2007-07-23: The Devil You Know


Cass_icon.gif Benjamin_icon.gif

Summary: Benjamin asks Cass for her assistance.. unfortunately it's not that simple. (Benjamin is a jerk face. :( )

Date It Happened: July 23rd, 2007

Log Title The Devil You Know

Enlightenment Books

Early afternoon, about lunchtime and Benjamin finds himself entering a shop he hasn't been into in awhile. Enlightenment Books. He looks just a little different than the last time Cass saw him. For one, the left side of his face is a colorful mass of fading bruises, he's lost a little weight and he just looks tired. In his hand, he's carrying a small dry erase board. Talking is getting easier, but he's still difficult to understand at times. Once inside the bookstore, he looks around for the proprietress.

Lunchtime normally finds Enlightenment Books busy. Today is no different. There are customers flitting about here and there, talking to each other, reading on the sill by the window. It's a good day to be inside, what with the overcast sky and the threat of rain. The radio is playing softly in the background and Cass is talking with a customer in the corner when Benjamin enters. Having bounced and bounded and beamed her way through the morning, it doesn't seem like there is any end to her energy. Seeing the state of his face and the weight that he's lost, the welcoming smile she was starting freezes. "Pardon me," she murmurs to her customer and rushes over to Benjamin. "Oh my God! What happened? Are you okay?"

Benjamin tries to smile at Cass, but it's kind of fixed. Since the explanation can't be made, and the simplest one is hard to say right now, he writes on his board, 'Oral surgery. Looks like I got hit doesn't it?' Or as Alice would say, it's earned him some man points. He makes sure Cass reads that before he tries to ask, "How are you?" It might come out sounding like a shortbus child wearing a helmet speaking, but it's good to talk again.

"Seriously. You look like you were in a boxing match or something." Cass smiles kindly at Benjamin. "You look like someone no one wants to mess with on the street because you'll rough them up." Which is just funny because of what she knows of Benjamin. "Tell other people that someone punched you." Because oral surgery is a a valid excuse, but not quite as glamorous as fist to the face. "What did you have to have done? It looks like they broke and then reset your jaw or something!" That's the only reason she can think of for them wiring it shut like that. She smiles quite happily at Benjamin's question, both for his speech and the question. "I am doing better than wonderful today, thank you for asking. Did they give you a timeframe to when your jaw will be healed?"

Benjamin's shoulders shake as he laughs. 'For once I look tough,' he writes on the board, then adds, 'It sounds cooler to tell people I was punched.' Not that many would believe he got into a fight. Maybe it could be over TPS reports, or first dates getting kidnapped. Thank God writing things out gives him time to think of answers. Oi. 'Wisdom teeth, had a problem with it. Should be a couple of more weeks. Tired of liquid diet.' He /wants/ a steak, dammit. A slab of seared flesh never looked so tasty. His eyes catch the duct tape on Cass's ring finger. Because honestly, how do you miss something like /that/? He looks questioningly at the 'ring', "You and .. Lach?"

It's hard to make the grin leave her face. Her good mood, really, is going to extend for at least till the end of the week. Unless something explodes again or the like. She winces, though, at the mention of wisdom tooth surgery. "Oh, ouch. My mom, they thought she didn't /have/ wisdom teeth. And then one day they did an x-ray of her face and she found out that they were growing /into/ her jaw. So. She kind of looked like you for a couple of weeks. They needed to drill into her jaw to get them out. I made her a lot of smoothies." Just like Benji must be having. A small smile returns to her face when she looks down at her finger. The ring is a silly thing, but it stands for something. "Yeah. Just yesterday. It kind of just happened." Hence the makeshift ring. "I mean, we don't really have any plans or anything yet. Other than, you know, to be together."

Benjamin nods his head. Yeah, that's what happened here. NO REALLY. He will nod and leave it at that. 'That is so fantastic! I am happy for you two. I just /knew/ something was going on when I talked to Niki about a week ago!' Not that Benjamin /knew/ Lach was going to propose. It was just how Niki was talking and he had a feeling. "Good luck to you two," he says. He doesn't write (or say) anything bad about the duct tape. It's silly, it's sweet and obviously it means something to Cass or she wouldn't be wearing it.

With no reason to believe otherwise, Cass takes the explanation at face value, instead focusing on the happy part of being engaged. Wow, /engaged/. It's such an interesting and scary term, though kind of comforting for some reason. "You talked to Niki about us a week ago?" That was right about the time they were trying to figure out how to help her with her personalities and she doesn't remember Niki saying anything about it. Of course, maybe it's part of what was taken from her. The idea that she has holes in her memory freaks her out a little. Who knows what it is that she /had/ remembered? "That is kind of serendipitous." Smiling, she does a silly and impulsive thing, she lunges forward to give Benjamin a hug. She can't help it, she wants the happy feeling she's overflowing with to just seep into Benjamin as well to help him with his painful jaw. That, and he always looks like he needs a hug. "Thank you!"

'Congratulations. Seriously.' Before Ben can write more, he's being hugged! A slight grunt escapes and he returns the hug, a little awkwardly. Patpat on the back. 'I did talk to Niki, ran into her on subway,' he writes once he untangles himself from Cass. 'She wanted help with her ability.' Patiently, he waits for Cass to be able to read that, because he has more to relay.

