Will Work for Food


cardinal_icon.gif luther_icon.gif peyton2_icon.gif

Scene Title Will Work for Food
Synopsis A hungry and humble Luther is offered food and employment by Redbird execs Cardinal and Peyton.
Date October 26, 2010

Redbird Security

There's a sharp, professional feel to the main lobby of the building. The carpet is a deep maroon underfoot, the walls an off-white cream that doesn't glare too brightly beneath the recessed lighting in the ceiling. Half a dozen chairs upholstered in a sandy light brown sit against one wall beneath a painting, a print of a Thomas Brill that shows the ruins of Midtown covered in vines and greenery as seen from the rooftop of the Deveaux building. The receptionist's station takes up almost an entire wall on the right side of the lobby, guarding the hallway that leads back into the building's offices. Behind and above the desk, the logo for Redbird Security Solutions hangs on the wall in glossy black.

The central hall continues the same carpet and wall colors to a number of doors. There are four offices, a restroom done in shades of blue and pale sand tones, and a comfortable employee lounge with attached kitchenette. An open doorway in the main lobby reveals a flight of upward stairs, and there's a locked door at he end of the central hall that guards the basement steps.

Slowly becoming a fixture out in the general lobby area of Redbird Security, Luther sits out in the employee's lounge with attached kitchenette. He makes for an odd sight, given the man's current endeavor of perusing through the lounge wastebasket rather gingerly for edible discards. More, he appears to be using a glowing hand for a substitute flashlight in picking through the trash. Nevermind that there's a perfectly good refrigerator with food within it.

As far as he is aware, there aren't about to be any employees coming in to the break room. The man's gotten into habit of picking an unobtrusive time of day, avoiding lunch hours and break times for the most part, to enter into the lounge and make with his scavenging. By now, most people should be out to dinner. Most people.

Peyton doesn't notice the glowing hand as she enters the room, turning on the light without much thought. She actually carries a bag of groceries, having left work just an hour ago to run an errand for office supplies and break room supplies. Her eyes notice Luther's form just a second too late, and her brain is a second slower than her eyes to realize who it is, and that it's all right for him to be here.

She gasps and the grocery bag slips from her grasp before she recovers mentally and almost physically. Her hands almost grab the bag, but it slips through her fingers and hits the ground.

Luckily there's nothing breakable, but a canister of coffee creamer goes rolling toward Luther while the other contents spill out: coffee, filters, a box of Entemann's cheese danish, a tub of Red Vines, peanut butter and bread.

"Luther! I'm sorry, you startled me," she says, her cheeks coloring with embarrassment as she bends to start picking up objects. Her eyes go to the trash can as she realizes what he's doing and her mouth drops a little before she shuts it again — she's learned enough tact not to draw attention to it.

Peyton's not the only one startled, but for Luther it's the sudden bright lights flicked on in the break room that make the man temporarily freeze. The embarrassment is mutual; once the deer in headlights effect wears off, that is. "Er, Miss Peyton," he greets with a short reach of a (supposedly) cleaner hand to pick up the cylinder of creamer that's rolled to his foot.

"I didn't mean to surprise you like that," Luther apologizes, accompanying it with a duck of his head and averting of gaze. He knows. "Old habits," he mumbles as he stands awkwardly. "You, uh, you need any help with that?" He scans the rest of the groceries on the floor, spilled partly on account of his fault.

"Sure, you can put it in that cupboard," she says nodding to the one she means, to the left of the small fridge. She presses her lips together, and moves to put away the items she's gathered, coffee and filters, and moving across the room to put them away. Her cheeks still pink, she shakes her head as she glances at him.

"You didn't… I mean, sure, you scared me, but you didn't do anything wrong. I just hadn't expected anyone to be in here with the lights off," Peyton explains. She chews her lower lip, and suddenly comes out with the offer, "Hey, I have some boxes I need to move downstairs. Can I get you to bring those down for me? They're not super heavy but I have some tendonitis in my wrist and it hurts me, and I don't know when Card can get to them. I'll pay you twenty bucks for moving the lot." There's just five boxes, but they are heavy, filled with files.

"Most folks don't poke around in breakrooms with the lights off, no," concedes Luther with a helpless shrug. The scene's still askew with Peyton carrying most of the groceries she's brought it, but he's got something to do! And to prove he's considerate enough to know what he's recently been doing, Luther first sets the can of creamer aside to rinse off his hands in the sink with a dab of dish soap provided. After he's patted them dry on his shirt, which is clean, he slips the creamer away in its appointed spot.

After listening to the younger woman's blurted offer, Luther crooks a wry sort of smile. "I'd be happy to help you out, Miss Peyton," he replies, "'cept I'm pretty sure that kind of job ain't worth twenty. And I'm also pretty sure you're way too young to be having tendonitis." Unlike his older bones… "But thanks for the offer. I'll take you up on it, if you'd like. You could show me where they are?" The man also gestures to the rest of the grocery bag in askance. "Let me help you out with that too? Plus, it'd be nice to actually feel useful around here."

"Tennis elbow," Peyton lies, with a shrug. She's not much of a liar. "You know, Luther, you can help yourself to anything in here? It doesn't belong to any one person, unless it's like, you know, a single serve Tupperware in there or something. The bread and peanut butter and coffee and doughnuts, anything like that? Up for grabs. No need to ask."

That's all she has to say on that matter as she nods and tips her head toward the hallway in a tacit, 'follow me,' and heads toward her office.

As they emerge from the break room, Cardinal's coming down the hallway; in street clothes rather than business, there's a bag of popcorn that he picked up off some street vendor that he's munching out of absently as he walks. Probably on the way to his own office.

