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~

Little white shorts – GS.

 

Gantz series.

Scene setting : Detective Frank Malone’s apartment.

Co-written with Chor.

 

Chor:  After probably the most enjoyable shower Isa as experienced in awhile, she stepped out of the shower onto the plush rug – which was immediately soaked by her dripping body- and pulled a towel around herself.

Shit,” she whispered. She really was not on her game this morning, as she had also forgotten that the clothes were in Frank’s bedroom. She decided on not bringing further attention to her idiocy and settling at the moment for brushing her teeth. At least three times. Finally, with the stench of the ghost of garlic of nights past gone, she pulled the towel tighter around herself, which was simple on account of there being little for her to actually cover, and opened the door a crack. Frank was in the kitchen and not paying attention. See, Isolde saw her underwear and bra as just articles of clothing, nothing too sexual or important about them. That probably stemmed from being with her sister, who came home in lingerie most mornings. Isolde tiptoed to his room while Frank was turned around and closed the door behind her.

Okay, back of the closet,” Isolde said to herself. She opened the blinded door and peer to the back of the dark space to see a box nearly overflowing with clothing Isa knew could not be Frank’s. She dragged it out with great difficulty on account of how much was actually in it. Oh my god. Isolde nearly snorted when she lifted out the contents. The box was teeming with white shorts and hoodies of every neon colour imaginable and…dear lord they all read “Malone 02” on the back. Soccer mom, how did Isa not guess it. She honestly couldn’t imagine Frank with someone who owned this many pairs of white shorts. Isolde couldn’t imagine how many more pairs the woman had that she was able to leave so many behind. How many monogrammed hoodies can one woman own?

Isolde snapped on her bra and then pulled over it an orange hoodie that didn’t have all the same vibrancy as the others – likely because of multiple washes in city water- sighing, as if the colour burned her eyes. Then came the shorts, through which her underwear were absolutely viewable. Shoving the box back to its hiding place where she hoped to never see it again, Isa exited the room, face slightly wrinkled, cringing like she was wearing some sort of clown suit.

 

Razorbackwriter:  Frank had been toying with his cellphone while trying to come up with an appropriate message to send to Tommy. It was not surprising that the reporter would send him such a text. They had been friends a long time and Tommy could easily pick when Frank was at his lowest. It was one of the things that made their friendship what it was.

Hearing the continual running of the water from the shower, Frank deducted that Isa was really enjoying it. Thankfully they weren’t on rationed water supplies, as that could have put a dampener on her morning ritual. Clothes. Now that was going to be interesting to see. When Frank had placed the large box of his ex’s clothes in the back of his closet, he had completely forgotten what was in it. Trust Missy to leave behind all her soccer hoodies and those numerous pairs of white shorts. It was only when Isa emerged in the pumpkin colored hoody did Frank have that sudden flashback. One thing though, Isa looked amazing in those white shorts. A hell of a lot better than Missy ever did.

Seeing the wrinkled facial expression showing that Isa wasn’t exactly sold on the look she was wearing, Frank tried his darnedest to cheer her up.

“Hey, Isa. You look great!” At least she wasn’t wearing the neon hoody. Those stood out worse than a construction worker on his night shift. Tommy gave a small thumbs up, before reaching for his wallet and keys. His phone was now safely tucked back into his jacket.

“Fancy going to Jax’s coffee house for breakfast. I happen to know they do great waffles.”

Frank was hopeful that Isa would agree to his idea, since it was his favorite place now for coffee – which he badly needed. Realizing he needed to freshen up first, he patted Isa’s arm as he shot past her into the bathroom.

“Give us five minutes, would you?”

In the bathroom, Frank splashed his face with cold water, before patting it dry and then grabbing his tooth brush to brush his teeth. Curry breath and all that.

Re emerging, Frank showed Isa to the door.

“I’ll text Tommy when we get there. Say….do you like soccer?”

