Extended Family


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Scene Title Extended Family
Synopsis Nova checks in on a fellow survivor who tries to adopt her.
Date July 12, 2020

Health Sciences Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Uninjured as she is, except for a few bruises, Nova doesn’t really have any reason to be in this part of the hospital wing housing the more critically injured passengers of Flight 666 (what she’s dubbed it in her mind). But after seeing most of the same faces for the last couple of days in the hallways, garden, and smoking balcony, she’s in search of faces she hasn’t seen since the day of the crash.

She comes bearing gifts — sodas from the vending machine, the money given to her by a handsome nurse. One’s grape and the other’s Coke, but neither are opened.

Watching the nurses station, she waits until no one’s there, before entering the ward, peeking into the rooms until she finds the one she’s looking for. Her eyes land on Shaw first, to find him sleeping, then Isa, sitting by his side. “Hey,” she whispers. “I wanted to check on you. How’s he doing?”

The tacit offer of either soda is made, as Nova holds out both cans for Isa to take one.

The engineer is found with her face in her hands, gently massaging her scalp with the tips of her fingers. Hearing someone come in Isa just assumes it's another nurse since there are no answers right now. Just waiting but it's not and slowly the older woman's head tics up and she turns to allow hazel eyes to hold Nova's gaze. It doesn't look like she's slept much, Isabelle reaches for the coke with a light nod and gestures to the chair in the corner of the room. Those eyes go back to Shaw as if she could have missed something in those few seconds of not paying attention.

"Thanks. Doctors say he's lucky, there'll be a long recovery. He's alive, at least." Gruff as the answer is Isa does appreciate the concern for her husband, and for her.

"Anybody remembering anything yet?" Of how they got on the plane, what happened. There's a moment where the former pyrokinetic feels guilty and adds on, "How are you?" She looked like a kid, couldn't even be twenty-one yet.

Nova smiles when Isa takes the Coke. Glancing around, like someone might tell her to leave, she shrugs and moves to the other chair, pulling her legs up to fold them like a pretzel. She opens the other can, wincing a little at the loud noise in the quiet space — quiet but for the beep and whirr of medical machinery.

She quickly lifts the can to sip the soda that wells up on the rim. “I would have brought a diet too if you prefer no sugar, but they were out,” she says apologetically, before answering how she is, as well as the other question.

“I’m fine. Super lucky, I guess,” she says quietly, looking to Shaw and the wires and tubes, then up to the IV and over to the monitors, before her gaze alights back on Isa. “I’m Nova,” she says. “You’re Isa, right? No one understands anything. The others seem really angry. I’m just…”

Nova lifts her shoulders. “Confused, I guess. A little lonely. I don’t know any of the others, so that’s part of it, I guess.” Her brows draw together, clearly bothered by something but she forces her mouth back up into a small smile. “I’m glad he’s going to be all right. You’re married?”

"Nice name," Isa comments and nods along to confirm her own identity. "That's my husband yeah, Shahid. Most people call him Shaw. I'm more than relieved myself, he usually is saving me." Call and not called, there's a stark difference Isa isn't willing to be lax on. "I can get behind anger. We were taken, robbed…" The injustice of it all still stings, she and Shaw had done so much to get to this place and be happy with Namiko. The fact that someone had decided to ruin that made the older woman seethe.

Anger was not what she this young woman was rooted in though and in that moment Nami comes to mind and Isa adopts the more maternal side she's cultivated and nurtured after meeting her daughter. "Confusion also makes sense though, it's tough. Maybe we will remember in the weeks to come." Isabelle knows that's optimistic. "I have a daughter I think is around your age."

She squints and nudges Nova's shoulder with a smile, "You can hang with us whenever you want. No questions asked." With eyes on Shaw she lowers her tone, "I hope you don't mind waffles."

Most of what Nova has seen of Isa has been glimpses of the woman swearing at someone or something, lashing out. This was a different side, maybe she was just exhausted. "Did you have one?" Hazel eyes turn towards the girl next to her.

"An ability?"

Her expression grows dark and she looks down to the floor. "I keep thinking if I just had my ability I could do something. Then I laugh at myself, what would I do? Burn my husband to death in solution?" Isa laughs but it's not as much as a joke as something that could actually happen and something she is surprised hasn't happened yet.

Nova’s blue eyes fall on Shaw, and she smiles slightly. “Nice to meet you, too, Shaw Shaid,” she says a little solemnly, before looking back to Isa. “That’s so nice of you. I don’t mind waffles. I mean, I think if I could have anything right now, it’d be decent pizza, but waffles are nice, too.”

