Dimes and Lint


ezra_icon.gif kaydence_icon.gif

Scene Title Dimes and Lint
Synopsis He's no Frank and she's no Nancy. The Asshole and the Bitch are well-suited.
Date December 29, 2008

Crown Heights Police Station

Nearly a third of New York's finest are stationed in North Brooklyn. Despite that, the precinct in Crown Heights is a gritty place. During peak hours, the lobby is packed with whores, pimps, pushers, drug dealers, and every other sort imaginable. The reception desk is protected by a wall of impact-resistant glass set with a grille for communication and a slot for paperwork. One side of the room is lined with benches, the other with doors leading to offices and interrogation rooms.

Between the rise of the sun and the start of the day proper, there's a magical hour — a magical slice of time when the insanity of the night has faded away, and the insanity of the work day haven't quite met in the middle. That little slice of time has gotten thinner and thinner since the bomb, but it's still something.

Stagger through the door. Ezra Grimes looks like he's got SARS, the Asian Flu, cancer, something terrible. Unshaven and haggard, he climbs the steps to the second floor, pushing past a surprisingly quiet line of embarrassed and shady looking people arriving at the crack of dawn to bail out their friends and relatives who got nabbed the night before. He barely notices.

Moving like he's swimming, each step of Ezra's hits the floor tenuously, like he might fall over at any time. Pulling his jacket off and throwing it on the back of a chair, Ezra pulls it out and sits himself down, bleary-eyed… when he looks at it. This desk is full of crap. Ezra casts his eyes across the floor; the empty desk is directly across from it. "Shit," he mutters, reaching into his pocket and pulling out an ashtray. He sets it on the empty desk — his desk, that is, or it will be, anyways.

That magical slice of morning between the chaos of calling the child before school and reminding her that one math test will not be the end of the world - and, yes, Becky wasn't lying when she said that ten times ten does equal one hundred, and yes that is a very big number - and the start of the work day. That slice of the morning is all Kay's. She's not quite bright-eyed or bushy-tailed, but one rarely earns herself the reputation of The Bitch by being a morning person, full of smiles and cheerfulness for the human race. Especially not when faced with the line-up of people come to bail out the losers in the drunk tank. But once in the precinct office proper, that magical slice of time is all hers. With a cup of coffee in her pale hands, Kaydence Lee Damaris returns to her desk.

And finds a man sitting there.

"Excuse me. Can I help you?" The detective sets the black-as-pitch coffee down on her desk before leaning against the side of it with her head tilted at an angle so she can regard her visitor with a gaze both disdainful and curious.

Ezra rubs the back of his neck, staring at the contents of this strange, alien desk with an almost transcendent level of separation. Rather than thinking 'What the hell kind of people live like this' he views each item in isolation. 'Oh,' he might think. 'That is an interesting square shaped item with the image of a person-larva embedded in it.'

Before Ezra can attain enlightenment through this hungover divorcing from humanity, however, someone sets down a cup of coffee on his/her desk. He looks down at it like a child, bleary-eyed and uncertain. And then he looks back up at the officer staring him down. "Black," he says, looking at the coffee. "Wow. How did you know?" he says, taking the cup and sipping from it abruptly. "Yeah. Well, no, you can't help me," he says. "But 'yeah', in that I'm responding in the affirmative because 'Can I help you?' is code for 'Are you a maniac who is someplace you shouldn't be?' and answering in the affirmative is in fact saying 'No, no, I've got a totally rational purpose,'" he says, standing up and setting the coffee down on his desk, before he circles around and sits down at his desk.

"Oh, yeah," he says, as though satisfied. There we go. Empty, Spartan sterility. That's ideal. "That's better. Grimes," he says, perhaps senselessly. Grimes what? "And I could kill for a saline IV right about now. Do you guys keep those around here?" he asks, about to reach for 'his' coffee.

Kay can only sputter incredulously when the vagrant at her desk takes her coffee. She obviously should have transferred red lipstick to the rim of the deep purple ceramic first. "Grimes," she repeats flatly. "Okay. There are two things you need to know, Detective." It wouldn't do one good to not know the name of one's new partner, would it? "I'm The Bitch, and you just took my coffee." He stole her coffee and that magic sliver of morning. Damn, Lau. Why did it have to be him?

