Coffee Minds

Bean Scene Cafe

Bean Scene is a small coffee shop and cafe that caters primarily to a younger crowd. The cafe has always been at least a year late in joining any given fad, and in the past it's been done in western-style, set up as a beatnik hangout, a go-go disco, a fern bar, and once even attempted to cash in on breakdancing. A plaque has recently been placed above the door, and says, "No fad is dead until it appears to Bean Scene".
Case in point, the cafe has a grungy feel to it.A grey brick facade has been placed over the walls, the flooring looking more like a worn down metal grid, complete with old sewer grates every few feet. Tables and chairs set about the cafe are quite casual in appearance, made of metal meant to look rusty and splattered with multi-colored paints. Metal street signs hang from the wall amid images of garage bands. Behind the counter is a black chalkboard displaying the available items and costs.

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Helluva day to be out and about. Thunderstorms have been intermittent, all day — the flash-flood kind that comes with the clash of the dry land-driven heat and humid, sea-driven cooler air. And it's been hot, too. The humidity's made it feel at least 20'F, maybe as much as 30'F warmer than it really is. The heat's about the only thing that's made the rain as welcome as it is.
For her part, Rachel's always liked thunderstorms. There's something cathartic about them, as far as she's concerned. So, she's not actually bothered about being out in them… long as there's shelter near to hand for when the lightning starts flashing in earnest.
The interior of the Bean, of course, is cool and dry — regulated by a fairly reliable A/C unit, it seems. It's made all the more grey by the dull clouds outside, however, what with the grungy decor. That doesn't much bother Rachel, however. There's something about it that reminds her of a NY subway station… which isn't the coloring or the quality of the coffee. But, still… It's about as close as she's seen in Texas.
She sits at a table near the window, a large coffee and toasted bagel near-to-hand — the bagel with pieces ripped from it, already consumed.

There are days when Chloe likes to stay in bed, and today was one of them. Days when it's dark, dreary, and otherwise a pain to drag herself out of the comfort. Especially with the late nights she's been keeping lately.

Which is why the day has dragged on, and she's still quite a great deal groggy. The type of groggy where she's yawning every five minutes without wanting to. The type where she nearly fell asleep in the campaign meeting and had to be nudged by one of the PR guys. The type of day where she's nearly forgotten any other engagements beyond those that are most pressing.

With a newspaper held over her head, she races into the coffee shop not far from her old apartment.

Spotting her 'engagement' in the window, Chloe breezes in, tosses the paper in the trash and attempts to brush off any excess water before heading to the table without an order. As she seats herself, it's coupled with a large yawn.

"Sorry I'm late. It's been one of those days."

Rachel's jaw works to suppress a sympathetic yawn. She succeeds, all without even opening her mouth. "Hey, no problem," the New Yorker says with an easy smile, having noticed Chloe dash along the street before she ever got to the shop. "I don't mind sitting, watching the people. Looks like you can seriously use the coffee, though, yawning like that." She reaches for her own cup, in emphasis, hoping a swallow will keep another sympathetic yawn at bay.

"One of those days," Chloe says again with a grin. She waits until the server is not busy and flags him down. While waiting for him to appear, she smiles over at Rachel. "So who was that guy at the jazz club anyhow? Not trying to be snoopy but the two of you looked cute together." Sometimes, getting information in a more mundane way is much more fun.

When the server arrives, she orders a large coffee with triple sugar in it. If the caffeine doesn't help with the sleepiness, the sugar should.

"Know how that goes," Rachel chuckles lightly. At the question, however, her eyebrows rise. She sees David in her mind's eye, and smiles. He's cute, to be sure. "Dr. David Trudeau," she tells the other woman. "Works with the CDC. Keeps the precinct updated on the latest communicable diseases they should be watching for." She gives a mild shrug, then. No question he's cute. No question she'd like to get to know him better. No question she's not looking for a relationship, right now. The divorce is still too fresh in her mind.
Heck. The tan line from her wedding band is only just now faded away. There are days she still subconsciously searches for it with her thumb.
"We're not together."

