Never Going To Be Mine


huruma_icon.gif megan2_icon.gif

Scene Title Never Going To Be Mine
Synopsis Being the one wired differently isn't so hard, until it is.
Date June 5, 2019

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.

After what happened with the twins and Mihaja, Huruma was away for a time, though she'd checked in with Megan. It's not for a little while longer does she slink her way 'home', and she's missed a call. Megan is the first stop; not the Bastion, not Rochester, and Ryans is somewhere working a case. It won't stop her from calling his voicemail, as he'll later find out.

It's raining. Again. Roads flood more easily now, when the stormdrains aren't quite so maintained. Locals have made their own fixes, though, and with the help of volunteers and abilities, people can more or less memorize where the flooding will be.

Somehow, Huruma still shows up at Megan's back door soaking wet. She knows there are eyes on her as there always are, yet can't bring herself to stare out through the sheet of water to try and scare the neighbor into going away. Letting herself in, keys tinkling, Huruma shoves them into her pocket and just stands there in the mudroom, looming, dripping, and looking tired as hell. Even her eyes seem glassily unfocused. The warmth of the house feels… discordant.

It's becoming more common for Megan to take full days off from the ER. Perhaps she took the 'taking it easier' lecture to heart. Or perhaps she's just finally realized she doesn't have to keep control of everything. Whatever the reason, it's not uncommon to find her curled up at home with a book and a glass of wine in the late afternoons. Especially on a rainy day like today, it's cool enough still that the fire in the grate is comfortable so long as it's kept small.

When the door opens, she doesn't really jump or anything. Huruma coming in and out has become a more regular occurrence — and if it were trouble, it sure as hell wouldn't let itself in with a key. The redhead looks up over her cheaters from the large armchair where she's sitting with her knees pulled up. She almost looks like a teenager in that pose, though the wide pure white swath and the silver strands that gild her copper head definitely give away her age.

It takes less than three seconds for her to lay eyes on Huruma and go from warm smile to alert and worried. She's off the chair, the book left on the floor next to it and crossing the room on swift feet. "GIve me the rundown," she bites out calmly, obviously assuming that Hooms is hurt and in need of stitching or other medical attention — her alarm at the way her friend looks has to be held at bay while the calm nurse side of her deals with the urgent matters first. She needs to know what instruments have to be pulled out.

Definitely a good thing that Huruma stays on the mat where she is, as the floor becomes a slick little puddle. A puddle that's only water and a bit of mud. Huruma only seems to hone in on the room around her when Megan comes trotting up. Rundown? She gets a perplexed reaction as Huruma examines her face and what's behind it, the expression opposite of trouble.
She could say that there isn't any trouble, or that there's no rundown, or even wave the concern away and make herself at home. These are all the things she's not saying. That tired look takes her puzzling and just makes her seem- - foggy. Not too foggy that she isn't able to envelop Megan in her arms, water transferring cold out of her jacket.

If Megan were honest, the very lack of a physical injury worries her more. Her arms come up and wrap tightly around her friend, ignoring the water and everything else. It's rare that Huruma should allow her feelings to show like this. Holding her hard and tight for long moments, she finally nudges Huruma gently so she can help her out of her wet coat. "Come on," she urges softly. "You'll catch your death."

Not really. But she needs to take care of the taller woman, and the gentle clucking over being wet and cold is simpler and kinder than demanding any explanations. Leading her back toward the fireplace, Meg's hands are quick to swoop up the blanket off the back of the couch too and wrap it around Huruma while getting her ensconced on the couch where she can continue to cradle her.

She makes no demands, simply offering the silent support and physical comfort for now that the other woman seems to need.

Huruma's usual way of things is to let people feel what's in her head, and this show of it is right to worry Megan. She can feel a sigh against her hair, a cheekbone against her head. Insistence on peeling her out of the soaking coat works as intended, though Huruma is wordless still when it comes squishing off of her arms, muddy boots pushed off down below.1 She knows she won't catch anything. Nothing like death, anyhow.

