Drunk Dial


asi2_icon.gif monica_icon.gif

Scene Title Drunk Dial
Synopsis Already failing to properly process The Event, daytime revelations theories regarding what happened spur Asi into another night of drinking. This time, though, she calls Monica.
Date August 2, 2020

Phoenix Heights

"Shit," Asi mumbles as she stumbles over something in the dark of her quarters. Apparently it was only lit by the light of her computer screen, a fact she was less aware of than she should have been. It'd been several hours again of drinking and dissociating, attempting to make peace with the night and wait for it to become tomorrow, with hopefully more information to come.

Drinking usually sobers her anger, blunts the hollow space inside her soul where the heart of her identity had laid, but tonight it just stokes a certain sense of fuck it. And why not?

Fuck patience. What had waiting for more details through official channels gained her so far?

And fuck suffering in silence. When has that ever helped her?

Nevermind she'd been following SESA's directive on silence partly for selfish reasons— for not wanting to acknowledge her reality and make it more real by circulating it. But… fuck that. And fuck whatever she tripped on.

She wants to talk to her goddamned friends.

So stumbling in the dark, she moves to her dresser, fails to find her phone there, and then makes her way back to her desk. Zero thought is given to the fact it's quarter past eleven on a Tuesday night. No, she simply navigates her phone with bleary eyes and stubborn fingers that make up for her lack of sureness and she dials. Both hands flat on her desk, she looks down at the glowing green screen and taps the speakerphone button.

Standing and other coordination is out of the question. This will do. Yes, this is fine. This is great, even.

"Monica." Asi cuts in very seriously when the phone picks up. She sounds sober (ish) for approximately those two syllables. "It's bullshit."

Of all the numbers she could have called, Asi has picked one that belongs to a person who is not typically bothered by the late hour. She sounds quite clearheaded when she picks up, which only highlights how not clear Asi turns out to be.

"What's bullshit?" Monica says, instead of hello. She prefers it when she doesn't have to bother, really. "And what are we drinking?" Since she is clearly behind. The sound of doors opening and closing follow her trek to her own kitchen and the hunt for a glass to fill.

The topic of drinking distracts Asi instantly from the finer points of her complaints. "There was beer… at some point." It's clearly all gone now. Shifting her lean against the desk, she looks back and realized what she'd nearly tripped over was an empty bottle. There are five more like it, the last of which sits next to her phone and she verifies with a lift and a clatter of it back down.

"I think I need more," she proclaims, even though she's uncertain where she'd even procure any at this point— even though she really likely doesn't need any more in her.

Asi looks back at her phone like she could stare straight through it. What was bullshit? God, where to even start. The words swim in her head and refuse to be fished out with clarity. "Well, it's all bullshit," she ends up pronouncing, matter of fact and like she's come to a great realization regarding that point. "But I don't understand, I really don't…"

Which part of it? Oh, right. She scowls as she remembers. "The incompetence of government."

"It's wonderful when you're trying to take advantage of them and awful when you need something, especially something important," Asi laments.

"Oh, girl, I don't think you need another beer," Monica says with a chuckle that she tries her best to hide. "Water maybe." Her own drink is water as well, because the more Asi talks, the more Moni thinks she probably needs to stay sober. She makes a few noises of agreement, though. Because the government truly is bullshit.

"I hear that." It was easier, she reflects, when she didn't have to think for herself. Doing what she was told and not living any deeper than that, there was a certain comfort in it. But, not something she can go back to at this point. "But you're not drunk off your ass over the incompetence of government, Asi." A frown crosses her features. Because part of her will always hope for Asi to open up to her a little easier.

Maybe someday.

"You can talk to me." Her words are a gentle prod at Asi's drunken mind, a reminder that Monica has always done her best to support her friend. "We went over that, right?"

