Don't Go Quiet


edgar_icon.gif rue_icon.gif

Scene Title Don't Go Quiet
Synopsis Edgar offers Rue an olive branch and some advice.
Date December 17, 2011

Bannerman's Castle

The halls of Bannerman are usually filled with people, but so many have sequestered themselves to different parts of the castle for either fear of catching the flu or recovering from it. Unlike so many others, Edgar hasn't been worried. He'd been immunized quite some time ago. For him, it was like taking candy from a baby… almost quite literally because he butted in line in front of a baby. Still, there are sometimes that he feels a little bad for some of the things he's done, the immunization isn't one of them (not dying made it so worth it) but smashing Rue's face into the pavement is.

Food still being scarce, hes carefully crafted something that he knows all young women like. No, not Justin Timberlake/Bieber/Blake/or even Theraux, it's a taco. The shell is carefully crafted from a slice of bread that's been flattened and rolled out with a rolling pin. The filling is sparse, a few bits of lettuce, some tomato, onion (because who doesn't like onion), and a bit of shredded chicken, At least Edgar thinks it's chicken.

He's made a careful go of actually walking the meal down to the cellar, instead of running and risking it flying all over a passer by. When he reaches the spot Rue's been placed, a glare and a growl relieves her guard of duty. The speedster has promised to be good.

"Hey Smoosh, you awake?"

There's the sound of music and movement drifting up the stairwell as the guards at the door open up to let Edgar inside and to descend to the cellar. Yes, Smoosh, is awake. Red hair whips about the girl's face as she turns tight circles on the ball one one bare foot, the other tucked up against the opposite leg. This should be done en pointe, but Rue thought it would be terribly silly to ask someone to bring down her ballet slippers. She can dance the part of the black swan without them, and has many times before.

Her blue gaze is fixed on a crack in the wall to keep herself from getting dizzy as she turns round and round in time with the fast tempo. But when the speedster hits the landing and enters the room, she catches sight of his blurred shape mid-turn. The sudden halt of her pirouette en dehors causes her momentum to carry her forward, stumbling until she catches herself against the bars of her cell. Her chest rises and falls with ragged breaths as she stares at the Edgar.

She offers no greeting and raises no question.

"Brought your dinner," Edgar says as he raises his peace offering. The … taco? "It's a— uh— taco." He's put a lot of thought into the gift, apparently.

Reaching through the bars, he makes the attempt to pass it to her. "Lydia figgered you might be hungry," he explains, looking at the meal. Suddenly, he feels a bit self conscious about it, he thought it looked good upstairs but in this light? It looks like what he did to her face. "… and she said I owe you some sort've apology. So— sorry."

Then, since her guard was relieved, he takes up the post. He turns his back to allow her either privacy to eat or relief from seeing his face. Whichever her choice, not looking at her saves him from guilt.

A taco ("taco") is some sort of apology, Rue supposes. There's only a moment where she eyes it warily before accepting the peace offering through the bars, drawing back a step.

And Rue is starving. The privacy he affords her allows her the illusion of dignity, even as she's shoving the food into her mouth. It isn't as though she isn't being fed - Lynette and Megan are making damn sure she's being looked after - but Rue has been serving her sentence with a flurry of physical activity. Dance requires focus. It keeps her sane, but it burns a lot of energy.

She sits down on the end of the bed, one hand holding her meal and the other cupped just under her chin to catch the little bits that fall. Then, once the taco's been devoured, she licks the stray lettuce, tomato, and bread crumbs from her hand. That finished, she wipes both hands on her jeans and looks back up to her benefactor. "I forgive you."

There's a visible release of tension in his shoulders before he turns around to look at her. Forgiveness isn't something he's used to, except from his wife. "I dunno if y'did it or not," the speedster intones with a bit of a shrug, "if yeh did, my wife reminded me that we got sumthin' in common. If y'didn't, then we still got sumthin' in common.

"Either we're both cold blooded telepath stabbers or we'd both fight for our lives for what we believe in."

The scrutinizing gaze that he lays on her seems to ask — so which is it?

"It's the latter," Rue answers without hesitation. "Whether you believe that or not isn't up to me." She watches him not quite with suspicion, but with the caution that comes from having experienced so much betrayal in a short period of time. "Everyone's scared," she says quietly, explaining why he deserves her forgiveness. "You did what you thought you needed to do to help the people here. It's all any of us can do."

Rue scoots over to the end of her bed and reaches through the bars to turn off the radio, silencing the ballet suite. "Thank you for the food." Concern causes her brows to furrow slightly, her bruised mouth to go soft. "How are people holding up?"

"Not dyin'," Edgar replies mildly, "s'pose that's a good thing but yer righ', they's scared." He crosses his arms over his chest and flexes his biceps, clearly in discomfort with the conversation. Because feelings. He's a man and he's not supposed to feel them but there's clear worry in his countenance. "Half of them think you did it, half of them think you're innocent, and the other half don' know what's what cause they's burnin' with fever." No one ever said he was good at math.

"You ain't one'f us," he announces as a fact, "you or Company Man. Why'd you care so much what happens t'us?" Fact is, aside from Ethan and Nick, who are both related to Eileen in some fashion, Edgar has never met a non-evo who would. "I ain't never met a regular who gives a shit so much to give their life for us. They's usually taking."

When he asks why she cares, Rue smiles. "Caring about people, about all of you, is the right thing to do." That seems to be obvious to her. She's not oblivious to the suffering in the world, obviously. She's not naive to the fact that most people like her don't care about the Evolved, because it isn't their fight.

