abby_icon.gif alexander_icon.gif tamara_icon.gif teo_icon.gif

Scene Title Home-Hunting
Synopsis Tamara spontaneously walks in on three going apartment-hunting. How weird is that? Pretty weird.
Date November 26, 2008

The Bronx — An Unleased Apartment

Normal people don't go apartment-hunting at 10 PM in the evening. Fortunately, the Bronx has very little to do with normal as most people interpret the word, and the landlady at this nameless and character-fully dingy tower of space-for-lease appears to have even less.

Her hair was blue-black and very short. An ethnic mongrel, she was forty years old and six feet tall with her boots on, wore a black leather vest with a skull on the back, and appeared to have tattoos on one wrist written in a Tibetan-Burmese language family. She had looked at Abigail, Alexander, and Teodoro with a shade of incredulity, laughed. Apologized the next moment. You look so… uhh. Young. I have to take a phonecall, she said, apparently having decided they're harmless. Walk around. There's nothing to steal, but break anything and you're dead before you reach the lobby.

The lobby would be the ground-floor room with the mail boxes that smelled all soapy new because they just got done effacing graffiti from it the other day.

Comfortingly, there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of stuff to break in here, either. There are three bedrooms, a series of windows that overlooks the street, a kitchen that seems fully operational, a perhaps surprising absence of roaches running away when the lights come on. And the lights do all come on. So does the heat, when Teo beelines toward the thermostat, though the living room then begins to smell distinctly of cookies.

Locks. How many locks are on the door? Abby's checking it out more than the rest of the apartment. She's lived in worse, really worse, Teo would know. That one doesn't have to kick the radiator a few times though, before it turns on, seems to be a very good bonus. The landlady frightens her, just a tad. Abby's hand drifts to her cross, toying with it as she starts to look around. Shift doesn't start for a bit, so she's got no time constraints. A room to herself that isn't also her kitchen, her living room. So far, Teo's picking pretty good. "How much is rent?" Her head swiveling this way, that way.

"Ah like it," Al says, firmly, wandering around and poking his nose into things. "Real spacious. Not too bad a neighborhood. Neighbors in the building look pretty laid back, pretty bohemian. Not criminal, but also no so uptight they get into your business. Mah standards aren't too high." At least he's blunt about it, right?

Soft steps in the hall might be quiet enough to pass unnoticed; then again, some or all of the trio may be sufficiently wary to hear the approaching girl. She is just a girl, looking slightly younger than her eighteen years, with long and slightly mussed blonde hair, a fog-grey pullover sweater with Mickey Mouse's face on its front, blue jeans fraying at the cuffs and worn sneakers on her feet. One shoulder leans nonchalantly against the doorpost, fey blue eyes watching the trio inspect the prospective apartment.

"Twelve." Did she hear the question Abby posed? Tamara's gaze settles briefly on Abby, a crooked smile tugging at her lips. "It's all right, really. The quiet suits you." Speaking as if she knows the older teen. Her eyes flick to Teo, and the girl's expression shifts subtly; a quality of reserve, as perhaps one expecting a less than welcome inquiry, but consideration also, as one confronted with a puzzle whose solution is elusive.

By 'not too bad,' Teo supposes that indicates people don't get shot every day, at least not where you can see them, and by 'spacious' one would suppose the edge of the fallout zone doesn't harbor too many fighting for a piece. He's standing by the radiator, now, with no apparent plans to move soon, turning his head to and fro above his jacket collar to examine the layout in a general sense, parked as he is in the corner that a couch might someday occupy.

He huddles there like a gremlin from water, trying to come up with a rational explanation for why shopping around the market for options would be sensible, and despite more than enough economic knowhow and common sense, he fails entirely to construct anything that sounds good to himself because Alexander likes it. So, he says, "Well." And, unhelpfully, he repeats that, punctuating each one of Al's sentences with, "Well. Yeah. Well… Well…"

Head already turning slowly toward the doorway, guided by paranoia that's managed to root itself all the way into his subconscious by now, he had been about to reply to Abby's inquiry when the wee girl-sized voice did it instead. Warrants a blink of bright eyes, surprise of not instantaneous unease. "Twelve hundred," he confirms, after a moment. "Buona sera, Tamara."

