Becareful What You Say To Him


cardinal_icon.gif claire2_icon.gif magnes_icon.gif

Scene Title Becareful What You Say To Him
Synopsis As Claire and Magnes get ready for another date, Cardinal shows up. He has a warning for Claire and a something he needs her to do.
Date August 10, 2009

The Verb Roof

This is a flat roof, the surface grey concrete, which covers a building with enough space for sixteen apartment units on each floor along with elevators, stairwells, and maintenance areas at the center. It can be reached by an elevator and/or staircase near the right edge, a large freight elevator just back of the center, and stairwells centered on front and back of the building. The back left corner holds the large machinery needed for climate control of the interior. Discreet cameras placed all around the edge monitor the roof.

Near the elevator and stairs from the penthouse below is a pair of picnic tables and a sophisticated grill for cooking outdoors and eating when the weather permits. It's covered by an open air tent of sorts for shelter when rain and snow come.

The right front corner, overlooking 4th Street, has a sturdy wooden structure ten feet back from the edge. Here there are outlets for plugging in amplifiers and other electrical devices should Cat choose to come up here and make music. It has a set of glass doors which can be folded aside to allow approaching the edge and closed to protect against weather.

The front left corner features four each of small apple and cherry trees with garden chairs here and there around them, a number of sunflowers, tomato plants, potatoes, carrots, onions, peas, and various other plants chosen for their appearance in pots or planters large enough to hold them. Someone with access to the roof likes to garden, and has been doing so at any chance.

It's a little later in the evening, and thanks to a certain bullet wound, Magnes has had a few extra hours a day off from the academy (stitches getting ripped would suck). Just as instructed by Claire a few days prior, he's dressed in a way that's most comfortable to him; a pair of comfortably loose blue jeans, the Batman t-shirt she bought him, of course his skates, and even a pair of shuron glasses with his hair neatly combed back.

From the roof she'd already see a figure jumping from building to building in the distance, and when he clears the last roof, he spreads his legs out, pushing off a water tower with his hands to launch himself over at her. "Claire!" he excitedly exclaims, stopping in a skid across the roof.

Yes, this is the very definition of showing off.

Wearing a touch more comfortable clothing, A pair of loose jeans, held up with a belt and a tank top, Claire waits on the roof like always waiting for Magnes' to show up. Watching him jump roof to roof, she can't help smile a bit with amusement. Turning as he lands behind her, she chuckles and states the obvious. "Show off." Those two words sound like an accusation and amusement at the same time. Her smile wides a bit more as she says, "Hey, Magnes." She nods to the shirt and her smile brightens even more, "happy to see you wearing that. Guess that means you like it, huh?"

He's also wearing a rather old beat up black backpack, which seems to be stuffed with something as he pulls it off. "I think it's the first gift I've ever gotten from a girl, I mean, other than Abby's muffins and stuff. And it's probably the most thoughtful gift I've ever had period." Magnes smiles down at the shirt, then looks up at her, cheeks just a tad flushed. "So, yeah, I like it. I got something for you too, but uh, I wanted to ask you a question. I feel totally stupid asking this, but what's your last name?"

Claire seems rather pleased with herself at his reaction."Well good. I wanted you to know that being a geek isn't a bad thing. I had a friend once that was.. in high school. He was a good guy." Course he wasn't into girls…. The question about her last name makes her stumble a bit. "I — ah — " she doesn't want to lie, she really doesn't, but he seems to know about her life.. he thinks she should be a supermodel by now. Looking away she asks nervously, "Why do you need to know?" She winces at her own words, 'Great Claire… way too go.' See even an ex-cheerleader has those awkward moments.

"I, well, I guess I don't, but…" Magnes awkwardly rubs the back of his neck, possibly trying to determine if this is normal behavior for a girl. "I'm not trying to pry or anything, I was just, well, curious. Is it silly or something? You really don't have to tell me, but I would like you to at least promise that I'll eventually know."

The shadow of a bird flits across the rooftop's rough surface, circling once before vanishing within Magnes's own shadow where it's cast beside him. An unnotable event, save that there are no birds in the sky at the moment to eclipse the sun's light. Fortunately, he's found that not many watch the skies so closely.

Taking a deep breath, Claire looks back up at Magnes, her expression apologetic. "I promise. When the time is right, I will tell you." Hands slip into the pockets of her jeans and she gives her lips a nervous lick, teeth catching her lower lip for a moment. "I just…. well…. your opinion of me might change." she glances down at her feet, the bird shadow getting a quick glance, before it's quickly dismissed. "For now, let me enjoy our time?" She glances up again Magnes again, her expression a small plea for understanding, "Okay?"

