|"Revenge of the MacGyvered Car!"|
|What: Passwall gets a job at Mack and Co., and Pepper Potts brings her boss' car in to actually get fixed.|
The trip over to the shop was a quick one, though not as quick as it could have been if Cordelia had told Tanya she wanted to ride the bike again, But, she supposes, it was her turn to use what she has for transportation. They pass through the basements of some homes, through a business or two, and eventually end up at the right spot - still in a quarter of the time as normal walking. "So yeah, that's why I eat lots of bacon," she notes, having expressed her views on Judaism concerning her family history, "and why my grandmother laughs at my father. I mean it's hilarious, really. Oh! We're here." She almost hadn't even noticed.
The trip is definitely an interesting one. Tanya's getting used to it, and can start to see why Cordelia likes it. There's an odd sense of freedom, really, knowing they can go literally wherever they want, with almost no one to stop them. She's enjoying the journey so much she doesn't really pay attention to how close they're getting, either. When they arrive, she's laughing at the bit about the bacon. "Yes, I can definitely see why she'd laugh at him," she's saying, then--Oh, yes, we're here. Okay, come on, let me check in real quick." Keeping Cordy's hand warmly in hers, she heads through the south-east entrance, through the door into the first service bay, which is right next to the door to the locker room. There's an old-fashioned punch-clock by the door, complete with time cards in wooden slots next to it. She runs her finger along them until she finds hers, and carefully places it in the slot on the machine. A *pa-CHUNK* later, the time's been stamped and the card replaced, then she'll lead the way back to the observation lane. They get to where it bends to the right and--she stops. "Holy shit..." she mutters, looking into the second service bay. There on a lift is...
"A 'Thirty-Eight Corsair Phantom!" she squees, tapping the window excitedly. "Look at it! /Look at it/! Entry via electric push-buttons, the driver sitting almost in the middle, a ton of gauges including an altimeter and a compass--/plus/ a console to tell the driver when a door was ajar or when the lights or radio was on! All this in a car made almost /seventy-five years ago/! Oh, I've got to hope the owner wants it restored, oh please..." She's almost as happy as--nearly any moment with Cordy, really, but only almost.
(( http://tinyurl.com/9zxsam2 - http://tinyurl.com/8m87vsh ))
Cordelia laughs happily, letting Tanya have her fun. It's adorable, how excited the woman gets over the car. Presumably, she'll be seeing lots of this. Hopefully. Her hands cross each other, across her stomach, smiling wide. "Apparently, my girl likes classic cars." She shakes her head a bit - not exactly as interested in the car as Tanya - and looks around at all the others. "Huh. So like. Not /too/ big. Couple hours for a full clean, maybe? Yeah, simple enough. Maybe do errands and whatever... Eh, we'll see what gets said."
Turning around, Tanya beams a grin and takes Cordelia's hands in hers. "Yes, your girl /loves/ classic cars," she says, beaming especially at calling herself Cordy's girl. That it's true is what makes it so--wonderful. "I'll win you over, yet.." She squeezes Cordy's hands, then drops one so they can walk toward the lobby. "And no, it's not that large. Well, without all the stuff in it, yeah, it is, but the machinery takes up enough space so that it shouldn't take long. The parking lot, on the other hand..." People are pigs, and she knows it.
"Okay, wait here." She squeezes her girlfriend's hand and motions to the lobby. "Coffee should be fresh, as should the doughnuts. Be right back." With that, she gives Cordy's cheek a quick peck and hurries to the office behind the reception desk. A short knock, and a low male voice bids her enter.
Cordy smiles, hands on her hips, waiting. She doesn't want a doughnut, or coffee. Already had breakfast, after all. So she waits, hoping for good news from Tanya. The male voice talking back is a good sign - he's here, after all - and so her smile brightens a bit. This could work out well. But then she takes a daring look over to where the parking lot might be, and... Yeah. It's /gnarly/. That... Is going to end. That much is seen in her expression.
