vanillajello: (View from behind.)
Kate Gregson ([personal profile] vanillajello) wrote2009-08-21 11:12 am

Overland Park, KS, Friday Afternoon & Late Saturday Morning

So, this was actually happening. Kate had brought Leto home with her.

Sure, her family could have picked them up at the airport, but Kate had insisted on a cab instead. It was kind of expensive, but at least it gave her some more time to prep Leto on What Not To Talk About. As if she hadn't kind of been lecturing him through the whole flight over.

The only downside to this arrangement was that thanks to some stuff that had come up during the cab ride, the cab driver now probably thought Kate and Leto were pretty nice and coherent for obvious drug users.

And now they were out of the cab and standing on the sidewalk in front of Kate's home. "So, this is my neighborhood," Kate told Leto, gesturing around at the identical houses and cute frontyards. "Pretty unspectacular."

Spectacular or not, it didn't look like anything he was used to.

He was wearing jeans and a t-shirt, bought only for this trip as his usual clothes would have looked a little odd. Also, he had been wearing sunglasses most of the journey, which probably didn't help in not being seen as a drug user.

Which he was, but details.

"Would you prefer a spectacular home?" Leto asked, quietly comparing to the palace at Arrakeen.
"For about two minutes. Then I'd probably get bored of that, too," Kate smirked, trying to ignore the nervous feeling building somewhere inside her chest.

She looked at the house. "You know, they're probably watching us through the windows."
"With spectacular might come more formal dinners and visitors you'd rather avoid," Leto said, nudging her arm. He wasn't nervous, but rather excited to be here.

He let his gaze wander, taking in the setting. "I will do my best to remember what you told me." He smirked. "Do you think they want more time to watch or shall we go in?"
"Please do," Kate sighed. She had used up all her colorful and imaginative threats on the plane and the ride over. "I think by now they want a closer look at you, and we can't stay here the whole day. Let's go."

She picked up her full backpack and empty bag - for taking stuff back to Fandom - from the ground and started heading to the door.
Leto followed right behind her, curious to see what Kate's family was like. He doubted that they were much like his family.
Kate got out her keys and opened the door. Taking a deep breath, she stepped inside.

"Guys, we're here!" she called out into the house. "Although you probably already know that!"
Leto entered the house, still behind Kate, taking off the sunglasses and putting them in his bag. Hopefully her family wouldn't ask about his eyes.
Tara walked out of the kitchen (where they had all rushed when Kate and Leto finally approached the door) and waved.

"Hey, honey, we've missed you," she said, going to hug Kate.
And for a moment, Kate completely forgot Leto was there. Because here was her mom, and she realized just now exactly how much she'd missed her during the harder times.

"Mom! Hi!" Kate squealed, dropping her bags on the floor, hugging Tara back and laughing so she wouldn't cry. "I've missed you too."
Leto waited and remained quiet. Kate should be allowed to greet her mother without him interrupting. He smiled a little; it was good to see them together.
After a few moments of being grateful to have Kate home, Tara pulled back and smiled in Leto's direction.

"Kate, are you going to introduce your friend?"
"Oh, right. Of course," Kate said, pushing her hair behind her ears. "This is Leto Atreides," she said, standing between them and gesturing. "Leto? This is my mother, Tara Gregson."

No, she didn't realize she'd gone all official with her voice and the mentioning of last names.
Leto inclined his head just a little, then extended his hand. "It's a pleasure to meet you, mrs Gregson," he said, smiling. "Kate has told me about her home and her family, and I'm honoured to have been invited."
Tara shook his offered hand and smiled. "Likewise, Leto. It's always a pleasure to meet Kate's friends."

Even if having a stranger in her house had her a wee bit nervous.

"Come in the kitchen," she said. "Marshall just finished a batch of muffins. And Daddy was supposed to be home from work by now."
"Yay muffins!" Kate grinned, only sounding a little bit hyper. And also feeling more than a little bit nervous about bringing an outsider into the house.

"If you thought my muffins were good, just wait until you taste Marshall's," she grinned at Leto, motioning for him to follow her into the kitchen as she went.
"Your muffins were good," Leto told her, reaching out to poke her arm in the hope that it would make her more relaxed. Both Kate and her mother seemed nervous, and he he hoped he wasn't doing anything that made that worse.
"You're just in time for the Muffins of Triumph," Marshall said as they entered the kitchen.

Tara chuckled. "I think we would have waited for them, Marshall."
Kate gave Leto a smile, trying to convey that everything was fine. It would just take time for her nerves to settle.

She went to give Marshall a big hug too. "Moosh! Is it really a triumph that I made it home?" Thanks to Fandom, her standards for a triuph had gone pretty high.

"Oh, and that's Leto." Not so much with the officiality.
Leto offered Marshall his hand. "Hello, Marshall. Kate has told me about you." He smiled at him.

He shot Kate a grin. "The plane could have crashed, I suppose. Is the fact that you survived the flight worthy of a triumph?"

