2011-02-10: All Day Long...



Date: February 10th, 2011


In the elevator.

"All Day Long…"

NYPD Station

Two hours later, and the rest of the station's had its coffee; from the newest file clerk, to the drug dealer caught off-guard at being manhandled in by a woman, to Kotowski, head up and reviewing his team's latest case. Nothing seems radically alarming to any of them; it just seems to be a day for every tower of authority kept locked in their offices for a good portion of the morning. Maybe somebody's getting cut. Maybe it's Powers. Though suggesting as such around the water-cooler got a paper-clip jammed into Nelson's head, so it hasn't been raised much since. But it hasn't been missed that she is missing, nor that her partner hovered conspicuously around the captain's door. Ten seconds later when it opened, it turned out it wasn't his partner he was waiting for.

It was only a few — quick, heated — words around headphones, then Laurie separates himself from the overly taut detective; the two could not look more dissimilar as they part. White earbuds that better serve generations far below his, the polo, the biker's chic, and no badge: the liaison fits in about as well as he ever did, doing the casual stroll towards the hallway elevators like any other citizen, having done his duty. The light takes a second to register, slowing his strides so that, as he reaches the doors, they open, revealing a woman in a tight grey skirt staring adamantly at her phone as reception dips in and out as she merely stands there. Behind him, a few other footsteps might reach the same car. Slipping inside, Laurie puts a hand up to the cool elevator wall, leading him to the right corner where he turns, straight as a pillar but for a lightly crooked head, lending him a clean stare at the completely unremarkable front left edge of the car. The choice of floors, the passingly attractive woman in front of him, and her completely readable phone screen — a text — are no competition for the wall.

Moments later, another office, another emerging participant, another brush-off of Detective Ryan.

It seemed like an eternity before Maggie could get back to her actual job, which is quite in-tact despite her morning. She's finally escaped the offices, the meetings, the statements, and the variations on disapproval from her superiors; she's free to roam the building; to do her job. Despite never making it to the coffeemaker earlier — she's still carrying her coat from coming in, no less — she bypasses approaching it, as well as everything and everyone else, to take a direct path to the small trail of people disappearing into the hallway elevator.

As it threatens make her wait, she catches the door, pushing aside its tendency to trap. An impression of annoyance is stamped into Maggie, a rare dangerousness not usually carried with her on such mundane tasks as entering an elevator. It sharpens her features, deepens her eyes with distractions, and puts an extra briskness to the step that takes her inside. The detective's mood is enough to edge a tech closer to the side as she sweeps in. An uniform steps in after her; Maggie accommodates by fitting like a puzzle piece with the various passengers. She turns, she settles, her shoulder brushes someone else's but her eyes are on the panel of floor numbers. Is hers pressed— ? It is.

Elevator etiquette is such that everyone shifts, as little or as much dictates their personal line between accommodation and craving that last bit of elbow space. Tucked in the corner, there's nowhere for Laurie to go, nor does he block any incomers. Being brushed at the shoulder only instinctively swivels his arm backwards, creating a small nook for the person to fit in nearby, and drifting his arm towards the back wall. His fingers pressing in open fashion, knuckles pointed to the crowd, a soft webbing of balance against the jostle of civilization — one that will only increase when the car actually begins to move. The woman up ahead in the pencil skirt has been maneuvered slightly backwards, swaying on heels, tossing her black hair over her shoulder. That phone is her sole lifeline, and when crowd antics force her to retreat her hand closer, turning the screen away, she sighs and gives into the ride— how many floors are lighted anyway.

Some might say the elevator is in need of repair: its dim lights, its jolting start, its faintly jarring trek along old lines, but in reality it's a sturdy standby. New Yorkers accustomed to subways ride the elevator's little jostles blankly, like automatons. There's no conversation, every passenger solitary. The elevator's motion does seem to cue the officer's radio to go off with a blare of static and commands, faring better than the phone of the woman in the skirt. Maggie shifts idly away from the jut of his elbow reaching for the radio, incrementally closer to the back; the corner.

Regardless of what her mood may be, she glances that way to silently apologize to her fellow passenger for the closeness, to smile politely and knowingly over how small and rocky this elevator can be, don't they all know it. It is, however, not just any passenger she sees in there with her; of course it's Laurie. Surprise chases the harder edges right off her face. They flee down to stiffen her neck, her shoulders— suddenly she stands more alert. On guard. Yet,unguarded, Maggie's face continues to tell another story, one that doesn't show the previous annoyance, instead resuming the same dazed expression from the last moment she saw him — his back, out the door — as if no hours had passed. Almost.

