“Pinch me please” – GS.

 

Standing outside Jax’s Coffee house, Frank and Isolde come face to face with a real live alien, called Princess Xillia.  It takes an accident for the reality to hit home.

Scene setting : Jax’s Coffee House – Gantz Series

Co-written with Temp and Chor.

 

Temp:  Princess Xillia was in the presence of not only a detective, but also a scientist! Oh how fortune had blessed her! She had watched plenty of different detective and scientific shows that the humans broadcast. These two looked rather normal in comparison to what she had seen on the television, but she had no reason to doubt them. Having her tail very carefully pet by the man, whom was named Frank, was rather nice despite it being embarrassing. The woman, named Isolde, didn’t seem interested in it. She did seem kind of interested in Xillia as a being though. Reading their minds wouldn’t be very difficult, but she had decided she wouldn’t do that unless necessary. Regardless, she was curious as to what they thought about her. Whatever thoughts she had about these two humans was cast aside as a vehicle turned the nearby corner extremely fast and actually plowed right into Xillia. Instead of making contact with Xillia’s body, the car simply crumpled entirely in it’s front against an invisible force around her. The human inside was protected from any harm thanks to her actions. Her head slowly turned to examine the wreck and the man within the vehicle. “Please be more careful, you could have hurt someone.” Everyone around her was shocked to say the least. Announcing that she was an alien hadn’t exactly convinced a lot of people, but watching this twelve foot tall fuzzy lady be completely unaffected by a car crash would change that. As far as anyone could tell, the car literally stopped from crashing into her by apparently nothing, and was bound to change some peoples minds. Regardless, her attention turned back to Frank and Isolde. “Mr. Detective, I believe that man should be disciplined…though, please don’t be too hard on him.” How would these two humans react to this?

 

Razorbackwriter:  Frank guffawed at the manner in which Isolde introduced herself. “you haven’t tried to kill me so I’ll be civil”. The was the most unlikely thing he ever thought he would hear coming out of the girl’s mouth. Frank’s face was beet red and he slapped his cheek; once he had let go of the strange and ridiculously tall cat girl’s tail. For some reason, the song “Getting to know you” was tra la la-ing through his head and the comedy of it all just made him smile like a loon. Maybe Frank needed to laugh more often, since his days of depression meant he found very little to laugh about. The detective was about to give her a playful nudge, when the sudden sound of squealing tires and screaming had him pull his hand away and jump backwards, as a car which turned the corner at high speed, ploughed into Xillia.

Now, the first thing Frank did was wince and close his eyes. His body contorting as though bracing for the impact. But….there was no impact. Only the sound of the whole front of the car disintegrating, as though it had hit an invisible force field. The windscreen shattered – air bags inflated with a massive ~BANG BANG BANG~ The air was charged with the hiss of water pipes bursting, and in the midst of this, the overly tall cat girl was calmly telling the shocked driver that he should have been more careful.

“I err…what….the…fuck….just happened?!” Frank exclaimed loudly, as he came out of the crash position and stood tall once more. The detective’s gums were flapping as he struggled to get the next few words out. He kept looking at the car….then the driver, then back at Xillia, who was now giving some advice.

“Mr. Detective, I believe that man should be disciplined…though, please don’t be too hard on him.”

“Er….uhm….how did you? Wait. You said you were an alien. You did.” Frank was at a total loss. His hands gesturing to the car, then her. The driver looked to stunned to move. Maybe it was the fact he was hit so hard in the face by the air bag.“Isa, pinch me please.”

Poor Frank thought he was still asleep. This all had to be a dream. A car just doesn’t hit invisible force fields. Not in New York.

~RB~

 

Chor:  Isolde’s mind running in nearly a million different directions. What could this mean for today’s world? The news of extraterrestrial life would shatter nations; this was war-causing information. People think nonchalantly about alien life forms, but never imagine the idea of its effects on the Earth as they know it. Suddenly, a car hydroplaned or something, because the sound of squaling tired reached Isa’s ears painfully just as she rejoined the group conversation. The car, which had to be doing at least forty-five miles per hour in a twenty, was plummeting straight towards the small group. There were screams as people moved away, but Isolde could only stare. Could she have gone through all this now to be killed by the city’s worst driver? Her eyes instinctively closed as a flinch forced her body rigid, but to her surprise, she felt nothing. No weight, no pain; not a single thing. Was she dead then? Only after openign her eyes did she realize that the car had not even reached her. It was stopped dead in its tracks…and definitely totaled, by this…woman. What a feat; and she wasn’t even fazed.

When she certainly isn’t human. It’s genetically and now…absolutely not possible. No human could take that much force at that speed and still be alive to talk about it,” Isolde stated bluntly. This truly was an alien; and the poor thing was oncerned about the man in the car’s well-being and what might happen to him. How funny the term “We come in peace” is when watching this play out. She clearly could obliterate any one of them easily, yet chooses to protect, like she has some sort of affection or connection toward them. It’s childish, almost. Isolde turned to Frank with a grin, like a little girl on Christmas.

Trust me, you’re awake.

 

Temp:  These humans certainly did have some interesting reactions, especially to things they didn’t quite understand. It was becoming more and more clear that the concept of alien life, despite being popular in human culture, was something that not many took seriously. Both Frank and Isolde seemed to be shocked, but it wasn’t until she did something outside of human capability. It seemed that seeing was believing was the best way to approach the human race. Still, the shocked reactions were rather nice to see. “If you would like further proof, you may…examine me.” If for whatever reason they thought she was some kind of actor, they would be surprised even further should they choose to examine her. Her long gown covered her feet entirely, but if they decided to lift it and look, they’d find her feet to have patches of silver scales, as well as see that her legs were very real. She felt determined to prove to them that she was not from this world. While she waited for their words, her tail wiggled and bounced about behind her, catching the attention of some children from the nearby crowd. She honestly didn’t even notice them playing with it, as her attention was focused on Frank and Isolde.

 

Razorbackwriter:  So, this wasn’t a dream. The big..fluffy tailed girl just stopped the car with her alien force field. Had it not been for her, they would all be dead. Nothing but chalk lines on the pavement. Isa’s pinch hurt. Yes, he felt it. But now the realization of what stood before them brought about a wave of unease. Not because of what the girl had done, but how the authorities and the media would react. Frank already knew what it was like to be scrutinized over what was a bizarre and deadly attack against Rory, his partner. How on earth would the department react to this….let alone the Commander.

The Detective felt a sick feeling in the pit of his stomach. Movies like ET and Close encounters of the third kind, came to mind. The government would whisk this very friendly cat girl off to some secret base in the desert and do horrible tests on her. Frank chewed on his lip for a moment as he considered what they needed to do to protect this girl…not only from the authorities, but also from herself. He held up his finger to the girl as if to interrupt her after she had offered to be examined.

“Oh…no no. Don’t need anymore of that. Would you mind if I just conferred with my colleague for a moment please?”Frank showed a polite smile, as he took Isa’s arm and tried to turn her away from the cat girl for just a minute to let her know how he felt.

In a quiet voice he said. “Okay…you and I both know what happens to aliens in this country. Real…or not. We can’t let that happen to her. She might have answers about the thing that took Rory.” He leaned in close, but not before looking back at cat girl and showing a smile. “Heh, be right with you.”

“Should we take her to Elissa’s and then get their take on it, before finding a safe house?”

It was the best he could come up with.

~RB~

 

Chor:  

Despite the scientific personality happily taking over Isa, Frank looked sick. Her compulsion to agree with the extraterrestrial shorted, which was something that has not happened in years, and she looked at her companion with concern. He completely pushed off the suggestion for an examination, much to Isolde’s extreme disappointment. What? It’s not like she was going to dissect her! Isolde became aware of the hand on her arm and then looked up at Frank. What came out of his mouth sounded a little bit…frantic and crazy to her, but it had a sense of truth in it. Frank might have seen a but too much televised alien encounter stories, but for certain were this being found, she may not see day again. It would be a pity for such a creature to disappear, considering her royal status. This alone could start an intergalactic war, one which the Earth could not possibly fight with the limited to nonexistent knowledge of life in space.

I do suppose that’s a viable solution for the moment,” Isolde agreed, biting her lip gently. The look on her face was evidence to the cogs trning in her head. She looked over to the being and then back at Frank.

