31 Jan 2010 : Boxing Up Lucy
Boxing Up Lucy
Summary: Rumors fly, people collide, roommates meet, and pizza is offered in exchange for some assistance. No actual packing or pizza happens, but that was the original idea.
Date: 31 Jan 2010
Related Logs: Spin & Win & Bitch

Blue Earth, Main Street
Sun Jan 31 14:19:48 2010

Main Street isn't a very long stretch of road. Truth be told, it's really more of a cross section of the main road that runs up through town — Old State Route 70 — and a short section of street that runs from the Rock Bottom Saloon and an abandoned storefront to the West, all the way down past the other shops and stores to the Church grounds and old cemetery to the East. The road is paved, but stained with rust colored dust that blows in, on occasion, from the surrounding countryside. Up to the North, near the old mine, the ground is more blueish-green, giving the little town its name.

Since the old mine was closed, some businesses have pulled out of the little town, but one can almost always find the remaining shops open during bankers hours. The bar is often open very late into the night, when one of the employees feels like staying, but usually closes around 2am. The most popular establishments are the Rock Bottom Saloon, St. Geronimo's (the church), the laundry, and Zeke's General Store (in that order!). Zeke's doubles as Town Hall, but only the locals know that. The general feel of the place is a little run down, but cheerful just the same. It's a little quirky, Blue Earth, but it's home.

Haven's truck is pulled up to the Spin and Win, double parked, with the tailgate down. She walks out of the laundry with a couple of huge baskets filled with linens and curtains and sundry cloth items from someone's house. Considering she was staying over the bar, still is, she's either doing something for someone else, or cleaning out the empty Santo Estate.

The steady clickclickclick of a bicycle's chain rounding the spokes of the gear can be heard as Benny pedals down the sidewalk. She must have been off today, or worked an earlier shift, otherwise she'd already be at the diner working up the dinner crowd. She bumps down the curb and up along side Haven's truck, coming to a gradual stop that has her putting down her foot to brace the two wheeled vehicle up. "Little early for spring cleaning."

Haven glances over her shoulder as the cyclist makes herself known. She shoves the basket into the truck, then slams up the gate. "Hey, Benny. Como estas?" She grins a bit. How are you in Spanish. Always with a little bit of the Spanish. One day, the waitress will begin picking up phrases. "Did you swap shifts today?" Slam goes the gate.

Benny doesn't have to understand the words to get the gist of the statement, and she just shrugs her shoulders in answer. "Worked breakfast and lunch, only so many doubles I can do a week before they figure out I don't want to go home." Benny speaks a bit more openly to Haven then the others in town, girl talk and all that. "So what's with all the laundry?"

"Did you do that just to avoid Dobson's singular charms?" Haven's grin is a little wide, and she leans against the truck while she watches Benny. "The house smells." She thbbts a little, then shakes her head. "I mean the whole thing has a weird… scent. So I decided to wash everything and air it out." The Santo Estate. "I mean, I don't know what Lucy did in there. She must have cooked weird things all the time."

"Baking powder. If you pour some in little dishes and put it around the house in closets and cabinets, it helps get the musty smell out." Benny offers helpfully. "And I've learned something a long time ago about Dobson. If you can't beat him, join him. Avoiding Dobson never works. That just eggs him on even more." The waitress leans forward over her handle bars, resting on the metal with her forearms. "So were you doing laundry the other day with the Foreigner guy?"

The Santo Estate, as it's so called, isn't so much an estate as an old white farmhouse on a large patch of ground, located behind the cemetery. It's probably only referred to as an estate because it's still one of the largest houses in the area, and there's an outbuilding. In a tiny town like Blue Earth, 2 buildings on a property are either a ranch, a house with an outhouse, or an estate. No cows + no shitter/still = Estate. It's simple country frontier math. "I'd probably do my best to avoid Dobs as much as I could some days, too. I only come in for coffee and pie, but sometimes that's enough. A half hour and gone." Her smile fades a little, though doesn't completely disappear. She reaches up to pull her dark hair back into a tail, and then glances at the couple of baskets heaped with linens in the back. "Baking powder? Really." Haven huhs. She considers it a moment more, then files it away for later. Yeah, she's clearly mostly a city girl. A city girl who knows a little bit about wilderness survival and medicine, but not a whole lot else. She glances over to Benny again, then hops up to sit on the back of the truck, her feet on the bumper. "… Yeah, I was." She shakes her head. "They track him around here, don't they? Why, what rumors are flying already?"

Benny grins easily, "The preacher's thinking of dedicating an entire sermon to Lust in your honor. Lucky you." To Benny the Santo Estate is a mansion, but that's really neither here nor there. "There's something about that one though, isn't there?" Vargas, presumeably, not the Reverend Laughing Dog. "He could feed me dog food and tell me it's pate, and I'd believe it."

Haven's lips part, and her mouth drops open just a little bit, and stays there while she considers the implications of that very first sentence. She closes her mouth, then reaches up to rub her hand over her brow, hiding her eyes for a moment. One can almost hear her thinking, 'Jesus Christ.' She refrains, however, from saying it out loud. "What does the preacher drive? Do you know?" Someone's about to get his car keyed. Or something. Er. She pauses, then mms. "Vargas?" She smiles slightly, then simply explains, "He's Spanish."

"Of course I know what he drives, I have a good view of the parking lot for when everyone comes in for coffee and gossip. But I know that glint in your eyes and I ain't saying. There's gotta be some mortal sin against stirring up trouble with a man of the cloth." Benny's still smiling though, which is to say she's not taking the unspoken threat of Haven nor the moral condemnation of whatever Haven may or may not have been engaging in with Vargas. "Yeah, Vargas. If that's how all Spaniards are, I vote we import more of 'em."

"Truth be told," Haven replies, and she can't help but grin a little impishly when she says it, "He stirred up some trouble with me first. I guess you could say he cast the first stone." Hur hur. Jesus humor. "Padre thinks women shouldn't talk to men over a certain age. Doesn't seem to like Spaniards, either. I got a little defensive. Mama is from Spain."

Benny makes a little face, like she's winces at something that Haven just said. "He's still our preacher, Haven. Only one Blue Earth has got, so we gotta treat him with a bit of respect. And I'm not really sure about the, um. Age thing? I think it's more of the…he's married thing. The Foreigner, I mean."

"Preacher didn't make a point of that," Haven notes. She glances up, dark eyes following some of the path of some puffy clouds. "A little flirtation never hurt anyone. His wife's in a coma. It's…" She waves a hand, then rests her hands on the edge of the bed. Haven remains perched on the edge of the bed of her truck, booted feet resting on the back bumper. Her truck blocks two spots out front of the Spin & Win.

