Memories, Everytime


huruma_icon.gif ryans_icon.gif

Scene Title Memories, Everytime
Synopsis War may never change, but the soldiers sometimes do.
Date February 25, 2018

Ryans' Brownstone

Late February on the east coast means cold air, rain, sometimes a little snow. New York’s coastline often makes it the former two, drenching concrete, brick and steel in a fine layer of water and filmy mud under an overcast, dreary gray sky. Grass and earth is soggy even when there is no rain, clouds lingering like a passive sort of threat cooked up by the weather. Spring is coming, but winter is not at all over. The cold still presses into skin and through fabric when the wind picks up. Litter and leaves collect in the gutters, treasures left behind by the shoveling of snow. Birds pick at remnants and the cooing collects on drippy rooftops as they huddle into old buildings to avoid the buffets of wind.

The rows of buildings through the Safe Zone get progressively less broken as Huruma passes through each in turn, observing and notetaking in silence. Once or twice there’s a familiar scent on the wind, teasing at her ability’s field of sensation before disappearing as subtly as it showed itself. In time she’ll find them. But for now, there are only a few that she seeks. Returning to Rochester and Wolfhound’s bunker to check in was one thing. She’s been back there often, though not typically for long. With Lynette offering her a bed at Benchmark, her exploration is easier now than ever.

The Safe Zone is full of new faces, new smells, new emotions. Old everything. Huruma takes her time in getting to where she is going, but eventually she makes it. The old motorbike under her rumbles contentedly to a stop, huffing a small growl of exhaust as she kicks the stand out with a heel and quiets the engine.

White eyes narrow past the tall windshield on the bike, through the lowered visor of helmet. Huruma's gaze affixes on old brick stoops lining the cracked and pitted sidewalks. Puddles form in the rain, a drizzle that has only recently become a steady pour of cold water. Even the weather urges her to stay put, and she is silently bemoaning her choice of transportation. It’s only water.

Huruma slides her way off of the bike, boots planted firmly to.ground. As she puts away the helmet there is a sense of purpose to her posture, though as she steps onward it ebbs away from her grasp and the stake of her limbs.

She had been based out of Madagascar long enough that phone calls or emails were really all they had going, at best. A year, more. When the hounds needed her she was there for them. But the bunker hadn’t been home for a while. She needed time to herself. She needed the quiet, too. She needed the change, and the space to think.

For what it is worth, she knows now that it helped. That it was a good decision. Now it’s high time to show it.

Standing under the passing rain in front of a closed door, Huruma blinks some water out of her eyes and grinds her angular jaw, uncertain.

A fist rises to knock firmly against the wood.

There is no doubt she will feel the home owners approach. A little distracted, but with a caution and tension of a big predator.

The glimmer of surprise, tells her she has been spotted before the door even opens. Hand gripping the edge of the door, Benjamin Ryans looks older, maybe a bit thinner. Eyes dark with some sleeplessness. At least, he takes care of himself, so he isn't shaggy, Iike he was with the Ferry. In fact, his clothing actually fits, with a deep burgundy Henley and worn jeans.

A smile touches his lips at the sight of his long time friend. “Huruma,” he greets pleasantly, stepping aside to let her into his modest home. One paid for by a lot of things really. “Good to see you again.”

There’s a faint displeasure at Ben as always looking before he leaps— she won’t be surprising him quite as much as she’d hoped. But that is perfectly fine. There is still the sense of it that she basks in, contented with her remaining ability to be spontaneous. It’s been just long enough since the last face time that she feels like her grandmother when she wonders how much he’s been eating; it’s a flattering leanness, at least. Still healthy. That’s the important part. It’s good to see him.

“Ben…” Huruma’s mouth curves in a smile with a happy show of teeth, the edges of the grin catching at her eyes and her voice seems to be containing itself. Ryans doesn’t have to be an empath to be able to tell that she’s been looking forward to dropping on him. At least she used the front door this time?

When he steps over to let her in, Huruma stops just inside to stand on the front room’s mat, cold water dripping into her boots, limbs held at a somewhat awkward lift. She offers an explanation, of sorts.

