[personal profile] chanter_greenie
This has been sponsored by [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith. Thank you, Ysabet! In the orange!verse, sharing space in Canadian safehouses is far from uneventful, for better or worse.

TW: This fic contains, in three separate, unconnected instances, allusions to the loss of family members, obvious mental stress, and consensual sex. There's also some swearing, though nothing too filthy; Carlos and Lise each get scatological once, the rest is milder, and a lot of what wouldn't be milder is deliberately left to the imagination. :P



Terry's not sure just what else to do. yes, opening a presumably empty bedroom's closed door with no warning is probably a bad idea, but when your arms are full of what feels like twenty coats and you only have one semi-free hand to work with, there aren't really too many other options that don't involve dropping outerware all over the end of the hallway. Knocking would be clumsy like this, anyway. So he'll just open the--

... Ooh. Oh dear.

Alain's standing in the center of the bedroom, bent low enough to let the tiny red-headed woman with him keep both feet firmly on the ground as they kiss. It's not a desperate thing, but there's clear emotion behind it even in the profile view he gets--oh, and there's emotion in both faces as the pair break apart and turn on him, to be sure. Meg's glaring. Alain's sporting a scowl of his own, though his mouth is twitching at one corner. "Ahem," Meg says. Pointedly.

"Whoops," Terry says ever so casually, "sorry. I'll ditch these somewhere else, I think. Leaving now. Good night!"

"Knock next time!" Meg advises him as he backs down the hall. Alain doesn't say anything, but steps just far enough away from his wife that he can thump the door closed. Terry can't help the tiniest chuckle, despite himself. He's halfway to certain he hears a second chuckle in Alain's register coming from behind that door, too.

Well. That could've gone better.

Could've also gone quite a lot worse.

*******

There are two things on the desk in front of Sothy. One is a tattered photo in an upright frame. It looks like family from here, that's a younger Sothy, a woman with a baby and one--two? older children, the blurry shape is probably a second standing kid but Jilly can't be entirely sure. the other is an annotated map of Lake Saint Clair, shore to shore and all the way around, with scribbled notations in both English and Khmer at its edges.

Sothy's eyes aren't on the map. They're on the picture frame. He's trying to be quiet about his crying, but it isn't entirely working. If he's noticed her at all, which she doubts, he gives absolutely zero indication. the bedroom door's wide open.

Jilly doesn't say anything, just quits looking over the older man's shoulder and cat foots it back the way she came.

*****

Quinn can't help it. Between what he's feeling, what Lise's hand is doing and the stream of ideas she's hissing in his ear he just. can't. He's moaning high and desperate as he spills between them, and he's fully aware Lise is rocking forward against her other hand's fingers, chasing him to climax, but just then he has zero energy and less idea how to add anything to her enjoyment. The half groan, half yell that replaces her words not ten seconds later isn't exactly quiet but then again, he wasn't what most people would call silent when he came either. He's rather pleased with himself, or at least as pleased as his hazy brain can manage from amid his spent, chaotic sprawl on the matress, for triggering that kind of reaction in someone without having hands (or mouth, or toy, or whatever) on the problem.

Thump. Thump. Thump.

"Will y'all shut up in there?" Sister's voice is slightly muffled through the adjoining wall, but it's plenty clear enough for sleepy annoyance to get through. "Y'wanna have a good time bon, but I'ma throw a bucketa water over y'all next! F'real, you two..." The last words sound somewhere between exasperation and a plea, to his admittedly still foggy ears.

Quinn looks at Lise. A still nearly breathless Lise looks back at him.

She flops backwards onto the pillows beside him at almost exactly the same instant he flings an arm over his face. Neither one of them can stop giggling for a full minute, not even when - he's pretty sure it's Doc this time - pounds on the wall.

As afterglows go, Quinn'll take it.

*****

"Say good night, Sandy," Terry quips, slapping his final card down on the table.

"G'night," says a sleepy voice from the hallway, "Sa--oh, shit. Sorry--" A barefoot, formerly yawning Carlos is abruptly wide awake. His apology dissolves into a chortle as he thumbs the kitchen light switch back to the on position. The poker players are all laughing too - Terry all-out snorts - and Alain makes a humorous sort of 'oh lord, now what?' gesture at the ceiling, but there was also definitely an "Eh!" from Anna's direction when things first went dark.

*****

Clunk. Squeak.

"Yaaaaah!"

"Oh f--sorry, sorry. Why didn't you lock the door?" Most of Adrian's words are muffled slightly by said door, which he's just slammed back shut.

