2008-01-16: Ugly Words


Cass_icon.gif Heidi_icon.gif Lachlan_icon.gif


Lachlan and Heidi wind up in bed together (but not like that), and Cass walks in on them. Things explode. Problems are discussed. Things are not wholly resolved.

Date It Happened: January 16th, 2008

Ugly Words

A hotel.

It's been a few hours since the Kalahari Watering Hole and is now very late in the night. A booze run was made on the way back to the hotel, so there are a bottle of scotch and a bit of coconut rum and soda on the tables. But most of all, there's a pair of people in one of the beds, asleep (or passed out). Heidi would be in the other bed, but there was a bit of crying and comforting and then that devolved into sleeping. Clothes are all still on, of course, because nothing of a remotely sexual nature happened. Which is some kind of miracle when one takes into consideration the fact that Lachlan is the other person in the bed. Bonnie and George are on the bed, too. It's like one huge pile of sleep.

Heidi really is completely sound asleep. It's good to get the rest, because it's been hard to do so lately, with Nathan missing, and then Logan coming home, and now this secret that she has to keep and it's just too much. Her dreams are kind of weird, and they have Logan in them, but she can't remember in what capacity. Her head's resting on the pillow, with one arm up under her chin, the other dangling off the side of the bed as per usual. It seems like she's at least attempted to get herself as far away from Lachlan as possible so as not to be accused of anything untoward or… whatever. The only things that would do the accusing would be the animals, but nevermind, that. At least Heidi isn't snoring.

It's been a strange couple of days for Cass. And today was just…a little weird in that she finally agreed with the Pinehearst people to run their lab. So, the reason she's late coming home is that she was acquainting herself with everything in the lab, trying to meet people, plus she had to come back all the way from Jersey. Not exactly the easiest commute. It's times like these she wishes she had a super power like Daphne's where she could just run and in seconds be where she wanted to be. The keys scrape the door and then finally it opens, letting in a sliver of light into the hallway before it disappears when the door closes. The woman's trying to be quiet because she knows that Lachlan will probably be asleep by now. She drops her bag on the chair and starts to get into her pajamas when she notices that the pile on the bed is a lot larger than it should be. Standing in her pajama pants and normal top, she just stares. And stares.

Unfortunately, Lachlan is snoring, but Lachlan does tend to do that. He's not all wrapped around Heidi or anything, but he's there and she's there. When the door opens, Bonnie wakes up, lifts her head, wags her tail. o hai mama sad lady is here daddy is asleep sshhhhhh. George just stares back at Cass with his shiny yellow eyes. "SNNNNNKZZSKSZZZ," says Lachlan.

Also still asleep is Heidi, but she grunts a little as Bonnie moves. Her head hurts, and it'll probably be worse before the night is over, and so she'd really like to be able to sleep for just a little longer.

She gets the feeling that someone else is in the room. Didn't she hear the door close? No. It had to have been part of the dream, which is coming back to her slowly now that she's thinking about it. It's not really a scary dream so much as she's finding herself helpless, seeing things through Nathan's eyes as Logan makes hell of his life. She doesn't know Nathan isn't seeing anything, but she imagines it must be terrible for him.

Then she's falling in the dream out a window in the White House.

Starting awake, she pushes herself up on one elbow, her other hand mopping across her face.

…Heidi…? Cass is now even more floored. "What the hell…" It's hard to tell what kind of mood the bookstore owner is in. Why the hell is her fiancee in bed with her friend's wife. She's totally stunned. And unsure of what is going on. She's just remaining where she is and staring. It's like her brain is breaking. This can't be what she's seeing is it.

