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Sep 15, 2019 5:47 AM
Jean, Zari, and Denice in Eclipse
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Zari cannot wait for this stupid eclipse to be over so she can get the girl a sandwich.

"Crayon, good idea," she says, sitting back down. "Sorry, I didn't think of that."

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Right, well. Back to the table, and she looks Zari's stick figure over again before drawing one of her own, carefully. "'Niece."

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Grin. "Awesome. Okay."

Zari sketches the outline of a house -- two lines for walls, pointed roof, chimney, door, windows -- around her figure. "House," she identifies, and then after a moment, "This is my home. It's where I live."

(So this is a bit of a stretch. She does not, exactly, live in the nice rental they acquired on the way up here. Nor does it, technically, have a chimney. Artistic license.)

Gesturing at Denice and her paper: "Your home?"

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After some scrutiny and consideration she draws a square around her figure, and then adds more squares to the sides, running off either side of the paper.

She seems to find this a little bit upsetting.

 

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Nod. "Yes, that looks like where you live. Mm, one more thing."

Zari draws a second stick figure next to hers, puts him in a suit and tie. "Jean," she says, pointing. "My brother. He lives with me." Gesturing at Denice's paper: "Who lives with you?"

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...nope, confusion. After a minute she takes a guess and draws another stick figure anyway.

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Zari reaches towards Denice's paper. "May I?"

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She withdraws.

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Ugh ugh ugh she doesn't want to scare the kid this was going so well.

She'll just have to make sure it continues to go well.

"I was thinking of the other children here," Zari says, "and maybe the doctors." She sketches stick figures into a couple of Denise's boxes, then hands the paper back. "Does that seem right? Or, no, you meant something else? Yes or no?"

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She takes the paper back, considers, and then starts updating the boxes so that each one contains two stick figures. When she's done, she gives the second figure in her square short hair and a skirt and pronounces it to be Emma.

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Beam. "Awesome! Thank you, that helps. Okay, now we have all the ideas I need."

Zari looks carefully at Denice's self-portrait, and copies it meticulously into her own house. "Denice," she adds, in case the stick figure isn't sufficiently distinctive.

Then she turns the paper around to face Denise, and puts it a little to her right; reaches for Denice's paper, says "may I?" again, and, presuming no objection, shifts it to the left of her own paper.

"I want to know," she says carefully, "if you would like to come live with me and Jean--" point -- "or if you would like to stay here--" point.

Sitting back a little, she adds, "Either one is fine, and either way I will make sure you start getting enough to eat."

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She takes the herself-in-the-institution paper and starts reducing it to confetti.

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"Right, okay, you are very good at communication," Zari laughs. "You can come with us, then. Is there anything you want to do first?" Pause. "...Do you want to say goodbye to Emma?"

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...she is really intent on confettiing that paper, wow.

 

When she's done, she looks up at Zari. "Go?"

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"Go," Zari agrees, scooping up her toys and her pen and getting up, then offering an arm to Denice, because the kid really doesn't seem like she can walk so well in this state.

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She is more cautious standing, this time, but still declines to take her arm; she doesn't quite seem to understand why it's being offered or what she's meant to do with it.

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"You can lean on me if it makes it easier to walk," Zari clarifies, "but it's okay if you'd rather not."

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'Not' seems to be the order of the day. Door? Out? Going?

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Door! Out! Going!

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Jean, having finished signing off on all the release paperwork and promising to have other papers filed once the immediate issue of the eclipse is over, is hanging about outside the door doing something mysterious with his phone.

"Hello, Denice," he says, in an American accent like Zari's rather than his usual mild French one. "I'm Jean." (He gives the impression of not particularly expecting a response to this.)

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"Denice says she would like to come home with us."

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"Then by all means, let's get out of this place."

Heading for the exit.

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Yes that. She is still kind of wobbly but she is going.

She does pause at the doorway to one of the lounges to bounce twice on her toes and announce "go!" to someone inside; if Jean and Zari look in they will see an older girl looking somewhat astonished.

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"Denice is going home with us," Zari confirms, amused.

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"...wow. Cool. Good luck, kiddo."

"Luck!"

The older girl blinks again and smiles, and Denice bounces once more and continues on her way.

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