1964-07-26 - Insurance Fraud
Summary: Gene and Kai gather some evidence on an insurance fraud.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
kai gene-fuchs 


It's 3:00 in the afternoon on the day after Gene offered Kai the job. Gene climbs the flight of stairs to Kai's apartment and knocks on the door. "Hey, kid?! You there? You ready?" he shouts. "Get your ass in gear!" He's smoking a cigarette and carrying a bundle of something under his arm.

There's music playing inside. Bob Dylan singing about how the times, they are a changing. "Just a moment!" Kai calls. The music is turned down, and there's some shuffling. Kevin barks to inform Kai there's someone at the door. Kai throws open the door, the little dog tucked under one arm. The young fey fellow is dressed in dark colors. Not difficult for him, being a beatnik as well a a hippy. "Sure, just let me feed Kev," he says.

The inside of Kai's apartment is a trip. The walls are painted in a mural of a psychedelic moonscape with strange, alien plants. There are sculptures, paintings. He's got skills, one has to give him that.

Gene steps just inside the door and stops, "You know…I had this image of what your place looked like inside…yeah. This outdoes it. It looks like Moma threw up in here." He takes another puff on his cigarette and waits. "I guess it's good. I mean don't get me wrong, it is good. I couldn't do it. I like the … that one." He points to one of the more decipherable paintings. "It's across town. I'm gonna drive because I have tools in my car."

Kai perks up and says, "Thank you." He takes Kev over to his bowl and sets him down. The dog prances around, looking at Kai, tail wagging. This is the most magical time: dinner! Kai pours some kibble into the little dog's bowl, and the dog starts munching away. One of the more decipherable paintings is of a small elfin woman with a cloud of pale hair in an abundance of curls. She lies sleeping, one pale arm tossed casually over the arm of the chaise she lounges on. It's done in a style more at home in the renaissance than mid-century post-modern. "That's my mum," Kai says, "when she was younger." He grabs a jacket, not that he needs one, and says, "All right, let's go."

"Uh…okay." Gene shrugs and backs out of the apartment. "Okay…we have get over there soon." He starts jogging down the stairs. "I'm double parked outside." The taller man can move when he wants to, and he hits the bottom of the stairs and flicks his cigarette away. "What kinda dog is that? " Out of the building and he opens the door of a light blue 1958 Rambler with a crack in the back window and no hubcaps. "Jump into my chariot, Kid. Did you bring the camera?" He looks to see what shoes Kai is wearing.

"It's for my da," Kai says. "I'm going to give it to him when I visit him. I'm not some weird mama's boy." He follows after Gene, and his footfalls are on the quiet side when he want. He's got his satchel, and he pats it as he says, "Camera's in here." Once he gets into the car, he admits, "I have no idea what kind of dog he is. Heinz 57. I think he might have some kind of terrier in him."

Kai's ability to walk quietly seems to pass muster, and Gene nods when Kai pats the case. "Good." He climbs into the driver's seat. "A mutt is the best kind. And lovin' your mama doesn't make you a mama's boy." He has a glint in his eye as he starts the car. There are parts of his job he likes, and this is one. "Okay, so we're going to catch this bastard. The insurance company that I work for has a onstruction company as a client. They put up these new apartments you see going up. One of their workers has a fall. His own fault. He hurts his back." Gene pauses as he pulls out into the street honking as he goes. He winds down his window. No airconditioning in the car.

"So we're going to prove it's his own fault?" Kai asks, then says, bright-eyed, "Or is he faking it? I'll catch him doing backflips or something." He seems satisfied that he's been declared not a mama's boy. A man has a reputation to protect. He pauses, then asks, "How do we know it's his own fault? Are there witnesses?"

"No. The fault is not the issue. The issue is that the guy is in a wheelchair now claiming permanent disability. Sure he may have hurt his back, but that was four months ago. He's suing the insurance company. Their doctor examined his records and said he should be okay. /His/ doctor said he's permanently disabled and can't get out of the wheel chair. So yeah. You're going get pictures of him out of that chair." Gene grins and squeeks the yellow out of a traffic light while a taxi honks at him.

