Why Don't You...


grace_icon.gif nalani_icon.gif rebecca_icon2.gif

Scene Title Why Don't You…
Synopsis Almost everything Grace says to Nalani, what Nalani says to Grace, and a good portion of what Rebecca says to Grace could be modified to begin with those three words (if it doesn't already). Tonight is not a peaceful night in the precinct (contrary to 'Becca's wishes).
Date February 27, 2009

NYPD Headquarters

The New York Police Department Head Quarters is an old stone building, rennovated many times over the years. The plaster walls are not as cracked and in need of repair as the various Precinct buildings around the city. The fluorescent lights give the room a rather sterile glow. Old posters, civic reminders, duty rosters and newspaper clippings are tacked up on the walls, rustling every time one of the doors opens. A high, wooden desk sits on the north wall, manned by two clerks, who records all visitors and arrests.

It's late in the evening and Rebecca, as usual, is working late. She tends to come in early and stay late, since she isn't much for a social life. This is what drives her. Solving the puzzle of a crime. She is currently working with a laptop, having tried to extract some information that's been deleted from it. She's tried every trick she could think of but the information she needs to crack this case is one layer lower than she can access. She's already put in a call to one of the crack computer techs she knows, and is patiently waiting for her arrival. But so far, all it has been is a frustrating experience. If she were a more violent type, this computer would have been in pieces, but so far, she's just accumulated a whole lotta nothing with a whole lotta aggravation. The other officers are out in the lobby.

It isn't often Grace gets called in to aid the NYPD, although — being a freelancer — she does odd jobs for everyone. So the woman doesn't bat an eye at Rebecca's phoned request, just promises to be over soon. 'Soon' arrives, along with the raven-voiced woman. She gets past the officers in the lobby by virtue of being a known quantity with a respectable record; works her way through to the doorway of Rebecca's lab, bracing one hand against the doorpost and peering in. "Hey," she greets, in the rasping, ruined voice that doesn't particularly mesh well with the 'casual professional' black slacks and red blouse under charcoal jacket that define Grace's appearance today. "So what's this thing that's giving you a headache?" the tech asks with a hint of a smile.

Rebecca's fingers turn the blasted laptop towards Grace as Becca grumbles. She explains what she's trying to do, grab a layer that's just beneath her accessibility. "I've been trying for hours now and the stupid file is only about 30% complete. I am hoping you can recover it. It's the key piece in this upcoming trial and if I can't get it.. no case." She doesn't mention what the file is, nor what the case is. Of course, there was a confidentiality agreement signed by the visiting tech or she'd never been called in. "Anything you can do?"

"Probably," the harsh-voiced woman replies. She slides into a seat next to Rebecca, setting her own computer down on the table. While it wakes itself from standby, Grace turns the laptop of interest to where she has a clear view of the screen and studies the forensic tech's work. "Yeah, I think I can get more. Don't know about the whole file," she muses, "but we'll see. Let me take an image to work from and I'll see what I can tease out."

Nodding to the tech, Rebecca stands up and rubs at her temples. It's a reflexive reaction when she's worked herself pretty hard and gotten nowhere. Her form of a 'brain dump'. She walks over and begins to work on another case. Some bones lying on a table. She doesn't quite have an entire skeleton there, but there might be enough that she could tell what happened. She lets the tech work. "Been up to anything fun lately?" She asks, somewhat distractedly for her own self.

Two detectives are standing just outside a door, one with a coffee, the other with a file folder in hand. "Oh god, here she comes." "Here who comes?" "Ms Hollingwood. That big fancy editor from that high class magazine… what was it. PAUSE? They got robbed at some photoshoot and they've been trying to get her down here to file the report. She kept sending some apologetic perky blonde, 'till finally I guess she got the clue that it's her that needs to come and file it, not the assistant." "She won't come down and do it herself?" "She's here now, said she had important things to do, couldn't come down 'till now. Her car's probably long done in some chop shop by now anyways, but…"

Fun. Like reorganizing and consolidating a clandestine operation after the loss of a key member? Grace just barely manages not to snort; thankfully, her eyes don't leave the screen and her typing continues unabated as she sets up the file-image capture. "Not particularly," the harsh voice replies, dust-dry. "Last few weeks have been pretty hectic. 'Fun' happens more when you have ends that you know meet, I think." Blue eyes flick to the doorway and the detectives outside it, but for the moment, Grace doesn't pay them much more heed than that simple glance.

