Moments Of Normal


elisabeth2_icon.gif richard_icon.gif

with aura_icon.gif rickyr_icon.gif lilir_icon.gif

Scene Title Moments of Normal
Synopsis Sometimes the best gifts are the simplest ones.
Date November 29, 2019

Raytech Housing, Richard and Elisabeth's Apartment

“No, Ricky, you can’t ride on Kaang,” Richard gently scolds as he reaches out to pick up his son under his arms and lifting him up and off the put-upon dog that was tolerating the abuse in the way that dogs have, “You are almost as big as he is, you’ll hurt him.”

Ricky pouts, but reaches out to hug the hulking dog around his muscular neck, “I don’t wanna hurt him, Daddy. Okay. No riding.”

Ruffling the boy’s hair, he steps over to check on Lili - doing her homework on the coffee table in his apartment all studiously - and then walks over to the kitchen, calling, “You want anything to drink, love?”

Work’s over for the day. Finally.

She's only just managed to get back; he always beats her home! Elisabeth pauses at the front door, where she slips out of her shoes and leaves her keys on a small table that she put there for exactly that reason, then pads immediately toward their bedroom. "Sure. Be right out." She doesn't stop for greetings or even kisses on children's heads until her firearm is in the safe in the bedroom. Only then does she come out, untucking her blouse from her slacks and unpinning her hair to let it down out of its knot, to drop kisses on Ricky, Lili, and Aura, who is sitting in the corner of the couch with a book, a slight frown of concentration on her features. "How was everyone's day?"

A drink’s poured in the kitchen while the children out in the living room chorus their greetings to Liz; it’s not often that they’re all here at once, although Richard tries to make sure they get plenty of time together to sibling-bond.

Ricky starts jabbering about how he raced a Spot earlier that day, at least until his twin looks up with a pointed expression and asks, “What about your homework?”

Oops. Called out. Ricky blushes and scrambles to join her at the table about at the time that Richard comes out of the kitchen, offering one of two glasses over to his wife and leaning in to kiss the corner of her mouth, “Hey.”

Having all three of them for the evening is definitely … an adventure. Elisabeth turns her face into that light kiss and sighs out softly as she takes the glass from him, leaning gently against him a long moment. "Hey yourself." Looking at their full brood, she shakes her head slightly and grins. "Soooo…. If I told you ten years ago this was where we'd be, whatcha think you woulda said?" she teases. Ten years ago, she had to ask him to look into Alec, who was spying on her!

Aurora looks up from her book and says solemnly, "That's b'fore me an' Lili an' Ricky was borned, Daddy." So helpful, she is.

“I’m aware, Little Rainbow,” Richard replies with a chuckle, wrapping an arm around Elisabeth’s waist, “Thanks for letting me know, though.”

He leans down to rest his temple against Liz’s own for a moment, “Mm. I probably would’ve called you crazy. Hell, the idea of even being in a relationship with you was pretty crazy back then. God knows what would’ve happened if you hadn’t come around though.”

Teasing, “I might’ve ended up with Elle or something.”

Elisabeth's reply is a roll of her eyes because Lili looks up with a suspicious look. "Aunt Elle?" Now see what you did? Taking a sip from her glass, she considers the apartment and their munchkins. "You know… it's almost time to decorate for Christmas." A glance is slanted at Richard. "Do you even do this thing?" It would not shock her to hear the word 'no.' But this year will be a hell yes you do.

Three small heads come up and expressions vary. But Aurora's is still relatively solemn. "Izzit gonna snow?" There've been snow flurries already this year and she has confided she really doesn't like cold and wet. But she remembers snow fondly. "Do we get to have a tree?" Her tone is wistful… Cassie made a Christmas tree last year before they went to the scary place.

There’s a pause that suggests that possibly Richard doesn’t decorate but probably Harmony does, but she’s mostly busy with school right now…

He clears his throat, “Ah— yeah, of course! I mean, the lobby always gets decorations, but we can probably fit a tree in here…” A dubious look around the apartment, “…or maybe one of the break rooms. But we can have a tree.”

He looks back over to Aura, then, flashing her a grin, “And it’s probably gonna snow, yes.”

Aurora tips her head and asks, "Does it got lights an' everything, Daddy? I like lights." She sets her book aside and eagerly climbs on her knees behind Lili and Ricky. "Can we have colored lights?? Those are my favoritest!"

Elisabeth's chuckle at his doubtful expression is quiet, around a sip of her drink. "We can fit a tree, if we can find one." She's not sure about such a thing here… are there trees to be had even? Aura's question brings a subtle tightening to her expression, though, and she has to shift to turn her face away from the children to hide a pained twist of her lips; she probably should have expected shades of the last couple of Christmases. She didn't.

Ricky jumps up and asks, "Can we make Kaang a jingle bell collar??!"

