Post by Vichee Founder on Sept 2, 2011 16:39:29 GMT -5
Vee jerked back when he jumped, the sudden movement startling her.
"Sorry!" She gasped, staring at him with wide eyes. She hadn't thought he would react so adversely to the alcohol wipe. That was something she expected from a child, not from an adult. She probably should have asked first though.
Reaching down with the hand not occupied by the wet wipe, she grasped the hand holding his ankles tightly, hoping to offer him a little comfort.
"Ok, here it comes." She murmured gently, going in to pat the other knee with it. Once finished, she balled up both wet wipes and tossed them into the bag they were using as trash bag.
"All done." she murmured, leaning up and kissing his cheek. "I hope you can forgive me for the alcohol wipes."
Post by Dr. Benedict Hidzenboosh on Sept 2, 2011 19:33:02 GMT -5
After everything was over, he was more himself. Relaxed and carefree looking. He shifted on the blanket and looked at the fire.
"It's ok. I suppose without pain, I can't begin to heal."
Ben looked at her and gave a small smile.
"Thank you for taking care of me. I suppose it is a shame that a grown man like me can't take such kinds of pain."
He looked down at the band-aids. Seeing them on his knees made him angry. He was getting so angry lately. So much of his life he seemed to have missed because of his ridiculous obsession. These emotions like this, they keep causing him to slowly slip into a childish state. The state he buried and never had time to grow beyond. The side that was lost even before Ricky was in his life. He sighed and looked back up, calmness seeming to ripple through his body and flood his being.
"So, what are we going to be cooking? Anything I should keep in mind?"
Post by Vichee Founder on Sept 2, 2011 19:45:18 GMT -5
Vee returned his smile, giving his hand one last squeeze before getting up. She'd seen the anger ripple through his muscles and the slight clenching of his jaw. She hoped it would calm down with time. So much caged emotion could lead to bad things.
"We're going to attempt hamburgers with veggies and some simple spices. I've never made this before, so it'll be a learning experience for both of us."
She laughed and brushed the sand off her legs.
"I've got everything prepped already, we'll just have to assemble them."
A short few steps to the bag and a quick rummaging brought up aluminum foil, a bag of some kind of dried seasoning, and hamburger buns. She set them on the blanket and then crossed to the cooler, digging out the meat and bags of chopped carrots, onions, mushrooms, green, red, and yellow peppers, and potatoes.
"There we go." She set them on the blanket and plopped don next to him.
"So you take a square of foil and put a layer of potatoes on it. Then your patty. Then whatever other veggies you want....a sprinkle of seasoning. Then you fold it up and make a little handle so itll be easier to pick up." She demonstrated as she spoke, holding up the finished product for him to see.
Post by Dr. Benedict Hidzenboosh on Sept 2, 2011 20:27:55 GMT -5
Ben nodded as she explained it to him. He looked at the supplies before him and began to work. He would make each burger with everything. If she brought it, it must be healthy, right? Just meant more for him to try. He made them slowly and carefully, aware of the fragility of the aluminum foil. When he finished the first, he held it up next to hers. It looked too... mathematical. He roughed it up a bit then put it down beside hers. He moved to the next.
Post by Vichee Founder on Sept 2, 2011 20:45:44 GMT -5
Once he'd begun working, she set to making another, this one without the peppers or mushrooms. She didn't like either of those, but she'd thought maybe Ben would. With that one done, she sat back and watched him make his. She'd only brought enough for four burgers, hoping that would be enough with the stuff left over from lunch.
She giggled when he picked his finished foil back up and rumpled it a bit. Ben's Ben-isms never failed to amuse her.
"I didn't, actually. They made them at this summer camp I went to ages ago. I was...ten. I think." Maybe? She couldn't quite remember. She'd hated summer camp, that was all she remembered.
"Anyway, they made them for us. I just kind of remember part of it and I filled the rest of the blanks in myself."
Post by Dr. Benedict Hidzenboosh on Sept 2, 2011 21:12:44 GMT -5
Ben smiled softly and finished the last one. He placed it with the others and wiped his hands off on his swimming trunks--not that they were exactly clean. He looked at the fire to see if it was at embers yet but decided he wasn't too hungry yet so it could wait. He looked back at Vee and smiled at her.
"Well, either way, it'll be better than what I ate before. Ramen and canned soup has limited flavors. Did you like it when you were younger? Also, what was summer camp like?"
He had never been to summer camp and it had always been of a mild interest but he never saw reason to go. With the rising of this recipe, he felt he should have. Mentally, he shamed himself for being so rebellious against reaching out--not that it wasn't worth it.
Post by Vichee Founder on Sept 2, 2011 21:50:46 GMT -5
"It's definitely lower on the msg too." She laughed, setting all thei foils into a small pile.
Then his question about summer camp. What -had- it been like? She just remembered the other kids getting upset when they got muddy and refusing to go in the watering hole when she told them about Naegleria fowleri. The counselors had been pretty upset about that one. It had been like school, only outside and more dirty.
"I didn't like it much." she murmured softly, looking down and picking at the blanket. "They made fun of me a lot." She shrugged. "It was the same at school, except sometimes the teachers would step in and stop them."
