Annoying Coincidences


delia_icon.gif nick2_icon.gif

Scene Title Annoying Coincidences
Synopsis … have been the bane of Nick's New York life, but finding Delia in his apartment is, for once, a good one — despite some awkward conversation upon their reunion.
Date July 9, 2011

Fort Greene — Nick's Apartment

The smell of bleach is strong enough to suggest a recent cleaning, every surface of the apartment. The light of the early evening sun casts an orange glow between the long shadows that stretch from the few pieces of furniture that inhabit the room. Plastic sheets cover the bed and futon, keeping the dust and who knows what else from settling on them. The worry of the person who covered them is the who knows what.

The bathroom door is closed and the swish of water can be heard from all the way to the two foot square that could be called a foyer. On the stove, a kettle is just beginning to steam. Beside it, on the counter is an open cup o noodle that hasn't been made yet. Perhaps it's what the water is for.

The door is closed quietly behind him, keys slid into the pocket of his jeans. Sunglasses still perched on his nose, he tips his head down to peer around the room. It's never been home, and it feels even more foreign to him now.

He moves toward the kitchen and turns down the heat to a simmer, enough to keep the water hot but to keep the whistle from piercing the quiet. He doesn't go so far as to pour it into the ramen cup; no one wants soggy noodles. "Toru? Delia?" he calls to the bathroom door, moving to the kitchen table to start sorting the mail he picked up from the lobby. Resident, resident, resident… gets sorted into the pile for the round file.

The water is turned off and the bathroom door opened just a crack. A wisp of red hair can be seen in the mirror, letting Nick know who it is before she even makes a sound. "Nick?" quickly as she can, a mask is placed over her nose and mouth and secured. Opening the door a little more, she peeks her head out and glances his way before taking the two steps out into the main room.

Her hair is coiled into a thick bun at the back of her head, held by a few pins. A few wisps have escaped, like the one that was visible in the mirror. Her long limb are bare, the cut off jeans allowing more leg than necessary to be visible, including the thick orange anklet on her right leg. The t-shirt that she's wearing is so clean that it's almost crisp, obviously not the one that she's been wearing all day.

"It's good to see you," she begins, her body twitching slightly as she keeps from doing what she wants most. Rushing in for a long hug.

The hesitance on her part is noted, but ignored, as he gets up, dropping some junk mail onto the floor in his hurry to stride across the small space toward her.

"I'm not contagious anymore, Del. I just look like shit. You don't need to do that for me," he says, sunglasses pulled off with his other hand so he can look at her, his sclera more red still than white.

Nick's hand reaches for hers, to catch it and pull her to him for the hug she wants but denies herself.

Her skin is still warm and quite pink from the scrubbing it's gotten less than ten minutes prior. When Nick's hand catches her wrist, Delia closes her eyes and leans into him, wrapping her free arm around around his waist. The mask stays on and she turns her face away from his, choosing to rest her cheek on his shoulder.

"I'm scared that I am," she whispers, volleying her worries back at him. She doesn't let go, instead her hold tightens and she grips a fistfull of his shirt. Maybe just to keep him there. "I'm taking care of a family, they have the flu."

His arms wrap around her and he rests his head against the top of hers, breathing in the scent of her hair, the scent of her soap. His heart beats quickly, a mix of the thrill of seeing her and the effort it's taken him to jump up and pull her to him. He chuckles and shakes his head. "There's a song about trying to throw your arms around the world. I think it applies to you," he murmurs lightly, kissing the top of her head.

Lifting his head, he tips it to try to see her face. "Why? Are they in Eltingville? I thought that was just for you specials, not people like me… no hospital there for them, or are you private nursing?"

"No, they're at Jaiden's old place." The little story is related quickly, minus the part that made Benji angry. The part where she stopped being careful and was hoping to infect soldiers. "I figured since it was raided and he didn't use it anymore, someone might as well. Right?"

Moving a hand to her mask, she pulls at it just a little before pulling away from him completely. "Let me get you a place to sit down, you must be really tired. Do you want some soup? I have extras or I can make you something else. Maybe some tea? Coffee?" She's overcompensating, obviously, for not being there while he was sick. For taking care of someone else instead of him.

"You don't have to treat me like a guest in my own flat, Del," he says with some amusement, letting loose of her reluctantly, watching her as she pulls away. He glances at the cup of noodles on the counter, and shakes his head. "Can't stand that rubbish. No offense. I'm good. I'll probably sleep here tonight."

He nods to the obviously-unused apartment. "Kid move out?" he asks, despite the fact that Toru's not much younger than him.

It's small talk — the physical distance between them feeling wider, thicker than it is.

"Yeah," she says, ignoring his plea and pulling a couple of mugs and some tea bags from the cupboard. "He moved out over a month ago, right around the time you first caught the flu." Looking up from her self assigned task, she stares over at Nick and slowly pulls the mask from her face. Had it really been that long? "I.. I can't believe it's been that long since I've seen you."

