05.29.3014: Window Shopping
Summary: In a small coffee shop on The Ring, Imogen and Silver engage in some girl talk.
Date: Multiple.
Related: None.
Imogen Silver 

Coffee Shop, The Ring
See log.
May 29 3014

Koth's jacket, or the jacket belonging to the noble Young Lord Kieran Valta, is far more comfortable than Imogen Rose had ever expected. The dark, inner-padded jacket was baggy on her frame, but the weigh was just oppressive enough to feel like a blanket against the sometimes inescapable cold of the Ring. Imogen is supposed to find him, socially, and return the coat to him, but she hasn't had the time to look for the man, nor a want to be found.

Not her fault. Not her problem.

With a turn of the blood-red skirt that brushes above her knees with her twisting body, Imogen grips the handle of the coffee house's door and starts down the carpeted stairwell, ignoring the thousand flyers that line the entrance per norm. Her calf-height black leather cavalry boots make quick work of the staircase and clop against the floor as she crosses to her favorite sofa. She sets her purse down and reaches for the zipper of the jacket, scanning the room through the haze of her thick, jet-black lashes, reading the room before she commits to the room's corner.

In another quiet part of the coffee shop, Silver can be found. The woman is looking at the display of a tablet before her intensely, fingers tangled into red hair; supporting her head while an elbow on the table keeps all in place. She’s wearing an off-the-shoulder faded purple top with some geometric pattern to the fabric and snug yoga-style black pants that skim over lightweight shoes. She’s without makeup and a slight sheen still at her brow suggests a workout is just past.

The redhead, however, is not alone. A fairly non-descript man sits at the table with her, talking in a hushed voice. His heavy brow is furrowed and he points at the tablet every now and then. Silver answers largely in soft sighs and nods.

After a time, he stands and leans over, whispering something in her ear. The woman’s blue-grey eyes slide closed and she answers with a slight nod and a slowly exhaled sigh. When the man departs, this is the pose Silver keeps for a time.

Watching out of the corner of her eyes during the entire display, Imogen opts out of her favorite sofa, instead moving to the barista’s station to order a mug of steaming, woodsy-smelling tea. Sharing a quiet word with the blue-haired barista - the one with the nose ring - Imogen offers a departing nod once the Silver-show has ended and saunters towards her corner.

“On the people-watching scale, you’re about a seven.” Imogen announces herself as she approaches, drawing her purse off of her shoulder in preparation to sit. “Yoga pants, sexy top, just a little bit of sweat…guy problems.” She comes to a stop, nodding to the space beside her friend.

“Trouble in paradise?”

With her focus so solidly on the tablet before her, Silver isn’t given enough warning to dim the display before Imogen approaches. She does so as soon as the woman speaks, yes, but schematics are visible for those sparse seconds beforehand. Sitting up straighter, the redhead reaches for her mug in a move meant to be casual. Instead, it looks… stiff, rehearsed. Perhaps because her arm had just been in such an awkward pose.

“Only a seven?” The attempt at a joke is met with a slight quirk of a smile. Gesturing with her mug, she gives Imogen permission to sit. Not as if the other woman likely even needed permission to begin with.

“Paradise?” Eyebrow quirks somewhat at the words and she tilts her head. “Not sure it could ever be described that way.”

Setting her purse down in the armpit of the sofa, as it were, Imogen turns and lowers to sit. Crossing one leg over the other, her calf muscle tightens as her boot turns to point its toe to the floor. Sitting close - friend close - her hip rests against Silver’s as Imogen looks to the room at hand, watching it from over the rim of her mug as she sips.

“This place has the best tea.” Imogen’s inside-voice crawls to the outside as she swallows. “And yes, only a seven. There were no makeouts or accusations or feigned punches. The voyeur factor was high but the content was low. Seven.” She smirks, tilting her eye to Silver.

“What’s up, Silver? You in trouble?”

“I’ll make it more interesting next time,” Silver offers in a low murmur. She attempts to provide some of her usual humor, but it falls a bit flat. She takes a long sip of her drink, wrinkling her nose. It sat too long- it’s gone cold.

“Trouble?” She looks over to the raven-haired woman and tilts her head slightly. “Ah, I suppose work could be described that way.” Silver shrugs, setting down the mug. When she looks back to Imogen, she finds herself lifting a hand to brush back some of the woman’s hair a bit.

