Where You've Been Eating


huruma3_icon.gif nicole2_icon.gif ryans2_icon.gif

Scene Title Where You've Been Eating
Synopsis Huruma becomes aware of the complicated situation that is Ryans' lovelife.
Date June 21, 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.

It took them a long time to tell her about this place, and even then, it has been a long time since then that Huruma dared to go find it. Incidentally, she has only ended up down in these tunnels as the person who regularly came to fetch ferriers is unwell. Stomach bug- but nobody is taking chances, and he is holed up somewhere else. So when Huruma volunteered to come with the boatman, she was not aware that it would also require her to go around to doublecheck for things or persons to be moved. As such, it put her in a dour little mood.

The light sheets of rain all day didn't help her mood much at all. Despite the jacket she borrowed from the boat, the water still seems to have soaked her through; though it is also partly her own fault for wearing shorts, even if it was a hot, humid forecast. Weather in the Northeast is too complex. She does sometimes miss either wet or dry, hot or cold. This middle ground is a bastard.

By the time Huruma does meander into the tunnel whose door exits into the terminal proper, she is still damp, and the borrowed jacket is still smelling of rain. The first thing that she does on the inside, after taking a cursory look and feel around the shipping room, is stifle a watery sneeze. Huruma forces herself to loudly choke it back for the sake of not making anyone start thinking she is ill, by means of something that is certainly not a stormcloud. It comes out as a strange noise, somewhere between an actual sneeze and a boarish snort. Nobody said it was going to be elegant. Or unobtrusive.

With the acoustics of Grand Central it isn't hard for the sounds of voices to travel ahead of the those that own them. So it shouldn't be too surprising that the murmurs of words reach the empath, before the sense of warm emotions. Even if the rumbling of one voice is familiar, the emotions will be more so.

"You didn't have to accompany me." The man that steps into the living room like common room, doesn't look exactly the same. The clothes are still ratty and worn, but Benjamin Ryans is clean shaven and his hair looks decent. He looks like the man who once was one of the top people in the New York branch of the Company.

He seems relaxed, in posture and emotion. Feelings warm towards the woman at his side. Nicole Nichols should be familiar to Huruma as they just met at a certain babies birthday party. A hand sets at the base of the woman's spine guiding her down the tunnel, while his other hand is busy carrying his bag. "But the company is welcomed."

"I know I didn't," Nicole murmurs in return. When they make their way inside, she slips away from the hand on her back only so she can take it in her own. "I feel better walking you out here."

The woman with her blue-black hair and faintly-luminescent electric blue eyes is generally dressed clean and immaculately. To blend with her companion, however, she's wearing a pair of well-worn jeans with a plain white tank top. Her BlackBerry makes a bulge in one back pocket and her wallet and a pack of cigarettes in the other. "You're welcome," she tells him with a squeeze of his hand.

Huruma teeters on her heels, as she looks over the shipping room. Nothing particularly special about it, no. But she knows there are more rooms, even before she can feel the familiar blip on her radar. She knows one of them, and the other is simply at the edge of her memory, ungrasped for the moment. She takes a few steps across the room before a sneeze overtakes her this time; there wasn't really time to hold it in, and so it comes out and echoes into the adjacent spaces with a resounding whoof. Pollen and humidity are not a strong suit.

Recovering from it takes just a moment of sniffing, and as she examines the emotions behind the next wall, she slinks towards the propped door to the common room. Huruma fills up the doorway, and one or both of them might see her lips and tongue pulled into a very uncouth bleh before it disappears into something more impassive upon looking to them. Her eyes are the usual pale color, shining as equally wet as her jacket and legs; no redness, no irritated nose- not sick, just bothered by a New York summer.

"You again." While the words can be taken as brusque, the tone is far from it; Huruma speaks it with a more bemused tone. "Mmph." She draws one forearm up to rub at the front edge of her own face. "Forgive my volume."

