2008-01-07: Courtesy Call


Benjamin_icon.gif Church_icon.gif

Summary: Benjamin makes a house-call, bearing presents and questions. The end of the visit may have been more than he meant to overhear.

Date It Happened: January 7th, 2008

Courtesy Call

Queens, NYC - Church's Apartment

Inside of a more affluent building, this apartment in Astoria seems to find itself right at home; with clear windows in every room but the office, and a balcony- it even has a wide view of the city blocks that sit beside, and the oft blue sky past the far spires of Manhattan. Most of the apartment bears walls of subtle ivory, and reddish hardwood floors.

The front door leads immediately into the spacious living area; plush rugs sit under the muted reds of a couch and twin recliners, facing a long black coffee table and a wall of electronics. Along one wall sits a rectangular, seventy-five gallon freshwater fishtank. A stair leads up into the kitchen area, cupboards the same wood as the cherry floors, with a sheen of appliances on granite counters. From one wall extends a U-shaped island. To the other side of the den is an office; a loveseat sits along the stocked, shelved walls, and facing the entrance is a hardwood desk obviously used on a constant basis. In the back hall is the master bedroom. It is a few shades darker than the rest; a tall, bright mirror among the furniture reflects the window. The main piece is a large, wooden canopy bed with tied red curtains. With a door connecting to both the bedroom and office, the bathroom is in sandy marble and tile, the circular tub in black with a foggy curtain strung overhead.

Showing up unannounced can be rude, but on the other hand, it can be a /lot/ of fun. Or so it can be presumed. Depending on the person and situation. In this case, a newly chestnut (and straightened!) haired Benjamin approaches Church's apartment door, there's a bucket of KFC in hand along with one of those sealed up inter-departmental envelopes. He's dressed more casually than usual, and just to help him not be recognized at the peephole, he has on a pair of sunglasses. Trying to wipe a grin of humor off his face, Ben raises a hand and knocks at the door and puts on his best harassed expression and tone, "Hey! Got a delivery here!"

Of course, Church is not expecting any deliveries, nor tall brunettes with…chicken? After looking through the door he stands back, staring at it for a few moments before tentatively opening the locks. When it swings open, Lawrence is there with a clean-shaven face and a trimmed haircut. Jeans today, with a t-shirt, emblazoned with a Pinata, and 'I'd Hit That'. It takes him a few extra seconds to realize what's going on. "I didn't expe- hey."

Benjamin keeps the sunglasses on, and tries to keep up that typical bored and disinterested New Yorker attitude. "Yeah so, special delivery from a concerned coworker. So is it true you nearly got yourself blown up with a bus?" Let's see how long he can keep this up. Probably not for very long, since Ben's new to faking people out.

And apparently bad at it. Church reaches out to take the sunglasses by the middle and slip them off of Ben's face. Hi, you.

"Yes. It is. Want to see my burn scars? I've got pictures for the insurance people." Church feels his face bend into a laugh-grimace, as he's not entirely sure which direction to go with that. "What did you do to your hair, man?" … "I suppose at least you weren't dyed blond."

"Didn't work? Darn. You wouldn't believe the number of people who didn't recognize me earlier." Benjamin's all grins as the sunglasses are taken off his face. "I.. had too much to drink the other night," and yet, he's taking it in good stride. What other way is there to take it? "And yeah, it wasn't blond. Could be worse." Oh yeah, the bucket o'chicken? Held up for Church to take.

"I'm good with faces." Yeah, that. Lawrence switches the sunglasses into Ben's hand when he offers the heart attack in cardboard. "I'm lucky I burn stuff like this up so fast, or I'd probably have had a coronary or something by now. Elle brings me flowers, Meryl brings me a brick, and you bring me heart disease. Thanks." He smiles, and it is genuine anyway. Church steps inside again with the bucket this time, offering Benji through the door. Come in. "New Years bash, or something like that?" Sort of?