"Forgive me for saying so, Miss McKendrick, but you don't have to be 'together' to look cute standing side by side." Winking at the woman, Chloe begins to twist her hair up atop her head, settling it in place with a barrette that's expertly slipped out of her purse in a swift movement. Keeps the slightly damp hair from ruining her business jacket.

"Beyond that, you also don't have to be 'with' someone to think they're good looking." There are quite a few people that Chloe finds most interesting to look at, to be sure. Granted, she'd never act on anything with any of them. Even if she weren't in a somewhat committed relationship.

Rachel gives Chloe a somewhat wry smile, head canting to the side. "I suppose so…" she concedes slowly. Still, the idea makes her uncomfortable for reasons she can't put her finger on. That noted… she does like looking at David Trudeau. Nothing hard on the eyes about him.
"Did you ever catch flack from your colleagues, that night, after I called you away?" That had been the request, after all: 'Come and get in ten minutes, would you?' The agent had no problem doing so. Didn't take a psychic to see that Chloe's fun-o-meter had burst it's top where they were concerned.

Chloe, on the verge of replying, is distracted by the coffee delivery. Just to ensure it has enough sugar, she grabs a little packet, shakes it, and dumps that in as well. It may be over doing it, but she's obtained quite a sweet tooth of late. Even if she will regret this sugar come morning.

"Flack? Not really. Though there was quite a bit of joshing about me batting for the other team." Rolling her eyes skyward, she stirs the coffee liberally. Ensuring that not one crystal of sugar is left floating within. "It's difficult to find someone to attend work functions with considering most begin before sundown."

Rachel cants her head again at that. "And the fact they begin before sundown is a problem because…?" Her eyes narrow faintly. A conclusion: "You're involved with a vampire." Her immediate internal reaction is a flash of wariness, the brief image of a man's face… a man with fangs. Given the strength of the memory, and the unpleasant emotions attached to it, it's likely whomever he was, he was a Bad Sort. And there's the sense of professionalism tied to it. So it was probably a case, and not a personal liaison.
Even so, she's got a well-ordered, rational mind. One that has very good control over her emotions and reactions. As quickly as the reaction surfaces, it's squashed, the echo of a conversation with another vampire here in Dallas providing some form of equanimity. Michael Isonzo was very good at pointing out the prejudice her experience with the other vampire — the name 'Preacher' floats there in her mind — engendered.
"Huhn," she says after barely a moment, all of that processed in the span of milliseconds. She smiles that wry smile again, though it's a softer expression now. "What's that like?"
It's actually genuine curiosity that motivates her. She doesn't 'get it', herself. Not even as a trained psychologist — not on a personal level, anyway. So, she asks the question.

The wariness is something that Chloe is quite used to. She gets it a lot when she reveals her involvement. Waiting for Rachel's mind to calm a little, she sips her coffee quietly. There is only the tiniest of winces when she realizes how scalding the dark liquid is as it burns down her throat. Even so, there is a smile on her face, albeit a forced one.

"I'm guessing it's not much different from a regular relationship, except for the fact that they've had centuries more experience." Needless to say, Chloe may just be a little spoiled on that particular front. "Otherwise, I really don't have anything to compare it to." Beat. "That's not to say I've not had interested parties, it's just a matter of… comfort." That, and hearing what they're thinking can be a great mood killer.

There's something in the way Chloe says comfort that piques Rachel's curiosity. It doesn't carry the same intonation as the innuendo in the word experience. She finds it curious that the woman would find vampires more comfortable than human beings. And she's not convinced it's their 'experience' that's the reason behind it.
She doesn't say it, however. But, then, she's the type that keeps a lot to herself.
"I guess I just haven't met the right vampires," she decides, pushing the thoughts away for the moment. She offers a soft chuckle, however. Conciliatory, perhaps. "Then again, maybe I have and just don't know it." Vampires have only been out of the coffin for the past three years, after all. And, although she's become rather good at spotting most of the scant few physical signs, she can't really be sure. She's no doubt they could fool her, if they wanted… short of an actual fang face or sun-smoking corpse, of course.
It's just the fact that all the ones she knows she's met fall into to sociopath category that bothers her.

