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 The Return (Ethan)

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PostSubject: The Return (Ethan)   Sat Nov 03, 2012 12:13 am

Blue Tiran, had all but given up.

Three days. She had called and taken a leave from work. She claimed that she was taking a vacation except that she had never once left the house. The windows were always dark. She hadn't actually moved. She couldn't bring herself to go upstairs to the room they had shared. Where his dirty clothes were in the hamper, where the pillow smelled like him, where his extra shoes were by the bed.

She couldn't go up there.

Her hand was a ball of swollen pain. Broken, she was positive. But, it didn't matter. None of it mattered, she was too tired to sleep, too tired to be really awake. She hadn't moved since she came home. There was no eating, no drinking. No working out her legs. They ached. They ached badly but it kept her from sleeping and she never took her pain meds.

She had thought about it. Enough pain meds would make everything just fade away. She'd never truly kill herself but she could make everything just a blur. Take the edge off every single pain she had ever felt.

But it wasn't important just now.

Right now, she lay there. The TV screen flickered, but there was no sound. There was some sort of old TV show playing. Some sort of syfy marathon of some sort. It was highly popular at some point, enough for them to get a huge marathon on today, but it didn't matter at all to her. She wasn't really watching even if her eyes stared at the large screen. She was under a bundle of blankets, the pain made her body shake and of course, that meant she felt cold. She probably had a slight fever from the wound in her hand but she didn't care.

He hadn't called. He hadn't come by. It was over. He had lied, he was probably back with the people that had hired him. Laughing heartily over the weak woman that he had wooed and stolen all her information from. Over and over again she thought about how he was probably moving on with his life and here she was stuck at the moment in the park. When he had called her Niara. When he liked hearing his name. When he had told her the truth, and it had broken her heart into a million tiny glass shards.

That was what she could not get past.
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PostSubject: Re: The Return (Ethan)   Sun Nov 04, 2012 3:06 am

Ethan Kelly lay prone on a bed of gravel, looking through a digital magnified rangefinder in front of him. He softly pressed the rubber buttons on its side, cycling through the various modes and view types. He sighed softly to himself as he watched through thermal vision the moving yellow and red signature. Quietly reaching for a pen and pad he scribbled notes under a slew of previous entries.

Hour 72.45: No changes. No guards, no movement, no cooling.

That last part was important; that meant Blue was still alive. The body usually cooled after death and then re-warmed as the tissue broke down during the first few hours of decomposition. Its the entire reason the medics used to say that you weren't dead until you were warm and dead. However much of a relief it was to know that Blue just wasn't moving, it still concerned him greatly.

Granted, Ethan had done that to her.

After their altercation in the park Ethan did everything he could to stop his nose from bleeding. After ruining a perfectly good shirt, he returned to the one safe-house he was confident Paladin didn't know about. Changing in to a light gray shirt and dark cargo BDU slacks, Ethan collected supplies to keep watch of Blue.

From her initial reaction Ethan knew that Blue was going to let her emotions take control. This wasn't emotional, it had been business. Ethan had done a job, had rescinded it, and had been honest about his feelings. Every bit of their relationship had been the real thing...all except for his name, of course.

The problem was, Blue hadn't done anything in three days. Ethan had set up shop on the rooftop of the adjacent apartment building and it had seemed like Blue hadn't left the couch. No guards or chatter on the corporate radios meant she hadn't gone to New Dawn to expose him, and the lack of food deliveries meant she hadn't eaten at least for a day and a half. There wasn't much food in the apartment as it was, and not even the guy from her second favorite Mexican restaurant showed up.

Fact was her favorite place didn't deliver, but she would completely "suffer" through the food from there for the shear convenience. Why did that last part matter? Ethan wasn't sure, but it made him smile...thinking about her theatrics.

I can't let her do this to herself. She probably hurt her hand too...no one seems to remember the metallic bone overlays.

Pulling his cell phone from his pocket, he quickly typed out a quick message, and pulled his eye up to the rangefinder once more, to see if it got her moving.

[How's your hand? Are you ok? You haven't moved in three days...I'm worried about you.]
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PostSubject: Re: The Return (Ethan)   Sun Nov 04, 2012 2:29 pm

Blue stared at the screen.

Her eyes were glazed over. She was honestly, at this point, rather weak. The pain was a strange pulsating ache more than a sharp pain. That was probably only because she wasn't moving. She was fairly certain if she moved at this point it would be close to excrutiating. She knew she was only setting herself back. With her recovery, but she couldn't find the time to care. She only got up from time to time to use the bathroom but without needing to eat or drink at the moment it was happening less and less.

She knew that she would eventually have to get up. The problem was, right now, she couldn't find that motivation. She had loved him, so .. so much. She supposed she still did, perhaps that was why it hurt so bad everytime she thought about him. Ethan Kelly. At least it was better than John, it had always seemed like such a simple name for a guy that she had fallen for. But now, it turns out his name was Ethan all along.

Tears stung her eyes and Blue slammed them shut just as a text pinged in her mind. Without thinking much of it she opened it and read it.

So he was watching her. Obviously. How was her hand? Really. Was she okay? Really? Well if he knew that she hadn't moved in thre days then he knew fuck well what the answer to all his questions were. So she sent back a system message instead of a personal reply.

[We're sorry. The number you are trying to reach is no longer accepting messages from his number.]

