Little Hands


vf_elaine_icon.gif vf_mala_icon2.gif

Scene Title Little Hands
Synopsis Mala pays Elaine and her daughter a visit during an unfortunate turn of events.
Date November 17, 2014

Magnes and Elaine's Townhouse

The modest townhouse that the Parkers inhabit is a little cluttered. Downstairs in the basement is the man cave, upstairs reserved for the bedrooms, and the main floor is where most everything is done. The living room has gradually been furnished over time, a couch and a few chairs being the centerpieces, with a desk tucked into the corner with a fairly nice laptop on it.

The floor is covered in brightly colored toys—building blocks, stuffed animals, cars and trains with wheels that move. There’s even some picture books spread out amidst the chaos. But it’s organized chaos. Elaine knows where everything is and just what little Adie might want when she fusses.

For now, she types away at the keyboard, keeping a careful eye on her child as she does. Trouble could happen at any moment, after all. And not just the kind children get into.

Children often have blocks with colorful letters on them that they stack and play with and arrange in various ways. This little girl’s blocks have Russian letters on them, which she’s arranged into a half upside down gibberish. A book laying on the floor reads Sou pequena? on the cover. There’s a stuffed brown cow that she carries around and whose hoof gets stuck into her mouth occasionally, but this one is not called bobo.

Dark eyes peek around with interest at just about everything, and often she repeats back the words her mother says out loud, even if they are in a completely different language than the ones other adults speak around her. In many ways, she looks like her mother, even down to the little wisps of hair pulled into a little ponytail.

No trouble today, just a sudden knock on the door. A young teen, now Mala looks much more mature and infinitely more healthy than she had been in the Hub. Not being negated constantly helped, being surrounded by good feelings and happiness gives her physical strength to compensate for her general weaknesses. She’s alone. She hasn’t visited in some time, and the last time she hadn’t been old enough that her foster family (also from the Hub originally) had let her come on her own.

But she’s old enough now, dark hair splayed at her shoulders, happy smile on her face.

Elaine stops what she’s doing, turning in her chair to get to her feet. She peeks at what her daughter’s up to, making sure she’s not choking on anything that shouldn’t be in her mouth, but hurries on her way towards the door. Unlocking it, she pulls the door open and grins when she sees who’s on the other side.

“Mala! It’s good to see you, I’m glad you came by.”

And it is good. She wasn’t used to a lot of visitors. Between work and school and Adie, she didn’t have much of a chance to go out. It didn’t bother her too much, it was something she could deal with. “Come on in. Are you hungry? I can make something.”

“I already ate, thank you!” Mala responds as she steps into a hug that doesn’t last too long. She might be older now, but she’s still tiny. Growth stunted will likely always remain with this one, from her years on the street post bomb and malnutrition. Even before the Virus made everyone else homeless too.

She takes in a deep breath and can tell, immediately, how happy things are here. A happy little baby more interested in dragging her little cow around and knocking over blocks that are just a little too big to stick anywhere she’s not supposed to. Like her mouth. Sticking the poor cow hoof in her mouth isn’t that bad, it’s squishy. And usually damp. And smells of toddler's mouth.

“Motherhood suits you,” she says with a grin, looking across the room toward the young baby. “And wow, she looks so much like you! I think she even has your nose.”

Elaine looks at Mala’s small form and considers making food anyway, but she lets it go. Mala will be fine. She shuts the door behind Mala and makes her way back into the living room. “I’ve always thought I’d be a mother. I just never expected it to be this early on. I thought I’d be… much older before I had kids. It’s fun though. A lot of work, but I wouldn’t give it up for the world.”

She moves over to stand next to Adie. “I think she looks a lot like me. She takes after me, mostly. Got a few traits from Magnes, but it’s mostly my genes, I think. Definitely looks like me, I think.” She grins down at the child. “That’s a good thing, you. I’m cuter than your father.”

“Gato!” the two and a few months year old suddenly calls out, getting to her unsteady feet and moving a little bit after a dark gray cat that came out from under the couch into the kid’s hands. The all suffering cat puts up with the grabbing hands and doesn’t even try to slip back away under the furniture, looking up toward the adult as if to say ‘this is almost as bad as coming from a viral apocalypse’ with his eyes.

“Kal El!” the teenager who had been one of the two kids who had found said cat cries out, kneeling down on him. “You must be so spoiled.”

No really, human, he’s giving you an all suffering gaze, not one of sheer happiness or spoiledness. Not that people speak cat, normally. Not even Elaine.

“She has some things from Mister Magnes too, I’m sure.” The teen had once called him Super Magnes, but that seems to have been something she’s grown out of, with coming closer to adulthood. “But it is fortunate she looks like you. Magnes wouldn’t make a very good girl, I don’t think.” Even if she’s trying to picture it. “That was Spanish, right? Gato?” She’d known it from Denisa. “How many languages are you teaching her?”

Elaine has never understood the patience of cats with small children and watching Kal El with Adie is no different. “Oh she has some things from Magnes alright. She’s got the bad habit of being really unaware of danger she’s running into. Might just be cause she’s small and she’ll grow out of it, but… the resemblance is there.” She laughs slightly.

“But you’re right, that’s Spanish. I’m teaching her a few, trying them out early on, kind of a bit of an experiment. Spanish I push quite a bit because I feel it’ll probably be the most immediately useful to her. Might be harder for her to learn than me, but I think she’ll thank me later on in life when she’s multi-lingual and it comes in handy.”

“Denisa tried to teach me some,” Mala admits, bending down to toy with the Cyrillic letters on the cubes, stacking them slightly. But as she does so, and as Kal El indures the child hands, her phone rings and she shifts to answer it.


There’s a hint of a voice on the other side, one Elaine can vaguely recognize.

“No— no I’m good. I’m nowhere near the Pinehearst building— I’m visiting El— no really, Uncle Eric I’m no where near it,” she says into the phone. Uncle Eric. Eric Doyle. One of the thirty six refugees from Elaine’s world, and the one who ended up adopting little Mala and keeping her safe, it would seem. Though she calls him Uncle instead of father, even if he fills the role of both.

“I’ll call you before I leave, I— “ She frowns, then stands up, looking back at Elaine. “Just a minute…” She steps over to the table to pick up a remote, turning on the television after a concerned look toward Elaine. It’s already on a channel that’s showing an ‘emergency message’ on the screen. It shows the Pinehearst building. Smoke rolling out the side. A ribbon scrolls across the screen EXPLOSION AT THE PINEHEARST BUILDING — AN ACT OF TERRORISM?.

Elaine’s gaze settles on the television in disbelief. Her brain processes the situation slowly, one cog turning slowly after the other. She looks from the television to the child on the floor, then up again, this time towards Mala. Somewhere in her head, she’s got a sense of what happened, but her mind is still having a violent rejection of the situation.


Mala hadn’t turned up the sound, so they don’t hear whatever it is the reporter voice over might be saying as they switch between various footage of the explosion. From where she sits on the floor, little Adell doesn’t seem to notice any difference, continuing to play with her toys, the stuffed animal sitting haphazardly in her lap. One that her father had gifted her.

“I’ll call you back,” the teen says into the phone, not even hearing what Uncle Eric might be saying to her as she hung up on him. Her eyes remain on the television as she puts down the remote and goes over to the red head. The joy from the child is enough to keep her on her feet, but she’s looking weaker as she reaches out and puts a arm around Elaine.

They’ve both seen an entire world die. And Elaine had been the one who held her through a lot of it, so it was her turn to return the favor.

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