Grow Up, Grow Away


delilah_icon.gif sable_icon.gif



Scene Title Grow Up, Grow Away
Synopsis Stories told, names revealed, trips planned, a single conversation can cross a lot of ground.
Date January 21, 2010

The Octagon - Delilah's Apartment

"…'n' so all th' armies 'f Israel were so scared by Goliath's big self, 'n' his big armor 'n' his big voice that none 'f 'em dared t' raise a hand 'gainst him, and th' king feared that no man was equal to th' task. Only there was was young man, a common shepherd named David, who wasn't afraid jus' cause Goliath was big 'n' had a loud voice, knowin' that strength is more than muscle 'n' truth more than how much y' shout, so he convinced th' king t' let 'em confront th' giant. 'n' I bet I know what yer thinkin', eh?"

Maybe Walter could be peacefully napping right about now. Not outside the realm of possibility. But with Sable leaning at edge of his crib, once-more-shaggy hair framing yellow eyes that peer down at the tiny fellow, sly mouth yammering away, he's not likely to get much rest. Storytime impromptu, Sable speaks with the avid, engaged attitude of a born performer, and even if Walter may miss some of the finer points of Judean politics, her animated face and half-hushed voice is entertainment enough, we can hope.

"Yer thinkin' that David was crazy goin' up 'gainst an honest t' God giant all covered in armor, with sword, spear 'n' javelin, and David with jus' a slingshot. 'N', boy, y' wouldn't be alone, 'cause y' c'n be sure all th' frightened soldiers of Israel thought he was crazy too. But he stood up 'gainst Goliath, showin' no fear, and let loose that stone, 'n' it struck Goliath dead, right then 'n' there, hittin' him square in th' middle 'f his big, ugly face. 'n' all Goliath's cronies went runnin', f'r without that big man 'n' his big voice, they had no courage 'f their own.

"So," Sable concludes, tapping the side of her nose before reaching down to tap Walter on the tip of his, "jus' you remember, jus' 'cause you 'n' me are little don't mean we gotta bow our head to no one," she squints, "'specially remember, too, when you get big, which y' will, that don't mean I still won't be able t' kick yer ass." So this story has two morals.

"Hey, now, nobody's kicking any asses in here." Delilah has been standing, probably unnoticed, at the doorway for most of the story and its subsequent moral lessons. She wanders up behind Sable, using one hand to brush the girl's black hair back, and the other to set into motion the hanging shapes on spindles above Walter's crib. He seems to have been entranced by Sable, and even though he doesn't much understand the story as a whole, he always likes to listen to the cadence of her voice when she gets going like that. The pair of little balled fists wag up at her, blue eyes blinking and mouth wet.

"You do that so well, don't you?" Dee offers this when she looks back to Sable, hand going from her hair to her shoulder. "Next thing we know, he'll be taking you up on that. I hope he's big enough to just hold you by the forehead to keep you off." Spindly Sable arms flailing at, etc.

Sable's smile is lopsided, half embarrassed but (math defying) more than half pleased, eyes closing briefly in a somewhat feline expression of happiness as Delilah brushes back her once-again lengthening bangs. "Aw, hell…" she says, hand lifting to scratch the back of her neck before moving to touch against the small of Delilah's back. She leans over to peck the taller woman on the cheek. "Kid's a good audience," she says, "takes two t' tango, 'n' all that."

She eases up from her lean on the crib, head tilting slightly. "I been thinkin' 'n', like, I dunno where everythin' stands 'n' all, but," she quirks her mouth to one side, "if I'm gonna stick it out here, darlin'. If, like, y' still want me to… I don' wanna be no freeloader. I mean, 'course I'll help with this here fella," she nods to Walter, not wanting to talk about someone like they're not there when they're right there, however distracted they are by the spinning of a mobile, "but if I'm gonna be here proper… I wanna do it properly, dig? Like…"

Sable reaches up and pats the top of her head, indicating, by way of some chain of relations, her current source of cash flow. Head -> hat -> money in hat -> busquing for money. "I been playin' tunes, but it's bad business in th' winter 'n' I don' have a license 'r nothin' so I dunno if it mebbe counts as trouble," which she knows she's to keep clear of, "but if I'm gonna have a real job, like, pay real taxes 'n' all 'n' pay rent 'n' stuff - which is all new t' me - I… I gotta get back on the grid. Right?"

