Dancing Around The Issues


lynette2_icon.gif ryans3_icon.gif

Scene Title Dancing Around The Issues
Synopsis Delia's messages aren't the only riddles to unravel around here.
Date December 14, 2010

Pollepel Island: Stables

Here there be horses.

Lynette's been off balance for a bit now. Not being the type to share and having run out of cigarettes sometime yesterday, she's had to find other ways to center herself. It's an odd sort of hiccup in her uptown girl image, that the makeshift, tucked away stables would be the place to find that center, but the truth is stranger than fiction.

Lit by soft lamp light to give her just enough light to see through the dark, Lynette really should be sleeping like most others on the island. But instead, she's standing near one of the horses, running a thick horse brush along its side. And even more oddly, she even seems to be soothing the animal, her touch gentle.

White plumes out behind dark figure that hurries towards where the animals are kept, leaving a visible trail in the icy cold of the night. As the tall figure gets closer the faint light seems to lay over familiar features that peer from under a knit cap is pulled low on his head. The collar of his long coat is flipped up against his neck to protect it from a stiff breeze.

Leather clad hands rub together as Benjamin Ryans steps further into the shelter. "Hey." There is a faint curiosity to his features as he takes in the woman and what she's doing. "Stopped by your room, you were not there." A hand reaches out to brush at the nose of one of the horses letting it know he's a familiar presence. "Took a bit to find out where I could find you."

It's the voice that brings Lynette's attention up and around, a smile coming to her face when she sees him there. "I have yet to master the art of being in two places at once, it's true. I'm working on it," she says, her smile turning crooked. Her hand runs along the horse's back a little as she notes, "I just thought the horses might need a little pampering. We all need it now and then."

Tucking her hair behind an ear, Lynette looks over at him, her head tilted. "Did you need something? Or did you just miss me?" It's just a little teasing is all. In good fun!

"Mmm. That's a tough one to answer." Ryans gives her a small smile in return. His hand slides over the horses neck as he steps along side the horse, eyes on the woman across the broad back. "I suppose both." There is a deepening of the lines at the corner of his eyes, suggesting a teasing quality of what he says.

But it's all too fleeting, the faint smile is falling away into a much more serious look as he turns to face Lynette. "I can't sleep… that message from Delia. Sleep Brad is just not making sense to me." He sighs heavily, gaze falling to the course hide of the horse, brushing his hand over the smooth surface. "I feel like I should know what she's telling me, that I am missing something."

"Fair enough," Lynette says with a light chuckle. Her own expression follows his, as his fading smile makes hers disappear, too. "Well, who do we know named Brad? Or who does she know? Might be time to chat with her friends and see if that name has any significance to her. And then I suppose when you find who Brad is… you tell him to get some sleep."

At those last words, Lynette sets the brush aside and circles around the horse to his side. "Dreams aren't a reliable medium in any circumstance. Let alone trying to use them to communicate. Don't be too hard on yourself. It's a vague message at best and may be just… bits of a longer one. She's trying to communicate, though, and I figure that's a good sign."

A heavy sigh sends up a new cloud of dense white, which drifts upward and dissipates. "Not off the top of my head," he admits gruffly, brows dropping low in his own disappointment. A glance to the side, eyes search for another brush. Since he's here he might as well be useful.

The strap of the round brush is pushed onto his gloved hand, which is a bit awkward, but it works out. He's silent as he works the brush over the horses heck and side, taking away the loose hairs.

"What scares me most is Delia took control of Eileen enough to carve that. Puppeted her." Lips press into the fine line of disapproval. It's those sorts of Shenanigans that get you holed up in places like Level 5.

"Ask around. Someone's bound to understand it," Lynette says as she shifts her gaze to watch his work instead. "Perhaps she's mentioned a Brad to her sister or that lovely boy of hers."

At that disapproval, though, she looks back to Ben with that familiar, crooked smile. "Don't let it scare you. You have to practice the dangerous parts of your ability, too, otherwise, when things go wrong… they go very very wrong. And she is in a desperate times, desperate measure situation."

"I know that." The words are sharper and harsher then Benjamin means, a product of the stress no doubt. He knows it too, brush hand pausing mid stroke while the other comes up in a gesture to hold, as he collects himself. Eyes closing he takes a deep breath and lets it out slowly.

When those blue eyes open again it's so offer a soft, "I'm sorry. I have no reason to be snapping at you."

He moves to fold arms on the back of the horse as he regards her. Ryans opens his mouth to say something, but then it closes. Lynette can almost see the light bulb go off over his head. "Brad. Bradley Russo." There is a soft chuff of a laugh, the old man pushing away from the horse. "I can't believe I didn't think of him."

