It Gets Better


delia3_icon.gif tania_icon.gif

Scene Title It Gets Better
Synopsis Delia and Tania see each other for the first time in months.
Date October 10, 2011

Eltingville Blocks


The soft creak of the kitchen door likely would have been chalked up to the regular noises of old houses settling, except for the lift of the large canine head in the living room. A few seconds later, the tap tapping of nails against wood and then tile is more audible as Chezza pads in to greet the intruder.

"Oh hey there, keeping the place safe?" A female's voice, made a little softer for the love of her life, can be heard from the kitchen. Delia's back at home. "Did you cover for me while I was gone? Huh? Did you? Did you?" The rapid clicks and clacks of nails on the tile indicate the playfulness the pair share.

"Oh Chezza, I missed you."

At the sound of the door, followed by a voice, Tania sits up sharply from her spot on the couch. But it only takes a moment for the initial panic to pass. She knows that voice, after all. At first, it seems she might lie back down and hide, but that passes, too, and she pulls herself up from the couch to head toward the kitchen.

As she peeks it, it's clear she hasn't been up to much, as she's still in pajamas and her hair looks like she might have just woken up (although that is not the case).

"Delia?" Her voice is soft as ever, but it manages to cut over the sounds of their reunion.

The dog's nails don't pause as she continues to feign attack and bounce into crouches. For Chezza, the game is still afoot, even when the older of the two redheads freezes and just stares for an impossibly long moment.


The name is breathed out as a long sigh of relief and is then followed by the sound of a hiccup. Delia raises to a stand and bounds toward the young girl, grabbing her in a tight hug. Sniffles, more choked sobs, and tight hugs are the greeting her victim gets. "Mister Logan said you were moved," she squeaks, before letting out a small laugh, "Sasha got you back!" Another hug, this time a little more wary of rib crushing and the fragility of the younger woman.

Tania wasn't expecting a hug, but it only takes her the space of a blink to relax and return the embrace. She feels even more fragile than usual, but there's some strength in her hold all the same.

"I was moved, yes," she says, the echo of Delia's laugh coming out on a breath. "He did," she says, "he did something very dangerous." But she's grateful. Even if the house doesn't feel as safe as it used to. Even if she hasn't quite settled back in. Here is better than there. "I am glad to see you, Delia. You were not hurt?" By the soldiers, she probably means.

"I.." Was Delia hurt? A shake of her head indicates a quick no. "Worried, scared, more worried, more scared.. mostly worried and scared," she repeats, over and over. "I'm so sorry, Tania, I thought…" The words are cut short, probably left off because she doesn't think they need verbalizing. Tears are wiped from her face and she takes a deep breath inward to calm herself. She's shaking a little, all of her emotions having caught up all at once. And then another deep breath is taken in.

She lets Tania go and immediately turns to kick off her shoes and throw them into the corner by the door. When she turns back around, she lifts a too wide pant leg to show off her bright orange ankle cuff. "This is the only hurt I got," she explains dully, "they know where I go all the time. They haven't really stopped me from leaving to go anywhere yet. So… yeah…"

"It was not you, Delia," Tania says, a gentle reassurance at her apology. Her hand reaches over to Delia's arm, to give her a squeeze. If she has tears to shed over this whole situation, she holds them off for the moment. Maybe it's easier to console Delia.

There is a glance down to the tracker, then back up to Delia with a frown. "I heard they were doing these things. They still hope you will lead then to the Ferrymen." That might be a question, it almost sounds like one. But only almost. "I am glad they didn't hurt you."

"Just my feels," Delia manages with a bit of a smile as she reaches into the cupboard for a glass. The tap sputters and hisses as the knob is turned on, eventually it flows steadily and then clear. She stares at it, swatting the stream until the temperature is right, then she fills the glass. "I can't lead them to Ferrymen," she admits with a sigh, "but as long as they think I can, I'll probably not get strung up by my neck from a tree."



She's not quiet as she drains the glass, emotions always seem to take a toll on hydration, even if the tears are more inside than out. "Did Mister Logan tell you? We saw a woman hanging by a tree, Heller and his men." She stops and shakes her head, the line between her eyebrows deepening as they sit a little closer together. "I'll just keep going places, they'll keep watching me, I just can't sit here.. I feel like if I sit here, I'll be useless to them."

Those first words get a puzzled look from Tania. It's possible she hasn't heard this bit of slang and needs a moment to process it. But acceptance comes with a nod whether she really gets it or not. She never gets around to smiling, though, because the next point brings a grave expression to her face.

"He did not," she says, a glance going to the door. Like she might be worried about them barging in right this moment. "But this does not surprise me. They wish for fear." Delia's last words get a pause, at first. But Tania can't think of any reassurances for that worry, not after the past few months. "I think that is a good idea. To not be useless."

Delia blows a raspberry between her lips, a sort of exasperated sound. She looks out the window into the back yard and instinctively reaches for the dog. Chezza is quick to comply, padding over and placing her head under the outstretched hand. A ruffle to the ears is given and then Delia slumps against the counter, still holding the dog's head to her.

Lifting her eyes, she stares at Tania for a long while. "I haven't even asked about you," she utters apologetically, "did you want to talk about it or .." Her words drift off this time, leaving it open for the young woman to fill in if she chooses.

Tania steps over to lower herself into a chair, pulling her knees up to her chest to wrap her arms around them. When the conversation turns to her, she looks away, suddenly interested in the opposite wall. It needs some patching. Like so many things in this house.

"I — " She stops, her brow furrowing as she thinks back over her experience. The pain is still fresh, scars still healing. "I do not know how to begin. Sasha and John, they do not ask." And she's grateful for it, perhaps. Her hands come up to her face and slide back into her hair, a self-soothing gesture. "It was awful," she says, voice breaking as tears start to well up in her eyes. "I should have told him what he asked. Perhaps he would have let me come back home."