Lachlan's dreams consist of coming home and finding Cass brutally murdered with a note from his latest Problem. But as soon as Heidi sits up, upsetting Bonnie (who whimpers and climbs down off the bed to go greet Cass) and George (who slinks off in a huff), he wakes up with a rattling snort and groans. His hangover's just starting, but it's promising to be ugly. He eases himself up into a sitting position and reaches out a hand reflexively to rest on Heidi's shoulder. "S'matter, ba— "

And that's when he opens his eyes. And blinks. And stares. And squints. And rubs his eyes. And stares again. Wait. That's not Cass. He withdraws his hand and glances over at the actual Cass, then back to Heidi, then back to Cass. Gears: they're starting to turn in his half-drunk, half-hungover brain. And they're not liking what they're grinding out. His expression goes from blearily confused to bewildered to fear to frantic panic. But the first order of business is not to ask what the hell is going on. Oh no. The first order of business is to check for clothing. He quickly yanks up the covers and takes a peek down at himself. Whew. Clothes still on. But wait. He quickly reaches over and yanks up the covers near Heidi too. OH THANK GOD. He lets out a relieved sigh and falls back onto the pillow. "Jesus, I dinna bang ye," he sighs with no small amount of relief.

Oh, hey. She knows that voice, she thinks to herself as the covers are pulled off her. She doesn't process this just yet, though, but she's cold now.

Heidi looks… dazed. She doesn't say the requisite 'IT'S NOT WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE,' as she turns her attention to Cass, because no words are actually coming to her. Notably, it really isn't what it looks like, and the reasons she's here come flooding back as the last of the dream floats away into nothingness.


She swings her legs over the edge of the bed, resting her elbows on her knees, and her face in her hands. Oh, god. She really didn't want Cass to walk in. In fact, she didn't even really consider that Cass would walk in while—



In bed.


Realising this, she turns to just look at him, fighting with her sluggish memory for some clue as to what they might have done. When her conscience turns up clear, there's a sigh of relief, though that is interrupted right in the middle when Lachlan speaks. Her wide, pale blue eyes look back at him. Then at Cass. She opens her mouth to say something, but all she can do is stare.

Okay, don't be a hypocrite, Cass, don't be a hypocrite. She's been in that situation a long time ago. Where she wanted Lachlan to believe that nothing happened with Nathan when she woke up on the floor with him. This is only poetic and karmic justice that she should walk in with a fully clothed Lachlan and Heidi in bed together. Right? Right. She shouldn't get angry. She should trust them. But, there's something a little akin to a nuclear explosion going off in the background behind Cass and she's too tired and too upset with this man to really just bite her tongue and take it. Too much has happened in the last couple of days. It's not even that she thinks anything happened between them. That's not her problem right now. Instead, not caring about her pajama pants, she snatches her purse and storms for the door. Kaboom.

Lachlan is completely relieved. He didn't make a mistake! He's remained faithful in the face of overwhelming odds! He did not take advantage of a broken, vulnerable woman during a time when it was most likely to happen! He didn't even kiss her! He's a changed man! A free man! A good man!

… wait, where is Cass going and why isn't she celebrating this remarkable achievement?


As soon as he realizes that Cass is heading for the door and is in a Not-Happy mood, Lachlan jolts to his feet, scrambles off the bed, and gives chase. "Fu— Cassie, wait!" he stumbles, hoping to reach the door before she does, or at least catch up with her in time to grab her by the elbow. It's a bit of a less-than-coordinated lurch, on account of the fact that he's not exactly in tip-top physical peak right now. He's going to regret such quick actions in about two seconds.

No, no no, no. No. "Cass," Heidi says, but the voice is weak, quiet, almost inaudible. God, she needs to tell them why she's here, why she's with Lachlan and not at home. The excuse bubbles up in her mind again - she had a hard time with a friend, she's upset… Easy enough to say. Lachlan has already seen the hints that there's trouble at home, but Heidi just can't make herself say anything.

A promise is a promise. If nothing else, she's keeping her word for Nathan's sake.

Scooting back so she's leaning against the wall behind the bed, Heidi draws her knees up, and rests her forehead on them. This is mostly so they can't see her crying, though she's not sure how she's going to avoid that, anyway. Eventually, they'll know.

"…Just stop," she says, loud enough for them to hear. But it's up to them if they listen.

Only, no. Cass does not wait. This is really just great. Perfect even. She's not angry at Heidi at all. That's not why she is storming out of here. It has a lot to do with something else entirely. This is not about cheating and not cheating in Cass' mind. The door is swung open and she just keeps walking. She'll apologize to Heidi later about this, but right now she's just seeing boiling red and is not thinking at all rationally. She'll sum up this flair of drama on exhaustion and stress later.

