Make Mommy Not Sad


carl_icon.gif luther2_icon.gif


barazani_icon.gif kaylee2_icon.gif lou_icon.gif

Scene Title Make Mommy Not Sad
Synopsis The youngest Sumter comes looking for a little help from mommy's friend.
Date December 19, 2018

Raytech Industries

“Look mommy! There is Mr. Bellamy!”

He had been excited to see the man, especially since it had been awhile since the youngest child of Kaylee Sumter had seen him. He missed his mommy’s friend and the games. Carl had thought his mommy would have been happy to see her friend, maybe even talk; but, instead when she saw the security man…. His mommy first looked very confused and then very very sad. He didn’t understand why she was like that; Mr. Bellamy was very happy with a big smile. The older man didn’t look tired or sad, and he bet that he wasn’t drinking either.

It was all very confusing. Adults are very confusing. He didn’t understand why Emily was in such a hurry to be one. Being a kid was far better.

Reaching to take his mom’s hand and giving it a tug, Carl asks. “You okay, mommy?” It pulls her out of whatever she was thinking about and his mommy looks down at him. She always looked tired lately, ever since Mr. Bellamy stopped coming around. He knows when his best friend isn’t around, he gets sad too. However, when his mom smiles at him, Carl relaxes a little, and even returns her smile. Even sits still when she leans down to plant a kiss on the top of his head.

He really wished she wouldn’t do that in public, but it made her happy and Carl likes to see her happy.

“I have to go do a bit of paperwork and then I’ll take you to the library after. You wait for me right here,” His mom says giving him a warning look to obey her. Carl only nods a little in agreement and watches her go in a hurry with a worried look. He is pretty sure she was starting to cry.

Once she’s gone, Carl turns thoughtful as he sips at the juice he was given and picks up a half of his grilled cheese. He liked coming to mommy’s office, he gets the good snacks from the cafeteria ladies. Feet swinging, he chews on a bite of his sandwich, held in both hands; watching Mr. Bellamy engage in a lively conversation. He couldn’t help but wonder why he was so happy and why it made his mommy sad.

Friends should always talk. That is what Carl told his mommy…. Looking at the other half of his sandwich, he makes a choice. If she won’t talk to Mr. Bellamy, then maybe he should.

After folding up the other half of his sandwich in a napkin, he hops off his chair, first making sure Mr. Bob wasn’t watching somewhere. Then, Carl… looking very determined… marches for the Security Office where he knows Mr. Bellamy works. The young boy is such a fixture and well known enough that he isn’t stopped. Unless he tries to go outside without an adult. He tried that once… Ms. Sera is really scary and really really crazy.

Luckily, Carl’s journey allows him to finish the half of the sandwich, he’d already started on, before banging a greasy fist on the door and waiting patiently for an answer.

Standing at a distance as he sees off a couple of vendor reps, Luther is indeed smiling and looking amicable whilst shaking hands and waving good bye to them as they depart. He doesn’t miss Kaylee’s entrance, but far unlike his demeanor is the smile he gives her and Carl before he turns to head back to the security offices. Paperwork piles await.

So by the time Carl has snuck downstairs with his half-sandwich, the security chief has returned. Carl’s small fist banging on the door earns a short call of, “It’s open.” Carl only has to wait a couple more moments, though, before the sound of Luther coming to the door follows with it opening. The tall man looks out towards the hallway, blinking in puzzlement when he doesn’t see any adult waiting. But he does look down.

“Oh hey there, Carl,” rumbles the man in greeting, “How’s it going? Didn’t want to wait upstairs with Miss Sera?” No baby talk here, just straight man-to-man. Luther steps aside, giving way for the kid to enter. They all know Carl is a responsible sort who doesn’t mess around with the actual security portions of the room.

The mention of Miss Sera earns Mr. Bellamy a flat look from the little boy, lips pressed tight with disapproval. “You know and I know, she’s super crazy. She spritzes me with a spray bottle when she thinks I’m being bad. With a spray bottle, Mr. Bellamy. Do I look like a cat?” He sounds rather put off by it and a bit insulted… In his mind he isn't that bad. “I like the dinosaur that sounds like Aunt Elle more.” Not that anyone would let him be babysat by a robot, but he still would be safer in his mind.

Carl continues to look very serious as he steps into the security room, blue eyes turn up to look at the bigger man's gray ones. “We need to talk, Mr. Bellamy,” he finally declares, hands going to his hips, a little awkward with a sandwich in one hand. It was very much a stance his dad takes. “About mommy.”

Standing with shoulders bac, Carl marches over to the chair across from the Security Chief's desk. After sitting, he shifts to sit on the edge of the chair, so hands can be folded and arms rested on the desk. “Hello, Miss Lou,” he offers politely to the security tech, spotting her at her normal place in the office.

Falling silent, Carl looks back at Mr. Bellamy to wait for him to sit rather expectantly.

While Luther is able to keep a straight and serious face to the boy's mention of getting sprayed by a water bottle, Lou barely manages to hold in a spittake with her coffee. The woman seated at the monitors turns away, fanning her face and slightly scalded mouth. Once recovered and having kept herself from laughing out loud, Lou turns back to the pair.

