Garden Of Good And Morally Gray


huruma_icon.gif ryans_icon.gif

Scene Title Garden Of Good And Morally Gray
Synopsis Gossip is a bumper crop.
Date May 22, 2018

NYC Safe Zone

The quick onset of springtime brings warm temperatures and breezy clouds, perfect weather for the residents of the Safe Zone to start breathing life into their surroundings once more. People that have their own homes utilize yards and raised beds on rooftops or porches, and even the Memorial Garden has been a bustle of work. The people renting plots start tilling early, once the ground is more dry than wet. Still, some of them experience the occasional bout of muddy soil. For the most part, people concentrate too much to notice.

Huruma spent the better part of an hour volunteering a hand so that she could get a closer look at everything. Maybe asking some questions here and there. Nobody was going to say No to a strong person wanting to haul anything, right? May as well chat them up. Sounds like Delia runs the place with a firm but gentle sort of fist. Not iron. More like copper. People feel a sense of safety there, and the empath can taste it. But once things have been pushed and dug and tilled, her expertise seems to end there.

Oddly enough, she’s got a bug for it once she runs out of things to assist on— maybe it’s the hands-on that gets her. Better than wasting her stay. Unfortunately for her, people that rent these plots know what they are doing and don’t really have time to entertain her desire for learning something useful about this—

—but that doesn’t mean someone else doesn’t!

The day is still warm enough despite the heavy looking, fluffed up clouds; with this she supposes checking to see if Ryans is outside working is worth the stop— and besides, she bothers him all the time anyway. As if she wouldn’t stop regardless.

Rather than knock at the front door she sidles around the side of the house first to check the backyard. Hopefully he doesn’t have any bear-traps set out.

No bear traps, just an attack cat who is currently coming at her at a full run. Of course, Ruma’s idea of attack is to wind around legs purring. She is not a very good attack cat. By now, the sounds of someone toiling about, reflects off the buildings and reaches her ears, even as the cat is trying to trip her up.

The scent of freshly disturbed soil will come when she steps into the back yard, which is in a bit of chaos. Without kids, Benjamin Ryans is able to take advantage of the small bit of ground that he has in his backyard. It is not unusual for people close to him being sent home with produce during the height of the growing season. Strawberries, being a favorite, grow from a sort of wall that is made of rain gutters; probably scavenged from outlying areas. You make space where you don’t have a lot.

This is what he is currently working on, pallets of started seeds set around him nearby. A small hand shovel is working at the packed soil, preparing it for a new crop.

The furry little doppelganger does not get the typical vocal greeting— rather, Huruma leans down to scratch the feline behind the ears and scoop her up into one arm. It's nice to see you too, cat. The tall woman pauses at the corner of yard and house, other hand rubbing the cat under its chin. She watches only for a few moments before announcing her presence.

“I like those. Cute.” Huruma is considering the gutter piping lined against the wall when she speaks. Her olive drab shorts go to the knee, dirty marks across the thighs and scuffed on her white shirt as well. “Thought you'd be back here… not the only one taking advantage of the weather.” A smile ghosts across her lips.

There is no protest from the cat when she is scooped up, Ruma is quite happy to allow this. She informs the human she is pleased with eyes slit with pleasure and a loud rumbled purr.

Turning to look over his shoulder, Benjamin offers sher a bit of a smile, “Huruma.” His tone says he is pleased to see her. He finishes pressing soil around a tiny sproutling, before giving her his full attention. Brushing his hand against dirt smudge pants he glances up at the sky briefly. “I’ve been going crazy being coup up in there. Figured I’d get these strawberries planted at least.”

The cat vibrates with that familiar purr, and Huruma's hand lingers some more at the back of an ear. Her other senses pick up on his good mood, and it cements her small smile for a little longer.

“Maybe next winter you should think about a greenhouse, mm?” Huruma edges closer, setting the cat down on the back steps with one last brush of her fluffy tail. “I went to the memorial gardens to see what I could help with, but past the heavy lifting I wasn't much use…” Her smile there is a touch more embarrassed. “They did not seem to want a newbie bothering them planting, though…”

The preface is followed by a not so subtle crouch on the other side of his workspace, hands on her knees and feet together. She raises a brow in question. “If you don't mind.”

