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Scene Title Bequeathed
Synopsis An item of great personal significance finds its way to a new keeper.
Date April 2, 2020

Cat's Cradle: Upstairs Apartment

It hasn't been the greatest of weeks since Praxia, though there is a bittersweet sense in knowing that certain things were stopped, brought to light, saved. That doesn't take the sting out of very, very tangible losses. Feeling like a big shot of the lowest calibre for a while. At least it's given Huruma time enough to be out of care and back home, wherever that may be.

Whatever she'd done to herself knocked her for a loop, landing her under scrutiny of the medic kind for a significant time. Her look of weariness hasn't left, even if the physical ills have mostly abated, and her limp almost gone.

Knock knock, a rapping at her chamber door. Rue Lancaster's, that is.

The door to the second upstairs apartment at Cat’s Cradle swings open. Rue Lancaster stands in the doorway, leaning heavily against the frame with one one hand, the other hand still wrapped around the knob. Her red hair has been pulled up on top of her head in a messy cascade of curls down to the middle of her back. A purple blanket is wrapped around her shoulders like a shawl or maybe a cape, to ward off the last vestiges of winter’s chill that linger in the spring air. It doesn’t hide the fact that she’s still wearing a black brace that stands out in contrast to her red tank top.

Her injuries are going to take longer to heal. All of them.

And judging from the bleary-eyed stare Huruma receives, it could take just as long for Rue to sober up. “I gave at the office,” she mutters, but without any real venom to the inflection. Rocking back a step from the door, she gestures inside before breaking off entirely to meander her way back to what she was doing. Which is apparently swiping an open beer off the cafe table and scowling at the deep red wine stain on the carpet as she passes by.

Alcohol abuse that was.

Huruma doesn't need to tell Rue not to mix painkillers and alcohol. She knows. It doesn't keep the older woman from peering after her retreat back into the apartment. Whatever the young woman means by what she says, it doesn't seem to jostle anything of a response. Only a step through the door and closing it behind her, eyes on Rue's back.

"A rug there would really bring the room together." Eyes hooded, Huruma offers a bit of deadpanned advice before actually bringing up why she darkened the doorstep; as she moves on, a sling bag is deposited gently onto the table. "I was hoping to have a word." Thankfully the girl doesn't seem busy at the moment, but the option to say 'fuck off' is there.

"It's not about work. Not— really."

“That was like that when I got there,” Rue insists with a dismissive wave to the stain. Not entirely true, but she wasn’t the one responsible for it, at any rate. Still, she pauses in her shuffle through the room to give the notion of a rug some thought. She cants her head to one side and shrugs her shoulders. Yeah, probably.

“Well, that’s great.” The redhead rounds the far end of her sofa and eases herself down to sit, tipping her head toward the other end in an invitation for Huruma to join her. She takes a swig of her beer before adding, “Because I’m not coming back. I don’t care if it’s you or Avi or fucking Santa Claus that asks."

"Good, because that isn't why I'm here." Huruma raises up her brows in response, "Not that I do not miss you." The empath may not say it more than she shows it; that's why she's here. The small invitation is taken, but not before her fingers wrap around a case slid from her bag. It cradles in her lap when she slides into a sit, angled Rue's way.

She doesn't need to ask how Rue is, of course. Even if she did, it probably wouldn't get an actual answer.

"It's high time that I moved this on. I believe it was meant for you— but I suppose I was meant to keep it safe from Avi's misuse. So it came to me instead." Huruma sets the leather case between them on the cushion. Hard to mistake the contents of the case as anything other than the loyal hand cannon called Wilby.

Good,” Rue repeats, as if further clarification of her conviction to stay retired is at all needed here. Then again, maybe she’s trying to convince herself more than her former colleague. Her gaze slants off to one side. It’s nice to be missed, but she won’t admit it.

The windup is listened to patiently, even if she does pull a face that looks like she might want to roll her eyes at first. When the case is set between them, Rue finally looks back and seems to sober some. “Jens’—” Looking up at Huruma again, her blue eyes are glassy. “Wilby?

The latches on the case are undone and its lid lifted. Rue gasps quietly and takes in the sight of the firearm like laying eyes on an old friend after years apart. “Are you serious?”

Begrudging, to dismissive, to curious, and lastly falling into sentimentality— Huruma silently tracks the progression of Rue's emotions, filing them away as always, absorbing them as always. Still silent as the case opens, when she gives Rue a thin but earnest smile. Yes, serious.

"Quite." Huruma answers, voice soft even with its depth. Her hands link in her lap, leaning her shoulder into the couch. "It is one more thing I'd been entrusted with— and I always take each and every one very seriously. Whether it is to keep it safe, keep it hidden, or keep it fulfilling a part." A hand motions to Wilby, the latter.

"Avi gave it to me before Sunstone. He…" A pause, mild in its care, her voice somber. "I do not believe he trusted himself with it. I do not blame him for passing it on."