Take that, ETHAN KELLY. She thought to herself as she let her eyes remain closed. Maybe she could doze off for a while. That seemed to help. Sleeping took all the pain physical and emotional away for a while. Sleeping was good. She almost wished she had the gumption to make it upstairs. For a bath. Take a nice bath and relax all her painful muscles. But, she couldn't, she'd rather sleep. Sleep was better than bath. And if she moved now he might think he had some sort of effect on her.

Well he didn't!... sorta..
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PostSubject: Re: The Return (Ethan)   Sun Nov 04, 2012 11:10 pm

Ethan watched Blue form shift ever so slightly before he received a text message in return.

[We're sorry. The number you are trying to reach is no longer accepting messages from his number.]

Does she know that text systems don't send those messages?

He had no idea how it could get this bad this fast. How could he ever have anticipated a reaction like this? This wasn't Blue...this was someone else. Blue was stronger than this, more resilient. It was hard to imagine Blue a sniveling blob on a couch, losing herself in the past actions of hurt and pain.

He quickly typed another message and sent it.

[Haha. Very funny. Don't make me come in there. I doubt very much you'd want me in your presence.]

He meant it more as a sympathetic move towards her feelings, not a threat. Albeit, it could sound threatening if taken in the wrong context. Text messages had that poor conveyance of emotion and tone. Hopefully she wouldn't take it the wrong way.

Pulling a protein bar from his pack, he unwrapped it and began to slowly chew it. Adjusting his position to something more comfortable on the gravel roof, Ethan waited to see if he could get another response.
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PostSubject: Re: The Return (Ethan)   Sun Nov 04, 2012 11:25 pm

Obviously, he didn't get the message.

Or at least he didn't care what the message had said. She supposed this was the very emo way of dealing with things. But, Blue had her own set of issues. She had been abandoned by every person that meant something in her life. They came back, eventually, but the pain still resonated. She thought, she had found something in Sol. But he had left and never returned. She never knew if he died, or if something happened and he moved, or if she turned out to just not be important enough anymore.

Then John... correction ETHAN came along. After that, she thought maybe, finally, something good was happening in her life. She felt like they were really getting to know one another. She had never counted on a person more than she had counted on John. To find out that the entire relationship, the entire time they had known each other was nothing more than a lie...

.. had broken something inside her.

Blue got the message. She didn't deign it with a response. She thought about for a moment mentally locking down the house. But, she didn't. In fact, she was so out of connection that she didn't even know where Albert was. He was currently on auto-pilot with nothing to do so he had found one of the ducts that lead outside and with the beacon that she had used on John at some point was able to locate the man on the other building.

Albert was not sentient, but he knew that his master was in distress. So he flew across the street and landed on the rooftop next to Ethan. Giving a little mechanical hoot hoot to the man before pecking his hand in what he termed an 'endearing' movement that probably hurt like a sonofa bitch. Still, the little owl was there, and not with his master which meant things were bad. not to mention, his power was running low which meant she hadn't charged him in a while. Unlike Blue who cared for Albert much like a child.

Albert's chest cavity opened to a tiny screen. The power level was only a 5% which was dangerously low for the little non-feathered creature, and then it showed a picture of Blue, who was staring glassy eyed as the TV flickered on and off her face. She wasn't moving, but at least she was breathing.
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PostSubject: Re: The Return (Ethan)   Mon Nov 05, 2012 12:10 am

Minutes flew by as the message wasn't responded to and Ethan began to get worried, really worried. She had shifted only a bit, most likely an indication of receiving the text, but nothing about a response. Movement out of an exterior vent caught his eye as a small blue owl came and perched itself on the roof. Ethan rose an eyebrow over the range finder to watch the bird scuttle over to him.

Albert? What are you doing here?

The bird hooted in a mechanical fashion and pecked at Ethan's hand. It hurt like hell, but it almost seemed like a movement of care. Ethan suppressed a curse and sucked on the skin where Albert had pecked him. The bird's chest opened and revealed a small screen. That definitely wasn't there before.

Looks like you got some upgrades, sweet deal dude...what are you...Blue?

The owl only made a commiseratory sound, and the movie of Blue laying on the couch began to flicker and fade. He scooped up the small mechanical bird and petted it softly.

You did good Albert, power up here and watch my stuff, ok? You did great.

Pulling a cord from his portable electric lamp, he plugged in the owl and watched the charging icon appear and he sighed with relief. He remembered a conversation about the dangers of letting Albert completely drain his battery. The specifics he wasn't sure on, but he knew it was important to keep him powered. With that completed, Ethan rushed down the stairs of the building he was on and crossed the street to the apartment complex that he had called home for the past nine months or more.

Walking up to her door, he listened at the jam and heard minimal sounds. He banged on the door.

Blue? Blue! Open the door Blue...you can't keep doing this to yourself!!

She didn't respond...that left only one option for Ethan: breaking the door down. He took a couple of steps back, squaring a shoulder. At the moment before charging through the now reenforced door, he had a crazy idea.

He casually slid a key in the lock, turned it, and opened the door. Walking in to the apartment, he saw her on the couch.

You didn't change the locks? he asked in a flat, yet curious tone.
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PostSubject: Re: The Return (Ethan)   Mon Nov 05, 2012 12:24 am

She jumped when he banged on the door.

But she didn't move. There was no need. If he really wanted in, he would get in. She could lock down the apartment, but then that would defeat the purpose. She bit her lower lip, and she knew, she knew that what she really wanted WAS for him to find her. She wanted him to come in, and to talk to her, to tell her he was sorry, to try to make ammeds for lying to her for the past 10 months. She wanted all of that, and he couldn't do that if he couldn't get in.