Do you imagine she’ll fit in my car?” she questioned him, not sure if it would be the case. The car wasn’t tiny, just your standardfront wheel drive V6, but this creature was exceptionally tall, and the comfortably level concerning her tail in the backseat was also a problem. They could certainly try, though the car being at the police stations parking garage was another problem. Downtown people sort of overlook silly things like this, save maybe the car crash. Press, however, grows hungrily in the cracks in the sidewalk otuside the station. They take notice to jsut about anything.  

 

Temp:  Xillia was actually very confused as to what Joel and Isolde were talking about. There were talks of her being taken away and finding a place for her to hide, none of which made sense to her. “There is no need to worry about me.” If Xillia felt for a moment that coming to Earth would put her in any danger, she wouldn’t have arrived in such a flashy way. If these two humans insisted that she come with them, then she would agree to go with them. Still, she didn’t feel that she was in any immediate danger.“Would you like me to take us all somewhere? There’s no need for a vehicle.”Teleportation was something she was able to do, so long as she had an image of the desired location. Tapping into either Isolde or Franks mind to get the image of said location was also something she could do, thankfully.

 

 

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Princess Kitty – GS.

 

Frank had always thought of the possibilities of an alien race that was terrorizing the planet.  Like the one that took Rory that fateful night.  He had no idea that aliens had fluffy tails.

Scene setting : Outside Jax’s Coffee House.

Co-written with Temp and Chor.

 

Razorbackwriter:  For a detective, Frank was pretty clueless – especially when Isa slipped some money into his jacket to help pay for her meal. Being a gentleman, Frank believed that it was only right that he should pay the cheque – even if his salary was barely covering his expenses. Ambling out the door, he happened to hear Isa mention that she had a car. Well that was a relief. Not having to hail yet another cab to Elissa’s place was going to save him a few dollars. Also, he often hated the back seats of New York cabs. You never really knew what you were going to be sitting on. Showing a smile, Frank was all too ready to head for her car, when the oddest looking woman – if you could call her that, approached them and greeted them both in a way that made you think she was from way out of town.

“Hello humans! Your planet is wonderful!”

Now Frank was used to seeing oddities in the city. Why, go to Broadway and you see some amazing costumes and special effects when producers are promoting their plays or musicals. So…when Frank heard the ever so tall kitten girl say“Hello Humans.”, Frank naturally thought it was an act.

“Ahaha. Wow, are you from an off Broadway production? I gotta say, that tail looks so realistic. Kudos to your wardrobe department. I’ll take a flyer if you have one.”

Totally clueless.

Frank nudged Isa and said. “Do you want to pull her tail as much as I do?”

~RB~

 

Chor:  Isolde watched Frank’s expression, seeing his interest in the fact that she did have a functioning vehicle, and thanked past Isa for having that smart idea. Honestly, Isolde has spent a ton of money driving her own car around. In the city you don’t need to go far and if you do, there’s always a train. Suddenly, their space was invaded by honestly the creepiest thing Isolde had ever laid eyes on…and she’d seen things; things not many could stomach.

I…

There were no words, Isolde was left speechless, looking this…person? up and down. The tail really made it, though. Isodle barely heard what Frank was saying until he nudged her. She looked up at him, mouth agape like she couldn’t believe her eyes. Knowing full well the human body, she could see that this was something either very strange or maybe…maybe today has been a dream?

“What are you?” she whispered, brows furrowed. Isa felt uneasy, sick even. The world spun and she took hold of Frank’s hand to steady herself. Was this happening? Was Frank really seeing it, too?

 

Temp:  “Broadway?” The name sounded very familiar to her. Whatever it was, it was probably mentioned in some movie that took place in this city. The man thought her to be part of whatever this ‘Broadway’ thing was, but she wasn’t sure how to best respond since she didn’t know what the hell it even was. “I’m not from this ‘Broadway’, but from Vasari…and I’ve come to visit you Humans.” Hopefully she wouldn’t cause any insult towards ‘Broadway’. Offending the Humans wasn’t something that she was hoping to accomplish. “I am Princess Xillia, and I hope to learn a great deal from you all.” She spoke softly and bowed towards the two humans, despite the clear ‘disgust’ that she sensed from the female. Why exactly the female looked at her and brewed such negative emotions was unknown to her, but it was upsetting nonetheless. Perhaps it had to do with her tail that they both seemed fixated on? “I…do you…desire to feel my tail?” She brought her tail forward and held it in front of her, then stepped a bit closer to the two humans with a nervous look on her face. Would letting them examine her tail make them feel better? Perhaps the male, but the female really didn’t seem to like her…sadly.

 

Razorbackwriter:  Frank cocked his head to the right. His brow creasing and yet he still had a crooked smile when the woman claimed not to be from Broadway, but a place called Vasari. And then….the kicker.

“…and I’ve come to visit you Humans.”

The detective blinked at this admission. The girl with the fluffy tail believed herself not to be human and that she was visiting. ~Right~ Now, Frank had met many that claimed to be all sorts of things in lock up; but none of them had a tail. Delusions brought about by drugs was common place, yet as Isa and Frank stood there, the cat girl if you could call her that went on to say that she was a Princess named Xillia and she hoped to learn from them. Not wanting to alarm the cat girl or make her panic with any sudden moves, Frank slowly turned his head toward Isa and then acted as this was all perfectly normal.

“We are in the company of royalty. In New York no less.”

Isa would be able to tell by his tone that he was being sarcastic, but in the same vein – polite. This girl needed to be treated carefully, if she was an escapee from a local mental institution. He was now considering taking her down town to see if they could find out her true identity, but that was the moment she offered her tail for a pat.

Frank glanced at the fluffy tail. It looked so soft. At that point, Frank glanced up and saw the nervousness in her face. The girl was frightened. The detective knew he had to treat her carefully. Moving ever slowly, he reached forward and then with the utmost care, stroked her tail. It was incredibly soft, and fluffy.

“Wow. Softer than minx.” Frank gave Isa a nudge. “Don’t be shy. Just…curtsy and have a feel.” He remembered the girl was royalty and he remembered his manners.

“I’m Detective Malone….Frank Malone.” The Detective bowed slightly, assuming it was the done thing. “And this is Isolde, she’s a scientist.”

Here was Frank, making introductions to an alien. If only he knew the truth.

~RB~

 

Chor:  There is nothing whatsoever weird about this meeting. Not at all. The sarcastic remark passed through her head after Frank spoke about this…woman being royalty. She had said she was a Princess, but from a place Isa had never heard of. Clearly this girl thought herself an alien…and boy did she look the part. Frank’s idea about a play or musical was a good one, but a convention is what came to Isolde’s mind. Suddenly, Frank suggested she curtsy. Was he mad? She looked incredulously at him, but when he nudged her, wrinkled her nose indignantly before displaying the most respectful curtsy she could manage in shorts that ever-threatened mutiny. When urged to pet the tail, Isa decided aginst it. If she began, it would not end there. Likely she would attempt to examine the creature completely. One thought plagued her mind continuously. Was the extended vertebrae protruding from the pelvis? Was this a real tail or some plastic, ‘furry’ illusion for good fun. Roleplaying was something people took very seriously…Frank only introduced her as a scientist, which was half correct, but it would suffice. She nodded curtly.

Hallo; Isolde vonGoethe,” she spoke aloud, mouth forming what one might call a friendly smile but mostly looked like ‘I don’t know you, but you haven’t tried to kill me so I’ll be civil’.

“Hello Humans!” – GS.

 

https://i1.wp.com/i218.photobucket.com/albums/cc86/VergilX_X/Female%20Characters/0bcfb7d1-f6b1-4036-8d76-6fea98fcf2c5.jpg

With breakfast almost done, Frank and Isolde are about to make a move.  What is waiting for them out on the street?  Oh, you’ll never believe it.

Scene setting : Jax’s Coffee House

Co-written with Chor and Temp.

 

Chor:  Isolde felt a sort of release as she talked about herself. These were things even Khalil barely knew, which showed just how private and alone she kept. At the mention of the horse-back riding, a huge grin found itself to Frank’s lips, surprising Isa. What had she said? He spoke then, about his grandparents and their horse farm.

