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Scene Title Compartmentalization
Synopsis …is both a skill and a necessity when it comes to Brian and Veronica's future and their plans to work against the Institute.
Date May 15, 2011

Motel Room, Brookline, Massachusetts

Lights off.

The motel room that has been the site of many more light hearted reunions. Vee would come on her day off to spend the day with him. Sometimes business would take the priority of the day, but more often there would be much more frivolity. Food. Other things. It was the only day Brian had to look forward to. From waiting every day for her to come going to waiting every week.

Rarely exiting the room, the motel room would vary on states of disrepair and mess each time Veronica came 'home' to visit. But on this day the room is completely cleaned and picked up. Whether he did it himself or got the motel to come in and clean is unknown. Though when Veronica enters after her secret knock she will find the place in a state she has not seen since they first checked in. Also uncommon, the TV is off, as with the lights. In the darkness the only occupant of the room sits at the small table. A place where they have shared many meals.

Brian Winters sits quietly in the dark, a collared shirt left unbuttoned and untucked into the slacks he wears. A glass of water sits on the table in front of him and one opposite him in front of the empty chair. The former agent sits at the table in the darkness in complete silence. Once she enters, she is greeted simply by his eyes raising to meet her.

"Hey," she's saying lightly, before she's totally in the room — a little lazy on her part, maybe, but in the month or so they've been living like this, sometimes habits start to slip. Once the door is shut and she sees him sitting rather strangely — and, well, dressed — she stills completely. Her eyes slide across the motel room to look for anything out of place. The neatness of the room is disturbing in itself, but at least it makes it less difficult for someone to hide.

She turns her eyes back to him. "Everything okay?" she asks in a feigned normal voice, one hand going slowly to her gun beneath her holster while she lets the bag of food she carries drop quietly to the ground. Luckily nothing spills because it smells delicious.

Her greeting gets a nod though no verbal reply.

He watches her, not moving rom his position his gaze seeming to search her as much it possibly scan. Drinking in every inch of her. Though at her question and lowering the bag a light derisive snort escapes from him. "You don't need that." Breaks the silence. "I'm faster than you now, anyway." Come the still and almost dead words from the man sitting at the table.

He motions to the chair. "Have a seat." Come the words in a similar tone. "You can bring the food." The tone is a little lighter at that. Finally once she sets he gives her a nod.

"I'm back online."

Her brow knits at the snort. Then lifts at the 'faster' comment, as if to say really?. But she'd like not to test it out. His tone keeps her at that room's length distance. At his final words, she swallows. Oh. Oh.

She doesn't move.

It's a long moment that she spends, her back against the wall, one hand on her weapon under her jacket. She looks like she might just turn and leave the room altogether. Finally she swallows, hard, then speaks.

"Are you still helping me?" The words are very quiet in her husky voice.

He lets the question dance into the silence, letting it move around the room by itself. Picking up his glass of water he takes a sip, setting it down. Only after he swallows does he look back up at her. "Of course that would be your first question." A grin springs up in spite of the dread of the situation. He folds his hands over themselves, watching her quietly.

"Vee." It sounds harder more weight behind it. "Sit down." He motions to the chair across from him.

This feels more like a trap than any trap Veronica's ever walked into, and there have been a few. But part of her trusts him enough that it's not that kind of a trap. Just the emotional kind which she fears more. "Compartmentalization is a good skill, I'll have you know," she murmurs, but instead of going to the table, she goes to the little kitchenette to pull out the bottle of whiskey they keep there. And two glasses. She's feeling generous.

She moves to the table, setting down the bottle and glasses before she sits and pours a generous amount of the amber liquor in one glass and then the other, the second pushed to halfway across the table before her hands pull back to wrap around her own glass.

Finally she joins him at the table. He nods lightly to the whiskey, placing his fingertips on the rim of the glass. Pulling it to his side of the table he watches her quietly. "I'm going to have a child." Comes out. Softly. "I've been seeing someone apparently. Did you know that?" He gives a moment of silence. "Apparently I've been busy." His gaze meets hers, falling silent. He gives a light smirk about the compartmentalization comment.

Picking up the glas he takes a quick pull, wincing somewaht after. He sets it down, placing his hand on his chest for a minute. "I.. I have a lot to tell you."

The quietness is so unlike him. She's on edge before he can even speak. And when he does…

Her eyes raise from her glass, meeting his, her eyes widening slightly. It takes a moment. To sink in.

She's up and out of her seat, her face turning before he can totally see it crumple.

She's broken hearted. But not angry.

