(2015-11-04) Secrets
Summary: A hard question is asked, the answer…cryptic. Other topics are discussed
Date: 11.4.2015
Related: Related Logs (Say None if there aren't any; don't leave blank. You have to use full URLs, like http://mushname.wikidot.com/logtitle)

It's true that it doesn't snow it Texas. The winters there do consist of rain instead and it is continuing to do so off an on. A light sprinkle falls from the sky, just enough to give the grass and other plants a nice drink, but not enough to soak through. It's late morning…afternoonish and the light that filters through the greyish clouds is watery but offers warmth at least.

Even if her freedom hadn't been restored to her, Piper has been taking it, and roaming the small town freely. Today is the first day she has been scavenging though, and she is pleased to be able to return to it. She has her wagon with her and is arranging her findings in it outside on of the houses that line the street. She's been quite successful, blankets and bed sheets mostly, but some clothing, kitchen and knitting stuff as well as a few bags of chips and three jars of queso! Snackage for later, that's for sure.

Quinton went earlier with Dixie, surprisingly enough, and they brought in a rather large haul, including some piano music sheets. And lots of food. When the poet saw Piper headed out with the wagon, he offered to come along and has been lifting and hauling stuff for her. He's still pretty sure she's not supposed to lift stuff yet. "Want another mattress?" Things are tight, but they can line the rooms with mattresses, he supposes.

Piper is having a good talking day. She has had more of those lately, though still not to anyone she hasn't broken her silence with before…she did try a few times, but failed. There hasn't been much heavy lifting, but with her having Quinn attached to her it is easier for someone else to get the bulky items. "Yes. Need a few more." she grins at the offer he is suggesting "A bit much to carry…" she gestures west across town where they have holed up.

Quinton's cheeks puff out as he thinks, there's got to be a way, he just needs to get creative! Well…ok, maybe not today. But he will.His thumbs slip into the straps of his backpack as he thinks, his shaggy hair is damp from the rain. "I can get…cart and horse…" The horses would probably be happy to get out. He'll then look back at her, "Kids ok?…Room isn't….too…" He moves his hands together.

She nods at him, "Later than." Piper says to him about that…maybe on a day that isn't spitting rain as well. She isn't going to want to wait for it to dry before use. "Yes." she gives a sigh. "They're used to tight." they all lived in a tent that wasn't much bigger than one of the apartment bedrooms for months "To used to sharing sleeping space. You and Kayla have yourselves sorted?"

Quinton can't help a small smile. The image of Piper with all the kids piled onto of her keeps popping into his mind, "Mostly…May end up with someone else…not sure." Everyone needs a place, right? "Might end up…couch.." A small shrug, it's still better than the floor.

Her head tilts, Piper doesn't pry in other people's heads, so the reason for his sudden smile is unknown, but she takes it that he has settled in well. A distasteful look crosses her face briefly. "Careful who that is." There are few people she would want or be willing to share her space with "Maybe get a mattress for you too."

Quinton lets his hands go up in the air, "Not much choice…" If they all have to fit in one building.. 'We'll….be fine." It's said as a promise, like he can control that. He then passes, his own head tilting , "Why…don't you like Juilet?" Oh, he's so close. The idea of bringing a mattress in for him gets ahead shake, "Couch is fine."

Well Piper is lucky there, she won't have to shack up with anyone if she doesn't want too, and she doubts anyone would want to with her anyway. Not with all the kids. Any hope she had at his words is dashed on the rocks of question just asked. Her face blanches and she shifts uncomfortably, her gaze dropping. Evasion is her first tactic "Does it matter?" her tone has gone neutral, her expression too.

There's a long pause and then Quin answers honestly, "Yes." If there's a reason, he'd like to know. If she's been secretly horrible to Piper or the kids….well, that changes things. A worried expression and his head tilts, causing those shaggy bangs to flop to the side, "…worried…"

The fact that it does isn't all that surprising to her Piper can't fathom a reason why, besides the fact that Quinton cares about everyone, "Should be." they should all be worried, about Jules about herself. Of course an answer like that requires an explanation "She is not…" she glances up, a frown on her face, "I don't trust her. She has a secret." there…maybe that will be reason enough.

Quinton's eyebrow goes up, that's clearly not answering his concern. The poet hesitates only a monument but then raises a hand to gently take hers, "Everyone has…secrets. We have to…help….it's what will make us…win. together." He'll sigh, trying a different approach, "She's been…kind to me. There's …. good there."

"It's not only hers." that's a bit cryptic, but Piper offers no explanation for that one, her words do bring a flash of fear to her eyes. The woman is afraid of Jules, of what she knows perhaps. The hand in hers gets a squeeze, no flinching from the touch today, but she is sorta wound up at the moment so needs the comfort it offers "I can't…not her. Not yet," she does shake her head "I won't do anything." Piper isn't a threat to the woman, not unless the other one gets hostile first and she isn't totally saying she won't warm up to Jules, just that it isn't happening now. And she has worked with the woman, so she has shown willingness to put her feelings aside for the good of the group.

