Wednesday, November 9, 2016
Parting Papers - John, Gino, Lucius and Colleen
This post comes right after and starts ic during this role play log:
John looks at the clock on the wall of the factory with a heavy sigh. He had to leave early today and time was going too fast. the appointment that was waiting for him was not one he wished for. The divorce papers had come through and all he and Colleen had to do in front of a lawyer was sign their marriage away. Begrudgingly he heads for the locker room and changes from coveralls to black jeans, and a t shirt with a button up plaid flannel shirt over top. He smooths his hair and slides his cap back on his head. The locker closes with a chink and the lock dial spins after he secures it. John walks out towards the loading docks to leave that way and sees Gino DiAntoni coming back from a break, a smoke break no doubt. With a casual nod he starts to walk by him "Night Gino."
Gino tosses the butt of the cigarette under the walkway of the factory and turns to see his boss. "Night John." he wonders why the work-a-holic is leaving early. "I'll make sure your daughter makes it home safe, no worries."
John stops and turns, looking confusedly at Gino "Sorry....what? My daughter?"
Gino holds the door open and calls through it. "Yea. I saw them on the corner of third there. Looked like they were headed to my place." he reports casually. He more or less remembers their conversation Saturday night about their kids.
John feels his jaw tense and makes a mental note to check in with Fi about this later. If she's already at Gino's with this Vincent, he hopes to god they're just friends. With his appointment looming he just nods at Gino "Alright..." A vein pulses in his temple.
Gino watches his boss. "Don't worry. I told the boy to be careful." and he goes back to work. If his son is anything like him when HE was a teen 'careful' quickly became a relative thing.
John walks out, not answering Gino with the sudden onset of a headache. He deliberates texting Colleen and telling her what's going on. She'd probably tell him he needed to respect their daughter's choices. He huffed, he had to do this. Walking past Gino's building he hesitated but then forced himself to cross the street. Fiona was her own person. He had to trust her. Walking by the Sigh coffee shop he looked in and then his hand moved over his heart and he let out a big breath of relief. Fiona was in there, all squished up with Addison in a beanbag chair. He peered in the window briefly to get a better look hoping she didn't spot him spying. There was a boy sitting beside her and Addy who could easily be Gino's kid. So that was Vincent. He'd seen the kid around town. There was a kid with purple hair sitting across from them and it seemed to be a group conversation. John stepped back, satisfied that all was well in that area of life. Now onto the dreaded appointment. He felt a pit in his gut and an ache in his heart, the closer he got to the law offices.
Colleen Reinhardt pulls into the parking lot that serviced both the hotel and the law offices. Swallowing hard, she stares into the trees and calms herself. This was a choice she had made ... been forced into .. by John. As hard as the tried, though, she couldn't hate him. With a sigh she gets out of the car and stands outside the building. The least they could do was walk in together, she figures.
John sees Colleen standing outside her car as he walks up and feels like he's been punched in the gut, shrinking a little into himself. He walks up to her trying to smile but with a deeply wounded look in his eyes. He doesn't want this, his whole being is screaming no but all he can get out is a quiet "Hi." He shoves his hands in his pockets like an ashamed schoolboy and then looks between Colleen and the door, the end.
Colleen looks at him and swallows again. "Hi." she responds. She reaches for the doors handle and then freezes a second. "You're POSITIVE you won't go to therapy?" she allows some of her hope he won't let his stubborness be the end of them ... rocky though it has been. This is his last chance, she tells herself, or she'll march in, sign the papers and cry on the ferry back.
John feels his breath catch in his throat "If I'll consider it, can we rip up the fucking papers in there?" His eyes suddenly water and he blinks hard sliding his hand over hers on the door handle and his voice becomes hoarse "I don't want this......I love you."
Colleen closes her eyes, letting these hopeful words wash over her. "Yes." she says and counters. "If you DO it, we can rip up those papers in there." she takes a step closer to him. "I love you, too, John. This has nothing to do with love."
John nods "I know. And I know I'm a stubborn ass. I'll work on it OK, professionally. Please let me try..." He moves his other hand tentatively to her waist, not knowing if she'll let him yet.
Colleen moves into his arms, trying not to appear eager. "I will let you try. We have an appointment on Friday afternoon." she announces. It was a chance she was willing to take in case he showed some common sense.
Lucius Bellgrade stands from the chair in his Bottoms office. So TINY. He much preferred his office in the Town Hall but this wasn't government business. He was the only lawyer to have a permanent office here, so he took advantage of it. His appointment should be arriving. The Reinhardts, soon to be divorced. Opening his office door he looks through the front doors at them holding each other. That wasn't a good sign.
