Asking The Wrong Person


cardinal_icon.gif claire2_icon.gif

Scene Title Asking The Wrong Person
Synopsis Claire goes to Cardinal for advice on her non-exsistant sex life.
Date September 29, 2009

New York Public Library

Once upon a time, the New York Public Library was one of the most important libraries in America. The system, of which this branch was the center, was among the foremost lending libraries /and/ research libraries in the world.

The bomb changed that, as it changed so much else.

By virtue of distance, the library building was not demolished entirely, like so many others north of it; however, the walls on its northern side have been badly damaged, and their stability is suspect. The interior is a shambles, tattered books strewn about the chambers and halls, many shelves pulled over. Some have even been pulled apart; piles of char in some corners suggest some of their pieces, as well as some of the books, have been used to fuel fires for people who sought shelter here in the past.

In the two years since the bomb, the library — despite being one of the icons of New York City — has been left to decay. The wind whistles through shattered windows, broken by either the blast-front or subsequent vandals, carrying dust and debris in with it. Rats, cats, and stray dogs often seek shelter within its walls, especially on cold nights. Between the fear of radiation and the lack of funds, recovery of the library is on indefinite hiatus; this place, too, has been forgotten.

You know, somewhere deep inside, Cardinal knew that the nuns were right when they said, so long ago, that he needed to learn the Dewey Decimal System.

In one of the undamaged halls of the library, he's settled cross-legged beside a fallen set of drawers holding the reference cards for the section. Sure, it's a primitive sort of organizational system, but it's not as if the computers work anymore. Chances are that even if they got power to them somehow, the EMP would've fried all of their hard drives.

"No, no, no…" Card after card are shoved back into the drawer he's holding on his lap, scowling down at it. While he's surprisingly well educated— books? Not his forte.

Also, it's dark. He doesn't bother with the flashlights, although in the powered area where people have been staying there's a whole box of working maglites for people to use.

Some things about her relationship with Magnes have been bothering her lately and the trip to the hospital to visit him wasn't an exception. It's got the ex-cheerleader thinking and the more she does the more she needs to talk to someone. Her options are rather limited. Family is out for the most part, not talking to one dad.. the other is President of the United States… and so on. She had thought about her uncle, but he tends to be elusive. So… she only sees one option at the moment. Tall, dark and shadowy… Cardinal. .

She waits till she can corner the man alone and that seems to be someplace dark… joy. Good thing she isn't afraid of the dark. Taking up one of the flashlights, Claire moves into the inky blackness, her boots echoing in the mostly empty hall. The beam sweeps across the man and quickly away in a hurry. "Oops.. sorry." She calls out, giving him a nervous wave, flash light pointed away, knowing he'd be able to see it. "Am… I… interrupting anything important?" She really hopes not, since she might not be able to get a moment like this again.

As the beam flashes over the man where he's seated, Cardinal whips one hand up to shield his eyes, grimacing in the light for that brief moment before she pulls it away. "Nnhg, fuck. Well, there goes reading for a few minutes…" His eyes squinched closed, he leans forward to set the drawer down on top of the others before leaning back, "…nah, just looking for a book on solar power or something, trying to come up with ways to get us some more electricity. What's up?"

"Oh.. well.. I could help with that." Claire offers, closing the distance between her and him. Taking one of the drawers and setting down as well, but she doesn't start looking through it right away. The flashlight sits in her lap, shining off the the side, the spot of light on the wall, casting soft light over the figures. "I….." She stumbles on her words, not sure what to say suddenly. Then she finally says slowly, "… well.. I need advice." She ducks her head down, blonde hair sliding off her shoulders and picks up the flashlight, fingers of her freehand start flipping through cards. ".. about guys." Eyes glance up at the man and quickly back down again.

The hesitant behavior of the young woman's noted as Cardinal leans back to rest upon his palms, head cocking a little bit to one side. "Oh, jeeze," he murmurs, a bit of a chuckle shaking his shoulders and one brow quirking up, "Seriously? I might be the last perso you want to ask for advice about guys, darlin', but, go ahead."

Her head coming up, Claire gives him a 'look', "Maybe.. but who am I going to ask?" Her brows lift a bit as she asks that. "Yeah, let me go to the White House.. or tend my adopted dad who will then proceed to shoot.. my boyfriend." Her head hangs and she covers her face for a moment with a grown. "You have no idea how embarrassing this is.. I've been a terrorist for years.. set bombs.. shot peoples.. Gone up against the Company and government…" Her hands drop and she gives him a pained look. "And here I am asking advice from you… cause I'm feeling kind of clueless right now."

"Well, justifable homicide is kind of like losing your virginity," Cardinal replies without hesitation or shame, a grin crooking to his lips as he looks back to her in the dim, soft light of the averted flashlight, "Lay it on me, I'll do my best. No promises."