She finds a surface to set her soda on as she watches a monitor for a moment, nodding at the need to fix something and not knowing how to do it. “Burning shit might not solve anything, but I bet it feels pretty good when you’re angry,” she muses, considering it for a moment.

Her lids drop, dark lashes fanning her pale cheeks. A head shake of no answers the question Isa posed to her. “Unmanifested,” Nova replies. “I was excited to know what it was, you know? But now it’s just unlocked potential without a key.” She lifts a shoulder. “I guess you can’t really miss something you never really had. I still… I don’t know. It feels like I’m missing something. Besides just the anticipation of it all.”

Lifting her eyes again, Nova shakes her head. “It’s not that important. Not compared to this,” she murmurs, a nod to Shaw. “I’m glad he’ll be okay.”

"Mm pizza. I'm a blasphemer, pepperoni and pineapple pizza, with ranch. I know I know. Most people think I'm gross." Isa holds up a hand in preemptive surrender with a chuckle.

"I'm always angry," The candor is surprising for Isabelle, maybe going through this trauma together allows her to be more honest with Nova, they already share something what's another? "But you're right, it does-did feel good." Too good, that much she keeps to herself and looks down.

She's not sure if it's a blessing that Nova never got to see what her true potential in genetics would be or a curse. "Some might say you're lucky. No stigma to deal with and you also don't feel like you lost a part of yourself." Isa wrinkles her nose and shakes her head, "But you know," Nova confirms as much. "It's as important as my husband's life is. Who you are," Could be.

"I'm very happy he will be okay." She says again. "Do you have someone special? Any family looking for you?"

The mention of pizza blasphemy gets a nose wrinkle and a laugh from Nova, but she waves it away as unimportant. After all, she doesn’t have to eat that particular atrocity.

But her expression is still wistful, and her blue-eyed gaze seeks a focal point rather than Isa’s. She lifts a shoulder at the mention of not losing something, before that last question draws her eyes back to Isa’s face.

“They’re here in Canada, actually. I didn’t tell them what’s going on. They’d be too worried, and I just got settled at the college for the summer session,” Nova says, voice quieter yet, like she knows it’s something Isa might find fault in — having a daughter herself to look after. “It’s not like they can help and I don’t want them to worry about me being in New York more than they already are, you know?”

"I actually, don't know." Isa smiles sadly and shrugs her shoulders, "Never had parents, grew up in an orphanage. The streets, only had one person in my life and me his." She sighs and kind of rolls her eyes but it's at herself. "Look,"

Turning herself around in her chair to look more directly at the younger woman, "My twenty year old self is absolutely screeching at me but. I'm lucky enough to be a parent and I can tell you. It's our job to worry." Reaching over to lay a cold hand on Nova's. "You should let them know, this is gonna be fucking hard to carry alone."

She doesn't leave her hand there but she does remain close, "If you still decide not to, we," Motioning to Shaw and herself. "Will be there. My daughter too," volunteering Namiko, "We're kind of… use to weird shit like this happening to our family."

The younger woman glances down, brows knitting together as Isa talks of her troubled childhood. “I’m so sorry,” she murmurs, reaching up to tuck a strand of dark hair behind one ear. “That must’ve been hard.”

Her hand turns up to squeeze Isa’s back, and Nova smiles as Isa speaks of herself as if she were some old woman. “I know, but if I refuse to leave New York, then they’ll leave their home and their jobs, and they can’t afford to do that, either, you know? It isn’t fair to them, even if they signed up for it by being my parents.”

She reaches for the soda to take another sip, then turns the tab back and forth with antsy fingers. “I am an adult, which is why they have to respect my choice not to tell my parents. I can handle it, but…” she looks up again. “I’m happy to have friends. Extended family.”

"That's fair," Isa won't push a near stranger on the matter not even if they feel connected by recent events and Nova's reasoning is sound. "And you're right, you have friends. Extended family." The woman grins.

"What do you do in New York, I assume school obviously but what's a normal day like in Nova's life?" For Isa it's as much a way to learn more about the young woman as it is a distraction from their current situation.

There's a chill in her body that makes her wrap her coat tighter around herself but her teeth don't click together at the moment, it felt pathetic whenever it happened.

