|Summary||Jeremy makes Irene an offer, and totally accepts the offer she makes him back.|
Early Monday morning leaves many people shuffling to their jobs in NYC with the jarring dissatisfaction that comes from the weekend coming to an abrupt end. All the rush hour traffic has died down by the time Irene arrives at the X-Factor Solution offices, though it has still left plenty of regular city traffic to navigate along with lingering piles of snow outside. Her black pea-coat covers up most of her outfit, though a strip of bright red t-shirt can be seen and she appears to be wearing dark jeans, casually put together with hair tied back loosely. She is a a little slow, like observational stalking, as she approaches the unmanned front desk and looks at the bell a moment before giving it a ring. Not that she stays politely by it for very long, rounding it and poking her head into the next room. She takes in the dented tiles and the crack in the ceiling with a look that is either mild disapproval or a desire or fix it.
Jeremy is spending his early Monday morning in motion and talking very quickly with somebody on the phone. "--always expect that kind of turnaround. You're absolutely our priority. What? No, sure, of course not." He takes a long slug from the mug of black coffee he has hauled with him from the employee lounge. He's wearing a tie and sport jacket, but blue jeans and sneakers. The overall effect is less hip and fashionable than it is he maybe forgot whether he was dressing casually or professionally this morning, his long hair falling loose and light around his neck as he squints at something baffling crossing his Eyes' interface. "Thank you. Yes. You know where to find me if you ever need anything similar done. Thank you for calling." Slurping his coffee, he grimaces distinctly over its sugarless contents, and then smiles suddenly as his turn through the office shows that there's a new person here for him to greet with vibrant and recently caffeinated energy. "Hey there!" he says. "Good morning!"
The motion of Jeremy and the sound of his conversation of the phone is more attention getting than nay of the wear and tear around the offices--so Irene finds herself eavesdropping and watching Jeremy while she patiently waits for the call to end. Her brows lift a touch with that energetic greeting. "Good morning," she returns without the exclamation point. After a beat she adds, "Happy New Year. You are Mr. Wallace...?" It's an assumption, but a pretty good bet.
"Jeremy," Mr. Wallace offers in an immediate and friendly correction. He takes another swallow of coffee from the mug, makes another face, and then puts it down, striding forward in a flap of his sport coat to proffer his hand. "Welcome to X-Factor, what can I do for you this morning?"
"Right." Irene looks Jeremy up and down--taking in the use of first name and the sport coat and tie paired with jeans and sneakers--and looks just a little skeptical. But she does take his hands with a shake that is carefully firm and doesn't linger. There is a short pause, as she considers just how to answer that question. "One of your associates mentioned I should come by and speak with you, in the aftermath of what happened at the Bowery Mission." You know, Russians, police raid, all that. "What exactly /is/ it you do here, Mr. Wal-Jeremy." She's trying.
Jeremy's handshake is a firm and solid grip, showing all the signs of belonging to somebody who networks professionally and does so a lot. Like, a lot a lot. "Mostly, I find ways to prevent a shameful waste of human talent," he says. "I'm still working on marketing copy. No job too odd? Basically, I've got a team of talented individuals who, mostly based on their genetics, have a hard time finding work elsewhere. We do what needs doing, ranging from clearing driveways for people to helping them move to, well, some stuff's been a little more active. You were at the Bowery?"
"Well," Irene says in response to Jeremy's comment on 'wasting human talent' and then doesn't follow that up immediately. Her expression shift just slightly, a subtle slant and purse of lips like rue. Well. "That sounds...varied," she says uncertainly. Much more certainly, she follows with a confirmation and a sharp nod of her head. "Yes, I was."
"Varied is a good way to start." Jeremy hitches his hip against the edge of his desk, leaning on the brace of his hand beside it as he smiles. "My people are pretty varied. We've got a number of specialties, so that makes us able to generalize. It does mean that some of our work isn't to anyone's taste. But it is work, and it pays."
"I can't help you with the marketing," Irene says with a brief smile and a shrug. Sorry. That is is decidedly not her area of expertise. She tucks her hands in her coat pockets. "Yes, I think I've met a few of them now, one way or another. I suppose that explains the...difficulty in explaining exactly what the job /is/." Her gaze narrows a little, then. "What sort of work might not be to anyone's taste?"
