I Want To Ride My Bicycle


cat_icon.gif ygraine_icon.gif

Scene Title I Want To Ride My Bicycle
Synopsis A musician/lawyer, a courier, food, books, and a hospital cafeteria converge.
Date September 13, 2008

St Luke's Hospital

It's a Saturday morning here in Nuked York, one which finds Catherine Chesterfield at the hospital watching over the injured Courtney Danielle Hamilton. Needing food, and with the injured one asleep, she's migrated to the cafeteria. But the food isn't much to her liking, so she undertakes to make arrangements. Her phone is dialed, first to the delicatessen called Piccoli's in Little Italy. An order is placed for some of their excellent fare, a number to charge it to is given, and the statement someone will pick it up soon.

But, Cat realizes, this isn't all she needs. She lacks books to read. Books on medicine. So she dials up a bookstore and purchases two volumes, one of which is Grey's Anatomy, saying again someone will pick it up.

Now, of course, she needs to have those pickups happen, so a courier service is enlisted. And she waits.

The courier service is told she'll be found in the cafeteria at St. Luke's Hospital, Morningside Heights. And as Cat waits a sheet of paper is folded and placed on her table, marked with the name Chesterfield, so the courier can know who she is.

Some little while later, a long-legged figure in black lycra and wrap-around shades stalks along the pristine corridors of the hospital in search of the waiting lawyer-cum-musician. Her backpack - having been delved into by security - is slung loosely over one shoulder, her helmet dangling by its straps from the other hand. Pausing at the entrance to the cafeteria, she pushes her shades up atop her head, scanning the hall before starting to make her way towards Cat's table.

She's watching and waiting, so the approach of the courier in bicycle gear is expected. She stands and extracts an amount of money from the backpack by her feet, ready to hand it over. It'll cover the courier work and provide a very healthy tip for the driver. One hundred dollars, altogether. "Good morning," the five foot eight inch brunette in the dark tank top, dark jeans, and two inch heeled boots greets. "This job must be really good for keeping in shape, yes?"

Ygraine carefully swings her backpack down onto one of the chairs at the table, before accepting the money. "I hope to become a professional racer, so it certainly has its uses", admits the new arrival with a smile, her voice distinctly marked with an educated British accent. "Though it has its drawbacks, of course." As she talks, she carefully removes the assortment of packages from her bag, setting them atop the table. "If you can check that everything's there, and sign for it, please…."

Her mind is at work, the digital everything recorder in full gear. It always is, except when she runs into a certain scarf wearing Russian. Cat's head tilts as she begins to check the packages for the presence of food and books she arranged to have brought here. "You're British," she remarks. "It sounds more like Received Pronounciation, or the product of the top Universities, than the regionals." At close range, she can be recognized as the woman who on multiple occasions each week prowls the stage at the Surly Wench with her guitar and singing in a solo act.

Ygraine arches an eyebrow. "I grew up in Edinburgh, but I was born and studied in England. And you sound remarkably posh, yourself, for someone who plays at a punk club every now and then…."

The courier is studied carefully then, a slow smile spreading across Cat's face. "Perceptive, Miss," she replies after a period of silence. "Music is far more enjoyable than being stuck in a corporate law office. And I'm excellent at it." Her right hand is offered to shake, the skin there smooth and soft as would be expected for someone of posh origins. The tips of her fingers, however, are callused. Evidence of how much time she spends playing guitar. "Doctor Catherine Chesterfield, Yale Law '08."

The courier tugs off her cycling glove before accepting the offered hand, shaking firmly as she cracks a cheery grin. "Ygraine FitzRoy. I'm afraid that my post-grad work didn't take me to a doctorate, but I can boast of having worked for the UN if I need to compete in the prestige stakes. And… I confess that I have to agree that I find your music far more interesting than I think I'd find law."

Her grip has some strength to it, neither limp nor crushing, and is released after shaking once. "I generally go simply by Cat, as you know from my performances." And the smile broadens. "In your nation it likely works differently. Law schools wouldn't routinely issue doctorates, but in the US it's standard. For whatever reason they rarely call themselves by the title they earned." It's in that statement said she enjoys being rare. "What's your Masters degree in, Miss FitzRoy?"

"International relations. My first degree was in history. Hence, in part, ending up working as a translator and then a courier. I am afraid that I am near enough a member of the highly-qualified and unemployable sector…." Ygraine grins once more, offering a cheery shrug. "Still, as long as I am young enough to aspire towards professional cycling, I can bury my head in the sand. Do you intend to make music your career?"

"I do," she confirms eagerly. And a question follows. "I need a drummer, bass guitarist, and possibly a keyboardist. The solo act can only go so far. It works at the punk place, being raw and bare bones, but not so much beyond those walls. Maybe at upcoming shows I'll do an audience participation thing, call people up to face the challenge of being worthy of remaining on stage and see whom I find." Her head tilts as if to ask the Scot without words how good an idea she finds that.

Ygraine lifts a brow once more, then chuckles. "I can sing and play the piano well enough that people don't run screaming", she volunteers with a lop-sided smile. "Though I really doubt that I could claim to be of professional standard. Admittedly, even my work for the UN wasn't really "professional" - I was an intern - so I suppose that I shouldn't let that stop me from volunteering my services if you're truly desperate. Risking your career as opposed to meddling in world affairs - it's probably the safer option, eh? Calling people up from the crowd, however, _could_ make for a couple of memorable gigs."

