Of Death Threats and Demons


cat_icon.gif danielle_icon.gif ygraine_icon.gif

Scene Title Of Death-Threats and Demons
Synopsis Dani and Ygraine discuss their woes at the Wench. A half-drunken trip to Cat's apartment results in upset.
Date September 26, 2008

The Surly Wench

A punk rock pub through and through, The Surly Wench is dim, cramped, and incredibly popular. It's a small, rectangular venue with a bar bordering one entire wall. Despite this, ordering a drink on a weekend can be an exercise in line-waiting and rib-elbowing. There are a few small tables ringed with high stools for seating, but these are prime real estate. The majority of the patrons are forced to stand shoulder-to-shoulder on any given night. Almost half of the cramped interior is devoted to a low stage for live music. There's no dance floor. If you feel the need, you'll have to thrash in place.

The Wench is calming down towards the end of one of its comparatively quiet nights, with there once again being a few spare spots at the tables and enough room for people to walk — rather than fight — their way to and from the bar.

Perched atop one of the high stools at a corner table, a figure with the Union Jack across the back of its jacket sits with its head in its hands, staring rather morosely at a half-finished pint.

Danielle comes into the bar. She rather looks like she needs a drink herself, and that's exactly where she's headed. She spots the jacket, and it gets a second look. And sure enough… "Hey, Iggy." She gets closer. "You look like I feel. What's up?"

Ygraine starts in surprise as she's addressed, lifting her head to blink rather dopily at Dani. "Mmm? Oh! Hi." She sits up, blinking and clearly trying to gather her wits. "Oh, just… life. Things. General crappiness. Worries. Doubts. The sort of things that mean I should probably be in a corset and lace rather than wearing leather sitting in a punk bar, to be honest. Don't mind me…."

Dani looks over at the pint, then to Ygraine. "Lemme guess. You're already well in there." She moves to take a seat next to Ygraine. "Rum and coke, please. Heavy on the rum." And then looks back to Ygraine. "So spill. What're you getting hammered about?"

Ygraine laughs softly. "Only my second, actually, and I'm not having any more after this. Riding with a hangover's a total bitch…. Me? Gah. Existential angst. Paranoia. Concerns arising from conversations and recent events. Cat's to blame, in part, as it happens. How about you?"

Dani groans. "Wonderful." She gets her own, and takes a drink. "Trying to decide whether my career and doing the right thing is more important than putting someone in danger."

Ygraine shrugs slightly. "Depends on who they are and the extent of the danger, I'd say. And whether they know about it. I'm not a believer in hard and fast rules about complex social decisions — each case is likely to be unique, and worth considering on its own merits. Certainly, I'd say that a career isn't a good reason to endanger someone… but doing the right thing? That probably is."

Danielle nods. "Yeah. Well, this one is a unique case. I don't know what I'm going to do. I don't know what I -want- to do. So I am going to get very drunk." She makes a face.

"Here?" Ygraine glances around. "I know you're the friend of a local star, and that'll get you some protection, but getting falling-down drunk on your own might not be wise… Not that you're not old enough to figure that out for yourself, of course. Sorry. But… d'you want to talk it through at all? Or just have someone to bend the ear of? Or I can offer you a joyous time of hearing about my worries. Nothing as exciting as putting people in danger, I'm afraid…."

Danielle shrugs her shoulders. "If something were gonna happen, it would save me having to make the decision." She takes another drink of hers. "Tell me your problems. Then maybe I'll tell you mine."

Ygraine cocks her head, taking a steadying sip before nodding slowly. "Okay…. Hmmmm. Where to start. Cat'd probably be a good point, in case you think I'm angry with her. I am, a bit, but I know it's wholly unfair. She… we spoke, one time while you were ill, about her wanting to add a band. I used to play and sing a bit — not professionally, but I wasn't bad. She offered to let me try out when she was doing her "inviting people onto stage" thing, which she told me she'd be starting. That… set me thinking. Whole mess of things =- missed and lost opportunities. What I've been doing with my life. Whether I should pursue dreams or be sensible and Get A Career. What it is that appealed so much about the idea of being in a band — was it the music, the sense of being part of something, working to build something?"