Quinton just seems baffled by the entire thing. Not just her secret? What in the world. He doesn't push, although it's clear he wants to. Instead her hand is squeezed back. "I know." he didn't think Piper was going to attack her. At least, he hopes not. Sometimes he's not even certain of that. She gets weird, almost stoned eyes. Maybe it's just his imagination. He nod, giving her an out, "ok…ok.." His head swivels, looking to the haul they've already gathered, "Take back? Or more?"

Not that she didn't try, once a while back, but that's one of those things that she never spoke of and never plans too if she can help it. Piper takes a deep breath, her hand staying in his as she gets control of her emotional self. "Back." she glances at baby Quinn, "He needs to be feed and probably changed." She's not going to do either here in the drizzly rain.

Quinton was there, in the orchard. He remembers. What in the world did Jules do? Did they know each other form before? Jules said she was a cop. Huh, lots to think on. Quinton looks down at Quinn and nods, "ok…" A final squeeze and Quinton lets go of her hand to go pick up the handle of the wagon so he can pull it.

She does her best to give him a reassuring smile, it doesn't quite reach her eyes though. "It's November now." Piper says as she starts to walk with him up the empty street. She must have some type of OCD or savantness to her to always know the date, "We should look for decorations." subject change…his idea to have a Christmas this year.

Quinton blinks, "It is?" He never knows the date. as he starts pulling , his pale eyes scan the area. He's not so comfortable that he thinks they're safe here. Just…safer. "Yes…Kayla's…excited." He is too. He has a small stock pile of toys for the kids.

Piper doesn't have her rifle, but that doesn't necessarily mean she is unarmed, just that she doesn't have any obvious weapons, "Yes." her eyes lift as she does the calculation again "Fifty days." in the old life stores would be decorated and be playing carols already "I loved the holidays…but so busy." this year is going to be totally different for…everyone.

Quinton chuckles, "I bet…I wasn't….in demand." Poetry isn't really seasonal. "Maybe a tree …in the club house…" 50 days, he can find a tree in 50 days, surely.

That gets him a strange look from Piper, especially since she hasn't shared her previous occupation with anyone. The clues are all there sure, but they don't lead to anything exact really. "A real one?" she asks, hopeful, the panhandle is all grassland and some desert, but the town has parks and playgrounds that have trees planted in them…appropriate trees? They will have to look.

Quinton blinks, "Uh….maybe?" He was thinking plastic, but that hopeful tone in Piper's voice kinda seals the deal. looks like he'll be cutting down a tree, heaven help everyone. "kayla has …crafts….for the kids…Paper chains.." All the stuff kids go, that adults hate, but pretend to like. As for Piper's past, he doesn't need clues. He has an actual album.

Piper nods "I remember those crafts." she gives him a grin "Did them every year." she doesn't hate them, not really "Mom ran a daycare." that probably explains a lot about her collecting children…at least from an outsiders perspective. And since she doesn't know what he has she doesn't say anything more about that "Takes away some of the surprise though." having them make decorations..but the gifts could be surprise enough.

Quinton shrugs, "Surprise better, or anticipation?" For him, anticipation would always win. He keeps scanning the area. He's not seen anything since he's gotten here that would ever really be a problem, but with Piper and Quinn with, he just wants to make sure. "Talk with Kayla…mayeb you can work some kind of schedule out.." Make different crafts or whatever.

She has to give the question some thought and she is quiet for a block as she does. Piper's first thought was surprise of course but with all the children have lost "Anticipation. Something to look forward too." there is a brief pause as a trio from the Reyes group come into view carrying a few rabbits and some other small game. Must be thier hunting day. "I will." she usually let's Kayla make all the educational decisions for the children, teaching is her thing, but since crafts is a bit different she'll say something.

Quinton thought so. He smiles, and then the trio appears. He raises a hand in greeting, but doesn't try to speak to them unless they wave him over. They were kind to him, but no one wanted to be BFF. "Good for Kayla too…I think she's feeling…disconnected…" There's a hint of worry in his voice. But that's his job right, as big brother?

There are polite calls in greeting, in Spanish of course and waves in return, but the group doesn't approach. Maybe if Lorenzo or Anita was with them they would be more friendly.

Piper watches the group warily, she'll wave but not say anything to them. His comment has her turning to look at him all questioning, "How so?" now he is going to have her worried about his sister.

