Background Noise


delilah_icon.gif francois_icon.gif

Scene Title Background Noise
Synopsis Francois makes his rounds when he visits Delilah and someone unexpected provides running commentary.
Date March 25, 2010

The Den

Not so long ago, the familiar sound of footsteps treading down the spiral staircase was not enough to wake the sleepier residents of the Den, although those that had woken had stirred. One of the children had been— child enough to ask what the heck is wrong with his hand, appeased about a tale regarding a crocodile in Louisiana, putting Francois back in the mind of the south as he does so and effectively diluting his accent enough so that he doesn't get asked about that— again— too. Three temperatures taken, jotted down. They could be grimmer, probably.

Sneakers scuff the ground as Francois moves for Delilah's bedside, the shifting sound of fabric as he descends into a comfortable crouch just beside, elbows braced against his knees and white hands flicking open the notepad bought especially for his ventures this way. Numbers, notes, his own recordings of the conditions of the Den's, and he's picking out Delilah's.

There's no white coat, no stethoscope, just jeans, a sweater buttoned closed over a button down shirt and a wool-lined jacket and messenger bag stashed on the couch in the main room. He curls the warped fingers of his left hand to scratch at the mild scruff developing at his jaw as he reads his own writing. Brings with him the various scents of cologne, the spring-winter outside, fresh clothing.

There's been someone watching him the entire time, from what seemed like his entrance til now; Samson, ever present. The big dog has seemed more like a background effect than a dog so far- perhaps that is best for Francois not-so-sharp keenness for canines. Samson might be able to tell, and maybe that is why he gives Francois his space. Respect, to put it simply. Peeking around corners, looming around the edges of doors, sidestepping into another room when he goes into the hall. Up until he gets to Delilah, Samson has been very accommodating.

Delilah's turn rolls in, and so does the dog, who quickly muscles his way to the side of the bed, getting in the way at least once during the initial go-over. Quick, give him a thermometer! He can help! Wait, no. Can't. Thumbs.

If it is her dog or Francois that wakes her up, nothing is clear to either one; muddied brown eyes crack open enough to let in some waking light, and the girl's lips press together when her brain deciphers the figure standing nearby. Male, kinda tall, smells of crystal snow and enough cologne to mask anything else. For the long span of several seconds, Delilah harbors the hope that she somehow woke up while Teo was here. When Francois features fill in on the shadows of her eyelids over her vision- she makes an audible noise of disappointment, the one arm on top of her blanket shifting north to push lanky red hair out of her eyes.

Where's that tongue got to now? "Frankie." Close enough. "'Sup."

Only your doctor. Or one of them that more or less qualifies — no Teo. Francois, in turn, is not disappointed to see her— this is communicated in a warm smile, even when she grievously mistakes him for someone else, possibly, because that ain't his name. Holding his notepad a little aloft as if fearing that Samson might try to take it in his big dog maw, Francois goes to step around the hound without lowering his hands to give him pettings — it seems somehow unhygienic.

"'Francois'," he corrects, blithely, moving to perch on the side of her bed. "And how are you feeling today?" A glance over his shoulder, as if he could detect the wellness of her legs by sight alone and through bed blankets.

Nonsense! He doesn't even eat pencils. Why would he want your stupid book!? The dog just stares up at the Frenchman, tail wagging weakly.

"I borrowed one of her crutches earlier, I haven't tried this evening. I don't quite need a pan, y'know." Lucky her! Lucky Francois also gets to hear about it. "Othern'at, I feel like shit, Frankie." Maybe she didn't hear him. Delilah lets her hand find the blanket to move it so she can bring out both arms, pushing herself further upright so that she can see him without staring upside down.


Ethan Holden played this game too, and the correction is arrow quick, instinctive and barely thought out, Francois' eyes turned down to his pages as he shuffles it around its ringed spine. "As long as you do not overexert yourself, I would recommend testing mobility whenever you have it. I'm sure the idea of getting out of this bed appeals to you. Has there been anything else new?"

Looking back up at her, his focus kind of glazes as he looks through her, in a sense, evaluation, but then refocuses into looking at her, quirking an encouraging half smile.

"I don't see why Teeoh likes him, he smells like cheap cologne. Or maybe its one of those expensive awful ones that stings? He must be good for his smile-"

Delilah pauses in her preparation to answer Francois with something, only to hang there with her mouth opened to form a word, eyebrows slowly knitting at the commentary coming from her left, the doctor's right. She glances off that way, eyes going over Daphne's sleeping form. It wasn't a girl- she looks like she is thinking, to Francois.

"I don't think he likes 'Frankie'." Samson glances at the bed, then to the man, then to Delilah. His lips are curled in a pant, tip of pink tongue peeking over his white teeth. "Do you think he will bring me something next time?" The dog proceeds to edge closer to the man, sticking his nose towards his pockets, investigating. Dee still looks like she is thinking, watching her dog in the process, who is indeed investigating pockets. The redhead does say something after a spell.

