Tomorrow Will Be Perfectly Boring


auggie_icon.gif megan_icon.gif

Scene Title Tomorrow Will Be Perfectly Boring
Synopsis Too bad his power's not precognition — could be useful.
Date Jun 18, 2009

Camp Miller, Staten Island / Megan's Apartment

The soup vans are loaded up once more — the volunteers are on shifts, running one or sometimes two runs a day, depending on whether they have the time to do so. Megan's job, now fulltime out here running this effort, has become a number of long hours on-site at Camp Miller. And she's gaining a reputation as a holy terror when it comes to work ethics with the volunteers, too. She quite literally runs them like a military squad — she only has ten vans and about 50 volunteers total. She has two flight nurses, courtesy of Chicago Air, running a clinic out of the main hangar for 5 hours a day right now — noon to 5pm — when they're not out on runs for Chicago Air. Sometimes she, too, is manning the clinic for more extensive problems. Today she's been on the soup vans, and with the upcoming bombing runs, today is a whole new ballgame for the volunteers. Not that she tells them why.

"So here's the way it's coming down, people. We're starting to see a lot of 'observers' in the crowds, and the crowds we're dispersing aid to are getting bigger. As a result, we're going to be taking some stricter precautions, including — I hope! — getting an additional volunteer on each van on every run. Right now, we've got one driver-cum-bodyguard and one person handing out the goods. So far, things have been relatively calm and I'd like to keep it that way, but if we start getting bigger groups, we're going to start running out mid-run. To avoid that, I want the vans in teams of two and stocked as tight as you can make 'em. If one of you runs out, BOTH vans come backas soon as that stop is dealt with, regardless of how much food is still in the second. In addition, there are light machine pistols being mounted bove the back doors of the vans, camoflaged behind netting." She pauses and looks around at all of the volunteers.

"Let me be very clear here. IF YOU PULL THOSE WEAPONS, you will be answering to me. They are for your personal defense, they are not to be used to spook people, to threaten the observers we've been seeing, or to make ANY show of force aside from what may be necessary to get yourselves the hell out of Dodge. And believe me when I tell you, if you get back here and your situation doesn't tally for me, all hell will break loose. The people we are here to help are frightened, many of them are homeless, some of them are sick. They are not threats to us unless we don't stock appropriately. Any questions?….. Good. Then go."

At which point, the redheaded nurse turns to head for the van she'll be riding in today — conveniently enough, driven by the person she likes most! "Saddle up," she tells him with a faint grin.

And here's her Englishman, his brows peaked on his forehead and a certain exaggeration of dread marked on his features, manages to hold there, for all of three seconds before he cracks a crooked grin. "Aye, sir," he says. Pushing his shoulder back against the van's painted side, he jolts upright and soldierly straight, onto his feet, the rugged rubber and leather binding of his boots scratching wolfishly long, lazy strides toward the driver's cab. The handle jerks back with a metal-on-metal clunk of parts.

Seating himself inside, he then leans over the clutch and cupholders to unlock the other door, shove it open with a forefinger. "Ironic, ain't it?" he asks, as she circles around to his side. He watches the crowd disperse in the rearview above his wheel. "Dropping concrete getting your knickers in a twist when you've got machineguns mounted on top of your bloody grocery delivery and a whip cracking everybody's plates. I've got two words f' you —" it's the setup for some sort of heinously awful joke, either crude or a wicked twist of teasing, but —

"'Soul mate.'" He waggles his brows absurdly and sticks ignition with key.

She is not amused. …. Well, that's a lie. Actually Megan's quite amused. "I didn't know they were just concrete, August," she explains patiently — again! She told him almost verbatim what the conversation she had with Kobrin was like. She's still not sure if he peed himself laughing *at* her or *with* her over the fact that she went all banshee on the man. "I'm still not okay with dropping bombs of any kind on most of the people in this town, though… the Rookery maybe," she says as she climbs in a buckles up. Because he drives like he flies — an insane Brit, half the time on the wrong side of the road! "And I have machine guns that are not pointed at anyone, they're defense only!" she defends with a moue of her lips and a sticking of her tongue at him, but she adds with a chuckle, "But I'm so glad it turns you on!"

