marlowe_icon.gif monica2_icon.gif

Scene Title Professionalism
Synopsis Marlowe finds support after a rough night. Bruises are discussed, physical and emotional. Drunken emails are composed.
Date July 5, 2018

Cresting Wave Apartments: Marlowe's Apartment

Marlowe had said that she was going to a free concert over at Brooklyn College. Because hell yeah, it was free, it was a concert, and it was at a college. A few hours of music and dancing and getting out of the workspace to free one’s mind. Because it was Independence Day. But she’s returned early and gone to the Cresting Wave rather than to Otomo’s medical suite. Maybe to change clothes and grab a shower as she might be wont to do with having just come back from a concert. But instead, Marlowe’s sitting on her spacious couch, a hand with fingers splayed pressing gingerly to her lip and cheek.

Her hair’s a mess, bits of grass stuck in the ends, extensions unwoven and frayed. But she’s not concerned about that part of her person so much as her face. The swollen welt on her cheek gets a light touch, and she hisses. She stands, moving away to the kitchen, intent on getting some ice into a bag. She catches her reflection in one of the mirror shine finishes of an appliance and she stops, backs up, and looks again at herself.

“Damnit,” she swears under breath, holding back the wet shine that springs up in her eyes and recomposes herself. “Damn it.” She turns, opening one of the drawers in the kitchen island and plucks out a small makeup bag stashed there, extracting the compact and opening it up. The puff gets a quick dabbing in the powder, then it’s dabbing onto her face, trying to cover the bruise.

While Marlowe heads for the kitchen, she misses the shadow flipping down onto her balcony. Or when it slips through her backdoor and follows her through the apartment. Lucky for her, though, it's just Monica that leans against the entrance to the kitchen.

"Do you keep makeup in every room or is it just that the kitchen is so shiny?" Monica steps closer, giving her a look over before she moves to get the ice herself. "Come on, sit down. It'll be easier to cover up once the swelling's down." Usually, this situation is reversed. Monica comes home beat up and Marlowe takes care of her. But taking care of bumps and bruises is an old skill of hers, so Monica steps into the role easily. "Must have been some concert."

Too tired from the aftermath to even make a squeak, Marlowe only reacts with the typical gasp of someone who’s been caught off guard in the privacy of their home. She should be used to Monica being able to flip her way down by now, and she normally is. Tonight’s just an off night. “Of course I have something in every room,” she replies with a final smoothing of the powder, “It’s a matter of being fabulous at every angle, any time, any place. Never know when you’ll meet someone, you know?” But at Monica’s approach, she tries to lean her face away to avoid her friend’s discerning eye.

With a sigh, Marlowe moves over to the dining table and plops onto a chair. “It wasn’t. Well, no, I mean, they sounded great, but… something happened.” Well duh. She pulls out her phone, the screen sticky from a hasty wiping off of beer and bearing a spider-web cracking of the glass from having fallen on it at some point. But it turns on, and it functions. It’s almost absentmindedly that she takes a minute, as Monica is putting an ice pack together, to brush her fingers over the cracked screen. Small, blue-white arcs of energy zip over the phone’s screen as it smoothes back together like new. The golden irises are just beginning to fade back to brown when she looks back towards Monica, the shine of tears glistening at the corners of her eyes.

"I appreciate your dedication," Monica says. Monica, who probably has no makeup in her apartment at all. Maybe a tube of mascara at the back of a drawer somewhere. She wraps ice in a towel, twisting the cloth closed around it before she comes over to the table. She pulls a chair over to sit next to her friend, and puts a hand on the good side of her face before pressing the ice against the welt. Her touch is gentle, more gentle than one might expect, but she doesn't want to hurt Marlowe any worse than she already is.

"You should open one of those mall kiosks, fixing people's phone screens. You'd make a killing," she says, even if the joke lacks a certain something. It's the tears. She wasn't expecting to see them forming in Marlowe's eyes, and her tone is laced with concern. "Hey, hey. You're safe now," she says, to reassure her first. "Tell me what happened."

