The F-Word


huruma3_icon.gif ryans3_icon.gif

Scene Title The F-Word
Synopsis Huruma encounters Ryans when she gets back from her weekend trip; she touches on roots, and Ryans is reminded that sometimes, women make no sense.
Date December 5, 2010

Pollepel Island - Kitchen

The past day or so has been a blur for Huruma; when she asked Noah Bennet about potentially going upstate, she didn't expect him to want to come along, firstly. He did. At the very least, she explained her situation to him, and he seemed to give his blessing by the time they got to the monastery. A storm lumped them in overnight, which gave ample and generous time to Huruma. It was spent between her daughter and Joseph Sullivan, sometimes in tandem. A long night, yet cozy in the sense that it felt familiar, and welcome. Noah couldn't even argue that, given the hospitality. The journey home after Sunday mass took a little longer, due to the mountain snowfall, and the extra passengers. Amato and some of the sheep. Old trucks, thank goodness, tended to have lots of leg room and big bucket seats.

The return to the city was late in the afternoon, as dusk came on, and the return to Pollepel was just a few hours later. Around what a normal bedtime consists of. Maybe it was for the sake of no fanfare, and the residents getting to be a little surprised at breakfast hour the next morning. The less ruckus made, the more curiosity there is sure to be. Huruma did her part in helping get things in order on the return, but it was only a matter of time before she decided to wander off again. Good thing they didn't bring much back.

Her usual haunts are the more obvious halls and passages, medium traffic, central locations; but she does need one thing, and that, incidentally, is water. Simple, right? Somehow it takes her twice as long to get around to the kitchen and make sure nobody is around that she would disturb. Nobody in there right now- so she goes onward to find one of the bottles of drinking water tucked carefully away. Time to get grounded.

It's a frustrating wakefulness that has Ryans wandering the halls a little, the stress of knowing that any of the dreaming minds could hold his beloved youngest daughter and the hope that he'll find her in his again. He's been worried and that has him unable to truly get to sleep at night. And while it's still early for adults, by now they are feeling the tug of the bed.

As he passes the kitchen, it's the sound of rustling within that has him stopping short and glancing in. Brows lift a little when he sees a familiar figure inside. "Huruma," he sounds a touch surprised to see her. Maybe he didn't expect their paths to cross that night.

She moves a little tiredly, even at a glance. Joseph may have wanted her to shed some burdens onto his, but now her shoulders just seem that little bit wearier. Monitoring the hall comes as second nature, when she can't look that way- she feels him coming around the passage before he stops at the door. It doesn't prepare her to be spoken to though, and the dark woman does give a tiny twitch of recognition before actually turning around, a flimsy plastic bottle of water in her hand. Nothing weird here. Her eyes look tired too, as they meet him, at least compared to most days when she is alert.

"Benjamin." Too many of those. Maybe she should call him 'number one'. The cap of the bottle gets pried off, and Huruma wets her throat before anything else. "Lurking again?" Her too.

"Better then just sitting in my room," he counters blandly. Fingers brush a length of brown hair from his eyes, combing it back. Brows furrow and a heavy sigh escapes Ryans, feet shifting to carry him into the kitchen. "Can't sleep when I feel like I should be." His own voice is gruff from weariness, but it's not a physical one.

Benjamin feels the need to also point out, "You look like hell." Blue eyes study those tired features as the distance between them close. "Should be in bed, rather then stalking the halls yourself." He gives her a faint smile before stepping around her to retrieve a water bottle for himself.

Rather than step wholly out of his way, Huruma stays where she is, staring into the mouth of the bottle. "I couldn'sleep last night, either." Despite there being something warm with her, cozied right up in the guest room. One thing about children. "I know I do." She laughs, just enough; it isn't that crazy bitch laugh he's so used to hearing. It is a mellow sound, actually quite pleasant to hear. Not such a crazy smile, either.

"Stalking is better than nothing- I know if I try t'sleep right now I woul'just …lie there." Later, she'll sleep.

"Same," he grunts out, snapping the cap from the bottle. Leaning back against the counter, Ben's fingers slowly twist the cap off the bottle. "It's hard to will yourself to sleep when you know that sleeping means a visit from a wayward daughter."

He rubs the heel of his hand against an eye, cap held between fingers. "I think since I saw her, I haven't had one good nights sleep." There was a time Ryans wouldn't admit things such as that to her, but now it's like not big deal.

