Motor City Burning
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Lemonade and Sympathy

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Lemonade and Sympathy

Post by Seryna on Sun Jun 05, 2011 5:32 pm

At Joshua's message. Kim suggests that they meet - not at the derelict hotel; but at an address. Checking the address revealed it to be apartment # 6 of the Washington Square Apartment complex. Arriving at the apartment. Kim answered the door. She wore a loose fitting black T shirt and jean shorts. Her shoulder length blonde hair was pulled up with a clip, revealing for the first time a faint scar on the upper collarbone. "Come in," She invites, opening the door and stepping back. A glance within reveals a modest dining room that opens up to a kitchenette, separated by a counter with two bar stools. A round table with three straight backed chairs dominated the modest dining room, all of the chairs were turned so that the person sitting tehre had an unobstructed view of the door.

Joshua smiled reassuringly at Kim. He was dressed in his usual black clerical shirt and collar, and moved into the apartment at her invitation. He studied the area, then nodded. "You're sure this is where you want to be?"

Stepping into the apartment, Joshua noticed an end table besides the door. Several opened pieces of mail addressed to Karen Moore had been strewed there - an outdoor adventure magazine, a letter of some sort from Wellman Employment agency and a small brown shipping envelope, the contents unknown. Kim shuts the door behind you, setting the lock in the door handle. "Its better than Ward's place." She replied wryly, turning and moving to the fridge. She removes a bottle of light lemonade and two glasses, pouring and setting them at the kitchen table. A glance at the rest of the apartment revealed that these were the only places to sit; the common room had been converted into an at home gym with a rowing machine and eliptical. Two closed doors lead off from the common room; two bedrooms perhaps. Kim seems more at ease, less agitated. She sits at the table and sips her lemonade.

"Thanks," Joshua said quietly, sitting down across the table from her. "Sara told me what happened the other night."

"How is Sara?" Kim asks, setting her glass onto the table. "She sure takes initiative."

"Terrible," Joshua said quietly. "She's having to deal with a lot, right now." He sipped the lemonade.

Kim glanced at your face for a moment, silent. "And the boy reporter?"

"Badly injured," Joshua said, "And suffering from extreme paranoia. Which is understandable in the circumstances."

"Injured?" Concern flits across Kim's face; again; one of the few times you counted emotion slipping through her emotionless mask. It passes, her features once again molding into a mask of idle disinterest. "What have you guys gotten yourselves into?"

"Nothing that we weren't already involved in," Joshua said quietly, his alert eyes taking in every flicker of emotion. "A mysterious... creature showed up while we were discussing where to go next. It wore the skin of an old woman, but it was something else... ancient. When I touched it, it's skin boiled..." For a moment, the Priest's kind young face creased with concern, before he shook his head. "Chris thinks it's a message from the Harpers. I'm more inclined to think it was a coincidence."

"Most of thier allies that I met were like them; forever young with those emotionless faces." Kim replied. "An old woman would have stood out."

"This wasn't a vampire, either," Joshua said quietly. "It was something else... so much older." He shook his head. "It's not important, anyway. I'm certain it's dead."

"You guys killed it?" Her finger traces a line in the condesation of her glass.

"Sara and..." Joshua's gaze flickered to his hands and guilt struck him. "And I, I suppose."

"Don't find that likely." She takes a deep drink before setting down the glass, leaning back. "Wasn't there a reason you had the upstairs job? Could have sworn Sara said you needed back up - and then you took that blonde Biblethumper and the guy with a cane and the leg brace." Wry smile. "Not my first choice."

"I told you. I touched it and it's skin blistered beneath my hands. I wasn't trying to hurt it," Joshua said, and he frowned slightly. "And the Hollandales were the most convincing and least threatening. They wouldn't have believed Sara was harmless."

"Yeah, that's not normal." Her eyes flick to to your hands. "Whats the deal with that? You try and help the mysterious creature that showed up and accidentally kill it with your bare hands? I know folks that would pay money for that." Her eyes flick to yours before lowering automatically. "You don't seem to be on thier level. "

"I'm aware that's not normal," Joshua said quietly. The image of the handprint blazed into the woman's arm was vivid in his memory. He didn't think he would ever forget it. "And it was an accident. But that's not what I'm here to talk about, Kim. I'm here to talk about your relapse."

"Re - what?" The emotionless mask has slid down, locking you out of the telltale motions of her mouth or eyes.
"That's a rude accusation."

"It's not an accusation," Joshua said quietly. "I know it's true. I saw it written all over your face the moment you came out of the room with that vampire."

There is a pause. It stretches into a full minute before Kim speaks. "The vampire that Sara killed. Rose Waide was vampire whore. Reeling them in and delivering them into the hungry maw of the beast. You saw what she was doing. ""

"Whom you forced her into killing, yes," Joshua said, his voice patient and level. Just because he was naturally kind, didn't mean he was incapable of being serious if necessary. And Lord, it was necessary.

"Whom I- Is that what she told you?" Kim flashed a grin, her lips drawn tightly so that it resembled a snarl. "I brought a stake. She brought a knife. Stake woulda' kept the bitch off the streets."

