Kane and Able
Posted on Mon Feb 7th, 2022 @ 11:55pm by Shepherd Harley & Kane
Edited on on Tue Apr 26th, 2022 @ 10:06pm
The Xiao Jin Chronicles
Location: Kane's Quarters
Timeline: Mission Day 4 at 2100
Tomorrow, they would be a Boros. Captain Poe had made it very clear that Kane could not visit her at her quarters, so she made her way down to his. Kane had been kind to her since they both arrived on the ship and also had stuck up for her to the Captain. While the Captain was part of her foreseeable future, she knew that Kane was not. The polite thing to do would be to stop by and wish him a proper goodbye.
Sula knocked on Kane's door and asked questioningly, "Kane? Are you in there? It's me. Shepherd Harley...."
Kane held onto the whisky bottle in both of his hands. He had been sitting on his bunk since after the crew broke away after dinner. He hastily opened the bottle and took a quick swig before closing the bottle. He stood up to his feet and walked over to the sink as he looked up at his discussion. He hadn't quite heard Sula at the door yet.
He was almost about to mutter Amos-That-Was. His eyes fell shut as he didn't want to look at the man he had become. A man haunted by the heinous realities of war that uprooted and changed the course of his life forever. The black sheep, fallen from grace. And all because he was the youngest son, sent off to fight in a war against those who wanted a better life for themselves.
He opened the bottle again and set the cap down and took a long swig. Then he heard the voice of the Shepherd speak through the door. As if she was in the same room as him. He froze when he looked over his shoulder to see that she wasn't quite in the room with him but was speaking from the door itself. He took a step closer as he looked down. He was shirtless. He should probably make himself look decent for the woman-of-the-cloth, "Yes Shep-Doc. Just gimme a sec to put on a shirt."
"I'm patient," she called back through the door. "Take your time. Unless this is a bad time. I can come back later."
He picked up the cap and closed the bottle up and stuck it by the bulkhead next to his bed. He reached over and picked up the t-shirt and pulled his head and upper torso through pulling it down to when it hit the waistline of his shirt, "Good to come in now, Shep."
If Sula saw any portion of Kane's skin, she made no indication of it. She walked by Kane and headed towards his bed in the small room. Once there, she sat down on it, turned around and started, "So, we should be reaching Boros tomorrow.... Have you figured out what you are going to do when you get there?"
He turned around to face her raising an eyebrow. He sat down on the bed slightly closer than the first time they chatted together on his bunk. He eyed the bottle on the floor with consideration. He didn't know how to manage her questioning into what he was planning once they arrived on Boros tomorrow. He shrugged his shoulders, "Probably hit up a couple of speakeasies and taverns to see if there's any work."
"Do you really think that is the best method of finding work?" Sula asked with a mixture of concern and worry. Kane could just as much end up drinking himself into a stupor as trying to find work and what good would he be then.
Her question bothered him. It frustrated him. The anger bottled up in him as he knew. He bit down on his lower lip as wrapped his arms around his lower torso as he looked to the floor. He shook his head, "How else am I supposed to find work?" He couldn't remember what he had told her previously in his drunken stupor, "How else is a convicted felon supposed to find work?" There was a slight aggressive tone in his voice as he asked her these questions rhetorically. He searched her face not for an answer but he felt like she had casted judgment upon him already. "Why do you keep comin' here, Shepherd?"
Sula's eyes widened in surprised and then softened. She placed a hand lightly on Kane's shoulder. "Because you're a good, kind man, Kane." She looked deeply in his eyes and continued, "You told me about the train rescue. I know that your life has been hard after the war. That is probably why you drink. But Boros is filled with Alliance. That is why I am concerned for you. I don't want you to end up back in custody."
She removed her hand and sighed deeply. "I have a place on this ship. But you do not." She turned away for a moment, trying to find the right words, her hair obscuring her face as she thought. "I do not wish for you to become lost as the Biblical Cain did." She stood up and stomped her foot. "I am messing it all up. I just knew that tonight might be the last night we saw each other and wanted to wish you safe travels and thank you again for your kindness."
