Who: Daryn and Fitz What: Asking for help When: August 28, 2019 Where: Path deep in the wooded area Rating: Low Status: Complete
After sending an encrypted text, Daryn ventured out of her apartment on a rare trip. She passed through the Marketplace, bypassing the Facility and cutting through the Elysian Fields to move further into the woods. She hadn’t waited for an answer before making the trip, so she wasn’t entirely sure that Fitz would meet her. Arriving at the meeting place, she looked around carefully and listened. Hearing no minds nearby, she moved to sit on a fallen log and waited.
It had taken him a bit to see the text, one of his stops to change back to human out of camera view so he could do things just like that before continuing on his route. Unfortunately his phone didn’t vibrate when it was… inside him? He didn’t like to think of the logistics of his changing. It tended to just hurt his brain- like how does his phone get a signal when it’s shifted in his car form? Or how do things in his backpack not break? Best not to think on it.
Fitz did head to where Daryn asked to meet. His swift feline form helped him make up time. The grey Manx approached her with a meow. Got your text. He thought sitting down before her. It was good to see her out and about. He’d done a circle before he had arrived, not seeing any people. There were also no cameras nearby so he felt safe enough to change.
The cat changed and a man replaced him. He was freshly shaven, well stubble only from a days growth vs. the two week long growth he had been sporting. His hair had also been trimmed, but Ben had kept it a bit long on the top. Fitz really has no preference since he didn’t spend as much time in human form. His clothes finally fit- thanks to Ben insisting that he raid his closet, though his backpack was still well worn.
It had been a long time since she’d seen him in his human form, she’d nearly forgotten what he looked like. She didn’t notice the changes to his styling, just that he looked new somehow. She hadn’t had much change in her own appearance since he last saw her. While she was eating, little by little, she failed to gain weight or look any healthier. She was still pale and tired, lack of sleep and an avoidance of going outside of her apartment for long were to blame.
But she was here now, and she’d been the one to reach out. So it was bound to be important. “Thank you for coming. I won’t take up much of your time. How are you?”
Fitz smiles softly. “Of course, I always have time for you.” For all of his friends. “Things are-“ a bit of a mess, sleeping at Ben’s a lot because he feels guilty about Ezra. Feeling guilty at Ben’s whenever he thinks about Ezra. Still coming to terms with the fact that his best friend is still alive and torn between wanting to help him get his memories back while also not wanting to rekindle feelings that had existed- because he loved Ben. All while not hurting Kyrie. “Going well.” He answered simply. Despite the but of chaos, a lot was going good- like saying and hearing back the L word from Ben. “It’s good to see you out. I hope this means things are going better?”
Daryn watched Fitz evenly, processing the swirl of thoughts in his head but saying nothing about them unless he brought it up. “Things haven’t changed. Yet.” There were hints of change, whether it was for good or bad, Daryn hadn’t decided. “I met your friend. You should tell him that I’m harmless. Well, harmless to him anyway. He didn’t believe me when I told him I was a friend and that I wouldn’t endanger you, or Kyrie, or him.”
Friend? As she continued he realized she was talking if Ezra. “Oh, yea. I’ll make sure to let him know. He’s gone through a bit too- and learning he has a family he couldn’t remember…” Fitz sat back in the grass and rubbed his neck a little, looking up at her. “I guess, since you know who he is I should clear things up a bit. He’s Levi, Kyrie’s cousin.” Which was the cover they’d come up with. He wasn’t sure why his past had been hidden from him, but he didn’t want the government to find out he was a guy formally dead. “He’s staying with Key a bit. Your discretion is appreciated.” He knew Daryn had a good heart. But her saying it aloud was comforting.
The man hadn’t introduced himself. But by reading his mind she knew that he was hiding, and who he was trying to protect. Daryn just nodded to the cover story, looking up to the sky with a thoughtful sky. “He’s very powerful. But he seems afraid of it.” Maybe Fitz could help him with that, maybe not, but it was worth acknowledging.
“Seems a lot of people are afraid of their power.” Kyrie often was the same way, though she’d become a bit more comfortable over the years. “He hasn’t shared what he can do yet- I don’t want to push if he’s not ready. Things are already-“ complicated. “Hard for him.” Tense between them. If only Ezra had come back before Ben, or if they’d never shared that kiss. Then things wouldn’t be as messed up.
