Saturday, December 31, 2016

Setting the Record Straight - New Year's Eve - Frank and Darcy, and Vincent

Frank Sharp slid into her coat as her shift ended. It had been days and days of anxiety and she was, frankly, annoyed with it. Darcy was still acting a little odd, especially when Sam, who was friends with them both, had asked how Frank had spent her Christmas. Not shy, Frank had admitted how she spent her evening. Of course there was ribbing by the Chief, who was happy enough at a fledgling relationship with his sister-in-law. But Darcy seemed a little ... out of sorts. And Frank was bound and determined to sort it out. They had to work together, dammit.

Bouncing the idea off of Tamela, she decided to try something.

"Hey Darcy." she grabs her coat. "I know the kids are all going to be hanging out at the Reinhardt's tonight. How about me and you have dinner or something ... beats spending the night alone, right?"

Darcy was just sorting the last of her paperwork and piling it so it made sense the next day. She heard Frank's invite and looked up in surprise "What? Uh...OK...sure." She almost looked like she was trying to think her way out but had nothing to cause her to reasonably say no. She also didn't want to be rude. She did like Frank as a person and respected her immensely as a coworker "Where do you want to go?" She put on an awkward but honest smile and walked to her own jacket.

Frank considers. The town was a small one and, New Years or no New Years, the sidewalks would get rolled up relatively early. "Don't take this the wrong way, but I was thinking my place or yours." she replies. "Honestly I would love to go to your place, because YOU have a view of the inlet and so the fireworks display they are having at midnight." she offers. "Again .. NOT an offer for a date ... just a suggestion of a couple co-workers who would be alone NOT being alone." she tries to sweeten the pot. "I make an incredible egg nog ....."

Darcy just kind of chuckles "Alright a New Year's un-date it is. Should we get take out to go with your eggnog? God I wish this town had some Middle Eastern know what...I'll cook. I'm really craving kebabs and Tabbouleh salad. I think I have most of the stuff....."

Frank smiles. "We COULD, but if you're going to cook, I am not going to stop you." she laughs. "But if you want I can pick up some platters from the grocery store." she offers. "Meet at 7?" an hour after they get off shift.

Darcy holds up a finger "Ok let me write down the whole address...I think you've only been to my place in the other building...and yes I'll cook." She grabs a pen and a scrap of paper and hesitates "I have to Tamela OK with this idea? I know you said it's not a date...and I'm not taking it like one at all..."

Frank smiles. "Sure. Tamela had to work, and it isn't a date, so no need to worry." she shrugs into her coat. "So give me the address and I'll come over in an hour with a eggs and milk for egg nog?"

Darcy writes it down and passes it over "Ok. I'm going to go cook." She smiles and heads off.

Vincent has gotten himself together for the evening, dressing in his nice new Christmas clothes and telling himself it isn't because he's going to meet Fiona's ex. Finally, he straightens his clothes and comes out of his room. "Well ... how do I look?"

Frank takes the address and pockets it. "I'll be there." she heads out and, once she gets home, she changes into jeans and a sweater and sends Tamela a text message telling her the non-date is on and she'll keep her posted. Then she heads back out, going to the grocery to pick up eggs and milk, finally going to the Greybar building and taking the elevator up tot he 10th floor and knocking.

Darcy is putting marinated chicken kebabs into the oven and turns around to look at him after "You look great kid. It's an outdoor party you want some ski pants? I buy mine big so I can layer..and they're men's...." She's got parsley and mint already chopped and it's filling the room with a wonderful fresh scent. There's a pot on the stove simmering with Bulgar. She hears the knock and heads to the door and pulls it open "Hey Frank, come on in." She smiles, more relaxed at home than at work. Darcy has changed into a green soft flannel plaid shirt and baggy old faded jeans.

Vincent blinks. "Nooooo .... my pea coat should be fine." he announces with all the confidence of a boy his age. He looks at the door and smiles. "Hey Professor Sharp." he calls, as he wanders into the kitchen literally sniffing around. "You two are ...." he arches a brow.

Frank comes in and looks at Vincent, cutting him off. "Hanging out and watching the fireworks together. You know .. like ... FRIENDS?" she rolls her eyes and looks at him. "Ohhhh someone hit the Christmas jackpot. Nice." she notes his jeans, but keeps her mouth shut. She knows how the kids are and makes a mental note to see how quick he winds up sick.

Darcy smiles at Frank's explanation of their night and nags Vincent just a bit "Ok but sit close to the fire if you get cold. We're just hanging out. Do you want me to save you some grub? It's gonna be really good!"

Vincent laughs and rolls his eyes like a put upon child, but he loves it. "Yes, Darcy Mom." he kisses her on the cheek. "Nah, I'll be fine and if not I'll fix a quick sandwich before I go to bed. I'll probably be home around two..." he's testing a little, but if she lets him, he'll sure try and get home that late. He grabs his shoes and slips into them, then grabs his coat and will be gone if Darcy doesn't stop him.

Frank watches the exchange and makes a mental note of the nick-name. She sees the tests every day .. the kids with their parents, the kids with their teachers and the kids with each other. It made her glad she never expected to become a parent.

Darcy isn't really one for curfews but does require communication. As long as the kid is somewhere safe and she knows where, it's fine "Text me at 12:30 please. I understand you'll be busy at midnight..." She teases and then sees the shoes "Come! You're going to be outside half the night at least." She'll speak to Frank properly once this is sorted, like any parent who can't have a grown up conversation while their kid is trying them.

Vincent nods, and blushes crimson. "Yea .. well .. I might be ...." he concedes, changing into his boots over two pair of socks without even protesting the insistence of changing from his shoes. He's happy with the communication. "Alright .... I'll text at 12:30. Love ya!" and hes gone, closing the door behind him.

Frank looks at the door and then at Darcy with a grin. "Darcy Mom, eh?" she didn't know they were THAT close but it suited them. She holds up a canvas bag, from which a carton of eggs can be seen. She only needs a blender at this point, really.

Darcy starts to get her goodbye out as the door shuts "Have he's gone...." She laughs and then turns to hear Frank and has a sweet melting look on her face "Yeah. He started calling me that Christmas Eve, best gift ever. Never thought I'd love a kid so much." She gestures at the door "And this is like normal, compared to his life with Gino where he was dodging alcoholic rage. I'd so much rather he be fighting me over winter clothes.." She looks at the eggs and reaches to a lower cupboard offering a blender "This? There's a plug on the end here...."

Crystal Brewton (Indie Author)28 Dec 2016

Frank chuckles and nods, setting the bags down and taking off her coat. "No, its great. I knew about Gino ... professionally from BOTH jobs. I was worried about the kid for a while. I'm glad you took him in." she takes the bags and blender to the corner and then takes out the milk and eggs, then several small containers of spice from her pockets. "I didn't know what you had, so I just brought from home." she adds by sight and adds half the milk and starts the blender. After she lifts the cover and inhales. "I think we got it." she puts the rest of the eggs and milk in the fridge if they need more. "Glasses?"

