Log:To Do List
The Rogue was absent for a while, back to his room, away from many people and promised Champ a list and as rumor would have it? Well the Rogue was a man of his words. Was he also a man of cunning and deceit? Yes but he came by it honestly!
Measured footsteps carried him back toward the front of the hall. He stopped before the familiar door, the man with the whole champagne bottle while the background slowly crept toward party levels of inebriation. He wasn't generally too reserved when it came to letting himself in somewhere or even with people's belongings. Rooms were sanctuary, though and he respected solaces, and in this case, also the owner. Two knuckles went to the door and arched an eyebrow. "Champ, you in?" One person didn't bother calling him Fizz and only one person that's been surfacing had his regional dialect. Rogue came knocking.
The Bon-Vivant recognizes that voice! Okay, the accent doesn't hurt, there. And neither does the name being used. All together, it shouldn't be a surprise that when the door opens, he's already grinning, or that the door doesn't make the 'check who it is' pause on the way to opening entirely to 'come on in' levels. The room's resident's still barefoot, though he's in jeans and a hawaiian shirt now, and he's shaved the beard off and trimmed his hair a bit for the day. Only a bit; he's been watching the TV a fair bit and there's definitely something of a feathered look going on right now. It kind of suits, at least. "Yup," he answers, wholly unnecessarily, and makes that Vanna-Whiteish gesture again, vocalizing the already implied, "Come on in."
The Rogue turned up the wattage on that grin. He couldn't help that Champ's good mood was infectious. "I brought some things for the facility to... inevitably ruin as promised." Oh yeah there seemed to be a box? Nope! He took out one of his compartment drawers to carry things in. Let it never be said he failed to be resourceful. "I thought since we had our own project already maaaaaybe I'd bring the list. I couldn't disappoint you. I thought about it. Couldn't pull the trigger on that one."
Flint blue eyes scanned the room for hints, clues, and notions on things percieved and things of worry to note. "How we holdin up today? I see you bested an island in combat, skinned it, and are now wearing its pelt. Good deal."
It takes the Bon-Vivant a heartbeat, just long enough for a glance to drop down to his shirt, before he laughs, looking back up. "Yeah, and you should've seen it. Pineapples and coconuts coming at me from every angle! I think one of those flowers bit my foot, too. But I wrestled it down and stabbed it with one of those." He gestures to a surfboard set into the overall pattern, and closes the door behind Caleb, eyeing that bo-- drawer curiously. "I'm glad you decided against that one. What'd you bring for it to ruin?"
The Rogue arched an eyebrow and tilted his head back, the amusement just riding out the story. Even he had to admire the sheer casual mastery of total bullshit on that. Bullshit always made for a spectacular story, not when truth mattered, but for all the many times it didn't.
Rogue's eyes narrowed holding the box back, not to be stingy, but because suspense was also a rush. 'Well, that rightly depends, Champ." Shoulders rose and fell in a shrug and he took a step closer still holding it over shoulder like a pizza box. "Depends on which list you opt to read from, now doesn't it?" whatever was in the box it was wrapped in clues and puzzles apparently.
Total bullshit is the best kind of bullshit! And clues and puzzles might just be the best kind of wrapping. The Bon-Vivant eyes the box -- and the Rogue -- with even clearer interest, stepping nearer as well. And only giving a slight impression that he might be tempted to see if he can just steal it and run away long enough to peek inside. He manages to resist, though, caught by part of the remark: "There's more than one list?" A tiny pause. "Can I just read from them all?"
The Rogue lifted the drawer out of the way stepping forward to protect it with his own body. "Potentially? Yes. let me get in the door and let me tell why. I just," God damn words were hard. He was a brains and plot and loopholes and heist guy, not a chat or feelings guy. "So I wrote down on the list everything that immediately leapt to mind, however, I just want to... Shite I don't bloody know well how to put this." The drawer was set down and inside? Oh yeah some nature of rice pudding, and a variety of things that seemed good that he had no earthly idea about either. As if from nowhere a spoon appeared in his hand offered to BV. Someone's slight of hand was still doing well.
"So," he began, "it boils down to I can't tell if I'm bloody being selfish and dishonest with you or not. There's so much of Sinclair still " he tapped his forehead with a faintly frustrated expression, "I can't tell. It's that simple, I will turn every situation around until I get what I want and I don't... I don't want to play you like that. That... that matters to me." And with that he pulled out a small pocket journal that fit in his palm and a golf pencil. Flint blue eyes watched Champ, his head shaking. "This place is going to try to break you. Won't lie. It'll fekkin crush me if it does. I just want you to have something nice to come back to and just... not... have to go through the shite I did. Not you." And with that admission he sat down to see what if any of that made sense.
The Bon-Vivant retracts that step, getting out of the way of his own earlier invitation and letting the Rogue move on in. The door closes, and he of course accepts the spoon, giving the production of it a slightly impressed look before glancing inside the drawer. It doesn't seem to ring any particular bells, but he's clearly willing to assume that anything Caleb's brought him's worth giving a try; the rice pudding gets an interested poke with the spoon first, and then a bit scooped up.
