Me and You


vf_lynette_icon.gif vf_ruiz_icon.gif

Scene Title Me and You
Synopsis Sometimes someone else is all that is needed.
Date November 10, 2011

The Hub: Ruiz and Lynette's room

After spending some time trying to hunt Ruiz down, Lynette retreated to their room. He was sure to end up there eventually, after all. She sits on their bed — they're lucky, they've got a mattress on the floor of their space — back against the wall and legs out. She hasn't gotten out of her work clothes yet, so she smells a little bit like a frayed wire. Her goggles sit on top of her head still. Dirt colors her hair. Grease, too. She has a book in her hand, opened as if to read it. But she isn't reading it, she's staring over the edge of it at the far wall. Or something further.

The heavy metal door opens with a creak of metal on metal. It appears that it's hinges could probably use some of that grease, but they don't have time for little things. The door still opens. It can wait. Ruiz still wears his jump suit, one that has no last name, because no one wants to waste sticthing to actually add it. They need all the thread for fixing what clothes they salvage. And everyone knows who he is, anyway. A population of under two hundred— they all pretty much know each other.

In his hand is paper— sheet music, identified by even a brief glance. But it's the red band visible on his wrist that stands out the most. She'd recognize that. Dessa's watch. The woman had never gone anywhere without it.

"You're awake," he says in a voice that sounds— tired, raw. The door squeaks closed behind him, and he leans against it for a minute. It's actually been days since they'd seen each other, due to their various jobs.

Not even since he called out the breach in the disposal room. The one only a handful of people knew what had actually come of it.

Lynette's gaze travels when the door squeaks open. And when it's Ruiz and not someone there to bother her, she lets out a sigh and smiles gently over at him. "I was waiting for you," she says, and while she might normally get up to greet him, one glance at him and she reaches over to pat the spot next to her. She doesn't miss the watch or the music. Both get a frown.

"I heard we might be getting a new music teacher," she says, because she's not subtle. She nods toward the sheet music, or maybe the watch, then looks back up to him with a question in her gaze. "Seems like I should have cut my shift earlier." Her shift recharging every battery and generator they have, probably.

With a glance down at the sheet music, Ruiz nods, not even bothering to mask his remorse with a joke or a smile or even some kind of neutral expression. She would see through it, anyway. He steps over to the small bookshelf that they have, complete with the few books he'd been able to trade for. The sheet music is set down, The Aleph and Other Stories is tipped over to lay atop it, so it doesn't fall off.

Without actually saying anything, he crosses the rest of the way to the bed, and lays down upon it, putting his head down on her, turned away so that his free arm can wrap around her, holding her close. It's one way of saying I need you.

Needed? Perhaps. But they both had very important jobs, some more important than others. He breaths her in, the smell of her under all that grease and frayed wire.

When he comes to lay down without a word, Lynette's worry gets deeper. Her hand runs through his hair and her other slides around him, too. She's here. As much as she needs him pretty frequently, she is more than willing to return the favor. "Javi?" she asks, her fingers gentle but her hold around him tightens. "Do you want to talk about it?" It's an invitation she only ever gives to him. "Whatever you need, I'm here."

"All I need is you," is Ruiz's quiet response on whatever he needs. She's all he needs. It's so quiet and simple that— well— there's no reason to doubt it. Staying there for a time, he doesn't say anything else, just letting the silence linger between them as he holds onto her, as he closes his eyes and is just there.


He didn't even bother to take her book away, as if he expects her to just keep reading— but to be honest he doesn't expect anything other than her gentle fingers running over his hair. Hair he hasn't cut for a time— the natural curl starting to come out, wrapping into her fingers. "God, I missed you," he adds on in the same whispered tones. He missed her more than she probably knows. Would the last few days have been better with her? Certainly. But they both had their part. Especially after he drained the power supply as much as he had.

Lynette lets the silence hang there, then. Her fingers doing what they can to comfort him. She hums softly, her favorite song with a bittersweet bent to it, given the moods hovering in this room. When he speaks again, she picks her book back up and sets it on the floor before she slides down to lay there, too. Her hands slide around him and she pulls herself closer to him. "I missed you, too," she says before she presses a kiss against his shoulder. "I hate these shifts," she adds, a layer of guilt in those words. She feels like she should have been here, whatever's been going on while she's been gone. A beat later, her tone shifts and he can feel a smile spread crookedly across his skin. "Think we could get them to believe we could power the place from here? Naked?"

