Finding Ryans


emily_icon.gif ryans2_icon.gif

Scene Title Finding Ryans
Synopsis In search of the dreamwalking Ryans, Emily encounters a close relation and tries to enlist their help in ending dreams so real, they might actually be visions.
Date November 1, 2018

Ryans, Alexander
Ryans, Benjamin
Ryans, Delia
Ryans, Ingrid
Ryan, Katherine
Ryan, James
Ryans, Sean

The worn piece of paper with names and addresses is recrumpled and shoved into Emily's pocket after confirming the address on the brownstone before her. It had been a long day so far, chasing down every listed Ryan or Ryans she could find in the Safe Zone.

If this wasn't it, she was going to give up for the day and try again tomorrow.

Residence of Benjamin Ryans

November 1, 2018

3:46 PM

One foot carefully in front of the other, Emily climbs the porch steps with a sniff, shrugging inside her winter coat to adjust how it sits on her shoulders. She balls her hand into a fist, knocking loudly with the outside of her hand, the side of her crutch also awkwardly banging into the door as it hangs off her arm. She shuffles back a step while she waits, a sighed cloud of breath escaping her into the cold air.

She won't get an answer right away, but she can hear the older home faintly shift denoting the approach of someone to the door. Old home sometimes make stealth tough.

The curtained window next to the door shifts slightly, if one pays attention enough; whoever owns this home seems rather cautious of visitors. This is followed by the sound of shifting bolts before the door opens slightly, letting a rather large and fluffy cat out or more she pushes her way out.

Whiskers curls forward and nose working, the large maine coon chirps out a greeting.

Finally, the door opens more to show an older tall man. Expression mostly unreadable, except for the edge of curiosity at the reason someone so unfamiliar might have for being at the door. There is a short awkward moment until he realizes he should probably say something.

“Can I help you?” His deep rumbling voice flat and unreadable.

Brows arch involuntarily as Emily notes the majestic cat emerge as a cloud of fluff in the narrow space between the door and frame. She mouths a greeting down to it, grip on her crutches flexing as she resists the urge to kneel down and greet the cat properly. The chirp elicits a subvocalized, "Well, aren't you just the prettiest…"

So enthralled with the feline she is, she forgets to look up at the next Ryans on her list. It takes until he speaks before she's able to pull her attention to a human height. "Sorry," she hastily apologizes. "I'm looking for a certain Ryans. You wouldn't happen to—"

There's a hitch in her cadence as recognition flashes over her. For some reason, the young stranger recognizes the gentleman at the door, a mixture of shock and surprise and satisfaction seeming to reign…

And then she sneezes. Maybe she just had to sneeze.

"Shit." Emily grumbles, her crutch remaining clutched to her right forearm as she lifts her hand to rub at her face. She seems keenly aware this isn't the best first impression.

"Sorry." she forces out again, annoyed.

Eyes half closed in acceptance of this human, moving to curl around her legs with a loud purr before going back in the house with a flick of that fluffy tail. Ruma made her inspection and approves. Not that Ryans is paying any attention to that; but clearly that cat believes she has a right to her opinion. The cat brushes along Ben’s leg before disappearing into the shadows of his house.

“I’m guessing by that look, you found him,” Eyes narrow slightly, having noticed the look of recognition. There is a moment of consideration, before the door is pushed further open. “Come on, before you catch your death out there.” He glances over he shoulder as he steps out of the way. “Fire going in the fireplace.” He motions that way, though there is no hand attached the arm that directs her.

"I didn't come all this way just to let some cold get me." Emily rumbles under her breath, but she nods gratefully at the invitation inside. Julie would probably scold her and shove who knew how many medications at her later if she so much as sneezed at home and had to explain where she'd been, but at least she wouldn't be heading back entirely empty-handed for her efforts.

The threshold is glared at as she steps up it, careful to not avoid upsetting her balance as she steps into the stranger's home. Her attention naturally flicks in the direction of the retreating cat and its destination first, and then to the fire in the hearth, once she's inside. She pauses to nod again at the man in thanks, not entirely sure what to say next.

'Yeah, the last time I saw you, you were sleeping on my couch.' rated pretty high on the list of 'things that shouldn't be said without context.'

"I mean… Pretty sure you're the right Ryans. Or close enough. It's a 'her' I'm looking for." She visibly hesitates by the sofa after making her way over to it with small, uncertain steps, not feeling bold enough to invite herself to sit. Just being out of the cold was already an improvement, as far as she's concerned.

