Whatever Happened to Fay Wray?


calvin_icon.gif nicole2_icon.gif

Scene Title Whatever Happened to Fay Wray?
Synopsis Beware of dreaded angels.
Date February 20, 2011

Solstice Condominiums: Nicole Nichols' Home

Knock knock knock.

There's a ginger gentleman at the door this fine Sunday afternoon.

Between the matte black length of his coat and coarse dreadlocks swept back clean from the stark slope of his bristly jaw that it might be difficult to make out the squarish lump dark in his right hand. Not threatening, really — just odd, with his eyes turned up chilly blue in the winter light to study the door jam until she's near enough the opposite side of the door for him to look through the peep hole at her instead.


Blue eyes widen at another pair of blue seeming to stare back from outside the door. Nicole makes a little face to herself as she glances down at her Sunday knockaround attire. Yoga pants and a university logo across the chest. Well, it could be worse. She drags her fingers through her damp hair, trying to get make it less limp around her face. As far as first impressions go, this is not how she likes to make them. Sometimes a knock on the door is just a knock on the door. Her engagement as highly publicised as it is, she has very real worries about photographers looking for candid shots.

If only she wasn't hungover. She might be a little less aaaaa about a stranger at her door. When she does open up, Nicole wears a polite smile, brows ticked upward in curiosity. "Hello," she greets with all the cheer of someone who should not be perturbed by strangers with… Wow, those are some dreadlocks. …Dreadlocks. Strangers with dreadlocks at her door. "Can I help you?"

So help her God, if this starts with, Let me tell you how I can help you, she'll slam the door in his face. Maybe. After she checks for cameras.

"Good afternoon, ma'am," says Calvin, whose American accent is on the flat side with a dose an unremarkable, dubiously Texan(?) twang, "We're calling on you and your neighbors today to share with everyone," and up comes the Bible in his right hand, worn gold lettering and fine paper, "the good news about our savior the Lord God Jehovah and his son Mister Jesus Christ."

The expression on his face is patiently earnest and the sliver of his teeth that he shows awfully white, three-piece suit an elegant iteration of cool grey beneath the cut of his coat and the high turn of his collar.

He is also wearing eyeliner.

And gloves.

But mainly eyeliner.

"I won't take much of your time."

He has got to be kidding. Did she not just promise herself she would slam the door? She did. She very much did. And her fingers are poised around the edge of it to give it a good swing.

Instead, Nicole sighs quietly. "Would you like some coffee?" Really, this can't be any worse than some of the business proposals she's sat through lately.

Nicole opens the door wider to indicate that her visitor should step inside. She didn't know they allowed boys in Texas to wear eyeliner. Especially good Christian boys. Don't they usually get beat up for that? Maybe he's from Austin. "Have a seat." And she gestures to one of the stools at the kitchen island, rather than one of the plush couches in the living room, where the TV is tuned to C-SPAN, but on mute. This isn't a make yourself at home situation.

"Y…You want me to come in?"

Poor guy. No doubt if he'd bothered knocking on any other theoretical doors first, they all would have slammed in his face.

Bible arm slacked in precisely articulated distraction from its initial offer, Calvin glances back over his shoulder as if in search of a supervisor before he takes one long step in, and then another, half turned to wait on her at the door. "Coffee sounds nice. Cold out there." Only once it's closed does he set himself down onto one of the indicated stools, King James laid out careful-like on the counter before him. Perhaps exaggeratedly so.

"Would you say that you're fan of Mister Jesus, Miss? Like," a queer gust of breath trips over the i and drawls it high at the middle, "If he were runnin' for office on the conservative ticket, would you vote for him?"

Nicole's lips tick upward in a smile, though with her back to him. First when she closes the door in his wake (and locks it), and again when she's standing at the coffee maker. The mugs she pulls down from the cupboards don't match. One is adorned with a tiger, its interior a bright orange one can't appreciate unless the mug is empty, or on its way there. The other is deeper, black with skull and crossbones patterned around it.

