You Are Our Family


brian_icon.gif koshka_icon.gif samara2_icon.gif

Scene Title You Are Our Family
Synopsis And sometimes families disagree and argue, but family is always loved and welcomed home.
Date April 25, 2011

Eltingville Blocks

The idle sounds of adolescents on break, the bragging and jeering, loud voices best suited for outdoors, reverberates off the buildings assigned to the youth facilities and allows fingers of noise to pluck and play through the fence. Clusters of teens dot the yard in deep and meaningful conversations as only teens can have, while some stragglers and bookworms move from one building to another in pairs. It's better to have friends in a place such as Harbor Courts, a fact that's often learned within the first days, and loners are a rare sight.

So picking out Koshka, who'd on her first day of freedom set herself apart from the rest of the teenaged population, isn't any difficult task.

The girl, well beyond the outskirts of the even the posers and self proclaimed nonconformists, sits by herself on the ground, her back resting against the fence that separates Harbor Court from the rest of Eltingville. A school book rests in her lap, opened with the intention of studying. But the laughing comment or hard, silent stares she occasionally earns make for only a half hearted attempt. For what feels like the thousandth time, Koshka lets out a slow exhale and begins the page over again.

Phasers have this wonderful ability to walk through things.

But today Sam hasn't dared try to walk through this one, instead, only her fingers interlace between the wires of the fence. Her approach had been oddly quiet, and with her oversized sunglasses and blue scarf (in an odd imitation of Jackie O trying to blend into the crowd), she'd managed to semi-conceal herself.

There's nothing too extraordinary about the rest of Sam's appearance. Save for too-large-for her clothing to conceal that every-growing baby bump along her mmidsection.

Everything about her lingers in silence as her lips press together tightly to peek over at the book through the fence. She'd lingered for awhile, peeking over the teen's shoulder and had restarted the page herself a couple of times. Quietly she notes, "I always used to find it was more interesting in an accent."

Her eyes roll overemphatically, "I swear that's how I got through tenth grade History. There was this one time I made it into a gangster rap," her nose wrinkles as her hand drops to her side, "Of course, Tay overheard and made merciless fun of me for three weeks… and he threatened to tell my crush at the time which completely mortified me but it turned out he was more into Adisa even though she was -way- too young for him. My crush. Not Tahir. They're siblings. That's icky."

The voice behind gives Koshka a small start. Though it's not until the speaker has finished that she chances a look. Her head lifts slightly and turns a fraction to gaze over her shoulder. A rush of excitement at seeing Samara behind her, alive and well, is quickly overrun by fear too. A glance goes to her supposed peers as the book is carefully closed They keep their distance. Rumors of Brian's ability preceded her return and has so far staved off any further attempts at initiation.

"You shouldn't be here," the teen says quietly, that worried edge creeping into her tone. "I mean… I'm happy to see you but…" Carefully standing, Koshka trails along the fence to it's opening and backtracks on the Eltingville side to Samara. There's a shift in her step, a limp that tightens her expression and posture. Her school book is held against her chest with both arms and eyes lift to the phaser once she's standing before her. "Hi."

"I'm afraid all of us go a lot of places none of us should be," like Eltingville altogether, Sami shrugs. She waits a few moments as Koshka returns to the Eltingville side of the fence. There's a tightness in her smile, but Sami's nature isn't so different to let that one by. Even as Koshka says nothing but the greeting, the pregnant woman wraps her arms around the teenager.

There's a lighter smile as she lets her arms drop, not sure whether she should expect the hug returned or not. And she doesn't. Not when there's a book to drop. Her smile eases some while she nods her head in the direction opposite Harbor Court. "Walk with me?" she asks with an easier smile and a shrug. "How's your life here?" Her eyebrows arch at the fence, "I guess the decoration leaves something to be desired," she shrugs.

