The Partnership

Unit #111 - Cox Apartment
The spacious one-bedroom is tastefully decorated and neat as a pin, impeccable in the way only a very uptight owner could keep it. Large windows let in natural light over the living space, onto which the front door opens. A matching set of white leather sofa, love-seat and recliner face the television set and stereo, a soft white area rug underneath over the hardwood floor, with a glass coffee table in the middle of the square. Closer to the archway into the efficiently small kitchen, there's a wooden table with four chairs set around, a matching wooden hutch holding some of the nicer dishes and cutlery.

There's a small closet to the right of the front door, while a hallway stretches up off the left, leading to the master bedroom, with its sleigh-bed and matching bedroom set, and the neat little washroom tucked in at the end.

Just coming down off a long shift at the hospital, Tasha hasn't actually been home too long yet. Just long enough to shower and change out of her scrubs, her hair still slightly damp - and to put in a call to James, inviting him over - for a purpose beyond just the usual one, though she didn't go into details on the phone. Now she waits, sitting on one end of the sofa, watching the news on low volume while today's paper sits on the coffee table in front of her.

James finally arrives and he gives two knocks in a light tempo, his usual. Upon that, he is left to standing out in the hallway with his hands tucked into the front pockets of jeans. He's swapped out of his uniform long ago and actually looks a bit ragged at the moment. He blames it on having not shaved in the morning, yes.

Tasha is quick off the couch at the sound of the knock, though her pace has slowed to something a little more casual by the time she reaches the door. Never let them see you're too eager, her mother's voice rings somewhere in her head, much to her annoyance. But what's bred in the bone… More casually, she pulls open the door, leaning a hip lightly against the edge of it as she offers him a grin in greeting. "Thanks for coming," she says, eyes flickering over the extra scruff, though she makes no comment.

James leans most his weight onto his right leg while looking at the door swing open and at the sight of Tasha he quirks into a lightened smile, appreciative of the sight of her even if he knew she would arrive in the first place. "I ordered a pizza, and ran here, to beat it," like a man, he huffs with a deepened breath to further broaden his chest before easing into a step closer so that he can wrap a hand around her waist and lean in for a kiss. That's what she gets for being her, and grinning.

"I guess that makes you the winner, since there have been no unexplained pizza deliveries yet," Tasha replies, trying to figure out whether he's actually serious about the pizza or not as she studies him. And then he steps in to kiss her and she decides she doesn't really care about the pizza either way. She seems content to let it linger before finally breaking away just enough to speak. "Mm. Well, you might as well come in. We can pretend to be surprised when it gets here," she suggests, though she's slow to draw further back.

"I think I like my prize," murmurs the man upon the kiss but she's speaking up so that leads James to looking briefly aside before returning her gaze. As much as he would love to speak up, which he does seem to intend to do, he breaks away from commenting further and instead offers a light smirk and another kiss. The pizza is all but forgotten about in his slowed entrance.

And Tasha is even more willing to let this kiss linger, her arms sliding up around his neck so that she can pull herself in closer against him. At this rate, they never will make it to the actual reason she called him over. Not that she's complaining. She bumps the door lightly in so doing, so that it swings fully open, coming around to hit the wall behind it with a dull thud.

James contents himself with lingering near to Tasha and furthering the kiss rather than trying to move deeper into the apartment; he would like to know why she called him over, unless it is - indeed, as simple as - just a physical urging. Nonetheless, this is rather public at the moment and in order to save Tasha's dignity he reaches down with his other hand as his original rises and in the process of shifting and continuing to level kisses upon her lips he moves to lift her up into his arms and carry her into her apartment. There's a brief pause to gauge things and he looks to her with a small grin.

While Tasha might not be above a booty call, she really did have a reason for her call this evening. She's just having trouble remembering it right now. As she finds herself literally swept off her feet, she makes a little noise of surprise, pulling back from the kiss sharply as she tries to figure out what to make of this. But then he's grinning down at her and she can't fight one in return. "I can't decide if this is ridiculous or sexy as hell," she murmurs. But it would seem she lands on the latter, since she's then using the arm still draped around his neck to leverage herself up into another kiss.

