Awkward Run-In

The Fellowship of the Sun

A triangular mass of windows and modern side-panels of an off white, the church the Fellowship of the Sun congregate in is nothing short of welcoming. Its doors are comprised of transparent glass, allowing the world outside a glimpse into a richly carpeted and lavish lobby area. This is the heart of the church's information network; a place where tables filled with pamphlets and educational materials can be found as well as the corkboard holding up all the flyers and notices of recent events that might interest the congregation. Attached is a coat room, and the pair of handsome doors leading into the main chapel of the building, as well as a staircase that leads downstairs, where independent study rooms, the kitchen, and function rooms can be found.
In the room of worship, the walls are lined with magnificent, large windows. Large, fairly spacious, the altar stands proud and elevated like a stage in front of the masses of wooden pews standing sentinel. An elaborate wall of organ pipes make up the back wall, and above that is a golden cross, proclaiming its status as a holy place. The room always seems extraordinarily bright and sunny, a combination of the light colors used to decorate the room and the towering glass walls put into effect.

Rumor has it that some sort of curse has been placed upon the eldest of the Cornett family. The many broken bones that he has suffered in recent days could be explained away, but the latest injury just seems to be some sort of sign. It would be one thing if he was doing something to deserve it but he was honestly being a nice guy. All rumors aside, Robert has returned to the church just to let them know that he'll be off of his post for the time being. A little prayer here and there for some help doesn't hurt, either. He's now on his way out, his right hand still in a cast. The latest addition to his wardrobe, however, is the black cane with flames that he holds in his left hand. Not only does he have a cane but he's using it.

His way out is Hope's way in, so she nearly runs into him. The reason? She's carrying a stack of LODI portfolios, having gotten them all ready for the conference that is set to happen just after Easter. Her foot trips on the top step, and she falters forward. The portfolios go falling all over the steps, and she's left trying to gather them together before the papers within them go flying around. As she bends to pick up the first folder, she comes face to face with the cane. "Oh! I'm so sorry. I'll be out of your way in just a second."

As horribly rude as it may sound, it is a very good thing that she didn't fall into him. He's had just about as much pain as he can take and it's growing increasingly difficult to not turn to the pain medication. As it stands he's clean because he's driving and thankful that the Xterra is an automatic. Hope may not recognize Bobby but he immediately recognizes her. Despite the fact that she's tripped he actually has a soft smile at the sight of it all. "Hey. Let me help." Even if he's not exactly graceful about it, Robert eventually lowers himself down and begins picking up portfolios. "You should be careful of stairs, though. They have a habit of springing up on you out of nowhere."

There is no recognition until he speaks. At which point, Hope actually falls backward down to the next step. "Bobby?" Her cheeks are red, she looks horribly flustered, and she's staring at the cane. "Y-you don't have t-to help me, I c-can pick up a few f-folders," she stammers. "What did you do to your knee? Why do you have the cane? Please tell me you weren't beating someone up again…" She quickly tries to gather herself, and the portfolios so that she can get out of his way. "It's uhm… well it's not because of the other day is it?" The Sidekick isn't exactly known to have the hugest trunk in the world, after all.

The tumble actually causes him to chuckle. "Be careful, Hope. I can't exactly pick you up right now." He would, though, if he thought that he needed to. That's the Bobby way. Only when he's confident that she has the folders, including those in his hand, does he struggle to stand again. Hope knows full well about Robert's old injury so he feels he can speak more openly about it to her. "It wasn't because of that, although I really wouldn't complain. That would have been worth it." Hey, it was good time. "And I didn't hit anyone. Someone passed out in a bar on St. Patrick's Day so I carried him out. I guess it was too much. It'll be fine, though. I'm sure." Really it won't and he knows it but he doesn't like to fuss over things.

