Shelter In The Storm


devon2_icon.gif emily4_icon.gif

Scene Title Shelter In The Storm
Synopsis Devon and Emily get a few minutes to themselves to discuss lunch and the future.
Date June 1, 2019

The Bunker

When the door finally shuts behind them, sealing out the rest of the noise of the bunker, Emily finds relief in the near-silence, as well as the privacy afforded by Devon's room at the Bunker. It's been a long morning, turning into a long day, and being alone now is a luxury. She slides her stuffed bookbag off her shoulder, letting it hang from one hand. A long breath comes away from her almost like a sigh, steadily metered, and only after it's done does she start to let her attention roam the room, taking in its details.

The bed, not yet done up for the day. The desk scattered with that paperwork that always seemed to plague him. A small round table with a second chair.

This is where he so often was when they'd talk from afar. It dawns on her no such opportunity exists for him to stand in that same space of hers, given she's moved out of the apartment with Julie. She wanders closer to the desk for want of an object to let her bag sag against, letting it finally slip from her fingers before she turns back Devon's way, smile faint and tired. "Don't know how you deal with them all the time," she murmurs. "I'm exhausted already."

It's fairly clean, also. A lack of clutter and little in the way of personal effects, but not spartan. A lone box rests, partially closed, beside the loveseat that also acts to separate the bed from the rest of the space. It isn't cramped, the space has been well utilized to avoid that and give it a lived in feeling.

Devon hangs back near the door, watching Emily. There's a touch of nervousness. As much as he's been willing and wanting to let her into the secret world of his, it's something else entirely now that it's happening. So many what ifs claw at his thoughts.

A small breath escapes when she turns with that smile, relieved. He smiles a little, and moves from the door. “They take some getting used to,” he explains, “but they're good people. Usually.” Shoulders shifting slightly, Dev shrugs off a beat of hesitation and wraps his arms around Emily, hugging her. “Make yourself at home. It's not much, but…” It's home.

Emily lets out a huff of breath, roughly bringing her arms around him to hug him back firmly. One hand hooks around her other wrist, head burrowing into his shoulder. She lets out a long breath, sinking into him and taking comfort in his presence. She might be tired from the trip, but there's more to it than that.

"Yeah," she agrees to it, maybe all of it. It's muttered into his neck. "I really wasn't sure about coming, but…" Her hands let go and slide across his shoulders so she can take a step back and look at him with a thin smile. "I've missed you, you know?"

Head dipping, Dev touches his forehead to her head. It's followed with a light kiss in her hair before she manages to step back. He smiles back at her, but there's a sliver of worry also. “I’m glad you're here,” he returns quietly. “Really glad you made the trip. I was going to call you in a bit…” Like he does, except today he won't.

His weight shifts and he motions toward the loveseat. “That's more comfortable than the chairs.” It's a filler statement, like asking about the weather in the Safe Zone. He looks at her for a long moment, smiles another small smile. “I missed you too, Em. A lot. I still can't believe you're here.” It's a good thing though.

She can't believe she's here either, and thinks it might be a short-sighted move given she doesn't want to see her father, but her worries manifested into her dreams— which robbed her of rest and simultaneously reminded her how important of a conversation was still unhad between them. Emily pulls a smile again, this one a little more forced, but she doesn't fight against the suggestion to sit.

Sinking into a sit, one leg pulled up on the couch with her, she asks, "Dev, have you thought about what you're going to do, yet?" Time is an ambiguous qualifier there. Do today. Do tomorrow. Do for the foreseeable future. "I know you're here for now, but… we hadn't talked about it in a while." Emily sounds very casual still, studying him with eyes that aren't abnormally sharp.

He drags a hand across the back of his neck, which is a good indicator that he hasn't done a lot of thinking in that regard. Devon looks at the floor, nearly opts for sitting there rather than either of the chairs or even the couch. “I've been trying to put the pieces back together,” he admits as he makes the choice to sit on the couch. “I've talked with Rue and Nathalie, took an easy assignment with the World’s Fair.” Something about that causes his tone to shift slightly.

But he doesn't linger on those events, whether intentionally avoidant or not is hard to say.

“I need to understand things,” he goes on. His head turns and he looks at Emily, as if he could make her understand without needing to speak. His fears, the months of missing time, being used as a lab rat. “They're going after Adam. Short term… I'm just hoping to be useful somehow.”

Emily doesn't reach for his hands or lean into him, watching his reaction to it while he sits. Her gaze is sympathetic when the silence between them speaks about what he wants to understand, and it's hard to not reach out. If she does, though, she might lose the nerve to have the rest of the conversation the way she feels it needs to happen.

She knows. She wishes she could soothe those fears and give him those answers, while still somehow shielding him from any suffering it might cause.

