Of Bridges And Crossings


delilah_icon.gif kyle_icon.gif richard3_icon.gif

Scene Title Of Bridges and Crossings
Synopsis Richard Ray brings unexpected news to Delilah Trafford regarding her late grandfather…
Date April 17,2019

Red Hook Market

This time of the day - and week - the Red Hook Tavern is fairly quiet. Just a few people here on their lunch break getting a quick drink or chatting with friends who also work in the marketplace can be seen going to and fro, with few lingering about for any length of time.

That makes it the perfect place to have a private meeting, at least that seems to be Richard’s conclusion; he’s settled into a back booth, a notebook set to one side and a glass of beer three-quarters full beside it. Civilian clothes today, an old pair of BDUs and a sweatshirt under a bomber jacket, darkened glasses set upon the bridge of his nose to shield his eyes from the sun.

Not that there’s a lot of sun out at the moment.

He’s waiting for someone, having asked a certain Ms Trafford to join him when she’s able to find someone to watch her kid.

Said kid is pretty easygoing, so he has no shortage of people Delilah can leave him with. Usually he is enthused by it anyway- - the sense of adventure and all that jazz. Mysterious meetings or visits are absolutely familiar to her; when Richard called to ask her to meet him, she wasn't too nervous- - just puzzled. And so she puzzled the rest of the morning.

It's easy to spot her when she arrives, with the coppery hair and a bright yellow shirt under dark brown jacket.; it takes her a moment more to pick him out, however. She had a feeling he'd be at the back somewhere, because, well, Richard.

"Sunglasses again, huh? And inside? Fashion statement? Or did someone punch you in the eye, maybe." Delilah greets him with the series of chirpy teases when she makes her way over, smiling. All good natured.

“I’ve never been fond of bright lights,” Richard observes with a smile as he straightens up, sweeping a hand to offer the booth seats across from him, “Getting used to the dark again is taking a little adjustment, since everything is a pretty bright light…” It’s pretty dim in the bar, but not bright nor dark, really.

He breathes out a chuckle, “How’ve you been, how’s everything going with you, the kiddo, your dad…?”

Though she hasn't heard that Richard is back in working order, she still refrains from pointing it out; that he sounds to be like his old self again is nothing if not interesting. Delilah sighs as she plops onto the seat, almost oozing into it.

"Well, my feet are murdering me today, but otherwise.. Good." She answers honestly, her usual quality. "I can't complain about the bigger picture though." Dee opens her hands in a shrug. "Dad's doing as well as can be expected… He's still working on memory therapy." Talking about her dad still brings a wistful glint to her eyes, as if having him still hasn't clicked. Surreal, maybe for a long time.

"Walter's been enjoying Magnes staying with us, which… I am not sure whether or not I should be happy about it. All. Things considered." The young woman's words are stilted- - she does not need to explain that feeling further, does she…? "What about you? I know there must be something to this, but it's nice to see you out of the business casual anyway." Richard gets a smile as punctuation.

Magnes is staying with you?” Richard’s brows both go up, and he pauses before shaking his head, “Yeah, I think I can understand that feeling, and— ah, getting used to things. Liz being back, Aurora, mom…”

The ghost of a smile, “I can understand how it must’ve been with Niel a little better, now.”

He reaches over for his drink, leaning back, “Seems like everything’s about family these days, which— well. That’s why I called you, actually. Ran into your family tree again and wanted to loop you in, only seemed right.”

“How much do you remember about your grandfather, Walter’s namesake?”

The face Delilah makes when Richard parrots Magnes' name is an odd one. She is halfway into a laugh, a little disbelieving. What!? Yes? Is that weird? She's about to give a jibe about his not having anywhere else to go, when Richard moves on- -

His lead in is one that has Delilah's brows knit, one slightly raised as she listens. Why he called her. Something coils in her stomach, irritable and nervous at the same time. When he finally asks his question, that half-smile vanishes immediately, her mouth fitting a grim line that suddenly matches her eyes. Richard earns a look that could spark steel wire.

