2007-10-03: No Secrets To Risk

Starring:

Lee_icon.gif Ramon_icon.gif

Summary:

Lee gives information to Ramon and is only a tiny bit insufferable. Ramon puts up with it.

Date It Happened:

October 3, 2007

No Secrets To Risk


Ramon's Office

Lee called Ramon's office and left a message: "Have some information for you." A couple of days later he's coming into the office for an appointment, late in the afternoon, carrying his new-to-him leather briefcase and wearing his new-to-him hipster threads. He looks rather nonplussed at the office, greeting Ramon by saying, with a quirky half-grin: "It was bad enough that you didn't have one of those 'Wait for the Beep' novelty answering machine tapes, but not even a /little/ plywood panelling in your office? Way to destroy my expectations." The joke, the way Lee tells it, is as much about his expectations as it is about Ramon.

"Heh," Ramon says, with the ghost of a smile. He motions Lee to a seat with that same half a smile. "Can I get you anything?" A real high power businessman would ask if the secretary could get him something, but Ramon is awkward in this role. He is also the only high power businessman in the world with Business 101 books open on his desk, but he closes those to pay attention to Lee.

Lee says, "No, I'm good, I got a coffee after school." He seats himself, espying the books, his eyebrows raise - painedly, like a batter watching a pitch he has been instructed to take float aimlessly over the plate so slow that he couldn't possibly miss it. "So. My father. I don't know if Cass has updated you at all."

Ramon shakes his head and says, "No, she hasn't. We haven't been able to speak for awhile, though I've been trying to catch up with her." His brow furrows in real concern. "He's alright? No relapses? I swear to you boy, we are trying everything in our power to keep him well and get him better."

Lee waves a hand. "The point's moot." He arranges the events in simple chronological order. You could take notes on it if you wanted, very easily: "He woke up. He went through a couple of weeks of physical rehab. He smuggled a dart gun in buried in a bag of clothes he had me fetch. He shot Cass and I with a paralytic. He then cleaned out the lab computers of all the data. He then disappeared. Cass is fine. /I/ am…fine." That last adjective has a pause before it where he smiles fully, like he knows how absurd it sounds.

Ramon stares for a moment, as if he's having trouble processing it. "He…" His single eye has gone almost comically wide. "But…John Carter is dead." Look, nobody accused the guy of being /fast/. He has to stop and reason things out. He doesn't take notes, but it's clear Lee has his absolute attention.

Lee completely can't resist, he gives in to the sarcasm: "True. But don't think that you've found part of the universe doesn't revolve around you, because it does." He looks away, it didn't give him the thrill he expected from it. "My father, and mother from what he said, dealt themselves into the Evolved game. He was…obsessed with them, uh, you. Collectively. From what he said, he's …a freelancer. For various groups and people that know about the situation. That's why he went after the lab data, to have something to deal to get back into the game. He didn't seem to remember anything about the time he was under Carter's control, and the lab results bear that out. But before that time, he and mom…they were spying on Carter, monitoring him for someone. Maybe that company you described."

Ramon just lets the sarcasm roll off his back, as he was only saying it because he had thought that was the only reason that dear old Dad would attack. He's also just figured out that's Lee's defense mechanism. There's this long moment where he's just processing all of this. He expels a breath. "I'd rather it didn't. I'm sorry, Lee." And he is. Fathers should never betray their children. If anything…the sense of responsibility he feels towards the twins is growing, so he says, "What can I do to help you at this point?" He's had some humbling experiences lately, so he doesn't take the reins. And it's /Lee's/ parents running around being…evil mercenary freelancers who shoot their own kids with tranquilizer darts?

Lee says, "Nothing, I just thought you would want to know." What? Lee thinks he is doing Ramon a favor? "My dad said that I was pretty much worthless because I wasn't like you, that you and all the ones like you are going to wipe all the ones like me out, and that it would be good riddance." He says this horrible thing and Lee's… half-smiling. "I never heard anything so fundamentally stupid in my whole life." he says, and it's as sincere as Lee has ever been.

