vanillajello: (You know what; you're an idiot.)
Kate Gregson ([personal profile] vanillajello) wrote2011-03-27 03:57 pm

Overland Park, KS, Sunday Noon

Kate was packing. Not everything, of course. Not even the stuff she wanted to take with her. For now, she was packing the things she didn't intend to take with her. Everything that looked childish was going in the cardboard box on her bed and she was happy to do it. They'd been around too long already. Just like she had.

Tomorrow, she and Zach were intending to go see an apartment Kate was already enamored with, and there was a good chance they'd get it on the spot. It seemed amazing, from the pictures and description online, and it had wiped out any and all doubts she may or may not have had about this whole thing. In her head it was already the next weekend, and she had a place of her very own, away from the Gregson house on Oak Avenue, away from Fandom.

And that called for some sacrifices.

"Bye bye, froggy alarm clock," Kate told the green object in her hands, pushing out her lower lip at it to show how utterly unfortunate it was that they had to part. "There is no lilypad for you at my new topfloor penthouse suite." And she couldn't help but grin at those three words as she shoved the clock in the box. "I love the way that sounds." She struck an effortless little pose, something she thought looked classy and suite-like, before picking up a pile of books and putting those in the box as well. "Topfloor penthouse suite, please."

"Who are you talking to?" Zach asked, stepping closer from behind her where he'd been getting a few stuffed animals and a ratty old feather boa from her vanity table. Kate smiled at him, over her shoulder. "You," she said, turning around to face him. "We're in the elevator, and you're pressing the button so I can watch it glow."

"'Top floor' and 'penthouse' are redundant," he pointed out as he leaned in to dump the things in his hand in the box. "'Penthouse' means 'top floor'."

Yeah, Kate didn't really care about that. Occasionally, semantic accuracy gave way to things that sounded cool, even with her. "Mm." She snagged a kiss and grinned at him, tugging on his lapels. "That is one of the many things you can teach me --" She fell back on the bed, pulling him over herself. "-- when you visit me at my own place!"

"Oh, I will do more than visit," he murmured from his close proximity. "We can eat dinner together." He kissed her. "Make bubble baths." Again. "Sit on white furniture naked..." On the next kiss, Kate didn't let him continue. Not when she could reach up and get a little more into it, idly wondering whether there was time for something a little more before they had to be down in the backyard for the wedding, because something a little more would be so grand right now, and...

And then one of the major reasons for Kate wanting to move out of this house made itself known: no lock on her door. Yes, that was her dad poking his head in without much in the way of warning. "Hey Kate, d'you wanna --"

Kate shoved Zach off herself, even if he was in all actuality already moving on his own. They should've both just been extremely glad he managed to get onto his feet with some dignity, and so did she. Even if all that meant was that they ended up standing side by side, rather awkwardly, sort of staring at the door. "Hi, Dad," Kate said, uncertainly, "this is Zach." Zach took this as his cue to dart forwards, towards Max, to save the situation by showing off some manners. Kate watched the men greet each other with a handshake and wanted to cringe for just how awkward it all looked and felt. They didn't seem to have much to say to each other after the handshake, and Max looked past Zach at Kate, still standing by her bed. "What, uh... What's in the box?"

"This?" Kate shoved some of the things a little further down into the box. "Oh, this is for Goodwill. Just paring down to a few essentials, you know." The lies didn't come quite as smoothly as she would have hoped, but this would do. "I'm green like that."

There was an awkward silence, followed by an awkward moment with several okays, and then Max just left. After he was gone, Zach shut the door before turning towards Kate, frowning and jerking a thumb back in the general direction of the house at large. "Um, when are you gonna... tell them?"

"Right as I'm leaving," Kate replied lightly, amused. After the reaction she'd gotten from Mitchell and Hannibal to the idea of the condo, she wasn't intending to let anyone in on her plans before they were in action, and she wasn't intending to start talking about it to Zach right now, either. That may have had something to do with the way she guided him towards the bed again, and pushed him onto his back, following him because nothing would distract him like her on top of him. "Kinda like, 'hey family, I'm just not that into yooou!'"

She was laughing as she kissed him.


"Ooh, gay boys in love."

Hey, last weekend Marshall had told Kate he'd finally made out with Lionel, and it was pretty obvious he was incredibly smitten with the dude, and that made Kate happy to see. Teasing was totally called for, once she and Zach made their way down into the kitchen and saw Marshall giving Lionel an appetizer.

"Ooh," Lionel replied quickly, with mild sarcasm, "straight people in love." Kate found herself wincing despite herself, and was glad to be hidden from everyone's view when she was leaning in to grab two bottles of water from the fridge. It gave her time to compose her expression into an easy smile as she closed the door and greeted their neighbor slash wedding pianist, standing behind the boys on the other side of the kitchen island. "Hey Ted."

Judging by his equally easy manner, Kate noted, he seemed to have bounced back admirably from Hany dumping him. "Felicitations."

"I'd lay off the cocksmoking tonight, boys," Kate remarked, giving Zach one of the bottles before picking up a vegetable appetizer for herself from one of the plates on the table. Then she raised her eyebrows for the confused looks from Marshall and Lionel. "Asparagus?"

"Eh, don't let her scare you," Ted piped up with a reassuring tone. "A few spears of fresh pineapple clears it right up. Take it from me." Well, he'd know, Kate supposed. "Now, I've got ivories to tickle."

Kate waved him off with a quick smile, then turned her attention to the boys again. "Zach, you remember my brother's --" Actually, what was Lionel now? She caught her brother's eyes and raised her eyebrows just a little. He glanced at Lionel, then gave her just the tiniest of nods, and a smile. "Boyfriend," Kate concluded, surprised but pleased.

