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28 August 2007 @ 12:37 am
 
24 August 2007:
Suyin shakes her head. "A cousin." She shrugs to his admiring. "It takes practice, is all." Another sip of tea, another fork of muffin. She pushes the elephant on the table with a fingertip before pulling another square of paper from her pocket.

Cartwright chuckles faintly and nods. "I suppose. I was never that good at it. Tore the paper a lot." He goes back to his coffee, trying to ignore the muffin he ordered. Little bran crumbs litter the saucer. He prods one regretfully with his finger.

It is with a sharp clicking of high heels that Wanda whirls into the coffee shop, her hair a loose auburn cascade around her shoulders and her wardrobe an elegance of cream and brown style that is either classic, or dated, depending on one's particular judgment; she bears it with the blithe arrogance of one who has plenty of her own. Keeping busy! Happily for her budget, she is carrying no shopping bags.

Joan enters the coffee shop a moment later, holding open the door with a baby wipe, and avoiding stepping on any cracks in the tile floor - which makes for a skewed walk. She slowly makes her way towards the counter.

Suyin nods. She takes another sip of tea and begins folding again, this time just with her right hand. Morning exercise! She glances up as some others enter, and then glances at the empty seats beside her on the couch, among the few empty seats left here.

Even if Wanda is not responsible for this particular coincidence, she is still involved - within two minutes of her entrance, and even closer behind Joan, comes one Cipto Rakata. Relative fame and financial settlements do not appear to have altered anything about the young Javanese man's demeanor or appearance - he still wears a garish print shirt and simple jeans, and still enters the coffee shop with his head pressed a little forward and tilted slightly up, expression on the sunny side of calm. He too treads toward the line, parking himself behind Joan and rising up on his toes to take in the menu.

Cartwright is relaxing in an armchair, prodding disconsolately at the remains of a bran muffin and finishing off his coffee. He seems more or less disinterested in his newspaper, seeming a bit more curious at Suyin's onehanded origami. He watches the second piece being made for a few moments before glancing up at the other newcomers. They get the generalized faint smile and nod some Texans give to strangers. Even the ones who've lived in New York for fifteen years. Joan's odd walk gives him just a moment's pause, but it *is* New York and it takes all kinds.

Wanda glances idly over her shoulder as she takes up a position in the line before the counter, and her gaze catches and widens slightly as she notes the odd way that the woman behind her is walking. Her mouth hooks into an odd little smile and she turns her head, looking studiously frontwards. Her gaze skips back again as the door moves open once more, with rising hope for a world that often answers her passing whims: this one is not what she hoped, but it is a surprise. "Cipto!" she identifies, brows lifting high.

Suyin is in the process of folding another elephant. She looks up again as a vaguely familiar face arrives and is named by an older woman. Suyin doesn't interrupt or greet, but watches for a moment before looking at the finished paper elephant in her right hand. She puts it on the coffee table beside the other, making a pair. Smiling at her work, she takes another sip of tea.

Cipto's name is not one that gets called out all that often, and particularly not with the correct pronunciation. The motion with which he comes down to a flat-footed stance and turns his head toward the source of the sound is not particularly jerky or abrupt, but it is not as fluid as his normal walk, and his eyes open alertly wide. As the path of his gaze falls on Wanda, he veritably beams and raises one hand in a wave. "Hello again!" Even in those two words, his accent is prominent, though not incomprehensible.

"It has been some time," Wanda says, tipping her head slightly as her dark gaze sweeps the younger man. The young woman behind her remembers another errand and goes off somewhere, leaving the distance between Wanda and Cipto the easy distance of those familiar with each other at an unexpected meeting in public. "Yet I still am glad every day to be clean, yes?"

"I am very glad for that," Cipto agrees, head bobbing easily. "And to be able to cook things, and to sleep better." His English is perhaps a little more fluid than it was during that island stay, though his cadence is still clearly that of someone still learning. "It is...funny to have met in such a small strange place, and then to meet again in a normal place in a big city." And with only the slightest pause for subject change back, "You have been ok?"

Suyin watches the two chat, while eating another forkfull of muffin. Sip of tea, and she pulls another paper out of her pocket. She watches, listening to what she can overhear of their strange conversation.

"Well enough." Wanda smooths her hands over the brown fall of her skirt, and then lifts them out in a wide spresd, her smile slight and wry. "Better. Pietro and I are very glad to be home. My neighbor was also pleased not to have to take care of my cat indefinitely, I think."

"Your cat was...glad you were home, probably!" Cipto's smile continues to be bright. "And also your neighbors glad you were not hurt. My neighbors were glad for that, for all of us. They said...someone - some thing?" He looks briefly puzzled as to word choice, but forges on, "was being sure we were alive."

Suyin finds their conversation strange and interesting. So she sips her tea and nibbles on muffin, paying more attention to the two than to the paper her hands are folding.

There is a definite pause before Wanda replies, and when she does, it is with a smile's shadow on her lips as she turns away. "I'm sure that's so," she says. To the barrista behind the counter, she says, "Iced mocha to go, please."

"There were so many things that were bad, or almost bad..." Cipto's pause is longer this time, though not apparently for linguistic purposes. He gives the ceiling a look before considering Wanda's expression and continuing, bright and completely unaware of the manner in which he is correct, "I think they are right."

Suyin watches and listens and sips and folds and muffin-nibbles.

"Yes." Wanda's fingers move with remarkable swiftness as she extracts exact change from her bag. "So do I." She gives Cipto a long look, and then a swift smile. "It was good seeing you. Take care, Cipto."

"It was good," Cipto returns, hand dipping into his pocket for his wallet now that he's next up in line. "I hope you stay well, and that we will see each other again some time."

"I'm sure we will." Wanda collects her coffee in its clear plastic cup and then turns and strides briskly for the door, sipping at the chilled liquid through its bright green straw.

Cipto lifts the hand not clutching his wallet to wave as Wanda departs, then continues with the business of placing orders. Mocha Java, a mixture of curiosity and a little national pride, just because he can.

Two of the Survivors meet again in a nondeserted coffee shop.