Spooky day was nothing special in the Rodriguez household which surprised Eliza since her parents loved mischief. Eliza knew the request was a rouse to bring reconciliation with her father, they had remained hostile since their argument, and neither was willing to submit to an apology. Patrick pushed past, arms ladened with pumpkins, a grunted greeting as he helped Rylan prepare the house. She looked nervous, frightened they would refuse to let her leave, somehow keep her prisoner. Rylan’s presence, the daggered stare, Eliza dug her nails into her palms, determined to attempt a pleasant evening with family. Emilie smiled, wrapping her arm across the stiffened Eliza; she wriggled from the embrace, tension growing in the neck, shoulders and jaw. Her mother sighed, mouth opened but interrupted by an excited Charlotte who threw herself towards Eliza, squeezing happily; the words that came torched her good mood, as Eliza exclaimed she should have stayed at the apartment. The sentiment agreed; Rylan wiped his hands, his eyes cold, ignoring Charlotte’s tears and Emilie’s plea’s.
Eliza bit her lip, suppressing a scream; having used her tight budget to travel, she growled unimpressed by Rylan’s dismissal. She should have realised he would be unwelcoming, agitated; she laid into how he made a useless father, hating his attitude to family and relieved she no longer had to put up with his selfish behaviour. Rylan retorted Eliza had no place in this home. The self-centred behaviour put them through hell, for months unaware if she was alive or dead. Searching was a waste of police time and resources; Rylan squared his shoulders slamming the door uninviting her to this and future family occasions.
Forced Spooky Day spirit failed to quell the tensions felt after Eliza’s departure. Emilie soothed Charlotte’s tears, her bitter tongue against her father’s decision, stopped under threat of spending the evening alone in her room. Patrick shifted towards his father’s unwavering opinion, deeming Eliza selfish, unforgivable, as he dressed as a galactic fighter pilot, ready to tackle the monsters as the creep. Charlotte pouted in her Hotdog costume; she shifted against the itchy fabric, knowing had Eliza stayed, she would have been the other half of a crime-fighting, Mason and Ward. Despite Emilie offering to take Eliza’s place, Charlotte knew it would be different as Eliza watched the show and would know all the catchphrases.
Ziva had failed to find the Spooky spirit with her summery appearance, unlike Vicky and Milly, who thrived on the amusement that costumes brought to the day. She led the way in carving pumpkins with scary faces, giving Patrick disapproving looks as he told Milly ghost stories. They were funny; Milly squealed delighted, stuffed full of candy courtesy of Rylan; she had no appetite for the chilli and baked potatoes. Charlotte snuck her classmate post trick or treating into the house; they devoured half the candy. Rylan glared, the children paused, mouth overflowing, wide-eyed panic, he broke, a huge grin, the morning tummy ache would be sufficient, but he kept that to himself.