Milk And Cookies


koshka_icon.gif samara2_icon.gif

Scene Title Milk and Cookies
Synopsis They can make anyone talk… even if they're terrible.
Date December 25, 2010

The Garden

Late morning on Christmas Day is a time that finds parents and children enjoying gifts and cocoa, breakfast of eggs and pancakes. This is a time when normal families would be cheerful, singing along with the Christmas songs on the radio, enjoying the company of others. But for Koshka it's just another day.

The Brennan family had been the best hosts, good people to be sure, and true to their word had seen Koshka off at some point in the city for the walk back to the safehouse. She'd waited until the family had gone, feigning excitement for the sake of the twins, before going her own way and taking a very circuitous route back to the Garden. Alone, except for her own thoughts.

That she'd seen her father was a highlight. That she couldn't spend the day with him hurt beyond anything the teen could begin to explain. And thoughts swimming around that encounter had haunted her until she'd arrived without realizing. In truth, Koshka found herself facing the Garden door, staring at it with mild surprise and lack of understanding. But with a sigh she let herself inside.

It's just another day.

The inside of the Garden, however, indicates otherwise. The smell of baking (which actually smells okay, but don't be deceived folks— the baker got the flour and sugar proportions confused) wafts pleasantly from the kitchen while Christmas music plays brightly from an iPod docked in the main room. We wish you a merry Christmas~ it plays happily.

Sami isn't one to let something like Christmas slide, even if Brian exhausted himself from the night before. She'd slipped out of bed, left him a note that she was on her way here, and showed up at Sable's door with 'supplies'. Egg nog. Her mother's sugar cookie recipe. An iPod with a tiny docking station (that she had aptly bought with some of the money they'd designated her for college— ghosts don't go to college). More hot cocoa. And her backpack of tricks— her proverbial tickle trunk of various activities. Including a gingerbread house making kit she'd bought on a whim two weeks before that she'd never gotten around to.

The open door interrupts her thoughts though. It pulls her into some semblance of attention as she leans out the kitchen to peek at the door. The hoodie she wears is far too big— and features a picture of Gir from Invader Zim wearing a santa hat along with the words, 'Merry Jingly'. Like the character depicted on her shirt, Sami is wearing a Santa hat. She shoots Koshka a broad grin. "Heeeeey you! I was hoping I'd see you! Otherwise I would've just had to leave the cookies for you." The inedible salt-cookies.

It's not with a grin that Koshka responds. She looks sad, surprise at finding someone else here and the fixings that are being made muted somehow by the emotion.

"Hi, Sami," the teen responds in melancholy. She pulls off her jacket, withdrawing an envelope from somewhere within before laying it over the back of the couch. The envelope, a white and legal size sort, is folded in half and jammed into her back pants pocket. "You came all the way out here to make cookies?" Why would anyone do that?

Sam shrugs slightly as she shuffles out of the kitchen, brushing her hands against her fading blue jeans, but the merriment in her face transforms to sheer puzzlement moments later as her head tilts and lips frown at the teen. Intuition is something Sami has in droves and sometimes, reading body language is a very useful skill.

She cranes her neck at Koshka and forces a very small, very mild smile. "It's Christmas," she manages quietly. "I thought might like some company and a little cheer. And Brian— well, he's pretty beat." Her eyes narrow slightly as she watches the teenager, "Hun, are you okay? You seem… out of sorts?"

Koshka doesn't seem to notice the frown, or if she does it's well ignored. She starts to gather her coat again, fingers curling around the material before she stops herself. "Why's Brian beat," she asks in typical fashion of dodging questions. She'd used the ploy before with Sami, with some success.

Leaving her jacket on the back of the couch, Koshka moves toward the kitchen. Her hands retreat into her pants pockets as she looks over the workings of cookie making. See? Nothing's wrong. "I'm just tired," she lies, "long walk."

The play last time worked because it wasn't so obvious. While she may hinge on ADD, Sami isn't completely out to lunch. Her jaw sets firmly and her head shakes while the front is actually allowed some permanence over her features. "Don't change the subject." She has a younger sister, she can recognize avoidance sometimes. "What happened?" She shuffles a little closer to the teen, abandoning the cookies for the moment.

