The Capitalist had retreated to his room shortly after his initial meeting with both The Hunter and The Penitent. The conversation had made no sense and he got absolutely no answers from either of them. Not that he puts any blame on them, for they were just as confused as he was, but he needed to time think. Time to remember, and not just remember what happened on the island, but to remember anything before the events of the island. He needed this isolation to sort the pieces of information that's been given him.
His room is dark, despite the lights being on. The paint on the walls are of a contemporary dark grey hue and everything else is made of darkwood. A small selection of expensive paintings adorn his walls, everything tasteful. While his 'workplace' is eye catching, with that large wooden desk professionally set into one sectio of the room, it's the over sized bed that takes up a good portion of the room. The bed rests upon a platform, making the double mattresses look taller than they normally would. And though no expense was spared for the furnishings within this place, there's not a pile of pillows to be found, and instead there's just four, two for each half of the bed, stacked upon to the other.
The man himself is now seated at the desk, having found something to write on so that he can jot down his thoughts. He's been here for a few hours and he's been doing his own exploration, perhaps not in the same sense that the Hunter went off to do just earlier, but he's been rifling through every inch of this room in the hopes of finding something to shed some light on their predicament.
No, certainly not in the same way that Hunter went to deal with her own thoughts. She found the dining room and the dispensers. After a meal -- apparently her enjoyment of food has persisted, but was it her or Maata? -- she set to dismantling the dispenser. The knife that came with the meal was used to pry it apart, break it, and try to find where the food came from, to see if it gave any answers as to what this place was. Could they get through the wall? Find out who put them here? Send messages to the other side? Contact their keepers?
The lack of answers just kept bringing her back to her original thoughts: this was her mind fucking with her. The edges of dreams are fuzzy places where the mind is incapable of filling in gaps because it lacks the answers.
Eventually, however, she grew tired of that. She became lonely if not on the fringes of despondent. Unlike the other two, she still had some rather clear memories of her death and it eats away at a person. That discomfort finally leads her to the door she found the Capitalist in front of after she woke up. With only a brief hesitation, she finally knocks.
The notes written so far consist of a list of possibilities to explain where they were and what may have happened to them. Imprisonment by David Akala is noted on that list, as is the possibility that they were all dead. Then the fact that this was a dream.
On another sheet of paper is another list, this time one that he's come up with from memory. There are the names of all of those who he knows had died on the island and then the short list of individuals who were said to be here in this... place. The only thing that links those here right now is that security trailer and he would jot down that all who died there were now sitting in some sort of limbo (though he thinks that's just crazy), but the one who he remembers as Maata says otherwise, mentioning a helicopter.
Then there is the knock on his door, his gaze lifting from his writing to glance in that direction. Was it someone who he had just met and been reunited with in some strange way? Or was this someone entirely different, maybe the person with the answers. He cannot help but be wary of anyone he meets within the confines of this place, but what else could he do? So he rises to make his way to the door and open it very slightly. Just seeing Maata standing there opens that floodgate of emotions and memories once again. It's easier to concentrate and focus on things when you feel detached from the island, but with the Hunter standing out there, it just refreshes his memory all the more. Without saying a word, the door opens wider so that she may step in.
Being alone brings focus, yes. But it also brought anger. An ever-building, ever-present anger. It didn't bring any answers, either. No new memories, no new insight. It just made things worse and worse. The Hunter stares at The Capitalist there, in his suit, looking... just like the man in her memories. In a room that... well, she might have very well guessed he'd live in, perhaps, had she ever really put the time and thought into it. Maybe not his room 'at home,' but perhaps chosen at some five-star hotel or perhaps at one of those homes away from home.