"I'd be more than willing to introduce you to a few, but I'm guessing you don't actually want to meet one." It's said in a completely nonchalant way. As though she's positive Rachel is one of those that's had a rotten experience and doesn't want to relive it. The cup is lifted to her lips again, this time Chloe is much more careful about drinking it. Small sips, tiny swallows.

"Chances are if you met the right ones, you wouldn't even know what they are. The ones that make sure to let you know what they are? They're the ones to be careful of." She grimaces a little, looking past the other woman. "I've met a fair few that are quite stuck in the past, where a woman's place was to obey a man and stay silent. Unfortunately for me, I tend to like to piss those ones off on purpose at times. I hate that attitude."

"Actually," Rachel says with remarkable swiftness on the heels of Chloe's first comment, "I might want to meet one. Or two. Or even a handful of the better ones." The professional in her is forefront of her brain again. "Partly so I can differentiate, but partly because it never hurts to have those sorts of connections." She's always the profiler. Even when she shouldn't be.
She shrugs lightly. "I know I've met at least two vampires since I arrived here back in April. One was… pleasant enough." Isonzo. Which isn't to say she trust him. "The other was… Well, let's just say I doubt he's the poster boy for mainstreamers." Marius. And his pet regressionist. Yeah. That was fun. That one — which is how she privately refers to Marius — has sociopath written ALL over him. In big, bold letters. She'll be surprised if he doesn't end up as part of one of her investigations some day. Whether he ends up as the perp or not.
In any case, she snirks a little at the last observation. "Yeah. I've met those." Usually in passing. "'Course, that's not confined to vampires, you know. There's plenty of contemporary men with the same feeling."
Translation: She doesn't blame that attitude on being a vampire. She blames it on misogyny in general.

"I'll see what I can arrange, but I can't make any promises." Chloe is absolutely matter-of-fact about that. She can't really promise a meeting with Will, or Elliott, though she can request that they meet with one of her friends.

"He is a sociopath," she can't refrain from saying. "He's one of the ones I would stay away from, though Isonzo I'm never really sure on either. He seems nice enough, but I can't help wondering if someone as old as he is is just up to some sort of trickery." Even if he did basically save her life twice in the span of one evening, she's fairly certain it was less about her and more about impressing the then-Sheriff.

"In this case, it is entirely the old-fashioned vampire persona. Some have it, some don't." The coffee is sipped from again, and she eyes Rachel almost quizzically. "I don't think vampire involvement is why you wanted to have that coffee though…"

Rachel nods lightly to the promise that Chloe will at least try to get her a meeting with someone. She's good with that. Reaching for her coffee, she takes another sip and tears off another piece of bagel to wash down.
It's when Chloe voices thoughts Rachel knows she didn't speak aloud that she pauses. She raises blue eyes to look directly into the redhead's face. "I didn't say who I'd met," she states matter-of-factly. "Just that I'd met."
She puts the bagel down with a very precise movement. Her voice pitches low, her demeanor becomes entirely serious. She does not want her words carrying. However, she also being very frank. "Which means, you either know one of them, and they've spoken to you about me…" A beat. A tight, humorless smile. "Or you read minds."
Remarkably — and especially given the behavior she's seen in Chloe, coupled with her own experience as a psychic — she's not kidding about the latter. It's clear in her mind. She knows telepaths exist.
"Which is it?"

"Does it matter?" Chloe keeps that smile plastered on her face for the rest of the world to see. Anyone close enough could detect the wariness in her own eyes at the moment though. Thus, she falls silent for a good few minutes. Sipping the coffee. Trying to decide how truthful to be.

"There is only one vampire I know in the city, who, without a doubt, can be described as a sociopath. A psychopath. Quite likely a sadistic bastard as well." Each word is spoken with a bit of loathing. The last word is accented by a gentle rubbing of her cheek though the bruise has long since disappeared.

"Let's just say it's likely a bit from column A coupled with a bit from column B and leave it at that, shall we?"

