Pranks, Produce, and Plans


brian_icon.gif doyle2_icon.gif koshka_icon.gif nora_icon.gif rue_icon.gif samara2_icon.gif

Also Featuring:

lance_icon.gif mala_icon.gif lh_paul_icon.gif

Scene Title Pranks, Produce, and Plans
Synopsis This scene contains all three.
Date January 15, 2011

Pollepel Island: Bannerman's Castle

The name Bannerman's Castle is as deceiving as its appearance; built stone by stone more than a century ago, the now crumbling fortress, seemingly derelict, was in its glory days used as a military surplus warehouse and still carries the faded words Bannerman's Island Arsenal on one of its walls. Time and neglect have since taken a hefty toll on the property, which belongs to the Maxwell Development Corporation in name, but is in reality much more than a prized relic.

On the outside, ivy creeps up its walls, some stripped down to skeletal supports and others as strong and stalwart as the day they were erected. In the decades that Pollepel Island has been abandoned, nature has reclaimed a large portion of the castle where its roof has caved in, creating courtyards of stone and saplings, thorny bushes and wire fences put up to section the most tangled hollows off. A few have been cleaned up, exposing worn stone floors that serve as gathering places for the people who live inside the ruins, and where the walls are tallest, shielding one open cavern from the mainland's view, there is a metal drum to burn fires in and large chunks of stone arranged around them in a circle.

Inside, Bannerman's Castle has been repurposed by the Ferrymen network as northern stronghold with its own electrical grid powered by basement generators, though most of the castle is lit by gas lanterns and candles to conserve fuel. Tall ceilings reinforced with wooden rafters are a feature in almost every room, including the castle's dining hall and the basement kitchen where food is prepared on outdated stoves and ovens taken from restaurants on Staten Island that were abandoned in the wake of the bomb and later repaired and refinished for installation in the kitchen.

Also in the basement are the fortress' supply rooms, which are kept under lock and key and contain everything from cured meats to additional linens, firearms, ammunition and fuel for the generators that power Bannerman. The living quarters and infirmary are located on the ground floor in the corner of the castle that's most intact, and while the narrow corridors are drafty, a lot of time and effort has gone into insulating the rooms themselves as best they can be insulated with what supplies were available and fit the budged allocated to the network's reconstruction efforts.

The stolen iPod on the player is almost out of battery. But with its dying breaths, it lets out a soothing easy going tune…

Then I let the Alpine play, I was pumpin' new shit by NWA

Paul's head dips around the corner, a sly smirk curling up his lips. Looking over his shoulder he gives a light shake of his head. No one coming.

It was Gangster Gangster at the top of the list, then I played my own shit it went something like this

Taking a few skip steps to the other side, Paul leans through the wall. Pushing himself back out the smirk widens. Another shake of his head. If you weren't in the room, one would think that Paul was all by himself. Mostly because besides the soothing tune, there is complete silence.

But that doesn't mean nothing else is happening. Another tube of crazy glue is deposited into another shoe. Lance glancing up at Paul momentarily to confirm that no one is coming still.

Cruisin' down the street in my six-fo', jockin' the bitches, slappin' the hoes

A completely inaudible snicker is had by Lance as he rocks back to his rear. Waving one hand wildly to get Paul's attention, he points to the next pair of shoes. And then gives a thumbsup. Ready for delivery.

I went to the park to get the scoop knuckleheads out there, shootin' some hoop

Paul grins, dancing over to the gathering of shoes. Grabbing the pair, he runs off disappearing into the next room through the wall. Delivering the stolen shoes back to their rooms, with crazy glue added. Once Paul returns, he gives a little smile. "How long does crazy glue take to dry? Like a long time?"

A car pulls up who can it be?

On the way to the kitchens, Mala has been helping Rue with her groceries. And Rue doesn't need much more help than her. As long as Rue is smiling and laughing, Mala has bags dangling and lined up and down her arms, moving with relative ease towards the kitchen. Which happens to take them right through Lance and Paul's dirty shoe operation.

