1964-08-15 - A Valiant Effort
Summary: Cassie goes to console Gwen after the murder of her father. Not exactly a success.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
gwen-stacy cassie-lang 

Cassie Lang makes her way into the club after being thoroughly scrutinized by the large man at the door. She looks around at the crowd and makes her way to the pair. She blanches slightly at the pairings, not used to such a scene openly. Once she has the bartender's attention, she orders a Sea Breeze.

Not that far after Cassie enters another person darkens the door of the Cat. Quinn looks…well, considering the location she actually fits in better than she does many other places in the city. Although by her look around this might be the first time she's shown up here, and the entire thing seems to cause curiosity to spike. Openly.

Julie is perched on a stool at the bar, sitting in one of those spots one might choose when waiting for someone: by dress she's an American rocker type tidied up for the setting: only the cut and color of tops and shoes have changed much from the late Fifties as yet, and there's a leather jacket, if one that looks pretty crisp, on the back of her chair. A Martini arrives, with two olives, and she smiles, to the barkeep, saying some pleasantry, then clicks a button on an oversized-for-her racer's watch worn with the face on the inside of her wrist. She glances up at those passing on inside, with just polite nods.

Cassie Lang gets her drink and takes a sip before taking another look around. The Beach Boys are singing about some kind of coupe and the couples on the floor are dancing, the ones at tables are drinking, and the ones in the dark are doing who-knows-what. She notices the young asian girl and the girl sitting at the bar. "Quite the interesting… place." She says, still trying to figure why she came here. "It was recommended to me by a friend, and now i'm starting to wonder if it was some kind of inside joke."

"I think it's fantastic." Quinn observes after a moment of glancing around, a smile appearing, "I wasn't sure what to expect…I've heard rumors, you know?" She glances towards Cassie, giving her a lingering look before her smile turns a little sympathetic, "Quinn Sato…"

Julie smirks to the barkeep. Tilts up the Martini glass, with surprising delicacy. "You're trying to cheer me up, aren't you?" Well, she kind of is, and it does show, "What with a song about some kid shoulda boxed his frame rails and done something about his gearing?" She jibes. The barkeep says something quieter in reply, and she shakes her head. "Nah, she's just on the road, could make it later, maybe meet some new people I'm waiting on."

Cassie Lang looks to Quinn and smiles. "Oh.." She blushes, totally new to the scene, like… 15 minutes new. At the lingering look, she blushes a bit and demures. Did… did she actually just shrink a bit? "Cassie. Cassie Lang." She says with a smile. "A pleasure to meet you." She takes a longer sip of her drink, giving Quinn a look of her own. She looks over to the seated girl and smiles, but doesn't want to be rude and eavesdrop.

"Nice to meet you, Cassie. Cassie Lang." Quinn replies, that smile growing a bit wider before she finds herself a place to sit at the bar, legs crossing, eyes shifting towards Julie for a moment, then unlike Cassie she evidently has no problem being rude and eavesdropping, or even interrupting, "What's that mean, gearing?"

Julie indicates the music, "A whole lot when you don't want to be spinning your wheels when you ought to be putting it down." She winks, just having fun with that. It's a short song, so she says, "Boys. All about the horsepower, but getting pushed out of shape and smoking tires ain't going faster. Catchy tune, though." Raises her glass again, and says to the two, "You look pretty new here, you could probably relax, though."

Cassie Lang listens as Julie discusses cars and the song. She blushes a bit. "Sorry. I'm just.. new to going to clubs and such. I usually go out with a group of friends but they all seemed to be busy tonight." She sits back a bit, trying to seem more relaxed. She looks to Quinn, seeing how she'll react next.

"Never been here before." Quinn admits, seeming unbothered by being pegged as someone new to the scene. She, however, doesn't have the slightest understanding of what Julie just said in regards to cars, however she nods her agreement like she totally understood. "You come here often?"

