Back to the Stage


cat_icon.gif danielle_icon.gif helena_icon.gif ygraine_icon.gif

Scene Title Back to the Stage
Synopsis Cat ends her hiatus from performing. Conversations between her, Dani, Helena, and Ygraine happen before the performance starts and during a break.
Date September 24th, 2008

The Surly Wench

What for most people in Nuked York is the workday ended a while ago. It's passing seven p. m. now, and the Surly Wench is just starting to fill with people eager to enjoy raw music and get drunk. The stage is ready, Cat having informed Raymond the Manager she'd make her return tonight. Those who arrive spot her, and excitement starts to build. A number of them make calls to friends not already here, spreading the word.

Cat, clad in a dark tank top which shows just a hint of cleavage and dark jeans over black boots with a two inch heel, is at that moment by her customary table near the bar's end. She's not painted up in gothlike colors, though; don't get the dark clothing wrong. Her desired effect is emulating a black panther, in a play on her name. The backpack is in an empty chair, her guitar case leans against the table, and a fresh pint of Guinness Stout sits before one of the seats.

Given the ending of the workday, Dani's made her way here. She hasn't bothered to change out of her own work clothes, which is a nice skirt, blouse, jacket, heels…professional attire. Which of course looks horribly out of place here. But it's her first chance to see Cat perform since all the insanity, and she wasn't going to miss it. So she comes into the place, looking about for her friend through the crowd.

Her features light up as she spots the approaching professionally clad woman. Cat takes a few steps forward and raises her arms to signal Dani of her location. It's not too hard to move around in here, yet, but that will soon change. The rate people are coming through the door demonstrates that very well. A signal is also given to the bartender, who comes over toward her. Words are exchanged; she asks for whatever is anticipated Dani will want to drink. Once it's provided, possibly just in time to meet the other woman when she turns back around, boots carry her toward the staked out table.

Seeing the arms, the reporter changes course. She heads over to where Cat is. Knowing her favorite drink isn't hard for the woman with the perfect memory. She heads over to Cat's table with a bright smile. "Hey you. How goes?"

"It's looking good," Cat replies with her face still showing a wide grin. Arms open to pull Dani in and encircle her, as a kiss is placed to the top of her head. "You finally get to see me here." Then she lets go and steps back, arms gesturing in a way that invites scoping her out. "Do I totally look the panther part, or what?" There's an empty chair at that table, pulled out a bit for the less tall of these two brunettes.

Danielle hugs Cat tight. "I like the outfit." she says, smiling to Cat. "And you do!" She moves to the table offered, and sits down. "Not exactly the kind of place I pictured you playing in, but hey." A grin.

"I'm new to the City," she answers with a nod, as her eyes wander around. "Got to start somewhere and build a name, you know?" Cat doesn't plan to remain here very long; she has ambitions and expectations of bigger things in time. Places where she can use a wide repertoire, for one. Her hand curls around the pint of stout and lifts it, she takes a short drink before setting it down. Her face still shows the smile, it's a happy thing to have Dani here finally, but she's also cognizant of something missing. A moment is taken, just a moment, to close her eyes and lift the pint as a toast to someone not here, then she reopens them and sets glass back on table. Game face returns. "How's your gig going?"

Dani nods. "Pretty much the same thing I'm doing. It went okay. My boss was definitely not happy, but I brought him up to speed on the Linderman thing, and that's keeping my butt insulated at the moment. I'm gonna have to talk to the detective and get a followup on it, though.

Helena has a knack for getting past guards, and bouncers are certainly guards of a type. She's dressed suitably enough to pass, long blonde hair worn slick and straight, eye makeup heavy and dark and smudged, her too-large dark men's jacket making her look like an extra in Les Miz. Maybe a little too goth, but apparently it creates an acceptable effect as she starts working her way through the crowd.

She nods slowly, in response to the mention of Linderman and the detective. "I researched her, Dani. I'll have to walk a tightrope with that one. She's friendly with a guy called Matt Parkman, who turns out to be one of our neighbors. And is…" Cat leans in to whisper, "a telepath." Then she leans back and takes a second drink.

It's just past seven in the evening, word is spreading of the artist calling herself Cat making the return to stage here. It's not too crowded yet, but filling up quickly. Cat and Dani are at a table near the bar's end. A rum and coke sits before the shorter brunette, a pint of stout in front of the taller. A guitar case leans against the table, and a backpack rests in an empty chair.

