Bad Soap Opera


lance_icon.gif weasel_icon.gif

Scene Title Bad Soap Opera
Synopsis At least two of the Lighthouse Kids think that River Styx is one.
Date May 6, 2019

Lance's Apartment

It’s been a while since everyone’s favorite Musteloid Telepath has been around. She left notice of where she would be — going out to that settlement in Jersey; however, in true Clara fashion, the young woman never gave a time range for her visit, just that she would be there. She came back briefly back in April, put some food that normally is difficult to find anywhere but on a farm in the fridge, and disappeared again, with another notice that she was going back.

There is a jingle of keys outside the door, followed by a soft rap of knuckles in the rhythmic pattern that Weasel has always used to announce her presence, and then with the sound of keys in a lock, the door opens, revealing a slightly dirty-looking Clara who smells a little bit like a farm. Dark eyes rove around the apartment suspiciously, making sure everything is in order.

“I’m home,” she calls out, pulling her keys from the lock and slipping them into her pocket; the overstuffed pack she carries on her back is unceremoniously dropped to the floor as the door clicks shut behind her.

“Oh, hey— !” A greeting called from the kitchen, and Lance leans out to see her; in contrast he’s dressed in… a suit? Yes, he’s wearing a grey suit, nicely pressed, there’s even a tie slashing down the middle of his chest. There’s a briefcase sitting on the couch.

As usual, the murals on the wall have changed over time, based on the whims and experiments of the color-controller in residence.

A grin curves to the young man’s lips as he steps out fully from the kitchen all clean-cut and well-dressed, offering out a pastry, “Pop tart? Glad to see you back in one piece, Weaselgirl.”

The sight of Lance in a suit stops Weasel in her tracks for a moment, the tiny girl staring wide-eyed at him as her thick brows slowly travel up her forehead. After a moment, she shakes it off, walking up to her sibling and reaching up to poke the tie. “You look fancy,” she points out, a smirk on her face as she takes the offered pastry. “Got that SESA job, then?”

It’s quite the contrast — fancy business suit and vaguely stinky farm / wilderness child. “I’m glad I’m back in one piece, too. The truck they drove me in on today — well, I’m amazed it’s lasted so long as it has,” she points out, a grin on her face.

“How’s it been out here? Kinda got lost out there.” As she is prone to do — she was never much of one for city living.

Lance flashes her a lopsided smile and raises both eyebrows, raising one hand to adjust the fall of the tie in cocky fashion. “That’s Agent Gerken… okay, so I’m just an intern right now,” he admits with a laugh, hand falling, “But it’s a start, right? Gotta start somewhere— it’s me, Squeaks, and Emily down there running coffee around and shuttling file folders from one desk to another, mostly. But hey, we already know we do better field-work than Rhys.”

“So what’ve you been up to out there, get some good business? Make some money?” He pauses, “…wanna use the shower?”

The small girl rolls her eyes. “Yeah, the day I call you Agent Gerken is the day I willingly put on makeup and jewelry and a ball gown and go to one of those fancy-ass gala things for fun.” Lance knows Clara well enough to know that something like that will never happen without a fight — she’d sooner sneak in as catering staff and cause mischief than dress up fancy. That’s not her.

“Oh man, it’s great out there. Lots of old buildings, lots of rats and raccoons. Minerva’s gotten a little fat, Ron’s ripped from chasing all those rabbits and squirrels, and I’m pretty sure Pepe’s got some little kits on the way.” The dirty girl grins widely. “Business is good, and I’ve got a pig in a pen at Genie and I’s place. Once I get a smokehouse built, I’m gonna make some bacon.”

Clara would be the type to butcher her own pig.

“A shower might be nice,” she adds sheepishly, sniffing at herself for a moment.

“I have no idea how you and my sister deal with all those animals and the ruins and shit,” says Lance with a wrinkle of his nose, “Better you than me.”

Then he’s pointing in the direction of the bathroom, ordering, “Get your dirty butt into the shower and get clean. Jeeze. Did you at least bring some clean clothes to change into?”

“Animals are better than people,” Clara points out with a small chuckle. “And you know I’ve never been one for civilization. Did you forget how many times dad had to go out to find me?” And how many times he marched her back and grounded her because she had sprayed him with a skunk…

“They…might need a wash.” The girl glances over to the backpack that has just as much grime as what’s on her, an embarrassed grin on her face. “You have some PJ pants and a shirt to spare, right?” She laughs, turning to head toward the bathroom for a much-needed shower. At least she’s never been one for long showers, right?

Jeeze, Clara,” Lance takes a bite of the pop tart he’s holding, shaking his head in amused tolerance of the girl’s behavior as he heads for the bedroom, waving a hand vaguely, “Yeah, yeah, I’ll get something for you to wear while your botswarf’s in the washer. You and my sister both need to get civilized.”

He rummages around in the bedroom before coming back out with a pair of sweatpants and a t-shirt, setting them on the floor beside the door and rapping a knuckle on the door before calling in, “I’m leaving them out here!”

