2008-03-01: Blood In The Water

Starring:

Cam_icon.gif Kory_icon.gif Lee_icon.gif Randall_icon.gif Sophie_icon.gif

And guest starring: Woodrow Carcharias, Attorney carcharias.jpg (emitted by Lee with great thanks)

Summary: Just when you thought it was safe to go back in The Secret Lair

Date It Happened: March 1, 2008

Blood in the Water


The Secret Lair

The Lair is back to normal, a week and some change after all the drama went down; the drama the staff closed ranks to keep quiet. So the geeks — minus Leslie — are back playing a homegrown expansion to Aeon.

Tito is sitting at the counter, looking bored.

Cam comes in, making his way inside and glancing around. He waves to Tito, "Hi." Then he's heading for the newest comics, starting to look them over.

Lee has been forced to GM for the nerds as part of payment for them putting pressure on Brubaker for his reinstatement, which happens tomorrow. So it's bittersweet - he got what he wants but he has to roll a pile of d10s. He hates doing it but he is a good sport about it, putting his all into the game. He's taking a break to get some coffee from upstairs.

Socks-and-Sandals says, "This is a pretty good adventure. I like that the psychic powers aren't the way to solve everything." Another guy says: "Nobody seems to have last names. I mean, I'm sure they do but we all refer to each other by first name. Is that weird?"

Randall is a walking pile of mixed feelings as he pushes open the door to the Lair, more cautiously than the last few times he barged inside in a (justified) panic. On the one hand, he's finally reunited with Kory, for whom he leans to one side to let in first. On the other, he has to figure out how to deal with the geeks from now on, and vice versa. At least there'll be no more awkward direct clashes with Leslie any time soon.

Kory is taking it slow. Dr. Cameo finally let her out of the hospital. And she has a scrip for steroids to help get her lungs back up to strength. His orders are why she has a scarf wrapped around her face obscuring all but her eyes. She takes it off with relief the moment she gets inside, and breathes a gusty little sigh. "That's gonna take some getting used to," she tells Randall as he comes in right after her.

Lee descends with the coffee cup. "Kory! Hey, you're looking good. How's it going? I…" he says. The geeks are looking up from the table: "Keep working on your plan, I'm not going to pull any punches when the double-cross comes back to get you." Lee insists. They go back to planning. "Hey, Randall."

Cam looks up on hearing the door, and grins as he sees Kory. He quickly runs over, comics forgotten for the moment, "You're back! Awesome, glad you're ok." He glances up to Lee and waves a little to him too.

Sophie pushes open a door. Hey, time to get acquainted with a place she might be working. She looks cheerful enough, as she takes a moment to look around.

Randall is doing his best not to crowd Kory during her recovery - no promises about public displays of affection afterward - and so, while she and Cam catch up on intros, he takes the opportunity to wave to Lee. "Don't dispel the illusionary floor until you check for a medusa behind it!" he calls out.

Kory beams, and crouches gingerly to hug Cam. The physical therapy to help her get her strength back has helped her breathing capacity, but it's left her a little sore. So Randall not crowding — for the moment — is appreciated. She may beg a hot oil backrub of him once they've made their exit for the evening. "Sure. You know I can't be taken down by a mere mortal!" She winks at Cam affectionately.

"I always knew you added that 'Alex' in front of your name, Koriand'r!!" one of the geeks from the back calls, cheerfully. "Seriously. Welcome back."

"Thank you," Kory says, and lifts a hand to wave to Lee, expression a little subdued. Her best friend's brother got hurt partly because of her. Okay, yeah, it was a misunderstanding, but rational response is not online all the way yet. "You're looking better too, hon. Good for us."

Lee says, "Death be not proud, but I will be." He sips his coffee, waggling his splint. "Kori wha?" He pretends not to get the comic references that are made even though he completely does and pretty much everyone here knows it. "Cam, you ready for me to be back tomorrow?" he asks.