Ruma follows after the tall woman, trotting past, to rub along the leg of her person. He watches Huruma’s approach with a bit of a smile. “I have considered it.” the greenhouse that is. “Thought about adding chickens, too. “

His answer to her unspoken inquiry, is to offer over the hand shovel, but not before he points to a line that has been scratched into the blade. “ You make a hole no deeper than that.“ Directing her to a bag of blood meal that sits, sagging against the lowermost row of rain gutter planters. “Add a little to the hole. This will help keep it fed… Then…“ Using the blunted arm, he pulls the tray of started plants close. “Add one and pack the soil back in.”

She gives a puff of a chuckle at the mention of chickens, and lets that speak for her. Just picturing him being chased by chickens can do that— chickens are kind of assholes. Much to her relief, Ben also decides that she's not getting in the way and shows her what to do. Not many steps, but still something she wants to learn more about.

“The furthest I've gotten is keeping easy houseplants alive.” At least these plants are already begun. Huruma touches some of the tiny sprouts before taking up the trowel and beginning the process. “I've heard that Pippa loves all of this too.” Gardening.

“We all start somewhere,” Ben comments with a small smile, leaving her to her task; but, only so that he can find another hand shovel to use. Starting on the next row of strawberries. Gardening can be very serious business after all.

The mention of his littlest daughter, get a only slightly brighter smile. “She’s been helping be just about every spring since we all moved back into the Safe Zone.” Before that she was in Canada. Just like his other kids he missed a lot of important firsts, not that he lets it bother him too much. Each time, it was a good reason.

It only took Huruma years to want to learn. But better late than never in this day and age. She issues a small laugh for the first comment nonetheless, careful with the seedlings at first. They are a little sturdier than she seems to give them credit for, treating the first few a bit like glass.

“What else do you usually put down?” Huruma looks up only once as she assists, attention otherwise divided onto the strawberries. “I remember Delia taking her anger out on your squash, once.”

Pausing in his own work, he looks behind him at the various raised garden bed, Ben seems to think on that. “I think it depends on my mood. This year, I plan on squashes again. Cucumber, zucchini. I usually have a good variety.”

An amused look is angled Huruma’s way. “Hopefully, that can be avoided this time.” His daughter taking out anger on his garden. “She has her community garden. Plenty of goods to smash with a bat, should she feel the need.”

A brow arches at the woman, “So I have to ask. Why the sudden interest in gardening?”

“Could always corner the cannabis market… “ Delia does have her very own place to wreck this time, though he's right— hopefully that is past. Huruma's eyes seem to laugh for her as he answers, and his curiosity over her own gets a less amused look— more neutral, lips closed and eyes hooded. She considers her answer a little longer than expected.

“You're not allowed to laugh.” Huruma warns, edging some levity back, though gently. Not that she really thinks he would. Her hands stay busy and she glances up to him before turning her gaze back to the young plants. “It's— I want to try to foster some… ’less destructive habits’.” It sounds like she is quoting something, hash marks in the shift of her voice— although not at all mocking. It is something important. And next, quieter. “Everything has always been destruction and discord. At first because of other people, and then it was all me.”

“Can you tell that I am staying at Lynette’s for a reason?” Huruma's low chuckle is a clear jab at herself, eyes not straying from her work.

The cannabis joke gets a flat look at first, he’s old enough that in his mind it is still a ‘bad thing,’ but then it falls away and he manages a small chuckle. “I’ll leave that to my daughter.” Is isn’t saying she would, but she was the better one to do something like that. Should she choose too.

“Less destructive is good,” a smile tugs at the corner of his mouth. “That’s pretty much why I got started after I retired to take care of the girls.” He sighs out softly in that memory. “It’s good for keeping you busy at least.” He offers an understanding smile to the woman.

Huruma’s hands loosen a bit of root on the next plant she tucks in, the idle work of her fingers showing exactly what he says. Keeping her busy. She looks up and sees the understanding expression he wears, the nature of it softening the edges of her own features.

