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Scene Title Househunting
Synopsis Brynn and Joe start the search for the New Lighthouse… and catch some sibling bonding time too.
Date March 9, 2019

Jackson Heights

House hunting! Joe and Brynn on an adventure! Whiiiich has mostly consisted of poking around outside of places cuz there's no one to let them in. But an apartment or two, a house here and there have been viewed though they're mostly pretty run down and shabby. Which isn't too much of a deterrent. They can always fix a place up. And with Brynn's paint by numbers power colors are easy. I still think the old fire station idea Lance threw out is a good one. I mean he just wants to be able to ambush us and play pranks on us that way. But they have like offices that could be bedrooms, and bunk rooms that could be well… bunk rooms. Big kitchens. Lots of space. The truck space could be a big communal hangout space. No idea how much an old firestation would cost but… I think it's a good idea. Most of these houses are just too small for all of us and anyone else we might take in and stuff. Yah know? Joe's hands move as they walk along down the street. He's got his hands stuffed into his pockets when he's not signing, it's cold out. Not as cold as it could be, but cold enough. Jeans, hoodie and over that the khaki army surplus jacket he's had since he started working with Keira's gang. Whatcha think Brynny?

As they've walked along, they've seen several places that could really be made plenty large enough. Brynn eyes him skeptically. How many people do you expect to be living in one place? I thought we were mainly looking for someplace the four of us could live in and fix up and really settle in, with enough room for other people to visit sometimes. She slants a look at him. How many old derelict firestations do you think are hanging around here? It's not like Ghostbusters, Joe… I mean… if you can find one, I'd be happy to look at it. But I'm not sure we could convince anyone to give us enough to fix up a place that big. Aunt Gilly said she'd help and all, but…

Poking around the corner of the building they're looking at, she jumps backward with her hands flailing just a little as a small army of little birds swarm out. The must have been sitting on the external ladder in the alleyway; the next building over is an apartment building or something, from the looks of it.

Joe turns an incredulous eye on Brynn at her statement about it just being the four of them. One eyebrow raises slowly at her. The expression is clear. 'You for real?' It's not signed, but it really doesn't need to be. His lips turn up in a smirk though and he does sign a bit. Remember the conversation we had awhile back? About being the new Ferry? We're gonna need the space for that to be true. And look, like the Ferry we're even going to have people on the inside. There's a wink from Joe as they walk along.

The bird swarm has him jump back with Brynn too, his eyes casting about them both for a moment, wary, but he relaxes soon after and resumes his walk with her, eyeing the apartment building. Next place is a house, should be right up ahead. But seriously the four of us. Plus anyone we take in or adopt. Fire station would give us plenty of room. And there were a few around here. I'm sure we could find one for sale. He pauses outside a house, then looks down at a piece of paper in hand, then looks back up at the house. I think this is the next one. He walks up and pauses at a little locked box near the door with a combination on it. He puts in the combination he wrote down and the bottom pops open dropping a key into his hand that he uses to unlock the front door and step inside.

At least it wasn't bats. Brynn doesn't mind birds or even bats all that much, but she's got a serious case of the dislikes for bats in her hair. As they scramble a little and then pull themselves back together, she rolls her eyes at her brother. But there's genuine curiosity as she puts a hand out on his arm to pause him before they go in to ask, Do you really think that it's going to happen again? It's hard not to worry sometimes — Aunt Gillian's part of the government now sort of, and so are a lot of former Ferrymen, but … she remembers the terror. The fleeing for your life. And Brian taught them to be ever-vigilant, which… admittedly Joe takes a bit far. Even he knows it, evidenced by the wink! But if Joe's honestly serious, it's actually a little scary for her.

She sighs a little, her gray eyes holding trepidation now, and she looks at this place with different eyes. If they have to hide people, where would they do it? Does it have enough room if there's long-term camping going on? Are there enough exits that they can't be boxed in?

