You Only Regret The Things You Didnt Do


megan_icon.gif ryans3_icon.gif

Scene Title You Only Regret The Things You DIDN'T Do
Synopsis Injury care, hair cuts, and conversation.
Date December 17, 2011

Bannerman Castle

“Alright Richards….” The rumble of Ryans’ voice carries from inside the small room he uses not only for sleep, but as an office for the day to day of Special Activities. The head of the militant group, brushes his hand over the map, before pointing to a section of the island. The glow of a pair of lanterns cast shadows in different directions but illuminate the small room quite well. “I want you to take Harris with you and go down here. Look for anything suspicious. Report back.”

The young man next to him gives a firm nod. “Thanks, boss. I promise. No actions, just report.” He had a lot to make up for after the incident with Rue Lancaster. So even though it was late, he did not argue or whine about the late-night assignment. Anything, to get back into the man’s good graces.

Ryans grips the kid’s shoulder and nod. “Good man. Now go on.”

Turning back to the map, Ryans has clearly dismissed the younger man. Richards does not need to be told twice, moving to vacate as quickly as his can.

The redhead standing at the door as Richards moves to head out causes the young man to pause very briefly. Megan’s amused at the wary look he gives her, commenting only, “Don’t tear anything.” He’s had hell rained down on his head by his boss and he’s been given a reprieve from scolding by Megan just by virtue of the fact that LATRINE DUTY sucks. She moves out of his way as he leaves, chuckling at the relief on his features as he escapes.

Shaking her head a bit, she steps all the way into the room once the door is clear. Over her shoulder she’s got the small kit she uses for general first aid. “Hey you,” she greets him in a quiet murmur. “Mohammed isn’t coming to the mountain, so the mountain is now moving.” She shoots him a grin, though her blue eyes aren’t exactly happy. They’re all too much on guard to really look HAPPY about anything. Setting her kit down on his table, she says, “Time for a check on that arm… and since I’m here and have my scissors, I can stop nagging you about that trim, too.”

Gaze moving to the kit now occupying his table, Benjamin doesn’t really say anything at that moment, he knew this moment would come at any time. His excuse was simply, his constant state of being busy; but, she knew that, so he felt no reason to defend himself. Brows lift a little, catching and shifting a length of hair that had fallen to lay atop his forehead, as he shifts his gaze up to hers. “And I can’t argue my way out of it?” he asks with a mild amount of humor. ”Another day, nurse?”

It is obvious that he really has no plans to argue his way out of it as he reaches behind him and pulls a chair over to the table and sits without even being ask. The bandage changes have happened enough, he knows the routine. Offering out the amputated limb, for her to tend too.

Megan just chuckles at him. “If you want to run about looking like one of those elves from Lord of the Rings, mister, I guess that’s entirely your prerogative.” She tilts her head, studying him as if seriously considering how that might look on him. Her lips moue into one of those expressions that says ‘eh, I could see it’ and she shrugs. “Might be kinda cute,” she admits mildly. But it’s not like she doesn’t know he’s just teasing her.

She snaps on a pair of gloves, the habit so ingrained at this point that she carries them everywhere with her in the pockets of her BDU pants — the woman has more combat-pants with fantastic pockets than probably the next five people on this island combined. Her hands are competent but still, as always, gentle on his mangled arm as she unwraps the binding and checks carefully for any signs of infection. The debridement was an activity for which she will be forever grateful that he let her knock him out — she cried through the whole thing and even threw up a couple of times.

None of that shows now, obviously. And she nods just a bit, palpating the damage very gently. “This is actually looking pretty good,” she comments, sounding perhaps a little surprised — after all, she’s a nurse, not a doctor. Blue eyes flicker up to his face and she asks, “No fever? The arm’s not hot, so I think we’ve managed to eradicate the infection.”

The elf comment gets a rather flat look, blue eyes narrowing slightly. “I think the girls watched that once.” Ben’s voice sounds just as flat. “I feel confident I will never look like that.” Still, consciously he drags fingers through his hair, which does not help. It is getting pretty long. With a heavy sigh, he concedes, “Fine…” She can trim it, as if he really had a choice in the matter. He still, at least, attempts to act like he does.

