***Monday Morning***Nov 14th ic
Adum Brate walked Megan to work. They'd had the weekend to get to know each other and even take a walk or two. He knew that the whole town probably knew he was back. Poor Joshua Green nearly cried when he saw Adum, and then nearly cried again when Adum told him it would still be another week before he'd put his uniform back on. He set a return date of November 21, to give Josh some hope.
Now he turned back up Water. Passing the pharmacy wasn't as painful as he thought it would be. The hard part was the sort of pause before he connected even long known faces to names. He supposed he would have to go through that, and it was easier than some of the alternatives he'd heard about victims of head shots.
The cops on his usual shift are off on this day, which suits him fine. He wants to keep his promise to Dr McKinney and not enter the shop. Ducking into Earthcakes, he spots Darcy Lynch a second before He is all but tackled by Zilpha Ainsworth. "You're wearing my sweater!" she plucks at the thick beige turtleneck he is wearing with his faced jeans and white trainers.
Adum hugs her back. "I love it Miss Zilpha. Thank you." he replies. "And thank you for the food you sent to the hospital. It really helped my healing."
Zilpha beams. "Hospital food is terrible, I agree." she pats his arm. The place is in its mid, morning lull. "I'm going to bake. You just help yourself this ONE time, Adum." she smiles and shuffles back into her kitchen.
Moving behind the counter, Adum selects a couple of cookies and, after checking that the thermos is in fact one from Perkatory, pours himself some coffee. Then he looks over to Darcy as he moves back around. "Mornin, Lynch." he greets her. "May I join you?" the lull has the place mostly empty and quiet. Just the three of them.
Darcy looks up from a paperback novel and grins at Adum. She had seen him come in but noted he was in a conversation with the eclectic old baker and didn't wish to intrude "I'd be honoured and delighted Chief." She gestures to the empty chair.
Adum sits in the chair and looks out the window. "Thanks." he moves his eyes back to her. "I don't know whether to be thrilled or terrified at both the way the town has gone on without me and this whole outpouring of support." he motions out the window at the decorations. "But I am VERY glad to be back." he smiles. "How have you been doing, Lynch?" he never got to calling her Darcy. "I know you probably know this place back and forth, but I hope your settling in wasn't TOO traumatic."
Darcy slides her bookmark into her book and lays it on the table. It's Even Cowgirls Get the Blues by Tom Robbins and a well worn copy with curling corners. She follows Adum's gaze to the decor "You people sure love the winter holidays. And I'm glad you're back too, and doing amazing it looks like. It's been an interesting ride. Anthropologists would have a hey day in this place." She chuckles.
Adum laughs. "Well, it almost never snows here, and Halloween ... has been a no go since the islands founding. From what I hear you have had your baptism. Part of me had hoped I was this years little fuckeduppedness." he sighs. "I did great. The bullet grazed me ... it just went in my head to do it." he lifts his coffee with his left hand. "I'm left handed and it takes me about 3 seconds to remember ... everyone. But then ... there is a flood of memories about that person." he frowns. "And apparently I have an ex wife I can't remember at all. From what I hear, I'm not missing anything." he grins. "Please don't go digging around the island ... Its more paperwork if you find someone we missed." he ... half ... teases.
Darcy looks down at the left hand with curiosity "I've never heard of that, but thankfully, I've never had reason to. You forgot a wife? That's intense.....but I have to say you've got a pretty wonderful one right now. As long as you don't forget her, it should all be good right?" She teases him a bit and then chuckles about the bodies and paperwork reference.
Adum chuckles. "I know ... apparently it was really bad. But no matter who I talk to about her ... I don't remember her. It's odd but ... Megan makes up for it all. And I remember my wedding anniversary, so I should survive, right?" he looks at her. "Now I remember you were just getting settled into your place. I want to make sure my officers are happy. You're ..." he considers. "Above the pizza parlor somewhere. Second floor?"
