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Scene Title Homecoming
Synopsis When she returns to Sleepy Hollow, Helena discovers she is not alone in the world. Special Guest Star Tiffany Theissen as Jacqueline Dean! With thanks to Dee's player for NPCing.
Date November 20, 2009

Sleepy Hollow, New York

Friday afternoon, and the weather is cold and chilly, but the smell of burning leaves is in the air and the colors of fall are bright in the town of Sleepy Hollow. Helena, Cat, and Delilah have been on a lovely drive, which is now at its end. Parked on the street, Helena stares at the two story house; it's not the one she grew up in, that one was sold off by her father. Whatever car may be here, it's parked beind closed garage doors and she remarks, "This is the house my dad bought after he and Jacqueline got married. I was here for…about a month, I guess." It's not home.

A car door opens and one foot comes out, then the other. Cat emerges attached to them and lets her eyes wander for some moments without remarking. It's entirely possible for at least some part of this journey she's been running passages from Washington Irving's book through her brain. After she's taken time to survey the street for the presence of police and the like who might be present in connection with any missing persons report that might've been filed, Cat steps to Helena and places a hand gently on her shoulder in offer of tacit support.

They haven't quite been there in the car long enough to seem weird, but then again- three strangers sitting in a car without apparently being some kind of lost is a bit odd in itself. Someone on the street has probably noticed by now, but as per usual nobody says a thing about it. Delilah stays in the drivers seat for now, eyes watching as Cat gets out of the car and moves around to the open window of Helena's seat. The redhead then looks to the blonde, expression not quite grim. It isn't entirely comforting either. Frankly, Dee isn't one-hundred percent sure what to think about the situation. Though if Helena needed to do it, she wasn't going to stay home.

"Do you need me to drive around a bit again? Or is this the moment of truth?" Dee's voice is easy- slightly nervous- but all the more measured.

"No, I - " Helena intakes a breath, lets it out slow. "I should do this. I don't even know what I'm going to say but - " she gives a tight smile to each woman, squares her shoulders, and says, "Be on the look out? I don't know if my dad had anyone watching the house." And with that, she steps out of the car, shoving her hands in her hoodie pockets as she follows the driveway up to the front door and rings the bell.

The words spoken by their less tall blonde leader cause Cat to step back and allow room for the woman to exit the vehicle. Afterward Cat lets her eyes wander the street again, doing as she believes was asked, while leaning a bit against the car. She isn't certain if the request to keep eyes open was meant for both or for Delilah alone, so she stays put. If Helena wants her in, she'll look back and say so.
With Delilah staying in the car(just in case), Cat nearby and Helena approaching the door, there is already a yip-yip-yip of alert from inside the living room window. It's not the noise of a tiny dog- a beagle's face pushes aside the corner of a curtain moments later, black nose smashing up against the glass. There are similar nose smears all over that particular space.

Beagle Brigade alerted and watching through the window on the front of the house, it does not take long for the door to be answered when Helena does press her digit up to the buzzer. The woman that pulls it in is still a familiar sight- average height, hourglass proportions, beauty queen features, long dark hair, light green eyes- though there are some new lines around the edges of her mouth and eyes that were not there once upon a time. When Jacqueline props the door open wide, the realization of the moment takes a few long seconds to sink in. Even then, she is plainly at a loss for words, mouth open and fine eyebrows slowly knitting on her forehead.

"Helena?" She knows who it is, but the only thing that actually makes it out makes her sound quite dumb …founded.

Helena does give the pair a silent are you guys coming? look over her shoulder, just in time to turn her head back and see Jacqueline open the door. For a moment Bill's daughter is silent too as she gazes at her stepmother. She knows she's a different creature than the girl who ran from this house in anger just a few years ago. "…h, Jacqueline." she says, somewhat lamely, somewhat apologetically. "I'm - I'm sorry to bother you."

