Eat, Drink, and Be Distracted


daphne_icon.gif francois_icon.gif melissa_icon.gif

Scene Title Eat, Drink, and Be Distracted
Synopsis Melissa and Daphne visit Francois to offer both Daphne's speed to the upcoming mission to rescue Teo and companionship to the despairing Frenchman.
Date August 7, 2010

Maison d'Allegre

There are things that Francois did, upon knowing that he'd have company. First, he unlocked the door — those that know to come in will come in. Then, he awkwardly tried to clean in a way that doesn't imply he cleaned, which would imply he had to. The dishwasher will be running, though, by the time Melissa and Daphne arrive past the wrought iron fencing, at his front door. There is no shotgun set up, no booby traps, because at this point, Francois is okay with inviting disaster. It would shatter the waiting monotony, which he finds only able to break through occasionally drinking too much.

Which is unattractive. He's sober right now, and has changed his clothes, clean blue jeans, a loose white cotton shirt with the sleeves rolled back, and he likes the way it makes him look a little more tanned along his forearms. His feet are naked on the carpet, and he shaved just this morning. Right now, he's cleaning off the dining table a little, though he doubts they'll sit there and what, have a polite lunch? But still. Three days worth of newspapers, magazines, light reading, he can at least stack them, and he reaches for the bowl vase to get rid of dead flowers.

Neglects to tidy up the semi-automatic pistol he'd been cleaning before realising the house needs his attention, its pieces on the World section of today's news. The smell of solvent winds with the scent of coffee and rotting petals.

Supposedly time is counting down until Messiah, and others, will be heading off to go rescue Teo. Which means it's about time for Melissa to introduce another member of the rescue party to Francois. Good thing he already knows said member. It makes it a lot simpler. Plus Daphne can always help Melissa cheer the poor Frenchman up. If possible.

She's snagged the speedster, and even let Daphne run them over if she chose. Which, of course, she did. Cars are just so slow compared to her. And given their mode of transportation, she's put goodies in a backpack so it didn't get in the way. And changed out of her skirt, because it just wouldn't do to accidentally flash pink skull covered undies at random passersby. Even if they'd be little pink blurs. Instead she's wearing leather pants and a dark blue tank top. Yay, scars.

Once they arrive she takes a moment to smooth her hair down, then opens the door and pokes her head in. "Hey Frenchie, we're here! Time to put your happy face on!" She murmurs to Daphne, "God I hope he still has a happy face hidden in there somewhere," then slips inside fully and smiles at Francois. "Hey hon. How you holding up?"

When she steps in to the "maison" a moment after Melissa, Daphne peeks her head around the taller woman's shoulder to search for her docteur. As usual, her hair looks like she's simply styled it by sticking her finger into a live socket, or possibly let it air dry in a wind-tunnel — which might be more likely, given that she creates her own wind tunnel wherever she runs. Once her dark eyes fall on her docteur, there is a blur of color and rustle of warm summer air — one second she's by the door behind Melissa, and the next she's a solid form once more, throwing her arms around Francois' waist, hugging him tightly.

Whether he likes it or not.

After a moment she peers up at him, brows knitting together with worry as she peers into his face, searching his then offering a smirk — after all, she's supposed to be cheering him up. "Hi."

The corner of newspaper flaps up and over slide and frame of his taken apart pistol, and meticulously ordered loose sheets of paper go skidding aside under the wind of Daphne's small dash, but Francois— probably— does not mind. The water in the bowl wobbles, but doesn't threaten to overflow — it would have to work hard to skim up the inward curving side and escape the round opening. Dead, waterlogged tulips, white like his palms, shift with the subtle full-bodied twitch that comes with being abruptly hugged, but he holds the thing one handed and away from himself to allow it, other arm hooking around the speedster's slight shoulders and cinching her close.

"Bonjour." He's looking over Daphne's bleached head, towards Melissa, one eyebrow lifting up in silent query about what the pixie now knows, although it certainly feels like Teo is missing!! should be global common knowledge, printed on frontpages, advertised, but that's love and vanity for you. The people next door probably just think that their homosexual neighbours have broken up; the nice young man with the scarred face left his money-having boyfriend, finally, which is almost as interesting as when they were together.

Which is to say: not very. Only mildly. Footnote conversation. Another squeeze to bookend the embrace, before he's moving for the kitchen and pouring slightly green water into the sink. "There's tea, and coffee, and also wine, if you like it," he says over his white clad shoulder. "I am holding up."

