Molded and Defined


huruma3_icon.gif ryans3_icon.gif

Scene Title Molded and Defined
Synopsis After waking up in the middle of the night, Ryans has his quiet time interrupted.
Date March 10, 2011

Bannerman's Castle: Dining Hall

The room converted into Bannerman's dining hall, although long and narrow, can accommodate up to one hundred people, but despite the amount of use that it sees, it isn't hooked up to the castle's electrical grid, which means that after dark it's lit up by gas lanterns strategically positioned on the wooden tables with bench-style seating that occupy the space. A giant hearth set into one of its walls provides the hall with additional light and warmth, as well as a place for the castle's residents to convene when it isn't in use during the hours when breakfast and dinner are being taken.

The walls themselves are bare stone with no decoration except for the four windows opposite the fireplace, and these are covered with heavy pieces of plain canvas cloth at night to prevent the light from leaking outside, where it might be visible from the shore or the air. During the day the canvas is pulled back to brighten the room and make the gas lanterns unneccessary, but on mornings and afternoons when the sky is overcast, there is very little to combat the gloom and so the fuel is burned anyway.

The problem with crashing in the middle of the day, is that when night falls you find yourself wide awake. Benjamin laid in bed, wide awake for a few hours, but after so much time on his back in the infirmary… he's on his feet and wandering the halls.

The sleep was refreshing, giving him a false sense of feeling much better then he really was. Now he had hunger gnawing at his stomach and he missed dinner. So after a bit of a rummage in the kitchen finding some left over bits of this and that, Ryans has finally and gingerly settled at one of the many empty tables in the dining hall.

Shadows make his eyes look sunken, over all he's thinner and like a man that has indeed been sick. It makes him look older then normal. He's still in the sweats he had been wearing, but now he has on an untucked dress shirt to cover the bandages.

The exertion of has left him looking worn already as he hunches over the table with a sandwich, cut diagonally, on a plate before him. He's silent and thoughtful, thinking in the dead of night he's alone.

One can never truly be alone in such close quarters, even if numbers dwindle from sickness and flight; there is something about Bannerman Castle that finds these clusters of people uncannily finding one another- even, as now- in the dead of night. Huruma has never been much of a diurnal creature though, so it isn't so odd that she finds herself poking around in the chilly hallways and into half-empty rooms. When they first got back, she shortly had the excuse that she was recovering from her altercation, to stay in the infirmary. After a few days and various redheads figuring out Ryans' infection and fever, she did try to visit- purposefully, and most of the time, whenever he was asleep.

It had gotten much less frequent, and by today it was once a day, when she knew he'd have been ushered to sleep. The last thing she was wanting to do was disturb rest or cause some mystery undue stress. The last thing that he needs, on the other end of the spectrum. Or maybe she hasn't said much because of what she said- Huruma is technically fickle. She does find him tonight, eventually, and not where he belongs- as she trails along hallways and under old stone arches.

There is a faint sensation of being watched, before the dark woman makes any noticeable sound over the weakened crackling from coals below the mantle. Huruma has on a pair of dark fleece pants, and a flannel shirt open over heather gray; shoes are technically soft-soled boots, the sound of them being the scuff of rubber on stone as she meanders into the dining hall, and carves a wandering path towards where Ben sits staring at his food.

"You aren'supposed t'be out yet." Huruma's voice croaks a bit from lack of use, and she clears her throat after, wetting the roof of her mouth. "Megan will be angry later."

A glance is sent to the tall woman out of the corner of Ryans' eyes, but he doesn't answer right away. Her presence drives him to pick up the sandwich and take a bite, even if his stomach is suddenly uncertain about really wanting food or not. There is a touch of irritation, but he tries to ignore it. "I'm fine." He says after making sure the bite is well chewed and swallowed.

"She'll be gladder with me gone. The infection is pretty much done." Pretty much. No more fever. "I'm on the mend. So I'm fine." The look he gives her warns against attempting to take him back. He's not going back.

"What has you out and about so late?" A brow ticks up a little as he finally really looks at her, attempting to straighten, but it makes him grimace and he hunches over again.