"Exactly." A hesitant admission, but an admission nonetheless. Delia is here- somewhere- and even when not near, it bothers Huruma. For a few more moments she busies herself with water, which does at least serve to start grounding her again. Not having her metaphorical guts floating around. "Sullivan was so much older than when I knew him. I felt the time, I think, for the first time in a while. I knew him when I was still a teenager." You mean she didn't just come out of the earth? Surprise. Huruma's smile sinks just a little.

"Juwariya is beautiful. Like her brother. She hugged me so tightly, an'it was not half an hour b'fore she told me- that she loved me." A glance passes to Ryans, wistful already, but also immediately leading off into something else. "I think, she has an ability like Dajan, or maybe that was jus'one drafty building."

Brows lift a little, looking up give her a slightly surprised look. Ryans is still having a tough time seeing the dark skinned amazon as a motherly figure. To see her expression and her that tone of her voice…

Is it the Twilight Zone?

He isn't sure what to say, lips pressed together in a thoughtful line. The bottle is lifted to his lips for a long drink stalling any need for a reaction. "So the visit went well at least." It's not the best attempt at something to say, but he's trying.

What a cruel television show, if it is. She can tell he's mildly surprised and kind of- gauging how to handle this. So to her credit, Huruma doesn't say anything, and lets him take his time. When he finally does say something, it isn't much, but it is something. "It is new for me too." Yeah, empaths. They know enough to guess what you are thinking? She's gotten better at guessing Ben, lately. Little luck, little experience.

"It did go well. I was not sure what I needed t'do-" Her hand moves up to rub at one cheek, where over the weekend, she has been kissed several times. "Juwariya is different, but she knew more than I did."

Shifting his stance a bit to ease the press of the edge of the corner against the lower back, Ryans nods a slowly in understanding. "I imagine with a child as — special as your daughter it's doubly so. I wish I could give you some reassurance on the matter, but…" His hands drift apart, one hand still holding the bottle, in a helpless gesture. He doesn't have the experience with a child such as Juwariya.

"So… one child of the earth and another of… you said it was drafty… so possibly air?" Ryans sounds a touch amused by this. "Quite the combination. Talented like their mother."

She can tell that in a moment of silence, Benjamin is warring with himself. The moment she senses his decision to speak to take a risk, he straightens from counter and then leans towards her with a meaningful look. "You've been given a rare chance to make up for what you did to both of them, Huruma." Blue eyes do not shy from her own much lighter eyes. "Cause it was a terrible thing done by a young woman with a terrifying ability that controlled her. While that wildness is still there, it doesn't control you anymore…"

"Something like that, maybe." She murmurs when he affirms the whole- earth and sky dynamic. Twins, too. Like a folktale. Huruma peers closely at him when he clams up again, watching expectantly. What she is expecting is something she's not sure of; something meaningful, to him, or he would not be battling over how to say it to her. Ryans often meets her gaze, and even when it is something rocky, he probably feels that he must. Many people would turn away.

Huruma's jaw sets immediately, and she shifts closer, somewhere tempted to slap the shit out of him- the flicker in her paler eyes is plain. But that is all it becomes, a flicker, amidst the rest of his words. Air leaves her lungs with a shudder, eyelids lowering with her look, and back up again. "I know a second chance when I see one, yes."

"It does. But not like that, anymore. I was just a child when they were born, I didn't know a thing." Huruma is very and suddenly aware that there's an unfamiliar burn behind her eyes, and that she doesn't remember if she told him about why she had children in the first place- or if he just knew, from something else. "It was so much different back then."

"Your file doesn't exactly go into those particulars." Ryans points out, leaning back against the counter again, taking a moment to set the bottle of water next to him before folding his arm across his chest. "But I do know it's not like that anymore. That's why I'm saying you need to seize the moment and make it up to those kids. Make sure they know that you are that crazed girl."

Benjamin gives her a faint smile. "I've seen you with a baby. Seen you… the great cannibalistic hunter seemly fall under the spell of a baby. You're in the right place for this all to happen."

Maybe it's better he doesn't know, if he didn't before. Huruma's lips tighten together, and she watches him with one of those looks women get when men state the obvious. "Apollo took me t'Madagascar, but it was Kasha that made m'ready. And Badrani, while I was with them." But it was Kasha, and to a lesser extent, Delia and Lucille, that incidentally made Huruma ready to find out that her daughter was within arm's reach. If she hadn't found the baby this summer, for instance, she may not have known how to begin handling Juwariya. Someone that wants you there, unconditionally.

"I'm going t'do m'best with them, even if I don'know th'first thing about …roots." Huruma rubs her palm over the lower half of her face, fingers over her lips and eyebrows furrowing off at something not there. "Joseph always called me a wandering tree. Still does. He hopes I find roots. So does m'grandmother, apparently. I am no'sure if I can. Not th'usual kind."