Kane had felt comfort when her hand was placed on his shoulder. He couldn't explain it, and he didn't like being touched by anyone. He listened to every word she said but wasn't sure if he was buying it. He wasn't a good man. He wasn't a kind man. Maybe that was Amos-That-Was but not Kane-That-Is. There was no way he would recover for ruining so many lives at Grissom Falls. He added more kills to his tally with his "train rescue".
"You're not the one messing things up, Shep-Doc," Kane looked over at her. Her long dirty blonde hair graced her shoulders. He turned away from her as his eyes shifted down to the floor with uncertainty. With a slight bit of gruff he nodded his head as his comfort level had diminished, "Well, you're more than likely right there, Shepherd. But I've got my life to live, and you've got yours to do as you wish."
"If I am not messing things up, then who is?" Sula challenged with a slight pout. "And we all have a life to live but this is where even I have issues," she confessed. "It is said that God gives us Free Will but at the same time that he has a plan for all of us. If He has a plan, then are we not just victims of destiny?" She shook her head and turned away. "I think it is meant to give us comfort in the midst of so much uncertainty. See, I think that much of the teachings really come down to hope. Though, it rarely seems that the oppressed really get the upper end. I mean, the meek were to inherit the Earth, right? Well, they could inherit it but what's left of it, right?"
Sula turned away and sighed heavily before looking back at Kane. "I'm sorry. You did not ask to hear about my troubles. And I did want to pay my respects, as I said...."
"As you've mentioned that we all have our own free will," Kane counter-injected and continued, "your will does not supersede my own. I cannot be unbound by the shackles of this life that I presently find myself in, Shepherd. Most importantly, I won't and can't see happiness for myself within the confines of the reality that is the life of William Kane..." His hand shifted, "Maybe once we land on Boros the authorities will already be waiting for me as soon as I step foot off the ramp tomorrow. I got a second chance and like most second chances, I'm more than likely going to blow it."
The Shepherd's eyes narrowed at Kane. "You talk about free will and then speak as one who is accepting fate." Her voice became harder. "You sound like someone that wants to fail. Perhaps that is why you were not allowed to go with the others that escaped. What you are punishing yourself for, I do not know. But, I tell you, Mr. Kane, you're a good and kind person. You must let go of whatever your past held. You are not bound by it."
Her voice softened and she sighed lightly, her eyes trying to meet his. "If you plan to fail, you will. That I can assure you. Maybe it is time that you plan something else?"
Kane's eyes fell from her face as he could no longer bear how she seemed to be burrowing deeper. If only she knew who he truly was. To see the real monster underneath his scruffy face. The Butcher of Grissom Falls. A war hero fallen from grace. The youngest son of a powerful political family on Londinium who had only one choice in life, "I deserve to fall, Shepherd. And I deserve to fall into the deepest pit without a chance to leave." He then muttered underneath his breath as he reached down and turned his head away as he picked up the bottle of whisky off the floor incoherently with the likes of, "I'm not who I say I am." He froze hoping she hadn't heard her hearing ain't that good as he opened the bottle. At first he started to open it and offered it to her first.
Sula took the proffered bottle and did not imbibe from it and did not return it to him. "I do not care whether you are who you say you are, Kane," she whispered. "I know that your heart is good. Whatever pain you have suffered to bring you this low, Kane, it is past. The lessons learned and growing from them are what matter." She sighed, hoping she could get through to him.
"You could have this," she told him, showing him the bottle. "You can hide from whatever is causing you so much pain. But if you do, you will never get over it. Your pain will get worse until either you get yourself killed or you kill yourself." Pausing to let that sink in, she continued, "I do not wish to see that happen to you. If you cared about nothing and you were not good, you would not have stood up to the Captain on my behalf. Your problem is that you do care and you do want better, Kane. You're better than this."
The Shepherd offered her other hand. "So, let me help you. What do you say?"
Kane looked at the offering of her free hand and the whisky bottle in her other hand. He had started to grow irritable that she hadn't given him his bottle back to him. He was curious if he gave her his hand would she return his bottle of whisky? Or was this an elaborate trap and she planned to leave his cabin. He didn't know what the future held for him, he was merely a passenger on board this ship. He had no other way to make ends meet to get to whatever their next destination would be. He didn't want her pity and he felt he didn't deserve her help either, "The 'verse is a tough place, Shepherd. I don't want to be meek and I helluva don't wanna do the 'verse sober even if I end up getting shot o'er it."