About five minutes later, the office door opens again, and Tanya and James leave. The big man positively dwarfs Tanya, and he looks out to the lobby as Tanya beckons Cordelia over. "Cordelia Kowalewicz, this is James Mack. He's agreed to talk to you and see what's what. And--I've got to go. I'll see you on my first break?" She grins at Cordelia, taking her hand and squeezing it before slipping off. She heads right for the second service bay where the Phantom awaits.
The large man chuckles as Tanya all but skips off, and he doesn't need to ask to know that the Phantom isn't exactly the entire reason for that. He sticks out his hand to Cordelia, saying, "Good morning. T.T.Y.L. back there tells me that you're looking for a job that doesn't require an extensive background check." It's obvious that Tanya gave him the details, but it's also obvious that the man isn't going to automatically turn the woman down for them, either.
Cordelia raises an eyebrow at the man, looking him up and down. At first, her expression is 'eh, I could take him', but when he speaks, and she shakes his hand... That all goes out the window. "Uh... Well, we both figure that someone to do small things like cleaning doesn't need one anyway. Don't need to look into that if I just hold a broom and a sponge." The woman shrugs a bit, and smiles faintly. Perhaps even nervously. But then, her eyes wander over to Tanya, and nervousness is replaced with confidence when she looks back to James. "I can clean better than anyone." She points to the ceiling, so high up, and grins. "I bet that's never been cleaned with a sponge before. It'll be thorough, I swear it."
Arching a brow as well, James looks up to the ceiling, then back to Cordelia. A wide grin breaks out on his face, and he says, "It hasn't, now that you mention it. So, I might just hold you to that, Miss Kowalewicz. For now, step into my office, and let's you and me have a pow-wow." Tanya is checking out the car and looking about as happy as a pig in mud--until she sees Cordy, and her grin widens to fool-in-love proportions again. She gives a little wave, which James pretends to not notice as he heads back to the office and opens the door for the young woman.
Cordelia trundles on inside, waving back to Tanya with a bright smile. She tries to hide the fool-in-love bits, but utterly fails on that. "So... What's the stitch here? Got some questions for me?" Assuming there's a chair inside that's not behind the desk, but for guests, she'll claim one and sit in it as proper as she can muster. There's not much call for anything else but patience and honesty, now... And maybe crossing her fingers.
It's about what one would expect from an office; a desk filled with papers, a large calendar mat, some framed photos, a laptop off to one side, a phone, pictures and diplomas and drawings given to him by (one assumes) his children on the walls, and a fake potted plant in the corner for that touch of color. As she takes one of the chairs in front of the desk, James leaves the door open and eases his bulk into a rolling office chair that probably cost in the neighborhood of twenty bucks.
"Okay, I've only got one speech, so let's get that out of the way," he says, setting his hands on the desk. "You work for me, I'll watch your back as long as you watch mine. This is a safe place for people of all faiths, races, creeds, orientations, and genetic backgrounds. I don't give a crap who you sleep with, who your parents were, or what else you do on your own time, save for the obvious no-no to drugs. You're a druggie, you're out. I'll help you into rehab if you want, but I won't risk my customers or your co-workers. As long as you can smile to the customers, accept their bull--and they /will/ give you a lot of bull, even as a member of the cleaning crew--show up on time, and put in an honest day's work, this is as close to a family as you'll find in the job world. Any questions so far?" It's a speech he's gone through--a lot, that much is obvious. Still, his friendly demeanor doesn't waver; he's worked hard to make this place successful, and he's proud of the work his people have put in.
"Hey, not a problem! I've done some stupid crap, but how I lived it didn't give me the opportunity to dislike anyone for what they are. And drugs? Are you kidding? That stuff costs some serious /money/, and I don't have that anyway. No desire to start, but it's a moot point anyway." Cordelia seems to wave the idea off. She really doesn't want to start. "I can handle people, yeah. I mean, they can insult me all they like, won't do a thing to me. But the second they start /touching/ in a way I don't want... Like a drunk might, y'know? I'm not taking that from them. Hope it don't come to that, yeah?" She nods, firmly. Never take any undeserved punches willingly - that's rule one, in her life. "Anyway. I'm fine with it."