"I— well, maybe it's good luck I ran into you instead of her?" she intones, clearly uncomfortable with that realization even as she has it. Emily takes in a breath, looking toward the fire to focus her thoughts. She doesn't seem like the type to normally be this indirect, but something's weighing on her. "I don't know her name, but she's messed with my dreams before."

She draws in a breath, like she'll explain more, but the words die before exhale. Her brow starts to furrow, just how unsettled she is apparent by the way her voice drops. "It …wasn't funny this time. And this didn't feel like a fucking accident. She needs to stop."

There is a flicker of amusement at the young woman’s defensive nature. “I don’t imagine you would be easily taken down with a cold.” Closing the door behind her, he adds. “Just merely an expression.” He motions to the girl to have a seat wherever, not much of one for a lot of words… most of the time.

Ruma hops up to where she can stretch out in front of the fire and let the fire and bricks warm her fur.

The old man listens to his guest. The fact that she wasn’t exactly here for him catches his interest, the mention of a ‘her’ could be just about anyone in his life. But then dreams are mentioned and that narrows it down to two… and even further as she continues.

There is a deep and heavy sigh and fingers press to the bridge of his nose. “Delia,” Ben rumbles out the name of his youngest. She was impulsive, unpredictable, and emotionally volatile. Benji was far more mature than his mother and for the old man, seemed less prone to episodes like that. “Unfortunately, I am not the one to stop her. She is a willful child… and tends to…” What was the wording he was looking for? “Rebel” - that was the word - “when I try to intervene.”

"Most people say 'catch cold', not 'catch your death'." Emily points out, leaning back against the arm of the couch. "Though, clearly I'm already freezing, so there's that. You've got me there, father of hellions." Plural. But she wasn't here to talk about both of the ones she knew, just the one she felt was haunting her.

She turns away from the fire to give the older man a measured look, giving off the impression she's choosing her next words more carefully than the last. "And respectfully, I'd have to disagree. You'd probably be the best person to tell her to stop making other people dream about their father dying."

Emily doesn't look away again, only shakes her head slightly. "I've … never had a dream like that one before." she stresses, finding the justification necessary. "It was real. I could have sworn it was, even after I woke up. It had to have been her." Delia.

Rather then correct the young woman again, Ryans eyes her with an unreadable expression. You deal with the younger generations long enough, you learn when to just let something go, rather than argue it to the ground.

However, when it comes to Delia and him…

“If your father came at you telling you do stop, when he is already the one that hurt you, how would you react?” The father dying was a big clue. He doesn’t sit, rather stands behind his chair, hand resting on the back. He cast a look at the fire, turning thoughtful. “She might listen to Nick or her kid, but me….” He sighs a bit and looks back at Emily. “I’ll see if I can get ahold of them.” Communication anymore was a bit tricker in this new world.

She seems to take some measure of peace from that, tension in her shoulders easing away after a long, slow sigh. She sits for a long moment in silence before saying, "Thank you." She had enough father-related stress recently without it creeping through her dreams like that. Hopefully Delia would be shamed into knocking it off, if her own dad was the one who engaged her.


"I don't know the answer to your question, though. I get the feeling my family dynamic is probably different than yours." That they at least talked with each other was the first indication. But there definitely was strain there, remembering how 'go call your dad or something' had been a slap in the face remark for Lucille. Her brow furrows as she recalls that.

Her arms fold before her, hesitation creeping into her voice for the first time. After all, she was bringing up something deeply personal she really didn't have much insight into — or want to. She wants to extricate herself as quickly as possible from it, in fact. "I don't think I was supposed to see any of what I did, the first time she tripped through my dreams." With a whole family's worth of drama in tow, to boot.

"But." she glances sidelong at the older man, then gestures to him with a nudge of her chin. "They care about you. If they haven't told you."

Something she found important he knew, apparently.

The old man is quiet for a moment, but there is a small bob of his head. “I know,” he rumbles out. “In fact, they don’t have to tell me.” There is a flick of a smile that touches his lip, thinking about his children. “Our family isn’t big on expressing out emotions,” he says and then after second thought he adds, “Except Delia. She’s very emotional and unfortunately, doesn’t deal with it well.”

Deciding to stop hovering, Ben moves around the chair to sit in it, which seems to be a prompt for cat to move from in front fire and hop into his lap. “I do imagine no two families are exactly alike.” Even for a man, his size, the cat looks huge as it sprawls out in his lap. “So, I should ask, since you are a guest in my house,” he studies the young woman. “Who are you?”

