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Scene Title Reassurances
Synopsis Following the press event at the Dome, Brad makes good his promise and calls Devon.
Date February 5, 2011

An unnamed hotel in Manhattan and The Dome: Westview Apartments - Devon's apartment

Drowsily, still in his suit, Bradley Russo sits up in the fluffy bed amongst sheets and blankets that aren't his. This, of course inspires that ever-infamous toussel about them, resulting in a sitting position and an expression of, WTF. He rubs his face hard, clearing sleep from his eyes in the process before blinking hard to bring everything into focus… only to lie back down. The pounding in his head is unmistakable. How much had he drank yesterday? Or… as the case may be, according to his watch, earlier this afternoon.

His eyes finally focus on the room around him. It's a hotel. Penthouse or honeymoon suite from the looks of it. He squints and allows his face to contort as he rolls out of the bed, in the full suit he wore on TV earlier that morning. With a frown he touches his pant pocket and finds, AH HA! His cellphone.

Quickly he dials as he lays back down, allowing the phone to ring and ring and ring until… a voice on the other end.

"Hey… Devon..?" There's a pause, but not long enough to give space to really respond, "I.. I'm sorry," his throat is rough around the words, dehydrated thanks to the liquor, and just raspy enough to indicate his own empathy for the kid's situation.

Elsewhere in the city, contained inside the dome, the tumor thrusting up from the face of New York, Devon has been battling his own demons since that morning's press brief. He never made it to the river, roughly but with marginal sympathy turned aside by the PMC men. Numbly the teenager had returned to the apartment he'd shared with his aunt.

Emotions are quick to betray once Devon crosses the threshold, disbelief and anguish feeling more physical. He sinks to the floor, the sick knot that had been slowly growing somewhere in his chest since the news forces its way out in a choking sob. The teenager's head comes to rest on the wall, shoulders propped up against the doorframe. Grief is finally allowed some escape before that call comes in.

Devon hadn't forgotten, somewhere in his time of anguished denial he'd remembered to turn on his phone. He stared at it while it rang, twice, three times before picking it up and answering with a hoarse greeting. The sympathy, empathy on the other end grips at the kid's still raw emotions and the pause after Brad speaks stretches. Then, "…Has anyone come forward?"

There's a heavy sigh from the man in the hotel room. His breath releases slowly while Brad presses a hand to his forehead as he shifts on his mattress. His tongue rolls over his lips. "Not yet. There's still time." Of course Brad was skeptical all along. His throat clears though, "At the risk of sounding like a conspiracy theorist… I'm not sure the government isn't behind this."

He sighs again and shakes his head, "I think… I think you just… you need to sit tight for awhile. Where are you staying? Your home? Somewhere else?"

Five days and nothing yet discovered on the inside, either. Devon hadn't expected anything from the outside to work. His eyes squeeze closed all the same at the news, there's still time, but it feels like it's running out. Food and drinkable water aren't going to last forever.

Opening his eyes again, Devon stares across the room without completely seeing it. "I'm at home," he answers. "..I came home after…"

Right. After. "Look, that was shitty thing they did. I didn't know… I would've told you sooner if…" If he had known. Brad frowns. "You need to find someone to stay with. Judging from the fire today and…" the way things broke out "… I know you're virtually an adult but— " he frowns further such that the expression can be heard in his tone. "Things are going to get uglier. A lot uglier. You need to find some people you can rely on. And.." he sighs, there's a helplessness at being on this side of the Dome when the kid seems so alone in everything.

"Is there anything there you can use as a weapon? Or a way to barricade yourself in when you sleep?" his teeth bite hard enough on his bottom lip to whiten it underneath the pressure.

"I —" Devon frowns, struggling to find some reply to what had happened during the plea for release. The reading of those names, why would anyone think that was a good idea? Grief grabs hold of the teenager again, and a sharp intake of breath breaks the pause, punctuated by the a light thud.

"It was just me and my aunt here," Devon explains. His words come out short, not clipped in anger but cut by the weight of events. "There's… a couple others here. I might… one of them might help." If not, his tone implies, he'll make due.

There's a silence on Brad's end of the phone as he weighs Devon's explanation. "There's a lot of people in there. Just… " his eyes close and he considers. "There's some people I know that might be caught inside. I'll try to contact them— " possibly even that parent of his. "— and get them in contact with you. People that are trustworthy… " he sighs.

The offer has Devon nodding woodenly. There's one or two he might be able to trust enough on his own, but someone who comes with credentials… Meanwhile, he'll occupy himself with fortifying a place. Not this place, this apartment. He can't stay here, but somewhere. ".. Thanks, Mister Russo."

"Brad," he corrects quietly, causing Russo to fold his arms over his chest. He sighs deeply. "You're gonna be okay, Devon," the reassurance is weak. Quiet. Not quite convinced. "I know you will. You just… wait it out. Lots of people are looking into it. Myself included."

The reassurances are welcomed, though Devon's own doubts linger, dark and brooding if still around a corner of his mind. "There isn't much to do but wait," he replies in a weak attempt at humor, his voice cracking at the end. It isn't funny, hasn't been funny, but the reality is just that.

A pause follows. Devon bites down on his lower lip, swallowing back a sudden lump of misery. " — Part of me hopes it just ends," he admits, implications pointing to the worst case scenario of ending. "… I don't know… What am I going to do when… if we get out of here?"

Russo's breath hitches in his throat. It's a question he's asked himself several times over since that moment earlier in the afternoon. "You're nearly legal— the courts… they'll… they'll let you choose— " His lips press together as he sits up on the bed to roll to his feet. There's pacing to be had.

His pseudo-anxiety works into steady paces back and forth across the hotel room floor. "I was thinking… if you need somewhere… you could stay here…" Beat. "…well not here-here.." because he's not home, "..but with me." His lips press together, "At least… at least until you figure out what you want to be doing.."

Drawing a hand through his hair, Devon turns his eyes up toward the ceiling, considering the offer. While technically he could stay at his aunt's house, he knows that he won't be able to. Chances are good that, after today, he won't be back. There are other houses, empty with owners gone or stuck on the other side of the wall, he could hole up inside one of those. But after?

Unseen, Devon nods to the offer. "Thanks, Mi— Brad. If… when we get out of this bubble… I'd appreciate that." The court would probably require something, before letting the teenager go. "…Thanks, Brad."

"In the meantime?" Brad asks quietly. "Stay safe. I'll be looking out for you on my end." He sighs heavily before adding in farewell, "Take it easy, Kid. As easy as you can."

With that, the phone is hung up, leaving Brad restless alone with his thoughts in a borrowed room. It's going to be a long night.

Devon powers off his phone after the call ends and returns it to his pocket. He'll turn it on again later, check for calls, otherwise it can remain off as always. There's no way to charge it, that he's found yet, and he may need it later. Lifting his eyes to look through the front room, the living space, he sighs and pushes himself up onto his feet. It's not going to be a pleasant task, leaving this place behind. It wasn't a pleasant task four years ago. He should get started.

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