Her eyes turn downward while her skin pales slightly, "Walking or not, it's Christmas… and I know that the world isn't…" now she actually frowns, the words aren't exactly coming easily. Brian is so good at these pep talks and she's so novice. Taking a slow deep breath, she restarts, "There are few moments when a person can cling to whatever lifesaver happens to be there. This is a lifesaver. While there may be war outside and people can be fighting about something on any given day, we can bring our own peace if we let ourselves." She sighs heavily, "Honesty… talking about it… that brings peace."

The youth is already shaking her head, trying to keep from falling into some proverbial trap. No one really cares, and talking about it doesn't make things any better. "Just tired," she says again, clinging to the tale as a last defence. Avoidance seems to come easily enough, though it fails at hiding what she'd rather not get into.

"Peace isn't going to come just because I talk," Koshka says quietly. Nothing good will come because she talked.

"Maybe not peace on the outside… maybe not peace in the fighting sense… but definitely peace in the inside. Like… " Sami's gaze moves to the window, staring outside while she tries to catch her thoughts. "I thought I was dead, right? I lost everything and nearly everyone because I thought I died. I was sixteen when it happened. I was nearly alone. I was scared. People couldn't even see me. I was… silenced."

She turns back to face Koskha while her lips twist to the side, "And it took a long time. Years even, but… I had a choice. I could be miserable and wallow in whatever anger I had for losing my life so early. OR— " and at this she lifts a single finger "I could talk to Rue about it. Eventually talk to Brian about it." Now her lips press together as she comes towards her point, a silent break from the after school special she's put on, "That's how I found peace. Things suck sometimes. And believe me, I know things can REALLY suck, but… we can wallow in the sucking or let ourselves… feel… lighter. Airier. That's what peace is. It's not this lack of fighting or some attitude of stupidity or naivety. It's recognizing what things are like and choosing to be happy anyways." Maybe. It sounds right.

Peace, whether internal or worldly, is a fine ideal. But to Koshka that's all it is. She sinks onto a chair at the table, head tipped so that her face is angled toward the table top. "It's not the same," she nearly whispers. "You wouldn't understand." No one would.

Pulling her hood up over her head, Koshka tilts forward a fraction more, chin resting on the tabletop. She chews over the problems, her own choices, and what could arise from talking. It's grim, in her mind. But, "My dad's in town," she says quietly, more to the table than to Sami. "I saw him last night." And this time she's the one that told him to run, in a sense.

The timer on the oven beeps, giving Koshka a moment's reprieve while Sami switches the uncooked cookies with the ones that are already made, following which she resets the timer and sits at the table in the kitchen, motion Koshka to come join her.

"There's more I can understand than you'd think," she says quietly. "And sometimes all a person needs is someone to talk to." Her eyes soften at the notion of her dad being in town, but she doesn't press much aside from asking, "How did that go?" She doesn't know the teen's story, so she tries not to make any assumptions.

"I can't spend Christmas with him," Koshka states, a slight tremor in her voice. That's how well it went. "For my own reasons and ones he can't understand or even know about." She clears her throat, then rests her arms on the table as a sort of wall around her face. "He asked, and… I wanted to. But… I couldn't."

The teen closes her eyes, as though to sleep and will it all away. To choke off the emotion still raw from last night. "He hates me now," she finishes, eyes opening again though still staring at her arms.

Reaching out to squeeze the teen's shoulder, Sami doesn't say anything for awhile. Her touch is gentle, her smile soft and her eyes reflect concern. Her mouth opens to speak but is closed moments later. "Koshka, look at me." The instruction isn't demanding, especially in its gentle whisper. "I don't know your dad, but your father won't hate you. Even if you don't always get along, and you don't spend Christmas with him, he will never hate you."

She leans forward in her chair. "But what I don't understand is, if you wanted to go… and he wanted you… Why can't you?"

Koshka doesn't look up right away, the muscles in her jaw tightening as she tries to compose herself back to indifference. The lie, the mask that's usually so easily maintained can't hide the hurt and knowledge of the anguish she'd caused her father. He does hate her, but not near so much as she hates herself for the choices she's made.

"It's… I can't." The youth hesitates, floundering for the best way to explain her reasoning. "There's… it's because I'm out here. Because I have to be out here. And what that means."

