It's Your Call

Participants:

cat_icon.gif danielle_icon.gif ygraine_icon.gif

Scene Title It's Your Call
Synopsis The guest wakes, food is made for her, and plans are finally shared.
Date September 26, 2008

Dorchester Towers: Cat's Apartment


She's still seated in the kitchen at 9:30, after having made breakfast for herself and Dani. There's a cup of coffee in front of her, an empty plate with the evidence it once held eggs and sausage, and a copy of the day's New York Times. Cat is quietly reading it, and hoping… believing at some point Dani will choose to share her plan, so they can at least compare notes and such. She thinks there was a reason the girl was mentioned in the hard choices Dani spoke of when they came in. But she isn't raising the subject.

The door to the guest room opens, and from within the shadowy interior a figure emerges — wrapped from chest to upper thigh in a towel. She makes it a few paces towards the bathroom before rather belatedly registering the presence of others in the main room, faltering and offering a rather sleepily nervous smile and finger-wave.

Danielle is still sitting at the table, having finished the breakfast thing, and having more coffee for the general waking up. She hears the noise, and looks back in surprise. "Iggy?"

Her hair is still a mess, Cat having not yet stood under the shower. She remains in the sports bra and cutoff sweats from earlier in the morning, the part which happened before sleeping, the sun coming up, and the eating of food. The sound in the hallway and Dani's spoken greeting draw her attention from where they both sit in the kitchen. "I put her in the guest room," Cat states. "Morning, Debater."

Ygraine swallows before finding her voice, failing badly in an attempt not to look worried when she offers a smile to Danielle, then Cat. "Ummm, hi. I… hope I'm not in the way", she ventures, voice slightly sleep-blurred.

Dani shakes her head. "Course not. Come sit down. I can make up some extra breakfast food. Cat probably has something clean you could borrow if you like."

A page turns while Dani and the Briton speak, then another, and Cat finishes another section of the Times. She moves on to the next, sports now, with a headline about the Yankees game the night before as the centerpiece. Dani's offer of clothing causes her to consider how well things might fit Ygraine; she compares the woman's body type with her garments without even looking at her to assess if the idea would work.

After satisfying herself it'd work, Cat offers "I'll get you some things while you're showering and put them outside the door.

Ygraine glances almost longingly towards the refuge of the bathroom, but after a moment she turns to pad towards Dani. "You're… sure? I, ummm, thought you'd be furious with me", she says guiltily, hands moving to hold her towel at least approximately in place as she perches on a chair. "And, ummmm. It might be easiest if I use yesterday's clothes. I… ahh. I've got big thighs, you see." The last part is half-mumbled. "But… thank you. If you're sure…."

Danielle looks confused. "Why would I be furious?" A blank look, and then she looks back to Cat.

"She thinks she talked too much earlier when you came home with her," Cat replies, "I said there wasn't anything to worry about, but," she chuckles, "apparently the Debater didn't believe me." She lifts up her cup of coffee and drinks from it slowly.

Ygraine nods guiltily at Cat's words, then turns her worried gaze back to Dani. "You… confided in me. And I spilled my guts to Cat because I was enthusiastic about trying to help. You… weren't exactly happy when last I saw you."

Danielle frowns. "I'm sorry. I don't remember much about last night." For various reasons. "So, I guess you're off the hook."

And she isn't inclined to speak further about any of it. Cat shifts the subject, asking "Were you hungry or thirsty, Debater? I hope you slept well."

"I'm sorry, anyway", mumbles Ygraine, still looking decidedly guilty. Taking a deep breath, she musters a smile for Cat. "Better than I expected to. I _had_ intended to be up and out of your way by now, but…. Ummm. Food would be welcome, if you don't mind. I didn't mean to end up stealing your supplies."

Danielle can't help it, she actually laughs out loud at that. "You clearly have no idea how stupidly rich Cat is. Trust me, breakfast; SO not an issue."

