delilah3_icon.gif richard_icon.gif

Scene Title Convoluted
Synopsis After the events of the eighth(again?!), Delilah starts turning to friends for help.
Date November 14, 2019

Raytech-Yamagato Greenhouse

Just outside the main checkpoint, Richard Ray was waiting for Delilah’s arrival; handing off a guest lanyard before leading her inside, he sweeps his hands out as if to encompass the mostly white hallways.

“Nothing much impressive from here, obviously, but there’re some fascinating exotic gardens where they’re working on… new plants and such,” he explains affably, “Right this way. So how’ve things been going with you?”

Both giving her the tour, and showing a hint of concern, one brow lifting as he looks her way. She wouldn’t have called if it wasn’t serious but he’s trying to at least make things a bit friendly and social.

For as much as she sounded, on the phone, invested in seeing him and always her friendly self about it, Delilah in life seems all too tired. She was never one for intense vanity, per se, but she always makes an effort; today she did, but he can tell that even it's a bare one, lazily braided hair, neutral colors, low-key in manner. Gregarious not so much today- - but her excitement for seeing the Greenhouse remains. It's always good to check in on things like this when you're one of many on a community council, and Delilah will be sure to even take some photos where allowed, in between business. She hopes it doesn't get complicated from here.

It's all can take a bit of her time up, no problem. And Richard seems so damn proud of it, Dee can't deny him the chance to puff up a little. He backboned a great thing here.

"You say it isn't impressive, but I can't agree with that." The redhead is paused to look over some of the plants, taking in the layers of greenery and the warmth before padding after Richard and coming into stride with him. "Shit. Things have been shit."

Delilah doesn't mince words, and usually never has.

"Did that thing I do sometimes, where I don't listen to somebody's common sense and it comes back to bite me in the arse."

“I know that one,” admits Richard, one hand coming up to rub between his eyes, “Of course, I’m also playing the Cassandra just as often…”

They continue through one of the experimental gardens; all sun lamps arrayed carefully amongst hydro systems, lexan walls protecting and keeping them separate, flowers and plants growing in unrecognizable forms except to perhaps a botanist.

Maybe not even them. GMOs are big these days.

A sidelong look, one eyebrow raising upwards, “So what’s going on, and how can I help? You know that if there’s anything I can do for you, I will.”

Wandering now through the humid, sunny greenery, it almost feels like winter's already over. Maybe she can take her time here after all. She needs it. Delilah pauses just before Richard raises a brow at her, and a quick study shows her interest in a series of orchids; likely studies in that gene modification themselves. It seems like a sad interest, tinted gray in the light on her eyes.

"I know." Dee looks up and smiles with an equal sadness, world-weary rather than despairing. "I know." Her hands wring around the strap of her bag across her chest, brows lowering.

"It's not all about me, though. Is there… somewhere ahead where we can sit?"

“Sure.” Richard’s head bobs in an affable manner, quickening the step just a bit until they reach an area nearer the middle of this particular lab-garden where a few tables are set up - likely for discussion, since they’re made of whiteboards and there’s markers everywhere.

Raytech encourages a certain openness of creativity, after all.

Dropping into a seat, he spreads his hands, “So what’s up?”

The redhead sinks into the seat across from him, a subconscious process leading her thumb to rub off leftover marks an eraser missed on the white of the table.

"There have been things before. Small things, mostly. One bigger one, near when Liz came back. Walter's powers playing fucking peekaboo." Delilah looks up and puts her elbows on the table, mouth opening and closing before she moves on. "But you were right. About Dad. And Walter."

"Walter cracked his head at school, right off a sink. He said he was getting sick. Dad and I met him at the hospital, and he's fine- -" From one parent to another, she emphasizes it.

"He said he saw someone in the mirror before he blacked out. Dad got upset and so did I, but then- -" Delilah has to take a moment and concentrate on how to put it. "Everything was fuckin' rainbows, Walter's face started fucking- - gushing- -" Okay, maybe not carefully enough. She becomes increasingly animated.

"The whole damn place turned into an 80s polaroid, and god, I about pissed myself- -" Animated. Old school Delilah comes flailing out.

"I had to shake Dad out of whatever he didn't know he was doing," which she knows, thanks to an old visit from the man sitting there- - "Then it turns out that Walter's bloody nurse is Julie, and she is just, what the fuck, and hell if I knew what to say, much less think about shit she was saying I should do."

What is that thing called breathing? She didn't get this panicked telling Teo about what was going on. Poor Richard. Welp.


