Arrival and Artwork


cat_icon.gif danielle_icon.gif

Scene Title Arrival And Artwork
Synopsis Dani arrives and views artwork in Cat's apartment
Date September 8, 2008

An airport, the streets of Nuked York, and Cat's Apartment in the Dorchester Towers

It's early on this particular Monday morning in Nuked York. Cat's in bed still, with her phone nearby. Her eyes flutter open, but she remains where she is, thinking. Being up and about isn't something she wants to experience just now, the woman takes time to process things from recent days. It's such a load of data that came her way so unexpectedly. "Holy crap," she murmurs after a few minutes of this introspection. "Maybe I'll wake up tomorrow instead. So glad I didn't go for the corporate life."

And then there's the ringing of a phone. Ring. Ring. Caller ID shows it to be old college friend, Dani.

While lying there, much debating with herself on the chances of not getting up at all today, the issue seems to be decided for her in favor of feet touching floor. The iPhone goes off, and the ringtone is personalied to Dani. A snippet of tune to fit her personality somewhat. Rebel, Rebel, from David Bowie. Cat swings her legs over and stands up, moving to pick the device up. It's reached just as the device sounds out 'Rebel, rebel, you tore your dress' a second time; she puts the earbuds in and taps the button to answer. "Morning, Dani." She sounds a bit less than awake.

Dani's voice sounds far too awake, which probably means it's been an all-nighter for her…the woman is many things, but a morning person isn't generally one of them. She replies to Cat. "Hey there, Kit-Kat. How's it going in the Big Roasted Apple?"

The question draws out a chortle from her end of the conversation. "Oh," she begins, "interestingly. What're you doing up at this hour?" She checks her phone's display for the time. Six a. m.? Damn. Cat squints, not sure if she saw that right, to make sure. Being partly asleep might have her eyes playing tricks on her. "What time is it, anyway?"

Dani's voice confirms it. "It is…six-twelve in the morning, eastern standard, Kit-Kat. And I'm catching the Early Bird down your way. Hence my oh-so-well-timed phone call!"

OhGod. It is 6:12. And there's a guest coming. Today. Cat places one hand over her face for a moment, eyes closing. "That's great!" she replies after a moment. "What's bringing you down, coming to visit? It'll be really great to see you!"

Danielle's voice is still doing its best at being chipper. "Nope. New employment. Which kiiiiind of leads into the call. I was sort of hoping I could crash with you till checks started rolling in? Maybe? Possibly? Pleeeeeze?"

"Of course you can stay here, Dani, as long as you want to," she replies. "But don't flip out when you get here and see the place. There's a story to tell, which I'll let you in on when you get here." Cat sounds pleased to have her coming, the offer is sincere, but there's that hint of 'oh, yes, I do have a story to share' in her voice.

Dani smiles. "Cool. And if you've gone all rebel, I'm going to laugh my ass off. I'll be at the airport at 8:30, assuming my flight's on time."

"See you there and then," Cat states, as she can be heard starting to move around. Got to be up now. Shower, get dressed. She's soooo glad Dani is someone she trusted with certain secrets long ago, because this story? Yeah.

Dani hangs up, and sure enough, come 8:30ish, is coming down the ramp at the airport, bag slung over one shoulder, second one pulled behind her.

As stated, she's present in the arrivals area. Cat's garbed herself in dark green shorts, a blue tank top with Yale on the front of it in white lettering, and athletic shoes. Her iPhone is on the right hip, earbuds in, and two cups of coffee are held. One is at her mouth and being tipped back, finished off, actually. It goes from there to the nearest receptacle as she starts to move on spotting Miss Hamilton. "Hey, there," she greets warmly once within hearing distance.

Dani beams, and she starts up towards Cat. "Hey, Kit-Kat." She smiles, and walks up. "I'd give you a hug, but you come bearing coffee, and that takes precedence over all else. Gimme." She makes a mock-grabby motion with her free hand, grinning.