She doesn't speak, her face simply shows a quiet smile as the cup is lifted again, and Cat's fingers turn another page to draw her deeper within the sports section of the paper before her.

Ygraine squirms awkwardly, clears her throat, then offers another nervous smile. "I really should have been a contortionist. Get both feet actually into my mouth and I might stop saying stupid things…"

Danielle smiles. "Iggy, hon. We don't bite. Go shower, get dressed, we'll get you some breakfast. It's all good, promise."

"Yes," Cat seconds. "We don't bite." She tilts the cup and drains the last of her coffee.

Another swallow, followed by a hasty, nervous smile, then Ygraine slips off her chair and — hands again on her towel — pads over to the bathroom, there to disappear into the shower…

Dani shakes her head. "Poor thing. Sometimes she seems like a puppy that's piddled on the rug. She keeps expecting us to yell at her. That was a good idea having her stay, though."

"The streets can be dangerous at night, especially for people who've been drinking," Cat agrees quietly. She leans back in her chair for a moment, then stands. Down the hall she goes, into the bedroom where she pulls out a few older items from the closet and places them just outside the bathroom door. Her knuckles rap on it once, and she returns to the kitchen.

A muffled call of thanks emerges from the bathroom, then the sound of the water in the shower starts….

Dani looks back at Cat, vaguely vexed. "Don't fortune cookie on me, Kit-Kat. I'm a big girl. If you've got something to say, say it."

"I've got a plan," Cat replies calmly. "And I haven't heard the full story of what happened with the detective, not from you, Dani. But you've also got a plan, and you're intent on handling it yourself. You said as much. Trying to talk it over won't get me anywhere. If you want to discuss it, you will. If not, you won't. " She stands again, and begins to pull things together for feeding the guest.

Dani frowns. "I can't put people's lives in danger over this, Cat." she says. "I'm going to let it drop."

"That's your choice," Cat replies softy. "I'd thought of calling the Detective and handing her a letter I wrote, insisting she sign it and mail the thing in. It would be her resignation from the NYPD." Things are arranged; soon there's the cooking of sausage and eggs. "Could you set out some orange juice?" The pot still has enough coffee for the Debater to drink when she emerges. "And a plate with silverware, please."

Danielle shakes her head. "And how's she supposed to provide for her family, Cat? When it was just me, fine. Even the detective. But now her daughter, you, more people are in danger." She stands to get the plate and silverware.

"She's resourceful, she'll find a way. The thing is, if she can't take on cases because of threats to her family, can she really be effective in the job? Linderman will spread the word she caved, and suddenly anyone she needs to look into will do the same." Cat keeps watch over the cooking food, turning things and moving them around at intervals, as she asks "Why would they beat her up, threaten her child, and not you directly?"

Danielle frowns. "Probably because they already tried beating me up, Cat. It didn't work. And at this point, they have no way of knowing what contingencies I have in place."

"Yes, they did. And they can't know what measures you've got lined up. Anyway, she still has the tape, and we've got the copy of it I made before giving it to her. I was thinking, also," Cat grins slightly, "of handing her the letter of resignation to sign, and having her on videotape explaining what happened, so you can put it in the paper that the Linderman group allegedly threatens children and intimidates police. Think what that will do to his projected reputation of being a good guy, the voluntary registering Evolved who has his name on the Act."

The sounds of water from the bathroom shut off, though there's not yet any sign of the Briton emerging.

Dani frowns. "It might. But this could backfire and get you killed, Cat. I'm not willing to accept responsibility for that." she says, unhappily.

"It's your call, Dani," she quietly states. "But I'm betting this is a bluff. Linderman plays the PR game, he won't strike at a girl or the detective, or even you after the allegations go into the press. He'd lose the game if anything happened to any of us then. The coincidence would be enough to sway most people, and his reputation would be in tatters. And… have you considered that maybe the Detective is dirty?"

