Log:Another Blank Door

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Another Blank Door
Characters  •   The Bon-Vivant  •  The Rogue  •
Location  •  Rogue's Bunker
Date  •  2019-07-23
Summary  •  BV wakes up int he Facility (Oh, this shit again). He finds something has changed and Rebel's door is blank on the way to see how Rogue is coping across the hall. BV suddenly 'gets it' and Rogue coaches him through it.

It's not long at all since The Wakening. A handful of minutes, probably, no time for much in the way of showers or choosing clothing. And a knock comes on the Rogue's bunker door. It's-- odd, though. Usually, when BV knocks, it's quick and rhythmic, music in it and no hesitation. This time, there's one firm knock, then half another, like trailing off. And nothing after it.

When the bunker door opens, the Bon-Vivant is out there, but his attention's been drawn from this door to the next, where the Rebel's door symbol is-- gone. Just gone. Nothing on that door at all. Nothing except, at present, Fizz's hand, pressed flat against it. He stands quite still there, staring at the bare wood, his other arm hanging limply at his side, hand closed in a gentle fist.

Otherwise he looks much like he generally does on awakening: the navy silk pyjama pants, bare feet, bare everything else, really. Actually, he looks a lot like Blaise, a decade or so earlier. Even including one of the tattoos -- that Pegasus one on his left shoulder wasn't there the last time he stood in this hallway, but there it is now.

The Wakening. The last thing Rogue really remembered was going home empty handed. He thought he arrived with hands already empty, so really the confirmation burned in his chest. The longer he lay there inert (for who knows how long), the more he came to slowly realize and value all what North gave up in small amounts to help him accomplish the impossible.

He got to say good bye.

While there is satisfaction int hat the loss felt an echo of something rather incredible. He got to say goodbye, and he got to take Jamie home, and the niece and protect them. He went home to live.

North gave him that. KJ gave him that.

While KJ was not, in any real commonsense real any more than Candice or Dash or his once-son Gideon? They were real enough and to they and their parting? Well he felt a sobering relief and gratitude.

You must go home, and you must live.

The words echoed in his tired chest but he made that promise and here in this Facility in the graveyard of feelings and emotions he had much tobe for. So when the knock came to his door that was enough to pull him to his feet. His eyes frifted to teh vertical glass cabinet. A brass and ceramic eye lay in a gold circle that used to belong on KJ's hand. In the cabinet it's parked exactly one decimeter left of Addie's ring and the picture of his- well, Caleb's son. A sigh fills his chest staring with fond contempt at the damn things. They were mounting up. He reaches for the whiskey glass always set out for him that usually remains untouched. The second knock comes slower. He up-ends the glass staring at the memorial to his late lovers, though pick up to notice that simple envelope above. Tere's still hope in these halls.

Bare feet and- he's in a t-shirt and boxers?! This... is new. Alright, well, "Fuck it." Seems to behis consensus. Opening the door there is a tired smile for his boon chum. "Mornin, boet, I-" The words and teh smile fade off taking in the man's features, posture... everything. "What? What happened?"

It's the first time the Bon-Vivant's died. That was probably a thing when he woke up. Right at this moment he may not even remember. The opening of Rogue's door doesn't grab his attention, and it takes a moment even after the question for the fact of the voice to sink in. His brow furrows, and his head tilts forward, forehead against the door for a moment before he straightens up and takes a step back, staring at the door again. "It's blank," he answers, as though the Rogue couldn't see that for himself.

"It's blank, Boet," he says again, this time turning his head to look at the Rogue, expression going from almost blank itself to damn near pleading. "They go blank when they're gone." Of course the Rogue knows that. Fizz knows he does. He still wants to be told he's wrong, that that isn't necessarily what it means.

The Rogue watches curiously. This is danger. This is alarm in the stillness. Instinctivly both hands go out to Champ/BV's shoulders. Fingers squeeze around muscle and thumbs brush over his colarbone. All there, but the question is who? Eyes fly diagonally to Ethna's door then Thrill-Seeker and then- oh...oh god he sees it. Rebel's door, or what was Rebel's door. His chest tightens knowing this fucking feeling all too well. Arms, still strong from a lifetime in the militaryslowly pull BV into a slow, tight hug there in the doorway. He doesn't say anything for a while but for the one word from the South African to sum it all. "Fuck." Indeed. Weight shifts from one foot to the other and he sniffs squinting his eyes shut and offers in quiet consolation, "Ag shame, boet, I never would wish this on you."

