Long Time Coming


keira_icon.gif ryans_icon.gif

Scene Title Long Time Coming
Synopsis Keira reunites with Uncle Ben.
Date May 28, 201

NYC Safe Zone

This has been a very long time coming.

Keira has kept in limited touch with her uncle over the years. Sometimes a call, sometimes a card, always for birthday and for Christmas. Occasionally, a postcard from some random and obscure place in the world turns up. Once she sent him one from Rio de Janeiro. Another time, she sent him one from Madagascar.

And each correspondence has always been rather vague — an assurance that she’s well, with no real details given, likely both for her protection and his. She has never said why she skipped town so abruptly those many years ago.

Now is as good a time as any to see him again. She can touch people now, so it won’t be awkward to give him a hug and suddenly be him. She doesn’t really want to be her uncle. That would be weird on many different levels. Now, she can’t be him unless she kills him, and she will definitely not be doing that any time soon. She likes her Uncle Ben.

She carefully steps up to the front door of her Uncle’s house — this is, as Keira has always been known to do, a completely unannounced visit. After a moment, she raises a hand, knocking on the door.

While she waits for her uncles, she feels a presence brush along her leg. Looking down reveals a rather large cat, who looks up at her with half lidded green eyes. A chirring chirp is offered, but the feline goes to stand in front of the door. Waiting patiently.

There is an obvious creak of flooring on the other side of the door, before it opens to reveal her uncle, Benjamin Ryans. He looks much older then she last saw him, the war having not been to kind on him. Not to mention the fact he is missing a hand, obvious when he rests it against the door jam. “Keira,” he sounds genuinely surprised.

Of course, as soon as the door opens, the cat glides past the man and deeper into the small house. “Uh… welcome.” The door is opened a little wider for her.

She can’t help but smile down at the cat, and the woman reaches down to gently offer her hand for sniffing — assuming the cat allows it, she offers him a gentle scritch atop the head. She’s mostly a dog person, but her relationships with feline telepaths has softened her toward the fuzzy beasts.

When the door opens, Keira puts her best face forward — which is a bit difficult, considering she wears an eye patch over her left eye. She healed up pretty nicely from getting her back broken, but the eye didn’t come back. Ben isn’t the only one who is missing parts, it seems — her blue eye turns toward the missing hand, then back to her uncle’s face.

“Uncle Ben,” she replies, sounding genuinely pleased to see him. “Hope I’m not coming at a bad time. Never was good at making plans ahead of time.” She really is bad at planning things ahead of time. She hates making appointments. “S’good to see you.”

“Naw,” Ben rumbles out, motioning her to enter into his home, a small smile tugging at the corner of his mouth. “Good to see you alive.” He can’t exactly say in one piece. Neither of them can say that really.

Once inside with the door closed, the place seems dark and small. It’s a bachelor pad alright. He motions to a pair of older chairs near a fireplace. “Have a seat,” he offers outloud. “I have water, iced tea, and whiskey.”

With a smile on her face, Keira slips into the house, peering around with the remaining eye. Good to know she’s not the only member of the Ryans clan that is missing a part or two. “Same t’you, Uncle. Glad you’re mostly whole.” She chuckles.

She takes a seat in the offered chair, pulling off the jacket that covers her shoulder. “You’ve done a lot since I saw you last,” she remarks. “Whiskey, then water?”

There is a firm nod and Ryans steps into the kitchen fishing items out. It’s awkward, but he has it down to a science. “Well, the world did turn upside down for awhile there,” he offers in his quiet rumble. While the bottle is tucked against his side, the tumblers are held between fingers. One is turned towards her to take, before he sets the other down.

Ruma is already sitting on the arm of the other chair, as if waiting for him to sit. The pair clearly have an understanding.

The cap removed he pours whiskey in each glass before setting the bottle down still open should she want more. “I haven’t heard from your father or any of my siblings really.” So he has no idea if they made it through it all.

“It really did,” she replies, turning to watch. She would jump up to help, but she gets the feeling that her Uncle is probably the type who hates being babied. The tiny tattooed woman reaches out, taking the tumbler. Once it’s filled, she lifts it to her lips, taking a gulp.

“Oh, I’ve been alive for thirty-five years and I still haven’t met my dad, so we’re pretty square there.” She doesn’t sound bitter any more; more than anything, she seems like she’s given up on the prospect of ever finding or meeting him. “All the same, if he does ever try to turn up, let me know.”

