Maybe In That Order


cat_icon.gif danielle_icon.gif peter_icon.gif

Scene Title Maybe In That Order
Synopsis Peter brings news of the meeting he attended earlier.
Date September 9. 2008

Dorchester Towers: Cat's Apartment

She's getting accustomed to being awake at odd hours, from playing gigs at the Surly Wench. It's not unusual to be getting home at 3:30 a. m. or later. But on this particular morning Cat's at home and has been here the entire night. She's been silent a lot since the scarred man she calls Rock came to pick her up and left without her. Will the trust still exist between them? Some of her time was spent playing guitar quietly, some of it at the piano bench. So much yet to share, and so much which can't. She hadn't told Dani any more than was necessary about him. And so far Peter's been letting things out bit by bit, by saying or doing things. Has he, she wonders, concluded he told the whole story to her friend and done, said, those things out of resignation? Or out of trust that anyone Cat would confide in could also be trusted? These are issues se anticipates surfacing when he returns.

Dani -did- apologize, after Peter left. But it was to Cat, and only a basic "I'm sorry. But I can't let you go alone…it could be dangerous. It wouldn't be right." But she seems a little miserable about it. She's spent much of the time since sitting in one of the chairs, knees pulled up to her chest and hugged, which is where she is now.

Over the course of the night the weather fluctuated oddly. Calming not long after Peter had left, and then growing to be exceptionally windy for a time, eventually dying down again to a quiet and still calm. While the skies remain clouded, there is no sign of inclement weather coming through for the rest of the wee early morning hours. Peter left hours ago, well over six hours, and his return is one more punctuated by quiet knocking. There's much less urgency behind it than there was earlier.

The taller of the two female friends stands when the knock comes, and she moves toward the door. "It's okay, Dani," Cat states solemnly. "Whatever happens, we'll make it okay, you and I." Then the door is opened to admit him. Given the hour, she seems certain it's him on the other side. "Morning," she greets, standing aside to let him pass by. "It's been stormy tonight." Her eyes scan his face to judge the mood.

Dani doesn't move from the chair, except to uncurl somethat…she comes out of her little ball. But she doesn't stand. She seems less worried now that it's just Peter and he's not preparing to drag Cat off to a Den of Terrorists (TM).

Peter looks put upon when the door is opened, nervously looking down both sides of the hallway outside of the apartment. "Yeah, I guess it has," Once the door is opened, he walks in quickly, part of his shoulder would have clipped the door at the haste he moves, but there's an odd rippling effect and it simply passes through the door. Peter either doesn't notice, or doesn't give it much concern. As he makes his way inside, he's rubbing at the back of his neck the way he's often want to do when he's nervous about something. "Is there any beer in your fridge?" He turns, stopping his stride to look back at Cat as the question is posed.

"I do," Cat replies, closing the door after he passes through it, literally. She secures the locks and heads for the kitchen, coming out with three bottles of that dark Irish stuff called stout. One is for her, one for Dani, and the other for him. "I haven't had, or taken, the time yet to formally introduce myself," she states in that quietly calm voice. "I'm Dr. Catherine Arden Chesterfield. Yale Law class of '08. Bachelor's degrees in music and political science, Yale class of '05."

Dani can't help but blink. She sort of didn't figure Cat would have been -sleeping- with Peter without him knowing who she was. The look she gives her friend is wide-eyed and owlish, but she doesn't reply to it. She opens her beer, and takes a pull on it. She apparently plans on Peter making introduction back before she does.

Peter quirks a brow as Cat hands him the beer, watching her carefully as she introduces herself formally. He raises the bottle, the cap twisting off anf flying free from the top of its own accord. He snatches it out of the air with his free hand, rolling it between his fingers. "Uh, right." Peter furrows his brow, looking at Cat strangely, then walks towards the engraving on the window. "The meeting was a waste of my time, I'm going to have to knock their heads together before they listen. I have a feeling their leader lets them run around and do whatever they want." He pauses, looking down to the guitar case he tripped over earlier, then back up to the etching, taking a swig from the bottle.

"Doctor Suresh is looking for me." Peter turns, looking over his shoulder. There was no introduction to be given, between he and Cat there simply isn't a need. Why he was being so forward, espescially in front of Dani, isn't immediately evident, "Mohinder, not Chandra." He adds, as if that was up for debate. "He knows I'm alive," A frown crosses his face, "And he knew where to look for me." Another long draw from the bottle, then a click of his tongue. "He wants to meet tomorrow, down in Central Park…" By now it's clear Peter is rambling, and he paces away from the mural, rolling that bottlecap over between his fingers constantly.

