Getting Reacquainted


simon_icon.gif elisabeth_icon.gif cat_icon.gif

Scene Title Getting Reacquainted
Synopsis Simon meets Elisabeth for coffee at the Nite Owl, and Cat shows up soon after
Date March 21, 2009

The Nite Owl

The Nite Owl is a survivor from ages past - one of those ancient diners with huge plate glass windows, checkerboard linoleum floor, and a neon owl over the entrance that blinks at those entering. Inside, there's an L-shaped main counter, complete with vintage soda fountain and worn steel stools. All of the cooking is done on the ranges ranked against the rear wall. The outer wall is lined with booths upholstered in cracked scarlet vinyl, tables trimmed with polished chrome. Despite its age, it's been lovingly maintained. The air is redolent with the scent of fresh coffee, vanilla, and frying food.

The call came from out of the blue. Simon Allistair's is a voice she hasn't heard in months. And …. well, truthfully? She really hadn't expected to. He was a good kid, but when she opted not to go back to teaching and the kids were all scattered, she kind of figured they'd never talk again. But when he asks her to meet him for coffee, she agrees. It's been a hellacious night, though. She spent a good bit of it at the hospital and then back at the precinct filling out reports. She's managed to catch a shower and change clothes, and one of the guys let her borrow a jacket until she could get hers replaced. So she's sitting in the Nite Owl at a booth wearing jeans, sneakers, a T-shirt, and a large black NYPD jacket with the sleeves shoved up to hide her shoulder holster. A cup of coffee is half-empty in front of her.

Simon never really expected to be talking to Ms. Harrison again, either, but when Sense cam knocking and told him to go back to the city she was one of the first people he thought of. That’s why he’s happy to have heard she would meet him, even though he’s not sure what the two will have to talk about. This is his first time back in the Nite Owl, where he worked briefly under the title “Bad Server.” He walks in and takes a moment to look around, only to note that nothing has changed. Comforting. His gaze eventually falls on Elisabeth and a smile breaks out across his face. His arm shoots up and he waves a bit erratically before heading over to the booth she’s in.

”Ms, Harrison! It’s been way too long,” he says before sliding into the seat across from her. He eyes the NYPD logo and frowns. “What’s with the jacket?”

There's a smile as she spots the young man, and Elisabeth waves back as he approaches. "Well hello, stranger. Long time, no hear from." She gestures for him to have a seat. She looks down and shakes her head. "Yeah, ridiculously big, isn't it? Mine got burned last night on a bust." She looks up at him. "I didn't go back to teaching after Irving, Simon," she tells him gently. "I couldn't… really justify hiding to myself anymore. I went back on the force right afterward."

Simon nods thoughtfully and lifts his shoulders in a shrug. “I guess neither of us hen back to school, then, after that.” The kid smiles and leans back against the seat as a new waitress he’s never met comes up and takes his order for a coffee. When she leaves, Simon turns his attention back on the ex-teacher. “Well thanks for meeting with me. I needed to see a friendly face. I know I’ve been out of town, but they had televisions where I was and I kept up with what was going on here. Lots of crazy shit. I had to come back. Couldn’t hide anymore, either.”

Tilting her head, Liz asks, "Where'd you go?" She's curious, not suspicious.

”I went back to Boston for a bit,” Simon explains. “I stayed with a friend there, and then decided to spend some of the money I saved up at Stillwater to travel. I took the Greyhound west and kept moving. They had a special, so it was a cheap,” he explains, so it doesn’t seem like he was spending all of his savings. “It was cool, and it gave me time to clear my head. I thought about finishing up with school, but never did. I got my GED, though, which is the same thing.” Simon sighs and shrugs. “And now I’m back here, because it looks like this city needs one more person who isn’t going to try and blow it up.”

There's a soft chuckle. "This city needs …. something, all right." Elisabeth sips from her cup of coffee and smiles at the waitress as she refills the cup when she brings Simon's. The blonde doctors hers liberally with sugar and cream, and then looks at him. "So what are your plans now? Back to college? Something else?"

Simon dumps a couple creamers into his coffee and stirs them in with a little spoon that came along with the cup. “I don’t know,” he explains, watching the coffee turn from black to a more appetizing dark brown. “I think I’ll look into Columbia for the summer. Right now, though, I’m going to concentrate on getting a job and a place to stay that isn’t falling apart.” He grins and licks the coffee off his spoon before setting it down.

Elisabeth nods to him, considering the situation. "Jobs are somewhat hard to come by lately. Too many refugees. But I've seen some places advertising. You might also try at the university — sometimes there are jobs there that students haven't taken. And it might let you get settled back into the mindset." She tilts her head. "Your folks won't let you move back in until you're on your feet?"