She smiles, then, taking another gulp of the whiskey, before setting it down. After a moment, she takes a breath. “I want to apologize for disappearing like I did without even sayin’ goodbye.” Blue eye turns to peer at her Uncle. “If you’re willin’ to hear it, I have a nice long story for you. You might even not hate me after I tell it.” This is said with a small grin.

Finally settling in his chair, the cat huddles down on the arm of the chair watching the new arrival with feigned interest, her tail tip flickering a little. Ben seems to take it all in stride, leaning back in the chair and taking a sip of his whiskey. “I’ll make sure to tell you and your brother.” He wouldn’t dare keep that information from them. Though at this point all of his siblings could have been lost in the war. He was one of four.

“I have nowhere to be,” Ryans offers honestly, motioning at her to tell her tale. “Be curious to hear since I was getting things from you all over it seemed like.”

Settling back in her seat, Keira takes one last gulp of whiskey, before setting it down. “So I should probably tell you why I left like I did, first.” She purses her lips. “I’m sure it’s no secret that I’m mixed up in the crime world. Kinda always have been, s’the only way I got through my childhood. Graeme and I’s mom is a drug addict, and…well, he was honestly the lucky one to be put into th’system.”

She pauses for a moment, peering at her Uncle with that blue eye. “Anyhow, right around the time I finally tracked you down, I was taken under the wing of a gun runner.” There is another pause as she gathers the words she wants to say. “He was, unfortunately, also part of Humanis First. I got a negative SLC test and was kinda bitter, so…I kinda let him suck me into that.”

She takes another sip of the whiskey. “I’m not proud of it,” she adds. “I already didn’t feel too keen on the idea, but I let myself get sweeped in anyhow. When I met you, and then when I met Graeme, I kinda started rethinkin’ my position on that s’more. Gave some info about them to Richard Cardinal…Ray now, I guess. Ratted Mayes and all of those bourgeois fuckers out…then I got scared, and skipped town. Went t’Mexico.”

Nearly to the bottom of her glass, Keira takes a small sip, then sets her drink down while she watches for her uncle’s reaction. She still hasn’t even gotten to the ironic parts yet.

It is really hard to tell what her uncle is thinking. Ben has always been good at hiding things like that. He sips at his glass as he listens, arm brushing along the cat’s back lightly. The mention of Humanis does have his brows dropping a little, but it could mean just about anything.

“I’m glad to hear you put that part behind you,” Ryans offers after a long moment of thought and a few sips of his glass. “So what happened down in Mexico?” he asks curiously.

He’s not trying to kill her. So that’s a plus, right? At least he’s not strangling her or shooting her. That’s about as good of a reaction as she can hope for, really. “I’m glad I did, too.” She shrinks a little all the same. Her Uncle, even less a hand, is an intimidating man.

“In Mexico, I set up shop. Did little bits here and there t’help out — I never did business with anti-evolved sympathizers if I could help it, and did my best to be Evo friendly.” It’s still crime, but then again, she probably helped some of the good guys with the weapons they needed to overpower the bad guys. She likes to think of it that way, at least.

“In any case, karma dealt me a nice, ironic blow.” She pauses, and promptly unties the tie on her pants that keeps the baggy things up. And then, suddenly, there is an obese, extremely hairy fat man wearing clothes that are way too small for him sitting across from Benjamin Ryans. He smiles, lifting the eye patch to reveal two complete eyes. “Surprise.” And just as quickly, the man melts back down into Ben Ryans’ niece, with considerably more stretched out clothing; thankfully, she closes her eye, and her uncle is likely to catch a glimpse of the unattractive hollow lid before she replaces the patch.

The sudden change has the cat bolting, with a pop of claws coming out of fabric. Benjamin for his part is very still. Blue eyes twitch slightly in a slight narrowing. He might be considering what is going on. What it his niece or was it someone playing with him. He wasn’t a telepath, so it isn’t easy for him to know either way.

Finally, he relaxes a little, though it is obvious he is still guarded. “Ironic, but useful it seems like,” he rumbles out thoughtfully. “I haven’t known too many shapeshifters in my time.”

Ben looks at his glass and down what is left in it, setting the glass on the table. “How did you lose the eye?” he asks conversationally.