"Um. Anything else new? Like what, 'sactly?" Delilah smiles back at him, trying her best to find a good expression for him in return.

Francois has nothing but patience for Delilah's weighted pause, thinking little of it— especially when Samson has his big head directing his big nose for denim pockets. "Ah, non, nothing for you," Francois says, having the good grace to sound apologetic for the woman's mutt, and only by chance does it sound like it almost responds to the voice only the redhead seems to be hearing. Certainly no one else is looking over at this new presence of a masculine voice, Francois' own becoming a familiar contribution.

"New symptoms," he clarifies, though because she probably gathered that much, he adds, "Any advancement to the paralysis, or trouble breathing. New pains or aches, fatigues — or even anything that seems to be improving." His left hand, scarred but capable, finally moves to touch the dog, even if ear skritches are interrupted by redirecting nose from pockets.

Samson's deep, bass voice is still in her head, rumbling around. The girl sits up a little more, debating whether or not this is related, or if she has somehow developed a second ability. Samson, when he is disengaged from his activity, rankles his nose. "Aww. Come on. I was only checking. I smelled something minty in there. And your wallet. What do you keep in there? Dolla dolla bills?" But he takes the ear scratches anyway.

"Hm. Not- terribly, no. I am still coughing up blood sometimes, and sometimes that makes me wheeze, then everything hurts…" Her own voice is small in her head, and somewhat small out of her mouth. She is still peering sidelong at Samson, who does not seem to notice what he may or may not be thinking out loud. "My eyes kinda hurt yesterday, like sinus pressure- oy, Frank, you got mints in your pocket?" Samson lifts his gargantuan head, appearing hopeful.

Painkillers and cough medicine. Keep flinging it down their throats as quickly as water and hope for the best. It's not state of the art doctoring but in this instance, it's all that can be done. Not that Francois is above playing nurse, for all that the clout a spiralbound notepad can bring and a pen— "My name is still 'Francois'," is a hopefully helpful interjection, fingers dutifully scrubbing the fure behind Samson's ears before pushing him away a little firmer. "And non, but he can have attention if he gives me just a second— "

His hands are reaching for his messenger bag, nudging back the flap to take out the disposal thermometer packet, Ferry-supplied, all whites and hospital blues and shiny plastic. "You know the drill, oui? We should get this part done while you are still only just waking. Have you been feeling feverish today?" The thermometer is handed over.

"Was only awake enough to eat half a muffin, I don't know if it's gonna stay in there." Delilah takes the thermometer gingerly from him, opening her mouth and digging the tip down under her tongue. "I was pretty out of it last night, couldn't sleep much." Her brown eyes follow her dog around. Samson had followed anything Francois was doing, so now naturally he is over there snuffling all over the man's bag.

"Snow and outside and Teooh and house and cologne and Eyeleen and hmmmmmmmm." The dog pauses in his sniffing. "What were you doing!?" He lifts his head up to look over at the doctor, suspicious.

There is a soft grunt of— not quite annoyance when the dog is back in his business, a sigh breezing out through mouth and nostrils both even if there's a tolerant pull to the beginnings of a smile. "Your hound has a lot of character," Francois concedes, as he's focused on by big dog eyes. "My grandfather kept many of them, and none of them liked me very much." Conversational, for as long as Delilah has her mouth clamped around the monitoring plastic and metal. "Which did not prevent mon grand-père from loosing them on me if I ever came home late or—

"Drunk." Hesitation before admission. He's a grown man, allowed to talk of youthful shenanigans, as much as they may have happened over half a century ago instead of a decade and change. Suffice to say, he doesn't respond to Samson's query.

"Or with other boys?" This one is all Delilah. Oops. Oh my god. She only realizes she actually said it after the fact, almost inhaling the thermometer. "Uh, yeah, he's a character all right." She flushes slightly, watching the dog stare down Francois, tail wagging vaguely behind him. Samson is thinking. That's clear enough. "He likes you though."

"Oh, I suppose I do!" Samson smiles, tongue rolling out like a walkway carpet before he wanders back to the Frenchman to try and lick him. "He probably tastes like ratatouille-"

"…What's the verdict on imagining things?" Delilah asks this very quietly, watching the brindle molosser go through the paces.

Cold nose and warm tongue. Francois endures— mostly, in that he leans back before his face can be properly gotten, even if pink doggie tongue does strike fleetingly to his jaw. Hands are up to gently deflect doggie kisses without causing too much offense, although Delilah has his focus in the next moment, hands falling away. "Imagining things? Such as?" A glance to his watch— 60 seconds counted down— before he holds out a hand to take back the thermometer.



"-stop kissing him. Save some for someone else." Delilah has trouble reprimanding the dog for his affection. Her temperature, when Francois takes back the meter, is around 102. Not bad, but not good either. It was probably much worse yesterday. She seems to fluctuate a lot. "Imagining things like sounds that aren't there." At least- she- thinks they aren't. Asking if he hears Samson isn't the best of ideas. Not really, sir. "I think it is just my ears…" Delilah lifts her pinky finger to rub at one ear canal, like something is in there. "I ran outta books to read, so I got nothin' to do- I guess my brain needs background noise?"

