Talk It Out


devon2_icon.gif richard_icon.gif

Scene Title Talk It Out
Synopsis Whiskey is the sophisticated way to chase chocolate chip cookies and the only way to approach the difficult conversation topics.
Date April 30, 2019

Raytech - Jared Harrison's Apartment

It’s around supper time, and surprisingly Jared Harrison’s apartment is quiet. No murmuring voices reach the door, no video game music piping cheerily into the room. There’s some movement, footsteps that cross between rooms, and a query from a local audiokinetic can confirm that there is someone home.

It isn’t the the grandparents, either.

Devon’s achieved an evening for himself, even if it’s only for a few hours. And supper has been a combination of leftover potato salad and at least six chocolate chip cookies. All very healthy choices. It’s even been chased down with a bottle of water.

The wandering is just him cleaning up after himself. Crumbs need to be swept away, evidence of his meal choices kept secret. There’s been plenty enough lectures in recent days, one more might make the young man crack a little.

The door didn’t open, or he would’ve heard that.

“You know,” Richard observes casually from where he’s leaning against the wall, arms folded across his chest and a smile crooked up at the corner of his lips, “You could just eat over a napkin or something and not have to worry about as much clean-up, kiddo.”

He’s dressed from work still, tie hanging loose around his neck and suit jacket open - shirt untucked, getting comfortable after a long day in the office.

By the time the second syllable is spoken, Devon’s turned around with his fists up. If he’d had a firearm, it would have been that drawn instead of hands. It takes a full beat before he’s fully recognizing Richard standing there, a beat needed to slow down his brain, to take a breath, to turn one of those fists over and stick a finger up in the air.

“You should knock,” he points out, but he sounds amused. After the fact. And never mind giving his uncle the finger just a second before. “Besides, you can’t eat potato salad off a napkin.” You can, it’s just more of a mess than it’s worth.

“I’m having a drink once I get stuff put away.” A look follows, meaning Dev’s also offering Richard one.

“I’ve been knocking for eight years,” is Richard’s response to that, his lips twitching in a smile, “Let me get in my fun again before I get back to behaving.” Whatever that means.

He pushes off the wall and steps along over, admitting, “I could use a drink. You look like you could have one too — you doing alright, Dev? Though I’d come by and check on you.”

Devon makes some noise in his throat, something noncommittal about his well being. It’s the equivalent to his adolescent I’m fine, but more grown up now. Somehow. He finishes wiping off the counter and sets dishes to soak — it’ll be proof that he at least at something, even if he’ll never own up to exactly what it was.

“It’s been a week,” he admits as he finishes the task. “First Kaylee. What I remember…” What he doesn’t. “A month ago I was landing in California for a big mission, today I’m …eating leftovers. And wondering if I’m ever going to piece enough back together to function normally.”

“You will.” Richard flashes a reassuring smile, leaning against the counter and folding both arms over his chest, “It’ll take awhile to get used to things, but… you will. You’re stronger than you think, kiddo.”

A brow lifts up a bit, “Want to talk it out?”

“I don’t know.” If he’ll get used to things. If he’s strong enough. Devon collects a couple of glasses from the cupboard, then takes a moment to find the whiskey. It’s in a different cupboard, tucked up on a high shelf and behind some canned foods.

“Actually.” The cap is removed, and a healthy serving is poured into both glasses. It’s a good excuse to consider the offer, even though he already knows the answer. “Yeah.” A glass with amber liquid promising to be rich and well aged is passed over. The other is picked up and used to motion to the couch.

One of the glasses is picked up, and Richard steps along after the younger man to head for the couch. He drops himself down to sit, leaning back in a casual sprawl and raising the glass up in a vague motion.

“Go for it,” he says simply, “What is it that’s fucking you up right now?”

