that night."

Sauntering over to her desk, the producer grabs a thick stack of papers that have been bound together by temporary notebook binding. The cover is scribbled all over in black marker with different notes and tags for different pages. The pages themselves have been sticky noted for bookmarks. "I'm not sure we shouldn't bring Magnes back, I know he said he's not interested in a television career but… we need the chaotic member of the panel. It's not a good balance without one and you have to admit, Magnes did have a magnetic personality on television."

She flops down on the couch beside the show's host and tilts her head back to close her eyes to the ceiling. K is tired, too tired, and it shows. "My weekend away was just not long enough. Tell me, how's the situation with the dome? Do we have an inside scoop on it? Will your connection to the DEoA help us on that?"

"I wouldn't count on the DoEA for anything. I think the relationship goes the other direction," Brad smirks with a twitch of his lips and a small shake of his head. He issues her a two fingered salute, "And that was a good night for you. I think you made money, right?' With a wink he holds his hands up defensively, nearly expecting to be smacked for his beleaguered jabs. "Just be glad I don't mention— " he runs his fingers across his lips like he's sealing them, zipping them for a later time; the pair have known each other so long, the dirt is generally plentiful on both sides..

"We could bring Magnes back. But we still haven't got a solid idea." Russo essentially pouts as he stares at the whiteboard again. "Without an idea, there's no reason to sucker Magnes into the equation." There's a broader smirk as he leans forward, "Unless we focus on terrorists again. But if we do that it needs to be like Terrorists in the Bedroom: Do You Really Know Who You're Sleeping With. I could come out as a victim of my terrorist family. Magnes could purport to know and be associated with terrorist organizations. And the DoEA can come in and arrest us all— it'll be F-U-N." He sighs and manages a more mischievous smile.

"Why on earth did you take off anyways? You know you secretly love the limelight. Or the money."

"Your sister didn't seem like much of a terrorist to me, at least when I saw her at your grandmother's place." Kristen's busy staring at the ceiling, counting the dots of stipple, seeing if there is just as many in one square inch as there is in another. If there isn't… Dirk might have to get a renovation scheduled. "God I hate stippled ceilings. That needs to be a show, how the generic decorator suckered the American public into their love of stucco and stipple. Whatever happened to decorative crown or tin tiles? Now that is class."

With a long sigh, she rights her head to give a very long look to the white board. "What if we do something completely different? Something that doesn't involve the evolved on a core level… What we need to do is get people caring about other issues." A pen is taken out of the producer's hair and the end tapped against her white teeth rapidly as she thinks. "Education— overdone. Taxes— boring… Everything in the paper centers around this damned dome."

"Yeah… the damned Dome," Brad murmurs in agreement as he tugs the tie from around his head. With a quiet sigh, his head shakes, "Devon called again this week," the words are laboured, strained as his gaze turns upwards. "He has a gun. Or… something." His eyes clamp shut while Russo removes his feet from the coffee table to rest on the floor. With a quiet sigh, his elbows rest on his knees, leaning him forward more. "I told him to avoid using it if he could. I told him that the threat of violence is often enough…" he peeks up from his hands where he'd been hiding his face, "I lied to him. With how everything went down that day I was there… there's no way he hasn't had to use it. And I knew… I knew it was bad advice. But he's a kid, K. He's not some kind of child soldier, he's a kid. He's a scared, vulnerable kid."

Okay. Onto business. His show. "So what else is there? The Dome? The Evolved? I heard a rumour about robots in midtown?"

A hand is softly laid on the closest shoulder and Kristen rubs it in a smooth circle as she gazes out the window in the direction of Roosevelt Island. "He's almost an adult thrown into a situation where he needs to draw on all the strength that he's got. It's not bad advice, it's good advice. It's what's going to give him a reason to think about what he does before he does it." Her lips press into an angry line as she glares at the staff roster written in blue ink on the right hand side of the board. All the names trapped under the dome. Every employee— some that she knows better than others.

"Any word from Kincaid yet?" She avoids the topic change, much like she avoided answering the question about her getaway. "Have you heard anything from him or about him?"

"He's had it rough already… " Russo sighs and turns to face her as the hand finds his shoulder. "It's not fair," he says matter-of-factly, "Not fair at all. I know a lot of people haven't had it easy— " including the woman he looks directly at "— but it's more than that. I've lost a lot. Loss is something…" that he can understand. "…but I'm.. I'm me. Devon.." he shakes his head.

"Nothing from Kincaid. Or.." Ryans. He sighs again. "I made a decision," he mutters quietly. "Maybe." Evidently he's not firm in it.

"Life isn't easy, or fair, or full of chocolate and roses." Kristen's hardened look into Russo's eyes along with the dip in her eyebrows make her look somewhat angry. She's not. But she wants to be. "Life is shit and you do what you can with it. Some people win the lottery with genes or parents or money or intelligence. Others are born screaming and fighting for a piece of the pie. You do the best you can with what you're given, no matter what it is."