If he didn't try, then all he had said in the park, the "I love you" meant nothing.

The door opened, the rush of fresh air was almost refreshing as she lay there on the couch. His line didn't get even a bark of laughter, though her lips quirked slightly. He was still himself. Something about that just made her feel.. special she guessed. Because, he was still the same man that she had fallen in love with.

Why are you here?

She asked him softly, she didn't get up but she shifted so that she could see him. Her eyes were soft, and you could tell that even though she slept a fair amount just out of laying in the same spot all the time, she wasn't getting actual rest. Her hair was a mess, her skin was paler than normal, and she knew for a fact he would be mad if he realized how thin she had gotten.

Being elven she was already slender, but being that she was half human it meant she needed to eat more and .. when she didn't her already thin frame grew fragile and frail. She brushed some of her curls out of her face and her eyes followed him as she lay there watching him. She wanted to hug him. She wanted to throw herself in his arms and cry and seek the comfort that she knew was always there.

Come to tell me more truths? she asked a bit harshly.
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PostSubject: Re: The Return (Ethan)   Mon Nov 05, 2012 12:48 am

He got a slight smile from his comment, which was a positive sign, but it was what he saw that truly worried him. She looked like hell, and that was putting it lightly and nicely. She looked thin...thinner than usual. There was no meat to her bones, and she had a glazed over look to her eyes like she hadn't had restful sleep.

Why are you here?

Ethan tilted his head at her and raised an eyebrow. Had she seen herself?

That's a pretty stupid question, don't you think?

She sat up a bit more, only revealing her poor figure the more. Blue's cheekbones were more apparent than he had ever seen her, and her eyes glowered with anger, most likely from his previous comment. He didn't care. That girl needed some rough truths about the world she lived in, no matter how much it had hurt Ethan to reveal them.

May I come in?

Come to tell me more truths? she snapped back, nearly snarling. Yeah...she was pissed.

You want truths? Ethan's face turned as he slowly closed the door.

I've been sitting here for three days worried that you were losing it, and I have to be shown your pitiful condition by Albert of all the semi-sentient beings in this world!

He was almost powered down completely, Blue.


Pulling an ottoman around so he could sit in front of her, he noticed her hand.

Gods, look what happened to your hand! You haven't eaten, otherwise you wouldn't look like a skeleton and if you were exercising your leg, you wouldn't be spasming in pain.

He looked deeply in to her eyes.

You can't do this to yourself...I won't let you do this to yourself.
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PostSubject: Re: The Return (Ethan)   Mon Nov 05, 2012 1:06 am

She didn't know what to think about him being here. She sat herself up using her one good hand to sit up just slightly. Her eyes following him as he asked if he could come in which she could only come back with her little snide question. She was mad. More mad at him than she had been at anything in a very long time. She was tired, hungry, in pain, and she just couldn't figure out what the hell he was doing here. It took him three days to come here. Three days to enter the house, and that was pretty bad.

The thing that hit her hard was that Albert had almost completely powered down. Her face and eyes showed the shame that she felt. letting him go so long without putting him in his doc. That wasn't fair to him and she felt terrible.

He sat down in front of her on the ottoman and she watched him with her soft glazed eyes. She wasn't sure if there was something he was here for. Maybe it was just to get his crap. All his clothes and things were still here. Surely, he would need that kind of stuff. She bit her lower lip as he dug into her. She tried to hide her broken hand underneath the blanket, but he had already seen it. She still placed it in the blanket though.

You're not going to let me do this to myself? YOU'RE not going to let me. YOU did this! You did this when you told me that you lied about EVERYTHING! EVERYTHING!! And what the HELL do you want here? Do you feel bad do you feel guilty. Albert flies all the way over there and you come rushing in to save the day because poor Blue can't handle it on her own or whatever. You know what! You did this! You abandoned me like every freaking person in the world! Like everyone that has ever meant anything to me!

Blue shot off the couch. Forgetting that she hadnt worked out in three days. Crying out in pain, she collapsed to the floor with a scream as her hand that was broken impacted the floor and she lay there. Tears streaming from her eyes as she worked to use her mistreated legs and her one good hand to get her back off the floor. She felt hands take her and slowly help her up.

I don't need help! she screamed, as tears flowed faster. I don't need your pity!
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PostSubject: Re: The Return (Ethan)   Mon Nov 05, 2012 1:24 am

She didn't seem to take his presence there very well. She started laying right back in to him in her unrelenting fashion.

You're not going to let me do this to myself? YOU'RE not going to let me. YOU did this! You did this when you told me that you lied about EVERYTHING!

I never said every...

EVERYTHING!! And what the HELL do you want here? Do you feel bad do you feel guilty.

All Ethan could do was stare at her. He was mad that she was mad at him, mainly because it seemed she had delusions in her mind about what he said, and she was mad at him for the wrong reasons, in his opinion. Nevertheless, he let her continue.

You know what! You did this! You abandoned me like every freaking person in the world! Like everyone that has ever meant anything to me!

That last bit caused Ethan to shoot her a glare. He knew alot about her abandonment issues...it was half the reason he was there with her now.

If I abandoned you...why am I here then Blue? HUH? Why am I her? Maybe its because I care about you...maybe, just maybe...those lies you seem to think I told you about love and all that...WEREN'T. Did you even consider that?

