Log:Some Reassembly Required
It's not immediately after reset that the knock comes. ...it's maybe three to five minutes later. A pair of knocks, and a familiar if slightly hesitant voice: "Boet?"
If and when the door opens, it's clear both why it wasn't faster and why it wasn't later. The Bon-Vivant's made just a gesture toward being 'dressed', pulling on a very soft grey henley that appears to be made of cashmere to go with his pyjama pants, but not bothering with anything else. Well, he might've brushed his teeth. And on the other hand, or in it, he's got a fair-sized dinner plate with a cover over it. The hand that appears to have knocked is dangling by his side, and dangling from it in turn is that bottle that's been sat by his bed a couple times, the one with the whiskey. The glasses don't seem to have made the trip.
The Rogue was gone all the previous day and returned late and not alone. After reset? Well everyone wakes up scared and alone. It's a way of life. Just after reset and Rogue had everything in the bunker put back. The letter is returned to its place on the shelf next to the picture of his late son and the ring and the slightly damaged data tablet. There's a bottle of gin with one glass poured on that high top table of his. Nothing is missing, nothing broken. He's been reset to wear what he always wakes up in instead of what he was wearing.
What is different is that he's awake. Blue-grey eyes blink not expecting familiar word or the voice that speaks it, and while he may not intend, the tone is hopeful. "Champ?" Corner flips back and feel swing down. He's still in his broken in BDUs and t-shirt. Why he still resets in Sinclair's clothes he might want to figure out. Knuckles push into teh mattress, feet swing down, "Eish, man, come in."
Given the invitation, the Bon-Vivant opens the door; there's a tiny hesitation in that as well, though it's quite possibly 'is it locked?' rather than anything else. He steps in when it proves not to be, and brightens a bit on spotting his friend. It's a relatively small and crooked smile, compared to the grin the Rogue usually gets, but it looks genuine enough. "Hey," Fizz says, closing the door with an elbow and wandering in his direction. A small pause as he does, and, "I brought breakfast. ...how're you doing? "
The Rogue is just watching. He can't help but be naturally cautious and question everything to his detriment. Still the appearance brings a small, honest smile with a nod a wobble of his head, "Eeeh been better." He pushes himself to a stand and gestures to the table, "That's... thoughtful, and... appreciated." He looks at the other hand and just goes to wrangle up two glasses, both nice and utterly mismatched as if procured from other places at different times. One is set down then the other. He pauses and admits out of the gate, "Look, I'm... sorry I've been so messed up lately. I never meant for it to come back on you and... I'm sorry. Please, join me for breakfast?"
"Said I'd find you," Fizz points out a bit wryly, the half-smile matching the tone and adding something else into the bargain -- a touch of sheepishness, or maybe closer to self-deprecation. A hint of apology as well, though that's rather clearer as he sets things down on the table as invited, watching them instead of anything else for a breath, and continues, "'m sorry too. Like I said, I still kinda don't really know what I'm doing. And I guess I fucked that one up." He's still only partly sure just how, but at least the Martyr explained some of it. And the general fact is... self-evident.
He looks up from the plate to the Rogue. "I meant it, though, Boet. I'm not going anywhere. I just--" A moment of uncertainty on how to finish the sentence, and a small shrug, going with the entirely honest, "--hurt, some. Sometimes I gotta feel shit by myself for a bit." He glances to the plate again and reaches over to get the cover out of the way; despite knowing full well at this point what constitutes 'normal' breakfast in most of the lives people here have lived, what's there for this one is braii, beignets, and strawberries. And, of course, whiskey.
The Rogue stays quiet to hear him out and offers a sympathetic look admitting with some shame, "I really don't know either so, maybe breakfast? Try this all over again? Or... not? Dealer's choice, Champ." Sliding the chair out he climbs inot it and leans on the countertop on guard, but trying here. He doesn't start into even trying letting BV give a buy in first. The explaination getting a small understanding nod. "I've been putting off trying to feel things. Too... foreign. Too much. Everything's scary intense, and- Awwwwww ja man." Homecooked lamb sausage, and sugar. there is a happy, satisfied grin.
The Bon-Vivant slides into his own chair, with a small nod to the idea of trying this again, and reaches over to draw the glasses toward him, then the bottle, pouring a couple fingers from it into each. Whether alcohol's a good idea here is an open question, but not one he's bothering to ask. He slides one of the drinks over, something much closer to the usual grin breaking free at the sight of the Rogue's. A little softer around the eyes, maybe, and he glances away to pick up his own glass and take a small sip. "Glad you approve," he says, and there's another faint hesitation. "Yeah. Feeling shit's intense sometimes. Most of the time I like intense. Just... /most/ of the time." That smaller, more crooked smile again, "Know you're alive, though."
His fingers sneak over to steal one of the strawberries for starters, and he takes an only half-masked deep breath before saying carefully, "Dare thinks you thought I was saying shit that-- wasn't what I was." Watching directly's a little too much, so the regard's a bit sidelong. "I don't... not want you and Ethan to, you know, be happy and all. And I definitely don't want--" He stops a moment; the rest of that sentence takes several forms in his head, none of which apparently work, since he eyes the drink as if it might contain the answers for a beat before a breath out his nose that isn't quite a laugh, but a little closer than it's anything else. "We got an Agreement," he says instead, wry again as the sidelong look returns, and he takes another sip.
