Can You Keep A Secret?


cat_icon.gif quinn_icon.gif

Scene Title Can You Keep A Secret?
Synopsis Cat sounds Quinn out.
Date July 13, 2010

Gun Hill Roof

Situated atop the Gun Hill apartment building, five stories above street level, the rooftop of the tenement building overlooks the Bronx's gritty urban landscape. A single stair access leads out onto the smooth concrete rooftop surrounded by a three foot high red brick wall with a masoned top. Ventillation pipes and a chimney that connects to the singular fireplace down in the basement rises up from the concrete rooftop, though the chimney's old brick is crumbling and weathered.

A pair of old sun-bleached folding lawn chairs are situated out on the roof along with a plastic cooler, while white sacks of loam and soil are set next to large lengths of scrap wood, a box of nails and a few carpentry tools; a project in the works.

She's on a mission, out here in the Bronx. Not quite sure which apartment the target resides in, not finding Colette, Tamara, or Tasha at home or on the roof, Cat forges ahead without even so much as a photograph. That's not to say she's entirely unprepared or unarmed, however. She knows the subject is three things: Irish, female, and a singer. So she sets up on the roof, unpacking the red Fender Strat and plugging it into a portable miniamp. One of the lawn chairs is also unfolded and made use of, a clean one which won't soil the shorts she's wearing. Her torso features an old U2 concert tee, and atop her head is a wide-brimmed hat. A short time is spent tuning up.

Then she begins to play, volume set just loud enough to carry faintly inside the building and possibly draw attention. It's a traditional Irish tune she dug up sheet music for, adapted to the electric guitar and played in a rock style.

It doesn't take long for Quinn to hear the sounds of the guitar as she wanders up the stairs of Gun Hill, the music catching her ears and interests at the same time. There were only two people she knew played guitar in the building, and she'd already seen Sable today. Magnes… well, if he'd learned to play anything like that, she was going to have to give him a big hug when she found him, because damn that was awesome. It's pretty clear that the sound is coming from up, so like a puppy who smells something delicious cooking, Quinn follows it with rapt attention to its source, pushing out her way to the roof with a curious expression.

When her eyes settle on Cat, her head tilts and her curiosity only grows. A smile forms as she steps fully out into the open, her yellow skirt a bright contrast to the cloudy sky and surroundings. "Oh, sorry," she says, even as she approaches the woman, her Irish accent already notable. "I heard you playin' from inside an' was curious, I didn't know someone else played in the building." A brief pause, and then a sheepish laugh. "Not interruptin' anything, am I?"

The guitarist, whose target has wandered into her trap, looks up at the sound of that voice and studies the source. Irish and female, Cat notices, but still no name. There could be more than one Irish-voiced woman in the area, though unlikely. A thing which can be cleared up in short order. Fingers continue to work her instrument's strings and frets expertly, suggesting she may have some years of experience with it. But what might be the most surprising discovery is she's playing this tune without any sign of sheet music anywhere in view.

She doesn't answer the question with words, letting a shake of her head suffice to say no, not interrupting, and a nod toward the surface be an invitation to sit and enjoy.

Quinn regards the other musician with curiosity for another moment, before returning her nod. Looking around, she finds another piece of lawn furniture, taking the utmost care to make sure the collected dirt and general dirtiness is more or less bushed away before she plops lazily down into it. Arms fold across her midsection, and she watches Cat attentively, somewhat enraptured in watching her play with a smile on her face. Her foot taps along on occasion, head swaying a bit, She doesn't say much of anything, instead choosing to wait until the other woman finishes before interrupting more.

It's a span of just a few minutes before the piece is finished and her fingers go still, a grin spreading across the guitarist's face. Cat's eyes settle on the Irishwoman, a four-word question being floated. "Liked that, did you?" Silence, then, for a few seconds more, broken by verbal observation. "You sound Irish, chica."

"Quite a bit!" Quinn enthuses in first reply, laughing once Cat's observation is voiced. "Aye," she begins, for once entirely intending to play to stereotype. "Not hard t' guess from the accent, I figure?" She sits up a bit in her chair, eyeing the guitarist for a moment. "I didn't realise there was another musician in the building. Always a pleasure t' meet one." Her hand extends, a friendly smile on her face. "Quinn. Where'd you learn somethin' like that? Not many people go out of their way t' learn Irish songs these days, much less on an electric guitar."