A simple question, curious; but not accusing her of anything. He just simply asks.

The elder Ryans finally taking a seat himself appears to be what encourages Emily to finally to do the same, sliding off the armrest and onto the couch itself. She works her arms free of her forearm crutches, holding them between her knees.

She rubs her hands together for warmth, fingers trembling though she doesn't seem the least bit bothered by it. His question about who she is is met with a nod and a long exhale before she sniffs. "My name is Emily. Emily R…" She can't bring herself to complete the lie, brow burrowing at the fire. "Epstein."

She looks off to the side, neither at the fire nor at him as she centers her thoughts. She seems on the verge of asking a question, but finds her answer before she can, that furrow lifting free as she considers the hazy memory. Her elbows rest on her knees, crutches tilted slightly so they lean off to one side of her face. "…All daughters?" she asks as she turns back toward him, though her visual attention is pointed at the sprawled cat. "I only met Lucille and —Delia." A slight shrug. "Lucille and I didn't get on well either." A muted sigh escapes her after that. Well, at least she was getting along with their dad… so far.

"Seems like a big family." is a segue said with a tinge of appreciation.

The name gets an upward tick of Ben’s brows, a sign of surprise in the normally stoic man. “Related to Avi Epstein?” he finds himself asking.

Though on the subject of the composition of his children’s sexes, Ryans doesn’t answer right away, giving some attention to the cat who is enjoying the scratching of her chin; the purrs heard clearly over the crackling of the fireplace. “I have one son, my oldest. Then four girls.” He has always included Ingrid as one of his, even if they haven’t seen much of each other.

Anytime you throw time travel into the equation, it gets complicated.

"Yes." is Emily's flat answer to the question. It doesn't appear to be a source of pride. She watches the cat for a long moment, the knit to her brow coming undone as she listens to the purr.

She looks back toward the fire with an indifferent shrug. "Why, do you know him?"

“I do,” confirms Benjamin, offering her a bit of a smile. “He and I both worked to protect the Ferrymen. Even fought together in the Civil War. Not that I have seen much of him since the trials. He is busy with Wolfhound and I’m — ” there is a bit of resigned sigh, “—retired.” Though that might not be true anymore, at least he isn’t working for anyone at the moment.

After the cat is satisfied with the attention it has received, the coon slides off the old man’s lap and lazily sashays her way over to Emily. With a hop, the big cat joins her on the couch, stretching out in the freespace and looking up at the visitor with half lidded eyes.

Emily doesn't return the smile, only nodding at the explanation. She's silent until she's joined by the new guest, at which point she reaches out with one hand, knuckles loosely curled to let her sniff and decide. Since the cat doesn't shy away, Emily runs the side of her hand along Ruma's head and back.

Suddenly, she's talkative again. "Well, he's still alive." she offers up, voice light as she scratches behind the cat's ear. "So there's that."

"I'd tell you more, but that's about all I know." Now she smiles, but it's forced and she still doesn't look up. "But it is nice to know there's war heroes that do still talk with their daughters. Even when it's inconvenient for them." She continues to softly stroke the cat's head and neck, running her fingers through her long coat.

The old man is quiet as he watches the cat interact with the girl and listens to what she has to say. It was a pity really, though that emotion doesn’t show on his quieted features. Pleased to be accepted, the cat inches it’s body over until she is a big furry blanket draped across the young woman’s lap; head and back legs resting on the couch. The purr coming from her is loud, very loud. “Ruma,” Ryans sighs out, “If she gets to be too much, just shove her off.” His only answer from the cat is a flick of a tail tip, otherwise, he is ignored.

That offered up, he turns his attention back to the subject of Avi. “I can’t really speak for his motivations. I can say that, each man handles trauma differently. Just… be there. He’s been through a lot.” Some of it Ryans himself has seen, but unlike Avi, the man sitting in front of her was a zen-level master at compartmentalizing. “My girls were pretty persistent with me, so you might need to be the same. Study him and see how best to approach. Much like you would a wounded animal.”

Fingers drum on the arm of the chair, “He’s rough and belligerent, but there is a heart under there. Many men layer on walls to protect themselves. Those of us from the older generations,” What? “—that is what we were taught.”