Ygraine shakes her head, then takes another, longer drink. "Also met a homeless guy. Another Brit. Bought him a hotdog. I really have the impression he wouldn't be the sort to take any charity, normally, but… he was in a bad way. Got me thinking about other things. I… I think told Cat, so she'd probably tell you, if you asked about me. Might have done already, if for some reason I came up in conversation. I was here, in '06. Travelling North on Broadway on the day it happened. By way of a refugee camp hospital here, I wound up in an institution back home. That homeless guy brought back… memories. And worries. So I've been fussing about whether I'll ever manage to do anything "real" with my life at all, AND about whether I can hold myself together and have a real life. Told you I should be in a Goth venue at the moment, not a punk bar."

Dani looks thoughtful, and swirls her drink around. "You want an honest opinion?" she says. "Or do you want me to be tactful, nod in a pithy fashion and say something meaningless?"

Ygraine pokes her tongue out, then finds a laugh. "I AM in a punk bar, I suppose. Go for the honesty. I promise not to give you a Glasgow kiss in return."

The other woman takes another gulp of her drink. "You are WAY too smart to be a delivery girl. If you can impress Kit-Kat with your debating…or any other skill, really…it means that you're top-notch. So, you're smart, sounds like you know how to play and sing. You only get one chance at life. I don't know if being a musician is the way you wanna roll or not; it's not for everybody. But doing what you're doing now isn't an answer. It's a way to avoid the question. Whatever's "real" with life is whatever you feel a passion about."

Ygraine's lips quirk into a rather mournful little smile. "I was intending to be in Beijing this Summer", she says quietly. "I was set to have a shot at it. The British Olympic cycling team won 8 out of the 12 events in the velodrome this year, and got another win on the road. But… I got hit by the Bomb in '06, and was in care till the next Summer. I'm cycling now… partly to stay in shape. I still… I still hope to make London in four years' time. But I don't know if I can. And I don't know if I'll ever be stable enough, let alone persuade the officials I am, to be trusted. Who wants a madwoman taking up a spot on the team? But if I give up, then I give up on what I worked for, for years. But if I pursue it without any real hope of success, isn't that just another form of madness? And… I can't tell. There's no way to tell."

Danielle looks back to the Brit. "But what's what you want, Iggy? Don't tell me what you'd planned. Tell me what you WANT."

Ygraine pauses momentarily, arching a brow at the nickname, before sighing and dropping her gaze to her drink. "I want things to roll back to the way they were at the start of November '06", she murmurs. "And that, I somehow doubt anyone can manage for me. I… I'm terrified that I'm never going to be able to get back any of the dreams I had. And I hate myself for worrying about riding competitively when there's… when I'm here. Of those who were in the city and lived, I got more messed up than most. But it's been my choice to come back here. I didn't have to. I can run away whenever I want. I'm hoping that by doing little bits and pieces to help get the city… living again, healing, I'll do something good… and in the process I can try to face down my demons. But I'm terrified that facing down demons and feeling sorry for myself is about all I've got left. And I'm smart enough to hate myself for being that bloody selfish."

Danielle nods. "So far as I know, rewinding time's not an option." She says, dryly amused by the other woman's comment. "If it was, I'd rewind a few days, believe me." She motions to the bartender for a refill. "So you've got a choice. You pursue your biking career, or you try that "help get the city healing" theory."

Ygraine shrugs awkwardly. "I'm doing that, at least a bit, with the couriering. We're among the few people to take trips through Midtown, and keep the… halves of Manhattan in touch with each other. And hte more communication flows, the more the city lives. It's also a very direct way of facing off against my demons — I cycle through the blast zone. But that's more selfish, I admit."

