On Bravery


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Also Featuring:

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Scene Title On Bravery
Synopsis Lucille Ryans is forced to confront her surrogate family coming apart at the seams.
Date February 27, 2019

The sound of bare feet padding on concrete floors fills the kitchen area of the Bunker's Common Area. Lucille Ryans is there in loose sweatpants and a tank top. Holding a bottle of tequila she holds in her arms as she slides into a chair and curls her legs underneath her. No sleeping.


Cool blue eyes stare ahead and at nothing really as she unscrews the bottle and takes a deep sip. She didn't know how to feel, Colette's last day was approaching, Devon was… Berlin was had conduit troubles. Lucille was often left spinning in the aftermath of Hercules.

Wolfhound’s world was coming apart at the seams. Even outside of her immediate circle, it feels like everything is unraveling. Claire is leaving for the Dead Zone to be with her father and the Guardians, Noa was so badly injured and traumatized by Devon’s death that she’s just retiring, Hana’s leaving for Israel soon, and it feels like the island of stability she’d made for herself is sinking into a rising tide.

She’s felt that way before.

Seven Years Earlier

Creech Air Force Base

Indian Springs, NV

December 15th


The ground shakes with the impact of land-based explosions. The shockwaves reverberate through the sturdy metal walls of the aircraft hangar, blooms of orange light spread through the bullet holes in the metal, through the high windows blown out by the earlier explosions. This had become a complete and utter clusterfuck in just a matter of minutes.

Luce— ”

Huddled behind a parked armored personnel carrier in the hangar, Lucille Ryans is covered in blood up to her shoulders. It isn’t hers. Flecks of it are spattered across her face. It belongs to the man that lays on the ground beside her, a fourteen inch long piece of a jet’s fuselage wedged in his chest from under his armpit to the middle of his sternum. There’s so much blood on the concrete floor below him. She doesn’t even know his name, only that he was fighting on the same side as her when they all got here. His fatigues don’t have a nametag on them.


But he knows her. Somehow.

I’ve got it, I’ve got it.” A different voice, frantic, coming from around the back of the APC. Booted feet strike against the floor, a response to a radio call for a medic. The young woman coming barreling around the corner carrying a twenty pound backpack isn’t a medic, but it’s the best anyone has. Lucille Ryans only tangentally knows who Colette Demsky is when she sees her; someone with the Ferrymen, an ancillary face in her life, made familiar only by her blind eyes.

Colette skids to a stop on her knees, unshouldering her backpack and dropping it to the ground. The sound of helicopters roar overhead as she looks down at the huge piece of shrapnel stuck in the soldier’s chest. “Danvers?” Blind, but not blind, Colette recognizes the dying fighter. “Danvers! Fuck— hold on.” She starts unzipping the bag, pulling out zippered plastic bags of gauze and bandages, bottles of antiseptic, a roll of duct tape. “What the fuck happened!?” Colette shouts up at Lucille.

Lucille's blue eyes are wide as they take in the sight of Danvers. The man choking out her name. Her bottom lip trembles as the sounds of battle and destruction wash over her enveloping the young soldier in its embrace as she clutched onto her Uzi with fingerless gloved hands. The blood that splatters her face, covers her whole body and the her gun. Her hands shake and legs tremble.

"Danvers…" she says softly as Colette runs in and skies to his side yelling his name. The action and name snaps her out of whatever daze she was in and she shakes her head coming back to reality looking over at the blind but not blind woman, barely registering who it is. Lucille starts to roll over with jerky movements willing herself to. She didn't know where her father was, Huruma… it was like this in battle usually. She was growing accustomed, had grown mostly.

Almost slipping in the blood but rising to her knees right across from Colette she blinks back tears and rubs at the space behind her ear with blood soaked fingers the ringing still present. "We-We were hit! Rockets up north!" Lucille's tone is frantic as the experience slams into her body and the reality hits that this man who knew her name was dying in front of her. She reaches forward with hands outstretched but then rears back at the last moment from touching him.

Control wasn't in her grasp. Not firmly. "So much blood… Danvers was hi-" that fact is obvious and she realizes she's just stating that and Lucille raises a hand to her lips, "Colette, I- I tried to pull him back. I-I-" she recognizes the other woman now as painful clarity takes hold of her.

