2010-12-21: Free As A Bird



Guest-Starring: Nina Halding


Date: December 21st, 2010


This time, Maggie really is late for a very important date. And the freedom of a certain police consultant may hang in the balance.

"Free As A Bird"

Outside Psych Institution

One of the city's buildings of mental health looms indifferently into a cloudy sky. As a vehicle pulls away from one of the visitor spaces out front, an unassuming dark blue car waits, waits, waits… and finally pulls in behind it, taking over the tight spot. After a bout of careful parking, the driver emerges to reveal she is, as of this moment, of a less prudent nature — the door immediately opening to prepare for Maggie's quick departure from the vehicle attests to the fact that she's in a hurry. A leather-gloved hand checks her watch as she swings a leg onto the pavement toward the street. She's already unsurprised to see the time.

5:48 PM.

The scarf nestled under the collar of her leather jacket is an optimistic shade of sky blue, but she's as unyielding and lackluster as the current sky above, focused already inside her destination when she's not even out of her car yet.

5:49 PM…

… A beacon against the grey. Jocelyn's wearing yellow again, and she speckles like sunshine against dreary weather and architecture. But the ADA's face as she stands is troubled beyond her attire. At the distance she waits, unaware of Maggie's approach, her mouth pulls into a weak, ill line. Her hand teases nervously at her lip, the other bound up holding the large mauve purse she bears instead of the traditional briefcase. It's closed; everything's closed.

5:50 PM… and it could all be over.

Movement past Maggie's vision lifts Jocelyn's head. The detective, even far off, is privy to the sudden primping the ADA puts herself through. Purse rearranged, hair tucked back; Jocelyn straightens and then attempts to relax. What was concern blossoms into a soft closed-mouthed smile and then, as someone approaches — she grins with wayward affection.

The catalyst for all this strolls to the bottom of the front stairs, Laurie spreading his arms to show off. A white polo, tucked underneath a fitted black leather jacket all piped up with a yellow befitting the woman's own. Slim black jeans into undone boots whose ties and tops both flop over lazily: the outfit of a free man. Telltale splatters of old, dried blood around the collar and on the jacket sleeves only seem to boast to the institution as he exits. He's getting away with it.

Reaching the last stair, Laurie hops down, turning on the landing foot so that he gives himself a twirl before coming down, both feet steady. On the end of this motion, Jocelyn, smiling, hefts up her mauve purse and swings it ferociously at his leather-bound arm. Flinching with more of a — serious — grimace than the attack deserves, Laurie yet bears it, then side-stepping from further. Jocelyn leaves off, choosing to elaborate on the occurrence with words. Laurie's post-purse squinting calms and then he, too, smiles.

What moment it might have been, smile to smile, is interrupted by a third party striding forward. Nina gives a swing of her red hair over her shoulder — today it's free to do so — as she appears mid-thrusting a few papers into her own baggy accessory. "So," she slips in, managing to also slip a hand to Laurie's arm while his body remains turned towards Jocelyn. "When can I convince you to start on that book…?"

In the midst of disentangling his arm from the reporter's proposed escort, Laurie's eye catches on sky blue. Nina and Jocelyn are close behind, all alighting on Maggie at the same time — the tower outside of their little club. Dim reassurance sneaks into Jocelyn's paused smile, but

Laurie's features have lost his merriment, choosing a vague concentration that Nina notices when she glances off the detective to her former partner. Half-detached, her hand finds Laurie's sleeve again. Tugs. Distracted by thought, he looks over at the physical command. "Those stories…" the reporter mutters, kind but twisted amusement on her lips and deeper understanding in her eyes, "They weren't mine. If it had been my choice— well, we would've exploited this crazy house a long time ago…" she reins in her humor, letting her hand sneak away while nodding her head towards the lone woman. "They were hers."

A form of sigh eases some of the blandness from Laurie's face as he examines Nina a moment longer, then glances swiftly and good-humoredly over to Jocelyn. "Juris doctorate," then to Nina again, with a pause for — something, maybe grateful, "Press pass," and he also indicates the space forward with a nod, "I have to go talk to badge."

