Text Messages From The Missing


delia_icon.gif jaiden_icon.gif

Scene Title Text Messages from the Missing
Synopsis Jaiden opens his shop and finds a message on his phone from a girl who's been missing for a week. Conversation ensues.
Date September 6, 2010


Description of location, if any.

It's been almost a week since Delia talked to Jaiden. Before she went underground, she made sure to talk to him every night. Sometimes it would be for minutes, other times it would be for hours. Without the contact, without knowing how he is, she's been antsy, irritable, and just plain unpleasant to be around.

Sitting out on the fire escape outside her window, she gives a disinterested pick through one of the books she borrowed from Kaylee. Glancing down to the little cell phone beside her, she checks for a text messages again. She doesn't expect anything to be there, no one knows this number, but she still keeps hoping.

The time says 8:30am… his shop would just be opening. She smiles a little and stares at his name in her speed dial and without thinking twice she types in a message and hits send.

«Are you there? - D»

One can only read so many romance novels and fantasy books before it gets tedious. The princess gets saved. The rebellion is saved by a lone hero who does something totally unexpected. The villain falls. There's a happy ending almost all the time, and if there isn't, it probably wasn't a very good seller or was written to be 'ironic' in order to appeal to a specialized audience.

Jaiden would read some if they were the only thing to do, but unfortunately, he has things to do. Namely worry.

That and fix cars.

Worry was the name of the game after that meeting with Huruma in the opening of his garage. Statuesque black women don't normally worry him, but when they come bearing news of the disappearance of a girl that Jaiden has a bit of a concern about? Well, that's cause for worry. And when that girl falls off the face of the planet? Even more worry.

He's been sleeping, but not well.

The phone buzzes and he checks the message, nearly falling off the car he's working on when he sees who it is.

«Del? Are you okay?»

The quick reply causes the redhead's heart to leap into her throat. She can't contain the smile as she quickly taps out a response. Jittery, that's really the only word to describe her right now. Her legs are bouncing at a rate of one million beats her second.

«I'm fine, miss talking to you though. How are you?»

Is it too forward? Delia's eyebrows twitch together as she weighs her text, thumb paused over the send button for a few minutes. A quick sniff has her shaking her head and pushing it. Why not, it's not like he can see the furious blush on her face. Or even hear the quickening of her breath as she anticipates the response.

It's not too forward in the least. It takes a few moments for Jaiden to retreat to somewhere private - his office, with a view of the garage to be sure nothing wanders off while he's paying attention to something other than the tools. They do tend to walk away if you're not paying attention.

He takes his place in the rickety wooden chair that passes as a desk chair and kicks his feet up on the corner of the desk, crossing them at the ankles, his phone held close to his face as his thumbs fly over the keypad.

«About the same. Not sleeping well. You do wonders to lull a bloke to sleep.»

A soft smile touches Deia's lips as she brushes her thumb over the texted response. A few curls of red hair whip into her face from the stiff breeze up on the fifth floor and she shivers a little. Perhaps it's a little too early in the morning to be outside in shorts and a t-shirt.
Slowly and with great hesitation, she begins to type out another message. The smile has dropped from her features and she's chewing on her lower lip quite nervously. Even before sending the message, she's second guessing herself on pressing the button. A quick twitch of the eyebrows has her clearing the screen and starting over with something a little lighter, just in case.

«It must be the shampoo»

His response comes a minute or so after she sends it. «If you say so.» And it's true; since speaking with her on a nightly basis he has been sleeping better. The dreams aren't as vivid as when she's close by, but still, he does dream, and they're not ones that wake him with a scream that echoes in his basement.

It's amazing the amount of meaning a small texted message less than a hundred bytes can hold. Jaiden chuckles quietly, rocking a little in his chair, craning his neck to peer into the garage - yep, no-one there. He turns the camera around and clicks a picture of himself and sends it to her.

The picture shows him, looking tired, with clean hair. «I don't think it was the shampoo. I miss talking with you. Worried when H came and found me.»

When she receives the picture, Delia grins so widely that her face threatens to split in half. A few pushes to a few buttons has that saved as her screen image, heaven help her if Benjamin finds the phone. She hasn't even told him about the mechanic yet.

Chewing on her lip again, she twists her little phone around and peers at every button and plug before grimacing in disappointment. It doesn't have a camera.

«I can't send one back, this phone doesn't have a camera. Thanks for the picture though, now I have something to look at. I miss talking to you too.»

It's a few minutes before the messge gets sent and then in a rapid response, he receives another.