"Richard. No." Delilah can't hold it for long; instead, she puts a hand across her forehead, eyes closing under the shade of her fingers. "Is this really the hill you want to stand on right now? Seriously? Last time this came up- - fucking Christ, Richard…" Her voice reins in an overwhelmed whinging. Keep it together.

"I remember enough. Why?"

“Hey, hey, whoa…” Richard’s brow furrows at her reaction, both hands coming up - leaving his drink - almost defensively, “Easy there, this isn’t anything— bad, I mean, I don’t think so? I’m just… look, hear me out here.”

“It’s not like I’m hunting him down or anything, I mean, he’s supposed to be dead anyway,” he assures her, “I’m just— digging up old information. Maybe not so old. I don’t know.”
He clears his throat, “You know he wasn’t originally named Trafford, right? It was Renautus legally, they— well, you know how they were about gay marriage back then.”

"I think I'm allowed to be apprehensive here." Delilah sighs, seemingly putting her bristles back down. Her hands clasp on the table, and she gives a discerning eye to Richard's drink. Could use one all of a sudden. Whuff.

"Okay. Digging. Fair. Yeah, I know." It's not something that she talks about a lot, mainly because it has no bearing unless she is talking about family, or how she grew up. One hand moves to fuss at a coil of hair down her shoulder. "Gay marriage, poly relationships, the whole nine yards… I know you understand the poly thing too, I mean- - I hear things." For the first time after her scowling session Dee does ease into a shrug, something more positive a gesture.

"Anyway. Yeah. I mean, Walter's middle name is Renard, so, uh… Huh. I suppose that's what the kids called him in code, wasn't it…" The realization just now dawned on her, embarrassingly.

“No, yeah, that’s fair…” Richard reaches over for the drink again, picking it up and motioning with it, “People were kinda shitty about all that back then, and yeah, you know how it is.” He raises the glass, pausing and raising a brow as he looks to her, silent inquiry if she wants a drink.

“Anyway,” he says after a swig of his drink, setting it down, “Your grandfather used to head up a big company. Renautus. I guess he left it to one of your uncles or aunts— place got grabbed up by my evil twin back before the war, but they were good people.” Were. If she’s ever looked at the memorials, there were two people by that surname listed as having died in the escape from the Ark.

“Your cousins…” A pause, “They just got picked up by Wolfhound.”

Delilah does give the drink a tip of her head, because maybe Richard should be getting her one. She needs it.

It's the cousin part that pulls her into a puzzled look back.

"Cousins? Uh. No? I don't -" Have any by that name?

"I knew he had some kind of company- - but- -" For a short time she hesitates with her lips half parted. "Your evil twin."

Were. Were good people. Implying that they weren't after a certain point - she knows who Zeke was to everyone. Brown eyes flood a little as her pupils dilate the tiniest width.

She feels sick. Looks a little green, too.
“Yeah. They weren’t— they weren’t involved in anything bad, they were working on the Eden project,” Richard says, raising his glass to draw a waitress’s attention before looking back to Delilah, “Recovering areas that suffered nuclear fallout, it was good work, honest work. They were trying to help the kids out of the place when… well.”

He grimaces, “The trench.”

“So…” He spreads his free hand a little, “They had their company. They had kids. Those kids… got picked up by some of the worse parts of the Institute, forced to work with them. One of them’s in jail.”

A glance to his watch, then back up, “Kyle on the other hand, he should be here pretty soon.”

"Granddad had a big greenhouse." Delilah murmurs, partly just to herself out loud. The mention of the Trench brings a deeper frown to her features, "I was on the other side. I was pulling kids out." Her voice wavers, but a swallow firms her up.

The finer details on the fate of her cousins is hard to hear. She doesn't know or remember them, but they're hers and it breaks her heart.

"Wait, what? Here?" Delilah visibly startles, and when she picks her hand off of the table something comes with it; a sticky handful of stringy wax that clings to her fingers and causes her to curse something very colorful, followed by a "Shit. Shit."

An attempt to smear it off the table with her other hand just smudges more of it over the table. "Fuck. I need - that drink and some bloody towels -" Here. Soon. A little bit overwhelming when added on top of everything else. Welp.