Asi wrinkles her nose at the news she doesn't need any more alcohol, clearly in a state of disbelief. Monica can't, of course, see the face that's made in her direction, a sign that she really does need cut off before she makes her situation any worse. She's getting too old to be messing around with drinking like this.

She finally draws in breath to reply with the bravado her state is affording her before pausing in a delayed reaction to Monica's encouragement. The breath holds, and she slowly sags to the side, sinking down to the office chair pulled up by her desk. In silence, she continues to stare at the phone, posture slumping.

Because she's right.

"We did." Asi admits in a much quieter voice.

Six months prior

February 13, 2020

The Clocktower Building

"Thanks for not slamming the door in my face," Asi remarks as she hands over a bottle of Suntory Hibiki. A touch of wry smile comes to her before she appends, "You know, metaphorically speaking."

It's a little hard to slam an elevator door in her face, she imagines. Then again, Monica's strong.

That moment of good humor is as far as Asi makes it before her mood solemns, shoulders dipping. She knows she has a lot to answer for. Or at least, she feels she has a lot to answer for, and it weighs on her. At the same time, just how much she's missed on in Monica's life in the last month and change feels as though maybe that should somehow come first. "This is a hell of a trade up in leases…" she observes, looking past Monica to briefly admire the opulent apartment space.

Monica replies to that with an arched eyebrow and she gestures for Asi to come in. She looks toward the penthouse when Asi does, shaking her head a little. "It comes with a lot of strings." A lot more than she was ready to hold onto, but she's grabbed them all the same. "Find a seat," she says with a nod, "you want something to drink or are we doing this sober?"

It probably didn't help Asi's sense of weight when Monica slammed her with about ten thousand messages about her surprise roommate. And the whole… Mazdak thing. That too.

"We have non-alcoholic things, too. Aria has all this tea all over the penthouse." That isn't really true. It's in the kitchen, quite neatly contained. Monica is just in a mood. "You probably want to know that Mohinder is safe. I'm moving him out of the country to lay low for a while. And to keep him away from like, every authority ever." So he's not thrown back in prison, obviously. And so he won't run in and give himself up immediately.

The penthouse coming with its set of strings just makes sense to Asi. "So long as they don't turn into a net," she supposes. That was the important part. The technopath makes her way to one of the couches, sinking back into it and letting one arm rest along its backside briefly before drawing it back into herself. That feels too comfortable an activity, and she's far from comfortable.

That Monica's already one step ahead of her in figuring out a long-term plan for Mohinder is a relief, one Asi reflects with a deep and grateful nod. "I can't imagine getting him to agree to that was easy. He made it clear he'd have preferred to die rather than live on the run again… I'm sure he'd have been happier to just go down with the facility."

For a moment, she glances down at her hands as she clasps them together. "I… anticipated I would end up jilted by Mazdak, in one way or another. That they wanted him dead is a good enough reason to keep him alive. I'm not sure it's just bitterness over past deeds— there's something he could do to counter plans of theirs." It was a bet she'd staked her life on. "Getting him out was the right choice."

Maybe the only right decision she made in a sea of bad, or simply dark choices.

Looking up, Asi cants her head in a sort of shrug. "Up to you whether we drink. I could use one, but…" A thought she trails with a huff of self-deprecating laughter. "I could always use one."

"We'll see," Monica says, as to the possibility of a net in her future. She's not discounting anything. And she knows the one cardinal rule: If it can get fucked up, it will get fucked up. She grabs a couple beer cans from the fridge in the kitchen, then comes out to hold one out to Asi before she drops into a seat of her own. Telling: she sits on the edge, rather than relaxing into it. Asi's been around long enough to know that Monica only sits coiled for action when she's upset, even if that emotion doesn't show on her face.

"He was a difficult person from first to last. But he's not going to be on the run, exactly. He's going to be working. And there are people there who can protect him. Even if that happens to be from himself." Details, it seems, aren't forthcoming. Not right now. Not here.

