She's Just Like Mercury


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Scene Title She's Just Like Mercury
Synopsis She stands there looking back at me / Hesitates, and then turns away / She'll change so suddenly / She's just like mercury / Yeah, but she's all right with me - Lene comes by Quinn's for a lunch where family becomes the main topic of discussion.
Date April 30, 2011

Village Renaissance Building: Elaine and Quinn's Flat

Usually, when Robyn Quinn invites women over for lunch, she spares no real expense – nice food (since she can’t cook for shit herself), plenty of drinks, dessert, some form of entertainment (most often a movie, for all the wrongright reasons), maybe some music (in this case an odd mix of later years Beatles and Florence + The Machine), and definitely more than a small share of time spent making sure her apartment is at least presentable – much easier these days with Elaine living there to make up for how lazy the musician can be. Today is no different, but usually the “Guest of Honour” is some pretty woman met a few days before, or a girlfriend (or in most recent times, fiancée).

But when the guest is one’s adopted daughter from the future, it gives a whole different connotation to the proceedings. At least… Quinn hopes. She’s already made that awkward mistake once, and that was enough for her.

Elaine is out for the day, at work or at the library or something. Quinn was too tired in the morning to listen, though she’d never admit it. She’s just gotten back from picking up a pair of calzones, setting them down on the table when she hears a knock at the door behind her. “Come on in!” is shouted back happily as she makes her way into the kitchen to grab glasses for drinks. “It’s unlocked~”

Entering the apartment, Lene glances around curiously, then follows the voice toward the kitchen. She's casual today, in black leggings, flip flops, and a loose black and white striped cardigan over a green tank top that sets off her burgundy hair. She grins as she sees Quinn, and lifts the bag she carries with her.

"Handmade gelato! I got tiramisu and blood orange, depending on mood and whatever you were making. With my very own money, too, not my roommate's for once. I made $200 yesterday walking Franz and Fritz, Peeka and Chu, Mr. Puggles and … What was that other one? Oh, right. Arthur." She wrinkles her nose at the last. "Who would name a dog Arthur? It's a horrible name."

Moving to Quinn, she plants a kiss on the other woman's cheek, then heads to the freezer to stow the desserts.

A smile is offered as Lene moves to put up the desserts, Quinn's eyebrow quirked in her direction. "That's a rather nice but of money for walking some dogs. Heck, if I didn't want t' cut into your "business", I might look into it m'self!" Laughing a bit, two glasses are pulled out from the dishwasher, a finger pointed towards where Lene already stands. "There's drinks in the fridge. Soda, bottled water, Sprite. Beer, if you don't think it's too early." For the record, Quinn doesn't. But for now, she's going to stick to a Sprite.

"Arthur is a pretty awful name for anyone who's not a mythical, majestic king," is Quinn's thoughts on that matter. Moving past the younger woman, a hand pats on her back as Quinn passes, a look offered towards the table. "Adel made it sound like you guys missed out on some of the finer things in life as far as food went. I know you… didn't always stay with us in the situation she did, but I wasn't sure if you'd ever had the chance t' try proper calzones, so I picked some up. They're quite fantastic, if you haven't."

The younger woman opens the refrigerator to retrieve a Sprite, and nods her thanks. "Well, I've eaten my way through New York, I swear, since I've been here, and it's amazing that I haven't gained twenty pounds, honestly. Calzones are those rolled up pizza things right? I've seen them, but I haven't actually had one. Thanks for thinking of me," she says brightly.

She takes her drink to move to where the food is laid out, glancing around again, eyes lingering here and there. "I'm apparently part Italian but you wouldn't know it. I can't even make spaghetti noodles without ruining them, according to one of my roommates. Though I guess heredity doesn't really matter in things like skill."

The chatter is a little nervous, rambly — avoiding one obvious topic, Lene babbles some more. "Lombardi's has the best pizza in the city that I've found, but Ray's is cheaper. Where are these from?"

"Yep! I wasn't sure what to get you for yours, so it's a bit closer t' a pizza than a normal calzone might be. I don't really get a lot of veggies in mine either, though." A bit of a shrug, lasses set down and Quinn spinning on her heel back towards the kitchen. Can't forget the plates, after all! "Vinny's. Small little place I found here in Greenwich Village the other week. It's nice, I've been there a few times now.'

The comment about cooking gets a smile and a laugh. "I don't know about then. But, I'm still learning how not to burn pizzas and chicken tenders in the oven. Noodles I haven't even come close t' mastering, but I'm working on it." A bit of a shrug as she reaches up into a cabinet, pulling down two plates. "Mum can cook up a storm, though, so I think you're right about that hereditary thing, rhough."

Taking a seat, Lene laughs. "I didn't starve, so you did okay," she says, with a smile, opening her Sprite and taking a sip from the can. "Soda is amazing though. And Starbucks. I don't care if some people think it's a soulless corporation out for my money — and even if it is, what's wrong with that? Macchiatos are worth my hard-earned dog-walking cash. If I lose a little of my soul every time I get a venti whatever, I can live with that."

