delia_icon.gif nick_icon.gif

Scene Title Quay
Synopsis No longer adrift herself, Delia tries to keep Nick from slipping back back out into the waters.
Date January 8, 2011

Dorchester Towers — Russo's Apartment

As Nick approaches the apartment door, he gives a skeptical look at the gift basket in one hand and the flower pot in the other. He should have just left it at the front desk, but as he snuck in when the doorman was chatting at the old lady with the chihuahua, he also chose to sneak to the stairwell.

It's an odd assortment of items that make up the basket, and he just isn't sure about any of it at all. Three romance novels with cheesy bodice-ripper covers, since that's what she seemed most interested in the first time he met her. A box of chocolate covered cherries and blueberries. A little plush frog, green with purple spots. A tin of hot chocolates. That's the sort of thing you give people when they're sick, right?

The potted plant is a red gerber daisy, bright and cheerful, the pot bright orange with a lime green bow.

She's been stuck in his head too long — she needs some color.

He exhales, and shifts the plant to the crook of the arm holding the basket so one hand is free to lift and knock upon the door.

He really should have just left all the gifts with the doorman.

The door is opened by Russo's cleaning lady, Rosa, there were no visitors expected but with the myriad of people milling in and out to see the young woman in the guest bedroom Nick is let in and wordlessly pointed down the hallway. The front door is closed softly behind him after he enters and locked again, not to keep him in but to keep everyone else out.

From down the hallway there is no sound aside from a shuffle behind the door. For once, there is no babysitter, just Delia and the housekeeper. Russo just stepped out for a moment and that message is relayed poste haste, in Spanish of course. As Nick is escorted down the hallway, he's given a good once over by the house keeper. After she opens the bedroom door, she leaves it that way with a warning look to the young man. Russo's already made the rules clear about 'boys' and his sister

Inside the bedroom, Delia is trying to work her way through all of the music that her brother had put on her iPad. When the door opens, her head jerks up in surprise and instantly brightens when she spies the face of the visitor. "Nn— Niiick!" There's still stops and starts and her voice is a little uncontrolled in its volume.

"Can't you just take — what's aqui again?" Because Russo no esta aqui, and Nick can't remember aqui from aller — Spanish not really on his list of languages to learn when he was a tyke in England, and he hasn't been in any Spanish-speaking ports. That is, if you don't count New York, which of course has a lot of Spanish speaking dock workers. Nick's cover of being from Miami, probably not the best of choices.

"I don't need to interrupt — she should be rest— No habla Espanol!" The H is pronounced. Never mind he drops them when he's angry on English words.

He looks up when he hears his stilted name, eyes widening a little. He hadn't meant for her to see him. Cheeks color and he glares a little at Rosa's retreating back before moving to the hallway door.

"Heya Red," he says lightly. "I, uh, just came to see how you were." He stands a little awkwardly in the doorframe before looking for a place to put the pot of flowers, and then lifting the basket with a shrug of his left shoulder before it's set down as well. His fingers go into the pockets of his peacoat.

Delia's smile only brightens when Nick gives the reason for stopping by and she parts her lips slightly almost ready to say something else. With a blush, she presses them together again and gives a quick glance around her too clean bedroom. There's no chairs for visitors, nothing but the bed to sit on right now. Which might have been what Russo's little errand took him out to do.

Giving a glance to the side of the bed, her hand moves slowly to pat just in front of her as though to say 'stay, take a load off, visit'. She just doesn't vocalize any of it. "G-gooooo—duh" she emits slowly, turning a crimson color at the sound of her own voice. It's clear that she's fairly ashamed of the state she's in.

Nick looks from her to the hallway and down to the front door longingly. He has no experience in this — visiting sick people. Caring about sick people. He clears his throat and moves closer, though he doesn't sit on the bed.

"You look better," he says quietly. There's more color in her cheeks, at least. "Feeling better?" Her quietness makes him quieter as well, and he glances down, muscles tensing in his jaw, hands shifting in his pockets. There's an edginess, a nervousness, like he's had a touch too much caffeine.

Looking down at herself, Delia inspects her white long sleeved t-shirt for stains from breakfast before touching the bed again. Nick's desire to head for the door isn't missed but she's selfish right now, she's missed him. Rather, missed being able to talk to him. "Ss— sssiiit puh-ppuh— puh-lease?"

