Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Cyroa

Revelations: Meeting the Parents

Recommended Posts

Derrick was dressed nicely. Not quite in a 3 piece suit, but still a few steps up from jeans and a t-shirt. He wasn't nervous, not really, but he did want to make a good first impression. After all, they were going to meet Stesha's folks. Not only that but he had a something important to do there as well. It had been put off long enough as far as he was concerned.

It wasn't hard to pack. Nor really necessary considering either of them could zip back home in moments. And this was home to Derrick. He'd been practically living with Stesha for a little while now. She was home. He just wanted to make it a little more formal is all.

So he stood by patiently, packed well in advance, waiting for Stesha to finish up, watching and smiling all the while.

Share this post


Link to post

Derrick's philosophy of packing didn't seem to resonate with Stesha, who was already well into her second suitcase. Part of it was all the presents and souvenirs she was bringing home, part of it was that she kept unpacking clothes to try them on, uncertain of what she should wear. She didn't exactly have to dress up for her family, sure, but this was a big day. Not only were they meeting the man she loved for the first time, but she was also going to drop the "I'm a superhero" bomb onto them. What did one wear for that?

She was on her fourth outfit by the time she dragged her luggage out to the living room for the trip. "How can you be so calm," she asked Derrick with affection exasperation, "when I feel like I'm losing my mind?"

Share this post


Link to post

Derrick just smiled. He was normally a very unflappable fellow regardless. "They are your family. They raised a lovely, kind, smart and wonderful girl. And we face monsters, threats to the city or even the world on a regular basis. We've seen sights that would horrify most folks and seen such beauty as to take the breath away. I just know this is going to be fine," he said with a warm smile. But then, he believed most things would turn out fine, even the ones that required a little planning. It was just his nature. "You're just nervous is all. It will work out, I'm sure."

Share this post


Link to post

"I hope so," Stesha said, stopping to take a deep breath. "I know I have to tell them, but my heart's still in my throat about it." She walked over to him and gave him a hug. "I'm glad you'll be with me, you'll keep me from chickening out at the last minute... again. And they're gonna love you." Stesha looked up at him and gave him a sunny smile. "Bringing you home with me should make up for any little "being a superhero" thing. You about ready to go?"

Share this post


Link to post

Derrick took her hand and gave it a gentle squeeze. "I wouldn't miss it. I'll be there ever step. I'll reveal myself as well if it will make your family handle it better. Whatever I can do to help really." He nudged his simple little back and nodded. "Of course," he said with an honest smile.

Share this post


Link to post

"I think we'll play that by ear," Stesha told him. "I want them to be able to appreciate you for everything you are, but it might be a little too much to take in all at once. If things are going really well or really badly, maybe we'll just tell them everything all at once." She sat down on her suitcase, and kept hold of his hand, looking towards one of her potted trees as it snaked a long branch in their direction. "You ready to go? Google Maps found me a nice little back alley near the car rental place, it should do us just fine."

Share this post


Link to post

Derrick nodded. "That's fine. I'm sure it will go well though," he said confidently. A last kiss on her cheek and a little squeeze of her hand and he was ready. "Whenever you are. Let's go meet your family."

Share this post


Link to post

The transit itself was a quick rush of green and an instantaneous transit, even over hundreds of miles. They came out in a little alley, popping out of a scraggly dandelion, luggage and all. Stesha had made arrangements for the car in advance, so it was a simple matter to pick it up from the rental agency and start heading for the suburbs. Because she was nervous, Stesha turned on the radio and sang along as they went, trying to keep her spirits up even as they crawled through the traffic.

Gradually the press of cars eased as they got off 90 and onto the smaller county roads around Northwestern University. Almost despite herself, Stesha relaxed a little as they entered the neighborhood of big old homes and spacious yards that had been her stomping grounds for her entire life before the past two years. The Madison house was a two story brick building with a broad front porch and a huge garden in the side yard, with abundant flowers, trees and bushes everywhere. The barbecue had already started, and there was a spirited, if small game of touch football going on on the lawn. "Well, here we are..." Stesha said, taking a deep breath. "Home, sweet home."

Share this post


Link to post

It had been a while since Derrick had driven in a car. Seriously. How much time did you need to spend in a car when you could cross the galaxy in a few minutes flat? Still, it was both relaxing and a little odd to look out the windows and watch the houses go by. It wasn't that long a trip anyway; finally they pulled to a stop.

He nodded with a smile. "I'm sure it'll be fine," he said, giving her a lick peck on the cheek. "Together, all the way." He gave her hand a final squeeze as he exited the car and went to retrieve their bags. "Looks like a lovely home," he said, pulling them out of the car.