He doesn't eat it immediately, though, instead studying the other man with a faintly quizzical expression as he talks. The sentiments are a little complicated, particularly for someone who really isn't all that complicated as yet himself, but parts of them are clear enough. He eats that first bite -- which does get a soft noise of appreciation -- but holds off on any more, instead sticking the spoon back in, turning around, and moving over to give the guy a firm hug. He's getting good at that.
"Doesn't sound selfish to me," he says, possibly innocent of the fact that if it were a well-turned-around situation, it wouldn't sound that way to him then, either. Still, it's sincere. "I'm pretty sure I don't want to be broken, either, so not wanting that to happen seems kind of hard to be selfish or dishonest about."
The Rogue was genuinely torn trying to figure out if he was just being a manipulative ass or if this is what concern does. In the end he wasn't making the call so the world was still fair.
Still the hug helped and the tension slacked in his spine as he returned the gesture where he was sitting resting forehead to chest. He couldn't help that a half grin followed and he said in wry amusement, "You sayin that cause you mean it or you tryin to get the book?" Funny guy. The small notebook rolled up in his fingers and presented the pocket guide to him. "That's the first half. So I wrote in there interesting places I heard about in passing. Starts with travel, things to do that may kill a normal man I'm fairly certain we'll survive, and the adventures go on. Some more explicit than others I'll admit because I dunno what you missed out on with what memory you do have and there's things no human being should need to miss out on." Looking up he blinked and murmured, "I left out the Tijuana donkey show cause no donkey. also no show. Can't replicate sentient organics seems.... I'm joking about Tijuana." It occurred to him that everything coming out of his face had the intonation of fact and without reference the poor guy might just go ask. He'd spare him that. Still, from his expression that amused him still.
The Bon-Vivant laughs. "'cause I mean it. If I was just trying to get the book it'd look more like wrestling for bacon," he says, grinning, and though it means breaking the hug, accepts the list when it's presented. With all due solemnity, though that doesn't last. He settles onto the bed next to the Rogue, without immediately opening the booklet -- listening, instead, and breaking into another small grin at 'things to do that may kill a normal man'. From his expression, 'Tijuana donkey show' does not call up the (in)appropriate image, but maybe try him again next time around on that. As it is, he nods to the lack of organic-replication and adds with a hint of disappointment, "I tried to get it to make robot animals, but that didn't work either." So, now go ahead and imagine the theoretical robot Tijuana donkey show.
For no obvious reason, maybe just the loss of the hug, he gives the guy one of those shoulder-bumps again, and stays slightly leaning against as he opens the book to start scanning what adventures might be within.
The Rogue laughed, his expression splitting into a grin, "Good lord that was good bacon. Worth the brawl for the brai." That grin only cemented in place His hand rubbed his face and, man it felt good. Never really in public but here? Different story. At the shoulderbump his arm reached back resting a splayed hand on Champ's back and he motioned for him to flip though.
The list was thoughtful and distinguished from hosting a dance part in zero grav at the Noc bar to strip mini golf to creating a music hall and learn a new kill. There was also bowling down the side of a dam trying to hit the pins at terminal velocity 400 feet straight up.
The Rogue also added, "I forgot to add skiing. Never been. Always considered it."
The Bon-Vivant has had a lot of ideas for things to do with the Anywhere Rooms. A lot of them. But hardly any of these! There's only so much that can be covered by whatever this place decided he ought to know combined with what he's managed to read or be told about so far, and the remaining holes in that are still huge. The grin that met the remark about the bacon-fight only widens as he reads things, and he's close enough that the Rogue can actually sense a subtle wriggle at a couple of them.
"We need to try all of these," he declares, somewhere around dam-bowling, "Definitely. Can we drive on a dam? I can't decide if up one or down one would be more fun when you got to the end of it..." He has a better grasp on physics than on the danger, at this point, even if danger in this case is more a matter of pain than permanent consequences. "Skiing seems like an easy one to set up -- I read about that. And we could have ski lifts! And t-bars, those look like they might be fun from the photos." Of course he's been reading sports books -- didn't he mention having been reading some of the books The Thrill-Seeker was, at her breakfast?
The Rogue chewed on the inside of his cheek casually. A faint smile formed with a stretch of his eyebrows and a hand ran through his hair and paused to itch the back of his head. ‘The grin stretched a bit and he admitted, "They might. We can make em have that." he watched Champ get further into the list before hesitating a finger up. "Eeeeh not all of it is action adventure of a travel sort but..." His expression squirreled up and he admitted, "See the problem is I'm built, or equipped, or I don't know to get what I want. The first thing they do here? Is they take away our choices from us. We got the illusion of choices but from what we're permitted and..." He paused offering with a simple shrug, 'I like you and I like you because I trust you and i don't want to betray your trust by... being just another asshole that tries to convince you of what you want... but i want to make sure you have some of these things to keep as your own before you're made and unmade and made again to be undone. I want you to have something yours. We don't all get that, but that and my honesty is all I have that I can offer to you. A gift but whatever you want, without my input? you got it." It was hard for the Rogue to just let go and try to actively not manipulate the situation to his wants. it was avidly against his core matrix, but he made every effort on BV's behalf to safeguard his free will.
