Characters: Laura Finn, Dorian Sloan ; mentions of Caspian Finn and Caitlyn Finn Setting: 401 Justice Drive - Late morning, Thursday May 16th 2019 Summary: Dorian arrives at the Finn residence after being processed Rating: TBD - recount of previous trauma…
A van pulled up to the curb of 401 Justice Drive and Dorian Sloan exited with the small drawstring bag he had with him when he was gathered up with the Finn family and an envelope. His shirt was wrinkled along with his jeans. He looked a bit worse than recently - his 6’2” frame a little unsteady, an ID around his neck, and his shoulder-length dark brown hair loose from its usual black elastic.
He didn’t look back as he walked up to the front door and knocked. The van waited, watching the young man to make sure he went inside.
Laura was in the large kitchen when the knock on the door sounded, exploring the space a bit more while cookies baked in the oven. It had been Cas’s idea, something to greet them when he returned home with Caitlyn after going for a walk around to explore the island. Still a touch paranoid, Laura chose to stay back in the new home, checking the place out. She didn’t trust this island, or the people who banished them here. If she was going to be living in one of their assigned houses, she wanted to investigate it fully from top to bottom before she could rest.
Tense, she hurried to the door and opened it. Seeing the familiar young man, Laura greeted him with a relieved smile. It was good to see someone she knew she could trust. Peering over his shoulder, she watched the van with an arched brow before urging Dorian inside without a word.
The door closed immediately behind them and the petite brunette turned to face him. “Are you alright?”
The scent of cookies reached his nose even with the door closed. Dorian sighed knowing the familiar scent. He was unsure if he was going to see Laura, Caspian, and Caitlyn again. This island had so far made him feel so alone and isolated.
He breathed, exhaling with relief at seeing Laura. Then he took her lead and stepped inside the house. The van pulled away as soon as the young man crossed the threshold and the door closed.
Shaking his head, Dorian frowned, “Tired. Are you alright? Is Caspian and Caitlyn…?”
Laura was not a big hugger, but she had some strange, almost maternal instinct to hug Dorian, relieved that he was alright. Still, not wanting to make him uncomfortable, she touched his arm lightly instead and gave it a light squeeze.
Leading him away from the door and the windows, she nodded. “We’re all fine. Cas just took Caitlyn out for a walk. He’s trying to make all of this seem as normal as possible for her, to help her adjust.” Laura wasn’t able to do the same, not until she was more sure of things. “Do you need anything? Are you hungry or thirsty? Come sit and rest.”
Dorian was in a temporary doldrum, having bad memories rekindled of the time before Caspian had liberated him. But the young man would be better with some nourishment and rest. He caught Laura’s eyes as she lightly touched and squeezed his arm.
“Good. I’m glad you three have been kept together.” Dorian spoke as he followed her way from the door and windows. Soon he took a seat on the sofa and sat his bag between him and the arm rest. “Water, please?” He asked.
Laura knew what it was like to be haunted by memories, she wouldn’t judge him for that. And she wouldn’t push about it either, but she could be a good listener if he’d need t talk it out.
“I wasn’t about to just let them separate us for long.” She moved off into the kitchen, returning to him shortly with a cold glass of water. Handing it over carefully, she sat on the edge on an adjacent chair, studying him. “Cas will be back soon. He’ll be glad to see you, we were worried.”
Dorian ahad made progress since Caspian liberated him. And the young man was confident about himself aside from fear of those who had kidnapped him and exploited him. But he was stronger now.
“Good. I would have kept them from taking you three if could have.” Dorian was trembling, unconsciously rubbing his left wrist with his right hand. Laura’s handing him the glass broke his rubbing. He took it carefully and brought it to his lips to slowly sip. “Thank you,” he whispered and took another sip before lowering the glass. “Me too. I...don’t know why they kept me longer.” It seemed to him that Laura, Caspian, and Caitlyn had settled a little, or perhaps taken on some habits that would make it seem they had been in the house at least a day or too. While being processed, Dorian had lost track of time. Something quite similar to a few periods of time during his previous captivity.
Laura frowned slowly, her eyes scanning him. She picked up on those little movements, she understood them a little too well. “And we would have kept them from taking you away, if we had the chance. It all happened too quickly, I’m sorry that you were separated from us.” She wasn’t sure why they kept him longer either, but other than looking shaken, it didn’t seem as though he’d been injured.
“Are you sure you aren’t hungry? I don’t think Caitlyn would mind if you got to the cookies before her.” She offered a faint smile, hoping to put him at ease. “Or maybe you’d rather sleep? There’s a bed for you here.” While she and Caspian hadn’t discussed it, Laura had no problem with Dorian staying with them. She actually preferred it. It was best to keep those she knew close.
He nodded silently and breathed. Often times when he had anxiety attacks, he felt like he couldn’t. “I’m back with you three again.” Dorian spoke and sipped more of the water. He had been docile most of his first captivity, only resisting here, there, and more so towards the end. With the current captors, he had resisted again. But the thought of Laura, Caspian, and dear Caitlyn being in the same situation made him rethink blindly fighting back at this time.