The cup is held, but she makes a playful show of pulling it back when the mock-grabby motion happens. "It's not for you, Dani," Cat chides with a grin. "That's for me, I need it to stay awake after you rang up. At twelve minutes past dark o'clock." Will she truly hold out? Yes, but only long enough to see a reaction. Once that's achieved, the beverage is handed forth.

Danielle makes the Patented Pouty Face. And once the coffee is brought forth, it's rewarded with a bright, beamish smile. "You are my personal goddess and source of all things good. And coffeeish." She sips. "Cause god, but airplane coffee sucks." She looks around the city. "Lead the way, Stilts."

"… Stilts." That's one she hasn't heard in a while. And it deserves swift retaliation. "Of course I am, Court," the taller one remarks with a laugh. Cat takes charge of one bag, the one with wheels, and pulls it along behind her. Out of the terminal she heads, and toward transportation.

Dani mock-shudders. "Ugh. I forgot, that actually puts someone here who KNOWS that name." She never goes by her first name. That's legacy of her parents. "So what's your ride?"

"Hired car and driver. I haven't brought my car into the city yet," Cat replies smoothly. And there it is up ahead. The driver gets out and attempts to place luggage in the trunk if they'll allow it, then goes back to be ready behind the wheel.

Dani passes over her bag, and looks amused. "Uhh-huh. Or someone just likes being spoiled." She gets into the car. "So give me all the news that's worth knowing. What's been going on with you, girl?!"

"Oh, you'll see," Cat replies cryptically as the car goes into motion. "Let's just enjoy the ride, and do the talking thing when we get to my place." A grin is flashed. She's silent herself on the way across town, or at least intending to be. And if it goes according to her plan, Dani will content herself with scoping out Manhattan's Upper West Side and whatever other areas they pass through on the way to Dorchester Towers.

Dani does just that. After all, there is also coffee to drink! She focuses on that, as the car winds its way through the streets.

And it stops. Outside the car is the building. Driver gets out, retrieves bags from trunk, and begins to port them inside. Cat goes around the car and pays the man with a decent tip added. "Thanks, Al. We've got it from here." "Thank you, Miss," Al replies, headed back to the driver's seat.

Dani comes out, and grabs bags. "So…this is a pretty swank place. And now you've made me wait an entire car ride! Spill it!" She starts towards the door.

"Well," she begins, thinking of how to put all this, "I got a gig, playing solo, at this punk place called the Surly Wench, and I met a… tortured artist." When Cat reaches the building door she opens and holds it for Dani to go through, then follows. One hand pulls out her keys to have them ready. It's a short walk from there to the door marked with the number 101. "He stayed a night, and the next morning I found him… making art." A slight grimace comes to her features as she unlocks and opens the door. "After you."

Dani looks amused, as she follows. "Making art, huh? If that's a euphemism for taking naked pictures of you in the morning, you realize I'm going to laugh my ass off, right?" she steps inside the apartment.

The taller of the two steps inside, not replying to that concept, and closes the door. Locks are applied, and she suggests "Head into the main room, sit down, relax." Bags can be put into the guest room later. First is explaining the artwork. Because it's impossible to miss.

What is depicted on the apartment window, and in portion the walls and floor, is a life-size scene depicting a short-haired man with grim countenance seated on a cot attached to a wall. His posture is relaxed, almost slack, forearms draped over his knees and hands folded. He stares directly out from the etching with lightly shaded eyes. Beneath him, the shadow he casts in the etching is twisted and deformed, a serpentine line that snakes its way from the window, down onto the floor through carpet and towards the center of the room. It resembles a deformed S, with forked lines extending from it, like some amalgamation of an F and an S as a rough comparison.

Dani doubletakes, as she looks at it, and then looks back to Cat. "So this guy just decided he was going to wake up and -etch your windows- in the wee hours of the morning?" There's a very dubious look. "Tell me you've already called for the restraining order."