Abby turns, surprised at the newcomer to their door and the answering of her question. Maybe though, it's what follows the answer that draws abby's eyes to Teo with a slightly worried look. Twelve divided by three. She can do it, easily. Have money left over to send home. But the sensible part of her knows that they should look at a few more. Couldn't hurt to look at a few more. But Teo knows the girls name and the girl, who seriously can't be much younger than herself, automatically pings her as enjoying the quiet. "The walls thin? Or are they not going to give away too many secret?"

There's no dust to raise here. Nothing but a spare scrap of paper or two that lifts and whirls in Alex's startlement, as he turns to peer at Tamara. But Teo seems to know her. He doesn't wince at the announcement of the rent. Not too bad, really. Feasible, with their jobs. so he looks at the seeress, and then expectantly at Teo. "Hey," is his only greeting.

Blue eyes remain leveled upon Teo for a short time, before the girl dips her head to the man who's met her before. "Hello." Saying there's recognition per se in her greeting isn't quite correct, her tone just slightly off — but it's not entirely lacking, either. Rather like someone who recognizes a familiar face, but can't pin down the details of why it's familiar — and isn't planning to draw attention to that fact, either.

Tamara's attention shifts as Abby directs more questions her way; the younger teen tips her head to one side, turning the words over in her peculiar mind. "Secrets," she says, tone more somber than Teo had heard her use previously, "shouldn't be given to the walls anyway. The wind picks them up, and the grass hears, and then they're not so secret anymore." Tamara straightens away from the door, expression brightening; not out-and-out cheerful, not even really so much as a smile, just the disappearance of that serious demeanor. "But there's more rocks than grass; rocks don't like listening. Just to sit and sunbathe."

Now as before, Teo finds himself fighting down the peculiar urge to explain to 'everybody else' that she's always like that, and harmless, despite the fact that he's accumulated perhaps twenty minutes of acquaintance with the tiny madwoman and is personally well-aware that being small, blonde, and female hardly equates harmless. Bright eyes shift to and fro five times in two seconds. "Her name's Tamara.

"She's a little…" psychotic, unsocialized, lost, "…different. We met last week. She might not — you don't look like you remember," he says, curtailing the discourtesy of talking over her frizzy blonde head in favor of addressing her directly. After a moment's pause, there's a fragment of a smile, plucked out of something that might have been continuous and whole a few days ago but no less sincere. "She's fun to talk to.

"Ask her something," he encourages, lightly. He turns and begins to step out of his corner, discreetly letting fall the hand that had started toward the small of his back.

"Thicks walls, good. I hated hearing the neighbors. Samantha was always getting beat up by her pimp. Would go and sit with her, make her feel better. Or Daniel, above me, blaring his music at 7 am when i'm trying to sleep after my shift. Paper thin." How she can say that straight faced, is hard to believe. Pimp, coming from Abby's mouth. She throws Tamara a thankful look and motions for the woman to come in. "Am I going to run into anymore pizza delivery guys?" Abby motions to her face, the motley of yellows, purple, blues and greens that compose her nose, eyes and cheeks. Her attention then turns to Teo and Al. "Teo. You like this, or should we keep looking? I'm okay with still looking."

"If we wanna look at more, we can. But I'm good with here," Al says, tapping a toe against the floor, and quite obviously already planning his room. He has so little stuff it won't take long. Tamara gets a farnkly curious stare - Al does have his yokel moments. "I….." He glances at Teo, suspiciously. "You sayin' she's touched? What's she doin' wanderin' out alone?" And then he, too, remembers his manners and speaks to Tamara directly. "You got no folks to take care of you?" he prompts, swaying a step or two closer.

Despite the invitation, Tamara shows no inclination to step any further into the room than she is already — and square in the middle of the doorway doesn't really qualify as 'in'. Lines crease the girl's brow as Abby asks another question, bewildered consideration; either the literal words of the query confused her, or perhaps she suspects there's a subtext she isn't privy to. It's cause for some thought.

