God, What A Day


cassidy_icon.gif coren_icon.gif

Scene Title God, What A Day
Synopsis Coren brings Cassidy to his apartment, where they share views of each other's scars and agree to avoid toe-stepping whenever possible. Some insight is gained into Cassidy's ability.
Date May 11, 2009

Lower East Side - Casa De Shelby

It's a leisurely drive to Coren's apartment. Thanks to the curfew, there are few if any other cars on the streets to slow traffic. Not that the easy drive is that easy. Coren spares several glances Cassidy's way to check on her. But it's not too far to East Houston street from Chinatown, and so they soon pull up to a fairly plain looking redbrick. There's a small door between an Army and Navy and a tiny outlet for clothing shop. Miraculously, there is a parking spot, and thanks to the fact that Coren's rusty old sedan is rather small, it's easy to parallel park.

Coren takes the keys from the ignition and opens his door, stepping out into the street. Cassidy is facing the sidewalk and the four storey apartment building. His door is quickly locked and closed and he's already on the other side, opening Cassidy's door for her. Yes, he's that protective.

The whole drive, Cassidy sat looking out her doorside window, forehead pressed against the cool glass. She watched the world go by in flashes of lights streaming through the night, it's almost soothing. Soothing enough that she seems to drift off. However, when her eyes shut, memories flash through her brain, startling her awake. Each time she glances over to her partner, to make sure he didn't see. It's embarrassing to be jumping like that again. Last time it took her months and plenty of therapy to get her to do traffic stops again.

By time the car stops, she has drifted off to sleep again, her breathing soft and even. She's deep enough into sleep that she doesn't feel the car stop, she doesn't hear the drivers door. It's only when there is the pop of her side being open that she wakes up. She sits up quickly taking a deep breath. "God.. Sorry Shelby." She murmurs embarrassed. She grabs the bag beside her and drags it out after her. "I didn't notice I drifted off."

"You deserve to drift off, luv. Don't trouble yourself," Coren says as he locks her door and closes it behind her. He leads to the windowed metal door and unlocks it with his key. Once Cassidy's inside, he locks it again and shows her the stairs. "Apartment Three B, I'm afraid. This building's a hundred and nine years old. I don't use the elevator much, and can't say I trust it. They only recently tore most of the apartments up and put down new flooring, cleaned out some mold and the like. Of course, that was back in oh-four, if I recall."

Cassidy follows him silently, listening to him go on about the place. A small amused smile touches her lips as she listens. "I don't mind stairs really." She replies, but that's about all she says. She feels like she's drifting a bit.. disembodied. Maybe it's the exhaustion, or maybe it's her attempt to disconnect from her own emotions. "I really appreciating you doing this, Shelby. Not sure if I said that enough yet." She glances over at him, with a tired smile. Her hair is a bit messy from where it was pressed against the window, strands falling in her face. The fact that she doesn't lift a hand to brush them aside speaks volumes for her awareness.

"You don't have to," Coren says, reaching to take Cassidy's hand again, if only because she looks exhausted and he wants to make sure she keeps her balance going up three flights of stairs. When they reach the top, the age of the building becomes apparent. The walls are mostly plain white, recently repainted, and the flooring — laminate or hardwood, it's hard to tell — is in new-ish condition. He unlocks his door and lets Cassidy inside before closing it behind them, locking, and latching it. "Welcome to Casa de Shelby," he says.

It's a fairly plain apartment that is clearly underused. There are few decorations or personal effects. The same decor as could be seen in the hallway is present, and it barely goes with the worn, cushy black couch and chair and plain wooden bookcase, filled with textbooks and academic journals. There's a small cupboard next to the bookcase, and a cheap coffee table of worn wood situated between the couch and chair. He points to the hall to the right, "Bathroom is first door on the right, your bedroom would be on the left, mine is down at the end." He points to the main living area, which is combination kitchen-dining room-living room. "Goes without saying, I think." There's an electric range and oven, countertop with microwave. No dishwasher. The refrigerator looks to be the only piece of furniture that's actually new. "I have the second bedroom made up, but it may be a little dusty as it's somewhat underused. Let me know if it bothers you and I'll clean it out tomorrow."

At first, Cassidy, pulled away from the hand, but then grasps it like a life line, letting him guide her up the stairs. Her footsteps are a bit heavier then normal, but that's to be expected. Fingers slide out of his, as they reach the door, she brings her gymbag around to grip it in both hands as she waits. "Been living in the place a long time?" She asks conversationally as she steps into the apartment. She stops and gives the places a curious glance. "About what I expected." She doesn't hide the amusement from her voice. "such a scholarly.. bacholar pad." She comments lightly heading down to check out the room, dumping her bag on the floor. "I'm sure this is just fine. I'm not picky, so no worries."

