Cleaning Deals

November 7, 2014: Babs has ideas on how Jay Donohue may fit within her network of assets…

Gotham Cafe

A quiet, mostly clean twenty four hour cafe in Gotham



  • None

Mood Music:

Back in Gotham, Babs feel far more at home, but her mind keeps wandering to that endearing /custodian/ she and Rowan met in the Nowhere Markets, a few days ago. Babs liked the young woman and they certainly connected, talks of bargains and all.

When Babs had initially asked Jay whether she hired out, it was mostly in jest, there were a few odd jobs Babs had been considering but the more she thinks about just how well that copper haired woman worked, ideas started forming. So she made the call and asked Jay to take the trip to Gotham to meet her.

During the time in the Nowhere Market, Jay had made it clear that she lived in New York and didn't necessiraly work for money, but considered each transaction a fair swap… she did something of value and received something of value in return. So Babs had offered to pay the cost of the transport to and from the city, plus food and beverage and had bought along a selection a jewellery for the woman to clean, if a deal was indeed needed.

Taking advantage of being out of the Clocktower, Babs had also asked Rowan to join her. He might get a kick of the meeting himself.

The two of them are seated at a table in the Cafe just around the corner from the Clocktower, Babs has a cup of coffee in front her and her tablet lays, facedown, on the table beside her. "She should be here soon, Rowan."


"Let us hope for both our sakes she does not take overmuch to smiling. It was… clearly not a happy smile." Rowan murmurs as he sits near Babs at the table and sips on a cup of joe himself.


The diminutive elfin woman known as Jay Donohue was given a promise of contact and of potential future work by 'Babs', who was accompanied by someone who was not quite what they looked like. Any animosity that Jay would have had towards that party was largely washed through by the rather crass nature of the magus that also was involved in that situation.

She owes that one a 'social courtesy', and it will be a fair exchange, even if the magus does not care for the terms. Still, that one got them out of the Market, which she was starting to get a bit worried about.

Normally, she'd handle her own transit, but 'Babs' had paid for the public transit and then the cab when she had entered the City of Yesteryear. This city is so worn, so tired… so… dirty. If she wasn't already working on her own long-term project in New York, she'd totally jump at the chance to make this metropolis shine like it must have so long ago. Her section of the railcar, at least, was a bit shinier when she left it — being a bit fidgety she'd scrubbed it clean.

She makes her way into the Cafe, forcing herself to walk when she'd much rather be at least hovering. She's heard some really BAD things about Gotham too, and she's prepared for at least two of them by wrapping a rag around her head to cover her ears, and sunglasses… Well, she sort of has an urban motiff going, if it is a bit comical on someone of her frame.

"Hello Babs! And friend!" Her tone is cordial and she hasn't started smiling, yet.


Babs is about to respond to Rowans comment as Jay comes through the door, dressed rather inerestingly… and she looks up and smiles "Jay, this is Rowan. I don't suppose the two of you were properly introduced the other day… Please take a seat and we'll organise food and drink next, tell me how much of our fair city you cleaned on your way here?"


Jay nods to Rowan and takes a seat, sitting almost ram-rod stiff in her chair. It's almost like she was raised in one of those 'proper households' where every little dining bit was monitored like a hawk.

And then… busted. She didn't realize that Babs had control over the city and that cleaning parts of it without permission might get her in trouble.

"Um… just a little bit on the train because it was a long ride and I was bored and I was getting kind of anxious waiting to come to the meeting?" She gulps a bit. Did she already mess this arrangement up?


Rowan was not raised in a proper household. He's got decent posture but his table manners are… well… who has tables in the middle of a warzone, really? "Hello again… Jay, was it?" He seems amused at the definitely-not-an-elf's distress. "I… don't think there's anything to be particularly nervous about."


The redheads eyes go wide at Jays obvious distress "Oh no Jay, it was just an observation I'd made and way to break the ice so to speak… you've done nothing wrong. Please relax. What can I get to drink and eat?" Babs is genuinely concerned she's upset the young woman. A brief glance at Rowan, with a nod, "Yes, Jay."


"Jay Donohue, yes." She's very formal, crisp, despite the assurances from the travelling companion of the person she's come to deal with.

"Oh." She relaxes a bit, but she still has that rather formal 'sitting at the dining room table' feel versus 'casual dining in a camp or in front of a computer monitor'.

