You Can't Go Alone


delilah_icon.gif koshka_icon.gif sable_icon.gif

Scene Title You Can't Go Alone
Synopsis Koshka's visit to Delilah and Sable's place to recover some stolen goods ends a little better than expected.
Date April 21, 2011

Eltingville Blocks : Trafford Residence

It's a long walk to Eltingville from Harbor Court, though adjoined and really only kept separate by means of some fencing. But never before had it truly seemed a long journey. Never, before yesterday, had there been any reason for it to be seen that way. But with a difficult task at hand, there's still reason for Koshka to find her way past the posts that mark the youth center grounds and into the ghetto itself.

The morning classes hadn't been easy to sit through, with senses muddled with worry and guilt and the unpleasant looks of her peers. So at lunch, the teenager had delivered her books to her room and left the facilities, determination making the limp and pain stabbing through her leg almost bearable.

The streets were blessedly quiet, or at least not as populated as they could have been. It made for finding the house occupied by Sable and Delilah so much easier. Once there, Koshka stands at the street looking up at the house as a familiar wave of foreboding washes through her. Letting out a heavy sigh, she slowly makes her way 'cross the yard and to the front door. Knuckles rap soundly against the barrier upon arrival, announcing a visitor to those inside.

Delilah has been a little jumpy the last few days, though the reason why, Sable doesn't really know. Maybe it's just some of those days where she acts odd and goes back to normal later on- they are common enough, at least, that a few extra times of looking over shoulders, around doors, and peeking out windows is not terribly strange. True to her word, she hasn't let that oversized knife sword away from someone watching it; it is either in the master bedroom at night, or sitting propped in a hallway in the daytime.

So when the doorbell chances to ring while Delilah is downstairs, in the kitchen with Walter, she practically leaps out of her shoes. Walter drops his bottle in surprise, practically flinging it in the air when his mother starts abruptly out of her babytalking to him. He makes a face, too. Mom?! Why would you do that?!

"Sable! Where are you? Can you get the door?" Delilah stoops over to duck under the table, reaching under it for the baby bottle, which has left a dotting of milk in its wake.

Sable can't get a real job fast enough, surely, the way she's taken to colonizing the living space in her free time. Drifts of paper amass around her as she scrawls out fragments of songs, improvised chord notation, choruses with no verses, verses with no brothers. Pieces of would-be genius have been traipsed, crumpled and occasional borne off by Samson, to appear in odd corners, already bad penmanship rendered wholly illegible from wrinkles and mastication.

So yeah, she can get the door.

"I got it, babe, I got it!" Sable is off her feet in moments, leaving a swirl of loose papers in her windy wake as she vaults over the back of the sofa and projects herself with reckless velocity towards the door. She's got it, you see, she's got it. As handwritten pages, songs in progress, settle back onto the cushions and floor, Sable draws herself up to the peephole and scans around until she sees-

"Aw, it's Kosh!" she lets the house know, before twisting the knob and pulling the door open, dark head poking out around the outer edge to peer at the visiting teenager. Her smile is wide and crooked. "Ain't you s'pposed t' be in school, kid yer age? 'm I gonna have t' make some calls, get th' deputy principle swing by t' land yer ass in detention?"

Any other day, Koshka would have willingly bantered with Sable. But instead what greets the yellow eyed woman is a half hearted grin. "Yeah. I probably should be," she admits. Hands reach into her pockets, leaving shoulders to shrug upward. "It's fine though. I can get homework and… I've already missed yesterday anyway."

The teen's shoulders rise a little higher then fall, along with her gaze going to the ground. "I… I actually have to talk to you. And… Delilah." Koshka drags one foot over the ground briefly then looks up at Sable. "It's about some things we found."

Getting Samson the squeaky newspaper, and then Sable's ability to roll papers- no pun intended- does not make for something that won't tantalize him. Thankfully Sable found the paper that has a whistle in it, and now the big dog is sitting behind the sofa, trying to reach the rubber toy that has escaped him just under the bottom. Much too big for his nose, he has resorted to reaching his forelegs blindly around in the small space.

Delilah sighs in the kitchen, relieved and disappointed at the same time, as she goes to rinse off the bottle for the baby. "I don't think I'll be ready, I don't care what Francois told me…" The redhead whispers this at the ginger baby as she leans in to give back the bottle and kiss him on the head.

