gabriel_tam: (Default)
Gabriel Tam ([personal profile] gabriel_tam) wrote in [community profile] milliways_bar2017-04-26 07:23 pm
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[OOM: Previously, on Londinium.]

He'd had his weekly clinic visit and six-month checkup earlier today. He hadn't expected the news he'd heard.

("It's too early to know how long it'll last, Gabriel, but ... it looks like you're stabilizing."

"What?!? Vincent, are you sure?"

"I've always been a rational man, but this is nothing short of a miracle. I'd say you have something to celebrate.")

When Gabriel Tam walks into Milliways, he looks more than a little stunned... but he's smiling.
simon_doctor: (smile)

[personal profile] simon_doctor 2017-04-27 03:01 am (UTC)(link)
There's someone here he might notice, and might well want to talk to.

Simon is sitting in a booth not too far from the door, with a mug of coffee at his elbow and a plate beside it containing remnants of an omelette and toast. He's intent on his pad, reading and occasionally jotting notes with a fingertip, and hasn't looked up yet.
simon_doctor: (smiling in sunlight)

[personal profile] simon_doctor 2017-04-27 03:10 am (UTC)(link)
He glances up, blinking -- and immediately breaks into a smile, setting his pad aside and half-rising from his chair.

", how have you been? Zăo àn."
simon_doctor: (smiling in sunlight)

[personal profile] simon_doctor 2017-04-27 03:25 am (UTC)(link)
"Please do," he says, gesturing at the chair opposite him. "They're doing well. Jessie's learning to read."

(That last with tremendous pride; his daughter's only three and a few months, after all.)
simon_doctor: (profile smiling)

[personal profile] simon_doctor 2017-04-27 03:34 am (UTC)(link)
"We're very proud." He's beaming.

(There are new lines at the corners of his eyes, visible when he smiles like this.)

"And how is Mother doing? -- Can I order you anything? Tea, or ...? I don't know what time of day it is for you."
simon_doctor: (nerves)

[personal profile] simon_doctor 2017-04-27 03:43 am (UTC)(link)
He's turning to look for a waitrat when the slight hitch in his father's voice snags his attention, and then the look on his face captures it completely.

"... ?" Hesitant. "Has ... something happened?"
river_meimei: (see the sky and remember)

[personal profile] river_meimei 2017-04-27 11:58 pm (UTC)(link)
The door opens, and by a great and mysterious coincidence in comes River. (Who has totally been here in the last few, uh, years! Totally!! Or at least it hasn't been that long on her side of the door, so this is no deeply surprising thing to her.)

She's walking along carefully, one foot in front of the other, her eyes on the ground in front of her, gazing at the ground with mild interest. She looks to be in a good mood.

A few steps in, she glances up and unerringly towards their table, and brightens, and starts to head over.
simon_doctor: (not laughing nope)

[personal profile] simon_doctor 2017-04-28 01:38 am (UTC)(link)
Simon, who hasn't noticed his sister yet, looks cautiously optimistic.

"Good news?" he prompts.
river_meimei: (laughter)

[personal profile] river_meimei 2017-04-28 02:09 am (UTC)(link)
River was smiling anyway.

But now, all of a sudden, her face is alight, with disbelieving joy. She stumbles on nothing, catches her balance the next instant, and then she's running across the short remaining distance.
simon_doctor: (smiling in sunlight)

[personal profile] simon_doctor 2017-04-28 02:16 am (UTC)(link)
"River!" Simon's abruptly beaming too; it makes him look --

-- well, no, it doesn't make him look ten years younger. If anything it highlights the new lines on his face. But it does that, one might notice, because most of them are smile lines.

He rises from his seat, holding out a hand.
river_meimei: (gunslinger daughter of all her fathers)

[personal profile] river_meimei 2017-04-28 02:35 am (UTC)(link)
River pulls back after a few moments, just enough to beam up at him. It's been a long time since River was any good at hiding her feelings; there are tears in her eyes, bright and disregarded.

"Bà ba."

"You're okay."
simon_doctor: (uneasy)

[personal profile] simon_doctor 2017-04-28 03:05 am (UTC)(link)
Simon's close enough to hear that last, hovering on the edge of the embrace.

"You're --"

His brows draw down, then abruptly fly upwards as his eyes widen, as he swiftly looks back at his father's face.

How did I miss it? is the first thought to cross his mind; oh, but he knows perfectly well how. His mental image of his father has long had a tendency to drift back years, such that he keeps being startled by the renewed sight of his pallor, the weight he's lost, the blue-gray tint under his fingernails.

And this time he wasn't startled by it, because --

(The look of shock really does make him look younger.)
river_meimei: (eager smile)

[personal profile] river_meimei 2017-04-28 03:34 am (UTC)(link)
River turns her face back into his shoulder, like the child she hasn't been in years.