The Bon-Vivant hasn't even checked the other doors yet -- just headed straight across, and then a few steps to the side when he realised the change in that particular door -- and when the Rogue's eyes go seeking, BV's widen, as though it's just hit him that this isn't the only thing in the world, the only door in the hall, that there's no known rule that says they can only lose one person at a time. The closed hand tightens, and he shoots an almost panicked look down along the hall, one way and then the other.

It's only the grip Rogue has on him, as non-restrictive as it may be, that keeps him from running off to check them all up close, at first. And then there's the hug, the word, and his shoulders fall, the last fighting hope-against-hope that he'll be told it's not the way it looks fading away. He wraps his arms around the other man's waist and lets his head drop down against the shoulder, eyes buried against the cotton for a moment, and he sniffles, trying to fight it.

There are a million thoughts running through his head, or maybe a smaller handful chasing each other's tails, but either way none of them are doing very well at getting out of there and through his mouth. All the why?s and she can't be gones trip over each other before they get free. What does eventually emerge is an unhappy and rather muffled, "I barely even saw her. On Icarus."

The Rogue just holds him knowing that he, himself, will never be entirely over Addie. Not really, and there's no rule saying that must happen, just like there isn't one for Sonya. Slow deep breaths try to normalize some sort of here and now to rally with like a mast in a storm of chaos and change.

"I learned, from KJ ...actually... that sometimes," Everythign feels new. Resolved and so final but still raw somehow. "I learned sometimes we can't...stop or even change the situation. Sometimes... we ahve nothing left but to mourn, but also be grateful for the time we are blessed with. And no, like you told me, we do not have to forget, but we do have to breathe."

Another deep breath he coralls him into the room. "Come in. Sit. I'll put something together for you. If you don't you'll only get a headache on top of this which, my friend, you will not enjoy."

The Bon-Vivant squeezes at the mention of KJ, and the reminder about breathing has him taking a long and slow one, slightly uneven. A nod, somewhat reluctant, and he loosens his grip, letting himself be corralled, and drawing the back of his empty hand across his eyes as he straightens up again. Another nod to the recommendation, and the last remark actually gets a bare breath of a laugh, wry. "Most of what I have in mind right now'd prolly give me a headache eventually," he says, "...well, I dunno, guess if I didn't stop I'd get away with it..."

The hint of humour doesn't last; there's a last glance toward the empty door before he lets himself be guided through the one that isn't. "...sorry," he murmurs after a moment more, and lifts his chin a little further to study his friend's face. "How're you?" He knows what happened, after all. And he can imagine more than ever before what it might be like.

The Rogue smiles faintly arching an eyebrow, "Ja ja, but not if you start early enough and keep going until it is reset and tomorrow." Enabler. Always. He shuttles BV in and to a seat at teh long highrise table with the bottle of whiskey where it always is and a (now) empty glass next to it that always starts filled unfailingly. Bare feet wander over to grab another and bring it back to set down in front of his friend here.

Sitting on the end and says quietly, "You'venothing to apologize for. You have cared and loved deeply of something that has taken leave of us. We can only hope where they are they are whol, safe, alright, and happy. We don't get to ask more than that, but we don't at all need to apologize either, ja?" The smile is still tired feeling the fatigue on himself. Reaching over his hand pats BV's arm and he snorts a laugh, "I feel like we should have a deck of cards again now that you fixed the Zero-G issue."

There's worse things to enable, right? Surely! Fizz lets himself be moved where suggested, settling into the seat, and watching Rogue as he goes about. A glance at his curled hand, as though he'd forgotten it was there, which the furrow in his brow does nothing to change the impression of as he unfurls the fingers. Something small and silvery-metallic in there, about the size of a ring, glints briefly in the light before the fingers curl around it again.

