bolivar_icon.gif raquelle_icon.gif

Scene Title Flightless
Synopsis Included in that category: fairies, pigs cops, and little princess Diana who tried anyway. Bolivar helps pick up the pieces. We all fall here.
Date May 8, 2009

Lower East Side — A Preschool

Full of babies.

She went to school looking like a little princess, like she always does. Diana Cambria went off to pre-school, dressed in her pink with yellow flowers little shirley temple like dress and pink mary janes, her pink backpack filled with crayons and dolls. Her hair arranged in a bunch of ringlets with her pink bow holding it out of her face and her gappy toothed bright smile firmly in place.

She did good during talking about her letters and numbers, she got to talk to her daddy at work before it was playground time! Yay! But an argument on the jungle gym changed the sunny bright mood of the day to a dark one. Little Bobby, Little Diana…debate about whether or not Diana is a real fairy princess. The little blonde 4 year old stomping her foot and declaring her daddy told her she was and little Bobby insisting that fairies can fly…

Playground Monitors were too busy talking about a potlock to pay attention to a playground spat, despite what they get paid for. So when Bobby gives Diana a shove from the top of that 'safe' jungle gym and she falls in a blur of blonde and pink and hits the ground below and all the drama that starts when the little girl doesn't get back up…is the reason Raquelle's cellphone goes off when he's elbow deep in a perm at work, just getting the message there's been an 'emergency' at preschool and it is the noon rush that makes it impossible for Raquelle to get there 'quickly'. If he knew though…

Number is dialed. He feels awkward about it but…it starts like this, "Hey, honey this is Raquelle…I am so so very sorry about this but Diana's preschool keeps calling me…"

And always the articulate one, the answer is: "What?" The monosyllable sounds peculiarly sharp in Bolivar's voice— sharper than Raquelle's polite, almost furtive apology would have warranted by itself, unless he'd made an extrapolation based on a preschool's repeated calls and the offer he had left on Mr. Cambria's voicemail had been based on real and genuine concern for the children's wellbeing. It's possible. Jason Bolivar Rodriguez-Smith does have a heart. Proof of it has walked through Raquelle's doors before, tongues lolling and feathery-edged tails flipping and flagging joy in the air.

Air goes out of him in a hiss split between teeth. Self-exasperation. "My cop brain assumes shit happened," Bolivar says, and there's a thin, audible trace of apology in his saying so. For jumping to conclusions. "What do you need?"

"Thank /fuck/, I'm up to my elbows in perm and they won't say what's wrong…could you swing by maybe and check it out? I'm sure it's no big deal really and I can't leave work or I'm not getting paid for today seeing as I took Friday off cuz BJ's stomach was feeling bad." Raquelle is quick to plead over the phone.

There's a desultory mumble of some kind of annoyance of indistinct origin, then a shifting huff of air as Bolivar rolls over from whatever he'd been doing facedown. "No problem. Text me the address. I'm going now." The phone clicks off without ceremony, but a tiny margin of time— enough to snare Raquelle's final salutation, if there is one, before the cop's off being stubbornly expedient again. Clothes on, coat, a dog picked out of the two-woman line-up for companionship on this important venture. One of the rookies, some asshole named Seamus, owes him a favor so he winds up traveling in style.

Which is to say, shotgun in a squadcar. Siren and strobe-light cutting through the traffic like the parting of the Red Sea, tires churning the garbage and smog so fast that the wind of the vehicle's passage probably leaves some women rashes underneath the accidental upward flare of their skirts. Rubber squeaks up into a stop on the curb and Bolivar and little Logan Rose pile out, their blunt claws and equally blunt shoes scratching the pavement. They survey the scene even as they walk toward it, the small man's face dark with worry, the dog wearing an unaccountable smile.

Address is given, Raquelle gives his best wishes and asks for a call back before hanging up.

By the time Bolivar arrives at the scene however, there are paramedics, crying kids herded into a class room, panicky teachers calling people and ambulances with lights a flashing. Step aside, everything is okay. Even if the usually bubbly little girl's leg is at an awkward angle and there's red in his hair that wasn't put there by dye, her pretty little hairdo and ribbon ruined.

They are working on her on the ground in the process of moving her fragile little not moving body onto a stretcher. Oxygen mask things, all the medical things started and paramedics working quickly.

