Zoe Flores, Christoph Tanner & Aira RiveraLocation:
Rivera Family Home (West Vancouver; Canada).Interacting With: Each Other.
Sitting back, Chris wiped his hand across his forehead, realizing too late that he had accidentally slathered paint on his face. Ignoring it for now, he sat back and took a good look at what he had helped make on the wall.
A soft yawn breaking the otherwise heavy silence in the room, Aira lifted her hands up. Rubbing sleepily at her eyes and smearing paint across her young features as she did so. She was tired... she always was after seeing something like that- after plastering it all over the wall. Arms dropping down to her side, her small figure fell against the larger one beside her. Her hands lifting, balling into small fists around Chris' top, she curled herself against him. Unable to stop herself from giving a second yawn as her eyes closed; once more their normal color now that the episode had come to pass."..mm'sleepy..." "Alright little one."
he said softly, scooping her up to return her to her bed. Placing her gently on the mattress, he carefully removed her fists from his shirt and did his best to wipe the paint off his hands before pulling the covers over her. Smoothing her hair back once, he left her to sleep before stepping back and turning to Zoe. "She should probably have a bath, with all that paint on her,"
he said in a low voice, "but I'd feel bad making her stay up, after what she's been through."
Nodding her head, the only sign that she was even paying attention to what was being said to her, Zoe let her attention linger. Watching the child a few moments longer to make sure that she wasn't going to wake again before she let her gaze wander. Turning instead to meet with Chris', "..I'll change her sheets tomorrow... make sure there's a bath waiting for her when she wakes up... for now, I just-... I want to let her sleep..."
Nodding, Chris motioned toward the still open door, turning to follow her out after taking one last look at the painting now adorning the wall next to the others. On the canvas, a woman stood over a body on the ground, and several trucks burned in the background. The trucks on the ground had 'Nova' painted on their side, but Chris had never heard of that company. Once they were both out of the room, he carefully closed the door, not letting the handle go until it had latched without a sound, he sighed as quietly as he could and then looked at Zoe. "Is it just the two of you here, alone in this house? Where are her parents?"
Scoffing at the mere mention of Aira's parents, Zoe dropped her head. Shaking it lightly from side to side before once more her gaze met with his. Her arms folding over the front of her chest. The action causing her breasts to look bigger than they actually were, not that she was trying, "Those pendejos. I wouldn't consider them parents. As soon as they figured out what Aira could do, they used it for their own gain. Struck it big at a few races... won the lottery, then pissed off somewhere and only come back when they need another injection financially. They abuse her ability, and then leave her behind to fend for herself." "What?"
Chris growled, looking back at the door. For a very brief moment, part of his brain told him he needed to take care of her, that parents like that wouldn't even notice she was missing, but kidnapping was a crime regardless of the situation. Letting his sudden anger drain, he blew a breath through his teeth. "Well, I can't in good conscience let you two keep on like this alone. It must be exhausting taking care of her like this. What can I do to help?" "..you have no idea..."
Breaking into a small smile, Zoe shook her head lightly; and for the first time, he could see just how tired and worn out she actually was, "..I've been here the better part of a month, and I think I've only gotten a couple of hours sleep a night... sometimes less. And then even when her parents are here; they aren't here, if you know what I mean. They just don't care. So I sneak around at night; I cook, I clean, I order groceries, I do the laundry... it's... severely exhausting, yeah... worse on nights when she has episodes like she did tonight..."
Chris rubbed his palm against the back of his head."I know you just met me tonight, but I want to help that little girl. I feel like she and I are the same in a lot of ways. Both basically without family, both having to work around the changes we're going through."
Looking away, he muttered almost to himself, "Plus I wouldn't mind spending more time with you."
Clearing his throat, he continued, "I don't want to get in trouble with her parents when they come back, but if you need anything, just say the word and I'll do what I can.
He... wanted to spend more time with her..?
Surprise flickering across her features, her brows raising slightly, Zoe watched him. Her head dropping when he cleared his throat. That wasn't something that she'd been expecting- honestly. She hadn't been expecting anything that had happened through the night thus far. It was definitely an eventful one, though, she had to admit that it hadn't been without its benefits, "..stay then..." "Stay... here? As in, here in the house?"
Chris let the surprise show on his face, "Aren't you pretending to be a rabbit? I guess that might be blown after tonight, but what happens if her parents come home tomorrow?" "..they've been gone for almost two weeks without so much as a phone call... either they aren't coming back, or when they do walk through that door, I'm going to ram my fist down their throats for what they've put her through." "I..."
Chris hesitated, sure that something would go drastically wrong. He wanted to say yes, perhaps partially because he had been alone for so long now, but he couldn't help but imagine all that could go wrong. When was the last time he had trusted his heart and taken a leap though?"I'll get my things tomorrow, then."
Nodding her head lightly, showing him she understood, her arms broke away from across her chest. Hands lifting up until she was able to rub at her face, unable to help a yawn from slipping through her own lips, though she knew she couldn't rest yet. There were still things she needed to do. For fucks sake, she still needed that shower. As much as she loved a pop of color, being painted a multitude of them was most definitely not her style."..there's still so much to do..."
Dropping her arms back down to her side, she looked away. Her gaze staring off down the hallway for a few moments of respite before she brought her attention back to him, "..you have paint all over you, by the way..." "Yeah..."
he chuckled, looking down at himself, "Honestly it's not a new experience. Not even the first time this week. I'll probably grab a shower when I go home to pack, a bit of mess doesn't really bother me in the short term."
Remaining silent, chewing on her lower lip thoughtfully, Zoe turned away from him. Her movements slow, with purpose as she headed off down the hallway that led away from the girl's bedroom, and instead wandered towards the master bathroom. Her body pausing in the doorway, she glanced back at him. Holding his eyes for a brief spell, she slipped inside and out of his sight; though the invitation was more than clear as the door remained wide open behind her.
Eyes closing, head tilted to the side, her hand lifted to lightly ruffle at her long and dark wavy locks as her feet carried her through the room until, thanks to pure memory, she came to a stop in front of the shower. Her body leaning into it, she reached forward with her free hand to twist at the taps. The ever relaxing sound of water flowing filled the air, the alluring warmth of the steam causing a smile to once more play over her lips. Her body relaxing the very moment that she took that step and entered the shower... allowing the warm water to wash over her; running rainbow with the paint that began to slowly wash away down the drain at her feet.
Chris wondered what he was doing as he followed her down the hallway, completely spellbound. What if he was reading things wrong? What if he ruined everything right here? What if-
All thoughts of what if fled his mind as he turned into the open doorway and saw Zoe there, standing in the running water. Finally allowing himself to actually look at her, to take her all in, and he came to a decision. For tonight, at least, he would stop worrying about the future, about 'what if,' and give things a try the way she did.
His decision made, he stepped through the door.