kincaid_icon.gif melissa_icon.gif

Scene Title Promises
Synopsis More than a few have been made between mother and son.
Date June 14, 2011

Little Green House: Port Ivory

This house is set back from the street slightly. A stone wall, made of black stone largely covered by dark green ivy, separates the tiny front yard from the street, though it's more a retaining wall than a wall meant for privacy. A small black iron gate does a pitiful job of blocking the stairs that lead to the walkway that leads up to the small porch, one which is accessible by two small sets of steps on opposite sides. The back yard is much larger than the front, and is fenced in, though the fence needs repair in a number of places. It's largely grass, though there are a few medium sized trees which provide shade. At one point it looks like part of the yard was a garden, but it's long since grown over and been claimed by weeds. From the back yard it's possible to see the harbor.

The house itself is largely a gray-green with white trim, and looks to be at least several decades old, and a century wouldn't be out of the question. It's two stories, though there are windows which seem to belong to an attic. The house as a whole has seen better days, though it looks like it's structurally intact. At least for the most part.

It's been a week since the news came out about Junie and her grandparents. And in that week, Melissa hasn't been seen at Tartarus or the Symbiosis Foundation, or even at home. But someone who knows her, and who doesn't mind sneaking onto Staten Island, wouldn't have any problem finding her.

Some time was spent in the little building where Mel first saw Junie, where Pandora was killed and Mel became a foster mom. Time spent with a bottle of tequila and a lot of anger. It's a place where she could be alone. But she had to leave there, but not too far, just to the house she still thinks of as home. She's sitting on the couch that still sits in the living room, staring at a spot on the floor, her eyes blank, empty.

The first sign of someone comes in a creak from a window opening. It slides up, painted wood scrapping against painted wood. Police wouldn't use the window, but a thief might if he was the mind to. It's not a thief whose foot lands on the floor. "M— Melissa?" a voice calls out. Whispered, to keep it down, but loud enough to draw attention and hopefully avoid a harsh response.

Kincaid can imagine how upset she might be, and people sometimes lash out with their abilities when they're upset. It's perhaps a good thing that his power can counter her own.

There's no pain coming at Kincaid, so that's a good thing. However, there's no anything. Melissa just sits there, staring, barely blinking. It's like she's not even there right now. But when he gets closer, he can see Mel holding Junie's goth teddy bear with a grip tight enough to turn her knuckles white.

"Mel— Mom," Kincaid switches to another title for the woman who's sitting there in shock. He moves across the room, kneeling down on the floor in front of her, with his hands reaching up. Fingers brush the goth teddy bear with a mild flinch, before straying higher, to her hair. "Mom… You shouldn't be here. The police are looking for you." He's had his won mourning period, his own moments of self-abuse.

The healing cuts and bruises on his hands are evidence enough.

Talking might not have helped, might not have broken through that shell that Melissa's mind errected, but for that change in title. Eyes close, and tears spill down cheeks which are, shockingly, a little dirty. "Mom," she whispers, and even in that single word there's an undeniable mix of grief and fury, enough that she nearly vibrates with it. "Mama," she says next, still softly, still with feeling.

Those eyes open, and though it takes a moment, they settle on Kincaid. "She'd just started calling me mama, before they took her away. I should've killed them. Killed them and taken her. Taken you. I shouldn't have gotten involved. I hurt everyone I care for."

"What did you get involved in? Was this… in retaliation for something?" Kincaid asks as he touches her face, trying to wipe away tears and the dirt with it. Not dirt from make up, dirt from not taking care of herself. Besides the bruises and cuts, he's much cleaner. He's had to wash up before he could leave to search each day. "They did this. They did. If— I should have told you to take her and go to the Ferry as soon as I told you the truth, told you who I was… Then this never would have happened. She…" his voice breaks, but he bites down on his lower lip. The blue starts to return to his eyes for a moment. Old familiar pains help him forget the emotional pain.

Melissa shakes her head slowly, before a hand lifts, to hold his hand against her cheek. "Blue eyes," she murmurs. "Just like mine. So pretty." She closes her eyes again, giving her head another shake. "I haven't spoken to Heller since he took her. He thought I was going to give him the Ferry. I don't know. I just don't know. I came back here…hoping the old man'd show up again. I'd give anything to undo it. To bring her back. I brought Kendall back, why not her? I'll kill them all anyway. Why is her baby worth more than mine?"

"Killing them won't do any good now," Kincaid says in soft whispered tones, looking around the room as if expecting someone to come crashing in one of the windows. Instead he reaches to pull her off the couch, against his chest. "We need to get out of here. If you think he might find you here…" He's lost a lot since he came to this timeframe. And this is one thing he seems quite worried about avoiding. "Come on— I know a few places we can go. You're going to need to go into hiding now, too. They'll arrest you if they catch you. How did you manage to get onto Staten in the first place?" Not that it's impossible. It's just more difficult. Getting her off of the island will be just as hard.