The Bon-Vivant looks, frankly, a bit confused by some of that -- not entirely lost, but somewhat perplexed. "...I kinda feel like there's something important in there I'm missing," he admits, "Like I do sometimes when people are talking about their other lives and there's something they're not actually saying that they all understand, and I haven't figured out what yet." It isn't quite a complaint, and not quite an apology, a little too matter-of-fact to quite fit either. "And I know there's probably millions of things I don't even know I don't know, yet. Anything I choose, I'm kind of picking from what I'm permitted by default, aren't I? What they decided to let me know already, whoever they are, or what people here tell me about, or what's in the books..." A pause there, brief but thoughtful.
"But..." He looks down at the little book, turning the next page a little more slowly. "The part about... something mine. That's my own before I'm-- someone else too." Yeah, he's paid attention to the way the others talk about their past lives, and the ways they fall here into what seem to be old patterns from 'there'. He lifts his head, turning it to look at the Rogue again. "I think that's part of why I needed a name. Whoever I end up getting-- made as, that's gonna be 'me' too. But he'll have a name and this me wouldn't. ...and what if I don't like him?" A finger taps against the book where he holds it. "But I do want that, things that are mine. /Mine/ mine." One of the few contexts where that might not come off as selfish. There's that thoughtful look again. "Does without your input mean it can't be in your lists? Or just that I have to choose it myself?"
Rogue sits and listens. It’s difficult for him from his first memories being those of Francis Sinclair then slammed into a holding cell and thrown right into Prosperity and effectively ‘entering life in the Facility’ with two personalities and no warning. Ne never had anything like this and the reservations on affecting the Bon-Vivant’s life here are uncharastically obvious from his normally guarded hand.
“I… first off, choose what you like as you like. Add to the list, subtract from it. I-” His expression furrows. “Let’s break this down.” A hand slides to his companion’s shoulder with a squeeze and respect of sympathy there. “The day you want to find a name and settle on it? That’s on you to tell us. I’m gonna keep callin you Champ til you tell me to stop, mate, because frankly? Sure, Colorado notes the champagne on your door. Maybe that’s it. To me? You’ve come through for me like a champ and championing my cause to find something to hang onto when I think I can’t and remind me who the fuck I’m supposed to decide to be today. Some days that’s bloody hard like I hope you never have to imagine. FOr my sake you’ve tried or respect the difficulty without hiding from it because this existence? It’s ugly and it’s hard but it’s also able to make us do great things if we choose to. You remind me of those small moments and that’s why I will call you that.” His jaw tightens drawing a deep breath really thinking of the rest.
“We’re not always going to like who we are. It’s why it’s important to find people in between I think and promise to forgive, heal, and grow. It’s why I offered this to you because someday, inevitably? We’re both going to need it and I will be happy to repay the favour you’ve given me, mate, as much as it’s going to pain me to see you need it, but I do keep my word if I give it.. The rest? Relationships and bonds of people are built and forged in Facility and farce, but the question we hold is ‘what is real?’ and we don’t know. None of us know. Some of these things on this list will sway your opinion on things and shift things. Life experience does that to anyone, but being informed of what all the context is? Not telling you would be stealing something from you I can’t give back. I care about you too damn much to do that to you. So some of these? Eh eventually get back around to. Not now. I want to know I’m being honest with you as I can because that’s actually not the easiest thing for me to do, but it is what you deserve. “ Laughing the South African’s face warms with amusement. “It’s the most shite explaination ever, I know.
"You should definitely keep calling me Champ," the Bon-Vivant says promptly, "I kinda like the 'Felix' the book gave me, and I think I'm gonna keep trying out 'Fizz' for a bit, but /you/ should definitely keep calling me Champ." He looks for a moment as though he isn't quite sure if he ought to be embarrassed about that, or for that matter whether he is, but shakes it off, adding, "...I like your reasons, and I want to be-- that. But mostly I just kind of," a tiny pause as he considers the words, and he still sounds a little tentative as he settles on, "like how it feels when you say it." Is that weird? That might be weird. It's honest, though, so he sticks with it, and just gives a small shrug.
"Anyway... what I meant was, if I didn't have my own name, then everyone would just use his, it wouldn't be /mine/, and that'd be even worse if I don't like who I was when I had that name... but I wouldn't have anything of my own to use instead. If that makes any sense. And I figure probably some other things might be like that, though I dunno what, yet. Names were the just most obvious thing, looking at all of you who aren't new." Another little pause before he says, "That's part of why I kind of wish I could find a name for you like you have for me. 'cause I want to talk to /this/ you. 'cause this is the you I know, that helps me understand things and treats me like I matter and belong. But names are kind of hard, and I don't know enough, I think. I mean, I could call you Beignet again, but you might not like being a donut, even if they are sweet." It comes with a fairly wry grin, one that softens into a smile as he nods once. "I'm glad we get to have the Agreement, though." It's definitely got a capital letter. "'cause if this is the only thing some of us know, then this has to be real. Or at least as real as really matters."
