(2018-09-12) Passing Through
Danny (firefighter) and Ashlea (Detective) bring a homeless man to the Stone Bed and Breakfast, to see if Katherine could house him while he awaits a placement bed at Merrimack, Cassius is on hand to enjoy some lunch

Its a good location for a Bed and Breakfast, no doubts there. Thus, it could seem a little out of place. A late model Scion (flying toaster) pulls up with a few figures in it, parking at the curbside most likely. Danny is driving, and as he gets out, he is in a green flight suit. Some smudges on his suit. Not as much as the man that was in the passenger seat, who looks rather smudged, and perhaps some dirt under that. If one pegged the passenger as a hobo that lived through a wild fire, they'd be about 100 percent accurate perhaps. His beard isn't too long, so can't have been in the wild too long, if one is guessing he's from the wild. The passenger in the back seat probably helped Danny get her, an officer of the law she is.

Danny comes around the front of the Scion, saying to the dirty, ember stricken fellow, "Just a few days tops, yeah? The system will clear it all up and we'll get you a proper bed." At Merrimack, which is probably less a proper bed than at the B&B here. The man nods his head and the turn to walk along the sidewalk, following the walk that leads up to the Stone Bed and Breakfast here.

It's warm outside, there is a storm coming, so where would one find Katherine? In her garden of course, yanking offending weeds from mulched flowerbeds. She perks up like a gopher out of its hole when she hears the car door, turning instinctively towards the sound. "Hey!" She calls out, waving a hand over her head. A clod of dirt falls on her, smudging her face and she snorts out a laugh as she clambers to her feet. "Everything okay?" She asks, dusting her hands off on her legs.

With a dire need for detectives in the department, Ashlea found herself filling in for homicide, forensics and just about anywhere in the station the chief ordered her. It meant she had little time for much outside the department lately. This time, however, she had arrived with the aerial firefighter and as she gets out of the backseat, she straightens her clothing, smoothing a hand over her jeans. She wasn't exactly on duty at the moment, but she still wore her badge, which made an appearance as her blazer hem moved to the side with her exit from the vehicle. Her serious expression fades into a smile as she notices her new friend and it turns a little crooked as she approaches. "Hi, Katherine." As for the business at hand, she leaves that for Danny.

Driving up to the Bed and Breakfast in his Dodge Charger, Cassius exits the vehicle and sees…quite a few people here. Oh hey, Kate's doing some garden work. "Hey Kate." He seems to have groceries with him. What? A storm was coming. Plus he already said he'd make a grocery run at some point. "Brought some groceries for the kitchen." he then looks to Ashlea as she also came near. "Hi there." he extends a hand. "Cassius Merlyn, nice to meet you." He offers the same to Danny. "Staying a few days at the B&B? Well, welcome." he seems to straighten out his jacket just a little bit, but otherwise has a smile on his face.

Looking at the greeting, then to Ashlea, Danny nods. "Yeah, things are okay," a pause and a shake of his head at the arrival of Cassius. If the hand comes his way he may shake it too, "Not me. These fellow here, Stephen, he's come through from Kansas, making his way west." Because cooler weather is coming if one deduced the reason. "We found him out in the smolder, some of the ground crew were stomping embers and came across him." The dirty man that is with them, he seems to just be looking between all parties for the moment. "I don't mean any trouble," he chirps in. Danny shakes his head, "Just a few days, here or in placement, make sure you're on a clean bill of health is all." Said more to Stephen, then to Katherine, "Would you have a room, if it wouldn't be trouble? I'd foot the bill."

Katherine aims a smile at Stephen, gesturing towards the house. "It's no trouble. I enjoy having guests and I'd be happy to have you stay with me for a few days. Placement doesn't sound quite so fun." Turning to Danny she nods. "Storm is moving in, so he'll be more comfortable here. I've got a generator if things get a bit crazy." She gestures for the four to head towards the house, pulling her gloves from her hands. "I was just about to get lunch started if you guys are all hungry." She points up, and dark clouds are starting to gather, but the day doesn't smell like rain — yet. "Tomato soup and grilled cheese. Made the bread myself." She turns and walks towards the house, chatting as she moves. "Ashlea here came up with the idea of serving meals, and it's taken off. I even deliver sometimes."

