Brick By Brick


adam_icon.gif tamsine_icon.gif

Scene Title Brick By Brick
Synopsis Tamsine finds an unexpected shoulder to cry on while Adam finds an unexpected recruit for his cause.
Date May 2, 2009

Greenwich Village

In a time that seems long ago, Greenwich Village was known for its bohemian vibe and culture, the supposed origin of the Beat movement, filled with apartment buildings, corner stores, pathways and even trees. There was a mix of upper class and lower, commercialism meeting a rich culture, and practically speaking, it was largely residential.

Now, it's a pale imitation of what it used to be. There is a sense of territory and foreboding, as if the streets aren't entirely safe to walk. It isn't taken care of, trash from past times and present littering the streets, cars that had been caught in the explosion lie like broken shells on the streets nearest the ground zero. Similarly, the buildings that took the brunt of the explosion are left in varying degrees of disarray. Some are entirely unusable, some have missing walls and partial roofs, and all of the abandoned complexes have been looted, home to squatters and poorer refugees.

As one walks through the Village, the damage becomes less and less obvious. There are stores and bars in service, and apartment buildings legitimately owned and run by landlords. People walk the streets a little freer, but like many places in this scarred city… anything can happen. Some of the damage done to buildings aren't all caused by the explosion from the past - bullet holes and bomb debris can be seen in some surfaces, and there is the distinct impression that Greenwich Village runs itself… whether people like it that way or not.

Tamsine sits at one of those popular little bistros that the native New Yorkers all flock to but no tourist ever hears about. The hour is late enough that it's not overly crowded and one can sit and relax with their cup of coffee without feeling like they have to vacate their seat for the next party. The redheaded woman does just that. She sits on the outside patio, one foot on the chair in front of her so that her knee is bent in front of her chest, leaning against the table. She reads a book while sipping once in a while from a large cappuccino cup. She sighs suddenly, and closes the book with a decisive motion: it's one of those self-help books, the title "Career Change: When, How, and Why."

Adam ambles down the streets of Greenwich village like he owns them. He's actually accompanied by a pair of other individuals who look a bit shady. They seem to be discussing something quite in depth. Adam pauses to window shop for a moment and then turns to face something he sees in the window. Across the street is an attractive redheaded woman. A brow is arched as he studies her quietly. He tells the other two something and they shrug and just sort of stand their awkwardly as he steps across the street, barely paying attention to any traffic. He pauses a moment nearby the woman's table before approaching her, "Thinking of a new life, love?"

Dark brown eyes shoot up from her coffee cup to Adam's face as she jumps a little at being addressed so suddenly. She blushes, as redheads are wont to do, and shrugs one shoulder, glancing down at the cover of the book. "A new life… would be perfect. But I think I'm stuck in the one I have, so if I can maybe find a new job, that might have to suffice," she says in a soft voice. "The book's stupid though. Most of them are. Luckily I didn't waste any money on it." She turns the book so he can see the library sticker on its spine.

Adam mms, "Mind if I sit?" he says with a smile, then slips into a chair, "Yeah, I know how that is. Sometimes you're looking for something new to do and you're not even sure how you got where you are, yeah?" he shrugs a moment, "So what kind of job are you loking for?"

Her eyebrows arch as he sits before she says yes or no, but there is something lonely and lost in the darkness of her eyes that would explain why she doesn't protest. "Something … different than what I do now. That's about all I know," she says with a wry smile. "I'm a social worker." She shrugs. "My degrees in social work… it really doesn't open too many doors. So it's either that or be like a cocktail waitress or something since I really don't have too many marketable skills." She offers him a small hand to shake. "I'm Tamsine."

Adam smiles and takes the hand, reaching smoothly across the table as he shakes it gently. He smiles lightly and says, "Well, Tamsine, a pleasure to meet you, I'm Adam." he leans back in his seat, crossing one leg over the other, "Surely you must have some secret passion you dare not say out loud, lest it not come true or seem silly."

She gives him a look like a precocious child might give a department-store Santa when she knows he's a fake. "I don't believe in fairy tales," she says with a shake of her red locks. "I'm a fair musician, but not good enough to make a living at it, and I haven't had a lot of time to practice it in the past several years. I have more time now, but it's too late for a career in that." Pragmatic to a fault, that might describe Tamsine. "What do you do?" she asks, curiously.