He leans in again, enough to press his shoulder against the Rogue's. "...anyway, thank you. For caring about me and doing the hard things." And a new thing, like a sudden whim and not in the parts of the list he's read yet, if at all: he turns his head to kiss the other man's cheek, a quick and gentle thing.
Rogue listened. His grief, his conspiracies, his theory? They could wait right now. The man with limited tools and no life experience, his friend, is finally putting words to feelings and concerns. Weirdly the purest form of identity might be stemming from having nothing. A faint smile, usually over-thinking everything now relieved, makes a rare appearance with ease as they at least agree on Rogue's name for him. Weird or not he shrugs, "Hey, if it makes you happy, I'm happy to keep Dion it. Sorta the point."
The look of the vague uncertainty as he finds resolution in the shrug gets a small chuckle. Hand rubs his own jaw with a nod. He offers, "Eeeeh it makes perfect sense to me. In time? In time you'll find more things, more words. We find more feelings and ideas and new ways to describe them. Honestly, Champ? You can change my name a hundred an' thirty times and all the time it still means you are speaking to me, and that? That is a good day, mate."
Still there was more to the man's frustration than not having a name or a word. It was just not having the tools one needs to navigate; to communicate or express the self. He spoke and Rogue furrowed his brow giving it much thought. "The Agreement protects us, you and I, from what we might be made to become so that we can still, in this place confined but forgiving, redefine ourselves. None of us stay without fault, without grief, or know that we may do great and terrible things. What it's about, Champ, is freedom and if we judge another by a path and life they did not choose? " The eyebrow went up and the blond asks, even if it's a pained question from a place strangely forged of compassion, "Are we better than them? Ja, no. We are not."
Rogue nudged BV's shoulder back. The smooch to the cheek though gets an arched eyebrow and a glance back to him from the tray of things. The smile warmed easy with no efforts needed or given. "I hope someday when you become many things and many more? You will know what a gift you give me right now; this reprieve from grief. And on that day? I will be happy to try to pay you back, but also be happy and terribly sad for you because you will know joy at the expense of also knowing loss. Not like now." Lips press together and one hand reaches over to set on Champ's giving it a squeeze.
The Bon-Vivant looks fleetingly unsure how to interpret the arched brow, but the warmth of the smile settles that, and the words that follow might have distracted him anyway. "I like the way you put that," he says thoughtfully, "Becoming many things. It makes it more--" A pause. "I mean, like I said before, it's kind of scary sometimes, listening to the rest of you talk about it all. A lot of the time it sounds like everything that's bad is bad, and everything that's good is bad because it's gone when you wake up here again. Like there's no value in living it at all. But becoming many things sounds..." Another small shrug. "Like it might be exciting. I kinda like new things. Which I guess is a good thing considering that's still practically all of them, but it, you know... changes the perspective a little." He turns his hand over, to try squeezing back.
He looks at the little book again, turning the next page; it takes some care, with just the one hand, but that doesn't seem to bother him. The next bit of the list gets a considering look as he reads, a quick grin at one option there, and after a moment a sudden look toward the Rogue. "What if I wanted to know what you wanted? Or to know what has context I don't know? It starts getting more confusing what counts as free choice the more I try to think about that. Is it freer to make choices in ignorance than to do it with context that might influence you? Or do you just not really know what you're choosing?" As usual, what might be rhetorical questions from a more-experienced archetype aren't, here, and there's a touch of frustration underlying the fact that he genuinely doesn't know. For all that he can and does think about these things, it's not the place he feels a natural ease, and it's probably not entirely coincidental that his eyes fall on the tray again, and he rests the book on his leg, reaching out to grab the nearest of those unidentified food-looking items accompanying the rice pudding and announcing, "Fuck it, I'm gonna eat this." Which he does, taking a fearless bite.
The Rogue loosens his grip for the hand to turn over and catch it. He glances down not generally one for contact gestures, but not abhoring them either. He listens to the words but sharp eyes watch and listen to the curious way they're affecting the "blank slate". The survivors of previous lives have their various struggles but those living in total uncertainty had their own. They are not the same, or possibly entirely relatable, but they are profound and valid in all their differences.
That hand gets a hard squeeze as the spiral of what-ifs starts. Finally when there is a pause Rogue thinks about that question for some time before answering carefully, free hand i the air as if slowly etching the image of his thought into motion. "The value is what we give it. Free choice? is complicated...and very simple." That rare flash of a grin makes an appearance as he goes back to the non-helpful, accurate answer.
Sympathetically he offers, "All I can tell you is it's never a bad thing to know what our choices have an effect on. That's called consequence. All actions have those, though some argue they don't exist here because everything is wiped clean. My advice for you to do with what you will? Find out, but take the effects into advisement, but don't let it stop you from making the choice you want or need to make. I think maybe that is free will?" Hell even he had to guess. Looking down his jaw tightens looking at the plates of foods. It was a point he's been struggling with.