Cam hugs Kory back, careful not to hurt her. He steps back and says, grinning, "Yeah, I know." Then he glances up to the others again, and nods emphatically to Lee. "Yeah, the replacement they got for you sucks."

Sophie waves to everyone, looking surprised, and then pleased, to see Kory around. "Oh, guess you won't be needing me after all."

Randall shrugs. "Isn't that what substitutes are there for in the first place, to remind you that the one they're replacing isn't that bad?" He's seen the Represent video in passing, but was largely distracted with other things during its fifteen minutes. "Won't need you for what?" he adds, turning back to take in Sophie.

"I wouldn't say that, Sophie," Kory assures her friend. "I'm supposed to take it easy for the next little bit. Nothing too strenuous. Dr. Cameo doesn't want me exhausting myself." She makes a wry face. "I may not be up to an entire shift on my own yet." Kory turns to look at Randall affectionately. "Sophie offered to help out until I'm totally back up to speed." She moves behind the counter to exchange a hug with Tito. The young man isn't normally given to displays of emotion, but he hugs Kory like he's afraid he's imagining her.

Lee says, "That's one way to look at it."

Through the door outside, a taxi disgorges a long-faced, pale gentleman in a ten thousand dollar suit, carrying a fold-over briefcase. He probably appears in the dictionary next to the word 'lawyer'.

"Oh no." Lee says as he comes in.

"Mr. Jones?" says the man.

"No, no. We already had our conversation. No way." Lee insists. "I'm going upstairs. Hell with you. The hell with you." The man looks rather injured. He approaches Kory. "Ah, Ms. Alexander?" he asks. "I'm Woodrow Carcharias." He offers her a gilt-edged card. See? Attorney at law.

Lee then storms out, up the stairs.

Lawyers? Cam blinks, looking up to the lawyer and to the retreating Lee, very curious. He makes his way over to the counter, making a show of looking at the comics in the free-to-read box, while actually listening.

Sophie barely manages to move out of the way, in the middle of saying, 'Well, sure, I'm glad to help if you still nee…" when the lawyer bursts in. She watches, bemused, as Lee runs for the stairs.

Randall frowns. Lee is clearly able to take care of himself, but what's this suit want to bother Kory for? Can't you see she's feeling worn out? He doesn't do anything right away, but does lean against the wall and watch the guy intently, ready to get involved if he steps further out of line.

Kory smiles warmly at Tito, and then turns as the door opens. She lets Tito give the welcome, though her expression indicates she was about to. Then she blinks. The frightening, empty-eyed man has pissed off Lee just on sight of him.

"I'm…" Kory stammers, taking the card with a rather stunned expression. "Um. What can I do for you, Mr. Carcharias?" She looks between the doorway Lee just made his flouncy departure through, and back to the scary, scary man. Her expression says something along the lines of Oh please, tell me you're not here to turn this ordeal into a Lifetime movie. She glances to Randall, just checking he's still there, then turns a polite, if bewildered smile on the man with the thousand dollar blond coif that even Chris Tango would envy.

"I have something for you here." says Woodrow. He produces some papers from his briefcase. "It's a restraining order indicating that Lesl…Mr. Fuchs-Wacher may not come within fifty yards of you or this establishment. I represent him in his criminal case. I want you to know that if there's anything you need, anything at all connected to this matter, that you can call on me."

Cam glances up to the lawyer now, at that. Curious still, but not actually interrupting. Not yet, anyway. He pulls a comic out of the box and starts flipping through it.

Oh, so that's what it's about. "Good," Randall murmurs under his breath. "Nothing personal, but hopefully it won't come to that." Mr. Carcharias is not obviously sympathetic to his client's position, anyhow.

Sophie gives a silent. 'Ahh…' She takes a breath, just trying to lend Kory some silent support.

