Jelly Bean


jeremy-rowan_icon.gif lynette_icon.gif mateo_icon.gif

Scene Title Jelly Bean
Synopsis In the aftermath of a battle to protect the Benchmark and it's patients, Lynette finally has to introduce her father to her something. And he gets a new nickname for her.
Date December 8, 2016

The Benchmark Center: Mexico

Typically, when there's an attack on the center, it's Lynette and her dad who go toe to toe with any trouble. But this time, even though he was called in, he arrived after the trouble had already run off. Much to his disappointment.

He appears in the doorway to the common area, hands on his hips. He cuts a broad figure, and one could imagine that he was imposing in a courtroom in his lawyering days. But today, his expression is warmer, friendlier. Even if he settles a narrow-eyed glare on his daughter. Grey hair marks his age, and lines around his eyes and mouth, but there are enough similarities to make it clear just who he is before any introductions happen.

"I hear I missed all the fun," he says in a low rumble.

Lynette looks up from her seat on a stool, where she's been insisting on tending to her cuts and scrapes herself. Since they are just cuts and scrapes. It might be a bit of a battle, but only because she's not used to anyone taking care of her.

"That's what you get for taking your time," she lobs back at him, her smile turning sideways as she regards him.

Standing to the side, Mateo's watching her as she tends to her own wounds, occasionally touching the new set of stitches on his shoulder. She's seen him— he's never really been much for fighting. Sure, he had a few scars, but he always laughed when she asked about them, with stories like 'here's where I put my arm through a sheet of glass when I walked into a door like an idiot'. Things like that. Nothing even remotely combat oriented. But she may have just seen a sample of what would have happened if he had ever gotten into a real fight—

And it may not have led to him getting as much as those attacking him might have been.

At the entrance, he looks up, eyebrow raising at the older man, someone Lynette seems to know well enough to toss teases back at. After a moment, he straightens up from the wall— because he's starting to get an idea who this man might be. He hears things after all.

The teasing gets a smile from him and he steps in from the door, coming over toward the two of them. His expression shifts toward worry when he sees all those bandages. On both of them. "You okay, Jelly Bean?" It's a question of real concern, but Lynette responds to it with a sideways glare in his direction.


He lifts his hands, chuckling a little. "I guess that means you're okay." It's a ritual, well practiced. It's easy to picture them both much younger, playing out the same call and response. But Mr. Rowan's gaze eventually falls on Mateo. Lynette seems to know it's coming, because she looks over at him almost at the same time.

"Mateo, this is Jeremy Rowan, my dad and ex-safehouse operator. Dad, this is Mateo Ruiz, ex-Ferrymen and newcomer around here." Lynette can't help a smile when she says Mateo's name, and it seems that she doesn't even really notice.

But Jeremy notices. And he also hears things. "Oh, Mateo. Silvia's favorite, right?" he asks with a crooked smile. He steps over to offer a hand out toward him. "Good to meet you. Any friend of Lynette's, etcetera, etcetera."

"Not always the best policy, Dad," she says, dryly.

"More an ex-Ferry associate," Mateo corrects, but doesn't go too much into it. Sure, he did work with that commune for a while, and a few others after that, but he never really considered himself an essential piece of their groups. He mostly stayed in contact with the last one because Silvia had been there— but he'd lost track of her for a year or two. Thankfully she'd been here. And not someplace terrible.

"But yeah, Silvia's favorite," he adds with a grin, fidgeting at the stitches again, before he wipes his hand off on his sleeve and takes the offered hand for a proper shake. He wishes he could make a better impression, but he's all dusty and even slightly wounded—

"It's nice to meet you finally, Sir."

"Semantics," Lynette says to Mateo's correction. She turns on her stool to watch as her dad comes in to shake his hand. Her eyebrow lifts. "Sil all but dragged him here. I'd hate to see what she'd do if he tried to leave," she says, her tone still teasing.

Jeremy's shake is a welcoming one and his hand pats his arm. Mindful of his wound, of course. "Settling in alright? You need anything from town? I live out there, so supply runs are no problem." He looks over at Lynette before he adds, "You know, I used to be Silvia's favorite."

Lynette reaches out to pat him on the arm, in mock sympathy. "There, there. I'm sure you'll survive. Plus, you're both wrong. I'm Silvia's favorite." She slides off the stool, moving to pour some drinks. Just ice tea, alas, but it'll have to do.

"I think she's right— she dragged me here to meet her new hero. I think 'nette's definitely her favorite these days," Mateo jokes, not seeming too insulted by the whole thing even if he'd known the girl almost half her life. He's not a war hero, and until today, probably couldn't have been considered to have done anything at all heroic.

Or at least he wouldn't have considered anything else he'd done heroic— except maybe helping Silvia find a home after her family treated her like they did.

Stepping closer to the blonde hero, he takes one of the teas she poured, looking back at her father. "I'm settling in good. It's nice to have a roof over my head for longer than half a day. Don't miss sleeping on the ground."

