10 Weeks

Participants:

delilah_icon.gif francois_icon.gif teo3_icon.gif

Scene Title 10 Weeks
Synopsis 'Congratulations,' or 'FĂ©licitations'; neither quite capture the… magnitude of Delilah's news.
Date April 20, 2010

The West Village — Maison d'Allegre


Delilah never expected the winter to last this long; but she did figure out soon after coming back to the real world that it is most likely someone causing it. While that makes her feel somewhat better, the fact stands that there is too much seasonal discord for her tastes. Delilah is very much a Spring person!

As for her to-do list, there was one thing on the very top- in bold- asterisked- triple underlined- italicized- that she had to do above all else.

It is why, despite the corridors of snowfall, that Delilah has found herself wandering closer to the brownstone stoop of Francois Allegre sometime in the late afternoon. Boots packed with hard snow, and hooded head covered in dandruffy white, the young woman makes her way to the doctor's home in search of him- so that she may be able to find one Teodoro for reasons muchly obvious to only a few persons. Her colorful scarf contrasts the thick layers of long coats on her, sticking out like a dog's tongue from under her fuzzy hood. It takes her a good minute to squeak her way up the stoop before being able to lift a fist and knock heavy on the door- she feels like Ralphie's little brother out here! Dee watches the door hopefully from above the scarf 'round her head.

The house is quiet for the hour, or seems to be from where Delilah stands — no drifting strains of television dialogue, no radio, no chatter — but before she can imagine that it's completely empty of people, there's the telltale thump thump thump of someone having gotten the movitation to come downstairs and answer the door. Obligatory paused as a peephole is glanced through, before the door squeaks open. It's not warm enough inside for it to come drifting out beckoningly, but it's cold enough for Francois to feel it when he swings the door open partway.

"Bonjour, Delilah," he says, tone a mix of friendly and surprised, stepping back to allow her to come in with something like European hospitality and pragmatism for how cold it is outside, encouraged with a brisk, "Come in," accompanied with a wave of his left hand.

By the sight of him, Francois has had some interesting times since they last saw each other. The fading remains of a stitched gash high up his temple is still mottled with healing bruises, smaller marks on the way to fading, and for a guy who had a building fall on him, he could probably look worse. An ash-grey sweater swallows up his torso warmly, untucked over blue jeans and feet clad only in socks — no intention to go out today, and he has the look of someone who quickly threw on clothing just a moment ago.

Oh, oh, let me in! Delilah briefly feels like the pig with the wooden home running to the brick one, antsing carefully into the foyer with her boots full of ice and snow. They leave an immediate puddle of chunky bits on his inside mat, as does her outer coat. A squeak of vocal alarm comes from behind her scarf. "Oh my god it is so cold outside-"

"Oh no, your forehead, are you okay?" This is less muffled, as she has pulled down the scarf from over her mouth, brown eyes now taking in Francois from head to toe. "For being snowed in, everyone seems to be getting beat up a lot." The redheaded girl observes out loud, pulling down her hood next. Her cheeks are flushed and splotchy red-pink, as are her ears under her hair. "I'm not disturbing you, am I?"

Shutting the door once Delilah has darted inside, it's then that the subtle warmth of the house finally factors in, settling slowly into bone-deep chills. Francois doesn't bother with the locks, raising a hand that bears much older looking injuries up to touch along the injury, smile small as if secretly amused by her words. He shares a moment later; "It was snow, actually. It collapsed a roof," he loosesly gesticulates with his hands, fingertips together before buckling this pantomimed structure, "and I happened to be underneath it. I am lucky, all things considered.

"Non, you are not disturbing me, I was only reading. Come, you can take off your coat." Moving to help her out of the overcoat, Francois pays no mind to the way it drips sleet and melted ice onto hard wood — so long as it stays within the first few feet of his home, we're all good. "I'm glad to see you have your health back, also."

Thinned by a stretch of physical distance and a few reverberating layers of floor, carpeting, ceiling plaster and furniture, there's the noise of a surreptitious entry in session and failing, as such, to be entirely surreptitious. A window rattles, shouldered open on the curve of Teo's neck, and his boot clops floorboards with a watery scratch and skid of rubber with grain.

