Welcome Home

The sound of a tiny dog yapping, the high pitched whine of a lawn mower, and songs of the various birds roosting in the area. All those noises work to slowly pull a sleep deprived mind from the depths of slumber. After arriving back home late last night, the old man had just taken himself straight to bed. It had been a long few, action filled days.

Benjamin Ryans continues to lay there past when he normally does, reluctant yet to face the day. The military man in him feels guilty for being so lazy really. Head resting on an arm, that is tucked behind his head, he lays there staring at the ceiling, while going over in his head what had happened the past few day. The covers are pushed off, too warm for that. He's wearing a pair of sleep pants, but that's it. The fingers of his other hand tap lightly on his bare stomach.

He had accomplished what he went to Russia for, but lost Ivan and his wife in the process. It bothers him as much as Noah, that they lost a good man that day and failed to protect him and his family.

He did, however, come back with an ally he desperately needed and a way to protect his daughters in the coming chaos. That helped to ease some of the tension he's been feeling about the whole situation.

Finally, there is a heavy sigh from Ryans and he moves to roll to one side, swinging his feet off the bed and levering himself to sit up. He can't hide from the world forever.

Delia had been in bed long before her father came home. Slumbering peacefully and all tangled up in the thin blankets and sheet that she uses to keep out the cold. It probably doesn't help that she's ramped up the AC, which is the reason why she required the blankets in the first place. She's not alone in her bed, sprawled beside her are a few open text books and a bag of gummy bears.

Before he got up, she's been awake, cooking breakfast. A real sit down breakfast with scrambled eggs and bacon, not the regular bowls of cereal that she's used to. She saw the suitcase, she knows he came home. She also has a lot to talk to him about.

When the sound of his feet hitting the floor sounds overhead, the redhead races to finish getting everything ready. Once the table's set and before Benjamin has a chance to get into the shower, she's calling up the stairs, "Breakfast is ready!!"

The call for breakfast, actually makes the old man smile a little, but it quickly fades for the twist of pain from the memories it brings up of Mary doing the same thing. She always tried to make sure he ate before he could get out the door.

The recent trip into his dreams, had brought back all that pain he thought buried away. The joys of dream walkers. Fingers brush away the sleep at the corners of his eyes, before he pushes to his feet and snatches up an old fairly worn white tshirt and pulls it on. He's never been a robe kinda person.

It's only a few more moments before the tall form of her father, comes around the corner from the living room to the dining room. "Good Morning, Kiddo." He offers in a quiet, if sleepy rumble.

The plates on the table are empty, in the center are a couple of plates filled with eggs, bacon, and toast. Beside it, there's a grapefruit with a cutting knife. Delia has never liked cutting those things for fear of getting squirted with juice.

She's sitting at her usual place, her hands clasped together in front of her and staring at him quite nervously. There's a worried grimace on her face, her lips are pursed and her eyebrows tweaked up at the inner edges. Every couple of seconds, she opens her mouth and takes a breath to say something but nothing comes out.

"I did it again," she finally blurts after a few minutes. "With Huruma and my new boss. I didn't mean it, it just happened. I didn't make it home before curfew and Huruma came looking for me, we stayed at the book store all night."

His features fall into a neutral expression, as he moves to take up the knife and grapefruit. It's cut in half neatly with practiced ease. He's silent as he does so, leaning a little to set one of the halves on a plate near her. It's only once he's settled, pulling his napkin to rest across on leg that he finally speaks up.

"It's bound to happen. I've watched enough of my colleagues' children coming into their own and other people that we brought in to help them." Of course, after the fact they would wipe their minds about the Company before setting them free.

Ryans moves to start filling his plate, brows furrowed in thought. What do you say to comfort someone when you yourself are not like them. "Until you learn control, it will keep happening. Nothing wrong with that. Especially, with your power. The tough ones are the people with more… dangerous abilities. You have to be careful with them." His words trail off as he looks at her across the table.

