Emotional Explosion


delia_icon.gif jaiden_icon.gif

Scene Title Emotional Explosion
Synopsis While sharing a little bit of domestic time, Jaiden and Delia catch a bit of news that leaves her reeling.
Date October 13, 2010

Gun Hill — Delia's Apartment

Whatever it is that compels Jaiden to spoil the Ryans girls with delicious cooking is certainly appreciated by the two of them. After dinner, Delia shoved Lucille out of the apartment to go explore and meet the neighbors.

Alone at last with her boyfriend, they share a rather sweet domestic moment. Instead of letting them pile up and doing them later, like they usually do, the couple stands together in the kitchen with Jaiden washing and Delia drying and putting away (she hates to get her hands wet). The small radio in the living room is set to play classic oldies, the kind of songs that make you smile when you think back to grandma and grandpa singing little tunes to each other.

Giving Jaiden a bright smile, Delia grabs another plate from the dish rack and wipes the soft towel over it a few times. Sure, he could probably get rid of it himself, but it’s a little more fun as they chatter away about their days. “You should see it, I can’t belie — “

«According to information released by the Chinese government, an engine malfunction in the primary booster rocket during launch preparation resulted in an explosion that severely damaged both the shuttle of the launch pad. Several people were injured…»


The plate smashes on the floor as Delia stares at Jaiden, her face stark white.

It’s the compulsion to make himself indispensable. Home is not home without home cooking of some kind - even if it is only peanut butter and jelly or cans of soup heated over the stove. He cooks because it creates a ritual to share between people, the simple act of enjoying a meal and conversing over a table without a television to distract or entertain. It’s conversation. It’s family. It’s what they do.

Dinner was simple - a roasted hunk of beef nearly falling apart from being cooked so long in a wine sauce that could honestly double for a gravy it’s so thick, roasted corn on the cob, steamed asparagus…all good foods that take a little time to do but are _so_ worth it when he’s done. He’ll make Delia cook one day, with his help, and see if he can’t get her to know something more than ‘open box, insert into microwave.’

NPR is the only thing that Jaiden really ever listens to on the radio - top 40 is too Gaga-esque, and you can only hear so much classic rock before you want to pull your brain out, so the news drones on in the background. The previous story is about the morgatge crisis and this one, about the explosion in China on a booster?

*CRASH* Jaiden looks down at the floor, then up at Delia. “Your father…” He rubs a soapy hand over his face, a few suds getting caught in his hair. “Oh god…”

The young woman wavers a little bit before grabbing onto the counter and then sinking to the floor. Her rapid breathing threatens to border on hyperventilation and the glazed look in her eyes places her somewhere too distant for anyone else to reach. At least mentally. She doesn’t blink, she doesn’t say anything, she doesn’t even move save the trembling of shock that her body is experiencing.

It takes a very long five minutes before her eyelids flicker over sandpaper dry eyes. The radio has already passed the report like it was just a small special interest story that might make an eyebrow raise here or there. Slowly, Delia’s eyes squint to small slits as she tries her best not to react, she tries to be strong. Heaven knows what Lucille is doing, if she even heard.

It doesn’t really matter right now what Lucille is doing. Right now it’s Delia that matters, and chances of Lucille even being told that her father was on a mission to hijack a Chinese shuttle are pretty much negligible. No, chances are Lulu thought it was a special-interest story and nothing more than that, except both Jaiden and Delia know that there’s much, much more to it than that.

Jaiden bends, shifting to sit next to Delia, putting an arm around her to hold her to him, tightly, and when those eyes flicker open, it’s concerned olive ones that are gazing back, a hand moving to brush over her cheek. “Del….I’m sure he’s fine. Your dad’s too crafty to get caught up in something like that. It’s probably just a story to hide the fact he got away with the shuttle.” He really hopes that’s the case.

“I — “ Even that small syllable sounds thick and heavy with emotion. Leaning into Jaiden, Delia just wilts as though lacking the energy or motivation to do anything. In truth, that is likely what is happening. “I — “ she begins again, halted by the fact that she’s still too dazed by the news to think clearly. Tears of silent anguish spill down her cheeks as she just nods to Jaiden’s assessment, of course her father’s too smart to get caught up in anything like that.

Except he’s not.

He takes stupid risks.

Ones that will eventually catch up with him.

Her long arms reach up and around Jaiden’s neck as a cry not heard by him in over eleven years pours out of her. Her fingernails dig into the cloth of his shirt, putting little pink moons into the skin underneath as she sobs. “He wouldn’t — H-he wouldn’t… p-promise…” Even though she told him that she still needed him.

He wouldn’t promise because he couldn’t promise. Jaiden knew where Ryans was coming from when Delia told him of his refusal to promise. His arms close around her, tight, holding her, almost squeezing the breath from her lungs with the force of it.

They’ll eventually catch up, sure, but not this time. Not today. “We would have heard something from our respective sources. Hell, Elisabeth would have told me if something went wrong.” Jaiden cradles her against him, letting her cry, letting her soak his shirt with her tears.

“Nobody’s ever told me anything, Jaiden, not even when we had to go on the run. I waited for days before I knew whether he was alive or dead…” Her words are interrupted by hiccups and sobs, gripping him tighter, almost as tightly as he’s holding her. Delia’s blue eyes look even brighter than usual when offset by the redness of being bloodshot. The tip of her nose, red from crying gives the appearance of chill, or even a certain reindeer.

Staring into his olive green eyes, she swallows once and lets loose a long breath to relieve the built up tension inside of her. “This is why… THIS is why I don’t want you to do anything dangerous. Even if he’s okay, even if he comes back… He’s just going to do it again and again. I don’t want to live like this, worrying all the time.”