Whoops. “Sorry, ah, hold on,” Richard clears his throat, moving to push himself up to his feet, “Let me get those for you.”

And give her a minute or two to compose herself and stop oozing dangerous fluids before her cousin arrives, which is probably the most polite thing he’s done all day.

"Thanks, Richard…" Left alone at the table for a few moments, Delilah closes her eyes and breathes, brow knit as she at least makes sure to gather what mess she has made in one small space and not letting it escape everywhere. That wouldn't be good for anyone.

"What the hell…" Talking to nobody and getting no answer.

A towel’s set down on the edge of the table - a rag, really, but it’s enough - and a glass of beer before he slides into the booth across from her again. “Sorry,” Richard allows wryly, “I’m terrible with dropping surprises on people. Bad habit of mine.”

He clears his throat, “Kyle and Kyla are twins— they’ve got a long-range telepathic link. The Institute was using them to communicate with agents without getting traced. One of them was always held hostage, essentially, which is why Kyle’s walking free and Kyla, well, she’ll be going to trial. Hoping that we can push the whole ‘blackmailed into it’ route.”

Delilah nods a thank you, beginning the slow cleaning up of her hands and the table. She looks up at Richard with an 'oh yeah? Never would have guessed' kind of face, though it simmers. Bad habits her arse. Hff.

"So… like walkie talkies, then." Not really phones. Tuned into the other's frequency. Delilah is careful when she sets the rag aside, making a mental note to find a bin later. Her features fall more at the explanation of what they were made to do. "God, that must have been fucking awful. Is she getting a public defender? A lawyer? …How …old are they?" The very last comes with notable hesitation.

“I don’t have their birthdays, but, a few years older than you I think,” Richard admits, “I got the feeling there was some disconnect between those branches of your family, but— “ He smiles ruefully, “You’d probably know better than me. As for a lawyer, I don’t know, I figured I’d ask Kyle when he got here, see if I can help at all.”

“I figured if I was going to be poking into your family,” he admits, “You and he both deserved to be kept in the loop.”

A tiny part of her is relieved that the twins are not children. Older than her, though? Delilah nods, small but affirming when Richard mentions disconnect.

"I only know that …well… you said it before. Gay men weren't exactly the most welcomed when he was a young man." She tests her hands for anything new before allowing them to rest against the table again. In time for that drink to come, answered with a murmur of gratitude.

"I know granddad still had family but we hardly saw anything of them. His parents more or less turned him out. He met Jon, and the rest is history. If someone took his company I don't know that he would have just… left it to them. Unless he did, then….." Delilah gives Richard the layout of things before taking a long drink. A little settling. "I didn't get my talkative side from Dad." What she means is, Walter was quiet. Private, in better words.

Richard notices the thin ghost in the doorway of the tavern before Delilah, he’s displacing just enough of the light on that side of the room for Richard to feel the difference more so than see him. But Kyle Renautas doesn’t linger there for long, instead he steps out from the doorway and into the dimmer light of the tavern, a ghost in more ways than one. He looks younger than he is, pale as freshly poured milk, chalk white hair and blue eyes. It’s clear he artificially darkens his eyebrows to make them more visible. Some albinos do.

Much like a ghost, Kyle doesn’t say much as he approaches Richard and Delilah, his leather jacket worn open, posture crooked in the way teenagers’ often are as they slouch. He’s tall, though, tall and all limbs. He looks at Richard, brows furrowed and some worry lines visible on his forehead that make him look just a little bit more like his age. He sighs a greeting, lifting one hand out of his pocket and awkwardly watching Delilah with his brows raised and a tentative expression worn as an uncomfortable mask.

“Mister Renautas,” Richard greets with a smile as he straightens in his seat, raising a glass in a casual salute to the man - giving the albino a thoughtful once over briefly before admitting, “It’s a pleasure to finally meet you in person. I’ve been looking for you and your sister for awhile, I’m…”

He grimaces briefly, “Sorry that my colleagues found you first, but hopefully we can deal with Kyla’s situation somehow— let me introduce you, though. Kyle Renautas, this— “ He motions to the redhead across from him, “Is Delilah Trafford. The two of you share a grandfather.”