Joe doesn't really have a dislike for any animal but canines. And he knows it's not dog's faults that he doesn't like them. But he just plain doesn't. He's not afraid of them for obvious reasons. But he will probably never care for dogs. So his reaction isn't quite so dramatic as Brynn's, in fact he might just chuckle at her, and sign his laughter with a grin on his face. He pauses when her hand rests on his arm like that and he turns to look at her. He sees the worry and he puffs his cheeks out some, thinking over his answer before giving it. Things seem to be fine. They seem to be okay. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't be ready. Shouldn't be vigilant. The Ferry kind of flew by the seat of theirs pants because they were reacting. Reacting to the things that happened. Trying to keep up, and then towards the end trying to get ahead. We— We have warning. Knowledge and training. We should be ready for things to happen again. Even if they don't. Like those guys who used to build bomb shelters? Sure they never ended up needing them, but if they had? They'd have been the ones ready and prepared. He leans over and wraps an arm around her shoulders giving her a quick squeeze, trying to be reassuring.

He sees her assessing their place to live with new eyes and his head tilts with a soft smile. I just want to be prepared that is all. I hope I'm wrong. I hope I'm a bomb shelter in the back yard guy and I'm dead wrong and we never /need/ all the extra space and preparation. But I would rather not get caught with our pants down. The Ferry did an awesome job. The best job they could given the circumstances. Us being alive is proof of their sacrifice and hard work. But I'd rather not be on the back foot most of the time. Be ready. And who knows, maybe we can just take in some of the orphan kids like we did for Squeaks. Even if it's just to help them find families. Squeaks has Aunt Gilly now and that's awesome. We could do that for other strays like us. Give them somewhere to go that isn't the streets or the sewers.

She relaxes visibly at his signing. Because things do seem fine! And Lance and Squeaks and even Emily are gonna be working for the government, along with Robyn. So Brynn nods as he explains he just wants to be ready, because that part she's just as able to understand as anyone. They've lived their lives being ready — she just wasn't sure if he was basically telling her he really did expect things to go to Hell again. Okay, she agrees. If you really want a fire station, I guess we can look for one. She is still really skeptical of this idea. She wants a home. It has to be big enough for Doodlebug to live with us, but Hailey's critters have to have a back yard. Besides, it's nice to have fresh eggs and goat's milk and all. Plus we need space for a garden for putting up canned stuff for winter. I don't want to constantly be running short of food when the city's doing food shortages again. And you know it'll happen again. More people keep coming!

If there's one thing that she took to in Canada, it was the stocking up of food-stuffs. She didn't like the combat teaching, but she was really good at the canning of vegetables and storing of fruits, as well as the cleaning and saving of meat stores. It's one of the reasons she's far better with a knife than a firearm.

Joe understands Brynn's worry. They've finally started building something like a life. Friends, social events and more. They're even looking for a house for them all to live in. He doesn't want that to come crashing down any more than Brynn does. He just absolutely doesn't want to be caught by surprise if or when it does happen. That's a tall list for New York City there Brynn. Space for all of us, and yard space enough for animals and a garden that will feed us all? That's a really tall order. Joe reaches out a hand to pat her on the shoulder, amusement clear on his features.

Yeah, foot shortages will keep happening. But I still have my line through Keira's stuff with the store. I might not be going on supply runs with them anymore, well occasionally, but I still work at the store where they sell the stuff they bring in from out west. It's where most of Joe's money and food has come from, him playing cashier for the store. He's actually security that just mans a cash register. Doesn't have to be a fire station, but it would fit all of us plus have a bunch of extra space for stuff and things. Could host big dinners and invite our extended family. Extended family being all their aunts and uncles that are still around the city.

