delilah_icon.gif else_icon.gif samson2_icon.gif

Scene Title Djinn
Synopsis In the Qua'ran, a Djinn is a powerful creature of smokeless flame that lives alongside humans, but is not one of them, capable of both good and evil. Perhaps Samson Gray meets that description better than he realizes.
Date June 28, 2010

The Octagon

Sometimes living here at the Octagon is like living in a dream, with the apartment too impossibly gorgeous to be real and the beautiful view of the East River and manicured landscapes out the floor to ceiling windows. Other times, living here at the Octagon is like living in a pulse-pounding dance party that does not end.

Now is one of the latter times.

Stereo cranked to levels that could wake the dead, Else Kjelstrom's joints seem to not be responding properly as she pops and locks through the kitchen with a plastic bowl under one arm and a whisk in hand. Blonde hair tied up into a pony-tail swishes from side to side as she dances behind the island, head bobbing up and down and lips mouthing the words to Daft Punk's Digital Love.

A cardboard box of pancake mix is open on its side on the marble counter, some of the powdery white mix spilled out near a plastic bag of chocolate chips, an upended measuring cup and a steaming mug of coffee. Bacon sizzles noisily on the stovetop and its aroma clings to every bit of the apartment. That Else is awake before noon to cook breakfast is a rarity, but on those days when she has it set in her mind that she needs pancackes and now there is nothing short of a gun to the head that can stop her.

This singing, dancing, whisking morning is just a snapshot of what living with the former musician is like.


Sometimes, Delilah is left to wonder if Else is actually the one that is having a baby- the cravings such as this one happen so suddenly that it is not so much unlike a popcorn storm, thundering and showering and everywhere for a tiny span of time. Delilah lets herself sleep on a somewhat lax schedule- mainly, when she does not work, she sleeps in until something happens to wake her up. Not much manages to, and so when she finally does crack an eyelid this particular morning- it is to the sound of a bubbly tech-melody and a distant 'whik whik whik' of metal on bowl. Koala'd to a body pillow, Delilah slinks her way up and around to put on some semblance of lazy-day clothes after a minute of listening to the interesting ambiance.

Whenever she does make it out into the apartment, her face has been splashed with frigid water, and her red hair tamed under a headband. Walter's compartment is looking especially heavy as of late- gone from a bump to an unmistakable belly. Halfway there.

"I smell meat." Lovely.

One dark brow rises in measured arc as Else looks over her shoulder, lips pursed into a mirthful smile as she sets whisk and bowl down onto the counter, picking up the bag of chocolate chips and shaking them up and down. "Well," she emphasizes with a broad smile, "that's a good start, yeah? I'm workin' on settin' up some'a these chocolate-chip pancakes to go along with more'n enough bacon t'put us into a fat-coma!" Waggling both of her brows, Else upends the plastic bag of chocolate chips, spilling them down into the mixed batter and then halting abruptly, turning her head and glancing at the stove.

Her nose rankles, she sniffs loudly, then sets the plastic bag down on the counter and flashes Delilah a scrutinizing look. As the chocolate chips slowly sink to their doom in the batter, Else is clearing the distance between kitchen and redheaded mom-in-progress, leaning in on her socked toes to sniff and then settle back down on her heels.

"Must have one've them brain-tumor olfactory hallucination things," Else notes with a crack of a smile as she leans towards Delilah, gently punching her in the shoulder. "Think you might be able to whisk in them little chocolate terrors an' watch the last of the bacon? We're outta' anythin' t'drink so I'm gonna run down to the lobby store and pick up some milk an' OJ."

"Brain tumor, what?" Delilah just laughs, lifting a hand to rub at the corners of her eyes. Else, you are silly. "Why are you sniffing me? I smelled meat, not 'I smell like' meat." El-oh-el. The redhead scoots forward on her bare heels, for the kitchen counter. "Can do, marm!" And maybe-

Delilah takes a pinch of the chips that haven't sunk yet, lobbing them into her mouth. "I don'need a fat coma, 'm already fat. You could use a good fat coma, though." Skinny Else.