Adam considers the woman thoughtfully, "Well." he says, "I wouldn't say it's ever too late to do anything. But people do tend to look at life as if it's one quick episode…" but then, most people don't get to live as long as him. He glances at her and smiles, "Oh, I don't know if there's really a title for it. Let's just say I try and make the world a better place."

Tamsine's eyes narrow a little at the first comment — life is one quick episode, isn't it? Her daughter died at the age of fourteen! And then at the latter comment, she gives a decidedly unladylike snort. "No offense, Adam," she says, "but you're doing a crappy job."

Adam mms, "You're much too young to be so cynical." but he tilts his head a bit, "It's not something one can do overnight. There are.." he pauses, "We'll call them institutions, which are in place in order to make sure things go as poorly as possible. Toppling them doesn't just happen."

"I'm older than I look," she tosses back. Of course, so is he. By many, many more years. "I guess that's true. So how are you planning on toppling them?" she asks curiously, picking up her mug to sip as she stares at him with those dark brown eyes.
Adam gives a smile one might call mysterious before he intones gently, "Brick by brick." and he leaves it at that. His head tilts backwards as if adjusting for a moment to study the woman carefully before he says, "I know you, don't I. I'm good with faces, give me a moment."

She shakes her head. "I don't think so," she says and glances away. There's only one place he might know her face from, even though she tried to stay as far away from the cameras and reporters as possible. "What sort of institutions are you planning on de-bricking?" she asks, tilting her head with more curiosity.

Adam is quiet for several moments, his face blank as he concentrates. At some point he moves, but if it's because he remembers or because he's moved on isn't clear, "Can I tell you a story, Tamsine?" he questions, "It's the story of a place called The Company. A place, perhaps once, started with good intentions, but in the end has become corrupt and foul and dangerous." he leans forward, "This Company likes to monitor and control Evolved. In fact, it's their very secrecy that is responsible for much of the sentiment towards Evolved now. The fear, the hatred, the jealousy.." he pauses, "They tag them, you know, like animals, this company." he pauses gently, "In fact, it's gotten so bad, that I once read a story about thirty six young evolved…" he trails off, not finishing the story. He's quiet and then says in a serious tone, "Brick by brick."

Her face can be read like a book — she's one of those pure souls who doesn't know how to lie or guard her emotions. Her eyes, her expressions move from curiosity to fear to anger — both at the Company and at Adam. "Right. Good luck," she says. "Like I said, I don't believe in fairy tales." Her voice quavers a little as she struggles to seem nonchalant.

Adam leans back a bit, "Well, thank you." he says, "I don't think it'll take luck though, just a lot of steely determination." he's quiet as he considers her quietly, "Sometimes, the simplest answer is the right one." he says, "And sometimes, it really is a complicated conspiracy."

Tamsine watches him and gives a shake of her head. "You can't do it alone. You in some terrorist group or something?" she asks; her accent is definitely native New Yorker, though nothing too brash as she grew up here in Greenwich among educated bohemians. "I mean… it's a noble goal and all but here you are talking to a perfect stranger about it like you can trust me. You don't know me from… well, I was going to say Adam, but I guess that cliche doesn't work here," she says with a laugh that doesn't quite make it to her eyes. "You should be careful who you tell about your plans." It's not a threat or an ominous statement — she seems to mean it as advice.

Adam smiles, "Terrorist groups are so passe. We have enough of them here in New York. No, not that." he pauses, "You're right, I should. But I don't. Because they can't stop me." he watches the woman some more, "And frankly, I actually thought we might have some common cause."

Tamsine tilts her head. "I … what in the world could I do?" she says with a shake of her head. She taps the yellow library book. "I'm looking for a new job because I can't… I can't even do the one job I've been trained to do. Protect kids… look out for their best interest. If I could do that, would my daughter have killed herself?" The tears, never far, spring to the surface of those dark eyes so they shimmer in the sunlight. "I've failed at the one most important thing to me in the world, Adam. You don't want my help."

Adam leans forward and slips his hand over Tamsine's, he squeezes it firmly, listening, just the perfect shoulder. "You could.." he says, "If you had known all the facts.." he murmers, "If you had been able to protect your daughter from them…you can't bring her back, but you could help make sure that no one else's child has to suffer the same way. You could even make sure you get your revenge on them."

