Doing Paperwork


christine_icon.gif ziadie_icon.gif

Scene Title Doing Paperwork
Synopsis The former police officer encounters the younger police officer in the street.
Date January 24, 2011

Morningside Heights

The early afternoon in this part of Morningside Heights means less people walking the streets. People are done with lunch, and most of them are back in classes, back at work, busily doing something. It also means that one Nocturne Ziadie has a better chance of taking his walk without abruptly running into someone else. A chance at a walk without having someone ask him about the mall, without getting as many strange looks. Just a little bit of peace, and an afternoon walk.

The older man walks slowly, left arm in a sling against his body, leaning on a cane. He's bundled against the cold some, with a wool peacoat over a light blue sweater, and a scarf that matches the sweater underneath it, but no hat. He talks to himself quietly as he walks, and he's not necessarily walking anywhere in particular.

Christine Jackson is also out for a walk today. She's not on duty today. If she were, she'd be stuck behind a desk. She has been since the shooting of Aude. Making her way slowly down the street, purse slung over her shoulder and a warm jacket bundled around her, she glances around every now and then, considering the occasional restaurant and cafe. In the end, though, she just keeps on walking. It's the best way to keep herself entertained and occupied, after all.

Ziadie pauses as he notes Christine walking towards him. And then pauses again as he actually recognises her, and there's a determined shrug of his shoulders nearly invisible underneath his jacket save for that it makes him bite his lip. A moment passes, and he falls into step next to her, for a minute. "Ms Jackson," he says, greeting. Pretty much just greeting, and then walking next to her, matching her pace. He's heard the news, made the connections, and he isn't going to say anything just yet.

Almost not taking note of Ziadie at first, at least not when she's just walking toward him, Christine is a little surprised when there's someone actually walking next to her, saying her name. Jumping a little bit, she glances to the man next to her. "Do I know…?" It takes a moment, but she eventually recognizes the face as a man she…suggested leave school grounds and get some food. Wasn't he the ex-cop? "Umm, hello, sir."
From afar, Remi likes!

Ziadie seems a bit more … coherent, than last Christine saw him, and definitely cleaned up some. The sling his arm is in is new, though, and the cane is … different. "Hey." He matches the young woman's pace, still, and there's possibly a small bit of concern in his face, though he's hidden it as well as he can. So, moderately well. "How're you?"

The sling is noted, definitely. Christine hasn't been too up on the news recently, or she may have realized exactly why his arm was in the sling. What catches her most off guard, however, is being asked how she was. That's not common behaviour among even the seemingly homeless, is it? Especially those she's tried to shoo away from a particular area. "Oh. I'm just peachy. Thank you for asking, sir." If it isn't obvious by the inflections of her voice that she's lying, no doubt Ziadie's ability would keep him more than aware.

Ziadie frowns a moment, though it's not terribly noticeable, and he scans the street ahead of him, lips pursed in thought. ""Course y' are." His tone matches hers. "Jackson," he continues, with a little more concern allowed into his voice, "c'mon." The cane is hooked on his arm that's in the sling, and he steps such as to force her to stop walking, at least for a minute. "You're not fine, and you an' me both know it."

Christine frowns as Ziadie moves to stop her. Her eyes narrow a little bit. "What'd you know about it? Hmmm? How would you know what I'm feeling?" To her, those are more than valid questions. "You don't even know me!" Not really. Except for that one day. "Look, sir, to be honest, how do you really know what you know? Last I saw you, it didn't seem like you were exactly thinking clearly. And now you've got a sling on your arm. That doesn't exactly fill me with the utmost confidence."

Alright, so she's got him there. Ziadie smiles, though, and it's gentle, not taking any offense from the younger woman's slightly hostile words. "I don' necessarily know what you're thinking," he says, "but I was a beat cop f'r fifteen years and a sergeant for twenty, long enough to tell some things about a person." He pauses. "And I do know I know two things. You lost your partner. And losing a partner is hard." He's not going to mention his ability.

Christine crosses her arms and eyes the man. "Okay, so maybe you know a few things." She mumbles, reluctantly. "So, what about it? I lost my partner. She was shot dead." In her arms, no less. "There was nothing I could do about it. Some danged evolved used her ability to cause my gun to be too hot. I couldn't use it. I was forced to watch as she died! I didn't have a choice!" It's definitely obvious she has anger beneath it all, and she's trying her best to keep it under wraps, though she's doing a fairly poor job at it.

Ziadie looks around the street briefly; coffeeshop at 3 o'clock. "An' that only makes it harder." Ziadie's voice is gentle, and he carefully pats her shoulder with his good arm, once. "One way or th' other, you can't change what's happened, and whether there was anything you could do 'bout it or not isn't going to help you now." He's doing his best to stand such that she can't just walk off, while at the same time not trapping her or anything. He pauses.