Sinking into the other end of the couch, Dev looks into his glass. The liquid is given a bit of a swirl. “I died.” That’s barely the tip of the iceberg. “Adam Monroe brought me back, had someone… Doctor Cong? experimenting on me.” He lifts his glass and takes a sip before continuing. “I just… haven’t had a chance to process any of it. Kaylee… if I’d known something was going to happen, or that something was wrong, I’d’ve stopped it.”

“Mnm. Yes, he can do that,” admits Richard, “His blood is… well, miraculous.” He lifts his right hand, noting, “He healed this hand for me once. Arthur Petrelli’d cut it off with a laser.”

He takes a sip of the drink, then shakes his head, “Not surprised that Cong’s with him now. He’s like a cockroach, keeps turning up… is he still a giant ice monster, or did he fix that little problem?”

He reaches over to lightly kick the other man’s shin, then, “Shut the fuck up. She knew. She did it to herself.”

“Still an ice monster.” Devon’s answer comes with a slanted look at Richard when his shin is kicked. “I think. Unless there’s two of them that make things freezing cold. One was definitely… a monster. The other seemed more like a man.” He shakes his head slightly, then takes another sip of his drink.

“Said I was a charred husk when I was brought in. And Joy…” By the way, Joy was there too. His head shakes again, maybe something will fall into place and make sense. “They kept going on about the greater good, saving the world.”

“Joy.” Richard’s brow knits a little, “She’s still an… enigma. A mosaic, apparently one of Adam’s people for a long time…”

He frowns down at his drink, “He thinks that’s what he’s doing. I’ll be honest— it might be. I don’t know.” Dark eyes flicker up, blacker than Devon remembers them— iris barely visible, just the slimmest ring of color around the massive pupil. “Did they say anything else about what they were doing?”

“Probably.” Devon rubs at a spot between his eyes. “They … severed my memory or something. I feel lucky that anything was recovered at all.” He pauses then looks at Richard, eyes narrowing slightly.

“How’d you get in here?” The door never opened. He'd think he was hallucinating, however the older man seemed real enough when taking the drink. “Your eyes are… are you on drugs?”

At that question, Richard can’t help but grin for a moment. “I wish I was, some days,” he admits, motioning with the drink vaguely towards the younger man, “No, it— I’m not advertising it, but with all that power-lightning bouncing around when we opened the doorway, it jump-started my ability back to life.”

Which explains how he got in there.

“Oh.” His uncle being on drugs might’ve been easier news to grasp than a random assortment of otherworldly lightning somehow returning spent abilities. But Devon takes it in stride, with first the oh then, “Should I get you a card or something? Does Hallmark make a congratulations for getting your superpower back?” a beat later. He might be grinning slightly behind that line of banter.

“I don’t think Hallmark’s figured that out yet. If they still even exist,” Richard chuckles, shaking his head, “But thanks anyway. Speaking of cards— how’re you and Epstein doing?”

Eyebrows raise knowingly at the younger man.

“Slowly figuring us out,” Dev answers easily. He might even consider a shrug, call the bluff on the implied tease. But then there's also a grin that calls out his own giddy feelings about it. “We’re good though. Things’re… yeah, things are good.”

“Good.” Richard crooks a smile wider, his head bobbing in a bit of a nod, “She’s a good one, don’t let her go easily.” He pauses to take a drink, considering what the best piece of relationship advice he has to offer is. It’s very important that he give good advice.

“If she has to go into combat, make sure she wears a helmet.”

“I don’t plan to.” Let her go easily, or let her go into combat without a helmet. Dev, though, does grin at the advice, knowing well how sound it is. Likely he’d have died a long time ago if he hadn’t been wearing his own helmet. He takes a longer sip at his drink, using the time to sort through his thoughts.

“Avi’s got me off the active roster,” he says once the glass is lowered. He looks over at Richard. “Not sure when I’ll be going back. But… I think I’m going to fly out next weekend, get my dorm in order and tell command what I’ve learned.”

