delia_icon.gif ryans2_icon.gif

Scene Title Kodachrome
Synopsis Benjamin and Delia go digging through the past.
Date April 23, 2010

The Ryans' Family Home

After the meeting at Fort Hero, Ryans made the decision to hazard a trip out to the family home. To check on things and to look for one of those old tape recorders he knows he has stashed away in a box. He truthfully expected a long day ahead, since no doubt there would be a lot of snow piled up against the house.

Of course, his youngest had insisted to come with him, since she lived there as well. Not that Ryans would deny his youngest, especially since it meant he could have her close by. With the possible threat against his family, he didn't want to take any chances.

His large truck pulls up along side the curb, the senior company agent looking rather surprised. Their neighbors had kept the door free of snow. He would have to thank them all later. "I bet that was all Frank." The old man says softly, his voice rumbling with the words. The truck shut down, only the sounds of the cooling engine fill the cab for the moment before he pops open his door to get out.

His long coat is straightened, scarf carefully looped around his neck and tucked in the front of his coat. He had long since tossed aside the sling, not wanting his girls to worry about it. It meant being careful when he moved the shot arm. The hiking boots he took up wearing crunch under his feet as he starts up the walkway, eyes moving to the snow piled up on each side.

When the phone call from Ben finally arrived, Delia was in class. One look at the number and she dashed out to answer it, she'll just explain away the emergency later. It's difficult to say, in this father-daughter relationship who exactly is the parent. Of course Benjamin is older, wiser, tempers his actions a little better than his youngest but Delia is louder, isn't afraid to cry to get what she wants, and a lot more worried (at least in her mind). So after the initial 'where have you been?' and 'why haven't you called?' she settled for taking a ride with him to check on the house.

"I shoveled once, Lulu and I came to check up on it. I don't like leaving the house for so long, y'know? But…" The redhead gives him a rather uneasy smile and wrinkles her nose. She still can't say it. "..but yeah, I think it was Mister Bauchman that shoveled most of it. I saw him out here a few times during the day."

Her massive moon boots make a loud squeaky crunch against the sidewalk. She's heard it from Lulu, time and time again, the things she wears are completely embarrassing and she'll never get a good boyfriend. Delia doesn't really care. "Are you still staying at the hotel? Do you think I could get a room there too? Lulu's place isn't big enough for the both of us…" Something Benjamin should well know, those two fight like wet cats.

"I am." Ryans confirms softly, as he moves to unlock the door. His keys jingle softly as he pushes the key into the lock. The door doesn't budge right away, the agent has to turn his good shoulder to the door and shove his way in, ice around the frame cracking loudly. Stepping inside his breath still puffs white, since the heater is off. It's a good thing he's never had animals.

Stepping inside the darkness, his leather clad hand searches for the light switch. "However, I do not think right now is a good time to be staying near me."

Click click

No lights, the electricity is out again. So he has to reach into his coat to retrieve the high powered maglite. It's almost blinding as the room is bathed into the bluish LCD light. "I know you and Lu do not agree on… well just about everything, but you are safer together then apart. This new job comes with some rather unpleasant characters and I'd rather not have you close by if they decide to come after me."

Not only was he younger looking, he now worked in law enforcement. It's a long way from being a paper salesman.

No light, no heat, the house is like a frozen wasteland and Delia's eyes cross to look at the tip of her nose as she forms an 'o' with her mouth and blows. The condensation from her breath forms a puffy cloud, even inside the house. She wrinkles her nose and sets her face into a scowl as she looks around. The house used to be warm and happy, like the color orange. Now, bathed in the blue LCD light it just seems cold and wrong.

When Ben refuses the young woman's request for relocation, she marches to the stairs. She's fully prepared to stomp up them in a pout and slam her bedroom door, except that would be a little silly. So she stands there and grips the banister as she watches him. "But Daaaaaaaaad," she whines, "You don't understand… She works at that bar! I can't get enough sleep and my grades are going down. I'll never get into a good medical school." When all else fails, appeal to the man's sensibility regarding her schoolwork.

