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a thief and a letter [19 Oct 2004|01:07pm]
[OOC: Takes place two weeks after this.]

Franka shrugs on her shirt and buttons it quickly, giving herself a quick once over in the mirror. Not bad. Just needs a little lipstick and… She rifles through the things on the dresser. Where the heck is her…

“Maria!” she calls out, exasperated to all hell. Her brother better be damn appreciative if he comes home to a living daughter, because it’s going to be a really close call.

...Collapse )
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morning after [27 Aug 2004|10:21pm]
[ooc: next morning]

The bar was loud – too loud – when she walked in. The sun had just barely set when she stepped inside, but somehow everyone was already in their cups.

“You’re late,” Boyd’s friend called out to her as she stepped over the threshold. He grinned at her menacingly, and waved his empty bottle of Coca-Cola at her. “You have to get me another right now. Or you’ll be fiiiii-iired,” he finished off in a sing-song tone.

“I’ll be…fired?”Collapse )
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I've practically forgotten him already... [09 Jul 2004|12:11pm]
(OOC: Despite the actual time difference, takes place the same night as this)

No one goes to Greene's for conversation.Collapse )
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Cold gust of wind [11 Jun 2004|07:09pm]
(OOC: Morning after the last meeting between Dom and Franka)

Stefan closes the bedroom door quietly, knowing that if he wakes his wife before she absolutely has to be up, he'd pay dearly for it. She's a hell of a woman, and he loves her to death, but damn if she isn't the biggest grump in the morning.

He, however, likes the early morning silence. And if that means he has to wake up at 4:30 to enjoy it, well, such is life.

Padding through the family room though, he’s stopped short by a gust of cold air. Whoever had left the window open last night is gonna get it when they wake up. Forty-degree morning air isn't exactly the best way to be pulled back into full consciousness.

It isn't until he goes to close the window that he realizes he's not the only one in the room.

"Franka?" he calls softly, trying not to wake her if she'd just happened to fall asleep by the windowsill. The only thing worse than waking Beatrix is waking Franka. She'd be in a mood all day long, and Franka can be difficult to deal with when she isn't in a mood. "You awake?" A little softer, as he moves closer, and at this point he'd be willing to take bets on her being asleep.

And there's the reason he never gambled, because the moment he thinks it, she stirs. "Yeah, I'm up," she answers back, her voice small and raw against the gust blowing in.

"What’s going on?" he asks, immediately concerned. The tone of her voice, the dark line of her sagging shoulders. His heart races, imagining the worst. It's not the kids, he thinks quickly, he'd know if it were the kids. And Beatrix is fine, tucked away in their bed.

When he gets no response, he finishes his way across the room and kneels down in front of her. "Are you okay? Did anything...happen?" he asks quietly, not sure that he wants to know. He's never been down to Lord's, but he imagines all juice joints are the same. Dirty, violent and filled with drunks. And even though Franka talks big, she's still a woman, and anything could happen in a place like that.

Stefan watches as she sighs and tips her head back, blinking her eyes quickly. After a second, she looks at him, and he knows whatever comes out of her mouth is going to be a lie. "Really Stefan, I’m perfectly fine. Long night at work…But I think I’ll go to bed now." Her voice is only slightly strained, and if he hadn't grown up with her, Stefan might have no idea she’s full of it.

But she's lying, he knows she is, just like he knows she's been hiding something from them for at least a month. Franka, for some reason, thinks she can hide things from him, when he knows her better than anyone else. It's amusing sometimes, but more times than not it's aggravating as hell. But now is not the time to stop her, he’s well aware of that fact. He lets her go, lets her brush past him with a soft goodnight, leaving Stefan alone with the open window and his thoughts.
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Clear Light of Day [05 Apr 2004|09:14pm]
[One day after this]

Franka stood in front of the selection, baffled.

Pink and red and blue dresses, next to green with glitter and silver with the satin trim. Not to mention the other fripperies, the little shoes and umbrellas and hats and ribbons.

She’d gone to down to the Loop as a lark. Woken up early, seen the take home from last night - Jesus, over twenty dollars just from Andy - lying on the table next to her bed, and felt the incredible urge to spend it.

Not much, though. Not even a good portion of it. Just a little bit. Just enough to get Maria and Lukas something new.

Which was how she ended up standing in front of a massive row of dolls, debating every possibility.

Lukas was easy. The train set was the clear winner. And even though she’d probably end up stepping on the little metal rails – as she did everything that somehow ended up right next to her bed – she couldn’t pass up a fourteen piece set that would make her a hero in his eyes.

Dolls were more difficult. There were just so many choices.

