Waiting For News


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Scene Title Waiting For News
Synopsis In the liminal space of a hospital waiting room, an interesting conglomeration of people clash while waiting for updates regarding those important to them for one reason or another.
Date November 8, 2020

Fournier-Bianco Memorial Hospital

It's been a stressful morning so far, and the sun's not even up yet. At least, Amanvir Binepal doesn't think so.

Being ejected from Emergency back into the waiting room wasn't where he'd hoped to end up, but it's almost something he should have expected. He's not family, and even though he took an ambulance ride down here with Isaac, it's not like sitting alone back there while they wheel him off for tests will do anyone any good. Go get some coffee, the charge nurse had told him.

Bleary-eyed, he steps out from a set of double-doors into the waiting area of the unfamiliar hospital to find it filled with more people than he'd expect at this hour of the morning. The doors click shut and locked behind him, and he turns to look for a seat to collapse into.

Right at that moment, he catches sight of the woman standing at the information desk, and she turns her head slightly to look at him, too.

Aman freezes in place. He's pretty sure he hears Kill Bill sirens.

Asi Tetsuyama quietly thanks the nurse at the desk, hand sliding off the counter as she turns away… and begins walking in his direction.

If there's a hero in the room, he could use their intervention anytime now.

On a chair, feet and all, Jac Childs waits behind the makeshift screen of her knees and legs. Her head, cradled in her arms, gives some indication of a vague effort made to sleep in spite of the constant murmur around her. But the unfamiliar space with its occasional loud-seeming clack of sliding window or closing door always rouses her. So when Aman is summarily shut out from the procedural area of the emergency room, her head lifts slightly expecting hoping it's a nurse or doctor with some news.

Unfortunately, it's neither of those but some man looking like he's just been sacked.

Blue eyes follow Aman’s movement, track the target of his gaze to Asi. Hers is a familiar face, but not in this place. Vague confusion presses against her consciousness. How long has the technopath been here? More importantly, how long has she, herself, been asleep?

A yawn interrupts those thoughts, which in turn awakes the stiffness of sitting cramped in a chair for too long.

Jac drops her feet to the floor and raises her arms up in a long stretch. She should stand, walk around. Maybe convince anyone with a badge to get her back to see her mom or give her a clue to what happened. With a sigh, the young woman pushes out of the chair, her focus wanders to the information desk, lingering there for a second, then back to Asi and Aman with indecision.

The text vibration woke her, and it had Brynn scrambling to get up and get out of the house as quick as she and Doodle could go. Dressed in scuffed jeans and a hoodie beneath a battered denim jacket, Brynn comes through the doors accompanied by the Goldendoodle about a half an hour later.

As she looks at the activity level of the ER, she's actually a little nonplussed — it seems like a lot of people for zero-dark-thirty. Her worried gray eyes scan the room, noting familiar faces. Which makes her worry even more. When she finally spots Jac, she moves quickly.

Hey! She forgets not to crowd Jac, engulfing her in an immediate hug. Only after she backs off again does she sign worriedly, Are you okay? Have you heard anything? She searches Jac's features for answers that maybe the other girl doesn't have either.

The door opens and it’s fairly clear neither of the two people walking through are in need of medical attention, but here for professional purposes — unless they’re visiting a friend.

Well, it’s probably obvious in Agent Marlon Toussaint’s case. Oftentimes things aren’t so clear with his partner of the day. That’s just what makes Agent Castle so interesting.

One brow lifts as Toussaint sees at least a couple of faces he recognizes from their dossiers, though they weren’t on his personal caseload.

“I’ll go check with the nurse,” he tells Castle, leaving them for the time being, and striding forward to head to the desk. He ignores the painted line on the floor asking patients to stand back and wait behind the line entirely, and flashes his badge before he can be scolded.

Whatever he’s asking, he seems to be getting answers.

Well, one of them is definitely dressed for professional purposes. The other— Castle oftentimes doesn’t dress quite as crisp and clean as the other agents, though they attempt to wear suits like someone would expect of one who would flash a badge, but they are dressed in a rather eclectic suit, dark with a paisley pattern, with a freaking white lace and satin cravat and jabot instead of a modern tie. It looks like they wanted to go to a theme party rather than a hospital.

It counts as a suit, right?