“They do not make umbrella attachments for bikes.”

A glance outside, Ben sees the motorcycle for the first time, brows lifting a little. Not something he had ever imagined her riding. “No… no they do not.” He carefully, closes the door behind her, shutting out the cold and rain. In the sudden, dimness of the room, he studies her. It has been a while after all. There is a thread of warmth through his emotions, so her arrival was not an unwelcome one.

“Let me get you a towel,” Ryans offers with a rumbled chuckle and moving to do just that.

It doesn’t take long for him to track down one, Ben does live there after all, something practical and cream in color. It’s held out as he asks, “Have you been to see Megan, yet?”

The warmth of the inside and the warmth from him are both welcome sensations. There is a subtle shift to the way she carries herself, and something brighter behind the steady set of her gaze. Being away was, it appears, good for her.

She huffs a small laugh in return when Ben roams away to get her a towel, and when he comes back she has already peeled off her jacket. The leather is at least a bit water resistant, a few shakes letting her hang it up on the wall to dry. The rest is a bit soggy, but nothing dry air can’t fix.

“Thank you.” Huruma’s voice muffles only a little as she pads the towel over her face and neck. “Not yet. I’m still… getting to know the place again. I haven’t been stateside long.” She explains this as she bends to untie her boots, snorting out loud when she pulls off the first to a tiny slosh of rainwater onto the mat. The second is a little better. “I needed to take care of some things before visiting anyone. I am not intruding, am I?” It is typically not something she would worry about— the fact she asks almost qualifies as novelty.

Benjamin watches her for a moment, amusement sketched in his features. “Set them near the fire.” A motions is made towards the old fireplace with it’s crumbling red bricks. Of course, it is a bit odd calling her son a kid, since he pretty much runs that country. “I’ll get some coffee started, we are scheduled for a brownout this evening.”

“How are the kids?” Ryans called over his shoulder as he makes his way to the boxy little kitchen with it’s retro dining table. He’s a single guy… decorating a home is not a priority for him. That much is clear.

Huruma may have wanted to make a slightly better impression than wandering in like a wet stray; she hooks the bootlaces under her fingers after tugging sodden socks off, held in her other hand. His directives earn a soft laugh.

“Oh, what a lifesaver~…” The tall woman purrs this out as she moves towards the fireplace, setting her boots down nearby and putting the dark socks over the tops. A fire going and a hot drink? Even if the coffee isn’t as good as she’s used to, she is more than grateful to have both. Curiosity begs her to wander after Ben’s presence, which she does, lingering at the door to the kitchenette with arms wrapped loosely over her waist.

“They are well. Dajan enjoys the busy life. Riya spends most of her time working on art… “ Huruma’s study of the small kitchen is short; the dark woman’s gaze softens some when she watches him, instead. Her next words come littered with another laugh. “Badrani is turning into a real… teenager. How did you do it?”

“A teenager?” His tone is almost sympathetic, as he asks, not turning away from his task of loading up the coffeemaker, takes a little more effort with only one hand. “You’ve met the girls, it took a lot of patiences and there was something therapeutic about scaring the daylights out of their dates.” He finally offers her a small smile “And hey, I get to do it all over again.” Which is honestly, not something he is looking forward to again, but he will manage.

The sound of the elements heating up the water fills the little kitchen. Finally, he turns back, hand sliding along the tile top. “I’m serious though, your looking good. I think being home with family has done you a world of good.” He should know the difference, they shared enough closets while she fought herself.

“Still good to see you here and not through pictures and mail.” He motions to his fridge, which has not only a mosaic of his daughter’s latest art, but a few photos from her and other former Ferrymen. “They don’t do the change justice.”

All over again. Huruma’s mouth twists a bit in an effort to keep her laughter down. Though she doesn’t offer to butt in on his one-handed independence, it’s hard not to keep it in her peripheral anyway. His words seem to hang over her shoulders, a small weight that brings an upward knit to her brow and a more wistful smile to her mouth. She does not voice the gratitude for his noticing just yet, but he can still tell it apart.