He was used to 'thopters in the desert. They could crash, or be swallowed by sandworms.
Marshall was so busy staring at Leto and his blue, blue eyes that it took him a moment to shake the boy's hand.

"Hi," he said, before managing to turn his attention to his sister.

"It's totally a triumph that you're home. I was starting to think you'd never come back."

Tara shook her head. "She hasn't been gone that long."
"I guess you could be right about that," Kate told Leto, wrinkling her nose at him and laughing a little. "Even if it's more likely to get killed in accident in your own house than it is in a plane crash."

And of course she noticed the staring. "Contacts," she whispered quickly into her brother's ear, before poking at his arm. "Aww, Moosh, you missed me. It was only a month and a half. It felt like a lot longer to me too, though."
"I am lucky to have my sister and my stepmother staying in the town," Leto said, laughing a little.

He glanced around the room. It was similar to Fandom - at least compared to Sietch Tabr.
"He's cute," Marshall whispered back.

Before anything else could be said, Max opened the back door and walked into the room. "Hey, guys, sorry I'm late."
Marshall's comment made Kate giggle, but it was pretty much wiped from her mind when Max came in. "Dad!"

She rushed to hug him, because really, why should he be treated any differently from the other members of the family. When she was done with the hugging, it was time for yet another introduction.

"Okay, this is the last introduction, unless you guys are hiding Aunt Charmaine somewhere," Kate smirked. "Dad, Leto Atreides. Leto, Max Gregson, my dad."
Leto had noticed the look Marshall gave him, and he winked at him, then turned to Kate's father. "Hello, mr Gregson," he said. "It's a pleasure to meet you. And thank you for letting me accompany Kate here."
"Hey, Kate's friends are always welcome," Max said. "Just keep your hands off my daughter in my house."

There was no rancor in his tone with the comment and he snagged a muffin from the counter.

"Max, be nice," Tara admonished.

"What? That was nice!" he insisted.
"Dad!" Kate exclaimed, failing to sound as outraged as she normally would have. It was because she was constantly expecting much more disastrous things to be said. This was just plain old normal.

Leto did get a warning look from her, though.
Leto blinked, not quite sure what to make of that comment. "I assure you, I have no disrespectful intentions towards your daughter," he replied, then picked up a muffin too.

He glanced at Kate, hoping that was a suitable response.
"You don't?" Max asked, his mouth full of muffin. "Are you gay? Cause I bet Marsh here wouldn't say no."

Marshall groaned and buried his face in his hands.

Tara thwapped Max's shoulder.
See, that was one way of getting Kate to react in a normal way.

"Dad!" she screeched, bringing both her hands up to cover her face. "Please shut up."
Now Leto was even more confused. "So is it preferable if I attempt to seduce your son than your daughter?" he asked. Not that it couldn't have made sense, but it didn't seem to fit with what he knew of this culture.
"Well, see, you can't get my son pregnant," Max began to say.

Tara clamped her hand over his mouth. "Max, let's leave the kids alone for a while."
Kate was not going to say anything. No. She was just going to stand there with her hands covering her face which had gone a bit red.

And right at this moment she was finding very little comfort in the fact that this was completely normal, and not at all like any of the things she had been dreading.
It seemed like it was Kate's father and not him who were making everyone embarrassed here. At least that reassured Leto somewhat. "I have no intention of getting anyone pregnant by accident, Mr Gregson, although my stepmother would no doubt be delighted to have grandchildren. I take it you are not looking forward to becoming a grandparent yourself?"
Tara kept her hand clamped firmly over Max's mouth. "Maybe in a few years," she said, dragging her husband out of the room.

Once they were gone, Marshall put his hand on Kate's shoulder. "Hey, it could have been worse."
"Like how?" Kate asked her brother, lowering her hands and looking at both of the boys.

She reached for a muffin, even though she didn't really feel like eating it, and looked at Leto. "Sometimes Dad thinks he's funny when he's not."
"Was he joking?" Leto had to ask, still confused.
"Yeah, he does that," Marshall said. "And it could have been T or Buck," he said to Kate. "Or they could have invited Aunt Charmaine over."
"Okay, yes, it could have been worse," Kate agreed. She shuddered slightly at the prospect of either of the alters. She could imagine it happening, and it was not pretty.

"If he starts acting like that again, please just ignore him," she said to Leto. "He's just trying to embarrass us." And succeeding.

Overland Park, KS, Late Saturday Morning

So far, things had been going okay, despite Kate's dad's best efforts at embarrassing everyone right after being introduced.

Even though there had been some things during breakfast that maybe should not have been said or done, nothing major had slipped and it didn't seem like her parents were suspecting anything about anyone. This meant that Kate was enjoying being at home and having Leto around. "What should we do today?" she asked him with a smile, lounging on a couch in the living room.
"How would you spend a Saturday if I wasn't here?" Leto asked, leaning back on the couch.

