(2018-03-07) Maybe
Summary: An evening in at Brundle Investigations.
Date: 2018-03-07
Related: None.
Player Characters: Eddie, Ida, Penny, Tyla

---—-| Brundle Investigations

A room of hazy lights and lots of shadows. A trio of windows would offer a spectacular view of the bay, but they are hung with nicotine yellow blinds that seem permanently glued in the 'closed' position judging by how speckled they are with flyshit and the permanent bends and tears in the old plastic where someone has roughly bent them apart. Over and over and over again.

There are shapes in the half-dark. An uncomfortable looking loveseat and rickety side-table faces a bulky oak desk with a large armchair behind it. On top of the desk is a crossword collection. In a corner is a cheap office chair and a smaller rolltop bearing a beige computer that looks to be from the 80s, along with a matching elder coffee maker. Next to the door is a coat rack, and numerous boxes line the walls, several seemingly permanently employed as makeshift filing systems. Yellowed photos adorn the walls. The magazines on the side table are years out of date and contribute to the musty smell of the place. Somewhere a hidden radio plays jazz made sibilant with white noise.

Somewhere else on the floor a radio plays a crooning old jazzy love song: Maybe, you'll sit and sigh / Wishing that I were near.

It's in the afternoon the next day, a few streams of weak sunlight begrudgingly making their way through the bends and tears in the plastic blinds, attempting to pierce the gloom and falling short. Ida has gone over to her desk, wordlessly collecting the mug that once (two years short of a decade) had held coffee, dusting off the rolltop as she goes. The computer is making low churning noises as it continuously attempts and fails to upgrade from the 1995 OS edition to 1998. Apparently uncertain of her host's current own ability to provide caffeine, she's brought two to go Underground Coffee mugs. Cocoa deluxe for her, Macamocha for him, with a little side bag of macademia brittle. Picking back up on their previous conversation, "I did hear that there are some available apartments in the building I used to live in. I certainly can't stay at a motel for forever, but I'm not sure how secure it is."

To step inside Eddie's office, you wouldn't know a month had passed, forget about eight years. The same oak desk, with a few new stains and gouges. The same blinds, hanging a little crooked now, where he nearly tore them off the wall trying to get the window open last month. The same little red light glowing on the coffee pot, which to guess from the smell has been glowing all morning, burning to perfection. It's almost like he has a problem with change. Go figure. Ida's corner in particular doesn't seem like it's been touched since the last time she was here, a layer of dust like carpet over everything.

"I wonder whatever happened to those awful girls you lived with," Eddie wonders, taking the coffee that she's brought along. The stuff in the pot could really stand to thicken up a little more, anyway. "I've been living out of a suitcase since I woke up, so I can't help, there. You could ask Tyla about a room at the farmhouse, I guess. She likes to take in strays, and I know how rustic you are." He goes to crack the blinds apart and peek outside, the way he does, then settles in behind his desk and produces a couple of cigarettes.

There's a small choking noise from her corner at the mention of rustic, though perhaps it's all the dust finally settling into her windpipe. Ida has a sip of her own coffee. "… Well. I am sure she's a most gracious hostess." She pauses, discarding one paper towel to grab another handful (she brought those with her), continues to de-grey the rolltop. She eyes her former chair dubiously, continues, "Though I think I will look around for other options first. It wouldn't do to impose." The chair is creaking just from being looked at. She pushes it over to stand by the door, having to lean it against the wall to keep it from falling over. Some unwary guest is going to get a surprise trip to the floor on this one. "I was wondering why some of the boxes looked extra crumpled. It would make for a more supportive rest than the floor." There might be a smile there, hidden behind her coffee.

Eddie strikes a match across his desk, where he's done it a million times before, judging from the marks on the wood. He lights his cigarette and takes a drag and watches Ida reacquaint herself with the office. He seems a little annoyed when she starts messing around in that corner, like he's going to snap don't-touch-that, until he remembers who it is that's doing it. This is going to take a little getting used to, apparently. "She can cook," he shrugs, and leaves the subject of Tyla alone. "You're welcome to use the office. I don't sleep, much." A beat, and he smirks. "Might need some extra boxes, though."

