Raph blinked, frowning and trying to figure out why-
Oh. Oh. He winced, freezing in the hallway as realization washed over him, along with the horror that yes, he had reached that point, he had just said that.
He swallowed harshly, fingers tightening on the doorknob, and turned, giving her a strained little smile. “Well, I never thought I’d be any kind of parent, still hadn’t until- until just now, really, so- so I guess you’re not alone, there?” he offered, voice shaky past the sudden rushing in his ears.
Kay winced, fidgeting with the hem of her shirt as she remained slumped against the wall. “Yeah, I never- yeah, that. Same here. Funny how things turn out,” she said woodenly, struck by the strangeness of it all now that she was reflecting on months and months of being swept along by the current and chaos and trying to be there and trying not to crumble and caring more than she thought she would, or than she was probably supposed to. More than she was entirely comfortable with now, at that.
Swallowing, she reached out to tug at his own sleeve, fingers sliding over the hand still gripping the doorknob before pulling away just as soon, sheepish and embarrassed. She couldn’t let herself melt into a spineless puddle whenever she was dealing with uncertainty, and even now, she didn’t want to cling to him too much.
"We should probably get on with it, yeah?" she asked him, ace gone more controlled now as she looked him in the eyes.
He gave her a quick grin, jostling her shoulder lightly. “I was thinking you could be the fun parent who gives in and gives her stuff, I’d be the strict one who makes the rules and makes sure consequences are understood.” He took her hand, squeezing it quickly, before letting out a quiet breath and opening the door, breaking them out of the stillness of their room so they could deal with the Fate that they needed to deal with.
Kay blinked and gave a half-horrified little laugh. “Uh, okay,” she said stiffly, her voice turning hushed as he opened the door, then swallowed. “I wasn’t- ‘t- now that you’ve actually put it like that, yeah. I just…” she hesitated, hanging on in silence for a moment as she picked her words, and breathed out in a rush. “I never thought I’d be the fun parent,” she admitted with an uncertain laugh.
"Well, let’s hope that means she’s calming down, and not that she’s letting her irritation fester, then," Raph said with a sigh, reluctantly swinging his legs off the bed as he stood, wishing once more that the Fates had found someone - anyone - else to sew Nona into, or that they’d cared whether her agreed to help them or not.
Hand on the doorknob, he paused, turning back towards Kay. “Should we both talk to her, do you think, or would you rather I be the only one there, explain the terms of the dog coming back as I talked them over with Lucifer?”
She shook her head, sighing again as she pushed herself to her feet to follow him. “No,” she said firmly despite the weariness in her voice. “I got us into this, I need to at least help you deal with this. I’m glad- thanks for offering, though,” she said with a half-twitch of a smile, leaning against the wall beside him.
Raph let out a long exhalation, pulling away further so that he could eye the door warily, expression lined with distrust and weariness. “We should go talk to her, shouldn’t we?” he said after a moment, resignation colouring his voice, and let his hands drop to his sides. “Explain how she’s going to have to change her behavior before we get him back, regardless of what we decide for the apartments.”
"We should," Kay agreed glumly, pulling away completely and wrapping her arms around herself, still needy for comfort and making a mental note to thoroughly catch up with him later. Looks like it was going to be one of those days.
Sighing softly, she looked at him, then at the door. “She’s in her room, I think. Been mostly quiet today,” she explained with a faint frown. She found herself dreading the conversation, and not just because it would be an uncomfortable and difficult one. Far more it was the sort of wariness one extends a wolf that finally begins coming into its own and snaps during playtime, marking it as different from the dogs it grew up with.
Raph shook his head, squeezing his eyes more tightly closed, and all but hid his face in the crook of her neck. “I’m trying to deal,” he said, voice muffled as he wound his arms further around her waist. “It’s- it’s a lot, all of a sudden, Nona and Lucifer and Socks and Tipple and- I can handle it, given time. It’s just a lot more change in a shorter time than I ever really had to deal with before, you know?”
"Yeah," Kay replied, exhaling lightly as his arms tightened around her - a reassurance, however slight, that things were as they should be. "I’m guessing it is." To ask her, things had been in a constant state of chaos for a good long while now, so the feeling he was conveying was more than familiar. After a moment, she sighed. "Still, it’s not all done yet." She pulled away from him ever so slightly and jerked her head to indicate the door.