"Hey kiddo, let me get you a plate for that sandwich," Lou remarks as she stands to do just that. Brows lift at the young boy's serious manner. They fall when he mentions his topic of discussion, and turn wary to watch as Carl marches up to the guest side of Luther's desk. A reusable plastic plate is fetched and handed over to Carl before Lou moves back to her seat. But she's hardly interested in working now.

Luther echoes that brow lift from Lou, and also turns to observe Carl moving to his desk. The security chief eventually shuts the door and follows suit, sitting on the other side. For another silent moment, the man bounces his gaze between his teammate and his boss' boy. Luther takes a breath. Hands fold, fingers flat over each other on the desk top.

"What's on your mind, Carl?" rumbles the security chief.

“Thank you, Ms Lou, but I brought this for Mr. Bellamy,” Carl explains, even as he takes the offered plate. He drops the wrapped grilled cheese half on the plate and pushes it towards the other side of the desk, as far as his fingers will stretch. Giving a last little push with the tip of his longest finger. The sandwich is probably cold, with the napkin soaked in grease, and bits of it clinging to the once melted cheese. “I know mommy brings you lunch sometimes,” he says to Mr. Bellamy. “So I did, too.” He sound so proud about doing that, a bright smile, like his mom’s, on his lips. However, he realizes he forgot… “Oh! Sorry, Ms. Lou. I didn’t bring you anything… But I'll bring you something next time. Promise.”

That all done, the gift of food given, Carl settles again and forces himself into a serious expression. Even pressing his lips tight. That is what adults do right? “Mommy is really sad all the time and I don’t know why… I even hear her crying, when she thinks I’m sleeping. Girls are just really weird sometimes.” There is a little shake of the kids head… he doesn’t get it. “But I did notice that you don't come around anymore for dinner and we don't play the pen game. That always made mommy smile. I think that might be why,” he gives Mr. Bellamy a ‘what the heck, dude’ look and spreads his hands on the desk. “I don't get it. I thought you were friends? Are you mad at her? Did you fight?” Young inquiring minds want to know!

The next look that is leveled on the Security Chief is a disapproving look that makes him look more like his father. “Daddy always says friends should talk if they are sad. When me and my best friend argue, we talk…we also sometimes wrestle until someone wins, but we also act like adults and talk over cookies.” He gives a shrug of his shoulders and adds, “So I tried to get her to talk to you, but she says everything is fine.” Both adults get a suffering look from Carl. “Everything is not fine.”

One look at the cold grilled cheese and Lou holds up a hand. "It's ok kid, I've got…" She looks back at her desk, at the thermos sitting there. "Anyway." The woman smirks at her chief, at the gift brought, and with a shake of her head moves to the desk to pick up said thermos to take a (less scalding) drink from it.

Luther looks down at the grilled cheese as it's pushed towards him, and smiles back at the young boy. "Thank you Carl. I appreciate the gesture," he says, using a finger to pull the plate closer and slightly to the side. Lunch for later.

As the boy goes on, though, Luther furrows his brow. Even mimics the very pressed lips Carl does, because adults do in fact do that. He endures the disappointed expressions gamely, seriously even. Once there is a pause, Luther sits back in his seat, fingers intertwining over his middle. He turns to Lou, a single look and a nod read by the other woman who pushes off her desk, thermos in hand, and steps off to the door and out.

Luther waits for Lou to leave, then he finally speaks. "I'm sorry to hear that your mom's still very upset," he begins thoughtfully. "But you should know that she and I… we're still friends. I still care about your mom very much. And I still will do everything that I can do to protect her and make sure she and you and your family are safe." He leans forward, resting elbows on the desk and chin on thumbs. Grey eyes peer at the boy. "But, some things happened. Stuff that's made our friendship a little more… well, weird." To say the least of it. Luther is quick to add, a finger lifting to stay further words, "It's not exactly something that's easy to talk about either. It's… complicated. But your mom's very-" He pauses, searching for the right word, settling on, "She's brave. And me, I guess, I'm not so much."

His gaze dips to the desk top, resting on the napkin wrapped sandwich for a moment. Then, Luther glances back to Carl, considering. "What do you and your friend argue about?" He may be trying to go around the topic, but there is still a sense of curiosity to the man's inquiry.

Carl listens. He really does, but by time Mr. Bellamy stops talking… The kid looks really confused. Head tipping to one side as he makes an attempt to understand. Finally he has to admit defeat, “You’re not making any sense, Mr. Bellamy.” There is a heavy sigh. “How can a friendship be weird? And how can you not talk? I just told you friends are supposed to talk.”


However, when Mr. Bellamy asks his question, it works to distract the little boy. Carl blinks and sits back in his chair. “We argue about lots of things. About pineapple on pizza and what power we hope we get when we grow up.” His shoulders shrug a bit, “We also argue about dragons and monsters. I think they can be good with the right friends, but he says that monsters are called monsters for a reason and that there can’t be good dragons, which is bullshi—” Carl’s mouth snaps shut and he covers his mouth with both hands. Blue eyes widen in worry. He had almost let a bad word slip in front of a grown up. Not just any grown-up…

The RayTech Security Chief!