Catching sight of the pair, he looks up from the popcorn, "…hey, Peyton. Luther. Afternoon."

Luther casts a sheepish grin at Peyton for her chiding reminder. "Like I said, old habits. Plus, I'm not an employee here persay." Excuses, excuses. He trails on after her at close second, pausing as they encounter Cardinal in the hall outside. Luther bobs his head in greeting. "Mr. Cardinal," responds the man, looking mostly to the other's popcorn before sweeping up to the face. He stops there, then glances over in Peyton's direction. "Was just headed up to help Miss Peyton with some boxes," he adds in the tone of one seemingly caught in a place he wasn't supposed to be and trying to make up for it. More excuses.

"Hey," Peyton says, reaching into the bag of popcorn to help herself, and tossing some of the kernels into her mouth. "And, Luther, if I say you can eat some of the food that I bought and I'm part owner, that's my bad business tactic, right?" she says playfully. She glances back to Cardinal, and makes a slight oops face. "Um. I had some files that I was going to bring down to the basement, is that okay?" She forgot it's sort of the secret headquarters.

"No worries…" Cardinal's brows lift playfully over the edge of his shades as Peyton digs into his snack, though he doesn't actually object— pausing, then, at the question about the basement, "…the basement?" A slant of his gaze to Luther, then back, considering a moment before shrugging one shoulder, "I suppose."

He's not slow to catch that pause, Luther is. "I can be discreet," he adds in support of himself. "But if it's all the same, Mr. Cardinal, I've been wanting to ask you for a couple of things. One, that favor you talked about a few weeks back. Two…" Luther chews mentally for but a moment, "I'd like to ask if you'd want another man for your security work. I've been trained as a guard for major corporate establishments in the past and know my way around. Figure I should at least do some good around here." Another glance goes to Peyton. "Or, something to earn my keep. If you will."

Big brown eyes give an apologetic look to Cardinal — she really hadn't thought when she mentioned the basement, and it was only seeing Cardinal that reminded her it's not exactly a place that everyone is welcome. "I'm sure we can at least put you on as a freelancer for the events we need guardwork for," Peyton says to Card, then turns to look at Luther, explaining, "right now, it's not a lot, but we're getting some press, and hoping to get more."

"You're not registered," Cardinal points out thoughtfully, gesturing with the bag of popcorn with a rustling of butter-wet paper, "So technically we can't put you on… we might be able to figure something out, though." He leans a shoulder against the wall, "Discretion's definately a necessity, of course."

"Back in my day, there was a sort of thing called a fake ID," Luther comes back with, coupling a raised brow to hint at a slightly less serious response. He does straighten up, emboldened by the lack of negative response to the proposal. "You've told me about your group, and what it really does around here. And frankly, I think you're going to need all the help you can get before November comes around." His moment of boldness blows over. "If not being registered's going to be a problem, though, I can march myself out of your hair soon as you say so. I got no problem disappearing for another spell." He shakes his head at the thought, however, of slipping off again. "What do you say, though? I'm hanging a flashing 'Will Work For Food' sign here."

Peyton's eyes drop at the mention of November, brows furrowing beneath her short fringe of hair, but then she looks up and grins again at the 'will work for food' comment. She looks at Cardinal with a raised brow, as if to ask 'can we keep him?' They might have to watch out for her picking up strays. Luther, Smedley — who's next?

"If we can't do it legally, maybe he can help out with Wes or something," she suggests softly.

"Oh, no…" Cardinal shakes his head slowly from side to side, "…it's only for official employment that it matters. Fake ID's don't help all that well these days, at least not with a company that's got government contracts like we do." Ironic, really, when you think about it. Then again, he did just come from a meeting with the secretary of the DHS…

"If you want to help out with our other work I can see to getting you a stipend've wages," he admits, pausing then, "Did I use 'stipend' right? Fuck, I hate business words."

Hitching a shoulder, Luther doesn't protest the legality or morality of the possibilities for opportunity. "I'm not about ot question how all that works," he notes in regards to government contracts in the same discussion as illegal hires. "World thinks I've been dead four years anyhow… but I'd hate to be one to muck up an operation. But, if it's alright by you, Boss, I'd very much like that." Luther reserves his comment about the word usage, but simply smiles knowingly.

"Remind me to take a class in creative bookkeeping," Peyton says with a smirk. "I'm pretty sure I can file that under 'miscellaneous expenses,' or something, right? Or if I make sure he makes copies once in a while, I can file him as part of the Xerox account." While she makes the quip, her eyes turn sad even as her lips turn up, regarding Luther and wondering what his sad story is.

"You can take it out've petty cash," Cardinal suggests easily. He did just counter-rob some burglars recently, so the slush fund is well padded. He tilts his head to one side, then, moving away from the wall, "Get the files, I'll meet you both downstairs."

Canting his head, Luther adds in jest, "Better if you call it the Art of Cooking. Books." Humor slipping in then out, he gets back to work-like attitude as Cardinal dispenses with orders. "Right, files. See you 'round then, Boss." At easy attention, he waits for Peyton to lead on.

Peyton moves toward her office and nods into it; the file boxes are waiting by the door. "Thanks," she says, though it could be to either Cardinal or Luther, or both. "Grab a box, I'll get the door," she says, moving out of the office again and then toward the door that leads to the underground basement.

"I'll meet you downstairs in a couple minutes," offers Richard, moving along past to duck into his own office; closing the door behind him, to do whatever it is he needs to do in there.

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