“Oh, sure, I’ll be right over here— oh— there’s some of them now.” None of the ones they had meetings with in the past, sadly, except that brief meeting while masked with one of them, but— Castle moves toward those within the waiting room, “Good to see you again, Ms. Iron Mountain.” Did they just do a literal translation of her last name? Perhaps, perhaps— “Since you’re out here and not in one of the rooms I take it you were not one of the ones stricken. Good to hear that.” If she doesn’t recognize them without the mask, the voice isn’t very helpful either, because at the party they had had more of an Irish lilt.

That isn’t as much there right now. And the way they hold themselves seems different, too. Do they know they are interrupting something?

"What are you doing here?" Asi queries Aman sternly as she gets within earshot. Crossing paths with him again is not something she intended on, and yet again they find their orbits twine. Aman really feels the same, but he looks at her incredulously anyway, wondering where the fuck she gets the audacity.

"I'm here because my roommate is unwell," he counters her boldly. Asi looks to the right as the doors to the outside open, and in come the suited agents. "What's your excuse?" She'd answer, but she's tracking Touissant's movement, beginning to frown when he pulls out a badge.

And then there's Castle. She doesn't recognize them from the gala, no— but she recognizes them from the light of the fires the night at the state park. She'd not witnessed their initial stunt, but she'd been saved by it, and seen them meditating afterward doing everything they could to help extend the time of those who had to wait hours to be airlifted out. She saw them selflessly strain their strange ability all to give waves of strangers the chance to make it out of the bombing alive.

Any goodwill about that is swept away with their simple, cavalier greeting. Asi's eyes harden rather than widen, and in a stroke of luck Aman thought impossible, he knows that animosity of a dubiously-deserved nature is no longer being routed in his direction.

"I'm sorry," she voices curtly in reply, not even bothering to shoo Aman away for the moment. "I don't think we've had the pleasure."

Aman looks to Castle as well, visibly vaguely perplexed by their… uh… unique appearance and entrance. His phone begins to ring, loudly, and he pulls it from his pocket to silence it quickly without actually dismissing the call. When he lowers it back to his side, the single letter O is visible on the glass before he turns it in against the gym shorts he's wearing.

What a weird trio they make, he thinks to himself in fascination. Him in a winter coat, tee and gymshorts; her in biker chic; and Castle looking like he's just stepped out of another era.

"Yeah, hi, sorry," Aman interjects, his head dipping to the side as he peers at Castle. He's caught on to a more interesting detail, he believes, for all that they left unsaid on approach. "Are you saying you're here because of multiple people?"

Asi shoots him a dose of sharp side eye to stay the hell out of it, but his eyes are slightly widened, brows lifted. He hangs on this answer more anxiously than one might expect. His phone begins to ring again, just as loud as the first time, and is silenced just as quickly.

"It seems like it's almost all of them," is the response that Aman receives - not from the man asked, but by Richard Ray of all people, who's just walking out from one of the hallways and into the waiting room. There's an armored vest draped over his button-up shirt and slacks, his hair's not exactly neat and sunglasses don't quite hide the shadow beneath his eyes.

He's looking at his phone's screen as he comes in, a grimace twisting across his expression as he stops to look up and across the waiting room, taking in faces. Some expected. Some… what the hell is that guy wearing? And…

"Tetsuyama? You weren't afflicted?"

The hug is only half returned, as Jac’s attention sharpens to include two one official looking badged man and someone who may have stepped out of a Prince video. Still not anyone she could expect to get answers from and neither face is recognized. It's a little insult added to injury that she can't quite make out the badge being flashed at the desk. “I haven't heard,” she begins vocally, finally answering Brynn’s. Her hands repeat the words a second later.

There’s more than just Mom here. Fingers form the words as Richard, of all people she wouldn't expect to see, seems to corroborate what Castle’s already said. She's more willing to take her boss’ word for it, even if his presence is unexpected. She's not too sure about that other one.

Jac shares a brief look with Brynn. There's no telling when anyone hospital official will come out with answers of their own. It settles her indecisiveness and, without verbalizing a prompt for the brunette to follow, the redhead leads the way to the growing congregation around Asi and Aman.

