berlin_icon.gif colette_icon.gif felix_icon.gif hana_icon.gif huruma_icon.gif lucille3_icon.gif noa_icon.gif robyn_icon.gif

Scene Title Shehecheyanu
Synopsis Hebrew. A prayer recited in commemoration of joyous occasions and new or unusual experiences.

Hana has plans for a quiet, unassuming birthday evening. Those plans go south, fast.
Date June 19, 2018

The Bunker: Common Area

It's well into the evening; outside, while the sun has yet to set, the warmth of the day has begun to fade. In the heart of the Bunker, however, the temperature remains a pleasant indoor constant, perhaps slightly elevated by the heat of the stove in operation. It's Hana who is currently using that stove, which is not exactly an unfamiliar sight; though the major doesn't take a regular rotation in the Bunker's chores — after all, she fields much of the bureaucracy— she winds up here at irregular intervals, whenever the whim strikes her. That there is a specific whim today, she is not inclined to share — just the food.

Two large cast-iron skillets sit on the stove, tomatoes and peppers and onion cooking down into a thick, spicy stew. More chopped vegetables sit ready on the counter, because the first rule of cooking in the Bunker is always to prepare for a crowd. Two cartons of eggs also sit open, waiting to be cracked and dropped into the sauce. Stirring the tomato mixture, Hana tastes both, then applies herself to adjusting the seasoning of each. The air is already fragrant, and the spices add yet more enticing scents to diffuse out through the building; indeed, the surprising thing is that people haven't started trickling in already.

Some did, though. Just more discreetly than others.

A shimmer at Hana's side proves not to be a ripple of gas, but instead the familiar slight of Colette Demsky. Covertly, Colette leans forward onto the counter beside Hana, eyeing the cooking happening, then rests her hand out beside the Alpha of the Hounds, sliding a very small and wrapped box across the counter space to rest in front of Hana, close enough that she could easily obscure the object if she so wished. Colette meets Hana's gaze with blind eyes, and offers her a knowing smile.

"So we're ordering takeout, right?" Colette more loudly proclaims, leaning away from the counter and drawing attention to herself, rather than the subtle gesture. "Because… and I don't know exactly why, but I could totally go for like… Olive Garden or something? Infinite breadsticks?" Colette raises one brow, ambling away from the space Hana is working in. "Right? Breadsticks?"

"Oh my god." Berlin's voice enters just before she does, pulling earbuds out and glancing toward the food. "It smells delicious," she says, to Hana. To the room. To Colette, as it turns out. She heads right over to the stove so she can peek at what's cooking. Colette's comment earns her a playful shove. "You're the worst," she says with a laugh.

"But, really, are there breadsticks?" she asks, serious, but overly so. For the effect. "I could murder a basket of those right now."

What this is, at the very least, is a sight that the resident SESA observer hasn't had the distinct pleasure of seeing yet. Robyn has probably become known for spending her nights in her office, music playing and retreating from whatever actions or observations she's had to make that particular day. But she been becoming more willing to venture out and spend time in the common areas with the other Hounds as of late, rather than just keeping an eye on them during missions or happening upon them when going to exercise or to the firing range. It's for better or worse, but she does have the feeling that people are less suspect of her at least.

"I have to agree with Berlin," she offers, leaning against the wall near the entrance into the common area, as if she'd been waiting for a moment to dramatically speak up. She takes a deep breath of the air, crossing her arms. "I wonder what that ability would be. Breadstickinesis?" This feels like a conversation she's had before, all of a sudden.

But rather than continue that ridiculous train of thought, she quirks an eyebrow in the chef's direction. "I didn't know you could cook, Major," is a comment that sounds more impressed than anything else.

Noa's been out of the bunker for the past couple of hours. "Of course you're in the kitchen," she says, eyes rolling a little, but with affection, when she appears in the doorway — there's no way to really hide the big pink bakery box she carries, a bag each of pita bread and challah resting on top of that.

She moves to find some nearby counter space to set down her purchases, before taking a deep noseful of the aromas coming from the stove. "Smells delicious. And you want Olive Garden?" Her dark eyes find Colette with a grin. "Blasphemy!"

