Professional Courtesy


robyn_icon.gif rue_icon.gif

Scene Title Professional Courtesy
Synopsis Boundaries are established by Robyn and Rue.
Date March 4, 2018

The Bunker: Lounge

The lounge is quiet for a change. Maybe others are off doing drills or have better places to kill time. Rue Lancaster is mostly recovered from a cracked rib, but still under orders to take it easy, lest she reinjure herself. So, she's seated on a sofa with a partial deck of cards spread out on the table in front of her, the rest in her hand.

One, two, three cards are pushed forward by the pad of her middle finger, then flipped over as one. The spread is studied with a critical eye. Jack of Spades is laid over Queen of Diamonds. Seven of Hearts covers Eight of Clubs. She doesn't look up when she hears footsteps. The others know to leave her the hell alone if she doesn't offer a greeting. Not unless it's something important.

Robyn Quinn has lost lost all sense of time today. SHe tries not to be too late coming back to Rochester from the Safe Zone, but multiple meetings and a desire to get dinner before leaving rather than starve have left her with little other option than to arrive back at the Bunker much later than she would like.

So, she makes back into the building as silently as possible, a large something rolled up under an arm. and a fresh bottle of whiskey gripped in hand. It is, at first a relief that there doesn't seem to be anyone else out and about at the moment - she last thing she wants is the Hounds judging her more than they already do.

THe cut through the Lounge is always a dangerous one, as was proven the other day. Still, it's the fastest way to her room. She should drop at least the whiskey off in her office, but… well. She walks slowly as she pads through the hall, dressed in her usual blacks, band pulled over eye. A suit, with lace accenting at the ends of the sleeves. The whole nine yards. She wants more than anything not to be seen right now.

Ignoring or not, Rue has to be aware of her surroundings, so she lifts her head to glance out of the corner of her eye at whoever's coming through.

Well, this was bound to happen eventually. This may as well happen as much on her terms as she can manage.

Rue takes a deep breath, partially to give the other woman warning that someone else is in the room before she speaks. "Hey, Quinnie." The old nickname is chosen deliberately. Not as a term of affection, but as a way to display that she's not exactly recognizing Robyn's authority in this situation. After what she's been through this last month, she doesn't trust anything that comes out of the Alphabet Soup of government organizations. SESA least of all.

From the direction she's coming from, Rue sits in Robyn's blindspot, a handicap she hadn't cared to give much attention to tonight - so the sound of someone breathing is an appreciated warning,a buffer as she slightly quickens her pace and looks in the direction of the sound's source.

Seeing it slows her pace back down, until finlly she stops, looking back in Rue's direction. She doesn't know the intent of the choice behind Quinnie, but something about it stands out to her anyway - give the commentary by Berlin days previous, that was not the least bit professional.


"Hello, February," his a measured response - proper, with the cadance of someone seeing a bare acquaintence rather than an ex-girlfriend and sounds that much more deliberate on account of her accent. "Apologies. First Lieutenant Lancaster." She offers a small nod to her. "Are you well this evening?" Mostly asked as a courtesty. Her eye locks on to Rue.

She's been telling herself how she would act when this moment finally came, avoiding Rue as she had been. Now she's going to be fighting with the knot in her stomach as she tries to stick to script. She just hopes this is easier than seeing Elaine.

Rue's eyes flick down Robyn's form and back up again, sizing her up. Her lower jaw shifts to one side slightly as the corner of her mouth ticks upward, an off-center smirk. All right, if that's the way she's going to play this.


"Well enough." Rue sets her cards down and gets to her feet. It's significantly easier now than it was even a week ago. There's hurt feelings that never show on her face or as more than just the briefest flash in bright blue eyes, but she doesn't realize she's curled her fingers into fists and that her nails are biting into her palms.

"Gone full francophone, I see." Robyn's own accent is mimicked back at her. Rue was always good at that.

Robyn purses her lips, inclining her head slightly towards Rue as an acknowledgement. "Yes." A simple response. Silence settles in for a moment as she considers an explaination - this isn't like talking to Jolene earlier where she felt she had that freedom to do so. "A way of honouring the departed," is offered somewhat obliquely.