Relieved that Jac is okay, at least, the influx of still more people makes the petite brunette more or less fall a bit more into wariness. Agents haven't been much help lately. Gray eyes flicker over all of them, and sort of remembers at least one of them from the concert… sort of. The man in glasses also gets a look-over and her expression grows, if anything, even more worried.

It's not just Aunt Gilly? Is that Aunt Kaylee's brother? Maybe he'll at least get us some answers. Oh God. How many of us? Her hands are moving in brief abrupt signs, but even as she does, she's moving with Jac to join the circle of people, her worry not well concealed.

“Can you keep them calm?” the nurse asks Toussaint in a louder voice, with a gesture toward the growing crowd in the waiting room.

He gives her a polite, withering smile and she quiets, before he says in his own professional air (that’s a little maddening), “Thank you for your assistance. Such as it is.”

Well, that might not earn him any extra answers.

He steps away, tucking hands in his cashmere coat as he heads to the cluster of people, survivors of the plane crash and others.

“I’d say good morning, but it obviously isn’t,” he says, dark eyes moving from person to person. He signs the words for Brynn’s sake, which might be a bit of a surprise. “We might ask to speak to a those of you who were with the…” he pauses, settling on “patients, but only when you feel comfortable being away from the waiting room. I know waiting is difficult.”

“From what I was told, only four,” Castle responds to Aman’s comment and Richard’s remark both, but doesn’t go deeper into that at least, because, well, it’s not his job to point fingers at victims! But assuring them it was only four might help? “We sent out wellness checks on everyone else again to make sure they were accounted for, so I’ll send a message to Emmie that you’re fine and they don’t need to bother the people in the Bastion after all.” Asi gets a smile flashed at her, cause yes, they know.

Too much?

Yes, apparently, they had sent feelers out to check on all the plane crash victims once the four had been admitted, to make sure it was just THOSE four. There might be others who had not been accounted for yet, so maybe there would be more— but… Just those four so far?

Aman's face falls, paling when it's Richard that responds to his inquiry. His presence here alone says enough about what's happened to Kaylee. But then as he starts to put the pieces together, he turns to Asi with the same surprise that Richard has. If this happened to 'everyone' — just who the hell makes up everyone, anyway?— that had their ability stolen from them, why is she an exception?

Asi's eyes begin to narrow at that note. "Ray," she acknowledges him in turn, distance in it the same as she's been afforded. It's one she'll gladly take at the moment. She's spared, at least, worrying for long that 'almost all of them' might include the children— Jac and Brynn are right there to assuage that concern. It doesn't answer about Nova, but…

She stays quiet when Castle replies, inadvertently corroborating the information she received. A terse glance flits between Touissant first, and then back to Castle. Slowly, Asi slides her phone from her pocket.

Aman's head pingpongs from Castle to the more formal of the two agents, a bit bewildered still but cowed. "If it's anything like what's happening with Isaac, they're not letting anyone back there for— for a while, so yeah, I've probably got a minute."

Asi bites her tongue and the inside of her cheek, closing her eyes. Aman's name is on the tip of her tongue in a banishing reproach, but withheld. If these agents were supposed to be investigating— helping— yelling at them or blocking them from doing their jobs wouldn't serve. If they were adamant to hold all the privileged information…

"Let's pray you actually do something useful with the information this time," she coolly intones when her eyes open, fixing the two with all the pent-up bitterness of months without answers culminating in what happened this morning. Her expression shifts to something more foul yet, leading her to shake her head. "I need a minute. Excuse me."

When she shoulders her way out of the conversation, she pats one hand on Jac's shoulder as she passes, squeezing firmly.

Aman runs his free hand through his hair, mouth opening to pose a worried question to Richard when his phone starts loudly sounding again. He mutters to silence it, more frazzled than before for it. After he declines the call entirely, the call from O banished to a black screen, he holds onto the device a little more intently, his thoughts elsewhere and his brows furrowed.

Four. ‘Only’ four. Richard’s gaze sweeps the room briefly, his jaw setting as he tries to figure out who the fourth is through process of elimination— but he’s unable to, because there are too many of them missing from the waiting room. He can count those here out, at least, and the teenagers are a relief.

Younger brains are more resilient he’s been told before, though, so that makes sense.

A haunted gaze returns to the two government agents in the room, narrowing slightly. “DOE?”

It’s almost more statement than question.