Share this post


Link to post

"I always liked it. Everybody here is good people, they're going to understand, eventually." Stesha took one last deep breath, then climbed out of the car.

She went around for her luggage, but had barely gotten the trunk open when she was nearly tackled by a blond man in a Northwestern t-shirt and jeans. "Ha, I've got you now!" Stesha chortled as she was scooped up and hugged, throwing her arms around the man's neck. "You've still got that crazy hippy hair, too, little sister," he said, mock-admonishingly. "We've got the razor for that, right after we finish beating up this boyfriend..."

Stesha snorted, pushing at his chest till he put her down. "Jasha, you're a horrible person," she told him, still half-laughing. "Derrick, this is my big brother Jasha, who is a horrible person. Jasha, this is Derrick, who is a wonderful person, and a lot harder to beat up than the boys you chased off me back in high school."

Share this post


Link to post

Derrick noted the rushing figure with a raised eyebrow and a smile. He missed his own rambunctious family gatherings, long since past. Still, he was quiet, letting them enjoy their reunion. "I'd prefer to leave her hair the way it is. It suits her," he said with an honest smile, finally speaking up.

Derrick gave a smile, knowing he didn't look like much of a threat. Lean and not heavily muscled by any stretch of the imagination. A man of average appearance in his mid-twenties and not particularly agile or graceful. He stuck out his hand. "But let's refrain from the from trying to 'finish me off', shall we? I wouldn't want to spoil the day," he said, shaking the brother's hand with a knowing smile. "Pleased to meet you. Stesha's told me a lot about you."

Share this post


Link to post

"Heh, and it's all true. Good to meet you, Derrick. Come back and meet the family." Jasha introduced Derrick to his wife Lorraine, a charming woman in a Northwestern T-shirt, carrying a smaller version of Jasha named Daniel who gabbled happily and waved tiny arms in Derrick and Stesha's direction. Stesha's little nephew was a boisterous boy in the heart of toddlering, but still young enough to show off his cuteness. Everyone in the family seemed very happy to see Derrick, though it was hard to tell with all the boisterous teasing they seemed fond of.

"So you're a nuclear scientist?" asked Chloe, the youngest sister, with frizzy short hair and the rimless glasses college kids thought were cute, who had evidently drawn the wrong conclusion from Stesha's messages home. "What field are you in?"

Share this post


Link to post

Derrick did his best to be extra polite, joking and laughing, and asking questions of his own when appropriate as he met the various members of the family. Politeness was a sign of respect after all. He might not be the most clueful fellow, but he wasn't a complete shut-in. He answer Chloe honestly; it was one of his true interests after all. "Well, not exactly. Oh, I've studied mathematics and its various applications in depth. Chemistry, astronomy, physicals, and even a little engineering as it applied to my work and research. But my true specialty has always been a fascination of mine. Quantum physics, interstellar phenomena and science and spatial studies has been something of a passion of mine for more than a few years I must admit."

Share this post


Link to post

Stesha was pretty involved cuddling and cooing at Jasha's six month old son, but she jumped in to defend Derrick from an annoying younger sister. "For God's sake, Chloe, there's more to nuclear science than building bombs," Stesha told her little sister, rolling her eyes. "The work Derrick does helps millions of people." She broke off, brightening visibly, as a woman came out of the house with a plate of rolled sandwiches. "Mom!" She jogged over to her mother and gave her a hug with her free arm, turning to beam at Derrick. "Mom, this is Derrick, the most wonderful man in the world... that you didn't give birth to," she added humorously, knowing what her mom would say.

Share this post


Link to post

Derrick blinked as Stesha clued him in to the meaning of Chloe's words. "Bombs? Oh no, I don't do anything that has to do with weapons," he said quite honestly (though he'd been called one a couple times). "I'm not quite a pacifist but pretty close. I really don't believe in violence." He turned as he heard Stesha's call. "If you'll excuse me a moment," he said politely before moving over to Stesha and her mother. "Mrs. Madison, it's an honor to meet you. She's exaggerating I assure you," he said with a smile as he introduced himself.

Share this post


Link to post

Chloe closed her mouth, efficiently silenced by an older sister who obviously had some experience with that. Annie Madison, for her part, was all smiles for Derrick, the cheerful woman giving him a noticeable onceover. "Hello there! I've heard so much about you, it's so nice to finally meet you!" She smelled faintly of herbs, but from the faint dirt under her nails it wasn't for the same reason as Stesha. "I'm afraid Stesha's father is running late from the office today, so it's just me running the show. Don't worry," she added to Stesha, "your sister is running the kitchen."