"As long as the cameras see them grabbing you first, you'll be fine," says James, grinning again. He's got no problem with employees defending themselves when they have to. "And if the Friends of Humanity come around, just come find me, okay? They don't like that I openly employ mutants and am staunchly against them, so we get a few every now and then to come around and stir up trouble." He rubs the corner of his eye with a knuckle, then says, "Okay, I'll tell you now I'm going to give you a shot, but I want to say that it's because T.T.Y.L. out there's worked for me for almost eight years, since the place was on Houston. She came to me because of things she's probably told you, and if she hasn't I'm not going to. I took a chance on her, and now she's asking me to take a chance on you. So even though I'm your boss, I'm not the only one you'll have to worry about impressing, alright?" There's something like a paternal protectiveness, there; if Cordelia does the math, she'd realize that she started working for James not long after killing her own father, and it's likely clear how messed up Tanya was at that time.
Yeah, Cordy does the math. And she grimaces a bit at that, reminded of it. But she nods soon after, smiling making a heavy comeback. She likes the guy's attitude. And how he is towards Tanya. "Agreed. Thanks." She shifts in her chair subtly, looking towards the door a bit, then back to James. She doesn't want to leave the office, really - it's neutral on that - but she wants to get back out, and see Tanya again. "I get it, though. Make sure I do things right the first time. I will." A firm nod of understanding is all that's left before she looks to herself. "...But this dress might have to be changed for something else if I'm gonna work."
"Honest mistakes are fine, as long as they're honest," says James with a grin, who then reaches down behind his desk and pulls out a drawer. "Okay, I've got the standard things to fill out, then we can go over to the locker room. We'll get you some uniforms, and I'll order up some patches with your name on it. The head of the cleaning crew is Alejandro Ortíz; he's the one who'll organize your shifts, he's the one who'll call you in to work, that kind of thing. If you have a problem with anything, you can call him /or/ me. I'll help as best as I can, as will he." A tablet is brought out, an application torn off and set on the desk, then slid across to her. "Take this home, fill it out tonight, then bring it back on your next shift, okay?"
Cordelia smiles and takes the paper in hand, nodding emphatically. She understands completely, and repeats the name for clarification. "Alejandro, got it. I'll keep that in mind." With that, she takes a quick look over the page in her hand, skimming over it all. There's a 'hrmph' at some of it. Especially the 'felony' bit. /That/ doesn't bode well for her. Then she stands, smiling again. "Okay. Ready." Because... Y'know, he said see the locker rooms after he gave the form to her. It's apparent that she's never really had a job. She looks all kinds of awkward.
The pad is replaced and the drawer closed, then James gets to his feet and motions for her to precede him out of the office. "Right this way," he says, and when they exit, he closes the door behind them. He'll go to lead the way through the observation lane, and through the glass that separates them from the second service bay, Tanya can be seen in the pit beneath the Phantom, working on something or another. When she sees Cordy, she beams a grin at the woman, not paying attention to what her hands are doing--which bites her in the butt as ancient oil suddenly pours down on her head. The "Augh!" can be heard even through the glass, and she sputters as she gets out of the way of the torrent, spitting oil and trying to get it out of her eyes.
James is trying /very hard/ to not grin, though the corners of his mouth start twitching. He pauses for a moment to open the door to the first service bay and stick his head out. "Hey, Alejandro!" he calls out to a man carefully cleaning a mop in a corner, who stands up and starts striding over.
Cordelia grins right back at Tanya, then her eyes open wide with an 'oh crap' look as the oil pours out. She /almost/ goes to help, but alas, the damage is done. Tanya will clean up later, hopefully. And if not, Cordy will clean her. This thought makes Cordy give a wicked grin that lasts a half second. Then she looks to James, then Alejandro, and smiles. Ah, so this is the man. Good to learn his face. She gives a wave to him, but James is in charge of introductions and such, so she'll wait for that instead... While trying to not look back to Tanya to see if she's alright. It's hard, though, and she makes a quick glance over, eyes lingering.