The engine grunts to life, spinning wheels against the stretch of ragged asphalt. The vehicle swerves gently into the roadway out of the air strip, diamond chainlink melting into a blur. Behind them, the other soup vans are beginning to pull into their wake like a gaggle of goslings. The one soup vehicle that's supposed to be partnered with Young and White struggles in the queue, trying to squirm out of the pack and catch up with the leading van— a struggle that occurs, sadly if rather comically, in vain.

Auggie, in the meantime, blithely motors on ahead, grip on the wheel and boots on the pedal, the window scrolled down just far enough to send a golden-fringed wing of spring air riffling through the russet locks of his lady love's hair. Life is good! And he is somewhat obviously too used to piloting solitary aircraft on his own. "The Rookery has a few more bollocking nasty business than the other parts of Staten, I'll grant you," Auggie says, "but it ain't like there aren't plenty of perfectly innocent people in there being taken advantage of.

"The population density would make it a bitch to sort one from the other too. No division's that simple, love. Mind you, I get it." There's a sidelong glance, his mout flattening to a wry line, going crooked. "'S like fucking Allied Force all over again. This doesn't mean I get to go back to smoking, does it?"

Megan has the grace to look abashed — he knows she quit years ago, though she slips once in a while. Even bought a pack after the Narrows came down, but tossed it without finishing it cuz he gave her the hairy eyeball on it. "Nope. If I gotta keep on quitting, you gotta," she tells him. That pack of cigarettes she had out on the flightline with Kobrin went in the trash this morning, blast it. She'll be damned if she'll pick that habit back up to the degree that she has to carry them with her. And the sideways glance she shoots him includes a roll of the eyes, cuz she's betting her lapse has not gone unnoticed lately. She sends him one of those grins — the one that says, 'yup, ya caught me, I suck!' "They're in the trash!" she tells him.

And then she grabs the oh-shit handle when he screams around a turn. "Hey now! This is not a jet or something, we need all four wheels on the ground, Auggie," she jokes with a grin. "You still didn't answer the question."

What. What! He gets that look about him again, Megan knows the one: the man guesses wildly at the indecipherable architecture of his partner's labyrinthine thoughts, exaggerate in a way that playfully implies the truth of their relationship. 'Does this dress make me look fat?' They aren't really like that; Auggie's never had trouble presenting his attraction in appropriate color and form. Still, he doesn't— actually— know what she's talking about, and that is reason for worry.

Moreso than the van lifting onto two tires, anyway. Sheesh. As they finish the turn, it settles back neatly onto all four, carrying its balance sleekly along the course of the road. Ahead, Staten Island's snaggletoothed lace of treeline and human neighborhoods rises into view. "Forgot the question," he says. "But thanks for displaying fortitude in the face of addiction."

It's a guy thing. Really! Megan just shakes her head at the man and says, "We're pulling up on the left two blocks up. Christ…." The last is barely a mutter because of of his driving. "Crazy-ass Brit… always on the wrong side of the road!" Does he realize how poorly he must be driving to get the tires up at all in a vehicle this heavily loaded?? The question is largely forgotten in her mild outrage over his driving.

To be fair, it is very top-heavy too. You know, what with the machinegun mount on it and everything. "Oi," Auggie protests, absent-mindedly, even as he gears the now perfectly balanced, righted-out vehicle along, slowing to something that pays vague deference to the speed limit. Behind them, their partner team throws out a honk of the horn, a flustered reminder that they are in this together. Technically. Yes, yes, he remembers that they aren't trying to outflank the enemy or keep tactical configuration, he just—

"Soup planes?" he suggests, adjusting the rearview with a lazy hand. Gradually, the other van crawls up, even as their target location reels in closer through the windshield "I'd be a lot bloody better at flying a soup plane."

Soup planes indeed. The man gets a snicker as he finally pulls up at their destination, and Megan climbs out to go to work. The banter back and forth between them is easy and casual, and it makes it simple to work together in this instance — she trusts him to watch her back, and she's able to work with the food and checking up on some of the people who've been her 'patients' at each stop. By the time they run low on food, it's a good four hours later, and Meg's wiped out. So much bad going on out there. When they get back to the airfield, she lets him take care of the van and its contents, merely giving direction on where to put the inventory list so that the van can be restocked, and heads in to grab their things. Getting off the island right now is a priority.