And in saying, Laurie separates himself from the other two women, strolling onward to meet head-on the lone detective. With a taste of a smile on his face, and his hands sliding into his tight jean pockets, he walks with a touch of carelessness, choosing an easy pace to get to Maggie. And as he slows into that stop in front of her, "Hey— badge."

And a badge she does wear, prominent on her belt denoting that she is, or was, very much on-duty. What had been a brisk to-the-point journey to the beat of ASAP on behalf of the detective has slowed, not on Laurie's approach but before: on some measure of hesitance over not wanting to interrupt. She stays on the outskirts of inclusion and, possibly, earshot. But Maggie is more than observant of them across distances, and aware before they're aware of her; her expression nearly reflects that which she first saw in Jocelyn, until Laurie approaches and her face tentatively lights up. "Hey— … you."

And then it fades into concern, apology. "I got caught with this work thing right before I could radio out and it took even longer than I thought, I— wanted to be here… how did it go?" After a glance past Laurie at the ADA and reporter comes a quick study of him up-and-down with expectantly raised eyebrows. "You have clothes. That's a good sign, right?"

"That is a very good sign," determines Laurie with adamant, almost giddy, emphasis, "As it's rather nippy today, and I have a certain preference for parts of me not freezing off." A very felt wince to go with that yet fades easily while watching her. Relaxed towards suggestion, he follows the trail of her glance back to the other women — Jocelyn and Nina enduring a quiet exchange reminiscent of two wary cats eyeballing the same post.

"I'm fairly concerned towards what appears to be a near habitual relapse of Jocelyn's poor judgment," he relays while returning eyes to the detective, "Otherwise, it was fast and, mostly, painless— about that," there's a small bit of wishy-washy grimacing, his hand tugging out of his pocket to elaborate on this back and forth, "You might have a very angry voice message regarding your decision to arm me."

"So it's over, then— you're free," Maggie says off a small smile that seems reserved against a brighter one that tries to beam out. She gestures with one gloved hand — that's it — that goes on to tuck into her coat pocket, leather-in-leather. With a breath of cool air in, she seems poised to speak on a light note when she angles her head to one side and gives Laurie a look settled between amused and suspicious… the latter wins out, though it doesn't seem particularly directed at him; she glances to the building and back as she fishes for clarity: "Wait. Arm you?"

"Let's not dwell on that," Laurie decides with a little shake of his head, his nose scrunching into playful disapproval for his face. "The point really is," and he replaces his hand into his pocket, rocking a bit on heels and giving a look over Maggie's shoulder to where her blue vehicle was so recently parked. "Badge. Would you mind giving me a lift to the impound?" Wistful sorrow drifts over his face, but it's hopeful in the end. "They took my motorcycle after the— well," the hand reappears, plucking at the spot near his collar marred with that telltale red taint, "This."

"That," Maggie concurs with a look to the evidence. She doesn't linger long, she doesn't ask, it's not a surprising addition to his jacket; all she does is give him a look of concern butt drop her head in an easily obliging nod. A bit of her brighter smile manages to slip out while her chin's tucked down — several extra seconds — and it's turned upward at Laurie. She nods again. "Yeah, okay. But only if it's legal again." A merry jingle in her pocket secures this agreement — keys she retrieves to point right over her shoulder to unlock the car with its remote without looking. It chirps and rumbles with disengaging locks in the distance.

"Are you ready now — everything is… in order?" How late is she… "Either way," Maggie holds up her other hand to put him on pause, gloved fingers splaying a little stiffly. She glances to where the women gathered. "Could you give me a minute…?"

"There's a whole lot of legal stuff that I find obnoxious and boring," he informs her brightly, "So I turned that over to my legal exe, legal guardian." Laurie, half-turned to face those ladies yonder, splays fingers over Jocelyn's more distant form, "That's her whole… thing there. With that. So, this minute," trailing his way over to Maggie again, his mouth closing thoughtfully, lips pressed, before he ventures, "Do you really want me to answer that as it stands, or would you rather just walk off," his hand moves, fingers demonstrating said walking, "to do your business and leave me where I stand…"

Maggie, paused with mouth half-open, gives Laurie the consideration this deserves — which is only partly serious. "…Or you could wait in the car," she ultimately suggests before she looks around him with an assessing — and lingering — lift of her eyebrows at Jocelyn, legal guardian. "Guardian… am I abetting a getaway of some kind…" Even the possibility of an answer is not waited for; with a to-the-point whisk around Laurie, toward the other varied professionals. In passing, however, she pauses, looking across at the recently freed man. "It's good to see you out." Soft smile, warm eyes; gone as she strides to meet Jocelyn and Nina out front.