Rebecca is oblivious to anything outside of the lab at this moment. The door is open, but she usually just drowns out the conversation, unless there's yelling involved, and such was the case earlier. Knowing who was yelling, however, she chose to remain — some would call it 'hide' — in her lab. She continues to look at the bones. The trouble with bones as while they are all generally the same, they're not. Each bone is unique from one body to the next. She has to put aside all those differences and look for the real defects. She starts to respond when she notices something. "Well, there you are." Yes, she talks to bones. She picks up the the bone the goes to the big toe and being it over and begins to take some close up photos of it. As she does, she asks. "Any luck yet?"

"Shit, here she comes." The yelling might start soon enough. A muddled english voice, belonging to a woman who many times has been on TV, a newsclip of some fundraiser or such, can be heard coming down the hall. "Really, this is ridiculous. I sent Stephanie down to deal with the details, she brought all the information and the registration, insurance, titles. I don't see why I had to come down and interrupt my business." Around a corner walks the tall Glamazon, dressed up in something very very darn close to black tie. Some formal affair all willowing light fabrics that shift and move, matching gloves and probably a couple years' worth of salary in jewels. Behind her totters the blonde assistant who's made the trip countless times" It's a very bored and agravvated quality to her voice.

That subtle, crooked smile reappears, though in her preoccupation with the bones, Rebecca likely misses it. "It'll take some time. It's transferring now; it'll be a couple more minutes before I can start looking." Which is why Grace is vulnerable to being distracted by the intrusion of Nalani's voice into the relative quiet of their room. The dark-haired woman gets to her feet and walks over to the doorway, looking out into the hall. The voice is not recognizable to her; Grace's idea of fashion is pretty much what she's wearing now, so she hasn't even paid attention when Nalani showed up on the news. "Is she serious?"

Becca glances up from her photography and sets down the equipment before walking over and looking out into the main area. "What?" Oblivious. Yup. She has missed most of it already. "She looks familiar. Where do I know her from?" she asks, curious. She reaches up and pushes her glasses back up against her face as she peers out. "What have I missed?" She probably doesn't expect any sort of explanation, as her query will soon be answered.

"Ms Hollingwood, it's only a formality; we jsut need you to sign, give your statement, for legal reasons. That's all." There's some uniformed officer who drew the short straw in dealing with the glamazon. "Why tonight? Really, this is ridiculous and a waste of your time and my time. I have a fundraiser to go to in an hour, the Banded Cotinga will not save itself. So you better make this quick as possible, do you understand me?" Nalani scowls, a look directed to Grace as she is caught looking. There's a roll of brown eyes beneath perfectly painted lids. "If I lose out on donations because of this I will be very unhappy. People rely on me to bring in the money for them, not sit about in a police station and answer questions about my missing vehicle when I was too busy //dealing with my employee who suddenly burst into light!" The poor little newbie officer is cowed a little. "Yes, ma'am… I mean, Ms Hollingwood. We'll make this as quick as possible!"

Grace crosses her arms across her chest, leaning casually against the doorpost, obviously less than impressed by Ms. Hollingwood's loud words and pointed threats. "She obviously doesn't care about the car, officer," the woman points out. Unlike Nalani's well-trained voice, Grace's ruined vocal cords don't lend themselves to making a piercing statement; but the harsh timbre of the words carries well enough, and the gravelly sound is attention-catching in its own way. "Let the lady escape to her oh-so-critical spotlight time and the rest of us will go back to real work."

Rebecca blinks at the outburst of the former model. She scrunches up her face as she listens to the woman's banter as she tries to bully the officers around. When her colleague speaks up she seems to shrink back behind the door. "What are you doing?" she whispers. She's not scared. Nope. She just errs on the side of caution. Yup. Knowing Grace, Becca's word will go unheeded.

