The State Of Things


brennan2_icon.gif devon2_icon.gif

Scene Title The State Of Things
Synopsis At the Brennan household, it's not so good. And for the city, it's worrisome.
Date July 10, 2011

Brennan's House

Sunday afternoons, one expects children playing, and there are. Out in the street. Parents walking with their kids to the park, off to late Sunday service or all manner of other things. In front of the Brennan Brownstone, the trunk of a black car that's the male doctors in the family, there's a couple bags packed into the trunk. The wrought iron outer door is open and the twins are hopping down the steps, nanny in tow, they too off to do something it seems, but Brennan comes soon after, bearing the smallest of the Brennan clan in his car seat. Another rolling suitcase in his free hand to go into the trunk.

"So He'll be at the Marriot" He rattles off an address for the nanny, some little dark haired possibly foreign woman from some European country. "Jennifer will help get them settled and they'll head back to Chicago. If you need anything, you have a card, we'll keep you updated. Mish's mom is going to fly in and meet up with you at their place and help with the girls till it's safe to bring Henri home"

Something is up in the state of Brennan.

There hadn't been a phone call, no text message or email, no warning of a visitor to alert the Brennan household. Devon had chosen to arrive unannounced and unexpected, phones seeming a bit of a risk for simply a social call in his state of hiding. It may be bordering on paranoia, but better than the teenager risking drawing unwanted attention on himself.

Weaving himself past the children out playing, dodging moms with strollers or dogs or toddlers on tethers, Devon's approach isn't remarkable. Another teenager out walking the streets, an idler with hands in the pockets of his jeans, a t-shirt displaying some retro'd logo too faded to make out anymore. But in spite of the slacking appearance, the boy is observant to the point of wariness. He keeps his distance from those he passes, offering a friendly but vague smile to the few open enough to greet him. He's still a couple houses down when he spies the car with its trunk open, and suitcases being loaded in.

It isn't until he's at the neighbor's house that Devon's approach stops. He stays near the road, coming to lean against a utility pole and watch the family, concern and curiosity etching over his features.

There's hugs, kisses, no tears, at least none that Devon can see and the trunk eventually is closed, Henri settled into the back of the car. Children piled in, more hugs, kisses, secured seat belts. Which means that within ten minutes, the Nanny is driving off with the kids and leaving Brennan standing at the bottom of his steps rubbing a palm over his lower face, watching the retreat of the vehicle and his kids off to the safety of a non-sick house.

Which is about when his gaze lands on Devon, a little bit of surprise and a unspoken but physical wave for him to come forward, even as he's heading into his home.

Through it all, Devon stands silent, watching and wondering. His eyes follow the movements of packing and settling children into the car, then slant off to track the vehicle as it leaves the driveway. When he looks back to the house and finds Doctor Brennan still there, he realizes a pang of worry. He meets the doctor's gaze, head tipping forward in a single nod to which he follows with approaching the house.

The boy shadows Brennan into the home, pausing just at the doorway to glance in the direction of the departed car and then the opposite way. After he's moved inside, Devon gently pushes the door closed behind him, and yet without speaking, lifts his gaze to find the doctor.

"You've been absent, how have you been doing? You don't call, you don't drop by, I start to think I did something." It's a joke, without the feeling behind it. Up close, there's tired line, and the house is silent as he's heading back to the kitchen. "I have to head back to the hospital soon, you need anything Devon?"

A slight grin, more forced than felt, responds to the deadpan joke. Devon's hands go back into his pockets as he continues to trail after Brennan. It doesn't take a genius to see that something is wrong. "I'd've called," he responds, a slight hoarseness to his voice speaking of some rough living. And he seems healthy, if weary himself. "Things've been… I thought it'd be better to just come over." No apologies for the unannounced visit. The teen takes a moment to glance through the kitchen then back to Brennan. "What's going on, Doctor B? You look… Is everyone okay?"

"Michelle's with Marlena, She caught the flu. We're sending the kids to my parents with my brother, so that Henri can't catch it. The girls too so that they won't feel neglected. Spend the rest of their vacation in Chicago." Get spoiled by family. The sure way to distract kids that age from potentially devastating things that they can't comprehend yet.

"What's been happening to you?"

It's hard to say what Devon's thought to the news is, for all he keeps a calm exterior. A glimmer of reckless thought, the possibility that he'll find a certain pair of scientists and rattle some sense into them shows briefly before it's pushed down. For later considerations. "I'm sorry," he offers, quietly. Sincere sympathy and no lack of worry fill his expression, eyes studying the doctor. "If there's anything I can do to help…"

Hedging back a step, the teen lifts a shoulder slightly. "I'm doing my thing, staying out of trouble." It's not entirely true, but for the doctor's sake, Devon doesn't plan to add to any worries.

"While the offer is admirable, there's not much, that can be done. They'll make her comfortable at the hospital. You can pray, if you're that kind of person" For once, he doesn't say kid. "Marlena's been badly sick before, it's why she's deaf. But…" But this is different. You're either dead, or you're not.

"Avoiding Pierce? I saw the news back a while. They were looking for her. I hope you're avoiding her for now.”

"She seems like a fighter," Devon offers. It's meant to be a comfort, some small measure of what he can give. "But I will. And for the rest of your family too." He knows the statistics, the same as anyone else. The flu that's been unleashed is a nasty one, one that shouldn't be. "If you need anything else, I'll do what I can. Just ask."