The reporter sighs. "I've got to think it through." she says. "Just…don't do anything yet."

She nods once. "It's your call, completely. Something just… doesn't add up to me. What're the odds of a person in the anti-terrorist unit being intimidated so easily?" Cat finishes preparing the food and sets it on the provided plate, then carries it to the table. Orange juice and coffee follows.

The bathroom door cracks open, and Ygraine's bare head, shoulder and arm emerge to snare the pile of clothing left outside. A moment later, and they all disappear from view once more.

Dani nods. "I should go get dressed too." She stands. "I'll be back out in a couple, Kit-kat."

"Um, Dani?" Cat begins, as Dani mentions getting dressed, "you showered and changed after we ate."

The door opens again, and Ygraine steps out — still fidgeting with the change of clothes. "Thanks, guys", she says rather sheepishly.

Danielle blinks, and looks down. "Goddamn it." She sighs. "This is getting really old." She looks over to Ygraine. "Hey, Iggy. Come eat."

Observing this, Cat starts to form another plan, one she has no intention of telling Dani anything about. To find a healer and end this memory issue altogether. A glance goes down the hallway as their guest approaches the kitchen, and she replies "You're very welcome. I hope you like eggs, sausage, and orange juice, Debater."

Ygraine quirks another smile, nodding quickly. "I do, thank you. Yes." Dani gets another worried look, the Briton unsure of quite what deserves damnation, before the cyclist moves to perch on a chair, drawing her bare feet up onto it as she hugs her legs and rests her chin atop her knees. "So… no grand break-throughs in what to do?"

The reporter looks vaguely depressed all of a sudden. "No." she says, quietly. She gets a little interested in the ceiling. The kind of thing people do when they don't want to cry.

Her attention goes elsewhere when that look comes over Dani, Cat believing it's not a thing she wants noticed or commented on. The question Ygraine asked, likewise, is unacknowledged. Calmly and smoothly she diverts onto something else. "Would you like part of the paper?" It's the sports section held out to be taken, she perhaps believing it'll be taken, as the guest is an athlete.

Ygraine winces, expression clearly conveying her guilt at her latest faux pas. But after a moment she leans forward to accept the sport section with a grateful smile. "Thank you", she murmurs, trying not to sound apologetic.

Dani looks back at Ygraine, noticing the expression from the corner of her eye. "Oh, for god's sake, Iggy, it's not your fault! My fucking brain is broken, okay?" she says, venting some of her upset. Not at Ygraine, just at the world-in-general.

She watches, not commenting. There isn't anything she could say which would change the situation, but there are things she can do. Cat's resolve to find a healer intensifies. "You're very welcome, Debater. How's the food?"

Ygraine stiffens, ducking her head to Dani, before setting down the paper and shifting position to let herself tackle the food. "It smells great, certainly." After her first mouthful, she looks back to the diminutive reporter. "I'm a bit broken in the brain as well", she murmurs. "It drives me up the wall, too."

THAT gets her interest. Dani looks back. "What do you mean?" Because if Iggy IS leading her on, she'll find out what Dani's like when she is pissed.

Her eyes move from one to the other now, as the conversation takes this turn. Cat runs one hand through her still disarrayed hair, and goes for another cup of coffee.

Ygraine offers an awkward, one-shouldered shrug, munching through another mouthful before she replies, voice quiet. "I was in an institution — an asylum — for more than half a year. After the Bomb. I went, well, batshit crazy, in all honesty. That's why I'm here. In search of at least a few of my lost marbles."

Dani seems to hesitate, not sure if she's going to rail or accept it. In the end, she finally seems to calm down. "Sorry." She apologizes.

She reaches for the pot to pour that next cup, but stops before lifting it. Cat instead opts to wander down the hallway. She gets fresh clothing from her closet and crosses to the bathroom. Moments later there's the sound of running water as her shower commences. When she emerges, she intends to take up an instrument in the main room and play. Maybe cello this time. Or piano.