It's a silent thing, unless you count the relief that flickers in her expression as speaking for itself, but Emily is just as happy to have the cat. "Ruma." she murmurs out appreciatively, carefully reaching around the flopped down cat to place her crutches beside her instead of in front of her. Now, she can focus on giving the lucky (not)-kitten affection with both hands. She shakes her head to indicate shoving her away probably won't be required.

Her attention on the maine coon lets her do a bit of compartmentalization of her own, allowing her to hear what Benjamin suggests and not immediately snipe off comments about it, for that would get in the way of what she's currently doing. The comment about treating him like a wounded animal does earn a snort of derision, though.

"I know you mean well, but I refuse to be the one to make that effort. I hear…" she pauses like she'd like to stop talking, but sighs shortly and continues on after running her hand down the cat's back again. "—little enough from him as it is. And then the first time I did see him, after…"

It's not immediately clear if there is some weighty event that should follow that, or if she simply doesn't remember. Another stroke to Ruma's head wipes the slate clean and lets her start again.

"There's nothing that particularly screams 'wounded animal' about throwing someone against the wall." Emily remarks dismissively. She's immediately shaking her head after, knowing perfectly well that there's plenty that does in fact scream that about Avi's overreaction. Not that it excused it. The process of that realization is visible on her face. "I don't know." is her more honest admission.

“To each their own,” Is Ben’s only comment about her refusing to make the effort. “As the old saying goes, ‘you can lead the horse to water, but you can’t make them drink.’” It applied to both parties really.

The idea that Avi threw someone against the wall is particularly alarming. It shows in his normally neutral expression. He isn’t really sure what to say at that, a brow tips upward. “Threw someone against the wall?” he repeats blandly. At least, he doesn’t seem surprised by it; which means he had an inkling that Avi was capable of doing that. However, one doubt lingers…

“Not you I hope?” She looks fragile, despite the attitude. Though by Ben’s tone, he doubts very much it was her.

She's quiet, fingers running through Ruma's long hair. It's impossible to know why it takes her so long to answer, but she finally shakes her head. "No." she confirms. "I had to… Drag him off before he did something stupid, though." With how thin, how unsteady Emily presented, it leaves the question of how. Had he been that out of it? Or had she been that angry?

She's withdrawn into herself, minding the fire with her eyes and the cat with her hands. A needy chirp from the animal reminds Emily the regal feline deserves more than an absent pat, which she apologizes for with a glance and a careful rub behind Ruma's ear.

"So long as the dreams stop, I'll go back to being fine." she insists absently. "I just…" Fingers swipe one last time down Ruma's back before she nudges the cat off her lap. "Just need that to happen." Emily's hastily coming to her feet, her whole being weary. Her ice-blue eyes aren't able to focus on anything in particular as she affixes her crutches back to her arms.

Ruma lazily slides off the young woman’s and gives a long and lazy stretch and a big yawn that flashes sharp teeth. The girl gets rubbed on a few times - good luck getting all that hair off - and moves to sit pretty at the door, fluffy tail curling around large paws.

Noticing his guest is getting ready to leave, Ben pushes out of his chair and moves with a certain amount of grace past her and stops hand on the door handle. “I will do the best I can, that is the most I can promise at this point,” at least Ryans is honest about it. Rather giving false hope. As soon as the door opens, Ruma slips out with tail like a flag, promptly sprawling out a few steps down, watching the humans. “If Delia keeps it up let me know.”

"It's better than nothing. I know this came from far left field." It's the closest thing Emily will issue to an actual apology for showing up unannounced on a stranger's doorstep. She takes her time in coming to the door, glancing up toward Ben with a grateful nod for his help. Once it's open, her attention is on Ruma again, this time much less affectionately. She already wasn't looking forward to those stairs.

"Hope your…" she says with a sluggish lift of one shoulder as she tries to find the right way to phrase it, "everything turns out all right, and all."

Ben is giving the cat a flat look, when Emily speaks up again. “Not as far right field as you would think.” He could think of a million things further abroad than a mysterious girl showing up on her doorstep to complain about his girls.

“And to be honest,” He rumbles blandly, as he admits, “it isn't the first time and somehow I doubt it will be the last,” for once he offers a hint of a lopsided smile.

“Take care of yourself out there, young lady,” His head tips slightly towards the great big world outside. “And I hope that Avi comes to his senses for your sake.” Not a whole lot of confidence in his words.

Stepping back from the door, Ryans gives a sharp whistle. Ruma doesn't turn a look back at him, instead an ear flicks back, then the other follows. Eventually, the cat moves, coming back to the house and the promise of food.

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