The following question gives the boy pause, brows lifting slightly. "She didn't do it," he points out, keeping the twinge of defensiveness from his tone. Barely. "She wouldn't have done anything like that. But I don't know where she is." Another lie, produced smoothly enough only one looking for a fallacy would notice it. The actor's tongue.

"Hey, I never said she did." Brennan's hands go up, as if warding off anymore defensiveness or protectiveness from Devon's end. "Did I say she was guilty of anything? Just said that last I knew, she was being looked for, and they'll be going around to the people she knows, to see if they've had contact." Brennan isn't looking for a lie, so he doesn't catch it. Probably never even thinks to look for it. "Do you need anything?"

There's no immediate answer, the teen parsing the doctor's response while he studies the older man. "Sorry, Doctor B. It's…" Again, Devon pauses, brows knitting together, hurt in his countenance for just an instance. "It's a touchy subject. —I'm sorry. I haven't been questioned." He hasn't been around nor made himself available for questioning. Fingers curl inside his pockets, shoulders drawing into a shrug. "No sir. I've got all I need. I… really just wanted to check in with you, since it'd been a while."

"I'm sure it's a touchy subject." Brennan echoes, and really, he's very sure. Since Devon had claimed that Melissa was pretty much like family to him. Needing something to do with his hands, he turns, starting to grab things from a tall cupboard, the various snacks that one might expect children of the girls ages to want to eat. A large ziploc bag retrieved, start putting some things in there. Comfort food for their daughter when she won't eat the hospital food.

"Well, I'm sure you're wishing you'd checked in sooner. Everything else is going fine enough. Except for Marlena. But at least school is out and she won't be missing out on much of it." Keeping positive. "She should be out by the time school starts up if all goes good"

There's more to it than just his kinship toward Melissa, though Devon doesn't go into it. He nods instead, swallowing back the still-aching grief that finds him at times. He stands quietly, eyes following Brennan as the older man goes about collecting goods to take to the sick child. "I would've, but things've kept me busy. I— Do me a favor, Doctor B. Don't let your neighbors know that Marlena's sick. People are… afraid. Some're quick to take matters into their own hands."

"This isn't that kind of a neighbourhood Devon." Brennan looks over at him. "The nieghbours here, barring a few, are pretty sensible. The ones on either side of us benefit from Michelle's ability even and that lowers their utility bills half the time. Besides." Juice boxes are dug out, two Capri boxes. "We took her took her to the office first, and then the hospital. I think it was a given she or Henri would get it. We see enough of the patients in the clinic and everywhere else." Resiliant little germs. "What are you afraid they might do?"

"I was in Queens a week ago." Devon pushes his hands further into his pockets, really only resulting in shrugging his shoulders than much else. "I know Queens isn't… Like here, but…" His arms relax, elbows bending slightly again. "There was a family who had the flu, wouldn't go into the hospital for religious reasons. Neighborhood watch took matters into their own hands when no one else would do anything and had planned to burn them inside their house with Molotov cocktails."

That. "You were there?" Brennan now looks worried for the teenager, stopping his packing, regarding him with furrowed brows and lips pressed thin. "Devon, you're not getting yourself in over your head are you? With things?"

"I wasn't starting any fires," the teen replies, not in haste and still missing the defensive mark. But he's serious with his response, honest in this while he'd lie about knowing where friends are. "Found out what they were doing and …I couldn't stop it, tried to talk and get them to reconsider what they were doing. But I helped save the two families that were trapped in their houses. The first didn't show any symptoms, and theirs was the house attacked. The connecting one… the whole family was sick with the plague."

"What people do in this city." Brennan shakes his head. "Makes me think about seriously moving my family away. Go back to Chicago, start up a practice there, or go to France and raise my kids there. Worse, sometimes, than the worst places when we were serving overseas." Brennan shakes his head, satisfied that Devon wasn't responsible for things and was only doing good samaritan things.

Nodding to the Doctor's words, Devon shares like sentiments. "Direct neighbors might be okay with evos, but this flu… Wouldn't surprise me if things got worse than a few arson attempts." He recalls the Dome, after two weeks had passed and a thousand people were still trapped inside, the madness that followed. A shake of his head pushes those days aside and his eyes lift to Brennan. "Just please, be careful."

"You know me, always careful. Not many know she's sick right now, and highly doubtful that they'll figure it out. Besides, we don't advertize the SLC status of our children. They just know Michelle is evolved, those who are in the know, and I'm public" So the odds of anyone suspecting that they'd have non-evolved children is one in a million. "You need a ride somewhere, when I head out? Going to catch up with Michelle and stay at the hospital for a bit.”

"I know," Devon says with a nod. "I know I don't need to tell you to be careful. Just… things are going downhill fast. All over." He takes another backward step toward the door, head shaking this time. "No, but thank you. It's not too far to walk, and I need to pick some things up before— And I've kept you from Marlena and Missus Doctor B."

"If you need anything, you know where to get a hold of us," Brennan offers, zipping up the bag, starting to gather other things. "I'll let Marlena know you're thinking of her." Nothing like knowing that some teenager is "thinking of you" to lift the spirits of a pre-teen with a crush. "Close the door behind you when you leave, if you need to crash, there's a key under the pot down by the lower door. You can always use it to hunker down."

"Thanks, Doctor B." Devon manages a small grin, the grin of a teenager, compassionate and grateful, but awkward toward the offer. "If I get a chance," he begins, which can more easily be defined as if he feels he can get in and out of the hospital again without certain eyes taking notice, "I'll try to stop in for a couple of minutes to say hi. Let you and your wife get some coffee together." Or something. He turns for the door to let himself out.

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