2011 06 27: I Can Explain

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Mission Name: I Can Explain
Date of Mission: June 27, 2011
Locale: Tenth Floor, The Manchester — Upper East Side - Manhattan

The cleanup suffers one last hitch.


Tamara Thomas Rebekah

What a long, strange night it's been. Tamara is uncharacteristically quiet on the way back, thoughtful and perhaps at least a little perturbed. The elevator dings, depositing the neighbours back on their proper floor, which is still looking a bit bloody. Stepping out of the lift, Tamara frowns at the mess. "Guess I'd better clean that up," she muses with a sidelong look to Thomas. She's seen better days as well - in addition to the slowly-healing leg wound, she's now got a number of deep lacerations on her hands and arms. At least she's changed out of her bloody shirt, but that's a bit like mopping the deck of a sinking ship.

At first glance, Thomas appears to be in decent shape - his gait remains steady, his eyes are clear - but closer inspection reveals a telltale bulge in one of his shirt sleeves, gauze bandaging faintly visible through the darker fabric. "I'll get some rags," he suggests, "get it finished up earlier. Before anyone else wanders through and sees." For all he knows, someone might have seen it already, but blood stains are a lot easier to explain away than what they had to deal with earlier.

Oh that is a funny comment to make Thomas. For in that hallway of carpet is a young woman. Her green eyes studying the red stain on the carpet. Rebekah doesn't look that put out, perhaps she doesn't realize it is blood. At the ding of the elevator, she jumps pretty sky high and pivots around. A mixture of emotions wash over her face. Afterall, Tammy and Tommy are walking out of the elevator together. One of them is covered in blood. One of them is perhaps talking about death. She watches them thoughfully.

"Indeed," Tamara murmurs in reply, not exactly looking forward to a night of cleaning on top of everything else, but - a gal's gotta do what a gal's gotta do. "Rags, right. I'll get the cleaning supplies." She's just shoring up her energy reserves to deal with that when she notices they're not alone in the hallway after all. "Uh oh," she sing-songs in a low voice for Thomas's benefit, looking down at a wound on her arm while nodding her head towards Rebekah, sort of suggesting Thomas should 'notice' her first.

Frowning, Thomas turns his head just far enough to follow Tamara's gesture— "Fuck," he mutters under his breath, and then a second later he turns and spreads his arms, playing up his stress level for all it's worth. "She got attacked!" he explains, starting with the truth. It'll be the last time for a while. "Bad date, wouldn't take no for an answer— I came along just in time, otherwise I don't know what would have happened! You just missed them hauling him down to the station."

Rebekah is already looking at the two as she looks back towards the blood. Then she looks back towards them. Her eyes are not really convinced or perhaps they are. "A'e ya gonna be okay, Sugah? Let's get y'all sittin' down. Fi'st with ya leg an now with this." She shakes her head to that and walks over to them. "A'e ya both okay?"

Tamara arches a slight brow at Thomas when he opens with the truth, but by the time he's continuing on with the story, she's fallen into nodding in agreement. "I'll be fine, thanks. Just having a really unlucky month, I guess," she replies, looking down at the cuts and then back to Rebekah, frowning faintly. "I'm just fortunate Tom happened along when he did." She starts to move along the hallway, to put a little more distance between herself and the elevator.

As long as Rebekah is at least pretending to buy it, that's good enough for Thomas. If she were to panic and start screaming— well, best not to think about that. "She got the worst of it. We're both hurt, but we'll be okay— otherwise they would've hauled us off to the hospital, right?" Sticking to the original plan, he leaves Tamara in Rebekah's capable hands while he ducks into his own apartment, leaving the door open while he gathers up a fresh pile of hand towels.

Rebekah studies the blood on the floor and then back up to Tamara. "Well as long as ya both a'e okay." She shifts her weight from one foot to the other. "Do ya eh.. want me to make somethan' to eat?" Her lips curve up a bit as she moves to try and help Tamara.