With that, she jumped up and fell quicker than a bag full of rocks with a scream of pain. Ethan tried to catch her, but wasn't fast enough. Despite it all, he helped her whimpering, tear-soaked form back to the couch.

I don't need help! I don't need your pity!

No, you need a doctor's help for your broken hand, and I'm not pitying you. Now sit there and shut up while I get you your pain meds...should help with your hand.

He strolled off to retrieve them and brought her a glass of water and three pills, one more than normal.

Take these...please.
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PostSubject: Re: The Return (Ethan)   Mon Nov 05, 2012 1:34 am

Why was he here?

That was a very good question, and one she did not know the answer to. She merely shrugged. He told her that he loved her. That it hadn't been a like and she had to admit that part of her had been waiting desperatly to hear such a thing because she never thought he would say that. But, even still she was mad at all the lying. She didn't deserve the lying. She didn't deserve to have had their entire relationship be a lie.

When she fell he picked her up and put her back on the couch. This time sitting up. Her legs were shaking in pain and her hand was almost numb which was a bad thing. She didn't care at this point though, she just wanted to feel better. Human again, she guessed. He came back with her pain meds, and she bit her lower lip as she picked the three pills out of his hand and took the glass of water downing them quickly.

Licking her lips she looked over at him with those blue eyes of hers. A bit of green swirled within them.

So tell me, flat out. What was a lie. I have to know John.. I.. I'm going crazy. I.. I thought I had you all set, all figured out, I hacked you, read your file. I dove deep. And then.. then I find out that there were lies. I don't know what's real. What's not real. I don't know what to believe. I keep thinking that it's all a lie.. and then you tell me it's not. So I don't know what to believe.. I don't know what's real... I don't know ... what was really you and what was this.. other person... I don't even know if I really know you.. are you the person that I love? Are you the same person you were four days ago?

Blue looked up at him. Helplessly, as she waited for a response. This killed her. She needed answers in a bad way. She needed to know what was real and what was fake. She needed him to tell her what was really going on and to give her the answers because otherwise she wasn't sure how she was going to be able to let it go.

I hacked it again you know. Your file. It's solid. Really solid. I still can't find a single thing that says it was hacked and fake, and yet.. I know it is and I can't find it! I can't find it!
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PostSubject: Re: The Return (Ethan)   Mon Nov 05, 2012 4:15 am

Ethan smiled in satisfaction as Blue swallowed her pills. That should give her some relief from the pain. Her hand was shaking...he was surprised she wasn't completely in shock from the fall.

Good. Can we at least talk? I don't want to fight about this...and I would feel better if I cleared some things on your mind before I brought you to the hospital.

She licked her lips and looked at him as he sat back down on the ottoman.

So tell me, flat out. What was a lie. I have to know John.. I.. I'm going crazy. I.. I thought I had you all set, all figured out, I hacked you, read your file. I dove deep. And then.. then I find out that there were lies. I don't know what's real. What's not real. I don't know what to believe. I keep thinking that it's all a lie.. and then you tell me it's not. So I don't know what to believe.. I don't know what's real... I don't know ... what was really you and what was this.. other person... I don't even know if I really know you.. are you the person that I love? Are you the same person you were four days ago?

Ethan sat forward and dry washed his hands for a moment.

The name you knew me by was a lie, as was the circumstances by which I became your bodyguard. Originally, my purpose being there was a lie...I was there to steal your work, not protect you or get close to you. My past at Paladin was a lie by omission: I never mentioned it, and its not in my file...but I did work for them for things that were less-than-legal. That's it.

Her look showed disbelief, and he met her eyes with a determined stare.

Everything else, the relationship especially, is real. I never changed who I was, what I liked or how I acted for my mission with you. Its never really been my style to play a character. I'm just me...the John Rivers you know is just the Ethan Kelly before you now.

I hacked it again you know. Your file. It's solid. Really solid. I still can't find a single thing that says it was hacked and fake, and yet.. I know it is and I can't find it! I can't find it!

She sounded desperate for answers, it seemed that she had been out-hacked had really bothered her. Ethan tried not to smile, but he couldn't hold it in. It was amazing the things she got so riled up about!

Of course its solid. Its my file. All they did was modify the name, and did the same to John's file. Right after the war, they made official name changes to all military personnel to add middle initials to their files. They hacked that particular operation and simply changed the input.

From what I hear, its nearly impossible to detect. If you were looking about modifications to the file itself...you'd come up empty.

Now, anymore questions before I take you to the hospital for your hand? Yes, I'm taking you, and fight all you want, but I will win.
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PostSubject: Re: The Return (Ethan)   Mon Nov 05, 2012 12:10 pm

She already knew that the name was a lie. It was hard to get used to calling him Ethan instead of John. Of course, she had initially called him 'Rivers'. Until she had gotten to where she actually liked him and that slowly shifted into John, and now she was going to have to remember that his name was actually Ethan. Ethan Kelly. It was a nice name, one of the names that she actually liked. But, it felt like it didn't fit him. His name was John.

It was so hard for her to wrap her mind around something as simplistic as his name.

His being hired was a lie, obviously. she wondered what he had been actually hired to steal, she planned to ask here in a few moments as he continued to explain. Blue was being nice, allowing him to speak and not jumping down his throat the way that she wanted to. Knowing it wasn't going to get anything accomplished.

That and her pain meds were kicking in nicely. Funny anger wasn't as big of a problem when you weren't in pain....

He explained that Paladin wasn't in his files what so ever because what he had done was less than legal. She figured that much since he was spying on her in her lab from day one. So that wasn't a shocker. Still, she thought him better than that. He had never seemed the illegal type.

