A Little Less Complicated


lynette2_icon.gif ryans2_icon.gif

Scene Title A Little Less Complicated
Synopsis An accidental run in leads to the end of something that they both knew wasn't going to last.
Date July 07, 2011

Pollepel Island

The weather has been rather muggy out on the Ferry's island fortress, making temperatures seem warmer then they are. It leaves a fine sheen of sweat on anyone that decides to do any sort of hard work outside. The shadows cast by the trees provides little relief, it's only when the afternoon clouds roll in that temperatures begin to tip downward.

Wearing jeans and a black sleeveless tee, Benjamin Ryans is out in the woods, an old plastic laundry basket with some broken slats, that click together as he pulls it closer. Inside the basket, red tomatoes of varying sizes can be found along side small round watermelons. It's near one of the many tomato bushes on the island that Ryans kneels, fingers twisting the fruit from the bushes. The old ex-company man is quiet in his work, exposed skin damp with sweat, running the back of his wrist across his forehead now and then. When he's not patrolling or going over things with SA, he's out there tending to the Ferry's fresh food supply.

These bushes have been the most successful of everything they have been growing. Some of the other plants having been slower are working hard to catch up even. It's probably the first time the watermelon will show up in the kitchen.

Lynette's been somewhat absent lately, avoiding the others out on the island as best she can. And she's something of an expert at solitude, as it were. But that all ends when she happens by the garden. She appears to just be walking at bit aimlessly, without drink or cigarette, which is also rare lately. And while she misses Ryans there, at first, there's just a moment before she backs up a little and turns his way. Just making sure it's him, likely.

"They just put you to all kinds of work here, don't they?" It is, of course, just a tease, as she knows how much he likes this particular job by now.

"Someone has to make sure it gets done right," is the return, before Ben straightens from the bush placing a trio of tomatoes within the basket and finally glancing at the councilwoman. There is a gentle smile, even if his shoulders tense just a touch. "Councilwoman." He offers in polite greeting, before turning back to the bush.

"I haven't seen much of you lately around the castle." Not that he's been looking overly hard. It might be more of something that his daughters would do, but he's probably been just as avoidy as she is. "They must be keeping you pretty bogged down as well, eh? Especially, with everything coming back form overseas."

His shoulders aren't missed, but even if they were, that particular greeting gives her a moment's pause. Just a moment, though. "Hmm," Lynette starts, non-commitally at first. "It is a busy time," she says, choosing her words rather than just letting conversation happen this time around. Her gaze falls on his back before she takes in a breath and glances toward the castle. "I can go, if I'm interrupting."

"Interrupting what?" There is some amusement in Benjamin's tone as he flicks a glance her way. "Not much to bother here." The hitch of a smile at the corner of his mouth is meant to be comforting. Another tomato joins the others before something distracts him, head tilting a little.

It's only a moment later that Ben stands at his full height, one hand lifted and crooked to let a green caterpillar trundling along his knuckles. "Nothing wrong with a bit of friendly company to break up the quiet." His bright blue eyes watch the bug with mild interest.

"I seem to remember you being a man who likes his quiet," Lynette says as she steps closer, but not so close as to give her usual kiss in greeting. "But something's changed." It's not a question. And not an accusation, either, given the small smile at the corner on her mouth.

She glances down to the bug, opting to look there for the moment. "I'm afraid I'm not very good company lately. It's hard not to take your work home with you when you live with it, hmm?"

"Very true," he agrees, though hard to tell at what. The words soft, even as his own eyes stay on the length of green trying to find a way off. His other hand lifting to allow it to move to it. Finally, a sigh escapes Ryans, before he flicks the bug away from his tomato plant. "Our work is our life."

Looking back, he studies Lynette for a moment before nodding slowly. "Things have changed. Not… everything, but some…. things." Ben gives her a small smile, even if they looks uncertain. "And by what Eileen is thinking, soon a lot will change. Have you given thought to what you might do?"

"Oh… I'm pretty set in what I'll be doing. Whatever's best for the Ferry." It's vague enough that Lynette can't help but smile a little. "How about you? Hoping to live abroad one day soon?"

She looks up at him then, her head tilting a little. "I only like dancing around when it's flirting, you know, Ben. And I've had plenty of hints at just what has changed. At least between you and I," she says, the last with a wry, crooked smile.

"Maybe… maybe not. Abroad that is." Looking back at the castle, where it peaks through the green branches, Ben looks uncertain again. "Even if by some miracle the world changed, I will probably still be a traitor to my country." The corners of his eyes crease a little with a grimace. It still stings it seems to the old soldier.

"I thought about coming to you sooner." The subject changes just as suddenly, mouth a line of thought. "But I couldn't think of the best way to say it and not lose the friendship we built before it all…" got complicated… He pauses gathering his thoughts " The whole situation is… a bit on the odd side as it is." Ryans draws his gaze back to Lynette. "Boat ride back to the island I turned it over and over in my head.

"I'm sorry," he sighs out, seeming to deflate some.