Even with her father, who's always been gentle and protective with his little girl, she hasn't acted so young in a while. But sometimes, you just need to cling to your dad.

But she's smiling, smiling, smiling.
simon_doctor: (pleased)

[personal profile] simon_doctor 2017-04-28 03:46 am (UTC)(link)
So is Simon -- more slowly, almost afraid to believe it.

"Dad, that's ... that's wonderful. I don't -- how? You said a clinical trial?"

(It will be another few moments before the appalling risk of that starts to sink in.)
river_meimei: (o rly)

[personal profile] river_meimei 2017-04-28 04:05 am (UTC)(link)
"Now you gotta be careful," River informs his shoulder.


...Ish. Through the teary smiling.

(She means it, though.)
simon_doctor: (just so proud)

[personal profile] simon_doctor 2017-04-28 04:10 am (UTC)(link)
... well, appalled at the risk has quite definitely arrived by now, but it's mitigated considerably by the evident success of the treatment; a reprieve, undreamed of, unhoped for.

"You should probably listen to her," Simon tells his father, as solemnly as he can.
river_meimei: (i can kill you with my brain)

[personal profile] river_meimei 2017-05-01 02:33 am (UTC)(link)
"Got your watch and warrant on it."

That's a statement, not a question. You said it, Gabriel, and your kids are going to hold you to it.

But she does finally draw back a little, just enough to inform them both: "You should always listen to me."

Because River is always right. Duh! Just ask her.
simon_doctor: (not laughing nope)

[personal profile] simon_doctor 2017-05-01 02:42 am (UTC)(link)
"We really should," Simon agrees, very seriously. And, to their father: "She is the smart one."

And if that's a way of further reinforcing the warning to be careful -- the warning that's as much a plea as anything else -- well, none of them have to acknowledge that out loud.
river_meimei: (i'll see you again)

[personal profile] river_meimei 2017-05-01 03:01 am (UTC)(link)
Stubbornness is something of a family specialty, it's true.

River straightens up suddenly. Seriously, she says to her father, "It's a celebration. In the accepted commemorative observances."


"I'll get the cake."
simon_doctor: (smiling in sunlight)

[personal profile] simon_doctor 2017-05-01 03:13 am (UTC)(link)
Simon starts to grin.

"And I was going to order us tea," he recalls. "Would you like some too?"
river_meimei: (o rly)

[personal profile] river_meimei 2017-05-01 03:24 am (UTC)(link)
River makes a face at him. It says, duh.

...Which might not be terribly helpful, with many people, but Simon knows her more than well enough to guess that in this instance it means duh, of course, that's required for a celebration with cake.
simon_doctor: (smiling up)

[personal profile] simon_doctor 2017-05-01 03:32 am (UTC)(link)
"Dāngrán," he says. "Send me copies, if you would?"

He doesn't have enough captures of family. More is always good.
river_meimei: (i'll see you again)

[personal profile] river_meimei 2017-05-01 03:35 am (UTC)(link)
River never objects to this kind of thing!

River is also already making her way across the room to hold a very serious (probably silent) consultation with Bar about cake, but nonetheless.
simon_doctor: (Default)

[personal profile] simon_doctor 2017-05-02 06:33 pm (UTC)(link)
"And I'll send you some of Kaylee and Jessie. -- I think we could probably get her to record a message to you and Mother, if you'd like."

A waitrat has finally wandered near their table; Simon signals it closer to order the tea.
river_meimei: (teasing?  never.)

[personal profile] river_meimei 2017-05-03 02:31 am (UTC)(link)
And here comes River! With a plate held very carefully in both hands, walking towards them with the slow deliberation she uses when she wants to make very sure she doesn't drop something. (Tucked beneath the plate is a sharp knife for cutting the cake, which she's holding with neither more care nor less, as if it were part and parcel of the platter.)

The cake in question is quite small, just enough for generous slices for three, or smaller slices for more if they want to bring some home. But it's an elaborate confection all the same, with icing roses and icing drips and fruit piled high amid whipped cream rosettes and slivers of chocolate and, at the very top, a single fizzing sparkler.
simon_doctor: (smiling in sunlight)

[personal profile] simon_doctor 2017-05-08 01:37 am (UTC)(link)
"Měi guān," Simon agrees. "Would you like to serve, or shall I?"

That's to River; the unspoken implication is that the other will pour the tea when it arrives. Gabriel will just have to resign himself to being served.
river_meimei: (teasing?  never.)

[personal profile] river_meimei 2017-05-08 01:49 am (UTC)(link)
"I'll be in charge," River says, serenely.

Oh hey, and she has a knife for cake-cutting. So that works out, doesn't it!

She slants a glance at her father, warm and teasing. Generously, she informs him, "You can have the sparkler."