Her Aunt Scherze had a few horses, mostly unbroken save for Doof. Her aunt named the horse because it was clearly suffering from some sort of mental disorder, but it was the gentlest horse there and during her vacations to Germany Isa loved to ride the red roan appaloosa filly on cool Sunday mornings before Gran would drag them off to church, always complaining that Isolde smelled of manure. When Isa was eleven, she received a call saying that Doof had passed away. His brain had been riddled with cancer for many years and they thought it best to put him down rather than let him suffer any longer.

Isolde put food in her mouth so Frank didn’t seem like the only one eating. Really she was deep in thought until he spoke again, having finished his meal. She looked down to her half-eaten plate and back up, grinning. Her? A catch? The idea of it made her want to laugh, but she didn’t. A light blush had come over her cheeks and she pretended to wipe her bare lips to cover it.

I would propose then…that you tie together all of these hideous hooded sweatshirts. T’would make a better net than a wardrobe in my opinion,” Isolde shot back to him, listening to him laugh at his little joke. She had not let it die liek he had probably intended. Finishing her meal in a couple more bites, Isolde went to her coffee, sipping it cautiously as it was still the slightest bit hot.

 

Razorbackwriter:  “Perhaps I could tie together the hoodies, but I can tell that you aren’t overly keen on them. Be more of a deterrent if anything.” This was said with absolute honesty. Why Frank even kept that box in the closet was a mystery, but he wasn’t one that tended to throw things away. Like his marriage. His behavior didn’t help him there, but if he had the chance all over Frank may have done things differently. Though, it was one way of finding out what his ex was truly like. It is the rough patches in marriage that test our love. If the foundation is weak to start with, it has no chance of lasting. Isa thankfully played along with Frank’s banter which only helped to create a more relaxing breakfast – from what had earlier been something out of a Jackass movie. You would honestly have to wonder if Frank knew anything about women at all by the way he acted. The real reason was more caution if anything. He wasn’t a player like Tommy. Frank was more one for keeps, if you could put up with his God awful puns and strange habits. The Frank that sat opposite Isa was a far cry from his youth. The young forensics officer might be surprised to know that back in the day Frank was a real risk taker and something of a rebel. How times and events shape and mold us.

Now that the pair were onto their coffee, the meals having being eaten; Frank took out his wallet and placed out a few notes to pay for their breakfast. He wouldn’t accept Isa paying her share, since he believed a man should pay for the woman when dining out.

Stuffing his wallet back into his jacket, Frank mused on what Tommy was up to. No call back. The detective hoped he was okay. Elissa too. Maybe they should pay her a visit, to check on her shoulder.

“Fancy going over to El’s?”

Course Isa would know he meant Elissa. Frank still felt terribly responsible for her injuries. The girl didn’t deserve what happened.

~RB~

 

Chor:  
Isolde laughed at his reply to her suggestion.

Ja, I’d likely asphyxiate on the fabric from being surrounded by such hideously over-bright colours,” she replied, still chuckling as she took one last sip from her coffee. As he placed the money for the check, Isa frowned. He’s already spent an awful lot on her and she can tell he’s suffering from some financial hardship, so while she is not it feels wrong to let him pay.

That sounds fine to me,” Elissa said with a shrug, but also looking down at how guilty her outfit would look. Actually? Fuck it; she doesn’t live for what anyone else thinks. She gestured for them to go with a smile as the waitress cleaned their table behind them. As they walked out, she secretly slipped enough cash in bills to cover her meal cost into his pocket. You learn all sorts of things living in the city. Suddenly, as if a cloud had lifted, a thought came to Isa. How in hell could she have forgotten?

You know I’ve got a car, right?” she asked him, wondering. She bought the car immediately after school and has had it ever since. It was currently sitting in the parking garage near the station. They needn’t take a cab everywhere. She didn’t really mind it, but it would certainly save some cash in their wallets from the stingy cabbies of New York.

 

Temp:  Xillia had moved from Times Square, venturing further into the city completely aimlessly. There wasn’t much that she wanted to do at the moment other than explore her surroundings. Studying the humans that inhabited the planet would be something she did along the way. There would likely be all sorts of different opportunities to do so, considering how many of them there were. She had already managed to gather quite a crowd, most of which was continuing to follow her through the streets.

Eventually she wound up in an area she’d never really seen before. The only references to places she had were things from movies and pictures, which she had acquired on her home world. Even though she was lost, she really hadn’t decided on any one destination, so it meant little to her. What did meant a lot to her was greeting every human she saw. Being such a tall creature had it’s advantages, especially when you were looking for things smaller than you. She spotted two humans near what seemed to be a restaurant, which she then started to walk towards. As soon as she was close to the two, she offered them both a happy wave and a bright smile.“Hello humans! Your planet is wonderful!” Was that the kind of compliment that would appeal to them? Who knows.

 

What is love? – GS.

Tattoos that tell a story.  Frank learns more about his friend, Isolde.

Scene setting :  Jax’s Coffee House – GS.

Co-written with Chor.

Chor: Isolde nodded her head, thinking of low, low times in her life. Isolde just happened to be in the right place at the right time to save Frank, but Isolde had no one but Khalil, who practically dragged the ambulance to her apartment. The kid knew she wasn’t right and he saw where she was headed, but if he had been just ten minutes later, it would have been too late. His hand came to rest over hers and she looked at it, goosebumps crawling up her sleeved arm , over her clavicle and up her neck, where the baby hairs in the back raised. His thumb caressed her hand as he took it into his. She focused a bit, making sure he didn’t flip the hand over; view the wrist. Suddenly, he withdrew, and she looked up at the waitress, blinking.

Finally, her meal arrived and she pulled her napkin into her lap; wouldn’t want to ruin such lovely shorts with a blackberry stain. Frank’s meal had not yet arrived and she refused to eat, despite his urgings about it ‘getting cold’. Patience is a virtue. Her mother would have rolled in her grave if she’d begun eating. The thought made her grin. She poured a little cream in her coffee, then a literal ton of sugar. She liked coffee’s effects, but not the taste. She drank a lot of coffee as a youngster, but only because her family couldn’t afford it for years until the market went down, so then they drank it religiously.

In my family, we do not eat until everyone has been served,” she said politely, not wanting to make Frank upset because clearly he was just trying to make her happy. Isa appreciated this fully; it was more than anyone else ever tried to do. He mentioned the tattoos then and her face changed. She’d totally forgotten, wrapped up in her outfit of something that wasn’t quite choice.

“Ah, well. If I had a shirt on under this, I’d likely pull this off to show you, but you’ve seen quite a bit of it already,” she said, rubbing her neck, “but it’s a poem in Hebrew:

In the merciful time, at twilight,
Bow your head and I’ll reveal,
the secret of my torments:
They say there is youth in the world-
Where is my youth?

And another secret I will confess:
My soul has been seared by a flame;
They say there is love in the world-
What is love?”

Razorbackwriter:  Watching Isa as she mentioned that in her family it was tradition to wait until all plates were on the table had Frank taken off guard slightly. He honestly thought that he was being polite in asking her to go ahead and start. Thankfully, one of the waitresses brought over Frank’s order – placing the eggs benedict down before him as he whipped a napkin out from under his cutlery and draped it across his lap. Well, I have mine now so..”

Conversation went back onto the strange markings that ran up and down Isa’s legs. She mentioned that had it not been for the fact she was only wearing the hoody as a top, that she could show him the extent of the markings. Truth be told, he got a good eyeful back at the apartment when she was hunting for a towel. Frank toyed with his fork as he listened to the poem, which is what the markings represented in hebrew. This was the first that Frank had ever heard of someone having an entire poem tattooed on their body. Made a change from the usual fare, of flowers, butterflies and ex girlfriend’s names.

Cutting into his toast and then dipping it into the holanaise sauce, Frank nodded as he was deeply impressed. “Must have been hell getting it done.” Frank clearly was not a fan of the tattooist needle. He then popped the toast into his mouth and chewed heartily – thankfully with his mouth closed. Frank had excellent table manners around the ladies. With the guys, well that was another story.

“You know, Tommy Elissa and me were here just the other night. Mhm. We were running on adrenaline, I can tell you.”This was before the shooting….right before. Funny how Frank had ended back there again for breakfast. To be honest, Frank didn’t mind. His cooking left a lot to be desired, plus his pantry was not exactly packed with choice ingredients. Like many it was simply easier and more enjoyable to eat out.

