Girls And Their Birds


chloe_icon.gif amato_icon.gif

Scene Title Girls And Their Birds
Synopsis Chloe disturbs Amato's dinner; Amato is reminded of a friend
Date March 26, 2009

Cathedral of St. John the Divine

St. John's has long been a center for public outreach and civic service events, but since the bomb, those have become an even greater part of its daily affairs. Services include a men's shelter, a twice-weekly soup kitchen, walk-in counseling, and other programs besides. These are open to everyone - non-Evolved, unregistered Evolved, registered Evolved… the philosophy is that they're all children of God, and that's what matters.

Taking a break from doling out meals for his own dinner - one that consists of the same institutional-quality grilled cheese and tomato soup he's been serving all evening - Amato Salucci, known here as Benjamin Sacredo, to those who ask, sits at a table somewhat removed from the indigent crowd, reading a pew Bible likely from the Cathedral the kitchen it attached to while he eats, careful not to transfer grease or soup onto the worn pages of the holy book.

His white shirt only emphasizes the paleness of his skin, but it is open at the collar as well, advertising his gauntness all the more. Jeans and a pair of boots finish off the ensemble, and if it weren't for the fact that he was sitting in a soup kitchen or that he didn't care about such things all that much, truth be told, Amato could pass for some bed-headed model.

Wow. You know, it sure would be nice if Chloe could remember what happened to her on that day she doesn't remember — but alas, it just doesn't come to her. She's been just wandering around in a bit of a daze after her unfortunate (and unremembered) encounter with Jackal and Vera, and she's found herself accepting /charity food/ when she could just try to take whatever she wanted. How odd a feeling for her! Why, there isn't even anything to drink besides water — she just can't stomach anymore.

Chloe pauses, narrowing her eyes a little as she looks around.. that one. What was his name? Well, she really has no idea nor desire to — she simply wants to march up and make herself known; try to dissipate the odd powerless feeling that comes with not remembering what happened to a day or two of your life. She slips up out of her seat and walks right over behind Amato.. she sort of looms over his shoulder, reading over his shoulder for a moment. Totally not creepy, right?

Actually, the text on the page Amato is currently engrossed in is a bit creepy. Ezekiel usually is to the uninitiated. Still, Amato has learned to be a little more wary of his surroundings recently, and straightens his posture when Chole comes around behind him. It takes him a moment to turn, but when he does, the expression on his face is one of stony professionalism.

"Do you need something, miss?" he asks in a deadpan tone, narrowing his icy eyes just slightly.

Ohh. Cold and stoney. Chloe begins to mimic the expression, her lips drawing together and curling into a slight frown. "Don't you have anything else? I really dislike drinking water." Picky for a homeless woman. "I like tea, or something like that.." She murmurs off, slipping her hands around behind her and loosely clasping them together behind her lower back. She levels her eyes upon Amato's, curling her lips into a faintly deeper frown to accentuate her feigned grumpiness.

"Water," Amato says sagely, tilting his head downward and slightly to one side in a patriarchal, authoritative sort of way, "is a symbol for life. The essence of it, in many ways. The best thing for you. If it weren't, it wouldn't account for so much of your makeup. Don't you agree?"

Chloe stares at Amato for a long moment. A long, droll moment of deadpan staring where she doesn't move a single muscle… and then she bursts out with a small giggle. "How.. uhm.. philosophical." She mumbles in reply, her lips curling into a smile. "But really. Don't churches have wine or something? I simply abhore water." She inquires, "You can at least check, can't you? I'll go with you and help."

It's Amato's turn to laugh, however uncharacteristic it may be for him to do so in such a situation. Still, it's a small laugh. More of a chuckle really. "I highly doubt that any of the priests would condone giving you wine to go along with your dinner, though I'm sure he would not deny you the sacrament, were you eligible."

That certainly doesn't sit well with Chloe. Her slight smile immediately droops into a stern frown, and she eyes Amato with a disaproving gaze. "Oh." She murmurs coldly, leaning back up away slightly. "That's unfortunate. I'm pretty sure I'm not." She murmurs, easing one hand out from behind her — the one with the puppet on it! She immediately shoves it toward Amato, and starts tweaking the beak with her fingers inside. "You're kind of a jerk, aren't you? Tweet tweet!" She says, in a slightly higher, squeekier voice. Chloe is so great at making new friends.