"It was closed," Lise grouses. "Did you want a locked door and a puddle on the floor? Go away."

"Eugh, damn! Didn't need that mental image." Adrian's voice fades as he backs away at speed. "Gol-ly! That makes the list of things I didn't wanna know about a friend."

Lise doesn't respond.

*****

"Who's left their shoes on the top landing again?" Helen shouts over the bannister. "Whoever it was, come and move them, please, before someone trips over them."

*****

It's late in Brampton. The radio in the corner of the living room is on low, tuned to what sounds like Indian film music from the South Asian station in the city center. The sofa is two cushions occupied, and at least two of the big overstuffed chairs and one of the swiveling corduroy ones have people in them. For his part, Keith's nose is buried in his notebook. From upstairs comes the shrill drone of a hairdryer. The dogs are off asleep somewhere, the bird's in her cage with her head under one wing, and a couple humans are already in bed themselves. It's all very mellow, and--

Crack!

Hairdryer? Not running anymore. Radio? Off. Heat vents? No longer wafting warm air around the place. Lights? Nope, pitch black. Dammit.

"What the?" yelps a woman at the same moment two distinct voices swear in French, and then there's the sound of cloth rustling, almost like - Keith isn't sure he's guessing right, but it's the best he has on the fly - someone shoulder-bumped somebody else in the dark. A man's cursing in English, sounds like Terry. Another person makes an inarticulate sound of protest, but Keith can't tell if that one's male, female or something else.

The place is suddenly full of barely visible, moving somethings that may or may not be people blundering around the room. For his part, Keith drops his pencil and has no idea where it rolls. He doesn't step on it getting to his feet, at least, and he's fairly confident his notebook hits the seat of the chair rather than the floor. Small victories.

"Where they got the circuit breaker?" That's the doc using his authoritative voice. "I have no idea," grouses Lise, and there's the sound of another pair of feet hitting the carpet.

"I don't know." The accent pegs that voice for Keith; it's Sothy, over by the radio. He almost sounds a little dazed. Huh. Maybe he was half asleep.

"It ain't downstairs?" That's Sister. "Leigh said--"

"It's not over here," says a voice too high-pitched to be anybody but Jilly. "Anyway I'm already over--owwww!" There's a splutter, a sound like somebody spitting hair out of their mouth, another swear word and a muttered apology. Keith bets Terry again, though he can't be sure.

"Leigh said what?" Leigh herself is coming down the staircase, a low-burning light--lamp, it's a reading lamp on batteries--in one hand. "What's going on?"

"Fuse's blown out." That's Sister again, a split second before Doc repeats his question. "Where's the circuit breaker? Gotta reset it 'fore somebody breaks their neck in here."

"It's downstairs," Leigh says, and then, "it went out again?" The irritated breath she blows out is audible. "Hang on, I'll get it." From the sound of things, at least two, possibly three people follow her as she makes her way toward the kitchen and the cellar stairwell door. When Keith looks, two of the figures are distinctive enough to know right off - Antoine and Sister, walking side by side. The third isn't as clear until they make Leigh's circle of light; too tall to be Jilly, too short to be Terry, too confident in carriage to be Sothy. Lise.

Okay, so that's taken care of, or at least a fair way towards being taken care of.

Now which way did his pencil roll?

*****

Riiiiiinnnng.

"I'll get it!" That shrill shout carries across much of if not the whole house, then at least the downstairs and the open part of the upstairs hall. Like teenagers everywhere, including yours truly, Carlos thinks, and chuckles at the clothes he's hanging up.

Riiiiiiinnnng.

"I'll get it I'll get it, hang on--" There's quite a lot of scuffling from what sounds like the living room. Carlos can't help it; he half-turns away from the closet door and toward the bannister. The winter things'll wait for a second.

Riiiiinnnng.

"I've got it, I've got it--" Now feet are positively thundering through the kitchen. "Don't run," calls Helen's voice from the far end of the house.

Riiiiiii--

"Hello? ... Hello? Hello? Aaaah--" Jilly's voice sounds first eager, then miffed.

"Dammit, speaking of hanging up," an amused Carlos says to no one in particular, then raises his voice enough that the quip he can't resist making carries over the railing to the floor below. "So y'know, next time I'm gonna get it."

Clunk, goes the receiver in the kitchen. Audibly.

*****

Downstairs, a small child is wailing. Above it, a woman's halfway to shouting herself, in--that sounds like a Brooklyn accent to Doc's ears. Little like New Orleans, but not quite the same. Twan-Bernard, he knows voices raised like those voices are. That ain't a body needing fixing. That's refugees gone and hit the end of what they can take without their heads hurting, mama and baby both at once, and they makin' it known the best they can.

