A Quick Visit


cooper_icon.gif gillian_icon.gif

Scene Title A Quick Visit
Synopsis Just a quick visit… hopefully not the last…
Date March 18, 2018

Gillian's Brownstone: Elmhurst

It started with a text…

Hey. I need to see you. On my way.

That is all the text said, but at least Cooper had warned her he was on his way. Thankfully, cell reception was reliable enough to allow it to go through before he gets there.

When the door swings open it isn’t the clean cut agent she saw just a little over a week ago. In fact, it looks like he hasn’t shaved in that same amount of time. Who knows about his hair, which is currently tucked under a ratty gray ball cap. Though the wisps that stick out in places say that it is probably not a pretty sight.

His clothing doesn’t look much better, though the worn black leather biker jacket isn’t too bad, the rest of it looks like he got it on special at a thrift store. He even has an old threadbare Adidas hoodie under the jacket. The final touch is his typical hi-top Converses have been ditched for a pair of old black army boots.


A sheepish smile tugs at the corner of his mouth, it’s clear that Thomas Cooper knows he looks a little worse for wear. Pulling the cap off his head — yup, he could use a haircut - he says softly, “Ah… sorry to bother you on such short notice.”

The one good thing about this part of the Safe Zone— the cell service. The text messages usually got delivered quickly enough, enough to give Gillian time to pull on a house coat over what clothes she was lounging about in and answer the door in a quick amount of time. The house coat was more for warmth, so she didn’t have to get fully dressed, what’s underneath was presentable.

When she opens the door, her eyebrows raise at the sight. “I hope you didn’t get fired.” Cause, really, that’s the first reason she can think of for looking so rugged. It would definitely have gotten rid of their conflict of interest thing— but she’d been relying on him to possibly solve the case that had fallen on her doorstep through two young women she considered her daughters.

For the briefest moment, Cooper looks confused, maybe a little distracted by her… “Wha—” Then he remembers. “Oh! No no.” Fingers of one hand comb at his messy hair, then after the hat switches hands, he combs the other side. Doesn’t help much. “Though actually, it’s — round about — why I am here.”

The ratty ball cap is rolled up and jammed in one of his back pockets to free up his hands. “I’m going undercover, I’ve… got an idea of who is doing it all, but I want to see how far this human trafficking ring goes.” His head jerks in a vague direction. “So I’m — ah — off to Staten Island for awhile.” He gives her a bit of a lopsided smile. “Not sure how long I’ll be out there.”

“Oh. Well at least unlike most men you actually tell a girl when you’re going to disappear for a while,” Gillian asserts in her usual raspy voice as her eyebrows lower and relax. It’s not exactly a relaxing topic, but— he’s already earned a point from her. Of course, he has an advantage no man has ever had before— he’s read her book. The main character in the romance had been based off herself— the main male an idealized version of all the men she’d ever been in love with— It’s a good guide to her heart. Whether he knows it or not.

And what he’s doing is important. It could very well put an end to the thing that threatened both her daughters. “I hope that you find everything you need to put a stop to this situation. If you need anything— and I can help… I may not SESA, but you know my particular talents. I’ve also been to Staten a few times in the past. If I can help— you know where to send someone. Maybe we can come up with a secret code word— that I’ll know means ‘get your ass to Staten and save me.’”

It’s half a joke. But not at the same time.

Cooper can’t help but chuckle a bit, “Admittedly, I — might have just wanted an excuse to stop by.” Did he just say that outloud. Ugh… He rubs a hand at the back of his nervously, looking down sheepishly.

“I — ah — “ Now he sudden can’t think of what he was going to say. Oh wait… “Let Hailey know, I’ll be around if she gets into trouble?” Won’t be hard to find him really. “I have a buddy out there. An informant. Lives near that old Lighthouse out there. She can run that way, if she gets into trouble. Ol’ Mike will know where to find me.”

He suddenly looks like she remembers something, fishing out a piece of paper with names and contact information. “If you guys need me… at any time. These folks know how to track me down. Especially, Rhys and Robyn.” He looks at Robyn’s name and brows furrow a bit, “Though I think Robyn is up in Rochester now.”

“She is, though we keep in touch. She’s actually a good friend of mine.” One of the few, really. One might wonder if her date with one of Robyn’s fellow SESA agents had ever come up in their many conversations. Gillian even grins a little as she responds to that. “But I can contact Rhys as well, I’m sure. We’d met before.” Just as she had once met Cooper, though hadn’t really spent much time actually knowing one of the feds who had helped arrest her.

And helped get her shipped off to Argentina to fight in a war that now people actually know about. She wonders how many people think the story exaggerated, and they’d actually left out a lot of the more insane details. Like flying crab robots.

“I’ll let her know— though, you still haven’t given me a code word in case you need help.” She raises an eyebrow and gives him a look that she’s waiting for it. She understands he seems more concerned about her and the kids, but— he’s the one throwing himself headlong into trouble.

He looks like he is going to say something. Deny needing her help or say he doesn’t want to get her into the middle of it all, but something stops him, his mouth is open to say it all, but then his mouth snaps shut and his gives a soft huff of amusement.