"If you want to do all of that, yes. I have no issue with your playing for donations though, just do it right so you don't get in trouble, and pick indoor places. I'll help you get a license if you want one. If you want a nine-to-five job though, it's either go back to someplace like you were, or find someone to get you in somewhere." Delilah leans into the crib to adjust Walter's suit, and brush down his pouf of orange hair.

"My aunt's started up her old firm again, with new partners, and I know they might need someone in the office, but usually they give that kind of thing to paralegals. You could always join a courier service or something. Something that isn't making you sit still behind a counter. I think that was your problem before."

Sable wants to say she'll take any job at all, that she doesn't mind because it's part of her greater reformation, a task of betterment to be adopted no matter what her own measly likes and dislikes may dictate. But for all that Sable is passionate, she isn't always particularly wise, and when she pauses long enough to consider what paralegal work would entail (which consideration lead her nowhere, because she doesn't even know what a paralegal is) she just barely realizes that that might be beyond her ken.

"Gonna take some doing, is all," Sable admits with a small, helpless shrug, "I- I dunno if y'all know 'bout, like, me. I don't go no 'dark past' 'r nothin'," time-travel induced school shooting bracketed for the purposes of this discussion, "but-" she quirks her brow, "y'all- uh- y'all know Sable ain't th' name I was born with, eh?"

"I figured as much. You know, the whole- no last name thing." Delilah is next to shrug a little, but she gives Sable a knowing smile anyway. "I knew you'd want to tell me at some point, but you obviously don't go by your real name for some reason. So I wasn't going to make you tell me. You'll always be Sable. My slutty friend Sable." She smoothes her hand on the baby's head again before leaning away to turn off the overhead light.

"If you need help getting things in order, I can help you. It'll make it easier if I did know your given name though."

Delilah's new 'honorary' makes Sable wrinkles her nose, but she accepts it as she must. Sew the wind, reap the whirlwind. Sew wild oats…

"It's- uh-," Sable does a quick, cursory look around the room, like maybe someone might be listening in, "it's… Raven," the word is presented like a meal ill-made, set before Delilah with grimaces and apologies - she's obviously not fond of the name, "Raven Diego. Went by jus' Diego f'r, like, years. Changed that up when I got t' New York 'cause," she shrugs, "y'all need t' remake yerself when yer an artist, I figure. Ground up. But yeah… that's- that's me."

Of all the things she might feel shame for, this is a strange one, but she presses on either way. "Ran 'way from m' foster home when I w's, like… fifteen? Don' really know how long it's been since then. Not exactly. Time blurs off th' grid. But I guess I got everythin' people need t' have, right? Social security whatever 'n', like… I dunno. The rest of that." Whatever 'the rest' is.

"I dunno how t' get all that back. How t'… turn m'self in or whatever. But yeah- I guess I gotta. I don't wanna jus' 'cause. But I wanna, like you said… get things in order. 'N' I'd appreciate the help. Honest I would, and grateful for it."

A social security number and come kind of certificate in some courthouse is all she needs, really. Delilah folds her hands as she sidles out of Walter's room, slowly closing the door behind them both. She leaves it open a crack. "I think that's a nice name." Even if Sable doesn't.

"How long were you in the foster system?" Dee wouldn't be asking this kind of thing if it didn't have to do with helping her. "If you don't have a birth certificate, we'll probably need to find one. If you have your social sheet, or just the number, that is important too." That Sable has lost track of years outside of foster care is not terribly surprising. It sounds like it could happen to anyone in the same situation.

Sable follows after, giving Walter a somber parting nod - 'til next time, little man - before tailing Dee out of the room. Her hands are in her pockets and she still looks a little dour. Nice name or not, it reminds her of when she was at the bottom of the heap but still within kicking distance of the top, and when you're down there it's not kick or be kicked. It's mostly just be kicked.

"Whole life, pretty much," Sable admits, "mum gave me a name 'n' dropped me off at some, like, hospital 'r somethin' when I was still a little pink wriggler. Don' remember, obviously. 's long 's I c'n recall, though - b'fore I ran - was this house or 'nother. Some better, some worse. 'N' like… I guess all that shit would be with m' last family, right? I dunno, Dee. I was fuckin' fifteen. Didn't know shit, 'n' th' first shit I wouldn't bother knowin' was my goddamn social, y' know? But- I gotta be in some system, right? I went t' school 'n' all."

She summons a smile to her face, looking up at Delilah with a simple gratitude that isn't totally unfamiliar by now. "Thanks f'r givin' me a hand," the smile goes crooked, takes on a hint of humor, "y'all are makin' an honest woman outta me, y' know."