“Just a new gig. Nothing too terrible, just… annoying.”

The sudden affection from Silver, the brush to her hair, isn’t something entirely new, but definitely something the oft-hermit of a woman rests still for. Watching the brush to her hair unfold in slow motion, sitting still to accept it with alien curiosity, she ticks her head to one side to wish her bangs away from her eye when the touch is done. It makes it seem more genuine.

“Thanks,” Imogen replies, it’s the thing people say when they’re fixed. “Everything that makes money worth having comes with its terrible and annoying. For a second I thought that might have been the guy that gave you that black eye when we first met.” Imogen pauses; another sip of her tea. “So, check it out, I still have that guy’s jacket.”

Turning, Imogen’s hands spread away from her chest, revealing the open zipper of the black jacket, stolen and quasi-claimed at least for a few more days.

“Oh, no,” Silver says with a soft laugh. She’d forgotten about that night for the most part. It ended far better than it had begun. “That… ah, that was a part of a job.” Imogen is aware that she has had to hurt people before.

A waitress is passing by and Silver flags her down. The mug is lifted. “‘Nother, please?”

Brows rising, Imogen gives Silver an incredulous look at the admission. Part of the job. The surprise wears well over Imogen’s one visible eye, the other having concealed itself again by her hair falling back into place as it always does. Gravity is a bitch. As the waitress is given the order for a refresh, Imogen blinks. She turns her head to view Silver from a new angle, questions abound.

“Wait…Koth was part of a job?” Imogen is confused Imogen, the admissions coming so close to the conversation about Koth that she’s mistaken the black eye for their time with Kieran Valta. “I mean, well, you know, yes I understand slang and all but…it totally flew past me that he was your John, because I totally thought he was a stranger; fooled the fuck out of me.” She pauses; a beat. “Bitch, you owe me half.”

“Oh, fuck.” Silver is ten times distracted and the waitress had only served to let her briefly miss the second of what Imogen had said. She lifts a hand; both to hide the red that flames across her cheeks and to push back errant sections of hair.

“No, no. That was just a night out with you. I mean- the night we met. That was… after a job.” She shakes her head, hand falling to her lap.

“I’m sorry, I had a rough session with my trainer this morning. The coat, right-”

Reaching out, Silver touches the edges of the coat, looking thoughtful. “You ought to give that back, I think he was serious when he said it was his favorite.”

Imogen’s lips part into an atypical O for a brief moment before her mouth collapses. Completely misunderstanding, her eyelids flutter on their way back to her mug for a drink to hide her face in. So Silver isn’t a prostitute. Interesting. With a bite to her lip, Imogen swallows the tea and reaches out to Silver’s hair, brushing some back over her shoulder where it appeared out of place…because that’s what people do.

“Honestly, I just haven’t been by the Blue Nirvana.” Imogen replies. “I’ve been busy with work and I’ll drop by in a few days, take a look around for him, but really with the number of people on the Ring it’s kind of a gamble whether or not I’ll catch him there. It’s a nice coat, though, isn’t it? I mean, if I never see him again, it’s a score.”

There’s a brief moment where Silver seems ready to move away; as if misinterpreting the gesture. But her reflexes work both ways and when she realizes it’s to return the same as she had done earlier… the woman relaxes.

“I had wondered why I’d not seen or heard from you my last few visits by,” Silver muses, leaning back into the couch. She exhales a sigh, stretching her legs out before her. “He’s there so often, I think it’d take effort not to see him.” There is a smirk for Imogen and a roll of the eyes, “You practically drown in that thing. Surely we can find one your size?”

“I won this thing fair and square, and I’ve got plenty of jackets at home that fit right. Let me have my prize for a few more days, damn it.”

Imogen laughs a sing-song laugh, arching her back to lean in against Silver. Careful of her mug, she keeps the right side up as she moves; an experienced bar-goer skill learned many years ago. “Besides, it keeps men away from me when I don’t want to be bothered. It’s clearly some other guy’s jacket.”

Setting the mostly empty mug of tea down, Imogen smooths out her skirt and turns her knees to face Silver’s. Giving herself a quick once-over, she clears her throat and lifts her eyes, reestablishing eye-contact, if even she’s providing only one.

“So…what’s going on?” Imogen asks more directly. “You seem…different.”

