Unfortunate News


delia_icon.gif lucille_icon.gif ryans_icon.gif

Scene Title Unfortunate News
Synopsis Ryans finally tells his two girls it goes about as well as he expects.
Date August 26, 2018

Ryans' Home

It has been awhile since his two girls were summoned for dinner. Even more surprising is the fact that he only invited the two of them. He technically had five children, but one he didn’t have a great relationship with, one was a child from a future that he will never know, and one was too young for the conversation that would be happening that evening.

Benjamin was having a horrible amount of guilt over not forcing more family dinners once they were all settled in the Safe Zone.

He tried not to think about that as he turned over the steaks on the grill, listening to the sizzle and watching the greases bubble. Behind him, his home garden thrives, clearly he is doing something right. Rows of hanging strawberry plants are thick with red strawberries. The corn is reaching high to the sky, even pumpkins are ripening on the vine. Pippa loves those for Halloween, which might be the only reason he grows them.

Pippa. That was a conversation he was most dreading. He’d have to talk to her mother first.

Sighing heavily, he sets the tongs to the side and picks up his glass of whiskey. Turning a little to watch Ruma chase a butterfly. Large furry body leaping into the air in an attempt to bring down its prey. There was a small smile of amusement at her antics. Though it is the sound of his girls’ voices in the house that pull his attention away. “Steaks will be done in ten,” his deep voice carrying in through the open back door.

Their arrival wasn’t exactly noiseless, so whatever plans Delia had of giving their father a scare went out the window when Lucille’s motorcycle roared up the street and subsequently squealed to a stop in the driveway. The redhead, having no means of transportation that didn’t involve pedals or feet, bummed a ride.

Delia nudges Lucille with a bony elbow, trying to squeeze through the door first. “I don’t scare that easily,” she grins as she tosses her helmet onto one of the easy chairs in the living room. “That screaming on the turnpike was just me letting off a little steam. It’s been a week.”

As they walk out to greet the barbeque (and their father), she gives Ben a large grin, “Hey Dad, smells good. Where did you manage to get all the— whoah, pumpkins!”

“You totally pissed your pants,” comes Lucille’s quick retort to Delia’s nudge as the sisters slide their way into the house, the older sister snorting at her sister as she tosses her helmet next to Delia’s and beelines for the kitchen, digging into the fridge for a beer before she's following after Delia with a grin at her father’s cooking. “Hey Old Man.”

Coming forward to hug Ryans next before she's peering at the garden. “You've been fucking busy.” Eyebrows rise, “Nobody trying to come for your crops right?” Food shortages and all though.. “That that they would stand a chance of course.” ‘Old Man’ or not.. her father was a grade A certified badass. Luce takes a deep sip of her beer sniffing the air at the steaks.

While Ryans doesn’t really smile often, but for his girls…. There is a genuine smile. “Girls,” he greets affectionatly, before glancing back at his garden. Their arrival means that the large and rather fluffy, Ruma is trotting over to the new arrivals enthusiastically.

While the cat winds around their legs with a loud purr, Benjamin gives a small shrug. “There have been attempts.” Which is about all he has to say about that. “Even if they do manage to take it, more will grow. It’s about all I do anymore. It keeps me busy.” Attention turning to the youngest of the two. “I heard about your garden’s getting hit. You doing okay?”

Delia rubs the back of her neck at the mention of the misfortune that hit her garden. “I’m fine, nothing a few days and a hot bath couldn’t heal.” She gives a sidelong glance to Lucille, whom she hadn’t relayed the news to, before giving their father a weak smile. “Everywhere there’s food, I just have to be more vigilant, that’s all.”

The cat is given a gentle nudge in Lucille’s direction with Delia’s foot, though ample enough evidence of Ruma’s affection territorial claim remains on the black jeans. Further avoidance of the beloved pet is managed when the younger of the two women hops over to the barbeque to open the lid and take a deep breath in. “It’s been forever since I’ve had real meat,” she sighs as a serene expression makes its home across her face. “Thanks for this, by the way, there’s only so much chicken and fish I can eat before I turn into one.”

“Delia’s made of tough shit, runs in the family.” A wink thrown her dad’s way as she fiddles with her beer bottle before taking another sip. It’s been far too long since they’ve gotten together for dinner. Work life.. She feels a bit of guilt well up but Lucille shakes it off a moment later. She always feels guilty when she’s around her family because she’s not around enough, she tells herself she’s trying to keep the world safe for them. That argument sounds familiar and the man whose spoken those words is looked at as Ruma is gently nuzzled, the older woman kneeling down to scratch at her neck.