The Rogue starts into the meat. As much as he loves pastry he's still a carnivore. The slight ease is noted warming his expression. At the mention of what Rogue thought BV was trying to get out of him he flinches and looks down at the glass he takes and just pauses. Not his finest moment. He offers sheepishly, "Sometimes I'm a good read of people but I'm rather bollocks with personal relations. Business? Ach, I'm one lekker mother fucker. Personal? Yeaaaaaah I... yeah.: He does look up though in all apology. When he brings up Ethan his expression braces for impact but falls into a warm, wry smile at the attention on the agreement with a slow nod.
"I'm glad forever for that agreement. Look I.." Find the words man. Bullshit? He can do bullshit easy. The truth? That's the challenge. "I've not been completely honest with you and... that was the wrong call. I assumed things for you and that definitely was the wrong call and I'm... I'll own that." He chews on the inside of his cheek like he does hunting and circling for the words he wants and goes back to, "I'm really messed up right now. I got blind-sided with a thing I didn't know how to process and I did what I thought to do which is follow directions. You told me to do something, so I did it and... I did't know that's not... what you meant. So many losses and I panicked man. I'm ... I'm not angry at you. I'm angry with myself."
Handy the Bon-Vivant didn't cut his hair as yet today, since it means it's not weird to rake his fingers through it. "I dunno how great I am at personal relations yet either. And I'm pretty sure I'm not a lot better at business," he says, then reaches over to snag a piece of the braii. He toys at it a bit instead of immediately eating it, though. "I..." A sigh, and he closes his eyes, head tilting to the side a little. "People do this thing. Where you ask a thing and they mean no, but they won't say it. Just talk around it. I think it's meant to be kind. I dunno, maybe for some people it is. But for me I just-- want to know where shit stands so I can deal with it. It's frustrating. It feels like they don't respect me enough to just tell me the truth. And if I tried to get an answer it was 'cause I wanted one. Maybe I wanted one more than another, but I needed to know. And people did that to Scott before, Christine did it to him even in the-- proper memories," he's not sure how else to differentiate the more 'real' part of things, "So I just... I meant /if/ that was the answer, just /tell/ me. But it's the answer I was already hearing so I kinda... failed to actually say that, I think." He tears a bit off the meat, looks at it a moment, then pops it into his mouth.
The Rogue flinches listening to where that was all coming from and takes a deep breath before aking a drink from teh glass. OKay this was making a lot more sense. "Ag, shame man. That's... ja no good. I swear to you that wasn't waht I was trying to do. I took that as-" He stops and reasons out for himself that Martyr explained that was confusing as hell however he did. He just shakes his head as his expression softens. "The truth is? I don't... know. There's a collision of so many damn things happening and since I... died? I've had to defend my feelings my sense of..." He shrugs indifferently giving the glass hanging in his fingers a swirl, "I dunno, identity? I've had to sort out what and who I am and what's... ahppenign and I haven't not woken up every reset with this... dread, boet." His eyes flinch offering as a test to see if it makes sense, "I play defensive. Always. Figure out what I need, how to secure my shit, when to strike at something, when to pull back and lay low. How to minimize my losses by weighing risk and losss and trying to make the best plan I can to avoid... getting hurt so... I guess what I'm trying to say is I respect your reasons."
He sets the glass down and just looks at Bon-Vivant. "I don't know what's happening with me. I don't know... what I can promise with how messed up I am. I've been trying not to put that on anyone and Finn pointed out that not talking about shite? Eh, it's making a bigger pile of kek than talkin about it. But you are not nothing to me and our time is not negligible, nor replacable to me. I jsut need to figure out what everything means and how I fit into it and... forgive myself a lot of shit and that's going to take time and I'm." His eyes close holding his breath coming to a full stop, "I'm going to need help, and I'm afraid to ask because I'm afraid of hurting anyoneelse and... yeah."
"Dare called it ripping the band-aid off," Fizz says, "Which I guess, yeah. Might or might not hurt more all at once but then if shit's bad underneath it, I can get to disinfecting it or... whatever." A pause, the corner of his mouth curling up, "I learned a bunch of shit from being Scott but eloquence wasn't in there."
He's listening, quiet and with a couple little nods when the other man speaks, a certain amount of control exercised over his expression. And eating his piece of the tasty meat. "...identity's hard," he says afterward, with another faint nod. It sounds like that's a topic he could probably go on with for a bit, but he taps a finger lightly against the side of his glass, and goes on with, "He's right, I think. About trying to talk about shit. And you're probably right about needing help, 'cause I think maybe we all do." He gives it a moment of thought before offering, "You can ask me, and I'll try the best I can. Pretty sure Dare would too." In case some things might seem like a bad fit for trying to discuss with BV. "But if you ask me things, I'll tell you what I think." Which could be a promise or a warning or both, it's hard to say. Honestly, even he might not be certain. It might depend what one wants.
He pauses, then reaches over and rubs the Rogue's nearer shoulder in a reassuring sort of way, if a bit more tentatively than he might have before. "We said we'd sort shit out, though. So, you know. That's the plan. Right?"