"Since I moved to New York in oh four. As I said, I think they had just redone this apartment then, just before I moved in." So he's been there five years. Coren chuckles, "I was just saying, it might be dusty." He unties his workboots and leaves them on the mat by the door. "Can't say the place gets much use. I only sleep maybe twelve hours a week, and I might be here an additional four hours or so. Might be here a bit more now, as long as you need, anyway." He makes his way into the living room and to a small cabinet near the bookcase. He opens it and out comes two glasses. "Feel free to make yourself at home. I'm going to get a drink." Out comes a bottle of Scotch.

With a sigh, Cassidy turns and sits on the edge of the bed, and then lays back, feet still pressed on the floor. She raises her voice a bit so that he can hear her. "I dunno how you do that. I can barely keep up. I mean, I was bad in New Orleans. I'd sometimes just live on coffee while I was working a case." She sighs softly and sits up, pulling her pumps off one at a time and setting them neatly next to the bed. Now barefoot she emerges, giving him a bit of a smile. "Wish I had your endurance." She wrinkles her nose a bit. "Still dunno what I can do. Obviously it's not stress triggered." She motions for a glass. "I don't drink, but right now… I really don't care."

"As I was about to say," Coren notes, "I was saving this bottle of Scotch for a special occasion, but it seemed appropriate to pull it out around now." He takes the glasses and the bottle to the kitchen, where he rests the bottle on the counter. From the fridge, he fills the glasses with ice from the built-in icemaker. As much as he'd like to take the edge off, it's rather strong liquor and he does want to remain somewhat conscious. As he's pouring the Scotch, he talks some more. "As much as my endurance is useful, its downside is that I have far too much time on my hands. As I said, I might sleep twelve hours in a week. That leaves me a lot of time for thought." He sets the bottle down and brings Cassidy her glass before taking a seat on his chair, leaving Cassidy the whole length of the couch to sprawl out or curl up on.

Cassidy gives him a small smile as she takes the glass, eyeing it's contents. She sniffs at it before taking a sip. She gives a bit of a grimace as she's really not use to that kind of taste. "Thanks." She murmurs settling on the couch. She draws her knees up, resting her feet at the edge of the couch cushion. "I can't even imagine having that sort of endurance. Would be useful." She says thoughtfully, the words trailing off this she looks up into the distance quietly. She takes another sip, with another grimace.

She's quiet for a moment and then she says softly. "I never thought something like this would effect me like this. I mean, when I was about beaten to death it was a totally different set of feelings." Loss, pains… worthless. "This was.. almost worse." Vulnerable… helpless.

"Yeah," Coren says, rubbing his brow. He hasn't quite touched his drink yet — it just rests in his grip, balanced on the arm of his chair. "It takes a bit of getting used to, whiskey. Took me … started drinking it when I was eighteen, actually, so it really was a long time ago. Around the time I started working in law enforcement." Then he takes a drink. Stirring up bad memories tends to do that. "That's the difference between physical assault accompanied by psychological and psychological assault in the absence of physical. Completely different effects on one's emotional state. You're not the first to notice the difference. But I understand." He takes another drink. "Being put in such a situation leaves one feeling vulnerable, helpless. I admit to not being familiar with your file, so I don't know what happened to you last time, but I am sorry to hear you've suffered as you have." Not that he hasn't. He's been shot nine times, and nearly abducted at least once.

Nodding slowly, Cassidy looks down into her glass swirling it gently, watching the liquid splash on the ice. A hand drifts to her stomach rubbing it lightly. To anyone it looks like may her stomach is upset, but in reality she runs her fingers over the scars hidden under the fabric of her shirt. "Took a lot of physical and psychological to get me back out there.. But I imagine I'll get over this too." She takes a deep breath and says. "Last time…." She snaps her mouth shut pressing her lips together tight. No.. He doesn't need to listen to her whine about the past. She tips her head back and downs the rest of the scotch in her glass. She puts on a smile, though it doesn't seem to reach her eyes. "Hey… it's th past.. Right? No need to beat around it." She drops her feet to the ground and hops up. "I'm getting in my PJs." She points to her glass. "Think I can get another?"

"The past is a fickle thing. We never truly let go of it, no matter how much we kid ourselves otherwise," Coren says before he takes another drink. He hasn't even finish half of what he poured himself when Cassidy hops up to get into her pyjamas. "Of course," he replies, standing to get the bottle to pour Cassidy another glass. "As many as you need."

"Thanks Shelby." Cassidy calls as she disappears into the bedroom. There is the obvious sound of shifting around and a zipper. Then the sounds in the bedroom are still. "Oh.. shit. I grabbed the wrong PJs." There is a soft groan from the woman. "Just wonderful. Your going to laugh at me Shelby." She leans out where he can see her, she gives him a warning look. "So don't…" She disappears again moving into the bathroom, with a soft click of the lock.

