devon_icon.gif rue_icon.gif

Scene Title Help
Synopsis After a late-night phone call, Devon needs a sanity check.
Date January 3, 2019

The Bunker Rue Lancaster's Dorm

It’s late.

It isn’t so late that everyone should be sleeping — for those who can fall asleep at normal hours and sleep like normal people — but it is late enough that any call that wasn’t an emergency would probably be frowned at anyway. Not that it stops Devon from leaving his room to half jog down the hall.

Several doors are passed with hardly a glance, the numbers haven’t changed and it’s not difficult to know which one he’s looking for anyway. When he’s found the door he wants he stops and raises his hand to knock. Light catching off his watch makes him pause to look at it.


He shakes his head, then taps his knuckles against the door. “Please be awake,” Dev breathes out.

There’s a quiet sound behind the door, a chair scraping across hard flooring, then footsteps that grow closer. The door opens to reveal Rue dressed down for the night. A grey Bears sweatshirt, a pair of yoga pants and stockinged feet. Red hair is pulled up in a messy bun on top of her head. She doesn’t look tired.

“Hey,” she greets in a quiet voice, glancing out into the hall to see if it’s more than just him standing there. She steps back to give some space. “Do you want to come in? Or do I need shoes?” A pair of red Converse peek out from under the bed against one wall.

“Hi. Sorry” Devon follows her gaze over his shoulder as some long ago habit, then turns back. “No. I …do you have time to talk?” He’d already been invited in, but it seems better to ask the question than just assuming. “I know it’s late, I can come back later. Tomorrow.” He even motions toward his room, indicating he can easily just go.

Rue smiles faintly and shakes her head gently. A curl comes loose from the nest atop her head and she tucks it behind her ear. “No, it’s fine. I was just—” She cuts herself off, instead simply gesturing for him to step into the room. There’s a glass out on the table, amber liquid filling it half-full and a file sits open with pictures of a young woman with blonde hair spread out over the surface.

“Let me just—” Stepping inside and leaving Devon to come along at his leisure, she starts picking up the photographs to slip them back into the folder and make a tidy pile of it all, instead of the controlled chaos it is. “What’s up?” Blue eyes glance up from her work with genuine concern, if not over much of it.

As Devon follows Rue into her apartment he can’t help but look at the time again. But from the face he makes it probably has more to do with the hour than actually being pressed for time. Nothing to do about that now, though, so he shakes his head and folds his arms over his chest. “I’m sorry I interrupted…” Things. His eyes flick to the table, to the folder that now hides the pictures, then away without even a questioning brow.

“I think I need to go to the Safe Zone. Like soon.” Which sounds ridiculous. There’s work to be done, also soon. Which is probably why he’s saying it out loud. Dev looks back at Rue, shoulders rolling upward in a slow shrug.

“It’s fine,” Rue assures. “I promise.” The folder is set aside on the desk. She pulls out the far bench of the table and takes a seat, pulling her glass toward her from the opposite side of the table and gesturing for her friend to have the seat she occupied before he came to call.

Her head lifts with a sudden attention, surprised at the declaration. “Okay. I’m sure that can be arranged.” Even if she has to borrow Avi’s keys. “Why?”

“I want to go see Emily.” Spoken in the same way as voicing a need. Devon lets his gaze drop to the chair. It takes him a moment before he follows that shift in focus and moves to sit in it. “We’ve got stuff coming up. I screwed up big time a couple weeks ago, Rue… She finally let me talk to her.”

He raises his hands to scrub at his face. “I just… I want to see her again, before we take off. It’s probably just me being crazy, right?”

Epstein?” Devon may as well have sprouted a second head for all the sense of what he’s just said makes to her. “That is crazy.” But there’s no real bite behind her words. Rue lifts her glass to her lips for a drink.

Far be it from her to actually chide with any conviction anyone who wants to spend time with an Epstein. The glass clinks softly against the table’s surface as Rue exhales a sigh. “I get it. You should go see her if that’s what you want to do.” It’s a big operation coming up, after all. They should go into it with as few regrets as possible. “What do you need from me?”

“Yeah. Look, it’s…” He’s not sure, and for a moment he rests his face in his hands. “Don’t make it a big deal. It’s…” Uncharted waters, at the very least. Devon drops his hands and looks at Rue. “I can’t explain. I just know, after two weeks of nothing, and tonight finally…”

He folds his arms again, but leans forward enough to rest them on the edge of the table. “She’s important to me.” Important enough to cut out for a couple of days, something he’d never done for his family. “How much time do I have before we move out?”

“Time enough,” is the simple answer. Rue’s expression cycles to one of sympathy. She knows what it feels like to just need to see someone. To need a chance to explain. Crossing her legs at the knee, one hand curls around the edge of her bench to anchor her as she leans back slightly.

Glossy nails tap against the crystal of her glass quietly as she contemplates. “When do you want to go?”

Tilting his head down, Devon stares at the table top while considering the question. He'd have left even before he'd hung up the phone, if he could have. He sits back slightly, arms sliding from the table to rest against his chest, his eyes find his watch again. “Soon. I need to make sure she's going to be home.” It wouldn't do to show up and find her gone.