Julie smirks. "Eh, not really," she says to Quinn, "Often enough, though, I guess," she nods but toward Cassie, she says, "That seems to be the general theme, though, seems everyone's going on one kind of trip or another, so I thought I'd show a friend or two this place. How bout you folks?" Anything unusual going on in the background, she seems to not notice or really find all that odd. Whoever's been spinning records reverts to other generally-upbeat fare, for a turn or two, though, the place usually is more subdued.

Cassie Lang smiles. "I'm not new to New York, but I haven't been in Soho for a while. I was looking for some new trendy place to hang out. I'm starting at Columbia soon, so I figured i'd check out the scene." She shrugs, looking around. "This isn't what I was expecting, but it seems to be growing on me."

"I've been in New York for a few years now." Quinn admits with a shake of her head, "But I didn't get out much before now…" Which might be something of an understatement. She glances towards the bartender, leaning forward to get her attention to place an order for something without alcohol in it, which might be odd considering the location. "I like it…everyone seems to be having a good time."

Julie nods, "Good place for that if you ain't looking for troubles, so you better. " Sips at her martini. "At least the hooch is usually good, but you pay for the ambience."

Cassie Lang nods and smiles. "Well, I'm about to relax some." She's finished her first drink and places the glass down, standing up and heading onto the dance floor. She begins to dance, just by herself, moving to the music.

"Do you?" Quinn wonders, evidently not having paid much attention to the actual price of things, and the mention of it causes her to check her current fund situation. There's an almost worried look for a moment, but then it occurs to her…she didn't order a drink-drink, but instead just a normal drink.

Julie hrms, there. "Donworryabout it, I'll cover you for something, …I mean, assuming you don't just stay dry normally." She taps that big watch inside her wrist. It's the sort with a couple of lap timers built in. "Kinda need to stay sharp tonight, more or less."

"Stay dry?" Quinn glances up at that, not seeming to understand quite what it means before she just shrugs agreeably, "Thank you…" She then pauses, looking momentarily embarassed, "I can't remember if you said your name, I'm sorry."

Julie smiles, "Everyone calls me Dizzy." She indicates Quinn's non-alcoholic drink. "Dry would mean you don't drink alcohol. That's OK, you just leave a good tip. Just if you want something? I got it."

"Nice to meet you, Dizzy." Quinn replies, smiling in return, "Everyone just calls me Quinn." She glances down at her drink, picking it up before she shrugs, "I'll be honest, I wouldn't know what to order… all that we have in the house is sake my grandfather sends, and I doubt they have that here."

Julie peers at the top shelf, looking for sake bottles. Yes, she actually seems to know what that is. The news may not be good. "May as well ask, but how bout you try one of these. They do a good Martini here, just, ah, it's stronger so take your time." She wags a finger for the bartender. Glances to the door again.

"I'll be sure to take my time." Quinn assures her, glancing towards the door as well, then back, "Waiting for someone?" She wonders, her curiosity being the sort that she just can't seem to keep her mouth from opening and being intrusive.

Julie nods. "Some friends, they might make it later. Got time to kill, though, so here we are." She says, when bartender arrives, "Ah, howsabout a standard martini for the lady, here." She nods, "Anyway, nice to meet you, Quinn. Got plans, yourself? "

"No, no plans." Quinn replies with a shake of her head, "I wish that I could say I have some sort of grand plan for the evening….but I don't. Wasting time, I suppose, until I have to head home."

Julie smiles. "Well, I guess it ain't bad, except for maybe sake's hard to get in bars around here." She says, as the muic turns more toward slow-dancing-and-conversation stuff behind. "So, what you do when you're not 'wasting time,' then, Quinn?

"Formerly, school…but I'm avoiding that currently, which might prove to be problematic as I don't have much else to do." Quinn admits with a laugh, glancing towards the dancers for a moment when the music changes tempo, "My father thinks I should find a job, or go to school…my mother tends to agree, and so I'm just avoiding responsibility as long as possible."

Julie smirks. "Well, at least they ain't trying to set you up with someone. School's good if you can get it, though, …pretty sure the world can't keep gals all that interested in cake mixers much longer, may as well get something under your belt."