"And you haven't been using the foundation powder I left up in your drawers," Marlowe points out knowingly. If Monica checked in her drawers in the apartment upstairs, she'd likely find where Marlowe has stashed some emergency makeup for use too. After all, what would Public Relations be without a bit of contouring. But she's quiet up until the first touch of cold against her bruised cheek, the wince slight. And there's a few cuts and scratches from fingernails that will take a bit to heal.

The wince shifts to a smile briefly at the woman's joke, appreciative either way. "Excuse you, who do you think I am, working a mall kiosk?" No, she's much too proud being a fixer of much more expensive screens for Yamagato. Like if Kay gets a little rough with the glass desktop in her office sometimes, when Monica's on assignment.

But, appearances aside, Marlowe takes in another breath and swallows hard. "At the concert. Something… or someone, could have been an empath, got the crowd riled up. And I got angry." But that's not what's concerning her, as she rubs a knuckle on the corner of her eye. "And, I got in this fight because I thought this lady had thrown her beer… got her pinned, and my hands were on her throat." Her next breath hitches, then steadies. "I could have really hurt her. It felt like I wanted to hurt her."

"I sure haven't," Monica says with a chuckle. "Which drawer did you put it in?" It's possible that Monica doesn't know what to do with foundation powder and she certainly doesn't know how to contour. "Sorry," she says at the wince, "it'll be better in a minute." Expert opinion there.

"I'm just saying, it could be some easy money." Not that they have malls anymore. Or kitchy phone accessories. Or phones, in some cases. She's quiet, though, to listen to Marlowe explain what happened. Her brow furrows, her lips draw into a frown, and she drops a hand to Marlowe's shoulder to give her a squeeze. "That must have been awful," she says eventually. "It wasn't your fault, Mar," she adds, because she knows what comes after an experience like that— after the loss of control and your own mind. "Someone did that to you and to her, it wasn't you two doing that to each other. Okay?"

“I don’t know, Moni,” Marlowe says softly, head shaking, “that was some really fucked up action. It was like, everything I’ve been stressing out on just came out and I took it out on her. And what’s really crazy? She works here.” Dark eyes drop to the table top, shoulders stiffen as she fights down the knot in her throat. Her next words are tight, quiet, restrained. “I hope she’s okay.” Because Marlowe’s shaken, at least.

She closes her eyes tightly in spite of the dull pain, a hand pressing the ice pack a little harder as if the cold would numb the flush of hot that rises to her cheeks. Moments pass, silence filing in where there might have been a sob otherwise. Then finally she speaks for her own distraction, “There’s at least one compact in the second left drawer in your bathroom, Moni, come on…” She smiles forcibly. “Don’t tell me you don’t even put on a little bit when you go out to see Richard? You are not showing up at Raytech ashy.” That would be tragic. Outrageous.

"That is not the recommended way to meet your coworkers," Monica helpfully points out. "She'll be fine, Marlowe. And so will you. Nothing a few days won't fix. But my recommendation is to find one of the therapists, talk to them a little. Having yourself influenced like that isn't easy on you. And here we have the resources to help deal with it. Not like the old days."

The old days where a freedom fighter had to bury it and carry on.

"This is why you agree to feed Foggy, isn't it? To try to put dresses into my closet and makeup into my bathroom. I understand now." Monica is good with distraction. She shakes her head, although it's clear her annoyance is only in jest. "First of all, Richard has seen me at a lot worse than just not having makeup on. And second of all, Marlowe, I woke up like this," she says with a gesture to her face. "How do you even know about Rich anyway?"

Nodding, Marlowe takes the recommendation for therapy in. “And maybe it’ll head off a lawsuit, if one’s coming,” she murmurs with a shift of the ice pack to a different section of soreness on her face. But distractions being welcome as they are, has Marlowe back to slyly smiling around the pack and swollen lip. “Ah, you’ve figured out my master plan, Dawson-san,” she laughs, leaning back in her chair.

“And you’re damn right I know about ‘Rich’, girl.” The woman’s still mostly impeccably shaped brows lift at her friend, knowingly. “Who do you think monitors the tracer in your arm to make sure you’re safe? And there’s been a few unusually timed spikes in your vital stats data, is all.” Marlowe waves a hand in dismissive gestures, like Monica shouldn’t worry too much about it. That Yamagato is directly linked to her every move, practically. Maybe literally. “But don’t worry, the data points are collected into an overall summary on the reports, not anything specific.”

