2007-08-31: The Weird Parts


Niki_icon.gif Monica_icon.gif

Summary: Niki and Monica let each other in on a little bit of the things that have been happening lately in their connected lives.

Date It Happened: August 31st, 2007

The Weird Parts

Sanders-Dawson Residence, Queens

The house is still, this evening. Too still. It's one of those nights. To shake up what would otherwise be silence - Micah's in his room undoubtedly doing something with his computer, and Niki is alone until Monica comes home - the radio is on the kitchen. The space isn't far between the kitchen and living room and the eclectic mix of music travels easily, but somehow it the sound seems faraway, at least to the woman on the couch. Niki sits at the very edge, leaning forward in a slouch with her elbows on her denim-clad knees. There are two small, rectangular cards in her hand, which she holds up in front of her face. Business cards. She's staring at them. That's exactly all she's doing. Sitting. Staring. It's… not exactly healthy.

The locks click, and the door opens. In comes Monica, in her white tuxedo shirt and black slacks she's obligated to wear for work. She's carrying a couple of plastic bags - it looks like a late dinner for anyone who wants it, courtesy of the sous chef at the Bistro. As Monica makes her weary way in, she notices the blonde sitting upright at the couch and offers a tenative, "Niki?"

The telltale click of the lock jars Niki from her detached thoughts; granted, her reaction is a bit delayed. She glances at the door only to look back to the cards; then back again to Monica when she steps in. In a hurry, she lowers them, tucking her hands under her swiftly crossing arms casually. The tenseness around her shoulders she can't hide, though, or the tiredness in her eyes. Not exactly unusual, though. Niki's had a rough time of it. She pulls out a smile. "Hey," she offers back. "How was work today?"

"Weird." Monica admits, though follows it with a smile. She knows how rough Niki's had it, and she's worried for her. Even if Niki's not family by blood, she's was still married to D.L., and as far as Monica's concerned, that makes her family. "I brought some dinner home again - hope you don't mind medium rare. Has Micah eaten?" She moves to put the bag on the coffee table, carefully avoiding the business cards. "What're those for?" she asks, curious.

There's a flash of a smile to tell Monica dinner'll be fine before Niki answers, "Yeah, a little earlier. But I'm sure he'll be fine with leftovers tomorrow." She sneaks a hand out of the tight criss-cross of her arms and draws off the edge of the table. "Figments of my imagination." The strange answer has a cynical edge. She shakes her head and smiles suddenly, dismissive, as if it's silly. Maybe it is. She takes the cards, holding them tight, and pretty obviously tries to change the subject. "So — weird, huh?" Niki prompts Monica, raising her brows.

"A lady had some kinda heart attack at the restaurant. I gave her CPR and she revived, and got taken to the hospital by the paramedics." Monica had insisted on continuing to work that shift; had felt odd about about the manager calling her a hero. "But that wasn't the weird part." she confesses, adding, "You should eat something." Momentarily sidetracked, she looks around for the remote. She knows better than to push Niki about certain things.

Niki tucks the business cards in a back pocket of her jeans. She seems more than happy to talk about Monica's day. Even taking the woman with the heart attack into account? It seems more normal than what she's been thinking about all day. Little does she know, right? "Was she okay?" she asks with a furrow of concern marring her brow, in the process of standing up. "I'll get some plates," she obliges, and goes to do just that — but glances back at Monica. "Wait a sec. If that wasn't the weird part…" There's a faint clamour as she gets plates from a kitchen cupboard.

Monica looks vaguely uncomfortable. "I ain't ever learned CPR, Niki. Not even in high school or when I fulfilled my PE requirement at LSU. I just sorta did it." She shrugs, shaking her head and acting as it's just unfathomable. "I mean, there was this tv show…" she trails off. Monica must mean she's seen some kind of CPR program. Like on PBS. Right?

The clatter, this time of cutlery, noticeably slooows down until it stops entirely. Niki lifts forks and knives out of the drawer in slow motion, looking in toward Monica in the living room. "…you mean like… one of those how-to shows?" Swiping the plates up from the counter where she left them, she saunters back in with enough eating supplies for two. Coffee table it is. Kitchen tables are totally overrated for dinner this late. "That's great, Monica," she offers, genuine, as she sets down the things by the Bistro bag. "You probably saved somebody's life today!"

Monica shakes her head. "Naw." she says, earnestly, settling more comfortably on the sofa. "I mean five minutes before, I was watching ER in the breakroom with Luke and there was this part where an intern was giving one of the doctors CPR, and then I just went out and did it." She shrugs. "I guess it doesn't seem so weird looking back, but…" she shakes her head. "It felt weird. I can't explain it." Pausing in thought she says, "But I'm glad I did it even if it was." With a resolved sigh of contentment, she looks up at Niki. "So how was your day?"