Her family was a little confusing at times, but he did enjoy their company, and found the visit truly exciting.
"Not very interestingly," Kate grinned. "I'd pretty much do the same stuff I do at the dorms. Movies, reading, music, coffee. Possibly some shopping at the mall if I had the cash, maybe a party if there was one," she shrugged.
"Can we go driving in a car?" Leto asked. He had had very little experience with the vehicles that were the dominant mode of everyday transport on this world.
"We can, but Mom or Dad has to come with us. I don't have a driver's license yet, just a permit, so I'm not supposed drive without an adult who has a license," Kate replied, looking less than pleased with this requirement.

Not that it had stopped her before, but that case had been an emergency.
"Oh, I didn't know that was required," Leto replied. He smiled a little. "I can fly 'thopters but I have no experience with cars." And he would have to search quite thoroughly though his other memories for anyone there to be of help. "So, if you go to the mall, what would you buy?"

He wasn't used to the concept of shopping for fun.
"Did someone say shopping?" T asked, bouncing down the stairs.
Leto looked up blinking. Kate's mother was behaving... oddly. Almost... possessed.
"I'd buy whatever I happened to like, this kind of shopping --"

Kate didn't look at T before she noticed Leto was distracted. And then she did.

"...Mom?" she asked quietly. Of course she knew it wasn't her mother, but she could always hope.
"Mrs Gregson?" Leto composed himself, and suddenly seemed calm and at ease. The Bene Gesserit training was indeed useful in situations like these. "Yes, we were talking about going shopping."
"Well, get off your asses and let's go, bitches!" T exclaimed. "I swiped Max's credit card before he left for work."
Kate glanced at Leto. Okay, he seemed calm. Good. If he wasn't freaking out about this, she didn't have a reason to, either.

"I don't know, T," she said. "Shopping's not really fun when I know I have to return everything when Mom gets back."
That statement was a little odd. Leto leaned close to Kate and whispered: "This isn't your mother?"

He was certainly not going to freak out, but he would prefer to have a little more information on how to interpret the situation.
"No, cutie, I am not Kate's mother," T said, sitting next to Leto and going to ruffle his hair. "We could have a lot of fun together, you know."
"She's not my mother," Kate repeated with a sigh. "She's T. She's... one of the other people inside my mother's head. I'll explain better later."

She went to slap T's hand away. "Eww, T. Don't."
It took a little more effort to remain calm when his hair was ruffled by the woman who shared a body with Kate's mother, but the concept of more than one personality in one physical form was certainly not strange to him.

"I'm afraid I'm not prepared to share that kind of fun with you," he told T, hoping this was a clear enough message. "So, shopping?"
"Gee, Katie, this one's awful uptight," T said, rolling her eyes. "But, shopping sounds like a good idea. I'll grab the car keys."
"Okay, fine, we'll go to the mall. But I'm driving," Kate said, getting up from the sofa

"We have to keep an eye on her, so it's best to just go with it," she added more quietly to Leto. Then she turned back to T. "But before we go anywhere I want to know why you're out."
Kate appearance knew how to deal with this person named T. He rose too, still managing to look calm, and smiled as his gaze moved between the two women.
"What, you'd rather have Buck or Alice around to show your friend a good time?" T asked.
Kate rolled her eyes at T and sighed. "No, I'd rather have my mom, and you know that's not what I meant."

This was one of the few times ever that she may have actually preferred Alice. At least she would've only insisted on baking him cookies.

She flashed Leto a quick 'everything's okay' sort of smile. T didn't quite get the same. "Why isn't Mom here?"
If Kate thought that everything was okay - albeit a little difficult - Leto saw no reason not to trust her judgement on that.

"Does your mother share her body with other personalities as well?" he asked Kate, keeping his voice low.
"What makes you think I know why Tara needed a break?" T asked.
"Because you usually do," Kate replied. And usually she wouldn't have bothered, but now she wanted to know, because she had been trying so hard to stop this from happening.

"There's two more," she told Leto, also keeping her voice low even though it didn't really matter whether T heard her or not. Of course T knew knew she wasn't the only one.
He replied with a small nod, then smiled at T. "I agree with Kate. I believe it's best if we sort this out before going shopping." He wasn't entirely sure why this was important, but he was prepared to support Kate anyway.
T shrugged. "You know how it is. Any change to the routine can freak Tara out."
Kate didn't look pleased, but accepted that this was as specific as it was going to get. It wasn't a good idea to push the alters for answers, because all they were was a coping mechanism. "Fine. Let's just go to the fucking mall," Kate shrugged.

In her head she was pretty much already dialing her dad's number. She was going to call him as soon as possible, not that there was anything he could do. T would go away when Tara was ready to come back, and until then they would just have to deal with her.

And hope that when T went away it would be Tara that took her place.

[OOC: NFI & NFB due to distance, OOC welcome. Preplayed with the wonderful [ profile] future_sandworm and the equally wonderful [ profile] thegregsons aka [ profile] joan_notjane. Both bits posted now because of my (un)availability, about which there’ll be a separate post in just a moment.]