"A … restraining order?" Kory's eyes go half-lidded in some combination of consternation, guilt, sadness, and dubiosity. "Isn't he behind bars? And…and likely to stay that way?" He blew up a building with a person in it. A person Kory knows well! The bail for such a thing has to be phenomenal, doesn't it? "Um…thank you, Mister …Carcharias. That…that's very kind of you." Well, she's being polite. He's a lawyer. He's scary. He's a scary lawyer. "I'd prefer to put this whole thing behind me as close to immediately as possible. And keeping it out of the media, if at all possible." Fortunately, Leslie's mother also agrees with that strategy, and thus the whole messy sitch has been kept hush-hush. "I agree with Randall. If he's behind bars, there should be no need for a restraining order…should there?" Then again, there's Lee, who is still freaked. Clearly. "I mean, Mr. Jones may feel differently…"

"He's being evaluated." the lawyer says, vaguely. "We'd very much like to avoid litigation if we could. If there's some way things could be squared between you and him, financially. Hospital bills, for a start. Things like that. We'd rather put this matter behind us, rather than have hour after hour in a courtroom, examining and cross-examining about who did what when. Asking a lot of questions about what people did when. How certain people knew certain things. The police have one story, you have yours, Mr. Jones has his, and Mr. Fuchs has his. We'd rather square this up privately rather than drag everything out in public. Right?"

Sophie looks over at Kory. "If for some reason he's released to someone's custody, or on his own.. it would be good to have something more. I don't think there's any reason to NOT do a restraining order."
Cam looks up to the lawyer again and says, "You're saying you're gonna make it all public if she doesn't do what you want?" Like he can't quite believe it.

Randall squints, pulling out his camera phone and holding it up so he can look at the lawyer through it. Immediately he claps it shut again and slaps it down on top of the counter. "He's hiding something," he declares confidently.

Kory nods vaguely at Sophie's advice. "I suppose you have a point, Sophie," she admits. "I just hate that it has to come to this. But…" she pauses, before continuing, "…the offer to cover my bills …that will be a huge help." The Lair and her dog walking and DJ jobs don't really provide much by way of insurance. "If I am going to agree to your terms, I have a few of my own. You have to get your client into some sort of counseling or therapy. He's hurting, and punishing him for his crimes, however justified, may not be sufficient to really get down to the heart of the matter." She blinks at Randall with her brows lifted, and turns to regard the icily calm lawyer with new suspicion.

"Everyone's hiding something." Woodrow says coolly to Randall. He nods to Kory. "Deal. Actually the court would require that. But I know his family shares your concern. It will be handled very firmly. He wouldn't be permitted to leave the facility until further court order, after a doctor's recommendation."

Sophie looks from the lawyer to Kory. She nibbles her lower lip, obviously thinking of something.. but not going to say it quite yet.
Cam quiets again now, as well. He still looks a bit suspicious at the lawyer, but he isn't following enough of what's being talked about to comment. He looks back to his comic now, though still listens.

Randall keeps his eyes narrowed… but no, he can't work out any specific thing that Woodrow is holding back. He contents himself with folding his arms over his chest in a general yeah-you-said-your-piece-now-piss-off stance.

"I'm going to need some time to think over an exact figure," Kory tells Woodrow. "There are a few other factors to consider." Her pain and suffering. The loss of certain items from her apartment that went bad when Leslie abducted her. The cost of changing the locks, moving apartments, or both. The cost of getting a dog to protect her in her apartment as Chewbacca would protect her here. And of course, the hospital bills. "But the fact that he gets some sort of help for what drove him to such a thing — that's first, foremost, and non-negotiable." She holds out her hand for the restraining order. "I'll also need time to read that over. I can fax —" Kory catches a glimpse of Sophie, and tilts her head. She shakes off the moment, though, and looks back at Woodrow. "I can't speak for Mr. Jones, though. I expect you'll have a tougher time convincing him not to go to trial." She closes her eyes briefly; Lee's stubbornness is nigh-legendary, at least to Kory.

"If there's any way you could persuade him, at least to give it a fair hearing, I can't ask for anything more than that." The elegantly clad gentleman puts the packet in her hand. "He should be more focused on his students - I hear he got reinstated. Loved that video he made. Just loved it." he says with a sharktooth smile. "Contact me by fax or e-mail and we'll talk it over. Thanks for your time, Ms. Alexander."