And down the street rolls a car that's not been seen in these parts for quite a long time. A 1969 Barracuda rumbles in with all the alacrity of an arthritic cow. The baby blue and white paintjob is rather dusty, a little rusted in places, but overall she looks fairly well cared for. With a quiet grumble, the car comes to a stop just in front of Haven's truck and Mia swings out of the driver's side, mouth set in a firm line. "Sure hope that ol bastard still has my ammo," she can be heard muttering.

Benny is sitting on a bicycle, one foot still on a pedal and the other propping her up like a tripod. "Complicated." Benny finishes the sentence for Haven, while the two of them linger around sharing small town gossip. "And he's Spanish." Which is slowly starting to become a catchall for: trouble, TROUBLE, and downright smexxy. "I'd be willing to risk some eternal hellfire, too. S'all I'm saying."

There might be a trouble missing in there, but Spanish pretty much adds up to all of those things. Haven, being only half Spanish, is still a slight mystery. The outcome does not look favorable. Unless you like Trouble in all of its many flavors. And do you know what she can't help saying, when she opens her mouth to reply to Benny, and notices Mia roll by? "Awwww Barracuda." Ahem. "… Si, complicated. You're right. There's an allure."

Some townsfolk call it the drag. Others, the strip. Some even go so far as to refer to it as the downtown of thos po-dunk, hillbilly hole in the wall. But you know you're on main street of Blue Earth, Nevada, when the American made trucks outnumber vehicles of any other sort. A particularly beat-up looking specimen pulls into the tiny gravel lot of the 'post 'n pour', notably using a spare for one of its tires. Benny might know the story behind that one. The growl of its diesel engine cuts out after a moment or two, and the door swings open with a grind of hinges that needed oiling back in the nineties. Crunch, crunch as someone in blue jeans, work boots and a leather jacket climbs out. The stetson, tonight, is absent.

Mia's boots hit the sidewalk and she starts toward Zeke's. In fact, she's almost there when something fluttering in the back of Haven's truck catches her eye. There's a pause, then she turns her whole body to see what it was. Eyes widen for a moment and her course changes. Right up to the side of Haven's truck the woman goes, peering over the side at something. "What the hell. Where'd you get Tia's curtains," she asks, finally actually looking at Haven. Then Benny.

"Speak of the devil and he appears." Benny mumbles beneath her breath as her eyes follow Vargas' truck. At least there's no drool on her chin when she looks over at Mia. "Uh. Hi?" Because that seems like the most polite thing to say, given the circumstances. She sits up straighter, but doesn't get off her bicycle.

Haven glances over as Mia speaks up. She regards the woman, who appears to be about her age, for a long moment. 'Tia' tips her off pretty quickly, but it doesn't for sure denote blood relation. "The house had a smell. I'm washing everything." It's a small town, but Haven's only been here a couple of weeks. She really hasn't met everyone. Her eyes finally flick to the diesel truck pulling up. She doesn't quite take her attention off of Mia, who was just muttering about ammunition a moment before. "Haven Kelly. I'm moving in. Mama is a Santo. I guess… I dunno. Something about far off blood relatives, and Cousin RudeShithead fleeing town." She leans over to extend a hand to the other woman.

Vargas has what looks like, and probably is, a letter in his hand. The contents of the unsealed envelope are checked briefly before he slams his door shut and starts heading off across the lot. The driver's side window is left open, and he has a somewhat creative definition of a parking space. Damn foreigners. Spotting Haven's truck parked nearby, and that trailer park waitress gabbing it up with someone, he veers away from his intended target and heads across the street instead.

Mia's chin comes up slightly as she studies Haven then takes the offered hand. "Mia Renaud," she replies quietly. "Was wonderin' who in holy hells was moved into Tia's house when folks knew I was supposed to be coming back." Eyes move over Haven's face as if she's trying to place her or looking for evidence of a lie, but the smile's easy enough. "Sounds like we're going to be roommates, then. Glad I don't have to fill someone's ass full of buckshot. Just came from out there." She turns that smile to Benny and dips her head. "Howdy. I…hooboy." Yep, she spied Vargas.

Sproing. SPROING. Sproing. SPROING. The hell is that? It's a pogo stick. Who is riding it into the general area? Dobson. And he's looking like he's having the time of his life too judging from the huge smile on his face. HA! SPROING SPROING SPROING in the general direction of the womens.

Benny lifts her hand to give a little wave to Vargas as he approaches, being neighborly and all. Even if they aren't, ya know, actual neighbors. Something brings her back to the conversation though, and she blinks over. "Whoa, wait. Ya'll gotta bunk together? How's that work. Surely I mean. One of y'all has…" You know. Rights to it. Benny shakes her head. "Complicated."

Haven's expression remains more or less the same when Mia announces they're to be roommates. She opens her mouth slightly to say something, then closes it again. Every other day, something new gets thrown into her path, and she has to jump over it. "Mia. Mucho gusto. What in the h—" Her eyes follow Dobson and his SPROINGSPROINGSPROINGing. She notices Vargas' approach, but the image of Dobson pogo sticking distracts for just a moment. "Did someone let him in the liquor cabinet?"

Mia starts to say something -again- then blinks at the boinging one. "Oh hells," she swears quietly. For some strange reason, her hands tighten on the side of the truck. It looks as though she expects the ground to start rolling at any minute.

"YEEHAW! WOOOOOooooooOOOOOO! YEAH!" Clearly Dobson is mad. Except he does shit like this all the time. Sproinging off the ground, the stick ill-fatedly catches on a rock and in a moment of dread realization the man's expression goes widemouthed, his trajectory as he's flung off the stick: right into Benny. Dodge this, lady! "AHHHHHHHHH!"

Rafael'll just.. be over there. Mailing his letter. The convergence of townsfolk and the pogo sticking Dobson will have to wait.

Being born and bred in the same trailer park as Mia, Benny seems to have some recollection of her, but unlike Benny. Mia actually got out of Blue Earth. And she has her own car. There's a soft sigh from the waitress. Slowly her head tilts to one side, and like the rest, she's distracted by Dobson going hoppityhop and springity spring. "You know. If there's one thing in this world I trust less then Johnny. It's Johnny /happy/." Aaaaaaaaaand that's…just about the time things go to shit. Dodge, she can't, as she's straddling a bicycle and she and short order cook go down in a big tangled heap of hurt.

Haven winces at the collision d'Diner. She tips back into the truck's bed, grabs up a little medkit stashed over the wheel well, and waits to see who starts bitching first. Her eyes, meanwhile, slide over the heap toward Vargas' truck. Her eyes flick to the post office. You take your eyes off of them for ten seconds, and they disappear. Damn Spaniards. "… If anything hurts, don't move. Just tell me where." That's to the people pile. She has snoopy bandaids, you know.