Darcy has moved back to chopping for the salad. She's now mincing cucumbers after tomatoes. "Cupboard to the right of the sink. I'm glad too. That looks tasty. I've never made my own nog."

Frank nods and gets the glasses, pouring for them both and setting Darcy's within easy reach. "I love it and my Dad loves it. My mom used to make it but ... after the split I learned how. He said it was better than hers, but I think he's biased." she sips. "Or not ... it IS good. But ... I have Mommy issues."

Darcy listens to her and nods. She's not sure she should ask about the mommy issues but she's tucking it away in her brain as something to be sensitive to. She picks up the cup and sips and then smiles after she swallows "That is nice. Thank you for making it." She dumps the cucs and tomatoes into the salad bowl and starts mincing a red onion. She decides to try and ask about Frank's Dad instead "Does your father live in British Columbia?"

Frank leans against the counter, watching Darcy cook. "Winnipeg." she replies. "He was a sports caster for a while. Traveled all over Canada. I got to go with him after the split, which is how I fell in love with British Columbia." she replies. Frank is an open book. Literally frank about pretty much everything.

Darcy is attentive and then replies "Huh...sounds like my life but as an air force brat. My Dad almost had a transfer to the 17 wing in Winnipeg but they sent us to Shearwater in Halifax instead. It was only a year but I got to ride in my first helicopter....and you know where that led." She mixes in the onion and then takes the bulgar off the heat and literally puts the pot in the freezer after a stir. Now she carefully asks "Do you still have contact with your mom?"

Frank nods, listening and laughs. "Yes ... I've heard of your flying skills." she tells her. "I don't think you've met Jasmine Paulina yet. The redhead behind the wheel of the fire truck and fire chopper? She's my housemate." she watches her put it from fire to freezer with interest, then chuckles. "Not willingly, no." she admits. "My mother is a very religious woman. Sent me to straight camp not once, but TWICE. Catholics."

Darcy shakes her head "No I haven't met her. Work hasn't made us cross paths and I'm honestly a bit of a self declared hermit. But that's cool." She grimaces about Frank's mom "That's unbelievable. My parents are religious but not that bad.....I hope you got some counselling after that ordeal?"

Frank smiles. "Well, you won't meet Jaz unless something catches fire." she explains. "She's a lot like you. Doesn't go out much. But it works because the fire department runs 24 hour shifts, so there times when I just don't see her. Our shifts keep us apart a lot. So I ALMOST live alone." she smiles. "Sometimes that comes in very handy." she nods. "Yea My Dad didn't think it was a big deal the first time. He just told my mom to accept me and thought that would be enough. The second time ... he came and got me himself. But yea ... we both needed therapy. Now he's sort of a travelling therapist. SO SOME good came out of my mother."

Darcy exhales "Wow....that's intense.But I have to say I'm kind of a fan of therapy." She takes the bulgar out of the freezer and mixes it again and then tests it with her finger and sticks it back in. She looks sheepish after "I'm being impatient with this salad..." She confesses with a chuckle, Darcy grabs oven mitts and then opens the door and turns the kebabs with tongs from by the stove.

Frank considers her words. "I was too. It helped me open up .. maybe TOO much." she chuckles. "Well I'm not starving, but I know you mentioned wanting this ... and yea when you're craving a food it can get rough." she pauses. "So you're in therapy NOW?" she asks, casually. Apparently part of that disastrous night with Tams was a nightmare, so she has to wonder if Darcy is addressing it now. "If I'm out of line, just let me know."

Darcy exhales "No it's cool and I am. It's a good thing. It's sort of round three I more military doctors...just a good person to talk to locally. It's Gurshan Singh from the school and my issue is still PTSD from my second tour. But I'm working on it."

Frank nods and sips her egg nog. "So ..." she begins, cautiously. "That's sort of why you were so ... nervous ... around Tamela ..." there. It was out.

Darcy looks down but just admits it "Yes. I had my first nightmare episode the night I met her. I didn't know what to do. I didn't know her at all. And I've been feeling really badly about the idea that I may have hurt her feelings."

Frank watches her and runs her thumb along her bottom lip, thoughtfully. "Well, you didn't, if that helps." she doesn't move from her casual leaning against the counter stance. "We're cops. So helping people ... we don't take that off with our utility belts." she grins a bit. "She's fine. And ... well if watching you since ... what was it ... September you joined us? You're doing a lot better .. hell . you got hired at the worst possible time too." she chuckles.

Darcy looks visibly relieved "I'm glad...and I'm good at the helping people part myself....just not as much at the being helped when it's me who needs it. And October was pretty intense..." She laughs. "And I've lived in Afghanistan...this town has some serious fall issues."

Frank nods. "I understand that, believe me." she laughs along with her. I started here three years ago in January and yea ... I thought it was crazy how this town deals with October. I mean its not overcast and no weird stories about the boy who killed his sister or whatever. But I read a bunch of news articles from past years and now I've had three Octobers here and every last one of them ... has been crazy. And its not like ... you know a war zone. It just gets really bad for a month or so .. and this year .. Adum ...." she sighs deeply. Then she shrugs. "And then comes Remembrance Day and its all over ... " she snaps her fingers.

Darcy nods "That was terrifying....Adum. I mean I've seen worse but it's so much more personal in a small town, and on a small force like ours....I'm so glad he pulled through. He's the best chief we could have."

Frank nods. "He really is great. And for us ... it was like ... more than just our boss getting shot ... he's like a cousin or a brother. Boss, but also prankster .." she chuckles. "And matchmaker."

Darcy smiles a bit and then says "Did Adum set you up with his sister in law? I am glad you got together....she's awesome and I'm happy for you."

Frank laughs. "Well, yea ... I think he did. Megan had mistletoe all over the damn place and this year he had me come to the house for dinner.. So when I rang the bell, Tamela answered and ... he knew I'd been crushing on her for YEARS . even if the thought I was a man for like 2 and a half years." she laughs softly. "So it was Adum, Megan or both of them."

Darcy can't help but react with a little "Aww. That's very sweet.Did Tamela think you were a man or Adum and Megan?" She seeks clarification.

Frank chuckles. "Well first Adum did ... it took him a minute when I applied, even though of course my application says 'Francis' on it. But Tamela and I met on the phone nearly three years ago. I'd call Cedar Point and she'd answer. And I am confused nearly a hundred per cent of the time as a man over the phone." she shrugs .. such is life for her. "I didnt meet her face to face until the earthquake they had in the spring. Not the most romantic first meeting. She figured it out right off, of course. And .. well ... It was cleaner and much nicer under the mistletoe." she smiles, but doesn't blush. "She IS incredible ... but I knew that. But we're still sort of playing getting to know you ... you know .. off duty."