Possible— well no, it's highly likely that Ida's noticed that annoyance, and still stubbornly keeps it up until Eddie snaps out of it. She's reclaiming her corner of his realm. "Mmm, and an extra chair. This one is officially a work place hazard, I would have to report the situation to HR." So instead she delicately leans against the short side of the now dedusted rolltop desk, wisely keeping most of her weight on her feet. "You just want to check and make sure that I actually sleep rather than replacing batteries or plugging into the wall." There's a little glimpse of dimples, taking the potential sting out of the dark joke. "I don't blame you for that. I'd rather like to be sure of it myself, with how strange all of this is."

The workplace gag gets a chuckle, but it's a little strained. He taps his finger on his desk and smokes and tries to figure how to put it. "Yeah," he starts, "about that. I haven't had much time for work lately. Not the paying kind, anyway. You can hang around and listen to the phone not ring, if you want, but it'd be strictly in an amateur capacity." He looks away for a moment, embarrassed. It's not like he ever paid very well, anyway. He plucks the second cigarette off his desk and holds it out, conciliatory like, leaning forward to get up and walk it over if she wants it. He's in the chair that won't fall apart when he gets out of it, after all. "None of your fancy Turkish numbers, sorry, just good old American tobacco, and probably some shredded Chinese newspapers."

"Eddie, Eddie. Didn't we talk about this in the past? It's not good business to constantly do charity work for people in need." Ida does want, accepting the offered death stick with a slightly rueful look. "I found my beloved Turkish ones apparently are a dying brand in this brave new world. Hard to get." She has her own lighter? She pats her pockets. She does. And of course it's a vintage style thing, rose gold and blue lacquer with art noveau style filigree. Still fancy. "I suppose we are supporting global commerce this way." Inhale. Exhale, and there's a flutter of wings to the smoke ring, illusionary insect shapes circling. "I am ok with us playing amateur hour, if you are. But I'm guessing the problem is the part where you're not able to leave town for work?"

"The only charity I'm performing these days is for the Benevolent Society for Distressed Brundles," Eddie says, making a little face at the lighter and putting away his matchbook. He goes back over to his desk to fetch his coffee, but doesn't return to his chair, turning around the loveseat and settling into that instead. It's closer, so they don't have to talk so loud. Yeah. That must be it. "There's plenty of work. Port Angeles runs from Seattle all the way out to Forks, these days. I just haven't got time to do it. There's more important things than keeping me in smokes right now."

Almost close enough to touch. Ida is playing with the lighter, inspecting it like she's not seen it before. "Am I an honorary society member, or do I have to reapply to get the secret code again?" She raises an eyebrow. "The city *has* grown. Gracious. As long as you're getting enough to eat, I suppose. I'm sure I can find some kind of extra paying work in such a fast paced, urban environment if I need it." Her turn to move, now, and she goes to settle into the loveseat next to him. There's still enough space for politeness between the two, and she shifts a bit more onto her side, legs curling up, head propped up on her arm. Her free hand is toying with her hair, fiddling with a stray vibrant strand. "You have people looking at you for help a lot, huh? You have caught a bit of popularity, I'm afraid." There's a languid gesture towards his shoulders, the invisible Winter mantle.

Maybe that was a joke, but Eddie seems to give it serious consideration. He doesn't answer until she's sitting next to him, and while he doesn't squirm or stiffen up, but he doesn't move any closer either. Staring forward at the door. "It's a pretty exclusive organzation," he finally says. "I'll put you in a good word with management, but it might take some time." That mantle that she's pointing at goes to work a little, and he seems further away somehow, though the space between them doesn't change. "I help them, they help me. It's all the same right now. We're all boiling in the same pot." A beat, and he turns to flash his crooked grin. "I'll bill them when it's over."

Ida doesn't seem surprised, rather it's almost like she's made more comfortable by Eddie's implied distance. Like this is how it should be, the natural way of things. The pair are in the loveseat in the office, the tall Fairest curled up on her side facing the Beast sleuth, polite space between the two. He's pulled up his Winter mantle, seeming more distance than reality and physics really should allow for. They're both smoking. Two abandoned coffees to go are moldering away on the big desk. It's in the afternoon, March 7th, a few streams of weak sunlight begrudgingly making their way through the bends and tears in the plastic blinds, attempting to pierce the gloom and falling short. Somewhere else on the floor a radio plays crackling jazz music, something instrumental and vaguely yearning with cellos and clarinets.

She laughs at his last comment, "That sounds like a good plan. I am glad to hear you are keeping track of your hours."