"I can't leave it at that," Rachel says with a shake of her brunette head. "I need to know one way or the other."
She leans back now. To the rest of the world, she's simply waiting for an answer. Silently. However, internally, she gambles:
~If you're worried about me spreading your secret, you needn't be./~ It's a thought in her mind. It's directed at the telepath, sure. But, she's not a telepath, so it never leaves her own skull. It's there on the surface, though, easy enough to pick out. ~You're hardly the only one with that sort of secret.//~

« It would have been better had you left it alone, » Chloe says with a minute mental pout. It's not that she cares who knows. Quite a few do. It's how she gained the moniker of 'Crazy Chloe' back in high school. Telling boys when their girlfriends were about to dump them, and vice versa.

"I have little concern over the spread of the secret. It won't matter in a few more weeks anyhow, if I'm being honest. You'd be more worried about the foreign reporter than you would me, prying secrets from your head." Just like that, she's sipping the coffee again. Not at all giving away the name of said foreign reporter. "I generally don't care what I hear. There's too much going on in my life for any of it to make at all a big of deal."

The inserted thought is enough to confirm it. Rachel lets out a breath, obviously squashing any outward display of irritation, though it's there as an undercurrent to her thoughts. "I worry about anyone able to pick up what I'm thinking. Foreign or friendly," she notes with subtle displeasure.
«I'm an FBI agent. It comes with the territory.»
The thought that's suppressed, though still there, is a dry 'I really gotta find a way to shield myself.' Pity she couldn't be both a seer and a telepath.
Probably just as well she isn't.
She reaches up to rub her the bridge of her nose lightly. Still… something that Chloe said stands out.
"What do you mean 'in a few more weeks'?" she asks now. "What happens in a few more weeks?"

"With any luck, I won't be human."

There is a big wink offered to the woman as she finishes up the coffee. Allowing her to think on that for a moment or two. "We'll see though. A lot can happen in a day or two, let alone a few weeks." Still, the promise was that she could be turned after her brother's wedding. If all goes well, that's what she intends to do.

« The difficulty is, Miss McKendrick, that a lot of mind readers aren't even aware that they're doing it until they do it. You can't really prepare to shield that at all well. » There are ways. Chloe has slowly been learning them. They are difficult, and time consuming, but there are ways.

Rachel's the type to make it a discipline to always be shielded. At least, she would be if she thought she could. She'd sooner constantly keep everyone out than errantly let everyone in. (And, hey, if it were to reduce the number of maddening visions she gets… that's not a bad thing.)
«*dryly* I'd take what I could get.» Call it the price of the job.
Still, the idea that the woman won't be human any more isn't lost on her. "You're intending to have your boyfriend turn you?" There's something distasteful about that to her. (Wow, this is blowing any chance they had at being friends, isn't it?) "Why?"

"I like the silence. It's not something I get with many humans." Or witches. Or werewolves. Or Shifters for that matter. Chloe picks up another sugar packet, playing with it a little. "I've never had the silence. I've always had other voices with me. Until last year. Now I find that I quite like the silence. It's something that I've been missing."

That little bit of peace that just gives her a moment or two of solitude. Not knowing what someone in her life is thinking.

"The only other thing that works are medications that leave me wandering around like a zombie, and I can tell you that having been on them for eight years, I'd rather silence the other way."

"Actually," Rachel says, a bit of a wry twist to her lips, and empathy in her tone, "I expect I can imagine." Not precisely, of course. But, she likens it to how she likes winters up north because people wear gloves, so she doesn't always have to worry about what visions an errant touch might bring. She'd wear gloves all the time, herself, except that no one would understand it, and she can't afford to stand out like that in her line of work.
Besides… her visions have saved lives. They do have a purpose. Most of the time. That, she concedes, does set them apart from just randomly picking up on thoughts all the time.
And God knows she wouldn't want telepaths outted to the public. The last thing that appeals to her is the idea of any sort of 'thought police': People punished for what they were thinking, instead of what they actually did.
"Will it really take the voices away? I thought I heard somewhere that vampires can read minds, too. Or at least transmit their thoughts." She could be wrong about that, though. She's not that well-versed in vampire abilities. It just seemed to make sense, given what she has experienced.

