I Think I'm Lost


karrie_icon.gif kincaid_icon.gif

Scene Title I Think I'm Lost
Synopsis But found, and even got a coffee date out of it.
Date April 21, 2011

Community Hospital

Your average nurses' break room.

At any given time in the hospital, there are pockets of quiet to be found, places where the hustle and rush of jobs to be done and lives to be saved and stress to be vented doesn't touch. The best time to frequent such places are after a shift change. Break rooms are most notable for their islands of solace in a constant sea of voices.

They also generally need to be restocked with snacks and coffee for the doctors and nurses who work so hard.

In the emergency department the nurses break room sees a lot of scavenging, doctors and orderlies sneaking in while the proper inhabitants are fulfilling orders and requests by the management above them. Today is obviously no exception to this unspoken rule, and it's become one volunteer's mission to see the room reordered and foodstuffs restored.

Back to the door, that very volunteer with a head of bright and naturally red hair drags a cleansing wipe over the counter top. A cupboard to her left stands open displaying what coffee accoutrements need replenishing. Below that, on the floor, is a box filled with various goodies and drink mixes, the high sugar and caffeine type that late night workers so crave.

With enough time and determination, a man can find just about anything— though in many cases being a time traveller can help as a cheat. This is not one of those moments when time-displacement really helps out.

A fresh bandage around his hand, and a bracelet of the hospital reading him as admited, if briefly, and having not cut it off. The injury and the bracelet are, in many ways, just excuses. Something to get him in, to make him appear to belong.

But the emergency department break room is probably not where most patients should be wandering. After a customary glance inside the breakroom while passing by, he suddenly backs up to look again. Something is pulled from his pocket to glance down at, then back up, at the red haired volunteer washing counters. "Excuse me," he calls in, hanging at the doorway. "I— think I'm lost."

Always the best cover, when one is not where they should naturally be.

It happens from time to time, believe it or not. So the woman isn't taken by surprise by a voice from behind. With a calming smile, and a quiet presence, she turns to face the owner of the voice. "That's not a problem," she says, giving a slight tilt to her head. The wipe is deposited into a trash can as she steps away from the counter.

A couple of steps forward bring Karrie a little closer to the man at the doorway, while still maintaining a comfortable and respectful distance. Her hands clasp before her and brows raise just a little. "Where are you suppose to be? I can direct you, if you're needed somewhere. Or if you're looking for someone, I can show you to the information desk and have them paged."

"Actually I was hoping to talk to someone about charity work involving the hospital," Kincaid says, scratching at his short brown hair with his unbandaged hand in kind of a nervous gesture. "I'm an Assistant Producer and the studio I work for is always looking to make better public images— "

He raises up his bandaged hand. "I figured while I was here getting my hand looked at, I'd get some work done at the same time. Two birds, one stone kind of thing."

Or in this case, three birds.

"Oh!" Karrie's smile warms, her expression brightening if that's said to be possible. "That's so wonderful! Are you looking to volunteer? Or perhaps the studio is looking for a project— " Her smile twists, taking on a cast showing amusement with herself. "I'm sorry. Always excited when it comes to volunteering. I've been— " She stops herself again, head bowing very slightly in subtle containment.

The strength of her smile remains, still warm and genuine as it had been, once Karrie has lifted her head again. "It's very good of you," she resumes. Her excitement is contained once more, but still in evidence of her countenance. "And of your coworkers. If you'd like, I can try to answer some questions or I can show you to human resources. There's a woman up there who generally handles taking in new volunteers."

"I was thinking a volenteer celebrity day would be a good idea to picth to the head Producer, if nothing else, but I think what you all do here is… something that should be celibrated," Kincaid says with a smile, not seeming like someone who came into the hospital emergency room to get his hand bandaged up. It doesn't even seem like he's in any pain, from the way he unconsciously presses it against the door frame.

"Answering a few questions would be good— like— why are you helping? How long? Did you need medical training to volenteer or can anyone do it?" The hard questions, but… he suddenly remembers and offers out his bandaged hand— then recalls and switches to offer the unbandaged one— even if that's a left hand handshake.

