A Measure of Peace


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Scene Title A Measure of Peace
Synopsis After hours at Fort Hero, Ryans and Flint achieve one via self-medication and lies by omission.
Date May 31, 2010

Fort Hero: Mess Hall

The mess hall has died down for the evening, only the sounds of the kitchen crew cleaning up filter through the room. There are a couple of other people hanging out there. One of them is the Assistant Director Benjamin Ryans, who in all truth could have been in his actual home. However, he's been dragging his feet, lingering on the the ground of Fort Hero.

While the old man has faced some of the most dangerous evolved, Ryans is actually a fearing facing his own two daughters and the storm of questions he knows are brewing on the horizon.

So he's been hiding out at work, at the moment that means sitting in the mess hall, slouched down in a chair, feet propped up on another chair, ankles crossed. A bottle of Jack Daniel's not that far gone, sits next to him on the table, along with a glass which the fingers of his good hand are curled around. What he's doing it probably bad, considering the medication he's probably on for pain from his broken arm, but obviously he doesn't care at the moment.

At least the scratches he suffered down one side of his face, from Huruma are starting to show signs of fading away… he's gotten several odd looks and questions about those.

Deckard hasn't been out of the infirmary for long.

About long enough to shower and to pull on a pair of pants. With help.

After a few minutes spent staring dumbly into the bathroom mirror at his sketchy network of tattoos after the nurse left, he decided he should probably put on a shirt as well. Just. It took him so long to find one that by the time he managed to thread his way stiffly through a wifebeater he forgot the reason he intended to put a shirt on in the first place and wandered out into the wild with nearly every thread of blue and black ink lined into his hide bared out on open display. The serpent and cross at his right shoulder. Unblinking eyes at his clavicles. 666 at one scapula, another more elegant cross at the scruff of his neck. Genesis 4:14, it says.

He's pale and bandaged and gaunt and on pain killers, among other things. He also has a nose like a bloodhound where certain substances are concerned, Jack Daniels and associated liquors prime among them.

That's probably why the seat across from Ryans is empty one second and occupied by the new old guy the next, lean muscle plying twine and copper wire through his shoulders and across his arms while he settles his scruffy, warbeaten self. He does not look particularly lucid.

The sense that some one has joined him, has Ryans' eyes lifting from a thoughtful study of the dark liquid in hi glass , to the other old man. The edges of his eyes crease slightly as they narrow at Deckard. "Hello." He offers politely, eyes moving to all the tattoos, having been a navy man, he has a collection of his own, though… some of them were never down with the type of guns they have today.

His head shifts to the side, sending a glance towards a man cleaning nearby, making large sweeping circles with a rag to clean up particles of food from the tables. Ryans gives a short whistle, getting the mans attention. The glass in his hand is lifted, brows lifting as he points to it rather awkwardly with the cast clad arm. "Can I get another glass?"

A nod is given and the guy moves away to do as Ryans asks, it only takes maybe a minute before the glass is set down, the Assistant Director murmuring a thanks before pushing the glass towards Deckard. "Have at it. I won't tell if you won't." A small hint of a smile touching Ryans' lips before he takes a swig of his own.

Having fixed the bleary unfocus of his glassy-eyed stare on Ryans' drink rather than his face, Flint seems to snap out of it (slightly) at the sound of the older (younger?) veteran's voice. He looks up, sinew cut stark across the hollow of his bristly jaw in a defensive clench that relaxes again almost as quickly once charity seems to be the order of the day.

Once the glass is set down, he stays sitting where and how he is for what feels like a long time. Like he's thinking. Or processing. Or deciding. The drugs slugged into his system slow the process even more than usual, white wrapping visible round the upper portion of his right arm blotted yellow with fresh serum runoff from an unseen drain. He looks a little like an escaped mental patient.

He kind of is.

But what Ryans doesn't know won't hurt him until it does. Inevitably, Flint loses to temptation and reaches with his left hand to navigate his way through pouring himself out a finger of the whiskey stuff. And then another. Just to be safe. "Cheers."

Lifting his own glass briefly, Ryans echoes a softly rumbled, "Cheers," in return. Swirling the liquid in his own glass, Ryans looks a touch amused, having just enough whiskey in him to let that neutral illusion fall away. He looks less like a stone statue, but still like a man you wouldn't want to mess with.

He doesn't really say much at first, just — for the moment — enjoying the company of someone who is closer to his own age, stony silence hanging between them. The irony of their switched appearances, does not slip passed his notice. Maybe that is where the amusement comes from.

"Weather is warming up." Benjamin finally breaks that silence, head shifting to the side, to glances at the grizzled older looking agent. Seems like a bland conversation starter, until he adds. "People will be moving back to their homes." The way his nose scrunches up, creasing the corners of his eyes and deepening the lines in his forehead. He doesn't seems to really want to step outside the sanctuary of the Fort.

Deckard looks like a man you wouldn't want to mess with by virtue of the fact that he's big, scarred up as a stray cat and looks like a biter. Also the sort likely to play host to blood borne pathogens. The kind they don't have cures for.

A slow sip later, he rolls dark whiskey in his mouth for longer than seems natural. Savoring it. The same scruffy mouth that was savoring Assistant Director Benjamin Ryans' daughter a few weeks ago.

Notably, guilt is absent from the angular length of his coyote face when he sets his glass carefully back down and sizes Ryans vacantly up across the table from him. Stoned. Mellow. Soon to be inebriated. "Don't have one."

Probably a good thing the older man has no idea about those extracurricular activities with the oldest Ryans daughter, otherwise… things might not be so… friendly. Time… give it time. For the moment tho, a look is angled over to Deckard, "None?" Brows furrow low, somewhat surprised to know one of his downs have one. "Siann Hall is a good place to grab an apartment." It's also Company approved and watched, but he doesn't see a reason to explain that.