Though the amusement quickly drains away for a confused look, "Though what she needs him for is beyond me."

At the apology, Lynette puts her hand on his arm, which he can tell, she's got the shakes again. But she doesn't seem to have that on the brain at the moment, because she gives him a gentler smile. "Don't worry so much." Apparently, apology accepted. Or unnecessary.

She lifts an eyebrow, though, as he thinks of the name suddenly. "Well, there you go. There's one, at least. What she needs from him… maybe you'll find out. But if she's looking for him, maybe you can get him to her body and maybe she'll be able to find her way back again that way."

"Yeah, but it's a bit of a tricky situation." There are things that don't pass the older man's notice, the shakes is one of them. Ryans' sharp gaze falls to where her hand lays on his arm and as quick as a snake, her hand is trapped there by a strong grip that pins her much small hand there. All talk about Brad and the chance it'll take him off the island is forgotten.

A part of him is already trying to rationalize the trembling. It is after all winter, but…

"Why do I think you are not telling me something," Ben accuses her, his tone flat and a touch cool.

When her hand gets trapped there and he's got that look, he can see the moment pass when she's debating if she should tap dance her way around the truth or not. Of course, the fact that she debates it at all says a lot about her respect levels for the man. Most people would just get the lie.

Lynette looks down for a moment before she looks back up again, but she can't quite look him in the eye. "It's fine," she says eventually, "Just a little… hiccup. I'm handling it. And I know I've said that before, but I really am this time."

She can't tell what he's really thinking or even feeling, except for that tight grip and a little flash of anger behind his eyes. Ryans' eyes twitch a little narrower. "And every other drug user says the same thing." There is no inflection his his voice, this isn't a good thing.

The horse tosses it's head a little, sensing the tension that seems to fill the air. He knew it could happen, which might be why he's not shoving her hand away and putting distance between them.

In fact, his hand tightens around hers, so that she can't flee yet. He's risking her unleashing her ability on him, which speak volumes about the man. "I don't know what happened to drive you to do it, but you can't keep doing that. It's one hiccup today. Then another will come and another… then you'll be right back where you started." The words growl out, rough as he keeps his voice low.

"You are council, Lynette. You have a duty to the people on this island. You are an example," he hisses out the last, eyes moving between her own in a desperate hope that she is understanding what he's saying.

"I know that," Lynette says, it being her turn to snap a little. "I know. And the whys don't really matter, I know that, too." Which means, at least, he's spared a list of excuses. "And I'm trying not to… fall back to where I was."

She shakes her head a little bit, chin lifting, "Plus, my girl says it's getting hard to come by anyway. So we're all saved a repeat of my plummet into drug-induced comas." She even waves her free hand, as if the flippant gesture could hide the fact that she was upset hearing that news.

Ben finally lets go of her hand, the movement slow as a small frown etches itself on his normally neutral mask and creases his forehead. "I know you are better then this." But he's disappointed in the slip up. That is left unsaid and he probably doesn't need to utter it.

Attention drops back to the horses flank and he starts brushing again, his movements stiffer and with a touch more force behind it. "Not to mention there are children on the island, all evolved." He doesn't look at her as he points this out, letting the implications of one of these kids getting Refrain in their system would have.

Lynette takes her hand back, fingers flexing for a moment as she looks down at them. "I've never claimed to be perfect. Or close to it. And I'm painfully aware that even the best I can do is falling short of the mark. But can we just say that in this case… I feel bad enough about having a dependence on a drug someone forced on me during a rather horrific time of my life, bad enough that even though this drug does nothing good for me I can't just wish this away, can we say I feel bad enough about all this that there's really no need to shove the point in any harder?"

She doesn't look back up this time, there's just a hard swallow before she clears her throat gently. "I know how bad it is. I know how bad it got before. And I'm trying not to screw up entirely."

At first Ryans doesn't look like he's listening, attention riveted on that flank. It had to be fairly brushed by now, still he works at it. It does become a gentler movement at least.

Finally, it pauses and he finally lifts his gaze to meet her's, but it says something. No hint. "I just want you clear on what is at stake and what is at risk." He pulls the brush off his hand and tosses it. When it lands, the horse jerks a little, but doesn't bolt. Patting the horses side gently in apology, he sighs softly. "I really hope you can beat this.

"There is only so much I can do for you Lynette, but the fight is largely your own." Something in his voice says he wishes it wasn't that way, but… that's life.

Lynette does look up there, her gaze hard to read this time, too. Like she's not sure what he's about to say. But then, is she ever?

