Favorite Adventures


delilah2_icon.gif squeaks_icon.gif



Scene Title Favorite Adventures
Synopsis A library is for reading— and sharing!
Date January 3, 2019

Brooklyn Public Library

Though it isn't reading hour or anything similar at the library, Delilah still brings her son here and still reads to him; these days she tries to have him read parts himself. The two are piled in a corner on the second floor amidst some beanbag chairs, Walter sprawled out beside his mother as she leans on an elbow to turn the page of a book he holds up. Her narration lends some levity to the story they're almost finished with.

""That'd be a paradox," said the latter. "Time doesn't permit that sort of mess-a man meeting himself. When such occasions threaten, Time steps aside. Like an airplane hitting an air pocket. You felt the Machine jump just before we stopped? That was us passing ourselves on the way back to the Future. We saw nothing. There's no way of telling if this expedition was a success, if we got our monster, or whether all of us - meaning you, Mr. Eckels - got out alive."."

There is an audible gasp out of the boy beside her, who looks down again at the paragraph and up to her a second time. "Wait, what? What?! But- -"

""Eckels smiled palely. "Cut that," said Travis sharply. "Everyone on his feet!" They were ready to leave the Machine."

Delilah looks down at her side when Walter squirms, and those vulpine blue eyes bug back at her uncomfortably. She tips her head. "Do you want me to stop?" Walter makes an inconclusive noise akin to a 'ennnnnnh'.

"Can… can we do it over next time?"

"'Course, little man." Walter's head gets a smushy kiss, and he wiggles out from under it.

"I'm not scared or nothin'…"

As the story is interrupted, a pair of blue eyes topped with a mop of red hair peeks around one of the stacks of books. Not at normal standing level and even too close to the floor to be a child standing, but closer to sitting on the floor level. Probably because she was listening too. Which maybe makes sense, since the owner of those eyes and hair is a familiar face, even if half of that face is hidden at first. Squeaks is in the library often enough that, even if someone doesn’t know her by name, they know her on sight. And Delilah has seen the young teenager around the Safe Zone more than a few times.

Seeing the cause for the break in the storytelling, the young teenager slinks back so she’s hidden again by the books and shelf. “It’s kind of a sad story,” she says out loud, maybe just enough for Walter and Dee to hear. “Scary too.”

"I believe you." Delilah ruffles his hair. She doesn't sound convinced. She probably warned him that it got intense- - surely he's just intimidated. Surely. Walter spies Squeaks first by virtue of being approximately eye level to her. She hides away back behind the shelf before he can say something, and by then she is adding her two bits.

"Oh, hell, I didn't even hear you back there- -" The older redhead laughs when she jumps a little at the voice, having missed spotting Squeaks. She was marking the place that they got to this time.

"Hi! Mom, she's around all the time so you should just expect her to be hiding." Walter says this as if it's something obvious that Dee should know already. She wraps her arm around his head in response, her ruffling digging down with a knuckle. Oh, hush.

"Squeaks, right? I haven't seen you face to face in a while…" With her son wiggling around to get out of the noogie, Delilah goes on, unaffected. "Heard that you got in with the Lighthouse bunch and Gillian? I'm glad you found someone!"

“All the time,” Squeaks’ voice echoes from behind the stack of books. Because it’s rare that she isn’t at the library for at least some hours out of the day. She turns again right after saying so and leans around the books so she can look at the pair again. “Hi,” goes to Walter, along with a quick grin.

“Yes.” That’s to Delilah. The girl breaks off to scoot herself around the bookstacks a little, so she can see the family pair better without leaning over. “We watch out for each other. Like family. And Gillian is my mom now. For reals and forever. I have a bedroom and there’s school and everything.” Her elbows rest against her knees, and her hands cradle her chin.

The news that Gillian made it more official gets a small laugh of joy. Delilah finally gets her arm wrested away, and Walter tumbles forward onto another part of the beanbag to get out of reach. Dee just stays comfortable where she is, giving the boy a strange look. Okay, ninja kid.

"I'm so happy for you. I thought about you so much after I met you, you know? I hated that you'd ended up so alone… even if you clearly learned to take care of yourself." While she offers sympathy, Delilah still acknowledges that Squeaks is a survivor.

"Where do you go to school? I started at Ms. Peyton's school this year and it's awesome. Do you go there? Have I missed you?!" Walter's questions get increasingly more alarmed, and he thumps down onto the floor across from the teenager. Matching set! "But I guess you're all sneaky so maybe I have… I seen you here though. And I think Jolene said something about you and Ms. Gillian…" The ginger boy makes a thoughtful sort of noise, expression pensieve.

“It’s good now. It was okay in the Underneath, but houses are better.” Especially houses that have people in them that want you. Squeaks tilts her head so she can look at Walter, but seems good with having him sit beside her. His growing alarm about school is something else, though, and confusion mixes with her own sinking concern.

