Winslow Crawford Academy Gala - Patio


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Scene Title Winslow Crawford Academy Gala - Patio
Synopsis A handful of Winslow-Crawford Academy Gala goers take a moment for some fresh air. The gala gets an unexpected drop-in. Selfie sticks are made and pictures for posterity taken.
Date September 7, 2018

Red Hook

The patio of the Liberty Warehouse is as red and brick as the building itself, with nothing but a small, waist-high metal rail between the guests and the bay. The blue-gray water surrounds the patio that sits like a square peninsula overlooking the water, one corner pointing at a diagonal at the remains of the Statue of Liberty in the distance.

Tonight, the setting sun is hidden behind an ominous gray layer of clouds, only the bottom-most gilded, denying the Academy gala guests a spectacular sunset. Still, the threat of thunderstorms holds a promise of spectacular lightning — and the possibility of rain to drench the guests in their gowns and suits.

There isn’t as much to do or see out here; it’s more a chance to get away from the crowd of the indoors or to catch a view of the water. Smokers should probably go out to the parking lot, but no one’s throwing anyone out over a cigarette either — especially not when they paid to come for some chamber music, wine, and cheese, all for a good cause of course.

Before the event has even had much of a chance to get going, one person is finding themselves out on the back patio. The metallic clicking of crutches signals Jolene’s arrival, glancing once over her shoulder as she does. The clouds ahead draw her attention, and Lene awkwardly makes her way over to the railing. Each crutch is carefully leaned up against the metal, and then she props herself up against it, slouched forward with her arms crossed on the rail.

A click of heels and a swirl of red material can be seen and heard coming from behind Lene. A face that buzzed with excitement, hair pulled back into a bun with two slick chopsticks stuck through, Eve takes a look around and immediately spots the woman she's been searching for since she walked into the door. “Oh my god, look at you. A simple black dress, sleek but elegant all the same. You know Aunt Eve loves that color.” A wave of her hand as she slows down taking in Jolene’s body language with a tilt of her head and twitch of her fingers. “Hey Chicken,” resorting to a greeting.

The taller woman walks forward slowly before she arrives at the railing next to her niece sure to give her a wide berth of her rather large black hat she's wearing, a thunderclap making Eve smile as she looks up at the sky. Dark purple painted nails tap on the metal of the railing, soft clinks mixing with the sounds of the wind and the weather around them. “Your mother and I use to come to these types of things and have a ball, I was a bad influence but your mom wasn't far behind me! Cutting a rug, all the drinks, men? Well let's see em.” A snort follows, thinking back to one night in particular where Eve wanted to cause some mischief at a gala, “But she's always been the more practical of us both,always trying to keep me out of trouble..” Eve is in a significantly better mood then when she woke up scribbling all over Chicken’s walls.

Glancing over his shoulder at the scene inside, Thomas Cooper, shakes his head a bit. After all that time on Staten, it was a bit overwhelming, so a part of him might be a little glad she ducked outside….

Turning his attention back the the seer, Cooper starts to say something, but stops at the sight of what seems like a very important conversation. Instead of the awkward approach, Thomas kinda tucks himself quietly away from the pair, turning his attention to the thunderstorms rolling in. Each flash of lightning is noticed and the agent might be softly counting into the thunder rumbles along.

For all that Eve was talking, Jolene has said nothing in response. She wipes her thumbs at her eyes and makes a soft, exasperated sound and finally turns to look at Eve and, had she bothered putting on any makeup, she'd be showing Eve how tear-streaked it is. Instead, her reddened eyes look past Eve to the man entering the patio behind her.

Jolene sniffles, once, scrubbing a hand at her nose, and swallows audibly with a shake of her head at her sort-of Aunt. There's a long, silent look at Eve that is at once apologetic and at the same time a little overwrought. She squints, trying to figure out just who he is, but then she slouches her shoulders in disappointment and looks back over to Eve. It's not who she thought.

“I don't know if I'm really up for company, Eve,” is Lene’s understatement of the week, made in the company of this party. “I… I really shouldn't have come.”

Jolene’s demeanor has Eve blinking and reaching forward to lay a delicate hand on her shoulder to rub her thumb on the spot of skin exposed, “Oh dear you are a shining Star. Don't forget that.” She whispers softly before rubbing her shoulder and backing away, “Come home tonight, I'll make us waffles in the morning.” She knows that offer is a nice one. Lowering her voice even more, “And if you wanna toke you just let Aunt Eve know.”