Lynette passes a glass over to her dad, too. He takes it, but instead of drinking it, he looks between the two of them. So he watches as Lynette turns toward him, the way she smiles at the joke. Her head shakes, though. She knows who the real favorite is, after all. She doesn't mind, because he's her favorite, too.

"Well," she says to Mateo's last words, "it's nice to hear my rooms are better than the ground outside." That's also a tease, of course. But it makes Jeremy's gaze turn a but suspicious. Playfully so, but still. He might have weighed the rumors he'd been hearing differently before this very moment. They're reconsidered now.

"So," he starts with a glance down to his glass. Innocently. "How long has this been going on? I mean, the kids were telling me, but I gotta say, Jelly Bean, I thought they were pulling my leg."

Her rooms. It might have earned an alarmed 'don't say that in front of your dad!' look, if Mateo hadn't considered pretty much everything in the building to be hers. The piano? Hers. The common room? Hers. Even the room she'd given him those first nights had been hers, even if she hadn't slept in them. But— now he really does sleep in her room most the time.

Mateo is grinning, until he spots that suspicious look on the father's face, and then he's suddenly standing up straighter again. He will probably bring up Jelly Bean later, but right now he's—

"It— uh…" Shit. Should he answer? He looks toward Lynette in a 'maybe you should answer' way.

"Dad, you should know better than to listen to the kids," Lynette says dryly. Whatever her face is giving away, she covers it by taking a drink of her water. But judging by the look Jeremy is giving the both of them, it's too late. "And another thing," she continues when she sets her glass down, "I have an actual name. You gave it to me." It's a distraction technique, but it seems to work well enough.

"He gets to use 'Nette', but I, your own father, can't use a nickname?" he asks, gesturing widely as if to poll the mostly empty room for its opinion.

"You could use a nickname," she replies, an eyebrow lifted. And really, she looks very much like the cat that caught the canary as she prods what appears to be an old argument.

Unfortunately, it's an unfounded feeling. Because he eyes her a little, then turns to Mateo. "She's dodging the question," he confides, as if this were somehow secret. "So you tell me. Do I need to be upset that she didn't mention it? Do you need to be upset that she didn't mention it?"

"Leading the witness," Lynette states with a laugh.

The witness is led. However, the witness has a good answer to this line of questioning. "I think we're both still trying to figure out exactly what it is, so it would be difficult to talk about. In usual terms, at least," Mateo offers her another look, eyebrow raising as if to ask if he answered that good enough. It is the truth, the first few weeks they had both been pretty skittish about certain things.

Though he probably loses a lot of points when he adds on, "If it helps, sir, I can always start calling her mi gominola."

Which means… my gummy candy. It's a joke, which he shows with his teasing grin. He fully expects to get smacked for even mentioning it.

But her father is right, he does get away with a couple nicknames.

When Mateo answers, Lynette gives a nod to the answer. Sounds pretty solid to her, apparently. "Who knows what to call things anymore. I can't call him a boyfriend, it makes me feel like I'm twelve years old." And she is not that. But it might imply the sort of relationship she sees forming around them. Between them.

Jeremy holds his suspicion for a moment, but only for effect. Because they're both decent answers. "Alright, I suppose I won't be upset, then. This time." Of course, then Mateo goes on and Jeremy lights up at that addition. A grin pops out on his face and everything.

Before he can say anything, Lynette points a finger at him, "No." And then, she turns to Mateo, to point at him, too. "Absolutely not. And you are supposed to be on my side!" She shakes her head, but the more she insists, the more amused Jeremy seems. Until he can't hold in a laugh anymore. The sound barks out and Lynette gives him a narrow-eyed look.

"Oh, I like him. He can stay," Jeremy says and he reaches over to clap Mateo on the back.

Sorry, Lynette, he had to get the approval of your father at your expense. Mateo gives her a grin of apology, as he tries not to wince at the clap, or that soft whisper of a roar in the back of his head. It still happens a little. He's never been shot before, and the tea does nothing to mitigate the pain. "I am on your side. I just think the nickname is cute." Jelly Bean. His mother had nicknames for him that he found embarrassing himself, but now he'd probably have given anything to hear them, even in front of her. So…

At least he can stay.

Cause he'd pretty much already decided he would.

"I'm glad to stay, as long as she'll have me." Cause, well, it's really dependent on that.

Lynette seems to understand the song and dance of approval, even though she has literally never experienced it first hand, so he'll probably be forgiven. Especially seeing as his smile gets a crooked one of her own back.

"Dad, easy. He got shot today," she says with a shake of her head. To his credit, Jeremy looks apologetic. And embarrassed. He might have been a little excited to get to do the song and dance of approval.

"Ugh cute," she says to Mateo, overdramatically. Probably her disapproval is just part of their bonding, this father and daughter who have had no one but each other for so long. At least, she's quick to give her dad a warmer smile. But Mateo gets her attention again and she tilts her head a little at his words.

She has to fight off a kneejerk response that is more feeling than sense. Certainly more given that they don't even know what it is yet. But, she reaches over to take his hand. "Oh, I think you can stay a while yet," she says, her tease gentle and her smile telling.

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