"You know you won't do anyone any good if you end up back in their hands again, right?" Emily asks, firm but not pointed. The question isn't intended to be an attack— a few weeks of time to simmer down has given her the ability to broach the topic without immediately yelling. "That being at anyone else's mercy isn't how you get that understanding."

Her brow creases, pulls up. Worry shows through her muted emotional state.

Devon nods, without reluctance or resignation even though it's slow and he turns to stare out ahead of himself. “I know. It's just…” His voice tightens as he searches for an explanation, a reason why it had made sense. Impulse made him jump at the first idea, the most obvious path that could lead to understanding. But finding words to express that fails.

“It's not going to happen.” The idea was summarily shot down as soon as he'd said it, and it's since been pushed further from the table following talks with his teammates.

The tightness hasn't left his voice, and he takes a deep breath then lets it out slowly after a couple of seconds. It isn't drawn from anger, or even nervousness. He's lost, and while on the surface he may claim that everything is fine, deep down he's afraid. “I'm no closer to answers than I was before I saw Kaylee,” Dev points out quietly. “And I don't know what to do anymore.”


Emily's mouth hardens, trying but failing to find trust that he's really put the thought from his mind. "Please," she has to ask, her voice smaller than she means for it to be. "I don't want to lose you again." She lifts one hand to cradle his cheek in her palm, trying to draw his gaze back. She shakes her head once, solemn with a touch of hesitance. "Maybe there aren't answers for it, Dev. None that would make any sense even if we had them. Monroe is a psychopath — there's no making sense of how a person like that thinks."

Her gaze flits away for only a moment before she looks back up at him. "We can figure out what to do from here. I'm here to help, okay?"

“You won't.” Compared to everything else he's said or tried to say in the past few minutes, those two words sound the most confident. Devon allows his face to be turned, eyes following half a beat later. His brows are furrowed, worry plain. But his voice is sure when he repeats himself, quietly, sincerely. “You won't, Em. I promise. I'm not going to hand myself over to him, not even going looking for him.”

He places a hand over hers, to hold it to his cheek, face turning slightly into her palm. “I'm really glad you're here.” The words are little more than a murmur, but they hold more meaning than just for the present. “I don't know what to do anymore. I can't leave it alone to haunt me, but I'm terrified of what I might find. The thought of going back into the field… I don't think I can.”

"Then don't." Emily pleads, not understanding what's so difficult about that. "You don't have to do that. Literally everyone would understand. Like half of Wolfhound left or something for the same reasons, didn't they?" She brushes her thumb over his cheek, trying to understand it from his side at the same time. "Because this isn't sustainable." This being the fighting and the deployments, this being the anxiety about not knowing if you'll be safe from day to day. "You deserve better, you've earned better for you."

Her gaze caves downward for a moment as she gives a small shake of her head. "I know it's not that simple to walk away. This is all you've had for a long time. You want to still help everyone, you don't want to let anyone down, you want to have something to keep you occupied so you don't obsess over what you don't know — so you have people to support you when you do find things out — so you have people to help you find more." Emily lifts her shoulders in a weak shrug, realizing that maybe the arguments for leaving this all behind were outnumbered.

"I don't know," she admits quietly.

It's a difficult thing to explain, for all the reason already said and more. Devon lifts his gaze, looking at Emily. He wishes it were so easy to quit, to take up a life somewhere else. But he's also seen the consuming depression that happens to those who quit and couldn't adjust to normal life. It's similar to his demeanor now.

“I want to stay with Wolfhound,” he admits easily, just as simply as when he'd admitted to wanting out of soldiering. Both are true, but can they be balanced?

“But I've lost the edge. I'm a liability in the field.” Far from being self deprecating, there's fact lurking in those words. And it hurts to admit to it. He's already letting everyone down. “I just… I need a new path or… something. I don't know either. Except that… you're right. I can't continue like this.”

It'd be simpler if one or the other could suffice. It might end up that way, possibly, if blend wasn't possible — but for now all Emily could do was offer options. "Maybe they can work with you," she suggests gently. "Hm?" The note is intended to draw him back from thinking he's done any wrong. "There's… got to be non-combat roles needing filled still. Right?"

Blinking rapidly, she latches onto an idea, her other hand coming to rest on his shoulder. "If it's something that keeps you here but it's still a new path, maybe you study for it. Get a degree in whatever it is." Maybe, even, the glimpse of civilian life could show him he was more cut out for it than he thought he might be. Maybe he'd change his mind. Instead of voicing any of that, all she says is, "If you're worried about having worth outside of what you're used to, you do have it, Dev." With the twinge of a smile, she leans her head closer to his. "But maybe the gilded piece of paper wouldn't hurt your confidence, either."

Her smile fades as she keeps looking at him, worried about the hurt in his admission. "Either way, it'll be okay." Emily assures him, cupping his face in her hand.