"No. That's what happened," Joshua said, his gaze not flinching. "Because had she not killed that vampire, for you, her brother would have gotten you and killed you, or worse. Because if we hadn't been there, you would either be dead or back begging for your next hit."

There's a beat of silence. You watch an emotion ride out on her face - anger, the flash of denial. But she doesn't speak. The emotions slide awaym smoothed out of sight. "Yeah." She states finally, her voice husky with emotion. Another beat. Kim leaned in, speaking quieter. "Look, I'm sorry for how crazy it got. I didn't mean to draw you guys into drama. But when I went there it was supposed to be-" Her voice catches. Her voice can betray her yet. "- it went wrong."

Joshua's expression was sympathetic. "I know you didn't intend for it to turn out like that, Kim," he leant across the table. "But that's not just it, is it? You didn't just try and stake her. You cut her finger off."

"Ward couldn't get in," Kim explained haltingly, launching a new tangent. "He was in a bad way. But- yeah. It was supposed to be because she was an evil soul sucking little bitch. Getting her for the Taste sort of cheapens the whole thing." Shame colors her voice. "Sort of makes us sound like junkies."

"Addiction takes a lot of forms, Kim. It's not just the drugs you can pick up off the streets. I've met people who were addicted to spending money, to... blood," Joshua said quietly. "Truth is, you need to keep away from them, and you know that's the case."

"I can't keep away from them." Kim argues. "There's people being drawn into that club every day.. But.. you don't even know it all." Kim lowers her eyes, staring at the table. "After the guards ran after us in the car, Ward went back in. He found Rose." She stopped speaking. Whatever happened next; it was clear it was distasteful even by her standards. "I.. I don't want to do that."

"Kim, you're in no state to be around them. You're not going to heal until you stop putting yourself in a situation where that sort of thing is inevitable," Joshua said quietly. "What you're doing... it's the equivalent of an alcoholic deciding to live in a brewery." His voice wasn't judgemental, just gentle and open. "And whatever Ward did.. he needs the same thing. To keep away from these people."

Kim snorts. "Good luck with that. Guys gone totally off the deep end." She shakes her head, looking back down at the table. "These people you mentioned before, that mother. You see her recently?"

"No one's a lost cause, Kim," Joshua said quietly, before nodding. "Mm. I saw her a few days ago."

"She ever look like part of her heart died ten years ago?"

"At first, the pain of it almost killed her," Joshua said candidly. "But no. Not any more."
Seryna: Kim shifted in her seat. "You're sure it can actually happen? 'Cause the people I saw who tried.. withered."

"Biological dependancy is a hard thing to throw off," Joshua said quietly. "It looked like she aged about ten years at the end. After that though, it was broken."

"Fantastic." Kim grimanced. "I'm going to look like a sea hag."

"Is that worse than being a slave, Kim?" Josh said levelly.

"I'm not a slave." Kim shook her head. "I'm an addict."

"You're an addict now." Joshua said quietly. "You keep taking hits of this stuff, it won't be long before you're back there."

Kim tilts her head, looking over to the end table. "There's this thing I could do. A class is being offered but its a bus ride away. I could do it." She rubs her arms, as though cold. "Couldn't I?"

Jack Robinson: "Yes," Joshua said quietly. "You can do it."

"But.. I'd have to wait two weeks. Here. Where I know where the vampires are." She sounds uncertain. "But... I left Rob at his Mom's house. I think she's going to get him help. And I know I can't stay with Ward any more."

"You'll be fine," Joshua said quietly. "I promise. Listen, if there's anything I can do..."

"No." Kim stated firmly. More firmly than her protests before. "I want to do this myself. Fourteen days. Fourteen days against ten years, but..." She trails off, her resolve seeming to bend. When she speaks again, its more forceful. You can see the hope blossoming in her eyes. "But I can do it."

"I understand that," Joshua said gently. "It's not about you being weak. It's about making sure that you have the strength to do it. There's no shame in taking help."
"NO." Km shook her head. "Not this week. Well..not today. Or tomorrow. But maybe Monday." She chooses a day two days away. "Maybe you could come by then."

"I'd be happy to," Joshua said. "My wife makes these fantastic rock cakes."

Kim smiles. Its not a wry smile, or a defelcion... but it looks genuine. Relieved at having made it to a port in the storm. "Okay." She nods. "That sounds good. Drop by any time, Monday I'll be here."

"Of course," Joshua said with an equal smile. "I'll make a point of it." Thank God Terri pretty much always had rock cakes. He couldn't cook worth a damn himself.

Kim rose, walking towards the door. "I have to go do the shopping. Real shopping. Its finally stopped being a dream where I think someone's going to recognize me and try to grab me again." She states, sounding content with this.

Joshua nodded to her. "Of course. I'll see you later. Stay in touch; and if you have problems at any point, just call one of us."

"I will. Thanks, Joshua."

Joshua rose and headed to the door too. "Of course." He put a reassuring hand on her shoulder. "I know it's hard to believe, but things will get better."

"I'm going to have to trust you on that one right now."


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