Not a Halloween Shindig


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Scene Title Not a Halloween Shindig
Synopsis Cooper and Tamara spend at least part of Halloween night doing laundry. It may be just about the least-in-Halloween-spirit activity ever, but Tamara contributes a suitably bizarre tone to the evening.
Date October 31, 2009

Le Rivage: Laundry Room

It's way past dark outside, the first wave of trick-or-treaters probably home and soon to bed, if they aren't there already; the second wave, more inclined to mischief, is probably well in swing. Whomever's enforcing curfew probably has their hands full tonight.

On the other hand, the laundry room at Le Rivage is all but empty. All but, because there is one current user: a girl somewhere in her teenage years, perched atop a silent washing machine; there's only a dryer in use. Her feet hang idly in front of its door, head against the wall; her long blond hair looks like it probably hasn't been brushed all day, and there's mud splattered on the hem of her jeans. Tamara cracks one eye open to look towards the door, but otherwise elects to stay right where she is. Resting.

After a long day of well…. nothing. Nothing at all. After sniffing through all his shirts looking for at least one that wasn't too bad, Cooper decided to actually do something useful. It is one of those rare occasions that he actually steps foot in the laundry room. He's not exactly dressed to impress in baggy cloth pants that really should have stayed in the 80's and a gray shirt. He half drags a garbage bag of clothing and has a basket under his other arm.

There is a look of surprise on Cooper's face when he finds that there is actually someone there. "Uh… hi." He offers, inching his way over to a set of washers and dropping the stuff with a thump. He motions to two of the washers, looking over at Tamera. "I'm…. not going to find anything embarrassing of yours in there, am I?" Obviously speaking from experience.

That one blue eye watches Cooper walk in, his progress towards the machines. Its companion appears at his question, the girl's lips tugging back in a soft smile. "Nnnoo," she replies, drawing out the syllable in an amused tone. "Not mine." There's a heartbeat's pause, a considering tilt of her head. "Maybe a ghoul or two." She says it perfectly deadpan.

Tamara yawns, scrubbing her hands over her eyes, then drops off the washer that was her perch. She pads around the bank of machines in the middle to the wall of dryers on the other side, squinting up at the red numerals counting minutes. They're not particularly hard to make out from that distance, or even across the room; the wrinkle of her nose presumably reflects irritation at how many are left.

Breaking away from the machine, she continues around the room, coming over to toe the lumpy black bag of Cooper's clothing. His burdens get the same less-than-pleased expression as was bestowed upon the dryer. "Y'know you're supposed to sort them, right?" Which Tamara proceeds to set about, picking garments out of the basket and dropping them in appropriate piles — will Cooper or no.

There is a lop-sided smile before Cooper flips open the lids on the washers. A glance in the washer and brows shoot up. Reaching in he pulls out a ghoul's mask, his eyes flick over to her with an amused look. "I think the teenagers are out in forrrr… hey! Hey.. hey.. Whoa!" He reaches over to snatch a pair of his briefs from her. "I don't sort.. I kinda just stuff a lot in the tub and wash it. I put it on cold it should be fine." He tosses the underwear in the washer and muscles the black bag up onto the washer. He then up ends it and gives it a shake, anything that doesn't drops right in is stuffed into the tub.

"They are," she agrees calmly, as he confiscates the clothes from her hands. The girl tips her head to one side, apparently unruffled. A shrug of her shoulders; "Suit yourself." Tamara herself seems to ascribe to the same advice. She steps back to the row behind them, hops up onto the bank of washers before, and this time lays down across the white boxes, knees drawn up and feet curled back, right elbow braced against the metallic surface, head propped in her hand. Blue eyes continue to watch Cooper, with that hint of fatigue still lurking. "Are you going to wear it?"

Giving a cluck of his tongue, Cooper surveys the stuffed washer. A glance goes back to the girl and he sighs and starts sifting through the clothes in the washer, white things are stuffed into the other washer. "Wear what? The mask?" He gives a short bark of laughter as he glances at the hideous thing. "Not likely." One item is pulled out and he frowns at it, gives it a sniff, shrugs and tosses it in with the rest of the whites. "Not that I have to worry about embarrassing my daughter this year. Now that she's too far away, I don't get her at Halloween."

Flipping the lids closed, Cooper digs into the pockets of his 80's reject pants to pull out some coins. "Shouldn't you be out trick or treating… or at some halloween shindig?"

"Sleeeepy," Tamara replies, closing her eyes accordingly. Thus, trick-or-treating and halloween parties are no-gos. "Maybe a little later, when only the strays were left. Someone had to take them home before they wandered where they shouldn't." And apparently the girl has elected herself that person. Although 'a little later' seems likely to translate to 'after curfew'… which is also illegal, as it happens. Blue eyes draw open again, considering the man and his coins. "What did she do?"

Cooper eyes the young girl as he shoves the coin slide in and starts the machines. "Shouldn't that be their parents' jobs?" he sounds a touch amused.

"And she didn't do anything." Her murmurs, picking up the discarded bag and balling it up tight, holding it like a basketball. " I moved to New York. She's in New Jersey, too far for her mom to be bothered to drive and I'm on call." He turns toward the waste basket and tried to do a little jump throw… the bag flutters to the ground short of its target. A soft sigh, he gives a mild glare at where it lays.