"Somebody once told me the world is gonna roll me, I ain't the sharpest tool in the she-eddd…" And after that painful poptune rendition, the door bangs open to reveal the Mistress of Mirth - Penny. "Hey Eddie, I brought a six pack and - " She stops in her tracks and stares at the scene on the couch. "Um. Well, this is a little too film noir, Eddie." She puts on a Bogart-esque growl. "When the leggy dame walked into my office, I knew she was trouble…"

"Keeping track, making up, who can say, really?" Eddie seems to relax at her response, and the grin settles into a subdued and appreciative smile. He drops ash on the carpet, then cocks his head to one side, listening for something. He holds up one hand and starts closing fingers, five, four, three, two— and there's Penny. "Pennywise," he waves, getting up to greet the clown and usher her on in, "What can I say? I know my brand. Trouble, this is Penny. Penny, there's Trouble."

"Penny. Eddie does prefer to call me by my middle name." The introduced newcomer rises from her comfortable position on the couch, unfolding her full 6'(plus boots) with a faint smile. The glorious complete *lack* of a Mantle hints at Ida's Courtless status. "I regret I only brought two coffees myself, I am not sure if there's any brittle left." She gestures towards the desk, a little white paper bag showing macademia brittle inside, possibly. "It is good to make your acquaintance. It seems the day is treating you well."

Penny looks all the way up at Ida. "Hey there. Nice ta meet ya, Trouble. And don't worry about the coffee. I brought a six pack!" She pulls up those six cheap beers in her hand. "Anyways, yeah, decent day. And…ooooh, is that brittle?" She scoots over to the desk.

"Ida," Eddie uses her real name this time, or the at least the realest one he knows, "used to be my secretary, back before our seven year nap, when I still got enough work to need one." He heads over to the desk himself, to drop his cigarette in the ash tray and get another one. He waves a help-yourself gesture at the brittle, still mostly untouched, then goes to pull out a few boxes to sit on near the loveseat. He lets the clown use the actual furniture. "How've you been? I meant to check in after that mess on Mt. Paddo, but you know how it is. Cops to watch, apartments to bust into, cr-" He clears his throat, catching himself. "Things to move around."

Sinking back into the loveseat, Ida gives a little nod, smile lingering before she focuses on her cigarette. "It has been an interesting re-introduction." If she catches onto the stumble over a certain word that starts with cr she doesn't let on, instead politely looking between the two. Another change. The rolltop desk that holds the computer and coffee maker has been cleaned of its carpet of dust, and the chair that was there has been moved next to the door, leaned against the wall like a reeling drunkard. It looks like its next home is in a dumpster.

Penny gingerly pulls out a piece of brittle. "Thanks, Eddie!" After a happy few nibbles, she says to Ida, "Welcome back. I hope it's worth it. This brittle sure is." She looks over at Eddie. "I'm okay. I guess. That whole trip was literally a trip. The real question is, are you okay?"

"For a guy who fell off a mountain, I guess I'm doing alright," Eddie says, looking down and patting his limbs as if to check. Nothing falls off, so he gives a thumbs up and snags a beer before he sits down. The box he picks to sit on is made of cardboard, but it's stuffed full enough that it doesn't give at all. "Wings are hell on my tailor, but they come in handy once in a while. I don't guess the school could use a new janitor, could it? Ida's looking for work, and she's real good at cleaning." He nods over at the rolltop, devoid of its usual carpet of dust.

"I fear I would be ill equipped for the educational arena, but I am impressed by Ms. Penny's fortitude in such." Ida sounds vaguely amused at the notion. "I suppose I should have let it stayed a museum piece, then? Would you like me to return the chair? We may need to use some… wiring… but I am sure we can get it back in an approximation of its past self."

Penny tilts her head. "Trouble, if you don't mind gettin dirty, I'm sure we could find a spot for you on the mop squad," she says to Ida. "Plus, you get benefits. Medical, dental, alla that." She slumps into the remaining seat. "I hope Eddie still let's you come here and do all the filing your heart desires."

"There's nothing wrong with my files," Eddie says defensively, casting a look back over his shoulder at the stacks of unmarked boxes lined along the wall, "I've got a system." The failing chair gets a look, too. Considering how many wires it'd take, maybe. He shakes his head, and twists the cap off of his beer, raising it in a small salute before he tips it back. "Christ, with all of that maybe I ought to sign on. It can't be any dirtier than the work I do already."

