Twice is Coincidence


f_april_icon.gif cardinal_icon.gif

Scene Title Twice is Coincidence
Synopsis April and Cardinal run into each other again — and Cardinal still can't recall where he really knows her from.
Date July 9, 2010

Confucius Plaza Apartments

The Plaza is forty-four stories tall with over seven hundred units. Though it's some of the nicest housing in Chinatown, it's by no means lavish. The statue of Confucius in the courtyard has become one of the neighborhood's most popular meeting places over the last three decades. The lobby is relatively small and sparsely furnished, but also spotlessly clean. The same can be said about the apartments.

It's a little after 9 am on the conventional last workday of the week — and after this week, April's rather well worn-out. It's finally not oppressively hot outside, just oppressively humid, and as the lobby door swings shut behind her, the brunette pauses to shove damp hair back from where it clings to her forehead. She's dressed in khaki slacks with a jade-green shirt, gray jacket folded over an arm. She nods briefly to the desk attendant, then starts across the small lobby, heading for the elevators.

There's someone else in the lobby, standing beside the elevators waiting for them. Richard Cardinal's done away with his jacket for the day — the humidity far too much for it — and is standing with both hands laced behind his head, which is leaned back to watch the lights above the elevator slowly count down.

She's tired — April can't help but stop when she finally catches sight of Cardinal, which of course would be right about the time she's all of four feet away. It took that long for the woman to see his face. She gives him a slightly cautious look, then a polite smile. "Hi… Richard, wasn't it?" Her gaze flicks up to the elevator indicator, then back down. "You live here?" It's a big building, could be possible.

At the greeting, Richard's head cocks a bit to one side — and his arms drop down, an easy grin curving his lips. "Hey. April, right…? Nah, I've got a friend who lives in the building, is all, I was stopping by to check on her."

April nods briefly, confirming that yes, that is her name. "Makes sense." She fiddles with the jacket in her arms, self-consciously shaking her hair forward over her shoulders before looking up at the light again. Close, but not quite. "Too many floors in this building," she remarks.

"So how've you been, anyway…?" Cardinal gives her a sidelong glance, his expression bearing a bit of curiosity as he regards her profile, as though he's trying to place her.

A sidelong glance in return is given to Cardinal, before April shrugs. "Busy," she replies. "Hotel job. Holiday translates to more work." The woman snorts softly. "Even now." A chime sounds from overhead, and the elevator door slides open; April gestures Cardinal in, studiously pretending to ignore his scrutiny.

"Have we ever met before? I mean, before the park…" As the door slides open, Cardinal steps along casually inside, his head shaking as he admits, "I swear you look familiar."

"Well, there was the church, or whatever," April says, as she steps in and takes up a place on the other side of the car, lighting the button for her floor along the way. "We worked that out last time." Switching the coat over to her other arm, she glances to the elevator doors as they close and the car begins to ascend.

"That's right, that's right…" Cardinal doesn't sound entirely convinced, though, his brow furrowing — then he shrugs, looking back to the panel and tapping the floor he's heading to. "I never did ask, what'd you think about Sumter's little sermon that day?"

April smiles faintly, glancing down towards the floor. "Honestly, I don't remember a lot of it, now. I…" She looks over at Cardinal, a hint of uncertain consideration in her features; and then she smiles crookedly, some decision confirmed. "It was helpful, I think." Yeah, that's an informational answer. "What about you?"

Cardinal shrugs one shoulder, admitting, "It was a good speech. He's a good man — probably too good for the world he's in. Pity that more people didn't listen… but, haters gotta hate, as they say on MTV."

April raises a brow at Cardinal's quote, then shrugs a moment later. "Can't say I've heard that one. But — people listen to what they want to hear, I guess," she replies, shaking her head. "'The only thing we learn from history is that we're doomed to repeat it'," is April's contribution to the quoted axiom portion of the converation, her tone dryly glum.

"Amen, sister." Cardinal looks away from the floor numbers with a wry look as she one-ups his quote, and probably more appropriately. "Ever wonder if we're going to end up in a civil war over all this?"

The woman doesn't answer right away, looking at the almost mirrorlike metal surface of the elevator doors. She pushes her hair back unconsciously, forgetting now about the mark it was obscuring, and considers the question seriously. "I don't know," April finally says, not exactly answering the question he asked — rather, the one she heard. "Once, I would've said no."

A drop of his gaze considers the mark as it's revealed, lifting again to consider her profile in silence for a few moments before he looks back along to the pewter-faced door of the elevator. "We've had suicide bombers on both sides in the past month," Cardinal says quietly. "Violence is just getting worse."

"Suicide bombers aren't civil war," April points out. "But yeah, it's…" She lets her voice trail off, shrugging a bit. A moment later, the woman almost says something, but with a sidelong glance at Cardinal abruptly presses her lips together, thinking better of the words. Whatever they were. "Just have to see what happens, I suppose."

"I suppose so." Cardinal's shoulders lean back against the wall of the elevator, arms folding loosely over his chest, "Interesting time to live in New York, though, I've gotta say."

April breathes out a huff that's only half laughter as the elevator slows. "Well, that's better than some alternatives, for sure." She sounds like she's speaking from experience. When the doors slide open, the woman glances over at Cardinal. "My stop. Be careful out there."

Cardinal lifts a brow a bit over the edge of his shades. "I was just about to tell you the same thing," he observes casually. "Chances are, you need the warning more'n I do."

April's green eyes are dark as she smiles ruefully. "Probably," she allows — and she doesn't even know anything about Richard. "I'll manage." She waves briefly, then turns and walks down the hall, letting the elevator doors close.

As the doors close, Cardinal tilts his head back to the wall, brow furrowing a bit. "I swear I know her from somewhere," he says to himself. Sometimes, he envies Catherine's ability.

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