Dodging Obstacles


devon2_icon.gif emily_icon.gif

Scene Title Dodging Obstacles
Synopsis Some of those nurses think visiting hours apply to everyone. Emily respectfully disagrees.
Date March 24, 2019

Elmhurst Hospital

It's a good step toward night when Devon is finally deposited into the room that had been set up for him, without wires and machinery to aid in living. All the poking and prodding and scans revealed him to be in decent health, given where he'd been found. With a round of fluids administered and the scrapes and abrasions taken care of, he was left in the dim with some warmed blankets and a tray of food that’s been so far left untouched.

The food doesn’t interest him in the slightest. Instead his mind works around the events of the afternoon. There’s no answer for how he’d ended up on the beach, and the last thing he remembers before finding himself surrounded by familiar faces and sand was the mission at Sunstone.

It’s those thoughts that have Dev staring across the half-lit room while he huddles beneath the blankets.

The door to his room slides open with a ghostlike whisper of metal on the track, and it closes even quieter than it was opened. Emily Epstein's thin form slides past the curtain by the door, glancing over her shoulder at the window beyond for barely a moment before her eyes fixate on the bed. Specifically, who's in it.

She'd been separated from Devon by the ambulance ride, and had gone through obstacles since in order to see him again.

Now, finally, there he is.

Emily practically floats across the room toward where he rests, her eyes darting over his form to look for anything unusual, anything she'd not recognize in that face of his that she'd never thought she'd see again. She comes up wanting — finding nothing that indicates why he was left for dead. A breath is taken in to say something, anything, but for a lack of being able to settle on any one thing. She lingers by the bedside instead, close enough to see him clearly in half-light, but far enough away they'd have to lean for each other.

Unlike earlier when she'd thrown caution to the wind, maybe reading too much into something small, she's quietly struggling with what to do with him, what to ask him. "Hey," she finally manages faintly, like any louder and something might happen.

The hush of the door barely reaches him in ways that are noticeable and the subtle movements of the curtain are missed. Devon’s eyes, half opened as though sleep were still trying to claim them, remain staring distantly at some undeterminable point on the wall. His head turns when Emily finally speaks, and shoulders follow quickly so he’s facing her.

“Emily.” Whatever cautions she may be harboring, he isn’t sharing them, though his voice matches hers in volume. Relief mingles with concern and the underlying confusion that’s gripped at him since waking up in the sand. Dev pushes himself up to sit as he studies her, for once without an anecdote or idle comment.

"Devon." she echoes his name back with the sound of a smile on her voice, one that even appears for less than a blink before it's gone again. Emily is too many things at once, her approach to him shifting with every movement of her eyes.

"Are…" she starts hesitantly, feeling the question of his state, his being needs to get out of the way. "What do you remember?" she asks instead, hoping that'll sound better, get her just as sure an answer.

“The beach,” Dev answers with some certainty. He makes it as far as propping himself up on his elbows, and he sags a little between between his shoulders as he tries to think back. “Just before that I was on a mission in California.” Just before would be yesterday is what his tone implies, but uncertainty clings to the edges.

He frowns faintly, his concern showing more easily, and he sinks back against the pillows. “I’m alright,” he says, intending to ease her worries. He holds a hand out to her, proof that he’s alive and well. “Some scratches and bruises. I’ve had worse.”

Emily leans forward and takes a hold of the offered hand in hers, holding on tightly as she slumps against the side of the bed, slowly easing closer toward sitting on its edge. She takes a moment to look down at their hands, her thumb brushing the back of his.

"Dev, California was two months ago." She forces herself to look up at him as she says it, finding it important she does. "Everyone thought you were dead." Her voice is steady, hand still holding onto his.

Two months ago. That has his hand tightening slightly around hers, as though the floor dropped out from beneath him and letting go would mean falling into an abyss. Devon tries to wrap his mind around the possibility, searches for some points of reference between the last thing he remembers of the mission and waking up on the beach. He watches Emily, searching for something that would hint at some misunderstanding.

He looks stricken when the next shoe falls. “I didn’t,” he points out quietly. Obviously he didn’t, because they’re together having a conversation. He can’t explain for the possibility that he’s been missing for two months, but he’s certain he’s alive. He lifts a hand and reaches for her, to cup her cheek with his hand. “I’m here. I’m… I’m so sorry, Emily.”

Seeing the reaction he goes through doesn't bring her any satisfaction, worry starting to reflect in her gaze as she sees how he takes the news. When he finally speaks, what he says isn't by any means funny, but she lets out a short breath of laughter regardless. Emily closes her eyes and lets her grip on his hand adjust, fingers lacing into his. It helps her better prepare for the rest of the conversation, or so she thinks. When she opens her eyes and feels his touch on her face, she's completely taken off guard by how she's almost instantly teared up.

This is all a bit much for her, too.

She shakes her head at his apology, stubbornly. "I don't want you to be sorry," she assures him without thinking, her tone still smooth. Tears fall of their own accord, her body and her brain and her heart all on different pages currently. "I just — really want for this to … not be some dream I wake up from where you're gone again." Emily laughs faintly, managing a smile.

The conflict showing on Emily’s face makes Dev’s brows pinch into deeper creases, and he carefully brushes at those tears on her cheeks. “I’m really here,” he tells her quietly, “and I’m not going anywhere. I promise. I’m back.” He tucks a stray lock of hair behind her ear, fingers lingering for a few seconds longer before his hand drops away.

He pushes himself up a little bit and shifts to one side, so there’s room for Emily to sit more comfortably. “I promise,” he says again, more quietly than before. He smiles himself, masking some of his lingering fears, there’s time for facing those later. His greater concern is for her right now.

