What Have We Learned


cardinal_icon.gif monica_icon.gif

Scene Title What Have We Learned
Synopsis After a rough night on Staten Island, Cardinal helps Monica get patched up before the next rough night.
Date November 05, 2010

Redbird Security: Basement

It's really just too early to be awake. Unless you're one of those people who likes to be up all night, which… Monica Dawson has been in the habit of for a while now. You can't be a proper ninja in the daylight, after all. So she's standing by the table in the room, some medical supplies there that she's trying to fiddle with. One-handedly.

It's also fairly rare to see her in anything less than modest, relaxed clothes, so the fact that she's standing there in a pair of dark pants and… well, her bra is more than a little odd. But then, the bruise blossoming on her side is a good explanation. She's sporting all sorts of cuts and bruises today, though! And is a bit bloody here and there. And, of course, a few old scars that prove she's led a life thus far that most good girls in their early-to-mid twenties just don't. There's a nice one up by her shoulder that was once a bullet hole. It's probably the most noticeable.

For whatever reason, probably stubbornness, she has chosen to take care of her wounds herself, instead of asking someone to help her out.

After a bit of badgering, Cardinal tried to get some sleep early… which didn't particularly work at all, given that he normally doesn't. This means, of course, that he's up ridiculously early too. The sound of feet on stairs isn't audible through the doors, so it's only the crack of the door opening that warns of his arrival.

There's dark rings under his eyes that aren't quite hidden by his shades as he walks along into the room, pausing at the sight of Monica half-naked, one brow raising ever so slightly. "…not that I mind the show," he observes casually, "But you look like you had an interesting night."

Monica does looks over at the sound of the door opening, and she groans a little at his opening statement. "I swear, I'm not gettin' into Niki's business just yet." But she looks back down to the table, setting down the tape she had been struggling with. "Yeah… it was… some stupid thugs takin' kids and sellin' them off." She doesn't say for what, but the set of her jaw turning suddenly tense gives away that the idea of it all still pisses her off. "But we got 'em out of there, the kids."

Her hand moves to just touch over that large bruise, though, and she squints a little as she looks over at him, "I'm pretty sure I got a broken rib. But don't worry! I'm still good to go for everything. I swear. I used to go after bad guys wounded all the time down south." Like a football player worried about getting benched.

"Hey, if you ever decide to, I'd be happy to help you practice…" A faint chuckle's exhaled as Cardinal approaches, his head shaking slowly from side to side, "…well, not gonna blame you for going after that group, then. Sit your ass down so I can tape your ribs up, at least. You aren't that double-jointed."

It's a sort of odd juxtaposition, her wounds and blood and everything, and the the blushing that tends to happen with those comments. But there it is. She lets out a sigh at the order, though, and kicks out one of the chairs to perch on. "I could be! If someone would take me to one of those contortionist shows," she points out, before she lets out another sigh.

"I haven't been that mad in a while," she notes, as far as who they went after. "Seein' those kids in there. I think I sorta…" She frowns a bit there, her brow furrowing like she's trying to remember, exactly, in the aftermath of it all. "..lost it, I guess."

"You have heard about the Internet, haven't you?" Pot calling kettle, pot calling kettle, you are black. Cardinal reaches out to take the tape, leaning over to assist by wrapping her ribs securely with it; paying no heed at all to her personal space, of course, but despite his teasing conversation he keeps it all very professional. For the moment, anyway. "You get all the kids out?"

"I have, and I even use it sometimes," Monica replies teasingly. "Damon used to screen the videos for me, since you never know when you're gonna get something lame. His words," she notes, with a chuckle that leads into a groan and a wince. Monica seems okay with this particular personal space invasion, it's for a good cause, after all! But she nods her head to his question. "I'm pretty sure we got everybody. And then one of the Staten boys set the whole place on fire, so. Peyton would probably be able to tell you better where they took the kids after."

"We could rent you a copy of Showgirls or maybe the— lift your arm up a little more— national pole-dancing championship…" Levity always helps against pain, since the tight wrap of the bandages over bruised— or broken— ribs probably isn't the best experience in the world. "Good," Cardinal murmurs, "Any idea who was behind it? Or just a local operation?"

"Don't make me laugh, you jerk," Monica says, her good arm coming up to cover her face for a moment. But the other lifts to get out of his way. And it's true, she doesn't look terribly comfortable just now, but she's trying not to let it show too much. "Local, I think. You know, they say 'hey, we're gonna take out some guys pimping out kids' and I'm pretty much there without askin' too many details." It's a big way they differ, she and the man who knows everything. There's a wince when the bandages hit a particularly sore spot, which brings her hand to her face again. It's a brilliant cover.