Normally, it might work, but a bullet wound and a look at his death, overrules anything else. "I said no, Lia." There is no anger in those words, he almost sounds distracted as he crossed through the living room into the dining room and kitchen. "Once the weather starts clearing, we will be back home soon enough."

The glare of his flashlight is reflected back by the large slider that normally goes out to the back yard. Only thing that he sees is a wall of glittering white. Stepping over to the slider, he shakes his head slowly. "I will be surprised if the greenhouse makes it." It's buried out there under so much snow.

Moving away from that into the kitchen, he starts rummaging around in the drawers, looking for something. "And right now Old Lucy's is closed." A flashlight is pulled out and offered to his daughter.

"Okay, fine! They're not going down because she works in a bar. Dad there's something going on with her and I can't deal with it. We need you. She needs you." Delia follows him from room to room, standing only a few feet behind him as she pleads with him. There's something in her voice; worry, fear, maybe a touch of helplessness.

With a long and drawn out sigh, Delia slumps into one of the kitchen chairs surrounding their family table. Her chair, actually, the one with her name into the wood, she did that when she was seven. Picking at the grain on the back rungs, she hangs her head but keeps looking at him. "What're you looking for? I probably know where it is…" she offers helpfully, though her eyes dart toward the wall of white on the other side of the window. "Do you think one of them is causing all of this?"

When she doesn't take the light, he moves to sit it on the table in front of her, before twisting to look at the white wall again. "Possibly." There is no doubt in his mind, but he doesn't feel the need to fuel her paranoia. Ryans hand is heavy on her shoulder, giving it a squeeze before he heads for the stairs.

"I'm looking for one of my voice recorders. One of the older ones that uses tapes." It probably sounds odd that he wants to use a relic, but then in someways Benjamin Ryans is as well. "And I know where one is." His voice lowering as he starts up the stairs, about midway one creaks in protest. Mary always complained about that board and he had always vowed to fix it.

Though she didn't take the light from his hand, it is grabbed up as he moves to head upstairs. "The one with the tapes? I know where it is~" she sing songs as she dashes up the stairs ahead of him. Into her room she disappears and moments later, Delia emerges with one of his old recorders and a bunch of new tapes and batteries.

"Sorry, I took it during my first semester. I needed one to help me write papers…" Her voice drifts off a little and she gives him a rather weak smile. "Insane, I know… but when you get inspiration on the bus or in the subway it's easier to record it than to write it down or remember it." Flicking open the recorder, she removes the tape inside before passing it to him along with the tapes and batteries. "You probably don't want my pharm notes…"

Moving to one side as she dashes up, is almost instinct. How many times had the girls done that,trying to reach the top before daddy does. That memory gets a small tug of a smile on his lips. The recorder she offers, he studies and hands back. "Actually… I have one from when I work." He slips past her, moving to his bedroom, there is almost a sadness about him as he heads for that room.

The memories in the house would always be strong, since this has been home for over twenty years. Should she follow he doesn't protest it, just moves to the closet which seems so empty without their mothers large assortment of clothing. The flashlight is set on the nightstand next too him so he can carefully reach up to the top shelf, a small grimace as he can feel stitches pull.

Follow she does, since he didn't protest at all, she flops down on the bed, bouncing a little as she watches him pull the box down from the closet. "Oh man, these covers stink, dad… Like dust and old." She looks up quickly, and then her eyes flit from side to side as she recovers, "I mean, because they've been sitting for so long. Not because you're old… You're not… Anymore… Which is good!" But weird, which is something she doesn't add.