They're filled and left to sit next to each other, neither pushed closer to her guest as she steps back to the counter again. "Cream or sugar?" Nicole's retrieving a small dish of packets that may have been lifted from varying restaurants over a period of time if their mismatched pastels of pink, yellow, blue, and ubiquitous white are anything to go by. "Are you really here to talk about Mister Jesus, and religion? Or are you here about politics?

"Besides, Jesus isn't a citizen of the United States. He can't run for president."

"Just the sugar's fine, Sweetheart," says Calvin, all. Texan. Like.

Save maybe for the heart, where he runs into vowel troubles again.

His eyes wander once her back is turned, muted television and kitchen décor all appraised with a kind of low-key intensity while he scuffs a glove back around behind his neck after an itch. But he's looking at her again by the time she turns back, measuring.

However lazily.

"What if I told you I wasn't actually interested in either?" sounds much more like him, even if he has managed to get the Bible neatly open under the splay of both his hands on the counter. "Would you scream and call the police? Because I happen to find that sort've Fay Wray bullshit really unattractive."

There's a dirty joke left as wide open as the Bible in front of Calvin that Nicole can reach out and touch. And there's another one just in that statement. More, maybe. She doesn't give voice to any, however, as much as she may want to inject some of her sardonic brand of humour. "It's not my style. I'm a big girl, and can take care of myself." Packets of sugar are nudged toward Calvin even as Nicole takes a seat across from him on the other side of the island.

"I had a feeling. You don't dress like the Witnesses that troll my neighbourhood." Nicole's chin dips a fraction, ghost of a smile on her lips. "So," she invites, "what are you here for, then?"

"I had a feeling you had a feeling," confessed without — much feeling — Calvin is maybe a little insultingly impassive to assurance from Nicole Nichols that she is a big girl who can take care of herself. So impassive that he doesn't bother blinking until he's pulled the top slowly off one of his sugar packets.


"I am actually something of a guardian angel, in a new age science fiction sense where I — am also a secret agent for a shadowy government organization that may or may not be evil depending upon your moral outlook and or political alignment." Poff. He upends the first packet into his coffee and sets to carefully peeling open another. "I think you should call it off with your fiancé."

The restraint it takes for Nicole not to roll her eyes at the patronizing is… Well, it once was remarkable. Now it more qualifies as one of her learned skills. If she rolled her eyes every time someone called her sweetcheeks, or told her it was cute that she thought she could understand politics, she wouldn't have gotten where she is now.

Not that she's sure where that is anymore, and that's only further highlighted when her fiancé is brought up. "Excuse me?" Her lip curls upward faintly. It's not quite a snarl, but almost faintly pained. "I already know he's cheating on me," Nicole informs the stranger in her kitchen. She would be cheating, too, if she could actually find time to spend with her lover. "You aren't here because you're my new age science fiction guardian angel. So who do you think you're protecting? Bradley?" Now it's a sneer. There is bad blood running beneath the Nichols-Russo bridge, to mix metaphors.

"Oh." Says Calvin, "Is he?" Well that just about figures, his brows angled faintly up towards each other while he puts himself in still another packet of sugar deep before finally taking an unconsciously cautious sip. Like a poison taster might.

"Well. …Well." Well. He itches under his nose, a touch fidgety. "Actually nnno. I mean. It's more to do with him being all boogery squish under the Department's thumb while spiraling perpetually deeper into his own demise of character. So yeh, kind've like an ignoble Prometheus but with alcoholism and adultery. And he's not even that good looking or funny, you know?" Sip. Cal wrinkles his nose, companionable in the face of suspicion. "All that substance abuse and he'll look ninety before he's in his fifties."

"Oh God. I hadn't even thought of that," Nicole responds honestly, finally dragging the other cup off coffee toward her. Her eyes are fixed on a midpoint somewhere beyond Calvin, at empty space rather than out the living room window over his shoulder. "I mean, not that looks matt-"

Her head is shaken, drawing her away from her wool-gathering. "Why do you care? About whether I marry him or not?" Nicole's eyes focus on Calvin's features, narrowing with a touch of suspicion. "Did my sister put you up to this?"

