|Location||Roof - Avenue B Apartments|
|Summary||Tiffany learned a secret, has another of her own.|
Misting as it may be, the cool evening air and promise of a view brings Tiffany to the apartment building's rooftop in the hopes that it might just sweep away the cobwebs of the writer's block that currently plagues her.
Wearing a pair of baggy men's athletic sweatpants with stripes down the sides and a faded spaghetti-strap shirt, the poetess clutches a worn out notebook to her chest as she stares out over Mutant Town.
The roof access door squeaks in a loud whine of hinges as it shoves open. Jeremy carefully toes a cinderblock in place to keep it from closing all the way as it drags in a noisy, heavy scrape over the surface of the roof behind him. He's wearing a pair of jeans that are a little too long on him, a black band T-shirt from a concert that was probably more awesome twenty years ago, and his hair is actually pulled back from his face in a short tail at the nape of his neck. As he walks, he's kind of gesturing weirdly up by one corner of his eye as though moving documents into different order through his Eyes via gesture and glance. "Oh," he says, on seeing there's already somebody out here in the misty coolness. "Hey."
Tiffany shifts only slightly. Upon seeing Jeremy, "Hey," she turns back to look back over the horizon. Not appearing particularly disturbed by his presence, she rubs her upper arms.
Jeremy wanders across the rooftop to drop himself into one of the dilapidated lawn chairs that have been set up out here. He doesn't bother to check the seat for moisture first and sighs a little when he ends up sitting in a puddle. Oh well. "Best thing about this place is comparative building height."
"We live in a fucking shanty town," Tiffany croaks. Tucking her notebook under her arm, she fishes in the huge, saggy pockets of her sweatpants. Producing a pack of cigarettes, she shuffles the box in search of a small, half-smoked one that she'd tucked away for later. "You smoke?" She asks as if offering. See? She can be thoughtful. It's not like she's witnessed Jeremy having a debilitating asthma attack before. Oh, wait.
"No, thanks." Jeremy hooks his mouth into a slightly sideways smile for the offer, his hand hooking over one knee as he sits in a somewhat awkward, leg-sprawly way in the seat, one foot bracing against the seat itself while the other balances at an angle on the roof. His shoes are not tied. This is maturity. "Well, sometimes weed but not really much lately and that's not super relevant right now, I guess."
Lighting up, Tiffany furrows her brow at Jeremy in an accusatory expression. She has to wait to speak, sliding her lighter back into her pocket and pluching her cigarette from her lips. She blows out a fine stream of smoke over the edge of the roof and away from the former drama teacher. "I would like, totally sell you weed," she says.
"Sorry, I actually know a guy. Well, I know a guy who knows a guy." Jeremy scratches thoughtfully at the line of his jaw, considering revealing his source, and then instead, changes the subject with a faint furrow of his brows as he glances back at his one time student. "I'd actually been meaning to check with you about something."
Tiffany shifts her weight onto one him. She looks very disappointed in Jeremy, but the emotion passes into quick acceptance. "You're firing me," she confirms with perfect apathy. She flicks some ash off to the side and brings the cigarette back to her lips to take a drag.
"No, what?" Jeremy slouches back into the lawn chair and gives her a scrunched up face. "I'm not firing you. What the hell." He reaches up to drag his hand back through his hair, which frees it circumstantially from its ponytail and sends his hair tie flying off -- somewhere on the roof.
"Oh, okay," Tiffany shrugs, shaking her head somewhat. She's neither relieved nor upset. Basically, she could take it or leave it. "What's up?" She shifts her large eyes.
Jeremy gives her a look like he's trying to sort her out. It is not a look that he has never given Tiffany before. He glances away, then, pinching the bridge of his nose between thumb and forefinger and scrubbing at the line of his jeans with the heel of his other hand. "So, Richard mentioned you seemed to think he's a total nutbar, so I thought it might be good to triangulate on that."
Tiffany isn't moved by the look. She stares right into it with unabashed stoicism. Once the topic at hand is revealed, she takes another long drag. Her cigarettes are strawberry flavored, because this is the future. The smell might filter over, even if she blows out smoke away from her employer. "I don't feel comfortable discussing this with you," she says flatly.
"Really?" Jeremy raises both of his eyebrows, and swings his feet so that both hit the ground, sitting up as he turns to look at her. "Why's that?"
Tiffany gives Jeremy a /look/. Trying to trick her into talking about it, are you? "You're a little biased, don't you think? Besides." She clears her throat, glancing away as she tucks a lock of hair behind her ear, "It's like, private. It's his business. I like, don't want to know anything about it."
"Biased, about Richard? Funny idea." Jeremy rubs his hand thoughtfully over the line of his jaw. "He said you seemed pretty scared. If you think he's something to be scared of, I want to know. For one thing, I send people in the field together sometimes. Sometimes doing scary shit where we surprisingly almost die considering that we're actually mostly doing errands and mowing people's lawns."