“I knew you would get it. Even if it is a little different,” Huruma’s own breath puffs out in a small sigh, brow pinching. “It is still sort of the same.” They did different things, and chose this way for different reasons, but they both were looking for the same result. “It’s about putting your energy elsewhere, isn’t it? Other than inward.” After the first handful of plants, she is confident enough to do the others with expedience, and it is not much longer before the strawberries peek out from their new perches.

“And I do not see anything wrong with you making a niche market. It would also make your nerves less raw, I guarantee it.” Huruma grins over her shoulder as she pats in the last plant.

That gets an amused sound that might be a scoff. “No, thank you,” Ben angles a look her way, equally amused. “I’ll stick with whiskey.”

He pulls a rag out of his back pocket and rubs at the soil on his hand looking out at the raised planters waiting to be worked as well. “And your right. It’s about putting energy to something else, by the end of a good day of gardening, I’m exhausted.” Part of that might come from his advancing age. He was heading into his 50’s again. “Plus, it will be useful during the shortage. I can help family and friends. So there is something in that,” he rumbles out softly.

Just beyond them, Ruma is busying herself with rolling in the warm soil, before laying sprawled out in the sunlight. Tail flicking this way and that.

“If you ever change your mind, you know where to find me.” Huruma resists the urge to wink, but she does wag a finger at him.

“I am not looking forward to when planting strawberries exhausts me.” Huruma leans down onto a knee to dust up fallen soil under the planters with her hands; she scoops the extra to where they can reuse it. “But for now it's— something good.” Her voice eases somewhat, and she nods just once for his mention of the shortage. “I expect this season we may see agricultural abilities coming out of the woodwork…” A little exciting?

“She certainly knows how to relax. Take some notes.” There is an arch of brow and a laugh from Huruma. If only because now there is a lingering image of Ben rolling in the dirt.

The cat twists a bit to look back at them, as if she knows they are talking about her. Except, she suddenly rolls up to her feet and crouches. Clearly, she sees something worth hunting. “She does certainly take after you,” the old man teases, turning to examine the work they have done.

Pleased with her work, Ryans gives a bit of a nod. “I think you’ll do.” Moving to one end of the strawberry rows, he starts placing small black tubing into place.

“I suspect you are right,” Ben says as he pushes little black stakes into the soil. “As well as people wanting to try to make as much money as they can off something like that.”

The cat crouching at them does look convincing, doesn't it? Huruma just snorts softly at his tease, lifting her chin slightly when he mitigates it with a compliment. She didn't destroy anything— so she figures it is a win.

“You had already done the hard part.” Huruma chuckles and moves back up to her feet, giving Ruma a cursory look before she looks at what Ben is doing. “And what are those for?”

“I think that if price gouging starts up the council might not appreciate that. I would not want to cross a committee of expressives.” What a nightmare. Huruma remembers not to do anything that makes them look twice. It keeps her unbothered. She knows what Delia can do. “But I suppose that there is not much else to be done about greed, is there. I haven't heard if they’ve caught the thieves from before.”

“Water,” Ben explains simply, pushing a few more of the stakes in place. “For the drier days and when they get bigger.

He crouches to work on another row, shaking his head, “Greed tends to be how the world turns. When there is a crisis, it seems to drive prices up. Brings out more of the old fashioned trading.” He straightens, with a thoughtful look. “I don’t believe they have caught any food thieves yet, no.” His shoulders lift a little, since he can’t be sure of his information, really.
“Though I heard something about the sewers involved,” Again he doesn’t seem very certain about that information. “Something about kids helping.” He shakes his head a bit. “Above my paygrade.”

“Kids and sewers? Mm.“ That he claims it above his paygrade has Huruma passing him a skeptical sort of look. She purses her mouth and thinks on what he’s said. “I try to listen to what people talk about around here. There is… a lot.” Huruma turns a hand out, the shoulder attached rolling in a shrug. “Almost makes me miss the NYPD… food thefts, bombings, kidnappings, shootings, fever visions, radicalized pricks on the radio…” Considering that Huruma uses cuss words sparingly, she must really have words for that one.

