Eine Klein Nachtmusik


calvin_icon.gif nora_icon.gif

Scene Title Eine Kleine Nachtmusik
Synopsis Not quite the third-degree: Nora checks in on Calvin as asked in the wee hours of the morning.
Date December 28, 2010

Calvin's Apartment and Bannerman Castle

It's very late and dark and depressing in the gloomy hovel of Calvin's apartment, in which he is, has been and will be alone for some days to come. He's seated at his desk in insufficient light, handgun splayed out before him in all its little component pieces and parts. Slide and spring, magazine and pin and the little brush he's threading boredly down the barrel warmed acrid in his hand.

Worryingly, the low light alone cannot account for the shadows worn in deep around his eyes, more've a sickly purple than the makeup he's accustomed to wearing. It's been well over twenty-four hours since he's really and truly slept, the odd lapse into myoclonic twitch nonwithstanding.

So he's eaten and showered and eaten again and listened to music and now he's half-heartedly cleaning his Institute-issued sidearm while he waits for the radio to peep or trill or murmur.

So far it hasn't.

Just a castaway

An island lost at sea

Another lonely day

With no one here but me

More loneliness

Than any man could bear

Rescue me before I fall into despair

Sting's voice coming over the radio cuts into whatever was on previously, but before the repetitive chorus can begin, Nora's voice interrupts the musical choice.

"Fuck, that's depressing," she intones. "Anyone listening?"

She doesn't leave the warmth of her bed to send the message tonight; she's wrapped in blankets, head on pillow, eyes closed to the darkness of the room — night is her favorite time, now that she is blind, because the darkness doesn't surround just her but everyone. In the dark, every cat is gray, goes a saying — and in the dark, everyone is blind.

"Not to him," says Calvin to the gun, bristle brush spun close 'round from index to ring finger before he drops it amongst rag and solvent and grease.

He has to gather himself once he's picked up the mic, right hand squared lax around the grip while he draws in a slow breath and clears the clag of sleeplessness from his throat. The pause is also necessary to provide the transparent illusion that he was not sitting around and waiting for her to pipe in. Or something.

"Yeh," he says, "m'name's Calvin — I was wondering if I could request the Backstreet Boys for my girl."

"Bite your tongue," Nora's voice murmurs — there's amusement in the tone. "You taught me better than that noise," she adds playfully — her musical choices heavily influenced by his, even if her selection tonight doesn't meet his standards.

"What girl might you be wooing with such discriminating musical taste that the illustrious musical stylings of the Backstreet Boys would help you get anywhere?" comes playfully, and perhaps just a little curiously.

In her cocoon of blankets, Nora chips away at nail polish already chipped from the day's toils — Benji can nag her about it in the morning. And retouch.

"I dunno." Again there's a deliberate pause while Calvin recollects the brush and starts to push parts around with it, gentle disorder organized into an otherwise picturesque disassembly. "Age you're at, they should be right up your alley."

He grins to himself on a delerious delay, happy to be talking to her for all that he's too worn out to put more than a few words together at a time. No coccoon of blankets for him; he's barefoot in his wooden chair, slacks and dress shirt and holster all that remains of the half of the day he spent roaming the outskirts of Midtown.

"How was your Christmas?"

"Oh, haha, and just because I'm a teenager means my music taste is that bad? It could be worse. Have you heard anything by that Bieber idiot? I think civilization has no hope," she says irritably, though the amusement warms her tone.

The query about Christmas gets a shrug that he can't see. "Just another day, after we left you." The words are a little more somber, a little sadder. A chip of sienna polish finally comes off her thumb nail to land unseen on her blanket. "You? How are things there? What do they have you working on?"

"Good thing we're here, then, I s'pose." Lazy enunciation rather than inebriation runs syllables together and takes his voice to something like a mutter across the radio. He sounds depressed. Or very tired. Or both, initial effort to come off as halfway presentable worn thin in record time.

"Oh, you know. Murder, this, murder that. Who killed who." A flick of lighter to cigarette end is audible across the line. Also the clatter of the dropped brush. Unhealthy. "Hard not to just ask them…not to ask them — how do you not know it's that shadowy…cunt? With the shadows. It's always him."

"The Shadow knows, because the Shadow's the un-sub," Nora says, sighing a little into her pillow at the melancholy she hears in his voice. "Anything else? Like… any fall out from the other night? Did anyone at your end think it was strange you were hanging out with the likes of me? I haven't talked to Brian or his 1,000 white knights, but I guess he hasn't talked to Eileen, since I haven't heard anything. No one's locked us away in isolation and given us adynomine this time, so I guess all's well that ends well."

There's a pause, and she sighs again. "That's a big assumption on my part, right? Your hand okay? Make sure you keep it clean and don't get it infected." Because nagging means she cares. And apparently she did catch on, at some point, that he was cut, despite his efforts not to let her know.

"You were both gorgeous and dressed to impress. I don't think anyone looked twice. 'nless. You know." Calvin exhales, chilly eyes ticked down in hazy search after an ash tray until he flicks ash into the slide of his gun instead. "They were looking at your ass or something."

"Benji doesn't have much of one." Conversationally disappointed for him on that account, Cal opens up and flexes the hand in question, scabbing blacked in an angry line across his palm. Probably could've used stitches in places. Still could. Which doesn't stop him saying, "All healed up. Good as new."

"Not sure that's a compliment or not, but thanks I think," Nora replies — her voice isn't as sleepy since it's not actually being projected through anything but her mind and in stereo speakers, but in actuality she yawns a little, slumping to pull up a sock where it's starting to slide off one foot, leaving her heel chilly against cold sheets.