Penny gets big-eyed at the thought of Eddie in janitor's garb, and laughs. "Do you really thing you wouldn't just quit the first day? You have to answer to the head of janitorial services, which means you have to take orders from Joe. He's cool but he can be a real ass when he wants to. You have to keep from bein nosy around the kids, which I figure is hard for a detective. And, finally, you gotta *clean up* the garbage."

"I can take orders," Eddie says, sounding uncertain. "And I mind my own business, when nobody's paying me not to." Less uncertain, now, and more just telling a lie. The last point takes all the fight out of him, and he sighs and admits defeat. "I guess some things just aren't meant to be." He takes a mournful drink, then looks sidelong at Penny. "Between you and me, I don't think I could pull off a jumpsuit, anyway."

"Unless you were undercover, I guess," Penny replies. "Detectives gotta detect. It's in your blood." She grabs a beer and returns Eddie's bottle salute. "So. I gotta tell you how me and Bea shook up Frugal's. It was hilarious, and we almost got in the middle of a riot. Doesn't look like it's on the internets, though."

"Or ichor, or caterpillar juice, or whatever it is I've got," Eddie says. He's honestly not sure. "Sounds like a gas. What—" Something occurs to him, and a look of panic flashes across his face. "Wait, where? Frugal's? What happened? Did something happen to Frugal's?"

Penny holds up her hands (and her beer). "Relax, the place is still standin. We were just there and I let Bea cut in line, which got the lady behind us pissed. No biggie. Then this guy decided to make this huge complicated higher math order, and of course they messed up one of his burgers, and Bea took the one he didn't want, since they were jus'gonna throw it away. So now people want free burgers. Then when it's our turn, Bea gets chicken wings, and they were the. last. wings. in the joint. And as we're walkin out Bea's braggin about how she might not even eat all her wings." She leans back. "We're lucky they didn't chase us down the street."

Eddie does his best to calm down and listen. It's tough going at first, after a scare like that, but by the end he's chuckling along with the story. "She really would make a good Summer, wouldn't she?" He finishes his beer, then leans back to open one of his file boxes and drops in the bottle. "Who the hell makes a complicated order at Frugal's, anyway? Big Fruggie, as is, every time. The beauty is in the simplicity." He's not even joking.

Penny nods enthusiastically. "She comes across as the sweethearted hippy, and then she gets people whipped into a burger mob. It's a little scary." She grins. "I have no idea about those orders, man. I just get a Fruggie, fries, and a shake. Simple. Tasty. Cheap."

"Exactly!" Eddie agrees with uncharacteristic passion. "That's what Frugal's is all about. I tell you, it's all these new people moving in from out of town. They just don't get it." Forget that he's from California, himself, and that he's got a grand total of maybe two years of actual memories living in Port Angeles. It certainly seems like he has. He goes to grab another beer, and finally lights that cigarette he got from his desk a minute ago. "And scary's the right word. She'd make a dynamite Autumn, too, now that I think of it. Well, at least she won't be horning in on my territory, any time soon."

"And you just broke my brain. A scary Bea! People are already afraid of bees, why the hell not?" Penny finishes her beer, then checks the time. "Oh, gotta go, movie night at my apartment. George rented Pan's Labrynth. I guess he really likes this Del Toro guy, says it'll be good." She stands up, leaving the rest of the beers and taking another piece of brittle. "Catch ya later, Eddie, Trouble."

"Hope you like subtitles," Eddie grins, giving the clown a wave on her way out. "Thanks for the beer."


The hours have gone by quickly. The sleuth and the dame's conversation has been sporadic though fairly non-awkward, bits of small talk between her trying to get the compputer to realize the futility of its rebooting (mingled success) and his realization that he couldn't quite remember what was *in* this one box and oh hey look at this junk. Now it's around dinner time. The sun is setting, the light through the blinds a dark reddish orange that mingles poorly with the office's normal twilight. Ida stirs from her position in the loveseat, a stained and somewhat murky looking manila folder spread in her lap, thick with notes and weird diagrams. A past unsolved case from the mystery box. "Eddie, did I hear you say that you never got to solve this one? Did they run out of money or did something else happen? It's a shame, it's such a fascinating story."

"Honestly? I don't know," Eddie says, making a face as he says his least favorite three word phrase. He's had to say it a lot, this past few months. He's waiting by the door, pacing back and forth, waiting for the takeout he ordered twenty minutes ago. "Near as I can tell it's from a couple years ago, so," he waves a hand in lazy circles near his head, like smoke drifting away into the night. "A lot of this is. Most of it, probably. I haven't had a chance to go through most of it." He pulls back his sleeve and checks his watch and paces some more.

