Still A Lie


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Scene Title Still A Lie
Synopsis Unable to say goodbye, Delia goes for a little visit… She gets a surprise, so does her father.
Date October 7, 2010

Gun Hill — Ryans' Apartment



Benjamin starts in his bed, not fully awake but his vision hazy from sleep. Whatever those sounds were, they came from the kitchen. Blinking a few times, he rolls over and stares at the clock. 6:00am, a little too early for any visitors.

Bare footsteps pad through the hardwood hallway with a pit pat pit pat until a child sized white figure stands in the frame of his bedroom door. A ghost. No. A curly haired little girl.. covered in a fine white powder. It trails behind her leaving footsteps on the dark floor as she edges nearer.

"Daddy?" The small voice interrupts his thoughts as a little hand reaches out to poke him awake. "Daddy? I was making pancakes and I had a' accident…"

A fine line if silt falls from a small pile in her hair to drift down toward his nose. Flour.

A white under tee stretches over his chest, as a bleary Ryans pushes himself to sit up in bed. He eyes his youngest as he rubs a hand over one side of his face with a heavy sigh. "Lia…" There is a touch of disappointment as he reach of to drag the tiny girl onto the bed where he can brush at the fine dusting of flour. "How many times have I told you, leave the cooking to the adults?" He chides, but it's not the firm gruffness of a hard man, but the gentle tones of a dad.

A smile makes the laugh lines stick out more clearly on one side of his mouth, as a finger lifts to brush lightly over the tip of Delia's nose, tweaking it gently.

Glancing over to the figure in bed next to him, Ben starts, "Mar—," but the name doesn't finish as he's jostled a bit. The hair lays across the pillow, but it isn't the beautiful red curls of Mary, it's more the color of bright sunlight, just as lovely, but so opposite of what he's use too. The woman doesn't wake, not really, she does however turn over to reveal a face familiar to both, Lynette Rowan. A hand tucks under her cheek, but doesn't wake.

Benjamin Ryans looks a little confused.

"But I was hungry… " Delia complains, her squeaky voice laced with vocal imprint of the pout that's on her face. Her miniature hands grip the fabric of her pink nightgown that's just a little too big, an early hand me down from a sister going through a grown spurt. "I wanted pancakes that look like bunnies." They're her favorite, especially when her mother puts blueberries or chocolate chips in them.

Blue eyes that match her father's drift over to the sleeping figure as her little body tilts to the side to look around him. Lynette Rowan certainly isn't Mary Ryans, but that fact doesn't seem to phase the child in the slightest. "Momma… momma wake up…" the girl crawls into the middle of the bed and plucks at the elastic band that's wrapped around the bicep of the unconscious woman. "Momma momma.." Both of Delia's hands shove at Lynette, turning her over onto her back.

Her arm falls to the wayside and a small vial clatters to the floor. Instantly, the little girl is on it, scrambling over the woman to fall to the floor to find whatever toy it is that dropped. When she jumps up from the other side with a triumphant expression on her face, she's holding a spent vial that contains just a trace of electric blue liquid.

"I found it! And there's some left!!" Delia squeals with joy as she races around the bed, on her way to the door.

A hand is reaching out to touch that golden hair, to rub a curl between his fingers, when Delia moves to work on waking up the woman, laying next to Benjamin. When the woman is shoved over, he can't help but snap out, cause she's being rough with her. "Lia! Don't —"

His eyes fall on the vial in tiny hands, recognition is instant, his features turning to fear, and the agent in him comes to the forefront. "Delia Marie, Stop!" The comforter is thrown off revealing the gray sweat pants he normally wears to bed. He's a blur of motion as he races to jump out of bed and scoop up the little girl, before she can get too far and attempt to snatch the vial from her hands. "No!" He sounds genuinely scared as he barks out that word, fear gripping at his heart making it skip a beat.

A high pitched scream, loud enough to raise the dead is let out from the little girl as she grapples to get the little vial back. He may be afraid, but she is angry and obviously wanting and or needing whatever is in that vial. It's only the start of one of the temper tantrums he knows so well. "It's MINE!! I found it!!" The little girl roars out, as she wriggles in his grip, still reaching for the vial he snatched from her tiny fingers. "You have to wait your turn!! It's NOT fair!!"

Still… Lynette sleeps.

Like a switch that's been turned of, anger turns to despair as Delia slumps against his chest with her arms wrapped around his neck. The high pitched scream that was once used in fury now turns to a squeal that's a precursor for crying. "I never get to ha-ha-have anyyyy it's n-n-not f-f-fair you do-don't love meeeeee any-anymore!!"

His eyes are on that vial, eyes confused as he looks at that bit of neon blue glowing in it, even as the little girl jerks around in his arms trying to throw him off balance. Why did Lynette have it? The older man can't fathom it, maybe it's just cause Ben has never really had a thing for drugs, so it doesn't occur to him.