"We're all traitors, Ben. And I dare say we've earned the label. But, given what has been going on, I'm not sure I could live with myself if I were able to truthfully claim to be a good citizen." Lynette frowns at her own words, but when she's reminded of the subject change, she reaches out to rest a hand on his arm.

"Ben. I told you. Friends first. I'm not going to blow up into some ranting ball of huff because you found someone else. It's not my style," she says with a gentle smile. If she's feeling anything else about it, she's doing a remarkable job of hiding it. "And with how little we've seen of each other lately… I got the picture. Although, I do appreciate you actually… telling me." There's just a brief hitch in composure there, easy enough to miss if you happened to blink.

Her smile's back a moment later, crooked though it may be. "I even understand. You like to feel… needed. And I don't like to need anyone. Makes you and I a little difficult to take to serious levels." Not to mention, as she's told him before, relationships in the traditional sense aren't really her forte.

His larger hand moves to cover her hand on his arm, fingers warm even in the heat of the day. "I told you I wouldn't just drop you for something that came from a dream." His thumb brushes over her fingers, more to be a comfort. Ben returns her smile with a less certain one of his own. "I didn't, but… things are getting serious with her, I don't know if they will move that direction, but… I am starting to see what I saw in her."

Ryans gives Lynette a bit of a sheepish smile, as he adds, "And I think you are right. On some level it feels like she needs me," his hand squeezes hers gently, "while you I don't feel like I have to protect you, much like Huruma. You do some serious ass kicking on your own and I feel confident you have my back when needed."

"You don't want to feel split. Or like you're hurting anyone involved. You really are old fashioned, Ben," Lynette says, her free hand moving to her hip. "That is part of your charm, of course." Her smile broadens at his sheepish one, and his words make her chuckle. "I'm going to have to tell her you said that. I do believe that gives Huruma and I six things in common." Which is perhaps a mysterious comment, but it amuses her all the same.

"And Ben, always. If you need your back watched, of course. I happen to know you're fantastically competent yourself."

"In more ways then one, I hope." The smiles he gives her is a touch more relaxed, as he makes the joking comment.

But then the smile falls a little and he slowly releases her hand. "Much like Huruma, you'll always be one of my closest friends, Lynette. You were there when I needed the support," the smile returns again, "even managed to show me I was still alive. That does mean something to me." He reaches out to brush a thumb over her cheek briefly. "I hope you know it."

The hand drops and he sighs, "And while I don't expect they two of you to every be buddy buddy… I hope, when the time comes, you can help me ease her into this life… she's… always been something of a socialite." An amused glance goes to the castle, "This might end up being something of a culture shock for her. But when the government comes for her boss, she'll have to adjust to it, if she wants to be safe."

"Ah ah ah," Lynette says with a chuckle, amused, "You should have fished for that compliment five minutes ago." When her hand is released, she lifts it to touch his cheek. "Don't look so down. I like your smile much better than the brooding look.

"And you'll always be one of mine, Ben. I don't… have many, so. Lucky you," she says, wryly, as if she actually believes the opposite there. "If I helped you, then I'm glad. You already know you helped me, so we'll call it even for now."

And she laughs as he goes on, shaking her head. "Don't worry. I'm not into cat fights over boys. I got over that phase. Hopefully you're not disappointed," she says slyly. "And I will absolutely help her adjust here, if this is where she ends up. It's sort of my job these days."

"A touch surprised, yes. Disappointed, no." Still he's grinning, moving to pick up the laundry basket of vegetables. Ben jerks his head toward the castle. "Come with me back to the castle.

"I need to stop and check a vine of cantaloupe and check on the strawberries — they are having a miserable time growing right now. Those are closer to the castle." Ryans hefts the weighty thing a little higher to get a better grip on it, turning towards the castle. "Then maybe you can tell me what all you've been up to while we wait for the dinner bell." Not that there is a real bell mind you.

"Not all women are completely crazy, let this be a lesson to you. Plus, the way I see it… someone who'll kneel to being the spoils for the victor isn't someone I'd want anyway. And you're a grown man who'll go where he wants to go. I don't want to rope someone to me if they aren't there willingly. Terrible way to carry on a relationship." Lynette smiles, though, at the invite. "Cantaloupe are my passion," she says, a roundabout way of saying okay as she moves along with him. "I hate to disappoint," she says, giving him an easy smile, "But I haven't been up to much, really. Busywork." Which is a lie she carries off well, but only because her knuckles have healed by now, after the Bella-induced wall punching.

"Smart woman," Ryans comments with a chuckle, somewhat leading the way. He doesn't throw an arm around her shoulders like he once did, restraining from the urge to do so. There would be things he'll miss and no doubt there would be some awkwardness, but he feels confident he did the right thing.

At least for now. Time will tell if he still feels the same later down the line.

"Sounds about like me." Shifting to the subject of their lives. "Lots of boring busy work." At least til he goes city side, but for now he doesn't talk about the other woman. "So I guess we can talk about boring busy work til dinner." He gives her a smile, before leading her off on the search for the hidden vines of cantaloupe.

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