Ashlea gives a smile to Cassius after greeting Katherine, "Ashlea Anderson, it's a pleasure making your acquaintance. Just looking for a place for Stephen for a few days." She doesn't really know the displaced man herself, but she glances over at Danny, a nod at being the person who had suggested this place. "I heard about the storm moving in. Hopefully we'll all weather it well. You know who to call if you need," she grins at Katherine. "Not that I'll be much help, but I have a really cool flashlight." Laughing a little at her own response. Tipping her head back to look at the sky, she gives an involuntary shiver. "Soup and sandwiches. Count me in. You staying, Danny? I'll spring for lunch since you've got the room and all for Stephen." There's a soft groan that follows Katherine's statement. "She makes the absolute best lasagna. I swear it almost got me engaged. It's at least going to get her van repaired and winterized for her."

Cassius shakes Danny's hand with a nod. "ah, nice to meet you." he gives a wave to Stephen. Though his eyes shift to Ashlea immediately after. "Nice to meet you, Ashlea. Not looking for a place to stay yourself? Well, thanks for helping find a place for the guy. Very nice of you." his smile is friendly and his places his hands in his pockets, before he looks to Kate. "Oh, I'm starving. If it's not too much trouble, I'd love to have some of your cooking." he looks to Ashlea. "She's an amazing cook."

Grinning, Danny looks up at the house, giving a slight nod towards Ashlea too. "Yeah, just a couple of days, weather the storm. He's have to be in a holding cell while they clear him up to get social services to foot his medical bill. He could go to Merrimack too, but he's in a holding cell now. I figured why not try." He shrugs, more for Katherine, as it seems Danny made the option to come here. He looks to Stephen, "You good, take a room, clean up, join us for food?"

Stephen shrugs, and nods too, "Yeah, it'll work.

Danny joins in then, "Well, easier than I thought, I'm famished." He did come in out of the field and work. "Danny Hamilton. I've heard murmurs about the food, I think Ashlea's been talking. Now you have two upvotes." A nod to Cassius who shows support. "I'd give it a good rating, thank you for the hospitality."

"I just bought a little fixer upper over on the other side of town. If I was looking though, I'd go here since there's all that good food." Certainly Ashlea loves Katherine's cooking! Tomato soup was on offer, but she waits to follow Katherine's lead. The groceries do beg a question though, "Do you work here too?" Asked of Cassius. "Or you just like to eat here?" She grins in Danny's direction. "Once you've had the lasagna, you're hooked. Trust me."

"I try hard to make good things." Katherine jokes, and as they walk in the entryway she gestures up the stairs. "Okay Stephen, first room on the left is the loft, it's yours for the next few days. It has an attached bathroom, so feel free to get cleaned up. I have a few changes of clothes from my brother in the back of the closet in the loft. I'm sure he'd be happy to know that they went to a good cause." She brushes her hair back on the face and gestures toward the great room. "The rest of you, this way." She leads them on, skirting a side table. "We'll be in the kitchen, Stephen, we'll see you soon!"

Cassius looks on to the group with a smile, nodding softly to Ashlea. "Well, I used to live here for a few days while I was waiting for my house to hopefully be purchased. Had a bit of a bidding thing with it. Thankfully, about two days ago now I think? I got the house so I moved out. But I like helping out here at the B&B." He smiles. Before he looks to Katherine. "Alrighty, sounds good." he reaches into his car to grab all hte groceries he bought for Kate as he carried them in. Before his eyes shifted to Danny and Stephen. "Don't worry Stephen, you'll love it here." eyes shifting to Danny. "Thanks, and not a problem."

Stephen pointed upwards, Danny pauses a moment to put an arm around the man as if supporting a brother. Its casual, more like a pat on the back. "There you go, come down if you like, or I'll make sure something warm is saved for you. I'll check back in." Then Danny is more with the group at hand. Stephen says to Katherine, "Thanks," giving a sheepish look to the others, as if he may be homeless, but has a personal pride (no black marker signs on corners for him). Then he starts his trek up the stairs.