"I could say the same, about your opinion of me changing if you knew something about me. I think we're in some really screwed up Romeo and Juliet situation, that's just the feeling I get." Magnes slowly approaches her, taking a deep bold breath, then moves to wrap his arms around her waist. It's a bit awkward, suggesting that he's not used to it, but he quite obviously wants to comfort her. "When you're ready to tell me, I'll tell you, then we can both decide if we still like eachother. But, let's get to know each other, the real people, before we start exchanging secrets that could get in the way of us really knowing."

There are days that a certain shadow feels like the entire city's buried in Shakespearean drama; this is one of them, as he hides within the shadow of the younger man. For the time being, however, Cardinal doesn't disturb the pair, merely listening and watching.

There is a small chuckle from Claire, "Okay, not the best example," she murmurs as he steps close, her hands come out of her pockets to rest on his chest, " They killed themselves in the end." She can try.. but seriously, not the route she wants. "But yeah," she says soft, eyes studying him a small slightly skewed smile on her lips. " I think getting to know each other is best first. Might not make the truth seem so bad." She hopes anyhow. Her hands pat his chest and her smile brights a bit more. "So. What did you have planned for us? You said you had an idea."

"Oh, yeah, I did get you something. While I'm getting this out, I uh, have this question. See, I never went to high school, and I've always wondered, what's up with the base system? I mean, like first, second, third base, stuff like that. And is there a home run?" Magnes, obviously talking about kissing and such, sounding genuinely curious as he hunches down and starts unzipping his bag, pulling out a smaller plastic bag to remove a nicely decorated red box. "I thought we could go skating." And, judging by the box, they're not exactly cheap skates. And no, the person writing this didn't realize the pun until he wrote this sentence about not noticing the pun.

"A home run, Varlane," drawls a voice from those shadows, a hollow and echoing stir from the rooftop's ambient corners, "Would be fucking the girl - generally on the first date for a 'home run', although it's not a precisely defined system by any means. Schoolyard systems tend to be fairly flexible in their terminology."

Brows lift high on her head as Claire steps back some so that she can get to his pack. She starts to answer Magnes, when someone else seems to do that. Of course, the mention of home run, makes the young womans cheeks color some. Glancing around for the source she says sounding a touch annoyed, "A 'home run' on a first date, gets you a not so nice label in school." her eyes narrow a bit, "Even though its a myth, some people would say that cheerleaders give it up on the first date."

"I think I'd remember if you gave it up on the the first date." Magnes says with his own color in his cheeks, but then he realizes… Cardinal is spying again. He gently pushes the box to her, allowing it to float in her direction, then he suddenly turns around and steps on his shadow, causing hairline cracks to appear from his foot, stretching out to the very edges of his shadow. Of course he doesn't realize that you need strong enough gravity to bend light to be able to affect a shadow, but, he tries anyway. "Stop spying on me. Have you been following me or something? That's a great tactic for approaching someone who already has trouble trusting you." he says with a touch of sarcasm, but appears to be very serious business right now.

The cracks spread out across the rooftop's surface across the man's own shadow, and another peels away from it; swirling across the roofing's tiles until the silhouette of a person is cast there as if a third stood unseen with them. "Don't flatter yourself," Cardinal replies in that hollow-rasp of voice that his shadowself speaks with, tainted with its own sarcasm, "This is just happenstance… if I were following you, you'd never know it."

"No.. I most certainly didn't." Claire assures with a small smile." And I am certainly not easy." When the box reaches her, she grabs it out of the air and holds it against her chest as she watches the shadow move. It takes a moment, but then the voice clicks in her head, "You got your ability back?" She asks without thinking, her voice drops into a murmur. "Damn. You all have such cool abilities." She reaches out to put a hand on Magnes' shoulder to stop him before he does anything else to the shadow man, "Actually, I think he's here to see…. someone else."

"I know him, he did save me once, but sneaky shadows make me suspicious. And I'm sure your ability is just as cool, I'm totally betting on prehensile hair, or something that makes you kick really well, 'cause, well, the thighs." Magnes off-handedly compliments, hiding the redness of his cheeks by simply not looking back. Of course his bashfulness is always apparent in his tone, and hiding his face is useless. "But, I'm glad you're alive at least, Xiulan seemed worried the last time I saw her."

"I was having a bit of trouble with a Petrelli… the matter's been handled, fortunately. It's good to know that someone was worried about me, at least," drawls the shadow-man.. then a pause, and sharply he notes, "You don't need to know the details of anyone's ability, Varlane. Not with the Company you've been keeping of late. I thought you knew better."

