Making Exceptions


sebastian_icon.gif tamsine_icon.gif

Scene Title Making Exceptions
Synopsis Sebastian's and Tamsine's friendly walk ends with them worlds apart.
Date May 11, 2009

Central Park

Central Park has been, and remains, a key attraction in New York City, both for tourists and local residents. Though slightly smaller, approximately 100 acres at its southern end scarred by and still recovering from the explosion, the vast northern regions of the park remain intact.

An array of paths and tracks wind their way through stands of trees and swathes of grass, frequented by joggers, bikers, dog-walkers, and horsemen alike. Flowerbeds, tended gardens, and sheltered conservatories provide a wide array of colorful plants; the sheer size of the park, along with a designated wildlife sanctuary add a wide variety of fauna to the park's visitor list. Several ponds and lakes, as well as the massive Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir, break up the expanses of green and growing things. There are roads, for those who prefer to drive through; numerous playgrounds for children dot the landscape.

Many are the people who come to the Park - painters, birdwatchers, musicians, and rock climbers. Others come for the shows; the New York Shakespeare Festival at the Delacorte Theater, the annual outdoor concert of the New York Philharmonic on the Great Lawn, the summer performances of the Metropolitan Opera, and many other smaller performing groups besides. They come to ice-skate on the rink, to ride on the Central Park Carousel, to view the many, many statues scattered about the park.

Some of the southern end of the park remains buried beneath rubble. Some of it still looks worn and torn, struggling to come back from the edge of destruction despite everything the crews of landscapers can do. The Wollman Rink has not been rebuilt; the Central Park Wildlife Center remains very much a work in progress, but is not wholly a loss. Someday, this portion of Central Park just might be restored fully to its prior state.

The park is warm and quiet, the weather calm and agreeable. Sebastian sits over on one of the benches in his jogging attire, leaning over to tie a shoelace, though he scans the park around him as he does. Spotting a familiar pair of legs, he stops and then grins, waiting till she is close enough to speak. Perhaps it's the change of outfit, or maybe she's distracted, regardless he waits until she is closer yet bfeore murmuring, "Morning, Tamsine…"

Tamsine doesn't quite hear — a pair of pink earbuds nestle in her tiny ears, attaching to a pink Ipod. But she does notice him leaning toward here, and she first jumps, then smiles as she reaches up to pull the apparatus away. "Sebastian!" she says, laughing. "I'm sorry, I didn't see you. How are you?" She's not running but walking through the park, in comfortable tennis shoes, long yoga pants and a snug t-shirt. Her long red hair is pulled up into a ponytail that trails down her back. "How are you?"

Sebastian laughs a bit, watching her remove the earbuds and standing, "No problem, I didn't see the headphones, kinda match the hair. You walk around the park often?" Then he makes a face, and says, "I mean, I haven't seen you around." Of course it is Central Park. "I'm good, just taking advantage of the nice weather - nicer than running in the gym, you know?" he looks around, "Mind a walking partner?"

"I never belonged to a gym," Tamsine says with a smile. "Usually just walk around my block, but the day is gorgeous so I figured I'd come out to the park to enjoy it. Good place to think." She turns off the Ipod attached to her waist. "I don't mind. You come here a lot? When you're not punching things at the gym?" A small smirk shows she's teasing him about that.

Sebastian laughs, "Me either. The over-priced apartment building has one in it, so…" he shrugs, then nods. "It is. I really it around here," and he looks around before letting his gaze fall back to Tamsine. He turns and begins walking in the direction she was headed, pausing to make sure she follows, "I try to come here pretty often actually, the boxing gym is really just for that - not exactly a place to run. Brat." He tacks on the last with a bit of a teasing smile.

Tamsine smiles. "Just jump rope and hit bags and pretend you're Sylvester Stallone, right?" she says. "Do you know when I was a little kid I never got any of the Rocky references, because I wasn't allowed to watch anything violent? We had a television but mostly for PBS. Go figure I was the one of my friends who got knocked up as a teenager. My parents didn't see that one coming."

He snickers, "You should see me some time," he chides, "I haven't gotten into the ring more than a couple times yet, but I'm this close to my first boxing match." He grins, "Course if your parents say no…." He moves a bit closer, his hand moving to touch the small of her back, more a gentle guiding than anything intimate, "I bet. It always seems that way. You good protected girls are so bad." He peers over and winks.

"I don't know how protected I was. I mean… yeah, I couldn't watch television but I had criminals and druggies living in my house… sort of wacky on my parents' part, but they meant well. Just trying to save the world, you know? Too bad that's a lost cause." She sighs a little cynically, quiet a moment, before she looks over at him. "Do you think it's possible to change the way things are, right now? The whole… what do they call it. Political climate."

When she doesn't flinch away from him he eases a bit, the slight touch becoming a more friendly touch. He nods a bit as he goes, "Well, like you said, they meant well, and I'm sure that ended up being more…. well. I'm sure it did more good than harm, right?" He glances over, a question in his eyes that remains unvoiced. Before he can get that far she asks him that last question, "I uh. I don't know. I mean…. it's certainly possible. It depends on if people can learn to accept all of the… changes." He frowns a little, his look away letting on that he may believe the answer is no though.

"And what is needed to change it?" she murmurs, her eyes a bit seemingly focused somewhere on the path ahead of them, but clearly really on something beyond that, something not visible. "Do the ends justify the means, if the status quo is … morally wrong? Can doing something most would say is morally wrong… be right… in such times?"

