2010-01-09: Crossed Languages


Akira_V4icon.png Candice_V4icon.png Lena_V4icon.png

Date: January 9th, 2010


Lena arrives at the library to study for something. Akira arrives at the library to study English as a Second Language. Candice arrives at the library to study Japanese as one of her disguises. Chaos ensues.

"Crossed Languages"

New York Public Library

It wasn't easy to summon the nerve needed to venture out of her hidey hole but Lena's desire to help her friends outweighs the paranoia. For now. Still, she's taken no chances that she might be recognized on this trip to the public library. Her hair has been dyed a lighter, brighter shade of chestnut, her eyes are a clear shade of green and she is dressed as a normal person might, for the most part. A white turtleneck sweater, black skinny jeans and black snow boots; the hood of her down-filled jacket is pulled up and her hands are encased in black knit gloves, but it is cold outside so even that can be explained away if anyone gives her a second look.

At the moment, Lena has finished with wandering the stacks and is now intent on staking out a stable. She has a thick medical tome of drug references under one arm and a notebook with a pen stuck in the spiral binding under the other. The tables on the first floor are large enough that more than one person can use them without feeling crowded, but she chooses an empty one anyway. The books are set down, the pen taken up and then she drops into a chair to begin her research.

Coming into the section with the tables is Akira. The teenager is absentmindedly chewing on one of the strings to her hoodie. She's got two books with her, and her own notebook, and a pen over one ear. Taking one of the furthest seats from Lena, the girl sets up her books. The first one is clearly a English as a Second Language book, and the other one is a Japanese manga - from the looks of it, Gundam SEED. Taking out the notebook, she opens it to another page, and looks at the ESL book. She sighs, then starts writing in two columns. The first is the English spelling and form of the word, and then in the next, the kanji Japanese version. Every few words, she'll stop, and stammer out the ones she's written in her pidgin English.

She'd like to say that coming here today was part of some master plan. Being here to further find and mess with the young Evolved who ticked her off. But honestly, it's pure dumb luck that's got Candice Willmer here today. She had to come up with an identity on the spot the other day, and that involved making up an Asian persona. Unfortunately, it's been several years since her company language training, and her Japanese could use some brushing-up-on. Obviously, she can't do it as the identity that's supposed to know it. Anyone spotting Julie who'd know her would start something on sight, and Stephanie's hiding out. That means that for a rare exception, the body she's wearing today /is/ Candice. The brunette moves through the language books, taking out one on Japanese, before wandering over to the tables herself. She sits, opening up the book, as through blind luck she ends up sitting between Akira and Lena.

The notebook is opened before her and then the obscenely large textbook. Lena seems to know what page to go to, at least. She is poised to begin writing down notes vital to the efforts of her friends when Akira's stammering begins. Green eyes shift towards the girl at the end of the table, narrowed in annoyance. It's clear she's weighing whether it's worth it, to say something.

Maybe she shouldn't. Lena looks down at the notebook again, gets one line written…then looks up again, past the fur-border of her hood, past Candice to the Japanese girl at table's end.

Damnit. A breath is taken, a smile forced to her lips and then Lena remarks, in library-suitable hushed tones, "Hey…hey, you think maybe you could keep it down? You gotta be quiet in libraries, you know?"
Akira looks up, startled, a blush crossing her face. "Sorry." She says, managing to get that out perfectly. Wonder how much she has to say that one lately. "I practice, but be quiet." She says. However, as Candice-Steph-Julie-Asianchick manages to take a seat, Akira tilts her head at her book, then at her own. Hrm. She's feeling deja vu'ish. Hanging her head, she mutters in clear Japanese, "I really dislike English." Then, she's quiet, going back to her studying.

Voice. She knows that voice. Lena may be in hoodie and disguise, but if anything, now that she's looked over from the voice, the "I AM TRYING NOT TO BE NOTICED" apparel is just all that more obvious for it. Y HELO THERE, LENA. The brunette can't help but stoke the fires a little. "Hey, it's a language book. Designed to be spoken. You could always listen to some headphones or something if it really bothers you." In her own Japanese, she replies to Akira. «She's just being a bitch.»

"S'okay, just saying…it's the rules." The irony of being the one to enforce rules does not escape Lena. She's aware enough that it translates into a small but far more genuine smile as she nods her thanks to Akira. That expression is, however, short-lived. Unfamiliar brunette introduces herself into the conversation, provoking a rumpled forehead and eyebrows knitting together.

"They've got media rooms upstairs if you gotta talk," Lena points out, still keeping her voice hushed. "Down here's for being quiet."

