Acts of Faith


asi_icon.gif luther_icon.gif



Scene Title Acts of Faith
Synopsis A half a world away from where it was recorded, Luther delivers a message to Azami Cambria.
Date June 18, 2019

With external temps already kissing sticky summer levels, the cool air of the hospital is a welcome respite from the weather. The wide lobby of the specialized facility has signage and materials in five different languages, the international service it aims to provide prominently clear.

It's Asi's first time visiting St. Luke's, but she strides with confidence to the reception desk to state who she and her large foreign companion have come to visit. She's patient, calm as they wait out the few minutes it takes for the request to be processed and replied to, though she glances back at Luther more than once with the silent hope they won't be turned away.

St Luke International Hospital, Tokyo, Japan

June 18, 2019

Local Time 10:41 AM

Upstairs, after sanitizing and donning a facemask, Asi and Luther are shown back to the hospital room, indicated to let the nurse's station know when they're ready to go, and left to let themselves in. Once they're left to their own devices, Asi pushes in the door to the sterile room and—

gets absolutely and immediately berated in a string of presumably strongly-worded Japanese, courtesy of the aging woman sitting upright in a chair next to the bed. Her hair has stubbornly held on to her head, hints of greying groomed in a short cloud around her. The look the woman wears is severe as she catches sight of Asi.

All the Mugai-Ryu agent can do at first is blink, quickly stepping into the room to make way for Luther to make himself known as well. "Ma'am," she says in English, and that's enough to draw an arch of an eyebrow and pause from the woman undergoing chemotherapy. "Mrs. Cambria, this isn't about … that."

Azami Cambria doesn't so much as bat an eyelash at that news, suspicion turning on Luther instead. "So," she asks in English, "What are you here for?"

Even with most of his sour expression hidden behind a facemask and sterile clothing covering, Luther still doesn't manage to keep all of his irritation at bay. Asi is no mind reader, but the man has been surly and irritable all morning, terse in answering questions, mainly silent and watching the strange environment of Tokyo. When asked he's remained silent, or stated simply that whatever he ate previously didn't agree with him.

Either way. He's mostly cleaned himself up in preparation of the visit to the hospital, but there's a languid, hangover-like pace to his overall manner. Mostly. Because there's a bit of lingering alcohol in his system, no doubt.

Azami's sharp suspicion meets Luther's stubbornness. "We're springin' you," he states simply. "Your son and husband are in the United States. If you care to join them, we'll arrange for you to go."

"Richard asked me to look into it."

Luther had been looming outside Raquelle's place where he found the Safe Zone Council member. And all in order to explain his sudden request to meet with the man and explain in no uncertain terms what he was there for. The possibly permanent relocation of Azami Cambria to the United States of America. What was left of it. And what was left of her.

"I understand that she's been ill for a while."

Luther's measured responses are steady, trying not to start something overly emotional or heated in discussion about the why's and how's of it all. Even if a part of him is curious to know, he doesn't voice the questions. It's merely through the upward tick of angled brows and the faint downturn of pressed mouth corners that shows he holds sympathy for the other man's situation.

There is a long pause where Raquelle had opened the door to see Luther standing there, and yes he may have still be dressed in pajama pants with absolutely no shirt on, a dark grey robe, nipple rings on display and his hair tucked back in at grey beanie. And yes his make-up is done. He shuts the door, then reopens it and he has at least put on a black Sex Pistols t-shirt and is holding two cups of coffee as he exits his home and offers a cup of coffee to Luther.


“Well, I just found out about it a month or so ago when my father showed up at my job.” He takes a long sip of coffee and quirks an eyebrow. “So, you’re the person goin’ to go talk my mom into comin’ to the states with you?” He nods slowly.

He's seen stranger sights than robes, nipple rings and beanies. It's New York, after all. No comment, at least not verbal, is made for Raquelle's appearance and no strained thoughts disturb Luther's person when the door shuts again.