The hug isn't returned, but there is an impression of Koshka leaning into it. Briefly. Her arms tighten around the book she carries when Sam's arms drop, but her eyes follow the direction nodded. "It's…" She shrugs, rather than answer, stepping off to follow the road that leads away from Harbor Court. "I get to go to school, which is sort of like a double edged sword." School means learning, finishing high school which she'd hoped for. But it also poses it's own adolescent struggle for hierarchy.

"The rooms aren't as bad as the outside," the girl continues as she limps alongside Sami. "Really plain, no decorations. Just four walls and a bed and a table. Food's alright though." She glances up at Samara, expression showing the worry that had edged its way into her tone before. "How'd you get here? —You didn't try to Register, did you?"

Long fingers clasp the sunglasses to remove them from Sam's face. "I bet I could cook better," Koshka should know by now Sam can't; even if she's improved, her skills couldn't compare to even the worst cafeteria food. "And no, I didn't try to register." Her cheeks flush four shades of red as her paces slow, "I -wanted- to come." Her smile fades slightly, "I.. I missed you guys." It's true, and maybe it wasn't the best decision she's ever made, but it was hers. She gives the teen a one armed shrug. "The world out there… where things are… I…" there's a twitch of her lips, but it's impossible to see what she feels about it.

"I just.. needed in." With a heavy sigh, Sam lets her steps slow. "I came in another way. Brian got me here." There's the faintest narrowing of her eyes as she clears her throat, "He's sorry, you know."

Relief passes briefly through the teenager. At least Sam came to Eltingville of her own will, however clandestine the operation was to get her in. But it's short lived and Koshka continues a few steps ahead before stopping to face the phaser. It's a long moment before she speaks again, brows pinching together over her nose and eyes studying Sami while the silence hangs. "I am, too," she says, into the silence.

Turning slightly, Koshka lets out a slow breath and eases some of her weight onto one leg, the other lifting to balance on toe-point. Her eyes study the street stretching out and away from the youth facilities. "It's good to see you again, though. He'll keep you safe here."

Koshka's admission draws a small, very soft, smile to Sami's lips. Wordlessly they part, but then Koshka is changing topics. "And you… if you wanted." Her hands hide away into her pockets as her head turns. With a nearly statuesque expression, Samara lets the weight of her stare register to the teen; it's not a scowl, but it reads one word: Seriously.

Her throat clears, "You should come back. Look, I don't trust this place and we actually care about you." There's a pause, and Sam feels the need to clarify, "I care about you." Both of her hands rise in the air in a stop motion while her head shakes slightly, "I don't know any details, but I know you two need to work out whatever went on because we're family and that's what family does— we fight we disagree we say things we don't mean, or maybe that we mean a little bit in the moment, and then we forgive each other and move on. And I need both of you." With a twinkle, her eyes become alight, "Because I'm pregnant," because no one would dare contradict the pregnant lady. Her eyebrows tick upwards. "So," dramatic pause, "Clearly you two need to make up because you don't want me turning into a basket full of hormonal tears which will make the baby come out all growly— " a fact founded on pure science and nothing else.

The look is met steadily, and as the older woman begins speaking it takes on a faintly defiant color. Sami is allowed to speak her mind without interruption, no eye rolling or angst-filled huffs of breath. Her head begins to shake slowly, however, once Sam is done speaking, and her expression becomes more apologetic.

"I can't," Koshka says quietly, "Brian already said as much. I'm sorry, Sami." She shakes her head again, lowering her gaze and bowing her head slightly. "I told you before. I won't risk you or your family again. Brian …has been hurt enough because of me, and… You have the baby. I… can't risk you getting hurt too."

"You are our family."

The call comes out slightly from behind the pair of women. Boots crunching rapidly against the ground as Brian's goes into a little jog to catch up. A little jog which hurts real bad in the different wounds on his body. But he manages to only wince a little. Catching up to the females, he goes to join them, frowning down slightly at Koshka.

"You're part of our family." He reaffirms. "And.. I didn't mean what I said Koshka. I was just trying to get you to listen to me. I would never kick you out or take away a home from you. You're part of our family. You're important to us. To me." Brian glances over to Samara. Leaning over to peck a kiss against her cheek. His breath smells heavily of tic tacs and he has a pungent aroma of cologne about him.