Ryans looks at little red headed girl held, his arm tight around her so that she can't get away. The vial disappears into his fist. "Hush." He tells her sharply. "You don't want this." His voice is very much in 'unfun' daddy mode, as he brings her back to the bed and settles on a corner of it, Delia sitting in his lap. "This stuff… it's dangerous and bad for you."

That said, he turns a little to look at the woman laying prone in the bed, brows furrowing deeply. "I don't know why your mo—" The word catch in his throat. No, that's not the little girls mother. "I don't know why she had it, but you are not to touch the stuff. Ever." Last word is growled out in a way that states clearly, he will hear no arguing in this.

"How c-come ev-ev'rybody e-else gets to ha-have it?" Delia sobs as she uses her little fists to rubs at her eyes. The small trail of mucus trailing from her nose is sniffled back loudly and her little body shudders a bit as she tries to calm from her outburst. At least Ben's managed to calm her down.

On top of the dresser a tiny dancer inside a music box turns her head toward the two of them. Watching. Her white cotton dress isn't exactly ballet suited, but it's the right color. Her blue eyes focus on the man and his daughter for a while as she listens to him lecture about the evils of refrain.

The little girl leans heavily on her father and sniffles away her tears, her lips downturned into a small pout. "I'm not going to get pancakes, am I? Momma's sick again…" Except she's not sick, she's just lost in her high.

Confusion reigns as Ryans holds his daughter close and rocks her just a little, face pressed against red curls. "You don't want this stuff, baby." His voice rumbles softly, "And not everyone else gets to have it. Do you see me using it?" Not that it even works on him, since he's not like the others, but that's not part of the point he's making. "It's not a good thing, believe me, Lia." His eyes shift Lynette's way, but he's not really looking at her, just thoughtful.

He head moves so that he can look at his littlest, dipping down to try and catch those eyes that are very much his. "She'll be fine, but she needs her sleep right now." The vial has been tucked away, so that he can brush at curly red hair affectionately. "How about I make you pancakes?" Benjamin offers his youngest a soft smile.

The downcast little girl doesn't perk up at the offer, instead she just shakes her head and slides off her father's lap. "You don't make them right… only she makes them right." Hanging her head and letting her shoulders sag, Delia plods out of the room with a dejected little whimper. It's not the first time she's been disappointed.

Alone in the room at least, Benjamin is free to contemplate the woman in his bed. The sounds of the television being turned on and the voices of cartoon characters drift through the apartment as he can only guess what his youngest is occupying herself with. It's not breakfast.

The dancer in the music box is gone, at least from her stand. Sitting on the edge of the dresser, Delia watches her father sitting there alone.

Watching his little girl leave, Ryans looks almost sad, regretful about something. Once she's out of sight, shoulder roll forward as the tall frame of Benjamin folds down so that he can rest elbows on his knees and run hands over his face with a tired sigh. For the briefest moment, he sits there with hands over his face, before he straightens again, reaching into the pocket of his sweat pants.

It isn't just the vial that he pulls out, it has something wrapped around it. Fingers rub over the bit of fabric wrapped around the vial, even as he pulls out the faintly glowing substance. Brows furrow as he looks at it, as if just seeing it made no sense to him.

The fabric looks like a handkerchief, when he looks at it there is a softening of his features and a faint smile. His fingers curling around it, brushing the thin fabric between his fingers as his gaze shifts to the bottle, which has the smile falling away.

"Why?" The word is spoken softly, but the deepness of the rumble carries to the dance on the dresser.

I want to tell you that it's not her fault, Dad. At least it wasn't, not at first.

The voice enters Benjamin's mind and only then does it become crystal clear that he's dreaming. The dancer leaps off the dresser and grows to her full size before landing on her bare feet on the floor. Delia's full grown and as she turns her head toward the bed, she regards the woman laying there for a moment. "I'm not going to ask exactly why I found her in your head… I just wanted to warn you. I've been trying to help her quit, but she doesn't want to."

The young woman walks over to the bed and raises one hand, snapping her fingers. The blankets quiver and then deflate as Lynette's body disappears from under them, leaving nothing but a faint trace of blue. When she's gone, Delia turns her back on the spot and sits down beside her father. "Sorry."

Head snapping up, Ryans whole body goes still, as the voice fills his head. Of course, it suddenly dawns on him and he squares his shoulders, giving her an unhappy look. "I thought this felt wrong." He says, turning a little to watch what she's doing. "She's not your mother and I'm not totally sure why Lynette was there and not Mary." Ben still sounds perplexed about that.

The vial is rolled slowly between his fingers as he regards it again, "So — this is true?" Does he sound a little sad at that? "She's a refrain user." A glances goes to the empty bed now, concern etching his features, but then something his daughter said, finally catches his attention and he looks back at Delia. "What do you mean it's not her fault?"