That bundle he had been carrying is in the back seat. It looks like two sets of coveralls. Also in the back seat is a tool box and a couple of mouse traps. "Any questions so far?"

"Groovy," Kai says. He takes out the camera to fiddle with it, and there's familiarity in the way he handles the thing. He glances back at the gear and says, "Only one: what's going on with those mouse traps back there? Are we expecting guard-rats? Or are we posing as exterminators? That'd be an easy reason to get into a vent. Besides, if you ear coveralls and carry a clipboard, no on questions you."

Gene grins at Kai's figuring it out. "You're pretty smart. That's exactly what we're going to do." He sails on for a few more blocks and eventually parks a couple of blocks away from where he is going on a side street. He gets out and reaches in the backseat and picks up the smaller of the pale green coveralls. "Put this on…" He looks at the embroidered name, "Miller." With the door open, and using it to balance against, he pulls on his coveralls, which christen him as Reilly." He grabs the toolbox and not a clipboard, but a folder. He slips the mousetraps into the toolbox.

"Now this is important. I have $700 riding on this. If he calls the cops, don't say crap. Just get the pictures and keep your mouth shut. I'll bail you out." He hesitates, "But you won't. This will go just fine," he reassures.

Kai tugs the coveralls on. "Thank you," he says, "I try to keep my wits about me," He glances down at his name tag. "Miller. I'm Sam Miller, exterminator, and my backstory is that when I was young, mice destroyed my house, leaving us destitute. This is my revenge." He nods then and says, "I don't talk to cops. It's all going to go great."

Gene gives Kai a deadpan look. "Just keep it simple. You don't need a fucking backstory." He sighs and zips himself up and grabs the tool box. "Maybe it's best if you don't talk to anyone." Gene has morphed into Gene the soldier during all this. He takes Kai around the corner and into the apartment building and up to the fourth floor. There is an elevator, but he takes the stairs. There are four doors. Gene points to 4A. "That's his." He points to 4B. "This is where we go in." Kai is about to see Gene the actor.

"I want a fucking backstory," Kai sasses back under his breath. "I'll be good at this, relax. Dealing with people is what I do." Hell, most of them dont't even suspect he's not human. Still, he keeps quiet and follows after Gene. His stride has shifted. It's a subtle thing, but stiffer, less laid back. He's a man on a job, and those subtle shifts sell it. He nods when he sees 4A. He grins when Gene points out where they're going. Oh yes, this is fun for him. "After you, boss man."

Gene rolls his eyes, but it is what it is. These artistic types are like this. He /is/ starting to suspect that something is up with Kai. The har part is trying to decide if he really cares. He knocks on 4B as he mutters, the guy will be back in five minutes if I timed it right." He's been following this for a while. "Someone helps him up the elevator, then leaves."

He knocks again, "Mrs Franconi?! Building maintenance!" He knocks again.

An elderly woman in a wellow and green house dress opens the door after peeking through the crack. "Yes?"

"Building maintenance." Gene looks in his file. "The Landlord sent us to take care of a mouse problem?"

She steps back. "Mice?! Oh dear. Come in. I haven't seen any mice. Are you sure?"

The elevator dings from downstairs.

Kai steps into the old woman's apartment and says, "Ma'am." He's going to let Gene do the talking. For all his frivolity, he does tone it down when the moment comes. That joie de vivre dials down a couple notches, and though he remains a fey-looking kid, he passes for a decent, maybe simple working man. He glances toward the vent and nods to himself. He ca do this.

Gene hears the two talking downstairss. He's planned it pretty well. They step in, and Mrs. Franconi closes the door. The apartment is pretty nice. Nicer than Gene's and Kai's, but nothing to write home about. "Yes, we're sure. One of your neighbors reported it. Miller here just needs to set a couple of traps in the vents. We will check it later. You have the best place for him to get in, even though you might not have seen any. We really don't want them to come in here, ma'am." He gives a flash flood of a smile.

