Title: All's Fair
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters or situations that are familiar to you
Spoilers: Nothing after the rooftop kiss... but some vague mentions.
Summary: Oneshot. Ladies and Gentlemen, children of all ages, step right up, and feast your eyes on...the moment. Kat lives for purpose, but she's about to find out that sometimes, it's just more fun to live. Katrick.
"Please with naked Verona on top?"
"What? Ew! No!"
"Oh, come on Kat!"
"I said no, Bianca, and nothing you say, do, or threaten to say or do is going to change my mind. I am not taking you to the fair, and that is final," Kat said, putting the last dinner plate in the dishwasher and closing the front panel.
Bianca, having put leftover casserole in a Tupperware dish, set the bowl down and braced her hip against the counter. "I'll tell dad you're not as virginal as he thinks you are..."
It was an empty threat, one which Kat had heard before, and moved to the sink. "Go ahead, he wont believe you anyway." From somewhere behind her, she heard Bianca screech and stomp her food.
"Please Kat. I'm begging you."
Turning on the tap to fill the sink, Kat was adamant,"You can beg all you like, but the answer is, and will always be 'No'."
"Bianca, stop," Kat said turning the tap off with more force than necessary, and pivoting to face her sister. "You sound like a 6 year old asking if 'we're there yet' and me, the parent, is going to chuck you out the window at 100 miles an hour. No. No. No. No. And from here to eternity, no!"
Bianca let out a cross between a growl and a whine, ready to harrumph, Kat knew, when their dad walked into the kitchen looking cautious. "I hear raised voices," he said, more of snooping, than being concerned, "What are we arguing about, and it better not be boys."
"No daddy," Bianca softly said in her daddy's-little-girl voice, "Kat's just being unfair."
"No, I'm not," Kat replied, crossing her arms, "I'm invoking my right to freedom of choice. I don't want to, ergo, I won't."
Bianca scowled, "See daddy, she's being totally unfair. It's not my fault I 'm not allowed to drive yet."
"My insurance thanks you," the father muttered not-so-under his breath, before attempting to defuse the situation. "Bianca, why do you want to go to the fair?"
"All the cheerleaders are going," she stated matter-of-factly, "We want to look at the booths and get ideas for fund-raising. We want to upgrade our uniforms," she added with a bright smile.
Satisfied that she wasn't going to deal drugs, or sell her organs on the black market, Walter turned to his eldest daughter, "And Kat, why won't you take her?"
"Because I don't want to. I have better things to do than be her taxi."
"Like what?" Bianca asked sceptically, "Save the dinosaurs?"
"Well, I'm a few millenias too late for that now, aren't I? "
"Girls..." Walter warned before addressing them, "Bianca, I can't take you. I'm covering shifts with Dr. Neidermayer in an hour, and I have to get ready." Pulling the 'father' card, he turned to the brunette, "Kat, since you have given no life-or-death situation in which you must partake in tonight, you will be taking her."
"What?!" Kat gaped at her father, while B looked a mix between gleefully and smug.
But Kat didn't care, "Dad, I don't-"
Walter held up his hand, "You're sister needs to research how to raise money cleanly in order to get nice conservative knee length uniforms. Not only does it do good to volunteer her services for the school, but it also saves my sanity."
Kat sighed and glared at her sister, "Fine, but I'm not-"
Her dad cut her off, "You are also going to attend."
"Absolutely not!" Kat enforced. A few feet from her, Bianca cringed and voiced her objection. "No way! I'll be kicked off the squad if I bring the Wicked Witch!"
"I'll get you my pretty, and your little stuffed dog too," Kat deadpanned, having been called much worse things than a witch.
"You don't have to be together," their dad said, "But you will enter and leave together. And besides Kat, when was the last time you had fun?"
Kat curled her lip, "Excuse me if I don't consider rigged games and crooked carnies fun."
"That's just a stereotype, Katarina, and you don't have to play the games, just get out, mingle, hang with the girls..." to which Bianca giggled, but quickly covered with a cough.
"Come on dad, do I really have to?"
"Yes," Walter said, making his way out of the kitchen, proud of himself, ""Just be thankful, I'm not making you bring me back a toy as proof."
Kat sneered, "Yeah, gee dad, you're a lifesaver," she muttered to herself.
From down the hall, her dad called back, "Keep with the attitude, I might ask for photographic evidence."
"Come on, Kat, it won't be that bad. If you're lucky you might get to use your taser," Bianca said, skipping to the stairwell.
"On you, maybe," Kat added as her sister ran up the stairs to, no doubt, change into her customary third outfit of the day, leaving Kat with a murderous aura, and a bad feeling.
Bianca was definitely going to wake up tomorrow with a bald head and missing eyebrow.
The drive to the fair was the slowest Kat had ever driven, and except for the hum of the engine, it was silent.
Sitting behind the wheel, Kat was motionless, all except for her foot switching to gas or break, her eyes checking her mirrors, and the fingers for her left hand turning on her signal lights. A sense of dread had engulfed her, ever since her father had made the decision for her to go. She couldn't remember the last time she had went to the fair; they just weren't her thing. The rides sucked, the food was either grease covered or sugar coated, the games were mostly rigged for making money, not winning, and the punk kids that went to these things were impolite, giggly delinquents.
Another lifetime ago, when they were younger and mom was still alive, the whole family would go for the day, and have fun. They'd ride the Dragon, do Bumper Cars, eat caramel apples, and at the setting sun, after a full day engulfed in the world of metal, music, and childhood mayhem, head home, and fall asleep in the back sear of the car.