Wrangling her proves too easy a job, cold June rain having her seeking out the warmth regardless. The Drowned Rat look was never one that's comfortable. Good thing that Megan makes up for it, Huruma doing her best impression of a lap cat after a few minutes and sliding down to lay there.

"Nothing feels right." Huruma blinks up at Megan, voice small. "I don't- - " Uncertainty lends to another pause, quiet. "There's too much."

Curled up in the corner nearest the fire, drawing Huruma so the taller woman is cradled where she lay her head down on Megan's lap, the redhead simply strokes wet hair much as one would stroke a feline. "It's okay," she assures softly.

Small chunks. It will have to be done in small chunks. Protectively bringing the blanket up further around Huruma's shoulders, she murmurs, "When you're ready." She's in no hurry, and sitting here quietly also helps Huruma in another way — it allows Megan to quell her worry and her fear for whatever has hurt Huruma so badly into a far less prominent emotion, a quiet emotional calm that will hopefully soothe frazzled empathic nerves. "I'll make tea when you feel up to it."

It is difficult to guess what would happen if Megan weren't around; likely nothing good for anyone. Her efforts to soothe Huruma from the inside out are what she needs; there's no shutting it off for long, what Huruma does. When it is, things get even worse. There's no winning on either end of the spectrum. Though the worry lingers it isn't as pressurized against the inside of her ears, and Huruma stays there underhand, hazy and with long breaths. A not insignificant time passes before the big black lapcat stirs again.

"…What happened with the convoy." Though the words are small, Huruma is deliberate in her choice. She told Megan about the attack, about being taken to Yamagato, about being with the twins for the time after. But the reason for her lack of details becomes clear now that she is out from under scrutiny. "It was supposed to be about Mimi's company, and… it was Adam."

That Huruma lasted this long without saying something speaks to her resilience, but also to her trust when she finally does.

Megan is quiet when Huruma finally begins to speak. There's no break in the soothing movements of her hand as she strokes both hair and back. Her own head is laid back on the cushion behind her, her eyes on the flickering fire. But she is listening intently.

There are myriad questions she'd like to ask, but truthfully most are formless. What happened? would be the next logical query but the redhead doesn't push, giving Huruma all the time she needs to determine what she's going to confide and how.

"Mihaja's company sold something and when she found out what they were doing with it, she tried to back out. They threatened her family- - my family," Huruma's voice tightens in her chest and for a moment there is a flash of anger. "So she complied. And tried again, I think. But they were here for business and some bitch came after them."

The sharp blink up at Megan moves behind a lick of something red in the back of her mind, a brush of that fluctuating mood, netted back.

"Dajan dropped a bridge on her. But she still got away." Huruma's tongue presses against the edges of her front teeth. Whatever else she's planning to say doesn't come immediately, her frame rigid, partway lifting from Megan's lap.

"He had to have known, there is no way he didn't." Rage mixes with betrayal, and her teeth press hard enough to her lower lip to draw blood. "He trusted me." She hisses out, seemingly forgetting her present space entirely, back to Megan, one hand dragging back over her head.

The information that Huruma's family was threatened … that sends a frisson of mingled emotions skating down Megan's spine. Horror, sorrow, anger. All squelched hard with a deep breath that is released slowly while Huruma continues to speak. Her hand rests still on the other woman's back and Meg closes her eyes, pained at the betrayal. Not because she thinks Adam is worth the hurt… but because Huruma loved him at some point, and no matter what else has happened, up to this point he had never crossed that line. And her heart aches with the understanding of Huruma's rage and grief.

There is a long moment of silence where Megan simply contemplates her own thoughts. "Are you so sure that he personally had knowledge of what was being done on his behalf?" For all that the jackass is immortal, so far as Megan has ever learned he is not omnipotent. Her tone is gentle, not excusing anything but seeking clarification of why Huruma is so certain that the attackers knew who their target was.

If only because if he did know, Adam Monroe is a fucking idiot. Huruma's done her best to remain neutral … but if he knew, all bets are off. She knows exactly how far Huruma can go to protect family.

Megan knows from experience that Huruma is physically solid, and her hand on the other woman's back feels only that as she sits there, legs half on the sofa and the muscles along her spine wound tight. The containment of her emotions in her ability peeks through in staticky touches, fingers of something disturbed reaching through holes in mesh.

