What the Mirror Holds


jessica_icon.gif judah_icon.gif kaydence_icon.gif tamara_icon.gif

Scene Title What the Mirror Holds
Synopsis Jessica returns to her apartment with an unconscious Tamara in tow. Dialing the number the teen gave her brings detectives Judah Demsky and Kaydence Damaris to her door — and it's probably a good thing they aren't there on official police business.
Date August 21, 2008

Brooklyn — Jessica's Apartment

It's about 30 minutes post-collapse of Tamara. Jessica has slung the girl over a shoulder, as well as taken the post-it she wrote, headed out to her car, and from there, headed home. Once there, she stops the car, gets out, and takes Tamara inside, still slung over the shoulder. She puts her down on the couch, and then heads to the telephone. 7 digits, looks like a New York exchange…she dials.

The phone rings once — twice — three times. Just when it's about to shift to voicemail, someone on the other end picks up and the sound of heavy traffic can be heard through the receiver's speaker. "Demsky," comes a low, rough voice that sounds like a bark, "who the hell is this?"

There's a pause there, as if the gruff welcome threw her for a loop for a moment. "You always so charming? I've got something that I think belongs to you." She looks over to the girl on the couch. "At least as far as I can tell."

The sound of traffic fades to a quiet murmur. Either the person on the other end of the line decided to move inside or has ducked into an alley somewhere. That thing called privacy is apparently more important now than it was a few moments ago. "Yeah," the voice agrees, "you do. My number."

The woman on the other end of Judah's line says "Yeah. I was more thinking about the kid stretched out on my couch. Blonde, talks like word soup made out of fortune cookies?" She considers Tamara a moment, then turns her attention back to the call.

Silence reigns for almost a full ten seconds before the owner of the voice clears his throat, resulting in a soft crackling sound. Jessica's description of Tamara must change things because there's an urgency that wasn't there before when it asks, "Where are you?" followed almost immediately by: "Is she hurt?"

Jessica hesitates a moment before giving out an address, but apparently Tamara trusts The Voice. "619 Washburn, Apartment 216, in Brooklyn. And yeah. She was being chased by what looked like some gang punks. I got them off her, and patched her up some, but she went batshit on me when I tried to call 911 for her. Then she passed out. She's on my couch now."

As soon as Jessica stops talking, the man — because it must be a man — grunts in response. "I'll be there in ten minutes," he tells her. "If she wakes up, don't move her, don't touch her, and don't even /breathe/ the words 'emergency services'." And then he hangs up, leaving Jessica alone with an unconscious Tamara and the solitary beep of the dial tone.

Jessica hangs up as well, and at that point, there really is little enough she can do until the man arrives or Tamara wakes, so she grabs a chair and moves to sit near the girl on the couch.

A few minutes after Jessica settles into her chair, Tamara's eyes blink open, practically on cue. Where most might look around the strange place they woke up in, her gaze flicks directly to Jessica. Her gaze is unfocused enough that it's hard to tell if she actually /sees/ the woman, but it shifts to regard the door shortly afterwards.

Jessica is ready in case the girl tries to rabbit again; having seen it once, she's preparing for it a second time. "Just lay there. Your friend is on his way." she tells Tamara. "He should be here any minute."

Said girl doesn't really seem inclined to move. Not beyond her eyes, at least, which seem to track something across the room as Jessica speaks; and her hands, which are brought up to rub said eyes a moment later. Tamara looks over at Jessica, as if to say something, then closes her eyes and shakes her head.

Jessica looks back at Tamara. She has to ask, since she might not see her again once her friend gets here. "Did you see something? In the mirror?" That's Jessica's real curiosity in this whole issue. It seemed like she did.

The question elicits, of all things, a weary sigh. "Mirrors. Mirrors hold… reflections, shadows." Tamara's voice is tired and rambling, but she attempts the answer. "Is and isn't. Always pictures, always there. That's not what you want," she continues, reaching too easily into may-be. Blue eyes gaze into the distance, and she licks her lips. "It's not… not your mirror. Not what you see. Pieces. Pieces a long ways away."

The blonde woman looks to Tamara, trying to honestly listen instead of dismissing what she's saying. She frowns as she listens, though. There's no answers there. It was a long shot in any case. A long sigh escapes her lips, and she nods. "Just rest. Your friend will be here soon."

