The Wrong Moment In Time


megan_icon.gif nicole2_icon.gif ryans2_icon.gif

Scene Title The Wrong Moment In Time
Synopsis Megan and Ryans make a trip to GCT and find Nicole waiting there. With a purpose.
Alternative Title: How to Confuse Benjamin Ryans in Just Eight Words
Date August 3, 2011

Grand Central Terminal

With the topside of the iconic Grand Central Terminal in ruins, it's its basement level that sees most activity, as covert as such activity may be. Entrances are sealed (at least, to those who don't know any better) to the upper levels leading above ground, whether with rubble, or with manmade additions of gates and blockades, and so most will find their way to this place via the countless tunnels that run like arteries in what could appropriately be termed the heart of Manhattan's train system.

Electric lights shine pallid white in the arching ceilings of the basement concourses and foyers, running off their own generators and so power is only used conservatively. Here, the wide open spaces are used for storage that is destined to be moved either towards the arching doorways opening to platforms and subways for shipping out, or waiting to be dragged down to the subbasements for longer term storage. The floors, the walls, the ceilings are differing kinds of tile and vary in cleanliness.

Tables have also been set up so that supplies can be sorted, shifted, packed properly. Folded cardboard boxes awaiting use can be discovered in most corners. Signs on the walls in the form of crude spray paint indicate where things might go, from food, to clothing, to medical supplies, and some things even more exotic. This is a place of motion and organization.

Last but not least, a makeshift recreation room has been set up for the workers of the Grand Central Station, and this can be found within what used to be known as the Whispering Walls. Famously, this interstitial space was known for its strange acoustics, wherein one could whisper to a companion from one far side of the corner to the other by talking directing into the curving corner, where sound would travel along the curve of the arcing ceiling. This, of course, still works, but now the space is no longer simply a foyer - there's a semi-portable kitchen area offering simple food and beverages, a television (which gets no reception, but is hooked into a VCR and a DVD player, with a modest library for both), a card table, a few comforts such as couches and armchairs.

Upon one of the walls, is a rough but well-meaning mural, a mock up of an aquarium - an addition that came after the Ferrymen claimed this space as theirs. It seems to grow in size every several days, with new aquatic characters added each time.

Carrying a backpack over her shoulder, Megan walks with Ben Ryans through the darkness of the subway tunnels. She has a flashlight with her and she keeps an eye on their path as they move, just so she doesn't trip. "I've got a couple of errands to run aboveground before we head back," she tells him.

A second flashlight sweeps across the ground, turning as they pass other connecting tunnels, to check for possible ambushes. Not that the pair of them have to ever worry about the robots that hunt the ruins above them. "That's fine," Benjamin Ryans rumbles out blandly.

He shifts his own backpack on his shoulder, full of things like clothes he brings back and forth to the island. "There is no rush back." Even if he's worrying about the plants that dot the island, since the season it shifting toward the end of it. "A few hours won't really matter, unless I get a call." Which there haven't been many, not that it eases his mind any.

Glancing at him the redhead comments, "Seems like it doesn't happen much." But then again, no news is supposed to be good news. Megan smiles faintly. "Do you want me to meet you back at the Terminal or at the harbor?" She hasn't been venturing over here because of the risk of contracting the new flu.

"The harbor," Benjamin responds after a moment of thought. The spot of his flashlight centers on the path again, the glance returned with a small hint of a smile. "I think I'll take a detour or two of my own. Check on a few things," people or person, "before I go out." Unlike Megan, Ben's been risking infection a lot. Not being afraid to go where he needs to. Thumbing his nose at the danger of a tortured death.

"Mmm-hmm," Megan retorts with a grin. "I'm sure." She's no fool — she knows what he's up to. At least in the abstract. "Too bad my errands won't be as fun as yours," she teases.

There is a small bark of laughter, deep and echoing in the cement corridors. "There is no time for fun. Just checking in before I head out." The smiles fades just as quickly from Ben's lips "It's a waiting game, like everything else. No idea when the guillotine will fall on Daniel, but seems like it'll be any day." His biggest fear is things will go down while he's on the island.

A heavy sigh escapes the old man through his nose, "Then she'll just be another one of us."