“Do you even listen to talk radio?” Huruma tips her head at Ben with a smirk, scuffing some soil off on her thighs. Her laugh is a bit self-deprecating, though earnest. “Or am I just attracted to that sort of thing?”

A glance is angled Huruma’s way, assessing. “I listen occasionally.”

A few tweaks are made to the stakes to place the water line in a perfect spot. “Getting the NYPD back would be a good thing. MPs have a different sort of training that is tailored to policing soldiers and not civilians.” Bending down, he picks up the bag of blood, tucking it against his stomach so that he can use his hand to curl the top closed. “They don’t often have the same powers.” His shoulders shrug a bit and smiles, the corners of his eyes crinkling some.

“But you are right, there is a lot of weird things going on.” Much like before. Though he doesn’t say it outloud.

“Hear anyone familiar lately?” Ben's assessing is met with a slow curiosity, Huruma's features a touch guarded over it. She doesn't linger on the question, though. Maybe she means Lynette. Or not. The contrast between police and military is precisely that, and she gives a slow nod of assent.

“I did hear some rumors that the council was fielding the possibility of recreating the police, but nothing more than that. You know how rumors are…” Huruma purses her mouth, considering. It's a strange world where she wants the PD back. But Ben is right— it's all in the training. She gives another smile, a little crooked, her voice a familiar purr.

“‘A lot of weird things’ sounds like the story of my life. Need any more help?” It’s necessary to avoid asking if he ‘needs a hand’.

“On the radio?” Ben asks with an arch of his brow. He shakes his head a little. “No. Beyond Lynette?” Seems he missed that one radio fiasco. Brows furrow a little, curious he asks. “Why?”

The question if he needs more help doesn’t get a verbal answer, instead he moves toward the planters. Leaning over he slap the side of a bag of manure. “This needs to be laid out over the planters and then I usually turn it into the soil with a shovel.” He crouches down and uses his hook to open it. He doesn’t pay attention to the smell. “I leave it to set for a week or two, before planting.”

That explained he up ends the bag into the planter. “There is a rake over there,” he motions towards it.

There is a moment where Huruma chews on his questioning, wondering if she should have let it out of her head at all. It’s not like she thrives on causing strife… anymore. She turns to fetch the garden rake as he turns out the bag into the bed, and returns to his side with a more palpable sense of uncertainty, twisting the wooden handle against the grass below. Speaking of nerves—

It’s not about pushing around a little manure.

“Mnn… Adam called into Nystrom’s show with a not so subtle threat.” Huruma’s mouth firms into a slight frown, eyes remaining forcibly fixed on the mound of dirt and organics. Having used a false name, anyone without knowledge of him was none the wiser. “It went about as swimmingly as you would imagine.”

“Monroe?” Ben asks even though he knows the answer to that question. His expression goes thoughtful, his face falling into those familiar lines from when he was a Company agent. “I can imagine.” How it went. It takes him a moment to remember what he was doing, turning back to finish shaking out the bag.

Tossing the empty bag aside, he brushes his hand on his jeans looking at her again, “What sort of threat.”

Huruma’s browline pinching affirms the ‘who’ without a word. She sets the fork end of the rake down once Ben has shaken out the last of the bag, leaning on it and finally looking back to his face, gauging physically and emotionally, her ability skimming a closer read of him.

“Asked about what he fears from ‘us’, told him that his fear is founded.” Huruma runs her tongue over the edge of her teeth. “He went on to say that it was only a matter of time before Nystrom and people like him will be lined up against a wall.” She summarizes the finer points, of course. She is no Cat Chesterfield. “There is probably a recording, somewhere…” The dark woman shakes her head, eyes hooded.

“They chalked it up to a prank.” Past and Present tend to find significant conflict in her these days; that disquiet shows in the distracted scrape of the rake.

Lost in thought, Benjamin moves to another portion of the planters and works to upend that bag. He is quiet as he works, not too much to read off him at the moment. It is as if he has no emotions. Finally, there is a trickle of concern, which builds as he admits, “I’ve never known that man to prank.” Those words seem pretty certain of that fact.

“So he’s back again,” Benjamin seems resigned to that idea. “Has there been any rumblings from others about him?” Things that might be flying under the radar. She can almost feel him working out what the former Company inmate was doing.

