Log:Then Just Hold On
The Rogue needed the skate out. Seriously. He also needed a shower. Seriously. He didn't intend Ethan to injure his same damned hand. He's decided that Ethan's hand and his own eye were just cursed if such a construct exists. As it turns out there's now living proof that the Bedlam Boys are right and bathrooms are magical given Max's recent metamorphosis into Wendy. Still there is a lot of shrapnel laying around in their lives and wounds real and emotional to heal. Still clad in a towel and damp he makes his way over to get a towel to wrap the ice in and bring it back for that hand. There's a look of concern with a faint smile, "We gotta stop doing that. How's it doing?"
The shower wasn't a solo one, but the Pedagogue bailed early to immobilize the hand. Skateboarding was something he probably could have learned in time if Lyle had lived but without his influence, Ethan never picked it up. He's in a pair of the Rogue's sweats pulled from his closet, where he sits on the bed, carefully using a few of his own ties from across the hall to make a sling. "Ehn, if I don't move it it's fine. And we know it'll be perfectly fine tomorrow," he says with a smile. "That was fun, but next time I'm definitely just watching. We should try surfing though, less hand breaky when you fall off the board, still very SoCal."
The Rogue chortles, "Very a lot of water." He leans over, hand sliding behind behind Ethan's head to lean forward and press a kiss to just Ethan's forehead first and then him before resting forehead to forehead in a more tender and less casual gesture. "Glad you're alright. You wanna teach me how to surf than... you and Rado can teach me how to surf." His thumb brushed the side of Ethan's head where it holds on still not entirely used to the short hair, but they were still getting used to new but familiar details. "I'm worried about you, ya know. You've had a lot goin on."
The Pedagogue blinks. "Oh shit, I totally forgot. Wait, can you still not swim. Was that more than just Lyle? Can we teach you to so you never drown again?" he asks. More things to add to the chalkboard and notebooks back in his room. He returns the kiss and sighs as their foreheads press together. "It's like here I can't turn off Professor Drake's brain. He needs to figure out this problem of the Facility and who we are outside of it, and if they didn't force us to sleep, I'm betting I wouldn't," he admits. He smiles wanly and strokes Rogue's cheek lightly with his good hand. "How are you holding up? I'm sorry, I don't think I've asked. Everything has been coming at us so fast since the Lodge."
The Rogue shrugs a shoulder not moving fron proximity, but the youthful expression of I gueeeess? "Caleb used to take a rinse off in the lake sometimes. I dunno I'd call it swimming." His thumb brushes Ethan's noggin as much to console one as the other. Another nod of agreement follows that the Professor likely wouldn't be sleeping if given the choice. "Well that's why you have me. I'm a world class napper. " As for how he's holding up that dimpled grin warms for a moment relaxing into a squint with a shake of his head , "Honestly/ Not great. Scared. Confused. Trying to understand what's happening to me and it's... scary. Hurt one of my closest friends because I'm messed up and worried as shit about this ordeal with Friend-Girl."
The Rogue drops to a sit next to his best-everything and watches him still. Quieter he hesitates, but asks gently trying to understand, "How you doing with her wanting to... you know change all that? How're you doing with that under the fairness'... you... alright?"
The Pedagogue pulls back a little to look Rogue more fully in the eyes. "Wait what? Who did you hurt? Why?" The other questions get a shrug. "I don't feel I have a right to hold anyone to what we've experienced in the scenarios. That's not fair. It's why I had to ask how you felt about me in here, away from the Lodge. If the man you are, the combination of all those lives and the Facility, loved me, or just loved a memory of Ethan. I didn't want to pressure you to live out a life with me in here, because I did live a life in Lyle's honor out there somewhere as Ethan Drake."
The Rogue drops his hand into Ethan's good one to give it a squeeze admitting with a shake of his head, looking at the broken hand, and back up to Ethan with a nod accepting that. "Made me wonder with all the talking if Addie wanted to leave. If ... she'd wake up like Bunny did and nothing after Prosperity would matter and she would just... walk away. Spent so long looking for her never occurred to me what it'd be like if she didn't wanna stay." It was always going to hurt. Looking to Ethan he reasons, "Maybe you're the better man than I am." A faint grin warms his face amused, "It's cause you're a year old than me I guess." There's a joke that won't quit.
The Rogue sighs. "Life's fucking complicated. Whatever it is and whatever else is going on? You're non-negotiable to me, man. My other lives? Everything hurt. Lyle's life was shit but you gave me something. It was a short, hard life and I miss it. I woke up here... after the Freak and I... fucking hurt and I just wanted to see you and wondering if you would want any part of me after that with your previous lives and connections? It was scary. I'm still scared of... that changing. I never had to balance lives before because I was always fekking alone." He pauses and takes a deep breath, "And I don't want to be with you because you were there. It's you the professor and even the man on the other side of town having to overthink everything scholastic while I was working on figuring out how to screw the deal with the demons. I fekkin love this about you. There's just complicated things from my past coming up and I don't...know how to reconcile it." He sighs and looks to Ethan, "I could use the help but right now? I'm worried about your hand and I just want to make sure you're okay first. Shite even when I was angry with you as a kid you still came first."