Those staple shuddering walls are firm competition, keeping Laurie's gaze amongst the brushes and bangs, unconscious to the human net that's locked him into the back of that climbing box — the particular shape nearby that is Maggie Powers; one he was last become fairly familiar with. Naturally easing into every sway of the four-walls, he nudges his hand off the back. Brought in the arm obliviously rubs right along hers, coming around to something else she saw last — the waistline of his pants: jeans, today. The belt's a different belt. And in the gap where a leather encasement is missing from the hook, he's replaced it with an iPod, wrapped in pink. His jacket has to be swept slightly aside to allow a forefinger to drape over the tiny instrument, stroking the round dial and then firmly pressing two fingers into its center. Touch stimulates it into being louder — different tune.

Rub of arms draws Maggie's eye to the point at which biker jacket and the cotton of her blouse meet. Laurie may pay no attention, but she's hyper-aware of their happenstance proximity. She immediately hovers on the edge of speaking up, into the elevator so quiet beyond the whoosh and rattle and the familiar radio chatter of the uniform, but she lends no noise even though she opens her mouth to do so — it only stops in place.

Movement draws the same gaze down, dragging with a slow, weighty hesitance — as though she knows where she's looking and tries to stop, but the course is already set. Waistline, belt, hands.


Taking a breath in, Maggie makes a solid effort to regain a prudent expression. She folds her arms rather tightly across her stomach beneath the hang of her folded jacket; an unsettled, anxious rustle of leather as inaudible to the man with music in his ears as her voice might have been. It's her sole movement before she becomes completely and determinedly still. Eyes ahead. No— up to the ceiling. No— the opposite direction. No— the other— there he is again.

He hasn't seemed to move. The subtler orchestrations of his arm hidden in thick folds of jacket, even as every tiny rustle — even just from breath — inhale, exhale, stands out to Maggie, highlighted. Is he moving his hand again; it seems restless there on the iPod. Not that she's looking, of course. Adamant in stare, Laurie's chin has lowered some, a dip of concentration into wherever his steady head's at. A trick of the eye, here and there, wondering if his have ever strayed. Noticed her. He stares on.

An extra harsh jolt of the elevator car dislodges everyone for a second, swaying like marionettes.

The arm's moved. Under cover of the lurch, it's regained something of its old position, angled towards the back wall of the elevator— bracing, for balance. Cross-angle of that hold puts the leather jacket hovering to Maggie's shoulder, the thick, slick fabric looming on the delicate white of her blouse. His hand, presumably splayed on the cold vehicle's back-end. Behind her, it can't be accounted for.

Those could be knuckles sweeping the low of her back with another back and forth of elevator. Only now when she comes forward, there's a tug; part of her shirt lingers behind, caught on a nail. Or a finger. Kneading. Reeling her in. Two fingers. One above rises, parts, splitting fabric between them two, baring her to the back of the elevator in stealth, while other elevator patrons hover inches away, oblivious and staring ahead.

Cold of exposure, warmth of hands


Maggie's breath catches; she holds it. He wouldn't—

Reeled in, she sways backward— into contact. Her gaze hovers secretively down and to the side, wondering, not quite catching him. Her arms drops between them— a barrier, an encouragement— ? Caught in motion, undecided. She can't see, she can only feel; the warmth spreads, newly familiar, inciting; she looks all around at the passengers watchfully— still oblivious— she chances a look along her shoulder, leaning imperceptibly against the biker jacket.

Innocent as day, Laurie's gaze hones blandly forward, drilling holes in the back of the heads of everyone else. Everyone — all it would take is a single head to turn. When none does, the hand becomes more bold; it's a challenge; turn around, I dare you, notice us. But no one greater does that touch speak to than Maggie where it forms, spreading full on her bare back, hitching her shirt up on the thumb on top. Material catches on the tempting hook of her bra, stringing up her indecency, flashing bits of gentler garments. All behind the backs of her world — she's free.

Then down — hands — tracing this soft, naked, canvas. A light — pointed maneuver. It has a destination. A familiar setting— on opposite playing fields.

Waistline, belt, hands.

Fingers hook into her belt, nudging her better than the elevator, and with distinct aim. She sways when no one else does. The arm as barrier has a new proposition. It's riding alongside Laurie's leg. There's jean there, but how easy might come a memory of skin… warm… new… just below private hemlines… she'd gotten a noise out of him.

