Battle Buddies


megan_icon.gif huruma_icon.gif

Scene Title Battle Buddies
Synopsis A battle buddy is more than a friend, she is the person for whom you will jump on a grenade or take live fire, the person with whom you trust your secrets. The person who always has your back and who, no matter how much time passes between seeing one another, no time at all passes. Your best friend, your sister of the heart. Megan is glad to see hers come home.
Date February 27, 2018

New York Safe Zone, Megan's Apartment

Visiting people at home doesn't get old; at least these days, Huruma tends to call first. Megan, this time, who gets only an afternoon's notice before Huruma says she's stopping by. That's about as far as the politeness goes, because Huruma is greatly looking forward to it. When she raps on the front door, the weather outside has stopped drizzling, and now the cold is setting in for the evening. The wind is at Huruma's back, and there is a group of people walking past on the street while she waits for Megan to open the door.

The information that Huruma is not only back on the continent but back in New York made Megan's whole week. She doesn't have much… but what she has, she will share with the other woman — including a coveted, tiny stash of coffee, some real sugar, and a box of macaroni-and-cheese that she's been saving for a comfort food night. Living in the Safe Zone is oh so luxurious. Especially right now.

The redhead whips the door open and the happiness to see the dark-skinned woman literally rolls off Megan as she immediately bundles her friend into a tight hug and gets her in the door. "God damn, it's good to see you," she breathes with a huge smile.

Huruma was ready for a hug, just perhaps not as intense of one as she gets. She lets out a small sound of air through her teeth, one arm hooking around Megan's back and tugging her close.

"Easy, easy~." Huruma's voice coos, her frame relaxing under the embrace of the redhead's arms. "I wish I got the same sort of welcome everywhere I go." She loosens the hug, only to pass over a small box to Megan with a sidelong smile, lips curving. "Rochester has a little more in the way of this…I thought I'd be courteous." The white box has a selection of cookies inside, certainly a treat.

The soft laugh has the ease to it that was missing for so long. Reaching out to take the box, blue eyes crinkle at the corners and are just a bit damp. "You'll spoil me," Megan informs her. "If you're not getting the same sort of welcome everywhere you go, then they've forgotten both their manners and what you've done for them all," she insists. "Now… come in, come in. Good lord, you look amazing. Tell me how things have been! You know I never believe anything on the news and your last letter was months ago." Megan fixes Huruma with a stern eye. "And they're always too short anyway. How is everyone? How long can you stay? Do you have a place yet?"

Huruma's hand draws down over a length of red hair, a pet to Megan's head as she stifles the damp look. A reassuring touch, followed by a cup of cheek and a grin as she enters. "I can wish." She murmurs, closing the door behind her. The geometric pattern of shirt under her coat gives a splash of something bright to her aura.

"Sorry about the letters… I got busy, then decided to come back… so—" Huruma offers only a half explanation, lips pursing a moment. "I am staying-staying." There's a small laugh, and she thinks back to conversations already passed. "I'm staying at Lynette's center. It is nothing special, but she is gracious to let me stay there. I am sure I can offer her something of a service, too." Huruma's hand waves, a short gesture.

"Everyone in Madagascar is doing well. I just needed… to come back."

Megan waves off the apology. "Who has time to write long letters?" she returns with a smile. "I'm always just grateful to know you're doing okay." She waves the other woman in to her small flat. It's actually nothing more than a studio — one room, bed on the far side, common area with a well-worn couch, and a table with a couple of chairs sitting in the kitchenette. "You're staying?" The redhead is actually very surprised by that, and perhaps a little worried as she makes her way toward the counter. The scent of coffee fills the tiny space that she calls her own.

"Lynette's center is a nice place. You'll do well there." Tilting her head, Megan asks, "Are you okay? I honestly never expected you to come back to the States except maybe for a visit when we were old and gray…. what made you decide on the return?" Genuinely curious, Megan will also drop the topic if it's something that Huruma doesn't want to talk about. They've known each other too long for her not to see the signs of that by now, but … she's worried.

The notes of concern in Megan draw Huruma's own, a quiet tilt of head as they move into the flat and settle in. She leans up against the other part of the counter to survey the other woman, pale eyes softening a little, arms crossing loosely.

"I am." Okay is maybe not the best word for it, so Huruma refrains in using it. "This is my home too, Megan. You are." She pauses, glancing up and back to the other woman's features. "My children are healthy, and they are safe. Wolfhound has need of me sometimes, but otherwise… what stops me from coming back? The world is smaller than it seems."

Megan studies the darker woman intently, and her expression eases with the statement of home. She smiles a little. "It's good to have you back. I've missed you. A lot." There's a wicked wrinkle of her nose and she says, "And so has Benjamin — don't let him tell you otherwise when you see him." Because to her it's a given that if Huruma has not already gone to see the man, she will be doing so in very short order.