"Nice meeting you again," Zach said, offering Lionel his hand which the boy took, briefly. "Making food for the happy event?"

"Oh, happy for some people," Lionel replied, with a touch of a bitter tone. "Harder for others to enjoy when this country is ju--" Oh, he was gearing up for a rant of some sort, and Kate was glad when Marshall tried to cut it short: "Lionel, please."

But Zach objected "No, no, let him-- Let him finish."

"Nothing," Lionel said, a little resigned since Marshall had already admonished him. "I just... I just think that Obama led the gay and lesbian community astray, that's all."

"Hmm, I'm not sure about that," Zach said dubiously, then shook his head. "Not that I voted for him." He even sounded – mildly – like that would've been a ridiculous idea. Lionel and Marshall immediately flicked their gazes over to Kate. They were silently asking whether she'd known about this.

And she hadn't. "... What?" The question slipped from her almost despite herself. Her eyebrows had gone way up, and her voice threatened to do the same with surprise. "You're a republican?"

"I liked Ron Paul," he replied with a glance towards her, and all she could do was nod with a frozen smile on her face. He faced the boys again. "But my real problem is with the way the gay community is attempting to be heard and --"

Yeah, Lionel obviously wasn't going to stand around listening to that. "Just tell me something that no one on your side seems willing to admit to," he said, cutting Zach off. He'd crossed his arms over his chest. "Deep inside, you actually believe that marriage is for pussies and dicks."

"Well, I guess I'd have to say yes."

Kate didn't know how to feel about that, so she stomped on her confusion, leaving the major reactions to Lionel. He gave a derisive snort, shook his head, then started for the door. "I'm out, Marsh," he said. "Sext me when the wedding is over." And he stomped off. Kate stepped forward, smoothing out her skirt. "Wow, well, Lionel's in quite a mood." And she couldn't help thinking it was justified.

Marshall raised his eyebrows with a hint of a wry smile playing about his lips. "Ron Paul, really?" he asked, then turned away from them and walked out of the kitchen.


A little while later still, and Kate and Zach were seated in the Gregsons' backyard which had adequately been turned into the setting of the wedding. Everything was white and purple, the sun was shining, and everything was actually kind of perfect. It was about half an hour before the ceremony was scheduled to take place, and Zach was running the fingertips of one hand lightly along her exposed neck, down to her shoulder.

"My God, you've got such a beautiful long neck," he told her. "Like a Modigliani."

"I get that constantly," she replied, barely listening. She'd been pretty deep in thought, and okay, now that touching was getting a little annoying. He was brushing his fingers feather-lightly against her upper arm, now. "...Wow. Okay, can you do that harder or not at all?" she asked, trying to look a little apologetic as she glanced over at him. She reached to rub on the part of her arm he'd been caressing. "It's like there's a radio in the other room but I can only hear it enough to go crazy."

He dropped his hand from her arm, putting it on the small of her back instead, and smiled gently at her as he leaned closer. "You're stressed being here among all this, huh, sweetie?"

"Yeah, well, weddings blow," Kate replied wryly, shrugging her shoulders, "it's a rule of thumb." Zach tilted his head at her, watched her face. "It'll be wonderful to see you finally get some of your boundaries up," he replied, "get away from here."

"I don't think I need to get away from here, per se," she mused, and then a smile spread on her face. "I'm just over this house and its lack of pool, gym, white and grey marble countertops..."

"Well, we're not getting you your own place for the amenities," he pointed out, clearly thinking that was kind of a foolish thought. "I wanna protect you."

Really? She gave him a look that said 'thanks, but unnecessary'. "I don't need protection." Not from anything she was intending to tell him about. But he was giving an equally unimpressed look back. And actually, it was a little condescending. "You live with sick people," he replied.

"Sick person," Kate corrected immediately. "And I love her."

"Of course you wanna cover for her, that's natural in an abuse situation," he replied, keeping his voice down, his tone gentle and it was really starting to get on her nerves. "But your instincts are off."

Okay, that was enough. "My instincts?" Her eyebrows were up again, and she didn't care how surprised he looked that she'd borderline snapped at him. "I am not the one comparing women to massively distorted modern paintings."

"Kate, I'm --"

She wasn't going to let him keep talking anymore. It was obviously time for her to do that now. "And the other thing that bothered me is... You basically implied that my brother isn't good enough to get married. And you keep calling my mom crazy." She jabbed a finger at herself. "I am the only one who can call my mom crazy!" And that was even without all the other stuff, the subtle digs at Fandom and everyone she knew there. She looked at him and his earnest, surprised face, and all she could think was 'You don't get it at all.'

She drew in a breath, eyes narrowing, and then she pushed herself up from her chair, to her feet. "You know what?" She was already reaching for his arm to tug him up from his chair. "I think that I would like to spend some time with my fucked up family, alone." He got up, probably because he was so taken by surprise he had no idea what else to do. She started dragging him away by his arm.

"Sorry, dude. This is just not the place for a normal guy like you."

Funny how she made the word 'normal' sound like an insult. And maybe it was. It definitely wasn't something she identified herself with. (And just briefly, she couldn't help thinking that Nathan's smugness over this was going to be insufferable. Oh well, she'd deal.) Normality was not the game here, and Zach clearly didn't fit in.

"Kate, I think you're overreacting," he tried, as she was pushing him towards the way to the front yard where his car was parked. Bodily escorting him out of her life. He wasn't even fighting back, just trying with feeble words that couldn't convince her. She gave him one last shove at the edge of the backyard. "Okay fella, off you go."

"I don't understand," he replied. But he still walked away. He glanced back a few times, brow still furrowed. And she shrugged. "I don't, either." She just knew she probably should have done this a good long while ago.

[ooc: NFB, NFI, OOC-okay! Taken from USoT S02E12, post one of two.]