Hands flexing on her own lap, Huruma listens, looks back over her shoulder to Megan. Red wiped from lip with tongue, eyes reflectively wet, small mirrors.

"I don't know. I even showed Mimi a picture- -" Air moves out through her nose. "'That's him', she said. Threatened her to her face. Called himself 'the Director'." Huruma growls, lip pulling back, disgust helping her issue a loud tch of scorn. "Later, Dajan told me the woman who attacked the convoy said something about him sending a hello to Mihaja."

Huruma's ribcage and back expands with the in and out of deep breaths rather than shallow.

"So if he didn't know… he has a rotten apple in his tree that he is unaware of. But- -" Something tells her that is probably not the case. He's too good at this. Can't be.

Well… looks like stupid ass made it easier for her to have to kill him, at least. Megan bites back the uncharitable thought and says simply, "Then I guess you know now which side of the line you need to stand on." Because neutral is certainly no longer an option, is it? The matter-of-fact nature of her response might surprise Huruma… or it might not. They've walked this path together before.

"I'm sorry, Huruma," she adds gently. Because nothing hurts worse than betrayal. "Tell me what you need." Because she'll give it, no questions asked, no qualifiers attached. The determination to back whatever call Huruma makes on this is perfectly evident.

"…You'd think I'd know." Huruma murmurs, hands drawing down her face and brow furrowing. I don't- - I don't understand. I need- -" Frustration ekes out, and at this point she is giving off the warmth that comes with anger.

"I don't know how I feel. I'm - - everything. There's too much." Her words echo what she was whispering earlier. Both legs swing down off the couch and she leans forward as if she needs a bucket, hands on the cushions and head lowered to look at the floor. Whatever is going on where Megan can't see it, it has Huruma in a cold sweat. "I've worked so hard to be right but I still have no fucking," Oh! "idea how to even be that. I can't- - sort it out- -" She shakily tosses off the blanket, nails digging into her shoulder when she wraps her arms around herself.

"Everyone else- -"

"STOP." Megan cuts her off sharply. "Everyone else my ass." Leaning forward to once more wrap her arms tightly around the shaking figure, she says quietly, "When you're hit with a … loss this hard, this deep. Huruma, no one knows how to feel. There are always too many emotions, too much feeling. There's rage, there's grief, there's helplessness. All of those things are right for this situation."

The redhead sighs heavily. "There's not a goddamn thing wrong with you right now. Being overwhelmed is normal when someone you cared about literally slaps you in the face and basically turns on you." Megan rests her forehead against the back of Huruma's shoulder. "Breathe, okay? Focus on how we were breathing a few minutes ago. Slow. Calm." She had deliberately settled into a meditative sort of breathing for the empath before, and now she simply verbalizes what they were doing.

"You're going to have to … deal with small chunks of the emotions at a time. The whole of them right now is a tidal wave. Let yourself feel one part of it… whether that's the sorrow or the rage or whatever it is. They're all tangled up and trying to choke you. Focus on one at a time, and deal with them slowly when you're able. It's gonna take time." She speaks from experience on this one, though not exactly the same experience. But losing August the way she had, it had been much the same emotionally speaking. Overwhelming.

For once in a long time, Huruma twitches when Megan cuts her off, head angling towards her and expression unsure. Though she makes no move to huddle into the touches, she doesn't fight it either. Eyes move to the ceiling, chin up and shoulders slackening.

She does as she's told, or at least attempts it. It partly works this time, as she listens to Megan's voice humming at her shoulder.

"…Everyone else, I can see all of it at once." It's unfair that it's not the same, "For me…" Huruma pauses, eyes hooded. "For you, it's oil paint. I've got the turpentine. But turpentine can't mix itself." The metaphor is not exactly… the clearest. "It's just oil." Toxic, too.
"Even before this gift came to me I couldn't… make sense of so much unless I had something in front of me. And even then it didn't always work. If I hadn't become what I am, Megan, I would have never made it past- -" Huruma waves a hand in front of her face, swatting at air. Nothing. Nevermind.

