Did You Accomplish What You Wanted


benji_icon.gif vincent_icon.gif

Scene Title Did You Accomplish What You Wanted
Synopsis The answer, in both cases, is halfway when Benji interrupts some midnight activities (not those) to deliver Vincent some news.
Date March 27, 2011

Bannerman's Castle

There are only so many ways to stay in shape living in a castle on a heavily forested island, and Vincent does not venture far away from his quarters often. He eats. Occasionally he shows up at a meeting to listen. He doesn't socialize. There are days at a time where his room is silent and a knock illicits no answer while he drifts around Manhattan without notice of leave.

But tonight he's here. Somewhere. Just not there. Resting instead thirty or forty feet up the side of a partially caved-in castle wall with a flashlight in his teeth while he twists tape around a sliced callus in the pad of his palm. It's freezing and the stone work is slippery but he is bored and restless and he has decided to go rock climbing, so he has found an entire wall of rock to climb.

Verbing the noun in a dark hoodie and jacket and dark jeans and dark running shoes. The flashlight clicks off when he's done, letting the moonlight back in to lift silver at the rise of his breath and sheen off the dome of his skull. He leans to look down. Then up. Then back down again, shoulders sloped briefly against something that looks a lot like exasperation now that he's had time to actually think about what he's doing with his time. "Did you accomplish what you wanted to today, Vincent?" he asks himself at a conversational mutter, voice lilted Praegerish at the brush and breath still uneven from effort it's taken to get even this far. "Well," he answers himself a beat later, twisting to seek out the next handhold off his ledge. "I slept all day and then I realized there was this great wall when I came out here, so I decided to climb on it."

At a glance, this might be an inconvenient time to talk to someone. But there's no one else around. Thus, Benji Foster deduces, it's a great time.

Pale hands settle like twin birds upon broke-down ledge up above, and someone peeks over the side to assess the progress of the man below. Vincent, being of a determined nature, is someone Benji expects to accomplish his goals, and so he waits where the wall is knocked into a room with a precarious hang on rooftop above him, supported by pillars of wood built in, likely, at a later time. There's a corner of window frame still in place, clean of glass, and so it's here that he waits, but not silently.

"Mister… Lazzaro?"

The words come quietly but audible. Audible enough and just barely, a weighted hesitation between the two words. From what Vincent can see, Benji is also dressed in customary black and navy, with the hang of a blue scarf dangling tassles over the side of ruined brickwork. "Is that safe?"

Halfway through wedging his hand fast into the hold he's found, Vincent stiffens. Not accustomed to being snuck up on. Especially not in a situation where he is doing something embarrassing. Mainly because he isn't accustomed to doing things that are embarrassing, either.

The temptation to vanish and claim no knowledge of the incident later is uncomfortably overwhelming, but he holds his ground. As Lazzaro's do. And after a few resigned breaths and a pass of his free hand across his brow, he tilts his head back after the source of Benji's voice.

"What? Talking to myself?" The same hand scuffs under his nose. "Probably not."

That gets a kindly amused smile, if ever-hesitant, a cant to Benji's head that reads as fascinated as he watches Vincent from his perch. Sets his elbows now, against the ledge, hands laced together and body at a sinuous tilt so as best to look past them and downwards. It would likely be Vincent's own reclusiveness that means they have not seen much of each other since the initial meeting, but Benji hasn't been the social butterfly he could be either, especially not in the past week which marks itself with a grain of unshavenness on his jaw, the faded scars on his face, less obvious than freckles but there.

"Well. Oscar Wilde said that he kept his own diaries on trains because he always wanted something engaging to read for the journey," he offers. "But in case you don't find yourself that inspiring, I wanted to talk to you about something."

Now Lazzaro really does vanish. Not before the line of his mouth flattens against comparisons drawn to Wildes Oscar or otherwise, though. The only way he's ever had with words is 'straight through.' Into the breach and everything.

Pitch and ink dissipates away under blue moonlight and a second later a column of the same sooty stuff rises from the cobblestone at Benji's back. The transition from vapor to Vincent is ethereal as ever; there's no sound or tangible change in pressure or presence to accompany the first breath he has lungs to exhale with. A tendril of remnant excess blends into his sleeve; long shadows mask his eyes and bleed dull the rumple of his coat.


Vincent arrives to what he expects, the slender man alone in long woolen coat and scarf and scuffed shoes, with the addition of an electric lamp at Benji's feet — currently turned off out of conservation needs, allowing the moonlight to do its thing. Younger man doesn't quite startle, but there is speed in the way he straightens his back and turns to face fellow government card wielder, former or otherwise. That heat threatens to rise up under his skin and add colour to his face at flatly given command, but other signs of composure maintained, like. Eye contact. Posture.

He leans back against the wall, and despite the very dangerous drop he flirts with, he takes up a seat on brick and wood, his feet balanced firm and hands rigid. "There's a girl that lives here. She goes back and forth, anyway, a Ferrymen. Rue Lancaster. She thinks she might have been followed on her way to another network hub.

"By her aunt?"

There isn't really much that's slender about Vincent Lazzaro. He's solid, strong-headed and normally fastidiously kempt, after the fashion of a doberman or some other working breed refined for show. Scruffier lately. And out of practice, socially. It isn't nice to tell people what to do. There's a stubbly texture to the haze of his remnant hairline and more grey bristled on his chops than he'd like to see in a mirror, but it's obvious he hasn't been looking in one as much. Why bother?