"No, thankfully they aren't uh…that traditional?" Quinn shakes her head, smiling a bit, "My mother never went to school, but that was an entirely different world, and I don't even think she knew how to read until she met my father. Problem is, though, I've no idea what I'd do with it."

Julie hehs, a Quinn's drink arrives. "I guess 'traditional' is more complicated than they say sometimes. My Mama welded on machines for the war, just has a funny idea of what's supposed to be 'Better.' But she knows what I want to do. As for you, I guess maybe you could go find out what you want to do, cause it's got to do with books, I bet. You get the tools, maybe the job you want to do will come clear."

"Why do you think it has to do with books?" Quinn wonders, reaching for the glass when her drink is set down in front of her, she catches the toothpick with a finger so that she doesn't stab herself in the eye when she takes a careful sip. There's a momentary pause before she clears her throat, "Very…strong."

Julie winks, "Cause maybe your Mama's right about school. And books cover a lotta things. If what you wanted to do is something you already seen, I just figure it'd have stood out by now."

Quinn laughs, "Maybe…" She shakes her head again, cradling the glass in her hand, "Or…maybe it has to do with something I can't do, because…." She shrugs, "I don't know, it doesn't exist. Not that there is anything, of course."

Julie smirks, "Well, here's to whatever that is, or isn't." Raises that Martini glass for a gentle clink. "Could be something." Smirks there.

Quinn laughs, lifting her glass as well, "Could be anything." She agrees, taking another sip from her drink before setting it down, "What is it you do, then?"

Julie ohs, "Thought it was obvious. Cars. Means being a mechanic and, well, custom work, gonna set up a shop for that one day, I figure."

"Cars?" Quinn shakes her head a bit, giving Dizzy a little bit of a more interested look for a moment, "I don't think I've ever seen a mechanic like you." She reaches for the drink again, fussing with it, "So what sort of custom work do you do?"

Julie ahs, "Street classes, mostly. I mean, there's the strip and track, and that's great, but I like doing stuff peole can drive *around,* best. Three parts 'go', two parts show, somewhere around there." She adds, "If that makes any sense."

"I think that it makes sense." Quinn replies after a moment, although it doesn't look like she followed everything. Just some of it. "What led you into getting into cars?"

Julie ehs. "Well, it was pretty obvious to me, I guess. I guess that's where maybe you're different."

"Maybe." Quinn replies, her shoulders lifting a bit in a shrug, "I've never really felt passionate about anything…."

Julie hrms. "So what's the thing that maybe don't exist like?"

Quinn hesitates for a moment, "Exciting…" She decides after a moment, taking another sip from her drink before continuing, "Not endlessly answering phones or typing."

Julie nods. "Well, where's school get to be a bad idea, if you got a chance, instead of that? If I ever wanted to make a nitro car for the strip I think I'd paint it like a steno pad and do the lettering in shorthand for 'Take A Note, Boys.' She winks.

Quinn laughs, "That would certainly be something." She agrees, setting the glass back down, "But I don't know…I'll figure it out, I'm sure. I've got time though, right?"

Julie hrms. "Ain't nobody knows that." Glances at the elaborate racing watch. Winks. "Maybe see if someone wants to dance, meantime."

"Good luck…although it looks like there are plenty of dancers." Quinn offers, sliding to her feet, "I should wander on my way before it gets too late."

Julie nods, raising her glass, before finishing it. "Have a good way, then," Dizzy says. "Bet you can." Eyes the watch again. Flags the bartender with a wave of fingers.

The line of houses is fairly active—kids playing, running up nd down the street. A minor capillary in the veins and arteries of Queens, New York.
Today, the capillary has a large black-and-white clot.
Not one, not two, but SIX police cruisers line the sidewalk in front of the Stacy residence. Three cops are in front, one standing guard at the sidewalk just inside the boundary of the green lawn, the other two sitting on the porch, flanking the front door. All look morose and defeated.

One of those officers happens to be Blake Burdick. He lives in the neighborhood with his wife Peggy and his step-daughter Cassie, whom now makes her way to the steps of the house with a cheesecake in her hands. She smiles and nods to Blake, who thought it was a good idea for the girl to see how Gwen is doing, since they live in the same neighborhood and went to the same school. Before just allowing Cassie in, he knocks on the door and pokes his head in. "Gwen, are you in the mood for a visitor?"

