A Picture Of Another Life


elisabeth_icon.gif ryans2_icon.gif

Scene Title A Picture of Another Life
Synopsis Ryans sees a what-might-have-been.
Date February 15, 2019

Ryans Home

Well…. Richard knows where the man lives. It's not that hard to find. The question is, will he be at home when she gets there? He's not a man prone to overreacting, so that should be okay. As she stands on his front porch, her hands shoved deep into the pockets of a fleece-lined heavy quilted jacket, Elisabeth has a moment of remembering the last time she really talked to this man. It, too, was in the snow. It makes her smile to remember that day, watching Ben Ryans laugh with a full-belly laugh that she, even then, had been reasonably sure was not the norm for him.

It's a memory that she's held onto for a lot of years, that day in the snow and the people who were there. It was a moment of pure fun, one of the few she'd had during that time.

When she hears the door's latch release, she turns to fully face the door and offers a very small, abashed smile. "Hello, Ben."

Her smile is not reflected back at her, when she turns to see the older man standing in the doorway. He looks as weathered and worn as the Captain she met in that flooded world. Though at the moment Benjamin Ryans looked a bit shocked, if that flat look could be called that. There is a blink as the shock of the moment starts to wear off.

Something rather large, bumps up against the woman’s legs. A look down finds a rather large cat looking up at her with some interest.

“Well,” Benjamin finally manages as the surreality of the moment retreats even further. “That is a face I never thought I’d see again. Liz, how the hell are you?” Only then does she gets rewarded with a bit of a smile and he back up to push the door open further. “Come on, no reason to stand out freezing. Somehow, I think you have a hell of a tale to tell.”

There's a bit of a twinkle on the last comment. "Don't I always?" Elisabeth asks cheekily. She leans down to let the cat inspect her hand, and then she goes ahead and steps into his foyer, grateful for the warmth. "It's ridiculously cold out there." Then she pauses. "Or maybe it's just me."

Clearing her throat as she unbuttons her coat, she is not as sanguine about the situation as she appears though. The subtle hum he's only ever felt one other time — the night he picked her up after she ran from Frontline — brushes lightly across his skin. "I, uhm… " There's a pause. "Well, hell. I've had weeks to figure it out and I still haven't quite worked out how to say things to people yet. So… how about I start simple? I'm doing… as well as can be expected for someone who's been away as long as I have."

“Point,” Ryans agrees on the fact she probably always does, relaxing a bit once the door is closed. There is a pair of recliners sitting in front of the fire, he motions her to them as he moves into the Kitchen. “Whiskey?” He calls back.

Not that she really gets a choice, since he plans on doing some drinking himself. His return finds him holding a decent sized bottle against his chest and a pair of glasses held in his only hand. “So an adventure, huh? We had our share here,” Ryans offers, but then adds. “Nothing fun, but.. We stayed busy for awhile there.”

"I would love some, thank you," Elisabeth replies as he makes his way deeper in the house. She follows him more slowly, carrying her jacket with her. "I'm still… catching up on a lot of history," she admits. "How've you been?" Richard didn't warn her that Ben had lost his hand. She is surprised enough that it shows briefly in her expression, but she neither avoids looking at it nor stares. It's just part of him. "My father sends his regards," she tells him quietly. And then she can't help but laugh. "I never would have thought to even assume you two knew each other." She moves to sit down in one of the chairs, if only so that he can settle in as well. What she's about to do is likely to make him need the seat.

The glasses are set on the table between the two chairs, Ben looks a touch amused at the mention of her father. “A small world,” the man rumbles out, working to pour them both a measure of whiskey. Behind him the cat stretches out on the warm bricks before the fire. The mantle above her head holding a nice line up of pictures, all his kids and a few others that mean something to the old man. “I should have guessed Jared was your father. You have a lot of him in you.”

The bottle is set on the table before his settles into one of the chairs. “I’m doing well. Girls worked hard to get me to retire and well… That still hasn’t stuck.” Ben still getting his hands into things.

“I’m glad your death was greatly exaggerated,” Benjamin says after a moment.

She's touched by that and her smile is once more just a hint on the shy side, like she's not sure how to respond. "Thank you." Then Elisabeth laughs softly. "Retirement didn't stick? Say it's not so." Tongue firmly in cheek. "Dad tells me occasionally that it's not his fault that I'm stubborn, but…" She shrugs easily. "He doesn't quite seem to know the meaning of the word 'retire' either. I got home to find him heading up legal at RayTech and learning that he helped write freaking laws." That one boggles her brain a little.