Whether it's intended how it feels, Melissa goes with her gut on this one. She shuts the door and nods once to Francois. "She knows. I figured that it would be helpful to have someone as quick as she is to help with getting him back. And we will get him back, honey." She looks around, noting the pistol and dead flowers, and the latter has her wincing slightly. Uh oh. Clean freak twitch. But rather than do anything about the flowers, she follows Daphne's lead.

Even if the other woman hasn't yet let go of Francois, Melissa joins them, then just throws her arms around Francois, and Daph if she's there. Group hug! Then she grins impishly at Francois. "Wine? Only if you join me. And hmm…drunken speedster. That could make going home very interesting," she muses.

"We will," Daphne nods, letting go and smiling at Francois. "One of these days we'll have to hang out when I'm not dying of some virus or shrapnelled from a bomb or hiding from Naz—" Oops. She literally bites her tongue to stop that chain of thought and smirks at Melissa, letting the amusing thought act as a diversion.

"It's okay. Slowed reaction time for me is like slowed reaction time at normal pace. I mean, if you were jogging around drunk, you're not gonna just run into a lamp post because it's there. It's not like driving a car. It's still just my own two feet. But I'll be sure to sober up before I run you anywhere, I promise," she tells the taller woman. "Coffee's probably fine."

Her eyes turn back to Francois, and she reaches to squeeze his arm lightly. "I told you and Teo both I owed you a long time ago, and I don't welsh on my debts. I don't even know if I'd be alive if it weren't for you," she says softly, dark eyes shining. "I'll help however I can. I'm not a fighter at all but if there's a way my speed can help, then it's at your service."

And another hug, an arm around Melissa's trim waist, as brief but sincere as the one dealt Daphne's way, before extracting himself to place down the vase beside the sink, to open up cupboards and pick out what he needs — fingers latch around the glass stalks of tall wine glasses, twins, and the other seeks an earthernware mug. "You would be alive," Francois rebuts, setting these down and content in the busy motion of stealing out a tall bottle of white from his fridge door, of checking the state of the coffee machine before filling ceramic with a rich kind of liquid that doesn't need milk or sugar. And yet—

And yet can't say 'you don't have to help', because of course she does, deadened even to the glimmer of guilt evoked by shining dark eyes. "And does she know where he is?" He doesn't mean to speak passed Daphne, glancing from her to Melissa, back to her. "Who these people are, what they do. Their tricks, like the negation gas."

Coffee is handed to Daphne, before he pours the wines. "Those who would risk their life should know how," sounds a little like apology.

Naz? Nazis, perhaps? She's heard word of nazis. Several words, in fact. It has Melissa frowning a little at Daphne, but it's minor at the moment, all things considered. So instead she looks back to Francois, then Daphne, and nods. "I've explained some. I couldn't ask her if she wanted to help and not explain what we'd be up against. Especially not since negation gas is the biggest threat she'd run into there, all things considered."

She smiles. "We know, and we want to help, Francois. Not just because you've helped us, or that's not my big reasoning, anyway. You're my friend. I help my friends. How else would I end up with a house full of people? You matter, and Teo matters to you, so I'm going to help you rescue Teo. Giving the Institute a metaphorical kick in the balls is just a bonus."

Leaning against the counter once released, Daphne's brows turn into a scowl at the mention of negation gas and she gives a shake of her head. "I just don't want to be a burden if that happens, because then I'm no good to anyone, admittedly," she says a touch darkly, before lifting her chin as if in defiance, as if to dare him to talk her out of it. "You don't know where I'd be if it weren't for you, docteur. I don't know where I'd be." Or when for that matter. "The last time I was with the two of you, I regretted making the wrong choice. With the bomb. I don't want to regret anything like that again, and I do owe you."

She takes the coffee with an air of resolution. Just try to talk her out of it! "So yeah. It's scary and I don't like the idea of what could happen, but that's all the more reason to get Teo and whoever else they have the hell outta there. I'm not going to run away from this." For once goes unspoken.

The glass is set down by Melissa, Francois moving so that they won't be forced to huddle together like penned in sows within the kitchen, partially barricaded in by the breakfast bench. He moves back for the dining table, the scattered chairs around it making it less formal so that they may converse over a single corner as opposed to the whole thing, and as usual, the whole thing is taken up by stuff anyway. Also allows him to finish with his gun, taking a long sip of summery white wine before he occupies his hands.