"If you don't like pizza, you couldn't call any? But they're gnats, anyway. Swat one and three more show up." From the frown that continues to cloud her expression, Tamara doesn't consider that a satisfactory answer. The apartment seeming to have received approval from the prospective tenants, her contemplation is distracted (pulled back to the present) only when Alex steps forward and addresses her. She tilts her head, blinking at him. "Drops in the ocean; grains in the glass. First it means finding the mirror."

Just like a former-cop and Southern belle-turned-bartender to behave the way they do. Teo looks at them both with unabashed warmth in his face for a brief moment between conversations, his brows gone bell-shaped with laughter at no one's expense. Between the three of them, they can handle anything. Pimps, wayward children. The skulking horrors Deckard told him. He decides not to think about that lots, right now. Exhales, glancing at the radiator. It's finally begin to click a little, rustily, and smell less like cookies.

Nothing's perfect, but few things have to be. "I was worried about her too, but she seems to be able to take care of herself," he remarks, gingerly taking his hands out of his coat pockets. When it finally begins to snow, he's going to dig his way to Ecuador. Or so he tells himself every year. "I like this. I found a few other potential addresses I can pass you to check out. One was actually cheaper, but I think the last tenant fuckin'… got shot, so."

"Language," It's automatic now, from Abby to Teo. No shame shame attached to it. She'll still say it each time. Though now perhaps she has a look on her face that she might regret having said it. "I"m fine with it. Really, it's better than my old one. And those are wise words Tamara. You'll have to come over to watch movies with me. If I'm going to be living with two men, I'll need a female friend to offset that" Abby still plays with her cross, her other arm wrapped around her chest.

"Angel, that's real zen, and if I had time to meditate on it, I'm sure it'd come out right. But, uh, can you speak a little more plain?" Al wonders, scratching that newly shaven scalp and gazing at Tamara with frank wonder. "You a seer, or you just plain off the deep end?" He half-circles her. "You're right, T. She don't look too bad off."

Tamara's attention transfers from Alex to Abby as the young woman speaks up again, head tipping to one side. "The heart's there, but it didn't really work well. Besides, you don't want to forget your other friends." Taking it as a given, apparently, that Abby has other female friends — and accepting being lumped into that category herself.

Her head turns to follow Alex's movement around her, seeming to take the inspection in stride, neither unnerved nor made apprehensive by it. "There isn't an end," the girl informs Alexander, serious and matter-of-fact, nodding slowly as she speaks. "Only the middle of everywhere." She steps back then, once, twice, politely clearing the doorway but without apparent intent to fade back into the woodwork quite yet.

It's a question that had been lingering on Teo's mind for some time now, whether the patterns of the girl's thoughts drew their origin from delusion or Darwinism. By now, he's also totally discarded any and all hope that he'll ever get a straight answer about that. Abby's rebuke elicits a characteristically sheepish look: "Mi diaspace." He seems neither altogether pleased nor unpleasantly surprised with the way Southie instantly welcomes the seer, nor how Al orbits her like an inquisitive dog.

He finally brings himself closer to the three, a shuffling gait. "I guess she means she's omniscient," he remarks, wry after a deductive leap he isn't sure landed anywhere useful. He reaches out to whack the redhead across his back, once, encouraging Al to stay put, even as he glances out the way Tamara had just cleared. "Where's the mirror?"

She's heard mi diaspace enough. She thinks it means he's sorry. Abby just nods, pulling away from the others, her thoughts turning and spinning. "I'm going to check out the rooms" A nod to the three and Abby's disappearing down the adjacent hall to start opening doors and looking while mentally kicking herself.

Alexander stops short when he's smacked. He even gives Teo that 'What'd I do' dog look. "You see too much to sort it all out?" he ventures, brow furrowed with the effort of trying to sort it out himself. Some stuff makes too little sense.

Cornflower-blue eyes study Alex briefly, before Tamara smiles, the curve of her lips bright and cheerful. "Maybe you don't see enough! Walls don't make good windows. Neither do buildings, even if they're almost all glass." A shrug then, the motion easy and fluid, nonchalant. "Little dark now, though. Not so good to look hard."

To Teo, the teenager wrinkles her nose, that thoughtful frown reappearing. She cranes her head to one side, looking into the apartment and towards where Abby disappeared deeper in. "Around the corner and to the left?" Half statement, half question, she looks back at Teo as if he's able to say whether the answer's right or not, the hopeful glance of a student looking for confirmation from the teacher.