He told her that the relationship, his personality, and everything else was really him. She visibly relaxed. The thing was, he had come out to her. And, she knew that with his cover blown he wasn't going to succeed with what his true mission had been. If he had been honest about coming clean to the Paladin people about not fulfilling his mission, then he wasn't working for them anymore.

He asked if she had anymore questions.

What were you trying to steal? What was so important that Paladin needed their hands on it? I can't think of anything they would actually need, so I'm confused. I know ... a long time ago, they were in negotiations with New Dawn, for me. Trying to I guess... trade me.. like a football player or something. But, I was too valuable to New Dawn, and Paladin wouldn't pay high enough. But, I don't really understand what they're after.

Blue watched him, the fight had gone out of her. She was still mad, still hurt, but she wasn't pissed as much anymore. She just was trying to process everything. She looked down at her broken hand. It did look pretty bad. Purple, blue, red. It was swollen and thanks to the pain pills no longer trembling.

Can't we just call Doctor Silber to come here? I don't know that I want to go anywhere. I have a portable xray machine in the garage, I made a while back. And, .. I'm not sure how far I can walk. she said shamedly.
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PostSubject: Re: The Return (Ethan)   Mon Nov 05, 2012 11:47 pm

What were you trying to steal? What was so important that Paladin needed their hands on it? I can't think of anything they would actually need, so I'm confused.

Ethan shrugged at the question, mainly because he wasn't sure himself.

I'm not sure, it didn't specify any particular item, just any and all research and provisional item material I could find. I assumed anything Paladin could produce better or faster would go to R&D, while anything potentially dangerous could get leaked to the media, or ransomed for money or secrets.

I don't pretend to know about motives for corporate espionage, I'm just good at it.


Blue seemed seriously more docile now and she hadn't fought him on so much since. Ethan supposed it was the pills, painkillers being the way they were and all. It made some things a little easier. That, and the fact that she had seemed to visibly relax once she knew the relationship wasn't a lie....he still loved her, and that was true. She did still seem to fight over hospital treatment, however.

Can't we just call Doctor Silber to come here? I don't know that I want to go anywhere. I have a portable x-ray machine in the garage, I made a while back. And, .. I'm not sure how far I can walk.

That last sentence was said with so much shame in her voice, it wrenched Ethan's heart. His eyes got soft, feeling deep sympathy for the woman he loved so.

We can call the doctor, and don't be upset about walking...its ok. He whispered softly in her ear as he pulled his cell from his pocket and dialed the number. Kissing her forehead softly, Ethan walked in to the next room and tried scheduling a house call for Blue.
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PostSubject: Re: The Return (Ethan)   Tue Nov 06, 2012 12:12 am

She was almost mad again, that he didn't even know what he was after. Just apparently, whatever he could get his hands on. Which was stupid. Lame. And she supposed the best way to get someone to do their job and not compromise it was not to tell them what they were after in the first place. They wouldn't be able to accidentally let it slip or whatever.

He said he would try to get the doctor to come over. Which she really appreciated. He knew that she didn't do well when someone carried her and babied her. She didn't like to be carried and she didn't like to be treated like an invalid. She could only bite her lower lip as he left the room calling the doctor. Her walker was upstairs for the morning times when she needed it the most. Her cane was down here but she knew for a fact she wouldn't be strong enough to use it.

When he came back. She was working herself up off the couch, and was grateful for him coming close and she put her arms around his shoulders. She had to go to the bathroom and she was glad that he was willing to take her there. She bit her lower lip as she let him help her and then went to the bathroom washed her face and felt like she was a bit more human.

The doctor was coming in less than an hour, and she knew that she was paying out the ass for it but it would be worth not having the embarassment of being carried into the hospital. When they were back in the living room she actually asked him for an orange juice. She had her good hand wrapped around the glass and sipped at it gently.

Okay. So. What.. exactly are you going to do now? What is the purpose of you being here now? I mean.. that came out wrong. What are we going to do.. what is your point.. now? What is your plan now?
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PostSubject: Re: The Return (Ethan)   Tue Nov 06, 2012 3:27 am

After a long call and much arguing with the doctor, Ethan finally got him to come down. It took a while and a rather large sum of promised money and favors, but Ethan was willing to pay it. Like hell if she thought she was going to pay for it...it was his face she broke her hand on, and he felt bad. It was an unfair advantage, especially in situations similar to this.

Blue seemed more energetic than she had the entire three days past, which was a good thing. Ethan still needed to help her go to the bathroom and get back to the couch, at the very least the trips back and forth. She even wanted some orange juice...juice! It was a step in the positive direction. It wasn't actual solid food...but that would be upcoming.

As she sipped the juice carefully with her good hand, she spoke again to him as he settled back on to the ottoman.

Okay. So. What.. exactly are you going to do now? What is the purpose of you being here now?

Really Blue? Ethan's thoughts seemed to mirror his actions as he raised a single eyebrow in a mildly pissed thought...who the hell was she to get help and then question his presence?

I mean.. that came out wrong. What are we going to do.. what is your point.. now? What is your plan now?

That wasn't much better...

I don't know Blue...I thought things would just fall in to place, like we did, you know? I never really thought about the immediate future. I just...knew I needed to tell you. I couldn't lie to you anymore.

Almost as if on cue, the door buzzed.