"Liar, liar, pants on fire," Megan singsongs, amused — there's no way he's not having 'fun.' But she nods her understanding. "I wish I could say it'll be all right, but God knows… with the future that all the kids have come from, I think we both know it's a lie." She sighs.

"Mmm…" Is his answer to that. He isn't happy that these kids are back there, it also isn't the first time family has stepped back in time. "It's something that will happen, no matter what future." The other one already dead. "Sooner or later the government is going to take him down." In his mind there isn't much to stop it. Of course, that's if the old man lives that long.

"You up for a few more patrols when we get there?" It's a sudden shift in subject, maybe intentional… maybe not. But Ryans brows lift a little looking back at her. With all the illness and disaster ranks are starting to thin. "Think you'll have the hours to spare outside the infirmary?"

"I think I'll have the time. Assuming we don't get hit with a bout of the new flu, I'm really just on-call most of the time. There's not much going on," Megan answers. "Too many words — 'yes,' I'll definitely be up for patrols." Anything to get out of the building for a while. Gardening is all well and good, but she needs some activity.

Amused, Benjamin chuckles softly, light shifting to look down another long dark tunnel. "Yes is all I needed," he agrees. Unable to help it, he teases her for it, "You ladies have such a way with complicating the simple things." The story of of men and women in all history. Women always make things complicated.

Megan is probably one of the few women he can be like this with, much like Huruma. Tho' I makes him smirk to think of the fact his friendships are mostly female. "Yes is sufficient, I don't need an essay to why." The small smirk reaffirms he's joking.

Speaking of complicated, Nicole Nichols is waiting in the terminal when Ryans and Megan arrive. "Some of us are very good at writing essays," she chides, clucking her tongue. Then, she grins wide, obviously happy to see the man. "Hello, Ben." Surprise. She hooks her thumbs through the belt loops of her forest camo cargo capris (say that three times fast), hunter green tank tucked in.

"Ffft," Megan snorts in response. "Yes, Benjamin, I want to go on patrol," she retorts in a droll tone. And then they're stepping out into the light on the platform of the Grand Central Terminal being greeted. "Personally I like essays — but that's a man for you," she tells Nicole mildly.

There is a brightening of the older man when a familiar figure comes into view. "And a man knows when he's out numbered and shut his mouth further." The words good natured as he lengthens his stride to close the distance to the younger woman to greet her properly. "Nicole," He greets in turn, leaning down to kiss her cheek and snag her much smaller hand.

"I was going to make a trip to check in on you." No protest that she's there, however. "Saved me the side trip." Ben glances around the Terminal, as if he's going to ask her a question when, he looks at Megan. "Oh…" He steps aside so that there the women can see each other. "Megan meet Nicole." He glances back the younger of the two and adds, "Megan is one of our medics. Keeps us alive. When we get all banged up."

"Give it to me straight, doc," Nicole begins with a too-sombre expression and tone to go with it. "How much trouble is this man?" She smirks then and nods her head. "It's nice to meet you, Megan." She squeezes Ben's hand and gets up on her toes to kiss his cheek in return. "I needed to get out and stretch my legs, so I thought I could meet you here," she explains. "Hope you don't mind."

The smile that quirks the redhead's lips is sincere. "He's a PITA for sure. Especially when he gets shot up. Next time I gotta stitch his sorry hide, I'm gonna sit on top of him to do it cuz he squiggles like a toddler. But … all in all, he's a good egg." She winks at Ben. "It's nice to meet you too, Nicole. Keep him outta trouble for a bit, okay? I'm going to drop these supplies in triage, and I'll meet you at the harbor this afternoon," she tells the head of Special Activities.

As Megan takes her leave, Ryans gives a nod of his head, and calls after, "I'll be there."

"I'm not the easiest of patients." Benjamin comments, with a smirks that mirrors the one Megan had. "Prone to escape attempts and crankiness." He looks back to Nicole, slipping an arm around her shoulder and turning her to move deeper into the Terminal. "Surprised she still talks to me."

He gives her a smile, arm tightening "Glad you got my message. Sorry, it's not going to be much of a visit." Only a quick trip.

"Clearly," Nicole reasons, "you just need to not get shot." Perfectly logical. And, she thinks, a reasonable request. And though he tries to apologise, she just wraps an arm around his waist to squeeze in return. "We'll make the most of it," she assures him. Probably to his dismay, after she gets what she has to say off her chest.