By the time they get back to her apartment, her mood has lifted once more and she invites him in for a late dinner. "Won't be much," she warns. "Might even be takeout," she admits. "I can't remember the last time I hit the market. Pretty sure the milk's even gone bad."

At least they aren't on Staten Island anymore. Here, you can at least be sure no chef is going to slip razors into your takeout. "No problem, love. I can see about throwing that out while we sort out what we're going to eat. You look utterly buggered." No, no, that isn't any conceited boyish disappointment in his voice. After the day she's had, it's a minor miracle her voice doesn't sound like a fading avalanche of bricks and broken glass, never mind she's tired.

In her Dochester Towers' tastefully furnished suite, they navigate around each other with the hitchy, comfortably companionable, not-quite-syncopation of a couple that's been together long enough to have learned each others' patterns, but not with the enforced proximity of cohabitation to have it down without hand gestures, occasional wires crossed ('What— shite, sorry, I was going t' get that—' 'You don't have to!'). He winds up getting out from underfoot and retreating to the laptop she has perched on the kitchen counter, dragging his finger down the mousepad to scroll.

"There's a Thai place does delivery right 'round the corner, did you know? Is it any good? S'pose I should try to play it safe. Be awkward to have an intestinal accident while I'm in the air tomorr—" a beat's pause. His eyes flit up over the top of the laptop, peek at her. "Obviously I've been palling around with blokes too much this past week."

Megan finally laughs at their somewhat-stumbling entrance and heads into the bedroom to strip out of her BDUs and combat boots, pull down her red hair out of its braid, and get into clothes more comfy for lounging around the apartment in. He could, of course, do the same if he wants — he's got enough clothes stashed here (and vice versa for her) that it's simple. "Thai's great, and you know it…. Go ahead and order what you want," she calls back to him. When she comes back out, she's not dressed all ridiculously sexy; a pair of stretchy, comfy yoga pants and one of his own T-shirts that she raided from the laundry pile is actually what she wears with her bare feet, copper tresses tumbling to the middle of her back. "You've only been hanging with the guys too much when you start telling me stupid barf and fart jokes," she tells him with a grin. "Want a beer?" she asks as she leans over his arm to see which Thai place we're calling.

It is called 'the Peanut Gallery,' which is probably why Auggie had gravitated toward it. It is hilarious! The ribbed black wife-beater that he'd changed into shows her his back in a lean column, and he reaches back when he hears her voice coming up with a tap-tap of feet, takes one wrist in each hand, pulls her forward around his waist, drawing her in until she's near enough that he can raise one shoulder uuuup over her russet-haired head.

Never mind beer. "I'm thinking pineapple fried rice," he says. Then, "You look pretty." Another quaver-beat, his finger guiding the window down over the menu offerings. "Ought to get one-a' those saucy 'certified yoga instructor' T-shirts."

The slate gray flat of his cellphone lays to the left of the computer; he hasn't called yet. Seems to have forgotten that he was supposed to. "You reckon this is going to be righteous?" Auggie asks, eventually, his mouth over her temple. He probably isn't referring to Thai.

Figures he'd choose that place. It's good food, though. "Oooh, I love their Pork Satay with peanut sauce," Megan tells him, settling easily against his side with her arms around his waist as he draws her in. "The pineapple fried rice sounds good too. Spring rolls too, please." When the compliment slides in there, Meg's smile turns soft and she turns her face slightly to rest her temple there. It takes her a minute to register what he asks, and another few moments to parse it from Brit-speak to something she can comprehend, and she goes still in his hands.

"Depends on the definition in the Queen's English versus mine," Megan says with a faint smile. She starts to turn her head to look at him but aborts the move, uncertain he wants to look at her while he works around what's going on in his head. Instead, she remains curled against his side, resting her head against his lips, and asks softly, "What do you want it to be?"

"I know what I want it t' not be," he responds, his voice somewhat more dry than — well. Damp? "Opposite 'f righteous. Or 'just a job,' in the sense that too many people on Staten Island think slitting throats and cooking meth is 'just a job.'" That doesn't excuse shit, as far as he's concerned. You don't need to have great elaborate moralized reasons to found every action you take between nine o' clock AM and five in the afternoon, but to visit death and destruction upon one's own species for no direct profit is one of those you should probably try to understand.

