2007-11-21: A Master Plan


Cam_icon.gif Church_icon.gif

Summary: Church and Cam have a plan. It is a Master Plan.

Date It Happened: November 21st, 2007

A Master Plan

Brubaker Secondary School; Guidance Office

It's just past lunch, still in the free period that the lunch hour brings, when Cam unexpectedly shows up at Church's office, knocking at the door a little hesitantly.

The door is ajar just by a few inches, and inside of the office, Church is behind the desk; he's on a phone, but sounds to be finishing whatever conversation it might have been. "I told you already that I'd be there, so why- I-" The phone tucks against his shoulder when he hears Cam's faint knocking. The man leans forward in his seat to look at the door and wave the boy in. "Come in, Cam. It's fine, I'm just finishing this up." Church moves the phone back up to his chin. "I have a student in here. Stop calling me at work. Yes, I will. Bye." And with that, the phone clicks back onto the stand.

Cam steps inside after Church invites him in, looking curious about the phone call but doesn't say anything until it's over. Even then, he talks about why he came, coming right out to say it, "Marshall got me a few days ago. I tried fighting back but it didn't work. He said he wants me to tell them Jakey fell, or he'll do it again."

The older man's hand stays on the phone for a few idle moments while Cam speaks; Lawrence has all of his attention on this now. "…I heard about that." He responds calmly, and after a pause. One hand lifts slowly towards the chair across the desk. "You can have a seat if you want. What do you want to do, Cam? What do you think you should do?" First things first, he gauges Cam's reaction rather than impose his own. If Cam is sharp enough, however, he'll be able to detect the simmering frustration behind Lawrence's brown eyes.

That question just earns a tiny shrug from Cam, and he looks down to the floor. "I dunno what to do. They… they shouldn't get away with it, but don't wanna get hit with phonebooks again, or something worse, if nothing's gonna happen."

Church decides to skip telling Cam about Niki's visiting, simply to make it easier. "I want to make something happen, Cam." He eyes the door before getting up himself to shut it tight. "I have some things in mind, but I think I'm going to need your help." Lawrence sidles back towards the desk, and he perches on the corner of it. "If you want to make something happen, then maybe you'll want to help me."

Cam blinks, brightening a little at Church's words. Just a little, though, not getting too hopeful yet. "What do you need me to do?" He sits a bit farther forward in his chair now too. "I want to stop 'em."

"I need some help from you, because I want to set up a trap for catching them. A real trap, not finding out where they go and hoping to find someone being bad." Lawrence begins, in a serious bout of questioning. "Does that still sound like something you would want to do?"

Cam bites his lip a moment, looking down, and then back up, "Will they find out I was the one that set them up? If I do, they might kill me even if they aren't at school anymore.

"They won't have to find out if we just make it look good, you can act fairly well, and you can keep a secret." Church folds his hands over one knee. "The general idea is just to make sure they are somewhere on their usual routes- but a place that I'll also know to watch. If you know their haunts, you could always try telling me those and letting me do things on my own. Or, we could do this together and guarantee someone getting caught and expelled. Hopefully Marshall" He says the name a bit lower in volume, fingers lacing and unlacing as he speaks.

"I don't want to put you in any more danger than you're willing to be in. But I'm in a real bind. I could use your help in letting them target you somewhere- which might mean you could get hurt. Maybe getting them to make a deal. Or even trying to get back on their good side and actually helping them again. It's all up to you if you want to do this- and it'll have to be a deal made man-to-man, because I can't go around asking students- as a teacher- to put themselves on the line for something like this. So this is really just me asking you for a favor, Cam. I need to catch these guys red-handed, and you might be my only guarantee to do it."

Cam bites his lip, looking back down at the floor again as he thinks it over. As he debates the risk with possibly worse down the line. After a short time, he looks back up, and says, "I don't think they'll ever trust me again, so getting back with them won't work. And just getting them to come somewhere won't work, all you'll see is talking. So I'll let them come after me again, if ya *promise* you'll be there."

"If it makes you feel more secure, this is not the first time I have done something like this. Use intentional bait to lure out an attacker. He must, however, actually attack you for me to do anything to him. Extra kudos if you can catch him before a sell- because then he'd also have committed a visible crime, and that will get him out of here faster than the Road Runner avoids Wile. E. Coyote." All of this, Church says with such a solemn look that his words only come in a tone of utter truth. And it is true, very much so- the only difference being that it was never for a school before, only for The Company. "If you will promise to do it, I will promise to be there for you. That is what partners do."

Cam bites his lip again, hesitating a moment more, and then nods a little. "Ok, I will. I promise." He considers a moment then and says, "After school in the locker room area. Hardly anybody goes there after school. He even makes some deals there. I'll go, as if I'm going to shower or something like when I lived at the shelter, and let him catch me."

Church peaks his fingers together in his lap. "Sounds like a plan to me, Cam. Do you want to bide our time, or do this the quick and dirty way-being today or tomorrow? It's up to you and when you would be most ready. I need you in this with all your wits about you." Finally, Lawrence does give Cam a reassuring smile instead of that neutrally serious face.

Cam nods quickly, "Today or tomorrow. Wanna get this over with. Don't wanna be scared to be out in the halls anymore. And if we don't do it quick, he might find me some other place first."
Church nods curtly. "I understand." He doesn't feel the need to tell Cam 'don't go where you don't have to', but keeps it back because he feels the boy already knows this. "Then we've got a plan." Lawrence's shoulders stiffen slightly before he lifts out a hand to Cam to seal the deal.

Cam reaches up to shake Church's offered hand, and smiles a bit. He hops to his feet and says, "Want me to come find you after school, or will you be there?"

Church shakes the boy's smaller hand as if he were the same adult he'd been chatting with emotionally. It's an eager handshake. "It's better if you avoid me. Maybe a little while after too, unless I call you in, alright? I'll be there. Don't look for me, don't yell for me, pretend to forget I'm even there. But I will be."

Cam nods quickly to that and says, "Yeah, ok, got it." He smiles again and says, "Thanks. Hope this works." Then, he's hopping up, and making his way out.

Church follows Cam to the door, but only in order to give the boy a parting smile and close the door behind him. "As do I, Cam. Thank you. Very much." When the boy is gone and the door is closed, Church stands in his office in front of said door for a few more moments; finally, he claps his hands together and grins slyly to nothing but himself. He'll show these little parasites who's the boss now, eh?

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