Taking a sip of the whiskey in her glass, she savors it for a long moment and then sighs heavily. Putting the glass down, she studies his face. "God, I'm really glad to see you," Elisabeth admits quietly. She doesn't look away from him, though her hands clasp a little tighter in her lap. She knows what he used to do. "I don't know where to start exactly. I know… that you're aware of the alternate timelines, but I don't know what exactly you know about them. Or if you know that you were caught up in them a long time ago."

The mention of timelines gets a bland look and a longer drink of his whiskey, a clear sign Ben knows something. “I take it then that Richard didn’t tell you about our fun…” deep sarcasm there, “…jaunt into my redacted memories?” He studies her for a moment to see if there is any recognition to that. No? Okay…

There is a moment while Ryans gathers his thoughts.

“Caspar was a man that the Company employed to remove memories and he stores them on pennies,” Ryans rumbles out quietly, eyes moving to watch the half watch the flame. “We found my memories. More than I was ever aware of.” Memory wipes were just a fact with his old employer. “We learned from that penny that my son died and another version of him showed up through an incident. They had to wipe him and his mother… my wife. from my memories to protect the Company’s blunder.” WHile his tone is calm, there is a coldness to it.

There is a blink and he turns his attention from the fire. The rest of the whiskey in his glass disappears quick enough and Ben works on pouring another. “So, yes… I know about other timelines.”

"It wasn't his tale to tell," she murmurs in reply to his first question. Richard doesn't offer up other people's secrets or pain. She reaches up absently to toy with a chain around her neck as he talks about the pennies.

As she listens, though, she looks down and purses her lips, withholding words that could be said. They're pointless. It does make what she is going to say a little easier, though. "It's taken us seven years and four worlds to figure out how to get home," Liz tells him quietly. "There are… any number of stories in that, all of which I'll be chucked into a black hole — no pun intended — for talking about but you need to hear at least this one." She pauses.

"The incident in 1984 brought a number of people here… from one of the worlds I just came from." Elisabeth looks up at him. "The Ben Ryans on the other side, who lost his son, never stopped trying to find him. They didn't… have the redaction that all of us who landed here were subject to. Much like you, he doesn't stop when his kids are involved, but he had to stay there to protect the rest of his family. I promised him I'd bring something to his son — your son. But no one seems to know if he even survived the war. And I think… perhaps you need these too."

She reaches into her coat and brings out an envelope, holding it out to him.

A look goes to the envelope being held out to him, his expression guarded even though internally there is a mixture of dread and anticipation. It was from the one that lost his son, while Ben gained one. Still he hesitates at the idea of what was in that envelope. “Bradley is alive and working for SESA,” he offers.

The glass is set down and Benjamin reaches to take the envelope. “Out of curiosity…” His attention fully Elisabeth as he draw the envelope closer. “Did he have an ability?”

Elisabeth leans down to pick up her glass after he takes it, and she swallows a good mouthful of the drink. The warmth that travels to her belly is much appreciated at this moment. "Yes, he does. It was… rather a shock." Just as finding out her mother has one was a shock. She grins just a little. "He's telekinetic." Shoving her free hand through her hair, she sighs heavily. There are so many things she's not supposed to talk about. But Ben Ryans is one of the few people that has had clearances for years, and in this instance he's already pretty intimately acquainted with a lot of this.

She nods to the envelope and says quietly, "He's actually … how I found out that you knew my father. I needed his expertise on water combat tactics." Elisabeth has a faraway expression for a moment as she wonders what became of them all. The ones on the surface. Then she pulls herself back to the here and now. "He asked me to make sure that Bradley knew… he'd never stopped trying to find him. He wasn't abandoned." She smiles just a little. "It won't give you back your memories, but…" She shrugs. Perhaps the pictures are something both will cherish.

“Telekinesis,” His head bobs slowly, “Arthur stripped me of it here when I didn’t fall into his plans. It explains why nearly all of my children are expressive. Mary nev—” Ryans stops in the middle of pulling the pictures out of the envelope when he saw her. She looked so much older, but still just as lovely.