That isn’t right, Delia not being told anything about why her life’s been turned upside down. Keep your family out of the way, keep your secrets secret, so they can’t be used against you. It’s part of the reason Jaiden never stopped to put down roots. If the people who wanted him dead so many years ago knew where they could find him and a cute little woman he’s fallen in love with, it wouldn’t take too much effort to send someone to put a bullet into her in order to get to him. And Jaiden’s just an ex-reporter! Someone like Ryans? With access and links to the Company? How many secrets must he know that need to stay buried?

“It’s not like he wants to do it, Delia. He does it because he sees it as having no other choice but to do it. I don’t know why he’s up there, in space, but I’m sure it’s for the good of all. Maybe he’s putting a satellite out of commission before it destroys the world. Maybe he’s fighting on an evolved-manned space station. Or aliens, even.” He’s trying to inject a little mirth in the somber conversation.

“And I don’t want you doing anything dangerous, but I know you’re going to have to. No-one wants to be in the line of fire, but it’s the brave ones who do it, no matter what the costs. Your dad….he’s got a job to do, and if it requires him sacrificing everything to do that job, he’ll do it. No sorrows or regrets…it was his to do and he did it. There’s a pride in him, I know, that won’t let him back down.” There’s a gentle kiss placed on Delia’s forehead as she sniffles. “Then don’t worry. Trust him. Trust me. All will be well.”

“No, he doesn’t have a job to do. He lost his job. He’s a handyman, not some secret super spy or dog catcher for evolved people.” Delia is angry, adamant, grief stricken, and clinging to Jaiden with the last threads of strength in her body. Letting loose another shuddering sob, she rests her head against his shoulder, nestling her face into the crook of his neck. “I just… Why can’t he just be normal… He retired… There’s younger people that can do this. He’s almost sixty…”

No matter how young he looks.

The feel of her eyelashes as they close is a little tickle against Jaiden’s neck. Everything he said didn’t register, not completely. “Aliens? No… he didn’t go up for aliens…” she murmurs slowly, not finding the humor in the situation at all. “He went up to destroy a satellite, one that the Institute wanted… He said they’d be able to use it to track people down, like pinpointing evolved people.”

“He looks good for sixty.” Jaiden muses, stroking a hand through Delia’s hair, shifting a bit to the right to get a shard of pottery out of his backside, sitting there on the floor, comforting her. What he is or isn’t is irrelevant. Now he’s not here, and it’s hurting Delia something awful, it seems.

The explanation on why he went up, though….that causes Jaiden to nod. “He did it for you, Delia. He did it to keep you from being tracked. He did it to try and give you a normal life, and god be with him in his quest. I want him to succeed.”

“Someone else could have done it, someone younger. Someone that — “ isn’t needed as much as the redhead needs her father. “Someone that he trained… or something… “ Jaiden’s hand stroking through her hair calms her somewhat and she curls into his body just a little.

Limp as a rag-doll, the young woman looks up to the large Australian for a source of comfort and support. “I never want to worry like this over you. “ She emits on a soft voice, the upturned inner edges of her eyebrows gives her a rather pitiful countenance, like a watery eyed kitten or Japanese cartoon character. “I can’t live like my mom did… She was going to leave him, you know that? I saw it in my dad’s head. She begged him not to leave and to quit his job and told him she wouldn’t be there when he got back…” In a way, she wasn’t. The bomb went off two days later.

“Someone could have, yeah, but knowing your father, with him there, he knows it’s being done right. I can’t say that I blame him, but I’m not going to defend his actions, either. I just know the type of man he is.” His hand brushes over her cheek, soothing, soft, and gentle before he bends to give her a surprisingly chaste kiss on the mouth.

“You won’t worry about me like this, Delia. You’ll be with me if I go on any insane jaunts by my choosing.” That’s not to say if he’s taken unknowingly he won’t go, but that’s simple semantics. “Your mom….she was a strong woman. She couldn’t take not knowing, like you don’t know now. It’s a hard life, but sometimes it’s the only life there is for some people. If I can promise it, I’ll do it. If I can’t, I won’t promise it, because I’m no liar.” He didn’t know Delia’s mother was leaving Ryans…the things seen while in another person’s dream.

“He just doesn’t trust anyone to do anything right…” From saving the world to tightening a pipe to stop a water leak, Benjamin is a true do it yourselfer. It’s a surprise that he allowed Delia to be the one to patch Jaiden up instead of doing it himself.

The pledge that he wouldn’t leave her behind or leave her wondering, it causes a little twitch in her lips, as though she’s uncertain of whether to smile or cry. “Good… because if I ever have to cry on the floor for you, I’m going to punch you in the arm or something.” She cracks a crooked smile and squeezes her arms around his shoulders a little tighter. “… and I will… and I use my knuckles.” It’s very possible that Lucille could fill Jaiden in on how much those knuckle punches hurt but she’s not here at the moment.

“I’m lucky…” she says after a moment. “I mean, that you’re here. That you’re with me. I don’t know what I’d do if you weren’t… I probably would have gone to sleep or something.” She doesn’t say what she’s really thinking, go to sleep and cause someone else as much pain as she’s feeling now.

“I don’t think you’ll be alone until your dad gets back. I’m not going anywhere and you’re sticking to me like a shadow, understand?” The tone in Jaiden’s voice leads Delia to believe that there’s not going to be any argument to that statement. Him being with her all the time also means that sleep takes place in her head or his head. No ethereal jaunts for you, young lady!

“Now…let’s get our mind off of things and finish the dishes and clean up the one you dropped.”

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