The doctor in the group simply watches the collision with the expression anyone would have when watching a train wreck. "If they need stitches, let me know," she says with a sigh in Haven's direction. "Anyone hear anything important break?" Haven goes one way toward the accident, Mia comes around from the other way. Benny gets a bit of a longer look, as if she's trying to place her and having a damned time of it.

"Fucking OW." Dobson groans where he's sprawled on Benny. It seems somewhere in the collision, one of his hands landed someplace inappropriate. In fact, he's cupping a little bit of Benny Boob. This fact doesn't seem to hit his brain right away. When it does, he grins and says, "Well damn girl, you're all natural ain't ya. Youse okay right?" The hand is removed and he tries to roll off of her… doing so awkwardly and tripping over the bike to fall on his face. Whoops.

Benny is sprawled on pavement, one leg trapped under the frame of a bike that has the rest of her weight and Dobson's on it. "I'm peachy." She manages through grit teeth, one hand lifting to her head to shield her eyes and stop her from seeing stars. "You know. I was just thinking, what today was missing was getting flattened and groped. I can die a happy fucking woman." Someone gets cranky when she gets boo boos. Something about getting hurt while having no health insurance. So far, she's made no move to get up.

The door to the post office jingles as the rancher steps back out again, his mission apparently a success. His fingers are rifled through his scruffy hair while he heads back to his truck, attention briefly drawn by the altercation on the roadside. Or what passes for an altercation, around here. Isn't that the foul-mouthed cook who works at the diner down by the highway? He has to stroll by them to get back to his truck, anyway, so stroll on over he does.

Nothing like having a medic and a doctor at the scene of a pogo stick accident. Talk about response time! Haven remains just perched on the back bumper of the truck. Somehow, she's not sure if she wants to hop down to tangle with the walking accident that is Dobson. That silent trepidation is obvious in her stance. "… Try not to kill each other." This time, when she looks up, she notes Vargas approaching. "Benny, do you need a bandaid? Dobs, move your ass."

Mia looks a little uncertain as she studies the pair, then she reaches down to start moving the bicycle. Or the man. Whichever one she can reach first. The bicycle seems to win. "I know you," she says to Benny, head cocking to the side.

Note: Dobson hasn't once said sorry, but when he peels himself up off the ground again, wiping at his face, he peers back towards Benny with a look of concern. It's only there for a very very brief flash (quite easy to miss) and then his eyes sweep up to the approaching Vargas. The concern melts into a sneer and he snorts, spitting the mouthful of saliva and dust onto the dirt. "Mmmmm, well that sucked. Need me a new conveyance… I break you, woman?" He doesn't look at Benny when he says that.

"Just don't…touch me. Just nobody touch me." Benny grumbles, squeezing her eyes shut as a few tears squeak out the corner of them. Pain sucks, but more importantly, pain is embarrassing especially now that Vargas is coming over. As the bicycle is removed, she can breath a little easier, and even starts collecting herself from the pavement. Her one elbow looks skinned, but other then that she's not worse for the wear. "I'll live. Much to your disappointment." She tells Dobson once she's on her feet and brushing herself off. "Yeah, grew up a couple doors down from each other at one point, I think. You're a few years older then me though." That part's obviously towards Mia.

Dobson's sneer is returned by a quick grin from the foreigner, whose dark eyes rove over the man only long enough to determine he's in one piece, before sliding across Benny. Poor girl. Rather than stop, and add to her embarassment, he continues on toward his truck. Looks like the locals have things well in hand.

Haven pops open the kit, and digs out a couple of items. She tucks the packets into her palm, rises, and pops the tailgait, then kicks it open. Her boots thunk across it as she moves to sit on the edge again, feet dangling over. "Chica, come sit with me." She glances over. "Rafael. Por favor. Ayudame con ella."

THAT'S it. Mia's face registers recognition as she looks at Benny. She stays with the bike, not touching Benny. "I remember you now! Careful getting up." Her eyes move to follow Dobson. Yep, he's walking right. For now, the town klutz stands by the tailgate of Haven's truck, listening and watching.

Dismissed, it seems, Dobson strolls over to the conglomeration of bike and pogo stick and extricates his now bent pole. "Well damn. Cheap ass chink manufacturin'." The pole is hefted towards the garbage can in front of the Spin N Win. It mostly makes it in. Benny's bike is eyed next.

The rancher pauses mid-stride as his name's invoked, and his eyes find Haven perched atop the flatbed of her truck. His expression warms slightly, hands remaining in the pockets of his leather jacket as he turns and heads over. His booted stride is crisp on the mixture of crumbling sidewalk and gravel that lines the roadway. "Is she all right?" he queries once he's nearer, taking up a lean against the side of Haven's truck. The others get a polite, "Buenas noches," in greeting, with Dobson and his pogo stick garnering the majority of the Spaniard's attention while he wrestles with the garbage can.

"I'm fiiiiine." Benny protests, but she literally stomps towards Haven like a petulant child. "Really. Don't fuss." She holds her elbow at an odd angle so she can try and look at it. "Just a scratch." But Haven says Vargas' name and she's blushing again. Sigh. Make with the English, people. "It's the hair." She tells Mia, as to why she might not have recognized her earlier. Benny doesn't see Dobson eye her bicycle. All the better.

"Benny, let's put the bike in my truck." She glances over to Vargas and smiles, noting how his pause-and-lean sets the scene in motion that much faster. "Gracias. Now, let me see, before the doctor decides she must be involved." Haven reaches for the other woman's arm. While she rips open a packet, and leans in to wipe down the scraped elbow, she muses, "Everyone. Come home with me. We'll order pizza, and we can pack up some of Lucy's stuff to store in the attic. The house is really huge, and there's stuff everywhere." Haven looks vaguely uncomfortable about this. "The will says to clean it up, give as much to charity as necessary, and 'make it a home again'." She pauses, then shakes her head, "It's worded a little funny, but it was the old lady's last wish, and really. I feel a little funny touching her stuff never having known her." The rubbing of abraded skin probably stings for a moment, but the antiseptic has some numbing agent in it. She glances up. "Benny, Snoopy or neon pink?" Bandaid choices.

Mia eyes Dobson. It's going to be a showdown over Benny's bike, isn't it? Her fingers flex slightly on the metal as the hold tightens. "I'll make sure it gets home with her," she tells the short order cook. "I left my trailer in the drive, Haven. It's off to the side, so we have plenty of room." The challenge for the bike is on. But it doesn't look like she's looking AT Dobson, but through him, at something behind him. "No Hello Kitty bandaids? I have one in my purse."

"I was just looking to make sure there weren't no damage I'd gotta pay for," Dobson states with a punctuating grunt at the end. He doesn't bother making eye contact with Mia, instead he sort of brushes past her and out towards the street, shoving his hands in his pockets. "I'd love some pizza Santos, but the local joint kind of sucks and I got a date in a few." Vargas is given a head nod in passing. Benny is pointedly not looked at. He smiles and moves down along the road towards the trailer park.