Less talking,” Colette barks, snapping a look up to Lucille and emulating the way Hana looks at her when she's rambling. “He’s lost a lot of blood, too much.” She pauses when the sound of a helicopter comes overhead, then snaps back into movement when it passes, producing a plastic cooler from her backpack. “I'm gonna need you to hold something and if you fuck it up he's dead.”

Colette quickly opens the cooler, producing a pint of blood in a plastic bag and a spool of plastic tubing and a needle. “Take this,” Colette says, handing the pint of blood over to Lucille. “Hold it up. It's not normal blood.” With her other hand she's sliding the needle into Danvers’ arm. “If we can't stop the bleeding after we stabilize him with Bennet’s blood it won't matter.”

Lucille's mouth snaps shut and she readily nods her head, hold something. That's right. She can do that. Not normal blood? The young woman doesn't get a chance to to question it as she takes the bag and holds the pint up in the air watching as the dark liquid begins to seek through the tubing.

Blinking away beads of sweat that spill down her forehead Lucille takes mental count of where she was, what she was holding, who she was with. Hold it. Hold it. Hold it. "Hold on Danvers, hold on." The strength slowly filling her voice again as she grasps her surroundings better. Her head lifts to take a survey of what's around them before her eyes flick to the entrance of the hangar with wide eyes.

"We might not have time-" the sounds of gunfire stop her.

Present Day


It’s not gunfire, but the sound of Colette’s voice sometimes has that effect on people.

She’s standing in the common room doorway from the kitchen, boots laced up and jacket carried over one shoulder. The sun had only just set, but with how few people are in the Bunker it feels later. “I’m… headed down to the Safe Zone for the weekend. I’ve got a couple more things t’do before I’m done, but…” Colette takes a few steps closer, draping her coat over the back of an empty chair. “I figure you… heard.” She eyes the bottle, briefly. “I meant to tell you, officially, before…”

Colette shakes her head, then tucks her hands into her pockets and sighs. “How’re you holdin’ up?”

Lucille snaps out of it with a jerk of her head and then sees her best friend there, standing there as if. Then she's speaking and Lucille's has sets blue eyes flaring wider a fraction before she places both pale hands on the arms of her chair and pushes herself up. The bottle of tequila held in one hand, she doesn't stagger. She's way too dignified for that and not nearly drunk enough but she is drunk enough to eye Colette.

She doesn't say anything for a moment. Obviously this was just Colette having a moment, they both did. They were ruled by their emotions, Colette felt guilty still. That had to be it. Lucille could talk her out of it. They did that for each other. This train of thought the messy way of Luce trying to prep herself.

Her mouth has other options, "What the fuck," Grip tightening on the bottle as the sentence comes out in a hiss between bared teeth. "Why?"

“Fuck you why, you know why,” is Colette’s quick response. Her words are pushing back but her feet are bringing her closer to where Lucille’s sitting. “Luce, I told you… one of these days I’d hit my limit. We’ve been fighting for going on nine years now. I can’t keep doing this.” She shakes her head, walking over to the chair Lucille is sitting in and settling down on the arm, letting her bag fall to the floor. “It’s not like I’m fuckin’ moving to Canada.”

Been there, done that.

“I’ve… spent a lot of time at the veterans group, therapy.” Colette looks down to her lap, then over to Lucille. “This,” she says with a motion all around. “I love you, I love the pack, but I can’t keep doing this to myself. I need stability. I need… to put a fucking gun down. Honestly, you should too.” Concern flickers across Colette’s face. “You should dump all the vacation time you’ve accrued, come stay with me for a month. Our place is big, Misty likes you, it’d be nice t’have you around. Outside of a war zone.”

Sighing and shaking her head that motion becomes a nod because she does understand, they have spoken about it. Hearing about the veteran's group makes her stiffen, Lucille avoided most of those things. Greg, meditation, work and The Crucible. Colette, Berlin, Wolfhound. It kept her together. She laughs and swats at Colette as she states the obvious that she wasn't moving far. "I know." Hunching her shoulders over and her head bows.

