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Normally Dale would have objected to having something as disgraceful as being carried by another happen in front of so many eyes, but at that moment his emotions made him feel weak, and he did not object. His tears had begun to abate as he was laid down, but he quickly rose as soon as he touched the ground trying to regain pride. He wiped the tears away, and sighed heavily.
"I love you son. How did you get here? Are you alone?" He didn't reply to the endearing words, still awkward about everything at that point, but replied to his later questions.
"Me and Tessa were together for a long time after everything first happened, but she died months ago. I've been alone since then, and just started wandering aimlessly. I ended up here by complete chance." He looked down at his left hand, which was missing a pinky all the way up to his knuckle, and licked the inside of his cheek as he looked back towards his father, "I'm alone, and have been since then. I've managed to hear better since I've been on my own, but it still isn't very helpful.. I have a few scars, but nothing extreme."
He silently looked down at his sword, and back up at Veran. He felt naked without it. His right hand stretched out for the sword, hoping he would comply, and again licked the inside of his cheek, a habit showing nervousness.
Last Edit: Feb 26, 2015 21:24:24 GMT -5 by Deleted
When Dale stood back up so did Veran, he could tell that his son was nervous, he always did that lip thing when he was nervous and Veran was just happy that he still knew his son well enough to pick up on that. He was still in shock from the fact that his son was standing in front of him. He just couldn't believe that his life had changed so much in the last 48 hours and his son's arrival had completely flip-flopped his world once again.
"I'm sorry about Tessa, I know you two were close, and all that time alone..."
He could only imagine that they had gotten a lot closer since they had been alone together in the middle of all of this. He wondered if they had become that close but decided it was better that he not ask. Dale was nervous enough without having to talk to his dad about his sex life, or lack there of. He really didn't even know how to handle this. He was a father but how did you parent someone who you hadn't seen in so long, and who had survived on his own. On the other hand, he couldn't just treat him like any other survivor.
"I'm glad your hearing is getting better. Maybe I can convince some people to do a run so we can find you a new hearing aid."
As Dale reached toward his sword the pirate was conflicted. He wanted to give his son the blade back, he understood what the boy must be feeling right now. He knew that his own blade was like an extension to himself and he felt off without it. He had been so happy when he got it back after the hearing and he was wearing it on him now.
"I want to give it back, but I can't son. They won't let you be armed until they have an official hearing about acceptance. You'll get accepted because they have a family reunion clause..." He stopped talking. He knew no matter what he said it wouldn't make this any easier.
"I'll try and talk to the Doc about it when you see her. She's on the council."
Dale simply nodded at the last statement, and sighed with exaggeration, flapping his lips as he did so about the sword, "Fine.. I honestly didn't even know Tessa's name before everything went to hell. I, of course, crushed on her, but you know.. I was never very sociable, and don't worry about a hearing aide, it would be too difficult to maintain, let alone trying to get a piece that would fit in my own ear."
At that moment he noticed that despite being apart so long, he was able to speak to his dad just as easily as he could have back then. He then began looking around, still happy to have his father around, but society was something he hadn't been around in a long time.
"So what now?" He asked prudently, not sure what to do now that he got past the first step to enter the camp with the appearance of his father making it much smoother. He often forgot how long he had been on his own, and thus the way he smelled. A young girl passed by, and he smelled her sweet aroma, but was only then reminded of his own. He probably hadn't had any form of a bath in almost a year, and his teeth had begun bleeding not long before hand from lack of hygiene.
"Can I-" he halted before continuing the sentence, feeling strange asking for something as soon as he arrived, "Can I- Can I get cleaned up somewhere...? Maybe brush my teeth?"
Last Edit: Feb 26, 2015 23:02:07 GMT -5 by Deleted
Veran had thought they were close, perhaps it was the way he looked at her. He laughed a little when he made his comment about being sociable. Neither one of them had been all that great at the social part of life. It was one of those things that they shared
"Sorry, you get that from your dad, course you knew that anyways. Your mom was a social butterfly."
