daphne_icon.gif monica_icon.gif

Scene Title Busywork
Synopsis Daphne teaches Monica about the lay of the land.
Date October 8, 2011

Eltingville Blocks

Fall has made itself felt in Eltingville — especially in the rougher part of town where the Restricted folks live, where the heaters are spotty. For some reason, the people who don't pay for their own utilities (we call those residents "inmates") tend to lose heat more often than those who pay. Funny how that works. This makes the very humble Community Center a more popular spot than it might be otherwise. Even without heat on in the midday, the presence of a few dozen bodies means it's more comfortable than outside or even many of the interiors.

Daphne's sitting at one of the long tables, a cup of coffee wrapped in her hands, which are clad in fingerless gloves. She's reading a newspaper and looking worried, brow furrowed slightly as she stares down at the black and white print. She's been here long enough that her dreads are all but grown out, with only an inch or two at the bottom of some of her still "locked," and the new growth above smooth — though still a very unreal blonde.

It's only been a week and already Monica seems to have settled into a routine. It involves a lot of working out, but it's there. And apparently she seems to have managed to find or trade for a hoodie, because she wanders into the Center wearing a floral print one. It's not black, but it is present, so she's taking it.

When she sees Daphne there, she pushes back her hood and comes over to sit next to her. "Hey, Neighbor. You look disturbed. The coffee that bad?" It's a hopeful question, like it's the coffee and not the newspaper.

"Do you know," says Daphne, pushing aside the paper that's full of bad news — even more so than usual, "None of my neighbors ever see me in my real apartments? Like, they have no idea who their neighbor is." Apartments, plural. "Here, everyone knows who I am." That doesn't sit well with her, it seems, despite the fact she has "match stick hair" as Raquelle would put it, and is wearing bright red sneakers.

"It's terrible," she says, regarding the coffee. "But it's not bad for a personal handwarmer, I guess. How are you settling in?" She turns to look at Monica. "You need anything? I can send Amadeus for anything you need." He's useful that way.

"Is that what I have to look forward to?" Monica groans a little at the idea of giving up the ninja life. Not too many rooftops around here. "Where I was living, you know — before, I barely spoke to my neighbors, my coworkers… I wonder if they've never noticed I'm gone yet." She looks over at Daphne, although her questions seem to stump the mimic for a few moments. "I'll let you know," she says in a tone that can only be considered conspiratorial.

At the mention of being noticed as missing, Daphne's brows knit together and she looks away again. "There's maybe two people who would even notice that I'm not where I should be. One of them hired me for the job I got arrested doing, actually." She doesn't know he'd been missing himself, of course, nor that Monica happens to have that particular contact as a mutual friend. "The trouble with being independent, am I right?" There's a flash of dimples and teeth, but it's fleeting at best. "Amadeus is the pot head who lives in my house. But he's useful. He gets shit I can't, so there's that. I'd be a brunette if it weren't for him." She says this as if it's a tragic fate. "Is your heat out in your place?" she asks, curiously. Maybe they just hate her especially.

"That one will at least notice that you didn't check in after the job, yeah?" Maybe? Monica smiles crookedly as Daphne goes on, "Yeah, it is. But I always liked being independent. Obviously, I didn't do much better with partners, yeah?" Since she is also here. "Amadeus, huh? Sounds like there's at least one pro to having a roomie." Her possible tragic fate gets a wider smile and she shakes her head a little. "My place has the opposite problem. I can't seem to turn it off. Or down. It's baking in there. Er, not in the way your roommate would be excited about. I'm gonna try to fix it, but I need to find some — Oh, some tools! If he could find some, I'd appreciate it."

"Tools. Got it. If not I can probably grab some for you somewhere." The thief is not too afraid to steal anything from better-off neighbors — she's just afraid of trying to get past the robots. "He should, but he probably thinks I'm in Alaska. Or dead," Daphne adds, regarding her employer. Fellow prisoners are more trustworthy than any of the people in charge, it seems, and she's not too worried about saying any catch words like Alaska in the busy common center. "Amadeus isn't officially a roommate but he broke into my house and never left. We make do." She actually sounds rather fond of the man. "You alone in there?" The little houses on their street aren't very big — some people have roommates and others don't. "I think any of us who don't might have to share soon, from what the news is saying."

"I might be able to get some better trading going, with some tools. I'm pretty good at handyman stuff. Handywoman. Person." Whichever. Monica seems to have folded Daphne into this trading plan, by her tone. "I didn't think of that. They might assume dead. Oh god, JJ must be freaking out." Whoever that is. She refocuses on Daphne, though, nodding to her question. "Just me so far. And some neighborhood cats. They like the meals here better than I do." And furry friends might be easier than human ones. "That does seem to be the way things are set to go. But, you know. It ain't over till it's over."

"Handy Goddess," supplies Daphne with another short-lived, dimpled grin. The effervescence bubbles up now and then but then falls flat after a moment. Her brows draw together at the mention of a JJ worrying about Monica. "You can call, I think. Is that your boyfriend? I haven't called mine yet. I mean, it'd already been so long it seemed pointless. We kind of have one of those relationships, you know, that seems doomed? So this is just one more thing to keep us apart." She sighs, the breath puffing out her too-long bangs before they resettle. "And if they're putting everyone like me in here… then it's even more pointless." That brings a question to her mind. "You have an ability?" she asks, tipping her head.

