Remember, Remember


kaydence_icon.gif matt_icon.gif

Scene Title Remember, Remember
Synopsis Someone's having a birthday - or rather, the first anniversary of their last birthday.
Date November 5, 2008

Crown Heights Police Station, Brooklyn

Nearly a third of New York's finest are stationed in North Brooklyn. Despite that, the precinct in Crown Heights is a gritty place. During peak hours, the lobby is packed with whores, pimps, pushers, drug dealers, and every other sort imaginable. The reception desk is protected by a wall of impact-resistant glass set with a grille for communication and a slot for paperwork. One side of the room is lined with benches, the other with doors leading to offices and interrogation rooms.

For some people, birthdays are a big deal. An excuse to celebrate, indulge at a nice restaurant and eat cake. For Kaydence Lee Damaris, it is a day she would be content to skip all together. This birthday is dismal for more than one reason. Unfortunately, when one lives with a six-year-old with an uncanny memory for dates and a deep devotion to make their mother happy, birthdays don't slip by unnoticed.

Kay's morning started with her over-exuberant daughter Cole surprising her with breakfast in bed, which resulted in Cheerios all over the bedspread. At least three choruses of Happy Birthday To You have followed since and Kay can only wonder, now that she's sent her daughter off to school with the promise that yes, Mommy will treat herself to something nice for her birthday, will she finally get some peace? Not likely at the station house.

With the election results sending many of the less-classy anti-Evolved up in arms and evoking joyous, if not still potentially dangerous, reactions from Evolved and pro-Evolved across the nation, Homeland Security has their work cut out for them. Working hand in hand with the Secret Service, Matt Parkman hasn't had much time to breath in the last 48 hours. It's lunch time before he finally is able to cut himself away for a few hours to pick up a gift for a good friend who is celebrating the first anniversary of her 29th year.

Matt's the kind of old face that needs no introduction as he walks into the NYPD's Brooklyn precinct, but the vase of orange, yellow, and dark red flowers he carries draws a few eyes and smiles from his old co-workers. Luckily, Kaydence's desk faces away from the door, so Matt is able to sneak up on her with the flowers rather easily. Wordlessly, he sets them on a stack of files on her desk, then leans back with a proud smile. He did something right and good, and he knows it.

"Okay, seriously. If that's another goddamn Guy Fawkes mask…" Kay mutters without looking away from her typewriter. When there's no snicker to accompany whoever's standing just over her right shoulder, the detective looks up, and over. When she spots the flowers, there's a look of shock on her face and when she sees who brought them, well, that just adds to it. "Oh, they're beautiful, Matt. Thank you so much. Kay climbs to her feet so she can wrap her friend in a tight hug and plant a kiss on either cheek. "That was so sweet of you." She leans back and asks with a sly grin, "What's the occasion?"

With a soft chuckle, Matt embraces Kaydence in kind, but he doesn't return the kiss. That's still odd, even if understandable. "You're welcome, Kay," he says before he too leans back. This is the tough question. Matt looks to one side, unsure for a moment, but then another proud grin splits his face. "I decided to make you smile today." Because it is /today./ "That a bad thing?"

"Good answer," Kay responds, tapping the Homeland Security agent on the arm fondly. "They're wonderful. Thank you." She reclaims her seat and tilts her head curiously. "You came all the way down here just to bring me flowers the day after the election?"

A sigh escapes from Matt as he pulls around a chair and takes a seat. It is obvious by the stiffness in his joints and the circles under his eyes that he hasn't slept much. "Smiles are important," he says in a matter-of-fact manner and with a slight shrug. "And I happen to like yours. Besides," he continues, waving a hand, "we've got good people down there. They can survive without me for a couple of hours."

Kay actually blushes when Matt says he likes her smile. "Do you ever get off work in situations like these? Or are you kind of on duty until January?" She kids, of course, but there's still something genuine in the question. "I was wondering if you would come save me from an evening with a very over-enthusastic first grader. She wants to bake, Matt." Not that Kay's incapable of it, as she used to make sure her family actually ate home-cooked meals, but somehow the prospect just seems a little scary today.

"Sort of. I'm technically on duty - on call - all the time." Matt takes another deep breath, and his smile settles into a more comfortable one. Spending time with Kaydence is worth eating a sidewalk hotdog on the run. At the mention of Cole's exuberance, Matt's smile gets bigger. "Aw, Kay. Let her. How often does she get to do family stuff like this, huh? Just make some cupcakes or something."