"No," she whispers, her back to him as she moves away. This wasn't expected. The fear that he'd hate her — she was prepared for that. But not this. Her head bows, her shoulders slump. She looks defeated. Forlorn.


"They are very much in love." Eyes not leaving her, the clinking of ice against glass can be heard as he applies light pressure to the class letting the contents jostle and twirl. Clink. Clink. Clink. "Please sit back down." He pleads quietly. "There's a lot more. They did a lot of stupid things. Some good things. Some things that would make you angry. A few that would make you proud." The glass is brought up for another sip.

"You were afraid I would hate you. That's what you had said?" A hallow laugh is let out. "I don't know why. That's not the emotion here. Not at all." He pulls the glass back some, continuing to watch her.

The extra information is met with a short, huff of a laugh that has absolutely no humor in it. She keeps her back turned, shaking her head when he speaks. "I thought you would hate me for hurting you. I guess you moved on," she murmurs, her voice cracking a little, despite how quiet it is. "I'm glad you don't hate me. It's… something." Something to hold on to. A consolation prize.

"Are… are all of you safe — away from anyone who can use any of what I've told you against either of us?" she says, her voice a little louder when it comes to talking in the abstract and about the work they've been trying to do. It's easier than the personal side of things. It always has been, for Veronica.

The ice continues to clank around in the glass. "They did. I guess. After a while." He murmurs after she asesses that he has moved on. "They've been up to a lot." He brings his hands away from the glass. "One's in Eltingville, and that's the worst of it. Everyone else is.. Relatively safe." He gives a little sigh, and rushes into the next line, apparently trying to rip off the band-aid.

"Dong-tian is not someone I know. It's one of them." A pause. "One of me." His eyes flick up, holding an unspoken aplogy in them as he looks over her. "That's why the precog.." He falls silent, she can figure it out.

She nods at the first report of his various selves. He can see the rise and fall of her shoulders, the breathing very steady, very deep — a sign she's trying to get her emotions, her face under control.

The mention of Dong-Tian — that's a mixed bag. "Asshole," she says with another huff of a laugh and a glance at the ceiling as she shakes her head and rolls her eyes. "I should've known. God. I'm an idiot." There's at least some amusement in there, for a split second before it turns to something more like self pity. Her palm comes to rest against her temple. "I'm such an idiot."

Finally, she takes a long breath, before she turns to go back to where she's left her purse. This time she just dumps the contents on the counter before digging for the badge. It's pulled out and she heads back to the table to hand it to him, but doesn't let go, should he take it. "You still want to help?" Her eyes are clear at the moment, but the tear stains are still drying. Compartmentalization. It's a skill.

An apologetic shrug is given as she calls him an asshole. Fair enough. He gives a light sigh as she starts to insult herself. "I wanted to see you." He mounts weakly. Though it is an odd position to be in defending himself but not because it's not himself in the same light. "You're not an idiot." He practically growls as he leans forward over the table onto his elbows.

At her final question he gives a frustrated sigh. "Vee. Come on. Can we please have this talk? You can get back to business at the end of it." He looks around the room. "I'm not going anywhere. I'm stuck in Massachussets." He gives a little smirk.

"My ability waas never meant to do this. To have some of me not constantly connected to the rest of me it.." He gives a light shake of his head. "It doesn't work right. I'm supposed to be me. All of me. When the Company first brainwashed me it was different. I was fed a lot of bullshit and told that the other versions of me were terrible people.. Bla bla bla." He falls silent watching the amber liquid swirl. "This time I just find that I've been sleeping with someone else. They're still me. But I don't feel connected to them. We've been away for too long." He looks up from the amber liquid at her.

"It's weird having an argument with other versions of yourself in your brain. No words just a lot of feelings. Conflicting feelings."

She looks like she might snap when he asks her to have this talk. This talk she's not in the least prepared for. But she bites back whatever response she might launch at him, and drops the badge in front of him. Hands free, she reaches for the glass she'd poured, but doesn't sit. Instead she leans against the wall, one arm crossing her front to hook on her waist, the drink held in front of her. Defensive. Cornered.

Veronica takes a swallow of the whiskey. There's no flinching. She may as well be drinking water for all the effect it has on her, well, flat affect. She's staring past Brian, not really focused on him as he speaks. It's easier.

"I'm not mad," she finally says quietly. "It's not your fault." She smiles a little wryly, but it doesn't reach her eyes. "I can't quite get to 'I'm happy for you,' but I think you won't think I'm an awful person for that." She takes another swallow and lets her eyes slide away again. "Don't beat yourself up about it." There's another short little huff. "Literally or metaphorically." Because he actually could.

