All That Makes Us Human Continues


bolivar_icon.gif ewan_icon.gif

Scene Title All That Makes Us Human Continues
Synopsis Amid political and potentially personal turmoil, Bolivar is lost in thought. His dogs find him somebody who could help and, for once, he gives in turn.
Date January 18, 2008

Central Park

Central Park has been, and remains, a key attraction in New York City, both for tourists and local residents. Though slightly smaller, approximately 100 acres at its southern end scarred by and still recovering from the explosion, the vast northern regions of the park remain intact.

An array of paths and tracks wind their way through stands of trees and swathes of grass, frequented by joggers, bikers, dog-walkers, and horsemen alike. Flowerbeds, tended gardens, and sheltered conservatories provide a wide array of colorful plants; the sheer size of the park, along with a designated wildlife sanctuary add a wide variety of fauna to the park's visitor list. Several ponds and lakes, as well as the massive Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir, break up the expanses of green and growing things. There are roads, for those who prefer to drive through; numerous playgrounds for children dot the landscape.

Many are the people who come to the Park - painters, birdwatchers, musicians, and rock climbers. Others come for the shows; the New York Shakespeare Festival at the Delacorte Theater, the annual outdoor concert of the New York Philharmonic on the Great Lawn, the summer performances of the Metropolitan Opera, and many other smaller performing groups besides. They come to ice-skate on the rink, to ride on the Central Park Carousel, to view the many, many statues scattered about the park.

Some of the southern end of the park remains buried beneath rubble. Some of it still looks worn and torn, struggling to come back from the edge of destruction despite everything the crews of landscapers can do. The Wollman Rink has not been rebuilt; the Central Park Wildlife Center remains very much a work in progress, but is not wholly a loss. Someday, this portion of Central Park just might be restored fully to its prior state.

It is midday, Sunday, in New York City Central Park, with a bleak winter's sun shining down upon crisp snow, park-goers and over at the ice-rink cleared by city workers, skaters. Not too terribly many of them around, but it would seem even times like these cannot stop people from seeking enjoyment in the simpler things. Or, as it were, the more complicated things, depending on who you ask. While there is no music around, one could almost imagine the seasonal tunes that would have been played, once upon a time, in a place like this.

There are no proper benches or even a rink around the patch of ice, so Ewan has just left his worn shoes on top of his backpack on the side, while he gets himself a spot of practice, taking advantage of a day with barely a touch of chill in the air and sun above, however bleak. All dressed in blacks, his coat left in his bag for now, he seems to be doing just somewhat more advanced skating than most of the children and parents out there, keeping a little to himself as not to accidently skate over a toddler or something. He has been at it for quite some time, though, and as there are more people joining in on the ice, he decides to head on back towards his bag and, granted that it's still there, change back into more ground-friendly footwear.

A black button nose focuses into view beyond the tip of Ewan's boot, tiny nostrils flaring in tandem with the hopeful widening of optimistic, liquid brown eyes. The tiny Welsh spaniel is looking at him out of a face the same color as new sugar, framed by chestnut brown panels and the soft curls of ears that could probably rewrite history if history would deign to turn away, if only a moment, from the havoc and strife of human politics and acknowledge the wisdom of three-year-old girl dogs. She looks at him for a long moment and then, very precisely, perhaps a little shyly, turns her head toward the backpack huddled next to his hip.

There's a collar around her throat, of course. From the tiny silver hook and circle, spans the length of a leash quivering gently in the wind, up into a gloved hand, a woollen trenchcoat sleeve, the angle of a shoulder and the line of a cheek ruined by burn-scarring. Bolivar looks down at the boy with the beginning of a scowl in the knit of his brow and an absent-minded light in the hazel of his eyes that indicates that the subject of his annoyance is further away than the child on its perch.