They're on the receiving end of a smile of another kind made of politeness from Maggie — but no less sincere, though sincerity is edged out slightly by wondering when it reaches the reporter. "Hey…" she greets them both — with, already, a hint of apology. "So… it went okay…" It's both an assessment and a prompt that questions — concerned.

"Detective Powers," is from Jocelyn, who, shrugging her purse higher onto her shoulder, reaches to give the detective a reassuring tap on the arm. "Is everything all right? It went— better than I could have even expected. That being said, there's a lot of paper shuffling and phone calling ahead of me. We're going to try and get the money over to our side." Her companionable we turns her brisk professionalism into a harder blush around her cheeks than the wind's already created. A soft little notion at the corner of her mouth ends her sentiments as she gives the slipping purse another haul up.

On the other side, Nina stands comfortably in the chill weather, the hand on her displayed hip helpfully pushing her own accessory behind her where it stays, mostly hidden by her own body in a dashingly green ladies' suit. "What do you think?" The reporter puts in boldly, "He's standing over there, isn't he?" A glance beyond Maggie, where Laurie seems to have gotten distracted on his way into the car. With his hand on the open door, he only stares out and forever away to the broad dull sky. "Which begs the question," continues the keen-eyed woman, "What are you doing over here?"

Maggie — more than a little roughly out of place amongst the other women with their fashionable professional wear and purses — nods reassuringly in turn to Jocelyn. She is just as keen-eyed as Nina, however, if less bold throughout; little is missed, and that means her regard steadily moves back and forth between each. "I just wanted to say I meant to be here … I was supposed to be — I couldn't be, so I'm glad it went off without a hitch," she explains and, smiling further, goes on to say, "You must have done a good job, Ms. Danvers." That seems to be all she had to say, as she starts to turn back; but— "Legal guardian…" she trails off questioningly on second thought. "That's true, you're his… guardian now? What exactly are the rules on that in this case?" Since she does seem to be taxiing the guarded.

"It wasn't hitchless," amends Jocelyn reluctantly after a turn, "And I thought you'd screwed me over a second there, but…" her regard also moves between the two women for her, Maggie and Nina. "Miss Halding… came through." Similar hesitance here to admit it, the ADA nevertheless does so with no less sincerity. The skepticism only settles in a moment later when she, muttering, adds, "However she knew to be here…" Brightening some on a glance to Maggie, Jocelyn swiftly shakes her head, "In this case, it's not much more than a formality. He's clearly capable of taking care of himself — you know — if he feels like it," she rolls her eyes, "But it's a requirement of the hospital that there be someone to manage affairs and make sure housing is arranged so cases don't flop right out the door. You know, incase there's a relapse, or the moment of lucidity was a fluke or something."

Maggie is still considering Nina for this convenient revelation when her regard switches. "Right," she says in swift catch-up to Jocelyn, understanding. "I'll make sure he arrives wherever he's going in one piece anyway," she says — the sincerity of the statement is … half-joking.

Nina is placed under that questioning study as Maggie on the verging of asking what or how or, perhaps, why— but she decides on "Thank you." Regardless of whether it's needed or not, she's genuine in it, regarding the reporter in a kinder light for a moment. No more standing over here for her, however; with a grasp of her keys and a curt little nod for both women, she's quick to be off.

What moment trapped Laurie earlier has since given up its claim. He's in the car by the time Maggie approaches, slouched into the space with his legs stretched, heels together but knees wide. His hands are projected out into that space in front of his lap and — on the appearance of Maggie at her own door — they push forward and there's the succinct click of the glove compartment closing.

Quick to enter, this doesn't go without notice by Maggie, although it apparently may, as it goes without comment until she has settled in, door shut and car started and the whole routine. "If you're looking for candy," she says matter-of-factly, glancing over to Laurie and, next, the glove compartment, "you could just ask." The police radio is still chattering its typical incessant noise reflecting the busy and colorful city of New York; she shuts it off and goes about pulling away— leaving the building and its purpose behind.