Danny comments, "Sounds like we're all new in town, except for you Katherine. I grabbed a townhome over on Smelter. It seemed, close to everything? Then I realized, there is twice as much to out of town." Including his job. "I should have stayed here too, just for the food. I was too eager to try and settle some place." A pause, to Ashlea as they follow Katherine, "Did you stay here a few days too before you got your fixer upper?"

Ashlea offers to take one of the grocery bags from Cassius, "Need some help?" Either way, if he allows her to assist or not, she will go in with the group, following Katherine. "Glad you won your bidding war. I'm awful at that. Bidding. I find something on Ebay, bid the most I'm willing to pay and try and forget about it. Then comes the bidding war at the end and it suddenly becomes a vendetta I don't want to lose and I'm there firing off bids left and right. I had to stop buying on Ebay." A sheepish sort of look herself. A shake of her head is given to Danny. "I wish. I might not have bought a house though, and I really do like where I'm living."

"Yeah, I've been here all my life. I keep saying I'll move one day, but I know that's unlikely to happen." Katherine gazes towards the stairs, before she turns to Danny. "You know, if he's looking for a job, I got some things he can do around here. Once he's settled in, perhaps you, he and I can sit down and talk about it." She has a feeling the less of a crowd, the better. "I have a little studio apartment over the garage, and if he can help me clean it up, and isn't adverse to working here. We can figure something out." She takes a deep breath and as people settle around a table, she starts to butter slices of bread as she prepared to make the grilled cheese. She hums softly to herself as she cooks, turning to check on the tomato soup that's simmering before she starts pulling cheese from the fridge. She sneaks a look at Ashlea, grinning in her direction.

Cassius starts setting down groceries and starts stocking up the kitchen. He doesn't seem to be in a rush to get his lunch. Though he remains silent for a time, he gives a small smile to Ashlea, causing a chuckle to escape his lips. "Yeah, it can get competetive." he shrugs. "I'm just happy I won. More like they withdrew." he shrugs, before he continues unpocking the groceries he bought. Once that's finished, he pats Kate on the shoulder in passing before taking his seat at the table.

Following to sit down himself, Danny nods towards Katherine, "That'd be great, I'll swing by tomorrow and we can see about him staying on like that if he's interested. Like just a good break for the fellow." The firefighter seems to support it. "Need me to do anything," from sitting position, he could butter bread and such too though. A grin spreads on his face as Ashlea and Cassius talk about getting homes, and the bidding and such. "Well, you didn't stay but you discovered the food here. Might become a regular lunch spot now." Then after Cassius finishes, he chuckles, "THey withdraw, mysteriously, yet conveniently." Its more in the spirit of joking. "I could use some of that luck."

Ashlea catches the smile from Katherine as she slips into the seat and returns it with another sheepish look. "I'm the worst at cooking or I'd offer to help. One day I'll take you up on that offer of teaching me. Right now, I'm appreciating Joseph's creativity with the grilling out. And your meals of course." She does watch and pay attention to the buttering of the bread and the gathering of the cheese though. "I'm glad you got the place you wanted too," she tells Cassius. "There are some nice neighborhoods in this town I've discovered." A click of her tongue towards Danny and she laughs. "It's more that Katherine discovered me. We met while doing some laundry."

Katherine beams a happy smile at Danny. "Excellent. I can always use a set of extra hands and it would help him out. If you bright him here, he must not be a bad sort." There is an offer to help and she shakes her head, still humming softly. "I've got it, I promise. Anyone not okay with colby jack and swiss?" She asks, leaning in to sniff the smell coming from the pan. "I also have sharp cheddar, mild cheddar.. " She's nattering at this point, and she goes quiet, turning back to her cooking. She flips the sandwiches, and while the second side browns she starts to ladle out bowls of tomato soup, setting them in front of the three at the table. Setting a bowl aside for the guest, she gets back to work. "Save room for dessert. The woman who bought the bakery..downtown.. she is staying here until her townhome is finished and she made chocolate cupcakes. They are amazing." She peeks at Ashlea again and grins. "I bet she'd teach us both how to make a simple cake if I begged her."