Taking time off, she did have a lot of vacation time. She had barely ever used it. "It'll be good for you." Luce admits to her friend, at some point they need to quit the fight. Take care of themselves.

Her jaw muscles work as she considers, thinking about herself, thinking about work. Lucille didn't feel it yet, not like Col. Her grip loosens around the neck of the bottle and she settles back into her chair, exhaling heavily. "I'm not ready," it's said softly and she looks off to the side. She's ashamed maybe to admit it, "Maybe it's in my fucking genes. Look at how long it took my dad." Her expression twists and she wipes away tears, "I still see them, hear them… all the ones we lost. Danvers…" Lucille stops.

Colette nods, sighing, slouching toward Lucille. “Me too,” isn’t a surprising confirmation. Colette’s never been one to let ghosts lie. “But you can’t let that run your life,” is a perspective that is new. “Your dad’s a fucking horrible case study on what healthy looks like, an’ I’m not talking about illness. I’m talking about him not being able to turn the fuck off.”

Making a concerned noise, Colette rests a hand on Lucille’s shoulder. “But even Benjamin fucking Ryans took a few years off to tend a garden. He did step aside for a little while, and…” Colette’s blind eyes search the room for a good way to approach this. But nothing presents itself, and she’s forced to forge ahead into unfamiliar territory: being the voice of reason.

“Wolfhound isn’t a family,” Colette says, which is a controversial stance. “It’s full of good people, but it’s a job. Family follows you, no matter what you do for work, no matter who you are. The Ferrymen weren’t our family, but we both worked with them. When it broke up, it didn’t change who we were, who we cared about… y’know?”

It was true even her father had settled down for a while, Lucille feels an anxious feeling. What would she do? Read books, study. Medicine… science… the applications of her ability made her a shoe in for medical work but.. The other woman swallows down her emotions and shakes her head, "One day, I promise."

That Wolfhound isn't a family makes Lucille look at Colette rapidly with a raised eyebrow, a controversial stance indeed. "The people in Wolfhound are just as much family as the Ferrymen," which says a lot seeing as Lucille didn't even really like the Ferrymen up until the war. Just another organization taking her father away from her, at least that was her perspective at the time.

But… "You're right. The job isn't family." It's a job, it's a cruel reminder of how far she's come in the world and in her own personal development. Sighing and putting her head in her hands, "I don't fucking know Col." Leaning over in the space between them to try for Colette's shoulder. It is a new place, Colette as the voice of reason. "I'm just scared." Scared of the unknown, what's to come. Who is she without Wolfhound. It's not a question she's ready to answer but she realizes in that moment with startling clarity.

Colette was.

“I mean, same,” Colette says with a crooked smile. “When I was 19, I had a gun in my hands, following McRae t’fight kidnappers in some run-down building on Staten Island.” She hadn’t thought about those days in a long time. “All I’ve ever known is life behind a gun. I grew up into an adult in the middle of a warzone. I’ve watched friends and family— die in front of me.” She looks away from Lucille, then leans against her. “Doing something else is terrifying.”

The but at the end of that sentence is palpable.

“After what happened at Sunstone…” Colette says without directly invoking Devon’s name, “I realized I can’t do this anymore. I’ve got a family. I’ve got t’start looking out for myself as much as other people. An’ the best way I can do that… is by getting out of the war, an’ tryin’ t’build something that matters. Y’know?”

Colette's reasons make sense they even sound like similar lines of thinking for Lucille but she's still just not ready. That doesn't stop her for being able to be happy for her friend, her sister. "It's not like you're heading to a job that's stress free." There's a chuckle and Luce rolls her eyes. "Dealing with civilians. I can't wait to have a drink over that."

Another laugh, the sour mood broken. Lucille takes a pull from her bottle of tequila and hands it off to Colette. "If you think you're walking out of here without a raging hangover…"

The tall woman leans in, "You've got another thing coming."

Growing serous again Lucille grips Colette's arm, "I think what you're doing is fucking brave." Stepping away, into something new.

Laughing, Colette shakes her head and topples over on Lucille, one arm around her shoulders and legs curled up in her lap as she takes the bottle of tequila. “Leaving isn’t brave,” Colette says with a wry smile, looking up at Lucille.

“Letting you get drunk is.”

They know each other too well.

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