There's another dog, standing behind. Bigger and older, something oddly matronly about her powerful wolf-shape. A shepherd dog, judging from the black saddle furred across her densely muscled back and triangular eyes. She brings up hindguard. Logan Rose, on the other hand, whuffs warm air at Ewan. She ensures that her master, though lost in thought, is not lost in Central Park in the busy part of day.

Ewan blinks, looking up at the somewhat unexpected trio in front of him, mid-untying of his skates. "Oh, um… Hi?" he offers up with a smile, despite whatever scowling might be forming on the man's face - burnscarred as it might be, that's not really the focus of his attention. People come in all shapes, sizes and demeanors, and whatever they might look like is probably not the important part. However, the big dog gets a touch more of a wary glance than the fluffy sweetness that would be the hopefully glancing one in front of him, and he interupts his doings, holding out his hand in the general direction of the spaniel, in case she'd like to say hi. "Can I help you with something?" That seems to be an allinclusive question, aimed at both dogs and man.

The largest of them all, Nina Lou, is busy watching the pedestrians that walk along behind them. With her eyes, her head slightly turned, and her ears, which swivel like big pointed satellite dishes at the jogger crossing hence, the mother pushing the walking stroller, the teenager with his guitar case. Her black lips remain sealed shut across her teeth, but her aspect is as foreboding as her fluffball of a partner is otherwise. Logan Rose rears up to place two small feet beside Ewan's knee, presuming as much as to invade his personal space, in small part, but not to touch: she's far too well-trained for that.

"Wha?" Bolivar's eyes slide into focus three seconds too late, and their lids click shut, reopen, a furrow weaving in and out of his brow, as if he were flexing them against the frigid lock of the cold. He seems to locate Ewan against the backdrop for the first time since technically laying eyes on him. Turns his head, left then right, showing the keloids massed down his jaw before he faces forward again. "Who are you?

"And why is my drug and bomb-detection dog up in your business?"

While being in the process of switching footwear might not be the best position for Ewan to argue from, there is just a moment's hessitation before he slowly reaches for his shoes, to start putting one of them on. Calm and slow, don't run, you'll get chased no doubt and that big dog looks quite capable of chewing off arms and other necessities. "I'm Ewan." he replies, apprently not about to offer his last name to any random stranger in the park, even if he does crack up his smile again. "And I don't know, I never had a dog. Maybe he just likes me?" His tone might be light, but he's not offering up the suggestion to be funny. Really.

"Can I say hi to him?" Well, there's that thing about assuming that all dogs are boys, but can you blame him? It's a thing of language, more than any attempt at biological knowhow. Still, he's asking before he'll try to pet the dog, in response to its little cute-show-off thing. Drug and bomb-detection doesn't seem to be all that much of an issue for the boy, even with frowny people asking, mostly because he knows he's got neither on him, or even in his bag.

There's a thing and Jason Bolivar would probably blame him if he could focus his attention on that enough today, but he has things on his mind, evidently. "She," he says. "Yes, you can say hi to her. Lou." For a moment, the invocation of the name following that flatly-spoken rebuke might make him look rather like he's messing with the poor kid, but in a breath, it becomes evident that that name is true to the Shepherd. She switches her snout over to point it at Ewan as unerringly as a compass finds North, then graduates a step forward, her heavy tail waggling once at her hindquarters. Logan Rose's, of course, is already beating to and fro in fine time, an ostrich feather seeking flight.

"Maybe you can help me." He doesn't sound very optimistic in saying so, however. Skepticism comes too easily to him with half his body in marks, Godless, troubled by recent events. Nevertheless, he shifts both leashes into one hand and tucks the other into his lapel, slowed by waiting, expectantly, for Ewan to offer agreement or denial.

Ewan 'oh's softly, and upon finishing the quick change to shoes rather than skates, he'll reach out and rub the smaller dog by the ears, and offering his other hand out towards the shepherd, free for as tenative or cheerful 'hi'ing as it might wish. "They look like nice dogs." he murmurs, and then turns his attention back properly towards the man, an eyebrow arching ever so slightly at the waiting.

