Practically Family


kaydence_icon.gif matt_icon.gif

Scene Title Practically Family
Synopsis After a long day, Kay invites Matt back to her place where she catches him up on the state of his almost-family.
Date September 5, 2008

Matt Parkman's Vehicle - Outside Kaydence Lee Damaris' Home

Since Demsky had to run off and leave his partner behind, it was left to Parkman to drive her home. But the Homeland Security Agent had others with him, and other business to take care of along the way. Much of the car ride was spent with Matt on the phone, delegating responsibilities and organizing the seizure of the Harlem-located morgue's other files.

It's only once the other agents have been dropped at the bureau offices and Parkman pulls up in front of the Damaris home that he shuts his phone for good. Sighing, Matt leans against his seat and lets his head fall back. It's been a full day, after all.

Kay leans her head against the passenger-side window with a sigh. "That was the toughest thing I've done in a long time," she admits, now that it's just the two of them. She doesn't make any move to climb out of the car just yet. "You have no idea how close I was to begging Demsky not to make me go on this one with him."

"Don't lie to me, Damaris," Matt scoffs with a soft chuckle. "If your tip was my tip, I know you would have been chomping at the bit to go." He lets his head roll to face her, his eyebrows lifted and mouth twisted with lazy amusement.

Another sigh, and Matt changes the subject at the same time he adjusts his posture in the seat, making the leather squeak. "What kills me is why he would try to hide it. We'll have to bring him in, I think." For questioning, at the very least.

"Don't pretend it was the assignment that was difficult, Matt." Don't insult my intelligence. Kay shakes her head, "You're right. If it had been anywhere else, I would have been dragging Demsky to the car by the back of his jacket." That much of the topic is dropped and she choses to move right along with him. "Maybe he's sympathetic? Or maybe he thought if he covered up the true cause, her family would be spared something. I can't imagine what happened to that girl wasn't painful. He may have had good intentions. Or it… No, I don't even want to think about that." The mob gets more brutal every day. "Bringing him in is probably the wisest move."

The 'mob squad' is the last bunch of people that Matt wants to involve, and so that thought earns a sigh. "Sorry, Kaydence," he says, bowing his head a bit before he leans toward the door to open it. I thought…never mind what I thought. Even not speaking it doesn't make it better. "Yeah. I'll work that out tomorrow. Didn't you say that Cole's been asking about me?"

"You thought what?" Sometimes, she forgets he hears her stray thoughts. He's just always been a comfortable presence. She swings her door open and steps out of the car, waiting for Parkman to join her on the sidewalk before she speaks again. She doesn't head toward the house just yet. Kay wants to know what he's thinking. Her expression is more curious than demanding. A rarity for her.

Parkman takes his time walking around the car, but it's inevitable that he'll reach that sidewalk. And he does. And he buys time by locking the car, making it beep. Twice. "I didn't think…I didn't think." That's the answer. Matt shrugs and smiles that boyish smile, not wanting to continue down that road. It's…a bad road.

Kay sighs heavily. She can't stay mad at him. He's practically family. "Come here, you." She steps forward and wraps her arms around her husband's partner. Because he'll always be Spencer's partner in her mind. "It's really good to see you again." The hug is lingering. It's clear that she's using him as both a physical and metaphorical pillar of strength right now.

That hug squeezes a bit of a laugh out of Parkman, and he returns the hug with familial gusto, though there is a bit of a rub to Kaydence's back and even a few pats. She's Spencer's wife, after all. "You too. I'm sorry I haven't kept in touch much. Work and all." Once the hug is done and Matt pulls back, leaving one supportive arm around Kaydence, he tilts his head to look at her. "So…you gonna invite me in, or are we going to admire your house from the street?"