The wrapped box is, unsurprisingly, disappeared immediately. Hana looks over at Colette and gives her a brief nod; her expression shades into exasperation and a more sidelong look as the photokinetic meanders off in her noisy way. "If you want infinite breadsticks," she remarks with understated reproof, "you'll have to bake them yourself."

Looking over at Robyn as she scoops out divots in the thick sauce, Hana echoes the quirk of her brow. "Of course I can," she replies, though with merely casual inflection. "Though I admit I've never done well with dumplings of any stripe." Which, obviously, do not feature here.

She cracks the eggs into their spaces and turns the heat down before turning to face the various Hounds. The rather ostentatious pink box her daughter is carrying earns Noa an arched brow of her own, this one distinctly askance. Really?


"Infinite breadsticks sounds like infinite work," Colette notes with a crooked smile. She eyes the box Noa is carrying, her smile growing broader by the moment. "You know what else the Major can do?" Colette begins, flashing a quick look to Hana, arms crossed over her chest and legs kick-scuffing in an awkward and intentionally loping gait toward Robyn. "It might be the most well-kept secret in all of Wolfhound, truth be told," her brows raise, eyes flick to the side to Noa, then back to Robyn.

Colette eases over, arms still crossed, and leans in so far that she's practically at a 45-degree angle once she's beside Robyn. "She's hidden it from us for a long time, but I feel like… I mean, I feel like it's important we know this." For reasons. "But…"

Colette cups one hand beside Robyn's ear and whispers something, then slowly leans back and raises her brows with a crooked smirk twisting across her mouth.

"Wheat Manipulation would be more all encompassing," Berlin states, as far as hypothetical breadstick makers. It was a joke, but for a moment… she looks genuinely thoughtful. But Noa's arrival gets her attention back on the moment. And she grins.

"Challah!" she says with the distinct intonation that girls her age use for holla. "Do you need help, Noa?" Since she's heavy laden with bakery goodies. And possibly will need to ration out said goodies. "The pink box means pie, right? Donuts?" she asks as she comes over to help clear some counter space.

Of course she can. Robyn can't help but chuckle at that. Yes, that does track, doesn't it? "Well. Consider me-" She pauses as Colette approaches her, knitting her brow as the photokinetic leans over. And then she whispers something in her ear that, well, makes her eyes widen visibly. Slowly, she turns to look at Colette, an equally slow forming cheshire grin forming across her face. Like a kid who just got told that they were getting exactly what they wanted for Christmas.

She glances over to Noa, then to Berlin, and finally back to Hana. "Wheat Manipulation sounds so boring," she remarks as she takes a moment to clear her throat, before moving away from Colette and further towards the others, and towards Hana.


"Look, we all have them. In theory. I mean mine technically hasn't happened yet, but…" Noa says to her mother, then lifts a brow as Colette goes whispering in Robyn's ear.

"Yes, do more of that. Your turn for the glare zone, Demsky."

When Berlin asks about the pink box, Noa slides off the two bags of bread. "I ain't no Challah back girl," she sing songs back to the younger (biologically) girl, before opening the lid for Berlin to see the contents of the unsubtle pink box.

Happy Birthday, Major! is written across a chocolate cake in white icing, the Wolfhound logo beneath it also in white.

"If she murders me, it was really nice knowing you all," she says solemnly. "I just decided we should celebrate one another more often. I may get demoted for this. Probably disowned." She grins and heads to the refrigerator to pull a cider from the shelf.

Fel's an uncomplaining and surprisingly competent cook, on the occasions when it's his job to take care of it. He's a terribly unsociable creature these days, most often holed up in his own room when not training or out exploring or just running….for the latter he does a great deal of.

Maybe it's just feeding time at the zoo, or else the scent of cooking has lured him out, though, for he's ambling in from the hall that leads to the quarters, clad in his usual jeans and t-shirt. Just in time to see the reveal on the cake, which sends his brows climbing for his hairline. "She had a birthday?" he asks, incredulous. "I'd always kind of assumed they'd forged her out of the ashes of IDF commandos, or something."