"But this way," he concludes pleasantly, "I got to rifle through your stuff." Not much — it's only a glove compartment, and Maggie's beside — but he seems content enough. Settled already, he sits as a model passenger for the route around the parking lot and away from the building where, left behind, Jocelyn and Nina vanish into colorful points and then disappear entirely to the view of the street. Then, he reaches around his own leg and flicks the police radio back on.

The immediate return to radio chatter prompts Maggie to, just as immediately, look over to her passenger with touch of surprise and a curious raise of her eyebrow, but she lets the choice of background noise be. She only navigates the street — now quite darkening — and speaks over the busy announcements of some sort of suspicious activity in Zuccoti Park not meant to be their concern. "Will…" Some hesitance; she goes on as calmly as her eyes are, focused ahead. "… your father be on the warpath," she asks flatly, "or is he only a psychological dictator."

"Ah, yes." Curling fingers give a tap-tap to the radio over its concern for Zuccoti Park; Laurie tips his head to the side then pulls his hands to himself. "My father's a special breed," alternating dry, something that comes in a shade darker, and then breezy dismissal complete with the tug of his lower lip up to emphasize. "But, no," he glances over at Maggie, light sincerity in traces of a possible smile, "He isn't going to rain the vengeful apocalypse down on you."

Glancing to Laurie — then back to the road to turn — and back at him again, the subtleties of Maggie's expression naturally emulate his. "Well, I'm glad," she admits, "but I wouldn't be afraid if he did. I don't want to speak ill of your family," and on that she sounds especially sincere, as if the concept is foreign to her in the first place, "just… he's best taken in … smaller doses, Dr. Miles."

A flicker of sadness into that smile as she professes no fear is only an illusion of the darkening sky; it must be, Laurie's half-smiling and leaning his head carelessly against his window the same second. "He's best behind a concrete wall where no one can hear him scream— but I suppose the hospital will just have to do for now." A hup of encouraging breath released and Laurie bolts himself up from his slouch long enough to get a grip on the speaker section of Maggie's radio. Falling into his seat with it clutched in hand, he gives the switch to talk a few preparatory clicks, creating pockets of static silence amongst the chatter.

What sadness may or may not exist over in the passenger seat nevertheless reflects in Maggie, a small hint in her own not-quite-smile — or maybe it was just a trick of the passing street lights' strobe motion. Regardless, it all goes away when she blinks to new attention and sits up straighter. "Whoa, hey— " she interjects into this new development, surprised but more dubious than alarmed, "what are you doing over there— "

"Roger, over." Bzzt. It's followed by general radio silence, then one voice crackling its way through its own message determinedly. A few others pick up their pace again. Life goes on. Blatantly ignoring the other side of the car, Laurie gives the speaker a small shake, then depresses the button again. Voices drop out so he can add his own, "We have clearance, Clarence…"

Despite all the good it doesn't do, Maggie can't stop skirting concerned and slightly chastising looks over at the thief of the radio. "Miiles…" she scolds quietly, enunciating the name in a lengthy, lightly imploring manner. There's a smile somewhere beneath the sterner line of her mouth, but it isn't any more legitimate than her obligatory reprimand. "You should put that back. I'll turn it off."

"Watch the road," Laurie instructs, his own helpful chastisement. Seemingly unconcerned, yet his foot starts to wander over the divider boundary as if to protect that same radio. It's a position that could grow awkward very quickly, but he remains, concentrating on the uninterrupted chatter processing through. Click, on. More insistently: "We have clear — " A voice breaks through, reciting speedily so as to prevent himself from changing his mind: "Roger, Roger. What's our vector, Victor?" Somebody asks for a repeat; a woman blares on about a fight in a bathroom stall. Then: "Tower's radio clearance, over!" Laurie fights to keep his manic grin from wresting his concentration off the increasing noise.

Keep her eyes on the road she does, but even looking straight ahead, the roll of her eyes is strong. The hint of a struggling smile fights with the way she tightens her leather-clad grip on the steering wheel, as if doing so might distract her from the continual misbehaviour going on beside her or, perhaps, prevent her from trying to swipe the device away. "You know, if you keep it up, someone on the channel is going to recognize you," she points out. There's a pause. "… That wasn't encouragement."