“Um… I don’t think I’m supposed to go there?” It’s definitely a question, one that she even aims at Dee even though she’s not sure the woman would have the answer. “I have books and do school at home. Or here.” Usually here, because things actually get finished then. “Jolene said something… probably that I live with them now? Maybe… Maybe that I’m being adopted.” She doesn’t know for sure what Lene would say, since she doesn’t see her except sometimes.

"Ohh. Before we came here Mom home schooled me too." Delilah doesn't say that it was because there wasn't really one for him to go to. He provides the answer to Squeaks' concern, inadvertently. "She said you live there with them now. That sure sounds like adopted to me."

His look to Dee gets a nod from her, followed up with a small laugh. "Yes, it does. Even without all the paperwork. But it's always nice to have that tangible thing, yeah?" This is for Squeaks. "I talk with Gilly more than Lene, but she's said nothing but good things about you. She looked after all those kids and they sort of… got further away during everything. I think she may need you just as much as you need her."

"Awwwwww~." interjects Walter.

After making an “oh” at Walter’s explanation, Squeaks nods. “Yes. There's a lawyer and paperwork and everything.” It's really for reals. She makes a short, shy grin at Dee and pushes her shoulders up a little bit.

“She's my mom,” the young teen says, because that should explain it all. That's how it's meant to be. But Walter’s sounds draw a curious look at him and then his own mom.

Delilah gives her son a slightly flat look for his sounds- - hey, this is serious!- - but she can't stay that way for long. Squeaks' words have her grinning again, brown eyes crinkling happily. "Gillian's a good mom. You have excellent taste. How have you been otherwise? Staying mostly out of trouble, I hope. I know how the Kids are."

"I like your origin story, Squeaks. It's not as exciting as radioactive spiders or magic rings, but it's pretty good anyway." Blue eyes widen up to the teenager as Walter approves. He scoots closer to look around the shelf at whatever material she was into. "What're you reading about? Do you like comic books too? Your mom tries to get me to borrow chapter books more… I'm not very good with the big ones yet so I like the books with a bunch of stories in them."

Squeaks is getting evaluated but also receiving the brunt of curiosity. At least he's friendly about it?

“The best mom.” But then Squeaks might be bias, only because she doesn’t know Delilah as a mom. “But you’re good too,” she adds after a second. She’s pretty sure of that. Walter seems happy after all. She side-eyes the boy when he scoots closer, curious herself with his friendliness. And his questions.

“Origin story?” That’s kind of a new one to her. The teenager follows to see where he’s looking, eyeballing the shelf like there’s answers in it somewhere. “I read everything. Comic books and chapter books and science books, history books… But I like reading. I learned lots that way, before.” The books behind her are the sorts of early chapter books, simple things but still great stories. But the one that she’s got, with arms covering it mostly, doesn’t seem like it’d be found on the shelves behind her.

“My favorites are the adventures. Like… like Treasure Island. It’s got pirates.”

Clearly Walter thinks that she should read more comic books. Origin story! It makes sense!

"I like science and history books too. I read a book about black holes once, they sound primal." Unless you fall into one, anyway. Walter hums, looking to Squeaks, considering her, then the book she holds as if he could clue her into showing him.

"Hah, I won't hold it against you if you withhold my mom stamp of approval." Delilah is okay with being second if it means Gilly is first. "Don't crowd her." She asides to Walter, who examines his nearness and scoots a few inches back.

"I haven't read that one yet." He starts. One hand scrubs in ginger hair, I've seen the movie though!… the puppet one."

“There’s a movie with puppets?” That’s something to think about. Squeaks looks down at the book she’s claimed then turns it so Walter can see the cover. The Count of Monte Cristo scrawls in calligraphy writing across the cover.

“I never read about black holes yet.” But maybe that’ll end up on her list eventually. “I read about ghosts a lot. And genetics things. All kinds of stuff.”

"Yep! More than one! We have a bunch of tapes at home." Walter informs Squeaks, peeking at the book cover and pausing as he mouths the second half of the name. Must be a place? Delilah sneaks a look too, as Squeaks shows him.

"That's the same guy that wrote The Three Musketeers. We've read the short version, remember?" She grins at Walter, who perks up at the name.

"I love that one." He looks to Squeaks with a small furrow in his brow, insistent on the quality, it seems. "Ghosts, huh? And we learned about Genetics a little bit this year. Like how I got freckles from Mom and stuff but I have blue eyes cause my Dad has blue." For a moment Walter looks as if he might comment on Squeaks' colors, but he doesn't.

“I liked Three Musketeers too.” That’s more to Dee than Walter, and Squeaks doesn't go into explaining her reading about genetics either. Maybe it's just a fascination. Ghosts, though…

“I read all kinds of things on ghosts, because we were ghost hunting. Lance and Joe saw this kid William, only he was a ghost.” It's really exciting, and the teenager leans toward Walter just a little bit. “We never saw him when I was with them. But I think it's because we kept going in the daytime and not the night. So maybe he's still around.”