Sam's lips press together tightly while she frowns; it's more of a mess than she thought which prompts the smallest frown. Her eyes track downwards as she returns the sunglasses to her face; aware she can be tough as long as no one can see her eyes. The frown loses some of its power as the kiss is pecked lightly to her cheek, but she finds herself frowning again moments later. The scents of tic tacs and cologne are becoming too familiar.

With her hands turning deeper into her pockets she emits a very soft sigh. The darkness of the sunglasses shields her eyes from the pair, and over the course of the last month and a bit she's learned that saying nothing makes it easier to hide in a crowd.

Taking a small, single step back, Koshka glances up at Sam and Brian. Her eyes move between the two while Brian speaks, then settles streetward again. "I just… I won't put you two in danger anymore. And I'll take care of my own problems." Even if it means chasing rainbows and going through the wood to hunt the Wolf. Her eyes drift back to Brian, guilt riding with the glance.

"He's hurt because of me," Koshka continues as she looks up at Sam. "Except for the finger. The burns and… everything else. It's my fault. And I'm going back to that house, outside the fence, again. I… it isn't safe. I might bring trouble again. Or if those things aren't returned, trouble might come back."

Brian frowns lightly, looking over to Samara. Then back over to Koshka. "That is called a bad decision. And since you're still technically by law a child? Adults are supposed to keep you from doing bad decisions. If you died, what would that do the Lighthouse Kids, Koshka? Haven't they been through enough lately? Haven't we been through enough lately? Honestly. If you tell me that these people out in this house. Are more important to you than Samara and I, fine. Go. But just remember we're family. Alright?"

Brian tries to give Samara a charming smile, his tucking itself in her back pocket as they walk. Going to rest his poor little concussed head against the top of hers. "I'm not giving you my pictures. By the way."

Sam really doesn't know the story. Nor does she pretend to. Instead her head turns to face Brian, only to cut back towards Koshka— a very deliberate move if only because neither can see her eyes. Her lips press together tightly, but there's the smallest tell they both can see. Her bottom lip quivers. But at the feeling, she bids it surrender, biting it to stop the motion. The memory of everything that's happened over the last couple months is enough to cause a meltdown in the already hormonal Sam, but she's also learned to push a stiff upper lip. As well as tense shoulders, neck, and legs.

Brian's touch, however, causes her to melt some. Her shoulders visibly relax as do her legs and neck. Her teeth relent against her bottom lip while the metallic taste of blood creeps into her mouth. She swallows hard and then observes, "I know what it's like, you know." She turns to face Koshka, "Not living under the influence of adults." She swallows, "If I had? I might not have spent four years out of sync with everyone else. People need each other, Kosh. At twenty years old I still ask my mom questions about things. All kinds of things." There's a pause. "Because she's wiser than me. It doesn't mean I don't know things or that I can't figure out things or that sometimes she's wrong. It just means she has more experience to be less impulsive."

Coming to Eltingville would've been something the elder Dunham would've deemed as such and Sam knows it. Her throat clears, "And sometimes I can give her a fresh perspective. Like… I see things she doesn't. Like our boat friends not as terrorists. Or that one person's terrorist is another person's freedom fighter…"

"That's not fair," Koshka says quietly, her eyes leveling on Brian. "That's not fair that… that you're all so willing to take it at face value. And just shrug off the fact that we broke into someone's house and took her things. That it doesn't seem to matter, just because it's pictures or drawings or anything from the future. A future that might not even come. But you're willing to risk yourselves doing Delia's dreaming, which could be worse than…"

Fingers tightening around the school book, Koshka clutches it to her chest like a shield. "I think… I believe there's more than just an old box of pictures. I just… I'm not sure why. There's secrets there and I can get the answers. It's dangerous, yes I get it. And it kills me, it keeps me awake at night knowing that you got hurt because of me. And now Sable's agreed to risk herself to go with me."

