What's In It For You


cardinal_icon.gif monica_icon.gif

Scene Title What's In It For You?
Synopsis Workouts, physical and mental and… ethical?
Date June 23, 2010

Coco's Boxing Gym

The gym's been around so long that no one knows who Coco was. Legend has it that he was an ex-mobster or some grizzled former POW. Either story would fit with the general atmosphere of the place. This is not a trendy location that offers yoga, pilates and spin classes. The gym is grimy, run-down, perpetually smells of sweat and full of well-worn, mostly manual equipment. It offers a wide selection of weights, a wall full of bikes, an area for martial arts training and a boxing ring towards the rear of the space.
Despite its lack of modern equipment, the space is almost always busy. It has a reputation for hiring serious trainers for both weight and boxing training. A world welterweight champion once trained here, and his picture hangs over the desk. Anyone who is serious about their training would feel comfortable here. Weekend warriors need not apply.

Days off are precious and few, and Monica seems to like to put hers to good use. Currently, that consists of lifting weights. It's not all that impressive, just a girl who wants to keep in shape, not someone looking to build muscle mass. But, she's no slouch, working herself pretty hard and not taking too many breaks. Probably less than is really healthy. But! At least she has water nearby! She doesn't seem to mind the worn, old equipment, in fact, she might be a little more comfortable with it than the fancy stuff at your average gym.

"Hey." Cardinal's just emerged from the locker room, a grey tank-top leaving his tattooed arms bare, a pair of sweatpants finishing off his workout gear. Well, that and the aviator-style sunglasses he's wearing. A grin's offered down to her as he stops beside the bench that Monica's using, offering, "You need someone to spot for you?"

Looking up at the voice, Monica smiles a little and replaces the bar before she sits up. "Yeah, actually. If you don't mind." Grabbing her bottle of water, she takes a moment to drink before looking over at him again. "How's your collection been going?"

"Oh, it's going…" Cardinal shakes his head a bit at the question, rubbing a hand against the nape of his neck in a rueful fashion, "…the hard part is working out the real stories from the made up shit, let me tell you."

Monica laughs lightly at that and nods, "Yeah, I bet. Everyone wants to be heard, even if they gotta lie to do it. I haven't been… keeping up, you know?" She reaches over to pat his arm a bit, reassuring, "I'm sure you'll figure it out. Once there's enough stories, the ones that are bull should be a lot clearer."

Cardinal's lips tug up a bit at one corner in an easy smile, admitting with a shrug of one shoulder, "That's pretty much how I'm hoping to do it, yeah. It's like a puzzle… the more you get, the more the image becomes clearer. Anyway. How've you been doing?"

"Me? Just keeping busy. My life is not all that exciting these days. Work, school, gym. The odd storm or mass hallucination." Monica sounds a bit… regretful there, even, a frown tugging at the corner of her lips. "You ever consider, in all this collecting you're doing… maybe we're not meant to know what's coming? I mean, you see the future and either… it isn't going to happen simply because you've seen it or it's going to happen for sure no matter what you do, right? Or… whatever you do to avoid it… ends up walking you right into it. Something like that?"

"Oh, trust me…" Cardinal drops down to sit on the weight bench beside her, hands clasping between his knees as he slouches forward a bit, "…I have to think about all that shit. This isn't my first go-round this particular type've thing, though, Monica. This is what I do, I suppose."

"You hunt the future? You must have had the strangest career counselor." Monica looks over at him, a bit of a crooked smile on her face. But, the expression doesn't last long.

"That's one way of putting it." A grin flashes across Cardinal's lips at her phrasing, admitting, "I do hunt the future, I suppose. I've caught a few of them, too, fortunately for everyone else…"

"Caught a few of them?" Monica lifts an eyebrow there, her head tilting as she looks over at him. "Does that mean what I think it means? You know, I wouldn't have said so a few months ago, but New Orleans is starting to feel like a vacation. I forgot how things get up here."

Cardinal tips his head just a little to one side. "Depends," he asks softly, "On what you think it means, Monica."

"Like you… catch them in time before something bad happens?" And really, it doesn't seem like too unbelievable a concept, either. "'Fortunately for everyone else' and all that. That's what I think it means. Which might just make me sound crazy, but hey, it's New York. Everybody's crazy."

"You'd be right, there…" Cardinal reaches over to steal up her water bottle where it's set down, giving it a bit of a toss before twisting off the cap and observing quietly and casually, "…I suppose that you've got a li'l different viewpoint than most people, though, Joan." And a swig of her water's taken.