The lean is accepted and Silver settles in. It’s not quite cuddling, but it’s certainly cozy. As if they were old friends, though they’re quickly becoming such. It’s easy when you’ve shared… moments.

“Such an easy way out, letting a coat tell some horndog to fuck off,” she teases lightly, reaching over to tug at the fabric lightly. Perhaps recalling the night the exchange was made.

Eyes of blue-grey lift up to regard the woman, sharing that eye-contact. Silver’s lips purse. “I suppose you caught me off-guard. I usually keep defined lines in my work and personal life.”

“Sometimes I don’t want to have to tell horndogs to fuck off.” Imogen fires back with a tilt of her chin, capturing Silver’s eyes with her own. No doubt reading her face for the simple tells and expressions to bring her better insight in the red-head’s life. A moment later, the search ends in a dimpled grin. “Othertimes I want to draw them in to tell them to fuck off. It really depends, you know?”

Pulling away from Silver just a tad, Imogen reaches to the end-table for her mug of tea. Bringing it back in, she holds it with both hands as she takes another sip. Blowing into the mug, she lowers her eyes to the rim and contemplates.

“Let’s not swap work stories then. I wouldn’t share mine if you asked anyway.” Imogen takes the honest route. “But if someone fucks you up or roughs you too bad, let me know. It’s nice to have friends, right?” Friends. Imogen blinks. Her brows furrow and she shakes her head. “By friends I mean the kind of friends that can make it so someone doesn’t rough up a girl ever again.”

In the space between words, the waitress arrives and deposits Silver’s new drink on the table. She murmurs her thanks and lifts it, blowing across the surface. Steam curls away in the cloud of breath and she looks over to Imogen. “I’m not allowed to discuss mine anyway,” she offers with a soft tug of lips.

“My boss would be rather upset if I did.” She leans over, nudging Imogen lightly with her shoulder. “Sadly, if I end up hurt, it’s usually my own fault. Hence my trainer being hard on me. Always better, always stronger. But…” There’s a lowering of grey-blue eyes. “If you have any medical know-how, I might call on you all the same.”

"I went through basic medical and any dumb bitch worth her weight learned how to sew straight at some point in her life." Imogen leans, pressing her shoulder against Silver's to keep the connection for a moment longer. She threads her fingers together to reach down to her knee, disturbing the fishnet as she pushes the weight of her leg against her hands. "Just send me a message if you can and I'll meet you somewhere. Just try to keep heat off of my back."

For the first time, Imogen provides a glimpse into who she is and what she does, and the nervousness of it creeps up the back of her spine. With a turn of her head, she gives Silver a weighing look; eyes serious.

"I don't like official attention. I'd walk."

That serious expression is weighed and considered. Silver seems mollified by what she reads there and answers with a lean in to place a light kiss against Imogen’s cheek. It’s not a sexual gesture - more of an understanding one.

“Neither do I. I don’t send messages until I’m well and clear of any trouble… I’m just tired of leaving blood all over the halls to my apartment… or ending up in the Blue Nirvana. Can’t go to the station medics, y’know?”

There’s a light squeeze of Imogen’s knee before Silver is reaching for her drink. She draws it near and takes a long drink; the liquid having cooled enough to drink properly.

A kiss to the cheek is something that Imogen understands, and when the red headed woman leans her lips towards her, Imogen hoists her chin to guide her cheek to the offered lips, peeling her hair to trap behind her ear to clear the space.

“Station medics ask questions, but they also alert station authorities when it comes to certain wounds, yeah. If you get busted up too bad, you can call on me.” Imogen replies, reaching out to pluck a pill of lint from Silver’s shirt and brush it away. Quietly grooming the woman’s clothing, she continues. “Just try not to die on me. That would be a first and I’m not a licensed medic by any means. If it’s surgery you need I’ll…I don’t know…take you to a public bench and call a hospital?”

Sighing, Imogen’s bracelets rattle against each other as she shakes her slender wrist to spur them into untangling. Watching as they form into separated rings of colored metal, she tilts her elbow so that they slip as far down her forearm as they can, and slumps back to the sofa.

“Do you ever wonder if we were right to have been born during this era?” Imogen asks out of nowhere. “You know, the war, all of this bullshit. Don’t you feel a little cheated out that we didn’t get a less complicated life?”

There’s a glance down to where the lint no longer exists, but Silver just offers a brief smile and simply lifts her drink for another simp. She settles in against the couch, turned slightly; her shoulder sinks slightly into the plush back.