Hands fall away and fold tightly in his lap.“You’re not going to arrest me for that are you, Mr Bellamy?” Carl sounds so small, head ducking down with a grimace. Cause security officers are like police officer right? “Or tell mommy?” is added in a softer voice.

Arguing about pineapple on pizza and the nature of dragons. These things, as Carl remarks upon them, draw a faint smile of amusement from the security chief, even up through the boy's self-interruption and horrified realization. Luther arches up his angled brows in an equal moment of surprise. "What? Arrest you?" echoes the man, shaking his head. "No kid, I can't arrest you for that. We have a right to free speech in this country, so you can say what you like."

He adds with a lean in and sidelong, conspiratorial look to the door, "I won't tell her, when we talk. But, you do know your mom's a mind-reader. I think all moms are, to be honest." Luther shrugs at that, and then leans back on to his chair. Grey eyes blink slowly, a second thought rising to the surface of Luther's mind. When he focuses back on Carl, there's an investigative sense to the man's rumbling voice. "Has your mom said anything? Or, what have you heard? What does she do when she gets upset at home?" Luther tilts his head, a hand lifting to scratch at his jawline as he regards the boy.

Mr. Bellamy gets a flat look from the youngest Sumter, maybe even a little annoyed at what he may see as an accusation. “Mr. Bellamy, you know mommy doesn’t listen. It’s rude. I’m six and a half and even I know that,” Carl’s tone is rather matter of fact about it. Being the son of a telepath means knowing the rules behind it. At least, he seems to relax a little… though there is a look of guilt at the questions.

“I’ve heard things,” Carl looks anywhere but the adult before him, “Adults talk loud sometimes, but mommy has been super quiet and laying in bed. You know what she stares at? Nothing.” He doesn’t get it. Asking specifics have opened a floodgate in the boy, the pressures of his mom’s mood pouring out of him.. It’s got him talking a mile a minute. Much like his mom, he’s a chatty one once started. “Got even worse when she came home crying.” He just has to add, also, “Girls cry a lot,” they really do. “She told daddy she died, buuuut… she was right there and was fine. No blood or anything.” Clearly, looking confused.

“Emily thinks mommy is going crazy like Uncle Warren, but that’s not true,” Carl sounds a touch angry about it, his back straightening with that accusation. “She talks to no one sometimes, but she’s not crazy. She doesn’t need to go to daddy’s work.” He seems rather worried about that.

“I really don’t like seeing mommy sad. Daddy doesn’t either and that is making him sad, too.” Carl’s shoulders slump a little. “You must know how to make her not so sad. Mr. Bob told daddy you were sad. I mean, you’re always sad and always grumpy; but, now you’re not.” Getting up on his knees on the chair he leans over the desk further on his elbows, giving the man a pleading look. “Please, Mr. Bellamy. Make my mommy not so sad.”

Recognition of that accusation comes belatedly and Luther lifts his angled brows in an attempt to look contrite. Maybe Carl will forgive him for that much. Or, that he might forget about the implication, especially in the deluge of revelations about Kaylee’s demeanor after the vision into the events of the Wasteland. Slowly, Luther’s brows knit together the more Carl goes on.

And somewhere within the man is an admiration for the young kid’s powers of observation and empathy.

Luther finds it difficult, at first, to look the boy in the eye. His grey-eyed gaze instead angled down to the desk top in thought, twinges of guilt follow with determination, resolve. He looks back up to Carl. “I will do what I can to help her. I promise, Carl. Your mom’s a really… she’s a great woman.” He swallows lightly, mouth pressing and twisting up at a corner. “And a great friend. Of course I’ll do whatever I can to help her feel better. I might need a little help from you too. Figure out a way to take some of that worry and sadness off of her.” As he had, apparently to everyone’s notice.

Pushing up to his feet, Luther stands and comes around the table, pausing in wait for Carl to join him. “Speaking of though, we better go see where your mom’s at now. She might be wondering where you are. Or Mr. Bob.” A beat skips past and he adds, “Was I really always sad and grumpy?”

Mr. Bellamy might feel the intense gaze of the boy on him. Carl hoping against hope he was right about coming to mommy’s friend and the only one he could really get to.

When his plan works, there is a bright smile for the Security Chief; an echo of his mommy’s smile. “Really!?” He asks happily, as he follows Mr.. Bellamy's movement. Hope is well and alive in the young man.

Hoping down off the chair with enthusiasm, the young boy throws himself at Mr. Bellamy, giving him a rare hug. No other witnesses help. “Thank you! Thank you!”

But then Carl looks sheepish as he looks up at the big man. “Oh, yeah. I- uh -snuck out when Mr. Bob wasn't looking.” Letting go of Mr. Bellamy, Carl hurries towards the door, grabbing the knob with both hands so he can open it first.

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