There's possibly non-combatant positions open, but that's a conversation to have with command. Devon only begins to speculate when Emily suggests school. He'd been in college briefly a lifetime ago, and the idea of going back has never come to him before. It had never been an option. After leaving to intern at Studio K, the Dome soon after, and chaos snowballed the world into a war. There wasn't a time or place for traditional learning.

Like an unfamiliar food, or bugs as a pizza topping, it's regarded with curious skepticism. It could work out or bomb incredibly. “Maybe.” Slow to agree that it's a feasible option, but it's left on the table.

Devon tilts his head slightly into her hand, studying her expression. “Yeah,” he agrees after a moment. It'll be okay. With time. His gaze lingers for a bit longer, searching. But if he was going to say something more, the words are abandoned. He leans forward and kisses her.

Maybe was better than dismissal. Emily seems relieved for it, even though she knows it's a new idea. Her expression mellows and she gives him a small smile. She'd echo his sentiment back to him, maybe jokingly drag the conversation back around to the topic of food…

But then she realizes how close the two of them are, perhaps the same time Devon does and decides to capitalize on the opportunity. There's no overthinking that happens for once, just the slight tilt of her head to better draw the kiss out when he leans in. Her hand draws further back along his cheek, fingertips curving around his neck.

He's warm. It shouldn't be a surprise, but it's a detail Emily takes her time in exploring. That first long kiss breaks in favor of smaller, additional ones, made while she draws herself closer in to him. They taper off only so she can brush her nose against his, attempt to catch his eyes with her own. "It will be." she promises. Okay that is.

For a split second, he seems unsure his own action. Like static charge on a balloon there's a tenuous fraction of a second where fear roars at him. He'd thrown caution to the wind, taken the chance since the opportunity was there. But when Emily meets him half way, leans in instead of withdrawing, those worries flee and Devon relaxes.

His fingers brush lightly against her cheeks, then comb through her hair. As his hands leave the back of her neck, he draws his arms around her frame in a gentle but sturdy embrace.

Dev's eyes lift, seeking hers when their noses touch. He shifts slightly, drawing Emily closer. He tips his head to rests against hers, turned just enough so he can take in the smell of her shampoo and the subtler scent that is hers. "I know," he murmurs after a moment. A smile finds its way into his expression. Worries, fears remain, but for the moment they're overshadowed. He sits back slightly, gazing at her again.

Devon's fears, both for this moment and the future in general, aren't alone, but they're masked behind Emily's search of his expression, in her fascination with the feel of his hair under her fingertips. His smile is returned with one of her own, small and absent. "Bit better than a pinky promise," she muses, easing into the lean against him. For a moment, she wonders if he can feel the thrum of her heart, lets out a soft breath of laughter at the thought.

This is the point where she should try and get them back on track, possibly, but she doesn't make it that far. There's something to be said about taking small moments where you can, in the refuge from the deluge life can throw at you. It's new to Emily to pause and recognize those moments for what they're worth, but she's not entirely without awareness of them.

"Don't get any funny ideas." Emily warns, hand settling on Devon's shoulder before she turns into him, pulling her legs up onto the couch to better curl against him. Or so she thinks. It ends up being an awkward process, including the moments taken to kick off her slip-ons to avoid getting her feet on the couch. It's not as comfortable as she thought once she's done, and gingerly, she lifts her toes to stretch her legs across his lap, knees lying against his chest.

Emily balks for a moment at realizing none of this is as easy as she thought it would be, her current position not feeling entirely natural either. Giving up for the moment, she looks back at Devon instead with a small tip of her shoulders. Well, she tried. She lays her head back against his shoulder anyway.

"Might have to take a nap before lunch," she mutters. "Was a long trip up." And a longer night before.

At first, Dev doesn't speak on the promise, but he grins faintly at the idea that it might have been sealed with a couple of hooked pinkies. "Yeah, I kinda think this is a little better," he eventually adds, only slightly teasing. His expression easing, he draws a hand up to touch her face. It's definitely better than a pinky promise.

"What funny ideas?" There's no feigning of innocence, it's a quiet, searching question. He has no funny ideas. His arms relax when Emily moves, nearly to falling away, anticipating a return to business. But she doesn't. He watches her move toward a closer poisitioning, and after an awkward moment of sitting while she tries to get comfortable, he finally shifts in his seat and adjusts his own position to accommodate. And maintain the closeness.

With some trial and error, a grin and soft chuckle at their combined ungainliness, he opts to wait for Emily to settle before settling himself. Arms and legs would be much more useful if they bent in multiple directions. A smile is given to her shrug, then he scoots and half reclines into a corner of the sofa, turned so that Em fills the space beside him, and across his lap.