Frank took another mouthful, this time with egg and bacon on his fork. You could tell he had an appetite, but still tried to make interesting conversation. Placing down his cutlery, he reached for his cup of coffee and then took a sip. Amazing how coffee just perked him right up.

“So what do you do…for fun? Away from the lab, I mean.”

And here come the questions.

~RB~

Chor:  Oh, gute,” she said, her ‘gute’ a sort of German-American mixture of the word. Old habits die hard.

Isolde smiled at Frank, lifting her own cutlery to cut her crepe as he settled the napkin upon his lap. The first bite was utter euphoria and Isa’s mouth and stomach reveled that finally she was eating real, delicious, and nutritious food. Truth be told, the last time she’d had crepes was the morning before Claura’s disappearance. She’d sung silly tines their grandmother taught them as she cooked the German crepes and wrapped in them the redcurrant jam. Isolde used to remember that as the last happy day she’d ever have. Of course, who could have predicted that yesterday could have changed her so fully. She took another bite as Frank went on about the tattoo. A shrug moved in her shoulders. It wasn’t painful to her, who has a pretty high pain tolerance; and in fact -though she won’t likely ever admit it- she actually enjoyed it. She felt as if she deserved the pain.

At the mention of Tommy – that must be the reporter- and Elissa – who must be the woman- Isa again wondered if they were alright. Frank really ought to call his friends back. He surprised her then, with a question about what she did outside of the lab. This was going to be an awkward answer, since all she truly did was work in the lab, then take cat naps and eat vending machine food. She should tell him about before her small, abysmal life began.

Well, I’ve really been lacking there lately, but I’m also employed at the American Museum of Natural History in the Forensic Anthropology department. I used to do studies, demonstrations, and tours and all that. Mainly. I did a lot of casework, working on specific bodies we’d get in. I also used to play in the symphony. Strings; cello mostly, but a little violin or viola occasionally. I mean, I’m no master at it, so second seat was pretty exciting for me. Before…I used to ride horses often. There’s something about them that’s so elegant and just altogether they’re just magnificent beasts to interact with.

That was the end of her spiel. She didn’t really do much aside from work after school started. She figured she had to dive head first to pay off her loans, but as soon as that was done she still remained deeply buried into the workplaces. Her friends from school all lived close and they would often meet to hang out, but after Claura she pretty much dropped everything.

Razorbackwriter;  Some of us find it hard to get time to have any kind of life outside our working hours. Frank’s used to revolve around his son, but of course when his ex took him away that left Frank with little to do but drink and spend his waking hours at home studying the wall. The wall being the one in his home office with the trails to nowhere on Rory’s death. Some nights he wouldn’t even sleep. Just sitting in his old leather chair and rock back and forth slowly. His mind going over that night again and again till the first rays of light would filter through to the office. Not much of an existence.

Frank ate heartily as Isa told him all of her life away from work which was a darn sight more interesting then his own story. Nodding at appropriate times and only placing his cutlery down to replace them with his cup of coffee, he was genuinely interested. She was also employed at the American museum of Natural History A role that Frank was sure was of some importance. Is was also into music. Playing the cello – as well as a little violin. Frank smiled at the mention that she was second seat in the symphony, which meant she must be good.

The last part however brought a big smile from Frank, she used to ride horses. Why you might wonder this brought such a reaction was due to the fact it triggered a memory of just how much his ex hated them. Whenever there was a parade and the police horses came along, his ex put on such a performance it was a wonder people didn’t throw down money in front of her. Drama Queen.

“I couldn’t agree more. Majestic and beautiful creatures. I haven’t ridden though since my teens. My parents used to send me out to the Grandparents farm some holidays and that is where I learnt to ride.” Course he couldn’t go near horses after Missy reacted to them so badly. Much to his Grandparents disappointment. He hadn’t been able to go visit with his son, thanks to Missy. How he hated the woman.

Frank placed his cutlery down on his cleaned plate with a clink, before picking up his napkin and dabbing his lips.

“I enjoyed that. You know, you are a very interesting woman, Isa. You’d make quite the catch. If only I had a net.” At this he laughed at his own poor joke. Such a sad sack.

“Enjoying those crepes?”

~RB~

 

 

Old Scars – GS.

Food52 animated GIF

Breakfast is always better when someone else makes it.  Frank and Isa are about to enjoy the delights of Jax’s Coffee house.

Scene setting : Jax’s Coffee House.

Co-written with Chor.

 

Razorbackwriter:  Pulling the door open for Isa, Frank peeked inside to see how bad the crowd was this morning. Thankfully, Jax’s was about half full which meant that they would easily get a table and the wait would not be all that long. Following Isa in, Frank stared down at those white shorts. The tell tale showing of Isa’s panties, which Frank had seen earlier gave the detective reason to smile. He had acted like a total goof when she emerged from the bathroom looking for towels. Thankfully, Frank felt that Isa would have forgotten about all that by now. The welcoming aroma of freshly roasted coffee beans invigorating the senses.

Seeing a table free, Frank ushered Isa towards it and then pulled out a chair for her, just as you would expect a gentleman to do. “This is so much better than sharing a bowl of cornflakes and stale milk at my place.” Waiting for Isa to get comfortable, Frank moved to the opposite side of the table and took a chair, reaching for the menu. He knew one thing. Frank needed a large cup of coffee, and then he would see what took his fancy on the menu.

On the way over, the conversation had been light. Mainly about how his little boy loved to play soccer on Saturdays. Much of the time, Frank was working, so he had missed many of his son’s matches – much to his own disappointment. In all honesty, Frank didn’t feel like he had been a great father to his son. So much of his important milestones had been missed, and all because of the job. It made him wonder if having kids was such a good idea in the first place, but his son was an accident. Do you tell your child such a thing? No. Well, you shouldn’t. Frank tried to hide the sadness of how he missed his little boy, but his ex had made sure that Frank would never get custody or visitation. All Frank had was a handful of photographs, and one small soccer shirt. Maybe one day, when his son was old enough he would seek Frank out. Or would it be too late? Missy had remarried and the guy was a writer with plenty of time at home to be there for Frank’s son. How easy it was to be replaced.

Taking up the menu, Frank held it up and whistled.

“Eggs Benedict. My favorite.” Frank had already made up his mind.

“See anything you fancy?” This was asked as a waitress approached their table, tablet in hand ready to take their order.

~RB~

 

Chor:  Isolde was a little hesitant to enter the restaurant, because just in stepping from the cab she’d already had enough looks – mostly at her backside- for the morning. The woman braved it, though, and allowed Frank to kindly open the door for her to enter. Her escort immediately found them a table and gladly sat down in the chair he’d retrieved. The whole place was aflutter with quiet chatter and Isa caught conversations here and there. She was not really listening in, but when the ebb and flow of the words came like a wave; there was only one conversation left to hear and she couldn’t do anything to stop it. Isa had barely even glanced at the menu, but had mostly made her mind up on the way that she would have waffles.

Be careful what you wish for: I survived my childhood eating muesli every day,” Isa joked, though it was true. In the dark, quiet mornings as her family sat around the worn wooden table eating their typical German breakfast, Isa would have killed for cornflakes. The thought of that made a smile curve her lips. Suddenly, Isa’s eyes caught something on the menu. Crepes. Oh god, that was it. Her waffle-filled morning had come to an end. It would be crepes with black berry jam and she decided this all before Frank even uttered a word. When the waitress appeared, she looked to her with a light smile.

guten Morgen,” she said, then closed her menu and placed it to the side, “I’ll have the crepes, with blackberry jam…or preserves, whichever you’ve got? And coffee; one cream and…well, I suppose if you can bring me the sugar it’ll be easier.

 

Razorbackwriter:  It was nice to listen to Isa speak with that slight accent that Frank had not really picked up on before. Easing back in his chair, as he went over the menu he only lifted his eyes away from it to watch Isa give her over to the barista. “No waffles?’ Frank was a little surprised that Isa had changed her mind so quickly, but obviously she preferred the idea of crepes that morning instead, now that she saw the full range of breakfasts offered on the menu. The waitress took down both their orders and spun on her heel – quickly away to go and get their breakfasts started. Frank had to admit, the service was great. Placing the menu back in the holder, Frank couldn’t help but say something about those white shorts.

