Thursday, December 1, 2016

Home Safe - Darcy and Vincent

Darcy hears shouting from the apartment below after the sound of the door shutting. She frowns and picks up her phone just texting Vincent a quick address of the building where she'd just paid a damage deposit and the first month's rent. She's not sure if he'll be able to reply but she adds the word "Keys anytime." She's already more than half packed and had set up an army cot and sleeping bag in each bedroom just in case there was a need.

Vincent took in a deep breath and then exhaled when his father called Fiona a bitch. Life would fail if he could not hold his temper, but his father made it hard as hell. "Dinner will be ready in about five minutes." his voice remained calm, and he began putting the ravioli's in the boiling water as his father scoffed, went into his bedroom and slammed the door.

When dinner was done, Vincent set out the bowls and could feel the vibration in his pocket just as his father re-emerged. He sat and Vincent served him. Moving into the living room, he sat on his bed ... also known as the couch ... and looked at his phone. He blinks at the address ... and the message. Looking towards the living room, he can hear his father eating, greedily and probably drinking. On a usual night, his Dad would be in his room all night anyway. Mind racing, Vincent almost relied on his father being a creature of habit. He formed his reply.

"I can be there ... the new place ... @ 8 ... is that alright?"

Sending it, he is already about to go in the kitchen when his father bellows. "Bring a beer to my room, boy." and watches his father move from kitchen to his bedroom, slamming the door behind him.

Vincent gets the beer ... with a single antihistamine. Just to help his father get a good nights sleep ... naturally.

Darcy hears doors slamming below and keeps packing up. She goes to check her phone on the table and sees the reply. Darcy packs up a few groceries and toiletries in an extra bag and then starts hauling stuff downstairs. She had borrowed a car for a few days and a moving truck was booked for the morning. It would be an easy move as she hadn't lived there long. She had ordered some bedroom furniture for the second bedroom, Vincent's room if it all worked out, that should also be delivered sometime tomorrow. After 3 trips up and down the car was packed and she left for the new place, making the same haul in the opposite direction there. By 8pm she was sitting on one of two lawn chairs she had set up in the living room watching Netflix on her laptop with a cup of tea.

Vincent gets his military duffel bag and begins to pack it, not hiding anything. He puts in all of his clothes, of which he has few to begin with. Then he adds Sonja and Vincent the nifflers, his shoes, his school books and book bag. He considers taking things from the kitchen and decides .. no ... it was time for a new start. The bag isn't even remotely stuffed, but it is full and a little heavy. Setting it by the door, he watches television for a while. Around 7:45 he turns the TV off and walks to his father's bedroom door. It is silent on the other side. He takes a deep breath, hikes up the bag and leaves the apartment, setting his keys to it on top of the dish that holds his father's condoms. With the heavy bag, it takes him a while to get to the Greybar building and take the elevator up. He stops at the door, his heart filled with joy and fear ... and knocks.

Darcy pauses her show and goes to the door. She opens it with a welcoming smile on her face "Welcome home."
She greets with "It's not much yet but it'll get better by tomorrow, I promise."

Vincent drags his bag in and stares with wide eyes. Her words sort of wash over him. "Home ....." he murmurs, closes his eyes, sighs deeply. "Home..."

Darcy beams watching him soak in the idea and then says "Here, let me chuck this in your room for you kid." She scoops up his bag and starts walking into a room with a cot and a sleeping bag. In one corner sits the harp and the lyre "I hope it's cool that I moved these. My friend Sam helped and we were super careful."

Vincent walks slowly behind to the far bedroom and sees Igor waiting for him. he leans over the cot and sleeping bag. "Wow...." he whispers. "I ... this is great! Can you thank Sam for me, please?" he moves to the window. "Wow, I can see all the way to the ferry."

Darcy walks up beside him and looks out "Yep. It's pretty cool. There will be a bed tomorrow so you don't have to sleep on this cot all week. Did you have supper already?"

Vincent shakes his head absently. "No, I fed dad and then was too nervous to eat. Do you want me to cook something?" and then the first part of the sentence hits him. "You got me a bed?" he blinks. "Used ... right?" he sounds incredulous.