Hana shakes her head slowly at the growing banter behind her, turning back to her project at the stove. "You two are definitely doing the dishes," isn't much of a rebuke, really. "You can also make yourselves actually useful and set the table for whoever's eating."

Robyn's approach is regarded skeptically. "Whatever you want, the answer's no," she says preemptively. It might or might not actually be serious. Picking up a couple of potholders, she hands them to the liaison before snagging two more for herself. Implicitly: you, too, be useful.

Whatever Robyn wants to say, she's going to have to do while Hana's moving one of the skillets over to the table.

Felix's entrance statement gets a quiet huff, but rather than exasperation, a more somber expression flickers across the major's face. In some sense, it's not exactly untrue.

Though Huruma splits her time like a teenager in the custody of two parents, when she is here at the Bunker she is here, so to speak. She tries not to think about there. Sometimes it doesn't work out. She smells the kitchen from rooms away, her field trailing after the people collecting in the common rooms. The voices come a little clearer when she skulks up along the edge of the entryway to peer inside.

It looks like she hasn't been getting much rest, oddly enough; it doesn't help her cause when she looks like she is gauging the safety of going in.

A head peeks through the door and the face of Lucille Ryans takes in the crowd that's formed and a smile crosses her lips as the woman ducks in. Clad in a black tank top and shorts, she looks sheepish for a moment. Showing skin use to be the norm in the modeling world but she can't help but feel a little awkward.

Everyone gets a smile and a nod, sliding in next to Berlin the woman bumps her with her hips.

"Howdy." She's still smiling. The mystery of her healing has eluded her but she's trying to relax more about it. Aunt Huruma gets a look, worth creasing on her forehead.

Hands raised as though she were surrendering in a fight, Colette backpedals from Robyn and about-faces briefly toward Hana, then maneuvers to the cabinets by the kitchen, opening them and rooting around for dishes. "I think Robyn just wants to make a modest proposition, is all," she helpfully notes with a raise of one brow, pulling out a stack of dishes and balancing them over one arm. "I mean I can only assume it's modest." Blind eyes track back to Hana, and Colette sidles up to a drawer, pulling it open to retrieve a handful of silverware.

"Actually," Colette starts to say as she carries the dishes through the kitchen, "Lucille, settle something for me?" One dark brow raises, and it's not clear what any of the context is. "Should we get a dog, you know, as a pet? To keep around the Bunker?" Then, with a playful look fired over to Felix, a smile begins to grow across Colette's lips. "Or are Felix and Avi enough?"

Berlin looks at the cake, eyes widening in surprise before she looks up at Noa. "She won't, it's very sweet. I feel bad, I had no idea." She turns, looking over to Hana. "Major, you should have made us cook for you." Because you're not supposed to work on your birthday, she's pretty sure.

When Luce pops up beside her, Berlin links her arm with her friend's. "The smell drag you in?" she asks with a grin. Her attention drifts over to Colette and Robyn, because she can feel the mischief from here. "Don't you think the odor in this place is bad enough, Colette?" A dog on top of stinky boys.

Robyn is able - albeit barely - to resist shooting a glare back at Colette. The wide smile on her face is a window to a side of Robyn that doesn't get out much anymore, though it hides the sudden fear that she's been set up. But what is life without a little risk vs. reward wagering?

Boring. Even Robyn still knows that much.

Mischievous grin widens at Hana's remark, and she lets out a bit of a chuckle. "Well. Since you asked." More like audibly refused, but who's keeping track anyway? "A birthday. I-" Maybe admitting she's had no idea is also a bad idea, considering it's her job to know these things right now. "I wasn't expecting a birthday dinner, to be sure."

She stops, taking hold of the back of one of the common area's chairs, fingers drumming out a steady rhythm. "My friends used to have a tradition," she starts, as if insinuating that Hana, at least, may now be one of these things for the purposes of this. Her tone takes a playful turn as she leans against the back of the chair, watching Hana as she moves with the skillet. "Wherein the person having the birthday would be the one to sing, rather than everyone else singing to them."