That gets a nervous chuckle. "I don't know how it's the same thing.. since well.. I've never had sex. Nothing to go by.." Claire studies Cardinal for a moment and then looks back at her cards. "I'm just… Magnes is dropping hints like crazy." Pulling one of the cards out she moves the flashlight so that she can get a better look. Putting it back she continues. "Before he got shot at that the thing… he told me he's been talking about it with his shrink." She grimaces, her nose wrinkling a bit. "She's been doing the whole sex ed thing. " The words are almost groaned out. "He went on about the…. some of it." In the darkness, her cheek warm in a blush.

"Okay, okay…" Cardinal brings one hand up, palm flat against the air and fingers spread to ward off any more for the moment, "…so, Magnes wants to fuck you. Are you ready for that, or not? Simple question, there, babe."

"I… don't know." Claire blurts out sounding rather flustered and frustrated, her hand flying up and then dropping again. She sighs heavy, shoulders drooping some. "I just don't know. It hasn't exactly been on the top of my to do list. I mean.. I thought I was.. but when I'm around him….. I mean.. " She trails off looking embarrassed. "I don't know…" She groans, head dropping to thunk on her little drawer of cards.

The hand in the air rolls in a 'carry on' gesture, fingers circling to encourage her, "Go ahead, continue the statement. When you're around him…?" An expectant lift of Cardinal's eyebrows.

"…I just am not sure.. that's who I want for my first time. He's a virgin too you know?" Claire finally finishes the statement softly, heading coming up again, "I feel like total crap for feeling that way.. He's great, I really like being around him.. He's cute, funny, and a great kisser…. I know he's got it in him to do great things." Her head wobbles back and forth slowly with indecision. "Things get heated, but I just can't let myself go that last step."

"Then you're not ready," Cardinal states firmly, his hand dropping down from the air to rest on the floor beside him again, both brows arching upwards upon his forehead, "Just tell him that, and deal with it. Or else go find someone to bang like a jockey rides a stallion and then go back to teach him how it goes." He grins, shameless as usual.

She glances at Chardial with a small smirk, "Well… He can tell I'm not.. He says he'll be patient, but that is not the first time I heard it." Claire plays with a bent corner of a reference card. "Every relationship I've had has gotten to this point." Flashlight on her lap again, she sets her hands behind her and leans back a bit. "I don't want another one to fail cause I have a hang up about sex. Part of me is like.. just do it and get it over with, but.." Her head drops back so that she can look at the ceiling, "God.. I feel like a school girl.. and I'm twenty. I should be past all this."

"I hope you're not looking at me," notes Cardinal with a hint of amusement in his voice, both brows arching upwards, "I don't think anyone'd approve of that, after all…" He shrugs one shoulder, admitting, "It's entirely your choice, Claire. Don't let anyone pressure you until you're ready."

Her head comes up and she straightens, giving him a funny look. "Uh… no." Claire says flatly, drawing out the 'no', her brows furrowing a bit. "I mean no offense… I mean.. your good looking and all, but I don't exactly see you that way." She gives him a small smile after that and shakes her head. "No.. I just… I don't know what I expected to get out of talking to someone about this." Her fingers continues along the cards and she pulls one out. She offers to him and says, "Thanks for listening to me, at least. I — still don't know what to think. I don't know.. Your probably right, but I like him… peer pressure sucks."

A grin's flashed back at that flat 'no' to Cardina;s teasing words, noting dryly, "Good, because I certainly don't see you that way, Red." A subtle, teasing hint of when they first met, that brief nickname. "Hey, I never said my advice was good, hell, I lost my virginity to a hooker," he admits, shoulders rolling in a shrug, "I'd keep it in your pants for now, babe, until you feel actually ready."

"Yeah yeah.. keep reminding me how we first met. I'm never going to live that down. I still can't face what's-his-name without turning bright red." Claire rolls her eyes and grins. She holds her arm further, leaning over a bit, waving the card with the name of a solar power book on it. "Go find your book." There is a serious amount of amusement in her voice. "And thanks."

"Ah, thanks." The card's taken, and Cardinal glances over it before rocking himself forward, and then rolling easily up to his feet, dusting himself off. "…oh, and if he pressures you on it? Let me know and I'll go remove some of his nonessential body parts. Or if he actually forces the issue, then I'll remove his essential ones."

"I don't get the impression he will, but if he does I'll make sure your the first to know." Putting the drawer aside, Claire pushes herself up onto her feet as well. Making sure the flashlight is still pointed away she smirks. "Mostly cause I know you'd do it, not just say you will." She takes a deep breath and lets it out slowly. "I feel better." She states confidently, before leaving him to his book finding.

"Good." A smile's flashed, knife-edge in the darkness, "Besides. I still think you could do better." That said, Cardinal heads back into the stacks, whistling a merry little tune that bounces off the walls of the hall.

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