Little Robin


ff_delia_icon.gif ff_eileen_icon.gif

Scene Title Little Robin
Synopsis Delia discovers she has a guardian angel.
Date November 31, 2018


"And you're a goner, too"

The rocking of the boat has lulled Delia in and out of an inescapable sleep, something she's not used to. What little pain medication she was afforded initially dulled her senses and kept her trapped inside of her own mind. It's a fortuitous happenstance due to her lack of direction, like a rowboat in a storm, she's been without a compass to guide her.

"You're a goner, too"

The words ring through her head, over and over again. Her mouth is dry, even when she swallows there's no respite. "Dad?" she croaks, not opening her eyes to see exactly where she is. When no answer is immediately forthcoming, she does take a bleary look at where she is. The smell of the room is different, the Cerberus isn't as clean no matter how hard Geneva tries. "Am I dead? Is this…"

She doesn't want to say heaven, because it can't be.

But it is. Comparatively, at least.

The darkened room Delia finds herself in feels like it’s a world apart from her quarters on the Cerberus. Silk sheets are cool against her exposed skin, and when she shifts in the bed, her cheek settles into a pillow that feels like it’s stuffed with goosefeathers while her head seems to float on a cloud.

Her next inhale fills her nose with the smell of floral perfume and something like resin — or incense.

Slender fingertips trace the curve of her jaw and settle beneath her chin, tipping it upward.

The touch causes her eyes to fly open and freeze. The dull ache in her chest and shoulder flare up and burn with intense pain at the sudden jolt. "Who.." her tongue feels too thick, like it's not hers at all. It makes a smacking noise as she swallows again, tasting the air as well as smelling it.

Then without moving the angle of her head, she rolls her eye toward the owner of the fingers. Presumably her saviour and the person she has to thank for keeping her among the land of the living. The fingers are too soft to belong to anyone she knows, ropes have a bad habit of turning delicate things rough. "Sorry… where am I?"

As the world gradually comes into focus, Delia’s eyes pick out finer details. There’s the soft glow emanating from tall, skinny wax candles placed around the room by an eye that’s equal parts strategic an artful; a collection of antique oil paintings, all of them landscapes, mounted above a squat piano on the wall opposite the bed; and crystal pendants twinkling on a chandelier above her head.

This isn’t just any room. Someone lives here and has made it their home.

“Safe,” says a voice that sounds like crushed velvet.

"This isn't a sickbay, it’s too nice," Delia ventures, her voice nothing like the velvety vocals of the woman responding to her. For a few minutes, she just stares in awe at her surroundings, not even before the flood had she been in a place like this. Not without being refused at the door. An itch causes her uninjured arm to swing up and she tentatively touches the wound at her opposite shoulder. She winces and holds her breath in her chest at the anticipation of great pain. "What time is it?"

She's afraid of the answer, that much is plain by the look on her face. "I remember playing poker.." she stops suddenly and whips her head around to look for her clothing. "My stuff! I don't have.." Not that the woman in the room with her could think otherwise, but she didn't come in with much.

“Rest now,” the voice says, “or you’ll tear your stitches. Aleksandr won’t like that.”

The speaker rises from Delia’s bedside and crosses to the other side of the room on bare feet that make no sound — like an owl’s wings. She gets a glimpse of her back: pale skin and delicate shoulder blades left visible by the sheer nightgown she wears. Her hair is dark, looped into a low bun at the nape of a slender neck.

The hands that had touched her face set about pouring hot water into a porcelain cup, then adding a package of strange herbs to the concoction, which she sweetens with what looks like honey.


Delia can’t remember the last time she tasted honey.

Her caretaker, so petite and delicate, Delia frowns as she looks down at herself, all gangly with callouses and corded muscle. Even her skin, pale as it is, is weathered from the sun, nothing like the woman in the room. "Who?"

The tea is gratefully accepted and it burns all the way down with each large gulp the redhead takes. There hasn't been honey in her life since she was in grade school. Even the herbal concoction is appreciated with every greedy mouthful. It's not week old, reheated, black coffee. Even her diet is mainly fish chowders, fish broths, and fish soups. These things she's surrounded with right now are luxurious and not for women who exist simply to survive.

"My name is Delia," she offers, just in case no one had rifled through her wallet since the incident, "Delia Ryans." She takes one more, this time smaller, sip. The liquid is held in her mouth and savored before swallowing. "Thank you," she says, "where did you find honey? I haven't seen a bee in forever. Only fish." She holds up the cup, now half empty

“It was a gift,” the woman answers. “There are high places, cloudy and green. The sun shines less there, but flowers still bloom — and where there are still flowers, there are still bees.”

She curls her fingers around a curtain covering the room’s most prominent window and peeks around the edge. It must might nighttime, because this has no effect on the level of ambient light. Dellia thinks she sees pinpricks of it twinkling out on the water: distant boats, bobbing in blackness.

Something in the corner of the room stirs; Delia’s attention is drawn toward an ornate brass cage near the piano and the pair of turtledoves within.

“I’m Eileen.”

"Thanks Eileen, for everything," there's a distinct measure of sincerity in Delia's voice and between relaxing sips she stares out the window at the stars. She's quiet until the last drop is drained from the cup and the way her eyes flit, she might be trying to determine which direction she might be pointing, by the lay of the stars through the window.

What interrupts her silence is the clink of the cup against the nightstand when she finally puts it down. Then it's back to nervous babble, "Sometimes, I don't think I'll ever see real grass again or a real forest."

The birds are a curiosity, so colorful for this area. Her eyebrows furrow in concentration as she tries to remember what they are, definitely not pigeons.

“Mm,” says Eileen. “Maybe you’re just looking in the wrong places.”

The curtain falls back into place and she rejoins Delia at the younger woman’s bedside. She relieves her of the empty cup and sets it aside on a nightstand with swooping brass legs and a lion’s claws for feet. It, too, looks like an antique.

“So,” she murmurs, “Delia Ryans. Will you be staying with us for very long, or is there someone I should send one of my husband’s men for? Where are your friends— your family?”

The questions, really just the first one, are cause for concern and the expressions changing on Delia's face is like looking at the shifting colors of a mood ring. Despite the pain, she pulls the covers away with her good arm and shifts in the bed. Honey is good and the bed is glorious, but nothing compares to the feeling of well being that comes with familiar surroundings.

"I can go whenever I want?" Is the prelude to her legs swinging over the edge. She has no idea how long she has to stay. "The Cerberus it's…" She has no idea where it is now, she can't imagine her father pulled up anchor without her. "How long have I been here? My dad is going to kill me." Even though she looks too old to have to answer to a parental figure.

So many questions.

“Wherever you want,” Eileen echoes, “as long as you’re with me.” She places one hand on Delia’s shoulder, steadying her. “But you need to rest, as I said.”

The other reaches up and twirls a flyaway strand of autumn-red hair behind Delia’s ear. The gesture is strangely familiar coming from someone she’s just met, but she detects no malice behind it — or in her steady seafoam green gaze.

“I’ll find your father for you, little robin,” she promises. “You’ll be back in the nest soon enough.”

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