"She deserves justice. She deserves revenge. She was killed, all because of me," Melissa whispers as her arms come around him and she clings to him. "I didn't set the fire. They won't arrest me. Can't. Prolly have false proof." She shakes her head. "It's all so messed up, Cade. Why did they have to kill her? She didn't do anything. Killing her just made me…" Broken. "hate them."

The hug is returned, almost as if he's trying to wrap her in his arms as if he were a blanket. Or a shield. The familiar pain, lessened, is still there in his hand, allowing the blue to come out in his eyes, darkened and deep. Kincaid knows there's blame to be tossed around, blame in all directions…

But blame won't bring her back. "Even if it's made up, they're the ones in power. It doesn't matter if it's made up, they are after you. And… they want you to mess up. They want you to get angry, to hate them— because after you get over the shock…" He bites down on his lip again, before pulling her in the direction of the window, a slow movement. He still thinks they need to go, to leave this place that was once hers. "If they can't use you, then they will take you down. I know you were in Moab… that may have been the first prison for Evolved, but it won't be the last, or the worst. And I won't let you end up in the ones to come."

"No, I know it won't be the last. There's probably another one out there now," Melissa murmurs, moving slowly, more just reacting to his tugging than walking consciously. "I still want whoever set the fire dead." She lets out a sob. "Now your future really can't happen. Kincaid, baby, I am so damn sorry. But I'm going to make it better. I can't bring her back, but I will keep you safe."

"I kinda want them dead too," Kincaid has to admit, without sounding really angry about it. He's worn himself out beyond the point of being angry. Because there's just as worse things. "And in order for you to keep me safe, you have to keep yourself safe first, which means not doing anything reckless. I think I can find a way to get you to Devon at least. He seems to have connections in a lot of places, and he can probably hide you."

Or so he hopes. That's the plan. It's safer than hiding her himself. Considering who blames her for what happened even more than she blames herself. Someone who said something else, just before he left… In a few distinct pulls and pushes, they're at the window, and he moves to help her out, lower her down to the ground, and jump down beside her.

On the outside Melissa just stands there, as though she hasn't the energy to make herself start forward without help. "Yes, I have to keep myself safe," she murmurs. "Anything, anything to keep you safe," she agrees with a nod. "I need…I haven't seen Perry, since I heard. He may as well be her…have been her father."

"Hopefully Devon will know how to contact him," Kincaid offers quietly, though with a definite sign of doubt in his voice. He tries to cover it by looking around again, checking out the area, before he reaches to close the window with one hand, and lead her away off the street. It will take some time to get anywhere. Sometimes he wishes he had teleportation… But walking will have to do. "What did happen that night? The night before? Something must have— or they would have done this earlier."

"I don't…the days, they've blurred together," Melissa murmurs. "I think it was a few days before…maybe…Devon went to talk to Valentin, to try to get information. I was there, backup, out of sight, with a telepath. A man showed up, with a bomb. I'd met him, once. He kicked me in the face then, tried to blow me up with a grenade. We left, they left. But that was Valentin, not Heller."

There's a long pause, made to seem longer by the fact that he stops walking in a space between two houses. Kincaid looks up toward the sky, takes in a slow breath of mostly fresh air, before looking back over. "There may be a connection, but it's hard to say. When had you seen him before? The guy who kicked you in the face?" The way he sounds, so collected, if a little pained, it's difficult to tell how broken he is over this as well. But he's had a lot of practice in his young life.

There's a long pause. "It wasn't long after I first came to New York. So…beginning of last year. Daphne saved me," Melissa explains softly. "Cade…we don't gotta talk about this. I hate hearing that pain in your voice, seeing it on your face."

"I… I have to know what happened. Why…" Kincaid trails off, grimacing visibly before he tries to get rid of the physical pain, in hopes it removes some of the pain in his voice. "Did they— where you seen?" is what he asks afterwards. His hopes to remove the pain in his voice didn't work, as his voice shakes more than it did before. Small tremors. Of fear as much as anything else, it sounds like. Though what he's afraid of isn't anything around them.

A hand is lifted, rested lightly against Kincaid's cheek. "One day, you will have no reason to worry. I swear it," Melissa whispers. "But yes, I was seen, by the man who set up the bomb. Dead man's switch. If we hadn't left, he would've set it off."

"It must have been that— unless there was something else," Kincaid says quietly, flinching away from the hand before he realizes he's doing it. Once he does, he closes his eyes and leans against it instead. The lowering of his eyes carries an apology. For flinching away— and for what comes after. "Mom… I have to ask you something. It— I don't blame you if— it's not you yet." The string of words don't quite go together well. He opens his eyes and looks up. "What dreams have you been shown? Of the future— what happened in them?"

This time it's Melissa's who flinches, and she glances away. "The one I told you about. With you sitting in my lap, wanting me to take you ice skating. And one, where Elaine brought me a letter from Junie. That one…at the end…Kendall died," she murmurs. "The first was, in a way, the worst. Now that you've told me some of what happened. So I can put things together…"

The one that was worst of all.