Cassius sits down at the table and he clasps his hands together, looking to Ashlea. "Me too. thank you." His eyes glance to Danny "Hey, Kate is a seriously good chef. I'd have her food anyday." before he shrugs. "I was a bit surprised myself. Hope everything's alright with them or maybe they just chose a different house." a shrug before his eyes look to Katherine. "Don't think anyone's not okay with jack and swiss cheese." he smiles then. "mm…smells good."

Kate uses the spatula to put a sandwich on a plate, cutting it in two pieces. She moves to set it down in front of Cassius. "Thank you, I do enjoy cooking." She murmurs, moving to get another sandwich. She gets sandwiches in front of everyone and then moves to server herself. She tilts her head, listening for the stairs. "Ashlea, I'm making chicken marsala tonight, I can bring you over a container for you and Joey. I made a lot of it, because Jessica — you know the reporter? She's coming to stay during the storm. It's going to be busy in here for the next few days, I think!"

"Cupcakes. Those sound good too, I may want to learn how to make a simple cake at some point." Looking down at the soup as it's placed and then the sandwich, Ashlea doesn't dig in, immediately, just waiting for everyone to be served, hostess included. "Oh that does sound good. I can stop by after work if that'd be easier for you, since you have a lot of others to feed. It'd save you a trip across town so you could feed everyone else? I'll invite him along sometime too."

A moment taken with the food, Danny nodded about Stephan but remained quite. A smile had found its way to his face. Then a nod, "This storm sounds like its gonna be big, everyone keeps mentioning it." As he comes back into the fold. "I'm good with any cheese, had me at tomato soup, the rest is just like bonus food." He won't be retunring for the evening meal as the others are, "Sounds like meal services is growing, you going to add to the house, or considered getting a second location just to serve meals?" It wouldn't be the same though, he sort of turns back down to his focus at the table, at his soup and sandwhich, reaching for sandwhich and dipping right into the tomato soup, filling his mouth with a bite and going back to listening. His eyes close a little and he nods at the goodness of home cooked food.

Cassius smiles to Kate as she thanks him for his compliment about her cooking. "Oh, your cooking chicken tonight? Do you mind if I come on down too?" he asks curiously. She did cook really stinking good. Though his eyes move to the food as he awaits everyoen to have their food first before he digs in. Just out of politeness. Though his eyes do fall upon Danny and Stephen. "Yeah. Probably gonna knock the power out for a period of time most likely. It's supposed to be huge." He takes a bite of his meal, happy and making a humming sound. Yep, he's good. Eyes shift to Ashley with a smile as she and Kate speak about cupcakes. Mmm…cupcakes.

Katherine finishes handing out the sandwiches and she settles down with her own, crossing her legs as she dips her spoon into her soup. "Wow, a second location? I never…" She tilts her head, looking thoughtful. "..you know, Danny I never even considered that." There is a pause, a few moments of quiet before she chuckles softly. "The storm is going to be a problem, it's why I invited Jess to stay. She hasn't been through one, and she seemed a little nervous about it." There is a worried look on her face, before she adds. "How are the fires? Will the rain help? Gosh, I hope there isn't too much lightning, that might make it worse huh?" She smiles at Cassius and shakes her head. "You're more than welcome to stop by, I can make you something to go or you can stay and meet the newcomer."

Settling in for her food now, Ashlea digs in. The sandwich isn't dipped into the tomato soup, but she nibbles one then spoons the other in after, so close enough! She is obviously delighting in the richness of flavor. "Thank you, Katherine, for inviting us to stay. I wouldn't have missed this for anything." With the mention of Cassius coming for the chicken as well, she smiles in his direction, "I think we'll get to know one another well, with the offerings of our mutual friend here." Though the thought of the big storm doesn't alarm Ashlea any, or it doesn't seem to, the mention of the fires has her glancing back to Danny. "I never considered the lightning adding more issues to what you've already got going on."