….Cause the boyz in the hood are always hard

Rue is perfectly content to let Mala carry heavy bags of cans full of non-perishables, coffee, tea, ingredients for s'mores and - most importantly in Rue's mind - stovetop popcorn. The young woman carries a heavy, black, overstuffed backpack on her back, adorned with patches identifiable as Marvel and DC superheroes, a messenger bag slung across her body with more of the same, and an exceedingly weighty crate covered with a blanket.

She just couldn't let Mala carry the beer in good conscience. When she spots the boys snickering - silent as they are thanks to one sneaky audiokinetic - Rue stops short and shoots them a curious, albeit gently suspicious look. "Hey boys. What'cha dooooin'~?"

The jobs that Nora can help with are limited given her lack of sight, but she'd asked for one today, and so she sits peeling potatoes in the kitchen. It's not a hard chore, and it's one she can use her sense of touch for, though it's a more tedious than it would be even for a normally-sighted person, given that she has to take more caution so she doesn't slice her fingers in the process.

A radio on the table beside the potatoes to be peeled plays, its reception extremely clear despite the thick walls of the castle and that the radio sits no where near a window. Modern English's "I'll Stop the World" plays, not-too-loudly, but as voices sound in the hall, it suddenly turns off, and Nora tips her head toward the door to listen.

A quick head-count in the afternoon had determined that a certain mischievous pair were missing in action, the other children all either accounted for or supposed to be somewhere in particular. All too aware of how dangerous they can be when left to their own designs, Eric Doyle's striding down the hallway in the direction of the kitchens in the hope that they're just raiding the ice box and cabinets for an illicit snack.

Dressed in a white button-up shirt that's actually slightly loose on him these days and a set of khaki pants, his own polished shoes clicking on the floors, he hasn't noticed the presence of the boys yet. He does spot Mala in the hall, calling out, "Hey Mala, have you seen the boys?" The Boys could only mean those two.

Ah, peeling potatoes. It's a task and a half for one, but two makes the work so much more enjoyable. Though Koshka might not be one for much conversation, furtive glances directed toward Nora on occasion, she does help with quiet enthusiasm. The teenager, clad as usual in a hoodie and blue jeans, sits on her knees, working a knife to remove skins from spuds.

Koshka's head bobs a little, moving in time to the music over the raido. That is until voices sound just beyond the kitchen and cutting over the tunes. Like Nora, the youth's head comes up and turns toward the hall.

Crazy glue does not take long to dry. Navigating a castle with an ability like invisibility is a little like navigating Hogwarts with the Maurauder's Map. And mischief is managed well enough.

Particularly as the first unsuspecting victim slips into her over worn for four years, in bad need of replacement cross trainers which she insisted were good for at least another few months (uttering time and time again but they're comfortable!) despite objections from more than one party.

Like Paul, a figure appears through the wall. This one, however, didn't intend to go through it this time, although if she hadn't, as usual, Samara would've run into it amid her twirling. Yes, she twirls through the wall. Perhaps the cross trainers weren't her best choice this morning. Gaining corporeality on the other side with an undeniably bright, dimpled grin and a flushed face— whether from the little bit of exercise from twirling through walls (possibly more than one, she'll never tell) or the embarrassment of twirling when people can see her, she altogether halts, hands turned to pockets while her hazel eyes scan the room briefly, finding more than one familiar face, yet even with her energy and excitement, she resists the urge to tackle anyone today. The boys are shot a quick wave, and Rue a smile, But today's target is one she'd actually worried about recently.

The secret delight she carries with her emits despite her momentary embarrassment, particularly as she slides to where Koshka is peeling potatoes. "Heya stranger~"

The look that Paul and Lance give Rue could not necessarily be described as deer in headlights. Unless deer sport real weird facial expressions these days. Paul's face twists into a surprised yet inconvenienced look. Grabbing onto the two closest shoes, Paul stands up. And showing why he's a great friend to Lance takes one step back then another. And then the voice of Doyle. "Gordo coming." He mutters, tone slightly fearful. And then friendship.

Paul turns around and books towards the kitchen, phasing through anything that happens to be in his path.