“I’m not allowed to die on the job,” she murmurs: words half-joking and half-serious. “Only if the boss says I can, y’know?”

Her smile just flickers before fading.

At the question from Imogen, her lips press into a line and she seems to give it real thought for a moment before offering up a small shrug. “Sometimes, but… to be honest with you? The war doesn’t really complicate things all that much more for me.”

"Me either." Imogen takes her time responding, her eyes scanning the faces in the coffee house as she drinks from her mug. Her attention stolen away from Silver to the mercurial art of people watching, her vision falters over some of the smiling faces. One such couple, newly married by the sheen of their wedding rings and their unguarded laughter, traps the raven-haired beauty's attention.

"Do you think they know somewhere deep inside that this is all going to end someday?" Imogen asks, leaning out with an arched back to set the empty mug on the coffee table. Smoothing her dress as she sits back up, she folds her arms under her breasts and watches the couple closely.

"A big station in the sky, the war. Things get taken away quickly and when they do, what then, right?" Her lips curl into a bitter smirk. "I don't see why they bother at all until they know for the better."

Blue-grey eyes lift and seek the other patrons to find those Imogen is speaking of. Silver’s mien darkens slightly and she averts her gaze; as if by
watching them, she’s perverting what they have. Her eyes find her mug and she holds it tighter for a moment. Rather than answer immediately, she stares into the dark liquid.

Lifting it, the redhead drains the rest and leans away from the couch to set it next to Imogen’s. Settling back in, she offers a sparse shrug.

“People like to dream. Some dream stronger than others…”

Imogen doesn't turn her eyes from the couple. Watching them with an outsider's clinical interest, she has everything but the clipboard and a pen to make notes of the things that she finds interesting. She chews her lip quietly, her chest rising and falling in one labored sigh.

"Dreams are for the sleeping and the dead," Imogen replies quietly, finally breaking her eye contact with the couple to turn her attention to Silver. Her one visible eye traces her features, turning her observations to the woman beside her. "Life is too fragile for the long term game, really, and too many people live in the future. It's not healthy."

There’s a soft laugh from Silver, but it’s not a sound of mirth. It’s a sound of bitterness. She fusses a bit with the hem of the loose top she wears for a moment. A sigh takes her in the wake of the laughter and she sinks more into the couch; one leg crossing over the other.

“Ah, but it can’t always be helped, Imogen. Sometimes, one dreams without wanting to. You see something,” or someone, “and it just happens. It begins with a thought, a wonder and becomes…” Silver gestures vaguely before hands reach into her hair and push it back somewhat.

“It can’t always be helped. Sometimes it works for the better… Lincoln dreams of acting and I’ve been able to provide a small opening into that world.” As for the other side of that coin, well… the redhead isn’t saying.

A wave of some dark, unspoken emotion crosses over Imogen's features. Not directed at Silver herself, but something inward, strikes Imogen at her core. Uncomfortable, she uncrosses her legs and presses her knees together, reaching for her the purse at her side.

"I should probably get back to work," Imogen breathes, lifting her shoulder towards Silver in a blithe shrug, dismissing the topic as if it was never brought up by her to begin with. "I think I'm gonna drop by the Nirvana to look for Koth and give this jacket back to him. Will you be there?"

As Imogen prepares to depart, Silver looks to her with a slight frown. Were they something more, she might say something. If they had officially crossed that boundary into friends, the woman may make an inquiry. Press for answers in concern. Instead, she just frowns and offers something of a nod.

“I will,” the redhead affirms, “I plan to have a drink before work and make sure Lincoln will be there to make coffee when I’m done.”

“Lincoln’s reliable like a clock, save for when he’s not rented for the night.” The words come out of Imogen’s mouth, a simple thing; thoughtless in nature. Rented. It’s a cold word for the truth; a thing that suggests a certain negativity towards the man or his profession, or at the very least his sometimes inability to be available. With a blank expression on her face, she shrugs the purse over her shoulder and turns to look down to Silver. Hesitant and far from serene, she leans down to brush her lips to the corner of Silver’s mouth. If Imogen weren’t being so darkly-clouded and distant, it would be affectionate.

“I’ll see you then. I’ve got a lot to get done today.” Imogen murmurs to the redhead, squeezing her shoulder before she turns her back to the woman, walking away without saying goodbye.

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