"You and the guys went ghost hunting?" Walter sounds way more excited than his mom looks, given that she would rather not at all see him getting into trouble and gosh that sounds like trouble- - Dee stiffens accordingly but she doesn't interrupt just yet. "I didn't know you could make friends with ghosts." Is the boy's next addition. "Maybe he is, I hope you get to see him. Can ghosts talk to you? Or just move things? Or is it like in Ghostbusters and they have all sorts of powers?"

"I bet there's all kinds of ghosts around." As profound as this fact is, Walter says it with the innocence of a kid.

“Joe and Lance saw him first,” Squeaks explains, though her excitement for the subject shows. She folds her legs underneath, so she's sitting on her knees, the book set aside for now. “I never saw him, and I don't think he said anything to them.” The last word drags out a little bit as she thinks about that fact. “We never found him again.”

The details of what they did find are left out. Probably for Dee’s sanity. And maybe because she's decided that the Underneath isn't for people without experience being down there.

“Probably!” The young teen easily agrees that there could be a lot of ghosts around. “Joe and I went to this old tower on Staten Island. It looked like no one was there for a hundred years. It wasn't spooky though, just way dusty.”

Delilah watches the two interact with a look of approval, quietly glad that Squeaks is foremost a friendly kid. Sometimes Walter can be a tad too curious.

"Maybe next time you see the guys you can ask them about it." She adds, chuckling when the boy seems to perk up.

"Yeah definitely!" Walter looks between his mother and Squeaks. "Could I go next time?" The question makes Delilah bite her lip. And there we are, she knew this was coming, especially considering how much he liked the haunted houses during Halloween.

"Well… Stuff like that is for big kids." Even if they shouldn't go either - but she did far worse and more dangerous things. "And you are absolutely not going to Staten Island. If you want to explore we can always go to Park Slope or something? Lots of stuff there."

Walter still seems heartbroken despite the compromise.

“There’s… um… Some bad people are on Staten Island.” Squeaks’ own eyes dart between Walter and Dee, looking vaguely uncomfortable. “Really, very bad people. And in the Underneath too.” Not just rats, which she doesn’t mention, but also bad people. “I don’t really go there anymore anyway. Definitely not by myself.”

After a few seconds she nods at the mention of Park Slope. It’s not safe there either, but it’s definitely //safer than other places. “There’s animals there. It’s like a jungle. I’m going exploring there when it’s not so cold outside.”

Delilah gestures to Squeaks when she backs her up on dangerous places. "See?" She chuckles in response to the teen's note on Park Slope. "She has the right idea. If you want to go on an adventure, it should be when it's warmer and inside the safe zone."

That Dee doesn't outright try to kill his interests says more about her than it does about him. If kids are going to do something dangerous regardless of permission… maybe it's better to control exposure to things and otherwise participate in 'safe' versions.

"Most of the neighborhood parks are overgrown now too, you know that. We've found some cool stuff, haven't we? And there's always when I have to visit Providence."

Walter sighs in the face of common sense. "I guess. Can we take some friends? Like Squeaks?" It seems that she has definitely won him over; now she'll never escape.

“There’s an old beach too. It used to be a park there too, with a ferris wheel. But it’s all ruined and broken.” Still it’s worth noting as possible exploring places. Squeaks settles back so she’s sitting criss-cross again and looks up at Dee. “I have to tell my mom if I go places that aren’t where I normally go.” In case the answer is yes.

"Yes, yes, we can ask her when the time comes." Delilah laughs, entertaining Walter's current obsession with exploring(and Squeaks).

"Sounds about right. I would rather you tell me than sneak away, you know? If teenagers are going to get in trouble, may as well know about it first. God knows I was a hellion sometimes." The older redhead lifts a hand to wave it away, still holding a small chuckle in her chest. Ah. "The park sounds interesting, though…I think I know where that one is. It wouldn't be too far from old paths." aka, a safer option. And she knows how to handle a lot of situations, so her confidence is simply that.

"Coooooool I can't wait—!" Walter indeed can't wait; he looks like he's about to vibrate right out of his shoes. "Mom, can we find some maps here? I wanna make a map so we have one!"

While it's not exactly the questions she expected, Delilah still nods. Yes, they can.

“I can show you.” Squeaks is already getting to her feet when she makes that statement. “I know where all the maps are. I can show you the best ones.” She even gets so far as to hurrying a bunch of steps away before remembering she should probably make sure Delilah is okay with the idea. Her feet stop and she wavers in place before turning around with a hopeful look.

"Yesss." Walter hops up beside Squeaks, bouncing on his toes. Delilah laughs and pushes up to her feet too, dusting at her clothes a little to clear any possible dust from herself.

"You two go on and find those maps. I'll be downstairs, okay? Don't get lost in any wardrobes." Dee rests a hand on her son's head and scratches up his hair. He doesn't seem to get it, but nods anyway before scampering after Squeaks. He'll turn right into his chattering self as they go on the hunt.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License