Look At The Bigger Picture


megan_icon.gif ryans3_icon.gif

Scene Title Look At The Bigger Picture
Synopsis Ben delivers what Megan asks for and tells her of meeting Ingrid. There might be a kiss in there somewhere too…
Date April 28, 2011

Pollepel Island: Docks

The fog is still thick this early in the morning. Making it hard to see very far ahead of you, much less people on the river seeing the activity at the docks. Which is a good thing, since the dock has seemed to have sprung some greenery. Small groupings of plants Dot the far end of the dock, more are being added others being carried off to a location that will keep them safe and out of sight til they can be planted.

"Careful with those," grunts out Ryans as he crouches down to take another tomato plant from the small boat, a few of the green fruits swing a little with their weight. Dressed in a dark gray hoodie, with a white shirt underneath. The mist clings to his dark hair making it hang a bit lank, plus it's a bit unkempt from the boat ride over.

Straightening he looks the plant over with a flat look, determining if it suffered from the ride over. He seems rather intent on what he's doing, it's better then mulling over the disaster that meeting his future child was, or how distraught Nicole seemed over the whole thing. Practical things keep the mind busy.

No doubt word of his return and what he's brought with him is filtering through the castle.

Megan leads a small contingent of extra hands toward the dock, wearing jeans and black zippered hoodie in the misty morning. She points people toward the plants and grins at the sight of them. "Wow," she comments softly. "Talk about a bountiful harvest. You planning on feeding the whole rebel army?" she teases as she starts gathering up pots.

"It isn't all that much when it comes down to it," Benjamin comments tucking the tomato plant into the crook of his arm and turning to greet the Ferry's nurse. "But it should help supplement the food until the wintertime. I have seeds as well. So… there isn't a lack of options." He gives her a faint smile, gentle if anything.

"Hello Megan." The potted plant is handed off to one of the people she's brought with, freeing his hands to snatch up an old Army back pack. "I was hoping I'd see you, if anything I would have hunted you down at the Infirmary. Still…" He fidgets with the zipper, giving her a small mischievous smirk. "I do believe you had a special order."

A special order? Megan stoops to pick up a flat of plants as well, and then pauses, crouched there. "I did?" she asks. Because in truth, she'd been teasing him and doesn't remember immediately. She moves to stand up, dusting her hands off, looking curious. "What was it?"

"I do believe the fair lady asked for something chocolate and caramel? I'm getting old after all, my mind isn't what it use to be," he jokes easily, even if his tone is calm and emotionless. A distinct white box is pulled out of the pack and offered up. Long and thin, it's a box associated with a certain candy maker. "Hopefully, these will do." The end of the box has a gold label that states that they are indeed chocolate caramels. There is a matching box in the pack for another woman on the island, as well, but this one is all hers.

Brows tick up as if waiting to see it his offering is acceptable. "This is what you ordered right?" He sounds a touch amused, maybe at the fact she doesn't seem to remember.

Megan blinks, surprised. And touched that he remembered that. It's not as if it's a need — it's a luxury beyond price, frankly. "Oh!" She starts to chuckle, "Ben Ryans, you do amaze me." She reaches out to take the box, almost hesitantly. "Thank you." and then impulsively her free arm slides up around his neck and she kisses him.

He had expected a hug maybe, but a kiss? That actually surprises him and catches him off guard. It will be noticeable by her, by the sharp intake of breath. What will throw Benjamin even more is how instinct kicks in and rather then pull away from it, the kiss lingers just as soft and gentle as it starts.

When he does force himself to break the kiss, he swallows a bit self consciously, becoming very aware of the people around them. And when did his hand end up resting along the curve of her hip? He lets out the breath he didn't know he was holding. "Well…" Slowly the old man is pulling himself together. "That was a hell of a thank you," there is a mild — if pleased — tease there under all the suddenly awkward.

The kiss was a simple one — she wasn't out to turn it into anything. Just a way of saying thank you to a man who occasionally admires your behind. But his reaction throws her a little, and the kiss becomes something a little … more. When he pulls away, she's got a somewhat bemused expression, quickly covered with a smile. "Well, it was a hell of a gift," she murmurs in return. And just like that, it's done. Megan turns to pick that flat of plants up, careful of the box in her hands, and asks in a casual tone, "Where are these going, anyway?"