This may well develop into a self-awareness exercise for the little street rat, now that she's feeling annoyed at people behaving in ways beyond the social norm.

"I sorry." Akira says again, to Lena. She ducks her head, but Candice's comment gets her her own stare. Aii, naughty word. She looks like a fish, mouth opening and closing for a few minutes, before her head goes back down, and she chews on her hoodie string again, awkwardly.

Candice decides that it would be a good time here to mess with Lena. After all, she had to sit there and pretend to be Little Miss Innocent as Stephanie. Now she can mess with her. And of course, being Candice, there's no games quite as much fun as mind games. "Somehow, you never seemed all that concerned with the rules." She tells Lena, conversationally. "Though I can understand you wanting to be quiet. God knows you were quiet enough when it came to real information when you were our guest." That's right, she's pretending to be AP. She has a bit of a smirk on her face as she looks at the woman in the down jacket.

"It's okay, really. It must suck, trying to learn another language." Lena is more kindly inclined towards Akira, who does seem like a shy and earnest girl. Candice, on the other hand…

The suspicion she'd been regarding the brunette with (no doubt suspecting something horrible having been said in Japanese) becomes wide-eyed panic. Lena pushes herself away from the table, standing with enough speed that the hood falls back from her head. "Get the fuck away from me!" So afraid is she that her voice breaks, trembling, in the middle of that order. So much for following the rules.

"It does." Akira confirms. Then, oh dear. Things go to hell. Akira looks back between Candice-AP and Lena, and her brow furrows in confusion. "What wrong?" She asks, tenatively. "I thought said, be quiet?" Then, in quick Japanese, she turns to Candice. «< What do you mean, how do you know her? »> Some answers, please.

The brunette watches Lena's freakout with a calm, smug, self-assuredness. «She's a criminal.» she tells Akira in Japanese, in that calm, conversational tone, before looking back to Lena. "You didn't think we weren't watching, did you? What you wouldn't tell us there, it can be easier to learn by watching you now." She's guessing, of course; she's not sure what happened with Lena at the Alpha Protocol, beyond what Tiago told her. But she knows how black ops groups do interrogations. It's an educated guess.

Lena, who had indeed managed to hold back some information during her torture, finds the lie quite plausible. Plausible enough that she has no intention of remaining around to allow this "agent" a chance to call for her backup. She had not settled down to her studying without scoping the exits. The notebook is snatched up (the pen clatters to the floor), and then the young woman is dashing towards the rear of the building, through the stacks to reach one of several emergency exits.

Cue one rather confused young Japanese-ESL student. "What?" She manages to get out, blinking after Lena. Then she looks at Candice, and then back at Lena, then at her homework. She takes a seat, and gawks, then says, conversationally in Japanese, «< Do I get anyone's name today, or should I completely ignore everyone? »

Candice will call in a slightly louder voice as Lena starts to run. "You don't think that we don't have the exits covered, do you? Do you think I'd be in here otherwise? It'll be interesting to see what you lead us to this time." She won't give chase, though…she was just messing with the girl in any case. She looks back to Akira. «My name is Candice. You?» Why yes, she can handle polite conversation, and threaten someone in the same breath.

Ahh, but Lena has a secret weapon: teleportation. Borrowed, tis true, but she'll run until exhausted before calling Peter. Only a moment after she leaves, an alarm sounds throughout the building. One of the emergency exit doors has been forced open and the girl escapes into the winter afternoon.

«< Akira… »> the Japanese girl replies, even as the alarm goes with. With amazing speed, she grabs her books and heads for the entrance. In her primary language, she says, firmly, «< Why are you so mean to her? What'd she do to you? How is she bad? »> Nosy, much?

That's more words. Candice tightens her lips a bit. «Slower, please. My Japanese…not that good.» She holds up the book she brought, indicating it. «She is a criminal.» Candice repeats. «And a very mean woman.» Yes. LENA is the mean one.

« Oh, sorry. » Akira says, tilting her head. « Um …. why is she a criminal? How do you know her? » She asks, slowly. She thinks she has a right to know, at this point.

The brunette replies «Sorry, I can't say that. Classified.» She looks to Akira's book. «You studying English? We can swap teaching today? I help you with English, you help me with Japanese?»

Letting out a grumble, Akira shrugs. « I guess. » She says, crossing her arms. « Not nice to scare me like that though and not tell me anything. »

Candice smiles back. «Sorry. But everyone has to have their secrets.» And she has more than most. Giving no further thought to her ruining of Lena's day, she settles in for language lessons. After all…she needs those for another secret.

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