"Pretty much, hm?" Huruma drawls just a little as she says this, looking back at him with a slight roll in her gaze. She isn't going to take him back anywhere, though she knows all too well 'almost better' doesn't quite cut it sometimes. She veers off for a few moments longer, to pick up a couple of smaller chunks of wood to shunt into the coals of the fireplace. They crackle louder and send up a tiny burst of lit orange flecks.

Ryans gets a short squint when he tries to straighten and subsequently fails at it. Not so miserably, but it can be hard for a guy like that to not have the posture he wants. Huruma knows that much. "You will, be fine. Soon enough." She lets out a small breath and turns back around to sit down just across the table from him, one leg under herself. "Megan was letting me check on you sometimes… you weren'there, I figured as much you were being mulish. Again." Yeah, she heard about that first time! "An'you know I'm a night owl. I was already around."

There were a few more times as well, but he won't get into that, Ryans acts as if the sandwich before him is the more interesting thing there. He just gives a small sound that seems more like a grunt. Non-committal in so many ways. Then he veers the subject away from his weakness. "I got the boy away from Humanis barely… That Melissa girl was there as well. The one from the shuttle." Another bite is taken of the sandwich, the first having calmed his stomach's protests.

There is no pride in what he says, tho… regret mainly for what he had to do for information. Not to mention he hated being cut off from everyone he cared about. Ryans glances across the table. "You did get your vaccination right?" Eyes narrow a little at her. "I know your ability helps keep part of your… nature in check…" But even if the vaccine can cause some issues, it would be worse without it.

The fire is able to cling onto and climb up the sides of those pieces she put in, and it warms itself into motion enough that it offers a bit more warmth during the first exchange. Huruma crosses her arms and puts them on the edge of the table, fingers knotting into her sleeves when she suppresses a small yawn. Mmm. His question gets a slightly pinched look in return, fading as she opens her mouth again.

"Yes, yes. I was one of th'first few when they started doling them out. I felt nauseated for a couple of days, nothing serious. I should be healthy enough to avoid anything else." Should be. Abby didn't have the luck of having it take, though somehow Huruma is wondering if it had something to do with her ability interacting with the vaccine. "If I thought something was wrong…" She does pause, suddenly quite self-conscious about the question itself. "I would leave." Apparently she thinks she'd be that bad, that she'd have to find some other way to take care of herself. Maybe, maybe not. Likely she would be too incapacitated and unaware to do anything anyway.

"I know." Ryans rumbles softly, a half eaten triangle of sandwich held in the fingers of both hands. "I trust you not to endanger people. Just making sure you at least did." Cause, yeah… he's concerned about her well being. Having to even think about taking her out, doesn't please him.

Not that he's sure he could.

"I need to get back to the city." He decides suddenly. "Soon. I need to get one of the vaccines to Lucille." Ryans chews thoughtfully for a long moment. "Maybe check in on Kincaid and see how he's doing. I had to leave him suddenly to get someone save." He falls quiet taking a big bite of food. Something about his emotions seems like he's avoiding something, a tickling of embarrassment.

Luckily for everyone involved, Huruma isn't going to turn into Old Yeller anytime soon. At least she hopes not. That would be an unfortunate end, wouldn't it? So anti-climatic for her. Where are the explosions? She gets lost in that thought for a moment longer, then closes her eyes tight and rubs at the inner corners with one hand. Anyway.

"You can get back there when you're able. It seems getting food was hard enough. There is a supply at some safehouses in th'city. I don'know where th'big one is, but I should think Lu will know where. And if that guy is as tough as he sounds, I am sure he is fine," With how he is now occupying his mouth with an obstruction of sandwich, and the way he's been trying to avoid making too much eye contact, that twinge she feels in the back isn't so odd. Though she isn't sure why it is there, just- that it is.

"What?" It doesn't sound like a demand, so much as an exclamation- her voice scoffs, and the pronunciation is short of curious.