“Okay. Let me know if you learn anything new, too…” Richard grimaces, then, admitting, “I got a feeling things are gonna get interesting again, in the Chinese Curse sense, Dev. We’re going to need all the information we can when the time comes to it.”

He points a finger at the young man, “I’m not going to leave you out, but don’t push yourself. You’re still recovering.”

“They found nothing wrong with me.” It’s almost laughable that after everything he’d gone through the doctors couldn’t find anything remarkably wrong. Devon still nods, understanding the warnings. “Soon as I can sort it all in my head. Liz wants a roundtable, I’ve got to talk to Avi and Francois.” He sighs and rubs his face with his free hand. “I’m not making any plans for anything else until I’m ready, and I don’t want anyone else digging right now either. Keep things from getting spread out and back to Adam.”

“Recovery’s about more than your body, kiddo,” says Richard, leaning over to tap a finger square in the middle of the younger man’s head, “It’s about what’s up here, too.” He leans back, “A roundtable wouldn’t be a bad idea. There’s probably a lot that we all need to talk about— me, Liz, Avi, and Francois included.”

“Probably.” Devon raises a hand to rub at his forehead, right about where he was tapped. “First I’ve got to let the Hounds know so we're all on the same page. I should start coming up with ideas how to approach this also. Do I just leave it alone and see what happens, or…” Does he go after it head first?

Dropping his hand, Dev looks up at Richard. One shoulder hitches with a small shrug. “I can't expect everyone to give me the answers or whatever all the time.”

“I know Liz is already focusing on finding out what happened,” admits Richard, lips pursing slightly, “After that… it depends on what we find out, and what happens. Adam’s on the move, and chances are his tactics aren’t going to be good. Or what we expect.”

He brings up one hand, then, rubbing his face as he leans back, “It’d be easier if the asshole would pick up a phone.”

The casual look becomes a more intense stare. “Wait.” Devon’s brows knit as he replays Richard’s last statement in his head. “You have Adam Monroe’s phone number?” Impossible to think that's even a likelihood, somehow. “Hold on. Were you also in his Evil League of Evil?”

“Not a current number, no, that was a— metaphor or a joke or something,” Richard chuckles, shaking his head, “I did do a job with him once, but to be fair I stabbed him in the back in the middle of it and fucked up the job.” A pause, “Not sure he ever found out, even.”

“Damn.” It was a stretch to hope something like that existed. Devon's not really disappointed. Likely he's closer to being amused. “I wouldn't doubt that he knows. That guy…” he shakes his head.

“So where do I go next?” It's a more serious question. “You and Liz are mostly up to speed, telling command next.” Who knows how well that's going to go. “Do I try to find leads to Joy or Cong… or even Adam? Or…” just let it sit while others risk themselves to find out. He doesn't like that second thought very much.

“You support Epstein,” says Richard, pointing a finger at the younger man and raising both brows, “Unless you’re leaving Wolfhound… he needs people he can rely on. If you are, then… well,” he shrugs, “It’s up to you to decide where you’re going. But don’t let Adam decide where to steer your life. Don’t let him make it all about him.”

“I will,” Devon confirms, as much for Richard’s benefit as his own. The Hounds have been as much his family for the last half dozen or so years, there's no questioning his loyalty to them. “I don't know if I'll be allowed back,” he admits a beat later, and quietly. It's a reality that's been on his mind that, given what he knows now, he may not be able to return to active duty. “Not like before anyway.”

He tosses back the rest of his whiskey. After a second or so of considering his empty glass and the thoughts that caused it, he looks up at Richard. He really doesn't know what to do.
“There may be some— suspicion,” Richard admits with a shake of his head, pushing himself up and stepping over, reaching out to clap a hand to the younger man’s shoulder, “But you’re all family, you can see that just looking at you all. And family sticks together.”

A brow lifts up, “Wait and see. For now? Get your ass in bed before I tell Jared about the cookies.”

Who knows what snack cravings lurk in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows!

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