Richard starts to answer some of the questions being fired in his direction, but when a second kid jumps up he laughs, raising both hands upwards palm forward. “Yes, we can have lights, and yes, we can make a jingle bell collar — if you finish your homework on time — and yeah, I think they’ve been growing some trees in the back of agro. They think nobody knows and it’ll be a surprise for the holidays.” Technically a misuse of company resources, but he’s an easygoing boss about things like that.

He looks to Elisabeth to say something, then notices her manner— stepping in closer, head leaning closer to hers as he murmurs, “You alright?”

"Yeah," she replies softly, clearing her throat slightly. Making sure her words carry only to him, Elisabeth pushes out a smile. "I just didn't …" The attempt at reassurance is maybe just a little ruined by the fact that she reaches up to wipe an unexpected rush of eye water. "It just hit me… it's almost Christmas." Last Christmas Eve, they watched a massacre. The year before that, she'd been scared to death Aurora was sick. She didn't know it would take her breath away, such a simple conversation about colored lights. She waves her hand in front of her face, trying to dismiss the tears and everything else. "Don't let them see me," she murmurs, not wanting to ruin their jumping up and down.

Lili's eyes flicker to her siblings and she has a faint frown. When Liz goes silent, it's usually because it's Grown-Up Things. Ricky's exuberant yelp at least covers Elisabeth's murmur, "I'll be okay in a second."

Aurora claps her hands together and starts to bounce on the couch! "Jingle Bells, Batman smells, Robin laid an egg…. Daddy, do you know about Batman?"

Richard’s temple presses against hers, one arm wrapping around her waist and pulling her in closer. “It’s okay,” he murmurs in soft, reassuring tones, “You’re home now, lover. Everything’s gonna be fine.”

A deep breath’s taken in, and then he pulls away a bit before the others in the room think something’s truly wrong — flashing a grin to the kids, “Of course I know about Batman. You know, people have called me Batman before. I’ll admit, I stole some tricks from him…”

Sheltered in the arm around her, Elisabeth pulls in a shaky breath and surreptitiously wipes her face again. By the time he flashes his grin, she's got the traitorous flash of tears under control and can also turn and face them. Ricky impacts her legs and hugs them tight, making her wobble a little and have to be careful not to spill her drink on him as she laughs. "Whoa! Poor Kaang… jingle bells," she scoffs teasingly.

Aurora's eyes are wide. She hasn't missed her Mummy's reaction and she's watching warily. But it looks like things are okay and she lets herself be diverted. "You stole some tricks from Batman?" She's impressed. He's still pretty much her superhero. "What tricks? Show us!" Lili is definitely not getting homework accomplished now.

Richard’s hand lingers against the small of Liz’s back, a presence to reassure her. He flashes a smile down at Ricky - more observant than people give him credit for, sometimes - and then he looks up, and he laughs at the questions.

“I can’t show you here. I don’t have any roof-tops to climb onto, or ropes to slide down, or people to just pop up behind and then vanish when we’re done talking,” he teases, “The Commissioner would hate me.”

Leaning down, she hugs the little boy tightly. The small bundle of energy always brings a smile with him. Elisabeth murmurs into his hair, "Thanks, sweetheart."

Standing up again, she groans theatrically. "Oh no you don't," she teases Richard. "Popping up behind people and then vanishing is so rude. Besides… I'm the only cop who has a bat signal anymore." Her laughter is easy, the thought of him on rooftops and fast roping out of helicopters just making her shake her head. Their kids have no idea. She'd like to keep it that way.

“What? It’s my modus operandi,” Richard objects, trying not to grin as he looks back to Elisabeth with a spread of his hands to either side, “I absolutely stole it from Mister Wayne, and unless he wants to demand royalties, it’s mine now. No takebacks.”

Aurora laughs gleefully, now on her feet jumping on the couch. "You could be Shadowbatman, Daddy! It'd be PRIMAL! Sneakin' up on peoples all RAWR!" She pauses and then asks, "You won't sneak up on us, though, right? Cuz Mummy flattens things when people do that." She sagenods.

Mummy tries very hard to look affronted. "Hey!" It's a lot of effort not to laugh at the kids.

“Oh, I don’t think so, I mean, what would I do if I snuck up on you,” Richard says, oh-so-sneakily edging closer to the couch and his youngest daughter, “It’s not like I would eat you, but I guess I could— “

“— TICKLE YOU TO DEATH!” A lunge in to play-tickle at her sides, eyebrows dancing up and down.

Oh, it's on. Foolish, foolish man! The lunge brings squeals and giggles, and Ricky extricating himself from hugging Liz to fling himself bodily into the fray howling. Which sets off Kaang, though he's far too lazy to actually get up — he just wuffs loudly from where he is, the tail thumping the floor hard enough that the downstairs neighbors are likely wondering what's going on up there.

"Daddeeeeeeeee!!" Aurora screeches in that pitch only small girls have. And poor Lili gets swept into the mess, squeaking, "Hey that was my homework! Ricky!"

Elisabeth eyes the madhouse with a grin. And then instead of helping either side, she whips out her phone to take pictures.

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