She trusts Rue to remember well enough what that should mean.

It's most of the truth. The rest of the details are inconsequential right now. Well enough gets flicker of concern, though Robyn tries her best not to show it. "Suppose this counts as a formal introduction," she musters after a moment. "Unneeded as it is." Her eye moves to take in Rue, look for anything she should consider noteworthy - a gesture might've had different connotations at one point. With only one visible eye, it's hard to be subtle about it.

"I hear you've been doing intelligance." A statement devoid of implication, and just that - a statement.

The teasing instantly dies away, usurped by regret. Rue shakes her head slowly. "Shit. Robyn, I'm so sorry." They'd only met a couple times, but Robyn's mother was always nice to Rue. Fuck the icy professionalism. It's appropriate to express condolences when someone's lost a family member.

She might catch hell for this later, but Rue crosses the distance between them and rests both her hands on Robyn's shoulders, eyes glassy with tears she won't shed. Ginger head bobs up and down in a small nod. "Yeah. Keelut is my team. Raith always said I had the face for it." Her left hand squeezes her ex-lover's shoulder gently. Rue sighs heavily. "Let's talk about this like adults, okay? Lay out the boundaries. I don't want to play this stupid fucking game. Not with you."

Well, that is not at all the reaction Robyn expected. She didn't really expect - necessarily even want - a reaction at all. When Rue starts to appoach her, she tenses, wary of her intentions. When the hand touches her shoulder, she freezes. Icy professionalism is an act dfor Rue; it's how Robyn has lived the last several years of her life in most instances. So, it's harder for her to shake.

"Thank you," is still an appropriate response to the condolances, again said with a small incline of her head. She looks into Rue's eyes for a moment, her faded grey meeting Rue's bright blues. "I thought we were," she admits, with no intent of rudeness or malice."I have no intentions of… compromisiung anything or anyone." She straightens a bit, taking in a breath. "Myself included, if you're worried." she adds, before her strict posture deflates a little bit. Those are her boundries, but even with that said, she lowers her voice significantly. "Glad to see you well, though."

One of Rue's rare and genuine smiles spreads across her face. Her dimples make an appearance. "You too." Her hands are withdrawn, dropped back to her sides. "We can agree to be professional without being assholes to each other, right?" Her head cants to one side, brows hiking up. Not that she's implying Robyn's been an asshole, no.

"I intend to fully cooperate, of course. I want this investigation cleared up just as much as I'm sure the SESA does. We have nothing to hide." Despite the casual nature of the conversation, Rue's tone lacks the warmth Robyn remembers. It holds some of the hollow despair she remembers all those years ago, when she broke down in that cell in the castle basement. But there's a fire that burns behind it now. February Lancaster is not fragile anymore.

"We'll see." A beat. "Meant in a factual sense." Rather than accusatory, and her tone backs that up - but Robyn knows well enough that she can't share her thoughts on the situation with anyone except the reports she writes and the people who receive them. "We can try," is an honest answer - again, without any malice behind it. "I'm not here to be… anything." An asshole. A friend. A comrade. An enemy.

She studies Rue for a moment. The feeling it brings her is akin to other recent encounters - similar, yet so different. "But I will do what I need to do, Lieutenant." One side of her mouth quirks up in a smile. "This is an indefinite assignment. Will have to be at our best." She pulls the rolled up sheet she has from under her arm, shifting how she holds it.

Being referred to as Lieutenant is still strange to her. More so coming from Robyn. But the promotion is something she feels a lot of pride for, so it isn't an uncomfortable feeling. "Of course, Agent Quinn." Rue nods her head. "I have my orders, you have yours. If there's anything you need, you have only to ask me." She might be more willing to play ball than some of her colleagues. Or at least not glare so much while complying.