He watched his son sniff the air as the younger girl walked by. He had always been really keen in his sense of smell. Maybe that was how he had managed to survive on his own without hearing. Even he could smell a walker coming, his son's mental pathways had been optimized for his lack of hearing. People often criticized the idea that one sense being missing meant that others improved. They were partially right, it didn't give any increased biological ability but the neural connections would adjust to compensate, making them more aware of their other senses.
"As soon as we get you through the med check I'll show you where the showers are. It's amazing. I was out there up until a couple days ago and one of the first things I wanted was a shower too."
The mention of mom had suddenly jolted Dale back to reality. As soon as Veran mentioned her, he looked at him with a deathly serious expression on his face. Even though he had only just been looking at a photo of her, he had that quickly forgotten what had happened once seeing his dad again.
"Dad... Mom's dead. I watched her turn, and shot her through the head to save Tessa. I'm sorry." He had a somber expression on his face, one of guilt, and regret. All he could do after saying it was avert his gaze, and shamelessly try to change the subject, "So how about this med bay business? That shower sounds nice.."
What was he going to say? I'm sorry. It wasn't good enough and didn't even half cover the depth of his feelings. He had been divorced and it was for a reason but she was still the mother of his son and he still had talked to her. She had become one of those people he could call when he needed help. They were friendly with each other and his son's confirmation that she was dead hurt a little more then he had expected.
"I know you don't want to talk about it. I'm sorry you had to do that. If you ever do need to talk about it I'm here. I'm not going to do the psychologist thing with you Dale."
He hoped that Dale would take his comments in the best possible light. He knew that he needed his dad right now, not a therapist. They had discussed it before, well more honestly they had fought about it. Dale had told him that he wasn't his therapist he was his dad. They had always been able to talk. It was one of the things about his own mother that he had valued and he did everything he could to ensure he had that type of relationship with Dale.
It was obvious by his quick change of subject that he was hurting and Veran decided to help him alleviate that.
"Yeah we'll head to the med tent."
He started walking towards the med tent to get everything done so that Dale could shower and get some food.
"What no comments about how your old man is dressed in his fair outfit?" He signed. It was easier to communicate in sign when they were walking.
Dale glanced for a moment at Veran as he began to speak, and held back a sigh of relief when he wasn't going to press the subject. He could see the concern on his father's face as he spoke to him, but he misunderstood. Maybe it wasn't something that should be so soon forgotten, but Dale had long ago moved past the loss of his mother. Maybe it was because Tessa was there to pick him back up, or maybe it was simply because if he stopped to wallow in his sadness, his jugular would be torn from his throat by the undead. All that aside, he had gotten past it. The real reason he held back, as cold as it were, is because he didn't want to be the one to comfort his father. He didn't know how he'd take it, or if he could really say the words to make him feel better.
"Alright," he replied to his father as they started to move towards the tent across the camp. Dale looked around the area, taking in the welcome sights. Granted, it would take him a long time to become close to anybody, but it was a start. He noted the sway a lot of people shared from hangovers, and sighed quickly in amusement. Next to him, he had almost missed his father signing him. He waved his hand towards his father, not meaning to show disrespect, but he didn't want to partake in that act. Much had changed about Dale, and they had a lot of catching up to do.
"I'm sorry, but I've not spoken to people in a long time. I want to feel the words come off my tongue, and actually be heard. Besides, dad, I was never really 'that' deaf, it's just that people didn't want to talk loud enough for me to hear." He smiled at him, "As for your outfit, it's not really my style, I like the traditional garb of the Japanese samurai!" He smiled even more, almost wryly, trying to make amusement out of the situation. Reunions should be filled with joy after all.
Veran laughed at the jab that his son made about his attire. It was amazing to him that they seemed to have already dropped into a rythm with their conversation, and if Dale wanted to use spoken word instead of sign he was fine with that.
"Well good, I'm a little rusty with my sign anyways. Haven't had any reason to use it lately." He laughed some more and continued walking. There seemed to be a lot of chaos at the med tent. Maybe Dale's checkup would have to wait.
"Wouldn't we be a pair, you dressed as a samurai, me dressed as a pirate. We would certainly attract attention."
The med tent was a blur of action. It seemed someone had been shot. He wondered who, but more importantly he wondered why. He hoped thus settlement really was a good place to raise his son. If not he would be leaving soon. He could risk his own life here but not Dale's