The teen pauses, pleading looks directed at Brian and Sam. "I want to come home. I don't have a mom, and the man who was my dad before is… I don't know where. You both were… you could've left me, but you didn't and… But… this is something I feel like I should be doing."

"No it's fair. You're putting your desire before us. Own up to it. May keep you up at night, but not like you'll listen. You're going to do what you want to do." Brian frowns deeply down at Koshka. "How is Delia's dreaming dangerous? I've been a part of her dreams many times and…" Mala. His teeth clamp shut tightly as his eyes drift down to the ground. Promptly ending whatever it was he was going to say next. Pulling Samara into him a little bit, he goes to rest his head against the top of hers. Letting out a slow and deflated breath.

Brian flings an agitated look at Koshka before looking back to Samara. Frustration taking depression's place. "I told you she wouldn't listen. There's robots out there. I'm pretty sure they track our anklets. I can fry Koshka's anklet but that doesn't guarantee her safety. She has absolutely no defense against the robots. And if I wasn't there last time, she would most definitely be dead already." He takes a deep breath, closing his eyes tightly. "I'm sure there's some great mystery over there, Kosh. But why do you have to choose the stupidest way of going about things and decide that's the one?! There are more options than girl with the robot magnetic anklet running out to the old house."

And finally, Sam can't quite stand on the outside anymore, "Take what at face value?" With a distinct frown (that stiff upper lip and emotionless demeanour failing her), she peeks between the pair and actually stops dead in her tracks. But all of that is irrelevant compared to one point, "Come home. Please." There's a pause. "We want you home."

Wordlessly her lips part as she sinks into Brian's touch. With a deeper frown Sam glances down at the anklet her eyes fixing on the piece of machinery. "I… could probably…" her cheeks redden. "How does it work? Will it blow up if…" Her teeth toy at her lip again, drawing another fresh layer of blood. She turns to face Koshka, "I want you to be safe." But if Koshka is going to insist on going, "Will it explode?" Her eyes narrow.

A small head shake follows Brian's words, eyes casting downward. "Why is my desire to know something wrong? Why… when I've made contact and… I think Ted trusts me, would you chance trying to find someone's dreams. What if… what if they don't want to be found that way? I mean… I've made it once. And I know why I was okay then. Maybe I'm meant to go back there." Maybe she isn't, but the original secondary owner of the box is expecting her to return at some point.

"I don't want keep arguing," Koshka says after taking a breath. She turns and looks up at Sami, then Brian. "It's like… like with Elijah. And… I can't explain because I don't know. Anything else, everything else, I'll listen on. I swear. I'll come home with you and… please. But this… I'll tell you everything I'm allowed to, but I can handle it."

"What if they don't want to be found that way? Really Koshka? If we're going to spend time on what-if's I have a few kickers for you. What if these aren't this lady's pictures. What if she stole them. And is an evil picture stealing bitch. That is trying to ruin the future." Brian frowns lightly down at her. He stares down at Koshka for a long moment before his eyes slowly wander over to Samara's stomach.

His grey eyes widen somewhat as he stares there. Is… Is that what the rest of his life is going to be? He bares his teeth in a pseudo snarl at the thought. Before going to place his hand on the little baby bump. He felt bad about being mad at it, anyways. And then back to Koshka. "Can we please discuss an alternate way? Like really Koshka. You're so—" A deep breath is taken. "Like honestly. You're really pissing me off. I mean I love you. But can we talk about alternatives rather than you just deciding this is what must be done and not paying attention to the people that love you? Seriously. I'm going to zap you and cage you in the house." He's joking. Maybe.

Sam's lips part in silence as she's privy to the argument. They part a little further as her face pales. The hand on her stomach doesn't even draw her out of that wordless state. Instead, her eyebrows knit together distinctly and the back of her throat makes an odd noise, "Ghng," as she attempts to say something. Anything. "This isn't… you care about each.. please.. please. There.. there has to be a way to.. it can't be.. I.." It's all nonsense. "You're both so stubborn!" that's what she settles on, nearly spitting the words out.