"So I was thinking we should get married."

Wait, what?

Ever see Benjamin look confused?

Nicole gets to.

Did he hear that right? "Married?" Her question clearly takes him by complete surprise. Stops him in his tracks even. He searches Nicole's face as if trying to figure out why she'd suddenly ask that. "What brought that about?" he asks carefully, watching her like a hawk.

"I just think," Nicole, looking completely calm, poised, and as though she has this all planned out and under control - perhaps he's realising now why she's done so well for herself in the realm of politics - continues, "that things are going so well, and… You get shot at, and who knows if I'm gonna wind up in prison or something. Why wait around?" Her shoulders come up in a shrug, expression passive. "I'm not getting any younger."

His mouth opens, but nothing comes out right away. Instead it closes slowly and falls into a line of thought. Ben glances down the corridor and then the floor. Brows furrow a little as he finally says, "I don't think the time is right, Nicole." He's so honest about it, finally hazarding a look up at her. "You are still out there in the public eye. I risk your life enough, staying with you as often as I do.

"We get married, you have to give it all up, before you should. All it would take is the wrong person hearing and it get back to… " Heller " the wrong person." Benjamin sighs softly and shrugs the backpack off his shoulder and lets it thump to the floor. This frees him up to try and take both her hands. "I'm… not exactly saying no, but… I think it's too soon and too much of a risk right now."

"I'm not sitting around and waiting for my life to go to shit, Ben." Nicole withdraws her hands so she can cross her arms over her chest. "You aren't some last resort. An if-all-is-lost scenario." She takes in a deep breath and seems to draw herself up a little taller. "You either need to man up and tell me no, or you need to turn around and ask me so you can save face."

And these seem to be the only options Nicole is offering on the subject. "None of this maybe later bullshit. It's always going to be a risk."

"That, Nicole, is not in anyway fair," Ben's hands fall to his side, to hang there after being rejected. "If you knew the type of people…" There is a heavy sigh as he stops himself, looking away from her as he collects his thoughts. "I know I said I wouldn't treat you like you can't take care of yourself…

"There is a reason, I'm trying to protect you." The frustration in his voice, rough. "There is a man. One that scares even me, who doesn't have a problem with killing innocent women and children to get what he wants. Lining people up against walls and executing them if they wear a red scarf." Benjamin shakes his head. "He runs the military here in New York." He motions with a hand in direction, "And Delia is right there in his clutches. Not that she cares to listen."

Ben takes a steps towards her, with a worried look, "We get married and he finds out. He'll just as easily use you and her to get me. I doubt, he'll hesitate to put a bullet in your head to draw me out." His voice softens, quieting to a whisper, "Chances are it would work."

"I've had the distinct pleasure of making Colonel Heller's acquaintance," Nicole informs Ryans without any hint that she found him intimidating. She did, of course. It's why Ben's son went and proposed to her and made their fake relationship a media spectacle. "He's already tried to find Colette through me."

And there's a moment of cold dread when Nicole has to wonder if she led Heller right to her sister. It shows on her face in a flicker of worry. So brief that she could try and dismiss it as something else. "We don't have to be married for him to figure out we've got a connection, Ben. Not getting married doesn't stop him from finding out."

Knowing that she's already in his sights, it leaves a cold brick in his stomach. "Marriage leaves a paper trail." At least the legal and legitimate way. "I would not be surprised if they are watching everything. Not to mention the media, since the whole thing with Bradley."

Even as he says this he sighs, Ben knows he might be fighting a losing battle. "If I agree to this…" He starts slowly, "will you break away from Linderman?" His brows lift some, "Will you come live in this?" He motions to the area around him, the life she'd live being married to him. "I have to warn you though, I can't be here all the time and until the council agrees that you can have access to where I go… This is where you'd be allowed to live."

His gaze settles on her, reaching for her, but hesitating… He's uncertain if she'd welcome it. "I am falling in love with you, Nicole. I feel it." He presses a hand against his chest, fingers spread apart. "And it wouldn't be the first time I married a woman after knowing her for a short time." It just felt like the wrong moment in time to do it, but he didn't know how to tell her that.

