"YOU KNOW WHAT FUCK YOU YOU BLEACH BLONDE DIPSHIT!" were the last words Kozik heard before the front door slammed and Corey stormed away from his place.
Argument number 307.
Or something like that.
Less than four weeks she had been living with Kozik and their arguments ranged from storm level to fucking nuclear explosions.
This time it was over, of all things, a boy.
Something Kozik never thought he'd be arguing about.
Dylan Scine was the boy from the right side of the tracks who wanted everyone to think he was a born gangster. He had had pretty much everything handed to him but wanted everyone to believe he had fought his way up from the streets.
Dylan Scine, in Kozik's opinion, was a dick.
He was amazed that Corey, with her no bullshit attitude liked him hanging around her, but he had a sneaking suspicion that she only tolerated him for the weed he would bring round.
It wasn't his business if Corey wanted to hang with some rich kid, he hadn't really cared.
Until he came home to find that Corey had skipped school to get high with the asshole and was letting him mess around with Kozik's second bike which he was reconstructing in the back room of the apartment.
Then it became his business.
Dylan had given him some smart mouth response to his outraged "What the hell are you doin'?" and Kozik had been more than happy to slap the smart ass out of his mouth before kicking him to the curb.
What followed was one of the worst screaming matches that he and Corey had had yet.
A lot of shit was said.
And then, as normal when they fought, Corey had grabbed her bag and left.
As he listened to the door slam and her footsteps receding Kozik flopped down on the couch and groaned, running his hands over his head.
He would kill for some of Della's drugs right now but he had made a promise to himself that he was done with that shit.
Maybe he had been to hard on the kid.
Sure, she was a pain in the ass, stubborn as hell and seemed determined to make his life as difficult as possible, but she was still a kid.
Hell he had been a hell of a lot worse than she was at 16.
"awww shit." he sighed, before pulling his phone out and calling the newest addition to his speed dial contacts.
"What's up Koz?" came Lauren's silky voice and he sighed in response.
"You two get into it again?" Lauren guessed and Kozik chuckled dryly.
"Oh yeah." he sighed and Lauren did also.
"She storm out again?"
"I'll take Whisper Street, and the warehouse on 3rd." said Lauren with a rehearsed sigh and the tone of someone who had said those words a fair few times.
"Copy that. I'll check her other haunts. Didn't leave to long ago so she cant have gone far."
"Ok. I'll call you if I find her."
"You're the best Lauren. Keep this up and I might just have to make an old lady out of ya." teased Kozik as he pulled his kutte on and Lauren laughed
"You couldn't handle me Koz."
before hanging up.
"Right then" Kozik muttered to himself "time to get her short ass back here."
They had checked everywhere.
The squats on Whisper Street, the abandoned warehouse on 3rd, the hostel on east kanton, everywhere that they had found Corey the other times she had wandered off or run away properly.
Corey was not at any of her normal haunts and as one hour ticked into two Kozik was growing increasingly more irate and even a little worried that they couldn't find her.
"Any luck?" Lauren said as she pulled her car up beside Kozik's bike. He shook his head despondently and Lauren took a shuddering breath.
"Where would she go? Forget the squats and all the places she'd go just to crash. Think Koz. Where would she go when she's got no where left to turn?" Lauren said, practical as ever and Kozik closed his eyes for a moment. Then he blinked them open again because an idea had flashed into his brain.
"Ya know if I could, I'd go back and say no to getting on your dumbass bike in the first place. If you wanna call me shit like that, I'd go back and say nah, I'm good on my own like I always have been mother fucker." Corey hissed at him as she shoved things into her bag as Kozik stood, fists clenched and breathing hard behind her, trying to keep what remained of his temper in check.
"She'd go back" he practically whispered and Lauren quirked an eyebrow at him and said
"What was that?"
Shaking his head Kozik cleared his throat and said
"She might go back to Paulie's. It's a bar on Craven Avenue, her brother's favourite." he lied to Lauren who nodded and said wearily
"I'll check it out."
"Imma circle back one more time. Make sure we didn't miss anything." Kozik said vaguely, before his bike roared to life and he sped of down the street.
Kozik didn't like lying to Lauren.
She was a good girl, but this was his mess and he needed to fix it.
He had pushed her too far and he was pretty sure that the twisty feeling in his stomach was guilt.
Comparing her liking for low level drug use to her old man's drug and alcohol issues had been a dick move. But he had been beyond pissed and in the midst of all the shit that had been said by both of them the words had just tumbled out.
That was why he had lied to Lauren about where he thought Corey would go. He needed to put this shit right.
So here he was. Where him and Corey had begun and where she said she'd go back to in order to change her decision.
From outside, Kozik surveyed the girl sat alone in the booth of the crappily lit diner.
The diner where she had agreed to stay with him.
"cause Danno saved my life. I don't owe you shit kid. But I owe him. So you in or not?" Kozik said simply and oddly enough the answer seemed to calm Corey.
"In." she said and Kozik grinned lopsidedly at her.
"I reckon me and you are gonna get long just fine Kiddo."
Taking a deep breath, Kozik removed his helmet and entered the diner.
Corey was sat, chin resting on her arms which were folded on the table, eyes staring listlessly out of the windows on the opposite side of the diner and her bag on the seat beside her.
Suddenly a figure slid into the booth opposite her.
