Life Keeps Happening Around You


jake_icon.gif megan_icon.gif

Scene Title Life Keeps Happening Around You
Synopsis Even when someone you love dies, everything else keeps going — bills need paying, clothes need washing, food needs eating. Jake offers to help Meg tie one on… instead, she ropes him into helping close out Auggie's apartment.
Date July 7, 2009

Staten Island, Camp Miller

She's taken to putting in whole days out at the airfield. Between running at least two of the soup runs herself, Megan's begun opening the clinic for at least six hours a day, some of them staffed by flight nurses, but more often staffed herself. The night of the fire in the Rookery, she was on-site, and she pretty much hasn't left the island since. The situation up at the Lighthouse also drew her attention, and she's running herself and her volunteers ragged trying to cover their routes and whatever extra help they're willing to offer people. Tuesday afternoon finds Elena Martinez, one of Chicago Air's flight nurses, chasing Megan literally out of the clinic. She won't let the supervisor back in, and Meg finally gives up and heads for the desk that has all her paperwork for inventory and her wishlist for what they need now. Grabbing up a clipboard that has a stack of forms on it, she heads out of the hangar that is serving as a clinic and out onto the tarmac. Her copper hair catches the late-afternoon sun as she walks up the flightline, and when she finds a shady spot, she cops a squat on a patch of asphalt next to one of the large trucks with the clipboard on the ground beside her while she smokes.

He saw her from a distance, but his approach is presaged both by the crunch of boots on asphalt (there's always a little loose gravel) and the smell of one of those rich cigars he likes to smoke. It's a thicker aroma than the sharp stab of cigarette. "Penny for your thoughts?" Jake asks, stepping up beside the woman and glancing at her briefly before looking out ahead over the tarmac, following her prior gaze.

Glancing up, Megan smiles faintly. "Ain't worth a plug nickel," she tells him quietly. Not to anyone but her, anyway. She was looking at the aircraft parked out there, not really paying much attention to what was going on. There's a refueling truck parked at one, though it doesn't look like it's currently manned. "Am I in your way?" she asks him, jerking her head back toward the truck on whose wheels she currently leans. "I can move."

"Naw. If I wanted you moved I'd just toss it myself. To show off." replies Jake with a cocky grin. He takes a puff of his cigar and then looks at Megan more directly. "Heard you uh…took a loss." he says with significantly more gravity, watching her for a reaction.

She smirks faintly when he says it, but can't quite bring herself to tease back like she has done in the past with him. Raising the cigarette to her lips to take a long draw off it, Megan hold the acrid cloud in her lungs for a few seconds. The lightheaded feeling is kind of nice. Returning it to dangle over her one upraised knee, she lets the smoke ease out. "Yeah. So's everyone else by now," she comments in a neutral tone. She tilts her head to look up at him, a single brow arched. "You walk all the way over here to give condolences?" she demands in a deceptively mild tone. If he did, she just might walk away from him — it'd get her out of his way, right?

Jake shakes his head to that, still watching her. "Wanted to invite you to get drunk off your ass on my dime. With a promise I'll watch your back and keep you out of the hospital or a dark alley." He looks at his cigar as it smoulders, as if it's interesting. "Best kind of medicine I know for it." And yes, he has seen some loss in his days.

Now that earns him a true smile from the redhead, though it's not really reflected in her eyes. She's got that coping facade down real damn well, aside from the flash of sorrow deep enough to bring a person to their knees visible for just a moment. "Tried that already…. didn't do shit but give me a raging hangover for two days. Actually tried to decide if it was worth it to do it two days in a row…. but it doesn't fix anything. And I'm a lousy drunk," she admits softly.

"Have it your way." says Jake with careful neutrality. He takes another puff of the cigar and looks away. It's like he doesn't want to see that sorrow on her, the same way one would turn away when someone's naked, if they're being polite. "Well. I ain't a healer of any kind. But I know that sometimes we just have to hurt. Didn't come over here to insult you with condolences, but the drunk offer is me shootin' my load. All I got left after that is an ear, but again I know that's something we don't always trust. It's private shit."

Megan hesitates and takes a last draw off her cigarette before moving to stand up, crushing it out beneath her boot. The clipboard she leaves on the ground, perhaps not getting up just to leave yet. Her arms cross while she blows the smoke out toward the flightline, defensive in a subconscious sort of way. "I might take you up on it … drinking alone isn't any fun. If I do, you gotta promise not to take me up on whatever I might offer," she concedes with a small smile. "I do stupid shit like wake up with guys I only met once." She actually laughs a little. "It's actually how I met the ass." She shrugs, trying not to let the tidal wave of sadness loose. Instead, she diverts it once more. "Why you offering to listen to me whine and cry and lose my shit when all you really want is into my pants?" she asks bluntly. "Don't think I don't know you watch my ass every time I'm not lookin'," she adds. There's no rancor in her tone, just honest curiosity and maybe a hint of amusement at the last.

