5357/In Search Of More Branches

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In Search Of More Branches
Date of Scene: 26 February 2021
Location: Alley Pond Park
Synopsis: Viola returns to the park that was the source of a coincidence that led her to help two SHIELD agents. Billy Kaplan is there and shares some coffee and then passes on a magic coin to her.
Cast of Characters: Viola Fiore, Billy Kaplan

Viola Fiore has posed:
The weather is cool, but not as bad as it has been. The thermometer has climbed above freezing, and the day's warmth is further bolstered by the sun being out. Along one of the jogging trails, a fit young lady in her early twenties is jogging. Viola is wearing insulated running tights on her legs against the cold weather, and a sweatshirt with the Columbia University logo. A thick headband goes around her ears to help keep them warm. A pair of sunglasses help her see in the warm sunlight, and she has a phone strapped to her arm with a strap, and earbuds in her ears listening to something.

The Italian-American young woman jogs along the trails. She isn't going very hard today at all, an easier run than her toned form suggests she's capable of. She's actually spending more time looking around the park than anything. She keeps running along the trails, heading towards the big old tree that signs say is the oldest tree in all of New York City.

Billy Kaplan has posed:
Billy liked a nice park walk, and thanks to some god/chance/provadance he had the magical ability to teleport, so he could spend his afternoon walks in whatever park he liked. (Although he tried to stick to close to New York, on account of the hit and miss nature of his powers)

Today he was enjoying his can of coffee on a nice bench by the biggest tree in New York. It was a touch chilly so he had an oversized hoodie and extra big scarlet scarf on and his "wizard mittens". (Some woolen mittens he got one christmas with Gandalf across the back, The White on the left and The Grey on the right)

He finished his can and swiftly produced another from the folds of his scarf. Cracked the top let out a sigh and stretched his legs on the bench, taking in the cool Febuary air.

Viola Fiore has posed:
The large tree comes into view above the smaller ones nearby as Viola's path makes a turn past some other foliage. While she's looking around the park, the tree is a destination of sorts for her. Not just a tree, but a particular park bench near the tree.

The soft sounds of her footfalls on the paved path can be heard just before Viola herself comes into Billy's view. The woman slows to a walk, hands going to her hips as she's breathing just a little harder than normal, but not sucking in air like she's been all out of sprinting or something.

She spies the young man already sitting on the bench and hesitates just a moment. Figuring how it's going to look when she picks this one bench out of all of them in the park to sit down on as well.

But she does it, walking over and asking, "Pardon me, do you mind if I..." she says, gesturing to the other end of the park bench.

Billy Kaplan has posed:
Billy was confused.

Was this the best bench in the park? It certainly had a good view.

Was she worried he wasn't going to recycle his cans? Cos he ALWAYS recycled.

Oh, was this how girls flirted? Where the cold coffee cans not enough?
How should he do this? Obviously check Grindr? Magic a quick rainbow tattoo? Ahhhhhhhh

No, deep breath Billy, you're over thinking. A simple wrist flick, maybe speak a little higher, nothing too extreme.

"Haay", Billy said and immediatly died a little on the inside. It was the most over the top caracature he'd ever heard. He immediatly wanted the ground to swallow him up, then immediatly banished the thught just incase he accidentally caused the ground to actually swallow him

Viola Fiore has posed:
Viola takes the seat, giving the younger man a grateful smile. She pulls out her earbuds, and if Billy's hearing is sharp enough he might catch a bit of Landslide by Fleetwood Mac before she manipulates the phone strapped to her arm to turn it off.

Billy's greeting makes Viola have to fight the urge to grin. She turns it into a smile though and says, "Great day to be outside isn't it? I mean, it isn't 80 degrees, but this time of year I'll take it."

The young woman extends one leg out as far as it goes, heel on the ground and then leans forward, stretching her calf and hamstring. A plausible enough reason for wanting to use the park bench she hopes. Though her eyes go over to the spot she saw the black ants, and the white bug. And the lizard that it seemed unusual to her to be active in the winter. Not that she knows all that much detail about lizards.

But there's nothing. Just the sidewalk and the dirt and grass that has turned yellow over the winter. She gives herself the tiniest shake of her head. A silly coincidence was all.

Billy Kaplan has posed:
Billy let out some of the tension he was holding, few, bullet dodged.
"I like myself, gives me an excuse to wear scarfs and mittens", he smiles and gives a little finger wag, showing off the wizard mittens.

Then he reached into his scarf and produced another can of coffee.

"Coffee?", he offers the lady the chilled can.