Richard grimaces, bringing up a hand, “Easy, Dee, easy. Relax, take a breath… what was Julie’s recommendation? She’s usually— I mean, when it comes to things like this she’s pretty expert. Powers, I mean, and handling them.” She was literally raised doing it, after all. “I’m going to guess zodytrin prescriptions for your dad, at least— which I should’ve recommended out the gate, but I didn’t think of it, like an idiot.”

"Dad agreed to take some until he got back to the Benchmark even if he wasn't sure what was happening." Richard's leash tugging does help, a little. It's still hard to miss her feelings. "I'm pretty much looking out for his day to day care, and Julie said that I really only had two options."

Delilah runs her fingers into her hair, elbows digging into whiteboard and expression torn. "Tell them or drug them."

"I think that maybe I can reach Dad if I try? He's in there, just… cracked? But I can't just drug him without consent - or drug my son and I don't know how to explain to a nine year old all those bad dreams, the headaches, waking up where he didn't go to bed, the ghosts, the swords, the Scooby Time Gang, his dangerous powers, string theory and space-time… "

Thankfully this time she slows down on her own, face pointed down to the table.

“You don’t need to tell him everything, not all at once,” says Richard with a shake of his head, leaning forward and reaching out to bring a hand up - fingers pausing just shy of touching her arm, in case those emotions had activated her ability. Tripping balls wouldn’t make for a helpful discussion.

“I’d explain it to your father, but— I don’t know how good his memory is,” he admits, “So it’ll be a lot of care there, but I’m sure you can manage. You love each other.” A faint, reassuring smile, “As far as Walter, like I said - don’t tell him everything at once. Tell him a little, enough that you can start teaching him how to use his ability, not all the future bullshit.”

A pause, “Start with just teleportation, is my advice. Don’t mention time travel. Honestly, trust me, time travel is pointless at best, damaging at worse.”

Richard need not finish the gesture, as Delilah closes the leftover gap with her hand at his arm. Nothing there to give him a bad day. Just dry, warm skin as she listens, silent even when he's finished.

"Dad's memory is better with repetition. And if it's written down. Words are hard sometimes." Delilah's jaw tenses, a stubborn sort of look incoming. "You're right. I can manage." She always does, doesn't she? She has so far, but… sometimes that's just as hard as anything. "I'm lucky as it is."

"How would I even train him, Richard? I don't teleport and I don't know anyone who does. And how do I just give a kid keys to the car like that? What if he just- - disappears by accident? Gets into trouble? He's nine. What were you getting up to when you were nine?" Even though he is doing his best to offer ways through this, Delilah seems to be finding every little detail worth picking at. Her son is a Good Kid, but there are always moments to test it.

As she closes the gap, Richard shifts to cover her hand with his reassuringly; warm fingers pressing to hers. “You’re a mother,” he says simply, “And you’ve been one through some of the hardest shit going on, and I know that Walter’s father hasn’t been around for a lot of it.” No judgement against Teo there - just a statement. “You’re one of the strongest people I know because of that. But don’t forget you’ve got a support network to fall back on if you need it.”

Then he wrinkles his nose, “You do have a point there. I was… well. I was an angry kid for a lot of reasons, so I’m not a great example to go by. But you’re right, kids are kids…”

A frown, “I really hate to advocate for keeping him on zodytrin until he’s older, either, though. Shit. This really is tough.”

"Exactly. Tough is the long and short. And… Teo was around, just- - it's complicated." Delilah waves her free hand just a little, allowing the other to remain weighted calmly down. "It was way fucking easier explaining to him why he has three dads." She puts her forehead in her hand. "You have no idea how that went."

Maybe he can imagine?

"Kids are kids and kids get hurt." Or killed. She knows that. "I've been waiting for the day it became more than a hiccup and I'm still not ready. I wish he hadn't- -" Delilah puts her head in her hand again, this time shading the shine in her eyes. "The travellers found him. Did they tell you? They found him and they almost brought him back." She sits back, hand dropping and breath coming out in an incredulous laugh. "He could have taught himself how to do fucking everything. But now it's just me. And I have no idea who I can trust to show him."

“I mean, my kids have two mothers, but it isn’t quite the same,” Richard admits, and then he squeezes her hand firmly as she explains what almost happened. “Christ. Yeah, it… look, it’ll be okay. I’m sure we can find someone to help him learn, someone that’s trustworthy…”

He chews on his tongue a little, thinking, “I had a short-range teleporter working for me for a bit, but… I’ll see who I can find.”

"I should have just listened to you in the first place. I didn't mean to turn this visit into a mess. You have enough happening. Seeing all of this place tells me that. And knowing it's not some… convoluted bullshit… " It's nice. He has good people and does good things. And he's busy as hell. "You're my friend, not a help dispenser." Funny, as that's what she does all on her own with others. Mother Henning.

