Title: Urchins are Poisonous, you know.
Munin - October 26, 2011 04:02 AM (GMT)
Madeline's feet were bare and dirty as she stood on the street corner. Once, they had been broken, blistered, bleeding, bruised...but no longer. They were thick, calloused things now. Yet still they had their own sense of outward beauty. She had her nails painted a light pink. Her heart was much the same way.
Her face was a mix of sadness and hope as she looked up at the people passing by. Her loose t-shirt was tied up in a few places, and her green shorts had a big rip up the side so that you could see her blue and white Seraph underwear. In her dirty hands, she had light blue unofficial chinese knock-off "Boras the Sky-Shifter" mug, and was holding it out for spare change.
A woman in dark sunglasses was coming up to her, and Madeline made sure to put on her saddest face.
"Miss, might you spare some change?"
Kate Delacoeur - October 26, 2011 04:11 AM (GMT)
Kate liked to wear her sunglasses so people didn't bother her. Something about the inability to see someone's eyes made people reluctant to start conversations. It was nice to have your privacy, even in public.
But the little girl was talking to her, and fuck, she was just a little kid and Kate couldn't ignore her. She stopped, hesitating because she didn't know what to do. "Actually," she said after a moment, still not removing her sunglasses. "I don't." another pause. "Are you hungry, though? I'll buy you something to eat."
There. That would solve things a little and Kate wouldn't feel so terrible for the poor little kid. She'd buy her lunch, talk to her little, figure out what was going on. Kid could use some new clothes. Kate could probably find some.
Munin - October 26, 2011 04:13 AM (GMT)
"I'm not..." Madeline frowned. She was hungry. But... "He said I'm not supposed to go with strangers. I'm supposed to stay here until he comes back." That wasn't actually true. She was supposed to move around the city as best she could until he found her. But this lady didn't need to know that.
Kate Delacoeur - October 26, 2011 04:17 AM (GMT)
"Oh." Kate wanted to frown but she made herself smile instead, and she bent down so they were closer to being eye to eye. "Maybe I can just bring you something then. For later." But who was 'he' ?
She pushed the sunglasses on top of her head. "My name's Kate. What's your name?"
Munin - October 26, 2011 04:18 AM (GMT)
"Madeline." She said and shrugged. "Can I have a happy meal?"
Kate Delacoeur - October 26, 2011 04:21 AM (GMT)
Kate nodded. "Of course. Just tell me what you want." There. That was easy! Kate had successfully done a good thing. Or, she was about to successfully do a good thing. It was all about the same in the long run.
She smiled again. "It's nice to meet you, Madeline."
Munin - October 26, 2011 04:22 AM (GMT)
"The chicken one. With a toy. Don't forget the toy." She nodded. Toys were useful. You could trade them to the kids on the playground for their candy.
Kate Delacoeur - October 26, 2011 04:26 AM (GMT)
She laughed. "I won't forget. I'm going to be right back." Kate straightened and put her sunglasses on before disappearing around the block.
She tried to think of what the best thing to do in this situation would be. Should she call the police or child protective services or something? There had to be someone she could call. Poor kid, didn't even have proper shoes or clothes. Kate was going to think of something to do.
The retired hero returned with the promised food a quick 10 minutes later. "Here you go," she said, and offered the Happy Meal to Madeline.
Munin - October 26, 2011 04:28 AM (GMT)
Madeline took it and opened it to do an inventory. Everything seemed to be in order. She didn't smile at Kate.
"Thanks." But her face was still sad. She sat down against the wall and began to eat.
Kate Delacoeur - October 26, 2011 04:30 AM (GMT)
Kate hesitated briefly and then sat next to Madeline. "You're welcome," she answered and smiled.
She let the girl eat for a bit before pestering her with any questions. "Who are you waiting here for? Is he your dad? Do you have some place safe to stay?"
Munin - October 26, 2011 04:38 AM (GMT)
"He's not my dad. My dad died." She said. "I think." She wrinkled her brow. The memory was all muddled.
"He's him." She shrugged.
Kate Delacoeur - October 26, 2011 04:40 AM (GMT)
That made Kate frown. "I'm sorry. That must be very hard for you." Christ. She was just a kid.
"Where do you sleep?" Kate was not sure she was asking questions that she wanted the answer to. She was going to get sad answers and then she wouldn't be able to sleep because she'd be thinking about poor little Madeline. "Is it safe?"
Munin - October 26, 2011 04:46 AM (GMT)
"It's safe and it's dry." She shrugged. "He said it's warm too, but I don't know because it's summer."
Kate Delacoeur - October 26, 2011 04:50 AM (GMT)
Kate nodded. That was okay, she guessed. "You must have some family, somewhere?" she prodded. This wasn't normal. Little girls should be playing dress up and having tea parties, not asking for change on the street.
Maybe Conner would know what to do. She started to pull out her phone to text him, hesitated, and put it away. Conner was busy enough as it was.
Munin - October 26, 2011 04:53 AM (GMT)
"No." She said. She was getting tired of all these questions. Munin would use her special memory if she didn't stop asking questions soon. She had wanted to save it for a police officer, but all these questions were annoying.
Kate Delacoeur - October 26, 2011 04:58 AM (GMT)
Kate frowned again. She didn't know she was being annoying and she also didn't really like the answers she was getting. But she kept asking stuff anyway. "How did you get out here?"
That seemed like a simple question. Kids liked to talk, didn't they?
Munin - October 26, 2011 04:59 AM (GMT)
"I walked." She said, wondering how this woman survived if she was so dumb. She didn't understand what she was really asking.
