Life After Company


f_april_icon.gif veronica3_icon.gif

Scene Title Life After Company
Synopsis One former Company agent has found some semblance of it, while the current agent is contemplating its siren call.
Date May 29, 2010

Central Park

Once upon a time, young Veronica Sawyer would have found 25 degrees only acceptable while arcing through the meandering trails of a snowy mountain on skis or snowboard — with a sunny blue sky above and her gear on, it might as well have been 80 degrees in t-shirts and shorts "down the mountain." And there was always the ski lodges with steaming soup and coffee and hot cocoa if the sun disappeared an the snow began to fall and her activity was no longer enough to keep her warm.

She would have never been out jogging in 25 degrees. That's what treadmills are for.

Today, though, 25 degrees means springtime. It's safe enough to even consider something like jogging and an extended stay out of doors without the threat of severe frostbite or hypothermia, and Veronica finds herself enjoying the crisp coolness of the air on her face as she runs the trails of Central Park.

There's still a lot of snow off the trails, for all that crews have been working to clear it away; one reason the people out enjoying tolerably warmer air seem to all be in the same place. There's a good number of them, maybe even more than would be expected on a normal late-May day; but the weather merits it. April Silver is just recently returned to the city, her attention distracted by the panorama of so much snow and ice. She's out with a black jacket and dark blue jeans, hands stuffed loosely in pockets as she walks down the trail, absorbed in her own thoughts.

Sawyer may not be recognizable under the hoodie of her polar fleece sweatshirt or the sunglasses covering her eyes — she probably looks more like the Unibomber. But she recognizes April, and slows to a stop so that she is walking when their paths coinciding. She pulls her sunglasses off so the other woman can see her eyes, hooking the glasses on the neck of her sweatshirt.

"April," she says, a little out of breath and her husky voice a touch huskier than normal, though on its way toward repair. The running might not be doing it any favors, but it's been too long since her feet have pounded anything but treadmill or the carpet of St. Luke's hospital when chasing after Samson Gray. "How are you?"

April starts out of her reverie at the sound of her name, blinking over at Veronica. "…Veronica," she says, after a momentary hesitation. Her feet also slow, though they have less momentum to lose; the older woman offers a fleetingly polite smile. "I'm fine," she answers. "Just got back into town. How about yourself?" is asked in return, for courtesy sake. And maybe just a little curiosity.

"Trying to re-establish life away from work here in the city," Veronica says with a chuckle. Outwardly, she looks better than she has lately. She's gotten enough rest and her cheeks are flushed from either the chill or the exertion of her workout. "Things have been pretty rough. And it's good to be back home." She nods in the direction of the Upper East Side buildings that loom high over the green space of Central Park. "Where did you go? South for the never-ending winter, like a smarter bird than I?"

"East, actually," April supplies. "What, you didn't know?" The words are facetious, spoken with a wry smile, but at the same time not entirely; she fully expects the Company to be keeping tabs on her. She shakes her head, suggesting that a reply to that is unnecessary, and not expected. "I'm not sure if 'a life outside work' is to be complemented or… if you're just a little crazy," she continues, reflecting on her own history with 'work'. "Good luck, though."

The facetious smile earns a smile in return, and Veronica shrugs. "It wasn't my turn to watch you," she says with a shrug. "Too many other cases going on. I'm sure someone probably knows where you are, but not me. In fact, someone probably knows where I am now, too. Wonder if it's making anyone nervous." Knowing that probably doesn't make much sense to her former co-worker and former caseload, Sawyer reaches around to touch the back of her neck. "I got a shiny new tattoo of sorts myself recently," she explains, the humor not quite reaching her eyes. "How is life on the outside?"

One dark brow arches at Veronica's admission. "You, huh? They don't usually miss that sort of thing." After a moment, April resumes walking, gesturing for the agent to tag along if she so desires. The question which follows is met with a brief snort. "Outside in more ways than one," she quips. "I'm — relearning a lot, I guess. Stuff I didn't even know I'd forgotten. I hadn't dealt with utilities in eight years." She can say that, to Veronica, because the other woman knows her history already. "Forgot how much cleaning a kitchen can take. Even if you don't really cook in it." April smiles, sincerely this time. "It's been good, though. I'm glad to — be here, again."

Veronica chuckles. "It is amazing how messy a kitchen can get even when you don't cook in it, that's true. I'm take-out queen, but I guess there are always plates and glasses and spills to take care of," she says lightly. "To be honest, I've thought about quitting, but I'm not sure I know how to do anything else." There's more to her reasons for staying than that, but obviously she can't go into them. "If you need help settling in at all, let me know. I have a gang of guys who can move refrigerators or couches for you or whatever." Brians are useful.

April shakes her head at that. "No, I'm not moving. Just coming back to my apartment." She smiles ruefully. "I guess you can say I was on vacation for the last month and change. Went over to Pittsburgh and watched Manhattan freeze." She falls quiet for a moment, looking over at Vee. "I was job-hunting for… must have been two months, at least, and it was pure luck I found one. You've got a better employment record; might do better." Unspoken: or maybe not. There's a lot of luck in getting employed these days, and not much else.

The company agent chuckles. "Maybe. If I can get out before I get fired or killed," Veronica replies with a wry grin. "Congratulations on the new job, anyway. Where are you working?" April's words make it sound like something legitimate, so she figures the woman can answer the polite question. If it is something underground, the woman can always lie, of course. April would have plenty of experience doing just that from her time in the Company ranks.

It's certainly not a secret from the Company, for all that April hasn't bothered to take over her doppelganger's Registry file. "Place in SoHo," she replies. "Little hotel that's actually doing reasonably well — or was, before the freeze. They tell me the job's still there, but I wonder how anything's going to stay open." She looks over at Veronica. "I mean, you have to figure Manhattan's way off the destination lists now, even if we make it all the way up to summer weather."

"True. I certainly don't think I'd be visiting here anytime soon if I didn't have to be here," Veronica says, glancing at the snow around them. "It'll take a long time for it to get back to normal, not that it's been normal for a long time." Not since the bomb.

"Good luck getting the hotel back on its feet, though. Maybe you'll get some customers just due to the damages caused by this storm, people who need to move while their homes get repaired." The agent bends to retie her shoes, before standing. "I'll let you get back to your walk, but it was good seeing you, and knowing there is life after Company."

"There is this time," April says; if the statement is a bit grim in its humor, shaded by memories of that life, it's also satisfied. One future averted; another to be made. "Take care of yourself, Veronica," the former agent states, nodding to her as she straightens. Then it's different directions for them once more, April to walk and Vee to run, paths no longer crossed.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License