Tread Lightly and Carry A Big Sledge

Any inquiries into the whereabouts of one Benjamin Ryans will get a person pointed down to the first floor. From there directions will send them to one of the apartments on the bottom floor. Persons seeking Ryans will find the apartment door propped open and the sounds of someone working inside.

Thunk! Crrrrack!

Within the apartment, the seeker will discover a tall man, wearing worn blue jeans, a fitted white t-shirts and work boots. His face is covered in a pale green dust mask, hair a bit mussed up from working, but chances are this is the man one is looking for.

Thunk! Crrrrack!

The scary thing, might be the five lb sledgehammer that is currently in the large mans hands. He seems to wield it with ease, as he brings it back and swings it at a water damaged wall. With a jerk, the sledgehammer breaks the wall and pulls pieces away, sending bits raining to the tarp covered floor. Ryans works hard and it's noticeable, from the light shimmer of sweat on his skin. Over the top of his mask, brows are furrowed in concentration.

Thunk! Crrrrack!

Tread lightly, ye who enter this domain. Benjamin Ryans is a train Company agent and he's armed.

So, today's the day. Closing the shop on time is a bit difficult since he's waiting on a particular part to be delivered, and after installing it the amount of grease that's been caked on his arms and beneath his nails could be studied by petrochemical engineers for different exploration techniques in tight spaces. Luckily, a super-hot shower and scrubbing that threatens to remove the top two layers of skin manages to get most of the oil and grease off, but there's still a few spots here and there that will require 40 grit sandpaper, and frankly, he doesn't feel like pulling that out just now.

Pulling up in front of Gun Hill, Jaiden kills his engine and enters. After a few challenges from those who don't know him very well, the man is allowed entry with his backpack and a bottle of water. His goal? Delia or, if she is not available, (gulp), her father. And now it's at the door of the first floor apartment where a light dusting of plaster dust is escaping into the hall, watching the hammer fall, as it were.

The man slips out of his backpack and clears his throat after the impact of the hammer. "Excuse me, Sir?" Polite as ever.

The hammer is in mid swing, when Ryans hears someone speak up. The swing is aborted and the sledgehammer comes to be held at his side. Head turning, blue eyes cut Jaiden's way and the other man can see the up and down movement of being assessed. Finally, a hand lifts to pinch the mask between finger and thumb and tugs it down to hang around his neck.

"Yes?"

The word comes out slightly winded and rough. "What can I do for you?" While he's been told about Jaiden, but the old man doesn't know what this guy looks like.

Jaiden is dressed simply; boots, blue jeans, button-down short-sleeve shirt that's open to reveal a t-shirt beneath. It's all clean and pressed but not ostentatious or showy. "Thought I should come introduce myself at some point. I'm Jaiden Mortlock. I'm a friend of your daughter's."

The silence hangs there heavily for many moments, as Delia might of warned Jaiden, he won't be able to really read the man. Except for a deepening of the wrinkles at the corners of his eyes, as they narrow, there isn't much to go by.

Finally, Ryans grabs up the mask to settle it over his nose, sliding fingers along the elastic to get it into place. The sledgehammer is taken in too hands. "Grab a mask and trash bag, start putting that drywall in it." The words rumble like a growling big cat.

"Might as well make yourself useful." Up goes the hammer again and Ryans gives it a hard swing.

Thump! Crrrrack!!

There is a little more force this time, the only hint that the old man isn't happy. "Delia mentioned you." He states before another swing goes for the wall he's in the process fixing. If Jaiden looks, he'll notice on wall is already showing signs of redone drywall, Ryans experiment to make sure he did know what he was doing.

Jaiden expected a reaction kind of like this. He is, after all, about ten or so years older than Delia and encountering her father in a small, enclosed space while said father is armed with a sledgehammer. And Delia didn't warn Jaiden about how hard it would be to read her father - honestly, it was all he could do to figure out where she was and who her father was without overtly asking. The fact that he managed to track them down within the ferry was nothing short of a miracle.

"Yes sir." Jaiden slips off his overshirt and hangs it over the knob outside of the room, out of the way of the dust, leaving his backpack out in the hall as well before entering the room, looking at the wall critically for a moment. He's fixing a leak - that much is obvious, but exactly what's behind the wall is the mystery being sought with the sledgehammer. "Any idea what the leak is from? Sewage, hot water, or cold water? Do I need to get some tools, or do you have everything you need."

"It's damage from the winter storm." The answer comes after another swing of the sledge. Ryans pauses in the demolition to pull at loosened section of wall, brows furrowed and eyes narrowed. "Most of the bottom floor and the basement. There are only a few more that need new drywall."

One piece is proving to be difficult, so the sledge hits the floor next to his feet with a whomp. Both hands grip the section of wall and he pulls at it with some hard jerks.