And then mom died, and the world was never cotton candy pink again. Fairs just weren't any fun without her, and as much as dad strived for as close to normal as he could get, it was obvious life would never be the same.
But that was how things went, and she was mature enough to understand that there were people who were worse off than she; people who had never known a parent, or who were in countries being bombed whose parents would be ripped from them spontaneously, without any warning. She had a year to process the fact that her mother was dying, albeit as such a young age it was hard to understand, but she did, and looking back in some round about way, she was thankful for that at least.
But today was not a day to reminisce, and no happy memories would change her mind. Fairs just stopped being her thing.
By the time they pulled into the parking lot, it was nearing 6:30 and the sun was just beginning to drift further down the horizon. Spotting her cheerleading friends waiting in line at the entrance booth, Bianca impatiently turned to her sister.
"I'll call you when I want to leave," she said with her hand on her door handle.
"No," Kat said, speaking for the first time since leaving the house, "Since I'm driving, I don't want to be out here till midnight. I'll call you at 9." She knew she sounded a little surly, but she was moody.
Bianca had the audacity to look at her with pity. "You know, one of these days you should really have some fun,"she said, getting out of the car.
"I do have fun," Kat protested, getting out herself.
Bianca shook her head and looked across the roof, "No, I mean real fun, like laughing till you cry, or till your ribs hurt, or smiling so much, you feel like it's the first time."
Kat furrowed her brow as her sister continued to actually sound philosophical, "I know the world is full of famine, death, injustice, and all those other things you try and change, but it's not all doom and gloom. Live a little. Act like a 17 year old girl, instead of a 40 year old conservationist for once."
"Bianca..." Kat was ready to argue, but B was already walking away to join her friends, "Just sayin'," she called back.
By the time Kat had got in line and had paid her $8.00 admission, Bianca was nowhere in sight. Walking through the entrance, she stopped and surveyed her surroundings. Games were sorta in the middle, while rides were placed everywhere else. Interspersed, were the usual venders, and eateries, and people... were everywhere! It looked as if half of California had turned up for this. Much larger than anything Ohio had.
Deciding to wonder, Kat navigated her way through the crowds. Some people would bump in to her, but they'd pass her without an acknowledgment. Around the eighteenth attempt, Kat gave up telling them, "Manners; ever heard of them?" She'd usually get a grunt anyway.
On the far right of the fairgrounds was what looked like an arena. Stepping in, Kat quickly ascertained that produce were being shown, and the ribbons on certain vegetables and fruits were being judged. Potatoes, carrots, pumpkins, cabbages, apples, grapes, oranges, pineapples, pomegranates; all had name tags attached to them, and doing her own little side research, Kat noticed that it looked like anyone, of any age, anywhere in California could participate. Standing in front of the potato stand, Kat eyed the array, and judged for herself the winner. She didn't know agriculture all that well, but she knew a good looking spud when she saw one.
Crossing the threshold into another room, Kat was assaulted with a wide variety of scents, as flowers, shrubs, willows, tall grasses, sunflowers, and every other kind of plant life was on display. Six foot tall sunflowers were in planters in the corner, and to Kat, they always looked like they were a 'happy' plant. On a small table to the right was a cactus display of 8 or 9 cacti, and Kat smiled as the family joke bounced around in her brain. The first prize seemed to be awarded to a Moon Cactus, with a red polyp-like flower on top, but to Kat, it looked kinda ugly. It wasn't an attractive cactus that was for sure, but who was she to judge; it might have been beautiful to someone else.
Entering another room, artwork seemed to be the theme, school children's artwork to be precise. Pencils, markers, chalk, pastels, even clay sculptures, and dried noodle creations covered the walls and tables. In the background noise, Kat could hear children saying 'Mommy, that's mine!' in excited little voices, or in some proud, tho slightly disappointed 'Mine's purple,' which Kat knew to be a participation ribbon, instead of a placing ribbon. Surveying the gallery, she came across a few last names she recognized from school, siblings or relatives to the actual students she knew. High up on the wall, some Grade 3 students posters were being shown, and one, in particular caught Kat's interest. 'Earth Day' was written in red crayon in an arc above an enlarged planet earth, with fish in the oceans, and little stick animals on the 6 continents, each in their correct geographical location. A red 'First Place' ribbon was attached at the top right corner, and Kat felt a swell of pride for the student and her early starting with a conservationist heart. Pulling out her camera from the pocket of her leather jacket, Kat took a picture of the artwork, with an empty spot on her bulletin board in mind.
"Anyone you know?"
Jumping at the breath that tickled her ear, Kat spun around. "What are you doing here?" she asked, surprised and a tad disappointed in herself for letting her guard down.
"Last I checked, going to he fair wasn't by invite only," Patrick smirked, moving to stand beside her and examine the poster.
"You don't look much like the fair type to me," Kat said, turning around so they were facing the same direction.
"Funny," he paused for dramatic effect, "Neither do you."
Pursing her lips, Kat narrowed her eyes, "I'm not here by choice," she said sardonically, "You, on the other hand, don't have a sister you have to drive everywhere."
Patrick raised an amused eyebrow, "What makes you think I don't have a sister?"
"I was being facetious."
Leaning forward, he leered at her, "I'd like to think you were being stalkery."
Shaking her head, Kat scoffed and walked around him, "Perhaps, since I was here first, you were stalking me?"
"Yeees," Patrick agreed, "but I was in this city before you, the school, the club, autoshop, the roof," he added with a wink, "Ergo, we're back to you stalking me."