"And are you implying that I do have an ass, in saying Benji doesn't? Because I'm really not one of those girls who wants one," she says pointedly, though her lips curve into a smirk on her end.

"And you're a horrible liar," she adds finally. "You should get it looked at. At least by one of the mad scientists at your work, you know. Make sure it heals all right."

There's a pause, before Nora adds, "I worry about you."

Oh look. Brows knit, Calvin adjusts the focus of his scrutiny from near to far through his splayed fingers and turns that same hand down to apply paired fingers to a faint — very faint — line of dusty white powder on his desk. Said fingers are then sniffed and applied to the tip of his tongue before he plugs his cigarette back in. "Getting neurotic about the size've your ass is a really girly thing to do, Nora." Nora. "I think it's a fine ass, if that helps. I like it very much. Four and a half stars out've five."

The back of his hand proves to be marred by older scars only. Knuckles split long ago and calluses and smaller nicks lined white here and there across elegant bone and harsher sinew. There's a pause. Not long enough for her to answer while he winds the cord of his mic, then: "What's Benji up to?"

"Whatever, Kevin," Nora tosses back. "Sleeping, at the moment, I presume, as are the more sane people in the world, or at least this time zone. And he painted my nails. I'm sure they're back to looking like crap, though."

Another bit is chipped off into the blankets. "Heyyyy," she says with a mock whine, playing up to the girly girl persona that they both know she doesn't have. "Why'd I lose a half a star? Don't be discriminating on size, now. That's just not fair. I can't help it if I'm built like a boy." Enough about her ass. There's only so much attention she can spend on such a subject. "You see any of the others since we left?"

Calvin laughs but not loudly and not for more than a breath, teeth shown in more of an uncertain grimace than a smile.

All of those sane people.


If his next inhale is on the shaky side, it doesn't translate well to radio, and he's quick to muffle it with the filter of his cigarette for a drag long enough to warm his lungs and sting his sinuses. Sllleeping. "No." He hasn't. Seen any of the others.

"He seemed a little stressed s'all."

"We all have a lot on our minds," comes the diplomatic reply, meant to remind him that Benji had been in isolation, on negation drugs, possibly nearly killed without actually saying any of it. "It's not like we're here for the fun of it. And because of them catching him coming back, and his badge and all that, the scrutiny's a little heavier on him, you know? Me and Howard, well. You know. We're dumb kids or something, easier to write off, and Hannah's off being useful I guess."

She burrows deeper into her blankets, shivering a little. "Check on the others, since you're working for the Man and all, if you can? I sent out a call for Kincaid the other night but didn't get a reply. I might ring you up a little more often, to check in, and you're my connection to the others, Cal."

There's another pause, before she asks, a little more tentatively, "If that's okay?"


Calvin's expression says so even if the rest of him doesn't.

Well. A short, stagnant silence probably conveys the sentiment well enough. The others. Kincaid.

Maybe he'll pop in on Josh'n Ingrid and just check the arrest records of everyone else. Compromise.

His, "Alright," has a grudging color to it, smokey eyeshadow rubbed off onto his thumb when he dips his head enough to scrub at his eyes between drags. "I'll see what I can do."

"Don't do anything that will tip anyone off of course. But you know. Just… keep tabs? It's harder to get a hold of the others than it is you," Nora murmurs. "Or, you know, you're the one who listens for me, at any rate."

She pauses a beat there, and it's an awkward one, as if maybe some epiphany's been made on her end that he can't hear in the silence, nor see in her face.

"Thank you," is added a little softer yet, and she sighs. "You work tomorrow? I'll let you sleep."

Calvin, the one who listens for her, listens. Which is a way of saying he falls quiet again, lank red hair pushed back from his face when he turns his nose down into the crook of his arm and settles that way for a time. Eyes closed. Not sleeping. Cigarette suspended in the hand he has lifted somewhere of his ear until a dribble of hot ash catches at the side of his neck and he slithers reluctantly back up into a zombie slouch.

"Maybe." Maybe he'll go to work. But probably not. "Thinkin' of going for a walk, actually." He looks sideways to the door. Nevermind curfew.

A quiet laugh comes through his speakers. "Slacker," she teases. "Be careful," she adds, more solemnly — it's very late, and even if he doesn't have to worry about curfew it doesn't mean that everyone out in the streets is friendly or going to care that he has a pass.

"Any requests for 'eine kleine nachtmusik' on my way out?" There's not much she can offer him from this far away.

"And if I am?" No one's complained or threatened him enough for him to feel like he should bring an early end to his own holiday. Regarding Mozart, Calvin is, "Not really in the mood. Why don't you pipe in a little Rammstein for me, sweetheart." The sound of chair legs scraping back serves as punctuation to his request. He stoops to collect his boots.

"Ich Will if you've heard it."

"Such a sweet lullaby," Nora says with some amusement. "I'll see what I can do. Be careful, okay?"

It's not the first time she's said it tonight. "Night, Cal."

The radio returns to the station he'd been playing but only for a moment before the song begins, the gutteral German and synthetic notes all that are left to keep him company.

"Yes ma'am," assured without much feeling, Calvin eyes the stripped assortment of his gun as if he's considering leaving it, only to sit back down a slow beat later to piece it clack-clackity-clack trimly back together again.

Just in case.

Ich will eure Blicke spĆ¼ren

Ich will jeden Herzschlag kontrollieren

He did say he would be careful.

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