Kay gently pinches a bit of Matt's cheek between her thumb and forefinger with a grin, "I was afraid you would waste away without me to help pour beer and pizza into your gullet." She pats the squeezed cheek before she lets her hand drop to her side again. "Yeah, yeah, come on in." She fishes her keys out of her coat pocket and leads the way up to the house. "It's much the same as it was when you were last here, I expect…"

Damaris House

Is it ever. Well, except that it isn't brightly decorated for Christmas anymore. How long did she leave those decorations up anyway? The weather wasn't summery yet, but still far too warm for anybody to have any sort of an excuse for sporting tinsel on their mantle. But Spencer and Kay Damaris' home was always a shrine to their family. Everything from candid shots of the young couple dressed in matching Cornell sweatshirts with their heads together in the library, photos from their engagement announcements where they proudly display their rings, their wedding photos… Pictures of Kaydence Lee in various stages of pregnancy, ranging anywhere from glowing to staring in dismay as she wraps her arms around her obviously-ready-to-pop belly. Spencer is always beaming in those photos, but it's nothing compared to the grin on his face as he sits alongside his obviously worn out wife, her hair matted to her flushed face, holding their newborn daughter. The photos of the parents and child together are far more numerous than the ones of the young couple. Everything seems to be smiles. Birthdays, Christmases, Halloweens, New Years…

The last photo of them all together is one that was chosen for the Christmas cards that were sent out to their friends and family in '07. The subsequent photos are of Colene Marcella alone, or with her grandparents. Not another photo of Kay is to be seen.

All of that said, the house is a shrine to their love, but not in an overly oppressive way.

Unless you're the woman living without it. "Cole's with Grandma and Grandpa Delacroix. She deserves to spend her time around family, not a babysitter."

"Good philosophy," Matt says with a smile as he enters the familiar house, glancing about. It's been so long since he's been here, and only part of that is the fault of the nature of his new job. It wasn't long after Spencer died he was reassigned, anyway. His smile becomes more and more strained with each picture of the old boy his eyes fall across, so it's with a cough that he shrugs off his coat and looks down at his shoes.

"How is she? Doing well in school and all that?" Lord knows there are enough distractions, especially in a law enforcement family.

"Oh, she's amazing. She tells me she wants to be a cop like her daddy. I don't know what she thinks her mother is, but she says she wants to be just like Spence." Kay laughs briefly, bringing her hand up to cover her mouth before the smile can fall away from her face. "Just look at her." She plucks a framed photo off the coffee table and hands it over to Matt. "Isn't she just beautiful? My baby's a first grader now. She's doing really well in spelling." She winces faintly. Parental pride overrode her instincts not to touch on sore spots. "OH! She, ah, she drew you something. I'll go get it." She disappears into the kitchen quickly, "Do you want a beer? …Can you drink beer now that you're all important? Or do they make you drink wine and fancy cocktails?"

If Homeland Security ever hampered Matt's drinking preferences, he might seriously reconsider his employment there. Not really, but it would definitely be a strange and unwanted restriction. "Beer's great," he says as he looks at the photograph, shaking his head and losing his smile bit by bit. Kids grow up so fast…

"Really? Wow." It is somewhat shocking. He hasn't even spoken to Janice since the divorce, or even seen a picture of his possible son. And Molly is way past the 'let me draw a picture for you' stage. "I didn't know I had it so good."

From the kitchen, Kay laughs softly. She returns with two bottles of beer held between the splayed fingers of her right hand, and a picture in her left. The drawing is much like one might expect - stick figures with scribbled squares of colour to indicate clothes. The one labeled 'Mommy' has brown crayon hair and a turquoise dress, and the other is coloured with black, labeled 'Uncel Matt.' "Okay," Kay concedes, "so we're still working on how some words sound different than they're spelled. But she at least used a c, and not a k. It's progress."

Matt squints at the picture before he relaxes his face in simple, stunned adoration. "Hey, she's close." He doesn't mention the fact that he'd probably not have noticed the misspelling the first time, if Kaydence hadn't pointed it out. "But that's phonics, right?" Matt takes one of the bottles to ease Kaydence's grip on them. "You'll have to tell her I said thank you." He sets the picture down on the coffee table with care before he opens his beer.

"To the next generation," Matt offers in that casual, half-unsure tone he often has. "May they have fewer worries than us."

"I will drink to that," Kay agrees, uncapping her beer and clinking it gently to Matt's before taking a long drink. "God, that's good. What a long day." She gestures to the couch. "Go on then, sit down. We can watch television if you like? Or just… talk. Whatever you want."

Clink, glug…and soon half of Matt's bottle is gone down that special gullet Kaydence had previously mentioned. He doesn't need to be told twice to have a seat, and soon the upstanding agent is flopping down on the comfortable couch.