Quinton callas back, but then lets them go on their way. Rabbit will do them good. They don't eat enough, especially Rosa. Once he starts walking again he shrugs, "It's…not many friends. Used to be…very popular, but now she's alone, or with the kids…" He knows he can't be her only connection, that's not healthy. "Part of why I got her….dog." Well, let her keep it, anyway.

She understands that, and how it can be hard to adjust. "I'll spend more time with her." Piper has spent some with Kayla, even talks to her, but probably not as much as she could or should. "Becca loves Page." the toddler is all over the puppy when the two are around each other "She wasn't upset when another kitten went missing either." they are down to four of the cats now.

The other kitten. Quinton frowns, hoping it was just nature. There's other things out the rte trying to eat too. Maybe the other lion. Anything but another nailed kitten. He passes in pulled the wagon to adjust his hold on the handle, "Good…she's a …good dog." And he then adds with a short laugh, "That will make Kayla happy…spend more time with someone than me."

Piper doesn't know. She doesn't want to know either. Better for her and the children's mental state if they don't think someone is nailing up animals. Better for the person doing it too. "She's sweet." she is fond of all sorts of animals herself and sorta knows how to handle them "You aren't bad company." no worse than herself really.

Quinton snorts softly, amused. "I'm not good company though." Hard to tell if he's being serious or not. "Kay needs a friend, not…a brother."

She could argue..would argue that fact if she thought he was serious about it. Being an only child Piper can only assume that he knows what he is talking about "I'm her friend." she tries to be at least. It is hard for her though, there is a bit of a lost in translation gap between them and she doesn't think Kayla is all that happy with her at the moment, but she hasn't said anything, to either of the siblings about it.

Quinton nods, but will add, "maybe do…some girlie stuff. She used to paint her nails and do hair and.." ok, maybe that's been a few years, but still….She needs a girls' night. Probably wouldn't kill Piper either.

She did girlie stuff with Harmony, that didn't turn out all that well. They are still awkward around each other. She realized why during Quinton's absence but there isn't anything she can really do about it. And this is a lot different. Piper looks at her nails, she keeps the short but clean, "And you? Do you need a guys night?" because that's a thing too.

Quinton shrugs, "Maybe." With who though? He keeps scanning the area as they get closer to the apartment complex. "Cards or…something." Very manly, as he doesn't think anyone would-be up for a poetry reading.

"Cards are good." but yeah, Piper has more in common with Kayla then Quinton does with most of the other men at camp. She would probably be up for poetry reading, but for her poetry is just lyrics that haven't been put to music yet, so there is always the risk of musical accompaniment. And then it becomes something else. "Kayla, Sophie, Dixie, Harmony…" she pauses a moment "Jules too?" she doubts that particular woman will want to join but she thinks Quinton would suggest inviting her anyway so she tosses her name in there too.

Quinton didn't mean all the girls… he blinks and then smiles, "That could be…nice." Maybe he'll offer to be on guard duty that night or something. He flashes her a bright smile when she includes Jules. "Kayla will be there…" Like Kayla will be able to protect Piper(or Jules!) from whatever secret she's hiding from. "maybe I'll see if the Lopez's would want…a night." He can offer to go play guitar or something…(Poor Reyes!)

"More is better." at least when it comes to this kind of things, or so Piper hopes. It could be a disaster with heavy casualties. You never know with that many girls in the room, especially with two of them being a tad volatile. "Good idea." she's for just about anything that will keep the peace between them and the Reyes. As they come into view of the complex she stops, putting a hand on the poet's arm to get him to stop as well.

Quinton may just hide that night. He slows and stops at the touch, tilting his head to look down at her, "You ok?"

"Yes." Piper drawls, somewhat amused by his conclusion jump. She moves to the wagon and takes one of the bags of chips and jars of queso from it, then gestures to his pack "May I?" she is giving him the junk food she knows he likes, for his own stash. The found multiples of each, the rest can go into the community stores.

Quinton's head tilts and his smile returns, "You sure?" He's turning even as he asks, "You're too good to me.." Only think faster to his heart might be a poem…or a sweater. He glances over his shoulder down at her, "You have enough?" For herself and the kids.

If she wasn't sure she wouldn't be offering. "Ditto." Piper replies, it goes both ways there. She lifts to her tiptoes to put the snacks inside his backpack, doesn't peek and whatever else could be in there and zips it back up. It's been months since she has done it, but there is that feathery caress again in the back of the neck. Maybe she is checking for implants…no to light a touch for that. She is then taking his free hand and heading to the complex. Quinn is starting to stir and before long it will be the wailing for feeding time.

Scavenging Rolls

3 Jars Queso
1 Cans Mandarin Oranges
6 Bed Sheets
1 Book-Fiction-Cantonese Language
1 Standing Mixer
3 Ponchos
1 Beginning to Knit Kit
1 Pack Cloth Diapers
1 Blankets
2 Spatulas
3 Bags Chips

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