“Part of me wants to protect you and keep it all away from you, like a good SESA agent would.” There is almost a sheepish shyness to him… Even though there is a part of his mind screaming at him to shut up, his mouth doesn’t listen. “Then I remember of seeing you out there during the war — ” Shut up, Cooper! “ — beautiful, kicking ass, and doing a fine job not needing a guy protecting you.” Groan

Only then, does he finally realizes what he is saying. Shit.

Clearing his throat, Cooper tries to look like he is considering her question, even though he is trying not to say anything stupid. Eyes looking anywhere, but her. “If I’m in trouble… ah… I guess the codeword would be… C-c-cruller?” He sounds a little uncertain if that would be a good word. The man’s favorite food is donuts, but he has never liked crullers…. Ever. Never saw what Robyn liked about them. However, only those that really know him, know that fact… people like Gillian. “If I anything positive about a cruller, that means I’m in need of help.”

He looks up at her, a lopsided smile painting his features. “With hope, I won’t need to use it.”

While she raises an eyebrow at the mention of needing protection, that eyebrow lowers as he continues onward and by the end of it her lips have pressed into a small smile. “I wasn’t aware you were out on the frontlines,” Gillian admits, though she probably shouldn’t be surprised. She knows he didn’t fight for the other side, considering his daughter. “Everyone needs protection sometimes. Men or women.” She knows she needed it more than she would ever have wanted. But the way she says it shows she means him as well.

And with the mention of their little codeword— well— now she has some way to know if he were in danger. “I hope you never have to use it.” Now would be a bad time to mention that pretty much every man she’d been with ended up having something pretty terrible happen to them, wouldn’t it? She’s half tempted, but—

“Be careful,” she adds on the end there, before she leans forward and kisses him on the cheek. They are still in a ‘be professional’ stage, so a cheek kiss isn’t too terrible. Even if half of her would be tempted to invite him in if she didn’t have someone already staying the night. And perhaps better not to tempt fate anymore than they have already.

“Supplies and smuggling… you see things,” Cooper says with a quiet smile. He knows it’s a bit of a confession, but it was out there now.

Thomas’ eyes close briefly at the sensation of her lips on his cheek, a hand rests against her side when she leans in to do that. Being professional is so freakin’ hard sometimes, especially when she is so close and… damn she smells so good. The temptation to slide that hand around and pull her in close for a real honest to god kiss, was pretty strong. The tightening of his hand on her side and the look on his face, might give that away.

However, cooler heads prevail and Cooper’s hand starts to slide away…. o-o-or do they really prevail? As his fingers skim lightly along her hip, impulse suddenly strikes and he says gruffly with a sudden determination, “Oh hell. I won’t tell, if you won’t,” and he follows temptation; moving in for that honest to goodness kiss, with the fierceness of someone who knows he might be a dead man walking. Undercover work was such a fine line to walk.

He won’t tell, and she won’t. As he pulls her in, Gillian closes her eyes, accepting what she hopes against hopes is not a last kiss to man about to get himself killed, crullers or not. Her hand reaches up, grasping his shirt and holding onto him in a way that shows she’s glad that his less professional instincts won over. She too had been tempted— but it wouldn’t have been her job that could potentially have been in trouble.

Ten years ago, she would have just kissed him. But ten years ago, she wouldn’t have been here at all. And she doubts a former cop turned government Agent would have wanted anything at all to do with who she had been. Before everything made her into who she had become.

When the kiss parts, she lingers for a moment, tasting him, smelling him, and then she settles back on her heels and looks up and says simply, “You come back. And I’ll introduce you to my daughter.” Her real one.

That comes with a long, complicated story. But only if he comes back.

Taking a deep breath, he lets it out slowly as an attempt to get his wits about him. Cooper doesn’t push his luck, even though he really wanted to do that again. Gillian is still held close for a little longer. Savoring that moment just a little longer. “Deal…” he finally says, his voice soft. “And I’ll introduce you to mine.” Though his doesn’t have a complicated story.

Fingers move to catch at a lock of her hair and tuck it behind her ear, his hand finally resting warm against the curve of her neck briefly. “I have to say… that I’m glad you requested me for this.” His thumb brushes along the line of her jaw. He offers her a gentle smile before his hands drop away and he forces himself to put some space between them. “I’ll do my best not to let you down.”

He takes a step back, “I — uh — should probably get go —” His thought is interrupted by his foot slipping on the edge of the step behind him. Cooper manages to take the bannister and stop himself from falling… Ends up just being a little jarring when his foot hits the step below him.

Completely ruining the moment… Smooth move… dummy.

Looking completely embarrassed, Cooper’s smile pulls to one side amused at his own clutziness. “I’ll see you around, beautiful.”

Gillian certainly hopes so. “Be careful,” she concludes, pointedly looking at his foot for a moment even though she’s grinning. Things like that make him endearing to her, though she let him go on believing that he’s ruined the moment. She doesn’t move back inside for a few moments as he leaves, giving him until he gets to the street before she steps back inside and closes the door again.

Though he might catch her peeking through the curtain if he turns around at the right moment. Though that will end as soon as she sees him turn around, of course.

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