Espirit d'Corps


nadira_icon.gif perry_icon.gif

Scene Title Espirit d'Corps
Synopsis Perry gets nosey on Nadira, if with the best intentions.
Date November 20, 2010

Ruins of Midtown

Outside the Church of the Incarnation.

The quiet of departing is a different kind than the quiet of arrival. Footfalls grow more distant, not less. And the energy is different. Less anticipation for the close at hand. Yet so much remains uncertain. This is still a quiet that belies the thunder to come.

That might, at least, be Perry's thought were he walking alone back to his hovel in Morningside Heights. But tonight is not a night like other nights, particularly not for Perry. Tonight he has stepped onto the ground floor of another structure, begun another trajectory. He can't yet know where it will end, how high he will go and how far he might all afterwards. But this is something real. Something he's wanted since he can remember choosing to want something.

On few other nights would Perry have the courage to ask a girl as pretty as Nadira to "Walk with me?"

The request is accepted, Nadira falling into place at his side with a quiet and thoughtful nod. Her gaze flickers up to the sky, and she's thoughtful. Thoughtful and tired. Her brain's a bit elsewhere, but she sucks in some cold New York air and peers over at Perry.

Perry isn't socially apt by any means, but it doesn't take a great perceiver of affect to notice Nadira's preoccupation. "You were- uh- you were quite impassioned when you spoke to Marjorie," spoke to, yeah, that's what we'll call what Nadira did, "I understand, our personal- um- personal lives are our own business, for the most part, but, well… I want to make sure everything is- um- everything is all right. With you. And her. And all of us, I guess."

"Ah," Nadira murmurs, wetting her lips. "So that is what is on your mind." She nods after a moment. "I do not suppose everything is alright, but that is not something that can be remedied. It will not get in the way of things, I assure you."

"I'm glad to hear it," Perry says, which is not a terrible nice thing to say, actually, and he realizes it. "I don't mean it like- I mean- I just am glad it's not a big deal. Unless it is a big deal in which case- I don't know. We can allow for things like that. We don't have be- psychotic about this. We shouldn't have to go mad, you know?"

"Her brother is possibly dead and she hardly seems to think it matters. I don't approve of the way she treated him before and I do not have to like her now. As long as she does what she's supposed to do, that is fine with me." Nadira says.

"Are you aware of the- um- relationship between sister and brother? Maybe they weren't close. Maybe she's hiding how she feels. People deal with attachment and grief in- uh- in different ways." Perry is trying to sound reasonable, not pedantic, but there remains something textbookish about him. Or maybe school-councilor-y.

"They were close. They had an argument. Marjorie took Griffin's son and left." Nadira frowns. "I'm aware of their relationship, and she tore that little boy right out of Griffin's life and hurt him tremendously."

"This- uh- this sound like a side of a story," Perry says, "which isn't- uh- isn't to say it's not true. Just… it sounds like- may I ask about your relationship with Griffin?"

Nadira blows a wisp of hair out of her eyes with an exasperated sigh. "It is not just a side of a story. He took Owain and left Griffin without warning. If Griffin had not been able to track her down… he might never see his son again." She looks back over at him. "Griffin and I are seeing each other."

"Again, this may be the truth, entire," Perry says, dipping his head deferentially, "but you mightn't you be- uh- be- uh- be-" this is hard for him, "reacting with- uh- emotion derived from reasons not- uh- not dependent on reason?" He gulps. "Passion is good. We need it. But not to wield against each other."

"It is nice to know people think I am petty and thinking solely with my emotions." Nadira scowls, folding her arms over her chest. "Regardless of my relationship with Griffin, that does not change how I would feel about the situation. I would think less of her even if Griffin and I did not care about each other."

"Not only emotions," Perry says, "I'm not saying your logic is- uh- is unsound. You care, and caring is- caring is central to ethics. Your reaction is- it's fine, it's real, it's true. But- but it's still coming out of your passion. Do you see what I mean? Passion- we need it, we need to care about what we do. But we need that energy for fighting the people who stand against us. Not with us."