Delia reaches over to the nightstand and grabs the maglight, shining it toward Benjamin and the closet. "Remember when mom used to hide our Halloween candy up there so Lulu and I wouldn't eat it all at once? Then she'd forget about it until months later?" The young woman lets out a single laugh and then a deep sigh. "I think I was the only kid in school that got little chocolate pumpkins for Easter. I miss that." Waste not, want not, it seemed to be a Ryans family motto for a while.

Carefully, the box, which looks like an old file box is set on the bed, the top dusty from time up in the closet. He peals off his gloves, ignoring the bite from the cold air, and pulls the lid off. "We'll have a lot of work for us when we get back, won't we?" He glances at her, with a hint of a smile, but it fades away as he sits the lid aside. A picture of his dead wife sits on top it, in fact, the box is mostly filled with picture frames, envelopes, and even an old album of pictures, which he pushes aside, searching for a tiny recorder.

His jaw is clenched as he moves aside picture upon picture of Mary and various Company people from parties and get togethers. The Ryans were social with his co-workers. Even though most spouses didn't know about what they really did within Primatech, there were always parties.

Immediately as the pictures are moved aside, Delia's hands are on them, pulling them from the box and examining them by flashlight. "Hey, I remember this picture… I made you guys put it away when I was like twelve or something." Her chirping voice fills the room as she holds up a picture of the four of them with the company Santa Claus. The two girls are sitting on the bearded man's knees with Mary and Ben smiling toward the camera. The only blight in the photo is of the three year old Delia with her finger shoved up her nose.

"God, I was so embarrassed when Julie Glover and Amanda Bidewell saw this. I didn't make the cheer squad that year… I bet it's because of this picture too." Even though it seemed to cause so much pain, she puts it aside in its own little pile. Probably to keep for herself.

A glance goes to the side to the picture in her hands, Ryans' expression is unreadable. The man and woman in the picture both older looking then the man digging through the box. "I doubt it was cause of that picture. I am pretty sure they both have equally embarrassing photos." A picture hidden from Delia, but seen by Ryans gets a small smile. "Cause everyone has at least one…" The photo is dropped on the bed next to her. It's a photo of Delia and Lucille in the bathtub, bright smiles on their faces, Mary working shampoo into oldest's hair.

"It's makes good fodder for when you want to embarrass your children in front of potential boyfriends." Or that's how Mary always explained it. It was her right, she told him once. "Some…" The old photo album is pulled out and offered."…have a mother who cherished the thought of embarrassing her daughters like her mother did to her, and her grandmother did to her mom." There is a mix of affection and sadness in his voice has his eyes rest on the cover of that album. It's something he hadn't shown the girls yet.

The bathtub picture is taken and laughed at before Delia quiet a little and her face falls into a sad expression. "I'm sorry Dad," she begins, this time like so many times before when thinking or talking about Mary. Staring at the photograph for a while, she still holds it in her hand as she accepts the album from him. She doesn't open the album for any longer than it takes to put her little collection of set aside photos into it.

Her finger traces the cream colored scrollwork on the cover of the brown album. Its vynil cover not cracked or even showing any wear for its age. Taking a deep breath, she doesn't continue her train of thought. The pattern is something that Benjamin could easily recognize though as the redhead's shoulders lump and she hunches over the book. "So… when do you think we could have family dinner again? I kind of miss it. I have the weekends off pretty much… I mean I only go in to work in the mornings. I'm gone by two or so." Her short fingernails pick at the plastic cover, nervously.

"Soon. I promise." Ryans says sounding rather non-committal. It's the same tone he use to use when he worked as a traveling sales man. The small recorder is found, though it's empty of any tape. Too risky, but easy to purchase. "With this weather and my case load, I've barely had time to eat or sleep."

Benjamin has always been a work-a-holic, but a good father when he could. Though there were times he was gone a month or so at a time while he was recovering from wounds or over seas on special assignments. A sideways glance is afforded to his youngest. "Hopefully, the world will calm down again soon." He nods to the book, "You can take that, but it is to be shared with Lu. It's her's as much as yours."