Danielle nods. "Right. But you can't do that and train professionally, Iggy. I even know that much."

Ygraine chuckles softly. "I cycle a couple of hundred miles a week like this. It's not bad training. And I try to keep up with other work-outs, too. Booking time at a proper velodrome's tough, but… the major doubts about me for the team are that I might mislay my marbles again."

The reporter nods. "Well…but the thing is, there's really no way to dissuade anyone off that. Without showing up and proving yourself. Right now it sounds to me like you're trying to walk the middle road, and that tends to lead to getting clipped by a car."

Ygraine quirks a wry smile. "I need to be sure I'm… stable myself before I can persuade anyone else of that. I don't want to push someone else out of the team, then fall apart under stress. I'd rather not get there, than let everyone down and deprive someone else of their shot. And… this place, as my mood today confirms, can certainly turn up demons for me to face. But… gah. Mostly, I'm just feeling sorry for myself. Lonely, and with my dreams in trouble after the Bomb. Not exactly unique, eh?"

Danielle nods. "Nope." she says, with a sigh. "Want to hear my end of things? I could use a non-Cat ear. If she finds out, she'll probably have Strong Opinions, and that's just gonna make this harder."

Ygraine giggles at that, taking a long drink before nodding. "I might well have strong opinions, too, but I suspect mine are easier to ignore if you need to. Go ahead…."

The reporter takes another long drink. "Did Cat tell you how I ended up in the hospital?" She starts it.

Ygraine shakes her head. "I know very little, to be honest. There should have been police on-duty outside your door. You had a private room but didn't appear to be contagious or at great risk of infection. And you seemed to have a head injury. My guess was that you were a witness to something, either indirectly as a surviving victim…."

Dani nods. "What do you know about the name Linderman?" She's coming at this obliquely.

Ygraine lifts her brows. "Of Registration Act fame? Wasn't he the first one to register, as well as the sponsor of it? His corporate HQ's not too far from where I live, if I remember aright. Never had a delivery for it, however…."

Danielle nods. "Of Registration Act fame. He's more or less infamous for being an openly-known but not-provable mobster."

Ygraine swallows. "Oh. "I, ahhh. Well. I didn't really know that. He's not registered particularly in my reading on international politics… but I did idly wonder quite what his connections were. Most of the big political groups… sorry. That's a ramble for another time. Is, ahhh, his… organisation involved in this?"

Dani nods. "I'm fairly certain, yes. The way I ended up in the hospital is that I was undercover, getting information. I have a tape right now with evidence that would be devastating if it got out. He's responded by having the detective on the case beaten, and word has been left that if I press on with this, he's going to kill the detective's little girl. So that's MY dilemma for the night."

Ygraine blinks a couple of times, then sighs. "Sadly, I fear that you're not just coming up with a good tale to distract me from my own Earth-shattering woes, are you? Yeesh. Ahhhhh. An obvious question is whether there's anyone else you can go to, quietly, without risking that detective any further. Or… preferably not you in person, since that might well not be subtle."

Danielle frowns. "The problem is, he knows I'm the one with the evidence. If it surfaces, he'll know it was me. So…do I do the right thing, and make sure the information gets out that's gonna take this evil fucker down? And doing it know that I put myself, Cat, the detective and her kid all in danger? Or do I squash it?"

Ygraine shrugs slowly. "If a copy of this ever found its way into police hands…. I can confirm from experience that even some fairly serious cases are being bounced around departments. They're short-handed — who'd want to be a cop in the blasted bit of Nuked York, after all? I… I can't promise that he's trustworthy, but I do have a way to get in touch with one cop who's been assigned to a couple of very different cases while I've been here. If you think that this really needs to get out, I could… arrange for him to have a copy, or whatever information you'd want him to."

Danielle frowns. "I don't know, Ygraine. WHATEVER cop gets it, it still had to come from me. And if it gets out, period, he still might take revenge on those people. I don't know that I can make that call."