A wink and she's on the move, dragging Cooper by the arm, “Let's leave Chicken to her thoughts, maybe give her a ride when we're all done.”

“Come on Donut!”

Cooper is in the middle of watching a rather impressive lightning display when he is having his arm grabbed and his face gets slapped with the giant emo sombrero. Hand moves to grab at his nose which smarts a bit from the contact. “Seriously, Eve, we might have to classify that thing as a deadly weapon.” However, he doesn’t protest getting drug along, he was her ‘date’ at this thing.

Jolene is offered an enthusiastic, if curious smile as he passes. She looked a bit familiar, but Cooper can’t put his finger on it. There is no chance to really ask as he is pulled back into the warehouse.

Eve heads inside, followed by Cooper— and as a short time passes, everything sounds painfully normal.

It isn’t long after an audible ruckus over the microphone- Eve’s voice- when someone else decides to escape the room. Delilah, in that cream gown, more or less hides herself behind the wall beside the door, just to see if anyone’s tailed along behind her; hands fold behind her back and she leans into the wall, sighing faintly. A touch of relief is there when the excitement stays inside. The storm over the bay rumbles idly, clouds illuminated by a mixture of moon and lightning crackling between earth and sky. She’s always loved summer storms… warm and prickly, with that smell of wet soil and humid air.

Having had some time to herself, watching the thunderstorms in the distance, Jolene still rests on the railing, chin on her palm and eyes downcast beyond the patio’s edge. She hears the sounds of footsteps, expecting Eve to be wheeling back in, but when she sees Delilah instead her expression shifts in inscrutable measure, eyes wide at first, then shifting to something less startled and more pensive.

“Ms. Trafford,” is the polite and respectful way Lene addresses Delilah, as though she were addressing someone twice her age. There's a sheepish duck of her head, raised brows, and a hesitant smile that shows her uncertainty. They hadn't seen much of each other in the intervening years, and even before then she'd mostly been lingering around baby Walter which — hindsight what it is — makes a lot more sense.

Delilah’s eyes were on the stormy horizon first, so when she lowers her gaze and catches Jolene’s, her first expression comes with a touch of uncertainty in kind- and then it is brightening through her eyes and a closed, more fond smile. Somehow she isn’t surprised that it’s her out here. Alone. Dee tries not to think about that part, instead moving closer to the railing, one hand playing at some of the embroidery at her hip before both hands settle on the barrier.

“Oh, god.. Delilah is fine, Jolene…” The closed smile breaks into an open one, just a bit crooked; Dee’s voice on her name is just familiar enough, and there’s little apart from affection in it. “You don’t seem like you’re having much of a good time out here. But look at me, escaping from Eve and whatever the bloody hell she’s up to now. Maybe I’m not the one to talk.” Hmm.

“You were never much for Ms. Traffording back then either,” Lene admits with a sidelong look. “But I… I guess that's neither here nor there now, is it?” Smiling faintly, Jolene looks back at the thunderstorms and tries her best to ignore the noises she hears from inside.

“Eve's a handful,” Lene admits, “but her heart’s usually in the right place. She's… she's had a rough year.” Green eyes flick back to Delilah. No mention of whether or not she's having a good time. “If it looks like she's going to get herself arrested… let me know I— should probably escort her out.”

It’s not often she let herself hear about the person that these kids knew, and a knit to her brow shows that she is listening this time. There was enough to keep track of back then, and enough on her mind in those intervening years. Still, mentioning just that one thing brings a flicker of positive expression to Lene. A particularly bright flash forms behind the clouds, the grumbling of the storm giving them a reprieve from listening to the emcee. A nod shows for ‘handful’, and another for ‘heart’. It’s alright— she knows.

“She does seem to have had a time of it, from where I’ve been standing. You’re right, though, it’s not that she doesn’t mean well.” Dee laughs softly, fussing with the lay of her hair. “I think it will be fine. Peyton seemed to realize Eve was just being Eve,” So there’s that much! Delilah waves a hand dismissively, teasing, “Eve’s a big girl, she can out-do some event security. Oh, check your ticket too. They drew raffle numbers.” A freckled arm edges in to playfully nudge at Lene’s.

