Tavo and Rothschild travel to Celeste on a 24-hour pass so that Tavo can see his family.
Location: North Of Celeste, Scorpia
Related Scenes: None
Scene Number: 337
The maglev ride from Argentum Bay to Celeste is quiet, despite Tavo's dire prognostications of trouble between clans. There are some glares thrown around between locals, but it's a tourist ride, and no matter how much they grumble about it, tourism brings in a lot of money, and nobody wants to frak that up. There's a reason the maglev ride is a tourist attraction, however, as it follows the coast, zipping over and through emerald jungles, golden sand beaches, and sapphire oceans. There is even a section where the maglev slows down briefly to duck beneath the waves in a clear tunnel, letting its occupants get a (still pretty fast) look at a coral reef.
Tavo is quiet through most of the ride, stewing in his own anticipation. He still wears the sling, although he's put aside any sense of uniform for a pair of white linen pants and a short-sleeved button-up shirt of a simple blue. As the maglev slows to a halt north of the city, Tavo blows out a breath and nods a little, "We're here." It's clearly a resort community, with a gorgeous open-air maglev station and people in various brightly-colored polo shirts greeting guests and directing them to proper transport. Tavo offers out his good hand to Rothschild, leading them into the swirl of tourists, his shoulders a little hunched to make him stand out from the crowd less -- an instinctive self-defense technique.
Rothschild has enjoyed the journey, leaned up against Tavo's side with her eyes on the window much of the ride. She pointed and inquires about some of the sights, but otherwise just settles into a quiet peace as they leave the Bay. When the maglev starts to slow, the Leonese woman arches her brows a bit toward the tourist flow, and then to the hand she is offered. She smiles, takes it gently, and then stands. Dora has chosen layered skirts and a bandeau-style top that wraps around her chest and along her middle before tying off at her hips. A light cover-up over this marks her even more as a tourist, but she doesn't mind fitting into that particular box. She smiles as they move, and she brushes her hand across his hip as she curls her arm around him. "Don't worry so much," she murmurs to him, trying to sooth the assumed weight in his hunched shoulders.
Tavo chuckles a little ruefully at her chiding, rolling his shoulders with a grimace -- partially in pain and partially recognizing the fact that they were tightening up -- and nodding, "Sorry. Just... I don't come home often. Too many assholes." He keeps the words quiet as they merge in with the flow of people leaving the train. The easy intimacy of her touch as she wraps an arm around him paints a touch of surprise on his face, but the expression quickly sinks into a smile, freeing his right arm from between them to wrap around her shoulders. The light rush of tourists is just starting to get milled up and spit into multiple streams when he spots two women -- one in her fifties but looking a good deal older and the other in her mid twenties -- and a man in his mid twenties holding a hand-painted sign that says, 'Welcome Home, Tavo.' The two women clearly share many of Tavo's features, even if the elder is shorter than Eudora and the younger just about her height. The man just as clearly does not share any familial resemblance. Likely Tavo's mother, sister, and brother-in-law.
"No ma'am," comes Tavo's quick and smiling response to her question. The nod causes him to glance over toward the trio, and he stops in surprise, "I just... how..." And then he chuckles ruefully, "Sole." As if his sister is, of course, to blame for them being here waiting for the pair. Still, he moves over toward his family, extricating his arm from around Rothchild's shoulders as they near. The young woman slips free first, coming up to hug Tavo hard enough to draw a grunt, then immediately turning to Rothschild, "You must be Tavo's 'friend.'" The quotation marks are audible. "I'm Soledad, his sister. But you can call me Sole." She gives the Leonese woman a long, concerned-sister look along with the greeting. Behind her, her husband exchanges a handshake with Tavo, then takes the sign so that his mother can hug the gunner, murmuring, "Mijo, what have they done to you?" undoubtedly in regards to his shoulder.