“Oh—” Huruma’s words catch up when she looks to the fridge more closely, past the crayon and fingerpaint. “You have a fridge gallery.” She moves up to it, a grin forming without hesitation as she lifts a hand to peek at some of the other pictures. Some of them are new to her, at least compared to how she has kept in touch with others. The Safe Zone will definitely be quite the place, won’t it?

Long fingers let go of a more recent photo, tucking it back into place under the shape of a hand-turkey. Huruma’s mouth parts to speak, and she closes it before anything comes, fixing her gaze back onto Ryans. Words, you know?

“Being over there changed things for me… and I needed it.” She begins with another moment of hesitation, but fades. “But I have two homes. I fought for both. It’s only fair to share custody.” Huruma laughs, but one hand lifts to rub thumb and forefinger at the corners of closed eyes. “‘It’s good to see you too’ feels a small part like an understatement.”

There is a warmth to the smile that touches his lips, he understands. Ben glances away to the fridge as she brushes at her eyes, thoughtful. “I never knew a time when the fridge wasn’t covered in something.” More Mary’s thing really. “Old habits really and my family grew…” he looks to her again, including her in that statement. Though he suddenly grins, teeth shortly showing, “Besides, I’m too lazy to buy picture frames.” There you have it.

The stony mask falls into place suddenly, as he turns to open a cabinet and extracts a couple of mugs. Each set on the counter. Nothing special, just mugs. She can suddenly feel it a familiar line of tension, it was always there, but muted. Now it was sliding to the surface of his emotions.

“I won’t lie.” He starts as he start pouring coffee for them both, though she can flavor it as she wants. “It’s… been tough. Going back to being… “ Retired? “Something other than a soldier.” The pot is slowly set on the hot plate again. “I’m… trying though. For Phillipa… for the rest of them.” The tension shows in his face, when he turns to offer her the cup. “Sugars behind you and there is creamer in the fridge.”

Too lazy to buy picture frames? “You’ll run out of space on there. Then it will be magnets or frames.” Huruma sucks on her teeth, the sound derisive in that teasing way. She shakes her head once, watching the pour and lifting her chin in silent assent.

“It has.” Huruma is much the same, for different reasons, but they have always had the common ground. She accepts the mug and turns to find the sugar behind her, eyes trailing as she turns from him. Huruma stays conservative with the coffee; she’s not going to treat the place like it has endless supplies— even if she’d grown a little more used to Madagascar’s ability to get things. She’s plenty aware. “All of that— it is one of a thousand reasons that Dajan made me start getting help.” Huruma murmurs, her intonations making help into ‘Help’. With her back to him it’s easier to say. To throw it out there.

“As you can imagine, I put up a fuss.”

“I wouldn’t expect anything less.”

He offers her back a small smile, a genuine one… just like his tone. One of genuine affect like one would have for a family member you have not seen for sometime, but are reminded of why you liked them so much.

The creamer is retrieved and offered, before he takes his own mug over to that rather retro table, all good conversations are around a kitchen table… or at least it was in his family. The table sits in a bit of a nook, overlooking the small back yard. Though dreary and wet, it shows the signs of his garden plots.

Settling into one of the chairs he sighs, leaning back. “Delia will be excited to see you.” There is that typical tone of pride when talking about one of his girls. “Did you know she’s in charge of the community gardens here in the Zone?” Go figure.

Huruma’s personal aura shifts with ease when he seems to affirm her choices; it's nice to know that someone has your back on something, even if it's not so literal.

His smile is mirrored, and she tops off the coffee before joining him at the table. She angles a look out the window as she coils down onto the opposite seat, the reflection of silvery sky in her eyes when she takes in his little garden too. Mention of Delia reminds her most of the time the girl smashed up one of his old plots at the old house, and the reminder has her laughing under her breath.

“I did not. I've heard pieces of how she has a role here. No specifics like that, though.” Huruma answers, hands around the mug on the tabletop, fingers warming from her jaunt in the cold rain. “She is doing well, then?”

