It Becomes A Calling


joanna_icon.gif tasha_icon.gif ziadie_icon.gif

Scene Title It Becomes A Calling
Synopsis Or it doesn't. Becoming a cop that is. Ziadie drops in to see how Joanna is doing and Tasha comes home in time to meet up with her mothers helper.
Date March 5, 2011

Solstice Condominiums - Joanna's Condo

When not actually presented with a reason to talk, Nocturne Ziadie is (still) a man of fairly few words, as proven by the several minutes since Joanna let him in, in which the only actual words spoken is a greeting. Not that the man had a reputation for ever being talkative to begin with, but age has made it that he has less things to say, rather than more. After coming inside, he pulls off his peacoat, hanging it up as directed, and after a moment of consideration, carefully takes off the worn leather jacket, and then the gun belt from underneath it, setting them on a chair out of the way. And it's only after that is done that Ziadie considers Joanna. "Doing any better?" he asks, concerned without being solicitous.

High as a kite, easily seen if you know what to look for. Pupils larger than normal, a bit of an airy way to walking, the way words slide off the tongue. Released a few hours ago, Joanna has been resting, shuffling around only when Ziadie had decided to come visit. Tasha is out, somewhere, doing Tasha things. She makes it a point not to know so that she can honestly say she doesn't know.

A palm on the island in the kitchen, where she's invited him in, gesturing to a backed stool, her movements are slow, but unhindered by any physical pain. "Better, marginally. Some days are better than others, today is bad, yesterday was worse" Cryptic. She knows. "How do you like your coffee?" Because she wants coffee. "I apologize, for yesterday. And I want to thank you. I didn't think I was going to ever make it to my car. People just walked on by"

Ziadie nods. "Black, and not spilled on paperwork." There's a hint of a smile on the older man's face. The statement is an attempt at humour, if a bit dry overall. . And then there's a tilt to his head as he thinks. "No apologies," Ziadie says. "It happens. We all have bad days." And then he goes silent again, sitting on the stool that is gestured to him, though not settling.

"But it tastes better when it's spilled on paperwork. The ink really gives it that smokey flavor" Two cups drawn down from where they hang on a rack, she slides them across the marbled counter top. "I'd introduce you to my daughter, but she's not here at the moment. Probably out doing some project for school. Teenagers these days, never home unless you nail their feet to the floor. I always joked to her dad that we should do like they do with dogs, put a chip in her, only with GPS. Somehow, she never found that funny" A far less shakey hand pours the coffee from the pot, not a drop though the stream sways a fraction. "You are having a good day I hope?"

He snorts. "Enough of one." He's turned his head away from her as he says that, though, looking around, which is enough to make sure that Joanna doesn't see Ziadie's involuntary grimace. He's had worse days, but calling it a good day, according to his ability, is a lie, and lies he tells affect him more than ones told by others. When he turns back, to take the cup of coffee, he's smiling again.

As if summoned by the invocation, the door suddenly opens and Tasha bursts in; her courier bag is dropped with a noisy thud to the ground, her keys with a jangle, and her footfalls hurry through the entry way to the kitchen where she almost comically skids to a stop when she sees the stranger with her mother.

The girl is much more petite than her mother, but the resemblance is clear — this can be none other than Tasha, who looks with wide eyes at first Ziadie and then Joanna before swallowing. "Sorry to interrupt, I… I got a message… are you okay?" The last is directed more specifically to her mother, and the girl's brows are knit with worry, eyes swollen from obvious crying. "I was too far away when I finally got the message and couldn't make it because of curfew or I would have been there, Mom." Her words are earnest and guilty all at once.

"Enough of a one" She's about to speak again when there goes the door, key's, bag, all heard in the span of a few moments, enough time to set her own coffee cup down, turn to get another, pour one for her daughter.

"Tasha, meet Nocturne Ziadie, Ziadie, this is my daughter Natasha" Another wavery stream of coffee poured. "As okay as I will ever be Tasha. You know how it is" SOme days, worse than the last, but never without pain. "Nocturne was kind enough to drive me to the hospital and the one that told them to leave you a message" No admonition for not making it in time, she knows these things. Curfew hampers more than just business.