"God I really do love you," the Pedagogue murmurs. "It wasn't manufactured by whomever THEY are running this place. When I woke up in Oregon, Ethan Drake didn't already love you. Or at the very least he neither recognized or admitted it. That was all because you were you there. Sure you wore the body of the character, but we make our own choices in there. I didn't fall for Emily, though she was an ex. I didn't fall for anyone else there, not Colorado and his abs, not Christine and her rack. It was you."
He smiles warmly at the Rogue and brushes fingers through the other man's hair. "Grey Island I came in with a steady girlfriend, half my age, but we barely interacted for all that. I didn't think twice about leaving her when I killed myself to save that tribe. I knew I'd be going home to you, I think. And when I woke up on the Noc, I was a widower with a daughter, and I never even really looked at relationships after. Ramona was my confidant and friend but nothing more. In Prosperity I woke up in love with Bella, like it was programmed, and we enjoyed our time together, but afterwards? She was so broken here in the Facility all I could do was comfort her. This time, this was genuinely made in those two short weeks at the Lodge. It was real."
The Rogue listens and the mention f being a widower gets a sympathetic flinch. Everyone knows Caleb lost his kid, and his first wife. The latter made him angry, but the former broke the man. "Funny thing about that, spending a life trying to figure out how to grieve. How to be a good father." He lets Ethan tell his stry of his emotional journey, filling in the gaps.
The emotion on his face, here in his bunker with one of the two people that know the inside of his bullshit matrix best? He's an open book. "It was two years for me and... part of it was handed to me. When I lost the watch," He glances to it still on Ethan with the hint of a grin stretching wryly on his face, "The catalyst was given and... I wasn't always good to you. You gotta know that." His eyes close and he leans against him. The emotion catches in his throat, but his hand finds the unbroken one. "I know I was a pain in the ass. And when you went off with the tourists it... hurt. I handled it bad. Really bad." And when you tried to protect me it was ... destroying man." The blonde shakes his head sighing with a laugh, "Man I'm rubbish at this entirely. Look the day you told me you were going to sell teh car and leave was the worst feeling cause I couldn't imagine a life without you. I didn't want to. I still... don't. That was real, not what was handed to me."
The Pedagogue's eyes look watery at the Rogue's words. "All I could think of was the world would be a much darker place without you in it. I had to get you help, a doctor for your eye, something. I had to find a way off that fucking island because the world needed you in it," he whispers. "This world here does too. There is something so fucking fiercely beautiful inside of you. You hold us together, even when we're all falling apart."
The Rogue smiles, in spite of the guilt he's put on himself. He can't help the way he is. None of them really can. Is he tearing up? It's because he's still damp from the shower right? Oh bullshit he's emotional like an on off switch and the barricade is absent. He didn't have to say it, hearing it means everything. The laugh comes with a cough and a dimpled, wry grin. "I know I was part of a part of you, but I love all of you... And yeah the world was darker without me." He snickers with the worst joke ever, "I took the fucking power grid down." Truth! His hand comes up to rub his eyes dry murmuring, "We did some messed up things. We heart one another... I mighta... put glue in your conditioner once... and tried to sleep in your bed after I got poison oak..." He stays still squeezing Ethan's hand, "And that day you hooked up with that tennis player chick that came bouncing into the lodge for the weekend I ... mighta got pissed and slept with Colorado. Not that you cared at the time, but " This makes him flinch. "I'm ... having a really hard time with that one." Really hard time with that one, but... I love you and I don't like hiding shit from you." Looking up he leans against him "I don't want to hurt you."
The Pedagogue lets out a snort. "You did all that? You little shit! I blamed Addison forever for the glue!" he laughs. The note about Colorado makes him flinch a little bit. "Ouch, not me ouch, you ouch. That's some awkwardness right there. He was your brother in Prosperity, right?" He shakes his head. "It's all right, I don't hold any of it against you. Ethan was a man whore of epic proportions and Captain Oblivious when it came to people actually having feelings for him past sex."
The Rogue is still wincing slowly. "Yeaaaaaah. He's my...was... my big brother. Rado's able to easily separate this is just a blend of things and good for him. I mean it helps. I ... don't know how to do that and I thin I hurt his feelings a bit when I kinda reacted badly about it here. I didn't mean to I'm just... I'm a mess." He sighs shaking his head, "And I think I forever messed up shit with Champ," He gestures two fingers to across the hall, "Scotty. Found out after the fact that's all... complicated from before the Lodge to after."