The red-haired young woman is still letting the drink settle in, the weight vaguely reassuring, when Richard looks up, straightens, greets who he has invited here. Delilah feels him there before she turns her head, and it's not quite clear what she expected; doe brown eyes study Kyle up and down. The contrast between them is like oil and water- - Kyle with his manner like a spectre, and Delilah the burst of color. Winter to Summer.

She doesn't stay seated for long once Richard introduces her. The drink is abandoned, and the nervousness she had dissipates some when faced with a flesh and blood person. What is left of it pulls at Delilah's features, smile as gentle as could be, a bit of a throw from the girl who had grumbled and swore at Richard not long ago.

Kyle's tentative mask is worn without pretense on Dee's face; she is unsure. Still, there are the tiniest things about him that feel… more right than wrong, so it proves easy to extend her hand, aura welcoming.


What else do you say?

There's a look in Kyle’s eyes, an uncertainty and tension that pulls at the corners of his mouth and presses his lips into a thin line when confronted by Delilah in this way. He looks down at her hand, his dark brows creased deeply, and then his eyes move from her hand to accusingly angle at Richard.

“What the fuck is this?” Kyle asks with a momentary hitch in his voice, then realizes what he said as he settles his attention on Delilah and the confrontational expression bleeds away into embarrassment. Kyle grimaces, awkwardly taking her hand more in apology than anything before looking back over to Richard while not really letting Dee’s hand go. “My— grandfather?

It's clear as day to Delilah and Richard had planned to ambush them both with that news. Kyle belatedly relinquishes Delilah’s hand, reaching up to scratch at the back of his neck and side-eye Richard, then settles a look back at Delilah with a marked amount of scrutiny. “I… I didn't know Sidney had any other children than my father.”


Then, without missing a beat, Kyle adds, “I'm sorry you had to find out like this,” followed by a quick look to Richard.

“Maybe not grandfather exactly, relations at that level of the family tree have always gotten sticky for me— Walter Renautus,” Richard explains, head canting in a slight nod, “He took the name Trafford from his husband, which obviously wasn’t a legal union because you know how people were sixty years ago.” They still are now in many places.

He takes a sip of beer, then cants his head in a nod, “I apologize for dropping this on the two of you, but I had to talk to you about some family business and— I thought I’d kill two birds, one stone, you know.”

He pauses, “Family is… important to know.”

The reaction Kyle gives Richard is very familiar, and Dee has enough awareness to tip the latter man a Look. See what happens? With the birds and the stones? When Kyle does take her hand, she doesn't seem phased by his small outburst, such as it was. She allows him the extra seconds of distracted clasping, knowing full well how he feels. Kyle draws away and Delilah lowers her hand to a reassuring pat against his arm.

The name her cousin gives raises her brows, and though the smile hasn't faded it does take on a somewhat more devious quality, knowing something before she says it out loud.

"It's alright. It's- - a lot, but I've dealt with a lot before." And from what Richard just told her, so has Kyle. Delilah openly gestures for him to sit, when she retakes her own seat. Come on, come on. She isn't quite at 'yanking him with' levels yet. Maybe someday. But for today, she's going to be a hen about it.

"Sidney was Walter's brother. That'd be why I don't remember having cousins…" Dee looks to Richard again with a small sigh, glancing between the men, expression just a tad resigned. A new one moves in, a pull of smile and the crinkle of her eyes. "So… that makes us first cousins, once removed. Still family, as far as I'm concerned… that is, if you'll have me."

Kyle levels an incredulous look at Delilah for a moment, then an equally incredulous one to Richard before he finally exhales his tension as a sigh and looks back to Delilah with an apologetic softness to his features. “I'm not exactly prime relative material, Ms. Trafford. I don't know if Mr. Ray told you, but I'm just shy of persona non grata due to my unwitting service to some awful people.”