Shock makes Bolivar just kind of stand around and peer at the four-year-old swizzing past on the stretcher for a protracted moment. That's not very professional of him, and he would be the first to admit so. He's supposed to be able to handle crises well, or else he really has no business being an enforcer of law, which generally is only applicable when people fuck with it. He looks like he's remembering something as he forgets where he is, staring at the awful shape of Princess Dee stricken by injury. Small round limbs and blood everywhere.

He shakes himself free of his stupor the next moment, then grabs onto a paramedic to shake them instead. "Officer Rodriguez-Smith." Badge here. "I was sent by the father," he continues, motioning brusquely at the prone girl and her sanguine crown. Logan Rose whimpers at his heel, her nose strained forward even though she's well-trained enough that her leash continues to hang slack between them. "What the fuck happened?"

If other police show up, they are in the background. Little Bobby's parents have shown up, an older 'aww, let kids be themselves' type of family as they flutter about and wail. The Playground Monitors are being evasive and an official person nods politely to the 'officer'. "Mr. Cambria's daughter fell from the jungle gym, there is a mixed story as of yet about /how/ she fell, another kid has said that she was pushed but then others claim, including the little boy who was also at the top, that she jumped thinking she was a fairy. Sir." Ambulance loaded, paramedics jumping in in preparation to leave.

"A what?" Bolivar's eyes cut an acute angle toward the paramedic's face, narrow to the width and acuity of molecular blades. He'd misheard, for a moment there. The next, he releases the man, somehow without shoving, and turns his eyes to the closing ambulance doors. His jaws lock around a hard shape, harshly geometric, at odds with the ruche and waxmelt of the scarring scudded down the edge of his face. He turns his stare past Playground Monitors and Little Bobby's clan of idiot troglodytes. "Okay. I'll inform the parent and send him to— St. Luke's, right?"

The phone's already clicking out of his coat pocket as he strides up toward Bobby, Logan Rose tinkling along in a bouncing bundle of disconcerted nerves beside him. "Raquelle," he says. "Your girl fell and hit her head in the playground while hanging out with some shitbag midget I'm about to talk to. She's alive and heading for the hospital."

"F-fairy sir." The Official looks a bit uncertain as he nods, "St. Luke's, yes sir." And watches the Paramedic to join the others as the ambulance starts of, sirens going.

Raquelle's response? When he answers? Is just very simple. "FUCK." Background noise of him gathering up his stuff and heading on his way out of work, rushing out of doors and too his vehicle. "I'm, I'm on my way to hospital, which-oh god she's alive? Jesus Christ - how, what, I'll be at the hospitall…what the…"

Meanwhile, Bobby's mom is giving him a piece of candy and trying to make sure he knows it isn't his fault.

But what if it is Bobby's fault? Bolivar has a gun and a reputation. Probably neither of which would help or be helped by him putting another hole in a child, but he looks angry as he comes at the family, his small shoes clashing solidly with the tarmac of the playground floor. "I'm a police officer," he informs the family in the plaintest of terms. His cellphone scissors shut with a clacky sound like teeth meeting with aggression, and he pockets it as if he will need his hands free for something.

Logan Rose bobs up like a cork and bumps nose-first into the boy's knee. The smile he gives the parents is perfunctory and more resembles a snarl, teeth bared briefly. "It seems like little Diana did something really fucking stupid, but there's a shitload of that going around today. What did you see?" His eyes revert down to the boy's head, irises clicked dark from the adjusted refraction of light.

Bobby just grips his treat and eyes Bolivar and his dog. "HEY coo', lookitdog!" He states with a snotty noise, pointing and then growling and arfing at the dog before cracking up. Like a little jerk to be, he's about 5 or so though, thick and redheaded, chubby around the cheeks.

His parents look shifty eyes and the mother moves forward. "Oh officer, such langua-oh um, well I saw nothing. Kids will be kids you know, children play! Accidentas happen."

Bobby snorts and rubs his snotty noise with a hand before cramming food in his mouth. "Dee is a dummy, she said she is fairy princessssssss, so! I checked. Fairies can fly you know. She just fell." He bahs and waves a hand.

Raquelle is on his way to the hospital, gripping that wheel so tightly, black nails digging into his palms where hands are wrapped around the steering wheel and he leaves a text message after a moment for a certain preacher about his other daughter before just taking a deep breath and then another deep breath. Complexion paler than usual.

"Dee is a dummy," Bolivar agrees, "but at least she's alive." He looks at the child, first, and then his parents, second, and then waves a small hand in parting. He sort of makes a point to wave the beleauguered zombie one, ruined fingers and the folded tissue and nerveless disruption of the grain of his palm. He cups both hands over his mouth just briefly in order to steer a piercing whistle in the direction of the Playground Monitors, to get their attention. He has a salutation for them, too.

