Going All Softie


delia_icon.gif toru_icon.gif

Scene Title Going All Softie
Synopsis … and getting ki— kielbasa'd. It's the fate that lies in store for Toru.
Date February 27, 2011

Fort Greene — Nicru's Apartment

It's the middle of the afternoon when Delia finally manages to make it back around to the apartment. The grating sound of her key being pushed into the lock and the kick of her boot to the bottom of the door to open it are the sounds that come before her entrance. The tan shearling coat is pulled off and hung inside the same small closet that Nick puts his coat into. The closet is so small that her coat takes up nearly all of the space inside.

The little plastic bag that she carries is full of clinking cans and as quietly as she can manage, she places it on the kitchen table before taking a seat. A casual cursory glance reveals Nick to not be at home, likely getting the supplies she asked him for, Toru is on the couch and the television is on. She eyes it warily, the television, and then gives Toru a smile. "Hey, how's your day?"

At some point in the last couple days, Toru tracked down Amadeus's van and got the rest of his crap. Which adds a second duffel bag to his one at the edge of the couch, and a longboard to the floor next to it. He's got his feet rested on that as he watches the TV, idly sliding it back and forth for the ultra-cool wheel turny sound. One day it will be warm enough to skate for real again, but until then, that sound is all he has. Woe.

He's drinking a soda out of a can while he watches TV, having reverted into a primitive frat-boy state, and just sort of lifts a hand in greeting when Delia comes in. "Yo," he answers, shifting around on the couch a bit. "S'alright. TV. Enh." Shrug, the hand is lifted and wavered. It's Spongebob, probably. He takes a gulp from his soda can, turning his hand to wipe his mouth on his shoulder, and turn attention back to the TV. Oddly incommunicative today, it seems.

Delia sits out of view of the television screen but somewhat facing Toru as she works to pull her boots off. They're not fancy Chucks like he has; they're old, scuffed, faded, scratched, and there's a little tear in the top of one. Still. Once a section of old newspaper is spread out on the table, the redhead places one of the boots on top of it. And then she just stares at it.

A minute or two goes by with her blue eyes focused on the shell shaped toe of the boot. A few blinks interrupt the exercise before she pulls a white fabric pencil from the plastic bag and stars drawing designs on the boot. "You like cartoons?" She tries to start a conversation, it's not like Toru to be so… quiet.

Toru, for his own part, just continues staring at the TV. He isn't quite ignoring it, but at the same time he really doesn't seem that invested. The soda captures more of his interest, really, and he's done with that in short enough order. Sets the can on the floor next to the couch, and folds one leg up over the other. The question does shake him up a little bit, though, and he blinks a few times, looking at the TV as if for the first time.

"Oh, is that what— " He changes the channel. Sports. Manly! Changes the channel. Flips through a bit until landing on some old movie, and shrugs again. "— I don't really watch TV. I dunno. It's just something to look at until it's time to rest up to do it again tomorrow." There's a long, awkward pause there. "…what's up?"

"Uhm… I'm leaving tonight. Going uhm… back— home." Presumably not to the hotel. Just like a girl to cuddle and run, walk of shame and all that. "Figured I would paint my boots first, make them a bit happier." Blink. "I mean… not that the boots would be happy or anything. They're boots, right? Just, I dunno." He has cartoons, she has happy little boots. Like Bob Ross or something. Just without the three foot jewfro.

"I'm going to put shell toes on them… and zebra stripes along the sides. Maybe like… leopard spots or giraffe spots or something on the backs. What do you think?" The paint she pulls from the plastic bag is in three different pots. One white, one black, and one gold. "I should have got red, so I could outline stuff."

It doesn't take very long for that shoe description to push Toru right back into the funk he'd barely started to crawl out of. His gaze, while still directed at the TV, goes a bit out of focus, and he's silent for a long minute. If Delia were to look, she might notice him gripping the remote a smidge more tightly than necessary, hand turning an odd shade of white —

— He stops himself just short of actually breaking the thing, though. And after a moment, his hand goes back to normal, but he stays quiet. Even the longboard has stopped its swaying, though he did keep that up for a bit after his reverie started. After what seems like forever to him, at least, but probably wasn't actually all that long anyway, he finally replies, quietly, "I should probably head out too, really."