Darcy smiles "Third actually, but yes on that building. It's mostly good. There's a guy below me that's a bit of a creep but his son's a great kid despite it all....gotta wonder about that eh? How does a kid turn out OK when they have no support or guidance at home? My parents are weird, but they were there for my sister and I."
Adum nods. "Right. Di'Antoni and his kid. Vincent. Right right. The kid has a talent. Been on the waiting list for the Academy since his mother died two years ago. It was the mother kept Vincent from trouble, is my guess. He's what you might call borderline. He can go like his father or he can be like his mother. Gino has a record of drunk and disorderly, minor assault. I'm actually glad you moved in above them. Might keep Gino out of trouble as well as the son." he sips his coffee. "It's like a cold engine, but the mind is still there." he sounds relieved. "Vincent isn't in trouble, is he? I never really got to do more than hello and goodbye with him before I got shot."
Darcy shakes her head "I don't think so....just stuff with him and his Dad is not good. I hear a lot of yelling. I've connected with Vincent. He calls me Aunt Darcy now. He came for Thanksgiving with my family and played his harp. He's a musical genius for sure....and that is his connection to his mom. We haven't hung out lately but he seems to have made some friends his age which is good too, mostly girls so I hope he's behaving." She jokes.
Adum grins. "Good. He needs good role models. Frank teaches there, so she knows him, but different instruments." he chuckles. "Well, with a fourteen year old boy, behaving can be a relative thing. I was mostly babysitting and running track at that age." he shrugs. "Bit of a late bloomer. Well the school has kids his own age. Most from good families, too. And with you and Sharp watching him, that may be one less to worry about. Now Joey Piccolo ... he's a bit different, if you haven't met HIM yet."
Darcy looks touched and then shakes her head "Name's not wring a bell. This Piccolo kid have a record?"
Adum sighs. "Well, no. He moved here at the beginning of the summer, but he's got a history of bullying and fighting at his old school. Mama's little darling .. she won't hear a word against him. And I know he should be eligible to be driving soon." he shrugs. "I wouldn't be surprised if things escalate with his behavior to the point the police get called into it."
Darcy makes a face "Great, just what this town needs more of. Can we preemptively lock a few up in late September? That whole seasonal thing...curse...whatever is just freaky....but hell let's crack the code." she jokes.
Adum laughs. "If only!" he grins. "But things should be relatively quiet for a while." he sighs. "Did you get to the opening of the Festival? I got home Friday and ... for the first time in a while missed both Remembrance Day and the first day of the Fest."
Darcy smiles "Yes both. Simple and lovely for the Remembrance Day service and I was blown away by the festival. the music....wow those kids are amazing. I knew about Vincent of course but they were all great. The choir was perfect. They even had a soloist perfect for the song. Anyways I don't want to make you sadder you missed it. Someone might have put it on Youtube. a few people were recording."
Adum smiles. "Well .. I got home too late for the Remembrance Day celebration. And this year .. well .. I didn't get much of a honeymoon right after I got married, so I decided . much as I love Winter Festival .. I needed the alone time with my wife more." he admits. "Ohhh .. do you know who it was? There a couple good voices at the Academy."
Darcy smirks "I've seen Megan...and I support that." she teases and then feels self conscious being that informal with her boss and gulps turning back to the other topic "The festival...yeah a girl with black hair and lots of piercings, lovely voice though, light you know?"
Adum laughs. "Ahh .. gotcha." he grins. He senses a little of her hesitance but before he can let her know its alright off-duty, she changes the subject. "Sounds like ... wait ... Yes. Fi Reinhardt. Her .. no worries. She has her dad, three brothers and an uncle in the Cedar Point Police Department." he grins. "Small world, her uncle is dating my best friends sister. I think that came out right." he chuckles and sits back. "Now you know you can be a bit less formal with me when we're both off-duty ... or as off-duty as it gets for cops."
Darcy nods "Keep hearing about that Cedar Point place. I'll have to go take a look one day. The towns seem very connected like your friends there." She shrugs awkwardly "It's the military. We're always a little more formal with commanding officers. I do try to shake it and thanks."
