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Lara | Maddy
Slippin' and a-Slidin'
Tue Feb 14, 2006 16:09

Lara emerged from the taxi cab, tossing a handful of bills at the driver without bothering to check the denomination; there wasn't anything less than a ten in her wallet anyway. Chalk it up to the perks of songs slowly climbing up the billboard chart towards numero uno.

Chicago had been a blast, but she was glad to be home.

And speaking of homes, the one that loomed before her was exactly the sort you'd find in a Disney movie. Carefully kept front yard, porch, two stories. Two cars in the driveway. Or rather, two spaces, but only one vehicle, and she didn't recognize the make. Well, it was hard not to recognize a Mercedes, but the steel machine was still unfamiliar.

She hesitated, glancing up and down the street.

It was quiet this morning, and she supposed that showing up unannounced before noon was probably not a good thing, but she'd nowhere else to go. Her mother had caught the redecorating fever from their neighbor down the hall, and was busy picking out swatches of fabric and paint. All Lara had asked was to not touch her own room, preferring a bit of chaos in the otherwise orderly apartment.

Now or never.

Long legs moved forward, carrying her up the gravel driveway and onto the little walkway that led straight to the front door. Here goes, she thought, and leaned gently on the bell. Inside, she could hear the faint chimes announcing there was a personage at the entrance. A good ten minutes passed, with Lara getting more and more nervous whenever a car would go by, before the door finally opened.

Standing there, clad in naught but a towel, was a man several decades Bennett's elder. But the eyes, snapping with humor and just a tinge of annoyance, told her who the figure was. Damn. This was not how she'd expected to meet Mister Holmes.

"H-Hi ... I'm Lara Sorensen. Is Bennett around?"

Please, please, please let him be home.


Well, damn.

"Sent him to the store for groceries. You're welcome to join us for lunch . . ."

James, that was his name, she remembered, stood aside, waiting patiently for her to step in or turn and run. Lara, galvanized by the fact he hadn't slammed the door in her face, chose the first option. Inside, the sense of surreal Disney-cum-military deepened. There was a staircase straight out of the Brady Bunch along one wall, the living room was best decribed as eclectic. The far wall was taken up with bookshelves and an entertainment center, two full rows almost buckling under the weight of an impressive dvd collection.

An archway led into the kitchen, which was where Bennett's father motioned her to. "Saw you Friday. Not bad." Hey, that wasn't bad praise from your boyfr-- your friend's dad. Right? He gestured for her to sit down at the table, then poured out a glass of water without asking. "Here. I'll be out in two shakes of a lamb's tail." The blue-eyed man vanished back into the living room and up the stairs. Lara sat where she'd been told to, sipping at the cool liquid and feeling rather like Alice in a modern wonderland.

Actually, that wasn't a bad notion for a song.

"Can you cook?"

The singer almost spilled her drink when James spoke up, his approach completely silent. "A little", she admitted, and was set to tearing up lettuce for a salad. That was how Bennett found her some minutes later, talking quietly with his father while they set out a goody tray for the hamburgers he was supposed to bring back.

She'd been polite. Had sat there for three hours, trapped inside her own home, and answered question after question honestly - many of them simply rephrased in an effort to trip her up. Maddy was not amused. In fact, after finally bringing an end to the Inquisition and kicking both agents back onto the stoop, she spent a long while huddled in her shower trying to erase the horrific images.

What that wicked, wicked man had done to such a lovely girl was beyond the psychic. And her anger burned brightly against Agent Fowler, for so deftly walking her through the timeline that Glory had given her. The phsyical abuse. The knive glinting in the moonlight before tiny arms and legs had been 'decorated' with obscure symbols that neither herself nor the grownup recognized. Being buried after having your throat slit; the endless, suffocating darkness.

She'd slept with the lights on.

He was back across the street come morning, that Nazi bastard. Lounging idly in an unmarked car whilst she spent the first morning in a long while not tending to her business but her plants. At least, that had been the plan until the hometown detective sauntered over and requested her presence down at the precinct. Asshole. The request was with or without handcuffs.

Maddy knew enough about police procedure to agree to come down, then left a message on her mother's answering machine just in case. Purse and jacket collected, and they were on their way down to the police station. It was an a-typical building. Most HQs you see on television have several stories, each populated with huge rooms and lots of trigger-happy officers. And everyone keeps muttering how they smell of urine and fear.

They got the fear portion right. Her stomach kept twisting at the emotions rolling off of strangers and through her sensetive frame. Fear, anger, apathy, rage .... annoyance. The last belonged to the New Yorker, propped behind a spare desk in the bullpen, which wasn't the size of a football field, but more of a raquetball court. This was the homicide division, she was told, and had to surmise that each section held about the same.

The place smelled of bleach and stale donuts.

"Thank you for coming in, Miss Sinclair. I appreciate your cooperation. Now, I've brought in a sketch artist. Would you be willing to describe the face you see?"

There was no way to tell if he was lying through his teeth; Robert Fowler was one of those rare individuals capable of blocking their own emotional transistors. She could sense nothing aside from the blaring annoyance, and that was because he chose not to hide it.

"I can try ...."

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