«I'd like to see you again. Soon.»

Darn, no camera on her end. It's okay, though. She's safe and in contact, and that, for right now, is good enough for him. He gives a little grimace at that but realizes that, if she's in a safehouse somewhere, they'd give her the cheapest non-tracable phone that they could. The fact that she can even send text messages is a blessing.

«When it's safe for you to, I'd love to see you also. I always had a thing for redheads. ;P Don't get in trouble. Just ask whoever's in charge if you can get a message to me. In case someone's monitoring this, I don't want to know where you are unless someone tells me to my face.»

There's a pause, then another message comes through, almost instantly. «I want you to be safe.»

She's been staring at the picture he sent since sending her last one. When her phone bleeps to indicate a message, Delia hesitates to tear her eyes away from his face. When the second bleep comes, a tiny smile crosses her lips and she flips through both of them in rapid succession.

Her thumbs make tap speedily over the keypad, like a superspeed person from some show. Unfortunately, she can't seem to type fast enough or get the right words out. Four or five times her screen is cleared as she becomes more and more paranoid of just what she can and can't say.

«I know. I just miss your voice and our dreams.»

That has to be safe enough.

Someone, it seems has a bit of an infatuation with the other. But who has the infatuation, and whether it's shared or not? That is what needs to be debated thoroughly.

«Soon. But not soon enough. Wish you could do that thing over distance so we could have a proper conversation and continue what had been started. Last I remember, a grouper was giving me directions.»

«I hate that movie. The whole point of the story was ruined.»

A dreamy expression crosses Delia's features as she cups her cheek in one hand and lazily types out another message. The whole thing was too absurd, her recollections come with a smile and a small twinkle in her eye when she fires off the next one.

«Maybe next time you'll be wearing the shell bra.»

«If that means you aren't, gladly!» She can almost see the teasing expression on Jaiden's face as he hits send on that, the man rocking back in his chair and standing, going to close the garage doors since the shop is kind of dead this time of morning. No sense in having people show up in the middle of an important conversation.

«It's just where the dream went, I guess. We could have steered it to any of the Disney movies; Sleeping Beauty, Lilo and Stitch, Bedknobs and Broomsticks. Even Pixar. That's the neat thing about having someone who can help with your dreams.»
She can, just as he can almost see the deep red blush that sprouts across her cheeks and nose as she covers her face with that hand. Peeking out from between two fingers, Delia giggles as types out a reply.

«You're so bad…»

Waiting for a half a minute, she slowly types with one thumb. The other hand is finally brought down from her face after pushing some of the curls behind her ear. This time, instead of clearing the screen, she closes her eyes and tenses a little before pressing that button.

«I'm going to ask someone tonight if I can see you.»

There's a delay of a good two minutes or so as Jaiden does something on his end - more than likely dealing with a customer, but when the text comes through, it's a simple line. «I'd really like that. Just as long as you're safe.» The inherent badness of Jaiden's desire to see Delia without her seashell bra is left untouched upon. «My basement is unknown and hidden - you could visit there for a month and, as long as you didn't come upstairs during the day, be completely hidden.»

Another blush finds its way across her cheeks and Delia just breathes out a long, happy sigh. Shaking her head, she's unable to wipe the smile off her face as she begins typing out the next little message.

«I don't think my dad would like me gone a whole month.»

There's nothing to indicate whether the redhead's own inclinations would be to stay with him or not. Though previous messages would suggest that her inclinations would sway to seeing the mechanic more often than not.

Her dad? He knew Delia had family - the pictures supported it - but he hasn't met a single one of them. His fingers thump against the screen of the phone as he writes then sends, with misspellings and all.

«He and me should get together for drinks or somethng. Id like to meet him eometime. Oh, also. I met Lydia at the bookstore. I'm taking care of ur cats and cleaned the basement.»

There's a warm smile on her face and a definite surge of something in her heart when Delia reads the message. Smoothing over the screen of her phone, it's like caressing the words. He wants to get to know her family, that's usually a good sign or the kiss of death. A sudden flash of worry catches her when she thinks of her sister, but a frown shoves that thought far into her mind as she types out her next message to him.

«I'd really like that, I think he'd really like you.»

Followed quickly by, «How are the kittens? And Huruma and Benjamin? Are they all okay? I miss Tuzzy Bear.. the little calico one.»

Usually Jaiden doesn't meet people long enough to meet their family. Being on the move as a photographer does that, but Delia? He's settled down as far as things go, and is quite fond of the girl. Perhaps he is considering a relationship of some kind, but only if she starts it, and only if her father approves - or at least knows about it. The last thing Jaiden wants to be is the super secret boyfriend who gets kicked out whenever Daddy comes home.