Lifting his head, Dev looks at Rue for a long moment. “I nearly blew it,” he explains in his way of not really explaining. It's not a humorous thing, but he nearly chokes on a burble of laughter anyway. “I almost lost…” He gives his head a shake and looks away. “Sorry.”

Soon gets a nod of her head. Could mean tonight, or could mean in the morning. Rue will accommodate whichever one it is. Especially considering the way he looks when he talks about Emily.

“Okay…” she begins almost cautiously. “Why don’t you start from the beginning here?” Rue gets up from her seat, taking her glass with her as she crosses back to the desk against the wall. She takes down a bottle of whiskey from her collection of liquors lining the shelves and casts a look over her shoulder to Devon. “Can I get you anything?” Maybe he needs it.

As tempting as the offer is, Devon eventually shakes his head at it. Later, maybe, when his own thoughts have criss-crossed enough times that nothing else can untangle them. “I just got involved in something. I knew I should’ve stayed out of it, let her handle it her way. I’m not even sure I believed anything good would’ve come from it, but I went along anyway.”

Raising a hand, he rakes his fingers through his hair. “It was stupid. I was stupid. But she finally… I apologized. I think it’s going to be okay.” He hopes it is. Dev hooks his hand on the back of his neck and looks up at Rue again. “I don’t want to dump all this on you, I just… I didn’t know who else to go to.”

“We do what we think is best for the people we care about.” Fresh whiskey is splashed into her glass, then she pours hiim a glass of water. The drinks are set out on the table again and Rue takes her seat. Fingers hold the edges of the lowball glass, her hand poised like a spider over the top of it as she absently swirls the liquid inside.

A smile reveals Rue’s dimples - a rare sight. “I’m glad you came to me. Everyone needs someone sometimes.” While she’s tried to maintain a tough exterior when it comes to her own feelings - except those most volatile - she’s always tried to be approachable to her fellow Hounds. “Do you want me to go with you? I don’t have any plans for the next few days.” She doesn’t need the extra target practice, really.

“Yeah, well…” Dev’s mouth twitches with a short-lived grin. It’s no secret that he’s never been good at finding someone to talk to, even when it’s obvious that he should. Even his family has to drag things out of him on the regular. “I wouldn’t mind the company,” he admits. His eyes drop to the glass that’s put in front of him. “If leaving so close to an operation’s going to earn us stink-eyes from the Major though…” He’ll go anyway, but he doesn’t want Rue to chance angry looks.

“I was going to try to grab a flight. It’s faster than driving, and then it’s just go and… turn around the next day.” He removes his hand from his neck and picks up the glass intended for him. “Couple of days, then back in time for briefings.”

“I think it will be fine.” Blue eyes lift from their contemplative stare at the liquid in her glass. “The Major understands tying up loose threads. There’s plenty of time between now and the op.” Maybe not enough time, but if there’s one thing Lancaster’s learned over the years it’s that there’s never as much time as a person wants.

“I’ll fly with you,” she promises after a swallow of whiskey. “Or drive if you can’t get a flight short notice.” There’s never been a problem before, but a backup plan is always good to have. “I’ve got some doors I can kick in while you’re on your business.”

“Sure.” He has some reservations about how much leniency might be extended, but then Devon’s never been one to disappear in the week leading up to an operation. He raises his glass and takes a long drink. It may only be water, but that and his fellow Hound’s reassurances have helped stall the jitters. At least for now.

“If you need a place to crash,” he starts to offer as he lowers the glass again. “My grandpa’s got an apartment. He probably wouldn’t mind an extra guest.”

“We’re not going AWOL,” Rue points out with a smirk, leaning forward slightly. “It’s going to be fine.” She’s generally all-business in the days leading up to an operation, so either she’s sure of this, or she’s putting on a hell of a front.

A chuckle escapes Rue as she shakes her head. “Great. I’ll be sure to take you up on that if I don’t manage to kick Ricky off his flea-ridden mattress for a couple of days.”

That’s a joke.

It might be a joke, but Devon’s expression is still one of disgust. He shakes his head as he sets his glass down on the table. “No. Because you’ll bring fleas back here and then everyone’ll get fleas and that’s just not okay. So no. You’re staying at Jared’s. It’ll be fine. He’ll probably even make pancakes and real bacon for breakfast.”

Rue snorts. If she intended to put up further protest to taking Devon up on the offered hospitality, she thinks better of it. “Okay, okay. I’ll stay with your grandfather.” Maybe that will help him feel like they’re even for this. Matched kindness for kindness. Although it’s her stance that he owes nothing for her participation in this.

“I’ll pack a bag tonight. We can leave on the first flight tomorrow.”

“There’s no rush.” In spite of his insistence on going, the urgency of it, Devon’s settled enough to recognize it’ll take time to really get organized. Sliding back from the table, he stands so that he can get to making those plans. Most of them will likely have to wait until morning anyway. “Thanks, Rue. I mean… It’s late and all. Short notice. I appreciate it.”

“If you say so.” There’s an easy shrug of her shoulders. She’s on his schedule and that suits her just fine. Blue eyes follow his motion to stand and his movement toward the door. Rue flashes a smile. “You’re welcome, Dev. Any time.”

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