nick_icon.gif ryans2_icon.gif

Scene Title Acceptance
Synopsis Despite shame for things he has yet to do in a future that's uncertain, Nick finds acceptance from someone important in the new life he is forging.
Date July 16, 2011

Staten Island

It's long past curfew, the time of night where one day quietly and stealthily becomes the other. Most of the New York area is already asleep, because, frankly, there's nothing else to do these days. But on the part of Staten Island that remains out of the government's hands, curfew doesn't mean a thing. Not far from the docks, there is a nightlife of a rather seedy sort.

Here on the darks, there is a quieter sort of industry at hand — one of deals made without pens, and often without even handshakes, but rather with the threat of pain or death if they get broken.

The dock that Nick waits at, the one his his own small speedboat is moored to, is on the far side, mostly hidden and easily missed unless one knows what they're looking for. It's also one of the less routine stopping points for the boat that's coming in tonight in order to pick up some very special cargo.

He'll hear the soft hum of the motor, before the small boat comes into view as a black spot interrupting the reflected lights on the river, but not before the sound cuts out completely. There is a the slap of water against the hull of the craft as it eases alongside the dock. At the front of it the silhouette of a — well, rather tall figure can be just made out.

Once they are close enough, the figure loops something over their shoulder — most likely a weapon — and hops from the boat. A quick tie off of the boat, before straightening with hands adjust the strap of the rifle across his shoulders into a more readied position.


There is a familiar rumble to the question, Benjamin Ryans might not of been who he thought would be meeting him there. Considering the cargo tho… not to mention he's a fair hand at driving a boat himself if it comes to it.

Nick is already rising, a hand on firearm in his waistband until he sees someone he recognizes or who knows his name; Ryans is two for two. Nick loosens his grip on the gun, and gives a nod; from this far away, he's recognizable in posture and the vague features that are covered by the darkness: pale skin, dark hair. He looks a bit thinner again, more like he did when he first came to Pollepel, but unlike that man, his hair is shaggy, falling into his eyes.

"Mr. Ryans," he answers, in his unaffected British, given their solitude. He nods toward the crate not yet unloaded from his own boat. "Got a couple crates for ya."

When Ryans nears Nick, he'll notice the remnants of red in Nick's eyes, the thinness of the young man's face that tell too easily what he's most recently been through.

"I did hear you had something interesting for us," Ryans acknowledges with a small smile. There is a searching quality to his gaze, eyes narrowing ever so slightly. "You look like hell, kiddo." A little bit of concern for Eileen's brother, maybe.

He is still studying the younger man, before he signals anyone in the boat. "You sure you should be out like this?" As the driver and a younger kid hop off, Ben take a moment to state, "Over there." He motions in the direction of Nick's boat. "Be careful with them or it will be your heads." It's an empty threat, but only just.

The smile and term of affection seem to take Nick by surprise — he ducks his head a little, a smile on his own lips as he turns to glance at the crates, then back to Ryans. "Because this chilly weather's bad for me, right?" he teases. It's barely below 80, and sticky with humidity even on the water.

The younger man lifts his left shoulder in a shrug. "I'm not contagious, and I can't keep lyin' in bed all day, y'know? I'll let them do the unloading, since you got help. I'll admit I'm a bit knackered. Loading it up was a bit more than I should have done."

He runs a nervous hand through his shaggy hair. "It's not many," he adds, more to fill the air with something less embarrassing than his lack of health and stamina. "'S what I could get without raising too many questions on short notice and with the money I had, so."

"It's more then we had." Ryans isn't going to complain if it's only a hand full of weapons. Eyes, gray and black in the night, shift to watch the men unload the cargo. "Any little bit helps. Even a simple thing as a hand gun is more then we had before."

An arm rests on his own weapon, poised ready just in case. There is an uncomfortable moment, where he silently debates a question that's gnawing at him. The father in him wins out in the end. "How's Delia?" He can't think that the two haven't seen each other.

The younger man nods at the gratitude, more in agreement that anything is better than nothing, than that he himself is helpful or someone to thank for it. The question of Delia lifts his eyes back to the taller man, and the conflicting emotions at war within Nick show as well. Affection for Ryans' daughter is evident in the quick, almost shy smile before his eyes drop and he shakes his head.

"I donno. She's got one of those anklet things. Her roommate's missing, some girl, I don't think she was Ferry. Friend of Logan's sister or somethin' like that. I don't know what to tell her to do. She said she had an idea, but."

His voice trails off and scowls, his hand coming up to shove back his hair a bit more violently than the last time. "I can't help her yet. I'm too weak right now, but I don't know what to do about it even if I weren't. Not without causing something worse, you know?"

The Ryans clan patriarch doesn't look too happy about that news. "Wonderful." A heavy sigh escapes through his nose, before her pinches the bridge of it. "And there isn't much I can do for her. They know my face too well out here." Not to mention that tracker.