The Rogue wrinkles his nose at the truth of that as he speaks. He's silent insistant on listening to where Champ's perspective is at offering that gentle agreement of derisive support, "Well this place has enough fekkin lies in it. Truth's welcome. Honestly? I'm with you. I'd rather hear the truth than what I want to hear which, to be honest, is a damn relief." The tension in his shoulder leaves him at the gesture. Hand leaves his glass and rests on top of Champ's where his shoulder is gripped squeezing the hand back, "Ja, boet. Is the plan." The grin forms easily back like it did before lives got shuffled like a puzzle...again...again. "You've been me best friend longer than anyone else in this place. You were the one that sat with me in my long night of mourning. I have not forgotten this and I'm sure as shit not ungrateful. I will burn this place down to stick to the plan if I have to. So... let's work on sorting some shit out, even if it's starting with breakfast because I know you hate spending the morning alone too. So... since we have that? Where to start?"
The Bon-Vivant smiles at the squeeze, and it spreads further at the sight of the grin, and at the words that come with it. He squeezes that shoulder in return, a much less hesitant thing. "Probably we oughta keep burning it all down for, Plan, like, Q or something," he says as if seriously considering it, "We'd just wake up and everyone would quit smoking."
He picks up his glass for another sip, taking it reasonably slow, given it's the equivalent of 7 or 8am and he's already drinking. It gives him a moment to consider, a little more serious again, brow furrowing. Where /should/ they start? It's his first return to the place, and there's simultaneously so many things and so few. "Well," he starts slowly, "first, breakfast, yeah, and I guess we got that one going. So second..." He studies the Rogue a moment. "You could tell me how you're messed up, maybe? Or collisions." A glance at the liquid in his glass, and he adds, "Or I can say what I kinda didn't entirely before, which is thanks, and-- I do get more what you were saying before, about when you were Caleb."
The Rogue winces and honestly just laughs at the absurdity of waking up still steaming and pinches his eyes trying to stiffle that into a snicker ruefully adding, "Aaaaah I already did that once." When he died and woke up here. Oh yeah, he's not above bad jokes at his expense with the right people.
Oh the options of where to begin... So damn many. Looking back over, hand wiping his face and falling to rest he nods slowly, "Boet, I'm always going to start with what's going on with you, you know that?" Both eyebrows arch silently. A lot has changed, but that hasn't. "I think you know why though. That's... engrained to us to put our people first, before ourselves best as we can with... no fekkin training." The faint smile warms and jsut ...it just hangs around. In reference to how he's messed up his eyes find hte edge of the plate and he admits, "Hurtin. Bad. Scared. Since I died, waking here? It's haunting." He falls to silence listening for the answer to his question trying to open up on his issues slowly. Cleaning wounds takes time. "Being a leader and surviving is hard. We tell ourselves we can only do our best but feels abit a shallow comfort, doesn't it?"
If you can't use gallows humour when you already used your gallows, when can you? It makes Fizz snicker as well, even if he winces at the same time. "We'd all end up vegetarian," he murmurs, with some rue of his own. There's no pork among the braai. It may not be happenstance.
He takes a slightly larger sip of his drink, and sets it down, claiming one of the beignets. There's a bit of a smile in return for the Rogue's, wry but genuine; the bit about no training feels all too true. One of those slight hesitation at the admission of hurting, and then BV shifts position, enough to drag his chair over closer to his friend's, enough to be able to wrap an arm around him and give him half a hug. "I dunno if I can imagine it right," he admits, "Dying. Is that the first time you did? The other, though... yeah. Don't gotta imagine that." There's a hint of a laugh in that last sentence, though not terribly much humour in it. A small nod. "...yeah. 'cause it's true, all we can do it our best. But we still want that to be better. Hard to look at losing our people and think our best's good enough. I tell myself, if I don't think other people should've done better, then...." He doesn't really have to finish that sentence, right? He turns his head, finding the Rogue's eyes more directly. "We did, though. Do our best." Even if he wasn't there in Prosperity, he's sure.
The Rogue watches the chair come ovoer and while he doesn't hop his seat he adjusts to be able to both eat and lean into the half hug. Reaching over he drags BV's glass closer for him. A slow bob of his head head confirmes with a determination, not a casual attitude of it, that yes, yes this is his first death in three lives. The smile hit his eyes and he hesitated if he should share the truth to follow or not. "First thing I did was wake up screaming, sweating and out of breath." His chin lifts towards his door watching Champ, "Ran right across the hall to see if you were there. Waited a while but... you didn't show up. Checked on Ethan, Rado's room. Didn't know where hte one was cause he never came out. Rado wasn't there. That's when I ofund out you were still in teh tele. A lot of people died because of me. A lot of people didn't too, but those folks in that room got out because of you and... that's what got me through that first day." He bit his lip looking at the beignets and very casually added, "I might have thrown your chair through your mirror... I was having some feelings on that day and couldn't tell if they did to you what happened to Addie. I mean, I didn't think anyone lived. Soooooo that got sorted. While you all lived I couldn'te tell if it'd be the last time I'd see any of you again. If you'd all make it back here and you all didn't." Whoops. That it wasn't an unfounded fear is not lost on him.