She watches Quinn and smiles again. "I'm totally cool with take-out. Thank you. I mean, if someone's better than me at something — and they usually are! — why not get them to do the work?"

With a smile and a bit of a laugh, Quinn shakes her head at Lene. "People just don't like paying good money for good drinks. I love their specialty coffee. Caramel Macchiatos and vanilla cappuccino? I wouldn't get them anywhere else!" Another bit of a laugh, and Quinn opens the bag of food, taking her calzone before sliding it over to Lene. "I generally agree with that, particularly since I tend t' not been good with much besides music," she says a bit dryly, though with a smile.

The way she unwraps her food, letting her eyes flit up to Lene every few moments, and the way she hesitates in her movements… there's something she's not saying. Or that she hasn't decided how to say yet. "So, dog walking can't be the only thing you're doing lately. Have you heard back on any of the applications you put in? I'd see about getting you something at Studio K, but I'm not sure you want to work so close to one of your friends." Which, from the way it's nonchalantly stated, isn't the thing on her mind. In fact, she even waves a hand dismissively afterwards. "Melissa came to me, in case you were wondering. No need really t' talk about it beyond that. Is there anything you need?" A pause. "I mean, like - here, like a fork or something, but I guess I mean in general."

Lene's eyes drop as she unwraps her own food, and she shakes her head. "Not a lot of people are hiring," she says, with a shrug. "Taking advantage of the rich and lazy was pretty entrepreneurial of me, I think! It's not a lot of money, but I think I can get by. My roommate has a good job. As for Studio K…" she grins at the way Quinn carefully chooses her words, "Kincaid's fine. I don't have a problem with him, and I don't think he'd mind me working with or near him."

She glances around the table, then shakes her head. "Nope, I have everything I need." Her eyes flit to Quinn's face, and she swallows. "Have you been to the island?" she finally manages to ask.

Well, Quinn had a response, an amusing quip or some such that she's already forgotten about Kincaid and working at Studio K, but Jolene's jumped right to the topic Quinn wasn't exactly sure how to bring up. Which is both a bit of a relief, and makes her inwardly wince at forcing the other woman to bring it up.

"Didn't need to," is the answer that comes after a moment of contemplative silence. Quinn takes enough time to takes a bite and swallow, an unintentional cliffhanger, before she continues speaking. She assumes she knows what Lene is asking about, at least. "I don't guess I have t' really be quiet about Ferry stuff with you," Quinn continues, eyes half lidded for a moment. "I bumped into Gillian while I was at Grand Central looking for any way I could help the other day." Spoken quietly, there's another moment before the Irishwoman looks back up at her guest. "She needed a few days, she'd just gotten back after being gone for a while. But I gave her your number. She asked me t' set somethin' up." Which is to say, yes, she wants to meet her daughter.

The expressions on Lene's face as she listens to Quinn talk are a microcosm of the girl's entire personality as she looks first nervous, chewing her lower lip, then upset, brows furrowing and eyes dropping, then hopeful as she looks back up, lips parting silently.

She finally presses her lips together, and glances down again, swallowing, before she speaks. "So she has my number, but wants you to set it up? Whenever is good for her — whenever, I'll make it," she manages.

"I offered to," is Quinn's quick explaination for something Lene points out that hadn't really occured to her before. She keeps her eyes on Jolene, resisting the urge to look off to the side nervously. "She gave me her number as well, if you'd like it. It…" Her eyes close for a moment, before she resumes eye contact.

"It sounded like she'd been having a hard time lately, t' me. I wouldn't take it to heart, Jolene. But she was glad to hear about it." Quinn sounds pretty confident about this - after all, Gillian had thanked her for telling her. "And I don't doubt that she wants to meet you. I just got the impression taht she has a lot on her mind at the moment. I was thinking of giving her a call in the next few days. She asked for it to be someplace… out of the way,"

Lene nods, picking at her food, eyes downcast as she chews her lower lip. "It's okay. I'm sure she's seen some things in the dreams that are… hard." There's a shimmer and shine beneath her downcast lashes that is quickly blinked away. "It's not easy, I know. I don't … I would understand if she didn't want to. She's already met me — I told you that, right? So it's not like she hasn't seen me. Maybe — maybe she didn't like me…"

She presses her lips together, though her chin trembles a bit and she sets down her fork. "I'm s-sorry. I shouldn't have brought it up. You brought this wonderful lunch and… It's okay. We're not here for the bonding and hugs and kisses, as much as I'd like… I mean, meeting you and Ygraine here has been great, and you've both been wonderful. I can't be greedy… two kinda parents out of four is pretty good, right?" She forces a laugh at that, eyes darting away, to avoid Quinn's.