"Hey short ass"
She was on her feet in a second, hoisting her bag to her shoulder and ready to make a dash for the door hen Kozik quickly stood up too, planting himself in her way.
"Woah hey hey, Hold up. Hear me out ok? I know I screwed up ok just hear me out. Please?" the blonde man said and after a tense moment of Corey glaring at him, muscles tensed, she flopped back down into the booth and Kozik eased himself into the seat opposite.
"I'm listenin'" she said bluntly, hands clenched into fists on the table, whole body tensed.
Kozik took a breath and exhaled slowly before he started talking. He wasn't comfortable with being this open but the whole situation called for a little bit of discomfort on his part.
"I ain't any good at this."
"Understatement" was the blunt interruption and Kozik sighed running a hand through his hair
"Will ya let me talk?" he snapped slightly before taking another breath and continuing
"I ain't any good at any of this shit. Never had kids, never wanted them either. Thought takin' you on would be way easier than it has been."
"You sayin' this is my fault?"
"No! I'm sayin' I went into this blind as hell thinkin' I knew shit that I didn't know. Thought I'd just be lettin' you crash and lettin' you do ya thing until ya went to college or moved on or somethin'. But shit's hit the fan more than once and stuff's changed and-"
Kozik stopped, swallowing, and looking out the window. Corey was surprised at how much he seemed to be genuinely struggling to get the words out and without thinking, her hands began to relax on the table top, coming out of their balled up fists.
Then the damn broke and bare, honest words started pouring from Kozik's mouth.
"And- I-I, shit kid, stud changed coz you made me care. I went off bout that asshole not just coz of my bike but coz I just don't like seeing you with that shit head. I get you want him around for the weed and stuff but I know guys like that and I'm startin' to know you. You, you call bullshit when you see it, screw the consequences and I like that about you. Honestly, I'm surprised you haven't gone off on that boy yet, coz yeah I know his type too, and yeah he may be full of shit, playin' it as the tough guy but if, nah when you call him on his crap it'll humiliate him. And that's when he's gonna act out to save face and I guarantee he will lash out at you kid.
So yeah, I was pissed about him messing with the bike. But it came from worryin' bout you Corey. And I know, I know I crossed the line bringin' up ya dad, I know and I'm real sorry, but i'm learnin' Corey. This lookin' after someone shit is all new to me and I think this would go a hell of a lot smoother if we helped each other out. You have some patience with me and I'll do the same for you. What do ya say?"
Corey appraised him, the look in her eyes far older than her years.
"This shit is new for me too. 'm sorry bout Dylan the dickwad. You're right. I just kept him close coz the shit he smokes is high class shit. But he's an asshole. Was gonna cut ties with him soon anyways, but I-"
But this time it was she who broke off as Kozik grabbed one of her arms that she was gesturing around with and yanked up her sleeve to reveal a deep circlet of bruises around her wrist in the unmistakable pattern of finger marks.
"What the fuck?" he swore lowly as he examined the marks before releasing her arm which she quickly snatched back to her body, rolling her sleeve back down.
"Shit happened. It's handled Kozik. Let it go."
"Did that asshole put his hands on you?!" he demanded and she shrugged
"Course he did. Soon as I told him not to mess with the bike. Doesn't matter though co-"
"The hell it doesn't! Imma kill that fucked up rich boy!" Kozik seethed and Corey shook her head, her brown curls bouncing as she did so.
"You aint gonna do shit Kozik it's handled. Trust me if I say I've handled it then he felt a shit load of pain. Soon as I left yours, I found him, paid him back for layin' hands on me and then to add a little bitta insult to injury I stole half his stash, burned the rest and slashed his tyres. He wont be comin' round anywhere near me no more."
Kozik still looked livid and Corey tentatively, as if unsure why she was doing it, reached across and put a hand on his.
"It's handled. And ok. I agree to your freakin' terms ok, about patience and all that shit. You cut me some slack I'll cut you some ok?"
"Ok." breathed Kozik, just the hint of his usual smile back on his face again.
Then Corey leaned forwards over the table and said with a scary look in her eyes
"But you ever compare me smokin' weed to my dad's demons, you EVER compare me to that man again then I wont just be slashin' tyres i'll cut your balls off you hear me Herman Kozik?"
"Yeah, yeah Jesus I hear you, I'm sorry. I hear you, messaged received short ass."
"And don't call me Herman. Ever."
After texting Lauren to let her no Corey was safe, the night found Corey and Kozik walking along the lamp lit street towards Kozik's bike.
"Can we agree on one more thing?"
"No more runnin' away?"
"I dont know Koz. Cut and run is kinda my thing when shit gets too real." Corey warned and Kozik stopped and turned to stand directly before her.
"I know. But you've been runnin' away from shit since you was a kid Corey. And-" he hesitated.
"And what?" she asked.
"And you don't gotta run anymore. Not from me."
Corey stared at him for a moment with a piercing gaze before she broke into the smallest but most genuine of smiles.
"I guess I dont."
"So no more running away?"
"I'll try real hard not to."
"No promises though Kozi."
So that is my first of many one shots.
I will be making some up but this story is specifically to add in scenes that you want to see, that I cant put in my main story. But I cant write them if you dont tell me them, so review or pm me but i'd absolutely love to hear your ideas guys and I will include as many as I can!