“Amazing how you are the same size as my ex. Those shorts are pretty…uhm…”Thankfully he stopped himself before he made a massive gaff. “….nice.” He let out an loud exhale of breathe followed by a smile as he decided to change tact. “You really stuck your neck out for me, you know. The Commander has probably been at the station all night.” The meaning behind this statement was that Commander Bracks was probably destroying her computer files and anything incriminating on it. It was a fair bet that he had people that owed him favors around the office. Some people got promotions that they didn’t earn. Not by performance results, anyways. It was troubling, to say the least.

Remembering his cellphone, he took it out from his pocket and then placed it on the table in front of him. “Tommy messaged me. Sounded mad as fuck.” Frank ticked his head a little to the left, remembering what state he had been in the night before. Frank toyed with the phone for a moment, almost too nervous to call Tommy back.

“I really do owe you one, Isa. You pretty much saved my life.”

Did she understand the gravity of his words? Truth be told though. Frank was not out of the woods yet. There were people out there with objectives. Dishonest and clever people. Frank was a pawn that many wanted seen taken off the board.

~RB~

 

Chor:  Isolde wiggled in her chair. Funny he should mention the shorts; they weren’t the same size, as Isa’s hips definitely did not lie about how these white atrocities were, but enough where she wasn’t bursting at the seams.

Nice isn’t the word I’d use, but ja, they’re…int’resting, to say the least.

The way he said it though, she knew he’d jsut stopped himself from saying something very, very different. The way he attempted to change the subject had her laughing on the inside, then what he said had her truly laughing. Bracks? Do work?

Yeah, that’s not likely. That fat pig probably slept like a baby with his new wife while his dirty lackeys did his job for him…” Isa nearly spat, just thinking about the Commander putting her off a bit. She had a particular bone to pick with that man, and not just because of the situation with Frank or just his shitty human being status in general. There was far more history between the two that Isa hadn’t divulged on yet. She’d hoped she’d never have to, but eventually someone has to know. Especially now that Claura’s files have gone missing. Isolde rubbed her leg where a few symbols could be seen, sighing. So much to do, yet she just wanted to enjoy the happiness she was truly feeling here with Frank. She could only imagine the sight of her office, her lab, maybe even her apartment? At the mention of Frank’s friends, Isa felt guilty for forgetting about them. The poor woman who’d been shot and the other man…the reporter? She hoped they fared well. Isolde was caught off guard by Frank’s words and the utter sincerity of them. Blinking, she looked to his eyes.

I was only doing what I wish someone had done for me,” she said a little sheepishly. Old scars, reminders of those days when she hadn’t had anyone to tell her that it would be okay, burned on her wrists.

 

Razorbackwriter:  Isa’s laughter was infectious and of course the way that she described Commander Bracks had chuckle. Frank would have laughed a bit louder save for the fact that what Isa said was pretty spot on. He was a disgusting pig of a man, and you had to feel sorry for the woman that he went home to at night. There was just something not quite right about the man. Frank couldn’t quite put his finger on it, but Bracks had a sinister streak. The kind of guy that gained pleasure from torturing animals. Just the mental picture of him sleeping as Isa said made Frank shudder. Frank tapped the table twice with his open palm and then said “Enough about him, okay? Wouldn’t want to ruin your breakfast.” Yes, a change in conversation was a top idea and of course when Frank had said that he was grateful for Isa for everything she had done for him, he softened when she said that she was doing what she had hoped someone had done for her.“Really?”

Frank’s brow knitted slightly as he reached across the table to take her hand. He remembered her placing down a white rose as a symbol for the one she lost – Claura. That was her name, Frank thought. Frank’s thumb moved delicately across the top of Isa’s hand as he was about to ask about Claura, when the waitress brought over the crepes with blackberry jam as well as some cutlery. It sure did look good. Frank knew it was time to pull his hand away. “Don’t want it getting cold, now.” A simple nod and he gestured for her to eat as he waited for his meal to be brought out. A cup of coffee was placed down and filled by the barista and he thanked her kindly, before looking back at Isa.

“This is nice.” Frank, the King of small talk. If he could though, Frank could talk underwater when the mood was right. In this instance, the detective was wanting to ensure that Isolde enjoyed her breakfast. He took up his coffee cup and blew on it gently, then took a sip before placing the cup back down in the saucer with a gentle clink.

“You never did tell me about those tattoos.”

~RB~

Budgie Smugglers? – GS

 

Scene setting – Jax’s Coffee House.

co-written with VunG & Moo.

 

VunG:  The look on Tommy’s face made Elissa feel actually kind of bad, and while she actually trying to drive a wedge in between the friends, she felt like that was what she was doing. It was never her intent, it was never her desire, and right now she hoped that she could fix it. However, social encounters weren’t exactly her cup of tea, and as she looked between the two she felt utterly helpless, her muteness once again proving a hindrance to everything that she needed to do. She didn’t care what happened between Frank and the girl, and to some extent she didn’t actually care about solving Rory’s murder. That sounded like a horrible thing in her head, but what she cared about was the fate of the living right now; she needed to see to it that Frank was taken care of. She wanted Rory’s murder solved, definitely, but the dead could wait.

Thankfully, her blunder would be solved, in a manner of speaking as Sophia came over and went on to gush over the detective’s work, giving Frank just the right sort of attention. Granted, she was still a little annoyed with Tommy, but not enough to want him out of the picture; it was a lapse in judgment, nothing more. Despite feeling utterly humiliated by her mistake, she couldn’t help but feel a little smile slip onto her face as she watched the heartwarming reaction between the three of them, particularly how sweet it was to see Frank and the girl go about trading numbers. Even if it didn’t turn into anything, she kind of hoped that he found someone in his life; nobody deserved to deal with what he went through.

While the two went about reconciling, she quickly pulled out her own notepad and wrote a simple note for Sophia: *Thank you.* With that, she went over to the two of them, assuming neither of them had a coffee in their hands, went over and pushed the boys together, a slight smirk on her face as she silently declared this ‘group hug time.’


Sasha laughed and waved off her apology, chuckling at his own jumpiness, “It’s fine, no problem.” As Sophia went about taking his order, he had to admit that there was something cute about the way she seemed so cheerful, and it was alway nice when someone else was equally excited. Even if it was as simple as learning where a potential friend works so you can maybe do something to brighten their day when they’re feeling down. And, as usual, he was more than happy to have someone to talk to who wasn’t weirded out by his energy; even if it was just circumstances bringing them together. Still, business came first, and almost as soon as it happened she was off, and promptly dealing with that trio of other customers… actually did he recognize them? He felt like he recognized the blonde fellow… news maybe? That was an interesting thing, it was kind of funny to see celebrities out in normal locations. His work was forgotten now, all he could think to do was just watch what was going on with innocent curiosity.

 

Moo:  Much to her relief, neither of the men had taken her request in the wrong way. Had they been anyone else, perhaps she would have been teased relentlessly. So, Sophia smiled while the two men seemed to soften, having re-assured them. Of course she realized this could potentially put her in a tight situation… She had dropped the act in order to bring them back together again. Lying really never did suit Sophia; it was the hardest thing to pull off, as she herself had a good sense of justice. Little would these investigators know, she had her own interests in the subject, her major being Forensic Science. Naturally, it wasn’t the same as what the three of them did…but more or less, it took a similar mindset to get into. Though, if they hadn’t really thought about it in depth, she could remain the innocent barista. She nodded and took Tommy’s card, then Frank’s napkin, and put them into her pocket. “Thank you.” Would she really use them? Was it a good idea to associate herself with people like this? She pushed the debate from her head, deciding that now wasn’t the time for it. This certainly wasn’t the time to be serious…the men were clearly cracking jokes after Tommy had addressed her ‘first page’ comment.

Sophia found herself laughing with Tommy’s wit. The more the men conversed, the more entertaining the situation had become. She was able to smile while she mellowed out, clearly feeling much better that the two had made up. It had been apparent these two men were close, so for them to fight must have been normal. Especially with how quickly they were able to make up. It seemed Elissa felt the same way, as she quickly wrote on her notepad. Sophia stepped closer with a dash of curiosity and read two simple words: thank you. To this, her smile brightened, reaching her eyes. “You’re welcome,” she replied. “Take care of them, will you?” She laughed lightly. Clearly, they would need someone to keep them out of trouble. And with a peace offering between the two, and having fixed the situation, she was able to turn back to her business. The waitress decided to make that mocha, as to not keep her friend waiting while he worked on his project. Then she would be able to go clean up their area.