"'s for the arm," he says, "I fell, dislocated my shoulder." He's telling the truth, too, even if he's not mentioning where he fell, even if mentioning it is a bit of an afterthought.

"Look, sir, with all do respect, I know that there's nothing I can do that could change what happened." Even while Christine says the words, the doesn't exactly sound as if she believes them. There are still a bunch of thoughts running through her head, thoughts of different scenarios. She can't help but wonder if she could have done something differently. And she wonders why Aude, specifically, was targeted to be shot, and not her. The shooter was right there, along with her accomplices. Why didn't they shoot her as well? All these thoughts run through her head. As an afterthought, however, to all that goes through her mind, she glances at the man's arm. "Dislocated?" Well, she supposes that that's a plausible enough story. For now.

"Knowledge and doubt are two very different things," Ziadie responds. He's treading gently in this conversation, as he pauses, some empathy for the younger woman plainly evident on his face, along with that the conversation is quite potentially bringing up memories of his own losses. "And please," he says. "Stop callin' me sir. It's bad enough my room-mate does it, you don't need to." There's a bit of a shrug, though, as if he's trying to push away and hide any hint that under there he might be a real person. "I retired near eight years ago. M'name's Ziadie. Most folk call me that, at least."

"Sounds like something my philosophy teacher, back when I was in college, would say." Christine responds to Ziadie's mention of the distinction between knowledge and doubt. "But she'd also say something like: 'Knowledge isn't the absence of doubt, but rather the changing of one's mind so that some things never happen the same way again.' Or something." She waves a hand dismissively. "And in all due respect, sir, you were a sergeant when you retired? Then are you not due the respect thereof pertaining to your rank upon retirement?" While she speaks in what could be considered respectful tones and wordings, she doesn't feel much like it. But she was raised to show those above her respect.

Ziadie drums his fingers on his thigh, pensive. "Same argument every time," he mutters, not entirely directed at Christine. To her, he nods. "If you insist." A pause, fingers still drumming on his thigh. "Come have coffee with me," he finally says, gesturing to the coffeeshop right nearby. It's an invitation, not an order, given the tone of the statement. "Please. My treat. Their pastries are wonderful."

His treat? And he has a place to live? Maybe Christine had initially been wrong about this guy. She had assumed that he was homeless, by the way he looked, and also because, well, he smelt a little too much of booze and was muttering to himself. A lot of the time, people like that are homeless. She eyes the coffee shop and looks back at Ziadie. "I dunno, sir. I…I should probably…I've gotta…" For all it's worth, she can't actually come up with a valid excuse. Perhaps it's because she's too despondent. Or perhaps it's for other reasons all together. One way or another, she's not exactly saying no.

Ziadie nods, encouragingly, steering her towards the coffeeshop with the small and uncrowded patio dining area. "Please," he says, again. "Humour an old man who knows that being stuck behind a desk does absolutely nothing for dealing with things." There's even a slight smile in Ziadie's voice with the attempt at humour. Not humour to by any way downplay any of what Christine is going through, though. Just that he does understand.

Christine doesn't put up much of a fight. Truth be told, for the tough front that she puts up, and for all the arguing she's done so far, she really doesn't feel like doing much more fighting. She's dejected, that's the plain and simple truth of the matter. Sure, she grew up in a neighbourhood where shootings were commonplace and where people that she sorta knew died. But this is a whole new ballpark. She lets Ziadie guide her toward the coffee, finally taking a seat once they arrive, not even thinking of ordering. For now, she remains silent.

Ziadie leans his cane against the wall. For all of it being semi-outdoor seating, the chairs are comfortable, and the one outdoor heater does a more than adequate job of making the place a temperature where people would actually want to sit down for a while. He adjusts the sling, and leans against the table.

"Have you had lunch today?" he asks, quietly. There's quiet concern for the younger officer in his voice. "Breakfast?" The second is an afterthought, but he knows how it can be. Eating gets to be one of those things you can forget about, thinking about everything else.

"I haven't eaten yet today." Christine responds. And in truth, she hasn't eaten much since it all happened. "I'm not very hungry, though!" She fights back. "I just…I need to stay awake! That's all. Coffee." And that's all she has to say about that. "I'm just a bit thirsty, is all. And I do feel a bit tired. Coffee would be good." Yes, she's mentioned that. But hey, reiterating stuff works!