Which leaves Lance standing amid used tubes of crazy glue, staring down Mala and Rue and soon, Doyle. Mala however, slings one tiny arm forward to give a very accusatory finger pointing at Lance.

An inaudible "Fuck" and then Lance is audible again. He's going to punch the poop out of Paul later. Idly wishing he could disappear like that, he simply stays still as if his own shoes were crazy glued to the floor. He looks up at Rue and gulps deeply.


Nora's head turns — bad habits die hard — at the sudden voice at Koshka's side. Brows knit together: where did she come from, this she that Nora can't see and didn't hear until she was upon them.

It makes her heart pound, and the slippery potato drops out of her grip, skittering across the table and into Koshka's lap, just as Nora is bringing the peeler to its surface.

Instead the peeler slices her finger tip.

"Fuck," she hisses, throwing the peeler down with frustration, her other hand moving to wrap around her injured fingertip defensively.

Rue watches Paul take off like a very, very guilty little boy, one brow quirked. "Lance, I think you would love to help Mala carry some of these bags to the kitchen, wouldn't you?" It's not an actual request.

A smile is shot to Doyle as he approaches the little cluster of children plus semi-responsible adult. "Hey. Paul went thattaway." Rue points nebulously through the walls toward the kitchen. "I think we have to take the long way." She turns a cheerful smile down to Mala and dramatically sighs with a demonstratively weary sag forward, "This stuff is heavy! Shall we keep moving?"

As the scene of the crime is revealed - whatever the crime is, it's clear there's some sort of crime going on - Doyle picks up the pace, hustling down the corridor a bit until he slows to a halt near to Lance and the surrounding tubes of glue. He sets both hands on his hips, and lets out a huffing sigh. "Lance… what were you and Paul doing? Do I even— do I even want to know?"

The voice suddenly at her side is a surprise, and wide eyed Koshka looks up at Samara. She sits as though stuck from the shock of seeing the phasing woman here. Though unmoving, a grin pulls at the corners of her mouth. The potato landing in her lap equally startles the teenager, enough of a nudge to actually move.

"Sam," Koshka cries out. Hopefully it doesn't startle Nora any further. Potatoes are abandoned as the girl displays more excitement over anything since arriving to the castle, scrambling upright with the intention of grabbing Samara into a hug.

Whatever Lance says is completely inaudible. Though Doyle probably knows the 'I CAN'T CONTROL MY POWER SOMETIMES' trick. Though Lance's expression speaks words as he flails his arms around and his lips flap, noting is heard. Finally his voice starts to drip into the ears of those around him once again. "We— I.. It was Paul's idea." It wasn't Paul's idea.

Lance spins around at Nora's fuck. Looking back to Doyle with wide eyes as if to say. 'She cussed, shouldn't you go get her in trouble'. Looking at Rue and the tiny window of escape from El Gordo, Lance gladly accepts. "Okay." Quickly shuffling over to Mala the girl reluctantly allows Lance to take a bag or two.

"I'm not gonna bleed to death," Nora says irritably, but she takes the proffered paper towels and shoves away from the table to head to one of the sinks — as long as no one's in her way, she walks with more confidence than she used to, striding toward the sink until close to it, then holding her non-bleeding hand out to find the edge of the counter, to slide along until she feels the change in materials from tile to metal.

She rinses her finger in the water before realizing she should probably wash the peeler, too, before someone decides to use it again (on produce, rather than phalanges) and returns to the table. Her temper abated some, she mutters, "Sorry," to the stranger in the kitchen. Her hand feels around for the utensil before finding it and returning to the sink to wash it as well.

"They're Hello Kitty!" Rue calls back, as though shouting random threads of conversation down the hallway to Samara is just the most natural and common thing in the world. It sort of is, for her. "But yes, I have them!"

Then, the redhead is pointing her finger toward the kitchen. "March," she orders Lance. A look - let's call it rueful - is sent in Doyle's direction, a touch of exasperation. Kids, eh? "Can you wait to punish them until after I commandeer them to help me put these groceries away? That'd be wicked." Her lips turn upward into a hopeful smirk.