Picking up her iPad, she shifts the screen to the notepad that she's been using to communicate and slowly begins typing a message out. It takes much longer than normal, simply because she's actually trying to spell everything correctly and possibly impress the young man.

easier to talk this way
don't want to strain your eyes

Sit please, he understands, though he is hesitant until she types out her plea. He bends to read it. Black brows twitch and then he nods, moving to sit at the corner of her bed, careful not to jostle her.

"For a li'l bit," he murmurs, British accent slipping into place since it's just the two of them. "But you've got to say some of it, yeah? To practice. Not ev'ry thing, Red, but maybe 'alf of it? Compromise?" He smiles. "I won't judge. I ever tell you I got my jaw broken as a kid?"

He lifts his chin to show the scar that still mars the skin lightly there. "Had to talk through wires for a good six or eight weeks. Had to suck soup through a straw. Was 'bout as skinny as I was back in November."

There's another glance down at herself, raising the arms of her nearly emaciated form before she puts them down again. Just to show. "Ssskuh— sskuh— " she blinks rapidly and clamps her lips shut, breathing heavily in and out through her nose. Grabbing up her iPad again she types, very slowly, there's a lot of backspacing as she deletes accidental letters and in some instances too many of the same letter.

everything is so heavy
i don't like it
i want to go back

Catching her lower lip between her teeth, she chews it for a moment before swallowing back her flood of emotion and trying again. "Iiii— p-p-pROM-ised…" her volume is off, "nnnever ah-ggain." She pauses to take a deep breath, as if those few words have nearly exhausted her. "Evvv— errr."

Nick's brow furrows and he nods in understanding. "Heavy. I get that."

He glances down at the iPad to read her words, frowning deeper. "Go back? To sleep?" he asks, worried eyes darting to her face. "Not for so long, all right? Just maybe… you know, they say eight hours a day." He flashes a quick grin, then screws his lips to one side thoughtfully.

"Does your building have a pool?" It's rather an abrupt thought.

A pool?

Tilting her head, Delia raises her eyebrows and then straightens up with a little gasp. A long jerky nod follows, it's not speaking but it's not using her iPad either. At least it's working muscles. Slipping her hand from the plastic covered screen, she points down to the floor, leaning further and further down. Then it's back up to the little electronic device as she laboriously pours over her words.

i have a swimsuit
brad bought the wrong size first
it's blue

Then she points to her eyes, and then Nick's. Blue like their eyes. There's a touch of a smile and a twinkle of mischief in her eyes when she parts her lips again, her attempts to speak widening the grin and turning it crooked. Just like old times. "Wwuh— Wwwee'rre.." There's a stifled sigh and a small shake of her head before she switches track. "Sswwim? Yyouu nnn me?"

"Downstairs? Indoors, I hope?" he says with a grin, and when she talks of a swimsuit he blushes just a touch. "It's a thought. It'd make you feel … lighter?" His brows rise as he peers into her face. "Not so heavy. For a little while. And I think it'd be good for your muscles. I'm not … like, I ain't a doctor or anything, but it's probably good for you for some reason. They always have 'em in like … physical therapy places, right?"

As for them swimming he shrugs one shoulder. "Probably not today. Not without your brother to say it's okay, or maybe help out. I don't wanna drown you or nothin' on my own. I ain't no lifeguard, yeah?" There's a smile as he watches her mischievous smile, before he glances down.

"Or you know. Anyone else. It doesn't have to be me. Can be Jaiden or Nicole or Brian or anyone you feel comfortable with." The implication is she wouldn't with him.

Leaning down, Delia reaches out and grip's Nick's closest hand tightly with both of hers. As hard as she can muster would still be too easy for him to pull away if he so chooses. "Y-you." She disagrees with his implication, the short argument is enough to say so. "Y-oou ann'me."

Her long fingers are cold though the air in the room is a reasonable temperature. Perhaps it's just her weight that causes it. Pressing her palms flat against either side of his calloused hand, she almost sucks the heat right from him with the action. "Whut've YOuu b-b-b-bee— nuh doooing?" There's a pause as she gasps for a breath. "Ssafe? Y-you'rre saaafe?"

He glances down at the cold grip on his hand, tipping his hand over so it's palm up, curling fingers through hers as he stares at it. Safe is relative. It's a hard question to answer.

"Yeah," he says quietly. "Got some time off. Trying to figure out where I'm going from here. If… If I'm going to stay with the stuff I've been doing. If I'm gonna stay… here."

Blue eyes flicker to the cold light coming through the window, as if to indicate the city beyond. "The stuff I was workin' on ain't gonna work anymore. Work might send me somewhere else. I don't know. I'm pretty bad at it, you know? Work."