She closes the distance this time and wraps her arms around his waist again. One more time being careful not to breathe away from his face. Certain that she carries none of the virus on her surface, she's not so certain about on the inside. "I'm going to want to stay with you, even if it's just to talk all night," she smiles, looking much brighter than she has in a long time. Not that he'd know except from her disposition in his dreams.

His lips quirk up when she smiles, and he tugs her down onto his lap. She could easily pull away, weak as he is. "You can't really stay, right? Gotta make curfew, and all that?" Nick murmurs, lips moving to her neck to brush the skin there despite her precautions.

He rests his chin on her shoulder, arms tightening around her waist. "It feels like it's been longer. I was worried you wouldn't…" Nick chuckles instead of finishing his thought, cheeks coloring slightly at his own awkwardness, then leans back to study her face again. "Seems one or the other of us is always waiting for the other to get better, huh?"

Delia's fingers find the bit of shaggy hair just above his ear, curling them around it to tuck the spikey strands away. "You were worried I wouldn't be here?" She smiles again, a little hesitantly and leans in to rest her forehead against his. Taking in a deep breath of air, she holds it for the duration that she's so close to him.

"I was worried too," she admits slowly, moving her head off to the side to breathe into his hair rather than on him. "To tell you the truth, I don't know if I can stay out all night or not. I've never tried. I know that I can come and go as I please, I think they want to know where I go and who I see… they haven't really done much." As far as she knows.

The temptation to ask her to stay is there; but he sighs, shaking his head. "If they follow you here — I can't protect you, not til I get more strength up. I'm guessing they're hoping you'll go to your father or something. As it is… I'll have to be sure no one's following me when I leave here." He reaches for her hand, curling his around it.

"I ran into your pal the doctor." Nick's voice is neutral; some of his animosity toward Brennan was dampened in the surprise meeting with the doctor. "He gave me his number for you to call, said he could maybe make you more comfortable in Eltingville, but I said comfort wasn't an issue." His eyes move from their joined hands to her face. "No change in that situation? Your roommate's still missing? Logan's still your … housemate?"

"I can test it by staying with the Martells one night, they shouldn't be alone anyway. I hate leaving them.. but… I'm too scared, you know?" Glancing at the microwave, Delia smiles a little and laces her fingers with his, squeezing lightly before bringing them both to rest against her lap.

"My pal? Doctorrr— " her blue eyes search his as she looks for clues as to who he might be talking about. After a moment, it seems as though the lightbulb comes on over her head. "Doctor Brennan?" Her face falls after hearing what might be a barb at her expense. "Yes, Tania is still missing… her brother is gone too, looking for her probably. Yes, Logan is still my housemate."

Nick shakes his head but can't help but smile at the emphasis on the word, squeezing her hand in his. "Brennan, yes." He leans forward so his free hand can pull out his wallet, tugging out the slip of paper with the number on it. "I wasn't sure I was going to pass it on to you, but it's not like you can't find him if you want to. He's DoEA among other things; I donno if he's got clout or what."

The number is left on the table for her to take or leave. He stares at it for a momen. "I'm sorry that happened to you. I'm sorry I wasn't there to stop it. I should've let you come with me. I was just…"

Blue eyes lift to her face. "Scared."

The confession brings a self-conscious smile to his face, and he shakes his head, dark hair falling into his eyes. "Sorta silly. Not afraid of dying, but afraid of letting someone close when I'm weak. Poor kid mentality, I guess."

"I would have taken care of you," she murmurs, caressing the top of his hand with her thumb. Her other hand brushes the hair from his forehead and pushes it back, smiling a little as it spikes up on its own and stays that way for a few seconds before falling. "I could have taken care of you, I hope there's never a next time… but next time… I'm staying. Or you are." The possibility of her catching the other sort of flu is still real. Especially if it mutates again next year.

"This time it's okay," she utters as she swings her legs back and forth. The anklet comes into view and she holds that foot in the air for a little while before staring into Nick's eyes again. "I'm going to leave Eltingville after Tania's found, if Logan says it's okay. I talked to Benji about a plan that I had, she seemed to think it was doable."

His free hand moves up to cup her face, thumb brushing lightly underneath her chin. "Deal," is whispered, and he bends toward her, stopping short, huffing a soft laugh.

"You're killing me, you know," he says, ducking his head into her hair. "I swear to God someone with the ability to fuck with people's lives is laughing right now as he devises ways to keep you from me." It's a joke, if a bad one, and he finally leans back, letting the topic of their future child sober him — as the topic of offspring is like a cold shower for most 23 year old men.

"How is she?" he asks, nudging her off his lap and rising after to go gather the tea.

"Disappointed in me," Delia admits with a slight blush to her cheeks and nose, turning her head a little to allow the escaped wisps to hide her face. She sits back down on the chair and swipes them away after she feels the heat disappear, signalling the end to her embarrassment. "She was right and I think we worked it out, I hope. We had waffles."