"She told me that the Institute got her hooked on it," Delia says quietly, drawing one of her feet up onto the bed to hug her leg up against her chest. Her chin rests on her knee as she purses her lips into a thin line. "I understand if you like her, why you'd like her… She's a nice lady. Really guarded, but that's just like you so it kind of fits. Nothing like mom."

The young redhead isn't even looking at him as she speaks, instead she's just staring at a spot on the wall. "It's why I asked how many times she's been caught by them, she said she tried to quit before but they just made her use it again. So she's given up, all I can do is nag her… but it's not doing anything. She just ignores me."

There is a length of silence before a heavy sigh escapes him, shoulders slumping a little. "I — I think I do." Ryans admits softly, the handkerchief held up a little more as he looks at it again. "She's nothing like your mother… no… but she's a strong person set on protecting the people within these wall." Maybe that seems to appeal to him, or maybe its just been that long since midtown.

The hand drops and Ben's lips press in a thin line. "The Institute. Bastards are heartless." Hand wraps around the vial with a heavy sigh, before he throws it against the wall, watching it shatter and fall to the floor, with a scowl. I heard about Refrain when I returned to work for the Company, never saw it's effects on people and learned that one of the doctors had gone rogue and was doing trials about it.

"This… I am not sure exactly how to deal with this — not that I can, since I am leaving for China." He glances to his youngest daughter, with a small smile. "Keep an eye on her while I'm gone?" It's a lot he asking of Delia. "If I come back, we'll tackle this — see if we can help her."

The glass disappears, melting into the floor as though it were never real. In essence, it's not but the residual traces of electric blue that were in the vial remain spattered across the hardwood. "When you come back," Delia says, scowling at her father. She's not too happy about hearing those words from his mouth.

"When you come back, we'll tackle it together. Maybe by then I'll be able to pull you in, so you can see." The expression of concern on the young woman's face is highlighted by the furrow of her brow and small parentheses on each side of her mouth. "I'll do my best, if I'm not in… you know, by then."

"I know. Til you go at least." Ryans amends softly, head tucking down as he looks at his hands again, the handkerchief held in both hands now. "I found this in an manila envelope under my door, with a note from her." It's held up in one hand, there is a flattered look and a small smile. "A good luck charm and something to make me think of her while I'm gone.

"It — surprised me." Pleasantly, by the tone of his voice. "Been awhile and I'm still trying to process how I feel about it." Benjamin admits a touch sheepishly, looking at his daughter.

"Just — just don't get too attached, not until she's off that stuff, please?" Delia fears the worst, simply because that's what she's come to expect over the years. Chewing on her lower lip, her shoulders sag and slowly the apartment melts away around them until it's just the two of them sitting in blackness on the edge of the bed.

Blinking slowly, the young woman lets loose a small sigh and shakes her head. "I like her dad, if she was off that stuff I'd say go for it… but I don't want you getting sucked into that. Not with the Institute being involved in it."

An arm moves to wrap around Delia's shoulder and tug her into a half hug, while giving her a chiding look. "I know your concerned." Ryans starts gently, watching his daughter's face carefully. "But I have also lived nearly sixty years," he reminds her gently. "You need to trust me here."

He presses a fatherly kiss to her temple. "The Institute is exactly why we need to help her, they did this to her. She needs some sort of support, who am I to walk away from that?" Benjamin glances down at the handkerchief. "It's not like you have to worry about this stuff effecting me, it doesn't work for non-evolved."

"It's not the stuff I'm worried about, it's the lengths she'll go to in order to get it. Right now she's functioning… she can hide it later on…" The redhead just shrugs and purses her lips. "I dunno, dad… I'm just worried. You have to come back, no if. You have to promise me that you're going to do absolutely everything you can to get back… if you don't…"

There's a threat there, whatever it is isn't said out loud, instead Delia just looks away and blows a long breath through her lips. "Anyway — I suppose I should let you go back to sleep in peace, hmm? Sorry again, I just wanted to visit before you left. Didn't expect to find her here though." She cracks a sly grin that's almost a perfect mimic of one of Hokuto's catlike smiles.

A glances goes over his shoulder, before a actually smirks. "I didn't either." Ryans says, before planting another kiss at her temple and releasing her with a shooing motion with his free hand, the hankerchief still clutched in it. "Go go…" There is affection there tho.

"We'll talk when I get home." He leaves the if in his head this time. "I love you, Lia." It's not words he says out loud often, but with a big IF looming, he feels the need to say it.

The problem with leaving that if in one's head is when there's someone else sharing it, they can still hear it. "When," Delia repeats herself and then cracks a little grin toward him. "I love you too, Daddy… I should have used Lulu… It would have been nice to see her and hear her again, even if it's just a big lie." From the number of heads she's jumped into, the number of dreams she's shared, it's one of the conclusions that she's been taught. A falsehood, no matter how sweet and well intentioned, is still a lie.

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