The pat on the arm gets a little bit more of a smile, still barely anything as BV-smiles go, and he gives a small nod at the words, followed by a slow breath in and out. Not quite crying, now, though still pretty near that edge. "Pretty sure we've got at least one deck somewhere," he says, with a glance around the well-stocked bunker, "between the two of us. And failing that, there's always Anywhere..." A silent moment, and he indicates the nearest of the couch or bed with a small tilt of his head, and a faintly hesitant, "Can we sit over there?" Tables are useful, granted. But chairs are distance.

Rogue looks to the living-room arrangement and nods. Hopping up he crosses over and looks down. Really he starts with Pj's discarded to the floor? He picks them up and puts them on which is smart so he doesn't stick to the leather. He' s a planner. He thinks of these things, though why his clothes are starting on the floor gets a look of pure curiosity from him. TOmorrow-next reset- whatever he can worry about it.

He grabs a pillow drops down on teh couch and propls the pillow on his leg gesturing to teh expanse of the rest of it to BV. "Come, chum. Hide. Grieve. Laugh and remember everything good. Ja no, but for fuck's sake don't hold it in boet. Feelings like that burn a hole right through you and dat? Dat'll stay with you like a wound no reset will heal. The world need never know."

Pyjamas on the floor when he's already wearing underwear and a shirt? BV does give that a 'huh' sort of glance, but no particular comment. It's only a TINY bit odd, really. The much clearer look Rogue gets is gratitude for the agreement they can move, and he follows, dropping down beside his friend where he can lean up against his side. His eyes close, and he takes a deep breath, one that comes out as an uneven sigh.

"I hope. I hope it means she's somewhere better. That there's somewhere better to be," he says quietly. "But I don't. Why does it have to come out of nowhere? Why can't I stop thinking maybe it's my fault, Boet? I barely saw her in that last one, and I miss her, and now she's just... gone?" He sniffles, not quite ready not to hold that part in. Or try, anyway.

Rogue props his foot on the coffee table and lets himself be a human pillow. His arm calls down over his shoulders like a security bar.

The words start to come and oh how Rogue remembers when the two of them met when he was going through similar. All these questions he'd asked of BV, and all the listening afforded to him in that time by someone who didn't even know what surfing felt like, or what a hug was , or what it was to love someone and worse? This. This right now.

"I wish I had those answers. Be easier to sleep. Be... easier to wake up without the need to count all the doors. All-" Taking a deep breath he hugs with that one arm and a quiet tone promises "All I know is that you will find joy again. It won't change that this hurts. It won't erase her, but it won't feel as raw."

Sniffing hard he pulls in a sragged breath keeping his friend close. Rogue goes through phases like a damn winding labrinthSometimes it's all anger, and others feelings hit the surface. Still riding Mal's coattails of friend, listener, snarky listener, and patron saint of the immaculate offense; guardian of purposeful tresspasses. yeaaaaaaah he's going to have to take up with Ethan about being promoted to Vatical Assassin later. Right now there is morning the lost. "Why you think they have us grieve, Boet? If they aare controlling these things, why allow us to love but to take it away? I don't mean that rhitoricly, but for certain there mustbe some reason. If it's a test there's an answer, if they are creator and steward there is answer. I think maybe to see what we can do with it. Maybe it is all they can give?"

The Bon-Vivant leans. He's always been tactile, always sought that physical contact, and as he curls in against the Rogue's side there's a perceptible relaxation. Doesn't really make him look any less like he might lose that quiet fight against the tears any moment, but it's something.

"If," he says softly after a moment. "We don't know that, though. We keep trying to solve this place by the rules of the lives we get put into, but for all we know it has its own. Reality might just be a building with a bunch of rooms but no windows that periodically makes subrealities for us with a different set of rules. Maybe there's a they controlling things, but also maybe it just... happens."