Lachlan does not stop. He doesn't manage to leap back in time to avoid getting a faceful of angrily swung-open door and takes it right in the cheek and brow. It causes him to cry out in pain and swear loudly, but he doesn't stop. He's out the door right after Cass and bumps into the opposite wall in the hallway as he jettisons out the door. Whump. But he still doesn't stop. He pushes himself off the wall and continues right on Cass' heels until he's caught up to her and reaches out to snag an elbow. "Would ye just wait a bloody second!" he snaps. Pain + tension = Grumpy Lachlan.

Heidi continues sitting on the bed, head down on her knees. The whole secret thing isn't the only reason she's not moving - it has a lot to do with the headache, too. Unfortunately for her, there's an angry Scot in the hall who's running after an angry friend, and Heidi's no damsel in distress. Gritting her teeth, she stands, and heads out into the hall after them both.

Dammit. This was stupid. She should have just stayed home.

Catching up with Cass, she makes a grab for the woman's other arm. Her own grip would be gentle, and if Cass pulls away, Heidi won't stop her. "Come on, Cass. Please." You really don't know how much she needs friends right now.

"Why? Why should I wait?" Cass shakes off Lachlan's grab at her elbow, but doesn't really have the energy to do the same to Heidi. The door clicks shut behind them and hopefully someone has a key. Though, Cass' key to the hotel room may actually be in the purse that she grabbed. Who knows. And, really, making a huge scene in the middle of the hallway is going contrary to her train of thought, but that's not what she's think about. "I have been waiting in that hotel room, doing nothing going out of my mind crazy because there are so many things that I've promised people to do and am trying to help with, but no I can't because my fiancee is an ex-drug dealer who has people out to kill him. I leave once to go clear up a job opportunity of a lifetime and I come back to find you passed out in bed with a friend. Who you have now put in danger because you brought her back here. So. Please. Tell me why I should wait for you."

See. Lachlan didn't think about that one. But he was also a bit tipsy at the time, and Heidi needed somewhere to go and she's having problems and and and and and.

Why is Cass yelling at him? That does not bode well. And it's also rankling. Goddamn it, he did something good by not doing something bad. He's proud of himself. The rest is all secondary right now. She shouldn't be yelling at such a time like this, and especially not screaming about people wanting to kill him and being an ex-drug dealer in the middle of a hotel hallway. But all this is not really processing into words and especially not at a very speedy rate. Lachlan is just stunned into silence as he tries to sort out himself.

This is kind of a whole lot more than Heidi wanted to know. It's why she didn't pry or try to get anymore information out of Lachlan than what he offered. "Oh my god," she says quietly. Nevermind the fact that Lachlan was a drug dealer, but— Okay, that's pretty much the whole of it, and, despite the hospitality, Heidi's suddenly a whole lot of uncomfortable.

And scared. But she already knew her life was in danger. …She can use that.

After the initial shock, she calms. "I … think there's already someone who wants to— I think I'm already in danger," she says. The 'friend' she had a falling out with earlier, perhaps? "That's why I'm here. I'm sorry."

It would be easier if she could tell them what was going on… There's so much more to the story, but there usually is, yeah? Keep the attention off of Nathan, though… At least for now. The week will be up soon, then she'll have to figure out what to do from there.

Maybe he did something good by not sleeping with Heidi, but Cass already expects that of Lachlan. Don't sleep with her friends. No matter what state he's in. They've covered this before. It's the danger and the whole thoughtlessness that's really needling her at the moment. She stops for a moment. Only to glance at Heidi and sigh. "I'm sorry," she tells her friend. "This…this whole thing…" It's a mess. A big mess. Finally, she slows to a walk as opposed to a jog. There's a lot to both their stories, it would seem. "It's not exactly what it sounds like. Though, it is kind of what it sounds like." As far as Lachlan is concerned, well, she only addresses Heidi.

Lachlan opens his mouth, closes it, opens it again. Damn it. He doesn't know how to explain it. It's awkward having Heidi right there and talking about her like she's not there is a little, erm. Uncomfortable. So he just keeps his trap shut. Heidi is probably better at explaining things right now, anyway. It's not her Cass is mad at, so Cass will listen better.