"Mmmhmm," Dora muses at Tavo's surprise, though she wears a small smile of appreciation as he draws her along. She stays back a step, giving Tavo and his sister space to hug. She glances beyond them toward the older woman and the brother-in-law, nodding gently. When Sole turns her attention to Dora, the woman smiles a slightly reserved smile. "Yes, hello. I'm Dora." She holds out a hand to greet the woman, and then lingers back as Tavo finishes his rounds. The murmur from his mother draws a faint smile. "He will be alright, Mrs. Delgado... I've been making sure he keeps up with his PT." Then she steps up to greet Soledad's husband.
Soledad takes Dora's hand without hesitation, then makes way for the brother-in-law, "Nito," and the mother, "Keeara, please, dear," to give their handshakes as well. Benito's is quite enthusiastic (and includes a glance at Rothschild's chest), Keeara's with a certain reserve. Tavo glances down with an 'aw moooooom' sort of look that he's probably been using for twenty-five years, but he nods at Rothschild's assurances, "I've had just as bad on the court, Mama." It's not quite true, of course, but it's meant to be reassuring, "I'll be fine with a little time." Keeara snorts and looks back to Rothschild, "You keep making sure he does the PT, dear. But let's go. I think my pocketbook has gotten lighter just standing with all these tourists." Evidently, Dora doesn't count. Sole leads off the way through the train station to the parking lot at Keeara's urging, "So you're a Marine too, Dora? You look familiar. Did you play pyramid too?" It's possible that the whole family is crazy.
Dora is warm when she greets the pair, and she smiles a bit more for Keeara before she glances toward Tavo with an arched brow. "Mmhmm... I have your mother's permission now. We start the star chart when we get back." Golden stars, of course. Then she looks back to Soledad at her inquiry, and the Praetorian clears her throat slightly. "Mm, well... no. I attended quite a few." She hesitates for a few moments, and then sighs in acceptance. "You probably recognize me from some of the Colonial Forces war tour. I'm Eudora Rothschild." She leaves off the subtitle of 'Praetorian of Trenoir' and just sticks with her first and last name.
Tavo chuckles at the star comment, reaching out to give his mother another squeeze around the shoulders with his good arm, "Thanks Mama." Very dry, very sarcastic. But still very loving. Sole's question causes Tavo to glance sidelong at Dora, and he's just about to step in when she outs herself, his brows rising slightly in surprise. Nito gives a "hah!" of recognition, but Sole and Keeara just nod acceptance, "I'm sure you've made your family very proud of you with your work," that's from Keeara. Tavo does put in then, "She's just here to relax, Nito. No talking to your buddies." Sole herself lets everyone else put their two credits in, then notes, "I like Dora better. Have you ever been paragliding, Dora?" She cuts a glance to Tavo then, "Old Blue is still tied up at the dock." That gets a sidelong glance from Keeara as they reach the family car, an old station wagon that looks oft-repaired. Nito moves around toward the driver's seat, and Keeara to the passenger's.
"Yes, Ma'am," Dora says obediently to Keeara's assumption, not defying it in any way. As they advance toward the car, Dora looks up to Tavo with a small, wordless smile. She knows what she just did, and it doesn't seem to make the tension in her shoulders relax. Soledad's question distracts her well enough, and she shakes her head. "No, though it has always looked like fun." Her Leonese accent is soft, her words light. Only Tavo may recognize the slight nerves that filter into her reserved demeanor. She waits for Tavo to direct her with the car, not wishing to assume where she should sit.
Sole teases, "I'll sit in the middle!" only to be shushed by Keeara. Tavo starts toward the seat behind his mother, then stops and circles the car so that his injured shoulder will be on the outside, holding the door open for Dora. "Don't worry, there's legroom in the middle." Soledad settles into the seat behind her mother without further teasing, "Oh, it is. Especially the way we do it. Has Tavo warned you that the kids of tourist trap workers are crazy?" Okay, maybe a little teasing, "And Old Blue isn't that bad, Mama. Sammy has been keeping the engine tuned up." Keeara responds dryly, "That's what I'm worried about. That woman is a menace." Looking into the mirror on her visor, she says to Rothschild, "You don't have to go, dear. Or if you do, you don't have to let them go full throttle." There's a pause, and a hint of mischief lightens her features, "They'll only think a little less of you if you go slow." Tavo groans.