Simon blinks and shakes his head. “No. My parents were killed in the bomb. I was living with my aunt and uncle, but they moved. Too scared after everything that went on here, and I don’t blame them. Right now it’s just me,” he explains, lifting his coffee mug to his lips and taking a sip. It’s still too hot for him so he sets it back down.

"I'm sorry, Simon… I did know that, and I… well, there's no excuse for that," Elisabeth grimaces. She looks tired. "I can put out some feelers for you, if you like. I do think you should check back in at Stillwater, if you liked the job." Diego's ties to Phoenix mean that she at least knows of the company and the man, though she's never met him in person… he may be able to keep Simon out of trouble, and she'd really like to see the kid succeed.

“Don’t worry about it. I’ve dealt with and I’ve moved on as best as I can,” Simon tells Elisabeth with a smile that’s meant to be comforting. He doesn’t want anyone to feel bad about his dead parents. “I’ll talk to the guys at Stillwater, sure. What I won’t do is settle for some crappy job like – “ and here he lowers his voice to a whisper, “the one I had here.” He grins a bit and pauses. “So we’ll see how that goes. But you, you seem to be doing well. Moving up from substitute teacher, that is.”

There's a roll of her eyes as she swallows a mouthful of coffee. Elisabeth then offers a faint smile. "Well….. moving up depends on your perspective, I guess. I went back on the force, and there's a rumor I'm up for promotion to detective. Things have been kind of crazy." She hesitates and admits, "I had to Register to go back on. So it's been maybe a little harder than it was before. But I think I'm honestly doing what I'm supposed to. Being a cop is all I ever wanted to do. After the Bomb… lost my mom in it too… I went to teaching because of the Evolved arguments and sort of hunkered down. I liked it, don't get me wrong. But… being a cop is what I was meant to do."

“Really?” Simon says with just a hint of disbelief in his voice. “You’re registered. I, um, didn’t even know you were evolved.” Simon meditates on this very briefly and relaxes a bit. “That’s kind of a relief, to tell you the truth.” Simon smirks sips from his coffee some more, which has cooled down to a tolerable level. “And I hope you do make detective. Something tells me it would suit you more than being a teacher.”

Elisabeth smiles at him. "No one knew I was Evolved, Simon — that was the point." She shrugs. "Why's it a relief, though?" A moment. "Thank you…. being a cop does seem to suit me better."

”Well, yeah. I get that,” Simon says while looking away for a moment, a sheepish grin on his face. When he looks back, he opens his mouth to speak in a whisper again. “It’s a relief because I’m one, too.” That’s not something he usually tells people, which might be something Elisabeth catches onto, depending on how good she is at reading facial expressions.

There's enlightenment on Elisabeth's face, and she asks quietly, "I'm assuming you're not registered?"

Simon shakes his head and glances around a moment before returning his gaze to Elisabeth. “No, and I want it to stay that way. I hope you can understand that,” he says, already sure that she will. Pretty sure, that is. He lifts his coffee to his lips one more time and drinks some more. He’s already starting to feel more energized than when he first walked in.

She's got the guitar case over one shoulder today and a backpack over the other, clad in jeans and a winter coat. Hands are kept in pockets, and in gloves there. The brunette, five feet eight inches tall, steps in through the door held by a departing customer. "Thanks," Cat offers politely. From there she lets her eyes wander a bit, seeking out an open table to park herself at.

There's a nod. "I highly recommend you don't flaunt it, don't talk about it, and don't use it much." Elisabeth smiles faintly. "As if I have to tell you that." she doesn't seem inclined to go running him in as she sips her coffee. A glance up as the door opens makes her smile and nod toward Cat.

“Trust me, I won’t, but I had to tell someone,” Simon says with a balled up fist that he relaxes with a sigh, to show his frustration on the subject. “So now I have, and I’m good. Relieved of stress and all that,” he explains as he turns to follow Elisabeth’s gaze, his own resting on the unfamiliar Cat. It lingers there for only a moment, before he turns around again.

The table she's after doesn't have to be open. Spotting the officer, and being acknowledged by her, Cat moves in that direction. It's a momentary curiosity that follows as to whether or not the blonde has a cone of silence up, a curiosity unexpressed. There's a nod for the young man with her, and a smile for the former teacher.

Elisabeth chuckles at him quietly. "Well, if you ever need to talk to me about that or anything else, you should feel free to pick up the phone. Anytime, Simon. I'd really like to know how you're making out with everything. How about your sister? Is she all right?" She hasn't seen hide nor hair of Mallory either.