He shifts enough to get his hands -- well, hand, the other's still curled shut -- on the bottle and pour some whiskey into the glasses, one of which he brings with him as he curls back into place. It does help, that arm around him, and the solidity of his friend's presence, even if he can't stop thinking of the absence next door. "If they are, though." Another pause. "If they're controlling things. Then... they care for us and when one of us disappears it's because it makes things better for them enough more than it makes it worse for us. Or they want us to suffer and they know losing people does that. Or they don't care either way and just want to see what happens. Or..." He trails off, shaking his head a little, and takes more of a drink than he ought to from the glass. "Or they want to condition us not to care," he says quietly after a moment more, "'cause you can't lose what you don't have. If it's that one I don't think it's gonna work."

Rogue listens and he slouches back in his couch really considering this. Where did Addie go? Where did Dash and Candice and Sinclair's great- oh shit. His eyes widen slightly. He'll have to address that after he talks to Ethan and Jamie...Julian... crabby-feisty-sibling-sort.

A faint smile not from joy but a lost fondness, comes across the old soldier's face. His handruffles Champ's hair comping through it before hugging his noggin to the pillow against his hip. "Can you feel it? Be it that wall or the end of the hall, there's jsut this... cavity. This void that feels like it pulls in light even though it's perfectly too pristine. All those imperfections jsut... not what they should be. And really maybe that's part of what defines us: Love for those little imperfections." Taking a deep breath he really considers that as a construct.

"I'll be honest. Not a day goes by...in theory... that I don't think about Addie. I wake up and she's now an item in thta cabinet. A reminder of all we built and all we accomplished. We... we saved a family. We started a new one, and maybe you'll run into echoes of Sonya again and I'll tell you prepare to cherish that and have it hurt. But always cherish it. I eman I wwake up here and now? Now Julian's more. And Emory North who was my brother in law? there's a layer on that too and... I'm not going to start on Ethan Drake: Priest. Just..." The other arm comes around in that sitting hug half hunched around his friend to see him intent with promise, "Your heart will know beauty again. Right now? Right now let this time be hers. Tell me about her you do not wnat to forget. And later put all your feelings and memory to the journal in your room. Write a song about it. You are a musician. Create where there is absense and that? That is how we hold onto them."

"Rita," Fizz says softly. "She was Rita, here. 'cause when she came out of her room it was only me, everyone else was somewhere else. And I told her-- what I knew, even if it wasn't really that much. Even if it was all I knew, yet. 'cause we were both born here." For certain values of 'born', but they're accurate enough. "And I showed her the book thing, 'cause we've gotta have a name. We've gotta have a self. Something. Before we just get given one. And hers was Rita." A very small smile, glancing at his glass. "And when we got back from the Lodge and I knew more, I sang that Beatles song to her." Another sniffle escapes, though no more yet.

"A void pulling in light," he echoes, and the other hand turns over again, fingers unfolding like the petals of a flower so he can look at what rests on his palm. It is a ring, white metal with a trench down the middle that holds a strip of duct tape and a thick wire, fixed in clear resin. "A black hole. That's..." He trails off, eyes and fingers both closing again. "Nyka said-- in one of her family's old journals, someone had asked a synth to describe what love was. And she said, it's like the very opposite of a black hole. The other side, where all that light and energy and everything spills out and creates everything new." And that's where he finally loses the battle, with a sharp breath that turns into uneven ones, and the tears pushing past closed lashes. It's quiet, all gasped and shaky breaths with the periodic unavoidable sniff. Not particularly pretty, really. But quiet.

The story comes and an eyebrow shoots up and maybe there's still more of Kit left in his personality than he lets on, or maybe as was theorized he is Kit and the rest is some elaborate prank all of his making. Even he doesnt know but it builds a warmth that hits that smile when he asks, "You sang her a Beatle's song? Please tell me it was Lucy in the Sky, or better yet, All together now?" The grin gets wider even in the somberness of it.

Then teh theory of black holes and he can't not say, "You know I almost... killed all of us again. What is it with me trying to kill everyone in space I... I don't know. But I think Nyka's right. Live is everything that black hole is not. But it was Roger Colton, my father. Once. That said grief is the price we pay for love. I remember a moment, I dunno how real it was but pa and I were sittin on the porch after I lost my son and Lila took off. We'd lost ma a few years prior to that but he said 'Son, grief's the price you pay for love. Sometimes that cost is too damn high but damn if it ain't worththe investment to touch the sun once and not get burned.'"