He pauses mid chewing and stares at her like she's crazy. Crazy and female. "What?" The question is echoed back around the bite, before he resumes chewing. Ryans brows furrow and he gives his head a little shake. "And I'll be going as soon as I can get off this island." The stubborn man that he is, but honestly he won't go til he feels he can defend himself.

Honestly, the old man won't be able to relax til he knows his oldest is vaccinated… and still alive. Ryans sighs softly. "I know the girls are capable of living their own lives, Delia is even twenty one now… but…" but he's finding he can't let go completely. He rubs hand over his face tiredly, there is a sense of feeling a little lost.

She stares back at him, partly incredulous that he'd still keep whatever it is private when she can all but see it. Don't what me, you.

"You are their father, of course it is hard t'stay away when you know they are in danger. I wish mine had been so keen on me." Huruma says this with a bit of sarcasm, half-rolling her eyes and leaning onto the table. Her eyes on the woodgrain, the hinges of her jaw tighten. "Th'only reason I don'worry about Juwariya is b'cause I trust th'person that keeps her safe for me." Speaking of, she was supposed to go up and see the girl by now. Once it isn't so cold, perhaps.

"But she isn't like th'girls. She can't keep herself safe." Huruma tilts her head, voice considering of its own words as she looks back up at him, resisting the urge to yawn when he seems tired. Cut that out- "Lucille can. Delia can, now, too. They need you, still, jus'not as much. You can be 'There' when they do, rather than right there all th'time. I managed t'figure that out on Madagascar, quickly." The dark woman lets out a bare little laugh, a smile flickering between her lips.

"At least let th'infection die b'fore you go anywhere. It is easier t'run around with a stitched side. You know how it is." Why does she bother saying it? Maybe to finalize her support, even though it is hesitant while he is still sewn up.

"Yes, well… if you ask Bradley… I'm a horrible father cause I trusted others." The second half of the sandwich is dropped on the plate in disgust. "Don't trust people, stay by them, don't stay by them…" He gives a heavy sigh and looks at her, that lost feeling on Ryans face.

"It's times like these that I miss having Mary there. She had a much more level head on her shoulders when it came to either girl." She was the mediator in many things. Hands rub at his face, exhaustion starting to drag him down again. Damn his weakened state. It was like being his true age again. He felt like an old man.

Hands slide away and Ryans gives her a weak smile, with no humor behind it, when he looks at her there is that twinge of guilt again. She can feel that he's coming close to saying what's got him that way.

"You can't please everyone. I figured that out a long time ago, too." Huruma angles her shoulders into a stiff shrug, one side of her mouth pushing back into a halfway frown. It passes soon. "And Bradley is jus'silly, anyway. Swagging around with his …cannon hands." Pff. She lets out a bit of air, choosing to skip over the rest of what she thinks of the young man.

When that wavering thing peeks out from behind the rest of his emotions again, she gives Ryans a short, playfully scornful look. Another 'what?', non-verbal this time. Trying to hide whatever manner of feelings and inklings from an empath isn't the most reasonable thing to do, so she'll attribute it to his feverish state.

"They are all still young." Another small shrug, this time the motion letting her look past her shoulder to the fireplace. It has warmed the room enough, and the newer wood is burning more slowly now, and hasn't yet crossed the line into fresh coals.

Something in her description of his son has Ryans looking amused. Though it slowly slides away. "It may be silly, but if something happens to any of them, where do you think the finger will point." Another amused thought has his mouth tugging up a little, he can't help but share it. "I thought when they hit this age they'd stop acting like emotional teenagers." Of course, he had to in someway grow up early.

Kids today…

He goes quiet, arms moving to rest on the table, his meds are probably starting to wear off some, sweat starting to dampen his for head. His gaze is on the sandwich as if he holds some great mystery… but then he says. "I'm sorry." It's heart felt, she'll know. "My memories are very fuzzy… but… I have this feeling I said some… not so nice things when Francois was sewing me up." He just hardly remembers most of it, but enough to know… he talked too much.

