Chuck's going nuts in Bart's office, sloppy and hurried and unsteady; she tries to make her voice light, soft and friendly, firm and comforting at once. To reach out and touch him just softly enough with it that he will stop, and rest, and be calmed. "If you're looking for Bart's will, you don't have to worry," she says. The trivia of death, she's saying: leave it behind. Come be with your family. But that's not what he is looking for. There are no trivialities tonight; there's no worrying here, just business. "But you should be," he snarls without turning. "I'm going to find your file."
She almost laughs. He already knows what he's looking for, what CeCe said he knew. He hates secrets as much as she does: he knows about Rufus and the mazurka, he was there. He brought her back to herself, and reminded her she was a grownup, that she has a family, and three children, and that she owed her husband the truth. He was a good, strong son when he didn't have to be. He reminded her of who she was. "Well, it's not here, so you can stop ransacking the place and look at me." Begging now, with that set to her jaw and those tears in her eyes. "I can't look at you, Lily. You disgust me." She stays cool, says his name softly, just once. "Charles." To bring him back to himself, to remind him who she is: a mother, with three children. With a good, strong son.
"Disrespecting your marriage. Betraying my father with Rufus Humphrey?" There's a bit more steel in her voice now, as she reminds him: "I did no such thing." He was there, after all. He presents such a good burlesque, this precocious dissolute good-hearted brute, that you could forget what he is: a child, just a child, on his way to becoming a man. You could rely on that too much. They've always acted this way: she found him curled up on the Palace courtyard grounds, drunk as a skunk, and all she did was laugh. You could expect that of him then. Expect rationality, when his family falls apart. Rhodes women have done this for generations. "He was coming to fight for you. Talk about dying for nothing." Finally realizing he's in the process of crossing her off his list, she forgets herself again, speaks out of turn, adult to adult. "The only reason he got in that car is because you called him. If you could have just stayed out of it..." She's talking to his back, which is shaking like sobs. But he's not crying. Choking on it, crushing it down, carrying them all on his back, but not crying. Not yet.