Not A Fan, Really


cat_icon.gif jennifer_icon.gif

Scene Title Not A Fan, Really
Synopsis Jennifer endures something she doesn't like.
Date December 23, 2008

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.

Monday is gone, moved on into Tuesday, the 23rd, her diligent work on updating records from her considerable memory done, and time on Cat's hands after the most recent night spent in yet another hotel. She's out and about again, dressed in jeans and winter boots, a Yale hoodie under her heavy coat. The backpack is carried over one shoulder now, a guitar case over the other. Gloves with the tips cut off grace her hands, and an iPhone sits at her left hip. The gear is set down on a bench, the case opened and left that way, and the instrument comes out.

Jennifer's well-bundled against the chill. Boots, jeans, down jacket, scarf, gloves, and hat. Thus fortified, the brunette heads through Central Park to make her rendezvous. She spots the musician off to the side and changes course, heading that way.

Her fingers start to move once the instrument is in hand, held around her neck by the strap. She closes her eyes and strikes one string at a time with her other hand moving up and down the frets. Here and there she'll adjust one of the knobs at the neck and strike the same combination again, then nod to herself at the improvement. "Getting in tune to the straight and narrow," Cat sings under her breath.

Jennifer approaches. She looks over to Cat, and gives a wave. "Hey, Cat." she says, quietly, breath fogging the air. "How's it going?"

"Well enough," she answers, looking up from her seated position. Fingers go still on the instrument, and she exhales slowly. The breath mists as it departs. "I like the cold sometimes. Feels clean and crisp. But only sometimes." Cat's eyes lower to the instrument, then raise to meet Jen's face. "Thanks for coming out here. I don't know how you feel about frozen air and the outdoors."

She looks back to her. "Not a fan, really. Especially not these kind of temperatures. But I told you I'd be there." If she was called. And she is.

"I hope I didn't make trouble for you," Cat states in a subdued voice. "I had no idea you and she even knew each other, and there she was, talking about a Jennifer, there's thousands of you in a place like New York. Didn't make the connection, until…" More misting breath as it leaves her and mingles with the air around it, "she came out with your photo."

Jennifer shakes her head. "Ygraine? No, it's okay. I'm working on recruiting her. I thought that was pretty common knowledge around the place. No problems." A reassuring smile is offered.

"That's a relief, though not so much I didn't know. I focus more on the operational bits, and not so much the other members. The whole thing with her, it was something I didn't really want to face, but have to anyway. People we both knew. And she said she talked with a policeman, after hearing about ambulances but not finding us in any hospital." One hand reaches down and makes a not large snowball, which Cat eyes pensively. "So I told her the mostly truth."

Jennifer nods. "I haven't seen her the last few days…finals and all…so we haven't really had a chance to talk about it. We need to, I know."

"It's a Federal investigation, I was away assisting and cooperating with it, the details I can't really share, that was the story. This thing, it's… it's bigger than twenty elephants tied at the tail. Hearing we've come across what we have, well, that may make the decision for her." Cat tosses the snowball in her palm then lets fly at a tree nearby.

Jennifer nods. "I know. But she's got some reservations, and I can't say I blame her. I had the same ones when this all started."

She's silent for a long moment before speaking again, with a small grin settling into place. "Do you two debate sometimes, Jennifer?"

Jennifer laughs. "No, not really. We do lots of things, but I can't say that debate would be on the list. Why do you ask?"

"She's good at it, Cat replies with a wistful laugh. "First time we met, I said something about monarchy being misogynist, because the male children always get preference. Elizabeth Windsor is Queen only because she had no brothers. What followed was a long running discussion of two systems, with her never once addressing the original topic."

Jennifer laughs a little. "You think that's bad? Try getting her to actually commit to a decision or a course of action. She waffles so hard I swear I'm getting her a bottle of maple syrup for Christmas."

"I think it was because she knew she couldn't defend not coming into the 21st century and setting the rules so the oldest child gets the crown, male or female," Cat replies as she stands and starts to pack up. "It's cold out here. Want coffee? Coffee somewhere far less unwarm."

Jennifer chuckles. "I'll take some tea. Not a coffee fan. But I'll go just about anywhere if it involves getting out of this cold."

"We can do that," Cat replies, as she closes the guitar case and slips it over one shoulder, followed by pack over the other. Feet start moving, and she says over her shoulder "Maybe a breakfast place, where you can get waffles to take home."

Jennifer laughs. "Trust me, with Ygraine around, running out of waffleness is never a danger. But sure, breakfast sounds good."

She continues walking, going back to being quiet. A bit of the melancholy is still about her, but it's lighter than it had been. Cat's eyes wander across the landscape ahead, she not seeming so much to be relying on forced toughness. Recovery is taking hold. Soon there will be tea and waffles.

December 22nd: Come Marching In
December 23rd: Roundup
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License