2007-03-23: Canary, Coffee, And Classified Info


Nathan_icon.gif Jane_icon.gif

Summary: Meeting outside the Secret Lair, Nathan talks with Jane over coffee. Rules are agreed on.

Date It Happened: March 23, 2007

Canary, Coffee, And Classified Info

East Village, Manhattan, NYC

It is reasonably early in the day, and Nathan's phone has run out of batteries. He'd call it forgetfulness in his old age (a rather exaggerated concept for a man who had only turned 40 just a month or so ago), or maybe he's been focused on other things aside from making sure his phone doesn't switch off in the middle of a mildly important call. However, he hasn't brought himself to rush home and rectify this, and instead, he is doing something uncharacteristic: meandering.

Emerging from a bookstore, Nathan holds a thick paperback novel, scanning the back of it as he picks off the pricetag, the token thing someone does with a gift. Holding the newly bought item loosely in his hand, other hand in his pocket, he starts a casual walk through a street on the East Village, regarding shops he hasn't visited before.

She's out and about in the morning, doing things she does. The twenty-something brunette is becoming known among people in this part of NYC, as it draws others of her type. One of her types anyway, the sort she has most passion for being. With temperatures a bit warmer today, Jane's coatless. It's the Yale hoodie, navy blue lettering on white, with the usual guitar and backpack over her shoulders. She glances for a moment at Enlightenment Books, believing it closed on Sundays, and thinking Cass would call if she needed or wanted anything from her after last night's events. It's passed by, heeled boots tapping on concrete, and soon she's looking around for fellow musicians.

Not a musician by any stretch of the imagination, Nathan finds himself standing in front of the Secret Lair. He doesn't go in, just observes the window, regarding the action figures with some assessment. He can't quite remember exactly which ones his boys already own, and the idea of handing them something they've seen is too crushing to even ponder. Still, he glances left, then right, and starts to step into the store when someone familiar catches his eye. Backing up, he sort of lifts his hand in a still wave to Jane, more of a signal of acknowledgment than a true greeting. "Morning," he says, just loud enough for her to hear.

She spots him then, and a smile breaks out. Steps shift path to approach him. "It is that," Jane answers. "Had my second solid New York paying gig last night. It was exhilarating." She doesn't mention anything about standing up to a Scotsman who got caught cheating on his girlfriend, or how she afterward was able to turn the crowd's thoughts away from that altercation with her sound. Her eyes settle on the shop Nathan's about to enter, and she remarks quietly "Black Canary."

"Good for you," Nathan commends, and it sounds genuine, showing a hint of a smile. At least someone in this town is running into good luck. Following her gaze back to the comic book store, his head tilts to the side, searching in the window for what prompted her comment. "Black Canary? What does she do?"

Chuckling, the guitarist answers "She has… unique vocal talents." Her lips quirk and she doesn't elaborate, instead trusting the former Representative knows what that means. Eyes rest on the interior, and Jane states "I came here about nine days ago, still shaking off the fringes of Hell, and talked with the lady working the counter. Her name's Nima." A pause is taken, and in a quieter voice she comments "Peter and I talked. About things." There's a somberness settling over her, saying that.

Ahh, those kind of vocal talents. Nathan smirks a little at that, and glances over the other various superheroes who have gotten a chance to stand in the window as either an action figure or the front of some comic book. Which ones fly? Don't many, in some way? This thought is derailed as the subject is changed. "Oh, you two met again?" he inquires, looking at her.

"We did, a couple of times. Once at a Starbucks, he was with Elle. The second time was where I play my gigs now. It seems the operator, someone I just met, was involved in a mission several people went on. " Jane pauses, looking at his face, and continues. Your brother says he's not an addict, he was being held by people, and I went along to help get him free. It's surreal. I'm still trying to wrap my head around it, can't really connect. It's like they're just words people tell me, while the state you saw me in, that sticks in the mind."