"You are both very brave," he finally assesses, after some thought, a fraction of a smile emerging, gaze lifting up from pistol parts, back down. "And it scares me less if this whole thing is handled by people I trust. I would just feel disproportionately responsible if anything should happen to either of you."

Bombs. Ugh. Melissa grimaces a little. Too many explosions for her taste. She smiles though, a moment later, and moves to Francois to give his shoulder a light squeeze. "I'm not brave, honey, I'm just too stubborn to back down. Or stupid, depends on who you ask. Besides, with all that I've done lately, a rescue mission to save someone who deserves it sounds like just the ticket." Ticket to what though?

The wine is picked up, and she moves to go sit down, moving more easily than she did last time Daphne saw her. A lot better. "Besides, if any of us get hurt, and I think we'll be hurting a hell of a lot less than the Institute, then I know the bestest doctor in the world," she says, smiling brightly at the Frenchman.

Francois' words bring a rueful smile and a shake of the petite speedster's head as she wraps her hand around her coffee. She isn't brave, but she is, surprisingly — at least to herself — loyal, to the very few she believes she owes in this world. "So who else is going? I mean… I only know you guys from the Den, but I don't really know anything else — or how we're going to do this. I trust you," her eyes meet Francois', then Melissa's, "But I don't trust easily. The rest of the people coming with us, I can trust them? If you say so, your words are good enough for me."

His shoulder feels solid and still beneath Melissa's hands, neither shying away or edging into the contact, but she gets a brief smile for her comment, exasperatedly rueful, which is a joke, between them. She gets hurt, he fixes it, pretends like it's normal and a hassle that he's happy to do, chastises her and does it again later. He cleans out the chamber of the pistol, not to be rude of anything.

"Terrorists," he notes, on the tail end of Daphne's question. "And revolutionaries. A couple of them are my friends, others are people who I think are capable, have been recruited to save the world, variously. The others I don't know — numbers to fill out the ranks. They are looking to free the captives, kill everyone else, knock down the buildings. I don't know how many of them are willing to die trying, in the process. I am not, personally, except that I am not going to leave Teo there, regardless of cost."

Terrorists. That has Melissa looking away, and looking a little guilty. Apparently she's one of the terrorists. "I don't know everyone who's going to be there. A person or two I don't know well has said something about wanting to help. But the people I know will be there, I trust. Abby will be around to help patch up wounds, but won't be in there with us."

There is a measured sip of coffee and a slow nod — very very slow coming from Daphne. "I guess one man's terrorist is another's revolutionary. The French Revolution could be seen as an act of terrorism, right? And it's only terrorism if the government isn't a freaking fascist state, right? I mean… if someone had bombed Hitler's headquarters or something back in World War II, they probably would have been given the Nobel prize." The words are spoken without thought — after her slip up earlier, she apparently has Nazis on the brain. This time she doesn't have to bite her tongue, as it's said simply in analogy.

She sighs. Part of their visit was supposed to be for cheering up the lonely and worried Frenchman, and here they are … worrying. "So there's nothing we can do for now? What can we do to make you smile at least a little bit?"

"In my time, we had a government that obeyed and imitated the Third Reich," Francois says, too conversational, too informal to be really storytelling, but close enough. "Vichy France was obligated to act against the people that were not desired to have human rights. The Jews, obviously. Gypsies. Homosexuals." He sets down the oiled pistol parts, sitting back in his chair as he picks up his glass, glancing from one girl to the other.

"Activists also, war criminals, and they were turned to the Germans. I don't know if they knew, what would happen to some who were packed into trains and disappeared to Germany. I hope not."

He shrugs a little, as if to apologise for that minor tangent. "I was arrested, and I saw for myself the research that would then go on to fuel what the Institute does and explores — it has a long history, in that way. If terrorism is an attempt to stop these acts then I have no problems with their existance. I suppose I was one, once. We did not use that word." And he's neglecting to answer Daphne's question, properly, drinking instead.

"Yeah, the Institute is based on the research of…shit. Can't remember his name, but think he studied under or with Kazimir what's his name. So the Germans never did stop." Melissa falls silent for a moment, giving Francois a grateful look. A mild one, but it's there. "I suppose perspective is the big issue on what someone is called."