The tape's secured around her torso, and Cardinal leans back to give her a thoughtful once-over, checking out her varied bruises and cuts. "So… any other major injuries that need to be tended to? I don't want you to fall over in the middle've the eighth."

"Don't worry, I'll save it and fall over on the ninth." Hopefully. There's a small thread of worry through her features, she's never been any good at schooling her expressions, but Monica looks over at Card and gives him a gentle smile. "I got a few cuts… There were a lot of guys there." She turns in the chair, so her other side can be seen easier. And indeed! There's a few deeper gashes along her arm and a cut to her jaw where she likely got punched or hit with the butt of a gun or something along those lines. The rest seem to be first aid level hurts.

"I think I might've… killed some of them." And it's pretty clear she's torn on how to feel about that. But she never really got that morally grey habit down. "I didn't really mean to…"

"Christ." Cardinal steps over to the medical supplies on the table to pick up a bottle of antiseptic and some cotton, dousing the latter with the former, "…hold still, this is gonna sting."

As he starts to swab the gashes on her arm, he says quietly, "Don't let it get to you. These were people who were taking profit from hurting kids, Monica… I wouldn't even call them human."

Monica gives a nod to the warning, and she braces for the sting, but even so, she has to squeeze her eyes shut when he starts. "I know," she says, a certain tightness in her voice that isn't just from the antiseptic. "I know. Scum of the earth and all that." As her eyes open, she looks over at him, her head tilting a little. "You ever feel like your power's doing all the thinking sometimes?"

"No… but mine doesn't work like yours," says Cardinal quietly as he works on cleaning her wounds, one hand keeping her arm still, "Yours is all about— reactions, instincts. I've got all different problems with mine." Releasing her arm, he tilts her head to one side to clean the cut along her jaw, "At least you learned one thing from this."

"It gets troublin'. Sometimes." Monica lets him tilt her head, her eyes sliding to the side to look at him, one brow lifted. "Nah, I already knew broken ribs hurt pretty bad," she says, lighthearted, but after a moment, she sobers to ask, "What did I learn? Besides that tryin' to bandage yourself is really a lot harder than it looks."

Cardinal meets her eyes as he gently brushes that cut with antiseptic-soaked cotton, his expression serious as he says quietly, "That killing anyone still upsets you… even if they deserved it. So long as that's true, means you're still human. The day it stops bothering you at all…" A pause, "That's when it's time to get out've this life."

Monica blinks a bit there, gaze sliding down because those eyes are looking a little watery. It's the stinging, totally. "I suppose I better make sure it stays true, then. I don't think I much know what to do with myself outside of this life." School, regular jobs, even family… it was never really enough to keep her out of the game.

The cotton's dropped onto the table, and Cardinal brings one hand up to rest against her uninjured cheek, trying to bring her gaze back up to his. "I don't think you could ever get like that, Moni," he says quietly, supportively, "You're not that sort of person."

It's a little delayed, but Monica looks back to him with that touch to her cheek. But it looks like that bit of support brings a tear down her cheek. "I'm sorry. I don't know why I'm cryin', it's so stupid," she says, embarrassed and feeling more emotional than she really wants to be. "The comic books never really talked about this part." Whether she means in general, or St. Joan's comic books is hard to tell.

"Yeah," Cardinal says with a slight nod, thumb brushing against her cheek to wipe the tear from it, "I know." There's a haunted look behind his own eyes, the faintest of smiles touching his lips as he tries to reassure her, "It's the…. the hard part've all of this. I wish we could get it all done without any blood, but…"

"Me too." Monica closes her eyes, though, before anymore tears manage to get through. "We do the best we can, that's important. We're not… runnin' around blowin' things up," she says, which lets her open her eyes to smirk up at him. "Nothin' out there's ideal. We do the best we can." Funny how it seems like she's reassuring him there.

"We are," Cardinal agrees quietly, his gaze hooding slightly before he looks back up, "I just hope that we're able to make a difference in the end. I've got some more… constructive plans to start working on soon. Less fighting, hopefully."

"Gotta try, at least." Monica starts to stand up there, so she can grab her shirt. "I know I haven't always agreed with the how, Rich," she says, while she tries to work out how to get the thing over her head without hurting herself, "But I know you're just trying to do what's right in the end." Of course, she ends up just eyeing the thing in frustration before giving up and just clutching it in her hand as it rests against her hip. "And I want you to know… the eighth, however it goes… I'm really grateful that you've been tryin' to make it better. The whole thing and… my day, personally."

