(2018-11-04) Early Homecoming
Vic gets back from Denver unexpectedly early to find Willow has decorated the office.
Players:
vic..willow..

Vic wasn't supposed to get back until Wednesday but here she is. She steps off the bus, having returned the rental car, and moves to unlock the gate and the door on the office. She looks tired, a bit cranky, and maybe hungry. She has a duffle bag in one hand and her usual messenger bag slung crossbody. "Honey, I'm home!" She calls out, not expecting a response, just a joke habit of hers.

*

"Vic!!!" Uh-oh, someone is home after all. Willow pops up from under Vic's desk with a broad smile on her face, streaks of paint on her skin, and a paintbrush in her right hand. She is wearing overalls…that are quite paint spattered with a shade of teal. The same shade that is on her face. That grey somber wall is not looking so grey anymore. And there's also a 'Hang In There' poster on a wall near the front door as well as a brass plague on VIc's desk that reads - 'Vic is the best dick'. "Welcome back! I dropped the brush under your table. Sorry. I'm sure the paint will come straight off the floor."

*

Blink. Blink. Vic stands in the doorway, staring at the teal, then the girl, then that damned cat poster which will likely be burnt at some point. Finally her eyes rest on the plaque and she lets out a snort halfway between amused and horrified. "What have you done to my office, Wil?" It's…cheerful. Which is about as far from her boss' personality as one can be. The duffle drops to the floor as she closes and relocks the gate and door behind her.

*

"You like it?" Willow grins, clambering out from under the desk and only bumping her head once as she does so. Still rubbing her head, she gestures with the paint brush at the partially painted wall - which sends paint spattering over another wall. "I decided to make it a bit more…welcoming. When people come here, they're usually pretty miserable. Not because we're horrible people to meet, but they come to us because someone is cheating on them, or they're looking for someone, or they've lost their pet. Not happy things. So we need to make it brighter. Make them /want/ to come instead of frightened to come." She taps the side of her head. "Up here for thinking." Willow used the hand with the paint brush in it, so now she has teal streaks in her red hair.

*

Vic watches the paint splatters fly with a pained expression. This is no doubt going to require more painting to fix. "The color is," she squints and manages a slightly eye-tick-causing "Nice". But she points to the poster. "Awful. Can I burn it?" She moves to the desk and picks up the plaque, snorting again. "Borderline offensive, it can stay, but I may need to turn it around if we get a client in with a genteel nature." She eyes the paint streaks in the girl's hair and tries not to laugh. "Well we can't make it too cheerful. I don't want them thinking I'm gonna be cheerful. False advertising and all that shit."

*

"False advertising is why the plaque says what is says" Willow explains with a nod towards it. "Originally I wanted it to say, 'Vic is the biggest dick' but then you'd have people going, 'Is that based on cases solved, or income, or personal height', and that was going to get all tricky. But 'best' can be a more subjective comment, and you don't really have to prove it." She purses her lips in thought. "What about 'Vic is the hardest dick'? You're pretty tough." Willow looks horrified at the thought of burning the poster. "You can't do that. It's a cute kitty. She already has to deal with hanging off a branch, burning it would be a bit mean." Oh…and I need a desk. Maybe a counter thing up the front where I can greet people and take details before they bother you."

*

Vic listens to her assistant rattle things off with the glazed look of someone who hasn't been sleeping much. "Ok, ok, we'll go get you a desk in a couple days." And maybe one of those room divider things so she doesn't have to watch Willow being all nice to people. "How did things go while I was in Denver?" where she's still supposed to be.

*

"It went totally awesome" Willow grins before rushing over to the filing cabinet and, after a couple of tugs, pulls it open to grab some notes. "I redid the filing so we can find things easier" she notes in an offhand fashion before reading from the papers in her hands. "Okay. I haven't been able to speak to Katherine yet about her case. She is sooooo busy. Must be awesome to be popular." A little sigh at that before continuing. "We got a 'Final Notice' from the electricity company. Not sure why, we're noticed we have electricity…der. Oh, a Mister Barlow dropped by. He wanted someone to find his brother. I've got the details, so we can get cracking on that. I saw your video mail. Loved the music. Do you know what they were playing in that bar? It must have gone well since you're home early. Oh…your toilet was blocked but I fixed that. I had to, it was really giving me the shits."

*

"Well Kate is running a business and hosting a tv show so I expect she'll be tough to nail down, not your fault," Vic notes, moving to pour herself some coffee from the pot into her favorite mug. It says on it "I can do all things through sarcasm and profanity." She listens to Willow's list of things done while she was away and grunts at the notice from the electric company. "Soon as Calvin pays me, we can make sure the power stays on. And that was Calvin's music they were playing. They were a Calvin Shay cover band." She looks at the girl in disbelief.

*

"Oh! Your boyfriend. Right" Willow nods solemnly. "He was a bit before my time, but he sounded okay." She was born this century after all. "I washed that mug too" she smiles as Vic pours herself a coffee. "It had this really hard layer of…I hope it was coffee. I'll get you a new mug soon. Oh…do we have any petty cash? We should probably get biscuits for our clients and tea for those who don't like coffee. Oh…I also got environmentally sustainable coffee that is grown by free farmers in the South Sudan. It even has George Clooney's face on it so it must be okay. It's called 'Hallowed Grounds'."