"Glad you liked it," Cat replies with the grin spreading. There's an act afoot, but her reaction to having an appreciative audience isn't part of it. "I saw the sheet music recently, and made a few adjustments in my head so it'd sound good on guitar and rock." Did she just say saw the music, instead of working to learn it? Still no sign of anything on paper nearby. "I like to improvise sometimes."

Leaning forward, the poised woman extends her own right hand and shakes once, then releases. Warm skin, smooth and soft with no indication of having any kind of roughness in her life. Manicured nails kept short, sans polish. There are, however, calluses on her fingertips which testify to years of guitarism. Her grip, also, isn't what one might expect from a woman. It has some strength to it, without being crushing or painful.

"Name's Cat."

Quinn gives a quizzical look, her head tilting again. "Geez, I wish I could learn somethin' new that quickly," she remarks. There's no real disbelief in her voice, she's clearly taken what Cat said to not mean exactly what it was supposed to. The shake is returned in kind, Quinn's own imprint of having spent years playing several instruments noticeable, her grip less firm and more gentle than Cat's.

"Pleasure t; meet you, Cat. I like t' improvise to, just not terribly often on guitar," she confesses with a shrug. "But what you played sounded right good, so I'd say it worked out for that."

"Can you keep a secret, Quinn?" Cat asks, letting an impression of being mildly worried, a bit shady, come over her features. "I'm one of those people they call Evolved. I learn things really fast, see. But I'm not registered, the Linderman Act is scary. Too many rumors of people disappearing if they obey the law, and I'm worried they'll think I'm dangerous because I remember all I see. Put my face and all my data on that website for everybody to find. Get the Triads and every mobster in New York out to kill me because I might see something and remember it when most wouldn't."

Quinn arches an eyebrow, looking somewhat surprised by the sudden frankness Cat presents. But after a moment, a smirk crosses her face. "Well, that explains that!" she says with a laugh, leaning back. "Yeah, I can keep that under m' hat. Don't worry a thing about that, Cat. Rememberin' everything, that sounds…. like something that'd come in handy." A shrug follows, Quinn settling into her lawn chair. She doesn't sound or seem at all uncomfortable, neither by Cat's admission, or the strangeness of telling such a thing to someone she just met.

"An' don't worry 'bout not being registered. It's not like I'm gonna run out an' tell someone. Not my business, you know? Should be you choice, not someone else's." She nods confidently with this assessment. "I'm registered," she remarks after a moment. "But only because I have dream a' making it big someday, an' it seemed like the smart thing t' do at the time." She wrinkles her nose, and for the first time in the conversation, she looks a little uncomfortable. "Not so sure 'bout that with things I hear these days, but… you know."

Relief settles over those features as Cat hears the reply, nodding from time to time. "Glad to hear that, Quinn," she states, "really. But…" the concern surfaces again, "what do you hear? Making it big, that's a good dream to have. I mean, if you're talented and willing to work hard, what's gonna get in your way?" Eyes rest upon the former resident of Eire, the reply waited for, facade of concern maintained.

"Eeeeh…" Quinn drawls quietly, rolling her shoulders. "Just… ways of lookin' at the whole thing like I'd never really thought of before, you know? From friends an' the like." Specifically from Ygraine, but she hadn't been the only one who hadn't seemed pleased with the whole concept. "Kinda like 'wow, I didn't realise this could be t' put me down' kinda stuff, I guess. The kind of stuff I try t' not let get to me." Now she's being surprisingly frank. Funny how that works.

Nodding, Cat doesn't reply to what Quinn's just said, finding it vague. Without detail. Lest it seem she's fishing, asking for elaboration is eschewed. For now, at least. Perhaps the Irish one will do so without prompting, and that too is part of the test.

"You play," she quietly observes instead. "What instruments, Quinn?"

"Phew!" Quinn says, a mirthful sense of pride coming to her face, still mixed with a little of that uneasiness from moments prior. "A whole bunch. Violion, piano, bass, guitar… I have a synthesiser too. Set 'em all up in my spare room an' soundproofed the walls. I'm hoping t' have, like… a mini studio kinda of thing." She glances back to the door for a second, and chuckles. "An' turn tables too, if you count DJin' playing. Some folks do."

"Sounds like you were trained as a child," Cat observes with a nod. "Piano, cello, and others for me. Guitar since sixteen, recently balalaika. My parents wanted me to be well-rounded. But they weren't happy when my tastes were more for Anne and Nancy Wilson than Beethoven." Fingers go across the strings and frets briefly, sounding out a single chord, before she requests "Go grab something, come back and we'll play. Which unit are you in, anyway?"