The best thing to do now would be fore her to go home, as much as she dreads it. She's quiet for a long time.

"It's probably— It's probably okay for me to go home now," she says, reaching for Lachlan's shoulder. "Thank you."

Her attention turns to Cass, and she forces a smile. It looks genuine enough, even if it's a little tight-lipped. "I'm sorry. I'm really sorry. Nothing happened." Thinking that it's probably better than she leave so she doesn't hear more information that she shouldn't have, she shoulders her purse (which she conveniently grabbed when she fled the room after Cass!) and starts heading down the hall toward the exit.

"I didn't think that it did," Cass tells Heidi. Though she can't honestly return the smile, her tone is softer for the other woman. "I'm sorry." For her explosion. It wasn't directed at her at all. For possibly getting her all messed up in all of this craziness. But, really, this is all just kind of insane. All this time, she doesn't make eye-contact with Lachlan, doesn't even really look at him. Instead, she watches Heidi head down the hallway with a frown. Running her hand through her hair, she just stays where she is, looking in that direction. Even after it's clear she's gone.

By the time Heidi is gone, Lachlan has had time to cool down. Despite the bruise developing on his face where the door hit him. He still stays silent for a little bit after the other woman has disappeared, and then he rubs the back of his neck with a quiet sigh. "Look," he mutters, "I met 'er in a bar, an' she was havin' really bad troubles. Said she couldna go home, so I offered 'er the other bed inna room." Okay, so she didn't wind up actually sleeping in the other bed, but whatever, that's not the issue. "She dinna have anywhere else ta go."

Though Lachlan has perhaps calmed down, Cass is still simmering. The deep breath she took for Heidi's sake is quickly running out. It's not like she's upset that Lachlan gave Heidi a place to stay. It's just that she's upset for a lot of different reasons. "Fine." But, she's still stuck somewhere between heading back to the room and just going back to the apartment for the moment. But she didn't sleep on that extra bed and that needles her, too. She can't think of what else to say at the moment, so she just glowers at the floor.

Lachlan frowns. Funny how one can say something and mean something else entirely. "S'no' fine," he grunts. "Yer pissed off 'bout somethin'." And he doesn't know what. She knows nothing happened between himself and Heidi. He explained why Heidi was there in spite of the dangers. So what else is there?

"I'm upset about all of it, Lach." Cass doesn't so much exclaim, but exhales. "The fact that we have to hide out in a hotel room. That I don't know if or when anything is going to happen to either of us and I can't even do any work to take my mind off of it." There's a shake of her head. "I leave you for a day and I find you in bed with someone else. Doesn't matter if you did anything or not." Now she finally understands why Lachlan was so upset when he saw what happened with her and Nathan. "It's like we can't even talk any more without yelling."

"I know." Lachlan scratches at the back of his head again with another sigh. "I know. 'M sorry. Dinna mean ta fall asleep like tha', s'just … it happened." But that's not the big fat major issue. The underlying one is much, much bigger and more contributory. "Look, I finished the list." The list of names he was going to give Ramon. "'M gonna take it ta Ramon t'morrow, an' then we'll figure things out. S'no' gonna last much longer."

"That's not the main issue," Cass shakes her head. But Lachlan knows that. Cass' pretty sure that he's not going to sleep with any one else, no matter his state of mind before hand. He knows that he does, there's not going to be even a back for him to chase after. "Alright. Fine. I need to go back out to New Jersey anyway. I took the job at Pinehearst."

Lachlan nods a little. His feelings about the job at Pinehearst are, er, mixed. On the one hand, dead guy? On the other hand, it's a big opportunity for Cass. He doesn't argue it. They've done enough arguing tonight. He just glances over his shoulder at the room door, then back to Cass. "Look, I need ta put some ice on my face," he says. "C'mon back. 'M tired o' fightin', baby." Can they just … snuggle? And sleep? He likes the snuggling part.

Cass gives a sigh and slowly starts walking back to the room. It's not that this argument is over. The whole thing won't be over till she knows the threat from the drug kingpins or whatever are done. "Yeah. Me too." She's really sick of it. And while she may help treat Lachlan's bruise with ice and they may sleep, the cuddling will be brief. There's still some uneasiness that has yet to dissipate.

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