Actually that would be really cool. Once we get our place and get things settled and worked out. We should have a get together. To thank everyone for what they did for us, and to remember those that are gone. Joe ponders as he steps into the house they've stopped to look at. He walks in, eyes traversing around. This house did pretty well, no major structural damage. It's aged, but what house in New York isn't? It's big and it's spacious though it doesn't really have much of a yard out back. Whatcha think? It's got a basement too.

Pushing out her lower lip, she considers the place with the different priorities they've all got — Hailey's critters, interior space, exterior space, bedrooms. This one has some promise, she agrees. No yard space really… so Hailey might mix this one. Garden space we can always do on a roof. I mean, it'd take up the whole thing, but if we left a spot for just hanging out in hot weather, I think container gardens would be fine. Brian did teach them all kinds of ways to make things work, after all.

Looking back to Joe, she grins just a little. I'm really glad you want to do this, Joe. Even though I know Doodlebug makes you a little squeamish.

Not Doodlebug specifically just… dogs. Honestly I'm surprised you can handle owning one." Joe's shoulders roll upwards in a slight shrug. And yeah. I do want to do this. I don't want us to grow apart. I don't want us to go our seperate ways. I know with life, and love and family and what not that we will. Some. But I want to hold that off as long as possible you know? Joe leans over and wraps an arm around Brynn's shoulders, pulling her in for a tight squeeze for a few seconds, then lets her go.

Yeah… I mean a house isn't going to have roof space we can use for a garden. A firehouse would… an apartment building would. Even like a small one. We might be able to find a small building that just has like four to six units… I have no freaking clue how we'd afford that. But… stuff and reasons.

Joe grins and walks around the house a bit more before shaking his head. I don't think this will work. Inside is spacious. But there's not enough yard space even for Doodlebug to run around in. Space like that is gonna be hard to find though. Actually, if we did the firehouse we could set up the garage area as that sort of thing. Space for animals to run. It's not outside outside but it'd be space. Could also set up some container gardens in there too. Joe laughs a bit and turns, starting for the door. If we can find a house that fits us though that'd be primal. I wouldn't mind a house at all. We just gotta find the right place is all.

Joe locks the house up behind them, making sure it’s secure before he tucks the key back into the little box mounted on the wall next to the door. He turns to look at Brynn then and grins. So where is next? He asks curiously, peering around them a little bit.

There's a slow shrug at the comment about how she can stand it. Brynn lays her head on his shoulder before replying. It doesn't bother me so much because Hailey trained him. I think she really needs to consider training service animals — I mean, I didn't think I needed one, but when you and Lance aren't home? It makes me feel better to have him, she admits. I don't feel as … vulnerable, I guess. People are less likely to sneak up on me or even bother me.

Because she does get some significant moments of uneasiness — she's a tempting target.

Shrugging that off though, she nods to the assessment. I think this place would be great if we didn't need more animal space, she agrees, but Hailey won't leave all of them. So…. you know, a little more toward the edges of the Heights, there are places that are a good bit more run down… it'd be even more work to fix up, but I bet cheaper to buy outright. Maybe? The hopeful look on her face says she really has no clue, but it's an option to maybe look into.

As they walk toward the end of the block, Brynn hesitates. Have you talked to Auncle Raquelle about the SCOUT idea? She's genuinely curious about Joe's thoughts on a whole career. If you do that, you probably won't have time for college anymore…

Joe makes a shrugging gesture but with his hands. He doesn't understand it, but he accepts that Brynn loves the dog and that's good enough for him to not hate it. Love it? Proooobably not. But not hate it? Yeah he can do that. Hailey would be primal at training service animals. And then she'd know they were going to be useful to people. Helpful to people. And companions. Service animals are expensive. Far less likely to get mistreated. And if they do get mistreated she can find out about it. But she could help people that way, /and/ make money. I'll help you encourage her to do that. He leans his head to the side a bit too, resting it lightly atop Brynn's for a few moments.