Dora starts to chuckle, but she folds her lips slightly when Tavo sweeps around the car and she follows. The invitation has her sliding in and settling between Soledad and Tavo. The talk of Old Blue draws her eyes to Tavo questioningly but then she nods to Keeara's reassurances. "Mm, well... if I don't go, Tavo will and his shoulder isn't ready for that sort of excitement."
Tavo folds himself carefully into the car behind Dora, protesting, "My shoulder's not that bad. It's just gliding." Or, you know, being hauled behind a speedboat on a parachute. Nito drives quickly through traffic, each of the locals cranking the windows down quickly and the driver noting, "Sorry about the AC -- it went out a couple of months ago." That causes Tavo to frown slightly, shifting in his seat, but he's back on the topic, "There's really nothing to it unless something goes wrong. And even with the sling I can float. Old Blue is the old paragliding boat, by the way. It was retired when I was in secondary school, and they let Sammy have her way with the engine. It's... pretty dang fast." Sole puts in, "It flies."
Around them, the area is a more-sprawling version of the Agentum Bay beachfront, huge resort hotels on the water side, tourist trap eateries and shops on the next couple of streets over, and -- in the direction they're heading -- the small homes of the locals around the bend of the cove. That area of town is obviously not well-to-do, but there don't appear to be any homeless either. 'Lived-in' is probably the best description.
Rothschild peeks around Tavo's big frame as they come into view of the beachfront. She looks over the sand and ocean briefly before she looks back to Tavo and Soledad, tucking flyaway locks back behind her ears. "It's alright," she reassures Nito before she glances back to Tavo at the description of Old Blue. "Who is Sammy again?" She glances between Soledad and Tavo for the answer before she continues with, "I'm happy to give it a try."
Tavo scrunches back in his seat to let Rothschild look over the town as it changes from tourist traps to local homes. The big man glances out at them again, something a little sad in his gaze, while Soledad answers the question, "Samantha Cresswhile. She has a garage in town and works on the boats of most of the resorts. She's... what... three years behind you, Tavo?" That draws the gunner back into the conversation, "Hmm? Yeah. Three years."
The car pulls into the driveway of a one-story house with a neatly trimmed, sun-scorched lawn out front. It's pale yellow, with solar tiles on the roof and a bird-bath out front. There are several palm trees alongside the drive, and flowering bushes under the wide-open windows. Curtains blow in the light breeze. Tavo pushes his door open, steps out, and offers Rothschild a hand, "Here it is. House I grew up in." Keeara assures them both, "Don't worry. We'll get you into one of the open rooms at the resort tonight. You won't have to stay here."
Dora notices the distance Tavo has, despite being tightly packed in the car. She touches his leg briefly before she turns to listen to Soledad's description of Samantha. She just nods, drawn now to the drive up to the house. She looks at the neighboring dwellings, and something settles almost uncomfortably in her stomach. She smiles through it, and at Keeara's reassurances, she starts to shake her head. "Oh, Keeara... that's alright. Tavo only gets a short time here." She looks at Tavo for some kind of confirmation on that.
Soledad pipes in, "Oh, trust me, you don't want to stay in my room. And Tavo's room is just a shrine to his pyramid days." And she sticks her tongue out at her brother. Tavo himself glances down at Dora's touch to his leg, offering a slightly apologetic smile to her as they disembark. Keeara glances to Tavo and swallows the mischief dancing in her eyes, "No, it's quite alright, dear. I do like to show off the resort too. Just clean up after yourselves so that I don't have to." Tavo chuckles at that, "Don't worry, Mama. There's no room for messes on a ship." Reaching down for Rothschild's hand, he gives it a light squeeze as the group heads for the front door, "We'll spend some time here, and then go for some meals with the family." He pauses, then offers a little smile, "So what embarrassing thing would you like to see first?" Soledad suggests, "Baby pictures!" And Nito puts in, "Yearbooks."
Inside, the furniture is old, used, but well-maintained. The entire place is neat and tidy, and there are fans sitting in every room, whirring quietly. There is a living room at the front, a kitchen and patio at the back, and a hallway with four tiny bedrooms and two bathrooms.