A fellow in the second pit says something as he hops over into Tanya's, and whatever it was earns him a rag pulled from her back pocket to throw at him, though it's with a grin. And--then she has to ask for the rag back so she can wipe her face. She gets hers and the co-worker's as well, and the last seen of her, she's trying to grin at Cordelia as if nothing were the matter, though she comes across more like a puppy who'd just managed to dump water on its own head. And she knows it, too.
When Alejandro comes over, James says, "This is Miss Cordelia Kowalewicz, your new cleaner. Start her out light, okay?"
"You got it," says the man, with a thick Puerto Rican accent, who smiles at Cordelia and offers her his hand.
After James bids her goodbye with one of his own grins, Alejandro will give her a tour of the building, where the cleaning supplies are kept, that kind of thing. The only other person on the crew is a young man barely out of his teens, if that, who shakes hands lightly. Nice young man, but awkward. The tour ends at the locker room, and he assigns her one, complete with a combination lock, then goes to a closet and pulls out three uniforms. The place is divided for the sexes with enough privacy to change, so he tells her to meet him outside when she's changed.
Cordelia nods to Alejandro, following around for the tour. She grins at the young and awkward man, shakes his hand firmly, and continues on. The locker room is where she was wanting to go all along, though, to get changed. The uniform she slips on in private fits well, and she folds up the other clothes to put in her new locker - all this stuff! It's like winning the lottery, for someone like her. The woman then heads out, feeling quite refreshed, and meets Alejandro outside the room... But it's obvious she's trying to see where Tanya is, perhaps under the Phantom.
By the time the new broom-pusher comes back out, Tanya is about as cleaned up as she'd going to get. Her face is still streaked with oil, but at least she can /see/ now. Her hair--she'll have to worry about later. She gives a sheepish smile to Cordelia, then gets back to work on the Phantom while Alejandro puts Cordelia to work.
That's how it goes for the morning. Unfortunately, the Phantom only needed minor maintenance, so Tanya isn't able to spend as much time puttering around the thing as she'd like, but at least she can say that she's worked on one. And the shop's reputation for handling old cars is what drew the man here, so she can be proud of that. When her first break comes, it's not too much before noon, so she grabs a couple of sodas from a vending machine in an office-turned-break room, and heads out to the first service bay to find Cordelia.
At least, for the time of day, it's not that busy. A few customers in the observation lane watching their cars worked on, a few cars in the parking lot waiting to be serviced, that kind of thing. It's a warm day, but on the East Coast in the summer, when /isn't/ it? Tanya flaps the collar of her shirt as she walks, noting to herself that the oil /does not help/ for the warmth.
It's into this not-so-busy warm day that a distinctive, blue with silver racing stripes car pulls into the parking lot of Mack and Company. The driver -- contrary to one would expect -- is NOT some rich dude car enthusiast. The driver instead looks like ... well, like Pepper Potts. She pulls the car into a space with the utmost care and cuts the distinctive-sounding engine, an eye roll concealed by her sunglasses. She scoops her bag out of the passenger's seat and starts for the repair shop's building.
Cordelia smiles to Tanya, laughing a bit. "Can't stand the heat, huh?" She's still looking for something to clean, and every so often, finds something. Proactive as she is, the mess only stays so long as the car is being worked on. Right after, it gets a clean sweep. Then, that nice blue and white car pulls in, and she looks over. "Hey, Tanya. What's with that? Nice car, pretty loud... Maybe she likes cars as much as /you/ do?"
Grinning, Tanya hands over one of the cans of soda. They're both cola, since that's about the safest choice, but at least they're Coca-Cola, so. Name-brand and all. "That, my dear, is a classic Shelby Cobra," she says appreciatively, then notes who's driving it. Yes, in that order. "Oooh, that's the mysterious woman I met a while back. That very car broke down in the city, and I had to MacGyver up a temporary fix to the hydraulics line. I think either her or her friend is /loaded/; not only is that car not cheap, and she refused to give details about herself. She didn't even give her name. Come on, you should have your first break by now, and I can introduce you." She rubs Cordelia's back briefly before heading to the observation lane to take it to the lobby.