Viola Fiore has posed:
Viola finishes stretching out the one leg, and then switches and does the other. Flexible enough to pretty much lay along the leg and give the hamstring a good stretch before she sits back up, and Billy offers the coffee.

"Oh," she says, more surprised than anything, but quickly following it up with a soft, "yes, thank you." She smiles and takes the offered drink. After jogging she's warm enough the chilled beverage won't be an issue as far as making her cold. Not for awhile at least.

She opens it and takes a sip. "Beautiful tree isn't it?" she says, glancing up at it. "They say it's like, 350 years old. Hard to believe it lasting here all of that time. Older than the nation. Probably not too far to being older than the city," she says with a shake of her head as if the notion is a bit mind boggling to her.

Billy Kaplan has posed:
"Yeah, pretty cool tree, glad I ended up here"

"You jog here often?"

Viola Fiore has posed:
"I do," Viola answers as she takes a sip from the coffee that Billy was kind enough to give her. "I live not too far over that way," she says, motioning with a hand. "Or, well I don't. I have an apartment by Columbia. My parents live that way is what I meant to say, and I stop by frequently enough, especially now I'm done with school. But I used to jog here when I was living at home. Like to come back here from time to time." Especially when weird coincidences happened. It was just coincidence though, surely.

She takes another sip of the coffee. "What about you?" she asks, giving Billy a slightly longer look. "Are you in school, or working somewhere," the Italian-American young woman asks Billy, as if not quite sure whether to place him as high school aged or older.

Billy Kaplan has posed:
"Just started at Columbia, dunno what I'm gunna major yet, both my parents are doctors but I dunno if thats for me, I want to help people but in a different way...", Billy adopts a far off look, as if imagining his future. It only lasts a moment before he realises he's doing it and he brings himself back to the present.

"What about you? What did you study? Any life plans? haha"

Viola Fiore has posed:
Viola Fiore's face lights up as Billy mentions Columbia. "Oh, that's wonderful," Viola says in a bright tone. "I really enjoyed my time there. Which wasn't all that long ago, graduated last year," she tells Billy.

The young woman takes another sip of coffee from the can Billy gave her. "I majored in sociology. I was planning to go work with the poor or maybe the homeless," she says, and then Viola gives a soft sigh. The exhalation sounds like it has a measure of guilt in it.

Viola brushes back a few locks of hair that made it out of her ponytail, tucking them behind her ear. "I worked part time during school with an event planner. She does a lot of high end events. Corporate things, celebrities even. Well, after I graduated she offered me a full partnership with her. Which I accepted though still working part time. I figured, I can do that and go volunteer my time," Viola says.

And then she shakes her head and gives a chuckle. "And this very exclusive club offered me a tryout. I set up a Mardi Gras party for them, and they have another they are giving to me. If I do as well on it they'll probably fill the time that I am not working with Gloria. The business planner who offered me the partnership," she says.

Billy Kaplan has posed:
Billy, sensing he could do some good, wracks his brain for a spell to offer guidance. He fishes in his pocket for inspiration and finds a quater.

"OfferGuidanceOfferGuidanceOfferGuidance", Billy whispers the spell under his breath while clutching the coin.

"Sounds like you need some clarity", he proffers the coin.

"If you ever feel a little lost, just give it a flip, its lucky", he gives a sly wink, then stands and walks briskly around the tree.

After he's sure he is the other side of the tree he excitedly whispers to himself.
Giddy that he's just pulled a cool, mysterious stranger offering advice and magical trinkets bit, like his hero on his mittens, he peers round the tree to see her reaction.

Viola Fiore has posed:
Viola Fiore takes the quarter with a warm, bemused expression. "Thank you," she says. "Nothing like putting faith in the universe, right?" she asks.

She watches as Billy gets up and wanders off around the tree. Viola eyes the quarter and then grins, and slips it into a little pouch on the band that holds her phone on her arm, somewhere for carrying money and ID while running. "I'll have to save it for something worth asking," she says, assuming the young man can still hear her.

After a little bit of not hearing or seeing him, Viola leans a bit, which lets her see a whole couple of inches around the tree. She finally rises and walks over along the path that bends around the tree, looking for Billy. "Huh. Guess he left," she says. She glances back at the ground in front of the tree. "And I should probably get back to jogging. Coincidences," she says with a smile and a shake of her head. The young woman inserts her earbuds again and turns back on the music.

   "Well, I've been afraid of changin'"
   'Cause I've built my life around you..."

Viola jogs off, singing along with the music only she can hear. Stevie Nicks does a much better job, but she seems like such a nice lady she'd probably appreciate hearing someone else enjoying her song.