"I've got's me a high-metabolism," Else deflects with a wave of one hand, sliding into the kitchen and turning down the heat on the stove as a small touch of her obsessive control-issues in needing to make sure everything is just so. Looking back to Delilah Else arches one brow and looks around, then shakes her head. "I thought I smelled cigarettes for a second, an' I was about t'smack your face off'a your face if you'd been sneakin' smokes. But you smell like sunshine an' puppies so I think I'm just havin' subconscious cravings."

Not bothering to change out of flannel pants and a ratty old gray t-shirt, Else makes her way over to the door and slides on a pair of black slippers, keeping it classy as she turns around and pick up her keys from the hooks by the door, jingling them around her fingers as she looks back to Delilah. "Wally's gonna' owe me fat stacks of thank-yous when he's born, 'cause quittin' smokes ain't the easiest thing in'na world y'know."
"I'm sure he'll be grateful when he can understand the concept. I am." Delilah smiles, the expression very honest. She sneaks a second- and last- pinch of chocolate before hefting up the bowl, tilting it onto her hip, and whisking away. "I never smoked! I am around people that do- but not around me. It is uh- residual. Right." She wags her brows at Else and her keys.

"If you see Ricky, give him a pinch for me."

With a rattle of the doorknob and a look over her shoulder to Delilah, Else takes a step out into the hall with a smile, house keys jingle-jangling in her hand before the door swings shut quiet enough to be lost over the sound of the music. There in the apartment, with the bacon sizzling on the stove and Delilah whisking the chocolate chips into the pancake batter, things seem perfectly normal. Though Else wasn't joking about smelling cigarette smoke. It's faint, lingering near — of all things — the refrigerator.

When Delilah's eyes settle on the brushed steel refrigerator it takes her a moment to differentiate the shadows in its surface from the silhouette of a person being reflected in them. That heart-beat of warning comes before the stereo in the living room is turned down sharply, to a low and subtle beat that could easily be conversed over.

There in the kitchen, hunched forward in front of the stereo is a home invader who'se lanky and skinny frame is accented by how how white button-down shirt tightly clings to his thin frame. Sleeves rolled up to his elbows and head dusted with short cropped gray hair the same length as his stubbled beard, it only takes the look over his shoulder for Delilah to recognize this particular invader to her apartment.

"I hope you don't mind," Samson offers in a hushed voice, lifting up a bottle of beer in one hand, "I figure it's not yours anyway." As if he were a welcome guest, Samson turns around from the radio, glancing to the apartment door. "She seems nice…"

Delilah's reaction is perhaps not one fitting of a teenage girl- she doesn't give a whelp of noise, or drop the bowl all over the floor. She instead lifts up the whisk very threateningly, watching the familiar man with a dose of paranoia that he certainly did not get the last time. It seems that she was either educated- or simply did not like the way that he was honing in on her unborn son.

"I got my eye on you." Evidently. She does not throw something, at least, so that speaks for a small measure of trust. The canine namesake is currently nowhere to be seen- though surely sleeping in the bedroom, it may only be a matter of time. "She is nice. She is a lovely young woman, 's why I moved in with her." That, and her mother instincts. Delilah's tone, however, is a warning by itself, as she sticks the whisk down into the batter again, stirring with a look of dignity.

"Tricky ability, that one," Samson notes conversationally as he eyes the whisk, then the bowl. "You know, I used to be something of a fantastic cook…" The tone in Samson's voice is a distant one, a reminiscing voice of something thinking of better days. With his back to the radio, Samson's casual pace brings him towards the kitchen, sipping on his seven am beer before motioning with the bottle towards Delilah.