Darcy pats him on the back "You don't need to cook me anything. Come on let's go back into the other room. I'll make some toast and scramble you a few eggs. I bought some groceries. And it's a new've been sleeping on a couch. You could use a nice one now."

Vincent blinks and nods. "Alright ..... I ...." he takes a deep breath. "Merry Christmas, Vincent." he lets out a long breath. "Thanks, Aunt Darcy. For everything."

Darcy looks back at him and smiles. Her eyes are sad though. It was high time someone was there for this kid. She walks to the kitchen and washes her hands at the sink. She takes two pieces of bread an pops them in the toaster and then pulls her frying pan out of a box and scoops a little nub of butter into the pan letting it slowly heat. She goes to the fridge and gets a carton of eggs and cracks two into a bowl and beats them quickly with a fork. They begin to solidify in the pan as she butters the now popped toast. Fishing a spatula out of the same box she flips the eggs around, making perfect fluffy buttery scrambled eggs. She had brought just a few plates and bowls and uses a plate now and serves it all up and then head juts to the lawn chairs "No table yet...but you can sit." She offers him the plate "Shit....I have no ketchup...I knew I missed something. Do you take ketchup kid?"

Vincent followed her out to the kitchen and watched her with wide eyes both anxious and entertained. He moves to the lawn chairs and and looks at the eggs. "No, ma'am." he looks at her. Then back at the eggs, which he cuts with a fork and tastes. "Not bad!" he pronounces.

Darcy chuckles "Glad you like them. My sister got me making them with butter now. She's calls them Jamie Oliver eggs. He's that British chef guy. She's got a bit of a crush but I will say they are good eggs."

Vincent chuckles. "I always make them with butter." he admits. "Probably not the healthiest idea, but ..." he looks around the place, noticing how his voice echos. "This is like a whole new start." he sounds awed. He clears his throat and makes a sandwich of his scrambled eggs and toast.

Darcy nods "The new apartment echo. So are you...I mean you brought all your stuff right? You're sleeping here tonight right? Do you need an alarm clock? I'm off tomorrow because of the moving truck but you can use mine to get up for school."

Vincent smiles and nods. "Yea .. that's everything I know besides Igor and my lyre. I can use my phone as an alarm. Always did before." he hesitates. "Do I ... do I have to go back?" her asking if he was spending the night smacked too much of not being permanent.

Darcy shakes her head vigorously "No....I just wasn't sure if you were. I didn't want to pressure you to commit to this tonight as your home if you weren't ready. Vincent, you never have to go back."

Vincent huffs with a mouthful of eggs and toast. He swallows quickly. "Tonight was perfect." he sighs. "I almost lost my temper with my father tonight. A friend of mine came over to give me my books." he shudders, suddenly remembering why he'd abandoned them. "Then Dad came home, L left and he basically called me a faggot and asked me where the Reinhardt bitch was." he turns a little red in the face, just remembering it.

Darcy glowers "THAT was the shouting I heard before I texted you? Gino's lucky I couldn't make out the words!" She exhales shortly into a word "Man..."

Vincent snorts. "That was it." he confirms. "I almost hit him .... then I almost threw boiling water on him -- I was making raviolis. But I got it under control. The last time I fought my dad didn't turn out so good."

Darcy sighs "Never again. Although picking a fight while making ravioli sounds like a mafia movie."

Vincent laughs and covers his mouth, which is full of food. Swallowing he looks at her. "I'm Italian." he uses a perfectly stereotypical movie Mafia voice. "See?"

Darcy laughs "Leonardo DiCaprio....get outta town. Gangs of Alexandra begins."

Vincent cracks up. "My one man gang. Fiona is half Irish ... well more I think. And I'm maybe an eighth ... we could fight our own gang war." he smirks.

Darcy exhales "I guess I'm just the crooked cop on the take then. Don't tell anyone." She jokes."And don't tell anyone I got the wrong gangster film reference. I forgot they were Irish." She cracks up at herself now.

Vincent chuckles. "Nah, you like our local Elliot Ness." he proclaims. "And it's OK ... she's so tough, she may as well be Italian." then he shrugs. "Your secret is safe with me ... I love gangster films. I know I know .. male."