Darcy smirks "I knew right away, but what can I's not a brag."She giggles "Off duty. Beginnings are always the nice part." She goes and checks her bulgar again. It's cold now, frozen around the edges even. She takes a fork and chips at it, laughing "Shit....well slightly frozen salad. Don't tell Vincent. That kid can cook like a pro. I suspect my shortcuts break his brain a little." She mixes the veggies in and the lemon juice she had set aside with olive oil and salt and pepper. Frozen or not, it smells like tabbouleh and delicious. She pulls the kebabs out and checks them, also done. She plates up two kebabs each and a few big scoops of the salad and grabs cutlery. she hands Frank a plate of food and a knife and fork and gestures to the small table.

Frank laughs. "No .. brag! Brag!" then she bites her lip. "Oh yes they are. Two dates and counting." she chuckles at the mention of Vincent. "He's had some training, has he? I know his musical talent is fantastic. He could make money at it. HE doesn't believe it but ...." she shrugs. "Chalk that up to his bastard father. But he told me he wants to do something practical just in case ... which is smart." she moves to the table. "And she cooks, too." she teases.

Darcy settles in, pulling pieces of chicken off the skewer and cutting them up a bit. "Tamela? Well that's good. Food is meant to be loved and shared. I keep telling my sister that, especially going into the new year and her season of resolution and self hatred." She takes a bite of the chicken and it's so glorious she can't speak for awhile.

Frank shakes her head. "No, I meant you. Well it hasn't been established exactly how good Tamela is in the kitchen yet." she grins. "I agree. Your sister is on a self-hatred kick? I guess we all do that from time to time." she begins to eat and nods with a little moan at the taste.

Darcy blushes and gets a looks of dawning "Oh...thanks...well I love food." She says laughing and then gets a more serious look "I have a you know she looks like me..." She laughs again at her own stating the obvious and then says sarcastically "You know...because that's how it WORKS.....anyhow, total opposites. Marianne is a hairdresser, runs her own shop now and it's a great business success. But she's always been suckered by the whole beauty thing, which of course is a huge moneymaker to make women especially just feel like she feels like crap. Now we used to look more alike, but she's done her boobs and a few tucks et cetera....but never fail, in January, there will be some crazy diet plan and a new gym. I'm trying to get her into yoga so she's more in tune with the health side than the appearance stuff but I don't can't give someone self esteem right? And for her, she won't believe anyone telling her she's beautiful anyways unless it's a man she thinks could love her. It's fucked..."

Frank eats a bit more and swallows with a sigh. "Ahhh yes. Oh so THAT was your sister? Seriously?" she blinks a little in disbelief. "Yeaaaa ... she's .. a little too done up, but .. I don't really like that. And .. well .. yeaaaa .. man that sucks. And let me guess the guys take FULL advantage, right?"

Darcy snaps her fingers "That's right she brought me coffee on Christmas Day so you probably saw her then. I felt bad for not introducing her but I got stuck on a phone call from Mrs. Norris of all people....Sam was nice enough to chat with her while that went on anyway. He's a pal. But yeah, some guys are total assholes and if they're charming at first, Mari just absorbs it like a's horrible to watch."

Frank nods. "Yea ... I noticed that coming out from bringing Tom his breakfast. Once she figured out I was a woman, she assumed correctly that I was gay and so I pretty much dropped below her radar." she doesn't say it angrily .. it is simply the way it happened. "Sam entertained her. He's good for that. His honesty is refreshing and he's a blast, if you haven't hung out with him, you should. Well .. I might be too late now .. he has some clubs you can find some very sexy women in ... if you ever need another half a night stand." which is what Tamela had called it .. but it fit.

Darcy laughs "He's mentioned them and we do sort of hang out as much as I do that. He's become one of my closest friends here." She looks confused "Half night stand? Is this some new dating lingo I missed...because that happens. And why too late? I mean I'm not planning on clubbing TONIGHT if that's what you mean...ugh the thanks."

Frank grins. "Half night stand meaning you cum ... and go .. before morning, And too late meaning you're on Mommy duty now, although that shouldn't stop you." she chuckles. "And yea the crowd will be on the inlet. It's shallow enough it stays frozen most of the winter."

Darcy blushes deeply "It is different with a kid. I mean his Dad pulled all kinds of crap with bringing people home. I think he saw some stuff he really shouldn't have way too young. I know he's a teenager now and I could probably just do what I want, but it's our space, his home too and I want him to feel totally safe here. I've chosen a space with easy to close off bedrooms and basically we each have our own bathroom. Mine's an en suite even so he'd never see me or a partner in a state that's indecent. And hell he has a girlfriend already so maybe the privacy is for him....he swears he's waiting until marriage but he also knows about protection so whatever happens, I just hope they make good choices."

Frank frowns. "Yea ... I know who Gino was bangin. And HER daughter I've seen around town with Joey Piccolo. You're giving him a good home, but he IS a teen aged boy .. who knows. I've met men in their 20's that were still virgins" she sips her drink. "But there's no reason you cant get a little play time in when he isn't home, or go to her place. I know I probably sound like Sam in a lesbian .. how disturbing it THAT idea." she laughs.

Darcy almost spits out her salad at that laughing and slowly chews, one finger held up before saying "Are you kidding? I'm sure Sam WISHES he was a lesbian?" She keeps laughing and then says "Well there's no SHE so there's no issue. I'm in no hurry. i need to sort my head out before I can share my heart that way. I'm not really the half night or one night stand type...Tamela was a fluke. I was reckless after Afghanistan for awhile. I didn't know who I was."

Frank laughs. "Yea ... believe me, I have ribbed him more than once about that huge honking ...." she pauses strategically. "Clit of his." she winks, as of course the natural word with Sam would have been nose. She grins. "Fair enough and I admit ... I'm glad it didn't work out with you and Tamela. I thought she'd just always be a fantasy."

Darcy snorts about the word clit for Sam's nose "Oh my god Frank...I won't be able to look at his face now......" She shakes her head and then tilts it with a little smile "Some people are not meant to be your person. Hopefully for you and Tamela, you just are if that's what you want. I can tell you really like her." She thinks a bit and goes back to the other topic "So there was a woman who wanted to sleep with Gino all the time? I guess I did see a blonde coming and going from the building....but all the reports of his crossing the line. What kind of woman would WANT that guy? You know...."

Frank chuckles a bit at the idea of looking at Sams nose and smiles about Tamela and her. "I do, but ... there's no rush. We're pretty deeply in lust ... the rest ... we'll see." she sighs. "Yeaaaa ... that would be Kenzie Dale. She works at the Door serving drinks and occasionally more." she purses her lips. "Face it ... Gino is a pig, but he is an EMPLOYED pig ... or he WAS." she figures he'd lost his job for not showing up. "Decent looking guy, has a job and the kind of charming some women with no self-esteem flock to, even when he screws other women, slaps them around or otherwise disrespects them." she sighs. "We have a few of them on the island. Working at the Blue Door .. it winds up being JUST the side of prostitution." she shrugs and goes back to her meal. "This really IS good, Darc."

Darcy has been enjoying her ow food creations too and grins "Thanks." She adds more about the Gino situation "Well if he comes back here, we have enough to arrest and hold him on with all the charges and reports. Maybe he'll pop back over to see this Kenzie Dale. I've never eve been to the Blue Door myself....because you know...hermit..."

