never let you go.
And when you go don't return to me my love.
Mama, we're all full of lies
"Now you do your homework," Rumor signed to her young daughter, "alright?"
Claire pouted as she looked at her math problems. She'd complained that double-digit subtraction was difficult and that she shouldn't have to do it. From what Rumor had managed to glean there had been absolutely no work ethic at Patrick's house. Rumor was determined that things would be different with her.
It was difficult to tell Claire no to anything though. The jury, however, could still take her away. So she was trying to be the model mother in every way possible. It wasn't easy.
"Tell you what," signed Rumor, "I'll let you have some ice-cream when you finish, alright?"
That probably wasn't such a good idea. Firstly bribing Claire probably wouldn't work in the future, and secondly they only had the super-sugary type that Séance kept bringing home. She'd need to go out and buy something more child-appropriate now. Maybe .05 was right. She probably was reading too many parenting magazines.
Claire's reaction to the bribe was instantaneous. Immediately she picked up her pencil and started scribbling on the sheet of paper. Rumor sighed as she started heading down the hall towards her room to get her purse. Things were difficult now, having a child in the building. Everyone had somehow managed to get around it though. Even Kraken attempted to watch his language around her.
They weren't there at the moment though. There had been a call from a base in Antarctica that a clan of Yetis had been awoken from a five-thousand year slumber and started terrorizing the populace. That left only three people in the house. This made it increasingly difficult to avoid Vanya.
Overall Rumor had generally been avoiding Vanya for the past ten days since she got Claire back. Ever since then she had been wondering about where she stood with her sister. More specifically, she had been wondering where she stood with forgiving her. She had found it was easier just to avoid her.
She searched her cupboards and closets. Her purse wasn't there. Thinking back she realized she'd left it in the bathroom when she'd put on her make-up that morning. Cursing her forgetfulness she walked down the hallway towards the bathroom. She had no idea how long it would take for Claire to finish the worksheet and she already knew that her daughter was a very impatient girl.
So the minute Rumor got there she flung the door open. She was in a hurry and in no mood to be delayed. In theory she would've gone in, gotten her purse, and rushed down to the supermarket. Instead she stopped short, slightly embarrassed.
The thing about the bathroom door was that it never really locked properly. They really had to call someone to fix that. Of course, they said that about once every month and it had been that way for ten years. If Rumor had been smart she might've noticed that the light was still on. She hadn't though, so she was faced with staring at Vanya, whose hands were gripping the sink. Vanya's head was bowed downward, but it had shot up when she saw Rumor.
"I didn't know someone was in here…" Rumor started to sign.
She stopped short when she saw Vanya's eyes. They had the look of someone hunted, someone who was faced with a difficult dilemma. Rumor's eyes trailed to the amount of trash on the floor; wrappings. Wrappings that looked oddly familiar
"Vanya," she signed, "What are those?"
All Vanya did was moan and fall backwards so that her back was pressed against the bathtub. Quickly Rumor took her notepad out of her pocket. She didn't use it so much since she knew sign language now, using it only to deal with people who didn't. Or, of course, in a case such as this when she wasn't sure the person was paying attention.
"What are those?" Rumor wrote, repeating her question.
Vanya didn't say anything; she just leaned her head back, her hand clutching something. Rumor looked at her clasped hand a little closer. Comprehension dawned as she recognized it. She especially recognized the symbols. Vanya turned to Rumor with pleading in her eyes.
"Don't tell anyone," she begged, "Please."
"You're pregnant?" wrote Rumor furiously.
Dropping the test Vanya buried her hands in her hair..
"Is the father Diego?" Rumor scrawled.
"Who else?" moaned Vanya.
"Does he know?" wrote Rumor.
"No," murmured Vanya, "He hasn't been back. I haven't told anyone about this. Please don't!"
"I would think you would tell Diego eventually," Rumor scribbled.
She took a tentative step towards her sister. Her foot crunched on the wrappings from the tests. It was apparent that Vanya had used the whole box of tests in her desperation not to be pregnant
"I know, just not now!" said Vanya.
Frowning Rumor wrote down;
"A child isn't necessarily a bad thing you know."
Bitter laughter escaped Vanya's lips as she saw the note.
"It shouldn't be," said Vanya, tears coming from her eyes. She was biting her lips so hard that blood came out.
"So you want to get rid of it?" Rumor wrote coldly.
"That's not it!" exclaimed Vanya, on the brink of tears, "There's so many things…Diego and I…we're not married….he won't…it's just…I don't think…but I don't want an abortion…I…I just want…oh Christ!"
Rumor felt pangs of sympathy as she watched Vanya hug herself tightly. When she'd been pregnant with Claire she'd been worried too. Of course, it had been for a completely different reason. Hargreeves had contacted her and mentioned off-handedly that he was interested in seeing if the child would have powers. After that Rumor had spent most of her time worrying that he would somehow take her child away from her.
In the end Claire hadn't had powers and everything had turned out alright. Vanya's case was quite different. She shuddered to think what Hargreeves would've done if he was alive. She felt the sudden urge to give some sort of comfort to her estranged sister. In an attempt to do so she wrote;
"Tests can be defective sometimes. You'd have to go to a doctor to be 100% sure."
At this point it was obvious that Vanya was willing to clutch at straws. Even she looked skeptical though.
"It's worth a try," scribbled Rumor defensively, "and if you are pregnant then they'll tell you things you need to know. Don't worry about anyone finding out before you want them to. My lips are sealed."
"Thank you," Vanya whispered, her head bowed.
"We'll schedule an appointment," Rumor wrote, "And try not to worry about this too much, alright?"