Benjamin takes the glasses back in exchange for the chicken, "If you don't like it I can take it back and bring you another brick?" He's kidding, because he might draw back a bloody stub if he even /tries/ to take the food away. "Something like that," he offers up as an explanation for the new look while entering the apartment. "It's uhm, interesting.. but it might come in handy." For those that aren't so good with faces. "Too many people know that I work for the Company," he says, then kicks himself for even starting to feel the slightest down about it. "So it might help as I snoop around on my new assignment."

Bloody stub, yes. Church lingers in the front of the apartment for a moment, deciding to take his spoils over to the island in the kitchen. Ben is free to look around or follow, by his own choice. "That's right- you got my mess dumped on you, right?"

"Someone's got to look into it. Meryl and I are partnering on it." While Meryl's mind isn't suited for mundane tasks, Benjamin has no complaints about this arrangement. She keeps you on your toes. "And if anyone suspects us as being on to them.. who's going to take us seriously. Honestly?" They can be subtle, no really. "Although, right now, we're just going over your report, seeing which leads we should follow up on first."

Church listens, peering up with a blink at his first reasoning. "Point." He looks Ben over again, and if the man still has that envelope out- his attention will sit on that. "Meryl means well, so she's suited for more undercover stuff. I've been mostly reviewing for my own stuff. I'll need to pin Suresh before long. Is that my report? " Lawrence changes his gesture from that to the chicken. "I'll share, if you want some."

Benjamin holds up the envelope and nods. "Made a hard copy of your report. I just thought while I was here checking on you, I'd see about getting your take more in person." He seems to realize that he's sounding all business and more in line with what he should be. Before Ben can dwell, he's moving on. New leaf here. "It's all for you. Figured you'd prefer that over flowers, although I think some are edible."

"Dandelion tea tastes like leaf juice." What is tea to him, exactly? "What is in the report is usually my take on it. I'm not sure what else you can squeeze outta me." Church shrugs at Benjamin declining, getting himself a paper plat from the top of the microwave on the counter. Of course, he goes about piling it with pieces of dead bird.

"I dunno. Insomnia does weird things to the mind," Benjamin says as soberly as he can manage. Moving on, "So how /are/ you doing? I'm glad you weren't hurt worse." He tucks the envelope under his arm as he continues, "I had no idea that your ability could help you survive something like that."
"I can't really recall anything I didn't…" Church leans onto the counter with one arm. "…Did I put in that Niki Sanders was on the bus too? Maybe I didn't think it was that important. That's the only thing that comes to mind."

As he picks up one of the smaller pieces and cleans it out of existence in a few more seconds(vacuum!), Church also smirks past a chewing mouth. "Hahah. Frankly, people don't know much about what I can and can't do." It's a shiny piece of fact. "They just hear me being called Rocket Man, Combustion Man, an Exploding Man- others tell them I blow shit up, I explode- and they draw their own conclusions."

Benjamin laughs, even as he looks surprised at the mention of Niki on the bus. "No, it wasn't in there," he says as he opens up the envelope and pulls out a pen, notating on the papers that she was present. "It's probably not important, but if she has any further information that's helpful, I can .. talk to her." He was going to say 'get it out of her', but that sounded too hostile in his mind. "I've known her for.. wow.. Almost a year. We kinda bump into each other in unlikely places. Highways, strip clubs.. and I did apologize to her for overreacting." The papers are slipped back into the envelope and he looks a little amazed by Church describing what he can do. In so many words. "Just the idea of others with powers, and heck, myself, it's still so new. So when I stop to even think about it, it's kind of overwhelming. Makes me wonder if I'll ever get used to it or jaded by the concept."

Church laughs, and in the relative calm of his home it is almost a bark. "I bet you'd get a kick outta what I can do to music. You'll get used to it. Never jaded, though, cause each person is a bit different even if they both have super strength, or both of them see the future- It doesn't really get old, and that's why I love some of my tagging jobs."