Ygraine shrugs slightly, finding another smile. "Unless you set off the Bomb or joined in the looting after it, I doubt you have much to apologise to me for", she points out gently. "And I'm not claiming I understand the details of whatever it is that you're going through… but I can sympathise, which I hope counts for something."

Dani shakes her head. She comes back to the table. "Linderman's men beat me. Bad. Almost killed me. That's when you saw me in the hospital. It left…basically, it left minor brain damage. I have issues with my short term memory now."

Ygraine winces, half-reaching out towards Dani, before pausing, then cautiously attempting to move her hand the rest of the way to the smaller woman's shoulder. "I'm sorry. Do they… do they know that it's physical? I… had "fun" with my memory from stress, even once I'd healed up physically."

Danielle nods. "Yeah. Cat scan and everything. And not that Cat." She nods to the bathroom. They say it might heal, in a few months…or it might never heal. So, no way to know.

Ygraine can't help but giggle at the notion of a Cat scan, though she swiftly regains her solemnity. "Yeah… that sounds familiar. The good news is that my memory came back. I've got… big holes, huge holes, from the bad times. But it's working again now."

Dani nods. "My older memories are fine. But it's newer stuff that's the issue. I'll be doing something, and then forget I did it. Right before you came out, I got up to go get dressed." When she is already.

Ygraine winces, looking deeply sympathetic. "Yeah… I did that a few times. Found myself trying to work out why on Earth I couldn't get my socks on, before I realised that I'd got boots on already…"

Dani nods. "So…the only difference is, it isn't stress with me. It's physical. And it's driving me nuts."

Ygraine nods quickly. "I started off with physical problems, too. The… blast-wave put me through a storefront. I came out of it alive because I'd been on my bike, and was in full leathers. And helmet. But… I got bounced around a bit, you might say. And things were misfiring physically for a while, too. Only "properly" came round two days afterwards." She sighs, then looks apolgetic. "What I'm trying to say is that… well. I can't offer any promises, but I'm at least an example of someone who recovered from a good whack to the head and similar memory problems."

Dani nods. "I know. There've been lots of people who do. But lots of people who don't, too. And I just…hate thinking of going through life like this."

Ygraine winces once more. "Even if it takes time, there's a lot of evidence building up that you can train the brain to work around damage. Even get it to route around sensory input from damaged physical systems outside the brain…." She shrugs slightly. "Even if you don't heal fully, naturally, there're things that can be done to help teach your brain how to overcome this."

Danielle sighs in exasperation. "I know. But there's no certainty. And it just makes it really hard, especially—" She breaks off. No blurting out Cat's secret.

Ygraine waits a moment, taking the chance to take in another mouthful of her breakfast, before nodding worriedly. "Given your job, clarity of memory…. Me, I'm used to the basic idea of working to put myself back together. I've done it a lot, for physical injuries. The… principle's largely the same for mental ones. There's no guarantee that it'll work, and it'll definitely be hard work unless you're very lucky, but… it's worth doing, and it can be done. And if you value who you are and want to fully be you again, then you've got the strength inside to let you do that. Some people don't really miss what they lose from injury. For you, I don't think that's going to be the case."

Danielle sighs. She doesn't say anything in response to that…largely because she's not sure if she believes it. "Go ahead and eat before it gets cold." She says.

Ygraine quirks what she hopes is an encouraging smile, then bends over her food, glad to be able to hide behind it for a time without the need to continue her efforts to provide reassurance.

Danielle heads into the kitchen to wash her plate. Time for a topic change, as this one is making her uncomfy. "So did you sleep well?"

Ygraine nods quickly. "Oh, yes. I had fully intended to up and out of your way before either of you got up. I didn't want to intrude. Instead, I'm last up, had breakfast made for me by the hostess, and am now wearing her clothes…."