Kate Delacoeur - October 26, 2011 05:01 AM (GMT)
Kate chuckled and shook her head. "That's not what I meant," but maybe it was what she had accidentally asked. "I wanted to know why you're here all alone with nobody to look out for you."
She tried to smile warmly at Madeline. "People your age should have someone to take care of them."
Munin - October 26, 2011 05:05 AM (GMT)
She shrugged. "I used to live in an apartment, but..." She wrinkled her forehead, and her head hurt. She looked at Kate and stood up. She touched Kate's forehead, transferring the memory she didn't understand that that almost naked woman had given her. Then, she ran.
Kate Delacoeur - October 26, 2011 05:20 AM (GMT)
"But?" Kate had started to encourage but then the girl was up and had almost smudged Kate's sunglasses and then she was gone, but Kate hardly noticed she was gone because -
Her face contorted into a mask of confusion. No. This wasn't right. Why was she just now remember this? She didn't remember any of this happening except now she knew it had happened. But when? Kate was still trying to process how anyone had done such a thing to her and she had forgotten. You were supposed to go to the hospital, and the police, and tell somebody but Kate didn't remember any of those things. She just remembered that it had happened at all. Kate had been raped and just now remembered and where had that kid gone? Kate hoped she was okay.
Kate stood abruptly and pulled out her phone, dialing Conner's number. She didn't know who else to tell these things to.
Conner Comeau - October 26, 2011 05:56 AM (GMT)
Kate Delacoeur - October 26, 2011 06:02 AM (GMT)
She paused, and smiled, temporarily swayed from her alarm because it was so good to hear his voice. There was silence on Kate's end of the phone. She took a deep breath. "Are you busy? I want to see you. I need to see you and I need to talk to you."
Kate breathed carefully, deeply, again. "Something really," she searched for the word. "Weird. Something weird just happened and I can't figure it out." she lowered her voice, though surely no one cared enough to eavesdrop on her. "I need you, Conner."
Conner Comeau - October 26, 2011 06:03 AM (GMT)
"Okay. Can you come by the office?"
Kate Delacoeur - October 26, 2011 06:12 AM (GMT)
Yes. That would work and it would be good. Kate like Conner's office because he always saved all the red jelly beans for her. Those were the best flavors. Red was always the best flavor. "Yeah. I'm on my way now."
Kate breezed through the office, stopping only briefly to acknowledge the existence of the secretary before joining Conner in his private office. She shut the door behind her and turned to Conner. Her brow was still furrowed, distressed. "I think I might be losing it."
Conner Comeau - October 26, 2011 06:14 AM (GMT)
Conner didn't get up from his chair when she entered. He didn't look up from his paperwork.
"Tough day at work?" He asked.
Kate Delacoeur - October 26, 2011 06:18 AM (GMT)
"No." Kate shook her head. Had her voice sounded shaky? It was shaky, wasn't it? That was silly. Everything was okay. She was not in any danger. She wasn't hurt. At least, not now.
She didn't move yet. "Have you ever remembered something that happened to you? That you totally forgot? Something bad." Maybe this was normal. Conner would know. Conner always knew.
Conner Comeau - October 26, 2011 06:20 AM (GMT)
"Yeah. Usually my dad was involved, though. Why?"
Kate Delacoeur - October 26, 2011 06:27 AM (GMT)
"I told you. Something weird happened." Kate wasn't sure she wanted to tell him after all. She didn't know he he would react. She was afraid that he would react bad and then she would react bad and that was scary because Kate didn't even know what she was going to do about this in the first place.
She looked down, sort of at his desk. Kate didn't want to see how he reacted. "I had this weird though - I guess it's a memory." No, she was certain the more she thought about it. Kate trusted herself. "It is a memory."
This was all a very convoluted lead in to what she meant to tell him. "I think I was." Kate didn't want to say it. That made it real and she didn't want it to be real. She closed her eyes and just got it all out at once. "I think I was raped."
There. She'd said it. Kate didn't feel any better.
Conner Comeau - October 26, 2011 06:29 AM (GMT)
Conner stopped writing. His pen hovered motionless for a second. He didn't look up. Then, he was out of his chair and his arms were wrapped around his girlfriend and he didn't say anything. He just pulled her tight against him.
Kate Delacoeur - October 26, 2011 06:38 AM (GMT)
She exhaled and let him hold her. Conner would make sure she was safe. He would always make sure she was safe. "I don't remember anything else," she explained. "Just that it happened and I don't even know when."
It was all so weird. How could she not remember anything else? "I was just sitting then and then suddenly it was was like, bam. I remembered." Kate kind of felt more concerned about the fact that she didn't know anything else about it, that her mind was playing tricks on her. "Please say something," she pleaded with him. "Say something, mo shou."
Conner Comeau - October 26, 2011 06:39 AM (GMT)
Kate Delacoeur - October 26, 2011 06:47 AM (GMT)
She knew that. "Mo laimm twa," Kate answered back, unconcerned as to how aware he was of what that meant. He was still holding her and she hoped he didn't let her go.
"What do I do now?" she asked. Not legally. Or medically. Kate knew there was nothing to do for either one of those things. But what was she supposed to do? How was she supposed to act now? Kate just wanted to curl up in bed with Conner and sleep and make it all go away again.
Conner Comeau - October 26, 2011 06:49 AM (GMT)
"Whatever you want, Kate." He kissed her softly.
Kate Delacoeur - October 26, 2011 06:54 AM (GMT)
"I'm scared," she admitted. "I don't forget things. That's not me, Conner."
Was this related to her powers? Was this because she'd been using them anyway? That could make her forget. She knew that would make her forget because she could blackout when she used them. But Kate was so careful! She was always so careful and who forgot something like that?
"Why don't I remember anything?" Kate murmured. "I'm supposed to remember."