You Are Not My Math Homework


griffin_icon.gif child-owain_icon.gif

Scene Title You Are Not My Math Homework
Synopsis Father and son are reunited, after ten long years.
Date October 7, 2010

Le Rivage

Marjorie's Apartment

Sleep didn't come easily for Griffin. The pain from his fresh wounds, the bruises on his side from Elisabeth's audiokinetic barrage and the fresh slash wound in his left side, made it difficult for him to sleep. Add to that the pain of losing a friend, and the anxiety of potentially meeting his son today, and Griffin slept in little fits, stretched out on his sister's couch with no shirt on, leaving his bandaged wound in clear sight.

It is with a faint grunt that Griffin awakens from his rest for the sixth time, and what appears to be the final time. He groggily peers about the dimly lit living room, lifting a hand to rub at his eyes. It takes him a moment to gain his bearings, before he slowly sits up, rubbing his hand over his face.

Green eyes find the juice, muffin, and fruit, and Griffin reaches out, taking a sip of the juice to wet his throat. Setting that down, he picks up the banana, peeling it and starting to eat it, thoughtfully peering up at the ceiling as he wakes himself up.

It doesn't take long before something happens that will definitely wake him up. There is the sound of a door, and feet on the floor. Someone's in the kitchen. The scrape of a plate, the lifting and setting of a glass as someone takes a gulp. And then a little ten-year-old form comes shuffling into the living room, holding his open backpack by the strap. "Hey mom, where's my math homework?"

Those are the first words that Griffin hears from his son, Owain, seeing him standing just a few feet away. The boy seems startled, having stopped dead in his tracks at the sight of an unknown intruder in his house. Well, Marjorie's house. But he's the man, so it's his house too.

"Um, who are you?"

Griffin has the glass of juice pressed up to his lips as he hears the child's voice, those footsteps. He certainly wasn't expecting the boy to be up, and coming into the living room without Marjorie around to administrate the first meeting. Then again, perhaps this is intentional on his sister's part. Who knows. He clears his throat and sets the glass down, straightening a bit.

And for a long moment, he can only stare at his son in awed silence, a shocked expression on his face. It's all he can do to not simply rush forward and wrap his arms around the child, who would most assuredly be terrified of him. Instead, he answers in a quiet voice, which is dry despite the juice he was just sipping. "I'm Griffin. I'm your— I'm family." God, he could have done so much better. The blanket is lifted, draped over his shoulders, as if to offer some modicum of decency in the first time he's spent with his son in ten years.

Memories flash through his head as he watches the boy. The day he was born, the happiest day of Griffin's life. The hard work he put toward their family, to make things work. Then…holding his son while he was still covered in Cindy's blood. Griffin clears his throat again, lifting the juice and sipping it down. He almost wishes it was scotch.

Luckily for Griffin, Owain is 10 and rather low when it comes to noticing tensity. He just seems to stare with his own green eyes - a family trait, apparently - though not in any mean or shocked way. "O-kay," he drawls, after a moment. "Like, an uncle or something? How did you get here? Does mom know you're in here?" He looks over the man who is his father, with no idea whatsoever. "You're not dating my mom and just saying you're my family because you're engaged now or something, right?"

Griffin is clearing his throat again, a nervous tactic that he's always had. He quietly pinches a piece of the muffin off, and pops it into his mouth, chewing thoughtfully as he stares at his son. The further questioning would have him pulling at his collar, if he was wearing his usual suit. Instead, he just rubs at the back of his neck, staring quietly at the boy.

"Closer family than that. I— I came here last night. Mack…your…mom…" He seems to have difficulty calling Mackenzie Owain's mom. "…She helped me feel better, because I was hurt. Put a big band-aid on my side." He gestures toward the bandage that Marjorie placed there last night. His last question prompts another clearing of Griff's throat, and he rubs a hand through his hair. "No way, definitely not dating your mom or engaged to her. That would be gross." He wrinkles his nose, staring quietly at Owain. He didn't get the Mihangle nose, thank goodness.

"Oh," Like a kid, Owain seems to take it all in stride. "I guess that's okay then. I don't really know any of my other family besides Grandpa and Grandma, and I haven't seen Grandma like…well I don't actually remember much about her. I dunno, her and mom really don't get along and Grandpa always just wants to be out fishing." He's enjoying his retired life.

Owain, none the wiser about what this means to Griffin, goes back into the kitchen to pick up his homework, stuffing it into his bag. "And the last guy who spent the night, when I met him he was all 'We're gonna be best buds' and then when mom caught him saying all that stuff she threw him out on his ear." Apparently he's picked up Marjorie’s old-time phrases too. "So it was good to check before hand."