"Why didn't you tell me about Mazdak?" she asks, rolling the beer can between her palms instead of opening it.

Everything Asi had planned to say here feels suddenly like an excuse. She looks off to the side as she tries to pick up the pieces of them, to find the honest center in each.

"I was afraid."

No shrug, no motion follows that admission save for a return of her gaze back to Monica. "Not of any one thing, but many. I was afraid if I let you in, I would put you in danger. I was afraid you'd dive in after me; not for any cause, but so you would not lose me to it, one way or the other. I was afraid of you not letting me face what I had to alone. And I was afraid they would end up having you, too."

She fidgets her index finger under the tab of the can, snapping it open and taking a quick, if deep drink from it. "It was a mistake," Asi confesses on the end of that, bitterness burning her voice. "It all was a mistake. They tore my life apart from the inside out, so I made a vow to not rest until I had the opportunity to strike back. I agreed to do what was necessary; I said I would not let them take anything else from me in the process, and…" Her eyes dip again for a moment, mouth firming into a line. It's not like she'd been absent the months leading up to this. Distracted, sure— but she was juggling a half-dozen opportunities, trying to find ways to stay afloat, even if illegally. When she started spending more time at the shitty apartment she'd began to rent under the table in Phoenix Heights, it hadn't seemed like anything, and yet…

Well, one of those jobs had been plotting a prison break.

"I— did their work for them." It's a tough admission. "I closed you out to keep you from getting involved." The you could be ambiguous. All of them? Or just Monica? "I never wanted to have to turn to you with this, for any reason, but I wasn't expecting my reward for success to be fucking kidnapped to Iraq. The third party I contracted— the teleporter who spirited Suresh out— he wasn't Mazdak, and he needed paid and gotten out of the picture as quickly as possible. If there had been any other way, I would not have called. I was under surveillance, though, restricted to a hotel in Nasiriyah, with no clear indication when I would be allowed to leave, or when I would be executed when they found out I'd not completed their full ask."

After a pause, she looks back up. "I'm sorry I dropped what I did on you, Monica. I owe you." How solemn she is breaks with the ghost of a smile as she admits, "Possibly my life."

Monica listens in silence, letting Asi get her words together, her reasoning out. She was mad when it all came out, when Mohinder showed up at her door, when Silas told her about Mazdak. But it's been days since then, and time eased her temper. In its wake was something else, though, under the anger.

Worry. Hurt.

"I need to know if you trust me," Monica says, voice steady and even. "And not just— telling me, you have to act like it. I need you to understand that if we're friends? Like, actually friends, that means you never have to face anything alone. Not ever. Even if that means I'm just on standby in case something goes wrong. Or if someone needs hiding," she says, a little more pointedly. Although, it comes with a twitch of a smile at the corner of her mouth. "So I can be ready. So I'm not blindsided. So I don't accidentally make things worse. And so I can swoop in if you need help."

Maybe literally swooping, knowing her.

"You don't have to apologize for dropping anything on me. I'll always help out if I can. Apologize for keeping me in the dark."

Those last words get a shake of her head and a chuckle exhaled out. "You don't owe me anything. No tallies between us. I only keep score with people I don't like that much."

Asi accepts the request made of her with only a sinking of her shoulders, at first. She wasn't sure she could trust herself to trust anyone, if trusting them meant they'd dive in blindly after her. Up until Monica says even if that means… she's convinced that that's the type of support she'd receive— just blind determination to not let her face a difficult situation alone in that way.

Then her brow ticks upward at hearing standby as an option. And at her own expense, lets out a very faint laugh under her breath when Monica begins to smile.