The Bon-Vivant laughs, a brief and wry thing made to sound half-hysterical through the tears, when the Rogue says he nearly killed all of them again. Weird thing to laugh at, but there you go. He doesn't explain why immediately, listening to the rest of what his friend has to say, and then gives a small nod. "Think he was right too," he manages, and there's a few more seconds before he gets the crying under control to talk a little more properly again. And wipes his nose on his forearm, fetchingly. But he doesn't have a tissue and at least he didn't blow it?

"I almost killed all of us too." Presumably why the laugh, particularly as there's a similarly wry flavour to the tone. "More than once. And I-- I guess I did kill a whole bunch of us in the end. But all of us still there knew we weren't going home." The humour leaks out as he continues, and by the end it's been replaced by a sorrow he definitely wasn't capable of when they met. Might not even have been that first time back, and who knows about the second.

"We-- they had plans," he says almost plaintively, tilting his head up to look at the Rogue. "It took them nine fucking years to figure out-- and then everything just--" His hand's tightened around the ring, knuckles pale enough that it's probably going to leave a nice round mark on his palm for a bit when he lets go again. Somehow, he manages to stay just barely on the right side of bursting into tears again as he continues, though they keep intermittently escaping to fall down his cheeks. "That's the first time I was in love during," he says, looking down again. "After. Then before, I think." In the memories that aren't, quite. "But not during. And it was." A silent moment instead of an attempt at finishing that sentence, broken by an anguished, "And I still feel it! And. I don't think she's real. Our real. I never saw her here before." He may or may not have seen her here in another form, but she's never been in that body here before. Very quietly, "I don't think she's real. And Rita's gone. And I still love them."

The Rogue lets his eyes fix on the far side of his holdout bunker shaped room and agrees, "Yeaaaah, he was a good man." And now all those feelings break the surface like a volcano. The arm holds fast and with his friend he weathers that storm knowing this feeling all too well. The words are quiet and don't have any inclination to tell him to shush or to stop. "I think... I think love has many forms. But I think she was real as your heart is real. Maybe we exist to the point that we make people *feel*. Maybe we are all just a program to help some other group of beings try to understand what it is to have these feelings or exist or whatever. What is happening to you," he taps the fingers on the hand around BV to his sternum once, "What happens here? It is real enough. Do not ever doubt that. That they are not... all around us?" he searches for the words and grasps for what he's got to work with,"It doesn't matter what anyone else things what it is is relay. to. you. Never doubt that. It is no less real than we are, for a while, Blaise and Malcolm and what we do with hat now is our choice. But we don't have to let Rita or Addie be lost. At all. She was real. These feeling are real. You had joy together. That is not wasted and nothing to be ashamed mourning."

The Bon-Vivant steadies his breath again, enough to drink the rest of the glass in one go, which is, again, probably not the ideal way to have done it. He has no complaints about it, though. He stays leaning in against Rogue, quiet, and then there's a nod again. "Love has many forms," he agrees, soft but certain. "I love them, I love you, I love Bunny and Dare and Cheer and Briar and-- different people, different ways."

Something about the next little pause is calmer, somehow. "As real as your heart is real," he repeats then, thoughtfully. "I like that, I think. And they were real. Maybe-- I hope they are real. Just somewhere else. Maybe somewhere they like better."

He sits up a little higher -- which is not to say the amount of leaning-on changes in the least -- and turns his head to plant a kiss on that nearest cheek. Chaste, but sincere. "Thank you, Boet." The fingers uncurl, and he looks at that ring for another moment, then slides it onto the appropriate finger and considers it there. Eyes back to the other man, he says, "It was Lovely Rita. I mean, I know you might've been joking with the others. But that's what it was, all the same."

The Rogue releases his arm to give the guy some room to move. He's not a hostage. The words brign a smile; one half first then the rest. "You are as dear as any construct of family, boet. You are loved. Know that, and by several I imagine."