The sunglasses that had been moved to her hand roll over her nose as she secures them into place while the scarf at her neck is tugged tighter and she actually slinks away from the pair. But not far. The scarf around her neck receives the faintest tug between her fingers, drawing it entirely from her neck while she squats lower to the ground. Her eyes lid behind those dark shades and she takes several slow cleansing breaths.

"I am paying attention," Koshka says. "I am. It's everyone else who's not looking past what we already know and not asking questions. Everyone else who's jumping to conclusions and deciding it's too dangerous to go back. I made it there and back once. Maybe it was a fluke, maybe… going alone was exactly what should have happened. Maybe— "

The rest is lost, the teenager going silent as Sami cuts in. She watches the phaser, mouth slowly closing. Koshka starts after her, when Sam moves away. Her book is dropped onto the ground as she sinks beside the older woman, one leg out at an awkward angle. She draws her arms around Samara's shoulders, pulling her into a hug, awkward like her stance. "I'm sorry," the girl says quietly. "It's been…" Her eyes flick toward Brian then back to Sami. "Let's go home and talk about this. Like adults."

"No you're not." Brian growls back, glaring down at her completely oblivious of the stuttering Samara next to him. "You made it back once. WIthout anything happening. The other time you went there, you WOULD HAVE BEEN KILLED IF THERE WASN—" Hey where'd his fiancee go. Oh. Brian's features flatten as Samara yells. Sufficiently cowed he goes to fold his arms over his chest.

Watching Samara go off, he stands there for a long moment. Letting Koshka go as well. His lips thin out as he stares hard at the two females. He takes a deep breath. Perhaps if Samara had been there all the while, he would be arguing still. But… Instead a four fingered hand goes to take Samara's, an apologetic look delivered as well. "Sorry."

Chin dropped to her chest, Sam stares at the ground blankly even as she's tugged into the hug, and, in an odd reversal of roles, is the one to lean into it rather than return it. All the while her eyes remain closed while she keeps breathing in the same way, slow. Careful. Calming. She forces herself to lean away, granting Koshka's shoulder a squeeze in the process before she accepts Brian's hand, slowly bringing herself to a stand. Instead of really acknowledging what either of them says, she observes, "Everyone's really stressed. And emotions are really high. And life in here…" she expels a quiet breath.

Her eyes narrow behind those dark sunglasses as she bites on her bottom lip as if trying to contain some unuttered secret. "I'm fine," she murmurs in return to Brian's, even with evidence to the contrary. And, then an affirmation of Koshka's suggestion, "Home would be good—"

Gathering up her book again, Koshka stands slowly. She glances up at Brian and Sam and sighs quietly. She musters a faint smile, sad and apologetic. She nods, without speaking, pointing the way toward Brian's house, toward home, with her head. Her feet follow after a moment, her book held against her chest as she limps along. After a few steps, she looks back to see if they're following, then gazes ahead again. She remains quiet, keeping her thoughts to herself, until they're home again. There, they can speak like adults.

Or something close to adults. Brian's hand remains fixed to Samara's as he looks over at her skeptically. She seems pretty angry. Should probably be careful. The young man leans over to plant another kiss against her cheek. "We love each other." He reminds softly. Pulling her into him, giving a little smirk. Watching Koshka move ahead he lets out a quiet sigh. "I'm sorry, baby."

With another quiet sigh, Sam acknowledges, "I know." And then her throat clears, "But people hurt each other a lot because of love. It's hard to watch." And then, as if Brian might need further explanation, she adds, "Stressful." But the word stressful is left with an unusually ominous weight. It's moments like these that Sami is particularly grateful for sunglasses and the way they conceal more than light. Whether out of necessity or her a place of reminiscent reflection— namely on that time where Sam had been outside Eltingville with the other two in, she adds, "I love you both."

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