Ygraine bites her lip. "Hey, I'm thinking on my feet here. Or on my fat ass, to be more accurate. Uhhh. My… my basic idea is that given the bouncing around of cases and personnel, if we can find a way for it to seem like he got it — or at least got into the case — before she… got threatened, there's no reason to blame you or her for him poking at it if she suddenly makes noises about dropping it and the evidence having gone poof. It's just the way the NYPD works at the moment — whoever's free gets assigned whatever's on top of the list, day to day."

Danielle smirks. "Iggy, you ride a bike all day long. Your ass wouldn't be fat unless you strapped me to it." she points out dryly. "I dunno. I am too drunk to decide. Or not drunk enough."

Ygraine blushes a touch, then giggles. "Riding all day does not, sadly, tend to give you a svelte and delicate derriere. At times, I feel… but that's another thing I shouldn't be wandering off onto. Sorry. Gah. If I knew I could trust the guy entirely, I could broach the topic with him. Actually… I could give it a go anyway. Just make sure not to mention any specifics. See if he says he could "arrange" to have stumbled across a case that might've been compromised."

Danielle grins. "No, it gives you a muscly one that looks like someone could bounce a quarter off it."

Ygraine's blush deepens, but she laughs and pokes her tongue out. "I don't think that anyone's tried that, yet. Mostly I just feel… dreadfully unladylike. I've got more muscle on my lower half than just about anyone in here. But now you're getting us distracted from the matter in hand again."

Danielle smiles a little. "Yeah. But that's not a bad thing. And right now that's a better topic than me deciding life and death." She nods sagely, a little tipsy. "Your butt is imminently discussable."

Ygraine lifts a brow, peering over one shoulder down and back at herself. Then she giggles and flashes a grin at Dani. "I suppose I should be glad that you didn't say it was immensely discussable, or the like."

Danielle actually spurts a little Coke at that as she tries not to laugh. "If you make me snort rum in my sinuses, I am gonna be really unhappy."

Ygraine nods sagely. "Yeah… I suppose that would go kind of… goopy. All the sugar. Bad place to store it, I think. Probably wiser not to snort it…"

Danielle nods. "Definitely a bad plan. But, yeah. Don't be all unladylike-feeling. I would do all sorts of heinous things to have a butt that good."

Ygraine narrows her eyes, giving Danielle a distinctly disbelieving look, before running her gaze over what can be seen of the other women — not, admittedly, including her butt. "You're kidding, right? You'd trade figures with me?"

Danielle laughs. "Sure! Why wouldn't I?"

Ygraine lifts her brows. "Compared to you, I'm flat as an ironing board. I've a huge butt that's nearly all muscle — and the same could be said for my thighs. Unless your outfit's hiding a lot more in the way of sins than I think it is, you don't really have a lot to complain about… let alone to want to trade with me."

Dani rolls her eyes. "You're toned nine ways from Sunday. Most of my workout is walking to-and-from the subway. Ever heard of "buns of steel"? Besides, being stacked isn't all it's cracked up to be."

Ygraine's gaze flickers down from Dani's face for a moment. "I doubt your SOs have complained", she observes dryly. "Though I admit that I wouldn't to be too busty and try to compete seriously."

Danielle smirks a little. "They're not the ones who need to go hunting for cute bras that actually fit." Another sip of her drink. "So am I? To compete?" The thought makes her laugh a little.

Ygraine lifts her brows once more, then chuckles and takes a sip before replying. "I can't say. Put in as many years of serious exercise as I have, and you'd certainly be… well-supported naturally and probably a bit smaller in cup size, too. But I, ahhh, can't really judge, you know. What with the layers of clothing and not knowing how much your bra is doing… and never having had, ummm, curves like that myself to compare. Shall I just ramble on to see if I can get both feet in my mouth?"

Danielle laughs. "Why not? Hey, I think they're gonna kick us out soon. And I'm way too drunk to head back on my own. Wanna wander back with me? We'll see if Cat's in and wake her up an' make her drink with us."