Popping another bite in his mouth there's a slooooooooow nod of agreement. "Shite, preach it, Champ." NO arguments on the burdens of leadership put on teh habitually irreverent. A shake of his head and words to comisserate come, "Funny that part of me that I hate most comes from that place of love. I dunno if it's the same for you. I liked Caleb. I respected the hell out of Scotty. Not in our natures I don't think tooooo ebrace that jsut because there's a mathematical acceptable loss that we'll ever be happy at it coming at the expense of one of our own. We promised them. They were all your brothers and many of them? Still are. I can't say it will remove the fact but it may lessen the burden." His hand falls to BV's back and he offers with some encouragement, "It's especially hard for Marc or Julian to reach out but I think they might appreciate it and could help you?" It's a guess but the hand on his back stays put withthe encouragementtrying to find some...way to express feeling and that personal part of what little peace of mind he has that lacks vocabulary. Quietly he shares, "Wasn't until I talked to Colorado I felt better about what happened to him, Pierce, pa, Evan.I eman even now Rado's still sayin ermanito, you used my remains to banish a demon and tell em to fuck right on off. nothin to be sorry about. You may always need that reminder. That's... that's all I can tell ya. You may never let it go but that's what they are there for. To have your back too."
Would the Rogue like to see some mixed emotions? He gets to, either way. The Bon-Vivant has the references now to properly imagine how that felt: the trauma that might come with having just died, the terror of not knowing if the people one cared about might have as well, and not come back. He doesn't have to imagine the guilt of worrying something one felt responsible for might have killed them. The sympathy and to a degree empathy there aches, and the arm tightens again; his other arm even joins in for a moment, stretching across the Rogue's stomach to make it a proper, entire hug. Then it retracts; he's still got that beignet to eat, even if he hasn't actually taken a bite yet. And on the other hand, he can't help being a bit touched and-- something harder to read, that the immediate response had been the same as his, that dart right across the hall.
"...I'm glad the TV was there, then," he says, "So at least you didn't have to wonder. Not about right then." Wonder, not worry. A small pause, and smaller smile, "The chair and mirror recovered. You know. If that might've happened." Of course they did, but he needs to give in to that affectionate teasing for a moment. "No, though, I expect it's not. Scott knew, rationally, that if every single one of us had to die stopping that, that was a price we had to pay. But every time it was also still too high..." He hesitates a little about seeing more of his-- no, Scott's-- frat brothers, at least one who didn't come home, but nods. "And sisters," he agrees quietly, and sighs. "Lyle did what he had to do too," he says, "and none of ours died 'cause of him. They died 'cause of the Freak." Yeah, like that argument works on him... but he did already kinda acknowledge that. "Sometime, you're gonna have to tell me the whole story, about Prosperity." Not now, though.
Finally a bite of the beignet, which gets a quite pleased noise. Yeah, those are still delicious. He looks at it a moment before looking back to the other man. "Boet, what can I do to help make shit hurt less or be less scary?"
The Rogue just leans into the hug, and falling to his stomach to cover the arm taking refuge in the gesture. "I did. In that life, I did." Slowly he nods. Same that others said and he has to wonder, "Yeah. It's Freak's fault." A resigned sigh follows. Looking to him he asks with quiet curiosity, "I know you say that. They've said as much to me. I've told similar to you but like... I know it's true but ti doesn't feel like it is still, ya know? We can say it and believe it for someone else, but for ourselves? Why's it so much harder?"
The invitation gets a mildly surprised look. "You want to hear about Prosperity?" It really made sense. it was a good litmus that might help him and help Rogue work out some things and thus the nod of agreement follows, slow at first until it is confident. "Yeah. Yeah we can talk about it."
But oh what can be done to make shit less scary? Fuck if he knows. "I dunno, but, I'm up for figuring something out just..." okay there was something. His eyes lower back to the plate for a moment. Breathe. Looking back up he tries. "You... were with me when I lost Addie. The truth is? I don't know, as much as I fought for her, with her, loved her? It was here and while it was ever to me I don't even know if she did make it back. But... she didn't. She gave up ever to stand with me in he mud the blood and the dust, and she's just... gone. I got fucking lit up and you aren't here, Rado, Ethan- not...here. And it was like whaaaat's the fuck?!" He can't help it the tears start welling up in his eyes though he fights to stay focused. "Everything changed with Rado... and shit I started going through all the shit with Addie... again. Like is anyone making it back and then what the shit will that have to do with me? Max shows up and is like 'Yeah sure I care about these people bu that's not enogh and I'd rather leave' not... that it was like that but it kind ...really felt like that. Then we talked and... stopped talking then she fucking died." He leans forward resting elbows on the table letting his fingers comb into his hair, but leavingthe whiskey untouched.
It's a good question. Why is it so much harder? The Bon-Vivant gives it a moment of concerted thought, turning it over in his head. His brow furrows, and he says slowly, "...maybe we /want/ to believe it's our fault. Because if it's our fault we have more control, things aren't out of our hands. And then we could do better next time?" It's a strange thought, but it's a sort of theory at least.