He can easily latch onto the practical and he does, silently thankful for it. No doubt there will be rumors though, which is something that can't be helped. Ben can only hope Lynette doesn't hear of it. Or at least doesn't take it badly. Either way, for now… "The courtyard where they do the bonfires. It's somewhat sheltered and for the most part out of sight of the mainland."

Once he has the pack closed again and hooked over one shoulder, he's reaching down to pick up a another pair of tomato plants, even as she picks up a flat of strawberry plants.

Megan hoists the flat up, her box of prized caramels tucked underneath it, and glances back at the man. The corners of her lips take on an amused quirk. She wasn't entirely sure what had driven the impulse, but she didn't regret it. "All right," she says, starting back up the path toward the courtyard with her burden. "We could probably plant the strawberries in the woods themselves. They grow wild pretty well."

"That was might thought too, but into a specific area so people don't have to traipse all over creation for them." Benjamin follows after her with his own burden of plants. He watches her back thoughtfully, brows furrowed. It's really hard to know what he's thinking about.

"So…" he starts finally, moving to catch up enough to walk along side Megan. "While I was looking at plants and picking up seeds, I ran into a young woman who is suppose to be my daughter in the future." Ryans sighs softly and shakes his head slowly. "It didn't go well… but I know she's back in this time for certain."

Megan looks up at him as they walk, her brow furrowing. "It seems like a bad idea," she comments. He knows her thoughts on that though, so she leaves it there. "I'm sorry it didn't go well, though. That's got to be hard." She grimaces a little, studying him. "Are you okay?"

"I am." He focuses on the crumbling stairs that lead up to the castle. "Hurt a little more then I thought it would, but her… the woman that's suppose to be her mother was more distraught over the whole thing." Ben doesn't say he's worried about Nicole since she took it so badly. Doesn't seem appropriate after that kiss.

He glances at Megan and gives her what could be described as a sad smile. "I feel some of my fears were confirmed. If she feels like that about us… Doesn't want to talk to us cause of the type of parents we were," there is a soft sigh, "then I don't want to be that kind father again to another little girl." Ryans has had a lot of time to think about it since it happened.

Megan's woefully underequipped to really be able to help him with this — or at least she feels like it. Still, she offers softly, "How do you know what she feels if she didn't want to talk?" Pursing her lips thoughtfully, she points out, "If she's from the future, maybe she's afraid that just by talking to you, she'll slip and tell you something awful and …. I don't know… remove any chance she has of being born? That whole time travel paradox thing about going back in time and killing your own grandfather and stuff?"

"She's already ruined the chances, by just being here." The reply is gruff and unhappy. "Come on, Megan. I shouldn't be having anymore children." Benjamin sounds almost certain of this. "I do not like knowing what could be coming along." For one it's like telling him that Lynette and him will fail and if he gets closer to the redhead walking next to him that might fail too.

"But…" He lets out a slow calming breath. "But you might be right. My first thought was she might be scared, but after hearing about Delia meeting her son…" Benjamin's shoulders lift into a small shrug.

The redhead stops walking, moving to the side of the path and waiting for the two young men behind them to go on up the hill to the castle before she speaks. Only when they're alone does Megan give him The Look. The one all women perfect by the time they're 2 when a man's being, well…. a man. "Okay, so … if she's already blown the chances of being born just by coming, has it occurred to you yet that maybe seeing you and whoever her mother is supposed to be might be beyond overwhelming? There's a literal war brewing, from all that I've heard about these dreams Kaylee's collected. Do you know if you're even alive in her time? How many of these kids are there? And what kind of horrors have they lived for the past 20 years or whatever that might have killed all the people they love? Hell, Ben…. maybe they don't even have any idea what to say much less how to feel. You're telling me kids from the future are coming back here. Abby's telling me the same thing. And as bad as things are where they're from, how much scarier is it that they came back here knowing they might have just basically ruined their own lives?"

"I die when she's young." Benajmin admits quelling a little under that look he knows all too well. "Or at least from what I can tell talking to Nicole."

Silents stretches after that, uncomfortable, but needed as others pass them. Only when they are well, watching them until they round a bend he adds. "There are a handful that I know of… or suspect that they are by association."