"What is it with guys wanting to carry me," she mutters under her breath. Hope reaches out so that she can help stabilize him if he needs it. Then she gets up to her feet and eyes at him. "Bobby, you're not going to be fine. Have you been to the hospital? Have you gotten looked at?" She sighs, then places the gathered portfolios down on a step, gathering a rock to hold them down. "Do you need help with anything?" Her cheeks are still red, but she's being herself. Nice, helpful, not fawning all over him like she wants to. Trying to maintain distance, while still being a friend.

He would call her out on what she means if he actually heard her. As it stands, the man is still utterly clueless. Bobby makes a point to do everything on his own, not turning away from her but not relying on her help, either. "I'll be fine. I was already at a doctor. See?" It's then that he holds the cane up for her to see. He only needs it to actually walk, and even then he likely shouldn't be walking. He'll just not stop for fear of not being able to start again. Hope will know him well enough to see the pain he carries if only she looks in his eyes. The rest of him is doing rather well. "What I need is to stop going to the hospital. I think that they have a room reserved for me by now."

"No, what you need to do, sweetie, is stop hurting yourself." It's a slip she would normally catch herself at, but he's distracting her with the cane. "You need to take your pain meds, and you should be resting." Hope exhales a sigh, wiping her hands down over her very red cheeks trying to brush the color right out of them. "You're in pain," she says when she catches the look in his eyes. "Dang it, Bobby, you need to stop hurting yourself." Yes, she's only just said it but there's a lot more worry and concern in her voice now.

She carries concern in her voice but he doesn't. He continues to pass it off like it's no big deal. The biggest deal right now is that he's uncomfortable around his ex. She looks good and they didn't exactly part on bad terms last they saw each other. Yet how can he justify being around her after what he's done? "I can't take my medication and drive and I had some errands to run. I just have to go to the store then I'll go home and rest." There's a moment where Bobby regrets telling her once about how serious his injury in the past was. She'll be the hardest one to convince that things are fine. "I didn't do it on purpose, you know. I just wanted to make sure the guy got home okay." As far as he knows he did, considering the phone call while Bobby was busy. "I'm okay, Hope. Really. I'll be fine. I probably don't even need the cane."

He may not be carrying concern in his voice, but he's about as awful a liar as she is. Hope stares at him quietly for a few moments, and then clears her throat. She shouldn't be staring at him. Looking away, she points to the Xterra. "I can take you to the store, then home, then head back here on foot. It's not going to be dark for a while." It will suck to walk with a few broken toes, but she'll survive. It's not /that/ far. "I don't mind doing it." To prove it, she shoots him her most dazzlingly bright, and very awkward smile. "You're a bad liar, by the way."

"So are you." At least she should realize that. "And for the record, most people believe me." This isn't him admitting to anything, however. Nope. Robert shakes his head at her offer. "I'll be okay, really. I'd you start taking care of me now, then I'm going to expect it and then where will we be?" Okay, so he may be flirting with her. It's difficult not to considering their history. "And I'll never learn to do all of this on my own. I fussed over it the first time and Dad stopped talking to me. I'm going to make him proud." To demonstrate how serious /he/ is, Robert begins to make his way to his own vehicle. It's slow, each step rather painful, but at least he's doing it.

Forgetting the portfolios, she falls into step beside him. Just in case he needs the help and is being to stubbornly male to admit it. "Bobby, stop. You don't have a thing to prove to anyone. If you keep walking on it like this, you're going to hurt it worse, and surgery might not be able to fix it." Hope actually sounds a little scared at that. "I like taking care of you," she says quietly. Even though she knows that is likely the stupidest, most clingy thing she could possibly say. "But if you really don't want my help, I'll just deliver these portfolios and then get home. I've got a project due on Thursday."

Too stubbornly male. That about sums up everything that motivates Robert. "I don't know if surgery will fix it as it is. That's why I'm not considering it." He can say this around her because she's Hope. Finally he stops although it's difficult to tell if by her command or not. The smile is gone when he looks over to her, taking a moment to surpass the pain before speaking. "Is that really such a good idea? We'd be together more, and I don't know what I'd do while medicated." Perhaps Bobby really is trying to look out for her. "I'm failing at this friends thing and I'm sorry for that. I don't want to make things difficult for you."

