Radio, Tower


nora2_icon.gif rue_icon.gif

Scene Title Radio, Tower
Synopsis Two friends meet again for the first time in Central Park.
Date March 20, 2011

Central Park: Belvedere Castle

Constructed from the same stone as the Vista Point which supports it, Belvedere Castle seems to rise out of the earth itself. The miniature Gothic castle is easily visible from a distance, courtesy of both its height and the American flag fluttering from the turret's pinnacle. Its windows overlook views of Turtle Pond, the Delacorte Theater, and the Great Lawn. The interior, however, is anything but Gothic; the halls on both floors are filled with telescopes, microscopes, paper-mache birds, skeletons, and feathers, all laid out as parts of an interactive exhibit. In the Henry Luce Nature Observatory, visitors can borrow binoculars, notepads, maps, and guidebooks with which to study the wildlife of the park.

Returning to Pollepel Island has been postponed indefinitely in the wake of a confusing family reunion. Leading another branch of government right to Bannerman's Castle seems like a really shitty way to repay the kindness shown to her by the Ferry network. Rue's even stopped running supplies to Grand Central Terminal, for the time being. What she hasn't done is stop finding new routes through the city with the intention of seeing if she's being followed around.

Today isn't about that, though. Today is about enjoying the early spring. It's not quite fifty degrees Fahrenheit, but Rue's dressed in a white tank top and a pair of comfortable grey crop pants, and purple legwarmers. The arms of her red jacket are tied around her tiny waist. Both the eschewed outerwear and her ginger curls, pulled up into a ponytail, bounce merrily behind her as she jogs through Central Park. The cord of a pair of headphones trails from her ears and to the iPod strapped to her bicep.

Sitting cross-legged on a bench, Nora is likewise lost in music, an actual iPod next to her, the wires leading up to her ears as she works on something industriously. A pencil is chewed on before it is used to scribble something into a notebook, then turned so the eraser end can do its job, and then turned again to re-scribble. Despite all of the attention given to her work and to the music (one foot in a Converse sneaker taps out the rhythm of whatever she's listening to), dark eyes dart up now and then to keep track of her surroundings — lest anyone hurl a chunk of asphalt at her for being obtuse.

Red hair is hard to miss, and Nora's eyes narrow as she watches the figure come closer. Tall with red curls — there are a lot, if a minority, of people who fit that description, but at least one that Nora knows of who she's never actually seen — but what are the odds of it being that one person? She closes her notebook and shoves it into the messenger bag at her side, reaching for her iPod to turn it off, all while watching the figure draw closer.

Some people have a sort of sixth sense about being watched. Being as how Rue can see invisible people, it perhaps isn't entirely surprising that she is one of those that feels the hairs on the back of their neck stand on end. Her pace slows, one hand coming up to feel her pulse throbbing between her fingers, watching the second hand tick on her Hello Kitty wristwatch, casually looking around the park.

Casual changes to excited when her blue eyes land on Nora's face. They sparkle as they light up and yanks the headphone buds out of her ears, looping the cord around her neck as she hurries over. "Hey!" She doesn't insult the girl by saying it's Rue, because she was recognised by her voice before. The addition of sight doesn't change Nora's ability to match up the sound of Rue's voice to her identity. "It's so good to see you!" She pauses and then grins, "And to be seen?"

That was terrible. "I heard rumours. Holy shit. I am so happy for you!" Rue squeals, then opens her arms wide and then pulls Nora into a tight hug.

The teen laughs, a rare and merry sound, and lets herself be hugged, even hugging back before stepping back to narrow her eyes, surveying Rue's face. She screws her lips to one side and tips her head, appraisingly.

"Hmm," she says at length, a bit of an impish smirk beginning to curve her lips upward, "A bit sweatier and red-faced than I imagined."

Rue cracks up enough to double over for a moment, a hand braced on her thigh as her shoulders shake. "And here I was afraid you'd say you thought I'd be taller." She's already a bit of an Amazon of a woman. Or would be if she had broader shoulders and more muscle, maybe. "It is really good to see you." The smile fades a little and she gestures down the path. "Walk with me? I could use someone to talk to. Unless you're waiting for something…"

Her bag is picked up and shouldered, and Nora shakes her head. "Not waiting for something," she says with a shrug. "Kinda just taking up space and enjoying it." There's a slight nose flicker in her eyes at the word space that keeps coming up, but she smiles and gestures to the wide expanse of the lush green space around them.

She takes her place at Rue's side. "And if you were taller I'd make you a radio tower. You're tall enough. And gorgeous, too. But you already knew that." After a few steps, she adds, "What's up?"

