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Tue Mar 14, 2006 23:45

They arrived in under an hour.

Ms Isabel Marchand, Mrs Ben Adams and Hugh Pierson. None of the three looked healthy, Isabel especially had that waxy look Michael tended to associate with mannequins. Like a scene out of Singing in the Rain, they marched down the hallway after escaping the elevator, meeting him down in the morgue. Offering condolences was beyond the actor at this point. Aside from collecting the few belongings she'd arrived with, there had been little need for talk, and people had left him alone after repeated attempts (by some very cute staff) to comfort.

Sonnet's mother had worn a tasteful black pants suit, her wildly red hair hidden under a dark kerchief. Ben and Hugh had donned much the same, though his father's outfit consisted of jeans and a sweater rather than the slacks and vest that Sonnet's father had chosen. Part of Michael wished very much that he could rush out like Devon had done, to express the grief clutching his heart like an iron fist. There would be little lessening of the pain for him, not with three dazed people to look after.

"She looks like she's sleeping."

Isabel stared down at the slab of metal cushioning her daughter's body. Proceedure demanded identification of a corpse; something that Michael had been willing to undergo so the author might be spared. The Marchand temper had flared, prompting a near fistfight in the ICU until Doctor Carter had gently led the grieving mother to the elevator and helped Michael usher the others inside. So there they all were.

It was still inconcievable that a woman as bright, funny, beautiful as Sonnet had departed under such trying circumstances. He was inclined to agree with Billy Joel. Only the good died young. Moving away as the trio began discussing preliminary funeral arrangements, and the fact his sister was an organ donor, Michael belatedly withdrew his cellphone from its belt holster and scanned through the numbers that ... that Sonnet had put there. Figures that the one he needed was last on the list. One ringy-dingy. Two ringy-dingy ...

Holmes residence. Merry Christmas. Lucy speaking.

Luciana. Nora Charles. Despite their denials during rehearsals at the Playhouse, Michael was very much not a fool. He had an uncanny memory for faces, one of the talents that aided in his chosen career, and the young woman was very much the same one he'd once pursued in San Francisco. It simply served to widen the gulf between them. But now ...

"This is Michael Pierson. I'm not sure Devon called yet, but I thought you should know. Sonnet died about an hour and a half ago."

There was a shocked silence on the other end of the phone, before she spoke again, voice trembling. I .. thank you for calling, Michael. My deepest sympathy to ... everyone. There was another pause, long seconds ticking away and then her voice filtered over the reciever a final time. If there is anything we can do, please let me know.

"Sure." The flat tone was unneccessarily harsh, but he didn't really care at the moment. Flipping the phone closed, he turned around and ambled back to his family. Or, rather, what was left of his family. Not for the first time, though he'd never really admit it to anyone and most certainly not himself, Michael envied the freedom of a large clan.

Isabel had begun weeping quietly, a lacy handkerchief pressed against her mouth to mute the noise. Ben stared blankly at the wall behind him, and Hugh was visibly at a loss for what to do. Michael had some ideas about that, none of which would be recieved kindly if he suggested them. So, gently ushering them towards the door, Sonnet's brother provided a half-lucid shred of sanity to the proceedures and got everyone up to the ground level.

There were papers to be signed, several of which pertained to organs that could be salvaged and placed in someone else's body. He rather liked that idea, it meant that some part of the police officer would live on. She'd been all about medical charities - teased mercilessly over the years for having a bleeding, liberal heart. Michael did it all, except for the signatures here and there required of blood relations; Ben took care of those without complaint.

Even with the modicum of order, it was late in the afternoon when Michael strode through the doorway of his temporary bedroom - leaving the others to grieve in Isabel's living room. A corner liquor store had been raided within a few blocks of the apartment, wine for the more mature folks and harder alcohol for the younger. There were two bottles of whiskey with his name on it, or rather Jim Beam's name, and the actor fully intended to abuse the stuff by nightfall.

There would be no nightmares when he passed out.


Click. Lucy stared at the phone before setting it down. Behind her, the chaos of people opening presents had filtered away to a mere nusiance. Just about everyone had arrival at the residence in eager anticipation of her cooking, with the assistance of John. Turkey, ham, mashed potatoes ... everything sat expectantly on the large dining table she'd purchased right before Thanksgiving for this very purpose. And ... well, Caleb had other uses for it too, the memories of which brought a full blush to her cheeks.

Lecherous old man.

But now ... the brunette poured herself a glass of wine, then remembered she couldn't drink it. The news of an impending addition to the family had been scheduled for after lunch, but this really took precedence, didn't it. Deep breaths. Don't stress, that would be awful for the babe in her womb. It took five minutes of such mental admonishments until she felt ready to walk back into the living room.

"May I please have everyone's attention?"

It took a little while, but the rowdy clan eventually realized that Lucy was talking and most of them shut up. Except for Jane's twins, who were shooting each other with presents from Uncle Caleb. Assuredly, said uncle was going to get a lecture from his sister in the very near future.

"Michael Pierson just called from the hospital."