"While I was gone, I talked to a few friends." He uses the term friend lightly, but they are trusted by her father. "If… you don't feel comfortable with registering… and I… agree with you. I have friends that can help you… hide. When your ready or need it." They may have to soon, anyhow, but he doesn't address that currently. "Keep you safe and off the registry."

Her expression is still nervous and downcast, even with her father's reassurance she doesn't feel comfortable with what she can do. "H-how long do you think I've been like this, Dad? I mean, it's only happened on my own twice. In— In your head it doesn't count, because I didn't do that."

She pauses long enough to hear his news and then Delia's eyes widen her eyes to the size of frisbees, "R-really? You wouldn't make me? I was talking to some people yesterday… at the Suresh Center… about registering because the deadline is almost here." She picks at the fingernails of one hand with her other, pushing back her cuticles and digging under the edge of the nail. "They… they have to tell me to register, legally… But there was w-wo-oooone…" She takes a deep breath and winces, "H-he said that if he'd had the choice, he wouldn't register."

The redhead isn't telling the whole story, Benjamin knows his daughter well enough to pick up on her little cues. The twitch of a smile that turns into a nervous grimace, the red tinge to her ears, stuttering, all tells that's she's holding back.

He pauses in the act of cutting an egg with a fork, and watches his daughter, a single brow ticking up a little. She can feel his eyes on her, judging in someways. He's unable to shake the agent when he's home.

"Well, I don't believe anyone wants to register. I'm… iffy on it, myself." Ryans offers his own opinion, easily. "I believe it is a good idea for criminals, much like the DNA database." His shoulders shrug and he goes back to cutting the egg and spearing it on his fork. "But for the average Joe… not so much. Tho' that is where it gets tricky kiddo. Cause there are people with deadly powers. I had one where a young man accidentally killed his parents in an argument.

"So I can understand them wanting to know ahead of time, before someone like the Midtown man blows again… whether on purpose or on accident." The bite goes into his mouth, quieting him for the moment.

"I— I wouldn't have a problem with it, except for the visions. Doctor Brennan said that I should register and get tested… and just stay away from boats and water that day." Delia frowns and squishes her eggs with her fork, then trails the remains over the plate in a little design. Another nervous habit. "But… Dad, do you think mine can be dangerous? I mean, I can't do anything."

She looks up and focuses on his eyes, blue to blue, one of the many traits she inherited from him. Mary's hair, but all the rest from Ben, right down to the stubborn mannerisms. She raises her other hand and rests it on the table. Her ripped up cucticles are telltale of her nervousness, some of her fingers are bandaged, the ones that aren't so bad left to heal naturally.

"… Uhm, I wanted to ask you about something," she starts again, this time a little more quietly. "I met this guy, he used to be evolved but he was cured by that flu. D— Do you think that I— ?"

"No."

The word is said quickly and firmly, Ryans fork dropping to the plate. "Do you even know what that flu does to you?" He gives her a flat and matter of fact look, head tilting down some, eyes peering from under brows. "It isn't just some quick walk in the park, Lia." He starts to tick off his points on his fingers. "There isn't just the loss of your ability and there isn't even a guarantee it'll stay gone. You can look forward to paralysis, high fevers, hallucinations and a high possibility of death."

There is a slow shake of his head. "It's not a wise way to go about it, Lia." Ryans picks up his fork again, but he doesn't work at his food right away, the food somewhat unappetizing.

"I was just exploring options," Delia utters quietly, still trailing her fork through her eggs. "I mean, I know it's dangerous… I was just thinking." The redhead grows sullen and moody again, she'd been so bright and happy the past few days.

With a little effort, she looks up at her father and gives him a faint smile. "I'll do whatever you want me to do, Dad," she says quietly. "If you want me to register… I'll register. If you want me to go hide, I'll go hide. I just don't feel good about registering, not right now."

She pushes her plate away from her, his youngest hasn't even taken more than three or four bites. "So, uhm… How was your trip? Was it good? Catch a lot of bad guys?"