"I wish it were that easy, Dani," Cat answers quietly. She doesn't look at the artwork, she saw it once and therefore can see it anytime she wants, or needs. "It's got some significance. It's a portent of something. It looks to me like a guy held in a prison somewhere. And judging by the RNA strand there," she indicates that part, the combo of S and F, "it seems like he's maybe an Evolved person locked up just for existing."

Danielle didn't make it out for what it was; just an art piece. She feels the hair standing up at the back up her neck. "Cat, don't make with the creeping out. Etching glass takes acid or something like it, Kit-Kat. Obsessed guys with acid staying the night at your place is NOT a good thing."

"He's like me, Dani," Cat replies simply. "The man who did this is evolved, like me. And he didn't use acid. We talked a lot, he laid his story out for me in full, and he's scarred, metaphysically. But one thing I'm sure of is his respect." She settles into a seat, eyes resting on Dani. Her expression is calm. "When you called, I said there was a story to tell, and told you not to flip out."

Dani nods. "Okay. All right. This is me not flipping out." She moves over to the couch, opening up one of her bags. She -is- a reporter, after all. "Okay, talk to me." she takes out a little mini-recorder.

"It's not for publication," she quietly states. "This is me, talking to Dani, the friend. No taping. Please." Cat draws in a slow breath, and resumes speaking. "He's been through a lot, and carries some heavy burdens. He fought Sylar before the bomb, and lived to tell about it. Now he's involved with a faction called Pariah, trying to change their methods. The man in the etching, we think, is someone important, likely locked up. But we have no idea who."

She groans. "Oh, Cat, you're killing me. I just started; this story could make my career." But she puts the recorder away, reluctantly. "Well, if I -were- to publish it, that's your way of getting the general public to notice. The entire population of the internet makes a much better way of telling who this guy is than the two of us."

"Dani," Cat replies, moving to sit in front of her friend and pull legs up under her, then clasp her hands. "it's all new to me here. He's someone I just met a few days ago. He also doesn't know you, yet. It's only fair to let you meet him and see how much he wants to share. How he wants to present the story, if at all, for greatest effect. And… I showed you this, told you, because I trust you. I may or may not be working with them sometimes. I'm not a big altruistic person, you know that. Not one for sticking my neck out if I don't have a stake in things. This one, I have a stake in. If some bureaucrat gets a bug up his ass and decides supermemories are dangerous…" Her eyes close, the head shakes a few times. "Any information put out has to be done carefully, and if your name is on it, you're taking a risk. You could be come after for your sources."

She nods. "That's a risk I take being a reporter, Cat. And I can put this out there without naming you, or naming him. I mean, we go back forever. I'll bury it if you want me to." Even though she REALLY doesn't want to. "You know that."

"I don't want you at risk, but it may be necessary in time, I mainly want you to know that going in. And what I've already told you has to stay between us. If word goes out in the media before I've talked to them again, and they've talked to you, they'll never talk to me again. He, and they, won't trust me. So thank you, Dani. Thank you so much for understanding."

Dani nods, sighing. "Only cause it's you, Cat. If it was anybody else, I'd write it up in a heartbeat. But I'll sit on it for now, and wait to hear from you about it."

"Something he and I talked about, when he mentioned Pariah, was his condition for joining them is they stop the bombings, stop going after people who aren't involved with this. Limit targets to civil rights issues. Detainment centers and such. And we talked about it needing a political angle. It has to have a civil component. But it all takes coordination." Brainstorming stops there, she gives the hands in hers a gentle squeeze. "We should be celebrating now, anyway. I've got wine and a bed for you in the spare room. It's yours as long as you want it. Without worrying about money." She flashes a broad smile and moves to hug the shorter one. "It's been too long!"

Dani blinks, derailed by the sudden offer of free lodging. She returns the hug, a little stunned. "Are you kidding? That's one hell of an offer, Cat." She hugs the musician tightly.

"You're a hell of a friend," Cat replies, keeping up her end of the embrace, "and you know I'm not worried about money."