As she shifts, Ruiz moves as well, so that he's laying at her side more, arm still wrapped around her— head resting on her chest now. Because where better, right? "We might," he responds with some of his humor back for a moment. "Just have them bring the batteries to the door, you can charge them. Sounds perfect." For her. Unfortunately his job is far more… hands on. And he has a specific job now, too, something new. Something he's technically not supposed to talk about—

"We had a breach the other day. In the disposal room," he starts, shifting so that he can look up at her, all the while still holding on as if she were a lifeline.

Some humor seems to be what she was going for, and Lynette smiles to hear it in his voice. But her smile is gone a moment later, following his lead. Her fingers move back to his hair, playing with those curls a little more. Maybe she likes it a bit longer, even if practicality demands things be different.

When he looks up at her, she looks back at him and his words get a lift of her eyebrows. "A breach? How?" That's the first question, because of all the places invaders might slip in through, that was not the place she would have guessed. "Did they hurt you?" That comes quickly, her voice hinting at some belated panic. "What kind of breach?" Question upon question. But she blinks and refocuses on him. Her expression and her voice both go softer. "I've got you."

"Not a— " Ruiz hesitates, sitting up even more, though he grabs onto her hand so he can hold onto that. Obviously it wasn't an infectious breach, because— he's here. Not dead or waiting to die. "The Professor told me to use my ability to dispose of trash." Which meant he, like her, had been unnegated for a time. He's negated now, but she knows what his ability can do to him. In some ways negation had been a good thing for him. "Probably kept you overtime for that."

His ability drains energy, after all. There had been some surges, more so than normal during her time.

"Something came out." Nothing ever came out.

Lynette squeezes his hand and pulls it to hug to her chest while he talks. "They should have just sent me with you." Of course, no one is quite sure what would happen to Lynette if he were to use her energy for his power. Considering that she is energy. "I'm gonna talk to the Professor. The infrastructure isn't made for sudden fluctuations. If I had some warning, I could have kept it steady." However she might rant — and she has fuel for it — his last words bring her back to the more pressing matter.

"Something came out? Nothing comes out." Which he knows. And she knows. Everyone knows. But she's processing, is all.

"No," is Ruiz' immediate response to her idea that she could have been there with him. He wouldn't have wanted her there, because he's not going to risk something happening to her. He doesn't even like using his ability, he couldn't live with himself it if did something to her. Especially her.

"But we'll try to give you better warning, next time." Next time?

He closes his eyes, before moving to look at her again. "The two people? That K-Mart found— ? K-Mart didn't find them. They were the breach in the disposal room."

His response has her taking in a breath, like she might protest. But she rethinks it and lets it out a moment later. "How about we don't have a next time and we just use the incinerators?" That is what Lynette would prefer, even though she knows she doesn't get a say in it, really.

She sounds upset. And she is. But not at him. She lifts his hand to her lips to prove it with a kiss. Her gaze flicks over to him when he explains and her head drops back down to the mattress. "I knew she was full of shit," she says. Of Liz, apparently. But then she rolls over onto her side and looks over at him. Her hand lets go of his in favor of reaching over to touch his face. "I can't imagine how frightening that must have been," she says in a whisper.

For a moment, Ruiz shakes his head. It's not that he didn't expect her to be one of the ones who would find this whole situation unwelcome. But he also needed to explain more to her. "Woods had the same reaction," he murmurs, before drawing her hand closer and pressing it against his mouth. "It was— different. But they're not bad. In fact, they might be our only chance to get out of this hell-hole."

And by hell-hole, he doesn't just mean the Hub, which he explains in a moment.

"Apparently… they're from another place. A world where the Virus never happened. Where Vanguard and Kazimir Volken were defeated." Another world, entirely. "Ray made us all promise not to tell anyone, because it might cause too much of a panic." He looks at her, as if waiting to see if she will respond the way Ray no doubt feared.

"I worry about you," Lynette says, to explain her own reaction. Because she does. And she doesn't like hime being in danger, not without her there. He moves her hand and she moves closer to him, to nuzzle into his neck. She's listening, she just doesn't see how two people could change their situation here. So she kisses the hinge of his jaw instead.

But he explains further and she pulls back to look at his face. "Another world? Without the Vanguard?" She says the name in a whisper, like they might hear if she says it too loud. Her brow furrows as she looks over at him. "And they came through your portal." She ends her statement with a thoughtful noise. And then refocuses on him again. "I think he's right. If people thought they could get free, be safe, who knows what they would do. That's what you mean, use your power and redo whatever it was that got them here in the first place?" She looks over his shoulder, where several books on this theme sit. Then she looks back to him again. "Do you think it could work or is this Ray trying to keep them from panicking themselves?" By finding out they're stuck here. And who would blame them.