Once it's tossed to the side, Ryans eyes the younger man. "You realize she's only twenty and only just manifesting an ability?" It's an obvious answer, but he wants to hear it from the young man. As he watch Jaiden, the sledge hammer is picked up again and cradled in both hands. He doesn't swing, just yet.

Burst pipes were common after the storm, and thanks to the lack of plumbers, it's fallen on men like Ryans and Jaiden to repair the damage that has been done to make things work again 100%. It's what he did with his building and a few others around, and it's probably what he'll end up doing here, too. He's a good samaritan.

"I understand that. My intentions are completely noble, I assure you." Jaiden moves to stand in front of Ryans, hands hanging at his side, within easy 'swinging' distance of the sledgehammer, trusting his reflexes in case the man decides to make a swing at him over it. "I also realize that her power could be problematic in the future but…to be honest? I don't really mind that so much." He reaches over and takes hold of a bit of the rotten drywall, pulling it away easily. "She's a nice girl."

Hands tighten on the sledgehammer, but it's hard to tell if he's just tightening his grip, or thinking about cracking the man's skull. Since, Ryans doesn't seem to be in a hurry to break the man, it was probably not that.

"She is also a young woman in a confusing time in her life." Benjamin is watching this young welp with the attention of a predator looking for a weakness. There is nothing mean, or anger… or really anything emotional in the words he speaks, as the ex-agent is extremely guarded. "She's impressionable and scared." He shifts over, switching the grip on the Sledgehammer.

"Which means…." The hammer is hefted and swung back, a new hole appears in the wall. "Which means she can be hurt easily." Ryans words take on a dangerous edge, eyes on his work. "Hurt my little girl…"

Thump! Crrrack

"…it won't be the wall that I will be breaking."

Thump! Crrrack

"And I will then feed you to Huruma." Ryans is not above using the tall dark woman in that threat, since she in herself is a scary piece of work. Now Ryans plus Huruma, it's a frightening combination.

Thump! Crrrrack!

"She's your daughter, Mate. If you just set her out into the world without worryin' 'bout the blokes she palled around with, I'd be more concerned for her upbringing than her safety." Jaiden leans against the wall, watching the man work, eyes hooded against the dust, his formerly gleaming boots now dingy with a light coat of the stuff.

It's honestly kind of how he expected it to be. With the addition of a shotgun, the conversation the two are having could be considered almost a sitcom type of situation; the wacky neighbor asking the patriarch of the household for his permission to date the stunning female lead. Except this is real. This matters. This won't cut to commercial with a laugh track.

Jaiden's position and words betray no weakness or fear. Wariness, perhaps, but no weakness. He's giving Ryans the same leeway he's given Huruma in the times she and he have interacted - mostly when Delia's present. "Then I'm glad we have an understanding. I will never intentionally hurt Delia. Hell, I don't even know if we'd be considered an item just yet. Right now we're just friends, and I wanted to see the kind of man her father is." Jaiden pauses, straightening a little. "You can learn a lot from a person in the first five minutes of meeting them. You're someone who's capable of doing a lot when his daughter's involved." The Australian grins. "I think I'll like you."

"Even if it takes you a while to like me."

Thump The sledge is still sunk into the wall, hooked there, while Ryans turns enough to look at Jaiden. Still unreadable, thanks to that emotional the mask, the old man doesn't really say anything. No knowing what is going through Ryans' head. For all Jaiden could know, he planning a thousand tortures for the man. Knitting needles through the legs, he saw it in a movie once.

Head swinging back to the wall, the hammer is removed from the wall, with strong amount of force.

Crack

It's lifts in such a way, that Delia's father looks like a baseball player for a moment, waiting for the pitch to come. "Your slacking." The words aren't harsh in any way, just flat. "If your not going to work, you might as well go up and see her." The sledge is swung, sinking in deep again. "She's waiting for you, I am sure.

"Just remember." Ben gives a narrowed blue gaze to the younger man. "I'm watching you and I live there." In other words… it's a wordless order to keep it in the pants.

Jaiden may be slacking, but Ryans isn't using any contractions. How interesting. He does give a smirk, stepping away from the wall, looking around. "You don't look like the kind who asks for help, and besides, demolition is the fun part. I wouldn't take that away from you, since you have the only sledge that I've seen. If you need help, I'll gladly give it. If not, I'll head upstairs to see Delia. It's been a while, after all, and I need to catch her up with the goings on about town."

A gloved hand slides off the handle of the sledge hammer and the fingers gives a shooing flick. Seems the patriarch of the Ryans' clan has dismissed the young suitor to go pursue the young fair Delia.

There are no other words from Benjamin, Jaiden isn't to that point where Ryans will even offer anything in parting. The ex-agent turned handyman only continues to labor away in silence, trying not to think about the fact that Delia has possibly found someone worth while.

Her father, however, withholds judgment for the time being.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License