Father And Daughter


bill_icon.gif helena_icon.gif

Scene Title Father and Daughter
Synopsis There's bonding, and then there's bonding.
Date August 17, 2009

There are numbers a person never forgets.

One's social security number. A student id number. And phone numbers of course. One's own, even if it's was from three moves ago. Helena's not necessarily one of those types who has a good head for numbers, but she's got her own special collection of ones she can recall: aside from her social security number, student id, prison number at Moab, and the date on which she would have died? There's her father's cell number, for the phone that she seldom saw him without, not even on a casual day at home, clipped to his belt.

Even using one of the Ferrymen's throw-away untraceables, Helena took no chances. A cafe in Greenwhich Village, a table in the back for privacy, and that's all she really needs. She stares at the phone for a long time, until finally, letting out a self-exasperated breath, she dials his number and holds the phone to her ear.

"Dean Hyundai," the sound of that slick as ice voice sends a chill down Helena's spine with the context it now has, "Bill Dean speaking, how can I get you in a new car today?" There's that salesman charm coming from the voice over the other side of the phone; he never turns off, not even when on vacation to the city, Bill Dean is still attempting to run a legitimate used car dealership while plotting the deaths of countless people.

Helena always knew her father was a go-getter. This isn't quite what she'd imagined.

There is a moment where Helena forgets to breathe. She spent twenty years loving this man. He kissed her knees when she skinned them, showed up at her ballet recitals, took video of her opening presents at Christmas. Even on the night she left in screaming, raw anger, she did not say she hated him, though she was very, very angry. It's that just as much as the fear that sends the chill down her spine.

Her voice, when it comes, almost cracks. She is unable to keep from sounding plaintive and uncertain.


A protracted silence lingers over that phone for a few long minutes, just the sound of a boat-horn in the distance breaking that monotony. "Lena?" Maybe it's why it's what makes her uncomfortable whenever Peter calls her by that name, he's been the only other person aside from her father to regularly refer to her as such. "Lena, Jesus Christ, where the hell are you?" A father's fear for his missing daughter, it sounds so genuine, every single bit of sincerity put in place, polished and let shine. "Lena please don't hang up, please. Tell me where you are, baby, tell da' where you are an' I'll come get you."

Maybe Mona was wrong…

"Lena, sweetie, please don' hang up, justt— just tell your da' where you are, an' I swear I won't be mad. Just let me know you're okay, let me— " Bill finally realizes he's rambling, but only when he pauses in his speech. "Where're you callin' from, girl? Talk t'me…"
"I'm okay, Dad."

It is admittedly, words that many daughters say to their fathers, and subsequently words that fathers seldom believe. Maybe she can allow, that for just a moment he remembered himself, that for a moment he was her father, and not a card carrying member of Humanis First. Surely twenty years and diapers and tutus and Monopoly games and teaching her to drive a stickshift are not forgotten so easily. But only for a moment.

"I can't tell you that, Dad." A little bit of Helena's spine comes back, and if nothing else, she remembers who she is now. "But I can tell you that what you're doing is wrong. Are you so angry at Mom - are you so angry at me - that the only way you could get back at us was to…to…" she can't even say it.

For a while, there's silence again on the other side of the line, the same few moments of pause that there were before, like the time an actor takes to get into character. "You know, you always were an ungrateful lil' twat of a child." The venom in Bill's voice rises at the back of his throat, mixing with the bile his words seem to be laced with. "No, girl, what I'm doing isn't any more wrong than the sun shinin'. What you're doin' is wrong, an' a fuckin' embarassment to me an' my family." His family, which apparently does not include her. "You and your little shit of a mother were both the worst things t'ever come rolling into my life, an' it's obvious that the goddamned apple doesn't fall far from the tree, 'cause here you are being just as big of a stupid bitch that she was. It's amazing you haven't gone an' choked on your own tongue yet."

The tirade continues with only enough pause for Bill to catch his breath. "You know I was at least goin'ta try and talk civil with you before I shot you in the head an' put you outta' both've our miseries, but y'know what I'll say this counts an' call it a day. So just you be prepared there, missy, cause m'gonna find you, and m'gonna find your friends, an' m'gonna lock you all in a metal shipping container and fill the fuckin' thing with somethin' really combustible and set you an' alla' your freak friends on fucking fire. Me an' my boys'll roast fucking marshmellows over it an' sing a goddamn' campfire diddy!"

Practically spitting his words out now, Helena can almost see her father being red in the face as he screams into his phone. "So just you wait an' keep lookin' over your shoulder. 'Cause m'gonna' find each an' every one'a you little shits, an' m'gonna enjoy listening t'you beg for you goddamned lives while y'bleed out at m'feet!"

She can't even move, when he starts his tirade. Her face is frozen, staring at nothing at all as he rants, every word out of his mouth a fist, a knife, a bullet. It's only when he warns her that he's coming and promises to see her beg and bleed does she snap out of it, clicking the END button on the phone and tossing it down on the table in front of her as if the phone itself was poison. She stares at it uncomprehending, pushing out of her seat so fast it grates against the floor.

The good thing about sitting at the back of the cafe is that the bathroom isn't too far away. She staggers in, reaching for the stall door to fling herself toward the toilet, as her dinner comes up, accompanied by her first tears since she returned from the future.

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