One Day More


daphne_icon.gif francois_icon.gif

Scene Title One Day More
Synopsis Francois gives Daphne a mostly clean bill of health and she offers her specialty services in gratitude.
Date April 15, 2010

Brick House

The only difference between morning and night comes in the form of a dim gray light that only serves to make the wintery landscape look more bleak and colder than it would, casting a dirty and gloomy shadow over the white snow. The light in the Brick House, however, is mostly lit by lamps and lanterns — the gray light of the melancholy winter barely manages to permeate the safehouse, with only two windows not bricked up.

It's by one of the two open windows that Daphne sits — the bricked-up, boarded-up nature of the house has her antsy, now that she has her legs once more. She feels caged and she's ready to be free of the place that feels like a prison to her, even if she was brought there for her own safety and for her health. She'd be gone by now — she could be gone by now — if there wasn't something she had to say to one of her keepers. As her dark eyes watch the river outside, the speedster fidgets, bouncing literally in the seat. Her power has been steady for the last two days, after flickering on and off for the past week or so, and though she still looks a touch pale and underweight, the cough has subsided.

Coming up from the basement are, finally, the foot steps of someone who'd already made mention that he'd be here. Francois' visits to the Brick House have been far less frequent than that of the Den — the strict rules of going in and out aren't ones so unfamiliar to him, and aren't ones he disagrees with, but limits his freedom to come and go. The last few days, he's been almost completely scarce, even in the event of Brennan's move to yet another safehouse — and so there is an amount of guilt in Francois' ascent as he moves up the stairs, slow and creaking presses of boots to old wooden steps.

But he also has a smile for her when he sees her — it's not a bad change in the pixie-blonde to find. Stepping into the room, the dim ight is enough to see by, especially with the addition of softly gleaming lanterns. A lack of snowfall means that his brown leather jacket, wool lined and bulky at the shoulders, is dry of snow spots. A greyish flat cap is held in his hands, additionally gripping the strap of his messenger bag slung over his left shoulder to rest against his right hip. "Bonjour. You seem in better spirits."

"Bonjour, docteur," she murmurs, even as she turns away from the scant light of the window to peer through the dim interior at the new arrival. She stands from the chair where she's curled up — and she's dressed, which is an improvement, even if the clothes themselves are a bit ragamuffin, not being her own. Jeans are cuffed so they don't drag over her feet, as are the sleeves of a thick red sweater, the cuffs still long enough for her to tuck her fingers into for warmth.

"I'm better," Daphne says in her matter-of-fact manner, though the implication is that her spirit is still a bit under the weather, even if her health is on the upswing. "I'm happy to be better," she adds, and there's a flash of a quick smile, one he hasn't seen quite so sincere or bright or resigned. "I wish it weren't so abysmal out though. I want to run, but bad weather and no reliable weather predictions — how do you predict an atmo? — makes planning trips a bit sketchy, you know what I mean?"

Shoving tweed into the leather flaps of the bag, Francois ducks his head beneath the strap and swings it up to rest on an empty chair, warming his hands together and not bothering to shrug out of his jacket — it is warmer in here than it is outside, but not enough for true comfort. "The weather, among other things. It would be wiser for you to wait a little longer before trying to do things like leaving the city, until we are absolutely certain. It is nice to see you still on your feet, though."

Though she stands, he goes to perch on the edge of a wooden chair, right hand rubbing life and possibly feeling into his more mangled left hand as the relative warmth of the room prickles against numbed skin. "How are you today? Besides 'better'? No more cough, still?"

Moving closer to lean against a table, Daphne faces him, her eyes dropping to his hand and then his face, a mixture of sympathy and also curiosity in her face, since she's never asked where or how he sustained his injuries. She gives a half-shrug, one shoulder lifting. "I'm still a little tired, but I think it's just being out of shape, you know? I've done nothing but lie in a bed and crawl to the bathrooms for so long." There's a smirk — it's not like crawling to the bathroom was a small feat for a crippled woman.

"Cough's mostly gone. Sometimes I get a little tickle, but nothing comes up. 'Non-productive' I think you doctor-types like to call that, right? No blood, for sure. Otherwise, I just get tired, a little winded doing things that normally wouldn't have bothered me. That all normal?" She runs a hand through her hair that's now beginning to show the dark roots before bringing her nails to her lips to chew.

"Real doctors do, oui," sounds jovial, and out of a jovial smile, before Francois gives a nod. "Normal enough for a virus we still do not know much about — you are still recovering. Healing is not a simple thing for the body to perform."

And he should know. "But you were also fatigued during your sickness, however, and so I wouldn't dismiss it yet. Perhaps give it one more day, and see if your ability remains constant for another 24 hours. If it does, then I think you are free to go. Once your symptoms have resolved themselves, you will be non-contagious." He holds out a hand for her to take, which probably has nothing to do with doctoring or motherhenning, where Francois rarely asks for permission when such a dynamic is established. "And healthy. I think I should have bet higher stakes on your recovery, but ripping off the sick is a little shameful."

Another day. Another 24 hours. There might be a slight moue of disappointment on her expressive face, but then Daphne nods in agreement. She didn't think she'd have any more days with her power, any more days as someone without a disability, so it's not so much to ask, even if time now seems to crawl by at a snail's pace, as her power makes everything feel slow.