There is a sharp breath when Ryans remembers to breath. “My god,” he whispers out the words, sounding a touch emotional. “That world must have been so much different.” The next photo had the girls and an unfamiliar young boy. Brows furrow at the sight of him, redhaired like Delia, but face a little more like Lucille. He flips the photo over to see if there is writing on the back. Nothing.

“He had another son?” Benjamin looked a little confused by that, but then it occurs to him that the boy looked so much younger then his girls. Eyes blink and he looks a little away from Liz for a moment.

In a world without the Company, without the kind of shenanigans that have gone on here in this world with time-travel and whatever the hell else… that world was quite different. Elisabeth looks down into her glass, giving him what privacy she can while he absorbs what the pictures can tell him. Softly, just to give him something in the background that gives him space in his own head, she starts talking.

"Turns out, my mother has a form of audio power as well. Echolocation, or something similar. Maybe ultra-low-frequency sonar? She apparently didn't manifest it until after the car accident that we were in the middle of when Dad and I were pulled out. It was something of a shock to land there and find her, too." She picks up her glass and sips from it. "It was a world where the bomb under the ice cap went off. The whole city was an archipelago of the tallest skyscrapers. But life finds a way. They had… their own horrors. Just not the exact same ones we have."

“You were like Bradley?” Benjamin can’t help but ask. “I haven’t figured out how to tell him.” So his son didn’t know yet. “I wasn’t ever supposed to know he wasn’t mine, but Eve had a vision about my funeral.” The last word draws out and he falls quiet as he flips through the photos and finds one with… “Adam,” he rumbles out. The picture clearly on a boat, Huruma and Adam… and his girls. A moment of family frozen in time, with Delia the focus. Knowing his girl here, that wasn’t too far from the truth. “Was there and mentioned what the Company took. Found the penny buried at my son’s grave.”

He turns the photo towards Elisabeth curiously. “Said they took it away because I was resistant to the suggestions.” Ryans looks a little overwhelmed by it all. “We were friends there?” It was kind of surprising for the old man.

She had asked around enough to be aware of it… and steered well clear of any possible contact with Adam Monroe. Elisabeth's answer is slow in coming, her words carefully chosen. "You seemed to be. I will confess that I was leery of drawing his attention and so I really didn't have a good view of that situation. As I understand it…" Pulling in a long breath, she seems to be searching. Perhaps for a condensed version. "He was a guard on Michelle Cardinal at the time the machine caused the incident. It took her child as well, and she promised him she'd find the kids. All of them. So I guess when she was brought on board in their world's version of the Company or whatever it was called, he was… less than pleased. And vocal about it. So he was sent to guard dark-holed detainees. When the Flood came, he didn't allow them to drown, got them out. I don't know if that picture came from before or after the flood, so I can't say whether you were friends before that or if you met in the prison."

As to the other question, Elisabeth nods slightly and finally pulls the chain from beneath her shirt. The penny set in lead hangs from the chain. "These are… one version of Elisabeth Harrison's memories," she tells him quietly. "Presumably what happened to me is pretty similar. My parents and I were driving, the car slid, hit the side of the bridge and went over. Dad was… getting me out, I'm sure intending to come back for Mom… she was pinned and unconscious. When he surfaced… we were here. In this world, from what I could tell, Jared Harrison was dead — I don't know how long before but maybe even before I was born? So we were integrated into my mother's life here."

There's a pause as she sips her drink. "I don't … know what to tell you about telling him. If he doesn't know, maybe… maybe it's best that way?" She is obviously torn about the matter. "Dad… was pretty damn pissed. And more than a little off his game… my mom came with us." That bombshell was huge for her father.

There is a bit of a grunt at the story she weaves of the life of another Ryans. Seemed almost unbelievable if it wasn’t for the photos in his hand. A world where Mary was still alive. All these years and still… His lips press tight and the pictures are tucked away in the envelope. “Thank you for bringing these Liz; but, no matter what…. He deserves to know. I just have to decide when.” The envelope is gingerly placed on the table only to be replaced with the glass.

“Your dad is pissed now, but think of how he would have reacted if you had kept it a secret and he eventually stumbled on the the truth,” Ryans gently points out to her. "I know how I would feel if Mary came with you and the girls kept her a secret.”

Ben gives her a knowing smile, “He’ll get over it.”