An easy grin splits Jake's features and he shrugs, "So what if I do?" He looks back at Megan again and says, "I promise you I won't do anything with you you don't agree to when you're sober." That's about as good as it gets, right? Either he keeps it or he breaks it, but he's not lying to her. "Your choice of everything. Money's no object, by the way. I'm richer than fuck and honestly I don't even know what the hell to do with it most of the time."

A shake of her head accompanies Megan's movements, and though she's got a fabulous poker face, it's still not quite enough to hide her emotions from him when she gives him her full attention. "So… what? You offer any woman you know who loses someone company while she ties one on and turns into a quivering mass of screaming rage and howling anguish?" Because it's what she wants to do. It what she wants to do every second of every day right now, though her tone is kept light and easygoing. Actually, his comment makes her think to check and see if Auggie had a will or a lawyer. She's got to clean out his apartment. Shit…. she didn't want to think about that just then. The pang probably lights up her face like neon. "Maybe I'll take you up on it while I sort out his apartment," she tells him quietly. "His lease is up the end of the month." She paid the rent on it just like clockwork on July 1, just to get the extra time to sort through and pack the place.

"No. Just you." Jake says with a straightforwardness that comes with an unspoken refusal to explain any further. He glances down at Megan's feet and then back at her eyes. "Go take care of it." Another puff of the cigar. "You take whatever time you need. It's covered."

His answer surprises her, actually. Megan pauses, a puzzled expression clearing away the tightening of her chest that thinking about the apartment and the legal documents caused. But she's no fool, and as she studies his expression there's a trace of guilt in her face. If she takes him up on it, is she encouraging something that's way way over her head? There's a slow nod, acknowledgment of whatever the hell is actually going on there — it's too confusing for her to cope with that on top of the rest right now. It's all she can do to put one foot in front of the other every moment. There's hesitation, clear uncertainty, as she says quietly, "If you got the time and inclination… I could use an extra set of hands in the apartment. Furniture to get rid of, shit like that." Because of all the people offering their sympathy in varying forms, he's the first one she's felt comfortable enough to ask. And it helps that he's the only one she knows who can *probably* move the heavy stuff without blinking or breaking a sweat.

Like that's the first time Jake's been tagged to move shit. "Yeah yeah, I'll move the heavy shit for you." he says with a grin then, breaking into a laugh and shake of the head. "Damn you better know I don't just make THAT offer to anybody."

Megan actually starts to laugh softly, every part of her body language for the first time easing into something that's not tight and sadness-filled. "Well, you know… begin as you mean to go on, Jake. I figure if I'm the only one you're going to offer to be a shoulder while Niagara Falls flows, I could get lucky and get furniture moving out of you," she quips lightly.

"When you doin this?" he asks with an easy manner, letting the laugh die out. Jake turns to more fully face her, arms crossing lightly with his cigar hand over the other. Because he's not finished with his stogie yet.

Megan shrugs a bit. "Hell if I know," she admits. "I got as far as the front door yesterday and couldn't open the fucking thing." She looks back out over the tarmac. "This weekend, I guess. It's got to get done. I let his landlord know what happened, so they won't rush me but… he wasn't to go ahead and clean the place and get it leased again." The world keeps turning. Bills still gotta get paid. Life keeps going.

Jake reaches up to scratch his nose and observes, "Well the end of the month's a ways off so if it's leased til then they're fucked up if they lean on you prior. I wouldn't worry about that." Honestly he doesn't seem like the kind of guy who'd worry about much of anything at all. But he'd say he's got a valid point here.

Megan smiles. "Hence why I paid the rent on the place before I told the landlord he died," she tells him. There's a long moment and Meg asks quietly, "Kobrin said anything to you about what happened?" So far, she knows little.

Again Jake looks off, distant. And shakes his head, "Nope. Haven't spoken to him for a while directly. Just memos. Figured you'd fill me in yourself."

Megan shrugs slightly. "I'm not even sure Kobrin knows yet. All he's told me so far is that it didn't happen in the air… it wasn't a crash. He was already on the ground." Sucking in a deep breath, Megan looks at him and forces a small smile. "So you'll help clear out an apartment this weekend?" As if it's really that simple.

"Yeah." agrees Jake easily. That was what he'd already agreed to do, although the words didn't get so explicitly stated until just now. He turns the fragment of a story over in his head for a moment and says, "I'll try to find out what happened." Because there's no question whether Megan wants to know the facts. He would want to know.

There's the faintest hint of a shrug, and Megan looks up to meet the man's eyes when he makes the offer. The thread of steel that has made its appearance with her volunteers now laces her expression. "Kobrin's going to find out," she says quietly. There's not a doubt in her mind because if he doesn't, she'll go on the warpath. "But any help you can put to the situation would be greatly appreciated."

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