Hell. Is he ready for a relationship? Is she?

That, though is in the future. He thinks for a moment, then grins. « That kitten rides around on my shoulders while I'm there. I feed them once and they love me forever. The cats are all fine. I've moved them into the basement so Lydia can keep the main store mostly clear of cat hair and cleaned down there. All of your boxes are on a pallet off the floor. »

«It's my favorite one.»

Delia's reply is short, in contrast to the long sigh that follows it. Her kitten likes him, he likes her kitten, that has to be a good sign too. With a little smile, she pushes herself off the metal steps and climbs back through the window to the apartment she shares with her father. She's already made up her mind to tell Benjamin all about Jaiden, maybe she'll be allowed to invite him over when things get a little more settled.

Once she's curled up on the little couch with a blanket wrapped around her legs, she begins to quickly type out another message.

«Thanks for taking care of my things. There's a box with some pictures in it, take one of them since I can't take one for you on my phone.»

«It'll be this afternoon, at the earliest. I've got to take care of some things here, but I will.» Jaiden straightens and looks over the garage - lots to do and not a lot of time to do it before going back to the bookstore for the evening. Lydia appreciates the help - he knows that much, but the promise of a picture of Delia is a little encouraging.

«Other than being…well, wherever you are, are you okay? Do you need anything? Are you warm enough?»

The young woman laughs loudly as she receives the last text, it's possible that her father has heard her if he's in the apartment but he's been making himself as scarce as she has. He's a busy man, though, possibly trying to get their lives back.

«It turns out that there's indoor heating on the run. Who knew?»

It feels good to laugh, and Delia rests her head against the back of the couch as she smiles at the little phone and thumbs out another little message.

«I wish I had packed better. I only have one pair of jeans with me.»

Jaiden smirks. «Count your blessings. I've been on the run where a cold shower was a blessing.»

It's almost like things hadn't changed at all, but they had. Jaiden brushes his fingers over the screen of the iPhone, smiling, chuckling himself before swinging himself out of his chair and heading for the door.

«Can't be helped. You had to leave and you left with all you could take. I know it's a bad question to ask, but what size are you? I can pick you up a couple of pairs of jeans if you wanted. »

Blushing, Delia reads over Jaiden's text a few times brushing her thumbs against the keypad of the phone. She chews lightly on her lower lip, catching it between her teeth to stop the smile from spreading across her face again.

«You're right, it IS a bad question to ask. I think I'll keep my mammoth size to myself, you'll have to measure if you want to know ;) »
«Well, now I'm in a no-win situation. If I show up with a size too small, I get yelled at for thinking you're tiny. If I show up with a size too big, I get yelled at for thinking you're fat. You're not, by the way!»

You can almost hear the consternation in Jaiden's voice, the playful lilt of frustration as he texts that.

«Seriously, if you want me to bring you some pants, I can. I don't think I can go by your place, though. Last thing I want to do is get fingered.»

Even while typing the little message Delia has a coy expression on her face. Her thumbs slide across the keys as expertly as a teenager in the middle of math class.

«How about you bring me one of your t-shirts to wear instead?»

After pressing the send button, she places her hand over her eyes to keep herself from seeing his reply if it comes too quickly. Possibly, she's hiding her shame from absolutely no one because her father isn't home. The next blip of her phone has her squealing and kicking under the blankets in excitement, she really is just like a teenage girl with a crush.

Well, she hasn't been a teenager for well over a year, but old habits do tend to die with some difficulty. It might make her father smile to see her acting like a child, but the source of the excitement may give pause and cause for concern. He doesn't know the man, after all.

Jaiden's reply doesn't come too terribly quickly - maybe a minute or two at the most.

«I'll bring you a good one. Promise.»

Her eyes haven't left the phone since she sent the message. A minute passes by, almost two before the message indicator bleeps. By this time, face is pale and clammy and she's gulping audibly in nervousness. Did she go a little too far? What Delia wouldn't give to be able to snatch the texts back when the replies aren't as giddy as hers.

Slowly, she types up her response and presses send. «Thanks, that'd be really nice. I'm going to talk to dad as soon as he gets home and I'll call you?»

«If it's safe, be sure it's safe to call me. And be sure to tell him all the good stuff about me, too.»

There's a pause, then a few moments later, another text comes through.

«Don't worry about saying something silly. Just speak from the heart and it'll come out right. I promise.»

« <3 »

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