2010-04-02: New Priorities



Special appearances by


and Matt Parkman Jr.

Date: April 2, 2010


Matt and Janice get close again, in body if not in spirit.

"New Priorities"

Cody's allegedly-safe-house

Being a mother means being able to multi-task. Still, all the multi-tasking in the world doesn't give Janice more than two arms. It takes her a few moments trying to figure out how to do it before she realizes carrying two sleeping kids into the house is more than she can manage. Unbuckling her son's carseat from the car, Janice punches Matt's speeddial number in, waiting for it to ring while she continues to carefully work on extracting the child. Multi-tasking, naturally.

On Matt's end, the display just comes up with a string of unidentified numbers. He's been wiping the history on a regular basis— which probably wouldn't actually stop the government if they managed to kidnap him again, but at least it would slow them down a bit. Besides, he doesn't need any prompting to recognize that number. "Hey, I'm here," he answers, stepping into the hallway to get away from the drone of a nearby washing machine. "You guys have any trouble finding each other?"

"Nah, I've got everything okay. I just wanted to know if you could come help. Kinda got my hands full. They're both sleeping." Janice offers, leaning the cellphone against her shoulder and holding it there with her head as she pulls the carseat out of the car.

Being outnumbered is never a good situation for a parent to be in. "All right, I'll be down there in a couple minutes, just sit tight." Hanging up the phone, Matt finds his way to the stairs and heads down to the warehouse on the ground-floor level. Wait, where's the—? Oh, there she is. She could have told him she bought a new car since the last time he saw her.

Cars are really the last thing on Janice's mind. Minor detail. She tucks the phone away and smiles a bit as she spots Matt. Hefting the carseat, she gestures to the unopened door on the car. "Thanks… I appreciate it." She says, softly, not wanting to wake the kids.

It's different, her not being all full of jumping beans, Matt thinks to himself as he lifts Molly up and leans her weight against his shoulder, leaving Janice to finish up with Junior's car seat. And, a second later: We've been split up so many times, there's a *pattern* for this to be different *from*. How much more of this can she go through before it starts messing her up?

Once they get back up the stairs, the rest of the house proves to be as spacious and elegant as the warehouse level is functional and drab. Matt's had time to get familiar with it, so he glances back toward Janice instead. "At least we haven't had to sleep on the floor." That used to be standard practice back when he was a kid, crowding three people into a one-bedroom motel room.

Janice smiles, taking the carseat complete with sleeping Junior in hand as she follows Matt in. "Well, it's certainly nice enough. Besides, sleeping on the floor long enough leaves you with a sore back." Sure, that's not a regular thing for Janice, but she's had times she's had to crash at a friend's dorm. She's not a fan of floors.

For a minute, Matt lets the conversation trail off, occupied with the more pressing task of getting Molly the rest of the way to the nearest couch and then finding a blanket for her. Time later to work out a proper bed, if she stays. Speaking of— "How long are you here for, anyway?" Before going back to work, back to what he used to be used to.

"I've taken a leave of absence." Janice states, taking a moment to look away from Matt. "I suppose I can check in every once and a while, but… I think I have other things that need to be my top priority at the moment. Work can wait. It'll still be there when I go back." She glances back towards him, searching for a reaction.

Matt nods slowly, walking over now to get a better look at the younger boy: pleasantly oblivious to their situation, head lolled to one side. "Must be nice," he mutters under his breath. "Not— it's not your fault, but… you got to plan to leave your job, I just up and disappeared from mine. I can't go back and make everyone think 'oh yeah, that's cool, c'mon back now'…" Not to mention that he can't even go back until someone manages to call off the feds.

Janice glances back to Matt, letting out a soft sigh. "Matt, it's not like you can change the circumstances of your life. The past has passed. These days, things have become.. interesting. You have to be ready to just take each day as new and completely understand that life isn't going to be how we thought it would." She offers him a smile. "Maybe it's a good thing. Maybe you'll find something you like to do more." There's a small pause. "Maybe you're just not meant to live life normally. You're pretty special, Matt. Both of you are." She glances over at her son, a tiny smile reserved just for him.

The idea would be less jarring if there weren't so much of the past to let go of. He's gone through some upheavals before - with his family, with his job - but always downhill and then recovering. Just because he got back on his feet doesn't mean he liked it.

"Yeah, that's the story of my life, lately— no such thing as normal any more. On that note, I'm going to bed. You need anything?" Please say no, he adds, internally. Kitchen's there, spare couch is there. I need sleep. And then coffee.

She frowns, just slightly at his words, but she bites back whatever she might have wanted to say. Janice isn't going to bring up anything serious, not at this time of night. "No," she says, fulfilling his mental wish. She smiles at him. "Just have a good sleep, okay? I'll be here."

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