veronica_icon.gif brian_icon.gif

Scene Title Driven
Synopsis Veronica tracks down Brian and they make up, though their differences remain.
Date November 4, 2009

Somewhere by the river

Fingers splay over guitar strings smoothly.

It's a cold night, but some are resilient against the cold. Fighting back against the chilly ice-weather. One such is the young man who sits in the trunk of the black dodge. Hoodie pulled up with a coat on top of his sweatshirt, Brian Winters has situated himself in his truck by a levy. The back of the truck sits in front of the fence that separates the road from the water flowing slowly down the levy.

Brian's skill at the guitar has improved considerably since he has last played in public or in the presence of Veronica at least. Obviously he's been practicing. He plays the chords fluidly, a distinct tune sung out from the instrument. His fingers may feel like ice, but for some reason he is driven to continue to play.

"It's a marvelous night for a moondance…"

She cheated a little to find him — called up the tech geek at Fort Hero, got the grid coordinates for the isotope that they have determined to be Winters, or one of him anyway. This is the one that she argued with in her apartment. He has replicates out elsewhere in the city, but this is the one she's tracked to this cold, secluded place.

Veronica walks slowly toward the truck. She's dressed similarly — boots, jeans, a coat and a baseball cap that makes it hard to tell at a glance in the dark if she is a woman or a slim and small man or boy. She walks silently, as she has been taught to do in her training, but alerts him to her presence with her voice before he can be startled by a shadow or a crunch of gravel beneath her shoe.

"Tell me why that song," she says, still about ten feet away, her voice husky and soft yet loud enough to carry.

His voice stops as the words carry to his ears. His singing completely cut off though the guitar strings are mercilessly plucked. The song continues on, albeit much softer than it was a moment ago. It takes a long moment of 'silence' before the tension in his shoulders ebb away. From the back, Veronica will only see him relax his shoulders and turn his head to the side. Obviously realizing she is there, though ignoring her, at least for a minute.

"Maybe I like it." He says, at length.

She moves closer, coming to the bed of the truck and hopping up to sit beside him, though not quite touching him. Her hands are in her pockets, her eyes on her feet that swing off of the ground. "I know you like it," she says quietly. "But … it's important for some reason to you." She tilts her head, giving him a sidelong glance that could almost be described as shy. "I just want to know why. That is, if you know. I know there's stuff you don't… remember. But if it's important to you — it's important to me."

"It's in a couple of my… Hazes. Dreams. Whatever you call them." The melody continues to play, fingers moving swiftly, his eyes not even having to watch the strings as he plucks them. Brian gives a light shrug. "I don't know. I just like it. It's one of my favorites." Winters says softly, before breaking in the conversation to sing a line weakly. "With the stars up above in your eyes." He trails off, glancing over at her. "Isotopes?"

Veronica nods. She guessed it was from the "other Brian's" life, somehow. "It's a good song," she says quietly. "My dad used to sing Brown Eyed Girl to my Mom and me, so that was always my favorite." She gives a shrug to the question of isotopes. He was a Company agent. He knows they exist. "I'm supposed to try to get Gitelman. Denton asked if I trusted you. I told him the truth — that I believe you're against Monroe but that you're not necessarily with us. He seemed to accept that." She exhales, her breath puffing a strand of hair away from her face for a moment as she looks up at the sky. "Any problems with me trying to get Gitelman? She's not someone you're secretly working with, friends with, anything like that?" Yes, she's actually checking with him. "You said she was a bad woman — so it's okay if I go after her?"

The guitar stops. Taking the neck of the thing he places it in the bed behind him, and slides it back. Hopping from the trunk to the ground, Winters pulls his coat close tight. He steps away from the bed and rounds the back of the truck, hands shoved into his coat pockets. Apparently he's not talking about it. Because he's headed for the driver's seat.

When it's clear Brian is heading to the driver's seat, Veronica hops off the bed of the truck and backs up a few feat, so that he can pull away, run away, whatever it is he wants to do. Not sure she's invited, she isn't about to get in the passenger seat until he asks her too. Her eyes hold the question, along with that chronic damaged and broken look they seem to have in them of late.

