A Step


cat_icon.gif kinson_icon.gif

Scene Title A Step
Synopsis Cat takes a step. Where others go, she can't say.
Date January 26, 2009

Village Renaissance Building, Recording Studio and Safehouse Level

Some time has passed on this particular Monday, after both left the Headquarters basement where Cat was practicing firearms. She'd been in contact with the persuasive new member of Phoenix during that time, and restated her invitation to check out that studio she mentioned. So it is that he on arriving at the Village Renaissance building, number 14 East 4th Street in Greenwich Village, is directed to the elevator. A call from the security desk tells Cat he's on the way up, and so there's no need to access the control panel. The elevator takes him directly to the fifth floor and opens there after stopping.

Cat is leaning against a wall, waiting for him. The strap of her red Fender Strat is over one shoulder, and a muted smile is offered. "Thanks for coming, Kinson."
Kinson smiles softly, "Thanks for the invite, Cat." he says in his usual mellow tone. "You've been okay, I trust?" as he hitches the strap of his ever-present backpack a little. "I have to admit I was worried."

"I am," Cat replies as she comes away from that wall and moves further inside the studio areas with easy poise. Head up, back straight. "Why would you worry?" Eye contact is made as she stops to look at him curiously.

Kinson blushes a bit, "I just was.." he says quietly. He looks down at the ground a bit, before looking back up. "Nice axe." he says, deftly trying to change the subject.

"Thanks," Cat replies. "Her name is Courtney D," she tells her guest. "My favorite guitar. Anyway, this is the studio area I was talking about. Have a look around, see what you think, Kinson."

Kinson smiles and sets his backpack down and looks around. "hmm.." he checks out the production consoles and nods appreciatively. "Definitely top notch." he says, "I don't really play anything, but I can turn some knobs." he says. "I could do some good stuff here."

"There are three rooms," she explains, leading him to each of them in turn. "It doesn't matter if you play, or not, your thing is using the equipment itself, and video production is supported here. Things that can be produced for internet distribution and other ways." Cat steps up to an amp and plugs her guitar into it, then begins to tune the instrument for a few moments as eye contact is made again. "You've a fascinating talent," she states quietly.

Kinson looks around the rooms quietly, as Cat speaks. "The equipment is high quality. Professional grade, even." he responds, nodding before speaking again "That's my thing alright.." in a voice just a little above a whisper. He looks up as she makes contact and he holds her gaze. "I would say the same thing about you." he says, voice warm and soft.

She shows a slight smile in reply, exploring the man's eyes, as she states nonchalantly "That's not my only talent." Her eyes have an intelligence and fire to them, the signs of a formidable mind, but there's more. Cat's got lingering pain there, perhaps guilt, a sense of loss. "It's mine, a part of me, even when the memories are less than pleasant and make choices resonate more than they would for others. Even the ones easily triggered which haunt me are still mine, and on reflection I wouldn't ever want them gone."

Kinson looks into the woman's eyes. He's got more talents than his persuasive ability. He lets himself get lost there, his face gentle as he does so. He speaks a little louder than his whisper, the timbre of his voice velvet rich: "She walks in Beauty, like the night - Of cloudless climes and starry skies..and all that's best of dark and bright meet in her aspect and her eyes." he waits a moment before speaking, "So much pain there..so much hurt, but you wouldn't trade it for anything - you hold onto it because of what caused it and in spite of it and it makes you part of who you are." he says, not at all sure if he's right but just going off what he sees alone.

"You may have been told," Cat replies, "something happened not long ago." Her eyes go distant, fixing on a wall as if she might be viewing something with that memory she has. Speaking continues through it, the voice somber, subdued. "We'd known of the Vanguard for some time, had encounters, and one of them was taken in by the organization. Captured. They wanted her back, so they grabbed me and my partner. Dani was tortured and kept, I was released. The price of getting Dani back was to hand over a technopath. Not a thing we would do."

"I knew it had to be that way, I had to let her, the woman who kept my secrets for years, my closest friend, die. I didn't protest, made no argument for trading to get her back. I didn't even expect to be released myself. I expected to die, and made peace with it. The rational part of me understands and accepts it all, but I still feel the consequences of betraying her like that, even though she wrote a message and told me not to feel guilt before they killed her. She told me to live well, find someone else. I'm trying to honor that, it gets closer day by day. But it isn't there yet."

Her eyes leave the wall and settle on his face again. "I may seem cold sometimes, and I am when I have to be, but that's not all there is to Catherine Chesterfield. We're just in a cold time, requiring cold decisions."

Kinson listens quietly, and doesn't just hear. He listens to your words. He breathes deeply as she tells him the tale. "I.." he begins, tries again. "I can't say I've never been in that position, or anywhere near. Honestly, I hope I never have to be." he pauses before continuing, "I'm sorry you had to be, and I know there's more to you than what you let on. It's not a special ability..it's just something I can tell." he tells her, "And you're right. These are times requiring cold decisions..but that doesn't mean the whole world is cold. It just means you have to find the warmth, and hold to it where you can because that means it's even more special."