Slightly startled by his, at least, partial fact that he was, indeed, everywhere before her, Kat exhaled sharply through her nose. "Yeeees, I'm stalking you," she placated, turning from him, "Now, watch me stalk you as I leave."
From behind her, Kat heard him chuckle as the dull thud of his boots moved to follow her. "Now, who's stalking who?" she said to no one in particular while she exited the arena, and squinted into the setting sun.
"You want me to," Patrick's voice spoke deep into her ear again, and it surprised her to know she had stopped moving to survey her next location. (Surely not to let him catch up.)
"Yeah," turning to glare at him, Kat playfully shrugged, "I've always wanted a lost puppy," she said before about-facing and heading toward another open arena across from the one she first entered.
"If I'm a good boy, will you treat me?" Patrick asked, catching up and falling into step with her.
Not being able to help it, Kat smiled and briefly glanced as him, "No, but if you stop with the innuendo, you might be able to accompany me." (As if he wasn't going to already, just to bother her.)
Gasping dramatically, Patrick held a hand to his heart, "I am allowed in the presence of Kat Stratford? Oh," he said mockingly, "I am truly blessed."
"You mean to tell me you didn't have a problem with that?"
"Why would I?" Kat asked, shaking her head, and wiping her hands on a brown paper towel the fair provided at the wash station, exiting the petting zoo into the evening darkened fairgrounds.
Patrick threw his own paper towel in the trash, sinking it in one. "Animals, in cages, against their will. It's unjust!"
Kat scowled, "You're mocking me."
"No, I'm not," he said with a smile that totally said he was, "I'm genuinely curious. You fight just about everything, including me; why don't the caged Llamas deserve a fight?"
Kat stopped walking and gave him a level glare, "They have food, water, attention, bedding, a big area to play or run in, heating, ventilation, they're healthy, and they're given to farmers at the end of the fair season. If they were living in unsanitary, unhealthy conditions, then I would have something to argue about."
Patrick smirked, almost as if he was proud of her, before his smirk deepened with admiration at her next words...
"And probably because they're Alpaca's, not Llamas."
Smiling approvingly, he watched as she turned and meandered towards the midway. He joined her and they both casually looked around at the rides, not all that impressed.
"You never answered my question," Kat said, glancing at him. "Why are you, of all people, at the fair?"
He shrugged non-noncommittally, "Maybe I had nothing better to do?"
"Oh please," Kat scoffed, "There are a million other things for you to do: robbery, vandalism, assault, fornicating-"
Patrick laughed, "Wanna help with that last one?"
"Ugh," she said with a curled lip, "I'd rather throw myself off the Ferris wheel."
"Kinda messy, but whatever works..."
Kat smiled, but didn't say anything else. They walked for a bit, until Patrick broke the oddly comfortable silence.
"If it makes you feel any better, I did do a questionable deed tonight..."
"Slash someone's tires? Steal an elderly woman's purse? Solicit some poor desperate thing?"
Patrick bumped shoulders with her, and she smiled cheekily, "You're on a roll tonight, aren't you?"
Because it felt like something she always happened to do when he was around, she laughed. "I am," she happily agreed. "I got all this pent up sarcasm just waiting to be used."
He leaned his head in towards her as they continued to walk, "Use me all you like."
Kat looked out the corner of her eye, "Target practice it is," to which Patrick laughed, and for whatever reason, she didn't mind that he didn't step away.
"But no," he stated, continuing the earlier topic, "No slashed tires, no desperate things, just fences."
Kat looked at him, "What?"
"I hopped the fence."
Kat furrowed her brow, "Hopped the fence?...You snuck in? That's your questionable deed?"
"Yup. Gotta keep the reputation somehow."
"Reputations are only good if people see you doing these things," Kat rolled her eyes. "And sneaking in isn't exactly questionable, just...cheap."
"They have so many people here, my $8.00 isn't going to be missed."
"If everyone thought like that, there wouldn't be a fair."
"That's the point," Patrick said, pleased that she didn't go off on some tangent about rights, responsibilities, and economic injustice, "I'm not everyone."
Readily agreeing, Kat nodded her head, "Thank goodness. One of you, alone, is too much."
Bumping her shoulder again, Patrick leered, "Of all the girls I've met, I always figured you could handle me, no problem."
Since he was so close, she elbowed him in the ribs, "Oh, I can handle you...figuratively speaking....but I just don't have the patience sometimes."
Kat spun her head around. Did he just outright ask if she wanted to handle him? "Excuse-" It took her looking at him to notice his head was cocked in the direction of the Bumper Cars, a ride that, he somehow knew, she would get behind.
"Why not? I've always fantasized about running you over."
Pulling a surprise strip of tickets out of his back pocket, he handed her three, and peeled off his own, "Drop the 'running over' part..."
"Oh yes," Kat breathed dramatically, "Sneaking into fairs turns me on."
"See," Patrick commented, as they both gave their tickets to the operator, and moved within the gate to their respective cars, "Method to my badness."
"Hahaha," Kat mocked, getting into her bumper car as Patrick did the same at his, "Let's see how bad you are when I rear-end you."
"Shhh....Not in public," he winked, and Kat raised her eyebrows suggestively.
This night might be fun after all.
"How the hell did you get your license?" Kat chided, looking at him like he were a mad scientist. Given that the cars were made to be indestructible, neither one of them managed to do much damage, to the cars, or their egos. "If you drive like that normally, you'd have killed hundreds of people by now."
