2010-03-07: Wild World



Date: March 7th, 2010


After Emily turns herself in, Maggie goes to Laurie for an opinion and gets cake.

"Wild World"

Laurie's Apartment


A vaguely familiar apartment building is Maggie's destination. Vaguely familiar because it's on her way to the station — or from the station, as is the case at the moment. Just inside the doors, she looks up to what she knows to be a security camera. Her face is grim and her eyes betray her distraction of a thousand thoughts as she stands outside the door. Her worn (indeed, slightly beaten) brown leather jacket is worn unzipped over a perfectly utilitarian white blouse; the Little Red Riding Hood red coat has been gone since her dip in the lake and no bright replacement has surfaced (so to speak).

She skims the names on the list next to numbers for the buzzer, finds one that's blank — a temporary resident? — and presses the button.

The place is fairly basic, kept up to modern and livable standards with the modest support of the police department: most of the residents within holding some kind of law related occupation, or who know a person who knows a person…

A moderate wait follows Maggie's call up. Then the speaker turns on, warming the silence with the sound of technologic static. There's a last brief pause before: "I thought you might show, Powers." Though Laurie's voice contains no judgment in that tinny quality with which it's presented, there's also, then, no trace of warmth or amusement. Further strain might show in the longer hesitation before anything else happens — but maybe he's just distracted. Either way, she has several more seconds before a loud harsh buzzing and the click of a lock inform her that she is welcome to continue onto 12B.

After giving the small speaker — and by proxy, Laurie — a lift of her brow, Powers makes her way up to 12B to promptly knock on the door with a few raps of her knuckles. Maggie has things on her mind that, if overheard by her colleagues, would make her sound crazier than she is — she's not crazy at all, despite a rumour or two to the contrary with her continued psychiatry at the behest of her superiors. So here she is. "Have something in the oven that was more important than your job, Miles?" she calls through the door, her voice somewhere between chastising and joking.

Her knock would, of course, be expected. So it isn't all so strange that the door is pulled open at the tail-end of her words, without even the tell-tale retract of a bolt or chain to herald it. The door was, apparently, utterly unlocked. And now it hovers in Laurie's grip as he holds it enough for his own body to bar any polite entrance by her. The police consultant is wearing his first t-shirt, something in grays and blues advertising whatever 'Geranimo Jackson' might be. The words are visible just above the slacking hang of his cream colored apron; this cover clearly doing nothing to stop him from getting a red streak along his left cheek-bone. "In fact, I do," he replies, nonplussed, "I consult. Chime in. But if you don't turn an upside-down cake upside-down, well. That's just unnatural."

The appearance of Laurie prompts a smirk from the detective, bordering on silly but, alas, it's incredibly fleeting. "Much as I hate to distract you from your … baking, since you're so dedicated … we have a problem. This girl came in about the Tabla case and— " Maggie tucks her hands in the pockets of her leather jacket and leans to one side, as if to peek around Laurie. "I can't talk about it in the hall? I mean, if your upside-down cake is shy, you can tell me."

Though there's a complete lack of facial twitches to give him away, there's another of those brief hesitations from Laurie: his distraction. Then, brightly, as if nothing's gone on, he steps aside. "Every problem has a gift for you in its hands…" To the sound of this bout of quoted optimism, he turns away and strolls off further into the apartment. After door is a small breath of an entryway, with a door presumably for closet. Following Laurie leads to an open living room with attached kitchen, separated only by a change from carpet to hardwood and the island counter jutting between them. Despite the evidence, and wafting smell, of baking, it's rather clean. In fact, the apartment may be as bare as when it was unoccupied for all there isn't a single personal touch beyond the necessary. Everything in its place… except what appears to be a large assortment of papers and folders that have been very promptly gathered and shoved under the coffee table. They stick out here and there disorderly — a job done, quite clearly, as soon as company was announced. One possibly missed piece of paper sits on a kitchen chair where it fell during the quick scoop-up.

… now that I've lost everything to you, you say you wanna start something new — and it's breaking my heart that you're leaving … Strains from the stereo near the closed bedroom door. There appear to be no lamps; the light streams in naturally from wide, near wall-length windows in the living room. Laurie ends up inside the kitchen area, organizing ingredients but unabashedly watching Maggie.