"I should probably check in see what the rangers plan, may need a plane up sighting the outliers." Danny thinks that makes sense, he continues to eat between bites just the same. A nod coming, "It will help on the front end, anything left smoldering at Horse Head will be out and we can close those books. On the tail of it though, depends what the lightning is like. Dense trees and some large dry piles of needles a the bottom." He shrugs, as if self explanatory, nodding with Katherine's thought on it making it worse. "Just depends on the rain levels too. I mean, a good wash down the mountain picking up dead trees too, its just waiting for lightning at the end of the rain. It should be good though, more effort will be around town and the power grid I think."

Cassius offers Ashlea a small smile. "I think and hope we will too. It'll be fun, for certain." he looks then to Kate as she invites him to stay until they converge again. "Thank you, Kate. I'd love to. Besides, always nice to meet someone new and to have company during the storm as well." he shrugs before his eyes fall upon Danny. "Yeah. I just hope everyone will stay safe. Storms like this arn't very friendly to people out and about." he seems concerned for the people of Calaveras. But he shrugs. "But, as long as everyone here is safe, I'm happy."

Katherine glances towards the front entryway, getting to her feet. "I'll go check to see how Stephen is doing. He might want to eat upstairs, not be crowded." Her cheeks turn red at the praise, clearing her throat as she tries to hide her face. "Whatever you do Danny, stay safe. You too Ashlea. These storms can get kind of intense." She moves out of the kitchen, carrying a tray with her, and she can be heard at the entryway. "Stephen, would you like me to bring you some lunch up to your room?" There is a muffled response and then the sound of steps on the stairs. When Katherine reappears she has a smile on her face. "He's a little bit overwhelmed, I guess a lot went on today." She takes a seat, finished with her meal. She catches the end of what Cassius says. "The emergency responders here are amazing. As long as people don't do anything silly, most people will be absolutely fine."

"A good wash down the mountain just may endanger the houses and animals at the bottom of those mountains too. I taken a drive out to Granja Basin before and noticed some of the ranches out that way at the base of the mountains. Cattle and horses and all roaming the fields there." It's something to consider. "Either way, I'm sure some of us will be out in it. Especially if the power goes out. Traffic lights and all that will need stop signs moved in the center." Among other things. Finishing off her own meal, out of habit she gathers her bowl and all and walks over to start rinsing them off in the sink. "That was incredible, thank you."

Eating, Danny pauses for a drink. Most of his sandwhich dipped and devoured. "Yeah," he returns to Cassius, "I hope the primitive campers decide to stay in this weekend." As if, some folks just won't be told what to do. He lets Ashlea respond to Katherine, and adds for himself, "I'll be safe, if I have work to do it will be when the storm has passed at least." He did a low almost whislte sound from his lips, imagining the trouble with the animals on those ranches. "Someone will do something silly, like it can't be helped, there's always one, just hopefully its not life threatening silly during this storm. I agree with Ashlea, this is really good. You have another fan in the room Katherine, this is good eats."

Well, in a perfect world, Cassius would never worry. Though his eyes do fall upon Kate as she spoke to him. "Yeah, that's the hope. I learned how good the responders are thanks to Officer Payne." He's not kidding about the name. Though his eyes do look to Danny. "Hope so too. and thank you for at least trying to stay safe. Puts a lot of wory at ease." before he looks to Ashlea. "True. But I think the animals will be fine, all things considered." he shrugs. He starts to finish his meal and he starts to stand up, collecting silverware and the like as he prepares to get up and get moving. Though he pauses, seeing Ashlea rinsing off her dishes first, he remains seated until she finishes.

Katherine flutters her hands as she gets to her feet, gathering the dishes. "Hey hey, no cleaning up the dishes. I'll take care of it." She starts picking up the plates, and bowls, putting them in the sink. "The cupcakes are on the side table, everyone grab one. They're amazing." She starts to do the dishes, submerging her hands in the soapy water with a happy sigh. "Thanks for the compliment guys, anytime you want to stop over, you're welcome." She glances over her shoulder briefly. "Danny, give me a call before you head over tomorrow, we'll talk to Stephen and I'll go take a peek at the loft over the garage tonight to make sure it's not leaking."