"If you're in the audience at the right time, Miss, you could try your hand, certainly." Cat settles back into her seat and gestures toward an empty one, an invitation to sit as well. Her back is kept straight as she speaks with Ygraine in the cafeteria, further evidence of her posh upbringing and education, packages on the table and her backpack nearby. "Is there a name you commonly go by, something less formal?"

Ygraine pauses momentarily, then folds herself onto the indicated chair, stretching her legs out before her - one hand dropping to massage absent-mindedly at the arc of muscle curving across the top of her thigh. "Ygraine's fine. People have occasionally tried shortening it, but things like "Iggy" make me think of aging rockers, I confess…."

As she watches the courier massage her leg muscle, the name of that one comes into mind, recalled from another book she recently read. "Ygraine. And no, you don't look at all like Iggy Pop, the comparison would just be really wrong." A soft laugh follows. "I think you're the Posh Scot." Then there's further reflection as she takes the clipboard and studies the signature page, but doesn'y yet sign, perhaps because she doesn't want the courier to go just yet.

Ygraine blinks, then laughs. "I was born in England. "Posh" is a nickname I've acquired over here with some of the couriers - though I hope that I don't behave like a Spice Girl, at least…." Cocking her head, she shoots Cat a quizzical look. "Is something wrong?", she asks, gesturing towards the receipt. "If there's something wrong in the order, we can try to sort it out…"

"Nothing's wrong," she assures, "not signing extends good conversation, simply. Everything's here and accounted for. I hope you don't have to be dashing off." Her fingers take up the clipboard again and sign at the appropriate spot. "Two paths lie ahead of you. International relations, and athletics. Do both, perhaps?" Cat's expression is inquisitive now.

Ygraine glances over at the clock in the cafeteria, then grins and shrugs. "I can claim a break now, I think. And… well. Ideally, yes. I tried to make it to the Sydney Olympics, but missed out on the team. I was on course to make Beijing when… well. I was here in November '06. That's when I was interning at the UN. I'm still hoping to make London in 2012, but even if I kept competing into my mid thirties I'd need a career thereafter. And I'm enough of a foolish idealist that putting the world to rights kind of appeals. Though I suppose that being a member of the next great band might be a possible alternative…"

"The resourceful find ways to combine things," Cat replies with a grin. "I didn't much want to study law, but I was something of the dutiful daughter, so I did. And now I don't need any agent to handle things. I'm not very likely to get cheated by contracts like so many do, and have been. The list of classic rockers who don't own their creations is tragically long."

Ygraine nods quickly. "True. For myself, I have enough talent in music to appreciate that I'm not good enough to make it as any sort of a soloist… though I admit that I hadn't really thought about signing up with a band. Cycling… unfashionable though it is, it's been my first love for a long time now. I'm hopelessly addicted to going at breakneck speeds on two wheels."

"Breakneck speeds, hitching onto passing trucks for a boost as you make delivery rounds too, I'd imagine." Cat, unspoken, is sooooo grateful to not worry about money so she can indulge her passion whether she succeeds or not. It's a thing she understands so very well when Ygraine speaks of her love for cycling. "It might be a bit of time before I play onstage again. My close friend got badly hurt, that's why I'm here, so I'll be helping her. But when I return, I'll bring you up and try you out. No promises, though."

Ygraine winces, then chuckles. "I wouldn't expect you to promise me anything musical on the basis of my managing to deliver an order on time. And… I'm sorry to hear about your friend. I hope that it's not too bad…? Is that why you've requested medical books?"

"She'll recover," the musician replies quietly, "it'll just take time. It's the reason, yes. I like to read, and the subject's on my mind lately." One hand pulls the Grey's Anatomy over toward her and leaves it closed, then goes for one of the sandwiches. Eating still needs to happen, and she unwraps it slowly. "Have you had Piccoli's food, Ygraine?"

Ygraine shakes her head. "I don't think so. Almost everyone in New York seems to have a favourite deli to recommend to visitors", she observes with a smile. "And… I'm glad to hear that your friend'll be okay. Is she recovering, or is she in need of surgery?"

"No surgery," Cat replies in a subdued voice. "Thankfully." Her hand lifts the sandwich. "Try Piccoli's. I think you'll love their food, Scota." Yes, she just did try out another alternative to Ygraine for the courier. It seems to be a thing she does, a quirk similar to calling herself Doctor.

"I'm quite willing to give it a go, since you're offering", says Ygraine with another smile, slightly shifting position to be able to better eye the sandwich. "Though I'm still not a Scot, you know. When I've raced for one of the home nations, it's been for England…"

Scota doesn't seem to work in her head, Cat doesn't repeat it. But she believes something will come to her, eventually. She begins to eat, not saying much because it's not so polite to do so while chewing, and shares some of the food with the Englishwoman until the necessities of courier work finally pull her away. She's got plenty to last her the day and even offer Dani if she can handle it, after all.

September 13th: Right Where I Belong
September 13th: Calm Before the Storm
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