Darcy nods "I like anything set in that era. I mean I probably would have hated to live in it for many reasons but it looks great on film. Speaking of which, how was Fantastic Beasts?"

Vincent winces. "Like being a gay woman? All you're missing is being black." he inhales sharply. "OH. MY. GOD!" he responds with great enthusiasm. "I can't tell you. But it was great!" he tells her about his ... well ... double date and the adventure of his first movie date with Fiona.

Darcy concedes to what he said about the 1930s and then listens to his story about the movie complications "I'm glad you could go back on Sunday. That would be so frustrating though. I hate the not knowing stuff. Truth be told, I sometimes read the spoilers even."

Vincent tucks the last of the sandwich into his mouth, chews and swallows. "And it was another date." he grins and then gapes a little. "SO do I! I also read them if I can't make the movie ... or there so many I can't decide which one I need to see with my eyes and which can just wait till the video comes out. I have a lot of movies on Google Plus ... sometimes they come out with a free one or a really cheap one or sometimes even a sale."

Darcy looks at him suspiciously "How do you do that without a credit card kid? No offense. Paypal connected to a bank account? And we can both use my Netflix and Crave. I'll set it up through the TV when it gets here."

Vincent blinks at her. "I HAVE a bank card. Attached to the account my mom set up for me before she died. She set it up for me and so far its worked perfectly." he looks pensive and a little anxious. "If you let me help pay for it." he is thinking more like a roommate ... some of his emotional scars show through.

Darcy laughs "Vincent, you don't have to pay. If you want to live with me until you're 30, we can talk about that when you're an adult. Your job is to go to school at this age. Let me worry about the home stuff OK? Keep your money for your dates and going out and having fun with friends."

Vincent looks at her, mildly panicked. "But ... that's ... so much ... free time!" he isn't even realizing who he sounds like ... not yet.

Darcy can't help but chuckle "Yep. Enjoy it. Because someday you will grow up and then there's way less of it. Not looking for a house elf here kid. Do I need to get some socks?"

Vincent starts nodding but when Darcy mentions house elves, he blushes. "Oh my god, I'm Dobby!" he realizes. "Well ... how about I cook five out of seven days a week, do my own laundry, clean my own room and help with kitchen and living room cleaning." damnit, if Dobby could negotiate with Dumbledore, he could with Darcy!

Darcy ponders this "Alright...but when YOU cook, I wash up. Also, you'll have to negotiate with my father and all his Metaway madness when he comes here. I think you might be the grandchild of his dreams, someone to clean with. Just don't get talked into selling pyramid scheme."

Vincent's eyebrows lift. "I didn't think it would be that easy." he admits. "Then ... FOUR nights cooking and the three nights you cook, I clean up after?" he laughs. "I can sure try ..... I hope I clean well enough for him."

Darcy points at him "Sold! Don't take it personally if he finds spots you missed. He's a bit of a fanatic. I barely even try to clean when they're coming here because he'll redo it all anyway." She laughs.

Vincent looks mock offended. "I do not miss spots, ma'am." he says in a dignified tone, then blinks and pulls out his phone. "Jesus, I didn't tell Fiona!" he sends her a quick message saying "Moved in with Aunt Darcy tonight" with a heart emoji. then he looks at Darcy. "By the way ... Dad doesn't know I'm gone yet. I doubt he'll care ... I guess it's an experiment on my part. Stupid. I know."

Fiona sends a text back almost immediately that just says "YES!!!!!!" with another heart emoji after it.

Darcy looks sadly at Vincent "I'm sorry Vincent. I don't know what to say about him."

Vincent shrugs. "Not much TO say. My guess is you won't be seeing him at the station filing a missing persons report." he sighs. "He never wanted me ... and now I'm gone. New beginnings." he pauses. "Can I hug you?" he realizes the moemnt the question is out of him mouth its a little silly.

Darcy looks touched by his question and answers with a smile "Of course you can hug me. Anytime kid."

Vincent sets his plate down and hugs her. "This is seriously the best Christmas present EVER, Aunt Darcy." he proclaims. He backs off. "Can I have Fiona over? And her parents, at some point." he shrugs. "I know her Dad is worried about mine ... so yea .. she can never go there ... but now I won't be either so ... problem solved."