A step away, and Cardinal leans himself against the table's edge; arms folding over his chest, he leans his head back to look up at the ceiling. "I'm starting to think I was… wrong to try and deal with the Linderman Group at all, so… maybe you were right, there, anyway. I'm just— just trying to do what I can. Hopefully I'm not making things worse."

"You meant well. I mean… he's no good, either. And I don't know what it is with my family and gettin' mixed up with this type," Monica says, smiling a little crookedly there. "And who knows how it'll all turn out. I just… I really don't like d'Sarthe much." Understatement. "And when things settle… Well, I'm gonna see about makin' a nuisance of myself for him. See if I can figure out what's goin' on with D.L. It wouldn't be the first time he's needed some sense smacked into him. But I guess I mean… don't worry too much. You're doin' something. So many people don't even bother tryin' to make a difference."

"I'm not exactly a fan of him either… I didn't want to get him involved at all," Cardinal grimaces up at the ceiling, "That was all Kain's idea. I'm starting to wonder… well." A tight shake of his head, "Hopefully Niki's turned up something, I haven't heard from her in awhile." He pushes away from the table, and offers over a faint smile, "I get the feeling everything's gonna change by next week anyway."

"She didn't tell you what happened in Vegas?" Monica lifts an eyebrow, and leans back against the table. "Someone got there before us. All that was left was this print… Loki. The poisoning of Loki? We're all lookin' into it… you know, when things are a little less crazy." Those last words get a breathy chuckle from her, though. "I got a feelin' you're right on that one. I guess we'll see how the chips all fall after, huh?"

"Wait… Vegas?" Cardinal looks back to her with a furrowed brow, "Why were you in Vegas? She was supposed to grab the will… what were you looking for in Vegas?" A confused note to his voice, head canting to one side.

And his confusion makes her confused. "You know, you people need to start explainin' the plans to me better, so I know what's goin' on around here." Both hands are on her hips this time. "Some woman out there, she had something… I don't know, maybe it was the will, maybe something else, but she knew stuff. But whoever got there first got it. And left us a clue, like… Scooby Doo style."

"The hell?" One hand slides back against the nape of Cardinal's neck as he looks back to her with a frown, "I… tell her to come by and talk to me, next time you see her, alright? I don't have any idea what she's been up to, she hasn't contacted me for awhile now…"

"Well, I will… I haven't seen her in a few days either. She might be finding a place to be for the eighth. But… you know… we all want Linderman out. After everything that's gone on. That much is sure. Oh, and I need to talk to Sarisa sometime. To ask her about this print. If… I mean, I don't think I can just walk up to her…" Monica gives him a little smile there, a cute one, as she asks for a favor without… really asking.

"I hope she knows what she's doing," Cardinal breathes out in tense frustration, one hand lifting to rub between his eyes, "And…" He pauses, looking over, "To Sarisa? You know that she doesn't know anything about our plans for the Group, right…? What do you need her for?"

"She does. And she's got people lookin' out for her. You worry too much, Rich. It's probably why you're so good at your job." Monica tilts her head as he goes on, looking a little amused. "I know I've got a habit of being honest, but I don't have to volunteer information. She's… a resource we've got, right? I just want to ask her about this print. Maybe it'll be a dead end, but maybe it won't be."

"I don't think that she knows that much about art…" Cardinal pushes himself away from the table, shaking his head a little, "I can set up a meeting. I don't think she's going to be free until after the eighth, though. We're all going to be… really… fucking busy."

"Oh yeah, well, I didn't expect to get anything done about it until after. If it all still matters… after." Monica's hand moves to touch her bandages, a frown coming to her face. And then, that hand abruptly drops and she looks over at him to note, "I really hate waitin' like this. It's so close, I wish it would just get here."

"I have some things to arrange before it comes… the longer it takes, the better," Cardinal admits with a grimace, "And I should get to them, too, I suppose." He looks back over, "Make sure to get some sleep."

"Last minute chess, huh?" Monica steps over to him, her arm with the cuts lifting to rest her hand on his arm. "You don't run yourself ragged, either." Yes, this whole conversation is very pot-to-kettle. "I'll be upstairs in the first bed that I can find. So you know where to find me when it's go time." There's a momentary pause before she pushes up onto the balls of her feet to give his cheek a kiss. "I would hug you, but I think my ribs would decide to kill me there and then." And with a pat to his arm, she steps away to start the climb up to the apartments. It seems so much longer today.

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