Danielle laughs a little. "We treat our guests well." she smiles. "Said hostess better get her butt out here soon. I'm sorry I'm snappish. I'm just so stressed I hurt."

Ygraine shrugs slightly. "I broke your confidence last night", she points out gently. "I was expecting you to be absolutely livid. Instead, you're being really sweet."

Danielle smiles wryly. "If it helps, I don't remember it? Just us getting drunk and having "grass is always greener" style conversation about each other's body."

Ygraine coughs, cheeks rapidly colouring as she peeps up from the remnants of her breakfast. "You, ahh, remember that? I still can't believe you were serious…"

Danielle laughs. "Why wouldn't I be? You're tall, leggy, and you're so toned it isn't funny." she points out.

Ygraine remembers to swallow before poking her tongue out. "Petite, curvy and beautiful'd rate above muscly, in most people's books", she observes with a smile.

Danielle rolls her eyes. "Please. You see that?" She indicates the stepstool in the kitchen. "I need that just to get things off the shelf. Tall people don't know how good they have it."

Ygraine giggles. "You're not that tiny, and I'm not that huge. I'm only two or three inches above average. It's not as if I'm a basketball player or anything. But you're not disputing the curvy and beautiful, I note. At least I got those past you."

Danielle chuckles. "You're pretty too, so no points there. As for curvy…" She grabs her top and tugs it down at the hem so it's stretched tight up against her. "How could I miss it?" A dry humor tone.

Ygraine sniggers, then shakes her head and wags her finger at Dani. "I have good skin, more than anything else. You're beautiful. Mostly, I turn heads because people are staring at my thighs…"

Danielle rolls her eyes. "You have muscle tone to die for. And good hair. And you can tell what color your shoes are when you look down." she quips.

Ygraine can't help but laugh at the last part. "Maybe I wouldn't like it, but I'd at least like to know what it was like to be, well, blessed in the way you are."

Danielle laughs. "Well, unless an Evolved person with a Freaky Friday power pops up, tell you what. Go grab a couple grapefruit and stick 'em in your bra and you'll get the right idea."

Ygraine snorts, grinning. "I think that I might have to pass on that idea, I'm afraid. We can buy you a lycra bodysuit, if you want to know what it's like to be more tightly supported…"

Danielle laughs. "Like I said, I would look porntastic. I know all about tightly supported from squishing myself into sports bras."

Ygraine giggles. "Well, you were saying about being envious of being seriously toned all over. It's probably as close as we can get you, without a couple of years of hard work."

Danielle laughs. "That would be vaguely cheating, though. And the only way you'll get me to do it is if you go the opposite, Ms. Princess And The Pauper. You want me in one of those, we'll get you a bigger bra and some falsies for padding."

Ygraine blinks a couple of times. "You would look hot, I'd guess. I'd look really silly, I fear. Particularly if I didn't buy some clothes to fit into, too."

Danielle laughs. "Well, the challenge is on the table, whenever you feel like picking it up."

Ygraine bites her lower lip, eyeing Danielle thoughtfully. "And… what'd it be? Just putting them on somewhere like this, in private? Or… were you thinking of something more?"

Danielle laughs. "That's up to you." She grins. "If you want me to go out wearing it, you have to too."

Ygraine now chews that lip. "What'd Cat make of this, d'you think? Would she like you to have some lycra? We could go out and buy you some cycle shorts now… but the full body-suit'd cost more, if you wanted it fitted properly. I order mine from a professional supplier."

Danielle chuckles. "I doubt she'd object to me buying sexy clothes." she quips.

Ygraine harrumphs, squirms, then laughs. "I can take you shopping for some exercise gear now, if you like. I'm not due at work for a while…. But in return for the body suit? Just how big were you thinking of making me?"

Danielle chuckles. "Fair's fair, Freaky Friday. You can get the same cup size I have."

Ygraine makes a show of peering dubiously towards Dani's upper body. "That'd be, what, about an X?"