And making decisions? Well Franka was wary of that, especially after last night.

She’d done the right thing. Franka was pretty sure of that. And when she walked away from Andy, there’d been no random frowning face, no admonishing glance like she’d half-expected.

No, she’d turned around to find Boyd still flirting with the blond. Charles was playing his trumpet and Louise was showing people to a table in Maryann’s station. Viggo hadn’t even made it out of his office yet.

No harm, no foul.

And the money – God, the money made her feel much better. Maybe it was wrong, but…twenty dollars for a bit of information? It was almost too easy.

“Miss, can I help you?” a voice sounded, and shook Franka from her thoughts. How long had she been standing there?

“Thank you but…no,” she said, grabbing the doll closest to her. Pretty little thing in a yellow frock. Maria would love it. “I think I’ve got it,” she said with a smile half directed at the shop girl. “Where can I pay for this?”
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Exhaustion [28 Mar 2004|04:55pm]
[Later that night]

Hints of the morning dawn play against the windows, but no one is stirring yet in the apartment. Better that way, Franka decides, as she lowers herself into one of the kitchen chairs.

She holds her bag on her lap for a moment, and then slowly pulls out the small pile of bills. Lays it down on the table – because really, she doesn’t want to touch it – and tries to clear her head.

But thoughts are swirling around, filling her mind, and she’s not really sure how to stop them. Little images, Viggo’s worried glance, Boyd’s baffled answers to her questions, the money – the money sitting on Viggo’s desk, the money burning against her palm, the money, always back to it.

She leaves it on the table – Stefan should probably be up first anyway, he’ll take care of it - and drags herself to her bed. The bar hadn’t gotten any busier once she left Viggo’s office, but still she’s left with this incredible feeling of fatigue.

In her bed though, she can make out a little lump against the wall. Looks like Maria commandeered her bed again. Rather than moving her niece back to her own bed, as Franka usually does, she decides to leave her there. She doesn’t take up much room, and for the moment Franka could use the company – even if it’s the company of an unconscious six year old.Collapse )
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Familiar Faces (and one new) [22 Mar 2004|11:32pm]
Franka edges her way past a crowd of people clustered around the bar. Boyd's in the middle of it, telling some story, as he expertly mixes drinks.

The crowd laughs at something he says as she moves further down the bar, and places herself in front of the junior bartender. Steven looks a little less busy, and a lot more intimidated by her. Can't exactly contain a small smile when he jumps at her order, but she tries.

She turns her back to the bar, surveying the lounge. Brisk business already, and its hardly past nine o'clock, which means she probably won't get to talk to Viggo. Not that she's been looking forward to begging her boss for money, but her brother has started to give her looks over dinner - pleading, pathetic, worried - all in successive order. Its getting to be little bit too much for her, and Franka's found herself going to work early, far too early to easily pass off, just to avoid the situation.

She's a bit lost in thought, remembering Stefan's glare as she left the house, when Mary Ann breezes by and nudges her in the ribs, nodding towards the door. When she looks over, she sees Louise - still walking around with that dreamy expression - leading five men to the corner of the lounge.

"Hey, Steve?" she calls over her shoulder to the bartender. "I need you to add five whiskeys to that. Doc and the boys are here."

DocCollapse )
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A Promise Made [24 Feb 2004|09:22pm]
a few days after this

Maybe Beatrix hadn’t grown up with her, but sometimes she seems to know how to handle Franka better than anyone else does.

So when her sister-in-law comes up with a comb and scoots her forward, Franka knows she’s going to be forced to spill her guts. Her mother used to brush her hair when she was frustrated or upset, and the gentle hand on her head, the repetitive motion of the comb still relaxes her.

Franka can try to resist talking – hell, each time she does. But eventually she finds herself confiding in Beatrix.

She doesn't tell her everything. Beatrix knows nothing of Boyd and it's better that way. She'd either be shocked that Franka could even consider sleeping with a man that has bedded half of Chicago and make her promise to forget about him, or she'd start forcing her to put on more make up and raise her skirts a bit in an attempt to win the man.

Franka's not sure which response would be worse.

But other things, more simple situations? They all come pouring out after about ten minutes.

"Franka?" the soft tone started.

'Mmmhmmm?'Collapse )
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A Night Off [24 Feb 2004|08:34pm]
"'Just as all the great celestial bodies of the universe form one harmonious unity, so nature in us, human beings, seeks harmony.' Matti Kurikka once said this, and I feel that it accurately..."