"If you insist..." Dora smiles to Tavo gently as she agrees with her mother's insistences. Then she breathes in a deep breath, looking around the abode. She takes in each detail with a slow turn and glance, and she regards Sole and Nito after a moment with a chuckle. "How about a tour first, and then Tavo can find a closet to hide in while you show me baby pictures." The Leonese offers the big Scorpian a gentle smile before she departs to join Soledad.
Tavo looks over his childhood home with Dora, and then nods a little to himself, evidently satisfied. "Don't believe everything she tells you, Dora," he warns as Soledad hurries back through the hall. "Don't believe anything she tells you." His fingers squeeze hers, and then he lets her go after his sister, giving his mother another hug before drifting into the kitchen with her to catch her up.
Soledad points to the kitchen and first bathroom in passing only, calling them out in turn, and then points to the first room, "That was mine. Now it's storage some." For her stuff, by all indications. There are still sports and music posters on the walls, and awards for journalism and pyramid over her desk, although the latter stop in secondary school. "Then there's Mama's scrapbooking room." She lowers her voice a little and adds, "It was Xavier's room." Moving on quickly, "That's Mama's room, and the other bathroom." And then she swings open the last door triumpantly, "And Tavo's!" Yeah, it's just what you would expect, most likely. Pyramid pictures, awards, and articles everywhere. A few pictures of Tavo not in pyramid uniforms, mostly on jungle trails. There's also a feel of the room being bigger than the occupant, interestingly enough. Like it's big and bold because it's expected, not because that's what Tavo wanted necessarily. The bed is extra long as well, but not extra wide.
Rothschild peeks into the first room, and nods. "Mmhmm. My parents did the same thing when I was moved out... a child's room is quick to become storage, or worse... a readng nook." She conisders each detail that Soledad presents her, and she peeks into each room respectfully. When they get to Tavo's, she just stands in the doorway for a few moment, shaking her head. "Gods..." Then she steps inside, almost tentative. She reaches out for one of the pictures of Tavo, and her thumb brushes over his young face. "Mm, he was always tall, wasn't he?"
Soledad looks around the room once, then studies Rothschild instead, crossing her arms as she does. The question draws a nod, "Always. Taller and bigger than everyone else. And careful too. Careful not to hurt anyone. He never hurt me growing up." Impish amusement settles back onto her features, "I think I pushed him around more than he pushed me around when we were little." Pause, "Littler." She looks back over her shoulder, down the hall, then back to Rothschild, stepping into Tavo's old room too and lowering her voice a bit, "Why Tavo?"
"Sounds like Tavo," Dora says softly as she admires another one of the pictures. It brings a smile to her face, but then the the question causes her to blink and look into the face of Tavo's sister. Younger, but certainly his protector. She clears her throat a bit, and then shakes her head. "Perhaps for the same reasons... he's careful... and he cares. At first, it was just because we were about to go into some heavy combat... we both needed some comfort. But I knew Tavo would be safe." She looks a bit more seriously now. "You need that in a warzone."
The throat clearing actually gets a little smile from Soledad, the young woman reading one of Tavo's mannerisms there even if it's not. She listens to the response critically, nodding slowly, "You need safe, or you need comfort? Because he hasn't brought anyone else here. Not in ten years. And just because he's 'safe' doesn't mean he can't be hurt." Thankfully, most likely, Keeara's voice comes from down the hallway, "Mija! It doesn't take that long to show the house off. Get the albums and come back to the living room."
That surprises Dora, and she blinks owlishly at Soledad. "No... no one?" She glances at the hallway, brows furrowed. The small warning from the sister does draw Dora's attention back, and she nods quickly. "Of course, I don't pla -- " And then the voice calls, and her words fade out. She smiles a bit to Soledad, and nods. "I care for your brother, but I can't make promises. I will try not to hurt him."
"Groups. But not alone." And then Soledad calls back, "Coming, Mama!" She steps out of the room, then stops to take in Dora's response. After a moment, she nods, evidently approving of the answer. "Good. Big promises make big disappoints." And then she leads the way back into the scrap-booking room, digging down into a stack to pull out a moving picture frame. "Here we go. Baby Tavo."