Her seriousness firms back up as she says quietly, "I am sorry for keeping you in the dark. I didn't know for sure I'd walk out of it, and I did not even say goodbye first. You deserve better than that. You have been… a much better friend to me than that." Thumb flicking the tab of the can, Asi looks down at the drink and then off across the penthouse, seeking the evening sky. "I am not used to having friends who don't have ulterior motives. Trust is…"

It's hard, but Monica doesn't deserve that. With a shake of her head, Asi resolves, "I'll do better." Looking back takes a tick longer than it should, face first before her eyes finally follow. She's not sure that's enough, but it's also up to Monica to weigh for herself.

"Yeah, you could have died and I wouldn't have even been able to call you a jerk or anything." Monica waves a hand, as if that might be the worst of it. But she also opens her beer and leans back in her overstuffed chair. "I understand. And I can't say I have no ulterior motives. But you'll have to forgive me for selfishly wanting to keep my friends around. I have a handful of people I care about and god damn it I want to keep on doing that as long as possible." As far as motives go, it's hardly a sinister one.

It seems the words are more than enough for Monica, because she gives Asi a nod and tips her drink toward her in a small toast. "Good. Now drink these beers with me because they're expensive and I really need them right now."

It's been a hard week.


Monica knocks on Asi's door, phone still in hand, black SUV outside where she's forced her security detail to stay. A small miracle these days. But she's in the middle of making sure her friend doesn't drink herself into a blackout and you really can't have bodyguards around for that.

"Tetsuyama, if you can't get to the door, don't worry, I can kick it in," she says after a beat passes, as if that would have been enough time for anyone to answer. She isn't really gearing up for it, not in these shoes, but just trying to gauge how bad off Asi is on the other side.

Shit. She was here already. This was something Asi should have been better prepared for, but she'd sunk down with a trash bag fished from the kitchen, only two of the bottles sinking the bottom of it to the ground. Shit.

She'd not felt Monica's approach purely by the sound of her phone, the feel of her cybernetic arm and the piece of herself she'd left behind to safeguard it.

Shit, shit, shit.

"Don't— do that." Asi calls from within, the struggle to keep her voice at an acceptable yelling volume a real one. She needs to speak at just a loud enough level to be heard, not to rouse the dead. "If I lose this place, then the only place I have to sleep is with Wolfhound, and…"

Asi fusses with the deadbolt and chain, pulling it open without an excessive amount of haste. She trusts Monica wouldn't actually kick her door in. Right? Standing in the doorway, the technopath closes her eyes and beams warmly in the direction of her friend. How very kind of her to stop by.

Her expression starts to fall by the time she opens her eyes, the delayed hit of having her there coming moments too late to have prevented the false flag of the grin. It's a high peak she's hit, happy that Monica's here, with a low floor to return back to. The descent back to it is an ill-guarded thing, her eyes watering visibly. Then her expression caves in on itself slowly, despite a fumbled, well-intentioned attempt to keep it together.

When it's clear she won't win that fight, Asi surrenders to it. She lets go of the door and leans forward into Monica, wrapping her arms around her shoulders in a fierce cling. Head buried against one shoulder, she takes in a shaky breath either to apologize or explain, but a soft cry is all that comes out in their stead.

"Well, I guess we can't have you sleeping with dogs," Monica says as she waits for the door to open, "you'd never get rid of the— smell. Asi?" She lifts her arms just in time to catch her friend, and when she realizes what's going on, that there are tears happening, she hangs onto her right there in the doorway. "Okay, I'm here," she says, which is obvious, but she still says it just to make sure it sinks in. She gives her a few moments before she pivots them inside and slides the door shut with a foot. No need for the neighbors to have gossip.

"I'm here, I got you," she says, again, her hand straightening Asi's hair some, to try to help her calm down. But other than that, she doesn't rush the process. Sometimes you just need to cry, even Monica knows that. There is a glance to the room behind them, just a quick look to take stock of how bad it is.

There's little to the open living area save for an L-shaped couch hugging the far corner of the wall. The open kitchen is divided from the living room space with a half-wall that retains the sink and counter on the other side. Only the hall light is on in a hall that leads back to a single bedroom, and the white of an abandoned trashbag sits on the floor, next to a bottle that didn't quite make it into the bag before it was set aside.