Hand itches knee through the towel with a small shake of his head. "I keep hurting my friends, man." Lyle's speech with the soft South African accent all sum up to the bundle of emotions in the 35 year old body holding the partly broken professor's hand. Those blue-grey eyes look back up, "I wanna do whatever I can though to prevent hurting you, though. You've had enough of your own scars, having to hurt people you care about, saying goodbye, and living life out of fucking order. I will need your help with that. I will do whatever I have to. I want you and us to be alright. Best as we can even... if you're right and we're just...data. It's real to me."
"Wait, you and Scott, er, Champ? Were involved here?" the Pedagogue looks confused at that. He never knew. Of course he and the Rogue didn't really interact before the Lodge scenario either. "Oh shit, did I fuck that up? Oh shit." Now he's freaking out.
The Rogue does. not. let go of that hand. Reaching over his free hand takes the side of Ethan's face in his hand pulling it around to make sure he's looking at him. Hey at least Ethan's not freaking out alone. "Eish, look at me. You didn't screw up dink, alright? Ain't on you. It's just... messed up." And that aid he carefully because of the arm just pulls Ethan into a hug.
"After... I lost Addie I almost lost my fekking mind. The only thing I had to look forward to, the only thing that mattered to me was absent. I never really woke up but once after being Sinclair. Prosperity though? I had something I fought to hold onto that was taken from me and I was sick and mad in grief, and alone and in spite of being a mess and he a blank slate came, sat and tried to learn what he could and kept me on my feet. He kept me from rotting in this room, and we talked and planned. He's been absolutely my best friend here. I've been mourning Addie. I was blind to a lot."
The Rogue can cut a lot of things off and not look back. Hurting his own people though he has never had insulation for. "I always figured he, Bunny, Kimmie the Shovel Ninja? They are going to be like Finn: live and love large. And I never put an expectation on em. We spoke a couple days ago finally. He's holding up alright but things changed and he was hurt and I dunno what I fucking did. I don't.. know how not to hurt people." With a deep sigh he murmurs, "Part of why I've been so damn scared about you. I hurt him and he took his leave and then immediately Max was like You's all groovy but I gotta go, and like... It feels like an exodus I don't know how to stop, man."
The Pedagogue holds him tightly and just clings there. "Not your fault. No one's fault except whoever put us all in this situation to begin with. We have to all find our way to live in the in betweens, where we don't have a pre-programmed life and people we're connected to. I'm sorry he is hurt but, I'm also not sorry we're together. Because this is real. Not something that was just impressed on us." He sighs a little, "And I'll never hold sleeping with Rado against you. I did too, but after you died. After we beat up my dad. It was just a moment, and we didn't do it again, but yeah, we're even there for sure." He chuckles a little through the burbling panic over the Bon Vivant.
The Rogue just holds him scared, comforted, and confused. In short, he felt like 70% of the population here. Cheers for consistency! The Rogue just holds on and whispers, "No one's fault, but it is my problem. I don't not care and it doesn't not matter to me. But," Letting go his hands slide up and hold either side of the Pedagogue's head keeping them connected at the hairline in that Bedlam Boy telepathy they share. Were there a bathroom floor they were sitting on right now they'd be mighty unstoppable to the world.
"God knows Freak tried but the world's not come up with a force strong enough to keep me from you. I'm not going., and you make me want to stay which... is frightening in its own way. We're gonna be okay. I'm just... shite with companionship cause I'm new at it. So. I need your help, and-" He pauses and laughs wrinkling up his nose looking a slight bit embarrassed, "After you beat up your old man? Man that's the time I tell ya. And, eeeeeh you at least know why I feel bad about not feeling entirely bad about it cause... damn, Jonsey." No more words on that as lips find the pair trying to smile through the panic. I'm glad you had solace, though. I can't even fucking imagine having to survive all that you had to and I'm really, genuinely glad you didn't have to do that alone."
The Pedagogue returns the kisses tenderly. Normally it would be hungrily, but his damn hand is broken. Again. "Then hold on to me til we fall asleep. Tomorrow we'll both feel better." One positive aspect of the resets, his hand will be fine come morning.
The Rogue just watches those eyes that either have the world brilliantly figured out, or just raw with emotion and the fear of not knowing. Like looking in a mirror. That dimpled half smile warms his worried face, exhausted from emotion returning the affection. "That I would love t'fekkin do. Get comfy. I'm a go swap out your ice for ya." He takes up the wrapped towel leaving a trail of drips from the soggy melted thing as he goes to wrap a new ice pack. "Next life needs to leave eyes and hands in tact tho." Until then the plan was Hold on til tomorrow. This he can do.