The stage is ready for Cat to begin, whenever she so chooses.

Dani looks interested in that one. "Perfect!!" she says, given Cat's revelation about Matt. "Perfect! We can talk to him and with that little trick, we can absolutely bring Linderman's house of cards down."

Helena meanders around and asks a random punk, "When's Cat coming on?" She's greeted with a shrug, and so securing a bottle of water — with a surprising lack of contempt for doing so — she continues to circulate around the room.

"Ask her," someone else nearby Helena interjects after the randomly chosen punk shrugs. A hand points at that corner table, and more words are spoken to the blonde with water bottle. "Probably when she feels like it." Because Cats don't often do things before they're ready, punk music is about being contrary, and it's the Surly Wench. Making a point of this in not taking to the stage and leaving it as suits her is probably part of the act. An act which has her clad in dark tank top, dark jeans, and black boots with a two inch heel to play on her name and emulate a panther.

And as Helena is being directed toward her, the woman herself adopts something of an 'I wish' expression in response to Dani's statement. She snorts slightly, and leans back in to whisper again. "Not so much. Parkman is Homeland Security. And the detective works anti-terrorism." This time she remains close so the two can converse with no one else hearing. It's fortunately still quiet enough for that.

Danielle mutters, in an annoyed tone. "Oh, wonderful. You know, can't anything float our way lately? Still, it might not be a bad idea to let some of the information we've dug up accidentally find its way under her door." Pause. "About Linderman. Not your friends, I mean."

Helena finally manages to push past the throng, and get within sight of the two women. "Hey." she greets neutrally, her eyes heavily smudged with kohl. "You look great, Cat." Dani gets a careful smile. Truth is, Helena doesn't exactly look like she's having the greatest time, but she's come to hear Cat and maybe take her mind off of everything for a few hours.

She nods slowly, listening as Dani speaks, and whispers something else. Perfect confidence is in her voice and on her features. "I hadn't known he lives in that building, otherwise I'd have chosen another place to live. It's all good, though. I can totally walk a tightrope. I'm a Cat, and Cats have excellent balance. Parkman… you'll know him on sight. Remember those folks who stood up with Nathan Petrelli when he went public? He was one of them. So if you see him in the hall, just think lots about how Linderman's goons hurt you." Nothing to worry about. Nothing at all.

And hey, here's Helena. Cat spots the blonde and pulls back, greeting her with a smile not so wide as the one she met Dani with when she arrived. "Thanks!" she replies to the compliment. One hand gestures toward a seat; hopefully the two can socialize some when she's playing and become more comfortable with each other. "Good to see you, Helena."

The reporter smiles at Helena. She only saw her briefly the other night, but it's enough to know she's one of Cat's friends. "Hey again. Sit down, have a drink." she invites, pleasantly.

Helena smiles wider at that. "Thanks." she says. "A beer, if you don't mind?" She looks between the two and offers, "I've really been looking forward to hearing you sing, Cat." Resting her hands on the table, the cuffs of the jacket slide up to midway up her palms. It's clearly a man's jacket, one Cat might recognize. "And I wanted to warn you," she adds softly, "To keep away from the old building. It's been compromised."

"What kind of beer?" Cat asks, eying Helena for a moment before turning toward the 'tender and calling out for whatever type that might be. Sure, the blonde is under twenty-one, but she's good people. She opposes the Gestapo Act, and her boyfriend is among the missing. Cat's not without sympathy there; it was him she aimed that unmet toast at earlier. There's a nod of acknowledgment at the word to stay away from compromised zone and eye contact to show understanding. "Your chance is coming up soon, Helena. Gonna be loud then, yeah, but you two might manage to hit it off."

A conspiratorial glance is shown to the others at her table, as she suggests "Dani needs stories, and there are so many people who direly need to be embarrassed and brought down."

Dani is so painfully curious about the "old building". But she's not asking yet. When Cat offers her services somewhat, she's happy to pounce on the opportunity. "Sure…anything I can do."

"Red Stripe, if they have it." says Helena. "PBR if they don't." They might not have Red Stripe, but no self respecting punk club is without Pabst. She looks over at Dani. "You're a reporter." she guesses. "If certain people ever tried to pick your brain, you could put yourself in a lot of danger."

