Thank You and Good Night
Posted on Thu Jan 27th, 2022 @ 8:21am by Shepherd Harley & Kane
Edited on on Tue Apr 26th, 2022 @ 10:03pm
The Xiao Jin Chronicles
Location: Kane's Quarters
Timeline: Mission Day 2 at 2100
Dinner had come and gone. So had her conversation and clean up tasks with Young Jae. This left Sula with absolutely nothing to do. She had no books. She had precious little and the little she had, was mostly used to buy blankets. What she did have, though, was supposedly invaluable: kindness. And that was something that she needed to repay.
Heading to the passenger's quarters, she knocked on Kane's door. "Kane, are you in there?" It is I, Shepherd Harley. "May I visit?"
Kane didn't linger very long during dinner. He ate what he could and returned to his cabin. He had poured himself another drink but he drank it a little more solemnly for it to last. He only bought a few bottles and they had to last him until they arrived at Boros. He looked up at the door and rose to his feet setting the glass back down and pressed the button to see Shep-Doc standing there, "Yeah... I'm in here Shepherd... and of course, you can." He stood away from the door briefly, enough for her to get past him. He gestured towards the foot of his bed for her to sit down.
Sula scooted into the room, making sure she was pressed to the door as closely as possible to avoid the implication of even accidentally brushing Kane. The smell of alcohol from Kane's breath was stronger. He had been drinking more as the glass indicated. "Thank you," she graciously told Kane as she rushed by him to sit on the bed, as instructed.
She sucked her lower lip in hard towards her teeth and her upper lip curled inward as well before she spoke. "I just wanted to come by and thank you for your kindness." Her eyes darted towards the floor and her head bowed slightly, so she could not meet Kane's eyes with her own.
Kane moved over to the bed picking up one of the provided pillow against the bulkhead next to the bed. He pivoted himself around and pushed himself off the floor and on the bed in a single maneuver to be comfortable. He offered her a slight smile but he was uncertain why she had come by to see him. He heard her speaking on the effect of his kindness. He wasn't certain if it was the act of service he provided with the bedding into apparently a restricted area which he chuckled at. Poe probably created that rule just for him. Maybe. He saw her eyes readjust to the floor. He didn't know what to say if not anything, "No worries. And, I wouldn't want to look at myself either." His eyes shifted from her to his feet hanging on the end of the bed.
"Why would you not want to look at yourself?" Sula asked, as she threw her long dirty blonde locks backwards with a shake of her head as she raised it to try and meet his eyes. "And why are you looking at your feet?" Her voice got softer and more concerned as she further inquired, "What is bothering you, Kane? Nothing that I said or did, is it?"
Kane shrugged his shoulders dismissively as he returned to look back over to Sula and then over to the mirror. He didn't as his eyes returned to meet with hers. They were locked now and he felt slightly more vulnerable but she had taken him up on a challenge of some kind that he felt completely foreign and alien to him. He took a moment as he looked her into her Hazel eyes deeply, "You didn't do nothin', Shepherd. Don't'cha be worried."
Green eyes. Why do they meet me like that? Sula put both of her hands on each side of her on the bed, steadying herself. "Then what is it that is bothering you?" she asked, her eyes unable to break away from Kane's. "You cannot tell me that there is nothing. I can see otherwise."
"More likely that life seems to be catchin' up with me," he felt a connection with the woman-of-the-cloth and it was an uncomfortable feeling. He remembered his first confession when his mother brought him to the Cathedral. That was another life, a lifetime ago when he went by another name. That wasn't Will Kane, or Kane's life that was the former-life of Amos Talbot. A life that he took to the bottle quickly after the train break. He felt sick to his stomach that she saw of this from him and he hated it but there was no way he could falter from their eye contact in this moment. He decided to be defective as he folded his arms defensively against his chest as he repositioned himself into the corner of where the bulkhead walls met, "It don't pertain to you. I appreciate your concern." He wanted to stop there but he couldn't stop, "I... fought in the war... the Alliance erm... arrest-no-captured me and sentenced me to hard time at the penitentiary here on Persephone. Let's just say, that the 'verse is a dark place for people like me. And eventually, life is gonna catch up to me."