 

~RB~

 

Chor:  It was kind of Frank to tell Isolde she looked great, when in reality she knew she looked nearly ridiculous. The shorts were tight beyond belief; how did this woman even have a child with such narrow hips? Isa was swimming in the hoodie however, the fit so loose the only way for her to function her arms was to roll the sleeves to her elbow.

Thanks,” she uttered with a disbelieving nod. Of course, it could be worse…probably? Okay, maybe not. The hot mess that stood listen to Frank mention a little coffee house for breakfast smiled to herself. Two meals in less than 48 hours? This would have to be a new record. They’d better alert the media; write it into the calendar…

Sounds great to me. Can’t say no to waffles.

Isa wouldn’t argue. Waffles happened to be her favorite breakfast food, aside from cheese-eggs, but she could only eat the eggs if she made them. Everyone else seemed to cook them too long or with not enough milk and cream. Thinking about it, Isa reminded herself that she should probably pick up milk and eggs when she got a chance. Maybe even bread. Frank darted past her to use the restroom and she blinked a wide blink, as though she’d gotten whiplash from the fast movement. When he’d emerged, Frank was a new person. Fresh and ready for the day. Jeez, how is it he didn’t even have to try to look handsome? This made Isa’s predicament a little more sour. At the mention of soccer, her jaw dropped with a grin. Really?

Oh, yeah, love it,” she replied sarcastically with a little chuckle as she grabbed her clothes, wadded them into a ball, and followed him out.

 

Detective Klutz – GS.

 

Scene setting:  Detective Frank Malone’s apartment.

co-written with Chor.

 

Razorbackwriter:  The silence of the morning was broken by a strange yelp that came from Frank’s bedroom Rousing slightly at the sound, Frank pushed off the blanket that he had used after spending a night on the couch, and stood up – stretching slightly as he had a bit of a sore back. The rustling from in his room would have to be Isa waking up. Raking back his disheveled hair, Frank started for the bedroom door, only stopping to knock lightly.

“Morning Isa.”

Knowing she had been put to bed in her own clothes, Frank knew that she would probably want to shower and change. “There is a box of clothes in the closet, left behind by my ex wife, if you are looking for something to change into.”

Not wanting to disturb Isa further he added; “I’ll start breakfast, alright?”

Frank continued to stretch his arms and then roll his shoulders as he headed into the kitchen. Opening the fridge, he leaned on the door and sighed at the contents. A carton of milk, a block of cheese that had probably seen better days, and of course left over curry. Isa probably didn’t want another curry, especially for breakfast. Thinking the worst of the situation, Frank then spotted a box of corn flakes in the cupboard and pulled that out, placing it on the counter. It wasn’t going to be much of a breakfast, but it was better than nothing.

~RB~

 

Chor:  Isa was actually startled by Frank’s voice, momentarily running through mazes inside her head.

Morning,” she called back, her normally dark and chocolatey voice creaking as it usually does just after she wakes up. Isolde, still groggy, barely comprehended anything the man said, but did latch onto one phrase. Ex wife. The guilt that had started earlier to build inside her began to melt away. She’d seen the photo of Frank’s son, but didn’t know anything about a wife and honestly hoped she hadn’t just slept in another woman’s bed. Whatever sad, scary wall Frank had built up after Rory’s death is likely what drove her away. Isa knew what that could be like. She no longer had the friends she’d kept from school and even Khalil has distanced himself since Claura’s disappearance.

The rest of Frank’s statement came later, when she’d thought long and hard about last night. Changing sounded fabulous, but a shower sounded infinitely better. Isolde, hoping Frank would not mind, tiptoed in her disheveled state to his bathroom and began to run the water. She was always a scalding hot shower kind of girl. Disrobed save for her undergarments, Isolde turned to find that there was not a single towel in the bathroom. Oy vey. Too tired to really think it through, she pulled her unbuttoned top on haphazardly and went out of the room.