Tamara opens her mouth to reply instinctively, but then stops and offers a tight smile instead. "Actually, sure. If you want to make something, then … okay." For once, she opts to go with the flow on things rather than fight Rebekah's friendliness. Is she really that exhausted? "I have pretty much nothing in my fridge though," she adds, even as she begins hobbling over in that direction. She does have cleaning supplies and those she needs to get.

Thomas shakes his head, emerging once again and setting the towels down on top of the worst of the blood. "Yeah, me either." And Rebekah would know, she's had opportunity enough to check out his kitchen as well. "So how was your day?" he adds, switching from outright lies to deflection.

"Eh… it was.. Ah'll um.. Ah'll go get food." Bekah offers as if she needs a bit of air from the situation before her composture starts to fall. "Ah'll go um.. pick us all something."

"It's really not that necessary," Tamara replies, but she still doesn't fight the idea of food as hard as she might under other circumstances. Instead, she just looks to Thomas and gives her shoulders a shrug, before she ducks into her own apartment to get the supplies. She leaves the door open behind her, and can be seen just inside the kitchen, banging around in the cupboards as she pulls out various bottles, and then tosses a bucket in the sink to start filling it with water.

Thomas reaches into his wallet, taking out some bills and pressing them into Rebekah's hand. "Thanks, we owe you one for going out for it." She doesn't have to, she could order something to be delivered— not that he's about to suggest that. Instead, he takes the smallest of the towels inside to get it soaped up. "Well, at least it was somebody we know," he says to Tamara, once Rebekah's out of earshot. "Could have been a lot worse."

Rebekah lofts her brows at something said and then turns to go. She'll go find some pizza or something like that. Yep. Pizza.

"I seem to be owing a lot of people tonight," Tamara mutters as she emerges from the apartment, leaving the door open behind her on the way out as well, since the bucket is still slowly filling. For now, she brings a handful of cleaners, bending carefully to set them down within easy reach of the stain. She lingers there a moment, watching Rebekah start for the elevator, before turning back to Thomas. "It can always be worse. Don't tempt the fates," she adds wryly, grinning faintly even as she rolls her eyes.

Thomas shakes his head. "If it happens, it happens," he muses. A little hint of actual truth there about how he thinks, easy to miss. For a minute, he just crouches down and scrubs at the carpet here and there, before looking up again. "So what's the next move on tracking these bastards down? Worked out what they don't want you to know about?"

"I'd still rather it didn't," Tamara insists, but she doesn't seem too worried about it either way either, truth be told. She leaves the question hanging for the moment to go turn off the water and retrieve the bucket, carrying it slowly and carefully but still slopping a bit as she hobbles. Oh well. Water needed to be on the ground anyway, so it's just doing their work for them. She sets the bucket down and then lowers herself to the ground beside it, reaching for a rag so she can help with the cleaning. "My friend, she was … looking into something for me. Someone. I think it may all link back to that, somehow."

"Anyone you can introduce me to?" Thomas asks, glancing around - hallway's clear again, so far - before going back to scrubbing. "I'd like to help you deal with it— whoever these people are, if they keep coming after you, then that puts me in danger too." Especially if they catch on that he's more than just a random bystander.

Tamara considers the offer for a moment before smiling faintly, looking for all the world like she isn't sitting on the floor scrubbing a large bloodstain out of the carpet. "Perhaps introductions could be arranged. Actually, I've never met with him directly myself," she goes on with a shrug. "I was keeping my distance. That's why I had her establish first contact. I was hoping to learn more. I suppose, in some way, I have - if only I knew what." There's a fleeting moment of frustration before she smooths her features and continues. "Now I'm wary to meet him, because I don't know what he knows. Or how involved he is. Or, for that matter, if he's involved at all, or if we simply stumbled onto something else without meaning to do so." She pauses, frowning. "It's odd. I almost never talk about these things that much."