Either she wasn't paying attention, or didn't much care, when Patrick bumped her hip with his, "A bike license is very different from a car. Just because you have a G doesn't mean you can automatically get an M. And I didn't see you doing much better. They're bumper cars for God's sake!"
"At least I can steer," Kat pointed out, better spirits than she thought she'd be.
"Yeah," Patrick agreed, equally enjoying himself, "Into on-coming traffic."
"They're bumper cars!" Kat cried out, giving a small giggle (yeah, she did it) when he pulled on her sleeve to stop her from colliding with another person.
"Warn me the next time you drive, so I can be off the roads when you're behind the wheel."
"Me?" Kat protested, way more amused then affronted ,"How do you think I got my G in the first place? Flash a little leg?"
Patrick looked smug, "Probably."
Smacking him in the arm, Kat wasn't offended. "I like it when you're jealous," she commented, and briefly flashed back to another dark night where they were together.
"I'm not jealous; I'm appalled. There's a difference." Patrick quoted, seemingly having the same idea. "Who knew such a feminist would use her sex like that...."
Kat scoffed and shook her head, "I never said I did. You just like to picture it."
Patrick was very pleased, "Oh, I don't need to picture it. I've seem you legs." He openly leered at her and she shoved him.
"Shut up. I'm not the one who bases my whole life on seducing and bedding the next thing that walks in front of me," she said it good-naturedly.
He didn't take offense, "Multiple girls have walked by and yet, here I am...you think I seduce?"
"Not me, clearly," Kat stated matter-of-factly, "But lesser girls. The ones who can't spell their own name, or walk and talk at the same time. You attract bimbos. It's all part of your game."
"Not you, clearly," Patrick said, more than aware that Kat wasn't like his other girls.
"Now you understand."
The conversation continued as such; flirting, combined with light-hearted bickering, witty comments, innuendo, and blithe insults. It was their thing, always had been. Very few serious conversation ever happened between them, but somehow, though their nonchalant mannerisms, over time, they managed to develop an understanding about the other, and construct a kind of somethingship. It wasn't a deep bond, or a casual acquaintance, it was just...what it was. She couldn't exactly call him a friend, in the sense that you hang out, go to the movies with for fun, and depend on the other for support, encouragement or comradery, but nor was he some random guy she only saw from a distance at school. They just so happened to usually be at the same gig, if someone were to casually drop a hint about being there themselves, and they usually had the same philosophy about the general public (that most were not worth their time) but all-the-same, it was what it was, and worked. (But that, also, wasn't to say that she didn't sometimes -very rarely, of course,- want more.)
However, walking along the matted-down grass of the fairgrounds, Kat's inner struggle was the furthest thing from her mind. She was too busy having fun. No, not the giggly-squealy-jump-up-and-down-oh-my-God fun that Bianca has, but her own brand of fun, complete with smart remarks, competent discussion, and a rough-around-the-edges, Motorcycle driving, leather wearing quote/unquote bad boy.
She was even having enough fun to let that guard down, and remove her rebar reinforced, concrete encased walls to play a few games.
Perusing the games, she visually waded through her options. Whack-a-Mole was most definitely not her thing; it was too inhuman, as was Duck Hunt, even if the 'animals' were cardboard cutouts, or foam, but darts were game, and even Balloon Shoot. Patrick had made some off-handed comment about her hypothetical inability to succeed at either of them, but all thanks to her Victims No More classes, and her skills in accurately aiming a stun gun, she managed to win herself a small stuffed whale. It was small enough that she could easily fit it in the inner pocket of her coat, as she watched Patrick take his turn, not smug, but concentrated. He was, surprisingly, very good with his aim, which she was curious about, but never questioned him, and was more touched than she should have been, when he won a larger shark, and ended up giving it to a little boy, who had failed his attempts, watching in awe.
Moving through the crowds, the non-couple aimlessly walked with no location in mind. Finishing off a snow cone (not terribly healthy, but mostly made up of water), Kat swiftly threw it in the trash, and put the plastic spoon into a nearby recycle bin. Mocking her, and being amused at it, himself, Patrick made a show of doing the same with his empty Coke can. (She was tempted to reach back in an throw it at him.)
The next game they came across that Kat was willing to participate in was Pingpong Ball and Fish Bowl. It was one of those hard games, with a very minimal chance of winning, but when she did, she was more perturbed than anything. What the hell was she going to do with a fish? Thankfully enough, a solution came along and lost her own game, and Kat, taking a page out of Patrick's book, willingly gave the small goldfish to it's new owner. Walking away, Kat nearly took it back with a cringe, when the 7 or 8 year old named it Goldie.
Patrick laughed and led her randomly by the elbow to a Skee Ball stand. Since Sports, (as small a sport was it was) was neither of their thing, they walked away gracefully, a losing streak not all that much of a hindrance.
Stopping, the pair turned in the direction of the voice, and Kat had a fearsome bite of anxiety as Sweet Mother!, it was a Cop.
Prepared to either stomp away, of curse a certain someone into the ground, Kat stood still with a murderous glare and a accusatory 'What did you do, now?' on her tongue.
"Hey, Park," Patrick greeted the mid-twenties Officer in a friendly voice. "Long time no see."
The Officer 'Park' as he was apparently called (his name tag saying Parkman), made his way, non-threateningly, up to Patrick and shook his hand, bromance style, with a quick pat on the back.
"It's not my fault someone's behaving themselves, lately," the Officer said, looking with an air of pride at Patrick. "How ya been, Pat?"