Amato eyes the puppet as it is pulled out, then jerks back when he is 'assaulted' by it. The lines on his face only deepen as he frowns and knits his eyebrows together. "No. I am quite personable. And I like birds very much." The latter is, strangely enough, said to the puppet rather than the woman behind it. Amato looks back to his soup, closing his book with his only visible hand before he adds, morosely, "One of the nicest people I know has many, many bird puppets, actually."

Chloe waggles her fingers a bit inside the puppet to make the wings flap a few times. "Oh? Who is that? This is Chirpy. He's my friend." Probably only friend, from the looks of it! "He won't be your friend, though, because you aren't mine." She amends, nodding firmly. She arches her fingers inside as she nods her head, causing the bird puppet to mimic her nodding.

"She was named for a very old raven, but she had one as a friend as well," Amato muses, a nostalgic smile curling onto his lips. He glances up to watch the bird puppet a moment more, then contents himself with stirring his soup. "His name was Bran. I haven't seem him in a while though, so they may not be friends anymore."

Chloe hrms to herself softly for a moment, slowly lidding her eyes half-way. "I don't really know anyone." She comments after a moment, slowly lowering her puppet. "Nobody I talk to wants to listen to me. Like this one boy who let children call him names." She pauses, lifting her puppet once more and tweaking the beak a few times — "We told him to just kick the children until they stopped, but he was too much of a coward!" She squeeks out.

"Perhaps he disagreed with the philosophy that violence would solve his problems." Amato looks up again to Chloe, his lips pursed in thought. "Or perhaps he was scared of those who had bullied him. Either way, you cannot fault him for not doing as you suggested."

Chloe seems rather irate at that idea! Violence not solving his problem? "Of course it would've solved his problem! I saw him jump really high," She comments, branding her non-puppet arm in a random, seemingly unrelated gesture, "Way higher than normal. I bet he could've kick one of those childrens' teeth out. Then they would have shut up for sure." She explains, nodding soundly. Violence solves everything to Chloe — as long as you're the one doing the violence.

Amato still doesn't seem impressed. "I think it may have caused other problems," he says blandly. "Perhaps those other children would then go to their parents, or whomever, and tell the story about the kid who kicked their teeth out and subsequently jumped away, 'really high.' What do you think might happen to this little boy then?"

Chloe turns her head away, staring off in another direction for a moment. She slowly lids her eyes half way, and then bites her lower lip softly. ".. I don't know." She mumbles out, her voice sounding rather begrudging. Though easily outsmarted, she clearly greatly dislikes being outsmarted! When her gaze returns to Amato, she looks rather annoyed. "He should get some friends, and beat up the parents too." She says, bringing her arms up to cross — carefull avoiding smooshing her puppet — and then she nods her head firmly.

"But then he and his friends could easily get arrested, and I don't believe he would have much fun in jail. Do you?" Amato leans back, lifting his own arms to fold them across his chest. But while Chloe is careful not to hamper the puppet at the end of one arm, Amato is obviously lacking a hand at the end of one of his own. His cuff is unbuttoned and loose, but when he tucks the stump of his right wrist in the crook of his left arm, it's clear for a moment that there is nothing there but a rounded and scarred bit of skin.

Chloe pauses for a moment, gawking — like a child, almost — before she grins faintly. "Oh, oh. I get it. You did something you got mutilated for because you failed. So you don't want anyone else to take any chances on things. Is that it, is it?" She infers, constructing her own little story about your stump. She seems rather self-satisfied as she comes to this imaginary conclusion.

"Far from it." Amato's voice is calm, almost eerily so. "My handicap is a result of another man's feelings of inadequacy and his vain attempt to make some sort of illustrative gesture to a third party. Foolish, reckless, mindless violence, of which I was the unfortunate victim."

That cold, stony expression is back once more, and Amato's lips form a tight seal. He rarely speaks of his impairment, and it's hard to say exactly why he's doing so now.

Chloe stares for a moment, and then slowly furrows her eyebrows — "You should just tell people my version of it. It's much more dramatic sounding. Your way just makes you sound like you were too weak or too much of a coward to defend yourself." She counters, staring at Amato with a vaguely irate expressio. She seems rather bothered that he contradicted her imaginary story!

Already mirroring Chloe's face to some degree, Amato's own eyebrows furrow more as he is agitated further. "I was handcuffed to a refridgerator," he explains, his voice a hoarse whisper. "Beaten. Burned. There wasn't much I could do. I am lucky to have survived."