She may linger there a moment too long before she finally steps in, ducking her chin just slightly as she does so. It's only once she's within that room that she speaks, vocalizing some of those thoughts she'd begun to spiral within. "No matter what I do..." The tone is still Maata, but the accent is not. It's American, perhaps. "I can't find any new memories. Not of who I am, if I'm not her." Like the Penitent believes herself not to be. "Not of before the island. Not of this place." She turns slightly, looking up at him, staring at him. "You're one of my earliest memories that doesn't feel like it's something immaterial. And when I see you, I... I don't just remember, but I still feel everything." She swallows, not needing to say: she knows he does, too, or at least did.
'...and we're together, can it really be considered all that terrible?' His own words.
"But if you're not you and I'm not me, I don't know what to do..."
He had time to reflect on all of this as well. When he went searching through his 'belongings' to get a better grasp of who /he/ was, the only thing of note was Conrad Wellson's watch. One which was engraved with his initials, so he's been trying to tell himself that if this is the case, he /must/ be Conrad Wellson. But even he knows that this faulty memory must mean something. Why couldn't he vividly remember everything that happened before he arrived on the island? Then again, why would he want to? As he dug in deeper within his mind, all he could come up with his disapointment after disappointment. He couldn't remember experiencing the berating, the insults given him by his own father, but he's seen snapshots of it, the growing resenment seen on his features when the man was not looking.
He continues with this silence, because like her, he's just as confused by this rush of emotions whenever she's nearby, he feels it so strongly and then there is still that something telling him... just what she had come here to say.
His gaze trails behind her when she enters, not in that flirtatious way that Conrad would have done, but with a look of curiosity. He then shuts the door behind her. She is right though, while he can hear 'Maata' in her words, her voice was different, lacking that familiar accent now. "I've been trying to figure all of that out myself." There's something inside of him that wants to be Conrad Wellson, if that would make everything this much easier. "If you don't believe that you are Maata, then who do you think that you are? Or. I don't even know what I'm asking right now." He says, a strained frustration in his voice as he marches back to his desk to look at those notes again. "There's a lot of things that I can't remember either, or I don't remember being there when they happened. But what does it mean? Maybe we are under some sort of control, on drugs? Something that's short circuiting our mind and making everything fuzzy."
And by her own bed: Maata's knife. She could tell the significance of it. She remembered her story to Conrad about it. Yet... she had no memory of her receipt of it. The birthday she supposedly was gifted it. Yet there it was. The woman stares at him, but not in the same way she might once have; not entirely. She sees him in two ways, now. There is that desire still, in some sense, because it comes along with those echoes and memories. She can still feel it there, inside of her. But she also sees this man who... might not be who he is. He still looks the same. She knows he smells the same. When he put his arms around her, he felt the same.
But it's not the same, is it?
The Hunter moves slowly after him as he returns to his desk. "You're still as single-minded as he was," she says quietly, looking to those notes. "Still as dedicated and focused on finding a solution." She brushes a hand over the wood of the desk before leaning up against it. "Maata is all that I know, but I can tell I'm not..." She exhales slowly, looking down at herself, then shifting her weight to look at her hands. "I see her when I look in the mirror. When I first saw you, my instinct was to kiss you, to never let go. I remember the language of my people -- the people of the island -- but I do not hear it in my voice anymore." Her shoulders sink a bit. "I don't know."
Maybe Conrad would have laughed if Maata had told him that he was single-minded, but The Capitalist only blinks, his eyes lifting from his writings to view the woman, who was once so familiar to him and yet she was a stranger, and she even knew that. But why, why did he have these strong emotions for her. When she mentions having wanted to kiss him during their first meeting in the hall, this is when his gaze lowers to stare idly at his own handwriting, the pen still in hand. "And I think.. I think I wished that you had. I could feel that emotion so strongly there, but I was still in shock. Even now, that is how I feel all of this is."
Rising from his seat now, he gestures at his notes, the room, in one swoop of his arm, the one still holding that pen. "I still feel like I'm recovering from shock. Maybe this will all go away soon, when I wake up." But that does mean that she is just some hallucination to him. "And I don't know. I'm sort of hoping that it will. Maybe in death, all of this will simply go away and then there will be no more mysteries. Nothing to solve."