As Jane explains her story, Nathan's expression becomes harder, grimmer. He rolls his eyes skywards in exasperation once she finishes, bringing his fingers up to pinch the bridge of his nose. "Your memories of it were erased," he says, quietly, looking back at her. Now, he just looks wearily apologetic, with still that hint of quiet anger, though it doesn't seem to be directed at Jane. "You can probably guess that I was on that mission. That time I found you…" He trails off, glancing around as people walk by them. "You know what… Would you like to grab a coffee somewhere?"

"Coffee's good," she replies, smiling slightly. "Lighten up, too, Nathan. I… Maybe I can explain better with coffee in hand, and you can speak your mind. It's so oddly surreal, and somehow gives me pride." The somberness is still present, in the sense of seriousness, but it doesn't seem coupled with anger or sadness. It's just pensive. "I'm sorry to have insulted him with my conclusion, Nathan." And she takes a few steps, in the direction of hot caffeine.

Nathan falls into step with her, sighing once. He doesn't do much in terms of lighten up, a frown still set in his expression. But after a few moments, he does say, "I'll give you the benefit of the doubt." He veers towards the coffeeshop they might inevitably come across, pushing open the door for her. "But there is a reason I never told you the truth of what happened."

"My brain came up with something that made sense to me," she offers as feet step inside, glancing at him as he speaks the reason, and waits until seated to pursue the topic. "Thanks." She grabs the door on the other side and keeps it open for him. First order of business in the shop is to approach the counter, there Jane asks for vanilla mocha cappucino if they have it.

"A latte, thanks," Nathan says, and is quiet until the waitress is gone from the table, glancing outside the window. Leaning back in his chair and setting the book he had bought down on the table, he gestures to Jane. "How about you go first. You can… tell me what you know, now."

Her voice is kept low, intended to be heard only by him once she's seated. The gear she carries is left on the floor next to her feet. "There was a name mentioned, one I remember you saying. Hiro Nakamura, he was with us. Your brother says he's an unmarked nuclear warhead, he absorbs abilities from people like me." Jane pauses, remembering something from the tale she was told, "like us. I have to say, you fly? Cool. Anyway, you were burned bad, how you healed is a mystery. My memories were changed, edited, I guess. It's surreal. Part of me wants to believe, part wants to think he and Jack were just having a shared hallucination."

"He. Mentioned I can fly." The look on Nathan's face clearly shows something akin to 'is there no depth to my brother's occasional bouts of stupidity', and he rubs the back of his neck as if he has a crick in it. He continues in that same low, quiet tone, meant only for this table. "We were both captured by them. You, me, Hiro. They let me keep my memories, but for you, they… they erased a lot of them, covered it by making you believe you'd been on something. I wanted to… I did want to help you. But I don't think it's reversible, and to be honest…" He's interrupted when their orders are brought, and Nathan clasps his hands around his drink. "To be honest, I thought you'd be better off just getting on with your life. I'm sorry if my brother confused things for you."

"I am getting on with my life," she replies quietly, curling fingers around her own cup. "I don't fault anyone for what they felt was proper, Nathan. But I'm also grateful for being told things. Peter thinks he's dangerous still, somehow. I told him he was gotten out at a heavy cost; he should live his life and make the cost worth it. Get control of the abilities he has. I feel… oddly proud, it's so much better to think I took the metaphoric bullet for a reason than to believe I was an addict with no idea how I fell. Although, cold turkey was real, that memory won't ever leave."

Reaching across the table to tug the container of brown coffee sugar closer, Nathan spoons a small spray of it into his coffee as he listens, gaze flicking between his task and Jane. "Peter is /capable/ of being dangerous," he says. "I don't think he just is. Besides. One of the arguments I think I recall you agreeing with - I think all of us who went in there did - is that better a potential risk than something like the Company having access to someone like Peter."