"You got some on the floor," Samson warns, his hazel eyes drifting down to a spot of batter on the tiled floor, before alighting back to Delilah. Wearily and creakingly, he moves over to the stools sitting opposite of the island, rising up to awkwardly shift his weight down onto one, the padding making a soft sound beneath himself as he lifts the beer up again and takes another sip, watching Delilah as if they were just two old friends catching up.

Not some kind of creepy stalker relationship.

"The cooking thing never really goes away. It's like a-" Delilah is setting down the mixed batter to find a cloth to mop up the drops on the floor. It takes her a second, as per her new- obstacle- that is. "Like a bicycle." Successful, she stands back up, gripping the counter with one hand and watching the old man with a mixture of wariness and forcibly relaxed muscles. "You're looking less anemic than you did." In a way, Delilah is not totally upset by his presence, and this sort of counts as a compliment on looking less like that cancer paitient. As long as he seems to leave her and anyone around her alone- he is technically only a creepy old guy with smoke powers. And detection. Which means he is like a couple persons Dee knows of. It is naturally a bit unsettling. The redhead moves her hand around to the back of her waist, fingers bracing against the inward curve of her back.

"Did you …want something I can help with? Or is this a personal call?" Not to say she's angry- it is a perfectly normal question, when strangers break into your apartment.

"My son should've gone into medicine," is Samson's answer about hi condition, settling his beer down on the counter with a clunk, "he's got all the ear-marks of a good doctor, including just enough detachment from his patients to be able to objectively diagnose them." With a faintly rueful smile he looks up from his beer bottle to Delilah. "He did wonders for me, at least…"

Finding it difficult to slouch the way he wants to on a backless stool, Samson settles on leaning forward and folding his hands around his beer, idly peeling the label off of the bottle with one long thumbnail as he talks. "I'm just checking up on you, on your child," Samson's gaze drifts up to Delilah from the bottle, even as he leaves little paper scraps behind with continued peeling and tearing.

"I was worried you might not've made it through the storm, all things considered, but when I saw you taking the subway a few days ago… well," Samson smiles, despite the steady revelation that he is in fact a stalker, "I was glad to know you made it out alright. How's the little one doing?"
Delilah watches Samson with a somewhat pursed look. She has to perfect that look of unimpressionable mom at some point or another. The men in her life get it sometimes, when they are pussyfooting or otherwise just being avoiding men. After a moment, she sighs, lips moving into a slight smile. Stalker. Alright. Well- she can handle those. Even if they are basically- djinn.

"I'm resourceful enough." Delilah looks back over her shoulder, to a batch of apparently crisped bacon. Oh, that- She moves to get it off of the stovetop with the spatula there, while making a valiant attempt to watch Samson at the same time. It does not go as well as she hopes, and she does take her gaze from him to finish what she is doing.

"Healthy as a horse, thank you for asking."

"Good," Samson intones before a long sip from his beer, gray brows furrowed and forehead creased with wrinkles. "I haven't seen a father around," is carefully stated, quiet and somewhat reluctant in tone. "I don't mean to come off as intrusive, but, I'm afraid I may have already crossed that line. Do you know who the father is? What he does?" From the way Samson says that last word and raises his brows, there's a suggestion that Samson isn't implying whether or not the father has a job.

Glancing towards the apartment door, the old man is quiet, attention gradually settling back on Delilah and her kitchen business with a scrutiny not usually reserved for people crisping bacon in a sizzling pan. Of course, there's always something double-edged about Samson's words, about his presence, about everything he does and says.

A good host, Delilah at least offers up the plate of fresh bacon. If he wants a piece, he may help himself.

"Yes, and yes. He is one of my best friends, and around as much as he can be." As for what he does, she does not say- though frankly, after a point, Dee is not entirely sure that Teodoro does anything anymore. It is all very blurry to her, and she does not have a reason to think about it much.

Eyeing the offered bacon, Samson's eyes narrow and he considers both it and Delilah for a moment, then leans over to the plate laden with paper towls set down for the bacon grease to soak into. Sliding a piece off with bare fingers, Samson's eyes alight to Delilah before he leans back and views her crookedly. Her demeanor and confidence is putting him on edge, the fact that his attempt at playfully spooking her with his entrance didn't has had him struggling to retain an even footing.

