Rating: PG - Gen - Alec & Cindy
Spoilers: General (for all aired episodes)
Disclaimers: DA & characters are owned by their various creators.
Summary: “I only move for two reasons: money or head.” Alec glanced down at his hectic blinking cell phone. “I know you’re as broke as I am, so unless you’ve recently found Jesus, I figure I’m not gonna get any of the good stuff either.
Cindy had never taken a course in How to Win Friends and Influence People, but she did know how to command an audience.
All one really needed was a hook, a line and very few exits.
Alec looked uneasily at the locked door and shifted in the chair she’d placed in the direct center of the room. She had found, through experience, that the less in the room to distract the boy, the easier these little exchanges tended to be.
“Look,” Cindy placed a hand on either hip for added emphasis. “This here is all real simple.”
Tipping his chair back to get a look out the window, the transgenic watched a police helicopter buzz the building next door with a few drones flashing close on its sides. Some armed man on the roof opened fire but hit the Channel 4 News chopper hovering behind it instead.
“Ha!” Alec smacked his knee. “Nice shot.”
“Some physical labor needs to get done around here.” She explained. “And regrettably I just got my nails done.”
When the smoking chopper dipped out of sight Alec slipped out his cell phone and started scrolling through a never-ending list of missed calls.
“All of this?” Cindy pointed to a large stack of boxes and assorted junk. “Has to go downstairs.”
She held up a hand.
“Honey, you just sit tight and I’ll get to that part.”
Alec chewed on the inside of his lip and waited.
“Everything on the left marked ‘TRASH’ needs to be brought—“
“To the trash?”
“No.” Cindy blew at her bangs. “Everything labeled as such is goin’ down to storage in the basement.”
Alec eyed the towering stack of overflowing boxes.
“Now, everything over here?” Cindy indicated another pile that was spilling down the other wall. “That goes down—“
“To the trash?”
“There’s a dealer down in the alley I know who likes to have little tag sales.” She felt a tug at her heart strings at the thought of strangers pawing through her personals. “He’ll cut me a piece of whatever spare change is left over.”
Cindy leaned against the nearest heap and lifted a sleeve of an old, favored but retired, cocktail dress. She’d had some fine times in its vintage contours but everything had an expiration date.
Especially fitted taffeta.
“Wait a second.” Alec sat up in concern. “Are you implying that you want me to move all this crap?”
“That’s the plan, sugar.”
“Y-You called me over here to work?” He looked slightly stunned by the betrayal. “Real life work?”
The baffled look on his face almost made Cindy feel bad for lying to him.
But not really.
She had lured him over with the promise of a hook up with the newest employed biker at the Pony. Bright eyed, and with a smile that made Cindy suddenly understand the verb ‘to swoon’, the girl was all anyone had been whispering about for about a week. The hot chick also unfortunately had the most inaccessible pants that Cindy had ever encountered in her long and varied sexual career. But she didn’t feel the need to tell Alec about her successes or failures with the fairer sex.
She just needed a good reason to get the boy over to her apartment in five minutes flat.
“Fine.” Alec crossed his legs. “But my time isn’t for free.”
“Don’t I know it.” Cindy poured herself some hot water and hoped the wilted tea leaves had enough kick left for one last cup. “But don’t you worry.”
Alec crossed his legs again and looked around the messy apartment. He assumed a look of calculated negotiation before meeting her eye to eye. The transgenic even further extended his statement of unyielding body language by folding his arms tightly over his chest.
“I only move for two reasons: money or head.” Alec glanced down at his hectic blinking cell phone. “I know you’re as broke as I am, so unless you’ve recently found Jesus, I figure I’m not gonna get any of the good stuff either. As much as I would like to help you explore your newfound heterosexuality I don’t think it would be a great idea because you’d realize what you’ve been missing and it would really cause a strain in the work place and honestly I get enough stress in that joint. No one fully appreciates how demanding my days are and let me tell ya, working really gets in the way.”
Cindy sipped her weak tea and patiently waited to see if he was finished.
“So,” Alec shrugged in apology. “I’ll just save us all the time and hassle and see myself out—“
Cindy moved over to the counter and slid a cardboard box out from under the clutter of mail. It wasn’t a very extraordinary box by any means. The package was wrapped in some cheap tape that indicated no high-end electronics hidden inside. However, the sticker marking it from the east coast meant someone had gone to some trouble and cash to have it sent.
She flipped it in her hands so Alec could get a good look at the extra postage festively decorating one side.
“Big deal.” Alec’s tight posture sagged in annoyance. “You think I’m gonna lug all this shit up and down 20 flights of stairs just for some—“
Cindy tossed the box in the air and watched it fall neatly into Alec’s hands.
“Why don’t you take a look at it first?”
He made to impatiently rip the corner tab.
“Nah-uh.” She warned. “Don’t open it.”
Alec had strangely quieted now that the parcel was in his possession. Blinking down at it in curiosity, he read the addresses on either side. The messenger in him checked the marks and time stamps that had sent it across the country to its destination. After a few more moments of unimpressed inspection he paused.
Cindy bit her lower lip in anticipation as he slowly lifted it up to his face and tentatively sniffed at it. She waited to see if what he smelled was any good. Alec quickly turned the box the other way and stuck his nose into the seam of tape and cardboard.
“What— what is—“ His voice was oddly subdued. “What’s in here?”
Alec was hugging the box to his chest and looking at her in vague distress. Cindy noted his pupils seemed to have dilated to their full size and his breathing had accelerated a little bit.
“You do some liftin’, and that box and everything in it is all yours.”
“I want it.” He said blankly. “I want this box.”
“I know you do.”
“But—but—“ Alec shook the box in bewildered confusion. “I don’t know- but—“
“You’ll know when yer all done.”
Alec stood up and reluctantly placed the package on the chair. He brought his hands to his face, distracted by the traces of the contents it held hidden inside.
The transgenic was sniffing at the air around the chair and fighting the urge to pick it back up.
“Yeah?” He turned and tried to refocus. “I was just wondering, can I take it with me while I—“
“Sooner you finish, the sooner you can be all alone with it.”
The suggestion sent him stumbling over his feet towards the teetering piles.
Alec seemed undecided on which heap he should start with first. He experimentally hefted the largest crate designated to ‘TRASH’ and staggered backwards into the wall.
“This-this is really heavy.” He mumbled. “Uh, so this goes to the basement, right?”
“You got it.”
He hurried out the door about as fast as he could without falling.
Cindy shook her head and took his abandoned seat for herself. It was going to take him at least half the afternoon to clear out her bedroom, hallway and walk in closet. She yawned and stretched out her shoulders. Leaning back in the chair, she wondered about brewing another pot of tea and maybe checking the TV for an old black & white movie; something with Greta Garbo. Maybe Grace Kelly. Spring-cleaning sure did take a lot out of a girl.
She idly picked up the wrapped box and thought about the great aunt who had sent it to her.
The same box with the same present inside had appeared at her various doorsteps ever since she was a little girl. She wasn’t sure what it was about some relatives that fixated on one interest or fleeting love from her childhood. Like her adoration for tigers, her extensive and carefully arrayed kitten sticker collection and the brief ownership of a feline that she’d named Fluffers. One interest became your entire identity to a distant relation that wished to show a child some kindness.
Cindy wasn’t much of a child anymore but she didn’t mind the kindness.
She just never knew what to do with the annual gift box filled with catnip toys.
cross posted to jam_pony_fic