And it sticks in his head with the rest, even as he sets down the rest of his beignet and slides that arm around the Rogue's stomach again, trying to draw him back into a hug, and keep him there. Some of it he has a little bit of trouble following, perhaps, but not the gist. "I'm sorry I wasn't here," he says, "...I'm not sorry Scott didn't die then, but I'm sorry I wasn't /here/. I think some of this is also hard 'cause we don't have control. Not of a lot of things, not of things that can-- change everything." He pauses. "We can take control of what we can, like with the Agreement. Like a promise to always do our best to come back to each other, whatever happens. It kinda helps me a little. Wish I could fix the rest. How did things change with Rado? And I... don't totally understand the Max thing, Dare mentioned some but he... kinda left out some probably important details, I was kind of. Not focused on that part at the time." Faintly sheepish, now that he's thinking about the fact he hadn't been thinking about it. Still, "I'm sorry. I think I get the feeling, the not-enough. Like... it's not about us," non-specific us, he barely knows Max, "and that should be better but it's almost worse. Because it feels like not mattering. And 'cause it means we don't have any control." ...y'know, there just might be a theme here now that he started looking at it that way. "That we can't fix it. Can't make things be right."
The Rogue arches an eyebrow up panning a slow lok to Champ. "Ya know... that's an excellent point. With control we have choice, and with choice we cna make change, but without it? I ... I dunno if it feels like I'm not... good enough or it's all just fucking ftile or maybe what I told Finn was right. It's punishment for having caused others grief to be atoned for." He sighs and just focuses on trying to hold all of his shit together. He's really not great at contact but there's something effortless about it at times and letting himself welcome it. He abandons breakfast and turns and returns the hug, forehead resting to Champ's shoulder. "Bad men don't get to have nice things I thought but if that was even true how come it happened to you?" Which means, maybe he's going to have to just accept that his mah is wrong or there are improper values placed in his equasion.
How did things change with Rado? This gets a wince. "At the Lodge I was supeer pissed at Ethan. I slept with Rado." He pauses with his nose wrinkling, "He was my older brother in Prosperity. He thinks it's hilarious. I'm havin a hell of a time reconsiling that. It's ... super difficult. Max? Well ... she's gotta do what she's gotta do and if I wanna look out for her I can't... take her choices from her. Just really hurts. I know it's not about us bu why isn't it about us? I ahven't been alive that long and yet I have and I just can't figure out why I can't fucking hang onto anyone so now? Shite, boet!" he winces and fingers bunch into fists around the cashmere sweater BV threw on. "Everthings' a mess and since you've gotten back all I've been trying to do is figure out do I keep trying to fight my way out... because there's something here to live for, or do I keep fighting when I know everything here is a fabrication? When is enough enough and how... to I hang onto anyone so they don't leave? I'm sorry I've been... just..." His jaw tighetens down, face damp but the words as honest as he owns, "I'm sorry I've been a shite friend to you. I've not abandoned you. I'm not leaving you behind. I jsut have so much to carry and I'm trying not to drop everything and I'm...fekking bad at this. I never wanted to hurt you or make you feel you're not enough. I'm just.... I'm fekkin sorry." Face wet, his spine slackens into apology.
The Bon-Vivant is pretty decent at contact, especially when it comes to the people he cares most about. So he pulls the Rogue in close, tilting his head just enough to let them touch a moment. "You're not a bad man," he says, quietly but with conviction. "I know this, 'cause I've seen you. And watched you. And I understand the whole thing about trying to be careful of my choices better now, too." He'd more or less got the idea at the time, but it's another of those things that settles in more clearly now that he has Scott in his head too. "Bad men wouldn't care." There's another tilt of his head, this one just a fleeting brush.
"You're not a shite friend, Boet. You haven't been. It's-- I guess none of us have really been alive that long, not really. Neither of us wanted to hurt each other. We're... I mean, I dunno, maybe we're lucky we're not hurting each other a lot more and more often, when you think about it that way." It's a little difficult to think through some bits of this, balancing honesty and his own desire to make his friend hurt less, but he's trying. A half-smile, just audible, "I might be kinda shit at this too. But if I can help carry shit, you know I will, right?"
A firmer squeeze, and there's another second or two of silence while he thinks. "I think-- first off, I think it's good Rado thinks it's funny. 'cause, at least you don't gotta worry about his side of it, just your own. Right? And..." He takes a slow, deep breath. "So. I've been thinkin' about some of this. This place, how we end up interacting with people. That kinda thing. And now I'm thinking about hanging on to people, and it's kinda mixing some stuff, and..." A second to arrange the thought. "Maybe no one can hang on to anyone anywhere. Sometimes here people are gone. In the encounters, people die. Things... end. Or just change. And in the encounters, we can't really control this stuff either. And that's-- that's what people are expecting if we could leave this place. That'd it'd be like that. So I think... maybe it's not us. Maybe it's life. And maybe what we gotta try to do is make sure we get everything we can out of what we got, while we got it." Despite the maybe, there's something in it, something in /him/, that's rock-solid certain, beneath the parts that are unsure.
"Anyway, I guess it makes me wonder, what's it mean for something to be a fabrication? Because-- we both ended up here somehow, something did that, yeah. But I don't think anything made us be friends. I think that's us. And..." He trails off, brow furrowed again, and there's a quiet, slightly frustrated sigh. "I can't get that train of thought going straight. But I know I want you to be where I am."
Fingers just clutch fabric and even sometimes old soldiers break when the veneer that holds them together wears too thin. The news isn't maybe what he wanted to hear, but he promised Champ that he didn't honour his company because he was ever told what he wanted to hear, only truths. This, too, they promised and so far violating that once had a catastrophic failure. Never again. It was this truth, though, he accepted even if quiet, tearful, and just afraid of it in the stillness that breakfast has become.