Laurie and his two radio buddies need no encouragement but each other. Now, the first guy's on again, sounding brighter and more confident: "That's Clarence Oveur. Over." "Over!" the third almost shouts, around the poor woman persistently bleating about her bathroom suspects. The first: "Roger!" Immediately, Laurie leaps to attention, battling that grin off his face in order to project more honest(sounding) confusion. Click, on. "Huh?" "Roger, over!" "What?" "HUH?"

Then, tearing through all other attempts is a loud-mouth even more quickly recognized than Laurie's might be, "Shut the hell up, you radio hogs— looks like I picked the wrong week to quit drinking!" There's a bark of laughter from Laurie, and a whooping one transmitted into the radio space from someone else. Right on through, the woman drops the last of her toiletries information.

The laughter — both right in the car and transmitted over the radio — is, to a degree, contagious: Maggie's smile, despite herself, breaks through entirely. She turns her head to give Laurie a scolding look throughout, part entreating for him to stop before she's made to laugh at these shenanigans. She shakes her head at the jokesters, all of them — most of all the one who can see her … if he so chooses. "We're almost there," she says matter-of-factly and, on that note, extracts a hand from the wheel to grab for the coiling cord of the radio.

Grinning ear to ear, Laurie is, indeed, caught up in spying on Maggie's reaction — though it's just as much to wait for those warning signs of her intervention. He senses their nearness so that, as her hand detaches, he instantly lifts his foot away from the radio. A sudden deft motion, he's spun the foot around, catching onto the same cord Maggie seeks, and twining the cord all about his leg. Stretched to its limits, the coils, but not going anywhere soon. The foot seeks its old place, though the awkwardness has just increased by way of his wrappings. "Detective Powers is trying to take me down!"

Briefly — and futilely — Maggie keeps trying to reach for that cord, leaning toward Laurie in an attempt to wrestle it from his leg while holding firm onto the steering with one hand to keep up her multi-tasking. She never gets anywhere. Laurie's methods are awkward but efficient. "Don't make me turn this car around!" she warns, animated— too animated. Settling neatly in her seat again, the vehicle curves into the dark and dismal parking lot of their destination, a much-cursed structure well-known to law enforcement and NYC motorists alike.

"Leggo'a my pants…" he mutters in equally enthusiastic complaint, quite unable to actually dodge his leg about as much as he'd like now that he's effectively bondage'd himself to the radio. There's a few rustles and bumps from each of them, though Maggie's closer to pulling the untied laces from his quickly tangled boots than anything else. At the point where the car rolls in, there's a sudden zzt of activity from a radio that's been not quite noticeably silent for that length of time.

"Hey," it's Kotowski again, in a not much changed tone, "We all get that you're happy to see each other again, but we don't need to hear it." Blinking rapidly, Laurie relaxes his elaborate footwork to note that his tight clutch on the speaker had been depressing the button. With a slow, mockingly bashful, movement, he eases his palm away from the receiver. "Although," continues Kotowski's narrative cheerfully — and now louder, "It is good to know that Powers is the— " Click he's cut off by the swift transmission attempt on this end — which doesn't last forever — " — not surprising — " Click. " — doesn't cut it out," this is no longer Kotowski, "then the next broadcast is going to be about four dead cops found in the captain's— " Laurie's foot drops, very effectively pressing several buttons — including to power the radio off.

That Detective Powers parks the car through the burst of transmissions courtesy of Kotowski — of course Kotowski. She is very diligent to her task, save for a few quick blinks, eyes ahead — her lips are pressed tightly, modestly together all the while, not solely against amusement alone anymore. The key is twisted and the car ceases all movement and sound of its own.

"Okay," Maggie strikes into the quiet. In other words: that's the end of the radio saga, then! She eyes the trap Laurie has coiled himself into, criticizing its twists; it's a good thing it's a fairly sturdy device. "Do you need help with— " Dismissing this notion before it forms fully, she just looks away, swipes a gloved fingertip over one brow and unbuckles her seatbelt instead.

