Partner Guilt Is A Thing


elisabeth_icon.gif lucille4_icon.gif

Scene Title Partner Guilt Is a Thing
Synopsis Devon's partner feels it, but an old hand helps a little… and brings interesting information too.
Date March 27, 2019


Just relieved of her turn sitting with Devon by her father, Elisabeth makes her way off the ward where he's been observed. A hand shoves its way through tousled blonde hair and she looks like many family members of patients — weary, though her weariness is tempered by relief because Devon's going to be fine. As she steps out the main doors of the hospital to catch some fresh air and consider heading back to the apartment for a shower, she's still got the air of someone on guard at all times. News of the arrival of Wolfhound members reached her last night, but it's not until now that she herself realizes what exactly that's going to mean.

Coming face to face with Lucille Ryans is not expected.

The younger woman in question is coming out from the bathroom down the hall, face freshly splashed with water and patted down a few droplets of water still trail down behind her ear, ending in a wet spot on the color of her dark grey top. The sound of booted feet join the chorus of other footfalls and chatter, whispers as people are trying to not wake the ones who come here to heal. Lucille has a healthy respect and aversion to the places of medicine, she was at good use here but the environment was… depressing to say the least.

These wards and nurses always reminded her of the war though. The really not fun parts.

Auburn hair with blonde highlights cut short to just about her ear is tousled as well, a look of alertness on her face. Lucille doesn't know what she's on alert for but she's been on alert since arriving, since hearing that Devon was alive. Blue eyes tick up the hallway and stop on a familiar shape. Face. Blue eyes. Blonde. Lucille squints and tilts her head before it shakes in disbelief. Knowing that Magnes was alive and traveling through different dimensions with Elisabeth Harrison is one thing, seeing the blonde woman alive in this hospital in the here and now after the last time she saw her Liz was hurtling through the sky to a Magnes Black Hole. It was head dizzying for sure but Lucille doesn't look disturbed as she walks over towards the audiokinetic. "Welcome back." Is said softly with a smile as Lucille comes within earshot.

Turning, hesitating as the voice reaches her, Elisabeth has a moment of panic as her brain flashes back to another place and time. One filled with the horror of facing off against people who wore the faces of friends she'd just fought alongside of in the snow.

The sounds of the children crying out gives Elisabeth a moment's pause as she ducks back to avoid Ryans's fire. But they knew there were children here, and as horrifying as it is, the dark reality of the situation is that they cannot be the priority here. Nor can they be allowed to be used as leverage. The audiokinetic may not have her power, but she's got years of experience fighting this kind of bullshit… and she's got experience with Benjamin Ryans. She has to block out the emotions that come with this day — it will have to be remembered as a horrible nightmare later, when she has to live with her choices.

"Ling, slit Lucy's throat before she can ramp up," she murmurs calmly into the headset. Isabelle will just burn everyone. Her own primary target is shooting back, and they have to cover Shaw — whose focus is exactly where Liz wants it. On Gillian.

She steps back around the rubble of the wall and takes a knee, getting a bead on Benjamin Ryans. She knows exactly where he is, thanks to his own shouting and her now instinctive calculation of distance. Grimly, she waits in the partial cover of the fallen wall for Ryans to step back out and give her a solid target. When she fires, it's with lethal intent to take the older man out of the picture. He is, after all, probably the single most experienced soldier they own.

Her face pales, visibly, then she swallows hard and shakes it off. "Lu," is her quiet greeting.She's desperately fighting off the memory. "It's really good to see you. Are you…" Elisabeth suddenly tips her head. "Were you on his team?" That would explain the stress the younger woman has in her face.

There's a nod.

"We've been watching each other's backs for years now. Since the war." That's always an ugly topic to touch on even though the remnants of the conflict was all around them. Lucille takes a moment to look Liz over and she reaches out to give the woman a hug, "We thought you were dead. You and Magnes." The truth was stranger than fiction but so was Lucille's day to day life. So was the world's now.

Her thoughts return to Devon though, the reason they are both here. "You two were really close right? When he was younger." He'll always be Kid Brother to Lucille.

"He talked about you and Richard." Endgame.

The hug brings a shaky half-laugh as the audiokinetic holds the young redhead tightly. She'd been prepared to see Ben… she'd seen him in person in Flood and had time to deal with the emotions of killing Virus version before ever seeing the man here. Lucille… is a bit of a different matter. There's a subtle desperation to the hug she returns. A relief to see this young woman alive and well and breathing.