Kat was gobsmacked. Patrick Verona making nice with a Cop? Did the world suddenly tilt on it's axis? It made sense that they were familiar with each other (it was purely just speculation that he'd had some run-ins with the law), but talking about what he'd been up to in the past few months since his apparent last arrest was surreal. Of course, Kat had no idea what to do, so she just stood still with baited breath, waiting for the fur to fly. As luck would have it, it never happened.
"Who's your friend?" She heard the Officer say, and she suddenly tuned into the conversation, remembering to smile, nod, and say her pleases and thankyous.
"Kat Stratford – Officer Brian Parkman, PD," Patrick said, introducing them, and Kat was mildly impressed that he actually knew her last name, when he hardly even spoke her first name.
Kat awkwardly nodded along with the Officer, and exchanged 'Nice to meet yous' when he spoke, "Stratford...any relation to Doc Stratford at the hospital?"
Humoured, Kat nodded, "Yeah, my dad."
"I had to deal with him a few times with a couple expectant witnesses. Good man," Parkman said, and turned to Patrick a little weary, lowering his voice, "You're messing with Straftord's daughter? Are you insane?!"
Patrick laughed, and was about to explain when Kat jumped in, "No one is messing with anyone. Simply at the same fair, at the same time."
"Good," the Cop said playfully, "Verona is nothing but bad news. Keep your distance."
Patrick feigned a hurtful look, "Thanks, man. That's the last time I use you to pick up chicks."
Kat pretended to gag, before turning to the Cop, "He just can't stay away."
"I'm a glutton for punishment," Patrick smirked.
Officer Parkman nodded, "Of course you are. Speaking of which, Scarlatti's here."
Verona seemed to sober up a little, but still smirked, "Is he, now?"
"Yes, and he won't be happy if he sees you... Just thought I'd warn you," the older man said, pointing a finger and backing away, "I'm on the clock, but I had to pass on the news."
"I owe you," Patrick said.
"You always do. It was nice to meet you Miss Stratford." Officer Brian Parkman said as he turned and went the opposite direction. Turning and walking away, themselves, Kat was perplexed.
"Who's Scarlatti, and why are you being warned?"
Beside her, Patrick seemed a little hesitant to explain, and his shrugging shoulders certainly contested to that, "Just...some guy I know...."
Kat wasn't sold, "Uh huh," was all she gave before directing her feet elsewhere, "See you around."
Patrick gently reached for her wrist, "Ok, fine, wait." She stopped and gave him her attention again. "But you're not gonna like it..."
"I also don't like being lied to."
"Alright," Patrick agreed, "But can we walk?"
Allowing it, Kat and Patrick continued on their way.
"Beat Cop Mike Scarlatti. I... dated... his daughter, maybe a year ago."
A light bulb clicked above Kat's head, "And by 'dated' you mean 'used'...mmmhmm."
"Uhh," Patrick seemed maybe the slightest bit apologetic for his actions, "Well... she thought it was something more than it was, and when I disagreed, she told daddy dearest."
"Hell hath no fury,"Kat quipped.
"Seems dad didn't know it was his little princesses idea. See, her dad arrested me earlier on some bogus charge for vandalism or whatever, and she thought it would be 'thrilling' to get with her dad's perp."
"Hahaha, you serious?"
"Yup," Patrick nodded, "And ever since then, he's had it in for me. He tried to bring me up for jaywalking once."
"He had every right to, you know. That is illegal....But I see your point. Everyone does it."
"So anyway, the moral of the story is: never sleep with a Cop's daughter."
Kat eyed him sceptically, "I believe the moral should be: Abstinence."
"What fun is that?" Patrick winked at her as they passed a taffy stand. "You gonna leave, now that you know how truly wretched I am?"
She really should... "I already knew how wretched you are, but no. You told me the truth, you are, perhaps, a tad remorseful, and from what you said, the little hussy planned it, therefore, deserving it."
Honesty really is the best policy sometimes.
"I thought for sure, you'd have tasered me by now."
"Naw," Kat said, patting down the pockets of her jacket, "Left it at home. Tasers and fairs don't mix."
"Noted," Patrick nodded, passing by a Ring Toss as it's operator called to what he had hoped were possible customers.
"Step right up to the entertaining Ring Toss! Everyone's a winner! Win something for your girl!"
Both raised an identical eyebrow, and Kat would have given him a piece of her mind had she not been stunned when Patrick threw an arm around her shoulder, and made the operator's words, at least visually, true.
For whatever reason, she didn't bother moving away, or removing his arm, until they separated for a smashing game of Plate Break.
How liberating it was to chuck balls at plates.
Concluding the game circuit, Patrick and Kat walked through the midway, thousands of blue, red, yellow, green, and orange lights flickered around, lighting the grounds in the evening darkness.
It was close to 10 now, and somewhere, vaguely in the back of her mind, Kat remembered telling Bianca they'd be leaving at 9, but since Bianca hadn't called or texted her, B was probably having a good time, herself, with all those cheer leading bimbos.
Thinking back to earlier events, Kat brought up what had been on her mind since winning her whale.
"Where'd you learn to shoot like that?"
"At the Balloon Shoot. You got most of them, meaning you're a pretty accurate shot."
Patrick cocked an eyebrow, "You mean you haven't already jumped to massive conclusions that I've been involved in some armed robberies, and carry an unregistered weapon?"
Kat laughed a little and looked a little sheepish, "I deserved that." She had made him out to be a pretty rotten person earlier that evening, but thankfully he hadn't taken it badly.
Patrick shrugged, the issue already behind him, "My dad."
