A Start


lynette4_icon.gif ryans3_icon.gif

Scene Title A Start
Synopsis It takes a lot to get these two to talk, but it's something.
Date December 18, 2011

Pollepel Island

Around the island, no one is hard to find, even if they would like to be. Lynette is up several levels, sitting in a space meant for a window that is long since gone. One leg hangs outside while the other serves as a prop for her arm. A lit cigarette dangles between her fingers, occasionally put to her lips.

Most worrisome, she's here alone. No one else is in the hallway leading toward her perch. There are probably some Brians near by, but not in sight, at least. And she doesn't seem to mind it, though. Solitude, as everyone here knows, is hard to come by. And hers is only barely so, as many of the inhabitants know where she is or saw her passing.

It has been a long search, but much to Benjamin's relief he finally finds the councilwoman he has been looking for. She'll hear his approach, with his boots scuffing the stone flooring, before he even speaks. "You know… " His voice is low, since the castle has so many ears now. Filled to the breaking point with refugees, it is almost impossible to get a moments peace. "It is hard to do my job, if I don't know what the hell people are doing."

His tone isn't angry, just… conversational. He leans a shoulder against the wall near her, arms folded across his chest, hiding that one missing hand. Not that he is trying to hide it. "I noticed the dome go down." Even if for just a moment. "That was a hell of a risk, Lynette."

And hear him, she does. Lynette turns to look that way, but seeing who it is, she blows smoke out the window, pulling the cigarette to lean it outside, too. She knows not everyone likes the smell. His opening words get her lifting an eyebrow in his direction, though.

"That's funny, since it's hard to do my job when I don't know what people are doing, either. And yet." Secrets have been kept. From her, specifically. That's the part that upsets her. When he leans nearby, she shifts a little to face him a little better. "It was quick. Heller didn't notice." Or, if he did, it was too late. But probably he didn't. "I'm trying to help that girl you all have locked up downstairs."

"I get that," Benjamin says weighing his words carefully, eyes squinting out into the world beyond. They were playing a difficult within the halls of Bannerman Castle. "But you could have paid your security leads the courtesy of letting us know. Freaked out some of younger guards." Chances are he already knew about it via other means, but… it's the principle of the thing.

Eyes finally drift from the world outside and angle down to Lynette. "We both are, though I hope you realize, she… and all of us are safer with her there." A brow of his own ticks up. "Guilty or not."

He finally unwinds his arms, the stump of his arm left to hang at his side, while he motions at her, "Though I do not agree bringing in someone in here and painting a target on their back," he sighs, hand drifting up to scratch along his scruffy jawline, "I do think you have the right idea on this one."

"No, I couldn't've." Lynette is frank about that, even if she turns away from him, busying herself with tapping the ash off her cigarette. "Because we still don't know who it is. The fewer who knew, the better. Anyone on security would be in the perfect position to stop him before he ever got to us." With that comment out, she looks over at him again, tossing her hair out of her face.

"I do know she's safer there. But only because she was set up. And you all let her take the fall. And you let it become a spectacle. So everyone here thinks she did it. You could have shielded her from that. She's just a girl." Lynette flicks her gaze down to her cigarette, lingering on it a moment before putting it to her lips again. It isn't what she really wants, but it's all she's letting herself indulge in.

"He's aware of the danger. And Brian's protecting him. I don't think Shawn will find the traitor," she notes, perhaps giving him a little insight into her plan. "But his presence should shake the bushes a little. Maybe we'll be able to see what runs out. Maybe before they screw us over again." Although, by her tone, she doesn't count them that lucky.

All? That gets a flash of anger out of the older man, but he manages to not show it. The spectacle had not been intentional at least on his part, and not really on Eileen's part either. Ben will let her keep that anger. A heavy sigh escapes his nose as she shifts his gaze outside again. "You see a girl, I see a young woman rather capable of taking care of herself." If Richard's injuries were any indication. Being how close she appeared to his own girls' ages.

"She will survive this. As long as she is innocent, she'll walk away." He lets his gaze fall on her again, "Just be careful, okay?" The words are genuine, rumbled softly. "This whole thing is a volatile situation and last thing I need is someone else getting hurt, like that telepath fighting for her life in the infirmary." It's clear he carries some guilt over that.

"Well, I see a girl forced to grow up too fast." Lynette does not hide her anger. Not that she ever really did. But as he goes on, she looks over at him, her brow furrowing. "Come on, Ben. You know she didn't do this. That's what's so awful about it. She'd give her life for the Ferry. But this isn't the way she should have to do it."

She cuts a glare in his direction, but then shakes her head. "Well. Consider me a woman capable of taking care of herself," she says, dryly. When he mentions Kaylee, though, Lynette's expression softens. "I wish we hadn't asked her what we asked her. I should have stopped that. It didn't help, in the end." Her hand strays to her pocket, the way someone might check to make sure their keys are still where they put them. "Of course, I haven't been able to stop much of anything, lately."

"That is two of us," Benjamin comments blandly about not being able to stop things. He watched the distant movement of figures on the far bank, quiet for a long moment. "Somehow, I think it will get worse before it gets better.

"All that stands between us and them," his head nods in the direction of Heller's army, "Is a scared man." Brows furrow as he considers, pushing his shoulder away from the wall. "I would put guards on you and this… telepath, but luckily you have Brian." He respects the younger man, even trusts him with this. "That will allow me more time to prepare for the eventual fall of that dome out there."

Lynette looks over at him at his first words. A beat passes before she reaches over to touch his arm. A comfort, maybe. But she pulls back quickly. "We're all just trying to do what we can to survive. To keep these people alive. It's all we can do, really." She follows his gaze out the window, a frown coming to her face. "On that," she says, of his prediction of the future, "we both agree."