Frank chuckles, making rather short work of the meal. "Yes, and I really hope we can get to him before the chief does. What dude did to his wife is starting out as attempted rape. It'll probably wind up being a lesser charge." she chuckles. "Oh be patient. It's only been a few months. Oddly ... it's usually very peaceful there. We had one major incident there in 2014 ... my first October. Someone pulled out a gun and there was a stampede. Fourteen injured, one dead. But most of the cops don't club on the island anyway ... keeps us looking more professional."

Darcy just sighs "Son of a bitch....Well we chose it right? Law enforcement. I like the days when we can really make a difference, course we all do. At some point I may let Sam drag me out to a club but it's not my scene. I successfully dodged that Winter formal thing. I don't really dance. I never have. Marianne can't understand it because she can't stop dancing once she starts. I can stand to slow dance if the other woman knows what she's doing and can just let me fake it. But otherwise in a bar, it's a little boring, just sitting there. I start making up stories in my head about the other patrons to pass the time. And crowds....with the exception being conventions....I do like those. You know ComiCon and ....I suppose I should confess...I like Star Trek....a lot."

Frank nods. "Someone's gotta do it." she admits. "Well, if I go these days its mostly to see if I can get laid, I confess. But I haven't been since spring." she shrugs. "But it an be boring if you don't already have someone to talk to." she chuckles. "You go to conventions? A Trekkie?" she nods. "I can see that. I've worked them for the extra money more than anything else."

Darcy blushes a bit "Thank you for not judging my nerdiness. I'm not like a Trekkies Trekkie, but I do love the shows."

Frank chuckles. "What does that even MEAN?" she asks, leaning back a bit. "What about nature? Camping, hiking, long walks. Stuff like that?"

Darcy laughs "The Trekkies documentary? It's a little scary...some of the fans. I'll lend it to you sometime." She beams "Oh yeah I love hiking and walking. It's part of the reason I chose to live in BC. The weather lets you do more of it with less layers."

Frank laughs. "Sure why not? I'll read just about anything." she winks. "Yea. I pick a place every year and go. So far no favorites. Might just be a me thing .. or maybe I need company. No idea."

"It's a DVD because you need to see it to believe it. My sister gave it to me as a joke.." She says wryly. "I've been meaning to do the Sunshine Coast go hut to hut over a week. But I should probably see if the kid likes nature that much. He grew up in Toronto and I think he's pretty urban. I know I could leave him on his own too at some point but I don't know if I'd take off on him for a week at 14. Does Tamela hike and camp?"

Frank laughs. "That's .. kind of scary ....." she admits. "Yea ... sleeping on the ground ... NOT my ideal. And a city kid like him? I dunno ... he is a city kid, but never know." she pauses and bites the corner of her lip. "Since his mother died, I'm pretty sure he's had at least weekends all on his own. Shit the kid was the parent and the parent was the kid if what I've overheard is any indication." she smiles. "Yea .. she does. I was thinking of inviting her to this place I heard of called Falcon Island. Trails of all difficulties and cabins because .... I need cabins."

Darcy waves off the ground sleeping woes "You just need a thermarest. They're great insulators. I could sleep under the stars on a clear night. I used to sneak out and sleep in the yard when we lived in Comox.....the forest was right out our back door....I saw a post for the Falcon place. It looks great! Vincent will not be parenting me....part of the reason to make sure I get to my counselling sessions. I don't want to put my crap on him like his Dad did, ever."

Frank chuckles. "As long as it is at least an inch thick, like a cot mattress. Other than that ... no thanks." she grins. "My Dad used to take me places during vacation. Around all the shit with my mom, he started giving flying lessons, but never really like hiking or camping. THAT I learned on my own, more thanks to my mom." she smiles. "See ... THAT'S good parenting. I mean in his case ... yea he probably has some odd quirks as a result of his dad. Well, I KNOW he does." she admits.

"My goal is to not give any more baggage. I mean he's still got his father issues to undo and his mother's death. Either of those is enough to send a kid in the wrong direction but he had both." Darcy sighs and then smiles "And yet YOU didn't become a pilot? Interesting. You can see parts of the world on a hike or from the air that you'd never get to by car. It's magic, pure magic." She's finished eating her food while listening to Frank and is craving more salad "Did you want seconds? Don't be shy....remember I LOVE food."

Frank seems to think about that. "He's got issues, but life is full of that. Like his mother died, left him with his father. Then they move here. But now he has not only regular schoolwork, but the musical Academy stresses. Friends, girlfriend, a foster mother he ADORES ... " she grins, but also shrugs. "Baggage, baggage and baggage BUT ... some bags are lighter, nicer and easier to deal with than others." she shrugs. "Honestly? I USED to fly. My license lapsed a long time ago. And anything you can get to by air, you can get to in other ways ... but its a longer and tougher journey." she winks and leans back. "Yea . what the hell. After the holidays I'll work it all off." she chuckles.

Darcy walks to the salad bowl to bring it over and points menacingly "No negative body image talk. Besides it's herbs, veggies and whole grains. There's nothing to work off....and your bowels will thank you later." She jokes and then comes over and heaps another big spoonful on each of their plates "I have more kebabs too if you want. I just wanted more mint in my day and this has lots. Of course my 17 cups of mint tea a day too will still happen."

Frank laughs richly. "If I eat enough of it, my image AND bowels will rebel." she replies. "And yes to the Kebabs." she blinks. "So you're well hydrated AND regular." she snorts and dryly comments. "Oh if only I'd known, I would have jumped you MONTHS ago."

Darcy blushes and laughs "Thank you for the thought." She jokes and then goes to get another kebab "I think I'm just sensitive about the diet talk because of Marianne. I honestly don't care what I look like. I do practice hygiene but have to remind myself to actually brush my hair and make sure I don't walk to the grocery store in pajama pants more know once a week. I suppose I could have SLIGHTLY higher standards but I just really don't care. I do exercise but not to..." She does quotes in the air "stay thin." unquote "But to deal with anxiety. It's all stress relief. I jog...i love yoga. It all keeps me sane. But I also a horse." She laughs "And I refuse to abide by calories and points and rules about it."

Frank nods. "That sounds like me a lot. I work out to keep healthy and in shape. But also ye, my mother was big on how a young lady shouldn't do .. insert list of 20 thousand things here ... which of course included not being boyish." she snorts. "I am in excellent shape, excellent health and I plan to stay that way. I've had my self destructive time, thanks." she grins. "But yoga is beyond me. Like tying yourself into a perfect square knot ... or becoming Twister champion." she laughs. "You eat a lot of veggies, which in my opinion .. don't count really. I'm still in my 'cheat time' .. during the holidays I just stop counting and I know when I'm in danger of gaining weight ... is your sister a slave to the scale? That's not a good thing? Damn things should all be melted down."