Darcy gives Vincent a great big hug back and then lets go when he does. "Anyone important to you is welcome here Vincent. It's your home. Do you want me at the dinner with her folks? Is this some kind of formal thing? An yes, problem solved.....I should maybe have some guidelines. Whatever you do in your room is none of my business. I will completely respect your privacy. But no girls sleeping over until you're 18. I don't want to navigate that phone call from Fiona's parents."

Vincent nods. "Of course I do." he tells her. "You're family. But no .. not formal. I was thinking .. lasagna. But different, since Fi's father is watching his cholesterol." he considers and listens to the guidelines, turning red again. "Um.. deal ... no sleeping over. And ... NO! No phone calls .. I .. I mean she .. I mean we ... no .. not .. no not yet ...." he collects his plate and fork. "You cooked, so I clean." and he bustles off tot he kitchen, not that it hides his blush.

Darcy sounds happy about the food "Mmm lasagna. I accept." She sees his embarrassment and tries to be comforting "I don't mean now....but you'll be a teenager for awhile yet. Relax, I'm not suggesting that. and thanks for the dishes, soap's under the sink in the cabinet kid."

Vincent doesn't use much soap or water for the dish, but dries them and puts them away. "I know. I'm just ... this is going to take a LITTLE getting used to." he admits.

Darcy admits "For me too but I'm happy about it. We'll make it work."

Vincent nods and pulls out his phone to check Fi's message. He texts back "I HAVE MY OWN ROOM ... and can have friends over ... " and sends it. Then he begins to wipe down the already pristine counters. "Did you just get a mattress and box spring like?" he asks, wondering if it was a headboard and footboard and all or if it was just the basics.

Fiona texts back "Awesomesauce!"

Darcy answers casually "Well they are included with the rest. I got a black frame. I hope that's OK. Just plain."

Vincent nods. "That's great. I might not use the frame .. keep the bed on the floor, if that's alright?" he rubs his chin. "I can get a cheap armoire if I hit the thrift stores I bet. Maybe even a desk for studying." he nods his head, basically trying to plan what he wants to do with his room.

Darcy smiles sheepishly "I might have bought a set with a dresser and a desk and a bedside table. It was a deal online with a deadline. It's all the same plain black veneer. If you hate it we can trade it for something else later but I figured you'd need places for your stuff and a desk to study at. We can put the bed frame and headboard in the closet and you can use it later or never. Do you have a laptop or anything to do school work on? We can share mine for awhile if you don't. I don't have a printer though. I'm assuming you can take stuff on a thumb drive to school for printing out assignments?"

Vincent looks at her and chuckles. "Oh ... well ... in THAT case." he laughs. "I'm sure I'll love it. I had three drawers at the other place." already his old home is fading. "My laptop is in my bag with everything else and I usually put it on a thumb drive at school." he folds his arms. "What ELSE did you buy?" he wonders.

Darcy shrugs "Some bedding and towels and a few pillows. The rest we'll work out as we go along. This is your home Vincent. I don't want you to feel like a guest here. I want you to feel at home."

Vincent takes another deep breath and clears his throat. "I do .... already." he tells her, the honesty coming through in his voice. "But I want to do SOMETHING besides just ... be .. free." he lifts up his hands. "I have to do something for you .... I mean.... I can't furnish the place ... and ..." he sighs and rubs his chin. "All I can think of you might let me pay for is the tree." he laughs, almost helplessly. He clears his throat again. "I don't want to become a financial burden."

Darcy shakes her head "I wouldn't take this on if I couldn't actually do it Vincent. I would have helped find you another place be happy and safe and grow up with people who care about you. I know your situation has skewed your perspective but think of it this way. Are you planning on having kids one day? Are you going to make them buy their own beds if you do? I know where you've come from doesn't make sense...but this is actually what does. Do Fiona's parents make her buy her own furniture? Charge her for groceries? Make her chip in for the water bill? I gotta tell you, mine didn't. I know this is weird for you."

