A Place To Belong


brian_icon.gif koshka_icon.gif monica_icon.gif

Scene Title A Place To Belong
Synopsis Following the fiasco at Dr. Ruslan's apartment, Monica gives Brian and Koshka a ride home and Brian makes the teenager an offer.
Date December 25, 2010

Upper West Side

"Yeah, Monica? Hey. I need a ride. Yeah. I would do it but.. I had a lot of me out last night. The me I have out right now are exhausted. I'm exhausted. So if you could… Yeah, yeah. Okay thanks. Yeah, Dorchester Towers. I have a kid with me. Might be upset when you get there. Just a forewarning. Alright, thanks Monica."

The phone slaps down on the table, Brian rolls back onto his face. His Chinatown apartment is dark. Christmas will have to wait. Being unconcious is much more important right now. His mouth sags open as he burrows his face into the pillow… But that is not where the story's taking place.

"Koshka.. Wait." Sagging against the building. If he wasn't tired already. Having to face down that tyrant Czar was more than enough to take him out. And trying to keep with Koshka to boot. He's not able to do the job alone. And so he called in backup.

As they exit the building, Brian pushes his hand weakly against the wall as he tries to track the girl's movement. "Kosh.. I'm really sorr…" Boy walking is hard, isn't it? Pausing to take a breath, he looks up at the world. Christmas day and he has spent it getting yelled at by an incredibly anal Russian, chasing said Russian's daughter, and.. Well if you count the night before. It's been just a great holiday.

He would have settled for a hula hoop.

Gathering his strength, Winters pushes himself away from the wall, trying to catch up with the young woman. "Our ride will pick us up.. On the corner here. I think." He tries to give her a sympathetic look.

The ride is, indeed, coming right along. As their pair make their way along, Monica zooms right along in their direction, going obviously over the speed limit and as she spots them, the car turns suddenly, tires squealing as she cuts across a (mostly) empty intersection to slide right up next to the curb where the car stops almost artfully.

Someone's been watching too many of those fast car movies.

Slipping out of the front door, Monica's head pops into view over the car's roof. "Hey! Heard someone over here needed a ride. It's not pulled by eight tiny reindeer, but hopefully it'll do." She looks passed the girl, though, to give Brian a look over. He looks like hell; she doesn't have to say it, her expression does it for her.

It has been a great holiday, hasn't it? For Koshka it's been a downward spiral of bad endings with the last step dropping her into a pit of emptiness. So, this is Christmas.

It's not intentional, walking off without Brian, but in haste to get away from the apartment complex and run from the problems she's undeniably caused Koshka seems to keep just a few steps ahead. She's closed up again, and when her chaperone calls for her to wait, that same dark look, the blank but somehow accusing glower she'd treated him to when they first met. Fine, fine, slowing down already. Once she's reached the corner that is.

Seeing the state Brian's in, Koshka manages to mute the expression a little. He shouldn't be the target of her unpleasantries, he'd tried to help. Once mad at one person the whole world has to pay a little bit. She folds her arms across her chest, her pace slowing enough to trail alongside her guardian as the way to the corner is made. Just in time for their ride to show up.

Blue eyes narrow as the car stops, and when Monica appears she turns wary. Koshka edges closer to Brian, though whether to use him as a shield or act in his defense it's uncertain.

"She's safe." Brian manages to murmur, giving Koshka a weak smile. "Koshka, this is my friend Monica. Monica. This is Kosh. She's being watched by our fisherman friends." Another term for boatmen.. another term for Ferrymen. Bringing up one hand to pat Koshka's shoulder gently, he motions his chin over to the car. "Go ahead and get in." But further considering his situation, "You take front." He'll lay inthe back.

Sauntering over to the vehicle, he goes to open the back and slither into it. "Thanks for coming Monica. If you wouldn't mind.. Forgetting about how you watched Fast and Furious 7 and instead remember…" What's a movie where people drive slow? "Thelma an—" No that's not it.

"Just take it easy." Once everyone's in the car, Brian goes about to making himself somewhat comfortable. "Are you okay Koshka?" He asks softly, frowning up at her. "I'm.. I'm very sorry that happened to you Kosh. He shouldn't have reacted that way."