He falls, but only slightly.

Hitches himself upright, the next moment, flattening his clothes using his hands, with all the haste of a cat. Finds his quasi-romantic, mostly— suicidally reckless surprise macaque drop-in short one Juliet. That particular disappointment is greeted with no audible soundtrack. Not that Francois or Delilah can hear, anyway. The relative quietude of distant wind and the brownstone's slow settling retakes its reign above their heads.

Delilah has enough mind to try and keep her mess right inside the door, allowing Francois to help her out of the heavier coat and leave her in the thinner one, which she at least unbuttons to be able to properly feel the warmth of the inside. "Yeah, you are- that shelter roof that fell in killed a lotta people. Coulda been like that…" One hand lifts up to fix the hair framing her face, neatly trimmed nails running down to tame it effectively. She smiles brightly, the expression unquestionably over the whole of her face. "Thank you for helping me while you did. I owe everyone some gratitude for helping take care of me, don't I?"

Delilah tilts her head at the bits of ambient noise from upstairs, squinting a moment at the ceiling of the foyer, then back to Francois. "I also came by looking for something- er, someone, I guess- do you know where I can find Teodoro lately? I asked at Rourke's when I went for Samson, and I was told to ask you."

"Uhh." This is Francois' initial response, eyeing the ceiling as if it might yield him answers as to what that noise was. If he was alone, embarrassing paranoia might slam home and he'd be mission impossibling up the stairs right this moment, but Delilah's presence keeps him in check, as does a conscious awareness of how unarmed he is and how much his shoulder hurts. "Oui, lately? That is— "

Uncertainty crops up at the same time as dropping his attention back down to her. "That is, he has been here a lot. He came down with the virus himself — we were wrong about his immunity, but I think he is in the, ah, home stretch, one hopes. He is not home right now, though." Except he is, quite suddenly, and he gives her a half-smile. "Or was not.

"Teo?" This, is called up the stairs after a couple of steps towards the base of it, leaning against the railing. "Delilah is here. She used the front door."

Teo fumbles around the original snappy one-liner he was going to open with. 'Juliet, you missed my fucking balcony entrance,' or something along those lines. Something eloquent, suitably charming. He's left pausing at the door, halfway into the stoop he'd hooked his torso into to yank off his boots, surprise hurdling nonsense syllables over his tongue, scarred and bearded jaw locked in place, craning his shaggy head down the hallway to the staircase.

"C'est moi," he answers, first. A relevant soupcon of information, elaborated on more thoroughly by the drubbing of his socked feet coming down the steps the next moment. Boots clutched int he fingers of his hands, their leathery heels rapping one against the other. Il sont arrivee. "Est-elle bien? Interromps-je?

"Hey, Li." The last as he spills into view, hood bobbing behind, a visible thinning of abrasion on the fabric over his knee. It's like he forgot he has a bullet-hole clogged with stitches that still might tear.

Delilah really isn't sure what to think until he tells her about Teo getting sick, to which her reactions cycle through shock, concern, and relief respectively. A little bit of a laugh at the end, though, as Francois moves to call up the stairs. "Was it bad too? Do you think I did it to him?" Crap. It just occurred to her that she very well may have. When Teo speaks from upstairs, there is a sudden coiling of her insides. Not literally, mind you- that kind of sudden butterflies that you thought that just maybe you'd been above getting. They sprout with his voice, and get progressively more whirlwind when the young Sicilian tromps down the stairs. Dee looks up at him, but either at his shoulder, maybe his collarbone, his mouth- something that isn't quite eye contact.

"Hi."

She pauses to think, giving the three of them a passing second of quiet.

"I gotta talk to you about something, you got a minute?" Or a week?

The doctor's opinion on whether Delilah infected Teo with Evo germs if a vastly eloquent if sympathetic shrug. Francois doesn't know. Maybe. Possibly. It is what it is and he probably should have caught on before stumbling upon his lover playing the air piano and talking to empty space. "Je crois," is equally shruggy a response as Teo appears on the staircase, but from there, the Frenchman is quiet as Delilah delivers her query. Already standing aside, he leans back a little on his heels as if in silent offer of leaving them with the something the woman trudged through snow to talk about.
The offer is not taken. Possibly, Teo is bad at forming accurate mental pictures of the world outside himself, occasionally, as long as there are no nuclear bombs, girl-healer self-appointed messiahs, or dead children involved. Life and death, he's reasonably good at. Life itself, on the other hand. "Si.