That must be the doctor.
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PostSubject: Re: The Return (Ethan)   Tue Nov 06, 2012 11:13 pm

She wasn't sure what he would do either. She supposed that was a stupid question. And of course, a terrible way of asking. She just, didn't know what to do. She was still mad about him laying, but she was slowly getting over it. It didn't change the fact that she loved him dearly. Because the thing was, after she really thought about it she wasn't even as mad as she was hurt that he had lied to her for all this time. She had told him things that she had never told another person.

She had told hima bout her father, and her brother, how her sister ran and her parents forgot her. She had told him about all kinds of things. How she had gotten her nickname, and things like that. She had poured herself to him and she still loved him so much but to know he had easily lied to her, had killed her.

She was saved doing anything further when the doorbell buzzed and the doctor had gotten there. Doctor Silber was the man that worked on her legs and hips. He was the one that took care of her bones, pains, and keeping her up on her physical therapy and he did not look happy that she hadn't been to her appointments in the last several days.

"Niara Tiran. Do I want to know why I'm here?"

"I broke my hand." she said simply and held it out for him. He pulled the ottoman close and flicked on the lights that were close by. She winced and let him look over her hand he sighed. It looked bad, especially in the light.

"You broke it terribly. And, days ago if my guess is right." he said looking up at her sharply.

"Do you need to xray it?" she asked.

"No, I can do that on my own. Lets get it set. This is going to hurt."

She screamed. Loud. When he set the bones in her hands and fingers. But he worked quick, and it was over. Though she was whimpering slightly as he wrapped her hands and fingers in the thick guaze and hardened fabric that would make the cast.

"I would say with your healing, being half elf, you'll be able to use this in about three weeks, IF you don't use it until then. AT ALL. I mean it, Niara." he said firmly.

"Yes, sir." she said thoroughly down.

"Now stand up." he said motioning. She bit her lower lip, and he sighed. "How many days of physical therapy and stretching have you missed?"

"Three."

He pursed his lips. "Well Niara, you've set yourself back at least a week. With your legs and hips. How is the back?"

"Comes and goes." she shrugged.

He nodded. "I want to see you in my office day after tomorrow, and we'll discuss how things are going then. Until then, stretches three times a day, here's a better prescription for the pain, and we'll reasses then."

He got up and gathered his things. Heading out, his office would send out the bill later anyway. Niara, set back and sighed when he was gone. Looking up at the ceiling. She felt Ethan come and sit next to her on the couch. Her left hand reached over and twined itself within his own. Her eyes closed. She felt so tired, so weary, and yet, too jolty to let herself go and sleep.

When can I read your real file? The one that is all about Ethan Kelly? she asked softly. Can I see your Paladin file?
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PostSubject: Re: The Return (Ethan)   Wed Nov 07, 2012 7:55 pm

Ethan quietly nodded to the doctor as he entered the apartment. Silbar was a quiet man for the most part, with a clean past and a near unprofessional amount of sarcasm for his bedside manner.

Niara Tiran. Do I want to know why I'm here?

Ethan smirked. He knew there was a reason he liked the good doctor.

Excusing himself while the doctor assessed Blue, Ethan made a quick trip back to the rooftop of the building across the street. Quickly gathering his things, he noted Albert watching him with interest. Well, as much interest as a mechanical owl can pull together. Once Ethan had completed pulling together his tent, sleeping materials and self-defense pieces, he turned to the small owl.

You ready to come back and dock up? Everything is ok in there. Thanks again for helping me.

Disconnecting the charging cord with a click, Albert hooted in reply and pecks his hand again, potentially affectionately. The blue owl flapped away towards the apartment whilst Ethan found himself once again suppressing curses from pain. Once everything was packed in to a large backpack and a long, plastic suitcase he descended the buildings stairs and went back to the apartment.

By the time he had come back, Doctor Silbar was wrapping Blue's hand and giving her strict, chastising instructions on the care of her hand. After completing his word, he left without a word, leaving Ethan and Blue sitting next to one another on the couch in a rather awkward silence appropriate to the situation. She reached over and took his hand in her own and he squeezed hers softly.

When can I read your real file? The one that is all about Ethan Kelly?

He looked over at her. She seemed kind of loopy. Whatever the reason, drugs or just general fatigue, it was a very specific question. Not one he really wanted to deal with right now.

But, then again, the time for secrets was far past.

You've seen my file, its just John Rivers with a different name. You've already known everything about me through my military file.

Can I see your Paladin file?

His Paladin file? The one with all the horrible things he did in the name of corporate rule and dominance? That file?

My...Paladin file? Are you sure? I haven't been really...good. You may hate me once you've read that file. Do you really want to open that door?
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PostSubject: Re: The Return (Ethan)   Wed Nov 07, 2012 11:44 pm

Blue knew that he probably wasn't the most legal kind of guy. She had figured that out, sadly, after he had come clean that his name wasn't John Rivers and that he was working for Paladin. Stealing her research. She had a feeling that it was a cake walk for him. Come into a lab of a very self conscious and hermit like Inventor and steal her things while he pretended to be her bodyguard, probably guarding her against people that worked for the same company as him. People that were in with him, he had everything under control only had to have it look dangerous.

She looked over at him, and she could see the bit of fear in his eyes. Perhaps it was more worry than fear, but she knew that there were things in his file he would rather were left burried. She could understand that, but if he wanted her to trust him, if he wanted her to feel safe with him again, she was going to have to know everything. She could probably hack her way into the Paladin mainframe, take the information if she wanted.

But she wanted him to give it to her instead.