"Two plain bagels with plain cream cheese, and a carafe of coffee, please." She squints warily at the prospective bargainer, the lines showing even around the edges of the sunglasses.

"And I can pay for those with money if I have to."

It belatedly occurs to her that not everyone is used to the bartering of services for food.


Rowan quirks an eyebrow. Even he's used to the concept of 'hospitality' and a hosts duties. It doesn't mean quite the same thing as it used to in this time and place but guests, even prospective business partners or employees rarely have to barter for a couple of bagles and some hot joe to drink. This surfacer is odd indeed.


Babs eyes crinkle with amusement and she tilts her head "Would you accept me paying for these without a deal being required? It would be my pleasure."


"I suppose but don't make a habit of it. I'm not a charity case." She shakes her head vigorously. "I work hard and my work is worth a lot to me, so I hope it's worth a lot to you, too." Not a Bizarro lass, by any means, but definitely a bit… odd, as per Rowan's assessment.

"And it's not a Gift, either, is it? Gifts are dangerous. Gifts require one in return of equal value, but they're not a Promise."


Rowan cants his head. "Why would gifts be bad? Is not the point of a gift that they do not need to be repaid? Otherwise it is not really a gift, is it?" Or at least that's his understanding. Maybe surfacer social mores are a bit more complicated than he first thought. Maybe they have an odd favor and debt driven social economy.

Or maybe Jay's just cracked.


Babs heads to the counter to place the order saying "Label as you will Jay, it's given free and clear." Returning with the order expertly balanced on her chair, Babs slides it over to Jay. "It's a surfacer thing, Rowan. Jay is capitalising the first letter, which to us gives it a meaning, some significance… though I don't get it myself." She quirks an eyebrow at the other woman… "You might need to explain."


"I don't know why, I just know that Gifts are bad news?"

Jay may indeed be chipped dining ware, but she's also trying to be polite.

"Better to work with promises and favors. That way you know what you're getting into and both sides have a fair and decent feel for what they're getting out of a Deal. Not like all that hinky money stuff that seems to gum up the works rather than being the oil of commerce it brags to be."

She lowers the sunglasses a bit to show the crinkling mirth of her expression, as she nimbly slices the bagels into quarters and chomps on a section, washing it down with some coffee.

"Very good bagels, a credit to the cook. Almost… I think they were scratch-made, even."


The surfacer currency system is indeed fairly impenetrable to Rowan and he's not in a postion to comment really. Instead he just looks at Babs and shrugs. Why again did you invite this odd flying girl over?


"Alright Jay, let's talk. I have an apartment, with some large windows that I'd like to get you to keep clean. But there's a small issue. I'm a very private person and people who actually visit, are well known and highly trusted by me." Babs pauses, regarding the young woman critically "I'm in this chair because some invaded the home I lived in, and shot me. It colours everything I do. If you were to take this contract, you would have to swear to never tell people you work for me, or make any mention of my apartment, at all." Blunt? yes, but clarity avoids issues.


The thin woman listens and nods. She's dealt with other people who have had privacy issues, and confidentiality is a big thing. She can understand and respect that, and then the reasoning.

"What do you offer in exchange for keeping the windows clean?" Blunt and to the point, it's good to get these matters out and in the open.


Rowan settles to watch the delicate dance of commerce. Fae overtones aside this is actually something common, even endemic to any kind of trade and while the trappings are unfamiliar to him, the steps? Those he recognizes.


Babs grins delightedly "Well, there you have me. I'm used to dealing in this /hinkey money stuff/ as you put it. I noticed with The Finder you negotiated a meal every 6th day…. Coach me…. name two or three things that would of sufficient value. And… I'll add a rider… you're quoting this sight unseen, once you start and you know the full extent, the deal can be remade." Casting a glance at Rowan, making sure he's o.k, Babs sits back in her chair, Babs sips from her coffee, observing Jay carefully


"First things first. You don't want to put a 'never' in there. Because if I agree to that, and you get hurt, I can't even call for help for you. And if I can't tell people I'm working on a job for you, that would just be really bad, right? Second, this would preclude any individuals you have at your apartment. If they see me working there, it would be expected I speak to them, at least in greeting, correct? Third, I understand the need for privacy, and if you wanted to define areas of your apartment as 'off-limits', that would be a reasonable sort of thing."