She brings down two mugs, the sturdy kind that don't chip and crack, and pours coffee for them both, setting out the gifted cookies on the small kitchen table so that they can visit together. "Sugar?" Megan was notorious for sweet, black coffee when they could get it, but her sweet tooth seems less now — at least if the lean look of her is any indicator. The years have been difficult, though she seems healthy and strong.

"I missed you too. And he was glad to see me." Huruma smiles aside to Megan, answering the wrinkle of nose with a soft laugh. "We did exactly this too." She lfits a brow and takes a seat next to Megan at the table, gesturing a nod for the sugar. Some. "He is still predictable, so I surprised him. One of the first things he asked was if I'd come here yet." She leans her jaw against closed knuckles, elbow on the edge of the table.

Megan laughs outright as she sets the sugar down on the table and settles in. "Well, some things have not changed," she informs her friend. "It is still the three of us making sure we've got each other covered, yeah?" She sighs contentedly, leaning both elbows on her table while she savors her coffee. "So you're going to work for Wolfhound? That might be a good thing… you can keep an eye on Luce when you're up there." She rolls her eyes a little. "I always worry about that one — she's got such a jones for the adrenaline."

"It really is." For all that they've been a Gang for years, they won't change much now. Huruma's smile comes back once more at Megan's sigh. "I've worked with them since they began… though the work gets lighter as the targets dwindle." She says this with a clear pride. "Lucille has had me around, for better or worse. We look out for one another, though she is not on my own squad. She has friends, though." Huruma can live with that. Knowing Luce has others too. "I suspect I may have to find something else if I want to stay busy here. I tended to work with Dajan's people on the island. Tried to sit in on Badrani's tutoring once, but god knows that boy is too smart for me. Calculus, already."

Megan shudders with an expression of exaggerated horror! “Calculus? Already? Christ almighty. When the hell did we get that old?” Shaking her head, she grins a bit. “I knew you were off and on with them, of course, but…” Lu is the one Megan spent the most time with, especially in the field when she was training her. Though she wouldn't dare use the word ‘maternal,’ her worry tends in that direction for the younger woman.

“What are you thinking you'll do more full time? Not exactly a demand for our more… active… Skills here in the Zone.” She purses her lips. “Although I'm quite sure I wouldn't mind getting you to loan your talents in the food thefts.” That makes her angry. That someone is stealing from the poorest of the poor is just outrageous.

“We are not that old. Just a little out of touch with schooling.” Huruma’s mood is already lifted, and Megan’s seems to cement it in a lighter place. She can manage to keep it there. “He’s a sharp boy. Has a gift.” She taps once at her temple. He might be embarrassed to hear her talking about him, but it's a good thing the kid’s not around. “Lucille is doing alright. I do not think we need to worry too much.” Like a pair of aunts, not mothers.

“I am not sure. It is early yet.” Huruma turns her hands out in an open gesture, relaxing back into the chair. “I did hear about that. Horrible.” Voice low, Huruma is no stranger to things such as food shortages. Dark sits behind her eyes as she gets lost in thought, though it struggles to last for long. Huruma reminds herself of where she is. Who she’s with. It will be fine. “Other than something like that… I am not exactly used to the idle life. I suppose that is one more thing that was getting to me. My mentor called me a wandering tree. He was not wrong.

“We definitely are that old if he's doing Calculus,” retorts Megan. “Good God, I hated those maths.” She smiles at her friend and partner in … so many things. “He is very gifted, indeed.” As for Lucille? Eh… Megan smiles. “She's an amazing young woman for certain. I do wish she'd turned her talents more toward the medical fields. To this day, I think she would be an amazing nurse.”

The redhead sips her coffee slowly and grimaces. “Yeah… someone is going to get themselves shot like that,” she opines. “It's tight enough around here. I'm feeling grateful I have enough rations put aside for the week… but I have to admit that I don't put enough aside for these contingencies… too many other people need it more than I do.” It explains the slender figure — she still skimps in her own rations to make sure others eat first.

“You should tell her that again.” A short remarking on Lucille before she continues. “Are there no favors that the council could phone in, to get people by until they figure it out?” Huruma may be overestimating the resources of others when it comes to something like that. Still, her concern is there. “Makes me wonder how many MREs survived until now, though.”

Huruma’s eyes lid partway, and she takes in the smell of weak coffee and the lingering scent of the house, seeming to ease despite the talk of shortages. “I am sure the people here are resourceful enough. The trouble will pass, hopefully because the thieves get caught…” She sips from the mug, eyes peering over the edge with a sharp bend of brow. Don’t give her ideas, Megan, you know how that goes. “I have seen worse— not to disregard any suffering.

“We've definitely seen worse,” Megan agrees quietly. A stint in third-world countries (before the United States practically became one) is a large part of the reason Megan does what she does. “The police and others are definitely working on the theft,” she observes. There is a moment where the redhead seems to slip back into older memories, but she shakes them off. “If I believed it was someone even worse off than we are here in the Zone, I'd honestly be less mad. I worry more that it's some asshole who's just going to resell it.”