Benji complies all the same, feeding his ego while he taps a cigarette out of a crumpled box and offers the rest forth in his taped hand, automatically falsely companionable. Automaton policeman going through the motions months after being decomissioned until the younger man gets to that last part and he pauses. One of those significant pauses, where he doesn't really startle but his hand pauses on his lighter and his stare ticks boot black from the night sky to scan Foster's baby blues instead.

"Who was it that you said you worked for, again?"

Feet kick a little where ankles hook in lazy swing that rocks himself on his perch, a little precariously, and the smile Vincent gets this time is nervous, but gaze held. Offer of cigarette gets a lifted hand which then flattens in polite decline of cigarettes, resting once more against wooden ledge. "The Department of Ev— uh. Bailey?" You remember Agent Bailey, Vincent Lazzaro, or Benji might at least hope he does, ducking his head and twisting enough to study his blunt nails where they set against the wood when eye contact seems like it's had its run.

Silver adding some metal and texture to drab wool and cotton, in the fine chain obscured around his neck. "You don't make public the kind of information you did without having connections, Mister Lazzaro. Who was it you worked for?"

Fhlck. Now Vincent does light up, spark a temporary wash of orange across his face that leaves his eyes pitch black behind the cherry. "Right," he says, and drags toxic relief, "that was the bullshit answer you gave me before I decided to unlock the door anyway." You know. As opposed to grilling him or pushing him out through the window.

Slowly, formerly Agent Lazzaro advances on the precipice's edge, sure-footed as a goat and with even less to fear from falling. "I was being paid by the government but working for myself, which is one of many reasons that I am currently unemployed."

Attention snaps back up and eyes grow a little wide at that first part, Benji opening his mouth to protest but whatever words were lined up ultimately give up and he releases only a small mewl of denial. Teeth click back shut, and a hand comes up as if to scrub away still warmly pink skin. "Rue told Nora to tell me. Because of the rumours about my affiliations, and you know how fast word travels." As Vincent nears, instinct has Benji turning his head away from where wind tugs and pulls at the hazy smoke ribboning up off lit cigarette end, although that's the only complaint he has in him.

"I don't think there's much more I can explain about the situation, do you?"

"You could explain why you're telling me this in the middle of the night as opposed to informing the Council at first opportunity," says Vincent, level and downward as necessitated by their respective elevations. After all, 'this' sounds distinctly like it might be an emergency situation. Or at the very least, something people should be aware of in their day-to-day decision-making activities.

Still. He isn't in any rush to go and tell in turn, content to stand and smoke with his right arm supported by the set of his left across his m

Silence whistles through the gapped wall in the form of wind, and a speculative look now cast upon the former agent, stare as ice-like as ever and just as difficult to see through. There are parts of him more mobile, like the fidget of his hands and the less voluntary things like wind kicking through dark hair in constant need of a cut, and the merry blue tassles on scarf flung around his shoulders. The uncertain twitch of expression that conveys more shyness than he is currently allowing for. Voice remains at that quiet near-whispered level, but no less audible than it was before.

"If you, in all your wisdom, think we need to tell the Council about the threat that is Agent Adrianne Lancaster and see where that takes things," Benji says, with whimsical tone, neat enunciation, and a slight tilt to his posture, "then I'd rather defer that call to you. I don't want to raise the alarm uninformed. Not without consulting a senior agent."


Again there's a pause on Vincent's end, the span that should be occupied by another drag spent by the wind pulling smoke slackly along instead. His stare is unfiltered, this time, crude oil devoid of reflected light while muscle winds itself taut through the clamp of his jaw. An appraising lift and tilt at his chin acknowledges the potential for humor to exist in what Benji's insinuating.

He just doesn't look like he finds it funny. Like. At all.

Neither does Benji, at least, and where possible sharpness exists a moment ago, it dulls again as if silence is enough to blunt it. Mouth pulls into frown and he glances away from oil-slick stare, chin tucking in. Then, he hops off the ledge with in a short, near jovial movement — the right way, mind, his boots setting back down on the floor littered in the debris of exposure, leaves and grit. Steals back up the gas lamp, but doesn't go about struggling it back on, clasping the silver handle two-handed in front of him.

"You unlocked the door for me," he says, after a second's shy hesitation. "And I told you I wouldn't cross you. This— isn't me crossing you. Or even them."

There are more questions Vincent could ask. When was this. Which hub was it. But they really only calculate into how much time he has to procrastinate, and in the end he watches Benji hop to his feet in more of the same oppressive silence. One may get the impression that he does not like being manipulated.

Especially not by floppy, limp-wristed agents of mystery and intrigue half his age.

Nevertheless, he's going to go and talk to her. He just doesn't have to say so. Not where it feels more to his advantage to smoke and say, "I see." and churn deftly into nothing instead.

Another generic vowel sound of quiet exclamation, Benji turning a half-circle in enough swiftness that he's close to off-balancing himself completely. The lamp creaks and swings in his hands, before he huffs out an exhale of whiter vapour, and tentatively puts out a hand to wave around the space that Vincent used to occupy before he gives a hn of secret amusement, retracts back into himself; a skinny configuration of narrow limbs and folding wool.

There is satisfaction in the small smile, obscured in shadows and the fact that he is theoretically alone. He didn't get pushed off a ledge. He is not taking silence and departure as refusal. All in all—

It could be worse. His steps don't echo loud when he slinks back into the dark of the castle.

Vincent waits to condense himself back into a whole until Benji's footsteps have faded, dark eyes focused flatly after the path of his retreat. Cigarette still lit, he eventually turns to seat himself stiffly on the abandoned ledge to think.

He'll be gone by morning.

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