 

Razorbackwriter:  Funny how one minute the guys could be at each other’s throats ,and then they are all good again. Course when Elissa suggested a group hug, the two glanced at each other and mouthed “Gay” Instead, each hugged her separately, before giving each other a fist bump. With phone numbers exchanged and the mood having lifted, Frank would take up Tommy’s offer of a free shirt from his boot. Who else but Tommy would keep spare clothes in the boot of his car. Come to think of it, Tommy wasn’t home much as his work often took him out on the field – much to Tamika’s annoyance. Leaving an extra tip for Sophia, the guys would head for the door, Tommy remembering his lap top and the envelope of photos. The hard evidence in this case. Course, they had to find the person who took the images, and Frank already had a hunch. First things first….his shirt. Frank this time held the door, much to Tommy’s surprise. Was the rough edged cop going a bit soft? Not really, he just wanted to be the last one out to wave to Sophia. The girl had caught his eye, but he was too shy to make any fancy moves. Once all were out, he would give the waitress a friendly wave, before joining the others out on the street. Tommy went straight to the boot of his car and popped it, reaching in for his second sports bag, where he kept a change of clothes. He pulled out a silk shirt. The kind from those top end of town men’s stores. It was probably worth about two hundred dollars. Frank was taking off his jacket, and then saw what Tommy was offering.“Damn…are you loaded or something?” He didn’t think the reporter’s job paid that well. Tommy shrugged off the comment as he took Frank’s dirty shirt. “I do some….part time modeling on the side.” He said without faltering. This was news. Tommy……a model? “Yeah? What kind?” The detective knew there were all kinds of models and so was intrigued to hear what his pal had to say. Sheepishly, he mumbled. “Underwear.”

“Ahahahahaha. You model budgie smugglers?”

Frank couldn’t stop laughing, while Tommy went bright red.

“Shut up.”

“Hey Elissa. Bet you would love to see a shot of him in his y fronts.” Frank wiggled his brow, as he finished putting on the crisp shirt, which just fitted….just. Placing the coat on over it, Frank closed the boot and kept chuckling, before sobering up to remember just what they had next on the cards. To go back to the place where Rory was murdered.

“Okay, I’m ready. We need to go down to Fifth and Maple Street. That is where…..yeah.” Soon as he said, that, he got into Tommy’s car. The search for clues and a witness was on.

 

~RB~

 

Falling in and out – GS.

 

Scene setting – Jax’s Coffee House.

co-written with Moo & VunG.

 

VunG:  Elissa almost immediately started glaring daggers at Tommy after that stunt, mostly just for the embarrassment of having spit up some of her coffee. Still, her anger cooled almost immediately as the girl showed her concern and gave her some napkins to clean it up. While it was obviously just the girl’s job, she definitely seemed genuine… but there was that look she had… like she’d just seen a ghost. Grabbing the napkins with a polite nod, she went about cleaning herself… and quickly realized that her scarf was acting up again. Wincing with annoyance, she went ahead and fixed it before continuing. This whole thing was a joke. The three ‘investigators’ were making fools of themselves in front of this poor girl, and she was being so patient with them. She and Tommy were going to have words though, a little something he probably hadn’t heard about called subtlety. As the X-Files/Hardy Boys conversation went on, she immediately smacked her forehead with annoyance and went back to her coffee, waiting for the pain to end.

Once it did, she added to Frank’s ranting with an irritated addition of, ~It’s not like people knowing that the X-Files were based on a true story would send people panicking or anything.~ Still, she wasn’t quite as angry as Frank, more just irritated at Tommy’s poor judgment. Though… with all the things to get pissed off about, she actually scoffed a little at Frank’s annoyance about the choice of Nancy Drew; she liked Nancy Drew. It was what got her interested in police work as a little girl. Still, he had a legitimate reason for being irritated.

As Frank made to leave, even going so far as to pay for ALL of their tabs, she sighed and looked between the two men, debating the detective’s offer before nodding and downing what little remained of her coffee and gestured in a lead on manner. However, as they got up to leave, she gestured to Tommy the moment Frank’s back was turned, ~I’ll make sure he doesn’t hurt himself.~ Her expression was apologetic, and she actually thought that the man was being a touch unreasonable, but that said it wasn’t like he didn’t have a right to be. Someone needed to make sure he didn’t do something stupid, and obviously he wasn’t in a mood to take Tommy’s advice… as suspect as that was now if for no other reason than judgment.


Sasha had been smack in the middle of drafting something, his computer whining plaintively as he worked on the exact dimensions for a piece of a transmission. And when Sophia came over and said his name he jumped and sent his mark flying way off into the space of the CAD program, letting out a startled yelp as he realized someone was near him. Before he could even get worked up over the mistake (would’ve been more towards himself than anything), he looked up and realized it was just Sophia working here. “Oh!” he responded happily, quickly straightening up and hitting *ctrl-z* on his keyboard to fix that screw-up, “Heya, wasn’t expecting to see you so soon.” He’d realize quickly enough that she was waiting to take his order, and he’d look up into space thoughtfully before shrugging and saying, “I’ll have a mocha, thank ya.” Chuckling to himself, he looked around at the are and commented to her, “You picked a cozy place to work.”

 

Moo:  Sophia had at least noticed Tommy’s smile fade away as she helped clean up the mess. It was a relief, to say in the least…she’d managed to go on undetected. She dared not look his way again until his comment. It was funny enough that she laughed lightly. The man was humorous, to say in the least, even though the other two didn’t seem to appreciate it as much as Sophia did. Elissa took the napkins she offered, so the woman would be able to continue with her work. She moved away from the three thereafter. Honestly, she was feeling a little guilty…she couldn’t help but glance over her shoulder as Tommy received glares. She’d bit her lip before turning to address Sasha.

Awkwardly enough, she had managed to make him jump, and had to bite back a light snicker. It couldn’t be helped; this guy really was pretty jumpy, and in a rather comical way. He’d even managed it during the mission the previous night when he’d hid under the car shouting nope over and over. She hadn’t gotten the chance to laugh at it then, but looking back on it now, she could…as twisted as it was. “Sorry about that,” she cut in rather quickly with a smile. “I know… What a coincidence!” Though, she couldn’t help but feel happy about it; excited, even. She nodded her head while he gave his order, lifting a hand to fix her loosening bangs, tucking them behind her ear. “I really did… I love it here.” Sophia’s smile had lessened a bit, but it was a genuine smile that showed her appreciation for the place. She’d come to know her co-workers and boss pretty well, so it was kind of like a second family. Plus, who couldn’t appreciate the smell of coffee and baked goods? The coziness was something she really needed, as she would return to an apartment that wasn’t hers, incomplete with boring furniture and blank walls. “Well, I’ll get that for you. Good luck with…” With a slight pause, she glimpsed at his computer. “You know.” She gave a small half chuckle, looking a little apologetic for not knowing exactly what it was the man was up to. But she assumed it was a project for college, as he was a super nerd. “Mocha…” Sophia turned away from him, tutting to herself lightly while she began to walk towards her area behind the counter.

Only, she couldn’t help but overhear the last bit of conversation between the three investigators. Her smile was quickly brought down…hooking into a frown instead. She’d caused the three to bicker among themselves, apparently. Tommy being the scapegoat. Her fingers tapped against the tray she held while she debated momentarily on what she could do to ease the situation between them. Normally, it wouldn’t be her business, but she did have a hand in it. So she turned again and approached the three, her frown being forced away. The new expression wasn’t much better, as it showed her concern. “I’m sorry, I couldn’t help but notice you were leaving so soon.” It brought a small smile to her face when she looked at Frank. “Will you be coming back?” In any case, she was interested in the investigators and their work. Whatever had been in that picture, it was something she could relate to the work she had been forced to do the previous night. But how had they obtained such a thing? More than that…she wanted to ensure she would be able to talk to them about this at some point in time. So she could fix it now. “I think it’s amazing that you invest so much time…into your work…” Sophia had to think about how to go about this. “Personally, I’ve never seen a ten tonne slug–” a pause for a chuckle. “But I do believe that you’ll find a story worth the front page, Tommy. Sooner or later. And all of you will find whatever it is you’re looking for.” This woman’s benevolence was probably getting the best of her again. She quieted for several moments, fidgeting while she chewed on her lip…only to glance up at Frank again. “Do you mind if I get your number?”