“Mmm, I think I would rather sleep.” He blinked, looking over at Laura. He wasn’t sure if there was space for him here. “Caitlyn can have first go at the cookies.” Dorian managed a soft grin.
Maybe after some sleep, he would wake up to them back home.
Laura nodded a little. “She’ll be happy to know you’re here and safe. I can’t promise she won’t force you to have a cookie later, though.”
Not wanting to rush him, Laura sat with him in silence. Taking a deep breath, she looked around the room slowly, trying to think of some other words of comfort or reassurance to offer him. “We’ll figure this out. We’ll make things right, I promise.”
Dorian smiled a little more. Caitlyn was an angel and if she wished for him to eat a cookie, he would.
“I know we will.” The young man whispered and reached out his hand palm up.
Leaning forward, she took his hand and squeezed it gently, her skin hotter than most. Pulling away shortly thereafter, she stood. “I’ll go make sure you have everything you need in your room. Although, it seems they’ve set up everything for us ahead of time.”
Gently curling his fingers around her hand, Dorian nodded. A warm hand was better than the ice-cold ones of the people who had processed him. He pulled his hand away and drank the rest of his water. He would have had a sarcastic joke at Laura’s words, but being kept against one’s will was never a joking matter. Nodding, Dorian slowly stood.
Offering him a small smile, Laura waited until Dorian was ready. Once he stood, she led him through the massive house, past rooms she couldn’t begin to imagine what use they had. Up the stairs, she motioned to the two empty rooms. “You’re free to choose which one you’d like. Caitlyn is down the hall and Cas and I are just beyond that.”
She let him explore as he wished, standing aside to give him room. She told herself to stay quiet, but for some reason she spoke up anyway, her tone gentle. “I don’t claim to understand some of the things you’ve experienced. But I know what it’s like to not be able to make your own choices, to be forced to do things against your will. I’m sure Cas has told you this before, but you are safe here with us. Even if we are all stuck on this island. We won’t let them hurt you. You’re a part of our family, if you want to be.”
Grabbing his bag, Dorian followed Laura. He noted how big the house was. Thankfully it looked and felt like a nice house. When they went upstairs and stopped at the two empty rooms, he looked back at her. A choice of a room - it was nice. He could see both of them had nice-sized beds, linens, side table, desk.
He moved to the first one - exploring it a little more and looking through the window blinds. This one would be okay. Dorian stopped and turned to face her as she spoke. Nodding, he sat his bag on the desk and came back into the hallway. “He’s told me. I would like to be. And I promise,” he replied and stopped to breathe in order not to get as emotional as he would often be in the first days since Cas took him under his wing. “...I promise I will be okay.” And Dorian didn’t want to be treated as if he were to shatter at the simplest word, touch, or situation. He was stronger than that.
Laura offered a reassuring smile. She saw something familiar in him, a not-so-distant memory of herself, and it made her want to help and protect him. “You’re right. You will be okay. Don’t rush it though, all in good time. And on the days you’re not okay, you don’t have to hide it. Not with us, anyway.”
Dorian held back a frown. He never wanted to burden Laura, Caspian, or Caitlyn. His not-okay days were often spent alone. The young man didn’t want Caitlyn to see him that way. “Small steps.” He nodded.
Laura nodded and took a step back. “Sorry, I’m usually not so overbearing. I usually don’t talk to people much at all. Feel free to tell me to mind my own business.” Turning, she headed for the stairs again to give him some privacy and get the cookies out of the oven before they burned.
“Don’t be sorry. You’re a mom. Thank you for helping me.” Dorian spoke as Laura turned and headed for the stairs. Sometimes he wondered if he came off wrong to some people.
His comment made her pause, turning back to look at him in surprise. It took a moment to find the words, shaking her head at herself. “Thank you for saying that. Sometimes I feel like I’m completely failing Caitlyn as a mother, and almost all the time I have no idea what I’m doing. I never had a mother, so I just try to trust my instincts. They’re not always the best.”
He drew his lower lip into his mouth as he saw that look of surprise. Did I mess up? “You’re welcome. Eee, I didn’t know you didn’t… Well, I think you’re doing great.” Dorian nodded in approval. The young man still believed his own mother had forgotten about him.
Laura hesitated before confessing. “I was in foster care from birth until I was a teenager. A lot of bad stuff happened in those homes, I never really had anyone to look out for me. It didn’t really get better when I got sent away.” She shrugged, looking away for a minute. “It just means a lot to hear you say that you think I’m doing okay. I wish I could have protected her from this place.”
Taking a deep breath, she looked back to Dorian with a faint smile. “Sorry. I’ll let you get some rest.”
Wincing just a little, Dorian felt that he needed to hug her but refrained for now. “...Don’t be sorry. None of it was your fault. Okay. Don’t worry. I think you’re doing okay.” The young man nodded, smiling softly back at her.
Then he turned and went back into his bedroom, pushing the door to but not closing it before taking off his shoes and socks and laying down on the bed.
Laura wasn’t entirely sure about that, but it was nice to hear. She gave him another small smile before heading back down to the kitchen, giving him some peace and quiet.