Looking down at his feet, Kyle hides his hands in his pocket and shuffles his stance from one foot to the other, looking disinclined to sitting. “My folks are years gone, an’ I knew uncle Walter by reputation because he owned the family business before he passed. But that's…” Kyle eyes Delilah, then looks back to Richard with a silent suspicion. His past predicaments have left him, apparently, quite paranoid.

“I don’t think anyone here’s going to judge you for ending up where you were,” Richard observes with a slight shake of his head, “We’ve both known people who’ve made worse mistakes. Hell. I’ve made worse mistakes, and for worse reasons.”

A grimace briefly crosses his expression. “If it were up to me your sister’d be walking free as well, but I think I’ve used up all of my store of goodwill where the legal system is concerned already.”

The beer is set down, and he rests folded arms on the table, “But I didn’t ask you both here to talk about that, and before you ask no I’m not looking to take over whatever remains of your family business— I’m not him, so you can stop looking at me like that.”

“It seems that Walter might be less dead than believed.”

"Definitely not." Dee affirms Richard's non-judgmental input. "Please, just Delilah." Her eyes lift up to Kyle's face and her hand turns out in a silent offer of once again inviting him to sit.

Whether or not he takes the second coaxing, the redhead refocuses on Richard, listening. Just like when she sat down the first time, Dee levels a look at him but doesn't verbalize it this time. These… Shenanigans and all.

"That's a bold as shit thing to say… You know about Dad- - how many people have to pull a bloody Lazarus… ?" This also seems to imply there are others, though she doesn't elaborate. She sounds less mad at him, at least. It's not his fault that the Institute was into everyone's business.

There’s a lot to process in everything Richard discusses, so much so that Kyle seems a modicum overwhelmed by all of it. His expression never really recovers once Kyla is mentioned, the emotional hit of his sister’s current incarceration weighs heavily on him. Swallowing down his stress, both of Kyle’s hands are tensed into pale fists, but his face has unavoidably flushed red in the interim. It’s more for Delilah’s sake, a sympathetic guilt or frustration.

“I didn’t know Walter,” Kyle says with a shaky tone of voice. “I mean— not really. I was like, a kid when he died. My mum and dad were tore up over it, he was very good to us. I… I know he took care of my mum and dad after Grandpa Sidney passed away, but that was before I was even born. He helped them take care of the family business, but they were running it themselves by the time he passed. It just…” Kyle’s brows twitch. “I always heard what a good man he was. Kind. My mum and dad seemed pretty convinced he was dead. There was a funeral.”

Kyle offers a suspicious look over to Delilah, then back to Richard. It’s clear he isn’t as accustomed to this sort of stuff as some people are.

“Sorry, Kyle, I— not everyone’s used to the complete insanity I live in sometimes, and I’m probably being inconsiderate as fuck,” Richard admits, rubbing between his eyes for a moment as he notices the man’s body language, “I get overly focused sometimes. Professional hazard. Have you gotten to see her? I could probably arrange for a visit, if you need help doing that…”

He admits tiredly, “Someone I care about’s in the same facility. There are worse places to be, but— I know it’s hard.”

Delilah fixes Kyle with a sympathetic look, brow furrowed when he mentions the funeral. Still, there is a tiny smile.

"He was. Kind." And though she was little, Delilah knew that she loved him. She blinks away a shine, brown eyes lifted to Kyle. His suspicion isn't unexpected at this crossroads. "Richard has a lot of strings." Of several types.

"You mentioned the funeral… Were you two… There?" Dee seems keen to hear this answer. "My dad, he sometimes mentions other kids when he talks about me or my mother… Or home, back then. I thought he was just talking about neighbors or just…" She pauses, "He's not well. He gets confused." The redhead offers this as a secondary explanation for what she thought, tucking hair behind her ear. "You should know… I was at the Ark escape. Outside. We were there to pull everyone out… But…" Drones. Soldiers. Institute Remnants.

"I'm sorry I couldn't be there for you." Despite it being outside of her control, there is a sense of responsibility.