He had his doubts on what he had said. He started to second guess himself as he looked into her eyes. All he saw was kindness and patience. Two things, no one owed him.
He is still scared. He may not be ready but you have to help him, Sula. So, how do you do that? "Yes, the 'verse can be very difficult, Kane," she told him softly. "Sometimes, 'tis downright unfair," she continued painfully, looking away as she did so. Sula's eyes turned back to Kane's. "But giving in and giving up only gives you the certainty of more of the same. You deserve better, Kane."
She took the bottle and placed it behind her. After doing that, she took Kane's hands and cupped them inside hers. "Please, Kane, don't waste yourself. If you can't believe in yourself right now, find something else to believe in. Something that will make you strive to be who I see that you are."
His eyes watched her place his whisky bottle behind her. It was now out of his view and only Sula is what he could see. His eyes readjusted as her hands brought his into hers. He closed his eyes at her touch. It had been a very long time to feel the comfort of another's hands on his. Several tears streamed down his face. He hated that he was this vulnerable in this moment. He hated feeling vulnerable. He opened his eyes turning away. He wanted to pull his hands away but it felt like they were trapped in her hands and his body had relinquished control over to her.
He couldn't look away from her long as his eyes met hers.
Sula said nothing. She could see that Kane was trying to break through, to try and find something more. She let her right hand stroke his cupped hands and smiled warmly at Kane. All she could hope was that she was of comfort to him and that he would start making better choices.
Kane softly closed his eyes as her hand stroked his hands. It had a calming effect as his breathing settled. He reopened his eyes searching her Hazel eyes. Before leaning forward lightly kissing her on the lips. Then he turned away shamefully, "I shouldn't have done that, Shepherd. Please forgive me." He attempted to pull away from his hands from hers'.
Sula's eyes flew open when his lips met hers. Words were lost, as she froze in place. She shuffled backwards a step and spilled the bottle of liquor she had placed behind her. "Um," she started, nothing coming forward. Thoughts raced through her head. Did I want that? What about Donovan? Did I lead Kane on? What just happened? She stumbled again, "Um, uh...." She tried to force her brain to work; however, try as she might, it seemed stuck in neutral.
Finally, enough sense came to her that she stuttered, "I...uh... I, should.... Going. Yes. Um, right...." She backed to the door, her face still looking at Kane, uncertain how to leave, and the same time, uncertain whether she should.
Kane grew slightly irritable as he saw the whisky pour over his bunk's comforter. He should have been angry at her but he was angrier with himself as he held his head away. He rose to his feet, "Yes. You should leave." He didn't realize that he was standing in front of the mirror where she could still see the tell on his face that he felt even more loss before she had entered his cabin. He knew he couldn't keep up this charade with her much longer, "You should know, I'm not who I say I am. And you should keep your distance, Shepherd. I'm a very bad man and very deserving if I get a bullet here." He pointed at the stem on the back of his head.
"You are not," Sula insisted vehemently, Kane's self-deprecation pulling her back to her senses. "I can see otherwise. You're good and kind. Do not let others define you, Kane. Nor your past, whatever it may be." She bit her lower lip and continued, "And if you want, tomorrow, when you get off, I have some errands to run for the Captain. Perhaps you can tell me everything while I run them. Or perhaps somewhere for a bite."
"No, I don't think that's wise. When we arrive on Boros, we'll go our separate ways." Kane shook his head as he sat at the foot of the bed. He looked down at his feet before looking back over to her. "Please. Just. Leave. Me. Alone." He was close to telling her everything about himself as he felt that she held this power. Vulnerable.
Sula stood there, torn as to what to do. "For now, maybe," she told him softly in a pained voice. She knew that she would be back in the morning. He would not have kissed her if he really wanted her to leave. So, why do so now? "If you're sure," she offered, hoping that Kane would say something more and relieve his pain.
With a slight hesitation he nodded his head that she should leave. His eyes drifted away to the bulkhead at the foot of his bunk. He took in a few slow breaths.
"Alright, Kane," Sula replied morosely. Her face pursed up in a pout. Nonetheless, she turned and started to exit Kane's room, half hoping that he would stop her and talk.