“Better,” Though his tone seems to state something else, he’s noticed the differences in his youngest since the war. “You just missed Phillipa, but there will be other chances, if you're sticking around for awhile.” There is maybe a question to that statement. Is she?

His hand wraps around the mug, the end of his other arm rests against it; his other hand would have been curled around it if he had one. “Ingrid got married,” There is some amusement in his tone, “Takes after her mother… married an older woman. Very nice and treats her well.” In other words, he approves, despite the age difference. “She owns a flower shop.”

“I will be.” Huruma seems glad to say it, judging by the curve of her smile. “I will definitely be paying them a visit. I only just missed her birthday.” Something tells her that the squirt probably noticed no card or the like this year. Instead, Huruma thought making up with a visit would suffice. The news of Ingrid seems to be the first she's heard, and the description of the relationship gets a softer laugh past a first sip of coffee.

“Good for her. Those kids deserve something positive, that is for certain. Flower shop…sounds right.” Huruma's quiet assessment of Ingrid was always favoring her on the kinder side.

“You know…” The woman across from him turns her gaze down to the table between them, voice above a murmur, one hand escaping the warmth of the mug to spider tentatively towards the blunt scars of Ben's arm. “The engineers on the island did good work for Dajan’s arm recently. I could always phone in some favors.”

There is no shying away at the touch, though Benjamin’s whole body goes still. Though difficult, he has adapted to living without the appendage. “Richard Ray also extended the same type of offer.” Obviously, he has not taken it yet.

It is probably pride that keeps him from contacting the CEO of RayTech. Or the fact, he doesn't want the younger man to feel responsible for him.

“I…. I’m not ready yet.” Ryan's admits softly. Maybe it is the idea of the unknown or some discomfort with dealing with the technology.

The touch to his sleeve comes with a breath of calm in the face of the stillness; it's not Huruma's ability— only her manner— that seems to want to ease him. The steady weight of her hand on his forearm is familiar and reassuring, dark fingers draped over burgundy above where the limb ends.

“Richard did?” Huruma does not seem surprised at the admission of the offer, though one brow lifts silently in question at the more personal revelation. She doesn't judge— Pride versus independence is a battle, isn't it?

“That's fair.” It's okay not to be ready— it's definitely intimidating on a lot of levels. “Know that we don't make these offers out of pity. We respect you too much for that…” Ryans deserves to have whatever he needs— he has earned that. At least, Huruma appears to think this way. “Consider the offer without expiration.”

The smile he gives her deepens the crows feet at the corners of his blue eyes, though the emotions that are suppose to be there are not. “I appreciate it.” His gaze on the blunted end of his arm, ever after all these years, there are moments that his brain thinks the hand is still there. “I think about it often, going to see him.” His shoulders lift a little, just a fraction. “Just doesn’t seem important, yet.”

His hand moves from the warmth of the cup, to rest on hers, gentle… a recognition of her offer. A thank you, as he puts a little pressure there. It’s brief before he had to remove it to take a sip of his coffee. “Though the idea of getting rid of that damn hook has it’s appeal.” He won’t go into the nicknames his daughters have for it. His hatred of that thing is stuff of legends, which explains why he tries to do things around the house without it.

Huruma tends to cheat when it comes to things like telling where people are coming from. Her ability gives her that insight, and in the interim time since meeting the Ferrymen, she’s come to rely on it less and less. She doesn’t need it now, that’s for sure. That he briefly abandons the mug to gesture means a little more. The smile he gets is one born of a little resignation, also familiar. Her laugh is light, when he mentions the hook.

“As much as it makes you have edge, I agree.” Huruma’s probably heard some of the nicknames, really. Given a bit of a glare, likely. “Could always replace it with a garden tool.” She dares a joke as she glances outside to the muddy yard, trying to bring levity back to things with a spark in her eye. For his sake, Huruma does not dawdle on the topic, and draws her hand back to herself to drink.

