vanillajello: (Like omg totally.)
Kate Gregson ([personal profile] vanillajello) wrote2011-11-26 01:41 am

KCMO & Overland Park, Later Friday Fandom Time

After shuffling Bod off to the Portalocity terminal, Kate was left alone, waiting for her flight. The loudspeakers above droned on about smoking and solicitations in the terminal building being prohibited, but she wasn't listening. She could barely sit still in her seat. Staying quiet was impossible.

So she turned to the random guy next to her. "Where are you headed?"

"Business in Chicago," he said, barely glancing up from his laptop. "By way of St. Louis."

"St. Louis?" Kate repeated, her already wide smile getting wider. "Me too. Same flight. St. Louis to San Fransisco, San Fransisco to Osaka... Osaka, Japan."

The man nodded a few times, said a polite 'oh', then went back to whatever it was he'd been doing. Too bad Kate was really too hyper to take a hint right now. "You know, Osaka is a lot like Chicago," she said. "It's a real economic juggernaut. Two and a half million people live there, and in the morning, another million commute there for work. Melts the mind, don't it?" She grinned and took another sip of her iced coffee. "I'm going there to teach English."

"That's something."

"Mm-hmm," Kate nodded gravely. "I know that you don't know me, but if you would have met me even a month ago, you wouldn't believe it." A week ago, even. But she'd rather not think about that right now. "I was an F-U-C-K-I-N-G wreck – pardon my Japanese. But now look at me!" She grinned again. "Kansas City to Kansai International Airport. That's the name of it, Kansai, right? This little man-made island with terminals and some runways, surrounded by water, and Kansas City, surrounded by land. And..." She gestured at the middle distance, looking for words. "And me, launched in between the two, like a little nerf football. It's... fated, magical, isn't it?"

She waited for an acknowledgement for this statement, but the man was frowning at something further away. "You said Osaka, right?" he asked. "Yes," Kate nodded, almost smugly, before she looked at what was drawing his attention away from her. It was the TV screen, set on a news channel, and it was showing footage from a road in the clutches of a natural disaster.




"Fuck," Kate muttered under her breath when the person on the other end of the phoneline refused to cooperate. She'd already come back home; her connecting flight had been canceled, as had all other flights to Osaka, and now she was in her parents' living room, trying to make sure she wasn't stuck there. It felt important. More important than anything else. "It's an act of God. I get that. We have tornadoes here too, they're no fun, either!" She heard herself sound borderline hysterical, and took a deep breath as the Teach Abroad person on the other end talked. "Yeah, well, I figured that the flight would be delayed, but how long until the school can –– A month? No! I can't wait a month! No! No, no, no!"

It was so fucking frustrating. This was her thing now, Japan, and teaching, and just doing something useful with herself. Everyone was doing something grand and useful but her. Everyone had a mission, even if it was only dealing with their own previous mistakes. What did she have? Staying at home and worrying for people. No.

"Do you have any cities that you need English-speaking teachers at?" she asked. And the initial answer did not please her. At. All. "Hiroshima?"

It was about that moment that she heard Marshall note to their dad, watching the news, "Maybe Kate brings death and destruction wherever she walks." Kate could've punched him about then. She wasn't sure why he was being that bitchy, but she knew it hit home harder than it was meant to. She was pretty sure she would've felt nauseous if she hadn't been so tightly wound as it was.

She flipped him off and turned her back at him again, continuing the seeminly hopeless phone conversation. "Any cities we haven't a-bombed?"

The person, office drone, whatever, sounded intimidated, and like he was scrambling around their files for anything to shove at her so she'd stop yelling, and all she could think was Good. She wasn't going to stop pacing and raising her voice before she achieved something useful. Her mom wandered in and looked surprised to see her, but she just waved a hand. Marshall and Max could do the explaining for now. Especially since something seemed to finally be happening.

"Niigata?" she asked, repeating the name of the place the guy had just offered to her. "Great. Yes. You're sending it over right now?" Oh, her mood was taking an abrupt turn for the better. "You guys are the greatest!" She ended the call with a big mwah! She didn't even care if that made them think she was severely bipolar or something. As long as they got her to Japan, she didn't care.

She flopped down on the couch next to her mother. "Yes, flying out tomorrow. Hi, Mom."

Tara gave her an unimpressed look. "'Hi, Mom'?"

Kate sighed and reached out to embrace her. "I'm sorry that I snuck out," she murmured. "I'm a coward." She was finding it surprisingly easy to be one. "I'm sorry."

"Hey, maybe you ought to wait the month," her dad said, nodding towards the TV that was still spewing news of the earthquake. Kate pulled away from Tara to whip around and point a finger at him. "No!" she said. "It's go or die, Dad. Go or die."

And she felt way too serious about that.

"Hey, where is Niigata?" Tara wondered, as Kate settled back on the couch next to her. "I don't care," she sighed. "Somewhere in Japan."

"Oh, so you're going to kill again?" Marshall said and seriously, what was up with these cracks? Kate gave him the finger again.

"That's full-finger 'fuck you'," Max told Tara as she was getting up from the couch. "Yours is wimpy." Kate had no idea what he was talking about, and didn't particularly care. Something she hadn't been paying attention to during her call. "Hey, this is 'fuck you'," Tara said, flipping Max off in turn. She did it a little differently from Kate, though. Didn't separate the middle finger from the others quite as much.

She nodded at Kate. "That was just a finger." Then she wandered off again, prompting Max to call out after her, "Where are you going?"

"To bed," came the answer. "To sleep. Perhaps to dream. Good night, men. Daughter, you sneak away from me a second time..."

"I won't!" Kate called out, and meant it. "I love you!"

Besides, someone needed to see her off tomorrow. Bod had already gone back to Fandom. Someone needed to give her hugs.

[ooc: NFB, NFI, ooc-okay! Taken and tweaked from USoT S03E03.]