When the hand is let loose and Bon-Vivant tackles the braai, meaty seasoned barbecue made of win and tasting of victory and fire, he finally answers the last question. "You can just ask me, chum. Truth is? A few things, the rest I... I dunno. I'm trying to figure that out as the sum of things I want, have had, and are left to me with a hole made of of things I can't replace. The rest? I want to try to find some of those things again. DIfferent. Just... I want existing to stop being made of things I can't bloody change, and I want you to have better than that. I want to figure out how I can make that happen without taking now from you, but I want very much to be a part of that however that turns out.."
The Bon-Vivant's clearly come to the conclusion that he /is/ one for contact gestures, or at least with people he likes. Maybe with texture featuring so prominently in the decor in here, that shouldn't be much of a surprise. He doesn't seem to have any intention to move away, even as he moves in on the food. And when he does, his eyes widen slightly, then close, and he smiles. Mouth shut, thankfully, since he's chewing at the time. Whatever set of information they left him with-- gave him-- whatever the appropriate way to think of it might be, it clearly includes at least some manners.
"That's delicious," he says, after he's swallowed the bite, and looks to the Rogue, tilting what's left of it in his direction, "Want some?" It's given him a little time to think about the answer, as well, though as he focuses more on that again, the thoughtful look returns. "How do you know ahead of time what the consequences are going to be, though? I know if I step off a table I'm going to fall to the floor, because I get how gravity works. Not exactly why or anything, but I know it does. But I don't know what you might say or do if I did something really weird... or whether some things might be really weird... or what /I/ might say or do if /you/ did something really weird. Or what I'd think was weird. I'm pretty sure from what you guys said if I died in the Anywhere Rooms I'd wake up here in the morning, but what would happen in the meantime? And how would I feel about having died? I know those /are/ consequences but I don't know how to expect what they'd be, even if I try to imagine it." He seems a little calmer with poking through those thoughts again, now that he's actually done something. Even if it was just bite some meat. "I kinda feel like it'd just be easier to do shit and see what happens afterward instead of trying to guess. But then I think maybe I just don't understand what could go wrong." Offer or not, he takes another bite of the meat. But he does offer it again afterward.
There's still the impression of thinking as he chews, as if he might still have something to say, or at least be considering it. And in fact, when he finishes the bite he does look over again and say, "You said I can just ask, but I can't work out whether I should or whether you also answered it. 'cause it did involve things you want. But it also involved a lot of 'things' and I don't know what things they are. Except, maybe you could add some things you /can/ change to existing? Like, I dunno. Haircuts?" It's a short existence. He's only found so many things he can change so far. Even he seems to suspect it's not a great example, though.
The Rogue leans over and takes a bite of the braai, just... enjoying that for a moment. "Champ, I can't even tell why this reminds me of home, when I don't even know what home is." Eyes open to slits but the smile widens into a smirk as he chews taking, yes that second bite as well.
"Experience. Trial and error. Seein what works. My advice? Fekk' it, mate. Bloody well try everything. I'm testing a way out but should you want to come with me just to know? Well I can't say I right mind the company." Still, he watches the other blond shew and come to his first logical deduction in a web of hints for him to find and do who knows what with. A small nod is given in confirmation, "Heh, ja. I did make the list. Is a pretty kiff list too, bruh, but I think one thing at a time." There's a paused and those grey-blue eyes narrow into a squint, "Ach, ya do no like me hair now?"
Slowly the amusement returns from the jest and he points with his little finger out, "Ja, ja, we can add it to the list." Still thoughts linger on other spectacularly fascinating questions and he admits in that dialect that's neither Dutch, Aussie, or Scottish btu rounds nicely between them, "Been shot. Lost an eye. Never died though. Colorado got turned to salt. He's alright now bu, eh it was rough. Funny enough I come back, ja? And yet it is something I am afraid of because I have seen even if you are living through all dat? No guarantees. Right now? This is our only guarantee. Dying? Hmmm maybe I do not fear so much. Going to sleep? Ja. That's when whatever this is takes control of us and we have no say. Thiiiiis is why I say, my boet, Please do not make these choices for you. Right now you live with only your choices for the most part you have made."
A thoughtful look returns, and that serious expression he almost always wears guarding thoughts from the world. His head tilts negating something, some idea. Looking back he takes another bite nodding. "If you are choosing to ask me I think there is something I might choose, so long as we try our damndest to eat the eeeentire contents of this try in one sitting because this flavour? It is not playing around."
"I like trying things. Seeing what works. Most of it's worked so far, at least, as far as I had plans for what I meant to do." A quick grin, one that disappears into an airy and not-quite-convincingly reassuring, "And your hair is fiiine. I guess." His hand lifts to ruffle it cheekily, the grin trying quite hard to creep out at the corner of his lips again. After a second or two it succeeds, bringing a chuckle with it. "Nah, it is, I just know it's something we can make be different if we want. Make it all fluffy like on the TV maybe." He's done that very '80s feathering to his own at least a couple times so far. It does kinda work, at least... He does not immediately move to add it to the list, but then, he doesn't have a writing implement handy. Maybe it's going on the mental one.