Adum nods. "Well Alexandra and cedar Point are sister cities. But also, in MY case when my parents split up, my father went there to live .. where I met Ryan." he grins. "I was military also, but I try not to be AS formal with my cops. Especially not here. Its a small town ... and for all its quirks ... a family."
Darcy smiles "I'm getting that sense finally, settling in. Tell me about your time in the forces Adum?" She makes herself say his first name and not Chief or Sir.
Adum considers. "See ... easy, eight Darcy?" he grins. "For me .. it was peacetime. I didn't even leave the country. But I learned a lot about cryptology, and it helped me to get my degree in criminology and computer forensics." he looks at her curiously, as she is more military than he is. "You saw more action than I did, is my guess." he doesn't sound impressed, or eager. Almost sad, as if he wished all military personnel could be as bored during their time in as he had been.
Adum considers his last line and his gaze drifts out the window. A man passes by ... incredibly tall and massive, he pauses and turns to look into the window at Adum and Darcy. His face is heavily bearded, but that beard is roughly trimmed. The face sports two scars, one looking older than the other, but worst of all above the collar line is an old scar at the throat. But the man's storm gray eyes look at Adum and the man salutes, almost lazily before he turns and continues an almost leisurely pace down the street. Adum begins to grin. "Jude."
Darcy raises one eyebrow and just mutters "Anthropologists.." Before saying "Ok clearly THAT guy has a story?"
Adum chuckles. "That's Jude Murphy. We went to high school together. Joined the military together. He went into Intelligence. Got sent overseas and came back around the same time I was made Chief. Apparently he is retired now. His birthday was on the eleventh. I don't know what happened to him, but ... we use him now and again." he sighs. "We could have used him this year for sure. But he's back now. Probably be on and off the island. He does a lot of odd jobs, everything from house painting to search and rescue." but Adum looks relieved to see this large scared man.
Darcy looks mildly fascinated by all this "Ok then. Sort of a free spirit? How'd that go in the military?"
Adum shrugs. "He didn't USED to be. He was one of the most popular guys in school. Well he's retired. I'm not sure of his rank, but how high can you climb in six or seven years in?" he runs his fingers through his growing hair. "Now ... he lives off the grid in a hut in the woods. Well MOSTLY off the grid. Last I heard he had a phone. He isn't the most social creature anymore, but he can still converse and get along when he feels like it." he looks over at her. "But he can be one hell of a resource as long as no one tries to chain him down."
Darcy frowns "something happen to him out there?" She's thinking something traumatic in the military career.
Adum sighs. "Very possible." he admits. "I have tried to peek into his records, but ... its all classified. His name, number and dates of entry and discharge is all I was able to find out."
Darcy half smiles "Huh. That must drive you nuts Mr. Know Everyone."
Adum laughs and holds up a defensive finger. "I knew him in High School." he argues. "You'll meet him sooner or later. He's not a bad guy, really. Mostly."
Darcy stretches and nods "Like many I suppose. I don't always know what to do with myself on my days off here."
Adum grins. "Oh a lot don't spend their days off here." he admits. "But there's always Statutes for a game or just hop the Ferry .... White Rock, Vancouver ... the mainland is always where it's at."
Darcy muses on this "Yeah true. I've been trying to acclimatize though. You grew up here?"
Adum nods. "Yes I did. Born in the clinic. This is my mothers hometown. SO I'm sort of used to this insanity. Let me see Sam was also ... and Frank. You might be amazed how many people stay or return. You'd think people would head for the mainland the second they were old enough to hop the ferry."
Darcy listens and then reflects back "So the place has staying power. I've never settled anywhere. Born on a base and moved every few years. Army brat, then the army myself. You three should get together and write a book of this island and it's tales."
Adum chuckles. "Maybe we should. The place DOES grow on you .. if you can make it a year here without wanting to run ... your one of us." he pauses. "Speaking of staying power ..." he begins. "I ran into Nancy O'Leary yesterday. Hows it looking with Tom?"
