Shame really that we won't be able to do anything about Season Five because Some of the spoiler sites say that Fahmke is coming back as Ava Moore in the new season which makes me a very happy Roz indeed. Apparently Joely R will be back some of the time as well. And no more Michelle, which also makes me happy, except that I would like to see Ava reduce her to tears with sarcasm.
I saw Pirates and I liked it a lot, but I am reviewing it, so more on this later. I also saw Zodiac with helenraven and am trying to sort out what I thought about it.
But the main event of this post is another installment of the work in progress, which is somehow what I am writing right now, even though I want to do the novel as well. Spoilers for Ugly Betty finale, none of it mine, sequel to my earlier fic Dawn in Rome
DAWN IN NEW YORK II
The board room was just as tasteless as the corridor. I mean, why would the staff of a magazine need its name all over the walls during meetings? To remind them where they work?
Fashionistas may be a bit dumb, but really!
And clearly I don’t understand the world of fashion, because I would not have thought pale blue walls went with orange chairs.
The room is full of people I hope never to have to see again, many of whom are looking at me with vague recognition and occasional oh so subtle whispers.
Yes, I am that girl. Get over it.
Amanda, Marc and Betty were with us when we came in, but somehow have melted away to the fringes of the crowd, leaving us the principal exhibit everyone is looking at.
The Claire girl stayed where she was, on a comfortable chair in the lobby, which is probably the most sensible place to be.
There are the fashion people, who are all bright and shiny and over-dressed; there are also the lawyers, a surprising number of lawyers, all of them in sharp dark suits with narrow lapels.
It is a tough call. The clothing of the Mode staff is so trendy it makes my eyes hurt, but the lawyers make classic design a dirty word because they wear it with so much arrogance.
These are definitely evil lawyers.
I know the look.
There is this thing that happens when Buffy and I are together in the presence of evil; suddenly we are the Summers girls, shoulder to shoulder even though she is so very much shorter.
It’s like the hairs on our necks standing up and pulling us imperceptibly together.
It feels amazingly cool.
The other thing I hate about this board room is the table.
It’s a round table with a huge space in the middle of it, like the Mode people are Fashion Camelot, or something.
Aunt Fey and her colleagues, not without illusions about their importance in the actual world, clearly.
This very tall blonde walks up to us and ignores me but not in a rude way, just in a wanting to talk to my sister way.
‘You’re Buffy Summers,’ she says. ‘My friend Jordan Dunn is such a fan of yours.’
Buffy instantly moves from the whole Summers Sisters Against the World thing into that other well known way of being Buffy, which is all gush and false modesty.
‘You know Jordan Dunn?’ she says. ‘Jordan Dunn knows who I am? I think she’s amazing.’
I usually tune out when Buffy is squeeing about her celebrity crushes, but this is one both Kennedy and Celeste share. Apparently Jordan Dunn is famous for jumping off things.
I suppose someone has to be.
The tall blonde smiles at us both, managing to include me without giving me the look I am getting from most of the people in the room.
‘I’m sorry,’ she says. ‘We’ve not met. I’m Alexis Meade.’
Clearly we are supposed to react to this, but I wasn’t lying when I told Betty that we don’t read the New York papers.
And she does not mind at all that we don’t know who she is, because she goes on to say ‘I’m co-editor-in-chief of Mode’ which seems like a perfectly sensible thing to be, I suppose.
Then she says, ‘And this is my brother Daniel’ in a tone that is half snark and half tender.
Even before I catch the glint of his smile, I feel Buffy stand up even straighter beside me.
He’s cute, in a naughty spaniel sort of way. Even in a wheelchair, with his arm in a sling and a small band-aid fetchingly positioned over his right eye.
He fixes me with a knowing smile that somehow doesn’t especially annoy me – it’s all sort of ‘Yep, I saw your tape, but someday you’ll probably see mine, so we’re cool’. Like he has known public embarrassment as well.