"Heart?" Quinn says with a smile. "I was just listenin' to Dreamboat Annie earlier. Funny, that. Not always m' favourite type of music - a friend likes t' call me more modern, but I certainly do love 'em. Lots a' bands from the 70s I love." She chuckles, and despite Cat's request, Quinn slinks a bit in her chair, a look of consternation on her face before she sits forward. "I don't mean t' pry. Hate t' do it in fact. But, you know… do you think stuff like that really happens? The people disappearin' and all that." She wrinkles her nose, feeling both a bit weird and a bit callous for broaching the subject, but after previous discussions, she was genuinely curious.

"I got into them, along with Pat Benatar and some others like Joan Jett because they're women and they rock. It's too rare to see one of us pick up a guitar and rock, really rock. I was inspired, y'know?" Cat's become more animated while speaking of it, another thing that isn't an act. "Not that I don't like the guys, too. James Page, Eric Clapton, Beatles, Who, Stones, AC/DC, Van Halen… I can enjoy some newer stuff, but the writing just doesn't seem the same quality to me."

Seguing back to topics of greater weight, the woman becomes somber. "I do," she admits. "Can't prove it, and some, even most would say it's insane to buy into things like that, call it just rumors, but they can't disprove it either."

"I got into them, along with Pat Benatar and some others like Joan Jett because they're women and they rock. It's too rare to see one of us pick up a guitar and rock, really rock. I was inspired, y'know?" Cat's become more animated while speaking of it, another thing that isn't an act. "Not that I don't like the guys, too. James Page, Eric Clapton, Beatles, Who, Stones, AC/DC, Van Halen… I can enjoy some newer stuff, but the writing just doesn't seem the same quality to me."

Seguing back to topics of greater weight, the woman becomes somber. "I do," she admits. "Can't prove it, and some, even most would say it's insane to buy into things like that, call it just rumors, but they can't disprove it either."

Quinn exhales, rather sharply as she leans back again, looking off to the side. "I dunno. That just seems so… outrageous. No offense." She looks back to Cat for a second, tilting her head again. "But, I mean… friend a' mine was talking about how it could be used t' keep people down, you know? More or less, at least, they went int' it a bit more. I've never really agreed with it bein' required, I think it's a person's business, but lately I'm seein' why people wouldn't me too thrilled about it. If somethin' like that were too…" she trails off a bit more, leaning back with an apologetic look.

"I'm… sorry. Didn't mean t' sound so blah. You just kinda… piqued my curiosity a bit."

"I know," Cat replies quietly. This too doesn't require an act. She's seen and dealt with it. Broken people out of prison where some were disappeared to sans crime or even any kind of due process. Knows people now in Brum's hands under the same conditions. To her mind, Quinn certainly says the right things. Observation is applied, to see if there's any evidence of playacting or insincerity, one can't be too careful in her line of work.

If Quinn were to seem insincere, it's incidental and certainly not intended - she speaking genuinely, or at least intending to. "All I do is mess with light," Quinn confesses after a moment. "Hopefully, no one takes any exception with me for anythin' like that." She wrinkles her nose again, sitting up a bit in her seat. Her fingers waggle in front of her for a moment, and with a cough, she raises back to her feet.

"Ah, um. So!" The smile is slow to return to her face, but it does. "Sorry t' derail. Maybe… we can talk more about it when I get back? I admit I'm awfully curious to your thoughts, if you don't mind sharing." A pause, and she smirks. "Should I get m' bass, an acoustic guitar, or an electric?"

"Take your pick," Cat replies, "we can test each other." The grin has returned. "Maybe we'll see if you can sing too." Fingers slide slowly over the instrument in her hands, playing a brief riff. "Bring out your favorite instrument, in fact."

"Oh, I can sing," Quinn replies with both confidence and laughter. "Favourite, then? That should prove interesting." Pushing herself up and out of her seat, Quinn gives a quick nod to Cat before turning and disappearing back inside of Gun Hill, taking enthusiastic steps the entire time.

She waits for Quinn's return, now expecting not just to display her chops with the instrument opposite the Irishwoman's skill, but anticipating her own demonstration of vocal prowess too. Cat's soprano, similar in strength and style to the women she named as influences.

Things seem favorable to the woman's inclusion with the Ferry once she consults and informs to avoid surprises, after Hana reports on the background check and maybe Susan Ball too.

But for the moment Cat's foremost hope is that Robyn Quinn rocks.

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