Abby looked odd. Teo looks after the way Abby went while looking odd, his brow momentarily furrowed in concern, a query dying on his lips before he gets it out. Al has his attention the next moment, with a look that also triggers the awkward urge to apologize. Fortunately, he refrains from doing either, because Tamara's saying more stuff.

Manages to entirely derail his train of thought in doing so, forgetting the thing she'd said before and what he'd meant just now, in favor of beating new tracks along unmarked terrain. He blinks. Swivels his head to peer around Al's sanguine peachfuzz, and into the recesses of the apartment. He tries to recall. "You're right," he says, surprised; the doors look all the same from here, bar the one Abby had stepped into. "Brava. Hey," quieter then, he squints sidelong at Alexander. "Was there something off about Abby just now?"

"Yeah," Al says, turning back to peer after Abby. "I dunno what, though. He nods to Tamara. "Could work on my vision, in many more ways than one, y'know." He resumes pacing the apartment, thoughtfully.

Tamara smiles faintly at the boys, not disturbing their redirected thoughts. She lingers in the hall for a few moments, watching Alexander pace and Teo watching Alex in turn; and then, with no warning and even less ceremony (if that's even possible), the girl slips out of the bit of hallway visible through the apartment's door, soft steps retreating down the corridor.

Pacing always draws attention, that's not weird. It's why people frequently ask one another to stop doing it. It causes tension. Possibly also motion sickness. So Teo peering at the meandering course Alexander takes about the living room is perfectly unremarkable behavior, even if Tamara's sudden absence startles him more than it otherwise would have afterward. What.

What! His head jerks on its stem and he finds himself tumbling out into the hallway, defaulting toward the Good Samaritan's anxiety despite all the assurances he had given his friends earlier. He sees her hair bob like a dandlion clock on the gait of a breeze and finds himself unsure of what it was he was about to holler at her back. Insipidly, he asks, "Why are you leaving?"

Abby's meandering back, three bedrooms peered at, closets opened, windows looked out over. Her red hair pulled over her shoulder twisting at it now instead of the cross. "Bedrooms look good. Nothing that a throw rug won't cover or a good shampooing" She brightly announces, seeing Teo heading out the door and the pacing Al. "Something wrong?"

"Nah," Al insists, even as he eyes her thoughtfully. "The crazy girl done took herself off."

The girl pauses, looking back over one shoulder at the inquiring Sicilian. She reaches up to hook those stray drifts of hair behind her ears, and gives Teodoro a crooked, rueful smile. "The river moves on, and the shadows with it," Tamara replies, as though that's a meaningful answer. In some fashion, it truly is. "What'll…" She pauses, inward-searching gaze reflecting a brief reach for the proper words. "What was is… it isn't…" The words don't come, a frown deepening. "Because." Tamara falls back on the classic answer of all teenagers, proving that some things are universal. Another flash of a smile, more warmth and symmetry to this one, before the mad girl continues on her way.

Teo lets her go. Obviously. There isn't much else he can do besides that. "Sogni d'oro," he offers, belatedly; the words don't find her until she's around the corner. He frowns then, a visible dent in forehead and mouth even from his profile as he turns back toward the apartment's door left ajar. By the time he completes his turn, looks at his friends, the frown is gone, replaced by a smile, a concerned gaze that rests on Abby's face for only as long as is polite.

"I don't know if she was odder this time, or if the rabbit hole is too narrow for three," he remarks, cheerfully. Offers Abigail a chuck of a curled forefinger under the chin, welcoming her back from her foray, before he glances through the apartment one more time. "Shouldn't be long before the landlady gets back. I don't know if you two want to sign off on this thing tonight."

"No more odder I think than some others I've met. Up to you." Abby makes her way to the window to peer out. "But I'm fine with it. Not that I don't mind Ferryman hospitality but… be nice to have something mine again. That, and shop for a bed." She looks over her shoulder at him, a small grin. "I say we take it. No one's been shot in here, there's not too many locks and… like I said. No thin walls."

November 26th: H8 You So Much

Previously in this storyline…

Next in this storyline…

November 26th: But It's Better If You Do
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License