"What's she doing?" Delilah calls out to Sable. Same thoughts. "Doesn't she have school?" Hollering around the house is relatively easy, thanks to it being smallish and with an older build. "Well if she's here let'er in…"

It's not hard to distract Sable, if one has the knack. Inquiries as to Delilah's mood, her preoccupation and the continued presence of the katana, are deflected easily enough. Sable imagines, after all, that there is nothing more to Delilah's worry than what she expressed on the night of the thirteenth. Certainly, no reason to relax, but no reason to worry about- say- Delilah expecting a family visitation.

Koshka, who is not family but for whom Sable feels something akin to - if not motherliness - elder sibling protectiveness. And heckling. "Wipe yer feet, punk," Sable instructs the teenager, tilting her head to indicate she's free to enter. Once she's safely within, Sable kicks the door closed - lightly, she promises! - and rambles back to her previous perch. She she spots Samson's struggles, she swings her upper body down, slim arm sliding beneath the sofa and grasping for the plastic news. She speaks as she searches.

"Y'all figure out more 'f whatall they mean?" Sable asks, a slight strain in her voice as her face reddens, pale skin blooming as she dangles over the edge of the couch. A grunt of frustration as her fingers manage to bump against the chew toy, pushing it further out of reach. Sable glares at Samson, as if this were his fault, his snuffling and scratching a distraction.

Something in Sable's shoulder pops and she winces, but the next moment she's pulled the squeaky paper out from its temporary refuge. She gives it a couple squeezes, making it issue cries of protest, pleas to not leave it at the mercy of Samson's champing jaws. But too bad! "Fetch!" Sable exhorts, chucking the toy across the room for Samson to chase before popping up again, too-red color leaking back out of her cheeks.

"Don't make us wait none," Sable jibes, "Dee! Kosh's got some news, somethin' important 'nuff t' play hooky two days in a row," she flashes Koshka a big grin, "dunno how proud I am t' hear it, by th' way. Knew there was a truant somewhere under all them good manners!"

Samson is on his feet at the first squeak, prancing around the couch, totally ready. Sable tosses it, and the big dog galumphs across the floor to pounce on it, tail in the air as he smashes it madly under an open mouth, the toy squeaking in terror. Maybe he is showing off for the guest- showcasing his killing skills. Surely.

Delilah is on her phone, thumbing something in, as Koshka goes into the den with Sable. Finishing it up, she is gathering up the baby when she is summoned out. Still, it takes a few moments before she and Walter appear there; Dee gives Koshka a smile as one hand makes sure that Walter keeps a good grip.

"Two days? What in the world do you have to do thats better than school? Out here, anyway. I wouldn't expect anything important comes along over there for you guys in Harbour." The redhead eyeballs the dog 'mutilating' the squeaky toy as she steps over some of Sable's spread. The baby sniggers past the rubber tip of his bottle, looking from the dog to Dee, then at Koshka.

Feet are wiped without complaint, a hitch and wince as one of the two is dragged across the mat. Then Koshka's scooted inside for the door to be closed. A quick look around follows, her attention split between Sable and Samson and a look toward the kitchen where Delilah's voice calls from. When her attention returns fully to Sable, the grin is returned, but only barely.

"A week ago, I went back to the house," the teen begins, a far better beginning than when she'd brought it up yesterday. "And… the stuff belongs to someone else. I talked to a man there, he said the box and what was inside it belonged to his guest. And… and she wants it back." Tipping her head downward again, Koshka hesitates. A step is recovered, the way she'd come inside, with her back finding the door.

Head coming up again, Koshka looks from Sable, to Delilah and Walter, blinking at them suddenly appearing. "Some… some of the things got taken from Brian's house… and… I was… I'm trying to get the rest. To return it."

Sable's appreciation of Samson's savagery is truly Roman. Her own grin flashes, pointed canines suggesting a basic empathy, still bared when she turns back to Koshka, arms folding over the back of the couch, chin settling as she peers over at the teenager leaning against the door.

"Jesus, gal, jus' come on in. Scratch out a spot t' sit," Sable urges, "y'all will give me th' jitters, jus' standin' there like yer 'bout t' bolt any moment."