Monica looks, for a moment, like she hadn't really considered the implications of the fact that her arm tracks her whereabouts and her vitals and that things like having sex at your friend's company building would definitely give away a few things. Like the fact that you sometimes have sex at your friend's company building. But instead of feeling something like concern, she seems mostly amused. Probably because the person paying attention to those vitals is a friend.

"I need alcohol," she says with a laugh as she gets up, "and so do you. Your night was totally ruined." She moves back into the kitchen, digging around in the fridge until she finds— "Oo, plum wine." She pulls out the bottle and a pair of glasses and comes back to the table. She takes a moment to pour them each a generous glass before she sits again. Or speaks again. "Well, I'm glad to know there's not some algorithm to detect the cause for spikes in my vitals, I guess. Or the whole engineering department would be whispering whenever I walked by." And hopefully Yamagato doesn't keep a record of her every move. Some of those are proprietary.

Perhaps because the only one who actually pays attention to anything that the hardware sends back is Marlowe, with Jiba’s help, there’s little to be particularly concerned about. For the moment. Marlowe nods in agreement, voicing a “God, yes” about needing alcohol. It might just be that her fridge is stocked more with various bottles in shapes, sizes and flavors than food. But she does have food too, though it’d require prep.

“Grab the soju too,” she indicates of one of the larger green bottles with Korean lettering. Once drinks are poured, Marlowe reaches over to hook fingers around her glass. “It’s only there to make sure you’re okay,” she says a little quieter and into the glass rather than looking at Monica. “There was worry, at the beginning, that your body would reject the neural interface.” Marlowe glances up to smile faintly, sitting up a little straighter. “But, I told ‘em it would work. And look at you now. Couldn’t let a sister down, right?” Dropping the ice pack onto the table top, Marlowe reaches over to tap at finger on the robotic arm’s surface. The smile, faint already, fades back. “Hopefully, I don’t let Hachiro down either,” she murmurs.

"I know," Monica says, of the monitors and their purpose. "I knew going in." At the time, the prospect of having two arms again, of being useful again, kept her from asking too many questions. The life she led without it felt restricted, compared to a life of running rooftops and chasing bad guys.

"You have probably never let anyone down your whole life, Marlowe. You're crazy smart and crazy dedicated." She cannot even imagine Marlowe running at anything less than one hundred percent.

With Hachiro up for discussion, Monica pauses a moment, internally debating as she drinks wine and studies Marlowe over the rim of the glass. "You know," she says, once she's decided to speak up, "RayTech has the designs for a machine that would let us communicate with Hachiro. Like, while he's still in a coma. Maybe help him snap out of it. I asked Richard to put us together something we could show Kam. If you're willing to mold some of the materials, we should be able to bring the cost down. And if we can link Jiba into it, who knows what we might be able to do."

Marlowe can’t help the little smile around the rim of her glass for the compliment, although she plays it off with a soft huff of air and a light rolling of her eyes away. Mock humility. But, when she does look back to the other woman the smile grows a little more. “Thanks Moni,” she responds around a short sip of plum wine. “My grandpa would disagree somewhat with that, but he’s thousands of miles away and half deaf.” In other words, she won’t tell him that to have him refute it.

Content to share some silence as they drink, Marlowe’s just getting over the ringing in her ears when Monica speaks again. Eyes shift over, blinking when RayTech is mentioned in the same span of words as ‘communicate with Hachiro’. That gets her sitting up and her drink set down. “What? You mean… we could- he could wake up…” She can barely contain herself, abandoning the drink and her seat as she rises to her feet. “I’ll email him. Wait, they’ve got voicemail there, I’m sure. I could call him. He doesn’t even have to put anything together. I just need the prototype markup and some concept drawings.” What was it about running less than one hundred percent… Monica gets a look from Marlowe that’s hinged on anxiety, desperation, inspiration and excitement all at once.