Ezra looks down at 'his' coffee, and tilts his head, like a bird looking at a worm that turned out, in fact, to be a piece of string. "Well, then," he says, and sets it down on her desk, leaving his occupied only by a singular ashtray. Still, he starts reaching into his pockets and producing an assortment of little knick-knacks: from an inside pocket he pulls, most significantly, an entire portable television, which he leaves on his desk; two pens, one black, one blue, and a #2 pencil, arranged side by side; yellow, blue, and red pads of post-it notes; a little blue rubber handball; a roll of dimes; and a wad of multi-colored rubber bands.

"Right, where were we? Do you always self-identify as an intimidating archetype of female empowerment, or is that only when trying to establish dominance in the workplace? Oh, and, Ezra."

The coffee cup is picked up and relocated back on Ezra's desk. "No, please. You've already laid claim to it. By all means. I can hardly begrudge a man who drinks his coffee black as I do." And she doesn't necessarily want whatever he's got. And a man like that must have something. She might catch his hangover disease. Ew. "Do you always carry a roll of dimes in your pocket to make your penis look larger?" she quips in return. "Most men would carry quarters. I've got to admire you for not trying to take this to ludicrous levels. Kaydence Lee Damaris. Kay."

"Breast pocket. On the left. Sinatra always carried a roll of dimes in his pocket, because he never knew when he might have to use a payphone. In the end, they buried him with a roll of dimes," Ezra says, and starts drinking from HIS coffee without thanks or even recognition. Siiip. "A dime doesn't go as far anymore, but a roll of dimes weighs less and will make a phone call or get you on the bus just as easily," he explains. "You can't knock someone out like you could with a roll of quarters, though," he adds. "Damaris… Damaris… oh. You're my partner. Go figure," he says. "Kaydence Lee 'The Bitch' Damaris. Is that a known alias?"

"I thought I was the only one who knew that useless bit of trivia," Kay catches herself smiling faintly. "But I'll bet you've never had a son kidnapped. Payphones are more expensive now than they were then, and you won't get very far on the busline with five bucks." Then, she grins, "And you are no Sinatra."

To answer his query, someone out of sight behind a partition wall of wood paneling and frosted glass, from the direction in which Damaris just came, pipes up: "Yes!"

"Shut up and make me a cup of coffee, Ramos!" bellows the dark-haired detective over her shoulder. "I hear you've got yourself an alias or two as well."

"Wouldn't know the first thing about it," he says, laying both hands flat on his desk with a frantic sort of energy. "Do we have any cases? I'd like to get started doing something." Of course, he's still slurping up his coffee. "And my son was kidnapped, as a matter of fact. They never found him. It's why I became a cop," he says, a grim deadpan.

"You're lying." Kay takes her seat across from the man with a similarly grim expression. "I'm not going to get into a pissing match with you over who has the more macabre reason for being in this line of work." She reaches into a desk drawer and pulls out a file, handing it across their pushed-together desks toward him. "Here. This file's on PARIAH. You'd have to be living under a rock if you don't know who they are."

"Alright, alright. I'm in it for the glamour and the money; my bitches say I make it rain," Ezra says, reaching for the file. He pops it open and starts flipping through it — judging by the way his eyes roll across the page, he's reading, and he reads fast, in the way that fastidious super-nerds do. "You know, the way they capitalize PARIAH. What the hell does it stand for? Patriots Against Registration In the American Homeland?" Did he just make that up? "And do they realize how sinister it sounds?"

"I think that might be the point of it, yes." Kay smirks faintly. If he just made that up off the top of his head, he's good. But maybe he's been watching the news and came up with it after some thought. Either way, it's clever. "SCOUT raided one of their known bases. We arrested a good lot of them. Their leader committed suicide. Most of who we brought into custody are just kids. They don't know much. They got in over their heads. Drawn in by an ideal. I feel sorry for them."

"I don't," Ezra says, matter-of-factly. "So, here's where we stand. I get a funny feeling they haven't been KO'ed yet, judging by the curious lack of empty champagne bottles and party streamers 'round the precinct," he reasons, flipping through the file still. "So? How well-grilled are the ones we did get?"