When a figure just as tall as he is fills the doorway, Ben draws up short. His hand tightens on Nicole's and tugs it to get her to stop as well. Even if he looks pleasantly surprised to see here, that guarded edge is there. Maybe a touch of guilt at getting discovered with someone that isn't Lynette… but not as much as one would think.

"Huruma," Ryans offers in greeting, a hint of a smile tugging at the corner of his mouth. "Sounds like you might have met Nicole already? She's a Ferry hopeful." Meaning not quite within the circle of trust yet. "Everything alright?" That she's there and not on the island and looking a little… off… he can't help but worry.

Nicole dips her head briefly in greeting. "Huruma. It's good to see you again." Self-consciously, she shuffles a little closer to the man at her side. "I'm just seeing Ben off for right now." She gives the taller woman a quick appraising once-over. "Allergies are a bitch, huh?" She doesn't look sick, at least.

Huruma lets out a short, canny laugh, chin bobbing and head canting. At first it could be taken as something else out of place, but after a moment he will have no trouble realizing that she is just being puckish, apparently, and nothing more. She gives Ben a small smile in return, picking up easily on his notations.

"We'ave met, yes, if briefly. She happened int'Kasha's party. Yes, it is th'weather, an'th'pollen. I am not a plague rat." The tall woman straightens herself up, sidling from the doorway and into the room, where she gives her shoulders a shake to take the thin jacket off. Once it is off, she tries to wring some of it out in her hands. "Ever'thing is fine, as far as I know-" Huruma pauses, and considers Nicole's presence, and what words to use. Her smooth voice forms them with a slightly slower pace. "Oh- ah… I came with th'taxi, his usual partner has a- stomach bug."

There is a soft 'ahhh' from Ben in understanding and a nod. "They have him quarantined?" You know, just in case. "I still want you to check in with Megan even if it is just an allergy. She might have something for it if it's just allergies. No reason to get people nervous."

For Nicole, Ryans says, "Huruma here is one of my… agents of sorts." There is a small smirk at the use of the word. "Also a close friend of mine." His bag is swung off his shoulder, dropping it on the table with a thump. It's only the razor and clothing really.

"Ahh. A formidable one, I can see." Nicole smiles brightly, hoping she can make a good impression. "I hope everyone's all right. I've got someone out in my office right now with a stomach bug. I'm sure it's nothing serious." She brushes her fingers through her hair, which is damp from the weather outside. Droplets of water scatter on her shoulders and on the floor. "If your allergies get bad, let me know. I should be able to convince my doctor I need a prescription and pass it on if you need."

"For th'time being, yes." Huruma answers, only to jut her chin gently, teeth clenching once, stubbornly. "Right." She will get the allergy medication, but only because she hates sneezing. Not in any way because Ben also happened to tell her to. Not in a million years!

The wrinkled jacket being shaken free in her hands, Huruma glances up from her work, pointedly, when he calls her one of his agents. She lets out a snort of air, threatening to turn into a dry chuckle. If he wants to use the word, Huruma will not argue. "I don'think it will get that bad, but if it happens, I will tell you. It is this Northeast spring, th'summer… this is the worst it has gotten." And considering that last spring was mostly winter, that's something.

"I see you've been groomed." Huruma notes, mainly to herself, looking past the jacket as she shakes it again and tugs it over each arm again, letting it open to the stale air in the terminal.

The mention of grooming, Benjamin runs a hand along his jaw. It's not as smooth as when he first shaved it, but it's not the scruff he was. Only a light shadow. "I decided it was time and since they seem to know what I look like either way. I figured it doesn't matter." Is the only real explanation he has for it.

Fingers scuff through the shortened hair, before the hand drops. "Let me guess, you preferred me the other way?" With an amused glance going Nicole's direction. "Here I was starting to think of myself as a mountain man and less like a man in a leadership position."

