huruma_icon.gif megan_icon.gif

Scene Title Inescapable
Synopsis A visit like any other gets- - weird.
Date November 19, 2018

Young Residence

The corner residence in a line of what used to be fairly lovely brownstone homes on Ithaca street, there is still a sense of what the place used to be. Although rundown, the front steps bring visitors directly into a foyer of scuffed hardwood, where a staircase with a wrought-iron banister snugs up against the right-hand wall to the second floor and the hall continues all the way through to what a brief glance shows to be a small, well-laid-out kitchen. Nothing in the place is in very good shape, but the bones of what it could be someday can still be seen in the wainscoting and crown molding. Right now, the resident of the place has just done what she can to make it less decrepit.

In the family room to the left of the entryhall, the entire front wall is composed of windows, the farthest front corner of the room rounded into a circular feature. The windows have "decorative" iron scrollwork bars over them. Threadbare throw rugs cover the floor and three mismatched armchairs sit around a small, beat-up end table facing the fireplace, which obviously sees very regular use. Through an archway, an empty dining room sit forlornly and then through the archway on the other side, a small kitchen table sits in the nook area of the kitchen. All in all, the main level of the place is about 800 square feet.

Midway into November is when the weather really starts getting icy and cold; the sky belched snow the other day, and now the streets are a mixture of shoveled snow and sludge as it lingers. The air is colder, and wet, and Huruma gets increasingly miserable about it. She tries not to unload this dislike on her friends, however- they have heard it enough over the years. She told Megan she was coming to visit, but not really when.

The jangle of a key at the lock says much after a cursory knock comes first- ready or not, here she is. Wind that ruffles the darkfur of her long coat pushes the door open with a clatter of noise, and for a moment Huruma is standing there looking like Cruella kicking down the door for some puppies.

Fortunately, she isn't here to skin anything. And of course shuts the door behind her, prompt and disgruntled.

The dump of snow meant that Megan was at work double shifts the two days following. Cuz it never fails. Foul weather always brings out the ER shifts. And she's within walking distance, so it's not like she can't get there. However, today finds her at home, and lo and behold there's a fire burning in that fireplace. A small stack of wood looks like Meg's been maybe camping out right here, too.

The redhead leans forward in the chair she's sitting in to smile toward the newcomer. Not many people have keys to her house, after all. "Hey you," she rasps out in a rough voice. It's one of those very very rare times that Megan Young has actually (*GASP*) succumbed to germs. From the sound of her, she's sporting a very nice head cold.

She's not terribly ill. Certainly not ill enough to not laugh at the hissy-kitty scowl of grumpiness that Huruma wears. "C'mon in. I just sat down with tea," she invites on a chuckle. Heat, hot tea, and comfy chairs — cats' best friends.

Huruma takes a moment to bristle against the wash of heat inside, stepping into the den with a piqued look to her friend. "My, look who's got the sniffles." It's a wonder it's not more common. "I hope the kettle's hot." She asks as she shrugs off the weight of her fluffy coat, only to drape it around Megan in her chair. "Comfortable?"

Huruma is right at home, of course, given that she wanders out to the kitchen to fix herself a mug as well.

"Bah… it's the time of year when they bring in every strain of virus known to man," Megan grouses good-naturedly. "I'll be over it in a day or two." The woman seriously must have an immune system that's scared of her — even in the deprivation years, she herself rarely came down actually sick. And most of the time even when she did, it's not like she had time to stay that way. So mostly she just ignores it. "I felt like actually taking it easy, so I let them chase me out of the ER when I sneezed," she admits as Huruma comes back in with her own steaming cup. Megan hadn't been kidding, she had literally just sat down with her cup when the keys sounded.

Now, comfortable and even further surrounded by the warmth of the coat that Hooms draped around her shoulders, she is settled back in the chair. "There's a bottle of half-decent whiskey next to the chair," she invites. Oh. So it's not just TEA, it's hot whiskey-laced tea.