"I think it might work," Mateo responds, unable to truly say that it will at this point, but— it's the closest thing to hope they've had. Even if they had all the best protocols, even if they managed not to lose too many people a month— they could still be wiped out in a few years. Not only that, if Vanguard ever found them… He knows exactly what would happen.

"But that's what I meant. By next time. We've already tried once, but we need more power. Not electricity, more— " He doesn't know how to explain it better. More power. "My ability seems to intact with the kid's, the other one." The one she hasn't met yet. "I told him I would help. If we get to go." The kid seems ready to save everyone. But he's perhaps a little selfish. If they can't save everyone, at least he'd want to save her.

While he talks, Lynette sits up properly, her hands reaching up to finally pull her goggles off her head. And then to pull her boots off. She's listening, but she needs something to do with her hands. There is a pack of cigarettes sitting bedside, but she isn't reaching for them just now. Maybe not while he's here. She slides out of the top half of her jump suit and ties the sleeves around her waist. There's a tank top left behind, one that's seen better days. A piece of evidence of how they live.

She looks back at him at his last words, some relief in her expression. Relief, but not hope. Love, but not hope. "Javi, I would do anything for you. Just tell me what I can do, I'll help." Perhaps trying something, even if they fail, would be better than just existing day to day until they're all wiped out. But more likely, she wants him to have hope. And if it somehow works, getting him to a better world isn't a bad goal. She turns back, though, to look at the wall.

"You deserve better than this," she says, her voice low. Like she doesn't really want him to hear it. Her hand slides through her hair, then pulls it over her shoulder so she can start to put it in a loose braid. Something to do with her hands.

"No, mi vida, I really don't," Ruiz responds quietly, even as he lays back onto the bed to stare at the ceiling. No— no he really doesn't. He deserves worse than this, as far as he's concerned. "I know you disagree and I love you for it, but…" He trails off. He can't even explain why he feels this way, but it isn't new to her. She's seen him like this, when the day ends, when he allows the facade to fall away—

That guilt and pain and depression that clings to him like a heavy skin.

He's not sure he deserves her. Not that she would hear for it if he said so. "You do, though. And so do many others in this place." They deserve a chance. Especially the children.

But most especially her. The only part of his life that's kept him going.

"I do disagree," Lynette says as she looks back over at him. And when he lays down, she does, too. Scooting next to him, she slips her arms around him and pulls him close to her so her chin can rest against his shoulder. "You are the only bright spot in this damned world," she whispers to him, but her words still come with conviction. And are punctuated with a kiss against his jaw. "Not just for me, but I'm selfish enough to want to keep you all to myself." As much as they can around here.

She disagrees with his next statement, too, of course, but knows better than to voice it. They share a depression, the guilt. Not for the same reasons, but similar enough. But seeing him falling, she is able to push herself up enough to help him. "Wherever you are, that's where I want to be. That's where the best world is."

Though she doesn't know it, what she said made a decision he'd been thinking on for a while. What she does know, is that he immediately sighs when he hears her words, leaning until he's pulled against her body, against her warm. Even more so that she'd already done to him. Almost as if Ruiz held onto her for dear life— because he pretty much is.

The decision doesn't stay quiet long, because, well— he's pretty much already made up his mind and there's really nothing that could be said to change it now… "Marry me." It's said as a statement more than a question. Marriage isn't actually all that common these days, they don't file legal paper work, or anything. It would mostly be in name only. But he still says it.

Because to him, the only world that mattered was the one with her in it.

He sighs and Lynette bumps his chin with her nose, kisses his cheek, holds him a little tighter. The lifeline goes both ways between them, after all. Her hand starts to move up his side and across his chest on her way up to his face, but his words make her stop there.

There are all those logistic question. What does marriage even mean? How would that even work? But they're shoved to side the moment she leans back and looks at his face. Instead, a smile comes to her face — a rare thing these days — and she turns enough to prop herself up over him. "Of course I will," she says and she leans down to press a kiss against his lips. Hopefully he means it, because she forgot to give him a chance to take it back.

Oh, he meant it.

Ruiz is already considering how to manage it, but as far as he's concerned when she said 'of course', it might as well already be done. The whole world could go crashing down, but as long as he has her… maybe it won't matter. Maybe just her is enough.

And just maybe— he can save her from this shit-hole of a world they are trapped in and find their way to another one. One they can grow old in together without fear. Returning the kiss, he shifts to roll ontop of her. Cause as long as he has her, the world doesn't feel quite as dark and lonely.

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