Delilah listens very closely, careful to pick out what she needs to know. "We might be able to handle things from here in the city. I don't know yet. Worst case scenario is that you have to go back south to wherever you think you were born. Maybe even the last home you were at, maybe the social services offices there. I don't want to get neck deep and then you won't do something. So I need to know, if it turns out you need to do back, would you?"

She feels at odds here, making Sable try to choose between being comfortable and being right. Dee is sure that they can handle things from here, but just in case, she needs to know that Sable is in it the whole way. "If we can get in to see someone though. I think all we might need is to get in to see whoever you registered with. Because if they knew you were the real Raven Diego, they also have all of your information, and we need to get your social. It's the skeleton key of identification."

To be honest, the idea of heading back south to reclaim her name (however disliked) has a romance to it that isn't totally unappealing to Sable's imagination. There is actually a brief moment in which Sable imagines herself, framed as if by a camera shot, sleeping in the seat of a Greyhound bus. The soundtrack (because there is, of course, a soundtrack) is Paul Simon's 'Homeward Bound'. For this moment, Sable's eyes gain a distant cast. This is her version of introspection.

"I ain't gonna half ass any 'f this," Sable says, returning from her strange interiority with resoluteness in tow, "ain't got nothin' t' be scared 'f down there. I ain't fifteen no more." Which does matter, actually. Being over the age of majority. "But hell, might not come t' it, eh? I mean," she points forked fingers at her weird eyes, "distinguishin' fuckin' features, much?"

For a second, Dee isn't sure that Sable is processing it. Not until she speaks again, coming back from Mars or wherever she had gone a moment ago. She laughs, a bit of a bark that time. "Yeah, I'd say so. You're hard to forget." It does cross her mind, that maybe she should pretend they need to go down there. If just because Sable could probably- you know- use the opportunity to confront herself. Dee is no psychoanalyst or anything remotely similar, but in theory it sounds like something that might help in the long run.

"Do you think you'd want to go back anyway?" So instead of pondering, Lilah just asks. So subtly, of course. "You said it yourself… you're not fifteen anymore…"

And with that, Delilah causes a jump cut in Sable's mind. To Atlanta itself. To the parts of it Sable remembers. School. Homes. The street. Adelaide. She immediately makes a somewhat sour face. "Nothin' there worth havin' I didn't bring with me," she says, shaking her head, "'cept, I guess, my social 'n' all that. I dunno- what th' fuck's t' do down there 'cept see how far I've come from that shithole, how much better I got it here?"

Not so easily done, Delilah. Ambivalence runs deep in this case. "Why, darlin'? Sounds like you got an opinion. Speak it, beautiful. Y'all outta know how serious I take yer sense 'f things." Recruited as docent - moral compass, even.

Dee feels a bit bad about asking, but only for the while that Sable turned her face around. She hates accidentally pissing her friends off. But, it happens. "Closure, maybe. You know you got out of there, I know you got out of there- but it sounds like the place is still this sentient thing for you. You've grown up as much as you've grown away, yeah, but it doesn't look like you can think about it without getting defensive."

"If you don't like the idea, that's fine, it was just a thought."

Sable blinks. The object of psychiatric intervention only under the very limited school counseling system, Delilah's insight into her thoughts and reactions sort of blindsides her. Defensive in some ways, and likely in this way too if it were someone with a pen and pad telling her these things, she's got no adequate shield against Dee. She's set off balance a little, needing a moment to steady herself, psychically.

"Didn't- didn't mean t' be, like, defensive 'r nothin'," Sable says, shoulders hunching just a little, sounding vaguely guilty like she's not sure what she did wrong but she guesses she must have done something wrong, "I jus'- always figured I made a clean break 'r…" she quirks her lips to the side, eyes flicking up to Delilah, inquisitive as much as they are maybe a little imploring, "I don' mind it, honest. Goin' back I- I dunno… y'all think I should? I mean, yeah, I wouldn't mind. Dunno 'bout goin' alone…" Alone in the landscape of her past, away from the stability of her nearest and dearest? That sounds like a recipe for crazy that even Sable isn't unwise enough to bake.

"No, no, if you decided to go, I'd go with you. I could get someone to watch Walter for a few days." Maybe Delilah knows that Sable can't really react negatively to her- maybe that is exactly why she brings this stuff up. "It's no clean break if it bothers you that I brought it up. Closure is so you can put it behind you, so you don't bristle at the sound Georgia makes coming out of someone's mouth." The redhead laughs a little now, slipping away towards the kitchen.