Or at least mutter about in his girlfriend's sanguine ginger hair. After a moment, his callused fingers clack down on the phone, tug it into the air. He thumbs it open. "It'll change something. For the better or the worse 's what I can't tell from where I'm standing."

Megan listens quietly, not interrupting his train of thought. When he stops, she does look up at him. Her eyes hold concern over his state of mind on this. "I can't tell you whether it's the right thing to do. I can tell you….. between me, you, and the fence post, Kobrin's claiming the alphabet soup agencies are backing him up. Based on what I know of tactics — which admittedly isn't much, I'm a nurse not a combat tactician — it would seem that if they're paying a private contractor to handle this, it's probably to soften up resistance to sending in the military to work on US soil — it's something we don't usually do. Whether that means actual military or this FRONTLINE thing I've been hearing on the news, I don't know." She nibbles her lip and says quietly, "I can tell you that if I didn't think Kobrin had the brass to actually do what he says he's doing — which is helping out Staten Island residents, admittedly for money or whatever — I wouldn't have taken the job. And I doubt you would have taken me out there in the first place if you didn't think it was righteous work. So….. are you doubting your own judgment, love, or just the current run?"

"The current run." Bleep-beep. Boo-beep. The phone's tinny midi voice filters into the air, taking in the ten digits displayed on the monitor's flat face. "I trust Ibra with my life, but he's an— interesting character, you know?" Auggie's brow stoops low over one blue eye, and he glances at the cellphone's diminutive display until it idles to dark. "As are most of the blokes he pulled together.

"Brass, we've got no shortage of. I'll stand by that." One warm palm rubs at the back of her arm, briefly, inducing a brief skein of frictive heat before he presses the green button. Its ringtone bleeds thinly into the air before he shoulders it up against his ear, pardoning himself with a brief squeeze around her waist. It'll only be a minute— maybe two.

Megan's content to let him make the order. Resting a head on his shoulder, seeming content not to move while he's on the phone, she considers what he's said. Only when he hangs up the phone does she look at him and say, "I already told him that if he actually goes through with this run and his hotshots fuck up even the slightest little bit and hurt civilians out there, I'm coming down on him like a ton of bricks. And I'm not kidding — I'll figure out a way to get his ass jailed or I'll just kneecap him myself, Aug." His redhead's not shy, that's for damn sure. "If you're not sure of this run, though…. don't do it." She'll back him one hundred ten percent.

This shocks Auggie like a bucket of Arctic seawater dumped down the back of his wifebeater. It's pleasing. Terrifying, also, yanking the easy humor out of his face and pulls the lines of his frame, features, hard against a scaffolding of terse tension. The cellphone is discarded down on the counter with a plastic rattle and slide against the granite top, and he steps around the tiny space allotted by their loose embrace to look her in the eye.

"Love," he says, "nobody likes getting shot at or going to jail. There are men who would sooner die, and more who'd sooner kill. Men like Ibra are a subcategory within the latter category— not only would he not take kindly to that, he'd take cruelly to it.

"See it as treachery, even from women as justified or reasonable as you are. I don't mean to scare you or build him up to be a greater evil than he is— he does good work. So did the old men I left behind in the RAF. Be careful what sort 'f action you take against him, a'right? And what you say. You a'ready know he ain't afraid of skirting the protocol or conventional morality to do what he thinks needs doing. You just— brace for the worst, and be careful with how you choose to phrase your conscientious objections, a'right? Please?

"Other'n that—" His brows dart upward on his tanned forehead. "I've got your back."

The seriousness of his gaze is not lost on her, and Megan gives him back soldier's eyes — the last time he saw that expression on her fact was the day the Narrows came down. That look that says 'seen too much, not taking too much shit anymore.' "I don't care if he skirts protocol. I'll even look the other way while he demolishes part of Staten Island under the black ops orders of the US government. But I won't tolerate people dead on the ground." She studies him. "I'm more worried about the fact that you aren't sure of this, frankly. You get wound up before a run and I know it's going to be a bad one…. you're thinking really hard in this case, and that…… " She reaches up to touch his face lightly. "It makes me think you should back off. Really."