“I’m sure you’re probably wonderin’ if I’m really me. I get that a lot, so I understand.” She adjusts the clothes, which are suddenly too loose — aside from another DNA test that will take too long, there’s no way to really show him that it’s really her. “It didn’t used to be at will, that’s a new thing. Used t’be, I touched someone, and I’d turn into them for a while, depending on how long I touched them.” Keira pauses.

“That’s also kinda how the eye came about.” She reaches up, making sure the patch is in place, because nobody really wants or needs to see an empty eye socket — and she doesn’t like showing it.

“So Richard Ray told me a few weeks back that rumor was, Emile Danko was alive and on Staten Island.” She pauses, lifting her glass and swirling what’s left around, peering quietly at the amber liquid with her blue eye. “Did some checking in with my boys, and I found him.”

Another pause. “Caught him. More fun irony, he’s an Evo too. Regenerates — he’s gonna be hard t’kill again. Probably would’ve either killed him or brought him to SESA, but I was stupid and wanted a little bit of revenge.” Because, you know, Emile Danko was one of the faces of Humanis First.

“Someone in FRONTLINE armor came to his rescue.” She reaches up, gently tapping the eye patch. “Ripped my eye out, and broke my back.” The woman downs the last of the whiskey. “Only reason I’m not hobblin’ around like a cripple after Sasha Kozlow worked his crappy magic on me is because the crime world has a much better healer.”

While the name Kozlow means nothing, but Danko. That gets the old man’s attention. Memories are faded, but he remembers going up against the man; but, also remembers… “He was dead last I check.” Not that he doesn’t believe her, but the reports were true last he checked.

More importantly, he wasn’t even evolved. Ryans brows furrow against those thoughts. When he uncle gets on a line of thought, it shows…

But almost as soon as it starts, Ben shakes his head and pours himself another glass, then offers the bottle to the woman across from him. “I retire and the world starts going to hell.” There is some amusement in his tone. He raises his glass. “Someone else’s problem now,” he states blandly.

“Last I checked before I found ‘im, he was, yeah.” She leans back in her seat, crossing her legs. “But considering what I saw, they probably thought he was dead, then he regenerated.” She frowns. “I think you could cut ‘is nasty little head off and it’d reattach.” Her expression darkens a bit. “Next time I’m gonna try fire.”

Apparently, she’s planning on a next time.

His remark prompts a rueful smirk to appear on his niece’s face. “Uncle Ben, where’ve you been? The world’s been going to hell since before I was born.” She shakes her head. “You enjoy your retirement, though. If anyone deserves it, that would be you.”

“Fire won’t do you any good.” Ryans offers with a rueful smile her direction. “Not with a regenerator, unless you can turn off the ability.” In other words, “You need to negate him first and then make sure to thoroughly destroy the body. Especially the brain.” It almost sounds like he has dealt with something like this before and there is a chance he has.

“This is not a guaranteed fix, since all abilities work differently, but it is your best bet.” Benjamin sounds a bit like a teacher giving a student advice. He might not be able to get out there and do things, but he can always give advice to the next generation.

The suggestions are filed away in the back of her mind for a later date. “It was weird. Like, his blood just didn’t want to leave his body, at all. It went back in, and when his wounds healed back up before the blood was all back in, it went back in through his nose and ears and eyes.” Keira squirms a little. That was gross.

Then, she nods. “Thanks. I’ll definitely keep that in mind.” She frowns slightly, leaning forward. “I’m not done with that asshole yet. OR his fuckin’ Power Suit Girlfriend. I know I can’t make up for th’shit I did with that hate group, but I can, at th’very least, help some people get justice.”

“Just be careful,” Benjamin points out firmly. There was a time long ago that he might have protested the kids taking these kind of risks, but he also learned that he couldn’t keep these kids from doing what they will. “Don’t get yourself killed, when you can run away and fight another day.”

He picks up his refilled tumbler and starts to take a sip, only to pause. “Power suited? Like Raytech suits? Or Frontline?” Ryans sounds curious.

The woman smiles. “Already almost did that, I don’t plan to repeat the same mistake again. I have ideas.” She chuckles. “I will be careful, though. I’m not going to do anything without backup, this next time around. The fact that I can still walk is amazing, really — I’m not going to take advantage of this second chance I somehow managed to get.”