Vargas had been studying Mia rather carefully, and with the half-veiled interest of any townie, foreign accent or not, who's come upon an unfamiliar face. Those aren't too common around here. "Allow me?" he murmurs, pushing off Haven's truck and holding his hand out for said bicycle's handlebars. To Haven, "It would be my pleasure." To come over for pizza, that is.

At least Benny doesn't zzztt Haven with that perpetual static charge she seems to always have. You'd think by now Benny would learn to use fabric softener to cut down on that static cling that follows her everywhere. She's stock still as the medic cleans the little scratch on her elbow. "Uh. Snoopy?" Because it ultimately doesn't matter, as Benny's fashion choice seems to stray to 'cheap' or 'free'. "Wait, date?" At the mention of pizza, her stomach gives an audible rumble of accepting the offer before she verbally can.

"Gracias, Rafael. One." One accepted invitiation, ah ah ah. Her eyes scan the others briefly. Waiting, waiting. "Good choice," Haven informs Benny, as she opens the packet already in hand to apply a large, flexible bandaid (featuring Woodstock) to the waitess's elbow. "Good as new." Medics, always touching people and sticking things to them. Maybe she just wanted to do her job today, in some small part. Laundry, even five loads, really gets boring after a while. "Settled by your stomach. Two. Mia makes three." She doesn't wait for Mia to verbally accept, because… there's that complication of how she lives there too somehow. "Good." And eye is cast toward Dobson. Though he was not specifically invited, nor was he excluded. There's the distinct impression Haven will brain him with a frying pan if he breaks anything, though, and she doesn't even say it. It's all in the look. The Look<tm> even. As he opts out for a 'date', she mutters something under her breath. "… It's settled. Vamanos."

Mia eyes Vargas for a moment, consideringly, then hands the bicycle over. "Gracias," she says quietly, stepping back. One step becomes two, and two becomes Mia ending up flat on her ass on the sidewalk. Curbs. Damn those curbs. "I can take one in the car. Two if someone doesn't mind laying on belongings."

"I poke you in the ear in the tumble, Benny Buns? Yeah. A date." No more detail than that is given as Dobson continues his stroll off. "Y'all enjoy yourselves ladies." He looks over his shoulder at Vargas as he says that last, including him in the feminine grouping. Off he goes.

Man, there's a joke about a blow up doll and Dobson in there some where, but Benny doesn't have the bravery to make it. "Have a nice time!" Gets called politely after the cook before she pulls her legs up into the bed of Haven's truck, folding herself in with the laundry and the bicycle Vargas is tossing up in there. "I'll, um, just ride back here, make sure the clothes don't go flying out."

It's possible Rafael didn't even notice he just got called a lady. Or maybe he assumes it's one of those things that's lost in translation. Like the infamous 'putting himself out'. He swings the bicycle into the back of Haven's truck fairly effortlessly, making sure not to whack the medic with it as he does so. He's about to push off and head for his own beat up hunk of junk, when Mia goes sprawling. Chuckling, he hunkers down and offers her his hand. "I do not think we have met." Hell of a time to introduce himself. He helps her up, unless she protests. "I am Rafael." English clearly isn't his first language.

Haven nods to Benny, and waits for her to settle into the bed before she reaches up to close the tailgate. "Gracias, bonita." A new nickname is earned as the black haired woman makes her way along the side of the truck, to pull open the driver's side door and hop in. "Let me know if I should slow down." And it's at that point that someone might think better of riding in the bed of the truck with laundry and a bike, given Haven's road prowess. Maybe she'll take corners under mach 1 this time.

Mia takes the hand with a sigh, and the air of someone who's kind of used to this by now. "Gracias," she murmurs, nose crinkled slightly. "Mia Renaud. It's a pleasure to meet you." Up she goes, dusting herself off. "Are you joining us at the house for dinner?" She eyes the back of the pickup, briefly, before looking back up at Rafael.

Benny is the type that's used to riding in the back of pickup trucks. Just like a rodeo, you just have to hold on for eight seconds. "Saddle up." She says cheerfully to Mia and Vargas, though there's a slight hint of strain in her voice like it's forced cheer. Maybe she's just powered by hunger at this point. Her hand slaps the side of the pick up truck twice in an indication that she's ready to go.

Vargas flashes Mia a good-natured grin. He might just be used to this sort of thing, too. Her hand's held a little longer than might be strictly neighbourly concern, and given a little squeeze before it's released. "For the dinner, and for the packing. Si." His dark eyes flicker over her as he takes a step back. Being the token man around, it's possible he'll be doing more packing than eating. "I will follow you, Haven." Hah-ven. His accent mangles it a little. The rancher's already moving away from the group, and headed for his truck. "No conduzca de manera tan irresponsable!" Grinning, he reaches inside to pull the handle on his door, swings it open, and climbs on in. The engine rumbles to life with a low growl.

To make matters worse, Haven flips open her cell phone once the trucks engine roars to life. She pulls on her seatbelt and clicks it into place. At least she doesn't pull out while she's on the phone. Yet. "Hey, Tony. Haven. Yeah, Blue Earth. Yes, still. I know I said the last one would be the last one, but I'm gonna need the usual. Tack on a veggie pizza. And some drinks. I dunno. Three different kinds, you pick. I'm out at the Santo estate, behind the cemetery, down Prickly Pear." There's a pause. "Yes, the creepy old house. There's a trailer in the drive, and should be 2 trucks out front." She slides a hand out the open window to wave to Benny, then puts the vehicle in drive. Warp speed, go! The Latin music blaring at uncomfortable decibels is really Vargas' only answer about behaving irresponsibly. And a squeal of tires. The deputies probably heard that, from where ever they're hiding today.

Mia just shakes her head, grinning, and heads to her car. She drives, well, rather like a little old lady. It's likely that she'll arrive at least ten minutes after Haven - if not more. It should be illegal to drive such a beauty at such low speeds. Although, hell. It should be illegal to drive that car at all.

(Zooooom, travel time, FFWD.)

The little driveway that leads to the farmhouse cuts close around the outer edge of the cemetery. It's really much quicker to just park in front of the cemetery and walk through. Haven, however, drives like a maniac, so it doesn't take long. It can be… inconvenient. The house stands wide open, doors and windows all left open to allow the evening air inside. Or, it was when Haven left it! The truck pulls up to the house, and she cuts the engine with the turn of a key. Blissful silence. "How you doin' back there, Ben?"