The older woman looks confused, but she nods, "Whatever you need to do. I wish the Landlord would have called first."

"Probably just a slip. " He puts down his tool box in the front hall and points up to a large vent. He grabs a chair from the woman's kitchen, which is weird, but he's improvising. He stands on it and unscrews the metal cover and hands it to Kai. The woman looks on. "Will he fit?"

"Sure," Kai says with a close-lipped smile. Not like his usual smile at all, but still amiable. "It'll be no problem." He pats his satchel and says, "I got all I need right in here." He looks to Gene. "Could you give me a boost, boss man?" He's playing every bit the good employee.

Jumping off the chair, Gene shakes his head, "He's fine. He does this all the time. You just go about your day ma'am. We'll be done soon."

Gene gets the traps but then stops. "Well, Sam. You got some? Good job. Go lay those traps." The vent is tight. Too tight for long legged Gene, but Kai should fit pretty well.

Gene can hear the elevator and the bumping of the wheelchair to get into the apartment nextdoor. Anyone can hear the door open and close for the hall.

Gene laces his fingers and props himself against the wall.

Mrs. Franconi wanders into the kitchen. "Let me get you young men a glass of water."

Finally, not being a big guy works to Kai's advantage. He shimmies into the vent, satchel first. That makes it easier to take out the camera. Then he elbow crawls, and soon enough, his feet disappear and he is in.

Ugh, cobwebs. He brushes them aside, and he continues his crawl. It's not a long jaunt to the apartment next door. He positions himself so he can peer through the vent. "All right, where are you," he murmurs to himself, mouthing the words more than speaking them.

He doesn't have to wait long. Soon, he can see into the living room and a man walking towards the door. "See you tomorrow, Bob," and that guy leaves as another voice shouts, "Seeya! Thanks again!" There is a door shutting sound and then a grunt. A heavyset, white man in a wheelchair rolls himself over to the tv. He's mumbling to himself as he reaches over to turn it on.

Meanwhile Gene is sitting at Mrs. Franconi's kitchen table eating a cookie and having a drink of water talking about the weather.

Kai brings up the camera and fiddles with the focus to make sure he gets a good shot. Kai, cookieless, waits. And waits. This guy is never going to get up. Kai looks around the apartment, what he can see of it. He considers the man's fish tank. He has googly-eyed goldfish. Kai has a moment of ethical struggle. If this doesn't work, a fish might die. He focuses on the fish tank. First, he'll just start with a blip of water breaking the surface, hoping the noise will draw the man's attention enough to pique his curiosity. With a twist of his fingertips, the water-shaper does just that. Bloop! Goes the water, like a fish surfacing. The fish swim around, confused.

The man is changing the channels, leaning over. And then he frowns and looks over at the fish tank. "Calm down. I fed you this morning." He turns back to the tv and fiddles with the rabbit ears.

"Don't make me kill one of your fish," Kai barely says under his breath. He gives a quiet apology to the random fish he picks, a calico googly-eyed thing waddling its way toward the edge of the tank. With a more careful, directed gesture of his fingers, Kai bloops the fish out of the tank, as though it has leapt. It falls on the floor, flipflopping. 'Please please please save your fish.'

These fish cost Bob a bundle. Especially that one. He looks over his shoulder again and swear, "Oh, hell! What's got into you?" You probably didn't think such a big guy could move that fast. The guy leaps out of his chair and is on his knees trying to cup the fish in his hands. "Come on. Come on…." He picks up the fish finally and carefully puts it back in the tank.

"Now, be good." He brushes off his knees and decides to give them a bit of food to keep them busy. While he's up, he does a little stretching.

Click. Click. Click click click. Click aaaaaaand click. The fish waddles about in the water, already having forgotten what happened, because goldfish. Hey! Food! Happy fish is happy. Kai relaxes, and he takes a few more pictures as the guy while he stretches. Click click click. Once he's got the pictures, he starts to retreat. No reason to stick around now. He caps the lens and puts the camera back in his satchel. No one here but an innocent exterminator.

