Rather Restless


ryans_icon.gif sabra_icon.gif

Scene Title Rather Restless
Synopsis Sabra Dalton invites an old colleague to dinner and offers him a chance at an assignment.
Date January 28, 2010

An old restaurant

The restaurant is the kind of place which not only weathered the aftereffects of the Bomb, but seems to deny it altogether. The building is old, the furniture worn but in that cared-for manner that spells antique. The tables, round and spaced at wide intervals, are heavy wood, each candle-lit; the floor is thickly carpeted; the wall-lights are tuned to a comfortably dim level.

Guests are shown to their seats, of course, and those seats are arranged only by reservation. The holder of the reservation in question is already present, seated at a back table with a three-fifths-full glass of white wine sitting near the candle. Her black coat is draped over the back of her chair, blouse of a mid-blue shade, pants almost as dark as the coat. Sabra Dalton has changed in the past fourteen years — albeit not tremendously much. She has a few more wrinkles, and her hair is if anything whiter than it was then, but the blue eyes are still just the same.

Years may not be kind to most after a certain age, but no matter how much they change, something about them remains the same. So when Ryans is show to the table, a smile touches his lips at the sight of an old colleague. "Sabra Dalton." The name is said with rumbled respect. "I see time has been much kinder to you then it has me."

"Ah.. thank you. Can I get an iced tea?" He says to the hostess that had shown him there and starts to remove the worn brown duster, the shoulders damp with melted snow. "I have to admit, I was surprised to hear from you." He addresses that to the older woman at the table. Unbuttoning his black sports jacket, revealing the rich brown of his shirt, that seems to go well with his black slacks.

There is a bit of a sigh as he settles into his his chair, "A pleasant surprise really." He offers her an easy smile across the table. He studies her, noting the changes, wondering how much he might have changed to her. "It is good to see you though."

The woman at the table lifts her gaze to the approaching pair, greeting the sight of Ryans with a sincerely affectionate smile. "Benjamin, please, it's always been just Sabra to you." And most other people, by her habits, but that's generally a moot point.

"You flatter me," she disagrees amiably, face crinkling in a pleased smile. "I do wish I'd been able to visit with our old crew more," Sabra continues, picking up her goblet and sipping briefly at the wine in it. "We have all been scattered to the winds. Made it a pleasant surprise to find you still here in New York. My condolences, however belatedly, on your wife's death. How are the girls?"

Leaning back some in his chair as his tea is quickly delivered, Ryans gives Sabra a small short nod, expression saddening some. Time does not completely heal everything. "Thank you, it was a shock when it happened, but the girls and I persevered. Both seem to have grown up into fine woman despite having me playing mom those last few years." His mouth tugs up into a bit of a half smile at the thought.

"I had thought about following as all us old people do and move down to Florida.." He puts a packet of sugar into his tea as she talks, "..but when it came down to it, this was home. Beside, Mary is buried her." His baritone voice somber as he says that. "You are, of course, the first of the old crew that I have seen since I retired. Though I did happen to catch Jennifer on the radio."

"Hmm. I can't say I ever considered Florida seriously myself," the woman remarks, idly swirling the wine in her glass. "Something about the snails, I think." Or maybe she just doesn't know how to retire. That seems rather the more likely. Sabra smiles again at the mention of Jenn, and dips her head. "So did I. I regret that I can't vote in the election — spent far too many years abroad to qualify as a resident anymore. But I do look forward to seeing how it comes out for her." Setting the glass back down on the table, the elderly lady folds her hands in her lap. "Tell me about what you've been doing all this time," she invites, with honest curiosity.

"Honestly?" Ryans asks her with a slightly bland expression. "Not much. Retirement was the right thing to do for my girls, but.." He picks up his tea and takes a sip to wet a parched throat. ".. now that they are both off doing their own things, I find myself rather restless." Another sip is taken before he sets the glass down again. "I took up gardening, but that just is not the same." He gives her that lop sides smirk again. "I read to keep busy, the girls visit now and then. Though, I have to say since things happened to the old office, well… I've been paying more attention to the world." He gives her a level look as he starts firmly, "And I'm not liking what I'm seeing."

"I met a young woman, Abigail, who pegged me for what I was just by my…. old job. She couldn't be any older them my girls." One hand rests on the edge of the table, "I can't begin to tell you how much that alarmed me. Ran into that Magnes Varlane that has been on the news often, he… is an odd duck that one." A small frown touches his lips.

Sabra smiles again, expression understanding and sympathetic. "Abigail proves that this world we live in is a small one; she and a few others have been… in contact with us in the past." Reading between the lines, of course, that isn't necessarily the amicable and mutual-benefit sort of contact. "Things have changed a lot since you retired. Some not for the better."

The woman pauses for another sip of wine, looking across the glass in her fingers towards Ryans. Her smile becomes faintly crooked, one component of an expression Ryans well recognizes from days long past. She has something he doesn't quite know he wants yet, but want it he does. "Funny you should mention the old office. We still have an open line of inquiry on the gang who was responsible for that little event."

Eyes narrow slightly as he spots that familiar look, Ryans curiosity is piqued. Her takes the time to take another long sip of his tea, before he asks simply."Really?" His tone taking on mild curiosity. "I had hoped the reason the police hadn't found him yet was that he…. happened to…. disappear." A age thinned brow lifts slightly with curiosity. Ryans, of course, has done his share of disappearing people in the past. "I'm sorry to hear that is not the case. Good people were lost in that.. event."

Leaning forward, Ryans rests his arms on the edge of the table, fingers folding. "Are the ranks running so thin?" He hazards to ask.

"He did disappear, after a fashion," Sabra replies, lifting her goblet to her lips once more. Then it is set back on the table, her hands clasped loosely and set against the table's near edge. "It's only relatively recently that we confirmed his continued survival."

A brief chuckle is voiced at Ryans' query, the elderly lady smiling in response. "Now, now, Benjamin — give yourself more credit than that! Or do you think you've rusted so much in your retirement?" Sabra inquires, blue eyes glinting with a facetious, friendly sort of mock-challenge.

"I'm not seeking to make him disappear, just now," she continues after a moment, to clarify that point. "Only — an investigation. A study, as it were. A sense of his person, what his plans and goals are for the future. Whether there's anything we need to anticipate — or prevent." Sabra smiles again, warmth rimed with nostalgia's rue. "Some of the younger ones — they would do well at this, true. But I would rather have the judgment of an agent I know in the lead."

Her mocking tones, get an actual chuckle out of the old former agent, "Sabra, you know as well as I, time is no friend of ours." He holds up a finger, a good natured smile spreading across his lip, as he defends is honor, "But, I'm pretty certain I can still do the job almost as good at the younger ones."

His faces falls into much more serious lines as he continues the white haired woman across the table from him. "I have found that you can take the man out of the job, but you can not take the job out of the man." Leaning back in his seat, fingers taps lightly on the table, "With the girls on their own, I am free to do as I please. If you need my help, Sabra, I am more then willing to investigate this."

The lines of her face crinkle again in a warm smile. "Excellent," Sabra replies, nodding to her companion. She sits back in her chair, plucks the menus from where they sit at the side of the table. "I have a short list of agents you might consider selecting an assistant from — assuming, of course, that you want one," the older woman allows. "But for now…" She passes one of the menus across the width of the table. "How about we order, and over dinner I'll fill you in on what I know of the last three years."

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