"I know how it is. There's almost never anyone to talk about them with." Thomas leans to one side, working with just the good arm and putting his weight into it. "Can't work in groups all the time, too easy to be noticed… but I think we can help each other out there. That woman tonight didn't see it coming." Another look of deeper concern crosses his features. "Rebekah's going to be a real problem. One time can be explained away— how long will she keep buying it if it keeps happening?"

"I usually prefer working alone," Tamara notes, almost in warning. "But I'm willing to admit that maybe this once, I could do with some help." She pauses her scrubbing to tuck her hair back behind an ear, trying to keep her blonde locks from ending up in either blood or cleaning solution. She's not sure which would be worse at this point. "Honestly? I have no idea how long she'll buy it. Or if she's bought it at all. She was in a hurry to get out of here." And to think, she could have stayed on helped scrub blood!

After a second, Thomas shakes his head. "I don't think that's it. Going out was plan B, remember? First thing she thought of was to stick around and work on food." What is it with Rebekah and food? Maybe it's a Southern thing. Or a bartender thing. "Anyway, keep your eye on her, we can bring her in or just keep her quiet… we're only in trouble if she decides to run her mouth to someone else." Like the police, say.

Or her Division best friend.

"I hope you're right," Tamara says simply, sparing a glance for the elevator before she sets back to work, scrubbing along the edge of the stain now. "I was hoping it would, I don't know, keep her calm or something," she adds, like giving that much thought to the feelings of others is something altogether foreign to her. "I think you're in a better position to keep an eye on her," she adds with a faint smirk, before shrugging. "But I'll do what I can. I'm certainly not looking to have the authorities involved in this. It brings up too many difficult questions. And there is no way the NYPD is going to be equipped to deal with this situation."

"Yeah, what're they going to do, post a guard around the clock? You need to buy a senator to get that." Or be a senator. And if they could afford private security, then they probably wouldn't be mucking around with apartments. "I can watch her too," Thomas continues, "but I don't understand her all that well. You'll probably catch some things that I miss."

There is no ding of the elevator, but there is the smell of hot pizza. It comes from the stairwell. Oh God, could Rebekah have been listening in? She comes through that door holding pizza and more importantly beer. Her smile full of that Southern charm as if she's gathered herself enough to lie at at least. "Howdy, sohhy it took me so long to get back." She studies the blood being cleaned up. "Y'all know that hydrogen peroxide will take that all out, well unless it's down to the fibers. If'n that the case y'all gotta remove it." There is a tip of her head. "O' y'all can replace it with carpet f'om anothah floor." She steps a bit closer to the couple.

"I don't know what they would do, but I don't think it would be the right thing. Just in my experience with police," Tamara replies, smirking faintly at the ineptitude of the authorities. She pauses again, to take a breather and look over at them, and then nods as she dunks her rag into the water, rinsing it out. She's just beginning to reply to that last comment when Rebekah emerges from the stairwell, and Tamara offers the woman a faint smile in greeting instead. "I hope it doesn't come down to having to recarpet the entire hallway. Peroxide though, I'd be willing to try, if I have enough on hand."

Thomas sets his rag down and scratches his head. "Would it be under the sink? I just pulled out what I recognized. Will it wash out the color along with the stain?" Faded carpet wouldn't raise as many questions as bloody carpet, but still. Of course, if they've got any bleach mixed in with the soap already…

Rebekah shakes her head. "It won't fade it ta much." She sets the pizza down and then moves to her knees. "Ya gotta blot though, if'n ya drag it, well.. it won't work well." She looks up at Thomas. "O' in the bathroom. It's a brown bottle. Ah shoulda grabbed some when Ah was out." She looks over at Tamara and then offers. "He'e, let me take ovah foh ya." YOu know and get her fingerprints all over the crime scene.

Tamara pauses for just a moment, before handing over her own rag. Truth be told, the cleaners do not feel especially fun on hands that have been recently cut deeply open by a strong, sharp blade. "I'll see if I have any," she replies as she begins to maneuver to her feet, getting good at moving to avoid putting pressure on her leg. She's looking forward to being whole again, if only she can stop getting hurt long enough to actually heal.


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