Again, she had to outwait the surge of conversation, most of it couched in hopeful terms. Damn, it was killing her to be the bearer of this wretched news. Caleb seemed to sense something, bless him, for the man made his way to her side, an arm slung across trembling shoulders. Oh dear God. How could she announce this?

"Sonnet died approximately an hour and thirty minutes ago. I'm sorry, that's all I know."

Absolute, deafening silence. It permeated the entire house - even the twins shut up when they sensed something was terribly wrong. There were a great many friends over - every holiday at the Holmes produced an ever expanding circle of them. And, being mostly composed of theatre folk, these sensitive creatures began excusing themselves one by one, understanding that the family needed simply to exist on their own. And it was a quiet clan that put away newly opened presents, the small pile for Sonnet very conspicious next to those labeled 'Devon', before sitting down to a somber feast.

No one left afterwards, either. One or two offers to go find the missing sibling popped up, but no one quite knew how to proceed. Not since the death of their mother had any of these people experienced the kind of grief that faced Lucy when she opened the door later in the afternoon to Devon seconds before the sky opened and roared out its grief as well with chilly winds and a rainstorm.

It was shock rather than consternation decorating her expressive face. Shock that he would arrive there of all places, straight into the den of his nemesis. For one terrible instant, Lucy relieved his assault, and resolutely pushed it away. What was done was done. Finally. What else could she do but let him tug her into an embrace, his sobs shaking her entire body for what seemed like hours and was, in fact, only a few minutes.

How sad to know that she was the one person who could even partially understand the depths of his grief, and carry the tight knot of guilt for her role in Sonnet's ... death. "Shh...." crooned the singer, eventually shuffling backwards and guiding the still-sobbing cop into the living room - which had miraculously cleared out in the intervening moments. Gesturing for Jane to pour some wine, Lucy allowed herself to be used as a human tissue, simply settling on the couch with Devon while he dampened her blouse with tears.

She remained there for a long while, the distraught second son slowly being surrounded by siblings and a father, each of them, including Moira, providing one portion of a human quilt until it was deemed time to leave. Lucy paid little attention to anyone but Devon, alarmed to find out that she had forgiven the idiot sometime between the door and the couch. No one, not even he, deserved to undergo such a horrible emotional shock.

In fact, it was with the brunette acting as a stand-in for a teddy bear, that Devon finally drifted into a stupored sleep when evening had begun its assault on the holiday. Remaining where she was, Lucy simply let the man rest his head on her thighs, joined in her vigil by Caleb whilst the home's other two residents quietly went about cleaning up.

Thank God she'd never lost Caleb to a sniper's bullet. And oh, how guilty for thinking it.

  • Sensations LostGrief Riddled, Tue Mar 14 22:23
    Merry fukkin' Christmas. Devon frowned, staring at Sonnet's prone form. Family had wanted him to be with them for the usual banquet, but he couldn't force himself to leave her side. Just couldn't,... more
    • Condolences — Sniffles, Tue Mar 14 23:45
      • Shadows RisingOfficer Holmes, Thu Mar 16 23:15
        This was Hell. It had to be. Lucy's comfort only did a bit of good, his family feeling more the nuisance than anything else. Why she even allowed him to weep quietly into her shoulder was beyond him. ... more
        • In Memoriam, Pt 1Michael Pierson & Crew, Thu Mar 23 08:58
          Mom -- Housework is done and the trash is out. There's a pot roast in the fridge when you get hungry. Eat, please? Call me if you need anything. Love, Devon It was staring at him blatantly when he... more
          • In Memoriam, Pt 2Michael Pierson & Crew, Thu Mar 23 11:58
            Through many dangers, toils and snares I have already come. 'Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far, And grace will lead me home. Luciana Holmes’ voice gave a surreal sense of awe to the hymn,... more
            • Obligations and CommitmentsDevon Holmes, Sun Apr 9 23:23
              He wasn’t ready for this. “Sonnet was…” Devon paused, still feeling Lucy’s song wrap about him, swaddling his body in a comforting blanket. “The worst partner anyone could have asked for.” Only his... more
              • Final FarewellsVittorio Castelluccio & Company, Sun Apr 9 23:24
                How the hell had it come to this? “Someone will be by shortly to retrieve your belongings, Signa Holmes,” Vittorio found himself murmuring into his cell phone. Matteo had extended his offer, via Vic, ... more
                • Ordinary DaysLara Sorensen, Mon Apr 10 09:21
                  Standing on the edge of time Playing out a reckless pantomime And every day's another wrong to rectify I dream about a stranger's touch And voices in my head I cannot hush And every night's a hunger... more
                  • Rat-a-tat-tatBennet Holmes, Tue Apr 11 23:40
                    “Dad, do I have to do this?” “Damn it all, Bennett, yes!” Benny sighed, refusing to fidget while his father adjusted the previously perfectly good knot in his tie. Oh, he knew very well he was acting ... more
                    • Jabberwocky WalkingGeno Castelluccio, Thu Apr 13 00:39
                      The dream was back. It was always the same. Every so often those nightmares would crop up in his subconscious during sleep, twisting the previously pleasant images into horrific creatures straight... more
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