"I wouldn't even need a blinking red light, right?" Rue tosses her ponytail, as if to suggest that it's a good replacement. She drapes one arm around Nora's shoulders. "Girl, I have got a tiny bit of a problem. Maybe you could help pass info back home?" Pollepel Island isn't really home to either of them, but she's been calling it that for a while now. And if she keeps making excuses to her landlord for why she's forever sending the rent in late, and her parents stop sending her money, well… It may end up being Rue's home.

"Actually, now that I think about it, maybe if you could tell Benji? I mean, if the rumours about his, uh, connections are true?" Rue shakes her head quickly. "Anyway. I was on my way to Midtown, and… I was kind of followed by someone in the CIA. Not all the way, though," she's quick to add. "I didn't compromise the hub." Even if Nora couldn't see the way Rue bites her lower lip, she'd still be able to sense the worry radiating from her at the admission.

"The CIA?" Nora says, brows lifting and stopping as a couple jogging come around the bend of the path. She slips a hand around Rue's elbow and draws the taller girl off the path to stand beneath a tree where they won't be interrupted by pedestrians.

"I can tell Benji, yeah. Did you get a name or a description? So we know who we're worried about?" the smaller girl asks, her own eyes worried as she peers up at Rue's face. "When was this?"

Rue meanders off the path with little coaxing, her free hand coming up to rub at the back of her neck. "Yeeeeah. She's my aunt. Her name's Adrianne Lancaster. I want to believe that she followed me because we're family and if you haven't already guessed, we Lancasters are a bit off-kilter. But because she is government…"

Freckled cheeks puff out with a heavy exhale. "Fuck, Nor'. I don't know what to make of the conversation she and I had. It's like she knows, but I couldn't get her to come right out and say it." Rue's brows knit together, expression stormy. "It happened on Monday while I was bringing more food to the Gee-See-Tee."

"Adrianne Lancaster," repeats Nora, as if to commit the name to her memory. "Okay. I'll let Benji know." She frowns at the rest of it, her hands shoving into the pockets of her hoodie. "Not everyone in the government is bad, of course, and hopefully her being your aunt means she cares enough about you not to use you, but…"


"You're right to be careful. Stay clear of any of the locations until you get an all-clear from someone in the council, probably? I'll pass on the message. You talked to anyone else?" she asks, tipping her head curiously.

"Nobody." Rue stares down at her shoes, scuffing her Chucks against the ground. "I'd been uncertain if I should try to contact anyone. But, you know… Since you're here." She shrugs and lifts her gaze to cast an apologetic look to Nora. "I should have told someone about my family connection ages ago. But… I didn't think anything like this would happen. I don't think that… That she'd use me. I don't think she's anyone to be worried about. Not as long as we're careful. But she is CIA. And she caught me in Midtown." She spreads her hands out to her sides slowly, palms up. So…

Nora shakes her head and reaches out to squeeze Rue's shoulder. "Look. It's kinda part of the point of our little club that we don't ask for family trees and pedigrees and blood tests and everything else, right? We'd be like 'First if we did all that, and I don't think anyone wants to be fascist hypocrites. You've proven yourself, Rue, so don't worry about it, okay?"

She loops an arm around the other girl's shoulders and tugs her back toward the path. "You can show me where you live and stuff!" she says more excitedly. "I might need a place to crash, anyway."

This sigh is one of relief. "You're right. I hope the others see it that way, too." Rue briefly tips the side of her head to rest against the top of Nora's affectionately. "I'm so glad we ran into each other. You good with stopping at the store on the way? Would you believe I completely missed my own birthday this year? I haven't slowed down enough to pay attention to myself lately. So, I think tonight is a night for cake. Almost a month late, but hey. I'll get us some booze, too."

Rue flickers a grin to Nora, "In which case, you will be crashing at my place. What do you say? Party tonight? I'm five-and-three-quarters now." Her brows come up, encouraging the younger girl to say yes. Such a good influence.

"You are one fucking old lady," Nora says teasingly. "Cake… would be amazing. And it was my birthday a few days ago," she adds. "So I'm legally an adult except a completely illegal evolved mutant freak without any registration so it means very, very little." The words are said jokingly.

"What kind of cake are we getting?" she says as they walk — because that's totally the most important part of the conversation thus far.

"So old," Rue laments, an appropriate touch of melodrama to her tone. "Don't laugh, but I like carrot cake best. But what do you like? Since you're the other birthday girl, you get a choice!" Nora's shoulders are squeezed. It may not be the most important part of the conversation, but it's the best part. Rue can't change what happened on Monday, so she may as well do what she can to keep from dwelling on it.

"Don't laugh," Nora echoes, "buuut I want something ridiculously festive with like… sprinkles." Because her birthday was spent at a cold and drafty castle where most people didn't even know it was her birthday, that a milestone had been reached. "Let's get two," she says conspiratorially…

"And see which one goes best with rum."

The brightness returns to Rue's eyes and her smile as she tugs the other girl in for a tight hug. "Nora… You're a genius."

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