Pulling out a pair of polaroids, Ida looks at them dubiously. "You certainly were a bit not entirely there, it seems. There are a couple of self portraits in here that I think were mean— oh." She pauses, suddenly intrigued. "Well. Eddie, honey, I think I found out why you left the job." It's a little bit Blair Witch. The first shot is a super close up of part of Eddie's left eye, ear, cheek. He's standing in a dark area, looks like a cellar with dirt floor. From the ceiling dangles black threads. In the next photo it's clear he's aiming the camera over his shoulder, and that the threads have moved, appearance something between kelp and eel and moss, reaching for him. On the back is scrawled in sleuth hand writing a simple NO CELLAR.

He the picture and examines it, front and back, not seeming terribly surprised. "Smart man," he says, handing it back. "I ought to listen to him more." Interestingly, the guy in the photo doesn't look exactly like the man in the office. Smaller eyes, pinker skin, browner hair. How Eddie must look with his mask up. Most likely she's never seen him like that before. "I guess I should've figured. Just because we were hiding doesn't mean every other damn thing that goes bump in the night wasn't still out there, bumping."

Putting the polarids back into the folder, Ida slides it back into the box. "Once we have a moment to catch our breath, there will be a lot of reading to do, and retracing your steps, I would say. Well. Not into any cellars." And here is the knock on the door with the promised delivery. She checks her pockets, "Remind me, how much is my share of this? … I apparently have a bank account now. I have not yet figured out what the password is to get into it through that new phone, but I do have some pocket change on me."

"Hopefully by then you'll be used to those," Eddie teases, nodding at Ida's new fingers and tapping one of his owns at a fresh pinhole in the cardboard box cover. "Don't worry about the money, I did some work for the owner. I don't know what, exactly, but it must have been pretty good." He can't help puffing up a little, but he turns around and opens the door before he can get too insufferable about it. "Jimmy," he nods at the little guy on the other side, loaded down with two heavy bags of takeout chinese food. He fishes around in his coat for a decent tip and exchanges it for the bags, then closes the door with his foot and waddles back over to the loveseat, shoulders sagging with the weight.

The rest of the manila folders are removed from the side table and couch as well, placed back on top of the box just in case there was some specific order to their original placement. "That smells lovely, thank you." Ida smiles, scooting a bit further into her corner and pats the empty cushion next to hers. Speaking of new fingers. "Honestly, the hair caught me the most by surprise, and the eyes, the lashes. You would have thought with how … *preserved* we seem to have been such things would not have taken place, but." There's a little shrug. Then she smiles again. "I am pleased that you continued to be good at what you do, even when you were not all there, or however one is to refer to that time." She will reach out to assist with the bags, wherever it is that they are going.

The bags end up on the floor, in front of the loveseat. Not the most hygenic, but probably not much worse than any place else in the office, and anyway there's plastic and cardboard between the food and the carpet. "It could be worse" he says, collapsing back onto the cushion. "I woke up needing glasses." He leans forward and selects a box. Orange chicken, of course. It's fried meat in sugar syrup. "Anyway," he admits, "I like the hair." Then he dips his face into the box and starts eating like a horse out of a feed bag. His tablemanners haven't changed, at least.

How often does Eddie's eating habits get a fond smile in response? It happens this time, though as he's preoccupied likely won't see it - Ida tilts her head, watching for a few moments before concentrating on her own meal. "Ah, you darling. You remembered what I like." She is of course eating like a lady, thoughtfully nibbling away before reaching back into the bag to offer him his drink of choice. "Is there anyone else in the area that would be familiar from before? I do not recall Penny, and she did not recall me that I could tell."

It takes him some time to answer. He makes plenty of noises, but none of them are words. Once Eddie gets started eating it's hard for him to focus on much of anything else. Eventually the contents of the box are depleted to the point where he has to come up for air and start using his fingers, though, and takes that opportunity to talk. "Honestly I was just playing the odd," he lies, "order everything and hope for the best." He grins and orange rimmed grin. "Penny was around in the old days, but there were a lot of us back then. Already mentioned Tyla. Bea's around." His lower eyelids come up in a smile, a rare enough occurence that she could count on pointed fingers the number of times she's seen it. "Tom was, but he's gone to ground, as near as I can tell. The Doc, too."

