Appropriate Consequences


brian_icon.gif graeme_icon.gif koshka_icon.gif samara2_icon.gif

Scene Title Appropriate Consequences
Synopsis Graeme meets Koshka's guardians to tell them what she's done.
Date February 18, 2011


"Why are rugs so expensive?"

The question sounds a little pathetic, and more than a little tired. It's more of an empty protest against the economy of a post bomb world. The ridiculous prices of a post-8th world. And a futile plea against the world that is quickly going to shit… in a shitbasket. The question is asked of no one in particular, though the woman beside the asker would most likely answer.

RUG LAND which has more Chinese characters than english on its marquee does not boast a ridiculous amount of patrons this time of day. Outside the shop, crowds mill, trying to complete their business before the inevitble onslaught of curfew. But inside a tiny haven from the madness exists. Apparently rugs and carpeting are not in high demand right now. But for the couple that stands inside. Rugs are paramount.

"We're gonna need big ones for the bedrooms. I wish we didn't have to do this at fucking winter time." Brian groans.

Glancing over to the woman next to him, his lips sag down. "I'm sorry baby. You should be looking at wedding dresses or cakes right now. Not cashmere and tiger skin." His face becomes a frownieface emoticon, as his hand goes to tug on Samara's hand.

Somewhere else in the city, Brian is reaching into his pocket.

In Jamaica Bay, a Brian that is doing some vicious scrubbing pauses to answer the phone vibrating in his pocket. Pulling it out, his brows screw up.

"The Koshka-Phone is blowing up." The voice comes out in Chinatown, to Samara. "Not Koshka's number." He frowns lightly.

Back in Jamaica Bay, Brian answers. "Hello?"

”Maybe because they take a long time to make?” the question is offered as a quiet response. Her fingers slide over one of the many rugs on display at RUG LAND. Her hazel eyes flit from one carpet to the next as she strolls among the many aisles. Unlike Brian, her attitude about shopping for rugs is a little sunnier. “Don’t apologize, hun. I kind of like this part. I mean.. we get to make it all homey! even if it is winter.” She shoots him a small shrug and a lopsided smile.

The notion of cakes and wedding dresses, however, brings a frown. “I.. actually have a dress. Adisa and I got it awhile ago, but.. “ the frown deepens, but she doesn’t explain further. In some respects the phone call is like being saved by the bell with her explanation. Although it does cause her face to contort into a sour scowl complete with tightly knit eyebrows. “Is Koshka okay?”

"..Hey. Um…" It is Koshka's voice on the other end, reluctant and nervous. Somewhere else in Chinatown, in a pocket of relative quiet, the girl sits on a bench beside a man, worried looking and legs hooking at the ankles under the seat. A baited pause follows and Koshka directs a sidelong look up at Graeme. "Uh… some.. someone needs to talk to you."

Without further explaining, Koshka offers the phone to Graeme. She made the call, that's all she'd said she'd do. Let the man beside her, keeping her in place rather than letting her go her own way, explain the situation.

Graeme looks over at Koshka, looking around before putting the phone to his ear, but he looks at Koshka for a moment. "Actually, Koshka needs to talk to you, but she needs to do so in person. It would be a lot, a lot easier than over the phone, please." He hands the phone right back to the girl sitting next to him, tapping his fingers on his leg as he does so.

"We need rugs that don't take a long time to make. We need McDonalds rugs." Brian sounds quite confident that such rugs exist. Trailing along behind her, he tilts his head. "When.. What? But what?" Winters asks, after he announces the phonecall. She doesn't get off that easy. After all Brian is the master multi-tasker. "I don't know she's being weird. Some guy is with her. Sounds older. Hey what but?!"

In Jamaica Bay, Brian has rolled over to lean against the wall. Taking in a breath his face screws up, "Kosh, you okay?" He asks hurriedly. "Where are you?"

Lips press together into a line. “I.. my pants are feeling a little tighter I just.. I hope it still fits.” Her cheeks flush brightly as she twists back towards the rugs. “Well.. maybe if we got to Walmart or something we can find McDonald’s rugs. I think they value quality here or something…” And then her thoughts turn back to the phone call. ”Some guy?” Sami’s nose crinkles tightly. “Is it that Daryl guy?! She said they were the same age! She told me they were the same age because I found it— “

With a pleading look, Koshka takes the phone back. "..Hi," her voice returns over the line. "I'm okay just… I'm in Chinatown. — Near the Lucky Dragon." Another pause and a look up at Graeme, reluctance giving way to a pang of panic. She really doesn't want to make this call, let alone tell exactly what she'd been up to. "…I um… Can you come meet me? — Us?"

A light smirk hangs on his lips. Hands going to rest on Samara's hips for a moment. "Then we'll just have to get you into it, soon." Leaning forward some, his head goes to rest against her forehead. Leaning in he plants a kiss on her lips before pulling himself away. "Not Daryl." Brian reports in Chinatown.