There James stands with Tasha in his arms and with him looking down to her and her returning the look. "Well," is about all the man can get out of his mouth before the woman is borrowing it for the both of their satisfactions and he closes his eyes into the kissing now, blindly reaching out with the back of his boot and bringing the door close. He then backs into it in order to further close it. He turns so that he doesn't strike anything with either of their bodies and opens his eyes in order to look over her shoulder while continuing with the kisses. Onward he steps, aiming for the couch. "What did," he pauses to borrow her lips, "Did you need," and once again upon a heated breath, "To call me over for?"

Tasha really has the easy job here, just going along for the ride as he sees to the door and gets them heading for the couch, though at the same time, it's a little bit new for her to lose all that control. Thankfully, he keeps her pretty distracted from that fact. She'd probably just keep rolling with it to the inevitable conclusion if he didn't finally speak up with that broken question. With a little groan, she manages to pull herself away, reaching up with her free hand to lightly put it over his mouth, removing that temptation long enough so that she can actually be serious for a moment. She takes a breath to compose herself, and then: "There's been another attack…" She doesn't really expect that to be news for the officer, but it's more of an opening gambit to this conversation.

James tilts his head back with her hand being placed over it, but he doesn't even bother distracting her from answering the question with small kisses to the palm of her hand. He does smile against her palm though. The mirth and glint even reveals itself within his eyes. The smile fades a bit with her speaking up though and there he is just standing there in front of the couch while holding her. He slowly nods against her hand in understanding. He's a cop.

Now that she's effectively dampened the mood, Tasha lets her hand slide away from his mouth, coming to rest on his chest. "I want to figure out who's doing this, and I want to stop them," she elaborates, without a hint of irony or self-doubt. This is a woman who literally figures she can do anything she sets her mind to, and this is what her mind has now been set on. Of course, what she doesn't go into during that very brief but succinct explanation is why.

Officer Young dons an invisible uniform now that business is placing itself before pleasure, which means he cannot get any more kisses for a while longer to come. Though, given the particular business being brought up by Tasha, James doesn't mind at the moment. "Alright," he replies with a short exhale. He moves to sit down onto the cushions just behind him and have her sit in his lap for the time being. Upon that, he glances to the news running low in the background before focusing on her. "Any particular reason why -you- want to?" He pauses and then adds, "An' don't go lying to me, or withholding truths - not this time."

There is a slight pause where it seems maybe Tasha was about to give him some half-truth or more meaningful answer than the real one. For King and Country and all that. Settling herself onto his lap, she just studies him for a moment before giving a small shrug. "The Pack wants this solved, and clearly no one else is doing anything competent about it. Doing this will improve my standing in the Pack. Donato's gratitude is not something you earn easily." It's not her finest trait - the ruthless grade-grubber - but he demanded the truth, so she just levels him with a look, waiting to see what he'll say to that. Really, to her, it makes perfect sense.

James knits his eyebrows a bit as he waits for the response from her and he has a readied response but it's for something far less honest. That has him sit there in quiet for a lingering moment. His jaw tightens at the idea of the police department being incompetent but he doesn't comment, merely looks to before sitting his head back and closing his eyes. He inhales when he opens his mouth, "Okay. The Pack wants it fixed, the department wants it fixed - we'll fix it, okay? Is that everything though? Not hiding anything, like the name stuff, nothing?"

Tasha isn't quite sure what to make of that comment. She leans back slightly to give her a better viewing angle on him, her own eyebrows first knitting and then arching high on her head. It takes a few moments for a response to be forthcoming, though it's more because she's trying to figure out what he means - since surely he can't mean what she thinks he means. "The … name stuff?" Did she miss something on the case. And then just a little more offended that he keeps asking, even when she has been honest, she adds, "I'm not lying."

James slowly shakes his head and he unravels his left arm from underneath her legs in order to lift up a single forefinger and press it to her lips in quieting things down for a bit. He leans to the side in order to look around her and towards the television set. "Alright, you're not lying," he turns his attention back up towards her. "The other night I saw your full name, that's it. I'll have to pull a bit of strings if you really want to get involved. I can see what the case files look like."