Kat's throat closed up at the mention of a family Patrick never spoke about. The way he said it was so somber, and so eerily similar to the way she usually talked about her mother, that she decided to keep quiet, and hope he understood the immediate way out she was giving him.
Either he didn't, or he just didn't mind talking.
"He was Army, so he always had a service weapon on him. When I was old enough, he taught me to shoot. Where he was stationed, we lived in base housing, they had rifle ranges and all that. He said never use it unless there was no other option. 'Pat," Patrick said in a slightly lower voice, "Killing someone is something you should never take lightly. Use it only if you or your mother are in a life or death situation. It's for protection, not revenge.'"
"It was always under lock and key, so it's not like I could sneak in and shoot cans with it, but I always knew where it was, and he'd always take me to the range, just to improve my shot."
"Then we moved here, and then 9/11 happened. He shipped out to Iraq in 2003. Six months and 3 gloomy Officials at the door later, he was dead. Killed in action."
Walking side by side at a fair is not the ideal location for such sadness, but Kat was truly touched that he decided to share such a story with her.
She knew of a handful of families with one parent due to divorce, but her's was the only one she knew that had to do with death.
Now she knew another. And she knew the pain experienced, and the hole it developed. And she knew the phrase 'I"m sorry' was one of the worst things that could ever be said, so she didn't.
Instead she casually let her arm glide against his for a moment before breaking her own dam, "My mom died of cancer when I was 7."
He looked at her and seemed both thankful, that she didn't pity him, and surprised, that she had her own sob-story.
"I know it's not really the same, but it's my story."
Patrick nodded. He understood.
"Oh, I think I'm gonna be sick."
Getting out of the compartment last, Patrick moved to her side and pushed her away from him at arm's length, "That snow cone would be water by now, but if you have to spew, do it in another direction."
"I can't believe you talked me into that," Kat cringed.
Patrick scoffed, "I can't believe you found that upchuck-inducing."
"It's been a very long time since I've been spun and twirled and inverted at a thousand miles an hour. One needs to adjust," Kat said, holding her head as if it would stop the spinning.
"You have never experienced Patrick Verona then, have you?" he leered, and thankfully for Kat, the world had slowed it's spinning just enough for her to smack him upside the head.
"You have never experienced Rectal Cranial Inversion, have you?" And before he even had a chance to reply with something smug and probably dirty, she smacked him again, "Don't!"
"You shouldn't give me an opening like that then, Oh," Patrick said, prepared for some other lewd remark at his own sentence.
"Make one comment, I swear..." Kat said, not all that viciously with a smile.
"Alright, alright," he held his hands up in surrender, "You're messing up my hair, and not in the fun way."
Sending a false glare at him, Kat shook her head, "What was that I said earlier about innuendo?"
"That you like it."
"Oh yes, 'Don't do it' sounds so very reminiscent of 'I like it'. Why didn't I see the similarities?"
Turning around the corner of 'The Octopus', Patrick was about to reply when he suddenly stopped, and let out a curse. Following his line of sight, Kat took note of three things: one, a middle aged graying, relatively well built man stood about 50 yards away, observing the fairgoers, two, he was in the customary blue-black that his particular brand of law officer wore, and three, he turned and was now staring rather murderously at Patrick, moving to advance on him at a threatening stomp.
"Gotta go," Patrick said, surprising her by quickly grabbing her hand and pulling her through the throng of people.
Swiveling her head to look at the back of Patrick's, then back to the officer following, tho far behind them, Kat's eye widened, "Tell me that's not-"
"It's him," Patrick called back, impolitely pushing through lines of people.
Kat was less than impressed, "I thought you were told to avoid him?"
"What do you think I'm doing?" Patrick said, as he pulled her behind a Hotdog stand, and around a 'Galaxy'.
"Running away," she scathingly replied.
Patrick barked out a laugh, and yanked her around the 'Strawberry', "Would you rather I stop and introduce you? I'm sure he'll love meeting the girl I passed over his daughter for."
Kat nearly stopped in her tracks, but Patrick's momentum made her fear for her arm being ripped off, "What?! I wasn't even here a year ago."
"The point is, I'm with you, when I haven't even seen his daughter since. I don't even remember her name."
Kat scoffed, "Yet, you remember his?" she called to him.
"I see him more than I'd like," he said, skirting around a ticket booth, "He doesn't want me to forget who he is."
"He's a father; what do you expect him to do? Talk about the weather, invite you over for tea and say how awesome you are for using his daughter?"
"No, I want him to leave me alone and accept the fact that his daughter's a slut who stripped and begged me to take her, her words, not mine."
"Oh," Kat jeered sarcastically as his grip tightened as the crowd got thicker, "So, you remember what she said, but not what her name is? You're a keeper, aren't you!"
"What about her?" Patrick argued, smashing though another lineup of people at whatever ride it was, "She was the one who dropped her clothes!"
"So? You've dropped your morals, numerous times."
"I have morals."
"You have needs!" Kat countered.
"My needs, right now, are to loss him."
Looking behind her, Kat was shocked to see Scarlatti still following, maybe even gaining a little, as the crowd dispersed for the law officer, "He's still here."
Patrick grunted this time, and made a sharp 90 degree turn behind a game stand. He wasn't exactly running, (Patrick Verona doesn't run from anyone, or anything) but he was walking swifter than he usually did, and Kat had to hold his hand tighter to keep up. Zig-zagging behind an inflatable castle, Kat briefly caught a glimpse of his face, and she was overwhelmed at what she saw.