"Whatcha been up to, lady? I was just thinking about poking my head up your way when the weather turned — I'm not driving in that," she sniffs.

Huruma wanders back through with a cup of tea, laughing quietly at the tale of coworkers, and a little more when she gets the tipoff of the bottle. Of course, she shifts track just enough to pick it up before settling into another chair. She likes that one best. Wider seat.

"Recently, mostly just trying to ride out a hundred different things… between work, Richard's… nonsense, and spending time with the people I like to spend time with… same old things, different day." Huruma tops herself off while she answers, leaning over to settle the bottle onto the coffee table. "Shockingly, I am less easily bored the longer I go. Others rubbing off, I suppose. The Safe Zone does not have a shortage of excitement, either. Even if it's freezing."

Megan's smile as she sips her tea is amused. "Right… no shortage of excitement." She, on the other hand, really is starting to slow down… just a little. It's only just starting to show, really. She moves just that hair slower, the silvery strands that used to arely gloss the pure white swathe of hair above her eyebrow are starting to multiply quite visibly. In another year or two, it's highly probable she'll be entirely white-haired.

"I… " She pauses a long moment, savoring the whiskey-laced tea in her hands, breathing in the steam of it as she ponders her words. "Do I even want to know what you mean by 'Richard's nonsense'?" she finally asks. "Because the fact that you're involved in what I remember of Richard Cardinal's nonsense activities leads me to the inescapable conclusion that Benjamin is likely involved as well." Her blue eyes have a rueful amusement in them. "I landed on his porch months ago because someone was talking about time travel and shit… and now there's people reporting bizarre visions." She is struggling to keep the worry off her face, but she can't hide it from her best friend's ability. And she is worried. Almost scared. That it's all starting again.

Huruma looks about to answer what she means by nonsense when Megan more or less fills it in for her instead. Both brows lift up and the dark woman busies herself in a sip of the tea, and then a bit of breath blown over its surface.

"Inescapable conclusion, hm?" Amusement tickles Huruma's words, and she hides a crook of smile against the mug as she sips at it once more. "Richard… had a lot to say about the intertwining of worlds. Not so much… time, but parallels. It's all sorts of bizarre, but imagine reality to be a spider's web, with a thousand different connections and vast void in between. That is where a spider lives, and our displaced friends on the strings." Huruma clearly leaves a lot of it out, in order to make it more digestible. "If you want more I can get you the sparknotes."

Suffice to say… nonsense. Dangerous nonsense.

"I had heard about the visions. Not anything specific, just that they are happening. They don't sound like the ones we've had before, though.."

Megan looks … weary, actually. She, too, lived the last round of visions. They'd hurt her then, but to see such things now would literally gut her. She hadn't known the people she'd seen in those visions as well then as she does now. The redhead looks down at her teacup. "Don't keep me in the dark," she asks, her blue eyes seeking out Huruma's. "I don't know that I can or even want to get involved this time around… but don't keep it from me?" The thought of the horrible things that came of those visions, the children who traveled through time to try to stop them… the ball of dread in her stomach just got a little bigger. "We had a couple people show up in the ER …. talking about basically seeing shit. I'm less than thrilled."

She pauses, though, catching up with something else. "Displaced friends? The kids?" She's always called them that — the ones that she knows about like the Ryans spawn. It alarms her visibly. "Are they in trouble?"

"I won't keep you in the dark, at least not on purpose. I can bring some things over for you to look at. It makes more sense written out." A pause, then, "The worst thing, ironically, is one that we should only minimally talk about… but I will show you." Huruma leans onto the arm of the chair, pale eyes locked on without apprehension. "No."

"Not the kids." How did Richard tell her? He just out with it. "Elisabeth, and Magnes. They may be alive— just somewhere else." Displaced.