Darcy laughs "I'd probably kick ass at Twister now. I haven't tried since I was a kid. Sounds like you have a good relationship with your health. That's good to hear. I love vegetables. I'm a junkie for outdoor markets in the season....we have nothing on the markets in the middle East though....all the spices, the music...just the layers of culture in every direction. I got so hooked. And yeah Marianne has several scales in her house. She gave me one a few years ago. I put it in the donation bin for Goodwill. And yoga doesn't have to be like that. I like the ones that are more active, lots of standing poses where you move through a sequence with some good balance challenges."

Frank nods. "Well, I am into marshal arts too, which keeps me in shape. Last I checked I was like 101 pounds .. mostly muscle." she considers. "See we have a sort of food festival, which is mostly the restaurants. It gets very social here in spring and summer. The tourists in force then. Don't think Sewid like it. And its hard to tell if thats his mayoral position or his personal one." she sighs thinking about yoga. "I am probably too tense for yoga .. but not for judo or Karate .. go figger."

Darcy makes a point with her fork That's exactly why people SHOULD do yoga....tension gone when you're done!" she chews and then thinks "You know I've never met the mayor, seen him, but never talked to him. Seems like a bit of an ass, but like I say I don't know the guy. He's been mayor forever though eh?"

Frank swallows her salad and spears some meat, pointing it right back. "Come to one of my tourneys. I relieve a lot of stress when I can get in a mixed class and STILL beat the hell out of a heavyweight." she winks. "Better than orgasm ... almost." she eats the meat and after swallowing nods. "Forty or fifty years? I asked about elections and was told there aren't elections here. No one runs against him. And yeaa ... hes a bit of an ass. Has a bit of a problem with .. alternative lifestyles... if you get my drift."

Darcy grins "Sounds like fun. I have a lot of hand to hand combat training from both police and military training. although mostly I just flew the chopper in my tours...mostly. But I did learn all the other stuff, which was necessary now and then." she blushes about the better than an orgasm. Darcy is clearly not as forthright as Frank. She makes a face about the mayor and his "problem" and grunts "Alternative we're mating with lizards or something."

Frank looks interested. "Tell me more." she asks about the war stories. She just loved stories. "Yes .... we have dark and secret rituals, which is why we are burning in the worst of the hells you know. And its WORSE for gay men and even WORSE for 'others'" she uses air quotes.

Darcy frowns "Is he religious or something or just one of those assholes?" She ponders "You want to know about Afghanistan? That was my last tour....and probably my last ever. Most of it was...well as good as it can be over there right. Lots of poverty...women with no rights under a terrible misogynist regime. Took my CO Trent a day or two to realize most of the women weren't even allowed to talk to him. So I put on a headscarf and really polished my Dari. We were mostly getting women and kids out of harm's way so Trent and the guys just had to learn how to shut up, not an easy one for a talkative fellow who's used to being in charge."

Frank shrugs. "He's old .... things were probably a LOT different when he was a boy." she then listens and nods. "Yea, that sounds like a challenge for Westerners. But ... I don't know. It sounds .... almost boring." she frowns a bit. "I know it was a war zone, but ... no action? No battle? An I missing something? Just getting the women and children out of the battle zone." she shrugs.

Darcy swallows and nods "We did have to fight our way out to get people to safe houses. It was mostly paramilitary groups, warlords...gangs. But yeah, there were skirmishes on a small scale in the work our troop was commissioned for." She suddenly gathers the plates and starts to clean up, looking less than totally comfortable with the topic.

Frank nods. "Well ..." she notes Darcy is gathering plates. "At least the kids were alright ... right?" she offers and then offers. "Need any help? Dishes or whatever?"

Darcy hesitates and almost stumbles and says "As many as could be under the circumstances..." She grabs some containers and tubs up the leftovers and then rinses the gunk off some things and opens the dishwasher "Oh no, I just have to load them in..thanks though."

Frank nods and stands. "Then more egg nog." she pronounces and pours a bit more. "It's been a hell of a year." she is willing to change the subject.

Darcy returns to stand beside Frank and takes her glass "Thank you." The words are spoken with the notion that she's also thankful for the subject change "Do you want to sit in the living room with it? You were requesting the view and we're closer to it there."

Frank nods. "Hell yes!" she proclaims and moves to look out of the window. "Man .... we should use your place to save fuel on the copters." she jokes looking out at the view. "Whats with the heavy curtains? I'd take em down and just ... wow. Its incredible up here." she marvels.

Darcy sighs "Vincent's girlfriend, Fiona...terrified of heights. We didn't find out until she came over for dinner with her family.Poor kid....I can't even imagine." Darcy talks about a fear of heights like other people might someone having an incurable and painful disease.

Frank turns. "Oh shit. Poor kid!" she shares the pity. "So you cover the windows for her. Nice. I like the Reinhardt kids. Fiona has spunk. Her brother Owen .... he's going to fall in the water and need rescuing someday. Like a landing albatross, that one. But Shay ... he's a fantastic hockey player!" she smiles. "Don't know the oldest one .. he didn't go to school here."

Darcy fills in the gap "Logan. He's nice too. Sarcastic, like Fiona and John. You can really see the genetics...well maybe it's nurture over nature there...." she laughs. "Colleen is nice too...and beautiful. I really did try not to look." Darcy blushes "But you know..."

Frank laughs. "A great family and yea ..... Colleen Reinhardt ... Makes you want to sprain your ankle, doesn't she?" she laughs and holds up a hand. "I'm not trying to convert but ... " she whistles low. "Then again, Doc McKinney isn't too shabby either."

Darcy smirks "You know I haven't even gotten myself on the patient list here with anyone. Mari was nagging me...but I should actually have a check up one of these days. Not to convert any medical professionals..." She jokes "Just for good health."

Frank grins. "I hate pelvics .... But it never hurts to peek." she winks. "And they're great. Mrs Norris ... not so much .. but like Kitty Carmichael ..." she whistles low again. "If you insist on continuing your celibate lesbian nun act, you might want to talk to her .. she has some toys that can make you perfectly alright not having a woman in your life."

Darcy almost spits out her eggnog and then blushes and laughs "Your concern is touching Frank. I'll take it under consideration. I also suspect your drive might be a little higher than mine. I'm not feeling like a deprived celibate lesbian nun. Although I'd be fascinated by the inner workings of such an order."

Frank grins. Anything for a friend." she replies, dryly. "My drive actually seems to ebb and flow, depending on if there is someone I want to touch who also wants to touch me. It got switched on, but I DO believe that those of us with stressful jobs, need whatever releases we can get." she considers. "Think about it ... Sam is probably the most chill of all of us, and my guess is he works out as much as any of us, but probably gets laid more than any of us ... well ... maybe the Chief gets more ... he's chilled a lot since around spring." she folds her arms. "And you DO turn a lovely shade of red. Sam nailed that one ... no pun intended ... probably ..." she smirks.

Darcy just shakes her head "Sadly he did not nail that, because he'd make a very ugly woman. So your saying if Tamela hadn't been shoved under that mistletoe you'd be toned down 5 notches? See I'm not so much proximity and available as I am feelings....cliche I know but I guess I'm a slow mover when I'm being true to myself. But it's been a few years since my last big relationship. I'm not really into the idea of marriage but I lived common law with a woman named Thea for three years. I thought she was it but she couldn't take my being away for so long and she met someone. We're still friends though. I even stood up for her at her wedding, which was a bit weird to her family but her wife got it. You must have had someone like that...or a few with how much braver you are than me?"