Suddenly, Ryans is shaking his head. This isn’t his concern anymore.

Ben's clutching down of his emotive state takes years of practice. He needed to be that guy. Still, Huruma pauses to peer at the back of his head as he steps away, only looking back to her work when he seems to let it loosen.

“Nobody you know. The, ah, curator at Yamagato, Nisatta? She knows who he was. Kensei. She is the one that I mentioned having shown her ability to me. Psychometry.” Huruma talks about this sort of thing with a casual grace, despite her worries and the job she is doing. The shake of his head just earns him a fond look.

“I know it is hard for you to remind yourself that it is not your problem. But I would rather you remain in the loop nonetheless.” The alternative is an ignorant Benjamin Ryans. “I know that you do not like those kinds of surprises.” The blindsiding sort.

Realizing he’s been caught, Ben glances at Huruma with a bit of a guilty look. “I appreciate being made aware of things like that. Makes it less surprising if people start showing up at my door wanting to know more about him.” Because who he use to be is no longer a secret. It was hard to get use to that idea sometimes.

“Psychometry, huh?” He nods slowly. “That would be two people I have heard of lately with that sort of ability.” One he actually witnessed. “Yamagato has some of his old things, right?” He turns a little thoughtful. “That would be something to see, considering how long ago he lived.” It’s awkward, but Ben picks up another rake and starts moving the soil around in his section.

“Clearly you should invest in a trap door instead.” People would never arrive unannounced if they risked a pitfall! Huruma's way of it is probably not safe, though.

Hilarious, maybe.

“I did see it. Her ability is projective. It was— something else, for sure…” Getting thrown back into a memory that wasn't hers. Huruma has two hands to work with, but she shifts pace to let him catch up; one handed raking is tricky, and her subconscious gets considerate without her noticing.

“They do have many of his things. Like the Kensei sword, if you had ever heard of it.” After Hiro got his hands on it, it gained a little infamy for a time. Again. As Huruma goes through her task there is a short spell of silence from her; her mind is elsewhere. It only ends when she finishes, mouth twitching into a rigid look.

“…Have I ever told you that he pulled me from the grave?” She knows that she never has.

It is probably not an expected remark.

There is a chuckle when she mentions a trap door, Ryans’ head shaking slowly side to side with his amusement. “I saw a girl once show what happened in the past at a certain location.” It was fascinating to see really. A little disconcerting to see himself in those images.

When she mentions what Adam did for her, he pauses in his work and turns his attention to her. “Really?” He studies her for a moment, but then goes back to work. “Literally, or with the use of his blood?”

The description of Agent Baumann’s ability is filed away for later, Huruma’s mental rolodex sliding just one more in. That could be something useful in the future. Her hands curl around the neck of the rake, eyes inspecting the evenness of her finished space as Ben speaks.

“The latter. A mote of the former.” Huruma’s breath moves out of her chest, having held it and not realized until the sigh somes. Rather than stand there, she moves to assist in the rest of the raking opposite him. There is no lead up to what happened, except, “Bishop found me before I could do anything about the tracker.”

“I remember pain, and light, and a fire in my blood. Bones cracking. Skin burning. The smell of ozone.” Huruma might be poetic if she weren’t speaking about her own death(?). “Next thing I knew, the world was black and it seemed like I was being smothered by the glare of god. I’ve only felt that a few times. Natazhat being one.” Her hand subconsciously moves to her side at a pause in raking, fingers plucking at shirt. “But that one did not last as long.”

“I woke up as if nothing had ever happened, and there he was.” There is something to be said about the mercy of others, but she does not voice it; things are no longer what they were, but there remains a kinship, lingering. While she talks about it, there’s a slight guardedness— as if Ben might look up with a judgment of his own.

Things were complicated.

The rack is held a bit like a cane, that Ryans leans against a little as he listens to her story. “Elle Bishop.” He isn’t asking, just stating fact by the description she gives of her own death. He remembers the little girl and the spitfire she grew up into. He listens to everything, head tipped down and eyes on the ground. “I guess I should be thankful for that,” Ben’s voice a bit bland, since he hates admitting that Monroe does anything good.