At the silent flail of arms and hands, Eric merely raises one brow in a dubious lift upwards towards what would be a hairline if he had any hair. Clearly, he is not buying a moment of it, and neither does he show any immediate urge to go punish Nora when she expels the f-word abruptly. The look from Rue is returned with a quite rueful one of his own, and then he's stepping over to sweep an arm down the hallway in permissiveness.

"Why don't you tell me what Paul's idea was as we walk, hm, Lance?"

The clinging to Samara doesn't last long, no need to go spilling people on the floor and causing more of a mess. Koshka releases her hold of the woman and turns to pick up the fallen potatoes. "When'd you get here," she asks Sami, picking up the first and looking for the second. "Oh and.. this is… um.. Some lady who stays here too." The last comes with a nod toward Nora. Then to Nora, "This is Sam." If it hadn't been obvious.

"Oooooo!" Sami sparkles at the notion of Hello Kitty bandaids. "That always makes it hurt less! Or spongebob! Who lives in a pineapple under the sea~" Nora's first tone is met with a distasteful wrinkle of Sam's nose. "Kitchen injuries can be worse than you think— " Even with the little bit of bitterness received from Nora, the former ghost maintains her little bit of cheer.

After a moment she traipses after Rue to retrieve the Hello Kitty bandaids. It doesn't take long to find what she needs amongst the groceries, a small box of juvenile cartoon bandaids all hers. "It's… okay," Sami observes quietly when she returns with the box. Placing it in front of Nora. "It was unfair, but I get it," her smile softens some with a tiny sigh, but even the sigh doesn't eat up her spirit.

"Hey, yeah, I'm Samara. Most people call me Sam or Sami. And— " she turns to face Koshka, "I'm so glad you made it safe! I was so worried!"

Unfair? Nora's brows knit together as she seeks a towel to dry her hands. "Unfair? I wasn't… swearing at you or blaming you, Sam," she says, still irritably. "And Hello Kitty bandaids that I can't see aren't going to really make anything better, but it's just a peeled fingertip, you know. I'll survive."

Nora's not in a good mood, and cheerful people are not helping. The bandaids are ignored. Nora flips her hair out of her face as she tips her head toward Koshka at the table. "I don't think I'll risk the other nine fingers today, kid, you got the rest of those?" Since she's a lady, Koshka can be a kid.

"Nora!" Rue calls, toning down her cheerfulness in the face of a sourpuss. "Just the person I wanted to find. I brought you something." The crate of (concealed) beer is set down on the end of the table the other girls are seated at. That's not the present. She almost tips backward as the counterweight she carries in front no longer balances out her heavy backpack. "Shiiiiiiii—oot~!" Clutching the edge of the table, she rights herself again.

"Whoo! Okay, kids. Put the other stuff away and no snacking from it. You'll each get your treats from it later. I promise." Rue first unslings the messenger bag from across her body and then drops off the black pack, setting both on the table with the beer. The shoulder bag is opened and a black eyeglass case procured, and brought over to Nora at the sink. She rests her hand on the younger woman's wrist, warning of her proximity before she presses the case gently into her uninjured hand.

"I found the fiercest pair of Vogue sunglasses and thought of you instantly." She saw her wearing ill-fitting sunglasses before. Rue can only hope the gesture is appreciated now.

As they head along down the hallway, Lance is talking away to spill his guts about their plans… only his power is 'acting up' again and his mouth is moving without a sound. The boy tries to escape the whole situation by slowing down until he falls to the back of the group carrying the groceries, only to find his short legs picking up the pace in perfect time with the one-two drumbeat of Doyle's fingers against the air.

It earns him a rather dirty look from Lance, but at least right now his punishment is limited to nothing but carrying groceries. Of course, once they find out what he and Paul actually did…

Mala just rolls her eyes at her Lighthouse-sibling with a smirk, and continues to help out. "I'll make sure they don't snack on anything," Eric chuckles under his breath, "Don't worry."

Kid, huh? Well, there's worse things that she could be called. Koshka glances at Nora and shrugs, regardless of the woman's ability to see it. A quiet "Sorry" is offered followed by, "Yeah, I got the potatoes." Potatoes which she's supposed to be looking for. Back to that

The one from her lap is found partially under a worktable and clutched in a hand as Koshka stands again. A grin is passed to Samara, then shared with the other new kitchen arrivals. Though it turns unsure with those she doesn't know.