Janine, the woman behind the reception counter, smiles pleasantly as the redhead enters. The lobby proper is empty, the customers generally waiting outside or in the observation lane so they can watch the work being done on their cars. "Welcome to Mack and Company. How can we help you today?" She's knows customers, and doesn't recognize Pepper, so knows this is her first time here.
Pepper Potts smiles politely to the woman at the reception counter. "Good afternoon. I'm dropping off the ... um, the blue car out there for some repairs." She hasn't yet noticed Tanya or the other young woman approaching from the repair area, as she takes a moment to remove her sunglasses and stow them in her bag.
Cordelia pops up from her work, wiping off her forehead with a sleeve and /almost/ pops the lid to her soda. But then, she gets a fun idea. "Hey, Tanya. Bet you five bucks I can drink the soda without opening it in any way. Come on. You know you're curious about it." It's obvious she knows /how/ to do it, but... Is it worth five dollars to see? Hmm. It could be. She's only tagging along behind Tanya, but there are a few reasons for it; one, because it's her first day at work.
"Janine starts tapping on her computer to open a ticket. "Alright, do you know what's wrong with the Cobra? We offer a free inspection anyway, but knowing what it's brought in for will help get your car repaired faster. And we have our own specialist who works solely with classic cars, so the service will be quick, but the car is guaranteed to be fixed."
"Alright, I'll take that bet," says that classic car specialist, and Tanya knows damned well that Cordelia can do it. "But not for money." She grins, there, and lightly bumps into Cordelia as they turn the corner and head toward the lobby. "Hey there!" she calls out, lifting her hand in a wave. "Your friend never did get the line fixed, huh?"
Pepper Potts tries to remember what the young lady who helped her out said was the problem. All she remembers is that she patched it with a stylus. "Uh..." Saved by bell! Sort of. She turns and smiles in clear relief as Tanya calls out. "Of course he didn't. He said he'd replace it, but no. So, here we are."
Cordelia looks from Tanya to Pepper, eyebrow raised. Apparently they know each other, but only by face and one chance meeting. Hmm... "Huh. Didn't know people often drove cars to get things fixed for friends. 'Specially not such a nice-looking car..." Okay, so maybe she's over-thinking it, and going into someone's privacy. But hey, she's only thinking. Out loud. With a grin, she bumps Tanya right back, and leans against a wall to wait.
"...don't tell me the stylus is still in the thing," remarks Tanya with a half-disbelieving smile, setting her can of soda on the counter and letting out a low whistle. "Alright, Janine, the hydraulic line is shot; it was corroded from disuse, so I'll have to yank the whole thing out and replace it. I /should/ be able to get to most of it without a lot of disassembly, so that will save her money. I didn't hear anything else wrong with it, but I'll make sure when I do the inspection."
Janine nods once, saying, "Alright, let me type this up." Her fingers fly over the keyboard as she sets up the ticket.
"And while we're waiting on your bill to print out this," says Tanya, stopping when she realizes Cordelia isn't right next to her anymore. "C'mere, you." She beckons Cordelia over with a grin, then looks back to Pepper. "And this is Cordelia, the newest janitor, and--my girlfriend." The grin widens a bit, though at least she doesn't go all ga-ga or anything. She's at least /trying/ to remain a professional while on-duty, even if the oil in her hair and streaked down her face might suggest otherwise.
Pepper Potts slides a business card toward Janine for her to type the 'owner' information from, then ahs and smiles to Tanya, nodding a hello as she takes a step toward the mechanic and offers her hand to her and Cordelia in turn. Despite her impeccable attire, she doesn't seem afraid of a little engine grease. "A pleasure to meet you officially. Virginia Potts, though most everyone calls me Pepper."
Cordy lets out a small 'eep!' at being put in the spotlight, and waves a bit. "Uh, hi. Nice t'meetcha." She shakes the hand offered quickly, and meekly. Her own hand isn't covered in grease, or anything of the kind. They're squeaky clean. Probably from all the cleaning. "So uh. Tanya, should I do that trick now, or later? Dunno how long the break is..."