"Okay..?" he asks, before adding a quick, "I'm kinda new in town, but I'll help, if I can." The dogs properly greeted, at least by his own standards, he'll also reach into his bag slowly, to pull out a worn leather coat, putting it on for whatever little difference it'll do against the chill. He's not up and moving around, anymore, after all, and he's bound to get cold soon. Best not to tempt fate.

A Polaroid emerges, still pristine white in the back but dog-eared from oft-repeated use. Its glossy picture side depicts a dog, a different breed than the other two: a pitbull terrier, notorious for ill-temper, all over brown with a long ribbon and smear of white fur at the chest and a snout full of teeth, small, dark eyes, a blunter muzzle than either of its counterparts, and round shoulders rooted down by a broad stance of paws, seemingly innately combative in the default posture of its anatomy. There's a hand on her head, though, a thumb notched into the subtle hollow in the base of her ear. The arm out of it belongs to a man otherwise lost to the edges of the photograph.

"Have you seen this dog?" Bolivar's gaze is steady as his voice, but the greater part of his attention seems proportioned to the former. There's an odd tension there, a brusque sense of searching that Ewan might have long since learned to associate with cops; it might be derived from the depicted animal, apparently missing, or the fact that Ewan had — for a moment — looked like a cornered creature himself.

Ewan didn't expect that. A body, a child, something, yes… but not a dog. Not by a guy already holding the leash to two other dogs, at least. But today seems to be a out of the ordinary. He slowly moves to stand up, straightening his coat a little as he studies the photo, canting his head as he actually tries to recall if he has seen any dog even remotely similiar to the one in the picture. In the end, he'll have to disappoint, though, with a brief shake of his head already before he speaks.

"Sorry, sir… I don't think so." Cops usually don't go around searching for lost dogs, though, and this train of thought will earn Bolivar another look from the younger man. "I mean… there's dogs, strays, all over the place, but dogs looking like one, um, I've seen black ones 'round the alleys," Where finding food is an equal opportunity task for all races and breeds, dogs, rats and humans alike. "I think, but you know, I wasn't exactly gonna stay around and find out if they were friendly or not."

When Ewan rises, Logan Rose continues to sniff about his hand until, as the bag opens and releases his coat unto the world, she ever so slyly, slyly, begins to sidle toward that, her nostrils flaring and shrinking in huffing interest of its contents. She had smelled something. She is sure of it. A refined family tree and years of hard training have converged on this defining moment, more than PARIAH's explosives-riddled bolt-hole or the pot in the high school lockers. Her nose hasn't failed her yet; she is determined to win.

For once, her master fails to check her curiosity with a jerk of her line, yet nor does he encourage her curiosity as he would as a professional recourse. Bolivar looks at Ewan while Ewan looks at the Polaroid and then while he looks right back at him, his scarred face a little hard, a little dark, and then perhaps somewhat bleak. "Well," he concludes, after a fair moment. The photo turns in his fingers, slotting back into his coat and out of view. Ewan's — surprise, if it was that, wasn't exactly unexpected. Most people spend their time with missing children and unidentified bodies. "Citizen." A touch of irony in his salutation. He turns to go.

Logan Rose stops him, a tiny anchor of fervent hope and earnest curiosity. Nina Lou merely looks bemused.

Ewan nods, it would seem honestly sorry that he couldn't be of any real help, offering a nod to Bolivar as he moves to leave… and then blinks, turning his attention down to the dog sniffing at his now open backpack. She doesn't seem to be aggressive, but that wagging tail and curious huffing at the stuff in there, her nose so close to the source of the wonderful scent.. Ewan blinks again, as the proverbial lightbulb goes up above his head. "Hey, stop that, that's my bag." he objects, sounding just a little defensive, reaching down to move away the curious furball of wagging tail. He may not have a lot, but now that he actually has found himself a protein bar with chocolate coating, nibbling away on it to make it last as long as possible, he's not going to share it with a dog. However cute it might be.