Ygraine chuckles, cheeks somewhat flushed. "I'm not sure she'd thank me for that, but I'll hazard a guess she'll be glad to have her beloved back in one piece. Are you sober enough to hang onto me? I'll take you back on the bike…."

Danielle looks dubious. "If you can bike with a drunk me onna back, sure."

Ygraine drains the remainder of her drink, then eyes Dani thoughtfully. "Are you likely to misbehave? Gawd, that sounds arrogant. Sorry. You're attached, and, ummm. Yeah. Sure. No problem. Ahh-hrrrm. Do you, ahh, want to go now?"

Danielle nods. "They've shut down most of the lights already."

Ygraine nods sheepishly, then slips off her stool, arching her back a little to remove a few kinks before offering a hand to her companion. "Need some help clambering down?", she asks with a grin.

Danielle mutters. "All you tall people. I am not that short!" She hops down off the stool.

Ygraine chuckles softly. "No… but you did say that you're pissed, and you're not in the most sensible of footwear", she observes with a smile. "I've got a spare helmet in the panniers, but you're going to have to hold on behind you, or wrap your arms around me…."

Danielle looks confused for a moment at "pissed", and then remembers "Oh. Right. British. Sure, s'okay. I don't mind if you don't."

Ygraine starts ushering Danielle towards the exit. "It'll be safer than you holding on behind you… though in theory I should have your hands inside my jacket and zip up over them, if I remember the safety advice aright. Though I think your girlfriend might object to that…."

Danielle laughs. "Yeah. We'll keep the hands outside the jacket. No feeley-uppey."

Soon enough, the pair are outside in the hazy, unnatural light of the metropolis after dark, with Ygraine fiddling with the locks on the panniers of a large and rather expensive-looking motorcycle. "Here you go", she murmurs, producing an all-black helmet. "Your safety gear, mademoiselle."

Danielle takes it, and mutters "Brain's already busted. Doesn't matter much." She does put it on, though.

Ygraine shoots Dani a worried look. "I'll definitely be in trouble if you wind up any less pretty than you are now", she points out. "Should we stop off somewhere to buy you a coffee before I take you home?"

Danielle shakes her head. "Coffee at home. Onward, James!" She starts to try and climb on.

Ygraine swings herself into place astride the bike, then helps Danielle on behind her. "I'll take things easy — if nothing else, I need you to tell me where we're going! But hold on tight, in case I need to dodge any idiots on the road…"

Danielle nods. She grabs on, and then settles in for the ride home.

Dorchester Towers: Cat's Apartment

The entry hall has room for anyone carrying larger objects to move without much trouble and five doorways. First, on the left, is a kitchen with the usual appliances, microwave, toaster, blender, coffeemaker, and George Foreman grill. Cherry cabinets with brass handles above and below the marbled counter fill the spaces. In the center is a table of dark cherry wood with comfortable wooden chairs for six people on a waxed cedar floor.

The living area, second on the left, has a peach colored couch with cherry wood end and coffee tables along the far wall. On either side of those is a recliner chair. Atop one of the end tables is a caller ID phone with NYC phone books. Electronics line the left wall: a 60" thin plasma HDTV, cable box with DVR, stereo equalizer, radio tuner, twelve disc CD player, iPod dock, home theater system, and speakers. One of the other walls has a piano placed against it and a wide window overlooking Nuked York. Pale wine colored pull curtains, normally kept closed, hang before it. The fourth wall has a line of electric and acoustic guitars, a few amps of varying sizes, and a cello.

The first door on the right opens to the smaller of two bedrooms. The second right hand door leads to the main bedroom.

At the entry hall's far end is a bathroom with standard fixtures, a white tile floor, and products a woman would have. Bright and warm glows from overhead track lighting bathe the place. Deep wine colored plush carpet covers the floor, stopping only at the kitchen and bathroom.