Nick sighs, shrugging his left shoulder again. "You need anything? Let me know, and I'll bring it to you, okay?"


No stutter, no elongated consonants or vowels. Just no. Delia stares at Nick for a long time before pressing her lips further into an unhappy frown. "No. I— " She glances to her iPad, considering it before a twitch of her head has her staring at him again, her fingers tightening around his for a second before they tire. "D- dooon't g-OH." Deep frustrated breaths through her nose accompany the deep frown on her face. A face too thin.

Another quick glance to her eyepod, this time a longing one but in his agreement to stay, she needs to try. "Ii— nuh-nnneed .. y-you."

Bringing his gaze back to her face, his brows knit again and he swallows. "It won't be too soon. I was never meant to be here permanently, anyway, you know that right? I been in a few countries just this past year alone. This is the longest I've been in any one place in a long time."

He looks down, squeezing her hand before letting it go. "I won't go without comin' to say goodbye, all right? And I'll come back, sometime this week, and I'll bring you swimmin' if it's okay with your brother. And he should probably be there, make sure I don't drown you on accident like some redheaded kitten in a sack."

Blue eyes that only seem brighter with the threat of bursting into tears, squint enough to stave the onslaught. The end of her nose is turning pink though, a sure fire sign that it's going to happen, even if it's not now. Or in his sight. "N-no." It's a pathetic little mewl this time, along with a small shake of her head. "M't— TRY-in'… g— et b-BETter." A crack of her voice doesn't do anything for the volume control, the redhead is nothing like a good stereo system.

When he lets go of her hand, she immediately reaches for the iPad and begins typing furiously. This time with no regard to the wrong letter where.

u wont c me better
ull b gon
dont go.

His forehead crinkles and his jaw clenches, one hand leaving the bed rake through his hair, then hooking at the back of his neck to rub there nervously. "You will get better, I know you will. And I know what you're like when you're not like this, so don't worry none about that, either, Red. It's not like I'm gonna remember you like … like this."

He gestures to her thin form on the bed. Swallowing, his eyes go to the window again — perhaps remembering and regretting the moment he let the bird into his dreams. "You're the only color in my dreams, you know that?" Even the blood is almost black. Even the blue of his eyes and sky are like pale ice. "I'll remember you like that. The only thing … good."

The iPad is set carefully to the side as Delia's shoulders slump and her head hangs down. Her unruly red curls fall forward to hide her face. A sniffle, a choked sob, and the thin young woman falls forward, reaching for Nick. It's not a hard stretch for her long arms to wrap around his shoulders to pull herself a little closer and him into a tight hugh. She's not strong, not like she used to be, it's almost pathetic actually.


The redhead is still fighting the tears as her short clipped fingernails rake against his coat, trying to catch a better grip that he can't easily pull away from. She knows how easy she is to pull away from. "Nooo no no no… Iii— Iii nnneed yyou." Burying her face into his shoulder, she sniffles again before eking out that last word. "H-here."

Nick awkwardly pats her when she clings to him. His heart pounds against his chest, against her where she's pressed herself. "Sh-shhhhh," he manages finally, hand coming up to rest on her red curls. "Shhhhh."

"I haven't decided anything, Czerwony. You know more'n others that I'm … I donno where I'm at, let alone where I'm goin', but it'll be some time before I go. If I go. I'll come visit though, before then, and after, too."

He leans her back against her pillows. "Stop crying, or your brother'll have to beat the shit out of me."

Placing a cool palm against Nick's cheek, Delia sniffles once and gives him a jerky nod of her head. "Nn-not c-cr-cryin'" she manages, indeed she's not but the tip of her nose is a little brighter pink and her eyes are stinging from their own pink color.


The hand on his cheek slides down and she uses her index finger to point into her own chest. Curling her fingers, she points to her eyes with her index and middle finger before reaching up to his face. Using the pads of those two finger, she lightly touches the spot between his eyebrows, then again down in the middle of his chest. From there, the hand drops to her side as the other glides from around his shoulders and flops down to her other side weakly.

Whatever that might mean in simian sign language (KoKo loves Kitty?), Nick isn't sure, and he shakes his head, frowning a touch at his inability to understand.

"You been checking out my chest?" he jests playfully, then flexes to try to make her laugh. "I know I can't 'old a candle to that Aussie bloke, but I been workin' out. Chopping firewood's great for the physique."