"I did say Joseph could do it, didn't I?" Which is Nicole's way of saying they can do this without the paper trail. "If it comes down to it, I will walk away from everything. I'll leave the money, and the condo. But only when I absolutely have to… I can't let Danny die alone if I can help it, Ben. It won't be long, I promise."

It's Nicole that reaches for Ryans, then, taking hold of his biceps. "Just say yes, you big dummy. I'm gonna get my way anyway."

He studies her for a long moment, mouth tugging up at the corner. "Just like a woman, stubborn as a mule." Ben brushes her cheek, pad of his thumb rougher then her own skin. "I should be turning tail and running with the way your pushing." It's suspicious really, but he tries not think about it.

It worked the last time. Right?

"Fine… yes, but…" He holds up a finger. "Not right away. This isn't Vegas, my dear. You…" He pokes a finger against her collar bone. "…are the one that can find the best way to tell family." Meaning the kids… the kids that would be her step-children. "No doubt this will end up with a visit from Delia in the dead of night, to yell." There is more affectionate amusement to that.

"And…" Ben takes a deep breath and lets it out slowly, "Ingrid should know."

"Yes, dear," Nicole sing-songs as though she's resigned to this terrible fate. "I'm sure Delia won't be too upset. I'll tell her it was all my idea and she can yell at me."

At the mention of Ingrid, however, Nicole looks more serious. She nods her head. "Yeah, I definitely want to be the one to tell her. I'll handle it." Then Nicole steps forward to wrap her new fiance in an embrace. "Thank you, babe." It was the moment where she should have said I love you, but he still hasn't technically said it first. She won't be the one.

If he notices the lack of those three words, he's still too flustered to notice. Yes, stunned and totally caught off guard, he still folds arms around her and hug her against him. When they part ways later, Benjamin is probably suddenly going have to sit down and wonder out loud what the hell just happened.

For now, Ben presses a kiss to the top of her head and hugs her tight for a long moment. "So there are only a few hours before I have to leave again. I need to talk to the twins and then check in with some of the other safe houses. So our time is fleeting."

Nicole reluctantly withdraws and nods her head. "I'll let you get to your business." With a shaky smile, she adds, "Now that I've concluded mine." Asking to get married is serious business, after all. She takes his hands, thumbs brushing fondly. "But you travel safe and you call me if you need anything while you're here. I'll get in touch with the girls." That's going to be fun.

"I will." Ryans doesn't say he always does, cause that simply isn't true. The man is known for being reckless in the face of danger. "With hope, they won't react badly." Strangely, his biggest concern revolved around the woman that is their daughter from another time line. She seemed so nervous and flighty around them the last time.

"You be careful if you talk to Delia. They are keeping a close watch on her." A hand brushes light at her hair, before sliding around to hook behind her neck. "Just watch yourself," he murmurs, using the hand to draw her into a kiss. One that shows her how much he wants to stay there, rather then his job.

Tender and yet with just enough heat to tease them both. His forehead touches hers when the kiss breaks, but the hand is still a weight around her neck. "I love you." The words spoken just loud enough for her to hear.

The kiss is returned, the grip on Ryans' hands tightened as Nicole leans up into him. Her nose brushes him as they both stand there, unwilling to part just yet. She actually lets out a breath of nervous laughter when he finally says the words. "I love you too, Ben." She kisses him one last time before dropping flat-footed and putting inches of distance between them again. "I'll look after myself," she promises.

Finally, he lets her go, reluctantly with fingers lingering on her arm a moment longer. "Ben!" Echoes down the hall as one of the two brothers that run the place call for him. Ryans answers with a lifted hand and a 'Moment' called back.

"I got to go," Ben states to Nicole as the moment is finally broken and bending to snag the strap of his backpack. "You know the drill. Leave a message I'll get back to you when I'm in the area again." He gives her a small smile before turn away to hurry down the corridor, slipping back into SA mode.

"I'll leave you a message to let you know how things go," the once and future Mrs. Ryans assures, a soft, but not annoyed sigh escaping her lips as their brief moment is brought to a close. "Go get 'em, tiger," Nicole murmurs, giving his arm a playful smack. Like locker room encouragement. "I'll see you soon." Even if soon is never soon enough.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License