The ruckus inside and the thunder out might have concealed tell-tale sounds that would otherwise give away the arrival of someone to the patio — but as it happens, there are no sounds to alert anyone to it.

So it's without warning that a figure in off-white literally back-flips up over the rail and onto the patio, landing in a deft crouch; after a moment he rises, one hand coming up to drag the zipper of the painter's coveralls down in the same motion, the hood pushed back as he rises smoothly and pushes it off into a pile of plastic-y fabric, revealing as it drops an off-the-rack suit being worn by the slender young man that's just slipped past security.

Lance Gerken brings both hands up to adjust his bow tie, smirking pridefully at his own accomplishment, and then— he realizes that he's not alone on the patio, and stops moving all at once, smile frozen on his face. Uh oh.

Slowly he turns his head enough to one side to see who's in his peripheral vision, enough for recognition to sink in. It could be worse. At least it’s not security?

"Oh. Uh." At least they're not security. "Hey, 'Lene. Hey, Aunt Dee."

He kicks the coveralls off the patio. Maybe they didn’t notice.

Sorry Lance. That wasn't as stealthy as an entry as he may have hoped for, given that Marlowe and Jonathan are on their way onto the large patio as well. And they play witness to the whole backflip in a painter's coveralls. Marlowe stares a little in surprise, then covers her mouth with her hand, missing the rest of Jonathan's expounding about being a teacher in Canada during the war for a hot second. "Sorry," she apologizes to Jonathan, unable to stop the chuckling and some tears that spring to the corners of her eyes. "I just… I needed that." Her metallic-jewelry adorned fingers gesture in Lance's direction, and then drop back to her side. She heaves out a soft sigh, looking less composed in that facade of togetherness and yet less caught and upset with the brief turmoil she'd approached the man at her side with.

"Sorry, I'm not sure what came over me," Marlowe adds, quieter. Eyes drop to the wooden decking, then back up and over to the man. "Let's take a picture, huh? How about it? It's beautiful out here even with the storm."

Noticing that Marlowe’s attention has shifted, Jonathan glances over in time to see the suit reveal. Brows lift high and as his companion laughs, the teacher’s smile tugs to one side. Creative way to sneak into a gala.

“Young man,” Jonathan says with chiding amusement, unable to really let it slide without some word. “I recommend using the front door, next time. Crashing a charity event is generally frowned on. Especially, one for the benefit of children. I wouldn’t make a habit of it.” And then with that, he leaves Lance to his own devices turning his attention back to Marlowe.

“No reason to apologize.” He waves that off with a chuckle, though the mention of a picture, brings him up some. He looks down at himself and smooths down his tie. “Um… sure?” Jonathan looks a bit uncertain, but willing to accommodate. There is a self depreciating chuckle, “You sure you want photographic evidence that you hung out with someone like me?” It’s a tease really, punctuated with a grin.

While Jonathan is chiding Lance about crashing a charity event - that she also just realizes the faux pas of and thus makes a quiet note to herself about - Marlowe stays quiet as if she's also in the invisible classroom waiting for the teacher to finish lecturing. Once she's mentioned a picture, it's as if her phone has appeared in her hand. But it hasn't just appeared out of nowhere, so much as it came from a hidden pocket within her dress.

Jonathan's hesitation is met with insistence. "Oh absolutely, Mr. Smith," counters Marlowe as she swipes and taps over a Japanese brand mobile phone. His willingness to indulge her is encouragement enough, and she nudges him along with a shift of positioning and repositioning for both her and him to be in the best possible light of the evening.

There's a few more moments taken to cover a couple of handheld selfie shots, but just when he might think she's satisfied, Marlowe stays him in place with a "hang on one sec" and takes off her rings. In a minute, a flash of golden irises and blue-white energy encircling the metallic accessories, she pulls the pieces and molds them into a longer metal rod with a couple prongs at the end. The impromptu selfie stick holds her phone, and Marlowe leans up against Jonathan with the delayed timer set on the photo app to snap a couple more shots while there's still some light.

It's a bit of a daring proposition, considering the lightning and grey stormclouds around. And her holding a metal rod.