However, Benjamin has no judgement for her. Not his place really if he really even wanted, too. She isn’t the only one to benefit from a fugitives… gifts.

After a moment he says quietly, “With hope, whatever threat he made stays that way.” Only a threat. Both of them know that isn’t Adam’s way, but a man could hope.

As bland as his admission is, it is still significant— at least to her. It is worth being said, and worth being heard. Huruma gives a look of gratitude, rather than vocalizing. It leaves a warm feeling in her chest— because she can tell he means it.

“I have some measure of nerves, wondering if he will actually show.” Huruma laughs softly and shakes her head with it. Last she knew he was nowhere near New York. Busy making trouble elsewhere. “Tch.” She dismisses it with a sound from between her teeth, followed by a muttered sort of curse in another tongue.

It gives her a headache. Maybe all of this was really a secondary reason for her seeking out a distraction.

“It is only the fool that thinks that peace will remain,” Ryans quips lightly, tossing down the rake next to the planter and toeing it against it to avoid someone accidently stepping on it. “Unfortunately, I think he will show himself. Look for suspicious reports. Things like Company deaths.”

“He is a lot like an elephant. Man rarely forgets a grudge,” he glances her way and shrugs a little. Ryans knows that means he might be a target at some point if he is around. “The Company did put him in a hole,” he points out. Though in Ben’s mind it was justified, while Huruma was a rare case of redemption, Adam was something to be put down. Of course, that meant he had to stay down.

“The bombing in Japan was not exactly typical of the place, for instance. They usually have the security to handle threats at Yamagato…” Huruma has a suspicious mind regardless, so of course she looks out for things. Like the undead, too. But she keeps that one closer to the vest. A look is given to the beds when it seems like the first half is done. Her mouth twists some, jaw tight.

“Well,” Pale eyes narrow downward before flicking back up, voice even. “If he does come after you or the girls, he is as good as gone.” It sounds like a promise, and her expression of intensity says the very same. Regardless of her feelings about him.

“At least, if I go, I know the kids will be well taken care of.” Benjamin doesn’t seemed too concerned about himself. You live a life like his and after awhile you come to grips with the idea that you are mortal and your time will come. It also shows how much trust has grown between them over the years.

He picks up the empty manure bags and folds them over themselves to condense them down. “You think that the bombings might be Monroe?” He seems interested in this idea.

Frowning a touch at his lack of concern, Huruma puffs her breath past her teeth, looking quite like she wants to reach over and give him a pinch. Fine, fine. She gets it anyway.

“I think that it was someone who undoubtedly knew what they were doing…” The dark woman casts a look for the shovel he uses to turn the soil before letting it sit, honing in on it as any fast learner would. She at least knows how to mix. “There is no love lost between them.” Huruma spikes the end of the spade into dirt, lifting a brow his way. “Hitting a place such as Yamagato is not exactly child's play, so I have my suspicions. Corporate sabotage, a well-aged grudge, maybe both… if it weren't for hearing from him again I do not think that I would be suspicious.”

He makes a sound deep in his throat, a sound of a man deep in thought. He’s considering something, “I should contact Kaito’s daughter.” He was always closer to Charles when it came to the founders, but he still respected the others and remember their children when they were still little. But what would he say? Sorry your building go blown up. Brows furrow with a touch of frustration.

“Keep me in the loop on anything related to Monroe?” Purely, curiosity. Maybe. Benjamin is really struggling with this not doing anything.

“Of course I will,” Huruma looks up again from her quick turning of soil, making rather short work of it even while she offers up a reassuring curve of her mouth. “Not many other people to tell, anyway, I think…” Maybe one, two, who would even realize the implications of these matters. There’s trust too, obviously. “Nobody who would care.”

The back of a knuckle draws over nose as Huruma glances upwards, the puffy, heavy clouds looking a little more encumbered by the humidity. Spring and Summer storm season does that. No rain yet, just the blue-gray bellies gradually filling the sky. At the very least, it prompts her to finish what she’s doing. The end result is a little more ruffled looking, but it serves.

At least she’s better at this than she is at drawing with Pippa.

