2007-05-07: Dipped in Ink


Tamara_icon.gif Judah_icon.gif

Summary: Tamara and Judah encounter one another at Battery Park. One of them has a premonition.

Date It Happened: May 7th, 2007

Dipped in Ink

Battery Park

Early afternoon; the sun is warm, the breeze off the ocean salty and cool. There are any number of people along the paths and sidewalks; joggers and dogwalkers, people out with their kids and people out to picnic. For all of that, Tamara has picked a spot at the island's very rim where the city sounds are background to gulls crying and waves lapping against the concreted edge. It would take someone familiar with the teen and her idiosyncrasies to recognize her with any quick ease - she wears an olive-green shirt over blue cutoff shorts, cheap sandals, and a hat. A straw hat with rounded dome and wide brim, a ribbon of jade wrapped around it and ornamented by two off-white silk flowers with too many petals; a hat which does nothing to keep the breeze from whipping strands of her hair off to the side. Leaning against the railing, arms folded across the top bar, she looks out at the rise and fall of the water.

Familiarity with Tamara? Check. Familiarity with Tamara's idiosyncrasies? Check. Even if Detective Judah Demsky didn't fit the criteria, he still has a scrupulous eye for detail. Without it, he wouldn't have progressed very far in his chosen profession. Unlike Tamara, he's dressed a little heavier for the weather than he needs to be. Denim jeans, a long-sleeved button down shirt from Old Navy and a pair of scuffed leather work boots allow him to pass for a civilian as he makes his way down the path that leads past the railing — and the teen. The only thing that sets him apart from everybody else is the holster peeking out from under his windbreaker, but with most of the park-goers being so absorbed in their surroundings… well. It isn't likely to be noticed. The sound of his boots hitting the pavement underfoot comes to an abrupt stop as he passes behind Tamara, and there is a brief pause followed by an awkward shuffle before he joins her at the railing. He says nothing at first. Knowing the runaway, she's been aware of him for much longer than he has been of her.

Silence seems to suit the girl just fine, at least at first. She doesn't so much as twitch a hair when Judah comes up behind or beside her - although the breeze is happy enough to make up for that lack. Tamara reaches up to catch her wayward hair, twisting it into a loop and stuffing it up under the hat. Stay. Blue eyes remain turned towards the ocean, directed somewhere in the distance. "Always different. Always the same. Always moving, always there. Maybe one thing /is/ forever," she says quietly, a melancholy note to her voice. "Or close enough," the teen amends, because she of all people knows better.

A small, sad sort of smile wrinkles the corners of Judah's mouth and peels his lips back just enough to expose his teeth and one of his gold fillings. "Close enough," he agrees, trusting in the breeze and the gulls to veil their conversation from any would-be eavesdroppers. "You're looking better. I almost didn't recognize you in that hat."

No eavesdroppers here. Or none that matter, anyway. Only with Judah's subsequent comments does the girl turn away, gaze shifting to her companion. "Do I?" She seems at least mildly interested in the statement, or maybe just his reference to the past. A moment later, Tamara pulls the hat off her head, heedless of the fact that doing so completely negates the earlier attempt at keeping her hair under control. She brings it down in front of her, sliding her hands slowly about the brim and studying the weave with peculiar intensity. The breeze goes right back to toying with the teen's hair. "Hats like wind more than hair," she observes distantly. "They found them all in funny places. Not just them, either."

Judah reaches over and, if she'll let him, catches one of those wayward strands between his fingers, tucking it behind her ear in an affectionate (if paternal) gesture. "You do." His voice carries a hint of relief. Tamara is more than capable of taking care of herself, but that doesn't stop him from worrying when he goes without seeing her for any long stretch of time. "This meeting isn't the coincidence that it appears to be, is it? You knew that I'd be coming this way."

Tamara tips her head a bit as Judah reaches over, accepting the gesture without qualm, a fleeting smile crossing her face. "Coincidence is chance. Chance is… someone else." She looks a bit perplexed, as if not too sure what the proper conclusion of that line of thought should be. Which probably doesn't help Judah's following any. "Not here." The girl gives the detective a questioning glance, perhaps looking for affirmation.