Frank laughs. "Good point. DOG ugly." she holds up three finger. "Three notches. Maybe three and a half." she pauses as Darcy goes on, listening to her story. After her question, Frank hesitates, but replies after thirty or so seconds. "I avoid feelings. Give me a willing woman, good with her tongue that I can have great conversation with and that's as close as I want to be." she insists. "You're better than me. I don't speak to exes ... granted I don't really have all that many, because I don't get that deeply involved but .. yea." she clears her throat and moves into the kitchen, making up the second half of the egg nog.

Darcy notes the hesitation and the sudden need to be busy. She's surprised because Frank is so open...but she also gets it because that's her defense move. She contemplates digging but holds off for now "Mmm more eggnog? We're going to be on a sugar crash by the fireworks...." She jokes.

Frank begins cracking eggs, pouring milk and adding her special blend of spices. "No counting calories. YOUR rule, not mine." she teases. "And I better not crash here. I might get in trouble." she lets out something between snort, huff and laugh.

Darcy laughs "Well there's no booze so we're cool. Plus I would make you sleep on the couch." She grins "Do you drink at all by the way? I'm not a big drinker but I do once and awhile."

Frank runs the blender and, satisfied nods. "Sleep on the couch. Yea. I need one of my students to see THAT .. already I'm the doghouse with your mom, Vincent ... take advantage of the easy passing grade." she teases. "And nope. I don't drink at all. My mother did ... that was more than enough for me."

Darcy smirks and then shudders " drinking AND religion AND homophobia. Sounds like a trip."

Frank nods and laughs. "Ohhh yea .... You get the idea. My mother drank because I was a terrible daughter. Hated dresses. Played with the boys and not with the girls when younger, but then when I SHOULD have played with the boys it was the girls I wanted. Shamed my mother, shamed God, disgraced both blah blah blah. Hell, not even straight camp could make me change." she shrugs. "And yet ... I'm relatively happy. Not the lesbian that meets, fucks, moves in with, fights, rinses and repeats. My mother on the other hand ... with luck, shes at least stopped praying for me."

Darcy listens carefully. There's a lot in there. When Frank finishes she kindly asks "So who is the lesbian who meets, fucks, moves in with fights, rinses and repeats?" She feels like there's something Frank is referencing but not explaining well.

Frank looks at Darcy for a long moment. "Well ... that's a bit of an exaggeration." she backpedals a bit. "Meets, knows for a decent amount of time before sex and moving in, no fights, nears ultimate commitment, abandonment ... not sure about the rinse and repeat, to be honest." she blows out a breath. "And no ... I am not the one abandoning people." she says as if taking about not one but TWO other parties. But certainly not herself.

Darcy gives Frank a sad look and walks over to her mixing the nog "Sounds like a shitty deal. I won't make you talk about it if it's too upsetting....but if you want to...." She gives a head tilted shrug as if to say it's an option.

Frank refills their two glasses. "What the hell." she hands Darcy her glass. "Might prove therapeutic, right?" she looks into the glass. "I fell in love with a woman. We moved in together. It wasn't perfect, but that seemed good to me. We didn't agree on everything. What couple does?" she pauses and takes a deep breath. And then is silent for a long time, watching nutmeg float around in her glass as she decided to give her the short version. "She ... asked me to marry her. I accepted." she pauses again, realizing that even the short version was painful. "Literally the next day, I came home from work ... and she was gone. Her clothes gone ... all her favorite books and appliances gone." she shrugs. "Never heard from her again." she takes two large gulps of her drink and looks at Darcy, stoically dry-eyed.

Darcy looks both sympathetic and amazed "Holy shit Frank. I'm sorry. Do you think she ... I mean... I'm sure you've gone through all the questions... Damn..."

Frank sighs. "Oh yea. I stayed in Calgary in the same place for a year. Then in the city another four years before I heard about this job, applied, interviewed and got it. All told ... six years of my life. But .. not a peep. I didn't search for her except to google her name looking for obituaries or something. I didn't move, didn't change my cell phone number until I moved here." she sighs. "I doubt she's dead. But it left its mark, sure. No love. No serious commitments. Thanks but no."

Darcy leans on her elbows on the counter and says awkwardly "You probably need to tell Tamela all this before things get too involved. I dunno her past but it's only fair she knows your triggers right? Fair to both of you really."

Frank blinks. "We did a rescue together, kissed under the mistletoe and had two separate nights of, granted, mind blowing sex." she reports. "I'm not sure we're at the 'if we fall in love please don't abandon me' stage yet." she sighs. "Granted she did tell me about her fiance dying so .... I dunno...." she is clearly hesitant.

Darcy winces and nods "You just strike me as a card on the table kinda gal. So does Tamela if she's telling you that already."

Frank blows out a breath. "I know, Darcy ... I know ..." she sighs deeply. "I've actually not done very much of the friends with bennies thing. The only time was .. well . the only guy I ALMOST had sex with." she chuckles and then sips her egg nog. "But you're right ... part of me wanted to wait until I was in love ... being in lust is such a nice feeling and I'm not sure we've taken that extra step."

Darcy makes a face "Eww boys...well I guess you gotta know right?" She laughs "I've considered one or two of them but then the stubble on the face and the man smell....just a turn off.... And you and Tamela are shiny and new. You've got time. So who was the guy?"

Frank considers. "If the words 'I love you' come out of her mouth I will tell her right then my little phobia with those words ... especially if I feel the same, okay?" she compromises, although she is thinking she should just out with it. "Well my father had just rescued me from the second straight camp, right? That basically meant he picked me up, had my things in the car and we took a vacation. To Vancouver, actually. Anyway, we were trying to begin again and, trying to reconcile with my mother from the FIRST straight camp incident, my Dad had given up his sports casting job and had become a flight instructor. So he did that in Vancouver while I hung around the local college sort of trolling for chicks." she chuckles and moves herself and the pitcher of egg nog into the living room, hoping Darcy was going to follow. She folds herself onto the couch, feet off the floor and under her.

Darcy does follow "And you found a guy instead of a chick?" She teases.

Frank laughs. "I know, right?" she shrugs. "There was this guy. I do't know how to describe him, really. Half Aboriginal First Nation and half Native American. I actually met him at the colleges LGBT club. He and I got to talking and I was feeling guilty that my father left my mother .... and so I brought him around my father. You know ... oh look dad .. I really like this guy! aybe you and mom can get back together!..." she sighs. "I even conned Dad into giving him flying lessons so he could see us in vatious stages of the dating process."

Darcy nods knowingly "So was he kind of agreeing to be your fake boyfriend? And damn you must have really wanted your folks back together...but then what...I mean if that had done it.....would you have to propose to fly boy?"