A quick shake of the head, and she tried to cover by offering him a wavering smile. "It's ok though. I got tough. By the time I got into high school it was no biggy anymore. Sometimes I threatened to put brain-eating amoeba into the football team's water jug and they would leave me alone for a while. They were never really sure if I'd do it or not."
Of course, that had lead to more problem, but she didn't want to talk about those. Not right now, when they were supposed to be having fun.
Post by Dr. Benedict Hidzenboosh on Sept 3, 2011 8:12:24 GMT -5
Ben--the brain picker that he is--furrowed his brow in curiosity.
"Why would they pick on you?"
He honestly didn't understand why anyone would want to pick on her. She was smart, fun, energetic and all around great on the eyes--that last thought slipped in there. If they picked on her in school and at summer camp, he wouldn't blame her for hating it. He took in her mannerisms and regretted asking. He should have seen the discomfort with all his years...
"You don't have to answer if you don't want to. When I was in school, I got picked on as well. I was too smart and too quiet for the other's to accept me. Said that I was a freak for being so smart. When in truth, I just read about the subject. Sure, it was to an obsessive level, but I just read. Retaining it was simple when you strive for it. Like a soccer player remembers plays, I remember information."
He shifted and put his feet back into the warm sand, kicking off the sandals, and leaned back on his elbows, watching the fire.
"People just don't understand at such a young age what uniqueness is. What one person would think would be a nuisance, another will find a cleaver distraction. Anything that happens when you are a child... it should be dismissed as growing up. It happens. The real world will be just as harsh, true, but when you are a child, it teaches you what to defend yourself. Someone who is protected all their lives by another will cry when they are alone easier than when they were in school because they never defended themselves. Those who are annexed from society when they are younger from their uniqueness learn that the uniqueness is something others react to different, and tend to try and hide this until finally, they get sick of hiding."
His eyes had slipped to a zoned out state as he watched the flames eat away at the wood. Some embers rose up from a piece of wood breaking.
"Once a person can no longer take hiding, they explode with a state that can only be described as uncaring frustration. This will drag them out of hiding at some point or another. They will step over their fears and continue to stride into the future and society that was shaped around them. Like a snake shedding their skin in order to grow, a human does the same on an emotional level."
He looked at her, eyes lazy and a smile playing at the corner of his mouth.
"So there isn't a reason to get upset or be afraid of the past. They are gone. Nothing will happen to you and no one will judge you in a way that will matter as much as it did before. Not so long as you have me will you ever be an outcast or alone again."
The fire crackled and popped after he finished his statement. Crickets seemed louder to him now and well as other animal sounds like frogs. Did they ship these kinds of animals, he wondered? Or did they manage to get over the wall some how... with this new thought for information, he began to wonder.
Post by Vichee Founder on Sept 3, 2011 11:09:57 GMT -5
"Guess because I was so open about spending so much time in the lab with my dad. I used to go to work with him and just...I don't know play with test tubes or something."
Those were better memories. The people in the lab had liked her and her father, and being in that sort of environment had helped calm her down. It was when she'd established the routine of running in the morning- so she'd be calm enough to go to the lab.
"I'm not afraid of the past. They were all idiots, and they just couldn't handle me." Vee smiled and turned onto her side, curling against him. "It still hurt though, you know? I just...don't like to dwell on it."
Teeth gnawing at her bottom lip, she rested her cheek on his shoulder. "Sometimes when I meet new people I'm afraid they'll be the same way, but I can usually get over it. We aren't in high school anymore."
She smiled, nuzzling the un-sunburnt side of his neck. "And of course I'm never alone now that I have you.."
Post by Dr. Benedict Hidzenboosh on Sept 3, 2011 12:00:34 GMT -5
Ben put an arm around her. What did this make them, he wondered. He kept up on one elbow to watch the fire. He had never seen a campfire other than on TV. Sure, at Ricky's party there was a bonfire that lead to the police being called but that was different. Somehow, this was different than anything before. He frowned as she tried to piece it together in his head. Vee made him feel like someone else--like Ricky did--so he was sure of what it was. Love. He had told her himself. What did that make them though? He didn't quite understand what was happening himself and this frustrated him but he would never show it to her if he could help it. It just wasn't fair to.
He felt an itch to go for his journal but remember he had been leaving that for when he worked only. Something she had broken of him by being around him and inspiring change in him. It was weird, the change. He gently rubbed her arm as he continued to think. He had to turn around everything he was to try to understand what it was that was happening. From the closet into the world, it would be a troublesome transition indeed. Vee had made it easier for him. Much easier, but he couldn't and wouldn't rely on her for everything in this learning process.
She was one person, open and accepting, unlike the rest of the world. The rest was cruel and unyielding to understanding and to learning. His collage classes had proved that. Change was in man, but a change that they wanted, not what they needed. Did he want this change? Was it what he needed? He sighed and shifted slightly for comfort. So much to think about, so much to focus on, so little to do to understand.
"What did you and your dad normally work on?"
He asked this to distract his thoughts so he could focus on her, and the now.
