Chapter Six Hundred and Sixty-nine - Old remedies, new times
Chapter Six Hundred and Seventy - The women of Castle meet (part one)

Chapter Six Hundred and Sixty-nine - Old remedies, new times (part six)


(part six)

Monday night — 10:15 p.m.

Valerie tapped on the door to her old apartment. When Ivan didn’t answer, she peaked inside. Ivan was sitting in an armchair with a tablet computer on his lap. He waved her inside.

Valerie opened the door, picked up the legged tray, and went inside. The tray had Ivan’s Chinese medicine, his night time cancer medication regimen, a croissant, and a pot of tea. Because Valerie and Mike were usually awake at this time of night, she usually brought Ivan his night time medications and a snack.

“Thank you,” Ivan said without seeing the tray.

“It’s my pleasure,” Valerie said. “How is Sissy?”

Sissy had returned to France to take a position in the chorus at the Opera de Paris ballet. She, the lead boy, and the lead girl from their school had all been offered parts.

“She is well,” Ivan said. “Bored. It’s common for students to be board by the company if they join the company associated with their school.”

“Oh?” Valerie asked.

She set the tray on the table. She removed the saucer from the top of Ivan’s Chinese medicine tea.

“Mmm,” Ivan said. “Smells absolutely horrible tonight.”

“I’d love to hear more about Sissy,” Valerie said. “Why don’t you sip it and tell me how she is?”

Ivan nodded.

“She’s cleared my things from the apartment I was staying in,” Ivan said. “I thought that she would move in there, but she is back with Claire and Ben. She says that being around family makes her happy and being on her own reminds her of her childhood loneliness.”

Valerie spied that Ivan was about halfway through his drink.

“I understand that,” Valerie said. “Her life seemed pretty bad, and I was way on the sidelines.”

Ivan swallowed down the rest of the Chinese medicine. He grimaced.

“We have to wait a few minutes before you can drink anything,” Valerie said.

Ivan nodded.

“What does she like about living with Claire and Ben?” Valerie asked.

“Oh,” Ivan said. “They have a young children. Sissy loves little kids. Claire has been able to mother Sissy in a way that is exactly what she needs. I cannot describe it. It’s beautiful to witness. They have been so kind to Sissy.”

Ivan looked at Valerie.

“You have been kind to me,” Ivan said. “How are you? How is the scripting going?”

“For the new movie?” Valerie asked. “Slow. Very very slow.”

She held out the pills for Ivan to take and a glass of what looked like water. He swallowed down the pills.

“What is this?” Ivan held up the water. He took a sip. “It takes like water and is not water.”

“Jill infused it with her special healing,” Valerie said. “She thought it might help make everything work.”

“Anything,” Ivan said. “I’m happy to do anything.”

Valerie gave him a soft smile. He closed his eyes but gestured for her to keep speaking.

“My ego likes that I’m getting parts for more serious roles,” Valerie said.

“Yes, I have been there,” Ivan said with a smile.

“But they are so slow to come together,” Valerie said. “I could be filming an action or a thriller right now. Instead, I’m waiting on scripting. Honestly, Ivan, I don’t know if I have the temperament for this more serious work.”

Ivan smiled at her.

“You do,” Ivan said. “See how you feel when you are filming the part. It’ll make up for all of this chaos and anxiety.”

“I hope so,” Valerie said.

Ivan sighed.

“Try to eat,” Valerie said. Switching to her “special” voice, she added, “We got these today from the French bakery. It’s warm.”

Valerie poured him some tea from pot.

“This is from our mint patch,” Valerie said. “I put in Delphie’s honey as you like it.”

Ivan had such a hard time eating that he continued to lose weight. Valerie found that he‘d eat if she asked in her special voice, even though he knew that she was using it.

He drank some tea and ate a piece of the croissant.

“Delicious,” Ivan said. He took three more bites and finished his tea. “As always. . .”

Ivan fell sound asleep. Valerie put the computer tablet on the table. As she did every night, she took off his shoes. There was a tap at the door and Mike came in. While Mike was changing Ivan into his bed clothing, Valerie collected his dirty dishes. Mike got Ivan settled into bed. They left their old apartment together.

There was nothing anyone could say about what was happening with Ivan. According to the doctors and Blane, he would either get well or he wouldn’t.

They deposited the tray of dirty dishes in the main Castle kitchen and went to pick up their children from Honey’s apartment. Arm in arm, they went to their new apartment.

Denver Cereal continues on Monday...


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