Concern briefly ladders lines through his forehead, apparently not quite expecting this news, but Francois nods anyway once he's looked up from the thermometer. It's all a very convenient diversion, this doctoring — he managed not to blush at that comment a few moments ago, a fleeting grin that got dimmed by dog-affection attack. Probably a less tharn reaction than she might have gleaned from the Teo-half of these implications.

Now, what lines are in his face— not enough, for his years— deepen a little in thought. "You did say that you have not been sleeping well," he offers, pushing the used thermometer into its box to toss away later. "Hearing things can be a sign of that. Stress, fever, collectively. We'll see if we cannot ease these symptoms and if you continue to hear things— " Then it could be damage that Francois can't touch except with expensive technology or a healing power he doesn't have anymore.

Irritating. "Maybe you should write your own books. I kept a journal for— a long time. Several, actually."

"Write my own? I guess that Mormon lady wrote those books and everyone else liked them- I probably could win a Pulitzer, eh?" Delilah rubs at the bridge of her nose, speaking quietly, though steadily enough. "Maybe I could write kids books about Samson. He will have a Pomeranian sidekick and Pila can be his sage on quests…" Samson looks up at his name, being also nudged away from giving Francois any more LOOOVE than he can rightfully handle right now.

"Dee, Dee, Dee-"

Delilah squints at her dog, considering him intently.

"Oh, wait, no no- nevermind!" Samson turns his head to try and put his head into Francois' lap.

Francois knows that sense of distraction — not that he'd be able to consciously put two and two together, from Teo's unfocused glances to Delilah's quizzical studies of her taciturn, to his ears, giant dog. But it rings familiar enough that he doesn't mind for a few seconds when Samson's thick-skulled head lies heavy on his thighs, and he succumbs by resting his left hand down on the dog's crown. "I've tried fiction," he says, after a false start of worry. "I hope you do better at it than I did.

"When I next come by, I can bring pen and paper. If you want anything more elaborate, you may have to save such a request for your other caretakers, or I will ask Sicily. If you keep having— these hallucinations, you will be sure to tell me?" With some amount of tolerant resignations, Francois' uneven fingers massage circles behind Samson's ears.

Delilah snickers slightly, looking for a moment bewildered. "Sicily?" Teehee. She seems to find that hilarious, remembering soon enough that she should respond with something. "Oh, that'll be fine. I'm a good typist, but I think it would be best to not ruin my laptop…" Which is still at home, probably still in her room. She watches Samson as he quiets down in all ways, sighing under Francois' fingers and succumbing to the massages with a dazed look on his face. Mmmmmmmmhmmmmm.

"Yeah, I will tell you." Delilah finds his eyes with hers, sniffing down a moment of uncertainty. He's not so bad. If Teo trusted him enough to bring him, she'll give the guy her best shot. Generally a friend of a friend she can regard as one too, hopefully it sticks.

It is possible that the look Delilah gets back is one mirrored in intention, contemplating the bridge of space between friends and friends of friends himself. It was, after all, her name that had Teo nudging Francois in this direction and maybe something to do with her recent encounter with environmental factors like murdering Russians. He knows about that too. "Tres bien. I will leave you in your hound's care for now, if he is willing to let me up." Not to break up this new friendship, too, but there's an uncomfortably warm patch of drool making a perfect circle on his jeans and—

And other fine excuses. Pat pat, goes his hand to the side of Samson's broad neck, before Francois levering attempt of standing to slide dog up and off him. "Give that one your love and I may bring you something next, ah?" he tells the dog, with a nudge in Delilah's direction.

"Yesssssir." Delilah says it- but she can hear Samson saying it at the same exact moment. It is a little strange, but she is hoping that it was luck. The dog just sort of flops his head onto the bedside, one paw going up to find the edge of the blanket. "Thanks ahead of time, Frankie." Oh, wait, no. Oops. Delilah winces at herself, the expression sleepy.

"The boys like to walk him- if you want to stay his best friend maybe you can help them." The girl smiles, head tilting enough to make herself seem more lighthearted and less morose than she actually is.

It's the wince that actually has Francois' correction stopping before it can leave his mouth, which parts instinctively and shuts again. Okay. Okay. A slight splay of fingers from his right indicates that all is well, correction shelved, and so she wins, before he drops a look down towards the brindle-patterned puppy casting his protective presence over her bedside. "I'll remember that," he says, collecting up his messenger bag from the ground and slinging the strap over a shoulder. "Staying his best friend does not sound a bad place to be."

Better than the alternative, and he would know, even if he comes home early, or sober— or presumably with a girl instead. "Au revoir. Make sure you are taken care of, oui?" And he's cruising back out, wishing he wasn't out of practice when it comes to diagnosis in the same moment he's collecting up his jacket that possibly smells enough like Teeoh that it could well be his.

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