To Brynn’s questions, Jac can only shake her head. She doesn't know how many or who. But she translates that answer given by Castle. The rest seems related but not relevant, and so she doesn't try to translate word for word. There's too much and not much context to go off of, so she summarizes. Just four. They're doing checks to see who else. She looks up at Asi as the woman squeezes her shoulder, worried but taking the small gesture as an offer of strength. She tips her head forward in a small nod.

Asi is getting some air. Richard is… She's not sure, so she shrugs and looks at Aman. He's even more of a stranger than the supposed agents. And he seems less helpful than those agents. So after a beat, Jac looks up at Castle and Toussaint, brows rising in askance.

'Just' four. Well… Aunt Gillian and probably Aunt Kaylee make two, she assumes (because why else would Richard be here?). So Aunt Gilly, Aunt Kaylee, and Asi's friend makes three…, Brynn signs to Jac.

She is surprised that Toussaint signs at her and it gives her the opportunity to demand, What did the nurse tell you? Are they going to be okay? When can Jac go back and sit with her mom? A beat. And how did you even know this was happening? Are you spying on all of us on top of everything else? The petite young woman's gray eyes have a sharper expression to them — she wants answers and she is going to get them. And if it means making a lot of noise, she can do that too … metaphorically speaking.

“That’d be appreciated,” Toussaint says to Aman. His lids lower as he steps out of Asi’s way, almost deferential, despite the tonguelashing she gives.

“I hope so too,” is all he has to say in her wake. When he sees Brynn’s hands move, he looks that way, brow furrowing slightly before his mouth tics up into a small, apologetic smile.

I’m a beginner. Go slow please? But he still catches some of it, and he shakes his head with a clearly apologetic expression — the more stoic-faced agent suddenly becomes very expressive while signing, as facial expression is crucial to the language and the intent behind sometimes ambiguous signs. We’re not in charge of the hospital. When the nurses say it’s ok.

Along with signing the next comment, he says it aloud. “The hospitals in the area have been asked to inform us if one of the survivors comes in with anything out of the ordinary. I imagine they called SESA as well, but we were closer, I guess.”

To Richard, he pulls out a card, the DOE symbol in the corner along with his name and a phone number. “Department of the Exterior. I’d say it’s a pleasure to meet you, but I feel you might find that ironic.” Still, he offers his hand to shake. “Marlon Toussaint. This is Agent Castle.”

“Oh good, you talk hands, Marl,” Castle breathes a sigh of relief because they had been staring a bit confusingly at all the finger motions going on. Cause they definitely did not understand it, and they are glad that someone present does. Emmie had recommended they all learn a little since they had a deaf person of interest, but—

None of those in the room really knew Agent Castle well, but there was definitely something tense about the way they moved about, and they pull out a phone to send a message, probably to Emmie to let her know that Asi is accounted for. After sending the message, there’s a ringing and the Agent gives an apologetic gesture for a moment and answers it, “Castle.” It takes a few moments, and then they nod and say, “Thanks. Good to know. Contact if anything changes.”

After hanging up, they look at Toussaint, “Leverett is accounted for. So that’s most of them now.” When they look back at Richard, there’s a moment of curiosity, a hint in the way they tilt their head questionably, “Not the best circumstances to meet under, Mister Ray, but here we are.”

Whoa, the little deaf girl is being awful loud with those hands. Aman blinks himself out of the thoughtful state he'd gone into when he sees her vigor, the way she goes at it the moment she realizes she can be heard. Though, he supposes, were he in her shoes he'd likely do just the same.

His eyes flit between Marlon and Richard, taking in the introduction of the Department of the Exterior agents without visible confusion, but also a lack of understanding. Not SESA. Exterior? Is this because the whole plane crash thing happened in Canada?

Not that kind of Exterior, Aman. More Exterior… er.

His eyes narrow before he gives a slow, acquiescing nod. "I'm Aman, short for Amanvir," he says of himself. He glances for a moment to the girls, and then when Castle takes his call, he deems it as good a moment as any to unlock his own phone before it can ring again, penning away a quick message for someone worrying about him to worry a little less. Or at least, shift who she's worried about.

Not that he expects she'll be worried particularly about his roommate, but it's important she understands it's not him in danger, here.