There's a heavy sigh. "So I'm being reprimanded like a child, now, am I?" Nadira looks to her feet, letting out a deep breath. "Just because you don't respect someone doesn't mean that you can't work with them. I said my piece and I would appreciate not being made into a villain for it." Her fingers rub her temples slightly.

Perry blinks, once twice. "I- I'm sorry. I don't think- I didn't intend- I- I don't think you're a child. And I didn't- I wasn't thinking you were one. And not- I wasn't reprimanding you. I am saying we need this- this energy for what we have to do. We need to be alive to right other wrongs. Those children need- they need to be made safe or it won't matter who raised them. Is all I mean to say." A pause. "I admire your loyalty. Your ferocity. But I'm- I'm not your enemy. Please don't- don't paint me as one."

"Do you know what it is like, Perry, to sit for days on end waiting to hear if someone you love is dead or met with a far worse fate?" Nadira lets her hands drop back to her sides. "It is incredibly difficult. It has been eleven days since I have seen or heard from him and no one I know has heard if he is living or dead. I am not trying to cause trouble or be antagonistic, but it hurts to see Marjorie waltz in and ask everyone to treat everyone else like brothers and sisters when her own could be dead, with his son never having gotten to know his father. I do not know what your life is like, I haven't a guess, but I think you can imagine what I mean when I say that I am barely holding it together right now. I do not think that you or Marjorie are enemies."

"She- uh- she came before me," Perry says, after a space of silence, "I don't know how- uh- how long she was there, but it had to have been- uh- some time. Praying. The whole time. In- uh- in the ruined church. I think- I think she's worried. I think her talking about family- that was part of what she was feeling… coming out. The wrong way, yes, but… I guess she cares as well. Like you." He tries to smile. It mostly works. "She's just- uh- a little crazier about it."

Nadira swallows hard. "Well, I suppose I cannot expect everyone to be rational about their feelings." She smiles, weakly. "If… if she feels remorse, then good on her. I hope she feels something about things. I cannot imagine caring about someone and being able to just… ignore it if something bad might have happened."

"You feel the right thing. You feel worry. You care strongly," Perry says, nodding, "you are fulfilling your ethical duty to someone important to you. Don't worry about her. We can hope she is being ethical as well… but people's imperatives can be very different. And people are… strange." Perry is a living example of this. "But I'm sorry for prying so deep. I- I care as well. No like- not like the kind of caring we were talking about. C- uh- Espirit d' Corps, sort of. Solidarity." There's the word he wanted.

"I am glad. You care about the people in our organization, and that means something. Good people, caring people, they make good leaders." Nadira says, peering over at him. "I can understand your concern, your need to pry. I do not hold it against you. If I were in your position, I would have done the same thing."

"Uh- I'm- I think we are all compatriots," Perry says, though the implicit suggestion that he has something like leadership qualities flusters him considerably, in a good way! He's just not used to flattery. Or conversation. "Just, we need to know each other's minds. We need to be- need to be in consensus. No more- no more splits. No more disunity. That's hard. It's hard with people. But we must try."

"Well, you know where I stand now, I suppose," Nadira points out, rubbing her arms lightly against the cold. "You do not have to preach to the choir. I understand how much we need to be unified. Believe me."

"S- sorry," Perry says, frowning, "I don't mean to preach." He looks down at the papers in his hand. The speech he gave on Isaiah, while standing at a church lectern. "Well.." Yeah, no way he can get himself out of this one. "I want all of to speak. And we did. Everyone spoke tonight. It was… a welcome thing."

"There was unity in that, yes. Everyone said something. Knowing what the others are thinking, knowing them well… I think that's part of what is key." Nadira looks back towards Perry.

"I won't- uh- I won't trouble you further," Perry says, pausing in place, "I should take a different route any- uh- anyways. But thank you. For the company. And the trust. I look forward- um- I look forward to struggling with you. Fighting for something worthwhile."

Nadira offers a smile. "You are not trouble. But thank you for talking with me, even if it was a little tumultuous at first. I look forward to fighting with you as well. Thank you." She gives him a broader smile. "And don't die."

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