Moms Always Worry


devon_icon.gif elisabeth_icon.gif

Scene Title Moms Always Worry
Synopsis He may not be hers by blood, but some bonds don't break.
Date July 2, 2019

Raytech NYSZ Branch, Jared Harrison's Apartment

"Hey, kiddo… you got a minute for me?"

Elisabeth had caught sight of Devon stopping by Jared's place and figured now might be as good a time as any to catch him. She'll have to pick up Aurora soon, but for this moment, it's just the two of them in Jared's apartment.

Easing the door closed behind her, she tips her head at him and says quietly, "I'm worried about you… worried that you're back in the field too soon. I saw your face when you came down those stairs." From the bomb scare. It reminded her powerfully of the last time she'd seen him before she vanished … battle-wearied and heartsick. Her tone is gentle. "You know… it used to be a requirement that a therapist had to sign off on an officer's fitness for duty after a trauma before they were put back in the field. Does Wolfhound have a similar requirement?" Her eyes skim his expression. He still hides so much behind his eyes.

The query had been met with his usual grin and a head tilt that invites Liz to follow. Devon makes himself at home — it is home whenever he's in the Safe Zone — and he immediately heads for the fridge to find a snack. It's something he can do that's not wholly impolite while Liz speaks. And he'll bring something for her, too.

But when the topic is struck so abruptly, the search turns inward. His hand grips the handle and the door remains open, but he's stopped looking for anything to eat. He just stares for a minute.

“No,” is his eventual answer. It's quietly spoken as he slowly closes the fridge door. He shakes his head and turns to face Elisabeth. He doesn't look at her though, but somewhere just past her shoulder. Dev’s arms fold across his chest, he lets out a slow breath. “It's not required. And I'm fine. It's just… taking a bit to get back into the swing of everything.”

"Bullshit." The response is immediate and very Jared in tone and delivery, calm and even slightly amused as she says it. "The words 'I'm fine' in this family mean exactly the opposite." And he really knows that.

Moving to lean her elbows on the high countertop across the pass-through from him, she informs him gently, "I froze downstairs, you know. For a moment, when I had to decide whether to send you and Colette the rest of the way up, when I thought the ticking was an armed bomb, I froze. I wanted to pull your asses out of there and simply fuck off." There's a hint of shame to the confession, a little more evident still as she adds, "I almost couldn't send you in there. I'm not entirely sure I can do this job. I'm … tired of being responsible for people dying."

He knows, which is probably why he chose them specifically. Devon's head shifts, face turning away a fraction. Currently, at this moment, he is fine. He'd rather it stay that way also.

So he sighs quietly when Liz continues. He'd had to learn how to partition so that he could enter the field and do his job without breaking. Then the unimaginable happened and, as with his physical self, all those mental barriers have to be rebuilt.


“You made the choice you knew needed to be made.” Mostly true, as far as Dev understands it. It would have taken too long to get a proper explosives disposal, and of everyone his armor likely would have withstood the blast easily. “I took the assignment because I was available. I'm trying to get back up to speed.”

"I know you are," Elisabeth assures him. "I'm just… worried that you're pushing it too hard too fast, Devon." She smiles a little, her tone gentle. "Some things don't change." He's still as stubborn as ever, and despite the fact that he's an adult, she still sees the teenager he was when she left in the way he manages himself. "Everything you've been through, it might take a little more time than you want it to… but you will get there. Post-traumatic stress is widespread these days. You're really not alone dealing with bad stuff." His particular bad stuff, sure. But still.

With a soft sigh, she shoves a hand through her hair. "Just… think about talking to someone? And if you need time off, take it?"

“I took time off already.” Devon's tone remains even and quiet as he points that out. “And I've been talking to people.” Maybe not the people Liz is implying he speak to, but speaking to anyone is better than no one. “So far, they're not mandating I see a shrink or anything. But Francois… basically required that I talk to anyone when I made my first trip back to the Bunker.”

He moves out of the kitchen and into the living room where he drops, unceremoniously, onto the sofa. He'd likely get a look for it, but Pops isn't home right now.

“I don't think I'm pushing too hard or too fast.” Devon rocks his head backward to rest on the back of the couch. “It doesn't matter if I wait another ten months or ten years. It's still going to be there, waiting. Still going to make me choke or freeze or become overly cautious.”

Elisabeth nods slightly. Moving to lower herself to the couch next to him, she admits, "I know. It's why we train so hard in these jobs, because we're hardwired to do that. It has to be trained out of us." She grimaces a little. "Sometimes, things happen that you can't train out. I … hope this isn't one of those for you. Let's give it some more time, okay?"

She reaches out, unable to stop herself from pushing his unruly bangs over a bit. "I'm not going to say anything to Wolfhound and I'm not going to turn you away from the teams if you're the person going. But you do know that I'm … I can't help but keep an eye on you. Try not to take it personally?"

Dev’s hand chases Elisabeth’s, not to stop the motion but to rake through his hair after she's fixed it. So it's slightly mussed again. At least it's out of his face.

“I never have.” His eyes slant over to finally look at the audiokinetic. “Just… don't treat me different in the field? At least try not to.” His mouth curls slightly with an empty grin.

Now she grins. "I promise to try my best," is Elisabeth's reply. "Hey, I did okay the other day." Even if it made her sick to her stomach. She studies his features with sharp blue eyes, though, clearly still concerned. "You know I can't not worry, right?" It's practically coded in her DNA.

“Yeah, I know.” Devon picks his head up from the back of the couch, arms going back to their folded rest against his chest. “It was a tough op, but you handled it fine. Colette and I were the best team to send in, even with me…” The rest is left unsaid, supplemented with his standard shrug. “We got the job done and we all made it home, that's the best any of us can hope for.”

Elisabeth leans her head sideways onto his shoulder. "I want so much more for you," she whispers. But in the end, it is and always has been his choice to make. She'll simply backstop him as hard as possible, giving him the best chance of coming home every time.

“I know,” is Devon's quiet, almost distant reply. More than what has often been the question, usually accompanied by the reiteration that he's part of the movement against tyranny. For the moment, those forces have been quieted, the hidden wounds from countless battles have been exposed.

It's the same conversation he's had with Emily.

So he admits to it, after a sigh and a hand raking through his hair. “Emily and I’ve talked about it. Maybe Wolfhound’s got something that's… not fully combat. Not kicking in doors or… facing…” He shakes his head. “She suggested school, too. I just… with everything else that's happened, we had a lot of people leave after that last mission and… I don't want to abandon the team, just… I don't know.”

A faint smile quirks her lips and Elisabeth assures him, "Take your time. You don't have to know yet. It's not like you have to be in a hurry to decide anything about life. Do what feels right to you." She glances up at him from his shoulder and says simply, "We've got your back no matter what."

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