Frank sighs again. "Catholic guilt is a POWERFUL thing, Darcy. And I know my Dad loved my mom ... and I didn't want him looking at me .. thinking it was my being gay that broke them up." she grins. "If it had 'cured me' .... I don't know ... but it didn't." she giggles. "He had a good tongue. Good fingers. Very bi or pan or something sexual so he was OK with women OR men .. but ... it didn't work. I mean technically I'm not a virgin, but .. he got maybe halfway inside of me .. maybe three quarters and I looked up at him and just said 'This isn't working. Please stop.' And he did." she laughs. "He said okay and I'll be right back. I heard the shower so I'm guessing he finished himself off...."

Darcy has to laugh a bit "Polite of him to not go for it in front of you I suppose. Geez. parents are United Church so it's more relaxed. And while they kept thinking I might eventually come around to men, they also weren't unkind about it. Then they joined PFLAG and got almost righteous about having a lesbian daughter. My mom watches Ellen DeGeneres now because she's one of "my people". The rest of her news and pop culture she gets from the tabloids...but thinks it's real news."

Frank actually giggles. "Good point. And he'd BEEN in the perfect position to rape me and didn't ... so believe me .. since than I've been VERY happy to have even that failed sexual experience with a man. I was only fifteen." she smiles. "Well, I think it would have been alright if my mother could have done that. But nope .... " she looks curious. "Are they happy that, even as a lesbian, you've given them a grandson?" she wonders.

Darcy nods "That could have been a way worse story. I'm glad it wasn't. They do like Vincent. They haven't seen him since Thanksgiving though but they do know and they were happy to hear about it. There's always a horrible chance some social worker could rip him away still. Once we know what Gino's fate is, I might petition to formally adopt Vincent."

Frank nods. "That's unlikely. Hell all of us at the shop are ready to provide testimony for you ... and against Gino. But adoption?" she smiles. "I think that would be great. He deserves that kind of happiness."

Darcy nods "Eventually, yes. And thank you." She sips another glass of the nog "Protein for a week." she says with a smile.

Frank chuckles. "OK .... I won't tell you the words that came into my mind when you said that. Sam is supposed o be our office perv. I'm happy to be in second place."

Darcy rolls her eyes and cringes "Uaaaagh....Frank! I'm going to have to watch my mouth....k no let me reword that because there's another one for you pervs. I'm going to have to choose my words carefully."

Frank points at her. "Exactly. Just think of us as practice for Vincent ... but ... kids today ... holy shit the things they SAY. Like they think the staff is deaf." she sighs.

Darcy snorts "Yeah I'd believe it. But if they can shock you...that's impressive."

Frank sighs and frowns a little bit. "They didn't exactly SHOCK me, but ... they're talking about YOUR son ....." she sighs again. "The rumor is that Kenzie Dale spent the night with Gino and came out naked the next morning, but the BOTH got an eyeful. I guess Vincent sleeps .. or slept naked. Anyway .. she told her daughter, who told the whole damn school, apparently that Vincent is hung like a horse ..." she doesn't seem pleased to be the bearer of this news.

Darcy frowns at the lead in to the story and then her eyes widen, her cheeks flush and she purses her lips, her jaw tensing "Kenzie Dale is the woman who works at the Blue Door, and adult talking about a minor like he's a commodity? And the daughter is who?" She looks like she's about to start writing down names and step into her uniform to follow up with absolute severity.

Frank sighs. "That would be her. Her daughter is Daisy Dale .. who HAD a crush on Vincent but is with Joey Piccolo. Bad boy, bad news." she sighs deeply. "I know you're pissed, Darcy."

Darcy stands up and paces "Pissed is putting it mildly. This is sexual harassment! I get why he didn't want to tell me because it's about...personal stuff....but I wish he would have. When was this?" She pushed her hair back from her face in a gesture of frustration.

Frank looks sympathetic. "Maybe you two could talk about it. I mean ... hes not stupid. Surely he knows we're not deaf teachers." she considers. "I don't have an exact date, but I'd say sometime in November. That's when the giggling, whispering and pointing at started that I can remember."

"He's not going to like that conversation, I many kids end up in this and get depressed or suicidal. I mean I don't think he's depressed right now. Girl or boy, being sexually exploited can lead to huge psychological problems." Darcy stops pacing and sinks into the couch "This is the part of parenting that's not so fun..."

Frank nods. "Yea .. I know I know. But Vincent seems pretty good. A tad insecure and sometimes temperamental, but I'd blame that on being a 14 year old boy, but these rumors . they're starting to fade ... but yeaaa ... " she pats Darcy's shoulder. "Put it off till next year...." she tried a little humor insertion.

"Next year.." She smiles a bit "Yeah that might work for a few things. And he is a pretty normal teenager. He asked me how he looked tonight and it's not like Fiona and he are there's the insecurity. I have a feeling she's not withholding affections based on whether or not he's in a new sweater or an old one. They really do seem quite smitten."

Frank laughs. "Yea, I gotta admit .. they're a cute couple. But the harpist and the goth girl ... who could have predicted THAT." she grins. "It's sorta neat being a teacher AND a cop in this town."

"I'll bet. Puts you in touch with the youth more than some of our crew. It's good for kids to trust cops. I mean I know there are some shitty ones out there that give people reason to mistrust us, especially when there's the abuse of power related to anything racial, but the more we can reach out and show we care, the better." Darcy rolls her head from side to side on her neck and glances out the window.

Frank nods. "A few more hours before the Fire Department sets off the fireworks." she considers. "You can hear the music from the studio up here ... I heard the mayor exempted him from the loud music a few days ago. Maybe he's softening in his old age ... or finally officially senile?"

Darcy smiles "You can't fight all the fun right? There's gotta be some joy in that guy's life too. I mean no offence but October would make most mayors want to quit...or at his age retire. So he must still be in it because he likes the place. What's our twin town like by the way? I heard that other mayor came for the Winter dance thing."

Frank nods. "It's like Alexandra is his kid. He almost never leaves .. but took an unscheduled mini vacation over Christmas." she chuckles. "Cedar Point is our sister city. Does that make our PD's incestuous?"

Darcy gives Frank's leg a little teasing kick "Well you're the one screwing a Cedar Point cop, not me." She jokes. She clearly getting comfortable hanging out with Frank now.

Frank grins. "Yes. I. Am." she shudders. "And she's great. That's the problem." she nudges back.

Darcy laughs "How is that a problem? Too enjoyable to gaze at? Too much fun in bed? How terrible for you Frank..." She wiggles her eyebrows and gestures at her TV "I have Janeway though, the whole collection. I'm quite happy with the's that raspy sultry voice...And Torres...her blood is so sweet. Course then there's far down do the spots go..."

Frank snorts. "OK, so I'm a little worried I might fall in love with her." she confesses and looks at the TV. "SO you're a Star Trek Slut ... nice." she folds her arms defiantly. "But Dax was a smidge too Femme, even if she never wore a skirt."