Agent Quinn rubs Robyn the wrong way too, and she grimaces. "Told the others to call me Robyn," she notes. "Didn't take." And Berlin wasn't wrong, it is a bit too familiar given the situation. "You said something about boundries". She moves a bit past Rue, towards a flat surface where she can set down the whiskey - "Green Spot" the label says. "Mine are simple." As it settles with a clink, she turns back to face Rue. "I am no one. I am not a friend. I am not an Ex. I am not a Ferryman. I am not a smuggler. I am not a war hero." Her eye meets one of Rue's. "I am a SESA agent. SESA is here to help, and so am I. That is all." That is tougher to say than it sounded in her head, and it's clear that Robyn struggles with a bit of it. "That is the only way this can happen."

"You're right, of course." All of that seems incredibly sensible, and it burns Rue up a little bit. She follows along in Robyn's wake, eyeing the bottle, and figuring that, yes, she is definitely going to need it to get through this assignment.

"Great," Rue says softly. "And I want to help you get what you need so that this can be as painless as possible for all of us." It already hurts like hell. "You've asked me to call you Robyn, and I can extend you the professional courtesy to respect your preference." Her shoulders come up in a shrug. "You can call me whatever makes you feel most comfortable. The others call me Rumor, but I'll answer to whatever."

"You don't have to." Robyn shakes her head, letting out a small sigh. "They aren't. Follow their lead." Because to Robyn, standing out is the quickest way to get accusations thrown around. "I will stick to Lieutenant." Formal. With that, she closes her eye and lowers her head a bit. "Thank you for understanding."

Laying down these ground rules, it's a good idea right? If the Major - or anyone from SESA - were listening in, she would hope it would indicate impartiality on at least enough of a level. Detachment. Maturity. It gives them something to call the other out on if it becomes necessary, and that will be important going forward.

"And for making this easier. Just two more introductions."

It's not what she would have wanted, but Rue can see the necessity. She doesn't like being told to follow the others' lead. She's not an officer anymore. But if she doesn't mind herself, she will be. Like Demsky. And that thought brings it full circle to why Robyn's even here.

"Who's left on your list to meet? I'm happy to send them your way." Rue tries to mentally tick the boxes in her head. Who hasn't she heard griping about the new liaison yet?

Her expression thins, and Robyn considers this for a moment. "Don't." She shifts her stance a bit, adjusting the rolled up sheet under her arm. "Don't want it to look like I'm seeking them out." She chews at her lower lip, eye closing part way. "Colette and Adel." The two hardest - even if Rue doesn't know Adel's partange or that she considers Robyn one of her mothers, she certainly knows they were bandmates - with Adel playing on much of her released music.

Well. She'd thought Rue would be harder than Colette, but this has defied her expectations. She takes a bit of warm solace in that, even if she can't show it. "Do what feels right," is a final bit of advice. "Be careful, be ruthless. I will be." It sounds colder than she meant for it to, but…

The intelligence operative frowns a moment. "Fine." She doesn't need to send anyone Robyn's way. She's perfectly capable of making her own introductions. And she can see that she's going to need a ten foot pole in order to reach her ex. That's fine, too.

"I can do that," Rue grants with a nod of her head. "But just remember," she smirks and there's a hint of mischief in her eye, "that it was your idea."

Robyn wrinkles her nose at that last comment and the smirk - something about it doesn't settle well with her at first. "Thank you." This time, said with an earnest smile. Picking up the whiskey, she glances down the hall. "I wanted different," she offers, quietly. Honestly. "Only way to cut through the bullshit." With that, her posture straightens, her smile fades. A practiced coolness. "Do what feels right," she reiterates.

What feels right and what she wants to do are often different things, in Rue's experience. This is one of the times where that might be a harder pill to swallow. "Then I'm going back to my cards. If you need anything, I expect you'll have no trouble finding me." She turns on her heel and heads back toward the couch she was sitting on before Robyn began to cut through. She settles back down and stares intently at her cards again. Without looking up, she offers her farewell:

"Good luck, Quinn."

Robyn frowns at the mention of Rue going back to her cards. So it goes. She nods, and turns to make her way down the hall and to her room - which happens to be across from Rue's. Quinn. She shakes her head.

"Good night, Rue."

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