I'm positive I want to know. I need to know everything. There can't be .. surprises like this kind.. again. I.. I can't take the fear of losing you or of having it never been to begin with. I know you probably think I took it a little too hard. But, You .. you KNOW my past, and .. the mere thought of having everything been a lie.. I just.. it felt like everything just crumbled.

Blue twisted slightly. She was sorry she had broken her hand but she was not sorry for punching him in the face. She could barely see where she punched him. Figured that he'd barely be hurt while she broke her damn hand. Damn metallic implants.

I .. I want to know everything about you. I love you, you know that. I've said it in text and in words. It hasn't changed, even after the truth came out I didn't stop loving you, I just didn't know what to make of all the information. But, I.. I need to know everything, right now, so that we can move forward. You said you don't want there to be any secrets between us. So, I'm holding you to that.
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PostSubject: Re: The Return (Ethan)   Thu Nov 08, 2012 12:09 am

Her eyes met his, judging and weighing his responses. She seemed to be reading his feelings, and to say he was more worried than fearful would be an accurate assessment. There were a lot of jobs in his black file through Paladin: assassinations, covert military operations, specialties in combat and out were all included. He doubted very much that his specialties in 'advanced interrogation techniques' aka torture, would be a good conversation.

I'm positive I want to know. I need to know everything. There can't be .. surprises like this kind.. again.

Ethan nodded, he knew he needed to be the one to give it to her. Either that, or she would try hacking her way in to it...that wouldn't end well when they found her hacking a covert server.

Ok, I can understand that. I just...I'll be honest...I'm petrified of your opinion of me after you read it.

I .. I want to know everything about you. I love you, you know that. I've said it in text and in words. It hasn't changed, even after the truth came out I didn't stop loving you, I just didn't know what to make of all the information. But, I.. I need to know everything, right now, so that we can move forward. You said you don't want there to be any secrets between us. So, I'm holding you to that.

Ethan rose, still holding her hand.

I kinda wanted to keep that stuff secret. I'm not proud of a lot of it...but I'll show you. Just, you can't divulge any information about covert operations and things restricted by the former Human Military.

...just a disclaimer.


Retrieving a laptop from his bag, he opened it and started it up. Any covert operative gets access to a secret, black network related to wetwork and the like. Even when we are affiliated with a particular company, our jobs our detailed. Kind of like a mercenary/spy resume.

He punched his login information and accessed his personal history, passing the laptop to her.

This is Ethan Kelly...this was me, he stated simply as he walked away slowly. He didn't want to see her reaction.
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PostSubject: Re: The Return (Ethan)   Thu Nov 08, 2012 12:26 am

She could understand not wanting to tell the woman you loved about all the of the horrible things that you had done. She just felt, that she needed to know for her own sanity, and so that everything was out on the table. No surprises later, that weren't all ready planned. No bad surprises anyway. She hoped. So as he rose, she gave him a soft reassuring smile and let him go get his laptop.

She had never pried into his laptops or anything. She didn't like to break people's trust that way. There were times her mind would wander and she would find herself reading some sort of fanfic of someone's computer close by and have to pull out of it. It was one of the curses of being a technopath. Sometimes, the lines between yours and theirs were blurred.

She watched as he sat next to her and logged into the computer. The Paladin database was right there, and he handed it over to her with his file pulled up. Blue didn't need to actually use the computer, she slipped mentally into the file and began to read throught everything. Only vaguely aware that he was leaving.

She saw everything. When he came to Paladin. What he was initially hired for. She saw the things they asked him to do. REad the reports on how well that he did them. She skimmed and read, and learned, and opened every file that she could. And then, she got to something she didn't quite understand.

Burned.

Under status. It said Ethan Kelly: Burned.

Pulling her mind back into the real world her eyes flittered across the apartment to find Ethan and her brows furrowed.

Hey hun, what does Burned mean?

He looked shocked. So she went a bit more in depth.

Right here, under Current Status, it says Burned. Does that mean something specific? It just seems stranged since you aren't burned, and there aren't any burns on you, so I'm confused...

Of course, Blue didn't know all the spy lingo in the world, so she didn't understand that what she had stumbled on was something he wasn't technically supposed to know. Suddenly, right as Ethan looked at the computer, the screen went black and the computer itself shut down. Her brows furrowed, she hadn't done that and he hadn't done that so.. the only answer could be... Paladin.
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PostSubject: Re: The Return (Ethan)   Thu Nov 08, 2012 3:46 am

Ethan walked slowly around the apartment, taking long steps in a contemplative stance, his chin resting in his fingers. He kept thinking that Blue would suddenly find something and turn on him completely. If that happened, what would he do? He literally gave up everything for her....what would life be like if she rejected him? What he received from her was completely unexpected.

Hey hun, what does Burned mean?

Ethan's eyes widened in shock and he spun to face her.

What did you say?

Right here, under Current Status, it says Burned. Does that mean something specific? It just seems stra... Ethan wasn't listening at that point.

In the corner of his eye, he saw the laptop blink out and shutdown. Most likely fried...that meant....

Bloody ashes!

Ethan rushed over to his pack and began quickly tossing items from it looking for a specific item. A specific, semi-automatic item to be exact. Despite his mildly frantic search the pistol he was looking for was safely tucked away in his vehicle, nearly a klick away. Blue seemed insistent as to why he was looking so frantic, nearly demanding what 'burned' meant.

Being burned is really, really bad for someone in my line of work. Based on that computer, they got a GPS lock on us...and we should expect company...

