Date: April 14, 2010
He still isn't talking, but they're doing the best they can.
It's been a very long few days. Poor Mark. Dealing with a child whose silence is broken only by screams that are accompanied by telekinetic attacks isn't easy. The two adults that absconded the child from the vault have been taking shifts with him. Just so there's always someone there. It seems to have been helping because the tantrums have slowly subsided, though the nightmares continue. Every morning, Cody emerges from the bedroom with a fresh set of scratches or cuts.
This morning, she and the child have opted to let Mark sleep in. She'd gone to a little grocery store yesterday to restock on their supplies and this morning 'Little Skittle' is treated to the best breakfast that Cody knows. Nutella on bread.
He seems to be enjoying it, even though he doesn't smile or any anything. There's chocolate all over, even his eyebrows have gathered a little bit of the spread. That happened when he lifted the slice to lick the chocolate off of it.
"So you like that stuff, huh?" Cody says as she takes a bite of her own piece of Nutella bread.
"You want to have it tomorrow too?" She's always talking to him, it's eerie having a little clingon that doesn't say a word.
"How's he doing?" It's asked from the direction of the bedroom, where Mark, dressed in a blue t shirt and blue plaid sleep pants stands in the doorway. His arms covered in bandages where he's had to be stitched up. At the moment he doesn't wear his glasses, so there is a squint to his eyes, his expression barely readable. Of course, for the last several days the Lane heir has been almost as stoic at the child in their care. Distant and just… almost sad.
Socked feet pad silently across the floor, Mark's eyes on the child. "Just remember. Don't feed it after midnight. It might multiply." The joke is completely deadpan as he moves to the fridge to pull out a container of orange juice, then a glass and sets about pouring. "Should of gotten me up." He chides Cody, glancing at her and giving her a small sad smile.
The container replaced, he turns to look at them both, while he sips at the glass. "I need to make some calls down to Brazil today. See what all I need for getting us down there and into the jungles. Get us a guide too." Eyes go to the kid, as he takes another sip. "After the other day a bit of time down south would be a good thing."
The agent's eyebrows twitch together slightly as she watches Mark closely. The distance has been painfully obvious and though she would have loved to do something about it, the timing has always been off or there's been something else to take care of. "I wanted to let you sleep, you haven't been doing a lot of that for the past few days." None of them have, really, but Cody's used to it and the kid has been the cause. So neither of them have been suffering as much as the CEO.
Cody licks her lips before turning to the child and giving him a tentative smile. "Are you done? You look pretty done. Go to the bathroom and wash up, then you can watch television in Mark's room. Okay?"
But the child slides off the chair, getting chocolate spread all over the table and a piece of the wall as he makes his way to the lavatory.
"I'll clean that up, but he seems to like it." The water can be heard running and Cody gives a quick glance down the hall before sliding next to Mark and placing a hand on his back. "Thanks for letting me stay with you, and… Thank you.. for everything." The arm slides around his waist and is soon joined by the other as she gives him a firm hug. "And I'm sorry, I wish I was better at all of this."
There is only silence at Cody's assessment, cause she's right, Mark hasn't hardly slept at all. In fact, last night was probably the first time he crashed hard and slept all night. His mind is still having a hard time with the shock he received.
In fact, Cody can see the guilt… the sense of betrayal on Mark's features, as the boy slides off the chair and goes to do as Cody asks. Swallowing, he glances down at Cody when he feels her arms slide around him. The glass is set on the counter behind him, so his arms can encircle her, hugging her tightly for a long moment.
"It's okay, Cody." Mark murmurs as his arms loosen slowly, his voice is strained with the stress of the situation. "You know your always welcome here.. well at least until we can't stand each other." A glance is slanted down at her, a small teasing smile there, before it slides away again, eyes going to the door the boy left too.
"Just having a hard time absorbing everything that happened."
Before that smile has the chance to slip away for good, Cody is up on her tiptoes and brushing her lips softly against his. "Just, please, don't beat yourself up over it? We don't know everything that's going on. That vault could have been rented out to the protocol program… Or Sayf Udeen… Or… We don't know who 'owned' him. We don't even know if your family is involved past the contracts." It's unlikely that they're not, but Cody's trying her best to shield Mark.
The water is still running in the bathroom and the sounds of splashing can be heard from where they stand. Cody glances down the hallway again, a little alarm crossing her features but she still stands with her arms wrapped around Mark's waist. "I'm here for you, if you need me." She says gently, then she tears her gaze away from the long corridor and gives Mark a soft smile. "You're too good, you know that? I've never met anyone as selfless or generous as you are." What she doesn't add is the hope that he doesn't become embittered because of it.
"And I'll clean up after him, just don't wear sock in the bathroom until I do." Again, she's giving a worried glance down the hallway where the water has just turned off. Moments later, the boy comes into view, completely soaked with clean hands. His face is still covered in chocolate, but his hands are very clean.
The kiss is received and returned in kind, he sighs softly, forehead resting against hers for a moment. There is a sound that is rather non-committal when she tries to assure him, his head going up as the water shuts off. When the kid steps out drenched, Mark can't help but smile again. He might be dangerous, but he's still a little kid.
"He had to have been in their care for a really long time." Eyes narrow in thought, head tilting to one side a bit. "At least a year. Since that's about the time that we were captured." His arms tighten around her again before letting go so he can pick up his juice again.
"And I'm not good… sheesh… and selfless? Pfft Never." Mark takes a sip of his juice, "I am sure no Mother Teresa."
"You're a better person than I could ever dream of being," Cody murmurs softly as she drifts away. The soaking little boy is picked up and Cody winces as he clings to her where some of her more recent wounds have appeared.