"Of course, Li. It's good to see you on your feet again." He stops on the second stair and slings his boots under the bannister, dropping them down, down onto the floor. Seats himself there on the lacquered breadth of the step, with all of the expectation that he might have once brought to a classroom chair, once. He swivels his knees out, sets elbows upon them. His retriever-cub profile is momentarily diverted toward Francois, checking either belatedly or too soon to see how the Frenchman has fared in his absence, but his studying's silent for the moment before his smile quirks the one, mobile corner of his mouth.

Then Delilah has his unequivocal attention, then.

Delilah offers Francois- such a gracious host so far- a small smile after she asks Teo for a moment of his time. Meanwhile, she considers where Teo has put himself a few moments, mouth half open to say something. Maybe it's best if- "Could we- maybe go in and sit down somewhere? It's important." Apparently too important to talk about with him sitting like she is waving a ruler at a chalkboard.

There is a glance to Teo, a tick up of an eyebrow as if to suggest that the Sicilian must be in ~trouble~ before Francois is sliding away and off into the mainer portion of the first floor. "Do. You must be freezing still, you should sit." His right hand makes an abortive movement towards where a stretch of rug plays audience to a comfortable set of living room furniture— he only started going around without his sling this morning— with half-naked shelves on the walls, the other half bearing the beginnings of a book collection.

One of those things you can't actually own if you're a wanderer, which he has been up until this point. Either being a good homemaker and host was some age old dusty instinct he's learned again like riding a bike, or he's seen enough of them to copy.

Teo acquiesces to move, after a momentary hitch of interruption spent trying to use the force of his stare to press Francois' eyebrow down out of that tic and ergo magically reverse the ominous implication there. It's too late for that, of course. The Sicilian has already begun to wonder, his imagination taking fleecy flight, even as he assents to peel himself off the stairs and go trundling in Delilah and Frnacois' wake. Eyeing the back of her ginger head, wary, and resisting the urge to aim a backward glance out at the front door.

Delilah offers Francois- such a gracious host so far- a small smile after she asks Teo for a moment of his time. Meanwhile, she considers where Teo has put himself a few moments, mouth half open to say something. Maybe it's best if- "Could we- maybe go in and sit down somewhere? It's important." Apparently too important to talk about with him sitting like she is waving a ruler at a chalkboard.

There is a glance to Teo, a tick up of an eyebrow as if to suggest that the Sicilian must be in ~trouble~ before Francois is sliding away and off into the mainer portion of the first floor. "Do. You must be freezing still, you should sit." His right hand makes an abortive movement towards where a stretch of rug plays audience to a comfortable set of living room furniture— he only started going around without his sling this morning— with half-naked shelves on the walls, the other half bearing the beginnings of a book collection.

One of those things you can't actually own if you're a wanderer, which he has been up until this point. Either being a good homemaker and host was some age old dusty instinct he's learned again like riding a bike, or he's seen enough of them to copy.

Teo acquiesces to move, after a momentary hitch of interruption spent trying to use the force of his stare to press Francois' eyebrow down out of that tic and ergo magically reverse the ominous implication there. It's too late for that, of course. The Sicilian has already begun to wonder, his imagination taking fleecy flight, even as he assents to peel himself off the stairs and go trundling in Delilah and Francois' wake. Eyeing the back of her ginger head, wary, and resisting the urge to aim a backward glance out at the front door.

There is nobody else coming, and if Teo tried to make a break for it Delilah might very well chase him down, ice be damned. Francois might just watch that unfold if it happened. Delilah smiles a thank you to the Frenchman, wandering into the living room and casing the place's details before sitting herself down comfortably. She tucks her legs instead of crossing them, and her fingers interlace on her lap as she waits for at least Teodoro to have a seat as well. Though if he wants to stand and stare, bewildered at her various new behaviors, that's perfectly fine too. He's probably never seen her purposely avoid looking directly at him, for instance; Delilah has always been very much right there in his face all the time when she sees him. Now, it's not quite shame- but there's something about today that has her at an obvious unease.