The hand drops and he glances skyward, "The trouble those girls get into it. It's like me when I was I was their age." Clearly, he wasn't like this. "Run head long into it. That is what she'll probably do." Ben sighs again and looks at the younger man. "Not sure what you can do with her living in that place. She should of known better to begin with." He had warned her. "She's as stubborn as her mother. " It's hard to tell if there is affection to that or just worry in general. "And me."

Nick's chin lifts and he searches Ryans' gray with his chilly blue, and nods. "I'm stubborn enough myself not to accept that, though," he says with a slight smile. "I don't know what to do yet, but that doesn't mean I'm not trying to figure something out. She can come and go still, but obviously they're trying to keep tabs on her. The question is, what happens if the signal's broken? What if I hire a teleporter and grab her and go to Canada or somethin'? I just gotta figure it out."

He sighs, with something of exasperation, mostly for himself. "Been a bit tied up with things 'til now," he adds, the tension easing out of him to let him bestow a wry grin at the older man.

He reaches up to scratch the back of his head nervously, then nods to Ryans again. "So you know… you know Benji's… Delia's and mine?" The phrasing is awkward, Nick's posture nervous.

"Just don't forget they have a teleporter of their own." Ryans doesn't know the details of Eldridge's ability, but he does know he's an inconvenience. Still there is a smile that tugs at the corner of his mouth at Nick's declaration.

The question though, has the smile fading some. "I do know," Ben states plainly, without any really knowing what he's thinking. "I know all the family that has come back and who is who's. Even another daughter that would rather steer clear or me or her mother." Or that's the impression he got.

The younger man studies the ground for a moment, fingers moving to his pocket for the cigarettes he isn't carrying, hasn't smoked for almost two months. "You're okay with it? I mean… Benji… I didn't do right by, I guess, in the future, and I'm ashamed of that. Strange, to be ashamed of somethin' I didn't even do wrong yet." There's a humorless smile at the paradox.

Nick's eyes lift, weary and so old-looking despite his youth. "But now, I'd do anything to be sure I could be what they need me to be, you know? I know things aren't always easy with you and Delia but you were there for her… she thinks you're over protective sometimes, but that's gotta be better than just not there. I …"

He turns to look at the boat, the other men having moved the crates already are simply waiting for Ryans to finish his conversation. There's no rush, not on this forgotten corner of the world.

"It's dumb I guess that I feel I should explain myself to you, for something I didn't do yet, yeah?" Nick says, wheeling back to regard Ryans once more. "Eileen and me, we had a rough childhood. I guess I was afraid of what kinda parent, what kinda spouse I would be, so I just… wasn't."

Following Nick's gaze, Ryans relaxed manner says that he's not really in a hurry to take that long trip back. "I'm as okay as a father can be." Their light words, resigned in someways. "Delia has her own mind and she's going to go where her heart takes her.

"That said…" Blue eyes shift back, flat and unemotional. "Take what you learned from your son and just do your best." He leans a touch closer, eyes narrowing as if to judge him. "Only you can let your past rule your future. It'll always be there, but you can be better then it."

Straightening, Ben sighs softly. "Not often we can — in a way — do it all over again. Only thing I know I did wrong by my own is I died cause I wouldn't leave a good friend behind. Not sure I can change that," he admits with a slight crook at the corner of his mouth.

The words seem to resonate; Nick's brows draw together and he looks away, eyes down and to the side, before nodding. "Thanks," he murmurs, his voice low. "I'll try to be worthy of her."

There's an awkward silence for a moment, and he finally looks up again. It seems almost as if he's poised on the edge of a tightrope for a long, taut moment before he finally steps forward, putting a hand out toward Ryans to shake. "Thanks," he says again, this time looking up into Delia's father's eyes.

The hand is glanced at, with a brief hesitation. There are important moments in a father's life and this could possibly be one of them. Ryans looks up at his daughter's suitor and future father of Ben grandson. He doesn't flinch from meeting those eyes and out to grasp the offer hand.

It's a firm grip.

Acceptance is once of the hardest things a father can do when it comes to his little girls. To push aside those ingrained memory of little girls and realize… She's a grown woman and this is the man she's picked.

It's hard.

"Don't thank me, yet. I'll be counting on you to watch over my family, should something happen." It's a big responsibly, but clearly, the head of the Ryans clan thinks he can. Not that he'd be alone in that charge either. "For now keep her protected where I can't." The hand tightens briefly, before letting go.

The shake Ryans gets back is just as firm, if the hand's a touch smaller, and the eyes a touch nervous about whatever it is he's agreeing to. Nick manages to nod, then swallow, then breathe.

He respects Ryans, and that he's earned the older man's acceptance means something, something significant, to the young man whose own father abandoned him so long ago.

"Yes, sir," he murmurs, before taking a step back and then toward his boat. "Travel safe."

"Take care of yourself, Ruskin." There is a significant look given to Nick. Meaning don't make yourself worse again, get rest, or what have you. After unwinding the rope, tossing it in, Ben makes the short jump into the boat which rocks some in response.

The small engine sputters to life and it's thrown into reverse to pull them back into the dark of night. Benjamin situates himself at his post at the front of the boat again and before he completely vanishes into the the inky blackness, he throws a lax salute of farewell at the younger man.

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