"But the tone was directed to me— " Sami counters quietly. There's no defensiveness to her own tone, just a slightly apprehensive edge. Her eyes narrow at Nora's name with vague recognition. The blind girl. Right. "I'm sorry— I'd forgot about your sight. I was a little.. less alive back then." She shrugs slightly. Not that Nora will necessarily remember at all, it's not like she could see or hear the former spectre.

She blinks a few times with that. With a hmmm her lips twist to the side, before she kneels next to Koshka and grasps another potato peeler, no reason for the teen to work alone. "So— how the heck are you?! Ohmygosh, I didn't even tell you— " she lifts her left hand to show her new ring all shiny on her ring finger.

"Hey, Rue," says Nora, tone a little more cheerful, especially at the prospect of presents. Her hands come out for the glass case, and her lips part, a bit speechless. She has no idea what such an item costs, but somehow she's guessing it's more than she could afford.

Given that all the money she has is a worn-out dirty dollar she found in the pocket of the hand-me-down sweater given to her on her arrival, a pair of $2 sunglasses sold by a child in Tijuana would be more than she could afford.

"I… thanks," she murmurs. Her brows furrow, both with sudden gratitude as well as more frustration as forgiveness from Samara based on the fact Nora's blind.

She clears her throat, choosing to focus once more on Rue. "Thanks, Rue, that's really sweet of you, to think of me." She puts the glasses on, covering the black eye. "How do I look?" she asks, before smirking. "Wait, don't answer that. Sunglasses can't help the rest of me." She gestures to the kitchen. "Lots of people here, I'm going to get out of your way."

One hand moves to touch Rue's arm lightly, then give it a quick squeeze of thanks before Nora moves toward the door, hands out to make sure she doesn't run into anyone.

Oh no she doesn't. "You are super hot," Rue assures Nora, squealing a little because she likes her gift. With a little more restraint than what she would generally show, she wraps her arms around the other girl in a hug. Restraint in that she doesn't throw them around her unexpectedly, but rather makes the embrace a bit more gradual.

"I was right. They're absolutely perfect for you. Benji will be jealous." Rue then releases Nora and squeezes her shoulders briefly before fixing the route she's thrown off toward the door. "Go show off. I'll stop by and see you later."

Mission accomplished, Rue turns towards Samara and Koshka and gives them a double thumbs up with the biggest, brightest smile. Yaaaaay!

As the kids - Mala willingly, Lance rather more begrudgingly - put away the groceries under Eric Doyle's sharp eye, the puppeteer leans back against the wall to supervise, arms folded across his broad chest and a little bit of a wry smirk curling to his lips. There's affection in his expression as well, though, even as he shakes his head to himself.

A glance over to the interaction between Rue and Nora, a brow raising slightly. "What? You look great," he chuckles heartily, "Don't let anyone tell you anything different, Nora."

The grin broadens for Rue and Nora, just a little, but then Samara's pulling at Koshka's attention again. "I'm fine," she answers with a small shake of her head. "Everything's fine. I just—" A shrug rolls from the teen's shoulders, to say life is life, as she looks back to Sami. Then to Sami's ring.

"Woah," Koshka exlaims. Potatoes are spilled again, thumping and rolling on the floor as she gets closer to examine the ring. "Oh wow!"

Sami's eyebrows escalate high on her forehead as she flashes Koshka a broad grin. The ring is held out still. The smile ticks up higher on one side and her cheeks flush slightly. "I know!" she virtually squeals as she turns her head to look back at Rue. "Hey— you guys met yet? Rue this is Koshka. Koshka stayed at the Garden for awhile. And Koshka, this is Rue— my-closer-than-a-sister-best-friend-forever~"

"Punk hmmm trippin' but that's alriiight~"

It might be obvious now where Paul and Lance stole the iPod. Even though Brian censors himself as he strolls towards the kitchen. Covered in a light sheen of sweat. Brian is wiping the sweat from his bow with the forearm of his sleeve. He and the lest mischievous members of the Lighthouse had been playing a little two hand touch. But now it's time for oddly timed sustenance.