"I did what I meant to do, when I left." He offers up softly. Benjamin looks up from the plate of food to his youngest daughter. "Lost a good man. The man that trained me." The man who made him who helped make him who he was. He doesn't elaborate on the whole thing, last thing Delia needs to know is that her father went up against the government. "Another got hurt, but seems he'll be okay."

"No one was captured, but we were… fairly successful." He turns his attention to his food, he no longer has an appetite, but Delia made it. "There is someone I'd like you to meet. Her name is Abby." He holds up a hand, to hold off any comments. "She is only a friend and she's your age." He is not dating her. "If your willing, I'll give you her phone number and you can call her."

"So… even if you lose someone, it's successful? Is that like acceptable losses or something?" Something about the thought of being somewhat alright with someone dying just bristles the young woman. A long sigh is let loose and she frowns a little too deeply, she's back to being sullen and moody but obviously trying to be as cheerful as she can. "Sorry, I don't mean it…" she murmurs before he's got a chance to interject or possibly argue. "I don't— I just don't understand it."

The hand already has her squeaking to a stop, mouth open and eyes wide. She closes her mouth and presses her lips together in a thin little line to try to stop the smile from growing. He's caught her, flashing the 'talk to the hand' gesture always gets a rise from the girl. It's almost as funny as picturing him doing the 'Z snap' while saying Oh no you di-in't. "Okay, okay!" She grins, the emotional roller coaster at the table is back to brighter spirits. "I won't ask… and I'll call. What's it about?"

"About what you are… maybe get you more at ease, if you talk to someone more your age." He gives her a small smile, "Abby has helped me on things on occasion. You can trust her."

"And no… it was not an acceptable loss." Ryans is a little irritated she'd think that, but he doesn't blame her. "But what we were there for was extremely important. And… he would have gladly given his life for it. " Putting the fork down and pushing his plate away and folds his hand, letting them rest on the table.

"There is a lot going on in the world currently, Delia. Stuff that you do not know about, that you've been sheltered by." Ryans levels a matter of fact look on his youngest. "What I am going to tell you, Lia… It doesn't leave this table or this house. Huruma knows… so if you need to talk to someone about this stuff… she will be your best bet. Now — " His brows lift a bit and his head turns a little, " — can I count on you to keep things secret?"

Another dip on the tracks, Delia's face falls to seriousness along with her father's and she covers her bandaged hand with her other one. "Uhm… Yeah of course, I won't tell a soul." Not even — well she doesn't have any close friends anymore. The young woman has practically alienated everyone that she used to hang out with on a regular bases before the storm hit.

"It's something Lu can't know either, huh?" Something about that makes his youngest's stomach go in knots and flip with excitement at the same time. A confidant to her father, a conspirator at the same time. It's something like a club between the two of them now, like her new status. "What's going on?"

"I'd rather her find out from me." Ryans explains quietly, with a small nod.

"The group I work for is falling apart." He starts quietly, fingers reaching to pluck a length of bacon from his plate. "The government it taking strides to shut it down. If… they shut it down, they will take some very nasty secrets." He tears a piece of bacon off and pops it into his mouth. "And believe me when I say. That would be a bad thing.

"When they shut down my organization, chances are I will have to go on the run. Hide." Ryans says carefully, watching her reaction. "When that happens… you will need to hide, as well. Otherwise, they will target you like those people did last time."

Eyes travel back down to the bacon in his hands, "I don't know when it'll happen, but it will be soon."

"But— If they do— If you have to— " Delia's mind works overtime to process the information, her eyebrows knit together in a frown and she looks over at him. "Daddy, if I'm on the registry… Don't have I have to keep my information up to date? So if I registered, I couldn't go on the run." Something about the whole thing unsettles yet elates her at the same time.

She mimics her father with the bacon, reaching for one of the crispier strips only to balance it between her index fingers. The redhead is deep in thought not even paying attention to anything around her until the pressure from her fingers causes the bacon to explode into two large pieces and a bunch of little bits. "Daddy, Lu and I should go before anything happens. She's doing a modeling thing out of the country, isn't she? I haven't talked to her in a while."