"You're easy on the eyes, Kinson," Cat replies with a slight smile, "and you're a poet. That voice, your manner. If I were ready, I could be seduced by that. I… I listen to things people say, the words they choose, and analyze them. Sometimes I think too much. I won't pretend otherwise," she asserts. "I think you do the same, to a degree. Hear, really hear, pay attention and understand."

Eye contact returns, she seeking to gauge his reaction to what she's just said.

Kinson nods, "Words are one of the most important ways we communicate. At least to me. Yes, there's eye contact, and body language, and everything else..but in order to know someone, you have to listen..not just hear, but listen..to what they say. So I try to do that as much as possible." he pauses and blushes at what she says, "Cat, that's probably the best thing I've heard since I've gotten here..and to be honest, if your really really interested? I've got nothin' but time. I'd be willing to wait..hell, I'm already willing to be the ear to vent into and a shoulder to cry on no matter what..you need someone to be a friend to you. I can be that friend until you think you might want somethign more…" and he blushes deeper and looks at the ground, "..and I'm rambling. I apologize."

"I'm a proud woman," Cat lets him know quietly. "I don't open up like this often. When things are dire, I keep tight focus. Release comes later, where and when others don't see. I don't let people see me cry." Her back turns, she looks out over Greenwich Village outside and below. "I didn't ask you here just to look at the studio and invite you to use it, or work here, though that's part of it, I might even try to start a record label, work with other artists out of this place. I'm intrigued by you, and your ability, which is part of you. It makes you potentially dangerous, the things you could do with it," she admits, "and that appeals in subtle ways."

Cat turns, facing him again then. "To tell you these things, given what I'm feeling, is a step. But an important one. Where other steps go, I can't say."

Kinson nods, re-locking eyes when you turn back to him. "I could tell that from the first thirty seconds I knew you. The same I knew that there's more to you than what you can do, and your demeanor. You might give the world an icy exterior, but it's your interior that smoulders." he smiles gently, "As for my ability..well, yes, it /can/ be dangerous. I haven't done anything truly dangerous with it, but that's because I learned early what it can do. However..it does have its uses." he smirks, giving you the innuendo to do with what you will before he speaks once more. "I gotta tell you I'm touched, Cat. This step you've taken.." he blinks "Well, that's major league in my book, that I was able to help you, even if it wasn't directly. The first one's are always the biggest.." he trails off and lets that hang there.

"I do, and will," she says with a light chuckle, "have my mysteries." Cat leans her back against one of the windows as she speaks, still watching the face, recording every detail of it, the way he speaks and moves. "I think you understand, partly because what you have is a powerful tool and can also be a large burden, but is part of you, one you wouldn't relinquish for anything. To keep it in check, under control, has to take conscious thought, I believe. If emotion flares up and you speak, anger, sadness… you could say something with that force behind it and not even know until the suggestion, or the command, was obeyed. It can't be that different from being subject to sudden triggers in things I see, smell, hear, taste, feel with my hands…"

As advertised, Cat is analytical.

Kinson nods quietly. He takes a deep breath, and it's that moment that you might see the shoulders sagging every so slightly and know that you're right. "I have to think about every word I say, and the way I say it. If I don't, I could kill someone."

"I know you won't, Kinson," Cat replies without a trace of doubt to her voice or her demeanor. She offers a gentle smile. Then she's moving again, and asking a question. "What're your tastes in music?" When she gets to where she set it after plugging in, the strap goes over her shoulder and fingers take position on strings and frets.

Kinson smiles, at both the response and the question. "I listen to everything. I don't shut anything out. If you do, you could miss out on something cool."

There are no words spoken in response to his statement. Cat lets her fingers say it all, as she watches his face and displays a wide grin. Sound comes from the amplifier, caused by her actions. It's in the metal genre, tinged with classical as Metallica does sometimes. An improvisation. The woman is intensely skilled, she's clearly been playing and practicing for several years.

As she begins to play, Kinson closes his eyes and listens. Sometimes, you've got to shut off one or two senses to fully appreciate something with one and he does that here. He doesn't move, or sway, or anything. However, as the music plays, he smiles..smiles like he's appreciating a fine wine, or would be gazing at true art..he closes his eyes and drinks in the music.

She has, and will have, her mysteries as she said. Cat plays, occasionally shifting to songs recorded by other guitarists, but there are no lyrics. The strength of her singing voice is kept for later discovery.

Kinson continues to listen with his eyes closed, and smiles fully when you start switching to music from other guitarists, and when you hit a particular bit of melody, Kinson can't help but open his mouth and from his mouth is something louder than his normal tone of voice. It's fragile, and delicate and if it were tangible it'd threaten to fall apart at the nearest puff of breath, but it's there, just the same rising just barely over the guitar, "How I wish, how I wish you were here…We're just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl, year after year, running over the same old ground. What have you found? The same old fears…Wish you were here." before falling silent again.