I.. can't say I understand the vulnerable thing. I mean I don't like my loved ones feeling vulnerable. But I don't personally understand the feeling vulnerable thing. But then… really how could he? Joe's never been physically vulnerable a day in his life other than a few training sessions with Brian on knowing how to fight without his power. Yeah, prying Hailey away from her animals would take a super strengther's power. And we don't' have that. And I wouldn't want to do that to our sister anyway. So yeah. More space for animals. Somehow. In New York. Joe makes a little face, rolling his eyes, but his lips betray him, curling into an amused grin quickly enough.

Uhhh no clue. I mean we're pretty handy as a whole. Brian taught us to fix stuff and maintain stuff. But I don't know if we could like renovate a house. Maybe? We can always go look at them. Steps carry on for a few moments after Brynn signs that question about SCOUT. I haven't talked to Auncle yet no. And the SCOUT application stuff mentions either having 60 college credits at a 2.0 GPA oooor continuing education while in service. I could do both. It's going to mean some late nights. But I have the best support system anyone has ever seen in my family so I can do it. I know I can. I'm not worried about that one. It's the must be 21 or older. But… I'll be most of the way to 20 by the time it rolls around? That's the one I'm worried about getting waived. The age requirement. I'm hoping that with my history and background they'll see it a bit differently. And with my power. Cuz what's better than a bulletproof cop?

She looks surprised. Oh primal — they're offering the same kind of thing SESA is? In terms of continuing education, that is. Brynn can't help the faint smile that also contains a self-deprecating edge. So the three of you plus Squeakers and Emily are all gonna be government types, huh? Shaking her head, she observes, The government agent Brian would be so proud! The teasing is good-natured — of the kids, she is the last one to consider such a career. But it doesn't mean she doesn't feel a little isolated because everyone else is taking those routes. Not isolated enough to consider applying for herself though; it's not a job she wants and with temperament and her disability, it's also not one she's suited for.

Guess that means I'm gonna be the one running the base camp! It's a job she's well suited to and has never minded. She bumps his shoulder with hers though. Just don't think I'll be cooking all the time! Brynn's okay at cooking, they all learned well enough. She's just not volunteering to be constant housekeeper either!

Nooo I don't think so. I think they just require the candidates to continue their education. Like themselves. I wish they were offering the SESA deal. That'd be primal. But I don't think so. I'd still be responsible for keeping myself in school. Noooo clue how I'd do that during training and stuff before getting paid. School, work and training? Ugh. Joe makes a rather disgusted face at the thought of all that, a hand lifting to scrub his palm over his face a little bit.

I don't know if I'd call joining SCOUT being government types. I mean technically yeah. But… not like being a SESA agent. That's like being Company or something. Well maybe not Company but… close enough. Good Company? I guess. Cuz they don't run around kidnapping Evolved. As far as we know anyway. Joe does realize that Brynn is feeling a bit left out of all that.

You should start a business too Brynny. I'm sure you could start some kind of art business no problem. You'd need to get the permits to use your ability for commercial purposes and stuff. But hey. Could totally be done. You could do tattoos and stuff. Wait, do your tattoos flake off? I mean… do you just change the color of the skin itself? Or do you change the color into like the subdermal layer where the ink goes? IE are your tattoos permanent? Heck! You could go into business getting rid of unwanted tattoos too. Like screwup tats and stuff? You could do building art and all sorts of stuff. Your ability is super Primal Brynn. And you could easily make a living off of it.

Joe grins and bumps his shoulder against hers gently. Could start a studio out of whatever place we get. And you can man the base camp. And yeah, you're totally doing all the cooking. I mean god we don't want Lance doing the cooking. He winks at her, laughing lightly as he walks along with her, reaching a hand up to ruffle her hair.

I don't think I want to have my own place. At least not right now, Brynn admits. Auncle Raquelle has to keep ledgers and has to pay a certain amount in taxes and stuff like that. I mean… I can learn to do all that, but I think I'd rather just… earn a paycheck and not have to worry about the stupid government wanting their money. Owning a legit business is hard, she's learned from Auncle!