It’s all a lot for Kyle to process again. He breathes in deeply, sharply, but sighs slower and with some visible emotion in his eyes. “We were,” he says softly, “at the funeral. Mum and dad too…” But they were also at the Commonwealth Arcology, they were also in that same drainage trench, they were also…

Clearing his throat, Kyle shakes his head. “We were in San Francisco when that happened,” Kyle says of the evacuation. “We didn’t find out what happened for…” Kyle closes his eyes and shakes the thought away.

“I’m sorry about your dad,” Kyle says, as if that’s somehow his fault. The weight of what the Institute did rests heavily on his shoulders. “I’m sorry about…” Kyle trails off again, unable to find purchase on a corner of the conversation that isn’t like walking into knives. Instead, he looks up to Richard and focuses on the knife that’s in his chest still. One that won’t be pulled out so easily.

“Kyla. They told me I might be able to visit her after they’ve moved her to… “ Kyle shakes his head. “They convicted her because she refused to testify on her own behalf. I spoke to her attorneys, she refused to divulge any information about the Institute or her work there. She… I already told them everything, but she— she refused to cooperate. They have her negated. I can’t talk to her.” In that, he sounds desperate. It’s hard to say if they’ve ever been separated like that before.

Knowing what their ability is, Richard actually winces at that revelation. “Shit,” he breathes out, rubbing two fingers against the bridge of his nose, “Yeah, once everything is settled at Plum you should be able to visit— I can help you out with the paperwork if you need to, I know that sort of thing can be… anxiety-inducing.”

“I’m told that it’s— comfortable, at least, it’s not like Alcatraz or anything,” he says reluctantly, “It’s still a prison but there are worse prisons out there. Cold comfort, I realize.”

“You don’t need to keep apologizing, either, you’re going to start me doing it, and the Director wasn’t even…” Grimacing as his own guilt shows a touch, “Anyway. No need. As far as I’m concerned, the two of you were just more of Kravid and Varlane’s victims.”

Delilah doesn't say anything about being at least a touch consoled at finding out that the kids weren't in the escape. Her other relatives… not so lucky. She was so close and had no idea- - and neither did they. She gives a small smile at Kyle's apology, though Dee knows he doesn't need to give it. Hearing about Kyla serves to worry her more, brown eyes hardening as he describes how she refused to cooperate.

I can't talk to her says more to Delilah now, after what Richard had told her. Twins with a telepathic link is a step far beyond that tales-old 'twin sense'. Habit and instinct finds Dee putting a hand out to Kyle's arm in a gesture of reassurance. He'll see his sister, she knows it- - even if Richard has to go over there and throw his weight around. His own guilt is enough to do it, she guesses.

"Kyle," Crazy news has been temporarily set aside, and Kyla's fate speaks louder still. Delilah may be a lot of soft sides, but there are sharp angles too. "How have you been treated? Do you have somewhere to stay that isn't…" Somewhere that isn't, say, government funded isolation. She doesn't finish the thought, brow knitting. "Whatever else you need, I can help you, okay?" Delilah has a way of saying things which have an undercurrent of a command rather than a question. It's a talent she wields against most people- - the ability to convey No Ifs, Ands, or Buts. 'No' isn't an answer.

Dwelling on Kyla can't get them anywhere anytime soon; Kyle will just have to take his word on it, and wait.

Kyle approaches Richard’s offer with little more than an uncertain nod, as if he isn’t even sure what that kind of paperwork would be like. But it’s Delilah that earns — demands — his full attention. “They gave me a trailer,” which evokes imagery of the settler’s park down by the water, long cookie-cutter repurposed FEMA trailers. “It’s… better than nothing. I’m staying in the city until I can figure out what to do about my sister. I… I don’t have anywhere else to go.”

Frowning, Kyle lowers his head and runs a hand through his hair. “Renautas Corporation doesn’t exist anymore. First Pinehearst bought it out, then it was claimed by the Institute, and now what little of it remains was seized by the US and Swiss governments.” He looks down to the floor, shoulders hunching forward, resisting the idea of accepting a handout, of accepting any charity no matter the intention. It’s a hard battle.

“The only thing left is probably your house,” Kyle says with a look up to Richard. “I doubt that was on paper.”