Tasha frowns behind the finger, still not quite sure what just happened here, but she doesn't fight off or disregard the gesture, staying quiet while he looks at the TV. When he finishes talking, finally she speaks, whether or not the finger still remains. "So, pull the strings and I'll make it worth your- What do you mean you saw my full name?" Nice try, but no. She's not quite paled, but she does look a bit stricken. It would seem, despite her question, she does seem to know what he means - she just isn't liking it.

The finger is lowered and he settles the hand somewhere in Tasha's lap, not bothered to track its location at the moment. Instead of doing that, James starts to speak up but then purses his lips into a thinned smile and looks more fully towards her. "I'm not bringing it up anymore. I just saw it, and you introduced yourself as Natasha, Tash, and I know I have my secrets and reservations, so," he breaks off of that train of thought and with it derailed he clears his throat. "I should probably go…"

"I didn't lie about it," Tasha points out, still resenting that implication from earlier. The cuddly position doesn't really match the mood anymore, and anyway, he's indicating, as far as she's concerned, a desire to go, so she deftly pulls herself up off of him to stand. "I'm not stopping you," she points out, eyebrows raised slightly in challenge, though this isn't one of those fun and playful ones. She hasn't quite made up her mind whether to be mad yet, at least, but it's definitely not playful.

"No, I mean, I can smell it, you?" He angles his head to the side and towards the door prior to a pizza delivery. He looks after Tasha for a lingering moment and then moves to stand, still a touch scorned when it comes to the police department being incompetent. That never sits well with him. He doesn't comment any further though and moves to stand now that his legs have been freed. The look he's wearing doesn't help things and with idle ire floating about him he inhales in pacing back over, relaxes as he fishes out his wallet. "I can leave, if you want me to." This is an awkward fight.

Tasha, for her part, doesn't even realize she's said something to set him off in turn. Others are incompetent; she's not. Obviously she doesn't think he's incompetent, or she wouldn't be asking him for help. It's just that simple to her mind, that she dismissed it pretty much right after saying it. At first his comment about smelling the pizza is only met with confusion. She'd forgotten to even be expecting it. "Oh," she replies more quietly as understanding hits. "I- I don't know," she replies, sounding almost frustrated as she brings a hand up to her forehead, not sure if she does want him to leave or not, or why she's the one who has to make that call. "I don't want you to stay if you don't want to be here," she turns it around. Awkward fight indeed.

James nods a few times and then brings back the warmed box, wrinkling the bridge of his nose at a stray thought. At first, he doesn't speak up but as he returns to her while aimlessly puttering about before heading for the kitchen he finds his nerve again. "Okay, okay, I won't leave. But, why don't you use the name?" He won't say it if she won't, which makes it a bit more mysterious in the end. Still, there's pizza. "And I'll be starting things off first thing in the morning, if you don't mind. You might need to take a few days off from the hospital."

Tasha just watches him as he spends those initial moments in silence, standing where she first stood up by the couch, bringing her hand up to rub at her forehead again as if this whole thing just gives her a headache, albeit more of a metaphorical one than an actual one. When he finally returns with that question, it's her turn to pause, silent for a long moment. Finally, she lets out a sigh, shrugging her shoulders with feigned indifference. "Because I don't like it. What does it matter?" she asks, pointedly rhetorical. She's almost grateful for the change of subject, though her tone remains somewhat ornery. "Time off? Will that really be necessary? But - if I must…" It's a sacrifice, but she'll make it for the Pack.

James reaches up with his right hand and rubs at the side of his neck while looking after Tasha, looking across the distance with a small, reassuring smile. The hand drops and then he moves out of the kitchen now that the pizza has been dropped off. It leads him to the living room and not responding to the rhetorical. He focuses on the necessary parts and holds out his hands to claim her shoulders into a hug. "You might not have to," he assures with a gruff murmur, "Can I call you it, just once, even if you don't like it?" He knows it's about to result in his being maimed by her hands, but he doesn't mind: he likes her, she likes him, and the both of them are going to eat pizza and further discuss this investigating partnership.

Young whispers it, ever so quietly: "Tiffany Natasha Cox," he then pauses. "I can see why you hate it."

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