Sophie keeps quiet for now, and off to the side.

Randall walks over to Kory, now, resting his hands on her shoulders. As if the show of support wasn't obvious enough already. Not only is the lawyer hiding something - and smarmy enough to admit it - but he's done his homework on Lee, and is further smarmy enough to rub that in. "Yeah, thanks," he says, in a palpable monotone.

Kory widens her eyes, frankly astonished. Scary lawyer man saw the video and loved it. Or is, at least, saying so. "Um, yes. I'll try to persuade him." And she will. But Lee does wear on the nerves. It's like it's his superpower or something. Except it's not. He may well outlast her. "Thank you for coming. I'll be in touch."

As Mr. Carcharias leaves, Kory shudders involuntarily, and wipes her palms on the thighs of her jeans. Dealing with him seems to have left her feeling like she needs a shower. She worries her lower lip between her teeth, and focuses on breathing evenly, as the conversation has brought certain memories back into sharp relief from her backbrain. There's a telltale brightness to her eyes that indicates the whole conversation has upset her more than a little. Randall steps up to her, and she buries her face in his chest, preferring that to trying to face the whole store at the moment.

Lee descends. "I saw that j…" He remembers Cam is here. "…gentleman leave…you guys ready for the grand climax of the adventure?" The geeks, who have not noticed any of this, react enthusedly. He nods slightly to Randall, glad he's there for Kory, touches her shoulder comfortingly once, then returns to the giant pile of ten sided dice, the psychic heroes and their suspiciously 19th-century literary adventures. We all have obligations.

Cam looks up to Kory as she turns to Randall like that, starting to say something and then just stopping. Totally lost on what to do to help. Then his watch beeps. "Um… I gotta go. My foster family'll be waiting for me. I'll be back again tomorrow." With that, he turns and hurries out.

Sophie nods to Cam, then she looks at Kory, perhaps a bit more meaningfully, "I wonder.." she pauses, "I wonder if there is anything I can do. I mean.. to help Leslie."

Kory doesn't even try to take it up with Lee tonight. She's too shaken. She gives Lee a weak smile in response to his gesture of comfort, then calls a belated goodnight after Cam. "To help?" Kory looks in bewilderment at Sophie before it clicks into her head. "If they let you near him," she says quietly. "What he's done …the authorities are going to take very seriously, even if he is a first-time offender." And she has no way of knowing whether he is or not.

Randall is beside her and quite obviously a comfort to her. "Walk me home?" she asks, plaintively. Unspoken is another request beyond that, transmitted instead through the fact that she is shaking perceptibly.

Randall wraps his arms around Kory's waist, drawing her close, and doing his best to talk away from her as he addresses Kory; she's been through plenty enough already. "Well, if there's pain behind it all" - which would make sense, pain is well-known for driving people to crazy ends - "could you do anything to help him deal with it?" Unspoken: with your ability. "I dunno, though, that'd be a pretty heavy move." Leaving off the topic there, he nods to Kory and moves to her side, starting to walk with her toward the exit.

Lee is fortunately deeply involved in deciding whose cousin will be dying of 'psychic consumption' at the end of his Curiosity Shop adventure, so he doesn't yell at Sophie. Yet.

Kory separates from Randall only exactly as long as it takes to catch up her coat, her scarf, and the packet of materials the frightening icy blond man handed her. Once bundled against the elements, she's back in Randall's arms, and uncharacteristically quiet. The lawyer has given her much to think about, and separating it from the traumatic emotions is going to be … well…a task. But Randall is with her, and she knows how far he's willing to go to keep her safe. Which helps. A lot. She steps out into the night with him, turning south toward her apartment.

Sophie nods, thoughtfully. She sighs, "I know.. it is. I mean, I worry about doing something wrong, and also about not doing anythin at all, when I could help."

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