Call it the habits of a detective, or call it curiosity — Maggie examines every visible nook and cranny of the apartment with a few sweeps of her eyes, nothing going unnoticed, least of all the papers and folders shoved away. She follows toward the kitchen without comment, stopping on the carpet-to-hardwood line. "I knew this case was unusual, but … I dunno, I guess I just wasn't expecting what walked into the station today. That girl from the footage, the blonde who slipped the cuffs? Her name's Emily Caulfield. She's sitting in holding right now because she confessed to murdering all those people in Tabla. Including Officer Mendoza."

And Laurie watches her for every moment of that examination, gaze only flickering to notice what she's noticing, chart her progress. In this way, he sees the display he's made of those papers and he straightens where he stands at the kitchen counter but does nothing immediately to remedy it. A look to her is sideways as she approaches, his hand sliding forward to some of the items laying out in front of him. His eyes roll to the ceiling as he hears Emily's name, visibly contemplating it, feeling it out. "Cruella, at last," he mentions, back at Maggie, "Hmph. Caulfield. And I suppose you believe her," he continues, non-accusatory, only factual, "Or you wouldn't be here."

… But if you wanna leave, take good care. Hope you have a lot of nice things to wear— but then a lot of nice things turn bad, out there…

"Quite frankly — I don't know what to believe anymore," Maggie confesses. "A few months ago I would have thought she was crazy even with the anomalies in the case, but since the woman at the lake… you saw her. What'm I supposed to believe? What's even possible? Caulfield said she convinced Mendoza to kill eleven people and then commit suicide." Her hands emerge from her pockets, one jutting in the air in a gesture; after that, she doesn't seem to know what to do with them. They fret at the bottom of her coat, over faded patches in the leather. "She said she got inside his head and told him to. I mean it is crazy, right? Even if it is true, somehow, against all the laws of logic, how do we even process something like that through the system?" Not exactly Laurie's problem, but that doesn't stop Maggie from this uncharacteristic spilling of her thoughts. "We can't. It doesn't happen."

Laurie listens carefully; it was even a respectful and solemn affair until he detours into bringing a stray strawberry to his mouth and chomping away. Still, he keeps attentive eyes on the detective throughout her concerns. Afterwards, the container of left-over fruit is slid across the counter towards her very seriously, as if this were the answer to her problems. It's merely a distraction in itself, though; it's a distraction from the angry lines that have formed determinedly through his forehead and that refuse to ease. "Truth is nothing but convincing someone you're right," he drawls after a pause, "We do it all the time. I do it. Made a career out of it. I convinced that same lady of the lake to back off long enough to let me go after you. So, did she say she just got inside his head, or did she give some detail that's really bothering you?"

Maggie looks down at the container of fruit as if it's the most exotic and bizarre assortment she's ever seen; but no, it's just fruit, doing its job as an out-of-place distraction. "It's… " She snatches a strawberry out of the array. Despite not being much in a snacking mood a moment ago, she bites the top off and gestures with the remaining berry. "The detail that's bothering me is that it might be possible that she could have done it. And that she might get away with it because it's not like this'll hold up in a court of law. She said she had…a superhuman ability. Those are the words she used: superhuman ability. She seemed … strained, that she was there. But not upset. Like it was normal that she had done it. Like she'd done it before. You're a behavioral consultant. I figured you could at least tell if she believes she's telling the truth." Maggie is generally a good judge of people's honesty or lack thereof, and Emily seemed to believe what she was saying, but…

It's not even weird fruit. That's in the back. "You're right," Laurie says after everything, "I am a behavioral consultant…" There; that brief flicker of whimsy smoothes his face out to neutral again. He shifts against the counter and continues, more purposefully, "But if she tells a tale like this in court, she's just a sensationalist who latches onto cases for attention. There hasn't been activity on the Tabula case in so long, this Caulfield could as well be a fan, looking for a rise. Also," he lifts a finger, another strawberry of his own dangling pinched between the others, "Crazy." In the eyes of the public, that is; he passes no judgments so far. After biting at the fruit, he rests all knuckles against the island, drifting weight heavily to the side. "She's in holding? Right. She'll stay there a while." Like this solves everything, he spins away to check on the oven a few steps away and behind him.