There's a long pause as she watches Nick move around his own kitchen to make his tea. The tea she started to make for him before she got distracted with touching and sitting on laps. "We ran into Calvin on the street," the announcement is made reluctantly and she swallows before continuing on. "He's not going to try to stop all of this. I embarrassed Benji in front of him, I acted like my dad… to her." Being overprotective and mother hennish without the history to support it.

Nick brings the two mugs back to the table, lifting his eyebrows at the story, glossed over as it is, jaw tensing at the mention of Calvin. "Take comfort in the fact you can't ever be the more disappointing parent of the two of us," he says just a touch bitterly — it sounds more like him than everything else he's said today. "If you can make it better over some waffles, well." He lifts his left shoulder, letting the rest stand unspoken. Whatever he wasn't to Benji can't be fixed over breakfast foods.

"Don't be hard on yourself. First of all, you're younger than Benji is now — she'll forgive you for being young and stupid at times, probably. Twenty-one to 25 is ages — or so I've been told." He grins a little at that. "And if you acted like your father? There are worse things, Delia. It means you care. I know you think he treats you like a kid, but trust me when I say there's worse faults parents can have."

He runs a hand through his hair, then picks up the mug of tea to sip before he speaks. "I told Benji I'd support her in not getting revenge on Calvin." It was before Nick got ill, of course. "I'll keep my word… still, taking him in and getting information out of him could be useful. I take it he's still free?" he asks, keeping his voice neutral, though there's tension, anger in his posture.

"No Nick, you can't. I think that Calvin wouldn't have any trouble hurting Benji if you did anything to him.. Please? Just— Let someone else take him in." Delia's worries aren't completely unfounded, after all, she likely wouldn't be in Eltingville had it not been for the man's advice to her.

She scoots her chair a little closer to his, until her knee touches the leg of his pants. It might be that the redhead is treating him like a security blanket, unsure if she's dreaming or not if she doesn't have the tactile experience to go with the verbal. The fact that he's still free has been implied in the fact that they met, so she doesn't expand on it more than a quick nod. She reaches out to touch his arm and slides down until she has her fingers laced through his again. Her free hand is used to lift her mug and take a small sip. It's not exactly cup o noodles, but it'll do for now.

Nick huffs a laugh, and shakes his head. "Don't worry, it wouldn't be me. I can barely pick up the cat right now. I'm not about to tackle the bloke," he says with a smirk, squeezing her hand and picking up his mug once more to sip. "I don't have a death wish."


"You want a ride back to Staten?" he adds, glancing to the clock on the microwave.

The studious gaze that falls on Nick is full of worry and scrutiny, though the question is running through her mind she doesn't want to voice it. Just in case. Who are you and what have you done with Nick? Rather, Delia gives him a small nod and gets up from her chair, pushing it back up against the table. "Yes please, I have to change though… I don't want to walk past the guards without pants on. I see too many of them at St. Clare's, they'd probably get the wrong idea.

Her hand slips away from his again, the very last thing before she strides across the room to one of the dresser drawers that she's claimed as her own. Without telling him, of course. Pulling a long skirt from it, she shimmies it over her shorts before dropping them to the floor. They go into a plastic bag, along with the other clothing that she had been wearing earlier in the day.

When she comes back to the table, she slides sideways onto his lap and wraps her arms around his neck. "There's something different about you," she murmurs, brushing his hair back again with her fingers. "You're… I don't know. Just different. Less broody." A natural assumption for her would be that he's happy that he made it through.

"Oh?" he says, lifting his brows, though there's something unsurprised in the feigned gesture. He lifts his shoulder, tipping his head toward it. "I donno. I know I've been an asshole at times, and it's been a seriously crappy year, but that doesn't mean I should act like a tosser for the rest of my life, right?"

Nick gives her a crooked grin. "Unless you like me better broodier. Then I'll brood with the best of 'em, yeah?"

Pushing her off his lap once more, he reaches for the wallet to put back in his pocket. "We have time to get you something real to eat that's not ramen. Maybe some curry, and you can take some to go with you."

The number is plucked up off the table and Delia folds it away into a small pocket sewn inside of her dress. When she bought the garment at the second hand shop, she guessed that it was for carrying drugs or something, since then she's found it useful for just carrying little things. Because long skirts don't have enough pocket space as a rule. If any at all.

"I like you both ways," she says simply, delivering a small close lipped smile to seal off her statement. "Anyway, curry sounds okay. Better than cup o noodles but I don't really want to spend much money on anything better, you know?" She doesn't have much, he knows this. "I have to think about the Martells, they left their house with nothing… so they're sort of relying on me."

He smiles, glancing down to reach for her hand, interlacing fingers with hers to lead her out of the apartment. "We'll stop by an ATM. Work's still dumping money in. Easiest job I ever had," he quips. Never mind it almost killed him more than a few times.

The door is locked and he moves through and then out of the building. "Usually this city is full of fuckin' annoying coincidences," he muses as he opens the truck door for her a few moments later. "You being here tonight's one I'll hap'ly take."

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