“You mentioned the brownout earlier… those are common? How is living here, now that you’ve had time to just… be?” Huruma’s curiosity is legend, still. These days she asks, however, instead of doing things like sneaking into people’s homes. Most of the time. Sort of.

“I have the bunker upstate, but Lynette’s allowed me a space at her centre when I want to stay here. I think I may prefer it.” In a way, she’s fishing— if she’s going to stay, she’d love to know his perspective.

Thankful for the shift in conversation, his body seems to relax a little. “They are.” Ben starts with a small nod of his head. “The grid here is still unstable enough that they schedule the brownouts to take some of the load off.” He chuckles, fingers tapping on the side of the mug. “Living here is a few steps above how it was before.” Meaning it wasn’t life as it was before, but it was better than drafty castles and army tents.

Ryans turns thoughtful again, eyes on a point outside the window. “I’m… managing to… ‘just be’. I help out Delia now and then, I take care of Phillipa often…. Other then that, it is day by day.” That is all he can do. One minute, one hour… one step at a time. “Waiting impatiently for the spring.” He nods towards the small backyard and all the preparations going on.

Going from Madagascar to the Safe Zone will be a change, but not at all one she hasn’t done before. Huruma’s brow knits in thought as he explains the rolling schedule, and she files away some questions for later. She can find those answers on her own without bugging him over them. So it's not nor will ever be the same here, but now it has the chance to be different.

“There are worse things. Maybe you will find something new to do with yourself.” Huruma’s lips curve in a smile, and she looks between the man and his fridge collection again. “Having been here for the bad winters, I hope spring comes soon. I confess looking forward to seeing this place when it warms up.”

Seeing it come alive outside, rather. “Though I've not been to the market yet— maybe there is life around, it's just that I've not seen it.” Huruma's chest vibrates with an amused chuckle.

“The market is worth checking out.”

It really was. There was an old fashioned feel to it really. He has spent time wandering there. “There is a small coffee place there, run by a woman named Eleanor.” He lifts his mug and adds, “Makes this seem like a crime.” What he doesn’t say is this woman was pretty much as old as he is. For him that was a bit disconcerting.

Made him a little thankful for what happened to him.

“Reminds me of Turkey. Or the mainland.. Markets with a popular coffee vendor.” Huruma hums, still valuing the taste of something warm and sweet, even if the quality stands to be better. “I will be sure to look for her. And if it is worth seeing, as good as done.”

Huruma’s last sip of the coffee comes with an arched look out the window nearby again, the flicker of streetlights in the rain blinking out like a series of tiny snuffed candles. The idle hum in the house’s walls comes to a crawl as the brownout comes trundling over the block. Her mug clinks down with an empty sound, and her eyes study the new, muffled world with an inquisitive stare. Something takes hold in the front of her mind and she remains looking outside with a muted intensity, caught in a Somewhere Else.

There is the sensation of resignation from the man sitting across from her, a feeling that comes from spending a long time dealing with things like this. The world goes completely still around them, his gaze turns to her, though he can barely see her in the darkness. “A little early, but not unusual.”

His chair scrapes against linoleum and he rises, moving to dig through a drawer. The sound of a match being struck, throwing harsh light over Ryan’s features, making him look older than he really is.

The sounds are loud in the stillness, with only the whistle of a breeze and the tapping of rain on the old window panes.

He take a moment to light some of the candles, bringing one of them over to the table to set between them. Only then does he speaks. “Brings back memories everytime.” Possibly good… maybe bad. Lips press tight as he looks out the window again, watching how the rain slides down it, glittering from the faint candle light.

It’s only the sound of the chair moving that has Huruma bringing herself back to the kitchenette, eyes glistening in the oncoming dark as Ryans stands to pick up candles from his supply. The only sound out of her is the hush of her breath as he goes through what looks like memorized motions. She gives the window a faintly displeased look before standing up beside Ben, adjusting the candle in its slow burning column to a more central place on the table. It lights up the room enough, of course, but it’s not that she’s avoiding. Goodness knows she likes the dark. She holds her hand out for one of the other candles.