Wind-blown hair, bright eyes, a set jaw, and … a crooked smile. He was in his element (running from the law, of course he was), and seemed to be having a blast doing it. He was light on his feet, tho steady in his footing, and agile enough that he easily slithered his way around people...even if he did, occasionally, bulldoze a few pedestrians over.
It was almost as if he'd done this before, and Kat didn't put it past him.
He knew what he was doing, and how to execute his plan. Yes, he had a plan, she could see it in the turn of his head as he eyed three directions all at once: left, right and centre, while she watched the back. She could fleetingly see his smile a few times, and it was one of adrenaline, strategy, and cunning masterful accomplishment, like he knew there was no way this Scarlatti was going to catch him. Every so often, Patrick would slow down, and butt in a lineup briefly, making his way down the line, blending in as a fairgoer, only to reach his apparent destination, and kick it into gear again, all the while with his hand firmly holding hers.
Seeing that prideful, predatory look on his face, almost like a lion staking out it's kingdom, or like the lioness' organizing, and successfully performing an ambush, was something Kat had never, and could never possibly imagine seeing, yet, here she was, witnessing, even accompanying Patrick Verona in his escape from Alcatraz, and oh my goodness, if it didn't do something for her.
She should be furious, disappointed, resentful, or just plain embarrassed for being caught in this sort of situation, with this sort of law breaking, daughter doing person, but she wasn't, and it didn't bother her in the least.
In fact, it was so far from bother, she might even say it was pleasing.
Yes, if they were to get caught, she'd probably be arrested for 'resisting arrest' even though they didn't do anything wrong, and her dad would be furious that she was with deep-voiced-man-boy-sharkbait-ooh-ha-ha himself, and she'd probably be grounded for life for allowing all this to happen, but she knew they wouldn't be caught, because he might be philandering, and he might have some issues underneath that leather jacket covered exterior, but he was Patrick Verona, and she trusted him.
And the irony in those three words 'she trusted him' was utterly hilarious, and she had to laugh. And because it felt so good, the wind through her hair, the slight sweat on her brow, the night air's caress on her cheeks, a warm set of fingers laced expertly with hers, she laughed again. And again. And again.
"What are you laughing at?" Patrick asked equally amused sounding, ducking around an 'Orbiter'.
"I've never done this before," Kat said, almost sounding like she was enjoying herself a little too much.
Patrick exited around the bright lights of the 'Orbiter' to what looked like camping grounds for the carnival workers. "You mean you're not a felon? I'm not all that shocked," he called backed, looking at her briefly and sharing the smile, oddly enough, she'd had for most of the night.
"I, obviously, don't know how to have fun," Kat replied sarcastically, but somewhere, in the back of her mind, she remembered Bianca saying it was something she should experience. Was that really just a few hours ago?
If only B could see her now....No, on second thought, that wouldn't be wise, for her life, or her ego.
How ridiculous they must have looked, the pair of them, running from the cops (albeit one), like they had done something heinously wrong.
Looking back behind her, Kat searched for the cop, "I don't see him. Maybe he's giving up?"
Patrick shook his head, and pulled her past rows of 5th wheel trailers, "When it comes to me, he doesn't give up. It's like he's Pat Garrett or something."
"And you being Billy The Kid," Kat concurred, looking smug when he acted surprised that she knew the Wild West.
Moving past a trailer with an slide out, Patrick halted at the far back of the grounds, where the only light offered was from the moon. Putting a hand on Kat's back, he gently lead her to the end of a trailer, turned her around, and pushed her softly by the biceps, to lean against it. Standing dead in front her, Patrick leaned his head around the edge of the trailer, and surveyed the spot they just came from. If Scarlatti was still on their tail, he'd be making an appearance soon.
Both breathing heavily, Kat turned as best she could, being so close to him, to peek her head over the same edge Patrick was looking from. No one was visible, and she let out a breath.
That second, a flashlight shone into the gap between trailers and both the teens quickly ducked behind it again. Holding their respective breaths, they listened for footsteps, and were alarmed to hear a pair.
Grabbing her hand, Patrick quickly pulled Kat away from the trailer, and moved a few trailers down, careful not to make a sound. Taking her same position, Kat leaned her back against the trailer, and didn't much care when Patrick braced his arms on either side of her, as if, in some possibility, that if Scarlatti was to find them, she'd be saved from whatever doom he had planned.
Given the moon filtering through the trees, Kat couldn't see much, but she had just enough light to make out the shadowed features of her co-escapee and the light dully reflecting off his leather jacket.
Staring at his chest more than anything, Kat followed Patrick's cue, and held her breath to inhale shallowly though her nose, as quietly as she could.
He smelled incredible.
Leather, gasoline, wood chips, sweat, and maybe the smallest amount of aftershave.
Either it had been a really long time since she was this close to a guy, or the adrenaline was heightening her senses (let's go with that one), but my God, if her father wasn't going to kill her, Eau de Verona certainly would, oh so pleasantly.
That thought alone, made her scoff the smallest amount, but she instantly stopped when Patrick put a hand up to cover her mouth and held a finger up to his smiling lips. He cocked his head to the left, and Kat listening intently.
Underneath his hand, she bit her bottom lip and stared at the same hardly visible spot in his chest that she had previously acquainted herself with.
To her dismay, the footsteps continued.
They were gonna be found, and she was going to murdered.
Goodbye Bianca. Goodbye Mandella. Goodbye Teresa the lunch lady. Goodbye Elmo the Janitor. Goodby-
"Mike, come in."
Kat jumped and Patrick moved closer to stop the movement.