“So I was thinking—” Huruma leans on the shovel and surveys her work for just a moment before putting the tool back. She is letting her words hang on purpose, somewhat tentative.

For the moment, Ryans seems content to let her work, moving about to pick up empty bags and shove them into a trashcan he’s pulled around from the side of the yard. Ruma tries to help by batting and clawing at strips of plastic that hang from opened bags. Then sits back on haunches and considers checking out the metal thing.

At least, until Ben scoops her up and cradles her like a baby. Ruma doesn’t seem to mind, purring loudly and bending head back as she scratches her chin with fingers. While doing this, he turns back to Huruma. “What are you thinking?” he asks with a small smile.

Looking back up and to the cat gone all ragdoll in her cradle, Huruma’s thoughts do a tiny skip and there is a break into a lighthearted laugh. She did say the cat knew just how to relax, didn’t she? There aren’t many spots that Huruma can wipe her hands off on her shorts, but she tries nonetheless when she moves over to give the cat’s back toes a rub where they stick up.

"I was thinking… that I want to drag you out of the house one of these days. I know there's not much of a scene around here anymore, but…" It’s more than home, market, or a dive. Huruma turns her hand out briefly in a shrug, and it then zeroes in on the back of the cat's ears. Her features seem to keep the aura of the lighter sound from before, from the softening of her eyes to the scratch of her fingers against fur. "Eve's place in Elmhurst has had some nice shows. Not always her personal brand, if you catch my drift.”

It isn’t all crazy parties. Just the big ones. He’s met Eve before, he knows.

Ruma’s back feet twitch and kick a bit at the attention, but for the most part she just continues to lay there for several moments. Just like any cat, she soaks up the attention until she doesn't, giving a sudden squirm to be let go, which Ben does gently. “Out of the house, huh?” He arches a brow at her. “I suppose it won't be a bad thing…” he trails off a little. “Maybe.”

At least, it isn't a ‘no.’

“How is that crazy firebug?” Benjamin had only dealt with her a few times and knows she’s also as crazy as they get, but he also understood her usefulness and ability to know when they would need a rocket launcher.

It isn't a ‘no’. Huruma gives a new smile, almost into grinning territory. Her hand falls back as the cat wiggles out of range, settling at the curve of her waist. A little more involuntary is the gentle bubble of her mood against his own, something happier, a whisper of something contented. She may or may not realize it, considering that it lingers unobtrusively. A peaceful touch.

“Not a bad thing, no.” She reiterates, a sort of reassuring mantra. “As far as I can tell, she is her usual self. Getting into things, painting pictures that drive people batty, influencing children…” Huruma's teeth show in a more feral smile, her own kind of charisma. “…shooting at ‘bad guys’ in the streets.” A rumble up above draws another brief look from her. “Perhaps that is my cue…”

Rain speckles down, faint but just rude enough to get into the cat’s whiskers.

“Sounds like her usual self,” Ben rumbles out in agreement.
Looking skyward as well, Benjamin almost looks annoyed at the incoming storm. He had been looking forward to getting as much done as possible on the garden. However, he doesn’t seem totally put out, such is the way of nature.

“Cue?” He finally looks back at her, a brow ticking up. “Nonsense, I owe you for your help.” He motions at his home with a jerk of his head. “At least let me feed you. I can make a mean casserole.” Not really. It’s passable. “You can tell me what all your group has been into.”

Annoyance at nature is an everyday thing, isn't it? It's always one thing or another, and in the temperate climate of New York, May is for storms, green, and the yo-yo of hot days and chilled nights. At least he's gotten more wrapped up than he would have?

“Owe me? You mean I can't just show up and work?” that's the friend thing, isn't it? Huruma chuckles low, brow raised back at him. A dubious narrow moves over her eyes when he praises his cooking skills. She's been there before at some point, though not recently. Maybe he has improved. Even if not, she'll gladly partake. It's the thought.

“Maybe not all of it,” Huruma teases, stepping up to the door just as the patter of droplets hits metal gutter. “Unless you don't let Hana know” She taps her lips with a finger. “because getting called to the headmaster’s office just radiates disappointment.”

She prefers it when Hana isn't frowning at her.

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