Pausing at the door, Brian glances back with a frown. Retreating to the bed, he goes to pluck the guitar out of it before delivering it safely into the back of the cab out of the cold weather and possible rain. Then he shuffles back to the bed once more to throw up the tailgate. He pauses for a moment, staring over at Veronica. Finally he answers, "I'm not friends with her. From what I hear she's good. And she has ties with the Phoenix and Ferrymen. Be careful." Then he gives her a look that says 'happy'? And with that he's headed for the drivers seat once again.

"Wait," she says, taking a step toward him, then stopping. "I don't know why she killed Pratt, but obviously we can't just let people go murdering people… I mean, part of this job is just like any law enforcement job. I have to go after her, but I'll be careful." She puts a hand on the truck, as if she can stop it from pulling away with just that light touch. "I'm sorry," she says, the second word broken by a sob. She turns to look at the water, a hand coming up to wipe her eyes.

He gives a little shrug as he adjusts in the drivers seat. One hand goes to the steering wheel, the other resting on the door handle. His eyes then search the exterior of the vehicle. No car. No cab. A slow sigh is exhaled. He doesn't really respond to her apologies, to her statement. When he finally speaks it's just, "Do you want a ride?"

Her chin raises a little defiantly. She doesn't want a ride if he doesn't want to be near her. She gives a soft huff of a chuckle. "No, I don't want a ride." She lets go of the truck and puts her cold hand back in her pocket. She turns away, ducking her head against the wind, to walk away. There's no cars on the desolate road. It'll be quite a few blocks before she probably comes to an area where she can get a cab.

"Vee." He calls out, not shutting the door yet. He goes to slide out of his seat onto the ground, looking after her. For a moment he is silent before flipping his head violently at the car in suggestion. "Get in the fucking car, Veronica." Brian sounds rather firm, a tone he rarely if ever uses with her.

She pauses at the call of her name — her shortened name, which bodes well. She turns back, and there's something behind the hurt in her eyes — a glimpse of hope and love and need that is only there for a moment, then disappears when his voice hardens. Still, the anger in his voice is better than the apathy and distance of a few moments ago. She hesitates, then nods, eyes dropping to the ground as she makes her way to the passenger side, opening the door and climbing in.

Slamming his door closed, the ignition starts. Glancing over at her quietly, he looks back at the windshield, allowing a good amount of silence to pass by them. Before he finally kicks the truck into drive and makes it out for a road. "I don't like being your informant." Winters says quietly as he finally gets onto the street. "It doesn't feel good to have the first thing you want from me every night information about other people. I know you're driven. But…" He shrugs.

She stares out of the windshield, her jaw set. "I don't ask every night. I try to make it sound to Denton like you're being forthcoming, that you're keeping up the end of the deal you guys had. It's hard. But I try and I don't push you most of the time, because I know you won't tell me," she says, leaning her head on the cool glass of the side window. "This… this was different." Tears glimmer on her black lashes but do not fall. Her eyes are dry now — they were from a few moments before. "I'll trust you to work your end of things with him, if you let me in when it's time to play ball." Her dark eyes flicker to his profile. "I'll do the same. Other than that… give me information when you can, that's enough to appease Denton — whether it's true or not, I don't care, just so we sound legitimate."

There's a pause, before she adds, "I love you. I'm sorry," in sotto voce.

"It was an exaggeration." Setting his hand firmly on the steering wheel, he glances over at her as her voice starts to soften. Watching her tears for a moment he finally glances back to the road before slowing the car and pulling off over to the shoulder. Putting the truck in park, the young man folds his arms over his chest for a moment. He glances over at her at her apology. He gives her an appraising look before finally,

"Wanna makeout?"

She watches the darkness out the window, turning slightly to look at him when he pulls over. Her brows arch at the appraising look, and then one corner of her mouth curves up in a crooked smirk at his words. "So what if I do?" she tosses back in a mock-defensive voice, though the sparkle returns to her dark eyes.


It's the sound of the doors locking. Going up onto one knee, Brian brings up one thumb to dab away at the moisture surrounding Veronica's eyes. And then finally one hand cups her cheek as he leans in slowly to plant a soft kiss on her lips. Reaching down, he goes to pull her legs up onto the seat for more effective approaching and kissing.

She leans into that hand, letting go of all the tension from the last couple of nights, worrying about him, afraid that she'd seen the last of him in her apartment, held him for the last time without knowing it would be the last. Her arms wrap around his shoulders and she kisses back, first soft, and then more needy, the taste of her salty tears running into both of their mouths.

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