"You know, it's a step down for a lot of us. I used to be a schoolteacher, so okay, a step sideways." Jeremy turns out a hand in an open gesture. "But when you've worked real high level in the past, say. Or on the force. For example. When you go from that to helping little old ladies move their refrigerators or getting a wrecked hovervan off somebody's roof it's not really excitement and adventure and really wild things, you know?"
Irene pulls a hand out of a pocket to hold it up, like a pledge. "I am not going to say anything bad about teachers." Maybe /specific/ ones, but not as a profession. "For example," she echoes, with a lift of one corner of her mouth. "Technically, excitement and weird things aren't my job anymore, anyway." Weird things, wild things. Whatever. Close enough.
"Weird things are definitely our job. Like we had some weird stuff that went down at the zoo, or there was the time the library was haunted, we took care of that." Jeremy scruffs his hand along the line of his jaw. He considers her for a moment, and then glances away; the flick of his gesture visibly dismisses something popping up on his Eyes through the digital aether, and he smiles a little ruefully as he returns his attention to her. "So. What are you looking for? Not excitement and weirdness?"
She can't help it. Irene closes her eyes and pinches the bridge of her nose. "I hadn't heard about either of those things. I suppose I should stop being surprised at that." She flicks her wrist, idly, as if batting the thought away. "Technology. Never lacks for wanting your attention," she murmurs, and then takes a breath. "I just said that wasn't my job anymore," she clarifies, sort of. "I'm not sure how much I could do for you, though, honestly--most of my skills are combat oriented." After a beat she adds. "Though I can move a fridge."
"I guess my question for you is, do you want a job? Because I think you may be surprised how many skills can come in useful in ways you might not have expected. I've got a lot of people learning new ways to apply old things." Jeremy straightens up, and moves behind the desk to slide open a drawer. He fingers through a few things inside it, and then pulls out a folder with a few papers in it. PAPERS. Because he's old, probably.
Irene tilts her head just a little to the side, watching Jeremy with a hint of intrigue. "I will be surprised if I am surprised." That sentence probably sounded better in her head. "Hm, well, the police certainly aren't taking me back so...yes." She let's that sit for a bit. "Wow, papers," she says, but the tone of it is more 'I'm surprised someone is so traditional still in this day and age' and not 'I can't believe anyone still uses trees to write on, wow old'.
"Yeah. I've got digitals of everything, but I like to have a few around to get a feel in ink." Jeremy pulls a single page from the folder, flips it shut again, and holds it out to Irene. "Take a look at it. This is our standard contract. You don't have to decide for sure right now," he adds, with a long breath drawn through his nose. He balances his folder against the desk and lights his fingertips across its top. "But you aren't the only cop the NYPD has been dumb enough to cut loose. I'm happy to do whatever I can for anyone who's dedicated themselves to service. You may be owed better than what we offer, but ... well, it's what I got."
"Analyzing pen strokes?" Irene smiles after she says it, because it's supposed to be a joke. She moves and takes the contract out of his hands, looking through it a bit, though not with enough attention at the moment to suggest she's reading the whole thing right now. "Well, I was there when the other one was cut loose, too." Although that's still far from the only people the NYPD has let go over the years. "We're not usually that popular around here, though." Mutant Town. She looks up from the paperwork, offers a small smile. "If I'm owed anything, it's not from you. Faithful Unto Death is apparently only one way."
Shake of his head slight, Jeremy says, "When I was younger, the X-Men and the force used to work together. Lost sight of that somewhere along the line -- both sides, I think. Now there are no X-Men." Jeremy shrugs, animatedly, and then slides his folder back into his hand, leaning down to slip it back ito the drawer from whence it came. "Considering you had to hide from your own side to even work for Mutant Affairs, you know why the popularity issues. I've got more unpopular people than the cops on my payroll, though, trust me."
"That was before my time, I think," Irene replies, with a mildly regretful expression. Most of it, anyway. Relations don't dissolve overnight, generally, though she has been around to see the end of a few 'X-Teams'. She stands up a little straighter, a little stiffer. "I am not pretending to be ignorant of the complicated history between mutants and the police,"she says, just a touch defensively. "We didn't make the laws." That use of 'we' is still dogging her even now. She can't completely switched to using 'they'. She takes a breath. "Personally or professionally unpopular?"
