09.11.3013: Breaking In
Summary: Rook learns how to walk in high heels.
Date: 05 September 2013
Related: None
Ithaca Jane 


H.A.G. Plaza - Phylon
Automatic double-doors of floor-to-ceiling glass whoosh open dramatically when foot traffic passes to and from the building. The lobby is a picturesque assembly of all movie-related novelties: grand holovid premiere posters in golden frames lined up neatly along three of the four walls; autographed photos of celebrities; framed covers for famous manuscripts; and wall-mounted sculptures of old fashioned film reels. Crystal chandeliers modeled as throwbacks to the Silver Screen era offer ample lighting reflected back by the glossy floor tiles. Various squares along the floor have been selected as monuments to celebrities past; they are each decorated with a golden star, a holophoto, and the celebrity's signature.

The spacious lobby is interspersed with towering ionic columns of stone that divide the interior into three sections - the central information desk set in a semi-circle and flanked by a glassed-in conference room to the left and a waiting area to the right. Plush couches and loungers offer comfortable seating while small end tables are placed for the convenience of visitors. The wide mouth of a back hallway looms behind the central desk and leads to the interior offices.

11 September 3013

It is late afternoon in Phylon, and with that comes the hustle and bustle of a city on break. The H.A.G. Plaza is fairly quiet due to the staff being off for lunch, and so the lobby is empty except for Jane. The red-head is seated at the reception desk and is busy typing away on a tablet, flipping through documents and getting in a little work time even though she is supposed to be on vacation. Work addicts find it hard to leave their jobs behind for days a time, it seems. She reaches up occasionally to flick back an errant curl that creeps its way over her shoulder.

Rook, Nitrim's friend, slips inside, though it may take a moment or three to recognize her. It looks like she let her hair grow out, and stopped dying it. The piercings are gone, and she's actually wearing a dress. It's cute, white with black leaves turning from thick at the top to sparse at the bottom like an ombre effect. Of course, she has a leather jacket over it and combat boots on, with a pair of fancy heels in her hands as she can't walk in the damned things. "Jane?" she asks quietly, timidly.

For a moment, Jane is completely unaware that someone has entered the lobby, which would lead one to suspect that a bell over the door is going to be installed soon. When she hears her name, the actress jumps in surprise, and one hand flutters up to rest on her chest just below her collarbone. Her gaze darts up to settle on Ithaca, and for a moment her expression is blank. It takes a solid four or five seconds before she recognizes the woman; she relaxes almost immediately and offers an apologetic smile. "Oh, Rook. It's Rook, right? I'm not sure I was entirely sober the last time we met."

Flipping red tresses behind her shoulders, Jane rises from her seat and glides around the desk, approaching the woman with an outstretched hand. "A pleasure to meet you in more sober circumstances. I take it you are here regarding the, ah, lessons? I recall the inquiry Lord Nitrim sent my way a while back, but hadn't heard from either you in quite some time. I was almost jealous thinking you had found a better 'teacher'." The last word is given the appropriate airquotes.

"Went away for a while," Rook explains. "Got back recently. Um, need help." She holds up the heels. "No idea how to walk." She looks sheepish. "New clothes. Old me."

"Ahh, heels," Jane murmurs, tapping the heel of one of her boots on the tile floor before lifting the hem of her skir to reveal a whopping five-inch boot. She is not afraid to tower over the men, it seems. "Have you worn these at all yet?" Jane inquires, reaching out to take the heels from Ithaca and look them over inside and out, bending them and tugging lightly on the sole to consider its make.

"30 seconds. In shop. Tipped over," Rook admits with a grimace. They are very, very expensive shoes. The dress is also a pricey designer piece. Someone is clearly the small woman's benefactor when it comes to fashion. She sits down in a chair, which she also needs lessons in as she sits like she's wearing pants instead of a dress, and hauls off her boots.

Jane watches with some degree of amusement as Ithaca plops into a chair, and while the movement lacks grace and her posture needs some work, she can only handle one battle at a time. "Well, there is a certain way you stand in heels if you're going to be on your feet for very long without walking. Go ahead and put these on, and when you stand up, keep a hand on the chair for balance."

Rook nods and she takes the shoes and slips them on feet as diminutive as the rest of her. The combat boots she's always tromping around in disguise that pretty well. She braces herself, and uses the chair she was sitting in to get up on the shoes, wobbling like a newborn foal trying to stand for the first time.