"History shows us what happens when good people choose inaction. When good people choose safety over doing what's right." Rue shakes her head. "I want to be on the right side of history." Even if it kills her.

Kicking his boot against the floor, Edgar goes silent as he listens to Rue. "Them Company men, they kill kids," his attitude is more accusing than his words. "There's loads'a kids here." And it seems to make him a little angry that the company is trusted to protect them. He's vocalized it enough to Lydia, but the empath has always been able to quell his fear about it.

"They thought they was doin' right when they were mowin' 'em down with their guns," he narrows his eyes at Rue, studying her carefully. "Hist'ry's decided by the winner, if we lose, we're the bad 'uns. Not them."

"But you're not going to lose," Rue says with a conviction she doesn't deserve to feel. Whether it's genuine or not is up for debate, but if Edgar's heard any of the rumors about her from the people who believe she's innocent, he knows she's always been the optimist, ready to rally spirits and cheer everyone on.

But her words were also deliberate. She may be an optimist, but she's not stupid. You're not going to lose, she said. Rue knows very well that she isn't likely to survive this. Any of it. Even if she's somehow found innocent. Even if she makes it out of this dungeon, off this island… She isn't like them. She doesn't have the evolutionary advantage.

"People can change." Again, there's conviction there. "Sometimes it's for the better, sometimes it's for the worst. But they can change. I think we're all on the same side."

Well, all except one.

"Ever the jar o' unicorn farts 'n rainbows, ain'tcha?"

It's undeniable, if their roles were reversed, Edgar wouldn't be so full of hope. In fact, he hadn't. "Maybe, just maybe you ain't the one that did it then," he concedes, stuffing his hands into the pockets of his old courderoys. "I know killers, I met plenty 'a them. They's got sumthin' you don't." Whatever it is, it's not conviction, she seems to have plenty of that.

"So, if you're in 'ere and you ain't done it," he surmises, the thoughts coming a little too slowly, "then you might be the only one safe fer now." At leasst as long as he's watching. He's already failed to kill the telepath and being a two time failure isn't something he'd like.

Rue's lips turn upward in a smirk, amused at his assessment of her. "That's me."

That smirk softens into something more bittersweet. "I don't think safe is the word I would use for this situation." Absently, fingers are pressed gingerly to the dark bruises on the left side of her face, working her jaw in a small somewhat circular motion to unwind some of the tension there. "But if what happens to me here is what the people need to feel secure… That will have been worth it."

Flicking the bar at high speed, Edgar lets the sound resonate within the stone walls before placing his finger on it to quell it. "Yeah," he acquiesces, "sorry 'bout that. Tell yeh what, if we get outta this, you can have a free shot." He'll even stand still. The smirk on his face as he says it is telltale of the fact that he doesn't believe anything she would swing could do much damage.

"Lemme give yeh a bit've advice, Smoosh," there's a certain seriousness in it. He closes in on the bars and lowers his voice, "dyin' ain't ever worth it. It's a waste. If you wanna make it worth it, you fight and you fight and you fight. Y'don't give up, ever."

The woman's throat works up and down to swallow back the emotion that grows thick there. "I'm not giving up," she tells him. Now she's lacking in that previous conviction. Maybe she's calling it acceptance, but it still looks like having given up from any other angle. "And if I go kicking and screaming all the way to the wall, what does that gain anybody?"

Smoothly, Rue rises to her feet and crosses to the bars where Edgar stands, curling her own fingers around them just above his hands. She meets his gaze with her uneven one, that left eye of her still slightly swollen. "If I go down fighting, that gives people doubt. It gives them guilt. If I go quietly down, they can believe they got the right person. They can feel safe again. They can breathe and think clearly again."

"Yeah, an' lettin' them believe they got the right person makes 'em vulner'ble to the real one," Edgar challenges, glaring at the young woman with an even and steady gaze. "Yeh don' do no one any favors makin' 'em believe a lie."

A beat.

"An what abou' yer friends? You go down quiet an' they all look the fool, don' they?" Yet another challenge, Edgar's logic train is running on full steam. Most of it is really Lydia's voice echoing through his mind. "If you're as innocent as you claim, girl, fight. You don' go quiet. Quiet gets kids killed."

Rue's eyes shut tightly. Everything he says is right, of course. If she lets people believe they're safe, that puts them in more danger - although she believes that whoever tried to kill Kaylee and succeeded with Amtullah isn't looking just for blood. Tears spill down her cheeks and when she looks at him again, she doesn't try to hide how scared she is.

"I can't stop what's coming," she whispers. "I don't have the ability." She isn't like them. "I need to believe that dying can serve some greater purpose. If it's just a waste, then—" A shudder runs through her and her bruised knuckles go white around the bars of her cell.

As cold as it may seem, Edgar smirks at the tears, the confession, the shudder. He lets out a single guffaw and shakes his head. "Yer a jar o' unicorn farts an' rainbows," he reminds her as he takes his hands out of his pockets and grabs a different bar, shaking it as though trying to shake Rue awake. "If that ain't an ability then what is?"

Then he lets loose a long breath, not a sigh, men don't sigh. "Dyin' ain't never got a purpose," he reiterates, giving the bars another shake, "Not when yer givin' up like this. That ain't no purpose."

It had been easier when she decided she was accepting her fate. When she was prepared to be some kind of martyr, romanticizing what looms on her horizon. This isn't unkind, but it is unwelcome. Rue's tongue darts between her lips to relieve the dryness there. "Rainbows don't save lives."

And unicorns don't exist.

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