She looks at Daphne. "We've got people trying to pinpoint where Teo was taken. Or maybe they've moved onto planning strategy. Not sure yet. Told one of 'em to plan for a speedster in the mix, but didn't mention your name, not yet anyway. Didn't know how open you were about your ability."

Gaze sliding back to Francois, she smiles. "Should we pour wine down your throat and put on a movie? Have you seen Dogma yet? It's religious, sorta, but it's a comedy. Plus, cute guys."

That Francois is open about having present in the time he speaks of surprises Daphne, and she turns to stare at him with big eyes that he will probably take for the reaction to the news he was alive in the 1940s. She gives a slight nod in agreement before bringing that cup of coffee to her lips again, and it's then that Melissa so casually brings up the name Kazimir, and that he has something to do with the horrible things being done to people like Teo. The swallow of coffee at the wrong moment goes down the wrong way as Melissa continues to chatter on about movies, and what begins as a small coughing fit becomes a larger one.

Finally, wiping her watery eyes, red in the face, she stares at Francois. "Please tell me he's not still alive, too," she finally manages to gasp out, her voice strangely pitched from the fluid still in her trachea.

"I like cute girls also." This, he feels inclined to say, now allowing a better smile to cross his pale features as he rocks his helping of wine in its glass. The brush strokes dealt his way from being in love~ right now, painted the walking wounded, mock-widower. Gay. Resentment is a structure being built up inside him every day (feels like in his ribcage), and this doesn't exactly add to it, but it does remind him of it. Perspective is the big issueon what someone is called, like Melissa says. Yay scars.

With great practiced professionalism, Francois tips back the rest of his wine, which is a generous helping to down in one go, but it's affirmative, that he will get drunk and watch movies. But by the time he's done, Daphne is leaking from the eyes, and this draws concerned punctuation in his brow, awkwardly holding his emptied glass that he was gonna go refill, now setting down.

Ridiculously, he thinks she's talking about Teo. What a mercy it should be that he might be dead than played with in the bowels of the Institute. It stabs something sharp through him until sense reorders itself, and he glances from Melissa, to Daphne. A hand lays down on the table, edges towards her without touching, fingers together, spade-shaped. "Volken?" he asks, and Daphne can probably read in his malachite irises that he has no idea about what personal connection she might have with all this. "Non. Of course not."

Choking Daphne? That wasn't what Melissa intended! She moves over to start slapping Daph on the back, helpfully of course. Then she's nodding agreement with Francois. "Yeah, he's dead. I heard it from several reliable sources. So no worries hon." She looks to Francois and grins. "Well, there's one cute girl. Salma Hayek. Plays a stripper. School teacher stripper. And guess what. I just so happened to bring that movie with me!" Of course she did. Does she ever go anywhere without at least one movie on her? Doubtful. So, of course, she gets it out and puts it in the DVD player!

Daphne wipes first one eye and then the other now that the choking's stopped, but the tears stream to the surface again and down her cheeks, this time perhaps not caused by the choking but a very, very delayed reaction to traumatic experiences. She ignores Melissa's discussion of Dogma and Salma Hayek and swallows hard, bringing a hand to her throat to rub it, as if she could soothe the rawness the near-choking had from the outside.

"He died before. And came back. I saw it," she whispers. She is unaware that he actually saved her, repaid her for her "kindness," beguiled from her as it was at the time.

The speedster stands and gives a shake of her head, as if to push away the memories of gunned down Nazis and frail, sickly prisoners — including Francois. Her eyes dart to the door, as if thinking of fleeing, of backing away of this threat of the Institute that is suddenly being compared to Nazis (her own doing, of course). "I should…" Go. She should go. But she swore she wouldn't run this time. And she owes him.

He doesn't grab, but a hand twitches like he might take her hand, ignoring Dogma also but offering no protest when Melissa moves for the entertainment set. Likely they could all do with a film, with laughing. "He died in Mexico," Francois says, now, a weak smile on his face. "This year. After Germany, he moved to America and continued his research there. He was killed, then, but his power put him in the body of another, or that is where his power went — it moves like mine did. But it embodied who it was and drowned out the host form, and that is how he existed, for a long time.

"That form was killed, transfered to another, and another, and finally, I had it. It saved me from death. It was purged from me, then, with the healing that Flint Deckard had — so much so that the healing was burned from him too, and so there is nothing. No healing, no Kazimir."

He stands too, finally, nudging in his chair. "I do not know when you saw him, but he is no more," he promises, as if this were her concern.

