|Fiona Shepherd ☠ Ereshkigal (ladyofaralu) wrote in paxletalelogs,|
@ 2011-11-08 21:19:00
|Entry tags:||ares, ereshkigal|
so let's sink another drink...
Who: Fee & Samuel.
What: A venting session, after Karin stays out all night on a
booty call visit!
When: 2 October, 8:30 a.m.
Notes: >.> We THOUGHT we'd used a placeholder. Obviously way backdated.
Fee was fuming. Karin had finally showed up, practically bow-legged, like shame-faced co-ed on a Friday morning, and Fee had just had enough of their discussion. She could sleep by herself, or whatever by herself, for once. Whatever her ‘regrets’ about letting Fiona think she was dead for five hours, the younger Shepherd sister could not bring herself to give a shit. She was exhausted but too angry to even contemplate sleep, and she didn’t want to go to her own apartment, where she’d just end up stewing in her own fury until she started breaking shit -- and she didn’t want to break her own shit, because she might need it again, God knew, when Karin got better.
At first she thought she wanted to be alone, but really, she just didn’t want to be near Karin. She didn’t want to forgive her yet, didn’t want her to think that scaring her was in any way OK, didn’t want her to think that she wasn’t an asshole, because no matter how contrite she might seem once they cooled off a little bit, no matter what excuses she made, Karin was definitely an asshole for scaring Fee so hard, and for making her cry. And Fee never cried.
Yes, Karin was definitely an asshole, and Fee didn’t want anything to do with her for the next few hours. But she didn’t want to be alone either.
And so she went up to 707 and knocked.
Samuel, as usual, was wide awake. In truth it seemed he rarely slept; with a career he loved, numerous hobbies he enjoyed, and the longest-term girlfriend he had had since his divorce, he had far better things upon which to spend his time than sleep. This morning he had not been up long, but had already begun to be productive in his way. At present he was cooking breakfast, a rather overindulgent but well intentioned affair of scrambled eggs, bacon, and white toast slathered in butter. A slice of said toast was dripping in his hand as he answered the door, his brow furrowed in plain confusion at receiving visitors at such an hour.
“Well now.” He raised his hand to his lips, the door swinging wider as he licked a running droplet of butter from his finger. “Bang Bang Betty. What’s got you up at eight on a Sunday? Are you here to talk to me about the Lord?”
“Ha!” The laugh was barked out, harsh and hoarse from yelling and crying. “Dude, if I were here to talk about the Lord, it’d be your duty as my friend to have me committed. Seriously.”
She walked into the apartment, the wider-open door and the smell of bacon invitation enough. Slipping by Samuel, she padded into the apartment, pushing her hair back from her face.
“Hey, your girlfriend isn’t here, is she--” Fee didn’t particularly care if Lia was there; she just wanted company, not to look like a weepy asshole baby. But her inquiry was stopped mid-sentence when she followed the smell brazenly into the kitchen and her eyes widened at the goings-on inside.
“Holy shit! Are you cooking, dude?”
He stepped close behind her, sucking liquid butter from his thumb as he did. “I wouldn’t tell anyone if I were you,” he said. “Trust me, darlin’, I know how to hide bodies so they’ll never be found.”
Fee laughed, the sound genuine if a bit... crooked. “Your secret’s safe with me, buddy, as long as you’re willing to pay for my silence.” She looked around him at the bacon.
Circling close around her he returned to the stove, turning the cooking eggs not a moment too soon. The edges were crispier than perhaps he might like, but after a quick glance of appraisal he determined he had lost none of the fluffiness good scrambled eggs required. He left them to cook through a bit longer - their uncooked side still being far too runny to satisfy - and moved to procure another plate and fork. What had brought her here Samuel could not yet determine, but he was Southern enough to know it was nothing a bit of good, home-cooked food could not help. He set the plates out, then moved back to the skillet, picking the spatula up to give their breakfast a quick turn.
“You brave enough to try some?” he asked, quirking a teasing brow over at her.