Griffin slowly stands, following Owain into the kitchen, his hand tucked into the pocket of his suit pants. He sips at his juice, smiling warmly down at the boy. "It's good that your Grandpa wants to go fishing. He deserves it, after the long life he's lived." This is said with a somber tone that the boy likely won't pick up on.

"Well now. I don't know if we're going to be best buds, but I certainly hope you'll like me." He glances toward the bathroom, then grins down to Owain. "Just between you and I, Owain? If your…mom…starts dating anyone, you let me know. I'm here to help you protect her, and I have to make sure to protect her from what could potentially be bad guys." He's wearing the most genuine smile he's given to anyone in ten years, warmth and life brought back to those normally somber features of his.

Owain, being the ten year old that he is, just shrugs a little. "Sure, I guess. I mean, that was awhile ago. I don't remember the last time she went out. But what am I supposed to call you? I mean, you just said you're family, you didn't actually give me a name to call you or anything." He zips up his bag and sets it in the corner, taking his now-empty plate and moving it to the sink. He stands up on the little stool there provided and starts to wash it.

"Yeah, I guess. Grandma is always talking mean about Grandpa, so I guess it's better for him that they don't live together. But I guess you know all that, right?" Marjorie may not have gotten to around to explaining that their parents are divorced.

The man tilts his head to one side. "Griff. Call me Griff, for now." He moves over to the counter, pulling out the french press (he watched like a hawk for where she put it last night, being the coffee addict that he is), and setting about preparing some coffee.

As the boy mentions that Griffin's parents don't live together, Griff pauses, peering over at the child. He didn't know that. That will be something to speak with Marjorie about once Owain has gone to school. That is certainly a new development. The tall man offers a smaller smile down to Owain. "Yeah…probably is for the best." It was no secret that mom and dad's relationship was strained…but this implies that they are either separated or divorced.

"So, what kind of things do you like, Owain? The last time I saw you, you were just a little baby." He uses his hands to denote how big the boy was, before going back to making his coffee. "Do you play the piano?"

"I don't really have a choice," Owain explains. "I'm mom's guinea pig when it comes to the piano. I guess I don't mind, she lets me play soccer and basketball, and I'm pretty good at all of it, so." Again he shrugs, going into the fridge and taking out his Spider-man soft lunchbox. Marjorie had it all packed and prepared, it seems. He sets it down beside his bag, to pick up his jacket and pull it on. He zips it up all by himself. "Just not really a math kid. I mean, I think I'm good at it, but I took those CAT tests and they said I was 'average' at it. Mom says those things become more accurate as you get older. Do you live in New York, is that why I've never met you?"

Griffin smiles down to the boy. "Well, one of these days, we'll see how good at basketball you really are, huh? I almost played basketball for a living. Soccer was fun, too, but I was the captain of the basketball team back in the day. I still got it." He chuckles faintly, working the hand press coffee maker. "One of these days, when the weather's nice, let's play some basketball, okay?" He chuckles.

"I'll also have to hear you play one of these days, I guess." He chuckles. "Maybe I can give you some tips so you can wow your mom. I'm a composer, so I know tricks that even she doesn't know." He tilts his head to one side, flinching a bit at that question. "Yes, I live here in New York." He's not lying, he does live here.

"Okay, sure. Maybe I'll see you when I get home." With that, the boy picks up his lunch box and his bag. "I have to go walk to school. See you later, Griff." He starts out, pausing to yell down the hall. "Bye mom, I'm going to school!" There is a muffled affirmative yell from the bathroom from Marjorie. With one more wave, Owain is heading for the door.

"Owain— just a second." Griffin moves up to the boy, and crouches down to his level, offering forth a hand. "I won't ask for a hug, because this is our first meeting and you'll probably think I'm weird. But could I get a handshake?" He smiles to the boy. Just…to make contact with this boy. That's what he's craved for ten years, since he last held his son in his arms before he was taken away.

Owain seems a little startled by this offer of handshakes in lieu of hugs. He doesn't really do either. His handshake is soft and a little floppy, mostly because it is a very unpracticed gesture. "Sure," the boy agrees. Once that's done, however, he's turning and pushing his way out the door to go to school like a good boy should.

Griffin offers a soft handshake of his own, smiling. The boy needs a father figure, definitely. That handshake needs work! "Have a good day, Owain." This is called out the door after the boy. He closes the door, running his fingers over its surface. "Son…"

Griffin promptly watches out the window like a hawk until Owain is out of sight, munching on his muffin. There's tears in his eyes as he watches, and a faint smile on his features. She's done good with him.

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