1963-06-12 - Sanctuary
Summary: Armando (Darwin) returns home after the massacre in Mutant Town. Moira has been worried. Adopted-Mom to the rescue!
Related: Mutant Massacre
Theme Song: None
darwin moira 

Since it all started, Moira's been sitting at home with the radio on. Armando's not been home, but she knows rushing out to the scene will just make things worse. She's not near so mobile as she was a year ago, she'll never walk normal, so getting into a protest or a riot is just asking to get into trouble and make it harder on others. So, She can do nothing but sit there, listen to the reports, and try to stifle the sickness in her throat.

The slender, elegant woman is in a pair of slacks and her light button down shirt from the day. The clothes she wore to lecture at a seminar this afternoon, the clothes that were tucked beneath a long ago removed labcoat. She hasn't eaten or changed since getting home. She did make tea, but it now sits cold and untouched on the coffee table. She goes through the limping, slow pace between door and window, looking for him. He just had to make it home safe.

Armando had run from the scene when things began to calm down- moved like a ghostly blur, passing through man and machine alike. However, the lack of density he'd evolved to escape begins to fade as whatever world he'd shunted part of himself into returns that lost density to the young man. He's just outside the door to the apartment he shares with Moira, hands still shaking. He takes his keys, and slides them into the door- unlocking and entering the apartment.

Armando's clothes have bullet holes in them- a sure sign he'd been shot. There is not blood, however, and he doesn't seem to be injured. When Armando sees Moira there- he's quick to state, "I'm okay, I'm not hurt." his breathing coming in sharp breaths- he's shaking and his pale grey face is tearstained.

Just because he's not hurt doesn't mean he's okay. The moment she sees him, she double times in his direction, practically tossing down her crutch to instead use the back of the heavy davenport to support her just long enough that she can make it to his side and toss her arms tight around his slender, far taller frame. He would always be bigger than her, but that didn't mean that she couldn't hug him like a mother. Because she practically was his mother these days. She holds on tight, for dear life, her heart hammering in her chest.

"…You…you shouldn't have been there. God… you are so lucky you weren't killed… Thank god you're not hurt." But she doesn't let go of the hug. She just whispers that rush of words against his cheek, letting him hang onto her as tightly as she does him.

Armando is quick to wrap his arms around Moira- his hold tight. He's thin, tall- its easy to hold onto him. He's shivering, shaking. His eyes close- and he nods, "Sorry, I.. didn't know it would go down like that. I thought it was going to peaceful." he decides its best not to tell Moira, right now, that he rushed to the front and tried to stop the slaughter as best he knew how: arms outreached, shouting for everyone to be better. TO not fall into the trap of violence. He can barely believe he did it himself. "I'm not hurt." he says again, words to assure Moira.

"It was terrible. So many people were injured. So many people died. That guy just murdered the police man- walked up onto the stage and told people to rise up like he wanted a revolution- and then the police started shooting into the crowd. It happened so fast…"

The smaller woman holds onto him for dear life for several moments, heart thundering in her chest like some trapped bird. Finally, when she can remember to breathe and move, she gently begins to guide him back towards the couch so they can sit. She doesn't let go, but she wants him off his feet and probably should be off her's. So, she tugs him to sitting without ever releasing him. He might be taller than her, but he was still younger and she could wrap him up like he was a child, so that's what she was doing right now. Gently, she lets him curl against her shoulder, if he wants. She, meanwhile, tugs the afgan from the back of the couch and pulls it over his slender frame. She just wants to help him stop shaking.

"…People… people are so scared. Scared of what they don't understand. Who… who hurt a policeman? A mutant, or one of the rioters trying to make mutants look bad? No, it… it doesn't matter. It's all so senseless. But it's going to be worse now. God, Armando… you have to be so, so careful…"

Armando supports Moira as much as she supports him- making sure that short walk wasn't difficult for her and her bad leg. He leans close with eyes closed as he takes a few slow breaths- trying to get the terror out of his mind. He rests his head against her shoulder and pulls the afghan around himself. He's not cold, but the warm embrace of the blanket is comforting. Moira's presence is comforting. Such kindness he'll never be able to take for granted- he knows what people think about mutants. He knows as well as anyone.

"I'll be okay." Armando offers in a quiet voice. "I'm not hurt. I'll be okay." Its as much for her as it is for him. "They can't hurt me." he assures her. "I'm okay, really." Well, as okay as anyone can be after such a trauma. "A young man joined the captain up on the stairs where the police were- and he shot the cop from behind. I don't think he was a mutant- but he wanted revolution. He told people to rise up.. and then it was just chaos- the cops opened up and shot into the crowd. The crowd pushed back and ran away… there was so much blood." he says quietly, the horror from the recent events still clearly remembered. He can still smell it- the gun powder and the iron hint of blood. "Other mutants tried to stop it. Someone made a wall, someone else did something to all the metal. A guy with wings tried to get the injured out…I just kind of stood there until I ran."

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Her fingertips slowly, carefully rub up and down his long arms, not trying to warm him, necessarily, but doing her best to focus and ground him. To give him gentle attentions that he can focus on instead of the violence. She turns her head, pressing a few kisses against his temple and forehead. She knows it doesn't make it better, but she is trying. "I…I'm glad they tried to stop. THat's all we can do, all… mutants can do, keep showing that you're not the bad guys. That you are peaceful and people and… supportive to the world. Not here to threaten it."

"I'm not angry at them. I feel like I should be." Armando says quietly, but then again, he's the kid who's not even angry at his parents for abandoning him. "They're scared. They're so scared. Fear is the evolutionary answer to the unknown. To the potentially dangerous." he sighs, his shaking starting to fade- calming at the motherly care Moira shares with him. He sighs quietly, "Let me make us some tea." he says, as he shifts the afghan off himself and stands. He gives a shaken smile to Moira- trying to be strong so Moira will stop worrying. He nods again, assuring Moira as best he can that he'll be okay.