"I wanted to talk to you about something else, though," His voice lowers some, glancing up to Cat furtively before shaking his head and looking down at part of the engraving in the floor. "Mnhh — Maybe it can wait." He seems more distracted than usual, more on edge, and to fill that void of silence after his dismissive gesture, he downs the rest of the beer in the bottle, tipping it upside down to make sure he got the last drop. When the widget inside the bottle clunked against the neck, he lowers it again.

Dani looks from Peter to Cat, and then she offers "I can go. If you two would rather talk." Because this may be a relationship matter, not a terrorist matter. Or maybe it's just a statement that she thinks -Peter- at least is safe. "If you want me to."

She opens her own bottle and takes a long pull from it. "I've never met Dr. Suresh," Cat replies. "And I've not mentioned your name to anyone. Dani knows you can make predictive artwork, I had to share that much to explain why I had someone in here who etched the floors and window, but hadn't taken out a restraining order. Anything other than that is your story to tell." Her eyes travel over to Dani, then on to Peter. She's listening, to whatever he wants to say.

Arching one brow, Peter looks over to Dani, then back to Cat, "…Really?" His eyes diverted to the floor for a moment in though, even as the empty beer bottle drifted from his hand, floated languidly across the room, and came to settle itself down on the coffee table in front of the sofa. He considers things for a moment, looking over to Dani, then looks up to Cat. There's a long, heavy moment of silence as Peter seems to be struggling with something to say. Nothing comes, not for a few awkward moments, "I'm sorry." It is abrupt and unexplained, eye contact afforded to Cat as he says it, "I…" He raises both of his hands in a helpless gesture, "Really don't know what else to say to make up for…" He shakes his head, rubbing at the back of his neck again, looking sidelong at Dani, then back to Cat.

"I… think I'm just going to go." Peter seems to be having a difficult time finding his words, eyes wandering around the room aimlessly. "I've had a rough night, and… I'm not really sure why I came by. You've got company," He motions over to the couch, and his tone is apologetic, "You don't need this too." He starts for the door, looking for all his worth like he was jumbled up and having a difficult time making sense of anything in particular. Whatever had gone on at the meeting scrambled Peter some, and had his mind bouncing in too many directions at once.

Dani pipes up. "I'm long term company, guy." She nods to the guest room. "Look…I'm sorry. I didn't mean to be a bitch earlier. Just this is all kind of freaky, and I'm worried about Cat. Siddown, have some of the beer, and talk. If it's something you can't say with me there, I'll go bury my head in the bedroom. But if you're dating Cat, you and I are gonna -have- to say our hellos at some point."

She meets the eye contact, her own brown visual organs studying his. There's a patience in them, an understanding. He's got metaphysical scars to match the one across his face, and then some. It remains to be seen if he'll get an opportunity like was offered at an earlier occasion, she isn't one for letting herself get all ready and be left frustrated, but neither does she intend to turn her back on him. Activity in support of goals was offered, and will be carried through on, case by case. "So they're not listening to reason," Cat sighs. "It's a thing which prompts anger and fear, the risk of being locked away just for existing. Sad so many can't see past that, and realize certain tactics only underscore the convictions of those who fear us."

"I'm pretty sure that's not something I need to worry about." Peter opines to Dani on his way to the door. He stops, though, when he hears Cat and looks back to her. "It's… not quite like that, but, close enough I guess." He looks a bit more grizzled, Cat begins to notice, he still hasn't shaved. "It's more an issue of trust, with them. I'm new, I'm threatening. My niece…" He shakes his head, explaining it a different way, "The girl who was in charge tonight, she made some poor decisions when it got right down to it. I tried to correct them, and she had it out with me, verbally." Peter rubs two fingers at his temple, wearily. "I just need to be patient, or more forceful, or give up." He laughs to himself, "I haven't decided which yet." Once more his focus turns to the door, then over to Dani. "Rock," A faint smile crosses his lips, "Just call me Rock." His focus wanders to the door again, then back across the room to Cat.

Dani looks back to him. "Sounds fair, Rock. I'm new to this whole mess, I gotta say; I only found out some of this when Cat explained her windows there. My name's Dani. I'm a reporter. And no, that doesn't mean I'm gonna go putting this all in the paper. I promised." Even if she didn't want to. She stands and walks over to offer her hand.

"That's why she's valuable, Rock," Cat states after Dani shares her profession. "She writes. Any kind of movement has to have a voice, a printed or spoken voice, to carry the word. The Founders had Thomas Paine, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson. Gandhi even said there had to be some official medium to spread the word of his movement. Dani's a writer." Another drink comes from her bottle of stout, after which she resimes speaking. "Leadership is hard. But ultimately if you chart the course and start blaze the trail, others will see the wisdom in it and follow."