"Why?" Delia's eyebrows knit together and she jerks her head to look at Toru for a long while before qualifying her question. "I mean, why do you think you should?" Her eyes flit toward the hand gripping the remote and her worried frown deepens. A glance is cast to her scribbled on boot and slowly she places it back on the table. She keeps the pencil though, flicking it quickly from side to side and then against her knee like a little drumstick.

"I don't think you should," she offers quietly. "I think you should stay, not just because the van would be crappy right now but because I think he needs you around." Not her, him. "Just don't tell him I said that, okay?"

"No, he doesn't." Toru's answer is, for once in this conversation, swift and certain. Whether he's right or not is another thing, but he's at least confident about it. "We don't talk and we're awake on different shifts. It doesn't make a difference if I'm here." Remote is gripped tightly again, but this time he tosses it aside when he's done making with the grips. Gently, to the other end of the couch.

Slumping forward, he runs one hand through his hair, not bothering to brush it out of his face when it falls back down. "It doesn't— it never matters, and me staying here is just— I don't need to keep doing this." A frown, small shake of the head, and he puts his hands on his knees, pushing himself up. "I won't go back to the van, I'll— find someplace. Stayin' here sorta just means I'm tellin' myself how stupid I think I am."

Drawing her lips into a tight frown, Delia looks down at her boot and shakes her head. "I wish you'd stay…" Drawing in a shakey breath, she gives the young man a quick glance and then looks back down at her boot. What started out as zebras and giraffe prints has slowly manifested into psychedellic swirls, checkerboards, and dancing stickmen. There's still some zebra, she's just not good with the rest. "He gets into trouble, a lot… He needs someone to look after him."

The he in question would violently disagree with that statement. Most likely.

"Even if it's to make sure he's not killing himself." The redhead looks up from the boot and stares at Toru for a long while before saying anything else. "He's hard to get to know, he puts up all these walls because he's afraid of hurting people." Or getting hurt again.

All things considered, Toru is doing a pretty good job of putting up some pretty similar walls right now. He's listening, at least, but another moment passes before he answers. When he does, he's finally actually looking at the person he's talking to. Looking towards her, he holds his hands palm-forward, fingertips pointed down. "What do you want me to do?" The words are almost angry, but his expression is soft and almost hurt, even.

"I don't mean shit to him. We have maybe half a conversation that isn't superficial, I never see him, then one day he's in a charitable mood so he decides to fucking feel sorry for me and let me sleep on his couch," and here he looks at the couch, stalking around to the other side and gripping the back of it with one hand. "spends all his time gone and lies to me about who he is because it isn't like I matter in his scheme of things, so what do you want me to do? Give up on trying to get back on my feet so I can drag my heels babysitting someone I don't even matter to because he's your friend?" And despite the acid behind the words, his tone suggests that the question isn't as rhetorical as it sounds.

For all the hurt and anger in the young man's words, Delia doesn't really seem taken aback. Instead she points toward the chair opposite her at the table and tosses the other boot on that side. "Sit, grab a boot, I'll— tell you a story." Without breaking promises promises. Hopefully.

"You know, when I first met Nick, I thought he was a priest or something for like… the first few months that I knew him?" There's a little bit of a blush on her face as she relates the story and divulges so much of her naivety. Drawing one of her legs up so her heel rests on the seat of the chair, she hunches over the boot she's drawing on and keeps working away. "He came into this book store that I worked at and bought a bible."

Toru crosses an arm over his chest, the other hand going up to fuss with his hair again. He's starting to regret having bleached it. Brushing at some strands, he tugs at a chunk so that he can try to look up at it, critically. And otherwise just fidgeting while Delia talks, but he does slowly make his way over to that chair and, finally, slumps down in it.

"Fine," he replies to that introduction. He's trying hard not to come across as angry, but there's that whole juxtaposition of what he's saying with how he's saying it that's frustrating to himself as well as anyone else who may find it frustrating. Doesn't really want to get Delia mad at him but still wants to get his point across. "Okay?"

Seemingly ignoring the man's pouty protests, Delia finishes outlining some designs on her boot and passes the pencil to Toru's side of the table. "He's like— really— good looking, and I was too nervous to actually say anything really coherent, you know?" Blush and babble, it's her MO. "So while my boss was helping him at the register, I was back in the romance section arranging books. I found this one with a redhead and a priest on it. Fate, right?" A nervous little laugh follows, as though the woman realizes now how stupid she was.