How the hell did he end up with so many women trying to take care of him?

Silence falls again as he watches her work, unflinching from the exam, but yet admiring her as she does. Though he won’t show it, only that expressionless mask. The question gets a simple shake of his head, no. “How much longer do you think?” He finally asks, his eyes finally looking over the damage left by the loss of the limb. He isn’t sure that he will ever stop feeling that missing hand.

“How long?” she asks him, the query clearly a request for clarification on ‘how long until what?’ Megan’s hands are steady as she pulls a bandage that he hasn’t seen before now — at least not on himself. It looks rather stretchy. “How long until the burns heal? They’re actually at the point right now where we can start the other part of this. Taping it properly for tapering the wrist.” She grimaces. “It’s a pressure bandage,” she tells him. “It’ll be uncomfortable, but if you don’t do it, the healing will be messy and rather ragged. It could, later on, cause you problems. So… we’re going to do this as close to properly as I can manage.”

There’s a pause and she grins just a little. “Tell you what. Ask me that part if we survive the next 30 days or so, okay?” The undertone that Megan has is just a little grim, but … they both know that it’s coming. Sooner rather than later. She starts to wrap his limb, taking her time with it and being careful.

“Yes, ma’am.” Benjamin returns just as grim. There are no promises made that they will survive or that he will make sure that they do, he holds no illusions. It’s up in the air how things are going to happen or when. They could all suddenly wind up dead tomorrow, which is why the whole island was in a volatile state. While Ryans will try his best to get as many people out as he can, he knows better than to make any promises.

Eyes follow her movements, his hand resting on his thigh, fingers curled in, the only noticeable sign of his discomfort. “How are your other patients faring?” he asks, shifting the conversation away from him and to other matters. “I know all of us have kept you busy.”

“Recovering,” Megan replies, sounding relieved. “I… was pretty sure things weren’t going to be this good, honestly.” She glances up at him while she wraps smoothly. “With no new cases, everyone is on the mend and getting a little stronger every day.” The hope that they will be strong enough by the time they all have to move is obvious. But there’s one person in her orbit that she worries about more than anyone else. Well… perhaps ALMOST more than anyone else.

“How is Huruma? She’s… I can see that she’s starting to crack under the situation.” Megan knows the other woman is an empath — none of this can be easy. “She…” Her voice trails off, and she finishes the wrapping, it’s a much tighter one than he’s been wearing. “I’m worried about her,” she finally says, looking up at him. “And I think you’re maybe the only one who can talk to her. I’ve been watching her since she caught me in something of a bad moment… and it seems to be getting worse. Is there anything we can do for her?”

“She’s….” Benjamin starts, but trails off a he chooses his words carefully. “Managing.” It’s blunt but true. Lips press tight for a moment, letting eyes follow the motions of the woman. “I’ve known her long enough to know that she’s fraying, and she could snap if she remains here too much longer.” Once she is done, wrapping he holds the arms where she can see her work, twisting his arm a little. Satisfied he drops the freshly bandaged arm to rest on his other leg, tilting his head back a little to look up at the medic.

“All we can do is watch her and be prepared to sedate her.” Huruma would probably be furious at him, but Ryans felt confident that she would eventually forgive him. Seeing her the other day in the pantry had been a sharp reminder of who the woman was and her past… their past. He rubs a hand at the scars as if they were suddenly aching. “Hopefully, we can get her out of here before that happens.”

Megan has not known Huruma nearly that long, but she knows that the other woman is the kind of lethal that, if out of control, will not be something they can handle here. She sits, her hands in her lap as she looks over his face, and nods. Concern for Huruma is clear in her expression.

Moving to stand up, the redhead strips off her gloves and tosses them away. Dropping the rest of the bandage into the bag, she comes out with a set of surgical scissors. They’re intensely sharp and the only thing on the island that she uses for this purpose — she’s no hair dresser. But at least they don’t leave weird hanks of hair.