Tonight? No, no answers. Blue eyes flick to the door, then close again, the girl settling back against the couch. "Yes. They were," Tamara replies softly, a very faint emphasis on the plural pronoun.

Heavy footsteps and harried voices filter through Jessica's front door, their origin tracing back to somewhere in the hall outside the strippers apartment. No sooner have the words "they were" left Tamara's mouth than a loud pounding announces, presumably, an arrival.

Jessica hears the voices, and then the pounding. She looks back to Tamara, a faint frown on her face. "You don't paint, do you?" And then turns to walk over to her door. Being prudent, she does take a look through the little peephole before opening it.

Since Jessica's moved away, Tamara doesn't bother to answer the question. Since her guests are beyond the door and soon to be invited in, the teen picks herself up off the couch, sitting up in the middle and setting her feet on the floor. Her right forearm is bandaged, as is her left shoulder, beneath a slashed and bloodstained T-shirt; there's also a residual bit of blood near one corner of the girl's mouth, but /that/ much isn't hers.

Jessica is greeted by the angry face of a tall brunette woman. On the other side of the door, Kaydence Lee Damaris raises her fist and pounds on the door, while simultaneously kicking the opposite foot against it as well. "Police! Open the fucking door!" BAM! BAM! BAM! Are those steel-toed boots or what?

A large, calloused hand closes around Kaydence's shoulder, pulling her back and out of Jessica's field of vision. Whether those are steel-toed boots or not doesn't matter; the brunette's companion and the owner of the voice on the phone, whoever he is, isn't about to let her go kicking people — or things — all willy-nilly. "Calm down," he snarls, and although he isn't sounding very calm himself at least he isn't assaulting inanimate objects. A pause. "Would you please open the door?"

Jessica looks back over at the girl on the couch. Her eyes are narrowed. "This is what I get for being a good Samaritan," she mutters. Niki Sanders has a record with the police. Something about killing a half dozen people, beating the hell out of assorted cops and a police shrink, and then having the charges dropped due to a reputed mobster. This is going to be SO pleasant. Not to mention the fact that she still hasn't changed out of her work clothes. She opens the door, and steps back. "Come on in." She's in a black leather miniskirt, a tight white top, and some of those completely impractical stripper heels.

Dark eyes gaze steadily at — through? — the door so abused, and though the teen presses the fingers of her right hand against her temple, that gaze is level and nearly clear. For the moment. "It's okay. Don't let them bother you." And when Kay comes in, it will be to a -look- from Tamara.

Kay narrows her eyes as Judah pulls her away from the door. "I'm gonna kick someone's ass if that girl is hurt," she whispers to her partner before the door is opened. Once it is, her priority is seeking out Tamara. She smiles at her, completely unruffled, and shrugs. What'cha gonna do? Her expression softens into something else entirely when she lays eyes on Jessica, however. The anger seems lost for the moment.

Judah follows Kaydence into the apartment, hanging back as tall, hawkish men with the New York Police Department are oft prone to do. Unlike his partner, the fury remains etched on his face, creating deep lines and wrinkles that make him look older and more weatherworn than he probably is. Jessica receives a curt nod, a silent thank you. If she'll allow him to move past her, he makes a beeline for Tamara, his strides quick and purposeful. Kaydence always was the more personable one, anyway. Whatever questions need to be asked, he trusts her to ask them while he checks the teen over.

Jessica makes no move to interfere with either. Nope. Full cooperation, ossifers. She steps back, lets the both of them go past her if they choose to, to get to Tamara. Assuming no one blocks her from doing so, she will shut and lock the door again once the two police are inside, though.

Given that Tamara is perfectly at ease — aside from the look she gave Kay, at any rate, which dissolves in very short order — well… hopefully they won't raise a fuss. Blue eyes, unfocused, drift across the room, and the teen doesn't quite seem to notice Judah's approach. But then, however angry he may be, it poses no threat to her.

"I'm Damaris. This is Demsky." Kay jerks her head in Judah's direction. "You wanna tell me exactly what happened here? Demsky, why don't you take Tamara to the restroom and get her face cleaned up, huh?" She stuffs her hands into her pockets and raises her brows questioningly. The floor, it would seem, is Jessica's.