Benny started whiteknuckling it somewhere along the line, and now she's prying her hands off the frame of the truck. "Oh..oh, I'm fine." She says, her voice just a hint shakey. Lifting a hand to pat down her fluffed up hair, she seems to be intact. Phew. "I may or may not have to throw up, though. Jeez, where did you learn to drive, NASCAR?" She pulls the latch for the gate herself, letting it thunk down before climbing out.

They're out of the truck before Mia's little 'cuda comes puttering up. Unlike Haven, she's rather careful and parks outside of the cemetary. A duffle's over her shoulder as she comes walking not through - but around. Yes, it takes longer, but for some reason she's goin' through that place.

"Chicago," comes Haven's response, with a little grin. No wonder she has a glove box full of tickets from the local deputies. Er. "A little fresh air does a person good." Yes, at high speeds. Haven's smile lingers as she makes her way around back to drop the tailgate, and reach in to slide out one of the baskets of laundry. "Need help with the bike?" Too bad the Spaniard was delayed. He could be manly and carry the heavy things. No worries, there will be plenty for him to do inside the house. While Mia approaches, making her way over, Haven asks Benny, "So Mia lived here before?" She glances over to watch the woman approach, voice pitched lower. "I can't just take over her home, even if the paperwork does say it's mine now. Which is absurd. I guess I can try to straighten it out later…" It's an odd sort of Limbo Haven's in. One foot in, one foot out, unable to leave, unwilling to commit to staying.

Benny gives a little shrug, "Dunno about here. But one side of her family comes from Happy Meadows…" Something about mentioning the trailer park has an 'oh shit' look coming to her features. "Oh, man. Haven? I forgot to check in on my mama after work. I'm sorry…" She's making her apologies as she bumbles with her bike. "So sorry, save me some pizza and some breakables to wrap. I'll try and make it back. I just…I can't leave her on her lonesome all day like this. But I'll try and come back okay?"

Finally Mia comes wandering up to the truck, a relaxed smile on her face. She's just in time to hear that Benny's leaving. "Take care," she calls to Benny, raising her hand. "Say hi to your momma for me." Hitching the bag higher, she stops to look at the house, just studying it for awhile. "Beautiful, isn't she?"

Haven tosses the basket of laundry to the porch side. She reaches out, and hands Benny the keys to the truck. "Take my truck, bonita. I'll get a ride out to come get it later." She unloads the rest of the laundry before popping the back shut. Before the waitress can think of protesting, she smiles, "I'll bring you some pizza if not. Just take care of your mama." She steps away from the truck, and sees the waitress off. her attention shifts to Mia, and she smiles. "Si. Very lovely." Oh, the house. "Ella tambien." Her as well.

Mia glances over and shares a smile with the other woman. "Looks like, whether we meant to be or not, we're roommates," she tells the other woman quietly. "Tia…she was good to me. She's why I'm back here. Though I like to think I'd have come back on my own." There's a brief look around the yard, then back to Haven. "Will you be ok with this?"

Haven looks at the house for a long moment, as Mia speaks. She smiles slightly, though it fades before she looks at Mia, then resurrects itself. "This isn't my home. But somehow it is. I came for a visit, and seem to be sort of…" she waves her hand a little. "Stuck. This is your home more than mine. I can't leave, but I won't set you out on your own." There's another moment of silence. "Someone told me recently that I should not be afraid. I'm not alone here. Es una casa grande. Do you cook?"

The doctor studies her relative by marriage and now landlady, then grins. "No, you shouldn't be afraid," she says quietly. "And you're not alone, even when you think you are. I never lived here at the big house, but I used to come tend the plants and keep Tia company when I was little. As for being stuck…" That gives her pause. "Sometimes that's not a bad thing. Tia used to say that we're put where we are for a reason, and it's up to us to find that reason." Ahhh, fortune cookie family. "I can scramble eggs and grill meat, but that's about it. I'm better with cleaning, and even don't mind cleaning bathrooms. How about you?"

"I don't cook. One of us should learn." The EMT considers this for a moment, then eyes the house. "No. I de-clutter." She hmms and notes, "Tia sounds like Mama. Very reassuring in that vague kind of way." Haven slides her hands into the back pockets of her jeans. She eyes the house. "Rafael has said he will help with the house. He says Lucy was very nice to him, in a time when others could be … how others are when one is from outside a community."

"Oh, you mean prickly, nasty putas with small minds," Mia asks with an utterly angelic smile. "And that was Tia. Her niece, Lucia, raised me after Mamma died." A pause. "That's a very long story and one I'll save for after we've got the work done, or while we're working. Whatever help you need, I'll do what I can. I'm here for at least the next five years." Likely longer, if the look on her face says anything. "You going to be ok, or do I need to prescribe you something for 'Oh Shit'?"

Haven does a little shrug, her hands still in her pockets. Her eyes return to the house. It's kind of foreboding, a house that big, that old, in a little town full of all manner of people. "It's a damn good thing most all the folks I've run into are community minded. It's been downright sweet. At least everyone's not drunk and heavily armed." Small favors. That may seem a little random, though it'll all become clear once Haven and Mia get to know each other a bit better. "It's your home too. Call dibs on anything you see you want. I'd just like to get it packed and put up. I was thinking…" She glances over. "I was thinking maybe I — maybe we — could just paint the whole place and give it a makeover." Nesting.

Finally Mia lowers that duffle bag and considers the house. "Why the hell not," she says with a delicate shrug. "I've got about two weeks before I start with Doc. I figure we can get a fair amount done in that time. I decided to take a bit of vacation before starting work, given that I haven't had a real one in oh, about six years now." She flashes the other woman a grin. "This is your house, sweetie. I'm just taking up a room while I help Doc until he retires." Her nose crinkles a little. "Or dies. I think that's more likely than him retiring."

Haven blows out a breath. "I don't know how I ended up with a house in Nevada," she mutters on the tail end of it. "Okay, I already put my crap in the master bedroom. There are two upstairs that are less cluttered. I don't know when you were last here, but Lucy was a major packrat in at least the last … three years. I don't know what to do with the dishes alone." She nods to the house, then bends to pick up a basket of laundry and linens. "The pizza's on the way. Should be here in a half hour or so." It looks like the time for loitering outside is coming to an end.

The duffle gets reholstered and Mia moves toward the truck to grab something from the bed, looks like some curtains. "There's a women's shelter two towns over," she says quietly. "Clothes, dishes, things like that - those are things they can use. They give women a new start." Interesting that she'd know that. She pauses, head tilted as if listening to something. "Ok, maybe not the blue dishes. Apparently they've got a pattern to 'em that wouldn't be appreciated."

Haven glances over at Mia. She grins a little, and makes a mental note to check out the blue dishes. "Good. It's settled. We'll take out what to keep, and anything you want for sentimental reasons, and give the rest to the shelter?" She leaves it a question, because this still feels temporary to her. There are no others of the Santo bloodline in town. Mixed blessing. Haven just doesn't know it yet. "… What's on the blue dishes?" Oh gods, she asked.