Danielle gets home with Ygraine. She's already pretty tipsy, so fumbling with her keys takes a while. Finally she finds them and unlocks the door, stepping in. "Caaaaaaat?" She calls, seeing if the other woman is in.

Ygraine winces, one hand lightly resting upon Dani's shoulder in case she needs guidance. "Shhhh. She might be asleep, remember?", she murmurs. "It'd be mean to wake her up…."

She'd been out earlier, her favorite guitar taken with her, gone to trawl other venues in the Nuked York music scene and hear what's out there. It wasn't a total loss, she made some contacts and set up lines to possibly jam with some other musicians, in addition to the rawer talent she found at the Surly Wench the night before. But she'd also gotten home close to two hours before the Debater and Dani. It was late, she didn't make much noise, lest she wake a person needing to be bright eyed and bushy tailed for her job in the morning. It was, thus, a surprise to her when she'd changed into a sports bra and cut off sweats to sleep and found the bed empty. At first, no worries. But within the passing of an hour, well, this started to change. After another hour, she dug out her old bow and a quiver of arrows, preparing to go back out into the streets, and had the phone in hand.

But all this proves unneeded, just as she's about to press the call button there are voices. She knows exactly who they belong to, and so stashes the archery gear back in a closet. "Morning, Dani, Debater," Cat replies as she makes her way back out into the hall.

Danielle is apparently, if not three sheets to the wind, at least two. She is avoiding dealing with hard decisions by getting drunk. Not the best solution, but hey. "Morning, Cat. You should have some drinks with us. We're talking about hard choices." Pause. "And her butt. And my boobs." Oh, yeah. Wee Dani has had a twee too much to drink.

Ygraine shoots Cat an apologetic look… which rapidly turns into one of embarassed mortification. Blushing brightly, she coughs, swallows, and then settles for stepping inside and quietly closing the door behind her. "Hi", she mumbles awkwardly.

It doesn't at first register as anything tremendously odd that Dani is drunk, they've gotten soused together on numerous occasions, one of which was the day the shorter one arrived here in Nuked York. But what does seem a bit out of place is it being past two in the morning with a workday coming up. Cat's eyes sweep across both women, and a quiet smirk forms. It's going to be a long day at the paper for someone. "Hard choices?" If she heard the comment about boobs and a third party's backside, she doesn't acknowledge it. "What would those be?"

Leave it to Cat to cut right through to the chase. Dani waves a hand. "Whether Iggy's gon' be nuts. Or go be in the 'lympics. Whether I'm gonna get a little girl killed. All -kind- of shitty choices. I'm clearly not drunk enough. I still remember 'em. Funny. Can't remember stuff I wanna. Can't forget the stuff I don't."

Ygraine shoots Dani's back a worriedly sympathetic glance, then looks past her to focus on Cat. She shrugs slightly at the musician. "She told me about her choice. I might be able to offer a partial way around it, but… it's risky and depends upon another cop being trustworthy."

The smirk fades away as she listens to Dani's listing of choices, Cat's expression becomes serious and speculative, a bit more so as the Debater speaks of a choice she was told about and a cop. It's clear she lacks background information here, having already been out on her expedition when the Detective paid her visit. Job One: acquire said information. Her voice takes on a soothing tone, the one she uses when calming Dani is needed. "How did you come to have this choice?" She gestures both women toward the main room and seats therein.

Danielle waves a hand. She is apparently past "constructive discussion". "I am getting another drink. Join me or don't." She teeters kitchenwards.

Ygraine's head turns to follow Dani towards the kitchenette, before she takes a seat and sighs worriedly at Cat. "Apparently", she says quietly, "the detective on the case has been beaten up and had her daughter's life threatened…"

Dani's unintention to take part in constructive discussion is registered, and not opposed. She brings up the rear, entering the kitchen, and goes for a wine bottle, then gets a glass as she listens to the explanation given by she who debates tenaciously. That it's provided makes things easier, for while she's kind with Dani at least for the moment, she might not be with someone else. "Interesting," Cat comments. "It seems there's a story here, I'd like to hear from the beginning." She pours wine and sips from it. She'll drink, but won't help Dani do so.