The older man nods, and when the barista, who seems to know and recognise him, comes by, he repeats Christine's order for coffee with his own for herbal tea and a piece of cheesecake. The herbal tea is growing on him, apparently. There's a hint of a frown on his face, but he's not going to push the idea of food, really. "Not sleeping much, I'd guess," he says. He does reach out, and puts his hand on Christine's shoulder briefly, again. He's willing to listen, but he isn't going to force her to talk.

Christine remains quiet while the barista takes the order. For a moment or two afterward, she looks like she's going to talk, but doesn't. After a short little while, she finally looks at Ziadie and says, "Does it ever get any easier, loosing a partner?" She asks carefully. It's been something that has been on her mind for a while. Will she ever get used to it?

A flash of whatever pain in the older man's own past crosses his eyes, but quickly. "A little," Ziadie says. "With time, yes." He pauses, thinking, whether it's hypocritical of him to mention the part about time, time that he has had so much more of. "I lost th' first partner I ever worked beat with," he says. "Back when I was out of Harlem, not Crown Heights." Another pause.

"It takes time, though, and I sure's hell won't lie and say that bein' stuck behind a desk is the right thing for the beginning of that time." Ziadie rubs his temples gently with his hand. "Being stuck behind a desk can make it seem a lot longer."

"I just…I want to find the person who did it…and…and…" Christine's voice is shaky and her eyes are full of obvious anger. "I want to rip her apart. And I wanna makes sure she ain't never gonna see the light o'day never again. I wanna make sure that she regret the day that she ever killed a partner of Christine Tabitha Jackson. I wanna make her hurt as much as I've hurt." She holds her purse close to her body as she says this, fingers gripping it so tightly that her knuckles have gone pale.

Ziadie nods, and reaches across the table, carefully, his hand across one of hers, though the gesture is slightly awkward. "I know," he says. It's sincere, too. "An' one of these days, she gonna be brought to justice," he says, though that's something that he can only so much as hope, hope that cop killers don't just get to continue walking the streets of the city, hope that is evident in his voice.

The tea, coffee, and Ziadie's cheesecake come, the barista putting them on the edge of the table unobtrusively and then slipping back away. There's sugar, cream, and a few types of sweetener as well, for both their drinks.

Christine twists the fabric around her bag slightly. "I wanna be the one to bring her to justice! But they're keeping me behind a desk! And they won't even let me in on the investigation! I'm stuck in an office doing paperwork! I'm not even taking phone calls. I'm just sitting behind a desk, making sure forms are in order and that they're properly filled out! What do they think I am? A file clerk? This is not what I signed up for!" As the coffee arrives, she loads it with cream and sugar and takes a sip.

"Things haven't much changed in 40 years, on some fronts," Ziadie muses. "It's hard, I know," he continues, poking his fork at the cheesecake before taking a small bite. "It's policy, too," he says. "I …" the older man pauses for a moment. "I lost my first partner, like I said. He was shot. We were in front of a school, the school that his daughter was at." The older man doesn't say anything about whether the desk policy is good or not. There's a time for criticising policy and this doesn't seem to be it.

"But you gotta believe that she gonna be brought to justice, even if policy says you can't be the one to go out there an' do so." There's a quiet anger within the older man's voice, something that doesn't seem to come out very frequently at all if Christine's mere two encounters with him are anything like how he usually is.

Christine shakes her head. "When with the department realize that sometimes the right person for the job is the person who was there when it happened? It was me who saw the people first hand. It was me who was there. Shouldn't it be me who helps to bring them in? Sure they've got video of the people. But that's not nearly as good as a first hand account." Okay, maybe it is. But she's not going to admit to that.

The older man nods once again. He's good at listening, surprisingly. "An' they need you to be able to say they got th' right person," he responds. "They need you to still be here when your partner gets her justice done in court, so you can testify. It's not nowhere near what we signed up for." We. He's been there, after all. His hand stras a little towards his pocket, but the instead Ziadie lifts the cup of tea to his lips, carefully given that he's only got one hand to do it. "But it's important nonetheless."

Taking a little sip of her coffee, Christine shakes her head. "You know what? I don't know why I'm telling you all this. I mean, I don't even know you. All I know is that you've claimed to have been on the force. Other than that, I know practically nothing about you." She scoffs at herself. "So, I'm sorry. Maybe I should be leaving."

Ziadie blinks in startlement a few times. He reaches for his pocket, lays his wallet open on the table. Shield and all, though the shield looks as if it might just be as old as Christine is. The other side has a couple of forms of identification tucked in the view window, but nothing easily visible. "Look," he says. "Be careful out there, yeah? You're a good officer."

Christine finishes off her coffee and glances at the badge and clears her throat. "Look, thanks for the coffee. And umm…take care and all that. Just…be safe. Thanks for listening and all." And with that, she starts making her way in the opposite direction of the coffee shop. And that, as they say, is that.

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