Bit by bit, Maggie's rigid posture eases — bare skin, hands, her belt and — she's swayed. The rest of her stillness plummets. Unsteadied, she's floating into the furtive, emboldening attention.

Her jacket shifts, carried atop the hand beneath it when it finds his hand on her belt, strapped through her dark dress pants. A couple of fingers uncurl from her hand to smooth onto Laurie's thigh. Would anyone notice; they haven't yet. They're all in their own worlds. Maybe they won't. She side-steps ever-so-slightly amidst the crowd, nearer him, almost in front. Puzzle pieces. Her hand is moving against denim. A buckle.

Little rumblings, the world shifting beneath their feet, carrying them — up, down; the elevator's destination is moot; it moves them together. Her hand meets her own bareness, the back curve of her. They're pressing — he's right there, buckle to belt, when his thumb moves off of hers. Just jean and dress pants — fabric reversal creating the same combination, memories.

Fitting behind her, he becomes a mystery inside an obvious presence. What she can no longer see on him, she feels, in every inch of body nestled right against hers. Warm, pressing, wanting.

A rustle; her hair's been pushed aside. Brush of fingers, lips. On her neck, where she can't see but know the sensation of him. Secret. Backs of half a dozen other people shifting in front of her. The woman in the pencil skirt slides her weight to the other side, and somebody coughs. There's a brush of a hand across a shoulder — will he looksee them— ? He doesn't.

As if amused by this close-call, his mouth visits her again, and there's a intensity in the kiss also playful. How far will you go, Maggie Powers. A swoop of arm, around her, creeping along her leg, twice as daring as before not just because it's out in the open for anyone to see now, but those fingers have found the definitive line in the pants that defines the split of legs.

A quiet gasp — almost silent — marks the bold travel. Maggie's hand follows along for the ride atop Laurie's. A shock runs up her and a flicker of a smile livens her open mouth. Her head lolls back toward Laurie, neck freed, blonde on leather, too tall to fall all the way back on his shoulder; she just leans heavily, warm, pressing, wanting against warm, pressing, wanting. It's her hand that's hidden now, but not unaccounted for. She sends a clink of metal and hiss of a zipper into the elevator — no one seems to hear; perhaps it's muffled between their bodies. Not that she'd know; her eyes have closed. So what if they see now. Let them. The palm and fingers push against Laurie, behind her, between them, regaining lost ground, down—

Hands, separated by bodies, joined in cause: warm, pressing, wanting; venturing… gripping… fitting in—


An extra harsh jolt of the elevator car dislodges everyone for a second. Double extra; the car comes to a shuddering, groaning stop that hovers with the constant threat of will they, won't they— for the doors.

People shift around in sudden, animated anticipation; not quite alive from their robot forms, but flexing subtly like runners preparing for a marathon. Peculiarly relaxed — perhaps because he's shoved into the corner by himself — Laurie stares, slightly tilted, at the close front corner. His finger, rested on the top of the iPod he's been manipulating levels on, taps out a vague rhythm to the tiny strains audible outside the eardrums they're intended for. A little bit of melody, a bit of rustle. The everyday. Everyone's separate; the only thing pressing is the pencil-skirted woman's schedule.


Doors rattle open as hesitantly as the rest of the ride. Figures in the front are dumped out by their own hurried footsteps, inspired by those diligently — but not necessarily patiently — waiting behind. With a sudden spark of life, Laurie extricates himself from the corner, slipping alongside another patron exiting. The woman in the pencil skirt has long gone; her phone's out in front of her. Strolling lively enough, the man steps the threshold into the moving world, glances to either side as if choosing which one looks less traveled, then strides to his business — by all sights, oblivious.

Maggie looks down at her crossed arms, where they're bound so tightly around herself that she looks like she's fending off a snowstorm. Her reality is not so cold, however, and she instead looks rather warm and uncomfortable despite the rigid hug of her body.

As everybody — everybody — in the elevator ignores her on their way onto the floor, Maggie, on a time delay separate from every other passenger, does not file out so promptly. It takes her a second to look up and track Laurie's back as it turns to head down the hall. Memory sparking, she steps ahead to follow or call out, but the doors are closing already, cutting her off from him— and from her stop.

There's that annoyance rising again. Her head hangs petulantly as she's left alone to forcibly hit the button that will let her off to get back to work.


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