Her smile tics upward at his joke and Daphne arches a brow, before putting her small hand in the one he offers. "You're not getting out of crepes in Paris with me, once the weather is less frightening," she tells the man, grinning. "Unless there's something else you'd rather have. I'm rather good at getting things, you know."

Which brings her to something else she wanted to talk to Francois about — or Doc Brennan or maybe Teo. Joseph less likely — she's not sure she wants to own up to her criminal ways to the good Reverend. "Speaking of which … I … I'm kind of a specialist in procuring things, you might say. Because of my power — it's hard to get caught." There's a flash of a grin. "So. If you and your friends needed something… I mean, I probably owe you my life, and at the very least, I owe you my freedom. I'd be Registered by now if it weren't for you."

It's his right hand — even set fingers, sound knuckles if slightly mottled from the pinch of cold air, palm smooth and the back of his hand free of scarring. He tightens a grip around Daphne's in a gesture of affection and something like pride in her — durability, maybe, or some sort of obscure thank you for not dying on his watch as threatened. There is strain to his demeanor, almost reservation — probably because not everyone is in the clear, and one of them is enough to drive him to distraction.

She does have his full attention, though, at that offer — Francois' eyes go a little wider, startled, before giving a huff of a laugh as he takes back his hand. "I may have to hold you to that," he says, resting back in his chair. "Of course, I half-expect not to see you again. I know your kind, because you're my kind. I do not, ah, zoom like you do, but I have in the past, my own way, when I used to travel the world.

"But I would still appreciate Paris, and crepes, one day when I don't feel like I'm needed here."

Daphne lifts her chin, tilting her head as she smirks at him. "You're smarter than most, Docteur," she says, with a nod toward him. "That is my type. I don't stick around very long, if at all, and most people only see me again if I choose to let them see me." Corbin was either a fluke or … something else. Hokuto pushing them together, maybe, or maybe it was their subconscious minds. "But I owe you, and while I may do some things that are less than legal, I do them with my own brand of integrity. Honor among thieves and all that, right?"

Her fingers curl around his, and one side of her full mouth curves up. "Crepes and Paris and whatever you want, whenever you want it. And I can get you back to your handsome Sicilian before bedtime." She squeezes his hand lightly. "That's a given. But I owe you more than a run across the duck pond, okay? I owe all of you. And while I might run out on a lot of things, I don't welsh on debts."

"I believe you," Francois tells her sincerely, chair creaking beneath him as he goes to rock his gravity forward, getting to his feet and dealing a kiss to her cheek on his way to standing straight — he's not an especially tall man, but she's additionally on the short side for a woman. "And when I can do such a gift justice by not worrying about what goes on in this city, I will have to let you know. I'm afraid that the same handsome Sicilian has come down with what you all have — we misjudged something about his immunity."

Hands retracted going to reach for his bag, he slings it back up onto a shoulder. "In that he does not have it. Somehow he crept into the severe stages of symptoms without my noticing until less than a week ago, and I have him under house arrest." More or less. "It may explain my absence, to some extent."

Daphne tilts her head and smiles up at the kiss on her cheek, reaching to give a squeeze of the Frenchman's shoulders in an impromptu little hug. Her smile fades when he discusses Teo's illness. "Oh, no… I hope he recovers quickly. It's strange how different we all get it. I mean, aside from the side effect that comes with my lack of power… I wasn't that badly off. If I were normal to begin with — I mean, if I wasn't crippled — I might not have thought I had anything so severe until I started… you know. Seeing bleeding Japanese men that I almost killed three months ago."

She gives a wry grin at that. "Let me know if you need help, if … if you need to be somewhere and don't want to leave him alone? I can come sit with him. I don't have any of your doctor fu going on, but I can feed him ice chips and mop his brow as good as any." She pauses a beat, then smirks again. "Maybe. But I'd give it a try, if you needed."

As she talks, Francois goes to steal out his notepad from his bag — familiar, spiral bound, he'd been using it to keep track of symptom progression, but he jots down something too easily for it to be that. Tearing out the lined paper, he offers it out for her to take. "Oh, I do not desire to spoil him too much." His comment is almost as light as his step, as Francois goes to make for the door once more, flashing her a quick smile as he goes. "Perhaps if he knew he could be looked after by various attractive friends and acquaintances, however, he might have told me of his sickness sooner. I'm sure he could appreciate the company.

"That is my address," he adds, though the simple West Village location jotted on the paper is probably self-explanatory, as are the digits beneath it. "I suspect you would have an easier time at finding me than I would you, non?"

The recovered speedster smiles, reaching for the paper before glancing down at the words written on it. She folds it twice and slips it in the back pocket of her too-big jeans.

"I'll stop by. And I may not be easy to find, but I usually have a phone. Untraceable to me, of course. Unfortunately, not really sure what happened to it in our whole escape from witch mountain the other day, but once I get a new one, I'll drop off the number. That way you can let me know when you're ready for those Crepes, oui, mon ami bel," Daphne offers with a wink.

"Oui, je le ferai. Remember, one more day of resting, and then you are free — or I would have you take me home instead of stealing things," Francois says in departure, over his shoulder. His left hand splays, for all that index finger and middle sit awkwardly from bent knuckles, in a fleeting wave, and he disappears a moment later — not downwards, moving off to check on the children if only to soothe his own guilty conscience as well as probably for their health too — but not after the snow begins to fall again either.

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