Silent for a time, the Hunter watches him. She studies him, identifying the differences and similarities. Some of it is just visual, but there are some mannerisms in there as well. After a moment or so, she circles around the desk and reaches for that pen. It's a careful gesture; one not meant to startle. She intends to take it, to collect up the notes. Everything is gathered carefully and moved off to one side. She sits herself at the edge of the desk and watches him. "It's a very nice room," she says, smiling faintly. It's almost a smirk; bemused. "Mine is a bit barren in comparison. I have a lot of gear. Fake weapons. My bed is-" she looks over her shoulder to his, "well, nowhere near as comfortable, I imagine."
Her eyes come back to find his, to study him. "If we are dead or dying, then there's no point to solving the puzzle, right?" Maybe she's feeling tired and exhausted from her destruction of the dispenser and it leading nowhere. "I spent so much time trying to save hundreds of people from an impossible situation and in the end..." the Hunter spreads her arms in a gesture of the futility of it all. "Maybe Madison or... whoever she is has the right idea. Maybe we should just rest."
Observing her now in his own silence, the Capitalist carefully watches the Hunter when she begins to move around his desk. In his mind, with this confusion and paranoia building, he almost sees this as a predatory maneuver, one to be wary of. It's a good thing that she moves with care, if she had struck out at him to grab at that pen, who knows how he would have reacted. This, though, gives him to the time to simply view her as she goes for his writing implement, just before she works to clear off his desk. "What are you--" He's about to ask, before she pulls herself to sit at the desk's edge, like that night where she sat on the counter at Fort Starbucks.
A sharp breath is inhaled, this reminder makes it difficult for him to contain himself now, that memory of the island and of being Conrad Wellson begins to overtake him again. Or was he acting on his own memories? He doesn't think and instead acts as he reaches forward to cup her face within his palms and leans in for an impassioned kiss, that sudden spark of desire ramping up the intensity of the move.
This wasn't the reaction that the Hunter was expecting. She was expecting more of an argument. Resistance. But seeing him still so tense and frustrated was bothering some part of her deep down. Something inside of her kept arguing: 'We're off the island. He should be resting now.' He may not be Conrad, but they were free in some way, shape, or form, and he was still obsessing over the problem. Still obsessing, still digging at the issue of the island and their predicament. And she saw 'Akala' on one of those papers among his notes and she had to stick a wrench in the works somewhere. Had to break the cycle and convince him to give himself a moment's time to rest.
But then he's kissing her and she becomes lost in it. She might as well be Maata, then. Or maybe he's been Maata all along. Maybe it doesn't matter at all. She leans up into it and reaches up to slide her arms around him, pulling him in close as she answers the kiss with a fire of her own.
Maybe she needed the disruption as well.
It didn't matter if he was Conrad or not at this moment, though it is the Wellson's emotions that get the better of him, the man's memory being the most clear in his mind. His kisses are heated, lips pressing up against her mouth with great fervor. It's as if he were breathing in every bit of her essence right now with this connection alone. A hand remains at the side of her face, though the other drops, first down to her shoulder, then to hold her secure by the arm. A flood of memories of Conrad's time together with Maata play in his mind during this course of all of this. She can feel his hot breath, hear those passionate murmurs...
And then his eyes open mid-kiss. It's only then that he fully realizes what is going on, this fact that he has so little control over himself. Taking a deep swallow, his gaze looking deeply into hers, he draws back slowly. "I... I don't know what came over me."
Would it be different had they not had their morning together? Had they not gotten to sleep together (in both senses of the word)? If they hadn't, in that place and time, cemented the fledgling relationship they'd had, would these memories and sensations and emotions be as strong as they are? Because she loses herself over to it as well, becoming as much Maata as anyone else in that moment. Her fingers curl into his shirt as they kiss and she makes a pleased sound against his mouth during it.