Darcy points and smiles and then shrugs "I'm getting that sense about you and Tamela. I don't mind femme as long as she doesn't want it from me. I mean I'm not totally butch...more neutral I guess. My ex, Thea, is very feminine and she does it well, not overdone, but sort of classic. It also helps that she looks like a Greek Goddess." She walks pulls a photo album from the lower shelf of the TV cabinet "I probably should put these away...but you know..." She flips to a page with just one picture of a beautiful dark haired robust woman "This was when she went to Greece actually, anyhow...married. They want to do the whole in vitro thing now. It's so bloody expensive I'm suggesting they find a healthy willing male and try a turkey baster instead."

Frank just snorts at the idea she may fall in love with anyone. Then she looks at the album. "Nice ... and yea . on the turkey baster. Or adopt. I know this ONE lesbian ... thinking about adopting the Italian version of Oliver Twist ... great gal."

Darcy cracks up "Oliver Twist? Nice. He might even like that. And hey it let me skip the diaper and puked upon stages!"

Frank laughs along. "Yea, all you have to do is make sure he has pajamas and broach the penis size discussion ...." she shakes her head. "Oh to be a fly on the wall ..."

Darcy looks horrified "I'm not going to ask him about that detail. None of my business and so not an appropriate conversation. He has his own bathroom...I never need to know that! But I will ask about the bullying and harassment."

Frank chuckles. "I know you wouldn't. At least he isn't a micropenis. Bad enough his father seems to be a pig, but Vincent seems OK ... same girlfriend for months."

Darcy closes her eyes like she's trying to block some of this out "OK no more using the word penis...micro or macro... in relation to the la la la!" She pretends to put her fingers in her ears.

Frank laughs. "OK, I'm sorry. Wasn't thinking." she apologizes. "He's a good kid. You're going to go a long way to healing him from all his bullshit."

Darcy looks happy to hear the words "I hope so. I think it's healing us both."

Frank arches a brow. "Oh?" she wonders at what Darcy needs to heal from. She seems so together.

Darcy considers this. Frank has shared a lot. Chief Brate knows the deal. It might be good to have another co-worker and now becoming friend who would be aware of her issues. She awkwardly begins "The stuff I'm getting counselling asked about battles in Afghanistan. There was one that...broke me..." She looks down and closes her eyes "I shot a kid...."

Franks eyes widen a bit, although she quickly analyses and comes back with. "Friendly or enemy? On purpose or accidentally." it was a war, after all.

Darcy looks up with tears in her eyes "He was a sniper.....It was dark. He had a scarf on his face. We had to move some refugees and they were shooting at them...I thought he was an adult. He's been my nightmare for years since I uncovered his face. Big brown eyes, about Vincent's age. I know that kid didn't choose his path.....but I ended it."

Frank moves closer, putting an arm around Darcy .. almost but not quite a hug. "Darc ...." she sighs. "I know you'v heard this a million times, probably. Not your fault. The kid didn't choose the path but ... was he armed?" she asks, softly.

Darcy nods and leans into Frank a little "I logical mind does anyway...and yeah he was. Shot two refugees and killed them before I shot him out of a tree." She stifles a sob and wipes at her face, now tear streaked.

Frank sighs and pulls her as an invitation to hug if she wants. "But he was still a kid, right?" she pauses. "Have you talked to others like you? Not just solders. I bet cops in the city have to deal with that too."

Darcy does hugs Frank and gratefully. she nods into Frank's shoulder "Yeah a kid...Trent, my CO, well we're kind in it together that way. Kept us friends all the years. He has this amazing family though...two little girls and a wife that keep him grounded. But I haven't talked to cops...i know it's across the board."

Frank nods. "Well, you have family too. Vincent and your overly made up sister." she rears back a bit and places her hand on her chest. "Plus me and Sam ... hell all of us at the station would have your back on this." she snorts. "It's a small town. The guy the chief shot is a good example."

Darcy smiles slightly, looking comforted "I know...and thank you...Vincent doesn't know yet. Maybe in the new year. Mr. Singh is suggesting I bring him to a session to tell him...."She thinks on what Frank said "The guy the chief shot?"

Frank nods at the idea of telling Vincent in therapy. Then she nods. "Yea. The guy that shot the chief .. that he killed? He was Brate's best friends sisters baby daddy..." she mouths it to herself to make sure she has it right. "Yea ... that's right."

Darcy just sort of shakes her head around as that sinks in "Oh my about 3 degrees of separation? Wow!"

Frank nods. "Yea ... and the best friend? Ryan Yamada ... is a Cedar Point cop ... India Tor is having his baby." she laughs aloud. "Sister cities ... we take that shit seriously."

Darcy snorts "Apparently. Any more lesbians in that small town or did you scoop up the last one?" She jokes.

Frank considers. "I think Tams fiance and her were the only ones in Cedar Point. But I don't get there ... might more now though ..." she clears her throat. "Here its you and me. Jasmine ... has her moments. Bi-sexual. As is Kitty Carmichael. You know in case you just want a little tickle."

Darcy inhales, sitting a little more upright "Hmmm....Kitty and Sam though...I dunno if I could..." She laughs."And I don't really know Jasmine either..." She exhales "Not that I'm looking. Life is full. Maybe down the road though...who knows."

Frank laughs a little. "Well, I've never done any of them either. Jasmine is my roommate but ... no we never have. Her room is pink ... our living room is red .... but its a roof." she grins. "Alright .... lets look at the crowd ..." she moves to the window. "It's a big bunch this year .... wow ..."

Darcy snickers and follows Frank, marveling at how the time has flown. She was so afraid the night would be so awkward it would crawl but she's so glad she accepted Frank's invitation to spend New Years hanging out together "Oh yeah..glad we're up here. But they look cheerful about it. Hey I can see the bonfire in the Reinhardt yard...can't tell who's around it but I'm sure Vincent is there somewhere."

Frank peers over. "I should have brought binoculars from one of the squad cars." she smirks. "Or maybe I'll just tell Vincent I did and sew who Fiona put in the fire ... believe me, she would go there .. only in words tho." she looks around. "This is an INCREDIBLE view. I only see it from the air if I'm in a copter and if I'm in a copter I'm not in it for the view." she laughs.

Darcy laughs heartily "Oh I know...morbid girl but good hearted. And he plays right into it. Funny kids. I love the view too..." She glances at the clock as she notices the fireworks starting up "Oh countdown time!!"

Frank chuckles in agreement and looks half at her watch and half at the fireworks. "OOOOOO two seconds early. I'll have to give Chief Stanley a hard time about that. Happy New Year, Darcy." and she kisses her quickly on the cheek ... a friendship kiss, them moves to text Tams.

Darcy accepts the cheek kiss comfortably and responds with a quick hug back "Happy New Year Frank. Thank you for suggesting this."

Frank smiles. "Well it was two fold. One I DO like you and its LONG past when we should have gone out to get to know each other. But also after that freak out with Tams ... I wanted to make sure you were alright and not carrying a torch or worse, pulling a stunt like my ex did ..."

Darcy hugs her again "Oh god no, no torches! Just a socially awkward hermit way out of her element. Thanks for not judging me for it. New Years more freak outs!"

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