But Sable's goading ends when Koshka starts to explain herself. The smile fades, making way for a slightly furrowed brow. She looks back to Delilah, trying to gauge the redhead's reaction before offering a definite one of her own. Ultimately, however, the questions remains the same:

"Whatall wouldja wanna do that for?"

"Come in, please." Delilah listens closely after echoing Sable, especially once Koshka brings up what she did, what happened, and what she's come over for. Her lips thin a little, and it takes another moment for her to decide what to say. "In my experience, Koshka- and I do have considerably more than most people- you don't just give back things like that. You have no idea who that man really is, or who that guest is. You can't take strangers on their word when its something like this."

It's a known thing, Dee is probably better at this than her companion, and it is a good thing that Sable was trying to gauge her first. "It's not about finders-keepers, though. Not at all. It's obviously important stuff to both us and them, but I'm not sure if you've thought it through. Did you give him anything already? And what do you mean, stuff was taken from Brian's house?"

"Because… because it isn't ours." Koshka, in spite of her wariness in regards to why she's come calling, there's still a stubborn defiance. "His name is Ted," she continues, remaining by the door. It's safer if this doesn't end well, easier to simply leave as she did yesterday. "And you do just give things back when they don't belong to you in the first place. And his guest's name is Kitty. It's her stuff."

Raising a hand, Koshka hooks it over the back of her neck, still not looking to either adult or the baby. "I gave back the comics I had. He knew about the papers with the strange language written on it." Another thing she hadn't had the chance to divulge before. "And… someone, a precog, somehow got into m— Brian's house. He wanted the drawing of the treehouse."

Dropping her hand, Koshka looks up finally, first at Delilah and then at Sable before picking a point between the two. "I… I don't know why. Just… we stole it first. And… what if …what if others come looking for more of the things? I can't let more people get hurt."

Yeah, really, if you want someone to write you a blues song in a pinch, or if you require tips on how best to shake mall security, or if you're short on green and you need a good friend, help you through a tight time - Sable is your half-feral woman. This box stuff- man, she was just the messenger. Default to Dee's judgment is quite sensible, lacking the basis for judgment of her own.

Though, of course, she still has an opinion.

"Beggin' yer pardon, Kosh," Sable says, "but that CD I grabbed - got a song on it, what I wrote," okay, co-wrote, "'n' I performed," co-performed, "'n' I recorded," co- "so if that ain't mine," along with someone elses, "what th' hell is?"

"Figure," with a huff, "I wanna know how this Kitty came 'cross it in th' first place, 'fore I feel quite fine 'bout handin' it back over."

"Someone raised you well, huh? Well, Koshka, sometimes things aren't as black and white as we wish that they were. I'm sure you're starting to realize that, even if you don't seem to practice it." Delilah is still gentle with her words, the baby in her arms suckling on the bottle absently, watching everyone as if it were a truly interesting telenovela. "I'm not advocating stealing, I'm just advocating being careful with what one finds."

"A precog?" And he said it was his? Delilah gets a mildly disturbed look, moreso than she did with the mention of the other people, and it's an obvious change. "If… people are willing to fight over it like that, and this person wasn't one of the ones you met, this means there are three sides to the coin. How do you know this Kitty person didn't steal it from the person that came to Brian's?" See? It's not so simple.

"I do understand how you want to do it so nobody gets hurt for it, but like it or not we've already peed in the pool." That is to say, they are already as involved as they are going to be, and there's not going to be takebacks. "Did the guy give you his name? Did he get the picture?"

Either it's going how Koshka imagined it would, or it's worse, either way she hadn't had a good outlook for this encounter. "I understand," she replies, pushing aside defiance and arguments. She rubs the back of her neck, eyes ticking toward the door at her back then lowering to the floor. "I… Delia didn't want to give it back either. She won't. And… I offered, if you want to bring copies, to my room at Harbor Court, I can… they might …it might give us more answers if I had something."

Lowering her hand again, the teen glances toward the two again. "He got the picture," she admits. "He… there was a second guy that showed up, like a teleporter or something, and called the first one Astor. He helped me get Brian and Ernesto inside then…" Her shoulders roll in a small shrug. "I… Sorry." She shakes her head and turns to let herself out. "I didn't… I'm… I'm trying to get answers too. But… If you're okay with making a copy or… something. My room's unit four."