"Believe me, I'm clear. And I'm… I mean, I didn't bring any to the island, Ben." Which might put her trips to the mainland in a new perspective, but. "I'd like to beat this, too. I'm not really much of a fan of it all." As for what he can or can't do, she turns to face him more fully, her hands coming to his arms again. "You're here, and that helps. Having someone who seems to know when I'm misbehaving is a new phenomenon, but… that whole accountability thing," she says, waving one of her hands as she tries to downplay what she's saying.

"If I knew all the time, the slip up wouldn't have happened in the first place." It's pointed out blandly, Ryans studying her, but not reaching out to her. He's not guarded, but he honestly isn't sure what to do about her. "And neither would my girls get into half the trouble that they do." The man doesn't have complete faith in his ability, though it doesn't stop him.

He glances out the shelter, lips pressed tightly together. After a moment Ryans says, "As soon as I can make sure Raith can hold down the fort, I'm hitting the mainland to see if I can talk to this Brad." His gaze drops to the ground then up to Lynette. "I'll only be gone a handful of days." Days for her to slip up, but he doesn't say that.

"Yes well. I was very deliberate in making sure you weren't around because you would say something sensible and not let me go through with it," Lynette says with a bit of a crooked smile that doesn't quite seem to match her usual mirth.

"I really meant it when I said there wasn't any here." Which doesn't mean there will be no trips to the mainland, but at least there is that. "And as much as I hate disappointing you, I really hate disappointing myself. It does happen. I can't… be on guard against this all the time, everyday without slipping ever. I really wish I could, but it's just… something that's a reality in my life. And I try to be a realist about things. The best thing for me right now is distance. This island, being on it… it helps make it an impossibility. It just… never goes away. Whether I've had it or not, it's sitting there. Looming," she says, and in her tone, it's clear it frustrates her, that she can't just shake off the addiction.

"Mmm." Ryans replies in a non-committal way, lips pressed into a thin line. His eyes search her face thoughtfully.

After a long moment, a gloved hand slowly lifts. It hovers for a fraction of a second, but then it brushes gently over her hair. Stopping at the back of her head, Ryans dips his head down and presses a kiss to her forehead. It lingers there to keep it from being something chaste and more of an expression of affection.

"Alright," his voice rumbles softly as he pulls away, with another brush of his hand to her blonde hair. She doesn't know how much that costs him, but… he's trying to give her the benefit of the doubt. Trying to not be as harsh, but it will only work so many times. None of which he says. Just murmurs another, "Alright."

Lynette closes her eyes as she leans into that kiss, and she stays that way for a few moments after, as if unsure where to go from here. Her lips press together for a moment before she looks up at him. She seems… confused almost. And like she's got something to say. Her gaze flicks between his eyes before she shakes her head again.

The odd moment passes, though, as she summons up a smile that's meant to be reassuring. "If I miss you while you're on the mainland, do I get to come and visit or am I not allowed off the island without supervision?" She's just teasing, really! But there's just a little probing there, just a touch.

The question has him studying her for a moment, before he looks away with a softly huffed chuckle. "If you miss me while, I'm gone… then I must be doing something right, hmm?" Ryans favors her with one of those rare smiles that actually manage to deepen the creases at the corners of his eyes. Back of his fingers brush her cheek in a reassuring way.

"Come on," he says, while holding out the hand to her, palm up. "I'll walk you back to the castle. Both of us could use some sleep."

"That may be one implication," Lynette says with a crooked, but warm smile. And seeing his there only makes hers wider. It's like she likes it when he smiles or something crazy like that. There's even a hint of a lean into that brush.

There's a glance toward that hand just before she reaches out to take it, "Ever the gentleman. Thank you." At those last words, though, that smile turns more sly than anything as she adds, "Is that an invitation, Mister Ryans? I do love sleepovers…"

"My mother raised me well, I guess." Hand folding around hers gently, Ryans seems to considers the question even as he draws her towards the cold darkness. "Well…" He almost acts reluctant, but a hint of amusement doesn't make it serious. "Sleepovers don't exactly lends itself to sleep does it, especially where you are involved."

It's not a no.

"So… it begs the question — is that an invitation Miss Rowan?" Ryans counters with a possible teasing tone.

"Did anyone ever tell you you're a fantastic dancer, Ben?" Lynette asks with a chuckle. She doesn't mean the kind you do with your feet. But there's just a moment's pause before she adds, "I think our last one was enough of a success to warrant another, don't you?" Why yes, it is an invitation.

"Years of practice, my dear lady." Ryans comments with a completely straight face, pulling her out into the cold, before drawing her close to his side to share warmth for the journey. Eyes trail to the castle, which is merely a black shape.

Arm tightening around her waist, he offers her another smile, a gentler one. "I believe I can be persuaded in another dance."

Invitation accepted.

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