Get good lawyers.

He's gone shortly after, in through the squadcar's door and with an electronic whoop fading Doppler into the distance of the street. He leaves some of the kids crying behind him, but none of that was, strictly speaking, because of him.

Twenty minutes later, he's inside St. Luke's too. His hair and coat are slightly skewed from running or walking very fast, though he isn't out of breath and brittly dizzied up like he would have been once, and he's scowling so hard it hurts in his teeth. He bursts into the waiting room without his dog, out of some sort of deference to hospital rules. Looks around, over heads stooped down on newspapers and teenagers guarding their STDs behind defensive faces and tots with wadded scrolls of Kleenex jammed up their nostrils.

St. Luke's Hospital

St. Luke's Hospital is known for its high-quality care and its contributions to medical research. Its staff place an emphasis on compassion for and sensitivity to the needs of their patients and the communities they serve. In addition to nearby Columbia University, the hospital collaborates with several community groups, churches, and programs at local high schools. The associated Roosevelt Hospital offers a special wing of rooms and suites with more amenities than the standard hospital environment; they wouldn't seem out of place in a top-rated hotel. That said, a hospital is a hospital — every corridor and room still smells faintly of antiseptic.

The scene left behind is parents comforting children, teachers and pre-school officials scolding monitors who still claim innocence and might even suggest the child was 'special' and should've been in a school for 'special' children, anything to cover their asses. Things like this don't usually happen at preschools apparently, so everybody's all up in arms about who's fault it might be.

St Luke's is a totally different scene, medical jargon thrown around left and right and people rushing about. Raquelle however, is in the waiting room pacing around and running his hand over his face. He wears that black t-shirt he usually wears at work, a pair of fitted black jeans, docs on his feet…his usual, hair not spiked up though, still done well and he just paces back and forth.

Diana Cambria, age 4 - injuries such as a broken leg, sprained wrist, somehow damage done to other body parts but mostly concentration on potential head injuries. Still unconscious, typical dramatic 'OH NO THE BABY' stuff. She's in surgery at the moment though, so Raquelle can only worry. And worry alot, closing his eyes and just pacing.

Smaller by far than the other man, Bolivar nevertheless casts a tangible presence trotting up to the strip of linoleum that Raquelle is rubbing draw with his pacing, back and forth, and back, and forth. He stops on the edge of it, lest he be haplessly trampled in the course of the younger man's worry. This is strangely familiar to him. If he could love children like he loves his dogs, this would have been him. Maybe in some alternate universe, it is.

In this one, however, Bolivar's lost housemate is exactly that— lost, and there's no hovering apprehension or ridiculous supposition that there's anything he can do about it. Here, he's familiarly helpless, the locus of his perception bizarrely dislocated from himself despite that there's a suffocating lack of distance, watching emotions storm raquelle like he'd watched his hands shoot the twelve-year-old, waiting for Raquelle to do something like he's waited for Apple to trot her way back home. "There are Registered healers," he says, instead of Hello or trying to touch.

Registered Healers? That does eventually register for the single father, pushing through the haze of 'I'm a bad father' and 'Gotta keep things in control' and 'My baby…' as Raquelle's ears recognize that familiar voice and he spins around quickly to stare at Bolivar. "Yeah…" Is the shaky exhale of a reply. He's eloquent as ever. Really. "She's um. Surgery with the…but no permanent damage and I forgot to bring her special blanket." He swallows and nods.

Long pause. More doctory noises, background noise really as he starts to reach out then lets his hands fall down then come back up. "T-thank you for the uh, with the going to see. I should've been there. I should've home schooled. I didn't mean to bother you but kinda with the, well. She's hurt and brain goes eeeekyrhw."

The doors to the place where doctors dissapear with patients on every tv show, in every book and dramatic situation open and a doctor in scrubs and shower cap, complete with nurse dressed the same following along start to make their way out, removing gloves.

That is a lot of foot traffic— and gurney traffic— it's true, enough that it seems like a bad idea for a traumatized father to be taking up space with his own personal runway lest collisions occur in noise and fiery mushrooms. Quelling his uncertainty, Bolivar gestures with his hand for Raquelle to come sit. There are seats, a chunk of about four untaken by pediatric sniffles cases and stupid reckless little teenagers.