Samara's palms press firmly against the table as her gaze remains on Koshka. Her lips thin into a line while her eyebrows crease tightly together. She lets Koshka have some silence as she thinks about it. "Why— why do you feel you have to stay here? No one is making you stay… we care, and you're welcome to be here— "

A glance is given to her solidified cookies and her chair slides away from the table. She grasps a plate and piles several 'sugar' (aka SALT) cookies on it and a class from the cupboard which is promptly filled with milk. The plate of cookies is placed between them and the milk is left in front of Koshka. "And what does that mean, exactly?" her head tilts a little as she lowers herself back to her seat.

Turning away from Samara, Koshka settles her eyes upon the table top. "—No one's said I could just leave." And as far as she knows, she's suppose to be in hiding. Or something, until the Ferry decides what to do with her. That, in the teen's mind, is a pretty big reason. "I can't explain. Just… people who were here made it clear I need to be quiet."

"Huh," Sami eloquently manages as her eyebrows unhinge. Her fingers knit together carefully as her mouth opens to speak only to have it shut again. Her mouth opens again, but the words get caught in her throat again. Her elbows rest on her table as her hands comb through her hair at her temples, in some indiscernible motion.

”Who— whooooo… who told you that? Like did Sable tell you that you had to stick around? Or… someone else? I’m sure everyone wants to keep you safe but if you want to see your Dad I think things can be arranged or something? Like… why are you here, exactly, Koshka?”

To hide, to stay safe. She had nowhere else to go, not knowing that her dad had moved to the city. Koshka lets out a breath, hands rubbing at her eyes. "No one told me. But it's… why else would they've brought me here? Plus— I'm helping here." That sounds safe enough.

Why she's here, that's a little more difficult. Koshka chews over the question, hands lowering back to the table. "Because… I had nowhere else to go. The hospital was going to… I'm not registered."

Sami's features soften now as her lips shift into a round 'oh' shape. Things are making a little more sense now. "Well! I can understand why you're here." And as far as registration is concerned, she waves a hand, "I'm not registered." She's not even alive according to any record.

"But even though you're here… it doesn't mean you can't go visit your dad if you want to. Just talk to one of the adu— " Wait. She is one of the adults. At this random realization that hadn't really sunk in, she slides the plate of cookies closer to Koshka, "Here. Have a cookie. And I'm sure you're allowed to go if you want to. And still allowed to come back… family is important…"

Koshka manages a weak grin, probably the first she's shown that wasn't tinged with some sort of bleak emotion. At least she's not likely to get turned in for that this time. "You think… Maybe I should go see him," she asks, taking a cookie. "I …there wasn't anyone I could have asked last night. I mean, besides getting a note from—" someone who's somehow in the Network. "And it… I didn't know."

With a shake of her head, Koshka breaks off a small bite of the cookie, but rather than taste it she considers the texture. "Do… would it be okay to see him, you think?" The youth doesn't dare to hope, but the yearning is in evidence as blue eyes glance up at Sami.

The auburn haired woman smiles softly and nods. "I think it would." There's a short pause, "I don't have any power and it's possible that I'm totally off. But if you managed to meet up with him, as long as there were like precautions… I don't see why you couldn't. Like, I went and visited my parents."

Her smile turns lopsided. "I'll talk to Brian or Sable. Honestly, I think everyone wants you happy. Not just fed and housed, but actually happy."

Koshka manages a nod after a moment, her expression one that's torn between hopefulness and fear, one that says she might even cry. In an attempt to recover her bluff, the exterior show of aloof self-reliance, she attempts the bite of cookie she'd just broken off.

Only it's not really a cookie.

The youth's nose wrinkles as she chews, brows lifting and eyes peering at Sami in an accusatory manner. Well, she'd wanted to steer away from the dark corners of emotion. Eating a salt cookie is the best way to do that. "What'd you do to the cookies…"

Sam frowns as she reaches over and takes a bite of one of the cookies. Immediately her expression turns sour as she plucks the plate from the table. "I will conquer you," she murmurs to the plate before trudging to the kitchen and dumping the remnants in the trash. Determinedly, she plucks the bowl of cookie dough from the counter and empties that in the trash as well.

"They will not win— I can and will cook something awesome and everyone will be impressed by my mad skills," again, the words aren't directed to Koshka, they're made towards the cookie sheets as she goes about beginning a new batch.

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