Modern Families


delilah_icon.gif teo3_icon.gif

Scene Title Modern Families
Synopsis Teo takes Delilah to the OB-GYN and needs to sit down while she pats his back and soothes his delicate self from the threat of the vapors.
Date June 3, 2010

Somewhere In New York — The OB-GYN's

In the staticky screen of the ultrasound machine, the embryo— child— boy— looks like a lima bean that has gotten too big on the big end, but still, as they leave the room, it's Teo who needs to sit.

He had said he was fine like twelve times while in the observation room, as they wheeled the unit aside, wiped the gel off her belly and unrolled her shirt backd own again over its gentle swell. Yes, really. Fine. Oh, thank you, while he peered down at the screen-captured printout.

Maybe he hadn't been lying, but he doesn't look quite right as they pass the potted tree and make their way back into the cuboid of cream-colored couches. One swarthy woman sits alone out there, and what would appear to be a heterosexual couple with their hands joined. They all look up when Delilah winds up installing her boy on one of the other couches, him with his face alternating pale around the eyes and his cheeks higher with color. Such a delicate flower, the Sicilian. When Delilah sits down beside him, it isn't but three seconds before she finds a palm on her belly. There is thin music playing over the intercom.

"He's probably healthier than I am, right now," Teo observes, after a moment.

He'd promised to do what he could for her; when the weather cleared, she made sure that the gesture was kept, even by such a little thing as coming with her to the clinic. The exam went well enough, and though Delilah had reservations about an ultrasound with Teodoro(for the ensuing reason), she decided in the end that it would be better for him to allow it to root in his conscious. Are you okay? I'm fine. About a dozen times, and they still find themselves back in the waiting area. Funny enough, the pregnant girl is the one murmuring for the man to sit down for a few minutes; commonality may dictate it should be the other way around.

Juxtaposing herself down on the couch, Delilah's hand has stayed still on Teo's shoulder blade from sitting him down; her palm moves up over the trapezius bump of his neck when she feels his hand wandering onto the soft curve of her blouse. She only smiles, fingers kneading into his shoulder and lashes aimed downward towards where he is still holding onto the printout. They flick back up when she looks at his face.

"Just resilient." To live through the last few months with little issue? "I think he got the lion's share of that- we're not exactly pussies, you know." Well. Just sayin'.

Sayin' the truth. Teo's eyes go slightly crescent-shaped, but the smile takes time to thaw enough to trickle down to his mouth. He picks his head up a few more inches, from where he'd— nearly had them down between his knees like a hyperventilation patient, a few seconds there. Nearly. Fortunately, he didn't actually hyperventilate and that particular panic symptom seems to have excluded itself from the probable outcome of this event, for now. His fingers start to curl on reflex, but he doesn't squeeze her belly.

There had been no moment during which he had regretted coming with, of course: he had given that promise freely. However, it isn't until this moment that it manages to sink in, full spectrum of color and tactile texture, that he's glad that he did. "What do you want to name him?" he asks, but there's a seed of something else in the question, that same strange, positive tension that framed his choice of male pronouns for the unborn infant long before the ultrasound had given that logical premise.

Delilah leans into the arm curled winglike over his shoulder, cheek meeting his arm a moment before she leans back again. Her other hand calmly searches out the one on her stomach, slender fingers working at knotting between the calloused set. Her eyebrows have edged upwards, her features having found an expression suitable- it is the mundane sort of serenity one gets when sitting down after a long day.

"If it's definitely a boy, Walter. On the offchance it's a girl, I think Lucy. Or Vittoria." The feminine names suitably act as a buffer on receiving what he expected to hear come out of her mouth. "Are there any others you like?" Delilah questions, genuinely curious. She knows that her grandmother had the only suitably Italian name she could think of. "I mean, you can help, I don't want you to feel like I'm pressuring you to come up with others." The redhead speaks again after a second of pause, looking slightly apologetic. It is clear that she is not sure how involved Teo wants to be, and to what degree.

"I like Walter," sounds faintly defensive, somehow. His fingers do curl, but gentler than they would have moments ago, a songbird clasping the perch on his mistress' shoulder. The bad side of Teo's face is less interesting to stare at after sufficient peripheral ogling, and the other three patrons of the OB-GYN clinic fade out in due time, and when the doctor comes in with her clipboard to ask the next one in, the single mother brightens, instantly distracted.