Relief is patent on her features. Thank God for small favors, the kids are all okay. And then Huruma lays out at least some of it. Megan wasn't involved in any of that stuff. She was out on Pollepel when Huruma and Benjamin hared off to Alaska in 2011. But she's familiar enough with those two names just from the stories that her friends told. Both brows rise up her forehead. "Oh, good," she murmurs flatly. "BOHICA, baby." She reaches up and props her cheek on her fingertips, her elbow on the arm of the chair. "Just show me the stuff I need to know to be able to keep you people in one piece," she sighs. Because in the end… that's her job. To keep them all in one piece so they can fight whatever fight they're fighting. And somehow… just knowing that she's not wrong, that all hell's about to break loose YET AGAIN, it settles her in unexpected ways.

Maybe it's been too many years of fight; maybe she can't quite relax and take the world at face value anymore so that the uncertainty of which things are going to hell where she can't see them is more stressful than knowing something ugly is coming.

Huruma gives Megan a quizzical look, brief but clearly at whatever word she used a moment ago. "Bohica?"

"I- yes. It is quite the study, so just let me know when to come over. I keep my own notes." On paper, to a degree. Huruma sets down the mug in her hand, slipping out of her chair to move to Megan's. Unafraid of getting the same germs, she leans over the side of the chair to wrap her arms around the redhead's shoulders, a smile lurking on her lips. "We did not win only to lose." She hopes that much is reassuring.

Megan grins. "BOHICA. Bend Over, Here It Comes Again." You can take the girl out of the military but her acronyms are forever. "You just hope there's Vaseline." She sets her mug down and leans into that hug, allowing the embrace to bring comfort and reassurance. "I'm sorry to be pessimistic," she murmurs from under the tall woman's chin as she holds her forearms. "Took the time this year to go over to the Brick House. It was… a rough night. Good. But rough. Winning …. doesn't look exactly like we thought. And the idea that we're about to get blasted again …. it hurts."

Huruma snorts at the acronym's meaning, shaking her head with a slight toss of eyes. Ah, one of those. "You have every right to worry." And that is the truth. "Maybe it does not look as we'd hoped, but it is still better. And this time we know what we are capable of…"

Rain pelts against skin and the sheen of lamplight makes the road into a river of silver pockmarks. It's cold- that November cold. The house up ahead is lit only in one window, a warm orange against the cool blues of snow gathered on the outer sill. Huruma feels the rage in her belly as she crosses the asphalt and cuts into the garden, thorns raking against bony arms.


Whatever reassurances Megan was getting goes on a little long, and when she looks up to check why, Huruma's eyes are unfocused and her grip twitching, gaze looking somewhere far away past her friend.

Blasted, right?

"Yeah, it's better," Megan agrees readily. When Huruma goes still, the redhead looks upward. And she's instantly aware of something going on — the twitching and the wide pupils bring the nurse upright and sliding carefully out of Huruma's arms. "Huruma, can you hear me?"

The lack of immediate answer has the redhead moving slowly and very carefully to guide the other woman into the chair Megan just vacated. Is it a seizure? Is it a panic attack? Is it something else that doesn't immediately cross her mind? Her brain starts listing observable symptoms and she slips into the Nurse Zone, cataloging and discarding things from her mental list as she hustles for her medical bag.

Huruma has a subconscious resolve to stay frozen, and given how much stronger she is, Megan can't seem to budge her much at all. Her spine is rigid and muscles tense, pupils filling irises; her arms linger out where Megan had been just before, hands flexing and fingers curled like claws. No pain response, but she isn't there.

The back door lock breaks readily enough under nitrogen and the pressure of a tool held in the dark in gloved hands. It shatters and admits her. She stalks through two rooms before finding one occupied. The television is on, the news droning on about markets. She isn't quite listening. Pinehearst crashes, market numbers in the wind, multi-million dollar projects and projections flaking apart like old veneer. A quote from an interview, a familiar face speaking from a seat of power.