"Yeah Koshka. You're sure you're okay? I don't need to come with a baseball bat or anything?" Baseball bat always means gun. But it sounds less violent on a phonecall. "We're only a couple streets away, K. We'll be there in like five minutes." Winters murmurs.

"She wants us to come meet her.. and guy. Lucky Dragon. It's only a couple streets away. If there's trouble our Chinese friend is close by.. With his friends." Going to grab Samara's hand he quickly leads her out of RUG LAND.

A smile edges Sami’s lips again at the kiss on her forehead, but the frown returns seconds later. She momentarily busies herself with looking at rugs as Brian returns to the phonecall, a silent distraction from whatever doom befalls the caller. Her eyebrows arch high on her forehead at the question about the baseball bat, with silent skepticism as to whether or not a ‘baseball bat’ is needed.

”Who is this gu— “ the question isn’t finished as her hand is grasped, tugging her out of the store.

Quick paced steps strain other questions in Sam’s throat, but she forces them out, letting each out raggedly “Did she say what this is all about? Is it her father? I thought— “ She frowns. Anxious butterflies of anticipation form in the twenty-something’s stomach, causing her face to pale slightly.

The pair round a corner and sure enough there it is. Lucky Dragon. And there’s Koshka. And guy. There’s a deep sigh of relief at the Koshka’s okay-ness. In fact, her fingers laced with Brian’s relax, the tension reducing substantially. Her fingers slip away from his as her pace quickens a little more only to stop a few paces shy of Koshka and Graeme. Confused. Everything looks fine? An eyebrow quirks upwards as she frowns slightly. “Hi?” she asks.

"Hi," Graeme says, ducking a nod of greeting. "I'm sorry to bother the both of you like this." He glances over at Koshka, then up to both Brian and Samara, and then back to. "You're her … guardians?" Graeme is tentative, not terribly comfortable with the situation overall.

"My name's Graeme Cormac." He pauses, at a bit of a loss for words for a moment. "And despite what Koshka's been accusing me of, I'm not some kind of creeper." There's a slightly self-deprecating laugh at that bit of the statement.

Assurances that she's fine are made and, after ending the call, Koshka lapses into an unhappy silence. The phone is held absently between both hands, shoulders slumped, and eyes cast downward. There's no conversation that she'll participate in during the handful of minutes it takes for Sami and Brian to show up.

And when they do, Koshka looks up. She offers first Samara and then Brian a sort of nervously worried grin, an expression that drops after a glance toward Graeme. The teenager holds her silence, eyes going back to the newly arrived pair with the smallest of shrugs. Following which, her eyes settle on the phone in her hands once more.

"Yes." Brian answers curtly. Eyeing the man skeptically, "Mister Cormac. If you could explain yourself quickly, why you're keeping her here and why she looks nervous? Because right now you kinda look like a creeper." His palms up, just sayin'. His gaze then sweeps down on Koshka. His lips thin as his eyes whip back to Graeme. "What's going on?"

Nervous energy begets more nervous energy. Sam's hands disappear into her jacket pockets while she rocks back and forth on the balls of her feet. Her skin is still pale, and her lips are a thin line rather than a smile or a frown. "I— I'm Sam and she told us nothing so yes it looks creepy," welcome nervous chatter, "like that one time in middle school when a mysterious white car followed us home from school and then we ran home instead except that wasn't really creepy because it was just our senile neighbour who wasn't supposed to be driving somehow managed to get keys to his grandson's car and didn't know where he was any— " her lips clamp shut. Not the time…

Graeme rests one foot on his skateboard, rolling it back and forth underneath the bench. He doesn't seem at all bothered by Brian's curt manner. "It's pretty simple, actually. Your ward here tried to lift my wallet, earlier." He pauses, watches for their reactions.

"This is the compromise I agreed on with Koshka, that instead of anything that I would be obligated to do, by law, as a teacher, I'd talk to the two of you about what she'd done."

"Said I was sorry and gave it back," Koshka explains. To the phone. That object she turns over in her hands, studying at the buttons and casing. Then, with a sigh, she offers it back to Graeme, entirely without looking at the man. "He wouldn't let me leave or anything until he talked to you guys."

Brian glances over to Samara as she starts to babble, a little grin repressed on his lips. Looking to Graeme he gives a stoic nod before looking to Koshka. "That true, Kosh?" But her words are more than enough confirmation that the teacher is in fact telling the truth. Looking back to Graeme he tilts his head. "What do you teach?" Winters asks quietly, as if ignoring the crime that Koshka has committed for the moment.

Finally he looks back to Koshka. "The agreement was, when I took you in that you were done stealing." He reminds quietly.

The formerly rocking bundle of nerves becomes downright statuesque. Where she'd clamped her lips shut, Sam now gapes openly. She stares quite blankly while Brian gets more information. Her mother's voice clips into her consciousness: Samara Beth Dunham, try not to look like a codfish. Her lips close and she blinks, slowly reanimating.

There's a faint downward curl of her lips as her arms are hugged tightly around her body. Her head tilts slightly. In a quiet voice she only says one word, "Why?"

