Nick was dealing with Futurebug. That was fine. Rick would be there, too, and Sable, and maybe if something strange happened Luke would gain superpowers. Maybe that was what Daniel was in their time to do. Or maybe an alien spacecraft was going to crash into the hospital. That would be kind of awesome, Boreas felt. But he was gonna hang out in Taryn's room because she was healing, and he needed to tell the doctors that they were doing a great job because he was Boreas. Part of being Boreas was doing whatever Nick told him to do. He hadn't quite figured that part out yet, but at the moment it was okay by him.
It occurred to him to feel really, really sorry for CAPE-Care medical staff sometimes. At the moment they were contending with Taryn Thoreau, Seraph (retired), currently out cold due to someone else's wounds. Most hospitals, even well-organized hospitals, wouldn't know how to deal with injuries getting transferred. That kind of thing didn't happen.
But here was CAPE-Care, giving the girl a brand new room because they couldn't put her in Nick's bed. And they didn't even know who she was yet!
Which is why the first thing Boreas did upon entering the room Taryn was assigned to was to pull her wallet out of her purse and take out her CAPE ID card. "It's okay, I'm a hero," Boreas told one of the nurses, flashing his hero smile and then offering the man the card. He didn't look like he wanted it. Oh, because he was wearing sterile gloves. That made sense. Boreas put it down on a table and grinned.
There was a much more awkward smile for the room's other occupant, besides Boreas and Taryn and the medics.
"You're Deborah Temin, right?" Boreas asked. "Nick's...oma?" He almost said "amo".
Deborah watched Boreas silently as he pranced about, commandeering all available air and space for the very important mission of filling it with himself. For all that her daughter insisted that there was more going on with him than the fact that he was a needy flashy pain in the ass, all Deborah saw was him making a spectacle of himself.
She wondered briefly how he could possibly stand himself, or if he could. She supposed it was possible he couldn't. It would explain all the noise.
She gave him a brief nod, barely more than an upward jerk of her head. Still, he'd asked her a direct question and correctly assessed her job title and relation to Nicki, and that deserved acknowledgement. "Taryn was my TA," she added.
Would he sit? Or would he stand around, or possibly burst out into the hall in search of people who hadn't paid attention to him yet?
Boreas's awkward smile gave way to a wry grin. "You're kidding," he said. "Small world. Did you know she was a superhero, or is this all new to you? Or, was a superhero, I guess - she retired after...well, you know." She probably did.
Deborah shrugged once with her right shoulder only at the question of whether she'd known Taryn was a superhero. She hadn't, though she didn't look so different in a mask. One of the many side-effects of a lot of deranged Canadians torturing her on television.
She felt a little bad for Boreas on that count. He didn't have to be much of a good kid for that to get to him in a really terrible way, and by all reports he was a good kid. Dumb and irritating, but good.
"Retirement," Deb retorted. "Looks easier said than done."
Exhibit A: Unconscious Taryn Thoreau with new clean white bandages exactly where Veronica Temin had had them.
"We won't know," he said. "This isn't Taryn being a superhero, this is Taryn being Taryn. Besides, healing from this is a piece of cake to her." He shrugged. "I'm glad she was here for Nick. The two of them have had their spats, of course, but nothing bad enough that they won't try to keep each other safe."
Deb frowned and sighed through her nose, taking off her glasses to rub them clean with the edge of her shirt. They weren't even actually dirty; she just appreciated them more than people who hadn't grown old in a world without them.
What she didn't appreciate was the dramatic and insane lengths people in her daughter's life had to go to in order to demonstrate friendship. What happened to baking together? Gardening. Helping each other move. Anything.
"Yeah," she said. "I'm aware."
Deborah might still be a little piqued about the mission to Canada thing.
It was Nick's life, though, and she didn't really have the right to come in and veto. The best she could do was passive-aggressively imply that she was extremely displeased with the whole affair.
Deb waved her glasses in Boreas' general direction in a vague and dismissive sort of way. As much as she hated Nick's superhero friends in principle, in practice they were all nice enough people who did a passable job of keeping Nick out of trouble.
That is, when they weren't dragging her directly into it.
Still, they were the friends that Nick had. Whatever Deborah thought of them, they'd been good for her daughter in the short term. With the limited information available to them, it was the best she could fairly expect them to do. If they fell short otherwise... well. They didn't know.
"I figure... we keep you in food and weapons," Deb said, "...then maybe next time you shoot someone before they shoot her."
None of that, of course, meant that she had to be gentle about it. Rick had said that it hadn't been a big deal, but it was the principle of the damned thing.
Boreas chuckled. "Challenge accepted. It's a fair cop. Next time I will make sure other people get shot before they shoot Nick. And maybe we'll work out ahead of time what's supposed to happen if a firefight starts. You know...if there's a next time, which I hope there's not."
Deborah answered very slowly and carefully, not wanting her daughter's flamboyant manchild of a friend to mistake her meaning for even half a moment.
"There had better not."
It was only at this point that she put her glasses back on, giving him a steady gaze over the top of them to verify that Boreas was comprehending her. Nick was the one who had befriended all of these strange and excitable people, but it had been at her mother's urging and over Deborah's objections.
It had been only too obvious to her that Veronica's friends would endanger her at worst and expose her to too much attention and scrutiny at best... which amounted to the same thing in the end.
"Because if I lose her because of her friendship with you," Deb added calmly. "You'd better not come back either or I will beat your hide until it's as black as mine, and if Richard Starr is half a man, he will take over where I leave off."
The older--much, much older--woman stared at Boreas fixedly, her expression carefully blank as she evaluated the sincerity of his statement. The sentiment was good, though she wondered if he knew why she'd targeted him with that particular threat. After all, she had no intention of hassling Taryn even though strictly speaking she was the most direct cause of the trouble. Taryn had really done no worse than Nick herself had done once.
No, Boreas was some kind of professional hero team leader, at least from what she'd heard. That meant that he got to be the one parents expected to hold responsible if something terrible ever happened to their kid. It was not a job that Deborah envied, but then... she didn't share his insatiable lust for attention. Perhaps to Boreas the Wind-Wielder it was worth that risk.
She gave him a very small nod before turning to look at her daughter's other friend, the unconscious one. It was a statement of approval, after a fashion, though she saw no reason to make it clear whether she approved of his esteem for her daughter or of whatever self-flagellation was going on in his head right now.
Deborah was Nick's parent. She was allowed to appreciate both of those things without feeling like a terrible person.
Boreas was silent as he tamped down the urge to remind Deborah that he was really very hard to hit, even for someone like Rick who was really very good at hitting people. The silence dragged on for a minute or two, which was probably quite comfortable (or even too short) for Deb but was utterly intolerable for Cameron.
"I, uhh. Was gonna ask what you were teaching right now. Maybe drag you into a Shakespeare authorship debate. I'm kind of an...Oxfordian." His mouth hung slightly open for a moment and then shut with an embarrassed click.