Where had that come from? Why look at him? “Ah! I mean… I’m interested in what you’re researching…so… If I could get both of your numbers…” The blush that had crept onto her cheeks was rather apparent while she fumbled with her tray and nearly dropped it. She wouldn’t be asking for Elissa’s number only because of the obvious…the woman was mute and it would be hard to converse with her. But she would be glad when she got the chance to see her again. “W-well…In any case…I hope I see you all soon,” she managed to add, sort of closing her little one-sided conversation.

 

Razorbackwriter:  Elissa’s signing brought about a sigh from Tommy. He hadn’t meant to make such an ass out of himself around the waitress and his companions. Truth be known he could have handled things a lot more delicately than going off on a bizarre rant about fictional detectives. Maybe it was the lack of sleep getting to him, or maybe it was due to the fact that Frank tried to sharpen up in front of the young girl. And guys say women are hard to understand. Frank took everything related to his dead partners case very seriously, and to see Tommy make a mockery of it was a real blow to his pride. The jovial Frank from before was gone, replaced by a stony face as he tugged on his own jacket as though marking time and waiting for Elissa to follow him. But just as Frank was about to head for the door, the cheery waitress was back and showing a bright smile as she said. “I’m sorry, I couldn’t help but notice you were leaving so soon.” The way she held herself and spoke with such sincerity stopped Frank in his tracks. It was almost like he was now conflicted, from how he ranted at Tommy just a few moments before, to suddenly having someone being nice to him. “I just got a coffee stain on my shirt. Need to change it before work, since I am on the clock.” Frank was referring to his work, which was one of his ports of call that morning. The Commander didn’t appreciate his officers coming in wearing the same clobber they had on the night before. This might have made things awkward for Elissa, to have to stand and watch. There was another pause, as the waitress asked“Will you be coming back?” The detective didn’t expect this question and was slow to respond. “…Err…sure, it’s a nice place.” Again his eyes darted back to Elissa, as he didn’t give Tommy a chance to make a crack remark, quickly adding.“Great coffee.” Frank showed a slight smile, while the waitress then started speaking in a friendly tone to Tommy and the others about how she admired their dedication. It was almost a total switch from when she tried to avoid the whole mention of the “ten tonne slug”.

Tommy was already closing his lap top and trying to find his cigarette packet in his jacket, while Sophia said that he would make front page one day. This had him chuckle lightly. “Yeah, Frank will have murdered me for another jack ass remark. That would be front page stuff.” The ice broke between the two men, and Frank couldn’t help but interject. “No, not murder, mate…..I’ll make it look like an accident.” Frank and Tommy held each other’s gaze for a moment, and both started to laugh. “Touche’ “ Tommy said, now looking more at ease as the tension seemed to filter away. Sophia asked for their numbers, and both men shrugged, while digging about in their coats for their cards. Tommy found his first, which was a white card, gold lettering. He handed it over, while Frank was pulling all manner of things out of his pockets – nothing looking like a card. Instead he took up a napkin and scribbled his number on it, before offering it to Sophia.

 

Tommy went to stand and then patted his friend on the shoulder. “Friends again?” the reporter asked hopefully. “I have a spare shirt in my trunk.” What a peace offering.

 

~RB~

Sophia’s secret – GS.

 

Scene setting : Jax’s Coffee House.

co-written with Moo & VunG.

 

VunG:  It was so adorable to see the girl react to Frank’s unintentional flirts, a small smile creeping onto her face at the sight. Of course, really she just enjoyed watching anyone enjoy themselves, she didn’t get jealous or anything like that, and this girl was kind of cute. The fact that the girl was asking their names was fine by her, but of course Elissa’s vocal problems tended to be a bit of an issue, she let the more talkative Tommy handle that situation. When the reporter complimented her, Elissa’s reaction was definitely more subdued than what Frank or Sophia were doing, but she still blinked rapidly with surprise, looking at him with a slight blush. She was able to recover quickly enough and waved her greeting to the girl, but it still threw her for a loop. Did he really think she looked ‘lovely?’ That was… an interesting note.

Letting it go with no more than a continued blush, she watched the banter between the lot with a smirk. When the subject of Tommy being jabber, she snickered a little and made a *blab blab blab* gesture with one of her hands, of course smiling at the reporter the whole while and showing that she was just playing with him. Like Tommy, she was just as shocked by the change in haunts for Frankie, looking at him skeptically before laughing quietly into her hand when it was suggested that it was because of a pretty girl. Reaching up, she pulled out her notepad and pencil and passed them both to the man, giving him a smile and looking meaningfully towards Sophia. She was trying to tell him to get her number, if he really was interested.

However, even as she was recovering from doing that, she caught the tail end of the strange expression on the girl’s face. It raised her curiosity, but she didn’t put two and two together, thinking she’d just seen a stain on the floor or something of the like. And then… oh Tommy… Tommy, Tommy, Tommy. Elissa had been in the middle of taking another gulp of coffee, and would wind up swallowing this one prematurely with surprise, sputtering a little afterwards and rubbing her neck in pain, again the scarf getting disturbed as she just tried to get the worst of the pain out. What the heck was he thinking?! Was he out of his mind?!


At about this moment, another fellow would come into the coffee house, all smiles with an oblivious spring in his step. A brand new pewter cross bounced against his chest as he went and he was whistling an unidentifiable tune. He’d just gotten some good news: his sister had found herself a job in Savannah and was a nurse at the moment. It had been a real turning point in his day, and while he hadn’t told her anything about what had happened to him the last couple of days, it was good to hear from his family again. Of course, as he entered the place, he didn’t even realize that Sophia was there, he wasn’t even going for coffee at this point, he was just coming in for the Wi-Fi and only noticed that there were the three people at a table talking to a barista. He didn’t even look close enough to realize that it was Sophia, he was just doing his thing. And so, while all the drama was happening over there, he sat at a table, opened up his laptop, and went to work.

 

Moo:  Sophia had gladly listened to each introduction. Of course the only name she thought was familiar was Tommy’s…a given, really. Though the public she’d been around usually listed him as a bit of a nut, what with the cases he attempted to publish in the newspapers. Looking at him now, she didn’t feel that he was a nut in the least. And given her own circumstances, he wasn’t a nut for believing in the supernatural. Merely inquisitive…and it wasn’t as if he were wrong. Not in the least. No…this man was definitely well suited with intuition and intellect. Even while she smiled in a care free manner, her eyes roamed over his face and body for a moment while allowing these thoughts to flow.

Elissa was introduced next, causing Sophia to smile politely while she gave a brief nod. “It’s nice to meet you.” Given the woman’s bashful reaction, she found herself chuckling. Rather enjoyable to watch, as she clearly couldn’t take a compliment very well. Did she know how beautiful she was? Truly? Sophia admired the woman from where she stood, even her smile turning a bit sheepish while she nodded, agreeing with Tommy. “A real beauty, that one.”

Turning her attention to the man introduced as Frank Malone, she nodded with a brightening smile. “Frank,” she repeated. “I will remember that.” Extending her hand, she had to bend slightly in order to reach his, giving it a nice shake before straightening once more. Really, this guy didn’t look as old as Tommy made him sound. Maybe his mid twenties. In any case, Sophia only looked younger than she really was, currently at age 23 and a senior in college. Though, due to Tommy’s commentary, the girl began to blush rather sheepishly, tucking her fingers tightly around the tray she held while she bit her lip, averting her attention to the floor nearby. Not that she could really help it, as she was never use to this kind of attention. Perhaps she wasn’t any better than Elissa when it came to taking compliments, as she wanted to hide her face completely.