John can't help but smile at her back up plan. He tugs her closer "Friday...ok..." He lets a hand come up from her waist and cups her face on one side and looks deeply in Colleen's eyes "I'll do whatever it takes."
Colleen looks into his eyes and tilts her head, wanting and expecting a kiss. She even lifts herself onto her toes. It will be not him kissing her nor she kissing him but them kissing each other.
Lucius watches them from the middle of the hallway. This is not how divorced couples should be acting. Rolling his eyes he waits, hoping maybe it was only a good bye kiss. The least they can do is make it a good one.
John loses himself in the kiss, lifting her off her feet like he used to do often when they were younger, before 4 kids and too many fights. He finally sets her down and reluctantly lets her go, reaching to take her hand "Let's burn the papers in the fireplace... at home."
Colleen is smiling by the time she is set on her feet again and laughing like she used to. She takes his hand. "Sure. Lets go get em." and she opens the door to the office stepping inside.
Lucius makes as if he is just stepping out of his office. "Hello there." he greets them cheerfully. "Let's go in my office."
John gives Lucius a little chuckle "Sorry but this will be short and sweet. Can we get those papers to go....we don't really need the appointment." He gives Colleen's hand a little squeeze, still holding it.
Colleen grins and nods. "Yes. We've decided to give therapy a try."
Lucius raises his eyebrows and motions in the direction of his office door, the only one open on the left. "Well, congratulations. I guess my services are no longer required. So I will give you those unsigned papers and send you the bill." because one way or another, they are paying him.
John's grin tenses a bit. Rat bastards, lawyers, rat bastards. He holds out his free hand for the papers and says dryly "If you please."
Lucius enters his office and picks u the papers, which were, of course, already on his desk waiting for the signatures. He hands them to Colleen, who is the one who hired him. "If you change your mind, Colleen, just let me know." he smile somehow suggests he expects her call soon.
Colleen takes the papers on one hand and hooks into John's elbow with the other. "Thank you, again Mr Belgrade. And you have a nice day." she tugs on John, in case he wants to stay and talk rates ... because that will only poke the sleeping Irish dragon.
John looks for a moment like he might lay into Lucius and then allows Colleen to tug him, remembering what it's all about and just says an unenthusiastic "Cheers." as he exits with her.
Lucius watches them leave impassively, knowing that they will be back. They almost always are.
Colleen tugs him back to the car. "Remember your Sunday School lessons, John Reinhardt. Thou shalt not beat on the towns prosecutor." she reminds him. "Come on. I'll drive you home and we can burn these in the fireplace." she gets in the car and tosses the papers on the dashboard.
John unclenches his fist on the hand by the door Colleen can't see "Which gospel said that?" He says with a sarcastic chuckle "Thank you Colleen....I mean that."
Fiona sleepily comes in the door with a handful of mail after her coffee time with friends. It had started out terrible but ended on a high note. Still the track meet and her run in with Joey Piccolo had wiped her out. She flips through the mail with her keys stuck in her teeth, wedding out flyers from bills. She tucks the keepers into the hanging wooden wall files and then sets the fliers down to untie her boots. Afterwards she walks to the recycling bin in the kitchen and dumps the flyers. She stumbles to the couch with a yawn, pulls out her iPhone and her earbuds and stretches out, listening to some mellow music. Her eyes close and she's out like a true 15 year old.
Colleen drives through town. Hardly rocked science. "The gospel according to Colleen isn't losing her man to the law." she quips. "Not when I just got him back." she doesn't add 'i hope', but she does. Pulling up in front of the house. Once she parks she turns to John. "I want this to work ... and not just for the kids, John." she bites her lip, a little nervous about it all .. sort of like she was when they first started going out with the large redhead.
John sighs at his wife and then takes her hand and kisses it, closing his eyes and just lingering. His mustache rubs against the top of her hand as she does. As he eases off he says "Me too, me too." He moves her hand to his knee, still holding it tightly "There's something I should tell you....I know I took way too long on this and I was trying to tell you after Germany when I was assuming you'd just move back in..." He bites his lip and then says "And I'm sorry about that. But I had an appointment when I was delusional that way...got the snip finally...not that I'm rushing this....just thought you should know I finally did it about 6 months ago."
Colleen smiles at the hand kiss. She loved those and the way his mustache felt. Then she finds herself getting scared there is some BAD news. She hadn't MEANT to fall into bed again with John ... she never did. But when they found themselves in a room alone together ... it ALWAYS happened and she ALWAYS thanked her lucky stars not to get pregnant. Damn potent Reinhardt men. She'd be grandmother to an army if her sons .... she pushed the thought away. "Good." she sighs in relief. "Then maybe some weekends I will get visitation with YOU." she isnt planning to move back in just YET. "Until we can sell our homes .. maybe buy that house on Third that's for sale?"