Turning away, she closes her eyes and lets out a long breath. The hand that's on his shoulder slips off and runs into her hair, unpinning it from the severe updo with a couple of pulls, allowing her to shake it loose. It unwravels and tumbles down past her shoulders as the pins are tossed onto the table. "What decision did you make?"

There's a stark honesty as he eyes her, Russo's own honesty edged with a sharp anger and harshness to his own features, "I don't want to be used." And that is the truth. "Not anymore. I believe in sacrifice. I grew up believing in sacrificing everything for anyone I care about. I grew up recognizing the power in that. But my family— the one I grew up with— it was all reciprocation. It was received loyalty. Forsake the outsiders. Live for the family." He smirks, "Probably why I was such a mama's boy."

His hands knit together in front of him, "And you know, I ask for little. From anyone. The people I care about, I just expect one thing. And I can't expect it from near strangers who think they understand." And then, as a sidebar and, perhaps an excuse to himself, he considers, "I'm too trusting."

That last comment elicits a smirk from Kristen, "Do what now?" One of the few Southernisms that slips when she's really surprised by something, along with the twang. "Brad, you're anything but. You're too much of a politician to be too trusting. There's a select few, I believe, that you just give and give and giver to but those people are too few and far between. I think you're a sucker for a pretty face… that's for sure… but generally? No. You're not trusting."

Crossing one leg over the other, the producer leans back and lets her gaze drift to the white board rather than on the man she's sitting beside. "Family. I learned those ones are the last to trust a long time ago." There's a distance to her voice. "The difference between you and I, you rely on genes and chromosomes. I make my own family. You are my family. Dirk is my family… There's no one beyond that."

"I'm done with the chromosomes," Brad murmurs quietly as he leans back against the couch, letting himself lounge again like this topic is merely casual, a topic for discussion at the cooler. "And yeah. Too trusting. It was too easy to help. Too easy to glom onto the notion of caring. I need to be… more of a shark."

"You're my family, K. The only one that matters. Everyone else thinks they know me… they don't." Not really. Not who he was. Not who he is and not the way he crashed. No one else saw every phase. No one else saw all of the pain, the spiral, and no one else stuck around. "I'm taking Devon in. After. If they ever get out of the dome."

His throat clears as he glances back to the whiteboard. "So next episode? Something interesting…"

It's difficult for Kristen to turn the grimace of distaste into a weak smile of support for the celebrity. "That's— good— for… you?" It's a question, it really is a question. Not one that necessarily needs to be answered by the way she shakes her head and waves a dismissive hand in regards to the topic. "I mean, it's a wonderful opportunity. For both of you." If Dirk was there, he'd likely tell her it was a fantastic save. In his most sarcastic voice, of course.

She turns fully toward the board and pushes herself to a stand, and as a result— away from him. Again. "The dome is interesting, hits close to home for a lot of people but I'm afraid it's a little too soon for a good story on it. That and the wounds will be too fresh, depending on what's happened in there." A red marker is picked up and DOME is written in one of the taped rectangles on the board. "What do you think about the EUSR thing? Seeing as that's an issue close to your heart now— Do you think America's registration system is a good model for the rest of the world to follow?"

"It is what it is," Brad replies flippantly. "He needs someone or something to figure out what's what. Just time." Time. It's something the host had never given himself after he lost the two most important people to him in one swoop. It's a courtesy he'll lend; one he'll give where he can for awhile.

"Registration is a hot topic. It's still evolved, right? It's still focused, isn't it? And Magnes would be a time bomb in that discussion?" He pushes on his knees to rise to a stand, "Can you imagine?! That guy has an opinion on everything! I mean… honestly…"

"Alright, let's do it. A panel on EUSR.." Writing the capital letters on the board, Kristen begins drawing lines from it writing down a few names beginning with VARLANE at the top. "Okay, we'll need to get Magnes— Definitely. It's something he can really explode on. Who else? Do you think we could get Mayes? You're on good terms with her, aren't you? Let's get a FRONTLINE officer on it too. What do you think about Burton on the topic? Or should we go with a man on the street?"

The list of candidates grows to beyond ten as the producer brainstorms all the possibilities before crossing one or two off the list without consultation. Turning to Russo she gives a small smile and lightly raised eyebrows, "Anyone in particular you'd like on the panel?"

"I could try to get Mayes. She's an odd one." Russo presses his lips together and then adds rather charitably, "Although, arguably anyone who had been around for that Dome fiasco would probably score as odd in my books because the encounter was." His lips purse as he sucks on the inside of his cheek in careful consideration. "Have we gotten global syndication yet? I would love to have someone from one of these countries on panel. Even if they live here…" He shrugs.

His smile eases some as he falls into the routine of his work, there's something wonderfully familiar about the routine. "K? Thanks."

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