The Point


devon2_icon.gif elisabeth_icon.gif

Scene Title The Point
Synopsis Elisabeth visits Devon to explain her anger from the evening before.
Date August 25, 2011

Skinny Brickfront : Endgame Safehouse - Devon and Graeme's Room

She's far calmer today and it's only then that Elisabeth goes seeking the teenaged boy. From what Graeme said this morning, he pretty much seems to have no clue why Liz was angry …. and ultimately, he deserves an explanation. The blonde knocks on Devon's door and waits for permission to enter. Even if he's actually accepting the authority that she used to 'ground' him, that is his space, the only real sanctuary any of us have to ourselves.

After his own 'discussion' with Graeme, Devon had kept to himself and kept himself confined to their shared room. After all, that's where his natural parents would have told him to stay after grounding him. And though there's little doubt that he'd be anywhere but inside the room, it still takes a bit longer for him to answer to the knock than it normally would. The door opens to reveal the teenager, split lip still seeping and a small collection of bruises that weren't there when they'd returned to the house the night before. He looks at Elisabeth when the same withdrawn expression she'd seen after various experiences that didn't turn out so well, then turns away to return to his bed.

The door is left open, however, should she like to enter. The boy simply doesn't extend any verbal invitations.

Elisabeth's neutral expression immediately shifts to a frown. "What the hell?" She knows he didn't get hit in the face on their run away from the mess. She herself is simply a bit stiff today from the ball bearing that struck her hard in the ribs. "What happened?" she demands quietly as she steps inside.

"I don't know," Devon answers, dropping himself to sit on his bed. He leans back until his shoulders touch the wall, one arm draping over a knee. "I'm grounded? Didn't fight back. Graeme's pissed and you're angry at me and whatever answer I give to why or what happened seems to be the wrong answer." His other arm lifts to rest against the other knee, hands clasping, eyes staring somewhere just over his knuckles.

Whoa… wait just a second. "Graeme came at you physically with no warning?" Elisabeth demands. That will be the first thing dealt with in the rest of all this, because frankly she'd be shocked. But it will assuredly never happen again if it did happen.
And there's a telltale buzz of instant fury as she asks it.

One shoulder lifts slightly, equating to a shrug. "He told me to go up to the roof after he talked with you, to talk with me. I don't know what he was expecting, I mean I get it. Somewhere I screwed up last night while we were out. And I'm sorry we ran into trouble. I'm sorry I don't have the foresight or the better abilities to read minds or see the future." Devon glances toward Elisabeth then shrugs again. "Whatever I told him just pissed him off more."

The buzz does not abate. "No. You don't get it," Elisabeth says finally, shifting the topic to the one she originally came for. The other she will deal with in due course. She walks over to where he's sitting and lowers herself to sit next to him. "You didn't do anything exactly wrong, Devon. We've had this conversation before in that… if something happened to you out there, I would not forgive myself. In spite of the fact that you've faced horrors no one your age should see… I still see you as mine. It's my responsibility to make sure that you are as safe as I can make you. You are still so young, and you have so much future ahead of you…. the idea that you might lose that because you feel like you're invincible or able to handle absolutely anything that the shitty underbelly of this city throws at you just kills me. I was angry at you because I was afraid. For both of us, but in all honesty? More for you than myself. I walk into situations or neighborhoods with an eye on the fact that … hey, I'm walking in a shit part of town, and just being here is an invitation to get jumped. You walk into that same part of town assuming no one's going to mess with you. I… don't know how to get through that mindset, Devon." Her tone is gentle.

He's quiet Elisabeth speaks, staring again just over his knuckles while listening to her words. Devon doesn't argue, though his perception of his attitude differs from hers. In adolescent fashion but not simply to be rebellious. "It's just one of the ways I go," he says after a few minutes, taking time to think before speaking. "It's not really any less safe than walking down the streets of Manhattan or Brooklyn. And I just—" He sighs and looks over at Liz. "I'll be more careful where I go."

His body language is still rigid, and Elisabeth listens to him carefully. When he looks at her, she meets his eyes. "That's all I really need from you. I need to know that you're taking every precaution that you can. Those guys?" She shakes her head a little. "The one behind us could so easily have penned us in, Dev. And I didn't need to be a telepath to know that at least he had far more on his mind than robbing us." She leans over and puts her head on the teenager's shoulder. "You're important. You're important to me. I see in you the thing I'm fighting for, and just be being here I hold onto hope."

"I didn't even know they were there." Devon gives a small shake of his head. It doesn't matter now. How he could have known is beyond him, but somehow he should have expected danger to be lurking. "It won't happen again," he says quietly. "Unless there's real reason to. I'll …I don't know." Find somewhere else to spend some time when he feels he needs to get out. When he's no longer grounded. "No more going into questionable neighborhoods."

"No, you didn't," Elisabeth agrees. "That's actually the point, kiddo. You didn't know they were there — you've walked through those ruins how many times?" She sits up to look at him. "I don't expect you to be a precog. I expect you just to use some street smarts. You know the place is not entirely abandoned, you said so yourself. Not all of the people out there are going to be nice people just trying to survive. Some of them are going to be scum. If you go in there, and — as an example — you figure someone's stalking you?" Which they both did! "Don't just dismiss it. Change course. Lose them if you can. Steer clear of groups hanging around burning barrels and vacant lots. Just… be cautious, that's what I want of you. You're a smart kid. Far smarter than the rest of us in a lot of ways. But in this one way — street smarts — we need to get you up to speed on surviving." She nudges him lightly in the shoulder. "And a little more work on your hand-to-hand won't be a bad idea." She blows out a breath. "I was probably out of line in grounding you. I'm not your mother, not your guardian." She looks at him. "You've lived hard enough the past months that I know you're not entirely naive on what's out there. Just… for God's sake, please, Devon… if you need to get out and walk, try to choose places where you're just a teeny tiny bit less likely to get knifed in the gut or the back or something?" she asks gently.

"You act like my mother," Devon points out. It's actually a compliment, a grin hinted in his statement, though he maintains a fairly sober expression. "Closest thing I've got to family. And she'd've grounded me, too." Which can be translated into him accepting her authority on the matter. The teenager drags a hand through his hair and nods to further solidify his word. "I will be more careful," he says as he looks at Elisabeth, "and I'll pick out less shady roads. I promise."

She laughs softly. Liz can't help it. "My son might have some interesting tales to tell on that about how lucky you got off in this," she observes in amusement. "I don't know that for sure, of course." She reaches out to hug him tightly. "Thank you. And meanwhile… I'll speak to Graeme about coming into things pissed off. It's … why I didn't talk to you last night. Fear and adrenaline can spike anger, and I was too angry to talk to you about this. I'm sorry."

"You had a right to be," Devon says, an arm lifting to drape around her shoulders in a one-armed hug. "I messed up. Didn't think. And it got us into trouble. But thank you. For caring enough to be angry. And grounding me." He musters a half grin, pulling his arm back to drape over his knee again.

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