“This is really bringing me back to Sunday Dinners,” when Lucille wasn’t out of the country or trying to get out of it by making dates with boys. The joke she wants to make at Delia’s expense is bitten back, meditation has its perks. “Sorry I haven’t stopped by since last time with Auntie Hooms, work has been.. Busy.” They all know what she does.

He points at Delia with the tongs, “Just because you are both my girls and made of tougher stuff than most young women, doesn’t mean I won’t worry.” The grilling instrument is set down so that he can retrieve his glass of whiskey. One of the downsides of losing a hand.

There is a fair amount of guilt at the mention of Sunday dinners, “Well, at least for tonight we’ll get steaks. After that… it will probably be chicken or fish,” He admits with a rumble, before falling into his accustomed silence. Ruma, of course, enjoying all the affection from Lucille. She is a glutton.

Taking a deep drink of his whiskey, it’s traded for the tongs again. “I’m glad the two of you could make it…There’s….” Their father trails off and sighs. “There is something I need to tell you both, but, I also wanted to spend time with my girls.” No one else, only his girls.

Delia passes a sidelong glance at Lucille before flitting her gaze back to their father. “I strongly disagree,” she states in a no-nonsense, business-like tone. It’s the one she uses for negotiating. “Chicken and fish don’t belong at a Ryans family dinner,” she continues stating her argument, taking a page from her friend Tasha’s lawyer book. “For the simple reason, since when have the Ryanses ever had girl meat for family dinner. It’s red meat or we might as well be vegetarians… and I’ve had just about enough of that, thank you.”

And there you have it.

Raising her bottle, she doesn’t wait and simply clinks it against Lucille’s. She has no idea if her sister will support her side, being a former model and all, but it’s worth a try. Besides, Lucille has gone G.I. Jane, she needs it more than Delia does.

“Steaks or death.” And the irony of that statement is lost on Lucille for the moment as she settles in her chair at their father’s words. Clinking her bottle with Delia with a grin. The mention of something he wanted to tell them has Luce’s eyes dart to her sister, news? Maybe he was coming out of retirement..?

“Are you finally getting a new hand?” Lucille has tried to get him to do it for years now, in the early days the memories of her father's pain and their nights sitting together drinking while she siphoned it, often lulling him to sleep (he needed it and Lucille was trying to be a good daughter.) It was her wish that he utilize his history.. and connections to replace what he lost. Her tone was hopeful.

“Well, I do have the vegetables covered,” their father states flatly, pointing over his shoulder with the tongs at the large garden behind them. “So I will keep that in mind.” Turning back to the steaks when the timer, sitting next his glass, dings. All three are deposited on a plate, the fire turned off, and the top closed.

Then he stands for a moment, not sure how to proceed. “No.” Ben finally states to his eldest’s question. “Richard has enough funds tangled up in his business for that.” An excuse really. Pride keeping him from anything like that. It always has. Looking at Delia, he points to his glass, “Could you bring that with you, sweetie?” Course, sometimes you just have to ask, he has the steaks after all and he’d rather not make two trips.

“No… “ He repeats again, refocusing on the reason they are there. Stepping passed his girls with a troubled expression. Ben really did not want to have this conversation. “Both of you girls grew up better than I ever expected…” Oh no, he’s going sappy, “when… well, when your mother died, I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to do the whole single parent thing. I almost sent you to live with your Aunt Rebecca down in Texas.” It was hard to admit something like that. “But… after talking to… friends?” Could he call them that. “Noah Bennet convinced me, that I would regret that decision.” He gives his arm a wave, “But I digress…”

The steaks are set on the counter and Benjamin moves to retrieve a salad and other items from the fridge. Distracting himself really. Though he takes a moment to lean on the kitchen counter and look at them both. “As I was saying, you both have grown into capable young women and I’ve found that I don’t have to worry, like I use to. In fact, I’ve stayed out of the way as you settle into these new lives.”

Pulling out a few plates from the cabinets, “I won’t live forever and knowing you two will be okay, that brings me a measure of peace with the idea.” An odd things to be said by the Ryans patriarch.

"Oh come on Dad," Delia's voice is pleading and full of fake concern, though she is avoiding both her father and her sister's reach as she grabs the glass as requested to make their way in. "Lucille's dumb but calling her a vegetable is just cruel." Then she snorts and lets loose a loud cackle at the barb. "Kidding… kidding… Only broccoli is smarter." Then she jumps to the side to avoid anything Lucille might throw or swing in her direction, laughing all the way to the table.