That earns Ben a light swat on the arm from Nicole. "Oh, stop," she laughs. "I said you look good either way." Her arm winds around his waist, a friendly bump of her hip to his. "And I meant it. But you do look more like someone in charge. Less on-the-run chic."

Truth is, Huruma is impartial to Company vs. Mountain chic. Although the latter did give him a rather leonine impression. "Each one has pros, cons. And both are becoming. But I am going t'plead th'fifth, now." She examines him for a moment longer, before her eyes hood and relocate down to Nicole, and back up. Lips pursing, it should come as little surprise when she sees fit to try and change tracks a little. If not for her own sake, then for diverting from something awkward.

"Speaking of 'in charge', have you been told anything new?" Most likely, she is trying to fish around for any words on the trips made across the sea, hesitant to actually state such.

"None." Benjamin shakes his head slowly, to Huruma's question before looking down at the smaller woman. His arm drapes over her shoulders affectionately, before giving Huruma his attention again. "Part of what I was going to check into. I figure by now there might be word.

"If I find anything out, I'll let you know." Ryans sighs out and let's his arm fall from around Nicole. "In fact, I was going to see if the pastor or that girl he's seeing were staying here before heading out." Since he seems to move from one place to another often enough.

When Huruma pleads the fifth, Nicole smirks a bit. She knows the feeling. When the conversation turns to talking shop, she lowers her gaze down to her sneakers, politely withdrawing and zoning the other two out for a moment.

"They were supposed t'be back. They may be back there, already." Huruma responds, but it seems distracted by Nicole, who gets a somewhat suspicious glance, as if she might be seeing the smirking as something else. Or maybe she knows Nicole knows the feeling, it's quite ambiguous, yet an entertaining sort of visual. "I know Abby only left th'other day. I think they should b'back soon, barring complications."

"Are you going with th'taxi, then? Or staying out here?" Huruma lifts one hand to rub a palm over the shadowing of hair on her head, flicking drops left over down the back of her neck.

"Good to know. Though sending her out can be a rather precarious thing." Not that Ryans doesn't think she can't do what she needs too, but… it's Abby. "I'm sure if all else fails Liza will have a full report on things. A thoughtful glance goes to Nicole, before Ryans nods slowly. "But yes, I'm taking the taxi." He confirms with a slow nod. "Heading out soon?" A hand is held out to Nicole, so that she knows she doesn't really have to move away.

Nicole latches onto Ryans' hand again and slants a smile up to him, appreciating the inclusion. She blushes faintly, actually managing to look shy for a moment. "Be sure you call me when you come back again, okay? I want to make sure you get a good dinner."

Huruma laughs quietly, smiling halfway. "Liza, yes. I am glad that they took her." They both know she needed to be used; talent being neglected, and everything. "I am heading out once I figure out who needs t'be coming on it." In other words, she doesn't need to do so right now, but sooner rather than later. The dark woman lets out a small bark of a chuckle when Nicole mentions food of all things.

"So is that where you've been eating?" Which could be taken every which way, including the literal way, and that more …awkward way. "I thought you seemed too well-fed." Compared to some of them, anyway.

Eyes narrow dangerously at the darker woman, humor leaving his features. Ben knows she'll feel his irritation. Fingers tighten gently around Nicole's own, before attempting to gently draw her forward a step or two. "Huruma…" His voice growls ever so slightly in warning. "I'd like you to meet the woman who is the mother of my future daughter.

"You know the one that came back in time with Benji and Hannah?" Brows lift slightly at his friend to see if that jogs anything in her memory. "We've been getting to know each other and see what drew each other in that future. So yes that is where I've been eating while around here."

Oh. Awkward. Nicole squeezes Ryans' hand again and smiles somewhat tightly at the introduction, brows hiking up. Oh boy. "That's me. Future Mrs. Ryans." There's a moment of pause where Nicole realises that rolled off her tongue rather easily. She brings her hand up to look as though she's scratching at the side of her nose, but she's really blocking the movement of her lips as she mouths to Ryans, is this the other woman?