Lance!” Jolene hisses at the young man, grabbing a crutch and whacking him in the shin with it. Her wide, green eyes flick to the unfamiliar silhouette of Marlowe, then to the more familiar one of Jonathan, before she finally looks over to Delilah with an apologetic I swear to God I’m so sorry for him expression on her face. She’d forgotten about Delilah’s mention of the raffle ticket, so distracted as she is by Lance’s impromptu arrival.

It’s all Jolene can do not to keep hitting Lance with her crutch. Instead, she offers an apologetic look to Delilah — both regarding Lance and Eve — and grabs the other crutch, settling her arms into them both. “Lance Gerkin tell me you have a ticket,” Lene sharply whispers at him, ambling over with her crutches.

Delilah has her hand on her face by the time Jolene looks to apologize with that look. She doesn't seem angry, just embarrassed. Lance…

“They used to shoot party crashers, you know.” This might be an exaggeration, but Dee says it with such conviction that it might as well be true. She gives Jonathan and Marlowe a more considering look, the rod earning a tiny purse of her mouth. “Be careful out here with that, none of us are Atmos..” She laughs, warning all the same as she follows suit behind Jolene.

“He’d better, or I'm absolutely going to tell Gillian.” Wuh-oh.

This plan could have gone better. James Bond would not approve.

Lance clears his throat briefly, adjusting that bow tie that suddenly feels too tight. “Of… course I do,” he says, absolutely lying through his teeth as he flashes a smile at the pair - Jonathan less important since he doesn’t know who the teenager is, “I just— OW!, Jolene!— wanted to make a, uh, entrance. Got to keep up on practicing my skills just in case.” The ‘ow’ of course as he gets thwacked with a crutch.

In case he needs to infiltrate a fancy party apparently.

As he starts to continue, there’s that display of power from Marlowe, his eyes widening a little. “Oh, primal! ‘Lene, look at that, is that— “ The display of gold eyes is noticed then, and he instinctively drops back a step, words dying on his lips and a flicker of fear in his eyes.

While he is highly amused, the councilman is by far not shy in front of a camera. Anyone who knows him, will know he isn’t really the anti-social type. There is a touch of concern when Marlowe creates the selfie stick, though the act of creating it, gets a soft, “Wow,” from Jonathan. He’s seen many abilities, but each one continues to surprise and delight. “Let’s try not to get everyone electrocuted,” he observes, head ducking down a little as the sky rumbles.

Straightening his glasses a little, Jonathan looks past his companions to the others, giving Dee a grin, “Don’t worry, Delilah, she wouldn’t allow that to happen.” A little fib, since he doesn't know the woman well enough to know for sure, though a part of him is confident Marlowe knows better.

There's a few seconds before the photo timer goes off and there's initial quartet of pictures snapped for just Marlowe and Jonathan, the former doing a small variety of fun poses and practically obligatory peace sign. The little warning from Delilah gets a short smirk, a daredevil glint in Marlowe's eye. It's fine! Really.

When she notices others looking their way, particularly Jolene, the woman smiles wider, friendlier. And she waves the others over. "You all want to get in on this? Come on over! Don't be shy, come on… this is one of those moments of life you won't get back." Crooking a finger at the fearful looking Lance, she pins him with a look from dark brown eyes. "You too, Solid Snake. Get over here."


Standing on the rail of the balcony, right over Jonathan's left shoulder, is a two foot tall golden snub nosed monkey. His teeth are bared into an extremely large grin as the flash of the camera goes off. Once the camera is lowered, however, the monkey disappears behind the small crowd of people. He swings down, hiding himself but seems to know exactly when to pop up for a photo bomb.

Making a soft sound in the back of her throat, Jolene gives a one-handed shove to Lance, pushing him toward Marlowe. “Go take a picture or something useful you big dope,” she says with a hesitant smile, even though Lene herself makes no effort to move toward the camera. Instead, she grips her crutches and takes an ambling step back and away…

…then looks back slowly.

There's one surefire way to avoid being in a picture.

“I can… take a group shot.” Lene offers, moving toward the group with a steady click-clack-click of her metal crutches rattling at the adjustable joints with each stride.

Sure, Jan. Sure you have a ticket. Delilah shakes her head at Lance, making a mental note to do what she promised and tell Gillian what he’s been up to. She isn’t security, and he’s already here— so he’ll get a pass this time. Brown eyes turn to Jolene as she turns away and looks back again, a touch of something unsure in Dee’s own features. When Lene moves back closer, Delilah sidles up and puts an arm around her back; distinct warmth, both physically and otherwise, careful not to disrupt any balance.

