2011-02-05: Time To Say Goodbye


Lucas_icon.jpg Rashmi_icon.jpg Travis_icon.jpg

Summary: It's Rashmi, Lucas and Travis' last day in Africa,

Date: February 5, 2011

Log Title: Time To Say Goodbye

Rating: PG

Africa - Rundown Village

The lush green trees of the rainforest hide the small village, with only one road that leads out. The road clearly doesn't get much use, high grass growing up the center. It's nestled next to a beautiful river, flowing with the clean source of water. Still, it is a good walk down a slippery slope to get there.
The village here is poor, but hardly unpopulated. There is one solid building standing at the middle of town, and that's the church, though even that is a roug stucco building. It also seems to double as a clinic. There is no steeple, it is a simple block building, but a cross stands high over the main entrance of the buildling. There are no white people who live here, a dark shade of black on the skin tones of each inhabitant. Though it is small, there are people who live and play. Children run amidst dogs, the women wash clothes and cook while men bring in the food. Some traces of civilization can be found, playing cards and checkers seems to bethe popular activities among the elderly, and they can be found in the shade of any of dozens of trees or around the large fire kept burning at the center.
The rest of the buildings in town are all the same. They are grass huts, and offer little privacy. None of the inhabitants seem to mind, content with their community life. This might offend some of the sensibilities of Americans, but they don't seem bothered by such things.

Lucas is sitting on the small step at the front of the pulpit in the church. He's playing his ratty acoustic guitar, shirtless and barefoot, in just a pair of dirty khaki pants. His duffel bag is packed and sitting nearby. He's playing Amazing Grace, his strong voice echoing beautifully around the church, and a small collection of four children have gathered around him to listen.

Travis has been gathering the last of his tools and putting them away to head back home and saying good bye to those he's met around the village. He makes his way into the chapel wearing a pair of jeans and loose fitting shirt and sees Lucas sitting there. He takes a deep breath and looks around before asking, "Hey, um, sorry to interrupt but have you seen Abraham around?"

Rashmi is sitting in the makeshift supply tent, almost absently sifting through supplies, using the notebook she'd been keeping as a way to figure out what goes home with them; mostly the bulk of the modern equipment, but little else. Food, medical supplies, the water purifier, cloth, all these things are being left behind, making it a relatively easy task. Still, from the blank look in the redhead's eyes as she sifts through the equipment, her mind is rather a long way from the village at the moment.

Lucas ignores Travis until the end of the verse. When he's finished singing it, he brings his playing to a close, and the kids laugh and run off. He looks up at Abraham, and shrugs, "No." He stares at him a long moment, considering him carefully, before looking down at the guitar and plucking a few strings, adjusting the tuning. He clearly has something to say, but doesn't, instead, just nodding and tuning.

Travis nods to Lucas. "Thanks man." He says as he looks around again. "Well, I think I'm gonna go see if Rashmi needs any help since Connor should be here soon to take us all home." There's a slight look of relief on his face at the idea of going home. Most of his bruises have faded to a yellowish colour and he doesn't look as haggard as he did a few days ago. He starts to walk out of the chapel before he stops and turns back around. "Look, sorry things have to be so weird between us."

Rashmi lets out a quiet breath, pulling her knees up to her chest and resting her forehead against them, closing her eyes. Whatever thoughts are going through her mind, very probably not terribly happy ones. In the dim silence of the tent, she huddles, attempting to push away the recent past.

Lucas sighs, looking up from his guitar. "It ain't your fault. It's mine." He chews the inside of his cheek for a moment, and then strums the guitar once, before falling back into Amazing Grace. His voice is loud, and would likely be heard from the tent just outside

Travis nods to Lucas. "Well, thanks a lot for coming to rescue her. It means a lot." He says before Lucas goes back to singing and he takes that as conversation over. He heads out of the chapel and to the tent where Rashmi is and ducks inside. "Hey, you wanna be alone right now?"

Rashmi's head snaps up at the sound of Travis' voice, spheres blinking into view and whirling at tops speed around her… but only for a moment, as with a shuddery breath, she slumps back, orbs fading from sight. "Sorry… yeah… um… no. …. I don't know," she admits, scrubbing the heel of her palm against an eye. As Lucas' song finally penetrates, she glances through the tent wall in his direction, then back at Travis. "He's got a good voice, doesn't he?"

Lucas continues to make his way through the song, playing a little harder, a little louder.

Travis sits down next to Rashmi and gives her a quick kiss on the side of the head. "Yeah, he does. And he's good at the guitar." He says as he turns to look back in the direction of the chapel as the music gets louder. "I was in there looking for Abraham to say goodbye but, I ran into him instead. Wish things weren't so awkward but, I am the 'new guy' I guess."