But Ben is sobering and talking about how he didn't give them up and bringing down the general feel of the room by talking about his own mortality. "Objection," she cuts in, trying to keep things from getting too somber, there's enough of that already. "You have to live forever, because you don't want Lucille fighting with Brad, Ingrid, or Pippa for the inheritance." She places a hand to her chest and looks up at the ceiling, taking on the countenance of a saint as she speaks, "I, on the other hand, have everything I could ever want as long as you're around, Daddy." Delia's always known which side of the bread to butter, because she was the youngest for so long. It wasn't an easy position to let go of in the wake of Ingrid, first, and then Pippa, but she valiantly managed. And she doesn't let anyone forget it… really.

She gives him a wide grin, before sitting close to Lucille to accept the punch or pinch or whatever punishment is about to get doled out.

“Delia you are the scum between my toes,” Lucille would go further but their father is speaking and she listens with a vague look of worry creases her eyebrows, “Oh Dad.” Biting her lip she follows after her family shaking her head as she settles into her seat at the table drinking more of her beer. Talking about that time when mom died still doesn’t feel right, she should be here with them. At least that’s how Lucille views it, maybe the Afterlife was peaceful and all but Lucille didn’t know if she was ready for her mom to go, let alone her father.

“Deli’s right. You have to live forever. Also I make more money than all of you so I’m fine.” And a pinch is delivered to Delia as well as a swat on the arm, “Make sure you eat your vegetables.”

There is a touch of patient amusement at the girls’ banter, as he goes about shifting steaks to plates. The more things change, the more they remain the same. A part of Benjamin missed it, but at the same time, he enjoyed his quiet home.

You have to live forever.

Their father’s actions slow and then stop. There is a bit of guilt as he looks up at them; he might even be having second thoughts about telling them. Finally, however, he finishes putting the third steak on it’s plate and sets the utensils down. “ I’m sorry, I’m going to have to disapoint you both… I have cancer,” he states, like he’s pulling a bandaid off a hairy arm. Fast and quick. Their father can’t look at them as he continues, keeping up the momentum before he loses the courage. “An aggressive mass in my brain. The doctor thinks it might be from some of the chemicals I was exposed to during the war. It hurried the regrowth of it.” Regrowth? His tone is nuetral in that typical Ryans fashion as he delivers that news.

With it out there, Ben goes silent. A look hazarded in the direction of the girls.

The clatter of silverware is the only noise that comes from Delia who has been stunned to silence. All she can do is stare, wide eyed, at her father. Mouth gaping.

Slowly, her eyes shift to look at her older sister and even though it’s only by a year, it seems that Lucille might need to be the strength for both of them right now. “I— “

The shell shocked expression on Lucille’s face mirrors Delia’s and the older of the two girls looks from Delia to her father, who she thought was invincible sans hand or not. The auburn haired woman draws a shaky hand to her beer and clenches the bottle tightly, a white knuckle grip as bone white as her face. No. Is her first reaction and then she's thinking of all the possible ways that something like this could be cured. The woman finds herself looking down at her own hand, if she can be cured then why not him? Was she the cause of her own healing.. or was someone else? The answer to that question seemed to burn behind her eyes and she closes them, a surge of emotions flooding over her but she notices Delia.

Lucille’s hand goes to Delia’s and she squeezes lightly in comfort. Without opening her eyes she speaks, a hitch in the back of her throat, “Ho—How long?”

Hearing the words regrowth and massive don't sit right with the woman, nothing about this does. Lucille feels her heart begin to sink and her world become untethered to herself. “I am.. so.. Dad.. I'm sorry.” Tears well up in the corner of her eyes as she swallows thickly.

“No idea. Last time, it was moving fairly quickly and this time it is back sooner,” Benjamin looks down at the plates and decides to move them to the table… which will be one at a time, due to his handicap. Busy work really. His tone informative, rather than emotional. “Last time, however, my body was turned back… which.” He sighs heavily. “I thought I had dodged it, when Benji was giving us dreams of our future…” But that future had changed and something happened to bring it back.

At Lucille’s apology, her father holds his hand up in a stopping motion, “Don’t. There is no need for that.” He gives her a small weak smile, that holds no humor. “I cheated the reaper and it seems he is determined to collect.”

Unable to get past that first word, Delia is still sitting silent and staring. In times of similar crisis, before they lost their family home, her solution was to run to her room and lock herself away for a few days. Until the hurt stopped. Now, this wasn't her home. This was her father's home, Pippa's home, and she was just a visitor. Still…


The plate breaks into several pieces as it hits the floor, her silverware scatters across the table, while Delia lands face down on the table.