Nina Lou's bemusement only grows. Her head rocks backward slightly and her tongue skirts her muzzle, ears tilting back as if in response to the tiny ping of the proverbial lightbulb awakening above the roof of Ewan's head. Her compatriot, in the meantime, is suffering immense disappointment. Soul-crushing disappointment. The arch of the ostrich feather inverts between her hocks and her voice bottoms out into a fretful murr; curly ears dip and hike fractionally as she teeters in front of Ewan, bringing all of her wiles to bear.

Bolivar stares at the back of Rosie's head, then at the boy. The searching suspicion is gone from his scarred face, all the verve and quiet glare of that shut down, closed off; what remains is almost pleasant in its cool inversion. And despite his choice of words, there's no real malice in his voice when he then asks, "Are you selling drugs or sex here?"

Bolivar's tone of voice doesn't really matter much. To Ewan, the words, those particular words, are enough to get him into full-out, if only somewhat flustered defensiveness, because those asking would either be cops, people he'd rather not have get too nosey about him, or those in the businesses of drugs and sex themselves, and they tend to look with little kindness upon percieved competition. The third kind, a potential chickenhawk, say, wouldn't have asked straight-out, like that.

Grabbing at the carry/shoulder strap of his bag with one hand and the laces of his skates with the other, Ewan straightens up, his gaze moving towards Nina Lou, the shepherd, for a moment. None too subtle with the preparations for bolting. "No. Wouldn't know where to get drugs to sell in the first place."

If Bolivar was one for subtlety, uhhh.

No. Not really.

"I guess you aren't buying drugs or sex either," he decides, after a moment. "Fine. I'm an officer of the law, you know," full well knowing that Ewan wouldn't have necessarily done such a thing at all, "I have to be careful about that kind of thing. Will you take a donation of forty dollars, or are you above that, too?" Neither warmth nor heat characterize the man's tone. Lacking politeness, also, he is probably sort of setting himself up for failure. Inadvertently. Notices this the next instant, a furrow deepening his olive brow and drawing a sigh out of his lungs that filters white into the air. He proffers the most acceptable and utterly irrelevant explanation: "My dogs like you."

Ewan cants his head a little to the side, clearly not entirely following that particular train of thought. But there's this little moment, the tension, the wait, and then he lifts a shoulder, briefly, shifting the skates over to the hand he's got his bag in. "I don't take hand-outs, but the rules are a bit fuzzy on the subject of donations." he offers, not really expecting the guy to be for real, but not about to turn down a chance at getting himself something actually substantial to eat tonight, either. Pride will only keep you fed for so long, after all, and after that, the choices get harder. Taking money because a pair of dogs apparently doesn't mind him, that's an easier choice than taking money for other reasons. Or stealing.

"Hold this." The leashes are unceremoniously foisted over at Ewan, who had better not think about stealing his dogs or else Bolivar will make with the shooting. Until then, however, his gunsure hands are rifling his coat again, dismissing the photograph in favor of an item residing therein that sees more use but somehow, nevertheless, is placed further from easy reach. His wallet. It's a block of leather with a scratch going up one side where a pup once sank her teeth.

The pup has since grown in size if not, apparently, maturity: Rose is winding around Ewan's ankle, grumbling her chagrin and simultaneous forgiveness.

"Here." Two bills, boasting the twenty dollar mark, wrinkled and not evidently counterfeit, poisoned, or tracked by electronic devices. The wrinkled corners of paper wobble slightly in the passage of freezing wind.

Ewan takes the proffered leashes with his free hand, and if the thought to run off with the dogs even crosses his mind, it's even quicker disposed of. A cop going around with a Polariod of his missing dog, all grim-looking, ain't that likely to take kindly to someone trying to relieve him of the remaining two. Not to mention, the shepherd still looks quite capable of tearing off bits from people attempting to offend her master.