On the living room floor, next to the couch, there's a half-emptied bottle of whiskey hidden by a ring of other beers apart from the ones she's drank tonight. Or maybe they're part of the number?

Asi shakes her head as Monica sets about trying to put her back into some sense of order. She lets out a short, faint huff of laughter at her own expense, disentangling herself from Monica so she can wipe her face with the side of her hand. "Something happened," she admits, like that wasn't clearly the case. "I didn't— want to talk about it. Didn't want to make it real. But that's stupid, isn't it?" Her shoulders pull up in a self-deprecating shrug. She tries to speak again but her voice catches, the frustration of that sending a fresh stream of tears down her face.

"力が取られちゃった1, Monica."

When Asi starts to right herself, Monica keeps a hand on her arm. To steady her and to comfort her. "Not stupid," she says, shaking her head. "But unfortunately, it's probably real whether or not you talk about it." Not stupid, just human. Monica isn't chiding her for it, though, she's done plenty of denial herself. They're all experts at it, really.

The Japanese takes a while for Monica to process. She never was very good at it and without Jiba whispering to her, she has to really think about the words and where she's heard them before and what they might mean. But she puts it together, Asi can tell by the way her expression falls when she realizes.

"Let's sit," she says, putting her arm around Asi's shoulders and leading her toward the kitchen. "I'll get you some water." Practical things. Concrete things. She doesn't speak again until she has them each a glass and they sit. "Tell me what happened. Tell me everything."

After being guided to the skinny hightop table and sliding up and onto the bar chair, Asi rolls her lip, trying to find the words to explain. Her shoulders start to shake until she takes hold of the glass, steadying herself by the tight grip on it. A sip later, and she feels like she's found a good enough place to start.

"I still don't know what happened. I still don't know how." It leaves her hollow, admitting that, some of the fire afforded to her by drink quenched. "I don't know who did it, but they— kidnapped us somehow. Took us. Took our abilities, then shoved us in ACT coffins and meant to ship us back to New York, probably. But the plane crashed, we somehow survived, and no one has any answers. I kept waiting, hoping the effects would be… temporary." She laughs harshly at her own naïvete. "Like I would just … wake up and suddenly my genetics would have changed overnight again."

Her expression ripples again, eyes shutting hard as another stream of tears painfully make their way across her face. She takes in a gasplike breath to steady herself before she opens her eyes, looking back to Monica for an anchor. "I don't know who did this," and that seems to bother her just as badly as her loss, "if it was Mazdak in retaliation, or if it's something else entirely. If it was Gemini, or something more sick than that."

"I feel so fucking helpless." And bitter, judging by her tone. "There were a dozen of us kidnapped. Kimiko Nakamura among them. A— a fucking SESA official, too. And we still…" Her elbow rests on the table, hiding her face away in her hand while she wrestles her voice into remaining intelligible. "We still don't know who. We don't know how." Asi's breath hitches, emotion bleeding into her words. "Monica, I don't know if I'm even me anymore."

Monica's expression hardens as Asi explains what happened, what was done to her. The level of violation— unfortunately not unheard of before, but never any less cruel. She closes her eyes for a moment, just to push away her own thoughts of retaliation and refocus on Asi. She reaches over to put an arm around her.

"You're you," she says, putting that opinion firmly out there. "You still have your memories, your intelligence, your personality. You're you." She tightens her hold around Asi, comfort and protection together. "Do you want a game plan or do you just want me to listen?" There is little doubt that she already has one cooking in her head— that's just how Monica deals with the world, with action— but she's also aware that not everyone thinks like her, or reacts to trauma like her. And in this moment, it's more important to her to let her friend know she's here for her than it is to run out and fight someone.

Even if she would very much like to fight someone.