"Ugh," he sighs, scrunching his face and shaking his head. "There's never anything good on. Let's just talk." About what becomes the next obstacle.

"You've got that right," Kay smirks and grabs a seat next to Matt, kicking her shoes off under the coffee table and bringing her knees up so she can sit sideways with her arm slung over the back of the couch and face Matt. She leans forward to tap the drawing on the coffee table, "That was her very first assignment. They asked all the kids to draw pictures of their families. You should have seen her when she showed me that weekend. She was just beaming and said the teacher thought 'my dress' was very pretty. I tell you, I'm so glad I sprung for the big box o' Crayola so she could have more fun colours." She takes another drink from her bottle, smiling briefly. "I, of course, asked her if I could put it on the fridge. She gave me this face…" A face which Kaydence Lee now does her best to imitate. It's something of a furious pout mixed with childish determination. "And she said that I could, but that it wasn't for me."

"God, Kaydence," Matt chokes out, having been half-way through another glug of his beer when she spouted that bit of news. He coughs a couple of times, then smacks his chest before he looks back to the picture on the coffee table. Wow. Wow. After a few minutes, he nods, solemn once more. "It'll go on my fridge," he says in a softer voice. "And I'll look at it ever day when I get out the milk for my Cheerios." When he looks at Kaydence again, Matt's eyes are slightly glassy, but he's smiling that soft smile again.

"She said that I have… enough pictures of our family." That's an understatement, to be sure. "But that maybe Uncle Matt might like a reminder." The warmth fades from the woman's expression as she strokes her fingers over the drawing fondly one last time before drawing away again. "That's the first 'family picture' she's drawn without Spence. My mother thinks I should ask her therapist if it means something more than just the out of sight, out of mind factor… I don't think there's anything wrong with it. Maybe it means she's moving on, and that's good, right?" She rakes her fingers through her hair and sighs. "I knew being a parent wasn't always going to be easy, but I never knew it could be this hard." I never thought I would have to do it alone.

This is the hard part. Talking about Spencer. Matt nods, creasing his browline and frowning a bit as he takes it in. "I'd say it was good." But…was he replacing Spencer? It's a creepy, weird, and unwanted feeling. "I don't think she could ever forget him, though. Not a guy like him." Who could?

Matt escapes into his beer for a moment before he sighs again, looking thoughtful. "I guess I'm lucky Molly's older, you know? Coped pretty well with…well, with everything. And she does so much for herself. I don't have to worry much." But that doesn't mean he doesn't, and that's clear enough in his face. Kaydence wouldn't have to be a mind-reader to see that.

Escape is found in a bottle by the other occupant of the couch as well. She nearly empties it. "She's your kid, Matt. Maybe not by blood, but I've seen it. She's your daughter." Kay smiles faintly. "Cole just misses you. I asked her why 'Uncle Judah' wasn't in that picture, and she said she couldn't find the right colour for his coat." She laughs, but it's short-lived. "Shit, Matt." A tear is wiped away with her thumb. "He was a hero, you know? My hero, at least. I miss that man."

Even though neither Kaydence nor Matt are devout, their religious difference makes it difficult for the agent to say much in encouragement. "You know," he says after a moment, leaning forward to put his elbows on his knees. "If it'd be the other way around? I don't think he'd be doing as well as you are. He loved you so much." Matt rubs the flat of his palm against his beer as he holds it by the neck with a few fingers of his opposite hand. "Heroes…heroes don't have to be around to be heroes, I don't think. If they inspire or…give us something to believe in, you know?"

"Do you think so?" She sighs and rests her head against the back of the couch. "I just… I hope I'm doing everything right. It's hard raising our daughter without his guidance." Kay polishes off the last of her beer and sets it aside. "Would you stay for a little while? We can put in an old film and order a pizza."

"Sure, sure," Matt says, leaning back with a small smile. He's needed. He can see that. "Just as long as you don't get olives, and it's a chick flick." Simple rules that he knows Kaydence can live by. After all, pizza and beer are not conducive to anything but bullets and explosions.

"I'll order a bacon cheeseburger pizza." Kay gets up from the couch to go to the rack of DVDs next to the television. "How does the latest James Bond film sound?"

September 5th: Interdepartmental Cooperation
September 5th: Discussion Over Duck
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License