The choice of beer is relayed to the 'tender, and moments later Cat gets it from him. It's set before Helena as she retakes her seat. One pint of Red Stripe. "Lots of things are dangerous," Cat replies quietly. Her voice is held at a volume for only the two of them to hear. "People in power like staying there, and many of them don't hesitate to get rough when positions are endangered. I'll never say things won't take courage. They will. And caginess. But we don't have to hash this all out tonight. Tonight is for good music and fun!"

And with that Cat bounds off toward the stage, taking up her guitar and slinging it over her neck. Conversations halt around the club which is now so very much more full than when she and Dani, even Helena, arrived. Cheers take their place, they want music and they want it now.

Dani smiles back to Helena, and nods. "Yeah. And I've already got New York's biggest gangster after me. So I don't figure it's so much a big deal. You're a friend of Cat's artist friend?" she guesses. "The one with the talent for the quick entrances and exits?"

Helena considers a moment, and then nods. "Yeah." she says. "I can't offer much now, but I bet eventually there might be some things I could give you to put out there — " her next words are lost in the roar of the crowd, and even she now has her attention turned to the stage.

Next she puts on one of those wireless microphone things so she can prowl and sing while she plays, to be the Cat of the stage. "Okay!" she calls out, her voice filling the club. "Tonight I'm going to do some audience participation bits, yeah? I might point at someone and call him or her up here to play with me. Let's see what kind of talent I can find! I need a band, or something like one! Are you ready?"

"We're ready!" It's a loud call back, so many voices at once.

And away she goes. Her guitar is heard, playing a tune in the style of The Clash, and her rich soprano voice follows, given qualities similar to Pat Benatar and Ann Wilson. "Breakin' rocks in the hot sun; I fought the law and the law won…" While she plays and sings she prowls the stage like a panther, her eyes resting on people among the crowd and making contact from time to time.

Dani nods to Helena. She can't help but look curious. "Are you…like him and Cat?" Evolved. "Off the record." she reassures the blonde woman.

Helena knows the chorus to this one, at least! She's about to start singing along when Danielle's question distracts her. "I'll hold you to that." she says, and having missed her shot to holler out the chorus, goes back to listening, a slow smile spreading on her face.

"I needed money, because I had none," Cat sings, her voice stopping there and head nodding toward the audience as a prompt to fill in the line which comes next, and again, to repeat that segment. It's become loud in her now, with the music happening and the crowd reactions, but conversation is still possible if people listen hard and lift their voices to shouting levels.

The rowdier occupants begin to do that which they call dancing.

Danielle leans back to enjoy the music at this point. Not what she'd have expected for a punk clientele, but she can deal.

Helena leans over to Danielle, having to somewhat yell in her ear. "Yes!" she says, before straightening and holding her hands up to clap and bounce along, her head rocking back and forth in the classic rebel rock tune.

"I left my baby and it feels so bad; guess my race is run. She's the best girl that I ever had…" Again Cat gestures toward the crowd, hands moving up to prompt them for the chorus.

"I fought the law, and the law won!" sings out Helena, who despite the fact that it's more hollaring then singing, has a rather musical voice.

She plays on, doing her feline stage prowling act and just eating up the reactions. Cat loves music, even of this rudimentary sort which is punk with no band backing her. Her face shows focus, concentration, and enjoyment through the rest of I Fought The Law and through the rest of her set. At various points volunteeers are brought up on stage to try their hands at playing bass guitar and drums. The results are mixed, but over the course of maybe two hours she's managed to find some workable talent. The seeds of a band are possibly coming together.

And after the two hour first set, during which Cat brought people on stage to try their hands at drums and bass guitar, with mixed results and the possible seeds of a band being sown, with intent to try out more volunteers willing to brave the crowd's jeering if they suck, she declares a break. Her guitar is set aside and left onstage; the musician in her dark tank top has just a hint of cleavage showing, dark jeans, and black boots with a two inch heel. Her standard outfit for the stage, to emulate a panther as she prowls. Her footsteps carry her toward a table near the bar's end, where a backpack rests in an empty chair, the guitar case is leaning, and a pint of stout rests next to Dani, who probably still has some portion of a rum and coke.

