bennet_icon.gif hana_icon.gif

Scene Title Humility
Synopsis Hana asks a surprisingly personal favor from a man she's threatened with death more than once.
Date November 21, 2010

Pollepel Island

It's just like Hana to presumptuously summon Bennet, with no apparent consideration for the many things he needs to do. For the form of her summons to be a brusque text message, no more than the words needed to describe her location, absent of even a meeting time. Presumably, she means now.

This particular second-floor porch is half overgrown by ivy, poison and otherwise; the masonry of the other half is crumbling its slow way to collapse. Part of the facade of abandonment the Ferry still retains, its structure has only been reinforced just enough. Enough that it won't collapse any time soon. Hana is apparently willing to trust her life, or at least her health, to this work — she stands all the way out against the vine-entangled railing, facing the forest beyond. Her hair is loose, a shrouding spill of shadow over shoulders; black leather jacket and black jeans don't seem quite appropriate for the frigid morning, but it's Hana's style to wear them in spite of most weather conditions.

It's daylight out here, the soft light of a clear but very cold morning; this isn't the shore side of the castle, and she of all people would know if anything were about to overfly. Presumably, it's safe to be here.

As much as it's ever safe for the two of them to colocate. One good sign: with her back to the archway, Hana clearly isn't planning an ambush.

A time ago Bennet's approach would have been a silent one, he wouldn't have been noticed until he was a well-dressed silhouette in the doorway with sunlight reflecting off the lenses of his glasses. Those days, like so many others for the Ferrymen, are now at an end.

Noah's approach is long foretold by the scuff-clink-scuff-clink of his limping pace of movement. Each step up to the second floor is carefully and deliberately taken, slow and careful so as to both not stress the old staircase and more importantly not stress his old body. That steady rhythm of his approach warns Hana of his arrival, prepares her for the pitiful visage that comes into view through the doorway that leads out onto that porch.

While still dapper dressed, Bennet looks much the part of a wounded dog. One arm is bound close to his chest in a sling, an air cast around his wrist and elbow stiffly rigid. Despite that his slacks hide his bandaging and medical brace, Bennet's limp implies the injury.

"Hana," lacks Bennet's usual confidence, and his expression just looks wrong. It is because of the absence of his up until the day of the 8th ubiquitous horn-rimmed glasses. Crushed and lost in the attack on the Ferrymen council, Bennet has nothing to spare him from the squint he offers the woman leaning on the railing.

He wasn't greeting her, he was checking to make sure that's who the darkly dressed blur in his vision is.

"Bennet," is more rapid confirmation than sight, the crisp, cool abruptness of Hana's greeting more familiar than the fuzzy view of her back. It summons the connotations of past encounters, civil and otherwise; the rocky relationship they've shared over five years, sometimes working together, sometimes at loggerheads. It remains to be seen which this is, but that she turns to face him is not surprising; that she stays at the railing is perhaps a relief.

With one more word, the conversational landscape begins to shift alarmingly: "Noah."


Without the glasses, he can't see her expression; but the man who spent his professional career manipulating others can hear the flaw in her voice, the slight catch that isn't quite hesitation. This is different. This isn't her usual antagonistic confrontation, the head-on irresistable force Hana projects so well; it isn't even a side of her he saw back in her Company training. Yet it's Hana's voice, seems to be Hana's appearance, and the message that summoned him here was sent by a technopath.

"I need a favor."

"Isn't this unusual?" There's amusement in his voice, if only to keep his spirits up. The scuff-clink of his walking becomes more clear as he steps into the morning light, where a metal crutch under one arm and missing its rubber stopper on the bottom scrapes across the ground between each footstep, clattering at the articulated joint that rests at his bicep.

Slowly walking up to where Hana leans against the railing, Bennet doesn't dare test its mettle against the weight of two. Instead, he arches one brow and looks askance to the technopath, as if to imply the second floor, really? It's good-natured, though, it has to be given his current condition.

"What do you need?" It's asked without any further hesitation, as if nothing were wrong and this were any other day. Save that, in any other day, both Noah Bennet and Hana Gitelman would both circle each other more warily. If November 8th did anything to the Ferrymen, it drew the survivors back together again.

"Don't fucking joke" proves that Hana is still as touchy as ever; perhaps more touchy than usual, in the rapid-fire delivery of that response. He doesn't need to see clearly to know she's frowning as he walks out onto the balcony, thinking dark thoughts, perhaps even second (or third, or fifth) thoughts about asking whatever it is she has in mind.