Peter's eyes narrow suspiciously as she explains her occupation, and he shoots a glance towards Cat. When Dani approaches though, Peter looks hard pressed whether to shake her hand, or walk out. Given what Cat says, and given that he agrees with it, he sighs deeply and offers her his own, shaking her hand for a moment. "Look…" He begins to say, and then censors himself, closing his eyes while he breathes in through his nose. "I know you're looking out for your friend, that's fine, I'd do the same thing. But I'd never put Cat in danger, that's half the reason why — " He winces, cutting himself off, "I'd never." It's as simple as that. When Peter turns to look back at Cat, he offers her a hesitant smile.

"I'm gonna' go, sleep, think." He rolls one shoulder, "Maybe in that order." With that, Peter gives the taller brunette a faint smile, "If I see you tomorrow, things went well. If not…" He shakes his head again, "Thanks for the time." There is a distance, a wall, self-erected between Peter and Cat now, something that seems to keep him distant from her.

Dani looks back at the suspicion with surprise. It's the first time she's gotten bitten for her profession, though it's probably not going to be the last. She shakes his hand. "I'm not so worried about you, Rock. But everybody else? Especially when you tell me they made some poor decisions? Not so relieving." A concerned smile. "Call anyway? Even if it's just "Hey, I'm OK." Maybe she's worried about him too.

"Yes, make contact whether it was good or bad, Rock," Cat insists. She studies the man, a smal measure of that awe and respect showing, a hint of that attraction she felt, but she too reigns it in. The wall she sees going up, she understands. It was all in that statement about people around him getting hurt, the reason he won't let himself enjoy such privileges as were so close at hand that night. And the reason she isn't likely to offer them again anytime soon. "Sleep well."

"If I don't show up tomorrow," Peter says with a sarcastic smile, "Be careful." He tenses his brow, turning away towards the door, "I'll try…" He says reluctantly, reaching up to run his fingers through his hair, "I haven't slept well…" A faint smile crosses his lips, "In days." Air rushes in to fill the space Peter once occupied, followed by a brief breeze outwards. Like smoke between fingers, he's gone again.

Dani looks back at Cat. "Did that go well or badly? Never had anyone look at me like I was gonna bite them when I told them what I did before." She makes a face at that.

"It went well," Cat replies as she settles into a recliner with her bottle of stout. The best stout. Guinness. Her eyes close for a moment, she goes adrift in thought. "You've never been looked at like that when you said you're a reporter, because you've probably never spoken to anyone in a situation like this before. He and I… He won't let himself do romance. Too many burdens. He won't let himself be tempted by my charms, and I'm less overwhelmed than I was that one night. I… got the handle on myself, you could say." She flashes a muted grin, before taking another small drink.

Dani nods, and looks back at Cat. "I'm sorry, Cat. I really am. I mean, if you were into him and all. There's other options, though."

"Nothing to be sorry about." She leans back, relaxing, as a question forms amid a chuckle. "Other options?" A grin follows that statement.

Dani looks amused. "Yeah. Other options." She tucks one leg up under the other. "I told you I hadn't been driving stick since I got dumped back in college." Well, specifically, she said she hadn't been with a guy. She looks amused as she looks back at her roommate.

That was after they graduated, for her the first college graduation, anyway, back in '05. But the when doesn't so much matter. Cat's head tilts slightly, she studies the shorter one in silence for a long moment. "I'd almost think you were trying to put a move on me, Dani," she replies. It's not said with the semblance of freaking out, or returning such an interest if it exists. It's just a statement.

Dani laughs, and swirls her beer once. "Hey, I figure if you can drop on me that you have freaking superpowers, I can drop on you that I play for the other team." Another sip. "Besides, what if I was?" she quips with a grin.

"If I were drawn to women," Cat replies conversationally, "I'd still be a switch hitter. The anatomy still fits, you know, and I'd always have the drive for it." She neither confirms nor denies being attracted to women in the past or present. "Has it always been this way for you, Dani?" she asks quietly. "Thinking back to high school, when things changed in your body, were you looking at other girls and thinking this way but pushing it down, convincing yourself to be attracted to and aroused by guys?"

Dani looks back at Cat with the same wry smile. "Not sure I can tell you, Cat. I don't have the same memory you do." Or else she's opting to use that as an excuse. Humor as shielding; standard Dani tactic. "Maybe? I don't want to weird you out, Kit-Kat. ESPECIALLY with me staying here.

"I mean, it just doesn't come out of nowhere, I don't think. It's not something someone decides to suddenly feel, the decision is only in what to do about those feelings, whether to acknowledge or fight them." There's a long sip of her stout and silence in taking it. "But you aren't weirding me out." How could she, really, just days after Cat met a guy who confessed to a whole string of abilities he absorbed, one of them her own, and to top it all, he nuked a city. Peter is the man who Nuked York. "I don't remember those days any more clearly than you, Dani. It only applies to things after it kicked in."