He considers for a long time the words of Roger Colton. he's not thought about them in a while but offers, "You know I've gotten a lot of shit from a lot of the people who live in this hall. "Just move on. They're just not real. THere's a lot of justs and to that extent it is a bit sad. It is like we live in this ... this fear of feeling. Even I told you before be very so careful of who you love because... it invites this and one must be worth this feeling. But," His hand reaches out and brushes BV's cheek dry and pats it, ""Champ, some are worth it, and you found that. I am weirdly glad for you. Because we have that good memory to carry us through some dark and trying times. Especially when we are in these halls nearly alone."

There's a genuine if rather fainter than usual smile at the assertion of family, and that he's loved, and Fizz remains quiet in that thoughtful pause that follows. Remains so when the Rogue goes on, too, taking in the words, and the expressions on the face that speaks them. His eyes close a moment at the brushing away of the tears, with a subtle tilt of his head into it, but nothing more.

"Nearly." There's an emphasis to it, to the job it does as a modifier. To the 'not entirely' that it implies. The empty glass rests against his leg, and he slides an arm behind the Rogue, between him and the couch, to firmly return one of those one-armed hugs. "Maybe that's the key. Maybe we're better off letting ourselves care. Making sure none of us are more than 'nearly'. So we have at least someone to be there for us. And to be there for. When we need each other." He eyes the bottle on the table briefly, then looks to the other man's face again. "Are you all right?"

Rogue watches in no hurry to change the conversation, to speak of himself, or go anywhere in particular. Right now being as important as two theoretical weeks ago, current events, and events to come. All the walls around his personality not to keep people out, but to keep his people safe. Just for the moment.

When teh question does come around he goes to answer but pauses and stops himself. One eye, formerly bionic...also ripped from his head... and before that curse, twitches. "I'm, um, I'm getting there." His lips press together and a slow nod follows. "I'm getting there, boet. I mean..."

Taking a deep breath his lips press together and he answers with some honesty, "It's going to take time. Going though all the stages of grief twice for the same person is, eh, is hard? I think. Still working it out but in teh end it was our decision. We all waynt more time but the *moment* I knew KJ was contaminated I knew they couldn't come back. I know they knew they could not return. They'd never risk it. For them it was... Ah, it was all about the greater... good. I lost them but they commanded me life where they cannot. Remember. Find joy and I intend to keep that promise."

The emotion creeps into his throat but he holds. Swallowing he barks a laugh, "I will be honest, never thought I'd be hired by the Vatican to be their assassin though. I need to have a talk with Ethan about... that." Whichwasn't even news that got to north taking a deep breath he nods, satisfied even though it weighs heavy, "I kept Jamie, my brother, alive. My neice... kept my word to watch out for my friend's daugher but... but I lost you and I lost North. Wont' lie, but that was a very lonely trip home that I can remember. Not for lack of company, FOr lack of the both of you."

If one can pause while waiting quietly, the Bon-Vivant manages it when Rogue hesitates in giving his answer, watching even closer for a moment as the answer's weighed, sorted, and finally given. It makes him half-smile, a fond and brief thing, gone as the answer goes on. A few small nods greet the rest, until he gives a soft, surprised laugh at the Vatican assassin part. "That sounds like a story," he murmurs, and gives another squeeze.

"I knew, too. Once we knew about the contamination and the attempt to blow everything up... that they wouldn't come back, wouldn't allow it. That their priority would be the risk it presented to humanity." He gives an even smaller, one-sided smile. "You -- well, Malcolm-you, I guess -- chose well. And it seems like good advice to me. Find joy, remember. Live where they can't." It's a little quiet, his focus sliding off to the side at nothing in particular for a moment before it decisively returns.

"I'm sorry. About that part, that you had to be the one to live with that stuff. All the loss. I'm..." He trails off, brow furrowing, and his jaw tightens slightly. "I'm mad, kinda. Blaise and Nyka-- they had plans, you know? They didn't want to have to... But also I remember how it feels to go home when your friends don't. Knowing you, they, won, saved worse from happening. That you all did all you could. But it doesn't make what you lost any easier."