A breath is slowly let out as he lets himself relax into the arm and back of the loveseat. Hopefully it's more comfortable than earlier attempts. Devon curls an arm around Emily's shoulder, the other drapes so that his hand rests against her waist. He marvels at the comfortable pressure and warmth against his torso. It's a good feeling. When she speaks, his head tilts so he can look at her, brows lifting.

"That's doable," he replies quietly. His head lays back, tipped so his cheek touches her hair. He's made the trip plenty of times to know it's a long one. "We don't need to rush off or anything."

Devon's earnest question is met only with a quirked brow and a tilted head in reply. If he's not had any ideas, she doesn't mean to plant them on accident. This slow, slow pace was much more her speed. After they mutually resettle, though, she finds herself curled in toward him. Her head lifts, forehead to cheek at first before she tilts her head back even further than that.

"No rush at all," Emily echoes back with a murmur. With that same unhurried nature to it, the backs of her fingers lift to brush his cheek again. Her thumb grazes his lips before her eyes climb to his, softened at the edges. "Where to?" she asks absently. "For food."

“I've been wanting to try the mystery casserole,” Devon muses, although with the grin that forms as he says it he's clearly not serious. He dips his head and plants a quick kiss before Emily can protest about the wildly questionable food that sometimes often lurks in the Bunker. After, he turns his head and looks up at the ceiling to actually think about what's nearby.

And good. Because there are some not good places also. He's found that out the hard way.

“There's a couple places down the street that are alright. One of them does sandwiches, the other is more like a diner.” Dev scrapes his bottom lip with his teeth while he thinks. “A burger place a few blocks away, it's pretty good.” His eyes slant in Emily's direction, and he snugs his arms around her, head shifting to rest near hers. “Or we could wander further, see what else there is.”

Even with the grin assuring he was only joking, Emily still swats at his shoulder lightly with a twist of her mouth to try and keep from smiling too. Maybe it's why this kiss catches her as off-guard as it does, her expression softening in the surprised look she wears only as long as he peers upward in thought.

The corner of her lips have tugged back into a half smile, and she wonders at him, at this moment. Five and a half months ago, she'd never have thought this moment possible. Hell, not even six.

But here they were, and she's grateful for it. Emily makes it known by leaning in again to kiss him firmly.

It serves in further reminding her the nightmare that woke her the night before was just that— a nightmare that faded when she opened her eyes.

"Rochester have its own Little Japan?" she wonders, lips nearly grazing his again.

“Maybe.” Dev’s tone is quiet still, but also pondering. He brushes his fingers against Emily’s cheek, tucks a lock of hair behind her ear. He smiles faintly. “We can find out. There's probably something kind of like it, maybe a couple of noodle shops or something.” It's a little more decisive. He hasn't seen much beyond the couple of blocks around the Bunker, and it's more time to spend exploring this new closeness.

His arms tighten a little, hugging her. He sighs as he relaxes again. For a moment following, he simply watches her expression, studies her features.

“Is everything else alright,” he asks, putting aside the gentle teasing in exchange for some earlier concerns. Emily had made the trip unexpectedly, and she seemed… troubled. More than simply at his foolish, impulsive ideas. Devon tilts his head to rest his forehead against hers. “Something happen? Teo giving you problems?”

Noodles earns thoughtful hm in reply. Perfectly acceptable option. Emily had even expanded her noodle knowledge lately, thanks to her roommate. She could show it off, if they found a pho place. The thought of having a plan after this leaves her contented, and she lays her head down on Devon's shoulder, eyes drifting shut.

There's peace in those moments where she rests against him in silence, and she stirs when he voices his question. There's no alarm to it, just a reawakening from where she'd started to nod off. A breath is quietly exhaled away, disguising a laugh, and she simply resettles against him, eyes lidded but opened partway again. "No more than usual," Emily assures with a touch of wryness. As well-meaning as Teo could be, living with him could sometimes be challenging.

"No," she restates softly, turning her head into his shoulder. "I was just worried about you. Wanted to see you." Her arm wraps around his waist comfortably after she says it, another thing anchoring her to his person.

He considers the answer, watching Emily as she speaks and then settles herself against him again. Just worried. Devon nods after a moment, concealing his own concern for another time. He's grateful for the visit, regardless, he'd been missing her too. He turns to press a kiss to the top of her head, murmuring, “Okay,” into her hair.

Drawing in a deep breath, Dev sighs with contentment. He kisses Em’s forehead, hugging her tightly again. His arms stay secure around her even as he relaxes, assurance, comfort that he's there and a guard against worries.

It's like that that Emily dozes off, curled into him and enveloped in his embrace. Devon's being acts as anathema to whatever dark thoughts had tried to make harbor in her mind, for nothing disturbs her in her rest. In a world full of worrisome things, his presence is a ward against them, and his arms shelter.

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