Share this post


Link to post

"Great!" Stesha said enthusiastically, giving her mom another hug, then passing her the baby. Looking at the two of them together, it was possible to get a good idea of what Stesha would have looked like in thirty years, if she'd kept her natural blond hair and predilection for aging. For a woman with six grown children, Annie Madison was surprisingly youthful-looking, and surpassingly cheerful "I'll go in and say hi, then freshen up quick. It was a long trip," Stesha fibbed. "Derrick, there's a whole table of drinks and snacks around the side of the house, and probably some beer in a cooler if I know Jasha and David. I'll be right back, and if any big blond guys hassle you, just smack them around a little and tell them it's from me." With a broad grin, she ducked into the kitchen.

Share this post


Link to post

Derrick quirked a smile as Stesha abandoned him to her family. Ah well, he faced down alien armadas, he could handle this. "There will be no smacking," he called out as she quickly headed for the house. He turned back to Stesha's mother with smile. "Is there anything I can help with," he asked politely and honestly. It was only right that he contributed somehow.

Share this post


Link to post

"Why yes, yes there is." Annie took Derrick by the hand and led him around the side of the house, where an ample herb garden was growing. Annie might not have her daughter's powers, but it was readily obvious where her talent for plant manipulation came from. Pointing to a row of hanging plants with different herbs and small vegetables hanging from them, she said, "It's getting harder for me to reach some of the basket herbs these days. Could you bring me down the oregano, please?"

Share this post


Link to post

Derrick took in the new angle and perspective of the house as he was led around. He nodded and moved towards the hanging plants. "Of course. I see you and Stesha have something of a green thumb," he said, nodding to the healthy garden. He glanced up, taking a moment to figure out which planter was the right one. If it wasn't for the fact that Stesha did so much cooking and some of her knowledge had rubbed off on him, he would have had no idea which one it was. Lifting the hanging basket down, he turned back to Annie. "Would you like me to take this inside or just snip a few pieces off for now?"

Share this post


Link to post

Annie looked satisfied when Derrick exhibited at least a rudimentary knowledge of herbs, though she tested him further by asking for basil, which was easy, and cilantro, which was harder. They carried the herbs into the house, where Stesha and a pretty blond woman in her early forties were chopping brightly colored bell peppers. Stesha beamed at him, her discomfort seemingly forgotten for the moment. "Derrick, this is Grace, my big sister. She and her husband live right here in town." The social worker, Derrick could remember from earlier conversations.

"It's nice to meet you," Grace said pleasantly enough, giving Derrick a once-over that said she was reserving judgment. "Stesha is always talking about you when she calls home. You're a native of Freedom City, aren't you?"

Share this post


Link to post

Having passed the herbal pop-quiz, Derrick followed Annie into the kitchen...for the next round of questioning. He flashed Stesha a happy smile upon seeing her as he entered. He placed his harvest upon the table and stood off to the side (read: out of the way), since shaking hands wasn't likely with someone working. "Pleasure to meet you Grace. Stesha reciprocates, never fear. I hear about your family regularly," he said honestly. "You have a great family." He leaned back against the counter to watch, mostly Stesha but everyone was there too, as they worked. "Oh yes. I was born and raised there. Though I've been away for a while, periodically." Pause. Uh... "For work." Nice recovery.

Share this post


Link to post

"How do you feel about Chicago?" Annie asked brightly. "It's a nice town, isn't it? A good place to raise a family, good schools, work for scientists. Northwestern has a nuclear science program, you know." A first generation immigrant, Annie still had a Russian accent, though decades in America had softened it considerably.

"Mooom..." Stesha began, embarrassed.

"Well it is!" Annie told her, completely unsubdued. She looked to Derrick for his reaction.

Share this post


Link to post

Derrick smiled. "It is a very impressive city. I've been here a few times, for work," he said honestly. 'For work' not being what they thought of course. "Though my sight seeing of the city has been rather minimal." He gave a wry smile. "Though, for the record, I'm an astro-physicist technically. But there are definitely fields of study that overlap," he said in agreement. "Honestly, the city I live isn't as important to me. I suppose I can reside anywhere, as long as I'm happy there," he said, smiling at Stesha. "Of course, Freedom City is my home town and my work does keep me there quite often."

Share this post


Link to post

The kitchen conversation was briefly interrupted by the arrival of Stesha's father Paul, a middle-aged man in a sweater-vest, tie, and slacks. He was in plants just like his wife and daughter, though in a much more academic way than Annie and Stesha. He gave his wife a big kiss first, and his daughters a hug, before rounding on this friendly interloper."Hello!" he said with a big smile, shaking Derrick's hand with a firm grip despite his skinny fingers. "It's a pleasure to meet you at last. I'm sure you've heard that already, though." He studied him for a moment, then Stesha, a grin crinkling the corner of his eyes. "Are you two sure it was just the holidays that got you out here?"

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×