"Go ahead," Scarlatti's gruff voice said.
His two-way radio faded in and out, "We got a brawl around the beer tent. Could use a hand."
Scarlatti seemed to grunt into his radio, "There in 5," was all he said before his footsteps began to fade.
Cautiously, Patrick poked his head out around the trailer. A few seconds later, he exhaled deeply and removed his hand from her mouth.
Taking that as a 'coast is clear', Kat, too, let out a breath and leaned heavily against the pale siding.
And then she started to laugh. Quietly, and stiffed at first, then louder, and more smoothly.
And then she laughed some more. And some more. And some more. And then she laughed till she cried, and till her ribs hurt. And she smiled so much, she felt like it was the first time.
Holding her ribs, and squeezing her eyes shut, Kat leaned her head in, and braced it against a pair of laughing shoulders across from her.
For the first time in a long time, she had real fun.
And it was with Patrick Verona, no less.
Smiling heavenly, she raised exhausted, lidded eyes to met Patrick's dark humoured ones.
"I don't think I've ever heard you laugh like that."
She was all laughed out, but managed a feeble chuckle, "I don't remember the last time." Sighing, Kat leaned her head back against the trailer, "I don't even remember the last time I had the much fun, either."
Patrick raised a skeptic eyebrow, "Probably because you've never eluded the cops before. "
"And here I thought that phrase would never be associated with me."
Patrick smirked at her, almost as if he were proud, "First time for everything."
Kat nodded against the trailer, "True."
And both stared.
And just when things should have gotten awkward, it didn't, when Patrick leaned in and softly kissed her peaceful lips.
Expecting it, (more because she wanted it), Kat reacted harmoniously, by bringing her fingers up to thread through his wind-blown curls. The act pulled his lips more firmly against hers, and to compensate, Patrick leaned further into her, keeping his hands braced on either side of her shoulders.
Feeling her hips mesh with his, Kat let out what may, possibly, sorta-could-have-been the smallest of gasps, opening her mouth, and giving Patrick the invitation he, actually, hadn't been asking for, thank you very much.
Moving her fingers from his hair, Kat wrapped her arms more steadily around his neck. He was maybe half a foot taller than her, and if she had of been thinking, she would have been ashamed, at not only the fact that she went up on the tiptoes of her boots, but at the little whimper she gave, too.
Either way, she didn't really seem to care. Patrick Verona could kiss. She had figured that out once, but that was a first kiss, usually being experimental or cautions. This was a second, and she already knew a bit of what to expect.
But anyway, Patrick knew how to kiss, and kiss well he did.
She had seen at school, girls falling over themselves just to get a look, but they're probably make real messes of themselves if they knew (but probably assumed) how he kiss.
Girls made fools of themselves for him.... lots of them...and he didn't really turn them away... and he dated a cops daughter causing the cop to trail them throughout half the fair...and holy moly!
No chance Lance!
She was not being one of those girls.
Uncoiling her arms from him, Kat detached their lips and pushed him back.
He looked a little confused when they broke apart, but the look of annoyance on her face said it all.
"Nice try," she said bitterly, ducking under his arm.
But he was faster, and blocked her way out with an arm. "Considering how things are going to end on a bad note, now," he said, reproached, "I want you to know something."
Kat raised angry eyebrows, expectantly, but didn't saying anything.
Looking more uncertain than she could remembering surefire Patrick being, he looked her straight in the eye, "I'm glad you came."
Raising astounded eyes, Kat pulled at the waist of her jacket, and while feeling up her pockets for her set of car keys, remembered she had put her prize whale in the inner pocket. Then she thought back.
She played games, toured crafts and fruits, petted alpacas and billy goats, won a whale and gave away a fish, ate a snow cone and nearly threw it back up, went on some rides, and had a case of vertigo, ran away from cops, and had more fun than she could ever remember, all with Patrick.
And he didn't give any indication, that there was any other girl on his mind. "Multiple girls have walked by and yet, here I am..."
Kat gave a small smile, "Me too."
Approaching her car, Kat was pleased to see Bianca leaning against the passenger door, happily texting on her cell.
She looked up as Kat advanced, and smiled gleefully, "Have fun?"
"You know," Kat said sheepishly nodding, "I did. You?"
"I guess, but the girls are total bumps. I split about half way and found Cameron to hang out with. He's way more fun."
Understanding, Kat moved to her side of the car, while B continued to stand, "You getting in?"
"In a minute," Bianca replied, and that was fine with Kat. Pulling out the little whale from her inside pocket, Kat examined it and couldn't repress a smile. She was glad she went, and was thankful that she had bumped into Patrick, for whatever reason he was there.
Come to think of it, he never did say why he came...
Outside of the car, Bianca noted Kat's chipper mood the second she saw her. Sending a 'Thank you,' Bianca waited a couple of seconds for the reply. When her phone beeped, she read the message, closed it, and got into the car, smiling knowingly at the message Patrick had left.
'No, thank you'.
Author's Note: I LOVE the idea of Patrick being arrested. I'm sick, I know. ~ Mike Scarlatti, awesomest character off of Flashpoint, tho the looks don't coincide. ~ I have no idea what a California fair looks like, so I based it off of three that I've been to, one of which was also an agricultural fair. ~ Patrick's back story was made up, but in the series, I'm really wanting his dad to of been military. ~ I'm sorry, I only write Katrick, there will be no Bameron companion. ~ I have no idea what kind of uniforms Cali-cops have, so used generic colours. ~ OMG! At 9000+ words, it's my longest oneshot ever! YAY!