Whatever Lucille was about to say to her father is interrupted by the crash of Delia’s face into the table and the older sister looks down at her sister with blue eyes that don’t blink, slowly she settles back into her chair and switches her gaze to staring ahead, reaching out to snatch her beer from the table she takes a long deep gulp of her drink and sets it slowly on the table with a measured thud. “That’s fair.” Is all she has to say about her sister’s retreat, Lucille has done that plenty of times to her sister and father.

Running out wasn’t something Lucille felt she could judge on and so she settles herself, having to deal with this for the moment alone. “What.. about treatment? It’s the time of the SLC-E.” her tone firm, what was the use of discovering their nature if they didn’t help each other. Lucille wasn’t prepared to live in a world without Ryans, her bottom lip trembles but she quickly sucks it up, not now. “Who else knows?”

Their father can only stare at the reaction of his youngest daughter. Never has she ever done that before. It’s Lucille’s questions that pull his attention. “Huruma and Richard Ray know.” That sounds like about it, because he doesn’t mention anyone else, just goes back to boggling at his youngest.

Suddenly, there is a sound. Weird and unusual… Benjamin Ryans is actually chuckling. Gently, he moves to adjusts Delia’s head to be a bit more comfortable, hand brushing over red curls like her mother’s. He really can’t help himself with his amusement at the situation. “Poor Nick,” he muses, with another chuckle. Feeling for his little girl’s boyfriend. “Imagine their arguments.” A glance goes to his eldest with a small smirk… though it doesn’t last long seeing her struggle with her emotions.

“I am suppose to go back in a few months for another scan,” Ryans states, returning back to the topic at hand. What he doesn't say is whether or no he will go. “The doctor should have a better idea of how the mass is progressing. Of course, if I start showing symptoms, I’m suppose to call and they will try and squeeze me in sooner.”

A pang in her heart for her Aunt/Mentor Huruma and a curious look at Richard Ray knowing, they must have spoken about something. What would they want to speak about? Lucille’s brain already working out what her father would have been getting up to, immediately suspicious of him leaving retirement but not.. Not with the news he just delivered. Perhaps her father was being consulted, people seemed to like consulting Ryans on things, Lulu included.

Her father chuckling has Lucille’s eyes wide and she looks in horror but then the sight is so rare that she begins to laugh with him, the laugh grows in volume and soon descends into broken, wrecked sobs. She looks scared, she is scared. Scared for her dad, scared for her family. Scared for being without him, knowing he won’t be in this house waiting to hear from her. “Pl-please promise to call if you feel bad.” Her shoulders heaving up and down, she hasn’t broken down like this in front of her dad since the days after the night on the boat.. Right before the war.

Nothing will tear a father’s heart apart faster than seeing one of his baby girls crying. “Lu,” he sighs out her name, in a sort of pity. Any humor he might have seen in Delia’s knee jerk reaction is lost when Lucille starts sobbing. He leaves one daughter’s side, so that he console the other. These moments are the ones that come the closest to breaking him.

“You know very well, I will,” Ryans rumbles out softly his chin resting on the top of her head, his one good arm wrapped around her shoulders. “But I warn you, it won’t be pretty. I watched your great-grandma waste away from something like this.” He takes a soft breath and lets it out. “You know I’m proud of you and what you have done with your life?” As much as he had always dreaded them going head first into danger, he understood now that he hadn’t even seven year ago, that at some point he had to let them go.

He presses a kiss to the top of Lucille’s head, “I love you, Lulu. You and Delia.”

The eldest daughter allows her emotions to flow freely, unafraid of Delia poking fun at her later since Delia decided to face plant onto the table literally. She hugs her father and tries to banish the thoughts of him in a casket from her mind, she doesn’t want to believe it, it’s not fair. It’s not fair. Why was this happening? Lucille’s mind was reeling and she could feel the cold snag of sorrow hooking onto her center, yanking to unlodge it from her chest. The woman winces but nods her head along with her dad. Daddy.

Leaning back to look Ryans in the eye, her pale blue eyes glisten with tears and she nods again, “And I’m proud of you. Every decision, to protect us. To save us.” It’s something that Lucille doesn’t say often to him, something she use to yell at him about but not now because as she’s gotten older and had to make more and more difficult decisions in order to protect their family she’s finally begun to understand how he is how he is, why he made certain choices. The irony of it all not lost on her. “I will keep us together. Keep us strong.” She vows to Ryans softly, her gaze going to the window.

Heart heavy with the weight of impending loss and unfortunate news.

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