"Do you know any more about what the hell is going on than we do?" Aman wonders as he looks back up. "Isaac started shouting for me, and when I came out into the hall, he'd already fallen. He was dazed, said something that sounded like nonsense, then started seizing." He looks for a moment down at the girls again, wondering how, if any way, to convey this to them. The ASL he knows basically amounts to asking someone if they're deaf.

"I'd say 'give me back my research site' but I'm sure you'd find that ironic yourself," says Richard in rather dry tones, although they aren't aggressive per se; reaching out, he accepts the card before sliding it into a pocket before shaking Toussaint's hand. His gaze sweeps then to settle on Castle, one eyebrow lifting. "Agent Toussaint."

"Agent Castle. Mmn. You're the one who showed up spying on my nephew and sister in the park." There might be a little chilliness in the look that he gets, before his attention sweeps back to Toussaint, noting, "This probably isn't the place, but I think it's probably more than past time I had a meeting with someone from your agency, yes? I'll clear my schedule if you send a representative by."

A deep breath is drawn in, and then he looks back to the crowd of worried people, lifting a hand to get attention. “They should all be… mostly okay. Nobody’s dying, I’ll tell you that right off the bat. There’s something in their brains since the— accident— and it seems to have caused a minor stroke for some of them.” Them he says, but for some in the room, he knows it’s you he’s saying.

Jac’s hands work to keep up with translating for Brynn. Names are omitted, it takes too much work to spell them out, but she's sure the older girl can figure out who's who by following the younger one’s gaze.

Her eyes flick to Aman, she hadn't missed his question. It's the one that's been eating away at her too. So when Richard explains, they'd had a minor stroke, she stops. Everything. The signing, breathing, thinking. Everything. Stops.

The second ticks over and she pulls in a breath. “What.” She'd heard him. But the incident doesn't make sense. Strokes are what happened to old people with blood problems. It doesn't happen to anyone who was on that plane. Definitely could not happen to her mom. Strokes kill people, even the minor ones.

Jac pushes past Richard and Castle, shoulders by Aman and Toussaint. The door isn't that far, but she bolts for it, intending to find a way through.

Gray eyes flickering back and forth between speakers and Jac, Brynn's getting most of it. But Jac stops before she gets to whatever explanation was just given and she looks alarmed when Jac bolts for the doors to the back rooms.


Reaching down to put a calming hand on the Goldendoodle at her ankle, Brynn watches what's happening with uncertainty. She got the part that nobody's going to die, though, so that eases her some. She just isn't sure what they are going to experience.

Toussaint closes his eyes when Richard mentions Castle’s past doings and then drops the stroke bomb on the group. When he looks up, he finds Jac darting toward the door, and shakes his head slightly.

“Ms. Childs, they’ll let you see her once they feel they can. The hospital is not in the practice of keeping people from their loved ones, I’m sure,” he says calmly, in that low Southern drawl, and unfortunately, Jac will likely find the door is locked from the waiting room side, to keep people from rushing in without being escorted by one of the hospital employees.

“I’ll talk to Nurse Ratched over there to see if I can hurry that process along,” he says with a small smile, “but my authority here is hardly absolute. Or even existent.”

He turns back to Aman, and shakes his head apologetically. “Probably not much. Getting information as we speak but it’s general, not specific, and unfortunately, it’s not our place to share specifics with you even if we have them, when it comes to medical records, unless it’s your own. Mr. Faulkner’s doctor will have to update you, or Mr. Faulkner himself. But if Mr. Ray’s information is correct,” it’s said carefully, in a way that suggests it is correct, but in a ‘don’t quote me on that’ manner, “regarding mild strokes, full recoveries are very possible. We will have to work on figuring out why and hope we can keep it from happening again. Or to anyone else.”

Toussaint signs as he talks, but it’s a simplified version of what he says, some words finger spelled when he doesn’t know the sign, in what amounts to ‘baby talk’ for ASL.

“As for meeting with you,” he turns to Richard, “what would the meeting be concerning? I, or Agent Castle here, can certainly meet with you, but as far as this case goes, as far as we know you are only relevant by association. And of course what your scientists and expeditioners have done independently of ours. Sharing of data could be useful. But,” he says, with a shrug, “if it’s related to another issue, it might be someone else you’d want to meet.”