Claire's cheeks redden a touch at Magnes' comment on the thighs, "Nothing that great, trust me, " she murmurs as she watches the shadow, only to glance away from the mention of a Petrelli being a source of trouble. It was her grandfather after all, even if Cardinal made the old man a puddle of goop. "Is there a reason your here?" she asks the shadow suddenly. Last thing she needs is him giving away who she is. The box is clutched even tighter to her chest in worry.

"No one's changed my ethics or who I am, and they never will. Anything that Claire tells me is between me and her, and you can't even begin to imagine the situation I'm in, so don't pretend you know everything, especially my motives and character." Magnes is rather defensive, suddenly walking over to zip his backpack, then holds a hand out for Claire. The last thing he needs is Cardinal giving away who he works for. "Let's get out of here."

"I don't need to know your motives or character. I just need to know those of the people you work for…" A rough, hollow snort in the shadows, "Be careful what you tell him, Claire. As much as Varlane's a trustworthy sort, and I honestly don't think he'd hurt you purposefully, he's also far too trusting in who he tells things to… and where he places his loyalties."

Eyes move between the shadow and Magnes, Claire's expression confused and a touch worried. Who the hell's word does she take in this. Nails press indents into the side of the box, her head shakes a bit and she glances down at the roof. "Look… Why are you here?" She asks of the shadow again. She doesn't press for any more information, though a part of her is worried now, very worried. She's been in so many situations…. it's hard to know who to trust. Not to mention… who is she to talk, she's holding back from him too.

"I'm getting an investigation degree, do you honestly think I don't know how to filter information yet? I don't even think I'd have survived this last month if I didn't. And as far as my loyalties go, loyalties and employment are two different things, you should remember that, and stay out of my business, Cardinal." Magnes seems to be getting genuinely upset, clinching his fists as he looks from Claire to the shadow. "Whatever you think about my situation, it's something I chose because I didn't think I had any other choice. In all honesty, I didn't have another choice. Not everyone can be bad boys breaking the law and hiding from the police."

"There's always a choice, Magnes," the shadow replies, long and slender lines drawing up from its limbs like strings attached to a shadowy hand that forms above, half-up the edge of the wall and nearly unseen, "We dance as we're told…" Then they vanish, and the 'shadow' crumples into an amorphous ball, "…or we cut the strings. But at least we can choose whose tune we dance to."

"You mean well, Varlane. It'll break your heart all the worse when you realize the truth. I'll talk to you later, Claire, I have something for you." The shadow spills back over the rooftop, fading against the door leading to the stairwell.

"Both of you just stop." Claire hisses suddenly, she steps in front of Magnes, sending a glare at the wall, before turning to look up at Magnes. "Look. I don't care about that okay. Just.." As Cardinal starts to leave, his words grab her attention and there is a touch of alarm. Crap he's leaving. An arm pulls free of the box and she holds up her hand in a stopping signal. "Wait… hold on." She calls after Richard, she's not about to let him leave yet.. She's been waiting after all. Turning back to Magnes, she gives him an apologetic look. "You.. You should go. I'll call you tonight." She gives him a small little smile, one of those cute ones girls give when they need the guy to leave, but don't want to piss them off. " Promise. And then we can reschedule… whatever we had planned. Okay?"

"This whole thing is going to end with you hating me." Magnes suddenly decides, after the entire Cardinal exchange, tone suggesting that he's just realized what he said. "But yeah, alright, you can call." he says rather defeatedly, beginning to slowly lift off into the air, giving the shadow a very scornful look.

The shadow spreads up across the door, the silhouette of a figure standing arms folded from the outline of it. "That's always been your problem, Varlane," observes Cardinal in dry, hollow tones, "You assume too much… and you're not very good at deduction. Or listening. Take care of yourself, and keep an eye on your new… friends."

A hand darts out to grab at the front of that Batman shirt as Magnes starts to float away. Not caring for the moment if the shadows might be watching, she pulls him down enough for her to kiss him. Enough of one to hopefully leave him in a daze. Her face still close to his, she gives him a soft smile and whispers. "I'll call you." Then she lets go of his shirt so that he can keep floating and turns to the shadow, she gives the shadow a smug little smile as she waits for the younger man to leave.

The daze Magnes goes into causes him to fly in the way that a drunken person might fly; very badly. He wobbles and just keeps floating back, bumping into that water tower on the next roof over. He doesn't say anything, he just, well, leaves, with a pretty goofy smile.

There's no words from the shadow until the gravitokinetic's departed the rooftop— and then a sigh hisses like static from the shadowy figure. "I actually like the kid," admits Richard Cardinal, one hand breaching the darkness before the rest of him steps free of it in a ripple of monochrome becoming polychrome, "But my god, if there's another person in the world with less fuckin' common sense than him, I've never met him. He's going to get himself killed— or, more likely, get someone else killed— one of these days."