"Anyways- this is important- undivided attention, please." Delilah says after a breath, finally meeting his gaze and gesturing between them like this could almost be that teacher-pupil instance. Then again, it kind of seems like she may be stalling.

Finding a comfortable and familiar perch on the arm of an adjacent couch, Francois is mostly a woodwork-fading silent figure in this scenario, green eyes mostly reflected mild curiousity. That, and watching for cues wherein it might be better to return to what he was doing upstairs, betrayed to Teo just prior in dented bedsheet covers and a journal left splayed face down upon them, a pen rolled into the wrinkles. For now, he lingers, flicking a final glance to Teo before he gives his undivided attention to the lady requiring it.

Teo's undivided attention is served up on a silver platter, even, however directonally confused that particular combination of analogies happens to be. Consuming information, or his attention being the thing available for consumption. He's peering somewhat large-eyed at the girl, first, then alternately squinting, long before he actually sits himself down on the couch, the opposite end of the one Delilah picked to enthrone herself on. Not even the prickling fade of cold on his extremities is allowed much in the way of recognition under the circumstances. She doesn't look angry. "Si?"

Delilah doesn't seem to mind Francois as the audience; in truth, she likes that he is there in the room, if only because it makes it easier on her if this goes anywhere wrong. There'll be someone there to act as an unintentional buffer zone if he stays! Not that Dee is apt to use others as shields, metaphorically or not. Just in case. She brings a hand to her hair again, anxiously smoothing it back again while she stares back at Teo sitting there on the couch with her, only the middle cushion separating the two. Delilah can feel her lips clenching flat in a subconscious effort to not say anything- but she knows she has to now, there are no u-turns allowed in the middle of this interstate. This was so much easier in her imagination.

"I'm ten weeks pregnant."

He's a good audience, is Francois — even reacts, a soft sound at the back of his throat to communicate some degree of surprise, mouth opening like he might say something but then does not, teeth back together in a soundless click. Should she glance his way, though, there's a smile waiting for her — vaguely uncertain, true, but as far as Francois knows, this is good news and communicated as such. Teo doesn't remain a blur in his periphery for very long before the Frenchman is glancing to what of the younger man's profile he can see.

While Teo is characteristically fair, this particular revelation has his coloring plummeting into anemic shock. Some degree of surprise is applicable also, if you like wanton underexaggeration; he's staring at Delilah with his eyes larger in his head than they had been a minute ago, before his brows come into a knit so sharply and suddenly it's like his Maker had been startled into yanking the thread into a wrinkly bunch, halfway through stitching that particular seam on his person. His eyes close and open again, off-blond lashes raking the air once.

"Oh," he says, helpfully. There's a modicum of uncertainty in his voice, curiosity, the wobbling fulcrum of stereotypically awkward male ineptitude somewhere involved in this interpersonal balancing act. After a moment, he scrapes the blunt of his fingernails across his beard, remembers to look sidelong at Francois, then back at the Englishwoman. "Congratulations, tesoro."

Delilah doesn't have the peace of mind to look off towards Francois, but somehow she has the feeling that he is more fond of the admission than not. While she has that little pip of thought on her surroundings, her eyes remain fixed on Teodoro, and her ears are suddenly being flooded with the mumbling thumps of her heart trying to leap up out of her throat. The look that rambles awkwardly over his face in response is pretty much what she expected, though his words give her pause. Delilah lifts her brows a smidge and tilts her head in the same way, hesitating to say this next bit just in case he did fully understand and she is making him seem like a fool.

"…It's yours, you know." This isn't simply a case of offering a congratulations. Well- it could be- if he did parse that, and is being detached on purpose- there you go.

It—

—it. Teo's straightening where he's sitting, abruptly, the true revelation settling in with surprise of more appropriate… magnitude. The scarred gap in his cheek shifts, stretches slightly, like the membraneous edge of an amoeba underneath a microscope as it navigates around unfamiliar prey. No, he didn't know. How does she know? Well, obviously there are ways to know, but they mostly involve not sleeping with anybody else during the appropriate stretch of calendar and he could have sworn he'd made a point of being a remorseless bastard in Magnes' direction specifically for this reason.