She steps behind him and is quiet for a long moment, then after a pause, her hands are in his hair gently separating strands into something resembling the way he generally combs it. Her fingers are just as competent on his scalp as they are wrapping those bandages, just the right pressure to be at least a little relaxing. “I know women in this world who’d kill to have this much hair,” she chuckles.

She can’t see it standing behind him like that, but Megan earns a small smile for her comment, outer corners of Ryans’ eyes crinkling a little. “Not the first time I have heard that.” Even when his body was the older, he still had his hair, though it had started thinning at the temples a little. “The men in my family have never really gone bald.” Something his one son may never have to worry about either.

Forcing himself to relax, Ben closes his eyes just allowing himself to concentrate on the sensation of her fingers in his hair. Letting his mind wander to everything he must do in the morning. Then something occurs to him, “How are the medical supplies?”

She’s grateful for the fact that trimming hair, by necessity, means that in a room with no mirror, he can’t see her face either. Megan isn’t sure what her expression might reveal to him, given her rather confused thoughts about this man. She allows herself the luxury, though, of running her fingers through his hair a few more times, as if straightening strands. Then she picks up the scissors and starts to trim it back into some semblance of reasonable order. Or at least short enough that it won’t fall over in his eyes when shit hits the fan.

“The stores are doing all right. We’re completely out of antivirals,” she tells him in an even voice as she trims. “I’m pretty well out of the high-octane tranquilizers and anesthetics, so … the locals are going to have to do for future stitchery. I swear to God, I’ve put more of those into this group than I think I did in a year at the ER.” She shakes her head, sort of amused but not really. “But we’ve a decent supply of antibiotics, painkillers, most of what we’d need in a basic field kit. We can manage for a time, even when we evacuate.” Because she’s as well aware as everyone else that it’s a when and not an if.

Ryans starts to nod listening, but stops himself mid nod, especially if he doesn’t want his hair to turn out crooked. “Good.” He sighs softly, maybe from relief, “Good. I’d make sure to those kits in a ready place. The longer this hunt for the rat goes….” His voice is gruff, with a touch of irritation at the situations the Ferrymen were in.

Scrubbing a hand at his stubbled jaws, he growls out…. “the closer I think we are to D-Day.” Almost everyday he finds himself just…. waiting for it to happen. Expecting it. It was a hell of a way to exist. Every morning, he steps outside to see if the dome is still there and to watch the troop movement along the far shore.

When he moves, she stops cutting instantly — she doesn’t want to lop his ear off! Then he stops himself and her hands slide into his hair again. Megan is quiet while he talks about the fact that we still have a murderer walking the castle. There’s a reason she keeps a knife in her boot now. “The sitting and waiting is always the worst part,” she reminds gently. As someone who is rarely on the front lines where she serves her country — which she still feels that she is doing to this day — she knows all too well the frustration of waiting for the other shoe to fall. Her job is generally clean-up after the fact.

The sussuration and snip of the scissors and the movements of her hands as she lightly tugs strands into place while cutting them is at least a relaxation to her. There’s a rhythm to the movements that just lets her forget about the fact that all her sick people aren’t well yet. “I wish we dared evacuate some of them a little at a time,” she admits. “At this point, though, it would be a suicide run for anyone who tried.”

It is an unfortunate truth in those words. “I think about that all the time, but as you said, it is suicide to sneak them out, ” Ben admits with a low rumble, listening to the snip of the scissors. It is hard to the former Company man to sit still for so long. “Taking down the dome is dangerous and invited trouble.” Hence why it hasn’t been taken down, yet. “Last thing we need is Heller catching us with our pants down.”

He glances at the table out of the corner of his eye, reaching out to snag a small stack of papers laying on it. By the looks of it, he had been in the middle of an inventory of weapons. It was a part of his daily routine, even though most of the residents had their own personal weapons, Ryans was determined to keep their arsenal out of the wrong hands. “At least, not until we are ready for him.”

She moves around to his side and tips his head a bit so that she can reach the front of his hair without putting him in a position to have to stare directly at her chest. It would make them both uncomfortable. Megan’s tone is level but wry. “Because we’re ever actually going to be that?” she observes. It’s the same tone of ‘yeah, right’ she used to comment ‘Because you really think Murphy is going to stop kicking us in the ass?’ a few days ago.