"Shit happens," he says, unhelpfully, only to fold into a grimacing silence. 'Shit happens?' Who says that? "That school is supervised by a hierarchy of morons chafing at each others' rectums, yeah, but… you weren't bothering me," he finishes lamely. "I wasn't doing anything." Cooking or playing video games, maybe. Something inessential.

His heels squeak to a halt in front of one of the seats and he plants himself on it, a huff of air blowing through the panels of his coat. "I'm glad you called. It was fucking chaos down there. Would've been hours before somebody got you the actual story."

Raquelle is easily led to/gestured towards a seat, slumping down in said seat and he lets out a bit of a giggle/chuckle sound at the 'shit happens' comment. So true, so sad. "I've got Bitchy McQueen wanting to help me get a Salon, I knew I must've fucking pissed off some higher power for even considering taking help from her. And now, my daughter's in the hospital." Another borderline insane sounding little giggly titter of a reaction.

But he's quick to rub hands against his thighs. "I'm, well, I had hoped to be better dressed or not dressed at all next time I saw you." Awkward conversation indeed, but he sits up a bit at talk of chaos. "What ha-she fell I know but just, she's accident prone yeah, she's 4 but how do you fall off the jungle gym and /nobody/ sees how…" He's boggled, so boggled he mostly ignores the doctor who comes to a stop trying to get his attention.

However it is a nurse that gets through with a no nonsense, "Mr Cambria? Surgery is going okay, but we may need a blood transfusion…" Blahblahblah, medical stuff. Raquelle's expression hardens though about the time it gets to, "I understand what you're going through…"

Bitchy who? Bolivar manages to look annoyed and perplexed at the same time without looking specifically annoyed at his perplexity, his eyebrows knocked down low over his eyes. He watches Raquelle scrub at himself and squirm, glances up again with the suddenness of a lightning strike when the nurse comes soldiering in. He is retroactively chastising himself for his choice of words. The actual story. There are still embarrassingly vast gaps in all existing accounts of the situation. Leaves a cop feeling ever so slightly inadequate.

Bolivar can't seem to decide whether or not to subtract or include himself from the situation, glancing away from the discussion and all of the private information that it involves, but he looks up the next instant. Tense with anticipation, his eyes darting between Mr. Cambria and the nurse. He remembers very well, of course, the night he met Mr. Cambria; that inconsolable terror, and the unwontedly cruel words Raquelle had spat at him. "Wha's her blood type?" he asks, haplessly.

He'll regret it, he'll beat himself up over it, but he's hurting. He's scared. He's uncertain. Raquelle also is reaching out reflexively to rest a hand on Bolivar's arm unless he moves it. Stay. Please. It is a non-spoken plea as Raquelle's hand trembles a bit. But mostly he's just focusing on the nurse, cutting her off. "You understand what I'm going through." His voice takes on an almost too calm quality, lower and almost purring…but not a good purring, more of an 'I'm going to eat your face' type of purr, expression grim and his gift wrapping around each syllable spoken to the woman, targeting her. "You understand what its like to have your 4 year old with multiple fractures or what the fuck ever she got from falling at preschool and nobody really knows how or why? You understand the fear and anxiety and what its like to feel your heart ache, wanting to be the one in her place? You understand this? Or what it's like to leave your baby all alone, with no father or friend to hold her hand or fucking be there by her goddamn side to tell you you're okay?"

Somehow, he doesn't raise his voice…at all, but the woman does start trembling a bit. Perhaps the fear? Maybe the anxiety, who knows but Raquelle shares liberally with her. Like a twisted gift. A gift that causes trembling, teary eyes and hitching of breath. "That's what I thought." He closes his eyes when Bolivar asks the question.

"She's ah…I can check for that, they are running the necessary tests now though to mak-make sure. To make sure, oh god to make sure the poor dear gets the blood she needs." Nurse Blubbering turns to look for a clipboard.

Kept by the hand on his sleeve, Bolivar — allows himself to be kept there. He listens. Watches. Is obscurely astonished by the difference between the anger shown here and that which he'd confronted in the supermarket a month ago. That had been relatively facetious shit, before. Not that insults about his sexual prowess and physical height were completely meaningless in the delivery, but the subject matter had been relatively facetious, the wordcraft theatrical. This rage is different. It resonates— different.

Bolivar's uncertainty compounds, threatens to solidify into something else. It doesn't, yet, but he merely watches, disdain mingling with concern. He hopes that her hands don't shake too much to get the IV in right. The last thing Diana needs is an extra needleprick or an oxygen bubble in her veins. Thinking about this, and little else, Bolivar lays a hand over the one on his arm and squeezes. It's his good hand; the one without scars.