"So… soon like when? Like this weekend? I think we should do something this weekend." The young woman continues to pick at the plastic covered album for a while as she waits for him to answer. She's got his stubborn set to her jaw, along with his stern gaze. It's her no nonsense face, one that he should recognize from the many fights that she used to have with her sister and sometimes her mother when everything in their lives was somewhat normal.

"The world won't calm down, Dad. It never calms down. Ever. There's always something new popping up and with Lulu going back to modeling." Delia just shrugs and then goes silent for a moment. "If we don't make time, we'll run out of time. Like with mom."

The agent is looking inside the box, hands reach in to pull out a loose photo of a twenty years older Ryans and his wife. There is a slight trembling to his hand, before he pockets the photo, and reaches for the lid. "We'll have to play it by ear." He murmurs, the lid is placed on the box carefully.

"I can't exactly plan ahead like before, Lia. I'm working and always on call." There is no apology to what he says, it's merely fact. He picks up the box and pauses to study her. "Okay?"

"Yeah.. whatever," Delia says quietly, finally getting up as the lid on the box is put back. She hugs the album to her chest and it's quite clear that she's not happy with the answer she's been given but at least she's not pushing. "I guess work is important."

Heaving a deep breath, she shrugs and leaves the room to head to her own. She doesn't reemerge for a while but her door is open and she is visibly packing a few more clothes into a olive colored duffel bag. Once it is stuffed full, she looks around for a few more minutes before pulling the cover off of her bed. It's a handmade quilt, one of the many that inhabits the house. This one just happens to have Delia's name on it. After folding it up, she pulls the backpack over one shoulder and picks up the album and quilt. "Lulu doesn't like to turn the heater on. Since I'm on the couch, I get a little cold…" she explains quietly.

There is a small hiss of pain as he lowers his arm from putting the box back on the shelf. A glance over his shoulder once she slips out of the room, Ryans unbuttons his shirt a bit so that he can catch a glance as the red starting to show seeping through the bandage. Lips press into the fine line. Wonderful.

He doesn't worry about it yet, but buttons his shirt again, picking up the light and moving to find where Delia went too. His light lands on her, when she speaks. The light falls away leaving her father just a silhouette, who turns to move for the stairs. "Anything else you need to grab before we go? With the sleet, the roads are going to be hell, so we'll want to get going before it is too late."

Her father has closed down some, it's something he did for sometime after their mother died. Ryans was always an attentive father, but for almost a whole year after he was distant emotionally. Digging through the past can to that, kicking up long settled dust.

Like father, like daughter, Delia stubborn face is complete with pursed lips and downcast blue eyes. "No, don't need anything else," she murmurs quietly. She follows him down, leaving her room in a bit of a mess with pillows and stuffed animals all over the floor. It's not like she'll be expecting company in the next few months, or ever if the snow doesn't let up. Speaking of which…

"Hey Dad, if the snow doesn't stop and it doesn't warm up soon — Can we just move to Mexico or something? Maybe Chili or Brazil?" Sure the redhead's fair skin would burn to a crisp, but her older sister could get a tan and would probably love it.

That actually gets a bit of a chuckle, Ryans stops to turn and look back his youngest. "You know we have family in Texas." He doesn't sound like he has an accent. "Your grandparents would welcome a visit, if your so desperate… though… your grandfather might not really remember you." Both of Ryan's parents were in their eighties. He always joked about hoping he could live that long… now he would. If he survived his job, he'd probably reach the ripe old age of one hundred.

When he approaches the door and opens it, it floods the living room in muted daylight, the sound of sleet falling is noticable. The maglite is flicked off and tucked into his coat. Fingers brush the edge of the picture he tucked away, knowledge that it's there twists him up painfully inside. With a soft sigh, he steps to one side and motions her through, "Come on Lia… lets get out of here. I think I saw McDonalds open near the highway. Get you a milkshake?"

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