When she steps back, her blue eyes are damp but Elisabeth is smiling. "We couldn't find a way to get word to anyone. Not until last year." Odessa is a topic she doesn't broach, though. "And even then, we weren't sure we'd get home, so I know Richard kept it quiet." She swallows and nods slightly.

"He was just a kid when he was with me." Mine to look out for and protect. The way she reacts is similar to Lu's father with his girls. Elisabeth clearly cares deeply for Devon. "I promised him… I'd come home. It took… a really long time," she admits softly.

Desperation reads to Lucille that Liz is happy to see a familiar face that she feels more anchored at home reconnecting with old friends. Returning that smile to the woman Lucille steps back a touch and nods, "It sounds like you had one helluva journey. Things weren't exactly easy on the home front during your time away either." The war… the Safe Zone now… the world as a whole…

The younger woman knows that tone, of protectiveness, of someone who is a mother. Lucille smiles sadly, what a stress. On everyone this situation was.

"You made it though," home that is, "He's lucky you did." Lucille pats her arm and places a hand in a pocket of her loose fitting black pants. She looks different as much as Liz does. Scars run up her arms and shoulders that are just visible from the cut of her dark grey top. Souvenirs of war. Lucille was already in the middle of her awakening as she likes to think of it. Back then, so angry and ready to help. To be involved. To feel like she had a purpose. The woman standing in front of Liz now is composed despite the distressing situation that is their mutual family in Devon. There's control there, something she didn't have before.

"He has been an invaluable teammate, war buddy… friend. Family." There's a shift of her nose and she rubs the back of her neck, "He's dating and so is my other younger sister in Wolfhound and I feel like it's watching Delia date all over again." That protectiveness that Lucille feels for Berlin and Devon that echoes the love she has for her actual blood relation. A laugh and she shakes her head, "You just get use to a certain image of someone. You lean into it, we love our familiarity as a species. But then people grow up, kid brothers run headlong leaping onto killer robot's backs and there's nothing you can do about it."

A chuckle slips from the audiokinetic. "Yeah," she agrees quietly. "Getting back here only to find that he'd been…" Elisabeth pauses. "It was hard, getting home. And harder still to be home," she admits. "I've met his 'friend.' She makes an interesting first impression." The cheeky grin might tell Lucille more than it would tell most — Liz always admired the hell out of spunk in the younger women. "The nurses are lucky, I think, that she didn't lose her shit in the hallway on one of them until they finally let her sit with him for a while."

She glances back toward the hallway and her grin eases to a gentler look. "I think if you head up there now, you'll find my father too." Elisabeth, Richard, and Jared have been taking turns, only leaving the hospital if Devon's being prote visited by one of his teammates. "There's a bodyguard on the floor, so don't be surprised," she adds, in case this is Lucille's first visit. It shouldn't really come as much of a shock, not with the way Devon washed up.

Blue eyes are thoughtful on Lu, and she asks, "Were you with him when things went to hell?" There's no accusation in her tone, merely a desire for as much information as Lucille can offer.

Rolling her eyes, "She's a bitch but her heart is in the right place," There's also a chuckle. Lucille can respect a bitch, "Shaky first impressions and all."

The younger woman looks off to the side with a look of pain on her face, "Yes, we are on the same squad." Were, whatever is going on with her job. "Often paired together, the robots showed up and it all went…" Straight to hell. Lucille stops and she frowns, "I looked for him after the explosion. Searched as hard as I could, I got no reading of him." Not a thing.

"It's strange when you beat yourself up about not being able to keep someone alive only for them to show back up like a ghost."

Laughing outright at the description, Elisabeth says simply, "I cannot put it that way, it would put a wedge between me and Devon, I'm pretty sure." But the way the younger woman reacts and the information that she imparts immediately sobers the laughter. "I know you did," she reassures, reaching out to touch Lucille's arm and draw her eyes. "Lu, don't do that to yourself. Don't." She swallows hard, and there's a moment where she chokes on the words.

"You are his partner," she says simply, her blue eyes holding pain. "There was a time when someone told me that they'd found Felix's body on the beach. They knew who he was, positively ID'd him. By the time we got back to where it was, the body was gone. And Felix was presumed dead… because Richard knows a dead body when he sees one." Her jaw clenches. "And yet, a couple weeks later, he turned up. No memory of where he'd been or what had happened. Alive and well. Or at least… as well as he could be. I beat myself up over that, but… we live in a world where sometimes dead isn't what it seems. And we can only do what we can do. You did everything you could."