The corners of Delia's eyes crinkle as she can't help but give Nick a wide smile and an actual laugh when he flexes. Without looking away from him, her hand fumbles for the iPad and she brings it back to her chest, tilting it a little to see what she's typing. She already confused him once.

i dont see what anyone else sees.
i dont see what you see.
i see whats inside your head and your heart.

Turning it slowly, the smile falters a little when she shows him the screen. Slowly, it wanes to a serious expression as she regards him and his reaction to her combination of sign and typed word.

Nick's eyes drop to the screen, dark brows creasing above as he stares at it — longer than necessary to read it. He swallows, eyes moving down to the left and down to the right, as if seeking somewhere to look rather than at her or the words.

Finally he clears his throat and stands. "I should let you rest." The words are soft, but careful. Gentle but devoid of emotion. All of that is in the injured depths of his blue eyes. "No more than eight hours at a time, though," he adds, a little louder, lips curving into a soft smile.

He jerks his head toward the door. "Anything you need before I go? Drink? Snack?"

"M'sahrry Nniiick," Delia adds as a pained addendum to the injury she's already caused him. She looks down at the screen, touching the words before clearing them away again with a swipe of her finger. "Ii hh— hurt yyy-y-you again." This time the words are all at a proper volume, if not a little lower.

Without moving her head, her eyes flit to meet his eyes and they squint again. She gives an audible swallow, trying to bury her own emotions deep down. "Mm-miss you." She was with him every moment of her waking day for so long. "Miss b-being th-there. M'sahrry Iii h-hurt you."

Dark lashes fan down as his eyes close and Nick shakes his head. "Shh. You didn't hurt me. You just… you picked the wrong spot to land in, yeah? You got stuck with me. Not your fault a'tall. Just wish you had a prettier place to perch, li'l bird. A place with … I donno, like pink and white flowers. Cherry blossoms, maybe."

He shakes his head. "Nah, still too pansy, e'en for a sweet bit like you. Maybe Redwoods, tall and red and strong like you are. Like you will be."

Once upon a time, he had a way with words. Once, he used to weave stories from his mind, when the few books they had'd grown old, about the things that captured Eileen's fascination, the selkies and fae, to make a made-up world in a fort of blankets in their room where only magical good things could happen.

His fanciful words get a little shake of his head and a shrug of his one shoulder. "You don't need to miss me. I'm still here, all right? This world may suck, but it's gotta be better'n the one in my head."


No stutter, no elongated consonants or vowels. Just no. Delia looks down at the heavy blanket covering her thin body and smooths it out with one hand to try to rid it of wrinkles, just like her brother. "W-was th'rright s-spot."

Giving a glance toward the cold grey morning, the redhead presses her lips together in a fine line and then jerks to look back up at Nick again. "Ss-tay." A simple request, one he made of her once. "Y-you stay… I st-stay." She raises her eyebrows a little to see if he's accepted her barter. Another little sniffle and her hand picks at something on the coverlet over her, a loose thread.

"Ii— p-promise.. Yyou stay.. Ii w-w-w-won't lllook for you."

How his mind could be good for anyone, Nick doesn't know, but he doesn't argue. Instead, when she asks for him to stay, when she promises not to look for him, he sighs a little, moving closer to her bed again. This time, he crouches, forearms resting on his thighs as he looks up at her.

"You can look for me any time you need me," Nick says. "And if I need to go, it ain't because of you or this or any of it. It'll be because of work, of a job. Tryin' to make something of this shitty life of mine, yeah?"

He doesn't wait for her response, but flashes another grin. "You're a regular chatterbox now."

Her lips only twitch up at one side and then fall again when he makes his observation. Reaching out one arm, Delia brushes her hand lightly through Nick's hair before letting it fall to his shoulder. "M'sscared." Reaching for her iPad again, she doesn't hide what she's trying to communicate, using her free hand to peck at the touch screen.

im scared

The statement is so little, so small. When she turns to look at him, she swallows again, this time grimacing as the lump in her throat actually gives her pain. Closing her eyes for only a moment to stop herself from losing it, she forces another swallow before continuing.

come back please.
i need to know you're here.

He scowls at her spoken words. She's been through too much, and as much as he jokes about the world being better than his head, there are very real dangers outside of his mind. "Yeah."

He swallows. "Yeah, I'll come back. Soon. And they have my number, all right? They can get a hold of me."

They. He reaches up to push a russet spiral out of her eyes. "You can get a hold of me. Phone. Dreams. Wha'tever."

He pushes himself back to standing, taking a step back toward the door. "Thank you," is breathed last, out of context, before he steps for the door.

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