This time, he doesn't look at Francois. He's familiar with the Frenchman's resilience of spirit. Doubts that he needs as much reassurance now as Delilah seems to. He doesn't have to be at his clearest frame of mind to be able to read the mess of uncomfortable sentment tangling the lines of her face and posture.

"Am I?" There's something absurdly familiar about this situation. A bar traded in for a brownstone, a small host of time-traveling jailbirds replaced by Francois, a child diminished to an embryo's size and quantity of cells. Less fear, though, oddly enough. There are a host of things he could say, possibly should; there isn't exactly a script or anything as tawdry by that, but honor comes with forerunners and encoding too. Instead, he says, blankly, "You mean 'he.'"

Admittedly, there was some math happening in during Delilah is finished with part two of the revelations, Francois curling his toes and wondering how long ago ten weeks ago was. Time is malleable, even when time travel isn't involved. He doesn't feel bad about doing math during this moment, of course — Delilah is splitting open her soul a fraction with her focus set on the appropriate individual in the room and Teo is right in his instincts, and so long as he doesn't count on his fingers—

Said fingers do move, a little. Teo isn't very far away, having plunked down on the end of the couch nearest the corner that Francois occupies, and there aren't a lot of inches to cover before he can ease knuckles in a feather-light touch the nape of the Sicilian's neck, Francois' eyes hooded as he regards him from his higher perch. Regards them both.

So when he says the inevitable (French), "FĂ©licitations," it is to both youths, unavoidably.

Delilah's fingers knitted in her lap are white at the knuckles, in an almost protective place in front of her stomach. Uncomfortable is the understatement of the year, perhaps. She feels as if one mistake here could pull her apart like a ratty little teddy bear. Doubt, worry, anxiety overall-

There is no fear in her, unsurprisingly. She is not afraid. Only concerned.

Delilah is hoping for something along the lines of acceptance, however, and it comes from Francois first. Her brown eyes shift up to glance at him, and back to Teodoro. A small smile finds her lips when she looks at him now, eyebrows bent slightly and her eyes looking him over with mild suspicion, if something notable. Dee only ever had a boy's name off-handedly, but even then, Teo seems so sure of himself. "…Sounds kinda like you know what you want to happen." There is a tiny smile still on her face, but her posture and voice are still molten with the same unsteadiness and uncomfortable measure as it had in it before.

If Teo could do small smiles, he might have been, at the moment. As it is, the fish-hook leer at the maimed side of his head gets in the way of that preferred presentation. He rarely gets his preference in presentation, these days. Under the piano-key octave of Francois' falling fingers, the muscles in his neck are stiff from tension, but his head tics forward fractionally, stiffly acknowledging either that gesture or the information imparted by the girl across. "S'pose— that's true. Not that I'd mind. Not that I could," he amends.

"What do you want to happen?" he asks, finally, perhaps the more relevant question, as far as he's concerned. Teo's gaze describes a spider-legged skitter on the wall, before abruptly snapping back to Delilah. He straightens slightly. "Is the important question, I think. Mia madre would think so. Do you know yet?"

Francois fidgets with off-blonde hair and sweater collars for as long as he feels like he can get away with it, which isn't for too long — when Teo's back straightens, he steals his hand back and laces both together on his knee, the knit of fingers awkward and probably not as comfortable as it looks. He thinks Teo should be hugging Delilah, probably, and a more serene smile quirks more towards amusement. "I think that might be why she is here, oui," he points out, pushing himself off the arm of the couch so as to descend to sit on the proper seat, hooking an arm over his prior perch.

There is a moment where Delilah is tugging at her lip with her top teeth, but it sets aside when he asks what she wants to happen. It is one step closer to Teo being cultured about it- so maybe that is good, right? Her breath leaves her when he mentions his mother, and Delilah can feel her face flushing and her cheeks rising to smile somewhat wider. It keeps going when Francois makes his astute observation for Teo.