"What do you mean about testing a way out? And-- do, uh. Do people turn to salt often?" He feels pretty sure not, but doesn't really know why, or how that would happen, so maybe he's wrong. The Bon-Vivant looks at the Rogue's eyes, perhaps trying to assess which one might have been lost, or what a lost eye is like, how one could... Nope, it's just too many questions again. This time instead of going for unidentified food, he tastes a word: "Boet. You called Colorado that, I remember. What's it mean? And yes, for both. I'm choosing to ask what you want, and I'm totally on board with trying our damnedest to eat everything on this tray. I'm pretty sure we can do it; we made it through that cake last time." And it was not a small cake. Especially after the donuts and beignets and the like. He pops the rest of the piece of meat into his mouth as if it were an earnest of the bargain. And also delicious.
The Rogue answers the most important question, "Aaaah, hopefully not? Rather people didn't just turn into minerals because one's got fire ants in their shorts. But... people die." He gestures with a hand, "Alla time. Sometimes? Well they are not making it back." And that, as many walls and the Rogue constructs with careful diversion and tricky conversational traps? The truth of that fear stands out quiet and unproud. Both eyes, indistinguishable from ever being ruined before, watch Champ flinching slightly, perhaps concern it will happen again.
The question though brings both eyebrows up. He reacts with the honest alarm of someone who doesn't realize they have a habit. "Oh, boet? Ummm Boet is sort of like bruh, bra, chum, chummie, friend? It's more though like... eeeh saying I guess brother in a community sense than a familial one. Those people, " The blade of his hand resting against Champ's collarbone to personalize the emphasis on the your, "Your people you have when they ain't there? You miss. If someone has problem with them? They are now having it with you." His eyes squint trying to describe a feeling to someone with limited exposure to cognitive being. "You are my people, Champ."
The man can overthink anything really. "There are, I think, many feelings out there. Many of them I don't know. I have lived twice but I'm still learning. I am having theories on them but I promise you," That grin picks back up with that canny squint in his eye, "They are very long winded and based on guess and perception at best.”
Whether it's an inherent part of who he is or just part of being new to virtually everything, the Bon-Vivant pays pretty close attention to things, and the expression on the Rogue's face, the fear in his eyes, is definitely not missed. It gets that arm wrapped around the guy again, another squeeze. "Okay, hopefully not," he agrees, "and we'll just... definitely do our best to make it back." A firm nod. May or may not be a particularly /useful/ decision, but it's still a decision.
The explanation of the word, on the other hand, makes him smile -- not the frequent grin, quite, but something a little bit softer. "Boet," he says again, thoughtfully, and there's another nod. "I like that. And I think you're my people too. I didn't like you being gone when I woke up the other day, you know?" Partly because it was an unpleasant surprise, granted, but it's probably the closest he has to a situation in which he could have missed someone, also. And he does know in theory how that works: someone isn't there and you wish they were. So that fits, right?
"I'm kind of getting the impression that feelings are kind of... you have to experience them to understand. Like, green, you could tell someone what things are green but not really what it looks like. That they're like that," he muses, and doesn't ask, yet, about the theories. He does, however, say, "...you didn't answer the other things, though, boet." Yeah, he's gonna try that one out. "The testing a way out thing, or what you want. Aside from to eat this." He picks up another piece, and this one he offers without taking his own bite first.
A decision is at least a start. On the topic of whatever in the facility resetting them to their in situ positions in the facility? A slow now, jaw tightening in anger, quiet and deep with the affirmation. "Yeah. Yeah I know. And that absolutely fits. Entirely, Champ. "
He picks at the next thing from Champ's fingers offered to him. Looking up, the tension breaking he watches his friend easing back to concern offering, "Look, it takes time. If it helps, ya know, some things I'm learning too. It's going to take a long time, but some of it is pretty good. Some of it is finding something that makes you so... happy that you learn what fear is thinking of that person or ... something in harm before all else. Grief knowing that happiness and wondering how to breathe without it when its gone. It is... amazing and terrible. I just... there's more to us than just sitting here. Waiting. Every day feeling futile but growing in what we know, but why?"
Finally the question comes to him what does he want? How does anyone anyone answer that? Direct. With a moment to really think about it there is an upnod, “Eish! Champ?” the ‘’ee-sh’’ sound not off hey or oy! To get his attention. Apparently he’s found his answer.
"It doesn't feel futile to me," the Bon-Vivant says -- not defensively, but still as though he's thinking these things through when they come up. "'cause, I mean, I /am/ growing in what I know. And having fun, and finding things out about people..." He could mean individuals, or people as a thing, and either way it would probably be true. "But then... this is kinda all I have to compare, I guess." The rest of it, the amazing and the terrible, he listens to and tries to understand, but it's still all so abstract. Still, he nods, taking what he can on a strange sort of faith. It takes time; that much, at least, he thinks he gets.