"Shift your weight to the balls of your feet when you stand. You don't actually need the heel touching the floor at all. This will also keep you from losing your balance if your ankles are wobbly. They will strengthen in time, although I do suggest swimming laps. The water gives good resistance and will help strengthen them up in no time." Jane begins to circle around Ithaca, one hand on her chin and she studies the woman's posture.

"Back straight, chin parallel with the floor. Looking down will cause you to slouch, and slouching will cause you tromp instead of glide. I know it's going to sound stupid, but if you arch your back just a little bit, that will help. And one last thing about standing in heels: don't stand in them like they're regular shoes. Place the heel of one shoe against the inside middle of the other and shift your weight periodically between the balls of your feet. Like this." Jane lifts her skirt to show how she turns so that the heel of her right foot is touching the middle of her left foot at an angle.

Rook blinks at Jane. Swimming laps? Where is she gonna find a place to swim? She shifts her hips forward a little, getting her weight over the balls of her feet finally after some effort. She straightens then arches her back when told to, wobbling a bit, then lifts her chin, though she keeps trying to look down, because she's always looked down, to avoid the eyes of others. She swallows and tries to mimic the angled feet and nearly tips over again. There is the flailing of an arm, then she steadies. "Who made these? Terrorists?" she blurts out.

"Men did, or so I've been told. They were the first to wear heels." Jane laughs quietly, but claps her hands together beneath her chin when Rook achieves what almost looks to be the proper posture. "When I said the heels don't have to touch the ground, I only meant for when you're rising up out of a seat. Once you're standing, lightly set them on the ground so they can add support, but make sure when you're shifting your weight it's going back and forth from toe to toe and not heel to heel."

Jane finally returns to standing in front of Rook, and she offers the woman a pleased smile. "Hold that for five minutes while we chit-chat about something involved enough that you can't think about the shoes very long. Tell me how you met Lord Nitrim."

Rook tries to stay upright, looking a little bit unsteady but doing ok for the most part. "Hired me, research," she explains. She frowns. She needs to speak in longer sentences and she knows it. It takes her a moment to formulate what she wants to say, but eventually she faintly smiles and speaks. "He asked me to do some research for him. I'm an Infosphere expert and a computer researcher." That looks like it took a lot out of her, but it's progress. "You?"

Laughing quietly, the actress offers Rook a shrug. "How do most women meet Lord Nitrim? In a bar. It was the Violet Siren, and I think the only reason he spoke to me was because I had just happened to park myself against the same wall where he was standing. Mere chance. The mixture of my half drunkenness and his cocky little grin won him my contact information, and he's been in touch with me periodically ever since."

Jane's gaze darts away briefly to check a clock on the wall. "Ah, I have tortured you enough. Alright, we're going to walk a few steps now. Walking in heels is different than regular shoes. Your knees aren't going to bend quite as much and you must keep your posture straight, but there are two very important things you must do: first, you have to shorten your stride; second, you have to walk heel to toe."

Jane turns to show her profile to Rook and lifts her skirt again to show her heeled boots. "So, right foot forward, tap the heel down and then roll into the ball. Push with the toes to spring you into your next step, heel down in front off your other foot, roll into the toe, and continue. Act like you're walking on a wire. Here, hold my hand for balance and I will walk with you."

Rook's eyes wide in something akin to terror at the description of how she needs to walk. She swallows, looking nervous, and clutches Jane's hand. It's a very short, very timid first step, careful to go heel to toe. Too much heel though and it skids on the floor, only Jane's hand keeping her from landing on her backside. "Roll, right," she corrects herself. This time she sets it gently, then rolls to the ball, then swings the other foot out, in a fashion acceptable if said wire is a foot wide.

"Roll, yes. Ah, don't worry. Your shoes are new, and the soles need some wear on them before they stop slipping so much." Jane moves slowly beside Rook, offering a demonstration in her own movements that look almost natural. "Closer together - one foot in line in front of the other. I know it feels strange right now, but it's a bit of a sashay. It adds sass to your movements and will definitely get men looking twice. In a good way. Good, now another step."

"What the fuck is a sashay?" Rook asks in exasperation. She watches Jane though, and tries a very slight swing of her very slight hips. She's built more like a boy, really. She manages to lesson the width of her steps at least, and gets her feet mostly in line after some heavy practice.

Jane's grin widens. She is not in the least perturbed by Rook's attitude, and continues in the same cheerfully patient (and probably very annoying) demeanor. "A sashay - that swing to a woman's hips when she's walking in heels. It happens when you walk heel to toe like — yes! Just like that. Hey, you've got quite an attitude to your walk, and I bet you didn't even know it. It's a good message. Let's try walking from here all the way to that sofa over there, about twenty feet."