It's like some predator, turning its head, focusing on new prey. Nalani had been moving along perfectly fine until Grace spoke up. "The car will be found, if not, insurance will take care of it. It's one of many, but my time is not insured, nor is it replacable." Annoyance clearly written on her voice, even as her gaze flickers to Rebecca as she shrinks out of view. "Why so interested? Care to fill out the report for me? Take my testimony?" Grace is lumped in with Rebecca and the others as an officer.

On the other hand, Grace isn't particularly interested in being prey, especially not when the subject matter is treading close to buttons. Not at all. The lopsided smile she gives Nalani, a brief glimpse of ivory teeth, is anything but friendly even as it is also sardonic. "Little old civilian me? Not hardly." The smile disappears, temper flashing in Grace's clear blue eyes as she straightens and takes a step forward from the doorway. "You filed the report. Suck up the inconvenience, play nice with the officers, and I bet you'll actually get out of here faster than if you treat them like dirt to be scraped off the bottom of your shoe. Did that ever even occur to you?"

Wishing she could be a chameleon, Becca continues to watch the scene. If this goes bad, it'll be her ass on the line for bringing Grace here. Or so she thinks anyways. Good ol' nonconfrontational Rebecca. Instead, she tries to play peacekeeper. "M'am. If you would just fill out the form, you can get back to your party. We'll just go back to our work." She turns to look at Grace. "Right, Grace?" She motions back into the lab. "We'll.. just. go.. back.. to.. work. Computer. Need the file. Remember?"

It's the headache really, the one that just doesn't go away except for more than a few hours and then it's back again. That's whats making Nalani bitchy instead of authoritative. "Perhaps you need to do like your office friend there is suggesting and return to your .. computer file and leave me alone, hmmm?" Compulsion, not held back, slides in on the words, Nalani's will impressed into each vowel and consonant. "I'll go back to what I'm doing and how I'm doing it as I see fit." Another glance to Rebecca. "I'm sure the officer here is going to take care of me, and i'd have been in the room filling said paperwork out if your glass-voiced girlfriend hadn't been stopping me to voice her opinion."

Compulsion meets pure obstinacy; slides off. Like Grace is going to do anything this spoiled brat of a woman thinks she should do. "Well, maybe you should see fit to be a little more gracious and a little less bitchy," the gravel-voiced woman retorts, ignoring Rebecca's urgings just as readily. "You walk in here all high and mighty because you can't take ten minutes out of your day to follow up on a report you yourself filed. And your excuse is a fundraiser for some animal than can damn well wait ten minutes." She doesn't know what animal, but Grace can fill in at least the general blank.

"It's not like you're even putting the money to something useful like helping the several million people in this very city who don't even have a residence to their name, never mind know where their next meals are coming from," Grace continues. "No. You have to gum up the business of the people who keep this city running in spite of everything because of a lost car that probably means less to you than a stubbed toe or chipped nail! Why don't you walk right back out the door you came in and quit being a pain in the ass, if you can't manage to follow through on your own report with some measure of grace?" No compulsion in the non-evolved woman's words, but plenty of heat to make up for its lack.

Intellectually, Rebecca is darned near genius. Socially, dismal failure. Becca is almost sure there will be two additional homicides that will need to be dealt with in the morning. At least she'll be a witness, unless she ends up as collateral damage. She can see herself getting hit with a stray bullet. Really, she thinks of these things. The city has gotten extremely dangerous as of late and she's almost certain she's going to die some sort of violent death. She glances around the place, trying to find the most bullet proof place to hide just in case things start to get out of hand. She starts to measure bullet trajectory from where Nalani stands, cause she's going to steal some officer's gun and start shooting. Yup. Of course, Grace will get pick up a desk and chuck it over at Nalani. Okay, maybe the girl is exaggerating, but she doesn't know who might have what powers these days. Worst case scenario, right?

"Why don't you know who you're talking to before you open your mouth and accuse me of such Ms…" Nalani's expecting a name. She's not used to people not knowing her name. All of the above, Nalani does, publicly and privately. A good portion of her own personal fortune and charitable donations from the magazing do go to getting the city back to what it was, to helping out in the trailer. Anonymous montary donations to St. Johns and their food program and Nalani down there personally, dressed down, very down, and usually with a wig and fake glasses to feed the homeless. Nalani's satin gloved hand has moved to her hip. Silent behind her employer is Stephanie, blonde, quiet, making little head shaking motions to grace. A sort of 'dear god, no please' expression as well as a forefinger drawn across her own throat in a 'cut it out' motions.