Vincent listens and blows out a breath. It makes sense. Of course he wouldn't charge his children room and board. And really thinking about it made him realize how his life really was. "Alright .... " he sighs deeply. "I don't do ... nothing ... very well. I'm WAY out of practice. SO ... be patient with me, and I promise not to sneak out here at three in the morning and do the one glass you used for a drink of water." he teases. Then he sobers a little. "I'm going to make you proud of me, Aunt Darc. Good grades and studying hard and .. everything." he scoffs. "Pay you back that way, okay?"

Darcy grins "I'm a fan of good grades. I was a great student. But be happy too, it's not all about the top marks. If you ever need help with school work though, I'm here for you."

Vincent smiles. "I do pretty good. Well ... I have trouble in Music Appreciation .. and French." he shudders. "Two just ... AWFUL things." he sighs. "But I'm in advance science, at least."

Darcy looks shocked "Music appreciation? You'd think that would be an ace in the hole for you. Is it a crappy teacher or something?" She looks thoughtful and says "I might be able to help with the French.I'm bilingual...well almost tri or quatre but my Mi'kmaq is rusty. My Grandmere was Mi'kmaq from the Gesgapegiag First Nation. Grandpere was French Canadian. My mom grew up in the Gaspe Quebec. She doesn't have much of an accent now so you wouldn't know it's her first language but she spoke French to Mari and I, still does when there's something she doesn't want to say in front of someone else. It's not really a code in Canada and if something's really bad she'll switch to Mi'kmaq."

Vincent shrugs. "I don't get it ... everyone is different .. so .. what one might appreciate another won't. It's a;; subjective ... and ... well .. I tend to get into debates with the teacher a lot." he looks sheepish. "Oh, if you CAN help, that would be great. I probably could have asked L, but ... now he's met my Dad .... It could have been worse, he could have been in SHE mode." he moves to the windows and looks out. "And learning another language would be cool. I only speak Italian and English." his eyes rove. "You can see EVERYTHING from here, almost."

Darcy frowns "Oh.....L's your friend who's sort of gender queer is it? Damn did they hear your dad say the f word?" Vincent would know by now that the f word that offends Darcy most is not the one considered the f bomb. "Please tell L that they or he or she are so very welcome here. And if studying with L helps you in French, I can just be a back up helper. I know how important it is to connect with your friends Vincent.'

Vincent scoffs. "Probably. I'll apologize for my father when I see L tomorrow. Hopefully for the last time." he grins. "I will. Could I have more than one friend over? Like ... Fi and L and Addison? For whatever .. studying or watching movies or just hanging out?" he blows out a breath. "Man ... it's weird ... I never did that. Even when my mom was ALIVE .. just .. had friends over." he blows out a breath.

Darcy smiles "Of course you can. Just warn me if you're planning a really huge party. I might go out. Not much of a big crowd person myself." She admits."But yes, hang out here. This is HOME remember?"

Vincent smiles. "Sure ...but I don't have a lot of REAL friends, I don't think." he smirks. "And the same goes for you, if you .. you know .. want to bring someone home." to him this is just common courtesy ... one he, of course, was never offered.

Darcy laughs "Thanks I'll keep that in mind. No danger in the near future. I'm pretty beat so I might call it a night early. I have to get up for the movers tomorrow pretty early too. So I'm going to say good night and go get ready for bed. You pretty much have your own bathroom because I have one attached to my room. Hey do you need toothpaste. I bought an extra. It's just crest....regular..."

Vincent smiles. "Alright. Yes, I need it .. I can pick a toothbrush up tomorrow." he tells her and suddenly snaps his fingers. "By the way ... if you hear a high pitched scream in the bathroom ... its only me seeing a spider. Please bring your gun and kill it." he confesses his fear to her. "Goodnight, Aunt Darcy ... and thank you."

Darcy snorts and goes to grab him the extra toothpaste "No guns in the house and so far no spiders. Night kid, and you're welcome."

Vincent grins and takes the toothpaste into the bathroom. He brushes his teeth and looks at himself in the mirror. Then he tides up a little and goes into his bedroom. Turning the light off by the wall switch, he lets his eyes adjust and goes to the cot, making it up a little. He lays in it and listens to the silence and smiles softly to himself, setting his alarm and sending Fi a final text. "I love this place! See you tomorrow! Good night." followed by a kissy emoji. Then he lays down, not expecting a reply, but is soon asleep anyway.

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