Rook looks across to the sofa and feels like it's a million miles away in these teetering stiletto deathtraps, but she sucks in a breath, straightens up, and begins the excursion across the miles of slick floory expanse, trying to remind herself in an internal mantra of heel to toe, chin up, back arched, don't look down, one foot in front of the other. "How do you walk and talk at the same time? So much to remember!"

Jane is silent for a while, watching Rook's movements and holding her hand tightly to keep her balanced. "I don't. Or, rather, I didn't. I practiced in private a lot, or went shopping by myself in a pair of heels to work on my walk. It takes some time, so don't expect to be a heel-walking expert after you leave today. About ten more steps and we're too the couch. You're doing really well. Most people try to take big stomping strides like they're in boots or something, and it just doesn't work out for them."

"Oh Six, more shopping?" Rook bemoans. "Needed a nap after last time," she mutters. It was a bit overwhelming for the woman who was relatively isolated from social situations for most of her life. What she really needs, at a quick glance, is a spa day. Mani, pedi, facial, hair, makeup. The dress and shoes are like beautiful gift wrapping on a hand me down dollar store find.

"All in good time," Jane replies, laughing quietly and releasing Rook's hand once they reach the couch. "There, you did it, see? It's not so bad once you get into a rhythm. Now, back to the chair and then we stand for a few more minutes. Shift your weight onto your toes and pivot, then head back this way."

"Toes hurt," Rook grumps. And those are the pricey shoes. Imagine how bad they'd be in cheap ones. They'll take practice and getting used to, but she seems determined to win this war against footwear. She manages the pivot, by simple virtue of enjoying dancing in clubs.

"We're breaking in the shoes right now, so they may be a little sore. However, discomfort is to be avoided as much as possible, so if these continued to pinch, then they're not the right size." Jane follows alongside Rook, but this time she does not offer her hand. "Later we'll throw in an insole to help cushion a little more."

Rook seems apprehensive about walking without Jane to grab her hand, but she attempt it. There is a wobble or five along the way, and she has to pause to re-center her balance, but eventually she makes it back to the chair, which she looks very much like she wants to sit down in.

Jane claps cheerfully, perhaps almost too exuberant for the situation, but this sort of thing is right up the woman's alley. "Now you can rest for a bit, which means learning how to sit in a dress and in heels. You do not flop down into a chair, you lower yourself onto it deliberately like so." She demonstrates by settling into one of the chairs and resting her hands on her lap, legs crossed at the ankle and a bit to the side. "You can cross your legs at the knee but you have to sit up straight and be careful about making sure to tuck your skirt beneath you as you sit. Either way, your legs must be crossed."

That doesn't look all that comfortable, but Rook understands that sitting comfortably would be an awkward experience for anyone across from her who would get a show. She tries to imitate Jane, scooping her skirt beneath her as she sits, but it's still a touch clumsy. The leg crossing is easier, as she seems to be a flexible creature thanks to meditating on hermeticism often. "ok?" she asks.

"Perfect." Jane leans back in her chair and rests her elbows on the arms. "I really encourage you to practice that more on your own time and on multiple surfaces - tile floors, wood floors, carpeted floors, sidewalks, streets. If you're going to wear them more often, you'll need to know how to navigate more terrain. You did really well with this, Rook, and you looked — well — hot."

"Ok," Rook promises in regards to practice. "Next time, maybe, we can eat? Not used to eating fancy. Used to pizza." Frozen pizza at that, and the sort that's less vegetable and more chemical than anything.

Thin, red eyebrows arch upward at the question, and Jane considers it while drumming her fingers on her knees. "That's a wonderful idea. Meet at a fashionable restaurant and practice table manners and how to carry on a conversation." Dimples appear in her cheeks as she offers Rook a grin that implies she speaks teasingly. "Do you think Lord Nitrim will be pleased? I think you should practice walking for another day or so before you strut past him."

"Yes," Rook replies in her succinct manner. Her lips twitch in a smile. Then she moves to hug Jane on the spur of the moment. "Thank you," she murmurs, before she steps out of the shoes and back into her boots. She plucks up the stilettos and waves as she trundles back out.

Blinking, Jane barely has time to register the hug before Rook has pulled away, transferred into her boots, and is already walking out the door. "You're welcome!" she calls out after the strange woman, and remains seated for a while to consider what in the heck just happened.

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