“But, It is good to have him back. You should join us for dinner one night. I’m sure Kyrie would love to have you.” Fitz offered.
Daryn just nodded. It was up to Levi to share with Fitz what he could do, she would stay out of it. She arched a brow, surprised at the invitation. “That might be nice. But… I wouldn’t want to impose.” She needed to be around people more, staying alone wasn’t doing her any good. But she found it difficult to get back out and socialize again. She still felt so lost, and so haunted by things no one knew about.
“I came to ask about the guards, what’s been happening to them. Is anything being done?” She was referring to the Faction. She was so disconnected, she wasn’t even sure if he would tell her. But she had to ask.
“I wouldn’t have invited you if you would.” Fitz chuckled softly. “We all need to socialize. If anything you’ll be doing something for me. Letting me socialize.”
He nodded slowly. “Yea, always worried. I’ve been watching them more. I know there are some who want to take action- some of us had… but not much actually gets done except for pissing someone’s shoes, which only really irritates them.” Fitz sighed. “But I still watch and report.” He could do more, if there weren’t any cameras- or if they could get into the camera system. He could sneak in as a cat that most people can’t get into- being small made it easy to sneak. Then he could change and get info, do things, shift back and get out. But the interim was always a risk with the cameras.
Socializing was difficult for both of them. She’d take him up on the offer if it came to fruition. But she wouldn’t get her hopes up. She’d hoped for so much more before she was released, and since, she had been severely let down.
Listening, she arched a brow slowly. “I meant, are they worried about the guards getting killed? Have there been any orders, to look out for them, to help?” It seemed like a whole lot of nothing was happening with the Faction, which was disappointing. If she was still in charge… she wouldn’t let herself go down that path. Too many “If.. ..Then’s” got her stuck where she was now.
“Of course I’m trying to keep my eye out for things. Also being a little more on the cautious side considering the rumors I heard from the trial that they’re blaming a cat shifter.” He’d been staying out of his big cat forms for sure. “But as far as any direct orders- they’ve not been made to me. Others maybe, but you know how it is sometimes not everyone is in the loop.” Or they forget the person who doesn’t legally exist. He liked to think it was more strategy or need to know. That’s the tactic he’d use, that way it would limit the risk if someone was caught.
Daryn just nodded with a little frown. “You know how to get me if you need help.”
Looking around slowly, she finally got to what this was really all about. “I’m not crazy. My daughter, she is alive and here somewhere. I saw proof of it. I know I’ve run through all my credit with… everyone. But, I need help to find her. I can’t do it alone. If you don’t want to get involved, I understand. But I don’t really have a lot of people I can count on anymore.”
“Hey.” Fitz moved to his knees and knelt before her, his hand (with skin that feels soft like fur) laid on hers. “Of course.” His voice was soft, caring. “Of course I’ll help. Tell me everything you know. We can find a place to start. You can always count on me- for as much as I am able to help, I will.” He didn’t really care about the while avoiding Daryn order. Sure, it wasn’t safe to be himself in her home anymore, but she was still his friend. He couldn’t just turn his back on friends.
Daryn watched Fitz, questioning herself if she really wanted to get one of the few friends she had left involved in this mess. But she’d come to him for that reason so there was no turning back now. “A guard gave me a sheet from a report about a child they’ve kept in captivity for study. I think it’s her. He’s still looking for more leads, but it’s a start.”
Fitz nodded. “And do you think she’s on the island?” He wondered. If she wasn’t, how would they get to her? Fitz already had an idea. He had thought about getting off the island and how to do it, but wouldn’t leave Kyrie.
Daryn’s heart dropped at the question. She hadn’t even considered that her daughter may not be on the island. She hadn’t considered a lot of things, because they were just too difficult to think about. This was one of those things. It took a moment for her to find the words. “I… I don’t know.”
Fitz scooted a little closer and took her hand in both of his, squeezing slightly. “We’ll find out. And if she’s not, we’ll find out. And regardless of where she is, we’ll find her and save her.” He said. “Promise.”
Daryn nodded with a sigh, returning the squeeze of the hand. “Thank you.” She wasn’t sure what else to say, so she just nodded a little. She wanted to believe him, but hope, like a lot of good things around here, was hard to hold on to. “I don’t know what to do now, or where to go next.”