"Ahh, and here I was just calling you 'the mysterious woman'," quips Tanya as she shakes hands and grins again. Her grip is firm, though not like a strength contest. "And you've got to see this. I bet Cordy she couldn't drink the can without opening it, and she's about to prove me wrong."
That's when the printer spits out the bill, and Janine has Tanya give it a quick look-over to make sure the car-related info is correct, what Tanya is going to be doing and all, then Janine takes a ballpoint pen out and places it on the paper, sliding them both across the desk. "Ma'am? If you could make sure your information is correct, and and the amount owed will be satisfactory before signing at the bottom?"
Pepper Potts ohs? at Tanya, then turns to look at the printout offered to her by Janine. Paperwork she is only too familiar with. She quickly scans the data, has NO idea if the estimated cost of repairs is fair or not, but honestly doesn't care. Tony's car, Tony's money. She's just making sure the car is in good repair in case her boss chooses to drive it sometime in the near future. She quickly signs the printout and hands it back to the receptionist before turning to Tanya and Cordelia again. "I can't say I've seen many canned beverage tricks recently. Now you have me curious."
With that, Cordelia beams and steps in front, takes the can... And shoves it through her mouth. The metal simply /phases/ its way through the back of her throat like a ghost would, but during and after there's gulping. Her other hand takes the can as it passes through from behind her head, and she has to stifle a loud burp afterwards... But the can is, indeed, completely empty. How does she show it? She crumples it in her hand. You can't do that so easily with a full can, and if you did, it would spray everywhere. "Uh... Tada! One X-Gene boasting session, courtesy of the woman who fears no weapon. Uh... Well, fears very few weapons."
And Tanya has to clap, grinning and shaking her head. "Next time I'm gon'a make a loaded bet with /you/, dear," she mutters, though good-naturedly. "At least you didn't follow it up with belching the alphabet or something--and that's /not/ an invitation." That's said with a wider grin, then she turns to take another print-out from Janine. That grin stays on her face as she glances at it; it's really just something like the "behind the scenes" version of the bill, really--a list of what needs to be fixed, what the customer asked for, so on and so forth. "Alright, Pepper, if you give me the keys, I'll take the Cobra on around, and get started," she says as she folds the paper up and tucks it into her breast pocket. "And you can watch from the observation lounge, and I'm sure Cordelia can keep you company when she can, if you like." She's the social type, and does sometimes forget that not everyone else is as well.
A black Bentley pulls into the parking lot outside as Pepper raises her eyebrows at Cordelia's unique way of drinking a beverage. "The only think that I can think of to say about that is ... doesn't drinking carbonation that fast burn your throat?" But before she can hear the young woman's reply a chirping sound comes from her bag. She pulls out her Sphone and looks at the screen. "Oh, that's my ride. I'd love to stay but I'd probably starting getting panicked phone calls if I'm not back in time for the operations meeting. Could give me a call when the car is ready?" She offers the keys to Tanya as she tucks the phone back in her bag.
Cordelia looks pleased with the praise, and then chuckles at Pepper, who seems unphased by it all. She also looks a bit sad that the woman can't stay, but she waves anyway. "Mmkay. See ya, Pepper." Then she looks to Tanya, frowning like she lost her balloon, and heads off to find her broom. Time to sweep the ceilings...
Taking the keys, Tanya smiles at Pepper, saying, "Alright, I'll make sure you're called when it's ready, and I'll take care of it like it's my own." She turns and sees the look on Cordelia's face, her expression sobering in response. She really can't imagine what she did, but. She gives a wave to Pepper and affects a smile, then turns to head further into the lounge. It's just a closer, straighter shot to the Shelby! And that's even technically true, if technically.
Pepper Potts smiles and nods to Tanya and Cordelia and Janine, then steps out of the lobby and toward the Bentley, the driver already holding the door for her as she brandishes her phone again. Heaven only knows what manner of shenanigans Tony's got up to while she was driving the car over. She disappears into the black vehicle as the driver nods politely to Tanya, and then the Bentley floats back out into traffic.