"I'm Kincaid August."

"That would be wonderful," Karrie says, delighted. "I think a lot of good would come from having local faces, recognized faces, helping out. It would be a real benefit to the community." She gives a small chuckle over the switch of hands, perhaps having seen similar actions before. After all, she's working within a hospital. A small nod dips her head again and she steps forward to take the hand in one of her own in a soft yet confident shake.

"Questions I can answer," she continues, stepping aside and motioning to a table covered with magazines and surrounded by a trio of chairs. "If you have time. I'm Karrie O'Donnell, and I'm helping because— it's what I love to do. Striving to make a difference, even if it's just to make a dying man smile. I've been here for, oh, two or three years now. As a volunteer."

"Great— having as much information as possible beforehand is always good when pitching an idea— especially to my Producer. She can be a bit of a firecracker," Kincaid says with a jesting smile as he moves to sit at the offered table. He may be out of place, though he has permission, now. That helps him relax, and stop looking down the hall for others.

Or toward the doorway to the hall, in this case.

"That's a while to be working here— You have a nice manner, so I can see how you would make people smile." Even in the worst situations. It's a genuine compliment, though, rather than the jest his smile a moment ago may have suggested. "What made you decide this was what you wanted to do? Did you know someone who was in the hospital for a while?"

"Like all good producers, I'm sure," Karrie counters. It's said as a compliment, though an amused grin rounds the corners of her mouth. She moves after Kincaid, lowering herself to sit in one of the two remaining chairs. It seems perfectly natural to her to take visitors of any sort within the nurses break room. It isn't the doctor's lounge, after all.

Pinkness tints her cheeks over the compliment, and a humbleness causes her to shrug a touch. "Thank you," she says quietly. "I— I have always been active. In trying to better the community, and the world. It's like my vice, standing against what's wrong in society. But here— Yes, you could say I knew someone who was here for a while."

"I suppose if one has to have a vice, that's a good one to have," Kincaid says with that same genuine smile, tilting his head as he watches her. The shape of his jaw, the sideways smile— in a lot of ways he has some small reminders of someone. Someone most of the city knows, at least a little.

Brad Russo's face is plastered on many billboards, after all. The sides of buses and buildings. Though no one would suspect the man only five years younger could possibly be his son. Time travel reasoning aside— most people wouldn't jump to that conclusion.

"I don't think the people I work with will have the same reasons, but it's time that we gave back to the community more— and who better to help than the sick."

There hadn't been thought for recognition A subtle thing in similarities can go unnoticed by most common crowds. But the smile. Karrie draws inward a fraction, without cooling her demeanor. Without losing much of her own smile. There's such things as body doubles, so it could be a fluke, a strange coincidence. The reaction isn't unlike a flutter, a star struck girl thinking she's seen one very recognizable personality from television.

It takes a moment until Karrie gives a shake of her head and returns to the conversation. A curious look wanders over Kincaid's face again, then settles onto her own hands folded neatly upon the table. "There's lots of ways to help here," she says her smile returning. "I dabble in everything. Working in here, with the patients. The kids' ward can always use people. Especially for entertainment."

The smile remains for a time, as Kincaid watches her, listens. It goes less jesting and more gentle as the time passes, as well, as if he's seeing something that he wasn't expecting. It stops abruptly, with a firm blink of his eyes. "I can see what he saw in you," he says in a soft whisper, before shaking his head. It was almost too soft to make out, but the nurses lounge isn't the loudest place of the hospital.

"I think this'll be a great place to get the people I work with to help out— Some of them really like children, though I imagine others would probably rather work with beautiful young women… Course I'll just have to tell Tahir to stay away from you."

That part is a joke, but— only partly. That jesting smile returns.

