Hang Together


cat_icon.gif helena_icon.gif

Scene Title Hang Together
Synopsis Cat affirms her loyalty to the cause.
Date December 14, 2008

An Undisclosed Safehouse

The time of her crying while seated on the floor has passed, the calendar marching forward as it inexorably does. In those words she spoke to Helena, and the plea to be forgiven aimed at a wall representing Courtney Danielle Hamilton while perhaps even visualizing her face on it with that unerring memory, Cat admitted to herself the time was too short for planning an operation in any case, and seems to have decided her lover was probably dead already, the whole demand having been a game on Ethan's part. She will remember the change of calendar days, of course, on thinking of it, but for the most part she hasn't. Grieving, thinking, analyzing situations have taken up the time between then and now. Those things, and attempts to sleep which have produced spotty results.

Sometime in the middle of Sunday morning Cat gives up on trying to slumber and enters the living area of the safehouse. "Stormy," she begins in a somber voice, "where do I stand with you and the organization?"

Helena has been in and out over the last day or two, as it happens right now, Helena is standing at the stove, stirring hot chocolate in preparation for it to go into Cat's and her own belly to warm them. She blinks in surprise, pausing mid-stir. "You're a member in good standing." she says. "And you have responsibilities, you handle and process our intel."

"I've wondered, lately," she relates, placing her backside against the counter to face the shorter and blonder woman. "At first you saw me as a possible rival, over a man, and we got past that, became friends, at least I hope so. But then there was the thing in Greenwich Village, and distance seemed to open up. As if you thought me maybe too cold to trust. You've appointed persons who came to the fold after me to top slots. We, until these recent days, haven't talked much, and now I became captured, cost the organization getting me back and lost Dani."

"We're friends." Helena acknowledges, "And frankly, when it comes to Peter, you're probably better off." But she doesn't want to go into Peter right now, nor even deal with the fact that it's been days longer then either version of him usually takes to contact her. "The thing in Greenwich Village made me worry a lot - you did seem cold about it, but I've had more time to watch how you dealt with it. As for top slots…Teo and Alex have been with the organization a long time, and Conrad was affiliated with us back when I was still PARIAH, even if only as a contact. It's not a contest, nor a reflection of favortism; it's simply people being where we need them to be. You didn't cost the organization, if anything, we cost you."

"I still hope it works for you with him, you deserve to be happy," Cat says simply. She, like Helena, won't linger on that point. The honestly spoken sentiment is enough, she believes. In accordance with that, the topic is shifted. "And I'm relieved, to hear that. The man at the Village, I cried over it, the knowledge he was probably dead. There was only one person I allowed to see me that way, until here. You and Elisabeth saw me break. I meant what I said, about people not ready and willing to be abandoned if captured being in the wrong place, even if at times I'm weak and have to be held to my own words, like then."

Helena peers at Cat sidelong a moment, and then takes the hot chocolate off the burner. "I don't see how you can be held responsible for anything you said under torture. But I understand what you said." The last is offered quietly.

"I meant breaking down and crying, being seen to cry, on realizing there wouldn't even be time to plan an operation and deciding not to call for Wireless to give an opinion and take point, Stormy," Cat replies. "Under torture, I was stoic. I bottled up, made it a point to show him nothing as best I could, even to the point of not reacting when he cut off her thumb because I wouldn't call you. I thought we were both dead, and made peace with that." She pauses to make eye contact, then continues quietly. "I meant despite losing it I still believe what I said. In captivity, I realized I'd made a choice getting into this activity, and if I died, got left to die, I knew what I was getting into. If you'd not made the exchange, I was all good with it."

Helena simply nods to this, her expression growing grave. She turns instead to start looking through the cupboards, producing two mugs. One is plain and white, the other says #1 Grandpa. Busying herself, she pours the hot chocolate from the pot into each mug. "I know you do, and I know you were. I had a feeling that you would have told me not to even deal with Ethan." Still, she feels like there's a point Cat's making her way toward, if slowly. She sets one of the mugs in front of the brunette.