“I somehow suspect that you have some skills that Raytech could find a use for, if you need to find a job,” Richard observes with a slight raise of both brows over dark glasses. He understands pride, trying to slip the idea of charity out of the exchange as he adds, “We do offer employee housing that’s a touch better than the trailers, if I might say so.”

“If not, I’m sure your family has somewhere to stay for a bit,” he notes with a smile and a tilt of his head towards Kyle, “And— “

Then he stops, and he blinks three times. “My…” A slow breath in, and he brings a hand up, fingers rubbing pushing up his shades and rubbing between his eyes. “…right. House. Do you happen to have the address by any chance, Kyle?”

"I was stuck in one of those before the war. Awful things." Delilah avoids the handout voice, but she does have incredible sympathy. All he did know is too far gone to get back. A smile for Richard's offer to find a use for him at Raytech, and she leans closer to Kyle with the same expression. "I know some places you could stay… nice people that help until someone can get their feet under them. If you'd be interested." A halfway house, of sorts, seems to be what she means. It wouldn't be a cardboard trailer.

Delilah seems to have missed the bit about Richard's house the first time, blinking between the two when the older man suffers something new. She knows the eye-rub.

"Wait, his house?"

For all his worth, Kyle looks like someone who accidentally said something bad about a beloved grandparent. He looks quick between Delilah and Richard, his open-mouthed gaping slowly transforming into a grimace. Little Walter’s made almost that same face before — big one too, but his memory is fuzzier.

“It— It's in Sweden,” Kyle finally admits with a worried look between the two again. “I just assumed you knew, because… because you're him.” Confusion is evident in Kyle’s face, as someone on the periphery of that particular nightmare who knew just enough to understand some context, but not enough to see the whole picture. “It's twenty kilometers north of Storsjo, where the Renautas corporate headquarters was located. Up in the mountains.”

Kyle touches a hand at his chest. “I was only there the once, with my family. We met Mr. Broome for the first time there…” He seems worried that he'd somehow exposed himself as guilty of some crime.

“I’m not…” Richard’s fingers press against the inner corners of his eyes for a moment, and then he exhales a sigh, pulling off his shades and setting them down. His eyes have adjusted anyway; nearly all pupil instead of iris, just the faintest hint of color to them. “I’m not exactly him, he was an… iteration of myself from the future, just because he bought a house in Sweden doesn’t mean I bought one too.”

He waves his hand slightly, “It’s alright, I was just— surprised. Also, it looks like I’ll be visiting Sweden in the near future to see what my dear alternate left behind before he went fucking crazy. Maybe Ruby remembers the place.”

Delilah can immediately see the face and recognize it, and in contrast to the topic stifles a half-laugh into a cough. Well, at least some things can confirm they're related. She pretends she's clearing her throat and busies with a sip of her drink.

"Storsjo?" She looks to Kyle, a thumb wiping at the corner of her mouth. "God, that sounds familiar…" Lilah shakes her head after a moment, shifting in her seat and reaching over to pat Richard's arm. It's alright, He's Not You, Kyle just needs time to cement it.

"If it's close to where the headquarters was, it's probably best that both of you go, isn't it?" Admittedly, she is only a half-step away from offering herself- - but she has other matters to worry about. Mainly the one.

Swallowing audibly, Kyle looks over to Delilah, then Richard, before he squares his attention back down to his feet. “I… suppose I could. Maybe. Sweden is covered by the EUSR, so if we go there — legally — it would mean registering with the EUSR at the British embassy in Kansas City. I haven’t been convicted of any crimes, but… I don’t know how easy any of that will be.” Kyle glances back at Delilah, briefly, then over to Richard.

“And— I’m sorry about… confusing things.” Kyle narrows his eyes. “I never met yo — the Director. Personally. I just knew who he was second and third hand, and only after the war. Ms. Kravid seemed to know much more about that.” Sighing, Kyle looks up to a clock on the wall, then down to the floor again and realizes how anxious he’s been this whole time. “It’s not as if— ” Kyle pauses, looking confused, then looks back up to Richard.