"The children are some of the best patients to visit," Karrie says, continuing, unaware of Kincaid's eyes upon her. "So full of life, even when they're sick or injured." She lifts her gaze from her hands to smile at the assistant producer. Her expression shifts at his whisper, curiosity rousing again. "I'm sorry, I— "

The rest is lost, to succumb to another smile, edging Karrie's expression toward a shyness in its uncertainty that's no less genuine or warm. "There's lots of areas to volunteer in. Not just with the children. There's also the senior adolescents' wing. They enjoy when people visit them and they've a lot of wonderful stories to share about their time."

"I agree— I've always liked kids," Kincaid says, glancing down toward the table. For a moment, there's something about his dark eyes that seem to stare through thetable. A man who is missing someone— When he looks back up, he takes in a quick breath, as if trying to build up his courage all in one breath.

The words that follow are quite abrupt, "Would you like to go get coffee sometime?"

"I— " Karrie's cheeks suffuse with pink again, surprised by the question. Word fail and the recover in an instant, though still with a touch of timidity. "Yes— Yes. That'd would be great." By this, her earlier enthusiasm has quieted some, flattered but in a more demure way.

The smile that follows her demure response is pleasure and pain, all at once. As if her answer genuinely makes him happy, but something else remains under the surface in too-dark eyes. Kincaid August begins to stand, reaching into his coat pocket to pull out a wallet and search for a card. The card he pulls doesn't list job or profession, just personal contact information.

"I know the question was sudden— but— I shouldn't take up more of your volenteer time than I have to. What are you available this week for coffee? There's a nice shop about a block from here— I'm sure you know it better than I do, but I'm coffee fan, so I make a point of knowing where cafes are."

Caffiene addiction is to thank for this.

A nod expressing Karrie knows which shop he speaks of precedes her standing and accepting the card. With it held between both hands, she reads both name and numbers imprinted before sliding the card carefully into a pocket at her hip. His admission to being a coffee fan brings to light a grin and she looks up to Kincaid once again.

"It's— I was just surprised. And please," she pauses to stand as well. "It's no trouble to take time to talk. I don't mind." Karrie's smile returns, hands again folding at her waist. "Would— Would Tuesday work? Perhaps after work. I can bring more information on volunteering here, as well, for you to read over later."

"Tuesday after work will be great," Kincaid says, still smiling at her in that genuine and rather young way. But he doesn't even look like he's reached thirty yet— not that it means much when it's just coffee that he's asking her out on.

"And some paperwork would be cool, but I think I have enough to at least pitch the idea— more information on the how would definitely help make it happen faster."

There's a hesitatant pause to his breath, then he pulls out his phone to go to the contact list, quickly thumbing in her name and then holding it out. "Mind if I get your number too?"

The smile is returned, any traces of Karrie's hesitation replaced with that genuine warmth. It brightens her expression considerably, giving her a light of youthfulness. "Tuesday, after work," she repeats in agreement. "And I'll have some more information. Even if it isn't a public event or studio run, more volunteers are always welcome."

A hand reaches for a pen left amidst the magazines when he asks for her number. But when the cell phone is produced, Karrie gives a small chuckle and leaves the pen where it lays. Her number is rattled off, and repeated if necessary.

"Cellphones are easier," Kincaid says sheepishly, even as he smiles up at her mid-number typing. It also destroys the 'I lost the piece of paper' excuse that some men might use if they were avoiding the date they asked for. No avoidance here…

Or at least…

Kincaid looks back toward the door. "Thank you for the help, Karrie— I'm glad that I met you." Rather than other nurses and volenteers he could have met? Quite likely.

"Old fashioned," Karrie explains herself. Or just that trusting. Her head tips just a little to one side as she studies his face again, watching his expression until he looks toward the door. Her gaze follows, smile returning. "Please, thank you. And— I'm glad to've met you, too, Kincaid."

"I'll see you soon," Kincaid adds with that lopsided smile that seems so much like the man from the billboards— though less rehearshed. As he moves back to the door he glanced in and then walked through he adds a gentle, "Good luck with the rest of your day."

And then he's gone. At least until Tuesday night, according to the known plan.

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