She pauses and considers.

"One filling meal for each day I work. One night at either the apartment or a lodging of your choice in town after said work is done. Those are good solid things to start with. And Deals can't be remade, but they can be modified at the consent of both parties."

Jay drops down her glasses a bit more to reveal her eyes some as she regards the wheelchair-bound woman.


As a 'will work for food' arrangement goes, this one is surprisingly full of boilerplate. Not that Rowan knows the term. Lawyers aren't much use in a world at war. Not on the line, anyway. Still he watches with obvious interest.


Babs nods carefully. "O.K. Let me work this through, it's good advice."

"For times of emergency, I have a series of systems in place. Should those systems fail, and you'll know if they do, I will give you people you can call in case of emergency. You will be able to tell each of them who've you tried to contact, but no-one else." This actually formalises a few impromptu agreements Babs has in place, and that's not a bad thing.

"For people in the apartment, I'm not a monster. You will have my permission to greet them and interact with them to be social. We will need to define that more clearly, but that's something we should be able to do together." The people who are in Babs' apartment generally know her secrets, with the exception of 1.

"Three: Out of Bounds areas. Yes there will be those and I will clearly define them when you are in the apartment." The monitoring room can be closed and locked when the woman is there, but certainly that needs to be defined.

"The agreement can be modifed with the consent of both parties. Or it can be cancelled with 7 days verbal notice of either party." This one Babs is quite familiar with.

"Recompense: you need to clearly define what 'filling meal' means. I can't have you eating me out of my apartment. And you need to define whether that meal is taken at the time you do the work or at a later date." Babs grins, she knows Robins appetite. "Lodgings, for now a location of my choosing in town, but as our Trust grows, I would like to think you could stay at the apartment."

Frowning, Babs tilts her head "You have not specified travelling expenses." and sipping from her coffee cup, she waits for the reply.


What could go wrong? Rowan can think of several things off the top of his head. He's fun like that. Still, Babs has shown good judgement in the past and Jay doesn't seem like someone with bad intent. Just someone who wants a fair deal. In a really weird fashion. He scoots a bit closer to Babs and pays attention.


The shorter woman nods at the points. Reasonable, fair, and clear. And a provision, even, to modify the Deal built right into it. And verbal. Very nice. For being uncertain and faltering this Babs seems to know what she's doing.

"A substantive repast in the neighborhood of four thousand calories."

Goodness, where on Earth does she fit that on her frame? She's like, four thousand calories herself! Okay, slight exaggeration, but still…

"Nothing makes the appetite stronger than a nice full day of work before eating, so of course it would be that day. And lodging is more for the fact I don't want to cause trouble leaving late in this city and trying to make it home back in New York. So somewhere nice and quiet locally is good. And… transportation… huh. Hadn't thought of that one, honestly. You're good at this. Uh-hmm. Pre-loaded transit card with the amount needed for transit to and from Gotham?"


Rowan listens intently and cants his head. He has no idea what four thousand calories is. But Babs has got this far, so he remains silent.


Babs smile grows as the terms are defined. "Four thousand calories, oh my… I will agree to that, I'll just have to go shopping for the days you are there. And a pre-loaded transit card in your name sounds fair." Sipping her coffee, Babs eyes are dancing "Are we agreed, Jay Donohue?"


The odd woman offers her hand to Babs eagerly.

"Bargained well and done, Babs." She tosses a couple of the chunks of bagel into her maw and they vanish in a couple of chews and swallows. "At your convenience, we should examine the location. It does not have to be right now, of course?"


Watching this Jay, Rowan cants his head and nods.


"Is the deal sealed then, Jay?" Babs questions "If so, finish your meal and we can take a look. You're here after all."


Jay tosses a few more chunks into her mouth and pulls her hand back, eyes crinkling a bit in mirth. "We're Dealt in." She takes three cups and pours herself three cups of still steaming hot coffee and tosses them back rapid-fire. Well, that at least explains why she sounds like a hyperactive chipmunk on speed sometimes… and that had to hurt, yet she barely winced as she downed each. Another three cups are filled and they sit, cooling slightly as she devours the remainder of the bagels before washing them back with the remaining cups. Strange woman.

"Alrighty! Let's do it, then!"

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