"This thing she wants to bake? It's massive. And in the shape of a cat. My mother went and bought her the mold for it. …And the appropriate amount of candles. Can we, uh, make one disappear?" The woman buries her face in her hands and groans. "My mother. Always thinking of me, you know." Kay's head perks up and she smirks, "Maybe we should make all but one disappear. First anniversary, right?" She won't come right out and say that it's her birthday, because that would be admitting, and that's just no good, but they both know what today is so she can at least have the courtesy to beat around the bush.

Matt laughs at the description of the cake, then shakes his head. "So let her bake it with your mom, then eat a peice. Cake and candles aren't going to kill you, Kaydence, and honestly? The big 3-0 isn't that bad." Matt shrugs, then shakes his head with another chuckle. "Am I old?"

Kaydence Lee slaps her hands over her ears. "Lalala! Dunno what you're talking about. I am the teeny, tiny, two-nine." She lifts one hand slightly and shoots Matt a look. "Of course you aren't old. But you're a man." You hold your looks longer.

With a rare smirk, Matt adopts the parental 'oh really?' expression. "So when do I get to bitch about my age, huh? When I'm dead and in the ground?"

"When you've got more grey hair than I do. Then you're allowed." Kay does an admirable job of quelling her smirk and supplements instead a sage nod. "You're only, what? Thirty… two?" It's hard to tell if she's teasing him or if she's serious, really. Even for the telepath.

"You've never pulled my file, Kay?" Matt snorts out another laugh. "I'm thirty-nine. Thirty isn't over the hill," and the Homeland Security agent suddenly loses much of his mirth. "Forty is." What are men at forty supposed to have? What does Matt have?

"See? We're both at the rough patch here. In man years, forty is the beginning of the end. But in woman years? Our lives are over ten years sooner. Oh, God." Kay seems as though a though has just suddenly fallen out of the sky and struck her. "I'm going to be a spinster. …Spinsters don't usually have children, do they? Hm. I should get a placard made up for myself: K.L. Damaris, Professional Widow. Maybe business cards. Hand them out at parties?"

"You are not a spinster," Matt chides with a frown. "Spinsters were young crows before they were old crows, which is why they never marry in the first place. And Cole double-disqualifies you. I don't see why you're so upset about it anyway." Matt leans back, shaking his head. "You're a woman. What? You want to be some airheaded girl? What's so nice about that?"

"There is a difference between being a woman and being of a certain age," Kay says pointedly. Listen close, it's time for education. "I've been a woman since I testified in court the first time. But now there's all these labels that are going to be attributed to me, you know? I mean, it's not like I'm worried about being alone. I'm not… looking or anything. But soon the whispers will circulate that I'm dressing too young for my age or that I indulge in activities that belong to younger women and I'm not ready for that."

Like a dutiful student, Matt listens, but nothing Kaydence says makes that frown disappear. "What? You want to dress like a scamp and go out to bars to have men buy you drinks? People are going to expect you to be responsible, just like they already do. Like they always have. And not because you're a certain age, but because you have a daughter. Do you see me trying to get floosies or spending crazy amounts of money on cars and crap like that?" There is a male equivalent.

"No, but I see you telling me I have a nice smile on the first anniversary of my twenty-ninth birthday when you didn't have to." Oh yes, Mister Parkman, I am on to you. Kay's eyes glint with mischief as they settle on Matt's, leaving the words on her mind unspoken. "I do have a lot of cute outfits, though. They're not skanky. They're cute. Young. Flirty. Nothing wrong with that, right?"

Matt shrugs. "I guess not. But I guess I'm at that age where I prefer someone sensibly, yet attractively dressed over someone who…" but Matt cuts himself off, trying to find the right words. The original phrase definitely wouldn't have worked. "Who looks like their only interested in a few drinks and one roll."

"You know I was paid to dress like a street walker, right?" Kay teases, brows lifting toward her hairline. "Is it the blonde hair? Does it make it look like I'm try too hard? Screams 'cheap hussy who doesn't want to admit she's old,' doesn't it?" None of it's serious, but there's no mistaking that she's still not pleased that her thirtieth birthday is upon her. "So, ah…" She clears her throat quietly and sits thoughtful for the space of a couple seconds while she tries to find the right words. "What if I called my mother up and asked her to pick Cole up from school so they can bake that cake and… after work, I can go home and put on something sensible yet attractive," she lets out a huff of a chuckle as she echoes his words back to him, "and we go for a few drinks?" No promises about the roll. "Please tell me you aren't reading my mind right now." Her cheeks flush a brilliant shade of crimson. That came out wrong. I was kidding. Oh jeez.