Plus, he checks me out, but more for the form of the thing. His eyes shift in seconds to my sister.
There used to be cartoons where this wolf went to the cinema, or out for a drive, and suddenly he would see some hot patootie, and his eyes would suddenly sproing out on stalks.
He’s so like that, over my sister, and she does her slightly coy, slightly come-hither, look straight back at him.
This has the potential to be so embarrassing, but he is too little boy and peachy keen to be clearly evil, which has got to be an improvement.
These two may be hot-shot magazine people, but this little moment of aren’t we so charming dissipates instantly when one of the lawyers coughs meaningfully.
I mean, they both jump as if they had been caught playing truant.
He is a very young and unimportant looking lawyer, which means, I take it, that his bosses are people so eminent that they actually have a minion to do their meaningful coughs for them.
Not just evil lawyers then, but important and pretentious evil lawyers.
So Daniel wheels himself round to the table and Alexis takes a chair beside him.
I like the way they look together, like they look after each other.
It’s how I hope Buffy and I look. When observed by complete strangers.
Somehow, I don’t see them making room for little Amanda at the Meade family dinner table any time soon – I don’t see where she’d fit in to the vibe those two have.
Also, finding out your old boyfriend, who is also your boss, is actually your brother? I know embarrassment, but that takes it to a whole new level.
With a liqueur-soaked crystallized cherry on top.
There are three empty chairs near the Meades, so Buffy and I take the outer two. I look round and smile encouragingly at Amanda, who is hanging back looking shy in a way which is so clearly uncharacteristic, and rather sweet.
I pat the chair next to me.
She may be a snarky bitch, but she’s a Summers girl, and we, at least, look after our own
The Meades aren’t even looking, because they are both glowering at a couple who just entered the room.
This white-haired hawk-faced guy who dresses like a lawyer, and this very beautiful, very cool African-American woman on his arm, who smiles a tight-lipped smile at the Meades like she wishes they were dead and in Hell.
Which is how they look at her, and the man who has to be their father. You just don’t hate anyone that much who isn’t a relative.
And presumably he is Amanda’s newly discovered father too, because she is so clearly studying three square inches of table top immediately in front of her like the ultimate secrets of the universe were scribbled there.
Marc scurries up and whispers in the woman’s ear – so that’s whose minion he is.
Someday, I want a minion. It’s the one fashion accessory I see the point of.
I wonder if Andrew would be up to the job.
And then I think, I should so introduce Marc and Andrew, because it would be funny.
The lawyers have taken up a whole quarter of the table, but with an empty seat at the middle of their bit of it.
Bradford Meade looks round the table.
‘Are we quite ready?’ he says.
The young lawyer who coughed looks up from his papers.
‘We’re just waiting,’ he says, ‘for our Senior Partner.’
Then, suddenly, a tall woman, with dark hair and a scarf around her neck that shouldn’t go with a business suit that makes Buffy’s look travel-stained and three years out of date, is standing behind that last chair.
‘My apologies,’ she says. ‘Sometimes getting to Manhattan is almost more trouble than it’s worth.’
Daniel says, ‘I know what the Boroughs are like. My assistant has to come in from Queens.’
He gives her almost as much of a come-on look as he gave my sister; he may have good taste, but that boy is such a whore.
She looks back at him, pityingly.
‘No,’ she says. ‘I had to come in from rather further than that.’
Then she looks my sister in the eye - across the room but as if they were standing right next to each other.
‘Oh, and before we get down to business, Miss Summers,’ she says. ‘I had been meaning to offer my condolences for your loss.’
Buffy says, ‘I know most people here knew her well, but I never knew my aunt.’
‘No,’ the lawyer says. ‘That’s not who I meant. I was talking about your two lovers.’
‘Oh,’ Buffy says flatly.
She has come on a long way in a few months, I think. Not crying, and not throwing things and not looking for something to kill. Not yet anyway.
‘We haven’t met,’ the lawyer says. ‘But you may have heard of me. My name is Lilah Morgan.’