All of this having taken place even before she’d caught a glimpse of that picture. Whatever that thing had been, Tommy clarified it for her. After commenting to Elissa, she’d been asked a question she hadn’t understood right away…until he very bluntly threw in the bit about a ten tonne slug; the same as in the image she’d glanced at. While Sophia had a fit of discomfort run through her body, her stance was easily changed due to the mute woman’s sputtering on coffee. “Oh- Are you okay?” She moved to grab a few napkins, bending to offer them to the woman, before catching a glimpse of her bared neck. It was a simple flash, but enough that Sophia saw it clearly. Something tragic had happened to this woman…but the scar itself would not bother Sophia; simply the story behind it, whatever it had been. Moving her eyes to the woman’s face, she smiled and held out the napkins before turning to look at Tommy. “Is this a fan club? The X Files is a good enough show for the attention.” She grinned, playing dumb for the time being. Hopefully the man wouldn’t prod further. But she had been right; he truly was someone she would have to be careful around. Whatever Gantz was capable of, she didn’t know the extent of. And it was obvious it was meant to be kept a secret, so for her to go blabbing her mouth would be dangerous. She felt it…deep in her gut. Luckily enough though, the opening of the door meant a new guest, and an escape from this awkward situation. “Excuse me,” she said lightly, waving her hand just a bit.

Upon turning to greet the new customer, she’d actually paused in her step to find herself looking at none other than Sasha. “What a pleasant surprise,” she greeted as she stepped closer. Her tray was still nicely tucked against her front while she hovered near him. “Can I get you anything, Sasha?” Perhaps in hearing his name, he would turn his attention to her. And while it looked as though he were hard at work, she really wanted to escape any questioning from the trio on the couch just behind her.

 

Razorbackwriter:  Why is it reporters have such a way of asking probing questions at the worst possible time? Tommy’s question to the barista created a chain reaction of events at the table, that left all either covered in coffee or choking on it. All except Tommy of course, who waited with baited breath to see if the girl HAD noticed the picture of the monster on the table. Her reaction however, was swift and well thought out. “Is this a fan club? The X Files is a good enough show for the attention.” Tommy’s smile faded as it appeared the girl wasn’t fazed at all. Perhaps he was just thinking she noticed the picture. Was he losing his touch? The barista was on the job, offering napkins to Elissa, which was a kind gesture. Frank simply grabbed one off the center napkin holder and dabbed at his shirt, but it was a useless gesture. He had stained his shirt. Great. He’d need to run back to his apartment to change, since he didn’t have his car. Tommy let out a half nervous chuckle, putting the photos back in the envelope and answered Sophia, while Frank shot daggers at him with a glance.

“No, this is more like Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys. We like to do detective work off the clock.”

Frank groaned, as he started to slink in his seat. The more Tommy spoke, the more stupid he was feeling. As luck would have it, a new patron entered the coffee house, and this would have the young waitress excuse herself, leaving the trio to either have it out, or Frank to berate his friend.

“What are you, nuts? You don’t just ask some poor waitress if she has seen a ten tonne slug like that? Seriously, man.” Frank ranted, then taking out his wallet and putting down a twenty to cover their coffees. He hadn’t had a wink of sleep, and the fact that they still hadn’t been to Rory’s murder site was grating on him. The school stop off having taken up a lot more time than he had anticipated. Frank rose to standing, and then ran his fingers across the coffee stain on his shirt. A muttering of obscenities followed. “Nancy Drew and the Hardy boys? Really? Couldn’t have said something cooler…..I don’t know…like…Scooby Doo and the mystery gang?”

Tommy could now see that he had really pissed off his friend, not that he had meant too. He kept shrugging his shoulders, as if words weren’t going to be enough. “Frank….come on.” But the Detective already was now looking at Elissa. “Going to head back up to my apartment to change, thanks to Tommy. You wanna catch a cab?”

~RB~

“Hello, my name is….” – GS.

 

Scene setting – Jax’s Coffee House.

co-written with VunG & Moo.

 

VunG:  Elissa continued to rub her temples as she noticed Tommy’s attention to her, but really didn’t care enough to change her mode of behavior at this point. She winced a bit at his reference to a therapist, and internally admitted that she wasn’t feeling all that secure in her own stability, though not to the same extent. Looking at him with a tired expression, she signed, ~Does she speak sign language?~ She was going to need therapy after this… maybe even enough to make her get over her distrust of the entire profession. Still, Frank’s comment got an amused scoff out of her, shaking her head and signing out, ~Sanity is a myth, I think.~ Once the coffee got on its way, she’d sit up straight, a brief time period where her scarf was knocked out of position from her face-desk/table and her scar was visible. Still, as the girl handed over the coffee, she’d gladly taking hers as and taking a deep breath of the stuff, grabbing the cinnamon to add. As she did so, she too noticed Frank’s antics, but just rolled her eyes and straightened her own scarf before signing to Tom, ~He’s not that old. Heck, my folks had nine years between them.~ Though, besides that she wouldn’t encourage or discourage the detective, giving the girl a nod of thanks for the drink, mixing in the stuff before finally taking a big gulp of it. The moment she swallowed that big swig, she let out a shuddering, pleasured sigh, closing her eyes at the feeling. Oh yeah, that was the good stuff. She was completely oblivious to the photo situation at the moment.

 

Moo:  While it was intended for Sophia to return to her area behind the counter, she was stopped by the rather pleasantries of these particular guests. She turned with her smile still well plastered over her face. Actually genuine, as she enjoyed contact with other people. In the man’s apparent attempt to look sharp, Sophia couldn’t help but lift her hand over her lips, holding in a small and rather girlish chuckle. It didn’t take much to cause the girl to blush, given her situation. But she would not delve deeper into it than that, as she wasn’t the type to openly flirt, and with strangers nonetheless. “It’s a compliment, really,” she added as the other male teased the first. “But you’re very welcome…all of you.”

Sophia’s gaze wandered around the three, and while she didn’t want to seem the nosy type, she was definitely interested in getting to know Candice’s favorite regulars. “May I ask your names..?” She gave a tilt of her head while she held onto the circular tray, holding it flat against her stomach and pelvis. “I know I recognize you two.” The girl grinned while her finger pointed from Tommy to Elissa. “But you seem new.” Her brows furrowed in the slightest while she looked at the third guest. Something sly could be seen in her expression, as though she should have been concerned he hadn’t been here to taste the coffee sooner. “I’d better start seeing you around more often.” A light chuckle before her eyes wandered down to watch the mute woman pour cinnamon into her drink. By chance, a photo happened to catch her eye, which had been moved well out of the way moments earlier. Blinking, she swore she saw…well, that was just it. She couldn’t tell what she was looking at. But it looked grotesque and reminded her of the mission she’d carried out the night before. Sophia swallowed, managing to avert her eyes quickly and normalize her expression, which hopefully hadn’t completely fallen from her face. Luckily, at this point the woman seemed to be enjoying her drink, so she would give a small laugh…which hopefully didn’t sound as forced as it really was. “I’m glad to see you enjoying the coffee.” Would it be a smooth enough recovery?

 

Razorbackwriter:  Frank couldn’t hide his pleasure at hearing the waitress giggle and try to hide her smile behind her hand. It left him with a crooked smile. He didn’t socialize much these days and it was a refreshing change to get any sort of reaction from a member of the opposite sex. Frank sat a little straighter and gave a small salute to the young girl who had asked for their names. Tommy, who took his cup from Sophia and sat it down, went first.

“Name’s Tommy. Tommy Xo. I work up at the road at the New York Times. And this lovely lady beside me is Elissa.” He didn’t know her last name, but knew it would be polite to say her name verbally, since Elissa would either sign or write it. “And that guy there…” He pointed to Frank, with a smirk. “Is…Detective Frank Malone.” At this, Frank extended his hand towards Sophia, to be a touch more formal. “You can just call me Frank.” The detective offered, hoping she might shake his hand in reply. “Tommy here loves to do the talking. Comes from being on the job 24/7.”What Frank meant by this was that Tommy was always working a case or investigation trying to make the front page, if he could get past his editor. Frank took a sip of his coffee and made a satisfied smile, before answering Sophia. “If the service is always this good, I’ll be around a heck of a lot more.” This had Tommy laugh. “Woah, trading coffee for beer? Amazing what change can be brought about by a beautiful girl, Frank.” Again Frank blushed, and shook his head, embarrassed that Tommy spoke so broadly.

Tommy was quick to notice Sophia blink, then he glanced down at the table and noticed one of the pictures was out of the envelope and could be seen. The reporter glanced back up at Sophia, and he did notice that she had shifted her eyes quickly. It was strange how the girl regained her composure so quickly, and then went on to speak to Elissa. Would Elissa pick up on it? Tommy…went for broke.

“So…Sophia. Ever watched the X files?…..Or….seen a ten tonne slug?”

Frank spat his coffee right as Tommy asked this.

 

~RB~