"Habit, sorry. I just usually help clean up since my skills are no where near the cooking part. Just trying to do my part." A flush climbs her cheeks and Ashlea retakes her seat. Only after grabbing a cupcake for herself and for Danny and Cassius. Once she's seated again, she takes a bite right off the top, sinking her teeth in and savoring it.

Danny nods, "Certainly, I mean we try, but nature of the beast so to speak. Its good to help, I think that's the driving factor, for me at least. Then again, flying the bomber is less the risk than the jumpers and other fighters." As he gets up to get a cupcake, he agrees, "Yeah, I'll give a call, arrange a good time to talk about Stephen helping out around here. If you want help fixing it up too, I'm sure he and I might both chip in." He can't fully speak for Stephen, but if the other man was interested in the offer, it seemed reasonable." Ashlea beat him, so he accepts the cupcake as she distrutes, settling into his chair again. "I need to find more clients for you I think, this was a damn good meal."

"Excellent. I look forward to it." Katherine dries off her hands, turning to smile at the people at the table. "I wouldn't mind more people coming around for food, it makes me pretty happy to have folks around." Brushing her hair behind her ears, she begins to put away the leftovers. "Cassius, I'll see you for dinner. Ashlea and Danny, let me know if I can do anything for the first responders. Maybe Jessica and I can make some sandwiches for people who are working while the storm is brewing and breaking. That way you won't have to deal with greasy stuff. Yeah?"

Cassius looks to the cupcakes as they are pointed out. He hms, as if debating it, before he does in fact go and take a cupcake for himself to nom on. His eyes widen as he tastes. "Wow…that tastes amazing." He looks to Danny. "If you and Stephen need help, I'll come down and help out too." He offers his own hand in helping before his eyes fall upon Ashlea. "No apologies needed. I have the same habit…though Kate usually tries to stop me from cleaning so she can." he shoots a playful wink Kate's way. Speaking of Kate, as she announces the plan, as it were, Cass nods. "Definitely, Kate. Can't wait." good rhyme.

"That's a really good idea, nice sandwiches and the like. Maybe make your place a stop off for the workers to have a warm, safe place. Or maybe any of the elderly with oxygen at home, should they need a place to go if they are without power. Do you have a generator or anything for such times, so you could have power? It's a nice thought, a good investment." Ashlea gives Cassius a smile in response to their like minded clean up efforts. "Hopefully the storm is a lot of hype that turns out to be nothing."

"The sandwiches sound great," agrees Danny, peeling wrapper from cupcake slowly, it must be enjoyed apparently. "You know, the college kids had raised money for victims of the fire, maybe we could have something for the collection. A little town hall, if you're willing to cook that much Katherine, like supply a few treats for us?" He thros it out there, then bites into the cupcake. Savoring ever bit of savoriness to it. Finally swalloing, he nods, "That's my hope too, blow over at the last minute. I mean, I still might end up in range if a fire comes out of that even, but spare the town."

"Well you let me know what I can do to help. There is a lot of room in the house, lots of couches. I'll happily offer space to anyone who might need it." Katherine murmurs, pulling out a piece of notepaper so she can make some notes. "I'll start getting sandwich bags and see what I can manage to throw together to keep you guys fed. I've got a few things of bottled water in the garage, I can try to get them cold." She begins to wipe up around the kitchen until she's satisfied with how clean it is. "I always cook far too much, and I can plan out a large meal like nobodys business." She makes a few more notes and then chuckles softly. "Give me a call, Danny and Ashlea, we'll figure something out."

Cassius watches Kate leave and he gives her a little wave. Then he sighs. Before his eyes move to Ash, smiling to her in return. "I hope so too. But I think we'll be alright." his gaze slowly turns back to Danny. "Hey, maybe. Why don't we try and give back. Like…put something together for those college kids who helped out?" he bounces the idea off of Danny before he nods. "But…if it happens, then we're prepared at least."

Scene Fade

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