"At least we still have each other, though," Raph murmured with a sigh, arms tightening as he leaned into her comforting weight. "Regardless of everything else changing, there’s still that." He let his eyes slip closed, chin resting on her shoulder as he tried to force away the thoughts of how the difficult conversation with a moody Nona would go and focus on the moment. “‘s still us."
Blinking in surprise, Kay huffed out a chuckle, an almost desperate note sounding through it as she only clung closer to him. “Yeah, there’s always that,” she agreed, tempted to close her eyes and pull the curtains shut and retreat into the dark and quiet with him. After a moment, she spoke, tentative and slow, “…So how are you doing? It’s been… a busy few days, and I’ve been so- well, I never got around to asking if you were okay with things.”
"Not according to anyone in the other universe, no," Raph agreed before falling quiet, leaning in to nudge her cheek lightly as he thought. He didn’t quite know where Kay had been trying to lead with that, but whatever it was that she thought he was supposed to have noticed about Hell here probably wasn’t a factor in this universe or a minor enough one that he didn’t have to worry about it.
His eyes were drawn over her shoulder to the door, and he barely held back a wince. Especially when there was still a young Fate to inform about the conditions she would have to meet in order to get her dog back. A lot of things would have to take back burner in comparison to that.
Kay shifted quietly as he fell silent, content to let herself rest against him while he went through whatever was going through his head. She half-suspected he was being facetious in his accounting of Hell - not wanting to upset her, perhaps? - but it wasn’t her business right at that moment.
Aching for more comfort but not wanting to jmpose, she let herself cling to him, palm running lightly over where it rested on his shoulder. “I guess you’re right,” she murmured after a few more moments, to give herself something to say, “things really are different here.”
Snickering, Raph shook his head. “No, a- no one really wanted an Archangel down there, regardless of how much more level-headed said Archangel had ended up being than the rest of them,” he said, leaning into her touch a little, and raised one shoulder in a noncommittal shrug. “It ended up suggested a couple of times, after particularly bad days with Michael had led to a lot of damage in one place or another, but… yeah, no one wanted to bring me down and see what an angel in Hell would have done to it.”
Kay gave an echoing chuckle that lacked the energy of his own, her fascinated smile slipping a little. “…I guess they wouldn’t have, yeah,” she agreed tacitly with a numb nod that turned into a shrug. “Hell’s no place for an Archangel, that’s for damn sure… Might’ve been a bit of a mess…” She trailed of and lowered her eyes, not knowing for certain what she was even saying, and shrugged again, bewildered by the lack of answer he’d given to her question but not knowing what it was she had expected.
Raph frowned, thinking back on Hell and Lucifer and his impressions of both of them. “Yes?” he offered, voice lilting up with confusion. “I mean, I noticed that there were a lot of guards everywhere, but I’m not sure whether that was because that’s how Hell is or whether that’s because I’m an Archangel who was meeting with Lucifer.”
"…Huh." Kay blinked slowly, tilting her head at him a little, curious despite herself, then huffed out a little laugh. "Yeah, there’d be a lot of guards. To keep up appearances if nothing else. Really, though…" she shifted forward in what was almost eagerness, her hand drifting down to reassuringly pat his knee. "It must have felt so weird," she mused, half to herself, "Al the way down there, when you should be… What about back home, did you ever… get to go down Below there?"
Raph frowned quizzically and shook his head, trying to gauge the look on her face and what it meant for the direction of the conversation. “No? I mean, I was there for as much official business as either of us are getting involved in,” he said, shifting so that his arm settled more comfortably around her waist. “Which meant I was there for a legitimate reason and I didn’t exactly have a reason to go around scaring the demons or anything, so there wasn’t a whole lot of reason for me to be in trouble with anyone down there.”
"So that’s it?" Kay asked with a still expectant nod, her hand drifting down to encircle his and hold it there. "Very…. very office-like, you said? That’s- that’s the only thing you’ve noticed about it?" She chewed on her lip, trying to figure out why she was… not disappointed, no, but why she felt like there was something missing from his account.