"Should be. Don't mean they do it." Tamara lifts her free hand in an approximation of a shrug; what can you do? She watches the bag settle to the ground, not commenting on the flop that was that throw. "No costume? Maybe she'd like the mask," the girl adds, as she swings her feet down and hops to the floor again. Back around the room to the dryer which is just about to reach 0 in its counting, its door coming open with a tug and the metallic chunk of a magnet losing attraction. The clothes inside are pulled out by the armload and dumped into a waiting cart.

"Thinks she's too old for trick or treating." Cooper mutters as he moves to crouch down and scoop up the bag. He balls it up again and eyes the trash can. "She's only 11 mind you. " Another hop and a toss, the black bag goes in. He throws his arms in the air and makes the sounds of a fake crowd cheering for him.

Remembering he's not alone, Cooper's arms drop to his sides again and he tries not to look embarrassed. "Anyhow, I remember when she would dress up like a little princess.. Now it's training bras and nail polish… and Flo Rida.."

Tamara gives Cooper a smile as he attempts a neutral expression, shaking out a shirt from her bin and neatly folding it, without ever a glance down — not even to check whether it was right-side out or not. The second one she puts right-side out, also without checking.

Both of them — in fact, maybe even the whole entire bin — seem to belong to someone male and much older. The neat folding of each piece of clothing poses a sharp juxtaposition to Tamara's own unkempt appearance. After a small pile has gathered on the top of a washer, she folds her arms across the machine's edge and rests her chin on them. "Maybe she's not a princess, but she remembered she's yours."

"I.. guess. Might be why she asks for everything under the sun. I think she asked for an ipod for christmas." Cooper watches her fold, not exactly anything else to do. Teeth lightly scraping against the inside of his cheek, kinda thoughtful. Then he quips suddenly, "You.. ah… so you live in this apartment building with your dad? I kinda doubt you're into dressin' like a guy."

"Hm?" Tamara looks down at the pile of clothes in front of her as if she'd forgotten that they existed, as if for a moment she didn't know what Cooper was talking about. "Oh." The girl straightens back up, fussing the folded garments into a couple of new piles, picking another one out of the cart; buying time and searching for a good answer, perhaps, the kind of behavior that seems a trifle… curious, if not quite suspicious. "Kiiinda." She smiles at the shirt in her hands. "I wouldn't wear them, no."

Brows drop into a bit of a frown, "What do you mean kinda? A Guardian? Someone in this place responsible for you?" To Cooper, the young woman he eyes suspiciously looks no older then his own daughter. He moves to pull himself to sit on a counter, his eyes not leaving her; something is bothering him about her. His feet swing a bit, heels thumping lightly against the cabinet, as he states, "Seems a little odd for a teen to be doing laundry… weirder if it's a stranger's laundry."

Tamara picks socks out of the cart and methodically pairs them off, now watching her work instead of the cop across the room. She listens as he muses, failing to answer the questions; failing, perhaps, to even hear them. Though, after a moment, she tips her head and regards Cooper sidelong, a hint of a smile tugging at the corner of her mouth. "Who is a stranger?" Tamara asks, the question sounding philosophical, of all things. Not who do you mean or what is a stranger — but who /is/ a stranger?

Cooper is thrown for a loop by the question, not something he expected. His mouth open and closes a few times. When it comes down to it, Cooper is a stranger. Chewing on the inside of his cheek, he tries to think of a better way of asking things. "Okay… good point." He murmurs slowly. Well.. time to make himself less a stranger, "By the way… Name is Thomas.. Thomas Cooper. Though people call me Cooper. I live in this building, obviously." He kinda points at the floor as he says it. "You live here? Or just visiting someone that lives here?"

The girl chuckles softly as Cooper does his best imitation of a fish, and smiles cheerfully at him. "Hello, Cooper." Folding the last piece of clothing from the cart, she begins to transfer the piles into an actual laundry basket — the better to carry them upstairs. "I visited a lot of people," Tamara replies, after considering for a moment. "The shadows are busy tonight."

Failed attempt number…. ah hell, he'd lost count. Cooper purses his lips, a touch frustrated on his inability to get any straight answers from the young woman. "But…. Wait. Shadows?" He looks confused. "What shadows are busy tonight?" A night of laundry washing is turning into one of the weirdest conversations ever. Okay… not weirder then talking to the guy with the acid spit about his love life. Still, it ranks right up there.

"All of them!" Tamara replies, a burble of laughter beneath the words. Her gaze shifts to one side, looking ahead and into the distance; at a wall, even if her next words would go a lot better with a clock in view. "I should go; time's nearly here," the girl remarks, picking up the basket and bracing it against her hip. "And it expected somewhere else." She refocuses on the detective, wriggles her fingers in a farewell wave. "Watch the stairs; they bite when they play tricks." And she heads for the door.

The look on Cooper's face states clearly that he thinks she's off her rocker, his head slowly moves to watch her progress. His jaw shifts sides to side slightly before he calls out, "Be careful out there. Take a flashlight… and mace." The annoying blare of the buzzer on the wash machine distracts him for a moment, but then he adds shouting so she can hear him. "And be back in before curfew!" He sounds vary much like a father when he says that.

He frowns at the door way she's disappeared into. Quickly, Cooper reaches into his pants and pulls out his cellphone and starts scrolling through numbers looking for dispatch. He'll makes sure that strange little girl stays safe, whether she'll like it or not. He'll have the area patrols keep an eye out for her, and escort her home if need be.

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