"Thought police? Heh." Chloe chuckles at that for a while. Now that would be something fun to implement at some point in the future. Not that she's a politician, but the idea of it amuses her. Once she's under control again, she smiles. A lot of those thoughts were caught but none are really commented on. At least not yet.

"It might. I look at it like surgery. There's a chance it'll work. There's a chance it won't and I'm throwing my life away for nothing. Then again, there's a chance it won't and it'll be the best decision of my life." She has plans for her immortality. If she can survive Marius, that is.

"They really aren't… transmitting their thoughts. It's hard to explain, and it may not work on you anyhow. You have brain patterns that are similar to those of others I've run into."

Rachel cants her head quizzically, now. "How do you mean?" What about her brain patterns?
Sure, she knows from the occasional med exam her CAT scan readings are a little anomalous, but no neurologist she knows has considered it anything to be concerned about… at least, not since she doesn't complain about it. Sure, she's guessed those anomalies have something to do with her gift, but current science can't really tell her anything for sure.
Nor does she look for it to.

"You read differently. I mean, I can read you but you read differently. It's almost the same as talking to that foreign reporter I mentioned." Not quite, but very nearly.

Chloe is silent again for a while, the sugar packet being mushed between her fingers. « Think of it as a slight bounce in the brainwaves. Where normal patterns would be easily readable, you've got enough of a difference for you to be borderline difficult to read already. At least for me. »

Down goes the sugar packet and she glances around. Then she waves the server over again, ordering yet another sugary coffee.

Rachel likes being difficult to read. That makes her feel marginally bettter. «Can you teach me to be more difficult?» She has to ask.
In any case, something twigs in the back of her mind. "Foreign reporter…" she says slowly. "What foreign reporter?" There was a name that came up in an investigation she'd started but eventually left off — despite a vision. The vision was too indistinct. And, since it didn't ultimately return with ever increasing demands on her time and pain-threshold, Rachel let it go.
Still… Hugo Bosch's sister, Josephine van den Bosch, is a foreign reporter…

Can she teach…? « I've never done it before, » Chloe admits frankly. « Possibly, I can by trying to read you more often. » It's what Will did for her, and it worked to keep her mind blocked from him despite the bond. Not perfectly, but enough to say that he was teaching her something.

"There are a few in the city," she replies, not allowing the name to slip past her lips. Jo's secret, despite all the irritation Chloe often feels for the woman, is Jo's secret. She won't be the one to spill it. At least not by naming her.

Not helpful, that.
Again, Rachel suppresses a flash of irritation. She's not actually irritated directly at Chloe for the evasion… at least, not in the sense that she understands that the woman might have a desire to protect her own sources. But, still… it's a trifle unfair that the telepath can do that, while Rachel's still left guessing.
In the end, though, the profiler dismisses it. If she were truly meant to help the Bosch woman, she'd have received a much more demanding vision. And God knows she's got enough active visions already on her plate, never mind a busy case load that doesn't always include a helpful flash or two.
She leans back once more and downs the rest of her coffee.
«I just may take you up on that offer.»
"Yeah. There's always a few," she concedes aloud.

Again, Chloe is quiet for a minute or two. She seems to be questioning something in her own mind, something that is only forgotten when the coffee is again delivered. « If I'm unable to help you, I might be able to find you someone who's a better teacher. » Not that she really wants to share that person with anyone, let alone someone that looks like Rachel. Jealousy, thy name is Chloe.

"It's not my place to spill other people's secrets, unless it will keep me from being injured. I don't think you're willing to beat the name out of me just yet," she offers with a bit of a smirk. "On the flip side of that, I offer you the same anonymity. Not everyone can see things like you do, Miss McKendrick."

"Nobody in their right mind would want to," Rachel comments dryly. Still, she accepts what Chloe says, relatively peaceably, nonetheless.
Still, she can't help but snirk. "And, really… Maybe I'm outta line, but I think we've passed the point of formality. You might as well call me Rachel." Especially since Miss McKendrick grates just a little on her nerves. It makes her sound like a teacher.
The funniest thing, however, is that Rachel would laugh outright if she realized Chloe was jealously guarding her vampire. The idea that Rachel might want to steal the creature from the other psychic would leave the profiler rolling on the floor, laughing her tail off.
Not in this lifetime.
So, it's probably a good thing the idea never even enters her mind.
«It's worth a shot,» is her brief reply.