Grace walks out into the lobby proper, towards but not to Nalani; her intent is apparently to pass the woman by. "Why don't you climb off your high horse for the next ten minutes and try just being a person for once?" she replies as she moves. "Not rich, not famous — I assume you either are, in whatever frivolous circle you occupy, or believe you are— " The bone-dry timbre of her rasping voice implies which the woman suspects is true. "— and not the center of the whole damned universe. You might actually find that capability a useful skill someday." Grace walks past Nalani, and keeps walking. "'Becca," she calls back towards the forensic tech, as she heads for the doors, "I'll be back in five." And yes, she completely didn't take the trouble to do anything so polite or courteous as give Nalani any form of her name.

Becca can only hope there's a janitor around to clean up the blood as Grace starts towards Nalani. Then of course, she remembers it would be evidence. She would be the one who has to analyze it. Of course, then she wonders if it would be a conflict of interest, since she'd also be a witness. Maybe if she turns around and looks the other way, perhaps then she wouldn't be a witness. No, no. She would still be a witness. With each step Grace takes towards Nalani, Becca can feel her evening going from bad to worse. And worst yet, her file still has not been recovered! A soft whimper comes from the girl before she is waved and Grace is at the door, having gone right by the other woman and looks to be heading out the door. Beck finds the nearest chair and slumps down into it. Maybe it is time to call it a night. Bed is looking to be the best place to be right now.

"Your" Nalani answers not bothering to flinch or look away. "opinion, doesn't count." If she wasn't trying to be nice, (hah, nice) she might have so sweetly asked the officers she was with to run a gauntlet for her that included for the next two weeks, going out and putting up parking fine after parking fine/ticket on Grace's vehicles, or maybe she'd find out where the woman worked by a few pointed and willed questions, then see about having the property condemned. Yes, she's done THAT before. Maybe twice. She can be petty. But, she's trying to be nice, and she's trying to behave, and so it is that Nalani takes a few steps forward as if to pass grace before oops, she purposefully totters on the hidden high heels beneath her dress and 'bump' into the gravel voiced woman with fake surprise on her face and a yelping assistant who's diving forward as if to help.

As was learned by Colette some time ago, don't touch Grace is a fairly important rule. The sudden collision of Nalani with herself was not in the raven-voiced woman's plans, and she reacts in a way the fashion maven may not have expected; not in kind, or with some sort of offended shock, but with the basic training bequeathed by the Air Force and drummed into her muscle memory by an insistent army veteran. Grace reflexively drops into a crouch and sweeps her foot around in an attempt to knock the person who made unwanted contact off her feet; regardless of outcome, the woman reins in her reflexes a moment later, straightens with a quietly disparaging snort, then continues on her way with a faintly scornful quirk to her lips and a slight shake of her head. Stupid petty selfish brat.

Five inch Laboutins do not make for good stability. When one knows how to stumble on purpose and has control of their body, well, it's a bit easier. That saying, that taller they are, the harder they fall? There's a cascade of chiffon, beading, red soled heels and diamonds as the arabic woman, while prepared for the shift in her weight, wasn't prepared for the drop and sweep. The assistant wasn't either, even though she's making motions, trying to reach her boss, but alas, no good. Down Nalani goes with a thud to the floor, arm followed by shoulder and hip, no smack of the head thank god and a screech of utter indignity at what just happened. There's a downed woman! Raise the alarm! It only incenses Nalani further but for now Grace is ignored in favor of screeching about her wrist.

Yeah. Well, it should have been expected. It would all boil down to a leg sweep and a very wealthy woman falling on her backside in the middle of the police station, while dressed for a fancy party. What is this? Twilight Zone. Mouth agape, Rebecca is almost certain that this is going to end with her waking up and starting the day over again. Sure. Why not. She throws her arm up and turns back towards her lab and closes the door behind her, leaving the sound of the screeching woman behind her. She sits down in front of the computer and sighs. She still doesn't have that file. She should just stick to talking to bones. Far less complicated that way.

February 27th: Method To Madness
February 27th: Pleasantries
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