He doesn't hesitate, but she does, a reluctance in her silence that for once doesn't have to do with their past. After a moment, she turns back to the railing with only the quiet shff of boot-soles against brickwork. Leans her forearms against the railing, perhaps recklessly, even as her shoulders twitch up in a hint of uncharacteristically defensive posture: Hana's usual concept of defense is strike first.

"Drucker's dead," the Israeli says quietly, by way of prelude. "Or — I'm not… even if I can put Rebel back together…" He may not come back. Noah knows better than anyone else the strange dichotomy that is Hana, that the woman who claims no relationships is driven more by the weight of kinship than anything else.

"It didn't matter before, if I died. It still doesn't," she continues, allowance or even reassurance, strange as that may be. "I'm not afraid of death, or after. But… I'm all that's left of them in the world. And with what I do, who I am… it's too much risk to carry with me."

That Drucker was still alive even in a term that might require quotation marks to denote spurious definition is still something of a surprise to Bennet. Drucker's file at the Company was always something of a fascination of his, especially when it related to the training Hana underwent at his instruction. Noah does not offer up the platitudes of condolences; Hana doesn't want them, let alone from Bennet.

Clearing his throat, Noah manages not to try and lighten the mood by making a joke that he's already married. Instead, he furrows his brows and looks down over the edge of the railing, supporting his weight more on that crutch and his good leg than anything else. Silence is the canvas that Noah paints his reaction on, somber silence and a slow nod that acknowledges that he was in fact listening.

"None of that sounded like a favor," Noah finally admits, with a reluctant warmth behind his words. Despite their differences, there is an unfortunate truth that despite having a family on paper, Hana Gitelman and the Ferrymen are more a family to him now than Sandra, Lyle and Claire are.

Noah Bennet never thought that day would come.

Hana Gitelman never thought the day would come that she asked Noah Bennet for a truly personal favor.

And yet here they are.

Silence, not really interrupted by the noise of birds and squirrels out in the trees, gathers around them for a few moments. Not hesitation now, not reluctance, but that strange and fragile companionship shared between the two.

"I want to set ova aside," the woman explains. "In case — anything happens." Her eyes flicker sideways to Bennet with a thin twist of humorless smile. "You know how likely that is." She keeps getting sent out to die — by Bennet, by herself — and someday, odds are the lioness will run out of lives. Or take an injury she can't rebound from.

But that still isn't the favor.

"I want you as co-signatory" is a tiny thing to say, but a heck of a trust coming from her. "For if I do die. And — I want you to set up a contingency, in case we both do," Hana finishes, the other shoe come crashing down to an equally unbelievable landing. She, too, glances down towards the ground beneath, as if it were suddenly of great interest. It isn't. "You're much better at that."

At times it's hard to imagine that Hana Gitelman did not crack out of her father's forehead, fully formed with gun in one hand and knife in the other. The reminder, ever so unexpected, that she is just as human and just as fragile as the rest gives Noah visible pause. Without those glasses of his, the older man's features seem deceptively younger, and also deceptively softer.

"I'm not sure I would have ever expected this, let alone from you, Hana…" and as soon as those words leave his mouth, Noah feels compelled to append the statement with, "it's a good surprise. Being reminded of our humanity is what keeps us humble." Looking down to his crutch, Bennet's brows furrow. "Sometimes we all need a little wake up call."

Soon Noah too is staring at the ground beneath his feet, as if searching for that same point of interest Hana found. He doesn't find it. "I'll do it," is easily noted, "but I want to know what your stipulations are for the ova's use. This is an important decision, and I don't want to make a single mistake on it."

Looking back up and over to Hana, Bennet's brows tense. "But you have my word on this, for whatever that's still worth."

She doesn't look up at Noah until he speaks, until he says the words that she can tell will end in consent. There are clues in tone, in word choice, and Hana's listening so intently that not even she can miss them. She glances over to him, only to snort at the word humble — not a virtue she is often (ever?) accused of.

Stipulations. Stipulations? The Israeli watches him study the masonry with a faintly bemused air — there are good reasons she's asking his help with this. "They don't get touched if I'm alive." Not by anyone else, anyway; she doesn't want to surrender that control. That part of herself, and her antecedents. "If I'm not…" She tips her head back, looking up at the cloudless sky. "See to it, whoever it is, whoever is created out of this, that they know. About Ruth. About Zahava. About Drucker. Where they came from. Who they are. Maybe I can do that, if I continue as purusha. If I don't…" Someone else has to, and it has to be someone who knows the history — the truth, and all of it — in the first place.