Graeme takes his phone, the phone that was used to call Brian in the first place, tucks it into his pocket. "I'm currently working as a substitute teacher, at some of the middle schools around the city," he explains. "Recently moved out here, from New Mexico." The man bites his lip. "Was head soccer coach at a high school, there. I also taught English, for a time in between." He doesn't add why he moved. Why he came back. It's not really terribly important.

"I… we just… it was to…" Koshka takes in an unsteady breath, again fighting off a moment of panic. Her eyes lift, looking from Samara to Brian and then again each in turn. "We …it was so we could… make our own way." The last comes out mumbled, miserable and regretful, directed at her feet. "…I'm sorry."

"Do you have a card or anything, Mister Cormac? If possible I'd like to call you in the future if you're cool with it. I might know of some employment opportunities possible for you. If you're interested. I know a bunch of kids that desperately need a qualified teacher." Brian smiles lightly as if to turn on the charm. "Anyways. Thank you very much for not calling the police and allowing us to deal with this. We are very sorry that she tried to do this to you. And very embarrassed. If there's anything I can do to make it up to you.." His hands come up before dropping.

And then his attention is back on Koshka. He looks at her though speaks to Sam. "Want to take her back to the place, baby?"

That same deep knit disappointed tinges Sam's features as she skeptically quirks a single eyebrow. "We? When you say 'we' I sure hope you're referring to you and your tape worm because— " her lips press into a thin line equally skeptical as the eyebrow. Her cheeks finally blush a little as her gaze flicks towards Graeme to echo Brian's already uttered apology. "We're sorry… just sorry."

She turns her head to face Brian and issues him a vague nod. "Yeah.. I.. yes."

Graeme chuckles quietly, and pats Koshka gently on the shoulder as he gets up. His pocket is rummaged in while he finds his wallet, from which he withdraws a card. A card with a New Mexico address crossed out, actually, and he offers it to Brian. "It's no problem…" the uplift of voice, Graeme's fishing for a name, if even a first name, but fishing nonetheless. "I'd be more than interested, to help in any way I could."

Graeme frowns a bit, takes a step so that he's now talking to Brian only, though his words are certainly audible to Samara, and perhaps even partially audible to Koshka. The skateboard is moved minutely back and forth with his foot. Graeme's not exactly good at standing still. "And really, it's no problem. I … I grew up as a ward of the state, a good part of my life. I got in enough situations that I know that a lot of the time, there are better solutions to things than … than the police, or CFS, or." He turns to be facing both Brian and Samara, voice slightly less quiet. "Again, thank you for coming and meeting with me."

Koshka practically withers under Sami's gaze, sinking and likely wishing the bench she's still sitting on would absorb her. Being a bench would be much better than the state she's in now. She flinches at the 'Yes', drawing a guarded look, afraid but wary, toward Samara. Hands go to her pockets, crammed as deep as the material will allow, as the girl stands and shuffles forward to join Brian and Sam.

"Well then we should meet." Brian smiles back to Graeme, offering the other man his hand. "Brian." He greets pleasantly enough. Pausing he glances over the man's shoulder. "I'll meet you back home, babe." To Sam, not even so much as glancing at Koshka. His hands going to tuck into his pockets as he looks back at Graeme.

"Thank you for your discretion. Really appreciate it. We will deal with it appropriately, I assure you." Brian watches Sam before looking back to Graeme. "She has a troubled background. But I was really hoping she was doing better." A light sigh follows with a big shrug. "I guess we'll have to deal with this. Again, thank you very much."

A stiff nod has Sam motioning for Koshka to follow her as she turns on her heel, pausing only to give Brian’s shoulder a squeeze. “Come on. We’ll talk about it more when we get home.” Though from the looks of it, it’s not likely on the way home. She takes a few paces towards the end of the block before stalling, dragging her feet to anticipate Koshka joining her.

Graeme nods. After the handshake, his hands are shoved into the pockets of his peacoat. "Don't be too hard on her, yeah?" The drawl creeps into Graeme's voice. "I think my insistence to meet with you and the time she had to think about what she did …" Graeme shrugs, and offers Brian a smile. The skateboard is rolled back and forth a bit more.

There isn't much need for foot-dragging, Koshka is quick to tail after Samara, hoping absolute and unquestionable compliance alleviates some of the trouble she's in. Once alongside Sam, the girl glances upward, looking first to the young woman beside her and then peeking toward the direction they're walking. "..I'm really sorry," she offers in a small voice, addressing her shoes.

"We'll do what needs to be done, Graeme." Brian answers, smiling lightly. "If this is an ongoing thing. It needs to be dealt with accordingly. So. We'll deal with it. I've been doing this raising kids thing for a little while, I like to think I kind of know what I'm doing." Reaching up he gives the other man a brief pat on the shoulder.

Starting to move past the other man, Brian gives a little nod. "Nice to meet you, Graeme. Will be in touch."

"Of course." Graeme chuckles quietly, and a moment later, the teacher sets off on his skateboard, in incidentally the other direction that Koshka and Samara had gone, humming to himself as he does so.

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