He lingers outside, a stray dog in a suit, patiently waiting for the next appearance of the butcher's scrap. And so when Raquelle reappears, Luther perks back up to attention and receives the cup of coffee with grateful nod.

"Richard told me about your father, too. His ability. What it did to your mother."

He sips, testing the taste and temperature of the liquid treat. Likewise, he tests the temperature of other man's mindset. "Aside from the fact that she's possibly immuno-compromised, is there any reason why she shouldn't be coming over here? We're thinking of flying her over by private plane. Main question would be to where. Once that's decided, setting up an escort. Could arrange for you to meet her once she's brought over."

What Luther doesn't mention is the possibility that Azami could refuse. Nor does he offer the thought of not telling Raquelle's father about the plan. He leaves that up to the son.

There is a soft grunt as Raquelle takes a few steps forward before folding his long limbs so he can settle on the front step, gesturing idly beside him for Luther to join him if he so wishes. “Mm. Some f*cked up shit right? I mean, I could understand if the dude was like ‘and now I can make popcorn faster’ but nope. Helluva thing.”

He takes another long sip of coffee before sighing softly. “She needs to get to a state of the art hospital. Even if its a few hours outside of town, as long as she's local aka stateside I can get to her.” His nose wrinkles. “I’m going to give you a recording. Let her listen to it. And she’ll come.”

He doesn’t answer the question about why she shouldn’t be coming over, or anything like that. He doesn’t know. “Once she’s stateside, let me know. I’ll let my Papa and Fiancé know so we can get ready…hm?”

Azami folds her hands in her lap, staring down Luther with a bold arch of an eyebrow, mouth tight. “Do I look,” she asks drily. “Like I’m being held her against my will?” The lace of her fingers part only so she can clear her throat against the back of her hand, squinting between the two. The thinness from her voice rattled free, she inclines her head toward the two.

She doesn’t outright declare one way or the other, but there’s an emphatic nature to her guarded reply. “My husband is in the United States right now, for work. My son lives there. And I’m wondering what any of that has got to do with you.”

The power play between Luther and Azami almost threatens to crush the efforts of this entire endeavor right off the bat. The man turns a look back at Asi, storm grey eyes staring in tumultuous inner conflict, fast turning sour. But for a different reason than a law enforcement officer such as the Mugai-ryu or simply a mother might recognize: Guilt.

He reaches up and pulls off the protective face mask, defying hospital rules perhaps. But it's all the more revealing that he's no doctor nor someone who should be making any kind of medical assessment. He's only a man who trusts his gut feeling. And in that moment, he looks like he'd rather retreat and leave this uncomfortable sight of the weakened woman.

"In a way, you are."

The reply to Azami's challenge rolls from Luther, his low pitched rumble tighter. "The cancer's your warden. And no, this trip wouldn't get you off the hook. But we could help you get some time to see them." He motions with a tilt of his head back to Asi. "You got that message?"

Asi almost looks like she'd rather slink out of the room herself, all for the sake of deterring any misplaced anxiety this is related to Mugai-Ryu business, but Luther's request clips that intent before it can be carried out. Azami's skepticism sends itself the technopath's way instead, and her phone is swiftly drawn from her pocket to shield herself and their intentions, the phone unlocking without so much as a touch to its screen, various windows flitted through to locate the message Luther refers to.

The older woman sits with her jaw set and expression tight … until the dulcet tones of her son emit from the device in Asi's hand. Then, she's not seeing them at all, or even hearing them. The message meant from her becomes her whole focus.

Most people who are not family, do not get to hear Raquelle speak Japanese as much but his pronunciation is reflective of it probably being his first language.

“こんにちは、ママ…” He starts out carefully in Japanese, and it continues in the same language. “«Don’t tear the strangers who have come to get you new assholes, hm? They are there because Papa came to see me. Actually came to see me, about you.»” There’s a soft sniffle as he swallows back tears. “«I’m so sorry Mama that I couldn’t make it out there, before everything and I’d give anything to just be able to hug you again, it has been so long.»”