Something in the way that Kane hesitated told Sula that Kane was only telling half of the truth, if that. It was so hesitant at first. That was the clue. However, as he continued, more seemed to ring of truth. There was less hesitation. "So, you were finally released, then...?" she asked with a long hesitant open ended question, hoping that Kane would open up more. Confession was good for the soul, she was told. However, if it was so good, why did it leave her with more questions than answers?
Kane didn't like that she was pushing for more information as he broke off the eye contact as he looked up at his cabin's ceiling. He needed to think of something and something quick as her eyes were like armor-piercing rounds. His gaze returned to her Hazel eyes, "You won't tell another soul on this ship? I need... your word."
The shepherd's eyes steeled and then softened. "I will not. You have my word, Kane." She leaned forward and gave a small smile while taking her hands off the bed and putting them in her lap, palms faced upward. "Please, feel free to unburden yourself. If I can help, I will."
Kane took a deep breath while he tried to recollect what happened earlier that week to spin it in the way that made sense for Kane and not Amos-That-Was. He nodded his head slowly, "Okay then... I... was on the way to be transferred offworld to another military prison... the Alliance likes to cycle their POWs so they never get settled and comfortable... I never stood trial but the train was attacked by a crew of Browncoats, they were friends of one of the guys they wanted to break out. They let me escape as well, but told me I couldn't join'em and to 'fend on my own. They gave me old Betty, some platinum and ammo to 'fend for myself or get myself killed. I used whatever platinum I had left to play a couple hands of cards which gave me enough Credits to buy passage for myself off-world and booze."
"Six years and no trial?" Sula asked aghast. "Those Da Shiong La Se La Ch'Wohn Tian!" she exclaimed before lowering her head and blushing. Trying to gather herself, she still could not place what seemed out of place about Kane's story. Why would Browncoats give him money but not take them with? It made no sense but it explained a great deal and it was enough for now. It took a lot for him to trust her and she would not reward that by acting like an interrogator. He likely had enough of that in prison.
"Please excuse my lack of propriety," she replied as her head slowly raised, pink starting to fade from her face with every breath that she took. Purposefully, she took a long, slow, deep breath, which caused her skin to return to her normal coloring as she exhaled. She gave a quick, weak smile and then her lips returned to a more neutral position. Her eyes still twinkled for a moment as she gave a short snicker as she apologized further, "I'm not a very typical shepherd, I'm afraid."
Kane was on the verge of complete laughter at the language used by the Shepherd at that moment. They definitely were extremely volatile elephant diahrrea. He grinned at her nodding his head, "They are Ung Jeong Jia Ching Jien Soh." He was thankful that she bought this reiteration of the truth here.
Lips turning upward, Sula shrugged. "I believe it is my job to speak universal truths." She rose from the bed and her right hand started to reach out towards Kane. When Sula noticed it, she mentally forced her hand back down. Her eyes lowered, as her hand did. "Well, I hope that you are feeling better, now," she told Kane, her right hand flipping casually at a near right angle from her wrist.
She took a step towards the door but hesitated going further. She turned her head back to Kane. "You're a kind person, Kane. You should remember that and let it out more often. Ya hear?"
Kane smiled at her comment about speaking universal truths. He knew that was a pretty accurate description for anyone-of-the-cloth including the woman who was just sitting on the edge of his bed. He would have taken her hand, he wasn't sure what he would have done with it. He frowned slightly as he shimmied himself off of the bed and stood beside her quickly, "Thank you for stopping by... you're always welcome to... " his hand shuffled through his hair, "I'm glad someone thinks of me as kind." He held out his hand as a gesture, hoping she would reach out to take it. She didn't have to.
"I'm sure that it is more than me that thinks you're kind. You've had it rough. Take it easy on yourself. There's enough others willing to beat you up." She then noticed the proffered hand. Hesitantly, she took it. Sula's hands were not soft. There were calluses and a worn, but honest, hard-working quality to them. "I hope that you can find what you're looking for on Boros."
He shook the woman's hand and then let it go. His hand started to drop to his side but the other had caught it holding them against his chest, "Will do. Have a good night's sleep, Shepherd."
"Good night, Kane." With that, Sula turned on her heels and slowly headed out.