“Did you say Ruby?” Kyle is incredulous, in body language and tone of voice, in everything. “Mr. Broome’s… wife?” He isn’t clear on what the nature of their relationship was. “She was absolutely there, she was with Mr. Broome. Is— is she still alive?”

“If I use corporate business as a pretense we might be able to cut through some of that red tape,” Richard suggests, tapping a finger against the edge of his glass thoughtfully, “Or I suppose we could sneak into the country. It’d be like old times…”

He’s starting to wave the other man’s words off, “No, no, it’s alright. He was me, in many ways, just…” He grimaces, “Somewhere along the path he lost his way. Became desperate. In the end he was— he was absolutely insane, he nearly killed everyone. And…”

Brows lift, “Ruby, yes. Simon’s— Partner, I suppose.” He feels like baby mamma wouldn’t be appropriate to use here. “She’s been working with me in an advisory role.”

"Well that doesn't sound sketchy at all." Delilah murmurs in response to cutting through red tape; she doesn't want to get registered over there either, though. "Honestly, sneaking might be the better option there. A lot of coastline to use, right? But if you have connections…" She shrugs a shoulder, listening in as the rest comes out.

"Sounds like some lady." Ruby certainly does sound important, and Dee knows enough to pick out who is who by names. Broome is the one. Only saw photos, but… "A lot of people not dead lately." Which is her subtle hint for Richard; he was kind of in the middle of something just a short time ago. "Brings me back to the 'why do you think my grandfather isn't dead' thing." Nah, she just says it.

Kyle looks wide-eyed at Delilah, then over to Richard with his brows raised. All of this seems like so much, but the notion that Walter Trafford may be alive is the cherry on top of this particularly bizarre sundae.

“A few people have reported seeing him, and getting… advice,” Richard admits, “He left my— ah— fiance— a message suggesting that she needed to meet him at a specific place and time, although he wasn’t very forthcoming about why.”

Leaning back again, he notes, “So I thought I’d see if the two of you wanted to come with us. It’ll be in the Exclusion Zone, but we can get in there easily enough through channels. He’s your family, though, so I didn’t want either of you to be— left ignorant here.”

"Seeing him?" Delilah, naturally, sounds disbelieving. If he were really going around seeing people… why not her? The thought is upsetting, and she shoves it aside with a frown. Left Liz a message… a place and time. Meet him.

"Of course I'm coming with you!" This is louder than it needs to be, drawing a couple eyeballs and driving Dee's head down to hide her face a bit, embarrassed. Also because she is suddenly leaking. Tears, not toad wax. "Why would- - why Liz? Why wouldn't he find one of us if he was alive?" Hurt ekes through. "Are you even sure it wasn't some sort of trick? Or is that why you're going…?"


An understatement.

All of this makes Kyle anxious. He can’t help but focus his attention down at his feet, brows knit together and hands wringing in front of himself. It’s only when the awkward silence hangs in the wake of Delilah’s questions that Kyle looks up and wonders, “When? I mean… when is this meeting supposed to happen?” There’s suspicion in his eyes, nervous and tense. Richard’s seen that look enough to know it implies one thing: Kyle isn’t convinced it’s Walter.

“I’m not entirely sure he’s alive, either, I don’t know,” Richard admits with a little shake of his head, “It’s… definitely strange, but I think we’re all used to strange in our lives. It’s going to be on the 11th. We’ll see what’s going on then, whether it’s him, or a trick, or… whatever. If it is him though— ” He gestures to the pair. Family, to him, is important.

Delilah seems mad at herself for suddenly reacting as she does. She rubs the heel of her hand against her eye, mouth flattening.

"I'll have to find a sitter." No school on the weekends. "Even if I have to drop him on someone." Which, given it is them, some people on the list wouldn't mind much. Dee runs her fingers through her hair, fingers coiling at the end of a length. "If it's him…" She lets out a breath, "We will cross that bridge when we get to it."

“I… I suppose we’ll find out then,” Kyle says awkwardly, as if somehow he'd just been invited into the fold of something so much larger than himself yet again. “If it is him…” Kyle doesn't have a good answer either. Realizes he isn't required to have one.

Delilah said it best, anyway.

About bridges and crossings.

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