*

"What on God's green Earth would make you think Calvin was at all interested in me, Wil," Vic says with a snorted laugh. "Have you seen his ex-wives? He likes them blonde, big titted, beautiful, and under the age of 30," she points out with a smirk. That fades to horror. "NO! No changing the coffee! Wil, I know you think I'm the…best dick and all, but we don't make a whole lot of money here. I'm barely making the lease payments on the office, let alone my rent. That's why the power company sent a notice, I'm late with that bill."

*

"Oh…but…but…don't you care about all the people being exploited by coffee corporations and have to sell their wares at slave prices or be murdered by the Nescafe Nazis?" Willow pleads before pouting and nodding. "Okay, I'll keep getting the old coffee." Her smile is quickly back. A wicked smile. "And that's why /they/ are his ex-wives. You're much better than that, and exactly what Calvin needs. He totally makes lovey dovey eyes at you. I mean, der, you went on a date to the football. What was /that/ all about?" A wink for her boss…which causes her eyelids to stick with paint for a moment before she manages to wrench it open. "Should I get an extra job to help pay for everything?"

*

"That wasn't a date, it was just a football game. We took his dad and brother-in-law. He's gonna kill me when he finds out I didn't go to," Vic sighs. "He had me set up to go to a rapid detox in a rehab center in Denver after I got the case stuff done. I just couldn't go in. I want to detox but not there. It was all…" she wrinkles her nose, "shiny chrome and soft sheets and their own branded pajamas and I'd basically be unconscious during the worst of it. That's not how it's supposed to work."

She looks over at Willow as she sips from her mug, squinting at the difference in the taste of a.) new coffee and b.) out of a clean mug. "It's supposed to be terrible, awful, painful, so you don't want to ever have to do it again. If it's easy, what's stopping me from diving back into the booze? No, I'll do it upstairs, at home, in my ratty PJs, puking my guts out in my own bathroom. You need to live the punishment for the sins."

*

"Ummm…where would you go on a date with a guy that likes football? To a football game. Who would he bring if he was shy…and you had four tickets? His family. Yeah, it was a date." Now that Willow has sorted that out, she is quite surprised to hear about the detox plans. "Oh…is it that bad? I know you drink a lot, I couldn't even open your bedroom door with all the bottles, but I didn't know it was that bad. Sure, heavy drinking is never /good/…"

Willow sucks on her lower lip as Vic explains her plans for cleanliness. "I'll help" she offers, eyes bright with the need to do good for her boss. She screws up her nose about the puking - she'd have to clean that up - but it doesn't deter her! "That's silly. Why do you have to be miserable to feel better? That's a whole lot of guilt crap. That just means you don't like yourself and want to hurt because of what you've done. What you need to do is remember to like yourself. That should never hurt." With a warm smile on her face, she steps over to hug her boss…as best she can.

*

Vic looks at Willow sincerely, wincing at the comment about the bottles in her room. She sighs. "I've been a functional alcoholic since my husband died. I don't get blackout raging drunk often, but I'm always drunk. I'm drunk now. Not blind stumbling drunk, but I've been drinking. And addiction is a real tenacious thing, kid. If you don't get punished for it, you won't stop, or you'll relapse. Calvin knows that as well as I do. So I need to do this my way, the right way, not the easy way." She flinches at the hug but doesn't run screaming, patting the girl awkwardly on the back.

*

Willow hugs her boss tight, there may be paint transference. "I am so proud of you" she whispers…is she crying? The teen steps back and quickly wipes some tears from her cheek before offering up a smile. "Let's do this then! I'll throw out all your alcohol, so you'll have to tell me where it is. Oh…I can give it to those homeless guys down the street. And we're going to have a Sobriety Chart on the wall. Every day you go without a drink, we put a gold star sticker on it. So you can feel proud of what you're doing. And then, after a week of stars, we can have a drink to celebrate. Wait…that might not be a good idea. We'll figure something out. But don't worry, Vic, I'm gonna be with you every minute of every day!"

*

Oh God, what has she done?! Vic tries to smile through her horror at being baby sat by a Care Bear in human form while going through hell. "Not every minute ok? Uh. Maybe you can get Calvin to sit a shift or two. He's the one who inspired me to try and get sober."

*

Willow blushes and giggles at Vic's comment about Calvin taking some shifts. "I think he would love to see you in your PJs" she winks. "Maybe not with the vomit on them…not until the third date at least. But I'll talk to him about it. Let him know that you asked /specifically/ for him to be there with you in bed." That's what she took away from her boss's words. "Oh my gosh. This is going to be sooooo awesome. And life-changing. And don't worry about work, I'll take care of any cases that come up."

*

"No, not in bed with," Vic sighs and looks at the ceiling as if praying for help here. "Just to keep me from going for booze or anything else to make the stuff stop," she explains. "He's been through this before, so he knows what to expect and how to handle it."

*

"Oh…I could take your wallet away? You couldn't buy stuff then. Or chain you to the bed…is that part of the treatment? I'll ask Calvin" Willow nods to the wisdom of her words before pointing at the semi-painted wall. "Wanna help? It will take your mind off things. Oh, and do you want me to write up Calvin's case? It's filed under 'Baby Daddy, Sexy'."

*

"Let's get the painting done," Vic says with a resigned expression. She shrugs out of her jacket and moves to pick up a paint brush. "Then I need sleep. Tomorrow, we start the detox."

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