Occasionally, Teo's uglied mug is of no consequence at all. "But Lucy and Vittoria are nice as well. If you like them, there isn't a lot of doubt I will too. You're good at this kind of thing." How would he know that? He wouldn't. He wouldn't. His smile is crooked, then, and not just because of the twisted edges of scarred mucus glands and turned-up tissue, or the glistening exposure of teeth, either. "Take it from one who knows."

"It makes me miss him- my grandfather. I know he'd approve though." Delilah nods to herself, lips splitting into a smile. "If you say so. I couldn't even come up with names for a dog before I got Samson." She whispers this as if the thing were some kind of awkward secret. It takes a second longer, until a look of realization comes over her brow, followed by a crease of thought. "Ohh …what will we tell your parents?" There isn't but a second more that passes before she is onto something else, excited in the way that someone may get upon reading some juicy magazine.

"Speaking of Samson, I met a guy. Said that was his name too, he found my Sam in the snow. Said weird things. Mostly asking about my power not working and-" Delilah looks around and cups her whisper to Teo's ear. "He said the baby's was fine, gave me a …Rumplestiltskin vibe."

Thought you should know. Delilah does not seem to know the brevity involved with it.

The name does not sound familiar outside of canine and Biblical contexts, and that— lack of familiar is enough to touch Teo's nerves. His brow sinks deeper after the mention of the weird-talking stranger than it had at the remark on his father, and he'd already been frowning reminding of the man whom he owes half his chromosomes. Bristling.

One long arm finds its way over Delilah's shoulders, protective concave, his callused hand dangling down over her sleeve. His too-shaggy head hangs close, studying her belly for a moment, as if in an effort to make eye-contact through the surface of her belly and the intervening layer of blouse, before he glances up at her. "Well, nice to think the asshole wasn't wrong," he says. His voice seems to emanate from his chest, a growl, reverberating through a medium of steady metabolic heat, leaning on her arm. He sniffs. "Even if it's none of his fuckin' business."

Fetus Walter is blissfully unawares of Teodoro trying to stare through the mass of womb.

"I'm not sure what I thought of what he actually said." Delilah remains torn on worry or jubilation that the baby will have an ability. On one hand- on the other- the whole nine yards. "I still have to tell my aunt. If she somehow finds you, get behind something sturdy, alright?" The redhead goes back to before bringing up something else, jumping from subjects like a frog on a lily pond. Fingers search idly across the edge of her lap for the black and white screenshot they'd been given, tongue wetting her lips in unconscious apprehension of having to tell Marien- and explain to her little cousins. Oh boy.

"Do you want to keep this? You can, if you'd like. It's the first of many, but seeing as this is the first…"

"I won't beat up your aunt," is Teo's honorable promise, sworn on the unborn child ensconced within her blouse. Fetus Walter may be blissfully unaware of many things, but that never stopped dead religious men from being symbols for things, so. So. So it takes him a moment, but he does close his fingers around the proffered picture, stares down at it with his eyes a little large in his face and his complexion still not sitting quite right, but all right. It is difficult to keep a mental handhold on such threats from anonymous weirdos he hasn't met when he's looking at that.

An impressively large lima bean, for all the blobby indistinction, otherwise. "My mother will want to come and visit, I think. Would that bother you, or your family?"

"I'm worried about you, not her." Delilah's words are punctuated with a laugh, and she relinquishes that copy to Teo. For keeps. Her hand finds the middle of his back, scratching softly with her fingertips. It's not a pat on the back, but just as well, before her arm loops around his shoulder again. "And I'm a little concerned with your looking blotchy. Do you need some water or something? I can ask the nurse." Her delicate Sicilian flower needs such expert care that only a few people really know how to provide. Delilah likes to think that she is one.

"I would love to see your mother again. I'd been planning to send her a letter after I sent her that package- I got sick and the winter got out of hand. We should call her soon, don't you think?"

Teo makes a little face with the little face he's already always, by default, making thanks to stupid Kozlow and his stupid superpower. "No, no. I'm fine. I mean yes, we should call—" Teodoro's hands describe an indecipherable shape in the air, and his heart hammers through his back into her palm, where she can feel it. Ka-thump, ka-thump. "And I'll have a conversation with my old man, even. Would be appropriate. Sorry about the blotchiness."

Absurd apology, but Teodoro does that sometimes. "It's just weird.