“Hell yeah,” she said. “One thing you should know about me, Wolfe, is that I’m not one to say no to a free meal, especially when there’s bacon involved.” She leaned against the counter out of his way to watch him work. The smell of the food made her realize just how hungry she was, since she should have been sleeping for hours by now -- which was pretty much the only time that Fee couldn’t eat -- and her stomach felt like it was about to digest itself.
While his back was turned, she took a breath, maybe a little sigh, as she sagged against the counter. Her exhaustion was complete -- emotional and physical. Sonofabitch.
His ears pricked up at the sound of that sigh, reading a number of potential emotions in its subtleties. Knowing that this revelation, like so many others, would come in its own time, Samuel busied himself with the task of serving their plates, piling butter-drenched toast, crisp bacon, and steaming eggs high on each. In short order the stove was turned off, orange juice poured into two glasses, and eye contact at last restored: there was no hiding from this now. He mirrored her posture, leaning back against the counter, lounging with an ease he felt certain did not suit the pending conversation. His plate in hand, he cut into a particularly thick bit of egg, watching her closely as he delved into dark waters.
“So really,” he said, once the first bite was gone. “I know you didn’t come over here for Portal 2. What’s goin’ on?”
Fiona’s face scrunched up as she chewed a piece of bacon, her enjoyment of the porcine treat only slightly compromised by the reminder of why she’d come here.
“Eh,” she shrugged noncommittally once she’d swallowed. “You know, I’m kinda staying with my sister for a while. Last night, when I got home from work, she wasn’t in the apartment. Her car was in the lot, she left her cell behind; I basically lost my shit looking for her, because...”
She poked at her eggs.
“She’s kinda not been great since the blackout, you know? Like, you know. She’s been having problems. Not really in the best health.”
She looked up at him and pointed her fork at him.
“If you tell anybody any of this, I’ll cut your balls off.”
“Trust me, darlin’, that’s a threat you won’t even wanna try to carry out.” He chuckled, nipping a bit of egg off his fork. “But you’ve got dirt on me, too,” he added, lifting his plate a bit to indicate his homemade meal. “So we’re good.” He twisted around, setting the half-empty plate on the counter behind him. He plucked a slice of bacon from the plate and turned back to her, chewing a moment as he thought.
“What kind of problems?”
It was a touchy question, but one whose many and varied potential answers could vastly alter the advice he had to give. He only hoped she would answer sincerely. “Somethin’ you think she needs a doctor for, or just a shrink?”
For a moment, she just chewed, considering the situation. She did not like the idea of spreading Karin’s business around; not even their parents or their other sister knew. But just the fact that no one else knew was part of the burden of this thing, and Fee knew, deep down, that Samuel wouldn’t go telling tales out of school. That decision made, she swallowed the bit of egg she’d been chewing and nodded.
“I really don’t know,” she said. “She thinks she might have a tumor. She’s got an appointment set up soon to see a specialist. But she hasn’t slept right in months, and she’s lost tons of weight, and... I’m pretty sure she’s seeing things or hearing things or more. So obviously I thought she’d wandered off into the street and was in a ditch somewhere, or into the fuckin’ ocean, for fuck’s sake, wanting to swim to that fucking island out in the bay.”
She felt herself getting angry all over again, and stabbed at a piece of egg with her fork.
At some indeterminable point a deep furrow had creased Samuel’s brow. It grew only harsher the longer Fee spoke, his sincere concern growing all the while. While he had no desire to tell Fee so, a tumor did not sound like the most improbable of causes. In some ways it reminded Samuel of various manifestations of PTSD he had seen over the years, though he knew a simple blackout would not ordinarily suffice to cause such distress. But whatever its cause it was clear Karin needed more help than Fee herself could give, and more than Samuel was able - or even willing - to provide.
“Well,” he said, his slow drawl dragging out the word. “Whether it’s mental or physical, it does sound like she needs help. Maybe you do, too.” He looked at her through subtly narrowed eyes, his concern clearly written there. “Not sayin’ I think you’d need it... ongoing, or whatever. But we’ve all been through that counseling shit, one time or another. Sometimes it actually helps, even if it’s just cos you get to cuss at somebody and they can’t tell you to shut up.”