Danielle hmphs. She grabs the kitchen sponge and lobs it at Ygraine. "Smart-ass. DD, thank you very much."

Ygraine squeals — snatching the sponge out of the air on reflex, but getting spattered by water anyway. She sticks her tongue out and blows a raspberry. "Well, I'm on the small side of a B, myself."

Danielle snickers. "You won't be if we do this."

Ygraine laughs, shaking her head. "I'm still not sure I could justify buying new clothes just to fit a padded bra into", she says with a grin, lobbing the sponge back at Dani — though in a rather gentle arc. "I did, particularly while I was… trying to figure out how to regain some confidence, wonder about getting some surgery done. But I figured that chasing competition and getting back to what I knew was a better idea. After all, I'm still going to be… unbalanced with muscle compared to anyone normal."

Danielle toss it into the sink. "I'm sure if I have to buy this bodysuit, you can buy one top." She grins. "And you could go some bigger, if you wanted to, I'd guess."

Ygraine purses her lips, sighs, and nods. "Do you want to try the normal exercise gear first? See… if you want to go through with this? And what'd you want from me in return for that anyway? I could offer you some training advice…"

Danielle chuckles. "I'm game for whatever." She answers Ygraine. "I'm willing to make a fool out of myself if someone else is too."

Ygraine lifts a brow, studying Danielle for a moment before laughing. "I have no idea what I'm getting myself into, do I? I'll take you shopping for some half-way sane exercise gear, then, and offer you training advice in return. We can see if you really _are_ willing to do just about anything to tone up your butt."

Danielle sounds dismayed. "Hey! I didn't say that there was anything WRONG with my butt, just that it wasn't all athlete-hot!" She turns her head to look over her shoulder. "Is there something wrong with my butt?"

Ygraine laughs merrily, wagging a finger at Dani. "_You_ were the one who said you'd trade yours for mine, and that mine was far better. I was the one disagreeing with you on that…"

Danielle nods. "Well, yeah." she says, with an amused look.

Ygraine rolls her eyes, then sticks her tongue out as she blushes a little. "I've already told you that I think you're beautiful. Quit fishing for compliments!"

Danielle laughs. "Ditto. So nyeh to you too." She sticks out her tongue in return. "Shopping then?"

Ygraine snorts, looking away as she laughs once more. "How did I wind up getting talked into talking someone I admire's girlfriend out to buy skin-tight clothes? Never mind that I'm somehow set to pay forfeits for it! Heh. I'd best change into my own clothes, so we can take the bike."

Dani laughs. "We can always take the subway. Cat's gonna be shocked when we come back."

Ygraine purses her lips. "I like the freedom of the bike, myself, but I should have thought to ask how you'd feel hanging on the back while sober. I know a lot of people don't like it…."

Danielle chuckles. "I don't mind it. Just saying you don't have to ferry me around if we don't want to."

"Well…" muses Ygraine, "I suppose that I could add a transport fee, for all those dreadful extra curves the poor bike'll be having to haul around…."

Danielle rolls her eyes. "Move it, you." She nods towards the door.

Ygraine giggles, slipping off her stool. "With you in a second. Won't take me a moment to change", she calls as she trots through to the guest room.

Danielle heads to the bathroom to check her hair before leaving. Cat must be enjoying one heck of a shower.

A couple of minutes later, Ygraine emerges in her boots, breeches and leather jacket, hands fidgeting behind her head as she hastily ties back her hair.

Danielle comes back out of the bathroom. "Okay. Ready when you are."

Ygraine gestures grandly towards the door. "Daring exercise gear, here we come!", she proclaims with a grin.

Danielle groans. "You're gonna kill me…" And she follows out the door.


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September 26th: The Cat And Dani Plans
Previously in this storyline…
The Cat And Dani Plans

Next in this storyline…

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September 26th: The Socialite and the Cyclist
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