Shoes tapping lightly sa he enters, his eyes go from Samara, who gets a broad smile. Then to Rue, still smiley. Doyle and the kids, smiiiile. Koshka, smile haaay~. And then Nora, oh. Lips scrunching up for a moment, Brian tilts his head lightly. "Hey everybody~"

Nora squeaks a bit at the hug from Rue, returning it and laughing. "Hot. Right. I'm sure," she says with a self-deprecating grin. "But thanks."

Upon her exit, though, the smile fades some at Brian's entrance. She doesn't respond to his greeting. There's a pause in her step and she tips her head toward him, teeth biting her lower lip as if in concentration, and then she keeps walking, hands dropping to her side rather than outstretched, and she breezes by him, shoulder two inches or so from his in passing.

Rue's eyes fall to Koshka when Samara makes the introductions, and she offers a smile in return. "Good to meet you." She's flattered by Samara's titling of her, and it shows.

When Brian joins the crew in the kitchen, Rue is quick with a wave. "I think this makes you my future BFF-in-law," she quips. She then sets about helping the kids put her grocery haul away, helping to reach higher shelves either by putting things away herself, or, in Mala's case, lifting her to reach them. Rue gets the feeling Lance would rather not be picked up.

"Hey, Brian…" Waaaaaait a minute. Wait just a second here. Doyle turns his back on the kids for a moment to look from Rue to Brian, back again, and then he's giving the duplicator a look - head tilted, one brow arched, lips parting slightly as he tries to figure out what to say. Finally: "…in law?"

"Hi Brian!" Sami brightens. Koshka is cast another sidelong glance from Sam as she taps gently on her chin, "Ohmygosh I forgot something else! I baked cookies before we came— I left them in the other room and— " and Koshka is well aware these are likely inedible rocks. The teen is more than aware of Samara's cooking ability. "I can finish the potatoes if you want to get them?" Of course, this is a brilliant idea and a way to get out of chores so Koshka disappears to dispose of said cookies so Sami can believe they were somehow lost in the shuffle.

Sami busies herself peeling the potatoes even as Koshka leaves, shooting Rue a faint smile. And then arching her eyebrows slightly at Doyle.

Brian gives a look over Rue, his brow quirking curiously. BFF-in-law. Doyle gets an equally confused look. Because.. They were going to wait! Brian looks over at Samara tilting his head a little. Brows narrowing some. Now Doyle is going to be upset with him. "Um.." He gives Rue a light smile before giving Doyle an awkward one. Uhh.. whoops.

Oops. Rue presses her lips together tightly and shoots Brian and Samara an apologetic look in turn with her back turned to the portly man. She didn't realise that she somehow was not the last to know, having only just returned to the island after the incident on the mainland. But she turns back to Doyle with a brilliant smile. "Oh, you know, they're just so da-rned close that I have to give them crap." She waves it off.

It's an attempted save on Rue's part that Doyle just might have bought if it wasn't for Brian's reaction to the question. Which means that the other brow goes up as well, and he straightens, looking over to Samara now, then to Brian. He taps his foot, and the other man would recognize the exact same way that he looks at Lance and Paul when he's waiting for them to say something.

"Ooo," Lance whispers to Mala, trying not to grin, "Brian's in trouble." Mala thwaps him. Lightly.

The potatoes are the single most interesting thing in the room: brown, rough, and completely consuming Sam's attention. Until she glances up from them firs to shoot Brian an apologetic smile nearly pained and then to meet Doyle's gaze, her lips parting slightly as she tries to formulate her thoughts, instead she frowns slightly.

"Lance, Mala. Room." Brian instructs crisply. It means get out of here so you don't see me squirm in front of another adult. Waiting for them to leave, impatiently. Brian casts an agitated look at Rue and Samara before looking back to Doyle. "Eric." Winters murmurs, putting his hands out as if to stay the anger of the beast. "We weren't going to tell anyone. I thought that was the agreement. Maybe I'm wrong. We only told family so far. And.. I just thought.."