"Sorry," for asking can just be assumed. Delia turns to the sink and fills her glass again, then she reaches for another and fills it too. Both are taken to the table, one placed in front of Tania and one in front of her own seat, before she plops down. She lifts her legs up, mimicking Tania's position and hugs her kneeds to her chest. "You don't have to say anything if you don't want, I know words are hard. I never have the right ones. But… sometimes the right ones can make you feel better."

The dog, suddenly finding itself alone on the other side of the kitchen, pads over and huffs as she settles into a prone position under the table between them.

Reaching out for the glass, Tania holds it between her hands and looks down at the water. "When I think of this thing, I feel like I cannot breathe. My chest feels heavy. But I cannot push it from my mind." Which might be expected. She looks up at Delia, then, her head tilted.

"You once told me of a future where you lost a daughter," she says, which may seem like a sharp subject change. "Do you remember what you felt? In the dream. This is — what I feel now. Something like this."

Closing her eyes, Delia gives a single nod. "I remember," she says quietly, as she opens them to the ceiling and just stares at the stipple, zoning in on the spots where it's a bit bare. "But it's like.. it's like watching a movie. Everything is so sad and so real when it's happening." She lifts her shoulders in a helpless shrug and lets them drop again. "But it didn't happen, it won't happen to me. I changed everything." Possibly so that it would never happen.

Her lips curl into a sardonic smile, "I was never supposed to be here with you guys. I should be away with the Ferrys." Stretching one leg out, she digs her foot into the longer hairs at Chezza's hackles. Her toes wiggle around, making warm little nests for themselves. The dog groans and inches closer under the table.

"I am glad. Many things are different." Glad for Delia's personal situation, anyway. Her own changes, maybe not so much. Tania takes a drink of her water, then sets the glass down gently. "I was part of an experiment," she says, slowly, "they wish to make it so… if a baby is to be Evolved, then the mother would lose the baby." There's a hard swallow there, and she looks back to her glass. "This did not happen in the dreams. I did not feel this — " she says with a tap against her chest, " — in that future."

Delia's neck cracks when her head swivels quickly to regard the younger woman. "Wh-" she begins but just can't seem to get the right expression, word, emotion, anything. It's just shock. Outside the birds chirp and noise of the street is carried in through the kitchen window, but inside there is nothing but the tick tick tick of the old wall clock that was there when they arrived. "Tania, I—" again there's nothing. "I knew they were keeping you awake to keep me away but I didn't… I'm so sorry."

Now she can only imagine what Tania must be feeling.

"It gets better," she finally says, "I remember that. It's always there but it gets better."

"Michal Valentin kept me awake. But when I did not tell him about the Ferrymen, then they kept me far." Tania keeps it together that long, but when Delia consoles her, the girl lets out a sob and drops her face into the crook of her arm.

"There is one problem," she notes, voice choppy as she tries to calm herself back down, "I did not want it, Delia. I did not want it." But obviously, she's still upset for losing it. But she gives up trying to explain and lets herself cry into her knees.

The dog, her chair, the glass of water, everything is abandonned as Delia rushes to Tania's side and wraps her long arms around the fragile young woman. "Ssshhh.." the older redhead whispers into the younger one's hair, resting her chin on the top of the other woman's head and rocking back and forth with her. The way Delia's own mother used to.

"I know," she says. She doesn't, not really, but she says it anyway. "You didn't want it, but it was yours anyway." Like a sixth finger or a tail.

Tania clings to Delia when she comes over, tears falling almost violently through the catharsis she hasn't let herself have until now. But it doesn't take too long before the rocking seems to get through to her and her breathing starts to even out. She doesn't let Delia go, though, not until she's sure she's not going to start up again.

But eventually, her hand comes free so she can wipe at her face. She nods to those words, because they make sense to her and seem to describe how she's feeling pretty well. "I'm sorry, Delia," she says, out of embarrassment.

"Don't apologize. Don't you ever apologize," Delia says firmly as she pulls back to look into Tania's eyes. Hers are brimming with tears that keep getting blinked away. Right now she's a bit too fierce to let them fall. "They did this to you, you have nothing to be sorry for." The moment is over quickly enough and that stern demeanor melts away to something much different.

"You know," she says, "my mom used to be able to do this the best. I don't think Lucille or I inherited that special thing from her." She pauses and looks toward the stove, "But this is about the time she offered to make mac and cheese and put a movie on the teevee."

Looking back at Delia, Tania takes in that tone by straightening her shoulders and giving the woman a sharp nod. "I will try," she says, a sniff following her words. She reaches for her water again, drinking to try to soothe her throat. When Delia goes on, her eyebrows lift and then she lets out a small laugh. "I would like that." There is just a beat before she adds, "I think you can do this well, Delia." So maybe she got something of her mom after all.

A box of Kraft Mac n' Cheese is procured from a cupboard, a pot from somewhere else, more water, the stove turned on, and the pot practically slammed down on the coil. "Macaroni started," Delia says with a bit of finality. Stalking back to the table, she raises her leg and gives the younger woman a little push with her foot to get her moving.

"Usually, I go for the sappy romantic comedies or sappy romantic dramas," she informs Tania in a serious manner. "But I'm going to leave the choice up to you, because it's your sloppy day and not mine."

Tania busies herself with refilling their glasses, which doesn't take much time at all, but it something to do with her hands and nervous energy. She does need the push to get out of the kitchen, carrying glasses with her as she goes.

Her head tilts when she's given the choice of movies. "Do you have Star Wars?" Of course, she will probably fall asleep halfway through. One day she'll see it all the way to the end.

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