The Rogue pretty much already had his attention, but it's sharper when it's so clearly requested, the hand that had been sneaking toward the tray and its goodies again pausing. Brows go up, and he waits.
Churros up next! The sneaky sunnova bitch didn't know what they were but they sounded pretty amazing. The Rogue, Caleb to others and not to Champ, reaches out and stays the Bon-Vivant's hand reaching into the box. Those blue-grey eyes watched the other man like a hawk in that same unblinking stare he usually has sizing up someone 20 paces from him trying to reckon when they gonna draw on em, or stay their hand. That canniness may forever stay with him from Prosperity.
This was different though. Suddenly, and without violence, his other hand darts to the side of Champ's head, not to steal a quarter, from his ear, but to pull him forward, just a half inch, and steal a kiss from him; a real, soul-felt expression. Maybe the first genuine expression of affection in the Facility at all shy of a couple brief hugs for his brothers.
Maybe there's regret for not asking, but he doesn't apologize, but explains, "I jes' want you to have something nice that's yours they can't ruin." His expression stills with a slight shake of his head, thumb brushing Champ's cheek before his hand lets go. "You're not wrong. Some things is lekker - good, even if the situation elsewise? Out of our hands. Don't... let them rob that of you like they have us, Champ. Not you."
Churros! The Bon-Vivant has a treat in store. That is, however, something he might think about... later. When he's not getting kissed.
Kisses are one of those things he kind of knows about, in theory. The fact of their existence is in his head, along with a vague sense of things they might suggest, and he's seen them in music videos now and then. Granted, those did always seem to involve women, but y'know what, he can't really see why. Certainly not when that slightly puzzling stare turns into one. There's definitely surprise at first, a freeze and hint of tension that betrays the startlement, but it only lasts a heartbeat before the tilt of his head changes a touch and he tries this 'kissing back' thing.
It's a bit awkward, in the not-fully-sure-what-he's-doing sort of way of first kisses, but it presumably helps that the Rogue does. And when it's done, he blinks a couple times, still looking faintly surprised, but more so like he's thinking about things again. There's that look that suggests maybe he's making connections, feeling previously disparate thoughts and feelings falling into place and answering questions he might or might not have consciously pondered yet. It's a subtle thing, but if anyone's seen it and its brethren enough to catch it, it's the Rogue. "...oh."
He listens, watching the other man closely, and considers what's said before he nods. "I'll try," he promises, and hesitates a moment before his hand lifts to mirror that cheek touch. "Can I try that again?"
There are a number of emotions that dance across the Rogue's face. In the end there is a story Champ's heard a number of times pieced together like a quilt of subtle colours in the tenure of their short friendship. It's the story Champ knows but can't understand of loss profound, and for that? The Rogue is grateful for this above all things. Watching the room, cutting himself off from it, finding few things, and breaking everything he has to to protect the sanctity of what scant things he can preserve.
Now? Now that is Champ's sense of wonder; his sense of self. His friend. He may never may contact with people, but there may be a reason for that. He doesn't even mind or seem to expect proficiency or even acceptance. Still the Rogue seems to have no problem being patient and walking him through this. Oh the few things people know of the man once Caleb Colton; he may be quiet but his heart runs deep.
The hesitation arches an eyebrow; silent and concerned. The equest actually breaks his stoic expression into a laugh and a warm grin. "Ja, boet. We can absolutely try again whatever you want. This? This is your world. I'm just here to help you take it." His head tilts resting against the hand against his face, welcoming the gesture watching the dots connect together knitting curiosity, want, and opinion together. It brings an ease to the stress that hangs round him like a pall taking refuge in Champ's wonder a while. Something in that optimism is contagious. Sometimes Rogue can stop fighting the world to enjoy right now, and when Champ speaks he is seeming to stop and listen and move the world to adapt.
Trust running two ways; Champ asking him to tell him the truth, and the Rogue trusting him with it. “You know, weirdly, I feel like this is the first time I’ve not worried about everything in forever. You really have no idea, but I am glad, my friend, you answered the door.” His head turns to press a kiss into the palm at his face as a thank you. Is it wrong I’m angry at them for you? Waiting for them to mandate a life to you like listening to them blow up a star, or burn a forest, or destroy an art. It’s crazy and I can’t tell if that’s my own perception or Sinclair's inside me, but it’ there.” He’s not proud, but he promised never to lie to him. “I’m scared, boet. So fucking scared for you.”
The Bon-Vivant is very much capable of taking yes for an answer, and the fact that said answer comes with that laugh draws a grin that's nothing short of delighted. Not that it's there for long, since that'd get in the way of actually making good on the request. He leans in to close that distance again, and this time the kiss is a bit more confident. Not wholly, and he's still feeling his way through things -- but feeling is at the heart of it, after all. Some time's taken to explore it, this new and oddly exciting thing, and when he pulls back it's with a somewhat deeper breath.