Blood spatter analysis may be Judah's forte, but without the sophisticated technology back at the lab he has no sure way of knowing how much of the gunk on Tamara belongs to her and how much of it belonged to her aggressors. He crouches down in front of her, places his hands on her knees and looks up at her face, trying in vain to gauge the extent of her injuries by staring into her eyes. When that doesn't work, he heaves an exasperated sigh, licks his thumb and uses it to wipe away the residual blood from the corner of her mouth. "Kiddo," he mutters thickly, "you're a mess." Apart from this, there's no scolding, no wag of the finger or cluck of the tongue. Whatever the relationship between these two is, Judah has enough experience to know that reprimanding Tamara for allowing herself to get roughed up won't do either of them any good.

Jessica nods, and gives the longer version of the short version she gave to Judah. "I was just getting off work when I spotted the girl there and someone else, running from a bunch of gangers. She'd already been cut some. I helped her out, and the guys ran. Probably didn't want to fight the bouncers if we started yelling." Or, y'know, maybe she heaved one 25' into another one. Hopefully crazygirl doesn't sell her out on that one. "Took her back inside to get some peroxide and bandages on those cuts. Tried to call 911, and she flipped out and tried to run, but I guess it was all too much and she fainted. I really wasn't sure what else to do, so I brought her back home. She wrote this down…" Jessica takes out a Post-It with Judah's number on it in Tamara's handwriting. "So I figured I'd call and see if somebody could help. That's pretty much the whole story."

The physical contact seems to draw Tamara's attention back, blue eyes almost focusing on Judah. She looks down at his hands, as if they are a curious and unusual sight, then back up to his face. Looking for something — maybe just the image that is 'now', and not a subtle variation on it. "Fuzzy," she says, tone making it an answer. "Splinters and…" A lapse in attention, but Tamara quickly refocuses on the detective. "…reflections. Spinning. They should get dizzy," the girl concludes in a grumble, closing her eyes.

Kay's eyes fix on Tamara when she speaks. Oh jeez. The kid's a loon. Demsky, what have you gotten yourself into? She turns her attention back to Jessica and nods. "I didn't catch your name, Ms…?" She tilts her head to one side, curious expression settled there.

"Okay, come on." Judah attempts to tip Tamara forward and scoop his one arm under her knees while the other lays across her back, lifting her the same way he might try to carry a small child half her age and weight. He moves slowly, carefully, with a special attention paid to her build and angles that suggests he's had to do this — most likely without success — at least once before. "Let's get you home."

Aww, crap. "Didn't throw it." she says, trying to make light of it. "I go by Jessica. I work down at Exotica." Hence the funny clothes. Just a stripper, nothing special. Really. She gives Kaydence a friendly smile with the statement.

Today, Tamara lets Judah pick her up. Fortunately, she doesn't weigh that much. "Don't push," she says softly, closing her eyes and resting her head against Judah's shoulder. That statement seems to use up what energy the teen has left; at any rate, she doesn't embellish on it.

The female detective's expression slowly hardens again after the information is given. "Exotica. That's good. Legitimate work." She nods her head once, as if that truly meant something. It must have to her. When Judah scoops up the teen and carries her toward the door she follows only with her gaze for a moment. "Thank you, Jessica. You did the right thing." Somehow, Kay has the feeling she isn't going to have to tell the other woman to keep it to herself. She grabs the door for Judah, unlocking and opening it so he can take the girl out.

Judah affectionately bumps his nose against the top of Tamara's forehead, turns around and begins retracing his steps. Wordlessly, he gives Jessica an appreciative look on his way out the door. Maybe it means "Thank you for taking care of Tamara." Maybe it means "I owe you one." It could even mean "Nice tits." Who knows? There's no way to be positive, though, because he's soon gone and on his way back to the unmarked police car that he and Kaydence left parked outside the apartment complex.

Jessica waits for Kaydence and Judah to step outside with Tamara. Once the two are outside, the blonde locks up behind them, and breathes out a long sigh of relief. She finally steps out of the shoes, and starts towards her room, only taking the time to address the mirror as she goes by. "THAT'S what you get when you try to solve other people's problems." And she proceeds into her room.

August 21st: Once Upon a Midnight Confusing
August 22nd: The Curious Case of Larry Santos and Paul Lezama
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