Mia hesitates for a second. "It's…a Greek pattern she picked up somewhere," the woman says finally. "Let's just say that it's not boys playing leapfrog and leave it at that, mmkay?" Toward the house she goes. "And that sounds good. I can't imagine there's going to be much to keep, exceptin' the library. That should stay with you and the house."

Haven hasn't been in the library yet. She glances over to Mia at the mention of the pattern. "… Wow. I'm a little sad I didn't get to meet the old lady." Greek dishware is always amusing, particularly with conservative company. "Okay, I picked up some boxed, there's a pack of markers. We can just start packing and labeling. Rafael should be coming over later to carry. Don't worry about making the boxes too heavy." She grins a bit. let the man sweat it out. "I got three kinds of pizza, so there should be something if you're picky." She makes her way up the creaking, old steps. "I just stocked the fridge with some wine and bottled water."

There's a low, quiet laugh and Mia just shakes her head. "I have to admit that I'm gonna enjoy watching him carry those boxes. I might make one or two of 'em a little on the heavy side." Ahh, the absent conversation of male watching. "I'll get us some drinks and then meet you. I'm not picky about what I eat. Hell, I lived on ramen noodles for a semester until I found a garage willing to hire me." Someone who's not afraid of hard work, apparently.

"Garage?" Haven glances over, boots rapping on the wooden planks as she crosses to the front door. A breeze has blown it partly shut. She nudges it with a boot, then walks inside. "You're a mechanic?" In her head, Haven can practically see her motorcycle bills going down. "Interesting. I just ride the ambulance." She heads down the hall, and makes a left turn into the modernized kitchen.

Blue Earth, Santo Estate, Kitchen
Sun Jan 31 20:23:02 2010

The Santo kitchen is clearly the focal point of the home. The counters are a dark gold and green flecked marble, polished to a high shine. The walls are a bright pale green, with red cabinets, hung with chili peppers, reminiscent of cocinas all over the West. Brushed steel and stainless steep checks back the new gas oven, and a smoke hood is set up to whisk smells and smoke away. All of the appliances are like-new, the entire room refurbished, and a bit at odds with the rest of the house, which is done largely in dark colors and antiques. A dining table is situated in half of the area, divided from the kitchen by a breakfast bar with stools, overlooking the rest. A large prep island stands in the middle of the kitchen, with its own countertop, cutting surface, and washing station. Storage is underneath. The oven and microwave are stacked atop one another, though both are designed to look like pull down stoves.

A wall of glass leads out to the greenhouse, leaving the kitchen brightly lit during the day. Plants are visible from any point in the kitchen. It's quite clear from the greenhouse and garden, out back, that the former owner of the house was both very good with plants, and quite the organic chef. Along the rear wall is the only antique element to the house — a wall length apothecary shelving unit with glass cubbies, small drawers, and thousands of tiny bottles with aging, handwritten labels. There's everything listed there from black pepper, to med. sea salt and foxglove.

Baskets of linens, laundry, and curtains and such are stacked on the dining room table in a neat little line. Haven is at the kitchen counter, rinsing dishes she's just pulled down from one of the cupboards. There's a huge stack of off-white china she's washing, the drying, and stacking on the other side of the sink, next to a large pile of old newspapers to be used in wrapping. Mia is out of the room at the moment, probably looking for something, possibly dropping her stuff in a room upstairs. Night has since fallen outside, making the well lit interior of the house seem that much more welcoming. The porch light is on, probably for the pizza, which should be arriving at any time. A bottle of red wine is open on the counter on the other side of Haven, a tall wine glass 1/4 full, sits nearby as well.

From somewhere at the back of the house (or the front, depending on your perspective), a door bangs shut. It's followed by the heavy thud of boots on polished hardwood, and a jangle of keys being tucked into a jacket pocket. A tall, broad-shouldered figure appears in the doorway finally, carrying something wrapped in a plastic shopping bag under one arm, and with a bundle of what looks like lavender, heliotrope and aster, stems bound with a bit of string. He pokes his head inside before entering fully, and flashes Mia a charming smile on his way over to the counter. "Lo siento, it took me longer than I thought." The mystery package is set down next to Haven. If opened, she'd find a boxed peach cobbler pie inside. "I thought you might like a dessert. And.." He leans his hip against the opposite side of the counter, and holds the little bundle of flowers out. "A gift for the.. como se dice inauguracion?"

Haven pauses in the washing up to reach for a paint brush left on the window sill. Apparently Lucy was into watercolors, if some of the landscapes framed on the brightly colored walls are any indication. Haven twists her long, dark hair up and slides the paintbrush through it to hold most of it back. Strands escape to brush her cheek anyway. She reaches for the wine, and pauses, a hand on the dish currently being toweled off, balanced on the edge of the sink atop a towel. Haven glances over. "Bienvenido." She glances down at the package, but doesn't rustle it open right away. She smiles a little at the bundle of flowers. "Se dice Housewarming," she supplies, before stepping over to take the flowers offered. "Muchas gracias." There's a slight increase in the smile. "Dessert and a housewarming bouquet. Rafael." She tsks softly. "That's a good way to get en invitation to return."

"Housewarming," Rafael repeats, dark eyes creasing at the corners with a bemused smile. "Por que es housewarming? Son de olor dulce, no para el calentamiento de la casa." It's murmured while he visually hunts for a vase, pulling away from the counter to do so. "Where has the girl gone? Se ha fugado con su camion."

Mia glances around as she comes in, a moment or so after Vargas. "Ooooh, flowers," Mia says with an impish grin. "They'll make the house smell wonderful What drinks can I get for people?" She opens the fridge and pulls out a bottle of wine, then hipchecks the door shut again.

"This is what we call it. No se." Haven gives the flowers a sniff, then glances around as well. She hasn't been in here that much, but there has to be a vase, probably on a top shelf. When she notes Vargas has gone on the same visual search, she leaves it to him. "I have wine, Mia. Que prefieres, Rafael?" She nods from him to Mia. She sets the flowers aside, beside her own wine glass, and goes digging in the bag to discover the contents. She slides a finger under the lip of the box to open it. And then she breaks off a crusty bit to taste it, sneaky like.

It's clearly store bought, the pie, judging from the box. Rafael, in the meantime, has wandered off to find something suitable to put the flowers in. They can probably hear him thumping about, opening up cupboards and drawers like he owns the place.

Mia laughs softly and waves the bottle at Rafael before putting it down on the counter. The cork gets popped and she leans back, just watching the man. "You look…comfortable here."