Simon offers a smile as well and nods, “Thanks, I appreciate that. It’s good to know someone has my back around here.” He sets ups coffee mug aside for the time being and says, “Mallory? To be honest I haven’t talked to her much. I kept out of contact with just about everyone while I was gone. It was probably not something I should have done.” His voice trails off and luckily he doesn’t have to go on because Cat is here. “Hi there,” he says to the woman, looking between her and Elisabeth.

Simon noticeably perks up at the idea that this woman could help him get a job. He nods to her and explains, “Oh, it wasn’t that kind of tour. I was just travelling. I did learn to play the harmonica while I was away, though. It seemed fitting.” He grins, eyes the guitar case, and then looks up at Cat. “Have a seat?” He slides over in case she wants to.

Elisabeth chuckles briefly at the assumption. "The harmonica, huh?" She shakes her head. "Cat lives over top of a music club, and as you can see, she plays." She grins. "She keeps trying to get me to sing for her, but I guess that's going to be a career later in life if I make a go of it. Mademoiselle Saugnier is putting out a CD, you know." She grins. "She always nagged at me too."

"Traveling is good too," Cat opines. There's a few moments taken for musing over the mention of jobs for the man. "What are you interested in, as far as work, Simon?" she inquires. The officer's recommendation seems to carry weight with her. "Someday you will," she adds, eyes on the blonde with a quiet smile forming. "But there's no hurry." It's been months since Cat herself was a stage regular anywhere.

Simon grins and reaches out for his coffee, which he sips some more from. “I would totally pay to hear you sing, Ms. Harrison.” He raises his mug in her direction as a sort of toast to the musical inclination that’s hinted of her. To Cat, he turns his head and says, “I guess I shouldn’t be too picky right now, but I want it to be something of substance. Important, you know? I don’t want to have to go back to waiting tables. That wouldn’t be good for me *or* my customers.”

Elisabeth grins a bit. "Simon's too smart for his own good, so… being bored's a bad thing with him." She glances at Cat and smiles, since she knows the other woman understands that idea. And then her phone rings, and she picks it up and looks at it. With a sigh, she shakes her head. "I'm sorry… I've got to take this." She moves to stand up, "you two, coffee's on me. Enjoy a good talk. Simon, you know how to get me, okay? Don't be a stranger." And she flips her phone open as she walks out. "Harrison."

"See you," she offers to the called-away and departing officer. Then her eyes settle on Simon, Cat's expression is speculative. "Customers," she begins, "that sounds like you're already in business for yourself."

“See you later, Ms. Harrison,” Simon tells the departing officer. He then turns to Cat and grins. “Not exactly. I meant if I were to wait tables. I did it here, actually, and it sucked, but I would still call some of these people my customers.” Simon looks around and points out an older man setting by a window. “Like him. He always complains that is his apple pie is too cold, so I would nuke it extra long. I think his nerves were burned off a while back or something.” Simon shakes his head as he catches himself rambling. “So what is it that you do?”

"I do a number of things," she replies with a slight grin forming. "Money isn't a problem for me." Cat, mysterious. "Something of substance," is mused over for some moments, and becomes the source of a question. "What would you call of substance and important, Simon?" One hand reaches for a menu and opens it while she speaks; the text is looked at only briefly before being put back where it was.

“Well, you’re lucky, then. I’m stuck in a shithole apartment until I can scrape together some funds,” Simon explains as he finishes off the rest of his coffee. The question catches himself off guard and he has to think for a moment. “To be honest, I came back here because of all the news the city is getting. Things are blowing up left and right, terrorists seem to be everywhere. This is my home, you know, and I remember it very clearly from before the bomb went off. I just want to help make things better, as silly as that may sound.”

There will be questions asked of Officer Harrison another time, this much is certain in Cat's mind, as the giving of full trust would depend on answers to those, but Simon does have a leg up in that his hunting was mentioned by her. "It doesn't sound silly at all," she opines thoughtfully. "How would you make things better?"

She has a decent poker face, the expression is inscrutable, though it could be judged she's interested by simple fact of remaining and engaging him in conversation.

Simon thinks about this for a moment and shrugs. “I don’t know. I mean, what can I do, really? The problems just seem so big.” He holds out hand to motion just how big they are, and the sets them near him on the table. “But there has to be something that ordinary people can do. Things like those kids that killed themselves shouldn’t have to happen. You know, a lot of those kids were only a couple years younger than I am. It’s crazy what’s going on here.”