"I may as well be direct, then," Samson entreats as he takes pause to eat the proffered slice of bacon, beer still cradled in one hand. "I'd like to know who the father is, with the intention of getting in touch with him. He and I may have something in common, and I'd like to find out for myself."

"You found me, didn't you?" Delilah's answer is rather sly, for her. "I am sure that you are an excellent detective." Though she has been so gentle with him, Delilah is still not trusting enough to just give things away to him. Not so much in words, anyway. For measure, Delilah takes a piece of bacon for herself, leaning up against the kitchen counter. Perhaps she can tell that she is doing something to him, or perhaps this is just how she is with intruders that aren't actually there to burgle.

"What just do you think that you have in common with him, exactly?"

"Dangerously powerful sons…" may not be the answer Delilah wanted to hear from Samson, but the old man seems to have no pride in offering up that assertion. "The person you're bringing into the world is going to have the power to change it, whether he wants it or not." Lifting his beer up to his lips, Samson takes a prolonged draw from it, then settles the empty bottle down on the countertop with a clunk. "He's going to need to learn how to control himself, or he could do more harm than good."

Pushing the empty bottle ahead on the countertop, Samson lifts his eyes from its label to Delilah, watching her in momentarially silent scrutiny. "You can't change what he is," Samson offers in hushed quality, "but you can change who he is."

"Do you have such little faith in me to be a good mother? To teach him right and wrong?" Delilah's question for him comes through past a veil of creased brow and a stubborn jaw. There is a hint of flustered, ember-like pride there, in her lips and eyes. "You're basically saying he is already out of my control, you know? Apparently, you don't know me as well as you think that you do." Stalker or not, the old man has no place to insinuate such things to her face. Not only that, the abruptness of learning that whatever he does has such potential to be abused versus used for the greater good- it is not easy to hear.

"I can't change what he is, but I can change who he is. And I fully intend to, Samson." The first time that she has spoken his name to him, aloud. Notable in many ways. Hopefully, this is not a world where a name is power. Magic in fiction often pulls at the trope; perhaps the origin had to come from somewhere more real. If it had, once upon a time- it was probably a moment just like this.

Sliding his tongue over his teeth, Samson breathes in slowly and then exhales a faintly wheezing breath. "Sometimes children go back because of their parents, sometimes they go bad no matter the effort." Glancing towards the apartment door again, Samson slides off of his stool slowly, settling down onto his feet and reaching out to collect the bottle he had considered leaving behind. "Your boy is going to have something very special," the old man warns with a thoughtful look, "and I know something about special children… they can turn out like their parents no matter how hard you try to make them not."

That much seems to suggest something about Samson's line of questioning. "You seem like a good person," he notes distractedly, though perhaps with some irony that he could be any sort of judge of character. "I can hope that the boy's father is a good person too." Then, about to turn away from the kitchen, Samson hesitates and looks back up to Delilah with furrowed brows.

"Did you see anything?" It's abrupt, a sudden and urgent sounding switching of gears, "See anything when — " but just as he tries to clarify his question, Samson turns towards the apartment door, brows furrowed and back tense. He's running out of time.

People seeing things is somewhat high on Dee's list of 'uh oh's. She glances at her hands for a second, at the bacon, back to Samson. "Did I see what? What did you see?" Delilah stands up straight, looking after his gaze towards the door. Else, maybe?

"Don't play games, please."

"Darkness," is Samson's answer, gray brows furrowed together, "I didn't see anything except darkness for over a minute." Looking back over his shoulder again, Samson hesitates before settling his attention back on Delilah and taking a step back towards the island. It'd been a mistake for Samson not to think about this sooner, not to ask about something so critical, to never have connected the possibilities that Delilah herself might have seen something.