Darcy smiles "Well he's the nicest prisoner I've ever interacted with. Seriously Adum, there's no way he meant to kill anyone. I'm hoping something comes back on that railing. What's she like? His sister I mean. I've seen her come in and out but we've never spoken.....talk about a resemblance though...wow. Almost like Mari and I if one of us was a guy. I'm a twin in case you didn't know."
Adum nods. "He's a great guy ... and I hope Lucius can't build a case. He's like a pit bull." he laughs. "I was so confused when I saw her .. she DOES look like him and ... for a second I thought she was him and my memory was faulty."
Darcy laughs a bit "I'll keep that in mind to make sure I remind you I'm a twin if Marianne comes into the station."
Adum blinks and then laughs. "SO I don't get on her about being out of uniform." he shakes his head. "I'm just glad its all coming back. Did I tell you I seem to have forgotten the bane of my existence?"
Darcy looks curious "Who? What was that?"
Adum nods. "Apparently Megan isnt my first wife. I was married before and everyone who will talk about her says she just about drove me to suicide." he shakes his head. "But I cna't remember her ... I'm glad but still."
Darcy just winces, looking horrified now "Uaugh....yeah let that bit go and keep the good parts. Man...head injuries are just weird."
Adum agrees. "Yea. I went from right to left handed and forgot Satans Bride, apparently. The surgeon and the shrink say its always different ... depends on bullet trajectory and side of the brain and and and."
Darcy sighs "Maybe nature is just being kind. Megan is awesome, gorgeous and awesome. I suspect it's no trouble to just focus on that." She grins.
Adum grins. "No .... its no trouble at all. We're in honeymoon mode. She is going in to the Love Shop in the mornings and then coming home to me at night. We'll have a proper honeymoon next year ... thanks to Kagiso and India Tor." he smiles. "Sort of a wedding and healing present."
Darcy wiggles her eyebrows and then inquires "So what's the proper wedding present? I mean I often just give theatre tickets myself because it's more fun than a gravy boat."
Adum waves the offer away but suggests. "Just don't get hurt. I'm glad I was the one took the bullet and not one of you guys. Josh probably doesnt agree, considering he is the one recommended me for it."
Darcy looks pained "I've taken one in the leg before...that was bad enough. But Adum, it's unacceptable that it should be ANY of us. And what I was actually asking was about the gift from India did you say and Kagiso? That's the guy with the studio in town right? The musician?"
Adum nods. "Good then we've had all the fun our department needs to have." he declares. "Oh yes. Him. Aquistic Spirit or Soul .. I'm still working on that. He and India .. she's my best friends girlfriend ... they have offered us .. anything we want. All expenses paid." he sounds awed by it all.
Darcy looks completely baffled "What does an offer like that even MEAN? They're just like weird rich people?" Darcy had never been poor but had always had to strive to live within a budget. This was beyond her.
Adum whistles low. "Yea ... they ... They're millionaires. For them its nothing. I mean I don't think we're planning on a six month cruise around the globe but ... something nice. Just the two of us. And before any babies come if we get pregnant."
Darcy exhales "Wow." and then asks "Are you...trying...to get pregnant? Not to get too personal but since you brought it up.'
Adum smiles. "Yes. We are." he grins. "It's not too personal. I'm married .. NEWLY married, so its a safe bet we aren't virgins."
Darcy blushes "I figured out the sex part...I just never want to ask high pressure questions about people and kids. I've gotten a lot of those questions myself and I don't always like it when it's directed at me. So I was being respectful in that sense. And I'm happy for you in your choice. I hope it's both a fun and simple path to parenthood."
Adum chuckles. "My father is still glowing over the birth of four kittens." he remarks. "I am sure one baby will almost disappoint him." he grins. "NO, its not high pressure. Your parents on you about reproducing when that's not likely." he's caught on to the sexuality .. a very strong suspicion at least
Darcy laughs heartily "Oh you're so lucky if kittens is all it takes! But I bet you'll be an awesome baby daddy too." She leans forward, putting the metaphorical cards on the table so to speak "I'm a lesbian. And I wouldn't be opposed to kids if a permanent partner had them already or wanted to adopt some. I like kids. I've never felt the urge to grow one from scratch but they're cool little humans I can relate to. My parents know but I think they keep hoping I'll change my mind."