“I wouldn’t have taken you for that level of optimism, Benjamin,” she tells him quietly as she snips away at the longer locks atop his head. “But I have to admit that I appreciate it,” she admits. “Cuz Lord knows, right now I don’t have any to spare. I pretty much expect we’re up Shit Creek with no paddle and that when that asshole out there does break through, those of us who can will take up rear guard to get the rest of them out.” There is an acceptance to her demeanor, a sense that she feels it is inevitable.

“Optimism….” That actually manages to get a short, brief humorless chuckle out of the old man. “Hopeful…maybe” He corrects her, glancing up, but not at her… his gaze falls on the doorway and the occasion passing form. “For the sake of all those people out there.” His gaze flicks her way, only briefly, before he looks down at the papers in his hand again, “It doesn’t do to have those refugees see their leaders doubtful… nervous.”

He is quiet for a moment, not really even looking at the papers. Ben swallows at the sudden dryness at his throat. “They need hope. We all do really.” It is part of human nature, really. “All I can do it plan and make up the rest when the shit hits the fan.” He sets the papers on the table again, resting his hand on it. “Having a plan, at least gives the illusion that there is a chance.”

Megan shifts to the other side of his head to trim the last locks that need some controlling, and she nods slightly. “Hence why I wouldn’t say it to anyone but you,” she agrees in that same soft tone. “We both know that Plans A through G are already shot to hell.” Old soldiers always know that the first five plans are dead before your boots hit the ground and the next two don’t survive first contact with the enemy. The old axiom pretty much always holds true. And her smile as she sets her scissors down holds a softer edge. She brushes her fingers through the much shorter hair, commenting, “I’d still take whatever you make up on the fly over a whole lot of other people’s plans.”

She touches his chin lightly, getting him to look up. This time she’s the one who avoids his gaze at first. “I appreciate the illusion,” she admits quietly, finally meeting his blue eyes briefly though she busies herself checking to see that his hair is at least passably even. “I envy them sometimes… the kids who believe it. Even if they don’t get out, they won’t have the time to regret anything they haven’t done.”

The redhead reaches up to brush an errant hank of hair, shaking her head. “Just as unruly as you are,” she teases lightly, taking up the scissors to make that extra snip.

“I think anyone our age envies the younger generations and their illusions of immortality,” Benjamin comments blandly, tilting his chin and his eyes up. “The pity of it, is when they lose that.” He lost his illusions younger than most, in the jungles of Vietnam… younger than any kid should have, too. Seemed like lately, it was more and more of them were losing that innocence. Including his own children.

The comment about being unruly gets a pull of his mouth to one side. “My mother would probably agree.” His eyes roll up as if he can see the hair and her snipping it. When she pauses, Ben reaches up and gently curls his fingers around her slender wrist, his thumb pressed against the bottom of it. “Regrets,” Ryans says softly, “Let’s hope that they do live to have them. Because… it means they lived.”

It was the thing about regrets. You had to live through tomorrow to have them.

She’s amused when he comments that his mother would have said he was unruly, and Megan’s smile is gentle. She is just bringing the scissors down again when he captures her wrist like that, the fingers of her left hand still threaded through his hair. She goes perfectly still, awareness arcing suddenly through her, and she’s caught rather flat-footed by the unexpected moment when her blue eyes meet his. With his thumb against her pulse like that, it’s impossible to hide the fact that she’s reacting to him — her heart rate probably doubled in that electric moment.

It’s not in her nature to play games. She wets her lower lip, suddenly gone rather dry. “I’ll hope they have as many regrets as I do in this moment,” she murmurs, clearing her throat a bit and trying for a bit of humor. She can’t quite bring herself to pull out of his hold, though, held not by his strength but perhaps by her own indecision — cross that line, risk rejection? Let it go and laugh, as they’ve been doing?