“Is it spying to spend an afternoon in the park painting rocks?” Castle asks, not seeming to understand the spying accusation— or perhaps acting innocent toward it. It wasn’t like they had gone there every day until they just happened to run into Kaylee Thatcher— nor did they go there every day after that. “Your bedside manner needs work,” they mention to Richard as he talks about the stroke and sends the teen running off towards the doors that are no doubt locked to staff only. They have those little card things that open doors after all, and she does not have one.

Marlon has it under control, though, leaving them with the chilling Raytech CEO who— is only loosely involved with this particular case at least. They aren’t one to comment on clothing, when they dress the way they do, but they tilt their head to the side and nod in a small agreement. “We probably should have a meeting at some point. But right now we’re most concerned about the wellbeing of those who suffered an attack. It would be nice to share data and work together, I do hope that any experiments that you’ve been doing did not trigger these particular attacks.”

Oh shit. One of the girls speaks after all. Aman watches a bit helplessly as Jac takes off for the door, feeling for her but not knowing enough or feeling remotely entitled to pull her back. That leaves it to the nurse at the front desk to stand, hands resting flat on its surface, one very near to the phone resting by the computer.

"Miss, you can't go back there. We will call for you when we have more information." She frowns, a tinge of sympathy to it, but only just. When Toussaint interjects as well to try and calm the teenager, she relaxes by grades.

Well, at least until the Nurse Ratched comment. She heard that, Marlon.

Aman looks more tired for the developments, turning back to those nearest him like he's seeing them for the first time. And in a sense, he is. He blinks when he suddenly notes Richard's vest for just what it is, swiveling a look back at him with a frown. "Uh, is there something you and your threads need to tell me?" he asks abruptly. He thought they'd last both parted ways agreeing not to go murder Harry, and here Richard was some hours later in riot gear.

The least he could have done was invite him along, if that was the plan. (He's joking.) (Sort of?) (No, definitely joking.)

"Jac—" The words haven't quite escaped Richard's lips before the girl is past him like a bolt of lightning, but the nurse is handling it, and he grimaces, one hand pushing back through his hair a few times as if to tame it.

Then Castle's commenting on his bedside manner, and sideways-accusing him of triggering the attacks, and if looks could kill, the agent would be dropping dead in that moment. "Maybe my bedside manner would be better if my sister and dearest friends hadn't been kidnapped, experimented on, and now several of them are in the hospital. Maybe it'd be better if walking through the hospital wasn't like walking on broken glass without shoes for me, Agent Castle," he casts out sharply, "Thanks to when I was kidnapped. And no, we weren't doing experiments that triggered these attacks, although at least we seem to be investigating them."

He draws in a slow breath, closing his eyes. Counting to ten. "I'm sorry, Agent Toussaint. I'd love to answer your question, but if I tried to do so in a hospital waiting room," he says in a tone he's forcing calm again after his outburst, "Director Voss would spontaneously appear and strangle me to death."

"And it's November 8th, Amanvir." Oh, that explains it. It must be Armormas.

“Then call me back already.” Jac, while every part of her wants to break the door down, presses her palms and forehead against it instead. Why do hospitals have to make everything so difficult? “Practically everyone else out here seems to know a million times more than anyone who actually works here about what's going on.” Her head turns and she looks in the nurse’s direction, then turns a very pointed look at Richard and the DOE agents, underscoring her point.

She can't stop Jac from bolting nor can she call out in reassurance, although Brynn does watch the other girl worriedly. Then she looks back at the conversation in time to catch the comment about the date.

The day itself doesn't quite have the same connotations to one as young as Brynn, but considering where and with whom she was raised, it does have significance when she catches that comment from the CEO. Her body visibly tightens and her Goldendoodle companion goes on alert. Warily she asks, Is there more fighting coming this way? It would explain why Mr. Ray is wearing armor.

As her gaze moves from one to the other Brynn offers a nod to Toussaint, whose ASL is rudimentary but understandable for the most part. Are they coming after us again? Without tone, it may come across with the attached emotions unclear but she doesn't appear so much afraid of that as … resigned to the reality that the answer may be yes.

“Don’t be silly, Mr. Ray. That isn’t Deputy Director’s ability,” Toussaint says a little glibly. “As for an appointment, feel free to call the number on that card and set one up. I’ll mention it to my boss, of course. Who you meet with might depend on what you wish to speak about.”

