Nothing, or Everything


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Scene Title Nothing, or Everything.
Synopsis It's a late night when Michelle and Brennan discover that no matter how good you are, or how innocent some people might be in the scheme of things, Viruses don't care.
Date July 8, 2011

Brennan Household, Flat Bush

It's been a busy day. Week. Life, frankly. But Friday night has rolled around and while it doesn't truly mark the end of anything like it did in more youthful days, for Michelle Brennan, it's still a time to relax. Something she's fairly stubborn about, Friday nights. Some wine, maybe a bubble bath or an old movie, some time to herself. The rarest of all commodities in this house.

So tonight, she's in the bedroom, opting for a glass of wine and a good book this time around. She would read more often, if she had the time, but for now, she chips away at tales whenever she can manage.

It's not uncommon for coughs to be heard in the house. This many kids, the various schools they go to, they get their fair share of germs that hitch a ride from somewhere and come on into the house and set up shop. Kids get colds, flu's, all manner of childhood illnesses. They also have finicky appetites and after a busy day for all, tired isn't an uncommon thing either.

In this household though, the last time a major illness swept into the house, their eldest lost her hearing and the family had to adjust to a new lifestyle. Tonight, something far worse is lurking, digging it's insidious fingers into their family and with an potential outcome that will make loosing ones hearing, a more than acceptable loss. If only that was the potential loss.

The coughing down the hall, that filters through the air and within range of Michelle comes from their eldest's room, Marlena nearly barking in an effort to dislodge whatever mucus that clings to her windpipe, calling out in her already garbled voice for mom. Brennan is down in his office, working on who knows what.

There are few things that will pull Michelle away from her ritual of relaxation, but a sick child is definitely one of them. She looks toward the door, at first, but as that coughing fit goes on, she closes her book, puts her wine aside and head to Marlena's room.

There is a small knock before she lets herself in, leaving the door open as she comes over to sit next to her daughter. She doesn't sign or say anything to her, at first, but just puts an arm around her as she tries to get through the coughing. Her free hand does reach up to test for a fever on her forehead, long ingrained habit.

Hot, with a promise to get hotter, Marlena leans into Michelle fingers moving, spelling out the letters to tell her mother what it is that's wrong. She's feels too hot, her head hurts, feels like she's sick. Slack jawed, panting softly as she leans against her mother. There's at least no worry about whether there is school the next day or not and whether she'd have to miss it. But it is late at night and she's listless, looking to Michelle's free hand. Waiting

Michelle nods to the list of symptoms, and while there's worry… she's pretty good at not alarming the girl just yet. Her hand is quick to reply, though, letting the girl know she's going to just run and get some water for her, before she fluffs and rearranges her pillows so she can rest without laying down. Cough and all. She takes a moment for a comforting kiss to the girl's feverish forehead before promising to be right back.

And that is, of course, when she goes to get Harve, interrupting whatever he's doing with little explanation beyond a worried look before she heads for the kitchen. She's too worried to stand and explain, so he'll just have to catch up.

Mom and dad will make it alright, and a kiss is the cure all.

The appearance of Michelle at his office with a look that says 'follow me' has Brennan putting down whatever file it was that he was looking at, turning off the lights as he goes till they have rendezvous'd in the kitchen. "What's wrong? Henri colicky?" Because Henri is the logical choice. Children halfway through their first year tend to be the source of late night consternation.

"Henri is sleeping soundly," Michelle says as she pulls a cup down from the cabinets, "It is Marlena." She lets that sink in for a moment as she fills the glass with water, but it isn't long before she turns his way. "She's coughing, has a fever. She told me she is having a headache." Symptoms they've seen too much of lately. And while normally, it might be easy enough to assume it's just a bad cold… these days, that is not the safe assumption.

Not when Marlena, like Henri, is one of their non-evolved children. Michelle's words make him stop still, as if daring her to repeat the words. "She eat at dinner?" He wasn't there, had stuff to do, came home late. "Has Henri showed anything?" He has to suppress an urge to grab the phone and start calling up the Nanny and quizzing her to within an inch of her life.

"Not very much," Michelle looks at the glass, her fingers spinning it there on the counter. "I don't want to frighten her, but if she has it… she'll need a hospital. And Henri, we can't risk him catching it so young." She reaches over to take his hand, gripping onto him here while they're alone so she can be strong later, when they're not. "He seemed alright, this evening." So far is the part she leaves off.

"It could be a cold Mish, could be a variety of anything" He'll keep saying that to himself, but co-incidence's, tend to not be. "If she… has it, then we'll, then we'll call my parents, we'll have them come, stay here, take Henri. We have Dahlia, she can take care of the twins, and we'll… we'll take turns with Marlena. We'll figure it out Michelle." No cute nickname. "Do you want me to call Dahlia and take him to her place for the night at least?" He can hop in the car, he's got the badge, he can make the near midnight run to where she lives. "Later that is, after Marlena is comfortable"

"Yes. It could be." Michelle takes a breath, nodding to his contingency plans, as they're solid enough. But at the question, she looks up at him, considering for a moment. "Not yet. If it is just a cold… I don't want to scare all the children. But we'll make sure everyone is careful before they go to his room. At least until we know what this is."

Letting out a slow breath, she picks up the glass again. "We'll test her in the morning at the offices, and see what we'll have to do from there. Get a wet washcloth for her?"

He turns, heading for the basket of washed linens on a seat waiting to be put away tomorrow, grabbing a wet cloth, a big bowl, water and some ice. "You need to take care of Henri, it's not like I can feed him" He points out. "We'll take care of Marlena, at least until tomorrow morning. Dahlia will take him and we'll take her in. It's a good plan Mish" The washcloth is dunked into the bowl unceremoniously. "But once you're done in her room-" likely for for a few hours. "You need to shower down and change, and take care of him"

"Yes, I will take care of Henri tonight. Marlena is a daddy's girl anyway." It's her way of trying to keep herself upbeat, a little joke here or there, but this time it falls a little flat. She's more than a little worried. "The twins will have to as soon as they wake up. They were with Marlena before bed." She takes a moment to shake off her frown before starting for the girl's room again.

Brennan will be hot on her heels, following off to the room of their oldest.

Come the morning, it will be painfully obvious though they'll still have the test run, but that the flu running rampant through the non-evolveds has somehow, snuck it's way into their home. Marlena will join the ranks of those with red eyes and coughing up blood. On the minds of both parents, will be the same question that was on theirs the first time she ever got seriously ill.

What will be taken away this time. Nothing, or everything?

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