It's not a long hug, just a quick squeezing one. Whenever Cass can't express herself through words, she resorts to hugging and other physical reactions. It doesn't happen very often, but she /is/ extremely happy and there's no other outlet expect for hugging. "Thank you." Once she steps back, she reads the erase board, her brow furrowing slightly. "She did?" Hm. Did she talk to Benjamin before or after talking to Peter? Watching him, she waits for him to add more, since he seems like there is more he wants to say, or write, really.

'Which is kinda why I'm here. I'm practicing on my own, but I still need help with my ability,' Benjamin writes. Good thing he's getting faster at writing.. it's still easier to type things across to people, but he has to make do. 'I offered Peter Petrelli my help a couple of months ago. If I'm to help how I can, I need to be able to use my power.' Wow, that's a lot of writing.. but he's patient. He has to be right now.

That /is/ a lot to write. Cass waits just as patiently for him to finish before leaning over to see what's been scribbled there. She glances around the store where other customers are occupying themselves and makes sure that she's standing near to the board so other people can't read it. "Of course. I'd be happy to help you, Benjamin." Her voice is lowered so that anyone nearby can't hear very easily. "But, I don't know if this is the place that we should talk about it." Gesturing she moves him back to the counter and pulls out a sheet of paper to write on. Quickly writing down the address to Bat Country, she hands it over to him. She trusts Benjamin and, well, that's what Bat Country is there for. "Here. Let's find a time to meet up and meet up there, okay? We can talk about it more easily." And possibly get started.

Benjamin nods his head. 'I understand. I just.. nerves. Forgot where I was y'know?,' he writes on the board. He follows Cass over to the counter and looks down at the sheet of paper she writes on. He takes the paper and looks at the address. He's not familiar with it. The address can be easily googled or mapped, he's sure. The paper is folded and pocketed for safe keeping. A pen is pulled out and he reaches for the pad of paper and writes down his name and new cell number, and next to it, 'texting will be easier for me for the next two weeks.' He also jots down his personal email address for Cass to use as contact information.

Once Benjamin googles the address he'll find that it's in the middle of Brooklyn and it's more common name is Seville Medical Hospital. Bat Country is in the basement (which the paper also indicates). "It's okay," she smiles reassuringly. "You don't have to be nervous. We can talk about it more and maybe even start something when you can come in, depending on how much time you've got. And if you're up to it." Having his face broken can't really help matters, can it? She takes the number and puts it into her back pocket so she won't leave it on the desk somewhere. "Texting. Okay. I think I can do that." It will most likely be properly spelled out text messages as Cass doesn't use shortened internet speak.

'I make my own schedule these days, consulting. More money in that, because Rose's tuition isn't cheap,' Benjamin writes on his board. Aw. Making more money to support his widdle girl. He waits for Cass to read before erasing and writing, 'So just say when, I'll be there. I look forward to it!'

"Handy," Cass replies with a bit of a smile. While sometimes she can make her own schedule, a lot of her hours rotate around when she's needed to be in the bookstore. And that has set hours. "We'll find a time sometime soon." Because he looks a little nervous and she wants to help. She pauses and thinks to ask, "Who told you that I could help you with this?" Not that she's complaining, just that she's curious. That's two people who she hasn't told about what she could do who have come to know about her brand of help.

'I didn't know, this just.. I ran into Peter here once, and you know Niki too. You were one of the first people I thought about.' Benjamin writes and shows to Cass before writing down, 'And I remember our conversation awhile back. You're just well connected with a lot of people I trust too.'

Benjamin is the second person in the past couple of weeks to tell Cass that she's connected to trusted people or that a lot of people trust her. It's strange. Shrugging, she smiles. "I just want people to know they have choices. And that people /will/ do the right thing when they can. Totalitarian tactics aren't necessary." Obviously, she can't speak as freely as she would like to at the moment. "The exceptions, the people who don't - they're just that. Exceptions. And everyone shouldn't be held to /their/ standard. They should be held to ours." Idealist. Optimist. That's just Cass.

Benjamin swallows down the heaping dose of guilt that rises. 'I know. I remember our first talk after I was kidnapped.' He makes sure to angle his board so only Cass can see the writing. 'This is why I thought of you. So thank you for any help. I should try and get a hold of Peter Petrelli, see if he still wants my help.' Not enough room to write it, but he's been exposed to enough Company dogma lately to want to question Cass's last statement.

"I'm sorry I yelled at you." Cass remembers that conversation very well. It's from that encounter that the idea for Bat Country sprung from. "It's not your fault, what they did. And I don't blame you for protecting them. I just…" she sighs. "They have such amazing resources and could do such /good/ in the world if they weren't so focused on the wrong thing." Shaking her head, she stares at the board where Benjamin is 'speaking'. "Sure, I'm sure Peter would like to talk to you. What exactly would you be helping him with?"

"It's okay," Benjamin says best he can. The yelling didn't bother him. He understands Cass's position. He nods his head to what Cass says before writing, 'Sylar.' The one name, it's such a simple response, and suffices well enough. 'I should let you get back to work. Thank you again, for any help.'

The mention of Sylar darkens Cass' face. Never a happy topic. "Ah. Then. Yeah. I guess you should talk to Peter." Because putting the serial killer to sleep could really be a good idea. At the very least, maybe Peter could absorb Benjamin's power and he can use it. "Of course, Benjamin. Any time. It was good to see you."

No. Never happy or a pleasant topic. Sometimes it's easy to forget Sylar's out there since he hasn't made a move in awhile. "Good to see you too," Benjamin says. He raises a hand, giving Cass a little wave before exiting the shop.

Once around the corner and out of sight, he pulls out his phone and texts, 'I'm in.'

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