To Laurie's turned back, Maggie raises her hands in a helpless gesture, lost as to this behavioral consultant's behavior. Her hands fall against her hips with an impatient smack and she strolls along the length of the counter. "Maybe she is a sensationalist or crazy. I'm pretty sure we'll figure that out before she gets to court, but what if… okay, besides that. What if she isn't. Or— forget Caulfield, what do you make of the woman at the lake?" For such a big event, Maggie has spoke little of the oddities surrounding that day; saying the impossible-seeming things out loud makes them more real as much as it does make her sound crazy. "She — "

Maggie is interrupted by a ring, ring! of her cell phone, the unexciting tone cutting into her words. She pulls it out of her jacket pocket. "The station," she murmurs before answering it. "Powers. … what? Flagged?" Bewildered blue eyes widen, coincidentally fixed on Laurie. "Try not to let anyone near her, she's in our jurisdiction, at least until I get to the bottom of this. Thanks," she finishes, disconnecting.

"I was referring to your own mention of the court of law…" is absently-minded noted by Laurie as he busies himself with a practiced examination of what's sitting in the oven. Opening the door releases an even fresher waft of berries and fresh cake, neither of which seem to match the intensity of the topic at hand. "Well," he adds, turning around in the midst of undoing the ties of the apron behind his neck. It falls down, making the garment only a skirt around his waist. "I delivered a profile on that, detective." His casualness prompting her to have to speak, perhaps, even more on those unmentioned oddities in order to get a reaction from him. But this exercise is interrupted by the practical ring-tone. He watches, some might consider rudely, as she talks — but, hey, she's looking at him first. There's a slight questioning raise of the eyebrows when she hangs up, his hands rubbing idly together in front of him. He manages to look rather knowing, even while calmly waiting for her to explain to him.

Maggie undoubtedly heard Laurie's comments, but, expectedly, she has news to deliver in light of the phone call. "It turns out Emily Caulfield is on some kind of terrorist watch list," she announces in the midst of flipping the disconnected phone shut, her brows sneaking together even as she says the words. "She's red-flagged. The guys don't know any more than that." She pauses briefly, seeming distracted by the oven, of all things, before she clues in with a softening expression, "Wait, you did? A profile?"

Ah, intrigue! That's the impression Laurie's expression gives when the word 'terrorist' passes by. "Caulfield, Caulfield…" He mutters, tapping fingers along his apron, fixated on some back wall of the apartment. "I know Caulfields. I know a couple of them." Maggie's pause over, he drifts back to looking at her with a breeze of amusement. "A profile. It's what I get paid for, you know." Or not, considering several people have already noticed his pay-checks are still sitting at the department. His gaze wanders away without him afterwards, a focused but yet dreamy quality. It would seem he forgets the whole room in that moment; this emphasized by how the oven begins to give off insistent beeping noises from its timer and he doesn't even blink.

Is Laurie staring into space again? Maggie takes a moment to ascertain that yep, he is. "I think your cake is done," she points out, heading toward the oven herself, though she doesn't interfere with the man's baking. She just stops the timer from beeping. She turns around, side-stepping past the stove. "It's probably a good idea to get to know this Caulfield. Who knows who might show up looking for her. I don't wanna let her out of the department's sight before we get this figured out."

Laurie's head jerks crisply to the side once the beeper's silenced and he glances slowly at it then up to where Maggie's put herself. "No, she should sit," he agrees fluidly, despite his moment of being out-there. "She turned herself in, truly, she gets to feel it. If she just wants to create a stir, she won't accept being left alone too long." Sans mitts, he attends to the oven, opening it and eventually draping only a small towel over his hand to pull the pan out and lay it along one of the burners. The oven door is snapped shut with a foot, the towel folded meticulously. Then, almost mischieviously, almost: "I can talk to anyone who shows up."

"I'm sure the chief would love that," Maggie counters with a hint of a smirk, though she doesn't seem nearly as mischievous. Idly, distracted, she watches the cake. "I'm gonna head back to the station, all the same. She can stew, but I wanna see if anyone comes looking. And to look over her file again." Pause. "Nice skirt, Miles, but take it off if you come to the station."

The reference gets him to glance down at the apron folded over itself critically before Laurie 'tsks' a disappointed noise with his tongue. "Fine. But only because you asked, Powers." Eyes a'twinkle: well, she did just ask him to take something off. But mostly he steps forward, tossing the towel to the edge of the sink and going to retrieve a large knife from the drawer across the way. "I'm not going to agree that you should go back to the station, though. That one you can't have." Said as if she asked. He slides the knife out, no longer bothering to look at her as he makes it apply it to the cake-filled pan.

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