"I can't feel what you feel. I can only hold you through it," Megan says softly. "I don't… know any more than you do about how to get you through this. But I'm here, and I'm not going anywhere." Helpless in the face of the explanation, the nurse can only offer the same things she's always offered — her affection, her compassion, her usually steady calm, and the steely resolve that she's spent a lifetime building.

"If you'd told me ten years ago that I'd be here, I'd probably laugh and cut you open." Hurts to say, hurts to know. Huruma tips her head back down, sniffing dully and flattening her lips together. "I spent long enough with nothing that having anything was a pipe dream. I came here, and I met him and everything just- - that's where it all started moving to this."

Huruma shifts and turns back, chewing on her words and blinking away a wash of intruding twists at her chest. "I'd have never had any of you if I'd just left once I was free. I'd probably be dead. It was him that held a hand out to me, even knowing what I was."

It breaks Megan's heart all over again. Knowing that her friend is now in a position where all she can ask is why hurts. Why couldn't he have just left Huruma alone? But there is no answer for that question or any of the others, at least right now. All she can do right now is tell her best friend, "You can be grateful for the path he put you on, for all that he's been to you, and still be pissed and sad and think he's an asshole for doing what he just did. The human heart is infinitely complex when it comes to love." Not that she has to tell Huruma that. "I'm so sorry. That you have to feel this at all, but most especially that he took the one path guaranteed to make you hurt."

"Even after staying uninvolved all this time, it did nothing. I was just selfishly keeping things to myself." Huruma murmurs, though she doesn't give Megan much time to interject.

"I'm behind on coping with my own heartbreak, maybe." She seems to try and chuckle, and only the expression makes it that far. "Never had to before I came here. And now it's one of the things I hate rationalizing the most about myself. Other people are easy, and beautiful, and I always just… watched, even when I was small. Because it was never going to be mine. "

And now, she has an abundance, and even Megan can see that Huruma still doesn't think she deserves it. The tall woman brings herself back up onto the cushions properly, slumping back down and resting her head on Megan's leg.

"And now it is," Megan tells her softly, resuming her position there holding her friend, stroking her hair and her back in long, soothing movements. "You know,… it's hard letting people close even under the best of conditions. I've always admired that after you left Adam, you took the chance on letting some of the rest of us in. You had bad things in your past, things I knew had impacted the way you related to people, and I know … there were moments when I'd catch you watching something, and I could tell you were equal parts wanting and not wanting what you were seeing. I never really understood the empathic consequences of your ability so well, except that I knew it was hard for you to be around a lot of people. I … didn't really realize you were missing the … rudiments, I guess, of dealing with your own emotions until the years we were out in the field." She thinks back on those years, remembering how she'd learned a little more every day how to relate to this woman. "Even now, watching you struggle so hard, I just… want to bundle you up and make the hurt stop for you," she admits.

"I know." She listened to every word before her own, eyes wet and one hand on her friend's knee. Of course she knows.

"I still talked to him," Huruma's eyes slide to glance partway up at Megan, and they turn away just as quickly. "Even after Bannerman." She lets out a harsh laugh, and a tiny grumble vibrates into Megan's hand. "He even sent me bloody postcards. After a certain point… I just never heard from him again." The rest is (recent)history.

Thinking about Megan noticing those looks of want and not just brings her back down from the inside, and Huruma prefers now to bury her face than to address it. Megan gets it, there's no questioning that.

Meg grimaces slightly, and she simply keeps petting. It's a fight to maintain her own emotional equilibrium on this, but it's a fight that she is adamant on winning — she doesn't want her own anger at what Adam did, what he broke when he did it, to bleed through into Huruma's feelings. She sighs heavily, shift a bit so that she is protectively curled around Huruma to hold and comfort. Words aren't going to fix this, so she simply remains quiet and lets Huruma talk as much or as little as she wants.

It doesn't seem that much else is going to come, and it doesn't, if only for a few minutes more. Huruma's hand leaves Megan's knee to curl around her where it can. The space around her seems to fuzz with the sensation of gratitude, physically and otherwise. "…Thank you." Small, but it is there. "I love you."

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