Being given that look, Cat comes off the car and makes her way to the house. She stops a short distance behind Helena when the door is opened and the two women greet each other. She's nothing to add in terms of speaking, her presence is given for support and comfort.

When it looks like Helena is not going to come running back a la Dukes of Hazzard over the hood of the yellow beetle- Delilah is quick to get out and join Cat when she goes to effectively back Helena up. Jacqueline moves momentarily from dumbfounded to bewildered, and then finally to pragmatism. Her eyes go over Helena first, and then over the other girls before she holds open the inner door. "It's okay, Helena.

"Come in, before Missus Joyce sees you all standing here and calls the rest of her …biddy squad." The older woman sweeps her left hand in a beckoning gesture. Terrorists on her porch wouldn't bode well with the neighbors.

Helena seems surprised that Jacqueline lets her and the others in, but obliges swiftly. If security's been called, they'll have to make a quick getaway, but she trusts Dee and Cat to scope things out as they move into the house. "I'm guessing you haven't heard from Dad any in the last couple of weeks?" she broaches once they're inside. Man, this is going to be difficult.

Inside she goes, this brunette of five feet and eight inches in jeans and a hoodie attesting to the New York Yankee victory in the 2009 World Series. Cat remains silent, her tack being to observe.

In the first few seconds, it could go any direction; Helena's stepmother could know very little, or she could know every detail down to William Dean's most heinous acts while he was away for those couple of months. There is no hint towards either while she closes the front door, leaving them all in the foyer at the base of the carpeted stairs. Jacqueline looks Cat over once again, hands finding each other at the front of her hip-line. After what seems an eternity after Helena's one question, she opens her mouth to give an answer.

"Your father has been out of town, and I haven't spoken to him in a couple weeks, in fact. Last I did, he mentioned that he was going to be very busy with some very important clients for the next few weeks. He's been looking into a second dealership."

Helena frowns a moment and considers how to put this, even knowing that it's likely Jacqueline's not going to believe her, and Jacquie herself may be a very good liar. But probably not. Helena has to assess the woman as if she were something more than Bill Dean's Mid-Life crisis. Then, "Dad was in New York. Did you know that he was running his own cell of Humanis First?" She shakes her head. "Darren and his younger brother Joey were with him, part of the cell." She snorts. "I used to run through sprinklers with Joey,and Darren was my crush when I was twelve." Arms cross over her torso, and she stares at Jacqueline as if she's hoping to suddenly gain the ability to detect lies. "Did you know?"

She keeps hands by her sides, her face neutral in expression. While Helena shares the information of her father's activities and crosses arms, Cat observes the reaction this will bring out. She seeks to compare that with things she's seen on people who've been known to lie since her manifestation years before along with other behaviors which tell of the true emotional and mental state.

The look that dollops itself onto Jacqueline's face is a degree of the very same one that came over her once she opened the door and found Helena there. One day many years ago it may have been a laughable thing- that she comes off as dumb as a brick- but in this context her practiced silences are very heavy, and give her enough time to process such new information. It is not stupidity, nor ever was. It was only absorption.

The woman shakes her head at first, eyes narrowing in response before her lips part to answer. Her answer does not come, however, as there is a minor disturbance at the end of the foyer in the doorway to the living room. There's the beagle first, waffling between thresholds- and a dusty-haired, green-eyed toddler stooping over the dog with a slobbery ball in both little hands. The crinkle of diaper is the only noise to precede his presence popping up in the doorway; now he is peering out at the four ladies in the front room, trying to ascertain if he wants his mother or not. He makes a muddled little noise that seems like he is going to shout out for her, but he apparently decides otherwise.
Helena's attention is drawn to the nose, the beagle, the boy, and her expression transforms. It starts to crumple, reassert, becomes confused, becomes almost hopeful. "You had his baby?" she asks in a small voice. Of course she did, Helena. The evidence is toddling along just a few feet in front of you. "I have a - " she can't finish, eyes darting between the boy and his mother.