Gwen looks up. She is sitting in the living room, surrounded by cops. Many are standing or sitting, or talking with each other. A couple are itching to be on the street, busting heads to find out who was responsible. Most wanted to sit their vigil without complaint.
She is sitting in the big recliner, sitting upright, her eyes wide and dry. She had wept for three hours. Every time she thought she had it under control, one of her dad's cops would come in, give their condolences, and there she was crying all over again.
But there had been a lot of cops, and, for the moment, she doesn't seem to have any tears left in the tank.
"Yeah…sure…" she says listlessly.

Cassie Lang walks in carefully. She nods and gives small smiles to the police gathered, knowing most of their faces. They make room for Cassie to come and sit near Gwen. "Hey Gwen. I just came by to see how you're doing." She places the cheesecake on a nearby coffee table. "That's for when you have a moment to eat." She says, smiling softly. "I know you're probably tired of hearing this, but I'm so sorry. Is there anything I can do?"

Gwen looks up slowly. She takes a deep breath, then says softly, "Can you do something for me? I need…" She swallows, then looks down. "Tell me this isn't my fault. I need you to tell me that, and I need you to be very convincing…"

Cassie Lang sits close and takes Gwen's hands in hers, holding them tight and looking into her eyes. "Gwen, this is NOT your fault. It's the job. We both know this. My mom goes through the same worry every time Blake goes out for his shift." She sighs. "And no one did the job, or knew the job, better than your father. He wouldn't want you beating yourself up over this." She swallows. "I never really got to meet him. I'm sorry that I missed that opportunity."

Gwen looks hopeful for a few seconds. Then Cassie goes into detail and Gwen's face crumples, gripping the dress uniform hat her father wore to formal functions. "No…what cop has to go through…go through…"
And then the tears begin again, her body shaking as she draws inward, her knees rising to press against her chest.

Cassie Lang sighs as she fails miserably. She reaches over and wraps her arms around Gwen, holding her tight. "I'm sorry. I'm so sorry." She looks sympathetically to the officers standing around. "Gwen. Everyone who wears the badge goes through the same risk every day and their isn't a single one who would say that its not worth the risk. Your dad wouldn't want this. He'd want everyone out there looking for whomever did this. He'd want to make sure that this blight, this menace, is removed from His city, from hurting anyone else. He loves this city, Gwen, and everyone in it. It's not your fault. This has nothing to do with you."

Gwen looks at her, her lips trembling. "…that's good…that's good. I almost…believed it…" she whispered. "That was…a good try. Cassie." She looks to the other cops who are giving her a wide berth. For a moment, she is ready to tell Cassie everything—the bombing, the lunatic, the powers, everything.

And if she does, her life is over.
"Very good try," she finishes, her voice still forlorn.

Cassie Lang sighs again and nods, breaking the embrace and backing off. "I'm sorry. I know you're tired of hearing it." She grabs a nearby napkin and writes her phone number down. "Here. If you need anything, even if it's just to talk, just call me. You're not nearly alone as you think and feel you are right now." She stands and squeezes the girl's hand.

Gwen looks up, squeezing the hand gently. "I'm sorry…I'm sorry, Cassie, I can't…" She closes her eyes, then opens them again. "I'll call you. When I can. I just…can't think about it now. I'm still trying to…absorb it. It's too big, Cassie. He was my whole world…"
Gwen releases the hand, then looks to the cheesecake. "Cherry…my favorite, you know…"

Cassie Lang smiles and nods. "I know. It's alright. Take your time." She smiles and nods as Gwen acknowledges the offering. "Take your time, hon." She turns and nods to the officers as she walks out.

Two officers are talking quietly as Cassie leaves, one of them saying, "I'm telling you, it smells like a professional hit. The rifle was one a pro uses. No prints on anything, not even the shell casings. and he made it from 400 yards away."
"Keep yer damn voice down…" the other cop admonished him quickly.

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