The shorter girl grins. "Well if that was meant to distract me, it worked." She releases the hug, looking back at Cat with a grin. "Sooooo, this guy was staying the night. Does that mean it's serious?"

"I… I don't know," Cat replies as she stands and heads out to get a wine bottle with two glasses. Her voice resumes when she returns bearing those items and a corkscrew. "He stayed over, torn with burdens he carries. I put him in the guest room, don't think he'd really slept in forever, and I joined him. We just slept." She seems to anticipate a reaction of disbelief here, making a point to say "Yes, just slept. And the next morning, there was this." One hand gestures at the art, then she opens the wine bottle. Cork comes out with a pop, and Dani's glass is filled first. "We talked more, and there was a vibe going on, you know? So eventually I'm walking to my bedroom, he's following, I go in and toss my tank top back out. Wait for him in my bra and pants. He comes in, and we kiss lightly. But he decides he can't, and he leaves."

Cat gets the expected look of disbelief at "Just slept. And Jesus Christ, yeah, he sounds like an artist, all right. All tortured full of emo woe, and can't even shake it off long enough to get a piece." Dani looks really amused at it now.

"So…" Cat continues, sighing, "I was left all frustrated. Had to handle things myself. He had his reasons. While I expect to hear from him again, I'm not sure things will go in that direction again. Opportunity was there, he made his choice, and I think that moment's passed." The first full glass of wine is offered to Dani.

Dani nods. "Got it. Well, thankfully, that answer's usually not further than a dresser drawer away. I haven't bothered with a guy since…well, since." Cat will know since what. "They're all assholes."

She knows. Her own glass is filled, she takes a slow sip from it, then settles next to her friend on the couch. The expression is sympathy, compassion, understanding. If Dani chooses, Cat's shoulder is there to lean against. No words on the subject of since what need be spoken between them.

Dani's long since over it; she's not about to get into a pityparty. But, wine? That's a much better alternative. She finally takes the glass, and starts to drink. "Nice. Well, I guess I'm gonna have to meet him anyway, to talk about all this. Or do you want to talk to him first?"

"I believe he'll make contact, he knows where to find me when he's ready. I'd expect he'll be at a certain table near the stage when I'm playing at the Surly Wench. It's a punk place, usually crowded to the door and then some. Loud too. The crowds like me, and it's a start. Hopefully soon I'll find a drummer, bass guitarist, and keyboardist."

Dani looks amused at that. "Don't look at me. Some of us can't pick up new talents by reading an instruction manual, you know." she winks back at Cat.

"You can," Cat assures. Just because most have to read the manual a few times while she only needs to read it once doesn't make it impossible, after all. "It's just a question of wanting to, and believe me anyway, not everything I read is something I want to remember. My God, that one law professor's class in my seventh year at Yale is one of those. Can't believe I managed to stay awake for all of his dronings."

Dani makes an over-exaggerated groan. "Wonderful. I'm going to be -drowned- in music." Overactress. She grins, looking back to Cat. "I'm sure you'll find band members. It's New fricking York, for crying out loud."

"Of course I will," Cat replies with perfect confidence. "And I've even found a lyricist." She lifts her wine glass, displaying a quiet smile, and drinks.

Cue repeated dramatic groan, as Dani flops back onto the couch. "You better keep the alcohol flowing, Stilts, before my sanity returns."

The shorter one's wine glass is eyed to see if refill is needed, and such is provided if so. The temptation exists to again utter the name Court, but is resisted. Cat opts to quietly enjoy the company and the contents of her own glass.

Dani does, in fact, need a refill. She takes it, happily, and looks back to Cat. "It's good to see you again, Cat." She rarely uses her actual name rather than one of a dozen nicknames. "Thanks for this. Really."

"Anytime, Dani," she answers. "Chez moi est chez tu."

September 7th: How to Leave a Petrelli Speechless

Previously in this storyline…
How to Leave a Petrelli Speechless

Next in this storyline…
Not the Best Time

September 8th: The Artist Returns
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