"High as a kite right now, but I promise I will go settle down in bed again after the visit is over."

She smiles, crows feet deepening at the corners of her eyes. "I couldn't ask for a better daughter" even as she opens her arms to beckon her over so she can give her a much needed hug.

There's that half a double-take, and then Ziadie ducks a nod in greeting. "Natasha," he says. "She was just mentioning you." The older man wraps his hand around the cup of coffee that was poured for him, not picking it up yet. The smile on Ziadie's face is no longer just one to hide the grimace of an untruth, but now genuine.

Whether Joanna's words were sincere or not, there is a flicker of guilt in Tasha's dark eyes at the praise, echoed by a twitch her her jaw as the teenager swallows. "Nice to meet you, Mr. Ziadie," she murmurs, before moving to her mother to offer the hug. Her arms go gingerly around the lawyer, making sure hands move to shoulders rather than around the woman's center, and she leans forward to press her own body close only where it won't hurt — she hopes. Finally a kiss is planted on Joanna's cheek.

"I'm sorry I didn't get there last night," she whispers, eyes closing to push back the prickle of tears before Joanna can see them.

"It's okay, shh, it wouldn't have mattered. Just would have been you hanging around your sleeping mother. At least now, you can have real coffee hmm? Not the dark stuff the hospital calls coffee" Which is an atrocity far worse than what was ever served at the precinct. "I was telling him you were going to school and that I'd have to nail you down. Nocturne and I go back, some time."

She releases tasha, taking a chance to inhale deeply the scent that is her daughter before turning her loose.

"He was a police officer, bore the brunt of many a fledgelings DA's tricks. I think he even knew your father. Either way, we ran into each other a month or do ago?" Something like that. "He was checking up on me. Make sure I wasn't going to tough it out again"

"Somehow I don't think she'd appreciate having her feet nailed to the floor, Joanna," Ziadie says. His voice betrays his amusement although he keeps an otherwise straight face. He picks up his coffee, taking a small sip. "I got the brunt of lot of tricks from folk," he adds. "DA, officers, an' pretty much anyone tha' could be talked into tryin' to make me raise my voice." Another sip of his coffee. "It didn't work, for the most part." Even now, the older man's voice is level, even, and there's a good possibility he rarely raised his voice, ever.

His gaze flicks between Joanna and Tasha. "She looks like you," he says, before a glance is spared to Tasha. "And I not sayin' that to embarrass you or naught. It's a compliment."

Tasha's mouth presses together at the mention of her father, as if she doesn't want to risk speaking of him with a stranger, but she extricates herself from Joanna and smiles at Ziadie. "Thanks. She's beautiful, so I take it as a compliment," she says, cheeks coloring just a little as if she feels the comparisons — in Tasha's mind, she'll always come up short when that happens. And not just because she's 5'2".

She moves to the coffee cup poured for her and then to where the sugar and creamer are kept. "I used to want to be a police officer when I grew up," she says offhandedly, as she pours sugar into the mug.

Blush. That's something Joanna doesn't tend to do, but she does. Because of Ziadie's compliment, sure that yesterday, she wasn't os beautiful. "She did. It was terrifying" REaching over, running the back of her forefinger across Tasha's cheek, tucking a stray hair away before going back to her own coffee.

Ziadie chuckles quietly, taking a long sip of his coffee and actually settling to be seated, with a look at Joanna that's obviously suggesting she should be seated as well, though he won't say it. "I'm sure it was," he says. "It's a common enough thing, though, I would think." He pauses. "But at some point, either it becomes a calling, or it doesn't." There's a shrug, mostly one-shouldered with less movement on left than his right.

Having finished mixing the coffee the way she likes it, Tasha takes a sip and nods, not commenting on just why she had fallen off the police bandwagon. Her dark eyes move to Joanna and she nods toward the living room. "We should go sit down where it's more comfortable," she suggests, as if on behalf of their guest rather than for Joanna's health.