She knows that smile, the attempt at a game face. She's given it so many times in her life when nothing was alright but she had to pretend, she can well recognize it in his face. Moira's throat tightens again with unspent tears. She lets him go, but it's hesitant and her fingers linger until the very last second. She then reaches over to her crutch, slipping her forearm through the cuffs before pushng herself up to standing again. "No, no… I should be making you tea. You've just been through hell. Let me take care of you, alright? Sit… Do you want food? Tea? I might even have a bit of whiskey…" She's only half teasing about that.

Armando shakes his head. "I'll be okay." he says, "Tea would be nice- lets do it together." he offers, as way of compromise. He's not going to treat Moira like a cripple- largely because he doesn't see her as handicapped. "That whiskey would have to be for you." The body sees alcohol as a poison… Armando's body would just evolve super efficient liver function and it be a waste of good whisky- still he does smile, a genuine thing albeit it slight and quiet on his face. He offers an arm to assist Moira to the kitchen- if only to make the walk a little easier for her.

Moira's been on the crutch for over six months now, all the physical therapy long done. This is as good as her leg will probably get and they both know it. So, she's adjusted to it just being a part of life. She doesn't really see herself as crippled either, though she does actually take his arm when he offers, for the sheer fact that it keeps them closer. She doesn't quite want to let him go right now. So she follows him into the little galley kitchen, a single kettle on the stove already. The water will need heated, but it's eager to go. A lot of tea is made in this house. "You… you are right. They are just scared. Half the reason I'm doing the work I am… trying to help people to understand."

"I know." Armando assures Moira, with a quiet smile as he changes the water in the kettle- even though its likely pretty fresh and hasn't been heated more than once. He knows that multiple heatings makes the water too hard for a good tea. The water is in its place and the heat is turned on. He, of course, keeps close- the closeness is a balm for him. "I hope they will understand, but, its not going to be easy. The country already has a problem accepting people based purely on the color of their skin. Dealing with a people who can not only look different, but have almost magical seeming powers is going to be difficult, at best." he says with a quiet sigh, "I had such hopes for the rally. I thought it would be peaceful. I'd hoped it be peaceful." he shakes his head, "I feel awful for all those poor people."

"Rallies… they often inspire violence as much as they do peace." Moira explains gently, a touch of sadness behind her quiet voice as she admits that. "The only thing that is going to promote peace is understanding. Knowledge fights fear. But… it's hard to bring knowledge in a place like that. Not with people around who want to fight it as much as people who want to learn. It…it takes a more controlled atmosphere. Maybe I need to try to give more seminars…" Of course, chances are her seminars would break out in violence just as much as this did now.

"I don't know about that." Armando says, "I feel like there are a lot of people out there who might take issue with your viewpoint." he notes quietly. "And I'd really be upset if something happened to you." Armando continues. "I mean, its important what you do, Moira." he admits, "I don't know. I'm just worried about the future now." he says with a quiet sigh, shaking his head again as he gets tea bags, sugar and milk together. "At least let me audit them, just incase." He's as protective of her as she is of him.

"… I… I know. But I don't know how to fight this otherwise. I don't know how to get people to see that… that you're not a threat. I don't know how to scream it louder except to keep teaching, over and over and over, until they listen." Moira insists, the passion clear behind her voice, words broken with heartache and exhaustion. She leans against the counter, folding her arms across her chest and studying him for a few more silent heartbeats. "Public seminars… you… You can. But I don't want to put you through anything like this again."

Armando is quiet as he prepares the tea. Grabbing it just as the kettle begins to whistle. He pours for himself and for Moira, preparing the tea how he knows she likes it. "I don't think we'll have a choice and at least we've confirmed that my abilities extend to bullets." he says as he lets the tea steep now without stirring it. He'll be patient for good tea. "I just need to know that you're safe- just like you do with me." he says, "I don't know if I could handle knowing you'd gotten hurt."

"I've been hurt before. I'll be hurt again, Armando… it… It's a part of living." Though her mind actually catches up with the commentary of bullets and she looks him over closer, taking in those shot marks in his clothing. It brings another wave of stinging to her eyes, her chest suddenly tight. She shakes her head, "I… I can't risk… testing things like that again. Your life isn't worth it, Armando. God, you… you could have been hurt so much worse."

"Could have, but wasn't." Armando notes quietly, "We may have to see how far it can go to protect everyone else. ITs not ideal. Its not how anyone wanted things to go. But, if you're going to keep doing seminars you need to be safe, too." he says with a quiet smile. The tea has steeped and he adds sugar and milk to his own, and then in proper proportions to Moira's. You don't live with someone who likes tea as much as Moira and not learn how they like it. He takes both mugs and walks towards the couch again. He places one not far from Moira's cold tea, and the other is placed on the coffee table. He takes the old tea, and returns the mug and cold liquid to the kitchen. Just so its out of the way. "I'm just afraid it'll be something I learn, even if it happens on accident. "

"We…we'll talk more about it tomorrow. When it's not so raw. Right now we're both just reacting, scared, and… not thinking straight." Ever the scientist, Moira is now trying to distance herself to acknowledge the fact that neither of them could think clearly right now. She takes another breath and accepts her tea, with just a touch of cream, the way she likes. She walks with him back towards the couch. "Let's…put something on the radio. One of the shows. And just… relax. Sleep when we can. We'll talk in the morning. I… have some other ideas." But she'd first have to talk to the Professor before offering a place at the school she doesn't even work. She stops to turn on the Shadow, letting Lamont Cranston's character voice echo through the room and distract them from such troubles.

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