When he pulls away, the Hunter seems almost reluctant for it at first. But she blinks, too, fingers releasing slowly and sliding against his side. She doesn't recoil, mind, and she stares back into his eyes in return. Her tongue traces slowly over her lips as she draws in a slow, uneven breath. "I- she was falling in love with you- him," she says in a low voice. "That doesn't disappear overnight."
He doesn't withdraw completely, still needing this closeness to her even on this growing realization that maybe he wasn't Conrad. If he were, then he wouldn't have stopped, then this wouldn't feel just the slightest bit awkward. Drawing in a deep breath, he shakes his head to her words, "I know. And it feels so right, you know? So comfortable. And then other things come to mind, things that make you question whether you are who you remember being. Or that's how it is for me and I'm struggling with this."
His eyes are wide and filled with distress. "I just don't.." He says, his words cut short when he shakes his head, before leaning in close, but this time not for a kiss, but to press his forehead against her own, his eyes staring down at her lap. "I don't know what to do anymore. I know what I want to do, but I don't know if it really is the right thing."
Yet more silence from the Hunter. She tends more to that, it seems, than Maata did. The islander was a thoughtful woman, but generally 'thought aloud.' This woman doesn't. Still, it's not an uncomfortable silence. She withdraws one hand from him to reach up and begin stroking her fingers through his hair. Just as he's reluctant to pull away, she seems to be as well. That same want to be near exists within her and it's clear as day. Her touch is gentle as she attempts to soothe him. "I know," she finally says softly. "A part of me wants to just give in to all of those feelings. To throw caution to the wind and dive headlong into the way I felt the instant I saw you in the hallway."
Her hand slides down to brush along his jawbone. Did he wake up with less of a beard than he had that final night, before the explosion? "But I also want to understand. Is this a dream? Is this a coma? A prison or hospital of sorts?" She tilts her head against his in a brief nuzzle; unable to help herself. "Or have we died and we're just torturing ourselves by not enjoying that we are in the same place together?"
Just like how Conrad would have, or maybe it's the reaction any man would have to her touch, The Capitalist just soaks up each gentle caress given. His eyes close once more, being soothed by this closeness, this connection to her now. There's even a small grin that forms, the movement of his jaw indicates just that. This only lasts for a short movement, because now she has him thinking again, of all the possibilities that could place them here. "The way we ended up here, our desires and our memories. I wonder if what we feel is strong because we have unfinished business in the real world." He thinks on this, then changes his words, "Out there, back on the island. If we had done what needed to be done, then maybe we wouldn't be here now." His eyes finally open, though he doesn't pull away yet. "Like a sort of limbo." Though he does have to laugh a little, adding in, "If we are dead, I wonder if we can haunt the living." He knows it's all ludicrous, but he does have unfinished business out there. His notes clearly show that.
The gentle touches continue. It may be as much to soothe herself as it is him at this point. Something to do, something to keep her occupied. That much, it'd seem, persists. A habit. "And who would you haunt?" She grins a little, happy to play along for the moment. It's better than torturing themselves with the other what if's. "Akala? I can't even remember what the Big island looks like. I can't remember my home town. My parents. What does David Akala look like? If we're meant to finish business... how?" She stops stroking his hair and instead shifts to slide her arms further around him, tilting her head so that they're cheek-to-cheek instead. Her voice lowers to a whisper. "All I can remember is arriving on the island. Everything that happened there. The people there. And yet... only a few of them are in this place."
She exhales in a small, warm sigh that washes down over his neck, past his collar. "My knife -- Maata's knife -- was on my table when I woke up. The one I gave to you." She seems to decide then that it's easier to just... stick to the me/you than to try to separate the two in the moment. "How did I end up here with that if there isn't something of that place here with us?"
Ah, the tension that she feels in his grip on her arm when Akala's name is brought up, but this time, he doesn't fly into a fury the way he did earlier. In fact, he's considering exactly who he would visit if he could. "No, not Akala. Maybe someone on the island, so that they know what happened, so that the word can get out and Akala can be punished for everything that happened to us." The conviction in his tone may start to hint that he believes that they truly are already dead. When she mentions that there are so few of them here, he has no real answer to that except, "Maybe they haven't died yet. It's a matter of time. But then there are those who are /not/ here and who have died." All of this not-knowing, and not being understand what's going on grates on his nerves.