"Perhaps she and I just have short memories, but you are right, there were a lot more faces." Ida picks up her own drink, sweet milk tea, and has a sip. Then catching that smile, returning it. The wings in her lashes flutter, then lie still. "I understand why. They are both very studious people, it is difficult to come up with anything past short term plans when you are right in the middle of everything." She prods the content of her own meal before reaching over to pick up an eggroll and offer it to him, held between the points of two sparkling claws. Whether or not he accepts the gift, she will take another one and sample that one herself. Nibbling. "It sounds like Tyla is the one who knows the most people right now. Has she changed much?"

Eddie takes the eggroll and makes it disappear, hardly stopping to chew. "Yes. No. Maybe," he shakes his head. "I've been asking myself the same question. I didn't know her too well, back then. What I did know I didn't like, much." He gets to the bottom of his orange chicken, and tips up the box to shake loose what's left at the bottom, then washes it down with his drink. A little classy than hers, a three liter of soda. "But I lived over the laundry for a little while, after we woke up. She's not that bad, for a rich girl." But.

Ida simply waits for the story to continue its natural course, the "not that bad except" qualification lingering in the air. Quiet, curious, listening. More eggroll? Answer seems likely to be yes, as she offers that box to Eddie too, before focusing on her own dish of noodles and things. Nomming away quietly. Dinner *and* a show! Well. Of the spoken variety. There's a very content air about her right now, as if something that wasn't quite fitting is finally settling into place, or like a particularly difficult puzzle is one more piece closer to completion.

Strangely enough, Eddie seems reluctant to continue. He takes his time with the eggroll, as much as he can. Three bites, this time. "She still takes a lot of rescuing. Too much, maybe. I hope not." He sighs a little sigh and starts sucking orange syrup off his fingers. It consoles him, a little. "She's been good to have around. I like her, even." He tests that out, and seems a little surprised to find that it's true. "But she goes out on these limbs, and people follow her out there, trying to pull her back. One day the limb's going to break, and it's better if she's on it by herself when it does."

"You are still a good friend, Eddie. You are doing that caring and concerned thing… Even your tough talk about Tyla is because you are worried about her *and* everyone else." It is a somewhat cozy little moment in time, this. The hour is somewhere between when normal people have dinner and officially evening. The sun has long since set, the moon rising outside in a ghostly halo from the moist, still air. Inside a certain sleuth's office, Eddie and Ida are seated together on the love seat sharing Chinese takeout. There are some manila folders scattered around the background, one of the many boxes having had its contents disturbed and rummaged through. The Beast has an orange grin from his meal of sugary chicken, the Fairest is hand feeding him the occasional egg roll. The mood is … sweet, maybe? Sweet, a little tense, a little relaxed, warm. Two characters on a stage after perilious journeys and many a betrayal. The radio is playing a low version of Mood Indigo.

"If worrying makes me good then I guess I'm a saint," Eddie says, sourly. He wipes his face on the back of his sleeve, adding a splash of color to the sorry gray affair. "Everybody's always telling me how sweet I am, these days. I really ought to kick a puppy into the bay." He leans forward again and starts digging through the takeout bags, looking for something that's slipped between the boxes. He finally comes out with a half dozen fortune cookies, raining them down onto the loveseat between him and Ida.

Tyla loves the night, little darkling that she is. And there is only so much drinking one can do at home, alone while birds are staring at you. She didn't drive herself here though, she hasn't forgotten what a dumb idea it is to drink and drive - yet. She called a cab and was just driving around, apparently with a really big bottle of tequila; big fat worm included. The smell of booze makes it to the door before she knocks tentatively on the frame, her hair churning and bubbling drunkenly. "Don't forget to add in bed to the end!" She says by way of hello.

"It is your own fault. What kind of puppy would you like, the classic cockerspaniel or one of those Maltese things?" Ida tilts her head at Eddie, a toothily impish grin showing before she hides it with a sip of sweetly milky tea again. Then entrance, stage right, "Ah. Tyla, have you evolved such that speaking your name thrice summons you? That seems like a bit of a drawback." She takes in the hair, the drunkeness. "It is good to see you again. Would you like some tea?"