With the greatest of care and respect the weapon deserves, Rue lifts Wilby from the case, testing the weight in her hand, muzzle pointing toward the window and away from Huruma. Even if it isn’t loaded, she’d never point a gun at someone she isn’t intending to shoot.

She looks up when Huruma mentions how she received the hand cannon. Rue nods her head slowly, understanding. The firearm is tucked away again, the lid closed and case re-latched. “No, I… can’t imagine he did.”

It twists her guts with sorrow, shifts the entire tone of this visit, and Rue knows she can’t hide it from Huruma. With a stormy expression, she looks up at the other woman. “How is he?” It’s unmistakable to Huruma: Rumor misses Aviators terribly.

It's just like a gun to feel like an old friend. Huruma waits patiently for Rue to say her hello, and the case's click makes certain that she feels it is in the right place now. There was an honor in keeping it this long, and it's been quite the companion in the right places. Perhaps it will be that again, even if it may not see the same action.

Sorrow is as sorrow does; Huruma felt it then, and when she's told, Rue feels it too. But— sometimes things change, even if just the tiniest bit by bit.

"Pleased about Shedda, Praxia. Stressed and uncertain of the company's future. Losses weigh on him. Pained. Confused and angry—" One thing after another. "Emily is apparently — temporarily? — a tree." From anyone else it would sound hilarious. But it's Huruma, and said in the same sort of dour seriousness that saw her sit down in the first place. She is just as angry and confused. Saying it makes it worse — and more real, despite the absurdity.

"He is doing as well as can be expected." The empath exhales, eyes shaded by the hood of her lids when she looks somewhere past the curls of Rue's hair. "I help."

Wilby is more than just a gun. Wilby is a legacy. A reminder where she came from because of who trained her to be the kind of person who can look at a weapon like this and treat it with such reverence. This is a piece of someone who meant a great deal to her. Who still does, even if he isn’t near enough to her anymore to tell him so.

Rue offers up a shaky smile to Huruma. Thank you, it says. The top row of her teeth comes down on her lower lip where it’s curled over the bottom row. There’s so much tumult there. It’s relief and concern and she doesn’t know which she’s supposed to be feeling at a given moment.

“I’m glad for that,” the younger woman says finally. “That you help.” She doesn’t comment about Emily, because what could she even say to that? “Don’t… Please don’t tell him I asked, okay? I don’t want him to think that—”

That I care, or anything.

Gratitude is enough, even if saying so at length proves difficult. Huruma sees it, even if she doesn't exactly hear it. Tumult, however, is given a gentle touch to Rue's shoulder from the arm Huruma keeps perched on the couch.

"I won't, if you do not want me to. It is not any business of his…" Huruma's eyes close for a moment, mouth pressed quietly. "Though all the same, I think he would welcome hearing you've been asking, even if he acts otherwise." They all know he's the human equivalent of a badger. She still won't tell.

"Avi is not the only one I've been helping— and I can offer the same to you, should you need it."

Everything was — hard. Especially now.

Rue doesn’t shy away from the touch, which surprises her a little bit. There’s a part of her that wants to give in to that comfort. To seek it out and wrap herself in it and hold tight to it like a shelter until she can feel safe. But that’s never been her style. She learned well to shove her problems into little boxes and hide them away in closets, never to be revisited again.

“I’m fine,” Rue insists instead with a quick and dismissive shake of her head. No need to worry about her. “And if he hears I asked about him, he’s going to think I’ve lost my marbles.” Or worse, choose not to reach out at all. If she can convince herself that Huruma never told him, then he can’t make the choice to reject her.

Masking over that indecision is about what Huruma expected of the offer; she still put it out there, a thread between them that Rue has no obligation to take.

"We are all missing a few." A brow arches in reply to Rue's words, "Least of all him." He knows he is, too, her tone says for her. Huruma's mouth purses in thought. "You are always welcome there at the Bastion. Not so much in regards to one person… " Just — generally speaking.

She lifts her chin and hoods her eyes, amusement trickling forth. "Though now that I know you are here and working, I may grace you with my presence more often." A selfless gift.

That last bit allows Rue to pretend the rest of what’s been said doesn’t matter. They’ll just move past the mushy, messy bits and move on to that. “Hey, you’re always welcome. First round’s on me.” Maybe more than the first, but if she doesn’t promise to comp her entire evening, Huruma may be less inclined to protest.

The ginger’s brows hike upward. “You want one now?” It’s simple enough to move their conversation downstairs and improve it with alcohol.

"I would actually love one now." Huruma isn't one to shaft the house when she can pay — so they'll come to an accord. "I need to deal with something later and I feel like— it is warranted." Pale eyes narrow past Rue, flicking back to study her, a smile flashing into place, white against her complexion.

"And I have experience as a bouncer, if you ever need it."

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