"Welcome to the south, Rachel. We tend to be a bit formal here at times, but it's out of politeness, not any attempt at making you feel as though you're a teacher." Chloe grins a bit as she dumps two more sugar packets into the new coffee before stifling a yawn. Yep. She's still a bit groggy it would seem.

« It is worth a shot. My weekdays are pretty much booked with the campaign going on and all. I've got Sundays free until the wedding, but should be free again afterward." Beat. "That would be the…" She reaches into her purse to pull out the day planner. All to recall the date. Days are starting to merge together for her, and that's seldom a good thing. "… twenty-eighth."

"Now, see," Rachel says then, letting out a brief chuckle, "if you want to be formal, my proper appellation is 'doctor'." She is a licensed, professional psychologist, after all… as much as she's also an FBI agent. She could go by the appellation 'agent', too. But, she rarely does outside of law-enforcement circles.
She reaches for her phone, which has a calendar on it. "I'm sure we can work something out," she notes. "Barring emergencies — " Oh, like those ever happen! " — I'm sure Sundays will be fine, for the time being."

Chloe actually goes so far as to grab a pen and jot Rachel's name down into the day planner. Just so that she remembers that she's got plans on Sunday, and she doesn't double book with the mayor. "Great. Sunday at two is likely the best time for me. Somewhere neutral would be good. The park if it's not raining. If it is still raining, the library will work." Working within the mind is never something that's loud and obnoxious. Besides which, she's sure she can get Doris to let her into an unused conference room.

If she begs enough.

"Ah, well apologies then, Doctor McKendrick. It was disrespectful of me to assume." Still with the formalities. Until, "In that case, you'll have to just call me Chloe."

"Chloe it is, then," Rachel replies, the hint of satisfaction in her tone echoed more fully in her mind. After only a moment's hesitation, she extends her hand to shake on it. She is a New Yorker, after all. A handshake seals a deal. And, since Rachel has touched Chloe before without ill-effects, she doesn't anticipate any now.
Though she's been wrong before.
Nonetheless, a deal's a deal. And a handshake is required.

And again, there's no big show. No to do. No vision of impending doom. Even though she's secure in the fact that she will be turned.

"So, Sunday afternoon," she reiterates just before she lets loose a curse. The phone in her purse is not only ringing with an annoying tone, but is vibrating and shaking her purse like mad. "Looks like they need me back down at City Hall. Minor crisis, which I'm betting means the mayor spilled mustard on his favorite tie before a press conference." Why else would she be working on a weekend?

Tearing a page out of the day planner, she jots down her name and number. "If you can't make it or need to reschedule, just call okay?"

All that means is that, at this point, Chloe's in no great danger. Whether that means she will be turned or won't be turned is immaterial. She's not in any danger.
And Rachel always likes that.
"Will do," she says, taking the page and glancing at the number. She folds it up and pushes it into a back pocket of her jeans. "Been… fun," she says, fully aware of the irony of the word. She just can't come up with a better way to describe this little encounter. Fun? Not so much. Horrible? Not at all. 'Startling', perhaps, is a better word.
She reaches for her own bag, and pulls out a card from a thin metal sleeve. "Here. In case you need to reach me."
Rarely does she give out anything other than her work number, but her own cell number is on the plain card.

Rachel McKendrick

"It'll go to voice mail, if I'm not available."

The card is taken with a nod, then slipped into the day planner as she puts it away for good. Before bothering with the phone, Chloe downs the rest of the new coffee, grimacing as she does so. It's still hot, no matter how much she wishes it would've cooled quickly. Icy powers are not hers for the taking.

"Thanks," she says, just before she slips open the phone with a, "Chloe Cornett speaking." Then she's up and out of the seat, racing back out into the rain. Too bad she didn't think to actually bring an umbrella today.

Sometimes being a telepath is highly overrated.

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