Tired Of It


cardinal_icon.gif claire2_icon.gif

Scene Title Tired Of It
Synopsis Claire discusses with Cardinal how tired she is of feeling on the outside of everything going on.
Date August 02, 2009

Village Renaissance Building Roof

This is a flat roof, the surface grey concrete, which covers a building with enough space for sixteen apartment units on each floor along with elevators, stairwells, and maintenance areas at the center. It can be reached by an elevator and/or staircase near the right edge, a large freight elevator just back of the center, and stairwells centered on front and back of the building. The back left corner holds the large machinery needed for climate control of the interior. Discreet cameras placed all around the edge monitor the roof.

Near the elevator and stairs from the penthouse below is a pair of picnic tables and a sophisticated grill for cooking outdoors and eating when the weather permits. It's covered by an open air tent of sorts for shelter when rain and snow come.

The right front corner, overlooking 4th Street, has a sturdy wooden structure ten feet back from the edge. Here there are outlets for plugging in amplifiers and other electrical devices should Cat choose to come up here and make music. It has a set of glass doors which can be folded aside to allow approaching the edge and closed to protect against weather.

The front left corner features four each of small apple and cherry trees with garden chairs here and there around them, a number of sunflowers, tomato plants, potatoes, carrots, onions, peas, and various other plants chosen for their appearance in pots or planters large enough to hold them. Someone with access to the roof likes to garden, and has been doing so at any chance.

It's only been a few nights since she had seen and talked to Peter. Only a few nights since she found out that she was in the dark about some rather crazy stuff. And for a few days it's bothered her how much she doesn't know. Shouldn't she know that there is some Very Bad Stuff (tm) on the horizon?

With so much going on below her, Claire has been retreating to the roof at night. And tonight that's where she is. Sitting on the edge of the roof, her socked feet dangling over the edge. Hands press against the the roofs surface, as Claire leans forward some to look at the activity far below. Blond hair, falls forward to screen part of her face, which is lost in rather deep thought.

The darkness of evening conceals well the subtle shift of shadows that spill up and over the edge of the building; a pool of dimness that lingers once it's noticed the young woman perched on the roof's edge, before a ripple of its surface pushes upwards, a hand dipped in black emerging to press against the ground and haul Richard Cardinal free of the shadow. Dark features blurring to monochrome, then colour slowly fading in as he pushes himself fully to his feet.

"Penny for your thoughts, Red?" It's not her hair colour that he's referring to, of course!

Frowning slightly, Claire pulls her attention from the world below to find a familiar man there. "Red?" Then it hits her and her cheeks color and she looks away. "Um…. hey." She manages to murmur in greeting, a hand moving to tuck blond hair behind her ear. "What are you doing here?" No suspicion, no distrust to her tone, just curiosity.

"I'm just checking up on a few things…" Apparently stealthfully, as there was no sound of the door to the lower floors opening up. Cardinal's easy step carries him along to the edge of the roof, one foot lifting up to rest on the ledge as he leans forward, arm resting to knee and neck craning to look down towards the city streets below, "Got word've a few things I'm not totally happy about. So what're you doin' up here?"

Shoeless feet bump lightly against the wall below. "Me? I'm up here thinking." Her head moves slightly so that she can look at him from the corner of her eye. "I've also been hearing things I'm not to happy about."

She straightens, leaning back from the edge a little, finally looking at him. "Do I look weak?" She gives a humorless chuckle. "Look who I'm asking, a man who's seen me at my lowest point." Her face looks grim suddenly. "I've been feeling like it though.. weak. Or that people see me as weak… something. Why else would people not be telling me anything about what's going on?"

"Oh, you'll get used to that…" It's said dry as ashes, Cardinal's gaze lingering upon a passing car far below, "…they do that. They keep their cards close to their chest, even with those that're supposed to be with them." A flicker of bitterness, "They tend t'get people hurt, that way."

"Well, I'm tired of it." Claire says sharply, looking at him and studying him. "I'm not a teenager anymore.. and I'm not the weak cheerleader I was when my life started to go to hell. I'm a big girl, I can be useful. I might not have this great ability, like Hel and her weather. But this being left in the dark is getting old." Her hands come of the roof and she spreads them out in a gesture of helplessness. "Even my Uncle Peter know about this stuff. These paintings and songs." She gives a frustrated sigh and looks down again. "It's frustrating. I've never been able to just sit back and watch things happen. It's why I never joined Pheonix when Helena pulled away from PARIAH. There was stuff that needed to be done, people protected." She glances at Cardinal, a smile tugging at the corner of her lips. "Plus, I kinda suck at politics."