The grip on the box relaxes a bit once Magnes is gone and Claire sigh a bit. "Seems alright to me." Her chin tilts up a bit in defiance. "If a little to trusting. I'm surprised he didn't push more for my last name." She glances down at the box still in her arms and back up again. "What's up?" a blond brow arches and she smiles a bit, "I just kinda blew off my date. I hope it's something good."

"You do know," Cardinal observes in dry tones, shrugging a duffle bag off his shoulder and giving it a light toss over to her— it's a big heavy, "That he's with the Company, right? I'm guessing he's just been told what he wants to hear, but they're the ones he's tossed his hat into the ring with. I guess he thought it was preferable to a life on the run after trashing half've fucking Tokyo."

It's a bit awkward of a catch, since Claire is still holding the box. She lowers herself to a kneel, so that she can set both to the ground before they slip out of her fingers, and they are trying. She moves to heft up one end of it and reaches for the zipper, before what he says sinks in. Her head snaps up. "Him?!?" Literally, Claire can't picture this. It doesn't click. She points a finger behind her vague and gives it a little wave. "Magnes… Him? Are you certain? He — totally doesn't seem the part." Her dad it was a surprise too. But Magnes… he doesn't seem to have a deceitful bone in his body.

"No, he doesn't, does he…?" Cardinal's sunglasses-guarded gaze trails over the rooftops in the direction where the young man flew off, his head shaking then before he looks back to her with a wry smile crook'd up at one corner of his lips, "Just another poor bastard who's fallen victim to propaganda, that's all he is. He wouldn't hurt you, but— " There's always a but, "— he might tell people dangerous things without realizing it."

Her own head turning to look where Magnes has gone, "Damn it.. " Claire sighs heavy, turning back to Cardinal, with a small roll of her eyes. "You'd think having a father in the Company for so many damn year, I'd be able to pick one out of the crowd." She finally reaches down to open the duffel bag, curious about what's in it. "And you know if figures, every time I try to have a somewhat normal life, it bites me in the ass."

There is, inside the duffle bag, a Mossberg 590 shotgun and two boxes of ammunition carefully stowed away, wrapped in some old t-shirts for padding so they don't rattle around too much. So it may take a little digging to realize what's inside. "We can rest when we're done," Cardinal replies with a faint snort of breath to the latter, "As for your father— he was in the Company?" His brow furrows a little, "I thought you were Nathan's daughter."

There is a little look that passes over Claire's face when she sees the shotgun. Must like a kid who sees a long lost pet returned. She runs fingers over it and slowly pulls it out of the bag. "I — " She looks really floored that he did that. Looking up at him, Clare gives him a soft smile. "Thanks Richard." she cradles it in her lap and takes a deep breath. "I am…Nathan's daughter, but I was also adopted. I don't know if the name means anything to you… " Her head shifts to the side a bit as she studies him, gauging his reaction to the name… "Noah Bennet?" Head of the Ferrymen "I was given to him as a child, by some of the Company founders to raise when my mom… Meredith Gordon supposedly blew herself up."

Her gaze drops to the shotgun again as she continues, "So I had a Company man as a father, my father Nathan thought I was dead… well, until I found my real mother." Her eyes roll up to look at Cardinal and gives him a small smile. "I'm a Petrelli.. But my legal last name is Bennet. Noah use to be Company." Her smile falls and she looks less then happy as she adds. "Course, if it benefited him and what he thinks is right he'd probably go back again."

"I haven't heard the name," admits Cardinal, his expression softening a bit at the story… head shaking just a little, he admits, "At least you'd family when you were growing up. I just had the orphanage, the occasional foster family— anyway— " The ex-con steps along over to the building's edge, one foot lifting to rest on the ledge, one arm folding to rest on his thigh as he leans forward to look down towards the street below, murmuring, "So what's your whole feelings on Nathan, anyway? He acknowledge you at all, or just keep you brushed off to the side?"

"Nathan?" Claire asks looking curious at the question. Thinking about how to answer, Claire stuffs the shotgun reluctantly back in the duffel bag. She doesn't move from her spot, but shifts a bit so that she can look at the shadow man. "I — haven't seen him in person since he — Well, it's been a really long time." Her expression saddens a bit and she shrugs, trying to make it like it's no big deal. Her voice is a bit flat as she admits softly, "I think he cares about me. I am his first born, but I think he only shows it when it's politically convenient."