But one chair which had been occupied is empty upon her return, the blonde called Helena having departed to do whatever she'd depart to do. It's still early, by some standards, just approaching 9:20 p. m.

Danielle is well through her first drink and started on a second, actually. The reporter is under more than a little stress at this point in her life (gee, who would have thought). She smiles at Cat as she comes back down. "Good job, Kit-Kat." she says, affectionately.

Assisted in her efforts to shoulder through the crowd by the armoured protection built into the joints of her jacket, Ygraine squeezes through one last half-gap to emerge from the throng close by Cat's table. Cracking a grin, she waves a hand in greeting — then gets somewhat distracted by doing a minor double-take, clearly recognising Dani.

Her eyes roll, and she lifts that pint of stout, taking a short sip from the glass as she settles into a seat and crosses her legs at the ankle. Things are a bit quieter now, permitting of conversation without having to shout, since Cat's entered a break period. When the glass lowers, she speaks. "Thanks, Courtney." The performer has yet to spot she who debates and delivers.

Danielle wrinkles her nose at that. "Now see, here I call you something nice and sweet and you have to break out the C name." A pout shows up. "It's chocolate. Nice. Sweet." She doesn't recognize Ygraine, so she assumes the wave is for someone else.

Having apparently got away with her double-take and brief stare, Ygraine gathers her wits and moves up to the edge of the table, trying another wave in the hope of attracting Cat's attention. She doesn't dare butt into the conversation, however.

There may be a pattern emerging, which connects being called commercially packaged food with the use of a certain name from the past. Cat simply smiles playfully and leaves connecting the dots, or not, to Dani. Her pint is lifted and tasted again, and her head turns slightly, to spot someone nearby. That spotting causes her to turn more fully, and utter a greeting. "Debater. How've you been?" She turns toward the pouting reporter, stating "Debater is the courier who brought food and books."

Dani looks over. "That's got to be the weirdest name I've ever heard." She tells Ygraine. "Hi there, though." A wave is offered her way. As for Cat's dots, she's connected them. She just doesn't like it.

Ygraine looks somewhat surprised at the choice of nickname, before grinning and inclining her head to the two other women. "Hi there. Just thought I'd say hello, and thank you for the set…." She smiles at Cat, then looks to Dani. "But I'll add a hope that you're recovering well, too."

"She debates intelligently and with passion," Cat explains with a laugh. "So the name fits. She visited you once while you were sleeping, after a fashion. Her curiosity about someone going into the room led her there. Her name is Ygraine FitzRoy. Debater, this is Danielle Hamilton." Her eyes move back and forth between them as she speaks, with her pint being tasted again once silence returns.

Danielle blinks. "Oh. Well, thanks for the well-wishes. I'm coming along. There's some issues to work through, but I'll make it there. It all comes down to having people there for you."

Ygraine inclines her head to Danielle, mustering another smile. "I hope so. And you do seem to have someone good to take care of you." She darts a glance to Cat. "I was rather impressed by the array of books I was asked to buy and deliver…"

"I was undertaking some light research," the musician offers before enjoying a bit more of her pint. "I do that sometimes, when a subject catches my eye and I want to learn more." Cat's hand remains wrapped around the glass while and after speaking.

Danielle nods. "And what she considers light reading, the rest of us consider utterly insane." She smiles, and offers a hand to Ygraine. "Dani." Although…Cat -did- just introduce her a minute ago.

Ygraine shifts her own drink into her left hand before offering her right to Dani. "Pleased to meet you. And yeah… having carried the books, I can confirm that they weren't all that light! I think that your friend here is a bit of a geek, you know…"

Smoothly, she neither confirms nor denies the label at least partly applied to her. Cat lets her eyes travel from one to the other, not seeming to notice Dani's mention of her name. It could be the lingering effects, or it could be simply that she was introduced as Danielle. For the moment she appears content to let them converse and enjoy her pint.

Danielle grins back at Cat at the mention of her geekitude. "That's okay. I think I'll keep her around anyway." She gives Cat a wink a moment, before looking back. "Sit down! Join us." she offers.

"You sure? I, ahh, don't want to intrude. Well, I do, but it'd be rude." Ygraine smiles sheepishly, then moves to hop onto one of the high stools, setting her dark pint upon the table. "Admittedly, I'm not exactly averse to geekdom, myself…."