I'm doing some tattoo drawing for Pearl now, but… I don't want to put her out of business or something. She makes her tats with ink. People come back to her for more tats, but also to touch up old ones — mine don't fade, don't need touch-ups. But the coolest part is that I can change them or fix messed up ones, which Pearl let me do last week on a guy whose tat had been wrecked by a knife. She looks really pleased with that one.

The best I can figure, it's down to the cellular level. Although I think I'd really like to eventually do freelancing work. But you still gotta pay taxes on that! It's easier to figure out, though — just pay a certain amount every three months, I guess? Shes definitely learning the business side of things from Pearl and Raquelle, not just getting paid to be there.

Joe agrees with Brynn, that much is clear by the quick nod of his head, a firm affirming nod of agreement. He doesn't speak, or rather sign, instead he listens as they walk along, moving towards the next property they're supposed to go view. He considers the points about owning your own business before responding. Yeah. I mean I get that. But at the same time then you'd have someone else profiting off your ability and your work. If you had to use their supplies and stuff I'd say sure that makes sense. But given that you don't?

His hands still as they come to a crosswalk busy with people. Joe steps a bit closer as they move across the street amidst a flow of foot traffic. Joe's eyes are all around them, especially on people that come very close. They might not have much, but what they have isn't up for grabs dangit. I mean you pay taxes on all the money you make that's above board Brynny. When you collect a paycheck your employer figures that out and pays the government out of your check. You still have to file taxes at the end of the year to make sure you paid the right amount and don't owe more taxes. Though that is pretty primal that you can fix messed up tats like that.

But seriously. You should think about doing your own thing. I mean you could learn the business from Pearl and Auncle Raq. But there's always gonna be people that want the traditional ink. I doubt you would destroy Pearl's business. And like I said you could also do removals. When people decide they don't want their tattoo you could remove it. And fix tats like that one guy who a normal artist can't fix, or it'd be messy for them to fix. Could specialize in stuff like that.

It's a good idea. Brynn looks thoughtful about it as they move, and she's got her eyes out for trouble too. Getting mugged isn't on her agenda today! As they get across the road, she points left to cross the other part of the street — the next house is that way.

That's my point — if I work for someone else, I don't have to do the numbers. She looks aggrieved and finally admits, I love angles of light and shadow but Joe… numbers never add up right for me. Like… never. The roll of her eyes makes clear that while it might be a bit of an exaggeration, it's not much. As soon as you start throwing big numbers at me or you stick decimals in them or fractions, I get completely confused. Money decimals, that I get. More than that… She grimaces. I keep trying to tell you, I'm totally stupid.

Joe rolls his eyes as Brynn tries to claim she doesn't get numbers. His steps are still steady and even, but not quick, he's taking his time, enjoying their walk, spending time with one of his favorite people. Though when she says she's stupid Joe turns, a hard look in his eyes.

You are not stupid. And I don't think you believe that either. You have always tried to pretend to be less than you are Brynny. I get it. It's a defense mechanism. Ignore the deaf girl, she's no threat. Look she can't even fight. Look she can't even do numbers. Whatever it might be. You are better than that Brynn. You know it, and I know it. Don't know if any of the other kids ever realized it. But I did. I knew what you were doing, even when we were little. But we were kids. And you were scared. And I understood being scared. I still understand being scared. But we aren't children anymore Brynny. You're so much more than you want people to think you are. You're extraordinary.

Joe's hands fly fast, almost as fast as his mouth does normally, and he's paused in his walk to do so, because this isn't a conversation you have on the move, this is a conversation you have while looking the other person square in the eye. I'm tired of you putting yourself down. And I don't want to hear you doing it anymore. He stares right at her, both brows lifting in challenge, daring her to contradict his assessment of her. Joe always thinks the best about people. It's just part of who he is. Maybe one day that will be tempered by people failing to come through on his expectations. Or maybe it won't. Maybe he will always expect the best out of people.