Forcing that smile still, she shakes her head as she settles in in a half-sit against the side of the bed as she sees his worry for her of all things grow more prevalent, not fussing him away as he tries to wipe her tears away. She's mellow at least until he starts making promises, her gaze settling on his uncertainly. "Hey, the last time you promised me something—" Emily starts, chidingly.

She ended up grieving him is true, and would be fair to say. It's a thing that did happen.

But he also is sitting before her now, too, which would mean…

"… you kept it." she admits with a weary sigh, pulling herself onto the bed with an expression somewhere between distressed and humbled. Her eyes dart down and then back up at him, searching his expression.

"Are you okay?" she finally asks, her head dipping. She sounds overwhelmed, but her concern for him pushes through. "Like, what the fuck, even." Emily leans closer to him, patting his cheek, placing a hand on his shoulder. "You — you don't even know what happened to you, and this is a fucking lot." Her look is as wry as it is sympathetic to that, her head canting slightly to the side. "I'd be freaking out." is something she has no trouble confessing.

“And I will always keep it.” Another promise but, like the first, Devon intends to keep it. He can't change the grief he'd caused — even when his thoughts touch on the possibility that he's been believed to be dead, there's a painful twist of guilt — but he can hold himself to his word. “Always.”

He looks up at her for a moment longer, still searching. He can't fully escape his concern, but when Emily finally sits, he sinks into his pillows.

His eyes drift closed, then come open again when his own well-being is questioned. “I don't know,” he answers honestly. “I'm… terrified. Two months is…” He hasn't begun trying to wrap his mind around it. Dev shakes his head, then gathers her hand from his shoulder. He rubs her knuckles with his thumb, then kisses those knuckles. “It'll get figured out,” he says, for his benefit as much as hers.

"It will," Emily assures him. It's a certainty. There's too many curious, stubborn people on the case. She looks over her shoulder at remembering them, but the curtain stays put for now. Shoulders lowering, she turns back to Devon thoughtfully.

"Maybe you just have a few extra superpowers you were hiding up your sleeve this whole time," she suggests amiably. They could either make light of the situation or let the wondering and lack of answers drag them both down. "Like … Selective invulnerability." Emily teases, rocking closer for a moment as she says it. Her voice is a touch wry as she adds, "And teleportation, of course."

She smiles without meaning to, her eyes brighter than they have been in weeks.

“Maybe. Teleportation could be useful.” Devon grins faintly at the idea of having additional powers. It couldn’t be a terrible thing, could it? “I always wondered what it would be like to fly, or move things with only a thought.” After a beat he half chuckles and shakes his head. “Infrared vision would be a trip. If it could be selective…” He even takes a few seconds to actually think about the possibility.

Eventually he sighs and lets the musings drift, to be considered later. Instead of letting his expression lapse back into worry, trying to ignore the rattling confusion, he smiles up at Emily. “You know what’s even better than extra powers?”

He pauses to pull her into a tight hug. “Being home,” he finishes quietly, into her hair. Dev brushes a hand across Emily's cheek, then turns his head to kiss the other. “We have movies and video games to discuss still.”

"I thought that was how your thing worked!" Emily exclaims, swatting at him when he shares he's wondered what telekinesis would be like. Her grin grows, at least until he comes back his 'guess what', brow lifting in surprise when his embrace envelops her.

Oh. She's taken aback by the suddenness of the sweet gesture, arms remaining by her side. Emily's eyes follow his movements as his hand lifts, mindful of his continued closeness. When Devon leans back in… she allows it.

Before she can respond, the sound of the door sliding open draws her attention, eyes flitting toward her shoulder before she looks back at Devon quickly.

Her eyes show the flicker of an apology.

When the curtain is pulled aside, the nurse on the other side looks surprised to see two where there should only be one, while Emily is nothing short of shameless. "Miss Epstein," begins an unhappy lecture. The unrepentant young woman leans forward, pecking Devon's forehead swiftly as the nurse sternly scolds her, "I told you there are no visitors allowed back right now."

As Emily pulls back, her shoulders lift ever so slightly as her brow arches innocently at Devon. She might have been told that a few times, yes.

The apology is met with a question in the shared look, which then slants to the curtain as it’s pulled open. A nurse isn’t who he’d expected to be walking in, and Devon’s hand wraps around Emily’s, like that might change the nurse’s mind about visitors. At least about this one visitor. It probably won’t, but it’s worth a try.

When Emily leans in, he smiles up at her and gives her hand a small squeeze. He looks amused that she’d snuck back to see him. The nurse is regarded after a second, with a weighing eye that’s likely a well practiced Wolfhound thing.

“Shouldn’t I get to decide if I can have visitors,” he asks. “It’s not going to hurt anything.” Dev looks at Emily and then back to the nurse.

"It's after visiting hours," The nurse fires back crisply. She's already lived this argument with several other parties, some more aggressive than others, and it won't be her that caves after having stood her ground how she has. "The floor's quietening down for the night, and I'd like to keep it that way, please."

Emily's giving the woman a look echoing Devon's sentiments, still holding onto his hand. She grudgingly uprights herself again and lets her feet slide to hit the floor, clearly not moving at the speed that's desired of her. "I'll see you soon," she murmurs definitively, reluctantly slinking away toward the door and laying her jacket across her forearm as she goes.

On another day, she might remember to be mad, to lecture, to hold him responsible for all the negative things that have happened … but today, she’s just glad he’s safe, and he’s home.

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