“That fireplace sounds nice right about now.” Huruma’s voice is a murmur between them, her eyes hooded downward on the candle she beckons for. She has little love for cold rain amidst the dim of dusk. It’s a very specific circumstance— and not one she had to think about in Madagascar. Not for a few years, maybe.

A candle is handed over, brows lifting a little, but he doesn’t say anything. He understands completely. “Good idea,” he murmurs, glancing at the rain drenched window. The candle on the table is retrieved and the flame snuffed out. No reason to leave an open flame unattended.

“You can tell me all about Madagascar,” Ryans offers, leading the way into the living room again.

He pauses in the doorway and chuckles. “There you are,” the comment is something that borders on bland and affectionate. “I thought you might have slipped out this morning.” When he steps aside, Huruma sees a huge house cat, currently sprawled out on one the old chairs positioned near the fire. It looks up at Ryans with half-lidded eyes. Paws kneading into fabric. Benjamin reaches down to rub at an ear before displacing the overly large feline, with a gentle push.

Tufted ears flick back with annoyance, but it vacates the chair; but taking the time to streeeeetch… first.

“That’s Ruma…” Ryans sighs a little like he has been put upon. “Followed me home one day… gave up trying to kick her out.” He isn’t a cat person, but seems he is now. His lips press together tightly as he considers the cat, who looks up at him without a care. There is a shake of Ben’s head, before he settles into the chair the cat was pushed from. He motions her to the other one.

There’s a moment where Huruma wonders if he’ll take the suggestion, but it seems that he picks up what she’s onto readily enough. An empath’s being is hard enough without the tempering of memory. Huruma lights the candle in hand and shields it as she trails behind him, head tilting when he addresses the room ahead. She fixes the large, fluffy feline with a look almost mirrored by those half-lidded eyes, watching as the cat stretches around.

She is dreadfully silent when Ryans introduces her, staring at the aloof little doppelganger before she turns the same one to Ben.

Really?” Huruma seems caught in a limbo, stifling a smile while trying to appear bothered all the same. She sets the candle down beside the chairs, the color of flame in her irises. “You never rub behind my ears…” She finally states, loading the words with mock offense and tugging the other chair to a more comfortable closeness, where she tucks her legs under and sits. Her eyes go back to the cat, senses vaguely touching, whiskers to whiskers in an attempt to coax her curiosity. Her voice is friendly, if a little challenging.

“Do not think you can replace me, nakala.”

Shoulder shake as Ryans chuckles from his spot, trying not to outright laugh. “Really,” he confirms as he settles back in the chair, watching the cat who in turn watches Huruma. The long fluff of tail, flicks a little where it rest around not so dainty paws.

As if responding to the inquiry, Ruma hops into Ryans laps and sprawls there, or attempts too… being a large cat like that it is hard to do, as she about fills up the man’s lap. There is almost her own challenge as she lays there, big paws curled over his knees. Still, there is a rumbled purr. “What can I say… she… reminded me a little of you?” Gee. Wonder how?

The gall. Huruma blinks once at the cat when she claims a spot, head bobbing back with the sound of a scoff. No wonder this one is a namesake. Look at that defiance. And, you know, the sprawling across laps. Huruma shakes her head, lips pursed when she looks from the cat’s face to Ben’s, as if she might try to scorn him for it. But she can’t seem to.

“I can see that.” The pinched sort of look turns more amused as the cat makes herself totally comfortable. Huruma’s laugh is bright this time. “I suppose I am flattered. Though if you really wanted a lap warmer you could have called me.” She may be flattered, but she isn’t above teasing him about it, though. It is good-natured. A finger points at the feline watching. “The original is always better.” She tells the cat.

The pointing finger is sniffed, before the cat rubs her face against it, purring loudly. One side, then the other. See… no hard feelings… or maybe she’s just accepting the surrender of the other. Who knows with cats.