"Yes," Jeremy says. "I've got ex-cops. I used to be a bounty hunter, there's a few others. I've got veterans of a number of different conflicts, mercs and otherwise, and some of them are scarred by it in ways you wouldn't believe." His mouth twists as he swallows, frown turning outward as he goes on, "I've got kids fresh out of school who never got a chance to figure out what they were going to be before they weren't allowed to be anything. Mostly, I've got people with gifts who just want to live, and a society that doesn't know what to do with 'em. So we're making our own niche. Because we're all in the same boat. Like it or not."
"I can believe a lot," Irene says, dry. She may be biting off more than she can chew with that statement, but she looks unintimidated regardless. She glances down at the paperwork in her hands, thoughtful and silent for a space of time, aside from the a brief moment where she winces. "No offense, but it sounds like you've got a mess." This is not said unkindly. When she looks up at Jeremy again it is with a smile that is tentatively sympathetic. "Like it or not."
"It's controlled chaos, mostly." Jeremy smiles a little more widely, and his breath huffs past his nose in an unvoiced laugh as he shakes his head. "You can get their own stories if you ask around. Some of them will tell you it's still classified."
"Seeing is believing," Irene says, glancing around the office. There isn't really any chaos to see, controlled or otherwise. Just the rough spots of the building. She blows out a breath. "This place is structurally sound, right?" She glances at Jeremy quickly, then, at the mention of classified information. "I suppose that happens a lot in government work."
"The building? Totally fine. Been here for years, never fallen down once." Jeremy looks around the office as though mildly puzzled that this might present a concern. It's possible that he's got some rose-colored glasses going on. Possible. "Like I said," he says with a fainter smile, "you'll have to get their stories as you ask around. There's some information people will give free for the asking."
"It only takes once," Irene points out, though she doesn't seem genuinely concerned that the building is going to collapse at any minute. Possibly she's just spent too much time Home Improving of late. "I wasn't expecting you to tell everyone's secrets," she assures with a brief smile. That may or may not be actually true. "I've rarely had that happen, anyway."
"It's also good to get to know your coworkers your own self rather than just listening to me running at the mouth," Jeremy says with a wide open gesture of both hands. "Assuming you sign on, of course." He glances back at the desk and then scoops up his half-drunk black coffee, which is not cold only through the miracle of the stay-warm mug in which it rests. He sips it, although this time he restrains the urge to make a face.
"Mhm." Irene glances back at the paperwork again. "Assuming," she echoes, not giving much away. "Although," she begins, mouth curving into a slowly amused smile, "You are really not selling it with the coffee." Congratulation on not making a face this one time, though.
"I'm out of half and half," Jeremy shares with the mournful air of someone announcing a serious tragedy.
Irene does not laugh out loud. But there is a sparkle in her dark eyes as she asks, "Flavored or no?"
"Well, we had flavored and we had plain and now we don't have either of those things," Jeremy says with a sigh. His smile hints back at the corners of his mouth again. "So I'll have to wait until I have an excuse to leave the office again before I can pick up some more. What a Monday thing to happen."
"Your employees sound a little neglectful," Irene says because it sounds better than blaming it on Jeremy to his face. "I'll pick you some up." This does not sound like an offer to be accepted or declined so much as a statement as to what is going to happen.
Jeremy laughs in surprise. "Well, thank you, I appreciate the thought," he says. "Clearly I am languishing here without it. Probably not necessary to run my errands for me, but--"
"Clearly," Irene agrees, with dry humor. "It's one errand," she points out. In case he starts getting ideas, maybe. "And it's not just for you. I know where the Bodega is."
"Well, hey, I'm not going to argue with you when this means drinkable coffee in my office," Jeremy says, lifting his hands in ready defeat after this first sort of weak protest of charity.
"Good call," Irene approves, as if she isn't telling Jeremy what is happening in /his own office/. "I suppose I have taken up enough of your time," she says, remembering what else is going on besides the Coffee Creamer Tragedy. "Although I guess I'll just be back here in fifteen minutes." Graceful exits are hard."Looking forward to it," Jeremy says cheerfully. He throws himself into the chair behind the desk to start noodling around with something on the downstairs computer terminal, as long as he is going to temporarily play receptionist (a common and recurring role out here, it appears).