Sometimes it just takes longer. Maybe it is a Ryans thing? Huruma laughs at first, marking his muse quite right. Age does not beget maturity. While the smile does not immediately drop from her face, it hesitates when he pauses and then apologizes. Empaths can't expect words, that is a telepath's job. So the apology comes off as new. Huruma lifts one hand to massage the side of her neck, allowing her jaw to rest there on her palm afterwards, eyes gently put onto Ben.

Not a topic she was prepared to address, but at least she has thought about that night a couple times already. Getting a response is just a matter of stalling for a few seconds more.

"You only said true things, about when you first met me." Huruma unhinges her leg out from under her so that she can sit straighter. "About my badness. About things I regret that happened, now that I am older. But you did say that I got better." There is a more neutral look at that. "I don'know if you heard what I said before you passed out." The hand she had been leaning on has found the table, eyes following it. Her fingertips scratch over a pitted spot in the wood.

"I don't remember a whole lot." Ryans admits with a slow shake of his head, brows furrowing a little. It bothers him that he doesn't, only knowing he talked. It was like being so drunk you know you did bad things, but you can't remember the details. Not something he's done since he was a youth really.

"Either way. I shouldn't have said them in front of him. Those were not things that should be thrown about." Not that he could really help it, but he isn't about to make that defense.

He gives her a hint of a crooked smile, adding, "It wasn't a good thing to do as your friend and that's why I am apologizing." Ryans pushes the plate a little further away, the smell of the food not sitting well with him. "And yes… you are older, more mellowed, tho… still very dangerous." He knows this… it only takes the right trigger. "But definitely not the young woman I chased around years ago."

He ate enough to settle his stomach, that may as well be enough to make the nurses happy. Less so in that he got it together himself. "You were on drugs." Huruma deadpans, then cants her head and nods once. "Thank you, though." Even if Ben was drugged off his rocker, he still made the effort to try and recall, and then this. It's more than most men would think of doing, actually.

"Definitely not." She knows he is right; while they could throw around adjectives all night, Huruma is a far cry from her thirty-ish year old self. "Back then I would'ave laughed if someone told me how I'd end up. That I'd eventually regret how things turned out. I still have m'moments of discontent…"

"Now, what I'd said after you passed out- that 'I didn'jus'happen t'get better', that people made that happen. All of you. It was only a couple of years ago that I was in Level Five-" For a day- "-when I got out, that is when I met people I still know. It hit me hard, an'kept coming." Huruma knows that she has some winded words here, so she finishes abruptly. "So no, I don'think I got better. I was made better."

Benjamin's silent as he listens, blue eyes circled by dark shadows watch her as she speaks about what changed her. "We are molded by the people in our lives, as much as anything else. They help define us," he agrees softly his voice loud even as he tries to keep it low. "I know for certain I am better for all the people in my life."

Fingers scratch at his jaw, noting to himself he needs to do something about the length of it. Of course, he'd like a nice long hot shower in general.

Finally, he yawns. A large one and he seems to sink a little more on his seat. Ryans glances at the doorway and makes a decision. "I think my body has had enough excitement for one evening." He says it while moving to unsteadily get to his feet.

"If I don'make sure you get where you're going, I will be embarrassed if you get stuck. Miss Young will also have my head. So." Huruma intones this enough to make it clear that she has to at least walk with him, or unfortunate things may happen. As far as she is concerned, the mice can have the bit of food left behind. There is no hand extended to him when he stands, but she does stand as well, and the tension in her shoulders is enough to notice she's willing to help him if he starts stumbling.

A soft breath leaves her throat. Heh. "You need a shave. That is on th'brink of 'out of hand'" So she also noticed that thoughtful process when he touched his face- can't blame her for being observant.

"I know… I try not to let it get like this, but…" Ryans has been stuck in the infirmary and rather sick. "Tomorrow." It sounds almost ominous, considering his condition. "With a well deserved shower." Even he can tell he can use one.

He won't stumble or fall, but neither does he walk as quickly. His shoulders rolled forward hunch against the pull and the pain. Ryans can't wait til he can stand straight again, he feels like such a slob this way.

When he gets to his room and cot, Ben'll barely remember his head hitting the pillow and murmuring a soft "Goodnight" to Huruma.

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