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There’s no towels in there,” she said, pointing back to his restroom. The water could be heard running and she looked straight at him, as if she didn’t even notice she was barely clothed. It wasn’t that Isa was immodest, she just didn’t consider clothing to be of much import. This is the body science gave her and though she may mistreat it, she is not ashamed of it. All of the symbols running lines over her body could be seen now as she waited for him to direct her to where she might find a linen closet of sorts…or if he just had a towel somewhere. Her gently malnourished body was not fit, but soft in the places where she still held weight. She didn’t do much exercise, but possessed a petite waist, enough breast to keep people believing she truly was a woman, and child-bearing hips to follow.

 

Razorbackwriter:  Ever seen a startled deer? Or a possum that had been struck by the headlights of an oncoming truck? Well, if you can imagine that, then that was very much the look of surprise that was on Frank’s face when he turned – box of cereal in hand to see Isa in…well…next to nothing. She spoke….she did. Something about towels. It wasn’t registering in Frank’s mind cause at this moment he was too busy oogling at Isa.“Uhmmm…what?”

The sound of the shower running in the background was a clue. A big clue. Frank was supposed to be a detective and yet here he was completely and utterly lost. A few blinks and a rub of his right eye with a closed fist, he finally understood what Isa was trying to convey. There were no towels in the bathroom.

“Towels? Towels…yes, I have towels.” Was he dumb? Frank sure appeared to be that way. Not bothering to look at what he was doing, he let go of the box of cereal that SHOULD have landed on the counter, but instead hit the floor – sending cornflakes flying.

Frank hurried to get to the linen cupboard where he kept a few towels and sheets, pulling the door open so hard he hit himself with it. Again, all due to seeing Isa in a state of undress. ~BANG~ “Owww!” Frank staggered back a bit, clutching the door with one hand. Now with a red welt on his temple, he stepped back and quickly found a couple of towels. Presenting them to Isa whilst trying to keep his eyes up to hers, instead of going lower….where most men seem to like to look.

“They’re clean, I swear.” Yes, they were clean. He only used two towels himself, one was either on the floor, the other in the hamper. These were guest towels. You could tell they were practically new, since he rarely had guests. The next question was obvious. “Need a toothbrush?” Frank was a little sheepish. You’d think he had never had a woman in his apartment before. Truth was, he hadn’t entertained anyone, cept Tommy for the football.

“There is a spare under the vanity.”

At this point, his eyes did betray him as they went to the strange markings that ran up and down her body, and being Frank, he had to ask. “Uhm..what are those marks? Are they some kind of tattoo?”

~RB~

 

Chor:  

Do I Wanna Know?

Isolde’s brows furrowed in utter confusion when Frank started mumbling and bustling about. He was acting so very strange, as if he’s never even seen a woman naked. Unless his song was born via immaculate conception, she highly doubted that to be the truth. The cornflake box fell to the ground with a crack! and Isa jumped a bit. There was cereal littering the floor and Isa bit her lip for just a moment, imagining that was their breakfast. It was quite alright, though. There was plenty to eat in this city.

Yes, towels,” Isa repeated, following him to the closet and watching while he took out the linens she required. They were clean, as he stated, and she gladly took them into her arms. A toothbrush sounded wondrous at the moment, though she hoped he wasn’t suggesting because of her rancid garlic morning breath. That was the only regret from the night previous. It was a good change, however, to find that he respected her. While many a male would take advantage of her state, Frank- it seemed- forced himself to lock onto her eyes. She hadn’t noticed him injure himself, but she saw the redness spreading on his temple. The smallest amount of skin had broken and only a drop of blood had surfaced and immediately dried.

Isolde set her towels at the edge of the sink and opened the medicine cabinet. In it she grabbed the ripped, dirty, and fraying box of butterfly strips and pulled one out. There was the tiniest bit of alcohol in the brown bottle on the topmost shelf and she poured it onto a cottonswab and made her way back to Frank.