Brynn’s sign language draws his attention again, and he shakes his head. We don’t know what they want so that’s hard to answer, but we will do our best to keep that from happening. He looks like he might say more, before the door suddenly opens.

“Agents, Ms. Thatcher would like to see you,” the nurse says, holding the door for Toussaint and Castle.

Toussaint moves toward the door, turning to address the room full of worried people. “I know you’re all worried and rightfully so,” he says, tone more somber than his light comments to Richard. “We’re doing the best we can, and I know it’s not good enough — we don’t know who we’re dealing with it and that makes everything a minefield. We’re going to keep trying, but it means we don’t have a lot of answers for you, and I know it’s frustrating. Trust me, it’s frustrating us too.”

He looks to the girls, signing as he speaks. “I hope you all get good news soon. If we hear anything that we’re given permission to share, we will.” With a glance to Castle, he steps through the door.

“Oh, well, I know how that feels actually,” Castle responds quietly to something that Richard has said, but doesn’t reiterate as to what they are commenting on too much, as they instead blink at the comment by Amanvir and weirdly banter as if they know the guy, “oh, I just figured that was how he always dressed,” about the CEO’s strange attire.

But it wasn’t. And that actually does strike them now as potentially odd. “I hope this is the worst that’s going to come out of November 8th for you this year,” they offer with a raise of their hand, a peace offering of sorts, before they move to follow Toussaint to meet with Ms. Thatcher.

Doors are pesky things, opening only for a select few how they do. When the ones currently barred to some open for the agents and not concerned family, Aman can't help but sympathize with the frustrations of those left behind.

"… How about we get something to eat while we wait?" The words come from him almost automatically, his mother channeling through him. Everything's better with some food. Aman turns to Brynn, all five points of his fingers on one hand pinched together with a gesture toward his mouth. "Breakfast?" he asks again, this time a little more pointedly.

He glances to Richard last for that question. Stubborn as a rock, worried, and paranoid, he's not sure there's any chance of tearing him away from the waiting room. But hey, maybe if he went, Jac might cave more easily, too.

The doors at the other end of the lobby part to let Asi back in, smelling of cigarette smoke on the leather of her jacket as she strides with purpose back for the group. She reads the air, mouth firming into a thin line. After a beat of silence meant to impart more grace onto her speech, she mutedly suggests, "Coffee might be prudent."

“Let’s hope,” says Richard more quietly, watching the pair depart. Turning back to the others, he shakes his head at Amanvir, “Not for me. I… I’ve got somewhere I need to go, something important to take care of. I’ll be back later, ah— Liz should be here soon too, I’m sure they’ll kick her out of Abby’s room before long. I’ll text her to make sure she tries to get you into see Gillian as fast as possible, okay, Jac?”

A deep breath is drawn in, and after a moment he exhales it, trying to steady himself before heading in the direction of the desk. Before he slips off down a hallway, he might be overheard asking, “Where’s the hospital chapel?”

It isn't okay, none of it has been okay. From July and the plane crash to the agents disappearing through the door that she isn't allowed through. But once more there's nothing Jac can do about any of it. She turns from the doors as they close and latch, in time to see Richard leave. Her eyes go from Aman and Brynn to Asi, searching for direction.

Brynn motions Jac to come back and signs simply, I'll stay with you. We'll just sit until they let us back, okay? She can't leave the younger girl here like this, all alone, and now that she understands more people are affected, she's a little scared for herself and Jac too. Better to stay put for a while.

One hand rubbing the back of his neck, Aman shifts his weight when Richard peels off. Well…

Asi watches Brynn's movements, not wanting to interrupt her, and looks to Jac afterward. "Come on," she suggests to them both. It's like Aman may not even be there for all she treats him. She places a hand gently at Jac's back to guide her onward, gesturing with a tilt of her head for Brynn to follow as well.

Uncertain and unsettled, that leaves Aman standing there by himself. He supposes it may be a while after all before he gets any updates. When the girls turn to head for the cafeteria, he instead heads for the door, sliding his phone from his pocket to request a ride home so he can change clothes and come back. Once that's done, he lifts his phone to his ear to make a call.

The dissemination of information is a slow thing for people here just as much as people from afar. But he'll do his part in trying to calm frantic worried parties himself … even if he has just as little to go off of as everybody else does.

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