"Oh, yeah," Tiffany gives something with the semblance of a frown, "Can you like, not send me out into the field with that guy?" She deadpan stares at Jeremy for a heartbeat before dramatically rolling her eyes, "He talks to voices." And to think, he didn't even have to break out the water torture. "He like, hears voices and he hates them and it fucking just," she motions vaguely, "It's not okay."
"Hmm." Jeremy considers for a moment, tapping his thumbs lightly against each other as his hands rest between his knees. "Where'd you happen to run across him doing this?"
<FS3> Tiffany rolls Bluff: Good Success. (3 5 8 8 5 3 5 5 7)
"He was just like, doin' it dude," Tiffany again gestures very vaguely into the air in front of her. She does her best to sweep over the when and where, "Telling himself that he hated ...himself, I guess. It was like an argument." She shakes her head, holding up a hand flatly, "And I suspect it has something to do with the alien technology that those scientists wanted to experiment with on him. And when I asked him about it before, he was totally chill. And I just..." She stops, shaking her head and blinking. "Am a little afraid of him. He caught me off gaurd. I shouldn't have even let on."
<FS3> Jeremy rolls Bullshit Artist: Good Success. (8 8 1 2 6 5 6 5)
"Mmm-huh." Jeremy makes this thoughtful noise and doesn't press. He rubs his thumb along the side of his nose and then drops his hands to his lap as he looks out across the rooftops. He thinks about it for a moment, and then teases lightly: "I thought you were a better actor than that." His smile faint, he glances back at her and shakes his head. "I can't promise you'll never have to work together, but I won't go out of my way to lock you guys in on the same stuff. And I'll check with him about it."
Tiffany can't help but smile back. Faintly. "There's something else we should talk about," she says once the smile fades. She flicks the nub of the cigarette off the roof, instantly wishing she had made it last longer.
"Ah, yeah?" Jeremy allows the subject to vanish off the roof along with her cigarette butt. He asks, eyes widening slightly, "What's up?"
Tiffany wets her lips, considering her words carefully. Her large eyes settle on him and although she opens her mouth to speak, she doesn't actually settle on anything to say. She just sighs, looking very confliceted and sad. Well, /for Tiffany/. It's entirely possible she just looks as expressonless as ever.
Jeremy shifts his lawn chair backwards a little by dint of the shove of his sneakered foot against the ground, sitting forward onto its edge as he leans forward with his elbows angled across his thighs. Looking a little quizzical -- for his is a far more expressive set of expressions -- he goes, "What?"
"Uhm," Tiffany starts. Her eyes narrow into a pouty, pained frown as she looks away out over Mutant Town. She crosses her arms. She runs her tongue over her teeth, sucking in a breath. She fumbles to get out a cigarette, lighting it. "There's something wrong with me. Power-wise. And I'm a little," she runs her thumb and the heel of her hand over her third eye, her voice growing rather hushed, "Scared."
Jeremy frowns. He clears his throat, coughs once, and looks aside for a moment, frowning deeper. Something wrong used to have one obvious solution, but the old man has been dead for more than a year now. "Can I ask what you mean?" he says. "Is there something-- you need? Something I can do?"
"It's... becoming harder to stay." Oh, good. Vague psionic-speak. She gestures inward, towards her core. "I have... cracks, in my mind. I went to another psionic, who helped me see them. It's how I slip in and out." She shakes her head, "I don't think there's anything that you can do. I just. Wanted someone to know." She hugs herself, inwardly. The new cigarette continues to smolder, creating a long cylinder of ash. "I guess I just figured you maybe you could be Professor Wallace for a second. Maybe say something stupid to make me feel better about myself."
Jeremy inhales a long breath through his nose, holds it for a moment. "I'm great at saying stupid things," he assures her. Teeth set against his lower lip, he says, "This is the kind of thing ... if the school was still here, maybe it could help. I hope we can help you stay, Tiffany." He tilts forward, reaching out to clasp her shoulder, which is totally here for the moment and he can touch it. "I hope you can find a way to hold tight with both hands. I don't know if that's what you need to hear, but. I'm in your corner, okay?"
Tiffany allows the physical contact, taking another drag. "Thanks," she says quietly. Patting out the cigarette on the edge of the roof, she slips it back into the box before moving away from Jeremy. Her large eyes are wet, but not crying. "I'm going back inside," the young psionic manages rather robotically. "I'm uhm," she hesitates, "Sorry about you and dick-brain." EVERYONE KNOWS EVERYTHING, GUYS.
"Okay." Jeremy gives a crooked twist of a smile. "Thanks for the condolences. What is there, a twitter feed? Never mind, don't tell me." He scrubs at the back of his neck, hand fallen to his lap.
Tiffany pants out a laugh, drifting towards the roof entrance. "Night, Professor," she mumbles fondly, pausing to give Jeremy a small, sad smile."Good night, kiddo," Jeremy says. He opens his hand in a wave. The concern pinching his brow doesn't withdraw as she does.