Breaking down about this isn't anywhere Asi wants to be. Drinking was supposed to have helped her avoid that, nevermind that her logic was riddled with holes. But, either way, it does see that she shakes her head at the option to sit and do nothing.

No. If she had her way, she'd be done with that.

Bleary-eyed, she admits, "I just want to skip straight to the end and punch someone in the face." Asi manages a laugh at that, weak but true. "But I'll take a plan."

She wipes her face again, clears her nose. Still not okay, she at least tries to put on a game face. "SESA mandate on the topic is silence, so any planning would need done… quietly? I— I got caught up for a while with wanting to beat them for answers, to get the black box data from the downed plane to figure out where it came from, but that was a wash. Physically, I'm not sure what evidence we have to work from, aside from…" Frowning, she lifts a hand in a vague gesture at herself.

"Because I look fucking weird under medical scans now, apparently," she admits with another laugh, finding that more humorous than it actually is in her current state.

"SESA and their stupid mandates. Keep quiet, so no one freaks out about the world they live in. Fine, fine." Monica lets out a sigh. "First things first, we go outside of SESA. Kimiko was involved, hopefully she'll be running her own tests. And Richard has a big enough R&D department to dig into what happened to you— all of you— medically speaking. On the flip side, we investigate who still has access to the fucking coffins you all were in and any information we can get about the plane you were on. Even if we have to take it from SESA without their permission."

Been a while since she plotted against a government agency, but it's like slipping on your favorite pair of shoes.

"And Asi. You don't have your ability, but you're not helpless. It was never all that you are. Okay? We'll do what we can to try to get it back, but you're not helpless without it." Just for the record. "And when we figure out who's behind this, we'll punch the crap out of them."

The invocation of Raytech into the equation unsettles Asi visibly, but she nods. Her relationship with that organization is arms-length, still, much like most of her relationships. But pride in this matter— it'd be silly. "Two of Raytech's people were involved as well. They may already be working on something. We'll… we'll see."

Not now, obviously, because she was drunk. But soon enough.

She manages to look Monica in the eye, to give her that sign she's trying to take what's been stressed with her to heart. Trying, anyway. And quietly, struggling with even attempting to explain what she means exactly by not feeling herself. But maybe, Asi concedes to herself that's best done when she's sober.

She takes the water between both hands on the table, even if she only ends up lifting it with one, gulping it down like she's parched.

"I might let you have first punch on them, but I definitely call second." The corners of her mouth tighten with a smile as she sets her glass aside, looking off for a moment. "You know— I don't suppose Suresh could take a look?" Asi's brow furrows at that. "I'm not sure if this brand of weird science is anything he might have previous experience with. Or if he'd be interested enough to make it an area of his."

She sighs through her teeth at that. "I mean— it certainly can't be any less boring than what he's been up to?" Her voice lifts, like she's hoping that might be the case. Her eyes narrow and she looks back to Monica for confirmation. Right?

"Maybe get me a list of everybody who was there. We can try to consolidate the work. No use in everyone doing the same stuff over and over again." Raytech, SESA, Yamagato, Wolfhound. If this was a move to take a bite out of the Safe Zone, it was a well coordinated one. Everyone looking to this one problem, perhaps they would miss something else. She would have to remember to keep her eyes open.

Her eyebrows lift when Asi mentions Mohinder, but her head tilts in thought a moment later. "You did save his life, although I'm not sure he sees that as a favor. Couldn't hurt to ask him. We can get him copies of whatever medical scans they did on you, and maybe whatever the others have gotten, too. Maybe take a trip if we need to." Because she is not entirely sure bringing him back into the States is a good idea. Or a safe one. But whatever it takes, in the end.

The light in Asi's eyes shift at the mention of the list of others involved, a wary bent entering her posture. "I trust you, Monica," she reminds her. Trusts her in particular. But she relents with a tight nod. Her mouth pulls to the side.