A low chuckle tumbles past Cardinal's lips at the last, as he murmurs, "Amen there, sister…" A sidelong look over, one brow raising a little as he asks curiously, "So what's all this about paintings, and songs… what is it they're not telling you?"

Brows lowering a bit, Claire closes her eyes as she tries to remember. "Well, the other night Peter came into the Rock Cellar, looking for a woman… He's changed so much… acting like a total ass.. but.." her brows lower further as she searches her memory for a name. "Else Kjelstrom… something about wanting to talk to her. And I remember Cat mentioning a song she sang. I can only imagine it's the one about flooding in new yorks. She also mentioned nuclear explosions… " This gets a disturbed look as she remembers something, even a flash of pain and regret. "A friend of mine.. Eve, I guess she had a dream about a black raven whose feathers would cause mushroom clouds when they touch the ground. And something called Munin. I dunno. It all sounded bad.. very bad." The next words out of her mouth are soft, bitter, and a touch angry, "Of course, they were all too busy bickering and talking over me about it all. Felt like a third wheel, unwanted wheel in the room."

"Eve…" Cardinal's fingers scratch under his chin, considering that, "I need to meet her. Gillian said she'd introduce me; it sounds like she's seen things that I need to know." He's quiet for a moment, then murmurs, "There's a lot of bad shit coming. Phoenix is too focused on politics and internal strife. I don't think they'll be able to deal with all of it."

"When I was sick, Eve visited me." Claires eyes drift skyward this time, looking at the stars that dare flicker through the light pollution. "She mentioned a dream. I guess that was it, I just figured she was sparing me while I was buried in my own misery." Eyes drop to study the dark man for a moment.

"I agree. I don't think they will deal with it all." She says softly, her eyes unfocus for a moment as she thinks. "And I'm not sure they will do what needs to be done. I mean, yeah they took out my grandfather." Her stomach still does an uncertain flip at that thought."But… I don't know. It's been awhile since I was around them all, maybe they've change." Though she doesn't seem completely convinced of that.

A faint snort of breath is Richard's response to the words spoken. "I took out your grandfather," he replies dryly, slanting a look back over to her, "They were planning on trying to use a sniper, which would've been completely useless. They were a big help in taking Pinehearst down, yeah, but if it hadn't been for the 'others' like me, they never would've done it. They would've played right into his hands."

There is no way to hide the look up surprise and shock on Claire's face at that little announcement. The same stranger that helped saved her life, took the life of her grandfather. "You?" Her brows lift a bit as she asks. "You killed Arthur." Her eyes narrow a bit. "They won't tell me." Her head turns to the side a bit and she asks carefully, "How? How did you kill him finally? I didn't think the evil bastard would ever go down."

"They probably think you don't want to talk about the old bastard," Cardinal suggests, his head shaking, "Assume you've still got some fuzzy feelings for him, or something, I don't know…" He scratches at the side of his neck, regarding her a moment, "You know about the Formula, right?"

Claire gives him a small smile. "Well, it is still weird knowing I was related too him, but no.. no love lost there. None to loose. He about killed me. " That last said rather blandly, sure she's died a lot, but that last one was pretty close to the real thing.

"The Formula? Yeah… supposedly I had something in me he needed for it. Something put in me when I was a baby. He took it when he took my ability." She turns to face Cardinal, one leg left dangling over the edge, the other folded in front of her. "Why?"

"Me too," Cardinal replies dryly, "And he did kill quite a few people that I wasn't entirely pleased to hear died…" A dark, bitter edge to the latter, as he looks back over the skyline.

"I got a hold of part of it before it reached him. One of my people altered it, so he couldn't make the Formula," he explains quietly, "But he had to use something, so he fell back on an earlier, flawed version. Advent. It eventually killed you through complete genetic breakdown." A pause, "I had his powers negated, and injected him with a whole fucking hypo of it. The only thing left of him's what I haven't washed off my boots yet."