Then she turns to the little boy and divides her attention between them, "You know what? We need a name for you, I can't just keep calling you 'Little Skittle' forever."
It's almost eerie the way those giant blue eyes stare, all the time, but Cody's getting used to it. With a smile, she balances the boy on one hip and turns toward Mark. "I have to go to the warehouse sometime today, to get some money so I can get him some toys and more clothes. He goes through them faster than Mattie goes through diapers."
Little chocolate face and the agent pad back into the kitchen where she leans up to give Mark just one more kiss. The boy turns his head away at the display, wrinkling his nose in disgust. He might be traumatized, but kissing is still gross.
"If you want to come… I was hoping I could get Parkman to 'talk' to him, maybe he can find out his name and where he came from." Also, Mark could meet all of the people she lives with.
"Could call him Cujo." Mark comments a touch blandly, but a smirk is given to the young kid, before he downs the rest of his juice. "But yeah, I'll go with you. Need to figure out what we're gonna do next anyhow. Especially with short stuff there." There is a light frown.
"As much of a delight as he is, can't keep him forever, he might have family out there wondering where he is." Mark eyes the little guy, before shifting over to sit the glass in the sink. "I'll go get cleaned up." He pauses long enough to pull the sock off his feet.
The wet little boy is let down and guided into Mark's bedroom. Before she lets him watch television there are a few instructions given from the doorway. "Take your wet clothes off and get into something dry… You can wear the t-shirt over there. I'll be back in a minute, I'm just going to talk to Mark, okay?" Then she swings the door mostly closed, leaving it open a few inches so the boy knows that they're still there.
"Mark, wait… Before you go." Cody jogs across the floor to catch up with the man. She's still dressed in her flannel bottoms, oddly enough they match his in color but they're striped rather than plaid. Her white t-shirt is long sleeved and comes down to cover her bandages. "I wanted to talk to you about something I've been thinking about."
Taking his hand, she guides him toward the couch and sits down, tugging on his hand to join her. "It's about his family…"
Eyeing the flood in his bathroom, Mark looks more amused then anything, when her hand slips into his. He glances down at it and then at her, letting her pull him along to the couch. Brows lift on his head, as he settles onto the couch, settling back. A hand lifts to comb fingers through his mussed up hair.
"Okay… What is up, O' Lady Medusa." His voice bright though it is only a small smile that accompanies it.
"I'm worried about what we might find out when we find his family." There's no if, it's a when. "He was taken, but they could have been too. Or worse." Cody's voice is kept low so that the boy won't be able to hear them even if he's at the door. Though the television is turned on in the other room, so she's fairly sure he's already enraptured.
Leaning her chin against Mark's shoulder, she looks up at him and knits her eyebrows together tightly. "If we can't find them before we leave for Brazil, what are we going to do with him?"
That question has him sighing, head turning to look out of the wall of windows, lips pressed together as he looks thoughtful. "I… I really don't know." Fingers lift to rub at his eyes looking tired. "I'm hoping one of your group might have an idea of what to do about him." His head turns to look at her finally, "Can't take him down there. It won't be a place for kids."
His head twist a little further to glance at the bedroom out of the corner of his eye, staying silent for a long moment. "What about you?" His eyes flick down to Cody again. "Any ideas?"
"Well," Cody utters quietly, "Best case scenario, he's a missing child and we find his parents safe and searching for him. I'm going to talk to my boss, see if there's a way to hide his whole family if we find them. They'll need it, just in case whoever took him the first time goes back to try to find him."
"Otherwise, I was thinking that Parkman and his ex-wife might be good for him. Until we find out where he comes from or where they are." Cody's hand reaches over to take Mark and she squeezes it lightly. "The Parkmans are good people, they have two kids already. If they're not opposed to taking on one more… We could leave him at the warehouse with them. I just wanted to talk to you about it, in case you had any ideas."
"I have no idea. Kids are a whole new world for me. Kids with abilities is way over my head." His hand warm in hers, thumbs brushes across the woman's knuckles, lightly. Mark gives another long sigh, "So it would be best he ends up with someone that understands what he's been going through."
He smiles gently at her, fingers reaching up to brush at her hair, tucking it behind her ear. "One thing I know is I can trust your judgment." His touch light along her jaw before it drops away. "So if you think these Parkman's might be good for the kid, then ask them. See what they say, just make sure they know that…" His head shakes slowly, "That he's practically feral from abused."
"Parkman is a telepath… I think he's probably the best option for the little guy. He'll be able to communicate with him, help him through what he's been through." Cody smiles up at Mark and shakes her head lightly as he tucks the strands behind her ear. The hair itself curls and tangles around his fingers, locking them there. Then she gives him a wicked little grin. "My judgment's not as good as you think it is… Just…"
"Just, when you come to the warehouse. If you see or hear anything, just remember that it was all for the bottom line, okay?" There's worry in her eyes, when she looks up at him now. Then her hand draws up to cup his cheek and she purses her lips into a thin line. "Please?"
Brows furrow in curiosity as he studies her, the worry noted, Mark wonders exactly what she's concerned about him finding out. He doesn't push her, instead he leans forward to place a kiss on her forehead. "I'm gonna go get a shower. You going to be okay out here with the kid, while I get ready?"
The woman's hair rises up and braids itself into a few long tails before settling back down against her back. "I'll be fine, he's been calming down. I'll just get him packed up to go, if I can tear him away from the television." Cody's lips for a wry smile as she looks up at him again and then she finally tears herself away. Pushing herself off the couch, she heaves a large sigh and stretches before turning to look at him again. "I want you to stay with me for a few days too, just in case." Or maybe she's just not ready to leave just yet. It's a discussion for another time, though, because she's already weaving her way toward his bedroom to collect the tiny terror from in front of the television.