"I don't want us to end." There. One simple truth. "Maybe we didn't end. Maybe were still becoming. What? I dunno, boet. I... I dunno." After a longer moment of stillness he nods swallowing the unruly part of his emotions and reasons, "The agreement, then, becomes more important. We might not get to be all the things we want, but you are right on that maybe we've been lucky. I know I never want to be your enemy, man."
Sitting up he takes a deep breath, calm, face flush, red, and damp. His hand rubs at his face with a nod of assurance that he's got his feet under him at least, though he's not moed away. "Shite, I thought I was some craze' paranoid fuck until I saw what happened to Friend-girl. Every day, like a program rebooting or..." He ried to find a 1989 reference, "Like a CD being put in and hitting play it always auto starts at Track one. When it gets to the end? It stops and starts again. Like some karaoke track we change up the cals and what we do with it, but the bass line and the rythem are always he same." Damn fine metaphor, son. Licking his lower lip he considers his words carefully. "We die? We reset. We die in teh anywhere room? Wait for the CD to begin again, everything programmed to be in its place. Max made Ethan take a knife to her thinking if some one that loved her took her life she'd be released of this place..." He lets the strange insanity of that reasoning take its moment to make sense. It may never. Shaking his head his eyes focus on an unfixed point in the room curious and haunted. "He did it and the tub went just red. And she jsut lay there floating for a moment. Then? She sits bolt upright; light coming ou of her eyes, mouth, the gash in her neck and she starts glowing like she's going to explode. Her skin some eleatic shell and it just peels away or... something We saw her, with me own eyes, boet, something that defied all reasoning. Spatial relations? They don't fit Wendy inside a Max suit... Human beings do not do this. So either" he swallows and looks to BV quietly shakeing his head, "Either we're programmed replicas, or..." Taking a deep breath he introduces new, new theory, "We're not human being and trying to be. "
"I don't want us to end either." Simple truth for a simple truth, quiet but heartfelt. "...and I don't want us to ever be enemies." The Bon-Vivant's silent for a second or two, not saying things. It's different than simply not talking. He doesn't seem to have any inclination to let go any time soon, and even if his hand moves to make a reassuring sort of back rub, he may well need the contact just as much at the moment. As it turns out, BV's eyes look somewhat wet as well when the Rogue sits up, and study him searchingly, taking it in before replying to that nod with a little one of his own and a breath, slow and deep but entirely silent. Steadying.
The analogy gets a bit of a quizzical look, but he seems to follow it as it continues. And he's not heard the details of this situation, so it makes his eyes widen a bit. He doesn't get the logic of why that might release someone, but clearly Rogue is not the one to interrogate on that point; the expression makes that clear, even before it goes haunted. A wince at the mention of the tub going red, and a blink that continues into a more dramatic eye-widening, his brows going up, when the transformation is explained. He looks both slightly ill and just plain nonplussed. And then, the theories...
It's a fairly long pause, this time. His focus goes unfixed as well, directed off to nowhere in particular at one side. The brow furrow's back. "I guess... it makes sense," he says, even more slowly than the previous thinking, "with the way they put us all to sleep at once and wake us up at once and the whole resetting thing..." He's really not sure what to make of this, no. "We could be some kind of... program, yeah. If we're not humans, what are we? And why are we-- why arrange things so we think we are, want to be?" The furrow deepens, and he cocks his head. "This is gonna sound really weird. And don't get me wrong, I wanna know what's going on. What we are. But. I'm also kinda wondering. How much difference does it make?" It's not rhetorical; he's really trying to work that out. "Whatever I am, I'm me. Whatever you are, you're you. We're whatever we've ever been, the only difference is what we /think/ that is..."
The Rogue doesn't pull away and leaves his one arm there nodding his head in slow agreement. No enemies. He nods in consort, "The Agreement then." Taking a deep breath there's a certain peace that comes with affirming that decision. He grins, "Well at least it'll be something consistant for us that isn't reset. I'm defniately not opposed." The contact he doesn't mind either. Rather than some that have dropped into contact with him that he endures and let pass he stays with the pressent. This felt normal. Whatever normal is in teh Facility.
Still teh mindblast of reality? he isn't casual about it and frankly, he seems a bit relieved that he's not the only one utterly wigging out about it. In addition Another damn fine question from teh think tank. "That I think you've been right on this whole time, and... I'm a little glad of that. I think?" Uncertain but he's willing to test this one out. "Whatever we come down to we're defining. Even if we're a program? Why? And is there something we're to be learning from these lives or is it jsut a test and if... the latter? I see no reason we still can't define ourselves. I eman... I'm not sure living it's jsut a consciousness in a organic mainframe anyways. I used to..." He pauses and presses his lips together, "I was a programmer of sorts once. So I can see it and... well talking to Julian helped. He was an AI in a synthetic body before. I'm wondering maybe we should talk to him about it."
The Bon-Vivant's always been pretty tactile. At least, he was with Rogue before, and Scott wasn't exactly what one would call standoffish... He leans into the hug a little more, this time, and looks -- or maybe it's feels, a change in the tension -- a touch calmer from it. "The Agreement," he agrees, putting it in so many words and a little nod. There's the sense of a pause, and then nothing -- either a decision made, or the rest is just compelling right now.