Niki eyes the younger woman with a curious look for a second, but it seems to pass; she sits down on the other end of the couch and goes about taking the food out. "Nothing weird," she answers with a light laugh to her voice. "Not today, anyway." Key word today. "Hey, maybe you found your calling. You're supposed to be a doctor, who knew?"

Monica lets out a laugh. "I was never good at science." she says in protest. "And this management thing seems to be going alright." She silences again, and considers the blonde. "I don't wanna push, but you know if something ain't right…I don't mean to butt in. But you'n Micah are family, so if there's something you need help with…" she trails off.

"I guess you're a fast learner," Niki says, not seeming to read too deeply into Monica's newfound skill at CPR. More or less on automatic, she sets out a plate for Monica and herself and gets everything ready. "It's… probably nothing. I don't wanna…" she trails off, leaning on her thighs and gesturing with a fork. Definite lines of stress mar the blonde's features. Monica's right. Her 'nothing' is obviously AKA 'something'. "Some men came to the house the other day while you were at work…"

Monica blinks a bit. "Some men." she repeats. "What did they want?" She doesn't owe anybody anything… "Was it about D.L.?" That's the only reason Monica can imagine.

Niki hesitates, blue eyes looking over at Monica and wrought with too many emotions to put a name on. "…yeah," she replies quietly in a manner than sounds an awful lot like it should be followed by a gulp. She's distracted from supper the supper Monica so thoughtfully brought home, sitting up straighter only to tuck her hair restlessly behind her ear and hunch back over a second later. "I guess… they were some kinda agents. FBI? Said… the case in Vegas wasn't closed." She forces a brief smile before mimicking Monica from a few minutes earlier as she says seriously, "But that wasn't the weird part."

Monica looks momentarily dismayed. "You been through so much," she says, "Why can't they leave you alone?" Then, with a wry smile, "So what was the weird part?"

Niki gives a soft scoff, smile and 'if only' roll of her eyes. Agreed! Her gaze is drawn down to her lap, hands, the table— she has to take a second to gather up the words or the will to get to the weird part, apparently. "They were…" She gives a tense frown. She can't look up. Her voice stays low, possibly to be under the radar of little listening ears. It also trembles a little bit, but shh. "They were looking for D.L." Niki manages to glance up, tagging on quickly, "Crazy, right? I mean, he's dead. I saw it happen."

Monica frowns a bit more. "Obviously someone didn't tell them the news." she says, leaning back against the couch. "But you set 'em straight, right? So they won't be coming around to bother you no more."

"That's the thing-" Niki lets out a breath that seems like it's been pent up. She sits back, flopping against the couch. "The way they were talking— it was like they knew something I didn't. I just keep thinking, you know, maybe— " She presses a palm to her knit forehead and lets her head just drop against the couch cushions to face away from Monica. Realizing A) it's insane, her husband is dead, and B) she's rambling at Monica, she drums up some anger for those better-than-thou agents that came knocking. "Their coming here. It's just ridiculous."

"Well, if they're Feds, it ain't like they don't got secrets." Monica's quick to point out. "But the government's supposed to know everything already," she rolls her eyes at that, "But if they came looking for him, and they thought he's alive - well, they made a big mistake. "Right?" Monica turns an uncertain glance Niki's way. D.L. is dead. Really and sincerely dead. Right?

The gaze Monica finds looking back at her is filled with just enough uncertainty to make one wonder. It's practically guilty. She's hiding something. That one tiny possibility. But she saw… "Right," she says, nodding. "Yeah, of course," she says under her breath, as if reassuring herself. Even so… "I think… I'm gonna take a trip. Maybe go to Vegas," Niki says, sitting up only to lean ahead again. Can't stay still. "Look around. Maybe— visit his grave." Even now, it's hard to say. It's harder to say, even, in the midst of a conversation that skirts around a subject like this doozy. "I know it's stupid, just… I gotta do somethin' to put my mind to rest. I can't stop thinking."

Monica rises up halfway, reaching out to pat Niki's arm. "No, it's okay." she says. "You need me to take care of Micah, or are you going to take him with you? I can manage with him if you need me to." Monica's absolutely serious. She would never, ever indicate that caring for Micah was in any way an inconvenience. "I think if someone came like that, with questions about my mom…well, I'd be a lot less calm."

"School's starting in a couple days. I won't go until he's settled. And I won't take long. Couple days, tops." Famous last words, but, well, hopefully not in this case. Niki gives Monica a sincere smile of thanks. "Thank you, Monica." That tired, grateful smile goes on a few lingering seconds longer before Niki suddenly turns her attention to the late supper. "Look, you brought all this stuff home and we haven't even touched it. I think… …it's time to use the microwave."

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