I’m sure you know this is going to sting,” she whispered, touching it to his temple. This really wasn’t even necessary. She didn’t like to see him hurt, though, and practicing medicine is about all she does know how to do. With the blood cleaned from his head, she adhered the strip to his temple and used her index finger to gently ensure it stuck. Then, to the fridge, where inside she found a half-full tray of ice cubes and twisted them in two layers of paper towels. It would do as a make-shift ice pack, she supposed. Depositing this item into his hand, she took his hand in hers and dragged it up to his head and held it there only a moment before she went to stand in the middle of the kitchen, scouring the room like a hawk for something. But what?

Aha,” Isolde spoke with a successful grin. The short broom and accompanying dust pan lay in the corner of the room. She bent to retrieve them, then once she’d found herself at the scene of the cereal mess, she bent again to sweep the flakes with the small brush. It was a quick job and when she was done she deposited the last remnants of the corn flake box into the trash and wiped her hands. Time for a shower. He asked about her markings and Isolde was prepared to tell him, but first she needed to make herself presentable.

Tell you in a minute.

Isolde padded lightly back to the bathroom then and closed the door, hopping immediately in the hot shower.  

Razorbackwriter:  It wasn’t the fact that Frank had never seen a woman naked before. He had…many times. The thing was he was not expecting to see Isa parade around in a near naked state. Usually a woman would be more at ease to walk around in just their smalls if they had been intimate. That was not the case. Truth was, Frank respected Isa a great deal and was not the kind of guy to put the hard word on, or take advantage of a lady. Call him old fashioned, or just a guy with high morals; Frank was not your average bloke. This was the reason for his bizarre antics. The dropping of the cereal, the banging of his head on the cupboard door. Had it been Tommy, well things would have been a hell of a lot different.

The pain of hitting his head was subdued by the rise of embarrassment that he was feeling at being such a klutz in Isa’s company. But what surprised him more than anything was how Isa set to fix the damage he had done. Not just to himself but also the mess in the kitchen. He hesitantly touched the sore spot on his temple and saw the small amount of blood that had come from a cut. Frank mumbled that it was nothing, but that didn’t stop Isa from wanting to nurse him – by dabbing his wound with alcohol, then applying the butterfly strips. Just after that, she then fixed an ice pack, which had Frank wonder just how bad he donged himself. “Really…I’m fine.” Course, she knew better and the relief that Frank felt from the pressure of the cold pack was evident by the expression on his face. Having her guide his hand with the ice pack up to his head brought a small smile. If you can’t beat them, join them, the saying goes and Frank went with the programme.

His question however about the strange markings on her sides was answered with a simple statement that she would tell him in a minute, before disappearing into the bathroom and closing the door behind her.

Frank just stood there with his hand pressing the ice pack to his temple. What just happened?

Breakfast was now in the dustbin since he had dropped the box of cereal on the floor. There was nothing else in his fridge that could be considered the makings of a good and healthy breakfast, so Frank decided as soon as Isa was dressed, that he would take her to a decent cafe instead. There was an abundance of places to take her and all in walking distance. Besides, he made a lousy cup of coffee.

The lump on his temple was starting to shrink, thanks to the ice trick and he soon set the ice pack in the sink. Frank reached for a cloth and wiped the damp spot on his head, before taking in the fact he needed to get dressed himself. His hair was a mess and his clothes slept in.

Walking back to the lounge, he noticed his cell phone was flashing on the coffee table. Reaching to pick it up, he saw there were a couple of messages….and one was from Tommy. Playing it back, Frank grimaced. Obviously Tommy was worried about what Frank was doing, or going to do. Course, Isa had saved him from that. Frank thought for a moment. It was still a bit early, and he wasn’t sure if he should message Tommy back or not. God knows what he had gotten up to the night before.

 

~RB~