The room is oppressively silent, and Franka hopes it isn't because people are actually meditating on these ideas. The scraggly middle-aged man is, for all purposes, the living embodiment of all the cartoons in the papers. He stoops slightly and rubs his hands frenetically as he goes on about the about the magnificence of a gloriously impossible utopian life.

Utopian socialism. Such lofty goals are lost on the group in the room and rightfully so. The man's ideas are absurdly grandiose, with large-scale communes and ideal peaceful revolutions. Nowhere near practical for the real world. It's as if the man stepped into this room straight from the 1820s.

As he passes 30 minutes of talking without the hint of ending, her attention wanders to the people around the room.Collapse )
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One hell of a mess [12 Feb 2004|06:10pm]
[follows this.]

Franka wakes up with a start when the smell of food from Mrs. Jowarski’s kitchen wafts into her room. The neighbor runs her kitchen like clockwork, and if her food is already cooking, then Franka knows she's slept late.

The kids will probably be home soon, and the thought forces Franka out of bed and – unfortunately for her left foot – directly onto Lukas’s wooden horse. She flops back on her bed heavily, and clutches at her bruised instep as stars burst behind her eyelids.

Days that started like this are never good, and Franka's sorely tempted to crawl back under the sheets. Counting to five doesn't work, nor does extending it to ten. When she opens her eyes, she's still met with the same mess. Lukas and Maria’s toys are strewn around her floor. The little pot of makeup – the one that’s been missing for a few days, the *only* damn makeup that she’s bought in months – is lying upside-down in the corner. Luckily, her lipstick goes with her when Franka is at work, or that’d probably be ruined as well.

Heat spreads up her neck and into her cheeks as she surveys the disaster. She knows that if she just spent twenty minutes picking up, the room would be fine.

But then again, it would probably be the same when she comes home from work.

Because things really never change. Franka can clean her room, and the kids will mess it up again. She can buy new things, but they never stay nice for long. She can save up money, but she'll never be able to move out on her own.

As soon as she thinks that, Franka shakes herself. She's being ridiculously melodramatic - such melancholy thoughts are generally a little too self-indulgent for her, or so she tells herself.

She has things to do today, and wallowing isn’t really on the list. First, and foremost, she has to figure out where she's going to get an extra fifty dollars.

Franka has precious few options, short of fleecing a blindingly-drunk sugar daddy. The most obvious – and pride swallowing – is to ask Viggo.

Contemplating that scenario makes Franka queasy, and she's almost glad to hear her niece and nephew’s chattering coming from down the hall.
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[07 Feb 2004|02:37pm]
Early morning at homeCollapse )
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[25 Jan 2004|12:21am]
Franka gets on the L to ride back to her brother’s. It’s six in the morning, and the businessmen are starting to straggle into the cars. As usual, she gets some strange looks, especially from the older men, who are still unused to seeing girls in short skirts and short hair. And, as she found out one morning, never expect a girl to have a short temper.

Once, after a particularly long night, an old man had dared to tell her what he thought of her attire and asked her how her father felt about her going out like that. Franka had told him exactly what she thought of him with every colorful English phrase she could think of, and then moved onto German.

The old man left at the next stop.

If experience has taught her anything, it’s that men underestimate women at every turn.Collapse )
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[22 Jan 2004|10:18pm]
Her mother once joked that if most Americans had just stopped drinking for one night and realized what was going on, they might have not let the silly drys mess everything up so badly.

Her mother had been damn smart, and the patrons tonight are damn stupid, which kinda proves the point.

But a stupid drunk, or a crowd of them, for that matter, is better than a surly drunk, and so she keeps them well doused in cheap liquor. (Particularly the table in the corner, where the men are grabby, and her skirt seems to be the first target.)

Franka expertly twists and turns around the tables, picking up empty glasses and taking new orders. She eyes the bar, where Boyd is just starting to slow down, and figures it a good time to fill the orders.

As she walks up, she can see Viggo and Boyd enjoying a smoke, talking to each other over the din, and that (along with another patron who thinks tugging on her is a great way to get her attention) puts her in a fine mood.

She gets to the bar, with one more drink order added on, and puts down her tray a little harder than she means to. Boyd starts filling her drink orders, and Viggo just raises an eyebrow at her scowl.

Franka fakes a smile once her tray is loaded up, and heads back out.

She makes the rounds four more times before she can take a break. Each time she heads for the bar, solely focusing on her damn ciggies, someone grabs her attention. A few of the times she doesn’t mind, though. There are pretty boys and girls all around Lord’s, and even Franka at her most hardened can’t help but look.

Once she escapes the lounge, she grabs her cigarettes and half hides herself in the corner of the bar, watching her patrons. They’re all fools. But they’re her fools for the night.
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