"I think maybe he's trying to say something," Rashmi murmurs, raking her fingers through her hair… and frowning when the gesture doesn't have the same results it did barely a week ago. "We can leave Abraham a note, I think… C'mon. Lucas sucks at saying what's on his mind, so, probably better if I'm there to interperet anyway. Maybe it'll be a little less awkward, y'know? Don't worry, Travis… he said he's a lot better, and he's right." Reaching a hand out for the six-armed mutant, she gets to her feet, leading him out of the tent and toward the Chapel. Hey," she says as she approaches Lucas, one corner of her mouth turning upward. "Singing for the gorillas across the river, there?"

Unlike with Travis, Lucas just stops midsong when Rashmi enters and speaks. The couple kids who had wandered back over again begin to disperse as he looks up at her. "Hey," he offers. "They liked it," he offers, gesturing at the departing kids. He shrugs, "Ah only know two hymnals. They aren't Nirvana fans."

Travis takes Rashmi's hand and follows her in and gives Lucas a wave. "Hey again." He says with a wave of one of his hands as he reenters the place. "Gotta say, you're a damn good musician. I've never had any talent with music." He says with a shrug. "And a third of them don't know English so they might not mind some Nirvana."

Rashmi nods quietly. "That reminds me, Lucas," she says after a moment, in an attempt to kickstart her brain back into the present, "what're you going to do when we get back home? I mean… were you going to stay on at the school, or…?"

Lucas sighs, "Ah don't know." He strums the guitar a single time, then slaps it silent with his hand before sitting it beside him and standing. "Ah thought one thing, then another, and now…" He shakes his head, eyes drifting to their held hands before turning and walking to his duffel bag. He unzips it and pulls out a box of brown sugar and cinnamon Pop Tarts. "Last box. Want a pack? It beats the native food."

Travis lets go of Rashmi's hand mainly to not add insult to injury. "After not having food for days, the native food isn't that bad but, my appetite is still not that great." He says.

Rashmi nods her thanks, reaching out to take one of the bags from the box, unwrapping it and pulling out a single Pop-Tart. Handing the other over to Lucas, she breaks hers in half, handing one over to Travis. For a moment, she stares at the food, head tilted to one side. "Hey, Lucas…? Mind if I ask you a question? It's… kind of personal, I know, but… I think the answer would help us both a lot, if that's okay."

Lucas takes the pastry back. He ignites his right hand for a moment, quickly toasting his and then takes a bite, his hand sparking back down to bare flesh again. He's clearly finally mastered things in the control department. "It's my hair, right?" He smirks, "You liked it long, didn't you."

Travis takes half of the pop-tart and takes a small bit out of it. "Thanks." He says as he watches Lucas' power with a bit of interest. He's quite though while the two speak, not really feeling it's his place to speak up at the moment.

Rashmi nibbles on her half for a moment, staring off into the distance, and shakes her head. "No, it's not that," she says, voice quiet. "Short looks good on you anyway… um… Actually I wanted to ask you about… Coyote. … ….Does it still hurt?"

There are certainly a number of predictible Lucas answers. 'I'm fine,' or perhaps freezing for a moment and looking like a deer in a headlight before looking away and not answering. Maybe even snapping. But he does the uncharacteristic, and nods, "If it didn't, Ah'd worry Ah'd become somethin' what Ah don't wanna be." He takes a bite of his Pop Tart and chews it quietly, swallowing. "After my Maw passed, and things in Chatt settled a little… Ah went to San Francisco to see her parents." He nods again then, "Yeah. It still hurts."

Rashmi smiles at the sight of Lucas acting in a very un-Lucaslike fashion, nodding. "I was just wondering," she murmurs. "Nero did a lot of horrible things to us… but I think that was the worst of them. Making us kill someone, on purpose, I mean." Sighing quietly, she shifts, pulling her legs up beside her. "Your grandparents? I don't remember you talking about them, how're they?"

Travis's face falls a bit and he sits down. He asks quietly, "Coyote?" He's not sure about the story but he can tell it's something important. "Was she…what happened? If you, don't mind me asking."

Lucas looks at Travis, "She was a student with us. Ah was bein' influenced by some evil monster. She got in my way, an' Ah murdered her." He tilts his head back at Rashmi, "They've been dead for years. Ah'm alone now." He furrows his brow a little, "Tell me what he made you do…"

Rashmi shakes her head, reaching up behind her head… and pausing, then scratching the back of her neck as though she meant to all along. "It was different for Travis, but…" Drawing in a deep breath, she takes a resolute bite of her Pop-Tart, eyes locked on the floor. "He told me I was going to be his wife. I said no. He said my only options were wife or soldier, and if I wasn't going to be one…"

Travis knows the story and he knows it's hard for Rashmi, so he wraps an arm around her shoulder and waist as she talks. "He did what he could to try to break us. To..make us become what he wanted." He hands his head looking down, not really wanting to talk much about it but he will if asked.