“You sure you want to take it?” She knows what you’re doing. Certainly sounds like it. Still, Delilah doesn’t press too hard, but she makes it quite clear that she wants Lene with them rather than outside the picture- so to speak. Whatever Jolene decides for certain, Delilah will accept it and join the others, all too happy to stick her mug in a photo.

“Y-yeah,” Lene mumbles, “I… I'm good.” Briefly, green eyes flick to her crutches. They close, and then a feigned smile tries to push back shame and frustration. “Everyone looks so fancy.” Everyone else.

It takes a moment for Lance to get a hold of whatever just spooked him — maybe it’s the shove from Jolene — and he takes a deep breath. “Not everyone with gold eyes is some otherworldly monster, Lance,” he mutters under his breath, then flashes his winning smile again, “Sure, sure, but— “

He turns a bit to Jolene, one brow lifting — and he offers his arm to help her without the crutches since she’s acting unsure about them. “C’mon,” he encourages, “Let’s get a picture, huh? You look great, let’s go, Martin’ll love seeing it I bet.”

Aaannnnnnd another…. Cheeeeeeeeeeeese

This time, Jim is behind Lene. His little monkey smile is much bigger than the one sported by Chicken and almost makes up for her surly nature this evening. His thin arms come up and though he can't quite mimic rabbit ears with his little paws, there's one over Lance's head. Because Lance deserves rabbit ears in every picture, obviously.

"Jim," the hissing whisper from down below is distinctly female and more importantly, angry sounding. "Jim, get down here. Now."

It's Hailey, she's leading around a small pack of animals that she's gathered from all over inside and outside of the Safe Zone. They're on their nightly prowl for grubs and other food that can only be scavenged in the dark. Like garbage. Gala's have great garbage.

Jolene offers an uncertain look to Lance, down to her crutches and then over to the offered arm. Her teeth toy at her bottom lip, brows furrowed and eyes cast to the side. It takes a moment for her to really agree to anything, but then…


…she sets the crutches aside up against the wall by the door, unsteadily taking Lance’s arm. Her steps are awkward, unsure, and lack the coordination she once had. Balance seems to be the most serious issue, though with Lance guiding her she can manage. Her left — and only strong — arm grip’s Lance’s right for dear life, and her nerve-damaged right hand comes to rest on his wrist.

“Please don't let me fall,” Lene pleads in a whisper. Glancing back and only then seeing the monkey scampering away. She stares at it wide-eyed and grips Lance’s arm harder. “Please don't let a monkey piss on me either,” she whispers. That's her bottom line for the night.

But for now, she's choosing to trust.

“A monk— “ Lance turns his head to see what she means, and he glares briefly at the monkey. Just why — and how — his sister’s monkey is here he doesn’t ask, just shaking his head. He brings his other hand over to clasp over her hand, his body moving subtly to let her lean on him more fully.

“I got you, ‘Lene” he promises quietly, reassuringly, “Not gonna let you fall.”

Stepping over towards Marlowe and the others, he flashes a broad smile, “Alright, let’s do this.”

While she's adjusting the angle of the picture for the larger group of varied sizes and color coordinating, Marlowe catches sight of the monkey in the frame and quickly turns around to look over a shoulder. However, the primate's disappearance is quick too, and she only looks briefly confused, doubtful whether or not she'd seen the monkey or whether or not everybody might think her mad. She is the only one holding a metal rod in potentially stormy weather, after all. Akin to Ben Franklin.

Lene's offer to take the picture gets a third opinion in that the current camera wielding Marlowe clicks her tongue at the shy woman and gestures to Lene to join the group. "Girl, you're just as beautiful as the rest of us fancies. Now come on, get in here with your handsome young escort." The reappearance of the monkey gets another blink, this time confirming she at least saw it.

But there's a task at hand to do, and Marlowe can't let her focus waver. She's determined to make this a night to be glad about, including making friends with new faces and deepening the pool of acquaintances. One way is the photo, a capture of memories and moments. "On the third one, everybody do a silly face, okay?"

The warning is all they get, as the timer counts down from 5…4…3…2… Snap!

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