When she shifts slightly, he breathes in her scent now with his cheek pressed against hers. "You have the knife?" He tries to consider things now, remembering that it was gifted to him. "Do you remember having it on the helicopter?" Yes, he remembers her mentioning that part. "All I have is my watch. Why? I have no idea. Everything else is not mine."
"I don't," the Hunter says quietly. "I don't think I did. I had it in the trailer... but something like that would be- the sheath would be destroyed in an explosion, at the very least. The handle charred, if not ruined. It looks pristine. Your watch, what condition is it in?" It's a possible avenue for answers. "The force of the explosion should have broken it." She doesn't move, but she does draw in a slow, deep breath; inhaling his scent. "There were... four others on the helicopter. Tully... Greene... two of the medical team, I never got their names."
She can't help but be distracted. It's difficult. So near to him, with those emotions and desire still so strongly prevalent within her. "We could go ask the others if they've shown up?" She starts to draw back as she asks, but that brings her past his mouth and in doing so, she finds herself overwhelmed by the sense of 'Conrad' again in his eyes and the shape of his lips as he sits there in thought and she's kissing him again.
"The watch looked brand new too." The Capitalist murmurs. He then listens to the names which she gives him, that thoughtful intensity in his eyes as he's thinking. "Greene isn't here. Or M-- " He's not sure what to call Penitent. The woman looked like Madison, but that's almost where it ended. No, he will continue to call her by that name. "Madison said that she never saw him. But with so many doors, maybe they just didn't step out of their room yet."
This bout of concentration is broken suddenly by the kisses he feels at his cheek. If he's not Conrad, he still finds it almost impossible to not give into his desires, returning the kisses so passionately once more, a hand now running fingers through her hair. He wants this and he wants it badly. In fact, one of his hands brushes aside the papers, the pen, anything that was on his desk, allowing them that much more space. It's quick, it's heated and would have continued on if not for the crashing sound of the fallen items to break his spell. By now, he's practically breathless as he's leaning over her.
Just like on the island, it's so easy to become lost in it: lost in him. She almost doesn't care if he is or isn't Conrad. She just knows that either way, she has the same feelings when it comes to him. Are they hers or are Maata's just overwhelming hers? She doesn't fight it; any second of it. The Hunter's mouth opens to his and her hands fall to that tie. She seems more capable of undoing it here than she did there. There's no fumbling; more of a quick, practiced tug.
She might have moved on to the shirt itself had something not shattered, but the moment shatters along with it as she stares up at him, lips parted and one hand still on the tie itself. Her other hand lowers to the desk as she pushes herself back upright a bit. The woman swallows. "Maybe... we should... revisit this later." Her voice trembles a bit with the words as she continues staring into his eyes.
This was maddening. There's one thing to be completely lost in all emotions, all desires and then in a sudden moment, to remember that, perhaps, these aren't really your desires. To be awoken and reminded that you're not... This inability to control himself and his actions was pushing him over the edge.
He lingers there so near here, even as she draws herself back into a seated position. There's this awkwardness that he'd never felt as Conrad in these situations, but one that he feels now. "Right." He then states to her suggestion and as if needing this time to cool off, he finally takes a step back and begins working to straighten that tie once more. "We should see if the others are awake."
The way he pulls away and the look on his face just brings a long look of consideration from the Hunter. She pushes herself upright to watch him in return. The awkwardness helps... somehow. That isn't a Conrad thing to do. Finally, she stands and adjusts her shirt. It's painfully obvious that she didn't put on a bra when she got dressed. At least, once she does this, she's able to meet his eyes. "We should," she agrees, giving a slow nod. And then, largely on reflex and those memories -- the only ones she has -- she offers a hand out to him. The Capitalist, The Hunter