Hell if he knows what t'do about it all. Not that he wouldn't try, sure he'd try, but there's already people down there can sort this one out so much better than he can that he'd rightly just get in the way. 'S true Adrian ain't all that great when it comes to helping minds heal up--Doc's pretty sure he just heard him add a tentative voice to things--but Carlos is there too and Meg said three minutes ETA five minutes ago down a phone line, so it all evens out.

Damn, though, that kid, and the lady. And he's just gotta listen...

Lord, Twan-Bernard thinks, have mercy. On this whole house and everybody in it--have mercy.

*****

"If the border patrol comes by at that time," sniffles Sothy, "we won't be able to go there as easily. They have been early la--lately, and we, ah, we have--we--kchoo!"

"Gesundheit," says M.J., from two seats away.

"Thank you," answers Sothy on another sniff. "But, the patrols have been early lately, so maybe we will not be able to..."

*****

Adrian drops into the chair at the rightmost edge of the Brampton kitchen table, somewhere between grinning and smirking. "Aren't you all bright and shiny this morning."

"Piss off," Lise mutters from the seat to his left, head in her hands. The coffee mug steaming in front of her is utterly ignored.

"Offa what?" Now Adrian really is grinning.

"Off something with the potential for a lotta backsplash," Lise grumbles, and takes one hand away from her face just long enough to flap it at her friend in annoyance. "Get out of here."

Adrian snickers. "What's the matter with you?" Lise takes a second to answer. When she does it's a mutter on the end of an audible sigh. "Hangover."

"Ooooh. Drowning your sorrows?" Adrian leans back in his chair with a rustle and a faint creak. He still sounds amused.

"Sorrows, eh?" Lise mumbles. "I've got 'em now, anyway. Went out with Gloria and Keith and Terry. Never doin' that again so long as I live." Adrian all-out snorts his amusement at this. "Mmmph," Lise groans, "you're loud. Shaddup."

Adrian, to his credit, does close his mouth. He responds instead by leaning quietly forward again, just far enough to steal that nearly-full mug of coffee from under his friend's nose. Lise huffs a faint sigh, but doesn't otherwise protest. All she says is, "goddamn--" the second word of her groan at the tabletop is best left untranslated from the Breton, "--whiskey."

Adrian can't quite contain his chuckle.

***

"Dammit," curses Sister over the shrilling of the smoke detector as she waves a breeze's worth of scorched sugar draft out of her face. "son of a--! Anything's the littlest bit burnt and this alarm--goddamn!"

"Least it weren't me this time," Doc chuckles, but he's reaching up the far wall and deactivating said alarm while he's talking.

"Chere, jus' cause I let these cookies cool 'fore I throw 'em atcha don't mean I ain't still gone do it." Sister's grinning lopsidedly as she turns around. Twan's attempt at a terrified quiver is utterly ruined by his own smile.

"Your aim's good enough," he says, "think maybe I oughtta be scared, you say that."

"What, you ain't already?" The white half of the duo's answer is a huff of laughter. Sister's own near-inaudible chuckle is only a split second behind. Two pairs of dark eyes are positively twinkling.

"Qui brûle les choses encore une fois?" calls Renée from the hallway.

Sister shrugs. Doc pinches the bridge of his nose. Neither one says 'here we go again'.


Notes don't interfere with anybody's signal:

*The term QRM is a ham radio Q-code. It translates to manmade interference, as in, "Ow, you've got some nasty QRM on your signal there, are you near a power line or what?" or, "Hang on, I'm getting QRM from my roommates again--hey, can it, wouldja?"

*Translations:

Gesundheit: Bless you, your health. Something you say when someone sneezes. It's carried over from the original German into English, hence M.J. using it.

Qui brule les choses encore un fois: Who's burning things again?

*In our universe, Brampton, Ontario really does have a station that plays, among other services for a number of communities, quite a lot of South Asian programming. This is AM 530, CIAO. The call letters spelling what they do is not lost on yours truly.

Date: 2017-09-13 04:56 am (UTC)
mirrorofsmoke: The words "We are Groot" and a picture of Baby Groot on an icon with a swirly galaxy background. (Default)
From: [personal profile] mirrorofsmoke
This was amazing. So is the music you're listening to!

Date: 2017-09-13 10:19 am (UTC)
siliconshaman: black cat against the moon (Default)
From: [personal profile] siliconshaman
Hee, those are fun snippets.

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