Danielle has poured herself another drink, and starts back. "This is too depressing. I like the other talk better."

Ygraine coughs at Dani's comment, swallowing once more before shrugging expansively. "I don't know much more. But… Dani's concern is that if anything more comes of the story, it'll get taken out on the detective's daughter. My… possible way around it is… well. The NYPD's horribly under-staffed. I've run into the same cop working an immigration background-check and doing a follow-up on a shooting and attempted murder. As best I can make out, whoever's available and might be able to handle it gets to grab whatever's top of the list of priorities. So… unless this detective sat on the case and told no one else about it at all, it could be in the "public domain" among the police. Department divisions don't seem to mean what they used to. So it'd be very hard to pin the blame on Dani — or the detective — if another cop had knowledge of the case… even if in truth we're only providing it to him now."

She's silent for a time, close to a full minute, as she regards the wine in her glass. Cat's features show a thoughtful expression, perhaps from considering the various parameters and possibilities in play. Her collected information on the detective in question is called up during this time and, yes, there is indeed a daughter. Her eyes move from one woman to the other, settling on Ygraine finally when she speaks. And after that minute, her expression ceases being thoughtful. It would seem a decision has been made. "What's your contact's name, Debater?" she asks. Then the drunk Dani is addressed, her voice in that soothing tone again. "It's all good. I'll speak with the detective before you meet with her again."

Danielle looks at both of the women, and looks annoyed. Angry Brunette is angry. "I said I wasn't going to talk about this." And she looks to Ygraine especially. "And YOU weren't supposed to say anything." With that, Dani turns, and flounces off into the bedroom, slamming the door behind herself.

"Awww, crap", says Ygraine, slumping forward to drop her head into her hands — ending up in much the same position she was in when Dani first found her. "Did I agree not to say anything? I can't remember. I'm just… feck." Peeping up, she sighs heavily. "I guess it's a bit late now. His name's Trask. Don't know his first name. I've run into him a handful of times, and he seems like a decent sort. Gave me a card in case I wanted to get hold of him, and I don't think he was just hitting on me."

She lets the angry one go, wincing a bit as the bedroom door slams, then trains her attention on Ygraine. Cat wasn't leading Dani to talk about it, she just encouraged the other one to fill her in. She appears perfectly calm. "She needs to be alone for a while, I'll join her shortly. And, so, Officer Trask." The name is filed away into her data banks. "Do you know the story from the beginning, Debater? I need all the details."

Ygraine closes her eyes, pinching the bridge of her nose. "She DID say that she wanted me to act as a sounding board. I think she wanted to reach her own conclusions, work through it properly… THEN tell you once she had some idea what she thought herself. Feck. And I've royally pissed her off now…." Lowering her hand and looking back to Cat, Ygraine sighs. "I don't know many of the details. I'd guess you know a lot more than me. Just enough to know that she thinks she has strong evidence against Linderman's organisation as a criminal one, and that the detective handling her case has been beaten up and had her daughter threatened in order to ensure that things "go away". She's torn between doing the right thing - though she was also honest enough to mention that it'd be a good career move to blow the story open — and protecting the detective and her girl. Dani doesn't want to get anyone killed over this."

The parameters and possibilities Cat ran her mind over aren't commented on; she keeps those to herself. "I see," she replies after a moment of silence. "I can't say what her attitude toward you in the future will be, sadly," she states, "but she and I will talk when she's calmer. More sober, too. Then I'll talk with the Detective myself." Her wine glass is lifted, she takes a sip from it and shows a quiet smile. What is she up to? What's she planning?

Ygraine looks worried. "And… sorry. I… I wanted to make a good impression. On both of you. And now I've made her furious with me, and it probably sounded like I was hitting on her, too. This hasn't been a good night… But, ahhh, are you sure about approaching the Detective?"