Kay shrugs. "I think you'll have to ask Harvard about that. I've been out on leave until recently, so I don't want to give you bad information. I'm sure the answer to that is 'not well enough,' but my opinion of what constitutes 'well-grilled' tends to vary from our fellow detectives."

"You mean they're not too thorough," Ezra says. "Don't worry, I won't tell them you said that unless I'm bored at the time. Well, that'll have to be fixed, one way or the other. With your last partner, how'd the power dynamic work? Probability on NYPD detectives means he was probably a middle-aged white male, so he was probably the boss, right?"

That draws a quirked brow in response. "My, my. Aren't you forward?" Kaydence Lee can't help but grin widely. "Detective Demsky is less than ten years my senior. He treats me as an equal and I return the favour. Do you intend to be the boss in this partnership?" It'd be a bold thing to suggest, to be sure.

"No, not at all. I hate being in charge. Just as long as you do most of slash all of the gruntwork," Ezra says. "Mostly you're right in thinking that now that you're the senior officer you get to have more sway. It's how these things work." He's still reading that damn file. "Besides, we've got too much work to do. I don't feel bored yet."

The woman's brows furrow for the space of a scant moment. "I don't think you've pegged me quite right, but that's all right. You'll figure things out eventually," she decides. "I doubt you'll be feeling bored for a good, long time. It's a revolution out there. And we're at the forefront." She takes a sip from the coffee that an officer, identified by his badge as Ramos, has just set in front of her before she quickly walks away. "I hope you like fighting with the Fuubees and HomeSec for your cases. You'll be doing it often."

"… Yeah," Ezra says, flipping through the file. His brain is elsewhere. "Nothing like a little competition to light a fire under people's asses." Flip. "Huh," he says, for no apparent reason. "Oh, and, I'm Ezra. Ezra Grimes." Wait, didn't he already tell her? … did he forget already? How much attention is he *paying*, anyways?

"Are you feeling all right, Detective?" Did Lau partner her with someone crazy? She probably did it on purpose, too. "Tell me when you're out of lala land, Ezra. I can wait. I'm on the clock either way." Kay crosses her legs and leans back in her seat, a rather nonplussed expression on her face.

"What?" Ezra shakes his head. "Oh. Yeah. … Sorry. Ok. So. Where do we start? I mean, which of our myriad cases do *you* think is most important?" The way he phrases it, he sounds like he's judging just as much as he's trying to get actual information.

"I think we're at a dead end with PARIAH until they decide to resurface, to be perfectly honest." Kay frowns and squints at the file, as though she's memorised its contents and just looking at it will bring it to recollection. "I mean beyond the small-scale efforts we've seen so far. We can't find the den if we pick off the members who've strayed from the pack."

"So we can wait… or we can start barking up other trees," Ezra says, wondering out loud. "Well… we'll see. Where are all of your files like this one? I'm going to burn a couple of hours." A couple of hours? To consume, what, an entire filing cabinet? With the aid of how much cocaine?

"Most of mine are over there." Kay jerks her thumb toward a well-worn filing cabinet against the wall near their desks. "Should I call in some favours from Vice? See if they can get you a few 8-balls from evidence to go with that?"

Ezra grabs the ashtray from his desk. "Not today, anyways," he says — with a deadpan that suggests he might be serious. Check his shoes for secret opium storage, when you get a chance. "This might take me awhile, so, uh."

"I'll go bother a few other detectives," Kay responds with a nod of her head. "Take your time." She jots down a telephone number on a piece of paper and sets it on Ezra's desk. It's written in purple ink. "My cell. Ring me if you need anything. Unless it's a refill on coffee. Then just bellow for Ramos. He'll come running eventually." With a lopsided smirk, she rises from her seat. "Enjoy your research, partner."

"Enjoy your… whatever it is that you do, partner," Ezra says, looking at the phone number. "Huh. HEY! RAMOS!" This probably does not please poor Ramos. "And then we'll go catch some bad guys."

"Sounds like a plan to me." Kay passes Ramos on her way to the desk of Jordan Baxter. "He's a live one," she warns the officer. "Have fun." That'll teach him to sass off to her.

December 28th: Thrill Ride
December 29th: London Town
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