Huruma takes a step back seemingly on her own, and she remains—

The next is a wordless assault. Huruma moves forward into the living room, gliding over carpeting in silence; the shine of a knife, slim and talon-shaped, flashes in the air as she brings it down into the chest of the man sitting quietly in his worn chair. He gasps as his lung collapses, and blood smears against the dark woman's hand as she jerks his head back, eyes focusing on his.

"Long-" The knife retreats, plunges. "Time-" Again. "No-" Again. "See." Once more.

Moving carefully around her friend, Megan pulls out a flashlight and settles her fingers on Huruma's pulse. She doesn't want to flash her right away, not with her pupils blown that wide — it'll be disorienting, blinding. Instead, she makes sure there's nothing in the way to make Huruma fall to the ground. And her worry is doubled when the heartbeat under her fingertips triphammers. "Talk to me, dolly," Megan murmurs quietly. "Don't you get lost in that wicked mind of yours." Her copper brows are pulled tight in a furrow. All she can think to do right now is wait it out.

The grit of Huruma's jaw is like steel wires pulled taut, pulse running and breathing heading to shallow pulls of air through nose and teeth.

He doesn't answer her save with a gurgle of air and blood bubbling up from his throat. Huruma rests her chin against his head and tugs the talon out with a twist of flesh.

"You deserve it, love."

Her nails rake against the stains of red in his shirt, one hand digging into open wound, the other pulling his head by the hair to expose the bubbling wound in his neck. She lowers her mouth there, against the cut, tasting copper and sugary red.

A step back has her blindly jerking her wrist from Megan's touch, and the motion seems keen to carry her further, momentum winning.

All there is now is red and pulse and the last gaping scrabbles of panic from mouth and groping hands- and the draw of mouth against slick skin, the drag of teeth against jaw.

Huruma's eyes roll back into her skull, breath catching, and the disorientation of coming back to oneself in the midst of a fit sends her pitching toward the floor and the coffee table. It's a long way down.

Dropping her flashlight to the floor, Megan darts to take the brunt of the fall. Huruma is taller and heavier, but the nurse lifts people onto gurneys. She's not weak. Although she can't stop the tumble, she can at least make the fall not hurt. And make sure nothing whacks a coffee table or falls in the fire on the way down.

"UNGH! Ruma!," she gasps. "Shitshitshit." She manages to slow the momentum and throws her hip in there to adjust the angle. But she winds up splatted on the floor with her best friend, pinned half under Huruma's shoulder. "Unf! Ow." She's not gonna move for a minute there. Hooms is heavy.

Huruma still manages to topple the coffee table with an arm outstretched grasping at nothing, though thanks to Megan she didn't plow through it entirely. The whiskey bottle was closed, also thankfully. She lies there for a time before her eyes are able to refocus on anything specific. Megan will need to suffer under there a bit longer. "Nnn."

The wind knocked out of her a bit, Megan isn't overly fussed. She does, however, sass rather breathlessly, "I sure as hell hope it was good for you… left something to be desired on my end, dolly." Guh!

As what she saw catches up with her, Huruma can feel her eyes wetting up at the corners before she realizes Megan is squashed behind her, thanks to the sass. Huruma makes a discernible effort in rolling over and pushing a hand against the floor, lifting up enough to hover over Megan on the floor. She looks haggard now that she is aware, eyes slick and mouth opening and closing before she speaks up. "Are you okay?" Good for her? Ehhh..

As Huruma moves, Megan can finally breathe out a sigh of relief. "I'm good," she mutters. "Christ, you're still all muscle." She too rolls, to the other side, to push upward on her hands, her blue eyes searching Huruma's face. "What happened? You were… stiff. Like a seizure, but…. not." Yeah, you know that dread that was happening earlier? "Did you…. see something?" Bohica.

Huruma usually would remark on Megan's assessment of her brick-wallness, but she doesn't look like she wants to play. She sits back on her feet, knees folded and hands in tight fists atop her thighs. No affirmative is itself an affirmative. She tries to steady her breathing, head swimming.