"Yeah, no — I wouldn't have dared not tell him. He was pissed about his memories being manipulated, not about her being here. Although that's… a whole other thing." Elisabeth grimaces a little. "She suffered severe oxygen deprivation in that accident. She's… not the same woman he knew. And 30 years later, he's not the person she knew exactly either." It's not going to be simple or easy for her parents.

Shifting topics just a bit, she observes, "What you tell Bradley and when… is your call. I do agree with it, for whatever that's worth. Just… be careful? SESA was onsite when we arrived and it's all been classified out the ass. If he wants to ask me questions about it, though, I'll be at RayTech for the foreseeable future. I'll tell him what little I can."

Dragging her hand through her hair again, she's quiet for a long few moments. "I've… been actively at war or a fugitive for 7 years now. I'm struggling not to see most people as potential threats… and to not see this world as temporary." The confession is difficult. "Siege mentality sucks."

The amber liquid in his glass is swirled thoughtfully, and while his eyes are on the movement, Ben’s attention on what the woman seated near him. “We all had to go through that after the war. Even now I find myself falling back on old ways.” He has a secret downstairs basement that is proof of that.

“Everything that happened will always be raw, but over time it will not hurt as much.” Ryans looks over at her and offers a hint of a smile, “The government has had to really work to gain the trust of everyone who fought for what we have now.” he shrugs abit. “You’ll get there. One day at a time.

“As for being careful… “ There is a soft huff of amusement from the old man. “I’m not worried. SESA just hired me on to help head a task force.” Ryans lifts his glass to Liz, “Again concept of retirement has escaped me.”

Blue eyes flicker up to look at him and Elisabeth hesitates, and then she shakes her head. A rueful half-smile quirks her lips upward. "Jesus fucking Christ," she breathes out. "You really are a glutton for punishment, aren't you?" She lifts the glass to her mouth and swallows the last of the liquid in it, rolling it between her palms when it's empty. "Well…. At least I know if they're fucking around, you'll be there to keep an eye on it," she murmurs. "It makes me feel… maybe a little bit better."

She's quiet for a long while, and then she looks up at him. "I don't know what's going to come of this, what we'll be facing, but… there are still some things that need to be dealt with. Eileen Ruskin from another timeline kidnapped two children and brought them here to this world. One of them is Magnes's daughter." He knows Magnes Varlane well enough to understand what that could mean. "She's in possession of Kazimir Volken's power. If push comes to shove and things go seriously pear-shaped…. Someone I actually trust needs to know why."

There is no denying the look of surprise when Liz mentions Eileen from another timeline and what she did. The fact that she is in this timeline is a bit disturbing… with Kazimir’s ability… even worse. Ryans lets out a thoughtful sound, turning his attention to the cat in front of the fire, her purr audible even over the crackling of burning wood. What doesn’t show is the small twist of pain and guilt that the mention of Eileen brings up in Benjamin. The memory of her broken body on the ground still as fresh as if he had lost one of his kids.

However, that is not where he focuses his commentary. “That kid never does anything halfway.” Though his interactions with Magnes were few, it was enough to make an impression. Something in what she says pulls his attention and he sinks claws into it. “I’m guessing her actions have something to do with your travels?”

"Richard told me that Eileen here died getting the Ferry's people away from Heller… I'm sorry, Ben." Elisabeth's tone is gentle. She leans back in her chair sighing heavily. "It does and it doesn't have anything to do with traveling," she admits, seeking a short version. "The second world we landed in was a world where Pinehearst never fell after the Company was exposed. It took us five years to work out how the hell we were going to get home — we thought Michelle's machine would help us. Arthur had it and ultimately Magnes wound up working there in the hopes of using it to get us home."

Grimacing, she rolls the empty glass between her hands again, looking toward the flames in the fireplace. "It went to hell when a bomber got in there to destroy the machine. We believed Magnes dead in the blast, and without him… the only way at that point to attempt to get home, I believed, was turning to Gabriel. In that world, he and Eileen were… building a good life. I wanted so much not to involve any of them." Her voice trails off, regret evident in her expression and tone. "But I asked him for his help. And that went even further to hell. Between them, Mateo and Gabriel got the portal open, but… it connected to the Wasteland, grabbing one of the fucking Hunterbots when it opened. It came through and Eileen was caught in the crossfire. Gabriel…."