A small smile at being declared probably right, and another nod to the bits about defining themselves. "Might be interesting to see what he had to say about it. Did he like being a robot?" Fizz asks, but he's clearly also still thinking. Not quite hitting his limit yet, maybe because right now they're in an area he specifically cares about. "The thing about defining ourselves... that's," a tiny pause, "that's why I care about making distinctions between us and who we've been. Not 'cause I don't think they matter, but 'cause I think we do. And listening to you guys, and having done it once now at least, I think they're definitely /in/ us, part of us." He may regret accepting that when he spends a while as someone he hates, of course. "But I think we're the... core of us, when we're here. The core and the entirety both, the only time we can kinda see and remember all of ourself." That's still somewhat theory to him -- Scott certainly didn't recall Fizz, but he's taking their word for it that whoever he is next won't recall Fizz OR Scott. "...I think having a name here helps with defining. I mean, yeah, I didn't have /any/ name to start with and that's different... but..." He trails off, giving a quiet but clearly frustrated little huff. "Shit. It won't go straight, again. Hope I'm someone fuckin' smart and eloquent next time," he says sardonically, and there's a half-smile again afterward. "I do wanna know what exactly's going on and why. But figuring out who we are, defining it I guess... it's a thing we can /do/. And it belongs to us." And that still matters to him.
The Rogue stands without walking away and just pulls Champ back into a hug. His theory gets a laugh, it's not mocking or disagreement. To the contrary he murmurs, "You might be entirely right. And I think, though I know it's going to maybe freak you out, I think you should also speak with Ethan and Julian on that... dont'... tell Julian I called him that. I thought though you don't need big fucking words to get that point across and I think really they would bevery interested in hearing your thought and sharing with you what they have that you can use."
With a sigh he rests his firehead to Champ's and says "I am in no position right now with how confusing everything is and still finding my footing. I recognize and arreciate that whatever is happening in this space between us? It is mending and not done and this is potentially a difficult thing I suggest and respect if you decline." Getting a good look he dighs around in teh dregs of his vocabulary for words to scrape together to get his point of encouragement and contrition across, "I'm not asking you for me, I'm asking you to do this so you can have answers. So others can benefit from your insight. So that you can bond with your people- Scott's people. We have to make peace with the parts that are the broken leaders within us."
Letting him go he takes up the glass again and takes a hesitant, but inevitable drink from it. "I'm sorry I rejected who I was before the Lodge. The truth of it is I think you're right, on who we are." Shaking his head he looks back to BV weighing out the words carefully if they should be spoken and leaves them, in the end, out there as fact. "The truth is the only thing about any of my life before the lodge that wasn't incredibly painful for me was you. So if I reject who I was? Well... maybe that's me trying to run from something I cannot run from." A pause later and the frank observation levels with him, "Ag, man I said I was clever. No one said I was particularly bright, a'ight?" Even he can grin a little poking fun at his own blind spots. With appreciation the ends, "You are the only thing I did not regret, and... I think that was the part of the message I was failing to relay, but for all that is, thank you. Just because I reject those things that bring me grief does not mean that I tie you to that, okay? Can you accept my apology?"
The Bon-Vivant looks briefly confused by the standing up, but it isn't difficult to pull him up into the hug. It settles the confusion, too! The suggestion to talk to the others does seem to make him kind of think, a little uncertain, but maybe not entirely unwilling. Whatever he might have said, if anything, it's delayed by the forehead touch. He closes his eyes, just listening silently, staying fairly still in the hug. It's not until he's let go that he opens his eyes again, also letting go if a tiny bit reluctantly, and watches briefly before reclaiming his own glass and taking a decidedly less hesitant drink. Then again, he's already been drinking from it this morning.
Silent listening continues as the Rogue talks. BV's expression is a little bit hard to read, possibly because he's not entirely certain how he feels, or how he feels most. Still, the remark about clever vs bright gets a near-silent laugh. Another sip at the end, watching his friend, and then he sets the glass down, and claims another hug. Much shorter, a quick and fierce thing. "Yeah," he says when he lets go, "...thanks. I don't think you should reject who you were, though, 'cause he was-- I don't know the yous from the other encounters, but the you here? Was a good guy. So, like, the actual pain is one thing, but you weren't your pain." It's said quietly, and like he's still not absolutely certain that he's making sense and words are coming out anything like he intends them to. "Anyway, yeah, if you think they'd want to know what I think, I'm okay with talking to them about it. I think. It feels kinda weird actually /planning/ to, like I've got some special kind of insight or something. Though, I guess maybe my perspective /is/ a little bit different, starting here..."
He picks the glass back up, though he doesn't immediately drink from it. There's his own sense of carefully weighing words, and his weight shifts a bit from one foot onto the other. "You're most of the best parts of my life before the Lodge," he says, with perhaps a quarter of a smile, though it doesn't last. Another small pause, and he goes ahead again, "Dare said you thought I was-- that I wanted you to choose between Ethan and me. First off. We're friends no matter what." Because apparently, it bears reiterating again, again. "I just-- I needed to know whether I still got to kiss you /too/. By which I guess I also meant if you still /wanted/ to. And I guess if it wasn't just for the sake of kissing. 'cause I mean, there's other people I can kiss, but I kinda wasn't asking for the sake of kissing." He's developing whole new areas of awkward, and definitely not enjoying that; it has him toying with the glass. He watches the liquid a moment and then takes a sip again. "So. I'm sorry I did it badly. And if you have to think about it then... I guess think about it. Sorry 'bout making things hard, too. But when you can I gotta know for sure, which means... I also gotta tell you that. And try not to fuck things up again."