"Any little three-legged mutt with big sad eyes ought to do," Eddie says. He sniffs the air and furrows his brow, and lets out another little sigh a moment before the door opens. Of course, she'd show up at this exact instant. "Wilson," he greets, shooting Ida a dirty look, "come on in. There's coffee on. You smell like you could use some." A beat. "In bed." He unwraps a cookie and eats it, fortune and all. He doesn't need a pastry to tell him what kind of luck he's got.

Tyla Blinks a couple of times at Ida and shakes her head slowly, her hair flickering slowly. "I don't think so. Used to have werewolf blood and cool fire powers, but I don't think I was ever Bettlejuice." She admits after stepping inside and waving the bottle at Eddie. "You said it was supposed to have a worm in it." She reminds him. "And I like hot chocolate better than coffee." She stuffs a hand in her pocket. "Oh and pay you. And find out a name again." She rambles on, drunkenly. "Did you pick a name?" She asks pulling out a wad of cash.

"Yes, I remember you differently," Ida smiles, looking at Tyla as calmly as if it was just a matter of a new hair cut. "It is an interesting change. I notice something new about your speech, also. You would be quite the star in different circumstances, I am sure." She considers the fortune cookies on the couch, picks one up, opens it up, picks out the fortune unseen and leaves it to soak and dissolve in the juices of her empty Chinese food takeout carton. Then dips the empty cookie into her tea. "Oh my. We have a case? Am I back on the payroll?"

"You remember about the worm but not about the name?" Eddie gives Tyla a bemused smile. "Funny how the brain works, sometimes. I'll remind you later, when you're not out on the roof." His attention is so completely on the Darkling that one could be forgiven for not noticing his hand, snaking over into Ida's empty takeout box, stealing her fortune. He might not want to know his, but apparently he's got priorities with other people. "Not yet," he shakes his head at the fortuneless Fairest. "That's all going in the gas tank. When I accept it, which isn't tonight. You can pay me once I do the work, Wilson."

Love Is At Your Hands Be Glad And Hold On To It. / Learn Chinese: Good luck = Hao yun / Lucky numbers (Lotto): 05-19-26-28-37-47 / Daily numbers (Pick3): 113

"Oh I looked like this before." Tyla admits, her hair drooping slightly and flickering less, briefly. "But that was when us fae-touched were petitioning to be part of the freehold." She speaks slowly and clearly… as slow and clear as a drunk person can anyway. "I'm not surprised you don't remember." She says with a little shrug. "You said you already did the other thing, so I owe you for that." She frowns holding out the bottle and money to Eddie. "And you said you would have expenses!"

It seems Ida doesn't notice her fortune being pilfered, absorbed as she is in Tyla's story. Though she does offer Eddie another cookie. "I do not remember Fae-touched partitioning, but then I do not remember attending many formal affairs. I recall I did not much care for the, ah, political establishment at the time, perhaps. It is a little distant, now." Lightly, teasingly she drapes a ringlet of her iridescent hair across the sleuth's shoulder, cloth-of-jewels accenting the stains on his coat. Gleaming and catching the light, yet silky soft. "Eddie, I do believe she feels she owes you for something."

"I started the other thing," Eddie corrects, and he seems ready to protest further, but he's surrounded. He grabs the money, then the bottle, taking a big slug and then passing it back. "What is it with women in this town and clear liquor?" he mutters, disgruntled, climbing up off the loveseat and heading back to his desk to stash the cash. He takes the proferred fortune cookie with him, just to have something to break apart on the way, leaving a trail of crumbs across the carpet. You know, with all the other crumbs.

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Tyla makes a face, maybe it's about politics, maybe it's Eddie giving the booze back. She gives a little shrug and sets in on the table, "I don't want it, it's not strawberry. And has a worm in it. And it's open. Can't take it back anyway." She nods to Ida smiling sadly. "Yeah, apparently they didn't know how to do things, according to my research." Research, that makes her hair droop again and stop flickering. "I should get back to researching, probably. Cabs waiting." And that reminds her as she looks up at Eddie again, "Starting means expenses too, I'm sure."

"The distinguished private eyes of the area prefer … bourbon? Whiskey? Rum? All of the above in one glass, as a symbol of friendship and unity?" Ida is once more curled up all cozy like in the love seat, all hair and curves and legs. "Or perhaps this is a request for liqueur to go with the liquor, would you like a nice bottle of Midori to celebrate the vernal equinox?" Her facial expression is all innocent concern. Looking back to Tyla, then, she shakes her head a little. "While it is an important job, do take care of yourself too. If you work too hard you might miss the forest for the trees." She offers a fortune cookie.