Monica starts to agree, but then stops short at the name and turns to just look at him for a long moment. She seems to be debating feigning ignorance, but in the end she just lets out a heavy sigh and puts her hands on her hips. "You're not a bad guy, are you? I was really looking forward to a quiet day off."

Cardinal lowers the water bottle, laughing softly as he offers it back over along with a cocky grin. "Well, I like to think that I'm not. At least so far as you're concerned - if I tried anything with you, Jessica'd break me like a twig probably. She gets a little protective and has issues with scale sometimes."

"Well, good," Monica says as she takes the water back, "Because your offer to spot was starting to look a little diabolical, you know." She does offer a smirk there, teasing. "And Jessica'd have to wait until after I got a few good hits in myself. I'm not some wilting flower. But then, I guess you know that. How'd you find out, anyway? About Joan?"

"You don't expect me to give away all my secrets, do you? I make it my business to know… just about everything," Cardinal says, and there's no arrogance or bragging in his tone. In fact, the next thing he says is a little wry, "I don't always succeed in that, but I do my damndest. You never know when the littlest thing might come in handy."

"Well! You know mine, it's only fair," Monica claims, one hand gesturing a bit in the air. "So you study the future and try to map out what's going to happen. I don't suppose you were lucky enough to get a convenient prophecy-based ability or anything like that? Nah, too easy."

Cardinal lets a chuckle tumble past his lips, admitting with a shrug of one shoulder, "Nah. I do collect precogs, postcogs, and all the prophecies I can get my hand on… we used to have a guy who could analyse all this shit and figure out how to manipulate it, but he's sort of indisposed at the moment."

"Yeah, I figured. Nothing's ever that easy. Collecting precogs, there's a hobby I never really expected to hear." Monica pauses for a moment, looking over at him as if studying. "What do you want out of all that? I mean… what's the point?"

"What do you get out've what you do?" Cardinal arches a brow ever so slightly, gesturing a bit with one hand towards her, "Joan. The firebirds. Not exactly paying work. The only thing you can hope to get out've it's a short, bloody life. Right?"

"I don't know," Monica says, but with an air of someone who does know, but finds the answer complicated and perhaps, revealing. "Standing up for people who can't stand up for themselves. Or maybe, standing up so they don't have to find out they ever needed to. You find out you can do things… anything, practically," and that /she/ says without bragging, it's just how it is, "and you have to decide what you're going to do with all that. It's not that I got much out of Helena's dream or even Cameron's, but it's like… somebody has to do something."

"Exactly." Cardinal's hands spread slightly, then drop back to one another in a loose clasp between his knees as he points out in rueful tones, "We sure as hell can't expect someone else to save the world, Monica. If we don't do it, nobody else is." He shrugs, "Admittedly, my scope is a little — wider than Helena's. She's just worried about equal rights. I'm worried about us all surviving to see the future. Because I've seen a lot of possibilities, babe, and none of them are good."

"Equal rights is an important step. The human race seems to have a problem with the idea of different being equal. Better to fight for it now, you know? While we still have a voice." Monica tilts her head, though, as he goes on. "So you're looking to create a future, not just picking one to run toward, huh?"

"I don't see why life should be multiple choice," Cardinal admits, "I prefer essay style. Admittedly, most of what I do is stopping the world from being flooded to the thirtieth floor of the Empire State Building or from being taken over by asshole fascist dictators, so I do more murdering of futures than building them lately…"

"Well. Maybe you should start doing that, then. Stopping a bad future's a good deal, Rich. But you have to think about preparing for a good future, too." Monica pats his leg again, though, "Thanks for keeping the dictators are bay. That would really stink."

"Oh," Cardinal grins, "We do. I've got some irons in that fire too…" He shrugs one shoulder, "…can't keep focusing on one line for too long, or you stop being able to see the other ones. It's like an optical illusion."

"'We'? You're getting my Niki into trouble, aren't you?" Monica seems to be teasing a little there, but… there is also some genuine worry. Never mind 'her Niki' can, like, Hulk out and bench press a mountain.

"I wouldn't call what I do getting into trouble," Cardinal replies with an easy shrug of one shoulder, hand swept off to one side before it falls back to his knee as he straightens up with a wry grin, "Then again, it's been said that I have issues with scale too."