"It is," she agrees. "But no one is totally impotent. There are always things one can do to improve some tiny corner." Cat's head tilts to one side. "Tell me about you. What are your talents and interests? Your skills. If money weren't an issue, would you be in a University now, just finishing your first year?"

“Money is only slightly an issue. My inheritance is being held by my aunt and uncle, who don’t really approve of me coming back here after I was almost blown up in school a while back.” Simon sighs and shakes his head. “But I would be in school, yes. I’m actually going to Columbia next week to talk about what I can do to start over the summer. I’m really into math, but I swear I’m not as nerdy as that makes me sound!” He wants to make sure Cat understands that. “I’d probably also be playing basketball. I was the star in High School. I would be, you know, living the life of a normal eighteen year old kid. I’ve had too many guns in my face to make that a possibility now, though.”

"Impressive," she replies. "You're admitted to the Ivy league, which says your academics are stellar, and you're an athlete of good talent by your claim. You seem to have some foundation for becoming what's called a renaissance man." That's a thing Cat identifies with, although to be certain her memory provides a very solid advantage on that front. "I think you should be a professional student, Simon," she advises. "Ivy League is tough without working on top of it, if one has a choice."

“I don’t know about that. I mean I want to study. I did really well in high school, though I did end up with a GED. Still, the college understood considering I pulled myself out of the Washington Irvine rubble and decided not to back,” Simon explains with a grin that appears to be somewhat forced. “Still, I want to do things outside of school. Learning is great and everything, but there’s a lot of work to be done here and I want to be a part of it.”

"How could I get in touch with you, Simon?" Cat asks. Maybe she'll find something for him. She hasn't spoken of anything specific, but she also hasn't dismissed the young man out of hand either. "I think you've a bright future ahead."

Simon grins and waves a hand in the air. “Just get my cell number before you leave. I always have it on me. So anyways that’s a lot of talk about me, what about you? What do you do? Why did Ms. Harrison say you might be able to help me find something?” He certainly is a curious young man, and unafraid to look Cat right in the eye when he asks his questions.

"Because I might," Cat replies with a grin. She makes eye contact easily, but remains inscrutable. "As to what I do, well, if I tell you that leaves less to be discovered later, doesn't it, Simon? I might also be testing your capacity for patience by being mysterious." There's no hostility in her tone as she speaks. A server is flagged down, and approaches.

Her order is placed, indicating it will soon be time for eating and enjoying the meal.

Simon laughs a little, which just might be a first since he’s been back here, and a welcome sound at that. “By all means, remain mysterious. I can’t say it doesn’t make you more interesting,” Simon tells Cat before turning to the server and ordering some fries to nibble on. “But tell me this, what type of music do you like to play? I’m a big old music snob so that guitar there is pretty cool to me.”

"I'm a rocker chick when I play," Cat supplies. "Metal, blues, punk, it's all good if it's rock."

Simon thinks this over for a moment and gives Cat a smile. “Rock on, then. I’d love to hear you play sometime. “ He seems to really mean it, too.

"You will," she replies with that grin spreading a bit. "Probably when you expect it least." From there she becomes quietly introspective, remembering times past playing on stage before life took its turn and her partner, her closest friend for the college years, was slain. Before she lowered her public profile and threw herself fully into missions. One mission gives rise to another. The Vanguard was defeated and dispersed, now there are friends to be broken out of prison. What mission will arise from that?

It might turn her into visible melancholy, but something keeps her from that. Soon she will be airborne and discovering details about that prison, one step closer to the goal. Quiet confidence settles in on her features, tinged with an air of someone who's seen her share of suffering and come out stronger.

The silence is only mildly uncomfortable, since Simon really doesn’t know Cat. Still, it gives him a moment to think things over, too. He doesn’t have the experience regarding “missions” like Cat, but he knows they are out there and he just has to become part of something. He knows he will, knows he has to, but he also knows it’s going to take work. “You know when I left last year, I never thought I would be back here. Never in a hundred million years. So it’s funny to be sitting in the place I used to work at. Really funny,” he says almost to himself, before erupting in nervous laughter.

The server is on the way with what she ordered, and soon it will be time to consume it. A slight smile forms on the woman's lips, Cat quietly opines "You'll make a good life for yourself, I believe that. You'll find what you're looking for." That solemn confidence remains, and when the food is set before her, she begins to enjoy it.

“I appreciate your confidence,” Simon tells Cat before the food arrives. He looks at it and realizes that he is hungrier than he thought. He starts to eat, quieting down to do so, and the rest of the meal is consumed with chit chat in the air, all matters of importance ignored.

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