To be fair, Sable is not thrilled by the prospect of having hearth and home intruded upon by people looking for this stuff of dubious ownership. Protective as only someone who can truly appreciate what a home means, having spent long enough without one, Sable finds the issue suddenly more negotiable.

"Mebbe I'd trade a copy 'f what I got, if there were some answers fuckin' forthcomin'," Sable suggests, edging back a little on her previously stalwart resolve. She steals another look at Delilah, again trying to calibrate her opinion. "I see what yer after, Kosh, but this ain't somethin' y' c'n go 'bout doin' on yer own."

Delilah subconsciously pulls Walter closer, though when she looks at Koshka again it is with a considering expression. "I can do copies of things." Though Dee might decide to just do it herself, and give the girl the originals. "That goes for the CD too, Sable. As long as it isn't some bizarre alterworld technology, I should be able to burn it, right?"

"Sable's right. You can't go doing this on your own. I know there's some other friends of ours in Eltingville too, though I don't know if they would be willing participants. I'd hate for you to get hurt, but you obviously think getting further into this is the right thing to do." Dee hitches the baby higher at her side, moving across the room to pick up the lone notebook that is probably hers, given it is yellow and pink with flowers on the cover. "I wrote down as much as I could about the stuff we found in here, and if I could stick a manila folder of copies of things with it, this book would be most of what we had to keep to ourselves. So if you're serious about making copies, at least, this is where they go." She sets the notebook down on the top of the coffee table.

"If someone comes here for something, I'm sure we can handle it." Just a note.

Resting her hand on the doorknob, Koshka casts a glance over her shoulder. She looks at Sable, then Delilah, watching the pair for a long moment. "I was able to go back to that house. Alone. I …I don't know if it'll work another time. I know I'm…" A pause follows, in which the teenager shifts her weight, producing a pained wince but briefly exposing the device clamped around her ankle. "But nothing followed me like last time." For reasons and theories she's well aware of, but promises made to not expose.

Turning slightly, more to face the two women, Koshka lets out a slow breath. "I don't know if… if someone goes with it could be bad. I don't want anyone else to get hurt again. Brian already got hurt twice because of me. And I am also. But… We could try." It's still further than she was able to get before, though her foreboding at seeing more friends hurt for it increases tenfold. "I… I told Ted I'd …that I'd return. He's expecting it…"

Sable would like to share the absoluteness of Delilah's confidence, but when she imagines dangerous people arriving a the doorstep - much as she believes in Dee's strength of spirit, and the recently demonstrated power of Samson's jaws, Sable is hardly quick to risk danger at this doorstep. Her lips quirk to the side.

"I dunno how I feel 'bout y'all goin' back 'lone," Sable avers, "Dee- y'all tell me if it's arright, but how's 'bout I keep an eye on Kosh as we go 'bout this? I pledge I'll be twice careful! Jus'," she arches her brow and Koshka, "makin' sure someone with a level head's 'round t' keep an eye on things. 'specially if yer goin' back t' that goddamn place."

The funny thing is, if Koshka would have said something about how a storm interfered with their being caught, and who may have caused it- Delilah would be far, far more receptive and trusting of the situation. The supposed perpetrator, is- or was- Ferry also. She knew him well enough to even do drops at his houses, to know his people living there. The hippie commune cult thing he had going on, and all that. But the catch is that Kosh doesn't say anything about it.

"You know that I don't mind if you do things like this, Sable. So long as you come back with all your limbs, 'n all that. And…"

"I don't know if she'll be able, cause she has an anklet too, but.." Delilah leans down again to sit Walter on the sofa, sitting up; she rips a corner from a page in her notebook, picking up a pen and scribbling something down. "I know a speedster, she got moved in here cause they caught her. She's always pretty much itching to do anything but what people want her to, so maybe she can help you move around, if she is able. She's spunky at least."

"Her name's Daphne, she lives here, you can talk to her if you want." Dee folds the piece of paper up, holding it out for Koshka. She's not going to shove her out the door with it- Kosh is gonna have to come in and get it. And a speedster? At a time like this? If she doesn't come take it, she's nuts.