"I like that one. I'm gonna put it on my business cards." Monica says, echoing that grin. Hers lingers longer, but then, she's still new. "What? No no, god no. JJ's family. But calling him is… complicated. Maybe I could call someone JJ adjacent." She tilts her head to listen to Daphne's relationship woes, although it's with the sort of puzzled expression of one who doesn't really get that experience. "Well," she ends up saying, "might turn out less doomed than you think. Maybe it'll just take some time to shake out. Worth the wait?" Maybe he is! Before she answers, Monica looks around a bit, like she just wants to check on who's listening. "I do, yeah. Adoptive Muscle Memory. That's what the book calls it."

"Time is an asshole," Daphne says flatly, finally taking a sip of her coffee but looking like she probably wishes she hadn't. Her fingers resettle around the mug, holding it for warmth and maybe something to keep her from fidgeting. Her feet bounce a little under the table, like she can't help but move. "What the heck does that mean? I mean, don't we all have muscle memory?" she says, tipping her head curiously. She doesn't respond in kind because Monica already knows hers, from their brief meeting once upon a rooftop in the city.

"Well — yeah, I guess it is." Monica slumps a bit, because she doesn't have any pep talks for that one. But she folds her arms on the table and leans in a little. "We do. I borrow other people's. If I can watch someone do something, then I know how to do it. Gives me a nice catalogue," she says, tapping her temple, "to get out of all sorts of scrapes." There's a significant look there, because she is the opposite of subtle, even when she tries. Maybe especially when she tries. "How fast can you go, anyway?"

Daphne listens, her head tipping and the short explanation not quite understood. She has questions, clearly, but then so does Monica. "Um. Supersonic. Seven hundred and something? Give or take a little? It depends on a lot of things." She reaches down and scratches at her ankle, where the ankle monitor no doubt is a constant reminder she can't go very far these days. "Can you copy other people's abilities or just… what, anything that takes muscle?" Her brows knit at that. "That's why you're so good at parkour!" she suddenly says, fingers clapping against the mug's sides. "That's good. I was sort of jealous."

"Supersonic? That's awesome," Monica says, and she sits back some, arms folding as her eyes turn toward the cieling. In thought. But she's not totally checked out, because her gaze flicks back to Daphne at the questions. "Not abilites. Just things that take muscle." When the realization hits her, Monica just laughs. Probably louder than most people in here do, but she doesn't seem to mind if they look her way. "Yeah, I skipped to the end. Quick training montage and then there I am, parkouring around the city like I was born to it. But it isn't like running so fast you make a jet look slow."

"I'll put that on my business card," Daphne quips back. "And yet we're both here, now, huh? Some things you can't outrun." Once again, the moment of bubbliness is clouded over by the darker pervading mood. She looks toward the door, perhaps considering the world beyond. "Sorry you got stuck in here. And for a fighting ring? That's not even… I mean, yeah it's illegal, but it's not really like, criminal, you know?" At least not in her definitions. "If you weren't Evolved, they would've let you go with a little slap on the wrist at worst. Looks like you just got here in time to be the welcome wagon for everyone else."

"Yeah, I guess anyone can get nabbed, under the right circumstances." Monica glances to the door, too, but then looks back again. "Blowing off steam. It was kind of stupud. But you're right that if I wasn't… well, I probably wouldn't have even been there if I wasn't Evolved, but that's getting all complicated." She smirks a little, but then gives Daphne a sly look. "We'll see. You know, if you get bored, you're always welcome to come out running with me. We could test your eighty percent, see if it's creeped up any."

"Trust me, I've done dumb things and regretted them. Don't be too hard on yourself," Daphne says, letting go of the mug now that it's cool enough to not do any good. Her hands slip into her pockets instead. "It's something to do. I'm a bit tired of playing video games and staring listlessly out the window." She smiles wryly at that. "Sorry. You probably didn't know you moved in next door to the mopiest speedster in the world, did you? At least my jeans look good on you."

"What I should have done is sit tight, but that's my worst thing. Yours, too, I bet." Monica sighs a little, in a resigned way. "Something to do is key in a place like this. Drive yourself crazy otherwise. No more listless staring." She nudges Daphne a little, "I didn't, but I'll let it go this time. Now, if we ever manage to get our hands on enough ingredients to make the Dawson family cookies and you're still mopey, I'll have to start taking drastic measures."

"Just a little bit," says Daphne, holding up her fingers as if measuring a half an inch. "Sitting tight is not what I'm known for in the least. Drives me bonkers. And I keep getting forced to do it." She sighs, getting up from the bench. "I bet I can wrangle some up. Delia's got a well stocked kitchen. And she feels sorry for me, I'm sure, so she'll give me eggs and sugar if I ask. Besides, that way you can meet more people." She gives a nod to the door, inviting Monica to exit with her. "It'll keep us 'busy.'" She doesn't seem to put that much stake in the 'keeping busy' theory, but it is better than listless staring.

"Me too. It must be catching." And what a terrible bug to catch, too. When Daphne gets up, Monica follows and even brightens when it seems cooking may be on the horizon. "Well, I don't mind an excuse to meet the comminuty, in that case." And she takes the invitation to exit, glancing over the room once more before really commiting. "You'll see. I got miles of ideas for busywork. You won't know what hit you."

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