The radio's off, but the air crackles in an unsettled way between them, that unfinished sentence of hers hovering without closure. A bit more stiffly than it started, Laurie bursts into the chore of disentangling himself. Once twisting his leg in the wrong direction, he gets to correcting it, weaseling himself and his nearly removed boot out from beneath all that cord. As he does, the pulled too tight material rebounds into place, snapping him hard in the arm where he goes to replace the receiver. His noise of protest is only half-formed, completed by the light shaking of the affected limb. His own seatbelt — part of the reason why the whole endeavor got so complicated — retreats with a different click, and then he's swinging out of the open vehicle.

The other door is shutting behind Maggie, and they're in the open space of the parking lot. The car adds its standard locking noises to the always nearby buzz of the city around them. Abruptly, it's cold. Maggie starts her stroll toward the building, looking across to check Laurie's whereabouts. "My badge might get you through impound faster," she sets in conversationally matter-of-fact— trading one atmosphere for another. "But it probably won't prevent you from having to pay some sort of fee…"

Cold or not, Laurie's hands are free to the open air as he swings and then smacks them together determinedly. "Then I'll have to pay with my goodwill and charm," he tells her, coming up alongside the detective at a distance an inch or so farther than polite. "Because I haven't currently a coin to my name." Though while saying, he makes a preliminary, just in case, pat-down of his jacket and pants pockets. Hoping for a loose… anything shiny, he comes up with a beer coaster from McSorley's. After being eyed with some interest, it's reinserted into the pocket.

Unperturbed by his apparent broke status, Laurie hop-skips up the curb from parking lot to front of the small boxy office of the overseer. With no face immediately at the service window, Laurie gives the outside of the thick glass a questioning knock.

"…If that doesn't work," Maggie begins to say impassively as she follows a pace or two behind Laurie's hop-skip office, "it's okay, I can get it. You can pay me back." She's no sooner spoken than she sets into eyeing the empty box of an office skeptically. She steps close the service window and looks this way and that inside. "We might be too late," she suggests, "it might be closed. It's— " A sleeve is shoved up and she wrestles past her glove to her wrist. " — past six."

Muttering that's not quite distinct enough to go either way is her answer. Laurie has become enveloped in studiously examining what portions of the office are visible as he presses to the window space. By getting his face right up against the glass, he looks to the left, peering at the wall there. This prudent examination ends as he slides back to a stand, his hands settled just on the rim of the window. And then — he's suddenly hauling himself up by that grip, back bending as he dips his head inside the limited rectangle; it's a tough fit, made even more cramped when he shoves forward, knocking shoulders against the edges of the open section. But with some managed wiggling, and the readjustment of his hands that forces him to thrust forward to keep his weight from sliding him back down, he makes surprisingly fast progress weaseling inward.

"M— " Incredulous, Maggie raises her hands up as if to do something, but her intervention is actually minimal— pulling on him to haul him back seems an option, which she does seem near to doing more than once, hovering near, but she only stands watching with wide eyes and a knit brow. "Miles!" Her voice turns into an insistent whispery hiss as she repeats, "M— Miles. What are you even doing— "

Laurie's mouth slips opens as if to respond, but the slip up is from concentration only; he soon bars down on the lower lip with his teeth, biting to accompany an extra tight slip forward. See-sawing from side to side gets his stomach laid out across the dipping metal pool in front of the window meant to slide cash around in — a process he is clearly bypassing with half his body inside the office, and no attendant in sight. Thus balanced, he winds one arm carefully out from under him, rocking precariously as he stretches to the side — right to a rack of keys, all set up on individual hooks, and numbered handily. Laurie doesn't need the numbers; he recognizes his on sight.

Maggie moves to flatten her hands against the glass and crane her neck to try to get an angle of sight on what the presently relevant half of Laurie is up to. Realization sets in basically immediately — thus, so does an exasperated sigh and her own quiet muttering, though hers is more discernable; she brings her hand to her forehead and closes her eyes through an "oh my God". She lifts her hand only far enough away from her face to look unimpeded in Laurie's general direction. "I'm going to call this lot and tell them they have a serious flaw in their system."