There is a long sigh and he considers the redhead. "Okay. You're right." Damn women and their sense. It's not said to placate her, so much as the truth. "This can't be easy for any of them. I know for me it's overwhelming, I can't even imagine what it's like for her or the others."

Megan eyes him and shakes her head. "You know what? You're worrying about things that haven't even happened. Just like with Huruma," she tells him quietly. "Stop. Just… deal with what is right in front of you. The things we know we can do something about. We can't do anything about what's happened to a child who hasn't been born. We can only move forward with the here and now — you know she's here. You know you have… grandkids here." How wierd is it to say these things out loud. "Be glad they're here now, and show them the kind of man you are, Ben. It's all you can do."

There's a pause and Megan says softly, "I know that you think you're a shitty parent. And maybe you were, I don't know. I didn't know you then. But one thing I do know, and I think your children and grandchildren will know it about you if you let them — you're a good man, Ben Ryans. You're not perfect. No one is. Children don't have the capacity to see that, but any kid who faced their own mortality at age 20 to come back and try to help change what's happening right now? They didn't just do it because it was the abstract 'right thing' to do. They did it because they love their families, their friends. And they did that because of the examples in front of them. Including non-perfect parents."

He honestly doesn't know how to react to what she says. He can only stare at her with that odd little look of bemusement, before looking away when she's done talking. Pretending something out there is more interesting. It allows him to think about what she says. Allows him to realize that maybe they are more his blood then he thought.

"If I was in their shoes I would have done the same thing." Truth rings in those words, spoken gruffly in a soft tone. "I would have left it all behind, even if I knew that coming back would strand me." He turns back to her, eyes roaming over her features. "I'd probably be here if I hadn't died." There is a part of him certain of it.

"You know… Mary use to do that, too. Force me to remember the bigger picture, when I couldn't so anything but focus on a single piece." His features soften, sadden a little. A smile tugs a little at one corner. For a moment he probably looks like he wants to hug her… or maybe even a repeat of a few moments ago. Of course, he's got tomato plants in his arms, so he can't… which might be a good thing. Impulse can be dangerous.

Megan watches him gape at her, and then begin to process what she's said to him. When he admits he'd have done the same thing, the corners of her mouth tilt upward into a hint of a smile. "Of course you would," she murmurs softly. "And where the hell do you think the kids and grandkids got that kind of stubborn from?" she asks in amusement. In her opinion, in the end all of those kids have a boatload of courage and self-sacrifice bred into them — so good or bad parenting aside, clearly a bunch of them did something right. Or those kids wouldn't be the way they are.

Her blue eyes take in the expression on his face when he grins, and Megan chuckles softly. "I will take that as a compliment," she tells him quietly. "I get the impression that your Mary was one hell of a woman. Now c'mon, ya old fart, these plants aren't going to put themselves in the ground, are they?" she teases lightly.

"One of the best," Ryans agrees, smiling a little more easily. Stepping aside he lets her continue on first, before he follows after. He falls into silence then, letting his mind focus on the what will need to be done with the plants and seeds he's brought with him.

But he's not content to leave the compliment there, "Though I'm starting to see that maybe she wasn't the only one."

"Seems to me that your kids and your grandkids have all turned out to be damn fine people," Megan tells him as he falls into step behind her. "Which also tells me that their mothers are pretty amazing people too. All of them." It's a gentle kind of compliment, not just for Mary but for Nicole too. Perhaps meant as assurance that the woman in question will be okay once the shock wears off. Then she offers a cheeky grin over her shoulder at him. "Keep sweet-talkin' me like that, maybe I won't jab you quite so hard in the butt the next time I gotta stitch you up," she retorts with a wink.

"Which is going to happen again, I am sure." Ryans retorts with a soft chuff of laughter. With someone like Ben it's only a matter of time before he's on that slab again. It's a dance he's done for many many years. "Let's hope it's awhile anyhow… I don't think you and I are ready for another round of me in the Infirmary." It's easy to joke about it now…

"So just in case that happens… if I compliment on the view from where I am… will that snag me a free pass out of that place?" What would his girls say if they heard their father right now? It's the kind of banter and flirting that will probably carry them both along as they work to move plants before they both have to go to their respective duties.

Ben might be old, but he's far from dead.

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