Her hand curls around the mug placed next to her, she being with her backside against the counter, and closes her eyes as the heat is felt. Cat doesn't drink from it yet, she simply enjoys the feel and the scent of it. But the silence this produces ends soon enough, she's speaking again. "I would, and thought you'd leave us. I'm grateful to be alive, don't take it as anything else, though. The decision was yours, in the end you would and should say thank you for your opinion, now deal or get the hell out." The mug is lifted and the scent enjoyed again, for a break in words, which afterward again recommence.

"I've my education, the law degree, the voice, and all the music talent. I also have twenty million dollars, Stormy. You may have noticed recently the Phoenix accounts have swelled." A questioning expression is offered, to silently ask if that's the case, as she goes on. "I realize how easily I could seem to overshadow things with all of my background and money. We won't always agree, that's just life. If I think you're wrong, I'll say so. But I also support your leadership to the hilt. Things we don't agree on will be kept to discuss between you and I alone. No one else knows I have the twenty million, or that I've arranged for some of the account swelling."

Helena blinks at Cat in complete shock. For a moment she can't even say anything. Then, "I had no idea. I know some of it was Hana, but…I had no idea." She shakes her head a little and admits quietly, "I really had no idea you had those kind of assets, Cat. And to be honest, I'd probably have hesitated to ask you to strain them…but I'm grateful."

"It was Hana, actually," Cat replies. "I think she funneled from some other sources as well, but some of that was me too. I remembered Conrad mentioning his goals and the price tag for those goals, so a while back I contacted Hana. I asked her to arrange the clandestine transfers from me to Phoenix so no one would trace it to me. I told her at the time if you asked me I'd tell you. But the time is right for coming clean. I'm not going to give it all away, mind you," she adds with a quiet grin. "Anyway… I support you because you're capable. Education, really, is just information. Presidents who lead nations are educated, but even they can't be expertly knowledgeable in everything they oversee. Their most important skillset is decisiveness, intelligence, and knowing when hirelings are telling them bullshit. That's what I see in you, and why I support you."

"Thank you." Helena smiles a little bit at that, but can't help giving Cat a cock-eyed look. "I feel a but coming on, though."

"But nothing," she replies. "I'm just one among a number of technical experts around you, Stormy. I'm your friend, and, well, your personal lawyer. There aren't many people I practice law for. You're lucky, you know. You've got a lawyer who pays you. It usually works expensively the other way." Cat's mug is enjoyed for the scent again, she choosing to let it cool longer before tasting. "I'm a little broken now. I don't know how long it'll be that way. I want to kill Ethan, and I want to do it myself. You probably don't want to know details if it ever happens, and may want to not let me do it. That desire, it's in me. I won't lie about it, ever. It may well become one of the things we disagree on privately. But it'll be just that if we disagree. Private."

Helena frowns a little, but nods after a moment. "I need to ask you to restrain yourself given a situation in which you may put others at risk." she says. "I know that the same courtesy was not extended to you, but Elisabeth was right about needing to take greater hand in the way we handle things. If you want him and I have the means to give him over to you, he's yours…but not at the cost of the group."

"That's understood," Cat replies. "I haven't, and won't, lose sight of the fact the group is more important. Our solidarity is the key to surviving despite and any all personal agendas. During the Revolution Ben Franklin put it perfectly. We must hang together, or we shall hang separately."

Helena can't help but smile a little. "Live together, die alone sounds a bit less ominous, but yeah." She raises her mug in salute, blows on the surface, and takes a sip.

Her own mug is raised to match the gesture, and she too tastes it. When it lowers from her mouth, leaving behind one of those standard hot chocolate mustaches, Cat muses. "I was thinking of Shakespeare, actually. The Saint Crispin's Day speech, paraphrased. "We few, we happy few, we band of sisters and brothers, for they who serve with us shall be our sisters or brothers…"

December 14th: A Kiss Good Night
December 14th: Make 'Em Bleed
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