Bob abandons his chair now for a while. He wanders into the kitchen and disappears from view, clueless.

Gene hears the clicking. He actually hears the guy talking, too, but he won't let on that he does. But the sounds do make him smile, and he excuses himself and goes back to the vent to help Kai back down.

Kai erfs as he squirms down from the vent. There are cobwebs in his hair and dust all over his coveralls, but he's grinning. "All set," he says. "You won't have any problem with mice now." He sees the evidence of cookies, and he gives Gene a sidelong look. Oh, is this how it is? Still, he's too pleased with himself to get bent about cookies. "We're done here."

Mrs. Franconi comes to make sure the young man is able to get down. "Oh, thank you! Do you want to sit down and have a cookie and a drink of water?"

But Gene wants to get out of there. "No, thanks, Mrs. Franconi," he says on Kai's behalf. "He's allergic to peanutbutter, and we have to get going. Thanks for your help, ma'am, and god bless!"

He tries to usher Kai out of the apartment, grabbing the toolbox on the way out.

Kai opens his mouth, about to say he would very much like a cookie, thank you, but Gene cuts that off at the pass. Gene gets side-eye. He's lucky Kai's committed to the bit. He's ushered, and he calls back, "God bless, ma'am." He doesn't specify which god. Once they're in the elevator, Kai says, "I've got him on his feet, stretching, walking like a man chasing down a fish." Which might make sense when the pictures are developed.

Gene slaps Kai on the back. "Good work, kid. I'll develop the film when I get back home." He grins and steps out of the elevator and heads to the car. Once he is out of his overalls, he reaches to his wallet and pulls it out. Then he sits in the driver's seat of the car and looks over to Kai whenever he gets in. He pulls out two crisp twenty dollar bills. Then he hesitates and adds a $5 bill. "Here buy some cookies. Buy some for me too. And thank me. That old lady can't bake for shit." He starts up the car. "Of course, if the pictures don't turnout, we're doing this again tomorrow."

Kai's eyes widen at the extra fiver, and he says, "I can buy a lot of cookies." He tucks the money in his wallet and pockets it. "And I will," he vows. Then he grins that broad, toothy grin of his, no longer acting the part of Sam Miller. "That was fun. You'll get your pay, too, because he wasn't even subtle." And the photographs will have some artistic merit, though that's probably not as important to Gene as it is to Kai.

Gene grins. He too thinks it was fun, though he won't say that aloud. "Buy them from the bakery two blocks down. The oatmeal raisin is good. Once I get paid I have to get me some new shoes." He glances at Kai and notes the change back to his original personality. "That asshole. I was on to him from the beginning. But you did good. Maybe I'll use you again. What are you going to do with the money? " They will arrive home pretty soon, and Gene circles around looking for a parking place.

"I'm going to buy art supplies with it," Kai says. "I'm doing a project and I hope to have an art show in a few months, but I need new pencils and some good drawing paper, and some matte placards to use as frames. It's going to be classy." He nods to himself, quite self-assured of this. "It'll be a mutant-rights theme." He glances aside at Gene to see how that its with him.

Gene is nodding along as he parks. Then when Kai mentions that, he raises his eyebrows slightly. "Whatever floats your boat, pal." Artists… He gets out, takes the camera and lights up. "Seeya, kid. I'll let you see these when I have them developed." He heads up to his apartment and his makeshift bathroom/darkroom.

Kai gets out, shoulders his satchel, and says, "See you, Gene. Cool, if there are any good ones, I want a copy." For his portfolio, of course. Subject: insurance fraudster getting busted. He heads up to his apartment, taking the stairs with boundless energy. Kevin can be heard barking, and Kai singsongs at him "Kevin! I'm home! Who's a good puppy dog?" Just another fun jaunt for the elf.

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