In all of this, one thing is unspoken, which might be discerned. On the topic of what if Dani was into her like that, she didn't answer. At no point did she say something like 'don't be scoping my ass or I'll beat yours' or 'quit staring at my boobs'.

Dani doesn't know THAT salient fact about Peter…or it would have been a lot less sociable. The reporter smiles…she does know how to keep an eye out for what people say and don't. Tradecraft. "Well, that's good." Another pull on her beer. "Soooo….yeah. Maybe I was trying to put a move on you." She's had -a lot- to drink today. And stress. Yeah.

"I understand now why you're so accepting of me and what my brain does." Cat stands from her seat and settles onto the couch while finishing off the bottle. It makes her approachable, without having to say anything directly.

That tradecraft thing? Still works. Dani gets up and moves over to the couch. "Nah. I put up with you being an insufferable know-it-all cause you're my friend." She teases, sitting next to Cat. "This isn't that."

"I'm not going to be any public persona of the cliche rocker chick who's into other women and hates men," she quietly states. "I don't hate men. Never will. Anything like that would be my business, and something I wouldn't comment on publicly. It'd be private."

Dani looks either a little angry or a little hurt. Maybe a little both. "So I'm just supposed to be a dirty little secret, huh?" She -tries- to get some of her normal smart-aleck tone into it. She only half-succeeds.

Damn. That wasn't supposed to happen. "You know I don't tell the private stuff very openly. Same as I didn't register when that law passed, and I won't, but I'd work with people opposing it just the same. You know this about me."

Danielle replies "There's a difference between "not saying something" and "hiding something", Cat." Uh-oh. Real name time again. "And I'm not a genetic quirk. I'm a person."

"You're my closest friend, Dani," Cat softly states. "So much so I confided about myself. And when you decided to come to New York I didn't hesitate to take you in. Even with this," she gestures toward the etchings across the room, "here. I knew what you'd see when you got here and would need to be told things, and I didn't even stop to think about whether or not to bring you here. Because that choice was already made years ago when I told you what my brain does."

She gets to her feet, taking a few steps, before looking back. "Can't you see some choices are already made and let me get to that point on my own, knowing I'll get there, because I didn't flip out or run away?"

Dani looks back to Cat. "I've never told your secret. And I never would. But I won't -be- your secret, Cat. I'm not asking you go out and hold a press conference. But at the same time…if there's something between us, I'm not going to pretend like there's not. I just came out of the closet to you, and you're trying to push me back in it."

"I didn't ask you to be my secret. Not trying to push you back. Just… hoping you'll let me step out and not be pulled, Dani," Cat replies. "To explore what's developing between us and have it be just ours. If I kissed you in public, and was asked if I'm a lesbian, I'd not answer, but the question wouldn't stop me kissing you again at that moment." She hopes she's making sense. "Let the world think what it will."

Dani seems to relax at that. "Actions speak louder than words, anyway. I'm just not willing to not go out with you or something, just because you don't want people to know."

She returns to her seat and rests there, head tilted back and eyes closing. "Dani," she quietly offers, "I'm scared of hurting you. I mean, I already love you. We've been close for so long, you have my secret and my trust. I… I'm afraid if we explored things between us I'd discover it was just hedonism and hurt you."

She looks back. "If we don't explore, then we'll never know." she says, matter-of-factly. "I know this makes things a little awkward. But it did when you first told me your secret, too. And we got through it."

Her arms reach out to pull Dani in, aiming to lay the other back with her head in her lap and toy with her hair in silence.

She scoots over closer, next to Cat, and then turns, so that she ends up in the laid-back position, looking up at Cat. A soft sigh of contentment comes out. "I honestly didn't have this in mind when I asked for a room."

"I don't know where we're going. I won't say I'm going to swear off guys forever. But wherever we go, it's ours. Just ours."

Danielle nods once, snuggling in more. And then her natural humor and sarcasm returns. "So does this mean I get to see more of those legs?" she says, playfully.

"Maybe," she replies, just sitting there. "But it's nearly four, and I think sleep is going to happen soon." Cat seems prepared to nod off right there on the couch, with Dani's head in her lap and the hair being toyed with gently.

Dani suggests "We could use your room. Just sleep." Sometimes just being together's enough.

She eases the head off her lap, indicating Dani should sit up, and once she does Cat stands. She heads down the hallway toward her bedroom. In there, on her bed with another woman next to her, she'll just sleep.

September 8th: A Meeting Crashed
September 8th: Impossibilities
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