While Lance retrieves some clean clothes for her, Clara disappears into the bathroom with the simple statement of, “Fuck civilization,” before shutting the bathroom door and cranking up the hot water. Providence had hot water, but there is something to say about the hot water here in the Safe Zone — less well water, more fresh.

When she’s done, the door opens briefly, Weasel’s small hand snaking out to snatch up the clothes; the door closes momentarily, before the small girl slip out, looking positively tiny in the much taller Lance’s clothes. “Thanks for letting me shower,” she starts, running her fingers through her freshly washed hair to detangle it.

“If you liked civilization more maybe you’d get a date one of these days,” Lance calls back from where he’s sprawled out down on the couch in the living room, the television’s poor reception tuning in on some old re-run of River Styx. He looks over to her in those over-large clothes, flashing her a grin, “You look like you shrank in the wash.”

“Why would I want a date?” She’s thought about boys (and girls) a bit, but never really put much mind into actually dating anyone. “I mean, I just figure I’m not the dating type, you know?” She moves into the living room, flopping down unceremoniously next to Lance. “Who’d want to date someone who is always in the brains of the most vicious little murderers in the world?” She’s talking about the animals she talks to, of course — Mustelids do tend to be vicious, murderous assholes.

“Shut up,” she adds in reply to the comment about her size. “Smaller is better anyhow. Less of a target, and people always underestimate me.”

“I mean, I’m pretty sure everyone is someone’s dating type,” observes Lance sagely, he who has never been on a date in his friggin’ life and has literally zero room to talk. As she flops down onto the couch, he reaches out to ruffle her hair with a grin, “Uh huh. Pretty sure nobody underestimates you twice, since you just throw a raccoon or a squirrel or something at them. Badger badger badger badger…”

With a smirk, Weasel slaps gently at Lance’s hand. “If I meet someone who not only can stand me in that way, but who I can stand, I’ll let you know. Chances are dubious, at best.” She shakes her head, leaning back on the couch and pulling her feet up to her chest. “Squirrels are rodents. I eat squirrels. But badgers…I need to find one of those one day.” She laughs.

Then, she turns to peer at the TV. “What is this shit? Looks like a bad soap opera.”

“It’s a bad soap opera,” Lance provides helpfully, motioning to the screen vaguely, “It’s based on the Ferry, though, but they’ve got everything so badly wrong it’s fuckin’ hilarious. They must’ve had someone from the old days working on it though because there’s enough bits and pieces that there’s a hint of accuracy.”

The girl snorts derisively. “Historical reenactments are so stupid,” she replies, shaking her head and squinting at the television. “BBC? Those racist fucks are doing a show about the Ferry?” She shakes her head. “Hard pass,” she adds, turning to smirk at Lance.

Then, her expression grows a little more serious, sitting there hugging her knees to her chest. “So Providence is really nice,” she starts. “Paul’s there — he’s working on a farm, seems pretty happy.”

Then there is a long pause that is clearly leading somewhere. “I kinda love it out there. I’m thinking of making my situation a little more permanent. I’ll still come back a lot, but I’ve been helping out a lot out there, and I’m thinking of sticking with it a little more. Maybe finding a little house to fix up or something.”

“Oh?” Lance gives her a surprised look, then a rueful one, “Well, wherever you’ll be happiest— and I mean, if Paul’s around, then at least you’re not alone.” The Lighthouse is never alone so long as two of them are there, after all.

Leaning back a bit, he admits, “It’s all rural and shit out there too, so you’d probably be more comfortable.”

“I’ll still be in town a lot,” she explains, shrugging. “There’s selling things to do, and I can get things here that I can’t get there, and the other way around.” The small girl smirks, leaning back on the couch and idly brushing her fingers through her still-wet hair that no longer smells of dirt and outdoors.

“I am more comfortable out there, honestly,” she replies, eyes roving up to the ceiling. “I like it here, it’s nice and all — for a city. Park Slope is good, it’s like a little haven from the scar of the city. But…” She shrugs. “It’s open out there. There are people who like to live like I like to live. And there’s a few houses out there that I have my eye on.”

She reaches one foot out, poking Lance in the knee with a toe. “You guys better come visit too.”

“When I can,” Lance promises, quirking a smile her way, “I’m pretty busy with SESA but— I’ll get out when I have the chance, maybe there’ll be some time for a vacation this summer.”

Real jobs suck.

“Give Paul shit for me?”

“Best to keep the SESA part on the DL. I don’t know how well they trust the government out that way.” It’s kind of a perfect situation for Weasel, honestly — lack of true government oversight and plenty of wilderness for her to tromp around in. “But yeah, come down for a weekend or something.”

She stretches out, then, arms raising high over her head. “I always do,” she adds, turning a smirk to Lance. “Don’t get eaten by electro-rats or whatever with your silly government job,” she adds.

Then, she’s standing, moving for the kitchen. “What do you have to eat in here? I’m fucking starving.”

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