The younger woman notices the chill and frowns, her brows drawing together and forehead furrowing. “I should have brought you hot chocolate or coffee. I’m sorry,” she says. “It’s always cold in hospitals, isn’t it? I have a vague memory of being in one when I was little and always needing more blankets. And they don’t bring you blankets, right, they just bring you more of the dumb sheet things.”

Nova glances down, then up at the ceiling, eyes shifting from right to left, like she’s trying to remember something, but whatever it is, it’s gone. She shakes her head slightly, and returns her focus to Isa.

“Oh, I don’t even know yet. I’ve just moved there, so I was supposed to be taking one summer session class to start acclimating, you know? And that’s just been like… a week? Before all this.” She sighs. “I was thinking about getting a job, maybe, something small. What do you do? And Shaw?” Her gaze travels back to the man in the bed.

"You're sweet, but not your fault." Or job, the gesture is appreciated though and recognized by the smile splayed across her lips. That doesn't quite reach her eyes at the reason she's cold lingers on her mind. "Without my ability I'm forced to feel the colder elements. My body isn't use to it," Yet, remembering her time in the Hub. Those first few months were agonizing for the former bar owner.

"It should be considered malpractice to use those dumb sheets," A quirk at the corner of her mouth and she reaches forward and lays a hand on Shaw's arm, gently massaging and reassuring him that she's still there.

"Ha! Your first week in the Big Apple and you're tangled up in something like this, feels familiar." Remembering the first time she set foot in New York City as an adult. "Shahid delivers packages of all sorts to make some cash. But he's just opened a waffle shop, Brenda's, you'll have to come have some. On the house." As for what she does, Isabelle waves her hand in the air dismissively, "I'm more boring for the day job. I do science for Yamagato by day… and sometimes by night but most of my nights are dedicated to perfecting moonshine. The family brand, we call it WNK."

Isabelle winks at that moment and then rolls her eyes, "His timing is better than mine with it."

“Science isn’t boring!” Nova says with a vehement shake of her head. “Don’t you dare say that. It’s awesome. I was going to maybe major in, like, SLC-E sciences or something, but it’s not declared yet. I’m still deciding.” Her brows knit together as she stares at Shaw for a moment, but really, she seems to be looking through him, with that thousand-yard stare for a moment, before she turns to look back at Isa.

“No offense, but I feel like you just might be the leaders of a waffle-based cult and are trying to indoctrinate me,” she adds in a very solemn voice, as she shifts topics back to the married couple for the time being. “Also, I hate to tell you this, but…”

The younger woman drops her voice to a whisper. “Alcohol’s legal now.”

This newsflash is delivered deadpan, before her lips curve into a playful smile.

"No shit," Isa leans away from Nova, assessing her with a look. "That's impressive. Something we need more of as well." If she was more scholarly minded Isa would have learned that sort of stuff, instead of learning to use these skills to create destruction and death. "I can make bombs with what I know," It's not necessarily a secret but Isa lowers her tone nonetheless.

"You don't say? Whatever will I do?" Mock shock and dismay on Isabelle's face before she laughs and takes another sip of her drink.

"You're funny, smart, the boys must be losing it. Or the girls." Isa gives the young woman a wicked smile and remembers her 20s, "Ahh college age," Not days, since she went to school later in life. "The shit you could get into and the excuse was: I'm young and dumb. You don't really have that luxury." Registering when Nova had that faraway look in her eyes, "You're smart and seem a little wiser than your years."

Those are two different things of course, being smart and wise.

Nova snorts at the implication she’s overwhelmed with dating options, or that she’s in anyway wise. “Hardly, but thanks. Most of the time I spend assuring people I really am old enough to be in the college library or whatever. That’s what happens when you look like Bambi I guess.”

She tips her head, curiously. “Bombs are interesting. I feel that would be a useful skill to have, even if it’s not one most people would brag about. So long as people are assholes and oppress other people, you need bombs to get your point across once in a while, I think.”

Her words are fairly matter-of-fact, a little at odds with that wide-eyed ingenue look of hers. “I mean, don’t get me wrong. I’d rather hold hands and sing Kumbaya and get along, but that seems to be impossible for a large part of the population. Including whoever did this to us.” Her expression turns a little dark. “I’d bomb them, if I could.”

Nova breathes out a soft wow and shakes her head. “Right, then, that was dark. I should get going before I really get my angst on,” she says, standing up. “Listen, let me know if you need anything. I know you don’t want to leave his side, so I’ll play gofer for you if you need, anytime.”

With that, she leaves Isa to worry over Shaw in the quiet room.

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