"It is stupid," Ramon rasps. "And it was a fucktard thing to say. Thank you for telling me, but…Jesus, Lee. And you said you're…fine." His brow furrows in concern. He's had time to come to grips with some things himself. He's starting to lose the edge of weird rawness that plagued him during the last conversation. The older man grunts.

Lee grins. "It explained a lot. And…hell, what right do I have to be miserable when there's someone running around that thinks /that/ kind of crap?" He adds, more seriously and more sadly: "Nima…well, she took it a lot harder. She was closer to the family. She's obsessed with proving herself to them now. Ran off to Philadelphia to open a second branch of the store."

Ramon kind of makes a note of that, his brow furrowing. He's not surprised, but there's utility bills to find and anonymously pay. Of course his note just says N-Phi-Stre. His own brand of shorthand which he'll remember. But he peers at Lee and nods his head, slowly. "You wanted it all to make sense," he says at last. "Your parents never made sense to you before, and now they do? You do seem different. More at home in your own skin."

Lee seems agreeable to that: "I thought they made sense until they disappeared. Now that fits in. I was wrong about them before, I thought they were sort of weird and ignorant. Crazy is different. So. If you see either of them around, stay on your guard. They didn't get any personally identifiable information from the computers, but they did get a pretty clear picture of the tests being run there."

"I will," Ramon says softly. He continues to look at the boy though. This crazy sort of impulse takes him, and he says, "What are you doing for Thanksgiving?" He puts down the cross pen he'd used to write, rasping out this question as if it were of equal or greater importance than conspiracies and killers.

Lee laughs. "I don't know. I'm hoping I'll be able to get Nima to come back from Philly." he says. "Are you inviting me?"

"Yeah," Ramon says. "I'm inviting you. Her too, if you get her back down. Both of you." He takes out a piece of paper and writes down the address. "Lunch is at 1:00, come earlier if you want to as we'll all just sort of mill about. Bring a guest if you want to, if you want to come."

Lee takes the paper. "Thanks. I don't know if I will or not, but I appreciate the gesture. I'll call you when we get a little closer." he says. He gets to his feet: "Ramon, at some point you're going to have to stop feeling guilty over everything Carter did." He holds up the paper a little. "This is great. It's really generous and decent of you. But." he says, and he trails off there. "You get what I mean."

"That's not guilt talking." Ramon grunts. "At least not consciously. I respect you. I like you. I don't want you to eat a turkey pot pie by yourself on a holiday. Yeah, we've snarled at each other, but." His shoulder rises and falls. In truth, that just told Ramon Lee could stand up for himself and thus was worthy of respect. His is a simple world. He rubs a hand over his face. "There's guilt I guess, but it wasn't behind that."

Lee says, "Okay, thanks. It is what it is." Lee has a wide and rich world, but he's new to it. "I'm at Brubaker Secondary now. If you ever find yourself in the neighborhood, drop in. Or if you need something…I know it's got to be weird and difficult in that sort of…I don't even know what to call it. Subculture, I guess." It's very important to Lee that he get the right word, and it's clear from the expression that's not it. "…call me up. I don't have any secrets to risk, and I've got excellent practice at being a jerk."

A faint smirk crosses over Ramon's features. "I hadn't noticed," he says blandly. But the humor fades. "Thanks," he rasps. Subculture works for him. "You call me if you need something too. I don't care what culture its related to."

Lee says, "Sure. I'll let you get back to the stuff you should have known when you had your job interview." Oh, yeah, he couldn't resist, but he's grinning. He offers his hand.

Ramon takes the hand, smirking. "I asked to be made Director of I.T.," he says wryly. He can't help it if the people around him have lost their minds. He wasn't going to turn it down. His shake is firm, but not hard.

Lee says, "I won't tell anyone, I don't like to be the harbinger of fat sweaty guys on TV screaming 'sell, sell, sell!'" Lee is graceful, his handshake is the same. "Adios." With that, he goes.

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