"So, /that's/ a thing I like," he murmurs, and breaks into a slow but distinctly pleased smile when the Rogue mentions actually not worrying. It spreads further at the gladness and the kiss to his palm; he looks rather charmed by that, really, and it lingers even when the comments move on to anger and fear. Does fade a little, though, and a little more as he thinks things over again -- though he lets his hand stay at the Rogue's jaw, fingers gliding gently against the side of his neck, and tries that little brush of thumb against cheek himself, too, while he's there.
"I don't know," he says, once he's considered. "I don't know what it's going to do to me, when I have to live another life, and then come back. It is-- a little scary. I don't want to... hm. I don't want to not be me. I don't want me to be gone, even if I do barely know who that is. But," and he smiles again, small but with an impish edge, "that's the point of this, isn't it? Or one of them. The more I know who I am the more I can be me, now or when I remember. And the more I choose and experience, the more I know who I am." His fingers drift down, trailing along a shoulder before his hand drops back down to his own leg, his gaze following it. Then his eyes lift again, almost searching his friend's, worry of his own in it. "I'm glad I answered the door too, boet. But I don't want for you to think I'm ruined when I get back, please," he says, hand absently drifting to rub curled knuckles against his chest, as if there were an ache. "I don't like the way that feels."
Fears that keep the Rogue fighting the world take solace in that hand. The shared moment and a reprieve of affection and a kindness not wasted on his very tired soul. At the declaration of this definitely being on the like list the smile returns with just pure amusement. The truth was there are things he missed; contact, affection, trust. All things denied of the Rogue time and time again in short brutal lives of having to constantly holding onto what few remaining comforts he has while things are being jettisoned into space or withering and turning to salt… you know, the usual shit. What is for Champ something new and accepting and curious and shared like some great exciting secret lives as active reminder of some shelter of the soul passing between lips and a moment of peace where the world is not burning, and something can remain in his hands long enough to be celebrated.
Fears though, for him under the stoic and determined exterior, always burn like one baleful furnace trying not to incinerate all he cares about. There is the race of apology without shame for this truth. Champ's hand drops from his face and the Rogue leans back on his hands as the one simple request is made of him. This time though he remains perfectly silent reading the things Champ has no words for, listening to the words he chooses, looking at the emotion unshed in fear and frustration.
He doesn't answer. Instead his hand slides over the space between them where they sit, and over his squeezing it. Don't think of him as ruined. In a sense he wondered how possible with his anger and idealistic heart it could be. Still, confronted with the simple request and the subtle pains it stressed? It seemed to get through the Rogue's carefully constructed bulwark of what is. Bright blue-grey eyes squint to his companion, his friend, and promised in that way of setting that goal, that standard, for himself, "Awusoze wonakaliswa, boet." Words he knew Champ did not know and that he had no real understanding of why he, himself, even knew them, "Akunjalo njengoko ndibona."
Champ's hand is squeezed. The Rogue warms a canny grin lifting that hand to his own chet patting it before releasing it and passing Champ the churro. "You, my friend, can never be lesser. Not as I see you. Whatever happens? That is why we have this promise. You will change, but you will not change alone, and I will always welcome your company.” He let the seriousness go with a wry, rarely found dimpled half grin that is all confidence again, “Do not be afraid of that. I could never judge you without the greatest of hypocrisy, my boet."
If it weren't for the hand, that pause would almost certainly add to the Bon-Vivant's sense of-- what is it, exactly? Unease? Anxiety? Whatever it is, he definitely isn't a fan. But the contact helps, the hand-squeeze and the voice enough to settle it to where the unfamiliar words elicit what looks like the usual curiosity, rather than further concern. He doesn't ask immediately, studying the Rogue's face while the man speaks. It's when his hand's drawn over that he smiles again, a small and warm thing that spreads at the further words. No idea whether they're translation or elaboration, but the match in tone and the remarks that follow do suggest they relate.
Plus, suddenly he has a churro, and the combination gets a full grin. A lean that knocks their shoulders together again, as well, and he maintains the contact as he takes a bite of the pastry. His brows lift a bit, and he points the churro at the Rogue, informing him firmly that, "You need to try this." Another item for the list of things he likes, it would seem.
It takes a while to eat their way through everything that sounded interesting enough to the Rogue to end up in that drawer today, though they make a valiant and ultimately successful effort over a couple glasses of whiskey and a few rounds of backgammon, which Fizz loses soundly and with a certain amount of amusement. It may not make the top echelons of his mental list, but it definitely beats out any more heavy discussion this evening. Not, admittedly, by as much as spending a while confirming his judgement on the matter of kissing does, or sitting up at the head of the bed and planning out more of their adventure list. There's a certain amount of interweaving between those activities, and it's around the time BV's wondering what would happen if you tried combining ski-jumping and hang-gliding and did that right off a cliff that they begin to feel that simultaneous nightly tiredness taking them.
They know now to expect to wake apart. But this time it's in Oregon, and another life...