Elisabeth swallows hard and looks at him. "Gabriel gave up Kazimir's power … and his life… to save hers. I figured if she was going to strike at anyone, it would be me. I have no idea why she waited three years. Maybe it had something to do with the windows of opportunity — we knew there were only certain times that the portal could be opened to go home. Just before one of those windows, in April 2017, she kidnapped Magnes's daughter and Lynette and Mateo's son and then she attacked Geopoint, a facility in Colorado where they were attempting to rebuild the fucking machine again. From what I can gather… she and her group landed here. Our trip home wasn't as straightforward." It took them almost another two years.

"Fighting Kazimir Volken in this world was bad enough," she tells him tiredly. "Fighting him in two other worlds plus having to fight Georgia Mayes and her ilk in the Wasteland — because she's trying to send a fucking invasion force here — has been something of a nightmare." Elisabeth's forced smile is weary. "I swear to fucking God, I live in a Terminator movie."

That… is a lot to process.

So it is no surprise when Benjamin is quiet for a long while, a brow tipped upward in her direction. Even taking a moment to add a bit more alcohol to his glass. After a tossing that bit back, a small grimace… he takes a deep breath and says, “That is quite the adventure.” It’s that tone any father takes when they heard what their kid says, but it doesn’t all quite sink right away.

“I can see why she might blame you for what happened to her,” he admits quietly. Ben knows he’d probably feel the same way. “Love will do that.”

Setting down the empty glass, Ben says, “I don’t know how much help I can be with the new job, but I’ll help where I can. Though, knowing your lot and family, you won’t need it.” That is followed with a knowing look, that then turns into something a little more… well it’s hard to tell and his expression falls into something neutral. “Speaking of help and my new job at SESA… Can you let Richard know, I may be ready for that new hand he promised?” It’s obvious that pride makes those word hard for him. “Also, anything he has on Adam Monroe, could be of help, too.” What?

Elisabeth gives him all the time and quiet he needs to process even part of what she's laid out for him. It is a lot. While he's considering, she watches the fireplace. She seems comfortable in the silence with him, not feeling the need to fill it with chatter that will pull him from his thoughts. When he does speak, she can't help the faint twist of her lips. "I can't blame her either, Ben. It was my fault. And she didn't want him to mess with the portal in the first place." She has many regrets of the past 7 years, but that's one of the deepest.

The comment about not needing his help is met with a genuine smile. Tilting her head, now she studies him, though. "I'll let him know," she replies. "Do I want to know what you're looking for Adam for here? You know my lot and family — it's a good bet that we're gonna land smack in the middle of the shitstorm," she observes wryly. "Especially considering what happened when we landed."

“He is the subject of my new job,” Benjamin offers up truthfully, watching her.

“Seems the government is taking the threat that he represents seriously.” There is a small lift of his shoulders as he says it. “He and I have history, beyond the Company, going all the way back to Vietnam. Which, I guess means that makes me a valuable asset in hunting the man.” Briefly, the corner of his mouth lifts in a hint of a rueful smile. “So I am helping head up a task force to find and eliminated the threat.” What he doesn’t say is his own personal stake in it, that is for him to know.

Ryans adds after a moment, “Richard is a very resourceful man and I have no doubt that he’ll have answers where I can’t and didn’t think to look.” Hence, his asking for what the man has in his own files.

"No doubt," Elisabeth agrees mildly. Because if there is one thing Richard excels at, it's information. "I'll tell him," she promises softly. Blue eyes hold his for a long moment and then she nods slightly. "The more things change, the more they stay the same, hmm?" Somehow that doesn't sound like a good thing, the way it came out.

"So… is there any chance I can pick your brain about Caspar?" she asks. "My father's… less than pleased, let's call it, to find out that things were plucked out of his head and his memories modified so that he could live with this world's version of my mother. He'd like his original memories back, if it's possible to locate them." She pauses and then adds softly, "Even if Caspar himself can't be found, I know someone who can at least allow those memories to be viewed." She grimaces slightly. "Although I keep telling him he really doesn't want to see the car crash. You know my father." Apparently the elder Harrison has put his foot down squarely.

“Caspar is dead.” The words come out flat and devoid of any emotion, as the old man shakes his head slowly. “Trust me I had hoped he could help me too.”

“I went with Wolfhound try to bring him in, but… he’s gone. Self inflicted.” Clearly the man didn’t want to fall into anyone’s hands. “Only other way I know is through a young woman named Cassandra.” There is a visible clenching of his jaw as he mentions the young woman. “Thrusts you right into the memory, but it works… But, again, she is also gone.”