That red head shakes, waves tumbling about her face as she adamantly denies this. "I didn't know she was Evolved. She kept it from me — if I were a better mother… she would have told me. We always said we'd never have any secrets," she whispers. "And I can't even be angry at her for keeping a secret from me. She never knew that —" she stops suddenly and turns away.

Adam pulls the hand, so Tamsine is at least guided to look towards him. He says to her slowly and in a whispering voice, "She wouldn't have had to hide it from you if it wasn't for them." he says, "It wasn't your fault Tamsine. What could you do, trapped in this world not of your own making.." he leans in slowly, "It's not your fault Tamsine. It's theirs."

"If I'd been honest with her, though…" Tamsine says and gives a shake of her head. "She would have known that it's possible to exist, that it's not the end of the world." She is basically admitting without saying in so many words that she is Evolved too. Not a surprise — after all, it's genetics, right? "I don't think I'm strong enough to fight anyone, Adam," she says, looking up through those shimmering dark eyes.

Adam smiles gently, all Dr. Phil and all. He slips into roles as easily as some people slip into pants. He squeezes her hand again gently and says, "I think you've got more strength than you'd care to admit, Tamsine." he murmers softly. "But even if you believe you aren't.." he leans forward again, "Help me fight them."

She wipes her eyes and the gesture makes her look more like a young teenager than a thirty-year-old woman. "How?" she asks with a shake of her head. "Something more specific than brick by brick, please." A slight smile curves her lips upward at that. Despite her loss, despite her guilt, there is a lightness about her that peeks through the gloom once in a while.

Adam considers this. He's not quite so sure yet, he just thought the bird was fetching, it didn't occur to him he might have found a new recruit, but everything's coming up Adam! At any rate, without letting go of her hand, while massaging her knuckles with his thumb, in fact, he asks gently, "Well, tell me what makes you special Tamsine. Tell me what you felt you couldn't tell others."

She glances around the patio — they are the only souls there; the waiters know her well enough to leave her alone, as she's been a patron of the bistro since she and Lily moved to this block 9 years before. They know of her loss, and only go out once in a while to check if she needs a refill.

"I … how can I be sure I can trust you? What if you're setting me up?" she asks, her brows knitting together. "What if you work for them, and are just trying to find out who might be working against you? How can I know?"

Adam mms at that a bit, still rubbing her knuckles absently. He pauses and murmers, "Well…there's no real way I can give you proof." he says softly. He leans forward, "All you can do is look into my eyes and decide if you think you can trust me or not." his head tilts gently to the left, "Well…do you think you can?"

She looks into his face and her own brows furrow as her dark eyes flicker from left to right, reading his face as if it were a book — as if he were as easy to gauge as she, which of course he isn't. "I … suppose," she says quietly. Foolish woman. "I can … teleport, I guess is the word for it. Only it's more like a door opens to another place. And others can come with me," she says in a whisper.

Adam arches a brow quietly as he listens to her little confession. He's quiet for some moments before he leans in, squeezing her hand again, "Thank you for sharing that with me." he says quietly, "Thank you for trusting me." watching softly, he says, "Can you tell me how to contact you?" he asks.

Tamsine reaches for her purse, finding a pen and one of her business cards. She scrawls a number beneath those given on the card. "That's my cell … don't call the work number," she says with a shake of her head. "I'm not there right now anyway. Taking a leave of absence. But it's government and probably a matter of time before they decide to test us, so I'm not sure I'll be back." She hands him the card.

Adam nods a bit as he says in a serious tone, "I'll take care of you Tamsine." and he will, just so long as he plays his game. He smiles and says, "I will call you, Tamsine. I want to see you again.." he pauses, "Please don't tell anyone else about this…if you must find someone's advice, try and be vague about it…" he looks up, "Is that ok? Can you keep a secret and can I see you again?"

She bites her lower lip, torn between feeling relieved someone wants to take care of her for once, and being outraged that he feels he needs to — after all, she's an independent woman, and has been for the past decade. She nods to his question. "I can keep a secret," she says with a bit of a bitter laugh. "Remember, that's part of my problem." She nods to him. "I won't tell anyone," she promises.

Adam nods a bit, "Good." he squeezes her hand again and stands, "Then I'll see you soon, Tamsine. Thank you for talking to me." he says. "Things are about to change.." and then turns and begins to walk passed across the street to his two men.

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