If Nicole wasn't here, Huruma would probably be getting smacked on the head by now; but perhaps that is why she is being devious- she knows he won't do anything to her. Another time, on the other hand, is another matter entirely. Her light-hearted ribbing of Benjamin now could very well mean being dragged through the mud later. C'est la vie.

Huruma's eyebrows lift at the edges, the already fine arches lifting up, and leaving the hood of her eyelids to allow her to appear nonplussed. But the perplexed turn of her lips is plain enough. Her long arms twine, crossing in front of her as she seems to look at Nicole considerably more critically. Measuring her up, yes, although it does not seem an alltogether threatening look, surprisingly.

"I see." To start, Huruma has little more than that. After a pause where she is able to literally shake out some of that sudden fog from her head, the African woman undoes the tension that has appeared in her shoulders and back. "Well, when put into that context-" Huruma makes a point to see if Ryans is listening, and looking- "I am pleased t'make your acquaintance." See? She can behave. If she has to. And she apparently does.

A brow quirks up as he catches the mouthed words, then both lower as he tries to fathom what she was just trying to ask. When it does occur to him, both brows shoot up and there is a quick back and forth shake of his head. Not the other woman. No. Her hand is squeezed, for assurance.

It occurred to him to take a slap back and mention Huruma's former place as his target, but he's being nice.

"As…" awkward "interesting as this chat is, we shouldn't dally any longer. People get impatient." The boat might leave without them and he'd like to get back in time to get a look at the plants growing. To Nicole… "I'll give you a call next time I'm able." Or in the area at least. "You can let me know what you find out from the boys."

Not the other woman? Good. Nicole's shoulders relax some at that. That makes things a little less strained for her. "I'll let you get on your way then. Have a safe trip." She braces her free hand on Ryans' shoulder and closes her eyes as she comes up on her toes so she can kiss him goodbye. "I'll tell you all about it when you get back," she assures after parting.

Flicking a glance over to the taller woman, Nicole also offers a little half-wave. "It was good seeing you again, Huruma. I'm sure we'll see each other again." Finally she starts to withdraw, stepping back until she has to let go of Ryans' hand. "Later, Ben."

Huruma squints over at Ryans when he abruptly shakes his head at Nicole. She isn't a telepath, and sometimes it is still hard to discern what people mean- and that is one thing that she hates not being able to do. Her arms unhook, palms going to her hips. She isn't about to demand to hear what they're communicating, though her body language makes it clear that she doesn't like being talked about while in the same vicinity, watching them do it.

Sorely tempted to issue a full bleh face for the second time, it is a miracle that Huruma doesn't. It is lurking just under the surface, and may actually pop up later at some inopportune time. All in all, Huruma is not disappointed by the end of this encounter- which may go into Nicole's favor in the long run. "I'm sure. Be careful getting home."

"Dally? You're showing your age-" Huruma sing-songs. "Get th'rest of your things, or is that it there? And I need an opinion on ability training exercises b'fore w'get back…"

He hadn't planned on the kiss. Okay so Ben should have expected it, but it wasn't something he wanted to do in front of Huruma. But not like he can refuse it either, so it ends up a touch awkward for him. It might not have been such a big deal, if Ryans wasn't very well aware of his friend's feelings for him.

Still the kiss is returned and he's holding up a hand in farewell, while maintaining a smile. "Don't make me hit you with that bag." It won't be til she's out of sight that Ryans will level a look at Huruma. "One more word and I'll make sure you do crap patrols." Okay… probably not true, but he sounds like it is.

His voice drops even further so that the words don't carry as far to add, "And I'd appreciate it if you don't go telling Lynette. That's something I plan to address to her myself." The back pack is snatched off the table with a touch irritation. "She know about the dream and who Nicole is, but I… didn't expect things to go this well, this fast. Let's get out of here." That last bit off piled in quickly behind the other to cut off any other comments or argument.

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