It has been a long time since Jacqueline has felt like she was drowning in something- well, perhaps not that long ago- though once she remembers what is going on, it falls into place again. Her first move is to step away from Helena and Cat, take a breath of air as she moves across the rug, letting it out as she bends over to loop her arms around the little boy and hoist him into her grasp. Rather than keep moving away, however… Jacqueline returns to complete the small circle of women again. Helena's words still rattle around in her head, but in the end some things are both harder to process, and at the same time slip right over her head. Bill lied- that isn't new- Bill wasn't who she perhaps thought he was- that is only partially new. In fact, it does not feel new to her at all. Somewhere in there, her psyche rolls its eyes and mutters a long 'I'm not that surprised'. But on the surface, the older woman's face is wearing thin over her confusion and wariness, and it shows naked. Her arms clutch warmly around her child, eyes moving from his chubby cheeks onto Helena's nearby face. The boy hides his face behind the slobbery tennis ball.

"Helena…" Jacqueline was never the gold-digger or slut that teenage Helena's mind made her out to be. It's somewhat clearer now. "This is Liam."

Helena stares at the little boy, with eyes gone wide as saucers, making her look even more like an anime character than ever. Her two dear friends are forgotten in that moment as she stares at the little boy with eyes like hers, like their shared father's. She licks her lips, frowning a moment and looking unsettled, when it resolves into something close to tears, when suddenly she smiles. "Hi," she whispers, breath caught, lifting her hand and starting to hold it out to the little boy. "Hi, Liam." Her eyes dart to the child's mother. "Jacquie," she says softly, "Jacquie, I'm sorry. But you should know…Dad's not going to come home. He and his people, they were into some stuff. Messed up, dangerous stuff. And it was too much for him. I'm sorry, that's why I came, I didn't know - I'm sorry."

She remains silent, her features easing a bit from neutrality as Helena is introduced to her brother and speaks to him, offering her hand. Cat's demeanor shifts a bit more as the words are spoken, the blonde sharing her father's demise with the widow. There isn't anything to contribute, really, having not been addressed, but to be present.

Of course, everything is above Liam. Being only a hop-skip past one year, the world is big, noisy, and something that he does not yet wish to understand the particulars of. When Helena smiles at him, he is peering past the ball at her. The boy opens his mouth in a half-smile in return, holding out the ball for Helena to take. It's not that he wants her to throw it or anything- but usually when he has something in his hands and someone reaches out- they want it! Be it the dog's ball or a nightcrawler baking on the sidewalk.

Jacqueline's eyes well up themselves, turning her otherwise clear green eyes pink over the whites, and shimmering on the lids. Her lips fold inward, jaw making valiant yet poorly executed attempts at setting itself. There is no way that she can justify what Helena has told her- and as it stands, this single explanation, from her husband's grown daughter- is the only one that she has gotten, discounting Bill's last instance of contacting her weeks ago. For all intensive purposes, Helena is the evening telegram after a night of listening to crackling relays on the family radio. Though, just like that psyche rolling its eyes, there is some piece of Jacqueline that breathes a sigh of relief.

"Don't be sorry. You didn't… do anything wrong." At least, she has done nothing wrong in the second Mrs. Dean's eyes. "I wanted to bring you back, Helena, to be a family- I just- want you to know that. After you left, I tried to talk to him- he wouldn't have it." And in those eyes, the dribbles of wetness spill around and over the skin just below. Liam frowns over at this progression, confused.

Helena accepts the ball, and promptly offers it back. This whole conversation seems surreal. "Cat - " she gestures vaguely toward the brunette, "Cat's my lawyer. I don't want anything. All of his assets, the dealership - I don't know if I'm entitled to any of it, but it's yours if he never changed his will. Just make sure Liam's taken care of," she swallows, hands half lifted. "Could I…?" Her eyes keep flicking between mother and son, but mostly to the son.

Possibly maybe to be continued!

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