"A politician to the core…" A sigh whispers past Cardinal's lips, his eyes closing briefly, though inwardly he smiles just a bit. It makes it easier, this, at least a little bit. "I'm not entirely certain that the man sitting in the White House is the… same as the one you know," he says after a silent moment, glancing over to her finally, "You know about the— time travel thing that happened at Moab?"

"To the very core." Claire affirms, climbing to her feet, "I read about it in Cat's files, yeah. I was…. locked away in Pinehearst at the time. Guest of my grandfather. I was suppose to help Hiro get Peter out of there." She moves to sit on the ledge near him, head tilted back to look up to him, "What do you mean it's not the same guy? It looks like my dad… sounds like my dad… but isn't my dad?"

"It is," admits Cardinal, speaking slowly as if to figure out exactly how to phrase it, "But… it's the Nathan Petrelli of ten years from now. I think." A hint of frustration as he admits, "I'm not sure, but he's following the agenda of the fucking time travellers, but since they're the same person, just ten years separated — how the fuck do you tell someone apart from themselves?"

Claire tilts her head a bit, eyes narrowing at his explanation. "So… there are two of them in this one. One is ten years older?" She looks a bit conflicted a hand moving to comb through her long blond hair. "Not sure myself. Thought I would think just the fact he's doing what the time travelers wanted…" She trails off for a moment and then adds. "Okay, I see your point. You don't want to accidentally 'remove' the wrong Nathan."

At that, Cardinal exhales a snort of breath that's just a bit amused. "I'm not planning on going down in the books as a presidential assassin of any type," he states wryly, rubbing one hand at his temple, "However, if he is… I need to talk to him." She's regarded for a long moment, before he asks, "Do you think you can… get in touch with him? Convince him to talk to you on a secure and untapped line?" By 'you' he of course means 'him'. A little bait-and-switch phoning never hurt anyone though, right?

That makes Claire's brows lift high on her head, "I — am not sure he would take my call.. It has been a really long time." Head tilting down a bit, she considers his question, Staring at the rough surface of the roof for a long moment, a idea clicks. "Yeah…" She says with a smug little smile as her head lift again. "I think I can get a hold of him." A small mischievous smile touches her lips. "I'll see if I can get that call. When I know more, is there a way to get a hold of you?"

"My number's in the bag," Cardinal's head tilts in the direction of the duffle, "In the outside pocket, there's a few numbers and an address— mine's the one on the top, written in red." Of course. "Just give me a call, if you can set it up." He glances back over the roofs, asking then, "So how're you doing here, anyway?"

Unzipping the indicated pocket, Claire slips out the paper and gives it a once over. "Okay." she murmurs softly. "It's a place to stay really, until I can get on my feet." Dying of a killer cold and being locked away for a time, kinda messes thing up. "Cat offered me a job looking into and getting to know musicians. One named Sable. Its… and odd job. " She frown a bit and then shrugs. "It's something at least." the paper is tucked into the duffel bag again and she sighs a bit. "I once told a friend that I would never go to Pheonix or join them. I feel a bit like I broke some kind of sacred pact being here, but didn't have anywhere else to go really.”

"They're good people," admits Cardinal, "They mean well, but they can't decide if they're revolutionaries or a social club for the Evolved…" A faint smile twitches to his lips, and he pushes away from the rooftop's edge, straightening, "I'll have to see what I can do, then. Give me a call if you can get a hold of Nathan."

Pulling the dufflebag on her shoulder and arms around the box Magnes gave her, Claire stands nodding a bit. "Yeah, I've always been a get in there and get the job done kind of girl. I don't sit on my thumbs and wait very well. There is some really nasty stuff out there and it needs to be taken care of not debated about." She takes a deep breath and lets it out slowly, head shaking slowly her eyes dropping to the box, "Anyhow. I'll see what I can do. No guarantees though."

A hand moves to rest on the duffel bag, giving it a pat. "Thanks for the shotgun. I've felt odd without my old one." She moves to go up on tiptoes and give him a chaste kiss on the cheek, "Seems I owe you more and more." She gives him a sly smile, as she steps back. "Take care Richard, I've got to go call a boy. I think him and I need a long talk." Her smile falls a bit, as she admits. "Hopefully he won't think less of me being this Claire he read about in a comic book."

"Just be careful what you tell him," Cardinal says in serious tones, looking back at her with a gaze unreadable through the shades he's wearing once she steps back from that light kiss to his cheek, "Not that he'd tell someone something on purpose, but…" A shake of his head, and he turns to head for the door, his form darkening with every step as though an eclipse fell specifically upon him, "…just be careful, babe. There's still work to be done."

And then he's a shadow, and he's gone.

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