Sebastian blinks, and though he keeps walking he slows some, looking over, "I don't know Tamsine." He frowns a bit more, "I… no. The ends never justify the means I don't think." He peers over and asks, "Why?" His tone softens some, his touch sliding away, but not far, his fingers brushing her hand, "You OK?"

Those dark eyes blink and then glance up at him. "I … I don't know. Just someone's been asking me some questions that have been making me think. About… the way things are. The way things should be. It shouldn't be like this, Sebastian. Little kids shouldn't be killing themselves because they don't see a future for themselves in this world. It's just wrong." She sighs and brushes a wayward lock of red hair out of her eyes. "If you could change things - if you knew someone who might be able to change things… is it wrong to help them if you know what they're doing is not… within the laws of the society you feel is wrong at heart?"

Now he stops and takes a step forward, turning to face her, "What? I mean,,, you're not wrong- what happened to your daughter is… it's horrible. And unfair." He frowns though and he seems to think about what you say. After a moment he shakes his head, but says, "You're right, it is wrong. If I could… no. I don't… no. I don't know Tamsine." He sighs, and steps aside, then takes her hand, moving to keep walking, "You're not… going to do anything wrong are you?"

"I'm trying to define what wrong is," Tamsine says with a shrug. "Civil Disobedience — if a law is morally wrong, isn't it morally right to do what you can to change the law? I don't know, Sebastian. I'm not going to do anything… rash… or violent… no. I may help someone if they ask me to. I have… ways of helping that they might need. But I couldn't hurt anyone. Not unless my life was in danger, or … Lily's. But that's already gone."

Sebastian smirks, "When you find that answer you should publish and never work again for the rest of your life. I mean… in all honesty…" he frowns, shrugs a shoulder and takes the redhead's hand, "There are ways to change the law. But breaking the law to get there? I don't think that's the way to go." After a second he looks over once more, "What do you mean helping?"

Tamsine squeezes his hand and looks back to where they ran into one another. "This must be your slowest 'jog' ever," she says with a smirk. "I don't know how I'd help… I just know someone who… I guess sort of sees himself as a revolutionary. He's trying to change things. Get rid of this atmosphere of fear… of mistrust. I get that there are people who are dangerous but … not everyone's going to use their abilites for bad things. Like… you could probably fight pretty well, go attack someone and beat them just for the fun of it, but you don't. The same goes for someone with a power. Just because they can — doesn't mean they will. The government operates on the fear that they will just because they can — and that's not right. With that sort of logic, we might as well get rid of guns and knives and staplers and scissors and martial arts and self defense and anything that could be potentially dangerous, because it might hurt someone."

He shakes his head, "I'd rather walk with you than walk alone any day." The compliment though is quiet, almost off-handed, and entirely true. "He sounds dangerous. And anybody with a power… I don't care how… dangerous it is. They'll always use it to their advantage. It's just how people are." He frowns a bit deeper. "And… me beating a guy up.. it's no different than him doing the same to me. But say he had some Power, well?" He has the opposite view - if they can, they will. It's human nature in his mind. But as she goes on he looks ahead, that same distant look she wore earlier, "Did I tell you that I think the reason I was in prison was one of Them? He wanted what I had… he wanted money. And so he … became me, and so I went to prison. I know…" he shakes his head, "I don't think they can be trusted."

Tamsine pulls her hand out of his grip and backs away from him, tears welling up in her eyes. "One of 'Them.' With a capital T, right? That rhymes with P and that stands for Pool." She gives a headshake at the stupid musical song that pops into her head and out of her mouth. "You remember, right, Sebastian, that my daughter was one of Them? That she never did a damn thing to hurt anyone, and that she killed herself rather than try to exist in a world where people hate her?" She backs up, away from him, as she speaks. "I'm sorry someone with a power hurt you, but … They are just like us — there are good people, and there are snakes, and that doesn't change just because they have a power." She turns to walk in the opposite direction, her back to him.

Sebastian flinches through his whole body, "That's… that's not what I meant Tamsine." he frowns, and looks stricken when she pulls away, his hand drawing back, his wrist cradled by the opposite hand. But it is what he meant, and he spoke without thinking. He takes a step closer, but she's already turning away, "Tamsine… I'm sorry. I.. I didn't think. Please." He stops though, not willing to go after her and broach that personal space that's suddenly there like a wall, "Your daughter… she was different. She is. And maybe she's the exception to my prejudice. You're right…" he states, though his voice dips and he's looking down, the last said to himself.

She turns back, and her cheeks are stained with tears. "You spoke without thinking… so it's what you really think, really feel. You've made that clear," she says quietly, but it carries across the space. She continues to back up, putting distance between Sebastian and herself. "You're entitled to your opinion. At least it's a popular one." She turns away and actually breaks into a jog, putting her earbuds back in her ears so that she won't be able to hear him if he should call after her.

Sebastian's guilt is written plain over is features. He did speak without thinking and he did mean it. But there's something different now. He didn't know Tamsine, or her past, or her daughter. Hearing about it is one thing, but meeting her… he watches her with a pained look, and realizes this may be the last time he sees her again. He says nothing, but instead watches her turn and jog away, "I'm sorry," he finally states some time later. The walk home is long and quiet, and lost the warmth of the day.

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