Kincaid lets go of her arms as she gets there, not quite stepping back, but certainly putting some physical space between them. In terms of no longer in contact. "About how… you and dad died," he states rather than asks. It's what's on his mind. What's been on his mind for a while now.

Melissa glances up when he steps back, and along with the obvious guilt, shame, there's hurt as well. "Yes, in a manner of speaking," she whispers. "I was…I went to Messiah. I wanted…I know now I wanted someone to pay for Kendall's death. I…wanted them to kill your father. It was my fault that we died and left you all alone, Cade. My fault I put you in danger. I know I never did that, never will, but I am so, so sorry. I wish I could undo it. I wish I could take it back, make it never be. I would never, NEVER, willingly do that to you."

"You did leave me alone," Kincaid says in whispered tones, that pain still there, but slowly getting replaced by something else. A kind of determination. "But it wasn't you— and it won't be you." Because he'll never be born. "And I'm not going to leave you to them, I'm not going to let you throw your life away on another revenge plot." Another one. A future that killed her, when someone killed a boy she adopted as her brother. Just like this one's killed the one she adopted as her daughter.

Melissa studies him for a long moment, before she takes a slow step towards him. "No, it won't be me. I won't do that to you twice. And I…" She draws in a deep, shakey breath. "Junie can't care anymore, about revenge. You can. I won't try to avenge her, just to leave you alone. I loved her as if I'd given birth to her myself, but you are my son. Whatever it takes, I'll keep you safe, and keep myself safe. I'll be smart and careful. I swear it to you, Kincaid."

"Those are pretty high promises," Kincaid says quietly, reaching forward and breaking that distance that he'd put there to touch her face, thumbs running over her cheeks. "But I know you'll try. The only promise I will ask if you, though… don't turn yourself in." That's something he knows she could do— if she thought it would protect someone. "When I couldn't find you the first few days I was afraid you might already have… Cause I know it's what I would have done." To protect others.

"That… and…" He hesitates, looks down toward the grass they're standing on. He shakes his head. "And your other promises cover it," is what he ends up saying, with a nervous smile.

"Baby, if something's worrying you, you can tell me. And I will keep my promises to you. Nothing could make me break them now," Melissa says, fingers brushing the back of his hand. "But no, I didn't turn myself in. I might've. A bigshot lawyer dad, uncle with DHS, knowing I'm innocent. I might've. But I won't."

In all the walking, they managed to keep the goth teddy bear with them. Either he held it, or she did— and right now he lifts it up and presses it's nose against her cheek, as if trying to simulate a kiss. "I always worry," Kincaid admits, with that teddy bear as a distraction. "There's others with me— I know you know of some of them. One other was… very close to Junko. And I don't know if he'll be as… he may still blame you, instead of them. They're the ones who did this, no matter what prompted them. But… you'll be fine. I won't let anything happen to you. That's my promise."

The teddy bear kiss draws a small, almost reluctant smile out of Melissa. "Yes, I know a few. I talked to Quinn and Elaine. They told me some. I doubt I know all of them, and I won't press you about it. I know none of this is easy for you." The smile disappears. "I don't blame you friend, for blaming me. I do, to some extent. And I trust you. Completely."

That earns a tight smile. "I'll try not to let you down," Kincaid states quietly, before the smile fades into the same tight set mouth he's had most the night. The bear is pressed up to his mouth now, the top of it's head. A kiss goodbye, though he doesn't admit it. Saying good bye is hard, especially now. It'd been easier when he thought she would still grow up, still find love and happiness. But now…

"I wish you'd seen her grow up. She was beautiful. Even covered in dirt and grime, she was still… beautiful." There's those tears he'd tried to hold back, but he shakes his head and looks away. "Let's get you somewhere safe." He can cry once they get there.

But Melissa notices those tears, and she reaches up to brush them away. If he'll let her. "I have no doubt whatsoever of that," she whispers. "I'll be happy though, knowing you've grown up." She pauses, then almost blushes as she starts to walk away. "How old are you now, anyway? I know you had an early birthday, since we talked about it before Hawaii."

"Twenty-seven," Kincaid says, smiling a bit because he knows that she just happens to be the same age as him. "I'm almost a month older than you." This time his smile is actually genuine, unlike the forced ones of before. He's not the only one who came back who was older than his parent— but it still amused him.

After a moment for that to sink in, Melissa smiles as well. "That's so weird. My son is older than me, yet was born quite a bit after me. Still…when this all calms down, when I don't have to hide? I am taking you ice skating. You deserve that, along with me keeping my promises."

"The good thing about ice rinks is they're cold. Scarves won't be looked at twice, if you wear them," Kincaid says, reaching up to wipe at his own eyes. Even if she managed to wipe away a tear or two, he's intent on holding it together until he doesn't have to anymore. And talking about iceskating helps. "We'll be able to go, even if you're still in hiding."

Something he hopes he's able to keep better than the time-frame that he left behind.

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