He was interrupted by the sounds of screeching tires and multiple car doors being opened and slammed closed.

...now. You don't happen to have that pistol here, do you?
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PostSubject: Re: The Return (Ethan)   Thu Nov 08, 2012 9:20 am

Bloody ashes?

Was that actually a phrase?

Blue watched him frantically running around the apartment. He had never answered her question and now she was really starting to get worried. She hadn't seen him this freaked out except when she woke up in the hospital after they had told him they weren't sure she would make it. It had all depended on her, and if she woke up then she would probably be just fine. When she did, she had never see him so freaked out, but he suddenly relaxed when he had touched her hand. When she had spoken his name, at least, the name she had known him by then.

He began to tear through his things looking for something, and she rose tossing the dead computer onto the couch and walked over to him demanding again to know what 'burned' meant. He finally told her that it was basically a death sentence. Blue's brows furrowed. Why in the hell would someone be in this line of work.

My Glock is in the kitchen, it's all I have here. she kept it in the kitchen for home defense and since John..Ethan always had a gun on him they just used his when they were in the bedroom sleeping incase someone decided to get curious.

She wasn't sure exactly what was going on but by the worried look on his face this was going to be to bad. Luckily, she had a back up plan for that. She also knew that she could backtrace the kill order to the computer and figure out where it came from, but they already knew it was from Paladin it wasn't going to change anything if she followed the trace. They had to get somewhere safe.

Unknowingly to Ethan, .. this entire apartment, was a bit more than meets the eye. She stood there watching Ethan go over to the fridge to the small box on top where she kept the Glock. A cereal box. For disguise. As she did that, her mind tapped into the automated apartment, and locked down suddenly.

~Lockdown in progress~ said the computerized female voice.

Blast doors came down on all the doors and windows. The ventilation system switched to a self sustaining, self cleaning, self efficient system. The lights dimmed and only emergency lights were on now, small little nodes that had been placed almost invisibly along the ceiling and the floors in the apartment. She knew that he would be shocked, but Blue was a bit paranoid and she knew that her creations and inventions were well desired. She had to make sure she protect herself and her things.

~Lockdown completed.~

Blue looked over at the shocked Ethan.

Get your stuff and go to the bathroom. she said as she headed into the bedroom and began to pull a box out from underneath the bed.
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PostSubject: Re: The Return (Ethan)   Fri Nov 09, 2012 12:05 am

She mentioned the location of her pistol in the kitchen, and Ethan was quick to search for it. Blue mentioned something about the cereal boxes. Pulling an abnormally heavy box from the top of the refrigerator, Ethan couldn't help but comment.

Best prize at the bottom of the box ever.

He retrieved the magazine from another box, and slammed it home. Pulling the action back and letting go, he sighed as he considered his options.

Probably two, maybe three teams...I have fifteen rounds. Just enough to maybe get close. If I can relinquish a weapon from someone, it could turn the tables.

It was too many 'maybes' and 'coulds' for Ethan...but he didn't have a choice. Turning to Blue, he looked her directly in the eyes.

I got to go out and face them, show them that I'm a tougher target than they anticipate. Unfortunately, Areia isn't gonna be able to work for me here...this may or may not work. You need to..

[Lockdown in progress]

The computerized voice nearly made Ethan shit a kitten in surprise. What the hell was that?!?

The room got dark as metallic blast shields and vault doors locked around all exterior accesses. Where the hell had this all come from, and how did he not know about it?

[Lockdown complete]

Get your stuff and go to the bathroom.

Ethan looked surprised, what the hell did she mean, go to the bathroom? The drugs were hitting her harder than he thought.

Blue...the bathroom!?! There are men with guns outside. Not the time for a good wash!
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PostSubject: Re: The Return (Ethan)   Fri Nov 09, 2012 12:22 am

She looked at him simply.

A lockdown?

She thought that was fairly obvious. He looked at her like she was crazy when she told him that they needed to go to the bathroom. She shook her head.

Could you just forget for a moment, that's I'm a girl, and that you think you're a macho solider man and just give me the benefit of the doubt for half a tick?

She rolled her eyes and turned walking off into her room. The room had not been touched since they had slept in it the morning he had taken her to the zoo. Up the stairs, was not the easiest of feats, she was still very weak, and her legs hurt. But she was able to work through most of it with the help of her pills. Luckily, all her bottles were upstairs which was where they needed to go.

In her room, she worked herself down onto the floor and got a large black box out from underneath her bed. Grabbing her cane she moved into the bathroom. Placing her box on the floor she waited for Ethan to show up. He was doubting her, she could tell by the set of his shoulders and the angry glare on his face that said he thought she had lost her freaking mind.

Blue worked her way across the bathroom counter and grabbed her bottles of pain killers and so forth. Tossing them all into a bag she zipped it up and clipped it to the box she had pulled from under the bed. She was going to need one hand free for the railing to get herself downstairs, and she couldn't do that with a million things in her arms. Luckily, they wouldn't need anything else down there.

I have a plan. This is bad right? Really bad? I mean, those guys are out there, ready to kill us. To come in here, kill you, claim me like they always wanted for some reason. So we have to figure things out, and I know you think you're Captin Terra or whatever but we can't just.. you can't go out there and go guns ablazing and hope there is enough to burry later. I am not saying you can't do it. Because I know you can. But, I can't lose you, and .. so this is just how it's going to be. Okay? So, chill! It's just a freaking bathroom, it's not like it's a helipad..
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