Lucas nods, "Ah wish Ah'd been as strong as y'all back with Cloud," he says softly. He doesn't explain, but Rashmi knows he willingly chose to take on the evil that tempted him back then. "Talk about it. Not with each other. Don't…" He swallows, and his next sentence is clearly difficult for him as he glances away for just a moment. "Don't let you two bein' together be based on this. It'll make you closer, but it won't be real."

Rashmi's face softens, and she glances for a moment at Travis, then leans forward, resting a hand on Lucas' knee. "We'll try our hardest not to," she says, voice hushed. "I promise, Lucas. Thanks."

Travis shakes his head, his voice quite. "I've actually had feelings for Rashmi since Christmas, but, no, it's not based on this." He says honestly. "I'm sorry, just, wish things were easier but they never seem to be." He takes a deep breath before speaking. "But I do care a lot about Rashmi, and not because of what we just went through."

Lucas furrows his brow a little more, "You don't understand, it ain't about where y'all are at right now," he says to the sexihanded kid. "This will bring you closer if you let it. But that part'll be fake." He sighs, looking back at Rashmi. "Since Christmas, huh?" he asks, venomlessly.

Rashmi glances at Travis, lifting a shoulder and smiling faintly. "…Well him and his mom didn't have anyplace to go for Christmas, so, y'know… invited them to spend it with Mami and Papi. …Course you know me, I didn't really get it until he asked me to the dance like the week before… all of this." She turns a wry look to Lucas, nodding in the blond's direction. "He knows how I get… thinking so much about so much I completely miss half the important stuff until it comes around to slap me in the face."

Travis nods doesn't really want to turn what he thinks verses what Lucas thinks into a debate. "My Mom and me, we've been through a lot since Dad died. And like she said, we spent the holiday with her family." He says running one of his hands through his hair to push his bangs back.

Lucas nods, "Well…" He pushes a soft smile to his face, and gives a resigned nod, his hands working into his pockets. "Good, then." He sits back down on the edge of the pulpit, and looks at his guitar.

Rashmi glances at Travis, a slightly helpless look on her face, then pushes herself to her feet, making her way to stand in front of Lucas. "Hey," she says quietly, crouching down to look the blond in the eye. "Lucas? I'm glad you're back. And I'm even happier you're *okay.* You look a lot better, you really do. I'm just sorry we couldn't help with what you needed to do."

Travis watches the two and there's a bit of a smile on his face. He does feel bad though about the situation. He keeps quiet for the moment not really knowing Lucas that well so he's not sure what to say.

Lucas looks up at Rashmi, and he gives a very slight nod. "And Ah'm sorry Ah wasn't here sooner," he responds, though it's hard to tell if he means rescuing her, or something more. "Anyway, Ah realized you DID help, Rash. Just… Prolly not how y'all thought." He smiles a little again, "Things are a lot clearer now. Ah wanted to tell you Ah'm sorry."

Rashmi shakes her head, letting out a quiet sigh as she wraps her arms around Lucas' neck, hugging quietly. "I'm sorry too," she says in response. "There's a lot I could have done better… But I'm glad I could help. And you're here now. So that's fine by me, okay?" Releasing the hug, she straightens, tilting her head. "I should finish packing… but… maybe coffee sometime, okay?" With that, she steps back to Travis' side, waiting for the blond's answer.

Travis stands up next to Rashmi and looks to Lucas. "You two should get together, catch up." He says as he doesn't think Lucas is a bad guy and isn't going to get all possessive, he's not like that. "You need help packing up?"

Lucas smirks, "We tried to get together. She dropped me before we ever did," he says, but it's oddly playful given the subject. He nods then, "Coffee would be safe, Ah reckon." He reaches over and picks up his guitar. "You should let him give you a hand packin'." He chuckles, "He's got enough of 'em." He smiles.

Rashmi chuckles, nodding. "All right," she says softly. "Coffee it is. Take care, Lucas… and… if you do want to stay at the Mansion, maybe see if there's a kid or two you could help? I mean, there's always someone there who could use it." Turning to Travis, the redhead nods. "Yeah, if you don't mind… it's just a few things, but help'd be nice…"

Travis offers a hand to Lucas and gives him a nod. "Thanks, and, really, it's nice to meet you Lucas." He says before turning to Rashmi. "I don't mind at all. I've already packed up all my tools and stuff." He then turns to leave to help Rashmi.

Lucas sighs, watching them go, before beginning to strum the guitar again. This time it's "Smells Like Teen Spirit," which is rather interesting played hard on an acoustic. He sighs again, and as a few kids make their way back over, he begins to sing.

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