"You'd likely sleep," Hope says with a shrug. The lack of smile says a lot more than his words do, and she turns away from him. "It's fine, Bobby. Just take care of yourself." She's about to head toward the church, so she can hand in the portfolios, then go hide in her new car for a quick cry, but she's /Hope/, and she just can't help but add, "But you call me if you need anything. Whether you're failing at this or not, I'm not going to let you hurt yourself worse just because you're being stubborn."

"I don't sleep when I drink." He gets frisky when he drinks. That reminds him of the time in the shower the day of his father's funeral. That thought is not helping things at all. Robert watches Hope closely, attempting to catch her eyes. He likely will fail, considering the amount of moving that he has to do in the process. "Anything?" It's his attempt to try and make light of the situation but he can't stand to see her upset. "If I didn't know better I'd think you wanted me to fail. You deserve better than me. No amount of apologies can make me the right man for you, no matter how much I love you." A phrase that he so rarely uses.

Her eyes are caught, but only very briefly. Hope looks away again as soon as they meet. "Anything. No matter our history, Bobby, we're still friends." She's determined to be at least that for him. "All I want is for you to be happy. No matter what it is that's going to make you happy. You deserve that. Even if it hurts me, I'm not going anywhere." Because she still loves him. Though when she hears him reciprocate that, she just sort of blinks away a few tears, happy for the fact that her back is to him. "Just promise you'll take better care of yourself," she whispers, afraid to talk much louder for fear of it sounding like she's crying.

It's painful on more than one level but he walks up behind her. One arm, the one housing the cast hand, is attempted to wrap around her body. He means only to hug her but will understand if she pulls away. "Even if I asked that you stay and watch over me?" His question is soft, barely spoken due to the short distance he's attempting to create between them. This isn't something he can trouble Scarlett with and Hope is just so comfortable. "I promise that I won't be drinking, I won't be fighting. It's just me and Mellie, and the Pop Tarts that I said I'd get her." Regardless of her reactions to him, Bobby turns and begins to walk to the Xterra. "If there's one thing I can do for you it's keep that promise."

Soft, but heard. Hope doesn't shy away from the hug, but with her back to him she can't exactly return it either. No matter how comfortable it would be to turn and just cry on his shoulder. "If that's what you needed? I'd do it. You do have a guest room." It's not as though she'd be moving in or getting too comfortable. "Or I could always leave at night, and come back when you needed me." See? Even upset, she can be logical and not emotional about this. She's not allowing herself to become too emotional. "Look, Bobby. Why don't you just go home and rest. Tell me the Pop Tart flavor she wants, and I'll grab them on my way to work, and drop them off in your mailbox."

The comfort is the problem in the end. He's not the only one who is taking comfort now in the ability of hiding his face. He's in pain and not just physical. Everything seems like a huge mistake at this point but he's not going to just cut Scarlett off. He cares about her even if it isn't love, isn't Hope. "Don't worry about it." He sounds rather calm as this is said, too. Bobby raises his cast in the air to wave goodbye. "It's a quick trip, then straight to the couch for me. Take care, Hope." Beat. "Come over whenever you'd like. I miss you." Then he's crawling into the Xterra and not waiting around to tempt himself with another make-out session.

"Hey, Bobby?" Hope says, turning quickly to say goodbye. "I like what you did with the cast." Although she has no idea why he'd want his cast to look like a baseball bat. The invitation throws her for a loop, and she just sort of waves at him as he gets into his Xterra. Her going to his place likely wouldn't be a safe thing to do. No matter how much she may want to. She's a horrible sinner. "Be seeing you." Maybe. If she gets over these danged emotions and sinful feelings.

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