Brynn's actually surprised at his vehemence — and honestly, about his reaction too. Fine … stupid isn't the right word, she concedes. Although she doesn't know the right one to apply. Her brows pull together slightly. Letting them all underestimate me is defensive — it meant I wasn't a target. No one felt like they had to challenge me for anything, my standing in the pecking order was off to the side because I wasn't a threat to any of them or their position. The signs come slowly as she thinks her way through what she wants to say to him.

Things that I watch you study? Joe, some of those math books might as well be Greek. Brian spent three months working on one lesson with me that you and even Lance breezes through in a week. My talents clearly do not lie in numbers. Logistics? Those I'm good at. I can supply us til doomsday. But I don't want to open a business and literally spend hours and hours a night trying to make all the damn receipts add up the way I see Raquelle do. I will lose my mind. She shrugs. So… if you can figure out how to actually make a go of a business without making me sit in front of stupid ledger books going cross-eyed from boredom or otherwise sending the business into the ground because I forget that taxes are a real thing — I'm all in.

She sticks out her tongue. Living on a piece of land in the middle of nowhere was a ton easier than being a grownup in the freakin' city.

Joe's not angry. Okay well maybe a little bit. But it's not an angry angry. It's more an indignation angry. No one puts his family down. Not even themselves. Stupid definitely isn't the right word. He signs, his hand movements a little softer, kind of like a comment under one's breath that's muttered loud enough for the person to hear. And if she looks he even makes a face at her, but his attention is mostly on her hands and what she's saying.

Brynn there's computers that do that for you. You literally put in the numbers from your receipts and it does the calculations for you. We'd just have to get you a computer, and the program. I'm sure I can get my hands on it no problem. Joe peers at her for a moment or two, watching her. But even then. You're not dumb. You could figure it out if you really wanted to. He reaches a hand up to her shoulder, giving it a careful squeeze before his hand falls back down so he can continue to talk.

You are capable of so much more than you give yourself credit for. And that you want people to think you are capable of. You need to believe in you like I believe in you. And then his sister is getting a big ole hug, one of those pick someone up off the ground for a second or two type of bear hugs. When he puts her down he smiles at her. No one insults my family. Not even themselves.

Brynn is squished and hugged like a bunny who's gonna get called George. She grins at him after he sets her down again and rolls her eyes. I suppose it's time to stop hiding, huh? Joe, Lance, and Hailey have been the siblings all along who — even knowing she was hiding behind them — only let her do it so much. They cajole, coax and even (like today) shove her out of her comfort zone.

Fine, she sighs. Let's look at these last two places? One of them is a duplex — we might be able to knock out some walls and make it apartments or something. It's the only place in the lists that had any yard at all. Brynn pauses and then comments, You know… Aunt Gilly might know for sure, or even Auncle Raquelle — maybe we should look for a place that has a storefront or something like it on the bottom floor and then apartments up top? Then you could… I dunno. Booby trap the place. She could be serious here.

Or she could just be messing with him.

Joe grins after setting his sister down, then laughs at her rolling her eyes at him. When she asks whether it's time to stop hiding his head tilts forwards slowly, a gentle nod to confirm what she's said. It's long past time to stop hiding. For all of us Brynn. Not just you. Though… I mean especially for you. There's a playful wink from him, his grin spreading wide into a classic Joe.

We are who we are. Shaped by the lives we've led. Or rather the lives that we've been forced to lead. Lance is going to put his training to use. I'm hoping to put my training to use. You have incredible talents. Maybe you'll never be a scientist… cuz math. But you can do so much little sister. And if you truly do want to work for other people? Do it. But don't just do it because you're afraid to go after what you actually want. I don't… honestly know what you actually want. I know that I want my family. I don't want to drift apart. I know that I want to help people. I want to protect people. And that's what I'm moving towards. We're getting our own place, all of us so we don't drift apart. I'm going to try to join SCOUT so I can put my ability and my training to use protecting and helping people. Joe is an idealist.