Shaking her head, though, Megan says, “Don't mind me. I've had three whole days off — I don't know what the hell to do with myself when that happens.”

“If they did try to resell, I imagine they would be caught quickly. It is not easy to divest that sort of stock.” Huruma turns a palm up, mouth twitching with a subtle frown. Megan’s words do bring a small smile back. “Ah, I see. Getting a little stir-crazy, are you?” She guesses, taking another sip of coffee and leaning back, balancing the chair’s front legs a little from the floor.

“How is work, then? You have far more grace under that kind of pressure than a thousand others do. Do you still do clinics?”

Megan considers the words ‘stir crazy' and gives Huruma a rueful expression. “After all these years, you'd think I'd slow down some and enjoy the fact that we're not being shot at anymore, wouldn't you?” she asks, amused. “I'm reasonably certain that tag-teaming the two of you the way I have has changed something fundamental in my brain. But yes, I'm still doing clinics… ER rotations in the hospital here when I can get them but more often I'm ….”

Megan pauses and then sighs, admitting, “street clinics.” She had no secrets from Huruma, and it's not like the other woman will turn it in. “I far prefer to work with the people who need it most.” Had things not gone the way they did after the Second Civil War, the redhead might have actually gone into the kind of work Doctors Without Borders offers. But parts of the US are in just as bad a shape, so… here she remains.

At ‘tag-teaming the two of you’, the chair under Huruma wobbles, and she huffs a little of the coffee down her throat and just a tad up her nose when she stifles a fit of laughter. On one hand, she made it sound so intimate— but on the other, she’s not wrong. Megan spent a lot of time with her hands on Huruma and Ben, no lie there.

To her credit, Huruma does not spill anything. She just has to clear her sudden congestion up with a few coughs.

“That is what I mean— most would never do all of this.” Huruma moves on with a verbal sidestep. Nice. “But you are dedicated. I never fail to be proud of you.” She makes a final clearing of her throat, thumb wiping at the corner of her mouth. “People need those street clinics. At least you are well-trained. I have seen plenty of hacks doing the same. Calling themselves healers.”

Well, that wasn't what she meant!! But there's not a sign of a blush anywhere as Megan laughs merrily while Huruma tries to snicker politely in her cup. Because… wow, yeah. That totally didn't come out right. “Wow. Because just wow,” she chuckles.

There's a bit of a shrug at the compliment though her pleasure in it is evident. “I'm just doing what needs doing, Hooms,” she says easily. “There's always a need for what I know… so I might as well use it. Right?”

“You could do worse than us.” Huruma teases at Megan’s chuckling, and she seems more entertained than embarrassed. She definitely gets cute about it.

“I know you are. But that doesn’t stop me from being proud of you.” She waves a hand dismissively, shooing away the humble tones. “Exactly right. Just let me layer you with compliments, hm?” Huruma gets a little cheeky again, grinning across the table at Megan. “So are things all work and no play these days? Please tell me you have some fun sometimes.”

“Fun?” Megan scoffs. “What is this ‘fun’ of which you speak?” She grins. “I… guess I have fun.” She actually has to think about that. “I pick up new books when I can find something I like. Have occasional drinks with a couple of the other nurses I know… that's fun, right?” It's just life in general, nothing too exciting or crazy these days!

“If you’re having fun, I suppose so.” Huruma leans her head against her knuckles, angling a smile over Megan’s sense of what is fun. It fits, doesn’t it? “No wild parties for you? No shenanigans here in the Safe Zone? Any favorite watering holes?” She’s breezed through the other boroughs that are currently partially occupied, and there are certainly characters outside of this one.

“Do you think your nurse friends would be intimidated around me?” Huruma hums, tapping at her chin playfully. “I could tell them some stories, I’m sure.”

“Well, there are definitely a couple of watering holes,” Megan grins. “Do I care if they'd be intimidated?” The answer, obviously, is no — Huruma is family. Everyone else can fuck off, if it comes to that kind of question. “I don't think they'd believe half of the stories you could tell, but hey… if you want to raise my street cred around here, I suppose that's one way to do it.”

Reaching out to clasp Huruma’s forearm, Megan tells her in a quiet, somehow relieved tone, “I'm really glad you're back. I’ve missed you.”

“I think you could use some street cred.” Huruma nods, features crinkling with a spell of laughter. Megan needs to be seen as the amazing creature she is, alright? Just a fact of life.

Huruma’s arm is warm under Megan’s touch, and she slips her wrist down to link their hands together without a moment’s hesitation. The clasp of her fingers is as strong as ever, with that overlying tenderness Megan has come to know and love.

“I’ve missed you too.” The dark woman’s voice is warm too, a match for the casual pressure of her hand with Megan’s. Her eyes fix ahead, half-lidded on red hair and kind face. “Some things are different for me now, but I know I’ll always have a home here to come back to.”

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