"I- I was me." That doesn't sound right.. "I was me but I wasn't me." Huruma lifts one hand to knead fingertips against her chest, as if she might be able to massage her heart. The shine in her eyes only grows, pooling at the corners; she sinks off of her feet and onto the floor, sitting down without an effort to rise. "I don't think you want to hear the rest."

Yeah. Yeah, that's exactly what some of the others who've come to the hospital said. Megan grimaces just a little and she shifts, crawling to put herself right next to Huruma where she can wrap her arms around her friend. The tears are heartbreaking — whatever Huruma saw, for it to hit her so hard that her reaction is immediate tears makes Megan fiercely protective. She holds the taller woman tightly. "Whether I want to hear or not, if you need me to hear, then you tell me," she insists. This is the woman who never lets Huruma shy away. She accepts the other woman for exactly who and what she is, and the past or the possible future or whatever the hell just got seen does not fucking matter.

Huruma's limbs are rigid against the embrace, but it only takes a moment more and a bit of effort until she relaxes a touch. One hand hooks up around Megan's arm held tight aroung her, fingers warm with the rush of panic. She squeezes firmly, but not too hard.

"I don't think…" Huruma's breath evens, the pallid look on her face warming with Megan's presence. Maybe she won't like it, but- "I was hunting a man. Killed him in his home." This isn't quite what upset her, that much Megan will know. "I don't know who he was, but I saw enough rage in me to- tear him open."

"She was skin and bone and I know what that does." Huruma finally decides to treat this not as herself. It wasn't. She hasn't been that.

Grimacing, Megan can only imagine the horror of what she saw. The few stark words are enough to make her squeeze protectively. "I'm sorry," she murmurs. Instead of giving platitudes, she simply says, "If they're prophetic… we'll do as we did before. Just work with what we can to make sure it doesn't come to pass. If they're not… then we will simply be grateful that it's a what-if that isn't ours to actually live?" Because what else can they really do?

Huruma presses her chin against red hair, breath warm and frame slacking. She's okay, it was just- unwanted.

"No… there was…" Huruma's hand lifts to mime her words out, eyes still wavering between focused and unfocused. "There was a newscast. It was talking about Pinehearst's market crash." She sits up straighter, as if a fan has blown the fog from the front of her mind. At least there is that. "I heard something months ago, on the radio, about the same… it interrupted the local signal." Her shoulders bristle as if hackles, uneasy.

Megan sits back, looking up at the other woman's face with a serious expression. She doesn't know much of anything beyond the whole traveling from the future thing with the Ferry kids… and what Huruma explained a little earlier. But she nods her head slowly, and says, "Then she's not you. She's a 'what might have been' if any number of things had gone differently." Her gentle tone is still firm. "Given how you're describing her, it sounds like she was in a really bad way. I'm sorry you had to see it." With a soft sigh, the redhead mutters, "Bohica."

"To hell with Richard and his bloody superstrings." Huruma hisses through her teeth, biting anything more back at the solid earth of her friend's voice. She is still tethered there as her eyes unfocus again.

There's a blind scrabble of hand towards where Megan is- was? There's nothing there but dark and the damp of bloodied floor.

"Hhh." This time she doesn't freeze up like before, but if Huruma could look positively green? She does now. Her hand leaves Megan's arm to grasp at air, and for a split second it feels like she may jump up, muscles bunching. Instead, she wobbles in her sit and falls back onto an elbow.

There's a knife in hand, grip tightened around it. A shout of shock, and a gasp of breath, and she sees the reach for no-one.

"What… what is this…" She hears her own voice in her head, rough and torn. Then, as soon as it flashed in, it is gone.

"Ghh, stop." Huruma lies down on the floor, gaze dizzy but coherent as whatever it is passes through her again, dissipating into a strain in her temples. "She was reaching for you. Maybe… did she see you?" Did they see each other?

Maybe it's time to just stay where she is, rather than tempt fate again. "Bohica, then."

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