"Thinking — uh. Knowing," he adjusts, not quite like a man backpedalling from the crumbling edge of 'Yes that frock makes you look fa.' Not quite. "I can't just do whatever the fuck I want with my life, now. There's gonna be this kid that I should I d'no.

"It's a lot to wrap my head around, you know? I've fought for causes before. Laid down my life for international and interracial and inter-thing justice. But the universe kinda…" Lines between his eyebrows, beneath the strandy shadows of his forelocks. Abruptly, he's wary of the magnitude of these intimiations; of whether or not he's qualified to have them, being little better than OB-GYN accompaniment and some donated sperm. "Contracts. Or threatens to."

Lilah idles there, wrapped in return over him, listening. She knows exactly what he means; though the perceived fear in his words gets to her more. "Maybe this is the universe's way of telling you to concentrate more on what is within reach? I'm not making light of anything- just-" Delilah unwinds from him, moving to take his scruffy face in her palms like she might do with Samson when he is looking down. "Just do your best, I don't care if it ends up being mostly changing diapers or mostly shooting down dragons with a crossbow. You'll be fine." In essence, Delilah's worries are very little, and she seems to be trying to relay that to him.

"You're doing so great right now, considering this is the first chance I've had to get myself a proper look-over." She lowers her hands to squeeze at his shoulders. "This is a drop in the pond- you're probably going to know him for fifty years. You have time to decide who you want to be to him." Li is being very optimistic. Doubtful that most would have it any other way.

Teo is struck by how well-articulated that was. 'Who you want to be with him.' There are options, after all, and he's spoiled for choice as much as he's stalling out scandalized at the number of possibilities. His scarred face shifts to slightly rueful at her praise, though. Laying it on a little thick, he thinks. His ego isn't that fragile. He dislikes the notion that any part of him is.

Boys. Teodoro occasionally is one, between the poetry and the cooking and the determined feminism. Maybe it's worse, almost, that it does bring him comfort. She said fifty years. He's never really counted on being alive that long, no matter how he fears death, or at least the Catholic continent beyond— "He might care," he remarks, after a moment. His breath goes in and out, reassuringly solid in Delilah's arms. "And you might change your mind.

"But: okay. Grazie." For the good deal, and for that, he has the grace to look mildly embarrassed. He closes a rough hand over the girl's own. Squeezes.

"If he is going to be my son, he won't." Delilah knows her family already, and he's not even born yet. She is just self-assured in the ways of the Traffords, being the only one left on paper. Her hand goes to ruffle over Teodoro's head, lovingly so, fingers in the shag of hair. "Promise me you'll make him fluent in Italian? Maybe I could wear headphones on my stomach, play those language learner discs." Li has moved onto something far more lighthearted, and somehow it just seems to fit her, fit the ambiance offered by the waiting room of pastel colors and cheerfully old magazines. Walter probably would have done it the same way, in his distant first grader wisdom.

"I'm just starving." Okay, maybe Delilah's trains of thought offers a much more raw, honest experience. At least it was mundane.

Mundane, but not negligibly so. Teo is promptly solicitous, or at least increasingly embarrassed about having taken up all that time with being blotchy and needing to sit down. "Si, si. You have to eat enough for two." His face is terribly serious now, the broken corner of his mouth notwithstanding. He gets up hastily, but carefully: she's so close! He doesn't want to knock into her, or anything. Her belly, its precious cargo.

Swift reversal, and gentle. An arm around her waist, this time, ushering her up like— like she's made of glass, or if something sturdier, then something nonetheless to be guarded over with unfathomable Sicilian jealousy. Francois would probably have his mouth in an inscrutable line, not because there was anything particularly questionable about the situation than because Teodoro would deliberately avoid being questioned about the situation. By the time the two rise, the other couple in the room has dismissed them on the grounds of familiarity and understanding.

Despite the strange scars and foreign accents, the earmarks of counter-terror and legacies alien to the average American, there is something infinitely, comfortably recognizable about the exchange between Delilah Trafford and Teodoro Laudani.

"I know just the place," he's saying, as they push their way out, through plateglass, into elevator and eventual sunshine. His scarf bobs blue at his neck on a cadence carefully syncopated to the windblown tousle of her hair. "I think they still have their food slashed down to half-price to get people out into weather. Falafel. Protein-rich, right? Protein is good for you, they were saying. Or do you have cravings yet?

"We could—" And the door whops shut behind them.

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