vanillajello: (Joking right?)
Kate Gregson ([personal profile] vanillajello) wrote2011-11-06 10:03 pm

Overland Park, KS, A Weekday in Early October

It was the morning of Tara's (second) first day of college, which was part of the reason why Kate had crossed the lawn over to her parents' house this early. And when she walked into the kitchen, Marshall was... preparing to film a pile of books with a picture of their mother on top of it. "Moosh, what are you doing?"

"Making a video, so when Mom graduates, she can remember her first day." He took removed the lense cap and pointed the camera at the textbooks. "And so she began, climbing the staircase of Academia. Tara Gregson trembles at the learned gates of Kansas State Overlan--"

He didn't get further before Kate yanked at his arm to point the camera at her. His video was sounding too stuffy. "Starring Kate Gregson as Kate," she told the camera with a sultry pose, "and Billy Crystal as the edgy drifter with a hear of gold and a pocketful of secrets."

As she headed for the fridge, Marshall asked, "Do you think the camera can't see how much you hate yourself inside?" Kate made a face at him, right as their dad walked in.

"Hey, baby, your mom's running kind of late, so, uh, she's a little nuts," he told her. "Make her a cup of coffee would ya?"

Kate nodded. "Yeah, sure, but I have some heavy shit that I need to lay on you --" She had decided this would be the day she told them about Japan and asked for their help. It seemed fitting: new beginnings and new adventures all around.

Unfortunately, though, she didn't get to really say anything more right now. Her turn to get interrupted, this time by her frankly hysterical mother. It took Max two tries to get Tara to understand her book bag was by the front door, where she'd left it teh night before. Marshall and his wannabe documentary-making was not helping, either. Kate tuned out and let them be crazy by themselves as she went about making coffee. Tara was already in the foyer when she was done, and brought her the coffee in a takeaway container. "Hey, mama," she said. "So... I've been thinking a lot about my stuff lately, and I have a pretty good picture --"

It was so not the right time, though. Tara was all over the place, talking over her. "Hey, honey, seriously, sweetheart," she said. "I really want to hear this, I do. But, um..." She got distracted, looking at Kate's dress. "You look really cute." She looked down at herself. "I look like a goon. Do I look like a goon?"

Kate assured her she looked fine, because she really did, but Tara decided she wanted to go change anyway, and left her with the sighworthy task of stuffing the books into the bag. Not that Tara even made it upstairs before Ted barged in the door, informing her of the time and Marshall that he was not a morning person and didn't want to be filmed. He also convinced Tara she didn't need to cahnge, which was probably a blessing.

"Okay, can't be late for school," she said, once Kate had handed her the book bag and the coffee. "If I'm making a huge mistake, somebody has to tell me now. Anybody? Anybody, anybody, no?" When no one objected, she threw up her free hand and spun around. "Okay, here we go! Bye!"

They waved her off. Tara Gregson, student. It was weird, but in a better way than most things in this house.

-----


So, the day rolled on, and Kate decided that maybe she'd wait until the next day with her news. the best, right? Let some things settle. That was what she was thinking in the early evening as she was browsing the Teach Abroad website for the zillionth time, anyway.

Or, that was what she was thinking until a random noise coming through the music from her earphones distracted her. It was... weird. Like someone banging their open palm against the same set of keys on the downstairs piano, over and over again. She yanked the earphones out; clearly, she had to go investigate. So, she made her way downstairs, and into the living room.

And then she really wished she hadn't. "Oh, my God, my eyes!" she wailed, covering her eyes with her arm, but it was too late. The sight of Neil and Charmaine having very pregnant upright doggy style against the piano. It didn't even help that they were mostly clothed, she was still scarred.

"Shit, I thought you said she was gone!" "She's supposed to be gone!" "Why aren't you gone?"

Kate really wished she had been gone. She didn't want to live in this tainted house anymore. She didn't want to live at all. "I can't stop seeing it!" she whined, stumbling her way out of the room, still holding her arm over her eyes even though it didn't help when the visual was etched in her brain. "I wanna chop off my own head!"

Quickly going upstair to grab her printouts of the company website, she practically ran out of the house and over to her parents' place. "This can't wait," she announced, coming in. Her parents were on the sofa in the living room, but thankfully just lounging. She couldn't have dealt with icky old people sex twice in the same night. "Words have not been invented yet to accurately describe the horror that I just saw."

"What happened?" her dad asked as she circled her way in front of the sofa. She waved the question off. "Don't. Don't. Let's just do us all a favor and forget I said anything." She took a deep breath, and found it in herself to smile, now that she was thinking about things that didn't involve even the slightest glimpse of Neil's ass. "Now," she started, "we all know that I've been trying to figure out what it is that I wanna do with my life."

"So... You're not gonna be an appellate court judge?" her mother quipped, and they all laughed a little. Kate shook her head. "Mom, please." She handed them the prints. "This company is called Teach Abroad, and they send English-speaking people like me all over the world to teach our language," she explained. Tara had stopped smiling, and straightened up on the couch, but Kate continued. "Right now, they are hiring tutors for Osaka, Japan. So, they'll find me a place to sleep, give me three squares a day... All I gotta do is get myself there."

Tara looked up from the papers. "I don't think so, honey," she said.

Kate's confusion was audible. "What?"

"Well, I'm sorry, Kate, this just seems like one of those ideas that's really cool today and you won't even remember it by Saturday."

The confusion turned to frowning. "You have no idea what you're talking about," Kate said. What bullshit was this? She'd been convinced they'd be supportive! They'd been supportive when she'd wanted to move to Fandom! "I -- I'm gonna be making good money helping people, learning about other cultures..."

Max held up a hand, wanting her to calm down. "Hey, just dial it down a little bit."

"She's completely narrow-minded," Kate exclaimed. "You guys would be happier if I was staying in fucking Kansas, glueing fucking sequins to fucking headbands? That's what you want for my life?" She was starting to feel a little flaily. She felt it was merited. "When Kevin Thorpe got into the Peace Corps, you couldn't stop raving about what an amazing experience it was gonna be for him."

"What exactly is it that you're wanting here?" her father asked, ever the calm one. Family rock. In response to that, Kate took a breath and tried to get back into the smart and mature mindset she'd wanted to have while pitching this plan. "Well, I've saved up some money for the plane, but I'm short 800 bucks. I'll pay you back."

"I don't think so, Kate," Tara replied. "I'm sorry." Kate doubted that. "I just think this is the type of decision you need to take some time with."

Kate's attempts at being mature and calm shattered. "Unreal," she said, frowning hard enough to give herself a headache, later. "I guess I just thought after putting up with all this craziness for so many years that you would've wanted me to do something meaningful with my life." But she knew when it was pointless to argue with her parents, so she stomped off and out of the house.

Outside, she realized she didn't really want to go hang out at her house, either, not after what had happened a scant... ten minutes earlier, or so. So, she just popped in really quick, long enough to grab a coat and her phone, and then she came out again.

Maybe she'd just walk up and down the street for a while, to cool off.

[ooc: Taken from USoT S03E02, 'Crackerjack'. Mildly NWS in a one short instance, NFB, but open for all that call/text message/random-ass visit stuff.]