Arching a brow at him, she took a bite of egg then shook her head. She knew the situation was untenable, and that Karin had to get professional help; that was a given. But that was going to happen -- Kar had told her so, and Kar was no liar. But what she didn’t want to tell Sam was that she was starting to think that maybe it wasn’t a tumor. There were weird smells in Kar’s apartment, and things did seem to go missing.
“Well, she’s gonna get it. As far as I’m concerned...” she shrugged. “My parents sent me to shrinks when I was a teenager. I get that there’s some kind of benefit to talking to somebody you’re paying to sit there and nod, but...”
She shook her head. “She’s better sometimes. Since I moved in. Seems more like herself. I’m just pissed off because she wasn’t missing. She was next door, with the hippie yoga instructor neighbor. Rolled up fifteen minutes ago like a sorority girl on a Friday morning.” She rolled her eyes and took a large bite of egg and bacon.
Samuel could not stop the chuckle that came, rising to his lips without a moment’s conscious thought; Fee cut him a glare. He knew just enough of Karin - gleaned wholly from Fee’s commentary, a few forum posts and a brief glimpse of her the night of the blackout - to feel quite certain such nights out were a rarity for her. He wanted to believe that were he in Fiona’s position, he would simply feel pleased for his sibling; that was how it had gone with he and his brothers, after all, each of them watching over the others, monitoring their comings and goings more for use in blackmail than from any genuine concern. But none of his siblings had ever feared terminal illness, nor exhibited such behavior as to arouse the fears Fiona now clearly felt. He cleared his throat, wiping the boyish smile from his face.
“I guess that’s not really like her, huh,” he said. “I imagine you gave her a pretty big piece of your mind. What’s her excuse?”
“She said she had a bad dream. She didn’t think.” Fee shrugged uncomfortably. She knew too well how bad things had been for Karin lately, and could see, maybe, how her sister could have left the apartment without thinking of anything but just feeling safe. Her lips pressing into a line, Fiona stabbed a piece of egg with her fork. “Whatever. I don’t give a shit what she does; normally I’d be glad she got laid. But I don’t appreciate running halfway the fuck around Orange County looking for her when she’s playing hide the chakra with Mr. Namaste next door.”
There was nothing for that bright grin now; it returned in force, splitting wider still as he laughed aloud. He remembered well the very real fear - and anger, yes - that had colored her tone when she had called. It came as no surprise to him that she concealed that now behind humor. After all, it was what he would have done.
“I remember that guy,” Samuel said. “Posted something to the forum about pot pretty much the day he got here. Not the sharpest knife in the drawer.” He reached behind him, stacking a slice of bacon atop a buttered slab of toast. Fee shook her head.
“Amateur,” she muttered about Sean, then, observing Samuel’s idea, started piling some egg onto the corner of a piece of her own toast.
“You think she’s getting into his stash?” He took a bite, watching her as he thought. “Might explain the weird behavior. The hospital does randoms. She wouldn’t want to lose her job, so maybe she’d want to hide that even from you.” He shrugged. “Better safe than sorry.”
Taking great pains to cut off a piece of bacon to put on top of the bite of breakfast she was creating, she shook her head.
“I don’t think so,” she said, intent on her project, which was harder to manage while holding the plate rather than having it set on a flat surface -- but then, Fee’d always liked a challenge. “It’s kinda hard to get drugs by me.” She cast a glance and an impish grin up at Samuel. Out of respect for his work and a desire to prevent any possible... issues, Fee never referred explicitly to her own occasional drug use, though allusions to her colorful history had come up tangentially from time to time in conversation. “If she were toking up, I’d know.”
Satisfied with the aesthetics and structural integrity of the little egg-and-bacon-laden corner of toast, she lifted it to her lips and took the bite.
Samuel nodded, satisfied with her answer, and having neither the need nor the desire to know a whit more. Karin did seem the far more straight laced of the sisters, and Fiona’s comments only bore out his assumption on this score. Having no other options to fall back on, he came to the unhappy conclusion that the help Karin needed was nothing Fiona would find in his flat - at least, he thought, he had been able to provide a safe place to come and vent.
