Hangovers and Memories


delia_icon.gif nick_icon.gif

Scene Title Hangovers and Memories
Synopsis Nick's payment for watching over Delia's night before is a painful morning after.
Date August 15, 2011

The Rookery — A Seedy Motel

The light is gray and gritty coming into the musty room of what was once probably a fairly nice motel. The bed's mattress sags beneath Delia's scant weight, rusty springs creaking with any movement. The sheets are yellow an probably haven't been washed, but Nick has taken care of that; they are thrown onto the floor in a heap and instead, a sleeping bag and clean pillow have been brought for Delia to sleep on.

He himself sits, dressed already, in a chair watching her, a cup of coffee on the small table in front of him. A McDonalds bag carries "hangover food" — Egg McMuffins — and there is a cup each of coffee and orange juice to replenish her energy.

If she can keep it down.

Nick himself has looked better; dark circles beneath his eyes suggest this is not the only night he hasn't slept well — or at all.

All night long Delia's stomach has been lurching and she's been dry heaving in her sleep. Aside from that automatic reflex to the last shot she had before passing out, she hasn't moved. Her face on the other hand, played host to a variety of expressions, which, combined with the few intelligible words and other noises, are in tune with a nightmare.

When the light finally creeps across her face and into her eyes, a glint of moisture can be made out that forms trails down her cheeks. It's her hand that comes up first, to wipe her cheeks, and she inhales deeply. The aroma of coffee dominates the other scents in the room, something the housekeeping staff might be thankful for later on in the day.

She keeps her eyes closed when she pushes herself up to a sitting position. Still coccooned in the sleeping bag, her legs slip off the edge of the bed and to the floor in one lump. Her head is heavy and lolls to the side, then rolls toward the front like a marrionette that's been left to collect dust. Slowly, they open to two vibrant blue slits.

"Nick…" the mubled greeting causes a tremendous pounding and she cups her forehead with one hand before continuing. "What are you doing here?"

He reaches for a bottle of Tylenol on the table, shaking out a couple into his palm. He picks up the orange juice cup and then brings them to her, pressing the pills into her hand first.

"Like I'm going to let you spend the night here by yourself," he says in a low voice. "Take these. Then just a sip of the juice."

He reaches to wipe tears away with his thumb, brows knitting together. "Does it hurt that bad?" is asked with concern.

"Hnnn?" Still half asleep, she tosses the pills into her mouth and crunches down on them before chasing with the orange juice. "No.." she groans and places the half empty cup onto the bedside table with a trembling hand. Both are tangled into her hair as she bends over, almost touching her forehead to her knees. Her breathing is quick and interrupted by stomach contractions common to violent hangovers.

"I had a bad dream."

Delia doesn't look up at Nick, she just pulls the top of the sleeping bag a little tighter around her thin frame. She looks down into the opening at her chest and frowns a little. "Where are my clothes? Did I have clothes?" Her voice sounds rough, like she spent too much time shouting. Of course she remembers wearing stuff at the beginning of the night but she can't remember what she was in at the end. Movement at the bottom of the sleeping bag confirms that the accursed cuff is still attached. "You didn't have to come… but thank you."

Bad dream could be anything from actually a bad dream of her own, or someone else's, or the dreams that aren't dreams at all. It's the last of the three options that he fears. "Your jeans and sweater are over there. You still have your skivvies on," he points out, hand gesturing to a pile of clothes near the foot of the bed.

He glances at the food. "I know you don't feel like it but it's better to eat than not to, when you're hungover. Trust me."

The topic of dreams is left alone at the moment, awkwardly, an elephant in the room.

Caught halfway between ravenous and ready to hurl, Delia eyes the food dubiously before reaching out of the top of the bag for the breakfast sandwich. It's only then that she actually takes the time to examine their surroundings. A cockroach crawls across the floor as she peels back the wrapper and takes her first bite, wrinkling her nose at where she spent the night but thankful all the same that it's actually a room and not a dumpster. She's not sure if that was one of the options last night.

The sandwich is put down after that first bite, for the cockroaches or whatever else lives in the room. Additional rent for the creatures having to put up with her. The orange juice is drained and she rests there for a moment. Sitting and staring at the last drop of juice in her cup as she rolls it around the circumference at the bottom.

"Do you think Benji would stop showing me if I asked her to?" Even though the hoarseness is gone, her voice still sounds very meek and quiet.

The elephant addressed anyway, Nick sighs softly and moves to sit beside her on the bed. "Well, that answers what kinda dream you meant," he murmurs, staring at the ground.

"He might do," he adds after a moment, bringing his coffee cup to his lips and taking a long draw. It's not really hot any more, but having one of his old dock buddies run it from civilization to the rookery means the food isn't exactly fresh.