Rogue watches carefully, and that guard is down leaving him emotionally exposed for better or worse. For a man who could bury anything in a bulwark of 'fine' and a salesman's lie it's the silent gesture of respect and trust. He's come to appreciate a lot of their conversations lay in the things done and not spoken.
The assurance that they will remain friends, that alliance, that agreement all in tact seems to calm the frenetic nerves of the cagy cowboy. The affirmation that he's a good man draws his eyes down. Thta one he hears and might always be a struggle for him as Creepy's was a struggle for her to make people understand there are impulses and things screaming in one's head and things they do that are jsut fucking reflex. Things that hurt the people they care about. It brings him no joy to be that way or wind up with these habits, but likewise there is no argument against Bon-Vivant's claim. He won't bring insult on the man's insights or mind to tell him his perceptions are wrong. He nods looking up, "Ja ja, boet. I'm gonna have to trust you on that one." For his people he can work on that.
"I think they'd appreciate the fresh perspective from a level head and a sharp mind. And," two fingers reach out to tap BV right in the sternum, "you can use that healing. They are, in aprt, your people. You built for them a have when they havd none. You gave thim a home to go back to. Opprtunity. Shite, man, Ethan'd be dead adn Mahoney victorious as result had you not stopped to pull him out when you were sceeeeeerd as hell, Champ. But you did becuase I dee that in you. When someone has nowhere to go you make them a new option and tell them tomorrow we don't know, and the past? She no change, ja? But, right now? Right now I got you and we walk this together and that ain't so bad." He smiles with a quiet pride leaning into his back foot. "Ja. They are trying to make a plan for tomorrow making the best of today. And you can remember you know, we can only do the best we can and those people we help? Eh they are pretty good and we can learn from them too." This idea he is fond of.
The rest? The best things in life are complicated. He's not proud to nod that yeah, that's the message he god. "That's as fair as anyone can ask for. How do I make my friend and my partner happy? I have nooooo fekking idea, mate. None. Like, I cannot and will not betray Ethan's love and trust in me... but I still don't know what all would or wouldn't do that, and I cannot and will not lie to you, and I'm guessing blind. So this? This is why I don't know. You, He, Rado? You are my people and I'm happy to put you guys before myself..." He laughes rufully, "I just have no idea what the fuck I am doing."
"I only tell you the truth," Fizz says, with a slight smile for the claim of having to trust him. He glances aside again at the claim that he gave them a home to go back to, the mention of pulling Ethan out -- but the mention of him being so emphatically scared there makes him suddenly laugh. Still quietly, but it's there. Which is good, since the rest of that makes him look a bit embarrassed, but he's still listening. A nod for the past and future part, and actually a full smile for the walking together. He might not be /as/ fond of the idea, but he sees the point, and looks as though he probably agrees.
And then there's the rest. He's tense, even if he's trying not to be, and probably happy to have the glass to occupy his hands. A flicker of the half-smile at the declaration of fairness, though it fades away by the mention of betrayal, and he almost looks like he's going to interrupt for a second, but settles as the sentence continues. Still, when the Rogue gets to the end, the second thing he says -- after, "Who does?" with a rueful smile that matches that laugh -- is "...I'd never ask you to betray one of your people, though." Hopefully no encounter proves that wrong someday, but he seems pretty sure right now. The answer seems to have relaxed a tiny bit of the tension, whether it's the content or simply for being fairly plainly stated. "So... given the part about having no idea what the fuck we're doing, I'm gonna extrapolate from shit Finn told Scott and suggest... maybe ask? Ask him what he expects and wants, and work with that." A small pause. "Only figure out what you want before you ask. If you aren't sure. Not what you're okay with or think we want out of you but what you actually want." Again, the half-smile, and a faint shrug, "Or, I dunno, ask Dare if I'm guessing right, he seems good at this shit. But I'm pretty sure that's gonna be the best way to not guess blind."
The Rogue listens to the council of his friend. Well, neither of them are scared alone. By the end there is a nod of agreement and the glass lifts, "It's sage advice. And," He lifts a hand to stave rebuttal, empathetically adding, "For now? Let's agree to breakfasts, and now that we can. Shit, let's talk music. I had the notion to flip an anywhere room into a Chili Peppers concert. I dunno if that's just me but it feels like an importnt thing to happen... and a responsible use of company assets." Looking around he muses, "Ag, man. Wish I had my radio. I built so much listening to that thing. Seriously a radio or even your drum kit would have been kiff, but nah." A rude gesture is aimed at the ceiling. Facility life, man.
The Bon-Vivant lifts his glass in return, and drinks the last of what's in it. Agreeing to breakfasts clearly amuses him, and he nods, but it's changing the subject to music that gets a grin. It widens further at the wish. "First? Yeah, we definitely need to Anywhere us a concert or five. Maybe a festival or something, let it go all day. But for right /now/..." He sets down the glass, and picks up the last bit of his beignet, popping it into his mouth as he snags a second one, then glances over to the Rogue and starts walking backward toward the door, beckoning, and grinning again once he's swallowed that bite. "C'mon, Boet. I got something to show you."