"You want to know the truth, I probably would." There's a half-smile on Auggie's face and he cants slightly on his feet, hip resting against the counter and the granite cold against his arm. "But there's on'y a handful of people who can do what's going to be done, and they're going to try it regardless 'f whether or not I throw a hissyfit. Ibra's given us go-ahead not to take the shot unless we're completely sure. I think fast on my feet. Faster between my wings. It's not that I'm worried about, and I don't think I'm going to back out.

"But I am going to wince at the prospect of you taking this badly, but courteously subside in deference to third wave feminism." Joke. Means he's retreating if not exactly surrendering, and he'd done that at the Narrows too, a little. He'd been there for her, but a presence maintained without insistent pursuit of hammering out every little wrinkle under a barrage of cleverly sentimental discussion.

Megan merely rolls her eyes at him. "Fuckin' Brit-flyboy speak for 'shit - damn woman's freakin' out about somthing, it's time to run off and fly my plane or fuck her silly so she quits thinking about it,'" she snickers, clearly teasing … because he's made a point of, while not being the most emotionally available guy in the world, also not being exactly unavailable either. She doesn't expect him to talk much about stuff like this, and she grins at him. "And here all this conversation started with you asking if I thought things were gonna be righteous. I thought you were asking to move in!"

Food's coming in forty-five minutes, or maybe he'd take option B, or so says the look on his face, mirth and good-natured play. He inclines his head slightly, twists his mouth; manages to stop the shit-eating grin from crawling across the width of his face because suddenly things have kind of, sort of, taken a turn for the serious.

Where bombing a civilian island — isn't, apparently. "Well," he says. And then, narrowing his eyes, splaying fingers in the cool air like he is making a ginger selection out of a box of randomized answers, guessing effortfully at the right one. "…Yes."

There's a blink. And another. And Megan kind of cants her head a little to one side, looking at him with surprised face. "Excuse me?"

He had said 'Yes,' right? Auggie reflects on this inwardly a moment, before slanting a grin. "You are excused," he responds, genially. "But my answer stands. I've got loads of my shite here," his fingers scrubbing at the back of his head, now, "you've got plenty of yours in my wee monk's cell. Maureen's a'ways getting on my case about it whenever you're standing just around a strategically-positioned corner and showing off your fine profile against the back light of Staten Island sun.

"Not to be unromantic or anything." There's a quizzical lift of brows, some absurdly frank light behind his eyes, not unlike the sky from whence it so often seems Auggie had come. "Will you have me, Miss Young?"

She's forced to laugh, because honestly? It's not like she should have expected any different from the man. Megan nods very slowly and her grin holds an almost shy quality that shows only rarely when he's done something she finds either romantic or very sweet for whatever reason. "All right, then…. I suppose I will." It's kind of silly — they've spent more time in one another's company than at their respective apartments in the past several months anyway, so it's not as if much will change. He already knows what it's like to share space with her. "Guess we'll have to look into what it'll take to break your lease and such, hmm? Since my place is bigger." And then she laughs and admits, "That's not quite how I figured this'd come about."

"Really?" Auggie has the grace, or the opposite of grace?— enough to look surprised. His arms complete a loop around her waist, elbows folded in scissored symmetry splayed against one another. "I'd pictured this was exactly the way it would come about. My sweeping in debonair and eloquence, you unable to resist my inexorable foreign charms—"

"Uh-huh," Megan chuckles at him, snugged into the curve of his body and thoroughly amused. "Debonair eloquence, my butt," she retorts mildly. "I figured I'd just wake up one day and find that you'd moved in when I wasn't looking or something." She shrugs and admits quietly, "I think we're both a little too old to play games, hmm? It's working out, and I'm starting to forget what life's like without you around. And it doesn't bug the shit out of me, so… " She shrugs easily. "Can't believe I fell for a hard-nosed Brit, but what're you gonna do?"

Dive out of open glass with a parachute attached. "Dive out of open glass wi—" Auggie stops that thought there with a motion of his hand behind her back, where she can't even see it anyway. "Scratch that. Nothing. You're utterly trapped; there's no way out." His shoulders square, lower, arms thatching the size of her body, and he pulls her up, closer, digs the aquiline point of his nose into her cheek, a kiss moved onto her cheek and then a breath taken in through the silence of her hair. "Tomorrow will be perfectly boring."

He's a pretty good liar. He also has his hand on her butt, which is the sort of debonair eloquence correctly punctuated with a kiss.

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