Blond brows lift high on her head, slowly as she listens. "Wow." She says softly by the end of it, her body gives a visible shiver at the thought. "Hell of a way to go." She murmurs after a moment, her eyes dropping to the rooftop in front of her. She's quiet for a long moment as she mulls the information over in her head. "Thank you." She says finally looking up at him again. "Thank for telling me. For not sugar coating it.. and for not being afraid to get right in there and take him out." She means every word of it to.

"It needed to be done." Cardinal shrugs slightly, giving her a steady look as he drops his foot down from the ledge, straightening, "'Course, now there's other shit that needs to be done, but— we can rest when we're done." Rueful, that last, as if it held some special meaning to him.

"I've got people pushing me to do something with my life." Claire says, twisting around so that her back is to the street. She then pushes up to her feet, she's still has to look up at him. "They don't understand that I can't do that. I can't just sit in a college class room or try to have a normal life." Her eyes closes for only a moment as she shakes her head. "I can't do that."

Claire pushes hands into the pockets of her worn jeans and presses her lips together before saying, "I can't do normal anymore. I haven't since the day I started throwing myself off stuff and in front of trains to see if I could die." There is a small shrug of her shoulders.

"I doubt it would mean much, but you know where to find me if you need help. Though, not sure how much long I can stay here." She turns a bit as if thinking about leaving, "Your the first person to actually tell me something about what happened. Kinda of nice to have someone actually talk to me about it. And I really want to know more about what's going on." She sighs softly and glances down at her feet, toes wiggling in her socks. "I also need people to take me seriously. I'm not weak and I'm a big girl that can do just as much as the rest of them."

"Okay." Cardinal's brows raise at her, "What can you do?" It's said as much as a challenge, as anything else.

The question actually throws Claire for a loop and she's left staring at him for a moment. "Well…" her shoulders slump some as a bit of her confidence bleeding out of her, "I've been doing all this for a few years now. I can deal with explosives, if they blow up… I regenerate. I know how to shoot. Of course… my shotgun is missing." Hands slide out of her pockets to push her blond hair behind her ears nervously.

"Your power's just part of you," Cardinal says with a slight shake of his head, dismissing the regeneration comment, "It's useful, sure, but it's not all that matters. Always good to know how to shoot." He grins, "What else?"

"Admittedly, it's what I know. I've always been the one to go too when you need someone to go in like a bull in a china shop," Claire seems a bit bothered by the admission. But then she chin lifts a bit, she eyes challenging him to tell her she's useless. "But that doesn't stop me from going in and getting things done. I'm not fragile. I'm not weak. I'm not going to quail under the pressure of what needs to be done." She takes a step closer to him, her eyes searching his face, her voice dangerously quiet for the young woman standing there, who seems more like she should be shaking pompoms rather then talking about kind of damage and havoc she can cause. "I don't shy away, but I also won't hurt the innocent. I fucked up once long ago, I haven't let myself do it since. If that trigger needs to be pulled, by God I'll pull it."

The young woman's claims are listened to with a neutral, watchful expression… and then he crooks a smile up a bit, and he nods, once. "That," Cardinal notes, "That's your strength there, Red. Hold onto it, learn what you need to learn, and it'll get you anywhere."

"Yet no one really gives me a chance." Claire snaps bitterly, stepping back again. Then she sighs and holds up her hands. "Sorry, you didn't deserve me biting your head off." Her hands drop and she offers him a small ghost of a smile. "I shouldn't keep you any longer. You said you were here to check on things."

The small blond woman moves to sit at the edge of the building and swings her legs around again, obviously meaning to go back to her thoughts. She turns at looks at him over a shoulder, "Thanks again… you know.. for listening and actually giving me straight answers."

"Anytime, Red," Cardinal says with a slow shake of his head, "Anytime. If you ever get tired of trying to win their approval and information…" A wry, crook'd smile's flashed back to her, "…well, give me a call. There's always more work to be done."

There is a glance at the door to the safehouse, but then Claire looks back at her savior and gives him a sad smile. "Somehow, I think that could be a lot sooner, then either of us think." She looks thoughtful, for a moment. "In fact, call me when you have something." She rattles off a cell number, "I'm tired of being on the outside, I'm ready to jump in feet first."

The number's noted, and Cardinal's chin dips in an easy nod. "I'll give you a call," is all he says, before turning to cross the rooftop once more, "Might have something for you soon."

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