"I thought we were going to wait on everyone else. And you know that I would tell you… And.. It wasn't a secret from… you.. I was go—" Looking a little flushed, Brian takes a deep breath. "Will you be my best man?"


"Hey," Rue pipes up defensively, putting her hands on her hips with a cross look. "I am family, buster." Samara is Rue's sister. Maybe not by blood, but by choice. "I didn't know you hadn't gone and told everybody else yet." The ire fades into sheepishness, and silence when Brian makes his request of Doyle.

In her embarrassment over her thoughtless blunder, Rue swiftly begins to gather up her two bags and the crate with its blanket, with the intent to flee the room.

There is, in chorus, a dual "Awww." from the kids as they're sent from the room, although Lance is already off like a gunshot since this might mean he'll get out of any punishment for his earlier prank. At least until someone tries to put on their shoes, anyway. Mala slinks out a bit less quickly, and she's soon hiding outside the room eavesdropping, a bad habit she picked up from the aforementioned boy.

"Uh huh," Eric drawls out at the first words, holding up a hand, "It's alright, it's all…" Pause. "Wait, what?" He blinks in startlement, like a stag suddenly pushed out into a highway staring at high beams.

"It's my fault— " Sam counters quickly as the potato is abandoned to the pile. "I talk too much and Rue is like the only person in the world who knew I even existed for like four years. She's family. Twenty years together— and I— " her face contorts again. "I'm really sorry. I am— " she winces as she stands to her feet. "I'm really sorry, I didn't mean— and I didn't— " her eyes squeeze tightly together.

"Who else would it be man?" His hands splay out as he gives a bit of a shrug. A light smile is concocted for the other man as he tries to block out Rue and Samara for just a minute. "I'm with you all day every day. Changing diapers, making kool-aid, reading stories." Winters murmurs, giving another shrug.

"I would be honored if you would accept, Doyle." Brian nudges a bit more, glancing over at Sam for a moment.

Rue lingers only a moment in the doorway before she's escaping into the hall and off to her room, where she can curse herself in private.

It's clear that Eric is utterly dumbfounded by the idea, and the offer, looking between the few remaining in the room and bringing one hand up to scrub against the bare back of his head. "I… I mean," he stammers, "You really— I mean, of course, I'd— I'd be honored…"

"Did you and Sam get a chance to meet? Properly I mean? When she wasn't phased?" Offering his hand out to the woman, his smile fades softly. Though his eyes follow affter Rue, which brings his lips down a bit he still keeps the smile up. "Yeah I really. Thanks Doyle." Winters grins waiting for Samara to take his hand before gesturing to him. "I assume you guys will be working together and stuff, as well. You know.. so.. Yeah."

A step over, and Doyle reaches out to clap a hand on the other man's shoulder, squeezing it firmly as he grins broadly. "That's… that's great, thank you, I didn't think— well— um." A pause, and then, "No! No, we were never really properly introduced, or anything—" He thrusts his free hand out to Samara, "Hi! I'm Eric."

Samara takes Brian's hand easily enough before taking Doyle's in a fairly easy handshake. The touch is somewhat sheepish, but with some effort, she manages an easier, albeit somewhat nervous smile as she accepts the handshake. "It's good to officially meet you— I'm Sam. Or— Sami— One or the other— Not really Samara even though that is my name and all I just— " she bites her bottom lip to stop what would like turn into incessant talk-too-fast chatter.

Brian smiles easily as his hand joins Samara's and gets a little brighter when Doyle claps his hand on him. He leans over on his feet to plant a kiss on her cheek before rolling back to the flats of his feet. "Well.. Yeah. And.. I'm sorry Doyle. It's not like I was keeping it from you on purpose. But I do need to go scrape my shoes off the ground… Crazy glue."

"So that's what the boys were up to…" Doyle's eyes narrow a little as he slants a look back towards the hallway, then back to the pair with an easy smile, "…good meeting you proper, Sam. You did good, Brian. Anyway, I've got to go find the kids…"

As he pulls away, he murmurs audibly, "Could've sworn he was gay."

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