What had he expected when she looked at him? Benjamin is suddenly not certain, as he finds himself locked in a moment he didn’t completely expect…. Or did he? He starts to second guess every thought crossing his mind, about this fiery redhead. They have played this delicate dance for so long, he has side stepped every moment to spare them both. His thumb presses against the fluttering pulse, feeling it there. He knows…. The rest of his fingers, flex in reaction, as if he might follow a thread of thought…. She may even see it pass through his gaze…. But….

Gently and a bit reluctantly, he lets go of her wrist, very aware of her there….. so very close it would be so easy. He swallows against the sudden surge of heat between them. It seems they would both have to carry that moment of regret, as he slowly rises to his feet, nudging the chair back so that he can puts a little space between them. Room for them to think a little clearly, maybe.
He looks as if he’d say something, but anything he thinks he’d say seems to fall flat in his own mind.

The momentary turbulence in her blue eyes is replaced by calm. She already knows what he’s going to do just by the expression — they’ll do as they’ve been doing. It’s not as if she’s going to throw herself at him and embarrass them both. One wrist slips from his grasp while the other hand, reluctantly, slides through his hair to cradle his cheek briefly. Her gaze remains locked on his as he slowly stands in front of her and puts a couple of steps between them. The smile that quirks one side of her lips is just this side of shy, understanding but tinged with those regrets. “I’m sorry, Benjamin. It appears that a lack of sleep brings about an inability to keep from crossing those personal lines. I didn’t mean to … put us both in an awkward spot. I would greatly appreciate it if you would chalk it up to stress.”

Lowering her gaze to her bag, Megan realizes she’s still holding scissors and starts to put them away in the sleeve that covers them when they’re in her bag. “If you’ve a broom in here, I’ll get this mess off your floor before I head back and catch a couple of hours.”

“I…” He starts after a moment of struggling with himself, “I… I think we are all under a lot of stress.” Benjamin admits, it’s not untrue, everyone is at the end of frayed wits. Allowing himself to look her way out of the corner of his eyes, brows furrowed as he examines his own actions.

Again he can't help but wonder how his life had gotten so complicated. There was a time Mary had been enough.. then others started walking into his life.

Finally, he hazards stepping closer, risking that electrical connection. “Megan…” Ben starts softly, his injures arm lightly touches her arm, while his hand reaches between them to rest along the side her face. He struggles with the idea of kissing her or not, but there is a part of him that knows it is not time to fall down that rabbit hole… not yet.

“Let's survive this and then we can talk about this regret again,” His thumb brushes against her cheek, a small quirks of a smile tugs at the corner of Benjamin's mouth. “Cause, it means we lived.”

Her movements are not hurried or jerky as she puts the gear back into her medical bag. She’s always got an economy of motion, but Megan isn’t running away from him. She seems to merely accept the moment for what it was and for what it wasn’t. She doesn’t seem to feel awkward in his company, although she perhaps wonders if the confession itself might change their friendship.

When he brushes her arm, her blue eyes come up to his face questioningly, the touch then on her cheek giving her pause to wonder the same thing he was perhaps thinking. Would he decide to explore that moment? She is silent, letting him deal with his own reactions and decisions — she made hers when she admitted to the regret. She searches his face thoughtfully and when his thumb strokes her cheek, her smile is slow and makes it for the first time in weeks all the way to her eyes.

“I’m not exactly hard to find,” Meg teases him softly. “You can talk to me about whatever you like.” Her hand comes up to cradle the one he’s using to hold her face and she turns her cheek briefly into the touch before stepping back slowly and shouldering her bag. She has the same ease with him that she’s had all along, simply being in the moment. “Good night, Benjamin.”

“Good Night.” Is offered in return, with one of those rare, genuine smiles that the old man doesn’t always show everyone. Though it slides away quick enough so that others do not see that little moment. “And thank you.” He touches his freshly cut hair, to clarify what he means.

After watching her departure, Benjamin focuses on attending to a few more items on his to do list. However, he will find that the encounter leaves him distracted and thoughtful. Pondering all of the regrets in his life… so many of them littered over a long lifetime.

Tonight would be just another one to add to the rest.

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