Seeing Daphne rubbing at her throat, Melissa looks away to seem to focus on getting the movie started, but she also uses part of her focus to take the soreness from Daph's throat. "He was in you too? He seemed to inhabit a bunch of people I like," she murmurs. She shakes her head, then turns and she has a smile on her lips when she's facing the others. "Okay, everyone sit your butts down, relax, and I'm gonna go grab the wine for refills all around," she says before starting towards the kitchen. And if the dead flowers are still on the table? She snags them to take with her. She can't help it. Blame the OCD.

Every question answered opens up an infinite amount of new questions, creating an almost comic paradox in which Daphne nods, shakes her head, nods again, finally settling on just staring at the floor for a moment with a perplexed look on her face. "I don't understand," she finally manages, her voice still rough as her tearful eyes look up to Francois' face, but she offers a tentative smile.

Reaching to take the hand that twitched, her small fingers intertwining with his, she tugs him to follow her. "I'm glad you had it if it's what brought you back to life, or I wouldn't have known you," she says quietly, moving toward the room to which Melissa is herding them.

"«Your healing was a beautiful gift, though»" she adds in French, the words similar to those she murmured when he healed her just months ago and at the same time, 65 years ago: You have a beautiful gift, docteur.

And he follows, puzzlement flaring in his green eyes at Daphne before he squeezes her hand. "Perhaps you and I should talk sometime," he says, conceding to Melissa's bulldozery decisionmaking for how the rest of the afternoon is to be spent. Not that he minds — the disappearance of loved ones weighs heavy enough, he doesn't need to overturn the dirt of the past to go digging. Submits, instead, to the pantomime of feeling better, and claims a corner of the sofa.

"Hey now. No talking in a language I can't understand! Or I'll have to…uh…" Melissa's brow furrows in concentration as she struggles to remember some of the words Ling has been teaching her. "Well hell. I can't think of anything bad enough to say in Chinese," she says, sounding disappointed. "Oh well. I'll ask Ling for the really bad words later. For now…Movie time! Francois, tell me you have popcorn in the kitchen. You two can chat, and I'll go make it."

"Sorry," Daphne says with a rueful grin at Melissa. "I'm sure Francois will be happy if I stop slaughtering his native tongue for the time being anyway. I promise it wasn't about you. If I were going to talk about you in front of you in another language, someone should at least be getting a mani-pedi out of it." There's a sassy smile at the joke — everyone always thinks the manicurists are talking about them, even if they aren't, of course!

"Another time. I think … the present is difficult enough right now without drudging up the ancient past," she tells Francois, moving to curl up beside him on the couch. After all, they are in part there to cheer up the Frenchman — 1945 is hardly the cheeriest of times to discuss. "For now, Jay and Silent Bob are more important."

His arm extends along the back of the couch, fingernails scratching against the firm upholstery, looking past Daphne towards where Melissa is hovering, and his mouth twists ruefully. "I have no food," Francois says, dismissive and unapologetic for his spartan kitchen, abruptly a bachelor, suddenly, putting money towards bullets and pistol cleaning kits and booze over packets of buttery corn kernels. "Ne sois pas ridicule, bring wine and sit down — you are making me dizzy."

"You wanna? Get a mani-pedi sometime? I know a great guy with a salon. He's done my hair a few times. Though oh man will I get yelled at next time he sees me for undoing his good work," Melissa says, grabbing the remote and flopping down on the couch. Then she frowns at Francois. "No? Well, you will. In fact…You two, stay here. Daph? Make sure he gets drunk and watches the movie. I'll be back in an hour," she says, pushing herself right back up to her feet. Then she points a finger sternly at both of them. "And no arguing."

"I can get it faster," protests Daphne. Apparently "no arguing" is not in her lexicon. "Sit. I'll be back. By the time you come back the movie will be half over. I'll be back by the time they meet Rufus, probably," she points out. "There's a good Italian place, and I'll stop by and grab some popcorn — ooh there's a movie theatre, I'll get some from there." Why make microwave popcorn if you can have actual thatre popcorn? It's not like she needs to buy a ticket to get in and out of the theatre with the tub of golden, buttery cholesterol-laden starch ambrosia. "Text me your order for food, it'll get to my cell by the time I'm ready to tell 'em what I want." And with that, she's gone.