There's a flicker in Elisabeth's eyes, a very subtle moment where she looks away as he says that before it's covered. "I heard about it while I was in Kansas City." Quarantine was interesting, but certain bits of news — like the television news and what Alia could tell her — were available. "It's a horrible thing that happened to her… I know the clone who resided with me in Kansas City was pretty floored when the news hit. She has the same ability. I've known her for some time now. She likes helping people, although I know it can be rough to see those kinds of things." The subtle emphasis on the word clone could be missed. "Has the investigation into Agent Baumann's death turned up anything helpful?" There's a beat before she says, "Maybe you could ask her clone to help out…" After all, Cassandra's watched Liz die before at Samson's hands… is watching herself die worse? "Maybe that's a bad idea," she tacks on quickly. Given the choice, no one should have to see themselves die.

There is a slow shake of Benjamin’s head, “I know about what you know,” sounding a bit apologetic about that. “I’ll keep my ear to the ground though. It might be part of why I took the position on the task force. See if I can find out what they are doing to find her killer.” The young woman had helped him, it was the least he could do.

The mention of a clone is… curious, but Ben doesn’t push it. “I agree, it wouldn’t be a good idea for her to see that. Even if it isn’t even really her.”

"Yeah, I wasn't thinking when I suggested it," Elisabeth agrees. She lets out a long, slow breath, going quiet for a long moment. "I should… probably get out of your hair," she says finally, sounding vaguely reluctant. "Aurora's settling in pretty well, but I like to get her to bed myself — it seems to head off the nightmares." And then her lips quirk in a faint grin as she realizes something.

"I'm sorry — I say that like you know who she is." Her tone is vaguely amused and a little bit abashed. "Unbeknownst to any of us, Nicole and I were in the same boat that day." The day. "Did you wind up with a daughter or a son?" She's genuinely curious about his youngest child.

The old man doesn’t bother to cover the surprise at the news. Benjamin lets it show as brows lift high. “Really? Well, congratulations. Considering her parents, I imagine she’ll be a bit of a handful.” Yes, he did tease the other woman.

When it comes to his own… “A daughter,” he answers her question. “Phillipa Allyn. We call her Pippa.” There is a pause before he adds. “I was on the front lines when she was born.” And had no say in name. “I still remember being in the trenches, trying to keep a kid from bleeding out, when I got the radio call.” Not something he tells a lot of people. Still he manages to say it without a lick of real emotion.

Elisabeth laughs quietly at his surprised and simply nods a little at the congratulations. "She's… something, all right," she agrees. And then her smile widens with delight. "Pippa. I love it," she says on a chuckle. Tipping her head, though, she can feel the undercurrents there and her smile eases to something softer with a hint of sympathetic regret visible. "I'm sorry for the circumstances, but I'm very happy for you." She could tease him about being unable to retire, but she doesn't. "Perhaps at some point when she's around, she and Aura can meet. It'll be… helpful, I think, to settling in if she makes some friends."

There's a long moment where she ponders and says softly, "I missed so much, Ben. Coming home is… even harder than I thought it would be."

“I know your trip was just as stressful, but I’m relieved you missed all of what went on here,” Benjamin motions with his hand at nothing and everything. “It’s not a perfect world, but… it’s not like it was and over time it will heal into a better world for our kids. With hope they never have to deal with anything we had too.” That statement is followed shortly by a resigned sigh.

It was wishful thinking and he knew it, but even Ryans was allowed those moments.

She wants to believe the same thing. He can see it in the way she searches his face. "I've definitely seen worse worlds… a world where the Virus was released. The world where the Virus was rampant is probably the one that scared me the most," Elisabeth says quietly. "I'm grateful for the years under Arthur's illusion of peace and prosperity… It gave me the time to decompress and renew so that the past two years didn't break me. I know things have been bad here, but … I've also seen some places that look normal, like nothing happened. It's fixable." She drags a hand through her hair and leans forward, elbows on her knees again. Looking down, she hesitates and then stands up.

"I should get out of your hair. I just wanted to bring those… " She bites her lip, her gaze studying his features again. What she's looking for isn't obvious, but the smile she offers him as she sets her glass on the table with the bottle is soft. "Don't be a stranger, okay?"

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