"I am," Cat replies. Her features show complete confidence and calm. "Why wouldn't I be?"

Ygraine laughs softly. "Because with the information I have, I couldn't say whether it was suicidal or eminently sensible. But I should stop poking my nose in. I've already done enough damage."

"You've not done any damage at all, Debater," Cat replies with that same confidence. She chuckles. "You see, I think maybe Dani knew I'd dig at this and take some of the weight from her in this decision. I'm sure you've heard the phrase in vino veritas, yes? Why did she mention hard choices, and the question of the girl's life when I asked about them?"

Ygraine sighs heavily. "I know which way she wants to decide — she herself described it as the choice between doing the right thing and protecting the girl. But… crap. I didn't want to let her down. She was quite adamant about not turning to you yet… and I went ahead and did it for her."

"Don't worry about that, Debater," Cat assures. "The error was hers, if anyone's, for mentioning hard choices in front of me. She had to know how it would go. That when she clammed up I'd let it lie for now, and grill you instead." Her wine glass is lifted, the performer smiles, and takes a sip.

Ygraine musters a rather miserable smile. "Nice cello, by the way. Love the instrument…. But… feh. I was miserable enough anyway before I upset Dani like this."

"I'm competent at piano too," Cat states in reply to the compliment on her cello. "Among others." Her head tilts. "Why are you miserable?"

Ygraine blinks, opens her mouth, then pauses. "I can't keep you up moaning at you, especially not after giving you the gift of a drunk, pissed-off girlfriend…"

"I'm a musician," Cat replies with a laugh, "these hours are standard for me often enough." And it's true, she doesn't look tired. But she lets the topic of Debater's misery rest, it doesn't pertain to Dani, she won't press against the courier's reluctance.

Ygraine dithers clearly, torn, then sighs again. "You're to blame, in part," she mutters. "Set me to thinking about dreams, and questioning whether I'd ever achieve any more. You have no idea how… delighted I was by your offer to let me try out for your band, even though I know it wasn't a personal invitation. Also ran into another Brit, in a really bad way. That got me thinking, too, about… what happened here and how much it's done to many people."

She's just listening now, wine glass in hand and sipping from it occasionally.

Ygraine peeps nervously at Cat, delaying another moment before taking her silence as an invitation to continue speaking. "It's pretty much all stuff I've got to sort out myself. That I knew I'd have to figure out when I came here — and that's partly why I'm here. New York'll present me with more demons to confront than anywhere else, and I need to face them if I'm ever to persuade anyone — including myself — that I'm actually sane again…."

Her glass is raised. "To sanity and defeating demons," Cat toasts, then sips again. Afterward she rises. "You've been drinking, it's best you should sleep before going anywhere. Guest room is yours for the morning. I need to go check Dani out, she how she's doing."

Ygraine pauses. "Only two pints of American beer," she says somewhat defensively. "I was maudlin before ever I started, I'm afraid. But… you sure? I can make it home easily enough, and I've caused you enough problems already."

"I am," Cat replies. Nothing about her indicates otherwise.

Ygraine nods meekly, biting her lip as she dithers nervously… before nodding again and mustering a weak smile. "If you're sure it won't be too much trouble… thank you."

"You're very welcome," Cat replies, before she finishes her wine glass. It's left empty on the table as she strides out of the kitchen and down the hall. The guest room door is opened along the way so Debater will know which one it is. On reaching the shared bedroom door she steps inside and closes it quietly behind her.

Out in the living room, Ygraine slumps back into her seat, groaning softly to herself as she puts both hands over her face… then directs a string of heart-felt but muttered curses into the palms of her hands. That done, she moves to the kitchenette to make herself a hot drink before bed….

September 25th: Retroactive Damage Control

Previously in this storyline…
Call by Morning

Next in this storyline…
The Cat And Dani Plans

September 26th: The Cat And Dani Plans
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