"Don't we all. I mean, who wakes up and decides they're going to save the world?" And yet! Here they are. Monica sighs a little and shakes her head some. "Life is so strange. You know, once upon a time, things were normal."

"I blame Deckard." It's an easy catch-all. Somewhere along the line, after all, something probably was Flint's fault. Cardinal leans back a bit, resting his hands on the bench as he looks to the ceiling, "You ever do any training? Not, I mean, you-training, training other people."

Monica smirks at those words, a hand lifting to run through her hair, "I usually just blame the Petrellis." That hand drops back to her lap and she lifts an eyebrow over at him. "I haven't before. Except teaching my little brother how to throw a punch and make it count. Which may or may not have been a good idea," she says with a soft chuckle.

Cardinal exhales a snort of laughter. "Probably pretty accurate there, too… between Nathan and Peter, I swear t'god, some days…" He shakes his head slowly, looking back over and admitting, "Friend of mine's gotten a little worried about the fact that she doesn't know how to defend herself, is all."

"It's a good thing those boys are so good looking or they'd be more trouble than they're worth," Monica says, joking of course! "Hmm. I think it's always good to know some basic self-defense, especially for us girls. If she needs some help, I wouldn't mind. How's she feel about getting punched?"

At that, Cardinal grins. "I think she can learn to deal with it. She's a PI, she's supposed to be able to take a punch anyway."

"Good, because there's going to be a lot of them flying around. I didn't exactly learn in a conventional manner, so… she's not going to, either. But, it'll be just as effective, promise. Give me a couple days to gather some dirty street fighting, and then- ah… I never actually gave you my number, did I?" Monica chuckles a little there and pats her pockets… but sadly, pen and paper don't seem to be a part of her workout outfit.

"I'll get it before you go," Cardinal waves it off with a chuckle, "I'll pass it on and you can talk to her — name's Rebecca. She doesn't have any super-ninja-combat abilities, so you won't have to worry about that or anything either."

"Deal. Rebecca, okay. I'll be expecting a call, then." Monica smirks as he goes one, "You'd think, if she did have those, she wouldn't be so worried about not being able to defend herself."

"Please," Cardinal exhales a rough snort, "I make all of my people learn at least some self-defense, and how to shoot a gun, doesn't matter if they've got some sort've combat ability or not. Never know when you're going to run into a negator."

"I suppose that's true enough," Monica says, shaking her head a bit. "It's one of the reasons I started studying the little skills I pick up. Just in case."

"There's no skill that doesn't come in handy at some point…" A push up to his feet, and Cardinal grins, "Let me go get some paper and a pen for that number."

Monica nods her head and flashes a smile his way, "So very true. And I'll just… hang out here, then."

Cardinal crosses the gym floor, stepping around the edge of the ring and pushing into the locker room. After a couple of minutes he emerges again, dressed in his usual jeans-and-t-shirt outfit with a flight jacket draped over it, duffle bag slung over his shoulder and a small pad and a pen in his hand.

And when he comes back out, Monica is just putting the weights she was using back in their place. But seeing him coming back, she straightens up and looks over his way before she comes to meet him.

"Hey, good looking…" A teasing greeting as Cardinal walks along over, shifting to brace the pad against his wrist and raising both brows to her, "…so. Phone number?"

Monica looks over her shoulder, jokingly hunting for who he might be talking to before she looks back to him with a smirk. She takes the pen to jot down a number, muttering her own tease, "If I get any prank calls, I'm going to blame you, just so you know."

Cardinal smirks at that, "So no 'for a good time, call monica' on the bathroom walls, I take it…?"

"Right, exactly. Especially these bathroom walls," Monica notes with a glance around the room. She passes the pen back, and smiles crookedly, "You know, because only creeps use a place like this."

"If anyone calls you late at night for a booty call," Cardinal promises with a hint of amusement stirred through his voice as he accepts the pen and paper, a grin tugging up at one corner of his lips, "I promise it won't be a stranger."

Well that gets a blush. And a bit of a chuckle, too. Possibly a nervous one. "Yeah… well…" Yes. Intelligent response. It goes here. "I think I'm going to head for the locker room before I say something to embarrass myself," she admits with a shake of her head.

At that, Cardinal grins all the wider; tucking the number away in a pocket, he shrugs the duffle fully back over his shoulder and turns towards the door, "See you around, Monica…"

"Yeah, see you," Monica says with a little wave before she grabs her water and does, in fact, head off toward the locker room.

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