Quinn watches Lene intently for a moment, before she sets down her calzone, hands folded together and placed on the table. “You did tell me. I- may have accidentally let it slip t’ her.” That part is said apologetically, in case it was meant to be a surprise. Or something that Jolene had wanted to tell her herself, over the phone or something. “But she didn’t seem unhappy. Just… unsure of what t’ do. An’ for that… I don’t blame her. My reactions t’ some of the dreams were ones that, now? I’m not too proud of. But given those few days, I’m sure she’s in a better place now. I know I was once it all sunk in.”

That said, she looks off to the side herself for a moment, before she looks back to Jolene. “You don’t have to apologise. Part of why I invited you over was to talk about it. To see what you wanted to do. When. All that sorta thing. Granted, it was mostly just to… talk, an’ bond, but that was something I wanted t’ bring up. Make sure we get on the same page before I do anything.”

Sitting up a bit, she rolls her shoulders in a bit of a shrug. “I know you guys have a job to do. An important one. It’s why I haven’t really poked or prodded or pried or anythin’ like that. I don’t want t’ get in the way unless you guys need the help or somethin’. An’ I think it’s good that you guys are so focused on it! But… honestly? You’re still all as close t’ regular people as some of the rest of us. If you can spare time for a job…” A momentary pause, and her lips up turn into a smirk. “You have time for some bonding an’ hugs an’ kisses. Maybe not much, but Christ. Considering what you guys are risking… I know I would want that personal time. So don’t get all bleeeeh about it. It’ll be fine. I promise.” Both about Gillian, and everything else.

Lene studies her food while Quinn talks, cheeks coloring a little, though she nods. "I'm sorry. I'm … um. Mercurial, I think was the nicest way anyone ever put it?" she offers, with a shy smile. "And I'll find a better job if I can, I promise. I'm looking." That sounded almost like a normal thing to say from a child to a guardian. The normalcy makes Lene laugh a little. "And get a hair cut while I'm at it."

She picks up her fork again, the tempest having passed, and cuts into the calzone at long last. "Thanks," she finally murmurs. "You always had a way of calming me down a bit, putting it all in perspective. I know this whole 'hey you have a kid' thing got sprung on you — both now and in my past, but you are and were cool about it — just so you know."

"Hey, if you're making two hundred dollars walking dogs, I think you're doing better than I was working an actual job at Barnes & Noble! Just don't let them pull you down. Or better yet, I know someone named Toby, who can talk t' dogs…" There's a pause, Quinn having to rack her brain for a moment for what she thinks is the definition of mercurial. Once she has it, she gives a quiet laugh, and a shake of her head.

"It's nothing," is offered back quietly, though happily. "I'm sure, by then, I wanted kids an' the chance had passed. Not that I wouldn't take someone in otherwise, mind you. The time I spent around the Lighthouse kids, an' getting to know Elaine…" Another hand wave. There's a good chance Jolene may have heard this before.

"And now? I'm… not really sure how to explain it. It's certainly not in me to turn someone away like that. I may not be the me who raised you, but you being here, and feeling close enough to tell me, to see me? That means a lot. It takes some getting used to, but… it's kinda cool, you know?" A wide smile snakes across her mouth at that, taking a bite of her lunch. "And you're a good person, Jolene, from all I've seen and heard. That helps a lot."

The younger woman smiles more broadly at that, cheeks growing rosy with the praise. "Thanks. I mean, I try. I feel like I have a lot to live up to. I'm sure I fail more than I succeed, but… I'm glad you think I'm a good person. I might not be — if you weren't there for me." She glances down, shyly again, and shrugs.

She nods to the posters on the walls. "You know what I'd love… we should try an' go to a concert of a band you like. I mean, with you as an audience member, not on stage, so you can scream and fan girl and drink beer and mosh." It's an overt change of subject to something less emotional and less likely to make her cry, something more appropriate to eat a calzone to.

"Eh. You've gotta lose some before you win some. I've been in, like, four bands since I came t' New York, you know." Spoken with a wave of her fork at Jolene and a widening smile on Quinn’s face. "I still have some of those demos sitting around too," she adds, raising an eyebrow. 'No one's really heard 'em. Not even Ygraine, or Elaine." Another bite and she leans forward. "Maybe that can change later."

With that, she leans back and laughs. "I'd like that. Not a show in New York, though. Curfew really keeps those from bein' as fun as they should be, an' I haven't been t' a good concert in… too long." A confirming nod, and Quinn swallows. "Alright! It's a deal. We'll go to a concert. Soon. I'll have to see who's playing in the next few weeks, and when you have some free time from work, and work, we'll do it."

Lene's mouth parts in surprise when Quinn puts in the caveat to the agreement, eyes widening and it looks like she might argue — dogwalking is work, right? Picking up a mastiff's business is not for fun, after all. But then she laughs.

The laugh becomes a giggle, and she shakes her head, lifting her Sprite can in a mock toast. "Yes, ma'am," she says, eyes sparkling with amusement before digging into her lunch with more gusto than before.

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