"Yes, join us," Cat also invites. Her eyes rest on Ygraine momentarily when she speaks of her own geekdom, a quiet smile forming. She remembers all too well the courier's defense of the indefensible and denial that monarchy is misogynist by its very nature. "Life's been treating you well, Debater?" she asks. "Hopefully it's been a fast ride with no engine."

Dani nods. "Sure. I've got a headache beating out the back of my eyes, so we need someone to help keep the conversation rolling. Besides, I could listen to that accent all day."

Ygraine winces at Dani's mention of the headache, then blushes and giggles at the comment that follows. "I, ahhh, yes. Sometimes with an engine. I came here on the motorcycle — hence the leathers. This doesn't seem like the sort of place to head into wearing nothing but skin-tight lycra, at least when it's busy. There are enough wandering hands as it is…"

A slight expression of concern enters her features at the mention of headache; Cat pulls the chair with her backpack over and digs in it to pull out a bottle of ibuprofen which she places in front of Dani. There could be stronger meds, but alcohol has been consumed, so she isn't providing anything of that sort right now. "Is it too loud for you in here, or are you wearing down, needing to sleep?" Because work started for her, a day job, that which Cat avoids.

The reporter nods. "Just winding down, Cat. Just one of my headaches. It's all good, really." She looks back to Ygraine with a chuckle. "I don't think there is a right kind of place to head into wearing skin-tight lycra."

Ygraine laughs softly, lifting her gaze from the bottle of painkillers. "Well, the courier HQ isn't too bad a place. And I've spent a lot of time at velodromes, over the years. Mostly, I work in skin-tight lycra — but I suppose I'm used to being stared at…."

"Grabby hands do happen around here," Cat confirms with a wince. "I just give them the deathly stare and gesture security over, they take it from there." Her eyes rest on Dani for a moment, and she nods, then puts the bottle of ibuprofen away since none were taken.

Dani can't help but chuckle just a little. "Sorry, the idea of me in skintight lycra is a little too porntastic to even consider." Dani's rather…gifted in certain areas. "And if I see anyone getting grabby hands on you, he's going to need an excavation team to get his balls back out after I kick' em into his stomach."

Ygraine coughs into her drink at Dani's unexpected turn of phrase, but does find a smile to flash at Cat. "You're the star performer, however. I'm just a new-arrival foreigner. And in this place, it's often pretty hard to tell who did what anyway, given how packed it is when you're on stage…"

She laughs a bit, glancing at the outspoken one, then back over to the Debater. "True enough," Cat concedes. "But then there's plan B," she nods toward Dani, "and like you said, it can be hard to tell who did what, if a guy suddenly clutches himself and drops in agony. With your bicycling, you've got to have solid leg power if needed."

Danielle smiles. "Well, ladies…I don't mean to be the killjoy…but work looms in the morning. I should get myself home." She finishes the last of her drink.

Ygraine quirks a wry grin at Cat, then nods to Dani. "I hope that the headache leaves you alone, for sleep and work", she says to the journalist. "It was good to meet you."

Her eyes rest on the tiring reporter, and she leans in to close the woman in a warm hug, before pulling back. "Sleep good, Dani," she hopes, "and I'll see you in a few hours." She'll be quiet a bit to watch Dani make her way out, then turn back to the Debater. There's still a few minutes left before she intends to take the stage again.

Ygraine also watches Dani depart, before refocusing upon Cat. "I prefer not to kick people. Even if I hadn't had any martial arts training, I've… well. I'd hazard a guess I've got stronger thighs than most of the guys here…."

She nods slowly when her attention returns, taking in what's said to her. "Preference doesn't always matter. Hands will find body parts, and you've the choice of tolerating it, or making a pointed demonstration of why it wasn't a good idea." Cat's pint is lifted again, she takes in the small amount remaining, and eyes the stage. "I should get back to it, Debater. Enjoy the show!" And take the stage she does, making the place loud again between her performance and the crowd's reactions.

September 24th: House Of Cards
This log is part of two storylines.
It is preceded by…
Ah Have a Plan and Grounded

The storylines diverge again in…
Dodging the Bullet and Fists of Determination

September 24th: Dodging the Bullet
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