Anyone who ever went to a party Robyn threw once upon a time knows she's lying through her teeth. Her eye slides over to Colette, then back to Hana.

"What do you say, Major? Got one in you for us?"

"Literally," says Noa to Berlin. "But she's not." There's a grin thrown Hana's way before the younger Gitelman moves to the cupboards to help Colette in setting the table. She raises brows in the other woman's direction when she speaks of modest propositions, then back to Robyn, making the cut sign and shaking her head with a grimace — a Chrissy Teigen face to accompany the gestures.

She grins over in Felix and Huruma's direction, before chiming in on the talk about a dog. "An Irish Wolfhound would be a good mascot. And we'd make the boys pick up after it."

Robyn's little proposal makes her laugh and shake her head. "You," she points at Colette, "are terrible. Think the three of us might be on KP this week."

"I'm already the resident bitch," Felix interjects, with one of those rather canine little grins, a lifting of a lip in what's almost a sneer. "You know that. I'm mean, I am a Russian Wolfhound. " Apparently that's his Patronus. "If you're going to get one, get a real one. The Irish ones don't generally live very long. Too big. Too prone to skeletal diseases."

Setting the skillet on the stone surface of their table, Hana listens to Robyn without looking her, letting the woman finish her statements. Then she looks over at the liaison, her face set in complete non-expression. "The answer is no," she replies softly, too softly.

Stepping around Robyn as Colette approaches the table, Hana casts a dark glare towards the blind Hound. The cake and resulting fuss is one thing; her birthday is ultimately accessible to anyone who looks hard enough, and it was only a matter of time before knowledge spread throughout the Hounds.

Broaching something given in personal confidence, something that is tightly bound with the memories of her dead, is a different matter altogether.

Berlin's protest is met with a briefly raised hand, acknowledgment and dismissal. The discussion of dogs, she lets pass without comment; it doesn't merit any yet. Instead, Hana takes up a bowl and serves herself, then looks squarely at Colette once more. "You're cleaning up," isn't exactly a reiteration, not when addressed to Colette alone.

And then Hana is gone.

There is something reassuring about just… watching them, for a short time. It's achingly familiar, some of it. Between Lucille and Noa, she's already been seen. If it wasn't them it would be the snort that gives her away when they get talking about a dog.

"Better idea to just get a cat." You know. Mice. Huruma's arms are crossed when she steps inside, the bit of dark under her eyes noticeable when she smiles. As Hana curtails the attentions of the rest of them and goes to leave, she gets a nod- - greeting, approval, or just friendliness, could be any of it.

"Looks like someone is in the doghouse."

"Don't we clean enough of their shit up?" A teasing wink thrown Felix's way at the after Berlin's answer with a snort, "As long as I don't have to clean up its shit." Lu waves a hand, she's taking it serious though. Pale blue eyes look towards Berlin, "I'm fucking starving. What's on the menu?" Eyes closing as she sniffs into the air before she winds up spotting the cake, "Oh man, dessert." She's always had a sweet tooth. "Oh man Happy Fucking Birthday Major!" A song?

Luce looks over at Robyn with raised eyebrows. Oh fuck. Andddd she's out. "Bye Major," said softly with a snicker as she's out of the room.

"Why'd you go and scare her off?" Poking fun at Robyn.

That hopeful gleam in Colette's eyes first shifts to exasperation, then frustration as Hana moves to leave. Dark brows crease together, and her head tilts subtly to the side as she follows Hana's movement through the room. There's a noise in the back of her throat, subtle but immediately recognizable to Noa. Sliding her tongue across the inside of her teeth, Colette draws in a slow breath through her nose and offers an apologetic look to Robyn. The food does smell good, and perhaps in a few hours time she'll be able to sit down and actually enjoy it. Likely after she's had time to clean up, after everyone else has eaten. The look exchanged between Colette and Noa is a knowing one, some combination of I've got this coupled with you're welcome to join in the unspoken language of two women who may as well have grown up together for how the war thrust them into one-another's orbit. "I'll be back," Colette says to the others, feigning the necessary chipperness to not bring down the mood, but as she backpedals toward the edge of the room she dapples away in so much washed out watercolor, and soon only Robyn can see her silhouette.