As for worth… It takes her a long moment, gaze steady upon Bennet all that while, to finally respond.

"I know what you'd do for your daughter," Hana remarks softly, somberly. "You understand what this means for me."

"Of course I do," Bennet agrees with somber simplicity, his eyes focused out towards the forest beyond the railing. The horizon is getting cloudy, and the break in the snow storm looks to have been a fleeting one. Soon the sun will be clouded up again, soon the snow will flurry once more and Bannerman Castle will look picturesque for it.

Looking from the trees to Hana, Noah's brows furrow. "Do you have any preferences on what kind of family it goes to? There's a lot of possibilities, there. Not to mention choices for a potential father. I'm not saying with certainty that there'll be hope to enforce any of that if we're both gone, but…"

Bennet offers a faint smile, "it would be your child. You deserve to have as much control as possible in their life." Which is something he sympathizes with, and is terrified he's lost: Control over his children.

Even simple-sounding things are never simple. Life always turns out that way. Probably, death — or afterlife — does too. Following Bennet's glance to the horizon, Hana shakes her head slightly. Not negation, but deferral.

"I won't make you stand out here while I figure that out," she says, a show of consideration the Israeli isn't known for. Though it could conceivably be that she doesn't want to stand there either — Bennet is left to draw his own conclusion. "I pulled a copy of the paperwork," the technopath continues, fingertips of one hand resting over the interior jacket pocket containing such. "I'm still working on the identity they'll go under. I can't exactly use 'Hana Gitelman'," she adds with a wry tone. All sorts of issues there, beginning with the lack of American records and ending with its notoriety in certain circles.

A nod towards the building. "We do have time, for all the details." She's not going to go off and do recklessly dangerous acts just yet.

"I can come up with something," Noah explains in a hushed tone of voice, taking the paperwork when it is offered out in his hand not laden by the crutch. "I guess this goes hand in hand with something I'd wanted to confer with you about…" and the dubious tone of Noah's voice comes at the same time he's tucking the proffered paperwork inside of his suit jacket's interior pocket. "You're not the only one who's become worried about their own mortality…"

Clearing his throat, Bennet looks back out to the treeline. "What happened to the Council was my fault. Out of everyone I'm the one with the most experience and training, the one who knows how to deal with persuaders. But there I was, being fed out of Susan Ball's hand. I kept Eden McCain on a leash while she was with the Company, and Susan should have been no different…" Noah closes his eyes, reaching up to pinch fingers at the bridge of his nose.

"I haven't lost my touch, I've just… I've gotten sloppy, and complacent." Bennet's hand lowers and his eyes open to look side-long at Hana. "The Ferrymen got too large, too ambitious. I sat by and watched while we went from a network focused on the shepherding of Registry defiants, to an organized paramilitary group. No matter what anyone says to the contrary, the Ferrymen have grown more militant over the years, and it threatened the government."

Exhaling a sigh, Noah looks down at himself. "I'm considering withdrawing from my seat on the Council. Not— from the network entirely, but I think that my judgment may not be as sound as I once envisioned it being, and I think I'm too preoccupied with my own personal issues to properly weigh the troubles of the network against my own agendas…"

"We all made the mistake of trusting her," Hana says, refusing to let Noah shoulder the blame alone. "You think she didn't make a mistake I could've caught if —" Her lips twitch up in a characteristic non-smile, not quite baring a hint of teeth. "Personal issues," she echoes, snarl making of those two words a scathing self-condemnation.

Boots tomph on the masonry as Hana strides across the balcony to its entrance, potential energy released into motion. "Get off your ass and back to work, Bennet, before I decide to slap sense into you too."

Bennet turns, if only partly, to watch Hana's retreat. This time he doesn't have a contrary comment to make to her, doesn't have an argument he's willing to offer. After all, she hasn't entirely countered his notion, just explained that he needed to get back to work. There's a faint smile that creeps up on his lips at that notion, it crinkles the corners of his tired eyes and hangs on his lips even as he looks back out to the lightly snow-dusted trees.

He does have work to do, and now that Hana has entrusted him with the future of her family line, that work has never been more important than ever.

Family, after all, has always been his first priority.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License