"The future," Samson implores, resting his hands down onto the marble countertop that divides them, leaning forward and furrowing his brows. "Were you— did you see anything?" From the hastened cadence of speech it seems as though Samson doesn't want to be found out here, by anyone aside from his current ginger company.


Delilah settles down again, with a gasp of a word in realization. "Oh." When she does realize, her brown eyes focus on the hazel ones sharking over the counter at her. "I- he was being born. My friend is a medic, she was there with me in some building. I think we crashed into it, the ambulance was pretty boned. …Terrible day for a birthday, if you ask me."

That has Samson straightening up, his head quirking to the side and gray brows creasing together. Subtly, Samson nods and looks to the sound of jingling keys coming towards the apartment door. Hazel eyes squarely rest on Delilah once more, and Samson's brows furrow before he takes one step back, keeping that attentive and locked stare as the apartment door's knob rattles, then creaks open to reveal Else carrying a plastic grocery bag in one hand laden down with a carton of milk and a small glass bottle of orange juice.

"I couldn't find a carton' a'OJ at the lobby store, so I got us two little cute bottles of— " The moment Else's dark eyes settle on the old man standing near the island holding one of her beers, the blonde quirks her head to the side, looking back and forth between Delilah and Samson.

"I— " Else fires a look over her shoulder to the door, to make sure she wandered into the right apartment, then slowly nudges it closed with her foot, curling fingers tightly around the keyring. " — was… just…" Deprived of her train of thought, Else offers a nervous smile and a waggle of her fingers. "You, ah, new 'ere?"

"Just visiting," Samson intones quietly, looking from Delilah to Else and then back again. "New in the neighborhood and just… checking up with the expectant mother to be."

Getting a little redundant, mister Gray. Delilah hazards a guess that making shit up on the fly is not one of Samson's strong points. "Was just telling me about his son." Sort of. Delilah tips him a Look. Some sort of indescribable woman Look. "This is Samson. Else." Delilah does her part at waving a vague introduction.

About at this time, the other Samson happens to come out of the bedroom over yonder. He looks rumpled, squinting out into the apartment and pausing his stroll out. What is GOING ON. When the dog realizes that someone is there that he did not see come inside, he lets out a grumble of air. It takes the dog a few moments of sniffing air before his tail wags halfheartedly. He thinks he remembers this person. Does he? A look to Delilah for an answer she doesn't have- primarily because she is watching the old man instead.

Dark brows furrowed and smiling awkwardly, Else tips her head to the side and hooks her keys by the door. "Well, s'nice t'meecha Samson, my name's Else and I guess you've already gotten yourself acquainted with Lilah." Sauntering over, Else offers a smile and sets down the grocery bag on the island with a crinkle of plastic, then eyes the finished bacon hungrily before settling her attention up to Samson. "Are you the new fella that moved in down on the first floor?"

"No," Samson murmurs with a glance over to the dog he shares a name with, one gray brow arched before his attention settles on Else again. "Not there, just… around," is an answer vague enough for Else's brows to crease in confusion when Samson sidesteps around her, walking awkwardly away from the two young women as if he hardly knows how to handle himself in a social environment.

"I should be going," the old man mumblingly offers as he smooths a hand over his short cropped hair, looking over to Delilah then Else again. "It— it was nice meeting you two, but I have… a patient to take care of back at my— clinic." It's an awkward way to say he has a mostly involuntary prisoner he's giving medical attention to, but there's no polite way to discuss that in conversation.

Looking awkwardly from Samson to Delilah and not ever getting the referential joke she could be making about his short hair, Else watches as Samson walks to the apartment door, half-heartedly calling out, "It— was nice to meet you," before Samson quietly and awkwardly shows himself out with a click of the apartment door after reluctantly stepping out into the hall.

Furrowing her brows, Else crosses her arms and looks over to Delilah with her lips pursed thoughtfully. "Well…" she begins with a slow pan of her eyes back to the door.

"He seems nice."

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