"I bought the book. Thought it was this huge omen or something. It really wasn't." She pauses for a while as she opens the gold paint and dips a brush in. The silence is maintained as she begins filling in parts of her designs with gold. "I didn't see him again until one day at some park— I was playing with a couple of dogs and talking to this guy that walks them for Peyton Whitney." She stops talking again, maybe realizing how pointless the story sounds and gives him a sheepish smile. "He doesn't let people get close to him. He's— scared."

Toru is cute when he's pouty, at least. He's cute most of the time, but then maybe he's pouty most of the time. Still, though, he listens politely, nodding at the appropriate bits, even smiling a little at the romance novel. Ha ha, how droll. But nonetheless, once she finishes, he's still got that same conflictedy pained expression on his face, and he's fixing to argue more.

"What I'm sayin' is— I don't know the guy like you do. I'm not sayin' I think you're wrong," though he also isn't saying he thinks she's right, "I'm sayin'.. I don't got the emotional investment that you got. From my perspective.. yeah, he let me couch surf for a while, and I really do appreciate that, but.. that's all it's been. A couch and a little trust." And here he pauses for emphasis. "And not enough respect for me to keep him from lying to me 'til you showed up. If I hadn't brought you over, he'd still be lying to me, and I'd be stupid for falling for it."

"He lied to me too.. Third time I met him, he was getting this book on Polish, I think he was trying to learn it. That's when he started calling me Czerwony, it means red." There's a wry smile from the young woman as she dips the brush back into the little pot and starts coloring in the background to the stickmen. Gold is awesome. "That's when I finally believed that he wasn't a priest, I think."

She glances up to Toru with a silly grin and shakes her head. "He lies to everyone, it's one of the walls. Says it's safer for everyone to stay away and crap like that. He lied to me too, until I found him in a dream the first time." Placing the paintbrush down, she sets the boot side and puts the lid back onto the gold. "He couldn't hide there. Then I lived with him for a while.." she taps her temple, "in his head. He kept me safe until the Bogeyman got me."

Toru sits there, pinching the bridge of his nose. It’s kind of a petulant display, but then, so is he. “I’m not going to say he’s a bad guy. I just don’t know.. how good it’d be for me. The last time I stuck with someone I didn’t think liked me all that much, I ended up going all softie and getting myself ki —”

“— kielbasa. There.. there was some trouble. With a butcher.” He waves a hand dismissively. “I’ll tell you about it another time. But the long and short of it is I need to do what’s right by me. I dunno, I guess just up and ditching this place is probably a bad idea since it’s all.. stable.” Shaking his head, he pushes himself up from the table and slumps toward the fridge, pulling out a milk carton, going to drink straight from it— then realizing he’s in polite company, and pouring a glass instead.

“Shit’s just confusing a lot of the time, anymore.”

“It’s not going to be magically perfect overnight and it’s not like Nick’s home all that often,” most of the time that Delia’s been here, he’s been gone. The few times that he’s actually stayed the night, Toru was kicked to the bed with Delia while he took the couch. “I’m just saying it would be a good thing for both of you if you stuck around.” If. “You’d get a place to live that isn’t a van and he’d have company.” Like socializing a small child or a dog.

“If you want, when I leave, I can see about getting you a place too. If you want to come with me, that is.” The redhead pauses talking to swish her brush through a grass of water, making the clear liquid a muddy color from the desaturated gold paint. “It’ll take a while but you might like it, I think… maybe… It’s sort of like a commune or something where everyone has jobs to keep stuff going.”

It’s annoying how much Delia has a tendency to be the one making sense in this relationship. (Not that Toru tends to be the one making sense in any relationship.) Chugging down that milk, Toru just sort of nods quietly for a moment. “Maybe one of these days I’ll make a Powerpoint to show you just where I’m coming from here, Delibird,” he muses.

“But you make some good points, I guess.” A weak smile there, he turns to rinse his glass out in the sink, though he saves actual washing for later. “I still think I should stop being so complacent and actually work on finding my own place, I’m not gonna give up on that,” he probably is, “but if it’s that important to you I’ll try and keep an eye on him.”

“You know, when he’s actually where I can see him.”

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