So, with the leashes more or less looking like they're keeping him on the spot, rather than the other way around, Ewan waits, and then has to somehow manage to exchange the leashes for the two bills. Granted that Bolivar takes 'em back, it might go rather smoothly, even, with only the briefest touch of hands. With the money not obviously fake or traced, or even tainted by color from robberies and such, Ewan sees no reason to turn it down. Instead, it'll split up, one bill each going into different pockets, one inside his coat and the other in the front of his jeans. And because these are freely given, he'll make no move for that puppy-bitten wallet, either. He'll make the night, maybe even the week if he's careful, and that's all he needs, right now. "Thanks. And, um, if I see your dog, I'll um…" He pauses, hesitating. "…let you know."

Will you now? Skepticism returns to Bolivar's features, albeit now in less force than it had dominated them before. With the distance reduced between boy and man, it becomes apparent that the officer, however foreboding, is actually the physically shorter of the two. Despite this, he manages to look at Ewan without visibly tilting his eyes upward. "You look the wrong side of heroin chic. Hence the drug questions. You aren't getting any more quarters out of this and I wouldn't waste any of that money on a phone if I were you." Despite this potentially discouraging progression of response, however, he's reaching back into his coat as he speaks. The photograph is pulled out again, a pen in the same hand.

Both the beleaguered square and the writing implement are handed to the younger man with the full expectation that he's going to be doing all the recording if he's going to be seeing this through, and he'd better see this through, because there is a very short, very angry Mexican who was told as much. "Rodriguez-Smith," he states, and then the digits of his phone number.

Well, Ewan did offer his services, and it seems the safest way onwards is to continue to do so. That said, he's not going to argue with lawman, and even go as far as to put down his bag and skates again before accepting both the polaroid and the pen, to dutifully write down the name as he presumes it is spelled. Rodriguez-Smith, followed by the numbers, are added to the back of the picture, and then the pen is offered back, the boy lifting his gaze to meet Bolivar's. A shoulder lifts briefly, in regards to the comment on his looks, and a wry smile tugs at his lips. "Don't worry, I'm not in the habit of wasting money on stuff I don't need." Not that he thinks that Bolivar's actually worried, at all, but.. it's one of those things you say. "But if I do see 'im, and I'm not maimed or anything, you'll hear from me." Otherwise, well, he probably won't.

"If you're maimed, you should call the business line," Bolivar suggests dryly. 911. Sometimes it works the way it's supposed to, and as long as it's convenient to him, he'll have it that it will. He accepts the pen back into his free hand and tugs the other. The effect is instantaneous. Logan Rose bobs back against his calf, and Nina Lou strides around to her other side, flanking the baby girl with an air of protection. "Her name is Apple. She should answer to it if you call her. Adios, chico." He lifts a single eloquent hand. Turns, with a click of his tongue and a tug of leads. In odd concert, the two dogs swerve to follow.

There's a two beats' pause. That is, two strides away for Bolivar and Nina Lou, and four for little Logan Rose, whose curls bounce with the fervor of her miniature gait as she plugs her Oreo-sized paw-pads into the snow. Without turning, Bolivar yells back, "You have a name or what?"

Ewan probably won't be calling anyone, in the case of any maimings, but that's not a necessary statement to make. He watches Bolivar and his dogs start to head off, then puts the photograph into the pocket where a bill disappeared, earlier. Then, bending his knees slightly, he reaches for his bag and skates, unsipping the first to put the second into it, rather than having to handle both again.

The question has him straightening up though, and his wry smile returns for a moment, however brief still coloring his tone. "Ewan Archer." he offers, finding it fair enough to share his name now that he presumably knows what to call the cop. Then, granted that this doesn't earn him a pair of dogs on his heels, he'll turn and start to walk off, heading the other way, towards… wherever it is heroine-chic, black-clad kids go, these days.

January 18th: Womanizer Womanizer
January 18th: It's All In Your Head
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