Skirting the comment with a chuckle, like always…. He says, “I think mostly… she knows I am not a cat person,” Ben’s tone is bland watching the exchange, fingers tapping on the arm of the chair. “I will admit, last year I had a better success with the garden and a lot of dead things left by the chair.”

Turning his attention from the cat, Ryans brows lift. “So… tell me about your time in Madagascar.” If it is anything he has anymore, it’s time. Lots of it.

Huruma resigns to giving Ruma a rub of the head in response to the purring and marking of her finger with whiskers. Okay, okay.

“Definitely sounds familiar.” One last tease. Huruma leans on the arm of the chair, lips in a soft curve and the fireplace quickly warming the rest. The rain outside is a distant scatter of sound, the wind repelled from the fireplace as it whistles overhead and past windows behind curtains. “Goodness, what have I already said?” Huruma thinks out loud, voice a thoughtful whisper ending with a small sigh. “The whole country is practically in a renaissance now. There is still poverty, but no longer like it was. Dajan could not be more proud, even if he was never much for the politics of things. His concerns lie more with the happiness of the people, and the conservation of the island. He has already helped with raising a few new spaces— like Dubai’s islands.” The more she talks, the more it is clear that Dajan is not the only proud one in the family.

“Juwariya has spent more time on her art… there is not much else for her besides lessons and hobbies, but she is happy and as sweet as ever. I remember when she sent you that painting. The little imp refused to let me see it until she was done. She did not get that talent from me.” Ben has seen Huruma’s drawings. Or, well, attempts.

Ruma has decided that, her namesake is not done yet and so slinks off Ryans’ lap to join the woman in her chair. Have some hair for your clothing; the cat seems to offer as she rubs up against the woman with her loud purr.

Watching the cat, Ryans is also listening to what Huruma has to say, “I remember that painting. I have it up in the guest room. Which you are welcome to tonight, if you do not want to going back out into this tonight.” Meaning that rain.

There is a moment of silence, before he asks softly, “What about you?” He gives her an expectant look. “You tell me about your family, what did you do all this time over there?” He hands spread a little, “Catch me up on you.”

She may not be an empath of the animal expression, but there is still a hint of her aura that she can push out; her mood shifts into something a little happier when the cat chooses her space to occupy, a palm moving over the large cat’s frame and the arch of spine as she settles in with Huruma. Good girl.

The mention of the weather brings her around, and for a moment she seems hesitant; in the end Huruma knows she is welcome here, eyes half-lidded just as her new friend’s are when the smile returns, a softened look.

“Anything I wanted.” Huruma begins, her tone set to match his, personal and encompassing. “But… I had a lot of work to do. On me.” Ben is intimately familiar with the fact. “Still do, I think…” The cat under her hand earns a massage, fingertips kneading against the fluff of fur.

“My son looks out for me now more than I had ever done for him, before. He found me someone to see. Once a week, medication and all. It… “ Huruma’s gaze rests on Ryans again, and it heartens her to know that she can share these delicate things with someone. “It was different. It still is. I will be keeping it going over here. Lynette is a gift, and somehow I will repay that.” There are a few ideas, already, stirring and sleeping.

“For all that I’ve spent most of my life alone, it’s good to have …someone. I know that for certain now.” Huruma is only partly remarking on having someone with a professional touch; friends are just as much a key part. It is her gratitude once more. There’s a shift of her manner, and the next smile is more toothy, a bit rebellious. “Now… I can tell you some stories about what I’ve gotten into… you know how I like trouble.” This might need to be broken up by a bit of a drink, if she guesses right.

It won’t end too badly. She’ll just hug him a dozen times and probably try to out-cat the cat.

“I’ve got nothing but time,” Ryans offers with a chuckle, because…. He does. And maybe, he’s enjoying having one of his closest friends back, much like older people do. “I do think however,” He moves to rise, “That this will require whiskey, cause I think it will be a long night.”

They will sit and talk by the fire all night, renewing a friendship. He’ll sit quietly, listening to her wild tales and offer stories about his newest daughter in return.

They often say that true friendship is the one that can be apart for years, but once together again, it is almost like they never left.

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