"You're not getting it." Winters intones. "I don't want to join back up." He breaks, leaning forward. "I'm yours. I'm with you." His grey eyes going to meet hers. "I can't leave you. I remember all the fights we've had, all the bad stuff but.." He looks around the small motel room. "All we've been through. This is my life. You are my life. Those things from them. From the others, sure, they're important but.."

The rest of the glass is downed and a cough is let out.

There is a big grimace and wince in juxtaposition to Veronica's cold as ice downing of the drink. "I'm going to keep up blocks. I'm not.. Me. I guess. I'm not them. I'm not with her, I'm not having a kid. I'm a guy with a woman who has done everything she can to hold on to me. And I don't want to leave." The empty glass is slammed back on to the table.

"The others aren't coming back to you. They love her." He sighs quietly. "I know that can't make you feel good. And I don't know what you can make of all this…" He gives a frustrated sigh. "It's weird. And I'm sorry. But. I don't want to leave you, that doesn't mean I expect you not to leave me but… I guess I hope you don't." With that done he gives a light nod.

"I am trying to convince the one with that face to help us. But it will mean he has blocks up to."
For all the acting she does, her poker face is shit when it comes to Brian. There's a softening at his first words. Followed by hurt, but it's shaken off. Finally she looks back to him and shakes her head slightly. "I can't expect you to give that all up for me. You've been wanting to get back your link for all this time… just to block it again?" she says quietly. "Do you feel whole without it? I don't want you to resent me later."

Her eyes fill up with tears again and she lets out a shaking breath, before taking the last swallow to finish what's in her glass. "Not when the others already do."

"Power's back. I'll be able to create myself again. Have my own.. link." A light shrug is given. "They won't want me to. Will feel like it's being disloyal to.. her." He looks up at her, matching her gaze. "And maybe it is." With that he's standing from the table, going to walk around it to her. "But I'm with you."

His hand goes out to her, waiting there in front of him patiently.

She stays in that defensive position, the hand with the empty glass lowered to cross the other way. She watches him for a moment. "Tell them I'm sorry, too," she says quietly. "We'll need their help, once we get what we're after, I think. We can't take it down on our own. Not from what I've seen." The business part is easier. It always has been. "Unless that's too hard to do. I can do it if you can't. Get the information to the right people. If you need to compartmentalize." It's the word of the day.

She finally puts her hand in his, her fingers curling around his. "You're sure?" she whispers, uncertainty and hope both flickering in her expression.

He pulls her to her feet, smiling lightly. "For better or for worse. I'm yours." He gives a light nod. "I can reach out but.. I don't know. They're not going to like it. They'll have to tell her. Samara is her name." He gives a light shrug. "That I've gone rogue. She already almost left them when.." He shakes his head in disbelief a little bit, looking to the ground. "We did something stupid. The night you gave the ring back. We.. He.. Proposed to her." A moment of silence is given.

"A lot of pain. But.. That's life. Right? Stupidity and pain. And we try to make good things out of it."

"He told her eventually and she left him.. them? For a couple of days. So.. She knows who you are." A shrug is given. "I'm of the opinion we throw up our blocks and go our separate ways. Speak when we need to." He leans forward matching her gaze. "Is that.. Is that alright with you?"

"Jesus, Brian," is whispered when he tells her about the ring. She shakes her head, but it's almost like she's too exhausted to be angry. "She sounds like I might've liked her." It's probably not going to happen now. There's still the feeling of loss, even though this Brian has chosen her.

"I'll handle it," she says, though it's a dangerous thing to do. "When the time comes. For now we need to get Dong-Tian into the Ark. I've got notes, but there's places that badge'll get him that I can't go. Do you think you can swing him, or do you need me to talk to him?" she asks. "He might be disappointed I haven't learned Cantonese yet." That's a playful barb — and a good sign she's coming around, now the shock is wearing off.

She hasn't answered his question quite but she hasn't let go of his hands yet.

"I'll get him. Something like this. You know who I am. We couldn't pass something up like this." This whole day has been the first time anyone has ever heard him, any of him, refer to himself as we instead of me. For the first time, a rift has been formed. He looks down at their hands and then back up to her. "I love you." Comes out weakly, softly.

"It's in everybody's best interest. Feelings aside," she agrees.

His final words help to break the rest of her defenses and she moves closer, to slide her arms around him, letting out a long and shaky sigh as she leans against his chest. "I love you," she says, her voice soft, as well, before it slips to a near whisper. "Thank you for staying. I'm sorry." There's a loss there for him as well, and she knows it.

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