"If you can't find anyone please don't take it personally. This is.. A lot." Delilah's tension shifts to her brow, at that. "But when it comes to finding a middle ground, you might be close. I might not be able to cheetah through time or however the hell he described it- - but I can still try to teach him if I have to. Otherwise I just… watch? I've always watched."

It is a rare parent that has to worry about this.

“I can be both,” Richard waves a hand vaguely, “Troubleshooting is what I do, really, and I’ll see what I can do for you. There’s got to be a trustworthy teleporter out there, I’ll reach out and see what I can do.”

“Most of all this is delegated anyway,” he admits with a glance around, “I mostly deal with the convoluted bullshit.”

"I haven't met many. It's one of those gifts that come with a price. Sometimes literally. They probably make a killing…" Delilah gives Richard a small laugh, finally, at least a small signal that she's finding it easier to talk. His specializing in convoluted bullshit isn't a lost cause of a joke. Still, the weight is there on her shoulders, hands now fussing on the table.

"I do think Dad will understand. He might need reminding, now and again, but… he knows I'd never hurt him. Ever since he came back to me, I- -" Delilah shakes her head. "Point is, there's no way I could ever. If only he wasn't so hurt, maybe he'd be able to learn again." But that's not going to happen. It's something deep and wrong.

"Are any of yours positive? Kids like to pretend, so I can never tell if yours are full of it or not. What do you think you'd do if this was them?"

“Ricky and Lili are— Harmony had them tested early,” Richard admits, “I don’t think we’ve tested Aura— Liz might have in one of the other timelines, I never asked.”

He rubs a hand over his face, admitting, “I don’t know. Probably the same thing— find a reliable teleporter to teach them, because that’s… really the only option. I couldn’t keep them drugged for long. Hopefully they’ll be older when they manifest, so they can understand better.”

Knowing that this is something personal for him too, it's both concerning and confiding. They share something deep. Delilah sighs softly, brown eyes remaining downcast.

"For now I guess I'll just… keep an eye on him. I know if something happens I'll have to use the negation, but- -" Dee really, really, really doesn't want to have to do that. "I don't even know what had him blacking out in the first place."

"Was it his power? Or that person he saw? He only started having headaches in the last year or so. Mum had migraines like that. Seein' spots and shit." While not at her previous panic levels, the redhead is still opening up with a semi-stream of consciousness. "He didn't see Grandad… I know that much." A pause, and an addition, "I know it wasn't Ghost. Even though he thinks he's slick and I don't notice him… but Walter knows him anyway. Hell, maybe he just saw himself in a fever haze."

Collecting her thoughts as she finishes, Delilah adds something else, a smaller voice than her usual.

"There's so much about this I'm not gonna understand, and he'll have so many questions.

“You could ask Kaylee for help,” Richard suggests, forehead wrinkling a bit at the mention of someone he saw, “She could gently thumb through those memories and see who it is he saw. I mean, it’s possible he saw some sort of— time shadow of himself, which isn’t even a thing as far as I know but who the fuck knows?”

He reaches back out, hand curling over hers without hesitation this time.

“Hey,” he says gently, “You’ll answer him the best you can. Kids need to learn their parents don’t have all the answers eventually.” A beat, “You should’ve seen Lili’s face when she realized I didn’t know how the television worked.”

"Time shadow?" Delilah can't help but laugh a little at that. It sounds like something that Richard would throw out there, even if he doesn't know if it is a thing. That he entertains the impossible at all is very much- - Him. "Kaylee is busy as hell too, isn't she? I feel like this power rolodex is a dangerous temptation."

"As for you… Lili is light years ahead of us, that's not a very good comparison." This is her exaggerated judgy face. Delilah's hand is still, and she seems to consider the weight of his grounding her. Is this what she's like for other people? She wants to think so. "I suppose you're right again, though. He does ask enough questions that after a while I'm going to have no bloody clue what he's talking about at all. Even now he comes back from school and I'm just- - 'how the hell do they change maths?'"

“Harmony helps them with maths,” Richard laughs, free hand raising up defensively, “I do not. I don’t do well with those kind of numbers.”

A shake of his head, “And the power rolodex is there to make use of. Look, we stood together against the world about to end sixteen, seventeen times — we stand together in parenthood too.” He quirks a gentle smile, “It’ll work out alright.”

"You're such a cheeseball." Richard's words and smile are enough for Delilah, it seems. At least for now. Until the next big ka-bang happens. "But I'm glad you are."

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