"I'll keep that in mind," Benjamin says with a laugh. "I never thought of tagging as something to be enjoyable." Self consciously, he rubs at the mark on the back of his neck. He hasn't really thought about it in awhile. "I haven't had good experiences with it, not that any of it could be considered 'good'." Lowering his hand back to his side, he gives a faint sheepish expression, "I didn't come here to be depressing so I'll shut up on that. I just wanted to check in on you, and maybe see if there was anything else you had to say about the bus incident."

"It's an art form." Lawrence explains. He's likely taught Ben bits and pieces about such a form already, over the last few months. "I'm doing good. That doctor at Sinai had magic fingers." At least he is well enough to comment on Bekah and not feel as bad about it. "Was your own tagging bad?" Possibly, judging by how it makes him act. Church watches him with a pair of sharp eyes.

Benjamin laughs and raises a hand to cover his face, "Okay, no elaboration on the magic fingers. Please." Laughing, he uncovers his face, "At least you had a good time in the hospital, it's even better that you're out." His expression then sobers, "You're a good friend to have on and off the clock." And there aren't many that Ben can safely say he trusts within the Company. As to the tagging, "Yes and no. I say yes because it made me feel like some wild animal or mutated experiment. Still does in a way. The no is because, well," how to delicately put this? He's not drunk, so he'll refrain from the verbage 'tapping' in regards to Angie. "I've been seeing the woman that was sent to do it."

Lawrence's sharp expression softens when Benjamin lets that first personal note into the open. "It's a necessary evil." Which may be Church's only Real Evil. At least to him. When Ben finishes the thought, however, the man with a piece of chicken in his mouth lets out a tiny snort. "Really? Really? Is that some kink I should know about? Do you like Powerful, Dominating Women?" Church even deepens his tone to match the volume of some sort of function-informercial announcer. Bob tried this pill! It made him popular with the ladies~.

"So I've been learning. It's needed to keep track of people who could be a danger." But really, who's to say who's dangerous? Benjamin hasn't had the naive completely beaten out of him yet. His ears then go a little red at the teasing. "She bullied me into it." Because Angie has a reputation of being a bitch, and it must be protected. "Seriously, it's weird, but it works. Even with the age difference. We get along just fine, nothing to do with the dominating part." So yes she is powerful and dominating. "Anyway, I have some information to run on the names in your report. I hope you're back at work soon. It's just not the same without the occasional office chair rocketing down the hallway."

"It never is! I haven't met anyone that can do it as good as me. Or at all." Church begins, and wavers off as he realizes the last words. "I should be back within the end of the week. Been doing my work online, checking feeds being sent to me- reports, reports, reports. Lucky me that Brubaker is starting a semester and not ending one." Lawrence gives a tired sigh, lifting his fingers to rub at the side of his jaw. "You be careful with this one, Ben. You can't buffer a bomb, and neither can Meryl."

"We'll be careful. I'm hoping it won't come to another bomb incident, but we have to prepare as if expecting it." Benjamin attempts to remain optimistic on this point. Hopefully when they find the guy, he can put him out from a safe distance, and they all lived happily ever after. But it rarely goes that way in the real world. "Take care of yourself.. and is there anything I can do for you?"

"Nope. Thanks for the chicken, though. I hate cooking." Church raises his eyebrows just a bit onto his head and he tilts his head with a friendly grin. "Just in case, talk to some of our bomb squad. We have a couple folks floating around. Good luck. I'll see around the office, hm?" Oh yeah. "You're welcome here, too- I keep a spare key with the lobby guys- I have a list of names they go by, so if you ever need a place for whatever, I'm here for ya."

"Oh really? Well I'll just tell mom that you're /starving/ and incapicated and you'll never have to worry about cooking again." Ben manages to say this with a straight face as he is serious and joking. He looks surprised by the offer, even as he blanches about mentioning of the bomb squad. "I just had another 'what the heck was I thinking when I took this job' moment." Church is given a very grateful smile before he heads on out the door.

"Hey, man, your mom is awesome. If you don't tell her, I might." Margie ftw. Lawrence gives the other man a departing wave. "See you." But, only after he assumes Benjamin is long gone does Church comment to the empty apartment, voice bitter so much that he seems to surprise himself. "…At least you had that choice."

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