He reaches tentatively to put an arm around her shoulders — it's uncertain, as if he fears she might shake him off, depending on what she saw. "I know h-," he corrects almost immediately, "she would never want to hurt you. Not deliberately."

The sleeping bag is pushed to Delia's waist revealing the wife beater that she wore under the overly large sweater last night. It couldn't belong to Logan. Like an inchworm, she curls her legs up onto the bed again, leaning heavily against Nick. Her arms circle his waist as she presses her head into the hollow of the shoulder closest to her.

"I think she edited the horrible parts out, to spare me maybe. And she was there, in the first one… Only she was still a he… I think." Squeezing her eyes shut, the redhead pulls herself against him a little tighter in a bid for comfort. "It was when we found out that Eileen and Gabriel died."

The tension in Nick's posture eases a little when she snuggles into him, and he bends his head to rest his cheek against her hair. He breathes in, then out, letting his breathing sync with hers.

But it's short lived.

His head jerks back up and he scowls. "What? When? Could you tell from the rest of the dream?" The questions are sharp, thrown out like missiles, unlike his softer, gentler words thus far this morning.

Shrinking back, Delia pulls the sleeping back back up around her shoulders and cups her head with her hands. The only thing visible outside the bag is the top of her head, the mess of curls looking like the spill of fresh tobacco from a crunched up blue cigarette.

"Benji was about twelve or thirteen. Eileen's son was about the same age, maybe a little younger…" She doesn't look at him at all, instead she falls back onto the pillow and curls up there in a fetal position. "I had to give him up… Eileen's son… the man my dad works with, Raith? He wouldn't let me keep him. He said someone betrayed Eileen and Gabriel to get Astor."

He rises from the bed, his shaky hand tearing through his hair, tangled from the boat ride across the river. "Fuck," he swears, turning away from her and toward the window.

Leaning against the grimy glass, he is silent for a few moments. "We can change it, then. If she's showing it to us… there's no reason to show us if it's a done deal, right?" His voice is flat, weak sounding.

"No.." she mumbles, dropping her eyelids down to shield her eyes from the rays of sun. Once again Delia's head is tucked into the sleeping bag and she hides herself away from the world. Whether the hotel room is rented by the hour, night, or week, she has no idea. As of now, it looks as though she's not planning on moving any time in the near future.

"They came back to change things, Nick, that's why Benji's showing it… so we don't repeat the same mistakes." Of that much, she's certain. "If it means you have to leave now," to go to work, like he threatened to when she was still recovering, "I wouldn't blame you."

His eyes close and he leans his forehead against the grimy glass at the window. "I told you I'm not leaving you," he murmurs, voice barely audible. "And I won't. If I go to work, I will come back. Or take you with me. Or we'll go somewhere together and drop off grid." It all sounds so easy.

He turns to look at her forlorn form in the sleeping bag. "Unless you're saying that the future would be better," he swallows and looks away again, "without me in yours."

There's a near silent zip of nylon against nylon, like Delia is shifting on the bed. The spring sounds out its own alarm, tattling on the redhead for moving, but it quiets on its own when she stops. The next sound is the crunch of the cockroach under a bare foot and then pale arms wrap around Nick from behind as Delia's head presses up against his back.

"Never, my life will never be better without you in it," she assures in a soft voice. "I waited for you, where they're all from. I think that's why I was alone… I still loved you."

He keeps his eyes closed and doesn't turn back, but after a long pause, he reaches down to hold her hands where they curl around his waist. "You deserved better."

Nick turns around, keeping within the circle of her arms as he circles. "So did she. I let you both down. You, her, Benji, Astor." He swallows, and looks up, eyes shining with something other than light.

But then he bends to kiss her forehead. "Let's get out of this place. You wanna risk the shower or wait? You want me to bring you to my place for a bit or straight over to the blocks?"

"I think I need to sleep more," Delia admits with a sheepish smile. One arm is removed from the hug and she reaches up to trace her thumb under Nick's eye. "It's not done yet," she says quietly, sliding the backs of her fingers down his cheek. The sandpaper feel of his stubble makes her rub a few times in a circle and when the hand drops, so does her head to shield the blush and shy smile.

She's still in her underwear, she doesn't have a blanket wrapped around her, it's daylight, and she's facing him. Four things wrong without counting all of the imperfections gained from having a hangover. "Would you mind if I went to your place? It feels more like home."

His lashes dip as his eyes drop; he simply nods to the first two comments and shakes his head at the question. He leans forward to kiss her cheek, then he bends to find her clothes for her.

"You can sleep and shower at my place. You should probably call to let your roommates know you're okay, and I can get you back by curfew tonight," he says, picking up the orange juice cup and bringing it with his coffee cup to dump in a waste basket. The food will be left for the roaches and the possibly-mythical housekeeper.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License