“You said the guard gave you something. Can I see it?” He asked. “I’ll give it back, I promise.” Fitz pulled out his phone. “Just want to get a picture. I’ll ask around to those I trust. Won’t give your name- so you don’t have to worry about it blowing back on you.” He knew she was worried about the warning The Faction has given her.
Hesitantly, Daryn reached into her pocket and took out the single sheet of paper. It was from the midst of a report, and was vague, but Daryn held onto it like a lifeline. She finally did hand it over for him to see, worried about the reaction it would receive.
Fitz lined it up carefully and snapped a picture before handing it back without seeming to read it yet. “We’re going to find her Daryn. I’ll pull all the strings I have and I’ll get them to pull their strings. Beyond anything, it’s a kid being- who knows, but she deserves to be with her family.” Blue eyes looked up to her with a promised determination.
Her eyes met his and she nodded again with a sigh. “Thank you.” She looked away, listening just in case, but heard thoughts only at a distance, heading away from their location. She stood slowly, looking around warily. “It’s not the same anymore, is it? The way it used to be when…. When I was involved? Is it better now?”
Fitz moves back as she stood and followed suit. “You kept me in the loop more.” He answered honestly. “Seemed to acknowledge the benefit I could bring.” He shook his head and raised a hand slightly. “I’m not ungrateful, I think recent events have gotten me looking at my place in things differently.” Before Ezra showed up too.
She furrowed her brow, watching him curiously. “It shouldn’t be about gratefulness… everyone used to work together. Everyone used to be an important part. How do you see things differently now?”
“I met someone. He… he can talk to animals- sort of figured out I’m not what I seem.” He chuckled. Those sharp canines visible for a moment. “We’ve sort of… been seeing each other. But, he has to keep my secret. Pretend that he’s alone.” He sighed softly. “He says it doesn’t matter, but I hate that we have to do everything in secret. In his apartment or the woods- no going out or anything that normal couples do.” Fitz ran a hand through his hair. “I’m also hiding what I do during the day here. Keeping this part of me from him, and I don’t even know if my reports are beneficial to anyone.” At least he was reasonably sure they were being read. It also didn’t help that the few times he tried to take the initiative himself and make a difference it had made things harder on his friend.
Rubbing the back of her neck, Daryn nodded once in understanding. “You don’t want to be a part of it anymore?” She could understand, in a way. She’d never had anyone, not since coming to the island. But she knew the adjustments one made in their lives when they found someone worth changing things for. She didn’t begrudge him that. It would be good for Fitz to be happy.
“I don’t know.” He answered honestly. “I don’t know what I’d do if I bowed out. The Faction has given me a purpose. It’s not like I can just up and be myself around the island.” Fitz frowned slightly. “Revealing myself could put everyone I love in danger.”
“I understand.” She did, without question. In a way, she’d been in the same situation, and things had not ended well. “You should be a part of something where you feel valued. If you don’t… well, even if you did, you deserve happiness. You should be happy. It’s what keeps people alive.”
“You should too Daryn.” He said, moving over to place his soft hand on her arm. “Be happy. You’ve done so much for us- for me. And anything I can do to help. I’m here.”
She looked to him, surprised by his words. She smirked a little and shook her head. She could barely remember the last time she felt truly happy, but she knew that it was before coming to this place. But she just nodded and gave him a faint smile. “I’ll try. Thank you.”
Fitz smirked at her. “You know I’m going to hug you now.” He said, stepping in to slowly put his arms around her in a supportive manner.
Daryn accepted the hug stiffly. It was difficult to allow it when she had the urge to flinch and draw away. Too many terrible things involving touch happened when she was away, it was something she still hadn’t dealt with. Clearing her throat, she stepped out of the hug after a few seconds. “I’m glad you’ve met someone. I always worried about you, being so hidden and alone most of the time. I know you have Kyrie, but it sounds like things are better now. I’m happy for you.”
“I’m trying.” He backed up and picked his backpack up off the ground. “Levi has complicated things. But I’m glad he’s back in Keys life. Just, have to keep going though. Try to make a difference.” He shook his phone slightly before putting it in his pocket, signaling he would try to help her with her thing. “I’ll keep you updated when I find stuff out.”
Daryn nodded with a faint smile and took another step back to allow him to go. “You do make a difference. Thank you, again. For everything.”