Liz's story is something nice for Lucille to relate too and she takes in the older woman's words with a nod, she is right. There is always only so much any of them could do. They weren't gods. Not actually at least. "In the end all that matters is that he's alive, he's back. The emotional scars…"

The ones that soldiers don't always get addressed.

"I want him to stay open." Closing himself off from everyone, these are just the worries that Lucille has and doesn't usually voice — saying it to someone that's like a mother to Devon feels right. "Trauma can just wrap you up, pull you in and shut you down. Not remembering what happened?" Shaking her head, "I remember it being a blur the night the Ferrymen fell and I got shot. Waking up with no memory of how I was with everyone. Okay. It's disorienting."

Brow furrowing, it's a hunch what she feels now. "Somebody has to have dropped him there." It just makes no sense.

Elisabeth grimaces slightly and nods. She's dealt with a lot of trauma over the years. "He's going to be okay. So far, he's not shutting himself down," she assures gently. "He's going to be staying with Dad at Raytech — he'll be fine, Lu. I promise." She squeezes the younger woman's arm and then releases her.

"As to the dropping off…" Liz sighs heavily, glancing back toward the interior of the hospital. "It's possible. It's also possible that he simply escaped someone. We're going to find out — it may just take a little time." She meets Lucille's eyes. "Richard's on it." The undercurrent to that is we're *going* to find answers. The protective demeanor flashes for a moment — do not mess with her kids. Any of her people. Elisabeth is in it up to her hips already, clearly.

"I've had my thoughts. Praxis who was sent to clean things up." Devon easily could have been taken by one of their people or those fucking robots. Lucille rubs the bridge of her nose and closes her eyes. She doesn't answer as to whether or not Wolfhound is on it because that point is of course obvious. They are of course investigating this.

"I met a young woman a year ago. She would have been perfect to help this." Grimacing Lucille looks over at Liz, "She could project memories from objects, nice young SESA agent. She was murdered a few months back," Another dead end.

"Cassandra's ability only works on objects," Elisabeth replies absently, her thoughts on Praxis Heavy. "If he's got something on him that stayed with him, it could help. The clothes might actually give a lead on how he wound up on the beach, at least. I'll ask her."

And then she realizes what she just said and blue eyes flicker to Lucille. Fuck.

Dragging a hand across her mouth, she says, "Don't… say anything. But I'll let you know if anything comes of it. When he's stronger."

Blinking and then squinting her eyes. Lucille rolls her neck and looks up to the ceiling, process of elimination from Liz's words. "What a fucking miracle." This just opens another door though, one that Lucille does not want to go down. If there could be alternate Cassandras to replace the one that died here then….

"Ask her if she's available when he's able and strong but please," placing a hand on Liz's arm and squeezing in comfort, "Call me to be there. Devon has two rather large extended families, we should be working together to figure this out." Smiling because there's a potential lead because Liz is alive but that smile falters and she can't help herself.

"Before I go," she had a date with the Crucible. "You never ran into… my mother did you? Mary Ryans? In all… your traveling." It's a hope, a desperate long shot. Lucille winds her fingers into the silver chain that holds the locket that was a gift from Mary, she still always wore it.

Now Elisabeth gets a cautious expression. "I … never met your mother, no." She pauses. "But in another place and time… your parents are still together. And they miss your brother very much," she murmurs softly, sympathy in her expression. "You should maybe see your father about some of that. He may… appreciate being able to share those thoughts and what he knows with you."

She doesn't feel that it's breaking a confidence or speaking of someone else's private matters. They're Lucille's family too.

Lucille looks down to the floor, of course Liz didn't. She keeps her gaze there and nods lamely, "I know a little. Not much more than my brother isn't from here and that my family… in this other world. We weren't the best versions of ourselves." That's putting it mildly.

Eventually the shorter haired woman looks up and smiles softly in Liz's direction, "I'm happy I ran into you. I'll see you soon okay?" Luce had a lot on her mind suddenly, she needed to sort it out.

May the Lord watch over the poor soul that has to go against her in the ring tonight.

"Wrong world," Elisabeth leans in and whispers to her with a smile. "There were four of them. And your father has a few pictures you're going to want to see, kiddo." She reaches out and hugs Lu tightly. "There is no real best version of yourselves. But I think you'll like what you see."

She releases the younger woman from the hug, and tips her chin toward the hospital. "Go see Dev. You both need it."

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