The Rogue nods slowly. It still hurts and though it's fading it's a feeling he's going to be working through for a while. "Funny thing is I had to pull the trigger and that's not the part that's haunting me even if I can feel it in my hand. That was a mercy so they didn't suffer. It hurts I didn't get more time. I couldn't touch them and in a lot of ways felt like a moment holding me because I remember the evo suit. It was... it was something."

"They were hope and fuel for my humanity in that place and I do truly hope I don't forget that feeling given; that we violent men do bad things but it must be for the just cause or we cease to be human ourselves."

Rogue sniffs and while the memory is sharp, he smiles.

The smile softens as he hears the specific words used to describe Blaise Nyka he sits, listens, and seems to jsut absorb the words. His hand comes back up to his face, the other rough hand falls atop BV's own and squeezes it, ahrd but not to crush. "Ja ja." he murmurs in muted agreement, "Lyle and Ethan...had plans." To that effect to say I get you. Too keenly do I get you. "Not a fucking night goes by that regret still doesn't haunt me. SOmetimes in those moments we are the only person at that one moment to make the decision do I protect them and let it be me, or to I let it be all of us? And I remember Blaise in that moment and that look, bru," His free handwipes his face dry as the thoughtful, considering look rifles through feelings for words, "That understanding that if I am going to die, let it me with some action worthy of being that person that they love. THat?" He points to the cabinet of mementos with Addie and KJ's rings in it, the partly melted data slate which now though future tech, to Blaise's memory is a FAR older model circa 100 years back. The letters. he slightly wrinkles unclean letters, and Mal's cybernetic eyeball STARING at them. "That's what that is about, one way or the other. I think it means time is short, do what you have to do but seize that you love. And sometimes we have to get our hands very dirty to protect that. Now you have not spoken to Nyka yet, but you need to."

Taking a deep breath he turns and trabs BV's head on both sides and wobbles it, "You need to find her. Today, and see what survives that. At least give her that peace of mind and say those things Blaise wanted to so you can put your mind to rest. And the worst is maybe they won't care and that. is. terrifying." His eyes close and remembers too harshly Bravo and T-S's return when there was the 'that's not me' moment, but also his own moment. "SOmetimes," the eyebrow goes up with the care and encouragement he has, "Sometime it's worth it to know and they can surprise you. And it's confusing and messy but... it can be a second chance. You need to find her and if you want me to go with you I will, but find Nyka."

He doesn't let go of BV's head yet feeling the tension in it and says slowly, "Friend-Girl changed...Colorado changed and became 20 years younger, so she might not be Nyka shaped. God knows I got make here and neither Ethan nor I looked like Ethan and Lyle, bru. We will check her door. And we'll go and we will see. Assumption is the sword of fear. We can't make plans on fear or you miss opportunity. But she may be there, and may be different, but may be her and she may *miss* you and that's only if that's something *you* want. You are not obliged to pursue that feeling but you should at elast reolve it so you don't want to throw up."

The details of the 'visit' to KJ? Even scarce as they are in this, they're more than BV heard before. His eyes widen at the mention of Malcolm having to pull the trigger himself, expression stricken; he has enough outside-life experience now, most likely, to actually imagine that about as decently as anyone who hasn't had to do it himself. And mercy or not, what he imagines, he wouldn't wish on anyone, let alone his best friend. The rest, though? The haunting hurts of not getting more time, of spending their last moments together unable to touch because of the EVA suits keeping them alive out there? That, he understands all too well. It makes his eyes well up again, both from empathy and memory, and he doesn't risk actually speaking immediately. Instead, his arm wraps around from the front to match the one already around the Rogue's back, and he hugs fiercely for a few seconds before it relaxes and he sits just a bit back up.

The message in the echoed words gets through, and Fizz gives a small, weak smile of understanding, and a somewhat less weak but equally small nod. He listens as he goes on, glancing to the cabinet of mementos when it's indicated, and taking in all he can of what's there. At the mention of not speaking to Nyka, though, he looks back swiftly. The initial protest is cut off by having his head suddenly grabbed and wobbled, startling it right into silence, and though his lips part again as though he's going to, he holds it back while his friend continues.