Post by Vichee Founder on Sept 3, 2011 14:35:32 GMT -5
She watched him be lost in thought, trying to guess what he was thinking. Sometimes he looked so conflicted when they were close like this. She'd thought maybe he'd figured it out when he'd kissed her but she supposed not. That was ok though. She could wait forever if it meant waiting for him.
"We would look at cultures of different bacteria under a microscope. When I was little, I didn't know what they were but they were fun to watch." She smiled at the memories of her father urging her to look into the microscope and explaining what was happening, words so big she couldn't have even begun to try to spell them pouring from his mouth and into her ears like the rapids of a river.
"They had mice they would infect with different viruses and such as well. Sometimes I'd get to play with the ones that weren't infected yet. So they'd get used to be held and handled." A soft laugh escaped her lips.
"When I think about it, they were so important, those mice. I just thought they were there to keep the scientists company or something. When the teachers would ask me to draw what my parents did for work, I always drew scientists playing with mice."
Post by Dr. Benedict Hidzenboosh on Sept 3, 2011 14:49:53 GMT -5
The idea of a younger Vee playing with mice made him smile softly. She seemed to have such an innocent nature. Then another image came to him with rats. Lab rats. No different than the people who he used in the past to get to where he was now. The faces of the people he had drugged and pried information from slowly trickled into his mind. They meant nothing to him because it was only to get to what he wanted. No one but Ricky had meant anything to him. He felt like that space was invaded. Invaded or renovated? It was all starting to mesh together. So much that he was was lost with Ricky's final disappearance and all hope being lost. Though he shrived to move on, he longed to remain. This confusion, it isn't something he liked.
He hated confusion.
It was so much easier to keep the faces nameless and lack a relation to them. To be careless with the lives in the name of knowledge. In the name of understanding. In the name of... he couldn't finish that thought. It isn't right. This isn't right. He and Ricky were to be together--if not in this world, then the next. He felt himself become stone--unyielding to the tides of emotions that had started to grow, and the woman beside him. Yes, he cared for her fondly, and did indeed wish she could be the one to take the spot that Ricky seemed to still hold despite valiant efforts. The things he had come to expect from everything was destroyed. He was still on that island, starting at the ships beyond his reach and voice.
He cleared his throat and stood up. The fire was dying and he wanted to watch it closer. He stood by the fire, staring at the fading flames. How could he even begin when his own inner fire seemed to be dying.
"When you became a scientist yourself, what all did you wish to learn, to discover, and to do?"
He asked in order to avoid making this seem awkward.
Post by Vichee Founder on Sept 3, 2011 15:07:48 GMT -5
He pulled away so suddenly, she almost fell. She dropped her elbow quickly, giving a light grunt as it hit the sand. Oh no, this was exactly what she'd been afraid of- him pulling away and throwing all those walls back up.
"I'm not sure." She said softly. "I never had an actual goal. Not one pertaining to science anyway. I was comfortable in a lab. All my fondest memories were in labs. So that's where I decided I wanted to work..." It hadn't exactly ended up how she'd wanted though.
"When I started working though, it was in a facility pretty much dominated by men. It wasn't...what I expected. I had to work for their approval and fight to be given bigger assignments. Sometimes I got sick of fighting, but I guess giving up isn't in me."
'And I'm not giving up on you.' She wasn't going to let him pull away like that and go back to how he'd been before. She cared for him too much to let him go back to that.
Post by Dr. Benedict Hidzenboosh on Sept 3, 2011 15:20:46 GMT -5
"Then you are not happy doing what you do?"
He asked this as he turned back to her. He didn't meet her eyes. He had opened up too much so he was uncomfortable again. His walls rose slowly, but only enough for him to keep his old self present and alive. He lived with memories of Ricky. He alone lived for that one soul. Ben, to himself, had no life to live for he never truly lived before Ricky was there. He waited for her to respond, puzzling over himself.
Was he doing what made him happy? What could you define happiness with anyway. A smile? Warm feelings? Love? That word again in his thoughts... He refused to love. His parents he stopped loving when they rejected his own love for another. His sister, he stopped loving for she loved out of the wounds. Ricky... he still loved that man, damned and blessed his soul be. Ben put a hand over his face, trying to fight back the emotions. He imagined walling them up in his mind in a bottomless pit that held his pain. The emotions would hide there until he was free from company and able to let them come out like a forest fire on a dry underbrush. With the slightest trimmer, his and fell to his side.
Post by Vichee Founder on Sept 3, 2011 15:31:12 GMT -5
She hated watching him fight with himself like that. The want to go comfort him brought her up to her hands and knees, but she stopped. It could make things worse. It might make things better too though. She frowned, now fighting with herself. To get up and help him or to wait and fix the damage later.
"No, I love it." She said softly. "I had to come here to realize that though." Climbing slowly to her feet, she gathered up the foil packets and carried them over to the fire.
Carefully, she brushed up against his side the way she'd gotten in the habit of doing over the past several weeks. Before it had been a comfort thing for herself. Now she was doing it for him. How he reacted would tell her her course of action.
"This place has a way of giving you what you need, don't you think?"
She set the packets in the middle of the coals, spacing them out so they were in a little circle.