Then a thought occurs to Benjamin, "Or are you even allowed off base unaccompanied?" Feet slide off the chair they are propped on, so he can turn and face to other man across the table, really looking at those sharp features, studying him.

Brows ever increasingly tinged with grey tip in hazy acknowledgement of Siann Hall advice, but it's acknowledgement without interest. He hasn't actually figured out if he's being paid or how much and if an English guy lives there it's probably expensive. Also full of like-minded people with accents and resumes and 401ks.

Whiskey lifted, shwished and swallowed once and then twice more, Flint lets the question that follows hang off an impolite precipice. Welcome warmth bleeding in his gullet, chest and gut. Almost as good as sex. Except that after this many months without, nothing comes close enough to matter.

"I dunno," is an honest answer, like most of his answers are when he doesn't have to be specific. "I miss the city."

There is a grunt and a slow nod to Deckard, the man turning in his chair again, leaning back, stretching out feet before him, the boots scuffed and warn. "I'll see what I can find out." Ryans offers, sending a thin lipped smile Deckard's way, though it doesn't really reach his eyes.

His glass mostly empty, he reaches over to draw the square bottle with it's long neck closer to him. "Me. I am not missing the city." Mainly cause it means finally answering for what happened recently. Whiskey is splashed into his glass, before he holds it out, offering to add a bit more to the other man's own glass.

"Avoid having kids if you can… girls especially." Ryans points out helpfully, his mind on that track. He looks rather unhappy. "Especially, being in this business. Eventually, it'll bite you on the ass."

Bare of vein-netted feet as he is of inhumanly long arms, Flint tips his chin into an appreciative nod. Just the one while his stare fades like old newspaper and his breathing slows to a restful in and out. Oddly content despite everything. In the moment, maybe. Or tranquilized enough to be more resigned to shit than depressed by it.

« I miss dirty air and trash fires and strip clubs, » elaborated in French more elegant than his reminiscing likely deserves, he's slow to catch on to the offer of a refill but quick to take Ryan's up on it with a lift of his wrist once he does. The glance he casts to Ryan's ring finger in the process is probably not a coincidence.

"I lack necessary components."

There is no ring on the finger of that left hand as it pours the whiskey into the glasses, not even the pale telltale skin, having long ago been retired to a jewel box into the back of his sock drawer along with a thinner band and the diamond ring that accompanied it. Painful reminders of what was lost, but too precious to throw away.

"I had that, before the bomb. Never really appreciated her ability to deal with Lu and Delia." His head slowly shakes back and forth. "It's amazing I'm not gray already." He grunts out, with a slightly, tipping up at the corner of his mouth.

"Redhead… Just like Delia. And oh boy… the temper on her, but… perfect Company wife." There is a matter of fact look given to Deckard. "Independent, strong headed… stubborn as hell. Helped since I was always traveling for work." He takes a long drink of the Whiskey, grimacing when the glass is lowered again, half the content gone. A touchy subject clearly. "Course… back then I was a 'paper salesman.'" Hand unwinding from the glass so that he can actually make an air quote.

"She would of kicked my ass, if she knew the truth."

Normally quiet, Deckard has somehow managed to go more quiet than quiet somewhere through the course of Ryans sharing about his family. Like talking to someone in a coma. It's hard to tell what gets through, if anything, any official determination likely based on optimism more than hard evidence. Focused at an uninteresting span of wall off to the side as he is, the only indication that he hasn't passed out with his eyes open is an eventual lift of his glass to bump at the side of his nose, and then his mouth. Still here.

More or less.

« I miss people I love and some I don't. » Flint's mouth works itself into a crooked frown at the admission. Disconcerted past the cool press of his glass to a grizzled temple. Three fingers in and he's already fucking dumb with sleep's encroach. "The truth's never done me any favors."

"And lies get us a measure of peace, before we sink eyeballs deep in shit that we have a hell of a time getting out of." Ryans comments blandly, eyeing the younger man, his expression unreadable. "Was that French?" A finger taps against the side of his glass, for a long moment, before he finishes off the little bit left. Setting it aside, Ryan jerks his chin at Deckard. "Finish that up, then I'll help you back to your room."

His mouth pulls to one side in a something resembling a smirk, one of those rare expressions from the elder agent. "Won't make either of us look good, if we pass out in the mess hall."Bad enough they want him to fail, he'd rather not add something like that to it all. Who knows what the rumor mills would do to distort the name of the Assistant Director.

Hand press on the table and Ryans pushes to his feet, actually swaying just a little as he rises to his feet, fingers curling around the neck of the bottle. He gives a 'Lets go' motion with his fingers, though in the cast it's an awkward move.

Confirmation comes in the form of absent denial. That is, it wasn't English and he doesn't say it was German or Portuguese or. Spanish. French pretty much sounds like French, even if he hardly looks the type to be all that great at English. Nevermind anything in addition.

Obediently, after a few seconds spent working up enough drowsy energy to move, Flint downs the last of his booze and braces his good hand against the table to slouch unsteadily to his feet. The same hand (and the lanky arm behind it) is lifted out like a trained monkey's, waiting to be picked up — or in this case, balanced out by someone he trusts can still walk a reasonably straight line. Probably not the first time he's been steered into bed. Or a couch. Or an open span of floor in the men's room.

"Thanks for the booze," muttered with more rank breath than feeling, they're off at a snail's pace not long after.

"Anytime." Is the rumbled response from the Assistant Director as he takes up the positions of designated walker, though the straight line is questionable. At least, they won't be running into anything.

"The company was appreciated."

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