It may be the expression as much as the felt tension that leads to the further explanation; it's that miserable look that goes so well with finding a blanked-out door, though this time it's not quite that. Still, those added points do seem to kindle a slim thread of hope. "I don't know what door it would be," he says, "if-- if she looked like someone else." But his last life was the brightest he's been, and given the investment the Blaise portion of him has in this, perhaps that's the one that tells, "But-- I look the same. Younger, but otherwise... She'd recognize me. Even if she might not know my door either. I'll just-- I'll just have to stay out in the common area." And that may well be answer enough as to whether it's something he wants. It might not be a strong hope, yet, but it's more than he had before. And so far, he's been extremely lucky: no one he's cared about has come back and not cared back, even when they didn't like who they'd been. It means the kindled hope has a little less of that particular fear to fight against, even as he tries not to let it flare too high.

The Rogue wether standing quiet, not aprticipating in a conversation, or speaking has always more than not been an intense dude. Those feelings run deep and he does what he needs and kicks in the doors he wants and knows fear like his own soul; but he also knows how to figure out a way. While he stands there, bestie's head in hands he doens't let him escaps, or flinch, or run from teh thing that may hurt: the truth.

This truth with hope. That small hope.

A kiss is pressed to his forehead and he thunks his own noggin to that spot. "Alright, bruy, we gonan find her, ja? And this what we gonna do. Go to teh common room. If she need to find you she will. We take paper and stick it on teh dispenser and order gum out of it if we have to. A fuck ton of gum to adhere the notes because blessed I don't have tape." He pauses and an eyebrow goes up, "Be more fun if I did. Anwys... we make a don of notes: Dear Nyka-' and stick them to every door we know is not occupied by those we can rule out and fuck it, bru. Leave the one on every door and label yours. She will know she is spoken to if she is out there and... where to find you. Give her the way to get back. If she needs to or want to then you will know. All she has to do is open the door and if that's a risk? Slide them under but you find a bloody way, mate."

There's no resistance to the restraint of the Bon-Vivant's head; it's still contact, and right now each bit of that is an anchor. The kiss makes his eyes close and a proper small sneak in, if small; it spreads to a more definite one at the forehead touch, brief but irrepressible, and something of a tension in him ebbs, just a little further. By the time the fun of tape gets a tiny laugh from him, the smile's faded again, but bits of it lurk around the corners of his mouth all the same. "I might have tape," he says, "...dunno where, exactly, but it seems like the kinda thing I might have in there somewhere. Chewing a bunch of gum might still be faster, though."

He thinks about this overall idea, absently studying his hand, and then he nods once. Yes. This is a good plan. "Okay," he says, lifting both his head and his hand, the latter moving to brush back a small lock of the Rogue's hair that probably didn't really need it, "then here's what we should do, Boet. First we should drink that." The hand lowers again, pointing to the whiskey. "And then you should go find Ethan and have that talk about-- being a Vatican assassin, which you're gonna have to tell me about later, 'cause what? And I'll go out to the common area and get started on finding gum and paper and all, and... we'll see. We'll see if maybe." A light swallow, the twist of his mouth rueful. "I don't want to have come back and lost them both." Another little pause, and softer, "I'm glad you're here."

The Rogue offers on tape vs. gum, "More fun. Not as much flavour when ya chew the tape either." Smart-ass. Thumbs run BV's cheekbones. Rally man, you can do it. THere we go. Theeeeere we go. When there's things that violently oppose who they are it is frightening when so profoundly affected. Thankfully they are not alone.

When told to find Ethan about being a Vatican assassin the grin goes ear to ear and he confesses, "Well the Priest hired the specialist on board, me, to take out anyone losing their mind posing threat to the crew. In exchange he offered to give KJ final rights and absolution. We were protecting the crew. Lucky I didn't have to. Well... much."

And the scary part of doign teh work and getting the gum comes and he stands. He stands and pulls BV with him wrapping him in a bear hug. "Whatever happens, it is scary, you're not alone, alright? JA ja, boet I'm glad for you I can be here too. I'll get the cards. you start pouring. it'll be a grand adventure, us versus fear and maybe today is the day we win."