"We should leave the kids involved out of this, if we can." She straightens her back, finding it important to appear serious and sound-minded in that judgment if none other this evening. "It's bad enough this happened to them at all. Better to keep them from…" A vague wave is given to everything. "Until we've got answers."

Regarding Mohinder, she squints one eye. "Not sure I'm legally allowed to leave the country myself," she points out deadpan. And then she breaks into another silly laugh, elbows hitting table and her head sinking to her palms as her shoulders wrack with her chuckling.

"God, not that it stopped me from ending up in Canada once already," Asi laughs as much as sighs.

"Fair enough. Some names. And we can approach people individually before dragging them into a bigger group." Monica frowns at the mention of kids being involved. That's a whole other level of messed up, really. "Everyone goes in eyes open and decides their level of involvement. Sound okay?"

Monica laughs, too, at the notion of anyone being unable to leave the country legally. "Well, I wasn't planning to ask the powers that be if it was okay to take you out. I didn't exactly ask anyone if I could move Mohinder out of the country, either. I have to get some perks from my position, right?" She's not above bending the rules, especially not when her people are involved. Her friends.

"I'll contact him, see if it's in his wheelhouse. Not that I understand his wheelhouse at all, but maybe he can learn some layman's terms between now and then."

That seems to be good enough for Asi, nodding into her palms. Her elbows slowly slide across the table top, and her arms eventually fold so she can leave her head in the crook of it. For a moment it seems like she'll hide her face away, but her eyes peek over the curve of her forearm to find Monica again. Still there. Not an illusion, and definitely not gone just because the biggest value-add of her being has been stripped from her.

"I have to sober up so I remember we talked about this in the morning, don't I?" she asks very quietly.

"Yep," Monica says with a laugh and she leans over to give Asi a one-armed hug, "Unless you want me to lecture you all over again in the morning. Through the hangover."

A chilling prospect, indeed.

"Drink your water. I'll make you something to eat. Gotta have a clear head if we're gonna find someone to punch for all this." As much as Monica loves drinking away her worries, she also knows that sometimes you have to put it aside for the work. Or for revenge, whichever comes first.

"面倒くせいな2," Asi whines into the crook of her arm. Water; what a pain.

She closes one eye before slowly gathering herself up into a proper sit, squinting still at the swim of her head. Emitting a tone of displeasure as much as distress with the thought of the hangover, the tomorrow, there's at least the comfort that it's not a tomorrow she'll have to face alone, metaphorically speaking, even if she has to be dragged through it … metaphorically speaking.

Definitely not literally. She hopes.

Asi lifts her glass to swig back what's left of the water before she realizes, "I don't even know if there's anything left to eat in here." A slight grimace follows. She did this to herself. "Diner food?" she offers up as a hopeful alternative.

Monica has a peek into cupboards, into the fridge, to confirm that Asi's grocery shopping has been very poor indeed. She pulls a bottle of alcohol out from the silverware drawer and sets it on the counter with a heavy sigh.

"I'm about to call my Nana and tell her you have no food in this place and she's gonna come down here and stuff you full of southern hospitality," Monica says, for all the world like this is some sort of dire threat. Because it is. She closes the drawer and pulls her phone out of her pocket. "I'll order something from that place down the street. It has the greasiest food I have ever seen." She taps out a series of texts, because she has people who will go pick up these things now. Including a grocery run to make this kitchen a little less sad. Maybe even some flowers to brighten up the place. She won't wake her Nana up at this hour, but it's all too likely that Asi will end up with casseroles delivered to her front door in the near future. Homemade is the only cure for sadness. At least, in the Dawson household.

Food is a love language that transcends cultures though, and it's one Asi recognizes even in her grudging state.

Although she winces at the threat she recognizes as a threat, she settles, and the corners of her eyes crinkle in a silent, small smile. She hears, after all, what else it is, too.

Asi's glad she called Monica after all. She wonders now just what it was that took her so long.

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