She leads the way before protest can be made, glancing over her shoulder and up at Ziadie with a smile. "Thanks for helping her, and making sure they called me. I was studying for midterms over at the school." The last is a lie — though not for Joanna's benefit. Simply because she can't tell a stranger the truth — that she was in Grand Central doing Ferry work.

Whether Tasha was or not, Joanna's accepting it at face value. "Tasha's very talented. Going to Parsons since she's moved back" And as always, defers to her daughter in matters of health if only to make her happy, taking her cup with her towards the livingroom. "As much as I admire those who work with the force, I am very glad she didn't go down that route" And there she goes, slowly walking, a slight sway that is medically induced. "Will you be here the rest of the day Tasha or taking off again?" In other words, she's feeling good enough at least, with her drugs and pain level to not need tasha at home.

Ziadie follows to the living room, coffee in one hand and his cane in the other, but Tasha's last statement has him turning, wincing. "I can understand that," he says, to Joanna, but the words are strained, forced, and when he's reached the living room and set his coffee down, he raises a hand to his forehead, rubbing it as he sits down. Then he turns to look at Tasha, one eyebrow raised.

Tasha moves to one corner of the couch, kicking off her low-top Converse and giving a glimpse of pink and green striped socks before they are tucked beneath herself. "I can be here all day," she says decisively, a tone of finality to her words should her mother try to argue with them. Her chin rises a little stubbornly at that, and then her head tips at Ziadie's arched brow. "I'll go get us some movies when you're resting for when we wake up and we can watch everything that's been out the past few months that no one here has time to see."

Joanna won't object to her daughter staying all day, not in the least. "I'd offer to have you stay for dinner nocturne, but it would be a very staid affair and I'll likely fall asleep during it. What have you been keeping yourself up to lately? Any more run in's? How is Mr. Cardinal and his security firm?"

Ziadie shakes his head. "Thank you, Joanna," he says, "but I think Ivanov expects me home for dinner anyway, or something." He's still watching Tasha, with the lingering wince from the headache that the one lie caused. "It's good," he says, finally. "Work that calls on my ability occasionally, though I don't mind in the slightest. It gets me out of myself." Except when it doesn't, but that's something else entirely.

The teenager is quiet, hands wrapped around her coffee cup, hands held close to her chest as she listens, dark eyes moving from face to face as she does. She's pale, with dark circles under her eyes. Worn out. It's likely she'll fall asleep in the middle of dinner, too. "And I'm not much of a cook," she adds. "Spaghetti or tacos are like the two things I can make, but I'm pretty good at dialing out for pizza or Chinese." She offers a polite smile.

"I think Pizza" and speaking of tired, she's starting to feel it. Drugged or not, what energy she had to answer the door and entertain Ziadie is fading and she puts her coffee cup down. "We should meet for lunch some time this week. When you're not working" an offer to the black man. "But, I think I should go retire, let Tasha pamper me" A kind way of saying it's time to go.

There's a grin at Tasha's statement. "You can cook more than I manage," he says. "I'm lucky that Ivanov sees fit to feed me; I manage toast, sometimes, and that's about it before the kitchen turns into a disaster zone."

Ziadie nods, finishing the last bit of coffee in his cup. "We should, yes." He levels a last, small glance at Tasha, rubbing his head as he stands. "I'm glad you're doing alright," he says, and turns to address Tasha. "She's pretty damn lucky to have a daughter who cares so much around. You take care of her, hear?" He shifts his weight tentatively on his feet, and his cane, before walking back to the chair which holds gun belt, jacket, peacoat, and as he's putting those on, realizing that he doesn't actually have a way to contact Joanna.

"I'll call at some point."

"Damn right I'm going to pamper you," Tasha says with a smirk around her coffee mug. "Manicures and back rubs and movies and popcorn and caramel ice cream." She reaches to set the cup down when Ziadie gets up, to walk him out and to lock the door behind him, so that her mother doesn't feel the need to play proper hostess and do so.

Her eyes drop and she shakes her head. "I do care. But if anyone's lucky, it's me," she murmurs softly, before heading to the front door to open it for him. "Have a good day, Mr. Ziadie."

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License