Silence. “«But I’m working on bringing you here. To me, and Bolivar, and the girls and to the man you have always loved. You told me, that when you met him that you knew you’d spend more years apart than together but that your hearts would always be as one. I remember finding a super old recording, of you all being young dumb and possibly drunk. You remember? Papa playing guitar and you singing and promised I’d sing this for you one day. He loves you mama, so come okay? I think this is still your song…»”

The soft acoustic guitar begins, in a few familiar chords. “Highway run. Into the midnight sun. Wheels go round and round, you’re on my miiind.”

“Restless hearts, Sleep alone tonight. Sending all my love, along the wire.”

And so on it continues, even as he gets to the chorus. “They say that the road ain’t no place to start a family. Right down the line it’s been you and me and lovin’ a music man ain’t always what it’s supposed to be. Oh girl, you stand by me..”

And song and tender…his gift wraps around the melodic tones. “I’m forever yours, faithfully….”

And so on, until the end of the song.

"あたしの息子," Azami laughs faintly as she hears her son warn her away from telling off the strangers who've come into her space, unconsciously reaching for the sound of his voice and clasping her hand over her mouth once she realizes she's done it. Her eyes flicker with moisture, but Asi stands stoic as the heartfelt message plays. Only when the song begins to play does Asi step forward, letting the phone slide from her hand to the mother's.

She turns away afterward, standing shoulder to shoulder with Luther save she faces the door. "This feels like a private moment," she murmurs, nudging her chin in the direction of the exit. "I'll be just outside."

Halfway through the song, Azami looks up at Luther, swallowing down her emotion while she continues to clutch the phone. She lets out a shaky breath before inching her head up to acknowledge Luther. "Okay," she announces. "Okay."

"You seem like you have a plan, young man." Azami acknowledges. Maybe Luther looks younger than he thinks, or maybe just everyone comparatively younger than her is worthy of the title. "Can you really bring my family back together?"

Just had he had done the few weeks before, Luther remains silent as the message plays back. Just as he had understood next to nothing of the message in the other language, he doesn't either now save for the universal words connected in known human language for Mama and Papa.

The song plays, the universal language - music - communicating enough so that Luther doesn't need to fill in any further explanation or excuse. He has none to give.

Only when movement enters his periphery does he note Asi again, nodding once, slowly.

The message ends, and he looks up from the smooth flooring to the sight of Azami again, but this time without the frustration and posturing. It's sobering, seeing her finally agreeing to cooperate. Her descriptive title for him, though, ticks up his brow. For a fleeting moment, Luther quirks a wry smile back. "I'm old enough to have been in the same grade school as your husband," he muses.

"But that's the idea. We get you on a plane to Detroit. Raquelle will be waiting when you get off of it. Set you up with full medical, get you better so you can spend your time with your family again." The possibilities and details, once again, are left to the Cambria in the room to mull upon.

Luther steps forth, closing the short distance. He holds out his hand to receive Asi's phone back, his warmer-than-normal skin covered in thin, disposable glove. The gesture holds much more than mere asking for the object in the woman's ailing hands; it asks for her trust, her hope, her courage.

"Detroit," Azami hmphs with more amusement than disdain. "Feels like not too long ago I would have laughed in the face of anyone who suggested going there of all places for anything worth having."

She lets the phone into Luther's hand, and clasps her other on top of it, too, for good measure. "But I hear things are different out that way now, different for the better." Her hand firms around his, hesitance not in her commitment even though it shows in her voice for a moment while she weighs out the possible complications. "Come what may…" she intones, then directs the message to Luther more directly by looking up at him. "I'd rather it be with my family."

And somewhere, Raquelle Cambria is already carefully brushing out and storing a few lovely wigs in special cases as he hums under his breath, the melody to Faithfully. Waiting for a Reunion long overdue.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License