It's not even childish protest, that crops up on Francois' features. The laughing kind. Oh, you guys. It could stand to be. Instead, his expression is neutral, but he obeys in that he's not arguing, clearly his fate of the next few hours out of his hands, gone with a windtunnel and the open-slam of the door. He lifts a hand to fix his hair, but not reach for his phone. Opens his palms to Melissa, and states, "I am taking care of myself."

When Daphne just poofs out, Melissa grumps a little, but dutifully pulls out her phone and sends a text to the speedster. Only then does she glance to Francois. "Honey, you said you have no food. You need to eat. If for no other reason than to keep your strength up for Teo," she says gently. "Besides, we're your friends. We're allowed to worry about you. More, it's our job," she says, sitting back down. "Just let us take some worry off of you, the best way we can until we know where Teo is."

Blocks away, Daphne makes it to the Italian restaurant, checks her cell — too slow, oh no — so she makes an order that's ridiculously too much for three people to eat, so that Francois will have leftovers for at least two days. Rather than wait, she speeds to the theatre, stealing an extra large bucket of popcorn just as it's handed to the waiting patron… popcorn, however, doesn't travel well in fast speed, so she loses a good third, kernels fluttering in her wake before she thinks to grab a plastic bag from the grocery store to tuck around the top of the carton on the way back to the restaurant. There, she still has to wait for her order — to which she adds a quart of tiramisu gelato. She then taps her feet waiting for the food order. It's been four minutes.

Protest dies, crumbles into ash. Okay. He can let them worry about him, that much he can do, if he can't immediately rescue anyone. "After the movie, I will let you know the names of those organising the raid," Francois says, and he must mean beyond Peter Petrelli, not the only ringleader involved. The corner of his mouth twists up in semi-smile. "And we will all feel more useful as those planets align. I am sure they will be happy to have Daphne."

"Let me guess. Richard Cardinal is one of 'em?" Melissa says with a faint smile. "And yeah, I let Peter know to plan for a speedster. Don't know Richard well enough to have told him anything. I just passed a message along to Peter." Which makes her freeze and eyes widen. But whatever thought she had, she's keeping it to herself. No sense in passing her worries along to Francois.

She makes herself smile and relax in her seat, nodding. "Sounds good though. And I promise, you'll love the movie. Though if you fall asleep partway through, I promise to try not to get offended," she teases.

The door opens and shuts again, and Daphne comes bearing gifts — or food anyway. More pasta and garlic bread than three people should attempt in one sitting, the gelato, the popcorn, and even a salad for something quasi healthy. "Back. See? It's not even to Rufus yet. He's the 13th apostle dontchaknow," she says cheekily, the run and fresh air having done her much good, it would seem, the tears gone and her voice back to normal. She dumps the food on the coffee table and goes to put the gelato in the freezer before returning with forks and plates.

"You didn't make an order, so you get what you get and you don't throw a fit," the speedster says with a smirk, the very concept of Francois complaining that he doesn't like the food someone has brought him worth a giggle.

God, it would be nice to enjoy this actually, but maybe after a few bites of pasta, another glass of wine, he will. For now, smiles feel as labourious as carving into ice, but he will thaw out. Francois has the talent for doing that, the capacity. Besides, they won't have to witness him scraping leftovers into garbage bags, save for maybe preserving himself a dinner that isn't similarly frozen and nuked back to edibility, ordered over the phone, picked up on the way home from work.

"Merci," he says, for both of them, and means it, and is the first to help himself, as his TV-screen is coloured with more images than it has in the past few weeks.

"Daaaaaph. That wasn't quite what I meant!" Melissa grumps at the speedy one when she returns, but that doesn't stop her from digging into the food. "And oh, hey. I love this scene. And this actor," she says, as the first good angel appears on the screen. And with that said, she settles into watch the movie, though, despite her love of movies, she watches Francois nearly as much. Though he'll hardly do something stupid with her and Daphne right there.

Eat, drink, and be … slightly distracted for a few hours, is perhaps the best they can hope for. For Francois, Teo will not be forgotten just because there are amusing antics with angels and demons and skeeball-playing deities on the screen. For all three, the dangers that loom ahead of them are perhaps shuffled to the back of their minds, but still present, breathing on their necks. For Daphne, the fact that one nightmare from the very distant and yet not so distant past is somehow tied into the task she has undertaken will be dealt with later — or perhaps not. For now, she digs into the puttanesca and garlic bread, happy to refuel on both carbs and friendship.

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