She looks back to him, though, to nod. "I can't say I blame him. It's hard not to be scared. We should have been long gone by now. God, I wish we could have managed it." But, as they all know, there was nowhere to go from here. Her chin lifts, though, when she turns back to him. "Thank you, but I'm fine. I don't need your guards. Or Brian's." That might be her pride talking, but she's pretty firm about it. "They would all be better used in keeping the calm out there."

There is a huff of laughter, "That's one of the things I have always liked about you. That stubborn, prideful streak." Shifting his feet, Ryans moves to crouch near her; not close or crowding her personal space. He is bringing himself down to her level to look her in the eyes and not making her look up at him.

"Look." He starts, giving her an honest look, he doesn't mask the worry he feels for her safety. "For me… for the council… for everyone that cares for you," there is a measure quality, each mention emphasized, " Allow Brian. One…" He is even able to compromise. See? "Brian to watch your back. Don't look at it as being babysat, look at it as having a friend watch your back."

At first, his laughter gets a skeptical look from her. And the words that follow, more so. "Most people find it infuriating," Lynette points out, perhaps in such a way that implies him, too. But a smile follows, although less warm than it could be. She's not taking it as an insult.

When he shifts, her eyes follow him. She taps her cigarette against the outside of the window frame as she listens to him. A frown comes to her face, though. Not out of defiance, but something else. Something more keenly felt. More personal. Which is why she looks away again before he's done talking. "That's just it, Ben," she starts. But whatever she was about to say, she decides to leave it and looks back his way with an easier expression. It's forced, but it's there. "It feels a lot like being babysat."

"And you shouldn't think that way," he tacks on there with a pointed look, resting his bad arm across his leg. "What would you want if it was me…" bad example, his eyes roll skyward thoughtfully, "If it was anyone else under your care?" Those blue-eyes drop to her face again, brows lifting, slightly. "If you were me, what would you do for someone you care about?" Those brows tick a little further up, probably more emotion then she is use to seeing.

Sighing out again, Ben shakes his head, his head drops a little to look at the stone flooring. "Lynette…" His expression is thoughtful as he choses his words carefully. There is a lot he could say, "… let me watch your back. I know I don't have the right…" No… "… I know things… " got weird? Very much so… He sighs and scrubs a hand over his face. The old man straightens to stand. "Damn those dreams," he rumbles out of frustration, giving a humorless bark of laughter.

Snuffing out her cigarette, Lynette swings her legs back inside to face him more fully. And while he tries to find the right words, trying to avoid the wrong ones, her features turn more genuinely warm. Amused even. "Ben," she says, finally, gently, "I don't hold any of that against you. You were looking for your happiness, you and her both, who could blame you for that?" Her head tilts a little before she adds, "I've never been one for longterm. Or serious. You know that." Whatever the dreams might have shown them, she's sticking by that. "The only thing I regret is that we have this distance now. I never wanted this to turn out that way, where you can't even talk to me."

His last words get a chuckle, though she doesn't voice an agreement. "If you can spare the time and the manpower, I'll let you watch my back," she says, after a moment. "But only because I can't stand to see a man cry," she says with a crooked smile.

"Cry?" That gets an honest chuckle from Ryans, he turns a bit to look back at her out of the corner of his eye, a smile pulling at the corner of his mouth. He knows a joke when he hears one. There seems to be an relaxing in his posture.

There is a slow shake to Ben's head, "I don't know what I have been thinking lately," he admits blandly, brows furrowing a little. "About any of it… or why any of us were not smart enough to teach these kids to leave it well enough alone." He waves that thought away. He knows, but he still finds it irritating. "Either way, thank you…" He takes a step away from her, "for letting me watch your back. If not… as a friend, then as someone that will always care about you in his own way." He glances out the window one last time, "I don't like that awkwardness between us either, Lynette… That's on me." He angles a glance down at her, with a small smile, "Regret will do that, to a person." Regret for falling into the trap that comes from knowing what the future could hold.

He was once a part of the Company, he should know better, but he followed the breadcrumbs anyhow.

"You heard me," Lynette says, but with enough playfulness to confirm that it is, indeed, a joke. And when he relaxes, she seems to, too. She even lets out a sigh.

"Maybe because none of us know how to leave well enough alone. And, in their defense, their time didn't seem well at all." She knows what she would have done, in their place. Exactly what they did. But she's quiet as he goes on, her hands propping her up on the inside edge of the window. "That future was always on the chopping block, Ben. That was their past, but it was never guaranteed to be our future." She's pretty sure she's got a handle on this stuff now. At least to understand that the future is ever unknowable. "That being said. You'll always have my friendship. Whenever you're ready to have it." Not a push, not even a request, just an offer put out on the table.

There is a thoughtful nod from the man, probably the only acknowledgement she'll get from that offer. No doubt she'll have it, once he gets past the idea that he is still fallible and ruled by instincts just like any other man, even after nearly 60 years walking the planet. When seeing her stops reminding him of a stupid moment of Id.

He gives her a tip of his head, fingers lifting to give her a half serious salute, "I'll be about my business now, councilwoman." The smile he offers, crinkles at the outer corners of his eyes. The mild jab given, he heads for the hallway, calling over his shoulder, "Be careful, Lynette."

The nod is noted with a tilt of her head, but it's hard to say how she take it. What she does do is resettle in the window just as she was when he found her. Her gaze even flicks out the window.

His words get her attention, though, and she gives him a smirk. "Careful as ever, Ben," she says, a promise that isn't much of one. Especially to someone who knows how not careful she has often been. "If I can help with the planning, let me know." That is more genuine, even if her smile is missing again.

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