Adum grins. "Two lesbians in my department." he chuckles. "Very cool." he laughs. "Well tell them if it means that much to them your boss has nine cats. Granted, my wife will kill me, but if they REALLY want one, I can see if I can sneak one out of the house." although he is fond of the cats. "Besides ... we are in some ways secondary parents to all the kids in town ... and to some ... primary."
Darcy chuckles "Yeah I know about Frank. And no, I won't steal any fur babies, although I'm sure they're adorable. There have been kids I've met on this job or overseas I wanted to adopt to give a better life to...you know if it could be that simple. Even the kid downstairs. Some of them just need a chance at normal...."
Adum arches a brow. "Vincent? He can use a stable influence. No question. Sometimes I want as many kids as I have cats. I have the room for them. My father remodeled the house years ago ... then did the same for the Russian family that lives down the street .. their kids moved out and they retired to Arizona. Anyway ... I think my parents had plans for more than me. Didn't work out that way."
Darcy nods "Oh yeah the big green house that's been for sale forever. Yours is the same?That's a lot of space if you want to fill it up." she circles back to Vincent "He's amazing when he has support....I worry how it will go if the instability goes on. He's already made a few choices that worry me to cope. I won't get into it because I'd like to try to redirect him...but yeah...the problem is he's smart. It's good and bad right? He can think his way out of things but if he's handed an impossible situation, the solutions become equally extreme. His home is a battlefield Adum." She looks truly sickened by it all.
Adum nods. "I remember him being a good kid. And talented, but I hope he isnt planning on laying his whole future on the harp." he considers. "So far we've only picked Gino up for being a drunk. Hardly illegal here. We're not social workers, but I hope we can keep anything from spinning out of control." he tightens his jaw. "Well ... you know the deal. We damn near have to break in on Gino hitting the kid to make it really stick. If not ... Gino gets out and its twice as bad for Vincent."
Darcy looks pained "I know...I know. Fuck, why can't people just love their kids? I hate just watching and listening and hoping it doesn't get too bad for him."
Adum pauses. "From what I've heard from my sources ... Gino got Vincent's mother pregnant and was forced to marry her." he sighs. "So there we go ... unprotected teenage sex ... teenage pregnancy ... shotgun wedding ..." he sighs. "It's this viscous cycle. Now apparently they remained married until the mother died but ..." he blows out a breath. "I never want a child murder on my hands. Ever."
Darcy suddenly looks like she's been hit in the gut with a bowling ball. She had really grown attached to Vincent and those big brown eyes....just like the ones on the sniper kid in Afghanistan. She had killed a child and was still coming to terms with it. Adum had no idea of course, she knew that. But she felt the panic rising inside her like it did after the nightmares. She stood up suddenly and bumped the table into her boss "I need to go...." she blurted out awkwardly.
Adum offs a little and watches as Darcy stands. "Hey. You Ok?" he reaches out to touch her arm, if he can, wondering if he'd gone too far .. it was every cops nightmare, he believes.
Darcy tries to play it calm but the fight or flight is written all over her. She allows the touch on the arm but is as tense as a wild animal ready to bolt. "I'm just suddenly feeling a bit unwell....migraine I think. I'm so sorry. It was really nice to talk to you Adum."
Adum turns and stands. "Lynch." his voice is mildly sharp .. he isn't barking orders, just trying to see if she might come back. If she isn't gone, he'll soften. "If you want to talk ... you know where to find me. Now or in the future." he wonders whats going on with her and hopes it isn't SO bad it could effect her job.
Darcy had heard Adum's words as she walked away, unable to look at him. she gave one nod to indicate she'd heard and understood and then bolted out the door and down the street. Ducking behind City Hall, with no one around, she backed into a tree and crumpled, unable to hold back her sobbing as it came on like a crashing storm.