Monica lifts a hand in greeting as she's introduced, staying put where she is and letting the girl come to her. "Hey, good to meet you. Doors're open," she notes as she slides back in, glancing back at Brian via the rearview mirror. "I suppose I can drive like a granny for one night. Where am I taking you two?"

She clicks her seat belt into place, safety first and all, before she looks over at Koshka. "You want to stop for something to eat?" Because lord knows if she's going to end up on that island, variety is going to be a distant dream.

With a small nod to Brian, Koshka moves toward the car. Monica earns a slightly bigger one. "Hi," she says as she climbs into the front seat. Brian's question goes unanswered while she pulls on her seatbelt and settles herself in for the ride. How is she? How can she be?

"I'm fine," the youth answers. It's mostly true. She's alive and in decent health. She stuffs her hands into her pockets, shoulders shrugging slightly. "Not your fault either, Brian. I shouldn't've gone back. Should've thought it through more." Monica's query is given some quick thought, but in the end Koshka shakes her head. "Not hungry, thanks."

"No Koshka." Brian answers simply. He's tired. But before he passes out he needs to impart this wisdom. "It was good that you went back. You should have went back. That was the right thing to do. You were mature today. He should not have overloaded you with guilt trips, should have been more understanding. That's not your fault. I didn't know he was so educated.. I would've prepared a better cover. Or just not had a cover at all but… He's not very welcoming. Is he? But it doesn't matter. Koshka.. You did the right thing don't blame yourself for this."

He's crumpling in the back seat again. "Garden." He calls out to Monica roughly. His eyes close, yet his mouth continues to open. "Monica helps me out with my program. I don't know if Sami told you. But under our fisherman friends we have a program called the Lighthouse.. It might change names but, right now it's the Lighthouse. We're basically an orphanage for evolved kids under eighteen." He gives a long pause. Maybe now isn't the best time to ask her if she wants to be a part of the Lighthouse. But maybe it is. "You said you wanted to know.. When you could leave and stuff like that. Well.. If you want to be a part of Lighthouse, you would be my responsibility and under my custody. Most of these kids don't have families.. We're sort of our own family. Doesn't mean you can never leave, or never be family with your dad just…" He opens his eyes and they idly wander to the back of Monica's head as if willing her to impart something helpful right about now.

There's no glance back this time, as Monica points them in the vague direction of the Garden. And she's pretty quiet as they talk, given that she doesn't know exactly what went on for the pair. But she's catching on.

"Everyone needs support," their driver picks up where Brian trails off, as if catching that silent request, "A place to call home, people they know they can depend on. These days, life ain't easy, not for anybody. Brian set up his program to be that support that everybody needs but so many just don't get. And it's something I'm proud to say I'm a part of. It isn't about cutting you off or shutting you away, it's about finding people that understand. Solidarity, I guess I'd call it."

Back to the Garden, where she should've stayed in the first place. Koshka all but wills herself to sink smaller into the seat, not exactly wanting to continue the conversation. "It's my fault. I can't tell him anything, can't even let him know where I am or what I'm doing. He doesn't want to understand, just wants to make sure I know how badly I screwed up, he hates me." Despite her words, harsh though they sound, they're delivered only loud enough to be heard over the vehicle, level but defeated.

Turning her head slightly, Koshka looks out the window to watch the world move past. She hadn't missed Brian's offer either. In truth she's not sure. She's not sure where she belongs or where she's going, though at the moment she's drifted into the Ferry's hands. The Lighthouse. Could be a place to go, a place to belong.

"Stop that." Brian rouses himself enough to make it into a reprimand. "You went through some very hard crap today. And I won't diminish that. But I won't allow you to dissolve into self pity and a victim mentality. He does not hate you. He obviously cares about you very much. He just.. He has his own issues Koshka."

When she doesn't answer, he slumps back into the seat. "Whatever your choice, you will always have a place to stay with Sami and me." He assures her, hugging his arms around his own chest. A light smile is delivered to the back of Monica's head even though she can't see it. "Thanks for the ride, homes."