Her eyes flash a bit, registering something. Company. Makes sense, the way they've been spoken of, things they can make happen. Perhaps she hadn't heard it put like that. "It's better I don't know some things. I wouldn't want to run into someone associated with them and be thought to know anything I shouldn't, get edited again, and start over, Nathan. Keeping things from me, I have to admit, much as I hate the idea, is better in some ways. I only want one thing in that regard: If I ask a question, answer it honestly, or tell me straight it's classified and why. Please." Jane takes another pause, she opines "These talents are like anything else a person can do. Practice brings control."

Nathan simply nods, once. "Last thing I want happen to you is anymore involvement with them. If you ever have anyone approach you about what you can do, or anything like that… it'd be in your best interest to just walk the other way. There're too many people hooked into all this as it is." A flash of guilt? Maybe. Nathan takes a sip of his coffee, not quite look at his companion. "As for questions, I can do my best."

"I told your brother I'd help him get a handle on things," she remarks. "My own thing, for one. He should be careful of dog whistles. That's something I haven't figured out how to cope with myself. They hurt. I'll give you, also, help if you want or need it within reason. I don't think I'll be much on the idea of conducting raids again." Jane's head tilts to one side, she's thinking and watching Nathan for that moment. "Why were memories taken from me, and not you?"

Nathan considers her for a few moments, and arms folding on the table. "I didn't exactly organise the raid," he says, the start of an explanation. "But I made sure it happened. It was my brother we were trying to get back. They didn't explain to me why they didn't erase my memories, exactly, but it was implied. I think they wanted to make sure I never tried anything like it again. Remembering the consequences… it's a good way to learn. That, and I'm never going to cut ties with them. My brother will always be in danger of them, in some way. You, on the other hand, ties can be easily cut. Or not so easy, turns out, but you see what I'm saying."

"I'll buy that," she replies, after a long moment of contemplation. Her eyes close, the head turns a few times from side to side. "Surreal. Being told things my mind doesn't connect with, and the memory of withdrawal. It's genius, this must be why they picked that particular cover, that it would always be there as that reminder of consequences and conflict with anything I might be told, at least in part." She lifts her cup and sips carefully, to be sure it's not still too hot.

"You're taking the truth well, overall," Nathan says, with a faint smile. Silence ensues, before he extends a hand over the table to rest over her's for a moment. "For what it's worth… even if I was gonna keep you in the dark, I'm glad you know the drugs were just a cover." A squeeze, before the hand is withdrawn. "You're better than that."

Her hands twitch up into his with the gesture, Jane doesn't pull them away. "It's a more attractive truth, honestly," she states with a rueful chuckle. "A relief to know I didn't fall. I couldn't figure out why. I made it through seven years of the Ivy League, three years law school, without even doing stimulants." Her hand lifts the cup. "Other than this one, of course. It's a badge of honor, I think. And I'm a better musician for it."

There's a soft, porcelainy clink, as Nathan gently bumps his coffee cup against Jane's. "Cheers to that," he says, wryly, and takes a sip of said caffeine. "I know it got /me/ through higher education." He tilts his wrist to glance at the time on his Rolex, frowning a little to see that it's pushing noon more than he thought. He fishes for his wallet, pulling out sufficient bills for both drinks plus a tip. "I should probably get going. Stay safe, will you?"

"Best I can, Nathan," she replies with a chuckle as the toast is completed. Jane leans back in her seat and watches him. "We'll talk from time to time, I hope." Whatever other questions she has are held to herself for the moment. "That flying thing? You know it's between us. Even among 'talented' folks, it's an individual choice to share or not."

"We will," Nathan agrees, getting to his feet and picking up the book. The last thing she has to say earns a rueful smile. "Agreed. Personally, I think that's something Peter needs to hear first, apparently, but. It's appreciated that you understand." He heads towards the door, but pauses and glances back at her. "Black Canary, huh?"

A grin settles onto her face. "I thought that was an interesting title. Don't you?" Jane watches the senior Petrelli depart, musing to herself. "Flying. Cool. Got to see that sometime." Her cup is lifted and sampled from, she finally finds it cooled enough to not burn.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License