"He's Spanish," comments Haven from the sink, as if this explains all where Vargas is concerned. She glances over. "He'll drink wine," Haven finally notes, as the Spaniard wanders off to find a vase, or a prehistoric cockroach with radioactive antennae. Which ever. "He brought cobbler. Small piece or big piece, Mia? It's peach." She reaches for some of the smaller bowls, already washed, and uses a large spoon to spoon out some cobbler into each, without really waiting for a reply.

The wine bottle is waved off. "No, no. Is full. You empty it out, you drink too fast. The wine should be enjoyed." His mouth curves in a lazy smile matched by the warmth in his dark eyes, and then he vanishes around a corner to continue his search elsewhere. Some minutes later, he returns with a dusty old thing that probably hasn't seen fresh flowers in years. Haven's shoulder is touched lightly as he squeezes past her, and moves to the sink to rinse it off. "You are.. relations, yes?" He glances back at Mia over his shoulder, then cuts his eyes briefly to Haven.

Mia chuckles quietly. "If it's peach? I'm there. Alright, then I'm going to have a glass of nice red with my cobbler. It's a shame we're out of whipped cream." She peers over at Haven. "Do you have spoons darlin? And yes, we're relations by…something. Marriage, somehow. I think. My step mother is a Santo, Lucia's niece."

Haven glances over her shoulder as Vargas makes a comment re: wine. She reaches for her mostly-empty glass, and raises it to sip. There's a smile that vanishes as she sips. She doesn't move as the hand touches her shoulder, but simply stands where she is and lets the Spaniard navigate around her. The wine remains in her hand as she tucks clean spoons into each of the little bowls of cobbler. "Something very far removed, but they say you make your own family. Mia will be a housemate. It is unexpected, but some of the best things are." She puts down the wine, then offers a bowl first to Mia, since Rafael is rinsing. She holds one for him, too, when he's ready for it.

Vargas moves past, and pokes around until he finds a bottle of dishwashing liquid. The vase is soaped, scrubbed and rinsed before being filled with water for the handful of wildflowers he brought over. Calling it a bouquet is being a bit generous. "A housemate?" he repeats, pulling out one of the chairs at the table and shrugging out of his jacket once he's set the vase down. The tshirt underneath it is, at least, a clean one today. Free of the usual mud and sweat stains that tend to accompany his work out on the field. "This is good," he tells Haven, while settling his jacket around the back of the chair. "You will have company. Is better than an empty house."

"It's definitely better than an empty house." Haven, of course, means 'creepy empty house', but she refrains from calling it such in the presence of the woman who has actually had some emotional attachment to the place. In the kitchen, the house seems a lot less creepy. It's probably all the new appliances and the bright coloring of the walls. She carries over a bowl of peach cobbler, and steps up beside Vargas to slide it to the place in front of his seat. She touches his shoulder, then waits. "You will drink something? Water, beer, or wine?" He waved off the wine earlier, but she offers it again. It's clear he must choose one.

Poor Mia practically leaps on her bowl of cobbler. "Oh Dios," she murmurs. "I haven't had real cobbler in years. Vegas doesn't have much in the way of real food. It's all plastic out there." She scoops up a spoon, then pauses about the drink, eyes widening a little. "I think that means you really do need to pick something," she tells Vargas. "I don't think she bites, but I wouldn't take the chance."

Vargas reaches for the wine bottle, pulls it a little closer, and turns it so he can read the label. "Is not a bad wine, Zinfandel." One gets the impression that he means it doesn't meet his refined taste, but he's trying to be polite. "In Spain-" He pronounces it 'Espain' "-the wine is like poetry. Each has a different story, for the region it is made." He releases the bottle, and eases back in his chair, leather jacket crunching beneath his frame. "Gracias," he tells Haven with a small smile. His eyes linger on her a moment before shifting to Mia across the table. "Do you know that we owe our winemaking history to a little.. como se dice sabandija?" He looks back to Haven imploringly.

"Se dice 'pest' o 'bug'," Haven murmurs. She reaches for a glass, and sets it down in front of the Spaniard. "You will bring us some proper wine." That is a request, more or less. Though Vargas doesn't express his distaste in so many words, it is nonetheless taken he prefers other vineyards. Her hand retreats from his shoulder, then Haven finally steps away from the table to retrieve her own glass, which is actually a Japanese plum wine. Don't ask where she found it. She picks up the little bowl of cobbler she left, boots revealing her location in the kitchen by sound, should everyone be too engaged in their dessert to look up! She doesn't go anywhere near the knives, which is always a possibility with strangers. "Where were you born, Rafael? De donde eres?" To Mia, she murmurs, "I do. I bite a little. Un piquito. Pero, no a menudo."

"But only if asked nicely or with proper provocation, I bet," Mia replies to Haven, eyes twinkling a bit. "Mmmm, Spaniards and pests, who would have guessed," the doctor asks with an arch little smile. "Which wines do you prefer, Rafael?" She wriggles for a moment, getting comfortable, then props her back against the counter. She's a woman with a cobbler mission, damnit.

There's a sense that Rafael had some comment or another to make there, but it was politely quelled in time. He reaches for his fork as Haven's hand leaves his shoulder, only briefly following her back into the kitchen proper before lowering his eyes again. The joke, if it was one, doesn't quite seem to register with him. "I will bring a proper wine," he confirms, amusement touching his low voice. His fork tinks the bowl softly as he carves out a piece of pie. "Colomina." Which is a little vague, but he doesn't attempt to elucidate. To the question about wine, "Rioja, Tempranillo. They are grown in the Ribera del Duero and Penedes. Very beautiful. Have you travel much?" The question seems aimed at both women, his dark eyes going from one to the other as he tucks a forkful of pie in his mouth.

Haven considers these words from Mia for a moment. "Mm. No. No, sometimes just because I can. Or have had too much to drink." She gestures with her spoon to Mia. "I am much more dangerous than I look." She winks, though, then looks to Vargas. It is almost as if she senses something brewing in the back of his mind, something he does not say. Her dark eyes settle on the Spaniard, then narrow slightly. "… No. Mama wishes every year, on her cake, for me to take her to Spain. Every year, we are both too busy. She shows paintings. I was living in Georgia. The murder rate is impressive for such a small town. I have never been outside of the US." She glances down to her bowl of cobbler, concentrating on the crusty bits, and working around the fruit. "Hearing you speak reminds me of when I was young." Her tone is very slightly wistful. At last, she murmurs, "No conozco Colomina." She takes a bite of the cobbler, stripping the fruit naked of its crunchy bits.

Mia goes for the peach slices with the desire of a woman who enjoys food. She takes the time to savor each bite, attention bouncing between the other two. "No," she says finally, shaking her head. "I've gotten as far as Las Vegas and Sedona, Arizona. Sedona, however, was for an integrative medicine conference when I was in school. I went…Hrm. Three years in a row, I think." She grins at Haven then chuckles. "You and I will get on well, then. You bite, I'll patch up. Almost makes up for neither one of us knowing how to cook." As she speaks, though, her eyes seem to unfocus a bit and drift over Haven's shoulder.

