The Codger And The Poppet


claude_icon.gif helena_icon.gif

Scene Title The Codger And The Poppet
Synopsis Helena bribes Claude with a pigeon coop.
Date January 11, 2009

New York Public Library - Rooftop

It's been a busy weekend. Aside from moving a majority of the library's residential resources, Helena's been up on the roof, putting together what appears to be some kind of big box of a cage with wire on the sides. Several of the library's current residence have been up top and helping her with it at various points, or it likely wouldn't have been constructed so fast. But it's finally finished, and Helena looks on her effort with pleasure.

Despite the claim of trying to stay visible as much as possible, Claude's habits were born out of necessity and are proving a bit hard to shake. In fact, he's looking much like his old, scruffy self at the moment. That is, if he could indeed be seen.
"Well, well, well." His voice is the first thing to clearly announce his presence, before he appears a few yards behind Helena, "You really do want me to stay." There's the usual sarcasm, sure, but this is possibly the most content he's sounded— and looked in a while, arms crossed over his chest as he grins.

Helena doesn't even jump, Claude appearing unexpectedly is something her brain almost takes for granted by now. "Well," she says matter-of-factly, "You saw how people have been moving most of the living resources, right? We've got a bigger facility, though we're keeping this place as a safehouse. It would still need someone to keep an eye on it though, and the Deveaux Building is in shambles, so I thought to myself, 'Self, you know who'd probably be willing to keep an eye on this place? Why, that would be Claude. That way he could still do his crazy homeless man imitation but have a place to sleep, eat, and pretend to be a spooky ghost to entertain himself. Better give him some incentive. Voila." She gestures to the pigeon coop with a flourish.

Claude stays quiet through Helena's little explanation, moving from his spot to circle the coop with visible (ha, ha) interest. Granted, there's a bit of skepticism in there as well, but the happy grin stays. "Oh it's like that, is it? Let's give the old man the illusion he's being useful so that you can move on to better places?" He knows that isn't entirely true, but it's worth the teasing. The coop gets poked and prodded inquisitively.

"Well, Conrad had this idea of sending out recruits to spend the night out here so you could pretend to be a ghost to scare the bejeezus out of them." Helena remarks cheerfully. "I like the idea in principle, but I also expect you could beat them with sticks and get an assessment of how good their abilities are. One of the newcomers, Gillian - she's a librarian, and actually wants to help take care of the place, so you wouldn't be entirely alone."

The coop seems to have passed Claude's brief test, and he really does look genuinely pleased, leaning a shoulder against it. "Beating with sticks I can do, sure. Pretending to be a ghost I haven't done since…" He trails off, then shakes his head and just smirks. "How's the rest of you, then? Holding up alright?" Vague concern shows, but it's unclear for what or who, precisely.

"Since your college days back when TV was black and white?" Helena volleys, but then she smiles, shoving her hands in the backpockets of her jeans. "Everyone's fine." she assures. It might fool most people, and Conrad helped her deal with the initial raw, but Helena's still got some dealing to do with recent events. "I mean, everyone's a bit on edge, with Dr. Ray's plans, but for the most part, we're all fine."

Claude gives a dry chuckle at Helena's first comment, then nods and narrows his eyes slightly as he looks Helena over. "Get up, or stay down. The punches will keep flying anyway. 'S something I was told once, before I turned myself into the knowledge guru I am now." He pulls away from the coop, looking and searching the air for something. Pidgies?

Helena admits as he looks to the sky, "I'm not exactly sure how to bring the pigeons. I'm guessing seed and things to lure them. You'd know more about it then me." Absently, "Gillian has a cat. Do you mind if it loiters around the library sometimes?" Perhaps she's trying to redirect the conversation. "And don't worry, you can still kick me around."

"Long as it doesn't get to my birds or tries to scratch my eyes out, I'll be fine with the cat." Claude answers, looking back to Helena. The pigeons will be found. He can only wonder how many of his old ones would have survived. "You sure you're alright?" For a moment, it actually seems like he cares. But then, suddenly, not so much. "Awful lot of self-pity there, for being alright."

Helena says smoothly, "Kiss my ass, Claude. Either you know what happened and you're feeling me out, or you don't know and you want to see if I'm feeling sorry for myself. Well I am, kind of, but I'm a big girl and I can deal with it. Everyone has their pity parties, and as it happens I've already had mine, with lots of booze in lieu of tea thanks to Conrad. So do you already know or do you want to know, or should we drop the subject because you really could care less?" A brow arches and she assumes a hipshot stance.

Wow. Claude actually doesn't know what to say for a moment, so it seems. Though, once Helena is done talking, he really can't do anything but grin. Then, a mocking laugh, while he gives his head a calm shake. "Sometimes I forget how young you are." He then notes, wholeheartedly amused, "You should take that as a compliment, poppet." Sometimes it's hard to tell whether someone who carries sarcasm so well is actually using it, and this is definitely one of those times.

"As old as my tongue and older than my teeth." Helena replies. Really, she doesn't know where she heard that, but it sounds like a cool reply. "I'll do that, codger." she replies, remembering the Brit term for old man from the recesses of highschool reading assignments involving Dickens and Austen. Then more seriously, "Have you seen Dr. Ray's strategy for taking out the Vanguard? You're not in it." A statement of fact, for which Claude could either be relieved or annoyed. If he wanted to be included, surely he could be figured in. And if he didn't, then it's already managed without.

Claude now has his usual codger-y unimpressed face on, in reply to Helena's statement. Pf. In fact, he seems more occupied with examining the rest of the coop again. "Smart man, who doesn't play the better cards in his hand in dire times." Though he sounds nearer to relieved than annoyed, he grits his teeth.

Helena gives a little shrug. "Just letting you know." Helena's tone is indifferent. "Shall I leave you to get aquainted with the new coop? Oh yeah," she says an afterthought, "Gillian - the librarian? She's a power augmentor. Just to keep in mind when you meet her, don't go turning half the library invisible."

"Sure. Go play with your friends." Claude dismissively motions towards Helena, using the other hand to scratch his face while he stares at the coop and contemplating something that is apparently much more interesting than this conversation. "I'll come down and say hi if I see her. Shoo."

Helena can't help but grin. "Alright. Next time I have a tea party, I'll be sure to invite you. You can sit near Miss Edith the dolly and Lancelot the one-eyed teddybear." With that, Helena heads for the rooftop access door, disappearing into the bowels of the library.

claude barely even responds, save for a bitter sort of smirk as she turns and leaves. She may or may not hear his parting words, due to the fact that they're not very loud— but nonetheless meant. "Thank you." It's pretty safe to say that this has little to do with her faux invitation.

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