"What've you got against worms?" Eddie asks, checking his pockets for something. It takes a little while. He's got a lot of pockets, with a lot of things in them. "Some of my best friends are worms." He finds it. It's a key. He crouches down to unlock the bottom drawer of his desk, then pulls it out and reaches around inside to unstick the false back. He shoves the wad of bills back there, replaces the back, closes the drawer, and locks it up again. "You can afford to keep the cab waiting. Sit down and eat something before you end up with a strawberry flavored ulcer." He ignores Ida. That low grumbling noise is just digestion. Honest.

Tyla takes the cookie with a smile and puts it in her pocket for later, looking confused. "I don't have anything against worms, but you said tequila was supposed to have a worm in it." She tries to explain. "And I actually have some fish and chips from that new place waiting in the cab. Sure the driver doesn't want to sit and wait. I just wanted to pay you while I remembered." She mumbles, hair rolling slightly, but still a little droopy as she heads to the door. "Glad you're awake too, Ida." She adds with a smile and a wave.

"I think our guest is rebuffing your invite for now." Ida looks over to Eddie, then turns her attention back to the apparently departing Tyla. "Perhaps you will consider a raincheck? It would be good to sit and talk at some point, when and if we all have a moment to spare." She reaches out, finds another box, and fishes out one last egg roll. This is offered with a smile to yon Beast. "Last one? I think it's started to get a little stale already."

"I'm just going to charge you again, once you forget," Eddie grins his crooked grin, giving Tyla a wave on her way out the door. He keeps it pinned in place a while, listening to her footsteps down the hall. When he's sure she's gone he lets it collapse like a house of cards, nearly taking the rest of him with it. He heads for the bottle. Clear liquor or not, he needs a drink.

Ida rises from her seat and moves over to stand next to Eddie. Like a mobile pillar of support - or a source of distraction from his distraction, however one views it. "I would offer you something to cut that, but I am not sure how well your soda would work with the tequila." She waits a moment, then nudges his shoulder with the egg roll. Insistent. The grease has stained the sparkle of her skin, wetting the metallic gold down to a darker luster. "However shall I come back into your good graces, if food will not do the trick?" There's a pause, and he can hear her breathing change - minute stifled laughter, unlikely anyone else would know to catch it. "I shall simply have to hinge my fortunes on the Midori after all. You will find your desk covered in bottles of green come this weekend."

Eddie drinks. Quite a lot, actually, making a notable dent in the bottle all in one pull. It'd be a worrisome sight, to someone who didn't know he can drink rubbing alcohol. It's still probably not great. He sets it back down and looks back over his shoulder at the eggroll, taking it with a strained smile. "Thanks. You'd better get back to your motel. I've got some things to take care of around the office." Like a bottle of tequila, alone, in the dark.

"We do need to talk. Once we have both established further that we are both real." The Fairest pauses here, still not going away. "And that I have no intention of leaving." It's dark outside, clouds having slowly, sluggishly rolled in to cover the moon. The big city's lights has the sky turned an ugly shade of reddish brown. "I suppose if I ask to sleep on the boxes here instead, you will be spending the night in your car, that kind of thing?" She's close enough that he can smell her, that Turkish tobacco. Beneath it some kind of vanilla-y shampoo or soap. Then the Ida smell. That lightly sweet, lightly spicy aroma. Will the tequila make that go away? Maybe eventually, for a little while at least. She brushes at his shoulder, brief delicate warmth against the Winter mantle's eternal chill. And she's moving away now, slowly, back over to the loveseat. Picking up the remnants of the meal, tidying up a bit. Ida Was Here(tm). "If you prefer to be alone I will go."

"And come back tomorrow. With coffee."

It isn't easy, but what is, lately? "Go," he says, colder again, and further away. He turns his back on her and goes over to the window, leaning forward against the wall and cracking open the blinds. He stands there for a long time, silent, peering out into the dark over the bay. It's not until she's nearly at the door that he speaks again. "And then come back."

Still, he doesn't turn around again until the door is closed behind her, and he hears the elevator ding open down the hall. He goes to the door and locks it up, and shuts off all the lights, and takes the bottle back to his desk. Sinking into his seat he raises it up and looks at the worm floating at the bottom, shaking it around a little. "Just you and me, buddy. You and me."

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