"I have not been to Sedona," Rafael admits, scratching at his bristly cheek with the end of his fork, before digging in again. To the cobbler, that is. Haven's recollections draw a small smile from the man. "When you find yourself a boyfriend, you tell him to take you there. Honeymoon, maybe. When you are married." He speaks no further of 'Colomina', but gives a low, rough chuckle when Mia speaks again. "Your Tia," he asks, "did you know her well?"

"I have not been to Sedona," Rafael admits, scratching at his bristly cheek with the end of his fork, before digging in again. To the cobbler, that is. Haven's recollections draw a small smile from the man. "When you have a boyfriend, you tell him to take you there. Honeymoon, maybe. When you are married." He speaks no further of 'Colomina', but gives a low, rough chuckle when Mia speaks again. "Your Tia," he asks, "did you know her well?"

"Married." Haven's repetition of the single word speaks to a certain… mistrust of the institution. Or perhaps she simply things this is not something for her. "I bite you patch." There's a very slight smirk from Haven, just around her spoon. "Verdad. But we will go quite hungry until we find someone to cook for us. A roommate?" There are plenty of extra rooms. Haven glances at Vargas, and she studies his profile for a beat, two, three. Her eyes turn to Mia, as she waits for the woman to answer the query. Tia. The woman around whose table they now sit. Haven slides the spoon slowly from her mouth, her eyes on a watercolor on the wall. She holds the spoon for a moment before glancing down, and nestling it into the bowl of almost surgically cleaned fruit. Peach slices all sit in a row, untouched.

Mia's smile turns a touch distant as she continues to study whatever it is behind Haven. But after a moment she shakes it off and turns back to the pair. "Mmm, Tia," she asks quietly. "I knew her only as a child knows an adult, I'm afraid. I talked with her on the phone a bit after I went away to school, and just one or two brief visits over the years. She was a highly intelligent woman, and rather…" For a moment, her eyes go back to Haven and she grins. "Cunning."

By the time Mia finishes speaking, their guest has polished off his own cobbler. He licks the fork off, and dabs a few crumbs from one corner of his mouth, before letting the utensil clatter into his bowl. "I am sad for her loss," he confides quietly to Mia. He probably means he's sorry for her loss. But English is not his forte. Climbing to his feet, he collects his bowl and his fork and takes them to the sink. Haven's neat row of peach slices is noted, and the woman given a quizzical glance as he reaches for the faucet. "You do not like pie." It isn't a question.

"I like pie." Haven replies, with a glance up from her little row of peach soldiers. She flicks that dark eyed glance to Vargas, to watch him clean up after himself. She smiles slightly. "I don't eat whole cooked fruit when it is identifiable to the tongue. Cooked peaches have a similar consistency to … brain matter." There's a story there, but it's unlikely anyone in the kitchen would like it shared with them. "The taste is good. It's just the chunky, jiggly… ness." That was probably way too much information.

Poor Mia. She looks at Haven for a moment, then down at her own bowl of peach cobbler. There's silence as she considers the peaches and actually pokes at them with her spoon. It looks almost as if she's going to toss the bowl, but then decides that would be wasting good peaches. "Actually," she says after a bit. "Oranges have the consistency of human skin. Brain matter tends to be a little more like overripe bananas to me."

Vargas might not have been able to parse all of that. Or he might just be in a feedback loop over why someone wouldn't want to eat the peaches in a peach cobbler. Or.. he might just be slighted that his 'gift' wasn't received well. Foreigners and their strange social customs. He finishes washing and rinsing his bowl and fork, sets them aside to dry, and touches Haven's shoulder lightly on his way by. "Is late. I should go. Gracias por su hospitalidad." Mia's shot a smile, indicating that the thanks was extended to her, too. And then he goes to fetch his jacket, and pull it on over his arms and shoulders.

There's a smile to Mia at the observation about oranges, but she doesn't debate the consistency of more foods in the presence of a non-medical professional. He might still enjoy those foods. Haven reaches up as if to touch the hand that touches his shoulder, but she doesn't quite. She stands, and picks up the bowl to transfer it to the counter top, the wine going with her, held in one hand. She drains half of the remainder of the glass, then steps over, boots rapping against the hardwood flooring. She moves past Vargas, and goes to wait for him by the door to see him out. "De nada. El gusto es mio."

Mia dips her head to Vargas, smiling warmly. "Rest well, and thank you. We'll leave the heavy boxes marked for you," she calls brightly, turning toward the sink to clean up her own bowl. "I'll finish up in here, Haven," she finishes, clearly giving the pair some quiet time.

"It was nice to meet you," Rafael responds politely, meeting Mia's eyes for a second before he finishes tugging on his jacket. The pockets are patted down for his keys and his cell phone, and then he ambles on out, headed for the front door. His voice is lowered, as is perhaps Haven's. It isn't too difficult to pick bits and pieces of it out though, probably. "I have some free time, tomorrow evening, if you would like me to help with the boxes." He doesn't switch to full blown Spanish. Maybe in consideration for the fact that Haven isn't fluent in it.

Haven stands near the door as Rafael approaches. She calls back to Mia, "Gracias, amiga." She considers the Spaniards words, and nods to the offer. "That would be very much appreciated. We decided to give them to the women's shelter a couple of towns over." The decision was made on the fly, whilst walking up the porch steps, but a decision is a decision, no matter how quickly reached. "I lent Benny the truck. I was going to claim it this evening, but her way was hard. I'll leave it when her for the night, I think." She steps in, to press a kiss to either cheek, as is traditional. The touch does not linger over long, though she does murmur, "Thank you for joining us," before she steps back.

The water in the kitchen is on, and some caterwauling starts as the pair speak quietly. At first blush, it sounds like someone is trying to use a cat for unlawful carnal knowledge of a bull, but after a few more notes the horrible truth becomes clear. Mia is singing. Mia is singing country. Actually, Mia is trying to sing "Independence Day." While not overly loud, the words are sung with enthusiasm and gusto. Mucho gusto. Only one dish breaks.

Ah, so that's what happened to the truck. And Benny. "Then I will drop by after I have finished the taxes, and drive to the shelter for you." He seems pretty set on that. The cheek kisses are returned, and he flashes her a quick smile before pulling open the door. And not a moment too soon. The so-called singing from the other room causes him to send Haven a bewildered glance, right before he steps out. "Madre de dios," might be heard murmured just before the door closes after him.

"Ay. Dios mio," Haven mutters, right on the heels of Rafael's mutter. She shakes her head, and watches the Spaniard cross the porch as if she wishes she could go with him. The singing. Oh, the singing.

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