Another thought occurs to her and she raises her eyes to meet his again, her brow furrowed. "I want to get a fake ID…"

"No… You could still register if you wanted too." Ryans points out softly. "But… for the moment I think it's unwise." He sighs softly and gives a soft dry chuckle. "Never thought I'd ever be saying that, but… yeah. They would use that against me." The last bit of his bacon disappears into his mouth, as he adds. "As for going now… they would find that suspicious and might act on me sooner.

"Whatever people tell you about… The Company." He puts the name there out on the table. "Know that what they have done in the past, not all of us agreed with… or even participated in it. Unfortunately, it's a stigma that has been spread to all of us."

A sympathetic expression crosses Delia's face and she lowers her head a little, casting her eyes down at the table. "I'm sorry Daddy, I heard some of the awful stuff that they did… Not all of it, but I heard about that prison." Click click click, she flicks her tumbnails against each other nervously. "I think… A lot of stuff changed when you were gone. The accidental dream kind of helped me out. I saw lots of stuff…. Mom."

She takes a deep breath and the corner of her lip twitches into a very tentative, very crooked smile. "Huruma came for me, it was nice. I was all alone and she came. She told me that she'd always come for me." Her eyes are still pointed down at the old wood grain of the kitchen table, the same table they'd been using since she came home from the hospital. "I know you wouldn't just leave mom the way you remember it. That's why she waited for you, it just— IT happened."

"I wouldn't have left if I didn't think what I was doing was important." Benjamin assures her softly, with a slow nod of his head, another piece of bacon taken. "And the prison was after my time. There were things before it, but I still didn't leave. I stayed because, beyond what they did, what I did was still needed.

"That isn't to say Lia, that I am all a good person. I've done what I've had to…. to protect people, the ones I love." He taps the strip of bacon in the air in her direction. "I would do anything to get you girls back, even make a deal with the devil… and so far, the devil hasn't been too bad." Rebel has turned out to be a most valuable ally in everything.

"The world is full of grays, Delia. Nothing is ever black and white anymore." He gives her a soft smile. "You girls will continue to be my world. I'm just sorry you had to see the other side of things. "

Her lips curl up on one side and she nods, "You know what Lu's going to say, don't you… She's going to tell you she's a grown up and she can handle it." Delia quiets a little and lifts her eyes to meet his again. "I don't know if she can, half the time. She's always complaining about all the meds she's on but as soon as things get tough, she's popping pills." The redhead went the other route, she got angry and let everything out in rages that made a Florida hurricane seem like a summer shower.

"When I was staying with her during the … endless winter … She kept telling me that she felt weird." Her shoulders lift in a slight shrug and she takes a deep breath only to let it all out in a long sigh. She eyes the bacon for a moment before reaching for just one more strip. Smiling at Ryans in earnest, she lifts the piece to her mouth and quips, "Maybe I should have just cooked bacon and no eggs, huh?"

"Well… she hasn't exactly proven to me she can." Ryans says gruffly, tearing a bite of the bacon, eyes dropping to his plate. "Not sure what I am going to do if she decides to be stubborn. It'll put us all in danger."

The bacon is set on the plate and he draws it closer, picking up the fork again. "The food was great, kiddo." He brings the side of the fork down on the remaining eggs on his plate, folding a piece of it on his fork and shoveling it into his mouth. He takes the time to chew the cooling egg before adding, "It's nice to have a home cooked meal now and then, the job just keeps me too busy sometimes to do more then fast food."

The conversation, having turned to better tides, puts Delia back in the mood to eat along with her father. Pulling her plate back toward herself, she then pushes a mouthful of egg onto her fork with her thumb. "Hey, maybe when we're on the run we can have more sit down meals together… You know, since you won't be working all the time."

The bite of egg is popped into her mouth and she smiles at him closed mouthed before swallowing it down.

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