"Look, I don't know what went on, but my advice is to listen to him. He's as wise as he is… numerous," Monica says, a quirky little smile on her face. But she means it! "My grandmother was always going on about finding the good in the bad and being willing to see it. Oh, I hated when she'd lay that one on me, but heck if she wasn't right about it."

At the thanks, she chuckles just a little, but nods her head in return. "Glad to do it. But really you should thank Rich. It's his car." Does he know she's got it right now? Hard to say!

Koshka flinches at the reprimand, but she doesn't change her tone right away. When Monica picks up again, her eyes peel away from the window, scowling slightly, and angle toward the woman. "Nothing good happened," she explains in mediocre attempt to not sound self loathing. With some limited success.

Turning further, not quite facing backward in her seat, Koshka leans over to look at Brian. Yes, still with the small scowl. "What would I do at this orp—Lighthouse thing? Could I go live with you and Sami if I don't like it there?" Or, if she decides, will she be stuck as she is at the Garden.

That's true. Nothing good happened. Unless you want to mention that Brian superimposed his picture on an FBI badge and made it look super real. That part is good. Other than that though, nothing good. Forcibly removing his face from the seat, Brian looks slackjawed at Koshka. Closing his eyes, he forces his mouth back close. "Well.. Right now all the kids are across the river. Because the Lighthouse itself.. Kind of got raided. But we're looking to open up a new location.. By the way Monica. Did I tell you that author Savannah lady offered to give us like ten thousand dollars?"

He doesn't sound thrilled, but really there isn't any emotion when he talks about anything right now. "Anyway. Right now you would have to live with Sami and me. And then.. Once we get the new place open. Living with Sami and I would be living with the Lighthouse.. thing. You're an older kid. You would be expected to help out with the other kids. You would be tutored, taught skills you want to learn. And we would want you to work. You're about old enough to work. Not full time.. but you know. A little."

"Maybe not yet," Monica comments. Eternal optimist. Well, most of the time anyway. Brian's news has her blinking, though, and she does look back through the mirror again. "Wait, seriously? I feel the urge to go buy all her books now. All her books ever." Large sums of money are not something Monica is used to dealing in, apparently. "We'll grab Hiro, go into the future and buy those books, too."

School and work. Hey! Sounds just like living at home. And, oddly, the Garden. Though hopefully it wouldn't be as cold. Koshka turns again, to sit more properly in her seat. "Wh— how long would that be, before it's all moved. And.. aren't you and Sami staying at the Garden now?"

There might have been more questions, but as Monica interjects she falls silent. It's not a sulky silence this time, however, nor is she scowling. The youth stares in open wonderment. Buying books from the future? Well, why not. You got a billion Brians running around, and she manipulates dust and stuff. Why not travel to the future and buy books?

"Well yeah. Well I am. Sami's having Christmas at my apartment tonight. But I will be at the Garden tonight yes." He's got to diminish the amount of bodies he has out so that he can get some much deserved rest. "I don't know how long it will be. I have to talk to my sister. Cement the details.. All that."

"But until it's moved.. You're welcome to stay with us. At the garden, obviously. Or if and when we leave the Garden. At whatever apartment I pick up." Bringing his arms up he lets out a loud yawn. "I'm really sorry Koshka. We'll try to have a nice Christmas despite the day okay? Good things will happen…" And with that it sounds like the poor littel fella is all tuckered out. And starting to drift off.

Monica catches that stare and chuckles again. "I guess you're pretty new to all this still, yeah? Trust me, for all the bad days… you'll have just as many where something blows your socks off. Remind me to tell you about the day I saw myself on the cover of a prophetic comic book." There's one more glance spared for Brian, her smile turning a little gentler… just before she pushes the gas pedal down more. Hey, if he's sleeping, what he doesn't know won't hurt him.

You know, probably.

"Yeah," Koshka agrees. She's seen some pretty strange things, but still some manage to crop up that she hadn't considered. Prophetic comic book? Yikes.

With a small shrug for Monica, Koshka turns back to Brian. Another question is poised, but it hangs there. Can't wake him while he's sleeping, that would be rude. She can ask later. Another look is directed up to the driver, brows raising in askance as the car picks up speed. The teen doesn't say anything about it. No, she settles in for the ride back to the Garden.

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