"If I could find a way to go back to Manchester, I think I would. My past doesn't bother me as much, cause I was younger then, but I think I could do myself some good. More closure than I could have gotten on my own."

Sable's mental footage receives an immediate mental edit, inserting Delilah into the picture, immediately shifting the whole register and resonance of the scene she was framing. Light is brighter, colors more saturated, and the sound of the Allman Brothers replaces Simon's lilting folk tune. The yellow eyed girl chases after Delilah, poking her head around the doorframe and into the kitchen. "Y'all serious?"

But of course Delilah is. Humor and levity are by no means strangers to the House of Trafford, but false promises aren't given a moment's refuge. "I think- I think I'd pretty much dig that," Sable admits, smiling like a spring flower, hesitant in its blooming. She sidles out of the hall and saunters over to the kitchen counter, onto which she hikes herself. "I gotta help ol' Quinn 'til 'er album's all wrapped up, but- yeah- whenever y' c'n manage it, darlin'," gratitude again, something not short in supply it seems like.

Sable's head tilts, birdlike, as she latches onto Dee's latter statement. "Why can't y' go back?" her smile unfurls, its full colors a little ruddy, grinning, "I'd go with y', if y'd like me. Fair's fair. Plus I always wanted t' make it t' th' UK." Something of a Mecca for someone who feels nostalgia for a British Invasion she wasn't even alive for.

"A trip over there is much more complicated than a trip down south. I'd have to make more plans than if we flew back to where you're from. I could do it." She never really said she wouldn't. Just that it is a faraway thing, to venture over there. "I bet the house is still just a giant patch of dirt. Like hell if they'd build over it." Delilah shrugs once and smacks at Sable's thigh to shoo her off of the counter. Stop that.

"Anyway, yeah, if you wanted to go straight to the source of- well- you, I would come. We can probably handle the papers from up here, or down there. Chances are better if we just go to the DoEA for it, they have you in the system."

Jeez, okay! Sable hops off of the counter, grin still decorating her face, remaining incorrigible in affect if nothing else. Hands find pockets as she makes her way over to the wall, where she leans, her body forming a crooked and insolent angle. "If it's time t' visit th' homestead, you jus' lemme know, darlin'," inviting herself along to some future, hypothetical trip, easy as anything.

A small shrug, shoulders pushing against wallpaper. "Y'all make sure th' squirt's taken care 'f, we head out whenever. Don't got no job t' excuse m'self from. 'course, that'll hopefully change soon 's we get back, eh?" She grins. "I'd like workin' for yer aunt, she seemed pretty groovy. Would I need a, like, tie 'r anythin'? I got a suit, y' know."

"Not much left of it, but okay." Delilah smiles and nods. "If she took you for an office gig, yeah. She ah-" Ironic, hold on- "Works in family law. I bet you could serve people or something. You don't need to have much for that, just don't break any laws. If you're interested in something like that, I can give you her number? If she needs someone, you two can talk it out."

Seems there is at least an Atlanta trip coming up now, if she keeps biting. Dee hopes Sable doesn't go back on that hook- it is a good one. Probably good for her. "So do you want to go right to the source? Gimme a yes or no? I need it straight." She tries not to laugh at the expression.

"Serve people?" Sable echoes, a brow arching, immediately seeing herself as a platter-bearing waiter or other such typically 'servile' position. She can't imagine that's exactly what Delilah's means - there must be some legalese being employed her, stuff beyond her current ken. So she trusts in Dee and nods. "I'll give 'er a ring, sure thing. Hash things out."

She pushes herself up off the wall and walks up to Delilah, setting hands on the taller girl's waist, looking up at her. "Darlin', t' you th' answer is always a yes," Sable says, before bouncing up to peck Delilah on the lips. She grins. "We gotta drop in on ol' Jason, fella who saved m' soul. Figure he's still runnin' that record place," she starting to sound anticipatory as her good memories start to peek out from their hiding places, "won't I look mighty fuckin' impressive, with you on m' arm? Can't hardly wait, honest."

"Not like a waiter." Dee practically reads her mind. Probably cause she realized that Sable takes everything literally. "Like…when people get served with divorce papers, court summons, that kind of thing." She puts her attention on Sable when she comes over to administer one dose of herself into Dee's evening. Delilah seems pleased with Sable's lack of leftover reluctance, leaning in to put a kiss on her forehead.

They are promptly nudged apart by Samson, who has suddenly inserted himself on the situation. Dee giggles a little and pats his great head to direct it away. "We'll make it work. And whatever happens, remember I'll be right there with you."

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