There is a soft chuckle from the older man and Huruma is favored a look that says he's been there. "Those roots will find you when you least expect it. Mark my word on that." Ryans reaches back and picks up his bottle again, but doesn't open it. "It's how I ended up with those two girls. I wasn't planning on settling down, even after a bad break up with a fiance years before. Then I walked into that store." Which is demonstrated by two fingers making walking motions in thin air.

"They're searching though… those roots." Benjamin sounds confident of that fact. "Only a matter of time."

Huruma learns something new all the time. Tonight it seems to be that Ryans was not a one woman man. Not at the same time, mind you, just that past devotion always seemed to overcloud everything else. Now Huruma is picturing him with a pack of women on a motorcycle, with that mohawk he claimed to have had. It's bizarre, and she has to stifle a laugh- there's nothing for her to be laughing at, which only makes it worse that it gets out.

"So, what if this is it, then? This-" Huruma gestures to the walls with one arm, glancing around at the kitchen. "-is what I was supposed t'get? What if I am already here an'I've got no clue?" This is something that Huruma, even in her independence, knows she knows so little- and Ben knows so much more. There is a duty in asking him.

There is amusement in the the ex-agents features, watching her stifle that laugh. "Huruma." Ben speaks to her as a man with all the patience of the world. "You will know when you are there. Trust me in this. When your roots are ready to take hold and keep you in one place, you'll know it.

"And yes, even once I set down those roots I continued to travel far and wide." Straightening with the water bottle in his hand, Ryans glances at the door. "I always returned right back home, because when I was gone I wanted to be home."

"I'm not… so sure I will. You say I'll know it, but I've never had it. Ever." Huruma does not like talking about everything before about the age of twenty- and the bemused look on her face turns vaguely pained. She isn't sure about what kinds of details he knows, if her file wasn't specific when he read it. "I was- eight or nine when m'family chased me off. Even in Nigeria, I wasn'there for- three or four years."

"So, I've never had anything to compare with. I am winging it." The dark woman sighs, just a little, swallowing a long draw of water. "It is new to have… someone, or some place. I think now, I am scared t'fail." Come again? "I am afraid that I will not b'good enough t'do this."

The s-word, the a-word, they are exactly the same as the f-word. Fear.

There is a moment of hesitation, before one hand so pale against her skin, rests on the curve of her shoulder. "You won't know unless you give it your best effort." Ryans points to her with the bottle, brows lifting a little. "Don't give up on this," his voice has a gentle quality to it. "You'll regret it if you do and your daughter will be worse for it."

Ben's hand slides away then and he takes a step towards the door. "Now… I'm going to go an attempt sleep." He doesn't have to explain why, he's certain she'll understand.

Even being defined as friends, physical reassurance is a little new coming from him. Huruma's head tilts to look at his hand, lips slightly crooked downward, gaze flitting to his face. Is that leopard on the leash going to bite you or not? Seems not. He's not quite at the stage where she'd feel free to return a gesture- not immediately. It wasn't that long ago that he was still technically supposed to hunt her down. Old habits die hard, but they are dying. Pretty quickly, too.

Like Ryans said before, she looks awful. That's a feat, right? Sleep is also good for the brain. She twists the bottlecap back on and moves to follow. "That's not a bad idea. I'll go too." There's a pause, and a small noise out of her nose, her eyebrows knotting suddenly. "But not like- ungh-"

Freudian slip or not, Huruma's mouth clicks shut and she all but jostles Benjamin out of the way on her way out of the kitchen. It doesn't help her to realize a few seconds later that he needs to go in the same direction to get to where he wants to be.

There is a touch of shock as Humura pushes past him to get out the door, causing the older man to have to side step out of her way rather quickly. Then Benjamin just stops dead in his tracks and lets her mow right on past him while he watches her, with only a slight ticking up of his brow.

Then that brow joins the other in the reverse, dropping into a bewildered furrow. He really, will never understand women and their rather dramatic ways. Though the fact that Huruma is being so… dramatic is a little out of norm as well.

Bottle sloshing at her side, Huruma pauses a few strides away and casts a look back at him, both her eyes and ability gauging. He didn't catch it. "I am going b'fore I put my foot further in my mouth- I will see you in th'morning. I hope she comes t'you, tonight, if you can sleep." Dramatic or not, Huruma still knows how to make a mistake turn back into business. Or maybe that is just part of being a woman.

"If she comes t'me again, I'll tell you at breakfast."

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