She tilts her head toward her uncle, brows raising. “Frontline, with weird orange spider eyes in the helmet. It was a woman, I’m pretty sure.”

Benjamin is quiet again, sipping on his whiskey. He’d have to remember to mention that to Huruma next he saw her.

“I wore Frontline armor when I went to Alaska.” Ben had really like that armor, but the fight with the Institute's own had destroyed it. “Look for the weak points, mainly at the joints.” He pauses thoughtfully in consideration, “Though this sounds almost like an upgraded version. Otherwise, you will be hardpress break it. A good amount of C4 can to a good job,” he comments a little blandly. “Just… be careful how much you use.” Sounds like experience talking.

“They can only take so much abuse thought, heavy impacts in the same spot have a better chance at weakening it.” Again… experience talking.

Uncle Ben is awesome, giving Keira all of this advice. More information is filed into the back of Keira’s mind for later use. She’ll definitely come by for a little bit more advice when these plans she’s concocting (hopefully) come to fruition.

“It probably is upgraded, didn’t look quite like th’other ones I’ve seen. Mostly different eyes.” She tilts her head toward her uncle. “In any case, I’ll hopefully have a good deal of support next time I come up against that suit. Dated the CEO of Raytech loooong time ago, and he’s been helpful.”

He’s also why she is missing an eye, but.

If anything, her uncle has a lifetime… and a bit more… of knowledge under his belt going to waste in this brick house. Sipping away at whiskey and petting his cat, who is now back and hopping into the former Company Man’s lap.

The news about who his niece has dated is actually a surprise, brows lifting a little. It wasn’t a pairing he would have thought of. He gives a soft, “Huh.” Emptied tumbler set on the table. “Good! Richard is good people,” and that is all he has to say on that.

“Yeah, he is. I was a lot younger and dumber and…well, I ain’t the most sane person out there right now, but I’m better than I was when I dated him.” She chuckles. “He is a good guy, though, considering he still talks to me.”

After a moment, she offers a warm smile. “I’m glad you’re doing good for yourself, Uncle. You look…healthier than you did when I first tracked you down.” She glances to the cat, leaning forward slightly. “Sorry I scared you, dude.” She reaches a hand out for the cat to sniff. “We cool?”

Of course, they are cool, the cat rubs her cheeks against outstretched fingers with a loud purr. “Her name is Ruma.” Fingers dig gently at her scruff, which only intensifies the purr.

The mention of him being healthier is amusing to him. “Well, when you actually have 3 square a day, you are going to get healthier.” Ben smiles a bit at his niece. “I’m back into gardening again, so make sure you stop by often after everything starts really growing. I can set you up with fresh fruits and vegetables.

“Sorry, miss Ruma, I did not mean to call you a boy.” Keira smiles, scritching at the cat’s cheeks and chin. “She’s awesome. I’d have cats, but they’re hard to train to protect you, y’know? I have a Boerboel. Solid muscle, best dog I’ve ever met.” She grins. “Not as soft or fluffy as you, though,” she adds to the cat, scritching her on the head before sitting back in her seat.

The mention of gardening prompts a smile on Keira’s face. “Oh, that sounds awesome.” She lifts a hand, running it through her short blonde hair. “I definitely will, I haven’t had fresh food in ages.”

There is a thoughtful moment as he watches his niece and the cat. “She followed me home and won’t leave.” There is a touch of amusement as he adds, “I’m strangely okay with that.” Obviously, since she is curled up on his lap.

“Ages, huh?”

Benjamin considers the young woman and give a firm nod. “That settles it then.” He gently nudges the cat off his lap. Of course, her idea is to jump up on Keira lap. It’s a big cat and engulfs Keira’s lap. “You’re staying for dinner,” her uncle states firmly, getting to his feet.

The little shapeshifting thug smiles warmly at the cat. “It’s nice when they choose you. You’re obviously hers now.” She chuckles softly, before her remaining blue eye turns to her Uncle.

She doesn’t protest to the notion of having dinner with her Uncle. “Oh man, you’re gonna feed me too! There is no end to your awesome-ness, Uncle Ben.” She chuckles softly, standing. “Only if you let me help cook.” She’s not the best cook but she can totally help with prep, at least.

This whole having a family thing is pretty amazing.

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