"Come now, Cassidy, they can't be that bad," Coren says as he pours the new drink, taking it to the worn coffee table and setting it down on the side facing the couch. An afterthought takes him back to the counter, where he takes the bottle of Scotch and sets it down on the coffee table as well. He retakes his seat on the chair, which is where he usually finds himself. The couch is either for rare naps, or for non-existent guests. Well, non-existent until now. He takes a sip of his drink.

The door to the bathroom opens again after a few moments and Cassidy calls out. "Warning you, Shelby." Trying to look as if she doesn't care what he thinks, but she's extremely embarrassed. She always wears them at home, they're comfy. So it was no wonder she grabbed them rather then a pair of sweat pants and a t-shirt.

As she settles back onto the couch, it's not hard to see that the soft pink pair of sleep pants she's wearing are covered in little pictures of Eeyore wearing a night gown. She's wearing a white top with spaghetti straps, again it's graces with an Eeyore whearing PJs. The only thing that might distract from the outfit is the scars from her past trauma. Most are small, but a big one travels from under the top of her tanktop and up over her left shoulder. The small ones even travel down her left arm to just about the elbow, which might explain why she wears long sleeved shirts.

Reaching for the glass, Cassidy gives Coren a sideways look. "Thanks." She murmurs sounding rather self concious. She tucks her knees back up and sips at the refilled glass.

When Coren sees the pyjamas, he does crack a smile. It's cute, after all. But he does not laugh, and the smile fades as he sees the scars. "Since we're sharing," Coren says. His suit jacket is removed, shoulder holster with it, and hung on the corner of his chair. He unbuttons his white striped shirt. There's a longish scar along the right side, clearly over a rib, going down just near his waist. It's the numerous small and round scars that might catch the eye. Four in all seen from the front, without him removing his shirt. "There's another thing about enduring that I don't find particularly pleasant." He's also had more time to collect such badges of honour, and he never did let Abby heal them.

There is a look of huge relief on Cassidy's face when he doesn't laugh, the look she gives him is 'Thank you'. She tugs at the bottom of her tanktop down at the mention of sharing, glancing away when he starts to unbutton his shirt. "You don't have to.. If I hadn't picked the wrong PJ's you wouldn't be seeing it." She says it as if talking about something disgusting. His words make her glance his way, her eyes dropping to the scars. "But on men, it's considered sexy." She says matter of factly. She takes another long drink, this time there is no grimace.

Coren snorts, "Sexy? I have to wonder what's happened to people's sanity if they've begun to find gunshot wounds sexy, healed or not." He buttons his shirt back up, "Those are half of them. Been shot in the back just as many times, and once in the thigh." He takes his glass from the coffee table and drinks away. His moment of derision past, he shakes his head. "I shouldn't have raised my voice. I'm sorry." He pours himself another glass. "If it bothers you much, I am certain Abigail can remove them for you."

Cassidy glances away, her cheeks flushing a bit. "Yeah well.. Fine.. They're more accepted." She snaps back, glancing at him for a moment before letting her gaze drop away to her glass which is partially empty. "Of course it bothers me Coren." Her feet drop on the ground and she sits up, she looks almost upset. "I was beaten, kicked.. and then one of them tried to gut me." She lifts the bottom of her tank top just enough to show that the large scar travels that far, along with more of the smaller ones. She drops it and stands. "Of course it bothers me." She says softer, almost whispering. She leans down to put the glass on the table. "I'm going to bed." She declares not looking at him. "Good night Shelby." Her words stiff and devoid of emotion.

Coren watches Cassidy for a moment in silence before slamming his glass on the coffee table. The poor coffee table shakes under the force, yet the glass miraculously maintains its integrity and doesn't break. "Don't you walk away from me, Cassidy. If you want to say something or want to do something, you bloody well do it," he says, half-expecting her to slap him. "Yes, it was horrible, I'm sure of it. I've been there. I've watched colleagues die in the field, I've been shot, stabbed, strangled, and beaten myself a fair number of times." He gets rather animated, and is standing in front of her, his arms waving ever so slightly to annunciate what he's saying. "You either get over it or you don't, it's up to you. But whatever you choose, no matter how much you may be angry with me right now and hurting, I am here for you. When you became my partner, you became my family. It's my job to protect you, Cassidy. And I failed you." He seems to wind down towards the end, and sinks back into his chair once he's done, pouring himself another drink as he does so.

Jumping when the glass slams onto the coffee table, Cassidy turns back to find herself face to face with her partner. She looks surprised, but doesn't flinch as he yells, her gaze doesn't waver. When he sits, she drops back on to the couch heavily, head going into her hands.