The shock that flashes across Matt's face should be an answer in and of itself when that thought pops into Kaydence's head should be enough to satisfy her question. He blushes as well, and looks at his shoes. "If you didn't let me have some cake, I'd be upset. So… so I guess I wouldn't mind paying for it with a drink or two."

"This isn't just a beer we're talking about here, Matt." Kay fixes him with a serious gaze at the blush starts to slowly recede from her cheeks. "So only say yes if you know what you're saying yes to."

Wait, what? Matt furrows his eyebrows and tilts his head, attempting to dig deep and without permission into Kaydence's head. What is she getting at? "What?" he asks at the same time, "What do you mean?"

Oh, God. He had no idea what I was- "I'm asking you on a date, Matt." Kay looks first over his shoulder and then down at her feet. "I probably shouldn't have, huh? I just…" Her voice trails off while her mind races. After that night… Of course, he was just being nice because I had just come home. You're so stupid, Kay. "Just forget I said anything. Thank you for the flowers, Matt."

Matt is considerably floored at the idea, but it only takes him a moment to bounce back, and there is a smile, if a somewhat shakey one, on his face. "No, it's okay," he reassures. "We'll have a great time."

"Don't do this just because you're feeling sorry for me on my birthday." Good job. Now you're a pity case. "You don't have to go out." Kay's gaze takes on a far more vulnerable look not usually at home on her face. It wouldn't be fair to just lead me on, either.

It's a good thing the precinct is a noisy place, or Matt and Kaydence would have the beginnings of scandalous gossip on their hands. As it is, Matt leans in a bit before he focuses his mind, his expression stolid. I don't want to talk about it here, Kaydence, he projects, but it isn't hard to imagine him saying those same words in whisper. If you want to go out, we'll go out. If you want to stay in, we'll stay in and watch a movie at my place. But if I've got an opportunity to spend time with you, I'm not going to turn it down, no matter what we call it.

Kay glances around self-consciously for a moment before she leans in as well. She was more concerned about what they aren't saying to each other than what they are. But he's right. Office gossip. Yeah, but if I'm calling it one thing and you're treating it like another, then that's no good, either.

Matt is silent, both verbally and mentally, for a few heartbeats. There is some gear-grinding going on in that head of his, and it takes a moment for it to come to a halt. And that halt is a screeching one. Throwing office gossip to the wind, Matt reaches out to cradle Kaydence's face in his hands. He holds her for a second more before he closes the gap and kisses her.

After all, if all of this anxiety and hesitation was borne of a kiss given in a time when nerves were raw. Perhaps all the situation needs is another test. A control sample.

The confusion in Kay's features at the silence is overtaken by shock when his hands come up to her face and their lips meet. For a moment, her eyes grow wide as saucers as her face flushes again, allowing Matt to even feel the heat in her face due to their proximity. But slowly, those eyes slide shut again and the detective kisses the agent back. It was somehow different when she kissed him. More forgivable, somehow, for the woman to have the lapse in judgment. But this? This is far less innocent than that. And what's more, Kay couldn't care less.

For all it's lack of innocence, the kiss doesn't last long. With a sharp intake of breath, Matt breaks it and leans back. In another moment, he's standing, and while his expression is one of focused concentration, there is a boyish glint in his eyes. "I'll come by at seven," he says in a softer voice before glancing around the office, which has stilled to some degree. Swallowing, Matt adds in a louder, more contrived tone. "If that doesn't make you feel younger, then I'm out of ideas."

"For the last time," Kay insists loudly enough for the benefit of her co-workers, "I am twenty-nine! Now get out of here before I call a cop or something." She looks around the office, daring anyone to open their big mouths. She is The Bitch, after all. "Asshole." See you at seven.

Rather than respond, Matt just turns and walks away. But before he gets too far, a smile curls into one corner of his mouth. Take care, kid.

November 4th: Didn't You Turn Into a Feeb?
November 5th: Birthday Cake
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