A small clammer of a this and that doesn't quite relate to the more twisting motions Laurie employs. And then there's that these noises are followed up by a slurred, "Hey, I take offense to that…" as a man drearily shuffles his way into sight from around a corner of the tiny boxed in space. Wrapped in his red work shirt — complete with upside-down nametag — a thick winter jacket, and a blanket, he absorbs the sight of the half-entered without missing a beat. "Yo, Laurie, how's it goin'?"

"Hey, Michael— just gettin' my keys," the consultant responds conversationally. In a timely fashion, he manages to hook a pinkie around a rainbow-related keychain decoration and expertly jerks the whole ensemble off the hook, landing it all in his palm with a few suspiciously practiced flicks of the wrist.

It should be a relief to Maggie that a new voice — not a shouting voice, no less — joins the fray. She does give a small sigh of a kind other than exasperation, but she folds her arms stiffly and doesn't seem to truly appreciate this Michael's knowledge of the would-be thief. She looks at him unapologetically for her statement and stares, unmoving, at the both of them as she waits for Laurie.

"Michael," Laurie goes on, the tone of his voice ignorant to the fact that he's hanging halfway through a cramped outside office exchange window, "This is Detective Maggie Powers." She's delivered a casual greeting using her full name by the impound worker, "Well, got these," the consultant expresses, jingling the achieved keys, "So we'll just be on our way." Michael mumbles a good farewell to them both — and something to the effect of "I still owe you for that one time," — while Laurie begins the process of winding his way backwards.

First he stretches his legs to their extent, bidding for the first chance to touch ground. Meanwhile, he has to get his hand, keys clutched, underneath him, and then duck his head while he starts to slide out so as not to bang it against the upper sill. His jacket gets briefly trapped in the inside of the window, but some wiggling — and more skin exposure than is exactly kind in this weather — and he's unfolding on the other side. Triumphant. Beaming, but no overtly bragging, he passes by Maggie on the way to the lot.

After Laurie's contortions to get out, and after a nod to the man in the office, Maggie waits a good solid moment before following after Laurie. Her strides are brisk to catch up. It's only once she reaches his side at his chosen distance that her arms uncross. "Some people might view jumping onto a motorcycle in your first hour out… kamikaze," she states on the way to the lot, her own voice laying no judgment, though when she eyes him sidelong it's in slightly concerned consideration. "I said earlier that I'd get you where you're going in one piece…"

Laurie's own pace is swift, long strides, while casual in motion, eat up the ground between office and full lot with purpose. As Maggie comes up, he spares a glance in her direction more out of reflex. There's no answer for her right away; he passes first up to the line of waiting bikes — all parked neatly alongside one another, a row of highway deathtraps like a parade waiting for the gang to get out. Some hogs, some hobby bikes; the brilliantly green, uniquely detailed piece of work shines out from the others like a star player. Reaching the front of this bike party, Laurie has another turn of the head for Maggie, "There's an errand needs doing." He pauses, contemplating her, his face smooth and protective of the reasoning going on behind it. Then, his head nods the way of his bike; he turns to step over there right after.

Maggie views the assortment of vehicles the way one might look at passingly interesting objects in a second-rate museum. It is a museum in a way; a museum of New York's traffic violations, the motorcycle wing, a lesson on obeying the law for bikers. The bright bike catches Maggie's eye as not only green — and as unique as its owner — but familiar, and she pauses when near. She doesn't follow Laurie further, only gives the bike a vaguely dubious eye and him a lift of her eyebrows, tentative about prying— "Errand— ?"

Hand against metal, Laurie greets the bike with an affectionate stroke along the back end — admiring as if new all of the familiar curves. A helmet hangs by its strap along the opposite side, and he scoops it up with a slight lean. Then, one leg is thrown smoothly over the body, slipping along that side like a puzzle piece in place. It is at once fast and leisurely — almost suggestive — making it markedly in another league from the wiggly, silly trade that happened with the window slot.

One foot planted, it's knees and thighs that squeeze to keep the bike upright without the support of motion, as the stand is released by the other foot. Now, the helmet is brought to lay along his lap, against his left leg, as he charts that side to glance over at Maggie at last. "Errand." The pointed tip of his head behind him indicates the space of seating there. Between two hands, the helmet is hefted up and tossed to face the right direction. Message: last chance.

Next on HeroesMUSH: Freeway

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