Feels human, relatively smooth at the fingers, reassuring. "She's going to be fine. I'll find a healer if she really needs it. But she proably won't— kids are resilient as shit, right?" There's a thumb up underneath Raquelle's chin, a nip of cuticle against skin, too gentle to be condescending.

"Find the fuck out, please." The human shaped big goth gay cat-man of a hairstyling Papi just about hisses at the nurse who does quickly turn tail to flee/find out information. In her defense though, she wouldn't want to cry in front of patient's relatives. She even forgets to ask for some information. Oops. She's too busy feeling the heartache for a child she doesn't have.

Raquelle however, doesn't bite anybody. He just takes a deep breath and then another, watching after the nurse with an almost predatory glare but he reigns it all in. Not his enemy, she's here to help. He'll feel bad about it the next day. For now he just swallows and looks to Bolivar, eyebrow raising a fraction before he chuckles wearily. "She's a tough little thing, she's yeah. I uh, yeah." He lifts his chin a bit at that thumb up, blue eyes flicking over to meet Bolivar's own.

"Thanks." And that's all he really can say for now, he means it. Blood transfusion maybe needed for after the surgery, he'll deal with freaking out over that later, for now he just places a hand over the hand that's on his arm and nods slowly. "Thank you."

Their eyes meet sidelong, Bolivar's medium brown stare, not enough green to be hazel, studying the gemstone absurdity of Raquelle's impeccably made-up baby blues. He makes no pathetic effort to grasp at the morbidly lighthearted, heady jumble of shootings and fajitas and almost-sex that had characterized their recentmost encounter just before this one. Instead, he curls his fingers carefully around the appropriated hand and looks at the flow of pedestrian traffic coming in and out on the clatter of gurneys and pattering interns pursuing the emergencies heralded by squealing beepers.

"It's not a problem," he says, steadily. "I said you could call if they were in trouble. I meant it. No fucking jinx intended." The corners of his mouth flatten down again, and Bolivar closes his eyes briefly, squeezes them before reopening. "You're gonna wait here until they let you see her, right?" Rhetorical question, insofar as that no verbal answer is required. 'Duh.' "I can go and get you something to eat, if you want. The food here is shit."

That's nice, a hand to hold. One that has probably pulled your shirt off before but still. There's a weak counter-squeeze and a small hint of a smile. One thing however, Raquelle has not done yet is cry. For some reason, beyond making his eyeliner run, he still doesn't. He just sits there quietly, watching people pass by and letting the noise just sorta fade to the background of his mind.

Then…in response to trouble, jinxes and calling? He utters the oh so meaningful words. "I don't have aids." Just a bit of FYI. A nod of a head. "Yeah, gonna wait. Called somebody to go pick up BJ from school and keep her calm til I figure out my shit." He sighs and then blinks. "Food? I could…eat, but you don't have to, I mean if you want to eat too? There could be a food event thing with eating."

The recollection of his AIDS joke makes Bolivar's mouth twitch dangerously. If he did hysterical edges, that might have been one showing. Instead, he sits there in silence, grinding his heel into the floor underneath the edge of his chair where nobody can see it. Or wouldn't if the hem of his coat weren't undulating visibly, wavering in and out with the sift of secondhand movement. "Well," he says, after a moment, not quite philosophically. "I don't know what else to fucking do. That's mostly why I was going to get you food.

"I know how to do that." Plain as the nose on your face after it's been hit by a sledgehammer— which people would find altogether more conspicuous than just a nose, as Bolivar knows from personal experience. He glances down at Raquelle's Docs, and finally ceases the fretful pleading of his own below him. It's not like the floor paneling was conceding to that, anyway. His eye scrolls sidelong and up a little, studies the younger man's face. "'S there anything? At all?"

Raquelle chuckles. "Maybe some coffee would be okay…something strong, black." He offers softly before just catching his bottom lip between his teeth and looking back to Bolivar. "I…" Want to do you like Nike? No. Inappropriate. Thank you? Already said that. Got a lovely bunch of coconuts? Not the time or place to talk about nuts. "Like you A lot." He finally murmurs followed by a a cough and ducking of his head. "A cup of coffee would be nice, just…get yourself one as well. Maybe a couple of scones." He starts to reach into his pocket for his wallet. "You don't have to stay, I'd like it if you did but…yeah." A long pause. "I forgot her fucking blanket." A sigh goes here as he slumps back down in his seat. Fucking playgrounds.

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