Huruma can feel frustration, the tang of guilt, and a burbling undercurrent of other less evident emotions as the photokinetic makes a quick and obfuscated exit behind Hana.

She's cleaning up. One mess at a time.

The request makes Berlin's eyes widen, like she can't believe anyone would have the guts to ask Hana that. And really, it's almost like the young hound doesn't breathe again until Hana and Colette both have made their exits.

"Holy shit, we survived."

Her gaze turns to Felix, his dog knowledge getting a frown. "That's a bigger downer than Hana ditching her own dinner party." Poor doggos.

Robyn had certainly expected a reaction from Hana, but not this reaction. She watches Hana after her refusal - which, again, was expected from the beginning. But when Colette had told her, she couldn't help but poke the birthday bear, so to speak. Instead of the amusing moment she had hoped for, she's left with egg on her face as the Major makes her way out of the room. She blinks, looks at Lucille at her comment, and then back over at Colette.

When the photokinetic retreats, Robyn's eye trails after her. It's hard not to when she's the only one who can still see her. Frowning, she turns back to table. Eye closed, she takes a deep breath as she releases the chair and steps back from it. A realisation sets in, one hand curling into a fist at her side. She swallows, and turns.

She doesn't offer another word as she makes her own exit. She will have to apologise to Hana tomorrow, once she's had time to deal with how suddenly and immensely furious she is at herself.

Noa's brows come together with worry as Hana speaks so quietly to Colette and leaves the room. There's a nod at Colette and a sympathetic look thrown at Robyn, before the younger Gitelman clears her throat. "I'll finish dinner," she says, in a loud enough voice for those exiting to hear, and to try to get things back to normal.

She turns and hands the plates she's holding to Berlin to put the other girl to work, before she moves to the stove. "Go wash up. It'll be ready in… maybe fifteen minutes? I've never made this before, but at least the sauce will be good." She gives the eggs a worried look, before reaching for the spoon to poke around a bit.

If she ruins it, at least there's cake.

His voice is gentle, as he replies, "Sorry. 's the truth, though," Watching the attempt at a party fall flat and then start to disintegrate, there's a kind of fatalistic quirk to his mouth. This, apparently, has not gone according to plan, not in the least. Then he comes forward, noting that look. "Lemme help," he says to Noa.

"Mmm, feels like that was more trouble than it was worth." Huruma watches Colette and Robyn in turn, head tilting after them in their exit. Her lips press together when she looks back to the rest of them, brow lifting. Anyone else with the guilty exits?

As for Noa and her very real caution, Huruma just laughs to herself as Felix goes ambling up to help. He at least sounds like he knows what helping entails. The dark woman moves to the table to give setting it a hand before sinking into a chair as if there were weights hanging off of her frame. "I am suddenly glad that I do not know the exact date of my birth." She has an approximation.

The exchanges get an raised eyebrow from Lucille and she looks over to Berlin, “Let’s eat the cake.” One track mind today, Lucille’s eyes widen a bit and she places a hand on her hip, fingers tapping at her waist. A grin thrown Huruma’s way and that mischievous grin she knows her the younger woman. “Don’t think that will save you.” Teeth wide in a grin and the auburn haired woman eyes the food, her stomach grumbles.

“So someone has to eat right.”

Berlin takes the plates, and gladly so because it gives her something to do in this wake of awkwardness. She nods for Lucille to come with her, though, because getting the table ready is a two person job, really. "Come on, you can have cake later. We don't want to cut it without Hana here, right?" That seems like bad birthday form.

Noa shoots Lucille a look, but it's a playful one, but Berlin's got it under control. "Sure," she says to Felix. "If you know what you're doing, I'll let you work on this and I'll get the pita sliced and toasted."

And maybe to help cover some of the awkwardness in the kitchen, the radio on the corner begins to play, the opening, optimistic notes from The Beatles' "Here Comes the Sun" filling the room.

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