Slowly lifting her non-puppet hand, Chloe stares at Amato with an almost angry expression. She parts her fingers and then snaps them tightly shut — and at the same time, it's almost as if she'd grabbed Amato's lips, forcing them together tightly. "I don't like arguing, so just do as I say, okay?" She murmurs in a cold voice — though she glances around vaguely. Sure is a bit.. public to do this! She parts her fingers again, ceasing that invisible pressure that was trying to hold Amato's mouth shut.

Even given his past associations and experiences, Amato's experience with telekinetics, as he presumes Chole to be when he suddenly cannot move his mouth, is slim. His eyes widen, and those icy eyes become fiery for a moment, though that spark doesn't die completely once he is released. "Give me your hand," he says in a cold yet somewhat soft tone.

Chloe seems a little confused at that — she recoils herself just a little, though she doesn't actually step away. ".. Why?" She asks, her voice sounding almost childishly inquisitive — "Are you going to try to hurt me or something? Because, if you do, I'll scream." She huffs out, furrowing her eyebrows a little. Both hands slip back behind her for the moment, along with her puppet.

"Why would I hurt you, miss?" Amato asks with a curious squint and tilt of his head. "I simply want to see your hand." A moment passes, and Amato shrugs, unfolding his arms at last and resting his left hand on the table by his soup bowl. "If you'd prefer, you can give me a strand of your hair. That will do just as well."

Eyeing Amato suspiciously for a moment, Chloe slowly eases her right hand out from behind her. ".. Fine." She replies quietly, slowly easing her hand out toward him; she splays her fingers just a little, and waits. She certainly doesn't let up on the suspicious glaring any.

Moving slowly so as not to alert her, Amato reaches forward to place his own pale, thin, and only recently calloused hand atop of Chole's. At the same time, the fair-haired Italian's eyes close, though his jaw doesn't tighten in anticipation. He's as calm as he ever was, trying not to focus too much. After all, the goal isn't to see a small percentage of the woman's history, but general smatterings of it.

Through the woman's eyes, Amato sees thievery. Torture, of a sort. Violence. But also a strange innocence in how she speaks to Chirpy, how the puppet is indeed one of her only friends. When Amato pulls his hand away, his is solmen and deep in thought, his lips pursed and eyes downcast, as if the dotted plastic of the table could give him some sort of clue.

All the while, Chloe watches Amato with a curious stare — what /is/ this guy doing? She narrows her eyes, and once he opens his own to look down at the table, she jerks her hand back away with a quick motion. "What was that for?" She asks, sounding a bit accusatory — "You're really strange!" She adds, puffing her cheek up a little, childishly. Puff puff.

"Perhaps," is all Amato can say as he mulls things over. He raises his eyes once more to Chole, regarding her as one might a casual opponent across a park chess board. "But I was never unkind to my parents, and I never took what was not rightly mine or not given freely to me." He cannot say he has never hurt someone. That would be alie.

Chloe pauses for a long moment — and then furrows her eyebrows again, glaring. "I never did any of that stuff either!" She lies, perhaps a little too loudly — she takes a small step back in retreat. "You can't prove I did anything like that." She huffs out, even though.. well, Amato already knows she has /some/ kind of controlling ability. There is certainly good reason to believe anything he saw!

"Your absolutely right," Amato concedes with a nod. "I cannot prove a thing, so I shall do nothing to find justice for those you have wronged. But I am not the only person who knows what you have done." His eyes glance upward for a moment, as if to indicate just who that other party is.

Taking another small step back, Chloe looks.. rather defensive now. "I'm.." She mumbles off, tensing a bit where she stands. ".. I'm going to go! And don't try to follow me. I'll stop you if you try to." She growls out, giving Amato a dark glare.

With a somewhat defeated shrug, Amato shakes his head and turns back to his dinner, taking a bite of sandwich before he spoons up another mouthful of soup. It's as if Chloe were already gone. He even looks out to the others eating in the relatively small space, and squints as he watches them. After a moment, he hesitantly picks up the triangle of sandwich and dips a corner of it into the soup. Eyeing it suspiciously as the grilled bread and melted cheese, now sodden with creamy tomato, drips liquid back into the bowl, Amato slowly takes an experimental bite.

H-Huff! Fine. If that's the way it'll be — Chloe takes a long moment to glaa~are a hole in Amato. Perhaps marking his image in memory for later. Then, with a bit of a twirl, she turns on her heels — she starts walking out, taking her craziness and puppet with her. Certainly, there is a reason that the puppet her is only friend!

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