"Not here?" Judah shoots a quick look over his shoulder, his eyes darting from one cluster of people to the next. He's plenty familiar with the Battery Park area, but most of his visits here having been during the night, under the cover of darkness while wearing a bulletproof vest. Everything looks different in the daytime, and he struggles to think of a more secluded area where they might be able to talk. "Let's walk."

"No," Tamara reaffirms. "No Chance here." The girl tips her head, watching Judah look around, smiling slightly as he does so. To the direction, she nods. "Okay." One hand reaches out for one of Judah's; the other continues to hold her hat, rather than putting it back on her head. Doing so probably doesn't even occur to Tamara. She starts walking away from the island's shore, back into the park proper.

Judah closes his large, calloused hand around Tamara's much smoother, smaller one. Her answer doesn't surprise him. He follows her lead, half a step behind her, which is just as well; his legs are long enough that he might otherwise overtake her. The wind doesn't do much to his hair except continuously tousle his receding hairline. "So," he asks, "what's the occasion?"

She doesn't seem to set a direct path through the park - she drifts, rather, her course seemingly set by whim rather than intent. Not unusual for Tamara. The girl pauses by a rhododendron laden with pink-and-white blooms, dropping her hat in favor of plucking one from the bush. The accessory floats to the ground and sits in a sun-dappled spot, looking rather more lost than the teen. "Occasions," Tamara echoes, musing over the word. "No occasion. Nothing special." Turning to face Judah, she the flower up towards him. "It's a pretty day." And the precog apparently feels this is worth taking the time to enjoy, which says something in and of itself.

Drifting is a foreign feeling to Judah. He's never found himself taken by whimsy; everything he's ever done has been driven by intent. His first instinct is to pick up the discarded hat, but before he can stoop down there's a flower sitting in front of his nose. He inhales slowly, deeply, and then lets the breath out again through his nostrils, his whole body seeming to deflate. When was the last time he actually stopped to appreciate the world around him instead of scouring it for evidence? He doesn't remember. "Pretty days aren't anything special, huh?"

Tipping her head to one side, Tamara looks up at Judah through a thin veil of fallen bangs. "Not here. This." Releasing his hand, she cups hers around the flower, bringing it almost but not quite up to her nose. Then the girl turns her head away, looking out through the landscaping of the park. "There's…" She licks her lips, a thin line drawn across her brow as blue eyes narrow. "Sleeve dipped in ink; black spot won't wash out." Tamara turns the flower over in her hands, fingertips tracing around its pink edges. "Old movies, clouds drawn over the sun, all going gray. It doesn't get closer now, but it hasn't gone away yet. Maybe they were special; they just didn't know."

Judah squints at Tamara, thoughtful furrows appearing on his brow. He can see the imagery clearly in his mind if he closes his eyes, but as always, he doesn't have a clue what it means. Some days, he's not sure if she does either. All he knows is that if it Tamara thought the vision was serious, she'd probably be much more of a mess than she is right now. Wordlessly, he studies the flower, turning the situation over in his mind the same way she turns the bloom over in her hands. "You'll let me know if it does start getting closer, right Tam'?"

She probably would, at that. Watching Judah study the flower, Tamara holds it out on a flattened hand, maybe presuming he wants to look at it more closely. "If," the girl agrees. She starts to walk again, then stops, stepping back and leaning down to pick up her hat. Which the girl promptly plants on Judah's head, grinning broadly at him.

All of a sudden, Judah is wearing a hat. A hat with a ribbon and silk flowers on it, no less. He gives Tamara his flattest, most deadpan look, but it doesn't last longer than the span of a heartbeat before his mouth breaks into a wide smile and a loud chuckle bubbles up from deep within his chest. This, too, feels strange to him; for the first time in years, he's laughing — hard — and it isn't mirthless.

Tucking the rhododendron blossom behind her own ear, Tamara just meets Judah's deadpan look with a cheerful smile. The smile broadens as he begins to laugh, the girl stepping forward to take his hand again and continue walking. "It's a good day," she observes, her gaze flicking over the park around them.

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