"Maybe," Monica says, lifting a hand as if to temper Marlowe's excitement some. "I'm not sure how well it worked, we'll have more info soon. But, the purpose was to be able to communicate with someone who was in a coma, and I figure that might be good for us to see how well he's doing. And maybe find out if he saw our attacker. If he knew them."

Monica reaches over to put a hand on Marlowe's arm. She's one of the few people Monica knows she doesn't have to be careful with which hand she chooses to do so. "It's the middle of the night, Mar. Send an email. He's hopeless with tech, but he can still read email, I promise. Plus, you'll be clearer with what you need in text." Rather than babbling her way through a half-frantic voicemail.

The words that come out next from Marlowe, quiet but fierce, tell of the inner fire that's suddenly burning hot like a bellows has blown full blast. "I'll make it work." And just as quickly, burns back down to embers with the touch to her arm. Marlowe moves a hand to cover Monica's, a flush in her cheeks brought on by the rush of excitement and lingering because of her chagrin. "Okay. Okay you're right, I… it's too late to be calling."

She slowly sits back down, the last bit of distance flumped upon. Marlowe reaches for her drink again, taking a longer one, trying to bring the pace of her heart and her mind back to something more measured. "But Moni," she notes around her glass, "If we can manage to do this? It could be huge. To be able to talk to Hachiro again. I mean he's like, my Professor X, you know?" Hands cup around the plum wine and eyes stare into it. Marlowe’s haggard appearance seems made moreso with the up and down rollercoaster of emotions experienced this evening.

"I know you will," Monica says, because she absolutely believes in her friend. Her intelligence, her skill, her stubbornness. "You write to Richard, he'll let us know what he can do, what we can do, and we'll get to work. Tell him he has a nice ass, he likes a compliment now and then." Monica appears to be one hundred percent serious about that. It is definitely a prank of sorts— on both of them, likely— but she makes it seem like genuine advice. And really, it couldn't hurt, right?

At the comparison between mentors, Monica laughs gently. "Man, if he starts giving you mission briefings from a coma, I'm just going to straight up start calling him Xavier." She drinks, but by the time she sets her glass down again, she's more serious. "It will be absolutely huge. And he'll be glad to hear from you, Marlowe. It has to be you." For their connection, certainly, but also because… Marlowe is one of the few inside Yamagato that Monica knows is trustworthy. Marlowe and Jiba and that's pretty much it at the moment.

Nodding to the advice of writing to Richard, Marlowe looks like she’s already formulating the words to say. But at the comment to add a compliment to the man’s shapely rear end, she breaks out into a genuine laugh and swats a hand in Monica’s direction, easily dodgeable. “Moni! That’s super inappropriate and highly unprofessional! I love it.” Her butcher’s dog grin says it all.

It continues even into the talk about Hachiro and the possibilities of communication with the comatose man. She nods again, agreement to the comment that it has to be her. She takes a long drink of the wine in glass, almost draining it, and sits back with a cradle of the tumbler to fall back into silence. Then, with another look to Monica, she holds out the near empty tumbler for a refill and remarks amusedly, “Guess that makes you Misty Knight.” She laughs again, quieter but more like herself. “Fill us both up, because you aren’t leaving ‘til we finish this bottle.”

From: moc.seirtsudniotagamay|llerret.m#moc.seirtsudniotagamay|llerret.m
To: moc.seirtsudnihcetyar|yarr#moc.seirtsudnihcetyar|yarr
Subject: Otomo


Miss Monica Dawson has informed me you are in possession of and working on a possible prototype medical technology that may allow communication with coma patients. As you know, Director Otomo remains in unconscious still. I'm extremely eager to communicate with you on the designs of this machine. Anything you would be willing to provide.

You have my number.

Marlowe Terrell
Senior Engineer, C.E.D.
Yamagato Industries, New York, USA

From: pj.tentsohg|32okamakat#pj.tentsohg|32okamakat
To: moc.seirtsudnihcetyar|yarr#moc.seirtsudnihcetyar|yarr
Subject: P.S.

Monica wants me to tell u that ur 🍑💯🔥🔥🔥
💯 agree

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