John can't help but break into a huge grin, his cheeks turning a little pink "Visitation...that what we're calling it now? I'd love to look at that house. It's been for sale forever though.....hope there's nothing wrong with it." He reaches out for the papers "These are gonna bug me until they're destroyed. Can we?" He gestures at the house.
Colleen chuckles. "Well, unless you want to call it dating after marriage." she teases. "Probably not. It's just across from Miss Norris ... and that should drive the cost down enough we may be able to rent a little studio in White Rock or maybe Cedar Point ... breakfast with your brother. How IS Michael?" she looks at the paper and nods. "Yes, please."
John opens his door and keeps talking through it "Mikey has a new lady friend and they're pretty intense. I've actually never seen him so happy with someone. Stephanie. You'll meet her...I mean...um...if things....do you want to come for Christmas?"
Colleen steps through and slips out of her shoes. "Oh how wonderful. God that man never dated once he and Sara divorced." she liked Sara, but had never forgiven her for cheating on Michael. She smiles, shyly. "I'd love to, John." she almost whispers.
John looks at Colleen standing in the house again, their old house and a wave of emotion washes over him. He's stepped out of his own shoes but suddenly yanks her into his arms and kisses her passionately, walking her into the living room backwards if she allows it.
Fiona silently stirs on the couch, aware of something happening around her but not awake yet.
Colleen immerses into the kiss and sets her feet on John's to help his frog march into the living room. A part of her is wondering if Fi is home or not. If she isn't then might be able to go upstairs for a little bit.
John's hands slide up under the back of Colleen's sweater and he eagerly moves his kisses down to her neck with a not so quiet "Mmmm....god I missed you." murmured just under her earlobe.
Fiona's eyes pop open at her father's voice and she sits bolt upright at the sight of her parents making out. She's s both elated and revolted. Finally she just shouts out "Gah!! I'm in the room!"
Colleen is melting as John nuzzles her. "I did too." and then she hears Fiona and looks over her shoulder with a grin. "And how do you think we got YOU, young lady?" she teases, not letting go of John even a little bit.
John chuckles and eases off kissing Colleen's neck and just pulls her into a hug "Sorry Fi.....thems the facts kid."
Fiona yanks out her earbuds and stands up "OK I KNOW how the biology works....yuck....but I'm happy to see you....getting along? Can I ask what's going on?" She sits on the arm of the couch now looking confused.
Colleen returns the hug and turns in John's arms to look at her daughter with a humongous grin. "Tell her, John." she encourages.
John had left the papers by the door when they got distracted, He lets go of Colleen with a light kiss to her forehead first and then fetches them and comes back in "We're burning our divorce papers instead of signing them. he offers with a grin.
Fiona stares down at the papers and then up at her parents and bursts into tears, happy tears. She throws her arms around her dad, who's closest but reaches for her mom's hand. It's been a hard road for the kids too of course.
Colleen had known how hard their separation had been. But Fiona bursting into tears, pushes her own into her eyes. "Oh Fi...." she grips the hand and looks at John. It was for more than just the kids, but it was for the kids too. "We can't just throw away twenty years."
John can't help but get weepy too at the sight of his little girl so affected "I'm sorry baby. We're going do better OK. We're going to talk with someone to help us work the stuff out..." He kisses the side of her head and hugs her tightly.
Fiona sniffs, hugging her Dad back and then lets him go after awhile and stands up to hug her mom. John shifts and hugs them both then, from the outside.
Colleen cries a little bit, hugging her daughter. "We're going to make this work. For ourselves as well as for you and your brothers." she strokes her daughters hair and goes for a little humor. "Would you liek to watch your father and I ...." she pauses. "Burn it all?"
Fiona looks up at her mom and blurts out "Fuck yes." and then realizes she swore out loud, not so discreetly to her friends like she usually does around her folks and smiles awkwardly "Uh...yes please."
John just laughs and gives them both a little squeeze before setting up the logs to light in the fireplace.
Colleen smiles and watches her husband ... still ... begin to build the fire. "No ... Fiona ... I agree. Lets fucking burn em all!" and she giggles a bit, the reality sort of catching up to her.
Fiona beams at her mother and waits for the fire to ignite.
John stands up as the flames catch with vigor, as if waiting to gobble up the papers. John splits the pile offering half to Colleen and then begins to crumple his own set so it catches faster. He leans down to drop them in "Here's to second chances, and the Reinhardt's...all of us."
Colleen takes her half and watches the fire as she crumples hers. She leans beside him. "To second chances." she agrees, never wanting to be around that creepy lawyer again.