“Well,” he said, “between the doctor’s appointment and the shrink visit it sounds like you’re considering, I’d say you’ve got this about as wrapped up as you can.” He pushed off from the counter, turning to open the freezer, gazing intently at the liquor stocked inside. “So what d’you say. You need a drink before you can safely head back and not punch her out, or are you good?” He threw her a look over one shoulder, smirking. “I know it’s early for booze, but sometimes the situation demands it.”
She laughed, then. A drink hadn’t been her plan, but at this juncture, it definitely didn’t sound like the worst option on the table. Considering, she recognized that she was going to have a long day and night ahead of her if she didn’t at least unwind a little. Spearing a little bit of egg, then bacon, onto another corner of toast, she nodded.
“Shit,” she said. “Fuck it. Maybe it’ll let me sleep for a minute before I have to go back to work. Whaddaya got in there?”
“Whiskey, vodka...” He leaned down, opening the refrigerator door. “There’s a Riesling in here Lia left. Pretty good, if you like wine.” His hand on the door, he cut a look back to her, concern well hidden behind his renewed smile. “Pick your poison, kiddo.”
“Oh, it’s way too early for wine,” she grinned. “I”ll take the vodka. I think a screwdriver’s a good pairing for bacon and eggs.” With that, she took her newly constructed bite of open-face breakfast sandwich. Once she’d swallowed, and she’d taken the vodka from Samuel, she splashed some into her orange juice.
“Hey,” she said, her attention seemingly focused on her drink. “Thanks for all this, you know? I appreciate it.”
He shrugged, a gesture too apparently apathetic to reflect his true thoughts. “Yeah, yeah,” he said, hiding the softer twist of his smile by turning back to the freezer, where he carefully returned the vodka to its place. “I know how it is. I have brothers, y’know. Gettin’ under each other’s skin is what we do best.” At that, Fee smiled wryly, nodding. He picked up the last shred of bacon on his plate, frowning down at its smallness, but popped it into his mouth all the same. “You ever need somebody to vent to, I never mind. Unless Lia’s over.” His eyes turned to the ceiling, a laugh on his lips. “Well, maybe text first.”
The grin that spread over Fee’s face was nothing short of devilish as she turned back to him, taking a long sip of her screwdriver.
“Are you kidding?” she asked as she set the glass down and started preparing another bite of her dwindling, deconstructed open-face. “If Lia’s over, I should come right up. I do some of my best venting from behind a camera.”
That earned her another deep and earnest laugh. He allowed his thoughts to wander for a brief moment before reining them back in; it was not such an unpleasant mental image, after all. “Is that so,” he said. “I’ll run that by Lia, see what she has to say about it.” He wiped bacon grease-streaked fingers over the kitchen towel hanging on the oven door. “Me, I’m fine with it as long as your ‘venting’ doesn’t throw off my rhythm.”
Fee laughed, taking another long gulp of her drink.
“Don’t you worry your pretty little head,” she said with a grin once she’d set her glass back down. “You won’t even know I’m there. Until Lia tells you to tag me in.” Shaking her head, she laughed again, then polished off her last bite of bacon and eggs only to wash it down with a last long draught of screwdriver.
“All right. I’m assed out and a little buzzed now. I should probably think about getting some sleep, huh?”
“Sounds about right.” Samuel reached over, taking her plate from beneath her. He moved over to the sink, gingerly placing it down. There would be time enough to clean up later; for now, his couch and the television called. “Take it easy walking down all those stairs,” he teased. “And you need anything else, you know where to find me.”
With a grin, Fee shook her head.
“What does this look like, boot camp?” she asked as she grabbed a paper towel and wiped her hands on it. “Fuck some stairs. I’m taking the elevator.”
With that, she gave him a little salute and a grin, walking out of the kitchen, toward the front door.
“Enjoy your day, Sarge. Thanks for breakfast.”