Her eyes open a bit wider when his voice kicks in, and the grin takes on a playful quality. Cat plays on, but instead of ending the tune shortly after that segment like it was written she goes back to the middle segments of it, and another mystery comes exposed. She has a strong soprano, with a Benataresque quality, or an Ann Wilson feel to it. "Did they get you to trade your heroes for ghosts? Hot ashes for trees? Hot air for a cool breeze? Cold comfort for change? And did you exchange a walk on part in the war, for a lead role in a cage?"

Kinson doesn't open his eyes, but he can't grin any brighter though his voice practically purrs. "Mmmm, Cat, you've been holding out on meee.." he says, in a velvet sing-song. only a /teensy/ bit higher than his voice.

"Yes," Cat agrees, after that segment as her fingers go mostly still and run idly up and down the instrument. "I've got a degree in music from Yale."

Kinson opens his eyes and stares at you, lids heavy for a moment before opening them all the way. Very bedroomy, if only for a moment. "Really? You just keep amazing me."

"I was eighteen," Cat begins, "a freshwoman at Yale when it happened. I started out studying music and found a band. It was all good, until Father and Mother insisted I go for prelaw instead, so I left the band and took on courses in political science without giving up music, and it was rough. It ate all my time as hungrily as sharks on seals. But just when I needed it, help arrived." Her eyes take on that distant quality again, as if she were viewing something in the mind's eye, a slightly giddy smile forming on her lips.

Kinson smiles as he watches you, "That's when your ability manifested itself, isn't it?" he looks at you, and they're the eyes of attraction. He's very quiet, very reserved, but also attracted to you and he doesn't hide that now.

"Precisely," Cat confirms, and her features become animated. "It was unbelievable, such a rush. I found I could sit in class and never need to take notes. I could read the assignments and recall them as I needed. It was just there. Anything I heard, saw, smelled, tasted, touched. It let me please Father and Mother." she pauses, the way she speaks of her parents perhaps telling volumes about relations between them, Father and Mother instead of Dad and Mom like most would. "And I was able to study music also, earning degrees in both."

Kinson listens to the story intently, smiling softly, but head turning very slightly at the way she talks about father and mother..hmm, another time, another time.."of all the abilities we have, you've one of the most truly amazing and envious, honestly."

"It's a tool, like any other," Cat states in a softer voice, "but sometimes having it is euphoric. I like to be cryptic. If someone I meet tells me something, I can just smile and say I'll remember it. I've never read a book or watched a movie twice in the last seven years. It's all just right there, to be reread or watched anytime I feel like it." She slips the guitar strap over her head and sets the instrument on a stand, then goes to stand next to him.

"Tell me about you. What mysteries does Kinson Sayers have?"

Kinson laughs at the question and can't help but shake his head. "I'm not trying to be disrespectful..it's just that if you want the truth, you're going to be sorely disappointed." he says with a shrug.

"In your own time," she replies with a nod, not pressing it. Cat's eyes meet his again, in them is attraction along with so many other things, the dawning of becoming ready to move forward, but not being there yet. "I could let myself get lost in this, and you, so easily," she states, "but tonight is not that time. Many would choose to do so soon before a big battle, but I'm not them. I prefer to take that leap, if I take it, after the battle. Something to look forward to."

Cat turns partway, still watching his face. "There's a place for you to crash in Manhattan whenever you want it. Several places, actually, but one of them I operate."

Kinson smiles sleepily, "I have to confess, I already am. The only reason I'd disappoint you is because I really have no mysteries." he says, shrugging softly. "After the battle..yes..it gives me something to look forward to as well. A night doing this..many nights doing just this…and I appreciate the offer for a place to crash. I'd actually take you up on it, as you're about the only person I know that's offered me a place."

"This way," Cat replies with a nod as she starts to move toward the elevator. The call button is pressed, it opens, and she steps inside with one hand used to keep the doors from closing. If he gets in, she'll use the keycard and key combo to open the control panel and press the button marked 4 before closing it.

It doesn't take long, being just one floor down. When the doors open, Cat steps out onto the fourth floor and waits for him to join her. "The apartments on this floor aren't for public rental," she explains. "They're for temporary lodgings and special visitors, I'm still looking for an attendant or two to be here full time." She gestures around at the corridors. "They've got the basics, a bit spartan, but not uncomfortable. Pick one for tonight," is offered.

Kinson looks at the doors and shrugs, "Well, if no one's in 401, I'll just take that one."

That door is stepped up to, she uses the keycard to open it, and leans against the frame. "It's yours for the night, Kinson," Cat says. "Sleep well." One hand reaches to touch his face and stroke the cheek briefly, then fall back to her side. "We'll talk again soon."

Kinson smiles and leans in to it, ever so slightly, and he nods. "I sincerely hope so." he says gently. He sighs, right then and there.

Her eyes linger on his face for some moments longer than her touch, then she turns away with a slight smile. She returns to the elevator, the doors close, and Cat is gone.

January 26th: I Still Love You Dearly
January 26th: Mad House Party
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