There is silence in the living room again as Cassidy gathers her wits around her. She takes a deep breath and her head comes up slowly, her hands clasping together. "You didn't fail me, Coren." She says the words slowly and calmly. Her eyes sadden and it's the first time she looks like she could breakdown. "I failed me… I failed to react as an officer of the law should have. I should have called first.. I should have just shot the hell out of that curtain before he opened it or knew I was there." She looks down at her hands, pulling them open to look at her palms. "I should have listened when I first walked in the door. I should have notice the locks were different.." Should have done so much. She grabs the bottle off the table and fills her glass again.

"Fear has that effect on people," Coren says. It's not meant as a jab. He says it as though he knows full well what fear does. There's a slight distortion of his face, a quiver of his lip before he drinks up. He eyes glisten only until he blinks, but he's already been served the image of his first wife, Jessica, dead on the floor of the cafe she worked at, gunshot wound bleeding out onto the floor. Every now and again he can still see the blood all over himself from holding her while she died. He too suffered from inaction, even if he wasn't police back then. He still could have done something. His jaw clenches and he reaches to take the bottle to drain what's left of the Scotch into it. They're almost out of booze. "You were tired," he says, "That's why I sent you home. Judgement is compromised when you're sleep deprived. You've been working too hard and too long since this whole case landed in your lap. I should have taken you home myself a lot sooner. But listen to us? Should have, should have, should have. There's not point wasting breath on what ifs and should haves, let me tell you."

There is a frown as Cassidy pictures the images, unknowing that it isn't her imagination but her partner's. The sorrow he feels she unknowingly feels, causing her eyes to tear up, one trailing down her cheek.

Quickly wiping at it, she tries to cover the weak moment by taking a long drink. "Running myself into the ground… It's how I am…" Cassidy offers up quietly in explanation. "I work until I can't anymore. Helped me get past the remembering. The guys… Well, the ones that had been my dad's buddies.. They were my father figures.." She stops, smiling a bit as she remembers being sat down and lectured as a teenager about 'Boys only want one thing'. "They always told me how they worried about me too." She gives a small sniff, glancing at him to smile a bit. "Couple of them were my partners too.. tried to protect me." She raises her drink for a sip and says. "They got over protective after…" She trails off and then jumps on. "Just please… Don't get over protective of me, Coren."

Coren listens intently, happy to do anything but think of his first wife. The situation with his second wife was bad enough for most, what happened to his first is just unspeakable, which is why he doesn't say anything about it, nor has he ever spoken about it to anyone. He closes his eyes slightly and nods with a light chuckle. "I think I can do that. If you try to stop calling me Shelby, I'll try not to be over-protective. But you can't stop me from being protective, Cassidy. That's just the way I am with family." He's definitely serious about the family part. He isn't sure he can even try to not be over-protective.

"Fine." Cassidy says with a firm nod of her head. "I became a cop, to protect and serve." A small smile tugs at the corners of her mouth. "You can't always save me….and… I won't always be able to save you." She puts the glass on the coffee table and reaches a hand out to him, palm up. "I'll do my best to not call you Shelby. And I'll try not to chafe when you get all protective." She gives him a genuine smile. "Partners… Family… Watch each other's back and try.." She rolls her eyes as she says 'try', "… Not to step on each others toes?"

No, but he'll damned well try. Coren reaches out and takes Cassidy's hand. "Deal," he says. He looks at the bottle of Scotch in his other hand and pours what's left into Cassidy's glass. "You need to get some rest." No, he's not being overprotective there. It's just practical. She did, after all, go home to get sleep when Mortimer was there. Bad timing.

Cassidy gives his hand a squeeze, before letting it go so that she can takes the glass. "I know.. Your right. I just.. " She doesn't continue her thoughts, instead she drains the glass. Replacing it on the table, she takes a slow deep breath. "Alright." Climbing to her feet, she runs her fingers through her hair. "Okay." She starts to step away, but stops. She has an overwhelming need to say it. Moving to rest her hand on his shoulder, she gives it a squeeze. "I'm sorry about your first wife." How did she know that? She even wonders that herself. She removes her hand with a jerk and makes haste to her room. "Good night Coren."

Coren sits there. He briefly touches Cassidy's hand as she rests it on his shoulder, but he remains silent as she goes off to her room. Goosebumps. Apparently his theories don't need as much refining as he originally thought, although they definitely still need some work. He looks towards the hallway and watches Cassidy go into her room.

"Good night, luv," he says softly, though whether she hears him or not he doesn't know. He leans back in his chair, finishing what little melted ice and Scotch is left in his glass. Inevitably, he'll have to check on her to make sure she's sleeping OK. What else is he going to do? It's not like he has a television, and he's read all of the textbooks on his bookshelf. Heck, some of them he's contributed to. Twiddling his thumbs is not something he handles, and so he fidgets for a number of hours before he finally ends up in bed, himself. God, what a day.

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