"Nah. I just don't like him is all." Honest as anything, Calvin rolls the tiger mug in hand over 'til it nearly spills out, then back again, easier now that everything's out and they're having a nice chat about broken engagements. "And every once and a while I'm wont to do something nice to keep m'karma in check. Speaking of which," he turns his left wrist over to check the glitter of his watch, "I've got an hour before I've gotta get back to saving the world if you're up for a little philander."

"Something nice for whom? You seem more concerned about making sure Brad gets screwed over in this deal than make sure I turn out okay." That Nicole distrusts his altruism shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone. When he glances to his watch, her eyes follow the drift of his gaze, then back up to his face with an expression that says really? without actually having to voice it.

"You're a little young for me, sweetie." By a whole year. Which is a matter of Nicole's preference, rather than any actual societal norm. Though she actually seems to give him a second once-over. "If I asked your name, would you actually tell me the truth?"

"I promised to keep my motives a mystery. But one, m'name's Calvin. Two," fifty-nine minutes — his brows sketch up a tick to match, "you've fucked loads've guys my age. And three, you thought about it just now."

The rest of his coffee swallowed down in a sugar-saturated rush of brownish gunk at the bottom of the mug, Calvin sets black and orange ceramic aside to slide off the stool and onto his feet, eyeing her all the while. "I'm really very good. I can provide references if you like."

"Excuse me?" Nicole actually recoils, definitely offended. And that's putting it mildly. "L- Loads? You don't know shit about me, Calvin." That she thought about it, she doesn't deny. "I am not a slut. Who the fuck tried to tell you that?" That her hand balls into a fist at her side is mostly to keep from entertaining the thought of generating lightning in her palm.

"You know, Bradley said nearly the same thing? You don't know me, you limey faggot. Check your sources, blah blah blah." Clap is the sound Calvin's hand will make in the ass region of Nicole's sweatpants if he manages to tag her on his way to spinning primly past for the door. "He didn't actually say, 'limey faggot' but the implication was there. Should I just let myself out then?"

"He- I- You—" Calvin's pat is rewarded with a cry of surprise, and a startled jump.

And a shock that's somewhere between car door in a dry winter and maybe I should have unplugged the toaster before using a knife to retrieve my Poptarts.

"Oh my God!" A hand comes up to cover her mouth as it draws open. "Are you okay?!" It could have been worse. It wasn't on par with a taser. But she also doesn't generally let her ability get out of hand so much as to discharge unintentionally.

Muscular control has a tendency to lapse with the interruption in nervous communication being soundly zapped typically entails. Calvin's arm jolts stiff to the shoulder, his jaw locks and there's a subwoofer surge, lurch and rattle in various cabinets through the kitchen. The television flickers. Windows creak in their panes.

And just as quick as C-SPAN's back on a nanosecond later, everything's quiet and Cal's lifting both hands as if he's just set them on a blazing stovetop. REGRETS. "Fine," he's saying, Bible collected to his side through the fog of bleach in his brain, careful to avoid contact when he reaches past her. "I'm fine." A held breath shudders out before he can skiv away entirely, but he's suddenly in an awful hurry to slither on out.

Nicole's eyes open wider and she holds very still, though her head swivels on the stalk of her neck to peer around her condo as cupboards rattle, the windows protest against an invisible force, and the brand new television goes on the fritz. "What the hell did you just do?" she asks in a tone that's both numb and astonished.

Then pleading. "Please don't tell anybody I did that." Nicole's gaze shifts back to Calvin, searching his features is if the subtle lines and creases in expression will tell her if he plans to run and tell her fiancé, or the press, or the police about the accidental display of power.

Silverware's still resettling here and there out of its initial awayward press when Calvin dismisses her inquiry with a knit at his brows and a shake of his head. Nothing! Being the obvious answer. And lie.

"You shouldn't have to hide it," is a queerly sympathetic sentiment (dose of electricity considered) for him to have, honest feeling echoed in a narrow at his eyes and a furrow across his forehead that lingers skeptically for her fear before he like. Turns to pick his way for the door. For real.

"Neither should you," is murmured to Calvin's back as he walks out the door.

When it clicks shut again, Nicole drags her fingers through her hair and looks slowly around her home, assessing the altercation, the strange display of powers, and traded words. What the fuck just happened?

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