When Brynn says fine Joe's grin grows just a bit more, and stays in place. He turns and starts walking again, still at a slow pace, one so he can see her hands and keep conversing, and also because he's not in any great hurry. Duplex would be interesting. I mean if we owned it we could knock walls down. If we just rent it not so much.

He considers the next question. Storefront with housing above it. I mean that would be cool. Wouldn't have yard though. Might have rooftop space for gardening and what not. But wouldn't have space for Hailey's animals. I'm… really not sure we're going to be able to find a place with space for Hailey's animals if I'm being honest. I'm not sure what to do there. Cuz I know she won't leave them. And duh. Booby traps are a given. And anyone that comes in is gonna have to know where not to step and what not.

It makes her giggle that almost-completely silent laugh of hers. The booby traps. Remember that movie with the 'booty traps'? Brynn asks, apropos of nothing. It just popped into her head. It was one of the ones that the kids would sign for her when they watched, and she liked it! It was pirate adventures and romance! No slick shoes! Some things will always be classics.

But back to the other conversation, Brynn's seriously thinking about what he says, he can see it. She's just struggling to find words to really have this kind of conversation. I don't like people to see me that much, Joey. The admission is hard. When they look at my art, there's already so much of me on that page, even though I don't think most people really get it. At home, no one… thought it was odd that I couldn't hear, no one really thought anything of it. Here… People look at me differently. I don't want to spend all my time proving myself to anyone. I just… want to be. It's not easy to explain.

Joe looks over, slightly bewildered as Brynn starts laughing. It might be almost silent, but it's not completely silent, and any noise from her might as well be an airhorn for those that are used to her being utterly silent. He turns with a raised brow to look at her, his own lips quirking upwards, half confusion half amusement. Until that is that she enlightens him on just what she's actually giggling about. His smile is a big one, and an honest one as they continue walking amidst her soft giggles.

His head tips to what she says, to the comments on people seeing her. Just color your skin camo or something. Go all chameleon. Don't let people see you. Wear it like armor. Joe is only half kidding. It's a bit of humor amidst the serious conversation, but he's also… not joking entirely either. He pulls in a slow breath, and holds it for a few moments after she finishes explaining.

I know what you mean Brynn. I do. Because I'm worried sick about applying for SCOUT. Not because I don't think I can do it. I know I can. But I know that being as young as I am I'm going to catch all kinds of grief. No one is going to believe I can do what I can do until I prove to them I can. You guys, my family, have accepted me for who I am. You all know what I can do. So if I suddenly shout for one of you to get behind me you dang well know that I'm serious and I'm about to block something that my skin will take but yours won't. I'm worried about failing the other officers. I'm worried about having to constantly prove myself capable despite my age. Maybe I don't understand fully like one hundred percent what you're dealing with, since I've always been a visible sort. But I get it in spirit.

He does. He’s not her, so he’ll never truly be able to understand what’s going in in her head. But he gets it. In general. He understands. He leans over to give her a side hug as they walk along. You need to do what you want to do. My being pushy as all heck aside. You gotta do you Brynn. You have to be you. Even when your overbearing brothers are trying to push you in one direction or another. You have to be true to you.

She leans against his side as they walk and she confesses, I want to make things pretty. I want to … paint and I want to do tattoos, I think. Pearl's been teaching me a ton of stuff, and I like it. Art is so personal and tattoos are especially personal. They make people remember things… good things and bad ones. I want to give them that.

Biting her lip briefly, Brynn also signs, Painting is for me… like the stuff I do for the walls in the apartment. And drawing too. But… with so much else going on, I can't imagine people would buy much of that kind of thing. So at least that's will pay the bills. Still, she does have to get a rider on her registration for that.

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