"I want to be a mother." She answers, looking a dose more serene, though her hands remain tangled in each other. "We did what we were supposed to, but this still happened- if that doesn't mean that I was meant to do this, I dunno what does." Her palms turn up, fingers still laced and shoulders giving off the smallest of quivers. Her eyes meet with his again at length now, While she may have been avoiding doing this minutes ago, what Delilah says has such poignancy that she has to look at him with that familiar, fierce glint in her eyes.

"You say that like my advice has no practical value to this situation," Teo points out, and there's finally more sanguine sentiment sifting through the contours of his scarred face, a brief and playful parody of a grimace, before his features smoothe back to neutral. His mouth thins to a line, briefly, with the exception of the one corner.

It isn't grim. He may have failed in the hugging department— which he so often does, where his girl friends and even his girlfriends are concerned, but the wintry, too-pale ice that characterizes the color of his irises is softening from his expression.

"Okay." Underneath the multitude layers of jackets, sweaters, shirts, this cavalcade of clothes that both of his companions know he's hiding behind, by now, he straightens his frame, squares his shoulders. "I'll do anything I can to help. The— um, doctor visits. Money, of course and I don't mean that in a douchebaggy way. Anything I can do: just say the word."

Setting his chin into his palm, Francois slides his attention from Delilah to Teo as the younger man talks, corners of his mouth hooking up again in a halfway smile. "Use many words," he suggests, settling back into the sofa and wondering if his tone was light enough to carry that phrase. Doesn't matter, because the brighter smile cuts the sentiment off and away like a fish released from the line. "I say that because your advice has practical value to this situation, mon ami, or that does.

"Would you like something to drink, Delilah? Before everyone tells you you're not allowed to."

When Dee's fingers unwind, it is to draw a thumb over the corner of her eye, the brown stare having begun to blink up a storm to get rid of their mist. She knows that Teo has some less than reasonable aptitude when it comes to affection, so she's resigned to the fact that sometimes she just has to do it for him. Stuck between wanting to smile and just wanting to talk, Delilah moves herself across the cushion separating them to grab Teo around his shoulders and squeeze him close. He said 'anything'.

Francois can last a few more moments without a response, she's certain. Delilah is suddenly clinging to the Sicilian, a shiver still nervous in her spine as she plays the koala to his tree.

This would probably fall into the category of 'anything.' Teo's scarred head protrudes from above the toad girl's shoulder, one half of some weird mythological creature looking faintly quizzical, first.

Embarrassed, the next.

His arms close around her ribs, doubling over at the elbow, musculature and cold-stiffened sleeves contracting to squelch the air out of her lungs with rough, puppish affection that's carefully designed to disguise the care and inherent terror at the core of the gesture. His eyes turn over her shoulder, seeking Francois' eyes out from across the distance of couch cushions. He doesn't blink in doing so, doesn't cringe, lets no reserve or bracing-of-himself show on his face, but that, too, requires the choreography of simple courage. Are you okay with—?

Fortunately for Francois, no one is going to tell him he can't drink, except during painkillers. He goes back into silent-audience mode when the two go to hug, and so there is some guardedness when Teo does glance his way. Though his shoulders do not physically lift and fall in a shrug, his silent response is akin to the one he gave Delilah when they were in the foyer—
Maybe. Possibly. Francois doesn't know.

He stands a moment later, the quiet squeak of the furniture under him giving away his movements after he allows for a flicker of a smile for Teo instead of both of them. Moves off for the kitchen on quiet feet at more of a meander than determined pace. It's just over there, relatively open space that he crosses easily.

Delilah's puppish affection is a little more raw; she noses down into the cloth and skin of his neck, seemingly determined to squeeze something out of him. She's not sure what, though. It's not like this is a situation he's used to, after all. It might be a little early to expect the news to have sunken in. After a good long moment of doggedly squishing herself into his coat, she tilts herself away again, her hands finding steadiness in touch and roaming down Teo's arms to pluck up his hands. The gesture is something excited, and her grip is not quite ready to let go of contact with him. Delilah's expression is hopeful, under the layer of a more contented glow- not to say that her nervousness about this is gone- it has just been smoothed down like some ruffled feathers.

"I'll do this right. I promise." She isn't sure what that means even when she says it- just that she wants him to know that this is brand new to her too. It's going to be interesting, to say the least. At long last, Delilah does glance after Francois. "…Water'd be fine."


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