A small smile, really not enough to be called such, pulls up the corners of Koshka's mouth. It's a little sad, but thankful, the outcome far better than she'd expected. "First sign of trouble, and we return to the fence," she says, not entirely including herself in that. She's not sure how far McRae's graces extend, if it were a fluke or truly an eye out for her. And she's not about to bring it up after she'd sworn herself to secrecy. But strange experiences have a way of making one want to test theories.

Reluctantly, Koshka leaves the safety of the door and crosses the room. The slowness of her step hides the limp, but displays all together a wariness of her intrusion, announced or not. Her hand extends to take the paper, dipping her head in a small nod. "Daphne the speedster," she repeats. And one with an anklet. It pains the teenager to think of how useful that might be, if sentinels appeared, but the thought crosses her mind. "…Thank you. Both of you."

Sable nose wrinkles with something like thought, though it's actually more like fishing for memory in the dark pool of her mind. Miraculously, something bites. "Magnes talked 'bout a Daphne, figure mebbe's th' same one. Wouldn't mind havin' someone real fast 'long, though. Someone worth meetin', too," she cracks a smile, "th' weirdos y'all keep with. Always make f'r interestin' introductions."

"I've got a whole damn rolodex." Delilah comments to Sable, and then she gives Koshka a wider smile, eyebrows furrowing. "And that's right, if you smell trouble, you run. Or you'll get in trouble with me, and I think that'd be worse." Come on, she's totally scary, right? Sure. Not really. With Walter sitting on the couch with his bottle, watching the goings on, Delilah is free to inch nearer to the younger girl.

"Tell Daph I sent you to at least just- meet her. Don't go in expecting anything." Cause Dee figures if Daphne can be spooked, expecting her to help might cross that line. "And you are more than welcome back here, either after you guys do this, or even if things get sketchy over at Harbor. If you see either of those guys that you said were at Brian's, call someone." It doesn't matter who. But if those people know something, then it would pay to be able to jump on them. Maybe not so literally, though.

The paper, after receiving a look over, is stuffed into a pocket as Koshka nods again. "Thank you," she repeats, fingers curling within her pocket, tightening around the slip of paper. "I'll… I won't expect anything. Just what you said." If the speedster can be persuaded, that would be a good asset, but the girl has learned quickly not to hope too hard.

"Thank you," Koshka says for a third time, edging back toward the door. "I'll come by again, when… after I've talked to Daphne. Or… if anything else happens. You can find me at Harbor Court. I'm… I'm staying there now. And should probably go back." She turns when her back reaches the door again, but a look is directed over her shoulder. "Thank you. Sorry… for interrupting."

"Kosh, hon," Sable assures the younger woman, even as she scoots over to pick up Walter, handling the bottle with what has become well practiced ease. She shifts to a perch on the back of the couch, turning to speak to Koshka over her shoulder, "I'm gonna come callin' sometime, jus' t' be sure y'all are eatin' properly. Bring over some bakin', make sure y'all don't waste away, runnin' 'round like y'all've been." To be fair, it will probably be Delilah doing the baking - Sable is okay at mixing and cracking eggs, but it is more than can be asked that she follow a whole entire recipe by herself.

"I'll help with that." Delilah picks right up on it, hand on her hip as she looks back at Sable, and back to Koshka. "At that rate, you're also welcome for dinner anytime you want to come. Might as well, right? Helping you is no trouble, it wasn't an interruption. I'll copy our stuff and send the originals with Sable when she goes over." So now, everyone is pretty much where they wanted to be. She gets the stuff back, and they still have access.

"Good luck with Daphne, and good luck if you do go back to that house. If it was a past year, I'd so be coming with you too." But, alas.

"Brian could use the food," Koshka says quietly, guilt returning to her tone. "At his place. I'll… I'm okay at Harbor Court." She twists the knob to let herself out. Another grin, still less than half of what it might normally have been, is directed to the two. "Thank you, again. For…" For everything. The teenager leaves it at that, one last small grin as she closes the door behind her.

Outside, Koshka rubs a couple of fingers across her brow then pulls out the paper from Delilah. Brief study is given to the writing, and then the streets are studied. With some daylight left, there's enough time to find where Daphne lives, even if she doesn't meet the woman today. There's always tomorrow. Returning the paper to her pocket, she moves away from the door and takes to the streets, limping slightly as she picks her way toward the speedster's home.

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