Helen Gansey, much like she has been raised, times her phone call perfectly for her brother's schedule, knowing how much a creature of habit her brother is from the years they had actually lived together - though she wonders how much that may have seen change to, both because of his years away from home and from the fact that he's put onto the road with his girlfriend and boyfriend.
In fact, if Helen Gansey stretches her memory far enough back, she remembers the exact microexpressions flitting across her parent's faces when they had heard Blue Sargent - Helen remembers her as the girl from the helicopter that first time, sitting so close to Adam that their breathes intertwined and she wonders vaguely if any drama occurred amongst the switch of her with Adam to her with Richard - and Henry Cheng - Henry must be newer to the group, she makes it her personal mission to remember her little brother's friend's names - as his significant others.
In an attempt to calm the mood, she had joked My three-thousand dollar plate for your birthday doesn't look so bad, huh, Mom?
It had been an attempt, one that caused Richie to send her a grateful glance, eyes full of a melancholy that she wonders if her own is so easy to read and posture looking closer to Ronan Lynch's rather than her brother's usual.
Just typical teenage rebellion, their mother had told their father later as he paced the living area, cushioned with expensive paintings and frankly ugly wallpaper that neither of her parents would let her touch up but she had mouthed to Richard, typical teenage?
Richard had stopped being a typical teenager when he had turned fourteen and had decided that he would travel the world in order to find some long-dead Welsh king and, and their parents had been supportive.
Their parents had been beyond supportive, providing him with funds and excess permission to the point where Helen had felt an awkward concern fluttering in her throat that Richard had too much freedom, that they didn't care enough.
The day that thought entered her, she had made a point to be there for Richard whenever he needed.
She had just hoped he would do the same.
"Richard Gansey," Her brother's firm and crisp voice ruffles at her ears like one would the edges of paper and she feels cut open by it. He didn't check his caller ID - it makes her irrationally angry with him for if he was irresponsible like that, anyone could hurt him.
Well her parents were more than willing to give their son too long a leash, she had an eye in Henrietta that had been whispering facts to her, including that he had been held at gunpoint by his Latin teacher a little over a year ago at this point. It had given her a stress-induced ulcer.
"Helen," she knows her voice is just as regal as his and she cringes at the way they're both growing into something so similar to their parents. To his credit, Richard has found a hell of a something in Blue Sargent and Henry Cheng.
"Ahh, Helen," He sounds genuinely thrilled and in the background, she hears laughter, one that sounds familiar but both that sound good mixing together. "How are you doing?"
"Looking for a psychic." She says abruptly and Richard's small talk falls quiet. She can imagine his face falling from something thrilled into a more surprised, serious face.
Excuse me, a gentle female voice says from beside her phone. She knows it isn't Gansey Jr.'s girlfriend from her soft tones to Blue's compelling and unapologetic nature. She hears Richard start a 'one moment please' before Helen hears his girlfriend from across what she expects is a booth to teasingly state, "If you did that single-finger-raised to me, I'd bite it off."
Helen stifles a laugh but she can hear the hints of a smile in his lavish tone when her baby brother asks, "Helen, why do you need a psychic?"
So many reasons, she thinks but doesn't say. Instead, she opts for, "I just do. Do you have a location?"
"I do.' He says after a long stretch of a moment where she guesses he and his significant others were having one of those wordless interactions they're so good at. "300 Fox Way would probably be best."
"Probably?" She echoes back - she can't risk this on a bunch of amateur palm readers and idiotic fake psychics, this needs to be perfect.
The elder sibling can hear colors of annoyance touch at Richard's voice when he says, "Are the best."
His vernacular feels off, as though someone has shifted all of her furniture slightly to the left by hairs - unnoticeable at first but she keeps bumping her shin into the coffee table.
"Okay." She says, trusting him.
"Helen?" He warns, voice sounding far away and it reminds her with a chill that her brother has died, that plants sunk through his ribcage and found home in the purchase of land between his lungs and his heart. He never seems as dead as he does when he uses this voice, "Be careful."
Her quiet is enough to fill a boat before he simply states, "You may be...loud."
Whatever the dear God that means.